The following discourse has been translated into English from Bhagavan's Telugu speech as heard on this festival's ashram audiocassette. It is a complete, literal translation made with the objective of preserving Bhagavan's precious original poetic style as much as possible.
Divine Discourse by
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The Power of the Five Elements
Just like saying that God is omnipresent and is the Indweller of all beings; the five elements, that are the power of God, are also omnipresent and have all power. The entire world is pervaded by the five elements. It is bound by the five elements. It continues by the five elements. If any one of the five elements is missing, the world cannot continue. Therefore, these five elements are the five praanas (life-breaths) for every human being.
No one can comprehend their power and capability. They cannot understand, though every man cannot help but recognize the nature of the five elements like this. The one who recognizes is fortunate. He is meritorious. He is one who has recognized the four goals of human life. Therefore, it is the duty of every man to understand well and practice the nature of the five elements.
These five elements are the main cause for happiness and sorrow, good and bad. Therefore if we want to be happy, happiness must be through the five elements. If we want to be immersed in sorrow, we have to be immersed only through these five elements. They may be seen to be very small in name or form, but they are greatly powerful.
Man of today is born, grows for some years, and afterwards gives up this body. What is the cause for this growing and giving up of the body? These five elements only! These five elements are pervading in every man, from the smallest to the biggest. Therefore, it is essential that we understand their secrets.
Controlling the Sight
Understanding their secrets well, Buddha made numerous efforts to bring these five elements under control. It is said:
Buddham sharanam gaccham.
Sangam sharanam gacchami.
I surrender to the Buddha.
I surrender to the society.
Buddha used his intellect in the society and through it, he tried to understand this truth and he shared his wisdom with society. Out of these five elements, from the very beginning, he controlled his vision. What is the reason for controlling this vision? Among these five elements, this vision is very powerful. Forty lakhs of light rays are shining in the eyes. We are wasting these light rays in numerous ways. Hence, the body that man has donned, is gradually becoming decayed.
The effects of vision, the sights that we see and the experiences that we enjoy, all of these reduce the life span of man. Out of the forty lakhs of light rays that are in man, so many lakhs are reduced each time a bad sight is seen. Therefore, in the first instance, man develops an eye defect. It means his vision fails. They say that a cataract has come. They protect the eye by undertaking an operation and taking medicines. In the understanding of the doctors, all of this is a cataract. But these are actually the effects of bad vision. The effect of bad looks comes into his vision and it reduces his power in so many ways. So,first and foremost, we have to control the vision.
We are deluded thinking that we will be able to attain a sacred state by controlling our senses. No matter how many different types of sadhana are done, without controlling the sight, we cannot obtain the results of these sadhanas at all. We are undertaking sadhana only for temporary satisfaction. Whether meditation, japa, thapas, or concentration; we are doing all sadhanas like this only for our temporary satisfaction.
No, no! These are not that which protects our vision. Who can protect the drishti (vision) that protects srishthi (the Creation)? So, our drishti is our srishthi. Our nethra (eye; see attached dictionary for further explanation) is the true shastra (scriptures, moral code).So, the misuse of our vision is destroying all the powers within us.
Controlling the Tongue
Then, the second one is the tongue. Three lakhs of taste buds are in it. We develop tastes and are habituated into taking numerous types of tastes. By eating all of these flavors and experiencing all this delight, we are losing all the ability of the tongue.
Not only for eating tasteful dishes, we are also using this tongue for unpleasant words. We are giving pain to the hearts of others. We are injuring their hearts by using harsh words. Hence, due to this type of use of the tongue, our life span reduces even further.
Due to using too much of these powers of the senses in this way, they are reducing, and we are losing even our life. Therefore, first and foremost, we have to try to control our sight and our taste. A new power will arise in us by controlling these two.
No matter how much thapas is done, the power of tapas does not grow. It keeps growing only through controlling our sight, our speech, and taste. We are making a big mistake. We are using certain words in our daily life thinking, "They are only small words, is it not?" So, we become ones who are ignorant of taste (appreciation of good words).
Controlling the Speech
Oh tongue, the knower of taste,
That loves sweetness,
Speak Truth in a pleasing way.
Chant the sweet words,
Govinda, Damodhara, Madhava.
'O Tongue! Tongue that knows taste, tongue that has all powers, sweet Tongue, you should understand first and then speak.'
You cannot recognize what word pains the heart of the person in front of you. The one in front of you is not the one in front of you. You are within everyone. Although the bodies are different, the Atma in both, is the same. Both the one suffering and the one giving the suffering are the same individual.
Hence, we should not say that which causes suffering to the person in front of us.So, I am saying now and then, "Talk less." Yet, you are disregarding all of that. But you are not able to know how much the effects of this will weaken you in the future.
Controlling the Senses
See good.You should not see bad. You should see good. Then your eyes will obtain sacred power. They will also be able to see the Divine Cosmic form. Therefore, only when we put the senses under a lot of control, will the result of our sadhana greatly progress.
Man of today is immersed in physical, worldly, and secular sadhanas and is forgetting the Divine and auspicious powers. These sadhanas are all temporary. These are all bad habits of man. You are thinking that, 'Through these sadhanas, we are able to attain things.' But there is nothing at all that is attained through these.
First and foremost, control your senses: sabdha (hearing), sparsa (touch), rupa (sight), rasa (taste), and gandha (smell).Don't even try to listen to bad things. If such a situation ever comes up, you must go away from that place. Don't listen to bad things. Don't see bad sights. Never use bad words. You have to make proper effort and try to distance yourself from this type of bad habit. Then day by day, the power of sadhana will grow and progress in you.
All the sacred Maharishis went to a forest alone and were able to keep their senses under proper control.So, the sadhana of controlling the senses is the only true sadhana. Without controlling the senses, no matter what sadhanas are done, all of them are useless.
Rather than saying bad words with the tongue, you should use good words like 'Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana.' So, we are committing numerous kinds of sins with the senses. But we don't see this bundle (of sins). Hiding behind us without us seeing it, it is giving us many types of baadha (Telugu word meaning troubles, sufferings, or afflictions).
That which isn't seen, which is hidden,
Makes you experience the results of your actions,
What cannot be seen by you, that only is making you experience the results (consequences) of your actions.
Embodiments of Love!
The senses are the praana (life-breath) for every man. Only when these senses are kept on the right path, your praana also will enter onto the sacred path.Therefore, if we want to live our whole life in a supremely peaceful way, the senses must be controlled.
This means not only not saying bad words, butone should talk in a sparing or limited and beneficial way, softly and sweetly. You should talk in this way as there is so much sanctity contained in words.
Many people wrote sacred texts instead of speaking words. Ones like Valmiki, Vyasa, and Pothana, all of them spent time in this sacred way, writing slokas (religious stanzas) on God. Only when we take the example of such sacred, ideal men will our life also become an ideal life.
Regarding our reading, we are reading bad books. That is also very bad. One should do good, whether reading, writing, seeing, saying, or doing. As far as one is aware, it should be seen that not even one fault is mixed in.
The Divinity in Humanity
Therefore, the Divinity in humanity is there through the senses.Divinity may be attained to any extent through these senses. Even any Sakshathkaara (direct perception of God) may be experienced. One may transform into Sakshath Swarupa (the very form of God).
So, although there is such a power in mankind, man of today is living naively, feeling that he has no power at all. He thinks that there is a second power separate from him and he feels that he is struggling for that power. There is nothing at all more powerful than him!
Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti.
God is One.
But wise men call Him by different names.
There is only One,ONE! It is only a lot of ignorance to search for a second thing. There is no second thing in this world. There is only One.
I am One.
I will become many.
We only are creating.Only when we control all of these senses, we will experience Oneness. Many people are feeling, "When desires are fulfilled, I will have a lot of bliss." But bliss does not come when desires are fulfilled. When we control our desires, we will obtain bliss! (Applause) The one who controls his desires is obtaining true bliss. The one who tries to fulfill his desires is succumbing to huge ashanthi (peacelessness).
What are these desires? All of these desires are related to the world. They are the aims of pravritthi (the outward path), are they not? There is no happiness at all in pravritthi. Thinking that there is happiness in it, you are making nivritthi (the inward path) distant.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is the most important praana (life breath) in everything.When we want to attain such a principle of life, we have to put the sacred senses to good use. Therefore:
See no evil.
See what is good.
You should see good. Don't see bad. Speak good (words). Don't speak bad. Buddha said 'samyak drishti' (pure vision). 'Samyak drishti', let us develop good vision. Buddha had darshan (direct seeing of a holy person, which brings his grace and blessings to the viewer) of numerous wise people. He even read all the great, big scriptures. He underwent numerous sadhanas.
Doing these sadhanas, having darshan of the wise, reading scriptures, what use was it? He said, "Nonsense! All of these are only the aims of pravitthi!" He put the books aside. He stopped seeing all the wise people. He even stopped listening to their teachings.
"I will sanctify the five elements that God has gifted. If I do not sanctify the five elements that God has given, then what sadhana should I do? This body is that which decays, burns, falls off. That which we do with this body is also bound to be destroyed. That which is done with the temporary body will also be temporary. But the sadhanas that are practiced with an eternal, true feeling will stand eternal and true."
Then only he tried to control his senses. Only when he attempted to control his senses, bliss increased day-by-day. Bliss was much more. He was also unable to bear such bliss. He went and hugged his brother (cousin) Ananda who was near him.
He said, "Ananda! I am unable to bear this bliss. I am approaching the state of Nnirvana. I am ready for anything." The son of his mother's sister, named Ananda, shed tears. Buddha said, "Crazy fellow! Instead of you experiencing this bliss, why are you sorrowful that I am attaining this bliss? This is only the perversion of pravritthi."
We are struggling for happiness in worldly matters, while Buddha struggled for bliss in the spiritual field. That only is the true bliss. That is the truthful bliss. That is the eternal bliss. That is lasting bliss.That is Amrithah Thathwa (Immortality). We are making such a state of Amrithah Thathwa distant.
Atoning for Sins
Everything that we do is wrong.However, we are asking that mistakes be forgiven. We should not ask for these mistakes to be forgiven. It should be desired that the punishment appropriate to the mistake be experienced. Then only, the fault will be removed from us.
If anyone does something wrong, they will even put them in jail. To experience the results of the wrong, he is experiencing the punishment of jail. As soon as the punishment is complete, they let him go. In the same way, when we atone for our faults, even we will be released.Therefore, if we think we want to be released, the results of the wrongs done have to be experienced. It has to be seen that the wrongs are not committed again. Such wrongs should not enter into the senses.
We are doing so many different types of sins, yet we are not feeling that they are sins. We are thinking, 'This is my natural swabhava (nature).' It isn't, it isn't!
In order to understand sacred words, we are reading the Vedas, Sastras, Itihasas, and Puranas. As much as the sacred Vedas are repeated, that much bliss we will have.
Therefore, Buddha, who criticized the Vedas in the past, desiredthe wisdom in the Vedas. (Note: Swami says a long Sanskrit sloka, which has the following meaning: 'This scripture is boundless like an ocean, an abode of wisdom. Knowing it completely gives liberation. It gives prosperity.' The remainder of the sloka is a series of names of various devatas or demi-gods.) He repeated again all that the Vedas said. People thought that Buddha was opposing all the Vedas. So, Sankaracharya began by saying, "Buddha is not disproving the Vedas. Due to our lack of discrimination, we only are contradicting this idea." Buddha repeated well the true, eternal words. We are misunderstanding these eternal words.
(Note: Swami says a Sanskrit sloka, giving several names for Cupid, the God of Love.) How great it is to be victorious over this kaama (desire, lust)! Who can overcome this? Only Buddha was able to overcome this. It is not necessary to do any big sadhana to overcome this. After recognizing that, 'This is the inner meaning,' we will forget it. It will not pressure us at all.
Today this is what we are doing:
For money, people will stealthily do any indiscrete thing.
Chanting 'Ranga, Ranga,' (God's Name), they make false and insincere vows and deceive the public.
Is this the thing we should do? No, no, no, no! We have to recognize this truth.We have to gain victory over this kaama (desire). We have to achieve this victory. Without being capable of victory, we are trying to control desires.
You are youth. At this age, it is most important to control this kaama. It may be controlled with much happiness. Such a sacred path can be made use of. You can follow such a fortunate, meritorious path. This is a very fortunate thing. If we know the proper path of something like that, we will not leave it at all.
Why did they mention all sacred words in the Vedas? It is said that with a few good qualities and the repetition of these sacred words of the Vedas, all of these desires may be controlled. What is important to develop these good qualities? Good behavior is important. We have to have these good practices. Having good qualities within these practices, we can progress. Some come in the world as obstacles, but we should not submit to them at all.
Embodiments of Love!
They say 'Guru Purnima.' What does 'purnima' mean? It means ‘Full Moon’ day. What day? Guru Purnima. It is the Purnima (Full Moon day) of the Guru. Who is the Guru? It is not the gurus of today. Saying the mantra (mystically powerful formulae to be recited for spiritual uplift) in the ear, taking money in the hand, is this Guruthwam (the quality of a real guru)? (Applause) This is not guru-ness.
'Gu - ru':
Gukaro Gunateethaha Rukaro Rupavarjithaha.
One who is attributeless and formless is a true Guru.
First and foremost, we have to feel the nature that is without form and without attributes is the Guru.Therefore, it is essential to recognize this quality of attributlessness as Guruthwam (the nature of the Guru). It is very difficult to get such a guru, so let us take God as the Guru. For that reason, in those days, in the Vedas, Sastras, Itihasas, and Puranas, Shankara said:
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheswara;
Gurur Sakshat Para Brahma,
Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara.
Consider Guru as your everything.
‘Guru is my everything.’ He only is Vishnu. He only is Siva. He is Brahma. He is everything.Therefore, in the world, everything is the form of God. It is said:
Sarvam Kalavidham Brahma.
All is Brahma (God).
God is Everywhere
Whoever is seen, all are embodiments of Brahma (God).Whoever is seen, all are forms of Vishnu. Today we are seeing the Cosmic form. There are so many heads. Based on this, the Vedas say:
Sahasra Seersha Purushah Sahasraksha Sahasra Paad
Hundreds of heads has the Purusha (Supreme Lord); Hundreds of eyes, hundreds of feet.
In the situation of those days, there were thousands of ears and thousands of heads. (Note: In those days, the population was only in the thousands.) Now it has increased to crores. However, in those days, at the time when this manthra was said, it (the population) was contained within thousands. Therefore, they felt that all were Divine forms. No matter to whom namaskaar was done, they used to do namaskaar saying:
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam.
God is the Indweller in all beings.
Sarva Bhuta Namaskaaram Kesavam Pratigachchati
Salutations to all beings reach God.
Whoever one does namaskaar to, it reaches Keshava (God). No matter to whom one does namaskaar, Easwara receives it. Why?
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam.
God is the Indweller of all beings.
Isaasyam Idam Sarvam.
The entire universe is permeated by God.
The whole world is the Thathwam (principle) of Easwara.Therefore, that Thathwam of Easwara is not just here or there.
Here, there, wherever is seen,
It is the One Atma that is present.
There is only One in the heart.There is only one Easwara Thathwa present in all. There is only one Vishnu Thathwa present in all. We are in delusion, having only illusions. But there are actually no differences at all in Divinity.
All is Divine.
Effects of Bad Company
Gurus of those days appeared in order to teach Oneness like this. Today it is very difficult to obtain Uttama (the highest, best) Gurus. Uttama disciples can be obtained, but Uttama Gurus cannot be obtained. Now there are so many good disciples. Among our students, there are so many very good, good children. However, if there are one or two bad ones among them, bad will come to all the children. They will also have to experience the results.
One small example: At night, you have laid down. Lying down, a couple of mosquitoes have come and bitten you. Mosquitoes! Two or three mosquitoes came and bit you. In the early morning, you get up thinking, 'These mosquitoes have bitten me,' so you take 'Flit' (mosquito repellant) and spray all the mosquitoes.
Only two or three bit you. However, you are killing so many. Have you killed those that bit you? No! In that same way, even with God, if there are one or two bad people, due to that bad company, it also becomes necessary to punish the one beside them, the one in their company.
Tyaja Durjana Samsargam;
Bhaja Sadhu Samagamam;
Kuru Punyam Ahorathram.
Run away from bad company.
Join good company.
Undertake meritorious deeds day and night.
This is what Shankara said, first and foremost: Tyaja durjana samsargam. 'From the very beginning, you should go, leaving the bad people.' Then your heart will become sacred.
Hence, first and foremost, we have to try to control our senses. We get angry. Jealousy comes. When things like this come, what should we do?When anger comes, don't express it. You have to try to control it.
'Fie! This anger has come due to my evil (tendencies). This is my bad quality. This makes me do bad deeds.' Thinking that, drink a tumbler of cool water; sit in one place, and contemplate on some Name of God. After some time, the anger will go down. Or, if your anger increases more, go to some place of solitude. Go walking with speed for half a mile. Then this anger will go down.Like this, there are so many simple ways to reduce anger.
However, students of today are not trying to reduce it. They are attempting to increase it! They think, 'Except for this time, there is no other time to scold him. We will stand where he is, and then let us scold him just as we please.' That seems as if it is an even bigger sin. It is not good. So, make the proper effort to cool it (anger). In that way, we should try to gradually reduce the bad qualities that come in us, with prayers to God and with contemplation on God.
Effects on Children in the Womb
Embodiments of Love!
At the very start, we should control our sight and tongue.We are seeing so many sins with these eyes. Therefore, we are experiencing so many sins. We are seeing so many sights. Therefore, we are experiencing the results of those sights. Then only children like that (with bad qualities) are being born to us. Therefore, we should never see bad and we should never speak bad.
You don't know, but women know this. In the past, during the ninth months of pregnancy, the pregnant lady was not shown anything bad, and nothing bad would be spoken to her either. Instead, they would speak stories of God to her. Thinking that it's their simantha(see attached dictionary: something like a 'baby shower'), they used to cook her good food and convey only good and happy news to the pregnant lady.
What is the reason?If good feelings go inside, good feelings will also come to the child inside the womb. (Applause) The sins that the mother and father did will, without fail, affect the children also.
You know very well that when Subhadra was pregnant, Arjuna came and was explaining about the Padmavyuha (a huge, circular, offensive formation used in ancient war) to her. When he was telling her about it, immediately Krishna came and said, "Brother-in-law! Stop talking about that! This is not the time that you should tell this. Who is hearing it? You are feeling that the one who is saying, 'Aha, aha,' is Subhadra. But the one saying the 'Aha' is not Subhadra! The child inside the womb is saying it!"
Arjuna explained only about entering into the Padmavyuha. So Abhimanya heard only up until then. When Krishna said to stop, Arjuna stopped. So he (Abhimanya) knew only how to enter the Padmavyuha, and due to that, he did not know how to come out again. Abhimanya died in the Padmavyuha.
We do not know about it. But so much is happening in the world without us knowing about it. You are thinking, 'Only I do not know.' You don't know. If you do not know, does Easwara also not know? He knows!So we should always speak good words and good works should be done. One should enter onto the good path. Hence, only when our sacred senses are kept on the right path, all our sins will be atoned.
There is a hand and it has five fingers. When the five fingers punch, what injury would it cause? But don't hit. Don't hit! If sometime you would like to hit, hit with one finger. Is one finger seen or are five fingers seen by the one who hits? An angry man will hit just as he likes, with the hand or the leg. There is no discrimination between hand and leg!
So, when that anger comes, you go away from there.Distance yourself. Then you will not succumb to these sins. Therefore, rather than committing a sin and then feeling very badly about how to atone for it, it would be better to see that a sin is not done in the first place!
No More Padanamaskar
Yet, there is another matter to tell. It may cause all of you suffering. However, it gives much Ananda to Me. Why? Becausethe Divinity in all is only One.
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam.
God is the Indweller of all beings.
You should understand this (above) Truth.From today, I will not give padanamaskar to anyone. Why? Because you and I are One! (Applause) So you do your padanamaskar within yourself. I am feeling to keep to this kind of determination from today onwards.
We need not do padanamaskar to anyone. Do to the parents. Why? Because they don't know the Truth and you also don't know that Truth. I know this Truth, so I must follow this Truth.That which is in you, that which is in Me, that which is in those here, that which is in those there, is One - One Atma. So, it is not necessary to do padanamaskar to anyone.
If you would like to do it, do it in the mind.You may bring your five fingers together, then bring the ten fingers together, and do it with the feeling of, "Swami! I am offering these dasendriyas (ten senses) to You." It is not necessary to touch the Feet and do padanamaskar.
So, from this day, it may give you a little sorrow. It may be difficult (painful) for the ears to hear. Although it is possible to close your ears, but is it possible to close My mouth? So, you must recognize and practice this Truth. Certainly from today, no one should do these padanamaskars.
'God is present in everyone and in me. God is in me.'Thinking like that, you should recognize and act according to that Truth. If you develop feelings like this, Divinity will manifest within you.
A few conflicts are also going on with this (giving of padanamaskar). If one is given padanamaskar, some others think, 'He gave to him, but He didn't give to me!" These types of feelings of differences are also increasing, even hatred too. I am ending these padanamaskars also to decrease this feeling of hatred. Wherever you are, do it in your mind. That only is My Ananda. Yet, this determination was there since a long time. I have been saying this, but none of you are following that.
Hence, all these crazy, crazy feelings gradually have to be decreased. To control the senses means to control all these types of feelings of anger, sorrow, jealousy, envy, hatred, pomp and show. Also, stop doing padanamaskar and extolling (praising Swami). All of these things are not good. These are vritthis (agitations of the mind), having to do with the external.
Therefore, from this Guru Purnima onwards, you should develop these sacred feelings and you should thus become sanctified and attain Supreme Peace. Remain in Brahmananda.Every single individual aspires for that Ananda. When will this bliss come?
The Five Sheaths
However, first and foremost, in the body there is the Annamaya (the gross body sheath). That is the food body. Therefore, it becomes full of Praanamaya (the vital air sheath, activating the body). After, it becomes Manomaya (the mind or emotional sheath). As soon as it goes there, Vijnanamaya (the intellectual sheath, discrimination) comes. After Vijnanamaya comes, there is Anandamaya (the bliss sheath).
Therefore, up until this Vijnanamaya, you should do the proper types of sadhanas. Only when you foster this Vijnanamaya, will you obtain Anandamaya.So, develop your life with bliss, spend life with happiness and peace, and also try to share this bliss with others.
You do not know how great this bliss is. If we experience bliss one time…. (Note: Swami pauses, leaving the last sentence incomplete.) One small example: There is a fire. If you put a small stick into the fire, that stick will also catch fire. The whole stick will transform into fire.In that same way, being near to Swami, when you are near to the Mano Thathwa (Mind Principle) of Swami, that Mano Thathwa will also enter into you. Your mind will also be illumined. There being illumination, it will make your darkness distant. It will make your bliss shine.
So, you have to feel that this is for your good. You should not feel badly thinking, 'Alas! Swami said like this!' Even this suffering is for our bliss only. This is:
Pleasure is an interval between two pains.
Between these two pains, you will obtain bliss. When Swami is coming and going in the darshan lines, some are touching the Feet. Others see all of this and feel hurt.Therefore, from today you should use these two - control of the senses and padanamaskar - in the proper way.
Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan, "Prema Muditha Mana Se Kaho…"
Taken from "A Glossary of Sanskrit Words
Gleaned from Sai Literature"