January 12th, 2003
“The Light of Delight”
Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Brothers and Sisters!
The Festival of Sankranthi
The festival of Sankranthi falls on the 14th of January this year. Happy Sankranthi to all of you! Sankranthi has great significance. It is of immense value, particularly for those who proceed along the spiritual path. As per tradition, it is a belief that this period in the calendar year is most auspicious and sacred, and hence people embark on spiritual paths – spiritual sadhana as per their choice and belief.
And so, as we step into the Sankranthi time, I pray for Bhagavan to shower His choicest blessings on every one of you here. As we step onto a new spiritual path, may He bless us with a new vision and a new direction.
This morning I’ve chosen the topic: “The Light of Delight.” I want to focus your attention on certain important points. As I said earlier, the Sankranthi festival is particularly meant for spiritual seekers and it places a special emphasis on spirituality.
Man is Not a Machine
The first and foremost point I would like to draw your attention to is that man is not a machine. You may be wondering why I would say that. Nobody agrees when I say that today’s man has become a machine. But unfortunately, it is true.
Right from dawn to dusk, just look at the way we run about, how we struggle and strain ourselves – no time to stand and stare, no time to enjoy life in general, no time to enjoy nature, no time to establish communication with the whole organic world. Most unfortunately, man has become a machine today. That’s the reason why he has totally lost his delight.
May Bhagavan rekindle the light of delight in us during this Sankranthi. This is my prayer, and it also happens to be the topic of the day.
So, if man is not a machine, then who is he? Man is a soul. He is not a machine. What are the differences between a machine and a soul? The time has come to teach about this, particularly in this age of remote controls, robots and computers. We now have robots that can do any human activity, and computers that can excel human memory. It is in this context that we should make a distinction between a machine and a soul.
A machine has no consciousness. A machine has no soul. And, a machine has no heart with which to feel. But man is a soul. He is endowed with consciousness. He is endowed with awakening and with the flame of awareness. Therefore, let us try to lead the life of a man. Let us lead the life we were designed for, the one destined and shaped by God Himself.
If we say, “Well, I don’t want to be a man. I want to be a machine,” then woe unto us. Nobody can save us. Life has become a matter of routine. Life has become burdensome. Life is painful. At times, life appears to be torture. But it is not so, it is not so!
Life is really creative. Life is full of laughter. Life is a melody. Life is music that calls for celebration every day. But we don’t feel the beauty of life. Why? Because we have been brought down to the level of a machine – living an almost programmed life, a mechanical life. It’s time to say goodbye to that kind of programmed life, to that sort of busy schedule. We haven’t properly prioritised our schedules. Let us review our priorities. We need to think in what direction we should proceed hereafter.
Help Us to Turn Inward
I want to draw your attention to this next point: In today’s world, we seem to know everything. Bhagavan commented on this once. He said that man has learned to fly like a bird and swim in water like a fish. Man can go down thousands of feet into the womb of Mother Earth to extract metals out of the ore. Man can employ submarines that dive to any depth in the mighty ocean. And man can even reach the moon.
But, most unfortunately, he cannot even reach an inch within. While man can go thousands and thousands of miles away from this planet, is it not pitiable that he cannot go even an inch within? Life has become more or less extroverted or outward – so mundane and worldly. The price we have paid for this is that we have forgotten how to derive bliss from life.
This Sankranthi should help us to turn inward. This Sankranthi should help us to travel at least an inch within, as we are tired and fed up with the journey we have been making in this life sojourn so far. We are really very tired of it. Let us see what will happen if we go within.
The Energy Behind Matter
We know the matter in material objects thoroughly, but we do not know the energy behind matter. Bhagavan said in one of His conversations with the boys, “There isn’t any matter. There’s only energy, and energy alone. It is only energy that takes the form of matter, and then matter reverts back into the state of energy.”
So, there is only energy. Man has identified both matter and energy, but the only one that really exists is energy. And, that energy is neither created nor destroyed, as per the scientific theory of energy. This Cosmic energy is convertible. It is not created. It is not generated. It can be transformed into one form of energy or into another form of energy.
But man has forgotten about this Cosmic energy. Therefore, man has allergies – allergy, not energy. Because man focuses so much on the outside, he has made himself susceptible to allergies. Such is human life today.
The Beauty All Around
We are not able to enjoy the beauty all around. As the Holy Bible says, God made all of Creation in six long days, and wanted man to enjoy it. But man today has no time to enjoy. He has no time. We should really be ashamed of our busy way of life. How many of us really enjoy the sound of running brooks flowing across the valley? How many of us care to listen to the humming birds in the early hours of the morning? How many of us ever care to watch the blossoming flowers in the morning? How many of us ever care to notice the beauty and the grandeur behind the sunset and sunrise? How many of us ever care to listen to music?
We have no time, no time. Life has become only a matter of coins: rupees, money, that’s all. Hence we talk in terms of money only. Our conversations with people are only about how many dollars we get and how many dollars they get. Such thinking only brings us closer to doom, that’s all. Because more and more, so much value has been attached to money, man himself has lost his value. In fact, money is supposed to serve man, but man is serving money. This should lead us to the understanding that money is the cause of conflict, and the cause for loss of happiness in our daily lives.
May Sankranthi open our eyes and help us to realise that man does not live by bread alone. Yes. It is not merely ‘mammon’ that matters -- it is God that really counts.
Life was not Designed to be Miserable
I want to say one or two points with regard to the world by-and-large. Life was not designed to be miserable. Life is not misery. I'm forced to say this because, as we watch the faces of many people, we don’t find any charm. God has made us so beautiful; but we are so tense, so full of tension and worries, that we make our faces as ugly as possible.
No animal takes upon itself a form different from its original design. A dog has its original form. A pet dog continues to be the same - as beautiful as before. And a cat continues to be a cat throughout its life. Also, no animal kills its own species. A dog will never kill another dog. A cat will never kill another cat. A tree continues to live as a tree.
But man can afford to be a beast, if it is possible. Why not? Man is prepared to kill his fellow man. That’s why God decided to come down in the form of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. (Applause) He has come to remind us that we are men, that we are human beings – because our way of life has become most inhuman, most brutal. We can't feel proud of our humanity any longer.
The Human Mind Always Compares
In order to direct humanity onto the correct path, Bhagavan gives so many discourses. He draws people from all over the world in His own inimitable, unique, Divine style. Perhaps a family problem will bring someone to Him. A business problem may bring somebody else. Or it might be the quest for Truth that takes a person to His Lotus Feet. There are many different channels of His operation. Nothing is common. Each person is drawn to His Feet in their own way, each with a separate reason. No one can be compared to another.
But unfortunately, the human mind always compares. We wonder why Swami gives a particular person special attention: “Why special attention to him?” If we investigate, we’ll notice that he’s a heart patient. Some surgery was advised and he has come here for Bhagavan’s blessings – so He gives special attention. Would you like such attention? (Laughter) Please let us question ourselves.
If we believe at all in the Divinity of Bhagavan, we will never feel proud; we’ll never feel egoistic; we’ll never be after propaganda and publicity, even if we receive special attention, because the reason is known to Him and the season is ours at that moment of time. We have to learn to accept whatever is given to us, whether attention, detention, retention -- or even no attention.
We Have Got to be Attentive
But we have got to be attentive. Being attentive is more important than trying to get attention because attention cannot be given to everyone. However, one can be attentive till the last moment of life. So, this Sankranthi should help us to be more attentive rather than crave for Divine attention.
In fact, life is so simple. It needs little clarity. But our success, in normal parlance, depends upon how complicated we make it. We make life complicated, though life is so simple, beautiful and short. Man himself complicates this short, simple life; but that is not in God’s scheme in any way.
Consider Your Life as an Experiment
Then the question is this: How am I to view this life in general? How am I to live in this world? In this world of bumps and jumps, in this world of ups and downs, in this world of flashes and lashes, how am I to live?
A simple answer that Bhagavan has given is, “Consider your life as an experiment.” Life is an experiment. Life is a training ground. It is a training school. Yes. Once I understand that life is an experiment, then my view of life will be totally different.
And also, an experiment is different from the person who does it. I experiment, but I am different from the experiment. But, unfortunately, we identify ourselves with the experiments. So we get heated up and transformed into vapour, like something burnt on the Bunsen burner in a laboratory.
If we can understand that we are different from the experiment, and in viewing the experiment, if we make certain observations from which we draw some inference and learn a theory or a principle, then we will be learners. There’s great joy in being a learner – more than in being learned. Learning is greater than being learned.
If anyone says, “I'm learned” or “So-and-so is a highly learned person,” please, take it from me, he is ‘dead and gone’. Because what he has learnt is past. Past is death. The knowledge of the past is borrowed, while learning is a process of the present.
Learning is in the present. Learning is possible when we are humble. Let us try to learn in this style, rather than acquire knowledge and call ourselves ‘learned’. This will be possible when we understand that life is an experiment. It is a training school.
My friends, these are the thoughts collected from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s discourses. I repeat this in every one of my talks, on every Sunday, only to impress upon you that I do not know anything other than this. So as to leave no scope for speculation or imagination, or vanity, or exhibition of my scholarship, let me be very plain in this matter.
To Know One’s Own Being
Okay, let’s continue: An experiment has a purpose behind it. A training school has a purpose. If I consider my life as a training school, if I think of my life as an experiment, then what is the aim of this experiment? The aim of this experiment of life is to know one’s own being.
But, we do not know what this being is. We only know becoming. We know doing, but we do not know being. We go on doing and doing and doing. We want that state of becoming, but we do not know our real being.
Life is meant for us to learn. Life is an experiment and we should realise its purpose, which happens to be to experience our true Self -- this is called ‘being’. Life is a school where we can experience our true identity, our being. Life is an experiment where we can enjoy our true nature, which happens to be a state of being. This is what I want to impress upon you. May Sankranthi help us to travel inward and experience that real state of being.
Perhaps to those who have not been exposed to this kind of thinking, my presentation may look ridiculous. “How can you say that I do not know my being? What nonsense you speak!” You may question me like that. Or, perhaps your modesty or your prayerfulness may prevent you from asking that question.
Yet, none of us know our true nature, our being. Why? If I experience my being, then I will never be miserable, because the nature of being is bliss. If I say there is sun, but in fact it is very dark outside, what does that mean? You will simply say that there is no sun there really, or that I am blind. When there is sun, there is bound to be light -- it cannot be dark.
So, if I am truly being, and I am experiencing or realising that state of being, then I can never be miserable because Ananda or bliss is a feature of being. However, we are not in a state of being because we think of everything else other than our true being. Once this true being is known, we’ll certainly understand the reason behind our vision.
The Divine Energy
It is not the eyes that see. It is our being that sees. If it were the eyes that see, then how is it a blind man has eyes, yet cannot see? Similarly, it is our being that hears, and not the ears. Deaf people may have better ears than most of us, but they can't hear because the being has not gone into that part of the human body.
Therefore, being is the Cosmic energy. Being is the Divine energy. It is the Divine force, which goes into the different parts of our body and is responsible for their effective functioning in our lifetime.
So, may this Sankranthi help us to know our being -- to think about our being. This is the purpose for which we are born. We are not born to amass wealth. We are not born to live in vanity or charity, or for publicity. We are born to know our being.
We'll Have No Fear of Death If We Know Our True Being
If we really know our being, then we’ll have no fear of death. After all, if you look at any rich man, you will notice that the richer he is, the greater the sense of fear in him. He has been amassing wealth to be immortal – so he won’t die. He thinks that his money will save him -- make him immortal, deathless. But all the money that he has earned only takes him nearer and closer to death. Why? Oftentimes in today’s world, the near and dear become #1 enemies to him. He cannot even dine in the midst of his family members.
Therefore, my friends, there will be no fear of death if we know our true being. This death seems to be a nightmare to all of us. Even for a man of position or a man of influence, whosoever he may be, the fear of death is a nightmare. But, our true being has neither birth nor death. Just as I move from one room to another room in my home, the ‘I’, the being, moves from one body to another body. That’s all. Our being is immortal; it is nectarine, blemishless and unpolluted.
So, if I know my being, then there will be no fear of death because my true being is eternal Truth, Sathyam, which has neither birth nor death. If I understand that it is Cosmic energy that is responsible for the functioning and effectiveness of this body, then I cannot feel proud of my muscle power because, behind the muscle power, there is my being. Without it, there would be paralysis.
So, I cannot feel proud of my psychological excellence or my mental co-efficient – no. It is my being that is behind it all. Whether we have ‘Good Knight’, a 500 watt bulb, or even a floodlight, if there is no power supply (the being), we will know the music of the mosquitoes of this place at night, duly hummed into our ears. (Laughter)
So, when we know it is our being, then there is no reason to feel proud of the muscle power or the mental faculty or intellectual excellence. No. It is simply our being that is behind everything. In that sense, being is Chith. Sath is existence, while Chith is awareness. If I know my being, then I will never be sorrowful or miserable. That being is the other name for the blissful state of mind – Ananda.
We have so many misgivings and misunderstandings because we have not known our true nature, the real being -- Sath, Chith, Ananda -- Truth, Goodness and Beauty, Awareness and Bliss. We pray for such an experience.
“Know Your Self”
Therefore, Bhagavan often says in almost every discourse, “Know your Self, know your Self, know your Self.” I claim to know myself as so-and-so. I know my name. I identify myself with my native place. I identify myself with my profession, with my nationality, with my race, with my religion, and so on and so forth. But I am none of these. Therefore, Swami always says, in every discourse, “Know thy Self. Know who you are. Koham, Koham, Koham?”
“Koham?” Put this question to yourself, “Who am I? Who am I?” My friends, I prayerfully beg of you to see that this Sankranthi is the most auspicious period from the spiritual point-of-view. God will shower His blessings on us if we embark on any spiritual path right from this moment of life. That’s the reason why every festival calls for our attention. Every festival calls for our involvement.
In the spiritual pursuit of life, which is the most important aspect in this lifetime? To know your Self. Well, how do I know my Self? Somebody should tell me who I am. But, what happens if you come and tell me who I am? Well, how do I look at you? I will say, “You don’t have to tell me, as I already know who I am. You don’t have to tell me.”
So, I am not prepared to know, even if another man tells me. That’s why we continue to be like this. Though Bhagavan, now 77, has given us thousands and thousands of discourses, we have not stepped even an inch forward. Why? We don’t want anybody to tell us who we are. We say, “I know, I know!”
Oh, I see. But, the fact is, I do not know what I don’t know, and I'm not prepared to know, even when the other man is prepared to tell me. That’s the reason why we are away, far away, from the objective of life.
So, do we know our own Self? The true I-ness or Self or being is known in a state of silence. That’s the reason why all noble souls have stressed the observance of silence. In the state of stillness, in the state of silence, in the state of nothingness, in that void, we will know our true identity. But we don’t want to sit in silence because we feel insecure in silence -- in silence we are nobody, whereas in sound we are somebody. When talking to people we are somebody, whereas in silence we are nobody. So we go on talking. But we should certainly understand that the true Self can be experienced only in silence -- no other way.
We don’t observe silence because of insecurity. In silence, I close my eyes and I sit straight. I am no longer a professor. I'm no longer a rich man. I'm no longer a presentable man. I'm no longer an influential man, and I no longer belong to any religion. In silence, I'm nobody, nothing. But nobody wants to be like that. Everybody wants to be something. Therefore, there’s no silence.
Also, I'm afraid of silence because I will lose my separateness. I will lose my achievement and credentials. I will lose my degree and my position. Why silence? While talking, a few people will praise me and I can praise them in return. We can live in mutual flattery. But this just takes us nowhere, nowhere.
Meditation is ‘a Must’ for Every Spiritual Seeker
That’s the reason why meditation is ‘a must’ for every spiritual seeker. But we manage to make meditation noisy. Meditation and noise cannot go together -- it is impossible! Mass meditation classes -- I don’t understand them. Meditation is absolutely individualistic. It cannot be anything like mass marriages or mass ceremonies, impossible! You have to withdraw yourself. You have to get into that state of stillness of the mind, the state of silence. So, how can you do it in a large way, in a mass gathering? Therefore, to know yourself means being by your Self.
Really, am I to be by myself in this life? No, I'm never left to myself, no. Why? Because the mind goes on comparing: “That man is closer to Swami; this man is nearer to Swami.” Or, “That man has ten flats, this man has got ten plots.” Hey! I have no time to think of my Self. The mind is continuously busy -- busy thinking of others, their properties, and their achievements. So, what about you? When the oil is exhausted, the wicks cannot burn any longer. Pitch darkness – death – naturally follows.
When time is hurrying forward like that, when time is speeding so fast and chasing us, isn’t it necessary to think of one’s own Self? Why should we bother about others? Why should we go on thinking about everybody else? When my house is burning, how can I go and involve myself in rescue operations taking place elsewhere? If I do that, then by the time I return, I’ll find my house completely burnt to ashes. Charity begins at home. So, let me think of my Self, my true nature, without any future goal.
There’s Nothing Like Advancement in Spirituality
Let us understand that Self-inquiry has no goal. I mention this because one gentleman, a friend, actually said, “Mr. Anil Kumar, I'm spiritually-advanced.” (Laughter)
Oh, I see. After three days, the same gentleman - a very senior man - said, “I have progressed on my spiritual path.”
Well, he’s my close friend and very well known, so I refused to say anything or make a comment. However, I was praying to myself, “Oh God, help him to help himself!” (Laughter)
There is nothing like ‘spiritual advancement’. It is not like the incremental advancement we make in our jobs. In spirituality, there’s no progress at all. A simple example: Suppose I ask you, “Please tell me how long will it take me to get here?” You will all say, “You are a madcap. You’re already here. You don’t need to travel anywhere. You’re already here!”
Therefore, spirituality is not an achievement. It is not an accomplishment. Spirituality is not a progression. Spirituality is a realisation. Spirituality is the realisation of what you already are.
Therefore, Sankranthi should help us to realise that we have no goals in the future, as God is not a goal. God is not a commodity. God is not an object. God is the Reality. God is the Reality, so enjoy Him here and now! That should be our attitude and that should be our vision for this year 2003 – not to desire or possess any worldly things. This is a prerequisite for Self-inquiry.
When Swami comes, say I offer a letter that says, “Swami, see that I get some promotion immediately, or as early as possible.” This attitude is only an incremental, promotional approach, but not a spiritual approach. There’s nothing wrong in it because we are all householders. We have our own problems and so we pray to Him. But we cannot call it spiritual because spirituality is not a bargain. Spirituality is not a business. A true spiritual life has no future goals and no desires for worldly things. Only then can the mind be in stillness.
I always joke with our students, and some of my colleagues also, that you’ll not be happy if Swami merely talks to you alone. You’re happiest when others watch you talking to Swami. (Laughter) If Swami talks to you all alone, a-bah, you are not all that happy. When thousands of people start watching you as Swami talks to you, a-bah, you feel like you got the Nobel Prize!
What utter stupidity this is. Who can help us? Therefore, our desire to be so important, our desire to have everyone think we are so spiritually elevated, is Himalayan foolishness. Nobody can help us. Spirituality has no future goal or any desire for mundane things because it is the realisation and experience of what we already are. This is only possible in a state of aloneness -- an inward state.
I’ll give you one sentence to summarise: If I'm really spiritual, then I know that I'm a part of this Divinity and that I'm not apart from Divinity. I am a part and never apart. If I consider that I'm apart, I feel the distance. If I feel that I'm apart, I feel the time gap. But, when I am a part, there’s neither gap nor time because I am That, ‘Thath Twam Asi’. Therefore, this kind of consciousness, this kind of awareness, is absolutely necessary. We pray to Bhagavan to give us this kind of perspective and direction in our life.
A Challenge to Explore Ourselves
In fact, I'm sure that all of you will agree with me when I say that, until now, nobody has given us a challenge to explore ourselves.
A politician poses a challenge, “Come on and work for a better society.”
Your boss will also place a challenge before you, “Come on and work for greater profit.”
Everybody gives a challenge to you for higher, greater things, but nobody ever gave you a challenge to explore yourself. It is only Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who has given us the challenge to explore ourselves. (Applause) And, it is not an expedition; it is an exploration. Exploration and expedition are different. Expedition goes to heights, while exploration is within. So let us face this challenge that Bhagavan has given us -- to explore within ourselves.
Immediately a question will come to us, “What shall I do?”
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi said, “Don’t do - just relax.”
It seems like such a simple thing, but let me tell you, it’s out of our reach. We don’t know how to relax. For example, if I'm seated here, I’ll be thinking of the person who is next to me. I'm not relaxed. I'm sitting here, but I'm very much bothered whether Bhagavan will look at me or not. So I'm not relaxed.
Holding a letter in my hand, I'm always thinking of the letter and the sentences I have scribbled – the pleas, the demands and the requests -- and not thinking of the darshan. I don’t enjoy His darshan because this letter is a disturbing factor. (Laughter)
And why do I have this letter? So that others will see that Bhagavan received letters from me. (Laughter) So that they’ll think how great I am, a-bah -- how great a devotee I am. (Applause) Foolishness! Who will help us? I tell you, who can help us? Even God cannot help us when we are in that rotten state of publicity and misunderstanding. So we don’t enjoy His darshan; we don’t enjoy His presence.
Someone will say, “Swami looked at me.”
All right, I might think, “How do you know that He didn’t look at me?”
“Swami spoke to me.”
If I say, “What He said to you applies more to me than it does to you,” can you say ‘no’ to that?
No, because Swami’s actions are mysterious, unknowable, inexplicable and wonderful, beyond our gaze, beyond our imagination, beyond our expression. So how can you interpret them? When you give up this need to interpret, then you will be very happy with the Reality. Let us not interpret, because interpretation is psychological; interpretation is a gimmick of the mind; it is a game of the mind. Let us inquire, but not interpret.
Suppose it is a hot summer and I get a cool drink. If I go on interpreting, “This cool drink is from such a factory, which was established in such-and-such a year, and it has a label that looks like this, etc,” then people will say, “Stop it. Drink it first!“ (Laughter)
So, let us try to experience, let us try to realise and then analyse. Let us bask in the Truth of Divinity. Let us get ourselves lost in the experience of Him. But we don’t want to. When we really enjoy Bhagavan, our ‘I’-ness disappears. We do not exist at all in front of Him.
But, if we go on telling everybody, “This is what Swami told me and that is what I said to Him,” then ‘we’ still exist. With this attitude, it will take us a hundred years more to be anywhere near the Reality because the nearness, the quest of life, true Self-inquiry only happens when we forget this individual ‘I’, this separateness. This will be gone when the river merges in the ocean. The river won't say, “Come along, come where I am.” No river would say that because it is a part of the ocean now.
A Process of Being
Therefore, ‘know your Self’ means forget your self (ego). ‘Know your Self’ means merge in the Divine. ‘Know your Self’ means that there will be nobody to claim, “Here I am,” because you are One – the drop in the ocean -- which means the drop is not separate from the ocean anymore.
So, what shall I do for Self-inquiry? Self-inquiry is not a process of doing; it is a process of being. Doing and being are different because, in doing, there is work of some sort. For example, I am speaking. Speaking is an act of doing. The speaker is in the act of doing -- of speaking. Speaker, speaking and the speech are three. But in being, there is only one – not three, not two, no. In doing, there is duality -- the doer and the deed. So, it is not a question of doing, but a question of being.
Let us not ask anybody, “What shall I do?” Let us do, then the answer will be there anyway. By doing, we remain apart. We will never be a part. So, spirituality is not an act of doing, it is the act of being. Why? Because doing is action-oriented, doing is illusory, and doing is the misuse of life.
Doing is the flower or the extrovert nature of being. For example, there is electricity here in the microphone. The sound that you hear is the extrovert nature of true being. True being is the electricity behind the sound. Another example, a light is on. The light shining forth is the extrovert nature of the electricity inside. Therefore, doing is the extrovert nature of real being. Spirituality is a quest after our being, and not the extrovert nature of doing.
One time Bhagavan said that we ask everyone, “Who are you? Where do you come from?” But instead of that, we should inquire within to know who we are. Then every thing and everybody will be known. All of existence will be known -- the whole Cosmos will be known -- because:
Isavaasyam Idam Sarvam.
Vasudeva Sarvam Idi.
Experiencing the Cosmos is possible if you know your Self first. If the Self is known, then the rest is known. If the Self is not known then, even if the rest is known, it is just unrest – nothing short of it. Therefore, Bhagavan always lays emphasis on Self-inquiry, which happens to lead to the ultimate Reality.
The Process of Action
We do little things that give us results that are not that great, nor of intrinsic value. Some people say, “Sir, I went around Ganesha 108 times and I got the job immediately.” I see. But that is not the end purpose of life; rather, it is just the beginning of many problems to come. (Laughter) They will have to go around twice everyday, 108 times in the morning and then again in the afternoon, because every minute is a problem. Every second is a problem in life. So this kind of thing is not the Truth.
Our action -- the process of action -- what we call sadhana, may give certain results; but these results are not of intrinsic value. What do I mean by ‘intrinsic value’?
“Oh God, I'm suffering from a terrible headache, so I pray to You.” Gayathri Mother is very kind to me: I go there at 7:30 every day to watch arathi and be a participant. Then I'm free from the headache. Good.
But this afternoon, if I have stomachache, then I will have to go to Subrahmanyam! (Laughter) This is because Gayathri has not solved all of my problems. She made me free from the headache, but Subrahmanyam is the right man for the stomach. He’s in charge of the abdominal parts of the body. Well, I don’t know. So, we go on in this way because the results change; but they are not of great intrinsic value, and this we have not understood.
On the other hand, if you are aware of your being, your real being, then the doors to infinite treasures are kept open. The doors leading to infinite treasures are open because being is everything. That is, our being is everything because it is this being that the whole Cosmos has come from.
This is the reason why some great people say, “You are the world.” What a statement this is! How can we believe it? Believe it or not, it is the Truth. “You are the world.” How can I say that? Close your eyes. Where is the world? There’s no world. Open your eyes -- there’s the world. So, you are the world; that is, the true Self, the intrinsic nature.
Also, the more we do this and that, the farther and farther we take ourselves away from our being. Being and doing are inversely proportional to each other. How can I say that?
There are some people who hold a japamala, a talisman, with 108 beads. “Sir, I come for darshan after morning japa.”
“Oh, I see. Please, let me see the japamala.”
You don’t even need to ask, he will take it out and show it to you anyway. (Laughter)
Further, he will add, “Swami has blessed it.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Then I complete 108.”
But, if you go and watch him doing japa at 6:30 AM, well, Sai Ram! (Anil Kumar imitates the man hurriedly doing japa, rolling his beads at a frantic pace.) (Laughter) What has he done? He’s very busy moving his lips and his fingers, “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram.” 108…over! Doing this in this way will take you farther and farther away from your being -- that’s what I mean.
Suppose I organise some bhajan at my residence. I’ll be walking around, running everywhere, asking, “How many guests have come? Did all the top people in the organisation arrive? How about all the rich people? How much prasadam should I distribute?”
Well, I went to one bhajan centre at my hometown. There was an unusually large crowd that attended the bhajan. On inquiry, I found that they were giving everyone a bagful of prasadam. Oh yes! They were giving a coconut, betel leaf, betel nut, a sweet, a hot dish and, because it was summer, a mango fruit. So bhajan was full, 100% attended. This was not being; it was only doing.
Another example: If I organise some yajna or yaga, or some ritual at home, then I will be very busy, thinking how nicely it needs to be done. I might take some photographs also, call everybody, and even stop the traffic. And I won’t allow anyone to go until they see the photos – to see how nicely I took them. That is only doing. Doing will take you farther and farther away from your real being.
The Greatest Discovery
My friends, during this period of Sankranthi, let us all remember one thing that we have to our credit -- the greatest discovery. What is the greatest discovery? The greatest discovery has nothing to do with the world. The greatest discovery is to find one’s own Master in the form of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. That we have done. (Applause) This is the greatest discovery of our life.
And, we could only accomplish this after a number of lives. Having discovered Him, we have to treasure Him as the most valuable because we only made this greatest discovery after repeated births. We did not get it all of a sudden, like heavenly manna.
So what shall I do? Having made this greatest, most valuable discovery of my Master, let me live according to the light He has shown me. Let me live according to the life He has shown me and go along the path He has prescribed for me. That should be our effort during the year 2003.
You should also know that the Divine Master, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, knows more about you than you know about yourself. Baba knows you more than you know yourself. We may forget some details of our lives, but He has that photograph, that x-ray eye -- we cannot hide anything from His knowledge. We cannot say anything because everything is there in His Hands.
That’s why He says, “I know you from the past several lives. It may be the first time that you are meeting Me; but I have known you for a long time.” It only means that the Divine Master knows you better than you know yourself.
So, what should our prayer be? Our prayer should be, “Oh God, Bhagavan, this being Sankranthi, help me. Help me to raise my consciousness. Kindly give me a spiritual lift. Kindle the light of delight in my heart and raise my consciousness, so that I will be involved in this sacred process of Self-inquiry, of knowing my being, which is very important.”
We Don’t Miss Love
But sometimes some people may say, “If I try to know my being, what will happen to the other beings around me – my children, my wife, my property?”
Nothing will happen to them, because the same being-ness is in other beings as well. In fact my friends, the greatest Truth is this: You will never miss Love, no.
It is rather funny when people say, “Oh my child, I love you.”
I see some people saying, “I love you, my child.”
Well, if you don’t love your child, who will? I know not! (Laughter)
Or, a wife telling her husband, “I love you, dear.”
Perhaps the husband was not sure? (Laughter) I don’t know. If the wife doesn’t love her husband, whose husband is she going to love? (Laughter)
There’s a good joke: One friend said, “Don’t have body attachment.”
And one person replied, “I have no body attachment.”
The other man, full of humour said, “It’s good that you don’t have attachment to your body, but it is also necessary that you should not be attached to others’ bodies!” (Laughter) It is even more important, you know.
Therefore, my friends, we don’t miss Love because Love is eternal. Love is nectarine. Love is continuity to eternity. Love is like a fresh spring, like a fountain, like the sacred Ganges that flows incessantly. Life is continuous, like the life force, like vitality. It is ever fresh.
However, what we miss is our attachment: “Oh son, I miss you!” You miss your attachment towards your son, not Love.
So, the greatest thing that we need to know is that we miss our attachment, not Love. Love cannot be missed because it is eternal. It is our true nature. Love is beyond time and mind. It is continuous.
I thought that I should speak on this “Light of Delight” as a special message. So, I collected some excerpts from Divine discourses, which I feel have relevance for us as we make our way on this Sankranthi festival of 2003.
Now, I will spend some time, answering certain questions that have been passed on to me.
What Does Bhagavan Say About Telepathy?
First question, “What does Bhagavan say about telepathy? Some people are gifted with telepath. What does Bhagavan say?”
I don’t know what Bhagavan has said about telepathy, but I have complete sympathy towards that man. (Laughter) Why? Because certain achievements like telepathy, certain achievements of forecasting, certain achievements like controlling another man’s mind or reading the mind of another person, are not the ultimate goal.
For example, if you take a flight to New York, there may be other places, like Bombay and Frankfurt, where you have to land and disembark before you finally arrive at JFK Airport. So, when getting off at Frankfurt, you don’t say, “I want to settle here.” No. You continue on to New York -- you can't settle there in Frankfurt, can you?
Likewise, there are certain intermediate stages in spirituality. On the spiritual path, we have certain achievements, certain simple things, but they are our greatest obstacles.
Speaking of the future - horoscopes and what lies ahead of you, there are some people who want to read some Nadi Grandha books. Suppose some books or horoscopes tell me that I am going to be a king next year. (Laughter) So, I will have to be waiting throughout this year. It may turn out that I may not be a king, but the waiting is a certainty. (Laughter) Suppose the books tell me that I'm going to be a beggar next year. I become a pauper starting right now. (Laughter)
So, there is no point in learning the future. It is not necessary! Not necessary. So my friends, let us not be bothered about telepathy.
Is it Justifiable to Leave the Family?
The second question is this: “Bhagavan Buddha left his family. But wasn’t it His duty to take care of His family? Is it justifiable that He left his child and wife like that?”
It’s a question of priorities in life. There are some people who sacrifice everything for political ends. There are terrorists -- they leave their families to kill somebody else. It is a question of priorities. (Laughter) Is it necessary to leave your family to kill somebody? Yes, if it is a priority. Bin Laden -- what has he done? He left everything to finish off somebody – his priorities in life.
For Buddha, God was uppermost, and all the rest were obstacles along His way. Buddha was a realised soul. Buddha was an Incarnation.
For your information, I will share with you what Baba has said: “If it is a matter of choice between father and God, you should choose God and not the father. An example of this is Prahlada. If it is a matter of choice between a husband and God, choose God, not the husband – an example is Meera. If it is a choice between a brother and God, choose God, not the brother – an example Is Vibhishana.”
If it is a choice between father and God, choose God, not the father, as was the case with the boy Prahlada. So, with regard to our relations and God, we should choose God, and none else.
But, I don’t think we choose God first, no. In order for us to choose God first, He has to be part of our family. (Laughter) “God, help my family. God, help my community.” So, the priority is never God. If anyone prays like this, it is for the benefit of the family only.
Buddha kept God as His top priority, so He left His family. I don’t know how many of you know this, but Buddha, after attaining realisation, enlightenment, went back to the palace. He returned to His palace.
Suddhodana, His father stood there and said, “Oh, son! Where were you all this time, all these days? What happened to you? Come here!”
And Buddha replied, “Father, your son died long ago.”
“You are here, you are my son! Why do you say that my son died long ago?”
“No, your son, Siddhartha, died long ago. In front of you, you don’t see your son. You see Buddha, the Realised.”
And then He found Yashodara, His wife. Buddha wanted to avoid her because years earlier he had left at midnight, without informing her. He hoped to avoid her, but women are very clever. (Laughter) They never allow avoidance. It is their nature. So, this man was not successful in avoiding her either.
She immediately came and said to Him, “Oh Lord, please follow my words carefully.” Yashodara, wife of Buddha, spoke to Him like this, “Oh Lord, what is it that you had there in the forest that was not here in the palace? What is here in the palace, which was not available there in the forest? Do you consider the palace an obstacle? Did you feel that I would not have permitted you to do penance or tapas here in the palace?”
Buddha had no answer, just as Rama had no answer when Sita started questioning him. Sita started questioning Rama and He had no answer. That’s why Swami always says, “Woman is known for her intelligence, while man is known for his intellect.”
Intelligence and intellect are different. Intelligence is emotion. Intelligence is reaction. Intelligence is spontaneous. Intelligence is instantaneous, while intellect is logic. Intellect is rational. Intellect likes to reason. So, women symbolise intelligence. Before their intelligence, the intellect cannot stand. That made Rama fail. That made Buddha fail. They could not answer. And so, when I said Buddha left His family, it was not for any reason other than His choice was God. For Him, everything else was secondary.
What Shall I Do Now?
The next question put to me is this: “God is goodness. God is full of values, while man in contrast has no values. Man is brutal. He’s horrible. He’s crazy. What shall I do now?”
Man has become brutal and crazy due to his own actions. I have got a white kerchief with me. It has become dirty. Who is responsible? I am responsible. I used it and made that kerchief dirty. Similarly, man is pure. Man is not polluted. Man is Love, man is bliss; but he made it just the opposite. It is of his own making.
If I find a rich man begging near a bank, what should I tell him? “Hey, poor fellow! You are not a beggar. Go to the bank, check your entries in your passbook, and then you’ll know that you are a rich man. You don’t have to beg.”
Similarly, this kind of weakness is of our own making; it is not of God’s design. Why? Because of our selfishness. Why? Sensual pleasure. Why? Attachment. Why? Physical comforts and conveniences. When these things are gone -- the selfishness, arrogance, avarice, lust and desire -- when these things are gone, then you are pristine, pure, as fresh as a newly-born babe, as fresh as a newly purchased kerchief, so dry, and white. But I made it so dirty, with the passage of time.
What Do You Mean By Transformation?
Another question: “What do you mean by transformation? Does it mean controlling the senses or eliminating the ego? When there is Reality inside, what do you mean by transformation?”
This is a very good question. I do not mean transformation of the Self, no. I mean transformation of our attitude, transformation of our conduct, transformation in our behaviour, transformation of the information that we receive from all around. As Baba says, “News is nuisance.”
So, I mean transformation of the information, transformation of the human heart, which has been so tough and rough, and is not responding to the misery, woes and tears of our fellow men.
When I remove my coat, shirt and t-shirt, I see my chest. So, similarly, transformation is needed in order to see the Reality. Transformation is not different from what you are. Transformation of the worldly man into a spiritual man, transformation of the physical personality into someone who knows the true Self -- this word ‘transformation’ is used in that sense – not to mean something that is completely different.
How To Pray When You Have to Sacrifice?
And another question, “How can you pray with absolute faith when you have to sacrifice? Abraham had to sacrifice his son. Abraham had to kill his son, as per the command of God. Abraham was called by God and commanded to sacrifice his son. When I have such a costly sacrifice, how can I pray to God?”
Abraham was prepared to kill his son in response to the command of God. That is symbolic. It means you should be prepared to sacrifice your kith and kin. You should be prepared to sacrifice your near and dear, in preference for God. That’s what I mean. It doesn’t mean that everyone should bring his son here and kill him, no. Not that! (Laughter) It is symbolic; there is an inner significance behind it. You should be prepared to ‘kill’ your relationships, to ‘kill’ your attachment, to ‘kill’ your bondage. We should understand it in that sense.
As the time is up, since you have to go to the canteen and go for darshan line, I will take leave of you. I have already taken extra time because those people who have sent questions should not be disappointed. After all, it is not just for fun that we are collecting questions. We need to answer them.
Before I take leave of you, Happy Sankranthi to all of you!
God bless you. Sai Ram!
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
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!