Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 29 (1996)
Namasmarana is the Greatest Sadhana in the Kali Yuga

Editor’s note: This discourse does not appear in the Sathya Sai Speaks series. It appeared in Sanathana Sarathi, October 2011.
Oh noble one! Just as a powerful army is the life of a fort,
honour is the life of a woman, and signature is the life of a promissory note,
truth is the life of speech.
(Telugu Poem)
Forgetting this principle amounts to forgetting humanness itself.
When you have to say something, speak according to the requirement of time and circumstances. Speak with humility in such a way that you do not hurt others. Never utter harsh words. Moreover, do not tell something untrue just to please someone. Whether others like it or not, adhere to truth in letter and spirit.
Speak with conviction. Only then will you be respected in society. Uphold the respect of individual, society, nation, and human race at large. Speech is the basis for all this. Consider speech as your life-breath.
Truth is the ornament of speech
Do you know what the tongue is given to you for? Is it to indulge in vain gossip? No, no, the tongue is given to you to speak truth. Truth is the ornament of speech just as charity is the ornament of hand. Good conduct is the life-breath of man.
But people use their faculty of speech in an arbitrary way, utter falsehoods, and thereby lose respect in society.
What is the true ornament of man? Truth is the ornament of man. The scriptures say, Sathyam bruyath, priyam bruyath, na bruyath sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly, and do not speak unpalatable truth), Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth, practise righteousness). These two principles are the cornerstones of Indian culture. You should purify your hearts and refine yourselves by following these two principles.
Peace is the ornament of noble souls. Truth is the ornament of humanity. Bliss is the ornament of God. One can attain supreme happiness only in the contemplation of God. Worldly and physical happiness is momentary. It is not true happiness. Under the influence of pride of wealth and power, one takes to several evil ways. But wealth and power are just like passing clouds. Whether it is physical power or mental power or power of wealth, everything is temporary.
One may have physical prowess and the power of intelligence,
But one will come to grief if one lacks divine grace,
Karna was a great warrior but what was his fate
Never forget this truth. (Telugu Poem)
Karna had physical power, power of intellect, and power of weapons. In fact, he was endowed with all powers. He was much superior to Arjuna in all these respects. Arjuna also did not possess the quality of generosity that Karna had. Karna would never go back on his word.
Though he was endowed with all virtues and the spirit of sacrifice, Karna became one of the four wicked Kauravas (Duryodhana, Dussasana, Sakuni, and Karna) because he could not go back on the promise given by him to wicked Duryodhana.
Tell me your company, and I shall tell you what you are. Wicked qualities enter you when you associate yourself with wicked people. Similarly, when you are in good company, you imbibe good qualities. Coal shines like fire when it comes in contact with it. As is your company, so you become. As is the flour, so is the chapati. As is the food, so is the belch.
Desire and greed cause one’s downfall
The wound caused by a fall may heal with time, but the wound caused by harsh words can never be healed. Consider truth as your life breath. When you speak to your parents, friends, and elders, make sure that your speech is suffused with truth.
Hanuman was the minister of Sugriva. He came to meet Rama and Lakshmana on the instructions of Sugriva. Rama was very much pleased with the soft and sweet manner of Hanuman’s speech. He said to Lakshmana, “Dear brother, he is endowed with peace, virtues, and valour. His peace is reflected in his speech. His virtues are evident in the respectful manner in which he is conducting himself. His valour is obvious in the way he has come down from the top of the mountain Rishyamuka in the twinkling of an eye.” One’s good or bad qualities are revealed in one’s speech. All that one experiences is the reaction, resound, and reflection of one’s speech.
You all know, there is widespread prevalence of wickedness and injustice in the world today. All this is due to the influence of Kali Age (the age we are in). Man today is bogged down by desire and greed. He has unlimited desires.
There is nothing wrong in desiring things that are necessary for daily life. We need certain things in order to maintain the dignity and honour of our family. It is our duty to safeguard the honour and welfare of society. The honour of society is the honour of the country.
First comes individual, then society, and thereafter nation. Therefore, students should first develop individual character. This imparts value and respect to an individual. Thereafter, you should uphold the honour of your family. In ancient times, people used to give great importance to the honour of the family in matrimonial alliances. But, today, nobody bothers about the character of the individual or the honour of the family. It is natural for man to have noble desires keeping in mind individual character, honour of the family and welfare of society.
Second, people today are obsessed with greed. It is not possible to say how many people have lost their lives because of their greed. Wherever we look today, virtues and friendship are not being valued; only money has become most important.
So many people accumulate enormous wealth. But where does all their wealth go? What are they doing with it? Do they spend it for any good cause or charitable purpose? Do they use it to provide education and health facilities to the poor? Nothing at all.
Were there not so many kings who accumulated wealth and earned great name and fame? Where are they now? They did not take with them even a fistful of sand when they departed from this world.
However, there is nothing wrong in earning money to meet our essential needs in our dayto-day life. You think the education that you acquire is meant only to earn money.
You may boast of amassing great wealth, but you cannot attain even an iota of peace with it.
You may boast of high education, but it cannot help you to attain even a little peace in this world.
(Telugu Poem)
This is the ‘greatness’ of modern education! It only promotes vain argumentation, which gives rise to enmity but not peace. Therefore, it is not good to indulge in argumentation.
One has to develop three P’s to safeguard one’s humanness: Purity, Patience, and Perseverance. These are the three essential human values. When you have purity, you will attain sathya and dharma and experience bliss by practising them. When you have patience, you will have righteous conduct and observe nonviolence. When you have perseverance, you will attain all the human values.
When there is love and righteousness in you, you will never resort to violence. One who has truth and peace will never feel agitated in any situation. Even if you have only one of these four human values, namely, sathya, dharma, santhi, and prema, you will certainly observe nonviolence. There is no need to make any special effort to develop nonviolence. It is enough if you have at least one of these four human qualities.
Due to the absence of fear of sin and love for God,
humanness has declined in human beings.
This is detrimental to universal peace. (Telugu Poem)
One may be a simpleton without any intelligence or intellectual capabilities, but if one has fear of sin it is enough. You may have any amount of wealth, gold and worldly possessions but if you lack fear of sin, you can only be considered as an ignoramus.
Once Prahlada told his father, “Why do you kill innocent people just as you hunt wild animals in the forest? You are indulging in acts of violence in order to expand your kingdom. What do you gain by killing so many people? This is not what you are supposed to do. How can one, who has become a slave to inner enemies, conquer his external foes? You have many great enemies within you. What are they? They are kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride and jealousy). Having surrendered to these six inner enemies, you are killing innocents outside. It is a great sin.” First and foremost, kill your inner enemies like desire, anger, greed, etc. Only then can you develop fear of sin. What is the reason for the unrest prevailing in the country today? The reason is lack of fear of sin and love for God. There is unrest and agitation wherever you look, either in the forest or on the top of hills, either in the towns or in the villages.
All of you know, if there is only one bangle in the hand, it does not make any noise. But as soon as you have another bangle, they will start making noise. Similarly, wherever two people come together, there is unrest and agitation. Due to the impact of Kali Age, forbearance, sympathy, friendship, compassion, and kindness have become extinct. Everywhere, there is only selfishness and selfinterest.
Students today should take a pledge to work for the welfare of society and protection of the country at large. Then only can their education become worthwhile. You can attain peace only when you serve the country. You are born and brought up in society. The help and encouragement that you receive from society is responsible for your progress. Therefore, serve society and express your gratitude to it.
Help others to the extent possible
When you speak good words, you can win the trust of others. Emperor Bali said to his guru that there was no greater sin than going back on one’s promise. He even disregarded the advice of his guru in order to adhere to truth. When Vamana asked Bali for three steps of land, his guru Sukracharya cautioned him, saying, “Oh Bali! He is not an ordinary person, but Lord Narayana himself. You will become a pauper if you give Him the three steps of land that He has asked for.” Bali replied, “Swami, when God Himself has stretched His hand before me to beg, who am I to deny? I will certainly fulfil my promise. I don’t care what my fate is. It is my great good fortune that my hand is above His hand. Can there be any greater good fortune for me than this? I am prepared to do anything to attain this blessedness.” Your honour lies in keeping up your word. Youth is like a passing cloud, which comes and goes. Neither is it there in the beginning nor will it last till the end. It comes and goes in the middle like running water under the feet. How long can it last? Do not be proud of your youth, which is so transient and temporary.
Keeping in view the future and welfare of society, develop unwavering vision and steady mind. Not only this, bring a good name to your parents. They work hard and bear all types of difficulties for your welfare and progress. Their only desire is that you study well, come up in life, and earn a good name. Therefore, you should make efforts to give them peace and happiness.
In spite of all his education, a foolish person will not know their true Self. What is all this modern education? It only gives bookish knowledge. You cannot earn good name with this type of education. You can earn a good name in society only through good actions. Try to alleviate the suffering of your fellowmen. Help others to the extent possible.
Just because Swami has told you to develop a spirit of sacrifice, do not go beyond your capacity. You cannot have more water than the capacity of your container. You can have only as much water as it can hold. If you want to have more water, you need a bigger container. That is to say, you should broaden your heart. Then you will have broad feelings.
Whenever any thought arises in you, use your power of discrimination and enquire whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. Only then should you act upon it. Do not act in haste. Haste makes waste, waste makes worry. So, do not be in a hurry. Take your time and enquire before doing anything. However, this does not mean that you should unnecessarily waste time. Time is God.
Today the situation in society is such that people try to misuse even the good actions of others. Even if you help them, they try to harm you. No doubt, one should help even those that harm him.
There is nothing great in helping those who have helped you.
He is a noble one who helps even those who have harmed him.
(Telugu Poem)
But you must use your discrimination while helping others. Think to what extent you can help such people. I have told this story earlier also. When Mohammad Ghori attacked Prithvi Raj, he was completely defeated by him. But Prithvi Raj, being a large-hearted ruler, forgave him and let him go scot free. Later, Mohammad Ghori again attacked Prithvi Raj and defeated him. Mohammad Ghori made Prithvi Raj captive and blinded him. He did not have gratitude toward Prithvi Raj, who had earlier allowed him to go back unharmed.
You should, therefore, be cautious in practising forgiveness while dealing with a cruel person. No doubt, forgiveness is a great virtue, but it will do more harm than good if it is practised with respect to an evil-minded person. You should forgive such a person once or at most twice. Do not forgive him every time he harms you, otherwise you will be put to danger.
Tips to control anger
Always have good feelings and good thoughts toward everyone. However, conduct yourself with great caution as per the demands of the time and situation. Learn to talk softly, sweetly in a pleasing manner. It is only for your own satisfaction and not for others. At times, you are overpowered by anger, which creates great agitation in your mind. But you should make efforts to calm it down. Do not act immediately in a fit of anger.
One with anger will not be successful in any of endeavours.
He will commit sins and will be ridiculed by one and all.
His own people will abandon him. He will lose all wealth and respect. His anger will ruin him completely. (Telugu Poem) Students!
There are certain tips to bring your anger under control. The first step is to leave the place as soon as anger arises in you and drink a cup of cold water. Go inside and look at your face in a mirror. You will realise how ugly and distorted your face looks when you are angry. You will look like Surpanakha. Then you will be disgusted with your own anger and say to yourself, “Fie on me. I should never give scope to anger.” Even after all this, if your anger does not subside, go to the bathroom at once, open the tap and put a bucket underneath. As the water starts pouring into the bucket, take that sound as sruti (pitch) and start singing the Divine Name. All your sins are washed away when you sing bhajans. You can also take a quick walk for a while. All these tips act like medicines and bring your anger under control.
Our ancients used to develop their natural human qualities by following such methods. At that time, there were no pills to reduce anxiety and calm down the mind. Today, as soon as you are in the grip of anxiety, the doctor gives you a pill. These pills act like sedatives and put you to sleep. Do not form the habit of taking such pills.
What is the pill that we are supposed to take?
Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Namaiva Kevalam, Kalau Nastyeva Nastyeva Nastyeva Gathiranyatha (chanting of the Divine Name is the only path to liberation in this Age of Kali). Chanting the Divine Name is most important in this Kali Age. There is no better medicine than namasmarana (remembrance or repetition of the name of God). Therefore, always chant the Divine Name. Chanting of Divine Name will do away with all your troubles and unrest and confer peace and bliss on you.
What is the greatest power in this Kali Age?
Oh noble one!
There is no yuga like Kali Yuga because one can attain liberation in this yuga merely by chanting the Divine Name.
(Sanskrit Verse)
Chant the Divine Name and attain bliss
There is nothing greater than the chanting of the Divine Name in this Kali Age. This is the best medicine for all worldly ills. Meditation, sacrifice, and worship) are prescribed as the primary means of liberation in the Krita, Treta and Dwapara Yugas, respectively. Namasmarana (remembrance of the name) is the easiest path to liberation in this Kali Yuga.
Therefore, people born in this yuga are more fortunate than those that lived in the other three yuga.
But, unfortunately, people today are not able to follow such an easy path. You are unable to sit steadily even for a couple of minutes. Then what sort of penance can you perform? It is impossible. Therefore, take refuge in namasmarana. There is no greater spiritual discipline (sadhana) than this.
When you continuously sing the Divine Name, it drives away all your evil qualities. You yourself can see how blissful you become when you sing the Divine Name. That is why God is described as Ganalola and Ganapriya (lover of music).
Sage Narada always sings the Divine Name of Lord Narayana. This is his main task. The Lord becomes ecstatic listening to his singing. There is so much bliss in singing. It captivates one’s heart so that one is lost in ecstasy. That is why singing is considered most valuable.
One may not know the nuances of music like sruti, laya, raga, and tala (pitch, rhythm, tune, and beat), but one should sing wholeheartedly with feeling.
There are three ways to utter the Divine Name. You can pray in words, “Oh Rama, please protect me” or the same can be said in the form of a poem also. However, they are not very pleasing to hear. But when you express the same prayer in the form of a song, it directly enters the heart, because there is so much of sweetness and bliss in singing. That is why Narada continuously sings the Divine Name, “Narayana, Narayana...” Once, Sage Narada approached Lord Narayana and prayed to Him to explain the efficacy of Rama Nama (repetition of the name Rama). “Narada! Look, there is a parrot on the tree. Go and ask the parrot to chant Rama Nama once,” said Narayana. Obeying His command, Narada went to the parrot and asked it to chant the Name of Rama. The moment the parrot heard the Divine Name of Rama, it dropped down dead from the tree.
Narada went back to Narayana and said, “Oh Lord! As per Your command, when I asked the parrot to chant Rama Nama, it breathed its last.” Narayana said, “Oh Narada! Do not worry about the death of the parrot. Just now, a cow has given birth to a calf. Go and ask the calf to chant the Name of Rama.” Narada was afraid lest the calf should also meet the fate of the parrot. However, obeying the command of Narayana, he asked the calf to chant the Divine Name of Rama. As soon as the newborn calf heard the Name of Rama, it also dropped down dead.
When Narada informed Narayana, He again commanded him to go to the palace of a king who was blessed with a son and ask the prince to chant the Divine Name of Rama. Narada was fear-stricken, but Narayana insisted that Narada obey His command. Narada went to the palace and asked the newly-born prince to chant Rama Nama once. The prince saluted Sage Narada and informed him that by the mere listening to Rama Nama just once, he was transformed from a parrot to a calf and from a calf to a human being as a prince. He expressed his gratitude to Sage Narada for initiating him into Rama Nama. Thus, the Divine Name confers human birth, which is considered a rare gift.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ...”)
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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