16th December 2001.
Christmas Talks (Part 2)
OM… OM… OM…
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of our Most Beloved Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Only One Christmas in Prasanthi Nilayam
Welcome back to the second talk on Christmas! Last week we had an idea, glimpses of similarities between Sai and Christ. This second is a continuation of last week.
Prashanti Nilayam is the only place where festivals of all faiths are celebrated. Prashanti Nilayam is the center of all religions. Prashanti Nilayam believes in fellowship of faiths. It accepts all religions. It is a congregation of people of all religions who worship together. If there is any place in this world where people of all religions join together in praise of the same God, that is Prashanti Nilayam. We thank God for having given us this privilege and opportunity of being here in the Divine, immediate Presence to learn from Him all that He wants to communicate in the present Incarnation, in the form of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
You also know that among Christians, Catholics celebrate Christmas in their own way, which is not attended by Protestants. Protestants celebrate Christmas, not attended by Catholics. Jews are not wanted by both of them. Jews’ Christmas, Protestants' Christmas, Catholics’ Christmas. Well, there is only one Christmas in Prashanti Nilayam. There is nothing like diversification, there is nothing like fragmentation. We all join together in praise of our Lord. We glorify Him. We just think of Him, chant His name repeatedly, bask in bliss. That is the speciality of Prashanti Nilayam.
I also want to bring to your attention certain things that Bhagavan said in His discourse. The fragrance of a flower is known right from the beginning. We don’t have to wait for long. The fragrance of a flower goes far and near. Similarly, Christ is born. The Divinity of Christ targets, spreading everywhere. The Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ is recognized by people right from His birth. How does it happen?
The Three Wise Men
Three kings visited the infant Jesus Christ. Three wise men visited Jesus Christ. One wise man looked at the newborn babe of Bethlehem and said, "This new-born baby will love God." Oh! The second wise man looked at the baby more intensely, more closely, "Oh, no, no! God will love this boy, you know that? God will love this baby." That is the second statement of the second wise man. And the third wise man has gone closer to the baby, as if ready to kiss the child, the newborn babe of Bethlehem, and said, "No, no, no, you both are wrong. I tell you, this baby will declare later that he and God are One." This is the how the three wise men looked at the newborn baby.
I repeat, first wise man said, "This boy will love God." And what does it mean? The newborn baby there in Bethlehem, infant Jesus Christ, will love God. That is the state of messenger of God. Christ made three statements. In the beginning he said, "I am the messenger of God." What does it mean? It is at the body level, the body consciousness. The body consciousness makes him declare, "I am the messenger of God." Well, that was the feeling of the first wise man, who looked at the newborn babe of Bethlehem.
And later Christ said, "I am the Son of God." The same statement was said by the second wise man there who declared, "This boy will be loved by God." Not that he simply loves Him - God loves him too. This is what you call ‘heart consciousness’. The body consciousness made him declare that he is the messenger of God. The heart consciousness made him rise to the level of Son of God.
The third wise man said, "No, no, both of you are wrong. This little babe in future, is going to declare that he and God are One." That’s what Christ said finally: "I and my Father in Heaven are One." This is the Spirit consciousness.
In other words, Jesus Christ, as a model for all of us, a role model for all seekers, for all aspirants in this world, then, now and in future, demonstrates three levels or steps of consciousness. At the beginning we believe that, "I am the body." That state is the messenger of God. At a later state, I start reacting, reflecting from within, from the place of the heart, the heart consciousness, when I say, "I am the Son of God." Finally, I experience the Divinity within me and identify with the Divinity. At that state I declare, "I and my Father in Heaven are One."
John Chapter 10, verses 27 to 29, from the Holy Bible. Bhagavan does not say, "Hindu Dharma", please remember that. Bhagavan does not say, "Hindu Dharma." He calls it, "Sanathana Dharma" because it was the most ancient, which gave birth to many of the religions, which could encompass, which could embrace all schools of faiths, all schools of philosophy, without any fanaticism, without any adherence to a particular school of philosophy. It is like a mighty ocean into which all rivers finally merge. All rivers merge in the mighty ocean, just as the proverb goes: all roads lead to Rome. Similarly, all faiths, all religions, finally merge into Sanathana Dharma.
As you know, from that level, a flower, with fertilization and also pollution, slowly develops into a fruit, a tender fruit. A tender fruit is bitter. We don’t start eating it, no. It’s not fit for any eating then. The tender fruit ripens into a ripened fruit, which is sweet. So a flower, which is fragrant, develops into an unripe fruit, which is bitter. An unripe fruit develops into a fully ripe fruit, which is sweet enough. In other words, I can't get a ripe fruit without unripe fruit. I can't think of unripe fruit without a flower. These are the three states.
Come back to this level of body consciousness, messenger of God. It is like that of a flower. Secondly, the heart consciousness, "I'm the Son of God" is like that of an unripe fruit. The third level, Spirit consciousness, "I and my Father in Heaven are One," that is the ripe fruit. One leads to the other. One is a corollary of the other; one is a step along the ladder, taking you to the top. One is never contradictory to the other.
In Sanathana Dharma there are three schools of philosophy. One school of philosophy is called, ‘dwaitha’ or ‘dualism’. "God and I are separate." A very comfortable philosophy. Let Him remain there and allow me to remain here. (Laughter) I’ll be happy and You’ll be happy, yes! So God and I are different. This is what you call ‘dwaitha’ or ‘dualism’, messenger of God.
And the second state is qualified non-dualism, ‘vishishta adwaitha’. ‘Vishishta’ means ‘special’. I’m not only a devotee; I'm not only separate from God; but I'm little closer to Him. A little closer. Because I have started experiencing Him, I started growing in sadhana, spiritual practice. I'm coming closer and closer, dearer and dearer, nearer and nearer. Now I'm no longer a messenger! I'm the Son of God, OK? I'm close to Him. This is qualified non-dualism, the Son of God, the second state of consciousness.
Finally, the aspirant or the seeker goes on concentrating, contemplating, meditating on the Divine. He forgets his body consciousness; he forgets his heart-mind; and he recognizes the spirit in him is very much the same as that of the Divine. ‘God and I are One.’ This is what you call ‘non-dualism’ or ‘adwaitha’. That is the level of Spirit consciousness, when Christ declares, "I and my Father in heaven are one." Our Bhagavan has repeatedly explained this.
How identical religions are! How similar religions are! The basic principles are so similar, identical, homologous and analogous at the same time. They never go against each other. They never condemn any other philosophy. It is only politics that made religion political. Religion should get into the field of politics to unify people. But unfortunately, politics has stepped into religion and divided us. How fortunate we are to come to know the parallels between the two religions.
Embodiments of Love
And here, I would also like to draw to your attention to another point that Bhagavan often say. First, John, 4th Chapter, 24th verse: What does it say? Bhagavan addresses us in this way in every one of His discourses. He will never say, "Ladies and Gentlemen." If you heard this anytime, let me know! (Laughter) I don’t think that He said that anytime. He never said, "Ladies and Gentlemen," no, I don’t think so. (Whether we are gentlemen or not, it is best to know unto one’s own self!) (Laughter) So, He knows it. So, there’s nothing like "Ladies and Gentlemen" or "Brothers and Sisters", nothing like that.
He says, "Members of this Divine Assembly." Or He would say, "Embodiments of the Divine Atma." "The Embodiments of Divine Love", that’s how he addresses the gathering because He sees you not as a body. He looks at you not in the form of the mind. You are the Spirit and Bhagavan addresses Himself. He’s not addressing anybody. Please let us be aware of it.
There was one question put to Him: "Swami, how is it that we don’t have faith in You?" You know what Baba said? "I have faith in you, and you have no faith in Me. That is the tragedy." Why? Why do I have no faith and You have faith in me? What a paradox it is! Bhagavan said, "I have faith in you because I know you and I are One. I know that I am in you; I know that you are in Me; that both are one and the same. You do not know that. You think we are different. You think we are separate. Therefore you have no faith in Me." That’s what Bhagavan has said.
So Swami says, "You are not the body; you are not the mind; you are not the intellect; you are the Spirit or the Self or Atma, Embodiments of Divine Atma." That’s how He begins His Divine discourse every time. So you are the Spirit. No one would say that you are the body. If you are the body, well, there is no question of death at all. All medical practitioners would be unemployed. There’d be no pharmaceuticals. We can have a life, an easy go.
So, I'm not the body, sure, and I'm not the mind either. The mind looses its memory now and then. The mind fails; the mind is perverted at times; the mind is negative quite often. Positivity and negativity are the two facets of the mind, the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. The mind is not the same throughout. The body is not the same throughout. The curly hair at one time is replaced by a bald-head later. (Laughter) Slim, thin body - later it becomes such a flumpy body that the doors have got to be widened. (Laughter) If one starts looking at one’s own photos, well, one would feel ashamed. Better all the mirrors be broken. Why? Because I'm not that handsome now, as I was a quarter of a century ago.
So, that which constantly changes, that which changes is not Divine. That which constantly changes is not Brahmananda. Therefore, body changes; mind changes, intellect also changes because intellect sometimes proceeds along selfish grounds, what we call ‘individual discrimination’. Bhagavan always says this, ‘individual discrimination’. Intellect goes on supporting all you do. Intellect goes on endorsing all you do. Though people call you a wretch ‘number one’, the intellect says, "No, I'm a saint. You do not know!" Because the intellect starts discriminating on the individual’s grounds, what is called ‘individual discrimination’. This will be spoiling a person because of selfishness and self-interests.
Therefore, you’re not the mind; you’re not the intellect; but you are the Spirit or Self or Atma. God, the Spirit, John, 4th Chapter, 24th verse.
God Is Light
And Bhagavan at another time said, "I am in the Light; the Light is in me; I am the Light." There are these three levels of consciousness. It is a feast to listen to Bhagavan! People may look at me rather strangely, "Why is this man very much excited?" You look rather strange to me for the simple reason of why you are not equally excited! (Laughter) Yes! Why? Because no one gives such a beautiful interpretation as Bhagavan does. No one ever gave that. Naturally you’ll be excited, you’ll be very much surprised, thrilled, and feel like sharing with everybody.
So, ‘You are in the Light’ is the first level. ‘The Light is in me’ is the second level of consciousness. ‘I am the Light’ is the final level. So, God is with the Spirit. John again says, first Chapter, 25th verse, "God is Light." God is Light. That is delight to every one of us. Why? The Light speaks of brilliance. The Light stands for shedding the darkness, dispelling the darkness of ignorance.
Light is awareness. Light is wisdom. With the dawn of the Light of wisdom, the darkness of ignorance is totally gone, dispelled. And therefore, God is Light: ‘Prajnana Brahma’. ‘Prajnana’ means ‘awareness’. ‘Prajnana’ means ‘wisdom’. ‘Prajnana’ means ‘Light of lights’. That will dispel the darkness of ajnana, ignorance or Maya, illusion. So, God is Light. He will not allow you to be in ignorance, no!
God Is Love
God is Love. John, 4th Chapter, 4th verse: John the Baptist has mentioned in these chapters - God the Spirit; God is Light; God is Love. Bhagavan says, "God is Love. Love is God. Live in Love." See that? Only the form has changed; only the times have changed; only people have changed. But the essence of the message has never been changed. Let us be aware of that. "The forms have changed. Men may come and men may go. But I go on forever." Similarly, the clarion call, the Divine message continues, continues and continues. It is one of continuity to eternity. It does not change.
So here we find, "God is Love. Love is God. Live in Love." What is Love? Bhagavan, what is Love? We don’t know what Love is, particularly today, when thousands and thousands are killed mercilessly. Genocide, where there is no Truth, where there is no faith, where there is no trust in families. God, oh Bhagavan, let me know what Love is!
Today we are leading such a miserable life that we have to learn the meaning of Love. Whomsoever says, "Hello, how are you?" you can expect that they want something in return immediately. If any members of your office come to your office and say, "Good morning, how are you?" and you say, "Fine", you can expect that he will give his leave letter for immediate sanction. (Laughter) So the greetings and exchanges have become matters of certain objectives, selfish interests. There’s no Love at all.
To propagate, to instill and to kindle the Love, which is latent within every one of us, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is amidst us in the form of the latest, the modern Incarnation, the Avatar. Yes, He is here to let you know that you are full of Love. You are born with Love, but this Love is robbed off with the march of time, with age, due to selfishness.
God is Love. What is Love, Swami? Any number of books can be written on that. You know Baba gave a simple definition of Love: "Love is selflessness; self is lovelessness." When we listen to certain statements of Bhagavan in English, all of us will be really shocked and thrilled. What beautiful English it is! Why have a translator then? I do not know. (Laughter) The only reason I can imagine is to provide you with fun and entertainment now and then because this translator is capable of committing mistakes repeatedly, time and again. (Laughter) The talk cannot be so serious all through. To add some pep talk now and then, a little humor, when the translator commits a mistake, fine. So that way we’ll be geared up and listen to the next point in rapt attention. Am I not right? So, this is absolutely true because Swami knows all the languages after all.
And then further He said, "Love is so important that you cannot limit it to yourself." "I love myself," is selfishness. "I love my family." You have got to - there’s no alternative. (Laughter) "I love people of my political party." Yes, or else you cannot be elected. (Laughter) So, this sort of a love is just narrow, limited. That’s all. So Swami says, "Love all and serve all." That ‘all’ not only includes your family, your political party, your province, your county, but the whole world. Love is universal. That Love is God. This is what Bhagavan has said.
Coming At an Unexpected Hour
Let us also know about certain Biblical prophecies – what the Bible said about Incarnations. See Luke Gospel, 12thChapter, Verse number 40. You know what he says in Luke’s Gospel? "You also must be ready because the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." The Bible did not say "On 1926, November 23rd". Why? "He comes down in an unexpected hour." So we cannot deny the fact that the Bible already predicted the future in telling that the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour. Be ready. Be not only prepared physically, my friends, but let us also be prepared spiritually.
Particularly when we are not there, Bhagavan comes. Say we just go for coffee, having been sitting there right from 2 o’clock. Immediately God comes there and asks, "Where is he?" He’ll ask for you. But when you are there, you are ignored. When you are not there, it is registered immediately. See that! Shall I go for coffee? No, I can't decide. Swami may come immediately. Yesterday evening somebody said, "Anil Kumar, darshan is over. Better you go home." Very good! I'm prepared to go home. I'm waiting for such news because hot coffee would be ready for me! But yet, why can't I take a chance? I don’t know what would happen. Let me see if it is true; let me verify. This man said it’s OK, but let me also personally verify. I went there and continued sitting and within two seconds, Swami came out again! (Laughter)
It only means that you cannot predict God. You cannot give Him a timetable: "Swami, darshan is at 2 – 2:15PM. You can come out again at 2:45. Then please return." You cannot give Him any timetable. He comes to you at an unexpected hour, at an unexpected time, during an unexpected hour of need. Or He’ll come at that unexpected hour of danger, that unexpected hour when you need rescue, recovery, or for your safety and security. Now you can understand.
The Experience of Sinclair
When Sinclair (from Connecticut, United States) was flying high in his helicopter, the engines failed. Then he heard some call, some voice saying, "Don’t worry. Turn to the left. Turn to the right. Come on and land on the ground!" And he landed safely on the ground. He returned home to see a red-robed dark man with a halo of hair, sitting on the sofa-set right in the drawing room, smiling mischievously. He said, "Hello! Yes, how are you?" That’s it. "Why are you here?" "Just I have come to see you." That’s all, and he forgot what all that had happened.
After a year, when Sinclair went to the house of Goldstein, in Los Angeles, California, he saw the picture of Sri Sathya Sai Baba there. Then he shouted, "Oh, is he the man! Uh, who is he? (Laughter) Is he the man? Is this guy anyway by chance here in America?" "No, no, no, no, no, no! He has not come to America, I'm quite sure. He’s right over there in India." "What! How is it? He visited my house, you know. I spoke to Him." As He’s God, Sinclair did not have to come to God, but God came to him.
Then, having been thoroughly convinced by Goldstein, Sinclair made a dash to visit India. And Bhagavan granted him an interview and said, "I came to see you long back and today you have come to see Me." (Laughter) So be ready! God comes at an unexpected hour with no prior appointment, no, no, no! "At an unexpected hour." So let us be ready, ever-ready.
Whiskey Is Not Risky?
I also recall an incident when a person wanted to have hot drinks in Prashanti Nilayam. Well, he brought one bottle of whiskey. He thought it was not risky. (Laughter) He didn’t choose liquor because he’s afraid that might act quicker. He thought that whiskey is not risky, so he came here along with his friend.
This is recorded in "Experiences of Devotees From South Africa," a small violet covered booklet, for your information. As I'm a teacher, I have gathered all grounds of proof and evidence. It is not because you doubt that I mention this, but because I may have to face different sets of audiences in different situations.
Well, these two friends said, "Hi! Cheers, cheers!" And they have brought two beautiful glasses to the Round Building. They emptied that whiskey bottle there into the glasses, ready to drink. When they went to drink, they did not taste whiskey, but tasted aqua, H2O, water only! (Laughter) "What! What’s wrong, what's wrong! We bought it, you know. It’s imported stuff. It can't be like this! It should give us kick from stomach to the toes. But how is it? It is tasteless! What’s wrong now?"
Well, then they thought, "We have not washed the two glasses properly. (Laughter) There might be some water left over inside, something like a day-old hangover. Some left-over water must be there." Then what they did was they cleaned the glasses another time, again rinsed them thoroughly, and then poured whiskey into the two glasses. "Right! This time, double cheers!" (Laughter) But when they started drinking, it was aqua, water, once again! They were very much vexed.
"What happened to all the money? What happened to all this? We are not used to water. We only take whiskey." Finally the friend said, "I bought this bottle. Let me take it straight from this bottle, without the interference of the hopeless glass! (Laughter) This glass seems to possess some kind of mischief. (Laughter) No, no! Let me have the bottle straight away!" When he starting drinking from the bottle, it was not a whiskey bottle. It was only a Bisleri bottle! (Laughter) He was very upset! Then the next morning, when they came and sat for darshan, Bhagavan went to them closely and said, "Cheers, Cheers? How were you last night?" (Applause)
My friends, I'm telling you this story to let you know that God appears at an unexpected hour, not at an appointed time. No, at an unexpected hour. Particularly when we talk to our neighbor, we find him peeping through. There ends the matter. So we have got to be on our toes all the time, according to Luke 12th Chapter, 40th verse.
Bhagavan’s Melodious Voice
Then I should also tell you that it is not possible for everybody to know, to identify and to live with God. He knows. Bhagavan said at one time. "I choose My own devotees. You are here because of My Will. It is not that you wanted to be here. I wanted you to be here. No one can make a trip to Prasanthi Nilayam without My Will," declared Bhagavan.
So wherever we are seated, He will certainly identify us, having brought us all the way all along. That’s what is said here in John, 3rd Chapter, 16th verse. What does it say? "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they know Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish." That’s John, 3rd Chapter, 16th verse. What does it say? "My sheep hear My voice." Yes.
A number of people may talk. We might have got used to many, many voices. But we certainly recognize Bhagavan’s melodious voice because Bhagavan’s melodious voice is unequaled, unparalleled, so nectarine, so musical, a celestial voice. We know our human voices: when they are silent, we enjoy the time at least. Some voices are so disturbing.
My teacher used to joke, on listening to my voice. My teacher, who was a great person, always used to say, "Usually we sing songs to make children go to sleep. But when Anil Kumar starts singing, children will get up from their sleep immediately!" (Laughter) And further he said, "They may also fall from the swing or from the bed altogether!" Yes! Then I said, "Sir! Nagarsankirtan is meant to wake people up. I don’t allow them to go to bed. So I'm the right person to sing along the streets, to make everybody get up." That’s right! That’s the purpose of Nagarsankirtan, right?
So the point is that we know Bhagavan’s voice. It is totally different. Swami’s voice is so unique. We know that. And Bhagavan knows our voices. Suppose I start speaking of somebody; Swami comes and says, "Are you talking to your neighbor?" "No, Swami." You cannot bluff Him because He knows your voice. We know His voice and He knows our voice. That is the Divine Romance. "And they know Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish."
As we listen to His voice repeatedly, His discourses, His bhajans, it is such a familiar voice. Bhagavan's voice is our inner voice. The inner voice is Bhagavan’s voice, the conscience. The conscience within every one of us is the inner voice. That is Bhagavan’s voice. Therefore, you shall never perish when you listen to Bhagavan’s voice from within. You shall never perish, you shall never be put to danger, you shall never fail in the tasks given to you because you listen to the inner voice.
Many times Bhagavan speaks to us, but we pay a deaf ear. That’s the reason why the Holy Bible says, "You have eyes, but you see not. You have ears, but you hear not." So we have ears, but we hear not. We have eyes, but we see not. With eyes, we are blind and with ears, we are deaf because we don’t pay heed to the inner voice, the conscience. Therefore, when once we pay heed to the inner voice, the conscience, "You shall never perish," says Bhagavan.
His Works Speak For Themselves
Then, next point is this: John, 14th Chapter, 11th verse. "Believe Me, for the sake of the works themselves." Kindly note this point. We can speak for any length of time on this sentence. "Believe Me, for the sake of the works themselves." How is Bhagavan known? Bhagavan is known through His works. He’s not any static body. Bhagavan is dynamic. The activity and tasks that He has undertaken speak for themselves. The person and the project are one and the same.
Perhaps it is quite unbelievable to think of certain of the medical projects today. How true it is when Alfred Nobel, who visited Prasanthi Nilayam recently, called for the Visitor’s Book and declared, writing there openly: "Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital is a gift to Mankind. Sathya Sai Baba is unique. No one has ever undertaken such a project in the history of Mankind." Can you believe that?
Bhagavan’s works speak. His works and projects speak for themselves. You don’t have to introduce Him. I don’t have to introduce the Sun. The sunlight is the way of introduction to the Sun. Moonlight is an introduction to the Moon himself. The stars that glitter need no introduction; and the flowers need no introduction, as their fragrance speaks for them. Their fragrance speaks of the flowers. The moonlight speaks of the moon. Likewise, the projects of Bhagavan speak of Bhagavan.
So, that’s what He said here: "Believe Me, for the sake of the works themselves, believe me." Why? They are unbelievable. He says, "Believe Me," because they’re unbelievable. We’re not able to conceive and we are not able to imagine because such stupendous tasks only He could accomplish.
Lifting Iron Girders
When the present Mandir (where we are sitting now) was called Prashanti Nilayam Mandir, there was an Old Mandir here earlier. At the time of its construction, some beams were necessary. It is not an ordinary Mandir, full of stone, boulders, all beams, iron girders and all that. And there was no mode of transport to Puttaparthi at that time. (My friends, I'm reporting to you directly what I heard from Swami. Kodaikanal is the place where Swami speaks of those things, which are very, very rare for us to hear.)
And He told this: "All iron girders were brought here. They had to be lifted there and kept on the top for laying the roof. The concrete work was still there. Iron girders were lying on the ground. Well, what to do? These girders were not here in the beginning. They were there near Penukonda, a few miles away from here. How to bring them here? How to lift them up there? That was the question. All people were very much worried how to transport these iron girders from Penukonda to Puttaparthi. How to transport them? Would it be easy? No!
See how Bhagavan works! One day a few engineers came to Swami. "Why are you here?" The engineers said, "Bhagavan, we are taking care of Tungabhadra Project, under construction near Kurnool. We have got the cranes to lift any heavy things. On our way back, we are running short of petrol. We have come here to pray, so that You may give us or bless us with some petrol." (Laughter) Bhagavan said, "Petrol? I’ll give you petrol to your cranes and petrol to your stomachs also. Don’t worry. Yes, but see that those girders are brought from Penukonda because it is on your way."
What a master plan it was! (Laughter) See that! The fellows have to pass through this way only! So they brought all iron girders. They were just laid on the ground. Who will lift them? Engineers can’t lift. And Seva Dal people, it’s not possible. Seva Dal people have come here for padanamaskar and to receive some sweets. We are not physically strong enough to do that! (Laughter) We have got some spiritual bonus, so for that purpose we are here. We are not regular laborers. We can't do it; we are not skilled. What to do?
Bhagavan said, "Come on! Lift!" Who will do that? Swami said, "All Seva Dal come here." They all came and tried to lift it. When they were trying to lift on one side, Swami started walking on that. Whole thing – Zaaaap! - went up like that. It was so easy! Bhagavan’s body itself was like a crane for the iron girders to go to the top! (Applause) You see how unbelievable it is. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
And at a time when this University was to be started, the University Grants Commission then said, "You cannot get permission, Swami. It is impossible to start the University there." Why? No University can exist within the radius of 20 miles when there is already another University. You have got the Krishnadevaraya University there at Anantapur. You have got Venkateswara University there at Tirupathi. So, I don’t think You can get the University (status)." Swami looked at her and said, "There in Delhi, I AM going to get the University, and YOU are going to inaugurate it." (Laughter) OK, that’s it. The University came and then she came all the way to inaugurate the University, do you know that? So, "Believe Me, for the sake of the works themselves."
This Rayalaseema area, particularly Anantapur District, is known for draught. The draught is to such an extent that even a drop of water is not available during summer. It is such a horrible place. History recorded it nicely. And today, you find lawns that side and this side. Lawns! I'm not able to believe it, seeing with my own eyes as I belong to the same province. How do you expect lawns there? Now we have even got the sprinklers and fountains! Baba, You can do anything! Swami, You can do anything! You can convert a wetland into a desert and a desert into a wetland! You are capable of doing it! The proof: today we have got lawns there.
And today we find Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project being extended to about 800 villages in the district, a district that suffered for long centuries - centuries, I tell you! So, "Believe Me, for the sake of the works themselves": the works and the projects are absolutely Divine, unbelievable, beyond human imagination, beyond human achievement, comprehension, and accomplishment. Let’s understand this.
Greater Works Than These He Will Do
And then there is John, 14th Chapter, 12th verse. Clearly friends, my dear brothers, please listen to this statement. What did Christ say? "Greater works than these He will do. Because I go to the Father." What beautiful English! John Ruskin became a beautiful writer in English prose because he learnt by heart the whole of the Bible. His mother wanted him to know it by heart, and so John Ruskin’s prose English is ‘Number One’ in English literature. Yes. Of course, today’s modern generation may not think of Ruskin at all because they’re ‘in risks’ not Ruskin. (Laughter)
So do you see the point? What does he say? Christ said, "Greater works are going to be done by Him because I'm going back to my Father." What does it mean? Christ made certain things happen. Christ did certain miracles and he said, "In future, greater works, more works, in multiples, are going to be done by Him." By Him? Who is He? Sathya Sai Baba! "As I go to my Father. As I go back to my Father, greater works are going to be done by Him." That is the prediction in John’s Gospel, 14th Chapter and 12th verse: "Greater works."
A simple example: one scholar was speaking on one of the days of Navarathi celebration, Dasara, in the immediate Divine Presence of Bhagavan. The scholar is a really well read man and highly resourceful, and he was speaking about the Bhagavatha, with particular reference to the miracles of Lord Krishna. "Lord Krishna is no ordinary boy. He’s God Himself, Purna Avatar. He could lift one mountain with his little finger, ‘Govardhana’. Such a powerful God He is." The scholar went on explaining, and all audience started hearing in rapt attention, cheering him.
That was followed by Bhagavan’s discourse. He said, "Krishna lifted one mountain. Today I lift hundreds of mountains. You can see that. You can see many of the mountains being lifted up today. Otherwise, we don’t find the entire humanity thronging, the entire humanity grouping here in Prashanti Nilayam." That’s really wonderful! "Why mountain, one mountain? I lift so many mountains around." That’s what Bhagavan said.
That’s what He said here in the Bible, "More tasks, greater tasks then what you see will be done by Him because I go back to my Father." That’s what is said in John, 14th Chapter, 12th verse.
He Who Sent Me Is With Me
Again, in John 8th Chapter, verses 28, 29, 38, 42, what do they say? This is the highest level of awareness. "He who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone. For, I always do what is pleasing to Him." There are three important points here. Kindly follow them. The first thing: "He, who sent me, is with me." Meaning what? Swami often says in discourse, "God is with me, in me, above me, around me." That’s what He says. You know that. You must have heard Bhagavan’s discourses: "God is in me. He is with me, above me, below me, around me." It is only to impress upon us that we are basically and essentially Divine.
That’s so: "He has sent me. It was Jehovah, the Lord of Lords, God, who has sent me." Christ is the Son of God: "He, my Father who has sent me, is always with me." Yes, He is with you all right. "He has not left me alone."
A devotee came to Swami and said, "Swami, I'm returning. My visa date is fast expiring and my return ticket is ready. I'm leaving Swami, so please bless me." Bhagavan tells him, "Why do you say, ‘I am leaving?’ WE are leaving!" "Swami, ‘we’? I have got only one ticket." "No, no, no! I am also coming with you!" You are not left alone. You are not one (all alone). You’re always in the company of God. God is with you, behind you, beside you, in you, above you, around you, as Bhagavan declares repeatedly.
So, "He has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to Him." This is a conditional clause. Kindly bear this in mind: "For I have been doing what all that pleases Him." What did Baba say? "I look to you if you look to Me. Why fear when I am here?" When we follow Him, He’ll certainly be with us, behind us, talking to us. So, sometimes I don’t feel Him because I am not obeying Him. Sometimes I don’t enjoy Him from within because I'm not following His command. I'm not along the Sai path. So, Jesus Christ here in this Gospel beautifully tells us, "God will never leave you alone. He’s always with you, in you, and above you because you follow and do all that is pleasing to Him" So, Swami wants us to act in a way that will please Him.
Talking to boys, Swami always tells them like this: "Whenever you’re supposed to act, whenever you’re supposed to do anything, just question yourselves, ‘Will this make Swami happy or not? Will this be pleasing to Him or not? Is this right or wrong?’ Exercise your discrimination and then start accordingly." That’s what Christ has said here.
Persecution of John the Baptist
Then, Mathew, 11th Chapter, verses 4 to 6: You must have heard in the Holy Bible an episode of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was persecuted. He was beaten like anything. He was frustrated. Later, he was also beheaded. You know that. John the Baptist was beheaded. But before that he was tortured, he was whipped continuously by King Herodes.
All devotees will pass through this torture. All devotees will pass through the test of the time. Life is not a bed of roses. Why? For the world to know how strong he was in devotion, how firm he was in devotion, John the Baptist was persecuted and tortured. Then John says this - what a beautiful statement it is! "Are you the one to come? Or should we look for another?" This Swami says repeatedly.
It seems a devotee, a great devotee from this state of Andhra Pradesh, could not bear all his suffering. So he questioned God, "God, am I running short of devotion or are You powerless, by any chance? (Laughter) Don’t I have devotion or don’t You have power? What’s wrong with You? Why do You allow me to be tortured like that?" This was the prayer and the cry of a devotee by name of Ramdas from Andhra Pradesh.
So he went on, "Are You there or not?" That is also registered there in Bhagavatha, "Are You there or not? Are You blind? Why don’t You see me? Why don’t You take care of me? Don’t You see the tears rolling down my cheeks? Don’t You see the unbearable pain I have been suffering from? O God, what happened to You? All right, I’ll look for somebody else. Since You are not thinking of me, I shall think of someone else. Is that right?" That was the feeling of John the Baptist at the time of his persecution.
This news was carried to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ now tells him, "I can understand why John said these words, and why he wanted to shift his loyalty like the modern politicians. I can understand." Now he tells the messenger, "Look here, go and tell John, go and tell him what you hear. Go and tell him what you are hearing." What is it? "The blind have received their sight. Don’t you find blind people regaining their vision? Don’t you see people who are cured, who are relieved by me, who were born blind? Tell him, tell John."
Not only that. "The lame walk. Those who could not walk, the lame, started walking after coming to me. Lepers have been cleansed; the deaf hear; the dead are raised up again. Tell him. The poor have good news reaching them." These are the things mentioned in the words of Jesus Christ. Brothers, what do they mean now? The blind receive their sight by the touch of Jesus Christ. The blind people started seeing again. They had their vision restored.
The Blind Will See
There is a village about 20 minutes’ drive from my native place. A very rich man came along with his friends for Bhagavan’s darshan. He was quite all right, but after 60, he went totally blind. After 60, there was some eye problem. Swami granted them an interview. The whole group sat there in the interview room. This blind man, an elderly person, sat on a chair. Swami started talking to them, "How are you, how are you?" "Fine, fine!"
He looked at this old man and said, "Do you see Me?" Does He not know that he is quite blind? (Laughter) He answered, "’Do you see Swami?’ I'm not able to see YOU!" Swami’s reply, "Oh, I see. When you had sight, you never saw Me. When you lost it, you want to see Me. That is the irony of life. So when your vision was fine, when your eyes were perfect, you never saw Me. And today, ‘Swami, I want to see You. I have no vision now.’"
And then Swami looked at his son saying, "How are you, fellow? It is your responsibility to take care of your family. You are so busy in politics that you are not taking care of family responsibilities. And you’re so fat. I only named you 25 years ago, but you’re so fat now. Follow the diet regulations. If you have got fat like this, well, you will certainly fall sick. This is not the way. Young fellows should be trim and slim. What is this? Your face, your body is something like a question mark! (Laughter) That’s not the way." He joked like that.
And then Swami started giving vibhuthi to all the members there in the interview room. He came to this man and said, "Don’t worry, I know you." And kept His gentle, beautiful blessing Hand on both of his eyes. Then this man started shouting, "JAI SAI RAM!" because his vision was restored! He could see immediately! The one who was totally blind, whose vision could not be restored for so long, started seeing again. That’s what Christ did: "The blind will see." Yes, the blind received their sight, and the lame walked.
Those days I was in Brindavan. A lady was called for an interview along with many people. Of course, one wheelchair was not sufficient for her. She really needed two wheelchairs to go. But somehow she got dumped into one wheelchair, stuffed into one wheelchair. It took four people to just push her into the interview room. I mention all this so that you can imagine her weight. She was from Ireland.
Well, they got the interview. At the end of the interview, I saw this lady coming out of the interview room walking! She went in on a wheelchair, but she came out walking. Many, many people know this grace. Many people, who can't walk, start walking with Sai’s grace. That is the handwork and that is the miracle of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He came close to me and said, "She’s from Ireland and she’s suffering from acute arthritis. She could not move for the last 13 years. Now you see her walking."
That’s what Jesus said in the Holy Bible: "The lame walk; the lepers shall be cleansed." ‘Lepers cleansed’ refers to all the sick who will be healed. That’s exactly what we find in the Super Speciality Hospital today. The deaf hear. You may not be able to hear anybody, but somehow by His grace, you’ll be able to hear Bhagavan’s discourse. "The deaf hear; the dead are raised up again."
The Sick Will Be Healed
You heard of Lazarus. The Bible says Lazarus rose from the dead. Lazarus, who had died, by the touch of Jesus Christ, could rise up again. "Lazarus rose from the dead", says the Holy Bible. Today there are a number of instances where people rose from the dead due to Bhagavan’s grace. To give you one example, there was one man named Walter Cowen from the United States of America, from the state of California I believe (where the Tustin library is located, which was looked after by his wife, Elsie Cowen). Cowen rose from the dead. That we saw. Then there’s one place by the name of Koppam here. There was a gentleman who lived there by the name of Radhakrishna Shetty, who was declared dead by the doctors. But he rose from the dead. So, like what Jesus did, now again the dead are raised up.
"The poor have good news preached to them." ‘Poor’ here does not mean financial poverty, but ‘poor in spirit’, meaning those who are mundane and worldly. They have got good news, the Gospel, the spiritual knowledge, imparted to them through interview and discourses and Sai literature.
And then we read John, 16th Chapter, verses 25 and 28. "Believing, you may have life in His Name." Today, after all, one may be alive, but watching some person’s face, we find he is a dead log of wood. He’s alive, but what for? There is no smile, there is no bliss, there is no dynamism. There is no activity. He is like a passive log of wood. What is his life for?
Once there in Brindavan, when He was just climbing down the steps outside, Bhagavan said something, which I want to mention. As He came out, we saw many birds and many ducks there, all jumping and dancing, with both the wings flying high. They all started jumping. Then Swami came and said: "You see how lively they are! They are full of life! See how smiling they are! How beautiful they are! Why? With God’s darshan, the whole universe is happy! With God’s darshan, the whole world rejoices!"
Christmas is a celebration. Christmas is a festival. Christmas is a melody. Christmas is music because Christmas makes us alive and full of life. Bhagavan refers to this particular aspect. "You will have life in His name." When I sing His glory, when I am sure of His presence, I'm really alive. Or else, I appear as if I am waiting for doomsday!
And then John, 21st Chapter, verse 25: "But there are also many other things and, were every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself can't contain the books that would be written." I call to your attention the Man of Miracles, written by Howard Murphet from Australia. There Murphet has written, "If the whole sea water were to be made into ink and the earth into a book, it could not contain all the leelas of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. If a book were to come in the size of Planet Earth and the sea water were to turn into ink (along with the trees serving as pens) you would still not be able to exhaust the beauty, glory and grandeur of the Divinity of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba."
That’s what he said here now, just like John did then. All the books, yes, are being written. I suppose the world itself can't contain all the books, even if the whole world became a library! It still cannot contain all those books. And today, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, while He is still in His body, right now we find so many books there in the bookstall in all of the languages of the world. Can anybody dream of such a thing? Books are written in all languages, while hundreds and hundreds of books are added to Sai literature every day. That’s what John predicted earlier: that the world cannot contain all the books written about Him.
Truth Is One
And then John, 14th Chapter, 20th verse: "In that, you will know that I am in the Father, and you are in me and I in you." "I am in the Father, the Father is in me, and I am in you." This is what you call non-dualism or adwaitha philosophy. The Father is in me; I am in the Father; both of us are there in you. So we are not two, but only One. Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahuda Vadanthi. The Truth is One. That’s what is said.
The Bible says, "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free." That means free from bondage, liberated. What is the Truth? The Truth is One, Truth is One. God is One who is omnipresent and omniscient. God is One. That Truth has got to be known. And once we know that, "Everything shall be added unto you." The Bible says clearly, "Seek Ye the kingdom of Heaven, and everything shall be added unto you."
When once we know the glory of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, everything shall be added unto you. Everything will be given to you more and more, more and more. That is the promise of the Bible. And there in the Gita He declares, "Yoga Kshemam vyaham yaham." "Seek ye the Kingdom of Heaven, everything shall be added unto you," declares the Holy Bible.
My friends, this morning I take leave of you, emphasizing once again that the gospel of Truth then, according to the Holy Bible, is the very same gospel repeated by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, for whom the entire Christian world has been eagerly awaiting. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Second Coming of Christ. He’s the Cosmic Christ. He’s the very Father, who had sent His only Son to earth. He’s the Cosmic Visitor.
Next week’s Sunday we’ll also have a few more thoughts about Christmas and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Thank you for listening to me in rapt attention! (Applause)
(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, 'Bhaja Mana Narayana...')
Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Next week we’ll be meeting again, same day same time! Thank you!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!