What Is the Birthday?
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
What DOES BHAGAVAN’S Birthday mean?
Welcome to this morning’s satsang session. With two days to go until the Birthday celebration, I am particularly happy to meet and greet each and every one of you at this orientation before Bhagavan’s Birthday celebration. May Bhagavan shower His choicest blessings on you and your families.
I have been thinking what I should talk to you about this morning. What is this Birthday? Why is it celebrated? Should it be an annual event? What does it mean to me? What does it signify? Is it a casual, a common, or a formal event? Is it one of the main calendar events at Prashanti Nilayam? Is it an occasion for all the devotees to gather? Is it an excuse to have a conference or a discussion? Is it an occasion for promotions within the cadre of our organisation – from convener to president or super-president? What does it mean to me? What is a birth date? What does it mean to me? Why should I celebrate it? Let me share a few of thoughts with you on this.
LIFE IS IMMORTAL, WITHOUT A BEGINNING NOR AN END
The Divinity, as we know, has neither beginning nor end. The Divine is without a beginning, and as there is no beginning, there is also no end for the Divine. Then what does this Birthday mean? Birth, after all, is marked by the appearance of the body, just as the disappearance of the body represents death. But life in itself is continuous; life is eternal; life is immortal, without a beginning or an end. It is in this context that I draw your attention to one point.
As I live within the experience of body identification, as I am limited by the body and the mind, I can only conceive of God with a body and mind. I have not qualified myself to see beyond the body and the mind. People may speak of it, but people have not really gone to that level. As we can’t imagine the Divine beyond the body and the mind, experiencing God beyond the mind and beyond the body is out of question.
When we speak of God as the formless, when we speak of God as attributeless, our understanding is more textual, is more academic, is supported by Sanskrit jargon, and is freely quoted from different holy scriptures; but yet we don’t have the actual experience of God as formless because, unless I go beyond the body, I cannot experience God as having no form. Unless I personally go beyond the attributes or qualities of the body, I have no authority when I say that God is without these attributes. To show my scholarship, perhaps I quote a few verses from Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, silent sacred texts that cannot pull me by my collar and say, “Have you experienced me?” We quote books to support our statements, but these words do not come from our experience. The actual words, the language, are just a fog. A book is full of words, but sentences and words are not alive.
But experience is born from life. Do we have that dynamic life experience to say that God is beyond the body and beyond the mind? I have not been qualified for that as yet. Therefore the great masters, the great masters right from the time of Ramana Maharishi, emphatically made this point: “When the seeker or aspirant is so sincere, is so deserving in his yearning for God, out of mercy and compassion God chooses to appear in front of such a seeker in the human form whom you call a guru.” A guru is a person. Guru has a human form and he appears in front of you because of your prayer to God. Because your love for God is so intense, so deep, the compassionate God chooses to appear in front of you as a guru. I think I am clear.
This is the authentic Ramana Maharishi. This is the authentic Sri Aurobindo. Therefore our guru, whom we call in front of us, represents our intense feeling for God, represents our deep love for Him, and therefore I celebrate Bhagavan Baba’s Birthday. We celebrate Bhagavan Baba’s Birthday because we rejoice on this occasion that our dreams, our prayers, our longing, have all been made manifest. We rejoice because God, the merciful and compassionate One, finally chose to take a human form in the name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. We are very happy about it. We rejoice and celebrate the occasion.
Direct Us to turn inward
So what does He do here? Is He playing here? The inner God appears in the form of the outer guru to tell you to look within. Baba repeatedly says the purpose of an Incarnation is to make everyone realise the Divinity within. Outer directs me to see Him within me. To say it in one sentence, God in me has appeared in the form of a guru in front of me in order to direct me to turn inward. Until I learn to see the outer guru within, I am not successful. I am still on the way there. There still is a long way to go…a long, long way to go. Once we see guru within, when once we see God within, Bhagavan within, we’ll never have another complaint. People say, “I know, but what do you know?” The beauty of knowing that we must look within is that we now know what we do now know. (Laughter)
Life is a pilgrimage
If we really know that God is within us, why do we have desires? Why this despondency? Why do we worry? Why do we doubt Him? There are some people that complain, “Our merciful Lord is no longer compassionate towards me. My good God is not looking at me. What crime I have done? I do not know.”
These are words that we say out of ignorance. They demonstrate that we are still on our way within. When I say these things, my friends, my brothers and sisters, please understand that I, too, am included on the list of those who have not yet gone within and found God there. I am the first on the list (Laughter).
We are all fellow pilgrims, fellow travelers. We have come to this holy pilgrimage centre – Prashanti Nilayam. Life is a pilgrimage, and this pilgrimage will continue until the pilgrim has found that what he seeks is within. Until the pilgrim meets God within, the pilgrimage continues. Until his ‘I’-ness vanishes, the pilgrimage continues.
Bhagavan Baba's Birthday celebration means what?
So what does Bhagavan Baba’s Birthday celebration mean? The celebration means a joyful occasion for congratulating ourselves, for He has taken a human form so as to be accessible to each and every one of us.
Secondly, we celebrate Bhagavan’s Birthday because He is directing us towards Him within ourselves. He is directing us towards Him within us.
Somebody once asked, “What is the way to God? What is the way to God?"
Then, spontaneously, a straight answer came: “There is no way to God.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, it is.”
I can say this is the way to the canteen. I can say this is the way to the store. I can say that is the way to the ice cream or bakery. But how can I show you the way to God, when God is everywhere? When God is everywhere, how do you show someone the way, unless that someone is a lunatic? (Laughter) There is no way to God.
Therefore, Bhagavan’s Birthday celebration means to teach us to find Him and to experience Him everywhere. Which way is He? Some way, any way! No way can He ever help us to find the way to Him, because there is no way to Him. The real celebration means to teach us to know His depth, to know that He is everywhere and, by chance, by a Divine blessing, to experience Him.
The Birthday celebration is a chance to know that Bhagavan is not a goal. Some people say, “My goal is Baba. My goal is God.” This is also not correct, spiritually speaking, because a goal is at a distant place. To reach the goal, you need time to get there. If New York is your goal, you need to travel to reach it, by an aircraft at the airport, and time to reach there. Distance and time -- a goal requires time and space. So when I say, “God is my goal; Baba is my goal”, it is meaningless. Why? To reach that within which is already there, to see Swami within you, who is already there? That is not a goal. Bhagavan is already there, waiting hundreds of lives for you. ‘My dear son, why don’t you look at Me? I am waiting and waiting for you.’
Bhagavan Baba is DELIGHT OF our life
To turn inward, to see Him within, how long do I need? How far should I travel? How much time is required? So words like ‘goal’ have no relevance. We use these words in the worldly sense, but in reality they have no meaning at all here. So on His Birthday, let us know that Bhagavan Baba is not a goal because He is already there within us. We don’t have to reach Him; we don’t have to go to Him; we don’t need time to be with Him, because He is already within us. We need to realise this fact. We need to see that there is light here within. It is not time I need for that. To know that light is here within, I don’t need to travel. This light is already here. So to know the light, Bhagavan Baba, is within us can be the delight of our life. He is already a burning torch within every one of us. This is the Birthday understanding that we should gain.
Freedom from the bondage of birth and death
The Birthday celebration also calls for a determination by us, a determination to see that we will never be caught once again in the cobweb of the cycle of birth and death. People say, “I want freedom.” They mean political freedom. Students say, “We want freedom.” They want freedom from examinations and classes (Laughter). A youngster says, “I want freedom” so that he can go ask for the wishes of his mind and senses. No, that is not freedom.
In the spiritual sense, some people say, “Do I have will power? What is the place of will power in spirituality? Don’t I have free will? Am I free?” These questions are often asked, my friends, but what is freedom? Real freedom comes when this chain of birth and death is cut; liberation comes on the day when we are cut from this bondage. What we call ‘liberation’ is true freedom. True freedom is liberation. True freedom comes when we don’t have to be born again, so that we don’t have to wait for death to call. Therefore, Bhagavan Baba’s Birthday celebration is an occasion to realise what to live for, the freedom from the bondage of birth and death.
What is the end result of all my sadhana?
I also come across people who ask, “What is the end result of all my sadhana?” Some of my friends who come to me saying, “I have written ‘Om Sri Sai Ram’ 10 lakh times, 10,000 hundred times! Yes, I go on writing ‘Om Sri Sai Ram’. I have written it hundreds of thousands of times now. When should I stop writing it?” (Laughter) There are others who say, “I have taken food in the night-time for the last several years. When can I stop this?” There are some that say, “I have been meditating every morning for an hour - 5 to 6 in the morning. How do I know that it benefits me? How am I to know that? Is this process of meditation useful to me? Shall I stop it?” These are the questions that come to our mind.
Listen to this simple example given by Bhagavan Baba. It seems a child, while going to sleep, told his mother, “Mother, please wake me up when I am hungry.” (Laughter) The mother laughed and laughed. "Should I wake you up when I am hungry? You will wake yourself because hunger will not allow you to sleep.” Similarly, when shall I stop sadhana? When do I know that I have benefited? When do I know that I need it not more? It is one’s own experience that tells us. When should I stop eating? When you don’t feel like eating more. At what point of time shall I stop drinking water? When you no longer feel like it. Similarly, what is the end point of a spiritual practice or sadhana? The actual experience of the blissful state tells you that you have benefited, and that you need no more, at least in that moment.
State of Bliss to Recur
My friends, in life we’ll not ask for anything that we have not experienced. If you say, “I want Coke”, you must have tasted Coke sometime. “I want fries.” You must have had them some time back. “No sir, I want Seven-up.” Yes, you must have had it before. “I want to eat a pie.” You must know what pie is then. “I want to have donuts.” Yes, you know what it is. “Cheese, ice cream” – we ask for these things because we have tasted them before. If you say, “I want to meet a particular person”, you must have met him already. ”I want to read that book” means you must have heard about it already, because you cannot ask about that which you do not know of. If anyone starts asking about that which is not known to him, then he is out of mind. Avoid him. So, everybody has experienced this state of bliss, the end of spiritual sadhana. Therefore, we want that experience to recur, to repeat, and to happen every moment of our life.
Everyone must have experienced bliss
Therefore my friends, liberation is not a dream. Bliss is not a promise. It is not at a distance. It is right now here, within the framework of our experience. I am not irrational, my friends. I have not lost my senses. You can trust me. I am grateful to be able to speak about spirituality with you, all because Baba has blessed this beautiful satsang every Sunday. I am grateful as doing this makes me read more and more, so as to digest His message, assimilate His message more and more, to share His message with you brothers and sisters who gather here every Sunday. Therefore, understand that I am not personally speaking about anything. I am simply relaying to you what Swami has said and that is this: Bliss is not anything to be enjoyed; bliss is not anything to be experienced; bliss is not anything to be longed for. Bliss is everybody’s experience.
When bliss is everybody’s experience, why should I long for it? One point is clear. We know what bliss is, and therefore we want it to be repeated. If I ask a drunkard, “Why do you drink?” he will say, “Have first bottle, then you will ask for the next bottle.” Similarly, because we know bliss -- what it is -- we want it to be repeated. How do we know the state of bliss? Everyone, without exception, must have experienced bliss.
What is this bliss? I may be have fallen in my profession. I may be boycotted socially. I may be bankrupt financially. I may be a failure politically. I may be an outcast within my family. I may have any number of problems in my life. Name the problem - it is there. Now consider that under these circumstances, having a number of problems that bother me, when I go to bed, when I sleep, none of these problems exist before me. None of these problems then touch me. None of these problems ever bother me then. When I sleep like that, what kind of sleep am I experiencing? A sleep without dreams. If I dream, these problems are there again, like rewinding a cassette. But in deep sleep, it is not so. When I sleep deeply, where no dreams are possible, I just sleep and sleep, enjoy the sleep, and wake up next morning feeling very fresh.
Bliss is Non-Dual
Last night, while going to bed, one fellow might have had a castor oil face, looking very ugly, face wrinkled, looking lean and hungry. Such a man would have gone to sleep feeling upset, totally depressed, totally frustrated, but after a very good sleep, he gets up the next morning feeling completely refreshed. Why? In a deep sleep, he has enjoyed bliss. In that state of bliss, he was non-dual -- neither felicitation nor jubilation, neither praise nor blame, neither success nor failure, neither profit nor loss touched him. In deep sleep, everyone enjoys the non-dual experience. The non-dual experience is the bliss.
If anything is dual, it cannot be called bliss. You may be called ‘happy’. “Sir, I had a dream. I won ten lakhs at lottery.” A wonderful dream. Continue the dream and spend the money again when you go to dream next! Good! Because you got the money in the dream, you should spend it there (Laughter)! Why not? No taxes there too! Nobody will ask him for a loan or anything, so he can have all the ten lakhs for himself! (Laughter)
happiness in a dream is not bliss
Therefore my friends, this so-called happiness in a dream is not bliss. Suppose one day in a dream, a scorpion bites our friend, so he cries. Or suppose he is bitten by a snake and cries and wails. His wife will say to him, “Get up. Why are you crying? In the daytime, you make me cry; in the night-time, you cry (Laughter)! Both of us are crying and crying.” Nocturnal crying and diurnal crying. Wonderful! Why not? The fellow then says to her, “Did I cry? No, I didn’t cry.” So we cry in the dream as if a snake bit us. That is unhappiness.
This happiness and unhappiness are the two states of mind in a dream. Happiness and unhappiness are also two states of mind in the waking state. In deep sleep, however, there is neither happiness nor unhappiness. There is bliss.
Where the words fail, that is bliss
One gets up fresh from the sleep, “Hello! How did you sleep last night?” “A good, deep sleep – bliss.”
Aha! I ask, “A good sleep? Was it sweeter than the North Indian canteen sweets?” (Laughter)
"Why do you ask its taste?" Oh I see.
“Was that deep sleep hot, like the South Indian sambar?”
“No, no, no, no. It was neither sweet like North Indian sweets nor hot like South Indian sambar.”
“Was it like ice cream?”
“Then what was it? Tell me.”
“No, no. I can’t!” I see.
“Was it tall or short? Round or triangular or rectangular or diamond-shaped or what?”
He does not know what else it was like because bliss is beyond description. If anyone can define it, it is not bliss at all. Where words fail, that is bliss. Where description fails, that is bliss. Bliss can only be experienced.
Suppose I ask a fellow, “Do you love your wife?”
“Yes sir, why not? She is here. I should say definitely.” (Laughter) "Yes, I love her very much."
“How much you love her?”
“Very, very, very much.”
Can you say that? Can you measure love in terms of dollars or pounds or kilos? The most precious things cannot be told. The most valuable things are immeasurable. The most precious things are left only to one’s own self to know, to be treasured in one’s own heart.
Therefore my friends, this state of bliss cannot be expressed in words, and cannot be measured by any parameter or barometer. No number of meters can ever indicate the degree of the state of bliss. It cannot be expressed. It can only be experienced.
Everybody experiences bliss, which is the non-dual state. What? Yes, that experience of the bliss in a deep sleep is a natural thing, so we may not be aware of it, but we all do experience it. We may only have been aware that we have slept, but we have also experienced bliss there, and maybe we liked that state of bliss so much because we are tired of our duality in the waking state. We want that non-dual bliss here too because, know it or not, we have tasted it for ourselves in sleep.
Conscious experience of Bliss
Right now, in the waking state, you can experience that bliss. If you experience that bliss in this waking state, right now, it is called samadhi. You might experience samadhi through a word, maybe through japam (repetition of God’s Name), or through Namasmarana (singing His glory), or through Parayana (reading the Holy Scriptures). When you experience bliss here in the waking state, it is samadhi, the experience of bliss with effort in the waking state, whereas in deep sleep, you experience effortless, unconscious bliss. The conscious experience of bliss is samadhi. The unconscious experience of bliss is deep sleep. I am not a professor of English. I am, after all, a teacher of plant sciences. Plants do not speak, but perhaps electrically they represent attitudes.
So, the point is that the waking experience bliss, with effort, is possible. Why not? When bhajans go on in full swing, when thousands join in perfect total harmony, true to the beat and melody, suddenly one is lost. Suddenly a moment comes and that song touches my heart and I forget myself. I do not know. If the next song disturbs me, then I come to my senses, or if my neighbor goes on singing out of tune, he will never allow me to go into the state of bliss. If my neighbor wants to sleep on my lap, that’s a different situation altogether! (Laughter) Some of us do feel like sleeping like that. Anyway, the real state of bliss can be experienced when bhajans are in full swing, when you are totally lost.
Experience bliss as we see Bhagavan
When once we see Bhagavan standing in front of us, when once we see Bhagavan on the chair in the auditorium, as we watch Him over a long period, we become lost. We go on watching Him. How long? We do not know. Why? We do not know. What do we get? We cannot say. That is bliss. We experience bliss as we see Bhagavan. As we see Him, what do we get? We don’t know. Why? We can’t say. That is bliss. So that which cannot answer ‘what, why, when, how’ is bliss, which we already have known in our experience in our deep sleep. That bliss, however, which comes to our experience by effort, which is possible by meditation, is samadhi.
My friends, meditation is the training of the mind, the taming of the mind, the silencing of the mind. It is the process of attaining the ‘no-mind’ state. First ‘know’, and then make it ‘no’. That is the end of meditation. So, we start from ‘know’ and go to a state of ‘no’. “Aren’t these all just word gimmicks?” No.
A simple example: We go on saying, “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram.” What is it that makes you say it? It is your mind. I go on repeating, ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram’ in my mind. Then comes a state when I do not say it because my mind stops and I get that shock of bliss – Hah! How fine it is! So with this mind I begin, and then the mind gets silenced, giving me the result. That is meditation.
On the other hand, if I say, “Four to five is my meditation time”, I am just a computer program. That’s all. You cannot fix a time. You cannot fix a time when should you stop meditation because meditation is a process where you begin with the mind and then the mind vanishes, disappears, gets subdued, gets washed, gets dissolved, and the process produces results without your knowledge because your mind is no longer functioning. That is the state of bliss.
Sugar and water may begin as separate, but when that sugar is completely dissolved in water, when you can no longer see the sugar, that is meditation. That sugar is the mind; the water is the state. When the mind gets totally dissolved, that is the end result, the fructification. That is the state of bliss, meditation – a thoughtless state.
‘Be in the Spiritual Path’ is Bhagavan's Blessings
Bliss requires a thoughtless state because the mind is a noisy bundle of thoughts. When the thoughts are withdrawn, when the mind is silenced, then only bliss exists. When the curtain is lifted, you see the actors. I don’t need to pull the actors onto the dais. Should I? It’s not necessary. When the curtain is up, yes, the drama begins. Once I open the door, you can come in. You don’t need to push or pull. No. You can easily get in once the door is opened. Similarly, once the mind is withdrawn, bliss is there. The mind is an obstacle; it is a curtain. Therefore my friends, this is truly a Birthday celebration when we take to this spiritual practice of withdrawing our mind, of reaching a ‘no-mind’ state, of experiencing a thoughtless state, which we call ‘meditation ending in bliss’. May this Birthday help us to realise this.
Bhagavan will certainly show us the path. In this regard, my friends, let me tell you this story. Somebody once asked, "Baba, I want Your mercy. I want Your blessings.”
You know what He said? A devotee sincerely asked Baba, “I want Your blessings. I want Your mercy.”
Do you know what Baba said? ”You have them plentifully! Dhandika undhi babu dhandika (in Telugu) You have My blessings plentifully. You have got My blessings in abundance."
I see. Then why do we ask? If I have lot of money, why should I beg? When Baba’s mercy I have in abundance, in plenty, why should I ask again?
Then Baba answered that question. “You are here because of My blessings. You are here because of My blessings (Applause) or else you would not have been here.”
“Oh Swami, thank You. I had not realised that.”
Further Baba goes on to say, “You have taken up the spiritual path, when there are millions of people around the world taking as many paths. Out of those thousands and millions of people, you have taken interest in the spiritual path. That is enough proof of My mercy towards you.” That’s what Baba said. Our being here is proof of His mercy. Having taken up the spiritual path is evidence of His mercy.
“Swami, with this mercy, what is to be done next?” (Laughter) Because if You give me a check, I can cash it, go to the bank and get the money; but with this sort of mercy, what shall I do with it?” (Laughter) We are very practical fellows. Bhagavan is impractical because His view is Infinitude, with all His oceanic Love and all that, whereas we have to have some target, you see. “So what shall I do, Swami, with such mercy?”
Then Baba said, “This mercy that brought you here, that made you take up the spiritual path, will help you to go within, will help you experience Me within, will help you see Me in you, not on the outside. You will be able to see Me. You will be able to experience Me within you.” That is the totality of God’s mercy. That is the completeness of one’s own spiritual practice.
May Bhagavan’s Birthday, through His mercy, help us to know that we have His mercy. As we are still asking for it, it means we are not aware of that we already have it. Let this Birthday help us to know that we are recipients of His grace, that we are beneficiaries of His grace and that the same grace will help us to go within and see Him in our lives, within our heart. That should be the fervent prayer of everybody on this Birthday occasion.
My friends, so many thoughts come to mind on this holy occasion to say to you. These thoughts have been collected from the sages, seers and prophets. They are not of my own. I have no claim over what I say. In every talk, I take every care to say this. I am tired of repeating it. I have no copyright on all these things that I say because they are all the experience of sages, seers and prophets. Please note this.
The silence of the Divine Master will clear all our doubts
The silence of the Divine Master is so powerful. The silence of the Divine Master will clear all our doubts. Please understand this. The silence of the Divine Master is so powerful that it clears all our doubts. I see. Then why do I wish that He should talk to me? Why do I desire that He should talk to me during darshan time, so that thousands can see me as Baba talks to me? (Laughter) This is nothing but concretised Himalayan ignorance or ego. Ego! That’s all it is. Ego has not gone, and therefore I think this way. If I am ready, if I am mature enough, I will be able to get the message out of His silence. Yes! In a church, there is silence. In a mosque, there is silence. In a synagogue, there is silence. In meditation, there is silence because silence is eloquence.
Silence is eloquence. Silence is the best speech, much better than the word. The two words may seem ironic, diametrically opposite and paradoxical, but it is a fact. In meditation, you want silence all around. During bhajans, you want silence. In a church, you prefer silence because it is in silence that you get the message, not in noise. When the outer noise stops, the inner voice begins. There are some that say, “I don’t have any inner voice.” How can you have an inner voice when you have outer noise? (Laughter) It is not possible. Therefore the Divine Master is capable of communicating in silence.
Bhagavan, in the recent months, chose to sit around us for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. How lucky are we? In earlier years, Swami just gave darshan, called some privileged people, blessed souls, for a group interview, and that was the end of matter. Today we receive hours and hours of prolonged darshan, and this prolonged period of darshan has a message for every Sai devotee. The message should be communicated in deep silence because the Divine Master speaks through His silence. Wordless words, speechless speech, a silent eloquence.
That is the language of sage Ramana Maharishi too. Ramana Maharishi never gave a discourse. Did you know that? He was just silent. People would go and after write, “My doubts are cleared.” When did you ask? When did He answer?” (Laughter) “Yes I got my doubts cleared by sitting in front of Ramana Maharishi.”
Draw the message out of His silence
It is a similar situation with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. We are very, very lucky to have these prolonged periods of darshan. May this Birthday help us to realise the value of this long, long darshan. May this long period of darshan be meditative; may this long period of darshan be contemplative; during this long period of darshan may we find concentration; may this long period of darshan take us to a ‘no-mind’ state; may this long period of darshan help us to find His darshan within. These long darshans have a purpose behind them.
Sometimes He may answer some of our questions and His answers are straightforward. Bhagavan’s answers are straight. There is no room for confusion. There is no question of choice. You are not left with a choice. You must act upon it. The answer is simple, direct and unambiguous. His is a non-confusing way of communication. When we fail to get the message from His silence, then He may choose to speak to us. When the patient does not respond to tablets, doctors may choose to give an injection. When the patient does not respond to injections, surgery may be the only alternative (Laughter). Therefore, when we fail to draw lessons from His silence, the Divine doctor may choose to speak to us. When we still fail to catch the message, interview is the only solution -- the surgery. So let us be mature now. Let us have this awareness so as to draw the message out of His silence.
Swami’s looks, those gentle looks… Some say, “You know that He looked at me.” “No, are you sure that He did not look at me?” “How do you know that He looked at you only?” “I can say that He looked at me too. Why not? I can say this because I know for sure that you are not a saint!” “Are you saying that that I am a sinner then?”
When Swami looks at us, what is the benefit? We understand the depth of His message from His looks. From the looks of Bhagavan, we comprehend the depth of His message. From His silence, our doubts are dispelled. From conversation, we get simple, direct answers.
the beautiful look of Bhagavan
In His pictures, we are very fond of looking at the eyes of Bhagavan. Whichever the picture, just look at His eyes: searching eyes, questioning eyes, compassionate eyes, eyes that look deep into our hearts, eyes that search our by-gone lives, eyes before which our lives are an open book, eyes that care for us, eyes that have concern for us. In those eyes is the love of a mother, the demand of a father, the compassion of God. All three-in-one we find in Baba’s gentle looks. (Applause) A beautiful look, this three-in-one look! He conveys the love of a mother, the command of the father, the expectation of a teacher, and the compassion of our merciful God. When we want to buy a picture, we buy a picture in which the eyes are clear so that we can enjoy the looks of Bhagavan. Out of the pictures, we find light, something bright.
Being fortunate enough to sit in the front at darshan, I have never grown tired of looking at Him again and again. Those eyes twinkling... "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what You are -- Super Star? Bhagavan Baba." (Applause) The eyes glitter, lighting up! Those twinkling eyes… ah so beautiful! Why? The looks of Baba will solve all our problems on our way, in our spiritual path, in our sadhana. My friends, the picture of Baba, the looks of Bhagavan, conversations with Bhagavan, the silence of Bhagavan — none of it is simple. It all has a profound message. Once we are convinced of this, we get the necessary message. May this Birthday celebration help us to be benefited by His silence, by His looks, by the pictures that we see.
Baba is within you
My friends, people also say -- I want to repeat this once again because I get this in phone calls from my friends from overseas centers – they say, “Please ask Baba to shower His Love.” Baba has no secretaries. Baba said at one time, “I have no secrets, so I have no secretaries.” (Laughter) He has no secretaries. Some people write to me, asking me, “Can you arrange an interview with Him?” Well, those people who come to me and ask me that, I tell them, “If I am capable, and there is a separate office there near Hanuman’s statue, people can meet me only on prior appointment (Laughter).” This Avatar has no middlemen. Nobody can arrange anything. There are no ambassadors, nothing, because He is within you. He is within you. He communicates directly. We don’t need anybody to help us to speak with Him.
Bhagavan, a Silent Listener
Because this is a family and I don’t mind sharing my own bitter experience, I will tell you this story. Long, long ago in the Poornachandra Auditorium, behind five hundred devotees, in the fortieth line or so, I was joking with my friend, “Baba may not come now because I think He has gone for lunch.” I am always in a hurry to give His timetable for Him. (Laughter)
And my friend said, “Is that so Anil Kumar? How do you know?”
“I think it, I guess."
And the other man said, “There is every chance that Swami may ask you to speak this evening.”
I said, “How do you know?” This was a silly conversation.
All of a sudden, our good God came out and started walking. I was at a comfortable distance from Him (Laughter), comfortable because it is so nice to be at a safe distance when we are caught…and it is really embarrassing when we have been caught doing wrong. So I was thinking, “Swami, please avoid me.” He slowly started walking and waving His hand in the empty air. He came slowly and finally arrived in front of me and said, “What did you say?” (Laughter)
“Swami, I said that You are not going to come again.”
Baba said, “I know, therefore I have come.” (Applause and laughter)
Then He turned to the other friend and said, “You are better than this man because you wished that he (Anil Kumar) would speak this evening. Alright, he will speak today.” (Laughter)
This, then, is evidence that He is the silent listener in every conversation, an unseen guest at every meal and the head of our family. With that understanding, the spirit of prayer should be practiced hereafter, on the occasion of this Birthday.
Surrender To Him
My friends, this Birthday should also help us to develop the spirit of surrender. The word ‘surrender’ is very well known to us, but the spirit of surrender, the meaning of surrender, is very deep in its implication. Ramana Maharishi suggested the way to surrender. We want to surrender, but we are not surrendering. “Swami, I love You. I surrender to You, provided You give an interview (Laughter).” “Swami I have lot of faith in You, but not until you give me a key chain.” This is all so conditional. This is not surrender.
Surrender is unconditional. Surrender is spontaneous. There are some people who say, “I will surrender beginning next year.” (Laughter) “I plan to surrender from they year 2006.” I see. But surrender is instantaneous. Surrender is spontaneous. Surrender is immediate. Surrender is not done; surrender is not given; surrender is not a process; surrender is a happening. Surrender happens. It is not a process to be done. Surrender happens.
A simple example: If you go to bed, you know the time. When you actually fall asleep, can you tell me the time then? Please. I go to bed at 10 o’clock. “OK, go to bed at 10 o’clock, I am not bothered. Tell me the time when you go to sleep.” “Sir, I don’t know.” That’s it. Sleep happens. Sleep is not done. Sleep is not a process, unless one takes a tablet or something like that.
So similarly, this situation is a happening. Surrender is a happening. It is not done. What is the way to it? Ramana Maharishi said this. It will help everybody, every one of us. What is it? “Know that God knows everything. Know that God knows everything. Please know that He loves you. Please know that everything is done for your own good, in your own interest. Have total faith in Him; surrender to Him, because then you are not going to be ruffled by any other consideration.” Let us accept anything that comes to us in total faith that God will take care of us. That’s what surrender is.
I know my time is up, but before I take leave from you, I pray that we shall not waste a single second hereafter; that we shall not postpone our sadhana any longer; that we shall not act in a worldly way; that we shall try to live per His expectations; that we shall experience Him in our daily lives; that we know that whatever happens is a message; that whatever Baba does should not be questioned but should help us in our quest. That will help us in our search, in our search to find Him within. May Bhagavan bless you. May He, on this Birthday, shower His choicest blessings on each and every one of you and your families. Thank you very much.
Anil Kumar concluded his talk by singing the following bhajans: “Bhajamana Narayana Narayana Narayana” and “Sai Narayana Narayana Narayana”.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu