"Shuklaambara Dharam Vishnum Shashi Varnam Chatur Bhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva Vighna Upashaanthaye"
We meditate on Lord Ganesha who is clad in white (representing purity), is all pervading (present everywhere), has a grey complexion like that of ash (glowing with spiritual splendor), four arms, a bright countenance (depicting inner calm and happiness), and can destroy all obstacles in our spiritual and worldly path.
Agajaanana Padmaarkam Gajaananam Aharnisham Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam Ekadantam Upaasmahey
Day and night I worship the elephant-faced Lord Ganesha, who is like the sun to the lotus face of Mother Parvati. Single-tusked Ganesha, the giver of many boons, I salute Thee to give me a boon.
Embodiments of love!
Today is not a day for a discourse or message.
Our food supply comes to us from the river which silently flows by, fertilizing thousands of acres of land in its path, just as the sun in the sky is the source of life for the whole world by the light it silently gives, and the trees which also give away their fruits in silence. In the same way, the very rare and great of this world, are those who act in silence rather than those who do a lot of talking. Therefore, this is not the proper time for me to stand here on the dais giving a lecture, when thousands of you are sitting in the heat, with the sun frying your brains – a very quick, short message is best. The important thing is not how long we speak for, or how much we listen to, but how much we understand and how far we put that message into practice.
Embodiments of love!
As there are thousands of people gathered here to witness the poor and needy receive their sewing machines, tricycles, saris or dhotis which our Trust has taken up as a service activity for the poor and needy, I think it is best to convey as short a message as possible.
Many of you have
travelled for days and nights, from distant places and countries, undergoing a lot of difficulties in order to be able to participate in Baba’s birthday celebrations. I bless each and every one of you on the occasion of Sankranti and New Year, as well as the Thirteenth World Peace Conference, and the National Folk and Traditional Dance and Song Festival, which takes place on the eve of Baba’s Birthday. As a birthday gift to me, my wish is that you give me all your problems and difficulties, and in return, take back home with you from me: happiness, peace and comfort, to be distributed amongst your parents, children and family. I wish also that you support and participate in all the service activities which I undertake. As I am always with you and your children taking care of you, I wish that you will also be with me by lending a helping hand in carrying out the services to the needy. My wish is that you may obtain pleasure and happiness in this way, both in the material and spiritual aspects, and I bless you all with my love for this.
Embodiments of love!
In this year of 2008, I bless the students in their study, the unemployed for good job opportunities, the artists that they may get good remunerations by signing new offers, the political leaders to lead responsibly and with strength, and also the devotees who depend solely on God for divine strength. I wish all of you a healthy and happy life with your families, and may you all grow spiritually as well.
Embodiments of love!
From time immemorial, so many divine incarnations have taken place in our land of Bharat, according to the Hindu culture. Rather than undertaking activities which would benefit the needy materially, their objective was always to elevate the people spiritually. For example, we have both Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. They did not go near the people as the Sai incarnations have done, and are doing, nor did they construct schools and hospitals. This work is specific to the Sai incarnations only.
Both Rama and Krishna were limited to a certain place or community only. The Sai mission, on the other hand, is for every caste, creed and community. The reason being is that the Sai incarnations feel that service to humanity is service to God. The work of the Sai incarnations is the only one that shows through its motto that by doing service to humanity, we actually are serving God.
Both Rama and Krishna were kings with their own kingdoms, queens and children, but sacrificing their own personal life for the benefit of society and people, is the mission of the Sai incarnations by living a simple life with the people. Even though they are doing so much good and beneficial work for society, giving their entire life for the sake of people and being an example in doing Seva (for example, by doubling every rupee given by a compassionate devotee, and using that money for the development of society and the needy), the people are still so critical in so many ways. Instead of following the example of those who do Seva, people always seem to prefer to criticize.
I ask that you please be seated for just two more minutes when I will then be finished with this message. We have many service activities here and there will be many hours for performing them after that. What I want to say again is, “Service to humanity is yaagna (a devotional, sacrificial act), seva is yaagam (same as yaagna), seva isyogam (meditation), seva is bhogam (enjoyment), seva is happiness, seva is God. Seva gives happiness in both the worldly and spiritual aspects. There is nothing more superior than service to mankind. This is the word of Balasai which grants you liberation”.
Whoever comes here to receive a sewing machine, tricycle, sari or dhothi, is the embodiment of God Himself, in person. Whether we are able to see God with our eyes – directly or indirectly – we can see God in them because; if there is no one to receive, there can be no giver, therefore we would be denied the chance of doing a meritorious act or righteous thing by giving charity or alms from which we would receive God’s divine blessings. Also, whenever we do a service for the needy – whatever that service is – we should not show any conceit, disrespect or inhuman behaviour in doing it, but we must have compassion and sympathy with them, and give with a peaceful, calm and patient attitude. This is what I want you to do and I bless you for doing it.
Again, as this is not the proper time for a long lecture, anyone of you who has any problem, difficulty, or a wish to be fulfilled, I bless that by God’s grace, everything will be alright, and that all of you will get peace of mind, and live a happy and pleasant life. Be calm and do not push one another, and I bless you and ask that you all participate in the distributions calmly and patiently.
Once again, for each and every one of you who has participated in this function; the news reporters of electronic and printing media, TV and radio, the cinema artists, political leaders, devotees – both national and international – and those who have volunteered their services, like the fire service, medical, police and municipality personnel, I bless each and every one of you with happiness and comfort in both your personal and organizational lives.
There is no need for any pushing and stampeding as there is enough for everyone, even if thousands more were to come. So, I bless you all and ask that you be calm and participate in the distributions.
Swami completed His Divine Discourse with the melodious Bhajan,
The celebrations were then completed with mangala harathi.