Volume 14 - Issue 06
June 2016
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Posted on: June 26, 2016


Guru Poornima Special Offering
(Daily Episode)

Part - 18

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


The individual, the society and the nation constitute an inextricably linked organism. The peace and welfare of the nation depends on the peace and progress of society, which, in turn, are dependent on the peace and good conduct of individuals. Unless individuals develop mutual regard and tolerance, and cultivate equal-mindedness towards each other, there can be no peace and harmony in the community. Material progress alone cannot bring about peace, harmony and happiness among people.

• Divine Discourse, May 12, 1984.


Sai Ram. The above Sai quote highlights the Universal strand in Swami’s teachings. From ancient times, gurus in India have always stressed two aspects relating to spirituality, firstly that God is Omnipresent, and secondly that life must be a journey towards God, meaning that one’s ultimate goal must be to merge with God who is Omnipresent. Swami also says the same but with one important difference which is very vital for this day and age; and that really is what this quote is all about.

For a minute, let us set aside this quote and take a minute off to reflect on the birth and the subsequent evolution of our Universe. What we know about all this at the present time can be stated briefly as follows:

• Roughly about 13.8 billion years ago, there occurred an event usually referred to as the Big Bang, which signalled the birth of the Universe we all are in.

• At that time came into existence, both space and time as we know them. While space kept expanding, time flowed [whatever that means!]. Together, this expansion and this flow formed the framework for the evolution of the Universe.

• To start with, this evolution involved exclusively the development of inert matter, beginning with sub-atomic particles then moving on to atoms. Then huge gas clouds began to form, largely made up of hydrogen atoms which then began to shrink on account of gravity, leading eventually to the birth of stars. Next, stars came together to form galaxies and so on.

• Via such process, in one particular galaxy called the Milky Way, which is but one of the billions of galaxies in our Universe, was born about say five or so billion years ago a star that we now call the Sun. Along with the Sun came into existence also a set of planets, and one of them happens to be the earth in which all of us live.

• On this earth, about four or so billions of years ago, life appeared for the first time, of course in a very primitive form. In due course, life forms evolved into more and more complex forms with humans appearing last in the chain called evolution of species.

• Believe it or not, the beginning of the last stage – that is, the evolution of humans occurred about barely fifty or so thousand years ago, when they began to spread out of Africa into Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Finally, about fifteen thousand or so years ago, the first humans are supposed to have crossed over from Asia to North America, past the Bering Strait.

• All that we read in history books about the growth of human civilisations, etc., occurred during the last ten thousand years or so, that’s all. Just to get a fix on this, remember that agriculture which is such a huge part of human activity today was discovered/invented, call it what you will, only about eight thousand or so years ago.

How do you like that rapid-fire survey of history of the Universe and living species telescoped into each other? This might seem like an unwanted digression but there is a deliberate reason why I went into it; and that reason is contained in the very first sentence of the quote we are discussing. If evolution of the Universe is a carefully structured sequential process that connects entities all across the Cosmos, so also there exists an invisible thread linking all aspects of humans from the micro to the macro.

The important point about this invisible thread is that a) it is Divine, and b) it runs through every one of us also. Thus, all of us are bound together by a powerful Divine bond, even as the flowers of a garland are held together by a thread that is not visible.

Let us examine this interconnectivity across human society a bit further. Historically, humans were strict loners to start with. At best, each caveman had a female companion and a family; together they moved as nomads and their only objective was survival. After the discovery of agriculture, families came together to form small communities and began to live in settlements called villages. Soon, slowly but surely, division of labour also crept into life.

When people came together, there were also conflicts, one reason being property. Two adjacent villages, for example, might quarrel over issues connected with land and water. At the same time, security issues also compelled people to come together. For example, to confront problems posed by wild animals. Thus began two trends, one which brought people together, largely for reasons of growth and security, and another which drove people apart on account of individual or group selfishness and self-interests. With this background, let us go back to the very first sentence of Swami’s quote. He says:

The individual, the society and the nation constitute an inextricably linked organism.


Based on my lengthy preamble, this should now be clear. We should also remember that this statement is not only powerful but also highly pertinent in today’s world when hyper-individualism is often the order of the day.

Many, and this includes not only the wealthy but also plenty of young people, tend to feel that they are entirely self-made and therefore owe ‘nothing to nobody’. In other words, in the name of individual freedom and liberty, they claim lots of rights as well as freedom but refuse to recognise that they have any obligations whatsoever.

Such aggressive thinking is born out a sense of power, and we see this even in the servants of such high people. The driver of a rich man, for example, feels greatly empowered when he sits behind the wheels of his boss’s Benz or BMW, and often drives as if he owns the road. Even ordinary truck drivers who are by no means rich, often do the same. Why? Because the power of the truck seeps into their mind and unconsciously makes them also feel powerful. That’s why we have so many road accidents in India. If you look at the statistics, you would be horrified. India has far fewer highways than the U.S and far fewer trucks too. But if you look at the number of traffic deaths per road mile per truck per year, you would find this country claiming the dubious honour of a top position. Why? The answer follows. Swami says:

Unless individuals develop mutual regard and tolerance, and cultivate equal-mindedness towards each other, there can be no peace and harmony in the community.

That’s obvious but who cares? Vehicle drivers do not care for pedestrians and there are so many vehicles these days. Equally, groups of devotees would be standing in the middle of the road merrily chatting away, hardly bothering about making way for vehicles that have genuine and legitimate reasons to move. True, such mutual disregard does not blow up into conflict, but when it gets magnified and results in the exploitation of many by a few, then mass unrest erupts. History has shown this again and again, but we seldom learn the lesson.

Why? Because, our focus is seldom on the inner meaning and the deeper significance of Swami’s teachings, rather than on the superficial aspects. Again and again, Swami tells us:

Material progress alone cannot bring about peace, harmony and happiness among people.

Indeed, if we look at material consumption, things are reaching an alarming state. Quite apart from that, Swami’s point is that the more we are intent on acquisition, the less time we have for God. Oh yes, we drive down, have darshan, get His blessings, go back and fly away to Timbuktu to attend an important business meeting or whatever. But do we take a minute off to reflect on why a Ceiling on Desires is really important? If none of us are bothered about how peace and harmony can be truly promoted, how can peace and harmony prevail? Are they supposed to drop like manna from heaven? No way!

Rain and snow may come down from the clouds above. But peace and harmony have to come from within our Hearts. Unless we set aside more time for our Hearts than we are doing now, in the true sense of the word that is, we would only be keeping peace and harmony away. Is that what Swami really wants of us?

Think about it! Jai Sai Ram.

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Radio Sai Team

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