Four important discourses by Sri
Sathya Sai Baba
The Milestone Speech
Forty-Third Birthday Discourse, 23 November 1968.
(appears in Sai Baba - Holy Man and the Psychiatrist, by
[Editor's note. In this discourse, Swami speaks for almost the
first time in a major discourse about his being the Avathar
and proclaims his mission on earth: the establishment of
For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of
evil-doers and for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I
incarnate from age to age. Whenever disharmony (asanthi)
overwhelms the world, the Lord will incarnate in human form to
establish the modes of earning peace (prasanthi)
and to reeducate the human community in the paths of peace. At the
present time, strife and discord have robbed peace and unity from
the family, the school, the society, the religions, the cities,
and the state.
The arrival of the Lord is also anxiously awaited by saints and
sages. Spiritual aspirants (sadhus)
prayed and I have come. My main tasks are fostering of the
Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and fostering of the devotees.
Your virtue, your self-control, your detachment, your faith, your
steadfastness: these are the signs by which people read of my
glory. You can lay claim to be a devotee only when you have placed
yourself in my hands fully and completely with no trace of ego.
You can enjoy the bliss through the experience the
Avathar confers. The Avathar behaves in a human way
so that mankind can feel kinship, but rises into his superhuman
heights so that mankind can aspire to reach the heights, and
through that aspiration actually reach him. Realizing the Lord
within you as the motivator is the task for which he comes in
Avathars like Rama
Krishna had to kill one or more individuals who could be
identified as enemies of the righteous (dharmic)
way of life, and thus restore the practice of virtue. But now
there is no one fully good, so who deserves the protection of God?
All are tainted by wickedness, so who will survive if the
Avathar decides to uproot? Therefore, I have come to correct
the intelligence (buddhi),
by various means. I have to counsel, help, command, condemn and
stand by as a friend and well-wisher to all, so that they may give
up evil propensities and, recognizing the straight mark, tread it
and reach the goal. I have to reveal to the people the worth of
Sastras and the spiritual texts which lay down the norms.
If you will accept me and say "Yes," I too will respond and say, "Yes,
yes, yes." If you deny and say "No," I also echo "No." Come,
examine, experience, have faith. This is the method of utilizing
I do not mention Sai Baba in any of my discourses, but I bear
the name as Avathar of Sai Baba. I do not appreciate in the
least the distinction between the various appearances of God: Sai,
Rama, Krishna, etc. I do not proclaim that this is more important
or that is less important. Continue your worship of your chosen
God along lines already familiar to you, then you will find that
you are coming nearer to me. For all names are mine, and all forms
are mine. There is no need to change your chosen God and adopt a
new one when you have seen me and heard me.
Every step in the career of the Avathar is predetermined. Rama came to feed the roots truth (sathya)
Krishna came to foster peace
shanti, and love
prema. Now all these four are in danger of being dried up.
That is why the present Avathar has come. The righteousness
that has fled to the forests has to be brought back into the
villages and towns. The anti-righteousness that is ruining the
villages and towns must be driven back into the jungle.
I have come to give you the key of the treasure of bliss
ananda, to teach you how to tap that spring, for you have
forgotten the way to blessedness. If you waste this time of saving
yourselves, it is just your fate. You have come to get from me
tinsel and trash, the petty little cures and promotions, worldly
joys and comforts. Very few of you desire to get from me the thing
that I have come to give you: namely, liberation itself. Even
among these few, those who stick to the path of spiritual practice
and succeed are a handful.
Your worldly intelligence cannot fathom the ways of God. He
cannot be recognized by mere cleverness of intelligence. You may
benefit from God, but you cannot explain him. Your explanations
are merely guesses, attempts to cloak your ignorance in pompous
expressions. Bring something into your daily practice as evidence
of your having known the secret of the higher life from me. Show
that you have greater brotherliness. Speak with more sweetness and
self-control. Bear defeat as well as victory with calm resignation,
I am always aware of the future and the past as well as the
present of every one of you, so I am not so moved by mercy. Since
I know the past, the background, the reaction is different. It is
your consequence of evil deliberately done in the previous birth,
so I allow your suffering to continue, often modified by some
little compensation. I do not cause either joy or grief. You are
the designer of both these chains that bind you. I am the
embodiment of bliss (Anandaswarupa).
Come, take bliss (ananda)
from me, dwell on that bliss, and be full of peace (shanti).
My acts are the foundations on which I am building my work, the
task for which I have come. All the miraculous acts which you
observe are to be interpreted so. The foundation for a dam
requires a variety of materials. Without these it will not last
and hold back the waters. An incarnation of the Lord has to be
used in various ways by man for his uplift.
The Lord has no intention to publicize himself. I do not need
publicity, nor does any other Avathar of the Lord. What are
you daring to publicize? Me? What do you know about me? You speak
one thing about me today and another tomorrow. Your faith has not
become unshakable. You praise me when things go well and blame me
when things go wrong. When you start publicity you descend to the
level of those who compete in collecting plenty by decrying others
and extolling themselves.
Where money is calculated, garnered or exhibited to demonstrate
one's achievements, I will not be present. I come only where
sincerity and faith and surrender are valued. Only inferior minds
will revel in publicity and self-aggrandizement. These have no
relevance in the case of Avathars. Avathars need no
The establishment of righteousness (dharma):
that is my aim. The teaching of dharma, the spread of
dharma: that is my object. These miracles, as you call them,
are just a means toward that end. Some of you remark that
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (an Indian saint) said that yogic powers (siddhis)
are obstructions in the path of the spiritual aspirant (sadhaka)
Yes, yogic powers may lead the spiritual aspirant astray. Without
being involved in them he has to keep straight on. His ego will
bring him down if he yields to the temptation of demonstrating his
yogic powers. That is the correct advice which every aspirant
should heed. But the mistake lies in equating me with a sadhaka,
like the one whom Ramakrishna wanted to help, guide and warn.
These yogic powers are just in the nature of the Avathar --
the creation of things with intent to protect and give joy is
spontaneous and lasting. Creation, preservation, and dissolution
can be accomplished only by the Almighty ... no one else can.
Cynics carp without knowledge. If they learn the Sastras
or scriptures, or if they cultivate direct experience, they can
understand me. Your innate laziness prevents you from the
spiritual exercises necessary to discover the nature of God. This
laziness should go. It has to be driven out of man's nature in
whatever shape it appears. That is my mission. My task is not
merely to cure and console and remove individual misery but is
something far more important. The removal of misery and distress
is incidental to my mission. My main task is the reestablishment
Sastras (spiritual scriptures), and revealing the knowledge
about them to all people. This task will succeed. It will not be
limited. It will not be slowed down. When the Lord decides and
wills, his divine will cannot be hindered.
You must have heard people say that mine is all magic. But the
manifestation of divine power must not be interpreted in terms of
magic. Magicians play their tricks for earning their maintenance,
worldly fame, and wealth. They are based on falsehood and they
thrive on deceit, but this body could never stoop to such a low
level. This body has come through the Lord's resolve to come. That
resolve is intended to uphold truth (sathya).
Divine resolve is always true resolve. Remember there is nothing
that divine power cannot accomplish. It can transmute earth into
sky and sky into earth. To doubt this is to prove that you are too
weak to grasp great things, the grandeur of the universe.
I have come to instruct all in the essence of the Vedas,
to shower on all this precious gift, to protect the ancient wisdom
dharma) and preserve it. My mission is to spread happiness,
so I am always ready to come among you not once, but twice or
thrice -- as often as you want me. Many of you probably think that
since people from all parts of India, and even foreign countries
outside India, come to Puttaparthi, they must be pouring their
contributions into the coffers of the Nilayam (Prasanthi Nilayam:
name of Sai Baba's ashram). But let me declare the truth. I do not
take anything from anyone except their love and devotion. This has
been my consistent practice for the last many years. People who
come here are giving me just the wealth of faith, devotion, and
love. That is all.
Many of you come to me with problems of health and mental worry
of one sort or another. They are mere baits by which you have been
brought here. But the main purpose is that you may have grace and
strengthen your faith in the divine. Problems and worries are
really to be welcomed, as they teach you the lessons of humility
and reverence. Running after external things produces all this
discontent. That type of desire has no end. Once you have become a
slave to the senses, they will not leave hold until you are dead.
It is an unquenchable thirst. But I call you to me and even grant
worldly boons so that you may turn God-ward. No Avathar has
done like this before, going among the masses, counseling them,
guiding them, consoling them, uplifting them, and directing them
along the path of truth, righteousness, peace and love (sathya,
dharma, santhi and prema).
My activities and movements will never be altered, whoever may
pass whatever opinion on them. I shall not modify my plans for the
establishment of righteousness (dharmasthapana),
my discourses, or my movements. I have stuck to this determination
for many years and I am engaged in the task for which I have come:
that is, to inculcate faith in the path of the highest spiritual
peace (prasanthi). I shall not stop or retract a step.
Not even the biggest scientist can understand me by means of
his laboratory knowledge. I am always full of bliss. Whatever may
happen, nothing can come in the way of my smile. That is why I am
able to impart joy to you and make your burden lighter. I never
exult when I am extolled, nor shrink when I am reviled. Few have
realized my purpose and significance, but I am not worried. When
things that are not in me are attributed to me, why should I worry?
When things that are in me are mentioned, why should I exult? For
me it is always, "Yes, yes, yes." If you give all and surrender to
the Lord, he will guard and guide you. The Lord has come for just
this task. He is declaring that he will do so, and that it is the
very task that has brought him here. I know the agitations of your
heart and its aspirations, but you do not know my heart. I react
to the pain that you undergo and to the joy that you feel, for I
am in your heart. I am the dweller in the temple of every heart.
Do not lose contact and company, for it is only when the coal is
in contact with the live embers that it can also become live ember.
Cultivate a nearness with me in the heart and it will be
rewarded. Then you too will acquire a fraction of that supreme
love. This is a great chance. Be confident that you will all be
liberated. Know that you are saved. Many hesitate to believe that
things will improve, that life will be happy for all and full of
joy, and that the golden age will recur. Let me assure you that
this divine body (dharmaswarupa)
has not come in vain. It will succeed in averting the crisis that
has come upon humanity.