Eternal Thoughts - February 08, 2021

If you lead your lives with a spirit of great humility and surrender, having a check on your desires and unnecessary wants, you will become a role model for other youth; as youth, that would be the best service you could engage in. ~ Madhusudan Sai

Eternal Thoughts - November 23, 2020

Only when you realise Sai's omnipresence and accept that everyone is an embodiment of Sai will you develop love; that will truly result in your experiencing bliss!

Eternal Thoughts - November 22, 2020

The chanting of God's name cannot be restricted to a particular place or for a defined length of time; rather, we must practise it incessantly and everywhere. As long as we continuously engage in Namasmarana, no difficulties, no adversities and no miseries will befall us.

Eternal Thoughts - November 21, 2020

Love permeates everything in this world. By developing selfless love for all beings, you can understand the Sai principle.

Eternal Thoughts - November 20, 2020

When all that one does is with deep love for God, one can discern the Ultimate Truth.

How do we handle negative situations?

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Is there any way to avoid not getting into an unfortunate situation, even though one is being very positive all along, so that only positive things happen? How do we handle such situations?

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Public Satsang at Sai Anandam, Singapore – 8th August 2017

Question: My question is about thinking positively. The Law of Attraction is based on the belief that, when we keep thinking positively, positive things will happen to us. But sometimes, even though doing or carrying out positive activities and being positive towards others around us, unfortunate incidents happen. It kind of makes one take a few steps backward and question why such a thing is happening. Is there any way to avoid not getting into an unfortunate situation, even though one is being very positive all along, so that only positive things happen? How do we handle such situations?

Swami: Everything is positive. It all depends on the way you look at it. When Buddha went to his disciples and told them to go and preach spirituality in a village which was known for notorious people, who did not listen to even one good word, the disciples got scared. They said, “Master, if we go there, they won’t listen to us, they will scold us.”

Buddha replied, “Alright, but think that they have scolded you and not beaten you.” They asked, “What if they beat us?”

He answered, “Then think that they have only beaten you and not killed you.”

The disciples responded, “What if they kill us?”

Buddha then said, “Good! The whole problem is that, when you are alive, you think you are the body. Death does not affect the soul. Therefore, you will be redeemed from the unnecessary burden of the body.”

Always think only positively. It depends on how you look at a situation. When a difficult situation arises, think that it could have been
worse than that, then you will feel better. Once, a man went to a guru and said, “I have so many difficulties and negative problems at home. What do I do?”

The guru asked, “Do you have cows or cattle in your home? Bring all the cattle inside the home, and then you will feel better.” Despite thinking that this was a strange solution, because the guru told him, he brought all the cows inside his house. He then became even more miserable as
he had to live with the cows all the time, which gave him trouble. After some time passed, he ran back to the guru and asked, “What kind of a solution did you give me? As if my wife and children were not giving me enough trouble, you told me to take all the cows inside. Now, everything has become worse!”

The guru replied, “Oh, is that so? Very well; take all the cows out of the house and back to their barn.” The man took the cows back to their shed and said, “Oh, it is so peaceful now!” Everything is yad drishti tad srishti – the way you look at it, so it becomes. Think of that which is still positive in any given situation.

Look at how it might have been much worse. Even knowing that, there are some situations which can lead to issues. Suppose you meet a person, and know you will likely get into an argument, or into some negative thinking or negative action, then first do the ‘ABC of Life’: Avoid Bad Company.

Say you are going down the street and see a set of dogs waiting for you. Would you continue to walk down that street, knowing very well that
the dogs are going to bite you? Seeing that from afar, you would take the alternate route to avoid them, so that you are not bitten or chased.

Likewise, when your mind is alert, you will be able to understand, discriminate and choose an alternative. Even then, after doing your best, if you still end up in that kind of situation, see what God wants you to learn from it. What is still positive in that situation? If you keep thinking like this, discriminating like this, you will surely see that every situation is for your good – to make you better than before.

What has never been written about Buddha before?

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Swami, tell us something about Buddha that has never been written or experienced – something only You know.

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Satsang at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Ruwanwelisaya Temple, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka- 14th July 2017

Swami: All of you are worshipping Buddha as the Enlightened One, but nobody knows what he went through to achieve this Enlightenment. Nobody knows about the amount of difficulty he had to undergo – the insults, the ridicule, the amount of opposition and the resistance of the people who threw Him out of the villages when He went around to preach. He was simply telling them that they should not engage only in the world, since it is temporary and full of sorrow, and that the highest peace and happiness lies in things beyond the world. Instead of listening to him, they would chase him away with sticks! Once, he was beaten so badly that until his death, he still bore the marks on his back, below the left shoulder. The villagers hit him and threw him out of the villages.

Swami also had a mark on His shoulders.

Devotee: From carrying water…

Swami: Somebody has to carry for the sake of others.

Question: Swami, when did Buddha’s teachings arrive in Sri Lanka?

Swami: During Ashoka’s influence. He was a very great king from the Kalinga dynasty who took over after the war. He saw so much bloodshed, that he felt very remorseful; for the sake of a few more acres of land, he had engaged in a great massacre. Around that time, he met Buddha, who preached non-violence. Immediately, he became a disciple of Buddha and sent his daughter and son to preach to the kings in Sri Lanka, as well as in all the directions. Buddhism later spread to Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.

How do we ask for forgiveness?

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How do we ask for forgiveness, like what Mr. Isaac Tigrett explained today? Could You please tell us the procedure?

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Public Satsang at Sai Ananda Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- 11th August 2017

Swami: You see, it’s a very fundamental question. All of this is in place because God was lonely – all by Himself. He wanted somebody to love Him and He wanted somebody to love, just like a mother does. A mother wants to give birth to a child. When you ask why she is going to undergo suffering for nine months, going through all kinds of physical and mental issues –so much pain – and ask about the need for it, what will the mother answer? She wants to see herself in that child, wants to love the child, and wants the child to love her.

That was the whole purpose that man was created: so that he can love God and God can love man but, unfortunately, when the child forgets this basic truth and gets into all kinds of things and hurts the mother, that is when the trouble begins. The purpose of our lives – why this whole Creation happened – is because God wanted to love Himself in so many forms and wanted all these forms to love Him. When you go back to the basic, fundamental principle of pure love, and see God in yourself and in everyone else, then you start enjoying the whole game of life. When you deviate from the rules, the game becomes stressful. It becomes that which creates anxiety and difficulties. That is why I am teaching you to return to the very fundamentals of this Creation, which is love – to be able to love others as divine, as gods; love yourself and love others. That is the whole purpose, which is a very beautiful experience.

The truth is, all these complications are your creation. When you simply go by the rules, there is no complication. When you follow traffic rules, there are no complications, and no accidents on the road.
The moment one person starts deviating from the rules, then there is confusion, commotion and accidents. That is why Swami is putting you back on the path of love, so that you can enjoy being here, enjoy loving others and enjoy being loved by others. Then all of them will be able to love God. That is the purpose.

Is it important in our modern society to learn and understand Sanskrit?

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Many times, while reading translations, I get the impression that it’s not a perfect translation. Is it important in our modern society to learn and understand Sanskrit?

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Public Satsang at Sai Anandam, Singapore – 8th August 2017

Swami: Sanskrit is the language of the gods. The first thoughts that came to the rishis, which they placed into words were in Sanskrit. It is
good to learn Sanskrit because you can understand things clearly with the first reading or experiences of the language. It is a very beautiful and very logical language. There is no harm in learning Sanskrit. It will remove from the mind the issue of confusion and misunderstanding; therefore, it is good. If you decide to teach yourself another language, there is nothing more beautiful than the Sanskrit language, which is so
precise, so logical, so beautiful and so rhythmic that it is almost musical. That is the language of Sanskrit.

If you learn Sanskrit, it is not a problem. Do learn a new language. If you still cannot learn, despite trying, then refer to two or three translations
that touch your heart and appeal to you, and work with those. That is very important. However, if you do not know a language, do not try to preach it to others – that is very dangerous. When you do not know a language and you speak of it, you can twist and change its meaning.

Knowing the language is very important. Without knowing, chanting like a parrot may just change the meaning.
There’s a great Thyagaraja song – do you know it? Thyagaraja sang to Rama, “Ne pogadakunte neekemi kodavu Rama?” It means, “If I don’t praise You, what are You going to lose, Rama? You are going to lose nothing if I don’t praise you.”

Another person sang it as, “Ne pakoda tinte neekemi kodhavu?” That means, “If I eat pakodas, what is your problem?” (Laughter) In Telugu, ‘pagadu’ means ‘to praise’, whereas ‘pakoda’ refers to a fried snack.

See, the whole meaning changes if you do not know the language. Therefore, it is better you learn and then chant. Understand first and chant after, which is very good if you cannot teach yourself the whole language. Otherwise, learn from scholars who know it well, or use two or three translations where you can compare and learn from them.

Ultimately, the meaning should touch your heart. It is important to teach yourself another language. Then too, if it is a language like Sanskrit, the mother of all languages, there is nothing like it.

Should we still do havan (fire sacrifice)?

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Should we still do havan (fire sacrifice)?

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Public Satsang at Sai Anandam, Singapore – 8th August 2017

Swami: Definitely! Haven is not just about putting something into the fire. It is a sense of gratitude, as Swami always says. During the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna, we were putting kilograms and kilograms of ghee, milk and precious things into the havan. Those who did not understand the significance thought that we were wasting a lot of precious articles by burning them in the fire. Swami answered this question very beautifully. He said, “Some people think, ‘What a waste! Putting all these precious things into the fire. Those edibles could have been given to some poor and hungry people. That much money could have been used to help ten children.’ However, to achieve anything in this world, two things need to come together: God’s grace and human effort. Human effort alone cannot achieve everything. God’s grace has to join in. How do you get God’s grace? You have to please God. How do you please God? By expressing your gratitude.”

Then, He further explained, “All these gods, such as Ganesha, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva – where do they reside? They all reside in the subtle. They are energy forms. How do you send your gifts to them, as a mark of gratitude? Suppose you have to give a gift to your friend. You will buy it from the market, wrap it nicely and hand it over to your friend. He will accept and use it. However, how do you send gifts to the gods, who are in the energy form? You have to convert matter into energy. All the sthoola or physical gifts have to be converted into the sookshma, the subtle – only then will it reach them. That is the way they accept your gifts. This is done by putting the gifts of these articles into the sacred fire, which transforms them from matter to energy, so that it can then reach the respective gods. Fire is the postman which carries all your gifts to the recipients. Fire converts the physical into the subtle, and that is how everything reaches the gods – and the gods are there to receive the offerings.”

That is how we have been worshipping gods – by offering them precious gifts. For that matter, lighting a candle in front of Jesus is also an offering. It is a way of expressing our gratitude.

One day, Vijay Sai Sir asked Swami, “We have our family deity as Balaji in our village, but the Lord is omnipresent. Can I go and offer my worship in the nearby temple, or do I have to go only to my family temple, which is quite far?” Swami said, “If you are using water services, and you are also using electricity services from the government, would you pay the electricity bill in the water department and the water bill in the electricity department? You wouldn’t do that! The electricity bill must be paid in the electricity department and the water bill must be paid in the water department. Likewise, there is a particular god who is looking after you, and so you have to pay your gratitude only to that god. You cannot skip going to that temple just because it is too far. That is just laziness! You have to follow certain rules and respect the traditions.”

So the next question is: What happens to this concept with respect to Swami? Sometimes, we say, “Swami, You are everything and we offer it to You.” Swami has said that that is fine, as long as it comes from the bottom of our heart. You can meet the deputy commissioner and get your work done in the government, but suppose you know the Prime Minister very well. Then, you can directly write to the Prime Minister and he will forward it to the concerned deputy commissioner any which way. So, when we write our request to Swami, Swami directs it to whoever it is meant for. If it is a health problem, He will probably direct it to Shiva. If it is a financial matter, He will probably direct it to Lakshmi. He will direct it to the respective gods it is meant for. Swami respects them a lot. He performs so many Bhoomi Poojas and other Poojas wherein He follows the traditions. He knows and I know. I have seen these beings personally; they exist everywhere. They receive the offerings we
offer to them.

I will tell you a very recent experience. We were doing a Bhoomi Pooja in Gulbarga. We were digging the earth while Swami was standing there and telling us, “See, this is a way to express gratitude. You pray to Mother Earth, saying, ‘O Mother! You are so compassionate. You are allowing us to build our home or our institution on You, bearing the brunt of our digging and hurting You. Yet, like a Divine Mother, You are bearing all this for our sake.

We are so grateful to You. We offer You our gratitude.’ That is why pooja is done,” He said. At that moment, when Swami was pouring milk and curds into the earth, I saw a one-foot tall lady pop out of the earth. She was Mother Earth, and She was getting drenched in the milk and curds flowing on top of Her. She was like a small idol to which we were doing abhishekam, but She was alive; She was moving. I saw that happen when the offerings were falling on Her. So I know that it reaches its proper destination. Every god has their own preference. If you want to please Ganesha, give Him ladoos. If you want to please Shiva, give Him bilva leaves; if you want to please Vishnu, give Him tulsi (holy basil); if you want to please Lakshmi, give Her chandan (sandalwood). Every god or goddess has their likes and dislikes, and we have to respect that. This is very important.