THE SANGUINE SAI MESSAGE OF LOVE
- An offering on His 84th Birthday based on His Birthday Messages
Source: http://media.radiosai.org/Journals /Vol_07/01NOV09/02-coverstory. htm
This is the holy month of November which celebrates the holy and joyous occasion of our Beloved Bhagavan's Birthday and in 2009 it is the Lord’s sacred 84th Birthday. On November 23, Prasanthi Nilayam unmistakably is in Pure Bliss. Hundreds and thousands from all corners of the globe belonging to every single faith and philosophy, race and region, colour and class, gather at His feet and all their hearts are enveloped and overflow with Love and gratitude for their dear lord Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They catch a glimpse of that sublime form decked in Orange, and in a Love-filled exhilaration they cry out in joy, 'O Dear Swami, here is my Love, Happy Birthday to You!'
And how does Bhagavan respond to this?
Many overseas devotees greeted Me in the morning with "Happy Birthday." I am always happy. It is enough if you are happy. True happiness consists in union with God. From today you have to take to a new path. You must spend your lives in harmony, co-operation and mutual esteem. See the Divine in all things. That is the source of true and lasting bliss. It can be got only through Love.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1995.
Swami says Love is the source of true and lasting bliss, Love alone can confer perennial peace. But how do we take to this path of Love? How can we make Love a part of our lives? Swami guides us again.
You may go anywhere, develop this principle of Love; that is enough. We should lead our lives based only on this love. We should enjoy this Love. Love is verily God. Therefore, when you strengthen this valued principle of Love, your personality will attain non-dualistic effulgence.
Hatred, jealousy and ostentation have become widespread these days. Get rid of all these and adopt the path of Love. Whether your desires are fulfilled or not, always believe that all that happens is for your good. When you encounter difficulties, always trust that better days are ahead. Good and bad always co-exist; therefore, take to both of them with the same attitude.
The Gita says, “Sukhadukhe Samekruthwa Labha-labhau Jayajayau (Treat happiness and sorrow, loss and gain, victory and defeat with complete equanimity)". Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Reduce your worldly desires. Develop desire for God. Inculcate Love for God and thereby increase your happiness. If desires increase, your suffering too increases, and happiness decreases proportionately.
You will have everything in life if you have Love in you. Do not hate anybody. This should be the main ideal of your life. This is My message for you.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 2000.
Bhagavan’s Message in fact has always been very simple. “Just Love All” is what He says. We can have everything in this life if we develop Love for God, Swami always emphasises. But can Love truly solve the problems of this modern world? Can Love ensure that there is no poverty; that our near and dear ones always return safely to our homes in the evening? Can Love control the carbon emissions that threaten to destroy our living environment? Can Love guarantee us an everlasting happiness? Swami does give us the clue to the solution of these problems.
The world is in turmoil. At this juncture, it is the duty of devotees to realise the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, and counteract the evil forces which are inflicting innumerable troubles on mankind. Resorting to the potent weapon of Love, they should try to serve humanity and eradicate the forces of violence and unrighteousness which are rampant today.
Even if you cannot perform any other kind of worship or sadhana, Service to society will help you to sanctify your life. Of the nine forms of devotion, Seva (Service) is most important. Through Service, you can achieve complete surrender of the self.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1986.
The answer therefore is Seva or selfless Service. Truly, what plagues society today is not cancer and AIDs, terrorism and tyranny, extreme poverty and population explosion; what is immensely lacking presently is Love.
It is the paucity of love in people's hearts which has created today huge class differences in society and as a result we see the proliferation of anti-social elements disturbing individual and world peace. It is the lack of concern in the hearts of medical men which has turned them into businessmen, and as a consequence kept splendid healthcare facilities away from the reach of nearly 80 percent of the world’s population. It is the scarcity of sensitivity for Nature and her pristine gifts in the minds of millions which has jeopardized the very survival of our planet. It is truly the humongous lack of gratitude to the Kind Creator who has bestowed so much on all of us only for our happiness and pleasure that we find today a society that is more often a battleground and a cluster of crises than a safe, secure and happy place to live and work in.
If we reflect carefully, present society suffers from only one very serious affliction which very few people recognize and even fewer articulate and ruminate upon, and that is the Poverty of Love. It is the poverty of compassion; the poverty of sacrifice, the poverty of selflessness. And if we can strive to manifest these sublime qualities of our real personality and character, we would have lived the life of a true, sincere and happy human being. And one of the easiest ways to nurture such a life is to take to the path of Service. And why is Service so important in our lives? And how does this actually work? Swami explains to us:
Man justifies himself and proves his claim to be a worthy individual only though Seva (Service), undertaken sincerely, selflessly, and with no thought of worldly reward. Seva is the only path to self-realization. You have to expend yourselves in Seva unto the very last breath.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1985.
Were you able to gauge the tremendous importance that Bhagavan lent to service? Indeed, the highest expression of Love is selfless service. But, the next question that arises is how should we serve? What should be foremost in our minds when we take to selfless Service? Swami has explained this on many occasions and here is one glimpse.
Like oil for a
lamp, Love is essential for life. Without oil or Love, darkness will prevail. Render
loving Service to all. Recognise that the Divine is within you and you have all the
potency for great deeds.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1995
Swami is also emphatic that we engage in Service activities recognizing the divine within us as well as in others. And when we serve society, we surely become a useful member of the community and contribute positively to society's welfare. But this is in reality only a spin-off. What selfless Service does to us is far greater. And how is that? Swami enlightens us:
There is one way of getting over the results of Karma (consequences of our actions). If you earn the grace of the Divine, even mountains of sin can be reduced to dust. Only the Divine has the power to confer such grace. A spark of fire can burn down a mountain of cotton. How is the spark to be placed in the "mountain" of human predicament? It can be done only through Love. Develop Love. Serve all with Love ever remembering the Lord's name. Without the name of the Lord on your lips, the mind will run hither and thither. The mind is in fact the birth-place of unsteadiness. Hence, engage yourselves in action, concentrating your thoughts only on God.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1987.
So, here is the biggest prize for us as revealed by Bhagavan Himself. When we take to Service we can terminate the unpleasant consequences of our past actions. Swami says that just like a seed buried below the ground will fail to germinate if one continuously pours mud over that part of the soil, similarly our repeated acts of selfless Service will ensure that the painful results of our actions get buried and lost forever by the volume and intensity of our sacred thoughts and selfless acts. And that is how Service can truly fill our lives with goodness and happiness. And this is not all, there is indeed another superlatively fantastic feat that Love manifesting as selfless Service can do. And that is really the ultimate gift anyone can ask for, and Swami has revealed this too on many occasions, and reiterated it on His Birthdays over the years.
Love alone can bind one to God, because Love is His being. One who is the very Embodiment of Love can be realised only through Love and not by any other means. Human beings are also endowed with Love. Through that Love man should secure God's Love, fill himself with Love and lead a life filled with Love.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1987.
So that is what Love can really do. It can definitely take us to God! And how can we achieve this? What exactly is the nature of God? How can we really understand and experience Him? Swami enlightens us on these aspects:
Love is like the mariner's compass, which points always to the north. The thoughts of a devotee filled with Love are always directed towards God, whatever he/she may be engaged in. Such Love has been described as Parama Prema - Supreme Love. God responds only to such Love. Love knows no distinctions. It is not easy for everyone to understand the nature of this Love. God is the embodiment of Supreme Love.
Love in man, if it is based on ego, assumes undesirable forms. On the other hand, if it is directed towards the Atma (spirit), it redeems man and sublimates him. Hence everyone should strive for Atmic realization and develop the awareness of Atma.
To boast about one's knowledge, scholarship or mastery of the scriptures is really a sign of ignorance. The wise man is one who knows his true nature. As long as one is filled with ego, he cannot experience the Divine. The actions undertaken to destroy the ego become akarmas (unattached acts).
Love-filled devotion is the easiest path to the Divine. You must Love all. The great quality of Love is that it is the royal road to unity. All the diversity that we see in this world is actually a manifestation of this unity; in fact, unity is the basis of all diversity. Once we recognize this primordial principle of unity we will have no problems whatsoever.
Only the Divine knows what to do, when, how and in what circumstances, with regard to any particular individual. No one has the authority to tell the Divine how He should act in a particular situation. God deals with a person according to his/her past activities and the requirements of the prevailing situation.
The Cosmos is indeed the embodiment of the Divine. Differences arise when anyone acts out of selfish motives. But the Divine has no self-interest at all. Hence whatever He does is only for the good of the others. Every act of His is holy; it is righteous, it is Truth.
When the Divine is the very embodiment of righteousness and truth, no one is competent to question the actions of the Divine. Even the great sages, after all their enquiries and explorations, could only describe the Divine as: “Not this," "Not this"; they could not define Him. It is possible to say what He is not, but who has the capacity to declare what He is? He is the Cosmic Stage Director, Playwright and Actor. He is acting even in your form. He is the critic and the criticised. He is the One who weeps and the One who causes the weeping. Such being the nature of Divinity, what can anyone declare about the Divine?
There is one fact however, that is the unique attribute of the Divine. It is the power of attraction through Love. Some may say that Swami is making a pradarsanam (demonstration) of this power and so on. It may appear to you as "demonstration". For Me, it is simply Nidarsanam (manifestation). This is natural for Me. I am doing what is innate to Me; it is the manifestation of Divine Love.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1987.
Indubitably, it is Love and Pure Love alone that is the characteristic of the Divine; it is absolute unconditional Love that is the nature of Almighty, and that is indeed the Form, the Name and the Power of Sai. It is absolutely the miracle of Pure Love that draws millions to His lotus feet and confers on them solace, satisfaction, happiness and grace. Bhagavan Himself mentioned this in one of His Birthday messages.
It is because the wish-fulfilling jewel (Chintamani) of Love is manifest here (in Prasanthi Nilayam) that these thousands of people from all parts of the world have assembled. Whatever one may say, can anyone point to another person who can attract such a multitude? Elsewhere, even when people are brought in vehicles, they choose to run away. Here, even when we try to dissuade people from visiting for lack of proper accommodation, devotees do not desist from coming and staying under the trees or in the open. This is the Love that flows from heart-to-heart. There is no compulsion on anyone to come here. It is the cord of Love that binds them. That is the power of the Divine.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 1987.
Therefore, to develop our intimate connection with the Lord, to be in the bliss of divine communion all the time, to lead a life of perennial peace and to become really divine, all we have to do is nurture, foster, practice and propagate Love. And how should we do this living in a society that is at times so filled with hatred and violence? Is there a way that will work? Swami again guides us:
Let your life be filled with Love. Do not confine your Love to your family and friends. Share it with one and all. Whomsoever you come across, consider everyone as the embodiment of divinity. Share your Love with your fellow human beings and become the recipient of His Love.
Follow the path of truth. I always teach the principles of truth and Love. Congregations such as this are meant only to exhort you to adhere to the path of truth and Love. All of you have gathered here out of your Love for Me. Having come here and listened to My message, you should practise truth and Love in your daily life. Only that will make Me very happy. Let your Love be not tainted with worldly feelings. Let it flow incessantly towards God.
- Bhagavan’s Birthday Message, Nov 23, 2005.
This is what Bhagavan communicated to the thousands gathered in the grand Hill View Stadium to celebrate His 80th Birthday. And now we rejoice on His glorious 84th birthday. It is a time of celebration and at the same time reflection. It is an opportune occasion to redefine our lives, to make Love and selflessness the sumum bonum of our lives. Let us ensure that our love really expands; let us envelope our family, friends, society, nature and the entire creation with our Love which is nothing but an expression of His Love.
Let us shine in the same sanguine glow of Pure Love that our Beloved Sai is an embodiment of. Let us too pledge to become personifications of Love. Can there be a lovelier Birthday gift to our dear Lord than this?
Thank you so much and Sairam from Prasanthi Nilayam.
- Heart2Heart Team