Sai Darshan Home
Date:19 Nov 1998 Occasion:Women's Day Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Revere Parents As God

This sacred land of Bharat has been the birthplace of great women like Savitri, who could bring her husband back to life, Chandramathi, who demonstrated the power of Truth by extinguishing the forest fire, mother Sita, who demonstrated her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed and Damayanthi, who burnt a demon to ashes by her power of chastity and pristine purity. In Bharat, there have been a host of women, who have been proverbial for their chastity. Bharat is the teacher of such virtues to the whole world.

(Telugu Poem)

O foolish mind, why do you go seeking Brahman when He is right within you.
Look within and there you shall find Him.
Don't forget these profound words of Sai.

(Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Since ancient times the land of Bharat has been propagating spiritual teachings to the other nations, thus ensuring the peace and security of the entire world. It is not only the kings that protect the nation, but women of great chastity are also responsible. It is because of noble men and women that nation has been able to achieve peace and prosperity. All the prosperity and the good that we find in this land is due to the strength of women of virtue.

By being borne by Kausalya, Rama fulfilled His divine role;
Brought up by the noble exemplar of womanhood, Sita,
The twins Lava and Kusha achieved glory;
Fostered with love by Puthlibai,
Gandhi became a Mahatma,
The loving care of Jijibai made Sivaji a great warrior.

(Telugu Poem)

Sons become illustrious examples because of the goodness and strength of their mothers. Mother is the very foundation for the entire world. One calls one's own country as motherland, not fatherland. Even the language is called mother-tongue, not father tongue. This land is the birthplace of many noble sons, who got their goodness and strength from their mothers. In those days mothers' gave their sons good guidance by being ideal themselves. The welfare of the son depends on the mother. It is because of the love of the mother that the son becomes great and eminent. So, the foremost duty of the son is to be grateful to his mother, respect her and serve her. The mother who has borne you for nine months puts up with many difficulties, is even ready to sacrifice her life for your welfare. You owe your existence to your mother.

Since time immemorial human being has been called 'Nada Bindu Kala Swarupa'. It is these three aspects that are responsible for the existence of humanity. What is the meaning of 'Nada'? It is the primordial sound 'Aum' that emanates as a result of the combination of Prana (vital force) and Vayu (air). The combination of body, mind and intellect is called the 'Bindu'. Divinity that reflects in Buddhi (intellect) is called 'Kala'. So man is the embodiment of 'Nada', 'Bindu' and 'Kala'. The Principle of Atma transcends all these three aspects. That is why the sages, while offering prayers to God, used to say, "Nada Bindu Kalaatheeta Namo, Namo" (salutations to the One, who is beyond Nada, Bindu and Kala). These three aspects pertain only to the nature. The potter makes pot by mixing water and clay. But that does not make him the creator. It is divinity latent in man that enables him to perform the task. Spiritual knowledge helps us to undertake good actions and cleanses the mind. But that is not enough. The heart also should be pure. In the absence of purity of heart there can never be purity of the mind and the intellect. We should not give scope to the creepers of bad qualities to entangle the heart. A creeper that wounds around the tree covers the tree itself. One should ensure that the creepers of lust, anger, greed and infatuation do not get entangled to one's own Self.

It was lust that caused the downfall of Ravana, the one of great penance and the master of 64 types of knowledge. He not only ruined himself but his whole kingdom. Without purity of heart all the spiritual practices are of no use. That is why Thiruthonda Alwar said, "Oh! Lord, I worship You not with flowers, but with purity of heart." So, purity of heart is very essential for man.

Hiranyakasipu was one who had total control over the five elements. Such an all-powerful one was ruined because he had the evil quality of anger. In spite of being a great warrior, Duryodhana, king of kings was ruined because of greed. His entire clan was destroyed. It was Moha (infatuation) of Dasaratha towards Kaikeyi, which was responsible for Rama being sent to the forest. Kaikeyi's love for Rama exceeded her love towards her own son, Bharata. But, Manthara poisoned her mind. Consequently, she not only lost her husband, but also the respect of her own son. Today, no woman bears the name Kaikeyi, because she distanced herself from God. Similarly, no man bears the name Duryodhana, Ravana or Hiranyakasipu as they have lacked good qualities and developed hatred and enmity towards God. Hiranyakasipu was a great scientist. Ravana was the one who invented airplane. He had mastered the language of animals, birds and insects. But, people value purity of heart more than these achievements. It is the foremost duty of every individual to keep his/her senses under control. One can escape from the house on fire, but not from the senses, which are ignited by the fire of evil qualities.

Intellect is of four types, (1) Swartha Buddhi, (2) Swartha Parartha Buddhi, (3) Parartha Buddhi and (4) Niswartha Buddhi. The one with swartha buddhi is always interested in his own welfare. The one with swartha parartha buddhi is equally interested in his own welfare as well as that of others. The one with parartha buddhi does not desire anything for himself. Surrendering himself to God and craves for His love alone. He believes that God is the indweller of all beings and desires for the welfare of the entire world. The one with niswartha buddhi has no sense of I and mine. The feeling of 'I' (body) is ego and the feeling of mine is attachment. The root cause of all sorrow and suffering of man is this feeling of I and mine, by giving up which, man can purify his heart. Purity of heart is the greatest achievement of human endeavor.

What is the difference between Nara and Narayana? Nara is one who is endowed with the three aspects: Nada, Bindu and Kala. Narayana is the one who transcends all these three. The former corresponds to Pravritti and the latter to Nivritti. Nivritti is the state of desirelessness. One who treads along the path of Nivritti surrenders himself completely to God. Such a man is one who has absolutely no trace of selfishness.

This sacred land of Bharat is the birthplace of many such selfless souls. Though you call yourselves the children of Bharat, you tend to be selfish and full of desires. This is responsible for leading you away from the culture of Bharat. The culture of Bharat is pure, unsullied and selfless. Only when the young boys and girls recognize and follow this sacred culture, can this country prosper. A nation bereft of noble men and women can never progress. The country needs virtuous men and women. That is why I have established these educational institutions. I willed that out of these institutions should emerge noble boys and girls. In a short time all of you will realize and experience this happiness. Wait for the golden moment. Time is everything.

Discharge your duties sincerely. Do not forget your mother. In the world today there may be a wicked son, but never a wicked mother. You owe your blood, food and head to your mother. What is the gratitude you are offering to the mother for the sacrifice made by her? She is the one who has fostered and nourished you. So never forget the love of the mother. First and foremost love your mother, father, teacher and God. The mother shows the father; father, teacher; teacher, God.

This day is being observed as 'mothers' day', 'ladies day'. From time immemorial mother is considered synonymous with God. The Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi are worshipped as mothers. Saraswathi is the Goddess of Learning. Another name for Saraswathi is Bharati. Our country Bharat has derived its name from Bharati. There is a misconception that 'Bharat' refers to the name of Bharata, the son of King Dushyantha. In that case what was the name of this land prior to Bharata? On inquiry you will know that this name has originated from God.

Today women are being looked down upon as mere workers in the kitchen. Women can study, undertake jobs, but they should not neglect their household duties. If both husband and wife go to office, who will look after the household responsibilities? If women go to schools to teach others' children, who will teach their own children? Mothers are responsible for the wellbeing of their children. Never forget your mother. To set an ideal in this regard, I used to visit the Samadhi of my parents on My birthday. To inculcate this good feeling in the hearts of people, even Sai Baba is visiting the Samadhi of his parents, I have undertaken this sacred activity. Every individual should adore, respect, worship and love his/her mother. I have initiated this Ladies day in order to foster respect and love for the mother. Not only the 19th of November, but the 19th of every month is being observed as Ladies Day in some States. Whatever may be the circumstances, good or bad, do not forget your mother. Due to the effect of Kali Age, people consider their mothers as mere cooks in the kitchen. Not only that, they have been degraded to the level of servants. This is the misfortune that has befallen on man today.

The beggar comes to the house and calls out, "Bhavathi Bhiksham Dehi" (please give me alms). He cautions, "Oh! Master and the mistress of the house, in my previous birth I had not given alms to beggars as a result I am standing at your doorstep today begging for alms. Do not commit the same mistake. I am a beggar for three births. In my previous birth, I never doled out alms to beggars. In this birth, being myself dependent on others, I am unable to give anything in charity and as a result I will again be a beggar in my next birth. Beware?

Whom is he asking for alms? He says, "Bhiksham Dehi". 'Dehi' refers to the indweller (God). This body, made of five elements is bound to perish one day or the other. The indweller has neither birth nor death. He has no attachment whatsoever. Truly speaking, the indweller is God Himself. So the beggar addresses the indweller, not the master or mistress of the house. He asks alms from God. All have to ask alms from God. God can give us everything like money, education, knowledge, intelligence etc. Whatever you have acquired from God has to be shared with one and all. Only when your wealth is shared with others will it remain with you forever. Sacrifice is very essential for man. It is the stepping stone to immortality. Mothers are prepared to give up their own life for the sake of their children. Irrespective of the fact whether you love your motherland or not, love your mother. Lord Rama said that the mother and the motherland are greater than heaven itself. Such an ideal of Rama is forgotten today. Mere chanting of Rama's name will not suffice; it is only when you follow His command can you be called a true devotee. The Ladies Day serves as a reminder that one should revere and love one's mother and never hurt her feelings.

Sankaracharya posted two sentinels in his ashram who went round repeating "Thasmat Jagratha Jagratha" (Beware). It so happened that one day Sankaracharya was thinking of his worldly achievements and material gains. As he came to the doorstep, he heard the sentinels repeating, "Thasmat Jagratha Jagratha", which made him realize his folly. Then he declared, "Birth, old age and death are filled with misery, Beware! In this context the Vedas declared, "Arise and awake and stop not till the goal is reached."

Students! Boys and girls!

Always remember your mother's love. Do not hurt your mother in any way. You say Swami's love is that of thousand mothers. When you are unable to comprehend and experience the love of a single mother, how can you understand the love of thousand mothers? You are unable to please your mother, how can you make Swami, happy? Swami will be happy when you make your mother happy. Swami does not want anything. Many people wish Me happy birthday. You need not wish Me happy birthday since I am always happy. Give happiness to your parents, friends and relatives. God is the embodiment of Supreme Bliss and Wisdom; beyond dualities; One without the second; Eternal, Pure; transcends the mind and the three attributes. (Sanskrit Sloka) How can you wish him happiness? I often tell the students, "Happiness is union with God" God is pleased only when parents are respected. I do not desire anything. My happiness lies in you being happy and also making your parents happy. Love and worship your parents. Your welfare lies in the happiness of your parents. God showers His grace on those who make their parents happy. The respect and love you receive from your children depends on the respect and love you show to your parents..

Have you ever visualized the cosmic form? Earth, water, sky etc., can be seen in it. The universe is made of five elements and the same five elements are present in you. So you are Viswavirata Swaroopa. God is in you and in everybody. So hurting others amounts to hurting God. Do not criticize and find fault with others. Love all Serve all. Respect, adore and worship your parents. They constitute the real wealth of your life. The blessings of your parents will confer health and wealth on you. God comes to you on His own when your behavior is good.

Pundarika used to visit the temple of Lord Panduranga every day. One day he was engrossed in the service of his parents and hence could not visit the temple. So Lord Panduranga Himself came to Pundarika. At that time Pundarika was pressing the feet of his parents. As Pundarika was busy serving his parents, he requested Lord Panduranga to take His seat and wait. So saying, he passed a brick to the Lord as there were no chairs and sofas in those days. After attending to his parents, Pundarika offered his due respects to the Lord Panduranga. The Lord was immensely pleased with his devotion to his parents and blessed him profusely, saying God comes to you on His own when your behavior is good, "there is no service greater than service to parents. Consider service to parents as service to the Lord." We need not go to God, but should make God come to us. One can select one's wife, but not one's parents. Only God selects His parents. I wish that you obtain the blessing of your parents and set an ideal for the rest of the world: Today, I do not see parents being accorded respect due to them. They are approached only in times of need and neglected later. There is a proverb in Telugu the boat is set on fire, once it serves its purpose of taking you across the river. Similarly, parents are sought after only in times of difficulties. Once you are highly placed in the society and accumulate wealth, parents are forgotten. Here is a small example. V. Ramakrishna was an I.C.S. officer from Madras. His wife was Durgamba. They sent their son to America for higher studies. A month later when Durgamba contacted her son over phone and enquired his welfare in Telugu, to which he replied that he had forgotten Telugu and could converse only in English. On hearing this the mother was overjoyed and came to Swami to share the news proudly. I replied that a person, who forgot his mother tongue in a month, was likely to forget his mother too. There are many such students in the world today. They forget their parents once they go abroad.

There was an orthodox brahmin who was hesitant to send his son abroad fearing that he might lose his culture. On the insistence of his son he reluctantly consented to send him abroad and exhorted him to chant the Gayathri Mantra thrice a day. He warned his son that he would forsake him if he failed to do so and extracted a promise from him. But the son failed to keep up his word. He did not chant the Gayathri Mantra even once. He was absorbed in the western culture. On many Occasions the father asked him to return home, but the son did not pay heed to his word. The father as a last resort sent a telegram that his mother had expired. Immediately the son rushed home and was received at the airport by the father, who told him that mother was brought back to life by the infinite grace of the Goddess. Then he took his son to the temple of the Goddess enroute home to offer their obeisance and gratitude. As soon as they entered the sanctum sanctorum, the son greeted the Goddess, "Hello! How are you, good morning!" On hearing this father became furious and asked him to get out. This is how many people change their life style once they go abroad.

Our Jayamma (previous speaker) said that only Anantapur girls are great. What about our Prasanthi Nilayam boys? These boys are also good. She said that on many occasions the girls asked her to speak more and more about Swami and show them the way to please Swami. Even our boys here day in and day out are engaged in pleasing Swami and attending to His needs. Nobody is less or great, both girls and boys are equally good. There may be a few lapses here and there, but all those who have been nurtured and fostered in Sai Organizations are good. It is not that you and I say, but the parents say. The parents feel within themselves that there is a transformation in their sons after joining Swami's institution. Parents should be satisfied, that is what I want. It is only then I feel satisfied. So boys and girls should make their parents happy. You do not need to enquire what pleases Swami. Satisfaction of parents is what pleases Me. I do not require anything. When you make your parents happy I am also happy. I wish that you develop these qualities and set an ideal to the whole world. Do not try to satisfy Swami, make efforts to satisfy your parents. If your parents are not convinced about your views, try to explain the rationale behind them. Speaking harshly to them will not help them understand your views. Be calm and give them a patient ear. Only then you will be able to convince them. Try to inculcate such holy feelings and only then your study in this institute will fructify.

[Bhagavan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan "Bhava bhaya harana..."]