When Sri Sathya Sai first designed the Sarva Dharma Symbol…

Wednesday, March 04, 1970 to 

Thursday, March 12, 1970 

Sri Sathya Sai addressing devotees gathered at Prasanthi Nilayam for Mahashivaratri
Swami addressed the Seva Dals who had been allotted specific duties for the Mahashivratri festival on 4th March, 1970. Swami hoisted the Prashanti Flag on the 6th morning and gave a Discourse. Prior to Swami’s Discourse, Dr. Diwakarla Venkatavadhanulu, Professor at Osmania University, Hyderabad addressed the devotees. Swami materialised a nine-jewelled locket and fixed it on the forehead of Shirdi Sai’s silver idol and performed the Vibhuti Abhishekam. During the Vibhuti Abhishekam, precious stones also fell from the pot along with Vibhuti. Prof. V. K. Gokak, Sri Nakul Sen (Lieutenant Governeor of Goa), and Dr. Diwakarla Venkatavadhanulu spoke in the evening. Swami then delivered His Shivaratri Discourse. In His Discourse He said: 

“If you love another person, you will not covet lordship over him; you will not covet his property; you will have no envy when he prospers, no joy when he suffers. Love is the strongest antidote for greed. This therefore, is the fundamental spiritual discipline: give love and receive Love. You might have heard of Bhooa-bali, a word that is interpreted as a sacrifice in order to satisfy spirits. Bali means 'tax' as well. Bhoota-bali which everyone is enjoined to give is tax to be paid, to the Bhootas (elements), for this splendid chance of human birth. For all the good words that come your way, all the good deeds you benefit by, and all the good thoughts that spread peace in your heart and light on the road you trod, you have to pay tax. 

Love persuades you to consider the distress of the other, whenever you are overcome by it. You are drawn to those who have equal ground for grief. You become engrossed in the sorrow of others and so forget your own. Draupadi bewailed her lot before Krishna, She cried, "Krishna! When a mother loses a child, snatched away from her lap by death, she is drowned in grief. Now, Ashwatthama slaughtered in cold blood at dead of night while they were sleeping soundly, all my children! I have lost all, all of them. How can I be consoled? How can I get those children back?" Krishna said, "Sister! You braved the insults that the wicked Kauravas inflicted on you in open Durbaar (court); brave this blow with equal courage. Look at Gandhari, the Mother of Kauravas. She has imposed on herself the blindness which her husband is suffering from; she has lost all her one hundred sons! Not one is left." Krishna consoled her, presenting before her the picture for greater fortitude borne by another mother. Consider the agony of others, and the means of sharing the grief they have. Feel for them, more than you feel for your own calamity. This is the sign of a genuine Sai Bhakta. He should have compassion, tolerance and sympathy; if he does not possess these, he will be the target of ridicule. And with good reason. 

People ask sneeringly, "Where is your God? How does He look? What does He do?" etc. They sneer because those who have experienced the majesty and glory of God are very few. God is Truth, Goodness and Beauty, but only those who have had experience of Him can assert so and convince. You may have a pot full of Amrita, but unless you place a drop on your tongue, how can you assert about its fragrance and sweetness? Through you, Sai Bhaktas, a transformation has to be brought about in the minds of people; so your responsibility is very great. 

When the Mahabharata War was imminent, it was said in circles that knew the evils of the age, that only a thick shower of arrows could smother the flames of hate. Now, it is the other way: only a thick shower of Love can smother and destroy the flames of anger, fear and anxiety that envelop the world. A group of scholars who had come to Me recently asked Me, "Swami! You talk of flames of anxiety and fear; but, surely, you appreciate the great step forward that man has taken by landing on the moon!" I told them, it was wrong to spend billions of dollars and roubles on such enterprises. They argued that though there may not be any immediate profit from all that capital lost, its potentialities for good are very great. I said, "It is a question of priorities; first things first. When so many nations upon the Earth are undernourished, undereducated, underhoused, it is sheer absence of discrimination to spend time, skill and money for this spectacular competitive adventure. Later, when the earth has been made the home of a happy family of peoples, such enterprises can be planned." 

The Earth is the natural habitat of man. Why should he venture out of the range of the elements of which his body is composed and go places where to he has to take water, air and other essential requisites with him? When he goes to the moon, he does not leave anxiety, fear and falsehood behind. The moon that man has to voyage into is the mind, not this dead satellite, with no capacity to illumine itself. 

The Ramayana mentions that Ravana skillfully prepared a wax head similar to that of Rama and arranged that it be presented before Seetha as the severed head of her Lord, so that, she might give up all thought of living with Him again, and surrender to the wiles of her captor, Ravana. The moon is like that lifeless imitation head of Rama. The real Rama is vibrant, active, somewhere else. The real Moon for man is in the firmament of his 'heart,' where the mind and the intelligence (the real Sun) revolve. 

When that Moon is mastered, Shivam illumines the Night, and it is transmuted into Shivaratri. Or else, it is Shava-ratri (the Night of death). When man sleeps unaware of himself and of his divinity, he is as a corpse. The sages of India laid down various rites, ceremonies, disciplines, modes of behaviour, conventions and festivals to help cleanse the emotions and confirm faith, I shall speak today of the importance of one of these---of the disciplines that they laid down for food. Take in only simple pure clean food---what is called Sattvic food by the sages. That is to say, food which will not arouse the impulses and emotions, sharpen the passions, upset the equanimity, hamper health. Food offered to God is free from the evil vibrations that injure the individual in subtle ways. Food offered to the hungry and then eaten has also the same beneficial quality. Since food has a subtle impact on the feelings and thoughts of man, you have to be vigilant ever.” 

After the Discourse Swami sang a few Bhajans. Thereafter, a heavy oval Linga composed of opal emanated from Swami during Lingodbhavam. The night-long Bhajan session concluded with Swami’s Discourse on 7th morning. Swami blessed the devotees with yet another Discourse that evening. Prior to Swami’s discourse, Brahmasri Bairagi Sastry and Swami Karunyananda addressed them. 

Sri Sathya Sai distributing Prasadam to the devotees
The thousands gathered at Prashanti Nilayam were blessed with Prasadam and Pada Namaskar from Swami Himself on the 8th. Swami gave interviews to all the disabled devotees between the 9th and the 11th. Swami left for Anantapur on the 12th. 

It was during this Shivaratri that Swami drew a figure with the holy symbols of the five major Religions of the World [Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma), Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism] with the Lotus Pillar in the centre. This drawing became the ‘Sarva Dharma’ emblem of Sathya Sai’s mission stating ‘There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love.’ 
The Sarva Dharma Emblem of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations


  1. Can I get the message(Sanskrit Sloka along with meaning )written on Sarva Dharma Stupa... I had got it but later missed somewhere(For some reasons I need it)...Happy Mahashivaratri


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