It may seem odd that a person from materialistic America should speak on a spiritual topic, especially on a day of lofty spiritual significance. It may seem even more odd that the words are addressed to the people of India.
But, I ask you—which person can speak of life-giving water with greater appreciation —the one, who lives in a green, lush valley of cool rivers and broad lakes, or the man suffering from thirst in a dry burning desert? I would liken the people of India to the residents of the green valley and this traveller from America to the man, perishing from thirst.
India is the greatest land. It is truly great because of its intrinsic nature. For example, the intrinsic nature of the human body is impermanence and suffering. The moment to moment birth, change, death of everybody - cell is accompanied by burning and decomposition, which fact is quite possible for everyone to experience directly. That is the intrinsic nature of the body, regardless of how it might be covered with jewels and the tinsels of pleasure.
The intrinsic nature of the diamond is hardness, purity and the capacity to reflect light in a most brilliant fashion. Regardless of how the diamond may be covered and disguised, its intrinsic nature of purity and beauty remain untouched.
India is like that. Regardless of passing phases of social unrest, carelessness and worldly ambition, India remains the land of the spiritual heart, whose depth is unfathomable. Regardless of how individuals may reject and ignore the great heritage that is theirs as Indians, the intrinsic quality of India remains untouched, waiting to shine forth, to guide the entire world with the light of love and God-Realization.
Only India, through ages past, has been able to provide suitable land for the birth of glorious Avatars, such as Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It is only in India that Buddha can be born to attain Nirvana.
It is then proper for a foreigner to speak in India to Indians about the spiritual heart of India, for that heart is the heart of the world. It is my spiritual heart, as an American, for were it not there, surely life would be a living death of ashes and despair.
To an ever growing number of Americans and to foreign people in other lands as well, the spiritual heart, not only of India, but of life itself is now visible to human eyes, here, in this great land of India.
To me, and to an uncounted multitude of others, the very Godhead has limited itself to human form in the supremely compassionate Avatar of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. What an amazing and wonderful event has come to happen! This slender Body walking so gracefully amongst us, the charming personality exhibiting all the qualities of a perfect man, the qualities manifest God omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, with boundless power to create, maintain and destroy! How beyond the power words to describe!
How incredibly fortunate, to be born during the life-span of this Avatar! Regardless of how faulty each one of us surely is, some place in the past, we have earned this supremely fortunate birth.
Now that this good fortune is realised and we are here, how terrible the failure if we do not put aside all trivial matters and turn to God with total heart and mind!
We are married, with families and duties in the world, but our joys triumphs and failures come and go like dreams, and death is surely at the end. Now that the Lord is here pointing out the real, the deathless state to each of us with His love, His grace and His compassion, what folly to waste even a moment in actions that turn us away from Light, the Light of The Lord! Every moment is alive and vibrant with spiritual significance, now that the Lord is amongst us!!!
Let us open wide the doors of our hearts and minds and surrender our petty egos to Him.