Love and Greetings on the occasion of Christmas - The
Day so Holy and Sacred celebrating the advent of the "Son of God."
Today Swami tells us the correct way to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus
Sai Inspires - 25th December 2005
In all religions, birthdays of great personalities are celebrated but the
ideals for which they lived are not remembered and followed. If you do not
care to follows their teachings the celebrations lose their meaning and
become artificial observances. It is not doing justice to the good people
whose birthdays are being celebrated. Christ taught people to love all
beings and serve all with compassion. It is only by practising these ideals
that one can truly celebrate His birthday. The Divinity within should be
reflected in every action... Worship means loving others with your full
heart. You must live in love and lead a life of selfless service based on
love. This is the only right way of celebrating the birth of Christ.
How Must We Respond?
Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.
Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world would be celebrating
Christmas. One wonders how many of them would take a minute off to ponder
over what Christmas really means. Instead, most likely, over 90% of those
celebrating Christmas would be preoccupied with matters that hardly relate
to Christ and his eternal message of love and compassion.
Time there was hundreds of years ago when the world was not supposed to be
so advanced; but then, and people had all the time to think about the
teachings of Christ. Few realise that if today there are over a billion
Christians all over the world, it was because many in those distant days
were drawn to the Son of God by the message he preached and lived by, before
he made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity.
People were drawn then to the message of Christ, because it is the universal
message of Pure Love and Compassion. It is a message with an eternal appeal
that can touch Hearts even in the darkest of times; and it is that very same
message that is drawing millions to Swami, including for the celebration of
No, Christmas is not about going on shopping spree, not about sending cards
in thousands, not about marketing, not about opening attractively wrapped
gifts and not about grand Christmas dinners or parties. It is all about Love
Preoccupied as we are these days with matters relating the material world,
it is not easy to follow the message of Christ, or for that matter that of
Swami. Indeed, even in earlier times it was not easy, which is why Christ
once exclaimed in desperation, 'Why call ye me Lord, when thou doest not
follow what I say'. Swami too has expressed similar disappointment via the
words, 'Aacharanam ledu,' meaning people do not put into practice His
Once a speaker asked some devotees whom he was addressing, How come we force
Swami to express dissatisfaction in this manner. If we really love Swami as
we all claim, then why does such a serious lapse arise. There was then a lot
of discussion until one person hit the nail on the head. He said, 'May be,
perhaps unknown to ourselves, deep in our Heart we are not convinced that
following Swami's teachings would do us any good. Possibly, we ask, What's
there in it for me, and brush aside the teachings'.
This was an honest answer. The speaker then narrated the famous parable of
the Good Samaritan first told by Jesus. Just to recall, there was a
traveller going along a lonely desert road who was waylaid by robbers who
not only took away everything this unfortunate traveller had but also beat
him up and left him badly wounded. There he was lying helpless and in pain
when along came a Levite. He saw the man and just kept on going without
bothering even to enquire whether any help was needed. After some time came
a priest but he was no better; he too couldn't care less about the hapless,
wounded wayfarer. And then came a man from Samaria who stopped, applied balm
to the wounds, bandaged them, placed the injured man on his donkey, and took
him to an inn in a village. There he arranged for the victim of robbery to
be accommodated and fed. And next day when he left, the Samarian left some
money with the innkeeper to take care of the expenses of the injured man.
That roughly is the parable narrated by Jesus.
The speaker then asked his audience: 'Why do you think the Levite and the
priest walked away without attending to the wounded and dispossessed man.
The audience had no difficulty in giving the answer. They all said, 'These
two people did not offer help because there was nothing in it for them.' The
speaker said that is right and then asked, 'In that case, what was there in
it for the man from Samaria. What did he see that the other two who went
before him didn't.' After some hesitation, one member of the audience said,
'Probably this man from Samaria felt he would feel happy inside if he
That answer is indeed correct. The first two passers by sought an answer to
the question. What's there in it for me from the Head. The Head saw no
benefit and that is why those two went their way without bothering to help.
The man from Samaria also asked the same question but addressed it to his
Heart. And the Heart said, 'If you show love and compassion to the wounded
man and help him, you will experience Bliss or Ananda'. The man accepted the
response and did exactly what his Heart asked him to.
That really is the central point about the message that Christ gave then and
Swami is teaching us now. In the world that we live in, we are a constant
witness to all the things that happen there, especially the suffering of
hundreds of millions. How must we respond? If the question is addressed to
the Head, it would say, 'Don't bother.' When people do not bother they would
turn to merrymaking and wasting money on unnecessary luxuries, money that
could be used for alleviating pain and misery. Indeed, such people might, in
the pursuit of their ambitions even inflict pain and cause hurt. However, if
one listens to the Heart, one would do all one can to reach out to those in
distress. Even if one is not able to physically help, one can at least pray
to the Lord. Incidentally, it is interesting how often the Heart is
portrayed along with pictures of Christ.
On this sacred day, let us who are blessed by the Lord to enjoy comfortable
circumstances in life, take a moment off to think of hundreds of millions
who are suffering from the aftermath of various natural disasters, who are
in the clutches of poverty, and are facing a miserable end to their lives
caused by diseases that could have been prevented if humanity had more
feeling for the suffering. Instead of dreaming of shopping sprees and wild
parties, let us ruminate on the teachings of Christ and His Father who is
now very much with us. Let us spend some time reading the Discourses given
by Swami at Christmas time year after year, to help us place the message of
Christ in a modern context.
Merry Christmas and Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service.