33. The poetry of Love
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 12 (1973 - 74)
The poetry of Love
ANTICIPATING the rains at the appropriate time of the year, as dictated by previous experience of himself and his forefathers, the ryot prepares the field with plough and harrow; then, when the rains come and soak the furrows, he sows the seeds, so that they may sprout and shoot through the soil. If he delays or desists, how can he reap the harvest? Or, if, when the crop is ready for the sickle, he does not reap the sheaves and bundles them home, how can his granary be filled with the food he needs must have? The rain is the gift of God; man can only pray for it, and propitiate God by righteousness. The ploughing, the sowing, the weeding and the reaping are the sadhanas man must undertake to deserve the Grace and to get the strength to thank God for His Gifts. Without God, life is like a school without a teacher; it is a wire with no current passing through it; it is a body with no soul. God is in us, around us and beyond us; as the air is imperceptible in the absence of breeze or of things that it moves; so God too can be known only by His manifestation in man and beast, plant and bird, in things and beings all around us. No one yet knows the mystery of the electric current, why it behaves so, what is the exact nature of its origin and flow; but, yet it is manipulated into a thousand uses and it is manifesting through a thousand appliances and instruments.
God is a Reality ever present in every being
So too, God is present everywhere; but we can understand only that part of Him that manifests before our cognition. Ordinary people will swear that the earth does not move at all; it is held forth in poetry as a symbol of stability. But, it has two motions, both unbelievably fast! It rotates on its own axis at a speed which exceeds a thousand miles per hour; even while rotating so, the earth moves round the Sun at an astonishing rate of speed! But, do we notice it while it happens? God too is a reality, ever present in us and in every being; but, we miss Him, as we miss the movement of the earth. We have to infer God through proofs and evidences of His Providence, His Grace, His Majesty and His Glory, just as we infer the movements of the earth, the Moon and the Stars, by watching the sky, the seasons and the precise procession of day and night. We cannot describe God in the vocabulary learnt upon the earth. We have to experience the Bliss of realising Him as the core of our being. Man is endowed with a sense of wonder and awe, the sense which makes him either Karma Yogi (a participant), Jnana Yogi (an inquirer into the mystery) or Bhakthi Yogi (a devout adorer). When he suppresses or ignores or bypasses this sense of wonder, he gets involved in the physical world, physical needs and physical pursuits. He starts worshipping Mammon and he strays away from the good, the just and the beautiful. He barters the Chalice of Bliss for a mouthful of dust.
Poets have to discover God first
Since we have today a few poets reading their poems before us, I am tempted to tell them something about their art. The poets of today are in the forefront of those who regard God as dead, a decorative piece, if not an encumbrance or a nuisance! They cater to their fans sweets coated with fashionable slogans and catchy phrases. They never care for the higher values of life, or the lasting ideals for living. Their poetry deals with external objects, sensuous emotions, and trivial tinsel. It is all extremely shallow and sapless. Real poetry emanates from the call of the Divine within, to express itself in sublime vocabulary. It grants lasting joy to the poet as well as the reader. It does not lower one's estimate of the world and its Creator. Readers must be drawn more often to read the poem, and each time they browse on it and ruminate over its lines, new vistas of meaning must open up before their minds. Then only can the poem be for all time and for all men. Poets have to discover God first and then, disseminate their ecstasy among those that are thirsty for that bliss. And, who has not got that thirst deep within himself? Every one is an exile, pining for his home in God. The pilgrimage towards God can be made smooth, quick and safe, by the fight type of poets. A blind person or a lame person cannot cross a river at the ford, all by himself. The lame man can ride on the shoulders of the blind man and lead him across, safe. For, he has the eye and the other has the purposefulness and the strength. The poet has the eye full of experience; he knows the path; he can avoid the pitfalls and help others to do likewise. He can encourage, enthuse.
In the same manner, a person cannot, by himself, acquire the jnana (spiritual wisdom) or discover the path to realise the soul within him; the poet is the Guru (Preceptor) for such earnest Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants). He must be aware of this high role, as the Rishis (sages) of old were aware; he must train himself for this high status. When I speak to you, I do not pause to examine whether I am following your rules of grammar; the words pour from the heart, full of Prema (divine love). The heart renders all words sweet and soft. Sweet words and sweet manners lead to sweet actions and sweet reactions.
There is no power more effective than Love
Fill the heart with love; then, the words coming out of the heart will be full of vitality and power. There is no Shakthi (Power) more effective than Prema (Love). The grammar of Love makes the words enter the hearts of the listeners and moves them into acceptance, appreciation and action. A child's prattle has no grammar, but, it wins the love of the mother. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa did not know the word 'pension'; he said 'pence' once, instead of pension. Swami Vivekananda interposed with the correct word, but, the Paramahamsa said that the word did not matter, it was enough if what was meant to be communicated was understood. The bhava (the idea intended to be communicated) is the real thing; the bhasha (language in which it is clothed) is of superficial interest only. I want you to imbibe the bhava; I want the poets to inculcate pure bhava, not pretty bhasha. If you understand the bhava which I am transmitting, then you can become genuine devotees and Sadhakas, and progress on the path of self-realisation. Now, there are bhakthas (devotees) by the million! They are increasing daily in number.
And you might have noticed, Sai Babas too have become very large in number! Also, people claiming association with Me, claiming that I have blessed them more plentifully than others, and authorised them to go about among the bhakthas and gain importance by collecting funds or donations! Real devotees will never announce such absurd claims or listen to such claims made by others. A true devotee will be steadfast in faith, whatever the ups and downs Of worldly fortune. He prays to the Lord not for padhartham (material objects or the fulfilment of worldly desires), but, for Para-ar-tham (the happiness that is supra-worldly). The Pandavas were such devotees and so, Krishna declared that He dwells in the heart of every one of those five brothers, as well as of their queen, Dhroupadhi. They are five examples for mankind, in this Kali yuga (Iron Age).
I exhort every one to cultivate Prema, for, I am Prema, and when you manifest Prema, you are only expressing Me, the Indweller of your heart.
Individual spiritual practice is the negative pole and service is thepositive pole. The conjunction of both poles can alone bringsuccess. The mind carries the Divine Principle (the Light of Love)and conveys it to all who contact it.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba