Role of Sevadal in rural development
Bangalore, Brindavan (Sevadal Conference )
Further, in these organizations, some mistakes do creep in. Truly, if there are ten thousand members of the sevadal assembled here and many that have not made it here and many more yet to come, one gets the doubt whether they are doing the work which they can do? Some of them when they presented the report for the areas which they have adopted, said that they have taken some villages and they have done some good work in the villages and they have removed the difficulties and the troubles that were present in those villages. What is the kind of work which we are doing in the villages that we have adopted? Some said that they laid the roads. Some said that they cleaned the roads, did bhajans, gave talks to the villagers-- is this the kind of service which we have to do? You can clean the gutter, the ground, the bazaar, and build a road, but what is the change that has come in the people of that village? The sevadal members should undertake to change the mental attitudes and transform the minds of humans. Yes, you can bring about material changes; Swamy does not say that you should not bring about such material changes. We should bring about inner cleanliness as well. For instance this is a tumbler used for drinking water; can we drink from a tumbler that is clean only on the outside? The tumbler must be clean inside and outside and in particular the inside. While cleansing the external appearance of the village such as the roads, water and the gutters, we should also make an attempt to clean the inside of the people who live in the village. Let us take one village at a time. In each village there may be a few hundred or a few thousand people. In this population of a few hundred or a few thousand people, the first thing we should know is the kind of bad qualities, bad practices that are present in them and should make, to some extent, an attempt to remove these bad qualities and bad practices. The government of the country is also undertaking rural development and in the name of rural development considerable amount of money is being spent on building hospitals, providing water supply, and such amenities. Those are necessary on the outside. But the members of the Sathya Sai Organizations in addition to providing such facilities should do something more sacred. In whichever village we enter, the first thing we should do is to recognise the bad practices which are amongst the people of that village. Is there gambling? Are they drinking alcohol? If so how many families are ruined as a result of such bad practices? Recognising such places where gambling and drinking alcohol is rampant we should make them give up their bad habits by teaching them good practices and promote good thoughts by preaching them good values. When such changes take place then alone will there be rural development in real sense and the money thus spent will yield good results. In most villages people leave for work early as the cock crows , toil the whole day and return home at seven in the evening earning barely two or three rupees per day. If the hard earned money is spent in drinking, what is to happen to the members of the family, the wife and the children? By approaching such people properly and helping them to get rid of such habit by any means, if necessary by touching their feet and praying to them to get rid of such habit, the Sathya Sai Sevadal members should undertake such transformations. Many say, “Swami! We have been working in many villages and a lot of changes have come in those villages.” When asked about the kind of changes that have come about in the village, they say that several people are coming for bhajans and several others are participating in Nagar Sankeertan. What is the change that is coming about by this bhajan singing? Who is worried whether they all come for bhajans or nagarsankeertan or not? Will it be called bhajan where in a man, without giving up his drinking habit, comes drunk to participate in the bhajan swaying under the influence of alcohol? If you can make him give up his bad habit, that alone would amount to true devotion, even if the person does not attend bhajan singing. The members of the Sathya Sai Sevadal should undertake from today some new and novel methods to eradicate these bad practices.
Sevadal should never enter into politics: Guidelines to the Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation00:04:25
The members of Sevadal participating either in samithi or as Sevadal or in bhajan activity or in study circle or in any other field must not enter into politics. Love all and serve all!! The Sevadal should not differentiate based on religion, caste or party and within themselves they should not give room to any party feelings. One should try to understand that the essence of all religions is the oneness of everything. Sevadals must live together as brothers and sisters. There are two things that an organisation should achieve: 1- “The brotherhood of man” – to think that all are brothers, 2- “Fatherhood of God”- One must believe that all are the children of one God. One must develop the feeling of love that all are the children of one mother. When one develops such love for fellow beings, there would be no scope for feelings of hatred or envy. Nobody should give scope for Feelings of personal hatred. When working in an organisation, one must consider all others as one’s siblings. Embodiments of Love!! There might have been differences of opinions in the past among the Sevadal, but from the present moment, one must set aside the feelings of animosity and greet each other warmly “Sairam” and lead good lives. But merely saying “Sairam” since Swami has said so is of no use. One must not lead artificial lives. Some lead such lives; when they see people liked by them they go out of their way to greet them with “Sairam” in a loving manner. When they see a person whom they don’t like, they greet with a very a curt “Sairam”. There must be no difference or distinction made in greeting others. One’s words must be soft and sweet for that is the quintessence of God head. Greet everyone lovingly. One must remember: one cannot always oblige but can always speak obligingly. One must fill one’s words, behaviour, actions and heart with sweetness. One must usher in the era of new living into the world.
You would be called Sathya Sai Sevadal only when you engage yourself in His work truly00:02:42
To be called as the “Sathya Sai Sevadal”, one must imbibe the qualities of Sathya Sai!! “Dal” means a petal; like a petal of lotus. A lotus has many petals. Though the petals appear to exist separately, they are all linked to the centre core. Hence in Sevadal each one is like a petal. All these petals are attached to or originated from the centre core called “Sathya Sai!! Only then the lotus can blossom out fully. When each petal is separated from the core, it cannot be called a lotus. Hence Sathya Sai Sevadal must follow the ideals and qualities of Sathya Sai. Love is the breath of Swami. Hence one must fill the heart with love. The feeling uppermost in Swami is sacrifice. Giving and giving alone is the nature of Swami. Sevadal must also strive to inculcate the quality of giving. A heart devoid of “Daya”, compassion cannot be called a temple of God. Hence a compassionate heart is the abode of the Lord. One must fill one’s heart with compassion and be broadminded
Seva is a medium to transform your ownself; Message to Sevadal00:01:54
First and foremost, one must dedicate oneself to those service activities that will help cleanse one’s heart. Through Seva man helps himself more than others. The ignorant thinks that he is serving others. No, it is not so. One is only benefitting oneself by serving others. The Sevadal is not realising this truth. What help one seeks from others must be done to others. One must respect others the same way that one wants others to respect oneself. Without respecting others, it is not possible to get respect from others. Sevadals must not only take but also develop the tendency to give. One must give Seva and receive love. Hence one must understand that Seva is not one-way traffic. So love alone must be received and not material things. Sevadal must give his dedication to all forms of Seva.
Sevadal shouldn't have part time devotion00:02:00
In view of the conference of Sevadal, thousands of names were sent from each district. But of these how many are those who have done service with conviction of purpose and purity of mind? In order to become a Sevadal in true sense, one must render service with purity of mind and with utmost concentration on the service being done. One must aspire to become the steadfast and firm Sevadal but not the wavering or part-time Sevadal. The Satya Sai organizations are bound by a code of conduct and Sevadal must conform to it. This is true education and this education must give the steadiness of purpose. Swami often tells the students: “Study for steady”!! One must always aspire to be steady unlike the dry leaf which sways this way and that. The presence of such wavering persons in the organisation brings disrepute to it.
All sevadal members are blessed souls00:01:43
All the members have assembled here as workers who have done all the work and so the development that is achieved is due to the workers. None of it was achieved by office bearers alone. Workers are all sanctified souls. Swami and the worker alone know the spirit of sacrifice with which one has worked. Swami is content with these workers. There is no wealth greater than this and no greater virtue than sacrifice. One who has this spirit of sacrifice is dear to God. One must not think that Swami has spoken harshly and walk out of the organisation. One must achieve staying within the organisation. All this is being told for one’s well being and welfare. Swami does not benefit anything from the fame and respect one gets with serving the society. Swami does not lose anything if one keeps away from service and becomes distant. Either the benefit of seva or the loss from abstaining, the good or the bad belong solely to the individual and not to Swami. One must inculcate strong determination and courage to sustain on the path of service.
Sevadal must find unity in diversity00:03:53
We must also learn to speak in a good manner. In trying to get youth, especially the students, into the organisation as members of sevadal, one must use encouraging, affectionate, loving and humble words to attract them. Only then will the youth show enthusiasm to join this organisation. Conduct and words are the two criteria for a sevadal. It determines the enthusiasm and motivation with which people join the organisation. You must also recognise another factor in this context. All the members of the various wings of the organisation must bear this in mind. It is necessary to have only one path and one destination in the matters concerning spirituality. The main feature of spirituality is to find Unity in diversity. It is the result of ignorance to mistake what is One, to be many. Swami has been reiterating it time and again: “Ekam sath viprah bahuda vadanti!” There is only ‘One’ but many have felt and, propounded the ‘One’ in many ways!! And because of this ignorance there is a setback in the spiritual progress of India. And it is but proper that the Sathya Sai Sevadal goes on propagating this attitude of finding Unity in diversity and set an example by first implementing the program and then trying to speak about the program to others.
Leaders should communicate well to Sevadal00:03:17
"Waste of time" and "Waste of money"- about these two, they say:- “Time waste is life waste. Wastage of money is evil.” Therefore, at least from today recognising the above truth, to some extent, one should bring forth the determination to implement the decisions that have been taken today. Many of the participants of these conferences, when they go back, they are unable to communicate to the members in their respective organisations about the plans of action and the resolutions adopted here and because of the presence of such leaders, the programme itself may suffer a defeat. The reason behind this is the fact that the majority of the participants of these conferences are the leaders of sevadal and not the workers (sevadal). So when the convenors get back to their respective Districts and States, they should hold meetings with sevadals in every district and unit of their respective regions and communicate to them, individually and clearly, the proceedings, the decisions and the action plans taken here at the conference and make an effort to implement them.
Actions are important and not decisions00:04:10
In this conference, we have arrived at many new conclusions and have also chalked out a program for the future. Everyone must introspect as to the extent to which one has been able to carry out these programs which we have been discussing and deliberating at the conference. There is a saying-- “They say a million things but practice none!”, likewise we must examine ourselves as to what extent we are able to put into practice the decisions, the conclusions that have been arrived at these conferences. At the all India conference also we had taken several resolutions. At the previous conferences of the sevadal we had arrived at several conclusions and had passed several resolutions for the future action. Although several workers took part in this conference, it is but natural that not even one can say with confidence, that one has implemented all the items of the program that was chalked out, decided upon and concluded at the previous sessions. The five days of the sacred time spent in the Holy presence, which is an inexhaustible treasure, would be considered a waste of time if the programs that are adumbrated here are not enforced.
Sevadal are common for all wings00:02:43
Sevadal members are the common factors playing an important role in the various wings of the Sathya Sai organizations. The responsibilities of the Samithi, of the Balvikas, of the Bhajan Mandali, of the Mahila Mandali and the Trust are specific and limited, but the scope of the Sevadal activity is all embracing. Sevadal will have to help the Bhajan Mandali to see that bhajan goes on without any interruption or disturbance. When Mahila Mandali undertakes any program, it is the duty of the Sevadals to help to see that there is no interruption in the activity. Because we have to play role in different wings of organization, we should acquire special training which enables us to play our roles satisfactorily.
Sadhana is important for Sevadal; Analogies00:16:56
In our organisations, whether one preaches it or not, seva and “Sadhana” or self practice should coexist. Individual “Sadhana” can be compared to the negative pole. The collective service may be compared to the positive pole. With the conjunction of the positive and negative poles we will be able to gain worldly success and prosperity. There is the electric wire running from this end to that. But the light is not illumined in the corner. But the current flows through the wire even in that corner and that is revealed in the illumination of the bulb installed at that place. Therefore, the mind which can be compared to negative pole must be developed into a powerful bulb. The electric wire has a plastic wrapping over the copper wire inside. But when we join one plastic wire to another the current does not flow. When we join one copper wire with another then the current begins to flow. Similarly the current of “Divinity” is present in every individual. Our body may be compared to a plastic wire. Nothing comes out when one plastic wire comes into contact with another. The mind, which is like the copper wire inside the plastic wire, comes into contact with another mind, then the current flows in the form of ‘Divinity’. In the beginning along with the copper wire the plastic cover may also go. The plastic cover is external whereas the copper wire is within and that is the mind. Thus we serve with the body and with the mind we should try to approach and gain the love of others. Today we sit for meditation with the body that is like the plastic wire. It is not enough if only the body sits in meditation; it is the mind that must connect. Certain types of training are necessary for the mind. With a little illustration for this I shall conclude my discourse. There lived a rich and prosperous householder whose heart was filled with love and compassion for others. One day while the rich man was having lunch a hungry dog came by. Looking at the hungry dog, he went inside and brought some rice for it. The dog ate and left for the day and returned the next day. This ritual of feeding the dog at lunch time went for several years. He got fed up and vexed with the dog as it persisted. He started to think of plans to get rid of the dog. The dog persisted in spite of getting beaten up. He wanted to drive away the dog but knew not what to do. If we alter the practice which brought the dog to the doorstep then the dog would go away. The dog kept coming as it was being fed by him and would stop coming if he stopped giving it food. Likewise from many life cycles our “mind”, which is comparable to a dog, hungry for the worldly desires has been entering the house of the “Atma”, the householder. We have been practicing the feeding of the dog, namely the “mind”, with the worldly tendencies and desires. Hence it is unable to leave us. The mind is quite to some extent when you go about in the market or when attending your duties. But when you sit for mediation the mind becomes extra active and runs hither and tether. So instead of undertaking this kind of meditation with a wavering mind, it is better to undertake other types of work. One need not get discouraged on this. The mind has become fickle as we have been feeding it with the worldly tendencies but when it is put into practises which take it away from the worldly tendencies it will become stable. How is this to be done? When we give a work which keeps the mind ever busy then the mind doesn’t trouble us. It is the nature of the monkey to go up and down and people who catch monkeys know it well. If it is kept at one place it does all monkey tricks! So the people who catch them, take them from house to house and make them climb up and down a pole; this way he also earns alms for himself. Likewise the mind is also like a mad monkey! So monkey must be engaged in an absorbing work to keep it from its fickleness. This monkey will not be under our control if we sit for meditation right away! Hence, first and foremost we should sit and give the monkey mind the duty of a watchman. The monkey mind so entrusted, will watch the breath going in- “So” and the breath coming out- “ham” and is kept busy. After five minutes of this exercise the mind calms down. Then you can place a picture which is dear to you in front of you or have a flame in front of you. Look at that flame with your eyes wide open. Now close your eyes and imagine that the flame that you have beheld with your eyes wide open, being kindled within you. There also the mind must be given a busy activity. We must make the mind bring the flame into the recesses of the heart. In the lotus of the heart we must imagine that this flame is ablaze. From there we must make the flame travel to various parts of the body. After the flame traverses through the body, then this flame must be brought out of the body. You must imagine that that flame is burning bright in all the members of the family. Then you must realise that the flame is burning bright in your neighbours, in the people of your locality and in your friends and relations. At a later stage you must prove that you are able to realise that this flame is burning bright even in your enemies. Then you will realise that, “Isavaasyamidam sarvam”, every object is enveloped by the Divine. Because the flame is burning bright in the eyes, there should be no bad sight. “Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya” since there is the flame burning bright, there cannot be darkness. Therefore you should not look at anything bad. Since the flame has burnt bright in the ears, you should not hear anything bad. Since the flame is burning bright on your tongue there is no scope to utter bad words. As the flame is bright in your limbs, they would not go to bad places. Because the flame is there in the arms your hands do not undertake any bad work. So this one flame after travelling through several objects helps us to realise the all pervading Divine flame. In this way meditation is helpful to us.
Sevadal should serve with broader vision00:03:12
If you really want to justify your belonging to an organization like the Sathya Sai Organization, you should give up the narrow idea that you belong to one Satya Sai Organization. All service organizations have the same ideal and so you should broaden your ideal and be prepared to do service under all conditions. Push away all narrow ideas, accept broad ideas and be prepared to do service without distinction of caste, creed and colour. You must be prepared to do service without any such narrow distinction. Once or twice a week, maybe in your village or the neighbouring village, it does not matter whether it is a temple, mosque or a church, undertake the task of visiting the temple, mosque or church and clean the place. Not only that, at the temple or mosque or church, if you find people suffering and are in need of help or service, you must be prepared and ready to give them the help and service. When you visit unclean villages, when the villagers themselves find you cleaning the villages, they would come forward and join you. When they join you, you must be prepared to give them cleanliness and the happiness and pleasure of living a clean life. In such service and in the sacred task of undertaking this kind of service, I am hoping and I bless that you will earn the grace and the love of God. I bless you and bring this discourse to a close.
Swami on serving patients00:02:29
Pavithraathma swarupas! Members of Sevadal are doing different kinds of work. For instance, they are going to hospitals not as patients but to serve the patients. As groups and as individuals they are doing this kind of work. Such members of Sevadal who undertake this kind of work as a group in a camp sometimes take fruits or sweets and give to the patients in the hospital. You may feel that it is the right kind of service, but in my view this is not the right kind of service. The reason for this is that whatever fruits or sweets or medicine you supply to the patients should be given only after consulting and approval of the doctor concerned is obtained. Without that if you give sweets, for example, to a patient who is a diabetic, it is going to cause harm to him and not be a boon to him. So it is necessary that you should consult the doctor. Only for such patients who are not able to get what has been prescribed you can fill the gap and supply the fruit or medicine. Such consultation is very necessary.
The main prayer of Sathya Sai Sevadal00:02:47
Some of you seek an opportunity to do service when there is a storm, flood, or famine. Even if you do not do service, it is better than to desire storms, floods and famine to get an opportunity to do service! In a few moments, the services being done by various states will be read out. In the reports, we mention that we have done such and such service during a particular storm, in such and such a flood, or such and such famine. In nature, comprising of these five elements, it is natural to have such disasters. True servants of God who want to do service to people, in their daily prayers, should pray to God that there should not be any such famines and floods. This will also be a kind of service. The members of the Sathya Sai Sevadal should pray that all the people of the world, all the nationalities of the world, and all the countries of the world should be happy. This kind of prayer should be the prayer of the Sathya Sai Sevadal.
There are no limits for doing Seva00:01:15
Our service should not be confined to a chosen place here or there. We should do service everywhere, wherever and whenever it is needed. Without thinking of community, caste, religion, sect, or deservedness, considering everyone as our brothers and sisters, sevadal should be prepared to render service. We must enter into service with this holistic view with a sacred heart and pure mind and selfless actions.
Give up bad qualities while doing Seva00:02:46
A man whose heart is filled with excessive greed is the home of all bad qualities. Hence, sevaks should make attempt to remove excessive greed. Then alone there will be no scope for bad feelings and bad qualities to stick to your heart. Ego and selfishness that kill human nature should be eliminated and with love and a broad heart, we should participate in service. On the cross of this universal all-pervading love , we should sacrifice our ego. In the garden of our heart, we must cultivate sacred flowers like the champaka flower-like sacredness, jasmine flower-like mind control, rose-flower like sense control. Selfishness, ego, bad ideas and bad qualities are flowers with a foul smell and we must make an effort to see to it that they are not allowed to grow in the garden of our heart.
Swami on the role and conduct of Sevadal00:04:00
If you deceive anyone, believe and know that you are deceiving your own chosen God. Every moment, you should be thinking of the authority and the message contained in the Upanishads. It is said that to whomsoever you make obeisance, it will reach Kesava. In the same manner, whomsoever we may blame or criticize, all that also reaches Kesava. We should remember this very well. We should not criticize anyone. The reason being, a true believer of GOD should not behave in such manner. So, if we have to strengthen our own belief and faith, we should do so by practice. In keeping with the rapid growth of the Sathya Sai organization members, the Sevadal also should strengthen and promote their own faith by practice. We should not feel that once in a month or three times a year we are doing some kind of service. Are we taking food only once a month? Everyday, even when we are eat 4-5 times, our hunger is not appeased. To this body itself, which is impermanent and untrue, we give food four times, why should we not feed the true eternal atmic principle with good actions? If possible, every day at least one or two hours in a day, we should do service. How much time is being wasted in a day by each and every individual. In useless talks, man is spending time in a useless manner. He is also wasting his time in the thought and talk of others. Better than this, going to the villages, going to the poor houses and helping them, cleaning the streets or in any other manner doing service, we should formulate.
Do not imitate others; Message to Sevadal00:04:15
Man's thoughts, words, looks and appearance reflect his true inner feelings. Therefore man's thoughts must be very sacred. The way the members of this organization should look at things should also be sacred. The words of the members of the sevadal should also be very sacred. The clothes they wear and the appearance they present should also be very respectful and sacred. The members of the sevadal should not imitate others under any circumstances. They should not have any kind of exhibitionism or imitation of others. This is very important. If seeing someone wear bell bottom pants, a member of the sevadal also wears one, which sweeps the bazaar as one walks by –what service can he do in such attire?! We should really become the members of the sevadal who do not have any kind of imitation or exhibitionism. A member of the sevadal cannot do selfless service, flaunting long hair and sideburns, which promotes ego and leads to fostering of attachments. Imitation is a very dangerous thing. “Imitation is human, creation is divine!” One will be entitled to become a member of the sevadal when one’s appearance, thoughts, words and deeds are sanctified and directed in proper manner You must follow your conscience, heart and your thoughts but should not follow others. That is why Swami tells the sayings: 'Follow the master' who is your master? Your super consciousness is your master. The next one is 'Face the devil', 'Fight to the end', and 'Finish the game!' It is only when you follow these four injunctions that you will shape yourself into being a proper member. This ideal and determination should be in the minds of the sevadal always. That is the main character of Bhakti or devotion.
Transformation in villages is important00:02:32
Many say, “Swami! We have been working in many villages and a lot of changes have come in those villages.” When asked about the kind of changes that have come about in the village, they say that several people are coming for bhajans and several others are participating in Nagar Sankeertan. What is the change that is coming about by this bhajan singing? Who is worried whether they all come for bhajans or nagar sankeertan or not? Will it be called bhajan where in a man, without giving up his drinking habit, comes drunk to participate in the bhajan swaying under the influence of alcohol? If you can make him give up his bad habit, that alone would amount to true devotion, even if the person does not attend bhajan singing. The members of the Sathya Sai Sevadal should undertake from today some new and novel methods to eradicate these bad practices. Embodiments of Love!! Troubling human beings and praying to God cannot be called as “devotion”. Before we undertake to remove the bad practices, bad habits and thoughts in others, the first thing we should do is to see to it that we do not possess them ourselves. It is only such people, who rid themselves of the bad practices and bad thoughts that are entitled to join the sevadal.
Stay away from hatred and criticism00:04:17
In the Sathya Sai organizations, we should regard ‘Love’ as the essential life giving source. Amongst the members of the Sathya Sai Organizations, if one member feels any hatred or jealousy or even a difference of opinion towards another, that would be a sin. This would be like betraying the organization itself. We should make an attempt to remove such bad thoughts. People who have such ideas and thoughts, have no right to enter the organization. Knowingly or unknowingly the past has passed. Even by offering crores of rupees one cannot get back what has gone by. What is coming ahead of us does not belong to us. What exists at this moment is not permanent. In this context what is it that we are taking as permanent, what is it that we believe as truth? Past has gone; if we think that we will do something in future, where is the certainty that we will remain till tomorrow? It’s been an hour since this meeting has started; time is fleeting away like water flowing under our feet. Thus, without thinking about any of the differences of opinion that may have existed in the past, Swami hopes that at least from today you all start promoting mutual love and acceptance amongst the members of the organization keeping aside the feelings of jealousy, hatred and ego. Most importantly amongst the members of the sevadal, finding faults in oneself is much more useful than to find faults in others. It is only the one, who is completely free from all faults, that has the right to search for faults of others. What are the qualities of one who is completely free from faults? Since he is free from all faults he will never find a fault anywhere. How can he search for faults anywhere? Thus, if one thinks that one is free of faults one cannot find fault anywhere; on the other hand if one has faults then one does not have the right to find faults with others; either way one is not entitled to find faults! Therefore, it is very necessary to look for the faults that exist in us, remove those faults and thereby promote the purity in us.
See oneness in everything; Analogy to sevadal00:03:11
Without giving room to any differences of opinion and getting rid of ego and jealousy, when we work with one thought, like the children of one mother, then alone will we be able to enjoy the bliss that comes out of service. In regarding you as the children of one mother there is room for a possibility of some difference. “Ekoham Bahusyam”, being one Atma, you are appearing different, only for the sake of appearance. “Ekam Sath Viprah Bhahuda Vadanti”--different people see one and the same thing in so many different ways-- likewise we are also looking at one and the same Atma in so many different forms. What is contained in this tumbler is referred to by those who speak the English language as ‘Water’, those who come from Uttar Pradesh call this ‘Pani’, the people from the state of Madras call this ‘Tanni’, in Sanskrit it is called ‘Vari’, Telugu people call it ‘Neeru’. So many names are being used but they cannot change the material. In the same manner, “Ekam Sath Viprah Bhahuda Vadanti”, truth is only one! The one that exists and the one that many people have been describing it in many different ways. Thus in the context of our regarding ourselves as different forms of one Atma, there can be no room for any difference at all. In this context of oneness of all humanity, the members of Sevadal should not do anything which will introduce any kind of diversity in this oneness but should work only to promote oneness in humanity.
Behaviour of Sathya Sai Sevadal; An analogy00:02:11
The first thing we should do is to recognize the meaning which is appropriate to “Sathya Sai Sevadal”. This is a flower; there are many petals on this flower. All the petals of this flower join together at the base. Who are you? You are the member of the Sathya Sai Sevadal and are comparable to the individual petals in this flower. This entire group, all the members, like the petals which merge in one place, should also merge and become one with Sathya Sai. When it is said that you should become one with Sathya Sai, you should interpret it as saying that you should become one with the ideals of Sathya Sai, one with the sacred example which Sathya Sai sets. But if you become distant from the ideals and from the example of Sathya Sai, you will drop like the separate petals. If you have, as your ideals, your own thoughts and your own example...you will fall off. The ideals of Sathya Sai are very sacred. All the people of the world should have happiness, peace and bliss. This is the ideal of Sathya Sai.
Sevadal should always speak obligingly00:01:00
Our words should be very sweet, should be limited and should also be acceptable. These things have been given to the members of our sevadal in sayings: ‘You cannot always oblige, but you can speak always obligingly.’ The words uttered should become sacred. In this manner having our attention on the spiritual path and imbibing the qualities that are needed while doing service, we should do service.
What are the qualities a Sevadal should have00:03:00
Members of sevadal should not become like people today who are putting machines on high pedestal and who are worshiping the production of bombs. We should be living beings who contemplate the mantras and who worship ‘Madhava’ (the Lord) and not machines. You should become people who have good qualities, people who are good in all senses. In our service organizations a mention has been made about the qualities that will entitle one to become a member of the Sevadal. It is not your height, weight or appearance that is regarded as a quality. It is not even the work that you that is regarded as a quality. Having a noble and pure heart is the only quality that you should have! The value of a bamboo is determined by its height, weight and width. But in the case of sugarcane, we give value to the juice that is contained in the sugar cane. Superficially both the bamboo and sugarcane look similar. The value of a human being lies in the qualities he possesses. Making an attempt to promote such good qualities in oneself can be described as ‘Swayam Sadhana’ (self practice). We should not take the wrong meaning here that we are serving the others. We should promote the good thought that whatever service one is doing is for one self and by that service one is promoting one’s good. Promoting such a spiritual attitude in one's mind, one should do service with love in one’s heart, words and deeds.
First aid kit for Sevadal according to Swami00:05:00
Amongst the many conclusions that we have reached today, we have made one decision that the members of the sevadal should carry a first aid box wherever they may go. The matter relating to this first aid box is put forward to us by Rajesh Khanna of Delhi. Yes, this is necessary because for all the four Purushardhas-- Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha-- good health is necessary. But when we talk of good health what is it that we are talking of? Good health of what? When we use the word ‘health’, we believe it relates only to the good health of the body. What is responsible for all these troubles, losses and gains, the pains and pleasures? Is it the body that is responsible or is it the mental state that is responsible? The body is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey. We should not follow this mad monkey nor should we have faith in the body which is like a water bubble. One should use the aspect of one's intelligence to strike a balance between these two and follow it. In the first instance we should provide the first aid, the treatment which we have to give to the body as service. Yesterday he explained to us very clearly that the First Aid box should contain some pills, cotton, bandage and other related items. Swami hopes that along with this box we should also carry some “medicines” for curing mental illness. We should carry the “pills” of ‘discrimination’ for distinguishing the good from the bad, the “tonic” of ‘sense control’ to enable us to control our senses, the “powders” of “peace”, “tolerance” and “love”, as a cure for the disease of “ignorance”. Thus members of Sevadal should always carry in their ‘pocket’ called “heart” these three prescriptions that have just been given to you as remedies for mental illness.
Seva is permanent; Not your wealth or status00:02:00
Here are a few things that the members of the Sevadal have to note carefully. Sometimes when we show humility and obedience, which are necessary in doing service, we feel that it causes harm to our status or to our self respect or dignity of position in Sevadal. It is possible sometimes the individuals think, “I am such a wealthy person, an educated person, such and such social status and to show humility and obedience is not right for my status and for my position.”- This is possible. These are not the aspects which can be brought into and thought of in the matter of service. Your wealth, education, authority and status are like moving clouds and will fall away and disappear any moment. But, what remains permanently with you and what protects you and what keeps with you is only the service that you have done.
Sevadal should serve with good feelings00:03:13
In our sevadal, there are several specialized indications and quotations, amongst these, in addition to, “Work is worship”, “Duty is God”, there are two other sayings as well viz., “Hands in the society, Head in the forest”. This means that we should undertake the sacred path with a view to make the thoughts and body given to us purposeful and sacred. This sacred country of Bharat is known as the country which is dedicated to work. While doing this we should see that we undertake such work which is selfless with no motives in it. Doing work and putting in the necessary effort are not the first essential things! The essential thing is the attitude and the idea with which the work is done and effort is put. In spite of several responsibilities and duties that one has, the main objective of an individual is to strive to transform oneself into an individual having faith and belief that the purpose of life lies in doing selfless work in thought and deed.
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