Swami Stories Taken From Sunday Talks Given by
Taken from ďSelected Sai Stories,Ē September 17th, 2000
Bhagavan gave two answers, two points here: One, live in the present, live in the moment, live in existence. Because we live in the past, we worry. We want to live in the future, we worry. ĎAfter thirty years, who will take care of me?í ĎAfter twenty-five years, what will happen to me?í Anything may happen to you, but nothing will happen to the world.
So it is all unnecessary worry and anxiety. We get worried for nothing. Only those who live in the past and those who live in future worry. In order to see that we do not worry, the only solution, the answer provided by Bhagavan is, "Live in the moment; live in existence; live in the present. Thatís all."
And at one time He has gone to the extent of saying, "I do not know what worry is. Really I want to know how worry tastes, even now. Well, I donít know the taste of it." Thatís what Baba said. "I donít know what worry is. I donít know how you people worry. I want to know what worry is." Dear God wants to know what worry is! But sometimes He makes us get worried by not looking at us, by not taking the letters, yes. Shall I say He is a source of worry at the time of darshan line? Yes.
So, then Swami says, "I donít know what worry is. I donít worry anytime. The reason is things happen on their own accord. Things that are destined to happen, things that are sure to happen, they happen in their own way. By your worry, you are not going to change the scheme of things. By your worry, you are not going to change the destiny. You are not going to change the Will of God. Why worry? Let things happen. Thatís all. What is bound to happen will happen. So, donít worry of the future. Donít worry of the past. Live in the present." That is one way of not worrying at all.
The second point He made about how not to worry is this: If you are aware of your true Self, if I abide in the Self, if I know my true identity there, that I am the Self, the Divine, the Atma, the spirit, the consciousness, I donít have to worry. Why? My true nature is consciousness. My true nature is the Divine which is changeless, which is not affected by changes of time; which is not affected by changes of circumstances or events that follow in sequential order. The Self does not know what jumps and bumps are, what ups and downs are, up on the peak, then down into the valley. The Self remains all the same. So, when once I know that I am the true eternal Self, which is immortal, which is nectarine, which is eternal Truth, unpolluted, changeless, immovable, unshakable, deathless, you donít have to worry. That is the second point that Bhagavan said.
What is the highest fear that most of us have, or the worst of the fears? What is it that creates the highest intensity of fear amongst everybody of any country? That is death. Death is the greatest fear. It creates fear of the highest intensity. What does Bhagavan say? How to be free from the fear of death? What was His point?
Bhagavan said one point: "Death is the dress of life." When I change my body, I have to consider that I am changing my dress. Thatís all. When I change my dress and wear a new suit, a new suit straight from Sears or Pennyís or Mercuryís, from a department store like that in the USA, I donít have to cry. I should feel all the more happy.
So when you change your dress, you feel all the more happy because you look young enough. You draw the attention of everyone. You are more handsome. Therefore, death is the dress of life. This death is going to make you attain youth, change the worn-out body, the body which is rather tired out.
You are disgusted with that body. Why? You cannot walk due to the joint problems, arthritis. You cannot keep your neck straight and listen to the discourses because of spondilitis. We cannot get ourselves exposed to cold weather because of bronchitis. So arthritis, spondilitis, and bronchitis are the problems at this age. Memory fails. Vision fails. Hearing is not clear. We ourselves are disgusted with this body. What is the fun of continuing in that body?
So death is a celebration! Death is not an occasion of mourning. Death is not a moment of misery. Death is a joyful occasion. Death is to be welcomed because Ďold order changeth, yielding place to newí. This is the law of life. Therefore, we will never be victims to this fear of death when we are aware of the fact that we are going to look brighter than before, younger than before, more energetic than before, more handsome than before, more active and be more meaningful than before. So it has to be viewed in a different way because death is a celebration. It is a holy occasion. It is a sacred occasion. It is not inauspicious as most of us think.
Socrates was a Greek philosopher. Most of us know of him, have heard a lot of him. Bhagavan often quotes excerpts from Socratesí teachings. Socrates was sentenced to death, as many of you know. When Socrates was sentenced to death, do you know what he said? "After all, the body is going to die some day or other." Smiling he said this.
Socrates smilingly said: "After all, the body is going to die today or tomorrow. What if you are going to kill me? What if you are going to poison me? What if you are going to put me behind the bars? You have sentenced me to death, so what? Death is certain. Some day or other, I am going to die. There is nothing great in killing me because I am going to be lost on my own!"
So he just laughed at it. And further Socrates said, "Death is a joke to me. Death is the biggest joke. I simply laugh at the death. There is nothing to feel sorry about." Thatís what Bhagavan has said about Socrates.
Further it is also said that this worry and fear go together constantly. Bhagavan has put it in a beautiful way: "The eternal Self, the Atma, the consciousness is immortal, amrita. But when this consciousness, being immortal, amrita, gets identified with the body, it suspects death. Therefore, it expresses itself in the form of delusion. Delusion or illusion is nothing but body identification. Body identification is a delusion. Identification with the consciousness is realization. Realisation is identification with the consciousness. Identification with the body is illusion or delusion." Thatís what Bhagavan has said.
I am also happy to share with you an important factor regarding a true guru or a true teacher. Let me not use Ďteacherí because most of us are teachers, not worth the name as we work for our salaries. So the paid people are teachers by profession, not by choice, not by birth, not by right. Theyíre teachers of professional value, to eke out their living, to carry on their livelihood. We canít call them gurus or masters or preceptors.
Preceptors, prophets, masters, gurus are of that cadre who doesnít wait for revision of the salaries, who donít go on trying for extra income! Thatís what Bhagavan said: They have no body attachment, no worldly attachment, no worldly relationships, and no bondage. They are men of sacrifice. Only such people are the masters then and now and in future.
Who are they? Two points: no body attachment, no worldly bondage. They donít have any attachment towards the world, nothing to do with the world, nor with repute or disrepute, profit or loss, praise or blame. They are not at all bothered with the world and its vagaries. Further theyíre not bothered about their own body. Such people are gurus.
What does Swami say about gurus? What is the job of a master or a guru? Bhagavan tells you, "The job of a master is to make you go within, is to make you turn inward." Unfortunately we want outward guidance. We want outward messages. We want outward acknowledgement of our presence. We want outward smiles. We want outward receipt of our letters. So we want or we go by everything that is outward. But the job of a guru is to make you turn inward. A master makes you turn inward. We cannot afford to be outward all through our lives.
Bhagavan will make you pass through that stage even by force at one time or other. I say Ďby forceí why? He will attract you so much, taking letters every time, granting you interviews every time, smiling to make you feel that you are very important. He takes you to the top of the Himalayas! There He drops you! To such an extent that you begin to feel, ĎDid He ever talk to me? Does He know me? Why does He look like that? Why does He not recognise me? Canít He just give a smile to me? Why is He like that?í Life is like that.The one who is so close for a long time is distanced later. Let us not take it negatively, my friends. Those who are distanced after having enjoyed nearness, they are in the second stage of evolution. They are in the higher stage of advancement. How, why do you say that? In the first stage, they enjoy physical nearness. In the first stage, they enjoy physical proximity. They enjoy all that is external: smiles, letters, interviews, and all that.