Volume 7 - Issue 11
November 2009
Other Articles



What is fundamental to a man's life is his moral stature. Neethi means right conduct. It is the path that leads one to the sublime. Good character, purity of thought and selfless sacrifice are all covered by Neethi. To promote Neethi, the divinity that is in each one must be manifested. For this purpose, even the body has to be made pure and hence good health is essential.

The word 'Health' is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'helig,' meaning paripoornamu (wholeness) or inner spirit. What is the wholeness that is to be achieved? The body consists of the sense organs, the mind, the intellect, the consciousness, and the indwelling Spirit. "Wholeness" means that all these elements should be whole. The mind should be in a state of fullness. It should not be in a state of "jumps and bumps." There should be no room for confusion or depression.

Ten Types of Purity

To develop one's moral and mental strength, one should practise sadhana (spiritual exercises) for disciplining the mind. For this purpose, one has to promote ten kinds of purity (Sattva).

sathya sai speaks

First: The first is purity of the place in which one lives. It is necessary to fill the room in which one resides or studies with a sattvic atmosphere. The pictures or other objects you see should fill you with peace and pure thoughts. Objects which arouse agitation and bad thoughts should have no place. The room should be clean and free from anything that is impure.

Second: In the family in which you live, there should be mutual understanding and cooperation, and a sense of harmony. There should be no discord in the family that will create a bad atmosphere. A harmonious atmosphere will give you true peace of mind.

Third: The third need is sattvic food. This means that none of the edible items should be excessively sour, bitter or hot. You should eschew rajasic food like fish or meat. It is only sattvic when you sit for the meal with a light stomach and get up from it with a light stomach! If you sit with a light stomach and get up with a weighty stomach, it becomes tamasic.

Fourth: Whatever fluids you take should also be sattvic. You should not drink whatever water is available. It should be pure water. Alcoholic spirits should be eschewed.

Fifth: Sattvic thoughts and feelings are of great importance. Students tend to neglect this factor. Only if your thoughts and feelings are pure, can you get the full benefit of a clean room, a good family and pure food.


Sixth: If you want to develop sattvic feelings and thoughts, your vision must be pure. All srishti (creation) is based upon drishti (sight). It is only when you have wrong vision that you have wrong thoughts. You must look upon every elderly woman as your mother and all women who are younger as your sisters. When you are filled with such pure thoughts, you will have pure feelings. Imagine how offended you will feel if someone looks at your mother or sister with an evil eye. Realising this, you have to entertain pure feelings towards other women. You should not commit the sort of offences which you will not tolerate in others.

Seventh: Whatever books you read or write should be pure. This is the sadhana (spiritual practice) relating to study. If you read or write that which is not pure, it warps your mind. A good book makes for a good mind. Any book you may study about Physics or Chemistry or other subjects, does not affect your character. But books which are literary, are not always good literature. If improper books are prescribed for study, treat them as mere text-books and do not attach any high value to them as guides for life.

Eighth: Pure sattvic service. The kind of service which we do should give real happiness to people. Any person whom you wish to serve, you should regard as an embodiment of the Divine. Going to the help of the destitute and the neglected is rendering service to God.

Narayana has two forms: one is 'Lakshmi Narayana', the other is 'Daridra Narayana'. This 'Lakshmi-Narayana' is full of wealth. He is able to help any number of people. He will be able to get many persons to serve him. But, for 'Daridra Narayana' there is nobody to serve him. It is to such persons that we should do sattvic service.

Ninth: Sadhana, or spiritual discipline. This must be sattvic. Some people do Hatha Yoga; some strive to develop the Kundalini Sakthi; others invoke evil spirits to do harm to others. These forms of sadhana are not sadhana at all. The individual is Chith (Consciousness), God is Sath (The Eternal Absolute). When Sath and Chith combine, you have Ananda; Sath-Chith-Ananda (Pure Bliss).  Only  the  sadhana  undertaken  to  realise  Satchidananda  is  true  sadhana.

This Sath, the Divine, is in everybody. So, you must be prepared to serve everybody, regarding everyone as the Divine. You may have normal relationship with your kith and kin; there is nothing wrong in this. You must perform sadhana in the spirit that the One pervades the many. In this process, you must cultivate the feeling of Love. There is no higher sadhana than the cultivation of Love!

You should strive to get rid of all your bad thoughts, give up all your bad traits, discharge your obligations to your parents, render self-less service to the community and thereby redeem your lives and earn the grace of God.

The Gopikas' Unswerving Devotion

Uddhava was an adept in the path of Jnana Yoga ( wisdom). He wanted to teach the gopikas (the cowherdesses) the path of wisdom. So, he approached Krishna. Krishna told Uddhava: "The gopikas are totally devoted to Me. Their devotion is fundamental to their life and reaches My heart! Their purity and devotion are like a light that shines! You cannot understand the hearts of such devotees! I am completely enshrined in their hearts." The gopikas came to Uddhava and told him: "We are not interested in learning any sastras! Teach us one simple means by which we can realise Krishna! Please, therefore, tell us the means by which we can obtain Krishna!”


Uddhava asked the gopikas: "How can you become one with Krishna?" One gopika answered: "If Krishna were a flower, I would be a bee whirling round Him. If He were a tree, I would be a creeper twining round him. If He were a mountain, I would be a river cascading from its top! If Krishna were the boundless sky, I would be a little star, twinkling in the firmament. If He were the deep ocean, I would be a small stream, joining the ocean. This is the way I would be one with Krishna and merge with Him." So, spiritual sadhana means to regard a mountain or a tree, or a flower, or the ocean, as a means of God-realization.

Tenth: Your occupation or profession. What is the kind of work you should take up? It should be work which can benefit the nation, the community. The nation enables you to earn a living. You must see what you can give to the nation, in return. You must ask yourself: "What is the service, what is the help I can do for the community?" You must see that there is no untruth in any work you do, no unfairness, no fraud, and no evil motive.

Salute the Good and the Bad!

These are the pure things which you have to observe in your life. If you engage yourselves in right action, you will not be bound by the consequences of karma.

Different branches of knowledge are like rivers, while spiritual knowledge is the ocean. Even as the rivers merge in the ocean, all types of knowledge merge in spiritual knowledge.

You must bear in mind the company you keep. Kabir said, "I salute the bad and also the good!" Kabir was asked: "We can understand you offering salutations to the good, but what is the point in offering salutations to the bad?" He replied, "When I salute the bad, I am saluting them, saying, please remove yourself from my presence. I salute the good, saying, please come to me!" You must avoid the company of the bad and cultivate the company of the good. Association with the good is pure yoga! I desire that you should pursue this kind of yoga and confer happiness on all people with whom you are associated!

You should strive to get rid of all your bad thoughts, give up all your bad traits, discharge your obligations to your parents, render self-less service to the community and thereby redeem your lives and earn the grace of God. This is My blessing for all of you.

Divine Discourse at Brindavan, on December 29, 1985.

Dear Reader, how did you like this excerpt from His Divine Discourse? Please share your reflections with us by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

Go to Radio Sai
Go to Publications Division Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust
Go to Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust
counter for wordpress