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Tread the Path of Truth

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba duringDasara on 5th October 2001 At Prashanthi Nilyam. )

It is sheer selfishness on the part of man to seek his own liberation.
Is it right for him to aspire for his own redemption?
He is a true human who rushes forward to alleviate the suffering of fellowman.

Embodiments of Love!

Truth is the supreme goal of man. Irrespective of the land and the times in which he is born, the moment he takes birth as a man it becomes his primary duty to pursue this Truth. In our Bharatiya culture it is said that mother is God and father is God. These two principles, which stand as the pillars of our culture, are not being put into practice today.

The bliss conferred by the practice of Vedic teachings cannot be experienced in worldly activities. Hence some people took up the task of chanting and preaching Vedas and thereby uplifting the world. In the sacred Vedas, Divinity is the undercurrent. Peace and security are very essential in our daily life. These originate from man's heart. One can never correctly define what is peace and what is security. Vedas abound in such sacred secrets.

The Atma is proclaimed to be smaller than the microcosm and bigger than the macrocosm. Thus Vedas clarify the principle of Atma for the common man. There is no question, which is not answered in the Vedas. For example, you identify the day and date referring to the almanac prepared by an astrologer. Similarly Vedas help you understand the principles like God, Jiva, Prakriti, Paramatma and Jivatma.

'Atma is subtler than the atom and vaster than the cosmos. Being all pervasive and as the eternal witness, this Atma is Brahma and Brahma is Atma'. This is the very essence of the phrase - 'Anoraneeyan Mahatomaheeyan'. How can one ever describe so subtle a principle? How can one limit such an all pervasive principle to one place? Only on delving deep into the Vedic teaching can one comprehend such profound Truths. In spite of the bright sunlight, a blind man cannot see anything. Similarly, an atheist refuses to accept this Truth that is clearly manifest all over the world. In the Vedas, it is said - 'As is the feeling so does it happen' and also 'whatever you see, perishes'. Based on such declarations one should try to comprehend the true nature of Love. True love is not a delusion of the mind. It is a pure and unsullied principle. It is a natural feeling and not an artificial one. As natural is the flow of the river towards the sea, the clinging of creeper to the tree, glittering of the stars in the firmament, so natural is the spontaneous flow of man's love towards God. Love has no reason and it is not bound by any rules and regulations. Selfless love that does not expect any reward directly reaches God. The worldly love does not arise from the true source of one's heart but it arises out of force. True love should flow directly from the heart. The love that you try to cultivate by spiritual practices is not true love.

True love should be spontaneous. Dharmaraja's was such love. Even when his wife was humiliated in the open court, he fixed his unwavering mind on Krishna. Even when Aswatthama slaughtered the innocent Upapandavas, he continued thinking of God with a steady, pure and unagitated mind. Bhima was bound hand and foot and thrown into a river with venomous snakes. In such situations too Dharmaraja maintained his equipoise. This was because he was able to transcend both joys and sorrows and attain the non dual principle of Godhead. Thus it is only by the perception of the fundamental Truth that one develops a steady mind.

The intellect transcends the mind and the purity of the intellect is therefore reflected on the mind. It does not suffice if we confine ourselves merely to meditation or chanting in the name of Sadhana. The cultivation of purity of the heart is the true Sadhana we must undertake. In fact purity of the heart is itself the attainment of wisdom and it is in this state of wisdom that the mind remains unwavering. Dharmaraja had attained this state. There are innumerable such devotees in this world. But there are others too whose equipoise is disturbed by joys and sorrows of the world. To overcome this fickle nature of the mind, one has to realize one's divine nature that fosters equanimity. One should realize that whatever one does and experiences in this world should be soaked by Atmic feeling. Hence one should develop Self knowledge. Only then can one endeavor to understand the Atma. The principle of Atma is verily the power of consciousness. What is meant by awareness? It is not partial knowledge of things but it is total understanding. When I show you this folded handkerchief you say that it is a piece of cloth. But when I open the piece of cloth and show it to you, you recognize it as a handkerchief. Hence one can decide conclusively that it is a handkerchief only when one has seen it completely. But man today does not aspire for this complete understanding. Complete wisdom does not manifest in him because he lacks total faith. A devotee should never swerve from his faith. If he does it, how can he ask for liberation?

Every being in this creation is a reflection of Divinity. Emphasizing this, the phrase 'reaction and resound' was coined. One should see the unity in all living beings. It is due to his wavering mind that modern man tends to be selfish. It is our duty to inculcate the feeling of equanimity.

Man should cultivate equal mindedness. But today he has filled his mind with too many desires because of which he is suffering. The natural color of this kerchief is white. As you use it, it becomes dirty and stained. Its color also changes because of the dirt accumulated on it. Similarly when a child is born, its heart will be pure, unsullied, as clear as crystal and as pure as glittering gold. But, when metals like silver, copper and brass are added to pure gold, it loses its luster and value. It becomes impure. The true nature of man is immortal, eternal, peaceful and blissful. Such nature of man gets adulterated by developing worldly desires, by his activities and by his attachment to kith and kin. He himself is responsible for the erosion of values in his life. Today we don't find any trace of human values in human beings. The human values do not come from outside. They cannot be acquired. They are already there in every person. Man is not able to recognize this. He speaks untruth, undertakes wrong activities, looks at forbidden things and entertains wrong thoughts. He has lost his purity. How can we call a person a human being if he lacks human values?

Today, unity of thought, word and deed is absent in man. He is not able to implement what he has thought and what he has said. Oneness of thought, word and deed makes a person Mahatma (Great soul). If there is no unity in his thought, word and deed, he becomes a Duratma (wicked person). Because of bad behavior and bad conduct, man is becoming vicious (Duratma). He has lost his purity and claims that the world is impure. Many people complain to me, "Swami, the world is changing day by day and the wicked are multiplying. Is there no remedy for these problems of the world?" There is no wickedness in this world. It is utter foolishness to blame the world. In fact wickedness is there within man.

In this world, evil follows good as its shadow. Goodness can't be recognized in the absence of evil. Joy and sorrow always co-exist. None can separate them. Joy can't be seen in isolation; when sorrow ceases you experience joy. (Poem)

Modern man is succumbing to the pleasures of the world and losing his character. In the present age, it is not possible for anyone to decide what is good or what is bad. Good people often suffer and the bad prosper. Here is an example. Thirty years ago, I traveled the length and breadth of the country to propagate My message. I would visit Bombay four times a year. Now, Bombay has changed a lot. Sai Institutions have multiplied. In every nook and comer Sai's name is heard.

During one of those days, the headlines of some leading newspapers carried an open challenge by a Hatha yogi. He dared to challenge Sathya Sai Baba to perform some absurd feats like swallowing a living fish, eating glass pieces, drinking acid and walking on water. He claimed that he would perform the above-mentioned feats with ease. This angered and pained the Sai devotees all over. The devotees requested Swami to give a fitting reply to the challenge. I answered, "Foolish fellows! It is not mandatory to reply to his challenge. In fact, replying only shows one's weakness." The devotees said, "Swami, if you don't reply, we shall do it." Ramana Rao was on his toes to reply.

I went to Madras from Bombay. At Madras, the Maharajah of Venkatagiri was fuming. The furious Raja asked me, "Swami, who is this wicked fellow? For earning his livelihood he is tarnishing the image of Swami. I shall reply to him." I said, "Raja, do not react to it." A week later the Raja convened a huge gathering. The meeting was attended by many sanyasins from Ramakrishna Mutt and Sivananda Ashram. The sanyasins discussed this matter. They were convinced that only people jealous of others' fame and name would indulge in such cheap activities. The Raja considered Swami to be the very breath of his life and loved Swami very much. I tried to pacify him, but he would not stop. When one of the sanyasins asked me, I replied, "Friendship or fight should be between equals. He should be my equal to challenge me. I do not accept challenges from any person roaming on the street. My dear son, the cow eats grass, the pig eats excreta and man eats rice. It makes sense when a man challenges another to eat as much rice as he can. If a pig challenges a man to eat excreta, should he respond? Therefore, I will not respond to the challenge." This reply delighted the gathering.

A week later, the Hatha Yogi came to Bangalore. At that time I was at Nandanvanam, in Ooty. He wanted to meet Me and seek pardon. I sent word to him that he need not beg pardon or repent. I also advised him to tread the path of Truth. He had announced that he would walk on water on a particular day. People flocked to buy tickets for this show. The people of Bombay have too much of money. I told them, "Misuse of money is evil. Do not waste your money." On the scheduled day lots of people thronged the venue. Our Sai devotees too waited near the gate with sticks. Were he to fail, they were ready to even kill him. Immediately, I sent a telegram telling them not to involve themselves in this matter.

The Hatha Yogi placed his feet on water and he sank. The police fished him out and with great difficulty managed to get him home through the back door. For the sake of earning money, some people indulge in challenging well-known people. They think that they can attract the attention of the world by doing this.

During the times of Krishna too there was an impostor who went around proclaiming that he was the real Krishna. In fact he dressed like Krishna and pretended to be Krishna. The same was the case during the time of Rama. Jealousy is the root cause for such perverted actions. It is said, "Sathyam Naasthi Paro Dharma" -- there is no Dharma higher than Sathya (Truth). Truth is invincible. Truth is My principle. None can make Me swerve from the path of Truth. When My life embodies Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema, how can a person devoid of these values challenge Me?

Purity shines forth brilliantly in such testing times. The light of a lamp can be seen only in the darkness. In every age great souls and Divine Incarnations have to face praise and blame, adoration and ridicule. Pay no heed to these and remain steadfast on the path of Truth and Righteousness. Cultivate forbearance and let your love encompass everyone.

When we have Divine qualities, we need not be afraid of demonic designs of others. Ravana, who was endowed with physical and intellectual prowess, ridiculed Rama. But Rama paid no heed to this. Lakshmana, angered by this, tried to attack Ravana. Rama pacified him saying, "Lakshmana, this is but natural for Ravana. Allow his evil feelings to come out." At the time of Krishna too Jarasandha mocked at Krishna for fleeing whenever he attacked. He challenged Krishna to stay and fight. But Krishna knew that Jarasandha's main weakness was his anger. Whenever Jarasandha attacked, Krishna would deliberately flee from the place. This angered Jarasandha and thereby weakened him further. Once weakened, it was a child's play to kill him. Pay no heed to the strange and crooked ways of the world. Stick to the path of Truth and put into practice Swami's words. Then no one can point a finger at you.

Today is Ashtami, Ayudha puja. What is the significance of Ayudha puja? After the slaying of Mahishasura and other demons by Chamundeswari, there was no more use for Her weapons. So the weapons were kept aside and worshipped. This Ayudha puja is being celebrated since ancient times. But of what use are such weapons to us? In fact, our weapons are the values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema. Prema is more powerful than the hydrogen and atom bombs of today. Why worry when such power is within us?


Conduct yourselves in a pleasing manner. Your white dress symbolizes purity. When dirt shows up on your dress, you clean it up. People who see you should be able to recognize you immediately as the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. Here is another important thing you should take note of:

God writes your fate on your forehead; even if you brood over it for a hundred years, you can't change it. (Poem)

Some foolish people try to hide this writing on their forehead by covering it with hair. Why do you try to hide your forehead? Can just covering them erase those lines? To do such things has become a fashion in the modern times, but it is in fact a bad quality. You are recognized by others as a rowdy and as a wicked person. Your attire should be neat and clean. There are some who grow long nails. Are they sanyasins to do so? By indulging in such acts, they get labeled as wicked people. Live a sacred life. Give no scope for anyone to point a finger at you and humiliate you.

The Wardens of the hostels here and at Bangalore should pay more attention to this aspect. Wardens are sometimes turning a blind eye to such indiscipline. Any lapses in discipline should be condemned at once. Warden should explain to the erring student, "This is the discipline of this hostel. If you do not like it, you can leave the hostel." Only then can we project sacred ideals to all.

Embodiments of Love!

Prema (Love) is immanent in you, but this is polluted into forms of physical and transient affections. Enjoy the true, eternal and ever pure Bliss by developing true love.

[Bhagavan conclude His Divine Discourse with the Bhajan "Prema Muditha Manase Kaho...]

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