|Sri Sathya Sai Speaks|
The universe itself is a university in which every human being is a student. Every student pursues one subject and acquires a degree. Each one chooses a subject he likes. But, whatever different subjects they may study, there is one thing common to all of them, one common pursuit and goal – to obtain the degree of Divine Love. In the cosmic university, though there are scientific, political, economic and other studies, what is fundamental to all of them is the spiritual knowledge.
Even in the spiritual field there are special subjects. There is one group which may be described as the five D's – Dedication, Devotion, Discipline, Discrimination and Determination. Those who have mastered the five D's are qualified to receive God's love.
Dedication means offering. As soon as Swami arrived, teachers and students made offerings of flowers and offered their salutations. The flower symbolises the heart. When you offer the flower of your heart to the Lord, it should be free from the pest of desire, hatred, envy, greed and the like. Only flowers are offered to the Lord or those whom you revere. The flower of the heart is subject to infestation by two evil creatures: One is Ahamkara (ego); the other is Asuya (jealousy). Ego is based on seven different factors – wealth, physical prowess, birth, scholarship, beauty, power and penance. Of these, the arrogance born of wealth is to be despised most. As long as this Ahamkara is predominant, it is impossible to recognise the Divine or one's spiritual reality. Ego is a great barrier between the individual and God. It has to be totally demolished. Pride of wealth is another human failing, which causes the downfall of man. All forms of pride, based on birth, wealth, power or scholarship have to be given up totally. Only when egoistic pride is offered as a sacrifice at the altar of the Divine can man discover his true nature. This is the Dedication that is called for as the first step in the spiritual journey.
Next is Devotion. This is the highest form of love. “Service to Hrishikesha (God) is known as Bhakti (devotion),” says the Sutra. Devotion means constant contemplation of God. The term ‘Bhakti’ is derived from the root Bhaj (to worship). Devotion means loving contemplation of God, repetition of His name, worshipping Him and doing penance for Him. Service to the Lord is the highest expression of devotion. There is nothing which is not attainable through loving service to the Divine.
Devotion does not mean merely singing Bhajans or performing Puja. These forms of devotion at present are based on some kind of self-interest and self-seeking. True devotion should be free from selfishness of any kind. Devotion is not something to be proclaimed or demonstrated. Exhibitionistic devotion may result in a disaster. True devotion should be an expression of Love – both internally and externally.
Next comes Discipline. This is most essential for students. From the moment you wake up, you have to carry out your morning ablutions, meditate on God and then do your prescribed duties in an orderly manner without deviating from the regular routine. Variations in the routine from day to day are undesirable. You should not wake up at one hour on one day and at a different time on another day. The day’s activities should be regulated by the same schedule. Immediately after finishing the morning chores, one should devote at least a few minutes to the loving meditation on God, in the calm and serene atmosphere of the morning. The human state is based upon regulation and self-control. These have to be strictly adhered to in daily life.
Continued in Part 2…
Source: Five Spiritual Subjects, Discourse 10, My Dear Students Volume 2, Divine Discourse delivered on January 16, 1988 in the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus Auditorium