The Life and Message of the
From Extracts of Speeches/Writings of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
An offering to Interfaith Love and
Sathya Sai Central Council of Malaysia
Sathya Sai Central Central Council of Malaysia
24, Jalan Abdullah
Off Jalan Bangsar
59000 Kuala Lumpur
First Print: August 1991
Reprinted: January 1994
This brochure has no copyright
The Sai movement is a
multi-religious, spiritual organization dedicated to promoting the
highest Human Values, service to fellow man and the promotion of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has
urged all to follow sincerely their own religion and to respect
all religions. The World symbol of the Sai Organization contains
the symbols of the 5 great ancient religions of the World viz
Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Zorastrianism and Hinduism. In the
West, where Judaism prevails he has allowed the symbols of the
Jewish religion to be used.
This Catholicity of Baba's
teachings is reflected not just in symbols but in the speeches and
writings He has conveyed to the World from the time he started his
mission at the age of fourteen. Through the years he has commented
on and revealed fascinating aspects of the exemplary lives and the
inner significance of the teachings of the great religious leaders
of the World.
We dedicate this publication to
the Wesak day celebration of the Interfaith movement in Malaysia
and present some of the comments that Baba has made on the life
and teachings of "The BUDDHA".
We offer this as a humble token
of love to all our Buddhist brothers and sisters and to all who
love and respect The Buddha - for his teachings and His great
contribution to Mankind.
My grateful thanks to all my Sai
brothers and sisters who gleaned through numerous speeches and
writings by Baba and others who have worked to make this offering
Buddham Saranam Gacchami
Sangham Saranam Gacchami
Dharmam Saranam Gacchami
OM SAI RAM
Sathya Sal Central Council of Malaysia
The Holy Ones of the World
Students! Embodiments of the
Divine Atma! And, supporters and promoters of education! This Kali
Yuga offers more facilities for liberations than any previous one.
For, mankind is much cleverer now; there are educational
institutions even in the farthest corners of every land. But, it
is a pity, peace of mind has become very rare among men. Why has
peace remained out of reach. In spite of the plethora of gadgets
and contrivances that offer man comfort and pleasure?
The fault lies in human conduct
which runs along evil lines. When man thinks, speaks and acts
along virtuous lines, his conscience will be clean and he will
have inner peace. Knowledge is power, it is said; but virtue is
peace. The world reveres even today great men and women who have
lived exemplary lives of virtue. Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster,
Buddha, Sankaracharya, Madhwacharya, Ramanujacharya and others
were able to command the loyalty and adoration of people, solely
on account of the purity of their conduct and actions. They have
become immortal residents in the hearts of mankind. Scholarship
cannot confer this high historic ascendancy. Mastery of books may
help you to expound or exhibit your dialectical skill. But, what
really is the width and depth of your experience? And, just
examine how conceited you have become! Man must saturate his daily
life in truthful speech, virtuous acts, and holy thoughts.
There were other seers too who
laid down paths towards the same goal. They announced that the
universe belongs to God and man should not desire to accumulate or
appropriate any portion of the Divine Treasure. They advised that
the sapling of devotion must be protected from the pests of sloth,
doubt, and fanaticism by the cultivation of valour and vigilance.
Of the major religions, I may
mention one, namely, Buddhism. Buddha was so agonised by the
suffering that haunts the life of man, that he investigated the
behaviour of the mind and intellect of man and discovered remedial
disciplines. He analysed the vagaries of the mind which lead man
into the whirlpools of desire; he analysed the ways of reason, too,
and spotted the areas where prejudice takes root; above all, he
preached surrender to dharma, to compassion and to Buddha (the
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has
often talked of the teachings of all the great religions and
especially during the major festivals he draws the inner
significance of the teachings of the great spiritual Lights of the
This booklet is a compilation of
some of Baba's comments on the Buddha and his teachings.
- SAI RAM -
The Transforming Power of Love
Love will not submit to the
forces of envy or hatred however powerful they maybe. Love will
prevail over them. Once when Buddha was travelling, he was
confronted by a demoness with a sword in hand. "Oh Buddha! Your
Love must submit today to my envy. Your life will end today."
Buddha answered her, with a smile: "I will not submit to envy or
hatred. I am not affected by praise or blame or ridicule. I love
even you who bear such ill will towards me." When the demoness
heard these words, she turned into a dove and vanished.
Those who hate others are
ultimately consumed by their own hatred. Those filled with envy
ultimately meet their end in it. Richard, a character in one of
Shakespeare's plays, was filled with envy and could not bear to
see any one superior or better looking than himself. In the end,
he was a victim of his own envy and died miserably. Similar
examples can be found in the Indian epics. Bhasmasura, who got a
boon from Siva that any one on whom he placed his palm should be
reduced ashes, was himself reduced to ashes when he placed his
palm over his head.
FAITH AND CONFIDENCE
In the pursuit of the good and
godly life, one may encounter many difficulties and disturbances.
Many doubts and questions crop up. It is only when these
difficulties are faced squarely and the troubles are borne with
patience and fortitude that we can understand the true nature of
Reality. You should not allow yourselves to be overwhelmed in any
way by difficulties and sorrows, doubts and disappointments. You
must have faith. Have confidence in yourself and strive to
understand well the nature of God's love. To secure that love is
the sacred goal of human life. The transforming power of Love is
boundless. St. Paul, who was originally an inveterate critic of
Jesus, was transformed by Christ's love into the greatest apostle
Another example: During Buddha's
time, there was a very cruel and wicked man known as Angulimala.
Like Ratnakara, he was also engaged in waylaying travellers,
robbing them of their wealth, and cutting off their thumbs to use
them as a necklace round his neck. The Buddha was able to reform
even such a cruel man and turn him into a spiritual seeker.
The Sadhaka must adhere to Sathwa
ideal, a serene balanced equanimity. His inborn nature and social
nurture might help him in this, but he must consciously and
steadily cultivate this perseverance to attain purity of thought,
word and deed. It is wrong to attribute the ups and downs in one's
life to the will of God; they are due to the cultivation of
neglect of this quality of perseverance.
Expansive Love, purity of
intention and an eagerness to sacrifice - these three are the
criteria for Sathwic quality. They are the chief limbs of the
spiritual body which require attention. Mental health and
spiritual wellbeing depend on these limbs. The assertion, "I take
refuge in Buddha" must be based on an illumined intellect. "I take
refuge in Sangha" must therefore urge the Sadhaka to utilise the
intellect as an instrument for the service of society or sangha.
When the third statement, "I take refuge in Dharma" is made, it
directs the Sadhaka to utilise it for strengthening and promoting
righteousness, morality and virtue. The path of Love is the path
of Dharma. Love results in enthusiastic service. Who deserves Love
most? Nothing on earth deserves pure Love more than God, and if
one is aware of God in man, embodiments of Divinity.
Everyone has passed through
numberless lives in the past, lives spent in utter selfishness.
So, egoistic impulses enslave him very drastically even now,
preventing unselfish Love from sprouting and spreading. God seeks
in man Love and Law. Love has to be regulated by Law. Without Law,
Love cannot expand. It will be narrow and crooked. They are the
negative and positive.
Love implies understanding and
consequently, sympathy and compassion. These confer Ananda. But
man is lacking in Love and so in Ananda also. When men form
conflicting groups and plot to destroy each other, how can joy and
peace reside in him? Ancient myths speak of wars of extermination
between Gods and demons and between men and rakshasas. But history
today has to record wars between rakshasas who call themselves men.
Buddha and The Maharaja
Buddha was once asked: "Who is
the richest man in the world?" Buddha replied: "He who has much
satisfaction (with what he has) is the richest man." To the
question, "Who is the poorest man?" Buddha replied: "He who has
A Maharaja, who was listening to
Buddha's sermons on contentment and renunciation, wished to earn
the approbation of Buddha.
Buddha used to keep with him
always a rattle-drum. His disciples once asked him: "Master! Why
are you always keeping this rattle-drum by your side?" Buddha
replied: "I shall play on this drum the day a person who has made
the greatest sacrifice approaches me." Everyone was eager to know
who this person would be. Such persons are often the forgotten men
Wishing to attain this
distinction, the Maharaja loaded his elephant with condiserable
treasure and went to Buddha. He hoped to offer the treasure to
Buddha and earn his praise.
On the way, an old woman greeted
the Maharaja and pleaded: "I am hungry. Will you give me some
food?" The Maharaja took out pomegranate fruit from his palaquin
and gave it to her. The old woman came to Buddha with the fruit.
By then, the Maharaja had come to
Buddha and was eagerly waiting to see when Buddha would sound the
rattle-drum. For a long time Buddha did not use it. The Maharaja
THE GREATEST SACRIFICE
The old woman approached Buddha
staggering on her legs, and offered to him the pomegranate fruit.
Buddha took it and immediately sounded the little drum.
The Maharaja asked Buddha: "I
offered so much wealth to you. You did not sound the drum. But you
rattled it after receiving a small fruit. Is this a great
Buddha replied: "Maharaja! In
sacrifice, it is not quantity that counts, it is the quality of
sacrifice that matters. It is natural for a Maharaja to offer
gold. But what great sacrifice is made when a hungry old woman
offers the pomegranate fruit to the Guru despite her hunger. She
did not care even for her life and gave the fruit. What greater
sacrifice can there be? It is not sacrifice to offer what is
superfluous for you. True sacrifice means giving up that which is
most dear to you, that which you value most."
Buddha - Saga of Dharma
The Lord was referred to as
Dharma by the Vedas and as Vijnana by Buddha. For in those days,
no one liked the word 'Veda', as in the times of the Asura called
Somaka, when those who followed the Vedas desisted from calling
them 'Veda'; While in mortal dread, such behaviour is passable.
Yet, the Buddha was full of reverence to the Vedas; he was ever
infused with God. The Buddha is often spoken of as an atheist, a
Nasthika! Well, if the Buddha is a Nasthika, who then is the
Asthika, the theist? The entire life of the Buddha is a saga of
Dharma. Sankara is criticised by some people as opposed to the
path of Dharma and Karma. But Sankara opposed only the Dharma and
Karma which have fulfilment of Desire in view. He was indeed the
Great Teacher who taught the path of Dharma and Karma, of
endeavour impelled by the understanding of the basic Truth.
The adherence of Sankara to
Dharma and Karma based on Truth, the faith of the Buddha in the
essentials of the Vedas can be appreciated only by those who have
the higher vision. Without that, one will be led astray in the
interpretation. In order to climb a great height, a ladder as tall
as the height is needed, is it not?
Whoever subdues his egoism,
conquers his selfish desires, destroys his bestial feelings and
impulses and gives up the natural tendency to regard the body as
the self, he is surely on the path of Dharma: he knows that the
goal of Dharma is the merging of the wave in the sea, the merging
of the self in the Over-self.
What Buddha Taught
Once Buddha set out to seek alms.
He was approaching a village where there were a number of devotees
of Buddha. At that time, some wicked persons confronted him on the
way and abused Buddha in various ways. Buddha sat on a rock nearby
without proceeding with his journey. He addressed his traducers: "Dear
children, what is the pleasure you derive from abusing me?"
Without giving the reasons, they continued abusing him in worse
terms. Buddha sat down saying, "If abusing me gives you pleasure,
enjoy yourselves." Exhausted by their abuse, they were preparing
to leave. At that time, Buddha told them, "I stayed here all the
time because if I had gone to the village, my devotees there would
not have spared you, if you had indulged in all this abuse before
them. It is to save you from this calamity that I had put up with
all your abuse, given you a free rein and stayed here."
"If we want to please others, we
have to do many things and even spend a lot of money. I am happy
that today without incurring any expense or taking any trouble I
could give so much pleasure to all of you! What a fine day for
me!" exclaimed Buddha. "You have derived joy from abusing me. So,
I am the cause of your joy. I have given you satisfaction thereby.
To bring comfort and happiness to people, many build choultries,
dig wells, or do other charitable acts. But without undertaking
any of these acts, I have been able to give great satisfaction to
these evil-minded men. This is a great achievement, indeed,"
Buddha also brought home to them
another lesson. He asked one of them: "Child! A beggar comes to
your house asking for alms: 'Blessed mother, give me food!' You
bring some food. If the beggar says, 'This is not the alms I asked
for, and I will not accept it,' what will you do?" The man replied:
"I will keep back the offering." Buddha said: "In the same manner,
you attempted to offer me the alms (biksha) of your abuse. I did
not accept it. To whom does it belong? It remains with you. So,
you have only abused yourself, not me," said Buddha.
If a registered letter is
addressed to some one, who declines to receive it, the postal
department will deliver it back to the sender. Similarly, if you
criticise someone or hate somebody, if the other person remains
unaffected and unperturbed, your criticism and hatred come back to
you. Jealousy and hatred do more harm to those who entertain these
feeling than to those towards whom these are expressed.
Buddha - The Awakened
Human life, which is so precious,
depends on breath, but man is prepared even to give up his life in
order to realise the goal which captivates his mind. This spirit
of renunciation must be dutifully cultivated by students. But,
neglecting this duty, students are lost in turbulent confusion,
because of the deteriorating conditions in the country. They must
realise that courage and confidence can arise only by the
awareness of the Divinity latent in man.
Three qualities distinguish man
from other animals. They are sympathy, compassion and renunciation.
Today a famine has dried up these feelings in the human heart.
This tragic condition is generating agitation and disturbance
among both students and teachers. Strikes have become normal
routine events. The conviction that money can achieve anything has
grown in men's mind, though it is impossible to promote peace and
security through the accumulation of money. Money can buy plenty
of food; it cannot buy appetite or hunger. Money can buy medical
care and medicines; but it cannot buy health and immunity. Money
can buy servants; it cannot buy goodwill. It can buy comfort, but
not happiness. It cannot help to promote character or morality.
This truth must be understood by both students and teachers. For,
teachers mould the nation and students build nation, sound and
strong. But only a few students are intent on taking the nation
along the royal road and only a few teachers are holding high
ideals of love and services before the people.
Teachers have to be life-long
students, engaged not in mere study, but immersed in practice too.
Only a lamp that burns can light other lamps. How can a flame that
has long been out light other wicks? Many teachers have now become
dispirited and the flame of their enthusiasm is spluttering. This
is the result mostly of the multiplication of desires. The great
mission of the teacher and its obligations are often ignored.
No one lives for himself alone.
He is involved with parents, kinsmen, friends, foes, society,
countrymen etc., in ever widening circles. Buddhists declare, "I
take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Sangha. I take
refuge in Dharma." The first is the involvement with the reality
in one's own individual self. One must examine oneself whether he
lives according to his innate human reality, whether his mind is
free from polluting thoughts and feelings. Buddha is the symbol of
the awakened intellect. Is the intellect sharp enough for clear
discrimination? This must be one's question to oneself. For, even
an insane person asks for food when hungry. His intellect is alert
for limited purposes. But, it has to serve far higher purposes for
man. The second stage: refuge in Sangha. Just as one yearns for
and works towards securing property, welfare and happiness for
oneself, one must also yearn for and work towards securing these
very things for the sangha (society) to which one belongs. Without
society to guard and guide, the individual is lost, as a drop of
oil on an expanse of water. One's welfare is based on the welfare
of society. The welfare of a particular society is based on the
welfare of the country. The third stage: refuge in Dharma. Dharma
means the vesture of the Cosmos, that which is its very nature,
namely, Prema or Divine Love. When one seeks refuge in Love that
sustains and promotes progress, the individual, the society and
world become a sublime Trinity.
"Bhagawan Baba uses the treasure
chests of all religions to convey the immortal messages of Life to
all mankind. Even when talking about one religious book or
teaching He dips into the treasures of other religions to convey
the great truth. Here is an example of how Baba used the life and
messages of the Buddha during one of His discourses on the
You might wonder, 'Why would God
ever pay attention to me? What could I possibly offer to Him which
He would gladly accept, when the entire cosmos is already His? If
even angels and divine beings cannot see Him, how can I ever hope
to behold His form?' But, such selfdemeaning and belittling
thoughts will not get you very far; as long as you think this way,
you will not be able to gain the grace of the Lord and be fit to
serve Him. Give no room to such displays of weakness. You have to
establish the Lord in your heart and say to Him, 'Beloved Lord! I
know You are residing in all the universe, but You are also here
in my heart. With all my power I will keep You here, firmly
established within me. You are, it is true, the biggest of the
big; but You are also the smallest of the small. In that small
form, You are ever residing in my heart.' If you have such a firm
faith in yourself, and a firm resolve to establish the Lord
inalterably in your heart, then you will surely attain Him.
Gautama Buddha with a firm
resolve and a lot of penance, was able to achieve the state of
Nirvana. One day after coming to know that Buddha was begging for
alms, his father sent word to Buddha, 'O my child, your
grandfather was a king, your father is a king, and you are also a
king. I have heard that you, a king, coming from such a noble
lineage, have been begging for your food. There is no dearth of
property or wealth in this kingdom; there is no shortage of any
luxury. You can have anything you wish. I am suffering untold pain
knowing that you, who can enjoy all the luxuries and comforts of a
king's palace, have taken to begging, and that you are lying down
on hard ground living an uncomfortable beggars life. Please, come
back to the palace, I will welcome you and make all the proper
arrangements for your return. The kingdom itself will be yours.'
Buddha who heard all these things
with total detachment, replied to the person who brought the
message, "Please, tell the King, 'Yes, my grandfather was a king.
My father is a king, and I too was king. But now, I am a Sanyasin.
I have renounced this world. And I believe my real parents are
Sanyasins, and that my true ancestors are also Sanyasins. If you
want me to come back, you must first answer these questions: Do
you have the power to save me from death? Can you keep diseases
away from me and guarantee to keep me in sound health? Do you have
the capacity to prevent old age and senility from descending on
me? Do you have the power to free me from all these evils? If you
can give me the correct answers to these questions then I will
immediately come back to the palace."
Buddha saw that birth was
sorrowful, that life was sorrowful, and that the end was also
sorrowful. He replied to his father in the correct way. After
having seen all the sorrows of life and after having watched so
many people suffering, he could not continue to wallow in
ignorance and illusion; that would have been sheer foolishness.
Buddha's life serves as a lesson for you. In the limited time
given to you, you have to realize your true nature. That is the
real objective of human life. Your body is composed of the five
elements, and some day it is going to perish. The indweller of
your body is the only permanent entity. When you inquire into
truth, you will realize that there is nothing like old age and
there is nothing like death for the indwelling Self. If you could
understand that this indweller, who is your own reality, is God,
then you will know the truth and enjoy infinite peace.
BHAGAVAD GITA DISCOURSES
"Make an effort to see the same
divine principle everywhere and in everything, until you realize
the ultimate truth, that only the Atma exists, that only the Self
Buddha taught the same great
truth, although he may not have made reference to Veda or used
Vedantic terms, nevertheless, he experienced and demonstrated the
essential spirit of Veda. First he said, 'Buddham, Sharanam
Gacchami', meaning, 'I take refuge in the Buddhi, my power of
discrimination.' This deals with the individual; it speaks of the
limited personality. Gradually, he added, 'Sangham Sharanam
Gacchami', meaning, 'I take refuge in the community, I take refuge
in the society.' He recognized that feelings associated with
individual and personal considerations are selfish and narrow, and
cannot take you very far.
You should not consider this
individual self as everything; it is only a drop in the ocean.
Along these lines, Krishna also commanded, "Arjuna, expand your
heart. Become broadminded. Include the entire society within your
scope." Society does not have any particular form; it is made up
of individuals. When a large number of individuals join together
they become a society. Swami often say, 'Expansion is My life'.
When you expand individual life to infinity it becomes divinity;
that is to say, let individual life multiply and broaden and it
will eventually reach divinity. Therefore, Krishna told Arjuna,
"Live in the society; serve the society; and develop
The meaning of society in one
country may be different from that in another; and a society or
community called by one name may have nothing to do with a society
or community called by another name. So, you will find that there
are limits even for a society, and that the society by itself will
not take you all the way to infinity. Therefore, Buddha added one
more step, 'Dharmam Sharanam Gacchami', meaning, 'I take refuge in
Dharma, I take shelter in truth and righteousness'. Dharma, as
used here, has a very broad connotation; it refers to the one who
supports the entire world. When you investigate the general
meaning of the word Dharma, you find that it relates to the basic
nature of a thing; its essential truth. The 'thing' referred to
here is the immortal Atma, the indwelling divinity. Therefore, the
deeper meaning of Dharma is found in the true nature of divinity.
To take refuge in Dharma is to become one with the attributes of
divinity. It has been said that Maya is the body of God, but it is
more correct to say that Dharma is the body of God. It is His very
form. That is why Krishna annouonced, 'For establishing Dharma I
have come again and again.' Dharma reveals the broad nature of
divinity in all its glorious aspects.
In a life filled with desires,
the pleasures one seeks are inevitably followed by grief and
disappointments. All unrighteous actions lead to sorrow. It was
for this reason that Buddha emphasised the need for discrimination.
The first prayer, "Buddham Saranam Gachami" is a call for
cultivating wisdom and discriminations - the Buddhi. But unless
the power of discrimination is used for doing right action for the
good of society it is of no use. Hence the second prayer, "Sangham
Saranam Gacchami" (I surrender myself to society). What is this
right action that must be done? That is indicated by the third
prayer: "Dharmam Saranam Gacchami" (I take refuge in Dharma). To
reach your goal, the royal road is Dharma - Righteousness. It is
only when these are combined - Wisdom, Social Service and
Righteousness - that there is fulfilment in life.
BHAGAVAD GITA DISCOURSES
Equanimity of Mind
It is only when you can
demonstrate an ideal life, can you say that you have justified
having been born as a human being. On the other hand, if you
become a slave to your senses, you become a slave to the whole
world around you. Even if you live a short life, lead a good and
ideal life. A long life with contaminated and impure thoughts is
no good. It is very necessary that you recognize that real
education means development of character.
You should make an attempt to
experience and enjoy the bliss that is contained in what you have
learnt. Our wealth is knowledge. Our prosperity lies in the good
qualities that are in us. Our riches are our dharma. An individual
who has got faith in God must put his faith into practice. By
believing in God and yet by ignoring God's utterances and commands,
you are contradicting yourselves. Faith is not a cloak that is
worn outside for decieving others. Such people are deceiving
These essence of education is to
recognize the truth. All branches of learning are like the rivers.
The spiritual learning is like the ocean. All rivers go and merge
into the ocean. When they merge in the ocean, the rivers lose
their individuality completely. Under no circumstances should we
give room to excitement, to ego and to anger.
There is one little example for
this. In one village, there was a village head who did not like
Buddha. The moment he heard any words uttered by Buddha, he used
to get angry. He was always suffering from uncontrolled anger. One
day, he learnt the news that Buddha was coming to that village
with his disciples. Since he was the head of the village, he
issued a certain order. The order was that when Buddha came asking
for alms, no one should give him alms and all should close their
doors. Following this order, all the people in the village closed
the doors of their respective houses when Buddha came. The head of
the village also closed the doors and was sitting in the verandah
outside the door.
Buddha was all-knowing and he
knew what was happening. With his disciples he came to the very
house in which the village head was living. Great people will
never be affected either by praise or blame. Such people, having
developed equal mindedness, will go right in front of those who
are suffering from jealousy and ego. This village head, was
suffering from such ignorance and pride and Buddha went straight
to him and asked for alms. The village head, who was waiting for
such an opportunity, became even more excited. A person who is
sick will always want to take several medicines. Certain birds
will always be wanting to look at cool moonshine. Good people will
always want to help the bad people and to see that the badness in
them is removed and they are cleansed. It is only one who has a
disease and is sick, that wants a doctor. A healthy man does not
want a doctor. Similarly, people who are suffering from the
disease of disbelief can be cured by good people.
With such noble ideas, Buddha,
along with his disciples, went to the house of the village headman
and said, "Bhavati, bhikshan dehi," I have come to ask for alms.
When he saw Buddha and the disciples accompanying him, the headman
became very angry. He addressed Buddha and said, "You lazy man,
you have collected all these people in your company, and they
become lazy. You are taking them round because they do not want to
work. Not only you are ruining your own life, you are also ruining
the lives of your disciples. This is wrong." In that manner, he
abused Buddha and the disciples who came with him.
Buddha smiled at all this and
smiling, asked the head of the village, if he could clarify a
doubt for him. The headman said in a very loud voice. "What is
your doubt? Let me know." Buddha said, "I have come to ask for
alms from you. You have brought something in order to give it to
me. If I do not accept what you wish to give to me, where will it
go?" The village headman laughingly replied, "What a big question
have you asked! If you do not wish to take what I have for you, I
will take it back myself". Buddha said that he was very happy. "I
have come here along with my disciples for taking alms from you.
You have brought abuse and you want to give it to me as alms. But
I have not accepted the bhiksha you brought for me in the form of
abuse. To whom will it go back?" With this, the ego of that
village headman subsided. In this manner, great people and great
saints go to several persons and with a view to enlighten them,
adopt different methods.
When the Buddha sat under the
Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, after the illumination that revealed to
him the Four Noble Truths, gangs of disbelievers gathered around
him and poured ridicule and abuse on him. His disciples were
enraged; they prayed to the Buddha, "Lord, give us leave; we shall
beat this insolence and ignorance out of these traducers". But,
Buddha only smiled at their anger. He said, "Dear Ones, know you
not how much joy they derive from this exercise? You derive joy
worshiping me. They derive joy pelting me with abuse. You pour
reverence; they pour ridicule, and receive equal satisfaction.
Control yourselves; do not hate any one, that is the teaching.
This is the ancient ordinance".
Some people cannot tolerate glory
in others; some are filled with the venom of envy; some are
demonic in nature and cannot tolerate holiness and divinity; some
are perverted by disappointment and cast the blame on God; such
people will indulge in abuse. If you associate with such people
and their followers, you will only be contaminating your minds.
Even ordinary men will feel ashamed to cast aspersions on the
great, but, these expose themselves by their tactics as lower than
You might say, we are the
ordinary kind; when the Form we adore is traduced how can we bear
it silently? Suppose some one sends you a letter by registered
post. When you sign and take it, you become aware of its contents,
though you may not accept the contents. If you do not sign, the
letter goes back to the person who sent it and his purpose in
making you aware of the contents is defeated. So too, don't give
ear to the abuse; keep cool and uninterested; then, the foulness
goes back to the sender, and cannot affect you at all. It will
affect him as a resound, re-action. Instead of harming you, it
will only recoil on him.
SATHYA SAI SPEAKS
When a child dies, ask youself
the question. "Is it for my sake that he was born?" He had his own
destiny to fulfil, his own history to work out. Gautama Buddha's
father was so overcome with grief when he saw his son with a
begging bowl in the street that he told him thus: "Everyone of my
ancestors was a King; what misfortune is this that a beggar was
born in this line!" Buddha replied: "Everyone of my ancestors had
a beggar's bowl; I know of no king in my line." The father and the
son walked different paths, travelled along different routes.
BABA'S "CHINNA KATHA"
Non-Violence - The Greatest
I have said many times that you
are really not one person but three persons: the one you think you
are, the one others think you are and the one you really are. If
you spend all your time in the aspect of what you think you are,
namely your body, how will you ever think of God? We should
gradually turn the external manifestation of devotion to true
inner devotion. Here, ahimsa has been mentioned as the first
flower in this worship. We generally think that ahimsa means not
causing harm to some living being. Ahimsa is not just this. Even
bad vision, or bad hearing or bad talk is also himsa.
Ahimsa really means that you
should not cause harm to anyone through your vision, hearing or
talking. Buddha also said "Ahimsa paramo dharma" (Non Violence is
the Greatest Dharma). On the basis of what Buddha said, Gandhi
adopted this path.
SUMMER SHOWERS 1978
Nothing is Permanent
Why must you compete and quarrel?
Nothing in this world can last as such for long. The Buddha
diagnosed this correctly. He declared, "All is sorrow; all is
transient; all are but temporary contraptions of ephemeral
characteristics." Why should you be as fatally fascinated by these
finite things? Strive to gain the eternal, the infinite, the
universal. One day, you have to give up the body you have fed and
fostered. How long can you keep all that you have earned and
possessed with pride? Trivial thoughts and desires award only
sorrow; holy thoughts and desires award divine peace. Therefore,
cultivate good and beneficial feelings and desires. Keep away from
bad company and bad thoughts. Realise the holy purpose of life
through pure thoughts and words and selfless service to your
The Advent of Buddhism
Buddhists were the very first
propagators of religion who undertook to spread their faith by
travelling over the world. That religion entered all countries
famed in those days as civilised. The monks who ventured into
those lands were tortured; hundreds were killed by imperial decree.
But, soon, good fortune smiled on Buddhism. Buddhism taught that
violence has to be eschewed. Buddha was accepted as a God, as
another Name for the One, which has many names according to the
Vedic dictum, "Ekam sath, vapraah bahudhaa vadanthi". He was Indra,
He was Rudra. That was the unifying effect of the basic revelation
of the sages. May this declaration be ever in the memory of man!
We are today celebrating Guru
Poornima. What is the real Guru Poornima? Is it simply the full
moon day in the month of Aashaada? This is the common view. But
the great ones have given other meanings to it. One meaning is
that it was on this day Vyasa began writing the Brahma Sutra. It
was also on this day that the Buddha attained enlightenment and
taught his disciples "All is sorrow; All is transient; All is void".
For these reasons, the day is known as Guru Poornima, Vyasa
Poornima or Buddha Poornima.