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Questions & Answers 110 to 193
193- “A member of Sai organisation/a devotee, can he/she attend the
discourses given by any other spiritual guru organised by Indian communities in
I think this question should not arise because spiritual leaders may be many, but what they say is one and the same. This is my personal opinion - wherever I go, whenever I happen to hear others' discourses, or I go through the books of any great spiritual leader, believe me, I find only similarities and parallels between Swami’s teachings and those others' teachings. I never find them contradictory; I find them totally complementary.
The philosophies may differ but spiritual content is one
For example, when I read the Holy Bible, I find Swami’s teachings being in perfect agreement. The biblical teachings are very much the same as Sai teachings. They never oppose each other. When I read the teachings of Ramana Maharishi, the Gospel of Ramana Maharishi is in perfect agreement with Sai teachings. When I go through the voluminous work of Master M. on the message of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, I find it quite similar to the message given by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Therefore, the problem does not arise at all. We can listen to anybody’s discourses, but the spiritual content will be found to be one and the same. The religions and the philosophies may differ, so far as the rituals and procedures and routines are concerned. But basically, the spiritual content will be one and the same. So far as my observation goes, this I can say with all conviction.
Sai devotees as office bearers of OTHER
At the same time, the second point that I should also draw your attention to is this: We cannot be office bearers of other spiritual organisations because as members of other spiritual organisation/as office bearers of any other spiritual organisation, we will not be able to do justice to the work. As in the Sri Sathya Sai Service organisation, we are not able to manage the time in relationship to all the work there is to be done. We have the service wing - service activity, spiritual wing - the devotional aspect, and the education wing with all the spiritual content. So when we have three wings as an organisation, each wing again divided into a number of branches and sub-branches, and each having its' own activities, I don’t think that anybody will be able to do justice if he/she accepts to serve as an office bearer in another spiritual organisation.
It is not that we are ideologically different; not that we are ideologically separate. Not that we are opposed to any other spiritual organisation. Definitely not. Do not misunderstand me in that way. We simply cannot do justice to other organisations. Therefore, we can listen, we can attend, nothing wrong about that; but to be an active member of other spiritual organisations or more so as an office bearer, it is certainly not desirable in the interest of the other organisation, because you can’t do full justice to the work. That is guaranteed.
Establishing unity of faiths
Point three: I believe, subject to correction as it is my absolute personal view, all those spiritual teachings which agree with Swami’s message are valid. This will be so in the majority of cases. All my reading should strengthen my existing faith. If I am losing my existing faith, if my faith is going to be diluted or confused, if I choose a path which necessitates leaving the existing path, better I hold to the existing path. This is only because things will become confusing at one stage or other. When we can overcome that confusion, when we have that firm conviction that nothing can confuse us, that whatever we read will strengthen our existing faith in Swami, yes, then that reading is most welcome because unity of religions is one of the important Sai missions. The Sai mission is to establish the unity of faiths. In that case, there cannot be any contradictions. We must be careful on this point so that we don’t get confused, and just be diverted, sometimes even perverted.
HAVE One responsibility
I will give you one example: The first vice chancellor of this university happened to be Prof. V.K Gokak. He was offered the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of Shirdi Sansthan, Shirdi Baba’s Sansthan. He came to Swami for permission. Bhagavan said, “No doubt you can certainly accept; you can certainly go. God is one, after all; nothing wrong about it. But as you are here as the vice chancellor, with so much work and responsibility, how do you expect to discharge the expected duties of yours there in Shirdi as a convenor of Shirdi Sansthan? Impossible! Being here with one responsibility, how can you rise to the occasion there? It is not possible.” That’s what Swami said. So in that respect, we have got to be extra cautious not to lose the existing responsibility, leave alone gaining anything from the other, avoiding others' disappointment and most importantly, avoiding confusion at any stage, at any time.
Then the next
question is this: I have a doubt in my mind, involving the control of the mind.
What is the best way to control it?
Mind cannot be controlled. The more we want to control the mind, the more uncontrollable will it be. It’s just like a child. When a child makes mischief, if you beat the child, he will be more mischievous. If you scold the child, he will be more mischievous. So punishing or scolding is not the way to correct a child. However, we can divert the attention of the child. We are not supposed to beat; we are not supposed to scold; we only need to divert the child's attention. Then he cannot be mischievous any longer.
The mind is also like that. The more you want to control it, the stronger it will become. The more you want to fight with it, the more it will retaliate. Just like a dog, when you run away, it will chase you. So never make your mind an enemy. Making your mind an enemy is not at all a correct path. No! The only thing is that we have to give sufficient work to our mind. We have to direct it, channel it, tame it and tune it, that’s all.
TRAINING AND TAMING THE MIND
Mind is a mad monkey, as Bhagavan has said. The very same mad monkey, when it is trained, will be perfect. It will also help you earn some money. In a circus, a large elephant is made to sit on a three-legged stool. A snake is trained to dance to the melody of the snake charmer. When a snake can be tamed, when an elephant or lion can be trained, why not the human mind? Is my mind worse than a snake? Is my mind worse than an elephant? It is a matter of shame. I am not going to accept that my mind is more poisonous than a snake.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF MIND
So my friends, we have to understand the nature of the mind. It is such a soft, delicate, sensitive, receptive, responsive, tender gift of God. We have not manufactured mind in any company or any factory. We are not here to kill it. Our job is only to tame it, to train it, to direct it, to guide it. The very same mind, when it is trained, will become your best friend. Untrained or made an enemy, the mind will become a devil; it will inflict itself upon you. The mind is a devil if it is not treated in a friendly way. Depression and frustration are a sort of a reaction when we ill-treat the mind. Madness is the result, because we do not have a technique relating to mind management. I know business management, but not mind management. So mind management is a most important subject, particularly to all those on the spiritual path.
BEFRIEND THE MIND
I’ll give you a few examples, as stated by Bhagavan. First, what is mind, according to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba? “Mind is nothing but a cloth with threads closely interwoven. Mind is the cloth, and the threads are the thoughts and counter-thoughts, closely interwoven. Therefore, mind is like a cloth.” That’s what Baba said. When once the threads are removed, the cloth is gone. Similarly, when thoughts are arrested, when counter-thoughts come to a stop, the mind becomes null and void. Mind turns into a non-existent entity. It becomes dismissed, non-functional, placid, dull, silenced. If I fight with the mind, it becomes stronger and stronger. Nobody can ever fight with the mind. Nobody is ever successful by fighting with the mind. We have to befriend our mind; we have to direct it. According to Baba, mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts and counter-thoughts.
DIRECT THE MIND TOWARDS GOD -- LIBERATION
Second point: Baba has often repeated this quote. Body is a lock; mind is the key. If you turn the key to the right, it is locked. If you turn the key to the left, it is unlocked. We don’t have two keys; we have only one -- one mind. The same key locks and unlocks. The difference is only in the direction in which we turn the key. The body is the lock; the mind is the key. If the mind is turned towards God, it experiences liberation -- unlocked. When the mind is turned towards the world, it is in bondage. Turning the key clockwise is the same as turning the mind towards the world -- bondage. Unlocking -- turning the key anti-clockwise -- is turning the mind towards God, which means liberation. Towards the world – bondage; towards God - liberation. Am I clear? So only in the turning lies the difference. One way leads to bondage, while the other turning leads to liberation.
“Which side is liberation? God-side. Which side is bondage? World-side. Same key, same mind.” That’s what Baba said.
KEEP THE MIND CONSTANTLY ENGAGED IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION
Third point: Baba has said, “Mind has to be given some assignments.” That’s why Swami gives enough work to us all. A man’s empty mind is a devil’s workshop. It should constantly be given work. That is the reason why Swami engages everybody, irrespective of their age. There are some people who, in the name of jnana, wisdom or self-enquiry, become masters of laziness. Spirituality is not for lazy people. “Laziness is rust and dust. Realisation is rest and best.” That’s what Baba said. So we have to work. The mind has to be engaged in a positive direction. (I am giving you a collection of thoughts from Sai literature, not from my own speculation or imagination. I say this in every one of my talks so that my friends will not misunderstand me.)
MIND IS LIKE A LEAF
The next point: Baba says, “Mind is something like a leaf." The leaves go on tossing by the touch of the wind. When the wind blows, the leaves naturally flutter and start moving. The movement of the leaf is natural. I cannot tell the leaves, ‘Oh leaves, shut your mouth; don’t move, ok?’ They will say, ‘We are helpless. We have to move because of the touch of the wind.’ Therefore, Baba says, “Mind is a leaf.”
By the touch of the wind of desire, it goes on fluttering, it goes on moving. So the movement of the mind is because of the ‘wind’ of desire. When desires are under check, when desires are controlled, the leaf-mind will not move. There is no point in blaming the mind. It is the desire that is responsible for spoiling the mind. One has to know the background of the mind, why it is oscillating? Why it is vacillating? Why it is agitated? Why it is depressed?
WORLDLY MIND AND GODWARD MIND
Another point that Baba makes: When mind turns towards the outside, towards the outer world, it is totally confused, highly ambitious, and full of desire, sunk and drowning in diversity. Mind turned outward is diversified because the world is multi-dimensional. The multi-dimensional world will divert the mind. This is what is called Pravrithi. Pravrithi is the outward mind. Pravrithi is a diversified mind. Pravrithi is a disturbed mind. Pravrithi is a worldly mind.
The same mind turned inwards is called Nivrithi. Nivrithi is an inward mind, a God-ward mind, a mind looking for guidance from consciousness. A mind turned towards outside is ready to be directed by senses. A mind turned inside is looking for guidance from Atman or consciousness. An outward mind is ready to run after the senses. Therefore, the mind gets tired in Pravrithi; an outward mind gets exhausted.
INWARD MIND VS OUTWARD MIND
Suppose you are an accountant. Come on, do the job. Fill up your head with accounts work. After a couple of hours, you say, “I am tired.” You like dancing; come on, start dancing. Eventually you say, “I am tired physically.” You like music; you listen to it for hours.“ Now I am tired.” Exhaustion is the result of an outward mind. An outward mind gets exhausted, tired, bored. It is bored, laborious, mechanical, conditioned, computerised like a robot.
On the other hand, an inward mind looks towards the consciousness, towards the super-consciousness, towards the Self-consciousness, towards alertness, towards awareness. It becomes energised. It becomes silent, like a silent, passive participant, not as an active participant. Outward mind is an active participant; inward mind is a silent participant. When the mind is turned inward, its energy becomes slower and slower until it gets lost (silent). An outward mind gains more and more strength.
Do you follow these things? Baba said this in Sutra Vahini; Baba said it in Upanishad Vahini in clear-cut terms. If we still get confused, well, it is only our bad luck. He made it very, very clear that an outward mind gets confused, exhausted, tired, laboured; that such a life becomes boring, repetitive and competitive.
INWARD MIND IS THE SOURCE OF VITALITY
Everything is repetition in the outward world, Pravrithi marga. When the same mind turns inward, Nivrithi marga, it is full of life. As mind looks at the consciousness, it becomes silent; it is not in a state of exhaustion; it is not tired. A mind turned inward is not conditioned. A mind turned inward is universal. So, the mind turned inward becomes universal, full of life and vitality and slowly it loses its entity.
Finally the witness, the consciousness, remains. Sri Aurobindo calls it ‘mind over mind’. He refers to the over-mind, the super mind, and the different levels of the mind. The super mind is an inward mind that gets lost in identifying with the super consciousness, and the super consciousness remains as the witness. That is called ‘withdrawal of the mind.’ Therefore, in a sentence, outward mind becomes powerful, inward mind slowly gets withdrawn. Outward mind gets its strength from more and more powerful thoughts, more and more desires, more and more ambitions; the inward mind becomes a clean mirror, without any thoughts or ambitions, reflecting consciousness.
THE BIRTH OF ‘I’ CONSCIOUSNESS
Therefore my friends, as an answer to this question of how to control the mind, instead of putting that question to ourselves, let us see what mind is. As I think of Swami and Swami’s literature, I recollect all He has said. Please follow me, my friends, this is a serious subject. But we have got to learn about this; we have got to be serious at one time or other. Life is not always playing with toys. We need a higher goal, a higher dose, an antibiotic to all this worldliness.
Baba said that out of Brahman or Atman or super-consciousness is born ‘I'-ness, consciousness. The thought ‘I’ is conscious. The thought ‘I’ is born out of Brahman. Am I clear? So it is the super-consciousness that gave birth to the thought of ‘I’. This ‘I’ gave birth to ‘mine’. This ‘I’ and ‘mine’ together gave strength to the body, giving it multiplying thoughts, resorting to different kinds of actions in the form of ego, necessitating and leading to the dual experiences of pain and pleasure.
LIFE – A COMBINATION OF PAIN AND PLEASURE
Let us go to the reverse side. We experience both pain and pleasure. Life is not always a honeymoon, nor is life always a torture. No! Life is a combination of both pain and pleasure. Therefore we experience pain and pleasure with this body, right? Good. Why does the experience of pain and pleasure come to us? It is the result of our actions. The dual experience of pain and pleasure are because of our actions. What is the cause for our actions? The cause for our actions is the mind. How is the mind born? The mind is born out of this ‘I’, single-lettered ‘I’ - the conscience. From where is this ‘I’, the conscience, born? It is born out of consciousness or Brahman. This is what He said. I always put it in a tabular form. Consciousness or Brahman gave birth to ‘I’ or conscience, which entertains thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions; actions give results, positive and negative, which are experienced by the body. To experience these results, one has to take a body, be born into a body, be incarnated into a body.
THE CYCLE OF BIRTH AND DEATH
So the cause for the body, the cause for birth, is the consequence of our actions. One has to experience the consequences. This is the cycle of birth and death. Now, we have taken a number of births. This is not the first time that we are here on earth. That is what Baba says: manava, M A N A V A. Nava means ‘new’; Ma means ‘not new’. It is like yesterday's newspaper -- not new; manava - not new. We are caught in the cycle of birth and death. Why? Action, reaction; action, reaction. That is why Baba says no one is free from reaction, reflection, resound.
What is our job here as spiritual seekers? What is our job here in the field of religion? What is our job in spiritual sadhana? Our job is to get out of the cycle of birth and death. How is it possible? It is possible if only the mind is withdrawn. It is only possible if thoughts are totally withdrawn, then actions are stopped. It means thoughts are stopped earlier in the cycle. When thoughts are stopped, it means mind was withdrawn earlier. When mind was withdrawn, it means consciousness is reflecting there.
A mind that is withdrawn from worldly thoughts reflects pure consciousness, like a mirror. When the mind is withdrawn, thoughts are absent. When thoughts are absent, no actions occur. When no actions occur, no consequences follow. When there are no consequences, there is neither pleasure nor pain - no experiencing pleasure or pain. When there is no experience, the body is not required. That is birthlessness; that is deathlessness; that is Immortality.
Therefore, mind control is such a vast topic. Anything can be said, from any dimension, from any angle. It depends upon our own level of understanding and comprehension. It depends upon the audience. It depends upon the occasion.
MIND IS THE CAUSE FOR LIBERATION AND BONDAGE
Given the time, we’ll take this subject up later, again and again. Our entire life is for the study and management of the mind -- how to get over the mind, and how the mind is responsible for the bondage, how the very mind itself can be made a useful tool for liberation. John Milton said it is the mind that makes a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven. The Upanishads say:
Mana Eva Manushyanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoh.
It is mind that is responsible for bandha, bondage, or moksha, liberation.
The study of the mind, tackling the mind, handling the mind, is the most required component in spiritual sadhana, spiritual practice. There are four levels or phases in spiritual sadhana.
FIRST PHASE OF SPIRITUAL SADHANA:
The first phase is worshipping various forms and images of God. In Hinduism, for example, this encompasses the adoration of images. We worship idols that are so dear to us, which represent various aspects of God that are particularly meaningful to us. Some people worship Ganesha, representing the aspect of God which overcomes obstacles. Some people worship Kartikeya or Subrahmanya. Some people worship Rama; some people worship Krishna, the form that is so close to them, the form that they love. Other faiths may choose Buddha or Kwan Yin, for example. This is the first stage, the beginning.
SECOND PHASE OF SPIRITUAL SADHANA: BHAJANS
The second stage is singing the glory, singing in praise. So, singing the glory of your God, singing in praise of your God, called bhajans, kirthana, hymns.
THIRD PHASE OF SPIRITUAL SADHANA: MANTRA
The third stage is repeating nama, the holy name, or mantras, whatever they may be. In your mind throughout, whether you are at home or on the street, while at work, or being relaxed, repeating His Name in the mind continuously is what you call in Sanskrit manasa pooja. Manasa pooja means mental worship, worshipping God at the psychological level, in the psychic or mental domain. There are some people who repeat God’s Name always in their mind. This is third level of sadhana or spiritual practice.
FOURTH PHASE OF SPIRITUAL SADHANA: ENQUIRY
The fourth and highest level is the path of enquiry. In this phase, the emphasis is on being one with the Divine, being one with the consciousness, knowing that I am not separated from the consciousness, that there is no plurality whatsoever. There is no multiplicity whatsoever. There is no diversity whatsoever. If I find many, it is only my imagination. There is only One that exists. This multi-dimensional picture of the whole creation is only my mental projection. It is only my mental imagination. It is only my psychological hallucination. It is delusion, it is illusion, and it is non-existent. This is what Self-enquiry is. That which makes me to think that there is multiplicity is my mind. When once I know this, I will understand that all of creation is only One, appearing as many; One manifested into many. A person stands at the centre, surrounded by big mirrors, reflecting glasses, all around. There he will find so many reflections. It doesn’t mean that there are many people -- only One into many. It is because of the mind. That is how the mind thinks, that there are many.
THE CLIMAX IN SPIRITUAL PATH
Therefore my friends, the consciousness, super-consciousness, mind, higher mind, over-mind -- let us not say ‘never mind’ -- we should be mindful of these. We should be mindful of this knowledge. Otherwise, if I just go on worshipping the idol, it becomes meaningless. If I go on singing, I become just a tape recorder cassette. So I should repeat the Name of God in my mind. When go on repeating God's Name in my mind, it should not become mechanical. It should take me to discrimination, to the path of enquiry, where I will find Atma in everyone. “I am the world; I am the universe; I am ‘I’ ”, says Bhagavan. That is the climax; that is the zenith; that is the ultimate in a spiritual path. That is quite possible to achieve by thorough analysis and understanding of the mind.
SEPARATION OF THE MIND
Another point which I want to make: When once I think my mind is acting like this, when I feel that my mind should be controlled, it implies that I am separate from my mind. That ‘I’ and mind are not one: ‘My mind is not good, my mind is not peaceful; my mind should be controlled,’ I say. What does it mean? It implies that I am separate from my mind.
I am separate from my shirt. I am separate from my glasses. I am separate from my tummy. Similarly, I am separate from my mind. So the very awareness, the very alertness, the very idea that I am separate from my mind, that mind needs management, that my mind requires some study, investigation, enquiry, that my mind needs to definitely turn inward, is all about spirituality, the beginning of sadhana, which leads to the highest goal of Self-realisation.
Does Swami allow
marriages between Westerners and Indians?
Well, I don’t know what to say about this. ‘Indian’ and ‘Western’ is a classification based on geography. Swami is neither Indian nor Western. Swami is universal; Swami is cosmic; Swami is a world citizen, if I am to have any say at all. I cannot limit Him. A universal God will never identify Himself only with India or the West. He belongs to both, to all.
To marry or not is your problem. You marry and you suffer (Laughter). You marry, get united; then you get separated and divorced -- it is your headache! But Easterners or Westerners, can they inter-marry? It has got nothing to do with Swami as both are His children. He cannot say a Western child is better than an Eastern child. Swami cannot say, “The Eastern child is My child” and give step-motherly treatment to the Western child. He would not say that, as both are His children.
Getting married or not, facing the problems of marriage, is our responsibility and our headache. But in this context, I may refer to one point which He made. Somebody, being foolish, asked Swami Himself a similar question. What did He say? “There is nothing wrong in marrying. On the other hand, you fellow, you quote Me also: ‘There is only one caste, the caste of humanity.’ You quote Me, and then you say to yourself, ‘Why should I not marry a person from the West? Why not?’ You think like that." That’s what Baba said. He said, “My boy, think of the cultural background, think of the culture. Over generations, you have been raised with a particular process of thinking, a particular way of dietary habits, a particular way of life. That cultural background you have to take into consideration.”
What does Baba say
In his letter, this friend also mentions the methods they follow in his country and the mantras they chant.
I have nothing to say about the procedures they use. I have no authority to change the mantras that they have been reciting, nor comments to make about the offerings they are making in yagna like wood, ghee, milk, honey, etc. But this friend wanted to know what points Baba makes with regards to yagna. I will try to be brief in addressing this, as I have so many questions with me awaiting answers.
The answer to this question is simple and straightforward. Yagna does not necessarily mean our offering sugar cane juice, ghee, and sandalwood. Yagna does not necessarily mean the chanting of mantras. Yagna does not necessarily mean the inclusion of sacrificial fire and its paraphernalia in ceremonies. No.
According to Bhagavan, any act which is purely selfless and born out of love as an offering to God is yagna. All the rest are rituals. That which is spiritual in its content requires and demands selflessness, purity of heart, and a spirit of surrender. That’s all. That’s what Bhagavan has said.
If the work that I do in my office is offered to God in this true and pure spirit, then my work itself is yagna. The business I do, as an engineer or as a doctor, when done in a spirit of dedication to God, is yagna. That’s why Bhagavan Baba said, “Once you offer it to God, it becomes yagna. Work is then transformed into worship.”
How does one fully
concentrate on Swami in order to become a true devotee?
First, chant His Name, “Sai Ram,” as many times as possible in silence. This can be done in stages. To begin with, we may say it loudly. Later, we may simply move our lips. In the third stage, we may think of His Name continually. Finally, we may start repeating a name of our choice, any name. Please remember to consider Baba as universal. Do not limit Him. All forms are His. All names are His. Therefore, if you repeat God’s Name in your mind, you will be in constant integrated awareness of the Divine.
Secondly, when you listen to his bhajans, you establish contact with Him.
Finally, there are many people who have Swami’s picture on their office table or in their car. Why? They do this to remind themselves of Bhagavan’s form and name and to remember that every act is His. Every person you meet, you meet according to God’s design. If we consider Swami as something separate from our daily activity, we create a problem of misperception. Whomsoever I meet, whatsoever I do, whatever happens in the day, all is as per Baba’s will and design. If I remember this, I am concentrating on Swami.
What is liberation is like?
Our good friend may be thinking that liberation is something like a Sprite or a Coca-Cola, or a donut or a pie or a pizza. He wants to know what liberation is like.
My friend, I can only say, liberation cannot be compared with any other thing because liberation is unique and without anything like it. If I ask how you are, you can say that you are like him. What is this like? This is like that. All things in the world can be compared to other things. All things in the world are relative. You can compare them with other things. But liberation has nothing to do with the worldly relativity or with worldly comparison because it is one to which nothing can be compared, for which there is nothing to compare to it. There is nothing to compare to it with because liberation is non-dual. Liberation is beyond expression. Liberation is beyond comprehension. Liberation exists only within the framework of experience. Liberation is bliss. How can you compare that with anything?
So, “what is liberation like?” is the question. My answer is this: It is like nothing else, because it is the only thing beyond compare, so we cannot compare it with anything.
This is a very nice question. There is nothing wrong with being reborn. And when we are reborn, we won’t remember what we have done today. So I can do anything today! After all, the next time around, I will take care of it.
So, rebirth can be a very convenient mechanism that allows us our freedom here — freedom of action and freedom of movement. But my friend, we must understand that life is bondage. Life is limited. Life is dual. Life is painful.
A newborn baby does not start life with a smile. He starts life in tears. If the newborn baby does not cry, nurses in the hospital will make the baby cry (Laughter) because, when the baby cries, that indicates that there is life within the baby. So, the first sign of life is a good cry.
Now, do you want to cry until death? I don’t know. (Laughter) Maybe you do. And remember that, as the parents and nurses make the child cry, they celebrate. (Laughter) So because I am crying, others are celebrating. That is the way of the world, my friends. (These are not my ideas. All of this is taken from Swami’s discourses.)
Life is just a continuous stream or flow of dual experiences, and our journey should eventually end with the non-dual experience of birthlessness and deathlessness. Once you experience that, once you have travelled from this shore of birth and have reached that other shore of birthlessness, you have completed the spiritual journey.
“What is the harm in being born again?” There is no harm as long as I am prepared to pass through the pain of incarnation time and again. Pleasure, as Baba puts it, is just the interval between two pains. Pain is there in the beginning, and pain is there in the end; pleasure lies in-between.
Life is a chance to attain liberation. Life is an opportunity. Life is a blessing to work for the better, to journey from birth to birthlessness, from death to deathlessness, from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, and from mortality to immortality. That is what life is for.
incorporate Sai teachings and also practice kriya yoga, or do these conflict?
The answer is simple: All paths are His. All names are His. All forms are His. Paths are many, but the goal is one. Flowers are many, but worship is one. Jewels are many, but gold is one. That’s what Bhagavan says repeatedly. Therefore, you can certainly follow your own kriya yoga without any problem. If you want to mix this with Sai teachings, Sai teachings permit you to do so. Sai teachings will encourage every person to proceed in his own chosen path and to travel along in his own way. You are not to be deviated; you are not to be diverted.
Kriya yoga, or any other yoga, is complementary to Sai teachings. The Bible, the Koran and Dharmapada are all complementary to Sai teachings. None of them are contradictory, because Sai’s teaching calls for synthesis. Sai is for combining and integrating. Sai is holistic. Sai is wholistic — that is w-h-o-l-i-s-t-i-c. Sai represents existential reality. Sai is a comprehensive, composite reality. Therefore, nothing is contradictory. You can happily proceed in your way without worry about your path conflicting with your adoption and integration of Sai’s teachings.
I attend the Sai centre regularly
and follow Swami’s teachings, but one weakness I have is that I lack
interest in my studies. Please give me some tips on how to love my
I would like to devote some time to that boy now, if he happens to be here, because the answer is not applicable to everybody, nor will it prove interesting to everyone; but I will try to answer in a way that it is applicable to all of us.
Suppose I say, “I am not interested in my job, but I follow Swami’s teachings (Laughter). I am a teacher. I am not interested to teach, but I follow Swami’s teachings. I am a doctor. I am not interested in the hospital, but I follow Swami’s teachings.”
What one is saying here is all nonsense, my dears. This is all nonsense because the best path to reach God is to discharge your duty in the best way possible, using all your ability, talent, and skill. For a student to say, “I am not interested in my studies,” is irreligious, non-spiritual and totally foolish.
So, whatever is given to us by God to do, do it with spirit, with a sense of commitment, and with a dedication which is yogic. Yoga. Yogum karthavyam muchate. Karthavya is duty. Yoga is spiritual exercise. Yogum karthavyam muchate means discharging duty is yoga, a spiritual exercise. So tell this boy to love his studies because for a student to study is a religious activity.
devotee told me, “That place was used by Jesus. It is a place where Bhagavan
intends to build an ashram.” Can you please provide me with confirmation and
information about this?
My friends, I have no authority to confirm or inform. In fact, I don’t want you to think of Pathala Bhubaneswar. Pathala means ‘underworld’. Bhubaneswar. Why? When there is paradise here, why do you think of pathala? You are here in swarga, paradise and heaven.
“Baba intends to build an ashram there.” Not to my knowledge.
Did Jesus use the place? I don’t think Christians would agree that He did. We would create controversy in asserting that He did. It is better to avoid the issue altogether.
Swami sometimes says
that He is only a witness, that He is not
responsible for our actions. On other
occasions, He also says that nothing happens unless He wills it. Can you please
explain this a little further?
I can tell you, my friends, two important points that relate to these ideas. ‘God is a witness’ means you cannot blame Him for your mistakes. You cannot blame Him for your failures. He cannot be credited for your success, nor can He be discredited for your failures, because He is a witness.
It is like when we look at a cinema screen. On the screen, perhaps we project a film where people dance. I cannot say, “Oh screen, I congratulate you because I see dancers.” The screen will look back at me as if I am a fool.
Now, in the next film we project onto the screen, the hero is crying. I cannot beat the screen until it stops showing this. The screen is helpless. It will reflect all that the film contains.
So, to witness means to observe, not to disturb. He lets you exercise your will, make your choices, and take your actions, all within the movie you project as the world and life in which you live. ‘Baba is a witness’ means He is beyond your experiences.
That having been said, nothing happens unless He wills it. This is the second aspect of what He has said. If you think everything happens as per His will, you will never be proud of your achievements. If you think everything happens as per His will, you will never be frustrated or depressed, and you will never blame anybody else. If you understand this, you will be stable.
Therefore, we have to accept that things happen as per His will, so that we never become egoistic or arrogant when positive things happen in our lives, and so that we do not become frustrated or depressed during moments in our lives when we experience things that we may see as negative, at the time.
We have to understand that He is Master, and that He wills all that happens, and that He is the eternal witness, in that He is not responsible for the pleasure and pain that we experience in life. Those experiences are all our mental projections, our imagination, or our psychological reactions. That is how we have to understand it.
We have two
Avatars. Can you explain how two Avatars can exist at the same time?
My friends, this is not politics we are discussing here; so why two avatars? According to Swami, everyone is an avatar because everyone has got that spark of Divinity within him. But Avatar in its totality, as a whole, embodies the totality of Divinity and concerns itself with only that true reality; whereas we humans embody a part of the Divinity, a spark of Divinity, while the rest of our attention is drawn toward concerns of the mundane world. We humans have three gunas —the sathwic, rajasic, and thamasic. Divinity, when the three gunas are added, is man. Man minus his three gunas is God.
Therefore, why two avatars? Because all are avatars. Minus our gunas, we are all are purely Divine. That is the best answer that I can give you today.
Can you please advise
me if it is okay to continue my practice of pranayama, the breathing exercise? I
attended your talk (she means my talk here) and you said that pranayama
breathing exercises are dangerous. Shall I continue with these exercises?
When I said it is dangerous, how could I then encourage you to continue unless I felt that you are my enemy? (Laughter) As of now we are not enemies, as far as I know.
This idea that it is dangerous is not simply my opinion. Please go through Prashanti Vahini in which Bhagavan stated clearly that pranayama requires constant expert guidance and supervision. Experts who guide you on how to do pranayama, a guru, a teacher or an expert in the field, should supervise you as you do pranayama. If you do it as you like, Swami has cautioned clearly that you will develop nervous problems, digestive problems, breathing problems – that ultimately there will be no more problems, in other words. (Laughter)
Therefore, my friends, the easiest and safest sadhana today is to sing His glory. Come on! Sing wherever you go. Do bhajans. Repeat His glorified Name for ever and ever. This is always safe. But we don’t want to do this. We want to do pranayama.
Someone asked me, “Anil Kumar, how do I awaken kundalini?” (Laughter)
I said to this fellow, “Please consult those people who introduced this kundalini to you. I have no way to activate kundalini.” I am not interested in where it lies. (Laughter) I am not denying its existence. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not underestimating it. When there are easy ways of doing things, however, why do we want to take up tough and dangerous things? Why?
I will give you a simple example. A few youngsters, about 50 of them, once reached Prashanti Nilayam by walking one thousand kilometres to get here. They thought that they were doing a great spiritual exercise. By foot, they reached this place from one thousand kilometres away and Baba gave them an interview and asked, “Why did you take the trouble? You could have purchased tickets and boarded a train. When trains are available, why do you want to walk? Why is this necessary?”
Somebody told Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, “Oh Swami, I did penance for a long time. I did sadhana, intensive sadhana.”
Paramahamsa then asked him, “What have you achieve?”
The answer the man gave was this: “Oh Swami, I can now light a fire anywhere. Without doing anything, I can make fire arise there.”
Paramahamsa laughed. “When matchboxes are available, why do you need to put yourself through ten years of penance? (Laughter) You have wasted ten years of sadhana!” (Laughter)
Therefore my friends, in spiritual sadhana, we don’t need to exert or overstrain ourselves because spiritual practice is not a burden. Religion is not strenuous. Divinity is not difficult; rather it is that which is joyful and ecstatic; that which is like music and dance, full of laughter.
That is why I keep myself at a respectable distance from such serious fellows, so that I will not be contaminated or infected by their seriousness. (Laughter) Seriousness is a disease. It is not spirituality.
Therefore, when others want to do tough things such as awakening kundalini through yoga, I just say, “All right, please do it if you wish.”
If they say, “I want to walk to Delhi,” I ask them why they wish to do this, when we have flights and trains. Taking these would be far preferable to walking there.
Therefore my friends, the easiest path is Hare Nama Hare Nama Hare Namaiva Kevalam, Kevalam meaning the ‘only thing’. Kevalam Hare Nama: that is, God’s Name is the only thing we need. Just sing bhajans — repeat His Name in this Age of Kali. There is no other way to liberation and there is no other way to salvation other than singing His glory, other than chanting His Name. There is no need for anything else!
“No, no sir, I want kundalini!”
“Please do it if you wish.” (Laughter)
“I want to do pranayama.”
“All right, have some breathing problem later on, if you wish.” (Laughter)
Why do you want to do such strenuous things? I am not condemning these things. Great are those who do them. Greater are those who practice these. Greatest are those that realise the objective of it. My humble salutations to the holy feet of such great people.
For most of us, however, it is far more convenient to do bhajans, because our breakfast, lunch, and dinner do not interfere with it. (Laughter) My office work, my job, my socialising…none of these will not interfere with it. I can go on singing wherever I am and whatever I am doing. Why not? Why not? I can go on thinking of Him regardless of what else I must attend to. I can go on repeating His Name wherever I am.
That’s why we say, “Sai Ram, Sai Ram.” We don’t say ‘good morning’. We say, “Sai Ram.” Why do we say this? We say it because it represents an opportunity and an occasion to chant and utter His Name. This is an opportunity and an occasion to think of Him.
Therefore my friends, isn’t it better that we don’t resort to such tough techniques as kundalini yoga when we have these easy, simple methods available to us? When we have calculators and computers, if you still want to total figures by hand, who cares? Please do it! With calculators, however, our calculations can be done much faster and more easily. In our stores, old ladies use calculators to assess our bill. They press a few buttons and give me the bill without delay. How they manage to do this so quickly, I don’t know. (Laughter)
Anyway, sometimes our mind wants to do tough things. Our mind wants to take risks. Why? Our mind wants to have the satisfaction of achievement.
Bhajans? Everyone does it. Pranayama? I don’t do it. (Laughter) I have no need. Bhajans are very simple, and everyone does it. Pranayama? You may be doing it. You may be doing kundalini yoga. I’m not. (Laughter)
The mind always wants to achieve. The mind always wants to be special. The mind always wants to be unique. It is the mind playing havoc. When simpler tools are available, it doesn’t want to adopt them because nobody will then consider it special.
If you say, “May I present Mr. Anil Kumar, expert in Kundalini yoga,” the whole street will stop in awe. Some may even offer me money! (Laughter)
Or what about putting a sign outside my office: “The Principles and Practice of Pranayama. Consult expert Anil Kumar. $250 per hour. By appointment only.” (Laughter)
These are all crazy things, my friends. These are all worldly things. It is not yoga that it is important. It is the intensity of the feeling we have for God that matters. It is the depth of the feeling. It is the sincerity of the feeling. It is the depth of our yearning, our pining, and our longing for God.
When young couples are separated -- when the husband has to go on foreign assignment and the wife has to remain back at home -- no yoga is necessary to help her think of her husband. No yoga is necessary then. She feels that pain of separation from her husband without yoga.
When a calf is separated from the mother cow, the cow does not need to be taught any yoga to love the calf better. (Laughter) The calf does not need to do any pranayama to love the mother cow with all its heart. (Laughter) A natural path exists, but we want to employ unnatural things, artificial things.
When we do this, life becomes artificial. Artificial flowers, plastic flowers, plastic fruits, and artificial light, all yield artificial results. That is why, when we use artificial methods, we don’t get satisfaction.
Therefore, if we want to take on tough things, understand that it is the mischief of our mind. It is simply the mischief of the mind. The mind wants to claim superiority. It wants to dominate other people. It wants to be special. But if you want to remain ordinary, these things won’t get in your way. That is all I can say on this matter.
How doe one live life, knowing
that one is living in an illusion? How do we live in this world, knowing that it
is all an illusion?
Wah! Sankaracharya!” (Laughter) The question is: “How should one live, knowing that everything is unreal?” I don’t need to quote Sanskrit slokas here to answer. I don’t need to quote any book.
We all know that all of this is unreal, yet we think it is real. We all know this is unreal, but we think this is real. How does this happen?
We see many people die every day. “That fellow died four days back. This fellow died yesterday. Another fellow is going to die today.”
But if you ask anybody what will become of them, they will answer, “They might have died, but I’m sure to live forever. I won’t die. That fellow died due to lack of medical care. That chap died because an oxygen cylinder was not available when he was hospitalised. That bloke died due to malnutrition. That fellow died because the medicines he needed were not available, whereas I have all drugs I need available to me, and all the doctors are at my beck-and-call.”
We know life is unreal. We know life is temporary. We know people are dying, but no one thinks that they will die: “I am permanent.”
That is why in Chicago, immediately after a discourse by Swami Vivekananda, somebody got up and said, “Swami, I have a question.”
Vivekananda was a man of fire, a spiritual servant. He was not a slow coach. Spirituality was not passive to him; spirituality was not dullness; spirituality was not inertia. Spirituality is dynamism and enthusiasm, and he knew this well.
Somebody asked Swami Vivekananda, “Swami, I have a question.”
He said, “Why not? Welcome! What is your question?”
“What is it that we should remember throughout our life?”
Somebody thought Swami Vivekananda would say God or wisdom. But to their utter surprise, Vivekananda gave this answer.
I repeat the question: “What is to be remembered throughout life?”
The answer of Vivekananda was just this: “Death.”
What we should remember throughout life is death. Why?
I should remember this so that my actions will not be unrighteous; so that whatever I speak will be full of truth; so that I will love people more; so that I will understand that life is transient, that life is constantly changing. Nothing is worth dominating others for; nothing is worth cheating others for. It is not worth being egotistic about anything. Nothing is worth anything when nothing follows me at the end of my life. Therefore, it is a constant reminder of death that will make everyone simple and humble in the present, the now.
Therefore, I can only say that in this world that is unreal, where we are not permanent, we think we are permanent. That is the paradox of life here.
Everyone in the office, including the officer, thinks that he is permanent. But he knows that he should retire at the age of 58. In India, it is 58. You will have to retire some day; but so long as you are on the chair, you think you are permanent.
Somebody said in Prashanti Nilayam, “Anil Kumar, I want you to see me.”
I said, “Why not? Certainly, sir! I will see you. Where can I see you?”
He said, “See me in my office.”
I said, “Thank you, sir.” When he left, I laughed and laughed.
Somebody then asked me, “Why are you laughing? He said he wants to see you in his office. Why do you laugh at that? Where is the joke in that?”
I said, “How can you say that it is his office? I saw many people working in there before him.” (Laughter) I may not see him in his office this afternoon. He may be out by then. The poor fellow is claiming that it is his office; therefore, I had to laugh.
There is nothing permanent. My office, my government, my…this ‘my, my, my, my’ is maya. Swami Himself has said it. “My…my…my.” If you repeat it again and again, it is maya — an illusion. So knowing full well that I will be retiring, I consider my post as an officer to be permanent. Seeing everyone leaving this world, I think I am permanent. This is a fallacy. This is the paradox of life.
So we can continue to live in this world, knowing the reality -- that this is unreal. The reality is that this is unreal because you are not permanent.
All that changes is unreal. The whole of creation changes. It is not summer throughout the year. It is not winter throughout the year. No. There are seasons. Trees have their own time -- a time for flowering, a time to fruit, and a time to germinate again.
You and I do not remain the same throughout our lives. I was first a newborn baby, then an infant, then a boy, a youngster, a man, a father, and finally I am a grandfather. So I change, but all that changes is unreal. That which is changeless is real.
Someone asked Ramana Maharishi, “Swami, shall I believe my dreams? Swami, how about my past lives? How about my previous lives?”
Ramana Maharishi is known for his Himalayan silence. But, this man went on pestering him until he answered.
Finally, Ramana said to this fellow, “You want to know about your previous lives? Understand that in any number of lives you must have had and in this present life, you are the same. Understand that. Understand that you were the same in the past lives as you are in this present life. This ‘you’ is Divine. Lives go on changing, but the constant ‘you’ is changeless. That ‘you’, that Divine, is changeless.
“Then about the dreams, you want to know if the dream is true?” Swami (Ramana Maharishi) said, “Think of the dreamer, not the dream. Think of the dreamer. Who is dreaming?”
“Swami, I am dreaming.”
“So know that ‘I.’” That’s all! Who is dreaming? ‘I’ am dreaming. Know who ‘you’ are, then everything else will be understood.
Though I am
not registered with any centre, can I become a certified Bal Vikas teacher? And
please tell me how to be extra patient and loving.
A registered Bal Vikas teacher! Those things that are registered lose their value because, once you are registered, you think you are safe and stop growing.
Suppose I say, “You are a confirmed devotee.” (Laughter) A confirmed devotee! An established devotee! A senior devotee!
There cannot be a ‘senior’ devotee or a ‘junior’ devotee. There cannot be ‘certified’ devotees and ‘uncertified’ devotees, ‘registered’ devotees and ‘unregistered’ devotees. My friends, this problem relates to the organisational procedures.
In order to ensure that nothing untoward happens, that nothing goes against the organisation and its principles, registration becomes relevant; but in truth, it is the spirit that is important. All those dedicated teachers, whether they are registered or not, are Bal Vikas gurus. All those people who share Sai’s message with all their love and joy, with all their heart, mind and soul, whether they are ‘registered’ or not, are convenors of satsangs and study circles.
So registration is an organisational matter; but spirituality is beyond these things. I say once again, my friends, with thirty years of my life spent in this organisation, that the organisation is only a means to an end, but not an end itself.
If you want to go back to London, you can catch a flight; but you get off the plane at Heathrow Airport, and you reach home in some other way. You don’t go by helicopter or flight to your home, do you? No. Any car, any train, any bus, anything convenient that is meant for conveyance, that’s all you need. Once you reach your destination, you don’t need anything. Once you go there, you don’t need anything.
You get into a boat here to reach the other shore there. Once you are on the far shore, you don’t carry the boat further with you, do you? You go to your college on your cycle. You don’t then carry your cycle to your classroom, do you?
Similarly, an organisation is only a means to an end, but not an end itself.
He also asks how to have extra patience in his note. Extra love. How do you measure patience?
I have two kilos of patience, but I want two more kilos of patience? (Laughter) I have one ton of love, yet I need ten more tons of love?
My friends, nothing extra or additional is needed. Love, patience, and sacrifice are immeasurable -- apramana. These cannot be measured. You cannot count these. As you start loving, you will love more and more. As you are patient now, you will become more and more patient. To be on the path is the best way to grow on the path. If love were available in stores, we would buy a few more kilos or a few more packets; but it’s not that way. You can grow in love only by loving. You can grow more patience only by being patient. That is the only way.
What happens to the
good souls after death?
The same thing will happen to good souls as happens to bad souls after death. Bad souls and good souls will be reborn after death. Good and bad are relative. Good and bad are psychological perceptions. Good and bad are related to the time in which they manifest. That which is good now, may not be good later.
A woollen blanket is a punishment in summer, while it is most welcome in winter. Now, is it good or bad? It is a question of timing. During a fever, eating sweets is bad. When one’s health is good, sweets are good, so enjoy them. So, what is good and what is bad? That which is good now may be bad later.
As a youngster, stylish clothes and whistling are quite good. At this age, if I behave like that, I am quite awkward! (Laughter) As a youngster, if I wear a good t-shirt and knickers or shorts — “Wow! He looks great!” If I try that at my age, you will suddenly think it is time for me to be carried off to the lunatic asylum. “Something must be very wrong with him!”
Therefore my friends, that which is good at one time may not be good later. Therefore, you cannot say that something is absolutely good or bad.
Good action and thoughts will yield a good birth later. This is clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. Bad action will lead to a bad birth later. But if you grow beyond, if you transcend good and bad, you will not be born again. So transcendence is what is important, more than either good or bad.
If everything happens due to
God’s will, then whatever one does is not one’s own fault because God has
already determined it. So how can one be responsible for one’s own karma?
Aha! A very good question!
When He is doing everything, when everything happens as per God’s will, how am I responsible for these things?
Good question. Good logic.
Regarding this question, let me share with you a little story.
It seems one fellow once committed a murder. He killed another fellow in the street. He was then hauled off to prison and after taken to the court to stand before the judge.
The judge asked him, “Are you the fellow who murdered so-and-so?”
“Yes, your honour, I killed him.”
“Are you guilty of this crime?”
“Yes, your honour, I am guilty.”
“Do you have anything to say further?”
“Your honour, please know one thing. You know only the Indian penal code, and the IPC law books; but I am a philosopher. I think we have to ask a deeper question here, and that is to ask, ‘Who is the killer?’ Who is the killer? And who can kill whom? Who can kill whom! The killer and the killed are both Divine. I am God, as is he. You think I have killed him? He is also God. How can I be guilty? Who is the killer? Who is killed? Who can kill whom?”
In this way, he kept on giving a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita. (Laughter)
The judge, however, was equally intelligent. He listened to the criminal patiently and then said, “Look here, who is the culprit? Who punishes whom? You are to be hanged. That’s all. Who can punish anybody? (Laughter) “Who can punish whom?” I am not punishing you. You are not to be punished, but you will be hanged. (Laughter) So you have not killed anybody. Just as no one was killed, no one is punishing anybody. This all results in a perfect balance of spirituality.”
Therefore, when we consider that everything is done as per God’s will, how can you act unrighteously? How can you be agitated? How can you utter anything false? How can you be restless?
You say everything happens according to God’s will. Then leave it to Him!
“I am very worried.”
“Why? God will take care of everything. If He will take care of everything, why are you worried?”
So all this is just talk.
A simple example was given by Baba. It seems a passenger on a train was carrying his luggage on his head. The train that he was riding in was moving at a very high speed; but he was carrying his luggage on his head.
Somebody approached him and asked, “What nonsense are you doing?”
“Sir, you are all heartless fellows. You have no consideration at all for this train. You are stupid. The poor train is carrying so many people’s luggage. It must find this very difficult, so in order not to overstrain the engine or the train, I am carrying my own luggage.” (Laughter)
So when you are sure that everything is happening according to God’s will, why are you worried? Why are you agitated? What is all this?
So what is ‘free will’ then? Is ‘free will’ really ‘free’ or is it just an illusion? It is just an illusion if you think you are free.
Somebody once asked Swami, “Swami, is there free will?”
Baba replied, “Only one has free will, no one else. Who is that? It is God Himself.” Only God has free will. This is what Baba said.
“Oh no, Swami, I have free will.” But if you are not free, how can you have will?
“Am I not free?”
You are not able to control you senses. You are not able to control your mind. You see all that you are not supposed to see. You hear all the nonsense which you are not supposed to hear. You do all that which you are not supposed to.
Somebody once said, “So many thoughts come to our minds. Come and write down all your thoughts on paper.”
We would dare not show that paper to anyone. (Laughter) Most of the thoughts we have are horrible, terrible and negative. Nobody will think good of us if all our thoughts are shown to someone else.
So when the mind is not under my control, when I am not able to arrest my thoughts, when I am not able to control my mind and keep it in stillness, when I am not able to control my sight and hearing, when I am not free, how can I have free will?
God is free because He is not affected by the senses. He is not affected by the mind. Why? He is not affected because He is not an individual. He is a witness.
A screen does not smile when there is a dancing film projected onto it. The screen does not cry when the heroine is persecuted in the film shown upon it. The screen just remains what it is, a screen.
Similarly, when you are a witness, unaffected by the duality of the world, when you are a witness, unaffected by the happenings in the world, you are a silent spectator. If you are in a position to see your own drama of life, your own movie of life, as a spectator, and be unaffected by what you see, then yes, you have got free will. But we become involved. We get involved with everything that we see and do, and with everyone we meet.
We get attached. No attachment is comfortable; no attachment will ever help you to be free. Attachment is bondage. Attachment, in the beginning, may be a honeymoon; however, later attachment is no moon at all, but rather a dark night (Laughter), because attachment is conditional. Attachment has expectations. Therefore, we people who are attached to every silly thing, to objects, to those which are animate, inanimate, human and otherwise, we are not free. So what is the sense of claiming we have free will? It is nonsense.
Some are attached to their pets, their dogs and birds. They are so attached that when the cat falls sick, they also fall sick. When the dog falls sick, his keeper is admitted to hospital before the dog! (Laughter) So, when we fellows are attached to these things, how can we say that we are free? And if we are not free, how can we say we have free will?
Many of our brothers
and sisters extol the virtues of Indian music because Indian music has become
cool. I know Swami says very often that the Indian and Vedic traditions of music
are very spiritual in their essence.
He say anything about the inner power and meaning of western and classical
non-Indian music and its traditions?
My friends, Baba is neither eastern nor western. Music is neither eastern nor western. Music is music. You cannot say that this is Indian music or Western music. Music is not geographical. There are non-Indian people who can actually sing classical Indian music much better than Indians themselves!
Telugu is a local language; but an Englishman, Robert Brown, wrote the dictionary of the Telugu language, and he wrote it in England. Who is a more Telugu man? Anil Kumar is not a Telugu man; Robert Brown is a proper Telugu man.
Max Muller wrote an interpretation of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. Who is more Indian? Max Muller is Indian, but not me.
Please understand this. Vedic literature, music, the Bible, the Koran, the Zorasthra, they are all universal. The Bible - can you say the Bible is western? No. It is like the air. Is there western air and eastern air? Is there western fire or eastern fire? No. That is all narrow-mindedness. So western music is Divine and eastern music is Divine. Classical music is Divine. Do not classify these things. They are Divine and beyond such classification.
Wine may be eastern or western. Scotch whisky! Scotch whisky and wine may be eastern or western, but that which is Divine is universal. Fine arts are universal. Therefore, please understand that all music is the same. Don’t you see Swami enjoying western music here?
One time there was an international music concert here. I was sitting by Swami’s side. Many Italians were playing their violins. I was just listening. Swami was enjoying the beat. Suddenly, He looked at me and said, “I know you don’t follow this.”
I should have said, “Yes Swami, I don’t follow,” but unfortunately for me, I said, “Swami, in our country, things are different.”
Swami immediately looked at me and said, “What? Repeat that sentence.” (Laughter)
“In our country, things are different.”
Then Swami said, “Why do you include Me? (Laughter) Why do you include Me?! I don’t belong to any country. All countries belong to Me!” (Laughter and applause) Therefore my friends, let us not categorise music like that.
How can I avoid evil spirits?(130305)
There are no evil spirits, strictly speaking. Whenever there is an evil thought, there is evil spirit. But if we put any belief in ‘evil spirits’, which is strictly psychological, we can drive them out by singing Baba’s bhajans. Once you light the candle, the darkness is dispelled.
Bhajans are the best cure for the presence of evil spirits. They will run away. Shirdi Baba, Shirdi Bhagavan, Sathya Sai Baba…When a few people who were possessed by evil sprits have been brought to their presence, once they are in front of Swami, they return to normal again because evil spirits dare not stand in front of the Divine.
God and His name are one and the same. Please understand this. Sathya Sai Baba’s name is no different from the form. His form has a name -- Sathya Sai Baba. His name has a form, which we see.
So when we say, “Sai Ram,” the evil spirit is gone! If we say it and the spirit is still there, then understand that we are the evil spirit. (Laughter) If it is another evil spirit, it will run away. If you are the evil spirit, it is your job to get free from that.
Chant. That’s all. Sathya Sai Baba’s bhajans are like medicine. Sathya Sai Baba’s bhajans are the latest medicines, more powerful than intravenous drips, more powerful than laser equipment, and faster than courier service and even email. Therefore, this is the best cure that I can suggest to you.
There are more questions, but it is already 11:15, and I should not detain you further. There is just one small question I want to share with you before I leave you.
What is it
that gets in the way of knowing the Truth? Why don’t I see the light of Truth?
Why don’t I see the flame of Truth? What is it that is keeping me in the
darkness of untruth? Why don’t I see the light of Truth?
Every religion speaks of light. Baba has done so many times in simple terms.
The greatness and uniqueness of Sathya Sai Baba is that He puts the most complex things in the simplest way possible. Swami makes complex things very simple, whereas we make simple things complicated! What does He say about seeing the light of truth?
We are not able to see the light of Truth for three reasons. First, we think we know everything, when actually we know nothing. This is the first point.
Secondly, we think that we are fine when we are not fine. What is ‘being fine’? What keeps us from being fine? When we are with God, we are fine. When we don’t think of Him, when we forget Him, we are not fine.
Thirdly, when you think that you do not need any transformation, the light of truth is blocked. “He needs transformation; I am perfect.” This is another obstacle to our seeing the light of Truth.
So, these are the obstacles of the mind to seeing the light of Truth: considering that things are normal when they are not; thinking that you are fine when you are not; and thinking that you do not need to transform. Because of these, you do not see the light of Truth.
Why? Such a mind will not be able to see its own mistakes and defects. I don’t then see my own weaknesses, pitfalls, and mistakes because my mind thinks that I am perfect. Therefore, there is every need to correct myself in order to clear the way to seeing the light of Truth.
As we end on this note, what should we do now, my friends, to see the light of Truth? It requires continuous effort. People will say, “I will think of God during this coming weekend.” We should always think of God. We should do it now, this weekend, and at all times in between.
Somebody asked me when I was in the United States, “Will Baba visit America?”
I said, “If Baba is prepared to visit America, you will say, ‘Swami, we want you to be with us during the weekend because we are busy during the week. We will keep for you the weekend, but not the rest of the week because we are busy working then.’”
But to tell you honestly, to have the light of Truth, we must make a constant effort. Secondly, there should be sincerity in our effort.
Finally, we should be yearning and pining for God. I must have intensity in my feelings for God and a sincerity of purpose. I should have total Love for Him. These are absolutely necessary to attain that vision of Truth, that light of Truth.
refer to the Creator at any time?
Good. I repeat the question once
again. It is not that you have not understood what he said. I repeat it because
I want to be clear in my answer, by repeating the question. For that purpose I
choose to repeat, OK? This is his question:
Did Buddha refer to the Creator at any time? Did He speak about God at any time? Bhagavan often quotes Buddha, various episodes relating to His biography. Did Buddha say anything about the Creator? This is the point raised to Swami Himself. This is the question put to Him straightaway. Bhagavan! Is Buddha an atheist? Is Buddha a non-believer? Did He not say anything about the Creator?
Bhagavan's answer is straight and
simple. Instead of speaking on the Creator or about the Creator, Buddha has
shown the path to the Creator. Even if I know about the Creator, even if
I know all the details by going through the different texts available, all that
becomes textual or academic if I do not know the path -- if I do not how
to tread along the path to the Creator.
So Baba's answer is, “Instead of
speaking on the Creator or about the Creator, Buddha has shown the path
towards Divinity, the path towards the Divine, which is unfailing.
The next point is that Buddha referred to a state of Self-realisation called Nirvana. Nirvana is the state of Self-realisation, which is the ultimate reality in any spiritual path, for that matter. Therefore, Buddha speaks of the goal of life as Nirvana. This is the aim of life, namely liberation.
He referred to the path towards the Divine, speaking of the 'Eight-fold Path'. There the important thing that He told was adherence to Truth or Samyak Vaak. Samyak means ‘good’; Vaak means ‘words’ or ‘talk’. So, Samyak Vaak means ‘good words’ or ‘good talk’.
Then He also spoke of Samyak Sravanam, which means ‘good listening’. So, Bhagavan Buddha referred to good speaking (meaning, speaking Truth), good listening, good actions, and good thoughts. Samyak means everything good. Buddha speaks of that path towards Divinity. Am I clear?.
There are certain
great important composers, eminent devotees like Jayadeva and Annamacharya,
right? These composers have brought in certain sensual subjects. What does Swami
say about it? We do not find the boys or anybody here singing those songs that
relate to sensual subjects.
That's the question. The third point he mentioned is: We say that God is attributeless. Then why did those devotees refer to sensual subjects in their compositions? Is the question clear? That's right.
My friends, spirituality is not full of contradictions. Apparently, on face value, we may find things being contradictory in their nature. But basically, fundamentally, they are not contradictory; they are complimentary. They take us from one height to another height, from one stage to a higher stage.
Regarding the sensuous subjects referred to by composers like Jayadeva and Annamacharya, these poems attract those who are at that level of comprehension. They apply to those who are still at that stage, bound by sensual attractions. Those compositions will draw them nearer and nearer to the subject. Having been drawn nearer and nearer to the subject, they will then be taken to exalted heights, as they dive deep into these compositions. That's the first point.
The answer to the second question is that Bhagavan does not want these boys to sing those songs because they have enough homework here. Bhagavan talks to them repeatedly, giving them high doses of spirituality -- very high dosages! So they do not need the lower dosage of these compositions. Bhagavan is giving them 500mg, so 25mg is not required!
The third part of the question is that God has no attributes. Then, why all these poets made their compositions on sensual subjects? Why?
We say that God is attributeless.
Please, this is an answer that applies to everybody. God has no attributes. I
say that, OK? But, (Anil Kumar starts singing:)
Daya is compassion, which is an attribute. Karuna is kindness, which is an attribute.
means, “You are full of attributes.” Why? Is that not a contradiction? My
friends, God has attributes and He also has no attributes. He is both.
Why and how is that possible?
It is possible because we are all not of the same temperament. All of us are not at the same level of comprehension and experience. So far as I have attributes, it is possible to worship God with attributes.
I have attributes. What are they? Duality, kindness, compassion. I want God's mercy. I want God's help. Since I am at the level of attributes, I approach God with attributes. “Oh God, I want You to help me.”
Deena Natha Sai
Devaki Tanaya Daya
Daya Nidhee Kripa
Darshan Dijo Sai
Deena Natha, Sai Natha,
Devaki Tanaya Daya
“Oh, God! You are the Refuge of the forlorn! Oh, God! You are my Anchor! Oh,
God! You are my support! I want You to help me. I want You to come to my
rescue.” Why do I pray like that? Because I have attributes. So, I pray to God
with attributes to help me.
The next stage is when I have no attributes at all. What is it, being attributeless? How to be attributeless? I can answer with a simple phrase – 'choiceless awareness'. It is choiceless awareness. When one has no choice whatsoever, that is the quality of a person without attributes.
So, once I have no attributes, I
can pray to God without attributes. Thus, it depends upon the level of the
seeker, the level of the aspirant. As he evolves more and more, higher and
higher, he can also see Divinity appropriately.
A simple example: All this is matter. But if you go deeper, it is not matter. It is atoms and molecules. If you go still deeper, it is electrons, protons and neutrons. Which is correct? Matter? Is it wrong? No, it's correct. Atoms and molecules -- is that wrong? No. It is also correct. Protons, electrons and neutrons, is that wrong? No. Correct. It is correct. All the three answers are correct.
How can all these three be
correct? From a distance, it is all matter. On closer observation, with certain
equipment, you will understand that it is atoms and molecules. Still, with
deeper research, you will know that they are electrons, protons and neutrons. Do
So, the Nirgunathawa or 'attributelessness' is understood if I am eligible to pray like that. I should be eligible to pray like that. For example, if I hold a stethoscope, what will I understand? Nothing, as I am not qualified as a doctor. If I watch an ECG printout, what is it that I understand? I won’t understand it. So, I should be qualified to understand, am I right? So that's what is this. Am I clear?
Should we read ONLY SAI literature?
This lady feels a prompting within, a suggestion from within, that she has to go through only Sai literature. She feels that it is not necessary to read other books written by famous people, even though they are, no doubt, great people. Reading Sai literature is the best thing that we have to do -- that's what she feels intuitively from within.
This is purely a personal question. I can give you four points in this regard.
First, this morning, what drama
was staged here? It was one on Shirdi Sai. It was an account given in Sai
Sathcharitra. Sai Sathcharitra is the account of Shirdi Sai Baba. The drama
was enacted this morning here. So one can read other books. One has
to read other books.
Second point, Bhagavan often
quotes Ramana Maharishi. Bhagavan often quotes Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Bhagavan often reminds us of Lord Chaitanya’s contribution to spirituality.
Swami speaks of Buddha. Swami speaks of Jesus. So there is nothing wrong in
reading their literature. On the other hand, it is good to read these books.
Third point, with reference to my
own experience, I can say that I am able to understand tough literature on
philosophy like Brahma Sutras, Yoga Vashishta, Ramana Maharishi’s
literature -- tough, very tough literature -- after reading Sai literature. I am
able to follow these books now. I understand the correct meaning, the correct
interpretation, after reading Sai literature. In other words, in my case, Sai
literature provided a sort of platform, a screen on which anything can be
projected. Now I am able to understand any school of philosophy very clearly,
far better than before.
Fourth point, Bhagavan says that Truth is one, though people view it from different angles, from different dimensions:
Ekam Sat Vipraha
means “Truth is one.” Vipraha means ‘the scholars.’ Bahudha means
‘in different ways.’ Vadanti means ‘expound it.’ So this phrase means,
“The scholars expound Truth in different ways.” The same fundamental Truth is
expounded in different ways. There is nothing wrong about that. Yes.
Oho! Oho! Good, good. I repeat once again. What is 'Amrita'? What is it good for? Why don’t we have some? Right? Good! Good question. That is what they sing. Do you know?
Yes! Everything is ‘Madhuram’
or sweet. Madhuram means 'sweet'. Amritam means 'sweet
nectar', very sweet. Yes, please follow me. What does Baba say about it?
Why can’t we have
You can have
any amount, no problem. What does it do? It is not the Amrita available
in the market. It is not the nectar sold in the market, meaning honey. Honey is
sold there in the market. We also have so many sweets in the North Indian
canteen. That is also not Amrita. (Laughter) What does Baba say
If I do not utter ‘Anrutha’, if I speak Truth, I have Amrita. Anrutha means ‘a lie’. Anrutha means ‘falsehood’. Anrutha is ‘untruth’. If I don’t speak Anrutha, then I have Amrita, the Truth. So Truth is Amrita, while untruth is Anrutha. Thus, we should eternally speak Amrita, the Truth.
How do I say that? Do I have any support for my statements?
Bhagavan used to distribute Amrita on every Vaikuntha Ekadasi day. He used to distribute it then. But suddenly, He stopped distributing Amrita. He gave a discourse saying, “Hereafter, I am not going to distribute Amrita.” Oh, I see!
Why did He say that? Then He added, “Stop speaking Anrutha, falsehood. Then the whole life is Amrita. Then life is going to be sweet.” That is what He said. Am I clear?
THE Catholic bishop and amrita
I also remember another episode, a related matter. Take it for what it is. A few years ago, a bishop from France visited this place, accompanied by his disciple. The bishop was an elderly gentleman, a well-built personality with a white beard, quite an aged person, while his disciple was quite lean, tall, and very handsome with long hair. I had thought that if I were to make a film on Jesus Christ, this young man would be a fitting character.
These two stayed here for a long time. Bhagavan gave long interviews to that gentleman, and also showed him excellent hospitality. Plus Swami gave him His car to move about in. So everybody started watching the bishop there.
I, too, had a desire to see him. But how could I see him? He was seated there on the verandah in the first seat. If I were to go and see, naturally I would draw the attention of Bhagavan. Then Bhagavan might say, “When the bishop has come to see Me, you have come to see the bishop! (Laughter) Are you such a fool?” He may say that.
So, I did not want to take this
risk. But still there was this curiosity to see the bishop. 'Who is this man who
is given such a tumultuous welcome, a grand reception and excellent hospitality
-- such special attention by Bhagavan? Who is this bishop?' I was thinking like
Suddenly, on one Sunday, Swami sent for me. “Swami wants you immediately.” So I ran right away and arrived there.
Baba said, “Go in.” So I did.
The bishop was from France. He was a Catholic bishop with his disciple, a Frenchman. Along with them, there was a Belgium queen and her female companion. They were all going in for an interview. Of course, they do not know Telugu, which happens to be my mother tongue. So Swami came closely to me and said softly that they could not follow Him.
“You wanted to see the bishop. Therefore, I called you inside. Now you can see him. You can see him now." (Laughter)
I was very much embarrassed, because it was the truth! I went inside and Swami said, “Translate slowly. They cannot understand if you speak very fast.” Then Swami started speaking about the Holy Bible.
Please believe me. That bishop started wondering, ‘How is that Swami knows the profundity and depth of the Holy Bible -- more than I know it?’ He was wondering.
“Oh, oh! Is that so? Swami,
wonderful! Wow, wow!” (Laughter) And the disciple was also amazed, “Yes,
Swami. Wow, wow!”
I was watching them and watching Swami, enjoying the Divine romance going on between the two, listening to their sweet conversation.
Finally Swami got up. He came to me and said, “Did you see him clearly or shall I go inside?”
“No, no, Swami. I have seen him
enough. No more.”
Then Bhagavan pulled His sleeves up like this and He materialised -- please believe me, I know that I am speaking in front of Bhagavan -- a big container of this size. (Anil Kumar shows with his hands the size of the container.) He made a gold container with a gold spoon. He materialised both of them at one stretch. That container was full of Amrita!
Baba said, “I discontinued materialising Amrita for the last 30 years. I materialised this Amrita after a lapse of thirty years because this happens to be the birthday of the bishop, the archbishop. It is his birthday, so I want to honour him. Therefore, I materialised it.”
Then He wanted the bishop to open his mouth. “Ahhhhh!” Then Swami put just one spoon full of Amrita into his mouth. The bishop said, “Ah! Very fine, Swami!” Then He gave one spoon to the disciple.
He asked me to hold the container,
but He did not give any to me! (Laughter) To hold it -- how difficult it
is to simply hold it and not to taste it! I had to remind myself of the Lord’s
Prayer: "Father, lead us not into temptation."
I was holding the container like
that. As Swami was watching me, my hands started shaking. (We become nervous in
front of Swami. Usually we are all right. But in front of Swami, we become
sensitive and nervous.)
“Hey! Why do you shake your
“Swami, I don't know. The hand is
shaking in spite of me.” (Laughter)
He said, “I know, I know. You are
acting. You want to have this Amrita, right? (Laughter)
“All right! Open your mouth.”
He gave…“Aaaa!” And still Amrita is remaining!
Then He gave a second spoonful to the Belgian queen and also to her companion. I was still holding the container. Swami started distributing a spoonful of nectar or Amrita to everybody. Still, some more Amrita was remaining there. (I know that because I was holding the container.)
Then finally, He came to me and
said, “Open your mouth.” He emptied the rest of the Amrita into my
mouth! (Laughter) I tell you, the taste -- abba! It was so sweet!
Usually sweet or hot, bitter or astringent, whatever taste it is, it lasts only up to the level of the tongue. But Amrita has given sweetness right from the navel. Ah, very nice!
As I was holding the container, some nectar spilt on my hands. It was very sticky and gummy. Then Swami left. While He was going, He said, “Anil Kumar, don’t tell anybody.”
It is very dangerous to tell me any confidential things (Laughter) because I have this weakness of sharing whatever I know. It doesn't matter whatever may happen. That’s how I take Divine risks every year!
So, I was in one such Divine risk at that time: “Don't tell anybody, because I discontinued for the last thirty years.”
“OK, Swami,” I said, folding my hands like this because of the nectar that fell into my palms. “OK, Swami.”
I came out. I don’t know, but I know most of the favorite people very well because I feel like communicating with everybody. I do not understand why the spiritual seeker must imprison himself, live in a cage, cut off from the rest of the people, put on a long face as if he is a sickly person. Nonsense! I believe that we should be able to communicate with everybody, talk to everybody, and share with joy, our Swami’s message. I believe in this and I derive joy out of it.
So I was coming out like that.
Immediately all the Seva dal people surrounded me and asked,
“What? What, sir? What happened? Why are you like that?” (Laughter)
Swami said, “Do not tell.”
Then I had some logic: Swami said, “Don’t tell.” But they can smell, right?
The nectar had the smell of Paris
scents, I tell you. Yes, Paris sprays and all that, you know - how fragrant they
are! Ah! Wonderful scents like that.
Then I said, “Hey, don't ask me. Stretch your head.” I put my palm out.
They smelled, “What is it?”
“I don't know.”
Swami said, “Do not tell.” That's all. They can smell, right? Nothing wrong with it.
I came home. I returned to my
quarters. Of course, I told my wife, and she immediately brought a plate and
wanted me to wash my hands. (Laughter)
Please believe me. She is here
right now, in the quarters, so you can verify. That smell lasted for seven days!
For seven days! Just as though it had materialised each day, just then! It was
so sweet! That's what Amrita is. But in our daily life situations,
Amrita is refraining from Anrutha or falsehood. Am I clear?
Is a dream with Swami
a perfect interview? And must we take all instances from Him as though it is
My friends, dreams are of two
kinds -- first, psychological and second, prompted by Bhagavan. The dreams that
we have that are instances from Swami, the dreams that we have because of the
will of Swami, should not be called ‘dreams’. Please understand this.
When Swami appears to us in our dream, it is not a dream. It is a reality. It is better if we give it another name -- 'vision'. VISION! Do not say that Swami appeared in my dream. No, no, no.
We have so many dreams. When I lose in the election, when I am defeated in the election, I can win the election in the dream. Why not? I will give you one example.
There was one young man, the son
of an income tax officer, who came to me when I was there in Bangalore and said,
“Ah, yes? What do you want?”
“Swami wants me to marry
such-and-such a girl. He said so in my dream!”
“Oh, I see! He told you? Oh,
Then after some time, one girl
came and said, “Sir, Swami appeared in my dream and said that I should marry
that same boy.”
Both of them told me. The boy said, “Swami wants me to marry this girl.” And the girl said, “Swami wants me to marry that boy.” Yes.
What shall I say now? Then I said, “I believe your words. Swami wants you to marry. Why not? Please, you are also right. He said it in your dreams, so please marry in your dreamland! (Laughter) Please get married in your dreams!”
What's all this? So, some of these dreams are psychological promptings of the mind, unfulfilled desires. Suppose I want to beat you. I cannot beat you here because you are well built and stronger than me. But I can beat you like anything in my dream, till I exhaust all my energy. So, these types of dreams are different. They are psychological.
But Bhagavan appearing in a dream
is not a dream, but a vision. Then, how to distinguish and differentiate
between the two? What is the difference between a vision and a dream?
A dream satisfies the vagaries, the will, whims and desires of our mind. Suppose I want to go to the Holiday Inn or the Oberoi. I can go there in my dreamland, see the entire hotel and then return – a seven-star or a super-star, right? It is the mind that gets satisfied in that dream. It is the mind that is agitated in another dream. It is the mind that is disturbed in a bad dream. In my dream, you may appear and pull me by my collar. So I will be afraid of you there in my dream. Thus, in a dream, we react.
In a vision, there is no question of reaction; a vision calls for action. A vision calls for action, while a dream is a reaction. A dream is psychological, while a vision is intuitive, from our heart. A dream is physical, while a vision is spiritual.
A dream gives scope for ambiguity. “Swami wants me to join this job. Shall I or not?” “Swami wants me to come there. Shall I or not?” If it is just at the mental level, you begin to doubt. You are in a state of confusion.
But a vision gives no scope for such confusion. “Do it!” That's all. “Come here!” Straight. There is no confusion; there is no ambiguity. The direction is very clear in a vision.
And then in a dream, there is an option to back out. Suppose in a dream, you have certain plans. Well, here you may not execute those plans, back in the relative state. But we must do that which is set in the vision. There is no exemption.
A simple example: One gentleman was praying to Bhagavan continuously for vibuthi. He could not get it, and he was crying. Baba appeared in a dream and materialised enough vibuthi for that man. Well, he was so happy. As he came along with many devotees, the whole group was given an interview. He went inside and Swami gave vibuthi to everybody, but not to this man.
He said, “Swami, vibhu....”.
“Eh! Last night I gave you. Last night I gave you!” (Laughter)
What does it mean? When Swami appears there in a vision, we don’t have to doubt or question it.
But to give a personal note, I
know that none of you will make fun of me if I am very plain. This is my life,
right from the beginning. It is too late to change; it doesn't matter. My wife
dreams a lot. She has so many dreams. She tells me, “Swami said this in my
It all appeared to be nonsense to me. 'Even this reality, I am very much tired of. Why again bring a dream forward? This is enough.' This waking stage itself is already enough torture. Why dream again?
So I simply listened to her, “Aha! Oho! OK,” because peace at home is important. (Laughter) Before we think of universal peace, let us think of peace at home, of harmony at home. So, when she said, “Swami appeared in my dream!” I would say, “Ah! Oh! Very good! Very good!”
To add some pep to the conversation, I said, “You are very lucky. I do not to have dreams like that.” She could understand that I am not paying attention to all the narration, so she stopped telling me, because there is no use, you know?
Then after a long time, suddenly
Baba called us for an interview. He was talking about so many things. Suddenly I
said, “Swami, is it true that You appear in dreams?”
He asked, “Why did you put that
“Swami, since she is there, my wife tells me that You appear in her dreams and all that. I question and doubt that because You never appeared in my dreams. As You never appeared in my dreams, therefore I doubt such dreams.”
His answer was, “You don't believe. Therefore, I don’t appear in your dreams. (Laughter) She has got full faith. Therefore, I appear in her dreams. It is your bad luck; it is her good fortune.” (Laughter)
There started a Korea war, a
spirituality complex -- 'I am superior to you'. Swami, what is all this? Instead
of solving the problem, You brought another problem now!
While leaving the interview room, He said, “Since you see Me, since you are sitting closely here, why dreams? Enjoy this! This is enough.” That's all. So, the problem was solved. (Laughter)
Coming back to the question, dreams (meaning, visions) of Bhagavan are spiritual, unambiguous, non-confusing, straight, and calling for action. They happen because of the will of Swami only. So, we should use the word ‘vision’, not dream.
If Swami knows
everything about us, why did He ask you yesterday, during His Divine discourse,
about the name of the boy standing there?
(Laughter) Good! He is asking me about what he saw; he is very sharp!
Good! We get these questions. I will bring in an analogy, which is close to this
If Swami comes like that to you and asks, “When did you come?” does He not know when you came?
The very same Swami said, “Nobody can be here unless I want them to be here.” That's what He has said. Then why does He ask, “When did you come?”
Second example: He was just there on the dais, while the program was going on in full swing. He was looking at me and said, “How about your breakfast?”
“That's OK, thank You.” Some ‘Divine romance’ goes on there, you know! (Laughter) Does He not know that I am yet to have my breakfast? Why should He say that?
My friends, God establishes contact by putting such questions. Suppose He does not talk to you at all, as He knows everything. So, why should He talk to you? Why should He talk to you, as He knows everything?
No, no, no. To give you the joy of
talking to Him, to give you the happiness of being close to Him, to give you the
thrill of being near Him, He starts asking you, “What did you have for
breakfast?” “Oh! How are you?” “Your dress is nice!” “How is your job?” Then we
start answering these questions enthusiastically.
Suddenly He says, “I know what you
have done there!” (Laughter) Hadah! Your BP falls down now!
There’s high BP when He’s talking to you. Suddenly He says, “I know what you
have done there. You cannot hide anything from Me!” Hadah! Low BP!
So, Swami is ‘ordinary’ while talking to us, in order to come closer to us, to be nearer and dearer to us. But He is ‘extraordinary’ by revealing to us those things that we have never shared with anybody, not even with our ‘better-half’!
Those things that you have kept in an almira or safe deposit locker in your heart, Swami will nicely open! I tell you that. But one thing is this: He will not trouble you about it. He will put it in such an indirect way that nobody is put to embarrassment. Do you understand?
All right, I will put it straight:
One lady was in the family way. Swami came and said, “Yes, delivery after two
months. You will have a male child.”
“Oh, Swami!” The lady became
While going to the gents’ side, Swami told the husband, “You will have a female child.” (Laughter)
What's all this? The man is not
going to carry on, from now onwards. So, He told the husband that he will have a
female child and to the wife, that she will have a male child. So there’s a
heated argument at home, as in Parliament!
Then, Swami gave them an interview after a week. This man should have been kept his mouth shut! (Laughter) In this respect, ladies are better. They know how to be composed and all that -- how not to be inconvenient.
This man simply burst out, “But Swami, why did You say that she will have a male child, while You told me that it will be a female child?”
Swami just laughed and continued the interview. While leaving, the wife left first. The husband was still there at the doorstep “Shall I tell you about that affair? That affair? (Laughter) “With this lady, you will have a male child.”
“Swami, it is enough! It is
enough! It is enough!”(Laughter)
So, certain things we keep as a treasure; we don't share with anybody. But Swami knows! We cannot hide anything from Him. I shall not name that man. It wouldn’t be decent.
There is one lecturer from Ananthapur, a very close friend of mine. Since we’re a family, I am telling you his story. He is a very close friend of mine. This incident happened long back, about 25 years ago. He is a lecturer in chemistry. That fellow somehow had chosen a girl, and he wanted to marry her.
This was kept as a top secret because he doubted whether his parents would permit him to marry her or not. So he came here, along with that lady, and asked her to wait near the bus stand, as he feared Swami may heavily bang him. Who knows? She should not know that.
He was thinking, ‘He can bang me separately, so that I can tell her I got the interview.’ Do you know what? You don’t know what happens in the interview room!
So, he asked her to stay at bus
stand. (I am telling you because he is my close friend.)
Swami called him for an interview. He was speaking in general, “How is your job? How are your parents?” and all that. Then suddenly Swami asked, “Why have you left her there at the bus stand? (Laughter) She is waiting for you there.”
“Yes, I know about the affair. Right?”
Then finally He said, “She is not
the right girl for you. No. Your parents will not approve of her. I will select
another bride for you, who will be appreciated and approved of by your parents.
I will perform your marriage. Don't disappoint your parents like that. Just wait
for half an hour more here in the interview room. By then, that lady will catch
another bus and go back. Only then you can go outside. Sit down here.”
Swami made him sit there for half
an hour more. By the time he went there to the bus stand to apologise, to convey
his excuses – “Sorry that I could not meet you in time” -- by the time that
fellow got there, she had already left, as predicted by Bhagavan.
So, Bhagavan knows everything. If
He starts telling everything, none of us will be here! (Laughter) We have
got our own agenda, certain things that we thought best to be kept to
ourselves, as we are just human beings. None of us can say that we are ‘above
the board’. If anyone says, “I am just beyond”; he is rouge number one. Let’s
not believe that. I don’t believe that.
So, coming back to the question about what happened yesterday at the discourse, Swami asked me to tell the name of the boy so that it would lead to this question today and the accompanying answer, so that all of you will be benefited.
If Swami had said, “He is
so-and-so”, it becomes part and parcel of the discourse. But when He made a
separate context, a separate situation, for me to mention the name of the boy,
your special attention was drawn to that. And hence, this question and answer
have followed. Am I clear? That is what it is!
What do you say about
India as the spiritual heart of mankind?
This is the spiritual heart of mankind. Yes, it is only because it is the spiritual heart of mankind! Swami has said this because there is a fund of literature on philosophy in this country. Plus, there are a number of saints and seers here in this country. I am just stating facts. That's all.
Every other religion has got just one sacred book to follow and adopt. But Sanathana Dharma, the philosophy and culture of this land, provides a variety of books, a number of thoughts of various dimensions, like a diamond that has so many facets.
We have the three schools of
Vedanta -- dualism, qualified dualism and non-dualism. We have nine paths of
devotion. We have the Gita, the epics, the Brahma Sutras, Yoga
Vashishta, and a mine of more spiritual literature here. That's why this is
the spiritual ‘heart’ for all nations.
With this, we come to the close of
this morning’s session. Infact, I wanted to speak on “Sai Baba as an Ideal
Leader” this morning. On the way, you friends met me and said, “Anil Kumar, why
don't we have a question and answer session this morning?”
son is not spiritual in the way I want him to be. My grandson doesn’t
behave in the way I want him to behave. I want to correct my grandchild,
but my son will not permit me. I want to correct my granddaughter, but my
daughter will not permit me. What can I do?
we ask Swami wholeheartedly, can He liberate us from all of our bad past
To answer this, I must bring your
attention to some important points. Please allow me to go into the depth of
philosophy. I think you will appreciate it. Let me not give you some superficial
answer. Let us go in-depth.
First point: You are not to be
liberated; you are liberated. Liberation is not in the future.
Liberation is not a hope. Liberation is not a promise. Liberation is not an
article, just to be given like that. Liberation cannot happen by the command or
by the word. It is not to be commanded. So, the first point I want to draw to
your attention is: We are not to be liberated because we are already
liberated. We are born liberated.
But unfortunately, here in this context, let me share one example that Baba gives repeatedly. A young man walks on two legs. He gets married, and then he starts walking with four legs (e.g. his legs and his wife’s). He will have a child, and then start walking with six legs. With the addition of more children, he becomes a centipede or a millipede. Thus, worries and anxieties are added on more and more.
As a child, we are totally liberated. But with the passage of time, with more and more attachments, professional obligations, social responsibilities, family burdens, children, status and financial responsibilities, all these things make us bonded.
So bondage is a thing that we have made for ourselves. I was born liberated; but I got into the trap of bondage on my own. Bondage has no legs to walk into my life; bondage has no hands to hug me. Bondage came in by my invitation.
So, since I got into bondage, I
need only come out of it. Having been born liberated, having led the life of
liberation, over a period of time I got into bondage. Now I feel breathless and
suffocated. So I say, “I want to be liberated. Oh God, help me!”
He will be laughing, “You have put yourself into the cage of bondage. Now you alone can come out of it.” For example, if I go into the kitchen, then I only can come out of the kitchen. Similarly, having gone into the trap of bondage, I should get out of it.
For the process of ‘getting out’, prayer will help us and surrender will help us. Devotion will help us come out of bondage without much suffering and without much pain. Go back to liberation, to the situation in which you were born, a state in which you led your life for so long.
So my friends, liberation there, bondage here, back to liberation -- prayer will help us; devotion will help us; spiritual knowledge will help us to know the drama of life: “Oh God, You created me free. You created me totally liberated. I got into bondage. You should help me get out. What is the way?” The only way is to know, by the process of Self-enquiry, our true identity or true nature.
We have to ask ourselves repeatedly this question: “Who am I?” I should come to the conclusion logically, scientifically, by experience, that I am not the body. Later, by putting the same question “Who am I?” I should come to know by rational, logical thinking, and by experiencing, that I am not the mind. So finally, I come to the conclusion that I am not the body; I am not the mind; I am pure spirit, Atma or the soul, which is always in a state of liberation. Then realisation comes.
Suppose I have a pen in my pocket.
I go on searching for my pen. “Where is the pen? Where is the pen?”
A dashing young man will come and say, “Mr. Anil Kumar, you seem to be a fool. You are searching for the pen. You are struggling hard to recover it. It’s already there in your pocket.”
“Oh, I see!”
“Have I got the pen now? Has it
come from the sky? Has any angel put it into my pocket?” No. It was already
there. Only I forgot it and then he reminded me.
So, the one who reminds us of our true Self is the preceptor or guru. When you are reminded by the guru, you will no longer feel that you are the body or that you are the mind. You will now feel that you are the Self. This is called ‘realisation’. So the guru reminds you to come to the path of enquiry, which is the sadhana, and then experience the reality, which is ‘realisation’.
Here is a simple example: There is an earthen pot with a narrow neck. When there are lots of monkeys around, here is what we do to catch them: We keep some peanuts in the pot. The monkey will put his hand into the pot. He will catch all the peanuts and hold the peanuts in a tight grip. When he wants to take away his hand, it won’t come out because the pot has a narrow neck. The monkey thinks that someone is pulling his hand, that someone is holding his hand. So he starts jumping.
So, what is it that monkey should
do now? Who is holding his hand? The monkey should let loose its fingers and
drop the peanuts. Peanuts are the desires. Grip is the attachment. Pot is the
life. So, once the monkey drops the peanuts, it can ease its hand out freely.
Similarly, once we drop
this idea, this false identification with the body, we can simply 'get out'.
So liberation -- you are
the liberation; liberation is not separate from you. Liberation is not an
achievement. Liberation is not an accomplishment. Liberation is your
birth-right, a natural thing, an available thing. But because of body
attachment, we feel that we are in bondage. Bondage is artificial; liberation is
natural. Bondage is human creation; liberation is a Divine gift. Liberation is
pure; bondage is banishment or punishment. Liberation is spiritual, while
bondage is universal. Am I clear? A short question with a long answer!
We have just five minutes more. I
know the foreign canteen is anxious to receive you. I think tonight is not a
pizza day. I know that mosquitoes also find a safe landing on your body. People
say that in Los Angeles, a flight lands and takes off every three minutes. Los
Angeles airport is nothing! Our body is the best airport for every flight of the
mosquito, who comes every second! (Laughter)
I thank you very much for your kind invitation, and my special congratulations and appreciation to today’s translator. (Laughter) He is a handsome young man, who excels me in his speed and spirit, translating whatever I say. Perhaps he is one among the very few whom I have met who is a perfect translator. I say this because I find that there are people who simply translate to do their job, to deliver the goods, so to speak. What about the spirit behind it, the force behind it? This young man could do that. Let’s give him a big hand.(Applause)
Why is Swami healing
so many people, but our own love cannot heal His ailments? It makes people
Yes, this is the difference between our love and Swami’s Love. Our love is narrow and limited, whereas Swami’s Love is infinite. Our love is narrow and selfish, while His Love is universal. Our love is conditional, while His Love is unconditional. Our love is limited to time and space, whereas His Love is beyond that. Our love has got some expectations; but there is nothing like that in Divine Love.
While His is a 1000-candle bulb,
my love is a zero-candle bulb. Truly speaking, if my love also were to get
expanded, extending as much as His Divine Love, miracles would certainly happen.
Take for example, healing, prayer, or certain spiritual rituals. The prayers of
some are answered, while some prayers are 50% answered; other prayers have not
yet reached Him. It all depends on the voltage -- 40-watt voltage, 100-watt
Therefore, His Love is 100% total,
utterly selfless, 100% pure, and can cure anybody. Since my love is not of that
level, it’s not able to cure anybody because I have not gone beyond the body
level of understanding. I have not gone beyond the mind. I have not gone past
the limitations of the human body. I have no idea what universal Love is. I have
no experience of Divine Love. Therefore, we need to expand our love. That’s why
Bhagavan says, “Expansion of Love is life; contraction of Love is death.” Am I
Now, when Bhagavan cures Himself with His infinite Love, we’ll all begin to say things like this: ”With all Your God power, You could cure Yourself, becoming free from suffering, while we fellows have to suffer like this. It is very unfair.” If He doesn’t cure Himself, what do people say? “If You cannot cure Yourself, how can You cure me?” Either way, we are not going to leave Him.
But one point has to be understood. Only a few days ago, I saw one man here that I know well. If you are so particular, I will show that man to you. He hails from Anantapur. His son settled in Dallas, Texas, USA. I saw his sons here too. This gentleman was sitting there on the verandah for couple of days. I know him very well. Bhagavan has visited his residence also. He is an old devotee, not by virtue of age, but by virtue of discipleship.
I was just observing all this. Swami was talking to his sons there, and to the father here. People were wondering, ‘Why daily?’ People forget that everyone has a problem. They think, ‘Swami should talk to me! Why should He talk to him?’
Soon I forgot my problem as that
man’s problem has become my problem now. Slowly, as days passed by, I started
saying ‘Sai Ram’ to that gentleman in order to establish some rapport. (Laughter)
It would be indecent to ask,” Why is He talking to you?” because he may say, ‘It
is not your problem. It is my problem.” So, I did not dare to ask him like that.
Instead I established ‘Sai Ram’ contact first (Laughter), brought him to
my level, and said, “You are fortunate that Bhagavan is talking to you.” I said
so he would understand that Anil Kumar is not jealous of him. (Laughter)
The next day, he himself called
me and said that he was suffering from cancer. The cancer had reached an
advanced stage. So his sons came here. Bhagavan was talking to them about this
matter. He was talking to this elderly gentleman, this elderly man, their
father, about this problem. They were getting some interviews also.
Finally one day, that man told me what had happened in the interview room. Then I was feeling happy that I could keep him in a good humour by sharing with him his personal experiences. What he said was that Swami had asked him to remove his shirt and everything. Then He had applied vibhuthi all over his body and said, “Go! Allow yourself to be tested anywhere all over the world. I tell you, the cancer is cancelled.” This happened not even a week ago.
It is a very strange thing:
Though being so powerful and capable of doing everything, He does not do
anything for Himself; and we, though we look as though we can do something, we
cannot do anything. Just the opposite to us is God, who can do everything,
though He appears to do nothing. Though we are nothing at the base, we appear
to be something. This is the paradox of life.
So, Bhagavan does not use the power for Himself because then we would say, “Oh God, You are selfish” if He cures Himself. So there is definitely a purpose behind it. And I also believe that the full truth may not be known totally today. We may not understand it today, the underlying philosophy and secrets of the Avatar. We may not find a 100% satisfactory answer as to why things are happening the way they are today,
Slowly, slowly things will
unravel. They will become clear very soon. The answer I have given may not be
100% acceptable to you. It may not be 100% logical and rational. The answer that
I gave you is the way I look at it, with my own personal perception of the
events today. Like this, each one of you may have your own comprehension. That’s
I feel everybody
should have at least one experience with Swami, to know He is God and to have
faith in Him. Initially, when someone told me He is Shirdi Sai, how could I
believe Him? There are so many God men in India who are claiming they are Shirdi
Sai, etc. etc. How do we rule out the fake ones? How do we keep Swami above all
these God men?
So, can you please
suggest to Swami to provide a few good experiences to people like me so that we
can have more faith? (Laughter) I do have one experience and a few others, but
it is not very concrete like some of your experiences.
This is one of the questions. Really, my friends please note that anything that you doubt cannot be an experience. Please note, if you doubt, it is not an experience. Then what is it? It is only imagination.
What answer would you give if you
are in my position? The answer is simple. Swami asks you to come in your dream.
So, again ask in the dream whether you should continue to stay for longer or
not. (Laughter) I have not asked you, how can I give a reply? Had I asked
you, it is my duty to provide you with accommodation and all that. He asked you
to come in a dream so, go back to your dream and ask Him. "Please excuse me.
Thank you," I said. (Laughter)
So my friends, anything that you doubt, is not an experience. It is only hallucination. It is only imagination. It is only psychological. But anything that is your own personal experience, which you do not doubt, is real. A real experience gives no scope for any doubt. Let us be doubtless and have doubtless experiences. This doubtlessness is an authentic evolution in the spiritual field. Spirituality will never entertain any sort of doubt.
My friends, when I pose a question
about the authenticity of a personal experience, it only means that I am
doubting my own experience. When you start doubting your experience, it becomes
Some say that Bhagavan is not Shirdi Sai, while others say that He is. That is our botheration. How does it concern us whether He is Shirdi Sai or not? Why are you bothered? You accept Him as you see Him now. Shirdi Sai is of the past. In your previous life, you may have been worshipping Shirdi Sai. Right now, you see Him here, and accept Him. You have faith and you attain the state of doubtlessness.
We cannot challenge Him, “Oh Baba, if you are Shirdi Sai, give me some experience.” Why this challenge? It’s not necessary. The same God has several Names. Today, you will ask Him to prove that He is Shirdi. Tomorrow you will say, “I challenge you to prove if you are Rama or not.” The next month you will say, “Come on, appear in front of me as Krishna!” (Laughter)
He will not oblige you. He is not accountable to you! It is your own problem. Friends, if anyone asks if He is Shirdi Sai, you just tell him, “Experience for yourself.” If anyone says, “I think He is not Shirdi Sai”, you can reply, “Thank you!” (Laughter)
It is for us to know. We don’t
have to bother about it. Let us see the reality as it is now. Right now, what is
happening in front of us? That will show us the correct path.
- Swami says, "I
pass on My energy to you during darshan." Can’t we draw Swami’s energy
doing bhajan alone at home? Millions of devotees are not able to come to
Parthi to physically draw this energy. Please advise me. Is there a difference
between being at Parthi or at home, filled with thoughts of Swami and prayers? I
wish to make my home a temple so that I don’t miss Swami at any point of time.
A very good question. If I say that I draw energy only here, I am under the impression that it is a well, out of which I can draw water. It is a river where I can fetch a pot full of water. No. The very thought of Bhagavan, the very Name of Bhagavan, the very sight of Bhagavan, is enough to make you draw energy and make you feel energetic.
Here is a simple example. While
travelling, a few people are sitting seriously in silence. Suddenly, one
gentleman notices Swami’s picture in a chain locket.
He asks, “Are you a Sai devotee?”
“Yes! Are you?”
You just watch how nicely they talk. They don’t even notice that they have reached their destination. They go on talking throughout the night.
how is it that the fellows who are so serious and dull-headed become so active?
How is it they can talk throughout the night? The very thought of Bhagavan makes
you energetic. The very Name of Bhagavan makes you energetic.
Here is a simple example. There is
the neighbouring state of Orissa. It takes forty-eight hours, or two days, to
reach this place. Believe me or not, the devotees start singing bhajans
at Bhubaneswar, the starting point and state capital, and go on singing till
they reach Prasanthi Nilayam. (Laughter)
How is it possible? Come on, you do it! Impossible. The very thought of Bhagavan. The very Name is enough. If I think that I draw energy only here, I am mistaken. God is beyond time and space.
"But how am I to see Bhagavan here
One is an in-patient while the
other one is an out-patient. (Laughter) One is admitted to the hospital
while the other takes medicines at home. It doesn’t matter. Both are patients. (Laughter)
One is in the general ward, while the other is in the intensive care unit (ICU).
has said, “The bus drivers come everyday. They come for darshan. Do they
Ask them, “Do you get energy?”
“No, no sir. I get energy only
after eating, (Laughter) not now.”
“Oh, I see!”
Why does he not get it and how do
you get it? (Laughter) My friends, it is not simple nearness that makes
you energetic. It is one’s receptivity.
Suppose I close my eyes and I say that there is nobody in this room. "Which fool says there are so many people?" Nobody can speak to such a fool. (Laughter) Similarly, receptivity and sensitivity are very important. You feel His presence by the very utterance of His Name.
When people talk about Swami, it is very interesting. It is so nice to watch them. I watch them with joy.
When a person starts telling of
his experience, “You know what…. Swami is coming… Swami is … Hat.. Phat Phat…
Hah….” (Laughter) Aaaah!…Like a thousand watt bulb! The
face is so brilliant. Until then, it was castor oil face. The moment he starts
singing, the moment he starts speaking about his experience, there comes
excitement. How? The very thought of Swami energises. You don’t need a Bunsen
burner or a blast furnace. One matchstick is enough to burn down everything to
ashes. One matchstick is enough. A blast furnace or a whole steel plant is not
necessary. One matchstick is enough to kindle the light.
Similarly, my friends, to experience Bhagavan, a sincere prayer, a photograph, a conversation with a fellow devotee, participation in bhajan or in a service activity, or going through His literature is enough. Anything is enough.
your son settled abroad ten years ago, his dress, his table, his bookshelf, his
friends or his photograph will make you cry! Isn’t this true?
‘This is the dressing table of my
son. This is the dining table of my son. This is the bookshelf of my….’ Why all
that? Every article in the house will remind you of your son who settled abroad
some years ago. If any visitor comes, you say, “Come here! Have you seen my
“Arrey! It’s not the Taj
Mahal! Why should I look?” (Laughter)
Why should I look? There is no
excitement for me in looking at your son’s things.
Therefore, when I say 'I draw energy', it means I am receptive, I am sensitive. In fact, just hearing a bhajan is enough. Involvement in a service activity is enough.
I always look upon
Swami as my spiritual guide and Divine friend. However, my personal experience
with Swami has been limited. He has been compassionate during the one or two
physical encounters I have had with Him. My question is this: Krishna was a
physical and spiritual friend to Arjuna. Why is it that God now chooses indirect
communion with His friend? This has been the biggest test of our true
My answer is straight. God never speaks to you indirectly. We interpret it as indirect. He is always direct. Because we resort to indirect means, we unfortunately rely upon other people. Bhagavan’s experiences and communications are straight and direct.
“I have just one or two
experiences. Why not more?” says this person. My friend, what did Baba say about
You go to the Marina Beach, Juhu Beach or to the seashore anywhere. You stand in front of the sea and want to taste the sea water. What do you do? Just put one drop of sea water on the tongue is enough to know whether it is saline or salty.
“No, no sir, I want a bucketful of
sea water to know its taste.” (Laughter)
When a drop cannot give you the
taste, a bucket cannot give it; not even barrels of water can give it. Something
is wrong with your tongue! (Laughter)
One experience is enough. One or two experiences are enough. That’s the example that Bhagavan has given for all of us. Let us not run after these experiences. One experience is given to us to know that He is God. How many times should He prove His Divinity?
There are some people who say,
“Oh, I know that He is God but….”
Uh huh… (Laughter) But…!
Such people want Baba to prove
everyday that He is God. Like the daily newspaper! (Laughter) How does it
help them? This is not a daily weather report!
Therefore, Swami says, “I am God. You are also God.” That solves the problem. Discover that you are God. Once you know that you are God, once you experience that you are God, you will know that I am God also - that you and I are one.
Therefore, my friends, let us not run after these experiences. Because there is no limit to these experiences.
Some person says, “Sir, I was coming in a lorry. Suddenly the brakes failed and the lorry left the road and fell into a valley. Everybody died, but I survived, thanks to Swami.” (Laughter)
How do you explain this miracle?
Everybody died, while this fellow survived. Shall I say those that perished are
atheists or goondas or what? That this fellow is a devotee, Class One! (Laughter)
How can I say that? And he wants such a thing to be repeated everyday - that he
is going to survive, whilst others are going to die? (Laughter) What is
that? Let it be repeated everyday? (Laughter) Himalayan foolishness! Oh
yes, fathomless depths of ignorance!
Baba has said, “Miracles are like
mosquitoes. Divinity is the size of an elephant. You want mosquitoes but not an
elephant. What can I do? ”
Further, He says, “My miracles are
just visiting cards. “
I want to see you in your office. I send a visiting card. We meet there for the first time. You have come to know me well. Should I introduce myself everyday? In the morning I meet you. (Laughter) In the evening, I again send you my card. Next morning again…. (Laughter) You will think that I am a mad fellow, and you will decide to avoid me. (Laughter) Would you like to be introduced everyday, every minute?
So, to know that Baba is God, how many experiences do you want? How many miracles do you want to experience? In fact, more experiences will not ensure gain at all.
The experiences you have had are something like breakfast or lunch. Everyday you have to eat. So, everyday I must experience! This kind of experience is to take you into the interior of the Divine mansion.
Baba further added that to make a child attend school, we give him chocolates and sweets. For the sake of the chocolates, the child goes to school. The second day also, he goes to the school for the sake of a chocolate, but on the third day, the child goes on its own.
“No, no, no. I want chocolates
everyday. I am in the tenth class. I need ten chocolates everyday.” (Laughter)
“I am in twelfth class. I need
twelve chocolates everyday.”
Your stomach will become a chocolate shop. (Laughter) That is not the purpose of giving the chocolates.
We give chocolates so that child will go to the school and learn. So, these miracles and experiences are like chocolates and peppermints which encourage your interest in Divinity. The miracle is only an entrance. This hall is Divinity.
Swami says, “Love
all, serve all”. In family life, it is not possible to love all and serve all,
especially, when people around are jealous and political. (Oho!) So,
should we distance ourselves from such family members or still continue to
mingle with them?
I am a very reserved person (Good!) and I would like to be with people who talk about Swami or good things in general. I like to be alone and do my prayers and puja and do whatever service I can, individually.
I am scared to do
teamwork in service, as people might hurt me. I am scared sometimes. What should
I do? Is it wrong to stay aloof and keep to myself? I like to spend more time
praying, doing my household chores, duties and being alone. Is it ok? (01.08.04)
A. It is too personal a question.
“Love all, serve all” does not mean that you go to them and live with them. "I
love you." That doesn’t mean I shift from my staff quarters and stay with you. (Laughter)
"I love you." It doesn’t mean I vacate my house and shift all my baggage to your
house. Do I do that? (Laughter)
So when you say, “Love all, serve
all”, it does not necessarily mean that you should leave your household and
move. You can be where you are and still love everybody. Why not? (Laughter)
How is it possible? When you don’t hate anybody, it automatically means that you love everybody. Let us not hate anybody. Let us not have enmity towards anybody. And let’s not think that love is a location. Love is not a location or a position. Love is not geographical. It is uniform. It is universal.
Your householder position does not interfere with the dictum “Love all, serve all”. How do I mingle with people who are jealous and political? Show me a place where such qualities are not present. They are present everywhere.
Supposing Swami talks to you, somebody will look at you enviously. What does he mean by that? He does not share your happiness; he is very jealous. Jealousy is a quality that we have brought with us over several past lives. It cannot be washed out all of a sudden. It has to be done slowly, through the experience of sharing. First, by sharing your joy.
“Oh, you got an interview?
Congratulations, my friend!”
“Swami looked at you? So nice!”
“Are you happy? Good!”
Let me share your blissful
moments. Let me share your happiness, then I will learn to share your agony as
well. I will be able to share your misery as well. By sharing, we can love all.
Let the whole world be peaceful. You pray for the world. Yes. Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We pray for everybody. That is service. Out of love, you pray for that jealous man that he will be free from all struggle and strife. 'Serve all' does not necessarily involve physical labour.
You can tell a person who is
unhappy, “I am sorry for you. Don’t worry. Bhagavan will help you. I am so sorry
to hear this. I was in this position for a long time. But Swami, the
Compassionate Lord, helped me out of the problem. Similarly, a day will come.
Don’t worry. Hold on to Swami. He will have a solution. Just wait. All of us
went through this. Don’t worry.” Speaking soothing words is service.
A word of courage, a word of
strength, a word to boost the spirits of a depressed or frustrated man is
service. Service does not mean taking away the grass or giving some donation or
watering the plants or going to jails. Not necessary. I am not saying such
actions are wrong. No. But what I am saying is that every word, every gesture,
can be one of service.
Here’s a simple example: If you
are very much depressed, I make you smile. That is service. If a man is very
frustrated and serious, by talking with him, I will make him smile. That is
service. If I give you some hope, that is service. That’s how I understand it.
We are drowned
by confusion. Please enlighten me by clarifying the following queries:
How do we seek approval from Swami for our day-to-day decisions? People who are physically close to Swami get their questions answered there and then.
A. I am sorry, sir. You don’t have to seek Swami’s guidance everyday. No. It is not even possible for those who are near him to do so. You may not believe it, my friends, when I say that I wanted to give a wedding card to Bhagavan and had to wait for four days. Even though I was sitting very close to Him and translating His discourses every day, I could not hand over the wedding card and had to wait for four consecutive days. He would get up after the translation was over and would turn His head in the other direction. “Sit down.” (Laughter) For four days! So, don’t be under the impression that those who are here, and near to Him, have got easy access to Swami. No.
Please take me as the best example and a suitable example. No access at all. And if you try to grab access to Him, that marks the end of your career. (Laughter) He will not care to look at you at all. If you try to pressure Him, you will get instructions through somebody that you better take the tenth row seat, and not sit in the front. You will be shifted. It is a risky thing.
How to get clearance everyday from
Swami while being at such a long distance from Him?
Bhagavan has said, “Your conscience is God.” Follow the master - your conscience. Your conscience tells you whether you are right or wrong. The conscience is part of consciousness. That is God. So, go by your own conscience. Bhagavan Himself has said so.
curses out of anger or frustration, does it affect us, though we did not commit
Just as when anybody praises you,
nothing happens to you, similarly, when someone curses you, nothing will happen.
After all, anybody can say anything. People say that you are good when you
oblige them, and they say that you are bad when you don’t oblige them. Good and
bad depend upon mutual relationships at a certain point in time, mutual
obligation. When anyone praises you, nothing will happen. When anyone curses
you, nothing can ever happen. Let’s not be worried about it.
Is it proper for a
mother to curse her own children just to vent her anger and ego?
It is not your business to judge your mother. Your mother must have been vexed with you and totally disgusted with you. She must have scolded you a number of times. She must have warned you repeatedly when you went astray. To set you right, she must have pretended to be angry with you.
No mother can ever be angry. There
may be a bad son, but there can never be a bad mother. If a mother appears
angry, it means that she is pretending to be angry. Why is she pretending? You
are not acting as per her wishes. What are her wishes? Her wishes are that you
should prosper, progress, and advance in your life. So, if a mother is angry, it
is only for your own good.
Swami is the Divine Mother. Sometimes, He pretends to be angry with you. Can God ever be angry? If God is angry, what hope is there for human beings? Swami tells us it is only action, a drama to correct you. So, take your mother’s anger in that way also, not in a negative sense.
I openly disagree
with what Meerabai did. (Oh!) She left her husband for God. Why did she
marry then? Is she not violating the duty of a wife or a householder?
Meera is not available now, so that we could put this question to her! (Laughter) I wish that she was alive.
If every woman
acted as Meerabai did, the family would be in utter chaos!
A. I see. Every woman is not a
Meera. Meera is a woman, but every woman is not a Meera. And to love God, she
need not give up her husband. It’s not necessary.
As Baba said, “When you look after
your own people lovingly, understand that you are serving God.”
Namaskaaram Keshavam Prathigacchathi.
Whoever you respect, whoever you
serve, whoever you love, it means you love God, you are respecting God. It
doesn’t mean when you love God, you should hate your husband. (Laughter)
When you love your husband, it
doesn’t mean that you should hate God. That equation won’t work here. If you
love God, you should love your husband more! When you love God, you should love
your people more because God is in them.
As Baba said, “If you disrespect
anybody, it means you are disrespecting God.”
Thiraskaaram Keshavam Prathigacchathi.
Whoever you deny, whoever you
neglect, you are neglecting God Himself. That’s what Baba has said.
Let us take Meera’s case. She had given priority to God. She developed distance from her husband not because she disliked him, but because he started interfering with her devotion. Therefore, let us not think that she hated him from our usual psychological point of view. It is not so.
also did something similar. They were so immersed in Krishna, that they had no
time for their families.
A. No! They could see Krishna. A
daughter-in-law could see Krishna in her mother-in-law, which is usually
impossible. Mother-in-law, daughter-in-law will never go together. Like fire and
water. (Laughter) Impossible. Of course, with due apologies to
But here is a case where gopikas could see Krishna in the mother-in-law! They could see Krishna in their husbands! They could see Krishna in butter, in milk, in the pot! They could see Krishna in the neighbourhood. That is Krishna-consciousness. So, we can’t interpret this in mundane, worldly terms.
Q. I fully agree with King Janaka, as he did his duty and also merged in God.
A. Very good! Please follow King Janaka’s example.
Meera and the gopikas are misleading.
A. No. We are misled by our own thoughts. We are misled by our own understanding. It is not misleading. Their examples illustrate the feeling of non-dual experience.
As Baba has said, “Expansion of
love is life. Contraction of love is death.”
The example of the gopikas is expansion of love. The example of Meera is expansion of love. Let’s not understand it in a narrow sense.
When we fall sick
off and on, should we really go to the doctor every time? Is it not okay to take
vibhuti in water and chant Swami’s Name, however big or small the ailment
Oh, I see. If I say “Yes,” you
will ask why the super speciality hospital is here. If I say vibhuti is
enough, you may question why the general hospital and the super speciality
hospital are there. If I say hospitals are there, you may ask why vibhuti
is not a cure.
What is Baba’s answer to this
question? Let us go to the source. He has dealt with all these questions as we
are in Him, and He is in us. He knows all these questions. What did He say?
“Some people have faith in medicine. For them the hospital is there. Some people have faith in vibhuti. “
Some people want both. Well, take
vibhuti, and go to the hospital so that the medicine will work well. (Laughter)
Take it so that the doctor will have God’s grace, which will enable him to
prescribe the suitable medicine for you, instead of some other medicine that
makes the situation much worse than before. (Laughter)
Baba said that it all depends upon our faith. Then, shall I pray for small ailments or big ones? No, no! We should pray to be without ailments also. (Laughter)
- Every time I try to do
some seva or join in some good deeds, there are always obstacles that
prevent me from doing so. How can you explain this?
They are not obstacles. They are tests. Suppose you know that you are going to get a promotion tomorrow, and $500 extra. You also have an appointment with your friend at the same time. Which do you prefer? Your friend will be there tomorrow, or is the $500 more important? (Laughter) So, you go there.
Your priorities are indicated. On occasions like this when you have to make a choice between the two, what is the priority? Should I spend a week in Las Vegas or should I spend a week in New York doing a service activity.
These are not obstacles; they are tests. They are there to indicate your priorities. If you emerge successfully, it naturally speaks of your Love for Bhagavan. So don’t consider them as obstacles. No! They are indicators, symbols, and signs.
A simple example: On Shivaratri Day (a celebration in honour of Lord Shiva), your relative is being married at your place. At Puttaparthi, on Shivaratri Day, there is the emergence of the lingam, an elliptical stone manifested by Bhagavan, which is the symbolic form of Godhead. Which one do you want to attend? Lingodhbhava or the wedding at home? Is it a test? No! It is not a test. It speaks of the priorities in your life, that’s all.
Your yardstick in judging priorities should be: God first, others next, ‘I’ at the end.
“Why is there an
increase in population?”
The body is perishable, but not the Atma (spirit). This so-called birth is just the appearance of the body. The increase in population is because of human indulgence. When there is no more indulgence, when we reach the stage of transcendence, the population problem will be resolved. Man has come down to the level of the senses. If he could transcend the level of the senses, he could go to the level of his being, which is the core of his life. Then there would be no population problem. It is also an expression of the lack of control of man over his body. It also speaks of the lack of the contemplative capacity of human society. If human society could rise to the level of the contemplative, meditative state, awareness and consciousness, this problem would be solved.”
Well, that brings us to the close of this morning session. I thank those who have sent us questions. I can also tell you that all the programs that the students presented will be available on the internet for the benefit of everybody. Thank you so much for being here this morning.
asked me, ‘what do you want?’ I expressed the wish to dance the Cosmic
Dance with Him, thinking of Divine music and the joy of Divine rhythm.
Above all, the Divine Dance is bliss, unison with Lord Shiva.”(070304)
A good wish indeed! Just one more step is required. You are almost near the goal. You have come out of the periphery. No, I won’t say come out. You are no longer at the circumference. You are closer to your centre. Just one step is required.
Don’t say, “I want to dance with Shiva.” You are already dancing because you are Shiva Himself. The whole world is a stage; all your walking on Earth is a dance; all your words are beautiful music; all of your dance stretches are that of a Divine Cosmic dance. So, it is not a wish to be fulfilled; it is already going on. The whole world is a continuing cosmic celestial dance. My friend, I can tell you that.
“Did Baba say
anything about the heavenly Ganga and the four Vedas?”(070304)
Swami has said a lot, but one piece of information is enough. Ganga is a symbol and does not mean the river in Benares. You can easily catch the Ganga Cauvery express train for Benares. Ganga is symbolic. It stands for water. Water is life. One can live without food for some time; no one can live without water. That is why the Vedas say, “Rasovai Saha. Raso levayam labdyavandhim bavathi “ Water itself is life. What did Baba say about Ganga? “Ganga is water - the sustainer of life.”
What did He say about the four Vedas? Swami said, “One refers to the spiritual aspect; one refers to the ritual aspect; one refers to the medical and mineral aspects; the other refers to the musical aspect. The four Vedas refer to four different aspects of human existence. They are for the sustenance of human society. Humans did not compose the Vedas; they were not human utterances. They all came from the celestial Voice, from the ethereal Divine Voice, from nowhere, from emptiness. Rishis, saints and seers heard them within. The Rishis, by regular recapitulation, passed the Vedas on to humanity as sacred texts for guidance and Divine direction.“
“I work in the
Indian Navy. During an interview, Bhagavan told me not to think
negatively. He also gave as an example about the construction of the
building where we see the walls being built and the roof being laid.
Please explain this analogy.”
I think this analogy is self-explanatory. Baba gave this analogy: “Positive thought is nothing but Self-confidence. This Self-confidence, the positive thought, is the foundation on which walls are erected, Self-satisfaction. Upon that, the roof is laid, self (ego) -sacrifice. Then the light is switched on, Self-realisation. So, Self-confidence is the positive thought where one needs to start.”
there a realised soul?
Baba said there are many realised souls. One gentleman asked Swami in the interview room, “Swami, are there realised souls?” Swami said, ”Yes! There are many.” A young man asked me this question, “Have you seen a realised soul?”
The answer came from Bhagavan. All of us are along the path of realisation. We cannot say 50% are unrealised souls, and 50% are realised souls. That counting may be alright for the sole of a shoe! But not for this. No! We are all along the path of realisation. Nobody is backward; nobody is forward. We are just walking, hand-in-hand. That is what Swami said.
Journey together. A journey to eternity. A journey of friendship and amity. A journey in perfect comprehension, understanding and cooperation.
So, have I come across any realised souls? Yes! I come across them every day. In what form? I see people going along the journey of realisation, along the path of enlightenment. Am I clear? That’s my answer.
”We cannot forget and forgive everybody so easily
because we are human beings. But Swami says to forget and forgive. Swami can
smile in all situations. We cannot. Can you show the right way towards life, or
should we say a spiritual life? How to smile in all situations?”
I see! In all situations, we can only smile when we smile at ourselves. Please understand. We can laugh at others only if we smile at ourselves. How?
A simple example: Somebody said to me, “Has Swami given you anything?”
“Has Swami given what?”
“Anything. A ring or a watch?”
I told him, “When I am not permanent, do you think the watches and rings that He gives are permanent?” I don’t think so. I am not permanent. The ring He gives cannot be permanent.
Then that man asked me, “Then, why does He give?” A very good question!
“He gives as a token of Love. He gives as a token of Grace.”
It is not that a ring can be permanent. Some people say, “Sir, you may lose your shoe, but the polish will last. The shine on the shoe lasts even if you lose the shoe.” It is something like that.
I smile at myself whenever I consider silly things so important. When Swami talks to you and I get jealous, I should smile at myself and think what a fool I am! He may talk to you tomorrow; He may talk to you the day after tomorrow; He may not talk to you after that. It is up to Him! Why should I feel bad about it? Therefore, we can smile if we can witness and see our own life!
I always tell my friends, “Arrey! Please be convinced of this. When everybody says, ‘Sai Ram! Sai Ram! Sai Ram! You are a great man,’ do not think that you are great. You are great because you are near Swami. When you are away from Swami, the moment you cross the gate, then you will know just how great you are! You are not at all great.” Because we are here with God, all the devotees are godly and they respect and love us for that. That’s all. The credit goes to Bhagavan and not to any of us.
Similarly, when you want to smile, be a witness to your own life. Why am I jealous? Why am I worried about simple things? If somebody sits where I usually sit, I say, “It is my place.” Thousands sat there before I came! (Laughter) However, since I started to sit there, I claim it is my place. If somebody sits there, I feel so bad. (Laughter)
Now I should smile at myself. Why? Having left family, friends, and properties…all in the name of God…now I want to fight for that place, that stone surface on which I sit. Is this worthwhile at all? What a fool I am that I want this seat. Arrey…arrey…rey!
Let us fight for a seat in the heart of Sai, not for a seat on the floor of the auditorium. It is foolishness. So, we can smile at our own whims and vagaries, at our own silly stupid attitudes. After all, what is all this? When Swami starts praising somebody, we feel so bad and think, “Is he so great? I am greater than him. Perhaps He does not know.” (Laughter) Swami praises so that you can become better. Swami praises to encourage you. Swami praises to correct you. Why don’t you think of it like that?
Suppose every father says, “You know, Mr. Anil Kumar, my son is pacca…a man of discipline,” When you start talking about his discipline, he will be disciplined for that day, at least. Next, he will claim, “My son is very intelligent, you see. He reads regularly.” But the fellow never touches a book. So, the father goes on speaking, sending positive signals, with the effect that the son will start reading from that day on.
Therefore, we cannot interpret these things. Be happy and smile at your own self (ego) for all its silly ideas. This is possible only if you consider yourself a witness. That’s what I can say.
“Will Baba show the
whole world that He is God in this body, or in the coming body, that of Prema
This fellow believes in the future also. (Laughter) Will Baba show that He is God? Showing is something different from what He is. Is that clear? I show my book. I am different from the book. Right? I show my glasses. I am different from the glasses. Baba shows that He is God. That means He is separate. But He is not. He is God! What is the fun in showing? It is not a question of showing, because if He shows now, then He is not God after the show. It is something like a magic show. He is not God after the show.
So my friends, He is God and He need not show. Will the sun show that it is the sun? It does not need to show. The sunlight shows that it is sun. Will the flower show that it is a flower? The very smell shows that it is a flower. Will gold show that it is gold? No! The very shine, the glitter itself, is proof that it is gold. Will Baba show that He is God? He is God because His life is godly - His form, all His actions, His words and His thoughts. So He is God. Am I clear? That is the way we have to take it.
Yes! It is also for your own good, if you face the punishment with the same spirit.
A simple example: It seems a fellow committed a murder and was brought to the court. The judge gave his pronouncement: “You are a culprit and a criminal. Since you committed a murder, you will be kept in prison for a lifetime.”
The prisoner was a philosopher, so he said: “Your majesty, a humble suggestion. I am not the body. I am not the mind. So, how can I kill? I am not the killer. How can you give me a punishment?”
The judge said, “I am not giving a punishment. I am not the judge. The punishment is to your body. This body is giving punishment to that body. You have not killed, and I have not punished you.” (Laughter)
This is the Vedanta vernacular. Therefore my friends, if you kill somebody, is it for your own good? Yes! It is for your own good if you face the punishment. This idea of whatever happened to me is for my own good is a principle that will withstand the test of time.
“It seems that the
state president issued a list of ninety bhajans with a directive that no other
bhajans be allowed to be sung in the bhajans mandali.
The list does not contain the old and new
bhajans sung in Prasanthi Nilayam. What shall we do?”
I don’t think that there is a prescribed list of bhajans. I don’t know. In a hotel, you will have a list of items prepared. You can eat any item. There is nothing like a list of bhajans.
A simple example: Suppose you are in a reflective, meditative mood, so you sing to yourself, “Dina Bhandava Sri Sai Deva.” Suppose you are in a jovial, happy mood; then you sing “Gopika Maala Haari Pyaari, Maayi Meera Mana Vihaari, Madana Mohana Murali Dhaari, Krishna Jai.”
No one can say: “This is the list of bhajans you should sing now.” A person cannot cry and sing a happy bhajan. It is not possible! It depends on your mood and the place where you are.
Many of our friends are abroad. Some are too busy; others stay alone at home. A person might sing Devaki Tanaya Dayanidhe, Dayanidhe….Kripanidhe. He thinks of God to feel His nearness - Darshan Deejo Deva Deva, Dinanatha Sai Natha, Devaki Tanaya Dayanidhe.
When you are alone at home, when you think that nobody is there for you, that nobody cares for you, the husband and children are away and the night is dark, what do you do? You cannot be joyful. You cannot sing a song with a fast beat. You sing a song to contemplate Him, to make Him feel very close…very close. Suppose someone near and dear to you has died; you cannot sing a song in a happy mood.
Naturally as a boy said,
Punarapi Jananam Punarai Maranam
Punarapi Janani Jatare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare
Kripaya Pare Paahi Murare.
In that mood, he will understand the momentary nature of life.
No one can say, “This is the list of bhajans you should sing.” We are not dictators like Musharaff and Bin Laden. We cannot do that; we should not do that.
”Will Baba transfer His powers to somebody?”
If it happens, we are the first applicants. (Laughter)
If He transfers His powers, to what? Will we have our chair by the side of the Hanuman statue there in the Hillview Stadium, giving interviews and charging money? (Laughter) There is nothing like the transfer of powers. There is nothing like the delegation of powers. You are the power.
Baba has said, “You are powerful! The power in Me is patent. While the power in you is latent and hidden, the power in Me is exposed.”
Therefore, there is no need for Him to transfer powers. You are the power. He has given you all the power. You are God!
Still, I want powers. Suppose you find a rich man begging near the railway station, what do you say? “He is a rich man; so why should he be begging there?” Similarly, when you are powerful, nobody needs to transfer power to you!
Those were the questions passed on to me for this week. Thank you so much for being here this morning. I appreciate your time. (Applause)
My friends, the answer is straightforward. He need not show that He is God because He is God. Showing is only necessary when one is not that. I give a show that I am God, as people do not experience that I am God. Showing indicates a division. Showing is artificial. Showing is pompous. Showing is self-praise. Baba need not show that He is God because He is already God. Am I clear? He is already accepted as God, as there is no country, no island, no place where He is not known. Everybody knows him. He is materialising everything. He is manifesting His Divinity.
138 - “Baba says that He does not transfer His power to anybody. In a few places, we find vibhuthi manifested and some people who are able to materialise vibhuthi and the lingam, etc. Is this not a transfer of power?”
My friends, please be attentive. Anybody may materialise vibhuthi; anybody may materialise a lingam. However, Baba creates vibhuthi to make you more spiritual, to make you detached, to make you desireless, to encourage you to perform sadhana, to make you noble, to improve you. That is the purpose of vibhuthi.
Baba materialises the lingam to show you your place of origin and the place where you will ultimately merge. That is the final goal of existence. Let us not talk about others; let us not think of others. Let us only think of Bhagavan.
That does not necessarily mean that I should not go to a certain other place. I may find some other person that is as beautiful as my mother, but I cannot call her mother. Isn’t that true? God wants unalterated, unpolluted and single-pointed, steady devotion. Please remember this: Let us not be carried away by anything that we come to know, or by anything that we hear. God wants us to be single-minded. God wants us to have an unwavering mind. In this context, let us not think about others.
“How does one
settle in Prashanti Nilayam?”
First, let me ask you this question: “Where is Prashanti Nilayam? Is this place here Prasanthi Nilayam?” No! Prashanti Nilayam is in your heart. Where there is shanti, where there is peace, where there is bliss - that is Prashanti Nilayam. If I am annoyed, if I am agitated, if I am disturbed, if I am nervous, if I am angry and harsh with everybody, how can this be Prashanti Nilayam, or in fact how can I claim to be in Prashanti Nilayam? Prashanti is a state of mind!
Prashanti is a state of mind. Prashanti is an attitude. Nilayam is the center. So, Prashanti is in the mind and the heart. To be settled in Prashanti Nilayam is to be constantly thinking of Swami, constantly praying to Him, constantly reading His literature, constantly repeating His Name. Only then, can you be in Prashanti Nilayam.
I may be in Prashanti Nilayam doing business. I may be in Prasanthi Nilayam with my mind full of politics. What for? That is only the physical Prashanti Nilayam. The real Prashanti Nilayam is in the mind. It is in your attitude. You are already there.
Instead of asking questions about how to settle in the physical Prashanti Nilayam, let us ask the question, “Why am I unsettled?”
A child is in prashanti or supreme peace. Let us watch a child sleeping Ah! Bliss! If you watch an elderly person sleep, it is often disturbing. If he snores, he looks like an animal from the zoo. Why? Because his mind is full of desires and attachments, so he cannot have a good sleep.
Prashanti Nilayam is in the mind, the human heart, and in one’s attitude. So we are already settled. The reason that we feel unsettled is because of desires and attachments. Because of these things, I am unsettled. The moment I am separate from these things, I can go back to my original place of peace.
That is why Bhagavan continually addresses us as “Embodiments of Love, Embodiments of Divine Atma, and Embodiments of Peace.” It means that we are peace itself.
Unfortunately, we have reduced this peace to pieces. We already are bliss, but we have made life miserable. So, let us question why we are unsettled. The reasons for our state of being unsettled are our attachments, possessiveness, pride and ego. Once we are free from these, we are already in Prashanti Nilayam!
“How does one
get Swami’s Grace?”
A good question. “How does one get Swami’s Grace?” My friends, it is not a thing to be got. You cannot go to the store and buy it. How do we get bread? We go to the bakery and buy it. How do we get ice cream? There is an ice-cream parlor here. How does one get God’s Grace? It is not to be got.
“Oh! I see! Why not?”
“It is already there. God’s Grace is not to be got. It is already there!”
“Oh, I see! Then why don’t I know it?”
Swami gave this example: When you want to hold water in your hands to drink, what should you do? You go to the tub of water. If you hold your hands down, you cannot hold water from the tub. If you cup your palms together, you can hold water and then drink it. There is water and there is the tub. Water is flowing continuously, but in order to retain it, you need to hold your palms upward and cupped together.
Similarly, Grace is always there, like the continuous flow of the water; but if your heart is turned upside down, you cannot experience the Grace. Grace is already there. That is the example that Bhagavan has given and that I want to share with you.
Bhagavan, let us be convinced that Your Grace is already there with us. We should turn our hearts towards You to collect the rain of Your Grace, to retain the rain of Your Grace. Let our hearts be positive. That is what we should do.
“Sathya Sai Baba
produced three Atma-Lingams as part of Lingodbhava
on Friday, February 18th. What did He do with the Lingams?
Did He use them for something? Did He create them for somebody or for the
“What did He do with the lingams? Ah! Ah!” (Laughter) My friends, what did He do with the lingams?
First, let us know why He creates the lingam. Bhagavan has said that the lingam is present in everybody. But the lingam that is present in Bhagavan emerges in solid form because of His Will.
The lingam is present in everyone near the navel. That gold, which is near the navel, is in a liquid form. But in Bhagavan, it takes a solid form and emerges during what we called Lingodbhava, occurring on Shivaratri. When the Shiva lingam emerges, a terrific heat is produced within the body. This is necessary for the liquid to take the solid form. (These are all the words of Bhagavan, not my imagination. Please be aware of that.)
When the heat is generated, the body appears to shiver, the body appears to have fallen sick, and the body appears to have become weak. These are all the signs of the liquid turning solid by the heat generated there.
Swami has said, “Nothing can ever happen to me. The lingam is the finest symbol of Divinity, like a national flag.” The symbol for lingam is the origin of creation. Lingam is that into which all creation will finally merge. Lingam is the origin and the end of all creation.
What does He do with the lingams?
I know Swami has presented lingams to some devotees who do regular worship. The Shiva lingam requires a specific ritual to be followed. There are some people who are ritualistic, who are orthodox. Swami may present a lingam to them.
Other times, the lingam disappears. When we asked Swami where the lingams are, Bhagavan answered, “They have gone back to the place where they came from. They went back to their source.”
Both possibilities are there. That is the answer.
“What about merging with Brahman at the end of
all creation and returning in the next creation in another human form?”
I would like to draw your attention to an interesting question that was passed on to me this morning. The question concerns the process of merging with Brahman at the end of all creation and returning in the next creation in another human form.
My friends, there is a very simple answer. Merge means ‘no return’. A simple example: a spoon of sugar is mixed in water. It becomes totally immersed, totally dissolved. Now I say, “Oh, sugar, come on, come on out!” I cry. I do penance. I sing bhajans. Still, I do not get the sugar. It is impossible!
To merge is total. Merging is not partial. Once you are merged in Brahman, there is no question of coming back. There is no other creation possible. You have become one in Brahman.
The other day, Bhagavan gave an example: You find a river. Rivers have different names and forms. As they flow, they pass different cities; they travel down the valley, up the hill and finally they merge in the ocean. Once a river merges in the sea, if you stand in front of the sea and say, “I want my river, I want the Mississippi River and so on,” the sea will say, “Oh fool, go back!” Once a river merges in the sea, there is no return. That is the answer I can give you. To merge means ‘no return’!
“Once we merge
with God, is it forever? Will it mean that we won’t ever take any form
again, even if God wills it?”
When you are one with God, you are God, and you no longer exist. You are not there. Once you are merged with God, just as the river that merged into the ocean no longer exists, you no longer exist. Am I correct? So once you are with Brahman, coming back does not exist. ‘I’-ness is God. That is called merging. Am I clear on this yet?
I am sure not as many as I have! (Laughter) As far as the mythological story goes, He had two beautiful sons -- Ganesha and Subrahmanyam. But they are not the sons of our imagination. Shiva was not human; please understand this is necessary first to beget children. (Laughter)
We have sufficient problems with our family and children. (Laughter) We have sons who turn out to be prodigal. Let not Shiva also repent for begetting such sons. (Laughter)
To begin with, Shiva was not human. Shiva is Divine. Shiva is a phenomenon. Shiva is cosmic. Shiva is infiniteness. Shiva is vastness. It is a philosophy; it is an ideology; it is energy; it is not human.
Then, what about the two sons? One represents energy. The other represents fulfilment. Effort is Subrahmanyam, the second son. Its realisation is Ganesha, the first son. So, effort is not enough; fulfilment of effort is required. Effort is Subrahmanyam; fulfilment of the effort is Ganesha. Human action is Subrahmanyam; without any obstacles is Ganesha. They are different facets of approach. They are different angles of perception. They are different views of cognisance and experience. They are not sons in the normal sense.
“Who is the next Avatar?”
I see! (Laughter) Have you
completed the quota of the present Avatar? (Laughter) “I don’t
know” means, “I am disappointed now. I hope to meet Him in the next Avatar.”
The next Avatar comes after my present life, so let me put this question in the next life and (Laughter) not now. My friends, these kinds of futuristic questions based on astrology, based on the time, are meaningless spiritually-speaking. Religion is not future. Religion is not past. Religion is here and now! Please understand. Here and now is religion! God is here and now! God is not the past! God is not the future! Let us not ask questions like this.
“The Sai organisation is seen as
a sect because of Hinduistic influence. Does Swami want to comment on
Baba is not a Hindu. Baba is not a Christian. Baba is not a Muslim. Baba is beyond. Religion is dogma; religion is fanatic; religion is lunatic; while religiousness is Divine. So, if I want to talk about Baba, Baba is the combination of all religions. Baba is the essence of all religions.
If you say it is Hinduistic, better you stop it and do it in the way you like it. Swami wants a Christian to be a better Christian and a Hindu to be a better Hindu. It is not a matter of conversion. Sathya Sai is not conversion. Sathya Sai is transformation. That’s what we have to remember.
“Why can’t we sing Sanskrit
songs? Why sing some other songs? The world council has sent a circular
that we should sing in our own language.”
I am glad that at least you want
to sing Sanskrit bhajans or bhajans in your own language. Good!
That’s at least a positive attitude. My friends, it is not the language that
matters because there is only one language: the language of the heart. It is
important whether you are singing with your heart, not whether you are singing
in Telugu or Sanskrit. No, no, no! God knows all languages.
I don’t believe it is out of context if I tell you a note from my personal life. I was talking to my father and said, “Daddy, I am sorry that I don’t know Sanskrit.”
He said, “God knows your Telugu
and English. It is enough.” (Laughter)
God knows your language. In trying
to learn Sanskrit, let me not unlearn my mother tongue. My friends, the best way
is that which is spontaneous. Because I want to please God, if I start learning
Veda and start making it ugly, as awful as possible, God will have to
plug His ears. (Laughter)
A group of villagers was granted an interview. Baba told them, “Nowadays, I am plugging my ears with cotton because your tunes are off. Abba! I am not able to listen! They are horrible songs because they are artificial, out of tune, out of beat and out of rhythm.”
They wanted to sing the glory of God in a particular pattern. God is not a pattern. God is not a schedule. God is not a program. He cannot be put in a computer disk or on a floppy disc. Impossible! I am sorry to say that we have become mechanical everywhere.
At home, we are mechanical. With God, we want to be mechanical, too. We have become machines. That’s why our lives are dull and tasteless. We have castor oil faces (Laughter) with no smile, machine smiles. We also refuse to smile because our life has become mechanical.
So, my friends, the best way to pray to God depends upon your mood at that moment: your feelings, your emotions, your condition, your state of mind at that moment. Just be spontaneous! Being instantaneous at that moment is prayer.
A prayer that is programmed, a
prayer that is designed, a prayer that has a pattern, is no prayer at all. A
prayer that is an outburst, a spontaneous outpouring of one’s own heart, is
prayer. Please remember that the instantaneous, spontaneous outpouring of a
human heart is a prayer; it is not repeating something that has been said
“In this time, what is the most
healing music for the western over-stressed and disturbed mind? Could
singing a mantra or reciting one be more beneficial?
A disturbed mind is disturbed
whether it is a western mind or eastern mind. (Laughter) An agitated mind
is agitated whether it is an eastern mind or western mind. A peaceful mind is in
peace whether it is eastern or western. Eastern or western is geographical. It
is not that eastern are human and western are super-human. It is enough if we
are not demons! (Laughter)
The so-called eastern or western
is only geographical. Some people from the east may settle in the west. Tell me,
are they eastern or western? (Laughter) Or, some from the west may
settle in the east. East and west are only directions. Let us not be bothered
about it. No!
“Why has Swami recently begun Vedic
chanting? Is there a particular reason why this is done at this particular
time? Music can have a great pacifying influence on people.”
Others may have questions like
this. Sometime back, Swami had only music programs. The music college students,
little fellows, used to sit and sing daily. Why did no one ask this question
then, “Why is there music everyday?” It is only a question today: “Why Veda
My friends, the first thing we have to do is to forget this question, “Why?” Let us forget this question of why. “Why should He call you? Why not me? Why should you get an interview? Why not me? Why should you be given a ring? Why not me?”
‘Why’ should be forgotten! ‘Why’ is worldly; ‘why not’ is worldly. Acceptance is surrender, and spirituality calls for total acceptance.
As far as our thought can stretch forward, Veda chanting may be required more than ever before. If you go through the newspaper and watch TV, you know why the chanting is in great demand. Individually, we are not at peace. In our family, we are not at peace. In our community, we are not at peace. At the level of the world, there is no peace. Therefore, there needs to be a process of correcting or overhauling us, in order to control the body and mind. Vedic chanting is a process of overhauling.
“If death is the dress of life,
which means we should not be afraid of death, then what do we do with the
Mahamrutyunjaya mantra? Should we chant it or not?”
Mahamrutyunjaya mantra is the mantra that is to be chanted to be deathless. The aim is correct, but that does not mean that those who chant the Mahamrutyunjaya mantra will never die. (Laughter) In the beginning, I said that we never die because we were never born. As I was never born, who is going to die? Nobody! When there is no birth, there is no death.
Therefore, my friends, Mrutyunjaya mantra will help you to know that your consciousness or your spirit is deathless. It is not insurance for your body to be eternal! (Laughter) Even if our body were eternal, it would be useless. It would be a curse because we could not walk, we could not eat and we could not sit. We would have to lie down like a vegetable. Would you like eternity like that? (Laughter) No, I don’t want it. So long as I am alive, I want to be active and I want to be smart. Let me go to the other world like this and not totally bed-ridden.
Therefore, the Mrutyunjaya mantra helps you to know the Divinity within. It also ensures that there is no untimely death. When the flight is to be there at 12 o’clock in the afternoon, if the flight reaches two hours earlier, at 10 o’clock, we are not happy because we expected it to arrive there at 12:00 noon.
There may be some people who get
‘promoted’ even before. When God has granted a hundred years of life to some,
others die at a young age. Well, they have already reached their destination.
Mrutyunjaya mantra is chanted so that there would be no untimely death. It
is chanted to know eternity, not to remain deathless. A second-hand body would
be hopeless. It is not worth it. (Laughter)
“There are 120 members in a samithi
and they want to organise into two groups. In one group, there are
devotees with instruments,
capable of singing. In the other group, they
are not that talented. What should we do?” (Laughter)
My friends, we don’t go there just for music, do we? If it is for music, there are casinos elsewhere; (Laughter) there are restaurants elsewhere; there is pop music elsewhere, calling for attention like Michael Jackson’s music. Why not, (Laughter) right?
We go to a centre for peace. You are thinking, “Because a Sai centre has more singers, let me not go there.” It is not the singing that is important; it is the meaning of the song. So long you think of the singer, you are a sinner. (Laughter) When you speak of a song, yes, you are Divine. You should become a song, not a singer.
What is the difference between a
singer and a song? Singer is conscious of the people listening to him. Singer is
conscious of the previous singer. And the singer is also thoughtful of the next
singer. The singer aims to be No.1 for that bhajan session. (Laughter)
He is just an ordinary singer. But a listener, who joins in chorus, singing in
joy, not thinking of the singer at all, thinks of the song. He becomes
the song himself. That is Divine. Be a song and not a singer.
Therefore, my friends, our preference is not for singers and instruments. Our preference should be towards vibration. When I am in the company of a knowledgeable man, I feel energetic; I feel dynamic; I feel active. Suppose I am in the company of a dunce, (Laughter), a worldly fellow, and an egoistic fellow. After some time, I feel exhausted. He doesn’t handle me; there is no resonance between us. Still, I feel very weak. Why? Vibrations!
Therefore, vibrations are more
important. What kind of ‘vibe’ do you get? What kind of feelings do you get? The
kind of commitment you feel is more important than the numbers and the talent.
“Why does Swami stare at His
devotees during car darshan? It happened to me twice.”
Swami staring at you has become a trouble here! (Laughter) Swami not staring at you has become a trouble elsewhere! (Laughter) “Why is Swami looking at me?” is my problem. “Why is Swami not looking at me?” is another man’s problem! So, what should He do now? Look at you or not look? (Laughter)
Swami looking at you is an act of
mercy. Swami staring at you is an act of grace. Swami staring at you is an act
of compassion. Swami staring at you is recognition. “Hi! How are you?” He does
that so you do not feel ignored.
Swami staring at you also can mean, “I know what you are doing. I also know what you are doing elsewhere!” (Laughter)
Or, “How saintly you are, how
simple within! I know it all!”
Depending upon the individual, this staring has its own interpretation. Suppose a person is feeling neglected, as Swami has not looked at him. He feels horrible…oh la la! (Laughter) “What have I come all this way for, oh Lord? I am crying; I am desperate!”
Then when He stares at you, it is something like a shower of rain on hot summer. We welcome rain. When the raindrops touch the soil, there we find beauty. When Swami looks at you a feeling comes, which is beyond words, beyond narration, beyond all estimation, beyond all parameters and known measures.
Suppose Swami stares at you while you are thinking, “Oh Bhagavan, I am in deep problems! I am in trouble. I do not know what to do and what not to do. Bhagavan, right now I do not have mental peace.” When He stares at you, He is sending forth the fountain of peace, the fountain of joy.
Suppose I am full of complaints inside. “Swami, I deserve a better deal than what You are giving me! (Laughter) I should be given a higher post. Don’t You know that much? The present post You have given me is so low.” The heart is full of complaints, but I smile outside because society demands it. Let not others think that I am not a devotee. (Laughter) I want others to think that I am also a devotee, so I smile while having all sorts of complaints inside.
In that case, Swami stares at the inner complaint, and wonders at the outer smile! God looks into the inner, not the outer. That’s what His staring means. So, God staring at you depends upon your situation at that particular point of time.
Science can be generalised; mathematics can be generalised; but spirituality is wholly, totally individualistic. So I cannot interpret on somebody’s behalf. I cannot explain on somebody’s behalf. How hungry you are, I cannot say. How thirsty you are, I cannot say. What the particular stare you received meant, I do not know. What is in you, I do not know.
Anyway, this way or that way, Swami staring at us is really like moonlight. Swami staring at us is a cool breeze. Swami staring at us is as beautiful as sunrise. Swami staring at us is something like a cloud that passes by. It is so nice to look at. Swami staring at us is something like a mighty ocean, full of waves, turbulent waves. Swami staring at us is like a banquet, right in front of us, when we are very, very hungry. Swami staring at us is like a nice sleep that we experience after sleepless nights. It is the joy of joys. That’s what I can say about it.
123 - “Sir, we all agree that all human beings, irrespective of cast and creed, are in search of the so-called unknown in the physical world, which is peace or universal Love, or Self- realisation. We also agree that Swami has incarnated in the world for this very purpose, to help or lead of us on the path so that we can reach the destination. Now, sir, you are in the proximity of the physical form of the Avatar, and also on constant physical talking terms, more than anybody else in the world. Do you feel that you have come to the end of the search, or feel that you have accomplished the task of this life, or do you feel fulfilment can be attained in the near future? What exactly is your inner feeling? Sorry, sir, for asking a personal question, but this is out of curiosity. (Laughter)
The answer is this: You and I are very close to Swami. We are talking to Him every day. Does it mean the end of the search? Does it mean that we have accomplished what we should do? Should we declare that we have reached the end of our journey? No sir, because when I say, “I achieved,” ‘I’ is the barrier. Until ‘I’ is gone, ‘I’ am yet to go. (Laughter) So as long as ‘I’ is there, there is still a long way to go.
If you say, “I have come to the end of the journey”, no, you have made but a beginning, because ‘I’ is still there. You have not come to the end. In fact you are still at the beginning. (Laughter) If you say, “I have accomplished”, you have not! You are yet to accomplish. You are here to know what is to be accomplished because, my friends, when once this ‘I’-ness is gone, there’s nothing to be achieved. There is nothing to be accomplished, because it is already here! It is already here.
There is a curtain there, but the board is here. The curtain is there just in front of it. Because of the curtain, you are not able to see the board. Because of the curtain, you are not able to see the letters. Now, remove the curtain! Take it off. You can see the board.
Similarly, there is the spirit, the Divinity, the Prajnana, the awareness, within you. The curtain of ‘I’-ness, of ego has got to be lifted, that’s all. It is not the beginning of the road or the end of the road, because this road is the beginning and the end. It is the beginning and the end, because it is already there. I do not know. When I begin to see that is the beginning, when I experience that it is the end, it is the beginning and the end, too. (Laughter) The only thing is it is unknown at one time and known later.
I really appreciate those who have put those questions. Thank you very much. May Bhagavan bless everyone in your families on the happy occasion of sacred Deepavali. Thank you very much. (Applause)
122 - “What does Baba say about Vastu? Vastu Sastra is a special science that speaks of the engineering constructions, where such a building has to be constructed in the north or something like that.”
I don’t have enough information about what Baba has said about Vastu. I have no information, but the experts and experienced people tell me that all the constructions here totally agree with the science of Vastu. Vastu is a science that tells where the kitchen should be, where the dining hall should be, where the bedroom should be. People say that all the Prasanthi constructions are in perfect agreement with Vastu, but I have no knowledge to quote Swami here right now about what He has to say about this particular topic.
121 - The thought for the day of the 18th September, 2003 revealed: “Man has been given a hundred years of life and plenty of work to fill the years with, but you fritter the time with playful games, founding and fostering a family.” What does Baba mean, ‘We fritter the time in founding and fostering a family?’ Is there something wrong in founding and fostering a family?
Good question. Swami will never say that to lead a family life is wrong, no. I’ll put it this way. “Be in the world, but not of the world.” Be not worldly. Swami gave an example: A boat is on the surface of the water, but the water is not in the boat. If the water is in the boat, it will be in the next day’s newspaper: ‘Fifty Fellows Drowned’. (Laughter) Am I not right? Similarly, we are on the surface of the waters of family life, but above it, over it. So you can be in the world, but yet out of the world.
Another example: The lotus flower is born in the mud, surrounded by water, but the flower is above the surface of the water, untouched by the water and mud as well. That’s the exemplary example that Bhagavan has given all of us. Be in the world, yet above the world. You can be in the world, but you cannot be of the world. That is what Swami said. Condemnation of life, negativity about life is not spirituality. Spirituality is life affirmative. Spirituality is life positive. It is not life negative, no!
I am a
devotee of Swami and have been
for the past four years. Does Swami know about me? Does He know of my love and
devotion for Him?
Good. The answer is quite simple. Bhagavan Himself said, “Nobody can be here
unless I will, unless I decide.” So, you have been here for four years, not
because of your choice or because of your preference. No, no, no! We are all
here because He wants us to be here, not necessarily that we wanted to be here.
us be very clear, because I can also put it this way if you’ll excuse me. We are
here in spite of us!
is not a city. This not a place of comfort. This is not a place of luxury. This
is not a place of entertainment. Five star, super star hotels are not available
here, no entertainment, nothing. This is not Las Vegas!
Then why are we here? My friends, we are here because He dragged us or brought us, and kept us here. (Silence) That’s all. (Applause) He silenced all of our emotions. He silenced all of our desires. He has switched off our mind, and made us live comfortably with the fellow mosquitoes all around. (Laughter) Sometimes every one of us begins to wonder how we are able to live here. (Laughter) We don’t meet people with a smiling face. Nobody will greet us. “Why are you here? Get up. Go there.” If you go there, “Come here.” (Laughter) What is all this? (Laughter)
friends, we are still able to get along.
are here. We are still able to bear all this. Why? Sathya Sai, the spirit, is
responsible, not the people around here. I’m very much sure about it. So, my
friends, when you say that you are here for the last four years, that is enough
of a guarantee to say that you are chosen, you are selected, not by your own
will, but by Bhagavan Baba Himself.
How can we transmute our energy in the
Bhagavan gave one full discourse in the year
1978 on Shad Chakras, the six chakras in our body. The
primal energy at the bottom of the spine will start moving upwards in a zigzag
movement called Kundalini. It is the movement of primal energy in an
upward direction, passing through the six chakras. The one at the base is
Mooladhara, the first chakra, and the last one is Sahasrara.
So, the primal energy is on the ascent, and reaches Sahasrara. This is
called Kundalini Yoga. This is what Bhagavan explained, to the
extent I remember.
But my friends, there is a caution. If everybody takes up Kundalini Yoga, it is going to give negative results. There is going to be a nervous breakdown, and the lungs are going to be affected, unless an expert teaches you, unless a guru teaches you, where there is no monetary transaction.
Some say, “I teach Kundalini Yoga
for five hundred rupees.”
No, no! Where there is a demand for money,
there is no Divinity, please take it from me. Bhagavan has repeatedly said that
where there is a transaction of money, there is no God at all. God has got
nothing to do with money. The air is free, earth is free, and fire is free,
whereas these people charge you! That's why our very faith in doctrine, in
philosophy, is shattered. Therefore, my friends, though Kundalini is
genuine, we do not have selfless experts to teach us. That's why we have
But why should we suffer? Why do you want to exert? Why do you want to strain yourself, when things are made so easy now? When a computer is there, why do you want to write? When a calculator is there, why do you want to strain? When things are delivered in the form of a capsule, why do you want to exert yourself? A capsule is given today, a nice package is given to humanity today, which is effortless, which is so simple and has no threat at all. There is no danger, no reversal, and no negativity. It is the easiest, simplest thing and we can do it anytime, anywhere. The easiest path is Namasmarana. Bhajan is a sure path to reach God. Why do you want to strain yourselves?
It is nothing but the exercise of the ego: “You
know, I have done Pranayama.”
“I see. Do it next life
“You know that I am
specially trained in Kundalini?”
“Good, have an
institute in your name.”
It's not that. The end
is important, but the mind refuses to accept what is readily available. Yes, all
of us are breathing now. I don't doubt anybody. Nobody feels proud that they are
breathing. All are breathing -- nothing special about it. I experience a cool
breeze; yes, all of us are experiencing it. But the air conditioner is a special
qualification. “You know my residence has air conditioning?”
But don't have a
conditioned mind, please. Man wants to be special. Man wants to achieve
something. This is there, reflected in the spiritual field also. That is the
tragedy. So let’s not strain. Let’s not exert. Things are easily available right
at our doorstep.
What is Swami's opinion about Jyothisha?
My friends, I don't remember that Bhagavan said anything on this aspect. But I can tell you some points related to this. Somebody once said, “Swami, there are texts like the Nadi Grandha, a text which contains the details of all of our lives. People go there and spend some money. The readers go through that Nadi Grandha, and tell you all the details.”
Bhagavan said, "The Nadi Grandhas, the books that contain the bio-data and biographical details of all the people, are correct so far the past is concerned. But the future need not necessarily be valid."
Why? Saints like Bhrughu wrote the
Nadi Grandhas. Bhrughu is a sage who wrote the Bhrughu Nadi.
Sages and saints wrote them all. So, to be understood and to be interpreted
correctly, we need a saintly man -- not a man who takes Rps. 100 to interpret
them! The saints cannot be brought down to the level of 100 rupees, no. So, the
readers cannot interpret it correctly, so far as the future is concerned. Well,
no one can do it. So, I don't condemn the horoscopes; I don't deny it. But we
don't have genuine interpreters. Therefore, we are often misled.
And in my humble opinion, it is better we don't
know the future. (Laughter) It’s better, because there is nothing you are
going to get out of it. On the other hand, you lose the thrill of life. You lose
the beauty of life. Let the suspense be maintained by God, so that we can enjoy
the drama of our life, the mystery of life. That's what I personally feel about
Now to the last
question: “Why should one desire liberation when he has no idea of it?”
(Laughter) Very good question.
Some people say, “Sir, I want Moksha…but why?” He does not know why. (Laughter) It is neither sweet nor hot. It is neither whiskey nor beer. Why? Why do you want Moksha? Why do you need liberation?
People think that it is something elsewhere. No! The place is non-dualism: that is the place where there is no pain or pleasure, the place where there is neither suffering nor ecstasy. It is place where you are in a blissful, non-dual state. It is beyond want and beyond desire. It is a place or a situation where there is an attitude of equanimity, a balanced state of mind - that is called liberation.
Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to suffer. Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to face the pain. Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to pass through the chain of duality. To be non-dual, to rise above, for my own comfort. My friends, that was the answer given.
I thank you very much for being here and for the extra time. It took longer because I wanted to complete the whole thing. With this third talk, I have completed all the questions put to me in the United States by the devotees, which I really wanted to share with everybody.
I thank Swami for having given me this golden opportunity. Moreover, I thank you very much for being with us this morning, and for next week. Thank you very much.
“When I have to
suffer my own karma, what sort of help does Baba extend?”
Very logical: When I have to suffer my own karma, why should I come here? Karma cannot be avoided. (Laughter) Why waste money on reservations, inconveniences and mosquito bites? (Laughter) Why all this? A very reasonable question.
You have to suffer your karma. There is no way out of it. However, coming to Baba, you will have the courage to bear the suffering. When the anesthetic is given, you don’t feel the pain. Although there is suffering, you don’t feel the pinch because of coming to Baba. You are not escaping the karma, but you don’t feel the pinch. That is the advantage of coming here.
“I am from
Lebanon and I am a Jordanian Christian. My people accept all that is related to
Christianity, but not Baba. What should I do?”
Don’t force them. Let the Christian follow the Christian faith. Let the Muslim follow the Muslim faith. To proceed in your own faith is the nearest and surest way to reach Baba. To follow your own faith is the easiest path to reach Baba. Baba will never accept any conversion, nothing whatsoever. That's the answer I gave.
“Would you please
explain a little bit more about the three R's - reaction, reflection, resound?”
When man is Divine, what is the problem then? When man is Divine, what is the fun of reaction, reflection, resound? Because I do not know that I am Divine, I think in terms of reaction, reflection and resound. Once I know that I am God, there is no question of reaction, reflection and resound.
A simple example: I am in front of the mirror, and therefore, I see my reflection. When there is no mirror, there is no reflection. Because I feel that that I am a person, because I feel that I have a body, because I feel that I am an individual, there comes the problem of reaction, reflection and resound. Once I am convinced that I am Divine, there is nothing to be seen of the three R's.
“What is the
difference between surrender and merger?”
Surrender or merger is one and the same. Merger is said to be at the physical level. Surrender is the spiritual, technical term for the merger.
“In a family, how
is it that one or two are devotees, while the rest are not Sai devotees? Why?”
What can I say? (Laughter) There are three people in the family. One person gets a university degree. The next one gets through the University examination. The last one successfully fails! (Laughter)
How am I to answer? In respect to spirituality, it depends upon one’s own fate, one’s own destiny. After all, life is just a moment. That’s all. Out of a series of lives, the present life is a just a moment. The present is a speck. Everyone passes through a number of lives. Life is a continuous journey to eternity. This life is just a moment; it’s just an incident.
Actually there is no death whatsoever. Death is a useless word. Death is a meaningless word. Death actually refers to the disappearance of the body. The appearance of the body is birth. The disappearance of the body is death. There is neither birth nor death. I am not mad. I am not making you mad either! (Laughter) Actually, there’s neither birth nor death. We are eternal. We are immortal. When we think of life in that way, we can certainly understand. Some people have this awareness and some do not have it.
So, why is it that some are devotees and others are not? It only means that God has chosen you. God’s Grace makes you devoted. God's Grace makes you more faithful. Those who are denied His Grace…well, they will get it slowly. If not this flight, they can catch the next flight. All are sure to reach the destination. Some people miss the flight, but they make arrangements with the airlines to go on the next flight!
So, if not now, then the next life. Coming next to the Sai family is the communist. (Laughter) A communist is not an atheist; a communist is not a non-believer. He comes next, so ‘come you next’ = communist. Therefore, some children are devoted and others are not devoted, because ‘come you next’. That’s the answer I can give!
“Swami repeatedly says, ‘My life is My message.’ Could you please share
your thoughts on its basis for the benefit of the devotees in the Bay
“My life is My message” refers to the life of Love, the life of sacrifice, the life of truth, the life of righteousness. That should be enough guidance for everyone. That’s how the devotees will benefit. The life of Swami in itself is His Divine message.
anything wrong in praying to Swami for our wants, for our needs?”
There is nothing wrong with it. We have no other to ask. We have none to fall back on other than God. The Bhagavad Gita also gives this sanction: Artho Jignasu Artharthi. Artho - the one who yearns for His Grace, Artharthi – the one who wants money, Jingnasu - the inquirer, Jnani - the one of wisdom.
From all directions, you can reach for His Grace. British Airways, Indian Airlines or Lufthansa - all these different airlines take you to JFK Airport in New York. Similarly, you can pray to God for anything. ‘O God, I want this… I want this’, but with the preparedness to accept whatever He gives. With preparedness, ‘O God, whatever You give is my good luck.’
Once Swami said, “Debbalu Kottina nee Manchike.” “Even if God hits you, beats you, it’s for your good. Even if He denies you, even if He does not grant you your desire, it is for your good.” That’s what Bhagavan has said.
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