19 November 1980
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 14 (1978 - 80)
TREAT mercifully those who struggle to survive; help them as much as you can: realise your responsibilities: move reverentially with others: win the blessings of Sai and earn good fame among fellow men: examine your daily activities on the touchstone of righteousness: may you become individuals shining in virtue. Embodiments of Love! The reconstruction of man is indeed the reconstruction of the world. Only when man becomes better can the world be better. Only when the individual becomes good can society be happy. Progress in externals like political, economic, and social spheres, is not enough. The mind of man has to be reformed. This cannot be effected through food only. Materialists who argued that human problems can be solved by ensuring food, clothing and shelter, reached their doom when the atom bomb was exploded. Man can reach fullness only when the three lines of progress, material, intellectual, and spiritual, are all pursued with earnestness.
Sanathana Dharma Embraces All Faiths
Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Universal Religion) enables one to attain this fullness. Really speaking, very few have grasped the uniqueness and the importance of this Religion. Nowadays, many elders and political leaders are afraid to utter even the word “Religion” before the gatherings they address. They shape their lives in accordance with a new order, which has no religious slant whatsoever. In fact, they have not understood what religion really means. They do not attempt to discover the significant role of religion. Many talk from platforms on Hindhuism and Sanathana faith but very few of them have understood the genuine core. Sanathana Dharma is the very basis of living. It deals with the total personality. It embraces all faiths and has established worldwide influence. Sanathana means Eternal. Only a Dharma (code of righteousness) which can win Universal acceptance can be named Sanathana. The religions we know are all derived from a person or prophet who is adored as the ideal. Islam has Muhammad, Christianity has Jesus, Bhuddhism has the Buddha. But Sanathana Dharma is not derived from or through a person. It is the primal essence of all faiths. It is the essence of all the messages the prophets proclaimed. It is welcomed by all mankind, for it welcomes all mankind. It is therefore to be deplored that some Indians boast selfishly, “Sanathana Dharma is our religion.” Newton, discovered after a series of experiments, that the earth had the force of gravitation. But, we cannot conclude that the earth had no such force until Newton’s discovery. So too, though the principles of Sanathana Dharma are inherent in human consciousness, and have their impact all over the world, the people of Bharath have long practised and experienced them and discovered their value and validity. They have earned invaluable Bliss therefrom. Just as atomic science developed in one country and later spread to other countries, the Sanathana faith, developed in India and spread to other countries. Even a material process like atomic science cannot be held down in one place; in the same manner, this spiritual science too has spread all over the wide world.
The Divine Is Manifest In Every Human Being
Sanathana Dharma is bound to overcome today’s rampant materialism, for it can harmonise the secular and the spiritual, into a single way of life. It can bring together into closer kinship both man and God. It is based on the Divine which is the reality of the Self. So, it is not limited to one country, one individual, one period of time, or one sect. It has a variety of procedures, points of view, disciplines and guidelines, in accordance with the special features of the region, the age, and the environment. It is co-eval with man on earth. This faith, though first explicit in Bharath, between the Himalayan range and the three seas, has become a world faith, through its innate strength.
The Divine is manifest in every human being. The religions professed may be different, the manifestations may differ; but the Self which Sanathana Dharma posits is the same in all. “The thousand-headed, thousand eyed, thousand-footed person, posited therein is the Divine Self, approachable through many paths, expressed in many forms. The units of the Sai Organisation have to exemplify and promote this Unity in Diversity taught by Sanathana Dharma. The very purpose with which the Organisation was formed is to stress on this Unity. The essence of all religions, the goal of all paths, the destination of all spiritual effort, is this Sanathana’ Dharma (the Universal Eternal Faith). It is like the ocean: particular creeds are rivers that flow into it. It is the vital air on which humanity has to live.
Emphasis On The Atma Is A Must
In our Organisation, there must be a constant attempt to cultivate love which transcends caste, creed, race and class distinctions. This sense of equality is its special feature. It is not enough if the units undertake material, moral, and spiritual teaching. Emphasis on the Atma (Divine Self) and the awareness of the Oneness of the Atma is a must. This day, we are holding the Third World Conference of the Units of the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. There is no special teaching to be offered to the office-bearers of these Units during this session. The life of Sai, the Message of Sai, the ideals Sai holds forth, the lesson that Sai teaches the world, are all enshrined in one word, love. Many are perhaps hoping for a special message on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Conference. I do not attach any extra importance to a World Conference nor do I feel any other gathering as less. These Conferences are held to satisfy your desire, to express your love. The petromax lamp needs pumping, off and on; the pin has to remove its grit sometimes. So, too, gathering together like this, you can exchange thoughts and make a few additions, or changes, improvements or amendments, in your attitudes and thought-styles.
Do Not Allow Ego To Pollute Your Actions
You are trying through various means to live the ideals of Sai and to spread the love that Sai evokes in you. How far have these efforts succeeded? How have they helped this identification of the humanness of man? Along with the process of listening to the exposition of the ideals and of the message, they have to be practised in daily life. Only then can you declare that you have grasped the meaning and purpose of this conference. Every one must become the embodiment of love. Love can be expressed only as love, through love. Lovelessness is at the root of the anarchy that stalks the world today. Unchecked selfinterest, misdirected activity, the wild antics of the ego, pompous living and envious intolerance have caused this monstrous situation. Realising this, you have to be vigilant. Do not allow even a trace of ego, pomp, or cruelty to pollute your actions. Peace and prosperity can dawn on the world only when you move in society with love, that is free from the taint of selfishness. The question may be raised whether our Organisations are free from this taint? They are not without it, for you are but humans. But, you should endeavour ceaselessly to get rid of it and its attendant evils. When these bad traits are evident in others, you feel disgusted; how then can you tolerate them when they fasten themselves on you? During the discussions you hold, consider how best you can keep afar from selfishness, pomp and cruelty, how best you can appreciate and emulate the equanimity and the love manifested by your fellowmen. Get rid of the desire to show off, and to gather praise. These are considered to be but evidence of childishness. But, those who have the Atma as the basis should never slide into this weakness.
Religions Arise From The Minds Of Men
Bear burdens bravely, declaring, “I am a man.” Try to raise yourselves into the Divine. Or, a least, try to live up to the standard expected of the human. The thought in the mind, the word on the tongue and the deed by the hand – try to make all three, one. Many people hope to lead good lives by doing good deeds. But I do not believe this is possible. You can never become good, by means of good deeds. You have to be good, in order that your deeds and words can be good. First, endeavour to be a good person. Thereafter, it becomes possible for you to do good. Be good; do good. It is not possible to predict when and where or for what reason a person’s life blossoms or expands. You may pray underneath a tree which yields bitter fruit, it can’t give you a sweet fruit. But, when a branch of the sweet fruit tree is grafted on that tree, it can yield sweet fruits, though originally it could not. This process of grafting is equivalent to Sathsang (good company) in human affairs – getting involved with the good and godly. So do service to your fellow-men with pure intentions and always seek good company. Then, you can transform yourselves.
The evil traits that have grown through many lives and generations cannot be wiped away in an instant. So, mix in godly groups, cultivate good habits and attitudes, and involve yourselves in good activities.
In this gathering, people from many countries, speaking many languages, belonging to many races, are present. They are all single-mindedly united in love for Sai and in love from Sai, in spite of differences in nationality, race, creed, colour and dress. This is my real task. This is the consummation of the yearnings of the ancient seers and sages of this land. Develop this Oneness, this Unity in love, hold it ever before you as the ideal. Religions arise from the minds of men; they are not external to man. When minds are polluted, religion too suffers pollution. Those who deny religion can be denoted as having distorted or polluted minds. Of course, religion is not related to practices and prohibitions like “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch this.”
Make The World A Happy Home Of Love
Every religion teaches only good principles and disciplines. When the mind of man is steadfast in the good, how can religion be bad? Therefore, acquire the love that draws all into the One. By this means, you can put down the fears and anxieties, the greed and envy, the hatred and haughtiness that are today infecting the peoples of the world and establish an era of peace and joy. Let all the worlds be happy – this is the prayer that comes naturally from every human heart. This is the goal to which Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Universal Religion) leads. Every one must sing of this goal, live in the melody of that song, and merge, through that melody, in the Paramatma (Supreme Divine Self). Embodiments of love! Do not seek to find differences between one person and another. Seek rather ways and means to strengthen the bonds of kinship, through love. Factions and fighting emerge among the followers of the same family because they have not learnt to love. From the self-same mind, many conflicting feelings emerge, Why? Love has not been nursed and grown therein.
You have to sow love and grow love and destroy the weeds of fear and hatred that have spread over the world. Make the world a happy Home of Love.
The search for truth must become your daily spiritual discipline; every moment must be used for this primary duty. Truth can reflect itself in your intelligence only when it is cleaned by thapas. Thapas means all acts undertaken with higher motives; all acts indicating yearning for the spirit; repenting for past blunders; staunch determination to adhere to virtue, self-control; unyielding adherence to equanimity in the face of success or failure. Thapam means heat, burning, intensity, earnestness of endeavour. It is thapas (penance or religious austerity) that fosters renunciation and discipline.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba