Excerpts from: Swami's Discourses

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Jan 15, 1992 Occasion: Sankaranthi]
For all actions, the inspirer, the performer and the experiencer is the Sun God. For man, caught up in a meaningless existence and going through an endless round of futile activities, the Sun-God stands out as the exemplar of tireless and selfless service. He enjoys no respite from work. He is above praise and censure. He carries on his duties with absolute equanimity. Everything he does is only for the well-being of the earth and not for causing any harm.
The Sun is the supreme example of selfless and tireless service. The world cannot survive without the Sun. Life on earth is possible only because of the Sun. The Sun teaches man the lesson of humble devotion to duty, without conceit. The Sun is the supreme example for everyone that he should do his duty with devotion and dedication. Doing one's duty is the greatest Yoga, as pointed out by Krishna in the Gita.

With unshakable faith, dedicate yourselves to the service of your fellowmen and lead exemplary lives.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: July 3, 1993 Occasion: Guru Poornima]
A selfish man will never have his life in his hand. One with a sacred heart, with spirit of service, with a heart that is selfless has his life in his hands.It is Rama, who has his life in his own hand, because he strives for the welfare of the country whereas a selfish man's life will be in another man's hand.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Nov 23, 1994 Occasion: Birthday]
The mind has to be turned towards the sacred path. It should be concentrated on actions related to service to others. It should be devoted to concern for the welfare of the world. Only then the purity of the mind expresses itself.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Dec 25, 1994 Occasion: Christmas]
It is well known that humanness thrives on good company and good thoughts. What good thoughts can achieve is illustrated by the life of a poor boy in Tamil Nadu, Muthuswamy Iyer. His father died at a very young age. The forlorn widow summoned the young man and told him that there were many poor people in the world who were suffering many hardships because they were not able to get justice. "Somehow you must pursue your studies so that you may one day provide help to these unfortunate people", she said. The mother's words strengthened the determination of the young lad. He pursued his studies diligently though he lacked many necessities. In the evenings he used to study under street lamps, as there was no light at home. He was solely inspired by his mother's good advice. As a result of this hard work, he graduated and secured a law degree. He dedicated himself to the service of the weak and helpless. His zeal and devotion resulted in due course in his becoming the first Indian Judge of the Madras High Court. Consider the lowliness of his birth and what eminence he achieved! It was entirely due to the noble thoughts he cherished and his strength of will.
You can find out for yourselves how when addiction to coffee, tea and smoking is reduced, the will power gets stronger. The results can be verified with just one week of practice. By addiction to various deleterious practices, man's will power and other faculties decline in strength. The will power should be strengthened by giving up bad habits and it should be directed towards social service.

Jesus exemplified the spirit of social service. The inspiration for this came from His mother, Mary. From His childhood Mary taught Him such good qualities as truth, kindness, compassion and justice. Jesus had learnt His lessons from His mother and developed His spiritual faith. After they returned from Jerusalem, Jesus felt that service to His parents was His foremost duty, because He owed everything to them. ln this spirit, He used to assist His father in His carpentry work. Joseph passed away when Jesus was thirty. He sought His mother's permission to devote Himself to the service of the needy and the forlorn.

Today, the former girl students of Sathya Sai College at Anantapur, who have formed an association called "Messengers of Sathya Sai" are observing their annual day. They are doing good service. They carry out the commands of Swami in the spirit and the letter. They are spread all over the world - Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and other countries. They come to Prasanthi Nilayam from these far off places out of their devotion to Sai. They are bringing their husbands and children also out of their deep love for Swami. They go out to villages and do various kinds of service there. They serve the blind and deaf and dumb children and make them self-reliant and useful citizens. They are carrying on their work wholeheartedly.
For the expenses of their travel from far off countries they save money from their domestic budgets. This is a sign of their dedication to God's work. In this manner the old students of the Anantapur college are leading exemplary lives wherever they are. In addition to all their multifarious household duties, they carry on their social service activities.

[From: The Divine Disc ourse Date: Jan 23, 1995 Occasion: Sankranthi]
What we have to practice today is something very easy and very subtle. The spirit of service is the royal path to be followed. How is this spirit of service to be cultivated? The Gita lays stress on the word Suhrid (friend). Who is a true friend? Can he be utterly selfless? Will he help you without expecting any return? Whether it be one's mother, husband, wife or son, they love you for their own selfish reasons. A totally selfless friend cannot be found in the world. It is hard to find anyone who renders service totally without self-interest. God alone is totally selfless as friend and benefactor. God has been described as Suhrid - a friend who is your alter ego. God seeks no reward of any kind. There is no trace of self-interest in Him. God alone can be utterly selfless and loving, expecting nothing in return.

lt is needless to search for GOD. Verily you are the Divine. Strive to realize this truth. There is a simple and easy way. Have the faith that every human being is an embodiment of the Divine. Love everyone. Serve all. The best way to love God is to love all, serve all.
You must love everyone because God is in everyone. Every human being is a manifestation of God. On the cosmic stage every man identifies himself with the form and name given to him. But he does not realize what is his true form and name.
Let people, wherever they may be, in villages or towns, cultivate faith in God, develop love and share it with one all. Then they will experience ineffable bliss. Liberation will not come though meditation or penance. Love is the only means. When you render service with love, it will become meditation, penance and all else. Love is the fifth "Purushaartha", the supreme goal of life. Love is also the panacea for all the ills that afflict society today. Hate is the cause of all ills. Hence hatred should be banished, as declared by the Gita.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Apr 9th, 1995 Occasion:Ram Navami]

What can Kali do to the one
Whose heart is filled with compassion,
For whose speech truth is the ornament,
And whose body is dedicated to serving Others?
A tranquil mind, a truth - filled speech, and a body dedicated to service - one who has these three qualities is described as the embodiment of "Triputi " (the Triple purity). Such a one is the noblest of human beings.
Tulasidas said: "Rama! I am helpless, poor and crippled." Why did he say he was a cripple ("Angaheenudu")? He has hands and legs, head and everything else. Nevertheless he declared that he was a cripple. What is the inner meaning of this? "What is the use of having hands when I am unable to serve you, oh Rarna! What is the use of having eyes, when I am unable to see you? So, I am verily blind." Tulasidas declared that limbs that are not used in the service of the Lord are as good as lost.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date:6 May 1995 Occasion:Eswaramma Day]
The Vedas are infinite and human life is limited. How to master the infinite within the short span of one's life? Keeping this problem in view, Sage Vyaasa codified the Vedas into four major divisions and named them RIG, YAJUR, SAAMA and ATHARVA Vedas. Rig Veda is Manthra-swaroopa (consisting of Manthras). The Yajur Veda is a compilation of rituals or Yajus and the Saama Veda is a compilation of riks set to music. In order to maintain the health of the individual and ensure the protection of the country, the 'Atharva Veda' was compiled. Sage Vyasa, who codified these four Vedas and wrote 18 puranas, finally gave one stanza as the essence of all the puranas, namely, "It is meritorious to render help to others, it is sinful to cause harm to them." " Paropakaara punyaaya, paapaaya parapeedanam ". The inner meaning of the declaration by Vyasa should be understood by everyone. 'Para' means Brahma, 'Upa' means nearness and 'Kara' means 'go'. So this term 'Paropakaara' means "travel towards the Atma and go nearer the PARAMATMA". Chanting the name of God or doing other forms of worship will not help you to go near God, though they are good deeds. It is only by selfless service you can get nearer to God. This is real 'Punya' . "Paapaaya Parapeedanam". According to worldly interpretation, this means that it is a sin to hurt others. But there is an inner meaning for this. 'Para' means "Atma ". 'Peedanam' means 'Hurting'. The same principle of Atma is in everyone. You should not hurt the Atma. What is meant by this is that you should realize the oneness of the Atma in all. If you do not realize this and act contrary to the principle, it is 'Hurting'. You are considering the bodies, which are different in form as different from you. To do so is 'sin'. You must only see the 'Atma' in all. There are many bulbs of different shapes and sizes here in this hall. But the electric current that makes them shine is only one. The "Atrnathathva ", the principle of Atma , is the one current that activates all the bodies, which are like bulbs of different hues and shapes. "To see diversity is "sin" says Vyasa. He taught the world to see the one in the many. You should follow this principle and develop 'Prema', the principle of love, towards all. When there is Prema there is no grief.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Aug 18, 1995 Occasion: Janmashtami]
To illustrate how attachment to bodily relations affects one's judgment, Bhagavan related the episodes in the Mahabharata which preceded the Kurukshetra battle and the conduct of Arjuna on the battlefield. Arjuna had vigorously opposed Krishna's attempts to hold peace parleys with the Kauruvas as a futile exercise. But when he saw his preceptors, cousins and other kinsmen ranged against him on the battlefield, he was despondent and did not wish to fight. It was then that Krishna taught him that the spirit is immortal and bodies are perishable and one should not give way to bodily attachments in the performance of one's duty. The body has to be taken care of, but not excessively. It should be dedicated to the the service of God
The great teaching of the Gita is: Put your trust in God, carry on your duties, be helpful to everyone and sanctify your lives. Dedicate all actions to God. That is the way to experience oneness with God. God is in you. You are in God. This oneness is the basic truth. Chant the name of the Lord and render social service in a spirit of selflessness and devotion to God.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: Aug 31, 1995 Occasion: Divine Discourse ]
Once upon a time Hanuman met Vibhisana. Vibhisana conveyed his anguish to Hanuman. "Hanuman, how fortunate you are. I am constantly thinking of Rama, but I have failed in getting Rama's darshan. From the moment I wake up, throughout the day, till I go to bed I chant Rama's name incessantly. But I have not been able to see Rama." Hanuman replied, "Vibhisana, you are merely uttering Rama's name by mouth. But you do not participate in his work and mission. It is not sufficient if you chant Lord's name. But you should contribute in his work. It is ten months since Sita has come to Lanka. Have you made any efforts to free Sita? Rama's name can be compared to current and participation in His service is compared to a bulb. Name is the current; service is the bulb. You can attain Divinity only when you combine chanting of Lord's name with participation in His service."

Whatever penance one may do, whatever pilgrimages one may undertake, whatever scriptures one studies and japa one carries out, it is of no use at all. To cross the ocean of this life, the only way is to serve the noble souls. There is no austerity greater than service. And therefore every man has to undertake to serve his fellow beings and reduce their sufferings.

Hands are given to serve man. Charity is the ornament for hands. Truth is the ornament of the neck. Noble words are the ornament for the ears.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: Nov 18, 1995(PM) Occasion: World Conference ]

You have to engage yourselves in seva (Service). Service does not mean mere rendering help to others of one kind or other. True service means participation in social activities after ridding yourself of egoism and possessiveness and manifesting your qualities of compassion and kindness. The aim is the refinement of your own good nature rather than giving succor for others. There is a Sanskrit saying which declares that greater than penance or pilgrimage, meditation or worship, is service to good people. In rendering Service, there should be unity of heart, head and hands (the three Hs). Only then service becomes sanctified. This significance of the three letters in SAI should be understood. ( 'S' stands Service, 'A' stands for Adoration, 'I' stands for Illumination. These three represent karma, bhakti, and Jnana respectively. Sai teaches these three. All these three concepts are equally important. Sai is a combination of the three spiritual paths of action, devotion, and wisdom. Just as the Pranava sound is made up of the three letters 'A", 'U', 'M' (AUM). 'SAI' stands for the triple forms of spiritual sadhana. In the Sai organization, this threefold exercise has to be properly understood.
Sai sevaks have to develop the Love in them, share it with others and fill the whole world with Love. True Love should be distinguished from attachment of various kinds. That Love is synonym for GOD. Love is God. Live in Love. The Love of God comes from the depths of the heart. Sai sevaks should understand this Love and render the service in the right spirit to all mankind.

Perform all actions as an offering to God. Do not make any distinction between your official work and your work in the Sai organization. Spirituality can not be divided into compartments. This Sathya Sai organization was set up solely to enable members to manifest the love in all their activities. You should manifest the divinity within you. That is the self-realization, realization of your oneness with the Divine.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: Nov 19, 1995 Occasion: Women's Day ]

The Russians have decided that December 8 will be Ladies Day in Russia. They give all freedom to women that day. The men have to go into the kitchen because the women go out to serve society. They go to many hospitals to serve. Mother knows only service because she is full of sacrifice. If anybody sheds tears, the mother feels and sheds tears. So the mother is full of compassion. Even the woman's heart has become hard because of changing times. What is the reason? We get such problems because of the company we keep, because the world is full of such bad elements. So, even their hearts have become hard. If they are good, everybody is good. It is very difficult to get the company of good people.

If there are good children and take to the good and holy path, the father tells them, "Are you mad? Don't do Bhajan. Don't do charity. Don't participate in service." There are fathers who say such things. So they can be likened to Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu closed his ears when Prahlada uttered the name of Hari. So, the fathers are either Dhridhrashtras or Hiranyakasipus. They are unable to get the child on the right path and make them exemplary like Dharmamoorthis (embodiments of righteousness). They chant the Vedas, do so many things but cannot correct their children. Then who will listen to their Vedanta? He can talk a lot but cannot put them into practise. Many things can be said but few are done. It is easy to say but you cannot put them into practise, he or his grandfather. There are people who just talk but don't practise.

[From: The  Divine Discourse  Date: Nov 21, 1995 Occasion: World Conference ]

Sadayam Hridayam Yashya
Bhashitham Satya Bhooshitham
Kaayah Para Hitheyasya
Kalistasya Karoti Kim

A pure, unsullied, selfless heart, speech full of truth and a body which is prepared to render service to fellowmen are noble divine qualities. This is the true meaning of human life.

Whatever you may do, whomsoever you may look at, whatever service you undertake, it is just God's work. Love, truth and service are one and the same. However, love and service are the two wings for mankind. Just as the bird can fly with the help of its two wings, man, with the two wings of love and service can understand the innate quality of human nature and can move out freely everywhere.

The main thing is service. We have to understand first truth that the body is gifted to render selfless service. Paropakaarartham Idam Sareeram. The body is meant to render service. The body is not for selfishness and self-interest. It is meant to render selfless service. You develop broad feelings through this selfless service. It kills the ego. It originates bliss. Service confers infinite bliss. It also teaches the principle of brotherhood of man. We can understand this information if only we have the two principles of brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. We should not end with that alone.

Whom does God love? God loves those who help others. This is because God is present in others. We should not think that we are serving others. You are serving God Himself God has come in this form. You may serve anyone but it is service rendered to God. All actions are service to God. Then work will be transformed into worship. Never divide that this is my work and that is God's work. Go to office. This is God's work. Do business. It is God's work. You teach. It is God's work. Everything is God's work. There is nothing where there is no God. Develop that faith today.
You have to understand another factor in the organisation. You have all participated in the conference. One important thing is that the service rendered by Seva Dal to maintain cleanliness in the campus cannot be estimated in a way. Seva Dal members are the true Sevaks. There are lakhs of workers in our organisation who are prepared to sacrifice. But we should not have the feeling of a worker. All are workers. Everyone is a servant here. You think you are a master. No. You think you are a President. You are not a President. This is because basically everyone in this world is a servant.

A person had at the tender age a classmate who became a king later. The old friend came to see the king. The king asked his friend, "What are you doing now?" He said, "Oh King, I am a poor man. I am suffering because I could not carry on my life. In this world, all are workers. They submit to one thing or the other in this world." Then the king became very angry. He said, "I have authority on all. How can I be a servant? I have got so many servants. I have so many helpers". He said, "I am the master". The friend dropped the stick he was holding in his hand to teach the king a lesson. He could not bend. He said "How can I walk now as my support, the walking stick, has fallen down." The king bent, picked up the stick and gave it to his friend. He said, "Oh king, now you are my servant because you have picked up the stick and given me. It is service." Service is not merely done with the body. The child serves the mother and the mother serves the child. The husband serves the wife and the wife serves the husband. So all are servants. God is the only master. We have to follow the trend and nature of the master.

It is no service at all if you think that you are serving because of the pressure of the organisation. You should do it to satisfy your conscience. One may know or not but one should do to the satisfaction of the conscience because God is all perfection. We should do it perfectly to satisfy that God who is all perfection. We start serving when others watch us and discontinue when they are gone. God is watching whether others watch or not. What do you mean by watch? Understand what watch means. Watch is spelt as W a t c h. The first W is Watch your word. Then A, Watch your actions, T, Watch your thought, C, Watch your character and H, Watch your heart. This is the real watch. We can understand God clearly if we live in this way.

Swami is not bothered about quantity. How many organizations have increased, how many units have increased. How many devotees have increased? Swami is not concerned with this statistics. Swami wants quality. This quality is enough. One teaspoon of cow's milk is enough. Why barrels of donkey's milk? Many people are after quantity. Desire quality. It is enough if there are only ten people. See that improvement, this quality with the rest of the people. This is the service you have to do. Share with everybody the happiness and bliss you experienced here. That is true service. Never transgress our regulations. You are not mindful of the money and effort spent and the inconveniences here because of his love. Thyagaineike Amritatwmanasuhu. Without sacrifice immortality cannot be attained. Develop this spirit of sacrifice.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Nov 22, 1995 Occasion: Convocation ]
Students! Develop good qualities. Have good behaviour. Serve society. There is no other thing higher than service. It is only service that unifies mankind. It is only service that kills ego. It promotes broad feelings. It also develops love. Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti - Truth is one, but wise people call it as many. Service also teaches the principle of oneness. You enquire why this motherland is shedding tears. Utthishta, Jagratha, Prapya Varanye Bodhata. Get up from sleep and slumber of ignorance. Follow the sacred path. Open your eyes. Proceed ahead. Do not slacken your determination.

There is no use if you are educated. You should make use of all that you have learnt for the benefit of the country. You have to work for the progress and welfare of this country. The main aim of all educated people is to work for social welfare. So, we have to develop our values. What are these values? Value is for education. Education is for life. Life is for love. Love is for man. Man is for service. Service is for society. Society is for science. Science is for the nation. The nation is for the world. The world is for peace.

The value is for education. It started with five values. It ended with the last one. You will have peace when you have these values. If there are no values, there is no peace but we will go to pieces. Value is for education. Remember it well that Education is for life. Life is for love. Love is for man. Man is for service. Service is for society. Society is for science. Science is for the nation. The nation is for the world. The world is for peace. We should achieve this peace. There will be abundant prosperity in the country when students progress in this particular way. Nithya Kalyanam. Pacha Thoranam. Swami wants students to mould themselves in this particular direction and blessing you thus, Swami brings His long discourse to a close.

[From: The Divine Discourse  Date: Nov 23, 1995 Occasion: 70th Birthday ]
Love and Service The Two Wings
Our life is a bird with two wings. We should have the two wings of love and service. Just as birds fly high with their wings, we should reach noble heights with the two wings of love and service. You cannot reach the goal with only one of the wings. What sort of wings are they? They are like the strings of a Veena instrument. The strings are separate but the musical instrument is one. The whole country is a Veena. The strings are our religions. All religions are unified in one Veena. The music from the instrument will not be melodious even if one of the strings is broken. We should expect and desire for the welfare of all the religions. We should expect the good of all religions. We should also experience the welfare of everybody.
What is to be done for the welfare of the society? In what way are we proceeding? We serve with intentions of selfishness and for name in the society. I am born in society. I cannot live for a moment without the society. My happiness and pleasure depend on the society. Service to society is service to one's own self. We should understand this unity. It is ego if you say I am serving society. What is the gain to the world by your service? There is no loss sustained if you don't serve. The gain and loss go to you, not to the world. The youth of today should understand this principle of equanimity.

Inquire the Real 'I'
Embodiments of Love, There are two types of I, the one lettered I and the three lettered Eye. The three lettered I is eye. That is the body. It has three attributes. One lettered I is Atma. The movable and the immovable is divinity. God does not receive or give. It originates from your heart. Therefore, enter into activities of help, render service. Service is our life. There is nothing higher than service.
Embodiments of Love, People from various countries participated in this conference. What is the main idea of this conference? We should render service. Wherever there is need, we should surrender our body, money, mind and intellect. You can be a leader with only the spirit of service. You cannot be a leader without being a servant. How can you be a leader without being a servant? Consider yourself as kinkara, the servant and not Sankara, the leader. Only a kinkara can become a Sankara.

You should all encourage service in villages and backward areas. You must have listened to the list of names read out. Some brought some jewels. For decoration. What are precious jewels to God? Bliss is His jewel. Love is His jewel. He Himself is the very embodiment of beauty. Then why do you bring all these jewels and hide that real beauty? A beautiful idol is made by a sculptor. How beautiful it is to look at the idol! You go on decorating, garlanding and hide the very beauty of the idol. These are all artificial. The natural form is the bliss. Never bring such things. Do not entertain such thoughts. So, those who have given, don't feel. What Swami has told the Central Trust is that all the jewels that have been brought here will be auctioned right now and the money realized utilized in the best possible manner for water supply. Prasanthi Nilayam will not accept anything. Swami will be happy only if you serve in any other way. Spend your money for service. Where there is water shortage, try to solve that problem. Where health care, education and medicines are required, participate in that activity. Do everything for society and not for the individual.

Let everybody be happy along with you. Let everybody be in peace along with you. Do appropriate service keeping this in view. Embodiments of Love, God is within you in the form of three attributes of Satva, Rajo and Thamas. God is Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara within you. You forget the God within you and are after God who is not in your reach. Can't you understand Him when He is within you? Where is the kerchief now? It is in Swami's hand. So, Swami's hand is bigger and kerchief is small. Swami can hold it as the kerchief is small. When God is in you, you are mighty and God is so small in you. You have to prove your majesty and never be weak. Do majestic deeds when you are majestic.

Expansion Through Seva
Right from this day our organization should expand and spread all over the world. We should forget individual differences, keep in view the welfare of the society. The welfare of the society is our welfare. Let it be in any village, region or country, we should participate in all activities in all areas, regions and countries.
Embodiments of love, Participants from 175 countries have assembled here today. So many have congregated. What work are we doing now? We have to inquire clearly. Our quality lies in our work. There are bound to be poor people in your respective countries. They are the Daridra Narayanas - God in the form of poor people. You serve that Narayana. What is the use of serving Sriman Narayan, God, who has everything? God has so many servants to serve Him. You don't need to serve Him. There are the poor and the needy, who are the embodiments of God. Serve them.

[From: The Divine Discourse Date: Dec 25, 1995 Occasion: Christmas ]
"Salutations to any living beings go toward God," say the Vedas. ("Sarva bhuta namaskaram; Keshavam prati gachate.") We think there is no meaning in saluting both the one who praises us and the one who criticizes us. Saluting the one who praises us is understandable, but what is the use of saluting the one who accuses us? We must have continuous relationship with accusations, because without them there is no beauty or value to praise. Without criticism, appreciation loses its meaning. That is why every word, every thought, has some obstacle or other. For the good, bad is a shadow. For pleasure, difficulty is a shadow. All opposites are interrelated. The pleasure and pain, the profit and loss, exist together. Christ went on pursuing his path in the face of many obstacles with strength and endurance. He gave His life for the service of men, for the principle of Love and propagation of Love.

Our "Messengers of Sathya Sai" are doing a lot of service. In spite of being women, they undertake difficult tasks with a lot of courage, building houses, placing rafters, laying roofs, sweeping, whitewashing, etc. They conduct mass marriages and bear all the expenses. Old students come from various countries, like Australia, Germany, Japan etc. This is living proof of their sincere devotion.

The girls of "Messengers of Sathya Sai" have rendered very good service. In fact they face many problems. They do not have independence. Soon after marriage they are in the hands of their in-laws and husband. They have to bow down their heads and obey them. They cannot act contrary to their wishes, but even under such circumstances they bring their husbands from foreign lands. That is the true seva. They transform even non-devotees into devotees. Why else would any husband send his wife from far off Argentina to Puttaparthi, spending lots of money? They too have developed broad mindedness.