3. Believe In Yourself
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 2 (1961 - 62)
Believe In Yourself
I HAVE been seeing your devotion and enthusiasm ever since I entered your town this morning. During the procession through the streets, I could see the ardour of your devotion. Even now, I feel that I could give you joy by merely sitting here and giving darshan (audience), for I can listen to your silent prayers and you can sense My Love (Prema). That is enough. That gives Bliss (Anandam). You are born, you grow, you live, and you merge, all in Bliss; that is the Truth, though very few know it. That is why I reminded you of it by addressing you as Embodiments of Bliss (Ananda-swarupulara). Your natural state is bliss, however much you might have ignored it. Bharath (India) has proclaimed this for ages; the Vedas declare it; the spiritual texts (sastras) elaborate it; the Gita and other sacred texts describe how to experience this truth. Develop faith in the Atma and in the spiritual texts - they are the two eyes that will help you to gain the Vision. Do not let this chance go to waste by clamouring for sitting space, causing confusion, and disturbing those who are engaged in listening. This is tragic: when good things are spoken, you find it difficult to pay attention, but when demeaning, distracting things are spoken, the ears are on the alert. Well, listen quietly now and maintain this calm.
Plant the seedling of devotion in the mind
Be the master of your behaviour; do not be led away by the impulse of the moment; be conscious always of what is good for you. Carry on your daily tasks so that you do not make others suffer or suffer yourself. That is the sign of intelligent living. Do not give way to fits of anger or grief or elation or despair. The confusion you exhibited now was the result of dark and dull (thamasic) and emotional (rajasic) qualities. Be calm and unruffled and collected (sathwic). The more you develop charity for all beings, contrition at your own faults, fear of wrong, and fear of God - the more firmly established you are in peace. The very name Bharath is derived from the two words Bhagavan and rathi - attachment to God. That is why India has the role of the “Teacher of the World”. She is also known as the “heart” of humanity and revered as such by seekers. But how can those who are starving feed others? It is your duty to sow and grow and store and feed the world this great spiritual sustenance laid down in the Vedas and the spiritual texts (sastras). In this spiritual sphere of mental peace and inner joy, the responsibility for success or failure is entirely one’s own. You have no right to shift it on to others. The fire will go out if the fuel is over, so stop feeding it with fuel. Do not add fuel to the fire of the senses. Detach the mind from the temporary and attach it to the eternal. The negative and positive powers (sakthis) both together will give the Light. Plant the seedling of devotion, namely, the preliminary exercise of remembering the Lord’s name (namasmarana), in the mind. That will grow into a tree with the branches of virtue, service, sacrifice, love, equanimity, fortitude, and courage. You swallow food, but you are not aware how that food is transformed into energy, intelligence, emotion, and health. In the same way, just swallow this food for the spirit, this remembrance of the Lord’s name, and watch how it gets transmuted into virtue and the rest without your being aware of it.
The real test of theism
Ravana discovered that Rama and kama (desire) cannot coexist in the mind. Develop steadiness in the recita tion of the Name of God and in the worth of that Name. Then, even if the whole world says, “Do evil,” you will refuse to obey; your system itself will revolt against it. And even if the whole world asks you to desist, you will insist on doing right. You have to cultivate four types of strength: of body, intellect, wisdom, and conduct. Then you become unshakable, and you are on the path of spiritual victory. Once a person came to Me and argued that there was no God and he was not prepared to believe in one. Well. I replied, “Have you faith at least in yourself? Which is your self? Your self is God. You have faith in your judgement, your intelligence, and your ability because God within you tells you not to falter or fear. That assurance wells from within, from your basic truth, which is otherwise called God. It does not matter if you do not call it God; it is enough if you believe in Yourself; that is the real test of theism.” I say the same thing to you also. The body is the temple of God; God is installed in every body, whether the owner of the body recognises it or not. It is God that inspires you to good acts, that warns you against the bad. Listen to that Voice. Obey that Voice and you will not come to any harm. A lady wept that her necklace was lost or stolen; she searched everywhere and became inconsolably sad. Then, when she passed a mirror, she found the lost necklace around her neck. It was there all the time. Similarly, God is there, as the Inner Dweller, whether you know it or not.
Two ways of remembering the Lord’s Name
Love is of three kinds: self-centred, which, like a bulb, illumines just a small room; mutual, which, like the moonlight, spreads wider but is not clearer; and other-centred, which, like the sunlight, is all pervasive and clear. Cultivate the third type of love; that will save you. All the service that you do to others through that love is in fact service done to yourself. It is not others that you help, it is yourself that is helped, remember. You might have heard Me speak about repetition of the Lord’s Name and its fruits, how it slowly changes character and modifies conduct and mellows you and takes you nearer the Goal. Well, there are two ways of doing this: either with rosary beads (japamala), turning the beads automatically around, just as mechanically and as punctually and as carefully as any other routine act of daily life, or, as it ought to be done, repeating the Name, irrespective of the target number, dwelling deep on the Form it represents and on the divine attributes connoted by it, tasting It, reveling in It, enjoying the contexts and associations of the Name, relishing Its sweetness, lost in Its Music. Of course, you will hanker after the taste of the Name only when you are gnawed by the pangs of hunger. When you suffer from constipation as a consequence of over-indulgence in worldly affairs, you cannot relish the Name or the Form. The mind is the mischief-maker. It jumps from doubt to doubt; it puts obstacles in the way. It weaves a net and gets entangled in it. It is ever discontented. It runs after a hundred things and away from another hundred. It is like a driver who drives the car with the master in it, wherever his fancy takes him. So take up the task of training it into an obedient servant; it is educable, if only you know how to do it. Place before it more tasty things and it will hanker only for those. Once it realises the value of repetition of the Lord’s Name, it will adhere to that method of getting peace and joy. So start it now. That is My Command to you today.
A bar of iron sinks in water, but beat it into a hollow vessel and it will easily float and even carry some weight of things. So too, the mind, as it is, sinks easily in the sea of life, but beat it hollow, hammering it with the Name of the Lord, and it floats, unaffected by worry and sorrow; it can even help some others to see Light!
– Sathya Sai Baba