Set apart a “Feeding Time” for the Spirit daily
Just as you feed the body, and care for its upkeep and repair, the Manas, Chittham and Buddhi (mind, thought and intellect) have also to be fed with good nourishing food.
When the morning cup of coffee is missed, you get a headache; what do you get when the morning dose of Japam is missed?
Or perhaps you have not made it into a habit. At noon, your hunger drags you from the shades of these trees to where food is waiting; nothing so powerful drags you to your shrine-room. Perhaps, you have no shrine room at all. When you enter a house, even if it has been unoccupied for months, you can declare, “This is the kitchen,” from the sooty walls and the smell of condiments. Similarly, you say, “This is the Puuja room” from the aroma of incense-sticks and flowers that still hovers in the air.
Have a separate Puuja room or at least, set apart a small corner for Dhyaanam (meditation), Japam (repetition of Lord’s name) and Puuja (ritual worship). Retire there, at least twice a day for some short time; that will be “feeding time” for the spirit.
Sarveshwara Chinthana – allowing the mind to rest on the tree of the glory of God – will give the tired bird some rest to fly again, beating its wings in search of food and happiness. Sathsanga (company of the pious) also acts like a tonic. Try the prescription for some time; it will be rather unpleasant at first. Due to weakness, the mind, like the body, cannot behave steadily and remain firm. That is why I addressed you today not as usual as Prema swaruupulaara (embodiments of love), or Aathma swaruupulaara (embodiments of self), but, as you will have noticed with some dismay, as “Shaantha swaruupulaara! Chanchala swabhaavulaara,” that is to say, though your nature is steadiness, your behaviour is ever unsteady.
Excerpt from Discourses of Sathya Sai Baba, Maha Shivaratri Katha, Prashanthi Nilayam, 8, 9 and 10 March 1962