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Some excerpts about Krishna
taken from the volumes of "Sathya Sai Speaks".
[The volumes of discourses by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, are copyrighted by the Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. They are provided here for the use of individuals only; they are not to be sold or distributed in any way. Both the complete volumes and individual chapters are provided, as pdf files.]
Chaitanya and the thief.
Krishna Chaitanya was once moving about, dancing and singing ecstatically, oblivious to everything, being immersed in the contemplation of the Lord. He entered Navadhveep, where the leaders of the town joined him in his Bhajan with equal ecstasy. A thief also joined this group. He had been a thief all his life and an arrant liar. He joined in their dance and thought that as there were many rich men in the group, who were wholly lost in their singing and dancing, he could easily pick their pockets. While this was his intention, what happened was entirely different. The moment he joined the devout group, he forgot himself and began to sing and dance with the same fervour as others. After the others had left, he, sat apart for a while, watching Chaitanya. A small group of children were listening to Chaitanya's discourse. The thief ran towards Chaitanya and said: 'Swami! You are giving advice to so many persons. Please impart some holy name to me." Chaitanya replied, "Tell me first of all who you are and what is your life story. I shall then give you a message." The man confessed: 'Swami! I am a thief. I have been leading the life of a thief and a liar. My name is Rama. People call me as Rama the Thief." Chaitanya said: 'What a pity! I shall, however, give you a message. What will you give me as Gurudakshina (offering to the teacher)?" The thief replied: 'I shall give you a share in the booty I get from stealing." Chaitanya said: 'I have no need for any such thing. Give me as an offering a promise that you will not commit theft in future." He replied: 'Swami! I am prepared to offer you anything, but I cannot agree to give up stealing." Chaitanya then said: 'If that is so, I shall impart the sacred name to you on one condition. Whichever place you may choose for thieving you must recite the sacred name 108 times before you break into the place." A holy person can change even a thief. Chaitanya then drew the thief near to him. The thief's heart had considerably softened after listening to Chaitanya's words. Sambhaashanam Sankatanaashanam ("conversation with a holy person removes distress"). The thief was getting rid of the fear. He neared Chaitanya. Sparsanam Karma Vimochanam (the touch of a holy person frees one from the effects of past deeds). Chaitanya held the thief's head and whispered in his ear three times the mantra: "Om Namo Bhagavathe Vaasudevaaya." The mere sight (darsanam) of Chaitanya destroyed the sins committed by the thief. His words dispelled the worry felt by the thief. The touch of the saint freed him from the bonds of past deeds. The thief went back with a purified heart. As he was leaving, he saw large numbers of people going to Chaitanya. Many rich persons were amongst them. The thief thought that this was a good opportunity for him to break into their houses. The richest man in the building had taken his wife and children to meet Chaitanya, leaving his house unguarded. The thief broke into the house and entered the safe-room in which all the valuables were kept. He saw gems of all kinds. He was resolved not to touch any of the valuables till he had completed recitation of the mantra given to him by Chaitanya. But before he completed the mantra japa (recitation of holy formula), the master of the house and others arrived there. The lady of the house, who had gone with all her jewels, wanted to replace them in the safe. She saw a stranger in the room engaged in deep meditation. She thought it must be some great sage who had come into the house in their absence and was meditating on God. She called her husband. The stranger continued to be immersed in meditation. He did not appear like a thief. They thought he must be some saintly person who had honoured their home by his visit. All of them began to offer worship to him and prostrate before him. They thought that in the wake of the saint Chaitanya other saintly persons were also visiting their village. Meanwhile, on the completion of the recitation of the mantra, the thief opened his eyes and to his astonishment found a large group of people standing reverently before him. The master of the house asked him: 'Oh sir! Who are you? Where from have you come? We have been sanctified by your visit. Please take your food in our home and redeem our lives by doing us this honour." A great change came over the thief. He thought: 'If the mere recitation of the Lord's name can bring me so much honour and respect, although I had come here only to steal, how many greater things may be in store for me if I genuinely recite the Lord's name for its own sake? I may hope for the highest position by the grace of the Lord." That very moment he decided to give up stealing. He prostrated before the master of the house and his wife and said: 'Mother! Let me tell you the truth. I am a thief. Let me go to a forest. I shall spend the rest of my days contemplating on God and leading my life of a true ascetic." Listening to his words of truth, the elders present were deeply moved and they arranged to carry him in a palanquin in procession round the village and to leave him in a forest as desired by him. Later, the man went to Chaitanya and reverently requested him to bless him so that he may become a real sage worthy of respect from the people.
Discourse at the Institute Auditorium, Prashaanthi Nilayam.
Chaitanya's Message To Mankind.
Once Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sought his mother's permission to go and pursue his studies. Then his mother said, 'My dear one, there are various types of education in this world, but they are meant only for a living and not for life. Only the adhyatmika vidya (spiritual education) is true education. It is immortal and has no limitations. It is changeless in all the three periods of time. Make efforts to acquire such education.î From that day onwards, Chaitanya went about propagating the efficacy of chanting the divine name in each street and in every village. He chanted the name of Lord Krishna at all times and under all circumstances. His message to mankind was simple, yet profound.
There is no charity greater than
feeding the hungry,
There are no greater gods than parents,
There is no greater Japa (chanting) or Thapa (penance) than adherence to truth,
There is no greater Dharma than compassion,
There is no greater gain than the company of the good,
There is no enemy greater than anger,
There is no disease like being a debtor,
There is no wealth greater than good reputation; bad reputation is death itself,
There is no ornament better than the chanting of God's Name.
Man should give up enmity and develop amiable relation with his fellow-beings. This is the most essential education that he has to acquire. It is a sign of delusion and a demonic trait to develop hatred towards others and lead a life of selfishness. Why does Purusha Suktam declare sahasra seersha Purusha Ö? It means that God is not a separate entity. He is samashti swarupa (the cosmic form). He is present in all beings. When God is so close to him, why does man suffer from delusion and face hardships in life? God is permanently installed on the altar of human heart. He is all-pervasive. Man can certainly see Him, touch Him and also speak to Him. But, he lacks such determination and yearning for God. Hence, he suffers.
Chaitanya prayed to Lord Narayana thus:
'Oh Lord, You are
You are the master of all beings.
You control the entire universe.
You are the very life principle.
I do not aspire to attain Vaikunta or Kailasa, or Swarga (heaven) nor do I crave for liberation.
Bless me with love so that I can love You.'
When Chaitanya prayed in this
manner, an ethereal voice said, 'Tathastu' (so shall it be). The
worldly education one may be well-versed in and the immense power
one may be endowed with, are bound to disappear with the passage
of time. Love alone is immortal. Hence, one should consider love
as one's very life. Chaitanya prayed to Krishna to bless him with
such eternal love. Kailasa, Vaikunta and Swarga are like branch
offices of God. Chaitanya was not interested in attaining them. He
recognised that hridaya (heart) is the correct address of God. He
'Oh Lord, I know that You are installed on the altar of my heart. Kindly, bless me with such experience.'
Sathya Sai Speaks - Volume - 35
Power of love alone confers true strength Krishna Chaitanya once went to the temple of Jagannath, at Puri. He was a handsome youth at that time. He addressed Lord Jagannath in these terms: "Oh Lord! You are not merely Jagannath (the Lord of the world). You are the Lord of all the worlds, of the Cosmos, the Lord of Life, the Lord of the Spirit, the Lord of all embodied beings. You can accomplish anything. I do not seek from you the powers of yoga or physical strength. I seek only the power of your Love. Your love will give me all the strength I need. It will be my real strength."
The power of love alone confers true strength. All other powers are of no avail. Hence the only strength we should seek from God is the strength of love. With that strength all the powers can be acquired. It is not sir (wealth) that we should desire. We should yearn for Hari. It is not a man of riches who is a Maharaja. They consider only those who have renounced everything as Maharaja (real rulers). It is not rolling in wealth that constitutes enjoyment. To be immersed in God's love and thoughts of God is the greatest enjoyment as well as true yoga. Chaitanya declared that: "The Lord is the indweller in my heart" because according to the Lord's own declaration, "My Atma abides in all beings as the indwelling Atma." It should not be imagined that the Lord is only this human body. He is present everywhere in the Cosmos. He is timeless, without beginning or end. You must try to develop the awareness of this omnipresent Divine in your heart.
Face troubles with faith in God. Today everybody utters "Ram," "Ram." But very few follow the example set by Rama. They are not true devotees of Rama. At best they may be described as "part-time devotees." True devotion means perpetual remembrance of the name of the Lord and constant meditation on that name, cherishing the figure of Rama in the heart. You should be prepared to face the vicissitudes of life with firm faith in God. It is during times of difficulties that God is remembered. To confront difficulties with faith is itself a spiritual discipline. Although Rama was the son of the Emperor Dasaratha and son-in-law of King Janaka, he had to face many ordeals in life for the sake of upholding Dharma. The Pandavas went through many difficulties for the sake of adhering to righteousness and hence their name and fame remain forever. You should pray to the Lord to give you the strength to bear all troubles and face all difficulties. If you have even an atom of Grace of the Lord, a mountain of troubles can be overcome. Chaitanya declared: "If a fraction of the time that is spent in worrying about wealth, provisions, wife, children, friends and business is devoted to contemplation on the feet of the Divine, one can face the messengers of death without fear and cross the Ocean of Samsara!" It is not necessary to devote many hours to prayer. It is enough if one thinks of God with all his heart and offers himself even for a few moments. A single match stick when it is struck can dispel the darkness in a room that has remained closed for years. Mountains of cotton can be burnt down by a single spark. Likewise, wholehearted chanting of the name of Rama even once can destroy mountains of sins. But the chanting should not be done mechanically like playing a gramophone record. It should emanate from the depths of the heart. Having been born in this sacred land of Bharat, having before you the ideal example of Rama avatar, you must seek to redeem your lives, by living up to Rama's ideals and proclaiming them to the world. Remember the name of Rama with love. God can be realised only through love and by no other means.
Discourse at "Sai Sruti", Kodaikanal, on Sri Rama Navami Day, 14-4-1989.