Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 16 (1983)
Build temple in your hearts

YOU have built this mandir (temple). This does not satisfy Me. Only the temples erected in your hearts are permanent. The sums spent on the construction of temples could be spent more usefully on service to the poor and the needy. Almost every activity of man is motivated by swartham (self-interest). This concern for self-interest is opposed to the divinity that is immanent in man. Without realising this Divinity, how can man achieve peace internally or in the world outside?
The individual, society and the world - all the three are inextricably inter-connected. The individual's welfare is dependent on the state of the nation. Everyone should strive to develop his spiritual qualities and utilise them for promoting the interests of the community and the country. Service to society should become the constant concern of the individual. There is no greater quality in man than selfless love, which expresses itself in service to others. Such love can be the source of real bliss. The relationship between karma and karmayoga should be properly understood. Ordinary karma (action) done with attachment or desires causes bondage. But desireless, selfless action becomes karmayoga. Our life should become a yoga (Divine Communion) rather than a 'roga' (disease). Today most of our actions result in 'roga' because they are related to sensuous pleasures. Freedom from this disease can be obtained by pursuing the spiritual path. The spiritual path does not consist merely in singing bhajans (devotional songs) or reciting hymns. These are good deeds. Only actions performed as a complete offering to the Divine can be regarded as spiritual. The man who is in a state of ignorance about the Self is like the bud of a flower that has not yet blossomed. When the flower blossoms, it sheds its fragrance all round. Likewise, the man who has realised the Divinity within him becomes a source of light and strength.
Temples are useful only as reminders
Why should you build temples? The ideal is to make your hearts the temples for the Divine to dwell. But this is not possible for everybody. Temples in stone are reminders of the existence of God. When you see a lawyer you are reminded of your legal troubles. When you see a doctor you think of your illness. Likewise, when you see a temple, you are reminded of God. Temples are useful only as reminders. But true worship consists in heartfelt devotion to the God within each one. Purifying this temple of your heart, you must dedicate your life to service. It is such dedicated service, done in the spirit of sadhana, which distinguishes the Sathya Sai Organisations from other spiritual organisations. Innumerable Sai devotees - men and women, young and old - are rendering service in various forms out of their love of Sai. People talk about Swami's vibhuthi (sacred ash) and Swami's miracles. But the real miracle is Swami's boundless love. It is this love which is inspiring countless devotees to engage themselves in selfless service.
Ups and downs of life have lessons to teach us
There is nothing greater than this love. You have all been drawn to Me by this love. To give love and to receive love. This is My business. No income-tax officer can know the extent of the "income" derived from this "business". There is no limit to My Ananda (Divine Bliss). I am always immersed in bliss. This is because My bliss is associated with love and not with any material objects. If you follow this path, you will also derive this ineffable anandha. You will realise peace of every kind.
Look with an equal mind on good fortune and misfortune, on happiness and sorrow, loss and gain. These are products of nature like heat and cold, summer and winter. They have their purposes to serve. Similarly the ups and downs of life have lessons to teach us. In fact, without reverses in life, we shall not be able to experience Divinity. Without darkness, we cannot value light. Without experiencing difficulties, we will not enjoy benefits. It is the lack of peace of mind which compels us to seek the means to realise enduring peace. The Upanishads have declared that through renunciation alone is immortality to be attained. Men should learn to practise renunciation so that they may discover the secret of enduring peace and bliss.
The significance of yajna, dhama and thapas (sacrifice, self-control and penance), of sahana, sadhana, samyama (forbearance, spiritual discipline and restraint), of the great Mahavakyas (Vedic dicta) enshrined in the Vedas, of the three Yogas - bhakthi, karma and jnana - as elaborated in the Geetha, of the Dhaivi and Asuri (godly and demonic) natures - all these and many more of the fundamentals of Indian culture have to be taught to the children in schools and colleges.
They must be encouraged to practise them, for their own as well as for the country’s good.

– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse