God Protects those who
Protect Sathya and Dharma
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
giving His Divine Discourse
on the afternoon
of 6th September 2004 (Krishna Janmashtami) at Prashanti
Text of the Divine Discourse
delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the afternoon
session of Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations, 6th September 2004
at Prashanti Nilayam, Sai Kulwanth Hall
No visit to any pilgrim
centre, no penance, no Yogic practice, no study of sacred texts
nor charitable acts will help you in crossing over the ocean of
Samsara, but the service rendered to the noble.
Embodiments of Love!
You would have read in sacred texts that Ravana was a master of
four Vedas and six Sastras. Having learnt these sacred texts,
was there any transformation in him? No. Instead of developing
Daivatva (divine qualities), he developed Danavatva (demonic
qualities). The ten heads of Ravana symbolised four Vedas and
six Sastras. In the decisive battle, Rama severed Ravana's heads
since he did not put into practice the knowledge he had
acquired. Mere learning of sacred texts and chanting of Vedas
will not bring about any transformation. In order to drive home
this message, Rama cut off with his arrows Ravana's ten heads.
It is only right at the end. Just before his spirit left his
body did Ravana recognise his faults and repented for them and
became sacred thereby. All that God preaches is for the benefit
and welfare of humanity. Therefore, it is enough if one puts
into practice at least one of the teachings of the Vedas. It
should be a natural trait for everyone to put into practice the
In Prasanthi Nilayam, you find that even the Primary school
children join the senior students in chanting Vedas. They know
all Vedas, but they do not have the required knowledge to put
them into practice. Mere recitation of the Vedas is of little
Only God exists everywhere and at all times. The world is but an
illusion. The sacred teaching that God exists everywhere should
be propagated to everyone. You find many Sadhakas (spiritual
aspirants) chanting and teaching the Vedas. Consider this
example: a cassette tape or a disc merely plays, but does not
experience the melody. It would be fruitless if one does not
practise what he preaches. So, one should recognise, understand
and practice the sacred teachings. Lord Krishna put into
practice what He propagated and also insisted that everyone
should follow suit. You find many elders in the Mahabharata who
were great scholars themselves, but, failed to put into practice
the knowledge they acquired. The same is the position today. God
has no preferences or no dislike whatsoever. All are equal for
Him. But, He watches to see how much a person puts into practice
what he has learnt. Many people study sacred texts, go on
pilgrimage, perform penance, repeat God's Name, but what is the
use? Many ask Me for a Japamala (rosary). Is it to adorn your
neck for publicity or is it for spiritual experience? One hand
is enough for one who wants to practise this Sadhana. (At this
point, Swami demonstrated with His hand as to how one should do
Namasmarana.) The five fingers of the hand contain nine Aksharas
(letters) which are further divided into twelve Brahmas and this
makes up to hundred and eight beads of the rosary. Chanting the
name of Rama nine times twelve will make up to one hundred and
eight. This Sadhana requires neither a Japamala nor a fixed
place. It can be done while walking or even while lying down
till you go to sleep. When there are such easy and sacred paths,
why should one go for strenuous Sadhanas foregoing sleep?
Droupadi is known for her chastity. She has protected her
husbands in many ways. After the gruesome massacre of the young
Pandava children, Arjuna tracked down Aswatthama, the
perpetrator of the atrocity, and dragged him before Droupadi.
Instead of cursing the evildoer and pronouncing punishment for
him, she fell at the feet of Aswatthama, the son of her
husbands' most revered Guru, and said:
It is at the feet of your father, Dronacharya that my
husbands have learnt all that they know. Being the son of
Dronacharya, was it proper to kill my children. How could you
have the heart to kill them who were unharmed, young, quietly
asleep, were not having any grudge against you, and were not
contemplating any harm to you?
When Droupadi was praying like this, Bhima could not bear to see
this. Exploding in anger, Bhima roared:
This Droupadi is a stupid woman, for she pleads for this
wretch's freedom. She feels no anger against this murderer of
When Arjuna was about to kill Aswatthama, Droupadi fell at his
feet and reasoned with him thus: "Arjuna! Will my sons be
revived by killing Aswatthama? His mother too would experience
the same kind of sorrow that I am undergoing at the loss of my
sons. Having studied the Vedas and Sastras, how is it that you
are not able to maintain your tranquillity?"
The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish
sooner or later, but the Indweller has neither birth nor death.
The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the Eternal
Witness. Truly speaking, the Indweller who is in the form of the
Atma is verily God Himself.
Thus, Droupadi pleaded with Arjuna to forgive Aswatthama for his
heinous act. Arjuna replied, "You are preventing me from keeping
up my vow." To this Droupadi said, "Tonsuring his head and
removing the crown jewel from his head is equivalent to killing
him." Arjuna paid heed to Droupadi's advice and as a token
punishment shaved Aswatthama's head, took his crown jewel and
sent him away.
What is Papa (sin)? Hurting, abusing and killing others is sin.
What is Punya (merit)? Helping others is merit. Therefore, one
should not retaliate to an evil act with an evil act. Instead,
one should be magnanimous in forgiving the offender. There are
many such sacred teachings in the Mahabharata.
There are many such noble women like Droupadi. She stands as an
ideal for all women. Why are we forgetting the teachings of such
great women? Today, women are treated as mere puppets. But they
are full of courage, valour, sacrifice, determination and
righteousness. Have you ever cared to recognise the power latent
in women? Men do not possess such valour and courage of women.
It is because of such great women that our Bharatiya culture is
held in high esteem. Otherwise, it would have declined long ago.
Did you ever recognise the fact that women are endowed with such
great powers as courage, valour, determination and
righteousness? These qualities are not to be easily found in
men. Why? Most of them are afflicted with the disease of anger,
which is ruining them.
One with anger will not be successful in any of his
endeavours. He will commit sins and will be derided by one and
It is possible that women may also succumb to anger and indulge
in sinful deeds, now and then. Such people should be pardoned
and encouraged to make amends, not denounced and condemned. The
quality of patience and perseverance in women is great. In fact,
it is the quality of equanimity in times of difficulty that was
characteristic of the Droupadi, which saved the Pandavas. There
are several such women even in present times also. The bad
qualities of anger, passion, jealousy, envy and pride are more
prominent in men. Women are able to control such evil qualities
from overtaking them. Under the circumstances is it not our duty
to encourage and honour such women who preserve and promote
peace and harmony? On the contrary, women are belittled and
slighted. No, no, this should not happen. Such women with noble
qualities deserve to be encouraged and upheld.
A few days ago, you had witnessed a function in this Hall, where
the glory of womanhood was highlighted. A playlet was put up in
this Hall by Chethana, in which the greatness of mother Sita, as
the ideal woman, was presented. Sita and Droupadi were great
Pathivrathas (women of chastity). Such efforts to highlight the
greatness of women need to be encouraged.
Sathya and Dharma (truth and righteousness) are the greatest
characteristics of Indian culture. If these two are protected,
the country can be saved from degeneration. If you want to
protect your country, you need not join the army and fight a
battle. If truth and righteousness that are inherent in you are
protected, they themselves will protect the country. It is not
great to kill the enemies in a war. First and foremost, protect
truth and righteousness in you. The country will automatically
be protected. Indian culture exhorts Sathyam Vada (speak
truth) and Dharmam Chara (practise righteousness). When
you do this with perseverance, you will become a great hero.
When you protect Sathya and Dharma, God will, in turn, protect
you. Instead of trying to worship God and obtain His grace, if
you protect truth and righteousness, God will protect not only
your country, but the whole world. Truth is your very
life-breath. Righteousness is your armour. Therefore, protect
truth; foster righteousness. That is enough. Truth and
righteousness are inseparable. One cannot exist without the
They are the very life-breath for the universe. Droupadi was
assiduously observing and propagating these two.
Sathya Dharmamu Santhi Premalatho
Nee nithya jeevana yathra saginchu.
(Oh man! Carry on your life's journey with the help of Truth,
Righteousness, Peace, and Love). You must hold on to these
principles, come what may. God will always protect such people.
History is replete with several examples wherein people held
steadfastly to the principles of Sathya and Dharma, and were
constantly protected by God. One such example is that of
Pandavas and their chaste wife, Droupadi. You may argue, "Where
is Sathya and Dharma in the present-day world? Whom are they
protecting?" This is a totally wrong argument. If you protect
Sathya and Dharma, they will, in turn, stand before you and
protect you. They are the very embodiments of Divinity.
Unfortunately, today, instead of Sathyam Vada (speak
truth) and Dharmam Chara (practise righteousness), people
are following the distorted version Sathyam Vadha (kill
truth) and Dharmam Chara (imprison righteousness). This
is utter perversion. You should lead your lives based on Sathya
and Dharma and consider them as more important than your lives.
When Droupadi was pleading with Aswatthama who killed her sons,
Bhima was furious with uncontrollable anger. He clenched his
fist and proceeded towards Aswatthama to kill him. In that
uncontrollable rage, he argued with Droupadi, "Are you mad? Why
are you trying to save this man who mercilessly slit the throat
of your five sons? I will break the head of this child-killer
into pieces with my fist. Do not come in my way." At that moment
Droupadi fell at the feet of Bhima and pleaded with him to spare
the life of Aswatthama. She prayed for regaining his composure.
People around, who were witnessing this scene, were
wonderstruck. They were wondering whether Droupadi was really
mad! In fact, the world will be better if everyone is afflicted
with such madness. Thus, when Droupadi pleaded with her husbands
for saving the life of Aswatthama, he prayed for forgiveness.
Droupadi was happy at the change of heart in Aswatthama and
advised him, "Brother! You need not beg for my forgiveness.
Instead, you pay your respect and do service to your mother. Do
not drown her in sorrow. Never cause her anguish; take good care
of her." Even the loss of five sons did not make Droupadi shed
tears of sorrow.
Several women come to me with a heavy heart and tell me "Swami!
My husband's death has caused me deep sorrow and anguish. How do
I bear this calamity?" Then I would respond saying, "Oh! Your
husband died? Very happy." They feel very unhappy with My
attitude and question Me, "What is this Swami? Are You so happy
on hearing the news of my husband's death?" What am I to say? I
am always happy. I do not know what sorrow is. I always
discharge My duty.
God is the only person who protects everybody. Therefore, pray
to God always. Forgetting God and depending on the mercy of
human beings! What madness! You must depend on God, for
everything in your life. That is real Thapas (penance).
Since ancient times, women have been the very life-breath and
foundation for Bharat. They are the very embodiment of truth and
righteousness. How much respect and reverence we must show
towards such noble women? On the contrary, there are several
people today, who put them to untold suffering. Due to bad
habits and bad company, people lose their sense of
discrimination and torture the women. No woman should be put to
mental and physical torture, whatever be their nature. They must
be revered and respected and protected in all ways. Women in
Bharat have always been held in high esteem. There are several
chaste and noble women in Bharat and still Bharatiyas are
undergoing difficulties. What is the reason? Whose fault is
this? It is only because the Bharatiyas are not giving proper
respect and place to women in society. The fault lies squarely
on the men.
Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.
Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance.
The truthful character of the women is really their Tapas
(penance). Therefore, such noble women must be encouraged and
honoured. If you can put this one great principle into practice,
your life will be sanctified. Those who ill-treat their wives
can never be happy and prosperous. If men cannot protect their
women who are prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the
sake of their husbands, what for is their existence? Women are
really the presiding deities of their homes. Our primary duty is
to protect them. Never let your women shed tears. If women shed
tears, such homes will be ruined in no time. Women are ideals to
the society. Never cause them distress.
Men should lead a life of truth and righteousness. Only then can
they protect the country and become worthy of being called real
men. Otherwise, how can they become heroic men? Several people
go to temples. When they visit a temple, they must make a vow
that they would respect and protect the women. Only then will
they be protected. It is only when the women are safe, the whole
world will be happy. Therefore, if you wish to protect Dharma in
the world, you must first protect your Dharma towards women.
Embodiments of Love!
Imagine a situation wherein you are in the role of women and
some men torture you. How miserable and helpless you would feel!
Women are prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of
their husbands. But, men do not have such spirit of sacrifice.
Men should also cultivate such a spirit of sacrifice, like
women. Only then will you be fit to be called men. Otherwise,
you will be men only in form, but lacking in masculinity. You
consider women as Abala (weak). But, the truth is they are
Sakthi Swarupas (embodiments of strength and power). Only, I
know the plight of women who lost their husbands. It is our duty
to protect such women. If you can discharge this duty properly,
you will be happy throughout your life.
Embodiments of Love!
You must follow truth even in small matters. There are three
letters "Sa", "Tha" and "Ya" in the word "Sathya". If you
reverse the order, it will become "Ya" "Tha" and "Sa". This
means when you do Thapas with austerities like Yama (control of
the inner senses) and Niyama (control of the outer senses), you
will have the divine vision of Sathya Swarupa (Embodiment of
Truth). You have to thus, recognise the inner meaning of every
word and follow them meticulously.
King Janaka, a great renunciant king, used to propagate truth
and righteousness to his subjects among his own example. His
daughter, Sita, also led a pious life based on truth and
righteousness. You are not studying the life history of such
ideal women. Instead, you are reading trash. No. No. This is
unbecoming of you. You should study the ancient history of
Bharat, which is so sacred. The character and morality of women
in Bharat are very sacred. You will become worthy of being
called men only when you undertake to protect such great women.
By mere sporting a moustache or growing a beard, will you become
men? Moustache and beard are not the real signs of masculinity.
You must protect ladies and uphold the dignity of the family.
Only then can you become great heroes and men of character.
Embodiments of Love!
Consider women as embodiments of truth. Even if some minor
faults are noticed in them, do not give credence to them.
Respect and revere them. Do not use even a single word that
would offend them. If they really wish, they can achieve any
great task. You should be even prepared to lay down your lives
for the sake of protecting and fostering women. At least from
today, all of you should come forward to protect the honour and
dignity of women in the world. Women also should undertake a vow
to contribute their mite in this great task of protection of
Sthri Dharma. As regards men, there is nothing great or new in
trying to protect women. That is your duty. Her duty is to
foster and maintain the entire family as a unit. If women are
protected, they in turn will protect the entire world. Never
belittle women and treat them as mere playthings. I hope all of
you men will, at least in future, undertake to protect the
dignity and honour of women and thereby protect your own dignity
and honour. I conclude My discourse blessing you all.
(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Rama Rama
Rama Sita ?")