Swami Stories Taken From Sunday Talks Given by
Taken from “Selected Sai Stories,” September 17th, 2000
So, this is spiritual heart, yes! Bhagavan’s teachings touch our heart, not the head. When these teachings touch our head, we begin to question, "Was what Swami said correct or not? Is it right or not?" Somebody said, "Sir, Swami said…Is it true?"
"When Swami said it, why do you doubt whether it is true or not? I don’t understand. Can you say false also? Well, I don’t know. Whether right or wrong?"
"Sir, Swami said it. Is it right or wrong?"
"When Swami says it, it is right!"
"Is it true or false?"
"It is true! Why do you doubt it?"
We doubt it because when the message goes to our mind, the mind tries to judge. It tries to discriminate. It tries to decide. But when the message goes straight to the heart, it seeps in. It goes in deep, something like blotting paper that absorbs ink; something like sand into which water sinks. When there is heavy rain, because of the water that falls on the ground along the seashore or any sandy area, it seeps in deeply. It is absorbed completely.
Similarly, guru's message, when it touches our heart, it is absorbed. When it goes to the head, mind decides, judges, goes on thinking. All teachers’ teachings touch our mind. But guru’s teachings reach our heart. The teachings of a guru reach our heart, whereas the teachings of a teacher just touch our head, awaiting our discrimination on what we want to decide.
Another point is also this: A real guru will always speak about your true nature. My friends, what is it that is common in all the Sathya Sai discourses? I believe that there are 31 volumes now of Sathya Sai Speaks, 10 volumes of Vahinis, 10 volumes of Summer Course discourses. 20 + 31 = 51. All these book, all these hundreds of discourses, what is the common thread? Only one thing: revealing our true identity, that you are not the body, that you are not the mind.
You are Atma. You are consciousness. You are the spirit. That is the only message, the underlying current, running through all these 51 volumes, all these hundreds of discourses. In every talk, He lays emphasis on this: Divyatmaswarupalara! Embodiments of the Divine! You are an embodiment of the Divine; that you are Atma. In every talk He necessarily mentions this because it is the quality of a guru. The highest and the greatest teaching of a guru is to remind us of our nature, to help us to find our true identity.
Bhagavan goes one step further. "Forgetfulness of our true nature is death. Remembrance of our true nature is life or birth." In order to live our lives well, not simply like any other machine, but to live well, let us live in the full awareness, in the constant remembrance of our true identity.
What Bhagavan says is this: A true guru tells you only one method. He does not show you so many methods. He does not confuse you. He does not burden you. He does not strain you. He does not allow you to be under stress and strain and effort, exertion, exhaustion, no, no. No exhaustion, no exertion. A simple thing, only one formula: Upasana.
What is Upasana according to Bhagavan Baba? Upasana is the experience of our true nature in the waking state, in spite of the objects around and our senses being alert.
In the waking state, our senses are active. I see all of you. I hear all of the sounds. All objects are there. My senses are alert, quite receptive, sensitive, because this is the waking state. In this waking state of senses being alert, with the objects around if I still manage to be aware of my true nature that is called Upasana. Upasana: Upa – near; asana – sitting, comfortable sitting. 'Comfortable sitting near our true Self, near our true nature, near God within’, that is Upasana.
But the traditional, conventional meaning of Upasana is so confusing that you give up making any attempt because after starving for 15 days, getting up at midnight for 15 days - well, in the meantime we get exhausted that’s all, leave alone realisation. Impossible! Upasana is not a conventional meaning that Bhagavan Baba gives you. He comes forward with a new approach.
Then another point: Somebody said, "Baba, where are Baba’s Feet? Where are they? ‘O Bhagavan, to Thy Feet I offer my humble salutations. My humble salutations to Thy Lotus Feet.’ Where are they, Bhagavan, where are they?"
"Your Feet are spread everywhere." The speaker went on speaking like that. Swami was observing him; letting him go to whatever extent he would go. And then that man said, "Swami, Your compassion is so great, Your Love is so vast like that of an ocean!" Like that of an ocean, as deep as an ocean.
Then Swami said, "Enough. Sit down." Enough. This is His remark: "Why do you say ‘So vast as an ocean?’ No. More than that. Why? Ocean has got its limits. Ocean has got its boundaries. But God’s compassion has no limits. God’s compassion has no boundaries. It is infinite. It is so vast. So do not compare it with that of an ocean." That’s what Bhagavan has said.
Therefore guru’s teaching is another thing. My attempt is this: to make us realise in terms of Swami’s message, His own message. He should help us to understand His own message. We can understand His message through His message only, or else I go on interpreting in my own way and we can find ourselves in confusion. Bhagavan said, "You can see the sun in the sunlight only. You can see the moon in the moonlight only."
Similarly, you can understand Sai's message through His Message only, not through your message or my message. Ours is ‘massage’, not message, ‘massage’! Let’s not try to interpret Swami at all! Because we are the contemporaries of the living, loving God, when He is there to explain every little thing in detail, why should we explain? Why should we interpret? It is not necessary.
And what is guru’s teaching, as Bhagavan has put it?
Total passive surrender: Total passive surrender to the magnetic Divinity within." What beautiful words! Divinity is magnetic. It means ‘just like a magnet that attracts’. We attract people, of course, depending upon one’s own standard. Objects attract. All objects have got this attraction. All human beings have attraction. It is nothing but magnetism. That’s what Swami has been talking about in the recent discourses, "You are the magnet. You are the computer. You are the heat. You are the energy." That’s what Swami is talking about recently.
So you are the magnet because you attract everybody, don’t you? Yes. Or else we don’t have friends at all. We can’t continue to live in society. We live in society because we attract some people, like-minded people. ‘Birds of same feathers flock together.’ We attract our own people. That’s right. So it is magnetism.
Now, the guru’s teaching is "passive total surrender to the magnetic Divinity within". That Divinity, which is magnetic, to that Divinity, we have to surrender totally, passively.
Why not actively? Why not? If you are active, you may not be active later. If you are active, your ego may function. If you are active, the spirit of ‘I-ness’, the body identity, may raise its ugly head. When it is passive, the ‘I-ness’ is gone. There is total surrender to the spirit within, to the Self within. Total surrender - that is the job of a guru. That’s what guru does.