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Then & Now
A day in Ashram



The day on which all the devotees gather and sing the glory of God melodiously, the day on which the sufferings of the poor are lovingly removed and all people live like brothers and sisters, the day on which groups of Dasas (servants of God) who constantly contemplate on God are served a sumptuous feast, the day on which noble souls visit us and narrate the stories of God lovingly, enjoy that day as the real day. All other days are mere death anniversaries. Do I need to say more, oh noble souls?

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Our All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Srinivasan has just now stated that Vinay, who made excellent arrangements for this Yajna is a very bright and educated young man. I am very happy about it.

Though Srinivasan did not specifically make a mention about youth in general, it is necessary for Me to add that the youth are also responsible for the unrest and agitation in the world today.

In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities. (Telugu poem)

No doubt, the youth today are highly educated, having obtained graduate and postgraduate degrees. Though they are occupying high positions; yet, instead of realising the essence of education, they are inflated with pride thinking, “we are highly educated, we have obtained high academic degrees.” Due to this pride, they are forgetting the culture and traditions of their own country and religion.

The day when people were engulfed in fascination for English language,

knowledge of one’s own religion and language declined;

When knowledge of one’s own religion and language declined,

the cultural outlook disappeared;

When cultural outlook disappeared, the righteousness declined on the earth;

When righteousness declined and disappeared from the earth,

the exalted position of Bharat was shattered.

(Telugu poem)

Wherever you see, there is unrest and chaos in the world today. Respect for elders and their own country has become extinct. Basic humanness has been lost. This lack of respect and lawlessness has spread to every field - moral, physical, secular and even spiritual. From a millionaire to a pauper, everyone is becoming a beggar. The pauper is begging for alms; the millionaire is also begging. Who is big and who is small in this profession of begging? To speak the truth, it is the poor who does not have a square meal a day and therefore begs for alms more seems to be a little magnanimous for he even shares his food with a fellow beggar. On the other hand, a millionaire does not throw even a coin in charity. The rich do not even come forward to extend a helping hand for sacred, noble and charitable purposes. Yet, they pretend to give munificent donations for such purposes and get their pictures printed in the newspapers with headlines for publicity. When it comes to action, they are far away. If you actually see their activities, you find they are most despicable and worthless. The youth must come forward with enthusiasm to remedy the situation. The youth are the right persons to bring about a change for the better in the country. The physical energy, acuteness of the senses and intellectual sharpness present in the youth are not to be found in the other section of people in the society. If they take a firm resolve, they can achieve anything. The youth should take a pledge to utilise their strength of senses, mental energy, physical energy, intellectual and Atmic power for the benefit of society. They have to conserve the divine energy of their senses and strive for the welfare of society. They have to protect the country. Then only do they deserve to be called real human beings.

Unfortunately, today, youth are becoming weak by succumbing to trivial attractions. Even a sixteen-year-old boy who is supposed to be physically strong is seen to be lean and emaciated. It is not due to lack of food and nourishment. It is due to the misuse of his senses that he becomes weak. It is a great mistake to weaken one’s senses by misusing them. When the senses become weak, man becomes weak. Unfortunately, today the youth are misusing the vital energy of their senses. Added to this, their parents are also encouraging this abuse by giving them too much money. Thus, the parents are also committing a great sin by their support. In fact, it is they who are responsible for their wards taking to wrong ways. The children, no doubt, should be given freedom, but only to the extent necessary. Excessive freedom breeds permissiveness. This permissiveness coupled with unlimited money in the hands of children will spoil them. Too much money causes many wrongs. Money has to be used properly. Don’t waste money, misuse of money is evil. Don’t waste food, food is God. Don’t waste time; time waste is life waste. The present-day youth are wasting money, food and time. Thus, they are getting spoiled.

How is the vision of the youth today? They do not have a steady vision even for a second. Their restless eyes are wandering all around. The vision of the present-day youth can be likened to that of a crow. Whatever they see, they develop a desire for it. That too for what? For undesirable things. First and foremost, the youth have to control their vision. The eye teaches a big lesson to us. As is the vision, so is the creation. Hence, you should not look at anyone with an evil design. You should not develop a desire for everything that you see. I would like to be frank. Please do not take me amiss. Students will be going to the college on bicycles. When they see some girls passing by, they would stop and stare at them. It is only due to such irresponsible behaviour, several accidents are taking place nowadays. Accidents involving two-wheelers are also on the increase. They stare at everything going on in the bazaar and every lady walking on the street while riding the motorcycle, especially when they pass a girls’ college, their eyes are glued to the college. Is this the purpose for which God has given you eyes?

Do you know the purpose for which the eyes are given to you?

Is it to look at anything and everything that you come across?

No, no; you are endowed with eyes so that you may attain the vision of the Lord of Kailasa.

Do you know the purpose for which the mind is given to you?

Is it to wander in the lanes and bylanes?

No, no; the mind is given to you to experience bliss by contemplating on the beautiful form and name of God.

(Telugu song)

Today, the youth, especially the young men, have poisoned vision. Their speech is evil. Their behaviour, language and conduct - everything is bad. They gossip on the looks and character of passersby. But, they have no time for discussing about Atmananda (Atmic bliss). In fact, bliss is beautiful. Nothing can match such beauty. If you want to enjoy such Atmic bliss, you (especially the youth) should control your vision. Whenever your vision falls on undesirable objects, you must caution yourself, “Watch out! I am born as a human being, not an animal. God has given me eyes to see the wonders of His creation and not the external beauty of individuals.” If three boys gather at a place, all that they talk about are useless topics. In fact, how sacred is our tongue!

Oh tongue, the knower of taste! You are very sacred. Speak the truth in the most pleasing manner. Chant the Divine Names of Govinda, Madhava and Damodara incessantly. This is your foremost duty .

(Sanskrit verse)

Our tongue is a gift of God for the purpose of speaking sweet words. Hence, we should never speak bad words. The tongue must always be used for sacred purposes. We have to witness the beautiful form of God with our eyes. There are some young men who visit the temples. But, instead of seeing the divine form of God, they fix their gaze on the ladies visiting the temple. Is this the vision expected of a human being? Man becomes a demon by faulty vision, useless talk and behaviour and hearing such gossip. The youth especially must be very careful today. They must exercise proper control over their senses. If such restraint is exercised, there will be no possibility of erring.

Embodiments of Love!

I am telling all this out of love for you. You may conceal all your bad intentions and put up an angelic face outside. But, I cannot do so. I have to call a spade a spade. I have to speak the truth. Parents and elders have also to be careful in this aspect. Some parents exhibit too much of indulgence in their children’s craving, “My darling son! You may show your love and affection on your child, but not on bad behaviour. If the child is spoiled on account of your blind love, who gets the discredit? Only the parents!

The Vedas declare Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Athiti Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). The parents have given you life. They are responsible for your birth. Hence, you have to love your parents wholeheartedly under all circumstances. You have to realise the truth that first and foremost your mother is God and next your father and that they are protecting you constantly. Of what use are your achievements in life, if you forget the very embodiments of divinity (that is father and mother) who are right in front of you? Our Seva Dal and youth wing shall propagate such teachings and try to arrest the degeneration in society. You may encounter any number of obstacles in this task; but you should overcome them and march forward. You may even stake your life in this task of restoring the society to right path.

The youth should not waste money or their words. Keep silence. Maintain your poise under all circumstances. It is said mounath kalaham nasthi (there will be no quarrel if you maintain silence). Our Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, advised the youth that they should receive proper training in technology. But, what you learn today is not technology, but ‘trick-nology’. Man is getting spoiled only on account of his ‘tricks’.

Students! Members of the youth wing! You must all be very careful. You must uphold the dignity of your family. You have to realise the intimate relationship that exists between the individual and society and conduct yourself accordingly. Prahlada, the young lad was sent by his father Hiranyakasipu to his teachers, Chanda and Amarka to learn various Sastras (scriptures). The teachers taught him several subjects. After some time, the father called Prahlada and made him sit on his lap and enquired, “Dear son! How is your education going on? What did you learn?

Prahlada then replied,

Father! The teachers have taught me many things,I have understood the four objectives of life – Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire) and Moksha (liberation). I have studied many things; in fact, I have understood the very essence of education. (Telugu poem)

Hiranyakasipu then asked him, “Look! Can you explain to me one topic which you have studied?” Prahlada replied, “Character is the most important thing for every individual. A man without character is equivalent to an animal.” Father Hiranyakasipu got very angry at his son’s reply. Even the members in the royal court were dumbfounded by Prahlada’s words. Hiranyakasipu then called one lady and asked Prahlada, “Who is this lady?”, pointing to her. Prahlada replied “She is my mother.” In fact, she was not his real mother. She was only a servant. Then Hiranyakasipu called all the ladies and made them to stand in front of him and asked Prahlada “Who are these ladies?” Prahlada gave a beautiful reply saying, “All those who are younger to me are my younger sisters and elder to me are elder sisters.” The father was aghast at his reply. He was very angry with his son’s replies. He therefore called the teachers and chided them, “Is this the education you are imparting to the children? When they grow up, they naturally follow these principles.” The father warned them, “You should not teach such things to the children”. He commanded the teachers to restrain Prahlada from contemplating on Hari Nama (the Divine name of Lord Vishnu). The teachers Chanda and Amarka were terribly afraid. As soon as they returned to the Gurukula, they tried to dissuade Prahlada in so many ways from repeating the Lord’s name. They reprimanded him orally and even gave him physical punishment. But, Prahlada did not yield. He told them frankly, “Respected Teachers! Is the one that dissuades the pupils from contemplating on the Divine name of Hari, a Guru in the real sense? Like the true father who advises the child to attain Hari (God), the Guru also should teach his disciple to contemplate on Hari. Instead of teaching such sacred things, you are trying to push me into worldly matters. I don’t want such education.” Thereafter, he left the Gurukula and set out on his mission singing the glory of Lord Hari. He began teaching to his fellow students, “There is none higher than Hari.” Devotion to God is essential for everyone. Divinity is immanent in all beings.

It is said ‘E aswara sarva bhutanam’ (God is the indweller of all beings). I wish that you too, like Prahlada, must encourage one and all to worship and contemplate on divinity at all times. When you undertake propagation of such ideals you can bring about a wonderful transformation in the society, quickly. Before you embark upon such a mission, you must make a beginning in your own house. The parents can give you the physical body only. But, who sustains the Atma Tattwa? God is the only refuge. Hence, parents should set an example by instilling in the children the urge to realise divinity.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.

(Telugu poem)

However much you nourish the body, it is bound to perish sooner or later. Nobody seems to know whether it is proper for a human being to spend time merely, indulging in eating, sleeping, and procreation like the animals, birds and beasts. No, not at all! Man has to sanctify every moment of his life by contemplating on God. That is what the parents have to teach their children. That is what remains with us and follows us beyond death. It is the foremost duty of the parents to teach such a sacred path to the children. The Gurus (teachers) have also to teach such noble things to the students. Today, the gurus are imparting mere textbook knowledge to the students. The children also seem to have taste for such knowledge. Hence, each one of you should visit some school and teach such noble things to the students. Born as human beings, is it proper for you to make obscene comments against womenhood? If you harass ladies with your vile words, will others keep quiet? Will they not harass your own family members? Will they spare your own wife and children? Hence, first and foremost, you have to respect others. Then only will you receive their love and respect. At present, especially the youth have to cultivate humanness. It is exactly for this sacred purpose that we started the youth wing in Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. The youth have to set an ideal to others in society. Those who roam about in the bazaar aimlessly are verily donkeys. They cannot be considered as human beings. It is not such a life that the youth have to lead. The donkeys wander in the streets, braying. You are not a donkey. You are God, truly. Hence, stay firm in your sacred humanness. Keep up your prestige. This is the foremost duty of the youth.

There are yet other youngsters who secretly read trashy books. They keep such trash in between the pages of their textbooks and read them without being noticed by others. What they actually read are trash novels, but they pretend to be reading textbooks. Thus, they try to deceive even the teachers. This is unbecoming of a human being. Whenever any bad thoughts arise in your mind, that very moment you remind yourself that you are a human being and not an animal. Your behaviour should be befitting that of a human being. Then only you have the right to call yourself a human being. It is only when you nourish and nurture the human values does your education acquires value.

Embodiments of Love!

I have great love towards you. None can measure My love or compare it to this and that. My love is uniform without any bias or preference. My love can match only My love. I am not concerned with what people may think about Me. Some people accuse Me also. Some people write several things about Me in the newspapers. They also publish the ‘nuisance’ coming from abroad. In this context, I would like to ask one question. Can a person copying such a nuisance and publishing it in the newspaper be called a journalist? Not at all! A true journalist will never indulge in such slander. He will rely on the news gathered by him personally and on his personal experience. He will never give importance to some ‘nuisance’ published by others somewhere in London or America . Those who listen to such trash and propagate them are like dogs. Whenever a dog barks in some corner, another dog in a nearby street hears it and starts barking. Thus, those who imitate others are like dogs, not human beings. Whatever people may think, we are wedded to Truth. We are embodiments of Truth, verily. Hence, you should not give credence to untruth. If people say some nonsense about you, let them do so. The dogs bark. We are not concerned with them. Those who criticise us with an evil intention are to be treated as dogs, not human beings. Many people come to Swami. Did we send any invitations to them? Not at all! Some people are jealous of the recognition that Swami’s great humanitarian service is getting all over the world and try to slander His name. I would like to say this much to such people - let them attract people from all walks of life in such large numbers from all over the world, if they wish. It is impossible. Not even ten people will gather around them. What is the reason? That goodness and helping nature is not in them. That is only to be found in Divinity. That only attracts all people.

Embodiments of Love!

We see and hear so many things in the world. But, let us not be moved by such things. You stay firm in your love for Swami. You have no reason to hide your love; continue to shower your love on one and all. Then only your mind becomes pure and sacred and your birth as a human being will be sanctified. Then only you deserve to be called human beings. Otherwise, you will degenerate yourself into demons. Do not be misguided by others’ words. Whatever you listen to in this sacred Yajnasala, preserve it carefully in your mind. Install God in your heart.

Embodiments of Love!

You may feel that Swami is using harsh words. You should not feel upset about it. On the other hand, you must feel happy that Swami is speaking the truth. Divinity is invincible. It is not something to be advertised. You may go through any newspaper. It is full of advertisements. Most of the advertisements contain false statements. The extent to which their sense of discrimination has degenerated is beyond description. This is sheer foolishness. If they are really human beings, they would not have advertised such false things. If they are so interested, they should come and observe what is going on here and feel happy about it. It is a serious mistake to put up news items and advertisements indiscriminately, basing on hearsay. The readers should also make efforts to realise the truth. There will be none to punish or subdue you, if you are wedded to truth. Hence, uphold truth at all times. Your truth is your witness and Swami is the eternal witness to everything that goes on in the world. We should not be fools. We must become flowers that will be offered to God. Instead, we are living like fools. This is not good.

Dear students! There are several things that are to be told to you. I am mentioning all these things only to correct your behaviour. Love! Love! Love! Love! Cultivate love! That would be enough. However, this love should not be extended to all and sundry things in the world. It should be steadily fixed on God. Then you will become good individuals. Otherwise, of what use is your education? Today, ‘education’ is leading to ‘agitation’. If this situation is to be corrected, ‘education’ must be supplemented with ‘educare’. Education can be acquired from textbooks. ‘Educare’ has, however, to be manifested from the heart. Hence, one has to take up ‘educare’ also. ‘Educare’ involves manifesting the human values that are latent in one’s own heart. The secular education can be obtained from the books. The book is like a ‘mukku’ (nose), whereas ‘educare’ is the very breath that is inhaled through the nose. If there is no breath, it amounts to death. Similarly, humanness cannot survive without human values that are to be manifested through the process of ‘educare’.

Dear Students! You are all embodiments of the Divine Self. You are all very good boys and girls. You are golden children verily! However, you should not be like the 14 carat gold. You must be like the pure 24 carat gold. You should not lose your value. If you thus lead your lives like pure gold, I will extend all possible help to all of you. I will help you financially and spiritually in every endeavour you undertake. You become good children. Get good name to your parents, Institution and to Swami. (Swami then called a student from America and another from Russia , who are studying in Prasanthi Nilayam campus and asked them to recite Namakam and Sri Suktam). This boy is from America and that boy is from Russia . You see how they are chanting in one voice! These boys can recite several Vedic Mantras like Namakam, Chamakam, etc. There are several others from different countries who are learning the Vedas. However, it is only Indians who are neglecting the Vedas. Foreigners learn Sanskrit and chant the Vedas clearly with proper intonation. In contrast, what do the Indians learn? “Ding dong bell; pussy is in the well.” These are the nursery rhymes we teach to the children from the early age! This is not correct education. We have to realise the sanctity of Indian culture and spirituality. Morality and integrity are the mother and father in Indian culture. Equanimity is the sister and courage is the brother. Unfortunately, today people cultivate ephemeral relationships, forgetting eternal and sacred relationships. One should not develop such foolish relationships. Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are. Since there is a lot of time available to us, I will explain to you in greater detail in the coming days. I will teach you what all is necessary for you. I am not afraid of anyone. I am attached to Truth. I don’t mind what people may think of Me. Those who believe in Truth, will not be afraid of anyone. Hence, I will reveal to you more in the coming days.