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THIRD SEVADAL CONFERENCE INAUGURAL DISCOURSE
Divine DiscourseTHIRD SEVADAL CONFERENCE INAUGURAL DISCOURSE
Divine DiscourseTHIRD SEVADAL CONFERENCE INAUGURAL DISCOURSE
23 November 1990
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 23 (1990)
EMBODIMENTS of the Divine Atma! From the most ancient times Bharatiyas considered Truth as God, loved it, fostered it and protected it and thereby achieved divinity. Bharatiyas were devoted to Truth, wedded to Dharma (Righteousness) and esteemed morality in society as the foremost duty. Today because people have forgotten Truth and Righteousness they are unable to solve national problems or end communal differences. We have the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west and both merge in the Indian Ocean. Likewise, Bharat exemplifies the combination of worldly prosperity and spiritual progress. Bharat is the country, where the unity of the Jiva (the individual Spirit) and the Brahmam (the Cosmic Spirit) was established.
When we refer to Bharat, the term is not related to any particular individual, country or circumstance. Although many different derivative meanings have been given to the term by different authorities, these are only their individual interpretations. According to some Puranas, the name Bharat was given to this country because it was ruled by a King called Jada Bharatha. Another explanation is that the name is derived from that Bharatha, son of Dushyanta and Sakuntala, who ruled over the country. Some others may explain that the name is attributed to India because Sri Rama’s brother, Bharatha, enthroned the sacred sandals of Rama and administered the country.
However, when did the term “Bharatha” originate? That name must have existed before Jada Bharatha was given that name, and prior to the naming of Dushyanta’s son and Rama’s brother. It is obvious that the name Bharat existed from times immemorial.
"Bharat" Denotes Entire Human Family
The Goddess Saraswathi is described as Saraswathi, Bhagavathi and Bharathi. Saraswathi means the Vakdevata (Goddess of Speech). Hence every man born with the gift of speech is a Bharata. The name is not associated with any particular individual or country. The term Bharat is applicable to the entire human family. “Bha” refers to the Principle represented by Divine Knowledge. “Self-knowledge” is “Bha.” “Bharatas” are those who take delight in Selfknowledge. Hence everyone who shines by his own sell luminous power is a Bharata. The word is also derived from a root which means that a Bharatiya is one who is skilled in warfare (Sangramam). What does Sangramam mean? It means conquest of the opposing forces confronting him by his divine spiritual power. “Balam Bharam Bhavathi Bibhartheh” are the words used in Nirukta. Balam refers to Brahmabalam (the Atmic strength), Thejobalam (the strength of inner light), Sastrabalam (the strength derived from knowledge of the scriptures). Bharata is one who has these triple kinds of strength. The Sruti (Veda) defines bala (strength) as yajna. It follows that Bharatiya is one who has acquired strength by the performance of yajnas (sacrifices). Hence Bharatiya is one who acquired divine strength by Atmabalam (the power of the Spirit). So, whoever one may be, whatever one’s country, he has to acquire this strength of the Spirit.
Bharat Is A Land Of Plenty
Bharat (India) is a naturally well-endowed country. It is the primary source of all morality, spirituality and worldly wisdom. It is Annapoorna (a land of plenty). To regard such a sacred land as a poor country is a mental aberration. We are not a destitute nation. It is a richly endowed country. If this had not been a wealthy country, why did the Mughals, the Europeans and others invade this country? Though we have been well endowed, we have not been able to safeguard our riches. What is the reason? It is because the people have lacked unity. Freedom has been won, but unity has not been achieved. It is because there is no unity, Bharat is subject to all kinds of calamities. Ghazni Mohammed invaded the Punjab and took away from the country 700 maunds of gold as plunder. In Nagarakota there was a hall thirty yards by fifteen yards entirely built of gold. The entire hall was taken away by the invaders. Inspite of being born in such a land of wealth, it is a pity that people do not take pride in their country. Wherever you turn, you see only swartham (rampant selfishness). Embodiments of Divine Love! Eschew selfishness. Promote unity. Enjoy the bliss of harmony. It is high time you realised what a sacred country Bharat is. In this holy land, nothing is lacking. “What cannot be found in Bharat cannot be found elsewhere” is an ancient saying. Inspite of these multifarious endowments, this country is being regarded as poor and backward. This is born of delusion. Only when we free ourselves from this delusion, we can experience Atmic bliss. We can experience Brahman only when we can get rid of bhrama (delusion). When everything is available within Bharat, why go abegging to other countries? Everything has originated from Bharat. Hence, having taken birth in Bharat, strive to promote the glory of Bharat. Every devotee should take a pledge to protect and promote the greatness of Bharat. Like an elephant that does not know its own strength, Bharatiyas are unaware of their power. Despite their myriad capacities, they are behaving as weaklings like an elephant before its mahout. You have to get rid of this weakness.
Be Aware Of The Uniqueness Of Bharat
Bharat has produced many great sages and saints who have taught profound truths. It is a land of heroes who fought for the freedom of the country. It has been the leader in the knowledge of various arts and sciences, in music and literature. It is most unfortunate that many born in this sacred land are unaware of its unique greatness. Love of the mother is a nectarine quality. What a pity that love of the Motherland should be absent! You must love the Motherland. Resolve to dedicate your lives to the service of the motherland. Unity is the primary requisite. People celebrate the birthdays of our great ones, but few care to follow their teachings. There is nothing great about celebrating birthdays. Every effort must be made to understand their teachings and act upto them. Develop the quality of love. Fill your entire life with love. This was the prayer which the gopikas addressed to Krishna in the former yuga. A life without love is utterly barren. Man is the embodiment of love. Love has to be directed towards what is true. Such love is man’s life-breath.
Fill Your Hearts With The Heritage Of Bharat
Embodiments of the Divine Atma! Esteeming love as the essence of divinity, you have to engage yourselves in loving service to society. You have to restore the glory of Bharat. Bharat has been in the past the preceptor for all nations. All other people are coming to acquire peace and enlightenment. In this situation, it is a great misfortune that Bharatiyas themselves are not conscious of their greatness. Bharatiya history reflects the achievements of Bharat in the realms of the physical, the mental, the spiritual and all other aspects of life. We have to fill our hearts with this heritage.
Today we are dedicating our lives to material and worldly comforts. Of what avail are all these appurtenances? We have to realise the Atmic principle which is the source of enduring bliss. All the knowledge that is acquired, all the positions one may get are of no use if there is no love in the heart. The acquisition of good qualities is more essential than the pursuit of knowledge.
The Magnet Of Divine Love
Why is it that so many lakhs of people have gathered here today? There must be some compelling reason for it. You must be seeking something which you have not found in your native place. There would be no need for you to incur all this expenditure if you could find what you wanted in your own place. Here there is Divine Love. It is this powerful magnet of Divine Love which has been attracting all the iron filings in the form of human beings. Not a single invitation was sent to anyone. No one was asked to come. What has drawn all people here is the power of Divine Love, the bonds uniting hearts. At the root of all this is purity. Where there is purity, there love grows. When purity and love come together, there is Ananda (bliss). Whatever work we do, whatever sacrifices we perform, they are not of much use in the absence of love. In yoga practice, some types of breath control are adopted. The Kundalini yoga is also practised. All this is a form of business. In the breathing exercises, inhalation is described as Purakam, exhalation as Rechakam and holding the breath as Kumbhakam. These do not constitute the means to achieve yogic power. To breathe in all that is good is Purakam. To give up all that is bad is Rechakam. To retain in the heart what is good is Kumbhakam. Everyone is qualified to practise this kind of yoga. This divine type of yoga should be practised by every human being. This is the primary goal of every Bharatiya. This Puttaparthi is a small hamlet. How has this village attained this eminent state? Each one can find the answer for himself. This should not be considered as a yoga or a great piece of good fortune or a lucky accident. It is due to the power of thought. Every sacred thought has the power to find fulfilment. This is why Vedanta declared: “Yadbhavam tadbhavati” (As one thinks, that he becomes). Hence, every man should develop good thoughts. Thereby he gets entitled to the right of fruits.
Adjusting To Difficulties Is A Form Of Penance
Embodiments of Divine Love! Although in this Prashanthi Nilayam adequate facilities and conveniences are not available, and many of you who are used to various amenities have gathered here, you have submitted yourselves to a kind of yoga by which you have adjusted yourselves to all the inconveniences. You should regard this experience as sadhana (spiritual exercise). Enjoying all comforts cannot constitute sadhana. It is through difficulties that you experience happiness. Happiness cannot be realised without going through trouble. Such difficulties must be regarded as a form of penance. Easy life cannot become a penance. The fact that so many lakhs of people have gathered here, putting up with many difficulties and inconvenience, is striking testimony to their sense of unity. Human effort is needed for achieving anything. In the improvement of accommodation and various amenities at Prashanthi Nilayam over the past twenty years, what has been accomplished is the work of Joga Rao. As a member of the Central Trust for twenty years, he has laboured hard day and night ceaselessly to bring about these improvements in Prashanthi Nilayam. He is a Karma Yogi. He takes delight in work. Moreover, what he has been doing tirelessly night and day during the past twelve months is known only to Me and none else. He is not Col. Joga Rao. They call him Colonel Jogi, but he is indeed a Karma Yogi. For the past one month he has not had a moment’s sleep. He is 82 years old. It is because even at this age he has laboured to provide as many amenities as possible, the devotees have been able to overcome their difficulties. To mark their appreciation of Joga Rao’s services, the members of the Central Trust decided to honour him suitably. I do not regard Joga Rao as an outsider. But duty demands that a certain thing should be done. In honouring Joga Rao the Central Trust is discharging a duty. (Bhagavan then put a kadiyams in gold round the wrists of Col. Joga Rao. The entire gathering cheered as Col. Joga Rao came to receive the kadiyams from the Divine hands. Bhagavan told Col. Joga Rao sotto voce that he should carry on the good work with the same energy).
There should be many more karma jivis and karma yogis like Joga Rao in Bharat in the coming years. Everyone should become a karma yogi. That Karma gets transformed into Dharma. That Karma will sanctify human life.
Bharat Is Not A Poor Country
It is the duty of everyone to cultivate faith in the Divine, get immersed in Karmayoga and divinise his life. No Bharatiya should forget the sacredness of Bharat. Bharat is not at all a poor country. It is because this fact is not realised that the country is riddled with strife and disorder. Failing to distinguish between what is transient and what is permanent, people are ruining their lives in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures. For the sake of trivial and momentary benefits, people are sacrificing what is of lasting value. At the time of attaining freedom, only 13 percent of the population was considered backward. This percentage has gone on increasing over the years and today it is 80 percent! In five or six years, it may become cent percent! This is not proper at all. Bharat is not made up of backward classes. For the sake of some petty concessions such classifications are being made. Foreign countries are regarding Bharat as a poverty-stricken country. Embodiments of Divine Love! Remember Bharat is a land of plenty. No country is so well endowed with resources as Bharat. Why, then, should we call ourselves a poor nation? Nor is that all. In the fields of education and medicine, we have to develop the spirit of sacrifice.
Make Education Available Free For All
You all know how many students lost their lives (by self-immolation) a month ago. What. is the reason? It was a protest against the system of reservation on a communal basis. We must seek to promote a system which will make education available freely to all. Education must be for the sake of learning. When that happens, these problems will not arise among students. Here we have today the President of India, the Chief Minister and the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and other eminent persons. In the sphere of education, if we do not create new classifications like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ and establish a system of free education for all, without distinctions of rich or poor, the nation will make striking progress. We are wasting crores of rupees. If we ensure the right kind of future for our children, the nation will benefit immensely. Every spiritual organization should also provide free education. It is well known that the Tirupati Devasthanam has plenty of funds. Why should not the authorities there offer free education? How many crores are being wasted? It is because education is not free, not one of the students in the Devasthanam educational institutions cares to visit the temple. How can devotion grow? In the name of the Lord free education and medical relief should be provided.
The Aim Of 100-Crore Hospital Project
With this object in view, we decided yesterday to establish a big hospital here. Many persons appealed to me to set up the hospital in an urban centre. There are many medical institutions run as a business in several cities. When any educational or medical institution is established, the sole aim is to make a business of it. There are few who are ready to set up such institutions to provide free facilities for the poor. Therefore, from the start we decided to set up a hundred-crore hospital near Prashanthi Nilayam itself. Even as higher education is free here, “Higher medicine” also will be free. People spend some lakhs to get heart surgery done in the U.S. What is the plight of the poor? Who looks after them? If they go to the cities, they will not get even coloured water (mixtures). Recognising this fact, we have launched this big hospital project. Whether it is heart bypass operation, or a kidney transplant, or a lung operation or brain surgery, everything will be done free. This has been decided upon from the very starting of the project. The hospital will be opened on November 22, 1991. No one can understand Sai Sankalpa (workings of the mind). Thought and action are simultaneous like the light and sound that come out when a gun is fired. Hence it is not easy for everyone to understand Sai’s resolve.
The Sathya Sai Saga
Embodiments of Divine Love! Do not regard what I am going to say as an exaggeration. There is not a trace of self-interest in Me. Whatever I do is only for the sake of others. I do not regard you as others. All of you are My own people. Such an all-encompassing feeling cannot be found anywhere in the world. Have you seen anywhere else an organization which has grown so stupendously in fifty years?
In the case of earlier avatars, their fame grew only long after their passing. In the case of the present avatar, in His own life-time, a university, a big hospital, an aerodrome and many other things have been established for the benefit of the villagers and many more will follow in the years ahead. Many persons have doubts as to how all these are being accomplished. The advent (of this avatar) took place 64 years ago. All these years, this hand has not been stretched at any time to seek anything from anyone. I have not asked anyone. I will never ask anyone and there will never be an occasion for it. How then are these things happening? For any good work, there is no impediment in Bharat. When you want to do any good work wholeheartedly, money flows in torrents. The narrow-minded who undertake any work will never be satisfied. They cannot understand the actions of those who are large-hearted and broad-minded. Embodiments of Divine Love! I do not expect anything from you. Only, develop love within you. Regard all mankind with fraternal feelings. Recognize all as the children of God. Bear no ill-will or hatred towards anyone. Do not hurt anyone’s feelings. Only such a large-hearted attitude will confer on you limitless bliss. If you are celebrating Swami’s birthday, this is all that I desire from you. Have unity among yourselves. Strive to revive and promote the glory of Bharat.
"I Am Always Filled With Infinite Joy"
As I was coming here, some people greeted Me with the words: “Happy birthday! Happy birthday!” I am always happy. I need no “Happy” greetings. Convey your greetings of “Happy birthday” to those who are not happy. I am filled with infinite joy. I have never had any worry at any time or place. What is the reason? All things are transient like passing clouds. Why worry about them? We should not be elated or depressed by births or deaths. We came naked into the world. When we leave, we cannot leave our address with “our” kith and kin. How can they be “our kinsfolk?” All these are worldly phenomena. As long as we live, we should spend our lives in harmony and fellow-feeling. All our difficulties can be overcome by contemplation on God. Forgetting God and immersing yourself in worldly concerns, what do you achieve? Have firm faith in God. Don’t give room for differences of caste, creed and nationality. All names and forms belong to the Divine. All that you see is a manifestation of the Cosmic Form of the Lord. With firm faith in the Divine, chanting the Lord’s name, redeem your lives.