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Happy Birthday - Divine Discourse, Nov 23, 1978
Sai tale from Arkansas

Happy Birthday


"The same Divine Compassion that blessed Dhruva, saved Gajendra, restored Kuchela, and stood by Prahlada has come on earth as the Refuge of the refuge‑less, as the Lord of Peace, Harmony and Righteous­ness, as the Lord of all the Worlds, as the Sat‑Chit‑Ananda-Murti, as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sat Chakravarti—the King off Kings.” On the Divine Birthday of Bhagawan in the year 1978, Bhagawan elucidates on how we could give Him happiness. Read on for an enlightening discourse.

How fascinating is the face of the baby, resting in the lap of the Mother! It has no fear in its eyes; it has joy on its lips; it is full of peace. It is unaffected by those evil forces that rob man of his peace and joy‑envy, greed, anger, hatred. It has no egoistic desire, no anxiety to impress others and show off. It has no plans for the future, no regrets for the past. Its faith in the love and strength of the Mother is so unshakable that even if the sky collapses and falls, its calmness cannot be disturbed. Why is it that, when the baby grows into adolescence and manhood, this calmness and this joy disappear, giving place to fear, anxiety and hatred? The reason is to be found in the increasing mastery of the senses and their clamour for being catered to. Again, the grown person sees only the `many'; it leaves aside the vision of the One. It encounters, as a result, competi­tion and conflict, and lives its days in sor­row, disappointment and despair.

As the child gathers more information and experience, and becomes more learned and intellectual, it sees the world as a battle­field of opposing forces and armies and therefore, it struggles for victory by devious means. Each head has its own thoughts, says the Shruti (Munde munde, mathir bhinnaah). No two agree; differences breed disputes; and finally, life becomes an arena where ego fights against ego. The situation is as bad in the medical field, where specialists who can diagnose and deal only with the illness of the eye, the nose, the throat, the stomach, the liver, the heart, the skin etc, forget that these are all unified by the organism called body, and that it is not advisable to study them separately as many distinct parts. The Universe, the Individual, the Paramatma are all insepa­rably unified. Scientists parade the little peeps they have of the Truth as big victo­ries. Even the technology that Science has encouraged so far is fraught with danger to mankind. They cut up the Cosmos and the Forces behind it and specialise in minute parts and thus present false pictures of Reality.

Devotees are also caught in this game of seeing many where there is only One. They seek the path that is popular, that will bring them fame, rather than the path that can ensure liberation and illumination. They place their own idea of God in the forefront and fight for precedence and sup­port. The Vedic Sutra—Ekoham, Bahu­syam—I am One, I shall be many—is igno­red. It is the One that pretends to be many. So, one has to feel the impact of the One, rather than of the many, while moving in the world.

Faith is very essential for the pilgrim on the Adhyatmic path. Man is now caught up in temporary and trivial pre‑occupations in the too short interval between birth and death, and he deceives himself by placing faith in these, rather than on truer and more lasting realities and experiences. He does not hold on to discrimination and deeper realities; so, he is carried away by every gust of doubt or disappointment.

The baby is calm and unaffected on the lap of the Mother, since it has faith in the Mother. The mother points out to some­one as its Father, to another as its Grandfather and to another as its Sister or Brother. The child accepts these statements with­out question. The Mother creates the Faith in the Father for the child. So, too, Mother Nature proclaims that there is a Father, who has designed and who is ener­gising and motivating these worlds; but, man does not accept it, for he has lost the capacity of Faith. Faith is the basis of every act; you do not run away from the barber because he is armed with a sharp razor. You place faith in him and allow him o give you a haircut, quietly sub­mitting to his idiosyncrasies. You give away costly clothes to the dhobi, since you have the faith that he will return then washed and ironed. You have faith in the driver of your car, in the engineer who built your house. So too, believe in the Inner Motivator, the Atma within, the voice of God. People are going about now, advising that one should believe only things that one has `seen' and `experienced'. Something happens somewhere and the news is published in the papers. It is belie­ved without question. So too, believe in the experience of seers and sages, who had no other purpose than discovering the Truth and sharing it with others who are unaware of it. In India, we have had millions who believed in God and in the seekers after God, and who have themselves realised the Truth of God. This has made their lives happy and contented.

Of course, the seeker has to encounter many obstacles, both inner and outer. But, each one of them is a challenge, which must bring out his latent faith. Where there is no darkness, there can be no appreciation for light. Without the pangs of hunger, no one will seek food. It is the possibility of death that makes even the mother love the child and deal with it affectionately.

That is the reason why one saint advised his followers `Do not ask God for any­thing. Let Him deal with you as He wills'. Did Jatayu ask that Rama should come to him and perform the last rites? Did Sabari plead with Rama? Earn the qualifications ‑ holiness, purity, faith, universal Love; He will approach you on Foot to console, com­fort and save! Purity of heart, mastery over the senses—if you have those two, credentials, Grace is your right. Imagin­ing that Bliss is available in the outer world, men stray away from the inner path and are caught up in misery. They seek it in the family—the wife and children—and, to keep up a standard of living for them, they take to evil ways. The funda­mental flaw is their belief that the Body is the be‑all and end‑all of existence. They ignore the Indweller, who has to be re­cognised, revered and responded to.

The Avatar is the Atmashakti, that has put on the raiment of Kriyashakti, and Yogashakti. Generally, Avatarana or the process of Incarnation, is described as a 'coming down' from a higher status to a lower one. But, no. When the child in the cradle weeps and wails and clamours for help, the mother stoops and takes it up in her arms. Her stoop is not to be des­cribed as a 'coming down'. The aeroplane has to fly up above; it cannot move along the road. But, it does not fly all the time. It comes down at the airport, because there are persons there who have purchased the tickets which entitle them to journey in the plane. If you earn the credentials, the Incarnation will come and save you. If on the other hand, one multiplies one's demer­its and descends lower and lower, how can he be saved? Have Love and Ananda your heart. Ananda comes from pure sight, pure hearing, pure speech and pure ­actions.

The Day you establish yourselves in this Ananda that Day is My Birthday for you. I must tell you another fact. Swami's birthday is being celebrated at Puttaparthi, because so many thousands are coming from far‑off places, in spite of great difficul­ties during the journey and the expense. Do not be under the impression that Swami's Birthday is being celebrated and therefore, you are coming. I have no desire to have My Birthday celebrated; such trivial thoughts can never come to Me. My only desire is to share My Ananda with you, to encourage you to lead lives full of Ananda. My Birthday is when you get Ananda. My mission is 'Lokassamasthaa Sukhino Bhavantu'. May all the worlds be happy and prosperous. Become aware of the unity of mankind; promote by love and service the joy and contentment of every one on earth; fill your hearts with that yearning. Then, it becomes verily, the Sai Mandir. From that moment I am where you are.

Since this morning many people have come to me with the greeting, 'Happy Birthday!' No one need wish for happiness for me, since I am always happy, everywhere. For Anandaswarupa why talk of happy birthday? You too must be happy, all through and not wait for the Birthday to recur every year, to accumulate Ananda.