Embodiments of Love,
You are not virtue or vice, not pleasure or pain,Not sacred word or pilgrimage, not Veda or sacrifice,You are not the enjoyable or the enjoyer, but you are the embodiment of eternal Bliss (Ananadam), Knowledge (Chit) and Auspiciousness (Sivam).
You are carried away by the form and see the multiplicity of names and forms due to ignorance of reality. Everyone from a pauper to prince, from the rank ignorant to Paramahamsa, whether man or woman, child or adult, invariably uses the word "I". This is nothing but Atma Thathwa. Scriptures declare this as Hridayaha or Atma. Hridaya is the center of compassion. All are embodiments of kindness and compassion.
If only every individual realizes this, the world will be prosperous. Now,though you say "Lokaas samasthaas sukhino bhavanthu", you forget the basic principle which is 'I'. No one can introduce himself without this 'I'. Birds and beasts also will say " I am a cow", " I am a goat", " I am a dog", "I am a crow" and so on if at all they have the faculty of speech.. The cosmic principle is this "I" and the whole world rests on "I". The existence of all things in creation is indicated by "I". Because man thinks he is the body, he is associating himself with the body, resulting in egoism.
The whole world is replete with the duality - one is "this" and the other is "I". You say 'This is a cloth", "This is a table", "This is a hall" and so on. The word demonstrates the existence of an object. Every name and form is represented by "this". The seer is Dhrishta and the object seen is Dhrisya. When you see the bulb burning brightly, you think it is the bulb that gives light. It is the electricity that gives light. Bulb is only like body. But the chaithanya consciousness is life force. If I ask a boy, "When did you come?", he says he came on the 21st and the reason for his visit is to attend the convocation on the 22nd. Here he only refers to his body as himself. But, when he hurts his leg, he says "My leg is hurt". On one occasion you consider your body as "I" and on another occasion, you say it is "my body". In truth, "I" represents Atma, and Atma, Heart, Truth are all synonyms. Names are only to facilitate communication and identification. Rama and Krishna are all names given to body. The first name of all is "I". Even Bhagavan is "I" in the beginning. That is why the Vedas say "Aham Brahmasmi". "I" or Atma comes first, then only the word "Brahman" comes. We fail to understand the basic truth that "I" is the fundamental term.
Several people undertake several spiritual practices to search for God. When God is in you, where is the need for such search? If you say you are searching for yourself, people will dub you a fool! If you ask someone, "Who am I?", you will be deemed to be mad. It is a wonder that man who is embodiment of Brahman is not able to recognize this truth. There is a saying that you can straighten a bent tree or mold a boulder to shape but you cannot set right a perverted mind. Mind is the cause for every action. You must quieted and control the mind and turn your attention towards experiencing Atma All the sadhanas including those through nine steps of devotion are only to quieted the mind and not for the realization of self. The only sadhana needed for this is to eradicate the Anatma. In fact Anatma is also a reflection of the Atma. When you switch off light, darkness sets in. It is not the coming and going of light. Darkness is absence of light. So also, absence of awareness is Anatma. It is an illusion or Brahma. People do mediation, bhajan etc. It is only for mental satisfaction. In meditation, who is meditator? What is the object meditated upon? Actually, the one who meditates, the act of meditation and the object are all one. One who knows this truth need not do anything at all. Before you say, "I am Brahman", you should know "I" first. Ekam eva adhvitheeyam Brahma. There is only one, without a second. That is Brahman. There is no particular name or form for God. Based on the work one does, one is called [such and such]. For example, a Brahmin doing pooja is a poojari Brahmin; one who cooks is a cook Brahmin and so on. But Bhagavan is Nirguna (attributeless), Niranjana, Sanathana, Nikethana, Nithya, Suddha, Buddha,Bhaktha, Nirmala.
You read lots of books without knowing the goal. You have to search through your mind. Mind is a thief. You must get hold of the thief and drive him out. Because of mind, man loses peace. God has no other name than "I" which is "Aham" in Sanskrit. It is master of body, intellect, senses and mind. We are not able to understand the cosmic principle which is Divinity. We try to confine this limitless cosmic principle within the four walls of a temple. You limit this Infinite Principle to the small frame of a picture. This is putting God to disrepute. There is a song by a saint, "Is it possible to limit the cosmic principle to a small room? Can you hold the flame of light to the One who gives light even to the sun? Can you feed the One whose stomach is the whole world? Is it sane to attempt to give water to the One who is the vast ocean?" we are deluded by the obsession to names and forms? God is everywhere in "I" (Aham). If you realize this, the agitations in the world can be brought down. The principle of unity should be developed n the basis of "I" in everyone. When the same is in all, where is the question of hating the other? Husband-wife, father-son relationship are temporary. The only relationship that lasts forever is that with God. This is the current passing through all. When this goes off, there is darkness. Truth is one and is called in many terms. Names and Forms are many, but God is one. He has no birth or death. That is Atma or "I" or Brahman. Gita explains that the same Atma is in everyone (Sarvabhootha antharatma).
The Gopikas wanted to catch Krishna. They tried in vain. Krishna himself helped them by dropping his feet in milk and running leaving trails of his feet so that they could follow and catch him by following the foot prints. They sang, " How can we understand you who are tinier than the smallest atom and mightier than the macrocosm?" When you go to temple to have darshan of the Lord, you close your eyes just when you stand before the idol. Why? Because, you want to meditate on the same Lord within you. You want to use the eye of Wisdom. There are so many subtleties in spiritual practices.Pundits do not explain these to people. When you are on divine path, you don't indulge in wicked actions. God will never harm anyone. Every suffering is brought about by one's own actions. God is only witness. When one is born, there is no necklace of gems or precious stones around his neck, but only the results of past actions come with him.When God is in you only, how can you blame God for your suffering? The mind is a thief and tries to separate you from God. It is far away from God. It has to be controlled to realize God in you. It should not be justify embroiled.The one who controls mind is a man of valor and courage. In Ramayana, the chief among Ithihasas, Hanuman shone as a great warrior, but before Rama he was all humility while before Ravana, he stood up in all glory as warrior. In front of Divinity, you must be humble. "Aham" with body is "Ahamkara" (ego). "Aham" with Atma is Divine. You should lead your life with this latter "Aham" and not Ahamkara. You should see this "Aham" in all creatures. Worshipping the Infinite Divine in a small picture is silly. It is outward or external trend. You should turn your vision inward for reaching the goal. You need not give up all activities. Do everything with the feeling that is an offering to Divine.
Don't harp on the name and the form given to body. When asked who you are, you should say I am "I", not your name. Students taking degrees , as B.A.,M.A., M.B.A., should understand that degrees pertain to body. God has no degrees at all! This is the core of all philosophies. He is pure and unsullied.
When I was coming to the Mandir, some people wished me "Happy Birthday". This is meaningless. I am ever happy. You must tell this to people who are not happy. "Nithyanandam Paramasukham Kevalam Premamurthim .... Gaganasadrusam Meghavarnam Subhangam" Like streaks of lightning in dark cloud, God is shining. Education should bring you such light of wisdom to dispel the dark clouds of ignorance. You can say "Truth is God", "That which is present everywhere is Truth", "Which is changeless in all periods of time". You have love on one side and hatred on the other. Both are reflections of your feelings. You should exercise self-examination. Realize that you are the eternal Atma. The dark clouds come out of sunlight which heats the water in the ocean making it evaporate to form clouds, hiding the sun itself. Similarly ignorance is within and you have to dispel this. Sun is hailed as Atma and Moon as mind. In the brilliant effulgence of the sun, moonlight is insignificant. Only in the absence of sunlight, does the moon shine. So, you should control the mind by turning it to Atma which is 'I'. Forget body, mind principle and practice this 'I' principle. You may ask, "We are in family life. How can we discard wife and children?" I never ask you to discard your duty to family. Do your duty as offering to God.
The restlessness in the world is only due to people forgetting the Atma and turning to the body. Atma principle is that of "seer" and "seen". There is sugar and water. If you mix both, you get syrup. Because you consider the world as separate you are in trouble. "Sarvathaha panipodham" - The whole world is Temple of God. Your body is also 'mobile temple'. How can you forget one that is part of you and your basis? Even physical mother may forget you but Divine will never forsake you. All the sadhanas done now are really external. You should not mistake me when I say this.
You all say that you are Sai devotees, but, I HAVE REALLY NO DEVOTEES. IN FACT I AM YOUR DEVOTEE. When people come to Prasanthi Nilayam, they go about visiting many houses like cats and rats. Avoid such search for friends and company. Concentrate on spiritual sadhana. Why do you talk to others unnecessarily? Make your time sacred. Experience the Divine vibrations here, reflect and ruminate when you go back home. The cow grazes whenever it finds green grass, and goes back to its shelter to leisurely mastigate it. Man is wasting lots of time in talking and gossiping, wasting energy.
For whom did you come here? Have relationship with God only. Do work for the welfare of others to the best of your capacity. Many people read many books and speak a lot. What is the use? It is like spelling the names of sweets like gulab-jaamoon etc. You will know the taste only when you eat it. Only when you practice at least a few of what you read, you do real sadhana. There is no use in reading many books and burdening our head. There is no use in chanting the Lord's names with your lips. You should install the Lord in your heart. It is a stunt if you only repeat the names of Rama and Krishna without following in practice the ideals. Do not ask others, "Who are you?". Instead, ask yourself, "Who am I?" Avoid bad company. Have company with good and godly ones. Do meritorious acts day and night. Always think of God. You become good by following these precepts, and the principle, "Help ever; Hurt never". Bhagavan does not like such pompous celebration of Birthday - It is only to please you, I accept. I have no desire for myself. Whatever I do is for you. Everyone belongs to me and I belong to you. You should earn good name and experience Divinity.
I want to give you five cardinal principles to be followed by you, by way of control of desires.
The first one is "Avoid waste of money". Misuse of money is evil. You need not waste money by buying many photos. You can have only one to worship and not more.
The second is "Avoid waste of food". Food is God. Your body has come out of food taken by your parents. It is precious.
The third one is "Avoid waste of time". God is Time. We say kala kalaya... Time waste is life waste.
The fourth is "Avoid waste of energy". Energy is also God. Seeing, hearing,thinking, speaking are all energy consuming activities. You should restrict everything to absolute minimum.
The fifth is "Do not forget God". At any place and at any time, think of God.He is in you, around you and with you. Heart is your temple. When you understand the principle of Atma, you need not even visit here frequently. Don't waste even love. Love is life. Without love, one is lifeless corpse.
Don't aspire to acquire new friendships when you are here. You may be sported by bad company. Then you have to blame yourself. Say, "Hello, How are you,Good-bye" and depart. That is all. Don't think you know everything. Make self-inquiry often for self-protection.This is necessary to sustain self-confidence. You should lead life in peace, keeping within limits. As devotees of Sai, you should serve as ideal examples to others. If you get good name, it is for your benefit and not for me.
11/23/97 Prasanthi Nilayam