Volume 7 - Issue 12
December 2009
Other Articles



the Merits of Sacrifice

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

In this month of December, more than half of the world bows down in reverence to the ‘Son of God’ whose epitomized the principle of Sacrifice. Lord Jesus Christ gave up His own body to save humanity. And today we see Bhagavan Baba striving relentlessly to provide solace and strength, succor and love to a troubled world that needs it desperately. Sacrifice is the very nature of the Divine, and it is because of this that the Lord is perennially in Bliss. The Lord exists not for Himself but for others.

We too can experience such permanent joy if only we tap this inexhaustible reservoir of happiness by learning to make sacrifice a part of our being. How should we do this? Who are our examples? How will it benefit us now and later? Please try this quiz which is based on Bhagavan’s discourses and you will find the apt answers for all these queries. These questions and their explanations we hope will serve to inspire this sacred virtue of sacrifice in your thoughts which could later transform into virtuous action.

1. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 2000, Swami lauded the spirit of sacrifice of His Divine Mother Easwaramma and said: “When I was seven and half years old, I used to teach Pandhari bhajans to small children in our village. Easwaramma and Subbamma used to feel ecstatic watching Me sing Pandhari bhajans and dance to the rhythm. Sometimes, her husband Pedda Venkama Raju would give Easwaramma some money for the household expenditure. Once, two annas (paise) were remaining with her out of this money. One could buy two bags of puffed rice for two annas those days. So, Easwaramma bought two bags of puffed rice with the two annas and distributed to the children. She always used to give away whatever she had with her. She was the embodiment of sacrifice.”

What did Easwaramma do when Swami gave her the money that His friends gave Him before leaving for another school for further education?

She asked Him to give it back to them
She brought food for the poor
She kept those coins until her last breath!
She asked Swami to treasure them in the Old Mandir


2. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1995, Swami teaches us the meaning of sacrifice by giving an example of the great King Bali:

“Emperor Bali was a great devotee. Moreover he excelled in acts of charity. He made his subjects rejoice. He never went back on his plighted word. He was full of such great virtues. Emperor Bali took good care of his people, promoting their welfare and endearing himself to them.

“In spite of the strong opposition from his preceptor Shukraachaarya…Bali was firm in surrendering to Lord Vishnu all that he had. He told the Preceptor: "Guruji, what is the use of my possessing anything which is not of use to God? The seeker is God Himself. God has really no desires. But to redeem us from the consequences of our past deeds He creates situations which call for offerings, when the infinite Divine appears in the role of the seeker of favours, what greater blessing can there be than making the offering to the Divine? I do not seek any greater blessing than this. I am ready to offer my mind, my body and my life itself to God. There is no greater fortune than this."

According to Swami, what lesson did Emperor Bali teach mankind by his sublime sacrificial spirit?

Nothing should come between a devotee and the Lord
Sacrifice reassures being graced with the Vision of the Lord
Spirit of sacrifice is essential to become desireless
It is the quality, not quantity, of sacrifice, which is more important


3. Swami once guided the doctors how they should truly work: “Medicine should not be commercialized. It is meant to promote heart to heart and love-to-love relationship between doctor and patient. A true doctor is one who realizes this truth and conducts himself accordingly. One with commercial outlook is not a doctor at all. In fact, he is a patient himself! Spirit of sacrifice is the hallmark of a true doctor.”

During a Divine Discourse delivered in 2001, He reinstated that once again: “It is your good fortune that you have become doctors. Sacrifice is the hallmark of a true doctor. So, doctors should have the spirit of sacrifice. They should be compassionate and considerate towards the poor. There are many poor people who are losing their lives, as they cannot afford costly treatment. Your love alone can sustain such lives. The more you develop the spirit of sacrifice in you, the greater will be the world’s progress.”

According to Swami, how does a doctor benefit by treating a patient with a spirit of sacrifice rather than with greed for money?

His fame grows hundred-fold!
Money comes automatically to him
His skills get sharpened
All his patients are always cured!


4. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1989, Swami expresses His displeasure at the heartlessness of some affluent people: “It should be realized that only today's thyaga (sacrifice) can lead to tomorrow's bhoga (enjoyment). When the sacrifice is made with a full heart, the returns will also be equally abundant. Unfortunately, man today does not even dream of making any sacrifice.

“When a presence of sacrifice is made, it is only a concession to fashion. Very few have any idea of what real sacrifice is. As a consequence, the wealthy, in spite of their riches, have neither peace nor security. The affluent do not care even to give a little food to the destitute at their gate; but they drop bagful of money in the hundi (donation box) in a temple. These foolish persons fail to see the divinity in fellow human beings and make offerings to an inanimate object.”

According to Swami, what can the sacred act of sacrifice ultimately lead to?

Fulfillment of all wishes
Increase in stamina
Decrease of slothfulness


5. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1992, Swami teaches us how Nature can put us to shame by its display of sacrifice to mankind: “Examine for a moment how various objects in creation are conducting themselves. For instance, a tree bears sweet fruits. But it does not enjoy the fruits itself. It offers them to others for enjoyment. What a spirit of sacrifice is displayed by the tree! The Lord created the rivers. But the rivers do not use for their own benefit even a drop of their water. The water is offered to those who seek it. Likewise, the cow does not consume the milk it produces, but offers it to its calf and to others.

“But man, despite all his intelligence and knowledge, does not exhibit this sense of sacrifice. He keeps all that he earns for the benefit of himself and his kith and kin and makes no sacrifice at all. Consequently, man is haunted by all kinds of troubles. He is a victim of many diseases. Neither birds nor beasts are subject to such afflictions. They are content to live on whatever they can get. But man consumes a variety of foods and invites a variety of maladies. The worst disease to which man is subject to is ____________.”

Heart ailments


6. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1992, Swami clarifies: “In ancient times, they used to perform Aswamedha Yaga (Horse Sacrifice). What does the "Horse Sacrifice" mean? By Aswam (horse) is meant that which is restless. The horse cannot remain steady even for a moment. It always shakes one part or the other of its body. The horse is an animal, which represents the unsteady mind. The word Medha in Aswamedha literally
means the mind. Thus to perform the ‘Horse Sacrifice’ really means to offer the restless mind to God.”

According to Swami, what was the correct meaning of the practice of the ancient rites of sacrificing animals by the priests?

To show the magnanimous spirit of humanity
To sacrifice the beastly qualities in man
To promote unity amongst the priests and the common man
To save Mother earth from overgrowth of animal population


7.During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1991, Swami explains: “Man has to perform the actions ordained for him by the scriptures. Good actions have to be performed with good intentions…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. It is only through such sacrifice that the Divine can manifest in man. Hence man should strive to realize the Divine by not ignoring the message of the Upanishads.

“All our sense organs are externally visible and function externally: the eyes, the ears, etc. The mind, the intellect and the will operate internally and are internal instruments. Therefore, they are called antahkarana (internal instruments).”

According to Swami, how can one combine enjoyment with sacrifice?

With diligent discipline
With Exercise
By limiting our desires
With the partial enjoyment of sense organs


8. During the 1974 Summer Shower Discourse, Swami stresses on the importance of the ancient ritual called Yagna:

"Our ancients have prescribed various rituals, which enable us to shed our arrogance and ego. These rituals, which have been passed on to us, have also been called Yajna and Yaga. The word Yajna has come from the root word Yaj. We have come to recognize this ritual, yajna as important in the context of our worshipping the Lord. The statements that are in our Vedas have told us to sacrifice everything, and through sacrifice we should be able to get a vision of the divine in us.

"The creation and its maintenance depend only on sacrifice. If there is no sacrifice, society will not remain intact. If there is no sacrifice, there will be no life and one cannot recognize the truth. If there is no sacrifice, there is no creation and there is no sustenance."

Swami says: “It is said that what you cannot get by your ________ and effort can be got by sacrifice.

Good deeds

9. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 2000, Swami reveals the destiny of the fortunate ones who get the opportunity to make true sacrifice for Divinity: “The Vedas proclaimed in the following words: Na Prajaya Dhanena Thyagenaike Amrutathwamanasuhu (immortality is attained not by wealth, progeny or position, it is attainable only by self-sacrifice). These days one finds only an increasing load of desires with people but no inclination towards self-sacrifice. People forget the interests of their country and increase their personal wants. They ignore unity and enjoy multiplicity. True sacrifice is that which is made towards divinity.”

According to Swami, what is the reason why God gives man the opportunity to serve?

To make our lives meaningful
To set examples for other beings to follow
To occupy our monkey mind
To teach man the value of sacrifice


10. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1984, Swami encourages the youth towards developing the spirit of sacrifice: “In one's life, the years sixteen to thirty are the most precious. This is the period when all of one's faculties and energies are at their peak. Hence one should strive to make the best use of this period. Noble qualities like self-confidence, sacrifice, aspiration and courage must be acquired then. If this time of one's life is wasted, there will only be failures in later years. Bad thoughts, bad practices and backbiting should be eschewed altogether. During this crucial period, one should try to understand the purpose of life and concentrate one's efforts on achieving one's ideals.

“No spiritual effort is possible when one has dissipated one's physical and mental abilities. It is a pity that young people misuse these precious years of their lives by falling into bad ways. Swami expects them to develop all their human endowments and lead exemplary lives, which will be an object-lesson to others.”

Swami says: “Of the many principles in life, three are most important. The foremost is ______”

Fear of Sin
Love for God
Service to Society


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team


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