Spiritual Advice from Sai Baba
1 One need not search for spiritual power, going around the world and spending a lot of money. You can stay in your own house and develop it within yourself. You do not have to run for it hither and thither. You are not a mere man, but God Himself. Do not be under the delusion that God is residing somewhere and that you have to search for Him; God is within you.
2 When an individual seeks fulfilment outside himself, he fails; if he seeks it within himself, he is successful in obtaining it. The divine principle within us is always accessible and always responsive. Pain is felt only as long as attachment or aversion to outer forms remains. Ultimate relief from pain can come only by the effacement of the ego, by the elimination of that which reacts to one thing as pain and to another as pleasure, and whose memory and conditioning sustains the recognition of the dualities of joy and grief.
3 No object in the world can be without a creator. Everything we use in our daily life has been made by someone. But, there are also objects which are beyond the capacity of humans to create. The stars which twinkle in the sky, the sun and moon that illumine the whole world, all these demonstrate the existence of a superior power. These are not human creations. Have they come into existence by themselves or have they been created by some invisible force? The supreme power which has the capacity to create such marvels has been described by the Vedas as Aprameya, one who is beyond all proofs and all limitations. He cannot be described in words. The primary object of man must be to seek to understand this Infinite Power.
4 The joy you seek and the Self-realization you aim at are both within you. They cannot be found in the external world. This condition is similar to that of a person who begs for food on the street even though there are sweets and delicacies in his own home. You imagine that the world and its objects confer happiness on you. This is an illusion created by your mind. It is only when you follow the discriminating intellect that you will be able to enjoy true peace and joy.
5 Life is a long garland of blossoms, fair and faded, fragrant and futile. They are, so to say, the good and bad of life. Man recognizes only the blossoms, happy over some, unhappy over most; he does not see the string on which they are bound together, the Brahmasutra, the everlasting and ever-fresh principle of divinity that holds all the short-lived flowers together. Just as sparrows during a storm fly towards a warm shelter, man too, must take shelter in the Divine principle to escape from the storms of life.
6 When boring is done to draw water from the bowels of the earth, the pipe has to be kept free of air so that the water will rise up. If the air enters, the water cannot rise up in the pipe. So too, be sure that attachment to worldly things does not mar your spiritual effort. Love will not rise up if sensual pleasure or personal pride invade the mind.
7 Love God with steadfast devotion and faith, have fear of sin and practise morality in society. If you want morality in society, you should develop love for God. If you love God, you will have fear of sin. Today people without fear of sin commit heinous acts. This contradicts the very nature of humans. The body is a house given to you on rent. The owner is God. Live there as long as He wills, thanking Him and paying Him the rent of faith and devotion
8 Tat Twam Asi: Thou are that. This is the highest and holiest teaching. You are the indestructible Atma. It is for the sake of the Atma that you have the physical body and so in the attempt to realise God here and now, you must be prepared to sacrifice the body at any moment. The body is only an instrument, an implement given by God. Let it serve its rightful purpose.
9 For establishing oneself in the contemplation of the omnipresent Lord, there are no limitations of time and place. There is nothing like a holy place or auspicious time for this. Wherever the mind revels in the contemplation of the Divine, that is the holy place. Whenever it does so, that is the auspicious moment.
10 All are God. You too are God, above and beyond the past, present and future. You are not the body which is tied up with time and which is caught in the coils of was, is and will be. Be ever fixed in the attitude that you are of the nature of Parabrahman (God); dwell constantly in this thought. Thus you can become a Jnani (person of wisdom).
11 Like the wind that covers everything with dust, desires and attachments cloud the mind. They have to be kept away so that the splendour of the self might merge in the splendour of the Higher self, the Paramatman (God). The process of purifying the consciousness of man in the crucible of single-pointed thought, speech, feeling and activity directed towards God, will rid him of all blemishes and defects. When the inner consciousness has been rendered pure and unsullied, God will reside therein. Then man will experience the vision of God within him.
12 The person who is free from all desires, who has not even the slightest inclination to possess or enjoy the sensory world, who has no trace of egoism and who is ever immersed in the bliss of God consciousness, is always untouched by any tinge of sorrow. He is firmly established in supreme joy and peace.
13 The mouse is the vehicle of Lord Vinayaka. What is the inner significance of the mouse? The mouse is attracted by smell and is considered as the embodiment of the sense of smell. The mouse is a symbol of attachment to 'Vasana', which means both smell and worldly tendencies. It is well known that if you want to catch a mouse, you place a strong-smelling bait inside the mouse-trap. The mouse also symbolises the darkness of night. The mouse can see well in the dark and moves about freely in the night. As Vinayaka's vehicle, the mouse signifies an object that leads man from darkness to light. Thus, the Vinayaka-principle signifies that which removes bad thoughts, bad habits and inculcates good thoughts and good conduct in people.
14 To realise God, it is not necessary to have wealth, gold, luxuries or scholarship. All that is needed is pure devotion. Without purity of thought, word and deed, it is impossible to experience the Divine. God cannot be realised through ostentation and conceit. The basic requisite is the shedding of selfishness and possessiveness so that one can engage oneself in actions in a disinterested spirit. Any person is entitled to embark on this quest irrespective of age, caste or gender.
15 Dharma (righteousness) is the foundation for the welfare of humanity, it is the eternal truth. When the effulgence of Dharma fails to illumine human relationships, mankind will become enveloped in the darkness of sorrow. Man must dedicate himself to Dharma so that he may live in peace and the world may also enjoy peace. He cannot acquire lasting peace nor can he win the grace of God through any means other than by leading a Dharmic life.
16 Never use foul words against another. Such words should never defile your tongue. Remember that there is God inside your heart, as well as in the hearts of everyone around you. He sees and hears everything. When you use harsh, angry and foul words against another, the God in you and the God in the other person is hurt. The tongue is a tool with which you can harm yourself and others too. So, be very careful; use it only for your good and for the good of others. The best way to use it is by speaking kind words, repeating the Name of God and singing His Glory.
17 Man does not live by food alone. In fact he lives by the power of the Atma. So you must use your strength of body and mind, wealth and education with intelligence, in order to realize the power of the soul. Without discrimination, what is the use of physical strength? Everyday, when you take food, you are offering eatables to the Fire that God has put in you to digest food. You have to eat in a prayerful mood, in profound gratitude. The Bhagavad Gita says that the fire that cooked the meal is God; the meal is God, the eater is God; the purpose of eating is to carry on the work entrusted by God, or pleasing to God; and the fruit of that work is progress towards God.
18 The supreme message of the life of Lord Sri Krishna is the uniqueness of the Prema Tattwa (Principle of Love). This message is all the world needs. Krishna is the embodiment of love. This love can be understood only through love. It is strong, brilliant and unbreakable like diamond. It is extremely precious. If you want to secure such divine love, your love for God must be equally strong. You can cut diamond only with diamond. Love begets love. Hatred can only beget hatred. Jealousy begets jealousy. Anger breeds anger. Therefore, if you want to foster love, you have to get rid of hatred, jealousy and anger.
19 One's actions decide one's destiny. It is of no avail to blame others for one's misfortune and misery. Nor is it correct to blame God as being partial or cruel. When one plants the seed of a bitter fruit, one can only expect a bitter fruit to grow. God is only a witness to the chain of causes and consequences. The way to escape this predicament is by dedicating every act to God in a spirit of detachment
20 Man has springs of joy and peace in his heart, even as a child. Cultivate them, give them fullest freedom to gush forth and fertilize all fields of activity, that is the real purpose of education. Man is born to be perpetually happy, but he is always in misery. This is tragic; it is like the man who died of thirst though he was standing knee-deep in the running stream. The source of happiness is in you. Real education has to teach man how to tap this spring of joy.
21 Why is man so pathetically afflicted today with fear and anxiety? Are we to search for the reasons outside us or do they lie within us? The reason lies in the false emphasis we have laid on things of the material world, ignoring matters of the spirit. The body that man bears is essentially a receptacle of God. It is a temple where God is installed, where God is the Master. Hence, it does not behove you to pander to its every whim. Instead, realise it to be a very valuable instrument in your journey to God.
22 Education has to cultivate humility and discipline; but today it is yielding a harvest of pride and envy. 'Vidya' means: 'Vid' (Light) and 'Ya' (that which gives). So education has to shed light and illumine the darkness in the mind and the intellect. It does not indicate mere bookish knowledge. It has to clarify the kinship of man with man and his intimate relationship with nature. It must harmonize one's earlier experiences with one's present ones, and guide one to beneficial experiences in the future. It must validate the knowledge gained from the books by the experiences and in the process make man grow, until he becomes Divine.
23 Many of you have problems of health or mental worry of some sort or the other. They are mere baits by which you have been brought to My presence, so that you may obtain My grace and strengthen your faith in the Divine. Problems and worries are really to be welcomed as they teach you the lessons of humility and reverence.
24 The very first Sadhana (spiritual exercise) one must adopt is the cultivation of inner silence, to put an end to the continuous dialogue with the mind. Let the mind rest for a while. Do not project on the mind irrelevant details or pollute it with fumes of envy and greed. Every idea we entertain, either good or bad, gets imprinted on the mind. An element of weakness and unsteadiness is thus introduced in the mind. Keep the mind calm and clear. Do not agitate it every moment by your non-stop dialogue.
25 Life has to be an incessant process of repair and reconstruction, of discarding evil and developing goodness. Paddy grains have to be de-husked in order to become edible as rice. Cotton has to be converted as yarn to become wearable cloth. Gold nuggets have to be heated in the crucible to remove the impurities. Man too, must purify his impulses, emotions and desires and cultivate good thoughts, words and deeds so that he can progress spiritually.
26 The blazing fire of Jnana (wisdom) which convinces you that all this is Brahman (God), will consume in to ashes all traces of your egoism and worldly attachment. You must become intoxicated with the nectar of union with Brahman. That is the ultimate goal of Dharma (righteousness) and Karma (action).
27 Impure gold is melted in the crucible and it emerges shining and bright. The mind rendered impure by Rajas (passion) and Tamas (sloth), by anger and conceit, by the impressions of a thousand attachments and desires, can be made bright and resplendent if it is put in to the crucible of Vicahara (enquiry) and heated on the coals of Viveka (discrimination). The brightness is due to the light of Realization, the knowledge that you are the Atma.
28 Whatever the crisis, however deep the misery, do not allow your grip over the mind to get loose. Tighten it further, fixing your eyes on the higher values. Do not allow the mind to stray away from the tabernacle of the heart. Make it bow before the Atma within.
29 "I am God. You are God too but the only difference between you and me is I am aware of my divinity but you are not!"
30 Man seeks joy in far places and peace in quiet spots; but, the spring of joy is in his heart, the heaven of peace is in him. Even when he walks on the moon, man has to take with him his fears, his anxieties, his prejudices and his pet aversions. Have faith in God, and in the correctness of moral living. Then, you can have peace and joy, whatever may be the fare that fortune offers you.
31 Whoever subdues his egoism, conquers his selfish desires, destroys his baser feelings and impulses and gives up the natural tendency to regard the body as the self, he is surely on the path of Dharma (righteousness). The goal of Dharma is the merging of the wave in the ocean, the merging of the self in the Higher self.
32 The body, the sense organs, the mind and the intellect are the instruments for a human being. Only when one understands the secrets of these instruments will one be able to comprehend the Atmic Principle. If you cannot understand the vesture you are wearing, how can you understand the mystery of the infinite, indwelling Spirit? The body is the basic instrument for all the actions in life and for the acquisition of all knowledge and skills. The body should be regarded primarily as an instrument for the realization of the Divine. Attachment to the body for physical pleasures should be given up. It is essentially sacred and precious for it is the abode of the Atma and should be used only for sacred purposes.
33 Look at the clouds that wander across the sky. Note that they have no intimate lasting relationship with the sky, which they hide for a short while. Such is the relationship between your body and you; you who are of the nature of Paramatma (God) and the body which is but a temporary, passing cloud that hides the Truth.
34 The impure impulses bind you to the wheel of Samsara (worldly existence) and tie you down to this earth. The giant tree called mind has two seeds: Vasana (impulses) and Prana (life breath). The seed grows in to the tree, the tree yields the seed. The Prana moves because of the Vasanas. The Vasanas operate because of the Prana. But if beneficent Vasanas are encouraged, they will not bind the mind. They are like seeds that are fried, which will not sprout. These Vasanas are characterised by such activities as the association with holy persons, reverence for the guru, charity, fortitude, love, patience, truth, courage, sense control, etc.
35 When a river reaches the ocean, it becomes one with the ocean and the river ceases to exist. Before it joins the ocean, the river is bound by its banks and it has a distinct form. But when it merges in the ocean, it loses its form, name and taste. Likewise, when "man" merges in the Infinite "I" only the Infinite "I" remains and the limited human entity disappears
36 There is a tendency to interpret renunciation as merely giving up worldly attachments. Renunciation truly means attaining perfect equanimity. People may criticize you or praise you, take them both with a sense of equanimity. One may try to harm you while another may try to do you a good turn; treat both situations with equanimity. In one business venture, you may incur a loss while in another you may make a profit; treat them both alike. Equanimity is the hallmark of yoga (spiritual attainment).
37 There are two forms of Love. One binds you to God. The other binds you to the world. The mind is responsible for either of these states. The mind can be compared to a lock. If you turn the key to the right, the lock opens. If you turn the key to the left, it gets locked. The heart is the key to the lock of the mind. If you turn the key towards the world, you have attachment and bondage; when you turn it towards God, you achieve liberation. That is why, it has been declared that the mind is the cause of human bondage or liberation. When it is filled with wisdom, it makes a man a saint. When it is associated with ignorance, it turns into an agent of death.
38 When you know that you are but a spark of the Divine and that everything around you too is a spark of the same Divine principle, you look upon all with reverence and true Love; your heart is filled with supreme joy and the assertions of the ego are rendered ineffective. Man seeks joy in far off places and peace in quiet spots; but, the spring of joy is in his heart, the heaven of peace is within him. Even when he walks on the moon man has to take with him his fears, his anxieties, his prejudices and his aversions. Have faith in God and in the correctness of moral living. Then, you can have peace and joy, whatever may be the fare fortune offers you.
39 He who considers himself free is free indeed, and he who considers himself bound remains bound. Constantly think yourself as being eternal, unlimited, Consciousness-Bliss, and you will be free and happy. So long as you trap yourself in body consciousness you are like a lion moping about in a musty cave. Do not feel satisfied by saying, 'I am the body'. Roar and say, 'I am the Universal Absolute. I am all that is, was and will be.' Pettiness, ego, time and space - all will flee from your heart and you will realise your own Divinity.
40 Believe firmly that the body is the residence of God, that the food you eat is the offering you make to your deity; that bathing is the ceremonial bathing of the Divine Spirit in you; the ground you walk upon is His domain; the joy you derive is His gift; the grief you experience is His lesson that you tread the path more carefully. Remember Him at all times; many people think of God only when grief overtakes them; of course, it is good to do so; it is better than seeking the help of those who are also equally liable to grief. But, it is infinitely better to think of God in grief and in joy, in peace and strife. The proof of rain is in the wetness of the ground; the proof of Bhakthi (devotion) is in the Shanti (equanimity) the bhaktha (devotee) has, Shanthi which protects him against the onslaughts of success and failure, fame and dishonour, gain and loss.
41 'Gu' means darkness and 'Ru' means light. Guru (spiritual preceptor) scatters darkness through light; he imparts wisdom which roots out our ignorance. 'Gu' also connotes 'Gunaatheetha' (One who is beyond 'gunas' or attributes) and 'Ru' connotes 'Roopavarjitha' (One who has transcended Form). Do not seek human Gurus, however great their reputation. They are bound by the qualities they have developed and they are still in need of the Form so that they may conceive of Reality. They themselves being limited, how can they communicate to you the Unlimited? Pray to the Parabrahma Principle (transcendental principle) or God within you to reveal Itself. Accept that as the Guru and you will be illumined
42 Man is a prisoner of his senses as long as the feelings of 'I' and 'mine' remain. Man strays into misery and pain, because he aspires for the temporary and the trivial. He ignores the voice of God that warns and guides from within, and pays the penalty for the transgression. Life is to be dedicated not to mere food and drink and catering to the cravings of the senses. It has to be devoted to the attainment of the bliss that God alone can confer.
43 The sense of duality arises when the Aham ('I') assumes a specific form and name. Ahamkara (the ego-sense) is the result of this change in form. It is only when one dissociates himself from name and form that one can discover one's true divine self. To forget one's essential divinity and identify oneself with a changing and impermanent form is the cause of bondage and sorrow. It is the mind that is the cause of this wrongful identification, because of its involvement with the external world and the impressions received through the senses. When the workings of the mind are understood, the reality of the Atma, which is beyond the mind, will be experienced as the one omnipresent, immutable principle.
44 With faith in the omnipresence of the Divine, man should engage himself in good deeds, cherish good thoughts and dedicate his life to good practices. His words should be words of truth. The ornaments he should wear are the necklace of truthful speech, the earrings of listening to sacred lore and the bracelet of charity. Money is of the nature of manure. Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air. Spread it wide, scatter it over fields, it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty.
45 Broaden your vision. Cultivate the spirit of love. Being endowed with the human form, you must strive to develop human values and not stray away from the path of righteousness. Fill your minds with sublime thoughts, and your hearts with divine feelings. Consider everyone as your brother and sister. Only then will you realize your unity with all creation. Redeem your lives by revering your parents, honouring your teachers and developing loving faith in God. Be aware of the divinity that is inherent in every being. Thereby, you will grow in self-esteem. Fill your life with joy. Be happy and make others happy. This will please God.
46 Food is God. Everything that keeps us going is God. Food is a manifestation of God outwardly. Within us the vital force is God. All things that sustain life are expressions of God. The great life force is God. Therefore, we must not treat food in a contemptuous way, in an angry mood or in a mood of displeasure. So food should not be eaten with disregard or in a huff or in a criticizing manner. What is this food you have put upon this plate? . We must not be in such temper when we eat food. We must eat food in a worshipful manner and must not waste food
47 true riches are. If we begin to desire immediately we admit our poverty. Desire is poverty. Desire is a feeling of inadequacy and when we begin to desire we are a beggar already. The secret of prosperity is to affirm our true nature. Be always contended and put a notice on the mind. No admission for desire. The moment a desire arises just reject it and say Desire get out and then we will begin to experience that the desired object comes by itself to us. As long as we run after a thing we cannot get it. The moment you turn away from a thing it follows us by itself. This is an eternal law. This is a law which has been proven in the lives of all those who have discovered it and applied to themselves.
48 You wear coloured glasses and see everything through those glasses. Correct your vision; the world will get corrected. Reform yourselves and the world will get reformed. You create the world of your choice. You see many, because you seek the many, not the One. Try to subsume the many in the One - first the family, then the community, the state, the nation and finally the world. Thus, progressively march on towards more and more inclusive loyalties and reach the stage of universality in thought, word and deed. This is the Sadhana (spiritual endeavour) of Love, for, Love is expansion. The individual has to be Universalised and expanded into Vishwaroopa (the cosmic form of the Divine).
49 The human body has been given to you for a grand purpose - that of realizing the Lord within. If you have a fully equipped car in good running condition would you stow it away in the garage? The car is primarily for going on a journey. Only then is it worthwhile to own it. So too with the body. Proceed, march on towards the goal. Learn how to use the faculties of the body, the senses, the intellect and the mind, for achieving that goal
50 The nature of Divine love is different from that of human attachment. It is timeless and constant. Make it your sole ideal. It is inherent in you; all that needs to be done is to manifest it in the proper way. If there is sugar at the bottom of a tumbler of water, you can make the water sweet by stirring the sugar to dissolve it. Likewise, your heart is a tumbler at the bottom of which there is Divinity. Take the spoon of Buddhi (intellect), stir the heart by the process of Sadhana (spiritual effort). Then, the Divinity in the heart will permeate the entire body.
51 Man has the choice of two paths - the Pravritti Marga (the outward path of involvement) or the Nivritti Marga (the inward path and non-involvement). When involved in the world, man is confronted with the six internal foes - lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hatred. When detached from the world, man is helped by six internal friends - sense and mind control, fortitude, contentment, faith and equanimity. The human body is deified as the temple of God; but the foes have to be evicted and the friends admitted before the Divine can establish itself there.
52 Broaden your heart and make it as magnanimous as that of God Himself. If you look at a balloon, at first, it is flat. If you go on blowing air into it, it becomes bigger and bigger, and at one stage it will burst. Though beginning with the ideas of 'I' and 'mine', if you ultimately move on to the stage where you realize that "all are mine", "all are one"; gradually you will become broader in your vision and will merge in God who is omnipresent. You should recognise the truth that man's life consists of making the journey from the stage of 'I' to the stage of 'We'.
53 The spark of Love in you has to be cherished and nourished; then, every being will be God, every act will be Divine and every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with love and sweetened with that nectar. When you love the God in all beings, He responds with love. Love God, though tribulation may be your lot, love Him though you are refused and rebuked; for, it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleared of blemish.
54 Man suffers from numerous ills because he has not understood the purpose of life. The first thing he has to realize is that God is one, by whatever name and in whatever form the Divine is worshipped. The One chose to become the many. The Vedas declare, "God is one; the wise hail Him by many names". It is the imagination of the observers which accounts for the apparent multiplicity of the Divine. The sun is only one, but its reflection appears in many vessels. Likewise, God is present in the hearts of different beings in varied forms and natures.
55 The mind can be used as a bridge to lead one from the manifest to the unmanifest, from the individual to the universal. Cleanse the mind and mould it into an instrument for loving thoughts and expansive ideas. Cleanse the tongue and use it for fostering fearlessness and friendship. Cleanse the hands; let them desist from injury and violence. Let them help, heal and guide. This is the highest sadhana (spiritual discipline).
56 Keep the mind away from base desires that run after fleeting pleasures. Turn your thoughts away from these and direct them towards the permanent bliss derivable from the knowledge of the Divinity within. Keep before the mind's eye the faults and failings of sensory pleasures and worldly happiness. Thus you will grow in discrimination, non-attachment and achieve spiritual progress.
57 It is impossible to know the Truth of the Atma either through the study of manifold scriptures, or by the acquisition of scholarship, or by the sharpening of the intellect, or by the pursuit of dialectical discussions. A pure heart is the best mirror for the reflection of Truth. All the spiritual disciplines are for the purification of the heart. As soon as it becomes pure, the Truth flashes upon it in an instant.
58 There is no use arguing and quarrelling among yourselves about the nature of Divinity. Examine and experience, then you will know the Truth. Do not proclaim before you are convinced; be silent while you are still undecided or engaged in evaluating. Discard all evil in you before you can attempt to understand the mystery. And, when faith sprouts, fence it with discipline and self-control, so that the tender shoot might be guarded against cattle, the motley crowd of cynics and unbelievers. When your faith grows into a big tree, those very cattle can lie down in the shade that it will spread.
59 Every act done with the consciousness of the body is bound to be egoistic. Selfless Seva (service) can never be accomplished while being immersed in the body-consciousness. However, consciousness of Deva (God) instead of Deha (body) will bring forth the splendour of Prema (love). With that as inspiration and guide, man can achieve much good, without ever knowing or proclaiming that he is selfless in outlook. For him, it is all God's will, His work, His glory
60 Service is God. Why has God endowed man with a body, a mind and an intellect? Feel and empathise with the suffering through your mind, plan using your intelligence and use the body to serve those are in need. Offer that act of service to God; worship Him with that flower. Put into daily practice the ideals that Sai has been propagating and make them known all over the world by standing forth as living examples of their greatness.
61 One may ask, if God is controlling everything, what is the need for human effort? Yes, God is all powerful. But at the same time human effort is also necessary, for without it man cannot enjoy the benefit of God's grace. It is only when you have both Divine grace and human endeavour that you can experience bliss, just as you can enjoy the breeze of a fan only when you have both a fan and electric power to operate it.
62 Man has in him the capacity to grow into a pure Divine personality. But, due to ignorance and waywardness, he has become stunted. He has chained himself to low ideals and so, he has fallen into fear and grief. The Upanishads exhort man to awaken and become master of himself - "Utthishtta, jaagratha, praapya vaaraan nibodhatha!" (Arise, Awake and stop not until the goal is reached!). Man is overcome by the sleep of ignorance and has forgotten the true values of life. He is obsessed only with material progress. Unless he is awakened to the spiritual values of life, there cannot be any peace and prosperity in the world.
63 The chief goal of man is to practice and propagate the principle of truth. One has to practise truth before preaching it. Come what may, one should have the courage and conviction to tread the path of truth. Even at the cost of food, raiment and shelter one should be prepared to practise truth and righteousness
64 Buddha undertook various spiritual practices in order to realize his true Self. But none of these practices could show him the path to Nirvana (liberation). Ultimately, he realized that Nirvana lies in making use of the five senses in a sacred manner. He understood that Japa (repetition of God's name), Dhyana (meditation), Yajna (ritual of sacrifice), Yoga, etc. were mere physical activities. These spiritual practices are needed only for those who are attached to the body. One who abides in the Self need not undertake any of these practices. Buddha taught that Nirvana can be attained only by cultivating Samyak Drishti (sacred vision), Samyak Vaak (sacred speech), Samyak Shravanam (sacred listening), Samyak Bhavam (sacred feeling) and Samyak Kriya (sacred action).
65 We should try and seek fulfilment in our everyday life by moulding our mundane activities on spiritual values. You must have your hands in society and your heads in the forest. That is to say, whatever the activities with which you are occupied, you must be steadfast in holding on to spiritual ideals. This alone is the true spiritual exercise, which will bestow lasting peace on you. Remember that you are the Atma (spirit). All your spiritual exercises should be directed towards establishing yourself in this firm conviction and unwavering faith, culminating in your life's fulfilment. All your senses should be sanctified by offering the actions performed through them to God.
66 You should not let any weakness in you dissuade you from the right path. If in a big tank there is a small hole, all the water will flow out. In the same manner, even if you have a small sensory desire in you, then all that you have learnt will be of no avail. Attraction for the world distracts you from the reality. You should guard yourselves by desisting error and resisting evil. Good work and selfless love will help you to tread the path of wisdom.
67 Education does not consist in the accumulation of information and facts from a multitude of books. Reading of books can only enrich you in the information that you may gather but can never give or promote good qualities. Good education is a process by which character is improved and by which one will be able to use one's intelligence and sharpen one's mind so as to distinguish right from wrong. It is only when the contents of education are closely linked with ideals of sacrifice, forbearance, truth, and love that the youth will get the benefit of education. Students will never get any benefit out of education if it is devoid of these noble principles.
68 God is the Antharyaami (Indweller), and so, when He is sought in the outer world He cannot be caught. Love Him with no other thought; feel that without Him nothing is worth anything; feel that He is all. Then you become His and He becomes yours. There is no nearer kinship than that. You have come from God; you are a spark of His Glory; you are a wave of that Ocean of bliss; you will get peace only when you again merge in Him. Like a child who has lost his way, you can have joy only when you rejoin your mother.
69 A green gourd sinks in water; but a dry one floats. Become dry, rid yourselves of attachments, desires, avoid anxieties, worries. Then you can float unaffected on the waters of change and chance. Even water, when it becomes steam, can rise into the sky. Become light, lose weight, bale out so that you may rise higher and higher. Yoga is defined as chiththa vriththi nirodha - the prevention of impulses that agitate the inner consciousness of man. These impulses add to the ballast. Be free from desires that drag you down; have only the yearning to come face to face with the Truth. That Truth is shining inside you, waiting to be discovered.
70 You feel the presence of God when silence reigns. In the excitement and confusion of the marketplace, you cannot hear His Footfall. He is Shabdabrahma, resounding when all is filled with silence. That is why I insist on silence, the practice of low speech and minimum sound. Talk low, talk little, talk in whispers, sweet and true.
71 Life becomes sweeter with a little dose of denial; if you satisfy all your desires, life begins to turn insipid. Deny yourselves many of the things your mind runs after and you will find that you become tough enough to bear both good fortune and bad.
72 Compassion towards all creatures is the greatest virtue; wilful injury to any creature is the worst vice. Know this to be true; spread love and joy through compassion, and be full of joy and peace yourself. You do not have joy and peace now, mainly because your vision is warped and blurry. It is directed towards the faults and failings of others, instead of towards one's own. Really speaking, inquiry and investigation should begin with oneself. For what we see in others is the reflection of our own selves, our own prejudices and preferences.
73 The cause of man's suffering is that he has constricted his love to himself and his family. He should develop a broad feeling that all are his brothers and sisters. Expansion of love is life; contraction of love is death.
74 When an iron filing comes in contact with a magnet, the iron filing also gets the properties of a magnet. Likewise, the knower of Brahman (the Universal Absolute) becomes Brahman. You are all children of immortality, you are eternal. The relationship between you and God is eternal. The body changes through many births, but the mind and deeds continue from birth to birth. Just as an accountant totals the accounts of the day and carries the balance over onto the next day, our mind follows to the next life. You should be able to control the mind by controlling the senses, then you can merge in truth and experience oneness with God.
75 If you desire that others should honor you, you should honor them too. If others must serve you, you must serve them first. As a matter of fact, no joy can equal the joy of serving others. Be like a clock; it has no dislikes. It shows the correct time to everyone, irrespective of the person who sees the time.
76 What is Jnana or wisdom? It is to know your own true self, that is, self knowledge. Self knowledge is Self realization. Jnana calls for the control of thoughts by appropriate efforts. Constant contemplation on the Self is the means of experiencing the direct vision of God, and Bhakthi (devotion) is the means to achieve it. Whether one takes to the Jnana-Marga (the path of wisdom) or the Bhakti Marga (the path of Devotion), the goal is the same, illumination.
79 Man is not aware of the grand goal of his pilgrimage. He is straying into wrong roads which lead him only to disaster. He places his faith in objects outside himself and strives to derive joy from and through them. He does not know that all the joys spring forth from inside him; he only invests the outer objects with his own joy drawn from inside him. He envelopes the outer objects with his inner joy and then, experiences it as though it is from that outer object
80 How to keep in constant contact with the Higher Self within us? The best means is the simple exercise of Naamasmarana, the repetition of any one of the glorious Names of the Lord. People indulge in all types of purposeless gossip and scandal; they find time and interest in these degrading pursuits; but, they have no inclination to awaken the Divine in them by constant dwelling on the splendour of Creation and the Creator. See only such scenes as will foster this discipline; speak only of elevating subjects; listen only to ennobling topics; think and feel only pure thoughts and emotions. That is the way to develop the Divinity inherent in each one.
81 Dharma is universal. There is a test that may be applied to any action to determine if it is according to Dharma. Let not your deeds harm or injure another. This flows from the recognition that the divine spark is the same in every form, and if you injure another you are injuring the same divinity that is in yourself. Dharma enables you to come to the recognition that anything that is bad for another form is also bad for you. The test of Dharmic action is stated very clearly in saying: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".