Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 28 (1995)
Topic - Excerpt from Divine Discourse
Nearness to God

Sage Vyaasa, who codified these four Vedhas and wrote 18 puraanas, finally gave one stanza as the essence of all the puraanas, namely, "It is meritorious to render help to others. It is sinful to cause harm to them," "Paropakaarah punyaaya, paapaaya parapeedanam." The inner meaning of the declaration by Vyaasa should be understood by everyone. Para means Brahma, Upa means nearness and Kara means go. So this term Paropakaara means travel towards the Aathma and go nearer the Paramaathma. Chanting the name of God or doing other forms of worship will not help you to go near God, though they are good deeds. It is only by selfless service you can get nearer to God. This is real Punya."Paapaaya Parapeedanam." According to worldly interpretation, this means that it is a sin to hurt others. But there is an inner meaning for this. Para means Aathma. Peedanam means 'hurting.' The same principle of Aathma is in everyone. You should not hurt the Aathma. What is meant by this is that you should realise the oneness of the Aathma in all. If you do not realise this and act contrary to the principle, it is 'hurting.'