Date : 14 Feb 1999 --- Occasion : Shivarathri --- Place : Prashanti Nilayam
Cultivate Divine Love
He is a true Christian, a true Sikh, a true Hindu, a true Muslim,
Who reaps the harvest of love in the field of his Heart.
In fact, he is a true human being
Who cultivates love in his heart.
Embodiments of Love
Love is the breath of man. Love is the consciousness in all the beings. Love is the goal of human life. Human life is suffused with love. Unable to comprehend the eternal principle of love, the physical, worldly worries and anxieties weigh down man.
There is the principle of Hiranyagarbha within every individual. Hiranya means gold. When gold is mixed with other metals such as copper, silver, brass and alloys, it loses its effulgence, value and identity. At this juncture it is impossible to ascertain whether it is gold or silver or brass or copper. Similarly man's heart, which is Hiranmaya, is losing its brilliance, value and identity on account of its association with Vishaya Vaasanaas (worldly desires). Consequently, it is impossible to ascertain whether one is a human being or an animal or a devil or a demon. There is no love at all in human beings today. Life devoid of love is a devil's life. Can a man be called a human being, if he has qualities of devils, demons and beasts? Man is leading a life of a demon unaware of the path of truth, righteousness, peace and love. God has not created creatures such as devils and evil spirits. These are the creations of man. Here is a small example. During the exile of Pandavas, Krishna visited them to enquire about their welfare. He spent a night with them. The Pandavas had to undergo untold suffering during the period of that exile. As they had Draupadi also with them, the Pandavas would keep vigil in turns for one hour each every night. Krishna also volunteered to keep vigil for one hour. Dharmaja wondered, "When You are the protector of the entire universe, what is the meaning in your offering to do security duty for an hour to protect us." But at the same time he cautioned Krishna saying, "Krishna, beware of the devil in the vicinity. My brothers and I encounter it every night. On many occasions it tried to attack us. Therefore, we prayed to you to desist from this act. You have come to enquire about our welfare. It is not proper on our part to put you in danger. So kindly take rest". Krishna replied, "Dharmaja, is this what you have understood of My divinity? On the one hand you extol Me as the protector of the entire universe and on the other you are apprehensive that I cannot protect Myself. You are worried that the demon will harm Me. Rest assured that no demon can touch Me. Therefore, permit Me also to join you all in doing the security duty".
Having completed one hour duty, Krishna sat on a rock and was smiling to Himself. Thereafter it was Arjuna's turn. He rushed to Krishna a bit worried, thinking that the demon might have attacked Him. Seeing Krishna smiling, Arjuna fell at His feet and enquired whether He had vanquished the demon. Krishna replied, "Arjuna, I have never created demons and evil spirits. Then, how can the non-existent demons appear in the forest? The demon you are referring to, is not a demon at all. It is just a reflection of the evil qualities within you such as hatred, anger and jealousy etc. The anger in you is manifesting in the form of a demon. Its power is increasing in proportion to the intensity of anger in you. The evil qualities of man are the real demons troubling him today. Man is under the mistaken notion that demons exist and that they are responsible for his suffering. These are all nothing but imagination and psychological fears. In fact it is only man who puts another man to suffering; there is no demon as such. There are no demons and evil spirits in this creation. Arjuna realized the truth of Krishna's words and thereafter did not encounter the demon any more. Arjuna was beholden to Krishna for opening his eyes. He fell at His feet and expressed his gratitude. Good and bad are man's own creations.
After Buddha became a renunciant, he traveled far and wide. People were wonder struck seeing his brilliant and handsome form. Enamoured by his effulgence, a lady by name Ambashali approached him and said, "Oh great one, you look like a prince in ochre robes. May I know the reason behind your donning ochre robes at this young age?" Buddha replied that he took to the path of renunciation in order to seek solutions to three problems. "This body which is young and handsome is bound to become old at some point of time and will be subjected to sickness and perish ultimately. I want to know the cause for old age, sickness and death." Impressed by his quest for truth she invited him for lunch. In time the entire village came to know of this. The villagers started coming to Buddha one by one and requested him not to accept her invitation as she was a woman of bad character. Buddha listened to all their complaints patiently. Buddha smiled and asked the village head " Do you also affirm that she is a woman of bad character?" The village head replied, "Not once, but thousand times I will vouch for the evil character of Ambashali. Please do not visit her house." Holding the village head's right hand, Buddha asked him to clap. The village head said that he could not do so as one of his hands was in Buddha's hold and it was not possible for anyone to clap with a single hand. Buddha replied, "Likewise, Ambashali cannot be bad by herself unless there are men of bad character in this village. If all the men in this village were good, this woman would not have turned bad. Therefore, it was men and their money that are responsible for the bad character of Ambashali". Saying so he wanted to know if there was any individual in that gathering without any trace of bad in him so that he could visit his house for lunch. No one came forward. Then Buddha said, "When there are so many bad men in the village, it is not proper to point a finger at one woman. She turned bad due to bad company." That is why it is said, "Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are." Realizing their folly, the people fell at Buddha's feet and sought for forgiveness. Since then they started realizing Ambashali as one amongst them. Inspired by the teachings of Buddha, Ambashali also took to the path of renunciation and led a pious life. No one else is responsible for the good and bad in an individual. Each one is responsible for his own good and bad. Who is good, who is bad? First eliminate the bad in you. Be in the company of the good. It is a sin to point a finger at others when there is mountain of evil within you. The same sentiment was echoed by Jesus.
Man today is not making an attempt to recognize the innumerable faults in him. Instead he is magnifying the minutest faults in others. In fact he is searching for mistakes in others with thousand eyes. This is the sad state of man today. Man is losing his true identity because he has allowed the evil qualities to enter his heart. People today are more interested in finding faults rather than the good in others. He is a true human being who sees only good in others.
He is a true Christian, a true Sikh, a true Hindu, a true Muslim, who cultivates love in the field of his heart. Unfortunately today no one is sowing the seeds of love in the heart. Then how do you expect the harvest of love? How do you call a person a true Hindu if there is no love in him? When the members of the Viswa Hindu Parishad came to Me, I asked them the meaning of the word 'Hindu'. Many answers came forth. One said, the word 'Hindu' refers to a person with compassion and righteousness. I asked them for the spelling of the word Hindu in English. They replied H-l-N-D-U. Then I told them:
H - stands for Humanity
I - for Individuality
N - for Nationality
D - for Divinity
U - for Unity
A true Hindu is one who embodies these aspects in him. Love is the underlying principle in all these five. A true Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian should be the Embodiment of love. Muslims pray "Allah Ho Akbar," which means God is the Greatest. Islam means peace. So a true Muslim is one who leads a peaceful life. Peace originates from a heart full of love. Without love one cannot be peaceful. So, for any caste, creed or religion love is the basis. Love is Sivam and Mangalam, which means auspiciousness. Love does not hurt any one. That which does not hurt is referred to as Sivam. Man berefit of love is Savam (a corpse). The one with love is Sivaswarupa (embodiment of auspiciousness) .
Today we are celebrating Sivarathri. What does it mean? Ratri (night) is associated with darkness. The Vedas declare: "Chandrama Manaso Jathaha,Chaksho Suryo Ajaayatha." The Moon is the presiding deity of the mind. So, the mind should be pure and unsullied. There is an immense significance in every statement of Vedanta. Confusion prevails when these are misunderstood. Today there is a practice of sacrificing innocent and dumb animals such as goat, sheep etc. in the name of Yagna and Yaga. One day a noble soul noticed some animals being taken in a grand procession. On enquiry, he was informed that they were being taken to the sacrificial altar. He asked the owner of the animals what was the benefit derived from sacrificing the animals, to which the reply was that the animals would attain liberation as a result of being offered to God. Then the noble soul said, 'Oh man, but your mother, your father, your wife and your son - all crave for liberation. Why don't you sacrifice them and fulfil their desire in the process? Why don't you grant liberation to the people who aspire for it instead of the innocent animals, which do not know what liberation means? If you firmly believe that sacrifice liberates the sacrificed, why don't you sacrifice your parents, your wife and your children?"
Today some people advocate the need for Bhajans, Charity and Service saying that they confer Moksham (liberation). If they really believe in what they are saying why don't they practice what they preach. It is easy to preach, but difficult to practice. Moha kshayam is Moksham. Total detachment is liberation.
Attachment leads to suffering. So first and foremost give up attachment. Prior to the marriage even if the girl is down with a serious ailment the boy is least affected. Subsequent to the marriage if the girl develops a mild fever (99 degree Fahrenheit) the boy is extremely concerned. What is the reason for this? It is attachment. Before the marriage there has been no relationship between the two whatsoever. But after the marriage the boy feels "She is my wife." It is only this attachment that is the cause for suffering. The closer we move towards attachment the farther we move away from liberation. Attachment should be under certain limits. One who is immersed neck deep in water may be able to speak, but not a person who is totally immersed. Likewise a person who is immersed in divinity completely will have no words to describe the glory of God. Only those who have understood God partially will try to describe Him in various ways. You should immerse yourself completely in divine feelings and pure love. Today as there is no love there are conflicts between individuals, villagers, states and countries. The Vedanta declares: "Know thyself. A person who follows Pravritti Marga (outward path) is interested in collecting Information about others and their whereabouts. He keeps asking others: "Who are you?" "Where do you come from?", etc. A person who treads along Nivritti Marga (inward path) looks within and enquires "Who am I?" "Where do I come from?" Nivritti Marga is positive and Pravritti Marga is negative in nature. How can you expect positive results when your heart is full of negative feelings? External is the reflection of the internal. You will reap what you sow. Having eaten cucumber how can you expect the belch of a mango? So in order to get positive results you should fill your heart with positive feelings. Love, Peace, Compassion, which originate from the heart, are positive in nature. All the negative thoughts are the products of the head. Science and technology are associated with the head. Today technology has become tricknology, because you are traversing along the high intelligence in the absence of positive qualities?
Man today has acquired all forms of knowledge yet he does not know himself. In spite of having acquired various forms of knowledge a mean-minded person cannot give up his evil qualities. All this worldly knowledge bolsters excessive argumentation, but not total awareness. After all one has to die in spite of acquiring all the worldly knowledge. So study that which makes you immortal. (Telugu Poem).
Today as the acquisition of the worldly knowledge is on the rise noble qualities in the heart are on the decline. What is the use of ten acres of barren land? A small piece of fertile land is better than ten acres of barren land. Develop at least one noble quality, which emerges from the heart instead of ten from the head. All the thoughts that emerge out of the head are useless. Most of the activities of the scientists are based on the head rather than on the heart. Students are well aware of the fact that it was Newton who discovered the existence of the gravitational force. As a result of excessive dependence on his head, Newton had to spend five years in a mental hospital before his death. So you should not over strain your head. Today students spend most of the time In studies.
While travelling in the car many a time I have noticed small children carrying big load of books on their backs. You yourself can imagine the plight of the young children who have to stuff their head with lots of information contained in the books. As a result their tender hearts are being polluted with unnecessary information. So your studies also should be under certain limits. Only then you can retain your intelligence and memory power. The feelings that emerge out of the heart are immortal and nectarine. But are you making use of at least one of them? It is enough if you can develop peace. Every day at the conclusion of the Bhajan session, you chant Shanthi three times, but there is no trace of Shanthi (Peace) in you. Even if there is the slightest disturbance caused by the person singing beside you, you feel irritated and the tone of the repetition of Shanthi becomes harsh due to anger. Even while chanting Shanthi there is no trace of Shanthi in you. How do you expect to experience peace if you do not cultivate love in the field of your heart? Instead of cultivating love, you are cultivating the evil qualities of jealousy and hatred. If someone is to criticize you, do not take it to heart, consider it as for your own good. It is the worst of sins to search for mistakes in others. In the first instance correct your mistakes and accept the good in others.
If you do not reap the harvest of love in your heart you are not a true Christian, a true Sikh, a true Hindu or a true Muslim. You are a demon in human form. When you develop love in your heart you are verily God. You become God or demon based upon your feelings. Do not find fault in others. Buddha was criticized by many when he accepted the invitation of Ambashali. She alone was not responsible for her bad character. There were many who encouraged her. For every act of sin five persons are mainly responsible. One who commits the sin, one who is the cause, one who encourages the act of sin, one who shows the ways and means to commit the sin and one who witnesses it. All the five will have to face the consequences. When Draupadi was being humiliated by Duryodhana and Dussasana in the open court elders like Bhishma and Drona remained as spectators. They did not oppose Duryodhana's heinous act. It is in this context that Vidura has pointed out that not only the sinner but the other four persons mentioned above will also go to hell. Since Bhishma, the one of wisdom, was a silent spectator to the humiliation of Draupadi he had to be on the bed of arrows for fifty-six days. Had he prevented the humiliation of Draupadi, he would not have suffered thus. It is rather difficult to say how one gets merit or sin. In order to escape from sin, one has to take to the path of spirituality. Knowingly or unknowingly you commit sin. Consequently you are suffering. You are unable to trace the root because of your suffering. So, undertake meritorious deeds. Cultivate sacred feelings. Serve fellow beings. Taking to this path amounts to devotion. Devotion does not mean performing worship and offering flowers to God. Worship amounts to good action alone. One should have good thoughts within. One will not be redeemed if one undertakes good actions with bad intentions. For instance if someone offers a donation of 10 lakh for a charitable cause, someone else may come forward with a donation of 15 lakh only to attract the public attention. In reality he may not give even 10 rupees. Such people are heroes in platform and zeroes in practice. There should be unity in thought word and deed. "The proper study of mankind is man" This is true humanness.
Embodiments of Love!
In order to redeem yourselves, you should reap the harvest of love in the field of your heart; water the field of your heart with love. Water is the life of man. How can you sanctify your life if you cannot provide at least drinking water to the people who are in need of it ? Water is divine. Water in Sanskrit is called Naaram. The eye is known as Nayanam. So, the Naaram, which comes out of Nayanam should be for the sake of Narayana (God) alone. One should shed only tears of joy, not tears of grief. When do you get tears of joy? Only when you are successful in your endeavors.
You all know this. There are many people from Mahaboob Nagar and Medak districts in this gathering. Swami has consented to provide drinking water to these two districts. Many people hailing from these two districts have never seen Swami before. Their joy knew no bounds when they came to know the love and grace showered on them by Swami. Men and women, young and old were ecstatic. Every week many people from these two districts come to Swami to express their gratitude. You should all plunge into such sacred activities for the benefit of mankind at large. Sage Vyasa declared: Paropakara Punyaaya Paapaaya Paripeedanam ; which means "Help Ever, Hurt Never." If possible try to help others. Never hurt anyone. Love even your enemies. Never use harsh words and hurt the feelings of others. If you hurt someone today you will have to suffer ten times more in future.
You will be observing Sivarathri in the true spirit of the term only when you give up bad qualities and cultivate divine love. Merely observing vigil on Sivarathri is not sufficient. You have to contemplate on God incessantly. Most people claim that they have observed Jaagarana (vigil) on Sivarathri night by playing cards. The fisherman goes on watching intently so as to trap the fish in the net. Can this be termed meditation? If one abstains from taking food on account of difference of opinion with his wife, can it be called fasting? No. Similarly, observance of sacred vigil on Sivarathri night is not achieved by playing cards the whole night. You should spend this night by chanting the name of God, using the time in doing good deeds.
You should not waste valuable time in vain gossip. Instead undertake service activities in villages and slum areas. Provide the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing to the poor and needy. It amounts to the greatest service. I am practicing this right from My childhood. When some one appeared at the door steps begging for alms, the people in the household would say not now, not now, but I would surreptitiously dole out alms. If anyone needed clothes I would provide them. The Griham Ammayi (mother of this physical body) used to recollect and narrate all these incidents wistfully. Believe it or not I had only one pair of dress to be used throughout the year. Everyday after returning from school, I used to don a towel and wash My only dress, put them for drying and then press them by using a container with embers as an iron. When I was provided with a new dress, I used to donate My old dress to the poor and needy. The Griham Abbayi (father of this physical body) never reprimanded Me or beat Me up. He would compliment Me by saying, "You are a Maha thyagi (one of great sacrifice). It is impossible for us to be like You." He would endearingly address Me Vedanti (philosopher). The same was the case with Griham Ammayi too. She looked after Me with great love and affection. People used to fall at her feet, pour out their tales of woe and plead with her to recommend their case to Me. But I used to put her off softly by saying, "dont worry about others' problems". In spite of this she used to carry on saying, "Swami, what is the use of My human birth if I don't help people in distress. My sincere feeling is that they will be relieved of their suffering if I convey their problems and feelings to You. So, I will not refrain from doing this, even if you raise an objection or scold Me". In this manner the parents of this physical body led a very pious and sacred life. The whole clan has benefited from this.
Develop good qualities. Do not give scope for bad by joining bad company. In this train of life, youngsters are the long distance passengers. The elders may get down in the next station, but you have a long way to go before you reach your destination. First and foremost you need to have self-confidence. Today people suffer because of lack of self-confidence. If you have total faith In God, you will be able to overcome all difficulties. There may be a few difficulties in your way, but do not be unduly perturbed. You should face all hardship with all courage and conviction. Then you will attain true happiness.
Never blame God for your difficulties. Good or bad; you are bound to face the consequences of your actions. But if you have God's grace even bad will be turned into good. So develop faith in God more and more. You believe in your friend whom you have met a few years ago, but not God who is with you, in you, around you, throughout your life. You believe in the dhobi and part with your valuable clothes. You are prepared to bend your head in front of the barber. You are prepared to put your life in the hands of the driver. But you do not believe in the omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient divinity. Why can't you bend your head in front of God? There are some evil-minded persons who criticize people for bending their heads before God. Such evil minded people will never have the good fortune of bending their heads before God. One day, King Bhoja was proceeding to a village in his chariot along with his minister. On the way he found a Buddhist monk coming from the opposite direction. Immediately he got down from the chariot and paid his respects to him by placing his head on the feet of the monk. The minister did not relish this act of King Bhoja. He said, "Oh king, how could you keep your most invaluable head on the feet of an ordinary monk?" The king waited for an opportune moment to give his reply. One day the king gave his minister the head of a sheep, a goat, a cow and a human being, asked him to sell them in the market. The minister succeeded in selling the head of a sheep, goat and cow, but not that of a human being. He returned to the king and said, "Oh king, no one is willing buy this human head". Then the king said, 'Oh minister, do you remember the day when you objected to my falling at the feet of a Buddhist monk saying mine was the most valuable head. At least now do you realize the value of human head devoid of life?" One should prostrate at the feet of noble souls when one is alive, for even the vultures and dogs do not value human head after death.
Self-confidence cannot be purchased or obtained through learning. It is based on deservedness. Develop the divine thoughts to attain deservedness. In fact you are the most fortunate people, otherwise how could only a few of you have come here, when there are millions in this world. Make the best use of this golden opportunity. Follow the divine path. If you have faith In God, He will protect you in the face of all adversities. He is always with you, in you, above you, beside you, around you.
Do not give scope for bad feelings and bad thoughts. Do not criticize anyone. You are well aware of this fact, everyday in the newspapers, you find headlines describing the conflicts between various parties. One party criticizes and finds faults with the others. They are accumulating sins by doing so. That is why I do not read newspapers. Why should I go through all this? Many people waste so much money buying these newspapers. It is one form of madness. Read good books. Slander is the worst of the sins.
Embodiments of love!
As pointed out by the Vice Chancellor in his speech, I used to bring Atma Lingams from this body on the occasion of Sivarathri in the earlier years. Lingodbhavam (emergence of Linga) used to take place on every Sivarathri. To witness this sacred event, lakhs would gather in a small hall. Consequently, there used to be a stampede resulting in injuries to devotees. Due to this I discontinued Lingodbhavam in public. There is a specific time for this. It may take place at any moment between 8 and 10 in the night. It takes place at the right time irrespective of the place I am in. It is bound to take place. It is natural on this Sivarathri night. Those who are fortunate to witness this sacred Lingodbhavam are free from all sins. One must see how it emerges. But some people may not be able to see this even if they are sitting close by. Witnessing the emergence of the Lingam is of utmost importance. Once it emerges, everyone will be able to see it and it has its own benefits. There are many such important aspects attached to this auspicious occasion.
You will be immensely benefited if you keep awake and sing the glory of God at least on this night. The Moon is the presiding deity of the mind. The Moon has 16 Kalas (phases). On this Sivarathri 15 Kalas have already merged in God and only one remains. By constant remembrance of God, even the 16th phase merges in God. Can you not spend a single night in the whole year singing the glory of God? So sanctify this night by participating in Bhajan. The bliss that you get from Bhajan, the sweetness in the divine name, the happiness derived from visualizing the divine form cannot be obtained elsewhere. Everything is possible only through love. So, cultivate love and sanctify your life.
[Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi.]
[Source: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust, Prashanthi Nilayam. Posted on SaiNet by V.Srinivasan]