|Chapter 9.2 from "Study Circles for Divinity"|
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FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA
Repeat to yourself the Truth that the world is as much God as heaven is. There are no two distinct entities or categories called material and spiritual. All distinctions are apparent, not real. Sai has drawn the old and the young to Himself, and every one of them has Sai in his heart. The scriptures of different creeds - the Bible, the Quoran, the Upanishads, the Zendavastha - appear different, but their aim is the same - to establish the Brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God as the basis for the peace of mankind. No creed need put on airs of superiority as each is shaped by the compulsions of time and space, of language and levels of experience. You are all members of the Sai Family, bound by the religion of Love. Though ostensibly you profess to belong to different faiths, faith in Sai removed the barriers in your minds. Love is God. Live in Love. (231175)
This year you have named My Birthday the 'Golden Jubilee' of the Avatar (Divine Incarnation), and gathered in vast numbers from all parts of the world. I am sure you have benefited by the holy company. I do not accost one particular date in the calendar as My Birthday, for I consider the day when Divinity blossoms in your heart as My birth-day in you. Therefore each of you should individually celebrate such a day as My Birthday. The day when you resolve to practise My advice, to follow My directives, to translate My message into acts of service, and to engage in spiritual practice - that day is My birthday for you. The 23rd day of November which you now honour as the day on which I was born, is only like any other day if you celebrate it in a routine, ritual fashion. Adore man; the adoration reaches Me. Neglect man; you neglect Me. Of what avail is it to worship the Lord and to suppress man, His counterpart? Love for God must be manifested as love for man, and love must express itself as service.
Through Love alone - Love acquired through spiritual practice, and shared with all as spiritual practice - can peace be attained, by the individual as well as by the nation. My life is My message and My message is Love. That explains why you have gathered hither in hundreds of thousands. (231175)
It is the 70th birthday of this body. You have to know one important thing. Swami does not need anything. He does not expect any dress. Swami belongs to you. Swami is not separate from you. You are not separate from Swami. That is the intimate relation between Swami and you.
God has so many servants to serve Him. You don't need to serve Him. There are the poor and the needy, who are the embodiments of God. Serve them.
Implant such noble ideas in your heart and let them grow into huge trees and you give comfort under their shade to the needy. This is the only birthday gift Swami is asking from you. Swami does not need anything else. You will be happy and secure, that is your gift to Swami. You should set an ideal and example to others. (231195)
We should not hate any religion. The followers of all religions should behave like brothers and sisters. You practise such an ideal and give happiness to Swami. Many foreigners said "Happy Birthday", "Happy Birthday" in the morning. Swami is always happy. Swami does not need your happiness. You be happy. Happiness is union with God. If you want to be happy, join God. Then you can be happy.
You should follow a new path right from this day. You should spend a happy time in unity, coordination and integration. You should experience Divinity in all. That is true bliss. It is not happiness if it is from comforts and conveniences. They are just passing clouds, coming and going. You should achieve that bliss that neither comes nor goes. Love is the only path to reach that goal of bliss. (231195)
THE CLICK OF THE CAMERAIt is just the gold in all the jewels, the base and the substance, however many forms and whatever shapes the jewels may have. To become a particular jewel is to lose the universal nature or rather to limit it. To lose the name and form of gold and become a jewel is to feel separate, to forget the One. The Atma does not change, no one can transform it. Its nature is hidden
by various veils of ignorance. The veils are known as mind, intellect, etc. The jewel must know it is not, it was not, it will not be oval or square or flat or round, or anklet or necklace or ring or bangle. It must yearn to know its real nature and become aware of the basic truth, apart from the unreal appearance. When it becomes gold again or rather when it ceases to think of itself as anything but gold, it can be said to have obtained Bliss. (231160)
Bairaagi Shaasthri said that this is an auspicious day for you because this is My Birthday; but let Me tell you, I have many birthdays like this. The auspicious day for you is the day on which your mind is cleansed, and not the day on which I took this human form. I am ever new and ever ancient, ever modern and ever eternal. I come always for the sake of reviving Righteousness, for tending the virtuous and ensuring them conditions congenial for progress. Some doubters might ask, "Can the Universal Soul assume human form?" Well, man can derive bliss only through the human form; we can receive instruction, inspiration, illumination only through human language and human communication. (231160)
This day, the 23 November 1961 is significant in more senses than one; it is not only the day which marks the date of birth of this Avatar; the previous Sai Avatar was also inaugurated on a Thursday, and on the day after the full-moon day of the month of Kaarthika. Today, also it is the day after the full-moon day of the month of Kaarthika and a Thursday!
You are all lucky that you could come to Prasanthi Nilayam from great distances and see the form of the Lord on this auspicious day. But, the joy you get today is only a reminder of the eternal full joy that is in store for you, in fact, for all mankind. That joy is your birthright; this momentary bliss is but a drop of that ocean; to get that you must dedicate yourself to spiritual discipline continuous and conscious spiritual practice. The symbol on the Prasanthi flag, the symbol that is put up in concrete form in front of the Nilayam, has therefore to be clearly understood by every one of you. Conquer lust, anger and hatred, roam in the expanse of equal and impartial love to all created things, and then you are fit for inner communion with Divinity, which will open the petals of your heart. Then, from the fragrance, and beauty of that Lotus will emerge the flame of spiritual wisdom, illumining worldly illusion into destruction until you and the flame become one. (231161)
Today, at this meeting, as members of this gathering you are all overwhelmed with joy, I can see that. But, this is momentary, this will not last. You are all entitled to broader realms of joy, deeper springs of joy and joy that is eternal. Your real Right Conduct, the purpose for which you have taken human birth, is to earn and enjoy that Bliss, which no external contact can change or diminish. (231161)
I WILL BE CLOSER TO DEVOTEES
Your disciplined devotion, your love, your fortitude are examples. It is not proper that I praise My own people. Westerners have come in large numbers, though everything here is discomfort for them they are braving through all this. It is a real austerity for each of them. You must devote your days, your actions, your intelligence and skills for transforming yourselves into heroic messengers of Righteousness and Duty.
I desire one thing from you. Develop brotherhood with all. Adopt right conduct always. Give up selfish activity. Welcome all chances to serve the illiterate and the poor.
As part of the sixtieth birthday celebrations, I am prescribing a test, which you have to accept. When you undergo it and emerge victorious, you can be pronounced as real humans. The farmer ploughs the field, sows the seed and watches the crop grow, until the grain is harvested. The next process is winnowing. The light chaff will then be carried away by the wind and the hard grain will stay. I shall start winnowing from now; the test will remove the chaff.
One other point. A misgiving has spread, and it is causing confusion in people's minds, that after the sixtieth birthday, Swami will not be available and a change will happen in Swami. Mine is not a changing nature. I will never be distant from devotees. I will be available to devotees more and more from now. Sathya Sai is Truth. How can Truth change? So, give up all such guesses and imaginations and engage yourself in service of fellowmen. (231185)
NEVER A PARTY
mbodiments of Divine Atma! You are celebrating this day as the Birthday of Swami, and deriving Bliss through various programmes here, carried on with enthusiasm by you; but, in fact, I have no wish to consider this as a special day because it is the birthday
and celebrate it as such. I have come on purpose to reveal to man the mystery of his reality and the goal of his life; I have not come to set them the task of celebrating the birthday or to get arranged any pompous and personal festivals. I have no such desire, at any time, in this or any other sojourn.
On what day do I celebrate My birthday? On that day when all of you experience genuine Bliss in your hearts! Now, when your hearts are surging with manifold fears and anxieties, and torn by miseries and losses, and riven as under grief, declaring this day My birthday seems to be barren of meaning!
You are all aware of this: I do not allow anyone to bring here even a flower, a fruit or a coconut. However, some persons, carried away by their devotion and dedication, or moved by sudden enthusiasm or exultation, send by post or bring when they come here clothes for Me and place them before Me. From this day, I am directing that this should not be done; observe this as My command. If anyone brings clothes despite this he shall not be admitted to Prashanthi Nilayam. Such person will be treated as acting against Swami's wishes and orders. What you should place before me as offering is pure love; only that.
Therefore, from this day, spend your days and years in activities that help those who are in dire need, and thus make this human existence of yours worthwhile and fruitful. I wish you will conduct yourselves accordingly and I bless you. (231174)
Embodiments of love! Since dawn this day, from every tongue the words "Happy Birthday", "Happy Birthday", have been resounding. What exactly do these words mean? Are the words used with awareness of their significance, or are they spoken as a conventional form of social etiquette? The English word 'Happy' has its equivalent in Telugu 'Santhosham'. We shall probe into the implications of the expression. 'San-thosham'. 'Thosham' signifies 'Delight'. The prefix 'Sam' denotes that delight has been won through righteous and honourable means. That is to say, through Detachment and Sacrifice.
True delight, Bliss, cannot be acquired by effort or produced artificially or maintained by design. No course of spiritual practices can be prescribed to enable man to gain Bliss. For in fact, man is the very embodiment of Bliss. But since man has failed to identify this truth, he is seeking it from the outside, from the objects around him. For those who have realised that they are the eternal, the true and the pure Atma, Bliss is ever accessible.
Knowledge, wealth, power and status are all capable of granting only worldly pleasure, or joy, or exultation. Of course, whatever the extent or nature of this joy, it must be realised that it is a particle of the Supreme Bliss of the Atmic awareness, the impact of the limitless vast, the Bliss of God itself. (231183)
As I was coming here, some people greeted Me with the words: "Happy birthday! Happy birthday!" I am always happy. I need no "Happy" greetings. Convey your greetings of "Happy birthday" to those who are not happy. I am filled with infinite joy. I have never had any worry at any time or place. What is the reason? All things are transient like passing clouds. Why worry about them? We should not be elated or depressed by births or deaths. We came naked into the world. When we leave, we cannot leave our address with 'our' kith and kin. How can they be 'our kinsfolk'? All these are worldly phenomena. As long as we live, we should spend our lives in harmony and fellow feeling. All our difficulties can be overcome by contemplation on God. Forgetting God and immersing yourself in worldly concerns, what do you achieve? Have firm faith in God. Do not give room for differences of caste, creed and nationality. All names and forms belong to the Divine. All that you see is a manifestation of the Cosmic Form of the Lord. With firm faith in the Divine, chanting the Lord's name, redeem your lives. (231190)
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