Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 11 (1971 - 72)
Thirst and quest

NA shreyo niyamam vina - "No progress without constraint!" Control heightens power; regulation puts it into the best use. As volunteers trained and eager to serve, where the chance opens up, you are like the young men who were growing up in the Rishikuls (hermitages of old), under the loving care of sages. (Now, these Rishikuls have lost the 'r' and are merely shikuls (transformed phonetically, into schools). Discipline comes to the rescue, during crisis, when the world flows towards you, as a dark flood of hate or derision, or when those in whom you put your trust shun contact and shy away. Without discipline, the mind of man is turned into a wild elephant in rut. You have to catch it young and train it so that its strength and skill can be useful to man and harmless to life around. At this period of life, when you are in the flush of youth with your physical, intellectual and mental equipment in perfect trim, you must resolve to keep it running on right; lines, and not injuring itself, or the operators. Discipline must be welcomed; it should not be enforced by an outside agency, like the samithi (organisation) or your parents or friends. It must be spontaneously sought after, and sincerely practised.
Prepare yourselves for serving others
This birth has been undertaken by you, for this very mission: the mission of crucifying the ego on the cross of compassion. An opportunity to be of some service to fellowmen comes to you as a gift from God. Serve with that sense of gratitude, for it is God who accepts it from you. Prepare yourselves for serving others, not only by learning the skills of first aid, the rules of the road, the technique of blood donation, the art of handling mikes and loudspeakers, wiring and fitting electric lines, etc., but, at the time when you are not actively engaged in some such activity, be busy with japam, dhyanam or nama smaranam, fill yourselves with God, lest you go dry and cruel.
Keep the mind busy with these, for once it strays into the by Lanes of the world, it will get infected with evil. Guard the tiny flame of sympathy with suffering, from the gusts of cynicism and miserly greed. Service to others is the duty you owe to society, which has given you the culture you fed on the breath you live on the warmth you crave for, and the security you seek. Man is born helpless, and is laid on the lap of society. Society gives him a name and a form, a personality, an individuality, an armour of beliefs, a playground of doubts and diversions. Man is the only animal that knows it has to die, and that yearns to survive death or by pass the fangs of death.. Man alone has the strange thirst after the nectar, that confers immortality. That is his special task, his special quest, the quest for the Truth that emancipates. Understand the deep significance of service; it will lead to your becoming ideal leaders, who are in great need today, all over the world. You fulfil yourselves, by sharing; you empty yourselves by grabbing. Do not behave in such a way that people are wary of you be open, without harmful eyes, lascivious ears, false tongue, foul minds and pernicious hands. Your eyes give you away easily; look upon all without the guilt of lust or scandal; speak to all, of all with love blooming out of adoration; let your hands give never take what is not yours. Treat the distressed, the diseased, the old, the helpless, the child with great respect, and intelligent consideration.
"Do what will win the approval of Baba"
Lead simple lives; do not develop an attraction for high life, gaudy outlandish dress and manners; invite the reverential attention of those who need service. They will be kept away if you walk about swell, talk raucously, and begin pushing people around, with swagger and swearing. Test every gesture, every mannerism, every whim of yours, on this touchstone Will this win the approval of Baba? Here is a young man, whom I will call a good boy! Do you know why? Yesterday, when I moved among the thousands gathered in the pandhal, he was standing - a volunteer - on the outer fringe. I shook my little finger at him. This morning, when I went round the same place, he was at the same post of duty but, with his side burns removed! He knew what Baba disapproved, and he corrected himself immediately. I appreciate that. Side burns is a side issue; there are more serious misdemeanours, which you know I do not encourage. Be free from every one of them. When you recognise Me as the dweller in your heart, these will fall off, and you will walk on the path of self-knowledge, self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-realisation.
The Truth that is in all beings is also in you. Search for that; discover that unity; that source of courage, of love, of wisdom. You do not realise that it is He who digests the food that you consume, for, as He says, in the Geetha, I am the Vaishwanara - fire that is in the bodies of all beings and digests the four types of food they eat." That fire digests food, but, it is careful not to destroy the stomach itself!
He is the basis of all activity, though Himself unconcerned.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse