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Use Human birth to Experience Atmic Bliss

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the Valedictory Function of the Sri Sathya Sai International Educare Convention on 4th July 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam. )

You may be highly educated, but without culture, how can you expect to be respected? You may be highly intelligent, but without morality, how can you earn value in society? You may be occupying position of authority, but if you cross your limits, how can people respect you? Without charity and righteousness and without following the path of truth, how can you expect people to honour you? It is a great mistake if you conduct yourself without fear of sin. What else is to be conveyed to this august gathering?


Embodiments of Love!
If you deeply enquire and investigate, you will find that the water level in the earth is going deeper and deeper day by day. If you observe the present political scenario, you don't find any morality and integrity. The present-day teachers do not seem to possess the invaluable treasure of knowledge. Human values have become totally extinct in human beings. The ancient teachers were extolled as Thyagarajulu, Yogarajulu and Yathirajulu (kings of sacrifice, spirituality and renunciation), but alas! the modern teachers have become Bhogarajulu and Kamarajulu (men of pleasures and desires). Indian culture is the manifestation of truth that does not change with the passage of time and is unaffected by creation or dissolution. Having forgotten such eternal truth, man is wasting his precious life in the pursuit of ephemeral pleasures. He is unable to understand his own value. He is attaching value to Dhana (money) and not to Guna (character). He is dedicating his life to attain selfish goals ignoring his innate value and character. Since times of yore, Bharatiyas have trodden the path of spirituality, derived the bliss there from and shared it with others. Today man is unable to experience and enjoy such eternal bliss. Man has been able to accomplish mighty tasks, but he is yet to experience Atmic bliss. Human birth is meant to experience Atmic bliss. This truth is contained in the three letters 'M - A - N' which stand for overcoming the Maya (illusion), experiencing the vision of the Atma and attaining Nirvana (liberation). But today man is unable to understand the truth that he is born to realise the Atma.
Embodiments of Love!
Once you recognise the value of human life, you will be able to understand human values. Human values are born along with man, not before or after. Man has to question himself, "What is the purpose of life?" Once man finds an answer to this question, he will be able to understand everything else in this world. Man is endowed with intelligence and knowledge, but he is in the pursuit of ignorance which is far away from him, without making any enquiry into the knowledge that is within him. Consequently, there is a need to propagate human values today.
Man is getting carried away by Prabhava (worldly influences), himself forgetting his Swabhava (innate nature) and is ruining himself. One can describe Prabhava as Prarabdha (consequences of past actions) and Swabhava as the innate human qualities of truth, righteousness, peace and love. Man's true nature is to attain the four goals of life, viz., Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (righteousness, wealth, desire and liberation). Today man has no desire for spiritual teachings. There are no divine feelings in his mind. In such a situation, how can he remain unaffected by Prabhava? He has to transform Prabhava into Swabhava. His Swabhava is to erase Prarabdha. Swa - Bhava, which means Atmic feeling is man's Swabhava. Truth, righteousness, peace and love constitute Atmic feelings. Where is the need to search for them when they are his natural innate qualities? As he has forgotten his natural qualities, he is under the influence of Prabhava, craving for name, fame, wealth and comforts. He is interested in Dhana, not in Guna. Is this the purpose of life? No doubt, money is required, but, among the four Purusharthas (objectives of life), money comes only after righteousness. It means that money should be earned in a righteous manner. But today man resorts to unrighteous means to amass wealth.
Embodiments of Love!
Today you are being troubled by Prarabdha as you have classified the objectives of human life into four, viz., righteousness, wealth, desire and liberation. Club them together into two, viz., wealth earned in a righteous manner and desire for liberation. Only then will you be free from the influence of Prarabdha. You are unable to escape from Prarabdha as you have desire only for the world and not for liberation. Money is essential to carry on with your life, but it should be under certain limits. Man does not realise this. He is in the mad pursuit of money till his last breath. Have you understood the meaning of the word MAN? You have to overcome the Maya, understand the Atma and attain Nirvana. Ignoring such an eternal truth, man is leading an unsacred life.

Man aspires to attain bliss. What is the path to bliss? Can he attain bliss from material objects? No, not at all. The happiness related to the world is only temporary. First of all, man has to develop faith in the Self. You love your mother because you have the faith that she is your mother. Wife loves her husband because she has faith in him. So, where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is peace; where there is peace, there is truth; where there is truth, there is God; where there is God, there is bliss. You need not undertake any worship or ritual to attain peace. There are many who say that they are undertaking a particular ritual for world peace. It is but a mere stunt! You can never attain peace from rituals. Peace is contained in love. You can develop love only when you have faith in the Self. Today man has faith in the ephemeral and transient but not in God. His faith in God is not steady. He is filled with doubts. One should have total faith in God. One should believe only God and not the world because all that is seen in the world is bound to perish one day or the other. God alone can grant the true and eternal bliss and one who experiences it is a true human being. When Buddha was about to attain Nirvana, his cousin Ananda, who was by his side at that time, started shedding tears. Buddha said to him, "O simpleton, why are you grieving over my attaining Nirvana? In fact, Nirvana is the true goal of human life. Overcome the Maya, have the vision of the Atma and attain Nirvana." Ananda followed the teaching of Buddha and ultimately attained Nirvana.
Embodiments of Love!
What you need to do is not rituals like Yajnas and Yagas. First of all, you should understand the truth that the changeless and eternal bliss is within. It is described as, Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathanam, Niketanam, Nithya, Suddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (attributeless, beyond delusion, ancient, final abode, eternal, pure, unsullied, immortal and free from bondage). The Vedas declare, Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat (the universe is saturated with Divinity), Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman). In order to understand these divine statements, you should cultivate sacred qualities. One without noble qualities cannot understand them. Every individual, every living being, every object in this creation is a manifestation of Divinity. All the five elements are the forms of divine. To understand this truth, you have to take to the spiritual path.
You are making efforts to understand the human values, viz., Truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence. What is meant by Truth? It is that which is changeless. Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma (Truth, Wisdom and Eternity is Brahma). It is a mistake to think that truth is related speech alone. Trikala Badyam Sathyam (Truth is that which remains changeless in all the three periods of time). So, Truth is God. What is meant by Dharma (righteousness)? It does not mean actions of charity and rituals like Yajnas and Yagas. It does not mean good actions alone. Dharayati iti Dharma (that which sustains is Dharma). True Dharma is to put into practice the Truth that originates from the heart. When Truth is translated into action, it becomes Dharma. What is Santhi? It is the feeling one experiences at the time of attaining Nirvana. Peace is the crown that man should aspire to wear. Everybody wants peace in this world. Where is peace? It is within you. Keep reminding yourself, "I am the embodiment of Truth, I am the embodiment of Peace, I am the embodiment of Love, I am the embodiment of Righteousness. I am everything." Have total faith in the principle of the Atma without which whatever you say or do cannot be called Truth or righteousnessl.
"Today the education that students pursue is only worldly in nature. They study books, write examinations and get degrees. They do all this only for the sake of their livelihood. A foolish person boasts of his high education and intelligence, yet does not know himself. What is the use of all the education he has acquired, if he cannot give up his evil qualities? All the worldly education will lead him only to vain argumentation, not total wisdom. It cannot lead him to immortality. So, man should acquire that knowledge which will make him immortal." (Telugu Poem) .
Man is specialising in various subjects not for the welfare of the world, but for his own self-interest. If you sincerely want world peace, undertake sacred actions. Love your fellowmen. Make them happy. Human values are not mere verbal expressions. They originate from the heart. People are mistaken as they go only by the letter without understanding the spirit. First of all, develop faith that everything is within you. Without faith, human life will come to ruin.

There should be transformation at the three levels - individual, social and spiritual. This is what 'SAI' is bringing about. The three letters in the word SAI stand for Spiritual change, Association change and Individual change, respectively. SAI also denotes Service, Adoration and Illumination corresponding to work, worship and wisdom. You have to understand the inner meaning of every letter of this word SAI to sanctify your lives.
Today thousands of Bal Vikas Gurus have gathered here. Worldly education too is essential but children should be taught spiritual education too from the young age. In the conferences held elsewhere, you find an ocean of difference between the number of delegates who are supposed to participate and the number of people who actually take part in the deliberations. But our conference is unique in the sense that all the delegates attend it. Nobody gets up in the middle except a few who do so only out of physical constraints. You cannot find such conferences being held anywhere else in the world. Though I know everything, sometimes I watch the proceedings of the conference from behind the screen or from above. All delegates are attending the meeting with utmost sincerity and devotion. Such conferences should be held more frequently. Many more members should be trained and should be taught new procedures. Only then will the whole world get benefit out of this. Yesterday our Prime Minister Vajpayee sent a letter to Me through Indulal Shah, "Swami, our government with all the power at our disposal cannot undertake such noble tasks. It is not possible for anybody except You. Please take up more and more responsibilities and involve even the Government in this matter." They write such letters out of love, but we do not involve ourselves in the matters relating to Government because their temperament and influences do not match with our activities, experiences and happiness. So, we take care of our activities without involving others. Many conferences are being held here, but do you find any collection of funds here? No. Each one is taking care of his own requirements. They are coming here wholeheartedly and enjoying the bliss. Such conferences should be held not once but thrice a year. Each time new delegates should be given a chance. You should be prepared to put any amount of effort for education purposes.
Today students are acquiring various degrees. They are becoming doctors and engineers, but they are not doing the work that is expected of them. What is the use of their education? Can you call them educated at all? The modern field of education has become highly corrupted. Even those who cannot read a thermometer properly, manage to get a doctor's degree these days! Even the engineering education has become a sham. In our institutions, you may call even a I standard boy and ask him a question. He will give a correct answer. Our boys are well- educated but they are not putting their knowledge into practice. They say, "Swami knows everything. Whatever He tells is good for me." When you believe that whatever Swami says is good for you, why don't you follow His command? I do not want such people. One must practise what one says. You may be teachers, but you should be good students in the first instance. If a student takes to bad ways, he ruins himself, but if a teacher takes to evil ways, he will be spoiling the lives of many students. So, teachers have to be very careful. It is not enough if you merely give your attendance here and keep quiet. You should go outside and propagate all that you have seen and experienced here. You should be heroes in practice, not merely in platform speeches. Share the bliss that you have experienced here for the last three days. Talk less and work more. That is what I am doing precisely. For the last ten days, I have not been talking to people much. What is the reason? There may be a few narrow-minded people who might feel that Swami is telling them to talk less, but He is not following the same. That is why I am talking less now. I am doing so only to teach them. There is limitless bliss in limited talk. Bliss cannot be obtained from outside, it comes from within. The good or bad that you see in others is nothing but the reflection of your own inner feelings. Once you understand this truth, you will never talk bad about anybody. All that you experience in this world is nothing but the reflection, reaction and resound of your own feelings. So, you should be good to everybody and take them along with you with the spirit of love. Take care that you do not forget your Swabhava, which is the true Purushartha (objective of life).
Many speakers have taught you many things on the basis of their experiences. I have been hearing them. Try to understand their experiences, put their teachings into practice and teach the same to others. I tell you only one thing. Having been born as human beings, you should overcome the Maya, have the vision of the Atma and attain Nirvana. This is the purpose of your life. Where is the Atma? It is your very form. You are not the physical body. Body is temporary, it is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey, do not follow the body, do not follow the mind. Follow the conscience, which is your true form. How can you have the vision of the Atma? You need not search for it outside. Turn your vision inward. Only then can you have the vision of the Self.

A person remained silent though he was being criticised. When his friend wanted him to react, he replied, "The same Atma is present in me as well as in the person who is criticising. So, why should I be annoyed when he is criticising himself." A deep enquiry into the truth will reveal that when you love or hate others, you love or hate your own self. In fact, there are no 'others'. You consider yourself different from others because of body attachment. Once you give up body attachment, you will realise that there are no others and all are yours. That is the true vision of the Atma. The Atma does not have a specific form. Bliss is Atma, Consciousness is Atma. Conscious is related to the senses; conscience is the inner witness and Consciousness is the all-pervasive Atma. You should understand the unity of these three. Take to the path of service. Then you can proceed along the path of adoration and ultimately attain illumination. To the extent possible, serve everybody. True happiness lies in service.
You may be disappointed that I have not spoken to you in the last two days, but I have been with you and listening to you all along. I do not have anger on you, neither am I disgusted with you. But I am disappointed in the sense that you are not paying heed to My words. Then how can you come up in life? What is the use of My talking to you or moving closely with you? This is the reason I have not spoken to anybody. But some people are unable to understand this truth. How can the narrow-minded understand My broad feelings?

How can you attain God's grace? Here is a small example. You toiled hard, earned money and deposited it in a bank for safety and security. No doubt that the money belongs to you, but the Bank Manager will not give it to you on your mere asking for it. There are certain rules and regulations for the withdrawal of money from the bank. You can withdraw the money only when you sign the cheque and surrender it to the Bank Manager. Likewise, you have deposited the 'money' of meritorious deeds with God, the Divine Bank Manager. Affix the signature of love on the cheque of sacrifice and surrender it to Him. Only then will He confer the wealth of His grace on you.

Man's mind has become polluted because of modern education. When the mind is polluted, how can man come up in life? He may be highly educated and occupying positions of authority with name and fame. But all his achievements will prove futile if he does not know what he is supposed to know. What is it that he is supposed to know? It is the principle of the Atma. In order to lead a blissful life in this world, it is enough if you know that you are the embodiment of the Atma and everybody else also is the same. You are subjected to misery as you are unable to understand this subtle Truth. Tomorrow I will tell you in detail the Truth of human life, the goal of human life and the pathway to bliss.

[ Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahinů"]

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