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Questions & Answers 1 to 109
“I am suffering. How is it that
Bhagavan is not able to respond to my prayers?
What's wrong with Him? Is He on vacation?”
That is the question put to me.
“How is one supposed to pray to Swami when everything goes wrong? How come nowadays every Sai devotee I meet is going through a hard time? Is Swami on vacation? (Laughter) Is Bhagavan on vacation?” Very good! Because we have a vacation, let us try to give Him a vacation. But the problem is, when He is on vacation, we will have problems!
The answer is simple: When everything is going wrong, I should be thinking that there might be a mistake in my approach. There may be some mistake in my procedure. There may be some mistake in my intention. There may be some mistake in my motives. Perhaps I may not be deserving of what I want. I may be undeserving; I am simply desiring. Perhaps I should find out know whether I am deserving or not? It may be because of my mistake; it might be because of wrong procedures; it could be because of my bad motives or because of my undeservedness.
Above all, let me learn a lesson that when I am wrong every time, that it is a lesson for me. Let me look to God's guidance. Let me see what Bhagavan is telling me. Let me pray to Him. What intuitive feeling does He give me? How is He awakening my intellect and asking me to proceed in the direction of success?
Instead of complaining that I am going wrong, let me inquire within, ‘Why am I wrong?’ If one is always wrong, there must be something wrong somewhere. I must enquire in depth. Outwardly, I should be more competent; I should be more talented; I should be more skillful. Inwardly, I should be more investigative. I should enquire more and more from within, and pray for God's help, so that I will be successful. God is never on vacation!
Bhagavan always said, “At least you have Sundays as holidays. I don't have any Sundays.” Our good Lord has more work on holidays, more work on Sundays. He has no holiday. He is never on vacation.
“What are your
views on dreams?”
Let me be very honest. I do not dream much, and the dreams I have are not worth mentioning. They are not worth sharing. This life itself is enough torture! Why dream as well? (Laughter) Why more dreams?
But I do not deny nor do I reject dreams concerning Swami. Swami appears in our dreams when He decides to appear. In that case, those dreams are true. However, some people make their own psychological projection and interpretation of the dream.
I am ashamed to give you an example of a person who went to a lady and said, “Swami appeared in my dream and wanted me to marry you.” Oho. (Laughter) That fool.
That lady said to me, “Sir, Swami appeared in my dream and wanted me to marry this man.” Oho. She had a dream and that fellow had a dream.
Both of them came to me and said, “Sir, in the dream it appeared that we should marry.”
“I don’t deny what you say. Yes, Swami told you. Where? In your dreams. So please get married there, in Dreamland. (Laughter) Get married in Dreamland, not on this land. Understand?”
Therefore, my friends, psychological projections are different from Bhagavan appearing in our dreams. The unfulfilled desires project themselves through the dream and we think they are real. No, no, no!
Bhagavan appears at a time when you don’t think of Him at all. Bhagavan appears at a time to give you direction when you badly need it. Bhagavan gives you kind of a support, kind of an anchor when you are lost in the waves, in the tossing of the ocean’s waves. When you are there in the turbulent ocean, when the ship is tossing, Bhagavan appears: “My dear child, don’t worry. I am by your side.”
When you are helpless, when you are forsaken, when you are given up by everybody, Bhagavan appears and tells you, “My dear child, I am by your side. Why fear when I am here?” That is a Baba dream and not just a psychological projection.
“We women, whom
should we follow? Should it be Sita, the wife of Rama, who accompanied her
husband into exile, or should it be Urmila, the wife
of a brother of Rama, who remained at home?”
We know the story of Sita and also that of Urmila in the Ramayana, the story of Rama. One went along with her husband, Rama, while the other one allowed her husband to follow Rama. (Laughter) Whom should we follow, Sita or Urmila? Should we follow our husbands like Sita, or be like Urmila, allowing them to go and remaining behind?
Urmila and Sita are two characters representing two different situations. There may be an occasion where you have to act like Sita. There are times when you have to act like Urmila.
Here is a simple example involving the same person. The husband is working in the army. He is an army general. In times of war, the husband, being an army general, has to go to the front. He has to go to the battlefield. Then the wife would not say, like Sita, “I will follow you.” (Laughter) She has to be like Urmila - stay behind and encourage her husband to go and fight.
Later the husband becomes a government employee and he is transferred to another place. That place is in a remote corner of the jungle. The poor fellow has to manage on his own. Then the wife would follow him and say, “Don't worry. I am here. Never think that you are alone. It may be a new place. It may be a forest area, but as long as we are together, the place is like a garden to us. It’s no longer a wild forest, no. I am here by your side.”
When your husband needs your support, you act like Sita. When the husband is duty-bound, you are Urmila. Urmila and Sita represent two different situations. You have to identify the actual situation. Then you will know whether you should follow your husband or stay back.
You should not say, “My husband is a surgeon. He is in the operating theatre. I will be like Sita. I will follow him!” (Laughter) No, no, no! You have to stay back.
“My husband is sick. He has been admitted to the hospital. I will be like Urmila and stay at home.” No, no! (Laughter) You should then be Sita. You should follow him. You should go to the hospital. We must use our sense of discrimination.
This question is asked because surrender has not been achieved. A simple example: Here is a glass of water. I mix one spoon of sugar into it completely. Where is the sugar? The sugar has dissolved in the water. There is no sugar now. Even if you ask, “Oh sugar, please let me see you! I want to see you,” it will say, “Sir, stop asking. I am one with the water. I am dissolved in the water.”
Similarly, once you have surrendered, you don't ask, “What is surrender?” The sugar will not say, “Where am I?” because it has become one with the water. So, the one surrendered will not ask this question, “What is surrender?”
He is going towards surrender. He is in the process of surrender. Surrender means accepting His Will unconditionally. Surrender means forgetting the individual self. It means being One with the Supreme Self, the Cosmic Self, being One with Brahman (the Universal Absolute). That is true surrender.
“How to earn His
A simple thing: the sun is shining here, yes! If you go in the opposite direction, there will be a shadow in front of you, right? Turn towards the sun and walk towards it; the shadow will be behind you. When you turn away from the sun, the shadow is in front of you. When you walk towards the sun, the shadow is behind you.
Similarly, when you think of God, you are earning His Grace. When you are walking towards the world, you are denied His Grace. That’s all. Sun is God! Walk towards Him. That is Grace - more and more light. If you turn against or away from Him, you have to follow your own shadow. This shadow is the illusion, delusion, mistaken identity, super imposition, Maya or whatever you may call it.
“I am not
satisfied with my spiritual progress. Why? How to be satisfied?”
My friends, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two states. I am satisfied with this blue file made in the USA. Good. (Laughter) Aha, when I don’t have this, I am dissatisfied. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two states of experience. When I possess, I am happy. When I do not have, I am unhappy.
In spirituality, there is no question of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. There is no question of happiness and unhappiness, because you are already that (Divinity)! You are not getting anything more in the spiritual field. You are not going to get any extra. You already know what you are. You think you are only the body; you think you are only the mind; you think you are the individual. No. You are God! You are Divine!
In spirituality, the word satisfaction can be defined as the true realisation of the Self. Dissatisfaction means the non-realisation or ignorance of the Self. Ignorance of the Self is dissatisfaction. Awareness of the Self is supreme satisfaction. I think that is the way we have to take it. Spiritual progress means awareness of the Self. Spiritual failure means non-awareness of the Self. That is the answer given on that day.
would you give to a person who does not believe in past life, and who is as good
as one can be, in regard to the pain and suffering he goes through?”
It seems a person is going through pain and suffering. He doesn’t believe in past life. What explanation can be given to him?
I can give him only one explanation - continue to suffer. (Laughter) Continue to suffer.
If you see that the suffering is from a past life and for one’s own transformation, then you won’t feel the pain of suffering. Seeing this, the pain of suffering can become less and less, negligible if possible.
The talk about a past life will be kind of a solace. It will be sort of a comfort. It will give sort of an explanation. That’s the reason why, in this country, in India, there is no demand for psychiatrists. (Laughter) There is no demand for psychoanalysts. There is no demand for the treatment of mental illnesses or ailments. No, nothing! No demand. No one turns mad as in many of the other countries.
Why? We have accepted the suffering. ‘I am suffering. All right, I accept it, come what may. This suffering is because of a past life. OK. That keeps me sane and comfortable, at least conversant, at least amicable and friendly with others.
Suppose I don’t believe that, and I am suffering. ‘My suffering should be cause for the whole world to suffer, OK?’ (Laughter) ‘My suffering is an international problem, you understand?’ ‘The kind of suffering I am going through, no one else has ever gone through.’ Your suffering is world suffering. Ultimately, you go on suffering so much, you are fighting within yourself so much, that you are unable to keep yourself in one piece. Ultimately, you turn mad, and then pay money to a doctor for treatment, and finally become normal again. (Laughter) Why all that?
Moreover, suffering can be taken as a lesson. Let us take this period of suffering as a period of meditation. Let this suffering turn into prayer. We cannot turn pleasure into prayer. No, because pleasure, I think, is my own making. Pleasure is my own doing. So, pleasure makes me egoistic.
In fact, both pleasure and pain can be turned into prayer. When pleasure is turned into prayer, it is gratitude. When pain is turned into prayer, it is meditation. Why not? Therefore, my friends, pleasure and pain can be transformed into prayer. Suffering is for one’s own elevation, for one’s own transformation, for one’s own advancement, and not a matter of punishment - certainly not! That's what I say.
“How do you distinguish between the true inner voice and the mind's
The true inner voice! I am glad that you have accepted the existence of the inner voice. I am also glad that you know there is a mind's whisper separate from the inner voice. How to distinguish them? Very simple.
When can we hear the inner voice? The inner voice can be heard when the outer noise stops. The outer noise should cease for the inner voice to be heard. Just as there is an undercurrent of water, all the boulders must be removed, the pebbles must be removed, the sand must be removed to touch the flow of water beneath. Similarly, when all the outer noise is gone, when all the outer actions are withdrawn, when one turns inwards, one is able to listen to the inner voice.
Next, how do you separate it from the mind's whisper? The mind's whisper is always for your convenience. ‘Why can't I go now?’ Mind's whisper.
‘Don’t go! Stay until the lecture is over.’ That’s the inner voice. (Laughter) Clear.
‘I went there this morning, but Swami did not come this way. Why not sit some place outside for an extra half hour, and then come for darshan, and come for bhajan when it suits me.’ That’s mind's whisper.
‘Keep quiet! Be there by 2:30. Swami may come anytime. You can have His darshan at least. You can see Him.’ That’s the inner voice.
‘It’s not possible to see Him again and again. You have come all this way. Why don’t you go visit some other place?’ Mind’s whisper.
‘Keep quiet. Be there by 3 o’ clock.’ OK? Inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘You can sleep tonight. Why not stay on for half an hour more?’ (Laughter)
So, the mind's whisper is always for your convenience. The inner voice is conviction. The mind's whisper is dual, giving you a choice: to be or not to be; to go or to stay back; to do or not to do. The mind's whisper gives you a choice.
The inner voice is choicelessness. Choicelessness.
‘Speak the truth.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘Not everybody speaks the truth.’ (Laughter)
‘Why should I speak the truth, after all? Not necessary.’ The mind's whisper. I think I am clear.
‘Love everybody.’ The inner voice.
‘How can you love everybody when those fellows hate you? (Laughter) When those fellows are harming you, how can you love everybody?’ Mind's whisper.
‘Remain in peace.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper, ‘What will happen to my salary next month? What will happen to my promotion next month? How will my business prosper next week?’
So, the mind's whisper is worldly. The inner voice is spiritual. The mind's whisper provides choice; the inner voice is choiceless. The mind's whisper is for convenience, whereas the inner voice is conviction. That’s how you can certainly distinguish and differentiate. The inner voice stands for values, whereas the mind’s whisper is always for personal gain. The mind's whisper is egoistic. The inner voice is without ego.
“What is good
company and what is bad company? Can't we change the bad into good?”
Whether we will be able to change the bad into good or not, let us be careful that we don't change ourselves! (Laughter) First, we have to be very careful that we are not changing ourselves.
Secondly, what is good and what is bad, is known by all. We don’t need to say that this is good company…that this is bad company. We don’t need to tell anybody. Everyone knows! In fact, good and bad are not outside. Let us go a little deeper into the topic.
Bhagavan said…Abba! Really, I tell you that I forget myself when I think of certain statements of Bhagavan. We should go into the depth of His statements, and then we can forget ourselves. We are lost in the fathomless depths of the content and the intensity of His expression, of His dicta, of His sayings, or whatever we call His teachings.
Bhagavan said: "Bad and good are not outside. They are within you. Good and bad are within you. When you entertain good thoughts within you, you are in good company. When there are bad thoughts in you, you are in bad company."
I think I am clear. That’s why Baba said, “Everything is the reflection of the inner being.”
“I say that you are a bad man because…” How do I know that you are bad? The bad quality in me identified the similar bad quality in you, and therefore I say that you are bad. So, both of us are equally bad. (Laughter) Am I clear?
I say that you are a good person. Why? The goodness in me helped me to identify the goodness in you. Therefore I say that you are good. Both of us are equally good.
So, the good and bad are in me, and when I find this reflection externally, I start branding; I start judging; I start classifying; I start fragmenting; I start dividing. It’s all the expression of the inner being. So my friends, the meaning of good and bad company is to be good for the sake of yourself.
My friends, after all, I am not prepared to mix with bad people simply because I refuse to accept that bad which is within me. I am not able to excuse myself. I am not able to bear myself. I don’t excuse myself. I don’t love myself. Therefore I say, “They are bad, they are bad, they are bad!” First, I should learn to excuse myself. I should learn to respect myself. I should learn to love myself. Then I can accept everybody, good and bad. That is the answer.
“All good people
suffer - why?”
First, why should you think that you are good? (Laughter) You cannot declare yourself to be good. There should be someone else to say that you are good. You cannot say, “I am so good; why am I suffering?” Oho! (Laughter) Maybe I should ask by what standards you declare yourself to be good?
So, all good people suffer. Why? Last year, this question was put to Bhagavan.
(By the way, for the benefit of English-speaking people, I may say that by the time of His Birthday, I would like to have all these questions published in book form as well as those things spoken about by Bhagavan on the verandah. For your benefit, I am in the process of getting them translated into English.)
This question was put to Bhagavan: “All good people suffer. Why?”
Bhagavan said, "You think that they are suffering. But they don't feel they are suffering."
Understand this point: You think that they are suffering, but they never feel suffering. They don't think they are suffering at all. But they appear to be suffering. As you know, Jesus Christ was on the cross, at the moment of tests and turmoil, at a time of challenge, and heavily bleeding. He prayed, “God, O God, O Father in Heaven, they know not what they do. Forgive them!”
He prayed for their pardon! “Let these people be excused. They do not know what they do.” Is it possible for an ordinary man to pray for his executers, to pray for those people who nailed Him on the cross? Is it possible? We think He was suffering, but He was not suffering.
Gandhiji, a man who used non-violent means to bring about India’s independence, was jailed. We think Gandhiji, the father of the Nation, was suffering, but he never felt he was suffering. No, he never felt so.
We thought that Prahlada, the saintly son of the king of the three worlds, was suffering. Actually, he was laughing and singing. If there were any suffering there, perhaps it was for God, as He had to rescue him everywhere. God had to save Prahlada.
If there is anybody suffering, it can only be God, because He has to save us all the time. We commit so many mistakes. He has to excuse us, and He has to save us from all possible threats and dangers. So we don't need to suffer, because He is there to take care of us.
Therefore, when you say that all good people suffer, it is only your imagination. Their goodness lies in bearing that suffering. Their goodness lies in resisting that suffering. Their goodness lies in still holding on to their principles and convictions very firmly, even at the time of suffering. That is their greatness.
in thought, word and deed in terms of its inner meaning.”
In terms of its inner meaning - thought, word and deed, yes! The words that I speak and spell out, those acts are visible. The thought is entertained in the mind. The thought will find its expression by word and action. I cannot speak without thought. If thought does not produce the word, I am a mad man. We say that he doesn't know what he is saying. What does it mean? When there is no thought behind it, one is mental, psychotic. If there are no thoughts behind an action, the actions are going to be foolish. The actions will land you in total failure. Thought is the promoter of word and action.
Then, what is the source of thought? The source of thought is the Self, the Atma. The source of thought is Self, Consciousness. Awareness is the source of thought. Once we are aware of the Awareness, the thought comes out of it. This thought produces speech. This thought directs, reflects, manifests, by way of action.
Because we are not aware of it, because we do not know the source of thought, we are confused. When we speak, we are not conscious of our speech. When we act, we are not sure of our actions. Sometimes, our motives are questionable. Once we know that the source of thought is the Self, these things are neatly solved.
Then, no thought or thoughtlessness is Divinity. Thoughtlessness is Divine. Withdrawal of thought is Amanaska, ‘no mind’. The withdrawal of thought, mano laya, merging of the mind in the Absolute, this annihilation is Divinity.
From that no-thought state, we come to the individual self. After all, there are two states: one, the Cosmic Self, and the other, the individual self. The Cosmic Self is no thought. The individual self is the seed of thought. Then the thought expresses in word or action. I think I am clear. The Cosmic Self is something like a thermal power station. The individual self is like a transformer. The mind is like a meter. The body is like an electric light bulb. The electricity is the action.
Therefore my friends, the source is the Cosmic Self, which is thoughtless, which manifests and proceeds into this world in the form of individual self, out of which thought is born. This expresses itself by way of word and deed. Therefore, the unity from within can be established by being aware of the Cosmic Self, the Paramatman - the Universal Soul, the Parabrahman - God.
“How is the
spiritual heart connected with the mind in the body, in terms of feeling,
thinking and action? How do I connect them for a better life?”
“The mind and heart, how are they to be linked?” Swami gave the answer a long time ago.
We should know the distinction between the mind and the heart. The memory, the intelligence, knowledge, recapitulation, and all secular knowledge, all the information of the outer world, all this is in our head. The head is the seat of learning. The head is the seat of knowledge. The head is the centre of worldly information.
The heart is the seat of wisdom. The heart is the centre of intuition, not intelligence. The heart is the centre of awareness. The heart is the birthplace for human values in life, like truth, sacrifice, peace and compassion. They all arise in our heart. The memory, intelligence, statistics, data, computer - that is the head; whereas compassion, love and peace, these are found in our heart.
So, the heart and the head - I have told you the difference between the two. Now, how to link them? It is quite simple.
When the heart prompts, when the heart dictates, the mind executes. When the mind executes, when the mind acts on the dictation, acts on the command of the heart, the life is in perfect harmony, in perfect unison, in perfect unity, in perfect co-ordination, in complete integration.
If the mind does not agree with the heart (consciousness or awareness), if the mind declares independence, “Let me act in my own way! (Laughter) I am quite independent. Keep quiet, heart!”… when the mind goes on acting in its own way, what happens? Accidents.
If we act according to the mind, completely neglecting the heart, it means that we are giving expression to our ego. The mind is the ego, individual consciousness or individual identification. On the other hand, the heart is cosmic; the heart is universal; the heart is spiritual. If the mind acts without the background of the heart, the mind naturally diverts, deviates, digresses and misdirects. This digression, this misdirection, this wrong perversion is responsible for all the chaos in our lives. When we are directed by the mind, our life is full of chaos and confusion.
On the other hand, if the heart commands, and the mind acts according to the command of the heart, life will be peaceful. Life will be spiritual. That’s why Baba says, "The body is a water bubble. Don't follow the body. The mind is a mad monkey. Don't follow the mind. Follow your conscience!" That is what your heart is. That is what the heart is. That is the answer to the question.
“I really do not
know why I start crying while singing bhajans. Can you please tell me why
this is happening?”
This is happening to the questioner and I have to give a solution. Well, I am glad about one thing. The question is put to me this way: “Why am I crying during bhajans?” Good. If you cry at home over something else, I have no answer. (Laughter) Those answers are purely private and personal, but this crying during bhajans is a welcome feature. It's positive. Don't say crying. No! They are tears of joy, Ananda, bliss. In fact, everyone should cry while singing. Yes! This shedding of tears of joy is not the shedding of tears of grief. They are not the tears of sadness. They are tears of joy in singing the glory of God. This is a welcome feature. You can't help it once you become absorbed in the singing.
Usually, when bhajans are going on, your thoughts will be on the singer: ‘Who is singing?’ (Laughter) Why are you interested in the singer? When you are interested in the singer, there won’t be tears of joy. Some people are interested in the instruments. ‘How nice! Who is playing?’ (Laughter) ‘The tabla is nice’, as if the harmonium is awful! (Laughter) Or, ‘The harmonium is nice’, as if the tabla is bad! So, when you concentrate on the singer, when you think of the instruments, when you think about that sort of song…No!
When you think of the song, singer or instrument, naturally you cannot identify with the bhajan. You should be the song. You should transform yourself into the song, such that you are the song. The song is not different from you. You are the rhythm, you are the beat, you are the melody and you are the bhajan. Bhajan is not separate from you.
Once you identify yourself with that process of bhajan, tears of joy start rolling unnoticed. You think of Lord Krishna: ‘Giridhar Gopala, Giridhar Gopala, O Lord Krishna!’ You think of Him, so naturally tears of joy will start. But if you think of the singer, the instrument or the song, the joy is gone.
Think of the content; think of the meaning. Be a song onto yourself. Be a melody to yourself. Be the music. Then you can identify. Then you will understand what bliss is during a bhajan session. We don't experience bliss during bhajan because we are separate from the bhajan. I am separate from my bhajan because I am watching who is sitting around me. I am watching my group or some other group. But I have not come here for groupism! (Laughter)
Some people say, “Sir, we don't allow them because they don't belong to our group.” I want to know to which second-rate group you belong! (Laughter) So, you belong to that group of second-rate fellows. Let’s not concentrate on the groups. Chi! Unity is Divinity. Groupism is not worth it at all.
Sitting for bhajans, I am conscious of my environment. I am aware of the people around. I watch and others are watching me. So where is the question of tears of joy? (Laughter) Close your eyes and understand. Get into the meaning of the song, the melody. Picture yourself with all the content and the meaning of the bhajan. Then you become the song itself. You become the music itself. Then the tears of joy come. That's the answer.
“Please say a few
words on Ahimsa, non-violence.”
There are many acts of ahimsa. There are many expressions of ahimsa also. But himsa, violence, is rampant today. Himsa means violence. It is rampant. Today, violence is everywhere. You hear it the moment you switch on your radio, the moment you switch on your TV. You read it the moment you sit at the breakfast table and open the newspaper. The whole front page speaks of violence somewhere or the other - this group fighting with that group, or this man murdering so many people. Violence! Violence!
Bhagavan's concept of violence is different from the ordinary connotations. The concept of violence that we understand is hurting or harming somebody. Bhagavan has gone a step beyond: You can be violent by how you look at another. Some people look at us in such a way that we feel very much embarrassed. ‘Why is that man looking like that? Why? What happened to him? (Laughter) He seems to be some wild animal. Why? There is no friendship in his looks. There is no love in his looks. Something is wrong with this man.’ So, you can hurt, you can be violent through your looks.
By using words, you can be violent. I can give you numerous examples because we are surrounded by acts of verbal violence, verbal acts!
“Sir, where can I sit?”
"SIT THERE!" Violence! (Laughter)
“Sir, I want to give a letter to Swami. So can I sit in the front?”
"NO, SIT, SIT!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, I want another spoon of Sambar.”
"NOTHING DOING!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, is this book available?"
“CHECK THE LIST! CAN’T YOU FIND IT THERE?" Violence!
“Sir, when is darshan time?”
“ASK THE NEXT FELLOW. THIS IS NOT AN ENQUIRY COUNTER!" (Laughter) Violence!
So, you can be violent verbally. You can also be violent through your looks. Then you can be violent by your thoughts. If we are always thinking of the fall of the other man, waiting for the failure of the other man or waiting for the other man’s defeat, that is also violence.
So, violence does not necessarily mean only killing. One can be violent by word, thought and deed. Therefore, ahimsa, non-violence, means refraining from hurting anybody by thought, word and deed. That's the answer.
“How do we remove
Bhagavan gave a very simple example: I am holding a rope. I think that I am holding a rope. It is evening time, twilight time. There is not much light, so I think that this is a rope. Somebody comes up and immediately switches on his torch. He says, “Poor fool! You are holding a snake, not a rope!”
“Is that so?” Immediately, I will drop it, won't I? Yes! Finding that I am holding a snake and not a rope, what will I do? Since I know fully well that snakes are poisonous and dangerous, I will drop it immediately. Therefore, once you know that these thoughts are really bad thoughts, you will not entertain them.
If the idea of how to give up bad thoughts does not arise, it is because we are comfortable with the bad thoughts. So then giving up bad thoughts is a problem. When we do not know how dangerous they are, or what sort of an obstacle they are towards realising the Divine, then giving them up is a big problem. But once we understand that they are dangerous, that they are not to be entertained, then once and for all, we will immediately put a full stop to those things. That's one point.
The second point is this: We should not fight our bad thoughts. After all, we are humans. My friends, I always tell my audience each time that I am nobody; that I am in no way superior to anybody, not in the least. I know that in the audience there are many, many people far, far superior to me. I am fully aware of that.
The point is this: Do not dwell on the fact that there are bad thoughts in us. “These are bad thoughts! How do I remove them?” When I think too much along these lines, then I fight the bad thoughts and I become worse! A simple example given by Baba: One fellow is bad. If you want to defeat him, you have to become worse than him! (Laughter) How else can you defeat a bad man? It's not possible.
Therefore, instead of brooding over the bad thoughts, instead of thinking too much along this line of continually fighting with the mind, let us take a positive approach. Entertain good thoughts. Spend more time in good thoughts and good company, so that bad thoughts slowly diminish. With the sunrise, darkness gets dispelled on its own. With more and more good thoughts coming and appearing, the bad thoughts start disappearing. That's my answer.
One boy asked me,
“Sir, how do you know that there is ego?”
Very simple. There is ego, which can be easily detected, because you want to show yourself as superior before everybody. You think that you are greater than everybody. That is ego. To feel that I am one among many, that I am the least of all, that I am nobody - that is the absence of ego or being egoless. Once ego is gone, all the problems of this world will be absolutely, totally solved.
When Swami suddenly talks to a boy, a student, well, he will think he is
I often tell our boys this, because boys are boys. When big boys don’t understand, we can have sympathy for small boys. When Swami suddenly talks to a boy, a student, well, he will think he is very special. (Laughter) Because he is a special creature, he puts on a serious face. (Laughter) Swami has spoken to him. Therefore, he must be someone out of the ordinary. (Laughter)
I give him some time because all these flights fly high. Yet, he has to come down someday for refueling. (Laughter) So, let us allow those flights, OK.
Then comes a time when our good Lord will allow him to undergo another test. He starts ignoring him. The fellow who enjoyed earlier…ah, now it is winter! It always comes after summer.
So, he comes to me and asks, “Sir, nowadays Swami is not talking to me. What shall I do?”
“Oh, don't do anything. There is nothing to be done. You forgot the fact that the season of winter will certainly follow that of summer. It is your mistake. All days are not Sundays. There is a test period. Certainly. One necessarily has to go through that. The whole day includes both night and day. Both are there. Summer and winter make a year. Don't you think so? The day - daytime and nighttime - make up twenty-four hours. Don't you think so? Similarly, you cannot have the time you choose all the time. No! Life is a matter of cycles. A cycle, that’s all. Because you were egoistic then, you are frustrated now. Because you felt very proud then, you are depressed now. Had you been calm, had you been composed, had you been equanimous, had you maintained a balanced state of mind, then you would not be depressed now.”
Therefore, my friends, we have to be careful when times are favourable. We have to be more careful when we are successful. We have to be more careful when we are the recipients of Bhagavan's blessings, so that we don't lose them. We have to treasure them by being more humble, more serving, non-egoistic, non-jealous, non-competitive, friendlier and more loving with everybody. Otherwise, on the day of test, you will be left with people pitying you. If you are egoistic today, when you are in the test period, it will be a cause of celebration for others, at your cost. Why? It's not worth it.
This question of Swami ignoring the student has arisen because of an ego problem. An egoistic man is not able to move freely with everybody. An egoistic man is not able to share with everybody. An egoistic man is not able to care for others - no caring, no sharing and no concern.
“How do I get
over my anger? What does Swami say about this? How to overcome my ego?”
A two-in-one question - OK! (Laughter)
Well, how do I get over my anger? How do I get over ego? These are the two questions. Well, the thing is this: the very discovery of anger within one’s own self is enough of an achievement. The very identification of ego in one's self is enough of a success, because people identify themselves through ego.
When I identify with my ego, well, there is no chance of redemption for one hundred lives to come. So, the very understanding that I am not the ego is enough of a success. Once I decide to give up my anger, that is enough of an achievement.
The next step is: How do I give it up? How do I overcome it?
Why am I angry? I am angry because of the ego. Ego and anger are very close relations: cousins, brothers, or you could say, twins. Ego and anger go together. An egoistic man is always angry. Therefore, the root of the problem of frustration, depression, jealousy, or hatred, the base or the source of all these evil traits happens to be the ego. So, let us know how to give up this ego.
To give up the ego is quite possible just by measuring ourselves, by measuring what we are in this vast universe or cosmos. The Bhagavad Gita has explained this very clearly. Those who have gone through the Bhagavad Gita will agree with me.
In this vast universe of the planets, the solar system, the lunar system, what are you, after all? Earth is the smallest planet. In this planet, minus the water, what is size of the land, after all? Very small. And in this land, out of so many countries, what is India? It is the size of an ant. And in India, what is Andhra Pradesh? The eye of an ant! In Andhra Pradesh, what is the Anantapur District? A speck in the eye of an ant! Then Puttaparthi is a speck-in-the-speck! (Laughter)
Then where are you? You do not know! (Laughter) Therefore, when you compare yourself with the vast expanse of this Universe, when you think of this manifestation of the Divinity, you understand you are negligible and I am negligible.
If this glass of water, in its simplicity, thinks it is very great, I just laugh at it. When I take this glass of water to the ocean, this water will understand it is only a drop. So, a drop will lose its ego when it is close to the ocean. When the drop is dropped into the ocean, the ego is gone. The ego is present because of identity. The drop feels it is something special and great. (Laughter) So with the identity, once it is gone, ego is lost totally. To drop the ego, the drop has to be dropped in the ocean. I think I am clear.
Similarly, if this ego is to go, the only solution is to think of God, to think of this Universe, to think of this Creation, to think of the Creator. ‘What am I after all? What am I?’ This is not self-denial. This is not self-condemnation. It is understanding the true identity of one's own nature. ‘I am, after all, nothing in this vast world.’
This kind of separateness of name and form is the cause for the presence of ego. Once this separateness goes, identification is gone. When you understand that you are a part of the whole, the ego naturally goes. Therefore, the best way to lose the ego is to understand the entire Creation, to think of the vast expanse of this universe, to think of God and His Creation. Then we know how small we are. That is the best way to give up our ego.
Mukthi (liberation), Moksha
), Nirvana (liberation)
This is a very good question. We are living in the computer age - instant food, instant coffee, instant Moksha or liberation. Instant, instant! I can understand. We don't want to lose time. We want to know things straightaway, fast. We want prompt, ready-made garments.
Now, the question is to explain Mukthi or Nirvana. My friends, Mukthi or liberation or Nirvana, heaven or paradise, are not located at a different place. It is your own mind that makes heaven out of a hell, or hell out of a heaven. Liberation is not a different world. Nirvana, Mukthi or Moksha are not a different place. Liberation is not limited to time and space. No!
Liberation - what is true liberation? It is liberation from body attachment, liberation from attachment to the individual soul, liberation from desire and liberation from ignorance. That is Moksha or liberation, Mukthi or Nirvana.
What is the way to light? The way to light is to get out of darkness. That's all. Once you get out of darkness, there is light. Similarly, when you are liberated from this desire, when you are liberated from this attachment, when you are liberated from all these wants, from the body attachments and from the individual soul, that itself is a paradise. That is what you call Mukthi or Moksha.
“What is the
Divine Message of Bhagavan? Convey it in one sentence.”
We teachers set up question papers. But the questions that are put to me, see! (Laughter). OK, what is the main message of Bhagavan? Put it in one sentence.
I said, “Why a sentence? I will put it in one word - LOVE. (Laughter) That’s all - LOVE! Why one sentence? A sentence is superfluous. (Laughter) One word is enough.” That's what I said. (Laughter)
“Although we know
God is Omnipresent and we feel that we are sincere devotees, we are still
disappointed if vibuthi does not materialize on our altars, or if we are
not granted interviews.
Does this mean that we have not done enough sadhana
or spiritual practice to receive God's Grace?”
It’s a genuine question, indeed.
These days we find wide publicity of miracles. Miracles, or experiences of miracles, are of two types: one - the absolutely personal, and two - the miracles that convey a message, a lesson to learn, to share with others.
When we keep on advertising personal miracles, it leads to questions of this kind: “Why doesn’t this happen in my case? Why there only?” “Vibhuthi falls there; why not at my residence?”
Vibhuthi is not necessary! For instance, Bhagavan thinks it is necessary there; therefore, He materialises vibhuthi there. Here, He thinks it is not necessary. Therefore, He does not materialise it here. Both situations are equally good. Why not? Why should we think that one place is a chosen place and this is a forsaken place? It is absolute, total ignorance.
My friends, Bhagavan has a myriad ways of blessing. He is multi-dimensional. In fact, the procedure or the way that He confers a blessing on one person never corresponds with another.
He gives a ring to one devotee. He gives a chain to another devotee. Vibhuthi is given to another. To still another devotee, He appears in a dream. He talks through His photo to another devotee. He sends a friend or a messenger to another, and through that person, a message is conveyed.
And He answers your prayers in His own mysterious, non-understandable, inexplicable way. By the time you return home, your problem is solved. By the time you go, the problem is solved. That is what is important.
All worldly things have a formula. Water is H2O all over the world - in Russia, America, Pakistan or Iraq. Water, H2O - that is its formula. All worldly material has a formula and a definite process. But spiritual experiences and spiritual manifestations are beyond our comprehension. They are above explanation. They are above our head. So let us not worry about it.
“Why this, and why not that?” That’s material. ‘Why’ and ‘why not’ are questions to be put where worldly things are concerned. But in spiritual experiences, in the spiritual realm, the only thing that we have to learn is total unconditional surrender or submission: “O God, Let Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
‘I am happy with what I am. I am blessed this way, very good, thank You.’ That kind of a feeling should arise. The question of the presence of vibhuthi and the granting of interviews has arisen because of competition. This question has arisen because of comparison. Once you get out of the madness of comparison, you will be free. You will be happy with the blessing conferred upon you. That’s my answer.
faith wavers. How can I make it steady? What should I do to make it firm?” A
genuine question indeed!
Faith is a gift from God. Faith is not cultivated by man. Faith is a Divine quality. By constantly looking forward, by regularly praying to Him, by the process of meditation, and by the constant repetition of His Holy Name, we strengthen our faith. The source of faith is God Himself. When the source is God, when we pray to Him, naturally He will help in its sustenance and maintenance. That’s one thing.
The second point is this: Do not mix with those who do not agree with our principles and ideals.
I don’t brand them as bad company; I dare not. From their viewpoint, we are the bad company. So, let’s not brand anybody as good or bad. “Judge not, lest ye shall be judged.” Let us not judge anybody.
Let us not mix with people who do not agree with our views and principles. I believe in Swami. There is no point in mixing with a person who denies Him. I believe in Sai philosophy. It’s practically useless to move with people who negate those principles. So, avoiding company that does not have a belief in Sai philosophy is one way of strengthening our faith.
Thirdly, in our chosen path, having developed a strong faith in Swami, we should gather more and more strength. When we read more and more of His literature, when we join satsang - good spiritual company like this, study circles like this - we will be strengthening our faith. It will not waver.
Wavering is the first threat to our faith, a starting problem. Once faith is strengthened, we can relax. During the initial period, we have to be careful, trying to avoid bad company and choosing company in which our faith shall never waver.
do you develop, protect and improve faith?”
came from the Milwaukee Center in the State of Wisconsin. How to develop,
protect and improve faith? Three aspects - develop, protect and improve.
My answer is simple. Faith is natural. You don't have to develop it. You were born with faith. A child has total faith in the mother. A child is not taught how to develop faith towards the mother. “My dear child, she is your mother. So have total faith in she who is teaching you.” You are born with faith. Faith is not cultivated. Faith is not imported, exported or manufactured. You are born with faith.
Furthermore, Baba goes on to say that you have total faith in a barber. You go to the salon and bend your head. Whether this fellow is going to put the knife on your head or your neck, you don't have any doubt. You have total faith in a barber. You give your costly dress to the washerman. You never think that he may run away someday with your costly clothes. You have total faith in a washerman and total faith in a barber. Then you have total faith in a doctor. You lie down on the operation table. He will transport you to the other planet and bring you back safely to earth -- you don't doubt it at all. You have total faith in a doctor. Faith is a natural quality. You are born with faith.
The question might be, “Why, then, is faith sometimes lost?” Rather than ask how to develop faith, the question is: “Why has faith gone? Why is faith lost?” This question is in respect only to God! You have faith in everybody else. There are a number of instances where I have heard this at a railway platform or in an airport. Someone will ask his or her neighbour, “Sir, here is my luggage. Please take care of it. I will go to the restroom and come back.”
By the time you
come back, the other person and your baggage may be elsewhere! (Laughter)
In total faith, you give your baggage to that man. In total faith, he has run
away with it. We have faith in everybody, except in God. So, instead of saying,
“How do I develop faith?” let us ask the question, “Why have I lost faith?”
Then, “How to protect faith?” Yes, you have to take every precaution. You have to take every measure to protect faith. Why? Now that you have developed a sort of attachment to Swami, you have faith in Swami. If you start arguing with people, if you start interpreting Swami’s sayings, you are sure to lose the faith. Let us not interpret Bhagavan.
There are many people who say, “You know why Swami has not looked at you? I will tell you.” (Laughter)
“Who are you to tell me why He has not looked at me? Who are you? That's my problem.”
Then some says, “You know what Baba meant when He said this to you? He meant that….”
“Oh ho, who are you to tell me? Bhagavan will tell me directly what He wants me to know. Why should you interpret? You are already mad and turning me double mad. Why?”
So, let us not
interpret. To grow strong in faith, we should stop interpreting. We should learn
total acceptance, not negation. Unconditional acceptance, without any
interpretation, is strong faith.
Then, so long as faith is tender, you need to be careful about those who are against your faith. You believe in Baba, but suppose you talk to people who have no faith in Him. You will lose it. Baba gave this simple example: When a sapling is planted, it needs a fence to protect it. When this same plant grows into a huge tree, it will give shelter to cows and sheep. At a tender age, a sapling stands the risk of being eaten away. When it grows into a huge tree, it gives shelter to the same animals that may have harmed it earlier.
So, until your faith is strong enough to encourage others to proceed in the same direction, you have to be careful. That's why it is important to be in good company. Cheje durjana samsargam: Run away from bad company. Bhaja saadhu samagamam: Join good company. Then you will be well protected. Then, how to improve faith? As there is more and more love, you can improve your faith day-by-day.
That's all for
the today. In all probability, we will complete the rest of the questions this
next week. Yes, there are not many more. Thank you very much for your patient
“Particularly in America, how do
we, as Sai devotees, find the right balance between worldly success and
spiritual growth towards Swami's Lotus Feet?”
This is a good question. Where is the balance between worldly success and spiritual growth? Where do you strike the balance towards Swami's Lotus Feet? My friends, worldly success and spiritual growth are not opposite. Why should you think that a spiritual man is a failure in the world? Why should you think that a spiritual man is incompetent or inefficient? No! Worldly success and spiritual growth go hand-in-hand.
You may ask me,
“Why not spiritual growth alone? Why should there be spiritual success?”
My friends, ‘spiritual growth’ is a false term, a false word, the wrong usage. There are some people who say, “I noticed spiritual growth in myself.”
Oh, I see. (Laughter)
You must have noticed ‘undergrowth’ yesterday. You may find ‘overgrowth’
tomorrow. Spirituality has nothing to do with growth! No. You cannot say, “I am
spiritually growing.” Has your thermometer helped you to measure? Or have your
scales (for weight) helped you? Or, on your morning jog, has it been revealed
My friends, ‘spiritual growth’ are the wrong words. It is better that you remember ‘spiritual awareness’. It is not spiritual growth, but spiritual awareness. Awareness means realisation. Realisation means an understanding of what you already are, whereas spiritual growth gives a misunderstanding of what you are not: “I have not grown today.”
‘I have grown’
means from undergrowth you have moved towards growth. But, spirituality is
nothing like undergrowth, growth and overgrowth. No! Spirituality is constant.
Spirituality is constant because it has been there since existence. Spirituality
is existence. There is nothing like extra growth, undergrowth, hypertrophy --
it’s not like that. Therefore, spiritual awareness will naturally help you to be
successful in the world as well. Worldly success is assured. In the world, there
is success and failure. But in spirituality, there is nothing like success and
failure. Spirituality is beyond duality. Only the world is dual.
So how do you establish a sort of balance between the two? One is the realisation; the other is the achievement. Spiritual awareness is realisation. Worldly success is an achievement. How can I measure liquid and solid in the same way? One has to be measured in litres and the other one has to be measured in kilos. I cannot say that the distance from here to the Mandir is fifty degrees. Can you say that? “What is the weight of this? Two litres!” Do you say that?
This kind of measure is not applicable in the spiritual realms. In the spiritual realms, it is realisation and awareness of that which is non-dual. In the world, which is dual, the parameters of success and failure, or profit and loss, are always dual.
Therefore, how to strike a balance? The balance is this: Worldly duality can be viewed through the undercurrent of spiritual awareness. Spiritual awareness is the understanding; spiritual awareness is the backdrop. Worldly success is the projection. When worldly success is projected on the screen of spiritual awareness, yes, you are a seeker, you are an aspirant, you are spiritual, or you are a saint. The curtain is spiritual awareness; the projection is worldly success. They are not opposite. One is the corollary to the other. One is the screen; the other is the projection.
I gave that
“If anyone criticises me, I feel badly. I have not gotten beyond that feeling.
What do I do? How do I take the criticism? I have still have a reaction. What am
I to do?”
Baba has given a very good answer to this. If anyone criticises you for a reason that is genuine, be thankful to the critic. If you are really wrong, be thankful to him: “My brother, you have pointed out my mistake. Thank you very much.”
Suppose that you
are criticised or charged with doing something that you have not committed. In
other words, you are not guilty. Then don’t worry at all! As you have not done
anything, so your heart is clear. When you are clear, when the accusations are
false, don't bother. Pay a deaf ear. When they are genuine, correct yourself and
be thankful for the awareness.
Baba gave Himself as an example: Baba said, “If you say, ‘Baba, You are bald’, I am not offended because I have a lot of hair. I am not bald. Whatever you say, why should I feel offended? Suppose someone says, ‘Baba, You have a mop of hair -- so much hair’, then I am not offended because it is true (Laughter)!”
When truth is said to your face, you don't have to feel guilty. You don't have to feel sorry. When a false accusation is made, you don't have to feel badly either. Criticism helps you to correct yourself when you do commit a mistake. Therefore, feeling hurt should not arise at any point in time.
Whether you praise God or not, He will always be happy. Someone might say, “O God, You are really loving.” God does not think, ‘O My son, I am happy with your compliments.’
Or if you say, “God, You are unkind because nowadays You are not giving me interviews”, He is not displeased.
transcendence. Spirituality is not indulgence; spirituality is not avoidance.
Spirituality is transcendence. You should transcend criticism as well as praise
and admiration. You should go beyond the two. That is true spirituality.
“God says to do
good to all. Where do I draw a line, say, if I have done the best of my ability,
and yet another man hurts me?”
This is the next
question. You are doing your best because Baba has said to do good. Still, the
other man is hurting you. Where do you draw a line? This means, “When do I stop
helping the other man? I keep on helping the man and he is not reciprocating.
So, at what point should I stop helping him?” That’s what the questioner meant.
I will give you an example from Sai literature. It seems a wise man was having his morning bath in a river. In the river, he saw a scorpion struggling. This wise man picked up the scorpion with his hand. The scorpion bit the man, so immediately the man dropped it in the water. The scorpion went on struggling.
compassion, the man picked it up again. The scorpion started biting again. Then
this wise man thought, ‘Oh scorpion, you have not given up your bad nature.
Although you have not given up your bad nature, why should I give up my nature
of helping? I will continue to help you because this is the lesson that I
learned from you. Just because you have not given up your nature, why should I
give up my nature?’
Therefore, when another man hurts you, he is behaving like a scorpion. Because that person hurts you, it doesn't mean that you should stop helping him. You should continue your own nature. It is something like the sun. “O sun, you are giving me light. Thank you!” None of us says that. Still, the sun goes on shedding light.
None of us would
say, “O thank you, wind god, because you supply me with oxygen.” I breathe
oxygen as if it were my father-in-law’s property! (Laughter) Of course,
the in-law won’t allow even that. The point is
that we take things for granted. This should not be the situation. Whatever the
other person may say, we should continue with our nature.
Gandhiji was highly respectful to Winston Churchill in spite of the fact that they were at loggerheads with each other. Because of his nature, he was very courteous to Churchill. Likewise, helpfulness should be your nature, should be second nature to you.
The thought of
helpfulness should not be only a Sunday affair. The thought of service should
not be only for a service activity. It should be your nature. You and
service should go together. You and help are one and the same. It is not
that help will only dawn on Monday. “I am very humble on Sunday, serviceable on
Tuesday and helpful on Wednesday.” No. Life is not a timetable. Life is not a
schedule. Helpfulness should be your nature – second nature, in-built character
-- so that you are not mindful of anything else.
At this hour, I am reminded of a great missionary, a great Christian missionary, by the name of Wolf. He was staying in a big bungalow. A few robbers and thieves entered his house. They had stolen everything and they were leaving his bungalow.
At that moment, Reverend Wolf got up from his bed and noticed the thieves leaving. He shouted, “Oh young men, stop there. It is dark all over. There are many thorny bushes. This place is known for snakes and scorpions. I will give you a lamp, my dear sons. Take the lamp and go slowly. I don't want you to die.” That is a helpful nature!
I also remember a story from Tolstoy literature. A vagabond -- a gangster and a man of vices -- lost all his property. Finally, it happened that his fiancée wanted his mother’s golden chain. This fellow went fully drunk, killed his mother and snatched away her gold chain. He was leaving the house to present this gold chain to his fiancée.
Then the man heard a voice: "Sonny, be careful! Watch your step. You are fully drunk, my dear child. You may fall. So carry the gold chain carefully."
The fellow looked
back. What did he see? He saw the heart of his mother on the ground. The heart
started speaking like that. “Sonny, be careful! You may fall. Take hold of this
chain. Be careful.” That is Love.
“I will help you if you help me” -- that is business, which is political. “I will continue to help you even if you hurt me” -- that is the true spirit of help.
“In the midst of busy
work, how do I link myself with God?
Some people have
to drive hours and hours to reach their work spot. At the end of the
workday, they return completely tired after driving more hours. In this
busy life, how am I to establish a link with God?”
This has been a problem. Yet, the answer is simple when I say, “O God, I am only an instrument. You make me do what I am supposed to.”
I am only an
instrument. It may be my office work; it may be that I am driving my car. Yes,
right there at the steering wheel, say to yourself, “O God, I am driving as per
“O God, I am working with my computer as per Your direction.” Or, “I am a doctor, so I am Your instrument.”
With a spirit of surrender when you work, you are not simply linking with God. No. You are in God, not just ‘linked up’ with God. ‘Linking’ is different from ‘being in God’. Where there is a link, there is also ‘de-link’ -- linking and de-linking, connecting and disconnecting. But when you are in God, nobody can take you out, because God is everywhere.
friends, it is quite possible to live in God, with constant remembrance
of His Name. This is what Swami calls ‘Constant Integrated Awareness’. That's
what it is -- Constant Integrated Awareness -- remembering His matchless glory,
His Name. So then you are always established in God, in full awareness.
“Is it necessary that one should face
dissatisfaction to be spiritual? I am OK with the world. So, why pursue
God then? I am fine in this world.” This is a question from a young adult.
I told him, “Boy,
you are OK in this world now. But just wait for sometime. (Laughter) You
say, ‘Everything is fine.’ Wait for some more time. Not all days are Sunday.
There will be Monday, then Tuesday, and so on. Life is a cycle, filled with ups
and downs. Life is a cycle, filled with bumps and jumps. Life is not a straight
line. One has to necessarily face both situations. It is like a pendulum that
oscillates from one end to the other. Life is like a pendulum that moves between
a tear and a smile. Therefore, you cannot always say that you are very much
satisfied in this world.”
I told that young
adult an example that Baba had given. It seems that one boy could not get his
degree. He appeared for the examination a number of times. The university was
fed up with him. This fellow could not manage to get through. But he was
fortunate to get a girl, a double graduate, as his wife. The poor chap could not
get a better one. Somehow, she agreed to marry him. She was a double graduate,
while this fellow had no degree. He was very happy that his wife was a double
On the day of his wedding, in front of everybody, he said, “I am the luckiest man in this world. Although I have no degree, my wife has two degrees!” (Laughter) On the wedding day, this fellow kept looking at her, forgetting the large audience, because he was so happy -- Himalayan bliss. (Laughter) Naturally, this life was OK with him, so why pursue God? This is what he thought at that time!
After the wedding, his wife joined him. This fellow was relaxing, sitting in the easy chair. He called her, “Come on! Get me a hot cup of coffee, OK?” (Laughter)
She said, “I am sorry. You go prepare a cup, and one for me also.” (Laughter)
Then he said loudly, “I am the most miserable man on earth.”
Fifteen days earlier he had said, “I am the most fortunate man.” Both are true. At that time, what he said was correct, and today what he said is also correct.
has its ups and downs. Let us know that life is whole: W–H–O–L-E. Life is total.
If you lead a choiceless life, you will be successful. But if you say, “I want
only success and more success,” it is impossible. You will be successful as a
patient, that's all. (Laughter)
You cannot always say, “I am a failure and I am miserable”, unless you are a pessimist, unless you are a sadist. Then you should be sent to a psychoanalyst. You should consult a psychiatrist. If you want only the positive, you are impractical. If you think negatively too much, you are a pessimist. Life is total -- both positive and negative. You cannot say, “I want only daytime with sunlight.” If you said, “Oh sun, be there throughout the day. I want daylight all the time”, then people will want to avoid you. You cannot have darkness all the twenty-four hours. Neither can you have light all the twenty-four hours. A day means both light and dark.
So, life also means both success and failure. Life means profit and gain. Life means celebration; it also means humiliation. Life means praise and blame. Life means health and sickness. Therefore, if you view life in totality, there will be no question of disappointment. Then you understand what life is.
“When there is no co-operation within
the family, can we still attain liberation?”
This is a question perhaps based on the political system! (Laughter) Unless there is co-operation, you cannot win in an election. Unless there is co-operation, you cannot run your office. Unless there is co-operation, you cannot run your family. At the family level, at the provincial level, at the national level, co-operation is necessary.
But, in respect
to spirituality, we stand all alone. We stand all alone! If I am going to hell,
I cannot say, ”All of you join me -- let us proceed.” (Laughter) There is
nothing like that. Liberation is obtained all alone. A son may be deserving, but
the father may be undeserving. A husband may be undeserving, and the housewife
may be the better-half. (Laughter) We cannot question it. In
spirituality, we stand all alone. There are no blood relationships.
After all, Bhagavan has said, "Children are not from the parents. They are through the parents." Let us be very clear – ‘through the parents, not from the parents’. What does it mean? Parents are merely channels, that’s all. Parents have allowed life to manifest through them as channels, that's all. They cannot claim that the child is their product. Perhaps that son will be a rebel later. Therefore, the parents have no claim except to act as a channel. ‘Through the parents’ is the more appropriate description.
Therefore, the answer is this: When you want co-operation from the family, it is a political problem. It is a social problem. All the family wants to go somewhere. All of them want to attend a wedding. They need co-operation. The son cannot say, “Daddy, I am sorry. I have some other appointment.”
When the mother is cooking a certain dish for the evening meal, the daughter cannot say, “Sorry, mother. I want something different.” Anything social, anything that has to do with the business, anything political, requires co-operation.
Today, unfortunately, there is no co-operation. To quote Baba: “There is no co-operation. There is only operation.” That's the reason why systems fail from time-to-time. From the spiritual point of view, we stand all alone: Udhare Atma Atmanam. We should work for our own liberation. Nobody can help you.
To quote Swami:
“Even with co-operation, even with intense love among brothers, the elder
brother cannot say to his younger brother, ‘Brother, you sustained a fracture. I
know it is highly painful. So to save you from this pain, I would like to have
the bandage.’ (Laughter) The elder brother cannot take the fracture from
the younger brother. If the older brother is suffering from a fever, the younger
brother cannot say, ‘Brother, I know you are suffering from a fever. So I will
take the medicine on your behalf.’ (Laughter) You cannot do it.”
One has to eat for one’s own hunger. One has to drink for one’s own thirst. One has to work for one’s own liberation. There is nothing like co-operation. It is an accident that we are in a family. It is an accident that one is a son to the father. It doesn't mean that it is a life-long bondage.
“Are Comparison And Competition To Be Avoided?”
The next question: “Mr. Anil Kumar, you say that comparison and competition should be avoided.”
“Yes, I always say this. It is not an allegation. It is truth. Yes!”
“How do you
relate to schools, which are highly competitive? In schools and colleges, there
is very keen competition. Mr. Anil Kumar, you say that there should not be
competition and comparison. How do you explain this?”
A very good question! What I mean is that there should not be competition and comparison once you settle in life. Once you settle in life, whatever lot you have, be contented. Whatever thing you have, be happy. Don't compete, thereby denying yourself any happiness.
Here’s a simple example: Assume that God has given me a small car. God has given you a bigger car, the latest model! If I go on thinking of you, I miss the pleasure of driving in my own car. Therefore, competition and comparison will deny me any pleasure, right at that moment.
But, as long as you are a student, you should be highly competitive. In scholarship, one has to compete. In grades, one must compete. Pardhaya Vardhathe Vidya. Pardhaya means ‘competition’. Vidya means ‘education’ and vardhathe means ‘improve’. Out of competition, one will certainly improve and advance in studies. Later in life, we want contentment and satisfaction. So, you cannot quote me when you are at the student stage! But what you do as a student should not be brought forward once you settle in life.
Here is another simple example: As a young boy, you can play with marbles. It is very nice. Later, why can't you play with marbles in your office? (Laughter) It is childish. What is good at one stage is not good later. Use competition and comparison as a student; but once you are settled in life, experience contentment and contemplate on self-inquiry. Be on a search -- a quest for peace and bliss. At this later stage, the objectives or targets change. A retired person cannot compete with a boy due to his age. (Laughter) If he does, something is wrong with him. If a person goes on competing, after retirement, with a boy of twenty, well what do you say? Something is wrong with him. If a college student goes on saying, ‘Let me be content with 30% marks; let me be satisfied with failure’, that would be wrong. Therefore, what I said applies to settled life, not to a student
“After being here (this question was asked by an
Indian in the USA), we face ‘culture shock’. What does Baba want us to do
about culture shock?” So, for your shock, He has to suggest something! (Laughter)
We have to clearly understand that culture is not geographical. One may be here in India, yet leading a Western life. If you go to cities like Delhi, Calcutta or Bombay, I don't think that you will see much Indian culture there. It is India, but you don't see any Indian culture. So Indian culture need not necessarily be practiced in India alone. No! So I can show you a thousand examples in India where Indian culture is not followed.
Therefore, Indian culture is a way of life. It is an attitude. It is a sort of interaction between an individual and the community. It speaks of the objectives of life. It speaks of the purpose of life. It speaks of the nature of the Divine and several other aspects.
Therefore, if you say that you are facing ‘culture shock’, it only means that you have forgotten your own native culture. You are still not able to imbibe the ‘alien’ culture, the new culture in the land where you are now. You are not able to adopt that, yet you have forgotten your own culture. You are in-between. Therefore, there is this ‘shock’.
So, culture shock is not the mistake of the culture. It is the mistake of the individual. If you are really convinced of the validity of your own culture, then wherever you are, you will never change.
Don't misunderstand me. I see many people. I know many people here -- the Westerners working in the canteen, the bookstall and so many places. How do they do it? With a smile on their face! They are very active. The culture of the West is work-focused, with a spirit of excellence. Wherever you put them, they are excellent workers. They want to be ‘number one’ at work. That spirit has been imbibed. Therefore, every culture has its own uniqueness.
Suppose my work
culture (say, an Indian working in the USA) wants me to be number one in
the world, but my native (Indian) culture does not want me to take any
credit! The Indian culture wants us to work with the spirit that this work is an
opportunity, a gift from God. It is not to dominate, not to be number one. Our
culture views it as an opportunity, as God's gift for excellence. Don’t get me
wrong -- I am not rooting out excellence all together. You are supposed to be
excellent; there is no doubt about it. But in this culture, this opportunity for
excellence is viewed as a gift of God.
Therefore, ‘culture shock’ is of your own making. If you are really aware of what culture is – a way of life -- there will be no shock anywhere. You will never be confused. Eternal values, even in a changing society, lay much emphasis on the culture (the way of life) that has to be adopted, despite worldly changes all around. What changes is the civilisation. What does not change is the culture. We should not get confused with that. Culture does not change; it is eternal. Culture has continuity with eternity whereas, from time to time, civilisation changes because it is based on conveniences, comforts and luxury. Culture stands for and represents values. When you have perfect understanding about this, you will never get this ‘culture shock’.
“What has Swami said about the war between
America and Iraq, and the present conflict between America and the Middle
What sort of answer could I give to the Americans, since I was staying with them? (Laughter) I cannot say they are wrong; I cannot say they are right. I was in a very embarrassing position. (Laughter) But Swami helped me to get beyond this.
cannot be limited to America and Iraq, American and Afghanistan, India and
Pakistan. No, no, no! Bhagavan's message is universal. Bhagavan's message is
meant for everybody, at all times, for all countries. You cannot localise an
issue. His message is based on Love. Bhagavan does not approve of bloodshed. He
is for non-violence. He is for open discussion, not for war. He always believes
in empathy, sympathy, friendship and understanding. I was happy that they were
satisfied with the answer. That way I did not have to blame anybody. (Laughter)
with Swami about this, I said, "Swami, I faced a very inconvenient question."
He said, "What?
wanted to know whom You support - the Americans or the Iraqis?” (Laughter)
Swami asked me to
repeat my answer. (Laughter)
I knew that some ‘music’ (some reaction from Swami) would be waiting for me to follow. If anything went wrong, I would be beheaded (Anil Kumar is speaking jokingly here) without even a month's notice! (Laughter)
“Swami, this is
what I said: ‘I cannot bring down Bhagavan’s message to the problem prevailing
in America and Iraq. No! His message is universal. It may be Palestine and
Israel. It may be Iran and Iraq. It may be a conflict between any other two
countries. But Bhagavan’s message is based on Love and friendship.’”
“The correct answer!“ He said. Therefore, I continued on a good footing with Swami, as He approved of the answer given.
“When parents and their son are discussing a particular
issue, but see it from different perspectives, whom will Swami oblige?”
This was a
question raised by a young adult. Both sides continue to pray to Swami. (Laughter)
The boy is praying to Swami; his parents are also praying to Swami. Both need
Swami, but their temperaments disagree. What the boy wants, the parents don't
want him to have. The parents don't approve of his requests. Still, this fellow
wants it. When their desires are contradictory, when their plans are opposite,
when they continue to pray to Swami, whom does He oblige? This is a very good
question. (Laughter) Whom does He respond to?
The answer is simple. Baba said that it is absolutely necessary for the son to follow the command of his parents. His parents know his interests much better than he does. The mother, who has given birth and brought up the child, and the father, who has sacrificed everything to bring up his son, will naturally be very much interested in the future of their son.
So, the son has
to necessarily follow the parents. There is no question of ‘I have this idea and
you have that idea; so let’s pray together and see who will win?’ (Laughter)
Prayer is not a matter of competition. There is nothing like ‘higher’ prayer and
‘lower’ prayer. Prayer is prayer. “I will pray more than you!” There is nothing
like that. There is nothing like parameters, nothing like a measure for the
intensity of prayer. A prayer is a prayer!
“What advice does
Swami give to couples when the wife and the husband disagree?”
A husband and
wife relationship means that there will be disagreements! (Laughter) As
long as they are friends, there will be total agreement. From the day that
friends turn into a couple, disagreements start. Disagreement is everywhere.
There is an agreement and a disagreement. We should agree to disagree. If there
is agreement always, there is no charm in life. (Laughter) There should
be disagreement. This happens everywhere. There are no exceptions.
I remember a joke shared with us by Sadhu Vaswani of Pune:
“A couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Everybody attended their wedding anniversary function and congratulated the couple. They were successfully linked together for 60 years, without wanting any change. People told them, ‘You are really great. What is the secret of your success?’”
The question was
asked of the husband. The husband gave this answer: '”We have been very
successful so far. We are able to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary because
I take all the major decisions. (Laughter) She makes all minor
decisions. (Laughter) However, as yet, I have not made a major decision!
I have yet to make a major decision.’” (Laughter)
friends, disagreement is everywhere. Bhagavan gave an example of Lord Shiva
Himself. Lord Shiva's dwelling place is a burial ground. His consort Parvathi
lives in a paradise, Kailash. Shiva is almost naked, while Parvathi is full of
jewellery. They are opposites: Shiva is for total renunciation and detachment,
while Parvathi is full of affluence, plenty and prosperity. Yet, they continue
to be an ideal couple. This sort of idealism lies in establishing harmony
between the two.
Yes, the two wires - negative and positive -- unless the positive and negative wires are there, the current won't flow. If you have only positive wires, then there won’t be any current. Positive and negative are a law of life.
Bhagavan gave one
example. Where there is understanding, there will be adjustment. Yet, we go in
the reverse direction. We want adjustment, then understanding. That's why we are
successful failures. (Laughter) We must understand first -- then
adjustment is fast.
Bhagavan gave an
illustration: A newly married couple started their life in a metropolitan city.
The wife was very understanding of her husband because she knew that he was
highly qualified and she was fully confident that he deserved a promotion. Yes –
a double promotion if possible! He worked very hard. She knew it very well.
Therefore, when the husband returned home late in the evening she wouldn’t mind.
The office closed at 5 o'clock. Even If her husband returned at 7 o’clock, she
didn’t mind. She would be waiting at the gate.
She would say, “I understand that you are very tired. I know how busy you are. I know you are very efficient. You never shirk your responsibility. Would you like to have hot coffee now? Would you like to have coffee, or would you like to have it along with tiffin?” She would continue talking like that. This man will forget that he was tired and begin to have a broad smile on his face.
But suppose someone tells her that this man is having an affair with somebody! Then, if he is late by five minutes, she will be waiting at the gate, no doubt as before, (Laughter) but this time not with a cup of coffee! If possible, with sticks especially made! (Laughter) She will ask for an explanation.
“What happened to
you? When the office closed at five o‘clock, why the half-hour delay? What
happened to you? I suspect something is wrong; something is fishy.”
This sort of
suspicion comes due to lack of understanding. As long as there is perfect
understanding, there is no suspicion. When there is misunderstanding, there is
no adjustment. According to Bhagavan, couples should understand this: they need
to understand each other. Thereafter, there would be 100%
adjustment. It should not be in the reverse direction of ‘adjust now and
understand tomorrow’. No! Then they will end up in a divorce. So, understand
first and then adjust.
Here is another instance that Bhagavan mentioned. A husband should know how to treat his wife. His wife has left her parents, her relations, and her kith and kin, and has gone to live with him. He should be sympathetic. He should be tolerant. He should be understanding. He should be forgiving. She sacrificed everything for her husband.
The wife should also be understanding of her husband. This man is returning from hectic activity, having been so busy at the office. This is not the time to come forward with demands or requests. Living together, they should come to know each other - like two eyes with a single object of vision. ‘I look at you and see only one person not two.’ Though there are two eyes, you have only a single object or vision. Similarly, there may be two, husband and wife, but when they are together in absolute understanding and total adjustment, they can be together in perfect harmony. That's the answer.
“How can a wife develop
self-confidence if she has to be submissive to her husband?”
These days we
hear about the women's liberation movement. Women are trying to claim equal
rights with men. The Indian government is also attempting to increase the
percentage of seats in the Parliament and in the legislature for women. There is
nothing wrong with it. There's an awareness among women. They will fight for
their rights to be given as much salary as men get. There is no question of
discrimination on grounds of gender.
Along this line, a question was asked: “How can a wife develop self-confidence if she has to be submissive to her husband?” (Laughter)
It is a sensitive
question indeed. However, there are two aspects here. One is that of
self-confidence; the other is about the submissive nature, submission and
submissiveness. You have to clearly understand what both points stand for.
Self-confidence has to do with individual character. Self-confidence relates to
the individual, while submissiveness deals with an inter-relationship: I am
submissive to you, or you are submissive to me. This sort of submissiveness has
to do with an inter-relationship, whereas self-confidence is an individual
characteristic. They are never contradictory.
How can an
individual character contradict an inter-relationship? It's not possible. Both
work in different channels. A simple example: I have total self-confidence that
I will be able to discharge my duties to the best of my ability. That does not
mean that I am, that I cannot be or that I should not be submissive to my boss.
I think I am clear.
Before the vice-chancellor, I am submissive. In front of the principal, I am submissive. The submissive nature goes along with obedience, which is a code of conduct, which is a disciplined way of behaviour on the part of an employee towards an employer. But self-confidence is based on one's own ability, one's own capacity, one's own skills and competence.
will make you very humble. It will make you better. It will improve your
inter-relationships: the boss will be pleased with you. Your self-confidence
will help you to be more competent, more efficient, and more proficient.
Therefore, a housewife can be both self-confident and submissive.
person need not be arrogant. A self-confident person need not be headstrong. A
self-confident person need not be rebellious. A self-confident person need not
be a revolutionary. No. Self-confidence will improve your own personal ability.
Submissiveness is an expression of your humility.
That is the
answer I gave to this question.
“Speakers always tell us about their interviews
and how badly they feel if Swami ignores them in one darshan. Most of us
have had no personal interviews. Swami tells us not to seek interviews, but
inner-views, so why do most of the speakers at the retreats tell us about
interviews, but not about inner-views?”
This is a very genuine question. It is a frank question and I like it. Most of the speakers speak about personal experiences they had with Swami. That is really damaging. As I have repeatedly said, I could not be close to Swami anywhere in the vicinity for 7 long years.
What did I do
during that period of exile, that period of long probation? What I did was,
immediately after my return from a visit to Swami, I avoided Sai devotees for 15
days. Why? Every devotee used to come close and say, “Did you get an interview?
Did you get padanamaskar?”
People say different things like, “I got vibhuthi.”
“Baba gave me this ring.”
A person who failed an examination was told, “I got a gold medal.”
People who do not get these things say, “So you got it. Why did you tell me? I did not get it. So I am worried. Why do you add fuel to the fire?"
This kind of advertisement and ‘show business’ should be avoided. Bhagavan blesses you with gifts of grace, but not for publicity. It is absolutely personal. But we do it because of our ego. Ego damages the organization. This is not the purpose. Personal things are not to be shared with everybody unless they have got a message behind it. If your personal experience has got some message, yes, please share it.
People say these things because they have nothing else to say. They are not familiar with His message; they are not familiar with His vision. So they go on speaking of their personal experiences.
“Please excuse them, Father, for they know not what they do. Forgive them.”
That is the prayer we can say. I was myself like that for a long time and I know it now.
“Is it not the bounded duty of the Sai
to actively and resolutely campaign against people who use the name
of Sai and indulge in methods of treatment like vibhuthi and run temples
by collecting money?”
This question is related to the organization. My friends, I do not know why we want to be foolish -- why we want to continue to live in foolishness. How much longer? All these years, umpteen numbers of times, Swami has made it clear that “fund raising, fund collection, has got nothing to do with Me.”
Bhagavan has also said in Sathya Sai Speaks,
Volume 1: “I have no representatives. I don’t transfer powers. I don’t possess
anybody. I have no secrets. I have no secretary. No one is delegated on behalf
of Me to function in this way.”
Bhagavan has stated this very clearly. Sanathana Sarathi also notifies to be careful of people who collect funds in the name of Sai.
But alas, it is most unfortunate that we still get carried away by intermediary people. When Bhagavan is available, His name is so miraculous, when so many people have so many mystical experiences, why do we want a third person? The moment we think of Him, He appears in our dreams or conveys some message or gives some direction by way of intuition or inspiration. When we read a book, we find a relevant passage; when we look at Swami’s picture, we get some indication. Why do we run after other people like that?
“We are in the process of
opening a new business. We would like to have the Sarva Dharma emblem
prominently displayed at the entrance of our store with Baba’s quotation. Is it
I said, “No.”
Why? The symbol of the Indian government is
three lions. You must have seen this on the stamps and on currency. Can I have
it in front of my house? No, because it belongs to the government, for use of
the government, for the use of all communication at the top levels, not for
We cannot have the national flag on the top of our houses or on our cars. The flag carries authority that has some status, some specialty. You cannot have national symbols on your letterhead: I cannot have ‘K. Anil Kumar’ with three lions.
Therefore, the Sarva Dharma symbol is an organizational symbol; it is not for individuals. It is for the use of office bearers for the purposes of transactions and communications, but not for everybody.
So far as Swami’s quotations are concerned, nobody has any copyright. No one has the copyright to the Holy Bible.
Somebody asked, “We want to translate your book into our language. Would you give us your permission in writing?”
I said that suppose you want to quote the Bhagavad Githa. Should you get permission from Krishna? It is foolish! No one has got any copyright on sacred texts.
Bhagavan’s message is universal. Getting a copyright, etc., is the personification of ego. They are Bhagavan’s words -- that is all. Who am I to say? But my job is to see that you don’t misrepresent, to see that you don’t misquote, to see that you don’t misuse them.
“Since we live in America, does Bhagavan
us to sing English bhajans?“
I said, “English bhajans or Telugu bhajans or German bhajans or Japanese bhajans -- bhajans are bhajans.”
The other day we heard some Japanese bhajans. Everybody started clapping. The tunes were familiar. I heard many people singing equivalent songs, Prashanti bhajans, in the same tune. That is Baba.
You are not a stranger anywhere. No language is
alien to you, because Sai is the common bondage. Sai is the connecting link. You
will be comfortable in any language. So if people want to sing English
bhajans, yes, they have every liberty to sing. No language should be imposed
“I am new to the Sai Organization.
As my husband is a devotee since childhood, I follow Sai. I like the good
work of the Sai Organization. But I am not able to accept Swami as God,
like Rama and Krishna. How do you accept Him as God?”
This was a question from a housewife. This is a
very interesting question as usually the question is the other way around: “My
wife is a devotee…what am I to do?”
I meet many people like that. But here is a
wife who is complaining about her husband being a devotee.
The answer is simple. It is immaterial whether the husband is a devotee or the wife is a devotee. How do you say one is a non-devotee? Who is a non-devotee? I have not met a non-devotee.
Even an atheist is a devotee. Because he believes that there is no God. He is devoted to that concept of the non-existence of God, so he is also a devotee, believing in the absence of God. Theist is a devotee, believing in the concept of believing in God. So all are devotees.
If you are devoted to your husband, then you are also a devotee. All are devotees -- some are devoted to the office, and some are devoted to computers. All are devotees.
“You say you are not able to accept Him as Rama
and Krishna. I doubt if you have total faith in Rama. Then you have not
experienced Krishna. Why do I say that? Because a devotee who has total faith in
Krishna sees Bhagavan in Him -- Krishna appeared as Bhagavan. A true devotee of
Krishna observes non-duality. A true devotee of Rama observes non-duality. A
true follower of Christ sees Bhagavan as Christ. If you are a staunch follower
of Rama, a true devotee of Rama, you will find that Baba and Rama are one and
the same. Because you are not truly devoted, because you don’t have the true
experience, thus you entertain this doubt.”
The wife appeared to be convinced.
“What is a typical day and what are the
challenges you face, being so close to God?”
What is a typical day? I think all of you will agree with me that every day is typical in its own way. Every day is typical; every moment is typical. Nothing is repetitive in existence; nothing is repetitive in this creation. Everything is new. Sunrise is not a repetition. Sunset is not a repetition. The blossoming of a rose is never repetition. The smile of a baby in the cradle is not repetition. Life is not repetitive.
If you feel that life is repetitive, we are very close to doomsday! It only means that we have lost the charm of life, the beauty of life.
This morning’s darshan is different from yesterday’s. Today is different from yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be different from today. No day, no moment, is repetitive.
Let us pray, “Oh God, let us enjoy this world
in all its freshness.
Let this existence be one
of beauty. Let us enjoy this whole creation, this universe, in its ecstasy and
in its entire splendour. Let us not take it for granted, because nothing is
“What does it mean when Baba stands
in front of
you during darshan, waves His hands and looks into your eyes, blesses you
and walks away without saying anything?”
They wanted me to interpret the meaning of
this. But I told them never to ask for interpretation, as no man can interpret.
Please avoid anyone who interprets on behalf of Swami. It is the job of Swami to
see to it that the message is conveyed to you. He will see to it that the
message is conveyed to you directly, by way of waving His hands, His
postures, His gestures, and the dialogue in the interview room, and so on.
Don’t ask anybody to interpret. Can anybody interpret Swami’s words? Impossible! How does one know what Swami meant? The relationship between you and Swami is direct. There is no mediator. Some people may ask innocently about what Swami meant. Please tell them that they will know it by themselves. Who are we to interpret Swami’s words?
When you want to know Swami’s message, what He meant, what He wanted to convey to you, the best thing is to think and sit in silence. Reflect within, close your eyes and meditate, then you will get the message. You will be confused if you kept talking to everybody. Please pray and meditate. Swami will let you know what He meant. Swami has made it very clear that there is no mediator between the devotee and Himself.
“How do we pray to Swami
when we are in
difficulty and our life disturbs our balance?”
What shall I say? In times of success, prayer
comes out naturally with all the sense of gratitude and with all the spirit of
In situations of failure and when we are tested, during challenging moments of life, you pray with deep agony, right from the inner recess of your heart, crying for help. You don’t need to be specially taught. So, there is no special prayer to be offered in difficulties or special prayer to be offered in times of pleasure. It is only the feeling that makes the difference.
When someone comes out of the interview room,
watch his style…(Laughter) as if to say, “I am the only selected man in
this world. (Laughter) No one else on this earth got the interview.”
When asked about the interview he says, “Yes, you know, Swami was not scheduled to come out this morning, He came purposefully to call me for an interview.”
The happiness, the intensity, is like that. We don’t blame him.
But the situation is different when Swami does
not look at him. When you speak to him -- anticlimax!
“How are you, Sir? ”
“I am busy.” (Laughter)
Earlier, he had stopped the entire traffic to say that he got an interview. Now he simply says, “We will meet later.” (Laughter) The same situation, same person.
“Does Swami get upset, angry? Is He emotional?”
I cannot say ‘no’ because I have been the victim. To say that He is emotional questions the very Divinity. What shall I say?
I always pray, ‘Swami, bless me with one characteristic: to say what You said and not manipulate, imagine or speculate things, but just quote You. And when I really don’t know, let me be able to plainly say so. If answers do not strike my mind, let me admit it and ask for more time.’ I have been doing this for the last several years.
So this question was put to me: “Is He ever angry, upset, emotional?”
This is an example given by Swami: “I pretend
to be angry; I pretend to be emotional. Actually, I am never emotional, never
angry. It is only in order to correct you that I pretend to be angry. That too,
I change my tone, that's all. I change my voice into a stern voice. This
pretension is only to correct you. That is all. The hailstones may hit you, but
they melt away very soon. Similarly, I may be harsh, but I melt very soon.”
Swami gave another example: The five Pandavas asked to be protected by a sage, Durvasa. Durvasa was known for his anger and temper. He could be head of the department for people who lose their temper quite often! (Laughter) But he lost his temper for the benefit of humanity, while we lose our temper to benefit our doctor.
Krishna approached Sage Durvasa and said, “Oh
Sage, let these five Pandavas, five pious people, be under your protection…just
for one day. “
He asked, “Swami, against whom?”
“Against anybody. You must hide them somehow.”
But the sage said, “Oh God, I will safeguard
them. I can hide them in some safe place. But I shall never utter a lie. If I am
asked where they are, I will tell their address. (Laughter) I will never
utter a lie.”
Then Krishna said, “Look here, Durvasa! Will I
ever ask anybody to speak lies? No, no. You manage somehow. They will be under
“Oh God, I shall do all I can, but I shall
never utter a lie.”
Sage Durvasa dug a deep and wide pit. He made the Pandavas sit there and put wooden planks covering them. He then sat on the wooden planks.
In the meantime, some fellows came there in
search of the five brothers. They said “Oh, Durvasa, where are the five Pandavas?”
Durvasa decided to speak the truth. But he changed his tone and said (roughly), “They are here!” (Laughter) Being afraid of his tone, they ran away. So Durvasa spoke the truth, but the very truth made them run away. Therefore, you can certainly be truthful. Hold on to the principle of truth. As Bhagavan says, just change your voice. Change your tone to correct people.
Bhagavan is never emotional. I can give you another example. A VIP was asked on the previous day not to sit in his usual place. According to that individual, VIP means ‘Very Important Person’. In front of God, he is a very insignificant person. Who is a VIP before God? I believe that everyone is a VIP. All are equal in the sight of God.
Bhagavan told that VIP person, “Don’t sit there
tomorrow. A very important guest is coming. He is a king of a country. You sit
at the back.” But as this person was an old man, he might not have heard what
Bhagavan said clearly, so he sat in his usual place. The guest of honor came and
he also sat there. You should have seen the drama that went on! (Laughter)
Swami looked at the king and said, “How are you? When did you come? How are your children, and is your wife here?”
Then He looked at the other fellow and said, “Why are you sitting here even though I told you not to sit here?”
He said this simultaneously. You try to
do such a thing -- you cannot. You will laugh at the wrong place. Bhagavan can
manage both the situations at the same time - the Divine actor, the Divine
dramatist. So, He is never emotional. He just pretends to be emotional.
“Does Baba speak all languages?”
‘Mother tongue’ is a familiar phrase. He, being the Mother, can speak all the languages.
“People say, ‘Give up the ego.’
Tell us in simple terms how to drop ego?”
In simple terms? (Laughter) It is a Herculean task -- not an easy task!
When you say you want to drop the ego, it means you know that it is unwanted stuff. You also know ego is not to be solicited; ego is dangerous for any spiritual seeker; ego is to be dispensed of, has to be gotten rid of. When you know that it is dangerous, what should you do it?
Baba gave one example. If you pick up a rope in the dark and suddenly switch on your torchlight and recognize that it is not a rope but a snake you are holding, what do you do then? You drop it immediately. As long as it is your impression that it is a rope, you will continue to hold and play with it. The moment you are aware that it is not a rope, but a snake, what would you do -- you drop it and run away.
Similarly, this rope-like ego is so nice and so comfortable to play with. With the light of awareness, you understand that it is not a rope but a snake, so you have to drop it immediately. If you continue to hold it, it means you are comfortable with it. It means there is no trace of awareness and you do not know the danger involved. Therefore to drop the ego, awareness is required.
“Iron kept near the magnet acquires all the
of the magnet. You live in close proximity to Bhagavan. Have you
acquired magnetic power too?”
I said, “I could have acquired magnetic power, but this iron still has some dust. Until the dust is totally removed, it cannot be drawn towards the magnet, let alone becoming a magnet -- which is a later development. It has not yet been cleansed totally. I cannot claim any magnetic power as of now.”
“It is really a different experience to be in
physical proximity. How would you handle or lead your life if you were not in
the physical proximity of Bhagavan?”
The problems arise when you take Swami as a person -- if you take Swami as an individual. If you take Swami as a phenomenon, if you consider Sai as a Presence, not as a person, you will certainly behave in the same way as you would behave near Him. God is not a person. I am very fond of this statement.
If you consider God as a person, you can be near Him for some time. You also have to be necessarily away from Him later. But, because He is within you, you can never be near or away. You cannot be away from your Self. It is foolish to say that I am near my Self. You are what you are and you are where you are.
Therefore, God is an eternal Presence. He is within you. So this problem of being away from Him or being near Him does not arise. God is not an object to be bought, to be owned, to be purchased or to be manufactured. He is neither an object nor a person; He is a phenomenon. ‘Person’ is the term given to God for practical purposes. He is cosmic energy, Divine. Divinity is awareness. What is His nature? Energy. That is all. You can give that energy any name, but in spirit this is the reality.
61. “As members of the Sai family, how can we get
in touch with you, from wherever we are?”
I said, “Don’t get in touch with me. Not only that. Don’t get in touch with anybody. Be in constant touch with Bhagavan within you. That is most essential. ”
Establishing contact with people, being in touch with people, is a useless thing that we are supposed to do. It is meaningless to be in touch with anybody. If you are to be in touch with anybody, it should be with Bhagavan. We should always be in touch with Bhagavan. That is called ‘Constant Integrated Awareness’.
60.The next question was a request for me to share
my experiences about leading a detached life, yet attached to Swami. The
questioner expected an authentic answer from me, and was already under the
impression that I was an example to emulate.
I said that there was no doubt about the second part of the question -- that we all are attached to Swami. Not only me -- all of us. Sai devotees all over the world are equally attached to Swami. No one is more attached or less attached. Comparisons have no meaning in spirituality. Only brainless people measure attachments in kilos, tons, milligrams and degrees. All are equally attached. There are no parameters. There is no yardstick to measure spirituality, because it is immeasurable - avyasta, aprameya - beyond all known measure. Never measure; never try to estimate; never judge. All are equally attached.
Regarding leading a detached life, I told them directly that I was a poor example. I am not leading a detached life. I am attached to good rest. I am attached to the first cup of hot coffee, very much attached to hot pickles -- spicy things. So I cannot speak with authority on how to lead a detached life.
Do not keep me on a high pedestal. Never think that I am an example for you to emulate and copy, certainly not! We are all fellow pilgrims. We are all fellow seekers. We are all traveling towards perfection. No one is more than another. I cannot say that I am holier than you. No body should say that. It is for Bhagavan to say that you are good. And that He will not say in front of you, I am sure. (Laughter) Therefore, I cannot stand as an example for a detached life.
I am sure they appreciated the frank, direct
answer rather than my giving answers that are polished, which I never do.
Who helped Swami with the translation while I
was away here in the US?
Some people might have expected that I would
mention one or two names. I am not a fool to say that. I said that if Bhagavan
wills it, anybody could do it. If He picked up a stick and asked it to do
it, it would be able to!
No one can take credit. No one is indispensable
in the Sai Organization. It is only a chance given to you. If you don’t take it,
another person will. Please understand: every person is a better substitution.
If you don’t avail of the opportunity, you are the loser.
A Tamilian (from Tamil Nadu), whose mother tongue is Tamil, was asked by Bhagavan to translate His talk into English. Bhagavan gave His discourse in Telugu. The Tamilian translated His discourse into English. I was a witness to this incident.
My place would be in a lunatic asylum if I felt that Bhagavan was left with none other than me. If not me, He will find a better person.
I also happily recall another situation. There is a place very close to Bangalore called Tumkur. The director of Tumkur granite factory invited Bhagavan to visit the factory. Bhagavan went there and I followed him. There was a big central hall with a round table, well decorated, highly prestigious. I saw people from different countries seated there: one from Germany, one from Japan, one from France. They were members of the board of directors. Swami sat among them.
I wondered if I should go in or stay back -- to
be or not to be? (Laughter) ‘What am I to do?’
If I do not go in, Swami might say that I was shirking my responsibility. If I go in, He might say, “Why did you come? I did not ask you.” (Laughter) What is to be done? So I stood there at entrance with my face showing now and then. It was like hide-and-seek. If He asked me to come in, I could run. If He did not see me, I can slip off. That was the situation.
I saw Swami talk to the devotees from Japan, France and Germany.
At the end, Swami slowly came very close to me and said, “Come here.”
I went to Him. He said, “I know all the
Then I said, “Swami, why did You call me here?
Why am I here?”
He said, “I know all the languages, but you
should know that I know them all! Therefore I brought you here.” (Laughter)
That is Bhagavan for you.
I will share another incident. Bhagavan was in
darshan line talking to a person whose mother tongue was Hindi. Next to
him was a boy from Orissa, whose mother tongue was Oriya. This boy did not know
any Hindi at all. Swami was talking to the Hindi man in Hindi, and he was
replying. But the Oriya fellow also started smiling. We did not understand why
he was smiling.
When Swami left, the Hindi gentleman asked the Oriya man why he smiled and nodded his head, even though he did not know Hindi.
”Are you mad?” he asked. The Oriya man said that Swami spoke in Oriya and not in Hindi!
He knows all languages. He can communicate in one language, while speaking in another! That is language beyond language -- the language of the heart!
What can I say? My answers are already on record and are subject to verification. I cannot give a different answer from what I said in the United States -- all the audiocassettes are in circulation!
I said, “I did not become a translator. I was
made a translator. Bhagavan willed that I should be a translator.
I made no effort, no attempt and I never dreamt of it either. I spent seven
years of probation, sitting in the 40th and 50th row! I
never dreamt of anything like this.”
So, if you ask me, “How did you become the translator?” I can only say, “I did not become; Bhagavan willed it so.” That is all. And moreover, it is even more surprising if you look into my educational background. I hail from a small town, not from a city. I did not study in any public school or in a convent. Until tenth grade, I studied in the Telugu medium. I am myself surprised to be in the capacity of a translator.
I am very grateful to this devotee who gave an interpretation. “Why was Rama commanded to spend 14 years in exile?” He provided an answer to this question. I am very grateful to him. I will just read out the answer that he gave from Sai literature. One question was asked some weeks back: “Why 14 years? Why not 13? Why not 12?” Then my answer was, “Why bother about 12 or 13? When He could not be in society, when He could not be in Ayodhya, the capital of His kingdom, after all 10 or 12 years, what does it matter?” That’s what I said, of course in a jovial way. But this is the correct answer given by Bhagavan, which was sent to us by e-mail from a friend. I will read it to you now.
“There was a question regarding why the number 14 years was given for Sri Rama’s exile. Swami did mention why it was 14 years. During Sri Rama’s time, it was considered that if a husband and wife live separately for 13 years, then the marriage is considered null and void. So, Mandhara wanted Kaikeyi to ask Dasaratha to banish Sri Rama for 14 years so that His relationship with the throne was destroyed. Even now Indian law says that if anyone rents your house for more than 12 years, we don’t need to ask him -- he owns it! (Laughter) So that is the point.”
It seems Swami
said another prayer: “Annam Brahmaa, Raso Vishnu, Bhoktho Devo Maheswara.” The
question is this: Shall I say “Brahmaarpanam Brahmahavihi” before eating food,
or shall I say, “Annam Brahmaa, Raso Vishnu, Bhoktho Devo Maheswara” -- this
prayer or that prayer? 09.02.2003)
My friend, this prayer or that prayer, after all, it is only a prayer. This sweet or that sweet, they are still sweets. Right? Similarly, “Brahmaarpanam Brahmahavihi” is the usual prayer that we offer before we partake food. Nothing wrong with it. We don’t need to substitute it with this “Annam Brahmaa, Raso Vishnu, Bhoktho Devo Maheswara”. That’s not necessary. Both mean the same: The food is Divine. The one who partakes of the food is Divine and the essence is Divine. That is the meaning.
You can call it water or aqua.
“Shall I say ‘aqua’?”
“Shall I say ‘water’?”
Both mean H2O. There’s
no change in its content. That’s the answer I can give you.
Bhagavan said in
one of His discourses, ‘If you pray, I will cure Myself.’ Why don’t we pray so
that He can cure Himself?”
Very good. How do we know that we are realised? How do I know that I am rich? I can look in the passbook. I can go to the bank and the cashier will tell me. (Laughter) How do I know that I am educated? I have diplomas and degrees, yes.
I have not met anybody who has returned after death, telling me, “I have evolved.” (Laughter) No, I have not come across anybody like this.
But the scriptures clearly say this: “There’s no death at all.”
Understanding death will help you to understand that there is no death. That is the reason why we have to understand what death is -- in order to be deathless. So, there’s no death. There can only be death if there is birth; but there’s no birth either. No birth and no death is the reality -- even though it is so difficult to believe -- because the soul or spirit is eternal, immortal. Swami always says:
Sunwantu Viswe Amrutasya Putraha.
The real Divinity in you is beyond birth and death.
The so-called birth is only the appearance of the body, and the so-called death is only the disappearance of the body. To quote Bhagavan here: “You move from one room to another room. That does not mean that you are already dead in the next room and you are going to be born again in this adjoining room. Certainly not! You are moving from one room to another. The whole thing belongs to you.”
In a similar way, birth and death are only a change of dress. This is why, when He was on the cross, Jesus Christ told His mother Mary, “Death is the dress of life.” That’s what I can say.
And what is spiritual evolution? Spiritual evolution is the feeling that a drop belongs to the ocean. The drop is not separate. The drop and the ocean are one and the same. The spark and the fire are one and the same. The foam, the wave and the water are all one and the same. The clay and the pot are one and the same. The gold and the jewels are one and the same. This kind of experience is a culmination in the evolution of this organic world.
Well, that brings us to the end of the questions submitted to me. I thank you very much for having been here with me this morning and for listening to the talk with rapt attention. May Bhagavan be with you forever and ever more!
Acceleration of karma is not limited to organisational works. Please, be very clear -- our work in the organisation is not in any way different from our office work. It is the spirit that counts, not the work that matters. So long as I think I have done the work, whether it is organisational work or office work or domestic work or menial work, or whatever work I do - if I do it with a sense of ‘I-ness’, that is ridiculous. That is undesirable.
Without this ‘I-ness’, whatever you do -- whether office or personal work anywhere -- if it is done with the feeling, “Baba, You are the doer; I’m only an instrument in Your hands,” well, that will certainly accelerate everybody’s karma, leading to total annihilation, freeing you from bondage. So, this ‘I-ness’, the spirit, is more important, not necessarily whether it is organisational work or office work.
If anyone calls himself the reincarnation of Jesus, before you decide to follow him, let the psychiatrist decide. (Laughter). There are many people who make claims like that. Let’s not go by false claims.
Civilisation necessarily makes you depressed (Laughter) because civilisation is nothing but the expression of the outer personality, comforts and conveniences, electronic gadgets, and so on. If I have the latest car, I’m sophisticated. If I have an air-conditioned home, well, I’m really civilised. Civilisation has no limits – the sky is the limit. In the name of civilisation, we have too many desires -- desires are multiplied and multiplied. There’s no end at all. So, civilisation will certainly take you to depression.
What we need is culture. Culture is based on values. Culture gives you satisfaction. Culture helps you to develop a balanced state of mind, whereas civilisation takes you to confusion. It is like a fire -- whatever you put into it, the fire consumes. So, civilisation goes on consuming your energy, sapping your time, leaving no time to rest, stand and stare. Thus, in a civilised society, we should learn how to be cultured. Keep civilisation ‘number two’ and culture at the top of our priorities. Then there’ll be no depression.
How do we deal with rebirth? We cannot deal with it because it is not in our hands. None of us submitted an application to God before our birth to be born as a human being. Really, had application forms been given to us before our birth, we would probably have filled in volumes of columns at least, to make sure we’d be born as a millionaire. (Laughter)
“Oh God, at least see that I’m full of joy, fun and frolic forever. (Laughter) See that I won’t die next time.” (Laughter)
These would have been our expressions. So there is no question of dealing with rebirth because it is not in our hands. But, how do we reconcile it with Adwaitha? Adwaitha means, as you know, non-dualism -- only One exists, not two. As Baba says:
Ekam Eva Advithiyam Brahma.
Ekam Eva means ‘only one, not two’. So, how do we reconcile this with rebirth?
My friends, as long as I feel that I am separate from God, I have to be born again and again. Once I understand and experience that God and I are one, there’s no rebirth. So birth and rebirth are due to separateness or due to the feeling of a separate identity, due to one’s identification with the body, mind and intellect. Because of this separation from the Divine entity, one has to be born again and again. Once you experience and deeply identify with Divinity, it cuts short the chain of birth and death.
Bhagavan says, “There isn’t anything on how youngsters should behave.” But, here is Bhagavan’s general guidance on this matter:
Start early, drive slowly, reach safely.
So, when a youngster starts his life, directed along the spiritual path at an early age, he’ll have the correct perspective, and know the right way of handling life and its situations. That is why Bal Vikas was introduced.
45.“How can you pray with absolute faith when you have to sacrifice? Abraham had to sacrifice his son. Abraham had to kill his son, as per the command of God. Abraham was called by God and commanded to sacrifice his son. When I have such a costly sacrifice, how can I pray to God?” (12.01.2003)
Abraham was prepared to kill his son in response to the command of God. That is symbolic. It means you should be prepared to sacrifice your kith and kin. You should be prepared to sacrifice your near and dear, in preference for God. That’s what I mean. It doesn’t mean that everyone should bring his son here and kill him, no. Not that! (Laughter) It is symbolic; there is an inner significance behind it. You should be prepared to ‘kill’ your relationships, to ‘kill’ your attachment, to ‘kill’ your bondage. We should understand it in that sense.
As the time is up, since you have to go to the canteen and go for darshan line, I will take leave of you. I have already taken extra time because those people who have sent questions should not be disappointed. After all, it is not just for fun that we are collecting questions. We need to answer them.
44.“What do you mean by transformation? Does it mean controlling the senses or eliminating the ego? When there is Reality inside, what do you mean by transformation?” (12.01.2003)
This is a very good question. I do not mean transformation of the Self, no. I mean transformation of our attitude, transformation of our conduct, transformation in our behaviour, transformation of the information that we receive from all around. As Baba says, “News is nuisance.”
So, I mean transformation of the information, transformation of the human heart, which has been so tough and rough, and is not responding to the misery, woes and tears of our fellow men.
When I remove my coat, shirt and t-shirt, I see my chest. So, similarly, transformation is needed in order to see the Reality. Transformation is not different from what you are. Transformation of the worldly man into a spiritual man, transformation of the physical personality into someone who knows the true Self -- this word ‘transformation’ is used in that sense – not to mean something that is completely different.
Man has become brutal and crazy due to his own actions. I have got a white kerchief with me. It has become dirty. Who is responsible? I am responsible. I used it and made that kerchief dirty. Similarly, man is pure. Man is not polluted. Man is Love, man is bliss; but he made it just the opposite. It is of his own making.
If I find a rich man begging near a bank, what should I tell him? “Hey, poor fellow! You are not a beggar. Go to the bank, check your entries in your passbook, and then you’ll know that you are a rich man. You don’t have to beg.”
Similarly, this kind of weakness is of our own making; it is not of God’s design. Why? Because of our selfishness. Why? Sensual pleasure. Why? Attachment. Why? Physical comforts and conveniences. When these things are gone -- the selfishness, arrogance, avarice, lust and desire -- when these things are gone, then you are pristine, pure, as fresh as a newly-born babe, as fresh as a newly purchased kerchief, so dry, and white. But I made it so dirty, with the passage of time.
It’s a question of priorities in life. There are some people who sacrifice everything for political ends. There are terrorists -- they leave their families to kill somebody else. It is a question of priorities. (Laughter) Is it necessary to leave your family to kill somebody? Yes, if it is a priority. Bin Laden -- what has he done? He left everything to finish off somebody – his priorities in life.
For Buddha, God was uppermost, and all the rest were obstacles along His way. Buddha was a realised soul. Buddha was an Incarnation.
For your information, I will share with you what Baba has said: “If it is a matter of choice between father and God, you should choose God and not the father. An example of this is Prahlada. If it is a matter of choice between a husband and God, choose God, not the husband – an example is Meera. If it is a choice between a brother and God, choose God, not the brother – an example Is Vibhishana.”
If it is a choice between father and God, choose God, not the father, as was the case with the boy Prahlada. So, with regard to our relations and God, we should choose God, and none else.
But, I don’t think we choose God first, no. In order for us to choose God first, He has to be part of our family. (Laughter) “God, help my family. God, help my community.” So, the priority is never God. If anyone prays like this, it is for the benefit of the family only.
Buddha kept God as His top priority, so He left His family. I don’t know how many of you know this, but Buddha, after attaining realisation, enlightenment, went back to the palace. He returned to His palace.
Suddhodana, His father stood there and said, “Oh, son! Where were you all this time, all these days? What happened to you? Come here!”
And Buddha replied, “Father, your son died long ago.”
“You are here, you are my son! Why do you say that my son died long ago?”
“No, your son, Siddhartha, died long ago. In front of you, you don’t see your son. You see Buddha, the Realised.”
And then He found Yashodara, His wife. Buddha wanted to avoid her because years earlier he had left at midnight, without informing her. He hoped to avoid her, but women are very clever. (Laughter) They never allow avoidance. It is their nature. So, this man was not successful in avoiding her either.
She immediately came and said to Him, “Oh Lord, please follow my words carefully.” Yashodara, wife of Buddha, spoke to Him like this, “Oh Lord, what is it that you had there in the forest that was not here in the palace? What is here in the palace, which was not available there in the forest? Do you consider the palace an obstacle? Did you feel that I would not have permitted you to do penance or tapas here in the palace?”
Buddha had no answer, just as Rama had no answer when Sita started questioning him. Sita started questioning Rama and He had no answer. That’s why Swami always says, “Woman is known for her intelligence, while man is known for his intellect.”
Intelligence and intellect are different. Intelligence is emotion. Intelligence is reaction. Intelligence is spontaneous. Intelligence is instantaneous, while intellect is logic. Intellect is rational. Intellect likes to reason. So, women symbolise intelligence. Before their intelligence, the intellect cannot stand. That made Rama fail. That made Buddha fail. They could not answer. And so, when I said Buddha left His family, it was not for any reason other than His choice was God. For Him, everything else was secondary.
I don’t know what Bhagavan has said about telepathy, but I have complete sympathy towards that man. (Laughter) Why? Because certain achievements like telepathy, certain achievements of forecasting, certain achievements like controlling another man’s mind or reading the mind of another person, are not the ultimate goal.
For example, if you take a flight to New York, there may be other places, like Bombay and Frankfurt, where you have to land and disembark before you finally arrive at JFK Airport. So, when getting off at Frankfurt, you don’t say, “I want to settle here.” No. You continue on to New York -- you can't settle there in Frankfurt, can you?
Likewise, there are certain intermediate stages in spirituality. On the spiritual path, we have certain achievements, certain simple things, but they are our greatest obstacles.
Speaking of the future - horoscopes and what lies ahead of you, there are some people who want to read some Nadi Grandha books. Suppose some books or horoscopes tell me that I am going to be a king next year. (Laughter) So, I will have to be waiting throughout this year. It may turn out that I may not be a king, but the waiting is a certainty. (Laughter) Suppose the books tell me that I'm going to be a beggar next year. I become a pauper starting right now. (Laughter)
So, there is no point in learning the future. It is not necessary! Not necessary. So my friends, let us not be bothered about telepathy.
40.“As the day in the Kali Yuga is 24 hours, what was the duration of the day in the Dwapara Yuga, or even before in the Thretha Yuga?” (05.01.2003)
I find time is running short now itself, so how about Dwapara Yuga? (Laughter) Anyway, it is a question indeed. The epics have an answer. The Shastras have an answer: So many years constitute a moment or a minute for Brahma. So many years constitute a day for Brahma, and so many decades constitute a half-day or a month for Brahma. There is a calculation. I vaguely remember having heard from a priest in a temple during my childhood days that there is an answer to this, but I do not remember it just now.
But my advice is this: Let us be conscious of this time right now. What is life, my friends? Life is not the past, no. Past is death. Life is not the future. Why? It is uncertain. So, what is life? Life is here and now. I repeat: What is life? Life is here and now, that’s all. So let us think of the life here and now. The life here and now is with God. It is eternal; it is immortal.
We have a sufficient population problem here on this earth – well, how about the other planets? (Laughter)
I don’t know, I don’t know! I didn’t ask Swami this question. If there is an appropriate time for me to ask, I’ll see what He says.
38.“Why does God come so infrequently? Why only every 500 years or 1000 years? Why not regularly, like a train? Why not? (Laughter) Had He been here throughout, arriving year-after-year, then all our weaknesses could have been prevented and we would never run away from the path of righteousness -- we’d never run astray. God could control us if He appeared frequently and regularly. It would make His job lighter and easier.” (05.01.2003)
My friends, with no publicity or sense of ownership, with no feeling of pride and ego, not even in the wildest of my dreams, I humbly urge you to go through the two volumes of Satyopanishads, Volume One and Volume Two. These books contain 272 questions asked of Swami in Kodaikanal. They cover all these questions, giving His Divine answers. These are answers given by God, over which I have no claim. (If there is any confusion, I am ready to take the blame, to improve upon the book and revise it for the next edition.) Please go through those two volumes of Satyopanishad. Those books have the answers to many of these questions.
What is the question here? “Why doesn’t He appear frequently?” The answer given there in Satyopanishad is this: When five people are fighting, the elder member of the village will come and say, “Don’t fight.” He will resolve the problem. When two groups of 50 people fight with each other, a police constable is necessary to settle the problem. When two groups of 100 people fight, a Circle Inspector needs to be there. When villages fight with other villages, the District Superintendent of Police needs to be there. When states fight with states, an army is needed. So, it depends upon the intensity of the problem.
When there is so much confusion, when the human race is threatened with extinction from this planet, then it is a serious enough case for the ‘Divine Surgeon’ to come down and operate. (Laughter) Like in appendicitis, any further delay would lead to the collapse of the patient! So, an operation is not needed for a simple stomachache. It may ache so much, but it doesn’t call for an operation -- some syrup is enough. If I fast tonight, that should be enough. So, He decides the condition of the patient; I cannot decree it myself.
So, why doesn’t God incarnate more frequently? He doesn’t find it necessary. When and if He finds the necessity, then He incarnates at His own behest, according to His own Will. That’s the answer that Baba gave in this context.
37.“There are so many ages like the Thretha Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. Are they different periods of earth’s evolution, or are they something different?” (05.01.2003)
As I understand it, it is all the course of earth’s evolution, like the Palaeozoic period, like Mesozoic period, or the Carbonizoid period. They are different periods of time. Even if you go through anthropology texts, they clearly tell us that ancient man was seven feet tall. Now, gradually, pygmies and dwarfs have come!
When Bhagavan materialized a ring of this size, He said, “This is Rama’s ring.”
It was large enough to serve as my waist belt! (Laughter)
“Swami, is this Rama’s ring?”
“Yes, it is!”
“Is it so big?”
“Why not? He was not so small like you. He was a large man.”
Then He materialized a gold chain of Ravanasura’s. It was a big chain, full of Siva lingams. Yes. At the centre, there were three big crystal lingams of yellow, blue and gold, with gold Siva lingams all around -- such a big chain.
“Swami, is this..?”
“Yes, it is Ravana’s!”
From seeing that, you can imagine his size!
Therefore, they belong to the earth’s evolution, but they are not earthly. Please understand. Being on earth is different from being earthly, as being a child is different from being childish. I am not a student of literature. I am a student of botany. But to my knowledge, one can be like a child, but never be childish. Am I clear? If you are child-like, you are Divine. If you are childish, you must be put under check. (Laughter)
Similarly, it is the course of earth’s evolution, but it is not earthly. What do I mean by that? Jesus of those times had a message for these times. Rama of those days had a message for these days. So, though they are of earth, they are simply not earthly, as they had no lesson to learn. They are terrestrial, but with a celestial mission in life. So, those ages have a message for this age. That is the answer I have.
Good question! Why man? Man is a special creation of God. The Holy Bible says that God made man in His own image. Krishna is so happy to see Himself in Arjuna. Rama is so happy to be followed by Lakshmana because He finds Himself there.
A simple example: Every one of us, without exception, when standing in front of a mirror considers himself or herself to be very, very handsome or beautiful, though someone may tell that is it is not so. (Laughter) “Please, no! You keep quiet!” (Laughter)
God separates Himself because He loves Himself. God separates Himself into many in order to love Himself. I look into the mirror to know how handsome I am. So God separated Himself:
One into many…
God has manifested into many. He finds His beauty in you. He finds His splendour in you. He finds His individuality in you. He finds His personality in you. That is:
Sahasra Seersha Purushah
Sahasraksha Sahasra Paad.
The whole universe is like a myriad of mirrors, in which He finds His own reflection. He feels so happy. It is all the play of God, what we call the ‘leela’ of God, the Will of God.
It is not the game of God, please understand! Game is human, while play is Divine. Please understand this. In a game, there is winning and losing. In a play, there is none of that. It is bliss. A game is commercial, while a play is spiritual. A game has rules and regulations, while a play is beyond rules and regulations. In a play, a fellow may die at the age of 30 or the fellow may not die though he’s 104. So it is all God's play – the Divine leelas of God.
And therefore my friends, why man? It is the play of God. Why are we here? We are here because of the play of God, the Will of God. It is all a creation for His own delight.
This is like a person getting up at 8 o’clock asking, “When did the sunrise start? What time is the sunrise?”
He got up at 8 o’clock, already two hours late! (Laughter) Am I right? So, when did it start? When will the Golden Age start? The Golden Age started 77 years ago! (Applause) The Golden Age began when Bhagavan took birth.
Then, why am I not aware of it? I got up at 8 o’clock. (Laughter) I got up at 9 o’clock. I have not been awake all these years. I have been spending time in sleep and slumber. The reason is that the Golden Age was my dream. If the Golden Age had been my vision, then I would have been awakened by this time. That Golden Age should have already kindled in my heart the light of wisdom within me, awakening the third eye of vision.
34.“Why should I have the goal of liberation or Self-realisation? After all, why? What is the harm if I am reborn? What is the harm if I'm to die again? Why not? Then in this birth, I can enjoy life. In liberation, where is the enjoyment because you are one with God?” (05.01.2003)
Good! This is a genuine question, a very genuine question. As a man in the company of God, I can enjoy nearness and I can enjoy dearness. In liberation, is there anything like ‘dearness’ and ‘nearness’ and bliss? This is a genuine question indeed!
The answer is this: Instead of loving God, if you become Love itself, it is a million times greater than the process of loving. I think that’s clear. Instead of trying to be blissful in the company of God, if you are bliss itself, what else is left in this world? And the experiences of pain and pleasure, success and failure, blame and praise -- these are all due to the dualism of life. Once you go beyond dualism, where there is no positive or negative, that is the state of liberation, moksha or nirvana.
So, one aims for liberation in order to remain in the state of bliss, not just to have blissful moments. Intermediate, blissful moments are different from the state of bliss itself. So, this permanent bliss is coveted very much. People deeply pray for liberation on the spiritual path because with liberation you find eternal bliss. In life, you have momentary bliss or blissful moments. So, in ordinary existence you are dual, whereas in liberation you are non-dual. Therefore, liberation is the ultimate.
Instead of being a lakhshapati (having hundreds of thousands) or a crorepati (having tens of millions), instead of being the owner of billions, if you are wealth itself, what more do you want? Or, instead of having water tanks, if you are the ocean itself, what more do you need? So, the fullness, the totality is liberation, while existence is fragmentary, segmented, in pieces, bit-by-bit. Therefore, one prays for liberation.
33.“What is the harm in killing an animal? Because, when you pick a fruit, you’re also killing it. By picking the fruit, the plant becomes handicapped. Doesn’t the plant suffer pain? So, this is pain and that is pain. So, what’s the difference?” (05.01.2003)
Baba has said something about this. You must know by now that I tell you right away any of Baba’s answers to questions already posed. Those questions where the answers are left to my imagination, I openly confess. There’s no hypocrisy or duplicity here. I do not claim to be an intellectual, certainly not! I don’t even want to be one. I can only repeat what our good Lord has said.
So, what did He say about this? Plants don’t have the same kind of emotions or feelings as animals do. Although Jagadish Chandra Bose in his experiments with plant physiology demonstrated that plants do have feelings and emotions -- at least we can agree on this -- they do not have as many feelings as animals do.
Animals also have feelings and sentiments, although not as many as man. This means that consciousness will find its expression more and more in man as compared with the lower forms of creation. Mineral matter also has consciousness, expressed at the lowest ebb. The plant world has consciousness at a higher level, the animal world at a superior level, and the human race at its maximum. So, it is all relative.
Therefore, you cannot say, “What is the difference, after all, if I pick a flower or a fruit, or kill an animal?”
You cannot equate them like that. There is a wide gulf of difference because the level at which consciousness expresses itself differs in the course of evolution from low to high. That’s what I can tell you on this subject.
Some people say that eggs are also vegetarian. Well, I don’t know which particular items are exempted from the list. But anyway, to my knowledge, vegetarianism is not merely limited to food. Vegetarianism is symbolic of a tireless, sathwic nature. It is not limited to the food that we eat.
All the scenes that are around us are a type of food for the eyes. All the sounds that we hear are a type of food for the ears. All the objects that we touch are food for the skin. So, you can see that the five senses of perception have their own level of ‘food’. All of the senses should be ‘fed’ sathwic or vegetarian ‘food’.
The good scenes that I see are considered sathwic. The good music that I hear is considered sathwic. The good fragrances that I smell are also considered sathwic. All those good perceptions are ‘vegetarian food’ for the human body.
31.“Is there any significance behind Rama being sent into exile for fourteen years? Why fourteen years? Why not thirteen? Why not fifteen, why? (Laughter) What is so special about this number?” (05.01.2003)
To be very, very honest, I don’t remember Swami saying anything about the number fourteen. Bhagavan has said several things about the number nine -- six being the Divine qualities and three being the human qualities: 6 + 3 = 9. He has said many things about the number nine. Why? Because the number nine is changeless. For example, 9 x 2 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9. Likewise, 9 x 3 = 27 and 2 + 7 = 9. So you can go on multiplying like that -- nine is nine. There are six Divine features and three human qualities. So, He has spoken about the number nine. But, I don’t remember Swami saying anything about the number fourteen.
But if you want me to speculate -- subject to correction, subject to your acceptance -- if you want me to give an educated guess, then it could possibly be the five karmendriyas or five senses of action and the five jnanendriyas or five senses of perception – 5 + 5 = 10. Then the last four are manas, buddhi, chittha and ahamkaara. Manas is the mind or thinking. Chitta is the feeling. Buddhi is the intellect or decision-making capacity, and ahamkaara is the ego. 5 + 5 + 4 = 14. This might possibly be the nearest answer to this question, if not the right answer.
Here’s a simple example: When I don’t follow Swami’s teachings, well, I may not be the recipient of His blessings, but I have His grace. When a son does not follow the order or the advice of his father, the father will not bless him with pocket allowances, but he has the grace of his love.
A student who does not do the homework will not have my blessings. If he fails in the examination, he will not have my blessings. But he has the grace of the teacher; who continues to love him until he gets through the examination. So, grace is purposeless, meaning it is not goal or need-oriented; whereas, blessings can be withdrawn depending upon our actions.
Here is another example. Out of courtesy, I will not disclose the name of the person I am referring to in this example. This happened about 15 years ago. He was a very big man -- both by virtue of his profession and by virtue of his physique – who occupied a seat meant for four people!
Well, he came here. I knew him very well. He is no more of course, but back then he had a very high post. I said, “Sir, very glad to see you. I hear that you are in a very high position. What brought you here?”
He said, “I have come here for Bhagavan’s blessings to get married once again.” (Laughter)
“Sir, how about
madam?” I asked, referring to his wife, since he was already married.
He said, “ This will be an additional wife.”
“Why an additional wife?”
“My current wife is into spirituality too much. She is spending too much time here, so I need somebody to be in charge there.” (When the principal is on leave, the vice-principal will be in charge of the position!)
Then I just said, “Sir, I thought you were a great man. I am sorry. I don’t find fault with you. I find fault with myself for having thought that you were a great man. You are no longer holding that place in my mind. Swami has said many times, “Wife is knife.” Because of family, you are going to have entanglements and many responsibilities. Bhagavan wants you to rise above these chains of family life. Yet you want to get married for a second time, and you come for Baba’s blessings while the first wife is still alive!”
I said, “Sir, you better catch the next bus, or take a taxi and leave because He may seek the help of Seva Dals to see you out!” (Laughter) There will be no blessings for such silly requests, I tell you.
On the other hand, if you say, ”I am tired of my life and I have dedicated my life to service. I want to spend the rest of my life serving You, my Lord. Help me to grow in detachment and renunciation.” Then yes, you will have His blessings.
If you say, “I want to get deeper and deeper into family life” -- there may not be any blessings. Nevertheless, His grace is still there, waiting for you so that one day or the other, you will work for your redemption. That is the answer.
A very good question. We may pray, “Baba, bless me on my birthday” or “Bhagavan, bless my business attempt” or “Bless us on our wedding anniversary day.” Blessings you need and blessings you ask for, as and when you need them. You ask for blessings when you feel it is necessary, or as and when you feel you run short of them, something like running out of household provisions. Is that clear? So, blessings are what you seek and what you ask for on certain special occasions.
A blessing is what you need when you are not sure about something, whereas grace is infinite. Grace need not be solicited or asked for or sought after. Grace is abiding, without any demand. God’s grace is like sunlight, which is available to us everywhere and to everyone equally. Similarly, grace is continuous. Grace is eternal. Grace is not to be sought after or searched for as it is always there.
I remember a joke. A patient came to the doctor and asked, “Doctor, I have consumed three bottles of syrup so far over a period of three months. How long should I continue to take this?” The doctor said, “Until you die.” (Laughter)
Similarly, how long should you
repeat the manthra? Until you forget the feeling that you are repeating
the manthra: “’Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram’. How many times should I
repeat it?” “Oh, say a hundred times or more.”
That’s all nonsense. You should go on repeating Bhagavan’s Name until you have forgotten the number of times that you have repeated it. Bhagavan gave a beautiful example here. I tell you, no one can explain it like He does: A boy said, while going to bed, “Mother, please wake me up when I am hungry.” (Laughter) The mother said, “Useless fellow! You yourself will get up when you are hungry. I don’t have to wake you up.”
Similarly, “How long should I say a manthra?” The answer is that we should repeat it until the purpose is realised or until the goal is achieved. “Then why do I have to repeat it so many times or for a stipulated number of times?” I may say ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram’. I may say this 108 times. But my mind may concentrate on the manthra only here and there for a brief period, while the rest of the time it may be engaged in thoughts about an airline reservation, a job, the mosquitoes, the canteen -- that’s it. (Laughter) Hence, though I repeated the Name 108 times, the mind concentrated on it only thrice. So, how many times is that? Only three times! So the rest of 105 repetitions were a waste. It is only for calculation and income tax purposes, not for this. (Laughter)
So my friends, we are asked to repeat things any number of times. How many times should I breathe? Until I find my name in the newspaper under the obituary column. (Laughter) It’s quite simple. So we should keep on repeating the Name.
27.Why do we have to go through this or any life to get Self-realization?
didn’t we arrive already Self-realized? Have you found anyone who is? Also, once
you have blessed something, or asked for something, or chanted a manthra,
why do we have to do it over and over again?
Very good! This is a question to
be asked in this computer age. As I told you last time, I am not making fun of
these questions. I am not underestimating the calibre and the spirit of the
person who has asked this question. I have the highest respect and reverence
towards them and thank them from the bottom of my heart because they help me to
go through Sai literature time and again.
Now the question is this: “Why do we have to go through this or any life to get Self-realization? Why?” The answer is simple. We find many people sitting in front of the TV, watching serials these days. I don’t know about television serials abroad, but here in South India particularly, some of the serials go on for 500 episodes or more!
There is even a joke about it.
It seems that an old man wrote a
letter to the television director saying, “I may die any moment. Let me know how
the story ends so that I may die peacefully. (Laughter). Since I do not
know how long it will continue, I may have to be born again! Why all this? Tell
me the ending of the story!”
And secondly, something that is common to all the television serials in South India in particular is that most of them make you cry. None of the serials make you laugh.
There’s also a joke about that. It seems a young girl went to the TV director and asked, “Sir, why don’t you give me a role? I want to act in your serial.”
The director said, ”Yes.”
He asked for a plastic bucket to be brought and put in front of her.
The director said, “Come on -- fill this bucket with your tears and after that I will give you a role.” (Laughter)
So, one has to learn the art of crying, you know? We sit in front of the television and we also cry. A few days ago, I got a phone call from my friend in Hyderabad. He said that his wife and mother-in-law don’t go to bed unless they have cried bitterly until 10 o’clock at night, and only then do they retire. (Laughter) The crying starts at seven PM and goes on until 10 o’clock! They are busy until seven, or else they would have started at five o’clock!
Why do we cry? We pay money and cry. (Laughter) Why do those actors cry? They receive money and cry. So, we have got two categories of people who cry -- those who pay to cry and others who get paid to cry.
My friends, we cry. Why? Because we think that the hero in the television serial is real. Or we think that we are in a difficult position, so we cry. Suddenly the husband comes home from the office. He says, “I am tired from working and you are crying here at home! Let me have a break.” Then the wife will come to her senses.
So my friends, when I consider a television serial to be true, when I consider the cinema to be a reality, it is because I am identifying with it and so I cry. However, once I am aware that it is just a cinema or that it is just a television serial, I am not disturbed. I am not perturbed.
Similarly, in life we pass through bumps and jumps, ups and downs, smiles and tears, elation, jubilation and frustration. It’s like a pendulum that moves in between two extremes. When you are praised, you are up in the sky. But when you are pointed at, you are down, totally down. This is because of a lack of realisation.
Realisation will help you to
achieve equanimity and balance. Realisation will help you to not feel proud of
all the simple achievements or simple talents that you have. Realization will
never allow you to be depressed or frustrated or create a situation where you
need to consult a psychiatrist!
Therefore, Self-realisation is necessary for your own sake. In your own interest, you should seek Self-realisation. Bhagavan has given a simple example. It so happened that a small cub lost its way and started living among some sheep. Suddenly one day a tiger was ready to attack the sheep.
When the sheep started running, the little cub also started running. “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!”
The tiger said, “Stop that! Don’t
said, “We are sheep. I am a member of the herd. Don’t kill me.”
“No, no, no, you are not a sheep. You and I are one. Let us go to the river and check out the stripes on our bodies. You roar and I roar. Our language is common. The body is common. Why do you think that you are a sheep?”
Then the cub understood that it no longer belonged with the sheep. Similarly, we think that we are sheep. We think that we are so cheap. We think that we are so simple. We think that we are nobody, no, no, no. Shrinvantu Vishve Amrithasya Puthraha. “You are the Son of Immortality.” “You are Divine.” When Bhagavan addresses you as ‘Divyatmaswarupulara’, that means you are embodiments of Divyatma. You are embodiments of the Divine. Why do you think that you are a pauper? Why do you think that you are so simple? Certainly not!
It’s like the man who kept asking for loans. Then someone said, “There is one lakh rupees to your credit. Why are you seeking more loans?”
He said, “Oh, I see. I forgot. That was long time back.”
He immediately went to the bank, utilised the money and no longer needed to ask for loans. Similarly, when you have Self-realisation, you are beyond the duality of good and bad, profit and loss, victory and defeat. You are in equanimity and are perfectly balanced. It is for that reason that you need to realise the Self.
26.We have many cockroaches moving around our house at night, creating not
only a health hazard, but also scaring us out of our wits at times. Can you
please advise us how to treat these creatures? How do we treat these invaders
with love? (Laughter)
Perhaps cockroaches have become an international problem. (Laughter) Well, I have had that same problem and have become friendly with them because I cannot get away from them anyway. To some, a mosquito is a problem, but to me the mosquito is not the problem. It is the humming music of mosquitoes that I have to get used to -- that keeps me from sleeping. (Laughter)
My friends, whether it is mosquitoes, scorpions, snakes or cockroaches, the point is this: If you kill anything for joy, thrill, excitement or as a pastime, then it is a sin. However, if you kill it to make yourself free from suffering, then it is not a sin. If you kill it for the fun of it – say, like hunting for excitement -- then it is not acceptable. Hunting used to be a pastime for kings. Now that kind of thing is a crime. But if a tiger is going to attack you, you can shoot it. How can I treat it lovingly, and allow myself to be eaten by it? (Laughter)
There is a subtle difference between the two. If I am not killing anything for the joy or pleasure, if I am doing it in order to save myself, then it is not a crime. That is also treating things with love.
is the primordial factor that decides one’s gender in this birth? Why are you a
man? How can you afford to be a woman? (Laughter)
So the question here is what decides the gender in each life. Is it because of
our past lives?
The answer is simple, my friends. I quote from Sai literature. The real Self, the reality, is neither a man nor a woman. The man or the woman — the difference in the identity lies in the body, not in the spirit.
If someone knocks at the door and you ask, “Who are you?” they will answer, “I am so-and-so.” No one would say, “I, the man, am talking to you” or “I, the woman, am here”. Nobody would say that. ‘I’ is common to both men and women.
The second point is that Bhagavan has said, “All are women.” Hari Om Tat Sat. (Laughter) My friends, do not mistake me. Try to settle any scores later. (Laughter) All are women. So you don’t need to feel inferior. We have no reason to feel superior. Why? The spirit in you is purusha or man. The Atma is masculine, purusha, while the body is prakrithi or nature, which is feminine. But the masculinity is of the spirit and not of the body.
Thirdly, He gave an example: If you go to the women’s college at Anantapur on the annual college day, when they are staging a drama, you’ll find a girl in the role of a king. You’ll find another girl in the role of a soldier and another girl in the role of a servant. Because of their costumes, they appear to be men; but in reality, they are women. Similarly, all are women. Some may look like men (Laughter), but basically all are feminine. I mean the body principle is feminine, prakrithi, meaning it is inert matter. This is feminine, while the life principle is masculine.
I am very grateful to have these questions because it helps me to go back in my memory to what Bhagavan has said over the years. Here is another example. You must have heard of a great lady named Meera, who was a great devotee. Meera wanted to meet the King. She came into the palace.
A soldier said, “Sorry, you cannot go in.”
She asked, “Why?”
The man said, “Women are not permitted to go in. Women are prohibited from going into the palace.”
Then Meera said, “Where are the men here? I don’t see any men here.”
The soldier was surprised and must have been thinking, “Is something wrong with me or with her?” (Laughter)
This is the truth. The body is feminine, inert matter, only. But the life force is masculine. So all of us are a combination of both. When you ask, “What decides the gender?” I say, “Why worry about it?” Whether the sugar candy is in the shape of a rat or an elephant, the child eats it, right? Similarly, a chocolate may be circular or rectangular or hexagonal; but after all, a chocolate is a chocolate. Biscuits may be quadrangular or circular. Whatever it may be, a biscuit is a biscuit.
So similarly, life is life, whether you are a man or woman. It is only external. So let’s not question what it is that decides our gender. There is nothing wrong. Men and women suffer equally. (Laughter). Oh, that’s right -- we blame each other!
There are not many steps. No! The steps are of our own making. The steps are created in our own imagination. Merger happens at once.
What are the steps that you should take to mix sugar into a glass of water? How many steps are there? No, no! One spoon and stir it – you get immediate results!
Similarly, for an aspirant to merge with God, there are not many steps. Use a spoon of viveka or discrimination, plus a spoon of vairagya or renunciation – totally stir this, which is the process of sadhana. That is enough for total merger. There are no steps. “How many lives are required? How many years are required?” No, no, no, no! Merger is immediate, all of a sudden, instantaneous, spontaneous and natural. It happens in a moment!
Merging is our original state. We only got ourselves separated. In fact, we were all One, but we became separated. Example: here is fire. Out of this fire, many sparks and pieces come. The pieces at a distance turn black and become coal. So, originally it was fire. But at a distance, it becomes coal.
Similarly, originally we were One, but later we got separated. To know that we are One (though appearing in different forms) is called realisation. Realisation is nothing but thinking of our original Oneness -- getting back to that original Oneness or unity with God. The reason that we separated from that Oneness is only due to having taken a name and form. That is the secret of merger with God.
Why not? Baba appeared in the form of a postman. Baba appeared in the form of a watchman. Baba appeared in the form of a monkey to His sister. Baba appeared in the form of a cat. Baba appeared in the form of a bird. Baba can appear in any form. Why do we go to that extent? All forms are Baba’s only. We should pray and try for that experience -- for the awareness of that experience.
Why should He appear in a separate form? All forms are His -- it only appears to be many. It is something like a person in the midst of several mirrors all around. That experience of seeing the One in the many (forms) is the culmination of spirituality.
22.“I am a teacher of yoga. I know God is One. But do you think all the people I see are false? Do you think it’s all maya, illusion? Do you think they don’t exist? Do you say it is all a dream?” (08.12.2002)
The answer is simple: Yoga is a connecting link with God. The meaning of ‘yoga’ is ‘connecting or uniting with God’. So when you are connected with God, you experience Oneness. You experience unity. You’ll see God everywhere -- in the animals, in plants, in mineral matter. Everywhere you will experience God.
It will be just as Jesus Christ said, when He saw a dead, stinking dog on the street. Everyone said, “Burn it! Take it away!” Jesus smiled and said, “How bright the white teeth are! How bright are the white teeth of that dead dog.”
It means you’ll see the best in the worst. If it is the true path of yoga, you’ll see unity in diversity. Yoga should give you unity. But that does not mean in practical life we can be untidy, no! In our practical life, diversity is there.
Suppose a student comes to me and says, “Sir, please teach me.”
I cannot tell him, “You are God, I am God. So, there’ll be no class today!” (Laughter)
Suppose a patient comes to a doctor and says, “Sir, I am suffering from excruciating pain.”
Will the doctor say, “You are not a patient and I am not a doctor. You are God and I am God. So there is no question of surgery!”
It is all nonsense! From a practical point-of-view, there is diversity. From an ideological point-of-view, there is unity. Ideologically, let us experience unity. Spiritually, let us experience unity. Physically, let us operate at the level of diversity. It is necessary to be practical, to be fundamental, to be realistic. That is the best answer I can give.
21.“The husband is very much interested in Baba, but the wife is not. The wife is an obstacle. So, what should the husband do?” He also has given three alternatives: (Laughter) “One -- should he get divorced from his wife? Number two -- should he continue along the spiritual path? Number three -- should he give up the spiritual path? (Laughter) These are the alternatives – maybe it is like a multiple-choice question. (Laughter) (08.12.2002)
My friend, this is an exceptional case! A husband finding his wife a problem along the spiritual path is an exception. Usually the husband is the problem for every wife! (Laughter) 90% of Sai devotees are here because of their wives. Let all husbands be ashamed to declare it in public. This humble self (Anil Kumar refers to himself) is also one and the foremost. So, this case is not a matter to be ashamed of. It is a matter to feel proud of.
If the wife is an engine, very good -- the family will be very fine, peaceful and there’ll be no problem. But here is an exceptional case where the wife seems to be the problem. Wife or husband -- one of the two partners will not totally agree with the other. So, what is to be done?
My friend, the answer is simple. If one is totally worldly and if the other is totally spiritual, we’ll be nowhere. But in co-existence, one takes care of the family, while the other takes care of the spiritual end. The wife taking care of the family is the root. The husband thinking of God is the fruit of the same ‘family tree’. The one (wife and mother) thinking of the family is the root, while the other (husband and father) thinking of God is the fruit of that same tree of life. So, let us not consider the life partner as an opposition party leader! (Laughter) Certainly not! Certainly not!
To give you my own tale -- for 25 years, I went around the whole state of Andhra Pradesh. I visited thousands of Sai centres -- at least thrice on the average -- spread over those 25 years. My wife stayed back at home, taking care of the children, my in-laws and my parents, ours being a joint-family (an extended family, all living under one roof together). Suppose that she had also become a competitor. What if she had said, “If you go towards the north, I’ll go towards the south! (Laughter) If you go and start addressing people in the east, I’ll have audiences in the west.” Then the children would be on the streets!
Therefore, it is the pure and logical dynamics of life that one will be at the ‘grass roots’ while the other will be ‘in the air’. It happens like that. Nowhere do the husband and wife agree 100%. They may agree before TV news reporters. (Laughter) They may agree for the television reporters, but not in reality. The family ‘Korean War’ certainly happens once in a blue moon, without which there is no melody in life at all.
Let us not worry if the wife is not sailing along with the husband, or if the husband is not sailing with the wife. The husband will make the wife follow him one day. Just as husbands are following their wives, in such cases as this one, the wives will also follow the husbands someday. It all depends upon one’s own life example.
For example, in a crisis, if the husband is peaceful, the wife will learn from him. If the wife is peaceful in the worst moments of life, the husband will learn from her. By our example, we can certainly carry on with the other life-partner without any sense of opposition or critical attack.
20.“What shall I do to dine with Bhagavan? To sleep in the room very close to His bedroom? (Laughter) To go with Him in His car? To have a peaceful end of life, like His mother and grandfather had? “ (08.12.2002)
These are the questions put to me. Here is the answer, brother. Going in His car, dining with Him or sleeping in the room next to Him are all physical activities. You have the driver also in the car. I don’t think the driver is a saint or a sage. There in the dining room, you also find cooks and servers. I don’t think they are saints and sages. I don’t think so. In the building, there is the watchman. I don’t want to bow down to his feet.
So, these are all physical acts of Grace. They are privileges. They are grand, golden opportunities. I don’t underestimate them. But if they lead to pride, if they make you egoistic, if they are acts of publicity or advertisement, they will really take you to doom. No! If these help you to be more spiritual, if these help you to do sadhana with higher, greater or deeper intensity, then that is a boon. But if it turns you into an egoistic man, then that is a curse. These physical acts should take you to a psychological (mental/emotional) level of togetherness with Bhagavan all through your life, wherever you may go.
If you feel that the next man is Baba, it is living with Him. If you offer prayer to God and start eating, it is dining with Him. If you listen to Baba bhajans as you travel in your car, you are traveling with Him. Baba said, “Wherever My glory is sung, I install Myself.” Whenever we sing bhajans, we are with Him. Whenever we think of Him, we are by His side. Whenever we offer food, we are dining with Him. That is the spiritual, psychological, metaphysical, mystical experience one should have or one should crave for. (Applause)
Perhaps like ‘wholesale’ and ‘retail’? This gentleman must have been a top businessman! (Laughter) Very good!
Kind friends, do not misunderstand me -- I'm just joking. I don’t mean any disrespect to those who have asked these questions. I really bow down in all humility to the people who have asked these questions because they are all spiritual seekers. They are exemplary. They are noble and role models for me in particular because these questions help me to go into detail, into the depth. So, I thank them very much.
The question is this: Are countries bound by karma? In the Holy Bible, there is a mention of two cities -- Sodom and Gomorrah. The inhabitants of these two cities mentioned in the Holy Bible were drowned. The inhabitants were totally punished by God. That’s what the Holy Bible says. When people are unrighteous, naturally the whole place is condemned.
A country is not only a geographical location. A country is not only dust, mud and sand. A country is a collection of people. When the people are unrighteous…For example, just think of Afghanistan, where ancient Buddha statues of 200 or 300 feet in height were bombed and totally demolished by dynamite. So many Buddha statues were demolished there in Afghanistan. What later happened to Afghanistan? You all know that. When people are unrighteous, naturally they will have to face the reaction. That’s the answer I can give you.
That is the question. The answer is this: One will be cleared of karmic effects if there is deservedness, if there is eligibility.
When I look at Bhagavan -- when all of us look at Bhagavan, all of us will not have the same feelings. There are many people who tell me that when Bhagavan passes by, they receive some vibrations. There are many people who tell me that they are charged with energy. There are many people who tell me that they feel a cool breeze when Bhagavan passes by. So, experiences differ based on the nature of the individual, their devotion or path and the intensity of their sadhana.
Therefore, I may not be cleared of karma because I'm not ready. I have not done enough work. Though the teacher is excellent, when the student is not able to follow the lesson, it only means that the student has not done enough homework. The student has not the required foundation to receive and appreciate the knowledge given to him in the classroom, even though the teacher is an expert. In order to be cleared of karmic effects, we should do some homework.
What is that homework? Intense devotion, total faith, complete surrender and the sadhana of service -- these four are sufficient physical practices on the spiritual path. Doing (practicing) these four is sufficient homework for us to get ourselves ready and prepared, so that we can be free from the karmic effects.
Whether it is a new moon, a blue moon, or a full moon, a moon is a moon. (Laughter) The answer is: The moon is the presiding deity of the human mind. That’s the reason why on a full moon day, mad people are full of activity! (Laughter) On the dark night, they will also full of activity. They may even resort to violence. So, the moon controls the mind. The mind and the moon go together.
But spiritually speaking, there is another interpretation. The full moon stands for wisdom, knowledge and awakening. It was on the full moon day that Buddha was born. It was on the full moon day that Buddha was enlightened. It was on the full moon day that Mahaveer was enlightened. Purnima is the full moon day, which is the day of enlightenment. Moonlight is like the awakening of the inner Self. The full moon represents the knowledge of the Self. That is the meaning.
One question sent to me is this: “What is the origin of the mind? The answer is simple. There is no mind, so there is no origin! If there is a mind, you have to trace out its origin. The mind is non-existent. The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The mind is only a bundle of desires. In the deep sleep state, there is no mind at all. The mind is there in the dreaming state; the mind is there in the waking state. But the mind is non-existent in the deep-sleep state.
When thoughts are withdrawn, when desires are given up, there is no mind. Withdrawal of the mind or annihilation of the mind is called amanaska or manolaya. So, the question of the origin of the mind does not arise at all.
Swami often says, “Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are.” But, my friends, we don’t have friends today. No, no, no. A friend in the morning becomes an enemy by the evening. Most of the friendships today are selfish. Most of the friendships today are political. Most of the friendships today are motivated. But who is the real friend? What is the definition of a friend?
Bhagavan said, “The one who is with you, the one who will be with you, the one who was with you - that one who is always by your side in the past, the present and also in the future, He only is the true friend.”
Supposing we get into any litigation, they will not look at your face. As Baba has said, “When the pockets are full of money and the father has a position, everybody will say, ‘Hello, hello.’ When the pocket is empty, after the retirement of the father, nobody will even say, ‘Goodbye’.” There are no true friends today.
Bhagavan gave one example. It seems that one man was dragged into the court because of some litigation. He had three friends. He asked one friend, “Would you please come to the court and be a witness?” That man said, “I am sorry. I was so happy playing cards with you in the club, but I don’t want to come to the court and be a witness, I am sorry.”
Then this man went to the second friend. “Hey there, friend! We have been classmates, childhood friends. Why don’t you come to the court and stand as a witness so that I will be acquitted?”
That man said, “No, no, no, I am not going to come to the court. I will give you the address of a good advocate, a good attorney, a good pleader who will defend your case, but I won’t come to the court. “
“Oh-ho, thank you.”
Then he went to the third friend. “Would you please come and help me?”
“Why not? I’ll come with you. I’ll stand there in the witness box and speak in support of you so that you will be acquitted.”
Similarly, we have three friends. Who are they? The first fellow represents our friends, our acquaintances or those who are very well known to us. These friends will just say, “Oh, that fellow died? Oh-ho, he was a good man. What can you do?” That’s all.
The second types are relatives, who will come to the cremation or burial ground. And the third friend — He will come with us even after death, as the consequence or result of all our good actions or karma. Karmaphala -- the rewards of our actions will follow us. Therefore that friend, Karmaphala, is the eternal Witness, who is God Himself. So the answer to the question, “Who is my friend?” is that God is my friend. That’s all - no one else.
No, no, we should not blame poor God like that. He doesn’t want us to be martyrs. Why does He want you to sacrifice? It is so that you will be happy. Sacrifice your desire because desire takes you to misery. If you are desireless, you will be blissful. Then you are not sacrificing for anybody. You are sacrificing for your own sake. Instead of going to the theatre, I am going to the Mandir.
“Sir, I’m not going to theatre. I have not gone to cinema, so I have sacrificed.” Oh, you have not sacrificed anything. By going to the theatre and watching a cinema there, your mind would have turned violent. Your mind would have become agitated. Your mind would have been disturbed. Your mind would have been full of turbulent waves. The mind would have lost its balance and peace. By going to the Mandir, it enjoys peace of mind. It enjoys equanimity. It delights. So, what have you sacrificed? You have not sacrificed for anybody else. You have sacrificed for your own advantage, for your own improvement.
Please understand we have confusion about the portfolios here. Mind is the centre of desire, whereas the heart is the centre of feeling. The mind is dual; the heart is non-dual. The mind is diversified; the heart is unity. The mind is emotional; the heart is balanced. The mind is always for convenience; the heart is for conviction. The mind is physical; the heart is spiritual. I don’t mean the physical heart -- that needs a cardiologist. I mean the spiritual heart. So shutting down your heart means that you are closing the doors of your soul — you are closing the doors of your consciousness.
If you shut down your heart, then you don’t want to turn inward. You just want to grope in the darkness of the whims and the fancies, the likes and dislikes and the vagaries of the mind. The mind is full of vagaries, likes and dislikes, choices and preferences. When I move about in the realm along the horizon of the mind, I become mental or psychotic. I should not shut down my heart at any cost. The heart should be open. The more and more the heart is given a chance and a preference, the mind gets closed automatically — the mind will shut down automatically on its own.
nothing that can be done. We have to understand the root cause of the desire.
The desire has not arisen out of my body. The desire has not been produced or
manufactured by this hand. The leg does not take me to the desire. It is the
mind that is the root cause of desire. Desires are born in the mind. Once you
understand that the mind is the substratum, that the mind is the basis, that the
mind is the cause for the desire, you can try to be desireless.
How? My mind is going this way towards desire. I tell my mind, “Don’t go this way. Go towards the Mandir.”
When the mind thinks of God, when the mind chants His name, when the mind is in meditation, when the mind always sings His glory in bhajans, there is no desire. When the mind is diverted towards the world, it is full of desires.
My friends, please understand, this is only from Swami’s teachings, which are recorded in this book, Satyōpanisad. For your reference you can go through it. Here is a simple example given by Baba. This is a hand fan. If I do this (Anil Kumar waves his hand, fanning away from himself), you get the breeze. But when I turn the hand fan and wave it towards me, I get the breeze. Is it not true? Similarly when the mind is turned toward the world, it is suffocated. It is breathless. It is full of desires. When the same mind is turned inward towards consciousness, it is blissful. There are no more desires.
Where does Atma go? There is no place where there is no Atma. So there is no question of Atma vanishing somewhere. It doesn’t go on any holiday trip or ego trip or weekend holiday because Atma is present everywhere. It doesn’t go anywhere. It is everywhere. A simple example Baba gives is this. There is a light bulb. When you remove the bulb, isn’t there still electricity? There is electricity, but when you put the bulb there, you get the light. There is a power supply. When you remove the bulb, there is still the power supply, but you don’t get the light. This is the example given by Bhagavan. Similarly, whether the body is there or not, the Divinity, the Atma, the Consciousness, the Spirit exists because it is immortal.
Nothing doing. In the Divine calculation, each has to suffer the consequences of his own karma. The father’s karma is not brought forward to the son. The son’s karma is not brought forward to the grandson. No, it is not like that. If it were like that, we would not be here. Prashanti Nilayam would not be full. All rooms would be empty. No, no, no. Everyone has got his individual account. Parents have got nothing to do with that. A man of violence and terror (named Hiranyakasipu) has a son named Prahlada, a great devotee. So the son has nothing to do with the father.
Swami gives this example. It seems a person collected seeds from thorny bushes and seeds from fruit-bearing trees. If you sow them, what will happen? The seed of a thorny bush will only grow into a thorny bush. The seed of a fruit-bearing tree will only grow into a fruit-bearing tree. There is nothing like foreign exchange here.
Yes, it is bad karma. We don’t have to change our religion because all religions are one and the same. There is unity in diversity. All religions teach the same Truth. Truth is One. Scholars represent this in different ways, but Truth is one. Sugar is one; all sweets are made from it. So, when we understand that Truth is basically One, there is nothing wrong with whichever religion you follow.
Religion is of your own making. Atma has nothing to do with the religion. It has no religion. It has no attributes or qualities. It has no name and form.
I repeat once again. If you go through the two volumes of Satyōpanisad, most of the questions will be answered. This question was dealt with here in this book with the answer straight from Bhagavan: “Young or old relate to the body. It is the body that ages. It is this body that is young. It is this body that is old. So, young and old are the terms applicable to the body. But the soul is eternal.”
Therefore, this story is one of eternity. To me, he may be a boy. But in the earlier life, in the previous lives, that soul has been pining, that soul has been praying for merger into the Divine. This so-called ‘child’ is young from your point-of-view. But the soul is pretty aged. It is immortal and eternal. It doesn’t want to remain outside. It wants to be one with the Divine. The drop does not want to exist separately. It wants to be back in the ocean. Am I clear? So the drop wants to come back to the ocean.
We may say, “Drop, you are so simple; you are so small; you are like a pearl; stay there.”
It will say, “No, no! I must go back to the sea.” The drop and the ocean are one and the same.
Another point. A great saint, Narada, asked this question of Sri Mahavishnu, God. This is also from Sai literature. “Oh God, you seem to be partial. You look very much biased. Why?”
Then immediately God asked Narada, “What is this nonsense you are talking? I thought you were a wise man. Perhaps you are out of your mind now. What’s wrong with you? Since you have been moving in all of the three worlds, you must have become imbalanced!”
Then Narada gave the answer: “Swami, Prahlada is a young boy. He could attain liberation very quickly, whereas there is one sage named Morocunda Maharishi, a great sage, who did penance for hundreds of years, but he could not have realization. Why? How is it that this boy could have realization so soon, but this old man could not? Why?”
Then the Lord gives the answer: “This Maharishi, who has been doing penance for hundreds of years, started that penance only in this lifetime; whereas this boy, Prahlada, has been doing penance for the last several lives. He may appear young now, but he has been doing this for the last several lives. That you do not know about.”
Bhagavan Baba gives one example It seems two men were passing by. One gentleman has picked up a crowbar and hit it against a hard stone. He hit it but the stone did not break. He hit it again and again, but the stone did not break. He hit it ten times and it did not break.
Then the other man said, “I will try.” He took the crowbar, hit it once and it broke immediately.
The first man felt sad. “I tried ten times and this stone did not break. Now it has broken. Nature is not fair.”
Then the second man said, “Look here, I have hit it now and the stone has broken into two. Please understand the simple mathematics here. It had already received ten strokes by you. Mine was the eleventh stroke; therefore it broke. It had ten strokes already.”
Similarly, young age or old age is our own calculation. But in the Divine formula, it is a different dimension altogether.
What shall I tell him? In support of that question it is clearly written, “Mr. Anil Kumar, you said in your talk that Baba wants to walk. But Baba is not able to walk because crowds will run after Him. He will not have enough space to walk, whereas I am sure that I can take Him along with me for a morning walk. Could you please answer my question?”
Well, I have no answer. Would Swami come along with me for a morning walk? Instead of putting that question, if you are aware that Swami is within you, you could realize that He is also the one walking. The Swami within me is also the one eating. Swami within me does everything. That satisfies all sorts of questions. This is not an answer I am trying to evade or escape. I will give a very simple example. When all of us were busy eating, Bhagavan did not eat anything. It was very embarrassing. I said, “Swami, why don’t You eat? When we are eating, why don’t You eat? I don’t feel like eating when I see You like that.”
Then Baba said, “When all of you eat, it comes to Me. What is your prayer at the dining table? (Anil Kumar starts singing) Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva Praninam Dehamasritaha. ‘I am in your body. All the food that you eat comes to Me.’ Therefore why should I eat when you are eating?”
When you are walking, Baba does not need to walk separately. That is the answer I can give you. Now I will deal with a few more questions in the time left this morning.
There’s another question put to me. “What about the company we keep? What is ‘good company’? What is ‘bad company’? What if I am fooling myself?” Good, we often do that!
They want a definition. What is ‘good company’ and what is ‘bad company’? It is a very clear question. To Sai devotees, let us be sure of the answer. What is good company? Good company is the kind that will keep us holding onto His Lotus Feet. Good company is that which will strengthen our faith. Good company is that which will encourage us to do service. Good company is that which will draw us closer to His mission. Good company is that which will help us to withstand the bumps and jumps in life. Good company is that which will help us not to have too much attachment to money and family. That is good company.
The company which will help you to run away from here, the company which will cause you to lose your faith, the company which will make you go to anybody, anywhere, anytime for any reason, the company which will make you depressed and frustrated, the company which will turn you into being an atheist, a non-believer, is horrible, terrible, bad company.
Being in good company, we find satsang. ‘Satsang’ means good company. Bhagavan gave a few examples. The sand in the company of air will go up. The sand in the company of water will go down. Similarly, in the company of noble people, we come up in life -- our paths are noble. In bad company, our thoughts are negative. That is bad company. Beware of bad company. Baba said, “Run away from bad company.”
Then I received another question. “It is said that, due to one’s karma carried from previous births, he or she suffers in the present birth. Because of our past karma, we are suffering in the present life. In my humble belief, to suffer one should know what he or she has done. Why not suffer in the present birth for the current karma instead of it being put off till the next birth?” Very good!
“Why should I suffer my karma now from a previous lifetime?”
What did Bhagavan say? My friends, these answers are picked from Sai literature only. They are not based on my imagination because I'm not capable of it. I'm supported by Sai literature. If I run short of answers, I’ll seek your forgiveness on the matter. I don’t bluff, no!
What does Swami say about this karma aspect? He said, “Some actions give immediate results.” Suppose there is a cut here. (He shows his finger.) When you are sharpening your pencil and the blade cuts your skin by mistake, what happens? It bleeds immediately. It is a reaction - a result of the action then and there! You drink milk and you don’t feel hungry anymore - for an hour anyway. When you take food, you don’t feel hungry for four hours. For hunger to return, it requires four hours. So, some actions cause immediate results, while some actions call for an hour or four hours.
If you sow the seed now, you can have mango fruits next year. Why next year? That’s all. For the seed to germinate, for the seed to sprout, for the tree to grow, for the seed to bear fruit, it will take a long time. Similarly, some actions give immediate results. Some actions give result leisurely, slowly. That is how we have to understand karma.
Here is one question: “I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Are Baba and Jesus the same? Or is this form the Christian concept of the Trinity?”
The answer is simple. Bhagavan said, “All names are Mine. All forms are Mine. I respond to your prayers that are offered to Me in any name, in any form. I’ll answer your prayers. Let the prayers be said to the God of your choice; they will reach Me. You may pray to Rama, Krishna, Jesus or Allah - all those prayers will reach Me.”
“Swami, how? When I say Rama, how does it reach You?”
Swami gave this example: “You may write a letter to somebody in England or USA or Delhi or Hyderabad. When the letter is put in the letterbox or post box, it will reach the addressee. Similarly all your prayers come to Me. Don’t worry, because I am in all forms. All forms are Mine. All names are Mine,” said Bhagavan. Jesus is no exception.
I’ll give you one instance. A doctor from Rome came here as a participant and delegate for the International Cardiac Conference held in Prashanti Nilayam. Catholicism is very rigid, very strict. He was doing his daily prayer to Jesus and going through the scriptures. He was given accommodation in the North buildings. One day before dinner, while he was reading the scripture and meditating on Jesus Christ, suddenly he noticed a hand lying on his shoulder. He looked back and saw Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Now he says, “Baba and Christ are one and the same. This I declare at the cost of my reputation, at the cost of my Catholic faith. My relatives and friends may forsake me, but I declare that Baba and Christ are one and the same.”
Baba is the Cosmic Christ. Bhagavan is everyone for that matter, Sarva Devata Swarupa. He represents all deities, all gods -- that is the answer I can give you.
2. Will He Take Care of Us Now? (22.09.2002)
This is the second question I received: “As Swami’s mission, including seva projects, are expanding everyday, will He still look after His devotees of many years in the same manner as He has been doing from His declaration in 1940’s? Because Swami is very busy nowadays, will He take care of us now?”
Oh-ho! This answer is so simple! Perhaps we have taken Him as a human being. ‘He is so busy with office work; He's so busy with audit accountancy, inspection and what not; so, will He have time for me?’ It is not like that!
Bhagavan is not a person! Bhagavan is not an object! Bhagavan is an energy unto Himself! Bhagavan is energy! Bhagavan is everywhere! Bhagavan is in everyone. There is no sense to a question like this: ‘Will He have time for me?’
Because Bhagavan is time, there is no question of, “Will He have time!” No! Because He is time and available at all times!
We are not giving Him time! We have no time to think of Him; we are not giving Him an audience. He is waiting, waiting and waiting for everyone! Yet we ask, “Since You are so busy with water projects, universities, etc., do You have time for me?”
What a thing to ask! He has all the time because He is everywhere and in everyone.
Someone asked Baba a question last night about a long and healthy life. “What is the secret behind a long and healthy life?” Physical exercise? Or meditation or what?”
Bhagavan said this: “Two things will guarantee a long and healthy life. What are they? Prema - love and thyaaga – sacrifice, these two will give you a long, healthy life. No other thing will, no other!” Bhagavan said this last night to His students.
The Secret of a Long and Healthy Life
In this connection, Swami gave this example of Rockefeller, a man from the United States. Rockefeller was a millionaire, the richest man in this world, having earned lots and lots of money. Suddenly he fell sick. All the doctors declared, “One and a half or two years more to live. You cannot live longer because you have ailments that are incurable. You are sure to die.”
So, Rockefeller started distributing his property and his money to everyone. There is a Rockefeller Foundation in the United States, which takes care of charitable trusts. It takes care of the forlorn and handicapped. It also takes care of students, offering the highest standards of education in the field of research and investigation. The Rockefeller Foundation is the biggest charitable trust in the world today.
After beginning these acts of charity, Rockefeller lived beyond eighty years. He fell sick at the age of forty-eight. As per the doctors’ predictions, he should have collapsed within two years. Yet, this man lived beyond eighty years.
To live a long life, one should have love as the food and sacrifice as the medicine. These two – diet and medicine – are normally required. Every person requires diet and medicine: if you take medicine and don’t follow the diet, you will never be free from a disease. If you observe the diet regulations and don’t take the medicine, well, the disease will continue. Therefore, medicine and diet are the two requirements – namely, thyaaga, meaning sacrifice, and prema, meaning love. Bhagavan said this last night.
1. Do We Have Free Will or Not? (22.09.2002)
“Do we have free will or not?” That question was given to me.
The answer is simple. As I told you before and I repeat here, all the answers are from Sai literature only. What did He say? “You don’t have free will!”
Straight! God does not mince words. There is no ambiguity; it is straight!
“Why not?” we question again!
The answer is simple: You are not free, so how can you have free will? Am I not free? Yes, I am not free! Why not? We see what we should not see. We hear what we are not supposed to hear. We do what we should not do. When we are a slave to our senses, when we are a slave to our mind, when we are chained, when we are imprisoned, when we are in a cell, we are not free! How can there be a question of free will? Utter nonsense! To be free, first we have to have free will. Oh I see! Will you show me one person who has free will?
The straight answer - God has free will! He is totally free! Therefore, His Will will happen!
Bhagavan gave this example to the question of free will: “If the left part of your body is paralysed, you cannot move the paralysed part.”
All right, you have free will, come on and lift it! No free will! You have a will; that is all! But, you are not free! You cannot lift that paralysed part. Therefore, you have no free will!
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