Will Always Win
A heart without love
Can you call that life
Merely because there is
Breath in the body?
It is just a pair of bellows.1
Listen to any of Swami’s discourses and you will find one four
letter word being consistently repeated in all: LOVE. Yes, in fact
Swami extols selfless love so highly that He acknowledges His
essence as being nothing but pure love. Vedas and millions of
seekers over billions of aeons have not been able to fathom the
glory of God, but with great ease describe Him in one single word:
love. Swami goes a step further and addresses not just Himself,
but also all human beings as “premaswarupa” (embodiments of love).
What is love? The hallmark of love is “thyaaga” (selfless
sacrifice). Love seeks nothing from anyone. It bears no ill-will
towards anyone. It is utterly selfless and pure.1 Feelings
directed selflessly toward humanity and toward God constitute the
real definition of pure love, the rest being mere attachment. The
question that quickly comes to mind, then, is: Do I have love in
my heart? The answer is, yes. We are all living embodiments of
love. We may not recognize this fact because our love is enveloped
with endless layers of desire, stress, and undesirable qualities.
Everyone loves something. Some may love money, others their
relations, some others their possessions, and almost everyone,
themselves. So we all have this quality of love. Only the
direction of love needs to change toward God, instead of worldly
possessions. Selfless love is such a powerful magnet that God
Himself will get drawn to it, almost effortlessly. In fact, all
forms of “sadhana” (spiritual exercises) have as their aim the
discovery of this pure selfless love that is already present in
each one of us, as the very core of our existence.
Four types of love. Love of the Divine is of four kinds.
One is Svaartha-Prema (love based on self-interest). The second is
Samanjasa-Prema, the third is Paraartha-Prema, and the fourth is
Yathaartha-Prema. Svaartha-Prema is like a lamp kept in a room.
The lamp illumines only the room. This kind of selfish love is
confined to a limited group and does not extend to others.
Samanjasa-Prema may be compared to the light from the moon. This
moonlight is visible both outside and inside. It is, however, not
very effulgent. The light is dim. This kind of love extends to a
wider group but is not very intense. The third is Paraartha-Prema.
It is like sun-light. It illumines both inside and outside with
brilliance. But it is not continuous in the sense that the sun is
not visible at night. But this is not a permanent absence, because
the sun rises again. Actually, the sun is always there. Likewise,
this selfless love may appear to be absent some times, but it will
appear again. The fourth one is Yathaartha-Prema or Aathma-Prema
This love is present always, inside and outside, in all places and
at all times, in all circumstances. This is Divine Love. It is
imperishable. It is eternal. It is immanent in everyone. When this
love is manifested by a person, he achieves the peace that passeth
The power of love. One may question the practicality of
love in today’s world, a world that is filled with fear, hatred,
and terrorism. Speaking of terrorism, an incidence comes to mind.
Once two devotees (husband and wife) of Swami were traveling by
air. Unfortunately, the aircraft was hijacked by terrorists.
Within a few minutes of takeoff, the travelers became victims of a
torrent of bullets, rained mercilessly. Fear and death enveloped
the environment. In the midst of the death dance, the Sai devotees
remained absolutely firm in their faith, constantly contemplating
on Sai and incessantly chanting the divine name. The power of the
name was such that none of the bullets could hit the two devotees.
As the terrorists approached the Sai devotees, the wife fervently
prayed to Swami for His grace and intervention. Sai Maa’s response
was immediate; He telepathically spoke to the devotee, ordering
her to look at the perpetrator with pure love. She followed
Swami’s instructions and looked at him with a heart filled with
intense love and compassion. The effect of the loving glance was
so powerful that the terrorist could not stand still; he
immediately lost balance and succumbed to his knees, dropping his
gun. Such was the power of love; it overcame hatred instantly.
They ultimately made it back home very safely.
How to manifest divine love? The technique is very simple.
Mere repetition of God’s name will manifest the qualities of love,
compassion, and devotion. The repetition, however, must be
continuous, whether at work or play the mind should be constantly
in the company of God. Lovingly chanting the Lord’s name is a very
potent remedy for all problems in today’s world. Divine love is
the only panacea for all your troubles and miseries arising from
insatiable desires and frustrated ambitions. God's love is like a
lighthouse beacon. It shows you the right path. Divert the boat of
your life towards the lighthouse of Divine love. You are then
bound to gain the shore of bliss. You do not need any special type
of penance or meditation. Meditate on love. Fill your mind with
love. Even while attending to your daily chores, regard all of
them as offerings to the Divine. God is omnipresent. See God in
everything and every being. Let love grow in your hearts like the
waxing moon. Divine love will not wane like the moon. Let such
steadfast love be enshrined in your heart. As Thukaaraam said:
Dhil me Raam, haath me kaam (Raam in the heart and work in the
hand). With love of God you can secure anything. Without that
love, you will only be steeped in misery. 2
Royal road to secure God's grace. In the Dwapara Yuga, when
Krishna was being weighed in a balance, all the jewels of
Sathyabhaama could not balance His weight. Rukmini then came and
declared that the mere chanting of the name of Krishna would be
equal to His weight. By the additional offer of a leaf, a flower
or a little water, the scales will be tilted against Krishna. So
saying she placed a thulasi leaf on the scale. And lo! It went
down. The tulasi leaf carried the full weight of Rukmini's
boundless love for Krishna. All the jewels of Sathyabhaama were of
no avail. But Rukmini's invoking the name of Krishna and offering
a thulasi leaf with a love-filled heart titled the scales against
Krishna. Such is the power of the Lord's name and a love-filled
offering to the Lord.
The Lord is not swayed by wealth or scholarship, power or
position. Love alone can move Him. Saint Tukaram sang: “Oh Swami!
I am not endowed with knowledge. I am incapable of performing
Yajnas and Yagas or doing severe penance. Here is one easy path
that I know to win your grace. That is the path of Divine Love. It
is the royal road that will lead me to the Presence of Rama."
Tukaram declared emphatically that Rama cannot be realized by any
other path except the path of love. This is the inner meaning of
the statement: Love is God and God is Love.4
Love is like mariner's compass. Love is Divine. Impart your
love even to those who lack love. Love is like mariner's compass.
Wherever you may keep it, it points the way to God. In every
action in daily life manifest your love. Divinity will emerge from
that love. This is the easiest path to God realization. God is
everywhere. There is no need to search for God. All that you see
is a manifestation of the Divine. All the human beings you see are
forms of the Divine.3
Supreme example of Vibheeshana. How the love of the Divine
manifests itself in a devotee is illustrated by the example of
Vibheeshana, the younger brother of Raavana. Vibheeshana submitted
himself to many indignities at the hands of Raavana out of the
love he had for Raama. In the battle against the Raakshasas in
Lanka, Raama and Lakshmana destroyed many of the great Raakshasa
warriors on the first two days. On the third day a formidable
warrior stood before them. Vibheeshana told Raama: "If you conquer
this warrior, the whole of Lanka will be yours. He is a greater
warrior than even Raavana." Raama fought with this mighty
Raakshasa the whole day, but could not vanquish him. Raama was on
the point of giving up the battle for the day. At this stage-,
Vibheeshana, who was behind Raama, said: "This is not the time to
give up the fight. You must rally all your strength and destroy
the enemy. You should not miss this chance. I am telling this out
of my love for you." Egged on by Vibheeshana, Raama continued the
fight and destroyed his opponent.5
The formidable warrior fell on the battlefield. The moment he
learned that the warrior was dead, Vibheeshana also collapsed on
the ground. Recovering himself after chanting the name of Raama,
Vibheeshana got up and confessed to Raama: "Svaami! This is a mark
of weakness on my part. I should not have succumbed to such
weakness. Having filled myself with your love, how could I succumb
to such weakness?" Raama observed: "That's all right. But why did
you collapse so suddenly?" Vibheeshana replied: "Svaami! This
happened because of bodily attachment. It was due to parental
affection. That mighty warrior was my son." He was Vibheeshana's
son! See what Vibheeshana did. To ensure the victory of the Lord,
Vibheeshana did not hesitate to get even his son killed in battle.
5 Such was the extent of divine love in Vibheeshana. He could bear
no one to stand in opposition to the Lord, not even his own son.
Divine Love as glorified by the Vedhas. About Divine love
the Shruthi (Vedha) declares: "It did not originate from the
firmament. It did not grow from the earth. It has no birth and
.death. It is all-pervading. It emerges from the heart when the
knots of ignorance are broken." This is how the Vedhas glorified
Divine Love. Even Naaradha, the author of the Bhakthi Suthras,
could not describe the nature of Divine Love. He described in
various terms the state of mind of the devotees filled with love
of the Lord, but he could not describe prema (love) itself. He
compared Prema to a priceless gem. Likewise Tulasidas also
referred to Raama's name as a precious gem. Where is this love to
be found? It can be got only from Bhagavaan Himself, who is the
very embodiment of love. Do not treat lightly this infinitely
valuable love, which is eternal, pure, sacred and powerful beyond
Love is the panacea. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has declared that
the root cause of all diseases is the mind. Stress, constant
pressure, imaginary fears, and feelings of intense hatred and
anger—all release toxic chemicals in the body and cause diseases
such as blood pressure, heart diseases, depression, etc. Love is
the most potent remedy to overcome all these ills. The person
whose heart is filled with pure love enjoys perpetual bliss and
fears none. He becomes a worthy receptacle of God’s grace and a
living truth for all mankind to follow. When asked for the secret
behind drawing millions to Him, Swami always says that His pure
and selfless love attracts millions of devotees to Him. He is the
living example of the power of love, a love that transforms,
heals, and ushers all toward the goal of liberation. It is His
love that forms the key to the governance of the entire universe.
The gist of love is aptly described through Swami’s dictum to all
His devotees: Love All, Serve All.
1 Discourse in Sai Kulwant Mandap on 20-6-1996.
2. Discourse on 23-11-1996 in Sai Kulwant Mandap.
3. Discourse on 5- 7-1996.
4. Discourse at Prashaanthi Mandir on Easwaramma Day, 6-5-1985.
5. Discourse in Sai Kulwant Mandap on 27- 7-1996.