Mother Is Your First God
All the names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being who is Existence-Knowledge- Bliss Absolute and nondual. He is the embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram (Truth, Goodness, Beauty). (Sanskrit verse)
Embodiments of Love!
YAD Drishyam Thannashyam (all that we see with our physical eyes is bound to perish). It is not only man who is endowed with physical eyes but birds and animals also have them. Even worms and insects have eyes. But what is the use of eyes if we cannot see that which is eternal and changeless? These eyes perceive only ephemeral, impermanent and unreal things. In the world, we find people spending their whole life in mundane activities, perceiving only ephemeral things. Jnana (wisdom) is true and eternal.
Only he who has the eye of wisdom deserves to be called a human being. It is therefore essential that man should turn his vision inward and try to recognise the atmic principle. We can experience the atmic principle only when we turn our vision inward. With our outward vision, we perceive only transient, ephemeral phenomena.
Imprint The Teachings Of Your Mother On Your Heart
In the land of Bharat, the ideal of motherhood has been held in high esteem. Every individual has a mother. But today reverence and love for the mother is on the decline. People do not try to make their mothers happy. There is no love greater than that of the mother in the whole phenomenal world.
Rama’s divinity blossomed under Kausalya’s loving care; Because of the tender feelings and austerity of Sita, Lava and Kusha achieved name and fame; The loving care of Jijabai made Shivaji a great warrior. (Telugu Poem)
Similarly, many eminent persons in the world achieved greatness in life due to the loving care of their mothers. It is therefore important for every individual to respect his or her mother. The ideal conduct of children is based on the ideals set by their mothers. The sacredness of motherhood is unparalleled all over the world irrespective of country or time. Material wealth or high levels of scholarship are not necessary for this. Character is the basis for this ideal. Every mother aspires for the welfare of her children. There may be bad children but there can never be a bad mother in this world. There is an urgent need for ideal children who obey the instructions of their mothers and follow the ideals set by them. They should imprint the teachings of their mothers on their hearts.
Bharatiya culture declares: Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). But the highest place has been given to the mother. She is truly your first god. How many are there today who give due respect and love to this embodiment of divinity? Let alone giving love or respect to their mother, how many behave in a proper manner so as to deserve the love of their mother? A true son or daughter is one who acts in a way that earns him or her the love of his or her mother. One can never hope for peace or happiness in life if one hurts the feelings of one’s mother. It is the duty of every child to respect and love his mother; he should never cause her any distress. Be one a great scholar or an officer having high authority, one is but a child to one’s mother. But due to the influence of KaliAge, modern boys and girls are forgetting their duty toward their mother. This is a grave error. Those who forget their duty toward their mother are sure to lose themselves in wilderness. You are but a reflection of your mother. Therefore, first of all you should carry out your duty toward your mother and make her happy.
Fulfil Your Mother’s Wishes The mother of this body Easwaramma looked upon all children with great love and tenderness. Whenever she saw little children, she caressed them with great affection without observing any difference whatsoever. As Karanam Subbamma had no children, she requested Easwaramma to send her children to her house once in a while. Thus, Subbamma took Me to her house and looked after Me with great love. Once when I was in Subbamma’s house, Easwarmma came in a hurry. I asked her, “What is the hurry? What has happened?” She replied, “Swami, near our house there is a young mother whose little daughter is sick. She is helpless and in great distress. Even a dispensary does not exist in this desolate village. There is no one who can treat even a simple cold, cough or fever. So many devotees are coming to You. Do not think that all of them are true devotees. Only those who feel the distress of others and try to help them are true devotees. Wealth, scholarship or authority is of little consequence. Sympathising with others in their suffering and trying to alleviate it is the sign of true devotion. One should share the sorrow of others. But this is scarce today. There are people who keep talking at great length about the achievements of their own children, but they have little concern for the suffering of others’ children. Thousands of devotees come here but it has occurred to none to do something to solve the problems that exist here. It is now left to You. So, You must construct a small hospital in this village for the poor children.” I comforted her and said, “Why are you disturbed so much over such a small matter? It will be done. But for everything the time must be ripe. A new born child cannot become a youth all at once; some time is required. Do not worry so much; in due course of time, Swami will fulfil your desire. Try to comfort those who are suffering and pray for their well-being.” Easwaramma was a little upset thinking that Swami was unconcerned and indifferent. But I had this Sankalpa all the time. Mother’s wish had to be fulfilled, be it small or big. Any task to help others is My responsibility and so I resolved to undertake this task.
Society Needs Selfless Doctors
The very next day, I arranged for the foundation to be laid, and within a month a hospital started functioning. There was a doctor named Brahmam. He was a great devotee. He acted in a manner befitting his name. After him, there came another doctor called B. Sitharamiah. He was a great devotee of Swami. He prayed to Me to give the responsibility of the hospital to him. From that day till his last breath he worked in the hospital. You do not see any such doctors with dedication and commitment these days. From the moment they qualify, the sole concern of modern doctors is how much money they can earn. They are prepared to risk even their life for the sake of money. They neglect their prime duty which is healing the sick. They do not want to work in villages. They want to stay in cities and enjoy all the comforts of city life. They want to earn more and more money. What is money? What can it give us? It does not stay with anyone forever. It is transient and impermanent. Money is required but too much money is harmful. Today people are ready to go to any length to earn money. As the proverb goes, man today is ready even to eat grass to gain a rupee. So, a greedy man can earn only grass, not grace.
Today we need men of sacrifice in the world. What I want is not your devotion. You must apply your mind to the problems of society and find remedies for them. One should aspire for social welfare. Society today needs the service of self-sacrificing doctors. Doctors these days have large incomes of thousands of rupees per month. But they do not want to do work worth even a rupee. They want to have money without work. Society today needs servants. Only those who truly serve can become true leaders. When a leader looks upon himself as a servant renders true service to society.
Ideal Motherhood Exemplified By Mother Easwaramma Easwaramma breathed her last in this very Mandir. Summer classes were going on in the month of May 1972. She used to come and sit in these classes. Swami used to be amused at her presence and asked her what she followed in the classes. She used to say, “I am not interested in these studies. I come here to see how the students of Swami conduct themselves, how they obey His commands and how they react to Swami’s advice and teachings:” The parents take great pains in bringing their children with expectation that they may lead a respectable life. Are the children behaving in accordance with the expectations of their parents? They wear new clothes provided to them by their parents, but do they spare any thought for the hardships their parents undergo to procure these clothes?
Embodiments of Love!
You are boys today; tomorrow you will be men. If your children cause you worry how will you feel? Will you be happy? No not at all. All that happens to you in future will be in accordance with your conduct today. Everything is reaction, reflection and resound. Today’s good deeds will blossom into good results in the coming time. If you do bad deeds today, you cannot expect to be rewarded with good results in future. If you do evil today, you cannot escape its consequences later. You may become a powerful officer or an employer. But the results of your past bad deeds will always keep haunting you. Keeping these facts in mind, make your parents happy and serve them to your utmost capability. Only then will you find fulfilment in life. What for is man born in this world? Is it merely to roam around and indulge in the pleasures of the world? Understand that worldly pleasures are not permanent. A true son will see to it that his parents do not shed tears of sorrow.
It is not a matter of great celebration when a son is born in a family. Only when he earns a good name in society should his birth become an occasion for celebration. Many parents in their exuberance of joy at the birth of their son indulge in all sorts of senseless celebrations. Such parents spoil their own children. Mothers should keep a close watch on the conduct of their children. Is he going on the right path? Is he working for the welfare of society? Is society approving his conduct? Is he gaining the respect of society? Mothers should keenly observe all this. Easwaramma was very conscious of these matters; she was, in fact, an ideal mother. When visitors came to the house, she would send her children to greet them properly, to ask about their welfare and requirements and to offer them a seat in a respectful manner. You scarcely find such conduct anywhere today. Children are well-educated, their talents are encouraged, but what for? To earn money? Even a beggar earns money. Money is not the goal of life.
When you have a visitor to your house, you should greet him with respect and love. These days you cannot find any such courteous behaviour at all. That is why I often say: You cannot always oblige but you can speak always obligingly. But today’s education is making the children veritable demons. There is no humility or friendliness in them. They learn the stuff given in books by rote, go to the examination centre, empty the stuff in their heads on the answer papers and return home with empty heads. Is this education? Not at all. True education is that which is imprinted on the heart of the learners. It should remain unchanged over the years. Such sacred feelings are not to be found in today’s students. Everyone pretends to be a devotee without any trace of devotion. What is all this acting for? People learn such false values from cinema, TV, etc., which are ruining them, especially the children. The world today seems to be happy with TV and cinema. But Swami does not approve of them. Are cinema, TV, etc., helping in the redemption of mankind? Everyone should cultivate human qualities and lead the life of a true human being. But there are few such people to be found. There are, of course, a few parents who bring up their children with great love and affection and put them on the right path. Only such parents can be called ideal parents. Their children grow up to be ideal and noble.
Ingratitude Is The Worst Sin
Today people have little sense of gratitude. Even if you get a little help from anyone, you should always remember it. It is unfortunate that people even harm those who help them. Such people are the worst sinners. We should help even those who have harmed us. This is the vow of Sai. No matter if some people criticise or ridicule Me or even try to harm Me, I will always look at them with kindness. I have declared: My life is My message. How many people follow the path shown by Me? If you follow in My footsteps, no harm will ever touch you. Swami is giving free education to thousands of students. Education in Sai institutions is free up to Ph.D. level. What is the cost of education these days? Even for admission to primary class, many schools charge 20 to 30 thousand rupees. It is in this environment that Swami is giving free education to all His students. The students should remember this with gratitude. It is harmful for them if they do not recognise it. These were some of the truths that Easwaramma taught. When somebody came to see her, she would tell him, “See how much help Swami is giving to the poor and needy. It is all for their welfare. But some people are not at all realising its value and are not grateful for it. It is not good for them. Everyone should bear this in mind.” She spoke in a gentle and sweet manner to all the visitors. She was a source of great solace to women who lost their husbands in young age. She helped them to relieve their suffering.
Ever be grateful even for a small help. Do not be a kritaghna (ungrateful). Ingratitude is utter cruelty. There is a mantra in Suryanamaskara, “Kritaghnaghna-ya namah” (salutations to the sun who punishes the ungrateful). What is the significance of this? It emphasises the fact that any help received should be reciprocated to the extent possible. Hurting someone who has helped you will result in losing your eyesight. It is the radiance of the sun that is reflected in man’s eyes. All that you see is through the reflection of the sun’s radiance. The sun withdraws its radiance from the eyes of those persons who commit the sin of ingratitude. Some people may brush it aside, saying it is a mere katha (story). Truly speaking, it is not a katha but a vyatha (suffering) that an ungrateful person has to undergo. Therefore, we should always be grateful. We should return help for help to the utmost extent possible.
Do Charity With Discrimination
You should always help the aged and distressed. At the time when this building was being constructed, the Rajmata of Jamnagar prayed to Me to stay in her house. I accepted her prayer and started staying in her house. There was a driver in that house. One day, it was very cold and the driver was shivering as he had no coat or rug to protect himself from cold. My driver came and told Me. I gave him a rug. As he got the rug given by Me, he started crying loudly, saying even his parents had not given him so much love. He lived for quite a long time and stayed with the Rajmata. The Rajmata was also a very considerate lady and used to look after the welfare of all her staff. There are many such needy persons in the world. Whoever it may be, do not make distinction between your people and others. When you see anyone in distress, help him immediately. Education that does not inculcate such values of caring and sharing is not fit to be called education. “In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true self and a mean-minded person will not give up his wicked qualities. Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom. What is the use of acquiring worldly education if it cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.” (Telugu poem) What is the use of such an education? What is the outcome of endless arguments? One thinks of oneself to be very learned but this arrogance is the source of one’s utter downfall. Students! It is necessary for you to cultivate humility and obedience. There are a large number of people who are in much poorer circumstances than you. You must strive to ameliorate their condition as much as you can. When you help others, that itself is your reward. The scriptures declare: Paropakaraya punyaya papaya parapeedanam (you earn merit by helping others and commit sin by hurting them). Hence, always try to be helpful. Do not commit the sin of hurting others. Set an example before young children. This is an important duty of the students today. I have noticed that students today have a craze for going to foreign countries. When they return, they are dressed in a pompous manner and their behaviour is obnoxious. What is the use of wearing a costly dress if your behaviour is mean?
There are many foreigners who come here and feel moved to help poor people. But this creates more complications. They are not aware of the conditions here. It is said that if there is somebody distributing money, even the dead will get up and stretch out their hands. So when these foreigners start giving money, poor people run after them. If somebody is hungry, give him food, not money. Similarly, if he is in need of clothes, give him clothes. Indiscriminate distribution of money does more harm than good. People of this country should not run after money. Lead a respectable life. Maintain the dignity of human life. Honour and respect cannot be bought with money.
Here is a small matter Swami wants to tell. The other day, a devotee came and told that since My cars had become old, he wanted to replace them with new cars. He brought the cars. Three days passed. I did not even look at him. What is the reason? I already have a sufficient number of cars. I have no desire to move about in fancy big cars. I do not accept anything from anyone. When I was coming here, Srinivas came to Me and said, “That person is feeling miserable. Please accept the cars.” I told him, “Do not interfere. He can take back his cars. In fact, I am ready to give My own car. Rather, I will give you two cars; you and he can take one each.” Develop the spirit of sacrifice and set an example before others. I have been practising this since My childhood. If you follow the path shown by Me, you will become blessed. This path will lead you to liberation. It is liberation that is the goal of life. What is moksha (liberation)? Mohakshaya is moksha (giving up of attachment is liberation). You must reduce your attachment (moha). That is moksha.
Love everyone. But do not trust everyone without discrimination. One who puts his trust wholly in others is headed for ruin. Love all, Serve all. But put trust in yourself. Develop self-confidence. Give up worldly desires. Develop divine feelings and give up worldly feelings. This is the dharma (righteous path) of humanity. Students! You have been studying in Sai institutions. You have studied well and passed examinations. Take to the right path. Develop good qualities. Love all, hate none. Love even those who bear hostility towards you. This is the characteristic of Sai. There are many who are hostile towards Me. Many ridicule or criticise Me. If they say it aloud, it is lost in air. If they do it internally, it returns to them. None of it will reach Me. Therefore, one should attach no importance to praise and abuse. See to it that love principle is installed firmly in you. This is what Mother Easwaramma practised and taught.
Face the vicissitudes of life with confidence. I am never deterred by hardships or obstacles. When there is no defect in you, why should you have fear? Love even those who criticise you. This is the ideal that Swami expects when He says, “My life is My message”. If you lead your life strictly according to My ideal, you will rise to the same level. Therefore, develop good qualities and help those who are in distress.
Good People Have A Sacred End
Mother Easwaramma used to go to the house of Gogineni from Brindavan. On the day of her passing away also, she walked all the way to their house and came back. After coming back, she had a cup of coffee. She used to have paan (betel leaf). In fact, I Myself used to like paan in the early days. She was pounding the areca nut in a mortar and was eating it bit by bit. Suddenly she shouted, “Swami, Swami, Swami”. I called back, saying, “I am coming, I am coming, I am coming:” She said, “Come quickly, come quickly.” As I came down, she caught hold of My hands and said, “You are capable of helping all the people of the world to any extent. But children need more help. You have to transform them. You need not make them scholars. Make them good and virtuous.” Saying this, she placed My hands on her eyes and breathed her last. She had anayasa maranam (peaceful death). What more can one desire in life than a glorious death?
Bodies come and go. “Punarapi jananam puna-rapi maranam, Punarapi janani jathare sayanam” (man is caught up in the cycle of birth and death; time and again, he undergoes the agony of staying in his mother’s womb). Birth and death are natural to man. One need not worry over this matter. I called the driver. The body was placed in a van and sent to Prasanthi Nilayam. I sent Ramabrahmam with the body. He was a very good person. He performed all the work assigned to him personally. Ramabrahmam requested Me to go to Prasanthi Nilayam for the final rites. But I firmly told him, “This is a matter relating to the external world and I have no connection with it. I have seen her and blessed her here. So, you may take her body for the final rites to Prasanthi Nilayam:” Ramabrahmam carried out My instructions faithfully. Gokak and Bhagavantam came and said that the classes were cancelled. I asked them, why. They said, it was because of the demise of Swami’s mother. I said, “What if she is dead? The boys are all alive and so the classes must go on:” Gokak was amazed. He announced that the classes would be held. Everyday I used to go to the classroom at the beginning of the class. The students were anxious whether Swami would come or not. I went to the classroom that day. As I entered, all the children started shedding tears. I asked, “Why are you grieving? Whoever is born is bound to die one day or the other. So, there is nothing to grieve about. After that, the classes went on as per schedule. It is because of this self-confidence and courage that I have been able to make everything happen according to My resolve.
The father of this body also had an easy death. I had selected some people for interview at Prasanthi Nilayam when he came there. I asked him why he had come there. He replied, “Swami, I have something to tell You.” I told him to wait until I finished the interview. But he said, it was an urgent matter. So, I called him and asked the reason for his coming. He took out some money from the knot of his Dhoti and told Me, “Swami, this is all the money I have. With this, You should perform my last rites on the 10th day in a proper manner.” I gently chided him, saying why he was talking about his death as if he knew all about it. He went back and bought four bags of rice for this purpose. Rice was very cheap those days. One could get a bagful for Rs. 20 or so. Besides rice, he bought some jaggery and other provisions. After reaching home, he played with his grandson for some time. Then he called his wife. Men never used to call their wives by their names those days. ‘Hey, hey’ was the way they used to address them. He told her, “I have just now seen Swami. I have no worries now.” He then asked her to get him some water to drink. As she gave him water, he breathed his last.
Good people have a good death. What sort of death? Anayasa maranam (peaceful death). How was that possible for the parents of this body? They shared My sacredness and led a sacred life. I Myself chose My parents. My selection is always correct. That is why My parents had such a blissful life. Every person must serve his parents. When they fall sick, you should serve them with total dedication. Service leads to liberation. “It is not through performing penance or going to places of pilgrimage or studying sacred textsthat one is able to cross the ocean of worldly life. It is only through service to the good that you attain the ultimate goal of life.” (Sanskrit verse) Such a sacred end is possible only for people who have earned it in this way.
Embodiments of Love!
All of you who have gathered here have to take a pledge today. Live a good life. Be ready to help others. Love children, respect elders, respect all according to their status in society. If you live according to these principles, there is no better way of life. Imprint these principles firmly on your heart. Act in a manner so as to please your parents.
Only then will your life find fulfilment. You are conducting bhajans at various places and at different times. But mere singing of bhajans is not enough. Behaviour and conduct are vital.
Easwaramma Day, 6th May 2002, Brindavan, Bangalore