August 12th, 2001
"Search for Truth" (Part Two) plus
New Commandments (Part One)
1) "Search for Truth" (Part Two)
2) An Overview of Last Week’s Aspects of the Mind
3) The Fourth Aspect of Mind Is Sleep (Dream State)
4) The No-Mind State Is Deep Sleep
5) The Conscious Deep Sleep or Samadhi
6) The Significance of Miracles
7) The Fifth Aspect of the Mind: Memory
8) Remembering and Living in the Past
9) Indifference Caused by the Past Being 10)Projected onto the Present
11)New Commandments (Part-I)
12)Codes of Conduct in the Scriptures
13)The First Commandment: Give Up ‘I’
14)The Second Commandment: Cultivate ‘We’
15)The Third Commandment: Cut Out ‘Ego’
16)Living With God is Education
17)Spirituality is Not an Achievement
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
"Search for Truth" (Part Two)
An Overview of Last Week’s Aspects of the Mind
Last week we considered the various aspects of the mind. We explored how the mind acts, how it reacts, how it receives, and how it reflects. We will complete the remaining two aspects this morning. Then we will begin a new subject.
First, here is a bird’s eye view of what was discussed last week. There are several aspects of the mind. The first aspect is what we call direct cognition, prathyaksha pramaana. This is where you receive things directly by seeing and listening. Another way mentioned of receiving information is inference, anumana pramaana. The final way is aptha vaakya pramaana (believing in and following the sayings of those who are close and dear to you). The mind receives right knowledge through these three ways.
I also discussed the second aspect of the mind regarding how it is capable of receiving wrong knowledge. The third aspect of the mind is imagination, vikalpa. (I don’t have to say anything more of imagination to anybody because almost all of us imagine things. We imagine our stature, image, and intelligence. We also imagine everything about others also!)
The Fourth Aspect of Mind Is Sleep (Dream State)
The fourth aspect of the mind is sleep. In Sanskrit, sleep is called sushupthi, the sleeping state of the mind. What is sleep? Let me speak a few words about this. Do most of us really sleep? Do we really know what sleep is? To tell you honestly, we have identified ourselves with our body and mind. We totally react to the external world - the people, society, stature, class, politics, business, and so on. Even when we go to bed, we go on dreaming of the waking state! What happens here in the waking state is dreamt about there in the dream state. The action is here, then the reaction comes there! The desires that are not fulfilled here are fulfilled there. So dream is a continuity of the waking state.
I don’t want to dream of a person attacking me. I don’t want my enemy to appear in the dream and kick me. Yet, still my enemies appear in the dream. Why? It is because the enmity is so deep and so intense that my enemy also wants to give me trouble even in dreams! Am I clear? The wife nags me in the waking state and she continues to go on nagging me in the dream state also! The son goes on pressurizing for money. In the dream also he appears, asking for a money order to be sent. (Laughter) Am I right? So, dreams bring forward all the aspects of the waking state. They may be positive or negative. But, in either case they are only concerning worldly, mundane things. For that reason, that is not (real deep) sleep. It is dream state only.
We are both happy and unhappy in the dream and waking states. I am happy when I am successful and miserable when I'm a failure in both of these states. The dream experiences are the same as those of the waking state. I think I’m clear. In other words, dream is a carbon copy, a prototype of the waking state. They are both nothing but the different moods of the dancing mind. It is the East and West, South Pole and North Pole, obverse and reverse. That’s all. The instrument (mind) is the same. But the nodes, reeds, and tunes are different.
Similarly, the dream carries the effect of the waking state. This is why we do not experience non-dual bliss in dreams. This is also the reason why we find some people shouting while they sleep, because they dream all dirty things there. (Laughter) Some people talk so loudly that nobody in the neighborhood can sleep! Someone very closely related to me snores very loudly while he sleeps. It has the sound of a tractor or a bus! (Laughter) In addition to that, he adds certain dialogues also: "Mmmmm! Mmmhhhmmm, mmmm!" A thief would not even enter the house, hearing all this noise, as he is talking so loudly there in dreamland! (Laughter)
So my friends, let us refer to that state of real sleep. Dreaming is not real sleep. Real sleep should not be like the waking state. Sleep peacefully. Sleep happily. Have a sound sleep, a sleep that is dreamless, a sleep that has no duality. Have a sleep that is neither sweet or hot, happy or unhappy, successful or unsuccessful, neither with profit or loss. Have a sleep with no experiencing at all. When is it possible? It is possible only in the 'no-mind' state.
The No-Mind State Is Deep Sleep
In the 'no-mind' state, the mind does not act. The mind remains stagnate, passive, inert, inactive, or dull. You sleep well when the mind is in that inactive, dull state. This is called sound sleep or sushupthi. Shupthi is sleep; sushupthi is good (deep) sleep. This good, sound sleep is possible when there is no experience at all, neither happiness or unhappiness. Simply nothing! When the mind is non-functional, in a 'no-mind' state, this is called sushupthi.
By God's Grace, we get that experience now and then, maybe once in a week. Very busy politicians may have this good sleep once in a year - only annually! For some, it is weekly; for others, it is quarterly. But in any case, sushupthi is the 'no-mind' state.
I want to bring to your notice certain important points concerning sushupthi. Some people ask, "Did you have a good sleep last night?" Why? Why do you put that question? "Oh, did you have a nice sleep last night?" Does this mean that you were not bitten by a scorpion or a snake in the dream? Does it mean that you were not beaten by anybody or that you did not cry in the dream? No! This means that there were no dreams at all. Yet, we did not experience that consciously, only unconsciously.
The mind is not functional in deep sleep. You are not aware or conscious of it. The next morning someone may ask, "Oh, how did you sleep?" (Your response:) "Ah, wonderful! Oh, it was a fantastic sleep! So good that I feel very fresh now."
However, when you are in that deep sleep or 'no-mind' state, you are not conscious. You are unconscious at that point in time. It is only later, in the conscious waking state, that you are able to talk about how that deep sleep experience was very wonderful and good. Only later you will be able to say that, not actually during the deep sleep experience.
The Conscious Deep Sleep or Samadhi
The conscious experience of deep sleep is called samadhi. This is the fulfillment, fructification, the objective and end of meditation. This state of samadhi is reached when I am conscious of my deep sleep state. It is when I experience the 'no-mind' state right now (in this conscious waking state).
Unfortunately, people have different connotations and perverted versions about samadhi. Instead of being transcendental, it becomes mental. Transcendental and mental are different. Transcendental means beyond. So, samadhi is transcendental. This means that it is beyond the body, the mind, the senses and the intellect. Many people think it is samadhi if they forget their body consciousness. It is not.
Bhagavan joked, "If you want to have that experience of forgetting your body, you can have a nice bottle of beer or scotch whiskey." (Laughter) Beer or scotch whiskey is enough to take you to samadhi effortlessly! (Laughter) Do you really think that the poor sages and saints of yore spent years and years in penance to experience samadhi, whereas today one can get it just with a bottle of alcohol or a sip of beer? No, it’s not so!
Forgetfulness of the body is not samadhi. Non-identification with the mind and being free or absent from the mind is called samadhi. The whole thing is a game of the mind. When the mind becomes a non-entity, when it becomes pacified and cooled down, that state is called samadhi. Therefore, my friends, samadhi is not a separate state or a separate goal. It is not sold in the market nor can anybody give it to you.
I met a friend a few days back who said, "My guru gave me samadhi." Oh-ho! I can give you my pen, but I cannot give samadhi. Perhaps samadhi has another meaning. Perhaps the guru gave him some plot in the graveyard, a reservation now itself! (Laughter) Samadhi is not given, received, manufactured, or generated. Samadhi is a state of having 'no-mind'. The conscious experience of deep sleep is what is called samadhi. Bhagavan went a step further when He said, "'Dhi’ means intellect and ‘Sama,’ equality. If you have that intellect which treats everybody of any country, nationality, community, cadre, or race equally, it is samadhi." What a wonderful definition that is!
Instead, we have different titles for samadhi. There are different people talking about samadhi, so much so that we become vexed and not interested to know more about samadhi at all. It is not like that. It is such a natural thing, which is given to everybody. We all sleep don’t we? Yes. The one who is denied sleep becomes weak. He cannot work. He loses his health and nears his doomsday. Sleep is essential. We all sleep. We all enjoy a good sleep, but we are unaware and unconscious of it. When we are aware of the experience of deep sleep, even in the waking state, it is called samadhi. That’s all I want to say concerning sleep.
I am talking to you seriously about these things because there should be an end to these stories. We may want to go by these stories and experiences all the time, but when are we going to learn serious things? When are we going to take to sadhana, experience and comprehend Divinity, enjoy ourselves, merge and melt? We have to merge and melt, becoming dissolved.
Here is a simple example. A drop of water is just a drop when it is in my palm. It has a size, shape, and a taste. When I throw this water drop into the ocean, that drop becomes the ocean. So, all the stories and experiences that we have are like that of a drop. The drop will not last long. It is not permanent. It will get evaporated. Similarly, the individual experiences are not the end. They are only the means.
The Significance of Miracles
One topic was made compulsory, to be taught in all training camps for all Seva Dal (service wing) and members of the Sathya Sai Organization. This topic is: "The Meaning and Significance of Miracles." To many, miracles have become a means and also an end. A miracle is a means to an end. That’s all. It is not an end by itself.
Bhagavan Baba Himself said one thing: A mosquito rests on the body of an elephant. The size of the elephant is so big and mighty, and the mosquito is so small, little, and subtle. The miracles that you speak about are like the mosquitoes and Divinity is the size of an elephant. It is very unfortunate that we spend time with mosquitoes in the daytime and the mosquitoes spend their time with us in the nighttime. (Laughter) Life becomes only mosquito-oriented. 'Daytime mosquitoes' are the experiences and the stories. In the nighttime, there are real mosquito bites! One has to use Odomos mosquito repellent. How long should this continue? Shouldn’t we go into the details?
I am not condemning anybody and I am not underestimating anything. I'm only stressing clarity. That’s all. How many experiences do you want in order to know that Bhagavan Baba is God? Do you want them till the last day of life, or do you want one experience on Monday, two on Tuesday, three on Wednesdays, and so on? What actually is an experience? If it is positive, you consider it as an experience or a miracle. However, if it is negative, then it is considered as a bitter experience. (Laughter) No, no, I'm sorry. We should understand that all experiences of life are positive. There is nothing negative in this world. The so-called negative turns positive later in life.
The Fifth Aspect of the Mind: Memory
Smriti is memory. Everything that is heard and seen, all our experiences, are recorded in the computer of our biology, the mind. This is good. If doctors had no memory, we would all have to be careful about our insurance policies. (Laughter) If engineers had no memory, the bridges would solve the population problem! (Laughter) If teachers had no memory, students would not be able to get any degree in their lifetime. (Laughter) Ask a wife about the husband with no memory! (Laughter)
Memory is necessary in daily, ordinary life. But memory does not work in the spiritual experience or path. It is an obstacle, a hindrance, a bottleneck, and negative. Why? You may say, "Bhagavan gave me an interview last week and I remember what He said in it." Then why do you come back for darshan again? If you remember the interview that you got last year, why do you come again? "Hey! Past is past! I want to have another one." Right? Swami looked at you this morning; still you want first line in the evening. Why? "That is different."
So, the memory does not work on the spiritual path and in the spiritual experience. I might have seen Bhagavan, spoken to Him, been blessed by Him, and had an interview. Yet, I don’t allow my memory to function and just live in that state of memory. No! I am fresh now, so let me be with Him. Let Him talk to me. Let Him look at me, at least a smile! Do you see? I'm not over ambitious. I just want a look of recognition. Why? Because the memory will not work on the spiritual path.
Suppose I tell you my full bio-data today: "I worked in that institution for so many years. Then I worked in this school for so many years." If I start to repeat it again next week, everybody will leave the hall, except for the man in charge of the mike. He has to stay in order to pack up the mike and get it ready for tomorrow! (Laughter) Why do they all leave? Because I told my experiences already! You learnt it by heart, so why do I want to repeat it again? You have not come here to have my bio-data. My experience is different from your experience. I cannot generalize it. If experiences are generalized, they will lose their validity, authenticity, and credibility. We cannot generalize, but we can share. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Remembering and Living in the Past
I cannot go on hammering about my own experiences to everybody. We find some people who continually repeat their experiences saying, "In ’72, what happened was…In ’89, when I came…In ’92, while I was sitting…" Why give this chronology, these dates and non-essential facts? Please tell me something that is applicable and useful to me also, not only your individual experiences. You are coming here, all right? You are very serious. It is very good. You were about to die, but Baba saved you. It is nice to know that. However, if you repeat the same story again, I’ll have to pray to Baba not to bring you back! (Laughter)
You go on hammering to everybody about your own personal experiences, only to express how great you are! It is a mistake! It is all vanity, publicity, and an ego-trip. We go on trips, but this is an ego-trip! Ego-trips land nowhere. There is no arrival, no departure, no landing. It only flies high, high, high. That’s all. Let’s not go on ego-trips any longer.
The experiences should be universal. Shankaracharya calls this Sarvaatrika Poornanubhava. This means 'a total experience that is applicable to all times'. It is not that which is individual or that which is conditioned to time and space. Can you call that an experience? No. That which has happened to you must also happen to me. What happened to you last year must be happening to you this year, and also happening to everybody. This is called universal acceptance.
So my friends, memory, the fifth aspect of the mind, is a block. It makes me view everything from the past. There are some devotees who may describe to a 20-year old boy what happened forty-five years ago. One must be humble and courteous in a place of spirituality. Etiquette requires it, even if it is a total pretension. "Forty-five years ago? O.K., yes, Sir!" (Laughter) "Forty-five years ago, there were no buildings. We were coming since then. We were sleeping on Chitravati. We all used to come in a line or a queue, and Swami talked to everybody. Everyone got a chance to garland Him also." "Oh, I see. Ah." He continues to describe everything that happened forty-five years ago. He lives in the past and he won’t allow you to live in the present. Thus, both of us are put to loss, acting totally stupid, if not idiotic.
Spirituality is not the past, my friends! I can quote any scripture, any number of statements in support of that. I'm a teacher and I cannot bluff, nor can I imagine and interpret as I like. I am not that much of a fool as yet, thank God. Spirituality is life in the moment, life in the present. Spirituality is existential, experimental and experiential. On the other hand, what will happen if I live in the past, dragging and burying you there also? Let us not live in the past.
Those that live in the past have the aspect of the mind called memory. Memory is good for academic and worldly purposes, but memory has no place in spirituality at all. Spirituality is practiced from the womb to the tomb, from the beginning till the end. Truly speaking, it has neither a beginning nor an end. Spirituality is a pathless land. So, memory cannot be called spiritual by any standard.
Indifference Caused by the Past Being Projected onto the Present
One may ask, "What is the harm, Sir? Why not? Why do you say that?" O.K. I’ll tell you the harm of memory. Memory is the recording of the past in the mind, something like a computer. What does mind do and how does mind act? The past recorded in the mind will project onto the present. It tries to project everything from the background of the past.
Here is a simple example. When Swami says, "There is no trace of selfishness in Me from top to toe. I am completely selfless," our hair should stand straight on end and we should clap. We should be so happy and thrilled to hear that statement! Instead, we are calm and composed, like in a chemistry lab - colorless, odorless, and tasteless! Why are you like that? You say, "Swami said a similar thing last year." Oh. (Laughter)
This state of indifference, of non-receptivity, and non-responsiveness is due to the past being projected onto the present now. So that statement does not benefit you. Please examine yourself! Some people will walk with you after Bhagavan’s speech and they will say, "Swami said a similar thing last year or four years ago." It is recorded in their memory. Please, don’t miss the present. I am not calling the past false, no! But when the past is projected onto the present, you will miss the taste, the beauty, the grandeur, and the freshness of the present.
Here is another simple example: Let's say your wife serves you a hot, hot cup of coffee, the first one in the morning. Amritha (the Divine nectar of Immortality) is nothing when compared to this first hot cup of coffee! (Laughter) That is Amritha! Instead of enjoying it and saying, "Ah! It's very nice! It's a good cup of coffee" you say, "It was also very nice yesterday." Just watch the feelings of your wife and then tell me this evening. You won't get coffee tomorrow! (Laughter) Your wife will say, "All right! So it was nice yesterday. Thank you! How about today?" So the point is, when you project everything from the past memory, the beauty of the present is lost and the freshness is gone. Memory is a handicap in that way.
You must have heard of Lord Buddha. He lived for forty years after the attainment of enlightenment. (Enlightenment is also called liberation, moksha, or nirvana.) During these forty years, he went on propagating Truth. He never spoke or made any mention of the past. Everything that happened to him was fresh and new.
In the evening, you may go for a walk. You will enjoy the breeze, but you won’t say, "How about the breeze yesterday or last year or the year before last?" What does the TV report say? "There will be a slight shower in California. You will have a bright day in Colorado." But what about your own experience right now? Spirituality wants you to drop the memory, bury the past and live in the present moment.
Last but not the least there is another great danger of memory. What is it? The past will not allow you to heed the present. So you miss the present. Memory of the past has two bad qualities: first, it makes you an exhibitionist - one of vanity, ego, pomp, and show. Secondly, it projects the past onto the present, so that you miss the present. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to forget the past.
That brings us to an end of our discussion on the different aspects of the mind, which I started last week. I'm sorry if it has been long and drawn out. I had to explain it like this, as these topics are ones that require deep thinking. They need to be pondered over and reflected upon for a considerable period of time.
New Commandments (Part One)
Codes of Conduct in the Scriptures
My friends! All scriptures have specific codes of conduct. The Holy Bible says, "There are Ten Commandments that God wants you to follow." The Dhammapada of Buddhism wants you to lead a certain specified pattern of life. Hinduism speaks of yama and niyama, the social code and the individual code of conduct. Every religion has a definite text, a code, a set of rules and regulations that one must abide by and follow. Or else, they will also threaten you: "If you don’t follow these rules, you’ll go to hell, where you’ll be roasted and fried like potato chips! So be careful! But if you follow all these Ten Commandments, you will go to the heaven." What is heaven? "You may become old here, but there in heaven, you will be ever young, an ever-green hero. People who are beautiful will surround you. But here on earth, there are ugly as well as beautiful people."
Oh-ho! These are all the promises attributed to heaven. They are all imagination. There’s no heaven and hell, no! Absolutely not! They give this description to make an ordinary person understand what they must follow. That is all. Heaven is here now. The moments that we spend with Bhagavan, when He looks at us or grants us an interview, that is paradise. It is even more than heaven, if there is really any such place. When I am depressed, frustrated, lose balance of mind, or suffer from any sort of blame or unnecessary allegation, that is hell.
Heaven and hell are two states of life, not different strata or locations. They are not geographical. Had there been heaven, Neil Armstrong could have gone to heaven instead of going to the moon. Why would one want to go to the moon after all? There is only dust on the moon. But here are so many promises concerning heaven!
So, every religion comes forward with a certain code of conduct. The most popular and effective code prescribed and followed by people are the Ten Commandments. They are similar in every religion. The content is the same, only the language differs. That’s all. We say 'petrol' and you say 'gasoline'. We say 'rupee' and you say 'dollar'. Thus, only the terminology differs.
This morning I want to make a humble beginning and share with you a few thoughts on an altogether different style, order, and nature of 'Ten Commandments'. They are not the same as in the Bible. Not that the Bible is outdated. No, no! (I have got the highest respect and reverence for the Bible. I am the product of a Christian college, which I am very proud of even now. Today, if I am what I am, able to communicate with everybody, this much committed to the Sai Baba mission, the whole and sole credit should necessarily go to my Almamater, the Christian College. Yes! I received training there.)
The First Commandment: Give Up ‘I’
Now I want to present to you 'Ten Commandments' of a different nature. The first command is a one-letter word, the second command a two-letter word, and the third command a three-letter word and so on. The number of letters of each command corresponds to its number on the list of Commandments. I think I'm clear.
So, what is the first command? What is the most damaging letter in this world? (Someone says, "I") ‘I’! That's good! ‘I’ is the most damaging letter. The first command is to give up this 'I'. We don’t follow that. (Laughter) We always say ‘I’. "I was in Australia. I was in New Zealand." 'I', 'I'! The first command is to forget, remove, and cut off that ‘I.’ It is kept first on the list because it is 'a must' on the spiritual path.
As long as I hold on and cling to the ‘I,’ I will have to continue to live for some more time. The cycle of birth and death will continue eternally, unless and until the ‘I’ is cut off. When the most damaging thing in this world, this 'I', is cut off there will be Awareness. Then you will attain the state of enlightenment (Nirvana) or liberation. So, the first commandment is to forget or drop this 'I'.
The Second Commandment: Cultivate ‘We’
The second two-letter command is this: The most satisfying, most gratifying, and 'most wanted' thing is ‘we'. Cultivate this 'we'. Just yesterday in His Discourse, Bhagavan was stressing, "The day is soon approaching when there will be unity." That’s what He said, if I remember right. I think you can identify me. I only am the one who translated yesterday. (The living proof is that I have not changed my outfit yet either!)
Bhagavan asked a first-year degree student, "How many brothers do you have?" The boy answered, "Swami, I have two brothers." (Swami:) "Two? Tsk! All are brothers! Why do you say only two?" Happiness comes when we have the feeling that all are brothers and sisters. He doesn’t like or approve of only 'one brother' or 'one sister'.
Bhagavan gave this definition: "In spirituality, one should travel from the position of ‘I’ to the position of ‘we.’" We go on giving definitions of spirituality any number of times. We get confused and we successfully confuse others! Many people are very successful in confusing others! Let us pray to God to be away from such people. Let them be confused. There are psychotic centers for them, but we are not ready to be admitted there! ‘We,’ collectiveness, community, society - this is to be followed. This is the very highly satisfying second command, cultivate 'we'.
The Third Commandment: Cut Out ‘Ego’
The third command involves a very dangerous three-lettered word: ‘ego.’ Some medicines, like concentrated sulfuric acid, are labeled as " Highly Poisonous - Be careful. Not for Internal Use". No one is supposed to take it. On the label of certain other medicines, it is written "Poison, Be careful". Unless a doctor prescribes it, no one is supposed to take it.
Ego is a poisonous three-letter word. You may survive after taking poison, but it is not so with ego. (Laughter) Ego is such a dangerous thing. Bhagavan has mentioned this again and again. Bhagavan is the best surgeon to operate on this ego. This Avatar may tolerate anything, but not the ego.
Not only that, He does the surgery today on the ego which you might develop ten years later. You may become egoistic next year. So, He will do the surgery this year itself in order that you’ll never be egoistic again in this lifetime! Those who are physically close to Bhagavan and the residents who have been living here for a number of years know pretty well how Bhagavan acts as a very successful surgeon. Bhagavan will understand how egoistic you are by the way you walk toward Him after He calls you. Your sitting posture and your mode of talking will also certainly indicate your ego.
Once Bhagavan was asking everybody in a nice way, "Do you know driving? Do you know how to drive a car?" When He asked me I answered, "Well, I don’t know Swami." I am most successful and happy when I ride my bicycle without falling, let alone drive a car! Finally He repeated the question to one gentleman. This gentleman answered gruffly, "No, no!" Swami stepped away, again returned and said, "What?" This man replied gruffly, "No!"
Couldn’t he have said politely, "No Swami, I do not know"? Is he an Alsatian dog or what? (Loud laughter) The way you talk and express yourself will certainly indicate if you are egotistic or not. Ego will certainly find some expression or another. "What’s the time now, Sir?" Someone answers gruffly, "Eleven o’clock!" Wow! (Laughter) He has got a Ph.D. in 'Ego' - 'Dr. Ego'! Or, "Sir, when is the darshan time this afternoon?" Again, the response is spoken rudely, "I have no time! Move along!" Ah-ha! That is the ego personified.
A devotee asks humbly, "Sir, are there any chances of Swami calling me?" 'Sir' replies rudely, "You ask Him!" (Laughter) A final example: "Can I sit there?" (The rough response:) "No! Push him from that place!" We see some people who are violently devoted! That means their devotion is violent! (Laughter) They express their devotion by harassing other devotees. (I don’t understand them.)
The ego will not keep quiet. It will find some opportunity or other to express itself, even in ordinary words. Supposing I am a new man, a freshman, and I have come here to Puttaparthi for the first time. I say, "Wow! I had a thrilling experience with Swami! I had very nice darshan this morning." Another man may answer gruffly, "So! Every day there is a nice darshan. Why do you say, 'It was a nice darshan this morning?' " That fellow’s ego is affected. He is not able to tolerate seeing me happy.
Some people are happy when others are unhappy! However, we should be happy when others are happy. We should be delighted making unhappy people happy. Our presence should make everybody smile. Please. Yes! If anyone puts on a long face as if some surgeon is about to come to take him into an intensive care unit for surgery, if his presence creates all tension and anxiety, may God help us to be away from him!
Your presence should make everybody smile. The moment they look at you, they should happily say, "Hi! How are you?" On the other hand, your presence should not cause others to think despairingly, 'Oh, he’s coming. Let me avoid him. (Laughter) He’s a trouble-shooter. Let me go this other way in order to avoid him. Let me look that way, so that he may not identify me.' This is a tragic experience, a life that is not worth living at all. A life that gives comfort to all, making everybody laugh and smile as they enjoy your happiness and learn certain things from you, this is a life worth living.
Living With God is Education
When Bhagavan gives His darshan, observe how He talks and moves about. This is an education. If we are prepared to observe and learn, every gesture, every posture, every conversation, every smile, and every movement has a message. If you are really receptive, you can continue to learn because living with God is education.
This morning you must have noticed that the whole verandah, the whole campus, and the whole day were entirely busy due to the visit of the Vice-President of India and his family. Bhagavan was positively very busy. The Vice-President had to go to Bangalore just now. Perhaps he is in Bangalore, visiting the Super Specialty Hospital right at this moment. He was in a hurry to go and Swami was in a greater hurry to send him. So, we can understand how busy Bhagavan and these people are.
When they were seated there on the verandah, waiting for His call, our beautiful God silently moved towards the Primary School children. (Laughter) He called one little boy and asked him, "What did you eat for breakfast?" (Laughter) Is that more important than the Vice-President of India? Bhagavan started pinching the boy’s cheeks saying, "Ah! What did you eat? How many idlies (a South Indian breakfast of rice cakes)?" Baba wanted to know the idlie 'score'! (Bhagavan is very happy if anyone eats a large number of idlis.) "Oh, eight? Why not ten! Come on, eat!" (Laughter) Bhagavan was pinching his cheeks and enjoying his smile, while the Vice President and other dignitaries were there waiting on the verandah!
One can afford to do this if one is totally free from 'I'-ness or ego. Such a one is free with everybody at all times. On Monday, a worldly man says, "I have an appointment from 10 to 11AM, you can see me at 11:15." A businessman says, "I cannot see you on Monday because I have got some business meeting. So let’s meet on Tuesday." The one with no 'I'-ness, with no ego, is prepared to interact and mingle freely with everybody at anytime.
I know one incident that I cannot forget. One time Bhagavan visited the Chowdaya Memorial Hall in Bangalore. It is a beautiful building, built in the shape of a violin. There was a music concert and all Central Government Ministers, Governors, and other top people were seated there. Somehow they were good enough to show me some chair, as my services were required. (But if I went today, even the watchman would not allow me inside. I know that.)
Instead of talking to the Central Government people there in the front row, our God Bhagavan climbed up the steps. He started talking with someone 85 years old, seated in the 15th row! "How are you? You are not coming to Puttaparthi these days. How is your health? Perhaps you’re not keeping fit? How are your children? I remember you visited Puttaparthi ten years ago." Would you do that? If I know one VIP, I will not be able to look at the faces of others around. Why? After all, who is a VIP? In front of Bhagavan, who is a VIP and who is not a VIP?
I’d like to quote V. K. Gokak's famous quotation. He was second to none in scholarship. He used to always say, "This Mandir verandah has seen so many people sitting and then going. (Laughter) After all, you are someone today, but someone else the day after tomorrow." How can one feel like a VIP here? Who is a VIP? Can there be any VIP for God? No! All are equal. Why consider ourselves important? It is nothing but ego to think, "I want to be known and recognized. I want to achieve." This idea comes because we have a wrong notion of spirituality, believing that it is an achievement.
Spirituality is Not an Achievement
My friends, we don’t need to learn anything at all. It is enough to bear in mind this one sentence: Spirituality is not an achievement or an accomplishment. Spirituality is a reminder. It is a constant remembrance of who you are, recognizing the Divinity within. We consider ourselves as achievers because we think spirituality is an achievement. When there’s no achievement, how can there be an achiever? Where is there success or failure? No! Failure and success are worldly. You are spiritual.
Bhagavan always says, "You are the embodiment of Truth, Peace, and Love. You are God." When Baba said this, I asked Him, "Swami! How am I to believe it? How am I to accept it?" He answered, "Then, consider yourself as a he-buffalo!" The Scriptures say that you are Divine. Even the Holy Bible declares, "God made man in His own image." Who can help us if we say instead that we are in the image of a buffalo or a monkey? We should know the basic Truth and fact that we are the Self.
The Self is eternal existence, immortal, pristine and pure. Bhagavan uses the words, "Nithya, suddha, buddha, mukthi." This means that Self is eternal, ever vibrant, ever radiant, ever effulgent, ever new and non-polluted. You are that Self. This awareness is what we call spirituality, which is possible only if we give up this three-lettered dangerous word, 'ego'.
So, this morning we covered the first three commands: Give up the one-letter, ‘I.’ Cultivate the two-letters, ‘we.’ Cut out the poisonous three-letters, ‘ego'.
Next week we will cover the rest of the new commandments.
Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityormaa Amritam Gamaya
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi!
Once again, thank you very much!