A farmer clears and levels the land, removes the stones and thorns, ploughs and prepares the field, manures and strengthens the soil, waters and fertilizes it. Then after sowing, transplanting, weeding, spraying, and waiting, he reaps the crop. After winnowing and threshing, he stacks the corn. All these various processes are for the sake of feeding the stomach. So too one must feel that all hunger and thirst, joy and sorrow, grief and loss, suffering and anger, food and appetite are but impulses that help us march forward to attain the Presence of the Lord. When you have this attitude, sin will never tarnish any of your activities. Your appetite for hunger and material desires will also vanish, without a vestige of name or form. On the other hand, if you treat the appetites as more important, you will be sure to earn only sorrow, not joy. It will be impossible to acquire peace.
“Makara Sankranthi marks the movement of the Sun from the southern horizon to the northern horizon. This northward movement of the Sun has immense spiritual significance. The north is symbolised by Himaachala. Hima means snow. It is pure, untainted and soothingly cool. All these endow it with the quality of Prashanthi (perfect peace). Achala means that which is steady and unshakeable. Himaachala does not refer to the physical Himalayan mountains. It represents that which is cool, peaceful and steady. From this day the Sun is said to move towards such a state. The Sun symbolises the vision of man. The northward movement of the Sun is a call to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is cool, peaceful and unchanging, i.e. towards the divinity within.
Years come and go, so also pleasure and pain. Nothing confers permanent bliss except the experience of the Atma (Self). Man cannot attain peace and happiness from his actions unless he has sacred feelings within. Many people expect the New Year to confer happiness and prosperity on them. But in fact, New Year only confers on you the results of your past actions. In order to atone for your past sins, you have to cultivate sacred qualities and involve yourself in sacred activities more and more in the New Year. In fact, Bliss is within you, it originates from your sacred feelings. So, you have to manifest bliss from within – it cannot be bestowed on you by others. None can take away the bliss from you and you cannot obtain it from outside.
There was a huge halo of splendour illuminating the sky over the village when Christ was born. This meant that He, who was to overcome the darkness of evil and ignorance had taken birth, that He will spread the Light of Love in the heart of man and councils of humanity.
Appearances of splendour, and other signs to herald the era that has dawned are natural when incarnations happen on earth. Jesus was to shatter the darkness that had enveloped the world and the aura of light was a sign that announced the event.
The Masters arrive in answer to man’s prayer.
“Thamaso maa jyothir gamaya” (Lead us from darkness unto Light!)
25th December 2022
Make your hearts pure, your activities holy, and your feelings beneficial to all.
That is the best way of celebrating the Birth of Christ. – Sathya Sai Baba
It was to teach mankind the greatness of divine love that Jesus came. He resolved on three tasks: one, to be filled with Divine love and to share it with others – this was the main purpose of his life; two, he should not succumb to praise or censure in carrying out his mission; three, to inspire in others the conviction that the Divinity within is omnipresent. Jesus considered spreading the gospel of love as his foremost task. He encountered many ordeals in carrying out his mission, but he regarded them all as challenges to be overcome. He was determined to treat pleasure and pain, and sickness and failure with equanimity. He could not bear to see anyone suffer. Every human being is potentially a messenger of God. Humanness demands that everyone should manifest the Divinity within him. Everyone should be a real messenger of God and strive to promote peace and security in the world. There is no other path to be followed.
God’s message is sacred and totally free from self-interest.
– Divine Discourse, Dec 25, 1995
It is therefore appropriate that the Birthday of Jesus, who felt the need to save mankind and who
strove to achieve it, is celebrated; but, the celebration must take the form of adherence to the
teachings, loyalty to the principles, practicing the disciplines and experiencing the Awareness of
“The Avatar comes to reveal man to himself, to restore to him his birthright of inner Bliss. He does not found a new creed, to breed a new faction, to instill a new God. If such happens, it is the consequence of the evil in man. The Avatar comes as Man in order to demonstrate that Man is Divine, in order to be within reach of Man. The human mind cannot grasp the Absolute, Attributeless Principle; it is Abstract and beyond the ready of Speech, Mind and Intellect. Fire is inherent in the matchstick but it is only when it is struck as flame that we can benefit from it. The Formless has to manifest as Form; the Formless has to appear with Form. Then only can man listen, learn, understand, follow and be saved, through the Bliss of that experience. He lights the flame of Realization in each; and the age-old ignorance is destroyed in an instant.”
– Sathya Sai Baba (Baba the Breath of Sai p.305)
Golden Chariot Procession
“In this human form of Sai every Divine Entity, every Divine Principle, that is to say all Names and Forms ascribed by man to God, are manifest.”
– Sathya Sai Baba (The Embodiment of Love p.103)
“I have come to repair the ancient highway to God…
Avatars do not succeed or fail; what they will must occur; what they plan must take place… I have come to inscribe a golden chapter in the history of humanity, wherein falsehood will fail, truth will triumph, and virtue will reign. Character will confer power then, not knowledge, or inventive skill, or wealth. Wisdom will be enthroned in the councils of nations.” – Sathya Sai Baba (The Embodiment of Love p.174)
“My Birthday is the Date when Divinity Blossoms in your Heart”
– Sathya Sai Baba
It is a matter of great bliss to be loved by many. To win over the hearts of so many is a sign of Divinity. I love everyone and all love Me. Do not hurt anyone by your harsh words and enter into any evil paths. Recognise the truth that God pervades everything from microcosm to macrocosm. With Shraddha and Vishwasa (sincerity of purpose and faith) and self-confidence, you can achieve anything in the world. Love God from the depths of your heart. Follow Swami’s commands and you will attain everything and be victorious in all your endeavours!
“With holy thoughts in you on this auspicious day, you must go out into the world and spread your sacred feelings among others. Don’t confine your feelings to yourselves or retain them only during your stay here. Spread them wherever you go”.
– Divine Discourse: 23 November 1997
“Today, thousands of people have gathered here. What has brought them together here? Love is the main cause. Without love, but few of you would have come from such distant places. How does this love express itself? It is a process of give and take. You have to receive God’s love, and you have to offer your love to Him. But, both are one and the same love. God’s love is reflected in you. That is the meaning of the declaration in the Bhagawad Geetha: “A spark of Mine is present in every being.”
For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers and for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I incarnate from age to age.
Whenever disharmony (asanthi) overwhelms the world, the Lord will incarnate in human form to establish the modes of earning peace (prasanthi) and to reeducate the human community in the paths of peace. At the present time, strife and discord have robbed peace and unity from the family, the school, the society, the religions, the cities, and the state.
“This day of 19th November is celebrated as Ladies Day in order to delve into the sacred qualities of women and disseminate them. Women are the repositories of Truth and Culture. Though earth is one, the plants vary depending on the seeds sown. The womb of mother symbolizes Mother Earth. As is the seed of thought sown in it, so is the fruit it yields. You cannot expect mangoes by sowing a neem seed. So, the mother should be filled with good thoughts, good words and good deeds. Only then can her children be virtuous.”
– Divine Discourse: November 19, 2000
Wherever women are honored there is prosperity and happiness. Women should never be slighted or treated with disrespect. A home in which the housewife sheds tears will be bereft of all prosperity. This is the ancient conception of the role of women in the home”.
Subsequent to the Divine Marriage, ‘The Divine Couple’ along with Lord Venugopala Swami were escorted out in a royal procession as part of the annual Rathotsavam. ‘The Gods’ mounted on a chariot were taken out along the road in royal procession.
(Rathotsavam – 18th November 2008)
Photo by author
18th November 2022
The Rathotsavam (Chariot Festival) at Prasanthi Nilayam is a tradition that goes back to the early 1950’s. This festival marks the beginning of the Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. On this day, the students of Bhagawan, chanting Vedic hymns and singing Bhajans, lead a procession with the idol of Lord Krishna on a rath (chariot) and the idols of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Mother Sita on a palanquin from Sai Kulwant Hall to the Old Mandir, or what is now the Kalyana Mantapam, in the village of Puttaparthi. After worship is offered to the deities, the idols of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita return to the Mandir. Later, in the evening, the idols are taken out in a procession in the village of Puttaparthi, amidst joyous celebration by the villagers.
Global Akhanda Bhajan, the timeless intonation promoting Universal Peace and Harmony is one of the most significant and far-reaching annual spiritual exercise initiated by Bhagawan way back in the mid forties.
Global Akhanda Bhajan from Prasanthi Nilayam
(Saturday Evening Beginning – 12th November 2022)
Global Akhanda Bhajan from Prasanthi Nilayam
(Sunday Evening Conclusion – 13th November 2022)
Ever since, every second week-end of the month of November has been a fixed schedule for this 24 hour marathon non-stop bhajan saga.
12th November 2022
13th November 2022
The Akhanda Bhajan had its origin way back in 1945, started in Bangalore by a group of eight families. Upon the culmination of the year-long Thursday bhajans, they had been conducting quite regularly from 1944, during the World War II time, the group of eight families showed up to Bhagawan in Puttaparthi seeking blessings for conducting bhajans. The Divine Visionary that He is, Bhagawan blessed the group, praising the idea of bhajan singing and named it Akhanda Bhajan. Bhagawan even promised the group that He would bless the same with His physical presence. This grand Spiritual exercise has been going on uninterrupted ever since and the years that passed had been fortunate to have the spirited physical presence of Bhagawan during the occasion.
“Today we are having the Akhanda Bhajan. This is being done not for the sake of one individual, one nation or one community. It is for the welfare of humanity as a whole.
The bhajans that are sung permeate the ether in the form of sound waves and fill the entire atmosphere. Thereby, the whole environment is purified. Breathing in this purified atmosphere, our hearts get purified. Reciting the Lord’s name is a process of give and take. Singing the Lord’s name should become an exercise in mutual sharing of joy and holiness. It should be remembered that the sounds we produce reverberate in the atmosphere. They remain permanently in the ether as waves and outlast the individual uttering the sounds.
– Divine Discourse on Akhanda Bhajan day on November 8, 1986
Deepavali, the festival of Lights is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of ‘Ashwin’ of the Indian lunar Calendar.
It usually falls in late October or early November.
Deepavali or Diwali, , is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness over evil and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The word ‘Deepavali’ literally means ‘rows of lamps’. The lamp is not merely the symbol of knowledge of Truth, but also of the one Atma (spirit) that shines in all.
“Today is the day on which Naraka, the demon was killed. What does this event signify? It signifies killing the demon in man. ‘Nara’ means man and ‘Asura’ means demon. This demon is present in every human being. It is not necessary to acquire great weapons to kill this demon. Man is called ‘Nara’ because there is Atma (spirit) in him. That Atma is the embodiment of love. It is possible to kill the demons only through love. Therefore, realize the Atma Tathva and develop love. This is true Bhakti (devotion)”.
– Divine Discourse: November 4, 2002
“The flame of a lamp has two significant qualities. One is to banish darkness; the other is a continuous upward movement. Even if a lamp is kept in a pit, the flame is directed upwards. The ancients have taught that the upward movement of the flame denotes the path to wisdom and the path to divinity. However, the external light can dispel only the external darkness, but not the darkness of ignorance in man.
Asato mA Sadgamaya |
Tamaso mA Jyotirgamaya |
MRRityormA AmRRitaM Gamaya || Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi Lead us from the Unreal to the Real Lead us from Darkness to Light Lead us from Death to Immortality Om Peace, Peace, Peace
Deepavali ushers in the light of prosperity
From the very name of today’s festival–Deepavali–it can be seen that the Divine effulgence is manifest in it. Deepavali means “the array of lights.” “Thamasomaa jyotirgamaya” (Lead me from darkness to light) is an Upanishadic prayer: This means that where there is darkness light is needed. What is this darkness? Sorrow is one form of darkness. Peacelessness is another. Loss is another. Disappointment is one form of darkness. Misery is yet another. Lack of enthusiasm is another. All these are different forms of darkness. To get rid of the darkness of sorrow, you have to light the lamp of happiness. To dispel the darkness of disease, you have to install the light of health. To get over the darkness of losses and failures, you have to usher in the light of prosperity.
‘Sa’ means Divine; ‘ai’ or ‘ayi’ means Mother and ‘Baba’ means Father. The Name, Sai Baba means Divine Mother and Father. Sai’s descent is to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood and to affirm and illumine the Divine (Aathmic) Reality within each and every being. The Divine takes the form as Avatar to reveal Himself as the basis for the entire Cosmos, and to instruct all to recognise the common divine heritage that binds everyone; so that human beings can work hard to rid themselves of animalistic qualities. I am the embodiment of Love; Love is My instrument. I reveal truth about Myself for, I desire that you should contemplate on this and derive joy. Also, may you be inspired to observe the disciplines laid down and progress towards the goal of Self-Realisation. Realise the Sai who shines in your hearts. (Divine Discourse, 19 June 1974)