SSSIHL XXVII Convocation Discourse – 2008
Audio excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
All are Embodiments of the Atma
Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great name and fame in all the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous people who vanquished the foreign rulers in the battlefield and attained independence. This is the land which excelled in music, literature and other fine arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls, it is your sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage.
Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of love towards one’s mother. Character is valued far higher than life itself.
Follow Swami’s ideal and Love everyone
Bharat is the land of high reputation and great bounty. Many countries have faced great dangers, but Bharat is free from these. This land of Bharat has given birth to many famous women of great chastity like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life, and Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed. Is there any other place in this world where we can find such women of nobility and chastity? But the Bharatiyas today are cowed down even by small difficulties. Their vision, hearing and behaviour have all become polluted. What a pity, the Bharatiyas have come to such a sorry state! Just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its strength, today the Bharatiyas have forgotten their rich cultural heritage.
Lack of Unity is the Cause of All Problems of India
An elephant is so powerful that with a mere swish of its tail, it can throw a man away. But since it is not aware of its strength, it obeys the command of an ordinary mahout; it sits when he orders it to sit and stands when he commands it to do so. The same is the condition of the Bharatiyas today. Just as an elephant submits to the commands of the mahout, the Bharatiyas, in spite of their great strength of purity and sacredness of heart, are following the dictates of others and behaving like slaves. Truly speaking, there is none in the world who can vanquish the Bharatiyas. Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are the natural qualities of the Bharatiyas. They are endowed with the great wealth of Sathya and Dharma. The scriptures teach man to follow the great principle: Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth, practise righteousness). But this great principle is being distorted by people today as Sathyam Vadha, Dharmam Chera (kill truth and imprison righteousness).
Everybody should ask himself, “Who am I?” He should remind himself, “I am a human being, not an animal or a beast. Since I am a human being, I should have human qualities.” What are the qualities of a human being? The first and foremost quality is truth. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Dharma originates from Sathya. Where there are truth and righteousness, there you find the manifestation of peace and love. Where there is peace, love would manifest there automatically. Where there is love, jealously and hatred are conspicuous by their absence there. But, unfortunately, man today is devoid of love. Even birds and animals have love but there is no love among human beings. Today there is lack of unity in India. This is the main cause of the sorry state of affairs in our country. Where there is unity, there is purity. Where there is purity, there is divinity. Therefore, it is by unity that we can attain divinity, which is the goal of our life.
Man should Develop Faith in Atma
Today scientists are making many inventions. They have made even double decker airplanes to fly in the sky. But how many people are losing their lives! In ancient times, life was not that full of dangers. Today man is full of fear. But, where has this fear come from? The real cause is man’s lack of faith in the Atma. Na Ayamatma Balaheenena Labhyah (a weak-minded person cannot realise the Atma). Lack of Self-confidence has made man weak today. He is reposing his faith in everything else except the Atma. First of all, he should have Self-confidence. When he develops Self-confidence, he will have Self-satisfaction. Only then can he develop the spirit of Self-sacrifice which will lead him to Self-realisation. Therefore, if we want to attain Self-realisation, we should first develop Self-confidence. In fact, Self-confidence is the foundation of the mansion of our life, in which Self-satisfaction are the walls and self-sacrifice is the roof. When the foundation is strong, the walls and the roof will also be strong and safe. But, today, the foundation itself is weak. Then, how can the walls and roof stand on it? Self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-sacrifice are the essential steps to Self-realisation.
Bharat is the land of humanness. That is why this country is safe from various dangers and calamities which are occurring in other parts of the world. The Bharatiyas are leading a comparatively happy and peaceful life although peace has been disturbed in many parts of the world. Today pollution is widespread everywhere. Food, water, air – all have become polluted due to the misuse of science and technology. To a large extent, India is still safe from this all-pervading pollution. It is therefore necessary that we do not put science to indiscriminate use. On the other hand, we should promote humanness which will give us great strength. There is no power greater than the power of humanness. In fact, man is potentially divine. If somebody questions, “Where is God?”, the simple answer is, “Man himself is verily God.” The Vedas declare, Chandrama Manaso Jataha, Chaksho Suryo Ajayata (the moon was born out of the mind and the sun out of the eyes of the Supreme Being). Our Atma is our strength. There is no strength superior to it.
Education should Give Knowledge of the Self
Man should acquire education which gives the knowledge of the Atma.
In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean minded person will not give up his evil qualities.
Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom. What is the use of acquiring education which cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.
Modern education does not provide true knowledge. It helps you to earn money and meet the needs of your family. People today are spending lakhs of rupees and sending their young children to overseas countries for studies. But all this money is wasted and children also get spoiled. Here is a small incident to illustrate this.
Once the parents of a student took him to a temple before his departure to a foreign country for higher studies. They advised him, “Dear son, this deity is the Divine Mother to one and all. She is the mother of the universe. You should never forget her. Constantly contemplate on her, wherever you are.” They, in fact, extracted a promise from him to that effect. As soon as the boy set his foot in the foreign country, he totally forgot about the Divine Mother, fully immersed as he became in the new environment. After a lapse of three years, he returned to his native place, fully accustomed to the foreign way of life. The parents took him to the same temple straight from the airport for the Darshan of the Divine Mother. As soon as he entered the temple, the boy, instead of offering salutations to the deity, greeted her in English, “How are you, Madam?” The parents then chided the boy and asked, “Is it what you have learnt there? We sent you abroad spending so much money. But you have forgotten even God!”
Many students who go abroad acquire bad thoughts, bad habits and bad qualities. In fact, there is no necessity for anybody to go to foreign countries for anything. The bounty that you find in Bharat cannot be found anywhere else. Having been born in this blessed land and calling yourself Bharatiyas, what is the use if you forget your culture and moral values? Nobody can describe the greatness of Bharat. The Bharatiyas should first of all develop self-confidence and adhere to ethical, moral and spiritual values. But, unfortunately, people today lack morality. That is why life today has become an endless trouble. Many overseas devotees are inviting Me to their countries. They are prepared to bring even special planes. But I do not want any planes or comforts. I want only devotion.
All love Me and I love all. I don’t have any enemy. But some people do not understand My love and take to wrong ways even after receiving My sacred love. Some of them even start opposing Me if their wishes are not fulfilled. Will they derive any benefit if their wishes are fulfilled? No. They will actually come to harm. In our college also, we put a certain limit on the students and give them proper training. Look at the students of our college! They do not have even a trace of hatred. All of them gather around Me, lovingly calling Me, “Swami, Swami, Swami”. They shed tears when they take leave of Me.
When you see outside colleges, can you call them colleges at all? The students there do not show respect even to their own parents. Parents should be considered as sacred. Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava (revere your mother and father as God) is the injunction of our scriptures. Mother is God, father is God, friend is God. In fact, all are the very forms of God. Unable to understand this truth, we say, “such and such a person is my opponent and my enemy who would put me to trouble.” In this way, we fill our mind with hatred towards others. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavathi (as are the feelings, so is the result). Whatever type of feelings we have, we get the same type of result. We develop hatred towards even those who come to us with love. There is nothing great in doing good to those who help us. But Sai does good even to those who try to harm Him. You should also follow this principle and do good even to those who harm you. This is the quality of a true human being. You should develop this quality, considering everybody as divine. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in the form of a human being). God incarnates on earth in the form of a human being. See any picture of a divine incarnation. He is portrayed as a human being. See the picture of Rama and Sita. They are all in human form.
See Oneness of Atma in All
All human beings are the embodiments of the Atma. Physical forms and names may be different but the Atma in everyone is the same. Ekatma Sarva Bhutantaratma (one Atma dwells in all beings). This feeling of oneness should be developed in children from an early age. This principle of equality of mankind should be inculcated in students in their young age. You may think that it is difficult to observe this principle of oneness, but it is not so. There is nothing more blissful than this. Even when your opponent comes before you, you should offer salutations to him and greet him, “How are you, brother?” Then, he will also respond, “How are you, brother?” He will not be angry with you. Why? When you call him brother, he will also consider you as a brother. People will develop feelings of opposition or trust towards you, depending upon the type of language you use. Visualise the oneness of the Atma in everyone, though the body, mind, intellect and Chitta (mind-stuff) are different.
When you see oneness of the Atma in everyone, then you will experience that you yourself are also the embodiment of the same Atma. You will realise, “I am the Atma and all are my images.” When you look into the mirror, you see your own reflection in it. All the bodies are like the mirror. You should see your own image in all of them. Only then will you attain supreme peace. It cannot be attained merely by the performance of Japa, Tapa, (recitation and penance) Yoga and Yajna. People search for peace everywhere but they cannot find it anywhere. They see only pieces outside! If you want peace, you should look within. There only can you find peace. Everybody is endowed with peace. You can be called a true human being only when you develop inner vision. Animals and beasts do not have this inner vision. You are not an animal or a beast. You are a human being. Therefore, you should lead the life of a human being. If you lead your life like an animal, then how can you call yourself a human being? Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride and jealousy) are all animal qualities. A human being should not have all these bad qualities.
Do not hate anybody. I do not have even a trace of anger or hatred towards anybody. That is why everybody loves Me. There is only love in Me. Even if I go to a dense forest, all the people will follow Me there also. It is My love that attracts everybody towards Me. There are however some people who bear hatred even towards Me. But it is none of My fault. It is all their own imagination. I don’t have anger towards anyone. People wonder, how Swami is always peaceful although He meets so many people during the day! Peace is natural to Me. I am always cheerful. I never put on a ‘castor oil’ (melancholy) face. I always have a smiling face. I exhort all of you also to be cheerful always. Your happiness is My great joy. You should see the reflection of My happiness in you. It is not My fault if you develop hatred. What is the reason that I am the recipient of love of so many of you? Did I send any invitation to you to come? It is your love for Me that has brought you here. My love itself is the invitation. Even if you send invitation, will so many people come to you? Even when I pass through a locality, people come out of their shops and houses on their own. What is the reason for that? It is love only. Love is God, Live in Love. This is what you are supposed to learn. On this sacred day, I exhort you to develop love.
Unity of the World is Imminent
Very soon, the entire world will be united and Bharat will have a great name and fame. After 28 years from now, the entire world will become one. Everybody will feel proud to call himself a Bharatiya. Nobody will say, “I am from Karnataka”, “I am from Tamil Nadu”, “I am from Kerala”, etc. Wherever you go, you should say, “I have come from Bharat.” Karnataka and all other States are parts of Bharat. Without Bharat, how can there be Tamil Nadu or Karnataka? Limits have been created by politics and political parties. We do not belong to any party. We have only one party and that is love, love, love! (loud applause). Therefore, you should develop love. Then you will be respected wherever you may go. People will then give you whatever help you need and treat you like their brother or sister.
Love is always selfless. There should not be even an iota of selfishness in man. But sometimes he develops selfishness, anger, hatred, etc., on his own. They are not given by God. God has given only love to everyone in equal measure. Man may lack anything but love in him is eternal. Therefore, develop love. There is no power, courage or valour greater than love. When Sita was in confinement in Lanka, her love for Rama was her only strength. She was surrounded by demonesses with swords in their hands. But she was totally unperturbed because she constantly chanted ‘Rama, Rama’. Since she had the strength of Rama’s love due to her constant chanting, none could touch her even though she was there for ten months. Such unwavering love gives you everything. Therefore, you should develop such unflinching love. This is what we should propagate in the world. All should become embodiments of love. Pray for the welfare of all the worlds. Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the beings of all the worlds be happy!) Everybody should attain peace and happiness. This should be our only desire. I love all of you. I don’t have any ill-will against anybody. Sometimes, I may use strong words to correct some people, but there is nothing in My mind against anybody. Your life will be sanctified and blessed when you follow Swami’s ideal and love everyone. When you do so, your parents, brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, all will be happy.
Audio Source: Sri Sathya Sai Media Centre, Radio Sai Archives
Transcript Source: ‘Benedictory Addresses’ (Edition: May 2011), published by Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust, Publications Division