14. Happy Birthday
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 14 (1978 - 80)
THE same Divine Compassion that blessed Dhruva, saved Gajendhra, restored Kuchela and stood by Prahladha, has come to the earth as the refuge of the refugeless, as the Lord of peace, harmony and righteousness, as the Lord of all the worlds, as the Sath-Chith-Ananda muurthi, as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sath-chakravarthi - the King of Kings.
How fascinating is the face of the baby, resting in the lap of the mother! It has no fear in its eyes; it has joy on its lips. It is full of peace. It is unaffected by those evil forces - envy, greed, anger and hatred - that rob man of his peace and joy. It has no egoistic desire, no anxiety to impress others or to show off. It has no plans for the future, no regrets for the past. Its faith in the love and strength of the mother is so unshakable, that even if the sky were to collapse and fall, its calmness would not be disturbed.
Why is it that when the baby grows into adolescence and manhood, this calmness and this joy disappear, giving place to fear, anxiety and hatred? The reason is to be found in the overpowering effect of the senses and their clamour for being catered to. Again, man today tends to see only the 'many;' he casts aside the Vision of the One and encounters, as a result, competition and conflict, disappointment and despair.
Devotees seek the path that is popular
As the child gathers more information and experience and becomes more comprehending, it sees the world as a battlefield of opposing forces and armies, where it needs to struggle for victory by devious means. Each head has its own thoughts, says the shruthi, "Munde munde, mathih bhinnah" (No two agree; differences breed disputes), and finally, life becomes an arena where ego fights ego.
The situation is as bad as in the medical field, where specialists who can diagnose and deal only with the illness of the eye, the nose, the throat, the stomach, the liver, the heart, the skin, etc., forget that these are all unified by the organism called body, and that it is not advisable to study them separately as many distinct; parts. The universe, the individual, the Paramatman - all are inseparably unified. Scientists parade the little peeps they have of the universe as big victories. Even the technology that science has encouraged so far is fraught with danger to mankind. It cuts up the cosmos and the force behind it; and specialises it in minute parts, thus presenting false pictures of reality.
Devotees are also caught in this game of seeing many where there is only One. They seek the path that is popular, that will bring them fame, rather than the path that can ensure liberation and illumination. They place their own idea of God in the forefront and fight for precedence and support.
The Vedic Suthra (Vedic dictum) -
Ekoham bahushyam (I am One, I shall be many)
- is ignored. It is the One that pretends to be many. So one has to feel the impact of the One rather than of the many, while moving in the world. Faith is very essential for the pilgrim on the adhyathmik (spiritual) path. Man is now caught up in temporary and trivial pre-occupations in the too short interval between birth and death, and he deceives himself by placing faith in these rather than on truer and more lasting realities and experiences. He does not hold on to discrimination and deeper realities, and is carried away by every gust of doubt or disappointment.
Man has lost the capacity of faith
The baby is calm and unaffected on the lap of the mother since it has faith in the mother. The mother points out to someone as its father, to another as its grandpa, to another as its sister or brother, and the child accepts these statements without question. The mother creates the faith in the father for the child. So, too, Mother Nature proclaims that there is a Father who has designed and who is energising and motivating these worlds, but man does not accept this, for he has lost the capacity of faith.
Faith is the basis of every act. You do not run away from the barber because he is armed with a sharp razor. You place faith in him and allow him to cut your hair, quietly submitting to his idiosyncrasies. You give away costly clothes to the dhobi (laundry man) since you have the faith that he will return them washed and ironed. You have faith in the driver of your car, in the engineer who built your house. So too, believe in the Inner Motivator, the Atman within, the Voice of God.
Believe in the experience of ancient sages
People are going about now advising that one should believe only things that one has 'seen' and 'experienced.' Something happens somewhere and the news is published in the papers. It is believed without question. So, too, believe in, the experience of seers and sages who had no other purpose than discovering the Truth and sharing It with others who were unaware of It. In India we have had millions who believed in God and in the seekers after God, and who have themselves realised the truth of God. This has made their lives happy and contented. Of course the seeker has to encounter many obstacles both inner and outer. But each one of them is a challenge which must bring out his latent faith. Where there is no darkness, there can be no appreciation for light, Without the pangs of hunger no one will seek food. It is the possibility of death that makes the mother most carefully nurse her sick child.
That is the reason why one saint advised his followers, "Do not ask God for anything. Let Him deal with you as He Wills." Did Jatayu ask that Rama should come to him and perform the last rites. Did Shabari plead with Rama? Earn the qualifications - holiness, purity, faith, universal love; then He will approach you on foot to console, comfort and save! Purity of heart and mastery over the senses - if you have these two credentials, Grace is your right. Imagining that Bliss is available in the outer world, men stray away from the inner path and are caught up in misery. They seek it in the family - the wife and children - and to keep up a standard of living for them, take to evil ways. The fundamental flaw is their belief that the body is the be all and the end all of existence. They ignore the Indweller, who has to be recognised, revered and responded to.
Become aware of the Unity of mankind
The Avathar (Divine Incarnation) is the Athi mashakthi (power of the Supreme Soul) that has put on the raiment of kriya shakthi and yoga shakthi (power of action ad power of divine communion). Generally, Avatharana (the process of incarnation), is described as a 'coming down' from a higher status to a lower one. But, no! When the baby in the cradle weeps, wails and 'clamours for help, the mother stoops and takes it up in her arms. Her stoop is not to be described as a 'coming down.'
If you earn the necessary credentials, the Incarnation will come and save you. If, on the other hand, you multiply your demerits and descend lower and lower, how can you be saved? Have love and ananda (divine bliss) in your heart. Ananda comes from pure sight, pure hearing, pure speech and pure actions. The day you establish yourselves in this ananda, that day will be My Birthday for you. I must tell you another fact. Swami's Birthday is being celebrated at Puttaparthi because so many thousands come here from far-off places, in spite of the expense and great difficulty during the journey. Do not be under the impression that because it is Swami's Birthday, therefore you must come.
I have no desire to have My Birthday celebrated; such trivial thoughts can never enter Me. My only desire is to share My ananda with you, to encourage you to lead lives full of ananda. My Birthday is when you get ananda.
My Mission is,
Lokah samasthah sukhino bhavanthu - "May all the worlds be happy and prosperous."
Become aware of the Unity of mankind; promote by love and service the joy and contentment of every one on earth and fill your hearts with that yearning. Then it becomes, verily, the Sai Mandir (temple). From that moment I am where you are.
Since this morning many people have greeted Me 'Happy Birthday!' No one need wish for happiness for Me, since I am always happy, everywhere. For Ananda swaruupa (Embodiment of Divine bliss), why talk of happy birthday? You, too, must ever be happy and not wait for the birthday to recur every year to accumulate ananda.
Know that Sai Love is the Love of a thousand mothers. Naturally you will find it impossible to gauge the intensity of My Love. And understand this. If you place yourselves outside that Love, you place yourselves outside the love of all mankind. Mine is Love that is pure, free, selfless and unconditional. It is a great good fortune to receive such love.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba