Sankranthi festival should be regarded as the day on which man turns one’s vision towards God. Man's life may be compared to a stalk of sugarcane. Like the cane, which is hard and has many knots, life is full of difficulties. But these difficulties have to be overcome to enjoy the bliss of the Divine, just as the sugarcane has to be crushed and its juice converted into jaggery to enjoy the permanent sweetness of jaggery. Bliss can be achieved only by overcoming trials and tribulations. Gold cannot be made into an attractive jewel without it being subjected to the process of melting in a crucible and being beaten into the required shape. When I address devotees as Bangaru (golden one), I am considering you as precious beings. But only by going through the vicissitudes of life with forbearance can you become attractive jewels. You should not allow yourselves to be overwhelmed by difficulties. Develop self-confidence and have firm faith in God. - Divine Discourse, Jan 15, 1992.
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