Love For God, Fear Of Sin And Morality In Society

SatGuru Sathya Sai Baba

SatGuru Sathya Sai Baba


LOVE FOR GOD, FEAR OF SIN AND MORALITY IN SOCIETY
By Sathya Sai Baba

Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswara;
Guru Sakshat Param Brahma Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
(Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara. Guru is verily the supreme Brahman. So, salutations to the Guru.)

Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are the three different names and forms of the same divinity “All are one, be alike to everyone.” Though the names and forms of the physical body are different, Divinity in all beings is one only. Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the Protector, and Shiva is the Destroyer. Yet, all three aspects represent the one Divinity. The one God when engaged in the creative aspect is referred to as Brahma, while protecting and sustaining the living beings as Vishnu, and, finally, in the act of Laya (dissolution) as Shiva.

In order to avoid the confusion created by ascribing different names and forms to Divinity, God is referred to as Atma or the Absolute Brahman (the nameless, formless, attributeless Divinity). The one Atma permeates all living beings.

Religions are different, path is the same;
Clothes are different, cotton is one;
Beings are different, Atma is one;
Nationality and lifestyle are different, human birth is the same.

Every human being has to develop three qualities: love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. It is only lack of fear of sin that is responsible for the present state of lack of morality in society. Love is the cementing factor that unites people. Where there is love, there society will be united. Devoid of morality, one does not deserve to be called a human being. Hence, morality is important for everything.

Though God showers His love on one and all, it is the human being who has lost the precious quality of fear of sin. Man today is committing several sins with the belief that God is kind and will ultimately forgive his sins. With this belief, he is indulging in more and more sinful acts. He has developed a sort of complacency in this regard and thinks that he can escape punishment.

But the fact is otherwise. Though God is compassionate and may forgive all sinful acts, a human being has to necessarily pay for their sins. Hence, every human has to develop these three qualities of love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. Where there is no fear of sin, there will be no morality in society.

People are behaving most irresponsibly and are undertaking several undesirable activities with unbridled ego. They have no fear of sin. They don’t even think for a moment of the consequences of their acts. One has therefore to restrain oneself from seeing evil, speaking evil, and doing evil. If not, the consequences of these evil deeds will boomerang on that person later, if not today. It is also possible that the results of all these sinful acts will come back to that person all at one time with a bang.

If one is really interested in the welfare of the society, one must work for the development of morality in society. One who lacks morality is not a human being at all but is an animal, verily. Speaking untruth, doing injustice to others, and indulging in unrighteous acts and bad practices is very bad. One has to lead one’s life by following the three principles of love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. It is said that one who has no morality in themself is worse than a monkey. In fact, a monkey is better than such an individual.

No one will respect an individual who indulges in immoral acts in this world. Only a person who follows moral principles will command respect from one and all. Even those who try to harm such a person will be restrained by others with a warning. “That person is a good person. Do not try to meddle with that person.” Those who lack morality are looked down upon in society as worse than dogs. Hence, one has to develop morality and lead a life of moral principles at all times.

There are three sadhanas (spiritual practices) by which love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society can be developed. They are bhakti (devotion to God), jnana (the path of wisdom), and vairagya (detachment). Karma (activity) is a natural and essential attribute of the physical body. It is only when the body undertakes good karmas that the mind will function well. When the mind is sound, love for God can be developed. Thus bhakti, jnana, and vairagya are interlinked with love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. They are like the three blades of a fan. It is only when the three blades rotate that we can have refreshing air; otherwise we feel uncomfortable.

People today question why we have to develop love for God. Love for God enables one to develop fear of sin, which in turn will develop morality in society. Everyone has to discriminate between good and bad, sin and virtue. Having analysed, one must try to do good only. Be good, do good, see good, this is the way to God. Devoid of these three, any number of rituals, worship, japa (chanting the divine name) and tapa (penance) will be of no use.

The nine forms of devotion are: sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender).

The first step is sravanam (listening). Then one has to analyse whether what has been listened to is good or bad. If you think that it is a bad suggestion and therefore not to your liking, how can you implement it?

It is possible today that one can get one’s work done by speaking untruth and scoring victory over others by false and unjust means. Hence, one has to enquire into the sanctity or otherwise of every act that one undertakes. One should not be complacent about the consequences that would follow; sooner or later, the result of a sinful act would accrue. It may happen now or a little later, at any moment. Hence, be prepared to undertake only good and noble acts with a pure mind.

More than anything else, purity of conscience is of utmost importance. That is Atma Thatthwa. Nobody can understand what Atma is. Since the bodies and forms are many, some names have to be given in order to distinguish between them. However, Atma or Brahma has neither birth nor death, unlike the physical bodies. Hence, no one can identify it as such and such.

Atma, though beyond one’s comprehension, has been described as nitya, shuddha, buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam (eternal, pure, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). It is niranjanam, sanathana niketanam (unsullied, final abode). There is only one Atma, and it is immanent in all beings. That is the essential nature of the Atma.

A small example; when you place one hundred pots filled with water under the sky on a moonlit night, you will find one moon reflecting in each of those pots. The body is like a pot. It is bound to perish at any time. Then where does the moon (Atma) go? It does not go anywhere. It is there. However, since there is no water (body), it is not reflecting in the water. In the same manner, the Atma is present in every human being.

A person that does not have good character has no morality. A person with no morality does not deserve to be called a human being. We have to earn honour and respect for ourselves in the society. However, we don’t find anyone concerned about good name in the society these days.

But people are very particular about who is rich and who is poor. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows is the adage. It is, therefore, not correct to aspire for wealth, power, and such other worldly things. All these possessions are transitory. You may try to hold on tightly to them, but they just slip away even without your noticing them.

The Atma, however, is eternal. There is no coming and going for Atma. It always remains an eternal witness to everything that goes on in the world. We have to develop faith in such eternal Atma. Those who develop faith in the Atma Thatthwa will not be disturbed by injustice, wrong, and bad practices.

People say “My body, my senses, my mind, my intellect”, etc., but “you” are none of these. For example, you say, “This is my book.” This book is in your hands at this moment. The next moment somebody wishes to have a look at it. It goes into his hands. Similarly, you hold some currency in your hands. After some time it will go into someone else’s hands. It just comes and goes. But, morality comes and grows. Morality has no form.

If someone wishes to improve society and the world, morality has to be developed in the individual first. Several political parties come forward these days saying that they will improve society. They propose to transform society. But they invariably fail because what they try to do is to garner the votes of people for their selfish ends. They do not at all bother about society.

If you want to transform society, there must be purity in your heart. First, the individual and then society. In order that the individual is transformed, there must be love for God and fear of sin. Then comes morality in society. Individuals make a society. Hence, if unity among people is developed there will be purity and Divinity. Unity, purity, and divinity cannot be attained by mere education.

Supposing you sit for meditation, closing your eyes. However, the mind goes on wandering everywhere. You try to bring it back to the starting point. It is all a practice. Only when the wavering mind is stilled is meditation possible. This process of making the mind steady is called concentration. Meditation is possible only after concentration. The proper order is concentration, contemplation, and meditation.

Do not believe someone who claims to be meditating the moment they sit. That is an artificial exercise, not meditation. Real meditation is forgetting oneself totally. It is forgetting dehatma bhava (the feeling of identification with the body) completely. One has to totally give up attachment to the senses. Then only will the mind be steady.

Once, there was a father who had four sons. Each one wanted to follow a different vocation to earn money. One son wanted to take up business. Another wanted to open a small grocery shop. The third son wanted to take up employment, and the fourth another vocation. Though money earning was the common objective, each one wanted to go in a different path. Finally, it is the means that are adopted for earning money that result in accumulation of virtue or sin. People commit a sin even without their knowing that they are doing so. The sins committed by people will continue to haunt them.

Sometime ago, there were heavy floods in the State of Orissa. They ravaged several villages in four districts. The houses, trees, standing crops, even animals, and some people were swept away by the surging flood water. Hundreds of villages were inundated, and people were marooned. They were fear-struck at the fury of nature.

Then I sent a telegram: “Don’t worry. Be happy. I will build your houses.” The people of Orissa came to see Me, by arranging a special train. The government was there, MPs and MLAs were there, who were expected to come to their rescue in that hour of need and provide succour to them. But none came forward. Immediately I sent ten crores and arranged for distribution of relief material and building of pucca houses for the affected people.

I am not interested in accumulation of money. I want only your love. Be happy. Develop your morality and love for God. If you develop love, that love itself will drive away the demonic qualities in you.

Before the Rama-Ravana war commenced, Hanuman entered Lanka, as part of his mission to search the whereabouts of Sita. After he found Sita, he was on his way back to pass on the information to Sri Rama. He was caught by the demons and brought to the court of Ravana. Ravana was infuriated on seeing Hanuman, who destroyed the beautiful Asokavana while he was returning. Ravana questioned Hanuman, “Who are you? How dare you enter this impregnable city of Lanka?” He underestimated the power of Hanuman and derided him addressing him as an ordinary monkey. Hanuman replied in the same tone as an equal and told Ravana, “The Lord who cut off the ears and nose of your sister has sent me.”

Ravana was very angry, since no one dared to talk to him in such an undignified manner. In fact, Hanuman used the same language as Ravana did. Ravana felt insulted. Hanuman was not bothered in the least, for he was always chanting Ramanama, which gave him the courage and strength to face any situation.

Ravana could not tolerate the impertinence and arrogance of Hanuman and therefore ordered that Hanuman’s tail be wrapped with clothes dipped in oil and set on fire. Immediately, clothes soaked in oil were wrapped round the tail of Hanuman and set on fire. Hanuman did not keep quiet. With that burning tail, he jumped from one building to the other and thus set the entire city on fire. Beautiful and palatial buildings studded with precious stones went up in flames within no time. Even Mandodari’s palace was engulfed by flames. She came out. People ran helter-skelter here and there. Not a single building was spared from the raging flames.

Hanuman then advised Mandodari, “Mother, it is the sin committed by your husband that is responsible for this devastating fire and consequent loss of so many lives and property. Please tell your husband not to commit such heinous sins hereafter. If you can thus save your husband, it amounts to saving yourself and the Rakshasa clan.”

People have to suffer the consequences of their actions. God is only a witness. Good or bad, one gets the fruit of one’s actions. Hence, first and foremost, one has to develop morality, which is based on developing human qualities first. If human qualities are to be developed in a person, one should have love for God. Thus, love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society are interdependent. When there is morality in society, all people will be safe.

One important point has to be remembered in this context. You may hide your actions from society, but the omnipresent God knows everything. You will have to suffer the consequences of your actions. It is an immutable law. Hence, if you can do help to others, it is alright. Otherwise just keep silent. Do not harm others. Do not commit a mistake by thought, word and deed. Sometimes, you may not get the result of your actions immediately. It will take some time. But surely the result will follow.

People study spiritual texts like the Bhagavad Gita but fail to realise their own innate nature. The Upanishads exhort one, “Dear son, try to realise your own nature first. Know thyself! If you can do that, it amounts to knowing everything.” The knowledge of the Self (Atma Bodha) entails realisation, “I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the intellect,” etc.

The mind is like a cloth consisting of threads woven together. How long will this cloth last? As long as the threads are intact. Once you remove the threads, the cloth loses its shape. Or, if you put the cloth in fire, it will be reduced to ashes.

People say, “So and so is my wife, so and so my child, so and so is my son-in-law, so and so is my son,” etc. These relationships are only illusion. Who are all these people? All are God’s property. Everything in this world is God’s property; nobody has any right, whatsoever. People fight between themselves claiming rights, thus wasting their time. “Time waste is life waste.” In fact, it is not time we are wasting; we are wasting our precious life.

In conclusion, I would like to stress once again that you should cultivate love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. These are valuable assets, which you must always safeguard. If you safeguard these values, they will in turn protect you.

You think you have to realise Brahma Thatthwa (the Brahma Principle) today. In fact, Brahman has no name and form. It is nirgunam, niranjanam, sanathana niketanam, nitya, shuddha, buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam (God is attributeless, unsullied, final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free, and embodiment of sacredness) The Balvikas children from Tamil Nadu are waiting to present a cultural programme. Witness that programme. I will continue My Discourse tomorrow.

Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Reference

Built In Terminator

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai


Built In Terminator

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. While creating the Universe, God, in His infinite Wisdom, has ensured that nothing is permanent. This applies both to inanimate as well as animate entities. Stars are born, but they also die. Incidentally, you may surprised to know that the atoms in our bodies have all come from a star that had an explosive death before our Sun came into existence. As for animate entities, Shakespeare said beautifully that all that lives must die and go from here to eternity.

It is not only individual living beings that have a birth and a death; species too go through the same sort of cycle. A species comes into existence, exists for several million years and then one day becomes extinct, like the dinosaurs, for example. What we wish to discuss in this “Sunday Special” is that coming under the spell of constant change, socio-economic forces, including those that harm Society, also appear to have a termination, at least to some extent. Unfortunately, however, while one evil phenomenon becomes extinct, others, often more virulent, take their place. Thus, it is rather like what happens in a garden. Weeds appear and through the use of pesticides etc., the weed is exterminated; but other weeds appear, and the cycle goes on.

The question before us is the following: “Placed as we are in a Society that is becoming increasingly crowded, and where money power is slowly appearing to become absolute, how are we to protect ourselves?” Before we try to address this question, we would like to cite some examples of such transient phenomenon. In the business world, for example, success is not eternal. Take, for instance, the automobile industry. Time there was when America literally dominated the scene. In fact, so powerful was General Motors and so important was it to America that it used to be said: “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” Presently, however, the American auto industry that once held such a powerful position is in the red. A similar eclipse is being forecast in the Television industry. For decades, three TV channels in America ruled the airways. They were true giants. But with the emergence of cable technology, internet streaming, etc., these once powerful institutions are worrying about what they must do to stay alive.

Let us turn next to powerful empires. Barely seventy years ago, it used to be said that the Sun never sets on the British Empire. Where is it now? After the Second World War, the Soviet Empire seemed invincible, the Berlin Wall being its symbol of might and authority. Yet, how quickly the Soviet Empire crumbled, almost overnight as it were! Much before this, there were the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czarist Empire, the Ottoman Empire , the Moghul Empire, and so on. Every one of them has vanished into the dustbin of history. What we are trying to drive at is that any social or economic system based on social imbalance and inequity, has a built-in factor that one day leads to the extinction of that system. In that sense, this built-in “Terminator Factor,” in so far as it applies to evil forces, is good news. However, though a particular form of evil might become extinct, if the overall climate for evil to flourish does not change, then evil would always reappear in some other form.

Diseases provide an example of how one problem is often replaced with another. Till about seventy years ago, small pox and plague used to kill in thousands if not hundreds of thousands. They were very much feared but today, they are extinct. Polio, likewise, claimed its victims in millions but today, it has almost disappeared, except in a few countries. But even as these deadly diseases have taken their bow as it were, others have appeared in their place, the most notable and feared of them being AIDS. Believe it or not, till 1980 AIDS simply did not exist, but today, it is killing five thousand people every single day; and for your reference, that number is roughly one and a half times the number of people who were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, on September 11, 2001.

This brings us to our main point. Yes, specific forms of evils do have a life span, and one day may become extinct. But where humanity as a whole is concerned, it does not quite get off the hook. These “local extinctions” might benefit some people, but suffering and misery continue; while some who suffered earlier might later prosper, others who had it good earlier might now suffer. To make matters worse, the number of people suffering might even increase. So, if one looks at humanity as a whole, the “Gross Misery Index” tends to increase, despite the “Terminator Factor”.

The question arises: “In that case, what’s the big deal about the so-called Terminator Factor in relation to evil? Why talk about it at all, when it really does not matter much where overall suffering is concerned?” There is a reason and we now wish to focus on that. Let us start by asking: “We earlier considered ‘Local Terminator Factors’. Is there any ‘Global Terminator Factor,’ that can take care of the whole bunch of evil?” Our answer is: “Yes, there is one.” Want to know more about it? Read on!

Let us go back to the diseases example. How did humanity get rid of the dreaded smallpox? Essentially by eliminating the virus all over the globe. What this tells us is that if we are looking for some kind of a ‘Global Terminator Factor,’ then the first thing we have to ensure is that evil has no place to hide anywhere. This raises the question: “Where exactly does evil normally hide? What is its home? And where is this home?” The answer is straightforward: “Evil hides in the Minds of humans.” So, if evil has to be eliminated globally, then all Minds must be spiritually disinfected.

You might wonder whether at all this is possible. When we are facing so much difficulty in fighting AIDS and getting rid of it, can we ever “disinfect” Minds everywhere, spiritually that is? We are not suggesting that this is going to be easy but we do believe that humanity must give this a serious try. Swami says if you see a deadly snake, you would do everything to avoid getting bitten by it. We must have the same attitude here.

Let us look at this issue in some greater detail. Today, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of rich and upper-middle class people who are well off, but there are also billions of people who are suffering in innumerable ways. Even the rich are not happy. They might be loaded with money, but few of them are relaxed. To make money, one has to compete fiercely and that sort of aggressive life brings its own quote of problems. All this is well known and so we shall not go into those details. But we have to mention that the great divide of humanity into the haves and the have-nots is the source of conflict in many societies. As one intellectual put it, the conflicts we often see boil down to a confrontation, sometimes violent, between raw money power and equally raw people power. The distinguished Harvard Professor J. K. Galbraith who died recently – J.K.G was, during the Kennedy administration, America ’s Ambassador to India , a post he adorned with great distinction – once said, “Wealth does not understand.” What he meant was that wealthy people simply do not understand that the under-privileged have serious life and death problems, most of them caused by the huge disparity in income. When those who do not have problems do not understand the suffering of those who are beset with innumerable problems – they may be financial, connected with health, mental retardation, physical disability like blindness, etc., – then there will always be friction, sometimes violent.

You might say, “All that is old hat. What exactly is the point being made?” Our answer is the following:

First and foremost, if evil is to be removed, ALL must make a commitment towards it. For example, small pox got eliminated when everyone got vaccinated.

Next, EVERY ONE must accept that the Mind gets disinfected best by following Swami’s teachings in full faith.

In particular, CEILING ON DESIRES is a must for every one, both the rich and the poor, each in their own way.

Sathya Sai Baba says that there must be LOVE FOR GOD, and also FEAR OF SIN. What exactly is sin? Sin is any act that God would not be pleased with. God would not like acts that pander to the senses; God would not like anything that harms others; God would not like greed, and so on. So, fearing sin really means being afraid to hurt God!

Since we have gone through all this many times earlier, we presume we do not have to elaborate on this topic. But we would like to discuss briefly why all this is important.

You see, the world of today is so interconnected that what happens in one part of the world affects a lot of people even far away. Heavy disturbance to the environment in Mongolia and China , has led to desert sand from China being blown all the way to America . The Chernobyl nuclear accident took place in Ukraine but it affected people all over Europe . Poverty in the less-developed countries has resulted in massive immigration into the rich countries, often illegal immigration. The rich countries that once welcomed immigrants are now not so enthusiastic about it because all kinds of problems have surfaced. Rich people in wealthy countries want good wooden furniture and they encourage people in poor countries to cut their forests. In turn, this causes devastation to the topsoil, leads to flooding when there is heavy rain etc. The list goes on.

In short, man today has too much power, too much technology, too many desires and too little wisdom. May be not every one of the six and odd billion humans on planet home have money, power, etc. But when there is a huge disparity as there is at present, it can create all kinds of problems, all over the place, even if the number of rich is only few millions. The time has come to move away from the money-power versus people-power type of confrontation. We should all regard ourselves as children of One Loving and Compassionate God, and share with as well as care for each other by abandoning selfishness, to which all are addicted, both the rich and the poor.

Is selfishness all that easy to get rid off? Not easy we admit, but it IS possible, if we truly Love Swami, as we invariably claim to.

You know something? True Love is immensely powerful and is the ONLY effective Terminator available to us. Swami loves us so much and gives us so much. Can we not, by way of expressing gratitude, set apart every single day, wherever we are, just two minutes in the morning and two in the evening, when we contemplate quietly and say to Swami:

“Lord, when I see You in Your Cosmic Macro Form, I see that You are suffering through millions of human forms and millions more of other forms like the whale, the baby seal, and so on. Swami, I realise that all this suffering is caused by us humans. And the reason for this is because I have not allowed You who are my Indweller to express Yourself through this body and Mind of mine.

Forgive me please, and let me at least now say with true feelings of Love and Compassion: LOKA SAMASTHAA SUKHINO BHAVANTU. I know that I routinely chant this Mantra at the end of every Bhajan session but this time, I assure You it is truly from the Heart.

They say that prayer is God’s only weakness. I believe in that. So Swami, I earnestly pray that You do not suffer through all those millions and billions of living forms. Please help all of us not to thoughtlessly put You to such suffering.

Trapped as we are in stupid delusion, we cannot end the evils of the world, for which we are really to blame. We plead guilty but please Swami, we do not want to be stuck with it! And there is only one Global Terminator for all the current problems, Your Love!

Baba! Please help us so that that Infinite Love of Yours can arise and swell in our Hearts and sweep away at one stoke like a Huge Divine Tsunami, all the evil on earth!”.

You know something? If each one of us really prays in this manner every single day, then there is sure to be a change. The Heart, which is the seat of God, holds infinite power that can do wonders. Suppose we go one step further and pray in this manner, intensely, at the end of each Bhajan session, the results would be even greater. Suppose all the Bhajan groups in a city decide to do this at a particular time of a particular day, every single week, even greater Moral cleansing can be expected.

A carbon dioxide laser is essentially made up of trillions of very tiny molecules. Yet, when the molecules cohere, the radiation from the laser can drill and cut through five centimetres of steel! This is not any new-fangled technology but has been there for twenty-five years, and is extensively used in many industries. If tiny inanimate molecules can do so much by coming together, how much more humans can do when they come together!

We now ask you to sit back and reflect on all that we have tried to say; after that, reflect on why Swami asks us to do Akhand Bhajans at least once a year.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team