Volume 14 - Issue 06
June 2016
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Posted on: June 27, 2016


Guru Poornima Special Offering
(Daily Episode)

Part - 19

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


Human virtues cannot be acquired from others. They cannot be nourished from mere study of books. Nor can they be acquired ready-made from teachers. They have to be cultivated by each person and the resulting joy has to be experienced by him. Today the world sorely needs human values. Attempts are being made to promote these values in the educational field. But they cannot be promoted through materialistic, worldly or scientific means. Without developing devotion to God no human quality can grow. The first requisite is faith in God.

• Divine Discourse, September 26, 1987.


Sai Ram. I wonder how many of you noticed that as always, Swami’s teachings are so very down to earth and utterly practical. In fact, they are so simple that we often mutter, “Is that all?” and promptly forget them; and that precisely is where all our problems start. As Swami often reminds us, spirituality is not at all difficult; what we find difficult is to get started. Why do we find getting started difficult? Because, in order to be serious about spirituality, we have to give lower priority to things we now give a lot of importance to.

Let me amplify on that by considering two groups of people who can make a lot of difference if only they took spirituality as seriously as it ought to be. They are 1) highly-placed people who are also opinion makers and 2) students, who would be taking charge of society tomorrow and shaping its future.

People in both groups are talented and have their own special leverage to make a lot of difference to the way things are, steering the future to where it ought to go. However, and this is the key point, they have their own priorities which are dictated by three crucial words used by Swami. Those words are: joy, values, and materialistic. All of them want joy - who doesn’t, and really speaking one cannot complain about that - all of them have their own sense of values which, unfortunately, happens to be almost entirely materialistic; and that is the third of the three words I referred to.

Let us now turn to what Swami says. He observes that the first priority for all without exception is the cultivation of virtues. And what is the best way of developing virtues? This is how:

They have to be cultivated by each person and the resulting joy has to be experienced by him. The world sorely needs today human values. Attempts are being made to promote these values in the educational field. But they cannot be promoted through materialistic, worldly or scientific means.

Let us now carefully study what Swami is telling us. First and foremost, says Swami, joy is not necessarily to be found through the pursuit of materialistic ends but through the cultivation of virtues. Yes, achieving worldly success and being able to buy a BMW beauty and a matching glittering BENZ might give thrill of filling others with envy. But then, how much better and more fulfilling it is to make someone else happy through an act of kindness even if it is small, and experience joy via the smile of the person who has received the help? As someone said, that smile comes not merely from the beneficiary who feels thankful but also from the God within that person who is saying through that smile, “Well done, my boy! Keep it up!”

Now here is something we must note carefully. Owning a BMW and helping a person in distress can both give a person a ‘high feeling’. However, the joy that comes from a glittering and luxurious BMW is not true happiness but a sense of pleasure that springs from the pride of ownership and the privilege of being exclusive. That pleasure titillates the mind and is invariably short-lived; I mean how long can that BENZ or the BMW hold the attention of all around? Every year new models appear, and someone else is going to steal the show with his acquisition. Indeed, that person may dazzle with a diamond-studded Rolls and a corporate jet; that would be a double whammy! This is what happens all the time in the material world. Which is why, cautioning humans Adi Shankara said two thousand years ago:

Wealth, high family connections, youth and pride,

Every one of them is transient and would vanish in time;

O man! Why hanker after that which is temporary and deludes?

Seek instead the safety that the Lord confers at His Lotus Feet!

Swami has quoted this any number of times to us and the question really is how much attention do we pay to it? The answer is: Very little. Why? Because, truly speaking, while we hunger greatly for Swami’s darshan, we do not pay one-tenth that attention to His words. Why? For an important reason which is that we are driven basically by our head rather than our Heart. The Heart craves for the vision of Bhagawan and when that is had, the head pushes back the Heart to get into the driver’s seat. The moment that happens, we revert to valuing the material more than the Eternal, and start believing that joy lies in wealth, power, exulting in our youth or whatever.

So, what is the answer? What’s the medicine for this ailment of attachment to things material? Swami says the remedy is to love God. Love God? Our response is, “OK, no problem; I’ll do that right away,” and off we go to plunge into sadhana, chanting the Vedas, or whatever. But that would not work. As Swami has said many times in the past:

You may declare that you love God. But does God love you?

The question now becomes: “When does God love the devotee?” The answer to that has been given in detail by Krishna in the Twelfth Chapter of the Gita, and repeated by Swami on umpteen occasions. He has written an entire Vahini on that subject. He gave 35 Discourses on that subject in 1984. He has, on many occasions, given an entire Discourse on just one sloka of the 12th Chapter; I distinctly remember one such that He delivered during the Summer Course of 2000. I would not go deep into all that since the essence is contained in one single word, tyaga or sacrifice.

For us humans, the word sacrifice sounds unattractive and uninviting because it smacks of inconvenience, the difficulty of giving up, having to do with less, even pain and suffering. But you know something? The word tyaga or sacrifice simply does not exist in God’s dictionary. He may in fact perform an act which you and I would describe as sacrifice. But ask Him and He would just smile and reply, “Whatever I did was an expression of My Love for you.” The classic example of this has been provided by Jesus, who died on the Cross. We say Jesus sacrificed His life to save humanity. In truth, He did it as an act of Love, as indeed all His acts were. Swami is repeating that same lesson to us today. Seeing through the limited vision of unevolved souls, we keep ourselves busy with all sorts of interpretations about Swami’s various actions. For Him however, all His actions are born in Pure Love, and meant entirely for our own good. Which leads me to the last line of the quote we started with. Just to remind you, this is what Swami says:

Without developing devotion to God no human quality can grow. The first requisite is faith in God.

What does this mean? The clue to the answer is in the word devotion. Translate it first into the word Bhakti, which is the word that Swami always uses. Next, recall that for Swami, the word Bhakti means true Love for God. Add to that the fact that God is present in all. When this packaging is done, what is it that we get? The following; for ease of understanding, I have phrased it as if Swami is speaking to us:

O man! You keep saying you love Me. Ask yourself: “Am I loving this form before me in the saffron coloured robe, or am I loving the Atma of which Swami is the embodiment?” If you think it is the latter, then why are you so jealous of so many? Why are you angry with so many? And why are you rude to so many? Admit that you have faults!

I know that you like Me but that liking is restricted to this Form alone. Unfortunately, that does not translate into love for God. To love God, you must first become virtuous. This virtue cannot be cultivated by enrolling in some course and paying some fees. It has to come from within. But nothing would come from the within, unless it is first cleaned of all the muck you have stored in there, in terms of your desires, anger, jealousy, greed and what not. Throw them all out, wash the place, and spray the fragrance of faith. You are now ready to cultivate Bhakti, not the way you define it, but the way I do. And when you do that, I shall help you to feel blissful always. It is guaranteed. Do you know why? You don’t? Have I not said many times that True Happiness is Union with God?

In my view, that is the message that Bhagawan is giving us via the quote we read. And remember, after the cleaning is all done, the first thing we start with is the fragrance of total faith!

Think about it! Jai Sai Ram.

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Radio Sai Team

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