(This is a translation from Telugu.)
BHAGAVAN SRI SATYA SAI BABA
Held On 12-4-2000
At Sai Ramesh Hall
‘If you inquire into the truth, even doing charity, sacrifices or Yagna, positions of honour, knowledge of even Sanathana Dharma, nothing is equal to Love.’ (Telugu poem)
Embodiments of Love!
There is no person in India who does not know the Ramayana. Ramayana is an ideal for every human being. Ramayana is the ideal for every family. Ramayana is the ideal for all brothers. From ancient times there are thousands and thousands who have heard the story of Rama, at numerous times and in numerous places.
TRANSFORM THE MIND
Mankind is progressing, but no one is inquiring into humanness. Man is progressing, but man’s mind is not transformed at all. Man is changing the style of his dress, but he is not changing his thoughts or intelligence. What is the use of being a man if the mind is not transformed? What is the profit of changing the dress without changing the buddhi (thoughts or intelligence)? Buddhi must change in mankind today. The mind has to be changed.
There is no use just in changing the form. If man does not change himself, no matter how many sadhanas are done, they are all useless. No matter how much japa or meditation or how many yajnas are done, if the mind does not change, he is not a human being at all.
DEBT TO GOD
Today man is not trying to recognise the important truth in the spiritual life. ‘Mano Mulam Idam Jagat’. The mind pervades all of creation (Sanskrit sloka). Without changing the basis, that pure, Divine, auspicious, new mind, what use is it to change any other amount of things?
Three debts come along with man when he is born. The first is the debt to God. Second is the debt to the rishis (sages). The third is the debt to the parents.
From ancient times, God is in man’s body. The form of God is in every cell. He is living, fostering mankind and making man go on. His name Angirasa. God is present in every limb as Rasa Swarupa. Every second he is protecting man. Therefore, due to God protecting him like this, we are in debt to God.
How can mankind repay this debt? It is possible to repay this debt to God by performing good actions, by having good habits and good behaviour and by helping man, destroying his troubles and wishing for the welfare of others. Therefore, to repay the debt to God, He gave man the path of seva (service).
To whom should we do seva? We have to do seva to man. Seva should be done to living beings. For what are we doing this seva? We are doing it to repay the debt to God, not for helping living beings. Whatever seva is done, the debt will be further reduced. So man has to make the effort to repay the debt to God by his actions. The debt to God will reduce a little further even with the smallest help done to others.
The body is given to do help to others, but not to become a leader. A true servant is a true leader. One should become blessed by doing seva like this, repaying the debt. God is in every limb of the body of man as Rasa Swarupa. That truth should be recognised. Therefore, the first debt we should repay is the debt to God.
DEBT TO THE SAGES
The second is the debt to the sages. These sages of ancient times knew about man’s past, present and future. They knew about numerous cultures and they taught the right path of Dharma and morals, so that people could find fulfilment in this world and the next. The sages did all kinds of sadhana for man. We have to walk on the paths that the sages defined without fail, and thus repay our debt to the sages.
DEBT TO THE PARENTS
Then, the third debt is to the mother and father. The parents protect the children from all different types of troubles, bring them up, educate them and make them to progress in so many ways. The first and foremost guru to people is the mother. Therefore, it is declared in the Vedas, ‘Revere the mother as God, revere the father as God’ (Sanskrit sloka).
Therefore, if we think that we want to repay the debt to the parents, we have to discover the way in which we will not be born again in the mother’s womb. The one who is born the first time from the mother’s womb should not be born again. The mother should not be troubled in so many ways.
‘When born from the mother’s womb, there are no garlands around the neck. Nice pearls, other precious stones or golden necklaces are not around his neck. It’s there! It’s there! It’s there! It’s there around your neck, the actions you did in your past life, good and bad. Brahma gave you it without breaking it, and sent you with this heavy garland.’ (Telugu poem)
The one who wears such a garland and is born one time should not wish for birth the second time. Man has been born to repay these three debts but not to waste life increasing wealth, gold, things, vehicles and experiencing worldly pleasures. However, nowadays people who are saying, ‘We are devotees, we are devotees,’ are proceeding on a contradictory path.
One time Buddha was travelling to teach good things to the people. When he went to one village, he was very tired. Then he called to one disciple to get up. "Son, Nityananda! Today I will take some rest. Please teach the devotees gathered here today something good."
Buddha went inside and he was taking rest. However, he could not fall asleep. He was listening to all the words that Nityananda was saying. What was Nityananda saying? "Oh people! Buddha never was born before. This type of Buddha also will never be born again. Therefore, you all make effort to take advantage and put to good use this chance."
‘Buddha was never born before and he will never be born again.’ When Nityananda said this very loudly, all the devotees clapped their hands. Buddha got up and came. He hit Nityananda’s back and asked, "Son, Nityananda! How old are you?" Nityananda answered, "Swami, my age is 40 years." Buddha asked, "What villages have you seen?" Nityananda answered, "I have seen many cities."
Buddha asked, "But, have you seen any great beings?" Nityananda answered, "I have not seen." Buddha said, "Now you have reached the age of 40 years. Up till this age, what have you known? Never mind about that, are you following the words of Buddha?" He said, "I will try."
Then Buddha said, "Oh, crazy fellow! If you think you only want to give a discourse to a few people, it is not great to tell them what you know. You said that no one has been born like this. Do you know who was born before 40 years ago? How many great beings have been born! Then, in the future, how many great ones will be born! All the great, great ones will be born. Not able to understand this truth, what authority do you have to state that, ‘They were never born before and they will never be born again’? Don’t speak such impossible things!"
THE EFFECT OF THE GREAT ONES
If great people were not born in this world, it could not go on at all. ‘If there were no great men in the world, how could there be light shining over the earth?’ (Telugu poem) Every single second, due to the effects of great beings, this world is radiating. Therefore, the time without God, the place without God, the things not said by God, is to be seen nowhere in this world. You may not know this, but everything is immersed in God. All is the creation of God. Whatever is done, whatever is seen, whatever is said, whatever is thought, all of it is the Sankalpa (resolve) of God. Therefore, no one can describe the nature of God as this or that.
They say that today is the Birthday of Rama. It is not great to celebrate birthdays. It is great to put into practise the teachings of the great ones who were born. They say, ‘Ramo Vigrahma Dharmaha. Rama is the embodiment of Dharma.’ (Sanskrit sloka)
Sarva Bhoota Dharam Santham
Sarva Nama Dharam Sivam
Satchitananda Roopam Advaitam: Sathyam Sivam Sundaram
He is the Lord of all beings.
All names are His.
All forms are His.
He is the Embodiment of Truth, Awareness and Bliss:
He is Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
His form was the form of Dharma. His word was the form of Truth. His action was the embodiment of Peace. Is there anything better than this? All living creations are Peace. All names are His and auspicious. The form of Sat-Chit-Ananda is non-duality: Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram.
INNER MEANING OF RAMAYANA
The four brothers, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna, were not just ordinary sons of Dasaratha. Who was Dasaratha? If one thinks in the worldly sense, he was the king of Ayodhya. What does ‘Ayodhya’ mean? They say it is a city that is close to Kashi (Varanasi/Benares). They think that Sri Rama was born there. It is a big mistake.
At one time, Ashok Singhal asked me, "Swami, where was Rama born? Many people are teaching that it was in different areas. Swami must say which is the true place." I answered, "Singhal! The birthplace of Rama is in the womb of Kausalya. Considering the form, you are placing the birthplace as here or there. But Rama is everywhere.
Where is Ayodhya? It is somewhere that cannot be conquered. It is not possible for anyone, for any heroes, to enter into it. That only is the heart. Dasaratha was symbolic of the heart. This body is like a chariot with 10 senses. He is Dasaratha. He has three wives: Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. What are these three wives? They are those who choose. Every man who depends on this body is choosing the three qualities: Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. The names of these three qualities are Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi.
Four children were born to these three wives. Who were these four? The four Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda was Rama. The Sama Veda is Bharata. Yajur Veda is Lakshmana. Atharva Veda was Satrughna. These four were born as children to Dasaratha and they were playing in the house. Only when we take sacred feelings like this as the basis, we will be ones who will really recognise true devotion and surrender.
Rama was born to Kausalya. What is the meaning? What is Kausalya? She is good, sacred steadiness. What is Sumitra? Sumitra is the friend of all. Sumitra is a good friend. The good ideal in Sumitra is not in anyone else. While going to the forest, Rama came to them. When he was doing namaskar to Kausalya and leaving, she lamented, "Son! You are leaving me and going! I can’t live if you leave!".
Sumitra went near to her and said, "Elder sister! Where did this ignorance come from? When the actual, manifested Narayana has been born to you, it is absolutely impossible for Him to leave you. Due to certain times, according to the situation, due to time, duty and cause, it may be necessary to go someplace. Then one must go and come. In the same way that he is leaving to the forest, he will come near again. Don't give any chance at all to this sorrow of loss of son." Sumitra told her elder sister these good, intelligent words (good buddhi).
Lakshmana came. He did namaskar to his mother. What kind of things was his mother Sumitra teaching? "Son! You are feeling that you are going to the forest. Ayodhya, without Rama and Lakshmana, is a forest. Therefore, Rama is your father. Sita is your mother. Look after both of them with Love. Protect them and come. Your most important duty is to serve them. Lakshmana who was born to me! You have to do this work. I have a second son, Satrughna. He is serving Bharata."
How did the relationship between these two come about? We have to understand one very small thing. When the Yajna was going on, the bowl of payasam (sweet pudding) came from the sacrificial pit. Vashistha called Dasaratha and said, "Dasaratha! Distribute this between your three wives." However, if one sees how the pundits distributed it, one feels a lot of sorrow. Dasaratha had no sense of difference at all. He took the three wives as equal.
The payasam was poured in equal portions in three gold cups. The wives were told, "Have headbath, then bring these three cups back here. Vashistha will bless you." Kausalya went inside with great joy and put the cup safely. Kaikeyi also went inside, put the cup safely and had headbath.
Sumitra was not happy at all. "The first wife may have a son who will be crowned king. Due to the word given by Dasaratha, promising Kekeyi (who was the father of Kaikeyi), that the son of Kaikeyi may be crowned king of the kingdom, I have no authority at all. So, why should I eat this payasam? What kind of life will the sons born to me have?" Thinking this she had her bath.
In those days, there were no fans, hairbrush or dryer. She went upstairs, put the cup there and was drying her hair. A big eagle came. That eagle came, took the cup and went off. She saw. She had no regret that the payasam was gone. But she thought, "In what way will the husband feel badly? In what way will the husband chastise?" She had that fear.
She came down. Kausalya and Kaikeyi were sitting in one place. Then she came up and said, "Elder sister! My mistake happened in this way. Do some help for me and see that the husband will not get angry. Kausalya answered, "Younger sister! Why are you so sad like this?" She took a little portion from her cup and poured it in Sumitra’s cup. Kaikeyi also poured a portion from her cup into Sumitra’s cup. These two portions were equally poured into Sumitra’s cup.
With these three equal portions, they went again to the pundits. Therefore, the portion from Kausalya’s cup was born to Sumitra as Lakshmana, a part of Rama. The portion from Kaikeyi’s cup was born to Sumitra as a part of Bharata, Satrughna. They were born, two of them. The scholars gave one the name of Lakshmana and the other Satrughna.
Lakshmana did not sleep even for one second. He did not drink milk. He did not stop his crying no matter what kind of medicines were given. At last, they brought him to Vashistha, "Guruji! What will be the fate of these children? They will not drink milk. They won’t sleep. Whenever they are seen, they are crying. For this I thought I should not have the children. But I couldn’t escape it. What is this wonder? Please tell me something to do for this."
Vashistha saw with his Divine Vision and said, "Sumitra, don't think anything at all. Take this Satrughna, take the permission of Kaikeyi, and put this son in Bharata’s crib. Take the permission of Kausalya, and put this Lakshmana in Rama’s crib. Then they will be happy in all ways."
In that way, she went to Kausalya, "Elder sister! My son is not sleeping. What will be his fate? Therefore, please give a little place near Rama for him in the crib." Lakshmana was laid in the crib with Rama. He forgot everything and was sleeping deeply. He was moving his hands and legs with joy.
Sumitra was unable to bear seeing the sight of his joy. "Where was this enthusiasm for so long?" When she thought this, she remembered that Vashistha had said, "Amma, this is a part of Rama. Only when he is again near to the part of Rama, he will get this bliss. Satrughna is a part of Bharata. When he went near Bharata and joined him, he became joyful. So, when each part joins the other, they will attain full bliss.
In the Bhagavad Gita this is said as, ‘The eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being.’ (Sanskrit sloka) He said that, "You are all parts of Me." However, why are we feeling sorrow? Why are we feeling grief? Why are we suffering? We are not gong near to God. So we are getting these sorrows, troubles and problems. Therefore, we should come into the presence of God. Then troubles will not bother us at all.
When this Lakshmana was with Rama, he had no sorrow at all. All of his whole life he was in the service of Rama. Satrughna was a part of Bharata. So he always spent his whole life in the same place as Bharata. If you think about the love of Rama and his brothers one time, brothers like Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna will never be found in this world.
Sometimes when twins are born in our India, they put the name of Rama and Lakshmana. They may have the names of Rama and Lakshmana, but fighting for property, they will go up to the Supreme Court. However, Rama and Lakshmana in the Ramayana went to the Supreme Stage. All was unity.
LOVE OF RAMA AND LAKSHMANA
Concerning this unity, one time when the war with Ravana was in progress, Lakshmana was struck with an arrow and fell down unconscious. Rama was devastated. He threw aside his bow. He took Lakshmana’s head and put it on his lap. "Lakshmana! If I try, I can find a mother like Kausalya in this world. I will be able to get a wife like Sita in this world. But I will not be able to have a brother like Lakshmana." Rama had such love for Lakshmana.
If one thinks about this love, how ideal they were! Therefore, we have to take this ideal. In the Ramayana, Rama was born. He went to the forest. He protected others in so many ways. Then he arrived at Lanka. He killed Ravana and he brought back Sita. Is this all there is? What, when, where and how did he do each action? Man has to take the ideal, the essence of the situation, cause and time.
Therefore, is the Ramayana just that Rama was born, he killed Ravana, he brought back Sita and was crowned king? Is it only these four events? It is not. For what was Rama born? He was born to establish Dharma. Therefore in what way should we protect this Dharma? We have to protect Dharma for the satisfaction of our heart. What does Dharma mean? That which gives happiness to our heart. If we act in an adharmic way, our mind will not accept it.
Therefore, every single man is the embodiment of Dharma. He is one who has come to uphold the practise of Dharma. When we involve ourselves in these sense pleasures, we will get sorrow only.
GOING TO THE FOREST
Rama went to the forest. Before going, he came and said, "Sita, I am going to the forest." She asked, "Where?" He answered, "To the forest. It is my main duty to obey the words of my father. I am going." Sita said, "What will be my fate? My Dharma is to follow the footsteps of my husband."
Rama tried to put obstacles in this in so many ways. "There are evil demons there. It is not possible for you to escape all of these and go about freely." Sita was no ordinary person. She was born of the Earth goddess. All the powers that were in the earth were in her. "Rama, you who protects the whole world, cannot you protect even Sita? It is not necessary for me to remain behind. I am also coming."
However, Rama refused saying that it is not possible for her to come. He said, "I am one who can live in the forest. You stay in Ayodhya. Stay in Ayodhya and do service to my elderly mother and father." She answered, "It is not my duty to do service to your mother and father. My most important duty is to do service to my husband. You are Ramachandra. It means that you are one who is like the cool moon (Chandra). I am Sita. ‘Sita’ means one who is like moonlight. Is the moon in one place and the moonlight in another place? The moon in the forest, Sita in Ayodhya, is it possible? Wherever the moon is, there will be the moonlight. I am coming." Saying this she started off.
Due to so much courage, no matter how many troubles were experienced, obeying the order of her husband, she led her life. We have to take an ideal like this. We have to enter onto such a sacred path like this. We have to inquire well about the sacred principle of the Ramayana.
Therefore, Ramayana means it is not a normal story of a man’s life. This story of Ramayana is the story of the country. Therefore, from the payasam that Kausalya gave and the payasam that Kaikeyi gave, the two sons were born to Sumitra. What happened to Sumitra’s cup? The eagle took it, went and left it on the mountain. There, that Anjani Devi got that payasam. Anjani Devi drank all that payasam. Hanuman was born to her. No one knows the close, intimate relationship that he has with Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna. Therefore, Hanuman is also a part of that payasam.
Therefore, at last, the Coronation was going on. Everyone was describing it so much. Saying that Rama and Sita had arrived in Ayodhya, all the people were overwhelmed with joy. Then Rama was giving presents to everyone. That was the duty of the kings of those days. Sita saw this. He gave to everyone. He gave to Satrughna. He gave to Vibhishana. He gave to all the kings, but he didn’t give anything to Hanuman!
Sita looked slowly at Rama by her side and said, "Rama, should you not give Hanuman some present?" He said, "Sita, Hanuman is not one who will accept any presentations like this. He has no need of any present." Then, she looked at Hanuman, took off the pearl necklace from her neck and gave it to Hanuman.
Will Hanuman accept that? He took each pearl and bit it. He put it near to his ear. No sound came from it. He threw it aside. "I don’t need that. That without Rama Nama, though it may be a precious stone, pearl, ruby, emerald, coral, diamond, or cat’s eye, I don’t need it. That which does not have the name of Rama is equal to a rock."
Then Sita also had a doubt. "Many people are thinking that you are a monkey. Haven’t the habits of monkeys left you? I gave you such a valuable pearl necklace given by my father. Without knowing the value of it, you are throwing it away."
Then he said, "Mother, forgive me. Everything that I have in me, no matter what it is, is repeating the name of Rama. See, even a strand of hair on my hand." He took the strand of hair and put it near her ear. That strand of hair was repeating ‘Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram.’ Every cell of Hanuman’s body was full of the name of Rama.
Then she said, ‘You are the crest jewel among monkeys. You are Hanuman, who has conquered all the three worlds. You are the one who destroyed the city of Sri Lanka. You are the great hero, who searched for Janaki (Sita, daughter of King Janaka).’ (Telugu poem)
People are all saying monkey, monkey, monkey. However, no one is trying to recognise how broad the feelings of Hanuman’s heart are. Therefore, the whole Ramayana, if it takes the full form of a perfect scripture, the main reason for this is Hanuman. Without Hanuman, there can be no Ramayana at all.
Therefore, Hanuman has the form of full, sacred devotion. Wherever there is the name of Rama, there is Hanuman. Name and form are not different. The unity of both is the true principle of Hanuman that is taught. This is Advaita.
HOW TO ATTAIN RAMAAre any devotees nowadays contemplating on such sacred feelings? How many times they are doing Parayana (daily reading) of Ramayana! How many times you are going to hear the story of Rama! What is the use? Are their thoughts changing at all? Is the mind changing at all? Not at all.
People are only thinking, "We are devotees of Rama." Devotees of Rama cannot be seen anywhere. It is only outer show, but true devotees who practise cannot be seen anywhere. Rama will not accept at all any show done with ego. Rama will be attained and kept if one practises with bliss. Try to understand the principle of Rama correctly.
(Bhagavan chanted the Bhajan "Rama, Rama, Rama, Sita")
DESIRE LOSES RAMA
In the principle of Ramayana, we have to inquire well once about the devotion and surrender of Sita. Before Rama went to the forest, he gave all his wealth to the poor in charity. Following her husband, Sita also gave away all her jewels in charity. She went behind Rama into the forest. Therefore, Rama was kept by her. Due to renouncing all wealth, she could get Rama.
However, after going to the forest, Sita, who never wanted gold, wanted the golden deer. She saw it. She said, "Rama, I want this deer." He asked, "What for?" She answered, "When no one is here, I will play with it." "When?"
She renounced everything for Rama and she went behind Rama. Due to wanting this gold, Rama became far from Sita. Therefore, due to desires, man is being bound. The day that he renounces desires, that day only God will be attained by him.
Therefore, if we want to attain God, ‘Not by action, not by progeny, not by position or wealth, but sacrifice alone confers Immortality.’ (Sanskrit sloka) When there is sacrifice like this, the true Rama will be attained. So, from this Ramayana we have to know about the feelings of sacrifice. Only when we have the subtle, pure feelings in a Ramayana like this, our lives will be sanctified.
Therefore, it is not enough that we are celebrating a festival only thinking that the Ramayana means the Birthday of Rama. We have to install the story of Rama in our heart. We have to fill our actions with the Dharma and rulership of Rama. Rama has one word. One word only. He never spoke a second one. Rama was one who told the truth. He always practised Dharma. Where is a character of Dharma now? No where.
(Bhagavan chanted the Bhajan, "Rama Kodanda Rama")
If you install this story of Rama in your heart and if you always say His name with Divine feelings, so much bliss will be experienced.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manasa Kaho")