Excerpts from: Swami's Discourses

[From:  The Divine Discourse Date:24 Oct 1965 Occasion:Deepavali ]
Do not get elated at the riches, status, authority, intelligence etc. which you may have. Consider that they have been given to you on trust, so that you may benefit others. They are all signs of His Grace, opportunities of services, symbols of responsibility.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date:24 Dec 1972 Occasion:Christmas ]
If each one does his duty, in the spirit of dedication, the light can illumine all, but, if the doors of the heart are shut against the light, how can darkness disappear? You cannot sit back, and expect the Incarnation to bring peace and joy into you. The incarnation comes to warn, to guide, to awaken, to lay down the path, and shed the light of Love on it. But, man has to listen, learn and obey with hope and faith. There is a tale told of old that Wisdom and Wealth once quarreled loud and long, about their relative importance. Wealth argued that without it, the body will be weak, the brain hazy and wisdom a will-o-the-wisp. Wisdom retorted that, without it man cannot even distinguish wealth from non-wealth or know how to earn it or use it. The Soul intervened and told them that they were both equally important, but only when properly used. Wealth without wisdom becomes an instrument of exploitation and tyranny. Wisdom without wealth becomes mere fantasy and a bundle of blueprint. Use makes them worthwhile; misuse makes them disastrous. It is like the knife in the hands of maniac, it becomes an instrument for murder; in the hands of a surgeon, it becomes an instrument which saves a life! Are you doing good with wealth? Are you benefiting others by means of wisdom, that is the test. This day, Christmas, when you celebrate the birth of Christ, resolve to lead the lives of Loving Service, to the weak, the helpless, the distressed, the disconsolate. Cultivate tolerance and forbearance, charity and magnanimity. Hold dear the ideals He laid down and practice them, in your daily lives. The ways in which Christmas is being celebrated now show how far men have moved away from those ideals, how much ignominy they are heaping on his name! The midnight hour is revered; illumination is arranged; the Christmas Tree is set up; and then, the night is spent in drinking and dance. It is a day of Holy Ananda, but the Ananda is reduced to the level of the poisoning excitement of intoxication! Drink is so pernicious an evil habit, that when man puts the bottle in, he himself gets into the bottle and cannot escape! First man drinks wine, then the wine drinks more wine; and finally, the wine drinks man himself! He is sunk and drowned in drink. Liquor destroys the humanity in man! How then can it develop the Divinity in him? One must dance in Divine Bliss; instead, sensual dance is indulged in as a deleterious substitute! Make your hearts pure, your activities holy, and your feelings beneficial to all. That is the best way of celebrating the Birth of Christ.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date:23 Nov 1975 Occasion:Birthday ]
This year you have named My birthday the 'Golden Jubilee' of the Avatar (God incarnated on earth in human form) and gathered in vast numbers from all parts of the world. I am sure you have benefited from the spiritual company. I do not accost one particular date in the calendar as My birthday, for I consider the day when Divinity blossoms in your heart as My birth-day in you. Therefore, each of you should individually celebrate such a day as My birthday. The day when you resolve to practice My advice, to follow My directives, to translate My message into acts of service, and to engage in spiritual discipline -- that day is My birthday for you. The 23rd day of November, which you now honor as the day on which I was born, is only like any other day if you celebrate it in a routine, ritual fashion. Adore man; the adoration reaches Me. Neglect man; you neglect Me. Of what avail is it to worship the Lord and to suppress man, His counterpart? Love for God must be manifested as love for man, and love must express itself as service.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date:14 Nov 1976 Occasion:Akhand Bhajan]
By whatever means God is adored, the path of devotion is the easiest and the most effective, for it is a spiritual discipline of the heart and results in love and service to all as fellow pilgrims to the same divine goal. This program of devotional singing continuously done for 24 hours all around the world in all lands has, therefore, spread the message of love through the names of the embodiment of Universal Love. It has saturated the atmosphere with thoughts of God and of the peace and joy that He showers. The devotional singing that you have done here has affected not only this particular area and its environment, but it will transmute the entire atmosphere. Continue this attitude of devotion and humility, of service and tolerance, and the atmosphere will not be polluted by hatred. Do not contaminate the air by voices of acrimony, scandal, insult, or slander. Keep silent when you feel like expressing such ideas; that itself is a service to you and to others.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date:7 Mar 1978 Occasion:Shivaratri ]
Another significance of Shivarathri is this: Shiva, or the Eternal Absolute Person, in His desire to attract the world of matter, engages Himself in the thandava , the cosmic dance. The dance is a Divine plan to attract the material creation, For all Divine miracles like those of Rama (He who pleases and delights) and Krishna (He who attracts) are for drawing people to the Divine presence for the purpose of correcting or cleansing them, or for confirming their faith and then leading them on to the discipline of service so that they may merge in ecstasy, in the source of all ecstasy -- a miracle resulting in sublimation, leading to service to society and finally conferring self-realization. The cosmic dance is so fast that fire emanates from Shiva's body because of the heat generated by activity. In order to cool Shiva and comfort him, Paravathi, his consort, places the Ganges on his head, makes the crescent moon rest amidst the coils of his hair, applies cold sandalwood paste all over his body, winds round the joints of his hands and feet cold-blooded snakes, and finally, being herself the daughter of the Himalayas (the mountains with eternal snow), she sits on his lap and becomes a part of him. At this Shiva rises, and both the soul and the world of matter dance together to the immense delight of the Gods and of all creation. This happens, according to the Puranas, on the Shivarathri day.