Sri Sathya Sai Message on Independence Day

Sunday, August 15, 1993

Bhagavan gave a Discourse at Sai Ramesh Hall in Brindavan on 15th August 1993, India’s Independence Day. 

What greater misfortune can there be
Than the failure of Bharatiyas to know
The unique greatness and sacredness
Of Bharat's ancient culture?

Embodiments of Divine Atma! 

In ancient times, the spiritual culture of Bharat spread the message of peace and harmony to various countries in the world. Then, as well as now, the Aryan tradition has proclaimed to the world the benediction: "Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu!" (Let all the world be happy!). This tradition was upheld even at the sacrifice of their lives by the ancient kings, the savants and the noble women of the land. Today the rulers as well as the citizens are caught up in worldly concerns and are forgetting this great cultural heritage. In the sphere of the physical and the material, man has achieved many significant victories. But he has not made the slightest progress in the fields of morality, spirituality and wisdom. What is the reason? It is the deep-rooted selfishness in human beings. 

Reign of selfishness in today's world 

All of man's thoughts, desires and actions are saturated with selfishness. Man today has become a puppet in the hands of selfishness. Whatever object one desires, he does not seek it for its own sake. When he loves anyone, it is not for that person's sake. He loves the other for selfish reasons. Those who have not understood the sacredness of Bharatiya culture cannot realise the sacred nature of love. The ancient Bharatiyas were votaries of truth and practitioners of righteousness. They stood for justice. Today the people have forgotten this legacy. This is the calamitous influence of Time. It is only when, spiritually and morally, the character of the nation is developed will Bharatiya culture come into its own.

Our youth today are unable to appreciate the value of this ancient culture because its values are not being properly propagated among the people. With the waning of the hold of this culture on the people, humanness itself is being undermined. If human values are not upheld, of what use is the human birth? As a human being, a man should manifest human values. Moreover, human beings can realise their inherent divinity only when they recognise the unity that underlies the apparent diversity. There are today many intellectuals who propagate divisive tendencies, but there are very few good men engaged in promoting unity.

All men belong to one human family

Despite differences in names and forms, in food habits and in speech, all men belong to one human family, of which God is the Father. Not realising this truth, men are victims of divisive forces. Every man has to develop the divine faculties in him. God is the embodiment of Love. Love is His nature. Such sacred love is in every man. Even as God is manifesting to the world His selfless love, every man should manifest his unselfish love to everyone. Man is not apart from God. The Lord has declared in the Geeta: "Every human being in the world is a fragment of My Eternal Self." This implied that man is not an aspect of Nature or of the physical elements. He is Divine in spirit. This is the repeated declaration of the Lord.

The ancient sages described this Divine Love as Atmavan, implying that Love is the form of the Divine. This is called Svashakti, meaning the power of the Atma. Today people are oblivious to this Atmic power. Relying on the strength of physical and the material world, men are forgetting the boundless power of the Atma. The physical body is perishable. Only Dehi (the indwelling Spirit) is Divine.

Today, there is great need for propagating the doctrine of Love. Divine love is beyond comprehension by the mind or description by words. Love is the very form of Brahman (the Absolute). When men forget love, are they not forgetting the Divine Itself? People speak about freedom, calling it Svechha. What is this Svechha? Knowledge of Brahman is Svechha. It is Absolute Bliss - Brahmanandam. Instead of seeking this kind of spiritual freedom, people today are going after freedom in worldly terms. In the place of the pure, sacred, eternal Divine Love, men are lost in transient and momentary attachments.

Need for People to Cultivate Good Thoughts

The Divine cannot be realised through wealth, scholarship or by any other means except love. This sacred love is being fragmented in many ways out of worldly attachments and is being treated as a trivial thing. This is the manner in which people today reject truth and welcome falsehood and go afar to consume alcoholic drinks while refusing wholesome milk and curds offered to them at their doorstep. It is the bad feelings within them which make them behave in this way. Hence, there is great need for people to cultivate good thoughts and good feelings. 

Love can be promoted only by the grace of God's love. The world has no dearth of wealthy men, intelligent men, or powerful men, but there are few spiritually realised persons. What is it that great emperors like Harishchandra, Nala and Rama took with them when they left the world? What is in store for the men of wealth and power today? What is it that they will take with them? Nothing. God alone is the eternal truth that will accompany the lover of God. 

Bharatiyas got their freedom in 1947, but did not achieve unity. True education consists in teaching people to live in peace and harmony with a feeling of common fellowship. Life today is riddled with differences and discord. Hatred reigns everywhere. Of what use is our Svatantram (freedom)? Sva-tan-tram really means freedom of the Spirit (Sva). It is not related to the physical. People speak about "Independence". What is this Independence? It was meant to convey the idea that freedom means not depending on any outsider. But are we really self-reliant today? We are dependent on many in several respects. How can we claim we are independent when we are dependent on others? There is only one difference between the old British days and now. In those days, we used to accuse the white men of oppressing the coloured natives. Today the natives are oppressing the native population. Did we achieve freedom only to inflict suffering on ourselves through our own men? Is it to besmirch our culture that we got our freedom? 

Spiritual freedom is the true freedom

We must certainly safeguard our freedom. But essentially that freedom is spiritual freedom. Any other kind of freedom is not freedom at all. Youth today have no sense of patriotism. In the pre-independence days, many young men made great sacrifices for the sake of freedom. This was because the leaders of those days also made great sacrifices for freedom and inspired the youth to do likewise. However, leaders today talk in one way and act in another way. They deliver lectures on Bharatiya nationalism. The moment they get down from the stage, they talk about caste and creed and promote divisions among the people. How, then, can youth develop a genuine feeling of nationalism? The result is there is hardly any sense of national love and pride among the young people.

Dear students! Whatever anyone may say, regard this country as the land of your birth. It is your Motherland. It is your own native land. Love of the country must get firmly rooted in our young persons. You have to take a firm resolve to protect your Motherland.

Be prepared to sacrifice yourselves for your Motherland

Young Aurobindo
Once, Aurobindo asked a group of students in Calcutta: "For what purpose are you studying? If you are going to make use of your education for the benefit of the nation pursue your studies. Otherwise, you better burn your books. If you are studying only out of selfish motives, the education is of no value at all. If you are intent only on earning a living, you may as well beg from door to door. You must be prepared to sacrifice yourselves for your Motherland."

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead who never to himself has said'
This is my Motherland; this is my mother-tongue.
To love my country is my religion."

A youth who is not prepared to sacrifice his life for his country is as good as dead. Service to the nation is the greatest thing one can think of. All religious practices are worthless without service to one's fellowmen. Without the spirit of service, holding any Udyoga (office or position) is meaningless. Udyoga (official position) must stem from Yoga (realisation of the Divine).

True Bharatiya culture consists in developing a spirit of service, with a feeling of all-embracing love. A man can get on without many things in life. But he cannot get on without love. Love is at the root of all action. This love is Divine. It is unchanging, pure and unsullied. It is unaffected by joy or sorrow, loss or gain. Feeling elated in a moment of joy and getting depressed in a moment of grief is the mark of worldly love.

Divine love is spiritual and is infinitely precious. It is not fickle and changing from moment to moment. One who is immersed in the ocean of Divine love will have no words to express its greatness and sweetness. He will speak in the language of silence. He will keep away from idle talk or debate. Those who experience the bliss of Divine love will be filled with an inner joy, whatever the external troubles they may encounter.

Eliminate pollution of air by Nama Smarana

It is only when we cultivate this kind of love that we can claim to have achieved real freedom. Today there is no unity in the country. In its absence, enmity has taken its place. Where there is enmity; there is no purity. Today, the air is polluted. Even the sound vibrations in the ether, air, fire, water and earth are polluted. How are they to be purified? Everyone should purify and sanctify the atmosphere by doing Nama Smarana (chanting the name of the Lord). Every sound emanating from man enters into the radio waves in the atmosphere and gets permanently recorded. If the sound waves in the world today are polluted, it is because of the unsacred words,
uttered by people. By chanting the name of the Lord, the. sound waves in the atmosphere must be sanctified.

Thereby, these waves can bring about a great transformation. The world, it is said, can be destroyed by an atomic bomb. Sacred sound waves can achieve greater things for the world. They can create a new world.

The Power of Consciousness is all-pervading

Man has to understand the power of three kinds of potencies: Ichha-Shakti, Jnana-Shakti and Kriya-Shakti. Ichha Shakti (the power of the will) should combine with electrical energy. There is, for instance, an aura round My thumb. If this energy were not in the body, it cannot move at all. This is called Chaitanya (the power of Consciousness). This Consciousness is all-pervading. From this Consciousness, every individual derives what is called Conscience. This Conscience, when it functions through the sense organs, brings about the conscious state. All actions belong to the conscious state. All functions of the mind are related to the Conscience. All that is done through Buddhi (intellect) is related to Chaitanya (Consciousness).

The Consciousness that is all-pervading is present in the human body from top to toe. In spite of the presence of this Consciousness, men are misusing it or making no use of it. Just as barely 2 percent of the energy coming from the sun is used by the world, hardly a minute fraction of the power of the Divine Consciousness in man is being properly used. Make use of it to help society. Do not live only for your own sake. When you use your energies in the service of society, the Divine power in you gets surcharged. It will not diminish to the slightest extent.

Consider every human being as the embodiment of the eternal Divine. The very name Nara for man means that his essence is imperishable. It also means he is the embodiment of the Atma. Born as the immortal Spirit, if 'man leads the. life of an animal, there can be nothing more disgraceful.

"Svatantram" means freedom of the spirit

We celebrate what we call our Svatantram - the freedom of the Spirit (Sva). Svatantram relates to external freedom. Svatantram is concerned with inner freedom. It is through the internal that we enjoy the external freedom. Hence, the first requisite is purity of the heart. If the heart is pure, all that you think and do will be pure, just as water from a tank filled with pure water will be pure in any tap. If your thoughts and actions are impure, you are the cause of their impurity because you have polluted your heart. You are the cause of your joy and sorrow. Do not blame others for your troubles. It is a sin. Blame yourself for your condition. Self-punishment is as important as Self-Realization. Through self-punishment you get Self-satisfaction, which promotes self-sacrifice. That is the prelude to Self-Realization.

You must engage yourself in a constant process of self-enquiry into determine whether you are right or wrong. This is a spiritual exercise. It enables you to understand the true nature of freedom, namely, harmony in thought, word and action. Essentially freedom consists in maintaining complete accordance between thought, word and deed. It is supremely important to have good feelings. One ends his life in a good way if he entertains always good feelings. Those who are racked by doubts, and suspicions are ultimately a prey to their own doubts. It should be realised that death is more important than birth. The manner of one's death indicates the way he lived.

Therefore, fill your hearts and minds with good feelings and thoughts. What is good? It is love alone. Eschew hatred, envy and other vices. Fill your hearts with love. Students today tend to fill their minds with all sorts of stuff about the world. What is necessary is to fill the heart with love and the head with wisdom. Engage the hands in service. This alone will manifest the significance of human existence.

Consider your Body as a Home

To lead a peaceful life, you should bear no ill-will towards others. Cultivate unity as the key to peace in the home or outside. Consider your body as a home. The mind, the tongue and the limbs are like members of a family. If they all function harmoniously, there will be peace. But if the three are at variance with each other, there can only be discord and disharmony. Therefore, in unity lies strength, peace and success.

This was the lesson that Dharmaja taught when he declared that as against the rest of the world, they were 105 (the five Pandava brothers and the 100 Kaurava brothers), but when they had. internal differences, they were five against hundred. When the country is faced with an external threat, all parties should come together. They should not divide the country. You may fight among yourselves tooth and nail, but when the nation is in peril, you should act as one. You must protect the security and integrity of the nation. That is the way to cherish our freedom. Unfortunately, today, this unity is lacking. There is too much struggle for the loaves and fishes of office. How can the nation progress in this situation? The parties that have mushroomed in the country are tearing the nation to pieces.

This is utterly wrong. You must all live in unity. All are children of Bharat. All are equally entitled to a share in the patrimony. You have to earn your right to this patrimony by your love for the country. Without earning the right, people are fighting over the spoils. They are not entitled to this right.

Pray for the Welfare of the Nation and the World
Dear students and devotees! 

Cultivate love and cherish divine feelings and pray for the welfare of the nation and the world. Bharat has always upheld the concept of universal well-being. All the 500 odd crores of human beings in the world are the children of one God. Don't foster narrow regional loyalties. The world is one vast mansion. Countries like America, Russia, India are rooms in that mansion. The national barriers are like walls. Once the barriers are removed, humanity will be one family. National attachments should be got rid of. Differences of race and religion should go. Then alone will peace reign on earth. Therefore, develop love. 


Source: Sri Sathya Sai Digvijayam (1986 – 2005) and Sathya Sai Speaks Volume 28

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