UPHOLD THE DIGNITY AND HONOUR OF BHARAT
MATHA (MOTHER INDIA)
The Lord of Kailasa
has manifested His Divine form in front of your eyes with
the crescent moon adorning His head, the cool water of the
Ganga flowing between the matted locks, with His radiant eye
in the middle of the forehead and the purple neck gleaming
like the sheen of a blackberry. He wears serpent bracelets
and a snake belt, His entire body is smeared with Vibhuti,
His forehead is adorned with a Kumkum dot, his ruddy lips
glow with the juice of the betel, diamond-studded gold earrings
dangle from His ears and His whole swarthy body glows with
Everyday you have been listening to various speakers dwelling
on the principle of Easwara (Divinity). Many people imagine
that Easwara has a form with matted locks of hair and snakes
adorning Him as ornaments. But, this is not the true form
of Easwara. Though He is all-pervasive, devotees, out of their
imagination, attribute a form to Him with various types of
There is a temperamental weakness among
Bharatiyas to bring down the various forms of God they adore
and the idols they worship to the level of beggars. Truly
speaking, there are no beggars and there cannot be a beggar
in this sacred land of Bharat. To consider somebody inferior
to you and imagine that they expect money from you is a sign
of weakness. It is because of such narrow-minded feeling that
people from other countries consider India to be a poor country
and that it is full of beggars. This is totally a misconception.
Bharat has never been a poor country. Just because people
are economically backward, they cannot be considered beggars.
There are no beggars in this world. If someone seeks financial
help or asks for food, they are treated as beggars. In fact,
we are responsible for making somebody a beggar. We consider
them to be inferior to us and ill-treat them. Bharat is a
land of plenty and prosperity. You must realise that there
are no beggars in this country and must conduct yourself accordingly.
Some people bring down even God to the level of a beggar.
When their desires are fulfilled they eulogise God. They pray,
“Oh God, I will offer You cash or in kind if You fulfil
God is not poor and hence, people created
by Him cannot also be poor. It is man who makes beggars out
of his fellowmen and ill-treats them. Such low and mean practices
should be given up. Some people think that Lord Venkateswara
is in need of money. They think He would do their work and
fulfil their desires for the sake of money. In this manner,
they bring Him down to the level of a beggar. It is a grave
mistake. God is not a beggar. You should consider Him as your
father and mother. Cultivate love for God and your fellowmen.
Never consider someone a beggar and ill-treat him. Extend
help to those who are in distress. Develop love for
God and fear of sin. Just because someone approaches
you for help, do not consider him to be weak and inferior.
Do not humiliate him. Your innate divinity will manifest before
you when you develop love and respect towards all. Treat everybody
as your brothers and sisters. Never consider anybody a beggar.
It is a great mistake to think that you are the giver and
someone else is the beneficiary.
There are some businessmen who try to get their work done
by offering bribe to those in power. Offering or accepting
bribe is also a great sin. Asking for bribe is the same as
begging for alms. We should not give room to such mean practices.
Since ancient times, Bharat has upheld moral and ethical values
and has set an ideal to the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
such values are forgotten today. Feed the hungry with love
but do not look down upon them as beggars. Begging should
not be entertained or encouraged in this country. People may
come to you and ask for food. It does not mean that they are
beggars. You do not become superior to them just because you
serve them food. Speak to them lovingly and satiate their
hunger. But, never insult them. Bharatiyas are putting their
own country to disrepute by making their fellowmen beggars.
Bharat is not a poor country. Otherwise, how do we explain
the invasion of so many foreign rulers in the past? Many foreign
kings invaded this land and plundered the wealth of our country.
The question of being rich or poor arises because one compares
himself with another. If someone comes to your doorstep saying,
Bhavati Bhiksham Dehi (mother,
give alms), do not treat him like a beggar. Treat him like
another human being and empathise with him. His coming to
you and asking for food does not make him inferior to you.
Just because he has no money to feed himself, he does not
become a pauper and you a millionaire. If you want to uphold
the reputation of the country, respect your fellowmen. First
and foremost, develop love for your motherland. Feel proud
that you are a Bharatiya. Realise that you are born in a sacred
land which is the birthplace of many noble souls. Yesterday
you heard the ladies extolling Bharat as the land of the Vedas,
the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. You should always keep
in mind the glory and grandeur of Bharat and conduct yourself
accordingly. Only then are you eligible to be called a Bharatiya.
Your actions should match your words. Merely extolling the
glory of Bharat and conducting yourself in a mean manner is
Forbearance is the real quality in this
sacred land of Bharat. The nectarous feeling in this country
is the feeling towards one’s mother.
Consider Bharat as your own mother. Develop love and
reverence towards her and uphold her dignity and honour.
If you think your mother is poor, how can you consider yourself
to be rich? Since ancient times, Bharat has conferred the
wealth of knowledge to all through the sacred scriptures and
epics. How can such a country be considered poor? Your physical
mother may be poor but not your motherland. This sacred land
has attained the reputation of being the greatest among all
nations. You should not show disrespect to such a great country
by considering it poor and weak. The morality and integrity
that we find in Bharat cannot be found in any other country.
Bharat is like a treasure chest of gold.
Having been born in such a land, where is the need to go in
search of gold and silver? But, unfortunately, people show
disrespect and disregard to such a land of gold. The educated
should take a vow to revive the ancient glory of Bharat. But,
sadly, even the educated are not able to realise the greatness
Today if we find beggars in the streets, it is because we
have encouraged them by giving money. You should never give
money to beggars. If they are in need of food or clothes,
you can certainly give them. But do not encourage the practice
Bharat has earned great name and fame among all nations. But
people in position and power are bringing disrepute to the
country by their corrupt practices. Nobody should indulge
in the bad practice of giving or receiving bribe. Even the
Government should be cautioned in this regard. They should
find ways and means to stop this practice of bribing and begging.
Beggars should not be given money. They should be provided
with opportunities to become self- reliant. Extend all your
help and cooperation to the less fortunate ones and help them
to come up in life. It is not possible for all to be equal
in this world. There is bound to be inequality.
Today, people out of their selfishness and self-interest have
brought down even God to the level of a beggar. When you to
go to a temple, the priest brings a plate before you expecting
a few coins as Dakshina. People keep Dakshina (offering) in
the plate and receive Prasadam from the priest. This practice
of asking for Dakshina also amounts to asking for alms. Let
us not resort to such begging. Let us become rich
in our thought, word and deed. You may die for want
of money, but never beg for money. The educated should teach
a lesson to those who spend their time begging in the streets.
When you come across a beggar, you should tell him, “My
dear, you are the son of Bharat Matha. Your mother is not
poor, she is rich in all respects. Since ancient times, she
has been taking care of all nations. Being her son, it is
not proper on your part to resort to begging.”
Do not keep coins in your pocket for giving to beggars. You
may derive some satisfaction by doling out a few coins to
beggars, but, in the process you are also bringing disrepute
to your motherland. You should uphold the prestige and honour
of your motherland. You should become an ideal and worthy
son of Bharat. Be convinced that you are born to uphold the
honour of your motherland. Otherwise, what is the use of your
birth as her son?
You must have heard our students sing Ramakatha in which there
is an incident wherein Lava and Kusha find their mother Sita
in a sorrowful mood and then trying to console her. They ask
her, “Mother, please let us know the cause of your sorrow.
Of what use is our life if we are unable to wipe your tears?
Do not underestimate us just because we are children. In fact,
we are more powerful than Lord Rama. Hence, Oh mother! Do
not shed tears. If you shed tears, the whole country will
be ruined. Being your worthy sons, is it not our duty to remove
your suffering and sorrow? We are ready to meet your interests
and give you happiness even at the cost of our lives.”
Unfortunately, today we do not find such ideal sons as Lava
and Kusha. Today, people have become weak-minded. They lack
the spirit of sacrifice. Even the so-called great and rich
people have not given up mean-mindedness. I feel it is they
who are making beggars of their fellow human beings. One should
never say ‘no’ when it comes to helping others.
Once, a rich person went to a Guru and requested him to grant
him wisdom. His pockets were stuffed with bundles of currency
notes. As he was seated there, the Guru sent one of his disciples
to a businessman’s shop to get a five rupee note. After
some time, the disciple returned saying that the shop was
closed. The Guru sent him to another shop and again the disciple
returned empty-handed. This went on for some time. But, the
rich man who was a witness to these happenings did not offer
a five rupee note from his pocket. Then, the Guru chided him,
saying “Your pockets are full of currency notes, yet
you did not have the heart to part with a five rupee note
when I needed it most. How do you expect to attain wisdom
without cultivating the spirit of sacrifice?” Immediately
the businessman took out a five rupee note and offered it
to the Guru. The Guru did not accept the note, saying one
should perform acts of charity out of love and not out of
When someone comes to your doorstep begging for food, you
should invite him wholeheartedly into your verandah, give
a sumptuous meal and satisfy him. Everyone has an equal share
in all that is available in this world. Today, people lack
the spirit of sacrifice. They are experts in giving lectures
on sacrifice but are not prepared to part with even a paisa
from their pockets when it comes to practising what they preach.
What is the use of preaching when you cannot translate it
into action? Manasyekam Vachasyekam
Karmanyekam Mahatmanam (Those whose thoughts,
words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones).
You need not borrow money in order to serve others. Share
with your fellowmen whatever you have. This is how you should
uphold the honour and dignity of Bharatiyas. Today, the reputation
of the country has come down on account of people who have
stooped to the level of beggars. It is because of the educated
people that beggars are on the increase. What is the purpose
of education? Is it to produce beggars? I am not in favour
of such education.
One may acquire a high academic qualification
such as M.A. and B.A. and attain exalted position,
One may amass wealth, perform acts of charity and attain name
One may have physical strength and enjoy a long and healthy
One may be a great scholar studying and preaching the Vedas,
But none can equal a true devotee of the Lord. (Telugu
People lack strength and have become weak-minded because they
lack devotion for God. They do not have love for their motherland.
Consequently, they are bringing bad name to the country. You
will be called a true and worthy son of Bharat only when you
uphold the dignity and honour of Bharat Matha (Mother India).
You may be a great scholar, but your scholarship is of no
value if it is not used for protecting the honour of your
country. If you go through the biographies of noble men like
RamakrishnaParamahamsa, Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore,
all of them exhorted people to give up mean-mindedness. You
should proclaim with pride, “I am the son of
Bharat.” The boy who spoke earlier made a mention
of this. If you want to be called a true son of Bharat, you
should lead a life of sacrifice. If need arises you should
be prepared even to forego your meal in order to feed the
The spirit of sacrifice demonstrated by Bharata in the Ramayana
is unparalleled. When Rama went to the forest, Bharata was
to be crowned as king. But he went to the forest to entreat
Rama to come back to Ayodhya and ascend the throne. Lakshmana
who was with Rama in the forest, observed the arrival of Bharata
and his entourage from a distance. He became furious with
the misconceived notion that Bharata was coming to wage a
battle with Rama. In an angry tone, he said, “Mother
Kaikeyi has sent us to the forest. Now, her son does not want
us to live in peace even in the forest. That is why he is
coming here with his army. If You permit me, I will teach
him a fitting lesson.” Reacting to Lakshmana’s
outburst, Rama said, “Lakshmana, I think you have developed
a desire for the throne of Ayodhya. Better, you go to Ayodhya
and rule the kingdom. I will keep Bharata with Me in the forest.
Bharata is one of sacrifice and character. His spirit of sacrifice
is matchless. You have misunderstood his noble intention.”
Meanwhile Bharata came there and fell at the feet of Rama.
“My dear, how are the parents?” This was the first
question that Rama asked Bharata. He did not enquire about
His own mother Kausalya, but He asked about the well-being
of Kaikeyi. On hearing the name of Kaikeyi, Bharata became
furious. “It is because of that wicked woman you are
forced to live in forest. The very mention of her name fills
me with disgust. Please don’t mention her name.”
Rama put His hand on his shoulders and pacified him, saying,
“Bharata, Mother Kaikeyi is a noble woman. It is because
of her that My Name is glorified and spread far and wide.
Do not go by the outward behaviour and talk ill of her. Her
heart is filled with noble intentions.” After speaking
to Bharata in this manner, Rama went straight to Mother Kaikeyi,
fell at her feet and said, “Mother, by your blessings,
I am fine here. Do not worry about Me. Let Bharata be crowned
as the king of Ayodhya. Teach him the codes of governance.
After the completion of 14 years, I will come back to Ayodhya
and see all of you. It is My duty to uphold the promise made
by My father. It is not enough if one listens to the command
of one’s parents. One should strictly adhere to the
rules and regulations laid down by the government and strive
for the welfare and happiness of fellowmen. Only then can
one be called an ideal citizen.”
As denizens of the land of Rama’s reign, we should lead
our lives in accordance with His model. Rama’s words
made an indelible impression on the mind of Lakshmana. He
fell at the feet of Rama and repented for his outburst. He
said, “Brother, when I saw Bharata and his army from
a distance, I was seething with anger. Now my mind rests in
peace having known the truth and listening to Your soothing
words.” Rama advised him not to be carried away by the
outward scenario but to turn inward and strive for experiencing
bliss. When Bharata started pleading with Rama to return to
Ayodhya, Rama affectionately drew him close and said, “Bharata,
no doubt your intentions are noble, but you should bear in
mind the command of our father. You must follow your mother’s
advice. That is the only way you can please Me. Share your
love with not only your friends and relatives but with one
and all. Remember that Thyaga (sacrifice) alone can bestow
on you true Bhoga (pleasure).”
Sage Vasishta shed tears of joy listening to the words of
Lord Rama. He said, “Rama, You are forced to live in
the forest for no fault of Yours. But, You have forgotten
the injustice done to You. You are seeing only the good in
others. We are really moved by Your magnanimity. However,
we request You to establish Ramarajya (kingdom of Rama) in
Ayodhya and give joy to all.” Rama smilingly replied,
“Now it is Bharatarajya, not Ramarajya. Henceforth,
it shall be called Bharatadesa (the land of Bharata).”
It is because of such noble men of sacrifice that Bharat has
progressed and attained exalted position. No other country
can match Bharat in terms of dignity, honour and reputation.
People of ancient Bharat led a life of sacrifice for the welfare
of the country. There is no greater sacrifice than sacrificing
for one’s own nation. Greatness does not lie in performing
acts of charity by spending crores of rupees. Your
thoughts, words and deeds should be suffused with love.
You should make efforts to alleviate the suffering of your
fellowmen. Love all as you love yourself.
This is your Dharma. Dharma does not mean
performing acts of charity alone. You should fill your heart
with righteous feelings and give up selfishness and greed.
Always keep the welfare of society in mind. Do not consider
your fellowmen as ‘others’. Share your
love with all. Live in amity and develop unity. Only
through love can you win the hearts of others and transform
them. Hence, the need of the hour is to cultivate love and
share it with others. Develop love for God and compassion
towards those less fortunate than you. This is the
essence of education. Serve your parents and make
them happy. What is the use of sharing your love
with others when you are not concerned about the suffering
of your mother at home? Your foremost duty is to love your
parents and serve them. Then you can share your love with
others. This was the teaching of Lord Rama to Bharata. He
told him, “Bharata, there is no point in filling the
treasury with money. You will earn a good name and win the
heart of your subjects only when you utilise the money for
the welfare of people.”
Lakshmana and Satrughna were the sons of mother Sumitra. Lakshmana
followed Rama while Satrughna was always with Bharata. They
served their elder brothers with utmost love and devotion.
During times of difficulties, they stood by their elder brothers,
gave them good counsel and supported them in all respects.
That was the purpose for which they were born to Sumitra.
All this was a part of God’s master-plan. Rama exhorted
Bharata to give up hatred towards his mother and love her
wholeheartedly. He told him that it was all destined to happen
and she was not to be blamed. Since Rama did not relent and
after His resolve not to return to Ayodhya, Bharata prayed
to Him to give at least His Padukas (sandals) to be enthroned
as His proxy.
The name of Sumitra does not find a place of prominence that
it deserves in the Ramayana. She was a paragon of virtues
and, true to her name, she was a good friend of all. The sacrifice
made by Sumitra was greater compared to the sacrifice made
by Kausalya. Some of the virtues of Sumitra were not to be
found even in Kausalya and Kaikeyi. Before leaving for the
forest, Rama sought the blessings of Kausalya. Then He went
to the residence of Sumitra. Rama prostrated before her and
said, “Mother, I am very happy to obey father’s
command and go to the forest, but I feel sad to leave you
and go. I pray to you to shower your love and blessings on
Me. I do not require anything else.” So saying, He offered
His salutations to her again and again, took leave of her
and left for the forest. Among the three queens, Sumitra was
the noblest. Even Sage Vasishta and Sage Visvamitra extolled
her noble qualities. We should accept others’
greatness and not indulge in self glorification.
In order to glorify others’ greatness, sometimes we
need to be modest and self effacing.
Never belittle others. Develop broad-mindedness and
treat everybody with respect. Consider others as
your own brothers. If a hungry person comes to you, welcome
him with open arms and give him a sumptuous meal. Never consider
someone a beggar or a poor person. Having been born in this
sacred land of Bharat, one cannot be a beggar or a poor person.
All are rich. When you consider someone a beggar, it is only
the defect in your feeling that is reflected outside.
When Lord Rama lifted Siva’s bow, Sita’s joy knew
no bounds. Her prayers were answered. Rama, being the embodiment
of love and righteousness, had the power to lift, not just
one bow of Lord Siva, but ten such bows. The four brothers,
Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata Satrughna and their consorts had
perfect unity and harmony among themselves. They were like
different parts of the orange fruit. One day Sumitra peeled
out the skin of an orange fruit. As she took out each part,
she was saying, “This is Rama, this is Lakshmana …”
She considered each part of the fruit to represent the four
brothers and their wives. She was very happy to have such
virtuous daughters–in–law like Sita, Urmila, Mandavi
and Srutakeerthi. The daughters-in-law also served their mothers-in-law
with utmost love and care.
The four brothers and their wives always had a common mind.
That is why the fame of Ramarajya spread far and wide. Having
been born in this sacred land of Bharat, you should live like
a true Bharatiya. Your heart should be filled with sweetness.
Do not avoid those who need your help, on the contrary you
should always wait for an opportunity to serve. This Thyaga
Bhava (spirit of sacrifice) can alone confer on you true Bhoga
Today we are celebrating the sacred festival of Vijayadasami.
People perform various rituals during the nine days of Navaratri
festival. We should hope and pray that every day of our life
should be as sacred as these nine days.
Let us all move together, let us all
Let us all stay united and share our knowledge,
Let us live together with friendship and without disharmony.
Live in unity, make proper use of your intelligence and give
happiness to your parents. When you lead your lives in this
manner, every day will be a day of festivity and celebration.
The whole world will rejoice. I wish that you put into practice
all that you have learnt during these nine days. Be
always cheerful. Never put on a face as if in deep
misery. I am happy that our boys never put on a long face;
they are always cheerful. From now onwards, forget
all differences and share your love with one and all. Serve
Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Rama
Rama Rama Sita …”