Recognising the Real Guru on Guru Poornima

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks
This is a sacred day. It is the day when we honour Sage Vyasa, who gave mankind the precious gem of Saguna worship (worship of God with Form) and the hope and assurance that Manava (man) can become Madhava (God), that Nara can become Narayana, that Jeeva can become Brahmam, or rather that Jeeva (individual soul) is Brahmam (Universal soul). The Bhagavata and the Brahmasutra are the great texts which hold forth these valuable doctrines.

Man is a mixture of two strands of the same substance, Maya and Madhava, Moha and Rama, Deha and Dehi, Jada and Chit, Shareeram and Shareeri, Jeeva and Brahmam (Divine illusion and God, delusion and God, body and soul, inert matter and consciousness, body and the embodied, individual soul and the Supreme Soul). Like the two circular stones of the grinding mill, the Brahmam one is stable, the Jeeva one is revolving. The stable is the base; the revolving is the 'dependent'. The Guru is the Teacher who removes the fundamental ignorance, which hides the knowledge of this truth from us. The Pournami or the Full Moon Day has been fixed for revering him, for, the effect of the knowledge is to put an end to scorching agony and to shed cool comfort instead, on the mind of man. Vyasa is revered as Narayana Himself, for who but God can inspire such Illumination?

If your loyalty is to the family, you are a servant of the family; if it is to God, you are a servant of God. But, do not pay heed to the wages He gives. Do not argue and bargain for wages or reward. Only hired labourers clamour for wages and declare they are poor. Be a kinsman, a member of the family, a scion of God, then it behoves Him to maintain you in comfort. Try to be near God, as near as His own kin, do not calculate the number of hours you have spent in serving Him, and pine that He has not compensated you. Be ever in His service, that is to say, in doing good and being good.

Connect yourself with God by the cable of Smarana

Karna knew that death is ever round the corner and so, whenever anyone came to him seeking some favour, be it however hard, he satisfied them on the spot, without any delay, for, as he said, "My mind may change, my life may end." People ask each other when they meet, "Kshemamaa?" (Is all well?). The other man repeats automatically, "Quite well, thank you", without noting that his life span has become a day shorter. He has no Kshema (well-being); he has undergone only Ksheena (decline). So, arise, and resolve to make the best of your days.

The Guru is the person who discovers that you have fallen into a wrong road that leads to further and further darkness. For, he knows the fight road and he is full of love for all who strive to escape the travails of the night, without lamps to light their steps. This is a day when the First of Gurus is remembered with gratitude. He is called Narayana, because Narayana is the reality and if you do not get a Guru from outside yourself, if you pray, the Narayana inside you will Himself reveal the road and lead you on. It is always preferable to be prompted by that inner Guru, because most of those who claim to that status are themselves rolling in objective pleasure or are bound by greed, envy or malice. Guru also means 'heavy'; many have only the qualification of physical weight, not of spiritual height!

If you must bring the power from the power-house to your residence to illumine your place, you have to put up poles at regular intervals and connect the house with the power house with cables. So too, if you must win the Grace of God, do Sadhana at regular timings and connect yourself with God by the cable of Smarana (remembering the Lord).

Discover the fountain of joy within

The Charavakas (the materialists) argued that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. They said that the pleasure you now have should not be given up in the hope of something promised later on, if this is given up. But, the happiness of renunciation can be enjoyed here and now, and is much more sustaining and inspiring than the happiness derived from grabbing and attachment. Besides, there is a certain joy in being the master of the senses, rather than in being their slave. Now, you are slaves of the coffee habit. Resolve not to cater to that attachment and stick to that resolution for three days continuously. You become the master and the tongue is your slave. Coffee cannot hold sway over you any longer. If coffee is capable of conferring joy, all should get it equally from that beverage. But, some prefer tea and many find it distasteful. Some delight in taking it without sugar and others without milk. So, it is the mind that gives delight, not the coffee; it is not the object that caters to the senses.

The secret is, discover the fountain of joy within; that is a never-failing, ever-full, ever-cool fountain, for it rises from God. What is the body? It is but the Atma encased in five sheaths, the Annamaya (the one composed of food), the Pranamaya (the one composed of vitality), the Manomaya (the one composed of thought), the Vijnanamaya (the one composed of intelligence) and the Anandamaya (the one composed of bliss). By a constant contemplation of these sheaths or Koshas, the Sadhaka attains discrimination to recede from the outer to the inner and the more real. Thus, step by step, he abandons one Kosha after another and is able to dissolve away all of them, to achieve the knowledge of his unity with Brahmam.

Keep Truth and Love as your guides

Most of you hear me say these things over and over again, year after year. But few take even the first step in Sadhana. You ask that I should go on speaking and you take down notes of what I say for the purpose of reading them again. But, without practice, all this is sheer waste. You may talk in a big high-sounding style, but you are judged, not by your tongue, but by your activity and attitude. There was a lady who attended a whole series of Bhagavata discourses, and picked up a few cliches. She became too lazy to draw water and slept on till a late hour. When her husband reprimanded her, she quoted a shloka which said that one has in oneself all the holy rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, as the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadi (the nerve currents to the left, right and middle of the spinal column)! The husband was astounded at her impudence and pseudo-spiritual pose. He contrived to feed her on highly salted stuff and he removed all the water pots and jugs from the house. When she suffered from acute thirst, and called out for water desperately, he quoted the same hymn and wanted her to draw from the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati within her! You have no place for hypocrisy and double dealing in spiritual matters; there, you must walk along the straight and narrow path, with Truth and Love as your guides and companions.

Young men go out to countries overseas and their aged parents are worried about their reactions to the attractions of the strange culture. The father writes to the son pleading with him not to give up the family habits of food and drink, of worship and prayer; the son while reading it gets tears in the eyes; he presses the letter on to his breast; but, that is all. He yields to the temptation and slides away. The paper on which the letter is written is honoured, not the matter for which the letter was written. Sacred books are worshipped in the same way; flowers are showered on them; even food is sanctified by being offered to them; they are carried in procession with pipers and drummers in front, through the streets. But, as to reading them or trying to understand what they contain, or practising a bit of what they were written for – that is an impossible task, for most!

Do not seek to find fault in others

I shall tell you just one thing which those books teach; one thing which I want you to resolve to follow, from this Guru Pournami Day (the full noon day dedicated to the Divine preceptor): "Do not seek to find fault in others, give up Para Dushana and Para Himsa (maligning and injuring others); do not scandalise any one, do not feel envy or malice. Be always sweet in temperament, in talk. Fill your conversation with devotion and humility."

Live with Prema, in Prema, for Prema. Then the Lord who is Premaswaroopa (Divine Love personified) will grant you all that you need in spite of your not asking for anything. He knows; He is the Mother who does not wait to hear the moan of the child to feed it. His Prema is so vast and deep; He anticipates every need and rushes with help you must have. You are all waiting anxiously to know, from when I am granting you the 'interviews' so that you can place before Me the long lists of 'Korikas' (wishes), which you have brought.

These wishes go on multiplying; they never end. The fulfilment of one leads to a new series. Strive to arrive at the stage when His Wish alone will count and you are an instrument in His Hands.

There are different types of 'listening'

The ears relish evil, they do not welcome goodness. They are so warped and perverted. There are different types of 'listening'; the clay type: clay becomes soft when water is added, but, when it evaporates, it is rendered as hard as formerly. The mind becomes soft when religious discourses are heard. But, when you move away, the effect is lost. Then there is the crow type: however much you may teach it to improve its voice and to sing, it does not try nor can it improve; it caws and caws as raucously as before. There is the mosquito type' which goes on harassing you at the very moment when you would much rather have an hour of silence. It cannot be shooed off, it attacks again and again, taking delight in inflicting harm. Do not cater to such low desires; control the listening. The Gopis desired to listen only to Krishna's Glory, Krishna's Charm, Krishna's Words, Krishna's Pranks, Plays, Pastimes, Krishna's Achievements, His Attainments. 

When you fill yourselves with love for Krishna (Krishna Prem), you achieve Saroopya and Sayujya (likeness of form and absorption into Krishna). Strive for that consummation, not for lesser victories.


Source: Divine Discourse on July 13, 1965 on the occasion of Guru Poornima Festival at Prasanthi Nilayam

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