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Mother Of Shri Sathya Sai Baba - Easwaramma
Humble tribute to the life of Easwaramma

By Sai Baba:    What great mothers mean to the nation   

From the Mother to Moksha 

Revere the mother

A record - narrative description of past events

All about the life of Easwaramma

Date:6 May 1993
Occasion:Eswaramma Day

What great mothers mean to the nation

The father, to teach the child the truth,
May chide, reprove or beat.
The mother may pinch the cheek
To make the child drink the milk.
Forget not at any time
These marks of paternal Love.
Doing good deeds, one will never reap bad results;
Wickedness will never yield good fruits;
Will the neem seed produce mango fruits
Or the mango seed yield neem fruits?


Embodiments of Love! The earth is one. But, if you sow neem seeds, you will get only bitter fruits. If you plant sweet mango seeds, you will get sweet mangoes. The earth makes no difference between them. Only the differences in the seeds account for the differences among the fruits. Likewise, the womb of a mother is like the womb of Mother Earth. The thought which prevails at the time of conception results in the kind of child that is born. If the parents desire to have virtuous, exemplary and noble children, they have to observe righteous practices and lead virtuous lives.


Mothers should possess good qualities


It was because Aryamba was a devoted and pious woman and observed sacred practices that the great world-teacher, Aadhi Shankaraachaarya was born to her. For Vivekaanandha to achieve world-wide renown, his mother's sacred life was responsible. Raamakrishna Paramahamsa was able to preach the sacred doctrine of love to the world and achieve greatness because of his mother's good qualities.


Gaandhi earned the appellation of "Mahaathma" because of the sacred "Kokila Vratha" observed by his mother. Gaandhi's mother used to observe everyday a vow ritual known as "Kokila Vratha". As soon as she completed the ritual, she would wait for the call of the KokiIa (the Indian cuckoo) to have her breakfast. However, on one day she waited for a long time, without taking food, for the call of the cuckoo. Noticing this, the young Gaandhi went out of the house, imitated the cooing of the cuckoo and then told his mother, "Now that the cuckoo has made its call, please, mother, take your food." Unable to contain her grief, the mother slapped on the cheeks of Gaandhi and wailed: "What sin have I committed that such a liar should be born to me! What a great sinner am I to have begotten such a wicked liar as son, Oh Lord!" She was shedding tears as she spoke. Deeply moved by his mothers words, Gaandhi made a promise to her "In my life, henceforth, I will not utter falsehood."


In those days, the mothers used to watch the behavior of their children and strove to keep them on the right path. Gaandhi became a 'Mahaathma' because of the severe punishment meted out to him by his mother.


Gaandhi's mother Putlibai, had a maid called Rambha. One day Gaandhi came running to her saying: "I am afraid, I am afraid!" Rambha was a worthy maid of Putlibai. She told the young fear-stricken lad: "Don't have any fear. Whenever you feel afraid, repeat the name, 'Raam, Raam,' and your fear will leave you." That teaching was remembered by Gaandhi all his life and he died with the name of Raama on his lips.


As is the seed, so is the plant


Mothers of those days led a pure and pious life, cherishing sacred thoughts, fostering virtues and setting an example to the world. Parents today get up from their beds quarrelling with each other. When the parents wake up hurling abuses at each other, the children wake up leveling blows at each other. As is the seed, so is the plant. Parents today should ponder over the sacred ideas cherished by parents in the olden days. For all the bad ways followed by youth today, for all their wayward behavior and bad conduct, the parents are to blame. If the mothers are good, there will be no room for bad behavior by the children. Although parents may appear innocuous like fig fruits, they are responsible for the misbehavior of their children, like the worms inside the fruits.


Will of the Divine in shaping the children


However, in some cases, through the grace and intervention of the Divine, some children are rescued from going astray and are guided on the right path despite the desires of their parents. For instance, King Shuddhodhana adopted many methods to prevent his son Siddhaartha (who became The Buddha) taking to the path of Vairaagya (renunciation). But he could not prevent it. This is due to the Will of the Divine. It is only when human effort and Divine Will are in unison that the great consummation takes place.


Ranthideva declared, "Jeevanam Sarva-bhuutheshu." He proclaimed the truth that he who regards food as the primary thing in life is ignorant, while the wise one is he who regards the Spirit as primary. How many of those who have plenty of food taken to wrong ways? Even with abundance of food, lacking the spiritual urge, these men have become destitute. Food may sustain the body, but it will not nourish the soul.


Chaithanya, the son of Satheedhevi, once went to Puri and had dharshan of Lord Jagannaath. He worshipped Jagannaath with these words: "Oh Lord! You are not merely the Lord of the earth. You are the Lord of the Universe! You are the Lord of Life! You are the Lord of Love! Svaami! I do not need wealth or vehicles. Even less do I seek devotion, wisdom or renunciation. I do not aspire for worldly pleasures or possessions. It is enough if I am endowed with the love to love you. If I have that love, all other things will come of their own accord. The only thing I seek is love towards you. Grant me this boon."


Young people do not realize that there is this Divine spirit in human beings. They consider human existence as nothing more than living like birds and beasts. This they consider as the primary purpose of life. This is wrong. They should realize that beyond the Annamaya, Praanamaya, Manomaya and Vijnaanamaya koshas (the physical, the vital, the mental and the supramental sheaths associated with the body), there is the Aanandhamaya Kosha (the Sheath of Supreme Bliss). When do you attain this Bliss?


The real meaning of Mahaaraaja


He is not a great ruler who possesses all kinds of wealth. The real Mahaaraaja (great ruler) is one who has surrendered everything to the Divine. He is a thyaagi (renunciant), he is a yogi (one who is in communion with the Divine). It is for this reason that in Uttar Pradesh, whatever sacred shrine you visit, you will find pilgrims greeting the saadhus and ascetics as Maharaaj. They are hailed as Maharaaj because they have renounced everything, taken refuge in the Lord, sought to merge in the Lord and practiced spiritual disciplines for this purpose.


Chaithanya declared: "My property is not 'Shri' but Hari. I value not Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth), but the Lord of Lakshmi (Vishnu)." If you aspire for the Lord, you will not suffer from any want. There is no greater wealth than love of the Lord.


What gift is greater than the gift of food?
Is there a greater deity than one's parents?
What virtue is greater than compassion?
What is more valuable than good company?
Is there a worse enemy than anger?
Is any disease worse than debt?
Can any death be worse than infamy?
What can be grater than a good name?
What wealth is greater than God's love?


It is to acquire this supreme wealth that man has taken birth on earth.


There have been many mothers in the world who have sought, by their strenuous endeavors, noble thoughts and sacred practices, to bring up their children in the path of righteousness. In the city of Calcutta, there lived a mother and his son. For the education of the son, the mother made many a sacrifice. She, however, impressed on the son one lesson: "Dear son, do not be concerned about worldly education. The foolish ones acquire all kinds of scholarship, but have no understanding of what they are. By study alone, a man does not get rid of his lowly ways. Through scholarship, one learns only to engage himself in controversy but does not acquire complete wisdom. Why pursue studies which end up only in death? One should study that which frees him from death. Only spiritual knowledge can lead to immortality. It is enduring. Worldly knowledge is temporary. For earning one's livelihood, worldly education is necessary. But this education should be acquired only to lead an independent life, with limited desires. Therefore, dear son, while pursuing studies, embark also on the spiritual quest."


Human life should be used for service


Prahlaadha told his father that he had learnt the essence of all education, namely, to adore the name of Naaraayana. For the realization of the four Purushaarthas, there is no need for any education. Maithreyee told King Janaka that there was no purpose in having a human birth, only to lead a sensuous life like that of birds and beasts. Human life should be utilized for service and sacrifice. The mother taught her son in this manner the true aim of education.


The boy completed his education and took up a small job. One day, in that village, there was a folk festival (Jaathra). The womenfolk of the village donned their best clothes and jewelry to attend the festival. The mother also went with tattered clothes. The son could not bear to see that sight. He said, "Mother, you have no good clothes or any jewelry. I am distressed to see you like this. Please let me know what ornaments you wish to have, mother!" The mother replied: "This is not the right time. I shall let you know at the proper time."


The three ornaments sought by the mother


Thanks to the good behavior and diligence of the lad, he rose to higher positions in service. Once again, he returned to his mother and asked what ornament she desired. "I shall get them as far as I can," he said. The mother told him that she wished three ornaments, but she would disclose what they were later on.


The son in the course of years reached a very high position. Once again he entreated: "Mother, I have now some money. Please let me know what jewels you would like. I shall get them for you." The mother said "Dear son! I am now not in a state when I can wear jewels. However, there are some ornaments in which I am interested and I shall tell you what they are."


Drawing the son nearer to her, she said, "In our small village, I am grieved to find that the children have to go to distant places for education. My first ornament I desire is that you should set up a primary school in the village. Secondly, our people have no facilities for medical relief even for small ailments. I spend sleepless nights thinking about their plight. If you set up a small hospital for the village folk, that will be your second ornament for me. The third ornament is something which you have to do by yourself. In the days to come, your reputation may grow. If anybody asks "who is your mother?," you may mention my name. Your conduct must be such that you will uphold your mother's name. You must share with others the benefits of the education you have received. Do not go after wealth. The worshipper of Mammon will not yearn for God. The seeker of God will not seek for wealth. Observance of this is the third ornament I desire from you."


The young man who heard these words from his mother and later became famous and earned the people's esteem was none other than Eeshvar Chandhra Vidhyaasaagar. He earned a great name in Calcutta.


The hall-mark of education is humility


Once he was proceeding to a neighboring village to deliver an address. People used to gather tin large numbers to listen to his lecture. A young officer, who wanted to listen to Eeshvar Chandhra Vidhyasaagar's lecture, got down from a train with a suitcase to go to the lecture-hall. Eeshvar Chandhra Vidhyaasaagar also get down from the same train. The young officer was calling for a porter to carry his suitcase. Eeshvar Chandhra went to him and said, "Why do you need a cooly to carry this small suitcase? Can't you carry it yourself and save the money?" He replied. "It is not in keeping with my dignity to carry my suitcase. I am an educated person." Eeshvar Chandhra told him: "The hall-mark of education is humility, not pride. If you cannot carry your own bag, how are you carrying your body? If, however, you cannot carry your bag, I shall do so." And Eeshvar Chandhra carried the officer's bag. He acted on the motto: "Plain living and high thinking." Eeshvar Chandhra left the bag where the officer got off. The young man wanted to offer money to his "Porter". Eeshvar Chandhra told him. "To serve you is my reward."


The young officer left and was later proceeding to the venue of the meeting. There people were offering garlands to Eeshvar Chandhra Vidhyaasaagar to welcome him to the meeting. The young officer realized that the man who had offered to carry his bag at the station was none other than the respected lecturer of that evening, Eeshvar Chandhra Vidhyaasaagar He felt ashamed that he had made such a great man carry his bag. He reflected: "What is his education and what is mine? I have behaved like a little monkey. I am like a glow-worm before the Sun."


The joy of the mother


Eeshvar Chandra's mother shed tears of joy when she realized the great fame her son had achieved. "Having begotten such a son, my life has been redeemed. It does not matter what happens to me hereafter," she said to herself. That is why, the saying goes: "The father does not rejoice merely at the moment of a son's birth." These days, the petty-minded people celebrate the birth of a son with the distribution of sweets, etc. This is not a sign of wisdom. It is said: "The father rejoices when people praise his son for his great qualities." The father may feel that a son has been really born to him when he hears the praises of his son for his character and good qualities.


The Kali age has become the Kalaha age


In this manner, from ancient times the relations between mother and children have been hallowed as a result of the purity, the virtue and the integrity of the children. The relationship was full of love, mutual esteem, intense devotion and nectarine sweetness. The children had deep love for the mother. Today the children have no respect for the mother. Mothers have also little concern for the children. With the result, the Kali age has become Kalaha age--the age of discord.


Who are responsible for this situation? The mothers are the root cause. It is because of the pampering of the children in all sorts of ways by the mothers that the children tend to go astray.


After the Burma war (in the Forties), a mother and her son came to Madras as refugees. This son used to go out begging for food and bring it home for both of them to eat. Seeing the pathetic condition of the young one, the mother said that from the next day she herself would go out for getting food, leaving the boy in the shed. Moreover no mother would like to see her son going out as a beggar. For this reason also she decided to go out herself. For some days she went out begging, but could manage to get only a small amount of food. She gave the food to the child and starved herself, but told him that she had already eaten. After some time the woman was too weak to go out begging. The son started going out to beg for food and kept feeding his mother. Her condition deteriorated from day to-day). She could not bear the pangs of hunger. The son went out and begged for food at an officer's residence. The officer, who was glancing through the day's newspaper, heard the boy's cry for food to appease his hunger. The Officer brought some food and gave it to the boy and asked him to eat it in his presence.


The boy said he would not eat there, but take the food home. The Officer questioned him why he would not eat there when he was hungry. "You are not really hungry. You are lying," shouted the officer The boy was too weak to stand and dropped down at the feet of the officer with the food in his hands. The officer noticed that the boy was muttering some words to himself. He went close to the boy's mouth and heard him say: "First for mother, first for mother." Saying those words, the boy passed away.


Children should abide by mother's injunctions


What an example is this of the love of a mother and the devotion of a son. Even though he was hungry, he wanted to give the food first to his mother. Does this kind of feeling exist even a little among students today? Of what use is education or office, wealth or authority? Children who have no love for their mothers have no reason to live at all.


We must have children who revere the mother as God. Abiding by the mother's injunctions, you may do anything.


Bhaarath has become a prey to numerous troubles because of the lack of exemplary mothers. What is it the mothers ask for today? Not compassion, good character, integrity and such virtues. They want their children to get educated, secure a big job, marry a wealthy girl and lead a comfortable life. Is it this kind of animal existence that one should seek? "Earn a good name. Become an ideal son. Use your wealth in righteous ways. Develop compassion. Lead a just and moral life." This is what mothers should impress on their children. Such high-minded mothers have become rare these days. Integrity and morality are going down day be day in the country.


Nation needs mothers who lead an exemplary life


The nation needs noble mothers who lead an exemplary life. They should manifest in their life the great culture of Bhaarath. Then, the culture will be transmitted to their progeny. Many great men in the past brought up such worthy children and enhanced the name and glory of Bhaarath. Today the children are being spoilt only by the parents. If the children are brought up on right lines from childhood, they will grow up properly. The fathers today are behaving like Dhritharaashtra (the father of the wicked Kauravas). The mothers today are behaving like Kalakanthi (the woman who had Chandhramathi's son bitten by a serpent). The fathers, instead of chastising children who take to wrong ways, pamper them and encourage them. Children who misbehave should be severely dealt with. Youth today are forgetting God, reveling in sensual pleasures and ruining their lives. They have no reverence for the mother or the Motherland.


After the war in Lanka, when Raama was entreated by Vibheeshana and others to crown himself as ruler of Lanka, Raama told them that the mother and the Motherland were greater than Heaven itself and nothing on earth would tempt him to give up his love for Ayodhya. How many today are observing the great teachings of Raama regarding love of the Motherland? There are today many sorts who will deprive their mothers of their earnings and spend the money for their own pleasure Are such sons human beings? They are not human at all. Their education is a waste. Of what use are they to the nation?


Develop healthy patriotism


Students today should develop a healthy patriotism. They must honor their mothers. Only then will they be ideal men. Today corruption and dishonesty are more rampant in cities with universities, high courts and all other paraphernalia than in forest areas where illiterate tribal people live. There is greater co-operative spirit among the hill tribes than among the denizens of metropolises.


The spirit of sacrifice should grow among students. They should develop a broad outlook.


Once Raama told Seetha, while they were staying on the Chithrakootha mountain, that as few could comprehend the subtle principle of Divinity people should adore their parents as the visible embodiments of God.


Only when there are good mothers and good sons will the nation be free from troubles. Otherwise, the nation will break into pieces. This is the lesson of the Mahaabhaaratha where the wicked Kauravas brought ruin upon their entire clan by their evil ways.


What the nation needs today is not material prosperity or high education. It needs men and women of character.


The people should develop faith in God, have concern for the good name of society, cherish fear of sin and dedicate themselves to Godly activities. Then the nation will enjoy peace and security.


Every mother should be regarded as an embodiment of the divine. Then every son will enjoy peace and prosperity.




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Date: 6 May  1987  Occasion :Eswaramma Day Place: Brindavan

From the Mother to Moksha

We hear in common parlance the terms mother, father, preceptor and God being used in that order. This has a significance of its own. It is the mother that a child sees as soon as it is born. The mother shows the child to the father. The father leads him to the preceptor and the preceptor leads him to God. Everyone should understand the inner significance of the four terms.

We hear from spiritual aspirants the four terms: Bhakti (devotion), Jnana (wisdom), Vairagya (renunciation), and Tatwam (reality) in the same order. There is a significance in the order in which these terms are mentioned. Devotion awakens wisdom, wisdom promotes renunciation and renunciation confers the knowledge of Reality. We can reach the mansion of Mukti (liberation) if we walk on the stepping stones of, devotion, wisdom, renunciation and the knowledge of Reality.

The Bhagavatam in its very title testifies to this truth. The term Bhagavatamu in Telugu is made up of five letters: Bha, ga, va, ta, mu. Here Bha signifies Bhakti (devotion): ga signifies Jnana (wisdom): va signifies Vairagya (renunciation): ta signifies Tatva (the knowledge of Reality): and mu signifies Mukti (Liberation). The Bhagavatha bestows on us liberation by leading us through Devotion to Wisdom, Renunciation and the knowledge of Reality. Prahlada has given us a dhvaadashaakshara mantra, a twelve lettered holy formula: "Throva vedhuku konuta dodda buddhi." This consists of twelve letters in Telugu. It means that the highest intelligence consists in finding the way. What is the way to be sought? It is the way to Divinity. How is it to be found? It is by knowing the source from which you have come from the Divine and you have to go back to the Divine.

From God to God

The tenth stanza in the fourteenth chapter of the Bhagvad Gita reveals that we have come from God. The Lord's utterance is: "Mamaivaamso Jeeva Loke Jeeva Bhuthah Sanatanah." This means: "You are an aspect of Me. You are not an aspect of Nature and its five elements. Since you are an aspect of Mine, there is no peace and joy for you till you reach and merge in Me." Just as a child cannot be without the mother, as a river must seek the ocean from which it has come, as the branch of a tree cannot survive separation from the tree, and as a fish cannot live outside its sustaining element water, so also man, who has come from God, cannot have real happiness until he returns to God.

One devotee sang in Kannada language thus: "Having forgotten You, I have come to this world. Leaving the Eternal that You are, I have plunged into this transient, temporary world. What joy can I reap in this clod of earth, as all joys are in You alone?" We are born in this world because we have forgotten God. We have to find our way back to God, our destination, retracing the steps by which we have come. "All living beings have to go back to the source from which they came into existence", says the Bhagavata. It is our misfortune that we have forgotten this vital message today. To remember the source from which we came is the essential spiritual endeavor that every man should make.

Man should not be content to live like animals

Man who came to this earth in quest of the Atma (Divine Self) is wasting away his time in the frivolous pursuit of anna (material things). Animals are always busy seeking food. Man, who is endowed with intelligence should not be content to remain like animals. He should strive to reach Reality. Food, sleep, fear and mating are common to both birds and beasts. Man's life today is largely confined to these four things. Birth, as a human being should be used to realizing the Divinity within and not in frittering it away in sensual pursuits. Chaitanya declared: "We have installed today on the throne of our heart vicious thoughts and feelings, instead of making it the seat of the Lord."

Samsara and Samskara

It is obvious that most of us have to lead a normal family life, but it is not the life in which you should be wholly immersed. It is not Samsara (family) that follows us all through. It is the Samskara, the purity that you have achieved, that stands by you in afterlife. Some elders come to Swami and pray to Him to show them the way of God. What is the way? The way is journeying back to the place from which we have come. Suppose you go to a town and stay there in a hotel for a few days, you have to come back after finishing your work in town. You cannot live in the hotel forever, mistaking it to be your home.

The phenomenal world is like a hotel to which we have come to experience the consequences of our actions in the past. The body is a room in the hotel in which we have to undergo the Karmic consequences. Our time and body should be used for carrying out the mission on which we have come. We are engaged in accumulating wealth, gold and other material possessions. It is true that we need money to lead our life in this world. But there should be a limit to the acquisition of these worldly objects. True welfare and happiness cannot be achieved without observing limits in life. An uncontrolled life reduces man to the level of the animal.

Forgetting the primary goal of life men are wasting their time. Time is precious. Death is dangling its sword over every head. Our life span is fast diminishing like water leaking through a broken pot, or a melting block of ice. Death overtakes many even before they realize their mission in life.

The body is made up of five elements!
It has to fall one day.
The Dweller in the body is eternal.
Free yourself from the delusion of birth and death.
The Dweller is indeed Divinity.

This is the truth that all have to realize. Fulfillment in life cannot be found by indulging in eating and drinking.

The main message of the Bhagavatha is devotion. The mother is the symbol for Bhakti (devotion). Father is the symbol for Jnana (wisdom). The preceptor is the symbol for Vairagya (renunciation). God is the very embodiment of Atmic knowledge. We can reach the Moksha (mansion of Liberation) only by ascending the four steps to Divinity.

Mother comes first

Love for mother has to be fostered by everyone. Today this love is prompted by more greed--desire for wealth and greed-- than by spontaneous affection for mother. Barely one in a million realizes that he owes food, blood and life itself to the mother. Wherever she may be, a mother is verily divine. It is said: Matru Devobhava; Pitru Devobhava; Acharya Devobhava; Athithi Devobhava. (Regard the mother as God, the father as God, the preceptor as God and the guest as God). The mother stands foremost among these four. She is indeed the first teacher for everyone. It is only the mother who strives most for securing the well being of the child by showering on him boundless affection and love and showing him the father. Children today do not care to heed their mother's commands, but they hanker after their mother's wealth. What is the use of having children of this kind? They are a curse on the womb that bore them.

"Of what use is a son who does not lift both his hands in prayer to the Lord, who does not proclaim the Lord's name with his mouth till it aches and who does not cherish the Lord in his heart? He is a disgrace to the woman that bore him." So says the Bhagavatha. This single verse says all that is essential regarding devotion, action, spiritual wisdom and renunciation. What are the duties of the hand and the tongue for a true devotee? God has given each man a single stomach but two hands to work with. If he works hard enough with both hands, he need not starve. There is no dearth of food. One who does not use his hands properly, has no right to subsist on others. The Vedas have enjoined the supremacy of Karma (sacred action).

Make the tongue holy

The tongue should be employed for doing sacred functions. One should speak sweet and sacred things and should not cause pain and hurt to others by his speech. It is a sin to abuse others. The Lord resides in everyone. The person who abuses others is in fact abusing the Lord Himself.

In an exhortation to the tongue, Jayadeva said: "Jihve, rasajne, madhura-priyatvam, satyam-hitam tvam, paramam vada madhura-akshharaani, Govinda, Damodara, Madhava." ("O sacred tongue, you know what is sweet, truthful and beneficent. Utter, then, the supremely sweet words: Govinda, Damodara, Madhava"). The tongue experiences sorrow or suffering in its own home without straying into the homes of others. It discretely decides beforehand whether an edible should be eaten or not. If it is sweet, it shows its consent by sending it down for digestion. But if it is bitter it spits it out. If the tongue is properly used, it can be the means by which we can attain Godhood itself.

Let the name of the Lord dance on our tongue, since remembrance of the Name is the easiest path to liberation in the Kali Age. We should use the tongue for uttering sweet and truthful words. This sacred instrument is often misused. The sins that the tongue commits are four: lying, backbiting, invecting and loquacity. Tile tongue becomes sanctified if it refrains from indulging in these four sins.

Example of Pundarika in serving the parents

Everyone should treasure in his heart love for his mother, who has borne him, reared him with love and fostered him with care. The person who forfeits his mother's love will not earn any one's love.

Pundarika was the one who was devoted to the service of his aged parents. In doing so he was adhering to a self-imposed rule. He would not take any food until the parents had gone to sleep. Once he was massaging the feet of the parents. To test Pundarika's love for his parents, Lord Panduranga came to his residence in a disguise and stood behind him.

Pundarika went on with his service to his parents who had not gone to sleep. The newcomer asked Pundarika to look at him. Pundarika said, that he was seeing the visitor. The latter asked him: "In what form are you seeing me?" Pundarika said:" I am seeing you as my mother." Meanwhile Pundarika's Guru came there and told Pundarika that the visitor was none other than the Lord Himself. Pundarika said that the parents whom he was serving were also God. The Guru earnestly urged "Don't you realize that the one who has come is verily God?" Pundarika replied: "My parents also are God." Panduranga admiring his resolve, said: "Pundarika, won't you like to experience a vision of Me even once?" Pundarika replied: "Until my mother goes to sleep I will not seek your vision. If you are keen that I should see You, please wait for a while. I shall come to You after my mother has gone to sleep." It was such devotion to his parents that made the Lord reveal Himself to Pundarika and render service to him.

From "Ko-ham" to "So-ham"

From the moment of birth, man is concerned about his future. The child's first cry is, "Kwa,Kwa." "Wherefrom have I come?" If you examine what is happening to you everyday, you will understand why a child cries at the time of birth. Seeing the endless troubles in store, the child cries: "Where am I?" Forgetting the place from which they came, men lose themselves in worldly desires. There are a few like Prahlada who from the moment of birth realize their inherent divinity. They utter "So-ham So-ham" from the time of birth. But ordinary mortals ask "Ko-ham? Ko-ham." ("Who am I?") They do not get the answer till the end of their lives. They do not realize the answer is: "I am God." A few earnest seekers start with "Ko-ham" ("Who am I?") and end with the discovery: "So-ham" ("I am He").

Every man is prone to commit mistakes either wittingly or unwittingly. But one mistake he should not commit in any circumstance is, to forget what he owes to his mother. Love of a mother can redeem a man's life, whatever his other lapses may be. The greatest gift of the parents is the body, with all its powers. Although the Lord rules over all lives, it is the parents who have endowed the body to the child. Clay and water are the gifts of Nature. But it is the potter who makes the pots out of them. Hence gratitude to the parents is a primary obligation.

Youth, wealth and strength are transient

Students these days ask: "why should we be grateful to our parents?" They should remember that if they cause distress to their parents now by their behavior, they should not be surprised if in the later years their own children cause similar distress. This is the law of action and reaction that is always at work. Do not get conceited because of your youth, your wealth or strength. All these are transient. Adi Sankaracharya warned in strident language: "Do not get proud because of companions, wealth or youth. Time will take away these in a moment. Placing their trust in these transitory possessions men are forgetting the eternal verities and the source of real bliss. Whatever things you may possess, whatever amenities you may enjoy, only faith in God will confer real peace of mind. An air conditioner may cool your body, but only grace of God can cool the heated brain and the troubled heart. That grace will come to those who are grateful to their parents and render loving service to them. Starting with mother, gratitude should extend to the father and preceptor. If you show gratitude to these three, you will realize the presence of the Triune Lord in them and you will reap the fruit of worshipping the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

Parents' fault in not correcting the children

It is an unfortunate fact that today ninety percent of the children are spoilt by the parents themselves. The parents do not exercise timely control over the children. If the wrong actions of the children are corrected then and there, they will grow in the proper way. The parents should show no indulgence towards children who go astray. It is misplaced affection to let erring children go uncorrected.

What use is there in having children who do not behave properly? What did Dhritarashtra gain from his hundred wicked sons? He would not restrain them despite the warning of Krishna and Vidura. Ultimately the entire family was wiped out. There is no meaning in rejoicing when a child is born. The time for rejoicing will come when the child grows up, earns name and fame and brings credit to the parents.

Every son should see that he makes his mother happy. He should seek from the mother nothing but her love and blessings. Mothers should strive to keep their children on the straight path. Only such mothers and children are worthy of the name. When mothers and children act properly, the nation will develop along the right lines. Righteousness will spread from the family to the whole world.

There are parents who question their children when they go to Swami: "What madness has seized you? Why are you going to the Sai?". What form of madness do these parents desire for their progeny? Do they want them to become rowdies and goondas? Do they want them to be crazy about money? What will money give them, which can equal the grace of God? What everyone should seek is the grace of the Divine, which is a treasure greater than all the wealth in the world.

God above all is the destiny of human life

Nothing should come in the way of your seeking God. You must be prepared for any sacrifice or face any opposition for the sake of God. Prahlada faced the wrath and hatred of his father Hiranyakasipu in adhering to his faith in Narayana. Vibhishana renounced his brother Ravana when the latter stood in the way of his devotion to Rama. If a mother stands in the way of your devotion to God, you must be prepared to give her up, as Bharata did when Kaikeyi sought to separate him from Rama. Meera was prepared to renounce her husband rather than give up her devotion to Krishna. Emperor Bali rejected the advice of his Guru, Sukracharya, when the latter advised him to retract his gift to Vamana (Vishnu). These are the examples of the devotees who did not flinch in vindicating their devotion to God.

The realization of God is the goal and destiny of human life. From the moment of birth, suffering pursues man in one form or another throughout life. If in all these ordeals, one has to maintain equanimity and peace, he has to lead a righteous life, with firm faith in God. There is no need to give up the normal duties of a student or a householder. But everything that is done should be done as an offering to God. Thereby every ordinary act becomes sanctified. Love of God should express itself in the form of consecration of every action. This is my message to you on this sacred day.

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Date: 6 May 1983  Occasion :Eswaramma Day Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Revere the mother

The mother is man's first Guru (preceptor). She gives the physical body to him. Besides, she gives man, the father. She alone can point the father to the child and draw his love and care towards it. The mother bears, fosters and moulds the child into human-ness and, therefore, gratitude is due to her first and foremost. Next, the father. He clothes and feeds, helps you to grow and then, points out the Guru, the Preceptor, for you. So be grateful to the father.

The teacher sharpens your intellect, broadens your vision, endows you with discrimination, and helps you to attain higher levels of consciousness and wider horizons of love. Therefore, one has to offer gratitude to the Guru also. The mother leads you to the father, the father leads you to the Guru and the Guru leads you to God. Today, we have mothers who place the children under the care of the father and many fathers who place children under the care of Gurus, but few Gurus lead the pupils to God. The parents promote the health and strength of the body; the Guru reveals the Resident, the Inner Reality in the body.

My life is my Message. So, I am setting an example of reverence to the Mother. Nature is the mother in whose lap mankind grows. And Nature fondles the child and says, "Baabu, That is your Father, See." Though Mother Nature draws attention to God, the children seldom pay heed. How can they, who do not love the mother that fosters them with affection and zeal, adore the Master of Nature?

The proof of the good is the way they die

"Children! You have come here and gone through the course of studies successfully. Besides developing scholarship, you must live according to the wishes of your parents. You must earn great fame for them. You must maintain the honor they receive from people. By your actions you must please them and increase their happiness."

This day is Eashwaraamba Day. The significance of the day is that it is celebrated as Children's Day, a day when little children are to be reminded of the ideal, a day when she presented an ideal. No one can escape death, but the aim of everyone should be to remind oneself at the time of death of the Divine or have some holy or sacred thoughts. The importance of this day is known to many. Kasthuri also spoke about it now. There is a saying in Telugu: "The proof of the good is the way they die." Genuine devotion is evidenced during the last moments. I shall point out a small incident concerning the goodness of Eashwaraamba.

The Summer Classes were on at Bangalore. In the morning at 7, breakfast had to be served to the students. They went round with Nagara Sankeerthan (street singing of spirituals) and returned at 6. I gave them Darshan (audience) at its close. Then, I went for my bath. Meanwhile, Eashwaramba had finished her bath; she drank her coffee as usual quite happily, and took her seat on the inner verandah. All of a sudden proceeding to the bathroom, she cried out. "Swaami, Swaami, Swaami," thrice. At this, I responded: "Coming, Coming." Within that period she breathed her last. What greater sign of goodness is needed? She had no need to be served and nursed. Swaami will come to the memory at that time only for a very few. The mind will usually seek and stay on some object or the other, some jewelry or valuables.

From the ground floor, she called: "Swaami! Swaami!' I replied, "Coming, Coming," and she was gone. It was like the elephant's calling and the Lord proceeding to bless it - the two wires achieving connection, the release happening instantaneously.

The sign of an ideal adorable life

This is the authentic consummation that life must strive for. Beside her at the time she had her daughter Venkamma, her granddaughter Shailaja, but she called out only for Swaami. Getting this yearning at the final moment is the fruit of holy purity. It is the sign of an ideal adorable life. Such attitude must emerge of its own accord and not by means of some external force. Here is an example to learn from. Once, there was a man whose devotion was great. He had four sons. In order that their names may help him to remember the Lord, he had named them Govinda, Naaraayana, Krishna and Raama. He thought that he could, on some pretext or other, have the Lord's name on his tongue. To facilitate his plan, he started a factory and kept all of them busily employed there, so that they could respond to his calling them by name.

Yearn for the Lord at the time of death

The day when he had to yield to death arrived, he called Govinda; the son came near saying, "Father! I am here." He called Naaraayana; "I am here father;" he too stood by his bed. He called Raama; Raama came to him and asked him what he desired to confide in him. Finally he called Krishna. He too bent low and wished to know what message the father had for him. He said, "Don't hesitate, tell me what you want to say." Seeing around him all the four sons, the dying man's mind was seized with anxiety. He blurted out "All of you are here! Who is in the factory?" Those were his last words. That was his last thought.

When one is involved in the world only worldly thoughts will emerge at the end. To those who yearn with full heart for the Lord at that time, the Lord will present Himself. So, one has to attach oneself to kith and kin and respect them so long as one is concerned with the world. One must need to humor them. But, one must offer unstinted love and loyalty all through life to the Lord alone.

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