Submitted by Lalu N. Vaswani National Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organisation of Barbados Inc.
The meaning of Avatar (Divine Incarnation) is this: to save mankind, God out of His love, affection and compassion, comes down to the level of man and arouses the Divine consciousness in man. He makes man aware of Him in him, when He finds him desperately searching outside of himself for Him who is his very core.
In order to enable you to reach the highest goal of merging with the absolute, this chance has been granted to you as a reward of merit acquired in many previous lives. A bird needs two wings to fly; a cart needs two wheels to be pulled along. To journey towards the goal, man too needs study and steadfastness – spiritual learning and penance.
The Geeta declares that among studies, the study of the Science of the Self is the highest. This study shows the way; the penance makes you reach the goal. The two are the two eyes that fulfill one purpose.
Two thousand years ago, when narrow pride and thick ignorance defiled mankind, Jesus came as the embodiment of Love and Compassion and lived among men, holding forth the highest ideals of life.
You must pay attention to the lessons he elaborated in the various stages of his life. “I am the messenger of God,” he declared, first. Yes, each individual has to accept that role and live as examples of divine love and charity. The guru (spiritual teacher) must act as the alarm-clock; he should awaken the sleeper to his duty to himself. And bear witness to the God within, in every thought, word and deed.
This day, Christmas, is celebrated. Bring to mind the words he uttered, the advice he offered, the warning he gave, and decide to direct your daily lives along the path he laid down. His words must be imprinted on your hearts and you must resolve to practice all that he taught.
Jesus knew that God wills all. So, even on the cross, when he suffered agony, he bore no ill-will towards anyone and he exhorted those with him to treat all as instruments of His will. “All are one; be alike to everyone.”
Practise this attitude in your daily lives. Of course it is very difficult to develop unwavering faith in this great truth. The mind hops from belief to doubt, from one conclusion to its negation and it causes turmoil and confusion. But, there can be one method by which it can be conquered.
The black-bee can bore a hole in the hardest wood. But, when darkness intervenes while it is sipping the nectar from the lotus-flower and, as a result, when the open petals close in on the bee, it finds itself imprisoned, with no hope of escape. It does not know how to deal with softness!
So too, the mind can play its tricks and jump wantonly about on any arena; when placed on the Lotus feet of the Lord, it becomes inactive and harmless. In order to offer the mind entirely to the Lord deep detachment from worldly desires is needed. Superficial devotion or shallow steadfastness cannot succeed.
To fell the hard sandalwood tree, a heavy axe of steel is needed. It is the privilege of this stage of life to cultivate this detachment, to subdue the vagaries of the mind, and to manifest the divinity that is latent in you. That divinity, when expressed in action, blossoms into loving service of fellow-beings. It renders the heart pure, free from pride and greed.
Christmas means the Mass that is held on the birthday of Christ. It is fundamentally a sacred religious rite. To deal with it as if it is a festival for drinking and dancing or even for recalling Jesus to memory is very wrong. The day must be spent in prayer; not merely this day, but cultivate the spiritual discipline of prayer as a normal way of life. Prayers of worldly ends do not reach God. They will reach only those deities who deal with such restricted spheres.
But, all prayers arising from pure love, unselfish eagerness to render service will reach God. For God is verily the embodiment of love. We know that we have to see the moon only through the moonlight. So too, God who is love, can be seen and realised only through love.
Love is God, Live in Love That is the Message I give you.
— Sri Sathya Sai Baba