Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 9 (1969)
The profound pastime

NOWADAYS, man has got into the habit of acting and talking as per his whims. There is no control exercised by conscience or moral sense or manners. For one who is so perverse, who is determined to go down to his doom, there in no need for counsel. Medicine is for the ill, not for the wholly healthy, or the wholly dead. Counsel is for those who suffer from doubt, anxiety or agitation. This counsel is contained in the Shasthras and the sacred texts. A letter can be cast aside, once its contents have been noted, and the instructions communicated through it have been grasped. So too, these Shasthras and texts are to be laid aside, once they are read, understood and followed. There is no purpose in reading them, over and over again. The texts declare that you are not Ramiah or Kamiah or Bheemaiah - the name-labels you now parade as your own - but, you are really the Atma, (the Being)the same that animates all Creation! Geetha teaches this very truth: he who knows this is "Arjuna," he who does not, is the blind King, "Dhritharashtra!" Dhritha means, 'holding fast’ to and rashtra means 'the state'. The blind King held fast to the state and refused to yield even five villages to the rightful owners of half the kingdom! He was so tenacious in his greed. He was attached to something that was not 'he'; and that brought about his destruction. Love everything as you love yourself; you cannot possibly love them more than that! For, a vessel can contain only its full. You cannot overfill it; you love yourself best; that is to say, 'God,' who is your real self?
Deluded man allows thieves to become his masters
The guards at the gate have to be vigilant that thieves do not gain entrance into the house, isn't it? The body of man is a temple, where God is installed. The guards are Shama and Dhama - the control of the senses and of the emotions. If they are inefficient or idle, lust and greed, anger and envy, hate and pride, sneak in, spread and hold sway over the temple; man is so deluded that he honours these thieves, as if they are the masters of the house they have stolen into! Be master of your own mind. Be awake; arise and confront the thieves, before they capture your treasure. That treasure is the awareness of God in all. If there were no thieves in the house, the master can utilise the treasure to his own advantage but, when the thieves are in, he is incapable of benefitting by his "kinship with creation." He feels that he is the body, that he is distinct and alone, that he is surrounded by friends and foes, and afflicted by conspiracies to harm him. He does not love others intensely: he suffers from fear or fondness. The fundamental foolishness from which faults in character and conduct emanate is the belief that what one does is invariably right and just! This is the subtle effect of the virus, EGO. A ryot was once bitten by a vicious dog, owned by a merchant. In sheer self-defence he gave a blow on its head, with the heavy stick he was carrying at the time. The ferocious beast fell dead, and the irate merchant took the ryot to the police station and fried a complaint against him! Before the magistrate, the merchant argued that the ryot could have hit somewhere else than on the highly vulnerable head. It was his pet dog! But, the ryot replied, "The dog bit me with its teeth; if it had bitten me with its tail, I could have hit its hind quarters!" Whatever: is to our advantage will appear right to us; we do not usually look upon a matter from the other fellows standpoint. This leads to endless complications.
Each place has its peculiar vibrations
The food that one eats has to be pure, free from the subtle evils radiated by the persons who collect the materials, who cook the dishes and who serve them. Yes; all these have to be carefully watched by the sadhaka. The place where one spends his life has also subtle influence on character and ideals. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to speak of the peace that one could get in Mathura, Varanasi and other holy places. Though the Ganga is a river that is holy every yard of its long journey to the sea, some spots on the banks, like Rishikesh, Haridhwar, Kashi, Prayag, etc., are specially surcharged with spiritual vibrations that help the sadhaka to cleanse his consciousness, in all its levels. Each place has its peculiar vibrations, which affect the occupant. A noted dacoit had built for himself a hide-out in the remote recess of a jungle; two persons, a man and wife, caught in terrible rain, took shelter therein; they were not affected much by the waves of cruel greed, with which the atmosphere in the hut was contaminated. But, when, after few minutes, a monk walking through the forest ran in and sought refuge from the rain, his immaculate heart quickly got blackened! The clean mind quickly caught the clot. The monk discovered himself contemplating the murder of the couple and robbing them of the jewels they wore. So that he may rebuild his hermitage richly to teach Yoga, to all the world. He got so ashamed of himself that he ran out again into the rain and saved himself from perdition! This is the raison d'etre for the insistence on sathsang (good company), pious comradeship for spiritual aspirants. The pious will be unselfish, not self-seeking. They are their own best friends and the friends of others. When you are in sathsang, your ears have a filter - you will hear only things that are benignant, never anything malignant! Like a rain-heavy cloud, they come down among the low and the weak, to pour joy and courage. Like a fruit-laden branch, they bend within reach of the hungry.
A poet's role is sovereign in the human community
This evening, we heard a number of poets recite their compositions. The poet is known as kavi, a word pregnant with supreme value in our ancient language, Sanskrit. Kavim puranamanushasitharam - the kavi (seer-poet) is 'timeless'; he is the maker of laws for human progress. He has, by means of his heightened intuitive faculty, realised the beginningless and endless expanse of Time; he has experienced the God dwelling within him and others; he knows the Object, the Mirror and the Image. It is indeed a sovereign role, the role of the true poet in the human community.
Poets who barter their talents for a paltry purse, or for cheap fame, are rhymsters, and very often not even that! They start praising patrons and donors, who fling them crumbs from their tables - a few idlies or a cup of coffee! Such men are poltroons, and a blot on society. Poets must have elevated ideals; they must charge themselves with an enthusiastic love for the culture of the people; they must see the handiwork of God, the greatest Poet of all, in every grain of dust, in every twinkle of light, in every drop of rain, in every whiff of air. Their inner joy must surge over along the path of peace to bliss. Poetry has to be honey in the ear and balm on the heart. The poems of the past had these qualities, and so, they are eternal, in their inspiration. They deal with the fundamental and eternal thirst of man and they are rich in thirst-quenching nectar. They satisfy and build up strength. Without spiritual sadhana, the expansion of one's consciousness, the broadening of one's sympathy, the deepening of one's contact with oneself as seen in and through all others, poetry is but a purposeless pastime. Cultivate equanimity and equal vision before you embark on poetry.
Remembrance of the Lord's Name is the best detergent for the mind. It is the means of crossing the sea. The name is the raft that will take you safely across. The name will remove the veil of illusion, that now hides the Universal from the Individual. When that veil fades out, man finds Himself before himself; he beholds the Universe that he is.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse