Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 29 (1996)
Earn the Wealth of Divine Grace

Editor’s note: This discourse does not appear in the Sathya Sai Speaks series. It was published in Sanathana Sarathi, October 2013.
Is it possible for anyone to say this is good and this is bad in this world?
Everything is created by God Himself.
Who can understand the mystery of God’s creation?
(Telugu poem)
Life itself has become an insurmountable problem. Why? Because people today want to follow an easy path in life. They fail to understand the problems they encounter on this easy path. The path may seem easy, but the problems that it presents are very difficult to overcome.
Everyone wants to take a shortcut. If someone has a headache, they want to take a pill that will immediately cure it. They want all their problems to be solved in this easy way. They even want to attain liberation in this easy way.
What exactly is an easy path? What is the meaning of solution of problems? What does shortcut mean? People do not understand the problems to be faced by adopting such means.
In this physical and mundane world, in this path of worldly activity (pravritti), people are unable to understand the meaning of even small words. Words may be small, but their meaning may be profound. Here is a small example.
We use the word nityam to mean every day. Though this small word is used in day-to-day conversation, it has got a profound meaning. Nityam means that which is true, eternal, and changeless in all three periods of time. Likewise, every word is endowed with a deep inner meaning.
Thoughts and counter thoughts are also responsible for one’s problems. The human mind is very peculiar. It is also very significant and mighty. Its functioning itself is a great wonder. It has no form of its own. It does mono acting and plays a dual role. At one moment, it gives happiness; at another, sorrow.
There is no place in this world where the mind cannot go. You find its impact wherever you look. With the power of its thoughts, it is present everywhere. The world is the creation of the mind (Manomoolam idam jagat).
The mind is responsible for all one’s happiness and sorrow, merit, and sin. That is why Vedanta declared, “The mind is the cause of bondage and liberation (Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo).” Once you understand the mystery of the mind, you will be free from all troubles. You think you get happiness or sorrow because of others. No. You yourself are responsible for your happiness as well as sorrow. Your thoughts are responsible for this. It is the duty of people to understand that their own minds are responsible for all their joys and sorrows.
Divinity is the hallmark of the human race
There are 84 lakh species in this world. These are of four types: andaja, pindaja, swedaja, and udbijja.
Those born from eggs are called andaja. Birds, ants, insects, and reptiles belong to this category. There are 21 lakh such species.
Those born from the mother’s womb, such as human beings and animals, are called pindaja. These also constitute 21 lakh species.
Those born out of sweat are called swedaja and those born out of earth are called udbijja. They also constitute 21 lakh species each.
Out of these 84 lakh species, the human being has the supreme position. That is why it is said: “Of all living beings, human birth is the rarest (Jantunam nara janma durlabham).” Why is this human birth so difficult to attain? Why is the human birth accorded such a high position among all the living beings? Is it due to its form, intelligence, beauty, wealth, or education?
No, none of these. These things are not difficult to attain. They can be acquired through practice. Even a monkey can be trained to ride on a bicycle, as you can see in circus. Even a wild beast like a tiger can be trained to sit on a chair with humility and obey the command of the ringmaster. Many such skills can be acquired through practice. People are no exception to this.
Then what quality makes the human so supreme? It is because only the human has the capacity to realise their true Self, follow their true nature, and experience bliss. Birds and animals can never realise their inherent divinity.
Food, sleep, fear, and procreation are common to mankind and animals.
Only humanity is endowed with wisdom. One bereft of wisdom is equivalent to an animal.
Ahara nidra bhaya maithunani samanyametat pasubir naranam.
Jnanam naranam adhikam visesham jnanena sunya pasubhissamana.
One who lacks wisdom and knowledge is no better than an animal. This is what distinguishes a human from birds and animals.
What is true knowledge? Is it physical, worldly, bookish, or scriptural knowledge? No, no. True knowledge is that which gives the experience of oneness. “Experience of non-dualism is wisdom (Advaita darshanam jnanam).” Today, one can acquire many types of knowledge in the fields of music, literature, dance, painting, sculpture, physics, chemistry, botany, etc. But all these correspond only to worldly and secular knowledge. This knowledge cannot lead you to self-realisation. It corresponds to the outward path (pravritti). Instead, you have to follow the inward path (nivritti).
On seeing your body, you identify yourself with the form. But you are not the body; you live in the body. You think you belong to the human race on the basis of your form.
What is the race of the skin? What is the race of blood? What is the race of bones and hair? What is the race of the five elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether - which constitute your body? They don’t belong to any particular race.
Then what is the hallmark of the human race? Divinity is its hallmark. Using the body as an instrument, you should realise the indweller and propagate this truth to the world. The body is the field (kshetra) and the indweller is the knower of field (kshetrajna).
You cannot identify yourself with the car just because you drive it. The car is different from the driver. The body is the car, and the Indweller is the driver. The Indweller is verily God Himself. You should make efforts to realise this divine principle.
The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the Indweller has neither birth nor death.
The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.
Truly speaking, the Indweller, who is in the form of Atma, is verily God Himself.
(Telugu poem)
Nobody can hide their sins from God
In this modern age, people give utmost importance to the body, ignoring the indweller. That is the reason for their sins, sufferings, troubles, and turmoil. If you want to lead a peaceful and truthful life, make efforts to realise the principle of indweller.
There is no other way to realise this except the path of love for God. This is a Upanishadic statement: “Listen, oh children of immortality! (Srunvantu viswe amrutasya putrah!)” You are the child of immortality. But you consider yourself a mere mortal, feeble and helpless. This is your weakness. You are far superior to even gods of heaven. The spring of divinity that emerges from your heart is superior to even ambrosia. Such is the sweetness, greatness, and power of your heart. But you are unable to realise this sacred divine power that is present in you.
You commit sins and mistakes, thinking that nobody knows what you are doing. What a great fool you are! Others may not be able to know, but can you conceal your sins and mistakes from God? Even if you hide yourself in a bathroom or cover yourself with a rug, you cannot hide anything from God. You may hide it from anyone, but not from God.
All your mistakes come back to you in the form of reaction, reflection, and resound. But you forget the mistakes you commit and blame others for your troubles and sufferings. Nobody can escape from the consequences of their actions.
Oh man, is it possible to escape the consequences of actions?
You may study the scriptures and worship your family deities,
You may go to a forest and perform intense penance,
But it is impossible to escape the consequences of your actions.
You will get only as much water as your vessel can hold,
No matter whether you dip it in a small lake or in a mighty ocean.
(Telugu Song)
However, it is possible to escape from the consequences of your actions by God’s grace. God’s grace can reduce mountains of sin to ashes in a moment. Make efforts to deserve such love and grace of God.
When you develop this divine relationship with God, you can get rid of any type of sins. This is the Kali Yuga (the age we are in). In this age, what you do with one hand will come back to you in the other hand. You don’t need to wait for another birth to get the result of what you do. The result is certain, but none can say how, in what form, and in what situation it will come.
You are bound to face the consequences of your actions wherever you may be,
In a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village, on the top of a mountain or in the middle of deep sea.
(Telugu Poem)
Use your present birth to enhance your merits
Nothing can help you escape from the consequences of your actions except divine grace and love. Therefore, make efforts to attain that love and grace of God. This is what you have to acquire. Otherwise, you will be caught up in this endless cycle of birth and death.
Money may come and go. Once the knowledge of Divinity comes, it will never go. You have to understand three things: That which once comes does not go, that which does not come back once it goes, and that which neither comes nor goes.
What doesn’t go once it comes? Wisdom (jnana). On the other hand, that which comes and goes is not wisdom. Similarly, that which never comes back once it goes is ignorance (a-jnana).
That which neither comes nor goes is Divinity. It is in your heart and stays there forever. Students must understand these three principles.
It is not proper to have devotion to God for some time and indifference later. That is not devotion (bhakti) at all. It is only ignorance arising out of ego. Ego is that which comes and goes.
Sinners do not care even for the Lord of Kailasa when they have plenty of wealth.
They look toward God only when they lose all their wealth.
(Telugu Poem)
Not money but virtue is the real wealth. Money keeps changing hands. Suppose your father sends you 500 rupees through money order. You are elated, thinking that this 500 rupee note is yours. Then this note laughs at you and says, “Oh madcap! I’m not going to stay with you permanently. In the evening when you go to a shop, I will go to some other person. I’ve seen many such faces like yours, and I’m going to see many more.” Can money remain in one place forever? No. It slips away like water under your feet. What is the real wealth? The real wealth is love, grace, and blessings of God. Once you acquire this wealth, it will never leave you. Therefore, strive to acquire this wealth.
You attained this noble opportunity of human birth as a result of merits earned in many previous lives. Make proper use of this wealth, which you earned from many past lives. Not only that, try to increase this wealth more and more.
You may say that you have a right to spend the 500 rupees your father gave you. But how long will it last? You will be left with nothing if you go on spending. Therefore, try to add to the money given to you by your father.
V edanta declares: “Once you exhaust your merits, you have to come back to the mortal world from heaven (Ksheene punye marthyalokam vishanti). Once your merit is exhausted, you lose your deservedness also.
Here is a small example. A man becomes an M.L.A. (Member of Legislative Assembly) and sits in the Assembly Hall when he wins the election. But for how long? For only five years. Once the term is over, he has to come out of it; he cannot remain a Member of the Assembly. Therefore, before his five-year term is over, he should make efforts to win the favour of people so that he gets re-elected.
Similarly, you have this sacred opportunity as a result of your past merits. In your present life also, develop sacred feelings so that you become more and more deserving of God’s grace. Then, the merits accrued in your present birth will get added to the merits of your past births and ensure the safety and security of your future.
Hence, it is necessary for you to lead the present life in a sacred manner. Strengthen and enhance the love and grace that you have already received. Only then can you maintain your deservedness forever.
You may acquire any number of degrees, undertake any type of jobs, and amass any amount of wealth, but none of them is permanent. Having been blessed with a human birth, your life will become worthwhile only when you earn a good name. If you go on committing and repeating mistakes, when will you correct yourself?
Once, a thief stole a lot of money. He was awarded three years imprisonment. After his term was over, the superintendent of jail said to him, “Tomorrow, your jail term will come to an end and we will release you. Pack up all your belongings and get ready.” The thief folded his hands and said, “Sir, let them stay, because I am coming back soon.” What does that mean? It means that he would commit a theft again and come back to jail. How can such a person be redeemed? Once a person commits a mistake and goes to jail, he should see to it that he does not go back to jail again.
When you ask a man why he takes medicine, he will say, “I take medicine to cure my disease.” But this is not the proper answer. You take medicine so that you don’t need to take it again. That is the correct answer.
People say they take medicine to cure their disease. The medicine may cure a particular disease, but later they may be afflicted with a new disease. Then they will have to take another type of medicine. You should ensure that you will not fall sick again.
What is this human birth for? Human birth is meant to ensure that you will not have rebirth. That is the correct answer.
Why do you write an examination? What is the point in writing the exam if you fail it again and again? You write the exam so that you don’t need to write it again. You should understand the real purpose of this life and act accordingly. But students do not enquire about these matters deeply.
Drink the nectar of divine love
Your life is, in fact, absolutely real (paramarthika). But you are leading an empirical (vyavaharika) life. The result is illusory (pratibhasika).
This can be illustrated with the example of ocean, waves, and foam. Waves keep arising in the ocean, one after the other. The saline taste that you find in the ocean is also present in the waves. The colour of the waves is also the same as that of the ocean. Similarly, foam is formed by waves. All the attributes of the ocean are also present in the waves and foam.
In the same way, the waves of the empirical (vyavaharika) arise from the ocean of absolute reality (paramarthika), and the foam of illusion (pratibhasika) arises from the waves of the empirical. Therefore, you should lead this empirical life with the feelings of absolute reality.
Human beings are the waves arising from the ocean of sat-chit-ananda. Therefore, you are the embodiment of sat, chit, and ananda. Sat means being and chit means awareness. The unity of these two results in bliss (ananda).
You desire happiness. In fact, Being and Awareness are present in you. This is very well illustrated by the name Baba. Baba has a double degree BA, BA. The first B and A stands for Being and Awareness, the second B and A stands for Bliss and Atma. Therefore, Baba is the embodiment of sat-chit-ananda.
In fact, every human being is endowed with these three principles of Being-AwarenessBliss.
You see some people dying before your eyes. You think that you may also meet the same fate one day or other. However, the fact is that your body may perish but you have no death. The Atma is true and eternal. It has no birth and death. Being the embodiment of Atma, you should strive to become eternal.
What does that mean? Does it mean that your body should remain forever? Your body may perish, but it should not be born again.
One who drinks the nectar of divine love will have no rebirth. You will have no birth again (Punar janma navidyate). This is what you should aspire for.
When you sow a grain of paddy in the soil, it will grow into a sapling. But if you remove the husk and sow it in the soil, it will not germinate. Body attachment is the husk. As long as you have the husk of body attachment,
you will be born again and again. “To be born again and again (Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam.” This is what Adi Sankara said:
Oh foolish man, chant the name Govinda; The rules of grammar will not come to your
rescue when the end approaches.
Bhaja govindam, bhaja govindam, Govindam bhaja moodha mathe, Samprapthe sannihithe kale,
Nahi nahi rakshati dukrun karane.
Oh dim-witted one! Oh doubting Thomas! You are unable to understand the reality. Chant the Name of the Lord. Drink the ambrosia of love, experience bliss, and share it with others. This is the main goal of human life.
What is the point in amassing wealth, building mansions, doing this and that? Ultimately, you have to leave this world empty-handed. You cannot take with you even a fistful of dust. There would have been a ration even on dust if it were possible to take it with you. After your death, your body will not be kept in the house built by you. Such is the fate of this body.
However, with the help of this body, you have to achieve the goal of this life. The body is mortal, Atma is immortal. Therefore, lead an immortal life.
What is immortal life? Immortal life is that which is the recipient of God’s love. You can achieve anything if you have God’s love.
Along with secular education and worldly knowledge, students should develop discrimination and try to understand the principle of the Atma. “Spiritual education is true education (Adhyatma vidya vidyanam).” All types of worldly education are like small rivers, which ultimately have to merge in the ocean of spiritual knowledge. “The ocean is the goal of the rivers (Nadinam sagaro gathi).” A river cannot have any other destination.
However, the river has to flow within the two banks. If there are no banks for the river, none can say how many houses and villages will be destroyed by it.
Human life is like a deep and fast flowing river. What is to be done for this river to merge in the ocean without causing harm to anyone? Make it flow within the two banks of faith.
“One with doubts will perish (Samsayatma vinasyati).” “One with steadfast faith attains wisdom (Sraddhavan labhate jnanam).” Be free from doubts. Do not give scope to doubts and become doubting Thomases. When you have steadfast faith and are devoid of doubts, the river of your life will directly flow toward the ocean of divine grace and merge in it.
Be cautious every moment of your life
Today, people are doing a number of spiritual practices like repetition of the Name, meditation, and listening to spiritual talks. But the river of their life is not flowing toward the ocean of divine grace. Why?
The reason is that they do all spiritual practices with worldly feelings. All their chanting is mechanical, like that of a tape recorder or a gramophone record. You may hear a sad song from the gramophone record. But does the gramophone cry when it is played? Likewise, all the spiritual exercises done today have become artificial and mechanical.
None can predict what is going to happen the next moment. Therefore, one has to be cautious every moment of one’s is life. “Beware, beware! (Thasmath jagrata jagrataha).” The Vice Chancellor in his speech spoke about Adi Sankara. Sankara was born in a small village by name Kaladi. Even when he became the head of the Mutt (Peethathipathi), Sankara never had any trace of ego, attachment, or jealousy. But such evil qualities can overpower any person any moment.
Therefore, he introduced a system in the Mutt. He appointed two watchmen and instructed them to keep moving from one end to the other in front of the Mutt with a stick in their hand. He told them to criss-cross each other once every two minutes, saying, “Be cautious, be cautious Thasmath jagrata agrataha).” When the third Sankaracharya became the head of the Mutt, one day he thought to himself, “Aha, I have so much land, and so many people are worshipping me.” He was overcome with a sense of pride and ego, but at that very moment, he heard the guards saying, “Be cautious, be cautious!” At once, he cautioned himself, “Don’t give room to ego, beware.” You should also be cautious every moment of your life against the evils of ego and pride. firmly tie the divine Form with the rope of His Name to the pole of your tongue. Then, God will be with you always.
Divine Names of Govinda, Damodara, and Madhava are sweet and nectarine. Who is Madhava? Ma stands for Maya, goddess Lakshmi, and mother earth. Dhava means master. Therefore, Madhava means the husband of goddess Lakshmi and master of Maya and mother earth. Such is the profound inner meaning of the word Madhava. When you hold on to Him firmly, you can achieve victory over the entire world.
Oh tongue, the knower of taste! You are very sacred.
Speak the truth in the most pleasing manner.
Chant the divine Names of Govinda, Madhava, and Damodara incessantly.
This is your foremost duty.
(Sanskrit verse)
The tongue is so selfless that when you place something very sweet and delicious on it, it at once sends it to the stomach with a view to give its essence to all the limbs of the body.
On the other hand, when you place something bitter on the tongue, it spits it out at once. Not only that, the tongue is endowed with a great sense of forbearance.
Forbearance is truth, forbearance is righteousness, forbearance is the teaching of the Vedas, forbearance is nonviolence, forbearance is sacrifice, forbearance confers happiness and heavenly bliss.
In fact, it is everything in all the worlds (Telugu poem)
Develop an intimate and inseparable relationship with God
The tongue is endowed with great forbearance. How? The soft tongue is enclosed between thirty-two sharp teeth, which can cut it if it does not move with care.
You should also conduct yourself like the tongue when you are surrounded by wicked people. This was the example set by Vibhishana, when he led his life amidst wicked demons (rakshasas).
Since the tongue is endowed with the quality of forbearance, it is never put to danger. The teeth will fall out in due course, but the tongue will be there always. Not only that, the tongue always maintains its dignity and honour. It does not move from one room to the other room like cats and rats. In times of happiness and danger, and under all circumstances, it always remains in its place and does not come out of it.
You yourself can observe that, whatever the words uttered, the tongue does not come out of the mouth. It always remains in its house and maintains its honour. That is why it is extolled as Jihve rasagne mhadhurapriyatvam ... “Oh tongue! Listen carefully, you are the knower of taste. You can talk so sweetly and softly. You are so very great. The virtues that you possess are not found in anyone else.” You should also win the Nobel Prize of divine love and grace by emulating the example of the tongue. Develop intimate and inseparable relationship with God In fact, become one with Him without giving scope to duality. When you experience unity in diversity, your life will become meaningful. This is the principle of non-duality (advaita) propounded by Adi Sankara. Do not give scope to dualism.
A man with a dual mind is half blind. Better to be totally blind than half blind. If you are half blind, you become like a crow. It has a very long beak, which obstructs its vision. Because of this, its right eye cannot see what is on the left and its left eye cannot see what is on the right. Hence, it cannot look straight and keeps moving its neck this side and that side. Fickleness is the quality of a crow. Do not give scope to such qualities of birds and animals.
Keep reminding yourself, “I am human, not an animal, not a bird.” Develop firm faith in your divine nature. Then you will be free from fickleness and all other animal qualities.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, “Madhura Madhura Murali Ghanashyama...”.)
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse