Chapter 9.0 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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"Man cannot secure enduring bliss through physical pleasures. He has to discover that the source of this bliss is within himself ..... like a man who is carrying his spectacles on his forehead searches for it everywhere and discovers to his joy that it has been with him all along. The Divine is not anywhere else. It is enshrined in one's heart. Hence, the man who seeks the Divine within his heart redeems himself. He then attains liberation." (150196)

Lord Sathya Sai Baba gives a special discourse on days when there is a major Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or other religious festival, on the first day of the year for various calendars, and on other days of special significance.

He cleans away the dust of old habits and perceptions so that we can use the time of celebration to advantage, as an opportunity to commune with God, to associate with other seekers after Truth, and to make personal resolutions for spiritual advancement.

There are three sections in this chapter, each one providing the Study Circle with material for a particular celebration. The three topics are the 'Birthday', 'Christmas' and western 'New Year'.

There are of course a number of other festival days on which Lord Sai gives a discourse or celebrates in a special way, such as Mahasivaratri, Gurupurnima, Deepavali and so on. Many quotations from these published discourses have been used in the sections on other topics, such as 'Teacher' and 'Light'.

In this chapter, the study material for Sai's 'Birthday' urges us to consider every moment as an opportunity for a new birth, to be born into a higher level of loving, of treating all as one body, of identification with our soul or Atma.

The section on 'Christmas' includes quotations which re-create the story of the birth, life and teachings of Lord Jesus, as well as the meaning of the crucifixion and resurrection. We are led to admire and revere this extraordinary example of awakened man, and to understand how it is that His teachings have moulded the ethical and spiritual life of so many people for almost two thousand years.

The section on 'New Year' nullifies that dissatisfied feeling that westerners have come to associate with the celebration of the New Year, replacing it with a commitment to personal transformation at this time of change - with the exhortation that every day should be a New Year - the passing of the old and the beginning of the new.

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