Loving Sai Ram from Prasanthi Nilayam
22 Dec 2015
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Sathya Sai Baba

What does it mean when you say God descends as an Avatar? God out of His love, affection and compassion, comes down to the level of a human being and arouses the Divine Consciousness in humankind. When God finds that many people are desperately searching outside of themselves for God, He makes you aware of God within yourself. God is in fact the core in everyone. This chance, to realize God within, has been granted to you as a reward for merit acquired by you in many previous lives, so as to reach the highest goal of merging with the absolute. Every bird needs two wings to fly; a cart needs two wheels to be pulled along. To journey towards the highest goal, you need both faith and steadfastness - spiritual learning (vidya) and penance (tapas). Bhagavad Gita states, Knowledge of the Self (Atma Vidya) is the holiest. Knowledge (Vidya) shows the way, and the penance (tapas) makes you reach the goal. Both are necessary to attain the Ultimate.

- Divine Discourse, 24 Dec 1980.

Service is the highest form of worship and the best penance. - Baba