Last updated on 17th Feb. 2018
Given below are large extracts from a discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Malleswaram, Bangalore on 11th Dec. 1985, http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume18/sss18-28.pdf (slightly edited to fix typo type errors and also give some clarifications to non-Indian readers) :
REAL equality among men has to be achieved not by the equal distribution of material things but by the cultivation of love, which promotes a sense of the divinity that is inherent in all beings.
In this land of Bharat [ancient name for India], through all the vicissitudes of history, Truth has been regarded as the highest value to be cherished by man. This is the essence of the cultural heritage that has been given down to us as Sanathana Dharma [Eternal ethical way of life as propounded by ancient Hinduism]. The ancient sages emphasized the importance of Karma Yoga, the discharge of one's duties in life in a dedicated spirit. Through Karma Yoga man achieves control of the senses and develops the qualities of universal love, forbearance and compassion.
Everyone should realise that the body has been given to us for performing selfless service. It should also be realised that nothing in creation is intended for the exclusive use of any one person. We should therefore discard the feeling: "These things have been given for my exclusive use, they are my own."
There has been talk of achieving equality in society. The equal distribution of wealth through socialism is declared as the ideal, but is it possible to bring about such equality? Even if material wealth is distributed equally, can you ensure equality in desires and aspirations? Only when you have equality in terms of desires and aspirations can you get true equality. By taking away a part of a rich man's property and giving it to a poor man, you may give satisfaction to the latter, but what about the dissatisfaction caused to the man who has been deprived? You must look beyond material things to the Supreme Being who is the provider of all things. When you recognise the One as present in all beings and respect everyone as a manifestation of the Divine, you will achieve equality in the true sense of the term. All those who claim to be Bharatiyas should strive to bring about this kind of equality through love for all beings.
A life without love is meaningless. The more you love, the more it grows. True love should be distinguished from attachment either to persons or things. Attachment is based on selfishness. Love is based on selflessness. Love is the fruit which is born from the flower of your good deeds. Only when we engage ourselves in selfless service can we experience the essence of this pure love.
There is considerable progress today in various fields--scientific, economic, political and so on, but all man's actions are motivated by selfishness. Man has become a plaything in the hands of his own selfishness. There is no unity among men. Unity can come only through thyaga (sacrifice), not through the pursuit of desires and comforts. You must cultivate charity, which does not mean giving some money to a person in need or to an organization. Charity calls for the removal of all evil thoughts that are within you and development of a largeness of spirit. Charity will confer Purity, and through Purity, Unity will be achieved. Once you have Purity and Unity, you can realise Divinity.
When you look around today you find that there is little evidence of sacrifice for the sake of society. A person may call himself a great devotee, or sadhaka [spiritual aspirant engaged in spiritual practices] or scientist, but without a spirit of sacrifice there is nothing great in him. Seva (service) is the salt which lends savour to life. The spirit of sacrifice imparts fragrance to living. One may live for 60, 70, or 80 years but it will have no meaning unless his life has been devoted to the ennobling of one's character and rendering devoted service to others. What you must aspire for are not buildings, positions or factories or industries. A good character is the greatest wealth you can acquire. More vital than the five pranas (Prana, Apaana, and others), Sathya [Truth], Dharma [Ethical living], Santhi [Peace], Prema [Love] and Ahimsa [Non-violence] are the vital life-breath for every one. Of these, the greatest is Prema (Love). Fill yourself with love. Love should express itself in service to society. You should look upon society this way. We exist for society and society exists for the good of all. Try to sanctify your life by doing service and spreading joy and comfort all around.
--- end extracts from discourse of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba -------
Thanks to brother Ivan Escalona for pointing me to this discourse in a recent conversation we had. I had not read this discourse earlier.
I intend to look for the audio for the discourse and listen to it in Swami's original Telugu and translator's English translation. Perhaps I may update this post after I do that.
On Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2085016898381543, associated with this post, I made the following comments:
In response to a comment, "Again Ravi Sir you have gathered together some gems to sooth our troubled times", I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Thank you --Name-snipped-- sir. As I told another gentleman who I met recently who has served physical Swami in close proximity for many years, I am playing a small role as one of the chroniclers of the GREAT SPIRITUAL PRESENCE that lived among us, Shiva Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Bhagavan saw and understood the issues of the day, including dreaded militant communist groups that operated in some parts of India including Andhra Pradesh of those days (unified with Telangana), that were outlawed as they were into extortion of the rich, and fighting a low-scale war with the government security forces that involved many death casualties on both sides (outlawed militant communist groups and the state's security forces). He taught us how to live following principles of Sanathana Dharma, even in such situations and like this discourse shows, even publicly conveyed his views on such matters.
Sathya Sai saying about Kerala (a South Indian state) - not communist but ‘come you next’
An extract from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba discourse, 12th Sept. 2008, Onam (festival of Kerala), http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume41/sss41-15.pdf, is given below
The people of Kerala are most fortunate, for their hearts are filled with love and devotion to God. There is none among them who does not contemplate on God. They may not express their devotion outwardly, but in their heart of hearts they are greatly devoted. People from outside refer to Kerala as a communist state. No, no; it is not communist but ‘come you next’. There are very young children participating in the spiritual education (bal vikas) programmes. How beautiful are their faces, radiating bliss and devotion! Their love toward Swami is overflowing. They are full of love! Their hearts are pure and will become mature in due course.
--- end extract from Sathya Sai discourse ---
A relevant extract from an article 'His True Mission' by R.D. Awle, http://www.saibaba.ws/articles/histruemission.htm, dated August 2001. I do not know how accurate the information is (other than the 'come you next' part for which I have given the above discourse extract and reference) :
[Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says:] “This Sai has come in order to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illumining the Atmic Reality of each being in order to reveal the Divine, which is the basis on which the entire Cosmos rests. This Sai has come to instruct all to recognize the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal and rise into the Divine, which is his goal. This Sai has come to show that Love - Prema - is the easiest way to reach the Divine.”1
Baba says He has come to “avert the crisis that has come upon humanity”, and usher in a new age of divine wisdom upon the Earth, a golden age of Love, peace and understanding - and He assures us that He will succeed. In the mid-1980’s He told His students that He would be working directly with the minds of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to bring about a change in the world. I would guess it is no mere co-incidence that the fall of global communism occurred less than ten years after that statement was made! (As Baba said in the ’70s when asked about Communism, “Communists? Come you next!”) Now Baba has thousands of devotees from the former communist nations, spreading His message of Divine Love where such words were forbidden for decades. Surely Baba’s work has made the world a better place; the Earth, by His plan, grown a hair closer to Planet Peace. Perhaps it will be with Prema Sai, Baba’s next incarnation - due to be born in some lucky South Indian manger around 2028 - that the global level of spiritual knowledge will reach critical mass, and the Earth and its atmosphere finally be divinely transformed, into a Paramatma-sphere. May the day come soon!
--- end extract from Shri R.D. Awle article ---
[I thank sssbpt.info and Shri R.D. Awle (saibaba.ws), and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]