You must understand that when you limit your desires, keep the welfare of society in view, and seek to discharge your duties, you will be realizing the objective of combining enjoyment with sacrifice. In fact, the bliss that is derived when one renders service to others is beyond measure. It is by such sacrifice that real joy is experienced. When anything is done in expectation of a return, such joy cannot be got.
Bear two things in mind. You must forget the good you have done to others. Remembrance of such good deeds gives rise to expectations of return or a feeling of envy. The other thing which you should forget is the harm done by others to you. Brooding over the harm done by others will only give rise to feelings of hatred and retaliation. Forgetting then and there the harm done by others will free the mind from evil thoughts.
. . . Purity, patience and perseverance are the requisites for accomplishing anything. Cultivate these three qualities. . . Embark on this exercise from now on and develop the habit of combining pleasure with sacrifice. . . Whatever pleasures one wants to enjoy, he should do so in a spirit of renunciation. . . It is . . . when every action is free from the sense of Ahamkara (egoistic doership) and all enjoyment is free from attachment or desire, there will be no difference between enjoyment and renunciation. Hence any enjoyment associated with the ego and with attachment will be enjoyment without sacrifice. When ego and attachment are absent, the actions are free from self-interest and hence are tantamount to acts of sacrifice.
The true secret of enjoyment lies in sacrifice. Sacrifice has also been declared to be the only means of achieving immortality. Giving up what is taken in is a law of life. It applies to breathing, food and other things. Likewise, the wealth which one acquires should also be given back to society. Wealth includes not only riches, but every other form of acquisition including knowledge, scholarship, and skills of various kinds. The knowledge you have acquired through education should be imparted to others. It is by such sharing that your education gets enriched and purposeful. If you do not impart the knowledge you possess, it becomes useless. This means that the more you give, the more you grow.
Yoga is the state that is realized by one who, born as a human being, engages himself in various spiritual exercises to experience the transcendental Divinity. Yoga thus means the attainment of that Divinity which is not easily attainable. It refers to the envisioning of that which is beyond the physical vision.
Yoga means experiencing that Divine, which is not visible to the eye, or audible to the ear, is beyond the reach of the mind and the heart, by a process of spiritual discipline. It is the process of making manifest in one’s experience the unmanifested divinity.
. . . Good actions and good thoughts are necessary to achieve realization of the Atma [the Divine]. Our body is like a wall clock. It is when a large number of good acts are done by the body, represented by the movements of the second hand in the clock, that the mind, represented by the minute hand, moves once. It is when the mind engages itself in pure thoughts that the Atma (the hour hand) experiences bliss.
There are three basic things in the world: the earth, space, and light. These three are essential for sustaining the individual soul (jivi). Water and air provide the food. Without these five, life will be impossible. Where there is the Atma, you will find water and air. The Atma can exist without water or air, but water and air cannot exist without the Atma (the Divine). The Atma is eternal, immaculate, effulgent and all-pervading. It is not dependent on anything. It sustains and supports everything. The five basic elements are sustained by the Atma. They proclaim the glory of the Paramatma (Supreme). Every moment we enjoy the benefits derived from the five elements. If we have no air to breathe, we will be suffocated. Air is present all around us, but it is not visible to the eyes, nor can it be grasped by the hand.
The Divine is equally all-pervading, but cannot be seen or held. It can only be experienced like sugar dissolved in water which cannot be seen or taken out, but can be tasted. When you experience the Divine by sadhana [spiritual practices], it is equivalent to direct perception. Embarking on the process of Self-realization, seeking to experience Divine bliss, performing the spiritual exercises prescribed for getting near to the Lord and merging in Him, when you develop selfless love, only then the Divine, who is the very embodiment of Love, will be experienced. Love will not grow in a field barren of love. Where love does not grow, the fruits of love cannot be gathered. . .
Illumine the entire world with the light of your love. . . The world has to be redeemed through love.
~ Sathya Sai Baba
Summer Course in Brindavan, May 24, 1991
(Excerpts from discourse. Readers are referred to Sathya Sai Speaks, volume XXIV, for the complete original text.)