5. Glory of Bharatiya Culture
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 32 (1999)
Glory of Bharatiya Culture
Punar Vittham, Punar Mithram, Punar Bharya Punar Mahi Etath Sarvam Punar Labhyam Na Sareeram Punah Punah
Embodiments of Love!
If money is lost, one need not be worried about it, for one can earn it again. If a friend is lost, one can have another. If wife is lost, one can marry again. If one loses one's piece of land, one can purchase another piece of land. All these can be regained; but if body is lost, one cannot get it back.
Human body is highly sacred and invaluable. So, it has to be looked after with utmost care. Janthoonam narajanma durlabham, human birth is the rarest and noblest of all living beings. But man, unable to understand his true identity, is wasting his life. Since time immemorial, the culture of Bharat (India) has propagated three important values. Sathyam bruyath (speak the truth). Never utter a lie to please someone. This is the moral value. Priyam bruyath (speak in a pleasing way). This is the social value. Na bruyath sathyamapriyam (do not speak unpleasant truth). This is the spiritual value. The Bhagavad Gita says, “Anudvegakaram vakyam sathyam priyahitham cha yat” (one should speak only truthful, pleasing, and well-intentioned words, which are beneficial to others).
Cultivate selfless love
Man today has forgotten his true Self and is getting carried away by illusion. What is the reason? A small example to illustrate this. Pure gold shines brilliantly and has a very high value. However, when it gets alloyed with metals like silver, copper, brass, etc., it loses not only its identity but also its value. Similarly, man, who can be compared to pure gold, has lost his true identity and also his value as his mind is polluted with worldly thoughts and unsacred feelings. Man today cannot be called a human being in the strict sense of the term. He has lost his humanness because of bad thoughts and bad company.
What man needs to cultivate today is the value of the ever brilliant and effulgent Self. Human values cannot be acquired from outside. They are innate and inborn. But, man has forgotten these values, which are inherent in him right from his birth. Modern man is human only in form, but not in behavior.
Right from ancient times, Bharat has been in the vanguard of human values, namely, sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, and ahimsa. Man is gifted with love, but he has highly adulterated it with selfishness and self-interest. He should cultivate selfless love. Only then will his life shine brilliantly. When the electric current enters the bulb through the wire, you get the light. Truth, righteousness, peace, and love can be compared to the electric current, wire, bulb, and light respectively. So, in order to experience the light of love, you must cultivate truth, righteousness, and peace. Love is God, God is love. So, live in love. Right from a pauper to a millionaire, none can survive without love. Man loves his wife, wealth, and children. But greatness lies in sharing your love with everyone, not merely with your kith and kin.
Vedanta says, love everybody, but do not trust anybody. The reason is that the human body is temporary.
It is made of flesh and bones and is full of dirt. It is afflicted with many diseases.
It cannot cross the ocean of Samsara.
Oh mind! Realize that this body is ephemera, and take refuge at the lotus feet of the Lord
It cannot cross the ocean of Samsara.
Oh mind! Realize that this body is ephemera, and take refuge at the lotus feet of the Lord
This body is valued and considered to be Sivam (auspicious) as long as there is life in it. It becomes savam (dead body) and absolutely useless the moment life principle forsakes it. So, understand the transient nature of the body and conduct yourself accordingly. Share your love with everybody. Your entire life is based on love.
Man should realise his innate divinity
Embodiments of Love! Since ancient times, the culture of Bharat has laid great emphasis on the need for good thoughts, good company, and good actions. “Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak the truth and practice righteousness).” Man can attain exalted heights by following this dictum. Only the Bharatiyas (Indians) understood this truth. But alas! Today the Bharatiyas themselves have forgotten it.
Today the Bharatiyas themselves are not making any effort to understand their own culture, which is suffused with noble and divine feelings. Humanness has become extinct in man due to the lack of fear of sin and love for God. What greater misfortune can befall on humanity than this!
Man should realize his innate divinity. This is possible only when man makes proper use of the five elements and five senses gifted by God.
Protect your senses from evil effects
The primary duty of man lies not in protecting his wealth and valuables but in conserving the five elements and protecting the five senses from evil effects. The same message was propagated by Gautama Buddha. In the beginning, he studied many scriptures, approached many preceptors, and undertook various types of spiritual exercises. But his spiritual thirst was not quenched. Ultimately, he realized that proper utilization of the five senses would alone confer peace of mind.
First and foremost, he stressed on the importance of samyak drishti (right vision). All that you see, be it good or bad, gets imprinted in your heart forever. So, see no evil; see what is good. Hear no evil; hear what is good. This is called samyak sravanam (right listening). Samyak drishti and samyak sravanam will lead to samyak bhavam (right feelings). Your life will be sanctified once you cultivate samyak bhavam. Human life is based on feelings. Human life sans feelings cannot exist. Today, man lacks peace of mind because he does not have samyak drishti, samyak sravanam, and samyak bhavam.
We blame others for our sufferings. Do not accuse others for your sufferings, because you are yourself the cause of your misery. Happiness or sorrow is of your own making. All that you experience is nothing but the reflection, reaction, and resound of what is in you. Buddha, having understood this truth, put his five senses to proper use through which he could attain Nirvana. He was in a state of supreme bliss at the time of attaining Nirvana. That state could be described as ever blissful, granting happiness, embodiment of wisdom, beyond duality, infinite as the sky, primordial, final goal, one, eternal, pure, immutable, omnipresent witness, beyond emotions, devoid of the three gunas (qualities).
When Buddha was at the verge of attaining Nirvana, his stepbrother Ananda, who was by his side, started shedding tears. Seeing this Buddha smiled and said, "My dear one, it is rather surprising that you should feel sad about my attaining the state of highest bliss. Instead you should also try to attain this state of supreme bliss by controlling your senses".
Sacred values of Bharatiya culture
Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls. It is therefore essential for all the Bharatiyas to understand the sacred history of Bharat. But, today, no one seems to be interested in knowing the history and culture of Bharat. The culture of Bharat is based on dharma. The word dharma has been misinterpreted as religion. Dharma is like a vast ocean, whereas religion is like a pond. The culture of Bharat is pure, unsullied, eternal, and immortal. In olden days, the children were taught the sacred values of Indian culture right from the age of five. Their education would begin with the sacred mantras like Aum Namah Sivaya and Aum Namo Narayana. But in the modern education system, the divine names such as Siva and Narayana have no place. The children are taught meaningless rhymes like “Ba. Ba. black sheep”. People are not making efforts to understand the efficacy of these mantras.
In the Kali age, everyone is a doubting Thomas!
No doubt, worldly education is required, but along with this secular knowledge, one has to make an effort to imbibe cultural values too. It is because of the growth of worldly knowledge without cultural values that man has become a repository of doubts. Even the parents and children, wife and husband lack faith in each other. During the times of Jesus, there was only one doubting Thomas, but in the Kali Age, everyone is a doubting Thomas!
Rama and Ravana were equally proficient in 36 forms of knowledge. But sage Valmiki, the composer of the Ramayana, portrayed Ravana as a fool and Rama as a noble one because Ravana misused his knowledge, whereas Rama put his knowledge to proper use. That is why Valmiki described Rama as virtuous and noble. Ravana became the root cause for the death of his sons and brothers, because he was unable to control his lust. His entire clan perished due to his wicked qualities and wicked actions. Rama led an ideal life. Today, many people aspire to occupy positions of authority in the political field, though they do not deserve. But Rama renounced the kingdom itself though, being the eldest son, He richly deserved to be the king. He sacrificed everything for the sake of truth. He had firm belief in the Vedic dictum, Sathyannasti paro dharma (there is no greater dharma than truth). He made such a great sacrifice and went to the forest to uphold his father's word. The Vedas also clearly state Na karmana na prajaya dhanena thyagenaikena amruthatwamanusu (immortality can be attained only through sacrifice; neither wealth nor progeny nor good deeds can confer it). In fact, tyaga (sacrifice) is true yoga. If you do not exhale the air that you inhale, your lungs will be affected. If you do not excrete the food you eat, you will have stomach disorders. Likewise, you should give money that you earn in charity with a spirit of sacrifice. There lies the bliss.
The culture of Bharat does not give scope for differences based on caste, creed, color, religion, and nationality. It says,
Let us move together and let us grow together.
Let us share the knowledge and improve upon it. Let us live in amity and peace without any differences whatsoever.
Let us share the knowledge and improve upon it. Let us live in amity and peace without any differences whatsoever.
It speaks of the principle of equanimity. It says, Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu (May the whole world be happy!). It treats everyone alike irrespective of caste, creed, color, religion, and nationality. The same principle was stated by Jesus also. He said, “All are one, my dear son, be alike to everyone.” In fact, the underlying principle of all the religions is one and the same. But, people have forgotten this unity and have become narrow-minded.
Search for Truth
Embodiments of Love! Love is life. So, one has to channelise this love in the proper direction. Do not let it go in the wrong direction. You can accomplish anything in life if you exercise control over it. The culture of Bharat speaks of Sathyanveshana (search for truth). Why should one search for truth, which is all-pervasive? What is the inner meaning of the word Sathyanveshana?
The culture of Bharat gives a beautiful analogy for this. The eyes that see your mother, your wife, your daughter, and your daughter-in-law are the same, but the feelings with which you see them vary. Here Sathyanveshana refers to the enquiry into the feelings that you should have when you look at each of them. The culture of Bharat lays great emphasis on self enquiry.
God is everywhere and in everything
Some people say that since God has no form, He does not exist. But, God has form. In this world, there is nothing that exists without form. According to science, the entire world is made up of atoms. They too have form. The Vedas say, Anoraneeyan Mahatomaheeyan (God is smaller than the smallest atom and bigger than the biggest object).
The atom is God. Right from the water you drink and the food you eat, everything is pervaded by atom. It took thousands of years for the scientists to understand this truth. But the same truth was proclaimed by the tiny tot Prahlada ages ago. He said, “Do not have the feeling that God is here and He is not there. In fact, He is everywhere. You can find Him wherever you search for Him.” Bharat has been the birthplace of many noble souls like Prahlada who had experienced the omnipresent Divinity. Since ancient times, the Bharatiyas worshipped earth, trees, anthills, and mountains because they believed that God is everywhere and in everything.
Sarvata pani padam tat, sarvatokshi siromukham, sarvata srutimalloke, sarvamavritya tishtati.
With hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouths and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe.
God is everywhere. This is the teaching of our ancient culture. Since the human mind has become weak, man is losing faith in these ancient values. Just as the alloys mixed with gold make the gold lose its shine and value, so also the bad qualities and bad feelings have made man lose his value and brilliance.
Only the Atma is true and eternal
Embodiments of Love! Develop faith in God for your own happiness and bliss. If people develop faith in God, the whole country will be happy. You are subjected to misery because you lack faith in the Self. Self confidence is very essential.
Do not get carried away by the worldly education. In fact, all that is related to the mind and senses is nothing but ignorance. The annihilation of mind is true wisdom. Mind is a bundle of thoughts and impulses. So, all that is related to the mind is subject to change. Only the Atma is true and eternal.
Many changes occur in man with age, but man remains the same. At the time of birth, you are a child. After ten years, people call you a boy. After thirty years, you become a man. After 75 years, you are called a grandfather. The child, boy, man, and grandfather are one and the same. But you are getting deluded seeing the physical changes. You should always have the changeless truth in your mind. That is the real human value.
Worldly knowledge is also required, but that is not the beall and end-all of human life. Worldly knowledge is for the happiness in this world and spiritual knowledge is for the happiness thereafter. It is only the spiritual knowledge that is in you, above you, below you, and around you and that protects you.
Some people deny the existence of God because He is not seen by the naked eye. Can you, with the same analogy, deny the existence of air, which is also not visible to the naked eye? Though the human eye cannot see God, the hridaya (heart) can see Him, hear Him, and experience Him. This is the teaching of our ancient culture. This great culture has remained vibrant for thousands of years. Einstein said that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It only changes its forms. The same thing can be said about our ancient culture also.
Put into practice at least one sacred teaching
Among the numbers one and nine, one is greater because you cannot have the latter without the former. It is only out of the number one that millions have emerged. Zero gains value if the number one precedes it. The value becomes more and more with the increase in the number of zeros. One is the hero, world is zero. That hero is God. You are all like zeros. So, try to have the hero by your side.
Develop the faith that God is. Mere repetition of the names potato and chapati will not appease your hunger. Likewise, merely reading the spiritual texts or listening to the discourses of holy men will not grant you fulfillment. Instead put into practice at least one sacred teaching. Only then can you experience happiness.
Consider this example: Put two spoons of sugar in a tumbler containing water. The sugar gets collected at the bottom of the tumbler. If you drink the water without mixing the sugar, the water will not have any taste. Take a spoon and stir it; then the whole glass of water will taste sweet.
The human heart is like a tumbler containing water. Divinity can be compared to sugar. Stir it with the spoon of buddhi (intellect). The process of stirring is enquiry. Once this is done, the sweetness of divinity will spread to all the limbs of the body. Then all that you see, hear, talk, and do will be suffused with divinity. Your life itself will be filled with love.
You have to grow in faith in order to develop love. Many people consider faith as mere foolishness. But truly speaking, bookish knowledge sans practical knowledge can be termed foolishness. You should never be satisfied with mere bookish knowledge and superficial knowledge. You need to develop general knowledge and discrimination knowledge also. Only then you will attain practical knowledge, which is very essential. But, today very few seem to be having practical knowledge. Most of the people are wasting their lives in acquiring superficial knowledge.
Surrender all your thoughts and worries to God
In the field of spirituality, you cannot attain anything if you do not have faith and determination. When you go to the market, you cannot get even a small handkerchief if you do not pay a certain amount of money. Likewise, you cannot attain divine grace unless you offer your love to God.
God is also like a business man. What sort of business is He engaged in? Not worldly business, purely spiritual. He receives your love and showers His grace on you. Surrender all your thoughts and worries to God and receive bliss in return.
This is the business you are supposed to do with God. But in this Kali age, people are engaged in a different type of business with God. Students go to temple and pray, “O God, I will offer two coconuts if You make me pass the examination.” What will God do with your coconuts? It is because of such foolish vows that spirituality has become a matter of ridicule in the eyes of many.
Many of you may be aware that in Andhra Pradesh, there is a very famous pilgrimage center named Tirupati, where Lord Venkateswara is the presiding deity. Some people go there and pray,
‘Swami, I will offer my hair to You if I win the lottery.” They do not realize that God is not in need of their dirty hair.
You have to offer all your wicked qualities and wicked thoughts to God and receive sacred qualities and sacred thoughts in return. Suppose you have a damaged currency note. None will accept it except the Reserve Bank, where you can get a brand new note in exchange of the damaged one. Likewise, your mind and heart, which are polluted with wicked thoughts, can be compared to damaged currency notes. Not even your wife and children would accept them. So, offer them to God who, like the Reserve Bank chairman, will give you good mind and good heart in return. Thereafter, you will lead a happy life.
Take to the path of spirituality
According to the Vedas, human life is highly sacred. Do not make it profane by wicked thoughts and wicked actions. Fill your life with love and take to the path of spirituality. Spirituality does not mean outward worship and rituals alone. You should have the feeling of worship within. You may also do it externally if you are interested. There is nothing wrong in it. But it will be a futile exercise if it is not done with the proper feelings. All these rituals should awaken the spiritual awareness in you. Otherwise, you will be leading the life of an animal, always aspiring for the worldly pleasures and comforts.
Ahara nidra bhaya methuneshu Samanyametat pasubir naranam Jnanam naranam sdhikam visesham Jnanena soonya pasubhissamana.
Food, sleep, fear and progeny are common to mankind and animals.
Only man is endowed with wisdom.
Man bereft of wisdom is equivalent to an animal.
Today, people are amassing wealth, but only a few of them are making proper use of it. Many are receiving high salaries. But, their work is not commensurate with the salary they receive. “Sarvakarma Bhagavad preethyartham (whatever you do, do it to please God).” Only then your life will be redeemed.
Proper utilisation of wealth
Embodiments of Love! There are innumerable rich men, educationists, judges, scientists, and intellectuals in this country. But not many are putting their wealth and resources to proper use. Very few are discharging their duties properly. This is the reason the country is facing hardships today. All those that amass wealth must realise that they cannot carry even a naya paisa with them when they leave this world. The money that you earn from the society should be used for the welfare of the society only.
You all know that Kulwant Rai spent crores of rupees to build this magnificent building. There are many rich people in this country, but how many are engaging themselves in such acts of service and sacrifice? Sacrifice is the highest virtue.
Some people are building hospitals and educational institutions with business motive, spending crores of rupees. If they invest 50 crores on a hospital, they expect a profit of 100 crores. Similarly, with the investment of 50 crores on an educational institution, they want to make 200 crores. This sort of business is an unhealthy practice. Whatever you do, do it for the benefit of others.
When you stepped into this world, you did not bring anything with you, nor can you take anything with you when you leave. No benefit accrues to you from having palatial buildings and huge bank balances if you cannot use them for the service of the society. Spend your money for the welfare of society. Only then you can win divine grace. Serve the needy by providing comforts and conveniences.
Consider every good work as God’s work
There are many poor people in Delhi who cannot afford medical care. There are many more who are unable to send their children to school owing to financial constraints. Establish hospitals and schools, which will render free service to the poor. A third person need not tell you these noble ideas. You should take the initiative on your own. I never instructed Kulwant Rai to construct this building. It was his own idea that took this shape. Such noble ideas originate due to the merits done in past lives. There may be many people who feel jealous of him. It is his good luck to have built this building and it is their misfortune to feel jealous about it. Everyone must undertake work. Consider every good work as God's work. Truly speaking, Kulwant Rai has done a great service to the Organization by getting this beautiful building constructed. He has done this not for his benefit, but for the service of others. Every rich man should develop the spirit of sacrifice.
It is a mistake to think that Bharat is a poor country. It is the very abode of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In the olden days, in Punjab, there were houses made of silver. The foreign invaders plundered those houses and took away all the silver on camels. They looted all the gold from Somnath temple. If Bharat were a poor country, it would not have suffered such foreign invasions in the past. There is no dearth of wealth in Bharat. It is unfortunate that some people call Bharat a poor country. Bharat is the land of plenty and prosperity. Bharatiyas are not poor; they are very rich.
Who is the richest man in the world? He who has much satisfaction. Who is the poorest man in the world? The one who has too many. The one imbued with the spirit of sacrifice is the richest man. If you have, ten rupees in your pocket, give at least one rupee to the needy. However the beggars are not satisfied with one rupee because they cannot buy even a small piece of bread with it these days.
Whatever I do is only for the welfare of other
Our ancients used to attach more value to their word than to money. It is your good fortune that you are born in such a sacred land of Bharat. You should uphold and propagate dharma to the rest of the world, befitting your nationality. It gives me great joy to find anyone practicing and propagating dharma. Believe it or not, there is not an iota of selfishness in Me from top to toe. Whatever I do is only for the welfare of others. Be good, see good and do good. That is true human quality.
God is the embodiment of Sath, Chit and Ananda. Sath means Being (that which is permanent). Chit means Awareness. The combination of Sath and Chit results in Ananda. So, in order to experience bliss, one has to make friendship with God. God is the only true friend. All of you are aware how the worldly friends are. As long as there is water in the tank, you find thousands of frogs living there. But all the frogs desert the pond once it gets dried up. Likewise, all worldly friends swarm around you saying hello, hello as long as you are in position of authority and have wealth. Once you lose both, none will look at your face even to say goodbye. But friendship with God is true and eternal. God is always with you in times of both pain and pleasure. King Harischandra underwent many trials and tribulations to uphold truth. He always had the protection of God because he stuck to the path of truth. So, have faith in God and tread along the path of truth. Money comes and goes like passing clouds and makes many rounds, but morality comes and grows. This is the thing you have to note today.
Delhi is the capital of Bharat. So, if Delhi is good, the whole country will be good. Anything can be achieved through unity. Give up individual and political differences. Have the national interest uppermost in your mind. Stand united and be prepared to sacrifice even your life for the welfare of the country. Uphold the prestige of the country and spread it far and wide.
Truth has to be conveyed in a fearless manner
Embodiments of Love! If you strive hard to put at least five of your fellowmen on the right path every day, you can bring about unity and transformation among the 98 crore Indian population. Pray for the welfare of the nation. Develop the spirit of patriotism. Then the society and nation will prosper. I hope I am not causing inconvenience to you by speaking for a long time. But, such sacred teachings have to be imparted. Truth has to be conveyed in a fearless manner. There is no need to fear if you are following the truth. Human life is governed by four F's:
Follow the master Face the devil Fight to the end Finish the game.
Your conscience is your master, so follow your conscience. Life is a game, play it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is love, enjoy it. If you understand this and put at least one teaching into practice, your life will be redeemed. Always contemplate on God. The secret of happiness lies in chanting God's name. You can chant any name of God and redeem your life.
When you install God in your heart, there is no room in it for anything else. But today’s aspirants treat the heart as a musical chair. They go from one “swami” to another and shift from one kind of sadhana to another. Of what avail is this kind of merry-go-round? It is a waste of time and of life itself. One heart, one thought, one God, one Goal. Whether you utter the name Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Zoroaster, or Guru Nanak - it is all the same.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba