Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles


Sai Baba. The life breath of every soul



  What is Karma? Karma is an activity which all the human beings have to perform, until death  releases them from  this body prison. Man cannot live for a moment without doing Karma. Even while he is sleeping, the breathing process becomes his Karma. Karma is the cause of man's bondage to the cycle of birth and death. The life has been given to man to sort out the consequences of the previous Karma deliberately done, in many past lives, as well as in present life. Man cannot be liberated, until and unless he has sorted out and neutralised all effects of past and present Karma, and bringing the Karmic balance to nil.

 Many times Kriya (natural activity), is being considered as Karma. Kriya is a natural activity, which we perform in our day-to-day life, without thinking, questioning or seeking anybody's advice. If you get a nature's call, you would immediately run to the toilet, without thinking or consulting anybody. Every morning we get up, brush our teeth, take bath, wear clothes and go to work, or go to the garden, take some exercises, and do many more such acts. Such acts are known as Kriya. They do not bind us to the 'Law of  Karma'. Karma is the action or activity, deliberately done, with full knowledge and intention of the doer, and also in expectation of certain results in consequences thereof. This kind of Karma binds man to the causes and effects of the 'Law of Karma' .

 There are three types of Karmas. Instant Karma, which brings instant result. (Such as when you slap someone in the face and he slaps you back, or you offer a glass of water to someone and somebody else offers you a glass of water. They are action and reaction are instantly neutralized leaving no balance behind).

 The Mass Karma (Natural calamities like a plane crash, train accidents, earthquake, floods or cyclone, etc.) and the Delayed Karma which baffles the human beings most because its consequence is not instant and immediate, but takes a much longer time to appear. The seed needing to be planted, the soil to get fertilized, and the tree to grow before its fruit can ripen. By the time this whole process gets over, the past actions are totally erased from the memory, and the person is confused when he gets the fruit of his past actions. But be very sure that whatever you shall sow,  so you shall reap. The same theory applies to the 'Law of Karma'.

 When you sow a seed of Karma and whenever it yields the result and become the fruit, whether it is sweet or bitter, rest assured that you and you alone will have to eat it, whether you like it or not, and no one else will be able to eat it on your behalf, even if somebody volunteers to do so. Most of the people are under the mistaken impression that after doing one bad Karma and at the same time by doing another good Karma, they can mitigate the result of the bad Karma. If one does something bad to someone, he is sure to get it back, in the same manner, today or tomorrow, from that very person himself or by any other  person. By the same token, if one does good to somebody, he is also going to benefit in a similar manner. Karma is not a bank account. You deposit Rs.5000/- today, withdraw Rs.3000/- and the balance is Rs.2000/-, so when you again deposit Rs.1000/-, it becomes Rs.3000/-. Karma theory is not adding and subtracting like a bank account. It is 'tit for tat, blow for blow, help for help'. It is same like Newton's 3rd law, 'Action and reaction are always equal and opposite'.

 In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna has clearly declared about the Karma theory. He cautious, "Do the action but do not keep the desire of any fruit". He further asserts "Dedicate all the actions to Me". Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba also preaches the same, but with a little difference. He says, "By doing any action, you may have a desire, but that desire should be to find God and to realise and know that you are God". He further guides us by telling us that whatever work we are doing and in whatever capacity we are doing it, we should keep in mind, that it is an act of God, done for the sake of God, and dedicated to God, and whatever the results, are gladly acceptable to us. By feeling thus, we will not be bound by the cause and effect of the Karmic Law. Baba will take everything on Himself and set us free and help us to progress towards liberation.

 Baba has given us two paths by which we can cleanse our mind and make it subtle and pure, so that we are able to understand, the simple way to liberation. Baba tells us to do Nama Smaran every day (singing the glory of the Lord) with pure and dedicated mind and to do Seva (service) to the poor and the needy, to the disabled and the crippled, to the sick and suffering, to the healthy and humble and to the good and the Godly people. This will illumine our mind, and we will be able to understand ourselves more clearly.

 Baba says that man has unlimited potentialities to realise and know himself. In one of the recent discourses on Ugadi day, He said, "Embodiment of love: You can not find in the entire Cosmos any place or object in which God is not present. The divine is present on the mountains. The divine dwells in villages and cities. The Divine is Omnipresent.

 Only those who recognise this truth can redeem their lives; they alone can achieve the goal of human existence. The powers of the Divine are limitless. Every living being in the world is governed by some limitations. Birds, beasts and insects are all taken care of by the Divine in respect of their essential needs like food and drink. Among all living beings, however, the life of human being is supreme as it is governed by morality and the good conduct. The Divine has placed some limitations on the physical powers of man but has set no limits to the mental powers. Man can achieve whatever he resolves to achieve. He can even realise God. This Divine power is only given to human beings.

 Ignorant of his limitless divine potentialities, man suffers from various disabilities by considering himself as human being.

 Man today is soaring in the sky as a bird and moving in the ocean like a fish. He has been able to land on the moon. But unfortunately he is not able to live like a true human being on earth. This is indeed a matter of shame.

 Man can accomplish anything if he surrenders to God. When he submits himself to the Will of the Divine, there is no task he cannot accomplish.

 Not realising the true nature of the Divine principle, man wastes his time on rituals and religious practices of various kinds. God cannot be realised through such practices. It is only by loving God and getting close to Him that one can realise one's aspiration. Swami does not disapprove of Sadhana practices. They are good activities for using time sacredly. But without service to Godly persons, they are of no use for realising freedom from the cycle of mundane existence.

 People aspire for liberation (Mukti). They have no idea what constitutes liberation. Man seeks liberation from the ills of the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the Anthakarana (internal motivator). All these are no doubt necessary. But liberation in the ultimate sense consists in liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This means that one should redeem one's present life so that one is free from rebirth.

 Men should pray to God for freedom from rebirth so that they will not have bodies which are bound to be afflicted with diseases. People have no clear idea of what Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (the four goals) mean. They think that Moksha (liberation) is something which you attain after death. But, in fact, liberation can be attained here and now. Moksha means "Moha-Kshayam" the elimination of "Moha" (or attachment). People are not ready to give up attachment to wife, children, property etc., you have a duty to protect your family. But you must not be immersed in concerns about them. Realise that love is the most important quality in human life. It is not love for kith and kin that is precious. It is love for God that is more valuable". 

(Extracts taken from Sanathana Sarathi, April, 1998).


 There are three types of Karma : Past, Present and Future. Present Karma must continue. It is like the carriage behind which is a trail of dust. If the carriage stops, the dust will settle on it. A doubt might be that the carriage cannot forever continue so as to be ahead of its dust. But the carriage need not always travel on a dusty road. It can get on the surface highway where there is no dust. The highway is equivalent to the Grace of God. There is a difference between the benefit of Grace and the benefit of the Bhakthi, or devotion. A patient with  pain is given a sedative which dulls the pain. But Grace is an operation that does entirely away with pain. Make no mistake; Grace does entirely away with Karma. It is like a medicine which is labelled, 'good until 1968'. If used in 1973, the medicine is entirely ineffective. The body is the bottle, the karma in the body is the medicine, God puts a date on the 'medicine'; so it is not effective.


(Taken form  Sanathana Sarathi, April, 1998)

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