Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  God is Love, Live in Love

In one of the His Divine discourses, Bhagavan declared that He is the richest person in the world, nay, in the universe itself, richer than Kubera, the Lord of wealth. Swami further clarified that His richness does not consist of money or materials; the most valuable asset of Baba is Love. He is the embodiment of Love itself.

The whole world is an expanse of love enveloping all the living beings, one-way or the other. Even the most dry hearted human being or for that sake even any wild animal exhibit sparks of love in their own way. Such love may be of selfish nature with attachment or bondage to their kith and kin or to outside people who are admired or revered. It is only the consistent spiritual sadhana which slowly and steadily leads us up to a level in which we are able to transcend the narrow frontiers of selfish love into the vast expanse of divine love enveloping the whole of humanity. 'Premaswarupullara' addresses Swami very often, while delivering Divine discourses to the gathering. Because, this is the real nature of mankind.

Swarm's advent of this present Avatar hood is to regenerate the mankind, with the human values informing both our view and way of life. As all of us know, what these values are viz.,, Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa. If only the prime value of universal Prema is fostered and developed in our life, it will be very easy and almost automatic to develop the other values. How do we go about it ? According to Bhagavan it is very simple; it only requires a degree of earnestness in our efforts. Man is by very nature love personified. But the self and the desires of the self have come to grip our thoughts and actions in our lives, past and present. Our efforts, therefore, should be, to purify our chitha by removing the accumulated dirt slowly so that the ever present quality of love surfac es in all our thoughts and deeds. Swami is, in fact, making us aware of the inherent LOVE in us by subtle methods of spiritual sadhanas inculcating in us.

To develop universal love, we have to first realize that the universe is only a manifestation of Divinity, and that Divinity is inherent in all living beings, what Swami call as Resident Divinity We should extend our love to every living beings as a manifestation of the same divinity, and in the same way, as we love God Swami also invariably emphasizes the need to have expansion of love and not contraction of love which means that love should be selfless and with not selfish motive.

We love our family members, because they happen to be our wife/husband, son, daughter, father or mother. The love extended to all these relatives is only selfish in nature. Our love is conditional based on our relationships. We even find variations in the intensity of love towards different relatives, depending upon the degree of attachment with each one of them. But the divine love is not conditional It is selfless.

Our love to God should also be selfless. "Love is selflessness and self is lovelessness. Love is a mutual feeling. Love generates Love. When you love somebody it is always reciprocated. Even a person of very hard nature responds to love. I remember a story narrated by a senior devotee in Madras, during one of his discourses,. in a study circle meeting.

It was said that during period of His boyhood, Sri Krishna was undergoing Gurukula Vaasam (living in the hermitage of the Guru) with Guru Sandeepini Maharshi along with Balarama and Sudhama. In the performance of the chores all the three used to go to the forest to fetch firewood for the Ashram. One day it was too late in the night, they were still in the forest and they had to camp there. They decided to take turns so that one could be awake, while the other two could sleep under the tree. First it was the turn of Sudhama to keep vigil. While doing so, he noticed that a gang of tribal men were passing by, closely where they were resting. Sudhama thought that they might cause harm to them and tried to scare them away, by angry gestures. The tribal folk did not mean any harm to Krishna and company. And yet when Sudhama tried to threaten them by gestures, they also reacted likewise. Luckily, without much ado they moved away.

Next, it was the turn of Balarama, to take over from Sudhama. He also noticed the tribal folks moving about in the area. Balarama too tired to scare them away by angry gestures to which they responded angrily. Balarama did not leave them at that. He gestured that he would attack them if they did not move away from that place. The tribal folk responded in the same manner and measure. They got nearer to Balarama and beat him brutally and then moved away. Balarama took it quietly and retired for the night after his time was over.

Last it was for Sri Krishna to take over. The other two could not forget their respective encounters and were not able to sleep. To their horror, they found that the tribal people were once again passing through the place. They were very eager to watch how Krishna was going to tackle them. On seeing the tribal folk, Krishna waved His hands towards them smilingly conveying His good wishes. They also responded smilingly. Krishna then, by His gestures, invited them to come nearer. They came nearer and were all in smiles. They hugged each other reflecting warmth and friendship. After a while, they went their way.

The devotee, in his talk, was further trying to explain to us, how our own feelings get reflected in others. When you show hatred to any one, the other party also responds with hatred. When you show love, they also extend their love to you. Love is reciprocated by love Swami often points out the simple analogy of a person looking at the mirror. If the person puts on an angry face, the reflection is also the same. If, one smiles, the reflection also smiles !

Thirty thousand feet above the earth, when an aircraft was being high jacked, the devotee heard the command of Swami, to "love the highjacker". How could you love a 'high jacker', when he was threatening to blow up the plane killing every body on board. And yet this was the command. The lady devotee, on hearing the message, mentally extended her love towards them. It was reported that they, the 'highjackers' subsequently, lost their nerves to live through the tension drama and ultimately surrendered to the authorities.

It is not enough if you say that you love somebody. In case of pure love, we follow it up with positive action. When we love our child, we try to express our love by purchasing and presenting something for the child to bring joy. Any sincere feeling of love manifests itself into an action.

When we love God, God's love also manifests. In fact, God is ever loving and at times we are not able to feel and enjoy that divine love because of certain inherent blocks in our feelings of love. The magnetic power in iron automatically attracts the ordinary iron. But in case the ordinary iron is densely covered by rust and other impurities, the magnet can not attract it. The rust in our feelings has to be removed and our chitha purified to be able to absorb the abundant love from God. And we too should love God unconditionally.

When once we develop love towards someone, we start listening to him or her with interest and act in the best way possible to please the party, whom we love. When we say we love God, it implies and involves total commitment to the Divine Commands and direction. We can then claim that we love God, unconditionally.

What Is it that Swami is instructing us? "Start the day with Love spend the day with Love and End the day, with Love." We hear the sayings of Swami several times, but we fail to put it in practice in our daily life ?Start the day with love.... But what do we do? A slight delay in getting our morning coffee, or in sighting the newspaper boy, makes us agitated. We have sharp remarks in reserve, for the maidservant if she comes late or slips up, in work. In our conversations we exhibit irritation, because it has been our way of life all along. We seem to have lost the faculty of tolerance and softness in speech. Only when we are free of mental agitation, we can speak softly and sweetly.

Swami has been teaching to mend our habits and has shown us the ways too. Early morning, if we sit for meditation followed by Japa and pooja, our mind becomes calm and gets itself conditioned to accept the events as they come and to develop tolerance, which in turns removes anger and hatred. Love resumes its place in our mind. This is what Swami wants from us, under item No I of 9 point Code of Conduct which has been prescribed for all the devotees.

As we go out into the world during the day we come into contact with various personalities. Some of them, you may like and many others you may not like. We react differently to different people. You feel happy to see and talk to the one whom you like. You breed a sense of aversion to those whom you do not like. It is very difficult to condition the mind. Yet, we have to try and attempt to foster and develop a proper balanced attitude and behavior towards every one. Constant remembrance of Swami, in such situation, to some extent direct us to stick to proper behavior. Swami teaches us to extend mentally our love towards such persons. Our smiling face would elicit the same smile from the other party too.

However at times, when we are engaged in conversation with someone, the subject matter quite often turns to those on whom we may have reservations. We pass comments and criticize them. Swami warns us to be cautious and careful about this habit and behavior. Remember Swami's dictum in the 9-Point Code of Conduct, which says "Don't talk ill of others, especially in their absence".

As the day closes in, we prepare ourselves to retire for the day. While doing so, we should spend a while in self-retrospection. What are all the mistakes we have done during the day? Have we strayed away from the path of Love any time during the day? We should contemplate, and try to improve our performance the next day. It should be a continuous process. This is the sadhana of self-discipline.

As long as hatred and anger prevails in our mind, it is very difficult to cultivate love in our hearts.
Anger and hatred have to be eliminated gradually by constant practice and tolerance and love assumes its place automatically.

The most tolerant person may encounter a very difficult man who may even inflict mental or physical pain on us. Then what are we to do? Here too, Swami says that we should not act in the manner of 'tit for tat'. For all the pain inflicted, it is our duty to pray for forgiveness and for his welfare in spite of all that he has done to you. This pleases Swami very much.

Swami wants us to live happily for ever, with overwhelming love in our heart, for God is Love !

(From the book "Hrudaya Nivasi". To read the other chapters in this book, click on http://www.bombaysrinivasan.com/hrudayanivasi.htm)

- Bombay Srinivasan

Source: http://www.geocities.com/saicenter_us/snl/snl_080802.htm

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