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Swami teaches....Part 97

 

 

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 96

 

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 23 - 25 February 2007

Part 1. Keep Devotion and Faith

From the Sath (Existence, Being) has emerged all there is,
The Sath permeates the whole of creation,
Nothing exists without the power of Sath,
Behold the glory of this eternal Sath.

People need today the Spirit of Sacrifice, devotion to God and love of the Motherland. Because people are filled with pride, selfishness, and self-interest, they are ceasing to be human.

It is supremely important that the qualities of devotion to God, patriotism and self-sacrifice should be developed among the people. For this, the first requisite is the elimination of "my" and "mine." The readiness to sacrifice one's pleasure and comforts for the sake of the nation should be promoted. When there are many high-minded, spiritually oriented people, the nation will achieve peace and security.

We who are crossing the ocean of Samsara (the chain of birth and death, worldly life) need to cultivate the art of swimming through contemplation on God. However, learned we may be, if we do not have this training and cultivation, we are bound to sink. Life is a boat, which enables us to cross the ocean of Samsara with the aid of meditation on God. Devotion and faith are the two oars with which you can take the boat across the sea of Samsara.

A person once told Dr. Johnson, the famous English thinker, that he could seldom get time to recite the Name of God, what with the hundreds of things he had to do from morning until nightfall and even far into the night. Dr. Johnson replied with another question.

He asked how millions of people found space to live upon the face of the Earth, which is two-thirds water and the rest is too full of mountains, deserts, forests, icy regions, river beds, marshes and similar impossible areas.

The questioner said that human somehow struggled to find living space. So too, said Dr. Johnson, human must somehow find a few minutes a day for prayer to the Lord.

"What is the difference between human and God?" it is asked. The answer is: the individual jivi is a changing entity. God is unchanging and eternal. However, every individual jivi is a carrier of the same and alone reflection of the God, (Cosmic Consciousness, Atma), within.

There are bulbs of different colors and their voltage also differs. However, whatever the color and whatever the voltage, current that flows is the same. This kind of thinking is highly essential today.

The world needs an ideal, as a human body requires recoupment. Body is an assembly of various organs. No single organ can constitute a body. When the various organs get separated, the human body gets weakened and even loses its existence. Similarly, if a nation is split up into different parts, it gets disintegrated. There may be different states in a nation but there should be feeling of one nation throughout the country. We should develop a habit of visualizing unity in diversity.

The Lord is a mountain of Love; any number of ants carrying away particles of sweetness cannot exhaust His plenty. He is an Ocean of Mercy without a limiting shore. Bhakthi (devotion) is the easiest way to win His Grace and also to realize that He pervades everything; in fact, is everything! Sharanagathi (total surrender), leaving everything to His Will, is the highest form of bhakthi.

A child told the mother when she went to bed at night, "Mother! Wake me up when I get hungry." The mother answered, "There is no need, your hunger will itself wake you." So too, when the hunger for God comes, it will itself activise you and make you seek the food you need. God has endowed you with hunger and He supplies the food; He has endowed you with illness and He grows the specifics you need. Your duty is to see that you get the proper hunger and the right illness and use the appropriate food or drug.

When bhakthi is just emerging as a sapling, a fence is needed to protect the tender plant; that fence is Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Religion) and its rules, regulations and restrictions, directions and commands. When the fruit is green, it will not fall even when the gale is furious; but when it is fully ripe, it drops to the ground even in the silence of the night. A small fire will go out in smoke even if a little green is placed on it, but the forest fire will reduce to ashes even the greenest tree, which impedes its fierce march. What is needed is the conquest of the ego.

There are three types of devotion.

1.The vihanga method, where like a bird swooping down upon the ripe fruit on the tree, the devotee is too impatient and by the very impatience he/she loses the fruit, which falls from his hold.

2.The markata method, where like a monkey, which pulls towards it, one fruit after another and by sheer unsteadiness is not able to decide, which fruit it wants. The bhaktha too hesitates and changes his/her aim much too often and thus loses all chances of success.

3.The pipeelika method, where like the ant which slowly but steadily proceeds towards the sweetness, the devotee also moves direct, with undivided attention towards the Lord.

Some actions of devotion as examples.

The mendicant goes along the streets, singing the glories of the Lord. He has the sounding cymbals, two of them, the eternal duet of good-bad, joy-grief, pain-pleasure in his right hand and he twangs the thambura (stringed musical instrument) of Samsara with his left. Samsara is the tune to which his songs have to be adjusted; it is the sruthi (sacred revelations orally transmitted from generation to generation, musical note). But both the sruthi and thala (marking of time) are for the purpose of heightening the effect of the song which issues from his mouth, the song of the glow of God as his way of faith and devotion to God.

An another example.

By legend once, a Brahmin was crossing a riverbed near which some men were washing clothes. Finding a nice new silk shawl on his shoulder, they fell upon him in a group, shouting that it belonged to the Palace and had been given to them to be washed, but had been stolen and had not been traced. The poor Brahmin yelled 'Narayana, Narayana,' when the blows rained on him and so, Narayana rose from His Seat in Vaikunta (heaven) and proceeded forward; but in a moment, He walked back and resumed His Seat much to the surprise of His Consort who asked Him the reason for the strange behavior. Narayana said, "I wanted to help that poor Brahmin who has fallen into a den of scoundrels, but he has started beating them, blow for blow; My Help is no longer needed."

There is a widely prevalent habit now of judging others and labeling them as theists or atheists. What do you know, what can you know of the inner working of another's mind?

An ancient story tells there was once a queen who was a great devotee of Rama; she felt so sad that her husband, the Raaja, never even uttered the name of Rama and had no bhakthi. She had vowed that the first occasion on which she got evidence of his bhakthi or at least respect for Ramanaama, she would conduct puja (ritualistic worship) in all the temples and feed the poor on a lavish scale. Then, one night, while fast asleep, the Raaja uttered the name of Rama thrice plaintively and prayerfully.

She heard the Namasmarana and was happy at the discovery of her husband's devotion to Rama; she ordered general rejoicing throughout the kingdom and the feeding of the poor. The Raaja did not know the reason for the celebration for he was only told that it was an order of the Raani, which the officers carried out. Similarly, ahusband may not be aware of the excellence of a wife's spiritual attainments.


The Raaja who spoke in his sleep the sacred name of Rama felt very sorry, according to the story, that he let Ramanaama out of his mouth, for he believed that no one should know of his 'love' for Rama. Many will not shout about their Guru or their favorite Name and Form. Whether you declare them to others or not, keep them ever in your consciousness.

There is another fragment.

A couple was proceeding through a thick jungle on pilgrimage to an inaccessible shrine. The husband saw on the footpath a precious stone, shining brilliantly when the sun's rays fell upon it from between the leaves. He hastily threw some sand over it with a movement of his foot so that his wife may not be temped to pick it up and become a slave to the tinsel. The wife saw the gesture and chided the husband for still retaining in his mind a distinction between sand and diamond. For her, both were the same.

You are fully aware of the characteristics of the Kali Yuga (age of conflict) we are passing through. You find around you injustice, irregularities, immorality and untruth with all their devilish attributes and atrocities.

Nevertheless, we have to march ahead in spite of all these with a quiet, tolerant, and benign attitude towards life. Almost all the fields and occupations of life are polluted with these poisonous feelings, but the field of education being the most prominent organ, needs our special attention.

The main reason for this disorder is that the human's mind has haunted and dominated by two devilish blemishes, viz., selfishness, and ambition. These forces are standing in the way of human beings in realizing the human values, which go to make up humanity. It is not becoming of a human to exchange the valuable life - as precious as gem - for worldly desires and ambitions, which are as worthless as a coal stone. Human becomes immortal neither by deeds, nor by progeny nor by wealth. What makes individual eternal is the spirit of sacrifice.

Why must you compete and quarrel? Nothing in this world can last as such for long. The Buddha diagnosed this correctly. He declared, "All is sorrow; all is transient; all are but temporary contraptions of ephemeral characteristics." Why should these finite things as fatally fascinate you? Strive to gain the eternal, the infinite, the universal. One day, you have to give up the body you have fed and fostered. Trivial thoughts and desires award only sorrow; holy thoughts and desires award the Divine peace. Therefore, cultivate good and beneficial feelings and desires. Keep away from bad company and bad thoughts. Realize the holy purpose of life through pure thoughts and words and selfless service to your fellow-beings.

This human birth is a rare chance. Use it for spreading joy, not grief. Of course, it is natural for human to resent, to grow angry. But you should not allow anger free and furious scope.

The raging floods in the Godavari have to be restrained by bunds, and dams so that the water may reach the sea without scouring the fields on either bank. You must set limits to your own anger and hate, and honor those limits.

Every person must engage in sadhana with devotion, discipline and a sense of duty. Do not feel that your role is low and the other person's high. Do not be depressed when you find your role is minor; do not be proud when you discover that your role is a major one. Give your best to whatever role is allotted to you. That is the way to earn Grace.

Bring bhakthi and lay it here and take from here spiritual strength. Bring what you have, namely, your sorrows and grieves, worries and anxieties, and take from from Swami joy and peace, courage and confidence.

In this Avatar (Divine incarnation), the wicked will not be destroyed; they will be corrected and reformed and educated and led back to the path from which they have strayed. The white-ant infested tree will not be cut; it will be saved.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 1. "Sharanaagathi," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 13. "Thirty-five and sixty-five," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 15, "Light and warmth," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 19. "The ways of the Divine," Chapter 6 and "Sanctified by three Avatars," Chapter 19.; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 21. "Earn God's Love," Chapter 4).

Namaste - Reet


Light and Love

Swami teaches...26 - 28 February 2007

Part 2. Keep Devotion and Faith

Tossed about on the bitter ocean of mundane existence;
Going hither and hither without a rudder or a compass,
If only you steady your mind for a moment
The Lord will send you, Oh human, His rescue boat.

Bharath's culture is rooted in the Vedas and serves as example for the other countries. Music and literature have come from the Vedas. The Sama Veda is the primal source of music. Rig Veda is the source of all literature. Rig Veda teaches the lesson of serenity and stresses that peace is like rose water scent; when it is sprinkled on us, smell it but do not drink it - that is to say, accept it and thrive on it. Rig Veda asks to examine ourselves whether we have the illness and if we have, accept the blame and benefit by it.


Devotion is the form of the Divine. Hence, Lord Narayana declared, "I do not dwell in Vaikunta or in the hearts of yogis. I am present wherever my devotees sing my praise, Oh Narada!" So heaven is not some remote place, where people are virtuous and of good character will find Paradise.
 

The Lord resides not only in the hearts of devotees, but also in the hearts of the evil-minded. Once, the child Prahlada approached his mother, Lilavati, and told her, "Mother, there is only one difference between me, who is a devotee of Hari (God; destroyer of sins) and my father, who hates Hari. Ever contemplating on the nectarine sweetness of the Lord, repeating His name, and constantly remembering Him, I am immersed in the bliss of love of the Lord, like one intoxicated. My father, in his hatred of Narayana, has turned his heart into stone and installed Him in it."
 

The Lord, who dwelt in the heart of Prahlada, who loved Narayana, and the Lord who was in the heart of Hiranyakasipu, who hated Narayana, was one and the same. Drinking deep the nectar of Divine Love, Prahlada quenched his heart's thirst and found bliss. Installing the Lord in his stony heart, Hiranyakasipu was unable to allay his burning thirst and experienced endless worries.
 

Human has to live in faith to experience happiness. Where there is happiness there is peace. Realising that the Divine is omnipresent, the devotees make their lives sublime by singing the glories of the Lord and ever dwelling on His name. That will make people self-respecting individuals. Receiving a favor means to be bound to the giver. Grow with self-respect and dignity. That is the best service you can do to yourself and for the Lord within.
 

Prahlada declared in the Bhagavatha: "There is no room for the suspicion that the Lord is here and not there. He can be found wherever He is sought, because He is immanent in everything in the Universe. Saint Tyagaraja said the same thing when he sang: "Where is your dwelling place, Oh Lord Wherever I turn I behold you. You are present everywhere. You are omnipotent and all-knowing."


The Divine is present not only in human beings. He dwells in birds and beasts and in all living things. So Tyagaraja sang: "Did not a woman devotee (Aparanji) teach a parrot to recite the name of Rama and enjoy your glory?"


The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman Himself. Valmiki, who wrote the Ramayana, was so much immersed in the Rama principle that the inmates of his ashram noticed effulgence in his face reflective of the splendor of Rama Himself. The face is a reflection of the inner being. Whatever thoughts and emotions fill a human; they are reflected, in his/her face.  Moses,' who was ever dwelling on the glories of God, reflected in his face the radiance and splendor of the Divine. This has revealed in the Bible. Charles Darwin, who was a devoted student of Henslow, followed his teacher's exemplary life and became, in later years, a great scientist recognizing the inextricable relationship between human and God.


It is interesting to note that on the 12th of February 2007 the world marked Darwin Day, the 198th anniversary of the evolutionary theorist's birth. This Day was also 148th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book,"On the Origin of Species."


By modern science evolution of life is coded into DNA. Latest discoveries have led to deeper insights how organisms change over time and transmit those changes to succeeding generations. However, evolutionary theory as other scientific theories is incomplete without spiritual knowledge.
 

Darwin Day symbolically pointed to the bridge between science and faith. Celebration of Darwin Day as underlines that religion and science need not be at contradiction. (More complete information http://www.darwinday.org/).

The ways of the Lord in granting relief to devotees in distress or trouble are infinitely varied and often baffling. Below is an example about wisdom of Krishna to solve a complicated problem between Pandavas and the sage.


On one occasion, the Pandavas during their exile from the kingdom had strayed into the forest of Romarishi.
 

Romarishi was a sage whose body was covered with hair so long, that it spread as a carpet into the surrounding forest. There was a holy tree in that forest, yielding a very special fruit. The unique quality of that fruit was that once it was tasted one would not have hunger for years and years. But that fruit should not be plucked, it should be eaten after it dropped by itself. So, waiting for the fruit to fall, Romarishi was doing Tapas there.
 

One day, when Dharmaraja and Draupadi were on a stroll in the woods, Draupadi happened to look at this particular tree and saw the luscious big fruit hanging from it. "Can we not take this," she said to her husband, "so that all of us could share it today?" Then Dharmaraja shot an arrow and the fruit fell to the ground. Holding his bow in his right hand, he went to lift the fruit with his left hand. It was so heavy he could not move it. Draupadi also tried to help. Dharmaraja used both his hands, still the fruit would not move. In the meantime, Arjuna also came there and all three tried to lift that fruit, but it would not move. The two younger brothers also came and tried to help lift the fruit but however hard they tried it was no use; it would not move. Finally the strong man, Bhima came. He asked the others to move away and said, "I will lift this." Nevertheless, even Bhima could not succeed.


Meanwhile the hair of Romarishi, which had spread over all that area, began to stir. Because these six people were trampling about trying to lift the fruit, Romarishi felt the disturbance as strands of his hair were being trodden and pulled. He realized that there was someone trying to steal the fruit and he became very angry. Immediately his long hairs started to come together and coil round the Pandavas and tie them up.
 

Draupadi realized the danger, and immediately prayed to Lord Krishna. Draupadi called on Lord Krishna whenever she sensed any trouble. Krishna appeared before her. Draupadi fell at His Feet and prayed to Him for help to protect the Pandavas from the danger that was about to engulf them. Krishna told Draupadi there was nothing He could do, since Romarishi was a great sage. As Lord, He resided in the hearts of all rishis, including Romarishi; so how could He do anything against the wishes of that Rishi? However, Draupadi held on to His Feet and said, "You alone can save us. You can do anything you wish to do, in all the three worlds!" Then Krishna said, "All right, I will help you, but all of you should be totally silent, not say a word; you should do exactly as I tell you."
 

Krishna went to each of the Pandavas and whispered His plan, in their ears. He told them: "I will now go to Romarishi's ashram; a little later, you must follow me there."
 

In the meantime, Romarishi was furious with anger. He was about to curse the poachers. At that very moment, Krishna entered the Ashram. Romarishi fell prostrate at Krishna's Feet. He was overjoyed to see Him and asked Him, "What is it I can do for you, Lord?" Krishna kept Romarishi occupied, making a few casual inquiries, till the Pandavas arrived.
 

As soon as the six reached the Ashram and entered it, Krishna fell at the feet of the Pandavas. The Pandavas were feeling very embarrassed, but remembering Krishna's command, they said nothing. Romarishi, seeing Krishna fall at the feet of the visitors, also fell at their feet. Then Krishna introduced the Pandavas to the Rishi.
 

As Romarishi listened to the words of Krishna praising the greatness of the Pandavas, he totally forgot his anger. When Krishna explained these were the people who were tempted by the fruit he awaited, Romarishi was so transformed that he said, "Let them take the fruit. I would like them to have it." By eating that fruit, the Pandavas were able to live without hunger for a long time.

The Love of God is the foremost reward to be attained in human life. It is more precious than all the wealth in the world. All wealth and position are obtained by the Love and grace of the Divine. The value of Bhagavad-prema (the love of God) can be realized if the meaning of the term Bhagavan is rightly understood. Brahman, Parabrahman, Sabda are among the terms used as appellations of Bhagavan.

Bhagah means "the One who is repository of all Divine attributes and is uniquely worthy of adoration." Ga refers to "One who has all the excellences and who creates, sustains, and reabsorbs everything."
 

The letter Bha has two meanings: Sambhartha and Bhartha. Sambhartha means "One who is competent to make Nature the instrument of the creative process." Because He is also competent to sustain what is created, He is called Bhartha. Bha has other meanings as Shanthi (peace), light, effulgence, illumination. Ga means "all-pervasive." Vaan (or Vanthudu in Telugu) means "One who is capable." Hence, the term Bhagavan means, "The One who is capable of lighting the Divine effulgence, the illumination of wisdom, the Eternal Inner Light of the Soul."
 

There is nothing on the Earth or beyond it, which is equal to the Divine Love. To make all endeavors to earn that Love is the whole purpose and meaning of the human existence.


To lead a happy life, human needs peace of mind. The mind is like the turbulent Ganga. It has to be restrained by the use of brakes, as in a fast-moving vehicle. Dhyana (meditation) is the brake devised for the control of the mind. Dhyana means one-pointed concentration. All the diseases, which afflict human, are the result of agitation in the mind. The enormous growth of disease in the world today is due to the loss of peace of mind. To get rid of illness and to lead a calm, healthy life, human has to cultivate mental peace.


Human's mind has three kinds of capabilities.
 

One is Anekaagratha (a wandering mind).
 

Another is Soonyatha (vacancy, emptiness).
 

The third is Ekaagratha (single-pointed concentration).


What is Soonyatha? It is the state in which the mind goes to sleep when something edifying is being said. The mind is unresponsive to what is good and beneficial. Such a state of mind is called Tamasic. It is the blindness of ignorance. Anekaagratha is an equally undesirable mental state. It also degrades human.
 

Then there is one-pointed concentration of mind. This is what everyone needs most today. Unfortunately, today the spirit of commercialism is rampant even in the fields of sports and entertainment. When the idea of making money is predominant, concern for health recedes to the background.
 

"Art" has come from "heart," but today the heart has been divorced from the arts. One purpose of Swami's Teaching is from the whole heart with the help of the Divine power to restore this for humanity.
 

From His Teaching as echoes, "Give because you love. Recognize the light in all beings. Let our energies flow outward. Give of your time, your help, and your love to others." Swami stresses that we should try to make our lives meaningful by sacrificing personal comfort for the sake of our fellow beings.

Today we think of our rights and responsibilities. On one side, we have the so called individual freedom and fundamental rights, and on the other, we have our responsibilities and duties to be performed. We are no doubt anxious about our individual freedom in the same proportion. We should do full justice to our social obligations and establish the reputation of our country and its culture. Human cannot live in isolation like a drop of oil on water surface. Human is a product of society. Human has to live in it, grow with it and work for it with the devotion and faith to the omnipresent God.


With your faith and devotion is necessary to be aware that human being must be yoked to Samsara and broken; that is the training, which will teach that the world is unreal; no amount of lectures will make you believe it is a snake unless you actually experience it. Touch fire and get the sensation of burning; there is nothing like it to teach you that fire is to be avoided. Unless you touch it, you will be aware only of its light. It is light and heat both; just as this world is both true and false, that is to say, unreal.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 1. "Sharanaagathi," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 13. "Thirty-five and sixty-five," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 15, "Light and warmth," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 19. "The ways of the Divine," Chapter 6 and "Sanctified by three Avatars," Chapter 19.; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 21. "Earn God's Love," Chapter 4).

Namaste - Reet


Light and Love

Swami teaches...1 - 3 March 2007

Part 3. Keep Devotion and Faith


Bhakthi and the attitude of surrender that is its final fruits will give you great courage to meet any emergency; such courage is what is called renunciation.

 

The story of Mohajith is a good example of this highest type of detachment.


Mohajith, the prince, went to a sage in the forest and sought guidance in the spiritual path. The sage asked him whether he had conquered attachment as his name indicated. The prince said that not only he, but every one in his kingdom had. So the sage started to test the truth of this claim. The sage took the prince's robes, soaked them in blood and hastened to the palace gate with the gruesome stow of the murder of the prince by some ruffians in the jungle. The maid whom he met refused to hurry with the news to the Royal apartments because she said, "He was born, he died; what is the special urgency of this news that I should interrupt my regular routine and run to the king and queen?"
 

When at last he got an audience and was able to communicate the sad news to the father, he sat unruffled, whispering to himself, "The bird flew off the tree on which it had alighted to take rest." The Raani too was unmoved. She told the sage that this Earth is a caravanserai, where people come and stay for the night and when dawn breaks, one by one, they tramp their different ways. Kith and kin are the words we use for the attachment to the travelers cultivated in the caravanserai during the short term of acquaintance.
 

The wife of the "dead" prince was also unaffected; she said, "Husband and wife are like two pieces of wood drifting down a flooded river; they float near each other for some time and when some current comes between, they are parted: each must move on to the sea at its own rate and in its own time. There is no need to grieve over the parting of the two; it is in the very nature of Nature that it should be so."

The sage was overjoyed to see this steady and sincere airagya (dispassion) in the rulers and the ruled. He came back to the forest and told the prince that while he was away, a hostile army had invaded his Kingdom and slain the entire royal family and captured his Kingdom and enslaved his subjects. He took the news calmly and said, "All this is bubble, impermanent, flimsy. Let it go the way of the bubble. Guide me to reach the Infinite, the Imperishable."
 

Such courage comes out of the Grace of the Lord; it needs generations of learning and struggle. Meanwhile, you must start with the first step, the cleansing of the mind and the cultivation of virtue. Even if you do not start with that step, at least do not laugh at those who do, and discourage them. Then, do not depend upon others for doing your work, like attending to your personal wants. Do them yourself; that is real freedom. Never accept anything 'free' from others, pay it back, in service or work.

By modern science, the physical world is pictorially being "disturbed" by our thoughts. By quantum physics subatomic particles behave differently when humans "watch" them. Humans as co-create the physical world through the power of minds. The human body is carrier of Atma. Atmic power, which, like everything in the physical Universe is a reflection of the inner world, appearance of Atmic power. From Atmic aspect our own outer body, is a reflection of our own inner world. All that we can manifest into the outer, physical world has to be at first manifested within the inner world.
 

By modern science, we consciously use the power of the mind. During the meditation or even concentration or contemplation on certain topics, we are most closely in communication with our subconscious mind, as interaction with Cosmic Consciousness in purpose to reach closer to the desired objects, situations, events, appearances.

What is beyond this power of mind from spiritual aspect?

Never forget that the devotee is inseparable from God. When he/she is filled with the Love of God and is totally forgetful of him/herself, experiences oneness with God. Prahlada was such a supreme devotee. He was a Rakshasa (demon) by birth. His form was human. His heart was centered on God. Prahlada combined in himself these three elements. He adhered to the culture of Bharath and shone as an ideal to his people. In following the four Purusharthas - dharma, artha, kama and moksha - Prahlada combined the pursuit of artha (worldly interest) with dharma and linked them to kama (desire) for the attainment of moksha. Because of this, moksha itself sought Prahlada.
 

Though born among demons, three notable figures have achieved distinction in the pursuit of the Purusharthas and sanctified their lives. They are Prahlada, Bali, and Vibhishana.

By ancient scriptures, Virochana was the son of the great devotee Prahlada. He was, however, different from his father. He was a staunch materialist. He followed the hedonistic philosophy of Charvaka. Emperor Bali, who was the soul of goodness and purity, was Virochana's son. He looked after the welfare of his people as if they were his own children. He earned the love and esteem of his citizens, whom he regarded as limbs of his own body. There was complete harmony between the people and the ruler.
 

(In the world, there are many number of persons who derive inspiration from Prahlada and Bali. There are also many, who take the cue from Virochana. The Jagat (world) will not be what it is, if such variations did not exist).

By legend, Bali once embarked upon the performance of a great sacrifice known as Viswajit (conquest of the Universe). This provoked the apprehension of Indra (the Lord of the Devas i.e. celestials beings, deities) and the Devas. In all ages, there have always been people, who are envious of or antagonistic to those who are prosperous, eminent, or extremely good. The latter have had to face troubles from such envious persons.
 

(Rama was subject to many hardships from evil-minded persons. Harischandra suffered many ordeals from a Rishi. The Pandavas, who were the very embodiment of dharma, had to endure numerous troubles caused by the envious Kauravas. Jesus, who was the personification of self-sacrifice, was a victim of the hatred of those who were envious of his popularity and resented his teachings. The prophet Mohammed had to flee from Mecca because of the enmity of some people who were opposed to his message).

Bali wanted to ensure peace and prosperity for the entire world under his beneficent reign and commenced the Viswajit Yaga for this purpose. The Devas became apprehensive and jealous when Bali was performing this yaga. They approached Lord Narayana and prayed to Him: "Bali, who is demon by birth, is attempting to bring the whole Universe under his sway by performing the Viswajit Yaga. You must save the world from this danger of the whole world coming under the rule of Rakshasas, by diverting his mind from this course.

The Lord, who knew the greatness of Bali, his noble qualities and his devotion to God, formally acceded to the Devas prayers but decided to confer the highest blessings on Bali. For this purpose He incarnated in Siddhasram (a hermitage shown to Rama and Lakshmana by Viswamitra) as Vamana (dwarf incarnation of Vishnu) and went to Bali's yajna-sala to ask for a gift. Pure-hearted as he was, Bali could instantly recognise the radiance on the face of the young Vamana. He asked Vamana: "Swami, what is it you seek at this Yajna? I have decided to renounce everything I possess to redeem my life."
 

Vamanamurthi was short in stature, but the whole Universe was immanent in Him. He asked for an apparently small gift from Bali - nothing more than three lengths of ground measured by his feet. Bali felt that for a ruler of the vast earth, this was too small a gift and he agreed. That very moment, Vamana assumed the immeasurable form of Trivikrama, the Supreme Lord of the three worlds. With one step, He covered the entire Earth. With the second step, He covered the whole of space and asked Bali where He should place his foot for the third step. Bali knelt before the Lord and said: "Oh Lord! What can I offer you except the body and heart, which you have given to me? I pray to you to place your foot on my head." Bali was thus the supreme embodiment of self-sacrifice, who did not hesitate to offer everything he had to the Lord.

Seeing the anguish of his loving people at this turn of events at the Yajna, Bali made one request to the Lord before he was sent to his heavenly abode by the Lord's third step. He said: "Oh Lord! I am indeed happy that I have been sanctified by your divine feet and achieved the bliss of liberation. However, I do not wish to leave my loving people in the agony that they are feeling. Please allow me once a year, in the month of Sravan, during the consolation of Sravana, to visit my people." He asked for this boon out of his boundless love for his people. The Lord granted this boon.
 

From this boon the Onam festival was born. It signifies the enormous love Bali had for the people of his realm. Bali, who appears on that day from the netherworld, is considered as appearing in the new garb of love of the people for whose sake he was coming.

All through history, the devotees of God have had to endure many ordeals and privations, but they never lost their faith in God.

The people of Kerala should be proud of the fact that their land is sacred in many ways. It has created by an Avatar of the Divine. It is the land where Prahlada and Bali were born. It witnesses the advent of the Vamana Avatar.
 

Probably it was the purpose, why Swami with His own presence recently directed to perform the ARMY namely in Kerala.

By another legend Kerala is a land that has won the love of the Lord in a special way. In olden days, it has noted for its devotion and godliness. Kerala is also known as Parasurama Kshetra. How did it acquire that name? Parasurama is one of the avatars of Vishnu. When Parasurama's father (Jamadagni) was beheaded by a Kshatriya king, his mother Renuka, cried in anguish: "Rama! Rama!" Parasurama, who was away from the ashram, could ethereally hear the cries of his mother from afar and rushed home. He counted that his mother had called his name twenty one times. On reaching the ashram he saw his father's head severed from the body. The horrible crime had been committed by Kartavirya's sons. Parasurama took a vow to wage war against the vile Kshatriya rulers twenty one times and end their rule all over the Earth.
 

Parasurama accomplished his mission by defeating the Kshatriya kings twenty one times and came to his ashram to pray to his ancestors for restoring his father's life. The sage Bharadwaja, to whose gotra Jamadagni belonged, appeared before Parasurama and restored Jamadagni to life by placing the head and body together.
 

After this, Parasurama felt that the purpose of his advent had been achieved and as he had no desire to be a ruler, he made a gift of all the territories he had conquered to the Sage Kashyapa.
 

He felt that having given away everything, this would not be right for him to remain on the land he had gifted. He decided to reclaim land from the sea and settle down on that territory for the rest of his life. It is this area that is known as Parasurama Kshetra - also known as Kerala. He performed penance on a mountain called Mahesa, which is situated in Kerala, a land with sacred traditions.
 

The natural beauty of Kerala cannot be described in words. It has to be seen and enjoyed. Kerala has been uniquely blessed by Providence.
 

In such a sacred and well-endowed country, the whirligig of time has wrought some changes. The passage of time and the vicissitudes of circumstances have affected the minds of people. Differences have arisen between people and hatred has grown among various sections. In spite of these changes, however, the spirit of devotion among the people has remained.

Today when we find the educational trends over the world going astray and causing anxiety to parents and society. We need to reiterate our old values, according to which an education based on our cultural heritage can alone lead one to real education - Atma Vidya - the state of selfrealision.
 

It is the duty of every human being to understand and respect his parents. Similarly, in a nation it is the duty of every national to assimilate and appreciate the historical and cultural background of the nation and consider these two factors as his father and mother. Students and similarly all people of the Earth should have faith in omnipresent God (i.e. Atma, Cosmic Consciousness, Swami's Cosmic Form) and bow their heads only to the Divine. They have to adhere to basic qualities such as truth, righteousness, forbearance and self-sacrifice, which are common to all people without regard to nationality, creed or language.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 1. "Sharanaagathi," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 13. "Thirty-five and sixty-five," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 15, "Light and warmth," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 19. "The ways of the Divine," Chapter 6 and "Sanctified by three Avatars," Chapter 19.; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 21. "Earn God's Love," Chapter 4).

Namaste - Reet

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