Sri Sathya Sai’s Landmark Visit to Latur, Chakur and Nanded in Maharashtra

Sri Sathya Sai consecrates the Nandanavanam Shiva Temple at Chakur, Maharashtra
July 15 - 17, 2001

The devotees of Bhagavan, Sri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sri Shivaraj Patil and Sri Uttamrao Jhadav from Maharashtra had built a magnificent temple for Lord Shiva and a beautiful residential complex for Bhagavan at Chakur in the state of Maharashtra. Bhagavan blessed them by inaugurating these two temples in the 3rd week of July 2001. Bhagavan visited the residences of these devotees during His visit to Chakur.
The Sathya Sai Nandanavanam Complex at Chakur, Latur District, Maharashtra
Bhagavan flew from Puttaparthi airport to Latur (Maharashtra) by a special plane on 15th July 2001 at 7.30 am. He visited Chakur and Nanded between 15th to 17th July. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sri Vilasrao Deshmukh, his cabinet colleagues, former Home Minister of India, Sri S.B. Chavan, former Lok Sabha Speaker, Sri Shivaraj Patil and other dignitaries welcomed Bhagavan at the Latur airport at 8.35 am. Bhagavan addressed a congregation of intellectuals at the residence of the local M.L.A. Sri Diliprao Deshmukh at Latur.        
Shivraj Patil, Former Home Minister of India with Sri Sathya Sai at Latur
Bhagavan proceeded to Chakur on 16th morning. He was taken in a grand procession covering the three kilometer stretch, to Shivalay from Sai Nandavanam gate in a golden chariot. Bhagavan was welcomed with ‘Poorna Kumbham’ at Shivalaya. He lit the lamps and inaugurated the temple amidst Vedic chants. Bhagavan charged the ‘Shiva Linga’ installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. He also consecrated the other idols in the Mandir Hall and in the 9 temples surrounding the Shivalaya (photo at the top of the post). 

After Mangala Arati, Bhagavan was taken to ‘Sai Nivas’, the residence that was built specially for His stay. Bhagavan addressed a mammoth gathering at Sai Nandanvanam at 2 pm, that afternoon. The meeting commenced with Vedic chanting by Pandit Krishnamurthy. Sri Uttamrao Jadhav Patil welcomed the gathering. Sri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sri S.B. Chavan and Sri Shivaraj Patil addressed the gathering. 
Sri Sathya Sai addresses the mammoth gathering at Chakur. 
Prof. Anil Kumar translated the discourse in English. 
Shivraj Patil translated it into Marathi
“The whole world is permeated with love. The world does not connote only the form but the people also. You are all the embodiments of love. You may or may not have any other quality, but every one of you does have love. In this world, there is nobody without love. There are, however, two types of love in this world – one is worldly while the other is spiritual or Divine.

Have The Vision Of God Through Love

Divine love is totally selfless. It is love for love’s sake; there is no other consideration. God has no selfishness whatsoever. He does not expect anything in return. But worldly love is tainted with selfishness, and it craves for material possessions. Where there is selfishness, there is fear. Where there is no selfishness, there is no fear. Man should have no trace of selfishness in his love. He can have even the vision of the Divine through selfless love. Love is selflessness; self is lovelessness. God has no specific form. Love is God; live in love.

Love is the magnet that attracts everybody. Love is the cause of attraction between us. This magnet of love is present in every one of you. It is because of love that you have come here to see Me and I have come to see you. You are not merely human beings; you are Virat Purushas (cosmic beings). Man is endowed with such tremendous power which none of the other denizens possess. There is limitless power in each one of you, but you are unable to recognise it. When you love others, they will love you in turn. Therefore, first and foremost, you should love all. By experiencing love in this way, a human becomes Divine. But man today is focusing his love on fleeting and ephemeral objects. He limits his love to his wife, children and material objects.

Here is a small example to illustrate the nature of worldly love. When a young man gets married, he considers his wife as his very life for the first two or three months. If he happens to find a thorn on the way while going out for a walk, he pulls her aside immediately with great concern, fearing that it might prick her feet. After a period of six months, if the husband finds a thorn on the way while walking together, he merely cautions her. After one year if the same situation arises he will shout at her, saying, “Can’t you see? There is a thorn on the road.” Worldly love declines in this manner day by day, but Divine love will never decline. It is steady and changeless. You should make efforts to attain such true and eternal love. You are not able to experience this love due to your limitless desires. Life is like a long journey and desires are the luggage. Less luggage, more comfort make travel a pleasure. You will be free from worries and problems once you reduce your desires.
There is nothing in this world that is not Divine. Divinity permeates each and every object of the universe. Man commits mistakes, because he is unable to recognise this principle of non-dualism. (Swami showing His handkerchief) What is this? It is a handkerchief. It is made up of a number of closely interwoven threads. The threads are made up of cotton. Therefore, the cotton, the threads and the cloth are one and the same. Likewise, Prakriti (nature), Jeevatma (individualised soul) and Paramatma (God) are one and the same. You are not one, but three: the one you think you are (physical body), the one others think you are (mental body) and the one you really are (Atma). You are neither the body nor the mind; you are the embodiment of the Atma. The body and the mind are mere instruments.

Do Not Forget Your Divinity

You don’t need to talk about spirituality which all cannot understand. It is enough if you hold on to the principle of love in your daily life. The principle of love is the same in everybody, right from a pauper to a millionaire. Even a millionaire must live on food; he cannot partake of gold. Food is therefore necessary for man. It sustains his body. Food is God. The body is made up of food; but the mind, which is a bundle of desires, is the root cause of man’s delusion. Man’s life today is full of delusion as he harbours limitless desires. You should have the firm conviction that you, being the embodiments of love, are basically Divine. Your life will be redeemed once you know that you are the spark of the Divine. You forget your Divine nature as you get deluded by various names and forms in this world. Is it possible to build a temple for God who pervades the entire universe? Your heart is the temple of God. Turn your vision inward and find Him there. It is a very easy path to Divinity.

Love is the prime feeling of man. All other feelings originate from love. Once you understand the principle of love, you can understand the entire universe. First and foremost, man should have strong faith. Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is truth; where there is truth, there is peace. You don’t need to search for peace elsewhere. It is within you. Likewise, you are the repository of truth and love. In fact, the whole world is within you. Thousands have assembled here. Your names and forms are different, but the same five elements are present in all of you. In this world, you don’t find anybody without the five elements, which are nothing but the forms of the Divine.

Understand The Principle Of Unity In Diversity

Man’s mind is the cause of his pleasure and pain. Manah Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandha Mokshayo (mind is responsible for both bondage and liberation of man). When you insert the key into a lock and turn it to the left, the lock gets closed. When you turn it to the right, it opens. It is the same lock and the same key, but the side to which you turn the key matters. Likewise, the heart may be compared to a lock and the mind to a key. When the mind is turned towards the world, you are attached to the world and when it is turned Godward, you get detached and attain liberation. Today man is bound because his mind is turned towards the world.

Human life is Divine. Janthunam Narajanma Durlabham (out of all the living beings, the human birth is the rarest). Man is wasting such a Divine and auspicious life. Human body is a gift of God, which has to be utilised to realise one’s Self. The body is an instrument for self-realisation. Just as ears, nose, hands, etc., are the limbs of the body, likewise body is the limb of society, society is the limb of Nature and Nature is the limb of God. Body cannot exist if the limbs are separated from it. Likewise, the country cannot exist if there is no unity among its ‘limbs’. 

In olden days, the Bharatiyas considered their country as their very home. They would proudly proclaim that they belonged to Bharat. Unfortunately, such patriotic feeling is lacking today. People identify themselves with their respective States, saying, “I belong to Maharashtra, I belong to Karnataka, I belong to Tamil Nadu, etc.” By thinking in this sectarian way, the spirit of unity is lost. When a limb is cut off from the body, it leads to severe pain and loss of blood. The country also suffers the same fate if the various regions are separated from it. You are all Bharatiyas. Develop the feeling of nationality.

You belong to the human race. So, develop human values. Today the world is fragmented as man has forgotten human values. Unity of the world can thus be strengthened by developing human values. He is a true human being whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony. Your life will be wrecked if your thoughts, words and deeds are in disharmony. Develop the spirit of oneness. All are one, be alike to everyone. Different bulbs have different wattages and colours, but the current that flows through them is one and the same. Likewise, God is present in men of all colours, races and nationalities. Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings).

Make every effort to recognise the Divinity in everyone. Though God is present in everyone, you search for Him elsewhere and thus waste time. Wherever you see, there is Divinity in this world. It is because of the Divinity within that you are able to speak. Is it not sheer madness to search for God in the external world when you have Divinity within you? You are the embodiment of truth and love. So, do not hate or harm anybody. Hurting others amounts to hurting your own self. 

You will become Divine when you realise the oneness of all human beings. You belong to the same universal family. Such being the case, why should you give room for hatred and conflicts? Love everybody. Love is eternal, immortal and nectarine. However, it is being turned into poison because of evil qualities like hatred, jealousy and anger. Never allow such evil qualities to enter your heart for God dwells in it. God and the individual are not different; both are one. Lead your life with the feeling that you are Divine. Truly speaking, man has no misery. He is the embodiment of bliss. But man subjects himself to misery because of his limitless desires. One should remain equal-minded in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat. Your mind is responsible for both pleasure and pain. You feel elated when your desires are fulfilled; otherwise, you are depressed. You will be blissful only when you control your desires. Do not get carried away by pleasure and pain. 

Power Of Love Is Immeasurable

Being the embodiments of love, you should not hate anybody. Only through love can you attain immortality. There is love in everybody, but it is used in a perverted manner. With love, one can achieve anything. One can even control the five elements. When you gain control over the five elements, the whole world will be under your control. It is out of ignorance that you consider yourself weak. In fact, all powers are in you. It is only love that can dispel the darkness of ignorance. Love is God. God is love. Love can unite the entire world. What is the relationship that exists between you and Me? This body was born in a remote village of Andhra Pradesh. You belong to the State of Maharashtra. What is the connection between you and Me? It is love and love alone. It is only out of love for Swami that you have all gathered here. Your love has made Me very happy. How much is the power of love? It is infinite. None can fathom its depth.

Do not hate anybody. All are your brothers and sisters. Cultivate the spirit of Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God. Serve all with love. No amount of money can procure the bliss that you attain by serving others. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. There have been many men of affluence in this land, but what happened to them ultimately? They had to leave the world empty-handed. No one can carry even a fistful of dust at the time of departing from the world. Otherwise, there would have been rationing even for dust in the country. When you leave the body, you carry with you only the good and bad that you have done in your life.

Aspire to become good, not great. Ravana was great, while Rama was good. Why? Rama put into practice His innate noble qualities. Ravana also had noble qualities in him, but he did not make use of them. Greatness is like a passing cloud. You occupy an exalted position, you earn a lot of money, but nothing remains with you. Earn a good name for yourself. People should respect you because of your goodness. Only goodness gives true happiness. Do always good. Never indulge in evil. If you want to be happy in life, you should try to become a good man.

Take Refuge In The Divine Name

Today people fight for their rights, but do not carry out their responsibilities. A true human being is one who has the noble qualities of adherence to truth, duty, devotion and discipline. These are the things that man should learn. Today man is filling his Mastaka (head) with all that is contained in Pustaka (books). First of all, he should cultivate noble qualities. Otherwise, all that he has learnt will prove futile. Man can achieve anything with self-confidence. Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate self-confidence. It transforms man into Divine. Why are you born in this world? What is it that you have achieved? What is the purpose of life? Is it Khana, Peena, Sona, Marna (to eat, drink, sleep and die)? No. Even birds and beasts do the same. As least they have a reason and a season, but today’s man has no reason and no season. He misuses his senses. He should make proper use of his senses to become a good man.

There is nothing greater than having love for God. Love is God and through love alone can you merge in God. Mira was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She used to spend all her time in the temple of Krishna singing His glory. When the Maharana ordered her to leave the temple, she was shocked. She did not know where to go. She meditated on Krishna and sang. “O mind, go to the bank of the Ganga and Yamuna. The cool waters of Ganga and Yamuna will make the body placid and serene” (Hindi song). She considered Ida and Pingala as the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, which meet each other at Sushumna. In order to reach Sushumna all that one has to do is to sing the glory of the Lord. When one contemplates on the Lord incessantly, one will certainly attain Brahma Loka. There are many noble souls in Maharashtra. In fact, they are everywhere. But how are we leading our lives? What is the use of having a tongue that does not chant the Divine Name and hands that do not serve others? Chant the name of Easwara with love.

There Is Immense Strength In Unity

Each of you is a spark of the Divine. Lord Krishna declared in the Bhagavad Gita: The eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being. When you identify yourself with your body, you consider yourself as human being. But in reality, you are Divine. Prem Easwar Hai, Easwar Prem Hai (love is God, God is love). Divinity is the same in everyone, be he a Hindu, a Muslim, a Sikh or a Christian. There is only one religion, the religion of love. There is only one caste, the caste of humanity. So, develop unity, chant the Divine Name. What an exalted position will the country attain if all its people were to chant the Divine Name unitedly! Once you take refuge in the Divine Name, the whole country will progress. Then you need not run after other countries for help. The greatness and grandeur of Bharat is unparalleled. Since ancient times, Bharat has been occupying the position of a leader to the rest of the world. What can be said of the great good fortune of Bharat for God incarnated in this land many a time to lead humanity to Divinity! You may belong to any religion, but consider God as one. Do not have any differences whatsoever based on religion. You may be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian or a Sikh, but all are one in the eyes of God. One who cultivates the crop of love in the field of one’s heart is a true Christian, a true Sikh, a true Hindu and a true Muslim.

I am extremely happy to see that so many people of Maharashtra have gathered here to express their love for Me. I bless you all to lead a happy, peaceful and blissful life. Unity and love are fast disappearing. It is only in villages that you find unity and love. If you all stand united, you can achieve anything. When you conduct yourself with the spirit of unity and love, the country can attain any height. It is not possible for a few ministers to run the whole country. All of you should stand united and extend your cooperation to them. A thread can be snapped with two fingers, but when many threads are woven to form cloth, it will be strong. There is immense strength in unity. When the people and the government work together, any mighty task can be accomplished.

I am very happy and I bless you all to lead a meaningful and purposeful life by working for the welfare of society. Pray to God for timely rains and good harvest, so that all are blessed with plenty and prosperity. With these words, I bring my Discourse to a close.”

Sri Suresh Wadkar sang Bhajans at the conclusion of the meeting. Bhagavan blessed the devotees with His Darshan at Nandanvanam at 7 am, on 17th, and proceeded to Nanded. He visited Sri S.B. Chavan’s residence at Nanded and gave Darshan to the devotees assembled there at 8.50 am. 
S.B. Chavan, Former Home Minister of India and Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra addressed the massive gathering in the presence of Sri Sathya Sai. Seen behind is Vilasrao Deshmukh, then Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Bhagavan blessed the huge gathering at Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Stadium with His Darshan and Discourse at 12.55 pm, that afternoon. Sri Ashok Rao S. Chavan, Revenue Minister, Government of Maharashtra, welcomed the gathering. Sri S.B. Chavan gave a speech. Bhagavan left Nanded at 2.00 pm for Puttaparthi.

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