The Effulgent Sai
compilation, Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust
for World Youth Conference, 2007
This slim book is a compilation of eight Divine Discourses specially selected for reading by Sai Young Adults, upon the occasion of the World Youth Conference held in Prashanthi Nilayam, July 2007. Attention is drawn to the urgent need for moral reconstruction of society, the uplift of rural masses and the underprivileged, and the need for Sai Youth to remain unpolluted physically, mentally and morally.
It is fitting that this small book opens with Sathya Sai’s letter to his brother Seshama Raju, written in May of 1947. Seshama Raju loved his brother and was devoted to him – the letter is addressed, To all who are devoted to Me… This letter gives calm, clear assurance that none may prescribe the acts and deeds of a mahatma, and their lives are marked by beneficial acts and self reliance. No one takes notice of dogs that howl at the moon and the stars, so why should anyone take notice of what the naysayers are saying? In this letter, Baba says that naysayers and critics have no comprehension of the glory and the reality of the One they are criticising. If they knew, they would remain silent.
In the first recorded discourse of this avatar, Manasa Bhajare, Baba says that the Lord looks not to the devotee but to his devotion, to his love; the Lord looks to the feeling behind the act. Baba is offering the stream of Mercy Divine: streams of love flowing between the Lord and the devotee, for Love is all there is in this world. All is manifestation and mirror of that which is within. If we wish to collect more bliss from the ocean of bliss, then we have to increase the size of the container, which means we have to cultivate expansive love. Expansive love is life; constricted love for I, Me, and Mine, is death.
In The Revelation, Baba raises an obvious but most beneficial boon given to humanity in this day and age:
On previous occasions when God incarnated on earth, the bliss of recognising Him in the Incarnation was vouchsafed only after the physical embodiment had left the world, in spite of plenty of evidence of His grace.
We are most fortunate to be called into His presence, after lives and lives of yearning to walk on Earth in the times of the previous avataras, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus. All the yearnings of our hearts have been satisfied, for this is truly the most wonderful time to be in a human body. What is it that brings us to His presence? Baba continues:
But ponder a moment on this Sathya Sai manifestation; in this age of rampant materialism, aggressive disbelief and irreverence, what is it that brings to it the adoration of millions from all over the world? You will be convinced that the basic reason for this is the supra-worldly Divinity in human form.
In Come, Examine, Experience, Have Faith, Baba says “Your virtue, your self control, your detachment, your faith, your steadfastness are the signs by which people read of my glory. Baba has said that steadiness is the quality that he looks for in His devotees. Steadiness of purpose, steadiness of discipline and self control, steadiness of mind management, and steadiness of purpose.
In Sai Seva, Baba exhorts his devotees to make their lives His Message. Baba says that “You can observe me and my activities; note how I adhere to righteousness, moral order, truth and universal compassion. That is what I desire you to learn from me. Many of you plead for a ‘message’ to take back to your Sai Centre or group, of which you are members. Well, My Life is My Message. You will be adhering to my message if you so live that your lives are evidences of the dispassionate quiet, the courage the confidence, the eagerness to serve those who are in distress, that my life inspires you with.”
The discourse, Indian Education and Culture has been included in this collection. In this discourse, Baba tells us the history of education in India, how few universities there were, and how instruction was passed on. “Much of the learning was by listening to the preceptor. Not only in the seats of higher learning, but even the smith, the artisan, the artist, the carpenter, the farmer, the potter, the writer, the musician, the sculptor—all learnt from the elders by the silent process of loving listening and reverentially watching, not through the process of pouring over books.”
This is timely advice for this era, for learning is often measured as a function of memory and the ability to recall and relate facts in examinations. Examination results do not always indicate any ability to think; nor do they tell us if people have learned to live well. Has education truly reached its goal? Has it formed people with good character?
We have to ask if education has taught students to single-handedly search for answers. Did they teach you how to freely seek the truth and live according to its guidance? Did they show students how to establish relationships with other people so you and they could find happiness? Did they teach you how to love Divinity and the whole of creation, how to find satisfaction of life? Did they show students that goodness that flows from man and enriches everything around, is? Did they instruct students how to keep themselves cool in everyday life situations? Did they show students that they could become an important member of society and bring true values into it? Did they show the way to turn to God, to receive His love, guidance and leadership?
The end of education is character. Character is shown with unity of thought, word and deed. We elicit character from what a person thinks, says and does. So the ancient Indian gurukula system of education with preceptors and a small number of students with loving watching, listening emulating has a lot to offer education in this day and age.
The Baba says, These days can be revived. When humanity allows the flowers of Sanathana Dharma to flourish, to welcome and sing the glory of God in all religions, be it Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Jainism or Islam; all paths are paths to the one True God. And when all nations welcome and have all these faiths practising in their lands with tolerance and mutual respect, then the Glory of Indian Education and Culture will be known all over the Earth.
In Guidance to Youth, Baba makes observations on the fruits of education. “Among the educated, we find no sign of self-knowledge, nor do we see another vital quality that we expect every human being to have, namely, the quality of mercy, of sympathy, or compassion. The ‘uneducated’ have this quality more than the ‘educated’!” The end of education, Baba teaches us, is character. Good character is primarily passed on by good example and that example is principally unity of thought, word and deed. This is embodied integrity, where Truth, Right Conduct, Love, Peace and Non-violence are expressed in every human action.
This is a most useful book for reading, reflection and action. It will repay reading, reflection and integration into action. Spirituality is not locking oneself away in a meditation room and thumbing the rosary beads whilst the mind is in the market-place, the work-place or last night’s episode on the television. Time waste is life waste, Baba teaches us. Spirituality is divinity-in-action, the expression of that flow of Mercy Divine in thought, word and deed in every relation we have with every other person.
For International readers, this book is available from the Sri Sathya Sai
Books and Publications website