Volume 7 - Issue 12
December 2009
Other Articles


on 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


What cannot be attained by actions, wealth, progeny or prosperity, can be attained by Sacrifice, says the Vedas. And Bhagavan Baba has reiterated this any number of times in the divine discourses. If there is one surest way to attain immortality, it is through the path of sacrifice. The joy and bliss inherent in sacrifice is incomparable. In fact, without sacrifice, this world would not exist even for a second. If we look carefully, we will find several sagas of sacrifice play out around us night and day, silently and incessantly. Right from the Sun and the moon, to the trees and birds, to our own father and mother, there is sacrifice everywhere. Yet, few understand and realise the great importance of cultivating and nurturing this virtue.

This quiz is a humble attempt to instill into our minds the immense significance of this previous virtue. All the questions below are culled from articles which have appeared earlier in Heart2Heart issues.

1 In our article “Elevating our Intentions and Actions....The Sai Way” from the Dec 2006 issue, Dr. M. Sainath shared his experiences of Swami’s teachings: “At one point of time, Bhagavan identified six important qualities that a devotee needs to have to attain peace and happiness. As stated in the Bhagavad Gita, He said: ‘These are: Anapeksha, not desiring any fruits; Suchihi, purity of purpose and action; Dakshaha, determination; Udhasino, detachment; Ghatavytaha, not pondering over the past; and most importantly, giving up all pomp and show.’

“Bhagavan gave an example about King Bhatruhari, who had once performed a great sacrifice. And in the process of the sacrifice, he had given away everything that he had: his clothes, riches, even his kingdom. At that point of time, one renunciant came and said, ‘Oh king! What will you give me?’ And the king said, ‘I have only my kingdom left. You can take it.’ And the renunciant took the kingdom.

After having lost his kingdom, what did King Bhatruhari rely on to carry on in life?

He went into meditation and lived blissfully
God blessed him with a nice job
He relied on his own character
All the people from his kingdom pooled in and presented him a house and food


2. In our article “Experience Him in Everything and Everywhere” from the Nov 2006 issue, Dr. Narendranath Reddy shared his experiences on the topic of sacrifice: “Swami says, ‘Sacrifice your time or sacrifice your energy or your money, something at least; it should give me an excuse so that I can give you some Grace.’

“When I was there a couple of weeks ago, Swami was so lovingly talking about His students, about how much they sacrifice…I mentioned to Swami, ‘How lucky those boys are! How sacrificing those boys are!’ Swami said, ‘That is their great punyam (merit). It doesn’t come that easily. It is their praapti (fortune) and good karma, their good merit that made them do this sacrifice.’ So Swami really appreciates sacrifice.

“I remember for the seventy-fifth Birthday we were sitting on the veranda and there was a boy who gave 5000 rupees for Swami’s seventy-fifth birthday. Swami was telling so much about him. 5000 rupees – that is not big money – that is about 100 dollars. But Swami was raving about him. There are people who have given millions – it’s not the amount he gave but how much sacrifice he made.”

So, according to Dr. Reddy when it comes to making a sacrifice, what does Swami look for?

How much we give
Whether we give it directly or not
With what feeling we give
If we are secretive about it or not


3. In our article “What to Ask from Swami?” from the Mar 2007 issue, Mr. Sanjay Mahalingam shared a few thoughts on sacrifice when he spoke in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Baba on the occasion of Dussehra festival: “Bhakti, though in the beginning maybe so, but, in its culmination, it is not mere emotion, mere feeling - but an intense sacrifice.

“Once while talking of the Bhagavat Gita, Sri Ramakrishna Parmahansa said, ‘Gita! Gita! Gita!’ and suddenly he started saying, ‘Tagi! Tagi! Tagi!’ He then explained: ‘Reverse of the word “Gita” is “Tagi”. And that is the very essence of the entire Bhagavat Gita – Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Sacrifice!’”

In the Gita, what is it that Lord Krishna wants us to sacrifice?

The ‘I’
The mind
Our actions
Our desires


4. In our feature article “Understanding and Attaining the Supreme Being, The Vedic Way” from our October 2006 issue, Prof. G. Venkataraman explained what sacrifice really means: “In the Vedic context, the word sacrifice always goes hand in hand with something good and even sublime; and sacrifice always enhances purity. Thus, as Swami says, the scriptures ask you to sacrifice so that you grow in purity.

“OK, let us say that we have a person who, out of Love for Swami, gives up all his undesirable habits one by one. He grows in purity and is now a good man. Does sacrifice come to a stop? Not quite; it continues. Only, sacrifice is now made in a different spirit, so different that one no longer even thinks of it as sacrifice. This may sound a bit confusing and so let me add a few words of explanation.

“You see, in the Vedic world, the word sacrifice is used in two distinct senses. The first is in terms of giving up something to which one is very attached, including bad habits. The other meaning given to the word sacrifice is ____________.”



5.In our article “How the Saffron Shaped Me” from the October 2007 issue, Ms. Sutopa Sen, a former student of the SriSathyaSaiUniversity, shared her wisdom on sacrifice: “I think of sacrifice as the quality of giving up something for nothing in return. But the irony is, the reward for this one selfless quality is that we receive everything that we can ever want – in the form of God’s Grace. In short, sacrifice endears one to God – and makes Him love us! And what more could anyone want?

“I’ve often since thought about visits to Prashanti Nilayam. It seems that the more you give up, such as sacrificing your comforts, the more you receive. Why does close darshan involve 3 to 4 hours sitting on the hard floor – usually giving up both food and sleep? And in decades gone by, staying in the rural village of Puttaparthi may have been a physically challenging experience… but no one could complain about the close and loving darshan opportunities! Today, with each passing year, Prashanti Nilayam grows - in size, in amenities and creature comforts – and while many think that the Lord will become more inaccessible physically, He is actually giving Himself away so much to the devotees.”

Continuing on sharing her thoughts on sacrifice, Ms. Sutopa Sen mentioned that sacrifice is a purely selfish act! Why?

Because we then hope that the recipient will pay back some day
Because through sacrifice we alleviate our own karmas
Because we wish to be recognized
Because we wish to attain God’s Grace


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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