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. The words spoken by Bhagavan in English are highlighted in bold black.
October 21st, 2001
Divine Discourse by
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Truth is God
Embodiments of Love!
Truth is the wealth and prosperity of Eswara (God). Affluence and pleasures are things that take refuge in Him. There is no other thing in this universe higher than Truth. Even the god of death will be afraid of the place that has morality and integrity. There is no other power higher than Truth. Truth has all powers. Truth, which is all-powerful, is steady and latent in every man. Truth is present in all living beings. Truth is God.
Where is Truth? Here only. Wherever one looks, there is Truth. The place without Truth and the words without Truth cannot be seen in the world. Truth is the root cause of all wealth. Due to man forgetting such Truth today, he is succumbing to numerous difficulties, sorrows, and worries. What is the reason for the agitated situation of the country today? Forgetting Truth only.
The two, Truth (integrity) and morality, are twins. Therefore, morality and integrity are truly brothers. Yesterday we thought we would talk about integrity. But we only taught about morality. Neethi (morality) is the important kyaathi (reputation) for man. Neethi (morality) is not only kyaathi (reputation). Neethi (Morality) is the life-breath for the human jaathi (race). Morality and integrity are the important koshas (sheaths) of life for such a human race.
Hence, it is man’s important duty to manifest Truth, which is the form of God. A human being who attains such Divinity is a true human being.
The jaathi (race) that has neethi (morality)
Is a true jaathi!
Listen, O brave son of Bharath!
The Highest Dharma is Truth
It is said:
Emperor Manu taught about this Truth to the world in so many ways.
All is created from Truth.
All will merge again in Truth.
The place without the grandeur of Truth
Cannot be seen.
See, this is the pure Truth!
Man of today is not only forgetting such a Divinity, which is the embodiment of Truth. He has come to the state of being completely oblivious to it. A man who has forgotten Truth cannot attain Eternity. Truly he cannot attain Divinity at all. Therefore, don’t forget Truth.
God keeps incarnating to teach such a principle of Truth. Even in ancient times, all the kings ruled their kingdoms following Truth. Harischandra is prominent among them. He took Truth as his life-breath. He dedicated his life to Truth. He even sold his wife and child and lost the kingdom. He offered his life-breath to Divine Truth. He said, "Truth only is my true kingdom. Without this kingdom of Truth, I am not a king at all. So I will offer everything for Truth."
Sathya Naasti Paro Dharmah.
The highest Dharma is Truth.
"There is no higher Dharma for me than this." So, Truth is life for man. Both morality and integrity together comprise the sanctity of man. Truth will not be gained by outer (worldly or secular) powers. Man of today is striving in numerous ways for worldly, secular, and physical powers, thus losing Truth.
In the past, great warriors like Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Duryodhana and Dussasana obtained such a (miserable) fate due to forgetting Truth. All of them were not ordinary individuals. Even though they were great intellectuals, great scholars, and had great intelligence, they lost everything because they lost both morality and integrity.
Hence, we don’t need to struggle for external powers. Today they may come and tomorrow they may go. However, Truth does not go. When once it enters into man, it is not something that moves at all. Truth is the one principle that is steady like that. It teaches and protects mankind without moving and without wavering even a bit. All comforts, all conveniences, all affluence, and also pleasures arise out of Truth. Hence, we don’t need to struggle for outer, worldly, and physical joys.
Today we have to protect eternal, true, and sacred morality and integrity. We have to teach this morality and integrity in society also. We are forgetting Truth for the sake of temporary happiness. We are forgetting Dharma. Wherever there is Truth, Dharma is following there. This Dharma is the right friend to Truth.
Sathya Naasti Paro Dharmah.
The highest Dharma is Truth.
There is no higher Dharma than Truth.
Therefore, having been born as a human being, the right type of effort has to be made to conduct oneself with Truth and to walk with Truth. Man of today has fully forgotten Truth. Without recognizing what Dharma is, he is saying goodbye to morality and integrity, wanting and attempting to obtain a few types of joys. The one who has lost Truth cannot obtain morality at all. If one wants to obtain such a morality, integrity has to be kept in front.
We Have to Protect Truth
Embodiments of Love!
As youth of today, we have to dedicate our lives, keeping morality and integrity as important aims. We have to try to live our whole life with morality and integrity. If we forget Truth, we will lose everything.So we have to protect Truth.
Harischandra was making the journey along the shores of the Ganga with Chandramati (his wife). He worried, "Chandramati, how can I bring you over this flowing river?" Chandramati, who was his partner in Dharma said, "Lord, we are dedicated to Truth. We are struggling for Truth. When we leave Truth, this river will drown us. If we accomplish Truth, we will reach the shore on the other side. We have offered our whole life to Truth. So why should we be afraid? No need to fear. That Truth only will take us across. Truth only will protect us. So you be courageous." The wife thus taught these words of Truth and courage to her husband.
In those days, there were husbands and wives who were spending life with such sacred Truth and Dharma. Hence, the name of Sathya Harischandra gained significance. Therefore, we have to make the right type of effort to abide by (follow) Truth. Don’t go back on the word given. That is the worldly meaning of the word ‘Truth’.
So, Emperor Bali’s preceptor (guru) Sukracharya came. He said to Emperor Bali, "Dear one, the one who has come (Vamana Avatar) is not ordinary. The one who asked you for charity is not an ordinary Brahmin. He is the very manifested form of Truth. So don’t give your word (to give him charity)."
Emperor Bali laughed at that. "Is it a natural thing to go back on the given word? Is it the Dharma of kings? Is it the sanctity of individuals? No, no! To protect man’s individual nature (human values), we have to protect the principle of Truth. So, I will not depart from Truth. I will go against the order of my preceptor, but I will not go back on the word I have given. To give a word and then lie is not the duty of kings." Emperor Bali protected such a sacred Truth.
Draupadi Taught So Much
Then among the Pandavas also, no matter what the situation, Dharmaja, the embodiment of Truth, was not one who would transgress Truth. Draupadi had five husbands, all with sacred hearts. When sitting in the assembly, Duryodhana humiliated Dharmaja’s wife (Draupadi) in many ways. Then Dharmaja said, "We have lost. We have become slaves to them. It is not the aim of kings to have this anger, grief, worry, or hatred now. So brothers, be peaceful."
Then Draupadi said, "Husband, your adherence to Truth taught me peace in this way. What fate would I have fallen to if I didn’t have peace at this time? So, your adherence to Truth has to protect everything. These Kauravas are evil indeed. They are bad people. But it was our fault to have gambled with them even though we knew this. We have done what kings should not do, so we are experiencing all the difficulties we have to experience."
In this way, in those days the wives used to teach the husbands so much. Due to such wives and husbands existing from ancient times, the sacred land of Bharath was shining as the embodiment of a truthful life.
Aswatthama, who killed Draupadi’s sons, came. Draupadi was praying to Aswatthama, while holding his hands. She prayed, "Swami!"
They did not come with aggravation to you.
They were not equipped for war,
And they did not deceive you even a little bit.
You killed them in the darkness
When they could not defend themselves.
How could your hands do such an act?
The ears of Bheema, who had heard that prayer, boiled with rage. He said, "Praying to an evil one like this? Us, forgiving the evil one who cut the throats of the sons, the sons who were asleep! He should not be forgiven. Without forgiving him in anyway, we should kill him and send him away
Then also Draupadi taught so much. "Husband!"
You cannot kill Aswatthama,
Who is such a mighty warrior and
Famous for victories in war.
Better you just shave his head and
Release his bonds;
He will be the object of ridicule,
And he will have a bad name permanently.
"If you want to keep your word, it is not necessary to kill him. Not only that. Arjuna, your name is meaningful (deserving). It is a sanctified name." What does ‘Arjuna’ mean? It means ‘one who has the qualities of being pure, steady, and selfless’. When such a one as Arjuna was ready to punish Aswatthama in numerous ways, Draupadi taught him:
"Lord! (a respectful title given to one’s husband) It is a huge sin to kill a Brahmin like this, the son of the preceptor. Is this the sort of thing you should do? I have lost my sons. I cannot escape this sorrow henceforth. But the mother of that Aswatthama might be in so much grief should he, too, be killed. So, I should not subject her to that sorrow.
It is not Dharma to kill the one who is afraid,
The one who forgets himself in sleep,
The one who is fully intoxicated by drinking alcohol,
The one who has laid down in laziness,
The one with mild feelings,
And the one who begs for refuge.
Such women of those days achieved great fame in Bharath. She caught hold of Aswatthama’s feet and prayed so much to the evil person, who cut the throats of her sons:
All my husbands have learnt the arts of war
And archery from your father, Drona.
Is it right to kill the students of your father,
"All of my husbands were the disciples of your father. All my children are like your disciples. It is a terrible sin for the preceptor to cut off the heads of the disciples, is it not? How did your hands do it? Hence, this is not proper." Saying this, she gave such strength to Truth.
There were great kings like this who protected Truth from those days. Therefore, due to Truth being protected from that day, there is at least this much Truth in Bharath remaining today. The main reason for this kind of Truth shining is the calm hearts of great wives. Such chaste wives are also not lacking in the world today. So we should have a sacred heart, behold the embodiment of Truth, and dedicate all for the sake of protecting Truth.
Harischandra was fully, perfectly,
Always adhering to Truth.
Did he not leave the world and go?
King Nala, who ruled over so many worlds,
Did he take his kingdom with him?
King Mandhata, who adorned the Krita Yuga.
Did he carry a bag of wealth with him and go?
No one has taken anything and departed. Over time, there were so many kings. Did any of them take even a single copper coin along with them? They only took Truth and departed. Even if Truth is put away at anytime, it will not hide. If one wants to forget it, it cannot be forgotten. Truth is that which is eternal, shining, and radiating. We are trying to conceal such a Truth today. We are resolving to forget such a Truth. For the sake of low joys, we are destroying Truth. This is not the duty of man.
Although attaining human nature, which is the Divine, and having the sacred nature of the Atma filling us within, and although we have obtained the sacred name of ‘hrdaya’ (‘heart which has compassion’), we have become heartless and we are experiencing harsh things. This is not the proper Dharma for mankind. To protect Truth is the proper aim of those who are human beings. Therefore, we have to do many investigations for Truth, attain Truth, proclaim Truth, and also teach the Truth to the people. Thus we have to attain that embodiment of Truth.
Accordingly, all the great mothers (women) of those days taught this kind of Truth to their husbands, and they also lived life on the path of Truth. They thus achieved many kinds of good fame. Therefore, in our country of Bharath today, women and men should also be unified and follow Truth. They should develop morality and integrity in our country of Bharath, and determine to maintain ancient culture.
What Does the Path of Truth Mean?
Hence, while teaching the form of Truth, the path of Truth has to be followed. What does the path of Truth mean? It is not our (man’s real) Truth, just to say something that has happened, nor to go back on the word given. Neither is it our Truth to forget everything for the sake of worldly happiness, in order to live comfortably. No matter how many difficulties arise, we have to achieve the right type of courage, bearing all, pushing aside difficulties and proceeding forward. We have to make Truth firm with courage and boldness. We should live with morality and integrity.
Even if there is no food to eat, even if there are no clothes to wear, even if there is no house to stay in, even if there is no medicine to drink, we may give up our life, but we should not leave Truth and Dharma. Therefore, today we have to rejuvenate the ancient culture of those days again. Hence:
Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya,
Glanir Bhavati Bharata.
When there is a decline in Dharma,
And a rise in adharma,
I incarnate Myself
For the establishment of Dharma.
We always have to make a determination to protect Dharma. That is the first and foremost thing that Krishna taught.
Sanjaya! In the field of Dharma, Kurukshetra,
My relatives, who are gathered to fight the war,
What are the Pandavas doing?
(Sanskrit sloka, Bhagavad Gita Ch.1: 1)
The blind Dhritarashtra was asking, "In Kurukshetra (the name of the area where the battle took place), which is a Dharmakshetra (battlefield of Dharma), my sons, the Kauravas, came together with the Pandavas. What are they doing?" Will the ones who went to war sit to eat a feast? Is there not even so much intelligence? Dhritarashtra was one who didn’t have even that much intelligence. It is said:
Dhritamrashtram Iti Dhritarashtrah.
Dhritarashtra is one whose eyes are blind.
The blindness of Dhritarashtra was that, while he was ruling, he was feeling that the kingdom that was not his and the objects that were not his, were his. So, Sanjaya instructed well regarding that. Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre. First and foremost, he used the word of Dharma, Dharmakshetre. Why did this Dharma come? At the end, what was the teaching that was taught?
Yathra Yogeshwara Krishno,
Yathra Partho Dhanurdharaha.
Tathra Sri Vijayobhuti,
Druvaneeti Mathir Mama.
Wherever there is the King of Yogis, Krishna,
And the wielder of the bow, Arjuna,
There will be victory, wealth,
Prosperity, and permanent morality.
This is my firm conviction.
(Sanskrit sloka, Bhagavad Gita Ch.18: 76)
The last word is ‘mama’ (my, mine). The very first word is Dharma. The first and foremost word is Dharma. So, Krishna taught that it is man’s important Dharma (duty) to protect Dharma. When we protect that Dharma, then we will be ones who achieve ‘dhruva neethi’, strong and steady morality. ‘Mathir Mama’ (my mind): ‘I will make my mind strong.’
Revive the Culture of Bharath
In this way, the stories that come from ancient times had such sacred teachings! Today no one is even trying to read such sacred stories. What do children read today? You have obtained great, big titles. You have received great, high degrees. But I don’t understand at all what is the result that comes from those degrees. Therefore, I keep telling the teachers that they have to have proper moral classes for these children and determine to teach morality, integrity, and the ancient culture in these classes.
How did they go about the very first initiation into education in ancient times? They used to teach the five-lettered Name, ‘Om Namah Sivaya’. When it wasn’t that, they used to teach the eight-lettered Name, ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’. Due to initiation into education like this, they corrected and molded the students of those days into sacred and ideal people.
What is the initiation used in education today? "Ding Dong Bell, Pussy’s in the Well." Is this what we should learn? Today what should we learn? How sacred initiation into education should be! "Baa Baa Black Sheep": They are becoming black sheep! They repeat not only the word ‘sheep’, but ‘black sheep’! Is this what we read (study)? Is this what we start with? No, no, no, no! We should live with morality and integrity. We should start initiation into education with the Name of God.
In this way, I have so much - a mountain of hope - that you will again revive the culture of Bharath of ancient times. I do not take even a naya paisa from anyone. Why? This ancient culture has to be spread through you. You only are the proper leaders for this. You only are the rightly capable ones. You only have the right type of power to revive the culture of ancient times. Achieve and develop a culture like that. Then this refinement has to be sustained.
What Does Culture Mean?
This culture is not something that is brought (from outside). It is that which arises out of our heart. What does ‘culture’ mean? Making bad habits distant and developing good habits in daily life, and living life with a good character, is culture. That is culture. What does ‘culture’ mean? Our Bharatiya culture does not mean speaking about something like the Ramayana or Mahabharata. It means ‘making distant our bad habits, bad qualities, bad behavior, and bad company in daily life and developing good habits, good thoughts, good practices, and good character’.
A small example for this: Our sacred Bharatiyas were farmers, ones who cultivated. They were ones who attained good fame by ploughing the land, having the earth as a basis, and eating the prasad that came from that Bhu Devi (Earth goddess). What refinement did they attain?
All of us know one matter. The paddy comes from grass and it is separated nicely from it. That paddy is then put in a machine, or pounded, and the husk is thus removed from its surface. After the husk is removed, the rice is aged well. Then it is boiled well and eaten. To do all of this is refinement. Will anyone eat the paddy just as it is? Will he at least eat grass? If you’re eating grass, you’re an animal! The grass should be separated from the ground. The paddy should be separated from the grass. The paddy should be pounded and the husk that is on the surface has to be separated. Only after making that paddy separate, is it put on the fire. It is refined in the fire (cooked), and then it has to be eaten. Therefore, regarding this refinement, we are refining every single thing, even small things.
A small example: You bring (buy) two meters of shirt material. If you bring two meters of shirt material, you will not wear these two meters of shirt material. You will give it nicely to the tailor. He will cut it with scissors, stitch it, and sew it with sleeves, collar, or pocket. It is sewn in this way, decorated nicely, and then you will wear it. To bring the material, have it sewn according to size, and then be joyful wearing it is samskaara, refinement.
Think how sacred the culture of Bharath is in every small thing! Forgetting this kind of culture, you are saying, "Culture means ancient Dharma. We don’t need it." The stupid ones, who cannot understand this culture, are thinking it is ancient culture. Culture is that which demonstrates the path of Truth in our daily life.
Having been born as animals, we should make ourselves into human beings (having human nature) and then become godly. You have been born as human beings; it is no use to die as human beings. Having been born as human beings, you have to leave the body as God. After being born as a human being, what is it that you would attain when dying as a human being? No matter how much education one studies, will he die like this (as God)?
What is the use of studying so much knowledge? Finally, it is ‘shastra vaadam’ (debate, discussion, argumentation), but not ‘hrudaya vaadam’ (discussion of the heart). You have studied so much. You have taken degrees. You have gained fame. One should make good use of it on the good path. Then, it is the right kind of fulfillment for this education.
We have to mold education to be convenient for society. You have to try to follow the right path in society with the education that you have studied. The refinement of this education should be taught to the ones who are illiterate. You also have to correct the education of society.
One studies so much knowledge,
Gaining a lot of discrimination.
But still he does not know his Self, the dull-head!
No matter how much is studied,
He will not give up his low qualities.
Studying again and again
Leads only to argumentation.
But he can never get full wisdom,
O, crazy fellow!
Studying and studying all education,
Why should one die?
The education about life without death
Should be studied.
That is the true education.
Today one is familiar with books. All that is studied is learned by heart. One takes it into the examination hall. You then empty your whole head and you come home with an empty head. Rather than that, it is better not to have this education at all.
I am seeing very well all the children (students) of today. They will study very hard at examination time. They will study all night without sleeping. They go into the examination hall. They write all that they learned by heart. Thinking, ‘It’s all over’, they come home very free. The second day they cannot even give an answer to the question (of yesterday). They are already forgetting. This is bookish knowledge. This is called superficial knowledge. What is the use of having superficial knowledge? You have to enter into practical knowledge. The right path has to be implemented into your daily life in the right way.
From ancient times, our culture of Bharath has demonstrated such a sacred path. All foreigners also say, "Bharatiyas are stupid. They are worshipping rocks. They are worshipping trees. They are worshipping soil. They are worshipping snakes. They are worshipping dogs. They worship cows. What is their craziness?" Saying this, numerous people are treating Bharatiya culture with contemptuous fun.
However, our Bharatiya culture teaches very good answers to them. "Dear one, we are not teaching this because we are foolish or stupid. We have attained the sacred path. Man was given this nature of Love not only to share it with man. It should also be shared with other life forms, animals, and rocks. Therefore, we are doing such actions."
This nature of Love was placed within man. Animals should also be loved. Birds should be loved and even snakes should also be loved. When this Love is shared with all in this way, we will be ones who sanctify (make meaningful) the nature of My Love. When sharing with all living beings, how much happiness you will get! But today you may argue, "When poisonous snakes are nurtured by giving milk, how dangerous it is when they bite us!" The snake you nurture by giving milk with a full heart will never bite you. Enter into that firm faith.
In past times, numerous ferocious wild beasts used to wander in thick forests where no human beings went. In a forest like that, where such wild beasts lived, all the rishis used to live also and spend their life happily and courageously without fear. All of them went without fear for a bath in the river, where there were tigers and where there were lions. They were ones who took their bath and came back happily. The lions that were lying outside the entrance did not do anything to them at all. What is the reason?
Yat Bhavam Tat Bhavati.
As the feeling, so will be the result.
The rishis didn’t have any hatred for the animals at all. Therefore, the animals did not have any anger for them either. So, the outside animals will also act based on our feelings. The rishis didn’t have any weapons with them. They had only one ‘weapon’: a japamala! With a japamala like this, only the sword of ‘Om Namo Narayana’, ‘Om Namah Sivaya’, protected them. The rishis of the past were ones who wore these kinds of ‘swords’.
Today men are not using these ‘swords’, but instead they are using pistols, guns, and revolvers, both behind and in front.Although man is wearing so many weapons when he goes out, he is falling down. We don’t need any guns. Only one ‘gun’: That is the remembrance of the Name. If we keep remembering the Name of God, no evil people will come near us. They will only get afraid. We are thinking that there are so many snakes - so many poisonous snakes. Even snakes cannot do anything to us. So the rishis poured milk for the snakes and nurtured them. They gave food even to all the birds also.
They sprinkled rice powder all around wherever there were anthills for all of the small ants and mosquitoes. Gradually that practice was obscured, and it became the practice of putting ‘rangolis’ (Hindu floral and geometric decorations designed on the ground) in front of the house with rice powder. They did not sprinkle lime (powder used for whitewash) for this ‘rangoli’. They made rangolis with rice powder. Numerous ants used to come for this rice flour. They used to eat this and run away with so much joy. In that way, they developed sacred feelings towards all: from every ant up to God, also from Brahman to the ant. Based on this, even Thyagaraja said:
Your Love is shining in the ant,
In Brahman, in Siva, and in Kesava!
O Rama, won't You bless me?
In this way, the culture of Bharath developed and taught refinement, proclaiming that Love is present from the ant to the lions, also from birds to Paramahamsa (a sage, one of wisdom). But today they don’t know what culture is. You have to learn this. You have to learn this and then teach it to your friends. This is the help that you have to do. There’s no need to give to anyone in charity - money, gold, objects, or vehicles. It is considerable wisdom to teach others the good qualities that you have learned. What does wisdom mean?
Adwaitha Darshanam Jnanam.
The perception of ‘non-duality’ is Jnana (Wisdom).
There is only One. No matter what life form it is, man has to attempt to spread the Love that he has among animals, birds, and beasts also. "Oh Lord, the Love that You have given me, I should not experience selfishly. It has to be shared with others. I should share it with others and experience it in turn again." We have to develop this broad heart and broadmindedness. That is the true nature of Love.
They call this expansion Love. Yet today, where did expansion Love go? All is contraction love, contraction love! This contraction love is equal to death. We are spending a life that is equal to death, without having moral values at all, without thinking of this purity at all, and with petty love.
See that you don’t give pain to anyone.
Help ever. Hurt never.
No matter how much we teach something like this, the Truth, it is not enough. Sathya Harischandra taught the Truth so much and made his life meaningful. Finally, he gained mastery in Truth. He gained triumph over Truth. He could procure again the kingdom that he had lost. He also brought back his wife and child.
Vishwamitra himself came and desired, "Harischandra, forgive me! You have succeeded in the whole test that I gave you. You have passed my examination. I am giving everything that you desired." Even though it was like that, Sathya Harischandra said, "I don’t need anything. It is enough if I protect this Truth. It is my important duty to protect Truth."
At least onechild (student) should put forth some full effort and achieve that kind of good fame. Do jobs. It is not wrong. Go to foreign countries. It’s not wrong. Gain high titles. It is not wrong. Just don’t make the heart hard. Many people are making their heart like a very hard rock. They are even trying to disobey the words of God. What is the use of such people living with such hard hearts? There should be a heart like butter. Only when one has this heart like venna (butter), will there be a life like vennela (moonlight). Then your life will be properly peaceful.
Humanness is Very Sacred
Embodiments of Love!
Yesterday we taught morality and today, integrity. But first and foremost, we should know about ‘humanness’. Tomorrow let us find out well and in detail about this ‘humanness’. You don’t know. Humanness is VERY sacred. You may think something like, ‘I have been born as a human being. God gave eyes, He gave ears, and He gave a mouth. So, I am speaking with the mouth, seeing the whole world with the eyes, and hearing all matters with the ears.’ Is this what we are supposed to do?
That which should be heard: Good should be heard. That which should be seen: Divinity only should be seen. That which should be said: Only Truth should be said. He gave these senses for that reason only. Tomorrow we should also attempt to recognize the sacredness of these ten senses.
Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan, "Prema Muditha Mana Se Kaho…"
DASARA SANDESH: GLOSSARY
Taken from "A Glossary of Sanskrit Words
Gleaned from Sai Literature"