SRI SATHYA SAI HRUDAYA NIVASI 
(Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombay Srinivasan
THE SEVA SADHANA
In one of the group interviews, in which I had the chance to be in,
Swami beautifully analyzed the theory of papam & punyam, the sin and
God has bestowed on the humanity, three special faculties which is
not given to any other living beings. They are, the power of
thinking, the power of speech, and the power of performing. These
three faculties are called "Thri karna" in Sanskrit language. The
thought, word and deed, all these three should function in unison in
ones life: Manas Ekam,. Vachasyekam, Karmanyekam is called THRI
KARANA SUDHI'. Swami always advises that one should say only what he
thinks and do only what he says. Then the life will be blissful
without any blemish and will attract divine grace. We should use
these special faculties bestowed on us, used by us with utmost care
and to the best use of the society, wherever we live.
Now what is sin (Papam)? If we cause any harm to any body, by using
any one of these special powers of Thrikarana then it is a sin. We
should not even think bad about others, or utter anything, which may
cause unhappiness to others and act in the way, which causes harm to
others, as such bad thoughts, unpleasant words and harmful acts
corrupt the Thri Karna Sudhi.
Contrarily by the use of these three faculties, if some benefit could
result to others, other than you or your relatives, then it becomes a
merit (Punyam). It earns you the Grace of Lord.
We are suffering in life because of accumulated Papas (Sins)
committed either earlier in this life or in our previous births. It
is always carried forward, life after life unless and until the
accumulations are liquidated. Likewise some enjoy the fruit of their
good acts earned during this life and also the previous lives. One
goes on enjoying its fruit till the accumulated punya is in balance.
This also gets consumed gradually.
We often say that we are suffering because of bad Karmas Suffering Is
Karma bound the result of bad action (i.e. sins) is known as bad
karma. Nobody can escape from such bad actions and we have to endure
the effects. There is only one way to come out of the bad karma,
which is like a negative mark earned by us. It is always in minus. We
have to earn enough plus marks by practicing Sath Karma (pious deeds)
and gradually reduce the minus mark. A constant practice of Sath
Karma, helps to bring down the negative (i.e. the minus) marks slowly
to a level of O (zero) and then the further continuing efforts
(Sadhana) put you on the positive side of plus marks. This has to be
a constant endeavor. When you think good for somebody, or give
benefits to somebody at least by your words, or your action, then
plus mark accrues. Even if we curse somebody or think evil of
somebody there is a minus accrual. Therefore, we have to be careful
and cautious in our thought, word, and deed.
When we find somebody, known or unknown, friend or foe, undergoing
suffering, we should not feel unconcerned about it. On the contrary
if you pray for him, think good of him, it would earn plus points.
Likewise, we can also attempt to do some good to others by our mere
spoken words. For example, you find somebody remaining unemployed for
a very long period and he is in distress. By our mere "spoken" words,
we can recommend him to someone known to us and help him to get a job
and thereby his earning. This also gets you merits.
We can, by our action, engage ourselves constantly in selfless
service to the society, which is the highest level of Seva. Sadhana
Paving the way for your good virtue. We may have our own problems in
our house. We may be busy in our work places. But still it is
desirable to allot a few hours for Seva every week. Sri Sathya Sat
Seva Organizations helps the devotees to canalize their energy and
work together in offering Seva.
"Recognize the divinity in all living beings and offer Seva. And this
Seva becomes holier than the worship of the Lord. When service is
offered, blended with spiritual practices, it becomes the highest
form of yoga- the Seva yoga, which is higher than any other yoga and
it bestows the Grace and leads you to liberation". Says Baba
In performing Seva, the spiritual practices also become important,
according to Swami. There are various organizations, offering service
to society, and they may do it on a much large scale. But what is
missing in their effort is the spiritual base in the thought, word
and deed. We can undertake Seva even in a small way, within our
capacity, but backed by spiritual practices, with the underlying
feeling that the Seva we are doing is an attempt to please the Lord.
Then we do not look for the fruit of Seva. Your only intention is to
please Lord, and this feeling in turn takes you step by step towards
Swami further explained by another beautiful example, as to how
spiritualism and Seva are to be blended. Swami said. "We wash our
clothes to remove the dirt from it. What do we do? We mix the
detergent in the water and then use the solution for washing. You
can consider the detergent as Seva and the water as spirituality. In
case you try to wash the cloths only in the water i.e.. Spirituality,
it will nor derive the desired result. Likewise, a dry soap or
detergent powder cannot be used for removing: the dirt. We need both
water and detergent to achieve the result. So when you expect the
grace of God and a way for liberation, we have to undertake Seva
backed up with spiritual practices"
This is the basic philosophy of Sai, He urges us to do Seva, but
first step is to evolve ourselves into spiritual beings. Even in the
9-point code of conduct, the very first step insisted by Swami is to
do Pooja, prayers and meditation every day morning. Next we should
attend Bhajans, Nagarsankeerthan etc arranged by the Organization. It
is also necessary that all family members should join together and
conduct Bhajan in our own homes. Other rules are also mentioned such
as Narayana Seva, i.e. feeding the poor, attention to our character
building and so on. We have to show our earnestness and while we
initiate the first few spiritual practices, then Swami will take
further steps towards us to make us fully eligible for Divine Grace.
Satsang and reading of Sai literature will also help to imbibe
spiritual knowledge and practice. With such a spiritual back up, if
we offer any service, however small it may be, it becomes the highest
form of Yoga and worship.
There is a risk of EGO rearing its monstrous head, when you are
constantly engaged in service activities: We have to be very watchful
and alert. We should feel very humble when we are engaged in
activity. We have only duties; and we have no rights and certainly no
rights for fruits of action. Swami does not accept it if we 'talk'
about the service we offer. Without expecting the fruits of action,
we should only perform and move on.
We can see, the devotees singing Bhajans whenever they are engaged in
group activities. We should follow thus practice and engage in
Namasmarana even while we are busy with domestic work. Remember the
name always and do your Sadhana. Swami has declared what will
please Him the most He says that when other people in general are
happy by your service, Swami will also be happy. As such we should
try to make other people happy by our devoted Seva and then Swami is
happy. The Divine Grace flows unto you automatically.
I wish to recall a petty event to illustrate how we can bring
happiness to a fellow citizen. Some years ago, I was trying to cross
the Mount Road, in Madras, just opposite "The Hindu" newspaper office
to reach the Government Estate. On this point, the road takes a steep
rise approaching a bridge. I noticed an old cart man who was pulling
a handcart. His legs were slipping, unable to move the cart due to
heavy load and gradient. Impulsively, I moved over and started
pushing the cart from behind. The cart man felt the relief in pulling
the load over the gradient road. He was surprised and looked back His
eyes were sparkling with gratitude. After helping him out to reach
the steep road, I walked off. He stopped and was looking back to spot
me, apparently to thank me. I did not give him that chance. I saw the
smile on his face and I believed that was the best reward.
During the years of Sai Seva, I had tried to follow the above
principles, and the guidance provided by Swami Himself several times.
At times, nay many times, there could be many hurdles in the way
while attending to the assignments given to us. But when we surrender
everything to Him and then engage in Seva, He is there to remove all
the hurdles and we can experience the signs of His Grace. Very often,
the most difficult jobs, which make us think, that we are up against
a blank wall, are tackled beyond our expectation and the Ananda
(bliss) we derive out of it is beyond all expressions. We come to
know very well that but for His grace and intervention the job could
not have been accomplished. By this way we experience Swami through
and through, and this realization brings us more and more joy. This
has been my personal experience several times.
Swami has referred to three types of methods and attitudes, which
characterize one's performance of duty: "Duty with Love is
desirable. Duty without Love is deplorable; "Love without Duty is
Divine. " Swami has very often, stressed the importance of performing
selfless Seva, it is sheer love, without duty, which is supreme.
We should understand that it is not for the sake of Swami that we are
engaging ourselves in Seva. We should not give shelter to the feeling
that by our Seva somebody is getting the benefit. Swami says that
the devotee engaged in Seva, is himself benefited by this act. We
should cheerfully undertake Seva without any selfish or other motives
and prompting. Seva is done out of our own inner urge and having done
it, we should leave the matter at that. Grace will accrue on its own.
It was illustrated with a beautiful and imaginary example.
Suppose that we are proceeding to Prashanthi Nilayam by a bus. On the
way, all the passengers alight in front of a hotel for having lunch.
After finishing the lunch, you are making payment at cash counter and
notice a beggar sitting outside. You pay some extra money to the
cashier and ask him to give food to that beggar and go to the bus and
occupy your seat. In case you had told the beggar that you had paid
enough money to the cashier and that he would give you food, the net
benefit out of this charity is lost. Since you did not utter a word
about this to the beggar, the message of your action is moving
upwards to God. At this time, you should forget the whole episode of
your charity and carry on with your travel. Sooner the Lord will take
note of it. Suppose you could not contain your mind. A fellow devotee
is sitting next to your seat. You open your mouth and tell him that
you had just asked the cashier to feed the beggar and had paid for
it. You felt that you had done a great charity that day. But the
moment you uttered these words to your friend, the message comes down
and does not reach God and you do not get any benefit out of your
charity. More than doing a Seva, it is important to keep the action
within us and offer the same to Lord, instead of speaking about it.
This is the true Service without Duty.
It is not a question of how big a Seva you have done. God is only
looking for the quality, not only in the work, but also in the mind
when you engage yourselves in service. When we get the chance to do
the individual Seva, we should keep it within ourselves. When we are
given a chance to work in the organization, we should understand that
we are only a tool and that we should feel happy to know that we got
the chance. Our only duty is to engage in the activity to the best of
our ability as per instruction of the leaders. Another important
factor, which we should remember is that, we should subject ourselves
to the discipline of the organization. "Devotion, Duty & Discipline"
These three are basic norms emphasized very-often by Bhagawan.
If only we could follow the dictums and engage ourselves in selfless
service, God's Grace wiII automatically come to us.
Follow regular Sadhana in order to control the senses and the
emotions. Do not pay heed to others who may ridicule you, for your
changed way of life. They may point you to others and laugh. "Look at
this man! He has become a great Sai Bhakta"; "Look at him with his
Japa and Bhajan!'' But have your vision steady and your WiII strong.
Do not deviate; march straight on. - Baba
GOD IS LOVE, LIVE IN LOVE
In one of the His Divine discourses, Bhagawan declared that He is the
richest person in the world, nay, in the universe itself, richer than
Kubera, the Lord of wealth. Swami further clarified that His richness
does not consist of money or materials; the most valuable asset of
Baba is Love. He is the embodiment of Love itself.
The whole world is an expanse of love enveloping all the living
beings, one-way or the other. Even the most dry hearted human being
or for that sake even any wild animal exhibit sparks of love in their
own way. Such love may be of selfish nature with attachment or
bondage to their kith and kin or to outside people who are admired or
revered. It is only the consistent spiritual Sadhana, which slowly
and steadily leads us up to a level in which we are able to transcend
the narrow frontiers of selfish love into the vast expanse of divine
love enveloping the whole of humanity. 'Premaswarupullara' addresses
Swami very often, while delivering Divine discourses to the
gathering. Because, this is the real nature of mankind.
Swarm's advent of this present Avatar hood is to regenerate the
mankind, with the human values informing both our view and way of
life. As all of us know, what these values are viz., Sathya, Dharma,
Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa. If only the prime value of universal Prema
is fostered and developed in our life, it will be very easy and
almost automatic to develop the other values. How do we go about it?
According to Bhagawan it is very simple; it only requires a degree of
earnestness in our efforts. Man is by very nature love personified.
But the self and the desires of the self have come to grip our
thoughts and actions in our lives, past and present. Our efforts,
therefore, should be, to purify our Chitha by removing the
accumulated dirt slowly so that the ever-present quality of love
surfaces in all our thoughts and deeds. Swami is, in fact, making us
aware of the inherent LOVE in us by subtle methods of spiritual
Sadhana inculcating in us.
To develop universal love, we have to first realize that the universe
is only a manifestation of Divinity, and that Divinity is inherent in
all living beings, what Swami call as Resident Divinity We should
extend our love to every living beings as a manifestation of the same
divinity, and in the same way, as we love God Swami also invariably
emphasizes the need to have expansion of love and not contraction of
love which means that love should be selfless and with not selfish
We love our family members, because they happen to be our
wife/husband, son, daughter, father or mother. The love extended to
all these relatives is only selfish in nature. Our love is
conditional based on our relationships. We even find variations in
the intensity of love towards different relatives, depending upon the
degree of attachment with each one of them. But the divine love is
not conditional. It is selfless.
Our love to God should also be selfless. "Love is selflessness and
self is lovelessness. Love is a mutual feeling. Love generates Love.
When you love somebody it is always reciprocated. Even a person of
very hard nature responds to love. I remember a story narrated by a
senior devotee in Madras, during one of his discourses,. In a study
It was said that during period of His boyhood, Sri Krishna was
undergoing Gurukul Vaasam (living in the hermitage of the Guru) with
Guru Sandeepini Maharshi along with Balarama and Sudhama. In the
performance of the chores all the three used to go to the forest to
fetch firewood for the Ashram. One day it was too late in the night,
they were still in the forest and they had to camp there. They
decided to take turns so that one could be awake, while the other two
could sleep under the tree. First it was the turn of Sudhama to keep
vigil. While doing so, he noticed that a gang of tribal men was
passing by, closely where they were resting. Sudhama thought that
they might cause harm to them and tried to scare them away, by angry
gestures. The tribal folk did not mean any harm to Krishna and
company. And yet when Sudhama tried to threaten them by gestures,
they also reacted likewise. Luckily, without much ado they moved
Next, it was the turn of Balarama, to take over from Sudhama. He also
noticed the tribal folks moving about in the area. Balarama too tired
to scare them away by angry gestures to which they responded angrily.
Balarama did not leave them at that. He gestured that he would attack
them if they did not move away from that place. The tribal folk
responded in the same manner and measure. They got nearer to Balarama
and beat him brutally and then moved away. Balarama took it quietly
and retired for the night after his time was over.
Last it was for Sri Krishna to take over. The other two could not
forget their respective encounters and were not able to sleep. To
their horror, they found that the tribal people were once again
passing through the place. They were very eager to watch how Krishna
was going to tackle them. On seeing the tribal folk, Krishna waved
His hands towards them smilingly conveying His good wishes. They also
responded smilingly. Krishna then, by His gestures, invited them to
come nearer. They came nearer and were all in smiles. They hugged
each other reflecting warmth and friendship. After a while, they went
The devotee, in his talk, was further trying to explain to us, how
our own feelings get reflected in others. When you show hatred to
any one, the other party also responds with hatred. When you show
love, they also extend their love to you. Love is reciprocated by
love Swami often points out the simple analogy of a person looking at
the mirror. If the person puts on an angry face, the reflection is
also the same. If, one smiles, the reflection also smiles!
Thirty thousand feet above the earth, when an aircraft was being
highjacked, the devotee heard the command of Swami, to "love the
highjacker". How could you love a 'high jacker', when he was
threatening to blow up the plane killing every body on board. And yet
this was the command. The lady devotee, on hearing the message,
mentally extended her love towards them. It was reported that they,
the 'highjackers' subsequently, lost their nerves to live through the
tension drama and ultimately surrendered to the authorities.
It is not enough if you say that you love somebody. In case of pure
love, we follow it up with positive action. When we love our child,
we try to express our love by purchasing and presenting something for
the child to bring joy. Any sincere feeling of love manifests itself
into an action.
When we love God, God's love also manifests. In fact, God is ever
loving and at times we are not able to feel and enjoy that divine
love because of certain inherent blocks in our feelings of love.
The magnetic power in iron automatically attracts the ordinary iron.
But in case the ordinary iron is densely covered by rust and other
impurities, the magnet cannot attract it. The rust in our feelings
has to be removed and our Chitha purified to be able to absorb the
abundant love from God. And we too should love God unconditionally.
When once we develop love towards someone, we start listening to him
or her with interest and act in the best way possible to please the
party, whom we love. When we say we love God, it implies and
involves total commitment to the Divine Commands and direction. We
can then claim that we love God, unconditionally.
What Is it that Swami is instructing us? "Start the day with Love
spend the day with Love and End the day, with Love." We hear the
sayings of Swami several times, but we fail to put it in practice in
our daily life `Start the day with love.... But what do we do? A
slight delay in getting our morning coffee, or in sighting the
newspaper boy, makes us agitated. We have sharp remarks in reserve,
for the maidservant if she comes late or slips up, in work. In our
conversations we exhibit irritation, because it has been our way of
life all along. We seem to have lost the faculty of tolerance and
softness in speech. Only when we are free of mental agitation, we can
speak softly and sweetly.
Swami has been teaching to mend our habits and has shown us the ways
too. Early morning, if we sit for meditation followed by Japa and
Pooja, our mind becomes calm and gets itself conditioned to accept
the events as they come and to develop tolerance, which in turns
removes anger and hatred. Love resumes its place in our mind. This
is what Swami wants from us, under item No I of 9-point Code of
Conduct, which has been prescribed for all the devotees.
As we go out into the world during the day we come into contact with
various personalities. Some of them, you may like and many others you
may not like. We react differently to different people. You feel
happy to see and talk to the one whom you like. You breed a sense of
aversion to those whom you do not like. It is very difficult to
condition the mind. Yet, we have to try and attempt to foster and
develop a proper balanced attitude and behavior towards every one.
Constant remembrance of Swami, in such situation, to some extent
direct us to stick to proper behavior. Swami teaches us to extend
mentally our love towards such persons. Our smiling face would elicit
the same smile from the other party too.
However at times, when we are engaged in conversation with someone,
the subject matter quite often turns to those on whom we may have
reservations. We pass comments and criticize them. Swami warns us to
be cautious and careful about this habit and behavior. Remember
Swami's dictum in the 9-Point Code of Conduct, which says "Don't talk
ill of others, especially in their absence".
As the day closes in, we prepare ourselves to retire for the day.
While doing so, we should spend a while in self-retrospection. What
are all the mistakes we have done during the day? Have we strayed
away from the path of Love any time during the day? We should
contemplate, and try to improve our performance the next day. It
should be a continuous process. This is the Sadhana of self-
As long as hatred and anger prevails in our mind, it is very
difficult to cultivate love in our hearts. Anger and hatred have to
be eliminated gradually by constant practice and tolerance and love
assumes its place automatically.
The most tolerant person may encounter a very difficult man who may
even inflict mental or physical pain on us. Then what are we to do?
Here too, Swami says that we should not act in the manner of 'tit for
tat'. For all the pain inflicted, it is our duty to pray for
forgiveness and for his welfare in spite of all that he has done to
you. This pleases Swami very much.
Swami wants us to live happily forever, with overwhelming love in our
heart, for God is Love!
There are some questions among those handed over to me, on the Name
to be used in Japa, whether Ram Naam or the Five-lettered Namahsivaya
or the Elght-lertered Om Namo Narayanaya or whether I would suggest
some other Name. The Scriptures have given a good answer for this.
God is one without a Second. You can adore Him according to your own
fancy and pleasure. He does not change. He is not changed, when the
Names you adore Him by, are changed or the Forms you picture Him by,
We have many kinds of sweets-many Names and forms. But sugar is the
One substance that makes each one sweet. You may prefer one sweet
thing more than another. You are welcome to prefer it but do not
condemn; or prevent others, preferences. You may adore Krishna, for
that Name and Form gives you the greatest joy, the maximum thrill;
but do not find fault with a brother who worships the same God
through another Name- Form Rama. Shiva or Vishnu, or any such other.
He has as much right as you, to worship God in the form he likes.
The effectiveness lies not in the Mantra or in the Name and Form, it
is centered upon. It lies in the heart, in the yearning, in the
thirst. God will assume the form and answer to the Name for your
thirst! That is the measure of His Grace. Baba
TO BE CONTINUED
With Sai love from Sai brothers
E-Mail: "Venkatachalam Srinivasan" <vsvasan99@...
Telephone: Mobile: 9382685217