by Rita Bruce
Rita Bruce, a popular Sai author and speaker, shares with us this selection from her remarks on women’s dharma, given during a Christmas talk in Sai Kulwant Hall.
Women have received a miraculous gift from our creator, our nurturing love. It surpasses all the gifts given by God to mankind. Do we realize how special it is to be a woman? We have been chosen by God to become one with Him in creation whether it is the creation of a child in our womb, or the creation of spiritual development in our selves and our families. We have been given the intrinsic gift of loving God, serving God and bringing others to God. He has not only assigned to us the responsibility of bringing into the world a child, but the ability to give love to a child, whether it is ours or someone else’s. Love is the key to all our existence. Each of us spends a lifetime looking for this love.
You must grow in Love, expand that love, practice love, strengthen love and finally become Love and merge in the Illimitable Love, which is God. All your life, you must be of Love, with Love for Love. That is to say, love expressed through service to those that draw that love from you, and by drawing help to increase it and deepen it.
~Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Speaks, v. 8, p. 153
We are given the ability to love the unlovable; to accept when one is not acting acceptably. The tenderness of a women’s love can forgive, accept, and remain silent in many situations of neglect, loving God even though life has dealt her an ungodly situation. The heart of a woman is filled with compassion because most women have suffered some injustice and they can forgive the unforgivable. This, dear sisters, is what women do everyday in their homes and workplaces.
These gifts that God has given to women are majestic. We are given a place of nobility in the House of the Lord. This is an honor far beyond any material accomplishments or possessions. Kings would battle to attain the virtues that God has given to the feminine energy on earth if they had the consciousness to see the value in this royal treasure.
Human beings are considered to be the epitome of creation in this world which is teaming with millions of beings. In this vast creation, women occupy a very superior position. There are several instances which prove that women are really superior.
Was it not because of boons granted Kausalya that the Divine took birth in her womb as Rama? Lava and Kusa (sons of Rama and Sita) became great as they were lovingly nurtured by their mother, Sita. Again, Shivaji (a famous Indian emperor) became valorous and great because of the loving care of his mother. Gandhi gained fame and a good reputation because of the care and encouragement that he received from his mother, Putalibai. All people, great sages, warriors, various heroes, virtuous persons and even the wicked are born of the womb of the mother. Women are the embodiment of Prakrithi Devi (the feminine principle of creation).
~Sathya Sai Baba
First Ladies’ Day Discourse: November 19, 1995
The only purpose of life is to attain the Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of man. Women by their very nature have devotion to God which guides us to the Kingdom of God.
The Gayatri Mantra is said to be the basis of the Vedas. Gayatri is the feminine aspect. The Vedas are respected as “Mother Veda”. Throughout the past, women have been praised and respected. Women occupy an important place in Vedic prayers, Vedic tradition and Vedic worship. From this, we can say that women have an exulted position.
~Sathya Sai Baba
Ladies Day Discourse November 19, 1995
The most precious is the gift of love, to love God more than anything else. It is the goal we all are seeking. Material possessions do not hold our attention, but love sustains forever. It is natural for us to give love, tenderness, kindness, especially self sacrifice, selflessly serving our family as well as others’ needs.
A woman has the innate ability even to sacrifice her own personal space: the space within her own body to nourish and share everything she has for the infant child inside. When a mother gives birth to a child, the sacrifice of comfort is foregone. The birth of a child, the struggle between the mother and infant takes great effort working together. The description, ‘the agony and the ecstasy’ has a very special meaning for a mother during the birth of a child.
What is this sweetness in the nature of women? Valmiki said that it is the spirit of sacrifice that is sweet. For the sake of the child, the mother is prepared to make any amount of sacrifice. This quality is found only in women. If the child suffers from a critical ailment, the father may say, it is better if the child dies. But, however fatal may be the disease, the mother makes every effort to save the child. Because of this spirit, women are called, ‘Embodiments of Sacrifice’.
Men do not have the same spirit of sacrifice as women. If any problem arises, men come forward with initial enthusiasm, but it is only women who resolutely fight until success is achieved.
~Sathya Sai Baba
November 19, 1995
Women understand the process of birth. The sacrifice that is needed for birth is instilled within the inner being of women. Not just the physical birth of a child, but also the process of spiritual birth. Women know what it takes to endure discomfort, the patience to withstand physical, mental or emotional pain. Women have the ability to bring their children and spouse to God because of these special gifts designed by the creator and placed within females.
Motherhood is the most precious gift of God. Mothers are the makers of a nation’s fortune or misfortune.
~Sathya Sai Baba
Anantapur Campus, SSS University, 5-9-1968
The most important task we are assigned is devotion to God. We must give birth to our divine nature in order to help our children and spouses follow our example. This is no small task. This assignment is so immense. We are responsible for the evolution of man’s spiritual journey in the universe by means of establishing human values in our family. We can create a spiritual foundation for mankind to evolve if we become a living example of virtue.
Are we overlooking our virtuous inheritance from God, the wealth of accepting our true nature and its purpose? Has the truth of our inner beauty been hidden? Are we forgetting our crucial role in His Divine play? Or have we lost the truth of our real identity thinking we must become less than we really are?
The Vedas declare that wherever women are respected and given their rightful place, there, Divinity is present with all the facets of its glory.
~Sathya Sai Baba
Ladies Day Discourse, November 19, 1995
In addition to all the rare qualities described, we are blessed with the knowledge that God exists; not only does God exist but He lives on earth, in the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Think about the life of Rama, Krishna, and Jesus. Can you imagine that you were there walking next to them? It seems almost impossible. We have heard about the stories of God since our childhood. Their lives are spiritual history. It is something that happened so long ago, and it is almost impossible to believe that it is happening again during our lifetime. The reality of accepting this makes us ask the question why me? There is no logical, known answer to that question, so all we can do is be grateful and realize the magnitude of this opportunity.
You have won this human body, this human life, as the reward for many lives spent in acquiring merit. You have won this chance, this unique good fortune of being able to see a holy being, to have the darshan of Sai, plunging deep into the waters of this tumultuous ocean of time, you have heroically emerged from its depths with the rare pearl in your hands of Sai’s grace.
~Sathya Sai Baba
And this is where we get lost between the messages that we are receiving from the world -- our present day reality -- and the realization of this opportune moment to really make a difference in our spiritual evolution, soul growth. The two major facts that we need to acknowledge are:
The role of women has undergone radical change quickly in the last 50 years. We have been led astray because of the many reasons that most you know. Is it not time that we, the Sai women, begin a crusade to live our lives with the virtues exhibited by Sita, Paravthi, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, and Mary? Their lives are examples of women in the history of mankind who have had extraordinary triumphs.
Are we also being given a challenge by our Lord, Sai Baba? Can we come together, support and strengthen one another, and design our behavior and family life according to His teachings? He is waiting for us: Here is scissors, I am one blade and you are the other, I cannot cut the cloth of dharma without you.
If not us, I ask you who is going to make a difference? Who is going to lead by example? Who is going to teach the young and mold their character with human values? Who has the capacity to overcome all obstacles with love and devotion to God? It makes little difference how I phrase the question the answer will remain the same. It is women, the feminine energy.
I believe that the feminine movement that was intended to give women equal opportunity did not begin in the 1960’s but with Sita during her dialogue with Rama. She represents, according to Baba, the ideal role model for woman. We need to follow her example and to reclaim our moral dignity in honor and intelligence, truth and equal communication, speaking with love and not being silenced. Throughout Swami’s Ramakatha Rasavahini, and especially in this dialogue section on pp. 306-308 and 310-311, Sita is revealed as being eloquent, dignified, humble, dutiful, devotional, brave, courageous, loving, self-sacrificing, convincing, logical, and intelligent, as well as being a virtuous woman. This is the true meaning of femininity and an archetype of our spiritual lifestyle.