Uphold the Dignity and Honour
of Bharat Matha (Mother India)
Bhagavan Sri Stahya Sai Baba at
Prashanti Nilayam, 23rd October 2004
Text of the Divine Discourse
delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 23rd October 2004
(Vijaya Dasami, Dasara) at Prashanti Nilayam, Sai Kulwanth Hall
The Lord of Kailasa has
manifested His Divine form in front of your eyes with the
crescent moon adorning His head, the cool water of the Ganga
flowing between the matted locks, with His radiant eye in the
middle of the forehead and the purple neck gleaming like the
sheen of a blackberry. He wears serpent bracelets and a snake
belt, His entire body is smeared with Vibhuti, His forehead is
adorned with a Kumkum dot, his ruddy lips glow with the juice of
the betel, diamond-studded gold earrings dangle from His ears
and His whole swarthy body glows with divine effulgence.
Embodiments of Love!
Everyday you have been listening to various speakers dwelling on
the principle of Easwara (Divinity). Many people imagine that
Easwara has a form with matted locks of hair and snakes adorning
Him as ornaments. But, this is not the true form of Easwara.
Though He is all-pervasive, devotees, out of their imagination,
attribute a form to Him with various types of ornaments.
There is a temperamental weakness among Bharatiyas to bring down
the various forms of God they adore and the idols they worship
to the level of beggars. Truly speaking, there are no beggars
and there cannot be a beggar in this sacred land of Bharat. To
consider somebody inferior to you and imagine that they expect
money from you is a sign of weakness. It is because of such
narrow-minded feeling that people from other countries consider
India to be a poor country and that it is full of beggars. This
is totally a misconception. Bharat has never been a poor
country. Just because people are economically backward, they
cannot be considered beggars. There are no beggars in this
world. If someone seeks financial help or asks for food, they
are treated as beggars. In fact, we are responsible for making
somebody a beggar. We consider them to be inferior to us and
ill-treat them. Bharat is a land of plenty and prosperity. You
must realise that there are no beggars in this country and must
conduct yourself accordingly. Some people bring down even God to
the level of a beggar. When their desires are fulfilled they
eulogise God. They pray, "Oh God, I will offer You cash or in
kind if You fulfil my desires."
God is not poor and hence, people created by Him cannot also be
poor. It is man who makes beggars out of his fellowmen and
ill-treats them. Such low and mean practices should be given up.
Some people think that Lord Venkateswara is in need of money.
They think He would do their work and fulfil their desires for
the sake of money. In this manner, they bring Him down to the
level of a beggar. It is a grave mistake. God is not a beggar.
You should consider Him as your father and mother. Cultivate
love for God and your fellowmen. Never consider someone a beggar
and ill-treat him. Extend help to those who are in distress.
Develop love for God and fear of sin. Just because someone
approaches you for help, do not consider him to be weak and
inferior. Do not humiliate him. Your innate divinity will
manifest before you when you develop love and respect towards
all. Treat everybody as your brothers and sisters. Never
consider anybody a beggar. It is a great mistake to think that
you are the giver and someone else is the beneficiary.
There are some businessmen who try to get their work done by
offering bribe to those in power. Offering or accepting bribe is
also a great sin. Asking for bribe is the same as begging for
alms. We should not give room to such mean practices. Since
ancient times, Bharat has upheld moral and ethical values and
has set an ideal to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, such
values are forgotten today. Feed the hungry with love but do not
look down upon them as beggars. Begging should not be
entertained or encouraged in this country. People may come to
you and ask for food. It does not mean that they are beggars.
You do not become superior to them just because you serve them
food. Speak to them lovingly and satiate their hunger. But,
never insult them. Bharatiyas are putting their own country to
disrepute by making their fellowmen beggars. Bharat is not a
poor country. Otherwise, how do we explain the invasion of so
many foreign rulers in the past? Many foreign kings invaded this
land and plundered the wealth of our country. The question of
being rich or poor arises because one compares himself with
another. If someone comes to your doorstep saying, Bhavati
Bhiksham Dehi (mother, give alms), do not treat him like a
beggar. Treat him like another human being and empathise with
him. His coming to you and asking for food does not make him
inferior to you. Just because he has no money to feed himself,
he does not become a pauper and you a millionaire. If you want
to uphold the reputation of the country, respect your fellowmen.
First and foremost, develop love for your motherland. Feel proud
that you are a Bharatiya. Realise that you are born in a sacred
land which is the birthplace of many noble souls. Yesterday you
heard the ladies extolling Bharat as the land of the Vedas, the
Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. You should always keep in mind
the glory and grandeur of Bharat and conduct yourself
accordingly. Only then are you eligible to be called a
Bharatiya. Your actions should match your words. Merely
extolling the glory of Bharat and conducting yourself in a mean
manner is futile.
Forbearance is the real quality in this sacred land of
Bharat. The nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling
towards one's mother.
Consider Bharat as your own mother. Develop love and
reverence towards her and uphold her dignity and honour. If
you think your mother is poor, how can you consider yourself to
be rich? Since ancient times, Bharat has conferred the wealth of
knowledge to all through the sacred scriptures and epics. How
can such a country be considered poor? Your physical mother may
be poor but not your motherland. This sacred land has attained
the reputation of being the greatest among all nations. You
should not show disrespect to such a great country by
considering it poor and weak. The morality and integrity that we
find in Bharat cannot be found in any other country. Bharat
is like a treasure chest of gold. Having been born in such a
land, where is the need to go in search of gold and silver? But,
unfortunately, people show disrespect and disregard to such a
land of gold. The educated should take a vow to revive the
ancient glory of Bharat. But, sadly, even the educated are not
able to realise the greatness of Bharat.
Today if we find beggars in the streets, it is because we have
encouraged them by giving money. You should never give money to
beggars. If they are in need of food or clothes, you can
certainly give them. But do not encourage the practice of
Bharat has earned great name and fame among all nations. But
people in position and power are bringing disrepute to the
country by their corrupt practices. Nobody should indulge in the
bad practice of giving or receiving bribe. Even the Government
should be cautioned in this regard. They should find ways and
means to stop this practice of bribing and begging. Beggars
should not be given money. They should be provided with
opportunities to become self- reliant. Extend all your help and
cooperation to the less fortunate ones and help them to come up
in life. It is not possible for all to be equal in this world.
There is bound to be inequality.
Today, people out of their selfishness and self-interest have
brought down even God to the level of a beggar. When you to go
to a temple, the priest brings a plate before you expecting a
few coins as Dakshina. People keep Dakshina (offering) in
the plate and receive Prasadam from the priest. This
practice of asking for Dakshina also amounts to asking for alms.
Let us not resort to such begging. Let us become rich in our
thought, word and deed. You may die for want of money, but
never beg for money. The educated should teach a lesson to those
who spend their time begging in the streets. When you come
across a beggar, you should tell him, "My dear, you are the son
of Bharat Matha. Your mother is not poor, she is rich in
all respects. Since ancient times, she has been taking care of
all nations. Being her son, it is not proper on your part to
resort to begging."
Do not keep coins in your pocket for giving to beggars. You may
derive some satisfaction by doling out a few coins to beggars,
but, in the process you are also bringing disrepute to your
motherland. You should uphold the prestige and honour of your
motherland. You should become an ideal and worthy son of Bharat.
Be convinced that you are born to uphold the honour of your
motherland. Otherwise, what is the use of your birth as her son?
You must have heard our students sing Ramakatha in which
there is an incident wherein Lava and Kusha find their mother
Sita in a sorrowful mood and then trying to console her. They
ask her, "Mother, please let us know the cause of your sorrow.
Of what use is our life if we are unable to wipe your tears? Do
not underestimate us just because we are children. In fact, we
are more powerful than Lord Rama. Hence, Oh mother! Do not shed
tears. If you shed tears, the whole country will be ruined.
Being your worthy sons, is it not our duty to remove your
suffering and sorrow? We are ready to meet your interests and
give you happiness even at the cost of our lives."
Unfortunately, today we do not find such ideal sons as Lava and
Kusha. Today, people have become weak-minded. They lack the
spirit of sacrifice. Even the so-called great and rich people
have not given up mean-mindedness. I feel it is they who are
making beggars of their fellow human beings. One should never
say ?no' when it comes to helping others.
Once, a rich person went to a Guru and requested him to grant
him wisdom. His pockets were stuffed with bundles of currency
notes. As he was seated there, the Guru sent one of his
disciples to a businessman's shop to get a five rupee note.
After some time, the disciple returned saying that the shop was
closed. The Guru sent him to another shop and again the disciple
returned empty-handed. This went on for some time. But, the rich
man who was a witness to these happenings did not offer a five
rupee note from his pocket. Then, the Guru chided him, saying
"Your pockets are full of currency notes, yet you did not have
the heart to part with a five rupee note when I needed it most.
How do you expect to attain wisdom without cultivating the
spirit of sacrifice?" Immediately the businessman took out a
five rupee note and offered it to the Guru. The Guru did not
accept the note, saying one should perform acts of charity out
of love and not out of compulsion.
When someone comes to your doorstep begging for food, you should
invite him wholeheartedly into your verandah, give a sumptuous
meal and satisfy him. Everyone has an equal share in all that is
available in this world. Today, people lack the spirit of
sacrifice. They are experts in giving lectures on sacrifice but
are not prepared to part with even a paisa from their pockets
when it comes to practising what they preach. What is the use of
preaching when you cannot translate it into action?
Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Mahatmanam (Those
whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble
ones). You need not borrow money in order to serve others.
Share with your fellowmen whatever you have. This is how you
should uphold the honour and dignity of Bharatiyas. Today, the
reputation of the country has come down on account of people who
have stooped to the level of beggars. It is because of the
educated people that beggars are on the increase. What is the
purpose of education? Is it to produce beggars? I am not in
favour of such education.
One may acquire a high academic qualification such as M.A.
and B.A. and attain exalted position,
One may amass wealth, perform acts of charity and attain name
One may have physical strength and enjoy a long and healthy
One may be a great scholar studying and preaching the Vedas,
But none can equal a true devotee of the Lord. (Telugu poem)
People lack strength and have become weak-minded because they
lack devotion for God. They do not have love for their
motherland. Consequently, they are bringing bad name to the
country. You will be called a true and worthy son of Bharat
only when you uphold the dignity and honour of Bharat Matha
(Mother India). You may be a great scholar, but your
scholarship is of no value if it is not used for protecting the
honour of your country. If you go through the biographies of
noble men like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda and
Rabindranath Tagore, all of them exhorted people to give up
mean-mindedness. You should proclaim with pride, "I am the
son of Bharat." The boy who spoke earlier made a mention of
this. If you want to be called a true son of Bharat, you should
lead a life of sacrifice. If need arises you should be prepared
even to forego your meal in order to feed the hungry.
The spirit of sacrifice demonstrated by Bharata in the Ramayana
is unparalleled. When Rama went to the forest, Bharata was to be
crowned as king. But he went to the forest to entreat Rama to
come back to Ayodhya and ascend the throne. Lakshmana who was
with Rama in the forest, observed the arrival of Bharata and his
entourage from a distance. He became furious with the
misconceived notion that Bharata was coming to wage a battle
with Rama. In an angry tone, he said, "Mother Kaikeyi has sent
us to the forest. Now, her son does not want us to live in peace
even in the forest. That is why he is coming here with his army.
If You permit me, I will teach him a fitting lesson." Reacting
to Lakshmana's outburst, Rama said, "Lakshmana, I think you have
developed a desire for the throne of Ayodhya. Better, you go to
Ayodhya and rule the kingdom. I will keep Bharata with Me in the
forest. Bharata is one of sacrifice and character. His spirit of
sacrifice is matchless. You have misunderstood his noble
Meanwhile Bharata came there and fell at the feet of Rama. "My
dear, how are the parents?" This was the first question that
Rama asked Bharata. He did not enquire about His own mother
Kausalya, but He asked about the well-being of Kaikeyi. On
hearing the name of Kaikeyi, Bharata became furious. "It is
because of that wicked woman you are forced to live in forest.
The very mention of her name fills me with disgust. Please don't
mention her name." Rama put His hand on his shoulders and
pacified him, saying, "Bharata, Mother Kaikeyi is a noble woman.
It is because of her that My Name is glorified and spread far
and wide. Do not go by the outward behaviour and talk ill of
her. Her heart is filled with noble intentions." After speaking
to Bharata in this manner, Rama went straight to Mother Kaikeyi,
fell at her feet and said, "Mother, by your blessings, I am fine
here. Do not worry about Me. Let Bharata be crowned as the king
of Ayodhya. Teach him the codes of governance. After the
completion of 14 years, I will come back to Ayodhya and see all
of you. It is My duty to uphold the promise made by My father.
It is not enough if one listens to the command of one's parents.
One should strictly adhere to the rules and regulations laid
down by the government and strive for the welfare and happiness
of fellowmen. Only then can one be called an ideal citizen."
As denizens of the land of Rama's reign, we should lead our
lives in accordance with His model. Rama's words made an
indelible impression on the mind of Lakshmana. He fell at the
feet of Rama and repented for his outburst. He said, "Brother,
when I saw Bharata and his army from a distance, I was seething
with anger. Now my mind rests in peace having known the truth
and listening to Your soothing words." Rama advised him not to
be carried away by the outward scenario but to turn inward and
strive for experiencing bliss. When Bharata started pleading
with Rama to return to Ayodhya, Rama affectionately drew him
close and said, "Bharata, no doubt your intentions are noble,
but you should bear in mind the command of our father. You must
follow your mother's advice. That is the only way you can please
Me. Share your love with not only your friends and relatives but
with one and all. Remember that Thyaga (sacrifice) alone
can bestow on you true Bhoga (pleasure)."
Sage Vasishta shed tears of joy listening to the words of Lord
Rama. He said, "Rama, You are forced to live in the forest for
no fault of Yours. But, You have forgotten the injustice done to
You. You are seeing only the good in others. We are really moved
by Your magnanimity. However, we request You to establish
Ramarajya (kingdom of Rama) in Ayodhya and give joy to all."
Rama smilingly replied, "Now it is Bharatarajya, not
Ramarajya. Henceforth, it shall be called Bharatadesa
(the land of Bharata)."
It is because of such noble men of sacrifice that Bharat has
progressed and attained exalted position. No other country can
match Bharat in terms of dignity, honour and reputation. People
of ancient Bharat led a life of sacrifice for the welfare of the
country. There is no greater sacrifice than sacrificing for
one's own nation. Greatness does not lie in performing acts of
charity by spending crores of rupees. Your thoughts, words
and deeds should be suffused with love. You should make
efforts to alleviate the suffering of your fellowmen. Love
all as you love yourself. This is your Dharma. Dharma does
not mean performing acts of charity alone. You should fill your
heart with righteous feelings and give up selfishness and greed.
Always keep the welfare of society in mind. Do not consider your
fellowmen as ?others'. Share your love with all. Live in
amity and develop unity. Only through love can you win the
hearts of others and transform them. Hence, the need of the hour
is to cultivate love and share it with others. Develop love
for God and compassion towards those less fortunate than you.
This is the essence of education. Serve your parents and make
them happy. What is the use of sharing your love with others
when you are not concerned about the suffering of your mother at
home? Your foremost duty is to love your parents and serve them.
Then you can share your love with others. This was the teaching
of Lord Rama to Bharata. He told him, "Bharata, there is no
point in filling the treasury with money. You will earn a good
name and win the heart of your subjects only when you utilise
the money for the welfare of people."
Lakshmana and Satrughna were the sons of mother Sumitra.
Lakshmana followed Rama while Satrughna was always with Bharata.
They served their elder brothers with utmost love and devotion.
During times of difficulties, they stood by their elder
brothers, gave them good counsel and supported them in all
respects. That was the purpose for which they were born to
Sumitra. All this was a part of God's master-plan. Rama exhorted
Bharata to give up hatred towards his mother and love her
wholeheartedly. He told him that it was all destined to happen
and she was not to be blamed. Since Rama did not relent and
after His resolve not to return to Ayodhya, Bharata prayed to
Him to give at least His Padukas (sandals) to be
enthroned as His proxy.
The name of Sumitra does not find a place of prominence that it
deserves in the Ramayana. She was a paragon of virtues and, true
to her name, she was a good friend of all. The sacrifice made by
Sumitra was greater compared to the sacrifice made by Kausalya.
Some of the virtues of Sumitra were not to be found even in
Kausalya and Kaikeyi. Before leaving for the forest, Rama sought
the blessings of Kausalya. Then He went to the residence of
Sumitra. Rama prostrated before her and said, "Mother, I am very
happy to obey father's command and go to the forest, but I feel
sad to leave you and go. I pray to you to shower your love and
blessings on Me. I do not require anything else." So saying, He
offered His salutations to her again and again, took leave of
her and left for the forest. Among the three queens, Sumitra was
the noblest. Even Sage Vasishta and Sage Visvamitra extolled her
noble qualities. We should accept others' greatness and not
indulge in self glorification. In order to glorify others'
greatness, sometimes we need to be modest and self effacing.
Never belittle others. Develop broad-mindedness and treat
everybody with respect. Consider others as your own
brothers. If a hungry person comes to you, welcome him with open
arms and give him a sumptuous meal. Never consider someone a
beggar or a poor person. Having been born in this sacred land of
Bharat, one cannot be a beggar or a poor person. All are rich.
When you consider someone a beggar, it is only the defect in
your feeling that is reflected outside.
When Lord Rama lifted Siva's bow, Sita's joy knew no bounds. Her
prayers were answered. Rama, being the embodiment of love and
righteousness, had the power to lift, not just one bow of Lord
Siva, but ten such bows. The four brothers, Rama, Lakshmana,
Bharata Satrughna and their consorts had perfect unity and
harmony among themselves. They were like different parts of the
orange fruit. One day Sumitra peeled out the skin of an orange
fruit. As she took out each part, she was saying, "This is Rama,
this is Lakshmana ?" She considered each part of the fruit to
represent the four brothers and their wives. She was very happy
to have such virtuous daughters?in?law like Sita, Urmila,
Mandavi and Srutakeerthi. The daughters-in-law also served their
mothers-in-law with utmost love and care.
The four brothers and their wives always had a common mind. That
is why the fame of Ramarajya spread far and wide. Having been
born in this sacred land of Bharat, you should live like a true
Bharatiya. Your heart should be filled with sweetness. Do not
avoid those who need your help, on the contrary you should
always wait for an opportunity to serve. This Thyaga Bhava
(spirit of sacrifice) can alone confer on you true Bhoga
Today we are celebrating the sacred festival of Vijayadasami.
People perform various rituals during the nine days of Navaratri
festival. We should hope and pray that every day of our life
should be as sacred as these nine days.
Let us all move together, let us all grow together,
Let us all stay united and share our knowledge,
Let us live together with friendship and without disharmony.
Live in unity, make proper use of your intelligence and give
happiness to your parents. When you lead your lives in this
manner, every day will be a day of festivity and celebration.
The whole world will rejoice. I wish that you put into practice
all that you have learnt during these nine days. Be always
cheerful. Never put on a face as if in deep misery. I am
happy that our boys never put on a long face; they are always
cheerful. From now onwards, forget all differences and share
your love with one and all. Serve all.
Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Rama Rama
Rama Sita ?"