February 1st, 2004
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
I want to share a couple of thoughts with you this morning. On one occasion, Bhagavan expressed these ideas. The central theme happens to be “Peace”. Swami gave a few points on peace to a group of devotees, which I want to share with you. In the future, we will have many more occasions to talk about and think about peace. For the time being, let me share a few points from Bhagavan’s discourses and from Divine conversations that He had with some devotees.
Life is an adventure
Life is an adventure. Life is not an easy affair. Life is not always going to be a ‘bed of roses’. Our experiences will naturally tell us that our life is an adventure. Why do I say so? Unless we are adventurous, we will not be able to accept things in our life as they happen. Unless we are adventurous, we will not attempt new undertakings, which will enable us to see new dimensions of life.
Because we don’t want to accept life as an adventure, or accept life with an adventurous spirit, we feel like running away from it and we feel life is a burden. Often we feel that life is a process, which is continually dragging us down because we have not understood the fact that life is an adventure. Adventure requires thorough preparation for anything that might happen in the future.
Unless I am prepared to undertake this trip as an adventure, I will not be able to enjoy the heights of ecstasy. I will not be able to travel into the beyond. I will not be able to discover the unknown. All of a sudden we find saints resolving not to talk to anybody, preferring to spend time in silence. We find spiritual seekers making a decision to have one hundred percent dietary regulation. We find spiritual seekers sometimes forsaking all their belongings, leaving everybody and deciding to go to a place which is quite alien to them, which is quite new to them.
Why do these things happen? They happen because these individuals have found that life is an adventure. They want to touch the frontiers of the unknown. They want to experience a taste of ecstasy. They want to go beyond. My friends, it is really thrilling and exciting when we try to go beyond. Sticking to the known makes life dull, routine and mechanical. There is nothing great in making one’s life mechanical. There is nothing great about surrounding yourself with only the familiar, of acquiring everything you want and getting all that you planned to have.
You know what attaining a position is. You know what money is. You know what influence is and you know what luxury is. If you achieve these things, you know there is nothing great about any of it. Kindly forgive me for making this statement. There is nothing great about occupying a position that you wanted to attain. You struggled hard and you achieved what you wanted. That is all.
Experience the unknown
But if you experience that which is unknown to you, which is beyond your imagination, which is beyond your comprehension, which is beyond the realm of your thoughts, and keep on experiencing the new until your last breath, then you are really great.
I have experienced the splendor of God! I have experienced the radiance of the Divine! I have watched the brilliance of Swami! I know what Bhagavan is! If you can say that, you are adventurous. That makes you great. That makes your life rewarding and fulfilling. It is not anything physical or worldly. It is not trivial tinsel and trash. There is nothing great about obtaining worldly things. That is the first point.
MIND IS REPETITIVE
Once we say that our life is an adventure, we will have peace of mind. Because the mind is programmed, tuned, and repetitive, it does not want to go beyond. My friends, the mind is always repetitive. Please take it from me. If you get used to the first cup of coffee early in the morning and something stands in the way of your getting it, you cannot even imagine a peaceful day to follow. Because the mind was tuned to having the first cup of coffee in the early hours, it thinks it is very, very necessary. The mind has become repetitive. Over the years, it got used to it. It was tuned to it, and it cannot think of sacrificing an early hour first cup of hot, hot coffee. It cannot think of anything else, because mind is repetitive
Mind is mechanical
Mind is mechanical:
“Why are you running?”
“Because I am used to running.”
“Why are you going?”
“Because I got used to going.”
“Why do you sit?”
“I am practiced to sit.” All this has become a repetition.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk with a young man from Slovenia. I was so happy to talk with him. That young man mentioned a point, which I want to bring to your attention.
Bhagavan said, “Please grab the earliest opportunity to share the young man’s thoughts.”
What did the young man tell me?
RECEIVING BHAGAVAN’S Divine Darshan
“Sir, we are not receiving what Bhagavan wants to give during darshan time. Bhagavan wants to give us something more, but we are not receiving as much as we should.”
What he said was immediately pungent, not acceptable. Though it was bitter, it is one hundred percent fact. Why?
That young man himself gave the answer: “We are not allowing ourselves to receive what Swami decides to give us. Why? We have put so many obstacles and obsessions in between -- like ego, attachments and pride. Because of these obstacles, we are not receiving as much Divine energy from Bhagavan’s Divine darshan as we should.”
For example: Here is a water pipeline. The pipeline is connected to the water tank above. Yet, water is not flowing at full speed. Why? Shall I blame the tank?
The tank will say, “You are a fool. Nothing is wrong with me. I am full of water.”
Shall I blame the pipe? It will say, “Down to hell with you. Nothing is wrong with me. I am perfect, one hundred percent steel, you know.”
Shall I blame the water? The water will laugh at me. “Nothing is wrong with me.”
Then what is actually wrong? Where does the mistake lie? Why doesn’t water flow continuously through the pipe?
It is because of certain obstacles; it is because of certain objects. Something like a wooden piece, a pin, a cloth or piece of cotton must have plugged it, preventing the flow of water.
Therefore, nothing is wrong with the water - the water of grace. Nothing is wrong with the pipe - the human life. Nothing is wrong with the tank - the tank of Divinity.
Then why don’t we receive in full? Why doesn’t the water flow with high speed?
The reason is that the cotton of pride and the wooden pieces of ego are blocking the flow of water. We have to remove those mental blocks. Then we can receive the grace because Bhagavan’s Divine darshan has a Divine vibration, a Divine energy, which we could receive in full, provided we remove all these mental blocks. That is what we are supposed to do. That is what we call spiritual sadhana.
I want to share this idea with as many people as possible because I am fully convinced of its truth.
Hurry is an obstacle
Once we come out of darshan, we should be transformed; but it doesn’t appear so. We are in a hurry to run to the canteen. We are in a hurry to run to the stores. We are in a hurry for breakfast. Before darshan, we were in a hurry to occupy the first row. Then we were in a hurry to get in the first line out of the auditorium. What happened to the time in between? The mind thinks of what happened before, what happened after and forgets what happened during the period of stay in the mandap (darshan hall). This hurry is one of the main obstacles, which blocks the flow of Divine grace.
Secondly, we wonder whether He will look at us or not, or whether He will pick up our letter or not. I don’t want Him to see the person whom I hate. I don’t want Him to stop His car in front of the person whom I do not agree with, particularly my enemy. This constant thought of ‘mine’ and ‘thine’, friend and foe, is a block and will not allow the flow of grace.
Tension will make you neglect
Third one, increasing tension: If I miss Him today, will it happen tomorrow? If I am going to miss tomorrow, can it happen within a week’s time, before I have to leave this place? My ticket has already been reserved. My visa will be expiring. Will it happen?
This tension is a mental block. Why? Because it will make you forget and make you unaware of what is happening now. I think I am clear.
When you are under tension, you ignore and you neglect the beautiful thing that is happening at this moment in time. Swami may look at you, but you may not look at Him, because you are under tension and heavy stress. Swami may smile and you may not notice, as you are tense and worked up. We miss beautiful opportunities because of tension.
So, my friends, let us remove the blocks of worry, the blocks of tension, the blocks of continuous thought, and the block of being in a hurry for every silly thing. When these blocks are removed through the pipes of our life, the grace of water will flow freely at a high speed from the tank of Divinity. This is one way of attaining peace.
LIFE IS A CONTRADICTION
The second major point that I want to draw to your attention is that life is a paradox. Life is a contradiction. I am not able to accept this because I always have a preference. I always choose one of two options.
Life is not a multiple-choice examination paper where you choose the answers you prefer, or where you can fill the blanks with all that you know. It should be continuously blank. You should never fill it up. In the examination, you can fill the blanks; but here in the examination of life, let us remain blank.
The more blank I am, the less biased I will be, the less prejudiced I will be, and the less expectant I will be. When I am least expectant, I will be most joyful. When I am full of expectations, I will be most miserable.
Please observe this: People have been here for many, many years, but we don’t notice a smile on their face. I pity them. If you cannot smile here, if you can’t enjoy life here, if you do not find beauty here, if you have not known the fragrance of life here, if you have not known the beauty of religion here -- where else can you know it, where else can you be happy, where else can you smile, where else can you know joy? Therefore, the years of stay here are meaningless.
One may claim seniority: “You know, I have been here for twenty years.”
Our answer should be, “I don’t want to be here for twenty years if I am to be like you.” (Laughter)
Some people say, “You know, I have been doing service to Swami for the last twenty years.”
Our response should be, “I don’t want to be here for twenty years serving like you. Your service is full of ego. As you serve, it is full of possessiveness. In your service, I find attachment. In your words, I find arrogance. In your words, I find authoritativeness. I do not want to be authoritative. I do not want to be egoistic. I do not want to be dictatorial. I do not want to be possessive. If these features are what happens after being in position for twenty years, better I don’t stay; better I don’t do service at all.”
Therefore my friends, if we are not happy here, if we are not blissful here, if we cannot care and share here, I think the whole opportunity of life is in vain. Then, this golden gift of living in the presence of Bhagavan is like throwing pearls in front of a swine that does not know the pearls’ value. We can enjoy this life by not choosing, by not preferring, by not desiring, by not expecting. Life is a contradiction and life is a paradox.
Life is total. Life is whole. Life is a full circle; it is not a half circle. I should learn to see both sides of the coin. When I learn to see and accept both sides of the coin, I begin to be spiritual. When I learn to see and accept both sides of the coin, I can be religious.
Yesterday one boy came to me. “Sir, Swami is not talking to me. Swami is not looking at me.”
I said, “My boy, you are grown up. You are a postgraduate student. Please believe me that this is the problem of everybody, not only you. All twenty thousand people sitting there will say the same thing. ‘Swami is not looking at me. Swami is not talking to me. Swami is not stopping the car where I sit.’ The thing to do is drop that desire, drop that feeling.”
‘Swami, You do not need to stop where I sit, but I will not stop looking at You. You may not look at me, but I will continuously look at You. You may not talk to me, but I shall talk to You within. You cannot close my mouth. No! You Yourself said that You are in me. I believe that You are in me. No one can prevent me from talking to You. There is no time restriction and no place where You are not in me. I can be in constant communion with You. I can have a constant Divine Romance with You. Let me dance with You. Let me joke with You. Let me have fun with You. Let me laugh with You wholeheartedly. Let me enjoy the melody of music with You.’
This is the higher level of spiritual experience. This is possible when I accept that life is a contradiction, that life is a paradox. I must not be preferential or choosy. I should be prepared for both options, because both give equal pleasure and equal benefits.
‘If You do not talk to me, oh God, I will try to learn to talk to You from within.’ This is the beginning of turning inward.
‘If You do not look at me, I will try to look at You from within.’ This is the second lesson of turning within.
‘If You have not given me any direction verbally, orally, vocally, externally, I will try to look to Your direction from within, through the inner voice.’ This is the third lesson of turning inward.
‘If You talk to me externally, I think You are encouraging me to turn within. If You look at me, I will hopefully turn within someday.’ All that happens externally should make us look within. That is what spirituality is all about.
If I want to be known as a devotee, if I want everyone to honor me as a VIP, all I have been saying until now is utter nonsense. Yes! Some people always desire that Swami talks to them while others are watching because it satisfies their ego. When He talks to me alone in the interview room or in the Poonachandra, it doesn’t give me as much pleasure as when He looks at me there in the Sai Kulwant Hall, preferably during darshan time.
This is all nursery level, beginning or primary level. We cannot end our life with primary education. We cannot end our life with this elementary level of spiritual awareness. We cannot learn about religion by just picking up letters in the alphabet. We should go through the text of life in full. We should learn to experience. This is the way to peace. Once I know life is an adventure, I will be peaceful. Once I know that life is a contradiction, I will be peaceful.
one Cannot be practical in Spirituality
The third point: There are some that say you must be practical. I don’t know what it means to be practical. There are people who say, “Mr. Anil Kumar, try to be practical.”
“What do you mean? Shall I be political so that I can be practical? Shall I be strategic so that I can be practical? Shall I maneuver, shall I manage, shall I manipulate? Is that what you mean by being practical?”
My friends, in the field of religion, being practical is a non-sensical notion. In the field of spirituality, trying to be practical is a non-sensical idea. Why? That which is practical is known to you. That which is practical will give the result you expect. That which is practical will take you to a place you want to reach. However, religion will take you to a place not known to you. It will give you an experience, which you never tasted before. It will take you to levels that you do not know.
How can we be practical? We can be practical when going to a foreign country by taking the flight, which gets us there earliest. We can be practical when choosing which food to take in the canteen. We can be practical with respect to the world. But it is impossible to be practical in relation to God, because you cannot manage Him. Impossible!
A few days back, Swami asked one of the lecturers, ”Be ready to speak.”
The man asked me, “Anil Kumar, when?”
I told him, “He asked you to be ready to speak; so why do you ask me ‘when’? Ask Him if you want.” (Laughter)
“Sir, I am afraid to ask Him.”
“Do you think I am courageous enough to ask? I am more timid than you. Please leave me alone.”
Arathi was over and this man was ready. He was not asked to speak.
Then he came to me and said, “Probably this afternoon, sir.”
I said, “Yes, possibly. Why not?”
That afternoon Swami did not come out of His room at all. He went straight to the Mandir, took Arathi and left.
“Sir, what is this?” he said.
“This is that.” (Laughter)
You cannot be practical. That man came wearing a brand new white dress, you know. He was prepared for the opportunity to speak.
“Don’t worry,“ I told him, “I enjoyed your dress. It is so bright that it is good for a soap or detergent advertisement.” He was being practical, yet he only needed to be ready, that’s all.
Readiness is different from being practical. Readiness is being receptive. Readiness is being sensitive. Readiness is being responsive, whereas practical is to be a man of manipulation, an expert in maneuvering things, a man who can plot, a man who can be political. Therefore my friends, let us forget being practical in the field of Swami. All right! Then let us see what will happen.
A simple example: Suppose I lost this pen. I really want to have it. I search, search and search. I cannot find it anywhere. So I leave it. Then I drop the thought of searching for this pen.
During my work, all of a sudden, a thought comes to me. ‘It is there in the bookshelf -- go there.’
Immediately, I go and find this pen there on the shelf. The constant search utterly failed. The attempt was foiled, but when I relaxed, a thought came immediately. Like a flash, it came where this pen was laying. This thought came not because of being practical, not because of searching, not because of an attempt, not because of effort. It just happened!
Spirituality is a happening, not a thing done. A thing done is different from a thing that happens.
ALLOW THINGS TO HAPPEN
Sunrise is a happening. You don’t do anything to make sunrise happen. The waves of the sea are a happening. You do not make, generate or manufacture waves. Similarly, spiritual things happen; spiritual things are not done.
Things are done in a worldly sense, whilst things happen in a spiritual sense. We can be really happy when we allow things to happen of their own accord. The fruit should fall on the ground of its own accord. When it is fully ripe, when it is full of sweet juice, the fruit falls on the ground of its own accord.
“No sir, I cannot wait that long; I want to pluck that fruit.”
By plucking the fruit from the tree, you cannot get sweet juice. An unripe fruit will be bitter. You will have to spit it out. An unripe fruit is sour, astringent like the lime. You cannot eat it. When it is ripe, it is sweet, and I want to have two more pieces of fruit. Okay! Similarly in spirituality, when we allow things to happen rather than try to make them happen, things happen of their own accord.
When we are absolutely worldly and mundane, life actually ends. It becomes tasteless. Life is tasteless because we find nothing novel, nothing unique, there.
Make your life a Poetry
Yesterday, one professor who has been working with us for the past thirty years said, “I am not zealous; I am not enthusiastic; I am not dynamic. Why?”
I said, “My friend, your life has become prose. Prose is nothing but sentences. It is dull.”
“What shall I do, sir?”
“Make your life like poetry. When your life is poetry, it will be enjoyable; it will be blissful. But when life is prose and prosaic, it is dull and tasteless. This is in our hands. Prose and poetry are composed of the letter and the language. Let our life not be prosaic, tasteless, dull, inert and passive. Let our life be poetic because Bhagavan Himself is the Poet of poets. Kavi naam Kavi hi: God is an excellent poet.
The other day, the school children from Alike and Mudhanahalli celebrated their Silver Jubilee Celebration in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan. They staged their cultural program, which was a thumping success. We found Bhagavan smiling all the time, enjoying the program. He did not cut it short at any time, though some of us felt it was time to put a full stop. We had been sitting there from two o’clock feeling joint problems, knee problems, arthritis and what not. We wanted to have a break, but Bhagavan was enjoying it throughout. Why?
The whole program was full of His compositions and full of His songs. “Siva Siva Siva Yenerada Nee Chintanella Bapi Kona Annaradha. Siva Siva Siva Yenerada Nee Chintanella Bapi Koni Annaradha.” It was a song composed by Him fifty years ago.
When I start speaking to you about your childhood, how do you feel? “Ah, so let me tell you some more details.” Don’t you feel like that? When Bhagavan was reminded of His own song composed by Him fifty years ago, He was reliving that time. The cassette replayed. Therefore, He was happy.
Sathya Dharma Shanthi Premala Tho Nee Nischa Jeevana Yatra Sanginchu. Sathya Dharma Shanthi Premala Tho. “Lead your life with these human values: Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love.” This was a song composed by Bhagavan. He enjoyed hearing the students singing it. Therefore, there is a thrill in being poetic. If life is prose, it is disgusting; it is vexing. Religious life is poetic; spiritual life is poetic. A poetic life makes peace of mind possible.
Spirituality is illogical
We can enjoy spirituality only if we can accept the illogical. Please bear with me while I make certain unacceptable statements. There is no logic in a religious experience.
“Swami, I have been here for the last two months and You have been ignoring me. This other fellow just landed here yesterday. Immediately, You granted him an interview. Is this justice? I don’t find any logic behind it. I don’t find any rationale in what You do. You don’t seem to be scientific. You have forgotten basic arithmetic and calculation. I have been here for two months. Don’t you know that? There is a simple law whereby the first person in the queue must be called in first. I have been here for two months. Why haven’t You called me?” There is no answer!
“Swami, why do You call him repeatedly? You have not looked at me even once.” No answer, no logic!
“You gave him a chain, but You only gave me vibhuthi. (Laughter) Once you swallow vibhuthi, it is gone, whereas he can show his chain to everybody. (Laughter) I cannot bring vibhuthi from my abdomen and show it to everybody. No! Why don’t You give a chain to everybody?” There is no answer; there is no logic!
“Why do You make him sit in the front and make me sit behind? Why?” No reason, no logic!
A religious experience is illogical, irrational. I cannot explain it in terms of rationality, logic or science because He is the ‘controller’. He is the ‘remote operator’. The remote is in His Hands. He knows when to press which button.
He presses the button at a time when I am not there. He does not operate the remote control at all when I am physically present. He will ask where you have gone at a time when you just left. So long as you are there, he will talk to everybody except you. What is the logic in that? There is No logic! What is the scientific law? There is none! Is there any stipulation or regulation? No! Why? That is the nature of religious experience!
The religious experience is illogical, irrational and unscientific. Reason and logic are words applicable to the mundane world, to human relationships, to human existence, to human sustenance. That is all! They are not applicable to the life beyond.
I would also like to bring your attention to another important point. We can be peaceful only if we can understand this irrationality, this principle of the illogical nature of spirituality. If we can understand that the thing being given is Swami’s choice and not necessarily to our liking, it will help us to live in peace.
We are not able to find peace because we want to know the reason behind His actions. We want to discover the logic behind whatever He does. Some people see His car and ask,” Will He go to the auditorium, to the college, to the hospital, up to the bypass road, to the hostel or to the canteen?”
I say, “Please watch and see.”
One man is not prepared to hear what I say.
“No sir, I know.”
I think to myself, ‘When you know, why do you ask me? Do you do it to let me know that you know?’ I say, “Oh, I see. Where do you think that He is going?”
“Sir, He is certainly going towards the college.”
“How do you know?”
“I know police people with their walkie-talkies. They know; they are in communication with the security personnel.”
“I see.” I do not want to contradict him, because experience will teach everybody.
Both of us are watching the car. Instead of going in the direction of the college, it went towards the canteen. “Please talk to the policemen,” I said. “They must have gone to the college while Swami is going to the canteen.” (Laughter)
Why does Swami act like that? Therein lies the fun; therein lies the beauty. That is the splendour; that is the glamour; that is the glitter. That is the bliss.
If He acts according to your plan, the flight on Lufthansa will land on time in Frankfurt airport. What is the thrill in that? It lands on time, that’s all. If it does not land at all well, that is a problem. (Laughter) An event that takes place not as per schedule and not as per timetable has more thrills in it.
Bhagavan is always after giving us a thrill. Sometimes He even shocks. He will tell a person, “Be ready with your family. I am going to talk to you tomorrow morning.” The people will get up at 4.30 A.M. and attend Nagarsankirtan, which they never did until this day. Then they will go around the Ganesha statue a number of times, as a thanksgiving, before the event, with a promise to go around the Gayatri statue in the evening, as a matter of expressing gratitude - a post-interview process. (Laughter) They go on planning pre-interview techniques, and post-interview techniques. Everything is ready.
That morning, He sees everybody except this family. Why? Not to make them cry. No! The reason is to teach, “Do not expect. Do not plan. Just leave it. I may call you anytime. Be ever ready.”
At times, you also find a person running on the verandah. I ask, “Where are you going?”
“Sir, Swami wants to talk to my family. I am going in search of my brother who is in the canteen. I am going for my father who is still sleeping. We expected Swami here at 3.00 o’clock. This time He came at 2:30. What am I to do? I have to find my father, mother and brother.”
When you were all here yesterday, He did not see you. When all of you are scattered, He will make you a running champion! (Laughter) Adding to this fun, He will come out and say, “What happened to this fellow? He seems to be mad!” (Laughter) All of us can enjoy at his expense.
That is Baba! He acts like that purposefully because it gives us all fun. An interview is a simple example. If He tells you that He will call you for an interview tomorrow at 10 o’clock, there is no suspense, no thrill. Therefore, all God’s actions are indirectly indicating and teaching us that we should not be expecting, that we should not be planning, that we should not think in terms of reason and logic.
Expectations, planning, reason and logic will not help us to be peaceful. To attain peace, we should give up these ideas. Then we will have mental peace. I am speaking from the spiritual viewpoint.
BELIEF, FAITH AND TRUST
Once I give up these things, what do I get? Trust is generated! What do I mean by that? There are three terms that I want to bring to your attention. One is belief, the second is faith and the third is trust.
These three seem to be synonyms or synonymous, but they are different. If they are one and the same, then three words are not necessary. Saraswathi is the goddess of language, the goddess of vocabulary. The goddess of language will not have anything that is redundant or unnecessary. So, what are these three words?
Beliefs are social. Muslims do not want to see a chameleon. Hindus do not want to face a black cat. Americans are afraid of the number 13. If something else has come up recently, please let me know. I will educate myself. (Laughter) We have these types of beliefs. These beliefs are social, and they change from time to time. Over generations, we have accepted them.
Second is faith. Faith is individual. Beliefs are social. I cannot say that all of us have faith. Some fellow will say, “ Stop, I have no faith.” I cannot generalise that faith is in everybody. No! Faith is individual. I can say that we believe, but I cannot say that we have faith. I can say that we believe because beliefs are social. I cannot say we have faith because faith is individual. So when faith is individualistic, there are times when we lose faith.
Sometimes you say, “You faithless fellow.” Faithless fellow is a negative term. Faithful is a positive term. We may be faithful and we may be faithless. At times, faith may be lost when things do not seem to work out. Yet, when everything is positive, we are highly faithful.
We find some people maintaining distance from others because they think that they are very spiritual and highly faithful. When we understand the reason is that right now things are positive, we know to wait a week. He will change. He will come down from those heights and start mingling with us. It is altogether a different situation.
Therefore, faithfulness and faithlessness is something that is cultivated as a result of happenings, as a result of situations, as a result of events. Happy events made me highly faithful. Tragic events and instances of failure made me faithless. In other words, faith may be reversed. At times, faith may be lost. My faithfulness and faithlessness are dependant on the situation.
The third word is trust. Trust cannot be lost. Trust cannot be negated. Trust cannot be reversed. Once it happens, it remains permanently. Trust in God shall never go. Trust in God shall stay with you for a lifetime. Therefore, we should travel from belief to faith, from faith to trust. Trust alone confers peace. In order to be peaceful, we have to cultivate and attain the state of total trust.
This trust is not an intellectual activity. Can I think of how to be more and more trusting? No! You cannot have more and more trust by thinking. No! Thinking won’t help to develop trust. Shall I apply all my reasoning, my intellect? No! Trust will never be born out of our intellect. Trust will never find a place on a psychological level. Trust is beyond psychology.
Trust is beyond our intellect, because trust is a phenomenon. Trust is a happening. Trust is a reflection of God’s grace. Trust is God’s gift. It is not something you earn. It is not your achievement. Therefore my friends, we should deserve this trust in God, which will be permanent, which alone will give us peace. Nothing else will.
Peace is light
Peace is light. Why do I say that? It is only in light that we can see each other. It is only in light that we can see objects. It is only in light that we can move. In darkness, we cannot move, we cannot recognize, we cannot identify; in fact we cannot do anything. With light, everything is possible. Without light, nothing is possible. So peace is light and under this light of peace all are visible, all are conspicuous.
A simple example: You have a lot of money. If there is no peace, what good is the money? You have six or eight bedrooms in your home. People calculate how many bedrooms people have. In how many bedrooms do you want to sleep? People say this is a two-bedroom or three-bedroom home. Then I say, “Please occupy all bedrooms.” I am really fed up with hearing these words. I include hearing these words from the family members of this humble self here. They all calculate in terms of the number of bedrooms. “Oh, you have two-bedrooms. We have three-bedrooms.” Oh, you are the richest man on earth! That’s not the way.
To enjoy comforts in life, to enjoy money in life, to enjoy position in life, peace is necessary. Without peace, position is useless. Without peace, money is dangerous. Without peace, health has no value. You are very healthy, but you have no mental peace. You have a good height and a wise weight, but there is no peace. All things will have their value only if they are under the light of peace. This peace is of the soul.
Peace is a quality of the soul, not of the body. Peace is the gift of the soul, the quality of the spirit, the reflection of the consciousness. It is nothing else. Peace is original. Peace is natural. Peace is inborn.
Why do I say that? Look at a child. A child, while playing, will never be without peace. A child, while it sleeps, will never be restless. When you and I go to sleep, we will be getting up every hour, thinking it is time for darshan! Sometimes, we come to know that it is 2 o’clock in the morning. ‘Oh I see. I can sleep some more.’ There is no peace.
Peace is our original quality
We were born with peace, but in the course of time, peace was lost. Peace is our original quality. Peace is our birthright. Peace is spontaneous. Peace is natural and it is the quality of consciousness, of the spirit, of the soul. We get back the peace, which we unfortunately lost, by acquiring the knowledge of the Self.
A simple example: Here is a mirror. I stand before the mirror to give a final touch to my hair and all that. It is time for darshan, but I do not see my reflection clearly. Shall I break the mirror or break my head? What should I do now?
I should wipe off all the dust collected on the mirror. The mirror is good. My face is tolerably good. But, I am not able to see my reflection because, over the mirror, dust has accumulated. I have to remove the dust in order to see my reflection clearly.
Similarly, consciousness has this quality of original peace. Yet, this peace is covered by the dust of desire, by the dust of delusion, by the dust of attachment. In a pure mirror, when this dust is removed, I can see my reflection. This reflection is not new. This reflection is not newly bought. This reflection is not from anywhere. It is seen because the dust has been removed.
Similarly, we are not enjoying peace, which is the quality of consciousness, because the mirror of peace is covered by the dust of worldliness. The dust of possessiveness covers the mirror of peace. What we have to do is clean the mirror of peace. Then we will find the reflection of our consciousness, of our latent Divinity, which is the embodiment of peace or manifested peace. That is peace!
Sometimes people think that absence of worry is peace. No! Absence of worry is not peace. Absence of anxiety is not peace. These are words from Sai Literature. If you want, I will give you the page number and the line: “Absence of worry is not peace. Absence of anxiety is not peace.”
Peace is self awareness
Peace is the unfoldment, the blossoming of your Self. This means Self-awareness. Self-awareness is peace. The awareness that I am not the body, that I am not the mind, that I am not the intellect, but that I am the Self -- that is peace! I am the consciousness; that is peace. It is not simply the absence of anger, tension or worry. The blossoming of the consciousness is peace. The full awareness of Self is peace.
DISCRIMINATION, RENUNCIATION AND MEDITATION
This peace is possible if you practice the following three methods: First, by exercising discrimination, we can regain our peace. Until now, I have not been exercising my discretion. I need to discriminate between what is permanent and what is ephemeral. If I discriminate between what is right and what is wrong, I can have peace. First, one has to discriminate to regain peace.
The second thing required to regain peace is renunciation. Renunciation involves detachment. If I do not renunciate, if I get attached, if I go on thinking of what I really want, if I really hanker after what I do not have, I can never be peaceful; I can never live in peace. It is impossible! So, renunciation is the second method to regain peace.
First is discrimination; second is renunciation; third is meditation. Meditation will help us to regain our lost peace. Meditation, discrimination and renunciation are the three processes we must practice to regain our peace.
Control your senses
At another level, what can we do to regain peace? Let us pacify our emotions; let us calm down our impulses; let us control our senses. By controlling our impulses, our senses, our sentiments, our emotions and our sensual pleasures, we are traveling towards peace. We are very close to peace by pacifying our emotions. Let us turn inward towards the Self. Let us go beyond the body and rise above the mind. Let us go towards the Self. Following the path of inquiry, we head towards peace.
Next, there is withdrawal of the mind. Let us try to withdraw our mind. Let us be thoughtless. Let us be equanimous. That is a state of peace. When we have deep sleep, when there is no mind, when there is no thought, we are peaceful. We are peace itself. Then we look so fresh in the morning when we wake up. This freshness is a result of being in a state of peace.
These are the thoughts that I wanted to share with you this morning. Bhagavan has expressed these thoughts during group interviews where the central theme has been ‘peace’.
May Bhagavan help us to live in peace, be peaceful and realise the peace that is our birthright, with which we are born. May Bhagavan help us in this endeavour.
May Bhagavan bless you!
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