Sri Sathya Sai Message on Kerala New Year - Vishu

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks in Sai Ramesh Hall, Brindavan
Today is the day of great happiness for the people of Kerala. The farmers reap the harvest, bring the grains to the home, and rejoice. Food is very essential for the nation. It is the farmers who feed to the nation and bring peace and prosperity to it. It is their good fortune to be able to render such joyful service to the nation. Only when the farmers who give us food are happy and contented can the nation be peaceful and prosperous. Right from dawn to dusk, they toil in the fields and render great service to the nation.

Embodiments of Love!

This land of Bharat is very sacred and meritorious. Since time immemorial, Bharat has been imparting spiritual education to all nations of the world and thus bestowing peace and happiness on all. This is the eternal glory of Bharat. The motto of the Bharatiyas (Indians) has been Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!) Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman). As Brahma pervades the entire world, dharma should permeate all actions of man. Karma (action) will be sanctified only when it is based on Dharma and Brahma. It is said, Karmanubandheeni Manushya Loke (human society is bound by action). Nobody should waste time. Right from the time he wakes up in the morning, man should utilise his time and energy for the welfare of society. This is his main duty. He should realise that his welfare lies in the welfare of society. I have seen that the people of Kerala are always engaged in some activity or the other. They work very hard. They are not interested in comforts and pleasures. They derive happiness in working hard and serving society. They strive for peace and security of
one and all. That is their most sacred virtue.

Kerala is the seat of education. It is the land which stands as testimony to the profound truths enunciated in the Vedas, Shastras, Puranas, and Itihasas. In such a land of peace and sacredness, today people are unable to experience the unsullied happiness that their ancestors were able to enjoy in the past. However, there is no cause for worry. A time will come, when Kerala will regain its past glory. Time plays an important role. We have to discharge the duties ordained on us by God and thus sanctify our time. Whatever actions we perform are the reflections of our inner feelings only. You should undertake such actions that will provide internal as well as external happiness. Nobody can remain without performing action.

Man's life is bound by Kala, Karma, Karana, Kartavya (time, action, cause, duty). Due to the effect of Kali age, man does not work hard. Both the educated and the uneducated have become lethargic. You have to sanctify your life by doing righteous actions. Action is the cause for everything. Action is life. It is very unfortunate that man has not understood the importance of action. He wants to lead an easy life. Even students want to pass the examinations without putting much effort. They want to secure jobs without working hard. After securing jobs, they want salaries without discharging their duties. This type of conduct is not good. It is said, Kashte Phali (hard work yields rich rewards). The rewards that one gets will be commensurate with the efforts one puts in. One should recognise this truth and work hard accordingly. Unfortunately, such a spirit of work is not seen these days. There are people who go to office only to give attendance. Each one has to question oneself whether one is discharging one's duty properly or not. It is most essential that man becomes duty conscious.

Embodiments of Love!

You have to bend your body and work. Discharge your duty with the sweat of your brow. Only then can you get the right reward. Today, people are suffering for want of food and drinking water. What is the reason? Man is not undertaking righteous actions. When man does his duty sincerely, there will be no shortage of food and drinking water. Without working hard, one cannot lead a happy life. Na Sukhat Labhyate Sukham (one cannot derive happiness out of happiness). We can get happiness only when we work hard. For every action of ours, there is bound to be reaction. For every sound that we make there will be resound. When we undertake righteous action and utter sacred words, the same will come back to us in the form of reaction, reflection and resound.

Embodiments of Love!

Our actions should be such that they bring happiness to ourselves as well as others. First of all, we have to enquire what true happiness is and what sorrow is. People think that happiness lies in eating to the fill and having a sound sleep. That is no happiness at all. Happiness lies in working hard and serving society. We can experience peace and happiness only when we help the poor and needy. After our daily prayer, we utter the word peace thrice: Shanti Shanti Shantihi. Where is peace? It is inside, not outside. Outside there are only pieces! You are the embodiment of peace, you are the embodiment of truth, you are the embodiment of love, you are the embodiment of God. How foolish it is to look for peace outside when it is present within! You have to put in proper effort to experience the peace within. You have to turn your vision inward. When two branches rub against each other repeatedly, fire is produced. Similarly, continuous hard work will produce Jnanagni (fire of wisdom).

... Every tradition of Bharat has a profound inner meaning. Such sacred traditions are ignored today. Wherever a marriage is performed or
a big meeting is held, people prefer decorative Shamianas to pandals, plastic festoons to green leaf festoons. Can you get oxygen from plastic festoons? Can they absorb carbon dioxide? The Shamianas and plastic festoons may be aesthetically pleasing but they serve no purpose in keeping the atmosphere pure. We should never forget our ancient traditions.
The diverse, colourful and rich culture of Kerala
In Kerala, even today ancient traditions are followed. On festival days, they place a lamp on rice, with beautiful decorations around. It is very auspicious for the house. Onam and Vishu are the sacred festivals that the Keralites celebrate. You must understand the tradition and significance associated with the celebration of Vishu. It is not merely meant to wish each other 'hello' and shake hands. Vishu is that day when your house has grains in plenty and the State attains prosperity. This is how the festival was celebrated in ancient times. Today Vishu celebration is confined to wishing each other. This is not the way to celebrate Vishu. You have to aspire and work for the happiness of others. True celebration of Vishu lies in each sharing the happiness of the other. Give and take. It is not 'one way traffic'. You have to give happiness to others. Only then will you have the right to receive it from others.

Kerala has plantain trees and coconut groves in abundance. You find greenery all around. Keralites prepare various types of puddings with plantains. There is a special type of plantain called Nendra Pazham, which they distribute to others.

... The Bharatiyas have to revive such ancient traditions. Let people say what they want, we have to follow our sacred traditions. On the day of Vishu, people have a sacred bath and put on new clothes. Mere external cleanliness is not enough, you have to cleanse your mind and develop inner purity. Antarbahischa Tatsarvam Vyapya Narayana Sthita (That all-pervasive God is present within and without). We have to offer obeisance to our elders and seek their blessings. We have to develop good relationship with all. Therein lies the true celebration of Vishu. Today, even among the Keralites, many do not know the true significance of Vishu. It is a symbol of our great cultural heritage. Today people are not aware of the greatness of Bharat. It is said, what is not found in Bharat is not found anywhere else. Bharatiyas are those who sing the glory of God with Bhava, Raga, and Tala (feeling, tune, and rhythm). Music will be pleasing to the ears only when these three are in harmony.
Right from young age, the children should be taught the greatness of our ancient culture. They should be moulded into ideal citizens. They should be made to practise our traditional values. For anything, practise is very important. The responsibility lies with the parents and teachers to make the children adhere to our ancient tradition. Then society will certainly progress and enjoy peace and prosperity. If you practise our ancient values, society will attain Kshemam (welfare), otherwise, it will be afflicted with Kshamam (famine). Do not think about the welfare of you and your family alone. Strive for the welfare of everyone. Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!)

Source: Divine Discourse on Vishu Day - April 15, 2003, Sai Ramesh Hall, Brindavan

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