Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 26 (1993)
The predicament of man today

The influence of the Western style of life and the alien language has eroded The glorious culture and righteous conduct of the people of Bharath. It is high time Bharatheeyas woke up and made efforts to restore the Wisdom and Culture of their motherland to its ancient glory.
THE primary requisites for ensuring the safety, security and peace of this great country are tolerance, understanding and unity amongst its people. The feeling that the same Divine Atma is residing in all beings should be cultivated so that wisdom, social justice and real sense of freedom can prevail. The entire humanity should be considered as one brotherhood on the basis of Universal Love. Then only the objective of human birth can be fulfilled. The feeling of oneness is essential for enjoying bliss based on realisation of divinity in everyone. In ancient times, the Rishis enjoyed fullness of human life. They experienced this bliss of Universal Love within them and conveyed it to all mankind. They propounded the Premathathva (doctrine of Love) which is the means to know one's Inner Reality. Today, there is no security or safety for the people in the country and there is disorder all over the world. Hatred and anger are rampant among the people. Under these circumstances, the only path they have to follow is the Path of Love.
Man has become a slave to selfishness
With the rapid growth of industrial development in the West, humanness has deteriorated. Because of this, man has moved away from his true inner self. Though man has advanced considerably in the field of Science and Technology and has reached higher levels in the development of secular and physical knowledge, he has strayed far away from spiritual and moral goals. Everyone is indulging in selfish pursuits only. In fact, man has become a slave to selfishness.
Because of the scientific and technological advancement man is attaching importance to the physical body, taking it to be the real self, and spends, his time in catering to the needs and comforts of the body. He is using the body as a toy and plays with it in a mechanical way. The body is functioning through the power of Prajna Shakthi (Integral Awareness) which is directing the functions through the Spandana Shakthi or Prana Shakthi (Pulsatory life force).
The triple forces through which man functions
Man is functioning by the combination of three forces: Radiation, Vibration and Materiality. The body is just matter only. It is called Prakrithi. Prana Shakthi makes it vibrant. This vibration is directed by the Prajna Shakthi which is consciousness (awareness). Thus man's life is a combination of consciousness, vital force and matter. Without realising this fact, man is always keen on looking after the body alone, with the wrong conception that the body is all powerful. All of you know that America (U.S.A) is considered to be a land of plenty where there is no dearth of food. So the people eat well and enjoy material pleasures. They consume excessive 'food and lead a life of luxury. But we find that there are more deaths owing to heart diseases in that country, than in other countries. Sweden is very affluent country in Europe and the government is also providing all possible comforts and looks after the people well. In spite of such prosperity, there are more suicide cases in this country than anywhere else and the number of divorce cases are plenty. What is the cause for this?' It is not lack of any physical or material facilities but lack of spiritual outlook that is responsible for such a situation. It is because they identify themselves with the body, which is perishable and impermanent, and are ignorant about their Real Inner Self which is the permanent and eternal entity. They lead an artificial life.
The power of Gayathri manthra
In Bharath, from ancient times, through the sacred Gayathri manthra, spiritual awareness has been developed. The manthra "Om Bhur Bhuvas Suvah" represents the three basic principles of the godliness in every one. Bhu means matter. Bhuvah is the Prana Shakthi (the vibrant principle). Suvah is the Prajna Shakthi (awareness). These three constituent forces - radiation, vibration and material energy - activate the human being. But man is not able to realise this fact. In the mythology of Bharath, Naradha is a sage well known as Thriloka Sanchari (to constantly travel in the three worlds). Naradha represents the life principle. The three worlds are Bhur, Bhuvas, Suvah meaning material energy, life force and latent Atma Shakthi (spiritual energy).
Man is not making efforts to understand the relationship between Prakrithi (phenomenal world) and Jeevatma (man) and Paramatma (Supreme Spirit). These are very intimately interrelated to one another. They are not disparate. The relationship between Paramatma and Prakrithi - God and Nature - is the same as that between mother and child. The relationship between man and society is the same as that between the honey-bee and the flower. Just as the child is fed by mother's milk, as the honey-bee is fed by the honey in a flower, man must enjoy the gifts of Nature. From time immemorial man has been plagued by negative ideas. There is a legendary tale in which one greedy man killed the goose that laid, golden eggs thinking that he can extract all the eggs from it in one lump. Such acts of folly are committed freely by scientists today by exploiting Nature's gifts beyond all limits, creating disastrous imbalance resulting in natural calamities such as earthquakes, spelling danger to humanity. We cannot blame science for this. Those who apply the scientific discoveries without discrimination are to be blamed for this. They fail. to consider with deep deliberation the effects of excessive depletion of the natural resources.
Do not trigger the negative aspect of Nature
Man has to consider himself as a limb of the society and help in the welfare of society, just as the organs of one's body are used for one's well-being. Again society is a limb of Prakrithi (Nature) and Prakrithi is a limb of Paramatma (Supreme Lord). Thus there is close relationship between man and God. Nature is more progressive than man, and to protect Nature, man has to exploit it within limits. When man tampers.with Nature recklessly, it reacts adversely and trouble arises. In order to protect Nature,, man has to practise ceiling on desires. He should not trigger the negative aspect of Nature. In this respect, scientists have no concern for the harmful effects that may accrue to society by their inventions. They don't care for the welfare of the mankind and go on making use of intelligence to produce their weapons of destruction. Care should be exercised in providing comforts as excessive comforts may spoil man's mind and cause misery instead of happiness. "Na Shreyo Niyamam Vina" (Nothing good can be achieved without certain restraints). Because of the advancement of technology and provision of excessive comforts, life has become mechanical and spirituality has declined. Science fragments everything to pieces while spirituality builds up unity in diversity. Today man is not making efforts to cultivate the feeling of oneness among humanity.
Intimate relationship of man, God and Nature
To quote an example you have the ozone layer in the atmosphere which protects the people on earth from the evil effects of solar radiation. Because of the advance of technology, several factories have sprung up causing emission of harmful gases in the atmosphere as a result of which the ozone layer has become thinner and if this goes on unchecked it may have disatrous consequences. The scientists are trying to stop the break up of the ozone layer but they are unable to find a remedy.
The actual cause for this situation is that more carbon-dioxide is let into the atmosphere, which normally is absorbed by the plants and trees which can assimilate the gas and supply oxygen by the natural process of photosynthesis. But, because there is de-forestation to an alarming extent, the extent of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere has considerably increased. Therefore, the remedy for this situation is intensive afforestation, growing more tress everywhere and protecting' the existing trees without destroying them for other purposes. Thus the relationship of man, Nature and God is very intimate which scientists may not be able to realise. You have to enquire into everything thoroughly. Dharma is a word that has originated in Bharath and is misinterpreted often. The attitudes of the Westerners and our countrymen differ widely. In the West, they are more keen on the rights of the individual. Immediately on birth, the child acquires a right. Father, mother, society and government each has a right. The worker has a right, the ruler has a right. While in the West, they were more concerned about rights the people of Bharath had been laying stress on Dharma or the duty of everyone.
The concept of Dharma is peculiar to Bharath
The word Dharma is peculiar to Bharath and no language other than Sanskrith has it in its vocabulary, nor any country for that matter. It is interpreted by some as 'Righteousness' and by yet others as 'reason', etc Dharma is Dharma only. No other word can give the same meaning. "Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha" (Dharana protects those who protect it). That which controls and encompasses everything is Dharma. There is a lot of difference between Dharma and religion. Dharma is like an ocean. Religion is just like a small lake. Religion is related to the individual while Culture is "fundamental order." They use the terms 'Mohammedan culture,' 'Hindu culture,' 'Christian culture' and fight against one another. In reality, there is no difference between one Religion and another. There is no difference between man and man as God is in the form of love in everyone. So it is not correct to fight on the basis of religious differences. All belong to the human race. When one understands this truth one can comprehend Dharma.
"Karmanyeva Adhikarasthe Ma Paleshu" says the Geetha. You have the right to perform your duty only. You have no right to demand the fruits of your action. No one has got any right other than doing his duty. He has the responsibility to discharge his duty. But, today people are clamouring for rights and don't want to discharge duties. The result will always be there whether you ask for it or not. Right and Responsibility are like two wings of a bird which make it fly or like the two wheels of a vehicle which facilitate a person to ride on it. How long can you drive with a single wheel? How can a bird fly high with one wing? If you discharge your duty with responsibility result will take care of itself. This is what everyone should clearly understand today. If everyone does his duty well there will be no trouble in the world. It is because people claim rights without doing their duty there is chaos and confusion. Man is immersed in self-conflict because he is keen on exercising his right without discharging his responsibility.
The body is given to man for helping others
Man should realise his reality. The body is given to him for performing his duty. What kind of duty? "Paropakarartham Idam Shareeram" (This body is given for helping others). So your duty is to help others. But people don't cherish this broad outlook. Today there is terrible conflict and misery and disorder in the country because such a broad outlook is not there and people are narrow minded. They should discard this narrow selfish feelings and practise expansion of love. You should cultivate the feeling that all human beings belong to one family. The divinity in all beings is one.
Constant Integrated Awareness
Bulbs are many but current is one, Jewels are many but Gold is one, Beings are many but Breath is one, Nations are many but Earth is one. People should develop broad feelings on the above lines. Then only humanity will prosper. There is divinity in every one which one should sincerely try to realise. It is not enough only to propagate the theory. There are a large number of people who propagate and preach but those who practise are rare. Many speak one thing and act differently. There should be harmony in thought, word and deed. This is the unity of head, heart and hand. But, now-a-days people think in one way, speak in another and do yet another thing. This is why the Prajna Shakthi (power of conscience), Prana Shakthi (life force) and material force are diverted in different directions. Matter, life force and conscience should be unified. One should be careful about conscience which will always spell the truth.-It will never lead you on the wrong path. Vedas call this "Prajnanam Brahma." It is present equally in body, mind, intellect and Inner Instruments. This is Constant Integrated Awareness. No one is making efforts to realise the latent Divine Power in him. In the world today, people care only for material things. Selfishness is on the increase. 'Right' is born out of selfishness and ends in conflict. Dharma is born from Prema (love) and merges in Atma (spirituality). Therefore one should discard 'rights' and take up 'responsibility' born out of love. Such an individual only will lead a true life.
Divinity within is responsible for the functioning of all organs of the body. That divinity is the Prajna Shakthi, the life force and also the Chaithanya (Awareness). This awareness is in everyone. It is Brahman. "The One is in all beings." This is a sutra (aphorism). Sutra means also a thread. When you make a garland of flowers, the thread keeping them in position is only one though flowers are many. They may be in different stages of bloom and change every day, but the thread is the same today and tomorrow. Similarly the Chaithanya (consciousness) is the same while one is a child or boy, or adult or in old age. Though the description of the person changes as boy, man, grand father etc., the Chaithanya inside is changeless. There is no distinction of woman or man too. Changes are in the body and not in Atma which is changeless. It exists in all brilliance at all times. There is beauty in it. We should understand the principle of beauty.
Service to humanity is beauty
For the hand, charity lends beauty.-For speech, it is truth that lends beauty. For ears, wisdom lends beauty. What more beauty do you need than these? For life, service to humanity is beauty. In Kannada there is a wise saying that houses make a village beautiful, flowers make the branch of the tree beautiful, moon beautifies the sky, waves beautify the Ocean and character makes a person beautiful.
Every man has intelligence. When you put it to skillful use it is serving well. But actually man is misusing knowledge. This is termed as technology which is in fact 'Trick'nology. Because of this man is not having peace. An individual utters falsehood to please another person. He may think that he is deceiving the other. But he is deceiving himself. One should not act against the dictates of his conscience. Conscience is Chith, awareness is Sath. Both combine and give Anandha. They are like syrup got by mixing sugar and water (Sath + Chith). The syrup is Anandha. I and you should combine to say 'we'. Many don't understand this properly and say "I and you are one." This is not correct. "I and you are We" is the correct statement. "We and We are One." I am in you and you are in me and so we are one. This is a combination of Atma and Atma and not matter to matter. The bond between matter and matter is the life force. Life is sustained by the infinite force of Prajna Shakthi. Prajna is the source and Prana is propelled by this. Even if there is life unless the Prajna Shakthi is there this can't work. Human life is therefore, the combination of three: Prajna, Prana and Matter. Man is ignorant of this truth and concerns himself only with the body which is matter only.
Unity leads to purity and divinity
Ancient Rishis called these three as Bhurh, Bhuvah and Suvah. When you realise this unity in everyone child, boy or old people - how can you hate any body? When one develops this principle of unity there will be peace. The 'divide and rule' policy is driving the society to destruction in the political field. In the spiritual field unity must be the basis. It leads to purity and. divinity.
Embodiments of Divine Love! Spirituality is not mere worship, japa or dhyana. These may be good activities but they don't constitute spirituality. The driving away of animal qualities and proceeding from the human to the divine is real spirituality. There are human, divine and animal traits in every one. You should get rid of the animal nature and develop divine quality. What is Sadhana? It is doing good deeds with this body. These good works are God's work too. The essence of the eighteen Puranas of Vyasa is condensed by him as "Help ever; Hurt never." This is true devotion. While doing worship and meditation on one side if you hurt others can it be real sadhana?
God is love; love is God
One may get angry. He should not plunge into action immediately. If he does so his hasty action will be fraught with undesirable consequences. "Haste makes waste; waste makes worry." He should think whether it is right or wrong before plunging into action to hurt the other man towards whom he is angry. Slowly as his temper comes down he will change his mind and desist from hasty action. This is the practical way of controlling oneself in daily life. This is the way of life which is called culture. You should engage in such thoughtful action as will serve the cause of society and foster goodwill and unity. You should foster good thoughts. This is real Sadhana.
God is Love; Love is God (Bhagavan sang the song Prem Eeshvar Hai; Eeshvar Prem Hai). Love is one. It is not good to cause hurt to others. The world is a globe. You know that the balance has to be maintained to keep it stable. We utilise the natural resources without any limit and create imbalance.
I have been visiting Madras for the past 45 years. Now I see that there is traffic even at 2.00 a.m. as it used to be in Bombay. There is more carbon dioxide smoke released. There are factories and industries everywhere. So there is more pollution of the air and diseases are on the increase. All these are dangerous offshoots of technological progress.
Love all and Serve all
One can serve God only through Shrama and Prema, (effort with love). The best way to serve God is to Love all and serve all. There was an old lady in Mathura. She used to take blankets in the darkest hour of the night and distribute them to poor people who were shivering in cold. One day she was bending her head and serving the poor. A few youths gathered there and asked her "Oh! Lady! while you are doing such selfless work why are you bending your head and walking?" She replied: “God has given so much of wealth to the people with so many hands. But I am able to serve the people only with my two hands. Is it not a thing about which I should feel ashamed?" We are not prepared to share with others and are only ready to receive whatever we can get. This is one way traffic. "There is no chance of immortality without doing sacrifice" say the Vedas. You should sacrifice and share what you have with others. Then only you may have peace. You should make others happy. You must do the Sadhana of Sacrifice. You should provide help to other devotees. Charity is the beauty for hands and not decoration with bangles. The Mind is like a key to the lock of the heart. If you turn it towards God you get liberation; if you turn it towards the world you get into bondage. You should develop the feeling "Lokas Samasthas Sukhino Bhavanthu." You should aspire for world unity. Out of unity you get purity and from purity comes divinity. Now there is only community and enmity, which has to be eliminated.
Prema is the binding factor to unite all humanity together. Therefore, cultivate Prema or Universal Love.
The Mahabharatha and Ramayana which are the most
precious jewels of India are like vast oceans. If we look at these oceans one side, we will have only a limited view but if we climb up a hill and have a look at them, we get a fuller view and a better understanding of them. What we have to do is to delve into them and try to explore and understand the treasures contained in these big oceans.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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