Summer Showers 2002
Health Is Wealth

Do realize that man has no contentment
Despite acquiring plenty of riches and luxuries
Peace and contentment will accrue to man
Only when he attains conciousness (Atma Tatva)
Students, boys and girls!
FOR man health is the greatest wealth. From time immemorial, many countries have been delving into the ways to preserve good health and disseminating the knowledge among all. In the absence of sound health, human aspirations become futile. Unable to realize this truth, man is losing his wealth by wrong habits. Right from ancient times, Indians and Romans have been espousing the cause of good health and endeavouring to achieve it. Of course, several other nations have also been conscious of the importance of health. Realising that health was indeed the greatest wealth, they went on to treat each limb of the body like the head, the mouth, the nose, the eyes, etc., as a separate unit in itself. Thus, focusing on each part, they adopted specific modes of nurture for each. Such well-nurtured state of health among mankind has gradually deteriorated now. In France, for one, discipline in respect of food was practised meticulously. Not because they thought that body was all-important to man, but because they had visualized that soul resided within the body. And when the house is safe, the resident will be peaceful and comfortable.
So, you may be thinking that this body would anyway perish, today or tomorrow. It may indeed be a water bubble. But many are the legendary persons who used this water bubble to lead an ideal life, accomplishing monumental deeds and studying profound theories. Here Deha, the body, became essential means for Desha, the nation, to reveal sacred ideals. Principles of perfect life were propagated to other countries through the virtuous lives and meritorious deeds of the individuals in the nation.
Cultivate Healthy Habits
Today’s youth do not understand this secret of life. Dawn to dusk they adopt unhealthy ways of living and face miserable consequences. Scholars, noble men and many such intelligent people carried out a variety of experiments and discovered ways to free this body from disease and illness. When body is ridden with diseases, health wanes and one is afflicted by all kinds of miseries. In the modern times in particular, Romans evolved a perfect model for health, aiming to mould each limb of the body into a strong and well-nurtured part. Besides, the youth strove to develop the three important qualities of character, courtesy and gentleness. Consequently, they continued to have long lasting strong bodies and remained self-reliant. Even at the age of ninety years, they were independent and looked after themselves without anybody’s help. They also gave importance to beauty along with health. The body possessed charm and good looks only when it was healthy. So, to retain beauty we should pay great attention to health.
Nowadays, why does a teenager of 16 years look like a decrepit of 60 years? The unhealthy practices that they are used to in their daily lives are the actual reason for this. As soon as we wake up in the morning, we should cleanse our mouth. The inner and outer sides of teeth should be brushed well. Surface of the tongue should be cleaned thoroughly. For, mouth is the front entrance, the gateway for all diseases. While talking to each other we should be cautious of unpleasant odour. Health should thus be protected through hygiene. Not only this, each working part of the body should be fit and robust. We should always be aware of the truth that divinity is inherent in each limb and organ of the body. That is why Vedas extol God as “Angeerasa”, the essential fluid in the limbs. Each part of the body has its intrinsic characteristic goodness.
You should learn from Mahabharatha, how strong were the Indians who protected their health in this manner. At the time of the great war, Bhishma’s age was 115 years and he was Commander-in-Chief. Similarly, Krishna was eighty-six and Arjuna was eighty-four. Such were the mighty warriors of those days who lived with health and happiness. Thus by preserving health, the men and women of those times were able to be exemplars for many ideals to the nation. They ate and slept in time. Ate lightly; never partook of anything out of schedule. The other day I told you a poem:
From the time you wake up till you go to bed
You spend your life, irresponsibly, for eking out livelihood
Having forgotten God, and misutilising your learning
What heights of happiness have you reached? Do think honestly, O man!
(Telugu Poem)
Swami then sang a Telugu rhyme on good habits for students:
As the cock crows, get out of bed;
Brush your teeth and relieve yourself,
Bathe, dress up and breakfast.
It’s good to eat light and chew well
As you relish your favourite dish.
Off to school for serious studies;
And the good remarks of being a humble child.
Don’t get wet and don’t play in dirty puddles.
When it’s play time, sprint, jump or dribble the ball.
If you follow the above directions You will enjoy the wealth of health.
Nowadays none wakes up when the cock crows, nor when the loud whistle of train blows, but get up late in the morning at eight or nine. What is the reason? They go to sleep late at night. Are they at least using the night hours for studies? Not at all. They put on Television or Radio, thus polluting their own minds besides wasting time. Much of what is seen on the television are things that are lewd, disgusting, immoral and vile. Such are the undesirable things being shown. I wonder what pleasure or profit accrues to Government out of all this. On the other hand Government promotes this as a great medium. So it is Government which is spoiling the children. It turns the pure, steady and selfless hearts of the youth into impure, wicked and repugnant. On top of it, it seeks for more import from foreign countries.
Instead of habituating children to such evil traits, can one not encourage good practices? Can they not be shown good stories which promote good behaviour in them? None protests against this evil, neither parents inside house, nor the teachers, the educated persons and the elders in the society. The reason simply is that they too have succumbed to this addiction. So if they try to correct children, they would have to face the question “What about you?” Such are the elders of to day to whom children would give a piece of mind. They in fact are the ones who occupy the front seats in front of TV sets. Let me tell you what some of these elders are up to. They tell our students when they go home on vacation, “Son, it is an year since you watched TV or movie, as you were at Puttaparthi. Now go ahead and watch them to your heart’s content”. Mothers even serve meals to them in front of the TV set itself. Should any mother interested in the well-being of her child do this? Certainly not. But unfortunately they are all out to spoil their own children. And Government only adds to the problem, mindlessly. The government servants themselves are glued to TV as soon as they return home from offices. Or they go to clubs where they drink, fill themselves with unhealthy food and gamble. It is precisely due to these bad habits, evil traits and unhealthy activities that today’s citizens are turning into cruel people. Even their speech is not soft and pleasant but is very rude. That is why I often tell you, ‘You cannot always oblige, but you can speak obligingly’. One should speak obligingly with all humility and modesty. Today even these virtues are disappearing. In addition to all this they squander away money in idle pursuits.
When wealth increases so does pride.
With prosperity grow vices galore.
With moderate prosperity there is less scope for pride.
With increasing humility virtue grows.
(Telugu Poem)
Wealth is the source of all evil ways of life. A student has come here from America. Today in the morning I called him for an interview. There in the interview I asked “ My son, how much do you earn”. “I earn $30000 in a month”, he said. “ How much do you save”, I enquired. “I couldn’t save anything” he replied. Then I chided him, “you have degenerated into a demon. How can you waste so much money? Is this the purpose for which you went abroad? I never show mercy on any one who wastes hard-earned money in evil indulgences”. I even told his wife that she was behaving like Soorpanakha by accepting and joining hands with her husband in his extravagant evil life style. I told them, “You both are burning away your lives. This is not acceptable. Having been abroad you should return with the ideals you picked up there”.
Why go Abroad for Money
Where do you find ideals but in the country of Bharath?
Yanna Bharathe Tanna Bharatha.
What is not in Bharath is not of lasting value.
There are as many things to learn as you wish in Bharath. Why then do you go abroad? Is it for money? Then are you able to save any? You squander it away. Ultimately, having run out of the monthly salary you take to dish washing or selling of newspapers for survival. Back at home your parents feel proud that their son is in US but would be ashamed to know what menial jobs you do there. Why stay in US and take up menial labour? You should rather earn well and return home to share with your parents and lead a happy life.
Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava.
Parents are like God.
You should indeed help them for they struggle to raise you.
Students make frantic efforts to obtain visa for some western countries as soon as they pass the examinations. They struggle to reach there to make money but return with empty hands. But this situation will not last for many days, I must tell you. Those who have gone to America are going to come back within five or six years. It will not be possible for them to stay on there. The situation is turning dangerous. Motherland is the right place. Swadharma, one’s innate obligation, is appropriate to discharge. Paradharma, alien values, always cause fear and insecurity. Enjoy what is your own. Wherever you may go be proud to be an Indian.
Is there a living human on this earth who wouldn’t brace up and say: This is my motherland, This my beloved mother tongue This faith is ours. (Telugu Poem) Parents are dreaming big and feeling great that their children are earning well. But do take a look at the evils that befall them in this mad rush to make money. Even as they arrive in the foreign country, children are born, sometimes, a number of them. They do not know how to raise the children. And the children go astray. As in the case of the wicked monkey which wrecks the whole garden, they are spoilt and they spoil their children too. Neither should you be spoilt nor should you allow others to be spoilt.
Bharath is a sacred land. The syllable Bha in the name means radiance (in Sanskrit). So Bharath spreads radiance, that is, it spreads the light of wisdom. It is said, ‘God, having some affinity, takes birth in Bharath again and again to teach the nature of its reality to humanity’. It is only in Bharath that all Avatars take birth. Only in Bharath, Dharma is propagated. Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara: Speak Truth and Behave Righteously. These two ideals are to be cared for as the two eyes in life. I am stating facts and not just praising when I say that, more or less, the students of Sathya Sai colleges and schools are found to possess these ideals. When you see their counterparts elsewhere you feel ashamed. It is an awful situation. What would happen to them in the future, none can conjecture. Parents are scared to even talk to them. If a father tries to talk about the son’s smoking habit, he would promptly be asked to shut up. Not stopping at this, the son would pull out a cigarette and smoke right in front of the father. Smoke he may, but is this not an insult to the father who brought him up. Who benefits from the birth of such an ill-mannered son? It is better if such a son without respect for the father should be dead. So you must respect your parents and earn them a good name.
Strive for Unity
Students! Cultivate good habits. Awaken noble thoughts. Unity can be achieved through love alone. The country will be torn apart into pieces if there is no unity. Today, political parties are all-powerful and a number of them are mushrooming with different names, patronages, and partisan views. They are breaking up the nation and its villages and distributing the fragments among themselves. What is happening to the sacred land of Bharath! Today, when one says he is from India, he will face a volley of probing questions about the state, the district and the town that he particularly belongs to. This was not the case earlier, for entire Bharath was one place, like a big home. With such love and unity did Bharath prosper? With the advent of political parties, each and every village has been fragmented into factions. What are these parties, and for whose advantage are they doing this? Purely for their selfish ends! You can see nothing but selfishness from top to toe in these political leaders. And they have hoards of yes-men as followers. This is not the proper way. You must strive to unite the country. India is one; all Indians are brothers and sisters; Brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God – such feelings of unity we should foster. Never think of dividing the country. Why even differentiate the states based on the languages spoken? One can learn any language anywhere, so why have such differences?
Students, boys and girls! Never give chance to such differences whosoever may advise you. Declare fearlessly that you are all children of Bharath. You need not follow the senseless elders who divide the country. They do this as they lack intelligence, but do you also lack? Society is a train in which all of us are travelling. Those who have lived their time get off at the next station or the following. But you as youth have a long journey to undergo. Such long journey demands from you great amount of courage, confidence and idealism. There is none who tells children such good points. When Sai Baba does so others criticise Him. I do not care about any criticism or praise. I have nothing to lose if they criticise, nor anything to gain if they praise. Whatever I say is for common good. Let all be united like brothers and sisters. If they do so this country will achieve great fame. Right from ancient times Bharath’s splendour shone brightly. You should again strengthen and develop the country. Brush aside personal animosities if any. Stay together like brothers. It is only when you do that will you find true devotion, true fervour and true liberation. Devotion never divides. It sees unity in diversity.
Always Have Pure Thoughts and Feelings
Students, having studied in our educational institutions and having undergone the summer course, you should show the benefits of the ideal education you have acquired. Live cheerfully. Never put on a long face. Negative thoughts show up as ugly expressions. Pure thoughts and feelings will always keep us cheerful. I am always cheerful. People wonder how Sai Baba could always be smiling. I cannot but smile. I have no negative feelings, no bad traits, no bad thoughts nor any bad habits. I am always pure. You too should follow this. Follow the Master, Face the Devil, Fight to the End and Finish the Game. Follow Me. Be happy like I am. Be cheerful. That makes me very happy. However, some people indulge in meaningless laughter, which is loud and comical. Just like the way they laugh in movies. Such laughter is no better than crying – it is not true cheerfulness. So lead a cheerful and ideal life. Do not harm anyone under any circumstances. Help Ever and Hurt Never. That is the ideal historically upheld by Bharath. Paropakara Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam.
Students!?! What you have learnt in these fifteen days should bear fruit. I am worried you may finally waste this whole effort of providing hospitality, serving you sumptuous feasts, looking after every need and placing before you words of wisdom. You must make best use of all these and tread the path of idealism with good behaviour, good actions and good thoughts. Will you promise me that you shall do so? Will you? (The whole assembly exclaimed in affirmation spontaneously). Good boys. Good girls. Just do that. That’s all I expect of you. In fact, I had no plans of giving a discourse today.
Firstly, preserve your health. Bad habits are the root cause for ill health; so eschew bad habits totally. Where the young children should have chubby cheeks, you see today faces looking shrunken. You must build up good health. Good health enables you to carry out meritorious deeds. You will derive happiness out of such deeds. Thus happiness is a product of good health. So take proper care of your health to find happiness. Happiness is your greatest wealth. Health is your greatest wealth.
Eat your meals on time. Have your fill. Relish and enjoy the food provided by your parents which they have secured through much hard work. Never find fault with it or refuse it. If you relish fondly, it nourishes your body well. Then the body can do any amount of work.
Be Ideal Students, Shun Vices
Boys and Girls! What you have learnt here today is different from the kind of studies you did earlier. You must find the essence of education and live by it. Never abuse anyone with harsh words. Today if you hurt the feelings of others with harsh words, tomorrow many others will hurt you with harsher words. You cannot escape this law of reaction, resound and reflection. So speak kindly and receive kind words. Do good to others and get good in return. I expect you to become ideal students and uphold the above ideals. No other joy do I need for myself than this. For this pleasure I am prepared to sacrifice everything. How many crores of rupees am I spending for your sake! Look at any other college. Does it compare in beauty to ours? Then the facilities I provide! Over and above, I create ideal environment. I never touch a single paisa of yours. If anyone is not well off, I grant them scholarships to cover personal expenditure. I shall give anything to see students become good. But some of them still cling on to vices, even after having spent a long time here.
Students! I am indeed begging of you: please shun your vices, give up bad habits, develop virtues, cultivate good habits, take to right path and enjoy an ideal life. If you have both health and happiness, you need not acquire anything else. Money can always be earned, but what is really important is earning of virtues. Money without virtues is of no use, for, it is virtue that gives happiness in life and not money. Make your parents happy. If they are into bad habits and try to pull you in, tell them as follows: “These things are not good. They spoil us. We know that you wish our well-being but you are showing to us wrong ways of life. Swami told us what is good for our well-being; allow us to do that.” Do lead a sacred life on the sacred path with good behaviour. All of you be happy and I shall tell you many more special things.
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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