Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 29 (1996)
Let everyone do his duty

Anadhi Nidhanam Vishnum Sarvaloka Maheshvaram
Lokadhyaksham Sthuvannithyam Sarvadhuhkhajitho Bhaveth
Anadhi nidhanam is a name attributed to God in relation to time. Sarvaloka Maheshvaram signifies that God is the illuminating overlord of all the worlds. Lokadhyaksham Sthuvannithyam - He is the presiding ruler of the Cosmos. Who is He? He is the Sun. Time is marked by the Sun. Hence the Sun is the visible manifestation of God. He is the effulgence that is common to all nations, all creeds and all people. Hence Shankara hailed the Sun as "Anadhi nidhanam Vishnum," the presiding deity for the Samvathsara (year) as the over lord of Time. Samvathsara is the appellation given to the Kalatmaka (Time-spirit). Because the Lord is the very soul of Time, Shankara described Him as "Kalatmakaya namah" (Prostrations to the One who is the Spirit of Time).
Time is most precious in human life. More valuable than Time is Prana (life). Man aspires to achieve many things without concern for his life. However great his achievements are, man is driven by the urge to achieve more. This discontent is itself a source of satisfaction for man.
All are embodiments of the Divine
Every man has a heart. Every heart is filled with compassion. However, how many choose to share this compassion with others? Sharing the compassion in one's heart with ten others has been characterised as Bhakthi (devotion). One who does not share his compassion with others cannot be called a human being. Today the human heart that should be full of compassion has become stone-hard. This is man's misfortune. What is the reason? It is because the heart is filled with the bitterness of differences of caste, creed and nationality that it has become stony. All human beings belong to one caste, one community, one nation. All are embodiments of the Divine. Krishna declared in the Geetha: "All beings in the world are a fragment of My Self." It is tragic that man should forget his divine essence and behave like a demon.
What is the significance of the advent of the new year? It is not necessary to wait for twelve months for the new year to appear for one to do what he wants to do. The year is made up of seconds, minutes, hours, days and months. Every second is a new moment in one's life. Why then wait for a year? Every one should strive to render help to the people every second of his life and lead a noble and ideal existence. It is necessary for man to understand the truth underlying this dictum. The eye sees different persons in different relationship to a person the mother, the daughter, the daughter-in-law and so on. Although the eye that sees is the same, the persons seen are different and one's behaviour is to be in accord with the varying relationships.
Distinction between the apparent and the real
The distinction between the apparent and the real (the true) should be properly understood. For instance, it is apparent that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But the truth is, the sun is stationary and neither rises nor sets. It is the revolution of the earth round itself at a speed of 1000 miles an hour that is the cause of the phenomena of day and night and the apparent rising and setting of the sun.
The relevance of the distinction between truth, falsehood and apparent fact is not limited to natural phenomena alone. It is equally relevant in the spiritual sphere. The quest for truth in the spiritual field provides proofs for the existence of God. In every man, at every moment a divine effulgence is always shining. Man has not taken birth purely for a selfish purpose. He has to strive with others to lead an exemplary life.
In the world today there is unrest everywhere. What is the cause of this unrest? The advent of the new year is viewed by people with apprehensions as to what is in store for the world, what disasters and calamities. There is continual change taking place in almost every sphere, but the mind of man alone has undergone no transformation, pleasure and pain are not the products of time. The year is not responsible for joy or sorrow. People's actions alone are responsible for the good and bad things they experience. The year does not bring any evil with it. Many people imagine that the new year may bring calamities. The year is part of repetitive phenomenon of day and night. Hence Time does not bring in its wake any good or ill. Only human actions account for these reactions. Good acts produce good results and bad actions have bad consequences. As you sow, so shall you reap.
New year does not account for anything extraordinary
Good and bad occur in succession in the usual course. A new year does not account for anything extraordinary. However, the Panchangam (almanac) indicates some changes as a result of the movements of the planets and the configuration of the constellations. The Hindu almanac refers to five factors the day of the week, the thithi (phase of the moon), the relevant constellation, the auspiciousness or otherwise of the particular day, and the Karanam (astrological divisions). The predictions in the almanac have no relation to what may happen to any particular person. The Siddhanthis (the almanac makers) give their own interpretations of the astrological configurations.
Above everything, if one has firm faith in God, one can face the future with confidence. There is no room for doubts as to who is God and where He is to be found. God is Virata-Svaruupa (Cosmic Form). The whole universe is the manifestation of God.
What does God teach? The lessons are given through Prakrithi (Nature) which conveys lessons to mankind. The earth, for instance, is revolving round itself at a speed of 1000 miles an hour. This is going on without rest. This revolution of earth produces night and day. This enables man to have a time for work and time for rest. In addition, the earth is going round the sun at a speed of 66,000 miles an hour. This motion of the earth is responsible for the changes in seasons. The changes in seasons cause rainfall, enable the cultivation of crops and help people to live in comfort.
The earth thus is a visible manifestation of God. The ancients hailed the earth as Bhuumatha (Holy Mother Earth) for this reason. All the essential necessities of life come from the earth. The earth thus teaches man that he should do his duty even as the earth itself is performing its duties.
Dedicated action is necessary to reap the fruits
Man should be dedicated to action. Today he does not adhere to this principle. How, then, can he expect the fruits? Men must work. They must perform good deeds and realise good results. They must share the fruits of their labours with others. This is the foremost duty of man. If everyone does his-duty, there will be no room for conflict in the world. This is the lesson taught by the earth.
Karthavyam (duty) is most important. The lawyer should do his duty. The doctor, the farmer, the administrator, the businessman, each should discharge his respective duty. If this is done, the world will have no problems. Everyone should aim at excellence in the performance of one's duties. Then the nation will be prosperous and happy. Today very few discharge their duties properly. Instead of doing their work, they interfere in other people's work. They fail to do their work and spoil that of others.
The year is not responsible for the unrest in the world. Human actions alone are responsible. Every one should strive to work well and achieve good results. Every one has twenty-four hours at his disposal. If out of this, six hours are used up in sleep, six hours for one's own private concerns and six hours for one's job, still six hours remain. How does one spend them? One should utilize them for rendering social service. One must embark on divine activity. In the present state of the world, if people do not take to divine activity, the conditions will get worse.
Mastery over one's mind is the index of greatness
Today people have forgotten the spiritual, the moral and the ethical aspects of life. They are immersed in the worldly pursuits and in securing mundane benefits. There is no greatness in achieving these things.
Once Shankaracharya asked his disciples what is the hall-mark of greatness. Each disciple gave his own answer. One disciple said that the man who won great victories in battle is a great man. Another disciple said that man who underwent many troubles and difficulties and amassed large wealth was great. Another said that a great man was one who accomplished by determined effort what he wanted to achieve. Planting one's flag over a territory or crossing a mighty ocean were mentioned as marks of greatness. Ultimately Shankara gave the answer that he alone is great who has mastery over his mind.
All other achievements are of no avail. Every action is sanctified by making it an offering to-God. Shankaracharya declared that the one who is immersed in the contemplation of the Supreme Self, experiences the highest bliss, regardless of all other actions. (Swami sang a stanza from the Bhaja Govindham hymn of Shankaracharya). Shankara exhorted the devotee to adore God in whatever situation he was placed, whether in a crowd, or while enjoying something or in any other state. This experience of the Divine is one's true wealth.
Thus, it is essential to perform every action as an offering to God. The impulse for every action comes from the heart, whether the action is good or bad. The heart is the abode of Lord. Hence, every thought arising from the heart and every action from it should be regarded as an offering to the Divine.
Give no room for differences
Today, because men's actions are motivated by concern for one's family and possessions, society is riven by conflicts and differences. People talk about unity but there is no unity. For instance, there are different States in the Country. It is natural for people to have special regard for their respective States. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and so on. But they should all consider themselves children of one God. All States should be happy. If this broad vision is developed, there will be no room for inter-State differences.
The name of the new year is "Dhathru." This signifies the spirit of sacrifice. The scriptures have declared that sacrifice is the only means to attain immortality. People should develop the spirit of sacrifice. Thereby they will make the name of the new year meaningful.
Compassion is the hall-mark of Bhakthi
Giving up narrow idea and feelings, people should show compassion towards their fellow beings. Compassion is the hallmark of Bhakthi (devotion). No one can hope to please God without showing dhaya (compassion) towards his fellow-men. A loving heart is the temple of God. God cannot dwell in a heart without compassion.
God is one. The goal is one. People have to change their outlook. They have to develop love towards all. There is nothing greater in the world than this Premadhrishti (feeling of universal love). There are many eminent scholars and intellectuals in the world today who are adept in seeing the diversity in the world. But why don't they try to see the unity that underlies this diversity? They alone are good who see the unity in the apparent diversity. But those who see only the diversity in the One are mere clever intellectuals.
The uniqueness of every being is one of the marvels of creation. No two persons are entirely alike. There are differences even among twins. People differ in respect of talents. But it should be realised that all talents are derived from the Divine.
How are we to recognise unity in diversity? Birth and death are common to all beings. Whether one is a millionaire or a pauper, both are brought forth from their mothers wombs. Hunger and thirst are common to all. The kind of food that is eaten may vary, but hunger is the same for all. Likewise thirst is common to all. These basic common experiences point to the unity that underlies the diversity. The Upanishads have emphasized the spiritual oneness of all beings. The life force is one and the same, in all. The Atma is the same in all. How, then, it may be asked, there are differences in the bodies? These differences are the results of differences in the thoughts, feelings and actions of the individuals concerned. The indwelling spirit is the same in everyone.
Make every act holy
By developing attachment to persons and possessions men created causes for their sorrow. By reducing their attachments and developing love for God, they can reduce their misery and increase their happiness. The more they love God, the more the bliss they will experience. Men are plunged in misery because they hanker after the physical instead of yearning for God. If men convert their desire for material objects into the desire for the Supreme they will enjoy immense happiness. All that is necessary is for them, to see the Divine in everything in the phenomenal world. That will be true devotion. And work will be turned into worship. Make every act holy.
People need not be unduly worried about the portents of the new year. There are, however, indications that some big changes may occur in the political sphere. Internal conflicts may increase. There will be no shortage of food. There may be floods in some parts of the country and cyclones in some areas. By developing faith in God, some of these calamities may be averted or their ravages mitigated. Men have to realise that they are sparks of the Divine. They have to develop sacred thoughts and lead ideal lives. They must seek to promote the welfare of society.
The power of prayer is incalculable
Pray for the welfare of all. The power of prayer is incalculable. Every one gathered here should pray every day for the welfare and happiness of all people everywhere. This is true spirituality. To render service to others to the limit of your capacity is real spirituality. The body has been given to man for serving others. If one has a compassionate heart, is truthful in speech, and uses his body for serving others, he needs nothing else to redeem his life.
Today the book, "Vision of India," written by Shri Shivraj Patti, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, has been released. He has been coming to Swami for many years. He knows Bhagawan well and Bhagawan knows him equally. He has a compassionate heart. He is calm and serene. All are aware of the kind of uproar and disorder that prevail in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Members have not hesitated even to shout at the Speaker. On such occasions as Chavan observed (in his speech earlier), it is natural to expect the blood-pressure of the Speaker to go up. But our Shivraj Patil spoke calmly to every member, giving suitable replies to everyone, and thereby winning the confidence of all sections of the House. He has earned the approbation of all parties. That good name is enough. Having been born, one should earn a good name. Good thoughts flow from his heart. In his book, he has related all his experiences, his aspirations and his hopes. His book covers all aspects of his life social, economic, spiritual and political.
It is not enough to speak about one's ideals. One must live upto them. Today everyone must develop a compassionate heart and be truthful in speech. Truth is the means to realise God. God is the very embodiment of Truth. Where there is Truth there is God.
Bharath in its ancient days of pristine glory achieved greatness by adhering to Sathya and Dharma. The Upanishads have declared:
"Speak the Truth. Follow Righteousness."
Today in their life people must adhere to Truth. Whatever Dharmik acts you do should be done in a spirit of sacrifice.
Charity is the best ornament for the hand,
truth for the throat,
and listening, to sacred things, for the ears.
It is such sublime sentiments that constituted the priceless culture of Bharath. These eternal verities are being forgotten in the craze for ephemeral pleasures.
Regard every moment as new
Embodiments of love!
The new year portends nothing to be feared by the common people. However, for those in high offices and for politicians there are indications of internecine conflicts of their own making. Those who discharge their duties in a spirit of dedication have nothing to fear.
Regard every moment as new Live in the present. Have good thoughts and do good deeds. Cultivate good company. Act according to the dictates of your conscience. The secret of happiness lies within you, not outside. Pray for the welfare of all. The speakers here requested to bring about peace and bliss in the world. In fact, you are all embodiments of peace, bliss and Divine. Everyone of you should make efforts to develop inner peace individually. Then the whole world will be peaceful. Don't yield to any fear or anxiety. Develop love. Hatred breeds disaster. Shed feelings of hatred. With love, the country and world will prosper.
God incarnates for the revival of Dharma (Righteousness) which includes morality, truth, virtue, love and a host of other qualities that uphold the communities of man as well as the individual. The other purposes usually given, such as serving the devoted, destroying the wicked, re-establishing the sacred tradition, these are all secondary. For, he who is righteous will be guarded from harm by righteousness itself, he who is unrighteous will fall into disaster through the evil that he perpetrates. The one task includes all else.
– Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse