Our sweet Lord has been most generous to us this Christmas with His Love and His Blessings. We have all had a chance to taste the sweet nectar of His Grace. It is our one-pointed yearning and devotion that has evoked such a loving response from, our dearest Swami. When all we want is He, and when we follow His precepts for living in love and Dharma, then He gives us everything we hope for and fills our hearts with joy.
I want to relate a little incident that happened on the Veranda of the Mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam, a few months ago. Swami was walking by a line of devotees sitting there, when He turned quite unexpectedly towards one of them, and asked, "What do you want?" A little surprised at the sudden question, the person being addressed by Swami, answered, "O Bhagawan, I'm very happy. I'm satisfied. I really don't want anything.” Now it was Baba's turn to act surprised, and He said, "You mean you want nothing?" The recipient of all this attention from the Lord held his hands to his heart, and in an emotion filled voice replied, "Dearest Swami, the only thing I want is You! Only You!" At this Baba leaned forward and said quite emphatically, "That's Not Nothing!" Spreading His arms wide apart, He said, "That's Everything!" Then pointing a finger towards the world outside, He added, "Nothing is there!" "Everything is here! Everything is here!” He concluded, waving His hand towards the heart which had just expressed its divine longing, so sweetly.
Swami's message is that all the sweetness we can ever garner, every joy, every delight, all beauty, all bliss, all goodness is experienced here inside us when we install the Lord in our hearts. This is also what Jesus proclaimed when he said, "Seek Ye the Kingdom of Heaven within you." This Christmas Swami blessed all with a taste of the joy and the divine love of that Kingdom within. We realize that Christmas is such a happy day because we celebrate the birth of the Divine Child. This Divine Child is not born in some far off place, in some far off time; it is born today itself, inside of us. It is born as pure delight, as pure love, as a bubbling sweetness that leaves an unforgettable taste of joy in our hearts. How can we ever forget fine honey, once we have tasted its sweetness? How can we ever forget the experience of the living Divinity once we have tasted His sweetness? Once we have experienced the Divinity as we did today, it is natural for us to go on with a work for which we have incarnated. We go onto realize our own Divinity, realize our own ineffable joy, realize our own springs of pure, selfless love, realize our own inner beauty, our own innate goodness, our own sweet essence. This very path is the one that Jesus walked long ago, before us.
Oneness with Divinity
Unfortunately, we know very little about Jesus' life. There are just some glimpses given in the Gospels which were set down many years after his passing away. There is hardly anything to speak of the wonderful good humour that Jesus must have had. We know nothing much of his joy, his Ananda, his laughter, his happiness in the company of his devotees who must have been unable to take their eyes off him for even a moment, lest they miss his look or his smile or some endearing gesture. We know hardly anything of his physical beauty. But we do know that Jesus realized the ultimate goal of human life, he realized his oneness with Divinity, and so he must have completely transcended body consciousness and been filled with Divine Bliss. Even as he sacrificed his life for humanity and his body was undergoing the extreme trial of the crucifixion, he himself must have remained immersed in Ananda and totally unaffected by the physical suffering of his body.
Swami says that the first step on the spiritual path is to be happy, to be always contented and satisfied. The spiritual path, He says, is not pressure but pleasure; it is not information but transformation. It is not taking on new burdens but getting rid of old ones, becoming light, giving up all burdens to Him. He says, "Get on My train and I will carry you and your baggage." But first we have to get on His train. That means thinking always of Him, loving only Him, surrendering everything to Him ..... everything we think we are, everything we think we do. A year ago, He gave us this promise, "I will always protect those who are Mine, those who surrender and say, 'Lord, I am Thine'."
The Message Today
Is this then the full story of the great drama that is now unfolding around us, as the Avatar graces the Earth with His presence during this present time of great crisis? No, the story does not stop there. Swami has revealed to us a destiny which is beyond anything we could ever have dreamed of. Swami was asked the question, "Bhagavan, over 3000 years ago, Moses led the people out of slavery and brought them to the Promised Land. Then 2000 years ago Christ came and taught them the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Now we pray that another Messiah will come and bring final salvation. Swamiji, are you that Messiah who has come to deliver us all?" We expected that He would answer in the affirmative, since He had previously spoken in this way of His mission; but this time Baba answered differently, and in the process gave His highest teachings. He said, "No, it's not like that. Not one Messiah. You are all Messiah. In truth, you are God. Here and now you have the strength to save yourself and help others also. Live in God. Live in Love. Always think God. As you think so you will be. Dust if you think, dust you are. God if you think, God you are. Think God. Be God. Realize it! Realize it!"
This is the inspiring message of the Avatar, bringing to light again the ancient teachings of Sanathana Dharma. This is the fulfillment of all our religions. This is the path of Self‑discovery, which step‑by‑step, leads us to realize that we are the one Transcendental Principle, that we always have been and always will be the Supreme Atma, ever pure, eternal, unchanging. With this revelation comes the mind‑shattering realization that in essence, we and the Avatars and all the great Godmen of history are exactly the same.
This is the momentous message that Sai has come to bring, and with it He has lit the light which will forever banish our night of ignorance. "I am God. I am God. I am no different from God. Fear and grief can never touch me!" That is the mantra He has given us. It heralds the birth of the Divine Child of peace and love within our hearts. When the birth comes, every day will be Christmas and every day a celebration, for then our star will have risen in the morning sky and will shine as a beacon of hope for all mankind.