Divine Discourse, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Prasanthi Nilayam, 22nd August 2001

 Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

VINAYAKA’S GRACE FOR SELF-MASTERY

Oh man! Examine and enquire for yourself -
what kind of happiness have you achieved?
From the moment you get up from your bed, till you retire,
spending all the time in acquiring knowledge
and earning degrees while forgetting God,
what kind of happiness have you got?
Examine for yourself.

Human life is the noblest, most rare and the only one worthy enough to be lived. It is the primary duty and responsibility of everyone to work for their redemption and liberation by daily effort: working hard and discharging their duties.

To fill your small belly, you face many problems in life. You acquire various forms of knowledge from various fields. You are not able to enjoy the total Bliss. Really, you are wasting your human life.

Embodiments of Love!
You strain so much for filling the small stomach. Does this satisfy you? There is no contentment at any point of time. Based on this, Lord Vigneshwara said, "Na Sukhat Labhyate Sukham" - you cannot derive happiness out of happiness. Happiness is the fructification of difficulties. You want all comforts and conveniences, but this will not give you peace. If you want to have a taste of happiness and peace, obstacles are necessary.

As long as it is alive, the tree bears fruits for others. Even after it dies, by splitting itself, it becomes useful as firewood.

Tree is the very symbol of sacrifice. For the ideal of sacrifice, trees are the best exemplars. In this human life, sacrifice is very essential. Without sacrifice, you cannot enjoy the state of bliss anytime. You should cultivate the spirit of sacrifice right from now on.

You may extend hospitality and kindness to a mean-minded person, but he will certainly harm you due to his very nature. Because of the ‘poison’ that gets into one’s psychology, human life is ruined.

Therefore, we should never be mean-minded. We should be noble and broad-minded. We should uphold the pristine glory and esteem that man enjoys being is supreme in the universe. In ancient times, the sages erred occasionally, but repented and atoned for their sins. They were great personalities. You should follow such mighty, eminent personalities. Modern man is weak. At the present time, people commit sins, but they neither realise their mistakes nor do they repent. In those days, the elders corrected their mistakes and led a pure life, being very grateful to God. Repentance is the basis for the glorious life that follows. To recognise this truth, you worship Lord Vigneshwara.

Who is Vigneshwara? Who is Ganapati? The word ‘Ga’ is related to the intellect. ‘Na’ refers to wisdom. Ganapati is the head of all the secular and spiritual knowledge. Vinayaka has no master above him. He is the master unto himself. Vinayaka will never allow you to suffer in anyway. Vinayaka blesses all your endeavours, efforts and confers success. He will never allow anything evil to reside in you. He has the mouse as his vehicle. A mouse stands for darkness as it moves about in the darkness at night. Vinayaka helps you to dispel this darkness and spread light.

Divinity is not limited to mankind alone. We find divinity present in birds and beasts too. To demonstrate this latent, immanent divinity, we have Vinayaka having an elephant’s head, with a mouse as his vehicle. The elephant is highly intelligent, faithful and loyal. It never leaves the path that it charts all by itself and stands as a symbol for gratitude. Gratitude is a very sacred quality. Forbearance is Truth, Dharma, Veda, Non-violence - everything. The elephant has great patience and forbearance. It is prepared to sacrifice its life, but it can never tolerate its master’s suffering. When there is no path in the jungle, the elephant walks through and creates a path for us. Similarly, in this jungle of life, the elephant-headed Vinayaka shows the ideal path for all of us to tread.

On this day of Vinayaka Chaturthi, various kinds of offerings are made. But Vinayaka does not accept any oily or fried preparations. All preparations are cooked in steam and offered to Him. They offer Him kudumulu [sweets prepared at home during Vinayaka Chaturthi] and vundrallu [savouries prepared during Vinayaka Chaturthi], made of rice flour and til [sesame] seeds, which use no oil in the cooking process. Why is such an offering made? For humanity, health is wealth. Those who partake of food cooked in steam remain very healthy. But today, man runs after various delicacies. For the elephant, health is all-important. Vinayaka, too, teaches us the same. This preparation of rice flour and til seeds frees us from all defects of the eye like spots and cataract. A combination of jaggery and til seeds prevents all defects and diseases caused due to bile, wind and phlegm. The rice flour preparation made using steam helps in digestion too.

We have learnt how to worship Vinayaka, but we do not recognise His inner principle. Recognising His inner principle will make every one of us ideal people. Students especially worship Vinayaka on this day; as such worship will improve their memory power and intelligence. Music concerts begin with a prayer to Vinayaka. The effects of the age of Kali have made us forget this fact. For the misfortunes of the day, the root cause lies in the neglect of the worship of Vinayaka. Today, man is after temporary, fleeting, ephemeral pleasures, forgetting eternal joy. We should strive for permanent joy and peace. We can achieve that by only praying to God. As days pass by, humanness disappears. Human values have disappeared. Man does not follow the prescribed code of conduct. Once human values are followed, Divinity can be attained.

Once anything is told, it should be remembered throughout the life. For any act of help, whether big or small, one must be grateful. Bereft of gratitude, one turns wicked. We should offer our prayers to Sun - God, the Lord of Effulgence. The light in our eyes is due to Sun - God. He enables us to see. Even with the Sun present, if our eyes are closed, we will not see anything. Vision is the reflection of the Sun God. Sun withdraws from the eyesight of the man who does not show gratitude (i.e. he turns blind). Man cannot discharge his duties when he is blind. A person may be a great scholar, but if he is blind, he cannot see anything. Therefore, Netra, the eye, is the Shastra, the scripture, for our life. Our scriptures are nothing but the reflection of the effulgence of the Sun - God. Therefore, we need to pay attention to our eyesight. Eye defects certainly imply lack of gratitude.

Vinayaka has many teachings that help man liberate himself. Since ancient times, people worship Lord Ganesha. In the Narayana Upanishad, Lord Ganesha is first praised. In the three Vedas, we find the mention of Lord Ganesha. Even in music, they pray to Ganesha for His grace. Do we have the qualities of Vinayaka? Lord Vinayaka has a pure heart. In fact, Siddhi (supernatural power or fulfillment) and Buddhi (intellect) are his two eyes. He considers them his consorts. For intelligence, we need to have Buddhi. For Buddhi, we need to have gratitude. An ungrateful man can never become truly intelligent. Without intellect, one can never be successful. Vinayaka confers success. So, we need to know the inner significance of Lord Vinayaka. Today, before starting any work, we pray to Lord Ganesha. Without praying to the Master of masters, Vinayaka, and thereby, acting in an egoistic way, we are bound to fail. Vinayaka Chaturthi is the first festival of the year, followed by other festivals. Indians, begin their daily prayers with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Vinayaka is the head of spiritual, mental and physical levels of the human being. We should sustain and protect all these levels.

In our college, we have the M.B.A. course - meaning, Master of Business Administration. But MBA is not so. It stands for Mind, Body and Atma. We need to understand the integration and co-ordination of all the three. The mind is given to enquire. The body is granted to perform. The Atma monitors the performance of these two. The Atma is permanent. The mind is fickle and has to be made steady. It should be exercised properly. One should constantly enquire whether one has a mind of a man or a beast. We should not act according to the vagaries of our mind. The body should not do what the mind has decided. The intellect has the capability to discriminate whether a thought is good or not. If the thought is good, the intellect acknowledges it to the Atma. Man should realise that he is the combination of Mind, Body and Atma. He has to purify the mind. An impure mind is not acceptable to the intellect that transcends all the senses. We follow the mind and senses. The mind is the master of senses, but [for most of us] it does not control the senses [as it should]. One may have a sensitive mind, but it is only an animal mind. So we should master the mind and be a mastermind. To exercise the control of mind, worship of Vinayaka is important. Vinayaka does not react, but remains a witness.

Atma, the spirit, is eternal. The witness watches everything, but does not enter anything. The reason is that the Atma does not get involved in the activities of the body and mind. It remains only a witness.

At one time, Valmiki prayed to Narada and asked him if there was anyone who holds on to Truth, enjoys Bliss, is ever-smiling and forgiving, who does not commit any mistake, expresses gratitude for any small help, who always helps others - Valmiki thus asked of all the eleven noble qualities. Narada replied thus, " Oh! Sage, why trouble yourself? Not just eleven, but 11000 noble qualities are in a single person (Rama) who has taken birth in this world." There is no one who attaches value to character. The three essential things that constitute character are good thoughts, good feelings and good conduct. If you have good thoughts, your actions will automatically be good. Good qualities are the very personification of Divinity. Lord Rama faced many problems and difficulties, but He never strayed away from His path. He never gave up Truth; rather, whatever He spoke became Truth. This was the sacred path taught by Narada.

Narada was not a conflict-maker as we all think. He was verily the beacon of light that spread sacred wisdom. He propagated and spread the Gayatri Mantra given by Sage Vishwamitra. Bhur pertains to physical matter, which is the body. The body is the combination of various materials like calcium, Iron etc. Bhuvah is vibration that comes out of the mind and makes the body function. Suvah is radiation - the Atma. Man is the combination of matter, vibration and radiation. As is the feeling, so is the vibration. Everyday, morning and evening, bhajans go on here [at Prasanthi Nilayam]. You think that bhajans are going on in the Bhajan Hall. No. The vibrations of bhajans are there all over this place. You can certainly hear the Bhajans even from this table if you listen carefully, with a steady mind, a pure and selfless heart. Everything is Divine vibration - the walls, the roof and this microphone. The great sages were the ones who had these vibrations. The Veda was heard through sound, through vibrations. If you sit down and listen with a pure heart, you too can listen to it. Why go so far? Just close your ears and you can hear the Aumkar from within. Everything originated from the Aumkar (primordial sound). The same air produces seven different notes through different reeds in the harmonium. Similarly, the Aumkar is one; all other sounds are vikaaras - modifications of the Aumkar. Vinayaka, who is the master of all these vibrations, bestows these vibrations upon you. You may listen to any sound, but the most sacred is Aumkara. If your body is full of wicked vibrations, everything will be wicked. Never allow a wicked man to come near you. Run away from bad company to avoid the wicked vibrations from getting into you.

Avoid bad company; foster good company. Perform good deeds day and night; discriminate between the permanent and the temporary.

If you are good, your body will be full of good and divine vibrations. Bad thoughts give rise to bad vibrations. All that you see is the reflection of what is inside you. If you call a person bad, it is just that the bad in you is reflected in him. It has nothing to do with him. Good or bad is the reflection of your inner being. Never consider that good or bad exist separately from you. But modern students do not have the capacity to understand this truth. They have only bookish knowledge and not the knowledge of the heart. They read all that is in the books, go to the examination hall, scribble on the papers and come out empty-headed. The student does not even know what he has written in the examination hall. All this is artificial knowledge, not true education.

Even after acquiring various forms of knowledge, one cannot give up his meanness. It will only lead to argumentation, but not to total awareness. After all, one has to die inspite of all their worldly knowledge. So, study that which makes you immortal.

All education is being used to fill this small stomach. All this knowledge is superficial. Mere physical education cannot sustain your life, give you longevity or satisfy the heart. Therefore, we should learn that which is related to the heart. The great Saraswatha said that man is bound by attachment. Attachment, greed and possessiveness are responsible for illusion.

All these teachings promote the power of discrimination. You are not filling your lives with divine, noble and novel thoughts. You are wasting your lives with bad thoughts, bad vibrations and bad actions. The ancient sages, who realized their mistakes and repented, were yogis (ones seeking union with God). Today, you are bhogis (ones addicted to sensual pleasures) who do not realize your mistakes. Bhoga is bound to cause roga (disease). Therefore, you must realise your mistake and repent wholeheartedly. This should not be done merely with words or in writing. In fact, all the vibrations must be unified. Then, Reality will reflect and reveal Itself.

Embodiments of Love!
All that is happening in this world today is destructive, divisive and extremely unnatural to man. Everywhere, we find atrocities, killings, conflicts and quarrels. Having been born as a human being, what happened to your humanness? What happened to your compassion and kindness?

What happened to sacrifice, love and non-violence? There is no trace of them all. We find only useless exhibitionism. You have to repent whole-heartedly and pray. God is the personification of Love and Compassion. Sometimes He may appear unkind, but there is kindness in that too. You do not have the capacity to understand this kindness.

You can understand kindness with kindness, Love with Love and hatred with hatred. You are born as humans and therefore, you must live as humans. You must practise humanness, propagate and experience humanness, and enjoy and share with your fellowmen, the Bliss that results. When you have such sacred thoughts in you, naturally, you will become a divine person. You call yourselves human, but, in reality, there is no trace of human qualities. Behaviour is always perverted and the mind is full of bad thoughts. Where are the good feelings of love and compassion? We should share and sustain love and compassion. One without compassion is a danava (demon). One with compassion is manava (man). With compassion and love, you can achieve anything.

In this barren land without love,
For the seeds of love to sprout -
Filled with feelings and the downpour of love,
For the incessant flow of rivers of love...
Oh Krishna! Sing for us.

This was the prayer of all Gopikas. From where was Krishna singing? Was it through the flute, which was made of wood? What is a flute? This body with nine holes is the flute. From this instrument (body), proper and melodious tunes should come out and not discordant ones. Oh Krishna! Play on, holding the flute of my heart and sing tunes full of love. Listening to that tune coming from the flute of Krishna, Radha merged herself in the divine melody. Who is Radha? She is not just a woman. Radha is Dhara, the earth. The earth is the flute. Therefore, we call ‘Radhakrishna’. The name of woman - Prakriti (nature) - comes first, and then Paramatma (God). Hence we have the names Radhakrishna, Sitarama, Lakshminarayana. Therefore, you should worship nature [as god] and do good deeds. Then, you will enjoy the presence of God. Nothing that is impossible for God.

Today is Vinayaka Chaturthi. The nature of Vinayaka is found everywhere. Vinayaka is the master of Siddhi and Buddhi. We have to pray to such a Lord. If the leader is good, you will certainly reach the goal. Today, we do not have good leaders. Who is a good leader? Our conscience is the leader, but you have polluted that conscience. It is full of bad traits and wickedness. Vinayaka is the one who annihilates all such bad traits in our conscience. Mice smell everything wherever they go. Vinayaka has such a creature as His vehicle. He put the mouse under His foot. This means that He is not affected by any bad traits. As He is the master of all sacred qualities, sages and spiritual seekers praise Him. We have to recognise and understand the significance of Vinayaka, who is there in our hearts. We have to think of Him constantly. He is the presiding deity of all gods. Shaivites as well as Vaishnavites worship Vinayaka. He symbolises all the religions. He stands for auspiciousness. Once you recognise this and worship accordingly, you will redeem your lives.

Today, in Prasanthi Nilayam, we have many people who have been serving with an unwavering mind, unmindful of obstacles and difficulties. That is the true quality of devotion. One should have a steady mind and one-pointed vision. Bhagawan has chosen this day to felicitate all of them. This is not an opportunity, but a reflection of Bhagawan’s love towards you. All this is nothing but reflection, reaction and resound. In future, many more things are going to happen like this. Continue to serve with steady devotion. We have here with us, Professor Radhaswamy, who has been here for the last ten years or more. When he is given some work, he says, " Swami, you have given me life. My bypass surgery was also done in the Super Specialty Hospital. I do not want anything in this world. I am happy to serve you." Do you find anybody with such a sacred heart? There should be more and more of such people in the future. We have a doctor from Italy, where he has a lot of work. Nevertheless, he wanted to work in the proximity of the Divine. He came and settled here and he is working in the department of cardiology. Another doctor Keshav Prasad, a young man from U.S.A., could have done great work in the U. S. However, he wanted to do Swami’s service. Therefore, he came here with all his baggage and settled down. For outsiders, all these people look very ordinary. If you go deep and enquire about them and their bio-data, you will find them very special and unique. They are good leaders and specialists in their fields. Such leaders are leading unostentatious lives in Prasanthi Nilayam. They work very hard, day and night, just for the sake of Swami’s love.

You have seen Dr. Alreja. When Bhagawan visited Bombay thirty years ago, he was there in the crowd. At that time, he had a heart attack and collapsed. Bhagawan got up from the dais and ran up to him, made him lie down and patted on his chest. Then a stretcher was brought and he was taken away. Later, he came to Parthi, and from then onwards, he has been here. He has never gone home. Swami had told Alreja, "You are 90 years old. You cannot climb the stairs. It is very difficult for you to walk. You can go in a car." He replied, "My body is a car. As long as it is healthy, I will walk. You do not have to take any trouble. I don’t want the car." He goes walking every day to the hospital.

Earlier, there was Seshagiri Rao in Prasanthi Nilayam. He was a great officer. He used to offer Arati. He lived for a hundred years. Another person, by name Kishtappa, came after Seshagiri Rao had passed away. He used to come from a far-off place by foot, sit through the bhajans and offer Arati to Bhagawan. He too lived for a hundred and one’ years. Surayya, a huge personality from Venkatagiri, with a height of 6 feet and 3 inches, was also here. He was a celibate too. When Bhagawan rested at night, he used to come slowly and massage Swami’s feet. Swami would say, "Surayya, My feet have no pain. You need not press my feet." He would reply, "Swami, You do not have any pain, but if I do not press, I will feel pain. So let me massage Your feet." After Bhagawan would close His eyes, he would leave the room. He did this work until his last day. He too lived for a hundred years. Karunyananda Swami also lived for a hundred years. Kasturi was supposed to have died very early, but after entering Prasanthi Nilayam, he lived for ninety years. Whoever came here lived long. What is the reason? They were thinking of God all the time. This confers long life. Many people go for jogging and take medicines, but without any avail. These people [Kishtappa, Surayya etc] never used to take medicines. If they had any health problem, they came to Swami to take Prasadam. They led their lives in this manner. There should be more and more such people.

Youngsters today have monkey mind; not just monkey mind, but also something worse. What is said is forgotten the next moment. The tongue has no bone and hence, can be twisted in any way. You have to hold on to a promise you have made until you die. Many people say, "Swami, I am losing my teeth. What is the use of my life after I lose all my teeth?" Swami says, "You may lose your teeth but the tongue will remain." The teeth are strong. Strong things go first. The soft tongue remains. When you go, the tongue always goes with you. The tongue should be kept safe. That is why it is said: You cannot always oblige but you may always speak obligingly. Talk softly and sweetly. Speak the truth. Follow righteousness. Chant the name of the Lord and make others listen to it. Do you know why the tongue is given? Is it to eat everything? Do you know why the feet are given? Is it to go around in the lanes and bylanes? Each limb of the body has its own purpose. You should do good and perfect deeds. The body is gifted to undertake sacred activities. You should never be unrighteous and never utter falsehood. Let your body tread along the righteous path. Bhagawan expects you to earn a saarthaka (good) name.

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Who is Vigneshwara? Who is Ganapati? The word ‘Ga’ is related to the intellect. ‘Na’ refers to wisdom. Ganapati is the head of all the secular and spiritual knowledge. Vinayaka has no master above him. He is the master unto himself. Vinayaka will never allow you to suffer in anyway. Vinayaka blesses all your endeavours, efforts and confers success. He will never allow anything evil to reside in you. He has the mouse as his vehicle. A mouse stands for darkness as it moves about in the darkness at night. Vinayaka helps you to dispel this darkness and spread light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are good, your body will be full of good and divine vibrations. Bad thoughts give rise to bad vibrations. All that you see is the reflection of what is inside you. If you call a person bad, it is just that the bad in you is reflected in him. It has nothing to do with him. Good or bad is the reflection of your inner being. Never consider that good or bad exist separately from you. But modern students do not have the capacity to understand this truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can understand kindness with kindness, Love with Love and hatred with hatred. You are born as humans and therefore, you must live as humans. You must practise humanness, propagate and experience humanness, and enjoy and share with your fellowmen, the Bliss that results. When you have such sacred thoughts in you, naturally, you will become a divine person. You call yourselves human, but, in reality, there is no trace of human qualities. Behaviour is always perverted and the mind is full of bad thoughts. Where are the good feelings of love and compassion? We should share and sustain love and compassion. One without compassion is a danava (demon). One with compassion is manava (man). With compassion and love, you can achieve anything.