When Sri Sathya Sai Installed the Idols of Rama Family in the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Rama, Seeta, Lakshmana and Hanuman Idols at the entrance of Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi Nilayam
A solemn function was organised at Prasanthi Nilayam to install the idols of Sri Rama, Seeta, Lakshmana and Hanuman at the main entrance of Sai Kulwant Hall on 30th September 1999. Bhagavan installed the idols at 9 am, in the area where thousands of Likhita Japa books containing Rama Naama written by devotees, were earlier placed in a vault. Bhagavan materialised a Lingam and placed it beneath the idols to surcharge them with Divinity. 

The video of the installation programme can be seen below:

Friday, October 01, 1999 and Saturday, October 02, 1999

The main function of Paduka Pooja was held in Sai Kulwant Hall on 1st October 1999. Bhagavan inaugurated the Pooja at 7 am, that morning. 4,005 couples participated in the worship of the Padukas. That afternoon, Sri Srinivasan, President of Sri Sai Paduka Trust and Dr. D. J. Gadhia, addressed the devotees. Bhagavan then delivered His Discourse. Excerpts are included below:

“You may acquire worldly comforts and conveniences and earn worldly name and fame. But that is not all in all. All these are passing clouds. Do not get carried away by them. Follow the teachings of the Vedas and attain Divinity. Practice is important, not publicity. Practice at least one of the innumerable teachings of the Vedas and share the bliss derived therefrom with one and all. This is your bounden duty. Human life is highly valuable. So, man should lead an ideal, noble and sacred life. “Satyaannaasti Paro Dharmaha (there is no other Dharma greater than truth).” Build the mansion of your life on the foundation of truth.
The safety of the mansion depends on the strength of the foundation. Never utter a lie under any circumstances. It is an unpardonable sin to indulge in untruth. This body is gifted by God. Do not fritter away this golden opportunity by misusing it. “Deho Devaalayaprokto Jeevo Deva Sanatanaha (body is the temple and the indweller is God).” 

What is the difference between man and God? Vyashti (individual) is man and Samashti (collective form) is God. Man should progress from the state of vyashti to Samashti. Only then can he attain Divinity. “Isavaasyam Idam Jagat (God pervades the entire universe).” “Easwara Sarvabhootanam (God is present in all beings).” “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti (there is only one God, but the scholars call Him by different names).” In order to understand these Vedic dicta one needs to cultivate noble qualities.

Do not degenerate to the level of animal

It is a disgrace to lead the life of an animal, having been born as a human being. Animals also eat, sleep and enjoy sensual pleasures. If you do the same, how can you be called a human being? You are also an animal! The only difference lies in the number of legs, i.e. you are a Dvipaada Pashuvu (two-legged animal) and that is a Chatushpaada Pashuvu (four-legged animal). Having been born as human being, you should strive to become Pashupati (God). Do not degenerate to the level of Pashu (animal). 

Divinity stands for the principle of oneness. You are getting deluded by differences in names and forms and are wasting your time not making any effort to understand the principle of unity. Time is God. Time wasted is life wasted. Time once lost cannot be recovered. So never waste even a moment. Cultivate Divine thoughts, undertake noble deeds and lead a sacred life. Have the welfare of society, not your self-interest, uppermost in your mind. You may have self-interest, but it should be within limit. There is no one in this world who has given up self-interest altogether. But one should not waste one's life wholly in pursuit of selfishness and self-interest.

Make use of your education to serve society

There are many students, educationists, intellectuals, and scholars in this country but how many of them are working for the nation’s progress? Only a few! Aurobindo Ghosh was working as a teacher in Calcutta. Once he told his students, “Children, you are very lucky to have been born in this sacred land. Youth is very precious. Make proper use of this golden age. You are born and brought up in society. You acquire all your knowledge and skills from society. Make use of your education to serve and support society. Your education is a mere waste if society does not benefit by it.”

What a shame it is if education is used solely to earn money without serving society. Today, people adopt corrupt practices and device crooked ways to earn money. Just as the earth revolves around the sun, man goes around money. Is this the purpose of human life? No. Money is not important. “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows.” So cultivate morality. Educate yourself to serve society and set an ideal to the rest of the world. You receive your education from society. In turn, dedicate it for the welfare of society. 

God accepts anything offered with pure love 

What do you have to offer God? The heart that God has given you must be given back to Him as it is — pure and sacred. This is the offering that God expects. God accepts whatever you offer to Him provided you do it with pure love.

Krishna Tulaabharam
In the Krishna Tulabhara episode, Rukmini could weigh Krishna with a small tulasi leaf because her heart was filled with love. “O Lord, if it were to be true that you are pleased with any offering made with pure love, be it a leaf (Patram), a flower (Pushpam), a fruit (Phalam) or water (Toyam), may this tulasi leaf balance your weight.” So saying, Rukmini placed a tulasi leaf in the weighing pan, which balanced Krishna's weight. Here Patram means body, Pushpam means heart, Phalam, is mind, and Toyam is tears of joy. All these should be offered to God. This is the offering that God wants from you.

You do not need to spend money or strain yourself in order to make this offering. It is rather strange that you find it difficult to make such a simple offering. You are reading many sacred texts, learning many Shlokas (verses) by heart, but what is the use? You are not able to get rid of your Shoka (misery). The only way to overcome misery is offering yourself to God.

Criticising others is the worst of sins

Sage Valmiki, after having composed the epic Ramayana, convened a congregation of saints and sages and wanted to know if there was anyone who would propagate the story of Rama to the people. The saints and sages expressed their inability to do so, since they lacked the physical strength on account of their advanced age.

Lava and Kusa, who were sitting at a distance and watching the proceedings, came forward and expressed their willingness to undertake the task of spreading Rama's story far and wide. They took Tambura in one hand, wore garlands of Rudraksha around their necks, smeared Vibhuti on their foreheads, and went to each and every street singing the glory of Lord Rama. They sang, “Oh people, listen to the sacred story of Lord Rama. Let your life be His Story.”

But modern youth feel shy to spread the message of the Lord. Not merely do they feel shy to participate in bhajans and to even smear vibhuti on their foreheads, some of them smear vibhuti only at home and wipe it off as soon as they step out on the street. They do not feel ashamed to do things, which they are not supposed to. Why should anyone feel ashamed to participate in sacred activities and chant the Divine name? 

Some people feel ashamed to spread the Divine glory, but do not hesitate to talk ill of others and ridicule them. They do not understand why the tongue is gifted. It is gifted to chant the divine name. Criticizing others is the worst of the sins. Never criticize anybody for everyone is essentially divine. You all know that in the present day politics each one accuses and abuses the other. It is nothing but the result of accrued sins from past lives.

Even Ravana Acknowledged the Nobility of Rama

Never indulge in slander. Sanctify your lives by undertaking sacred activities. This is the true purpose of human life. Human body is gifted to serve others. The story of Rama is suffused with great ideals and noble values. Yesterday the idols of Sita, Rama, Lakshmana, and Hanuman were installed. Everyone should follow their ideals. Even Ravana acknowledged the nobility of Rama before he breathed his last. He gave a message to the people in his last moments, “Oh people, I lost my sons, brothers, my entire clan and kingdom as I could not control my desires. Do not become slaves to the senses, like me. Follow the ideal of Rama and sanctify your lives.”

The epic Ramayana is replete with inner significance. All the ideals propagated by the Ramayana should be properly understood and put into practice by one and all. Only then will human life find fulfillment. The name and form of Rama is highly sacred. Ramyate Iti Ramaha, (Rama is one who pleases everyone). So, all should emulate Him. Rama is a synonym for Atma. Hence the term Atmarama. So in essence, all are the embodiments of Rama principle.

Offer yourself to God; that is the goal of your life 
Sri Sathya Sai at the Paduka Pooja Festival
God is all-pervasive. It is a great mistake to forget the all-pervasive God and get immersed in mundane, ephemeral pleasures. You may not get this human birth again. So work for the redemption of your life by chanting the divine name. Offer yourself to God. That is the goal of your life.

Embodiments of love! You all have come from different places for worshipping the Padukas and deriving the bliss therefrom. It is indeed a good act. It is not sufficient if you merely worship the Padukas. Concentrate on them. Without concentration what is the point in worshipping Padukas? Here is a glass of water. Your thirst is quenched only when you drink water. Likewise, you will be blissful only when you install the padukas in your heart. Share the bliss with one and all. God is the embodiment of love. So you can be a recipient of His grace only when you develop love for God.”

On 2nd, the 4,005 couples with their Padukas assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagavan walked between the rows and sprinkled the sacred Akshata on them. With Mangala Arati to Bhagavan the function concluded.

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