84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme

84-Hour Long Sai Bhajans Programme
TNN 8 October 2009, 06:53am IST

ALLAHABAD: A non-stop all religion bhajan programme would be organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan here as a prelude to 84th birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba. Spreading the message of love, truthfulness, non violence, peace and co-existence, hundreds of devotees will start singing the Sai Bhajans on October 8 (7.30 am onwards) continuously for 84 hours.

The programme will start with the lighting of lamp by Justice Sanjay Mishra of Allahabad High Court. The bhajan programme will be held at Mathur Vaisya Dharmshala, Mumfordganj.

Giving information, Gopal Tiwari of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Sangathan said that the programme is being organised to spread the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “Devotees, crossing the bar of caste and religion, belonging to different parts of the state have already arrived here for the programme,” he said.

Beside the bhajan programme, an exhibition on Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings will also be organised. The Bhajan programme will conclude on October 11 at 7.30 pm by Mahamangal Arti of Baba. The state president of the organisation, Y K Saluja will address the gathering and perform mahamangal arti.

Times Of India Reference

Sathya Sai Baba On Non-Violence (Ahimsa)

Sathya Sai Baba On Non Violence Ahimsa

Sathya Sai Baba On Non Violence Ahimsa

Sathya Sai Baba On Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba: The meaning of Ahimsa is that either in thought, word or deed, you should not cause harm to anybody. What does Ahimsa signify? It is not merely refraining from causing harm or injury to others. It implies also refraining from causing harm to himself. One who harms oneself cannot avoid harming others. How is this to be ensured? By constantly examining whether his conduct is right or wrong. For instance, in the matter of speech, one must examine whether the words are causing pain to others. One must see that the looks are not tainted by evil intentions or thoughts. One should not listen to evil talk. Hence everyone should see that they give no room for bad looks, bad hearing, bad speech, bad thoughts and actions.

Sathya Sai Baba: You should also be careful with regard to your food. Excessive eating does violence to the body. Moderation is conducive to happiness. Ahimsa is thus what confers happiness on you. When you realize that God is in everyone, you will practice non-violence.

Sathya Sai Baba: “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma” – Ahimsa is the most meritorious deed. Non violence is an alternate name for Truth and Love. By following Non-violence, one achieves Love. To follow the path of non-violence, it is necessary to change the mental attitude. Nobody should be harmed by mind, body or speech. By purity of thought, word and deed, one should serve even one’s enemies. Overwhelm the bad and jealous by your goodness. Humility is the main quality of those who want to don the mantle of non-violence.

Quotes By Satya SaiBaba -Sathya Sai Baba Quotes

Sathya Sai Baba On Love (Prema)

Sathya Sai Baba On Love Prema

Sathya Sai Baba On Love Prema

Sathya Sai Baba On Love (Prema)
Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba: Love is the basic nature that sustains human being and strengthens his resolve to march ahead. Without love man is blind; the world for him will be a dark and fearsome jungle. Love is the light that guides the feet of man in the wilderness. All the four goals of man (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha) can be attained through the practice of love. The Atma principle expresses itself in man as Prema (Love).

Sathya Sai Baba: Every human being needs love, inhales and exhales love. Love is the basic breath; every one is the embodiment of Love. Love knows no fear; it seeks no rewards; love is its own reward. When it is directed towards God, it is called Bhakthi. Love removes all egoism; the self is forgotten, it is superseded, it is transcended. Divinity is the magnet. Humanity is the iron. Love is the force that brings them together. Nara is the iron, Narayana is the magnet. Bhakthi or love is the force that draws the two together.

Sathya Sai Baba: God is love and can be won only through the cultivation and exercise of Love. He cannot be trapped by any trick; He yields Grace only when His commands are followed – command to love all, serve all. Love is God, God is love. Live with Love, move with Love, speak with Love, think with Love, act with Love – this is the most fruitful Sadhana. Love is the core of Atma. Love is selflessness. Love brings people together. Love is the solvent for hardest hearts. Love is the strongest antidote for greed. Love will destroy the roots of ego.

Sathya Sai Baba: Love is the natural state for man and all the other contrary emotions are unnatural. When you recite the Name of God, remembering His majesty, His compassion, His glory, His splendor, His presence, Love will grow within you. Its roots will grow deeper and deeper, its branches will spread wider and wider, giving cool shelter to friend and foe. Love God without reserve. To love God destroys all the barriers to Love. If you develop love, you do not need to develop anything else.

Sathya Sai Baba: Prema must grow with every moment of Sadhana. It must sweeten every word, deed and thought of yours. Emerge from Dhyana as a person more charged with Love! Return from Bhajan with a greater measure of Love! Return from Nagarsankirtan with a firmer conviction that everything is surcharged with the same Divinity that is behind all your activity.

Sathya Sai Baba: Love in speech is truth. Love in action is righteousness. Love in thought is peace. Love in understanding is non-violence.

Sathya Sai Baba: There is no power greater than love in this world because it is selfless and pure. Love is ananda; love is power; love is light; love is God. Love helps you to see God in everyone, everyone as divine.

Quotes By Satya SaiBaba -Sathya Sai Baba Quotes

Sathya Sai Baba On Peace (Shanti)

Sathya Sai Baba On Peace Shanti

Sathya Sai Baba On Peace Shanti

Sathya Sai Baba On Peace (Shanti)
Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba: Shanti denotes the capacity to bear success and failure, joy and misery with perfect equanimity. It is there deep down as the very core of our being. Only thoughts of God and intense love for Him bring peace. As worldly thoughts diminish, thoughts of God increase. Normally, the mind desires these worldly things all the time. As the desires are cut out, the peace becomes stronger.

Sathya Sai Baba: The external peace is a reflection of your internal peace; it is an echo. Peace alone is eternal Truth. It has great power. It confers eternal bliss. It is man’s principal treasure. You may be of brilliant intellect, or a wealthy person or a physically strong person, but all this is useless, if you do not have peace. By absence of attachment, desire and egoism, you can achieve peace. To gain peace is the only aim of life. Not name, fame and wealth. By leading a life of contentment, one achieves peace.

Sathya Sai Baba: Endurance with joyful resignation of the ups and downs of life is the royal road to Peace. Everyone craves ‘Sukha’ and ‘Shanthi’; but there is no one to instruct Youth how to win them. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are reservoirs of knowledge for the seekers of Peace. They are replete with examples and precepts, which are inspiring and timely. By taking the teachings to heart, Purity can be attained. The pure heart directed towards God and reflecting His image is indeed Heaven, Vaikuntha or Kailasa.

Sathya Sai Baba: You must discover your identity; then only can you have peace. You are like a man who has forgotten his name; his address and his mission in life. Realize it and try to delve deep into yourself; so that you may know who you are. Then you get security and peace. Sharpen your intellect for this purpose; and cleanse your consciousness for this purpose through Sathsang, Japa, Dhyana, Namasmarana etc.

Sathya Sai Baba: Perfect peace means the type of peace derived as a result of the absence of desire, anger, greed and hatred. Pace must be expressed in feeling, word, posture and action; also in mind and the performance of duty – all in uniform measure. Then peace becomes perfect, the highest and most stable type. Genuine peace is won by control of senses. Pure love can emanate only from a heart immersed in peace. The realization “Everything is God” then becomes natural to you.

Sathya Sai Baba: Shanti is another name for steadiness of the mind. Peace is a sacred virtue; it is the embodiment of the Self. It is an ornament to man; the heart of the selfless one is its abode. Accumulation of riches and power cannot endow peace. Peace can come only from the fountain of peace within. How do you get Shanti (inner peace)? By knowing that you are the Atma, which has no birth or death, no joy or grief, no up and no down. Faith in the fact that, man is an instrument in His hands for the execution of His plan, is the key to genuine peace. Only when God is the goal and guide can there be real peace. World peace can be achieved only by people investigating their inner world, removing the junk therein and setting evil urges at rest.

Sathya Sai Baba: The foundation for real peace is, according to the Vedas, the quality of Maithree. Maithree means amicability, friendship, compassion, and kindness. It can also be taken to mean, “My Three” that is to say, my word, deed and thought shall be in accordance with words, thought and deed; that is to say; we shall speak, think and act together, without friction or faction, in an atmosphere of love and understanding. That is what is wanted in the world today: My three.

Quotes By Satya SaiBaba -Sathya Sai Baba Quotes

Sathya Sai Baba On Right Conduct (Dharma)

Sathya Sai Baba On Right Conduct Dharma

Sathya Sai Baba On Right Conduct Dharma

Sathya Sai Baba On Right Conduct (Dharma)
Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba: Dharma is the foundation for the welfare of humanity; it is the Truth that is stable for all time. God is the embodiment of Dharma; His Grace is won by Dharma; He is ever fostering Dharma; He is ever establishing Dharma. He is Dharma itself.

Sathya Sai Baba: Dharma is a body of principles that are fundamental to social stability and individual progress. “Dharma Moolam Idam Jagath”. Dharma is the root of this world. Obey it and you are happy. One common definition of Dharma is that it is the adherence to the rule: ‘Do unto others what you wish them to do unto you. Do not have a double standard. Treat all as your own self’.

Sathya Sai Baba: The basic principles of Dharma are Sathya (Truth), Prema (Love), Sahana (Fortitude) and Ahimsa (Nonviolence). “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithah” – Dharma protects those that protect Dharma. Dharma means certain obligations and duties and regulations over actions, words and behavior. For example, elders have certain obligations towards younger people and vice versa; neighbors have mutual duties and rights.

Sathya Sai Baba: The task of everyone is to do the duty that has come upon him, with a full sense of responsibility to the utmost of his capacity. There should be complete coordination between what one feels, says and does. Then work becomes worship.

Sathya Sai Baba: How are you to decide in any particular case what is Dharma and what is not? That which does not inflict pain on you and others – that is Dharma. This follows from the recognition that same God resides in everyone and if you injure another, you are hurting the same God who is in you. Dharma enables you to come to the recognition that anything that is bad for another is also bad for you. So act in such a way that you get joy and others too get joy. Or take another standard for your actions: Make the mind, the speech and body agree in harmony. Act as you speak, speak as you feel, do not play false to your conscience. That is the Dharmic way of life.

Sathya Sai Baba: Dharma trains you to be calm, level headed, secure in equanimity. You know the transitory nature of success or failure, riches or poverty, joy or grief. You are not elated or deflated. You are serene, unmoved. Anything that helps you to maintain this unruffled stability is Dharma. To summarize: sensual life is Adharma; the spiritual life is Dharma.

Sathya Sai Baba: Dharma is not a matter of time and space to be modified and adjusted to the needs and pressures of the moment. It means a number of fundamental principles that should guide mankind in its progress towards inner harmony and outer peace. When man stays away from Dharma, he meets with greater harm than even physical slavery. These principles are called Sanathana because their origins are not dated, their author is not identifiable; they are the revelations made in the clarified intellects of impartial sages. They are basic and eternal.

Sathya Sai Baba: Dharma is the eternal source. Dharma is a great virtue. Dharma is the basis for everything. In this world nothing is higher than righteousness. Man must follow the path of Dharma, to know himself, to discard demonic qualities, to foster human qualities, to develop divine qualities and to achieve a good life.

Quotes By Satya SaiBaba -Sathya Sai Baba Quotes

Sathya Sai Baba On Truth (Sathya)

Sathya Sai Baba On Truth Sathya

Sathya Sai Baba On Truth Sathya

Sathya Sai Baba On Truth (Sathya)
Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba: Truth is not merely telling the facts about what you see or hear or know. These are temporal truths. Facts relate to momentary appearances. Truth relates to unchanging reality. In its full sense Truth can be applied only to what comes out of your heart in its pure and unsullied form as the voice of conscience. It is true for all time – past, present and the future. It is not affected by changes in time or place. Time does not transform it, creation does not increase it, Pralaya (Destruction) does not reduce it. History does not stain it. Truth lives eternally in full. The ancient seers called it “Ritham”. It is unchanging and cannot be suppressed.

Sathya Sai Baba: When you seek the Truth, you are seeking God. Truth is God. Truth exists; so too, God exists. Truth must be considered as life giving as breath itself. Just as a person with no breath in him becomes useless, life without Truth is useless and becomes a dwelling place of strife and grief. Believe that there is nothing greater than Truth; nothing more precious, nothing sweeter and nothing more lasting.

Sathya Sai Baba: It is folly to think that you have to search for Truth somewhere. To know one’s Self is Truth. How can man realize the Truth? He can do this only when he experiences non-dualism. As long as he is steeped in dualism (that he and divine are different) he is bound to be racked by the opposites, joy and sorrow, the real and unreal.

Sathya Sai Baba: God wears Truth, the good seek Truth and the bad are rescued by Truth; Truth liberates; Truth is power; Truth is freedom. It is the lamp that illuminates the heart and dispels doubt and darkness. The effulgence of God is Truth.

Sathya Sai Baba: The discovery of Truth is the unique mission of man. Man is a mixture of Maya (illusion) and Madhava (God); the Maya throws a mist which hides the Madhava, but through the action of the healthy impulses inherited from acts performed while in previous bodies or through the cleansing done by austerities in this body or through the Grace of the Lord Himself, Maya melts away; for it is just a mist which flees before the Sun. Then Nara (man) is transformed into Narayana (God) and this Bhuloka is elevated into a Prasanthinilayam.

Sathya Sai Baba: Universe is dependent on Truth. If there is no Truth, there is no Universe. Truth is of eternal quality. No one can change it. Nor hide it. Truth is God. All wealth, all riches emerge from truth only. God is the embodiment of Truth. Truth alone is God’s abode. Dharma permanently lives in Truth. Vedas, the repository of knowledge and wisdom emanate from Truth. Truth alone is the royal path. Truth is knowledge – Infinity, Brahman. Wherever Truth is followed, there lives Dharma. There is no Dharma higher than Truth. There is no morality higher than Truth. Through Truth, you can experience love; through love you can visualize Truth.

Quotes By Satya SaiBaba -Sathya Sai Baba Quotes

Putting Love In Their Hearts

Putting Love In Their Hearts
Participants pledge to practise some virtue in Walk for Values
June 01, 2009 5:03 a.m.

Ottawa residents take part in the seventh annual Walk for Values organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Spiritual Centre of Ottawa-Carleton. The non-religious, non-political march, which began at Parliament Hill yesterday, was intended to raise awareness for the practice of human values.

Of the many walks that take place in the Ottawa community, one held downtown Sunday wasn’t looking for any money. But it was asking its participants to make a pledge.

The seventh annual Walk for Values — a non-political and non-religious event held on the city-proclaimed Walk for Values Day — asked its 100 participants to pledge to truth, right conduct, love, peace and non-violence for a year.

“This walk isn’t about money,” organizer Dipali Arun, who pledged to love and truth. “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows. Values are something that that don’t deplete. All you can do is grow them.”

The walk reaffirms the commitment to love, truth and peace, said Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, who attended the event with Councillor Diane Deans.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of positive human values,” said walk spokeswoman Nina Mukerjee.

“Things are getting worse — there are so many problems plaguing us these days — bullying in school, gang wars in the streets. Each person here pledges to practice one value — like patience or optimism for the next year.”

Mukerjee said her pledge is to non-violence.

The walk is one of many that took place across the country Sunday in cities including Toronto and Regina, and in the U.S., Australia, Malaysia and India.

The Sri Sathya Sai Spiritual Centre of Ottawa-Carleton organized the event here, and people from as far as Montreal and Massena, N.Y., attended.

Balwant Bhaneja also pledged to a year of peace and non-violence.

“When you have peace on the outside, you also have peace on the inside,” said Bhaneja. He hopes the walk will help make Ottawa a better place.

Metro News Reference

You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Gandhi often said that he wanted to live till 120 but he died much before that, not due to natural causes but due to assassination. Gandhi preached and practiced non-violence, peace and love; but ironically, he died on account of the anger and hate in the mind of the assassin. Gandhi is remembered for many things but today, we would like to dwell briefly upon a few aspects most important for our times.

If there is anything that stands above everything else in the personality of Gandhi, it is his firm commitment to Sathya and Dharma. Where these two were concerned, Gandhi took no orders from anyone except his Conscience. As Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us, Conscience is our true Master. Even recently, Satya SaiBaba was telling a couple of people from overseas, ‘People worship my Form but that is not enough; God is Inside and they should listen to His voice which is always speaking and giving good advice.’

Getting back to Gandhi, one might ask: ‘We all have Conscience; God is in all of us; then how come we are not able to do what Gandhi did?’ This is a question we really ought to be asking ourselves all the time, especially when Sri Sathya Sai Baba often tells that we are very deficient when it comes to following His teachings. The answer to the question we have posed is simple: Gandhi practiced many of the things that Swami teaches even though he never met Swami and had never even seen Him – remember Gandhi died on 30th January 1948, when very few people in this country knew about Swamiji. We, on the other hand, pride ourselves in listening and reading Swami’s Discourses, but avoid practice.

Gandhi took God seriously, indeed far more seriously than most of us do, and that is what made him so very different. Now what are those things that Gandhi did that gave him such towering Inner strength? Firstly, he was always chanting the Name of the Lord so much so he literally died with God’s Name on his lips. Next, he tried his best to remain true to his Conscience, indeed even in politics. Chanting the Name and being true to one’s Conscience are precisely the things that Swami wants from all of us; yet we consistently deny exactly those two to Swami whereas Gandhi gave just Him that; and that is because he really loved God.

Gandhi was called Mahatma; what does that mean? All of us are embodiments of the Divine Atma, as Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us; but Gandhi made that embodiment come ALIVE, and that is why he was called Mahatma, which means a great Atma. Gandhi was not born a Mahatma but by strictly adhering to the command of God, he became one.

Sathya Sai Baba often talks of bookish knowledge and practical knowledge. Gandhi is a good example of a man who translated bookish knowledge into brilliant practical knowledge. And this is something we should pay careful attention to. Today, if anyone were to say that Sathya and Dharma are very essential in national and international politics, people would dismiss that person as a bloody fool. Gandhi showed, however, that indeed even politics must be pursued keeping in mind all the time, what we call human values.

When Gandhi launched the famous Sathyagraha [non-violent, civil disobedience] movement as a part of the freedom struggle in India, he made it very clear that the struggle would be non-violent. However, some misguided people let their passions run away and burnt a Police Station, which resulted in the death of many Policemen. Gandhi was stunned; he did not expect this. Promptly he suspended the Sathyagraha, publicly declared that he had made a huge mistake – a Himalayan blunder as he called it – and then went on a fast to purify himself.

In August 1947, the British partitioned the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan. All the assets of British India were divided between these two new countries – the railways, the Central Bank [called the Reserve Bank], and so on. It so happened that as a part of this division, India had to pay Pakistan 550 million rupees [or 55 crores as we would say in India]. Immediately after partition, there was an armed conflict between the two countries and on that basis, India withheld the 55 crores. Gandhi criticised that action as being morally incorrect; the word having been given, must be kept, politics or no politics. Such was the respect that Gandhi commanded, that the Government of India yielded and did precisely what Gandhi advised.

Gandhi started off as like most of us, as an ordinary person. He was not a scholar of the scriptures, the Vedas and the Upanishads. But one thing he knew – in life, Truth and Righteousness are always of paramount importance. And he resolved that never would he compromise on these, even if it meant death. That is what firm faith is all about. In other words, Gandhi demonstrated beyond doubt that with firm faith and deep love for God, one can develop so much self-confidence that one can face any adverse situation.

It is no surprise that Gandhi attracted and continues to attract admirers and even followers. Speaking on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 85th Birthday, President Clinton said that in politics he admired no one more than Gandhi. Martin Luther King never saw Gandhi but he showed that Gandhi’s principle of non-violence works even in modern times. And, in his own way, Nelson Mandela too demonstrated that non-violence is superior to violence.

These are days when people tend to dismiss Sathya and Dharma rather quickly, claiming that they won’t work in the age of globalisation. This is a myth and it is tragic that such falsehood is being actively peddled amongst the gullible.

If we concede that it is God who has created the Universe of which we are a part, and that God is Sathya, Dharma and Prema, then we too must have those genes of basic values. If we have come from the Creator, how can we not have at least some of the ‘Divine genes’. Under the circumstances, to deny Sathya and Dharma is to deny ourselves as well as God. Nothing could be more foolish. Today’s generation might tend to dismiss Gandhi but, as Einstein said of him, centuries hence people would wonder whether such a man did really walk on earth.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

When Sathya Sai Baba talks of values like Prema, Ahimsa etc., we nod our heads and clap but later dismiss them as irrelevant for this age. That is not true; as long as there are humans on earth, values are a MUST, and instead of dismissing them because we are too weak to follow them, we must take courage from the shining example of Gandhi and try to emulate him, in at least a small measure, by listening to our Conscience, for example.

Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai’s e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano

Walk For Values USA begins in Plano
By Kim Nguyen, Staff Writer
(Created: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 3:01 PM CDT)

Mayor Pat Evans will be on hand to kick off the first annual Walk For Values USA in Plano for the Dallas region Saturday morning.

Beginning and ending in Haggard Park in Downtown Plano, Walk for Values USA hopes to bring awareness to the universal human values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. The event is unique because unlike other walks, it is not a fundraiser, protest, rally, or demonstration. Instead, it seeks simply to raise awareness, and it is open to the public free of charge.

“We are essentially walking to bring awareness to the five universal human values: peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence,” said Srinivas Somisetty, event coordinator.

Based off the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, a highly revered spiritual leader in India, habitually practicing at least one of the five values has a positive effect on humanity. Somisetty used the current economic recession as an example of the negative effects of not practicing the five values.

“We’re all partly responsible for the economy because of our greed,” he said. “Violence, greed and hatred are widespread in our society. There is a lack of these human values and it shouldn’t be like that.”

Participants of Walk for Values USA believe that these human values — peace, love, truth, right conduct and non-violence — are worth walking for and hope to help raise the universal consciousness and awareness about the importance of practicing them in our daily lives. They have also pledged to “adopt a value” that they will practice themselves, to help bring about this awareness. Participants will carry signs and banners with the messages of truth, right conduct, peace, love and nonviolence.

“We’re not fundraising, not enrolling anyone into a church or faith and we’re not soliciting anything,” Somisetty said. “Our pure intent is to bring awareness to these values that are fundamental to humanity and are common across all faiths, religions and cultures.”

Somisetty said about 550 people are registered to participate in Saturday’s, but the success is not tangible.

“Even with just one participant attending, we’ll call it a success,” he said. “Because when they begin practicing one or all of the values habitually, other people will see and mimic, starting a chain reaction to spread the values across the universe.”

Registration for Walk for Values USA will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony with talks by Patrick Price, pastor at Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Plano; AnilKumar Kamaraju, professor of BioSciences at Sri Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthy, India; and Mayor Pat Evans. Evans will launch Walk For Values at 10 a.m. The Walk will end at Haggard Park at noon with a closing ceremony.

Star Community News Reference

Beauty And The Beast

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Beauty And The Beast

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Sathya Sai Baba reminds us again and again that our true nature is Ananda or Bliss, but the sad fact is that in this wide world, wherever we turn, there is a lot of violence. Violence always causes pain, suffering agony and anguish. It is natural therefore to wonder why there is so much violence and conflict, if we all are the Sparks of the Divine and Embodiments of Love, as Swami invariably addresses us. That is the question we wish to explore this Sunday.

A wise man once said that the Mind has infinite capacity to trick itself. This is very true; the Mind of man is indeed enormously powerful. That should be no surprise because in the Gita, Krishna emphatically declares that among the senses, HE is the Mind, meaning that the Mind is packed with vast reserves of the Power of God. It is because of that Divine Power latent in the Mind that man has been able to accomplish so much, not only in art, music, and literature but in Science as well. In fact, it is in the areas of Science and Technology that the awesome power of the human Mind becomes most evident. All this means that man must undoubtedly be incredibly clever.

The question now arises: “If man is so very clever, how come he is not able to see the obvious?” The word obvious here refers to the dangers that Mind can create. This is precisely where the quote we offered becomes relevant, besides uncovering an immense tragedy. It all starts with the question as to what man thinks he is. This is not a trivial matter, which is why Swami often poses the question: “Who am I?” in His Discourses. Man has to constantly ask this question of himself, and look for the answer from inside. Broadly speaking, he can get two kinds of answers. Category 1 would be, “You are so and so, you are a terrific person because you achieved this and that,” and so on. This answer that man gets is from what might be called the lower-self or ego, as spiritual philosophers describe it. Basically, the ego is shorthand for a man who identifies himself with his body, his senses and his Mind. Such a man is all the time focussed on the external world, concerned about the success and fame he must achieve in the world, etc., etc. He is highly body-conscious. In other words, the lower-self is almost entirely preoccupied with the external world and the way the individual must respond to it.

We must mention that preoccupation with the external world need not always be in terms of achieving fame, wealth etc. For millions if not billions, it is sheer survival that is priority number one. There are millions without food, water, clothing and shelter, the primary needs of every human being, but which they do not have access to. Such people become worried, depressed and a good many of them even end up taking their lives.

One might at this point ask, and legitimately too: “Listen, it is God who created the world and it is God who put us there. It is also God who gave us the body, the senses and the Mind. And now you seem to imply that the body, the senses and the Mind form the ego, that they are dangerous, etc. There is something funny going on here and I am very confused. Can you be more clear about what you are trying to say?” A valid point and that is precisely what we wish to address today.

Let us get back to the category of answers that one would get, and consider what we would call Category 2. In response to the question “Who am I?”, the answer in Category 2 would be: “The human being is actually a composite of the body, the senses, the Mind and the Atma. This composite entity thinks it is the ego. This is a wrong choice or identification. The correct choice is for the human to say, ‘I identify myself with the Atma.’ So, the answer to the question who am I really is: ‘I AM THE ATMA.’ ”

So it all boils down to a matter of identification. The human can identify himself or herself with the ego/lower-self – that is choice one. Alternately, the human can identify herself/himself with the Atma/Higher-Self – that is choice number two. OK, there are these two choices for identification. What do they mean in practical terms? What has all this got to do with the enormous amount of violence that we see all around? That is the question we shall now turn to.

Trouble starts, sometimes in a big way, when a person identifies himself with the body. Such a person easily gets affected by the six deadly viruses lurking in the Mind – Lust/desire, anger, etc., which have been pointed out to us by Swami innumerable number of times. The senses then take over and get into the act and constantly take the person in the direction of worldly pleasures. The Mind gets corrupted, and soon the person is in the control of desires, jealousy, greed and so on. The Mind keeps on prompting: “Hey, you are born free. Why restrict yourself? Go out and have a ball!” When lust grips a person, there is trouble for sure. When greed and ambition rule a person, there is trouble for sure; and so on it goes. The problem is that the actions of an individual affect not only affect that person or those close to him but often also affect large segments of Society, if not the whole of it.

Take the case of a computer hacker, who creates a computer virus just “for kicks”. The virus may spread and affect millions of computers the world over. Thus, with Science and Technology in hand, the individual’s capacity to cause havoc on a large scale has now greatly increased. Let us now focus specifically on violence, physical violence that is. Here, one might perhaps distinguish two types: a) violence caused by the greed of some to make money, etc., and b) violence that is the result of poverty.

Let us start with the first category. We start with the gun. Everyone knows that guns kill people. Yet, there is a thriving gun industry that makes huge profits. It is simply not bothered that free availability of gun actively promotes a gun culture and thus violence. The gun industry is vigorously aided by lobbies that secures political patronage. And the movie industry aids the process for it does not bat an eyelid in the graphic portrayal of violence.

The most serious aspect of the gun industry is the huge export market it caters to. Take Africa for example. Everyone knows that there is widespread poverty in Africa , and that the continent has all kinds of problems , that need urgent solution. Yet, powerful commercial forces are busy marketing small arms, which in turn have promoted innumerable conflicts and even genocide. So Africa which ought to spend all the money it has for solving problems, ends up buying guns which add to the problem. The matter was taken up by a Committee of the UN. The Chairman of the Committee, an African, pleaded to the members from the rich countries: “Please for heaven’s sake, place an embargo on the sale of arms to Africa . These guns that you sell for profit are killing thousands and thousands of people.” His plea did not make any impact on the arms traders; all they were interested in was their market share.

That the arms industry can become excessively obsessed with sales and profits to the point of completely overlooking danger to humanity was foreseen by Gen. Eisenhower, when he retired as the President of USA. Now Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He was a much-decorated military officer. Yet, quite contrary to the hawks that military officers usually are, Eisenhower, in an address that he delivered when he stepped down from office, said that humanity had to protect itself from the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex or MIC as it was referred to in those days. It was a most perceptive warning with far-reaching implications. Unfortunately, what Eisenhower feared is precisely what happened later, with many countries making small arms an important item of export.

The point we are making is that the free availability of guns and various types of arms in the global market has made an enormous contribution to the killing of hundreds of thousands, if not millions every year. And this sale is promoted by the greed of the arms merchants. This is not to say that the rich alone are responsible for all the killing. Far from it. Poverty produces its own “reasons” for people to resort to violence, sometimes in the extreme. In the slums and the ghettos of the world, it is the poor who kill the poor; and yet, the asymmetry of wealth distribution is an important contributing factor to slum violence.

We do not wish to imply that violence and cruelty are a recent phenomenon. Far from it; they have come to man from the time he evolved from lower species. However, technology, communications, and extreme asymmetry of income now prevalent have vastly enhanced the scale of violence. It is time now to return to the starting point and link it all up.

A human being is Divine at the core but is shaped at the level of the senses and the Mind by the environment around him. If, for example, the external environment says a girl child is bad news, then people in that society try to get rid of the girl child before birth or immediately after birth. This makes two things clear. The first is that violence really starts in the Mind. The second is that it really starts with individuals, just as cancer starts with individual cells that start malfunctioning. Thus it is that violence has always been present in human society to varying extent. Having said that, we must also acknowledge that in today’s circumstances, violence has galloped and become a most horrifying phenomenon, largely due to the social climate prevailing.

Have things gone beyond the point of no return? Is there no hope for a return to sanity? There is, provided we take level 2 of individual identification seriously. Suppose each one of us says, seriously that is: “I am not the body, I am not the Mind; I am a Spark of Sathya Sai Baba at the core. Therefore, my actions should be similar to that of Swami, at least in spirit though not may be in quantity.” Suppose we make this identification seriously and start living our lives in this manner. It is not difficult to see that it would make a sea change in our individual lives. Equally important, this change would also have an impact in the environment immediately surrounding us, like our family, like our work place, etc. In other words, when individuals change their identification, there is definitely a multiplier effect.

Today, the population of the world is six billion plus. Just imagine if a mere one million people identify themselves in this manner and lead lives that are only 10 % Selfless as Swami is. What a change that can bring about in our society immediately! That really is the point we are trying to make.

Himsa and Ahimsa [non-violence] start really in individual Minds. One Hitler, for example, could eventually cause the death of over 20 millions in World War II. The Mind becomes prone to violence when in the grip of the internal enemies. One might be immensely clever but when it comes to selfishness, greed, anger, desire etc., logic almost invariably fails. As Krishna told Arjuna,

Dwelling with the Mind on sense objects develops attachment; attachment leads to desire, and desire breeds anger.

From anger arises delusion; delusion promotes confusion of the Mind; confusion generates loss of reason; and finally, loss of reason leads to complete ruin.

So you see, a person may be very clever in the worldly sense, but if he lacks discrimination, then he can become blinded to reason, cause havoc, and himself rush to ruin.

So the bottom line is, humans have two fundamental choices: 1) To submit to the senses and the Mind and identify themselves accordingly. 2) To submit to the Atma and identify themselves accordingly. If they prefer the former identification, then they would become a prey to the beast, if not become the beast themselves. On the other hand, if they make the second choice, they would emerge as the Beauty instead of as the Beast.

It is thus entirely within our power to be the Beauty or the Beast. Long ago Plato talked of Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Those three words have also often been referred to by Swami, who uses the more ancient Sanskrit terms, Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram. If we follow Sathya, we would transform into Sundaram or Beauty. If we follow Asathya and all its companions, then we are sure to become the Beast. If the world is full of beasts, then it becomes a jungle. If the world is full of Beautiful people, it becomes Heaven. It is not God who is going to make this world into Heaven. He merely gives the recipe. It is we who have to do that. And whether that happens or not depends on which of the two identification options we prefer to make.

Jai Sai Ram. H2H Team