Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 29 (1996)
Develop Love for God and Sanctify Your Life

Editor’s note: This discourse does not appear in the Sathya Sai Speaks series. It appeared in Sanathana Sarathi, Feburary 2013.
One may be the master of all forms of knowledge,
One may vanquish one’s adversaries in debate,
One may fight with valour and courage in the battlefield,
One may be an emperor reigning over vast kingdoms,
One may offer cows and gold as an act of charity,
One may count the countless stars in the sky,
One may tell the names of different living creatures on the earth,
One may be an expert in eight forms of yoga,
One may reach even the moon,
But can anyone control the body, mind, and senses,
Turn the vision inward, and
Achieve the supreme state of equanimity of the mind?
(Telugu poem)
There is no knowledge in this world that Humanity has not acquired. Humanity today has mastered all types of knowledge, enjoys all types of comforts and conveniences, has the means to travel to any part of the world, and can understand the secrets of all the natural phenomena. But no one knows who they are.
What is the use of knowing anything when one does not know oneself? Having attained human birth and having acquired varioustypes of knowledge, one should first of all make efforts to know oneself. When one knows oneself, one will know everything else in the world in a moment. This is the main principle of non-dualism (advaita).
Aspects of the principle of nondualism
There are three aspects of the principle of non-dualism (advaita) in this world: padartha advaita, bhava advaita, and kriya advaita.
This is a handkerchief. What principle of nondualism is associated with it? The handkerchief is made up of threads, but the basis of the threads is cotton. In fact, cotton, threads, and cloth are one and the same. They are three different names and forms of the same thing. When you understand this, you will understand the underlying oneness of everything in this world, which is changeless in three periods of time. This is called padartha advaita.
What is bhava advaita? Thousands of people are sitting here. They have different names and forms. Though they appear to be different, I can prove that all of them are one. Their joys and sorrows may be different, their desires and attachments may be different, their names and forms may be different, their situation and circumstances may also be different, but the same five elements are present in all of them. This is the underlying principle of oneness of all human beings.
Even if one of the five elements is missing in a person, that person cannot exist. The five elements are common not only in human beings but also in all the living beings in the world.
What is kriya advaita? Every person in this world has some desires and aspirations, depending on their situation and circumstances. When desires are not fulfilled, it leads to disappointment. With limitless desires and meaningless anxiety, one craves all that is not possible and ultimately becomes a victim of disappointment and frustration.
Whatever work one may do, one should do it without any desire for the fruits thereof and offer it to God with the feeling: All actions are to please God (Sarva karma Bhagavad preetyartham). This is kriya advaita.
Only when one entertains a desire for the fruits of their actions may that desire turn into despair and that satisfaction turn into dissatisfaction. But when you do everything as an offering to God, there will be no scope for sorrow and misery.
Four tendencies of man
There are four types of tendencies in a human being: divine, human, demonic, and animal. Depending on the time, action, and reason and owing to the influence of place and circumstances, one of the four tendencies becomes predominant. Humans are classified as divine, human, demonic, and bestial on the basis of the predominance of one of these tendencies in them.
Who is divine among human beings? One who is always focused on Brahman is a divine person (Brahma nishta paro Deva). Devoid of ego and desires, that one is always in a state of bliss, entertains sacred feelings, and performs deeds that are beneficial to others. Since that one performs all actions to please God, all their good works become God’s works. That one has no thoughts other than those of God and no desire except to do everything to please God.
Such sacred qualities are the hallmark of a divine being. One thinks neither about themself nor about the world; one is always immersed in contemplation of God, who is true and eternal. One is human in form, but all one’s actions are divine.
Where do these sacred feelings come from? They come from the heart. Where does Divinity manifest from? It manifests from the pure heart of a human being.
A true human is one who follows the path of truth (sathya) and righteousness (dharma) (Sathya dharma rato martya), say the Vedas. With total faith in the principles of truth and dharma, that one performs righteous actions and acts of charity without ignoring any worldly or family duties. That one’s heart is filled with compassion and love. That one has total faith in God and has no fear.
Fear is an animal quality. One who causes fear is a beast. One who is fear-stricken is an animal. Having been born as humans, you should neither cause fear in others nor be fear-stricken yourself. In this way, lead your life in a sacred manner, always engaged in the service of society, earning a good name. Derive happiness from the practice of human values and share it with others.
The human values of truth, right conduct, peace, love, and nonviolence (sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, ahimsa) are interrelated and interdependent. Truth depends on righteousness, righteousness on peace, peace on love, and love on nonviolence. Even if you have one of the four values truth, righteousness, peace, and love, you will not indulge in acts of violence.
One who is addicted to intoxicating drinks is a demon (Madyapana rato rakshasa). Due to the influence of intoxicating drinks, one loses humanness and performs evil and demonic acts. Consumption of intoxicating drinks is one of the main causes for the rise of demonic tendencies in man.
A drunk person does not know what they say or do and whether they are doing good or bad. They lose discrimination and fail to recognise even their mother, spouse, or children. They also lose the discrimination to recognise what is merit and what is sin. In this manner, they forget their humanness and indulge in wicked acts, unmindful of their consequences. Such demonic tendency is present in every person.
One who is devoid of wisdom is verily an animal (Jnanena sunyaha pasubhir samana). Such a person has no sense of discrimination and no knowledge whatsoever. That person is interested only in enjoying worldly pleasures and spends all their time in food, fear, sleep, and procreation.
These are the qualities of an animal. Not only that, such a person is prepared to harm those who come in the way of their so-called enjoyment. Abusing and ridiculing others are also animal qualities.
Education is meant to develop righteousness
Every human being has animal, demonic, human, and divine tendencies in them. You acquire various types of knowledge, but you are unable to get rid of your animal and demonic tendencies. Many in this world are highly educated, but has anyone understood the significance of human birth?
Everyone is interested in power, position, and wealth, but no one enquires whether they are conducting themself like a human being. In fact, nobody questions how they should lead life as a human being.
People have human form, dress themselves like human beings, and exercise their authority, but they do not really know what humanness is.
Who is a true human being? A true human being is one who does not give room to the six evil qualities of desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and jealousy (kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya). What is the use of acquiring high education and accumulating wealth if one’s heart is filled with desire and hatred (raga and dwesha)? In fact, all that education is useless. An educated person should always follow the path of righteousness.
Students should pursue education that confers on them sacred qualities like
Good character, adherence to truth, devotion, discipline, and duty.
(Telugu Poem)
What are students learning today? Do they have discipline? If they have no discipline and devotion, what is the use? They should practise human values in all their endeavours. But they spend all their time pointing out the defects of others, criticising and ridiculing them.
What will be the fate of a person who always thinks of the defects of others? All the defects of others will enter that person’s heart and will be reflected in them. Therefore, do not look at the defects of others. If you find anyone on the wrong path, try to correct them. Why should you think of the defects of others if you think you are a good person?
People today have developed fault-finding natures; they always think of the defects of others and criticise, ridicule, and abuse them. These are not the qualities of an educated person; in fact, they are contrary to human nature. One who practises human values will never criticise or insult others. Criticising others is the quality of a selfish person.
Sanctify your human birth by serving others
As selfishness is on the rise today, people have become victims of attachment and hatred. Selfishness has no limits. One does not give up one’s selfishness and self-interest till the last breath.
How can such a person attain anything good in life? What have they attained as a human being? That person is a burden on earth and does not deserve the food they eat. Having been born as a human being, you should help your fellow beings.
Sage Vyasa gave the essence of eighteen Puranas in two sentences: “One attains merit by serving others. One commits sin by hurting others.” Therefore, Help Ever, Hurt Never.
But we hardly ever find someone helping their fellow human beings. Wherever we look, people are hurting others. From an illiterate to an educated person, from a pauper to a millionaire, everyone indulges in hurting others.
If a pauper hurts in a small way, a millionaire hurts in a big way. They have no inclination to help others. They are not prepared to perform righteous actions and acts of charity.
Then what is the purpose of being born as a human being? What is the point in amassing wealth? Education has no meaning if it is not utilised to help others.
People waste a lot of time and energy in accumulating wealth, but are they able to carry anything with them when they ultimately leave this world? They are not able to take even a naya paisa with them, not even a fistful of sand. This is the lesson to be learnt from the life of Emperor Alexander.
You all know the story of Alexander, who set out from his country to conquer the entire world. He came to India, after crossing the Indus river. On his return from India, he became very sick. He had many doctors, but none could cure him. They told him that he was about to leave his mortal coil in a short while.
But Alexander had no fear. In fact, he also told others not to worry. He was prepared for his end.
The body, which is made up of five elements, is weak and is bound to disintegrate.
Though hundred years of life-span is prescribed, one cannot take it for granted.
One may leave one’s mortal coil at any time, be it in childhood, youth, or old age.
Death is certain.
Hence, before the body perishes, make efforts to know your true nature.
(Telugu Poem)
Thousands of soldiers were under his command, but none could save him from death. Alexander told his ministers and army commanders to wrap his body in a white cloth after his death, keeping both his hands out, and take his funeral procession in the streets of his native town. When the people in the street enquired why the hands of the emperor had been kept out of the hearse, they should tell them that though the emperor had carved out a huge empire, had a big army, and had a number of doctors, nothing could save him from death, and he was departing from the world empty-handed.
Cultivate noble thoughts
Everybody has to go empty-handed from this world. You will not be able to carry your bank balance or even a small piece of paper with you. Can you leave behind the address of your destination when you leave this world? You do not bring with you even a small piece of cloth at the time of your birth, nor can you give your address at the time of death. Why were you born? Where are you going?
Your conscience is the witness of all your good or bad deeds and reveals to you whether you are going to heaven or hell. Both heaven and hell are the results of your actions, and your actions depend upon your thoughts. Therefore, first of all, cultivate noble thoughts. Develop the spirit of sacrifice and human qualities and earn a good reputation in society. Do not get a bad name as a sinner. Do only good. That is the only thing that will go with you.
All your friends and relatives can follow you only up to the place of cremation. When a millionaire dies, hundreds of cars will follow him up to the cremation ground. But what will all the people do after going there? They will all return home empty-handed.
Only the Name of God will save you from bondage and be with you always. God will always be with you, in you, around you, above you and below you, always looking after you. Ignoring the Divine Name, one makes one’s life miserable by craving ephemeral and transient worldly objects.
Howsoever highly educated one may be, one is unable to realise the truth of one’s Self. What is the reason? The reason is attachment. Man should develop detachment to realise their true nature.
What does attachment mean? When you insert the key into a lock and turn it to the right, it opens. If you turn the key to the left, it closes. It is the same lock and the same key; the difference lies only in the direction of turning.
Your heart is the lock and your mind is the key. When you turn your mind toward God, you get detachment, which leads to liberation. When you turn it toward the world, you develop attachment, which results in bondage and misery.
You may have money and all comforts, yet you will be always restless. You will be drowned in misery day and night. What is the way to attain peace of mind? The only way is to develop the spirit of sacrifice as propounded in the Vedas: Immortality is not attained through action, progeny, or wealth; it is attained only by sacrifice (Na karmana na prajaya dhanena thyagenaike amrutatthwamanasu).
Perform good actions and spend your money on noble causes. Help the villagers who are leading a hard life. Provide education, health care, and water to the needy people in villages.
Education is for the head, healthcare is for the heart, and water is for the sustenance of the body. Health is very important for the body; it is not meant to lead a life of ease and enjoyment. Health is need in order to perform selfless service. In fact, it is very necessary to keep your body healthy so that you can serve society. What is the use of their good health if people do not perform any selfless service? They are like living corpses.
Why has God provided a head for a human being? Is it to think ill of others, abuse them, and criticise them? No, it has been provided to think of God.
You should understand the intimate relationship between food, head, and God. What is food required for? It is not merely for your physical health; it is for developing virtues. Why is it necessary to develop virtues? It is necessary to develop virtues to take part in service of society, help others, and earn a good name.
Therefore, look after the welfare of society and strengthen its unity. This is the purpose of your birth. You are born and brought up in society. There can be no greater betrayal and ingratitude than not thinking of the welfare of society.
Having been born in society, you should serve society. Your well-being is linked to the wellbeing of society. Otherwise, how can you be happy? Thus, it is essential for everybody to work for the welfare of society and look after its well-being. Only then is your own wellbeing assured.
Develop love for God
Embodiments of Love!
What does a person require to serve society? Only love. There is nothing greater than love. When you have love, you can have everything.
What is the use of reading a number of books if you do not have love? Mere acquisition of bookish knowledge will change your head (mastaka) into a book (pustaka). What is the use of bookish knowledge that is not translated into practical knowledge? A man without practical knowledge is totally useless to society. Therefore, do not go on reading books endlessly. You will only spoil your head in the process.
Put into practice at least one principle of truth that you have learnt. What you require today is practical, not bookish knowledge. Put your knowledge into practice, experience happiness, and share it with others.
Do not be worried about your own life. Be prepared to sacrifice even your life for a noble cause. Having attained this human birth, it is enough if you earn a good name.
Charity is the true ornament of the hand, Truth is the true necklace, and
Listening to the sacred texts is the true ornament of the ears.)
Hastasya bhushanam danam Sathyam kanthasya bhushanam Srotrasya bhushanam sastram.
(Sanskrit Verse)
Why do you require any other ornaments? If you wear diamond necklaces and diamond earrings, you will be afraid of thieves. These are not your real ornaments. The real ornament is love for God. Therefore, develop love for God and sanctify your life.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, “Prema Mudita Manase Kaho...”.)
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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