Wednesday, March 02, 1966 to Monday, April 04, 1966
Swami reached Hyderabad on the night of the 2nd of March, 1966. The anniversary meeting of Prashanti Vidwan Maha Sabha (Hyderabad) was held in the Exhibition Grounds on 5th, 6th and 7th of March, 1966. The Law Minister and the Minister for Panchayat Raj, Government of Andhra Pradesh were present. The Chairman of the Law Commission presided over the meeting. Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao, the President of the Maha Sabha, welcomed all the guests. Swami visited the Heavy Electricals Factory at Ramachandrapuram on 12th March and blessed the workers.
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at the Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium - March 1966|
He then left for Bombay via Sholapur and Pune and reached Bombay on the 13th. He stayed at the residence of Sri P. K. Sawant. Sri Y. B. Chavan, the Defence Minister of India, had discussions with Swami. Swami blessed thousands of devotees during Bhajan sessions at the Gwalior Palace grounds on the 14th, 15th and 18th March. Swami addressed mammoth gatherings at the public meetings held at Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium on the 16th, 17th, and 20th. On the 16th and 17th, Sri Bharde, Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Sri Page, Chairman of the Legislative Council of Bombay, presided over the function. Swami began staying at the Gwalior Palace from the 19th. Swami gave Darshan at the Vallabhai Patel Stadium and addressed the gathering on 23rd March, the auspicious Gudi Padwa Day (Maharashtrian New Year). He said:
“The lives of Divine personages, sages and seers that men read, if not taken as tonics to improve mental health as signposts for life's tortuous journey, are mere tales that fickle the fancy. The wise man finds in them beacons in the darkness. Bheeshma, for example, has to be revered and accepted as an inspiration, even more potent than Rama so far as homage to the father is concerned. In order to cater to the carnal cravings of his senile father, craving which he could have ordinarily condemned, he denied himself gladly, spontaneously, without demur and for the entire period of his life, both wedded life and royal status. The Vedic injunction ‘Pitru Devo Bhava’ (revere father as God), was honoured by him in the fullest manner.
This moral code, the product of centuries of selfless pursuit of individual and social contentment, is now thrown to the winds by the present generation. Sons clamour for a share in the property of the father, but not for a share in his love. They close their ears to their needs and commands. Parents have conferred this physical equipment called body, with which we can attain the Absolute, to serve God in all living beings, to glorify Him in and through Beauty and Truth; this equipment which is essential for liberating ourselves from the direst of bondages. So gratitude and honour are due to them from children. An iron box is essential to keep safe precious stones; so too, the body is essential to keep safe the precious gifts of virtue, faith, love and discrimination. The parents gave it and so they have to be respected by speech, action and behaviour. How can you expect the Heavenly Father to respond to your prayers if you do not respond to the demands of the earthly father? The first step in Dharma is gratitude; the first duty of the child is reverence to the parents. When the first step is absent, ascent is impossible.
Another irreverence that is harming progress is the cynical sneer with which the younger generation has been taught to welcome all reference to God and religion, Who is this God? Where is He to be found? What does He do there? they ask in derision. When a wandering monk was accosted thus by a gang of villagers, he asked them casually to bring him a basin of milk. He looked long at it, stirred it with his finger, shook it around and was silent all the time. The villagers asked him why and he replied, I am trying to locate the butter which they say is in milk. I do not see any in this basinful of milk. The gang laughed at his colossal ignorance. They told him the butter was there, in every drop of the milk, though he could not see it with his eyes or take it out with his finger; it had to be curdled, churned and collected, that was all. The monk declared, So too, God is immanent in the Universe; He is in the most distant star as well as in the blade of grass under your feet. You can see Him provided you curdle this Universe with Viveka (discrimination), churn it with Vairagya (detachment) and collect it with Shraddha (earnestness). In the grain of sand as well as in the grandest galaxy, God can be found by diligent Sadhana. He is the core of every being, as butter is in every drop of the milk...
The most valuable message the scriptures convey is this: Carry on your legitimate duties; discharge your obligations; live up to your rights; but do not allow attachment to grow. Be like a trustee so far as family, riches, reputation, knowledge and skills are concerned. Leave them gladly aside, when the call of death comes. Death is pictured by some as a terror-striking God who rides a monster-buffalo, and pounces on you with a noose. No, the noose is of your own making. He does not pounce; he gives advance notice of his arrival to take you notice in the form of intimations like grey hair, falling teeth, failing vision, deafness of hearing, folding of the skin, etc. He does not ride any beast; he is only another name for Time. It is Time that creeps steadily towards you and shears the cord of life.
So, utilise the capacity for Karma (action) with which you are endowed, to liberate yourself from the clutches of Time. The Law of karma holds out hope for you; as the karma, so the consequence. Do not bind yourself further by seeking the fruit of karma; offer the karma at the Feet of God; let it glorify Him, let it further His splendour. Be unconcerned with the success or failure of the endeavour. Then, death can have no noose to bind you with. Death will come as a liberator, not a jailor. These great teachings of the ancient texts are the heritage of the human community; they must be handed down to the growing generation, in homes and schools. The people, as well as the leaders and rulers whom they have chosen, have to take up this task. I would ask the Minister, the Speaker and the Chairman of the Legislative Council who are here to remind themselves of this duty. The seed of devotion, detachment and duty has to be implanted early, so that the harvest of peace, contentment; co-operation and love may be gleaned. That is the task for which I have come. If they share in that task, they are certain to succeed.”
|Sri Sathya Sai with dignitaries on the dias; To the extreme right is Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, Former Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Kerala|
Swami presided over the ‘Bhoomi Puja’ at the site selected for ‘Dharmakshetra’ (the future residence of Swami in Bombay) on 24th March. He addressed the volunteers on 25th March.
Swami left Bombay and reached Pune on 26th. He addressed the devotees at the Andhra Association on the 27th. He said:
“Man fills his days with unremitting labour; he is immersed in perpetual anxiety and worry. Busy beyond description, with no time to stand and silently contemplate God's handiwork, he is troubled by strange inexplicable misgivings; he runs helter-skelter after hollow comforts; he is blinded by hate and greed. Caught in this toil and turmoil, man has lost knowledge of the one anchor that will save him from the tornado, namely, discipline of the vagaries of the mind.
That discipline has to be learnt and practised as early as possible in life; it is not to be postponed to old age, when the physical equipment with which man is endowed has become worn out and weak. There are many who try to warn their children away from holy men and sacred books, for they fear that they may develop a taste for these disciplines too early in life; but there is no "too early" in this matter; it is always "late", whenever you begin. For, who knows when the span of life is brought to a close.
Spiritual discipline is based on faith in the unity of all beings on the basis of the all-pervasive immanent indwelling Atma. There are thousands here before Me, listening to My words, but fundamentally they are all One; for they are but a thousand waves on the face of a single underlying Ocean. Food earned by all the limbs and organs of the body making co-operative effort to procure it and make it ready for consumption is converted by the stomach and other organs again by co-operative effort into strength which is shared by all the limbs and organs. Not one part is neglected. You are all the limbs of that One Cosmic Body, the Purusha, who is far more expansive than the Universe, this Universe being but a small fraction of His Splendour. Individuals as individuals may be deluded into the belief that they are different from the rest. But the Atma in each is the Atma in all.
In this garland, quickest to strike the eyes are the flowers, while the thread upon which they are strung has to be inferred; it is not so patent. But, without it, they will all fall off. So too, without that bond in Brahman (the Supreme Absolute), you will fall off as unrelated entities; in fact, you are entities on account of the Divine spark within, the Divine current that flows through each and activates each, On that Ekam (one), all this Anekam is strung (many); On the One, the many secure support.
The sages of this land knew that the mind is an instrument which can bind man or release him from bondage. One has to understand its working technique, as well as its potentialities. You must learn how to wield it, rather than yield to it. It is the mind that weaves the pattern called the 'I'. The way in which it establishes this ego and elaborates it into a multitude of shackles is called Maya (deluding force). The mind prompts the senses to project into the outer world of objects, for it builds up notions of pleasure and pain, of joy and grief and constructs a whole array of urges and impulses. It resists all attempts to escape into the Eternal, the Universal, the Absolute.
It protests when the individual is eager to become conscious of his identity with these; but when it finds determined opposition to its tactics, it surrenders and disappears. When this handkerchief is recognised as a mere arrangement of yarn or better still as mere cotton basically, the warp and the woof disappear from the consciousness. The mind is composed of the warp and woof of desire; when man is established in the experience of the ONE, there is no desire, for who is to desire for whom or what? So, Mano Layam or Mano Nashanam (dissolution or destruction of the mind) is accomplished. So, man has to diminish desire to become free from delusion; desire comes of attachment; deliverance comes from detachment.
A little reflection will give the attitude necessary for developing detachment. You have a house in this city; you have lived in it some years; you call it yours; your are proud of it; you protest angrily when a poster is pasted on its walls; you have taken great care to see that it is comfortable, charming, impressive. Then one day you sell it. It is no longer the object of your attachment. Even when lightning strikes it, you are not disturbed. Now, the fields you have purchased with the sale proceeds become yours and they attract all your attachment. When flood waters invade those fields, you are very concerned and you run hither and thither trying to save them from harm. Next, you sell them too. You call the money yours; you put it in a bank and you become attached to the pass book issued by the Bank. You keep it in an iron safe and scan its pages lovingly. The money you gave the Bank may be loaned by them to someone you do not like, but you do not care. You have the pass book with you. Now what exactly is yours? To which were you attached so deeply? The house, the fields, the money, the pass book? To none of these things. You were attached to prestige, comfort, show, greed: things that arose in your mind as desire, as urges; to your own ego, basically. That was the thing which induced you to claim these things, one after the other, as yours!
Each of you must take up some spiritual effort in order to cleanse the mind of lust and greed, of envy and hate. Come out of the well of ego into the sea of the Universal Spirit, of which you are a part. Force your mind to breathe the grander atmosphere of the Eternal by reminding it of God and His Glory, every second, with every breath, when you repeat any one of His Names. Or, engage in some work which will take you out of your narrow self into the vaster magnificence; some task where you dedicate the fruit of karma to God, where you devote your time and energy to share your joy or skill or knowledge with fellow-men. Or, keep yourself surrounded always by persons devoted to the higher life; persons who will encourage you to move forward along the road towards the goal. By these means, you can achieve Chitta Shuddhi (cleansing of the mind), so that the Truth can be clearly reflected therein. Satsanga (company of pious and holy men) leads gradually to withdrawal from the entangling activities. When a cold bit of coal is placed in the midst of glowing cinders, and when the fire is fanned, the coal too gets glowing with fire. Jnana-Agni or the Fire of Wisdom operates similarly.
Individual effort and Divine Grace are both inter-de-pendent; without effort, there will be no conferment of Grace; without Grace, there can be no taste in the effort. To win that Grace, you need only have faith and virtue. You need not praise Him in order to win His favour. For example, I did not like the fulsome praises with which you flooded Me in the address which was read when this meeting started. I am yours and you are Mine. This is a family gathering; as a matter of fact, all gatherings that I meet are family gatherings. The entire mankind is My family. It sounds very improper when a member of the family is extolled by another before the rest. This is a habit, a ceremony that is borrowed from political life, where ministers are given addresses wherein they are praised so that some benefits may accrue to the place which they are visiting and which present those praises.
The present decline in spiritual progress that is so marked among the heads of monastic institutions and leaders of orders is due to this indiscriminate flattery heaped upon them by fawning groups. Praise feeds the fire of egoism and fogs genuine faith. The disciple or pupil should not flatter the Guru, nor should the Guru flatter the pupil or disciple. The relationship should be like that of father and son. If the son flatters the father or if the father fawns upon the son, it would be ridiculous. Knock: the doors of Grace will open. Open the door-the sun's rays waiting outside will flow silently in and flood the room with light.”
He left for Gulbarga via Sholapur in the early hours of 28th March. Swami blessed the devotees with His Divine Darshan at the gardens of Ivanshahi Palace in Gulbarga on 28th. He also taught them a few Bhajans. Swami blessed a group of medical students and spent a few minutes with them there. Swami then left for Hyderabad at 11 am and reached there in the evening. Swami inaugurated the monthly meeting of Prashanti Vidwan Maha Sabha (Hyderabad) on Sri Rama Navami (3rd April, 1965). He returned to Prashanti Nilayam on 4th April.