Sri Sathya Sai Visit and Message at Sundaram, Chennai - 1997

Thursday, April 10, 1997 to 
Saturday, April 12, 1997

Sri Sathya Sai arrives at Sundaram - April 10, 1997
Bhagavan arrived at Sundaram from Bangalore at 10.30 am on 10th April. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome amidst Vedic chants. He blessed the assembled devotees and inaugurated the renovated prayer hall at Sundaram. Bhagavan then proceeded to the Shirdi Sai Mandir within the complex. 
Inside the Shirdi Sai Mandir in Sundaram
He materialised a multi-gem star shaped jewel and pressed it on the forehead of Shirdi Sai idol in the Mandir. Smt. Anjali Devi was present on this occasion. 

During the public meeting at Sundaram that evening, Sri T.G.Krishnamurthy, State President, Tamil Nadu Sai Organisation and Prof. Sampath, Former Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, addressed the gathering. Bhagavan then delivered His Discourse. He spoke about the saints of Tamil Nadu:

"The human being is a combination of Naitikam (morality), Dharma (righteousness) and Adhyatmikam (spirituality). All three constituents are con-rained in man. Hence, to recognise the Divine in man, his humanness should not be divorced from his Divinity. Divinity is immanent in man. Men consider themselves as mere human beings. This is nor so. All of them are manifestations of the Divine. It is because men do not recognise this fact, all kinds of confusions arise in respect of human activities in the phenomenal world. Every person should develop the awareness that he is Brahman - "Aham Brahmaasmi." Only then will he understand his true nature. God is not distinct and apart from man.

Bharat has been conveying profound truths to the world from ancient times. It proclaimed the universal message: "Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu". Unfortunately, because of attachment to the things of the world, the people have lost this sense of universal well-being and are wasting their precious lives. Worldly wealth and comforts are transient. Bharatiya culture has glorified adherence to Truth and Righteousness.

Forbearance is the greatest
Making a point during the discourse delivered from the Sundaram Shanti Vedika
God is the Indweller in the human heart (spiritual heart). There is no meaning in going elsewhere in search of God. Realising this, men should lead a life of kindness to all beings. A man without kindness is an animal.

There was once a person in Tamil Nadu who belonged to a place named Pumpuhaar on the banks of the river Kaveri. He used to earn a living by weaving cloth and selling it. In the same place there was a rich man whose son was a naughty boy. This lad came to the weaver and asked what was price of the sari he was selling. The man replied: "Three rupees" (the price of those days). The lad tore the sari into half and asked what was the price of half the sari. The weaver replied, "A rupee and a half." The lad tore it again into two and asked what was the price of the torn piece. The man replied-"It is worth twelve annas" (three-fourths of a rupee). The weaver did nor get angry at the lad's behaviour. He was calm and unruffled. The young lad was astonished. He asked the weaver: "How did you acquire this quality of Kshama (forbearance)?" The man replied: "Forbearance is truth. It is right conduct. It is non-violence. It is a source of joy. It is heaven itself. It is the summum bonum in this world. There is nothing greater than forbearance in
this world."
An artist's impression of Lord Shiva blessing MaanikkaVaasagar (circa 9th century AD) and Thiruvaachakam
The weaver composed numerous poems in praise of' Kshama (forbearance). This work is known as 'Thiruvaachakam'. Its author is none other than the Saint MaanikkaVaasagar, who achieved the highest goal of life by the quality of forbearance, brought glory to Tamil Nadu by his devotional songs. Over the centuries many other saints known as Alwars were born in Tamil Nadu.

"Everything belongs to God"

Here is another example: Among the various Tamil kingdoms, the reign of Pandyan Kings is famous. One of the Pandyan rulers wished to develop his kingdom by breeding horses. He had a young minister in his court. He was a man of character, full of piety and devotion. He led a pure life. He led a life of integrity and dedication. The king gave him the necessary money and commissioned him to purchase horses. The minister set out on his mission with his escorts. On the way he saw a Shiva temple in ruins. There he saw a holy man, Shiva Yogi. Conversing with the yogi and listening to his teachings, the minister stayed with him as a disciple. He lost interest in the mission of buying horses. He was immersed in the contemplation of God. He used the money he had brought with him for the renovation of the Shiva temple. This news reached the Pandyan King. He summoned the minister and charged him with misusing the money that had been given to him for buying horses. The minister replied: "I have nor misused the money. Everything belongs to God. I have used the money as an offering to God."

The king asked: "Who gave you the money?" He replied: "It all came from God. You did not create it. It was all a gift from God. And I offered it to God."

The king sent the minister to prison. But because an innocent man had been sent to jail, the king could nor sleep or rake food. The prisoner was singing poems in praise of God. These poems have become famous as "Thirumanthiram." This work is esteemed as another Veda in Tamil Nadu. The author is known as Tirumular.
An artist's image of Tirumular
Such a sacred land as Tamil Nadu has witnessed a decline in spirituality. Selfishness is rampant. Very few are filled with fear of sin or love of God. Fear of sin, love of God and morality in society have become scarce. People can experience God if they adhere to the path of truth. Very few pray to God for His grace. Most people pray for material benefits which are ephemeral. The sacred and precious human life is being wasted in the pursuit of trifles. Men are stricken with the maladies of the craze for wealth and power. What is earned should be used for the benefit of the society.

There is one other disease with which all are afflicted to varying degrees. It is the disease of Ahamkara (egoism). There is no basis at all-for this conceit. There is no reason at all for anyone feeling proud about one's wealth or any other possession. The only thing about which one should feel proud is one's goodness. People should cultivate love and cherish the feeling of oneness with all beings.

All your Bhajans, penances and the like are of-no avail unless you have a pure heart filled with love. It is like preparing food in an un-tinned vessel. It is bound to get spoilt. It is to develop a loving heart that you have to embark on the spiritual path. This pure love is the direct path to God. It is love which is unbounded and divine. The love of God should not depend on whether your prayers are fulfilled or not. Remember what ordeals the sages and saints passed through in their devotion to God. They braved all difficulties and earned lasting fame as great devotees. Life is a challenge - Meet it! Life is a game - Play it! Life is love - Enjoy it! Life is Awareness! The best way to love God is to love all, serve all."
Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at Sundaram
Bhagavan went around the gathering and blessed the devotees during the 7.30 am Bhajans at Sundaram on the 11th. Sri S.V. Chittibabu, former Vice Chancellor of Annamalai and Madurai Kamaraj University, spoke about the integrated education imparted at the Educational Institutions established by Bhagavan in his speech following the evening Bhajan session. Bhagavan then blessed the devotees with His Discourse. An excerpt is included below:

"Sai devotees should understand the essence of our culture. Sacrifice and service are the two basic elements.

There are two ways of God-realisation. One is the path of devotion where the devotee considers himself a servant of God. By repeatedly declaring, Dasoham (I am your servant) he goes on reducing his ego till the bondage of worldly attachment falls off. The other means is Jnana Marga (the path of knowledge). By constantly developing the sense of oneness with the Divine - Shivoham (I am the Divine) his consciousness expands to the point where it becomes one with
the universal consciousness and all worldly bonds are snapped.

Give no room for the ego. If any one examines his position in this vast cosmos, he will realise his infinitesimal smallness. Egoism arises out of ignorance. Expel the ego and develop love. With love, develop the spirit of sacrifice. Sacrifice alone can confer immortality, says the Upanishad. Sacrifice can confer bliss and health. Experience the joy of sharing. Renunciation is the key to sound health. Do not indulge in criticism of others. Count your own faults and rectify them. See the Divine in one and all. Elevate the quality of human life by living in amity with all. Chanting the name of God is the sure means of cultivating this universal love.

Melodious music can move the Lord

There is special merit in singing the Lord's name with due regard for melody and rhythm. The Lord is a lover of music. Moreover, when singing is done with fervour, it helps to drive out all bad thoughts from the mind. Melodious music can move the Lord and move all the participants. (Swami demonstrated the effect of melodious singing by rendering the song; "Rama! Nannu-Kaapaadumaa" - Oh Rama, protect me). Melodious music will move the Lord Himself. Hence, when you rake part in Bhajans sing with all your heart and soul. You must sing with such love for the Divine that you forger yourself. When you sing the praise of God with a pure heart, you will purify your environment, your country and the world.

People are looking forward to April 14th as the New Year Day. The name of the new year is "Ishvara." What does Ishvara mean? As Chittibabu (who spoke earlier in Tamil) said, the Lord is "Ammai-Appa" (mother and father). Their coming together is represented by the concept of "Ardhanareeshvara" - the Divine couple in one body. Every man is a symbol of "Ardhanareeshvara". The body is inert. The Atma is Consciousness. The body is Prakriti (Nature). The Atma is Eeshvara. The combination of Prakriti and. Paramatma constitutes humanness. Therefore, you should regard yourself as a symbol of "Ardhanareeshvara".
An artist's impression of Ardhanareeshvara

Do good and reap good results

As the new year approaches people are wondering what it has in store for them. It is not the year that brings good or ill. Your actions determine what you will get. What have the years that have gone brought you? Each year brings you the fruits of your past actions. Do good and reap good results. Your conduct should be good, befitting your human condition. Revere elders. Love all. Honour your nation. Give up attachment to the body. Then you will have fulfilment in life.

You all know what troubles the country is going through on account of the political situation. The basic cause is selfishness. Leaders are fighting for their own personal ends and not for the sake of the country. No one seems to be bothered about what is happening to the society, to the people and the country. "My power and my position" is all that each one is concerned about. How long will the chair last? When the body itself is impermanent, what is the meaning in chasing the chair? Hence, all should develop a broad outlook. Banish narrow considerations. 

From the new year, cherish broad ideas, truthful ideas, loving thoughts and noble ideals. Only then the nation will be peaceful and prosperous. Bharat lacks nothing by way of natural endowments. It is a misfortune that it is in its present plight today. Realise the sacredness and great culture of Bharat. I bless you all that from the new year you should lead pure lives chanting the Lord's name and promote the prosperity of the country."
Sri Sathya Sai blessing devotees from the Sundaram Shanti Vedika 
Bhagavan left for Brindavan on 12th morning.

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