The Flowers God Loves – Sathya Sai Quotations





This is an old post from long ago. I have updated it with new images and also added several quotes from From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana, a new translation into English of a book Sai Baba wrote a long time ago. The book ‘Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana’ is an authentic translation of Swami’s words written originally in his native Telugu, then translated “precisely” into the English language. At first glance, the words and sentences are not easily understood by English speakers, because of the phrasing used at the time the book was translated.  But the book is all Swami. Indeed it is!  From my point of view, the simple and beautiful translation is more meaningful than many other translations of his collective works.




Here are a collection of Sai’s quotations, where he touches on the idea of flowers. It is an interesting theme for Sai devotees who enjoy studying Sai’s collection of spiritual books.


1.The most complete explanation of Ashta Pushpam is in: ‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’ Vol. 15. Chapter 9, “The Flowers that God Loves.” All chapters are a beautiful explanation of  the meaning of the flowers used for worship.

2. “Of course, floral offerings are commendable. The sixteen items are good. But, one should progress from this stage to the awareness of the Aathma. Flowers fade and wither. The effect of offering flowers may not last long. What God loves more are the flowers blossoming on the tree of man’s own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. They are the flowers of his virtues grown in the garden of his heart.” (‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’  Vol. 15. Chapter 25, “The Garden of The Heart”). In this chapter Swami clearly explains the properties of flowers from the heart’s garden.

3. “Eight types of flowers can be offered to God, viz, (1) Ahimsa (Non-violence), (2) Indhriya  Nigraha (Control of senses), (3) Sarvabhootha Dhaya (Compassion towards all beings), (4) Sathyam (Truth), (5) Dhyaanam (Meditation), (6) Shaanhti (Peace), (7) Vinaya (Humility), (8) Bhakthi (Devotion).” (‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’ Vol. 16. Chapter 3, “Ceiling on Desires – 1″).

4. “Since you cannot swim across the flooded stream, you board a raft. So also, since you cannot master the Nirguna (formless), you resort to the Saguna (form with attributes) and struggle to swim across to the Nirguna through Araadhana and Upaasana (worship and contemplation).

But it is not advisable to remain ever on the raft, amidst the currents and whirlpools, is it not? You must discard this conventional Araadhana some day and reach higher. Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam, (leaf, flower, fruit, water) – are all primers for the initial stages when children join schools. Clean the mind of all the animal and primitive impulses which has shaped it from birth to birth. Otherwise, just as milk poured into a pot used for keeping buttermilk curdles quickly, all the finer experiences of truth, beauty and goodness will get tarnished beyond recognition.”

(Sathya Sai Baba. Discourse) ” Primers of Spiritual Education.” 26 Oct 1961, Prasanthi Nilayam;


Beautiful Clematis
Beautiful Clematis

The inherent joy derived in the process of performing karma is not found in its fruits. The immense joy that one derives while performing karma is like a stream of joy. Will an artist stop painting if money is offered to him? If you offer money to a poet to stop composing poetry, will he do so? Do real artists submit themselves to these kinds of deals? They derive purest joy in expressing their art. That joy is the true fruit of those karmas. In comparison, its external fruit is negligible. The word karma is used in the sense of swadharma. (ones particular duty. We eat, drink and sleep. All these are karmas, but not in the way the word “karma”  is referred to in the Gita. There, the word means “to follow one’s path or dharma.”  In this way, those karmas performed in introspection, is referred to as vikarma in the Gita. Karma is the solid state, (Sthoolarupa), or to follow one’s Dharma. Concentrating is chitta (consciousness), while external karma is “vikarma.” When we offer our salutations to somebody, if we do not bow our heart along with the head, the external salutation has no value. The external and the internal should be unified.

From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana


iris in the rain
Iris in the Rain

Whether one remains in the affairs of the world (samsaara) or renounces it thinking that everything depends on God’s will,  and offers everything to God and performs one’s karma, there is nothing one can do beyond this.  Just as the quantity of bread depends on the quantity of flour, so is it  jnana of the divine realm that one attains, and  depends on the devotion (bhakthi) that one has gained. It is an act of insanity to search for jnana in a place where there is no dedication or true worship to God. Undeterred faith is essential for God to reveal himself. Undeterred faith in chanting His name and is essential for the revelation of God. Discriminate between the permanent and the transient. To kill others, one may require swords and spears, but to kill oneself – is not a small needle enough? In order to preach to others, one has to study many scriptures (shastras) in order to attain revelation of God; repetition of a single mantra is enough.

From the book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

Through Love’s Affection – Inspirational Quotations


[The Eternal Father to Catherine:] “Do you know, daughter, who you are and who I am? If you know these two things you will have beatitude within your grasp.  You are she who is not, and I AM HE WHO IS.” Raymond of Capua,

Life of Catherine of Siena, 92



By Jake Murray  – (Thank you Jake for the piece and thanks so much for the conversation. Both much appreciated. 🙂
Romantic love is very much a key ingredient here. Again, very linked with Bride – Love Mysticism , John’s Epistle (“God is Love”) and the Song of Songs.I have often thought that it is the women mystics of Christianity who have understood this greater than the men. Christ as the Beloved, the Groom, who is loved with the heart and not just the head is a theme that echoes powerfully through Catherine, Teresa, Mechtild, Marguerite, Hadewijch etc. For Mechtild especially it’s highly somatic & sexual as well as spiritual & emotional. Clare of Assisi uses the ‘kisses me on the mouth’ imagery of the Song of Songs to evoke her sense of divine union…It’s infinitely more powerful than the male mystics because its so immediate, so passionate and so direct. Because its somatic, it become holistic. The heart & body are connected as well as mind and spirit. The only male mystics I know who come close are St John of the Cross and Gerard Manley Hopkins.Perhaps this is why, having trawled my way through the Christian mystics, I’ve tended to find that the women are the most modern and the most direct. In their passionate, sensual, erotic spirituality which is so all-encompassing *everything* is enveloped in the Godhead, everything is made sacred, and the experience is infinitely accessible rather than cold, intellectual and distant. Even the greatest of male mystics – Bonaventure, Eckhart, Palamas – don’t enter the Bridal Chamber like this… It’s still arrived at by abstract thought.Interestingly, the Jewish mystics succeed in this even though they are male perhaps because they introduce the Shekinah. Because to the Kabbalists the aspect most accessible to humanity is feminine, they are able to commune in a similar way… Thus for the Kabbalist and the female Christian mystic union with God is a true consummation…
Catherine Of Siena, has often been quoted as God’s Little Show Off.
The Dialogue

“A soul rises up, restless with tremendous desire for God’s honour and the salvation of souls. She has for some time exercised herself in virtue and has become accustomed to dwelling in the cell of self-knowledge in order to know better God’s goodness towards her, since upon knowledge follows love. And loving, she seeks to pursue truth and clothe herself in it.

But there is no way she can savour and be enlightened by this truth as in continual humble prayer, grounded in the knowledge of herself and God. For by such prayer the soul is united with God, following in the footsteps of Christ crucified, and through desire and affection and the union of love he makes of her another himself. So Christ seems to have meant when he said,

“If you will love me and keep my words, I will show myself to you, and you will be one with me and I with you.”

And we find similar words in other places from which we can see it is the truth that by love’s affection the soul becomes another himself.

To make this clearer still, I remember having heard from a certain servant of God that, when she was at prayer, lifted high in spirit, God would not hide from her mind’s eye his love for his servants. No, he would reveal it, saying among other things, “Open your mind’s eye and look within me, and you will see the dignity and beauty of my reasoning creature. But beyond the beauty I have given the soul by creating her in my image and likeness, look at those who are clothed in the wedding garment of Divine Love, adorned with many true virtues: they are united to me through love. So I say, if you should ask me who they are, I would answer,” said the gentle loving Word, ‘that they are another me; for they have lost and drowned their own will and have clothed themselves and united themselves and conformed themselves with mine.”

It is true, then, that the soul is united to God through love’s affection.”

– ‘The Dialogue’ by Catherine of Siena with thanks.