The Real Birthday

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Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in His Divine discourse said that the real birthday is the one when you manifest pure feelings in your hearts, plant firm faith in the divine principle in your thoughts, and cultivate unselfish enthusiasm to serve others. That is the day to be celebrated.

When we delight as He keeps us close and near
He sows anxiety in the heart, of separation sad;
When we despair and feel His sport is our wail.
He grants us in plenty laughter to split our sides.
When we ride on the crest of the wave of His praise
He pricks our pride by well-timed jeers.
When we roam quite free at the boon, “Don’t fear,”
He heaps trouble on trouble and passes “silently by.”
We cannot turn away, nor forward proceed.
Thus He who is in Parthi holds the world in thrill;
Who at this time can solve for us His Mystery?

In the cavity of the heart of man, in that sublime akasa (space), God resides associated with the Self-principle, as sunshine exists associated with shadow. Light and shade are twin birds. Shade is caused by light; shade includes light, for it declares the adjacency of light. It needs the presence of light. They are fundamentally inseparable. So, too, are the jivi (individual self) and the Brahman (universal self) related to each other as a single inseparable entity. The jivi, as the shadow, exists in and through Brahman and partakes of the same divine splendor. Every individual has to become aware of this identity.

The body is a chariot and the charioteer is buddhi
Shadows are many and varied, though the light is one. When the One is reflected in the many, in the multitude of jivis, it appears as the self in each, which watches unaffected as the witness. The atma (divine self) is eternal. The self is truth. However, since it is enclosed in flesh, bone, and skin, man deludes himself into believing that the outer covering and not the inner core is the source of bliss. The foremost duty of man to himself is, therefore, to penetrate through these sheaths and imbibe the higher bliss that his atmic core alone can confer. Everyone must, in his own best interests, strive to attain that unifying principle that is his inner treasure. Of all sadhanas (spiritual exercises), this is the most pertinent¾the process of achieving this closeness. Sadhana means the endeavor and effort needed to gain the desired object.

Activities that are devoid of truth do not deserve to be known as sadhana. The atma is the universal eternal truth, and therefore it cannot be gained by search in the particularized and the temporary world. The Divine shines in your heart, and can be won only therein.

The body is a chariot. The charioteer is the principle of buddhi (intelligence). The senses are the horses. The manas (mind) is the rein that regulates and restrains the horses . When the mind wavers and wanders, not having stability of purpose, the horses run helter-skelter, endangering even the charioteer, buddhi (intellect).

Experience the unity of speech, wisdom and atma
Speech is an important function of the senses, and it serves the whims of the mind. So, one has to control the mind and not pollute it with greed for sense pleasures. Nor should the mind be tossed about on the waves of acceptance and rejection, and of resolutions and hesitations. The mind has to act as the associate of buddhi. Speech subserving the mind, and mind subserving the intellect¾this is the way to bring about prashanti, the supreme peace. And note this further point: slowly and steadily, instruct the intellect to turn toward the atma. Speech with the mind, mind with intellect, and intellect illumined by the atma—this ensures for you the genuine goal of man.

Atma is eternal. It manifests truth that is eternal, and beyond the limits of space, time, and causality. Truth is not affected by the passage of time from the past through the present into the future. Jnana (spiritual wisdom), too, is not modified or clarified by the passage of time. In fact, wisdom is truth; truth is wisdom. So, you should direct your best effort to experience the unity of speech, wisdom, and atma.

You have no need to run about in search of God, for you are yourself God. God resides in your heart. “All this is enveloped by God.” “All this is God.” “All beings are God.” He is the all-pervasive motive force. Have firm faith in this fact. Like fire in the matchstick, divinity is latent in man. The fire in the stick becomes manifest when it is struck against the side of the box. So, too, when the jivi contacts deva (God), the flame of jnana sheds the light of wisdom. How can man taste the experience of wisdom? In what form does it emanate? The wise person does not hate anyone: he does not belittle, blame, or hurt anyone. What is it that prompts you to love another? The urge to love and be loved is inherent in everyone. So, when you deny love or when you hate, you are hurting not only the person but also the universal principle, the Divine [nature] itself.

Involve in acts that encourage detachment
Know that whatever you feel or do is an offering to God, and flows toward God. So, be cautious. Do not offer bad thoughts, words, and deeds that He does not accept. Offer instead the holy and the pure. That is your duty. That will ensure self-satisfaction. Self-satisfaction paves the way to self-sacrifice, and self-sacrifice brings about self-realization. The entire process of self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice, and self-realization depend on faith. Faith decides the yearning; the yearning decides the fruit; and the act decides the stage that is reachable. The sincerity of the act promotes the purity of the path; the purity of the path determines the validity of the wisdom; and true wisdom is divinity itself. The act, conduct, and way of life¾these have to be disciplined and elevated. How can a mind encumbered with desires ever be content? How can it welcome sacrifice? Nevertheless, man has to involve himself only in acts that encourage detachment and renunciation.

A devotee once asked Brahma, the creator, “For whose sake did you raise Meru, the mountain of gold? The renunciant would have nothing to do with it while the person who desires gold can never be satisfied with one single Meru! Even a thousand such will only incite him to long for more!” That is the nature of desire; it grows on and on at a never-ending rate. Curbing desire is the only means to achieve mental peace.

Prema is the very breath and sole purpose of life
What exactly is peace? It is the stage in which the senses are mastered and held in balance. Samathwam Yogah Uchyathe¾Equanimity is, it is said, yoga. Life should rest on the four pillars of sathya, dharma, shanti, and prema (truth, righteousness, peace, and love) that hold it firm against the turbulent waves of joy and grief. Of these four, prema is the crucial support. For, it is the very breath, the sole purpose of life. Love God and acquire the strength to meet the upsets of life. Love liquidates the blows of fate. Love blends and binds the parents with the child. Love sanctifies and glorifies the body.

In truth, the subjective world and the objective world are not two; they are only aspects of the one. To whom does the joy that one derives from the senses belong, and from whom did it originate? Is it the body or the atma? The senses are but tools. They are operated and put to use by the mind. The mind is named Indra, since it manipulates the indriyas (senses). The mind has to act according to the orders decided by the buddhi and not according to its own whims. The buddhi is illumined when it turns to the atma within.

Embodiments of Love! Do not pay attention to the day when the body was born and fulfill selfish ends by celebrating the event pompously. The day when you manifest pure feelings in your hearts, plant firm faith in the divine principle in your thoughts, and cultivate unselfish enthusiasm to serve others, that day deserves to be celebrated as the real birthday. Seva can give you the experience of the omnipresence of God, God as Vishnu.

In many states, people are suffering from the havoc wrought by floods and cyclones, while in other states thousands are struck by famine caused by prolonged drought. For example, in the Nellore District, many are caught in great misery and loss. Take up appropriate seva (selfless service) activities there. Devotees from neighboring districts must also join in this task. Indeed, wherever the need, and whenever the call, the urge for seva must direct you to offer your seva without stint.

Source: Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 17

Dhritarashtra was blind because as that name itself implies, he held on to the rashtra [kingdom], and to all things that were not ‘he’; the real ‘He’ passes from birth to death, and again gets born only to die, unscathed. Everything that is not ‘you’ is an object; it is luggage for the journey; the less of it, the more comfortable the journey.

~Sri Sathya Sai