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Indha Pujyamaya Onam Divasam Ella Janangalukum Endey Paripurna Anugraham Asirvadam.

(On this auspicious day of Onam, I confer My bounteous grace and blessings on all of you)

"What happiness did the demon Somakasura attain by stealing the Vedas and hurling abuses at God? What was the fate of the ten-headed Ravana who abducted the consort of Rama? What did Duryodhana, who refused to give the Pandavas even as much land as would a needlepoint occupy, take with him at the end? What happened to the wicked Kamsa ultimately who indulged in the gruesome act of slaying infants? The same will be the fate of the wicked today. If not today, at least tomorrow, they are bound to meet their doom. Oh man! Do not entertain excessive desires. Better that you lead a life of moderation."

Embodiments of Love!
The whole world is permeated by Truth. Truth is all-pervasive. All types of wealth, comforts and conveniences are based on truth. Bereft of truth the world cannot exist. Today man is facing hardships as he has forgotten truth. Truth neither can be hidden nor be changed. Trikala Badhyam Sathyam (Truth is that which remains the same in the past, present and future). Since ancient times Bharat has been able to enjoy peace and prosperity because its people adhered to truth. Bharatiyas propagated the message of spirituality to the entire world. Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the denizens of the world be happy!) has been their motto. Such a sacred ideal is forgotten today. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (there is no Dharma greater than adherence to Truth). Truth is the very life of man. All the human values are based on truth.
Truth is the noblest of all virtues. You might have heard the story of king Harishchandra who sacrificed his kingdom and even his wife and son for the sake of truth.

The creation emerges from Truth and merges into Truth, Is there a place where Truth does not exist? Visualise such pure and unsullied Truth.

[Telugu poem]

Truth may sound like a simple word, but it is very important to know its greatness. All that Is, is embraced by Sathya (truth). The entire universe is dependent on truth. If the very basis is lost, what is left of our life? There is no place where truth does not exist.

Embodiments of Love!
Emperor Bali based all his entire actions on truth. Looking upon his subjects as his own children, he performed his duties. Bali was a very generous person. He was compassionate and was a shining sun of truth. The very fact of his reign in the land of Kerala is the cause for the prosperity and happiness of the people there. He had conquered all the lesser gods with his great prowess. He performed a sacrifice called Viswajit, in commemoration of his victory, on the banks of the river Narmada. The Lord incarnated as Vamana at that time. He was born as the son of the saintly couple Kashyapa and Aditi. They lived in a hermitage known as Siddhashrama. The young Vamana walked towards the site where Bali was performing the sacred ritual. The boy was brilliant and effulgent, and everyone looked with wonder at his great beauty. Vamana was the very personification of the attractive magnetic field. Ratnamala, the daughter of Bali saw the young boy and developed a desire in her mind to have Him as her own child and fondle Him in various ways. But, in the meantime, as you know, Vamana had pushed Bali down into the Pathala (netherworld). This event turned her love towards Vamana into hate and she felt that she could kill the child herself. The all-knowing Vamana noticed what was passing through the mind of Ratnamala and pronounced 'Tathaasthu' (may it be so!). God, since He is omnipresent, Sarvatah Paani-paadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Thishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everywhere, He permeates the entire universe), He is constantly pronouncing this blessing on all. Nothing escapes His attention. That is why we should always keep our minds filled with good thoughts.
He told Ratnamala, "Mother, you first desired to breast-feed Me. But seeing your father's downfall, your desire turned into hatred. You felt like feeding poison and killing Me. You will be born in Dwapara Yuga as Poothana and feed Me with poisonous milk, and you yourself will die." Therefore, it is essential for all of us to have constantly good thoughts as God is pronouncing blessing of fulfilment incessantly. In view of the ignorance of this reality, mankind fills its mind with many forms of evil thoughts.

See no evil, see what is good;
Hear no evil, hear what is good;
Think no evil, think what is good;
Talk no evil, talk what is good;
Do no evil, do what is good;
This is the way to God.

Hence, if your thoughts are pure, you are blessed with purity. We fill our minds and spend our time in activities and associations replete with evil; but when we reap the consequences and suffer, we are filled with misery. As every thought emanates from the mind, its consequences are determined. Such was the fate of Ratnamala. When you are subject to misery you blame God, but do not realise that your distress is the consequence of your own thoughts. This is why you should have good thoughts and seek good company. Thenceforward, Ratnamala propagated the practice of constant right mindfulness.
Emperor Bali was the personification of generosity. To uphold his promise, he sacrificed everything. Young Vamana requested three paces of land. Bali promised without a moment's hesitation. His preceptor Sukracharya however dissuaded him. He told Bali, "The person before you is Vishnu Himself. Once you promise Him anything, you cannot transgress it. So, do not make any hasty promises." Bali replied Sukracharya that there was no greater sin than going back on one's words and, notwithstanding the specific command of his own preceptor, he upheld the promise made to Vamana. Bali was prepared to undergo any misery while maintaining truth. So, Lord Vishnu sent him to the netherworld and gave him all the comforts of living. Being in Pathala, he attained eternal life. He however prayed to Vamana that He should return every year to the land of Kerala and grace it with His blessings. That is why the people of Kerala have named this day "Onam" and celebrate it with fervour.
Emperor Bali was an extremely virtuous person. Though born in a family of demons, he was filled with divine thoughts. It is the consequence of the great merits of Bali that is manifesting as the benefits that people of Kerala enjoy today. Onam does not mean merely the preparation of sweet pudding, various delicious dishes, etc., and eating ourselves to the full. We must re-live the experience of the encounter between Bali and Vamana. Today Vamana is supposed to be physically present in the land of Kerala and hence this day should be celebrated with gaiety and joy. We should lead an ethical, moral and spiritual life.
Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Bruyath, Na Bruyath Sathyamapriyam (speak the truth, speak pleasantly and do not speak unpalatable truth). These three values are the ethical, moral and spiritual, respectively. All the three values ultimately depend upon truth. Following the path of truth and without swerving from a spiritual life, we should work for the welfare of the whole world. Kerala has the political identity of being communist. However, every individual Keralite, irrespective of his political colour, never swerves from the daily duties of a purifying bath, smearing of holy ash on his forehead or wearing a sandalwood paste mark, visiting the temples, etc. Their divine love and devotion is unmatching. Kerala is a beautiful state. People there are replete with spiritual attitudes. But time has had its toll and the tender hearts of people have turned hard. Why is this? It is our own attitude that is responsible. The good and bad habits of the individuals of a region have their effect on the whole land.

If money is lost, nothing is lost;
If health is lost, something is lost;
If character is lost, everything is lost.

Therefore, character, above all, is the quality that has to be safeguarded by one and all. This alone is God's desire for ever. People, not recognising this truth, spend their time in the acquisition of wealth and in other selfish activities. This selfish attitude should be uprooted from the heart of man. All are one, be alike to all. The entire humanity of the world is a single family. Whether you are an atheist or a theist, youth or aged, you should recognise that you are all part of the single race of humanity. You have to develop human values. Without this, you are human merely in form not in fact. Man is filled with qualities such as anger, desire, greed, jealousy, etc. These are animal qualities. Anger is the nature of a dog. Wavering mind is the quality of a monkey. You are neither a dog nor a monkey. When you are in a fit of anger, remind yourself constantly that you are not a dog and your anger will diminish. Many animal qualities are rampant in human beings today. This is a situation that must be corrected. What are the human qualities? Compassion, truth, forbearance, empathy, etc. These are the human qualities which we must cultivate.
God's actions vary and their significance is not evident to all of us. So, we form our own reactions and attitudes to these situations. Such reactions are our own creation and do not conform to the reality of the event. The anger in you appears as if it is that of the other person. In the same manner, the various attitudes like greed, jealousy, pride, delusion, etc., are our inner attitudes projected on others. God is pure, attributeless and selfless and on such a Divinity, you project your own inner defects. You attempt to repress and suppress such negative impulses in you. There is no use in such attempts for, sooner or later, they are bound to erupt. Your effort should be to prevent the very entry of such attitudes and feelings in you.
Several fuels like petroleum, coal, etc., are extracted deep from the earth. Wherefrom did they arise in the first place? Over a long period of time, they have accumulated deep inside. Now they are making their appearance outside. In the same way, evil tendencies like desire, anger, hatred, etc., are accumulated in you, hidden in you. Sometime or the other, they are bound to come out. So, take care that they do not even make their entry into you. This is the true human value. The very attempt to control or restrain your anger is a sign of weakness. In fact, you have to cultivate your nature in such a manner that the very feeling of anger does not enter you.

Embodiments of Love!
There are manifold human qualities. It is not possible to restrict all of them from entry or to evict them. You should discriminate and ensure that only good qualities enter you. You ingrain them and be an example to others around you. This is the true human value. First of all, is "love". Love is God; live in love. We should have pure love filled in our hearts. If our hearts are full with sacred love, no evil tendency will enter them. The heart is like a single seat-sofa, not a double sofa, nor musical chair. There is room for only a single tendency and be it divine love.

Start the day with love;
Spend the day with love;
Fill the day with love;
End the day with love;
This is the way to God.

Love emanates from truth and truth emanates from love; one does not exist without the other. Truth is an internal current and love is its external flow. The Vedic pronouncement, Anthar Bahischa Tatsarvamvyapya Narayanasthithaha (That all-pervasive God is present within and without) is an expression of this truth. The Narayana principle is the expression of this unity. The inner flow is continuous. This symbolises Saraswathi. You may have seen the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Saraswathi is the invisible undercurrent. The eternal inner flow of the Saraswathi principle represents speech. Our faculty of speech is the divine Saraswathi principle and, as such, should not be abused or misused. Control of speech is of vital importance. If your feet slip and you fall, there is no great harm; but if you slip in your speech, it causes irreparable damage. Of all the human faculties, speech is of great importance and should be used with extreme carefulness. Never speak in a manner as to hurt anybody or untruly. One may think that it is a difficult job, but it is very easy. In fact, more than your teeth or other parts of your body, your tongue is under your control. It is extremely flexible and has no bone in it. You can turn it any way you want and the words you utter seem to dance to any tune that you make. Therefore, you must utter only sacred words through it:
Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Suddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). Sounds emanate from the tongue. It is said that God is a word made in form: Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyothirmayi, Vaangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi, Sreemayi (God is the embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, supreme majesty, delusion and wealth). Therefore, you should always speak sweetly. For the proper evolution of humanity, truth and love must have a sound basis.

Embodiments of Love!
Emperor Bali attained his eternal life through truth and love only. While the body perished, the mind remained eternal. Body is like water bubble, mind is like a mad monkey; don't follow the body, don't follow the mind; follow your conscience. This is the lesson of Bali's life.

Conscience is deathless. The universal consciousness has neither birth nor death. It has no beginning, middle or end. He is omnipresent as the Atma of everything.

[Telugu poem]

How can you comprehend such an entity? All your conceptions are mere reflections of this reality.
The sounds that you think you produce are all-pervading. All the fine things that were spoken here and the sweet songs that were sung had reverberated through this hall. Where have they all gone? They are all parts of the divine vibration. They are pervading and existing in every soft or hard article or object here. Occasionally, you hear some words or music from here or there, but the divine vibrations are eternal and omnipresent. That is why the Vedas declare, "Sarvatah Paani-paadam …" This divine vibration pervades all of us from top to toe. Only if you practise consistently the proper use of your speaking faculty, divine vibrations will fill you and you will feel divine bliss. Without fear of sin and filled with ignorance, irreverent, can you call such a one bereft of all humanness a human being? This is the enemy of universal peace. (Telugu Poem) What is the source of all the violence and disturbance in the world? Individual's existence is a reflection of the world's condition. If each individual is good, then the world is peaceful. Speak well and act well. Transform your life into a sacred one. In this manner, distribute goodness all around. Talk with love. Sing with love. This is what the Gopikas sang.

In this barren land without love, For the seeds of love to sprout With all the emotions and the downpour of love, For the incessant flow of rivers of love, Oh Krishna! sing for us.

[Telugu Song]

Music is a reflection of love. All phenomena are reflection, reaction and resound. Life is a reflection, heart is the reality. When the reality is clear, the reflection and the resound will be true representations of that inner reality. Therefore, today we should fill our hearts with love. Love is a loose word. It means many things. There is worldly love, there is physical love, etc., LOVE is one. All others are transient. Spiritual love that emanates from the heart is true love. The spiritual love flowing out of the heart alone is positive and all other kinds are negative. Even the rituals you perform, meditation and worship are all in fact negative. You are sitting in meditation rotating the beads of your rosary, but your mind is doing purchases in the market. Control of the mind is true worship. Letting your mind wander while your hands are performing the motions of worship, is no worship at all.
Manah Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandhamokshayo (mind alone is responsible for both bondage and liberation of man). Your mind should be focused on God. Consider this as lock and here is the key. Put the key in the lock and turn it to the right and the lock opens; turn it to the left and it is locked. Your heart is the lock and your mind is the key. Turn your mind to God and you are free. Turn it to the world and you are bound. Our mind is constantly turned towards the world. It is obsessed with the world. We are not directing it towards spirituality. Of course, the world is there, but our experience there is impermanent, ephemeral. There is only one truth and that is spiritual. To become spiritual is to 'merge'. The worldly life is like a 'marriage', no not even a marriage, actually a 'mirage', an illusion. A mirage is visible but there is no reality behind it. Marriage takes place, but there is no oneness between the husband and the wife. If one says 'yes', the other says 'no' and there is endless strife. Does marriage produce unity? No. Unity alone is the reality. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi (Truth is one, but sages refer to it by many names).

Oh man! Forgetting the lotus-eyed Lord and running after this and that for the sake of filling your stomach, from the moment of wakening till dropping off to sleep what joy do you achieve?

[Telugu Poem]

You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire many forms of knowledge from various fields. But you are not able to enjoy total bliss. Instead, take refuge in God and contemplate on Him. He will certainly show you the proper path.

[Telugu Poem]

For the sake of filling this belly, we enter into studies, acquire professional qualifications and engage in business activities, all for the sake of accumulating wealth - endless accumulation of properties and possessions. Is there anybody who has taken any bit of it along with him (after death)? A certain amount of money is necessary for leading a good life. Money is a double-edged weapon which can be used for good or for bad. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. Therefore, it is necessary to acquire a stock of morality, first of all. Students today are keen to acquire wealth, strength and friendship, but show little interest in developing character. Without character, wealth, strength and friendship are worthless. A true man is one with a sound character. For their physical needs, animals have reason and season, whereas man has no reason or season. What is the use of such unrestrained life?
The people of Kerala must endeavour to preserve their ancient culture. All the seeds for the nuture of their culture are still alive and strong. Emperor Bali was the one who encouraged pure and sacred thoughts and activities. He was called Mahabali as he was truly great in every aspect of his character. Kerala, established by such a great personage is not to be reckoned lightly. In the map of the world, Kerala may look small, but it is a centre of great divinity. It is full of bliss. This land gave birth to Bali, Vamana and it was where Viswamitra performed intense penance and revealed the sacred Gayatri Mantra which is prefixed with the triple syllable Bhur Bhuvah Suvah. Bhur represents materialisation, Bhuvah - vibration and Suvah - radiation. The universe is entirely constituted out of these three components. Radiation is Divinity, vibration is the life principle and materialisation is the body. All these three are in you.
You are not one, but three, viz., the one You think you are (body), the You, others think you are (mental) and the one you really are (the Atma). Only when you recognise these realities, you achieve your humanness. Do not get too much attached to your body. So long as you are alive, you must keep your body in a healthy condition. For Karma Yoga, body is the basis. For meditation and worship, mind is the basis. For realisation, heart is the basis. You must recognise the unity of all these three. There are several three-fold unities which can be recognised, for example,

Trigunam Trigunakaram, Trinetramcha Triyayudham;
Trijanma Papa Samharam Eka Bilvam Sivararpanam.

What is the proper offering to God? It is said, Patram, Pushpam, Phalam, Toyam (a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water). What are these? Your body is the leaf; your heart is the flower, your mind is the fruit and the tears of bliss is the water. Instead of attaching undue importance to this ephemeral body, emphasise on the Atmatatwa (Atmic principle). The body is also to be surrendered unto God. How? By acts of worship and other sacred deeds.

Embodiments of Love!
It is not necessary to go in search of temples and shrines for worship. Your very body itself is a temple. Deho Devalaya Proktho Jeevo Deva Sanathana (body is the temple and the indweller is the eternal God). God is not to be found in the temple or in a palace. Find Him in your heart. All of you are embodiments of Divinity. As the Rig Veda says,

Sahasra Seersha Purusha
Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad

(with thousands of heads, thousands of feet and thousands of eyes, Divinity pervades everywhere).

Keep this thought in your mind, "I am not a mere man, I am the embodiment of God." Keep this conviction firm in your mind and you will realise this truth. As it is said, Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavathi (the knower of Brahman becomes verily Brahman). If you perceive yourself as Divine, you become Divine. If you consider yourself a human being, you will remain so. While your form is that of a human being, there is the Atmic principle in you. To recognise this Atman, you have to keep your heart pure and empty. To purify our hearts, we celebrate these festivals. The main aim of these festivities is purification of the mind. Where there is unity, there is purity; where there is purity there is Divinity. Therefore, unity is very important for humanity. Perform your daily duties in the light of the principle of love.
(Bhagawan sang the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho…" Later, He continued the Discourse).

Embodiments of Love!
These days there are many impediments in the path of spirituality. But these are temporary and surmountable. Man's mind, is by nature, wavering and the world adds opportunities to enhance this. Focus your mind on one goal and do not allow it to waver. You have to hold on to it till the very end. Such fixity of aim is not common these days. What is the reason? There is a host of so-called spiritual guides with various names of Mathajis, Swamijis and Babajis. Because of this, man's mind gets confused. There is only one Divinity. Stick to any one God of your choice and hold firm to it. Unnecessarily, do not go around at various places, confuse yourself and ruin your faith. If you keep transplanting a sapling from one place to another frequently, how can it grow healthily into a tree? You have to plant it in one place and feed it with fertiliser and water regularly until it grows into a firm, strong tree. This is true devotion. If you keep changing your spiritual guides frequently, your devotion gets adulterated. Do not resort to such a course. Choose any one and trust that God is in all.
As the Gita says, Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). Trust that God is in all, but if one keeps on changing from one god to another, it is false devotion. You should not change your allegiance. You should be firm in your faith. No matter what difficulties or whatever grief, you should get over them and go forward. That is true devotion. Many great souls had to go through such ordeals. What difficulties Mira and Sakkubai did not go through? But they held themselves firm to their faith and never deviated from their chosen deities. Mira's husband the Maharana himself found fault with her and sent her out of the palace. Mira was taken by surprise for a very brief moment, but she recovered her composure very quickly. Consoling herself, she thought of going to the banks of Ganga and Yamuna, (Swami rendered the Bhajan in His Divine voice, "Chalo Re Man Ganga Yamuna Teer …"). We have to develop such staunch devotion.
Sankaracharya also taught in a similar way. He advised a wayside Brahmin against wasting his time learning by rote some grammar rules and asked him instead to concentrate on the name of Govinda. "You stupid fool, concentrate on worshipping Govinda, for when the time comes for Yama to call you, your rules of grammar will not come to your aid. So, worship Govinda." All the teachings of these great personages are true and eternal. You should remember such teachings. If you keep changing from day today, you will ruin your heart. Have control over your wavering mind and deluding vision. This is the main trait of a true devotee.
Worship God in any form or with any name. In fact, God has thousands of names and a myriad forms. Ek Prabhu Ke Anek Nam (the one Lord has many names). Worshipping the Lord with a thousand names, you should be fully aware that it is a single Divinity you are addressing. Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Jesus, etc., all are names denoting the same Divinity. Hold this faith firmly in your heart and make your life worthwhile. Live ever in bliss. Happiness is union with God. Worldly connections only lead to pain and misery. Your life is shattered to bits. Several people come to Me asking for peace. I tell them, "Son, peace is not outside, what you find outside are only pieces." You are the embodiment of peace, you are the embodiment of God, you are the embodiment of Truth and You are the embodiment of Dharma (righteousness). When you are yourself the personification of peace, why are you looking for it outside? Follow your heart and you will reach your goal. Understand the unity of all Atmas. With that your life will be sanctified. Man runs into several difficulties.

"Birth is a pain, living on the earth is a worry, worldly life is a worry, death is a worry, youth is a worry, old age is another, every inauspiciousness is a worry, your Karma is your worry, difficulties are another worry, even happiness and wonder are worries. All these worries vanish when your mind is turned to God."

[Telugu Poem]

If you dig a well by the side of the sea, you will get only brine. If you dig a well near Ganga, you will get pure water of the Ganges itself. When you have got the pure waters of the Ganges flowing near by, why do you waste your efforts by digging wells here and there? God is like Ganga in floods. There is no need for any well anywhere. Be near God and be dear to Him and enjoy bliss.
The people of Kerala are really lucky. Staying in their homes, they would perhaps celebrate this occasion each in his own small way. They will not get the opportunity to celebrate it in this fashion with several thousands like this. The people of Kerala are the subjects of Bali and are blessed by Vamana and therefore they are all very lucky and full of merit. Keep in mind your ancient culture. That is your life and your sustenance. These days our culture is declining. If you lose your culture, what are you left with? Everything is lost. The seeds of ancient Indian culture planted in your land are alive and growing. Ensure that they do not ever wilt but ensure that they grow stronger. Believers and non-believers, all are imbued with this culture. Ensure that this is nurtured and developed. This is My wish. I don't want anything for Myself. I have no personal needs. All I want is your happiness and your love.

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Baba on the occasion of Onam festival, on 31st August 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam.)

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