Sri Sathya Sai visits North Karnataka Districts - October 1968

Swami toured Northern Karnataka (Uttara Kannada) Districts between the 20th and the 28th of October, 1968. He called it ‘Amarapuriya Ananda Yatra’. Swami and His party passed through the towns Bellary, Gadag, Halkote and Annagiri. Swami blessed the people gathered along the road by alighting from the car. The Corporation Mayor welcomed Swami at Hubli. Thousands of devotees were blessed with Swami’s Darshan on the 22nd morning. He met the Office Bearers of the Dharwar Seva Samiti the same afternoon, and in the evening addressed a large gathering of devotees in Kannada for the first time.

Swami left for Sirsi on the 23rd and reached the Gopalakrishna temple in Sirsi at 11 am. Swami addressed the devotees in the outskirts of Sirsi town. “If a few minutes of singing the Divine Name can have this effect, how much more can you gain by uninterrupted Namasmarana. The yearning you have been cultivating in your minds to have My Darshan has fructified today”, Swami said to the simple peasants gathered there. He then visited the Gopala Krishna temple to see the exhibition of photographs of Himself and of His various activities displayed there.

Swami reached Karwar on the 23rd night and stayed at the Collector’s Bungalow. Swami visited the Sita Rameshwar temple on 25th morning. He then proceeded to Kodibag where He installed the Shirdi Sai idol in a temple specifically built for Shirdi Sai.
Sri Sathya Sai in Goa
Swami travelled along the coast of the Arabian sea and reached Margoa in Goa. Swami addressed two public meetings at Panaji and Belgaum. At Belgaum, He said:

"It is indeed a day of good fortune for you; for, the years of intense yearning which you spent in order to witness this day have at last borne fruit. Even today you waited here long, in order to earn the good fortune of the Darshan (sight) of your heart's ideal. You have put yourselves to great hardship to reach here and to get this Darshan. And so, I desire you should listen to the advice I give and try to derive the maximum Ananda through putting it into daily practice. You must treasure the gems of counsel and guidance in the vaults of your hearts, realising their innate value. Having joined this uplifting gathering of thousands of aspiring seekers, this assembly of men and women, young and old, all eager to cleanse themselves and become worthy of the divine destiny of man, you must determine to discover the divine within yourself and fill your moments with its contemplation.

The experience of this one life must be enough to show you that there is no joy unmixed with grief, that both grief and joy are short lived and they both depend on the mind and its control. You do not require the experience of a series of lives to grasp this patent fact. This world is keeping you in bondage; it is a prison from which you must get released; you should not plan to return to it again and again. The means of this permanent release are' Sadhana (spiritual effort), Satkarma (good deeds), Bhakti (devotion), Upasana (worship). All these help you by reducing your wants, by curtailing your wishes, by teaching you detachment from sensory pleasures. These are the shackles which bind you to the body and the senses, to the limiting emotions of greed and hate, to the blinding passions of anger and lust. Escape from them and you will have lasting peace.

True renunciation promotes spiritual progress

The eye which is scarce two inches long can see millions of miles into space, but is incapable of seeing itself! Man too is as shrewd and as weak as the eye. He can analyse others' motives, count others' faults, map out others' skills and capacities but he is powerless to analyse himself his feelings and emotions; he is unwilling to discover his own faults; he cannot assess his innate skill and realise his inner reality! But the power can be acquired if you keep company with Sadhakas (aspirants for spiritual progress), not otherwise.

By Anga (limbs), you cultivate Sanga (company). By means of the proper use of the body with its limbs and senses, you are enabled to be in the midst of devoted and dedicated persons. Through Sanga, you become Jangam (detached). This association removes attachment to worldly things and you become a wandering mendicant type of person, a Jangam not rooted to any spot or status or standard of life or any family or group of kinsmen. Through Jangam you discover the Lingam (the subtle form of God). This life of true renunciation promotes spiritual progress to such an extent that you realise the formless, attributeless, absolute, symbolised by the Linga. You seek God in temples and light lamps there, to see Him more clearly; learn to see Him in your own heart, in the hearts of all beings. He is now not visible, due to the thick dust-cloud of ignorance and egoism. The cow ignores the health-giving milk it has in its own udder; it craves for the water in which rice is washed!

Envy and malice force man to take the wrong road

The boulder on the hill from which a portion has been blasted away, to carve an idol for the temple, tells the idol, Tat Twam Asi (Thou Art That); that and this are one substance. Yes; of one substance, but, what a difference? The hammer and chisel have made one a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, an inspiration to make life beautiful and holy. You too must subject yourself to the hammer of discipline and the chisel of pain-pleasure, so that you become Divine.

The greatest single cause for darkness in the world today is envy. When one is happy and contented, others envy him and strive to ruin his peace of mind. When any one is acclaimed as great, malice moves others to invent calumny, in order to tarnish his reputation. This is the way of the world. This is the tragedy of ignorance and selfishness, they force man to take the wrong road and suffer calamity. Take the right road; be happy and make others happy. Then, your name will last even after the body disintegrates. 

Even when the bulb is taken off, the holder will give you a shock, if you contact the connection. So too, even when the body is gone, if the good reputation is there, it will remain in history and provide inspiration. Students must study well and earn good marks, by their own sincere efforts; there is no use threatening the teachers and forcing them to give you grace marks and promote you. You should not stretch your hands, a-begging, before any one. It is a shame to do so.

Try to cleanse your minds through repentance

One more point I wish to emphasise here. I have been travelling through Karnaataka for the past five or six days. Thousands of people are attending the meetings, and standing on the wayside roads. In the heart of every one of these, Bhakti (devotion) and sincere adoration of God are welling up. But, Bhakti to be effective must be regulated through self-discipline; it should not be allowed to grow wild and untended. You rush forward to touch My feet or to prostrate before Me, ignoring the children, the aged and the sick, upon whom you fall when you press forward towards me. Do not forget the Sai in those people when you rush forward towards this Sai! The merit of all the hardship you underwent to see and hear this Sai is as good as cancelled when you inflict pain on the Sai who resides in them. That plus and this minus add up to zero! In your frenzy to offer homage, you should not forget others who have been waiting long for the chance. You must provide facilities for their Darshan, instead of leaping forward to be at vantage positions from which you can fall at the feet.

The urge to revere and adore is natural; what should be checked is this disregard for the yearning of others. Cultivate love, tolerance, respect for the rights of others. I am alone on this dais; you are thousands in front of Me. What has brought you all, in this vast number, from your homes and villages to this place? It is the love you have for Me, and the love I have for you. The reason for your presence is not any force or authority or temptation to earn
material profit or gain. Ponder over the things I have told you out of My Love and try to cleanse your minds through repentance for wrongs done Or contemplated and through a firm resolve to shape your lives anew, according to the Divine Plan, by which each can stand revealed as fully Divine."

Swami moved to Bijapur on 26th morning where He discoursed to the devotees. Swami halted at various villages enroute to His scheduled destinations. He did just one thing to enchant the simple village folk – sing Bhajans with them. He encouraged them to sing with Him without any reservation or fear. Swami reached Dharwar on 26th evening. He spent the day visiting the houses of devotees at Hubli and Dharwar, for as He often said, “Your Ananda (bliss) is My Aahaara (food)”.

Swami left Dharwar on the 28th. He blessed the shrine of the late Saint Seshachala Swami enroute at Agadi and also addressed the students of the Agriculture College at Haveri. Swami laid the foundation stone of the Arts and Science College at Rane Bennur and addressed 25,000 devotees assembled at the Cotton Market. Swami reached Brindavan on 28th evening. 

Dr. Adke, the Vice-Chancellor of the Karnataka University, Dharwar, had the good fortune of witnessing Swami’s joy at the happiness of the sincere and simple devotees He met during the tour.

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