Revere the Physical Parents and the Permanent Parents

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks
All beings in creation, except man, live according to the laws of nature and carry out their functions. Without any concern for the morrow, they lead their lives, content with whatever they can enjoy. Nature sees to it that they do not lack anything needed for their existence. Man, on the contrary, is never contented, however much he may acquire and whatever comforts he may enjoy. He yearns for various things and looks upon the desire for these objects as love. But if such attachment to objects is fostered, there is no end to the process. He does not realise that such love is based upon self-interest and self-centredness. It should be clear that what passes for love today in the world is really selfishness and self-interest. In every thought, every word, every action of his, the demon of self-interest is present. Man has become a plaything of selfish impulses.

Caught up in the coils of selfishness, his entire life becomes a delusion and a snare. He is prisoner of his selfishness. Such a person can never experience what is real freedom.

True love will remain unaffected

What, then, is true Prema (love)? Pure, unselfish love towards all living beings, considered as embodiments of the Divine, with no expectation of reward, is true Love. "Adweshtaa sarvabhootha-naam. Maitrah, Karuna evacha" ("Free from dislike, friendly and compassionate towards all beings"). With this attitude, when one regards divinity as present in all beings, only then he can have true love. Whatever be the vicissitudes one may face, whatever be the personal sorrows and privations one may undergo, true love will remain unaffected. Today, when any difficulty arises or when some trouble crops up, love turns into hatred. True love is the sweet fruit that grows out of the fragrant flower of good deeds. Love rules without recourse to the sword. It binds without laws.

Only one who has such true love can be described as human. The man without such love is only human in form. Like the lotus which blooms when the sun rises, the heart of man blossoms when love enters it. Like the glow of the flame in a fire, like the rays of the sun, like waves in the ocean, divine love is the basic quality of a true human being. It is only when one is filled with pure, unselfish love that he can be called a human being.

Understand the nature of Divine Love

It is the association of such pure, divine love with the desires and concerns of the body that affects its purity. Who are one's parents? Who are one's children, relations or friends? Who are we? What were we in our previous lives? What will be our future? Immersed in thoughts of these impermanent relationships, we are losing sight of the Divine Love that is everlasting and unchanging. Even in experiencing temporary relationships, the nature of Diane Love should be understood. Human birth implies the existence of parents. But the relationship between a son and his parents is corporeal. The parents are instrumental for the birth but they are not the cause. However, even as instruments, elements of the Divine are present in them.

It should be understood that human birth is the progeny of Truth as father and Love as the mother. Even if one's natural parents are absent, one should nor forget the real parents - Truth and Love. When Truth and Love beget Jnana (Wisdom) as son, the true lineage of man is established.

Truth is sacred. It is valid for all time; past, present and future. It is unchanging. Love is eternal. It is indescribably sweet like nectar. Can such Truth and Love beget an unrighteous and evil-minded son? Only one who is wise and free from illusion and ignorance can be a true human being.

Ignorance is not the inherent characteristic of man. There is no room for aberrations in him. Egoism is out of place. He should revel in the ecstasy of Jnana (the consciousness of the Divine). His true form should be bliss. Discrimination should be natural to him. Today, this true nature of man is being forgotten.

It may be asked whether Truth and Love have begotten only a son (Jnana-wisdom) and not a daughter. There is a daughter, who can be identified as Shanti (peace). Hence, wisdom should be the characteristic quality of men and peace and serenity should be the distinguishing quality of women.

Students' Duty to their Parents

Who are to be regarded as friends and relatives? The Yogis should be looked upon as friends and good qualities should be considered as true kinsmen. Yoga does not consist of meditation and austerities or various forms of breath-control. True Yoga is the mergence of the individual soul in the Omni-Self It is the withdrawal of the senses from external objects and turning them inwards. To allow the senses a free rein is not Yoga but Bhoga (sensual enjoyment). Such indulgence will lead to Roga (disease). Yoga implies self-control and renunciation, leading to the experiencing of Ananda (bliss).
You owe a supreme duty towards your parents who are responsible for all that you are. You will be less than human if you do not show your gratitude to them for all that they have done to you. Parental love means for the children what the sun's rays mean for the blossoming of a flower. Wherever you may go, whatever you may achieve, whatever position you may occupy, you must always remember your mother with love and reverence. The man who fails to remember the mother and the motherland with affection is a veritable demon. There is nothing human in such persons. One should cherish one's mother and the land of his birth with the deepest regard. There is no birth without a mother. Because the mother is responsible for one's existence, devotion and love for the mother are the marks of a true human being.

Develop unselfish, unbounded love

To have the qualities and lead the life of a human being worth the name, one must develop pure, unselfish, unbounded love. Man delves many kinds of benefits from animals, birds, plants and trees. They do not confer these benefits out of any self-interest or the desire for reward. Man enjoys these benefits without displaying any sense of gratitude. Today man not only does not help others but even harms himself by his actions. He is thereby de-humanising himself. There is, therefore, a compelling need for youth to develop the. true spirit of love through the Sadhana of Seva (service) and sublimate their life. They should not fritter away their life-span in the pursuit of ephemeral pleasures and comforts. They make no effort to understand the basic purpose of human life, what is permanent and enduring. They are promoting dissensions and differences instead of cultivating unity and harmony. Selfishness is the root cause of these undesirable tendencies. Without abjuring selfishness there can be no true Ahamkaram (egoistic conceit). Adambaram (ostentation) is the son. Those who are filled with envy and ostentatiousness are really the children of conceit. The first requisite is to get rid of Ahamkara. All evil traits arise from this Ahamkara. 

Royal road to secure God's grace

What is the basis for this conceit? If one is conceited, there must be something which justifies the feeling. If there is nothing in one which warrants his conceit, what is there to gloat over? You may be a scholar or a wealthy person, or very clever and intelligent. But all these do not help you to secure God's grace. Saint Tukaram sang: "Oh Swami! I am not endowed with knowledge. I am incapable of performing Yajnas and Yagas or doing severe penance. Here is one easy path that I know to win your grace. That is the path of Divine Love. It is the royal road that will lead me to the Presence of Rama." Tukaram declared emphatically that Rama cannot be realised by any other path except the path of love. This is the inner meaning of the statement: Love is God and God is Love.

Hence, in this precious period of your youth, in this sacred golden time, you must cultivate sacred thoughts and holy attitudes. You must be filled with a sense of selfless dedication. This can come only through Seva in which there is no egoistic pride. You must revel in giving rather than receiving. When the Divine is there to give all that you need, why seek or receive anything from others?

All your actions must be aimed at purifying your minds and hearts to experience the Divine. When the heart is pure, the light of wisdom shines. The illumined heart becomes the receptacle of pure love. Love is everything. A person without love is a living corpse. Love is not the relationship between man and man, or between man and other objects. It is inherent in every being. "Mamatma Sarvabhootaatma" ("I am the Spirit immanent in all beings"). The Divine Atma is present in all beings. The Atma has no form. It is experienced as Love. If there is no Love, there is no Area. hence, love is our life-breath. Love is our soul. Love is our everything. It should be unchanging. Young people should cultivate unwavering love and a steady vision.

Bhrama and Brahma

The basic things we should know are: Karma is the root cause of our birth. The root cause of Karma is sorrow. Ignorance is the cause of sorrow. Ignorance itself is the result of Bhrama (the delusion which makes one regard the real as unreal and the unreal as real). And as long as Bhrama persists, the Brahman cannot be recognised. When we are rid of this delusion, then sorrow will cease. When sorrow goes, ignorance disappears. 
Daiva Preeti (Love of God) and Papa Bheeti (fear of sin) are the two requisites for sanctifying our life. You have to strive constantly to please your parents. If you do not show your gratitude to the parents who have brought you up with so much love and labour, to whom else are you going to be grateful? You must cultivate a broad heart and develop love towards all beings as emblems of the Diane. You have to live up to the Upanishadic injunctions to regard your father, mother, guru and guest as God.

Your love should not be based only on the physical forms. Bodies are perishable and impermanent. Beyond the biological parents, there are permanent parents whom you should revere. They are Truth and Love. Though the body may go, Truth remains as the permanent father. Likewise Love is the eternal mother. It grows with the passage of time and never diminishes. By regarding Truth and Love as your parents, as essential for your existence as your eyes or as the two wings for a bird or the two wheels for a cart, lead worthy lives. On this sacred day of remembrance, firmly enshrine in your hearts reverence for Truth and Love, and make your lives sublime by rendering dedicated service to your fellowmen and women.


Source: Divine Discourse on May 6, 1985 (Easwaramma Day) at Prasanthi Nilayam

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