Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourses


Foundation for Vidhya

Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Puttaparthi, 23 November 1960
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust

Into this tiny hamlet ringed round by 'pigmy hillocks,' there has come from the far-off Himaalayan region, the governor of Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Burgula Raamakrishna Rao, to lay the foundation-stone of your school building! Really, this should make at least one thing clear to you that if sincere Saadhana is done, even the most difficult thing can be accomplished. I find the whole village of Puttaparthi and even the surrounding villages are immersed in joy today. I too am very happy, for it is not simply a building which will rise up on this spot. It is a new era of prosperity and of progress. He lays the foundation not merely for a Vidhyaalaya (educational institution) but for Vidhya (education) as well. He has not only sacrificed much for the freedom of his country and earned the respect and affection of the leaders of the land, but he is also a great scholar in many languages and he is an ardent believer in Sanaathana Dharma (eternal religion). To have the village school begun by him is indeed a very auspicious event.

You can be proud that Puttaparthi is a village that has become famous from the Himaalayas to Kanyaakumari, as the governor said now; but as he himself added, it is a great responsibility as well. This function is, I consider, the crown and glory of this years' birthday festival, for I see the faces of the ryots before Me beaming with a new hope and a new joy. The elders of his village have at last realised what they have missed all these years due to their own defects.

Puttaparthi is revered with Gratitude by millions

To secure pearls, one has to go far out into the sea and dive deep; simply wading in the shallows and declaring that the pearl-story is a myth is a sign of foolishness. So too, the elders here wondered so long at all stories of My Mahimaas (miracle powers) and cold not make use of the splendid chances that lay at their very doors. They saw only the light, but did not feel the warmth. That itself proves that though they were physically so near, they were very distant for all practical purposes. They could see the splendour, the glory, the effulgence but they did not come near and share the warmth of My heart.

Entangled in the false and the fleeting, men lose the golden chance of grasping the true and the lasting. They refuse to recognise the fruits that grow on the branches of the tree in their own garden; they pluck it before it becomes ripe and they go about decrying it as sour. Such is the fate of man; he has always ignored God and pursued the paltry joys of pride and greed.

As a matter of fact, Puttaparthi is a name revered and remembered with gratitude by millions today and it will be treasured in history as an immortal name. No other village has such fortune, but you have been slow to recognise this. For twenty years now, efforts have been made to calm the waves of faction in this village, years during which many other villages sought and won My grace and blessings. There have been many occasions on which Bhakthas (devotees) have pleaded with Me to move out of this miasma and settle down in Bangalore or Madras or some such town, or if I preferred, some other quiet rural spot. But let Me tell you here and now; this tree has to grow at the very spot where it sprouted; it will not be transplanted; I shall not give up this place, no, not I. This place will be transformed into Thirupathi and those who are little boys and girls today will surely see it in all its magnificence.

Three Requisites essential for all Advancement

It is not only this village but every village is sick with animosities and petty quarrels and vendettas. As the governor said, many attempts have been made during the last fifteen years to better the lot of the ryot but the result has been far below expectations and expense. For there is an absence of three requisites essential for all advancement: Dhairyam, Uthsaaham and Aanandham (courage, enthusiasm and joy). The very nature around is enough to instil awe and wonder, to impart courage, to inspire enthusiasm and to fill you with joy! It is a type of false Vairaagyam (non-attachment) to close the eye to all the beauty, all the plenty, all the mercy that you receive from mother nature, and to mope in sorrow, bewailing your lot.

You should be thankful to the Lord for the chance given to you to serve others and yourselves, to observe His glory and His grace and you should look upon all as brothers and sisters. If instead, you poison your hearts with hate and revel in quarrels; well, what is the great profit you have earned thereby? Have you at least derived peace and content, following that course? You have reaped only further hate and further waste.

The villages surrounding this place have gainfully made use of the help given by government and advanced in some ways; but here, you need not stretch your hands before government; you have a Kalpavriksha (wish-fulfilling tree) ready to give you all that you want! You have the Lord, who protects and promotes all. The virtues of the people are the treasures of the state; the Smarana (remembering) of the name of the Lord is the root of all virtues.

The royal Road to ensure Joy and Peace

Naaradha, who was afflicted with conceit that there was no other who had dedicated his very breath to the recital of the name, was once humiliated to find that a ryot, who managed to repeat the name three times (!) in the course of his overwhelming multitude of distressing preoccupations from cockcrow to dusk, was judged a greater devotee! Joy is your birthright; peace is your inmost nature. The Lord is your staff and support. Do not discard it; do not be led away from the path of faith by stories invented by malice and circulated by spite.

Take up the name of God, any of his innumerable ones, any that appeals to you most and the form appropriate to that name and start repeating it from now on; that is the royal road to ensure joy and peace. That will train you in the feeling of brotherhood and remove enmity towards fellowmen.

Many seeds are sown in the field by you; some are eaten away by ants; some are washed off by rains; some are picked by the birds; some are destroyed by pests; but some sprout strong and sturdy. This little school will grow into a study high school, believe Me. You, on your part, must do everything to uphold the honour and reputation of this village.

When I went to Nainital, right in the midst of the Himaalayas, thousands of miles from here, they welcomed Me with an address written and printed in Hindi and therein they mentioned this village of Puttaparthi which they called a Punyakshethra (sacred place)! Well, when people actually come here from the various quarters of the world, let them see a virtuous community of God-fearing men and women, living in peace and content.

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