Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Teachings


Steps to Make Our Life a Wonderful Journey

There are two things essential for a happy life:

  1. Dhanya - grains for the sustenance of the body;
  2. Dhyana - contemplation for entering the temple of the Lord and merging in His glory.
[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part I, page 145]

Two ideas that should be cherished in our hearts:
  1. Forget the harm that anyone has done to you;
  2. Forget the good that you have done to others.
[Ref: A Recaptiulation of Baba's Divine Teachings - page 270]

Man has to pay attention to three basic duties in his quest for happiness:
  1. He should forget what he has to forget, namely the world around him and its tantalising pleasures;
  2. He has to reach where he has to reach, namley the goal of the Divine, the Presence of the Almighty and,
  3. He has to give up what he has to give up, namely material desires and pursuits.
The Vedic prayer Asatho maa sadgamaya, Thamaso maa jyorthi gamaya, Mrthyor maa amrtham gamaya summarises these aspirations very nicely.

[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part I, page 159]

There are three things which are immensely pleasing to to the Lord:
  1. A tongue that never indulges in falsehood.
  2. A body that is not tainted by causing harm to others.
  3. A mind that is free from attachment and hatred.
These three constitute the Triple Purity(Thrikarna Suddhi). Refrain fron uttering falsehood, inflicting pain on others and entertaining ill will towards others. Practice silence as a means of preventing the tongue from straying away from truth.

[Ref:Sanathana Sarathi - April 1988]

There are only three ways of saving oneself:
  1. Pravritti (action) - external activity is a method of sublimating the instincts and impulses;
  2. Nivritti (detachment, internal quiet) is a method of subduing the thirst of the senses and of the ego;
  3. Prapatti (surrender) is a method of utilising the senses, the instincts and impulses, the intelligence, the emotions, for the glorification of the all-knowing, all-directing Divine.
Do and dedicate; work and worship; plan and protect; but do not worry about the fruit. That is the secret of spiritual success.

[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part II, page 32]

There are three kinds of sadhanas(spiritual discipline) in order to develop an unwavering mind:
  1. Meena sadhana (like the fish) - Meena sadhana can be explained by remembering that fish can survive only in water. The moment it is taken out of water, it perishes. Similarly meena sadhana is one which can be only in solitude. If you sit in public, the sadhana will not be successful. Being unable to concentrate when he is mixed up with other people, to be able to get concentration in solitude is called meena sadhana.
  2. Mriga sadhana (like the animal) - Mriga sadhana is that in which one can get concentration on the earth only. You cannot go elsewhere, say into water, and do it. As in this case, there are some people who can get concentration only when they are sitting in company with others. They cannot get concentration in solitude. If they are alone they begin to think of their family problems.
  3. Kurma sadhana (like the tortoise) - On the other hand, the tortoise can live equally well either in water or on earth. So, if we say that one's sadhana is like kurma sadhana or one is able to concentrate like a tortoise, we mean that the person is able to concentrate irrespective of whether he is alone or sitting in company with others. This is called kurma sadhana.
[Ref: Sadhana - The Inward Path - page 50]

Four directives for sanctifying our lives and purifying our minds, so that we can contact the God within us:
  1. Give up the company of the wicked;
  2. Welcome the chance to be among the Good;
  3. Do good deeds both day and night;
  4. Remember which is lasting and which is not.
[Ref: Sanathana Sarathi - July 1985, page 175]

There are four things in which every man must interest himself:
  1. Who am I?
  2. Where from I have come?
  3. Where am I going?
  4. How long shall I be here?
The four Vedas give answers to these four questions. All spiritual inquiry begins with these questions and attempts to find out the answers. Suppose there is a letter put into the post box without the address to which it should go or the address from which it has come. It will not reach anywhere. It is a waste to have written it. So too, it is waste to have come into this world, if it is not known where from you came and where to you go. The letter will go to the dead letter office! The jivi will be caught in the cycle of birth and death and can never find itself. For this, atmavichara and for the successful arrival at the correct anaswers, sadhana is essential. The answers must become part of you experience.

[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part II, page7- 8]

Four resolutions to make about your life hereafter:
  1. Purity - Desist from wicked thoughts, bad habits, low activities, that weaken your self-respect.
  2. Service - Serve others, for they are the reflections of the same Entitiy of which you are yourself another reflection. No one of you has any authenticity, except with reference to the One Original.
  3. Mutuality - Feel always kinship with all the objects in the Universe.
  4. Truth - Do not deceive yourself or others, by distoting your experience.
[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part II, pages 222, 223]

I am insisting on five points of discipline for the permanent residents of Prashanthi Nilayam. I shall tell you about them, for, your homes and your villages have to be transformed into Prashanthi Nilayams. They are :
  1. Silence : This is the first step in sadhana; it makes the other steps easy. It promotes self-control; it lessens chances of anger, hate, malice, greed and pride. Besides, you can hear His Footsteps, only when Silence reigns in the mind.
  2. Cleanliness : It is the doorway to Godliness. Inner and outer cleanliness are essential, if you desire to install God in your heart.
  3. Service : Service saves you from the agony you get when another suffers; it broadens your vision, widens your awareness, deepens your compassion. All waves are on the same sea from the same sea. Seva teaches you to be firm in this knowledege.
  4. Love : Do not calculate or weigh the reaction, result or reward. Love calls; love responds. Love is God, Live in Love.
  5. Hate-less-ness : Adweshtaa sarva bhoothaanaam (without hatred to any being). Nothing is to be looked down upon. as secondary, inferior, unimportant, or expendable. Each has its allotted role in the drama, designed by the Almighty. Do not slight, insult or injure any being, for He is in every being and your slight becomes a sacrilege.
[Ref: The Voice of the Avatar - Part II, pages 175,176]

Five types of Dharma (duties) have been laid down for man.
  1. Kula Dharma - duties relating to to his occupational group.
  2. Desa Dharma - duties to the nation.
  3. Matha Dharma - duties pertaining to his religion.
  4. Gana Dharma - duties relating to society.
  5. Aapad Dharma - duty when he faces danger.
All these five types of duties are related to one's life in the phenomenal world and are not concerned with the Supreme Reality.

[Ref: Sanathana Sarathi - March 1984, page 67]

Man has to contend with afflictions from five causes. These five causes are :
  1. Avidya - lack of true knowledge renders a man feel weak and imbecile, incapable of recognising his inherent divine nature.
  2. Abhinava - makes a man attached to samsara (worldly concerns) and to forget his real destiny. He allows his mind to dominate him. As a result he is subject to sorrow and depression.
  3. Asthitha - is the trouble that arises out of excessive greed. When the desires are not fulfilled, there is distress. When they are fulfilled self-conceit(ahamkara) grows. In this process, genuine human qualities wither away.
  4. Raga Klesa - is the distress caused by insatiable desire for houses, vehicles, wealth, etc.
  5. Dwesha Klesa- is the feeling of bitterness that arises when one does not get what he seeks from others. In due course he becomes a low and pitiable creature.
[Ref: Sanathana Sarathi - July 1987, pages 179, 180]

Five prayers to endow us with the "awareness of Brahman".

If you are yearning to experience Brahmananda, the Sath-Chitah Ananda is pure, from this day, keep ever in your memory what I am about to tell you:

  1. "I am God; I am not different from God". Be conscious of this always. Keep it ever in mind. "I am God. I am God. I am not different from God". Be reminding yourself of this. Pray that you may not fall in this spiritual excercise(sadhana).
  2. "I am the Indivisible Supreme Absolute(Akandha Para Brahman)". This is the second Truth to be established in the consciousness by unremitting repetition and prayer.
  3. "I am Sath-Chith-Ananda(Being Awareness, Bliss)".
  4. "Grief and anxiety can never affect me". Develop this faith and convince yourself of this Truth by repeated assurance and prayer.
  5. "I am ever content; fear can never enter me". Feel thus for ever. Pray that this convinction grows stronger and stronger.
Exhort yourself. "O self! Utter 'Om Thath Sath', 'Om Thath Sath', the threefold symbol of Brahman. As the physical body is maintained healthy and strong by the five vital airs(prana), these five prayers will endow you with the "awareness of Brahman", which is the same as "the status of Brahman itself".

[Ref: Sanathana Sarathi - January 1984, pages 7,8]

Five D's: The group of five subjects to master to obtain the degree of Divine love:
  1. Dedication - It means offering. When you offer the flower of your heart to the Lord, it should be free from the pests of desire, hatred, envy, greed and the like.
  2. Devotion - This is the highest form of love. It means the constant loving contemplation of God, repetition of His name, worshipping Him, and doing penance foe Him. Service to the Lord is the highest expression of devotion.
  3. Discipline - This is most essential for students. The human estate is based upon regulations and self-control. These have to be strictly adhered to in the daily life.
  4. Discrimination - Man should not let himself be guided by the mind. He should follow the dirrections of his intelligence(buddhi). As long as you follow the mind, you cannot obtain Madhava(Divinity). Discrimination is essential for every student and educated man.
  5. Determination - It is like the reins for a horse. When you want to achieve something, you must have the determination and persistence to secure it by all of your efforts. No room should be given for doubts and hesitations. There is nothing on earth which cannot be achieved by firm determination.
[Ref: Sanathan Sarathi - March 1988, pages 68,69,70]

Six qualities necessary for a devotee to be dear to the Lord:
  1. Be free from any kind of desire or expectation
  2. Have internal purity(the purity of the speech, mind and the body) as well as external cleanliness.
  3. Have determination in performing actions which are pure, helpful to others, and sublimate man.
  4. Have freedom from attachement to anything
  5. Have freedom form worry. Concern yourself with the present, which is the child of the past and parent of the future.
  6. Renounce egoism in any form.
[Ref: Sanathana Sarathi, October 93, pages 253-255]

Time is invaluable; do not waste even half a minute. The hours that have passed cannot return. The wheel of time will not halt for any person. So, examine your thoughts, words and deeds and find out whether spending precious time on them is worthwhile or not. Death is always waving its sharp sword over the head, but mindful of this imminent and inescapable fate, many are lost in plans to build rich, prosperous and luxurious lives for themselevs. They live in hope and dreams of better days. The fire of wisdom alone is capable of reducing these plans and hopes into ash.

[Ref: Sathya Sai Baba]

The first thing we should do in this context is to promote and strengthen the aspect of self-confidence. This confidence is one's own self is like the foundation at the bottom. On the foundation of that confidence, we should build the wall of self-satisfaction, we should put the roof of self-sacrifice. In that mansion, we should attain self-realisation. Today, in the context of human nature, men are conducting themselves in a manner by which we think that they have no understanding at all of the need for self-confidence. The individual human beings have become so weak that they are not able to understand their own nature, their own self and, therefore, they try to find the nature of others and find fault in others. Because such unsacred qualities have become many in number, man is suffering and he does not understand his own human nature and the quality of human life is degrading.

[Ref: Sathya Sai Baba]

Purify the heart by being good and kind to all. Do not attempt to find fault with others. Look upon all with love, with respect, with faith in their sincerity. I would ask you to treat your servants kindly. Do not entertain hatred or contempt in your heart; Show your resentment if you must, through words, not action. Repent for the errors that you commit and decide never to repeat them. Pray for the strength to carry out your resolutions.

Do not unto another what you do not like to be done to yourself. For another is really "you". Even if another uses foul language against you be calm and sweet; say, "Oh, I am so surprised that my behaviour has given you that impression." Smile in return, do not take it heart; remind yourself that even Swami is not free from these peculiar beings who revel in falsehoods. Smile when you hear these revilings and be calm. That is a sign of your meditation is progressing fast.

[Ref: Sathya Sai Baba]

Life is a pilgrimage to God; the holy spot is there afar! The road lies before you; but unless you take the first step forward and follow that step with others, how can you reach it? Start with courage, faith, joy and steadiness. You are bound to succeed. The mind and the intellect are two bullocks ties to a cart, the "inner man". The bullocks are not used to the road of truth, righteouness, peace and love, so they drag the cart along the road familar to them, namely falsehood, injustice, worry and hatred. You have to train them to take the better road so that they may not bring disaster to themselves, the cart they are yoked to and the men inside it.
[Ref:Voice of the Avatar - Part I, page 14]

Life is a march from "I" to "We". But, it usually strays from "I" to "They" and does not reach the God, 'We". Life is journey from the position "I" to the position "We", from the singular to the plural, from the imprisoned one to the liberated One, who is seen in the many. The vision of the One, immanent in the obvious many is the fulfillment of all the years of one's life. This is the teaching contained in the ancient texts and Scriptures.

[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part II, page 24]

The wise man is he who keeps his reason sharp and clear, and sees things as they really are. He listens to the advice;

Life is a Challenge; Meet it;
Life is Love; Share it;
Life is a Dream; Realise it;
Life is a Game; Play it.

This is the real Pilgrim's Progress. This is the lion's march across the forest, fearless, masterful and victorious. The roar of the lion makes all the denizens scamper in panic; so too the Halo of Wisdom scatters the dark brood of fear and doubt.

[Ref: Voice of the Avatar - Part I, pages 30, 31]

The game of life is worth playing and becomes interesting only when there are bounds and rules which limit and control. Imagine a game of football without any rules or bounds for the field. It will be chaos; it will be free fight; it will be a riot. No one can say who wins and how. The Dharmamarga and Brahmamarga are the boundaries of the field. The virtues fight against the vicious tendencies. Play the game, paying heed to the warning of "Foul" and "Out".
[Ref:Sadhana - The Inward Path, page 167]

Just as every day you engage in exercises, and consume tonics, calculating the intake of calories and vitamins, paying meticulous attention to the nutritional value of the food, pay attention also to the intake of impressions into the mind - whether they debilitate or strengthen, whether they add to the power of resistance of the mind against the viruses - greed, envy, hatred, pride, malice, etc. Have a meal of good acts of service, Divine thoughts, and drink the Premarasa, so that they may be washed down, and digested well. Then, you can be shining in mental health, happiness and wholesomeness.

[Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks - Vol VII - B, page 42]

Slow and steady - let that be your maxim! Adhere to a regular routine, a timetable. Jast as the doctor prescribes a certain fixed meaure or weight of the drug and warns you that anything less is ineffective and anything more is harmful, so too have some limit for your spiritual excercises. Do not overdo them or do them casually and without care. The doctors tell you about the hour of the day and the number of times the drug has to be repeated, for the action of the quantity taken must be reinforced ere it becomes weak. So also, you have to repeat the name of the Lord(japam) and do meditation(dhyanam) at regular intervals.

[Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks Vol II , page 33]

If you talk of anything you do not know, it is a matter of ridicule. If you talk about anything you have not experienced, it is reprehensible, for you are cheating your listeners. If you learn the art of public speaking and talk enchantingly using all the skills and frills recommended in the textbooks or borrowed from others, it is cheating, nevertheless. Be sincere, be simple, be honest. That is the best recipe for successful speaking.

[Ref: Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

The Lord will manifest where and when you yearn for Him; if you yearn that He should come before you in flesh and blood, He will respond. He is ever ready to respond; only, you are not ready to invite or welcome or receive Him into your heart. You have not purified the heart and removed there from the thorns of lust and greed, of envy and hatred. The baby that has been fed on milk may start crying, do not be worried. It is very helpful for digestion. Cry, so that you can digest the joy of knowing God; cry and shed tears of joy. The tear glands have been allotted to you not for weeping helplessly before others with hands extended for alms, but to shed tears of joy of thankfulness, at the Feet of the Lord.

[Ref: Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

This conquest of the ego is a very hard task; years of persistent effort are needed to get success in this endeavour.

For getting a degree you struggle in the University for a number of years poring over books night and day; how much more difficult is this examination, success in which guarantees lasting happiness, and escape from the weary round of birth and death?

[Ref: Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

Learn to speak little and to speak soft. That will reduce the chances of getting angry. Seek the good in others and evil in yourself.

[Ref: Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

Believe firmly that the body is the residence of God, that the food you eat is the offering you make to your Deity; that bathing is the ceremonial bathing of the divine spirit in you; the ground you walk upon is His domain; the joy you derive is His gift; the grief you experience is His lesson that you tread the path more carefully. Remember Him even in sun and shade, day and night, awake or sleep.

[Ref: Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

[Quotations collected from SaiNet - posted by Ashley and Nilu Perera]

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