Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 8 (1968)
The footprints of God

This is the Day when the world celebrates the advent of Lord Krishna, who came down to earth in order to transmute it into heaven and make Gods of men. Hundreds and thousands of times has this Day been celebrated, but, does man shine today with the jewels Krishna poured into his lap? Has His Message been implanted in the heart and blossomed into higher life and aspiration? No. The reason lies in hypocrisy that parades as devotion! Words emanating from the tongue, belying the activities of the mind and senses. Man forgets that with each sunrise and sunset, a day is clipped off the allotted span of years; he leads life in a wobbling line from the cradle to the grave. He denies himself the Light of the Spirit when struggling through the trackless jungle of matter. That light will reveal the Spirit that resides in every thing and being; it will deify and therefore, unify. The Krishna whose advent you should celebrate is not the cowherd boy who charmed the village folk with His flute, but the Krishna, the indefinable, inscrutable, Divine Principle, that is born in the navel of the body (Mathura) as the product of the Divine Energy (Devaki), that is then transported to the mouth (Gokulam) and fostered by the tongue (Yashodha) as its source of sweetness. Krishna is the visualisation of the Atma, that the repetition of the Name grants; the Vision that was gained by Yasodha. You must foster that Krishna on your tongue; when He dances on it, the poison of the tongue will be ejected completely, without harming any one, as happened when as a child He danced on the hoods of the serpent Kalinga.
God is Bliss, Ecstasy and Sweetness
Yashodha traces Krishna to the place He hides in, by the foot- prints He leaves, when He has broken the curds-pot, which she was churning. This is the symbolic story to illustrate how the Lord breaks our identification with the body and leads us on to Himself, by signs and signals that He provides all round us. These signs are ever present in the Nature around each one of us, in the beauty of the rising Sun, the ecstasy of the rainbow, the melody of the birds, the lotus-spangled surfaces of lakes, the silence of snowcrowned peaks - in fact, since God is Rasa (sweetness, ecstasy), all Nature which is but Himself in action is sweet and ecstatic. With or without Form, It is Anandha. Welcome It into the heart, as Rama - He who is joy and grants joy - or as Krishna - He who draws you by means of the joy. He imparts - and live all your moments with It, offering It your dhyana, your puuja, your japam. That will open the doors of jnana (wisdom) and of Liberation. This is the mark of the wise, while those who are otherwise, wander in the wilderness, filling their moments with meaningless trifles, toys and geegaws.
"What am I to bewail?" asked Harischandhra to himself that night when a corpse was being cremated in the ghat where he was a watchman and fee-collector. He was once the sovereign of a vast empire; he held truth as the highest ideal; a saint asked from him vast treasure and he promised to give them to him, whenever he needed it; the saint brought down vast ruin on his empire, drought, famine, floods, fire, quakes, foreign hordes. And, when his treasury was empty, he demanded the promised treasure.
The fundamental fault of man
Harischandra sold his belongings, sold his wife and son into slavery, and himself served as a watchman in order to scrape together the amount for the saint. "Am I to bewail loss of the empire or the fate of wife and child or my own heinous occupation? No. I shall weep, I shall shed tears only because I have not yet realised Him, visualised Him," he cried. "I for you, You for me" - that is all one needs, one need pray for. This is what the sages have discovered after years of agony and travail; this is what they have taught mankind. Man must repay the debt he owes to them by treading the path they have cleared, and observing the limits laid down by them in order to ensure a safe and victorious journey.
Krishna told Uddhava that the supreme stupidity is "Dhehatma buddhi" (the belief that the body is the self). That is the fundamental fault. When that is removed, liberation follows. India has the secret of this process of liberation. Nevertheless, Indians are enamoured of the glitter and glamour of the West, with its insatiable greed for sensation and for competitive triumph of every kind. They do not realise that the Western nations are weltering in anxiety, fear and frustration. There is a story that Lakshmi asked Vishnu one day whether mankind will ever turn towards God, since He had provided them with the skills and materials necessary for comfortable living. Vishnu replied, "I have endowed them with two qualities, which will draw them towards Me: Greed and Discontent." When man turns towards God, detaching himself from the bondage to the world, he will no more suffer from greed and discontent.
See yourself and others as Divine
For, sarva dheva namaskaram (obeisance to all the Gods) which is declared as sufficient to attain God, is only half the process; the other hall the reverse, is the sarva jeeva thiraskaram (detachment from all beings). Between these two embankments, attachment to the Divine and detachment from the mundane, the stream of life can flow unimpaired in speed and direction, towards the Ocean of Divine Grace. See yourself as Divine; see others as Divine. Turn away from all else in you and in others. That is the essence of sadhana. Naradha asked Vishnu once: “The Rishis (sages) who had attained the purest Wisdom relating to the Universal Atma could not win your Grace; but, the illiterate milkmaids of Gokul who were charmed by Your beauty, Your sport, Your music, Your prattle, Your sweetness, Your inscrutable mystery - they won Your Grace. How did this happen?" Naradha himself came to know later that the Gopees had Krishna (the Lord) as the very breath of their lives, as the very sight of their eyes, the very sound of their ears, the very taste of their tongues, the very touch of their skin. While tending the cows and calves, attending to their husbands and children, doing the thousand and one chores of worldly life, they lived in Krishna, with Krishna and by means of Krishna only. Sarvadha sarva kaleshu sarvathra Harichinthanam - "Under all conditions, at all times, in all places, their minds dwelt on Hari (Krishna; the Lord)." How then can God deny them Grace?
Supremacy of devotion of the gopees
When Naradha went to Gokul and called the Gopees to gather around him so that they can listen to his teachings about the attainment of jnana, the Gopees gave no heed; they said they did not like to waste precious minutes. "The hours of day and night are not enough for us to dwell on the Name of the Lord. We do not require your verbal acrobatics to convince us that God is Sath-chith-ananda-swaruupa; we know, we feel, we experience the Bliss every moment." It was after this revelation of the supremacy of Bhakthi that Naradha composed the BhakthiSuuthras, which have become the guiding lamps for the aspirants. The Vedas save by the power of Nadha (sound) with its mystic echoes in the cavity of the cleansed heart. The music of the flute, which represented the cleansed soul, which Krishna played, to draw the Gopees, is but the Veda-nadha (sound of Vedas) in another form. Rama drew the heart through the thrill of joy He gave. Krishna attracted the heart and got Himself installed therein through the Divine delight He conferred. They are but different expressions of the same compassion. From the inexhaustible reservoir of Grace, you draw joy through one outlet, Rama, another derives the same delight and the same strength from another outlet, Krishna. That is only a distinction with no difference. My emphasis on Namasankeerthana and Nagarasan-keerthana is prompted by this reason; mere dialectical skill is being paraded now as spiritual instruction and scriptural interpretation for the common man. And this is mostly done by people who have no faith in the doctrines they uphold, in the value of the disciplines they recommend. They are like Harischandras on the stage propagating by theft histrionics the supremacy of Truth but off stage they live lives full of stratagems and subterfuges.
Move every moment nearer to God
Unless you practise what you profess, you stand condemned as "Drama Bhakthas" (Stage-play Devotees). India would not have fallen so low if only her sons and daughters had put into practice a fraction of what each one declares to be his or her duties and obligations towards others and towards God. As the river flows silently and steadily towards the sea, however long and arduous the journey, man too must keep the Lord in view and move every moment nearer and nearer to Him, until the ultimate merger. The Lord is most pleased with Dharma. For, in order to save Dharma and restore Dharma to its ancient purity and clarity, He condescends to assume human form and walk among mankind as if He was one of themselves! Therefore, if you yearn for the Grace of God, let Dharma be the inspiration behind every thought, word and deed of yours. Let the knowledge that all are repositories of the Divine inspire you with love, tolerance, sympathy and reverence. Through work filled with Dharma you progress towards worship that is filled with the consciousnes of Divinity in all and through that worship you attain wisdom when you experience the Divinity that fills all this. Work, Worship, Wisdom - fruitling, mature fruit, juice-filled fruit; this is the order of spiritual progress of each individual. When the fruit is saturated with sweetness, it drops. That is the consummation. Naradha once asked Krishna the secret of the attraction that His flute-play had on the cowherds of Brindavan. "Do they run to you, or do you run to them?" he queried. "Among us, there is neither I nor they; how can a picture be separated from the cloth on which it is painted? I am imprinted on their hearts so inseparably, so inextricably", Krishna replied. Have God imprinted on your hearts; be ever so inextricably established in Him - that is My message to you this day.
You can be free from fear only when you are confident of the strength of the foundation. You do not see your breath or weigh it; but, breath is the very sustenance of life. The unseen is the basis of the seen. If you are caught up in the meshes of the seen, you cannot know the importance of the unseen.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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