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Study Guide on the Five Ds

Master the Five Ds and Receive God’s Love

Dedication Means Offering Your Heart to the Lord

Devotion is the Highest Form of Love

Strictly Follow Discipline in Daily Life

Discrimination Is Essential for Everyone

Everything Can Be Achieved with Firm Determination and Persistence     

The universe itself is a university in which every human being is a student. Every student pursues one subject and acquires a degree. Each one chooses a subject he likes. But whatever different subjects they may study, there is one thing common to all of them, one common pursuit and goal: to obtain the degree of divine love.

Master the Five Ds

In the cosmic university, though there are scientific, political, economic, and other studies, what is fundamental to all of them is spiritual knowledge. Even in the spiritual field there are special subjects. There is one group that may be described as the five Ds: Dedication, Devotion, Discipline, Discrimination, and Determination. Those who have mastered the five Ds are qualified to receive God’s love.

Be Free from Desire, Envy, and Greed

Dedication means offering. As soon as Swami arrived, teachers and students made offerings of flowers and offered their salutations. The flower symbolizes the heart. When you offer the flower of your heart to the Lord, it should be free from the pest of desire, hatred, envy, greed, and the like. Only flowers are offered to the Lord or those whom you revere. The flower of the heart is subject to infestation by two evil creatures: one is self-conceit; the other is envy. Self-conceit is based on several different factors: wealth, physical prowess, birth, scholarship, beauty, power, and penance. Of these, the arrogance born of wealth is to be despised most. As long as this self-conceit is predominant, it is impossible to recognise the Divine or one’s spiritual reality. Self-conceit is a great barrier between the individual and God. It has to be utterly demolished.

Pride of wealth is another human failing that causes the downfall of man. All forms of pride, based on birth, wealth, power, or scholarship have to be given up totally. Only when egoistic pride is offered as a sacrifice at the altar of the Divine can man discover his true nature. This is the dedication that is called for as the first step in the spiritual journey.

Devotion Is the Highest Form of Love

Next comes devotion. This is the highest form of love. Devotion means constant contemplation of God. The term bhakti is derived from the root bhaj (to worship). Devotion means loving contemplation of God, repetition of His name, worshipping Him, and doing penance for Him. Service to the Lord is the highest expression of devotion. There is nothing that is not attainable through loving service to the Divine.

Devotion does not mean merely singing devotional songs or performing puja (ritualistic worship). These forms of devotion at present are based on some kind of self-interest and self-seeking. True devotion should be free from selfishness of any kind. Devotion is not something to be proclaimed or demonstrated. Exhibitionistic devotion may result in disaster. True devotion should be an expression of love both internally and externally.

Discipline Should Be Strictly Followed in Daily Life

Next comes discipline. This is most essential for students. From the moment you wake up, you have to carry out your morning ablutions, meditate  on God, and then do your prescribed duties in an orderly manner without deviating from the regular routine. Variations in the routine from day to day are undesirable. You should not wake up at one hour on one day and at a different time on another day. The day’s activities should be regulated by the same schedule. Immediately after finishing the morning chores, one should devote, in the calm and serene atmosphere of the morning, at least a few minutes to loving meditation on God. The human estate is based upon regulation and self-control. These have to be strictly adhered to in daily life.

Follow the Directions of the Intelligence

Then comes discrimination. The world is a mixture of good and bad, of joy and sorrow, right and wrong, victory and defeat. In a world replete with such opposites, man has to make constantly the choice between what is right and proper and what is wrong and undesirable. Man should not let himself be guided by the mind. He should follow the directions of the intelligence. As long as you follow the mind, you cannot obtain Divinity.

Discrimination Is Essential for Everyone

Young people in their tender years tend to follow the inclinations of the mind. They do not rise to the level of their intelligence. Consequently, they are subject to various agitations and frustrations. They have, therefore, to learn to use their powers of discrimination. “I am a human being. In this condition how should I conduct myself so that I may win the respect and regard of others?” These are the questions that each student must ask himself. He should inquire on every occasion as to what is the right course and what is to be avoided. He should decide on what he should do and where he should go after due inquiry. Having acquired knowledge, he should not behave like an illiterate, uneducated person. His conduct should be in keeping with his learning. Humility is the index of true education. Without humility, scholarship will lack lustre. Discrimination is essential for every student and educated man.1

Have Only Fundamental Discrimination

Discrimination is of two types: individual discrimination and fundamental discrimination. Individual discrimination arises out of selfishness, whereas fundamental discrimination is concerned with the welfare of one and all. One should discard individual discrimination and have only fundamental discrimination. This was the teaching of Buddha to Ananda, son of Gautami, before he attained Nirvana.2

Exercise Your Discrimination Properly

Before undertaking any activity man should discriminate whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. But man is using his power of discrimination only to suit his selfish ends, which is individual discrimination. What is needed today is fundamental discrimination, that which is based on the sacred principles like truth, love, and righteousness. Truth is God, love is God. So, live in love.3

Whenever a thought arises in you to do something, take time and ask yourself: “Is it good, or is it bad?” It is very important to exercise your discrimination properly. It is fundamental discrimination that you should apply, not individual discrimination. Your action should benefit others — that is what fundamental discrimination is all about. Avoid haste, be patient, decide carefully on the basis of fundamental discrimination, and only then act.4

Consider the Good of Others

The less you talk, the more your mental power will grow. With the increase in your mental capacity, there will be an increase in your power of discrimination too. Consequently, you will give up individual discrimination and resort to fundamental discrimination. Because of this, you will begin to consider the good of the world at large rather than your own individual welfare. 5

Do Not Give Room to Doubt and Hesitation

Determination is the fifth D. It is like the reins of a horse. When you want to achieve something, you must have the determination and persistence to secure it by all your efforts. No room should be given to doubts and hesitations. There is nothing on Earth that cannot be achieved with firm determination.

Starting with dedication, you end with determination. There is no use relying solely on book knowledge or mere intellectual cleverness. There must be firm faith in God as the basis of everything.

There is one kind of pest that affects the leaves and branches of a tree. There is another that destroys the root of a tree. Likewise, hypocrisy is a human pest that can spoil a good man. The hypocrite is not merely an actor. He poses as a devotee externally but is really evil-minded. He leads a double life. It is dangerous to associate with such persons. Many good men in the world have come to grief because of their association with such pretenders.

Worldly and Divine Love

Love is of two kinds: one related to the physical and the other related to the Divine. All the fears and delusions afflicting the world, all the chaos and violence prevalent today are due primarily to physical attachments. These are also responsible for the falsehood, corruption, and other evils rampant in society. Divine love knows no differences among individuals and nations. Egoistic attachments and selfishness are at the root of all human troubles and conflicts. Physical love should be confined to strict limits. If the Divine consciousness were not present within, of what use would the body be? It would be as useless as a school without teachers, a farm without water, a temple without a deity.

You must develop divine love. You must be resolute in striving to achieve what you aim at. Only then will your devotion and discipline bear fruit. There is no meaning in parading one’s devotion. The external human form has no significance. You must be human in your actions and feelings. By reforming your conduct and purifying your thoughts and actions, sanctify your lives. That alone is true education, which will lead to Self-realisation.1

References

1. Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXI, Chapter 5: The Five Ds.

2. Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32, Part 1, Chapter 15: Control Your Senses.

3. Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32, Part 2, Chapter 3: Recognise the principle of “I.”

4. Summer Showers in Brindavan 2000, Chapter 1: Seek Educare Instead of Just Education.

5. Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 25, Chapter 15: Rise from Animality to Divinity.