Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 10 (1970)
The crucial years

THE Vedhic Manthra with which the offering is given to the Gods is: Thryambakam yajamahe, sugandhim pushti vardhanam - "I propitiate the three-eyed One, the flagrant, the promoter of strength and sweetness, of light and happiness." The three eyes signify many things, which constitute the Divine: the Sun, Moon, Fire which symbolise heat and light; the Gross, Subtle and Causal, which symbolise the embodiments of the manifold manifestations of the One; Will, Work and Wisdom, which symbolise the operational channels of the One Sovereign Power; Doer, Deed, Duty symbolising the sense of I which is the shadow of the One in the many. The mind is just a pattern of desires, a composite of the warp and woof of plans and resolutions. It has immense potentiality to create manifold images, and so is also called imagination, Imagination hides the Truth. It fogs the intellect, perverts the vision, deviates the straight path of the aspirant. Desire creates a mirage where there was none before. Desire imposes beauty where there was none before; it clothes things with desirability. To escape from the clutches of desire, which gives birth to the brood of anger, hatred, malice, greed, envy, faction, falsehood, etc., one has to cleanse his consciousness by prayer and sath karma (good activity, selfless, desireless activity). Seva is the best sadhana for eliminating the nefarious pull of the mind towards desires.
Take up the attitude of servant with God as Master
Rama asked Anjaneya (Hanuman) how he was related to Him. Hanuman replied, "When I feel I am this body, I am related to you as a Servant to his Master; when I feel I am the individualised soul, Jeevatma, I am related to you as the reflection in the mirror is to the Original that is before it. When I know that I am the Universal Soul, and that all other appearances are futile fancy, I am related to you, no, I am You, You are I." So long as you are bound to the superstition that you are the Body, with the Name given to it as your name and the Form in which it appears to others as your Form, you must take up the attitude of Servant, with God as Master, with all others as Master, and wipe out the ego, by constant denial of its demands. That is the reason why I called together the All India Conference of Sathya Sai Seva Dhals, so that they may know from Me the basic principle of Service. When a rich man employs an attendant on Rs. 30 a month, he accepts the attention and the other offers the attention, with the recompense always in view; there can be no Sevak-Sevya (servantserved) bond between them. It is a cash nexus that binds them. But when there is no compulsion on the side and no compensation required on the other, then, it is really Seva. Feel that every one is Thryambakam, with the Paramatman in them, as them, immanent in the three worlds, transcendent above the three Gunas (balanced, active and dull) and offer what service you can with no thought of the reward - that is real Seva. This is the secret of Karmayoga, as defined in the Geetha, which Nakul Sen explained so clearly to you now. Various service activities were mentioned here, as part of Seva Dhal programmes - friendly visits to hospital wards, Bhajans in Jails and Reformatories and Remand Homes, helping the poor among arrivals at Bus Termini and Railway Stations, etc. All these are good acts, no doubt; but whatever is done, however useful or demonstrative, it is the spirit behind the service that matters.
It is your nature to give and forgive
Treat the person served as your own brother or sister, as children of Bharathamatha, who is your own mother. Your sisters and brothers have different bodies, separate from yours, like these others, haven't they? But, yet, you feel a special attachment to them. Why? It is the consequence of Love. Have the same Love to these others, too. You love Me and adore Me, don't you? Well; see Me in all beings, for I am there, in all beings. Like the current that illumines every bulb, however weak or strong, your God is in every living being. Win Grace by worshipping Me who is moving in and through them. You need not be wearing the uniform or parading the badge; he need not wear the uniform of supplication, or parade the badge of pain. Sit by him, as you will sit with your brother. Hold the patient by the hand, look into his eyes with compassion, fill his palms with prasadham, inquire how you can help him and let tears of gratitude flow from his freshened eyes. That is the reward which must sustain you. Even if there is no expression of thanks, even if you are received with cold silence or shrug of dislike, carry on, for it is your nature to be giving and forgiving. If you have a silver image of Ganapathi and you desire instead an image of Krishna, it is foolish to cover the image with a piece of cloth and pray that it might get transformed into Krishna! You have to break it into pieces, melt the silver and pour it into a new mould, the mould of Krishna. So too, if you seek to transform yourself into Madhava, you have to pour the mind melted in the fire of Jnana (spiritual wisdom); the mind can be melted only after it has been hewn into pieces by means of various acts like seva, sankeerthan, japa, dhyana (service, singing, chanting and meditating), all sharp with the edge of renunciation.
Love is born in the womb of Seva
Human lives are now passing on and on, filth over filth, bent, broken, diseased, distressed, disheartened. To ennoble these lives and to make the human heritage worth while, I have come. I am evincing all this enthusiasm to teach you the proper attitude to Seva, for, Love expresses itself as Seva; Love grows through Seva; Love is born in the womb of Sew. And God is Love. The Avathar (Divine incarnation) is a Child to the children, a Boy to the boys, a Man among men, a Woman among women, so that the Avathar's message might reach each heart and receive enthusiastic response, as Anandha (bliss). It is the compassion of the Avathar that prompts His every activity.
Birds, beasts and trees have not deviated from their Nature; they are still holding it valid. Man alone has disfigured it, in his crude attempt to improve upon it. So, the Avathar has to come as man among men, and move as friend, well-wisher, kinsman, guide, teacher, healer and participant among men. He has come to restore Dharma, and so when man follows Dharma, He is pleased and content. Act so that your career as a man is not degraded, desecrated. With hands on chest, assert, "I am man; I am human; I am saturated with shining humanity, humanness." God does not draw you near or keep you far, you near Him or keep away from Him. God has no likes or dislikes. You live according to the highest demands of your nature and you are near Him.
Make every work as Divine worship
Learn lessons from the Sun, Moon, the clouds, the sea - all are teachers of the prime importance of discharging one's duty, without complaint. Trees distribute their fruits and their shade to every one, even those who lay the axe with intention to destroy them! Mountains suffer heat, rain and storm without demur, and are plunged in meditation for ages. Birds do not hoard for years together the wherewithal for food or shelter; they do not lament for they do not lavish affection on their progeny, more than absolutely necessary for their survival. Nature (Prakrithi) is your school, your laboratory, the gateway to liberation, and the panorama of God's manifold majesty. Seek to know the lessons it is ready to teach; all things in Nature are as Brahman as you are. So, any act is Divine; any work is Divine worship; build the mansion of your life on the strong foundation of the faith that all this is Brahman. Monks, Sanyasins, Heads of Mutts and Monastic Organisations preach in an atmosphere surcharged with pomp, pedantry and publicity, "the Vedas insist on the dissolution of the ego, the Quoran insists on surrender, the Bible emphasises humility and charity;" but, they wallow in the low desires for pelf, power, name and fame. They aspire for transient trinkets, tawdry fame, and cheap tinsel glories. What they have to teach is simply this: When you feel you are a Jeeva (individual being), you are separated from God; when you feel you are Dheva (Divine), you are one with Him. Seeing the rope as a snake makes you shiver; seeing it as the rope you lose fear and start playing with it; it is yours, for the grasping! The snake did not arrive or depart; the rope did not arrive or depart. Light appeared and darkness disappeared. Ignorance fled, knowledge dawned - all in a trice.
Krishna's delay in responding to Dhroupadhi's call
Call on Him who is Light; ignorance and fear, its consequences, disappear! Dhroupadhi had been gambled away by the eldest of her consorts, the renowned Dharmaraja, Master of Righteousness. Taking mean advantage of her serfdom, the villainous cousins, Dhuryodhana and Dhussasana, drew her by the hair into the Dhurbar Hall and dared lay their demonic hands on her sari threatening to render her nude, before the vast gathering of courtiers. Her lords were present there, witness to this atrocious infamy. In her agony, she did not call upon any of them, though each of them was superior in heroism and valour to the entire gang of vice, arrayed against her! She did not rely for her rescue on the heavenly weapons that Arjuna had won from the Gods; nor, on the mighty mace of Bheema which could shatter the armoured chests of the toughest warriors. She relied on God, not man; she knew that all the five brothers, for all their vaunted heroism, were but men. Voluble as women are, especially when in distress, she called upon Krishna using a string of appellations, like Dhwarakavasa, Gokulavasa, Gopeevallabha, Apadbandhava. When at last Krishna granted her His Vision, He had to say that some delay was caused, since she did not call Him from her own heart where He was all the time! She said He was the Resident of Dhwaraka(!) and so, He had to go thither and come hither, as fast as He could!
Be true to your own Truth
Do not imagine that God is residing in Kashi or Rameshwaram or Puttaparthi. Know that He is in your own heart; evoke Him from there, invoke Him there, and He grants you the Vision, immediately. I am in your heart and so, your tricks cannot mislead the God you are. You are Sathya-swaruupa - the embodiments of Truth. That is why I do not address you as, 'O ye Disciples!' 'O ye Devotees!' That will be crediting you with a status you do not have. I call you as Atmaswaruupulara (O ye Embodiments of the Atma), which is a correct statement of fact. No experiment can prove this untrue. You must also be made aware of this. You are not Yelliah, Malliah or Pulliah; you are the immortal eternal ever-pure Atma! Gandhi, replied, when Karunyanandha asked for his blessings, "My blessings will not help you at all; win the blessings of the Truth that is your very core! That alone will stand by you, in times of need!" You are Sathya Swaruupa (embodiments of Truth); be true to your own Truth. The Prasanthi Vidhwanmahasabha is propagating the tonic teachings of the Vedas and Upanishadhs; many hear but few nurture and nourish. There are some who come to Me and ask for Upadesha (instruction), some Manthra which they can repeat and through the vibrations the manthra produces, they hope to break the shackles that seemingly bind them! They tell Me they have read the Geetha scores of times, with all its commentaries; they can repeat the shlokas, all the 700, upside down, and interpret them, in any of the three ways - Dualistic, Qualified, Monistic. I tell them, "If you have not developed faith in the words of God that you have read, recited, learnt by rote and revered for years, how are you confident you will use my Upadhesh with confidence that it will save you! I have neither Swadhesh, Desh or Upadhesh - this or that type of instruction!
The best Guru is the Divine in you
The secret of liberation lies, not in the mystic formula that is whispered in the ear and rotated on the rosary, it lies in the stepping out into action, the walking forward in practice, the pious pilgrim route and the triumphant reaching of the Goal. The best Guru is the Divine in you; yearn for hearing His Voice, His Upadhesh. If you seek worldly Gurus, you will have to run from one to another, like a rat caught inside a drum, which flees to the right when the drummer beats on the left and to the left when he beats the right! Be aware of God and His overpowering Love, whatever you do or say. That is the best advice I can give to the members of the Seva Dhal. The young persons of this ancient land blindly pursue the ideals and fashions of other lands, which have no depth of culture, who are amateurs in the art of successful living. Their dress, talk, behaviour, conduct and attitude appear outlandish, strange and absurd, in the background of the culture of Bharath. They cause grief and pain to those who know the worth of the ways they desert. Love of country or culture springs from the love of parents; it is the love you bear them, their language, their religion, their modes that later blossom into love of the family, the community, the village, the religion, the language, and the soil of the entire country Which sustains all these.
Keep away from bad company and pray to God
The age period, from 16 to 30 years, is a crucial stage, when man achieves best and struggles hardest to achieve. Once frittered, these years of life can never be regained) Take no devious path, but move in the footsteps of God and the godly during this period of your life. The body is but a lump of clay we carry about with us, between birth and death. We were Atma before birth and we shall be Atma again, after this sojourn on earth. Devote the body while you have it, with all its furnishings of intellect and imagination, skill and knowledge, for the purposes I indicate and win Grace.
When you get, in spite of best efforts, ugly, harmful ideas of hatred or anger, or animalism, you must infer that they are due to faults in food habits, or in the company you keep, either with friends or books or films or other forms of entertainment. Keep away from such and pray to God, your guardian to save you from the fall, towards which you are heading. Ideas of suicide, let me tell you, are born out of the most despicable form of cowardice. Do not allow them to affect you; be bold, so bold that you are determined to brave out any calamity that may assail you. When you have God installed in your heart, who can lead you to destruction? When you are agitated by anger or hatred or agony, drink cold water; lie down quietly; sing a few Bhajan songs. Or, walk some long distance alone, pretty fast, so that pestering thoughts are driven into silence and the solitude; blood circulates faster and movement dulls the sharpness of the thought. You may be worried, because you have promised Me something and later, you are tempted to break your word. Now, do not hesitate. When you promise that you will not smoke, or will not attend films, the promise must be clear, firm and complete. I do not gain by your promise nor do I lose, if you break it. You gain self-confidence, you gain strength, you gain moral fibre, you gain Anandha. Yes; your Anandha is My Food. So, I gain, too!
Wisdom wipes out all differences
The snows on the mountain peaks soften during day, as a result of the Sun; they harden during the night, since the Sun is absent. So too, your hard heart hardens Me; your soft hearts soften Me. Understand this: Each of you knows the Love of a single mother only. But My affection, My Love towards every one of you is that of a thousand Mothers! Do not deny yourself that affection, that Love, by denying Me your Love! The need to surrender was mentioned by some one. Who offers? Who receives? You are yourself God, to whom then are you offering? Yet, you use the word, Arpana, Atmarpitham (Offering of oneself). The problem is epochal; the solution is dismissed by the use of a word! When you discover that you are God, there is no Arpana, no Atmarpitham. Wisdom wipes out all; God alone remains.
Once there was a long fight between Wealth (Dhana) and Wisdom (Jnana), to decide who was more praiseworthy. Wealth said that it is wanted if you must travel from your place to Puttaparthi, for example; it is essential to spend some money for attending a cinema; for having a meal. The world cannot spin even a second, without the spin of a coin! Wisdom said, no one can distinguish between a tenner or a single rupee note, unless he has intelligence; no one can discriminate between ruinous ways of spending money, or beneficial ways. Like the two cats that chose a monkey to arbitrate, they approached a Guru and laid before him their problem. The Guru said, both are good, equally good, provided each is used for a good purpose. It is the use that decides the good and bad of the two. Being a man, is itself the great wealth you have. Use it to the best advantage. Have wisdom enough to recognise, not only that you are a man, but also that you are no longer an animal, a beast or brute. That makes Wisdom complete; or else, it is only partial.
It is imperative to have strict discipline
A word about the Rules and Restrictions for Seva Dhals. You must implicitly follow the directions of the State President and the District President, who nominate the Convenors. When you are tempted to question them, remind yourself that their words have come through the Grace and Blessings of Bhagavan, who has nominated them. Be polite, humble and sweet in your responses to the commands you receive. It is imperative to have strict discipline; no exception or concession can be tolerated, One word, one road - that should be the motto. In some Sanghs and Samithis (societies and organisations), as a result of the ambition of one individual or the greed of one group, factions have sprouted and the spiritual atmosphere has been fouled. The infection of politics has infiltrated into these Organisations. This is because some people have started the Samithis for their own aggrandizement. These will soon be eliminated, do not worry.
You must carry on your service, regardless of what the elders are doing to earn name or fame. Serve, because you must, because your inner impulse asks you to do it, because you get Anandha out of it. When you find that a patient can be cured by a drug that he is too poor to purchase, if the Doctor says that it is urgent and essential to save his life, do not hesitate to borrow or lend the money. Ask a member of the Samithi, or any one else; for, the life is more precious. Service at the time when it is most needed is most beneficial. Try to get milk powder and supply milk and fruits to the poor who are suffering neglect in hospitals. God likes to be worshipped with the flower of Compassion. Scatter the seeds of Love in dreary desert hearts; then, sprouts of Love will make the wastes green with joy, blossoms of Love will make the air flagrant, .rivers of Love will murmur along the valleys and every bird, beast and child will sing the song of Love. Now, we have Seva Dhals only in some villages and towns. We must have them in all villages and all towns, so that the service of man by man can lead to the discovery by man of the God that is his reality.
You have come from God;
you are a spark of His Glory;
you are a wave of that Ocean of bliss;
you will get peace only when you again merge in Him.
Like a child who has lost his way,
you can have joy
only when you rejoin your mother.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse