The Life and Message of the
From Extracts of Speeches/Writings of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
An offering to
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 record
The Sai movement is a
multi-religious, spiritual organization dedicated to promoting the highest Human
Values, service to fellow man and the promotion of Interfaith harmony.
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 possible.
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
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 Enlightened One).
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 world!
This booklet is a compilation
of some of Baba's comments on the Buddha and his teachings.
- SAI RAM -
The Transforming Power of
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 of Jesus.
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 many desires."
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 of history.
Wishing to attain this
distinction, the Maharaja loaded his elephant with considerable 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 stayed on.
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 sacrifice?"
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
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," observed Buddha.
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 Bhagavad Gita."
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
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 is real."
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
emphasized 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 deceiving others. Such people are deceiving themselves.
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
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 the
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
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 civilized.
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.