Knowing that Bhagawan has advised against the offer of garlands to Him, children of the Vidya Vihar at Ooty hit upon an acceptable method of presenting Swami with a "garland" in the entertainment programme they got up during Bhagawan's stay there in April.
The "flowers" in the garland consisted of pearls from the Divine lips. Before making the offering, one child came forward and said to Bhagawan: "We, the little children of our Beloved Lord Sai, have picked up a few pearls that fell from our Lord's lips. We have made a Garland out of them. Now we pray for our Lord's gracious permission to place them around His Lotus Feet."
After that, one child after another came forward to recite the allotted piece and take his or her place in the semi circle in front of Bhagawan, which became a garland for Swami. The following "pearls" glittered in the garland:
"Lord, you have told us that by cultivating devotion, that is Love for God, from childhood, we can reach Him, who is the treasure of all Ananda. You have also told us that how much we think we are, and not more, are we and so help us to learn more and more and then become better and better."
"We also know that Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are the chief noble qualities that we have to cultivate from our childhood and continue it throughout our lives. Because, Swami has said, Life is a search, explore it; Life is a challenge, meet it; Life is a game, play it; Life is a dream, realise it; and Life is Love, enjoy it."
"So, for this we have to start early, drive slowly and reach safely. But we have to remember, `less luggage more comfort', and we should always remember Love is God and God is Love and so we have to live in Love. If we do so, we will enjoy our lives."
"In order to enjoy life, we must put a ceiling or limit on our desires. We must put a limit on our expenditure of our money. We must not talk too much thus wasting our time and energy. We must not waste food, because food is God, and when time is wasted, it is equal to life being wasted."
"So, we have to remember that one of the best ways to spend time is, by doing good service to others, because doing seva to humanity is doing seva to divinity, that means serving God and helping God's creation is the same thing. When we please man, we please God."
"We have also to do our duty in life with discipline and devotion. For that, we must start the day with love, spend the day with love, fill the day with love, live the day with love and end the day with love and remember love lives by giving and forgiving and self lives by getting and forgetting."
"And when we talk, we must remember to talk soft, talk sweet and talk the truth. We must watch our words, watch our actions, watch our thoughts, watch our character and watch our heart and we must also avoid backbiting, falsehood and harsh words."
"Also we must remember that one must not only do the work one likes, but like the work one has to do. We cannot always oblige but can always speak obligingly. Swami has said, we are all caskets of divine love and so we must share it, spread it and express that love in thoughts of compassion, words of sympathy and acts of service."
"Not only that, we must practice Ahimsa and Brahmacharya. We must cultivate humility, fearlessness and develop a sense of sacrifice and renunciation. Also we should eradicate ego, lust, anger, breed, envy and jealousy and practice selflessness, generosity and tolerance and thus make ourselves better persons."
"For this, what we have to do is to "See Good, Be Good and Do Good, because that is the way to God." The past is beyond recovery. The future is uncertain. The given moment is now and here. So sanctify it with holy thoughts, words and deeds and thus make life a rose that speaks silently in the language of fragrance. Remove desire, attachment, and cultivate patience, fearlessness, control tossing of mind and temper; Love God, Trust God and Surrender to God."
"So, for making us better persons, we must take a dose of Japam and Dhyanam for breakfast; have Satchintanam, Sat sang and Satparana for lunch; do pooja and archana for Tea; consider an hour of bhajan as Dinner; and do Manana, as a cup of milk at bedtime. This diet is enough to make our being happy and healthy."
"And so we pray to our Lord to accept this little garland of pearls. We also pray to our Lord to help us to "Follow the master, Face the devil, Fight to the end, and Finish the game" and when we become big, to be considered by YOU as Your fit instruments to carry out YOUR Message to Your complete satisfaction. Lord! Bless us all for that."