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Protection of the Devotees

Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 7 July 1963
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust
Web posted at Jan 13, 2001

Yesterday, when I came into the Hall, I could see the agony you all felt. That was because you identified Me with this body, that was having the illness. If you had known My truth, you would not have been sad; in fact, if you had known Your truth, that would be enough. The illness came and went; I was its master, throughout. One day, when it reached its climax, I was watching its behaviour and directing it to finish its Dharma. For I had taken it on Myself and so, I must allow it to do its Dharma! All kinds of silly stories were circulated when I was ill! Some people feared that when I went to the South recently, some black magic was inflicted upon Me and that the stroke was the consequence. Let Me tell you that nothing evil can affect Me. Nothing can harm Me. I am the master, the Shakthi (power) that overpowers everything else.

I knew that short explanation: Some people were saying that I was in Mounam or Samaadhi (silence or a state of concentration in Yoga). Now why should I keep the vow of silence? If I am silent, how can I carry out My task of reforming you and making you all realise the aim of life? And, why should I seek Samaadhi, I who am the Aanandhaswaruupa, the Premaswaruupa (embodiment of bliss and of love) Myself. It is the wavering doubter, the ignorant dabbler, who will lend his ear to such talk. The true Bhaktha will discard all such news. For the Bhakthas here, the eight days were days of intense Thapas; they had no other thought than of Swaami.

To think low or mean is also Egoism

Once, Krishna too pretended to be suffering from head-ache, intense, unbearable head-ache! He acted that role quite as realistically as I did last week. He wound warm clothes around His head and rolled restlessly in bed. His eyes were red and He was in evident distress. The face too appeared swollen and pale. Rukmini, Sathyabhaama and the other queens rushed about with all kinds of remedies and palliatives. But they were ineffective. At last, they consulted Naaradha and he went into the sick room to consult Krishna Himself and find out which drug would cure Him.

Krishna directed him to bring - What do you think the drug was? - the dust of the feet of a true Bhaktha! In a trice, Naaradha manifested himself in the presence of some celebrated Bhakthas of the Lord; but, they were too humble to offer the dust of their feet to be used by their Lord as a drug!

That is also a kind of egoism. "I am low, mean, small, useless, poor, sinful, inferior" - such feelings also are egoistic; when the ego goes, you do not feel either superior or inferior. No one would give the dust wanted by the Lord; they were too worthless, they declared. Naaradha came back disappointed to the sickbed. Then Krishna asked him, "Did you try Brindhaavana where the Gopees live?" The Queens laughed at the suggestion and even Naaradha asked in dismay, "What do they know of Bhakthi (devotion)?" Still, the sage had to hurry thither.

Do Karma which is approved by higher Wisdom

When the Gopees heard Krishna was ill and that the dust of their feet might cure Him, without a second thought they shook the dust off their feet and filled Naaradha's hands with the same. By the time Naaradha reached Dhwaaraka, the head-ache had gone. It was just a five-day drama, to teach that self-condemnation is also egoism and that the Lord's command must be obeyed without demur, by all Bhakthas.

When I said that I had taken on the illness that was destined for some one who could not have suffered it or survived it, many of you felt, "Why should Swaami, for the sake of a single person, plunge so many of us in grief?" Well! Did not Raama proceed to the forest though all Ayodhya wept? My Dharma of Bhaktharakshana (protection of devotees) must be carried out; the Dharma of the disease must also be carried out. Krishna could have stopped the rains, however powerfull Indhra was; but, Indhra had to do his Dharma and by lifting Govardhanagiri to protect the cows and cowherds, Krishna manifested His divinity!

In this case also, it is the same Leela (divine sportive act); using the chance to demonstrate to a doubting world the divinity inherent in this human form. I told you yesterday that even this lucky Bhaktha was just an instrument to work out the promise made in the past to the Sage Bharadhwaaja; it served to announce My real nature to you all. You are indeed fortunate that you could witness on the sacred Guru Pournami Day this magnificent proof of My divinity.

Karma of a higher Order leads to Jnaana

There is no Sathyam (truth), without Shivam (goodness); there is no Shivam, without Sundharam (beauty). Truth alone can confer Mangalam (auspiciousness) and Mangalam alone is the real beauty. Truth is beauty; joy is beauty; falsehood and grief are ugly, because they are unnatural. Buddhi, Chittham and Hrudhayam (intellect, sub-conscious mind and heart) - these are the three centres in the individual where reside Jnaana, Karma and Bhakthi. The effulgence of Sathyam will reveal Shivam; do Karma (action) which is approved by the higher wisdom, not Karma which is born of ignorance. Then, all Karma will be Shivam (auspicious, beneficial, blessed). The experience of that Shivam is what is called Sundharam; for it confers real Aanandha. That is My reality. That is why My Life is named "Sathyam Shivam Sundharam."

Do Karma based on Jnaana, the Jnaana that all is one. Let the Karma be suffused with Bhakthi; that is to say, Humility, Prema, Karuna and Ahimsa (love, compassion, non-violence). Let Bhakthi be filled with Jnaana; otherwise, it will be as light as a balloon, which drifts along any current of air, or gust of wind. Mere Jnaana will make the heart dry; Bhakthi makes it soft with sympathy and Karma gives the hands something to do, something which will sanctify every one of the minutes that have fallen to your lot to live here.

This is why Bhakthi is referred to as Upaasana, dwelling near, feeling the presence, sharing the sweetness of divinity. The yearning for Upaasana prompts you to go on pilgrimages, to construct and renovate temples, to consecrate images. The sixteen items of Upachaara (honouring) with which the Lord is worshipped satisfy the mind which craves for personal contact with the supreme, all this is Karma of a high order; they lead to Jnaana. First you start with the idea, "I am in the Light;" then the feeling "The Light is in Me" becomes established. This leads to the conviction, "I am the Light." That is the supreme wisdom.

See yourself in all; love all as yourself. A dog caught in a room whose walls are mirrors sees in all the myriad reflections, not itself but rivals, competitors, other dogs which must be barked at. So, it tires itself out by jumping on this reflection and that, and when the images also jump, it becomes mad with fury. The wise man, however, sees himself everywhere and is at peace; he is happy that there are so many reflections of himself all around him. That is the attitude you must learn to possess, that will save you from needless bother.