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This Bank and That Bank

This is an excerpt of a beautiful discourse delivered by Bhagavan Baba on the occasion of the inauguration of a branch office of State Bank of India in Prasanthi Nilayam more than 40 years ago.

I am glad that the State Bank of India is opening a branch here in the Prashanthi Nilayam area. Artha (wealth) is one of the Purushaarthas – legitimate objects of human endeavour. The four purushaarthas are dharma, artha, kaama and moksha (righteousness, wealth, desire and liberation). They have been listed so, in that order, on purpose.

Dharma (righteousness) has to direct and control the process of earning wealth (artha) and moksha (liberation) is to be the regulating factor of desire (kaama). All wealth accruing from sources minted by adharma (unrighteous means) is to be treated with contempt as unworthy of man.

Sathya Sai Speaks

All desires that do not subserve the one supreme need for liberation are to be given up as beneath the dignity of man. So, the Adhyaathmic (spiritual) basis of dharma and moksha, has to be the root of both artha and kaama. Without it, earning degenerates into plundering; desire degenerates into death.

This Bank helps you to keep your money safe when you deposit it with them. They are happy to receive it from you; they will allow you to make use of it when you are in difficulty. But your money helps you only in worldly distress. You accumulate it with great care, by thousands of acts of denial, denying yourselves this comfort or that convenience, saving in this item and that, spending less and earning more; but a day comes when you have to leave the pile and go, empty-handed.

This passbook will not be looked into there. Why, even while here, when the pile grows into an attractive quantity, sons start fighting for it, causing you anxiety and fear; taxes take away a large share; thieves and crooks have an eye on it.

What is the Other Bank?

There is another Bank which receives deposits and maintains accounts strictly and confidentially. Every little sum is entered and accounted for deeds, thoughts, words, good, bad and indifferent. If this Bank takes good care of your aasthi (properties, wealth), that Bank watches whether you are an aasthika, a person who acts on the assumption that there is asthi – a sovereign guiding principle that is divine, that whispers warnings from the heart when dharma and sathya are infringed, when artha and kaama enslave man unchecked. No son can sue for that aasthi (wealth); no tax-gatherer can lay his hands on it. No crook can transfer it to his purse. Open a deposit account there, in that Bank, for your prosperity here and hereafter. That deposit, growing by your spiritual efforts, will give you joy and peace.

While you should develop this saving habit here, for the sake of old age and a rainy day, it is necessary that you should develop that "saving habit" for the hereafter, so that you may be saved. Dharmam chara, sathyam vada is the method. Dharma, sathya and prema (Righteousness, Truth and Love) are the currency accepted by that other Bank. All acts, words and feelings ringing with the purity of these metals will be accepted as deposits. So, along with an account in this bank, you must take care to have an account in that other Bank also…

The Unique Features of the Other Bank

Sathya Sai Speaks

This bank will not give loans to all and sundry; its help is only for those who are credit-worthy, who have impressed by their industry and integrity that they will make good use of the money and keep their word. That other Bank too will save from distress and grief those who have sathya, dharma, shanthi and prema. This bank will help only in proportion to the deposits that stand in your name; that Bank too deals like that.

The consequences of the meritorious activities of previous births can be drawn upon now; but unless you have them, no cheque will be honoured. Moreover, only those who have the account can operate. Each must have a separate account in his own name; one brother cannot draw on the account of another brother; the wife cannot draw on the account of the husband.

This bank will give loans if you mortgage your house or lands, property that has come down to you from your ancestors, gold jewellery that has come to you from your mothers, etc. That Bank also will allow you to draw upon the accounts of previous births, and deposits made then. That is why you find some people, who are obviously wicked and cruel, mean and miserly, yet leading 'happy' lives, free from pain and grief. They have drawn upon deposits made in the past. They are entitled to that happiness.

Sometimes, this bank will grant you overdrafts, so that you tide over temporary crisis; the extent of the overdraft is settled by the Manager with reference to your reliability and capabilities. It is like the anugraha (Grace), that God will confer on you when you have earned it by sath karma, sath chinthana, sath bhaava, sath sanga and Naamasmarana (good deeds, good thoughts, good feelings, good company and constant contemplation on the name of God and the glory it seeks to express).

Surrender Your Ego to God's Safe Deposit Vault

Banks have safe deposit vaults, where customers can keep their valuables, jewels, legal documents and other things like silver and gold, which attract thieves; they can then be free from worry and sleep in peace. Surrender them to the custody of the Bank and dismiss anxiety from the mind.

That other Bank, dealing with spiritual accounts, has also a safe deposit vault. Surrender your jewels of intelligence, cleverness, capacity to serve and the gem that you most value, namely, your ego to the care of God; then, you can be happy. Maam ekam sharanam vraja, meaning, “ Surrender to Me alone”. This is the way the Lord invites. Then, He assures Maa suchah, that is, you need not grieve at all….

This earthly dhanam (wealth) you take to this bank; that other dhanam, the punyam (good deeds) you do, the purity you achieve, the love that you manifest – bring Me those precious things and I shall accept them as deposits.

- From Divine Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam, July 14, 1966


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Vol 6 Issue 06 - JUNE 2008
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