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Lead A Virtuous Life To Earn God's Grace

[Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Prashanthi Nilayam on the 2nd October 2000 on the occassion of Dasara]

Moon illumines the night; Sun illumines the day; for the three worlds, righteousness is the source of illumination, and a good son illumines the clan.

Embodiments of Love!

The moon dispels the darkness of the night. Similarly, the sun shows us the way and guides us to our destinations during the day. Righteousness sheds light on path of humanity in the three worlds.

There may be many sons born in a clan, but its fame is not spread by every one of them. It is only the 'Suputra' (virtuous son) or the good son who brings name and fame to his lineage. A good son is an ideal in all the aspects of life. His own life and those of others around are elevated by his good conduct. A good son is like a streetlight. With an unwavering mind and a steady vision, he perceives the Creator in all the creation, thus helping himself and also others. Such has been the ideal life of a good son down the ages.

In the days of yore, the people, though materially not very strong, cultivated firm self-confidence and guarded this 'Atma - Jyothi' at all the times. Unfortunately, in the Kali Age, man has acquired great fame, riches and comforts but he lacks peace and sense of security. The reason for this sorrow is the lack of patience and sympathy amongst the members of the family living in a house. Why does man lack these two qualities? The rise in selfishness and the use of intelligence for one's own self interests has brought about this decline. These two values are not seen in any family today. Because of this, they remain steeped in worries from dawn to dusk. There is no unity or co-ordination amidst the sons of a family. Therefore, each goes his own way and though born as a human being, leads a life worse than that of animals. In fact, animals are better as they have a reason and a season.

Man has become selfish and he no more thinks of contributing to others' happiness. Patience and sympathy are like life forces for a man. A man without these can be considered lifeless. Having acquired a number of degrees and having amassed wealth, what has man really achieved? What every man in a family should aspire to achieve, are the two virtues of patience and sympathy.

Today, they build a house for the family. However, it was not so in the olden days. Five to six families lived together in a small hut peacefully and it became a home. There is a lot of difference between a house and a home. When there is tolerance and sympathy among the members of the family, it is home. Because of the absence of tolerance and sympathy, 'Bhavanam' (house) has become 'Vanam' (forest). This was the case with Dasaratha. He had conducted many yajnas and yagas and thereby he begot children, but there was no tolerance and sympathy among his three wives. Hence, he had to face such miserable end in the agony of separation from Rama. The same was the case with Uttanapada also. There was a lack of tolerance and sympathy between his wives. The two wives quarreled over the king showing his affection for Dhruva, and this saddened the tender heart of Dhruva. He saluted his mother and, saying that he would return after earning God's grace, left for the forest. He gave up all comforts and meditated upon God. Thus, he kept up the word given to his mother. In every family, joy and sorrow arise only due to the lack of patience and sympathy. The world is a combination of joy and sorrow. Pleasure can be enjoyed only when one has undergone pain; auspiciousness is felt only if there is inauspiciousness.

In this world, there are sons who disrespect their parents. They do not recognize that parents are the ones who gave them birth and brought them up with many sacrifices and discomfort. They hurt their parents on one hand and pray to God on the other. This cannot be called true devotion at all. Can they attain liberation with this type of devotion? What is liberation? Fools think that merging with God after death is liberation. But it is not so. Eliminating all worries and being happy thereby is true liberation. It is satisfying the hunger of the poor and giving succor to the needy.

Mukti (liberation) is to cast away one's difficulties, sorrows, worries, attachments and secure happiness, comfort, peace and bliss. It is not any separate destination to reach. To remove the anxiety of everyone and fill their hearts with supreme peace is Mukti. To be freed from one's worries is Mukti. Mukti, which is so simple, subtle and within the reach of everyone, is being ignored by man. He craves for Mukti after death. But Mukti should be experienced when one is still alive.

Yashoda lamented that Kamsa took away her son Krishna and that he had not returned since. She felt that she could not bear the difficulties and yearned for Mukti. Such a desire itself is Mukti. On hearing that Krishna had come back, she was transported to ecstasy. To give happiness to a person drowned in worries is Mukti. Such liberation in this world is available only to human beings.

Man's life, though sacred, virtuous, beautiful, and praiseworthy, is short. In this limited life span man has to engage himself in good actions. There are enough good tasks that have to be done in this life. With our intelligence, we can accomplish anything. With determination, man can touch the sky and conquer the world. But today man is losing this strength. What is the reason for this? He is losing his mastery over the senses. The more sensual he is, the lesser is the life span. Today's man is losing his physical strength and consequently destroying his inner strength completely. To remain immortal and retain youth, the power of the senses should be developed by controlling them. There should be no body attachment. If on one hand, man loses control over the senses and on the other hand, he develops body attachment, then what will be his plight? These two can be compared to two holes in a pot filled with water. Water is filled in such a pot, which gets drained. Similarly, the pot of our heart is filled with nectarine grace of God. It is said "Shunvanthu Visve Amrutasya Putraha". (You are the child of immortality). Coming under the influence of the senses, you have become "Anruthasya Putraha" (Children of untruth). Man has to foster his heart. But without forbearance and sympathy, he has drilled holes into it. Consequently, his life span has decreased. In this limited life span, what good deeds can he do? How can he work for the welfare of the society? God given strength should be utilized properly by Satsang (Good Company), by Satpravarthana (Good conduct) and by Seva (Service to the society). Only then can your strength improve. Man is wasting is limitless strength through sensuality.

Arjuna once asked Krishna, "How can I attain Divinity?" Krishna replied that he (Arjuna) was unable to remain steady because of his wavering mind. Unflinching faith in God only could confer that firmness on you. An unsteady person has doubts. When doubts increase beyond limits, the person becomes a dirty fellow. A pure heart never doubts. The heart becomes impure due to the dirt of doubts. One starts doubting one's own mother. How can tolerance and sympathy grow in such people?

Today every act of man is filled with selfishness. Selfishness has entered his thoughts, words, and deeds. Man lives as a puppet in the evil hands of selfishness. Once under the control of selfishness, how can he ever progress?

A selfless person emerges victorious in everything that he does. Pandavas faced many difficulties and humiliations, yet they achieved victory because of their faith in Krishna. In the same way, people in olden days cultivated self-confidence, strong conviction, tolerance, and sympathy. They used to live like brothers and sisters. But in todayıs world, it has become a fashion to negate what others say. Debating to realize truth is good, but debating to simply negate what others say is foolishness. This is not good. Here is an example.

A great scholar by name Panchashikha came to the court of Janaka. A scholar in the court of Janaka challenged that he would negate whatever Panchashikha said. Panchashikha laughed and took up the challenge. He thought it was foolishness to negate everything. Only one who has studied the Vedas and Sastras is a scholar and such a person is equal minded. But since this mad person is telling that he would negate whatever is said, he is not fit to be in the court of King Janaka. Then he asked a question: "Sir! You are born of your mother, arenıt you?" How could the scholar negate that? Because of such arguments, King Janaka appreciated Panchashikha as a great scholar.

Only a person without any prejudices can argue like this. Such questions are the only way to cure foolish people. A person does not become a scholar just by reading the Sastras. He becomes a scholar only when he is able to understand the unity in multiplicity. Tamil poet Nammalvar said the same thing: "Mind is the witness for one's own mind. Attributes are the witness for one's body, Swami is the witness for everything and for a fool his foolishness itself is the witness".

Once upon a time a king had a servant. Once the king became seriously ill and the servant, whom the king considered as a fool, approached him and asked the king if he could do any service to him. The king replied, "The valuable life span given by God has come to an end. I am ready to obey His command and leave this world." Then the servant requested the king to wait and got a horse for the king's journey! The king remarked, "Foolish fellow! Neither a horse, nor a chariot nor any other vehicle can take me there." In return to the king's remarks, the servant asked the king, "You say that you are going but you are not telling me where you are going and how you are going there? So I am not a fool, you are the fool!" This kind of argumentation has become common these days and is leading to perversion of intelligence. In this Kali age people are losing their knowledge and intelligence by indulging in such useless argumentation.

This morning when I was returning from Mandir, Ramana Rao (from Hyderabad) said, "Swami, when we hear your childhood days we feel very blissful. Please narrate some incidents from your life everyday in your discourse." This is the reason why I am telling you about My childhood.

Kondamaraju and Subbaraju were brothers. Subbaraju died young. After his death, both his sons lived along with Kondamaraju's sons, Peddavenkammaraju and Chinnavenkammaraju. One day Kondamaraju told me, "Sathya, I have taken a decision to separate these four brothers. What is your opinion?" I replied, "It is a very good decision because these four families are lacking forbearance and sympathy. So it is better to separate them." Kondamaraju asked me how I knew these things. I said, "I can hear their words, see their actions and feel their intentions. Is this evidence not enough?" Kondamaraju followed My words, called the four brothers, and told them to live separately and happily. He told them, "It is good if you take up responsibilities and lead your own lives." They readily agreed, as the ladies of the house had lost forbearance and sympathy. He distributed all his property among these four. They asked Kondamaraju who would look after him and where he would live? Kondamaraju said, " I donıt want anything. Give me Sathya. He is my property! He will look after me."

Then I was eight years old. I would cook food early in the morning, serve him, and run to Bukkapatnam with books. There was no school in this village. When the lunch bell rang at one o'clock in the afternoon, I would run back to the village, eat a little, and again run to Bukkapatnam.

Kondamaraju felt that I was taking a lot of trouble and so he asked me to take food to the school and not to come back home in the afternoon. In those days there were no steel carriers or plastic containers. Even aluminum vessels were scarce. I used to take ragi balls wrapped in a towel for My lunch in the school. When the bell was given, all students from different villages (Karnatanagapalli, Janakampalli, Puttaparthi, Kammavaripalli) would gather near Bukkapatnam tank. They would get rice in their carriers, whereas I was poor and I had only ragi balls. In order to keep up the honor of the family, I used to move away from the group and eat separately. Everyone has to uphold one's familyıs prestige. If you behave in a mean way, your family will get a bad name. If other boys see me eating ragi balls, they would think that I come from a poor family. I did not want to let down the name of My family.

The next day I told Kondamaraju that I would come home and eat even if it was a little difficult for me. There lies happiness in difficulties. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Without pain, there is no pleasure. One has to work hard to enjoy happiness. To make an ornament out of gold, first it has to be put into fire, then hammered, cut, molded and welded. Only then it becomes a jewel. Therefore I said, "Grandfather, I am ready for hard work. This is not a difficulty; it is also good exercise for Me!" He told Me, "This exercise is too much for an eight year old boy." He had great love for Me. He would never trust anyone except Me. Whatever I said was truth for him. That is why he had a sacred death. Often Easwaramma urged Kondamaraju to come and stay with his four sons, at least for short periods. She told him that they were all ready to serve him and asked him if they did not deserve to serve him. Even then, he rejected, saying that he had Sathya with him and he did not want anyone else. He had such a firm faith in Me.

After the new Mandir was opened on 23rd November 1950, Kondamaraju used to come every morning and evening to see me. I told him, "Why do you strain yourself in walking all the way? You can stay at home. I will come and see you!" He replied that this was an exercise for him at that age. He paid me back in the same coin. He was 112 years at that time. Even at that age, he could walk steadily. At that time, I had the habit of eating paan from dawn to dusk. One day, I offered Kondamaraju betel nut and betel nut powder. He refused to take the powder, saying that his teeth were strong and he took the betel nut itself and chewed it up in no time. He never used spectacles. He could walk any distance.

Old people of those days got strength through control of senses. They did not have body attachment. They lived in order to discharge their duties. Such people were there in every family. That is why Thyagaraja sang in the court of the King of Travancore, "Endaroo Mahanubhaavuulu Andariki Vandanamulu!" (There are many great souls. My salutations to all of them.) In earlier days, they used to begin any function by offering salutations to the audience. But our students begin by addressing 'Brothers and sisters'. These are all meaningless words. How can old people become brothers and sisters? These are all artificial words. In one such gathering, some one got up and asked the speaker, "You addressed me as your brother. I am poor so give me a share in your property!" Will the speaker share his property? He just calls them brothers and sisters without that intention. Then, why should we use the words brothers and sisters? This has become an artificial usage. I do not like these artificial words. That is why I always address you as 'Embodiments of Love!'. Love is My property. It is also there in you. So, I call you 'Embodiments of Love'. I am never the master. I am a servant - a servant of devotees. I am always with the devotees, fulfilling their wishes.

Here is one small example. 'You are not coming to Me to take namaskar. I am coming to you to give namaskar. What does it mean? I am yours. You need not get up to come to me. I will come to you. I will take over all your problems. In this way, I practice and demonstrate whatever I say. You too should do the same thing.

The proper study of mankind is man. There should be unity of thought, word, and deed. Especially students should recognize this. It is not enough to praise Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati in poems and songs. When you cultivate good qualities, you yourself will become Lakshmi. Once you control your senses, you will become Lakshmi. When the mind is under your control, you will become Durga. When you speak words of truth, you will become Saraswati. The other name of Saraswati is Bharathi. Some people say that our country Bharat is named after Jada Bharata or the brother of Rama. But who named them? There should be a basis for all these names. That basis is the name of Saraswati i.e., Bharathi.

Brahma is the creator, but the one who sustains the creation is Saraswati. Bharathi is her name. This country is named after her. But this is not very widely known. Indian culture has many such secrets. But none endeavors to know these secrets inherent in the Vedas, Sastras and the Itihaasaas.

Patience and sympathy are very important virtues. A family lacking in these values is never peaceful. Some may claim that they are peaceful, but it is only momentary. One who is patient and sympathetic is happy all the time. Desires, which take gigantic dimensions gradually, are the root cause for the decline in these values. An unfulfilled desire gives rise to worry that keeps on growing. It is said, "To be born is a worry; to be on earth is a worry; world is a cause of worry and death too; entire childhood is a worry and so is the old age; living is a worry; evil is a worry; all actions and difficulties cause worry; even happiness too is a mysterious worry."

How can a man be devoid of anxiety when he is sitting under this tamarind tree of worries? By imbibing the values of patience and sympathy, we can sweeten our life, our speech, our vision, and things we hear too will become sweet. It is said about Lord Krishna:

Vachanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram
Sravanam Madhuram Madhuradhipathe
Madhuram Madhuram

Hence, if our inner being is full of love, the same principle manifests in our actions. We should never give scope for vices like hatred and jealousy. I always feel happy at the happiness and the prosperity of others. I never felt jealous even once in My life. How can jealousy enter My heart which is full of love? Though I do pretend to be angry sometimes, it is only to correct you. If I tell you sweetly, you may not pay heed to My words. If I say sternly, "Go back!", you get frightened and say that I am angry. But it is not anger; it is just a change of tone. I have no anger, no hatred, no jealousy and no bad qualities at all! If I had these bad qualities, how would so many people from so many countries come here? My Love is the basis for all this. I am showering My love on you and am accepting yours; this is My foremost duty.

This evening I came with the intention to talk to you all. But I was coughing all the way and the students wondered how I could speak. But the moment I started speaking, all My ailment was gone. I am always healthy, but such things do happen in this material world.

However intelligent, scholarly, and great a man may be, he is always immersed in worldly thoughts and worldly desires. To have attachment to the body and senses is being worldly. A person with such feelings is subjected to many diseases and difficulties. Many people ask me, "Swami, you are quite old now. Do you wear spectacles?" I ask them, "Have you ever seen me wearing them? Then why do you ask me?" I do not need them as I can see perfectly. Many old people pray to me for permission to get their eye operated. But I tell them that one eye is enough to see the world! You do not lose anything by losing one eye. Similarly, one ear is enough to listen to everything. We need the eyes of wisdom to see God. Why do people close their eyes in front of God in the temple? These physical eyes are not enough to see God; we need the eyes of wisdom. The physical eyes are to see the world. This is the outward vision. The other is the inward vision. When you live in the world, outward vision is essential. But see no evil, hear no evil, especially the criticism of others. Criticizing others is the worst sin. Do not criticize anybody or blame anybody. Do not ridicule anybody. Speak softly and sweetly to all. This is what you have to do.

Tolerance and sympathy are essential. Only then can man be enlightened. What is the use of having tolerance if you do not practice it in the right way? Upon the demise of someone in a house, people comfort the bereaved by asking questions about the deceased. But such questions give only temporary relief. But if you tell them the truth that everyone has to face death, they think you are harsh. If you speak pleasingly, they think you are gentle. When people report to Me about death and disease, I say, "Very happy". A man was angered by this and asked me, " You say You are happy when I am dying?" "Death is inevitable. If not today, it will come some day or the other! Truth grants real happiness, so I speak the truth!" When I replied thus, he was pacified.

The previous student said, "Follow the Master." Who is the Master? It is your heart. Face the devil; distance yourself from evil. Fight to the end - keep trying till the end. Finish the game. Life is a game, emerge victorious in it. This is the true meaning, though different people interpret it differently. Suitable medication should be provided to each patient individually.

When four different people with stomachache approach the doctor, the doctor prescribes four different treatments - hot water fomentation, soda bicarbonate and magnesium sulphate, the salt or an operation. The last person might think that the doctor is partial. But only the doctor knows what has to be done for each ailment. Who is the Doctor? "Vaidyo Narayano Harihi", God Himself is the doctor.

Some difficulties arise when the senses are impaired. Here is an incident. Once a boy, suffering from diarrhea, approached Dr. Alreja. Alreja is a very good person and works very patiently. Even at the age of ninety, he walks all the way to the hospital. But he is hard of hearing. In spite of his hearing aid, his hearing is not proper. The boy complained of diarrhea. Dr. Alreja thought it was constipation and prescribed a purgative. Mistakes occur when doctors do not listen properly to patients. Since it was done with a good intention, he was cured immediately. Thus whatever is done with good intentions, it will yield good results.

Whatever I do - I may get angry with you, beat or scold you; it is for your own good and not for My sake. I have no desires of My own; whatever I do it is good for you!

[Bhagavan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho...]

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