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Love and Light

Region 3 - Sankraanti: Excerpts from Divine Discourses

(Excerpts from a Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Baba in Sai Kulwant Hall on 15-Jan-1996)

Embodiments of Love! Bhaaratheeya festivals are full of inner significance, imparting bliss, and not ostentatious shows. Every festival has a unique significance of its own.

From today (Makara Sankraanti) the sun starts on his northward journey. What does the north signify? It is considered the direction leading to moksha (liberation). The sun is said to move towards Himaachala. Himaachala is made up of two words: “Hima” and "Achala". “Hima” means that which is white as snow. "Achala" is that which is firm and unshakable. What is the place to which this description applies? It is the region of the heart. In a heart that is pure and steady, the sun of the intellect enters. There is no need to undertake a journey in the external world. The northward journey means turning the intellect inward, towards the heart. The bliss that is experienced within alone is true bliss for man. All other external and sensory pleasures are ephemeral. Only the principle of Aatmaa is pure, permanent and infinite. This has been termed the abode of moksha (liberation). The journey to moksha is called the quest for liberation.

Man cannot secure enduring bliss through physical pleasures. He has to discover that the source of this bliss is within himself. Sankraanti enables man to make this discovery, like a man who carrying his spectacles on his forehead searches for it everywhere and discovers to his joy that it has been with him all along. The Divine is not anywhere else. It is enshrined in one's heart. Hence, the man who seeks the Divine within his heart redeems himself. He then attains liberation. All external spiritual exercises are of temporary value. They should be internalized to experience lasting bliss. All mental exercises also leave the heart unaffected. In the nine paths of devotion, beginning with listening to sacred things and ending with total surrender of the self, the last is the most important. After total surrender of self there is no need for any other effort. Sankraanti gives the call for this total surrender.

Sankraanti promotes mental transformation. It illumines the minds of people. It induces the unfoldment of inner feelings. It brings about the manifestation of the invisible Aatmaa within everyone. Sankraanti is pregnant with such immense significance. It influences not only the mind but also the powers of nature. Nature is a projection of the mind. The world is rooted in the mind. When the mind is turned towards the heart and the heart is filled with the Divine, the mind will cease to be a source of trouble. The mind is the master of the senses. When the senses are controlled the mind is under control. Only the master of the mind can attain the Divine.

Men today are plagued by a whole battery of troubles from birth to death. How can they hope for happiness amidst this sea of troubles? They have to change their vision, their thoughts, their words and their conduct. This is the meaning of Sankraanti. Unless you purify yourself, what can any number of Sankraanti-s mean to you? You tasted sweet prasaadam this morning. After some time, its taste is gone. It is not sweet food that is important. You must fill your life with holy thoughts. That is the purpose of sacred festivals.

Sankraanti should be hailed as the harbinger of unity and peace!

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

From Prema Jyoti – Beacon of love –Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Mill Hill