10. Fill your hearts with love of God
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 28 (1995)
Fill your hearts with love of God
HUMAN life is extremely precious. There are five sheaths in the human body. Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandhamaya Koshas. Of these five sheaths (the food, the vital, the mental, the integral awareness and bliss sheaths), man has in a large measure the Vijnanamaya Kosha (integral awareness) This Vijnana (Awareness) is not present in other beings. For this reason man is regarded as supreme among all living beings. He has qualities and capacities not present in other creatures. Hence human birth is considered exceptional. Moreover, man alone has the capacity to recognise the past, the present and future and to take note of .changes occurring over time. There is one common quality present in all living beings: Moha (attachment). This quality is present equally in human beings. But man alone has the competence to overcome this Moha and attain Moksha (liberation). The Maya (illusion) which envelops man drives him to take to wrong courses. Maya has three qualities. Satwa, Rajas and Thamas (purity, passion and inertia). Through these qualities man tends to forget his divinity and humanness and behave like an animal. The three qualities of Maya and the three forms of Moha combine to make man a demon. The three forms of Moha are: desire for wealth, attachment to the wife and attachment to children. These three make man a slave to Moha The man who conquers these three desires can transcend Moha. When Moha declines, Moksha becomes attainable. Liberation is the elimination of Moha (attachment). Everyone should strive to bring under control these three desires.
Population and spirituality
In earlier times, the world's population was around 100 crores (one billion). At that time the number of persons engaged in spiritual pursuits or in the quest for liberation was sizable. Today the world's population has grown, the seekers of liberation have dwindled. With the growth of population, spirituality should also grow alongside. Man has two essential organs: Head and heart. Pravritthi (interest in the external) arises from the head (the mind), while Nivritthi (interest in the internal) arises from the heart. What we are witnessing is an excessive growth of thoughts arising in the head. This means that involvement with the external world is growing from minute to minute. But internal feelings are not developing with steadiness and purity. Aeons change. The world is changing. But man's heart is not getting transformed. Man is growing, but his heart is not expanding. It is only when the heart widens that humanness will find fulfilment.
Why is the heart of man not broadening at the present time? The reason is the secular education that is prevalent today. This educational system is diverting man's attention towards the external world. The student concentrates his attention on worldly and technical knowledge. He devotes no attention to knowledge of spiritual and ethical importance.
True devotion, should be firm and unwavering
All pose as devotees. All appear to be spiritual aspirants. But when you enquire into their actions, you find they are shallow and pretentious. The proverb says: "When troubles come, think of Venkataramana (God)." Similarly these so-called devotees think of God when they have troubles, but forget Him when the troubles are over. True devotion should be firm and unwavering, unselfish and free from any expectation of reward. Devotional activities should be unaffected by any kind of troubles and tribulations, by censure or praise. That alone is Bhakthi (devotion). It is when a man develops such devotion that he would be able to experience the Divine. Students today are completely lost in studies which are worldly- and ephemeral. Spiritual knowledge is ridiculed. Spirituality is treated as a kind of hysteria. Once an ochre-robed person, was going in a bazar. School boys and college students followed him, talking flippantly about him. He took no notice of them. He was proceeding from one village to another. The students indulged in all kinds of abusive language with a view to provoking the mendicant. But the mendicant walked on and sat under a tree on the outskirts of the village.
The students went on railing at him and exhausted all their stock of abuse. As they were silent the mendicant asked them, "Children, have you any more words to be used against me? Come out with them even now, as I have to go to the next village." One insolent youth among them asked: "What will happen when you go to the next village?" The mendicant replied' "Child, I will do nothing. Praise or blame attaches only to this body and not to my Self. But, there are in the next village a large number of people who have high regard for me. If you indulge in your abuses of me there, the villagers will trash you. To save you from this experience I am informing you in advance." On hearing this, the students had a change of heart. They felt: "In spite of all the abuses we levelled at him, this noble being was totally unaffected, did not lose his temper and taught us the right behaviour." They prostrated at the feet of the mendicant and craved for his Kshama (forgiveness).
To forgive is Divine
Forgiveness is a quality that every man should possess. That forgiveness is Truth itself, it is Righteousness, it is the Veda. It is the supreme virtue in this world. Hence, all people should develop the quality of forgiveness. People should remain unaffected by what others may say. A true man is one who overcomes the ups and downs of life with fortitude. One should not recoil before reverses of fortune. One should bravely face them and overcome them. Whoever aspires to win the grace of God should cultivate at the outset the quality of Kshama. It is a divine quality. Man is permeated from head to foot by the six mortal vices' lust, anger greed, attachment, pride and envy. His heart is the source of qualities like sympathy, compassion, non violence and peace. The very term, Hridhaya, means the place - Hridh - which has Dhaya (Compassion). People get agitated over trifles. They should not dissipate their energies in this manner. There are innumerable talents latent in man, of which he is unaware.
Win God's grace through love
Naradha wanted to teach Sathyabhama the supreme greatness of some human qualities of which she was not aware. He brought about a situation in which Krishna was to be weighed in a balance and reacquired by Sathyabhama by offerings in the other balance. All her jewels and wealth could not tilt the balance in her favour. Ultimately she prayed to Rukmini to come to her rescue. Rukmini came, prayed to Krishna, saying that "if it is true that God submits himself to a devotee who offers with love a leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water, let my thulasi leaf turn the scales against Krishna." The esoteric meaning of this prayer is that the body should be considered as a leaf, the heart as a flower, virtue as fruit and the tears of joy flowing from the devotee's eyes as the water offered to the Divine in a spirit of complete surrender. Tears should be shed only for God and not for anyone else. Whatever one's grief one should not shed tears. Tears may flow out of joy or enthusiasm or ecstasy, but not from a feeling of sorrow. Naradha enacted the entire scene to demonstrate to Sathyabhama what glorious qualities Rukmini possessed and the greatness of her devotion. He told Sathyabhama: "The Lord will not succumb to wealth. He will yield only to goodness. Rukmini is a supremely good woman. Follow her example." In this manner Naradha humbled Sathyabhama's pride. Man is endowed with limitless, latent abilities, which will manifest themselves at the appropriate moment. Every devotee has these unseen and unknown abilities. Man contains within himself all the powers and all the substances that exist anywhere in the cosmos. All objects in the world, including gold and diamonds, derive their value from man. Man is more valuable than all the things of the world. Unfortunately, today5 the human being, who is inherently divine, is devalued and degraded. Human values are born with man. They are not got from outside. Man in his ignorance is not aware of these values. When man sheds his ignorance, he will experience his divine nature.
Image of God can be seen in the mirror of Nature
People want to see God. How can they do it? Are they able to see themselves? They need a mirror to see themselves. Nature is the mirror in which the image of God can be seen. A mirror needs a mercury coating to be able to reflect an object. To see God in Nature, the mirror has to be coated with the mercury of love. Prema (Love) is vital for everything. Today, in the place of love we have hatred and aversion instead of compassion. What is the inner significance of describing God as Hridhayavasi (Indweller in the heart)? He resides in the form of Dhaya (compassion) in the heart. If there is no compassion it is no heart at all. I advise, the students to avoid excessive speech and not to give way to anger. Everyone should realise that God is with him, beside him and around him all the time. Mukundan (who had addressed the gathering earlier) said that "If you take ten steps towards Bhagavan, he takes hundred steps towards you." But whither should you take these ten steps? No one seems to think about that. If you take ten steps towards evil, falsehood, injustice and wickedness, will I take hundred steps in that direction? No. Your steps should be in the direction of what is good. What is good? The steps should lead upwards spiritually. So, if you ascend ten steps, I shall help you to climb a hundred steps. You should move in the right direction, not the wrong one. To the extent you yearn and pine for God, God will pine for you a thousandfold. You can have no conception of Thapam (God's pining). Your pining is Thamas, God's pining is thapas (penance). The difference between the two should be understood.
Kuchela and Krishna
God offers you in return manifold what you offer to Him. This is what Kuchela told his wife. He went to Krishna to ask for many material gifts. But on seeing the Divine face of Krishna, he forgot all his desires. On his return to his native village he found that big mansions had sprung up at the spot of his old dwelling. Kuchela's wife came out, finely dressed and wearing many ornaments, and greeted her husband with the remark: "Lord, see what wonderful things Shri Krishna has given to you?" Kuchela looked at everything and said: "I did not ask Bhagavan for anything. I did not speak to him about our domestic situation. Is it necessary for me to say anything to the omnipresent, all knowing Lord?" Kuchela then described in detail to his wife how Krishna had received him in His palace and how He hugged Kuchela to His bosom and showered His love on him. "How can I describe His loving kindness? Is there anyone like him who can confer all prosperity on one after receiving fistful of parched rice? He is Love incarnate and Love is He." (Svami recited a Thelugu poem). Today the devotee behaves differently towards God. He goes with a mountain of desires to the temple and offers a small coconut. This is not what you should offer to God. What you should offer is a pure, unsullied heart. If you offer little, God gives you much in return. This means that some kind of offering should be made to God. Dhraupadhi offered a grain of rice to Krishna with devotion and Krishna, in return, appeased the hunger of thousands of Dhurvasa's disciples. God needs nothing for Himself. Whatever you offer is for your own sake.
What God seeks is a heart filled with love
Today, Kerala celebrates the beginning of the new year. Keralites prepare a variety .of dishes (aviyal, poriyal, etc.) to be offered to God as prasadham. The offering is only placed in the shrine. But it is all consumed by them later. If God were to consume the offering, it is unlikely that any Naivdhyam (offering) would be made at all. What you have to offer to God is your heart. What God seeks is a heart filled with love. There is nothing greater in the world than such a heart.
We are celebrating the advent of the new year. But what we should celebrate is the coming of every new moment. A year is made up of seconds, minutes, hours, days and months. Why wait for a whole year? Greet every new second as a .new moment for celebration. Contemplate on God: every moment as your life-breath. To make God approach you, you have to engage yourself in the service of others, in conferring joy on them, and in activities which will please God. Subject all that you do to the test of divine pleasure. Although the new year is celebrated by Andhras, Tamils, and Keralites on different dates, the year is only one. How often have these festivals been celebrated? What has been achieved thereby? Nothing! How far have people earned God's grace? How are they enjoying it? Without seeking answers to these questions, people cannot have God-realisation, however long they may be with Bhagavan. The Gopikas prayed for proximity to Krishna in whatever form He manifested Himself - as a flower, or a tree or a mountain or the sky. They were totally innocent of spiritual exercises of any kind. They dedicated all their actions to Krishna. Developing such love in your hearts, You should sow the seeds of love in the hearts of people who are bereft of love today. Water the hearts with love, grow the plants of love and enjoy the harvest of love.
Joy is your birth-right; Shanthi is your inmost nature. The Lord is your Self and support. Do not discard it; do not be led away from the path of faith by stories invented by malice and circulated by spite.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba