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Bhaarathi - Bhaaratham
Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Hyderabad, 4 Apr 1973
Karma (activity) is primarily movement, motion. Movement results in energy and matter is but condensed energy. Ether, air, fire, land, water - all are the cause as well as the consequence of this incessant movement. All things that move are active, engaged in Karma. To live is to change, to move; you may not move the entire body or any of its parts, but still, movement is taking place in you. Food is being digested, blood is being circulated, air is being drawn in, analysed, absorbed and exhaled, impressions are welcomed or resisted and conveyed or rejected. Life is Karma; the body is a Karma-Kshethra (abode of activity). All living things are engaged in Karma offering themselves in sacrificial rite of ceaseless activity. The fruit of that sacrifice is self-realisation.
When you have your eyes open, you see thousands here; when you close them, they are not here! Or, if your sight is impaired, you don't see them. You cannot therefore say, they are non-existent. Since your sight is impaired by doubt, pride, or prejudice you don't see God, who is in you as well as outside you. You long for a thing that is not; you ignore the treasure that is within your grasp. You swear you have no bird in your hand; you struggle for the birds, that you believe, are waiting for you in the bush. The bird in the bush is only the image of the bird you have in your hand but you are unaware of this truth.
You have faith in the senses and the knowledge they garner; you have faith in the fancies and fantasies of your mind; you have faith in the syllogisms of your reason; but you have no faith in God who cannot be bound or found by these. So, you fear, you grieve, you doubt.
It is wrong to cast Blame on others
Have the curtain of "Thought of God" all around you; then, the deadly mosquitoes of desire and distrust cannot harm you. That curtain will confer health on you, through immunity from disease. You will have undisturbed ease, with nothing to pine for, nothing to fear from. You will love all God's creation, you will welcome opportunities to serve and assuage the pain of others.
This morning, while conversing with a group of persons, the problem of suffering was analysed; it was ascribed to one's own past deeds and one's own mental tendencies. It is wrong to cast the blame on others. But, some one pointed out that God was the originator of both joy and grief, that without His will no blade of grass can waver in the wind. Yes. If that truth be firmly established in the heart, one gets the unique bliss of liberation. God gives everything, whatever we get is His grace. You have no right to judge whether what you get is good or bad.
In order to get God so firmly installed, worship of idols or pictures, meditation on His glory, recitation of His name are all useful as preliminary Saadhana (spiritual effort). I won't say that temples or houses of worship, altars and shrines where God is invoked and adored are wrong or wasteful. Until the letters are learnt, illustrations are necessary in the primers. The letter 'A' is learnt in association with the apple of which a picture is printed above it. On that account, you cannot be constrained to remember that apple whenever you have to think of 'A'.
Be in perpetual Contact with God
I am always emphasising the value of service as a Saadhana for realising the oneness of all in God and the oneness of oneself with God. I do not recommend the giving up of Karma; for it is not possible. What is generally meant by Karma-Sanyaas (renunciation of activity) is the giving up of rites and rituals prescribed by the scriptures. I call upon you to adhere to a new rite, Seva (selfless service), a new Yagna, sacrifice of the ego, a new ritual of worship, Sharanaagathi (total loving surrender), dedication of all thoughts, words and deeds at the lotus feet of the Lord and acceptance of all that happens as gifts of grace from Him.
Be in perpetual contact with God - let the pipe that leads into the tap which is you be connected with the reservoir of His grace. Then your life will be full of unruffled content. Without the awareness of the constant presence, any service that you do to others will be dry and barren. Be aware of it; then any little act of service will yield plentiful fruit.
When you pray for the vision of the feet, you are rewarded with it. When you cry out in agony and call on Him to listen to your woe, His ears are there to respond. When you plead with Him sincerely to come, He comes, to give; He gives. But, the best Saadhana is to behave as you do, when you get a parcel of books by post. To get at the books you unwrap the parcel, and throw off the material used to pack the books. Now, take the prayer that is the deepest and the most significant - "Naaku Shaanthi Kaavaali" - "I require peace". Unwrap it of the "I" (the ego) and of the "require" (desire); get hold of Shaanthi, in the core of the packet. When you are burdened with egoism and desire, how can you attain Shaanthi? So, throw away the packing and hold on to the thing packed and protected.
There are three Stages in spiritual Life
Man is divinity humanised; in him is concentrated vast power, awaiting manifestation. But, man condemns himself into poverty, disease and despair. He begs for alms from all and sundry and debases the Lord within. He tells himself that God is far away, in an unreachable heaven. He exiles himself from the kingdom which is his legitimate heritage. He deludes himself into the belief that it is he who feels, thinks, speaks, and acts. He curses himself as a fool or as a victim of fate, committing wrong with every such imprecation! Examine, each of you, your minds and avoid this cowardice which denies your birthright.
Some years are spent in studies and apprenticeship; then one reaches the years of active participation in the building or upkeep of social progress through a job; later, in the evening of life, one lives on earned income, pension, rent or interest. So too, there are three stages in spiritual life - first as a Jijnaasu - the seeker, curious, inquisitive, earnest, thirsty, enthusiastic. Then as a Mumukshu - the Saadhak, steady, straight, adventurous, hardy. Finally the Abhimukha - the realised person, face to face with reality, strong, intelligent, good, showering love on all. The dull inert temper leads man to sloth and slavery; the passionate temper entices him to faction, competition, conflict; the balanced unruffled equable temper leads man to peace, justice, love and truth. Overcoming the tempers by the development of Saadhana, one must discover the truth of oneself and others, namely, God.
Be happy when Grief strikes you
"Yan na Bhaarathi than na Bhaaratham" - "What is not Indian is not knowledge; all knowledge is the domain of the Indian intellect." And all knowledge is synthesised, harmonised and summarised into the highest wisdom, here, so that its alchemy can be experienced. And what is that wisdom? Every individual is a spark of the effulgence of God; God is dancing in every cell of every being. Do not doubt this, or ignore this, or dispute this. This is the truth; this is the entire truth; this is the only truth. The universe is God (Loka is Lokesha). All this is He, His body.
To run away from the place which you have been assigned is cowardice, it is foolish, it is fruitless. Don't honour such men as heroes. You can be engaged in any profession, employed in any job - for all professions are His, all jobs are His. He is the universal master, the universal provider. And when troubles pile up or disappointment confronts you, be thankful for the toughening it gives to your character for the trial which you are privileged to face. You overcome the distress of the heat by resorting to a cooler; you overcome the distress of freezing cold by resorting to joy. Be happy when grief strikes you. Be calm when anger tries to inflame you. How can you put down fire with fire? Reason out and convince yourself that tolerance, forbearance, love and sweetness can alone ensure peace for yourself and for society.