The following discourse has been translated into English from Bhagavan's Telugu speech as heard on this festival's ashram audiocassette. It is a complete, literal translation made with the objective of preserving Bhagavan's precious original poetic style as much as possible.
The Importance of Namasmarana
24 February 2002
Discourse delivered to Pilgrims
from Shirdi and Bejawada (A.P.)
Maanam Hitva Priyo Bhavati
Krodham Hitva Na Shochati
Kaamam Hitva Arthaat Bhavati
Lobhaam Hitva Sukhi Bhavati
Without ego there will be dearness.
Without anger there will be no sorrow.
Without desire there will be wealth.
Without greed there will be happiness.
Love For the Atma
Embodiments of Love!
It is the important duty of man to make the mind cool like the moon and the heart full of radiant wisdom. As long as there is ego in man, even one’s wife and children will not love him. The day that ego is reduced in man, the whole world will love him. Therefore, first and foremost man has to kill his ego. Ego ruins man; it is like a bomb.
As long as there is anger in man, one cannot escape sorrow. The day that man destroys the anger in him, everyone will respect him. Greed is like a big troublesome difficulty in man. If man destroys greed, others will have joy and he himself will also be happy. Ego, anger and greed transform man into a demon in many different ways.
If you know the ‘One’ in the world, you will know all. If you forget that One, how can you know about anything? You will be one who does not know. No matter how many zeros are put after the number ‘1’, its value increases. If that ‘1’ is removed, no matter how many zeros are added, the value is only zero. So in man, love for the Atma is the first ‘1’. After love for the Atma is developed, no matter how many other affections there are, the value increases for all of them.
Isavaasyam Idam Sarvam.
Who is God? The Chaitanya (Divine Consciousness) in all bodies, in all lives and in all living beings is God. Therefore:
Isavaasyam Idam Jagat.
God pervades the entire Universe.
Seva Is Very Important
Embodiments of Love!
There will be opportunity for liberation when the name of God is chanted. Therefore, no matter how many joys, happiness and comforts are experienced in our world, all are only useless without Love for God.
In the country of Bharath, there are tens of millions of devotees who are doing Namasmarana (chanting, remembering or contemplating on the Name of the Lord), and rendering seva (selfless service) throughout the world.
Na Tapaamsi, Na Tirthanam,
Na Sastranam Japa Nahi,
Sajanam Sevanam Bina.
One cannot cross over the ocean of worldly life
by position, pilgrimage, scholarship,
or repetition of the Name.
It can only be crossed by serving good people.
Seva is very important. In order to have faith that God is present in every living being, we should worship and serve all living beings. We have to kill the ego during this seva. As long as there is the ego (feeling) of, “I am doing seva,” it is useless as seva. So, every single seva and every action that we do should be pleasing to the Lord. We should do seva with this feeling.
You are doing seva. So many people are rendering seva. However, are they experiencing any results from it? We have to recognize the important aspect of seva. This will become true seva for you only when the seva that is done is offered to others forgetting one’s (ego) self and feeling one is Divine.
Only when man has both love for the body and love for the Atma, will Love for God arise. Only when there is Love for God, will there be the right type of value toward this seva. Therefore, even if it is a small seva that we do, when we feel that it is pleasing to God, it becomes very big.
There Is Only One
Embodiments of Love!
Who is doing seva to whom? Who receives it? The one who does and the one who receives are only One (and the same).
Atma Sarva Bhutantaratma.
Ekam Sath Vipra Bahuda Vadanti.
Truth is One.
But wise men call It by different Names.
So there is only One. It is done to only One. Any number of God’s Names may be said. However:
Eka Prabhu Ka Aneka Naam.
One God has numerous Names.
There is only one Lord who has numerous Names. Hence, Names are not important for us. Forms and Names are not important. Bhava (feeling) is the true devotion. Feelings are pleasing to God but externals are not pleasing to Him. We have to do service with feeling to God, who is pleased with feelings.
Enter Into Good Activities
For 76 days, the people from Bejawada (near Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh) have been doing bhajan and Namasmarana, and have arrived here. A few thousand people started off from Shirdi, had darshan of many pilgrimage spots and they came here now from Kanya Kumari.
Life itself becomes a seva. That life should be changed into one full of seva. Why has the body come about?
Karmanu Bandenam Manishi Loke.
Men in the world are controlled by actions.
God has given this body to do seva to the world. Don’t try to put this body to bad use. Don’t enter on a bad path. Don’t let bad thoughts come. We should enter into good activities that sanctify this body. It is man’s important duty to do seva to society with good feelings and good actions. Hence, in order for us to do seva to this world with love, it has to be felt that the body is an instrument given by God.
Both inhalation and exhalation are continuing on with the Name of God. There is a Witness who remains: ‘I am in everything.’ That only is ‘Sohum’. Sohum means ‘I am God’, the ‘I’. This inhalation and exhalation of Sohum continues on in one’s life 21,600 times per day.
When this inner teaching continues on, why is man acting so foolishly? Who is doing all of these actions? The one who does and the one who receives is only One. So the proper effort must be made to develop the feeling of Oneness. There is only one for everything. Your breath, your word, your hearing, your works - one body is doing all of this. So, we are not doing it for anyone. Everything is done for Him. Veda declares:
I am God.
Tat Twam Asi.
That Thou Art.
God is the Higher Wisdom.
Aham Atma Brahma.
The Atma is God
These four great dictates are great teachings given to the world through the four Vedas. When such great Vedas remain in man, why does man forget them? With every step, it is only one’s own reflection that is seen. Truth speaks for itself in every word. Dharma radiates in everything that is created. Divinity radiates in every breath also. Even though we contain such a Divine life, we are acting foolishly as if we know nothing.
An Offering To Brahma
We are not ignorant. We are ones of supreme knowledge and spiritual knowledge. To recognize this truth, man has been granted Divine nature. All of you pray when taking food:
Brahman is the offering;
Brahman is the melted butter (ghee);
By Brahman is the oblation poured
into the fire of Brahman;
Brahman verily shall be reached
by him who always sees Brahman in action.
You say, “An offering to Brahma”. Where is Brahma? Immediately the answer comes from within:
Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva.
I am Vaishvanara (the digestive fire).
“I am in the form of Vaishvanara within you. Foolish man! You are offering to God. You are offering to God, who is I, Vaishvanara in your heart.” So it is not for someone else.
You Are Doing It To Yourself
Don’t feel that you are doing evil to somebody. You are also doing that evil to yourself. Don’t think that you are harming someone. Even regarding that harm, it is you who are hurting yourself. So, whether doing good or doing harm, it is only you doing it to yourself but not to others. It is said:
Sarva Jiva Namaskaram Keshavam Prathi Gacchate.
Obeisance to every living being reaches God.
In that same way:
Sarva Jiva Tiraskaram Kesavam Pratigachchati.
Rejection of every living being reaches God.
You think that you are doing harm to someone and, “I am doing good to someone,” but actually you are only doing good to yourself. So the God in all is only One.
We are forgetting such a Divine nature of Oneness. We are going around many countries. We go around the pilgrimage places. We are contemplating on various Names. However, God is the root cause for all of these. Whatever Name is given, whatever place is arrived at, there is only One God in everything. But we are forgetting such Oneness.
We have to keep in view the unity in diversity. But due to bad luck today, instead of seeing the unity in diversity, people are fragmenting unity into multiplicity. This is a bad path. Unity should not be fragmented into multiplicity. Consider the oneness in multiplicity. That is the important seva that man has to do today.
In that, in this, wherever one observes, God is only One. Hence, you should contemplate on the Divinity, which is within you.
Man Me Ram, Hath Me Kaam.
God in the mind, and work in the hand.
Contemplate on God in the mind and practice actions with the hands. All actions will then become pleasing to God. Therefore, we have to do seva with such a feeling.
No faith is developing in seva today. Since so many years you are listening, experiencing, practicing and doing seva. How far have you achieved? What have you achieved? What have you known? What is its secret? If one looks towards the secret, there is actually none at all.
Develop Sacred Vision
We have to develop our good conduct. Our conduct should undergo a major change. There should be change in our words. There should be change in our vision. Samyak drishti (pure vision): We should develop sacred vision. We should also develop samyak vaak (purity in speech or sacred speech) and samyak sravanam (sacred listening). If we correct these three, we will be able to gain the right type of reputation. Only when we develop this samyak drishti, then only we will attain liberation. If one wishes to attain liberation, we have to develop samyak drishti.
When going to distant places and to places of pilgrimage, one should not only bow before God (the idol in a temple).
Sarva Jiva Namaskaram Keshavam Prathi Gacchate.
Whatever person you bow to, it reaches God.
Whoever is seen, do namaskar to them; it will reach God. There is no body at all devoid of God. God is in all living beings. It is the important duty of man to recognize and practice that Truth.
You are listening to so much philosophy. You are reading so many books. You are going around to so many pilgrimage places. But what is the use? The mind of man is not changing even a bit. Rendering service has become harsh. Hearts are turning into stone. It shouldn’t be like that!
A mind like butter, vision like butter and words like honey: these are the important values for the Sathya Sai Organization. That only is its ornamentation. Even when there is such a sacred decoration, even though keeping such sacred powers within oneself, you are spending only a useless life.
Our vision should appear to be cool like moonlight. We should not have harsh looks. There should be sweet words. But words are harsh. Due to such words arising in us, we are entering onto an evil path. A mind like honey and a heart like honey - this heart should also be like honey. The words should not arise in a harsh way. These only are gifts of Grace that God has given. Even though having such gifts of Grace, we are putting them to bad use. So, without putting them to misuse, they should be put to good use.
Human Life Is a Great Gift
Embodiments of Love!
Humans are so fortunate.
Janthunaam Nara Janma Durlabham.
Of all life forms,
human life is the rarest to attain.
Human life is a great gift coming after so long. This human life is the result of so much merit from so many lives. Why are you putting to bad use such a human nature? If anyone talks to you, give the answer sweetly. When anyone calls, do namaskar to them with a smiling face. Today such sacred qualities cannot be seen in any human being at all.
You are feeling that you are ‘devotees, devotees, devotees’. No, no! We are going about with the body (to pilgrimage places) but the mind is entering onto the bad path. The mind has to be put on the good path. Good actions should be practiced. You should think of good things. That is the true respect of human life. Man’s respect and man’s honor has to be put into our conduct. Such sacred behavior has to arise in man.
Therefore, you should not feel that you are a mere human being. The individual is God. This is the sacred philosophy of Bharath. The individual is God. God and the individual are not separate.
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam.
God is in all living beings.
The Divinity that is present in all living beings is One. This is the nature of chaitanya. This is the sacred meaning. We have to fill such sacred feelings in our heart, perform sacred actions in daily life and thus sanctify our life.
Life as a human being has been given. It should not be put onto the wrong path. Even though being born as a human being, the minds are only like the minds of monkeys. Instead of us changing these kinds of minds, if we only act as humans up to that extent (having only monkey minds), no result will come from this. The Divine or sacred reputation of, “I am a human being, human being, human being” should be earned.
What does spirituality mean? Worshipping, singing bhajans, praying - this is not spirituality. To destroy the animality in human beings and to transform human nature into Divine nature is spirituality. That is true spirituality. The animality in man has to be crushed. It has to be destroyed. It has to be killed. As long as there is animality, human beings cannot attain Divinity. Day by day this animality is increasing; but Divinity is not being attained at all.
Therefore, as we are not animals, don’t give fear to others. We are not beasts to give fear. We are not animals to have fear. We are human beings who face everything with courage. Even though we have attained such a human birth, though Divinity is fully within, if we are unable to understand this, then time is being wasted.
Smallest of the Small, Biggest of the Big
Embodiments of Love!
Importantly, don’t neglect these words, thinking that Sai Baba says them daily. The Divine power in man cannot be considered as ‘this much’ or ‘that much’. It is said:
God is smallest in the small,
biggest in the big.
Scientists did so many experiments. Regarding this smallest in the small and biggest in the big, if one takes a small seed and puts it in the earth, that small seed grows to be very big and heavy. If that material is so heavy, how much will the weight of God be?
God is smallest in the small.
biggest in the big.
So in the atom, He is an atom. In the biggest, He is big. He is smaller than the atom. He is bigger than the biggest. There is nothing that goes beyond this. Hence, to determine and say God's nature is ‘like this’ or ‘like that’ is only ignorance. No one can describe the nature of God as ‘like this’. No matter how much it is described, all descriptions fall short.
These descriptions are only for the satisfaction of man. It is lowly satisfaction because God has Infinite power. It is a big mistake to think of this Infinite power as lowly. However, in the small and in the big there is only one taste (essence).
Go to the sea, take some water in the hand and bring it. Put a little of it into the mouth. It is salty. Go to the sea and bring a potful of water. When you taste it, it is salty. There is a difference of quantity but the quality is the same.
Therefore, you should observe the quality. The quality that is in you is the highest. God always sees the quality but He does not see the quantity. There are hundreds of thousands of liters of donkey’s milk. This is only the milk of a donkey. But take a teaspoon of cow’s milk. Take that and drink the cow’s milk: you will be very happy!
So, though it is a small quantity, drink it joyfully. Don’t desire too much of it and succumb to wrong desire. Wrong desire is very bad. It is the cause for sorrow. Yet good desires may be felt. Even though they are only a little, you will have so much joy from them.
Searching For God
Embodiments of Love!
Today in the world, people are searching for God through so many different kinds of paths. If it is asked, “What are you doing?” they will say, “I am searching for God.” What is this search for God? Where is God? He is wherever one looks. He is the One worshipped Atma - here, there and wherever one looks. Why search for such a God that is One? Wherever one looks, God is there.
Never have the doubt that,
“He is in this and not in that.”
God is present everywhere.
Wherever one searches, He is seen there.
Prahlada was a student like that. He was a very young boy. When he was sent to study, Chanda and Amarka, his teachers, imposed very strict discipline. Yet Prahlada didn’t bother about that. He placed the responsibility of his protection on God. “All is Narayana, Narayana.”
One day his father summoned him and said, “Dear son, it seems that you have learned very great knowledge. Won't you tell me some of it, son?”
Prahlada said, “Father, it is the teachers who have taught. Dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kaama (desire) and moksha (liberation from attachment) have been studied. All that was studied was from the scriptures. I have found out the secret of that which was studied, Father.”
Prahlada’s father said, “What is it, son? Tell that secret.” Prahlada answered, “Om Namo Narayanaya.” His father’s head reeled. He beat Prahlada and sent him away.
Hiranyakasipu was a hater of God. Prahlada loved God. Prahlada was one who had Love. Hiranyakasipu had hatred. There is so much difference between Love and hate. Hence, humanness may be transformed into Divinity through words of affection.
Embodiments of Love!
Hence, we should not begin to have hatred. Don’t develop jealousy. We should not remain without killing the ego. First and foremost, kill the ego. Then only our ego will go away. Then only the right type of nature of Love will develop. God should be attained through Love.
In the barren land without Love,
for the seeds of Love to sprout,
with the emotion of Love,
to make the nectarine rains of Love fall,
to make the rivers of Love to flow,
play Your flute, Oh Krishna!
(Swami sings a Telugu poem)
We can just think how nice is the song of God! Those who listen to it know that sweet feeling; but those who don’t hear it cannot understand it.
The Easy Path: Namasmarana
Embodiments of Love!
Even if it is not possible to do any spiritual practices, any japas, any meditations, or any yogas, do namasmarana. Don’t enter into all of these spiritual practices that you don’t understand. Enter onto the easy path. Meditation was the practice in the Kritha Yuga, yajna (fire ceremony) in the Thretha Yuga, worship in Dwapara Yuga, and Namasmarana is for Kali Yuga.
Harih Nama, Harih Nama, Harih Nama Kevelam,
Kalo Nastiva, Nastiva, Gatih Nidha.
Only God's Name, God's Name, God's Name
will grant liberation, grant liberation in the Kali
So, attempt to be liberated with Namasmarana. There is nothing that excels this. No matter what spiritual practices are done, Namasmarana is the be-all and end-all.
Embodiments of Love! Students! Pilgrims! Sevaks!
So many are doing seva.
Sravanam (Hearing), Kirtanam (Singing),
Vishnu Smaranam (Remembrance),
Pada Sevanam (Serving the
Vandanam (Salutation), Archanam (Worship),
Daasym (Servitude), Sneham (Friendship)
and Atma Nivedanam (self-Surrender).
People enter onto these nine paths and they are trying to attain Divinity. However, no matter how many paths there are, the goal is One. So reach that goal. Don’t become distant from the goal.
We should not enter onto the bad path. Don’t enter onto a path contradictory to God. Don’t only develop your own selfishness. Selfishness is the root cause for self-interests. Self-interests are an obstacle to spirituality. So we should renounce this selfishness. We should love God. Have dedication to God. Only when you reach a path like this, you will attain Divine power.
Today a few thousand people have come from Shirdi. They made a pilgrimage, had darshan of holy places, contemplated on the sacred Names of God, and arrived in Prashanti Nilayam today. However, the root cause for all of this pilgrimage is Namasmarana. Kshetras (holy places or bodies) may be different.
Kshetra Kshetrajna Chapi Mam Viddhi.
Know! I am the Indweller in all bodies.
Both are One. Without the kshetrajna (the Indweller or knower) there cannot be a kshetra (field or body) at all. Hence, no matter how many places one goes around, the kshetra of our heart should be rendered sacred.
Reduce harsh words. Stop criticizing others. Leave brooding over others. Develop contemplation of God. This is the true spiritual practice. Do seva to others to the extent possible. Do seva according to your capability. However, that seva also should be sanctified.
A small example: Many of our old students came to do seva at Brahmanapalli, Beedapalli and Yenumulapalli (nearby villages). They are doing this seva. How are they doing it? Still, the feeling should remain in the seva that is done. You should tell the villagers: “Sir, we have come to do your seva. You also join us. You also join us and learn, and you may continue on with this seva. The ones who come from outside may serve the village for a month or two; but if you also learn this seva, you can continue doing this seva in your village.”
Villages are very dirty. They are full of filth. Due to that, our children and we get a few frightening diseases. The villages must be cleaned. Clean water must be available. Clean air should be breathed. Then only the proper types of clean (pure) hearts will also be obtained.
Merger In the Divine
Samyak drishti (sacred vision), samyak sravanam (sacred hearing), samyak vaaku (sacred words), samyak (sacred) work, samyak (sacred) thought: if these five are attained, you will obtain the samyak (sacred) state. Then you will reach the proper attainment. You will gain sayujya (merger in the Divine).
Salokya (perception of the Divine), Sameepya (proximity to the Divine), Sarupya (experiencing the vision of the Divine), and Sayujya (merger in the Divine). First and foremost, we have to enter into Salokya. Afterwards, one must go to Sameepya. Afterwards Sarupya should be gained. Then afterwards, Sayujya, Oneness will be gained.
Therefore, the river comes flowing from so far - coming, coming, coming, coming, and finally it merges in the ocean.
Nadinam Sagaro Gatih.
All the rivers reach the ocean.
Why were the rivers born? They have been born to merge in the ocean. In that same way, why was man born? Not only to experience comforts, happiness and joys in the world. Experience any amount of them. Experience them as long as there is life. However, finally you should merge in the Divine.
Ask the question of why your life has come about. We have come to merge in God. We have come to behold God. We have come to experience God. What are you experiencing? God is not being experienced, God is not being seen and God is not being reached.
You have come and are experiencing in the world. You are living in the world. You are merging back in the world. Is this human life? Human life is not such a low path. Human life is sacred. Human life is Divine. Human life is auspicious. Don’t waste such a human life.
No Tax For Namasmarana
Therefore, Students! Pilgrims!
All of you enter onto this sacred path and sanctify time repeating the Divine Name. It is not possible to sanctify the time in any other way. You may contemplate on the Name as you walk. Namasmarana may be done as you lie down. Namasmarana may be done when sitting. Namasmarana may be done as one is journeying. There are no limitations for Namasmarana.
For everything there is a limitation. There is a tax for everything. Tax needs to be paid for the water supply flowing from rivers. We have to pay tax if we want electricity in our house. However, there is no tax for Namasmarana. There is no one asking for tax. There is no difficulty for this. It is easily available. So why are you unable to do it?
Like this, man is leaving something (Namasmarana) that is available so easily. Man is feeling that what is gained with difficulty is very good. That is a bad feeling. That which is gained easily is sacred for us. God's remembrance comes easily wherever place one is, without giving any difficulty and without giving any suffering. That Love only is true devotion. Without that Love, it is not devotion at all.
Japa, austerity, meditation, yoga, and yagna: even if all of these are done, Love only is the praana (life force) in it. Without Love we cannot do even any small work. Love is important in everything, worldly and other-worldly (spiritual). The feeling of Love is important for prosperous ones and for seekers. Love is also important for theists as well as atheists.
Develop such a sacred nature of Love. We should not criticize anyone. We should not blame anyone. Don’t make fun of anyone. Make them happy through Love. The effort to make human beings happy is man’s sadhana. Experience such an easy path like this, experience easy joy, and easily make life sacred.
Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan “Hare Rama, Hare Rama…”
"A Glossary of Sanskrit Words Gleaned from Sai Literature"
1) Bhajan: (pg. 68) The singing of devotional songs in praise of God.
2) Chaitanya (pg. 94) Divine consciousness
3) Japa (pg. 162) The repetition of the Name of the Lord
4) Kshetra: (pg. 197) A field, also the body, verses kshetrajna: the knower (or Indweller) of the body. From ‘ksha’, that which suffers or decays through vice, and ‘thra’, that which recovers by means of virtue.
5) Namaskaar (pg. 243) Salutation, good wishes, from namamakaara: “All that I am and have is due to Your Grace”; or na-ma, “Not mine”; a form of salutation by folding the palms together and holding them near the heart region. It symbolizes the touching of he Guru’s feet or surrendering the ego at the feet of the Lord.
6) Namasmarana: (Pg. 244) Repeating the name of the Lord
7) Praana (pg. 275) Praana means ‘vibration’ and it is the very breath of life; life force or vital energy; positive energy
8) Sadhana (pg. 303) The path of spiritual discipline
9) Salokya: (pg. 315) Perception of the Divine
10) Sameepya: (pg. 315) Proximity to the Divine
11) Samyak drishti (pg. 322) Pure vision
12) Sarupya: (pg. 315) Experiencing the vision of the Divine
13) Sayujya: (pg. 315) Merger in the Divine
14) Seva: (pg. 345) Loving or selfless service
15) Soham: (pg. 355) Soham does not have a form. It means, “I am God.”
16) Vedas: (pg. 400) Rig Veda: contains manthras, slogans and instructions of rituals and the procedures to maintain society. Its mahavakya (axiom) is Pragnanam Brahma (Brahman is the Higher Wisdom). Yajur Veda: spells out man’s duties and codes of conduct; in addition to rules governing society. Its axiom is: Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). Sama Veda: contains the essence of the Rig and Yajur Veda, set to music. Its axiom is: Tat Twam Asi (You are That). Atharvana Veda: sets out rules governing the life of the householder. It also teaches yoga and the curing of illnesses. Its axiom is: Ayam Atma Brahma (The Atma is Brahman).
17) Yajna (same as Yagna) (pg. 416) Fire sacrifice
18) Yoga (pg. 421) Discipline; self-restraint; concentration; self-control