Sai Darshan Home
Date:3 Oct 1996 Occasion:Paduka Puja Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Who Is Dear To the Lord

Embodiments of Love!

Human life is precious, noble and virtuous. It is a pity human beings do not realize this. The whole purpose and goal of human life is to know ones true nature. Forgetting one's true nature, man is caught up in worldly concerns and plunged in misery.

The ancient sages indicated the path to be pursued for the redemption of mankind. They commended nine forms of worship, any one of which could confer bliss and redeem a man's life

To experience the proximity of the Divine the easiest path is Naaamasmarana, remembering constantly the name of the Lord. Sage Veda Vyasa declared that in the Kali Yuga there is nothing greater than chanting the name of Hari for realizing God. It is the easiest path for one and all, the scholar and illiterates, the rich and the poor.

In the Gita, the Lord has indicated the qualifier which a devotee should possess to enable him to earn the love of the Lord. Among these qualities, Krishna declared desirelessness as important (Anapeksha). Today there are few without desires of one kind or other. All sensual pleasures are ephemeral. But most people are content with them. Greater than the sensual is the transcendental path, 'Sreyyomarga, which confers lasting bliss.

When one does any action as an offering to God, it gets sanctified. Such an act becomes a desireless (Anapeksha) act. Every selfless act of devotion becomes an action free from the taint of desire.

The second quality is Sushi (purity). What is required is both internal and external purity. God cares only for internal purity of the mind (Chithasuddhi).


The third quality is Daksha. This means that the devotees should be steadfast and unwavering in any situation. With his mind firmly rooted in God, he should engage himself in service to others and perform actions in a spirit of detachment. Only such a devotee is eligible for God's love. He is unaffected by pleasure or pain, gain or loss or what happens in the mundane world. The fourth quality is "Udaseenah"- indifference to external happenings. The fifth quality is freedom from egoism and possessiveness. One should get rid of the idea of doership and ownership and surrender everything to God.

Today all spiritual exercises are ostensibly undertaken for realizing God. But there is no need for undertaking them. Human birth itself is a mark of Divinity. What is essential is to recognize the indwelling Divinity and live on that basis.

Where is God? Not in temples or pilgrim centers or other places. He dwells in the heart of everyone. To experience the Divinity within, one has to see the Divine in all others and render them service in that spirit.


Today we are celebrating the worship of padukas (sandals sanctified by the touch of the Lord's feet). Worship of padukas is not of recent origin.

Even during the Krita Yuga, the sages used to worship padukas, experience divine bliss and share it with others. By worshipping the Feet of the Lord, they achieved the goal of their penance.

In the worship of Dakshinamurthy adoration of the sandals of the Lord as guru (preceptor) is considered important. Even Sankaracharya resorted to the worship of the Lord's Feet as essential. In a famous hymn, he extolled the Lord in many ways and declared that he was taking refuge in the Lord's feet (Sambhu). He declared that Siva's feet were enshrined in his heart and not elsewhere.

The glory of the Lord's feet is demonstrated by a significant episode in the Ramayana. After Rama left the forest, Bhartha came to him and pleaded earnestly with him to return to Ayodhya. Rama was equally determined not to return. Vasishta noticed the equal determination of the two brothers. The sage told Bharata: "Rama has come to the forest to carry out the command of his father. It is not right on your part to ask him to change his mind. Let us take his padukas to Ayodhya. Those padukas will reign over the kingdom". Vasishta gave this timely advice and persuaded Bharata to take Ramas sandals and install them on the throne in Ayodhya.

These incidents show that the worship of the Lord's feet and of the Lord's sandals has a long antiquity. The sacredness of this worship was propagated to the world by Bharat from ancient times as part of its spiritual message to mankind . Indians today have largely forgotten this ancient practice. In those days it was the practice of the disciples, after the completion of their education at the guru's ashram, to take with them padukas of the guru to worship them on their return to their homes. But even the worship of padukas is an external activity. True devotion calls for the installation of the padukas in the heart.

This means that starting with the external form of worship, we should in due course make it an internal exercise.


All these are related to the Karma Marga - the path of Action. Beginning with the path of action, progressing towards the path of devotion (Bhakti Marga), one should ultimately achieve Self- realization (Kaivalya) by the Jnaana Marga (the Path of Wisdom). Jnaanaath Eva Thu Kaivalyam declares the scripture. Realization is only through Wisdom.

The entire life should not be spent on only worldly duties. One must progress spiritually from stage to stage. Karma-Upaasana-Jnaanam (Action-Devotion-Wisdom). These are the three steps in Self- Realization.

Subramania Chettiar has been engaged in these devotional activities for a long time. Looking at his age, you can realize that physically he is not fit to undertake long journeys. But because of his intense devotion and strong faith in Bhagavan, he has been able to carry on this work. The Divine grace has been giving him all this abundant energy.

So far as the worship of the padukas is concerned, you need not bother about what others think. Every man should take up such sacred activity to get nearer to God.

To get close to the Divine, you have to engage yourselves in activities which please the Divine. The supreme maxims of the Bharatiya culture are: "Speak the Truth. Follow Righteousness". When you adhere to these two maxims all your actions will be sacred.


Of the four goals of human life prescribed by the scriptures, the first is Dharma (righteousness). It is like the feet in the human body. The entire body rests on the feet. "Artha", the second goal, rests on the feet. Hence, the acquisition of wealth should be based on righteous means. The third goal is "Kaama (desires). For the fulfillment of desires you need the strength of the arms (Bhujabalam). Both Kaama and Artha are based on Dharma. Moksha is the culmination of a life based on Dharma.

Today people have forgotten Dharma and Moksha and are immersed only in Artha (acquisition of wealth) and Kaama (the pursuit of sensual desires). For the realization of the goal of human existence, you have to rely on the feet, namely, Dharma, and the head, namely, Moksha (Liberation). This is the message of the symbolic description of the Cosmic Person in the Vedas. The face of the Cosmic Person symbolizes the Brahmic Principle. The feet symbolize Dharma. Thus, basing oneself on Dharma, one should pursue Artha and Kaama to attain Moksha.

People should seek the Divine in all possible ways. In the worship of the padukas, devotees should offer worship with all their heart and not as a mechanical ritual.


For instance, when the chief priest was reciting the mantras, anyone would have been deeply moved by listening to them. Our pandit pronounced the words with extreme clarity. Let me not be misunderstood when I say that, whether in Tamilnad, Kerala or even in Northern India, Sanskrit words are not pronounced correctly. But the pandit pronounced all the words very clearly this morning. Every syllable was pronounced in such a way that it appealed to the heart. His assistants were also closely following him.

Governor Burugula Ramakrishna Rao took one group to Badrinath. The priest in the temple there was a Nambudiri and a Sanskrit pandit. Yet, when the pandit was reciting the mantras, Ramakrishna Rao closed his ears. Ramakrishna Rao exclaimed: "Oh pandit! Do not massacre our Sanskrit!" The pandit was saying: "Jaanthaagaaram Bhujaga Jayanam Padmanaabham," instead of saying "Saanthaakaaram Bhujagasayanam Padmanaabham,". What humiliation is inflicted on the Sanskrit language!

It is praiseworthy that a pandit living in Tamilnad should pronounce Sanskrit mantras more clearly and correctly than even Andhras.

It is because of the help of such pandits that Subramania Chetty's burdens are lightened.


The spectacle you witnessed this morning was indeed a blissful experience for one and all. It looked as if all were in Vaikunta (the Abode of the Supreme Lord) or Swarga (the abode of Indra). It was not at all a command performance. Everyone silently performed the puja (worship of the padukas) with his/her full heart in it. The pandit explained the meaning of every word in the mantra. It is rare to find pandits who recite the mantras so clearly and explain their meaning intelligently. This has been the problem in Bharat for quite a long time. Very few are concerned about the well-being of society. People carry on their work, professing that duty is God. That was not the case with the pandit who officiated at the function today. It is thanks to such pandits that we have devotees who practice the rituals sincerely.


Now, let me say a word about Dr. Gadhia (who had addressed the meeting earlier). You know about him. His grandfather, Kaka Dixit was in Shirdi. He has not seen the old man. But I have seen him. Kaka Dixit's son came to Bhagavan and stayed with Swami for 30 years in Brindavan. He showed to Swami the diary written by Kaka Dixit. The Dixit family had relations with Swami which have continued to this day. Dixit stayed with his wife in Swamis ashram. He showed to Swami Kaka Dixit's diary. In it he had written what Shirdi Baba had told him: Child! you will again be close to Baba. Whatever troubles may come, do not give up your faith." Then Gadhia came to Baba. I sent him to Manipal to study a course in Medicine. After completing his medical studies in Manipal he came to Bangalore. I told him that there was no point in his remaining in Bangalore and directed him to got to London.

In this manner, Gadhia and his ancestors have been associated with Sai. Like this many devotees have been associated with Swami over many lives. Without such association in the past it would not be possible for all of you to come here. You are not aware of this but I know it all. These sacred associations have been maintained over many life-times.


Thus, many of you have from immemorial times had links with the Atmic Self. This link is unbroken, is eternal, infinite. Such sacred relationships should never be given up. All should return to the place where from they came. That is the strident declaration in the Bhagavatham: "It is natural for every living creature to go back to the source from which it came. You have come from the Atma and you must merge in the Atma. Till the goal is reached you must not treat lightly the sacred journey of life.

People forget the route by which they came and are searching for new paths. Many approach me and ask: Swami! show a way. I tell them: There is no need for me to show you a path. You go back by the route you came.

Wherefrom did you come? Not from your mother. Nor from any particular place. The body came from the mother, but the Atma came from the Atma. You are not the body or the senses or the mind. You are the Atma alone You are the son of immortality. Being an Amritaputra (son of immortality), why are you seeking this anrutha(untruth). What is the way to immortality? Removal of immorality is the only way to immortality. If you get rid of evil qualities like attachment, hatred and envy, you will realize immortality. These bad traits make you remote from God. When you get rid of them, God becomes close to you.


Hence, gradually you have to give up the animal qualities and develop godly qualities such as truth, righteousness, justice and morality. By a process of self-enquiry you can get rid of your animal qualities like anger. How long are you going to remain in the same round of birth and death without realizing the goal of human existence? All pujas, rituals and penances are performed for this realization. You have secured an extremely precious gift by your present birth. Do not waste it. Utilize every available moment for a worthwhile purpose. Devotees are yearning to realize the Divine by worshipping the Lotus feet and offering their worship to the padukas. Have the conviction that when you have the sanctified padukas with you, the Lord is also with you. When you enter the Mandir you leave your shoes outside. But the Lord's feet are present wherever His sandals are kept. Bear in mind this sacred idea. Live up to the conviction that the eternal Divine is Omnipresent. Maintain purity and harmony in thought, word and deed. That is the way to secure Divine Wisdom ("Jnaanasuddhi").

Thanks to many meritorious lives in the past, you have got this sacred opportunity. Of the hundreds of millions in Bharat, how many have got this opportunity? Many who wished to come here have been unable to do so for one reason or another. Make the best use of the rare and sacred opportunity that has come your way.

Dr. Gadhia observed that many significant events are likely to take place before 1998. [Dr. Gadhia had invited Swami for a big paduka celebration to be held in Birmingham in 1998]. In accordance with this desire, Subramania Chettiar should be blessed with the necessary health and strength. He is willing to take on any burden, but is physically weak. But his faith and determination will give him the strength he needs. Our Sastri (who officiated at the function in the Nilayam) should also take a resolve. He should spread the message of the worship of the padukas among wider sections of the people and dispel the darkness of ignorance. Whoever carries on the divine mission, unaffected by success or failure, joy or sorrow, will be the recipient of God's grace. Krishna has declared that such a devotee is dear to Him. Such a devotee develops detachment towards all worldly concerns and is indifferent to the happenings in the phenomenal world. He is indifferent to praise or censure, pleasure or pain

The next quality a devotee should have is giving up attachment to the fruits of one's actions. Even the egoistic sense of doership should be given up. Everything belongs to the Divine. Engage yourself in good acts and experience the Divine. [Bhagavan then honored the pandit with a gold kankanam and fastened a gold wristlet on Subramania Chettiar. The entire gathering broke into applause. Bhagavan also presented shawls to the other pandits who had participated in the function.]

[The memorable discourse concluded with the bhajan, Bhajana Binaa Sukha Santhi Nahi! and the offer of arathi to Bhagavan.]