Dearest of the dear embodiments of love!
We all meet here once a year for a short while and depart. That may be the reason that our relation with each other is ever fresh, ever longing and everlasting.
You have all gathered here from abroad and from different parts of the country belonging to various walks of life . You have overcome lot of inconveniences and difficulties to attend Baba`s birthday. I shower my blessings on all of you abundantly with both my hands on the divine occasions of New year, Sankranthi(telugu festival) , Baba`s birthday and World peace conference to have a healthy, happy, peaceful and prosperous life.
Embodiments of love!
India , the Hindu country is the capital for all the countries across the globe in terms its spirituality, bravery, valour and sacrifice. This is the ultimate place where you can find such great virtues. No other country can compete with India in this matter. The freedom which the citizens of this country are enjoying today is the result of the great sacrifices of the countless number of people many of whom have even lost their lives fighting for the country. As a mark of your gratitude towards them and the country all of you must begin your day by paying respects to those freedom fighters for giving you this wonderful free life.
Irrespective of the religion one belongs to either a Christian or a Muslim or any other religion if one has to gain even a little bit of knowledge about spirituality, attaining peace , self realization and above all to know about the divinity then one has to come to India only. Because you can get this only in this country. It is like a prasadam (which you get from God) from the Divinity.
The origin of every religion is known except the Hindu religion. It has been always there from the time immemorial..which cannot be estimated or measured. We can say the most ancient religion. No historian could succeed in estimating its time of origin. So great is the Hindu religion , its culture and heritage. With out losing our ancient culture we have imbibed the modern trends in the present day world in terms of technological development , education and various socio economic fields.
The Christians or the Muslims living in India have not migrated to this country from any other country. Some of the Hindus over here have converted their religion. One cannot benefit from such conversions. Instead try to become a good human being which which will help in the progress of the country which leads to your own personal well being.
If we look back in to the history so far no one could make a particular religion as a medium to teach spirituality. Whether it is Lord Rama and Krishna infact all the avatars chose this divine place India to descend on to the earth. So great is our motherland.
Other religious prophets could preach only about humanity. But to know about the Divine and the Divinity , to learn about Vedas ,to attain self realization(moksha) i.e., to know about the trueself you have to come to India and all this is available only in India. In the past many have plundered lot of our rich heritage some have even stolen and took away lot of riches and wealth from our country. Inspite of all this we are still left with such invaluable culture, traditions and heritage where people come to know about spirituality which is available only in our country. To attain the knowledge about the Vedas and our ancient Hindu traditions students come from other countries to our universities . Some people of this country are not able to realize the value of the customs and traditions of this country and the significance of Hinduism. Infact some people of this country are tempted towards the western culture and their habits and lifestyle and in aspiration of a better life are migrating to other countries where they will have to die as orphans as orphans as it is not their motherland.. What we cannot achieve and enjoy here in this country we cannot get any in any other country. Whether you can earn a good money some people come back to our country with nothing left in the hand ( no peace and no proper settlement). The people who say are staying in a foreign country take lot of things from their parents from India like pickles, Chutney powders, the rasam powder (the Indians use them for a good taste in the preparation of food). The parents are in no way happy if their children are abroad. The joint families are separated and have become micro families. The whole lifestyle has changed. Neither the person himself nor the country has benefitted by this. Their roots are here. So belong to this country . they cannot leave behind their identity.
Baba narrates a story to explain this.
Once upon a time a young man goes to a guru (a Swamiji) and says that with his blessings he passed the graduation. He says that he has come for guidance from the guru for his further education. The Guru asks the young man as to what is his interest. The young man says that he wants to go to America. Then again the guru says what will he do after going to America. The young boy replies that he intends to do the degree called M.S. Then the guru questioned him as to what will he do after that. The boy answered that he will go for a job. Then again the guru asked the boy what next. The boy said like everybody I`ll get married increase my family by having children and thereby take care of them. After listening to this the Guru asked what will you after all this. The boy said that he`ll dis like any other person. The guru said if one has to die ultimately like any other person what`s the big deal in going to America. You can as well die here on your motherland. Atleast you can get some good merits due to which you may get liberation with the divine grace.
Coming back to the greatness of our country Unity in Diversity is practiced in our country and stood as a role model to the entire world. It means we don`t differentiate people because of their religion. We all live in harmony here. The actual name of this country is HINDU desam(country) . It is later known as India. To know about its purity Baba compared it with the river Ganga in Kaasi( it is also known as Varanasi). Kaasi is a very famous pilgrim place in the state of Uttarakhand in India. From age old the Rishis say that those who visit Kaasi (Lord Shiva`s temple) and take a dip in the holy river Ganga all his evils are washed off. He attains liberation. Such is the belief about Kaasi and the River Ganga. It is an abode of purity. Such a great river is carried by our country. One can understand how pure this land is. We should be proud to be Hindus ,to be Indians.
In Hindu culture we can see God in nature ,in rocks, in thin air, in fire, for rains we say God Varuna, for fire we name it as Agni devudu(fire God), for air, it is Vayu (God of air). So we have the divinity as a part of day to day life style. It makes it easy for the spiritual seeker to see God everywhere and anywhere. In other countries children have names of stones and birds also but the speciality of India is here we are given names of various Hindu Gods. Even though a person is an atheist but still he will the name of some God. Such is the Hindu culture and tradition. This is a an easy way to chant the name of God again and again by calling each other by their names.
God is every where. He is omnipresent. He is above us , below us ,around us , He is to our left and also to our right. Hinduism teaches us to visualize God who is present everywhere. Baba raised a question that God who is present every where in air, water and sunlight, in our good and bad deeds , in hell and heaven ,is he not present in SEVA i.e., service?
If we go back to Treta Yuga, Kruta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga Lord Krishna and Lord Rama preached Peace (shanthi) and Love(prema) and Righteousness(dharma) doing one`s duty. In the sacred book of Hindu mythology Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna Himself made a confession that whenever and wherever the Dharma is violated or damaged He`ll descend on to the earth to reinstate Dharma.
Instead of following the old customs and rituals to pray God the Sai devotees must follow the new path of spirituality which leads us to liberation. Instead of whiling away the time in unnecessary gossip we should try to render whatever service we can to the other person. As God is everywhere if you serve the fellow human beings it is serving God Himself. If He is satisfied and happy He showers us with abundant blessings to us but also to our kith and kin. He will fulfill all our desires and even grant the liberation. Everything is in Hands. As He is the creator everything is in His control.
There is a most easy and flexible way to attain liberation or salvation in your own life time. How does it matter to us whether we are in heaven or hell after one`s death. Instead of thinking about something which you don`t about there are our fellow human beings who are in need of our service . they are like the deities(celestial beings) who receive our services and give us the blessings which leads us to liberation and good merits. If they are not there you will not get any of these.
Everyone thinks of going to heaven after death. But do you know what is heaven. It is a state where you don`t have any thirst or hunger anything to do . After a certain amount of time one gets vexed and will wait to come back to this world and take birth in a Hindu country. In India we have more than 1000 channels broad casted on television due to which we are confused and don`t know which one to watch. It means that inspite of having so many occasions to celebrate ,so many comforts and luxuries we don`t feel satisfied then in Heaven when you are devoid of hunger , thirst, desire, sleep and joy how can you be happy. Then why are you behind this . Your stay in the heaven is limited to the number of good merits you have. After that it is inevitable for you to come to this world again. So why don`t you search for a place which is like the heaven on earth where the service is done to the needy and poor beyond the limitations like caste , creed and religion. You can experience lot of peace and bliss. That is nothing but the heaven on earth. We can enjoy all this while we are alive. The amount of happiness and satisfaction we derive from this cannot be described in words. We can say we can experience the state of oneness with God. There is no such place in heaven or even in all the seven different worlds of this creation.
Baba narrated a story:
Once upon a time a fox did severe penance for God. Then God was pleased by its penance and appeared before it. He asked the fox if it had any wish. It asked for a state where it had no thirst and hunger. Then God says why do wish for something like that. Because after sometime you will be vexed with this state and do the penance to get back the thirst and hunger. So be happy now itself with all these. But the fox insists that it wants the same boon with no hunger and thirst. Then God grants the wish and disappears. By getting the boon the fox became very lazy and demotivated to do anything. All the other animals were busy hunting for their food the fox used to lie down lazy as it had no hunger. So there was no need to get up and do any work. As God told the fox earlier out of boredom it did the penance again and prayed to God to give it back its original nature of hunger and thirst. Likewise Baba says if you don`t have any hunger why do you need to have a family and children. So on this earth in this material world lets do service to the mankind which is service to God . Baba said that instead of thinking about the different ways of doing spiritual practices for liberation the best way is to serve the fellow human beings and blessed everyone to lead a healthy, happy , prosperous and peaceful life in this world.
Baba concluded His discourse by saying that we welcome and treat the other religions also with due respect. I emphasize that the youth should not be tempted towards the lifestyle of the other countries and migrate to other countries for earning more money. Instead focus on the progress and development of your own country and fellow beings. Cherish the rich heritage and culture of your own country. India is always well known for its unity in diversity. We must over come the barriers of caste, creed and religion and build a healthy and happy society.