Professor Anil Kumar has presented
this talk as an extra satsang. He has selected important messages Baba has
imparted to the students gathered around Him during the afternoon sessions on
the verandah at Prashanti Nilayam. These talks will continue.
January 15th, 2003
Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Brothers and Sisters!
The latest conversation we had with Bhagavan was on the 12th of January 2003. It will be quite interesting as it is the latest; then later we will go to the sessions held before January 12th. Certain comments made by Bhagavan are of general interest, and serve as a message and a guideline for all of us. So I thought of sharing them with you.
“You Should Not Depend On Others”
The first thing He said was: Whether it is the Sports Meet or anything else, one should not depend on others. We should not hire anything from anyone. We should not employ people from anywhere. We should not deploy any agency for this purpose. You should be self-dependent and self-reliant. This is what He called swasakthi, which means self-reliance or self-dependence. This is a beautiful message for all of us that will help us to stand on our own feet, and not depend on our neighbours.
This made me ask a question, “Swami, is it possible to be self-reliant throughout life? Is it wrong to seek help from an external agency? Why not?”
Then Swami answered, “Even if some other man comes and tries to help you, it is only the spirit within you that should respond, not anything else. The external agency would act as a stimulus, and the real spirit within you should respond to that stimulus.”
What a wonderful reply! Now I understand that all the people with whom I mingle and associate are there only to help build my spirit. When we are out of sorts, or in a mood, others may say a few words to offer solace and support, but ultimately the spirit has to be built within us. In other words, as a matter of course, the external agencies kindle your spirit from within. This is the first point made by Swami.
Two are Required: Energy and Ability
The second point: Two elements are essential for everyone. I may remind you, all these points were made as a follow-up to the Sports Meet. We had the Sports Meet on the 11th and 12th and then Swami talked about these points, which means that Sports Meet was only an excuse or opportunity to convey the Divine message to everyone. It is in this context that I share His comments with you.
Now, He said that two elements are required for everybody: First is sakthi, which means energy, and the second is saamardhyam, which means ability. Energy and ability are essential for every individual.
Then I said, “Bhagavan, I have been under the impression that sakthi and saamardhyam are one and the same. Can’t I have one of the two and still get along? Is it essential that I have both?”
Then Bhagavan gave an example. Pointing toward the table He said, “To lift the table you need sakthi, energy. You also need the ability to carry the table. How do you carry it? You need the technique and the skill to carry it. That skill and technique is saamardhyam, ability, while the needed energy is sakthi.”
“Swami, You have given us a wonderful clarification. I have been under the impression that they were synonymous and that we could get along with one and not need the other. Very good! Now I understand that one is a corollary to the other -- one is complementary to the other. I'm so glad.”
In addition, Bhagavan explained further about saamardhyam or ability, technique, skill. He gave another example. Kalam means pen. Kavvam is a device used to churn butter. You churn the curd with the kavvam, the churner or churning rod.
Swami is a poet of poets. He brought these two words together in a poetical way. “Kalam, a pen, is used to write. Kavvam, a churning rod, is used to churn the curd. You cannot use the churning rod to write. You cannot use the pen to churn the curd -- this is ability, this is the skill.”
That is how He explained the words, sakthi and saamardhyam, energy and the ability.
“Where Does Divinity Come In?”
“Swami, I want to know -- if I have energy and ability, where does Divinity come into the picture? Where is God’s place? Isn’t it enough to have ability and skill?”
So what was God’s answer?
Swami’s response was, “Okay. Where you have sown the seed in the soil, the seed grows and germinates. How can it germinate without the soil? The soil is the Divinity which helps the seed to germinate.”
“Oh Swami, I understand. But now I want to know in reference to energy and ability. Please explain to me. The seed is only one. But I mentioned two, sakthi and saamardhyam, so please explain with reference to that.”
He was in a good mood. Immediately He said, “You see, here is the seed that grows into a tree. What is it that joins both? Water. Water is the link between the roots in the soil and the shoot above the ground. Similarly, between energy, sakthi, and ability, saamardhyam, the link of water is Divinity. Divinity is the connection.”
You understand me? How nicely He said it. Unless there is water, you can't expect the seed to germinate. And the same water goes into the tree also. So water is the link between the two, the root and the shoot. The same thing applies to ability and energy. Really, very good!
“Your Weakness Makes You Feel That Way”
Then I asked another question, “Swami, somehow I feel that I cannot be at my best without another’s help. You want me to be self-reliant. But somehow I feel within that I cannot get along well without somebody’s help.”
Immediately came His vehement answer, in clear-cut terms: “It is your weakness that makes you feel that way. Your weakness only makes you feel that you need somebody’s help. In fact, with your power, your ability and your energy, you can manage anything on your own. The feeling that you cannot manage by yourself and need to seek another’s help is more or less a reflection and a sign of your own weakness.”
This is a clue for all of us to rely on God and not to depend on others, which is a clear-cut sign of weakness. Is that clear? Please see the beauty of His explanation.
Enthusiasm And Encouragement
I did not want to leave it at that point, so I said, “Swami, at least I might need somebody to encourage me. If I don’t expect anything from anyone, at least I need somebody to encourage me -- to say a few words of encouragement. Why not?”
Then He said, “No, no, no, no!”
He used two words: utsaaham, meaning enthusiasm, and prothasaham, meaning encouragement and He said, “All right, others may encourage you, but the spirit of encouragement is born within you. They’re not pushing or putting encouragement into your mouth. You encourage yourself by their words.”
So, encouragement is not like a tablet to be swallowed. Encouragement is not like an injection given to you. Ultimately enthusiasm has to be born and find its place from within, not from outside. This enthusiasm, the encouragement that you feel, should come from within and not from an external or outer agency. That is what Swami said.
“Did You See Anil Kumar Yesterday?”
Then He commented to another person who was sitting there, “Did you see Anil Kumar in his suit and necktie yesterday, on the stage during the Sports Meet?
The fellow said, “Yes, Swami. He looked very nice.”
Then another gentleman, the Warden of Brindavan Hostel, said, “Swami, I told Anil Kumar to his face, ‘You look like a sportsman with your dark blue jacket, white pants and tie’. He looked very nice.”
So I said, “Swami, if I am not majestic in my appearance here, where else can I be? (Laughter) If I am not fully dignified here, where else can I be? At home, at most only the people on the street may see me, but here I'm watched by thousands and thousands of people, both from India and abroad. Why not? Therefore, I like to present myself in the best possible way because I am by the side of God. Why not?”
Then He said, “Hmm. (Laughter) What more do you have to say?”
Pomp and Dignity
There is a word, darja, which means ‘with all pomp and show’ and a second word, theevi, which means ‘with all dignity.’
Then I said, “Swami, with this darja and theevi, with this pomp and dignity, if I cannot be like that here, where else can I be like that?”
Swami was watching me keenly. Then I thought it was time to just take a chance and try to make it a little lighter. So I said, “Swami, what is the difference between darja, pomp and show, and theevi, dignity? What is the difference? Are they one and the same?”
Then Bhagavan said, “What is darja outside is reflected as theevi inside. The pomp and show is outside, while the dignity is inside. It shows up like that. All that is seen outside is darja and what is then projected onto the TV, television, is theevi. The theevi is the TV.”
Do you understand the beautiful pun with these little words? Therefore, the theevi or dignity is like TV, while darja or pomp and show are the scene shot from the outside.
“Wonderful, Swami. Very nice, very nice. I'm so happy.”
“He’s Your Product”
Then He called the Principal of Brindavan College, the youngest principal of the campuses, a former student of Swami’s university.
He asked me, “How is he?”
I said, “Swami, he’s a gem of a boy.”
Then He asked, “How do you know?”
“For the simple reason that he is Your product. I came here when I was 45. I came to You at 45, half-spoiled, whereas this boy is Your product, 100 percent pure.”
“You Are Beyond Age”
Then Swami said, “How about Me?”
“Swami, You have no age. I came here at the age of 45, while this boy came to You at a young age. You want me to tell You how old You are? You have no age. You are beyond age.”
Then our good God gave me a beautiful smile and said, “How do you know?” (Laughter)
Then I said, “Swami, I know many people who have told me, ‘Swami has performed my marriage,’ ‘Swami has performed my son’s marriage,’ ‘Swami has named my great-grandson.’ We are all getting older, but Swami is so young. So You are beyond age.”
“It’s okay, okay.”
“I Have No Worries”
But then He made a remark that is very important: “If you are also like Me, you can be beyond time.”
“Swami, like You? What do You mean by that?”
He said, “I have no worries, chinthalu. I have no thoughts, nothing. I have no worries, chinthalu. If you have no chinthalu or worries, you can also be young like Me.”
“Swami, why do people become old?”
“Worries will make you look aged. Worries are responsible for old age. If you have no worries, you can look like Me.”
How wonderful would it be if we were also free from worries. The more we want to be free from worries, the more we get worried. Let the sleeping dogs lie so we don’t have to wake them up!
“PrasHanti Nilayam is Paradise”
And then there was a special mention. Some gentleman said, “Swami, January 14th happens to be Vaikuntha Ekadasi. Not only does Vaikuntha Ekadasi fall on that day, but Sankranthi as well.”
Vaikuntha Ekadasi is a celebration, an occasion to offer worship to all the deities at the same time. God is one; deities are many -- agreed? There is a difference between God and a deity -- agreed? Lakshmi is a deity. Saraswathi is a deity. Durga is a deity. Kali, Durga - these are all deities; but the Divinity is one and the same. Is that clear? So Vaikuntha Ekadasi is an occasion when we pay our obeisance to all the deities on the same day. Vaikuntha means heaven.
Then I said, “Swami, if that is so, this Prashanti Nilayam is Vaikuntha, paradise. This is that very heaven.”
He asked, “How do you know?”
“I know because, as long as I'm here, I'm not worried,” I said. “The moment I go out, worries chase me and haunt me. The worriless state, the thoughtless state, is paradise. I experience that very heaven here. So this is paradise.”
Ideal and Command
And then I said, “Swami, what an ideal You have set before us. The ideal that we too should be free from thoughts and worries -- what an adarsam, ideal, You are.”
Then Bhagavan said, “It is not simple adarsam. It is My aadesam, My command to you.”
Aadesam is command, while adarsam is ideal.
This drives home a point that Swami, the ideal or adarsam, has aadesam, His command, behind it as an example for us to follow and emulate.
Finally Swami said, “That’s why I say to you that My life is My message.”
His life is ideal, adarsam. His message is the command, aadesam.
“Swami, somehow we get satisfaction -- call it psychological -- by doing things that are appreciated by others. When I do something that wins the admiration or appreciation of everybody, I have satisfaction, right? Is this samthrupthi, satisfaction?”
Swami said, “Atma Samthrupthi or Self-satisfaction is more important than the appreciation by others. Atma Samthrupthi, Self-satisfaction, is more important than the admiration or applause by any quarter from outside.”
With that, the 12th January 2003 conversation ended. Now we can go back to the earlier dates like we‘ve been doing all along.
Globalisation and the Standard of Living
As usual that day, after the interviews in the evening He came out slowly, walking majestically, adjusting His hair in a beautiful style that is unique and inimitable. He sat there nicely and started speaking to us.
He just asked, “You had a meeting at the college today?”
“Yes, Swami. We had a meeting this morning.”
“What was the topic?”
“Swami, an expert spoke on globalisation.”
“Oh, I see. Why globalisation?”
“Swami, globalisation is very necessary to improve our standard of living.”
Bhagavan said, “You are wrong. The standard of living does not need to be improved. Therefore, globalisation is not proper. It is the quality of life, it is the standard of life, which is much more important than the standard of living.”
Standard Of Living and Danger
Then He used two words. One word that He used was ‘pramana,’ which means standard. “If you go by the pramana, standard of living, you will be met with pramaada. Pramaada means danger. If you go by these standards, you’ll be met with dangers. So, see that you don’t face any pramaada or danger in life by not following the pramana or standard of living.” That’s what Bhagavan said.
“Swami, we say, ‘This country is great and that country is rich because of its affluence, abundance and prosperity.’ Doesn’t that indicate the per capita income of that country?”
Swami said, “No. What is the national standard of life? The national standard of life is the integration of the entire organic world, all beings, animals, plants and natural resources. Integration of all these together constitutes the national standards, not simply the externals.”
Then I reflected upon what He had said. Today we have so many global problems: the greenhouse effect, the ozone holes, the pollution, etc. All these problems exist because of the lack of integration of natural resources. We kill the animal world; therefore, the wildlife is suffering a lot. We kill or uproot all the big trees; hence, we face an air pollution problem today.
Bhagavan says that integration of all living beings -- plants, animals and birds -- living together in perfect harmony, constitutes the standard of a nation, but not just in terms of economy, comforts, conveniences and luxury. That’s how He built the subject. These points have been bothering the environmental biologists and ecologists all over the world.
“Modernity is Limitation”
Then I said, “Swami, if we don’t make use of all these modern amenities, can I call myself a modern man? I think I am modern, ultramodern, by making use of all these natural resources. If I don’t tap these natural resources, how can I be modern?”
Bhagavan said, “No, no, no, no! Modernity is not exploitation. Modernity is limitation. Modernity is making use of natural resources in a limited way, without disfiguring them or without killing them altogether. That’s what modernity is.”
“Swami, all right. Somehow in this modern age, naturally the standard of living will certainly increase. Yes, in earlier times we did not make use of toothpaste and a toothbrush. However, modern man uses toothpaste and a toothbrush. Gas stoves and such things like heaters weren’t available in earlier times. Today, people are making use of all these gadgets. Don’t you think so? So, naturally the standard of living goes up with modernity, without any special effort.”
We should note this next point.
Baba said, “Modern life, or what you call ‘modernity’, is not the latest style of living. Modernity lies in putting a ceiling on our desires. Control of one’s own desires is modernity, not leading a life of limitless desires.”
What a wonderful definition, which only He could give and which we can certainly emulate.
“How do We Control Desires?”
“Swami, it is nice to hear from You that we need to control our desires. Why? How do we do it? Please tell me. When I see that someone is better off than I am, then I want to be much, much better than they are. Don’t you think so? How are desires controlled? I know I have to control them, but how? I don’t know.”
Then Bhagavan answered liberally, with a beautiful example. “Don’t get worried because the other man has a big building. Be happy that you have a shelter to live in. Do not get worried that the other man has a car. Be content that you have kaallu, your legs. Be happy that you have legs. You don’t need to spend money for petrol and, when there is a petrol price hike, it won’t bother you. Because you have God-made tires, kaallu, the legs.”
“Swami, all right. Excuse me for this question. A luxury today may be a necessity tomorrow. A phone was a luxury; today it is a necessity. A refrigerator was a luxury, and today it is a necessity. Swami, what do You say about this?”
As you know, Swami’s word should be the last. He does not budge even an inch on that. Immediately He said, “Didn’t you get along without a phone earlier? Didn’t you live at a time when you had no telephones? Were you not happy in those days without a telephone? Were you not peaceful without a phone in those days? Why do you think that you cannot carry on without a phone? This idea is of your own making. This is one of your own attachments. Why do you say that? You had less expenditures in those days, and you were more comfortable.” That’s what He said.
“And actually speaking, you go to five-star hotels, super-star hotels. Is that necessary? Not necessary. To appease your hunger, to satiate your hunger, a simple meal is enough. Why the extravagance? Why the luxury? It is not necessary.”
That’s what Bhagavan said.
“Spiritual Things are Not Desires”
“Swami, all right, I want to see You. I want to talk to You. These are spiritual feelings. Are these spiritual feelings also desires? You said, ‘Don’t have desires.’ I want an interview. I want to have Your darshan. Is that also a desire?”
Let it be very clear. Bhagavan said, “No. (Laughter) All those feelings that are spiritual are not desires.”
“Why, Swami? Because You are involved, right?” (Laughter)
He said, “No, no, no! Actually, what is a desire? A desire is something you have developed to procure a thing or an object that you don’t have, right? You don’t have a car, so you desire to have a car. You don’t have a building, so you desire to have a building, right? So, a desire is something that is developed to possess or acquire what you do not have. Is that clear?”
“But, in spirituality, there is no procurement or acquisition of anything that you do not already have. It is only experiencing what you already are and what you already have – Love. Love is not a desire. You are the embodiment of Love. And peace -- peace is not a desire. You are the embodiment of peace. Or Truth -- Truth is not a desire. You are the embodiment of Truth. And God -- God is not a desire. You are God. So, how can that be a desire?”
Then I thought it wasn’t a good time to continue with this topic.
Suddenly Swami looked at me and asked, “Do you have any desires now?”
What should I say?
I said, “Swami, I have no desires.”
I thought He might give me a compliment. He didn’t! (Laughter)
“You had a sumptuous lunch with so many sweets and spicy items, so now you have no desires. (Laughter) You had a sumptuous, delicious meal - well, I can understand.” That’s what He said.
Mathi, Gathi, Sthithi, Sampathi
Here, in this connection, He used these words - mathi, gathi, sthithi, and sampathi - which are of interest. The first word is mathi, which means mind. The second word is gathi, meaning progress. The third word is sthithi, meaning maintenance, and the fourth is sampathi, which means attaining the six desirable qualifications that are your property.
Four words: Mathi is the mind that determines your gathi or goal. This gathi has to be sustained and maintained. This maintenance is called sthithi. That is your property, which is called sampathi. Is that clear?
So, mathi, gathi, sthithi and sampathi are the four words used in a sequential order by Bhagavan that also have a scientific significance. As is the mind, mathi, so is your gathi, destination. As is your gathi, so is the sthithi, maintenance of your life, which is your real property or sampathi. Do you understand? That’s what He said in this context.
But in this context He also said, “It is most necessary for all of you to have an inward inquiry, nivritthi. You’re always outward, pravritthi. Therefore, you are not able to know the reality of the Truth.”
That is what Bhagavan said that day.
Then Swami made a beautiful remark, which is very important for all of us right now.
He said, “If you would just correct yourself at a young age, the rest of your life is guaranteed: You are bound to be successful if you are disciplined and correct yourself at a young age. And if you follow My words, you are bound to be victorious. You are sure to be triumphant in life.”
And then Swami also made a remark about a devotee.
“That devotee had full faith in Me. He followed My command. Though he suffered from a kidney problem, when I said, ‘Don’t worry, you do not need an operation’, he followed My command. And today, without undergoing any operation, he is quite safe, hale and healthy. You will also have similar experiences provided you follow Swami’s command.”
With that, the evening conversation ended.
The Super Specialty Hospital
This was the day when Swami spoke about the Super Specialty Hospital. He talked about the hospital to a number of doctors from different places. He talked about how so many people - children, young and old - have been saved. He talked about how lives have been saved from total tragedy, and how finances have been used liberally in Sathya Sai Hospital most successfully. He explained all this to a team of doctors who had assembled there.
I happened to be there and I said, “Swami, even though we live right here, we do not know all that is happening in our own hospital. I didn’t know how You were managing it.”
Swami smiled and said, “To do what is needed is My duty. To ask Me is your right. You can ask Me. You can demand -- it is your right. And to give you what you need is My duty.”
And then He told everyone, “In our hospital, many, many boys who work there are highly qualified. They are doing it out of devotion, not for any financial gain. They are not doctors, but still they are highly experienced and know what to do. It is their love for Swami that made them stay here.”
It was a kind of revelation to many, many people who were gathered there.
“Only Divinity Is Everywhere “
There was another occasion when Bhagavan made a few remarks, which I want to share with you.
Bhagavan began by saying that there is only God and nothing else. There is only Divinity everywhere, nothing else -- all are His own reflection.
Then I asked a question, “Swami, why don’t I experience that? If Divinity is everywhere and nothing else, why is it that I do not experience that?”
Then Swami said, “Your attachment to the body is responsible for your ignorance and your inability to know your reality.”
Then I said, “Swami, excuse me. This glass and this pen are lifeless and have no preferences. I have certain preferences. I love hot, hot pickles. However, You say that everything is Divine. Then, what is the difference between me and the pen?”
Swami said, “It is the mind. Your mind entertains preferences but your spirit is choiceless. In fact, either you like this glass or you do not like this glass. Your likes and dislikes are yours, but this glass is the same. There is no change in the glass. Therefore, similarly, the Divinity in each is the same. However, your likes and dislikes are based on your mind and your attachment to the body. Without them, the entire universe is Divinity, which is beyond, without any duality or preferences.”
“Swami, is that all? Then why is it that I don’t like everything?”
Swami said, “There may be some mistakes within you that may not help you to relish everything.”
Mistakes? Me? (Laughter) “What mistakes, Swami?”
Then He said, “A diabetic patient cannot eat sweets. Just because a diabetic patient cannot eat sweets does not mean that something is wrong with sweets. It is a mistake in the body of the diabetic patient, not a mistake of the sweet. You cannot blame the sweet. We have to blame the mistake in the diabetic patient. Is that clear? You are not able to enjoy the gifts of God because of some mistakes within you. The mistakes within you will hinder your ability to experience Divinity everywhere.”
“Is that so, Swami? Then, why is there good and bad? Everything is Divinity, right? Then why do You sometimes say, 'This is good and that is bad,' ‘Is he a good man or a bad man, a good woman or a bad woman?’ Why, if everything is Divinity?”
Then Bhagavan said, “There is nothing like good and bad. They exist together like positive and negative. Good and bad are based on time. The food that you eat now is good. However, the next morning, it is bad. So, what is good and what is bad now? Four hours time is what makes the difference, that’s all.” (Laughter)
“Oh, I see, Swami. I stand corrected.”
“What is the Benefit?”
Then I said to Swami, “What is the benefit of knowing that everything is Divinity? What is the advantage? If I did not know that everything was Divinity, what would be the harm? What would be the loss?”
Then He said, “No. Once you know that everything is Divinity, you will have that spirit of equanimity or level-headedness. When there is equanimity, you are blissful. Nothing on earth can shake you.”
Then Swami gave a beautiful example. “When a child is born, you laugh and smile. When an old man dies, you cry. At birth, the child never said, ‘Come on, come on, laugh now!’ The old man never said, ‘Please cry after I die.’ They did not announce it. It is only your attachment to them that made you smile and cry, that’s all. Nothing was demanded. So, something goes wrong when you lack equanimity or bliss, when you are not aware of consciousness or Divinity, which is present everywhere.”
“Swami, what is it that makes me separate from God? What is it that makes me feel separate from God?”
Then He said, “God has uttama guna or noble qualities. You have chetta or rotten qualities. When you get rid of this chetta, the rotten qualities, then the latent and inherent uttama or noble qualities will find a place. Then you will experience the Divinity within.”
So I understood that it was time to realize my limitations.
Individual Dharma and Community Dharma
“Swami, what is individual Dharma and what is the community Dharma? Are they one and the same? What is individual Dharma?”
Dharma means code -- code of life, the conduct of life, the standard of life.
Swami said, “Peace, forbearance, Truth, compassion, sacrifice - these are the qualities and the components that constitute individual Dharma or Manava Dharma ---the code of a human being.”
“Then Swami, what is community Dharma? If peace is my Dharma, is hatred the Dharma of the community? You follow my point? What is the difference between individual Dharma and society’s Dharma?”
It may look serious, but no one has dealt with these points. We have gone through a sufficient number of books and heard a number of important people talk, but these subtleties have not been explained by anybody in such a lucid, simple, vivid style.
I repeat the question again. This is the weakness of a teacher. I beg your pardon. (Laughter) “What is the difference between individual Dharma and the Dharma of society?”
Swami said, “The human values are individual Dharma. The community or society Dharma is to do for others what you would like done for your own self. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Everything that is good for you is equally good for others. Anything that hurts you will equally hurt others. Everything that makes you happy will make others happy. So, conducting yourself toward society in the same manner that you would like society to treat you constitutes society Dharma. Is that clear?”
This is good. However, this is not happening. We find so many differences among people.
Then I said, “Swami, how nice it is to hear all these things from You. While we have been sitting all the time and listening to You talk, most surprisingly I find You standing. Excuse me, Swami, please be seated.”
He said, “I'm not tired. You may be feeling that this is troubling Me. It is not any trouble to Me. I like to talk about these things. I like to teach these things. I like this.”
And Swami said, “Understand your true nature. If you understand your true Self, automatically you will understand everything else. Since you do not understand your Self, you misunderstand others. Since you don’t know your true nature, you will not be able to know anyone else. That is what is happening today.” That is what Bhagavan said within that context.
I think we can wind up for today and continue next time. Thank you very much.
(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, “Sai Narayana, Narayana…”)
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!