|Samarth Ramadas (1606 - 1682)|
Once upon a time, Shivaji sent some money, a few gifts and some precious jewels to Samarth Ramadas. Samarth Ramadas spent his life contemplating on God. He was a personification of purity and sacrifice. He was a renunciant. Shivaji believed that he was rendering heartfelt services to the needy and the poor. Shivaji felt that Samarth Ramadas would put all the material sent by him to good use. He asked his men to carry the gifts to Ramadas’ house. When Ramadas came back home after a bath in the river, he saw Shivaji’s men along with all the gifts. Ramadas laughed at them, and said to himself, “Oh Rama! I have You the most benevolent Lord as my master. How then will I be an orphan? You are the Master of all. If there is an orphan in the world it is You, because there is no other master for You. You are the Master of all the worlds, the universe, myself and everything. There is no one above You. As You are the orphan You take all this material which has been sent to me.” Aspirants of those days were of that calibre and stature.
But today there is only trickery of words. Man’s mind is not reaching maturity. Words are crossing boundaries but people are not acting. People talk about myriad things. But they do not practice even an iota of what they talk. Are you practicing? You should offer your duty and devotion to God. A student (prior to Swami's Discourse) spoke of dedication. You are devoted but are you doing your duty properly? What is the use of devotion if you do not do your duty?
This Lord Sai is not a person of mere words;
He won’t look at dummy dolls;
He takes all those across to the bank like a ship who pray for it;
Open your eyes and see this short Swami who moves around in silk robes!
Discipline is the most important subject for us. Only those who adhere to devotion, duty and discipline should stay here. Our organisation is not a charitable institution. Only those who can set examples should stay here. A true teacher is one who brings to the notice of the students their mistakes. The teacher will ruin the life of the students if he ignores their faults, and continues speaking only good about them. All this discipline forms a royal path to your life. All the students should understand this issue.
The True Devotee
If you really love Swami to the core, you will not deviate from His command till your death. This is the differentiating factor. Swami cannot be cheated by artificial love. You will be cheating yourself by that. Do not cheat yourself. He is sanctified who does not harm others and who is not harmed by others. You should not be at loss, you should not harm others, you should not contribute to the decline of others and you should not decline yourself.
If somebody sends something by a registered post, the acknowledgement should come back in response that the post has reached the destination. If that acknowledgement does not come to you, how can you take it for granted that the cover has reached its destination? You can think of yourself as a devotee. But I should call you My devotee. That acknowledgement should come from Me. But that is not happening. How can you be a devotee then? He, who achieves the state elucidated by Swami, is a true devotee.
You have to search for the path. Which way should we be searching? We need not need search for any new way. We should be searching for the way we came here on to the earth. Where did we come from? We came from the Atma. We should get back to the Atma. That is the path we should be searching for. But today, our destination and journey are in opposite directions. Hence our life is being subjected to troubles and turmoil. We should search for the path through which we came here. This is the message I am giving you today. This is not the sacred 11-lettered Mantra. This, in Telugu, forms a 12-lettered Mantra. Good thinking is to search for the path. Search for that path. Search for that path through which you win back the love, grace and position in Swami’s heart which you lost because of your misconduct.
Sri Sathya Sai's Expectations from Students
I am never unhappy. I am always happy. Give happiness to the people who are unhappy. I don’t need your happiness, or anything from you to be happy. Many people wish Me on My birthday. All foreigners wish Me happy birthday. I say to them that I am always happy. I don’t need anything from you to be happy. Give happiness to those who are unhappy. Give happiness to your parents. Develop respect for elders, concern for the young, follow discipline, be friends with those equal to you, stand for that which is right and just, and lead exemplary lives. These are friendship, compassion, pleasantness and disregard. These four are the aspirations of a human being. If you fulfill these four points, your life gets sanctified. Hence develop friendship with those who are at par with you. Do not develop hatred and jealousy. Don’t play dramas portraying fanfare and false feelings. Never give place to ego. Try to be humble and develop the quality of humility and obedience. Education and humility confer wealth.
Your discipline should follow you as your shadow. Wherever you go, be it market or house, your shadow follows you. Discipline should always be with you all the time. That is true discipline. I don’t want your actions. I want proof. Even if it is a simple thing, it should be of some standard. Hence have right kind of feelings in your thought, word and deed. Then you will become good citizens. This is true education. Without this there is no use even if you acquire degrees in various areas. You may earn money. You may have physical comforts. But who will give you peace of mind? Peace is very important for man. You often repeat ‘Om Shanti Shanti Shanti’. Why should you say it thrice? It indicates that you pray for peace for your body, mind and soul. This is the reason for chanting ‘Shanti’ thrice. You should chant it peacefully and not with anger. If you chant it with anger, how will you get peace?
Source: Qualities Dear To God, Discourse 1, My Dear Students Volume 4, Divine Discourse on June 20, 1989 at the Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam