Volume 14 - Issue 07
July 2016
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Posted on: July 01, 2016


Guru Poornima Special Offering
(Daily Episode)

Part - 23

In 2006, eager to start a service which will help everyone to connect with Bhagawan's teachings on a daily basis, Radio Sai began 'Sai Inspires'. All who subscribed to this service, received an email from us which had a concise message of Baba accompanied with His image. This daily offering was received well, and soon the subscriptions grew. Today nearly 100,000 people from all corners of the world wait for this message to help them tide over their day with peace and ease. The power inherent in these discourse capsules is indeed tremendous. How much we benefit from it and how best we harness this energy depends purely on how seriously we ruminate over these words and how sincerely we put our learning into action. To help us in this noble and elevating exercise, Prof. G. Venkataraman has taken time out to elaborate on these messages. His reflections will not only give us a deeper understanding into what the Lord is communicating to us but also give us tips to translate them into our daily practical life with more ease.

The best way to value the Master is to master His values. As we prepare to celebrate Guru Poornima (July 19), when we pay our respects and obeisance to the Divine Master, let us work to offer Him the tribute that the Lord loves the most from us - to make our lives His message, to make His love and wisdom shine in us. To aid us in this endeavour we have this series where Prof. Venkataraman for the next 26 days from June 9, 2016 shares his insights on select Sai Inspires messages. We hope this will help us to understand His teachings better and bolster our determination to walk on the sacred path.

Sai Inspires Message


In essence, there is no difference between work and worship. But, unfortunately in these degenerate days even worship is turned into some form of undesirable activity. Today devotion is used for deriving sensory enjoyment. It is used more as a source of fleeting pleasure than experiencing a fountain of enduring bliss. God will not approve of such part-time devotion. The Divine is Omnipresent and is watching every one of your actions, wherever you may be. People in their ignorance imagine that God takes no notice of them. Divinity cannot be understood as long as this ignorance prevails.

• Divine Discourse, December 18, 1994.


Sai Ram. The Sai Quote above offers the essence of what Lord Krishna teaches in the Gita as the Karma Yoga, or the way to God via duty and righteous actions. In other words, Karma Yoga offers a way of elevating even work into worship, thereby communing with God constantly, instead of through rituals meant to mark one’s devotion. What Swami is telling us is how humans, thinking they are worshipping God, not only make innumerable mistakes but also get trapped in various delusions, all of which totally annul the good they think they are doing. By contrast, the Path of Righteous Action which is what Karma Yoga is all about, can go a long way to make one very dear to God. So that is the gist and with that, let us take a closer look at what Swami is teaching us.

Let us start with devotion. People usually imagine devotion means performing various rituals, and indeed there is a place accorded to rituals in the scriptures; further, Swami Himself has elaborated on why and how they are important, especially in the context of an individual trying to improve himself spiritually. On the other hand, it is equally true that many, especially those with the means, often convert such ritualistic worship into an ostentatious spectacle, converting it largely into a PR affair that would attract attention to themselves, their social standing and so on.

Swami is cautioning us that while the individual might delude himself that such ostentatious ceremonies might please the attendees, God would be hardly touched by them. God being the resident of the Heart, would be more concerned with the kind of environment and ambience that the individual is providing there.

He would make checks like, “Is this man who calls himself My devotee, keeping his Heart clean and fragrant enough for Me? Is he aware that the Heart is made dirty not by the usual dust and garbage but undesirable tendencies like anger, hatred, lust, sensual cravings of various kinds, jealousy, pride and so forth? Has he cleansed the heart of such muck? Does he know that the fragrance I like are not the expensive and imported room sprays now readily available but that of virtues like truth, righteousness, compassion, forbearance, selfless love and so on? It would seem that this devotee is more interested in making an impression on his audience than on Me. In fact, I get the feeling that I am being used for his PR promotion!”

Frankly, I cannot assure you that this is the way God would actually think, but then examine carefully the following words of Swami:

In these degenerate days even worship is turned into some form of undesirable activity.

I also call specific attention to another word that Swami uses in this context, which is very significant namely, ‘part-time devotion’. For Swami, devotion means that God is always on the radar screen of the devotee. This is how Swami puts it:

The Divine is Omnipresent and is watching every one of your actions, wherever you may be. People in their ignorance imagine that God takes no notice of them. Divinity cannot be understood as long as this ignorance prevails.

This is very true. And I have seen many devotees, some of them quite big wigs who, when in the outside world, are quite reluctant to even admit that they are followers of Sai Baba. In fact, years ago, Swami would draw specific attention to such double acting and say,

Wear vibhuti prominently on your forehead and tell them boldly that you are headed for Puttaparthi to have Sai Baba’s Darshan!

I guess that ought to be enough to make clear what on-off or part-time devotion means. Let’s now move on and consider the business of transforming work itself into worship. This is a wonderful and highly practical approach recommended by Krishna, and it is in fact ideally suited for present times, which is why Swami strongly endorses it. He says [effectively]:


Look, I know you are an ultra-busy corporate executive. Such an executive is also a child of God, and it is God who has given him that role in this Divine Drama called life. Thus, there is really nothing wrong in being a top CEO. However, the job is such that you can easily forget God and, what is even worse, fall into wrong paths. For you, the issue thus boils down to: “How to be a CEO and yet not forget God? After all, a CEO cannot avoid being busy with travel, board meetings, meetings with top clients, and so on. All these activities are bound to make one lose sight of God. There IS a big problem here!”

God smiles and says, “No son, there is really no problem, provided you keep in mind some simple rules and observe some simple procedures.”

The rules are as follows, and these by the way, are the basics of Karma Yoga:

• No matter who your worldly employer might be, remember that you are really working for God! Does that confuse you? Well, was it not God who created the Universe, the world with everything that is to be found in it, and all of us too? The corporations too came into existence as a part of His Divine Drama, and the part of CEO has also been assigned only by Him. In that sense, whether we are aware of it or not, all of us have given different roles to play by Destiny. It is important not to ever forget that, indeed even for a second.

• Since God is the Ultimate Boss and He does not like hanky panky, adharma as company policy is totally ruled out. Nor argument like share-holders would not like that, etc. In the final analysis, since all forms are His, even share-holders are Divinity in disguise.

• You may argue: ‘In real-life, the Directors and share-holders would always argue for profits, no matter how they are obtained. Yes, that is bound to happen, but treat it as a test from God. God always likes to test; has not Swami said that God finds it quite tasty to give tests to us?

• So, keep doing good work always, and also constantly tell God, “Lord, I am doing this entirely for Your pleasure. So, please make sure everything happens the way You like, i.e., in accordance with Dharma.”

• And when the job is done, you should, apart from making the usual report to your upstairs or whatever, also silently thank God for being with you all along. The punch line would be, “God, whatever I did was entirely for Your pleasure, and now, I offer this entire work to You!”

Keep doing that all the time, and you are home! I wonder whether you are able to see how simple and ideal this is for today’s busy world. This formula fits every job; you can be President of a country, a fireman, a police officer, a judge, a teacher, a cook, a doctor, a clerk, a receptionist, an airline pilot, or whatever. Everyone’s life is filled with action, all the time. If these actions are associated with life as lived for God, then normal work, official duties, family obligations, in short everything can be converted from mere action into worship; and boy, wouldn't that see a sharp rise in your spiritual bank-balance!

You know something? God loves us all so much that He really bends backwards to show us many paths to reach Him. Yes, they do involve some effort, but no one can say it is as tough as winning the Wimbledon Finals. God’s methods are much simpler by comparison. However, what is needed is constant application. And that is always possible if we really love God full time and not part-time as most tend to do, alas without realizing it.

So, that is really the essence of what Swami has said in the quote of the day. Do take a few minutes off to ponder over it. Thanks and Jai Sai Ram.

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Radio Sai Team

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