The Heart of the Organisation
I find from the reports and recommendations presented to Me by the District Presidents and as a result of the deliberations of the representatives from each district that you have recorded therein your own hopes and aspirations, and such ideas as will make you happy. The main aim of all the activities in which you are now engaged and which you will take up in the future is, let Me tell you, cleansing the mind.
You may note the various items of clothing that you hand over to the dhobi, such as pants, bush coats, towel and dhoti, but the purpose for which you pass them on to him and the operation for which he is engaged is just cleansing. So too, whether it is meditation that you are encouraging, or a discourse that you are arranging, or bhajans that you are organising, or clothes that you are offering to the poor or worship that you are conducting, the object is just cleansing the mind of the taint of egoism, greed, hatred, malice, lust and envy. The one quality that you must acquire as a result of all this is “mutual love.” That is the sign of the Sai devotee, of devotees of all the forms of God.
Men are born, they die; in the interval, they grow and fade. The sign of growth is this mutual love, expressed through seva (service). The rich and the high-placed have many to serve them. You must serve those who have no one to serve them. Serve those who manage to live by serving others. There are thousands of organisations already working with such aims, but what is the special need for an organisation bearing My Name? You must realise Me in all, and serve all in a spirit of worshipful dedication.
Spirit of Surrender Must Animate Every Act
On a dry leaf, floating on the waves of the sea, an ant desperately struggled to cling. A dove noticed it, flew over, and clasping the leaf in its beak it transferred it to dry ground. The ant too is Divinity encased in that infinitesimal sheath. It is as important in God’s eyes as many a monstrous denizen of the jungle or the sea. God weighs the love that prompts you to save, the compassion that urges you to alleviate pain. Sathya Sai Organisations must take up seva (service) as sadhana (spiritual discipline), the members must see Me as Sarvantharyami (indweller of all) and do seva as puja.
The District President and the President of each Unit must practise sadhana. They must have complete faith in God, and that faith must be evident in each word, thought and deed of theirs. The spirit of surrender must be animating every act of theirs. The Presidents must initiate such items of work as will enthuse the members. If the organisation must succeed, they should have firm faith in this name and form.
Once, when Garuda was sent by Krishna to bring Hanuman to Dwaraka, a regular fight ensued because Hanuman would obey the behest of no one except Rama. Krishna had to mollify him by sending Garuda again, with a request to come and meet “Rama” (and not Krishna)!
Do not seek to exercise authority over others. Seek rather to discover chances to be useful to them. When one neglects his duties, the positions of authority start causing headaches. Be a servant, a servant of God, then all strength and joy will be added unto you. Feel that you are an instrument in His hand, let Him shape you and use you as He knows best.
Upeksha Alone Can Save Man from Entanglement
I find that after these units have started working, the cordiality that prevailed previously has disappeared! Differences of opinion are being exaggerated, tempers are getting frayed, and misunderstandings and factions are raising their heads. Men who were together are drifting apart. Tat and Twam (that and this) are the same, but you are forgetting it and becoming distant from That. When you approach the senses, the spirit is far; when you approach the spirit, the senses will be afar. Attach yourselves to the sensory and the worldly – that is to say, develop apeksha – and you bind yourselves with the chain of likes and dislikes.
Detach yourselves from the craving for fame and comfort – that is to say, develop upeksha – and you are free! Upeksha alone can save you from entanglement and reveal the ultimate truth. Man must not shape himself into an animal or an ogre. He must turn into God. Like a boulder carved by a visionary into a charming idol of Krishna with the flute, man too must use every blow of fate as the stroke of an artist’s chisel.
I was perusing the reports you gave Me on the points I had placed for your consideration. I must say that your suggestions regarding the raising of funds were uniformly bad. On this point, all of you are of one mind and that is not satisfactory to Me. Money is fundamentally rajo guna (quality of passion), fraught with danger and harm. Like the bees that collect and store honey for a future day, man too stores and collects money. But, alas, the bees are smoked out and the honey is stolen. I do not agree with any of your ideas to collect and store money. I do not like your going about collecting funds or raising donations.
Moreover, I must tell you that not much money is needed for many of the items of work. Yearning in the heart and Name on the tongue – these are enough for bhajan and nagara sankeertan. The gopis (milkmaids of Brindavan) sang the name of God when they churned the pots for butter in the early morning hours. The bangles on their wrists jingled the time, the whirl of the rods in the pots provided the background tune and the fragrant morning breeze carried the song into every neighbouring ear. You need not collect an impressive crowd and you need no costly paraphernalia for they are superfluous impediments.
Do not spend much on lecturers and speakers. If any crave monetary rewards or showy receptions, keep such at arm’s length. A chair and a table will be quite ample; loudspeakers are a luxury for most of your meetings. They have become more status symbols than necessities. Set yourselves as examples to organisations round about you, in the careful husbanding of resources and in avoiding wasteful expenditure. Have only as many gatherings as you can afford; do not call them together because you must! People must look forward to them and not feel they are too many.
Give Least Importance to Money for Samithi Work
The fifteen or twenty who constitute a samithi or sangha must be able to put together, without any fuss or fanfare, the money needed for all these activities. You should not draw in anyone as a member of the samithi for the sake of the money that he may have; gunas are more valuable than annas (money). You need not have any special function in the village, except when I visit it.
You criticise others who collect by devious means vast sums of money for mammoth gatherings and waste the funds so collected in shady channels. You should therefore avoid such mistakes yourselves.
Uphold by means of your self-esteem the unique distinction that you now have; you have a Master who does not ask anyone or take from anyone, who only gives, gives in plenty to all who ask. I go into strange lands and among strange peoples with the gift of love. Upeksha is my strength. I know no distinction between man and man, on any score. So all love me equally. Money is the root cause of all misunderstandings and factions. Keep it in the background; give it the least importance. Have love, humility, detachment and service as your funds.
There is an underlying channel of love that connects the eye and the foot. When the eye sees a thorn on the path, the foot moves away - the welfare of the body is safeguarded thus. So too, the District President and the Unit President must act as the eyes, look out for thorns and take the feet from harm.
As regards the World Conference, I feel it is to be held only once in three years. The All-India Conference is best held in the heart of the organisation, Prasanthi Nilayam itself.