June 27th, 2004
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
It is the tradition of every land and of every faith to have a guide, a Master, a preceptor, to show the path and guide us through. Every religion has a Master and every religious path has a guide, a Master. In fact, a preceptor is required to show us the right direction.
As I have been telling you from the beginning, I shall not talk or speak of anything other than excerpts from the Sai literature. That will help us to think more in depth and act according to Swami’s teachings.
The Trinity has three concepts. First is the concept of creation; second, the idea of sustenance; and third, annihilation. Creation, sustenance and annihilation constitute the Trinity or trimurti. In an ordinal sense, this is explained in terms of three gods. The one who creates is the Creator, and the creation aspect of the Divine is called Brahma. The sustenance aspect of the Divine is called Vishnu. The third, the annihilation or the destruction aspect, is called Shiva. Let us be very clear that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are not three separate gods. They are different Names given to different aspects of the same Divinity.
To quote Swami, “At home, he is husband to his wife, father to his children, son to his father; in the office, a colleague or the boss, as the case may be, and a friend outside.” Likewise, one may play different roles, but the person is the same. This is the usual example that Baba gives. Similarly, the Godhead and Divinity have many aspects and each aspect is given a Name. But we often get confused, make comparisons, compete among the so-called Names and identify with one of them. You will be surprised to know that wars are fought on grounds of religion. Ridiculous! While religion is supposed to bring people together, history records that more wars are fought on the grounds of religion.
Oneness of Divinity
We tend to divide and are prone to differentiate and distinguish. By temperament, by ideology, we are not for oneness or unity. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba lays much emphasis on this unity, or oneness of the Divinity. You may give Him any Name. In one of the poems, He said that you may call Him Allah or Jehovah, Vishnu or Shiva; but whatever Name you may give God, He is one and the same who blesses you. God is One -- omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.
That is the reason why, in all our bhajans, you find the Names of all gods mentioned. It does not mean that there are many gods. No. A shirt stitched according to my measurements cannot be worn by everybody, is it not?
Similarly, you have a liking, a fancy for a particular form. Some say they like Krishna, some worship Shiva, while some say Rama is very close to their heart. That does not mean Rama, Krishna, and Shiva belong to different political parties, so we should fight. They are not political rival groups or parties, contesting against each other, popularising themselves in their respective constituencies. That is ridiculous. Therefore, Bhagavan always emphasises the Oneness of the Divinity.
Avatar makes old philosophy applicable
Now, my brothers and sisters, let us look at a new interpretation of the same. According to Bhagavan’s concept of an Avatar, an Avatar takes a human form and communes with the devotees, communicates with mankind, and teaches the same old philosophy in a new style, in accordance to prevailing circumstances.
Rama’s philosophy is in no way different from Baba’s teachings. Krishna’s teachings are in no way different from Baba’s teachings. The gospel according to Christ is very much the same as Baba’s doctrine. We have to understand this. The reason God incarnates, the reason God takes human form from time-to-time is this: to make this fundamental philosophy applicable to the times we live in, in tune with the socio-economic conditions of human life on earth.
Brahma is your speech faculty
Bhagavan explains this. All of us know Brahma symbolises creation, Vishnu stands for sustenance, and Shiva represents destruction. Or, in another way, Baba said, “G – O – D, God:
G - Generator, Creator, Brahma; O - Organiser, Sustainer, Vishnu; D – Destroyer, Annihilator, Shiva.”
Further, He gives another interpretation. God is not simply the Generator. He is not simply the Creator, nor is He simply Brahma. No. God is your speech faculty, your communication -- Vaak. Vaak means talk, word, verbal. So Brahma is not in a separate world; He is not present in a separate planet; He is in you. Your speech faculty is Brahma.
That’s the reason why we should not misuse our words; we should not waste our words. We should punctuate and weigh them, and talk when necessary. If we are to talk, let us talk spiritual matters; let us talk on Swami and His message, not on an individual’s politics. After all, that is only trash; that is all garbage. Talk is real if it centres around the Divine and Divinity because that very talk is Brahma, God Himself. You cannot abuse or misuse this gift with which you are born.
Vishnu symbolises the mind
The second aspect is Vishnu, the Organiser or Sustainer. Bhagavan Baba says that Vishnu symbolises vastnesses, expansiveness. That which is spread all over is Vishnu. Baba says, “The vastness is your mind.”
You can be here and in New York at the same time; here and in Chicago at the same time. Why not? Mind is ready to travel faster than light. Mind is ready to go anywhere. The body requires a ticket, visa, a passport and a reservation. The mind does not need any visa, passport, or reservation; no customs or security check. It can go anywhere, into the interior, unsolicited and unwanted. So, the mind stands for vastness. The mind represents that which is spread all over. That is Vishnu.
Shiva is your heart
The third one is Shiva, the Destroyer or Annihilator. Baba says, “Shiva is your heart.”
My friends, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a diamond. A diamond has so many facets. A diamond has so many faces. The interpretation He gives on any point could totally differ on another occasion. Nobody can say, “I heard it; I know.” It is total stupidity, Himalayan ignorance, because we can never take for granted that He will give the same explanation next time.
Those of us who have been hearing discourses for some time, who are interested in Sai literature, and go through page after page, will certainly agree on one point: Bhagavan never repeats. Even if He repeats, it carries a different meaning depending on the context, depending on the occasion, and depending upon the people whom He addresses. It may seem to be the same thing, but it carries a different meaning altogether. That’s why we have to be alert. That’s why we have to be smart. That’s why we have to be dynamic. When Bhagavan speaks to us, it is always new.
Heart is the seat of god
We pity people who go to sleep when Swami speaks. There are some people who manage to sleep; they are gifted with sleep, and sluggish like a buffalo. Old habits die hard.
When we pray to Brahma, Vishnu, or Maheshwara it means – the words, the mind, and the heart.
The heart is the seat of God, and a pure heart is the temple of God. Heart is the centre of compassion. Heart is the centre of kindness. Heart is the centre of values. Values are born in one’s own human heart. That’s the reason why people say, “I welcome you whole-heartedly. I speak from the bottom of my heart.” Nobody says, “I speak from the bottom of my feet or over my head.”
Heart stands for sincerity. Heart stands for conviction. Heart is value-oriented. Am I clear? Therefore, heart and Lord Shiva go together.
Mind is a mad monkey
We can never arrest the mind. We can never control the mind. The more we want to hold the mind, the faster it runs after all trivial things; more so when we sit for meditation. Then the mind finds it a nice pleasure trip to go anywhere (Laughter). Most often, meditation has become a farce, a stunt, and a waste of time.
Truly speaking, the moment I sit, my mind immediately goes to the canteen. The moment I sit in the name of meditation, the mind wants me to write a letter to be submitted to Swami, if at all it is going to be possible. The moment I sit for my meditation, the mind thinks about the reservation back home to New York, or whether the dhobi, the washer man, is going to bring my clothes or not. So, it is all dhobi meditation, breakfast meditation, coffee meditation, but never Divine meditation!
We never meditate on God, so we are wasting our time. Swami says, “Instead of wasting your time all in the name of meditation, better you do something constructive, something positive; then at least you are well engaged.”
Therefore my friends, the heart is the centre of sincerity, just as the mind is known for its waywardness. Baba calls the mind ‘a mad monkey’ -- not only mad, intoxicated; plus its tail is on fire! So you can imagine the state of the monkey. Like that, the mind is a mad, intoxicated monkey.
We think we can control it, but we cannot. Had we learnt the art of controlling the mind, things would have been settled long, long ago. It’s not possible to control the mind. It spreads everywhere, extra- or intra- or inter-planetary travel, faster than Concord airlines! So, Vishnu represents the human mind, having a vast and expansive quality.
This gift of communication, this exchange, is what is called Brahma. That is the first and foremost point I want to share with you, my friends.
Another interpretation for Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva
We pray to God; we pray to our guru, the Master. We praise, “O Master, You are Brahma. You are the Creator. So you be there, up there in heaven; don’t bother me.” (Laughter) No, it is not that. “By words, let me praise the glory of my Guru.” That is Brahma.
Second, by thought, which is Vishnu, “Let my mind think about You constantly.”
Third, “O Master, You are Lord Shiva” meaning, “Let You be installed in my heart.”
He gave this interpretation at one time. But as I said, Bhagavan is very vast, like a beautiful diamond shining brilliantly, every facet of it.
Brahma is the creator of good thoughts
Bhagavan gave another interpretation. Being a teacher, I am interested in collecting all this data and enthusiastic about sharing it with everybody. What did He say?
Brahma, who is the Creator, is also our teacher, preceptor, or guru. Why? He creates new thoughts, new sentiments, new ideologies, and new feelings in you. The Creator of good thoughts, the Creator of good feelings in you is the aspect of Brahma. So the preceptor or guru is Brahma, not because He has four faces, as we find in the photos of Brahma. If we see Brahma with four faces, we feel like running away from Him or making capital by arresting Him and putting Him in a museum! So, the Brahma aspect is Creation. He is the Creator of good thoughts in you, the guru, the Divine Master in you.
Vishnu is the sustainer of good thoughts
Second guru is Vishnu. He sees to it that you maintain good thoughts. Bhagavan talks to you now and then, encouraging you, and appreciating you some times. He does this so that you are encouraged to tread along that path. Swami appreciates the youngsters when they do some good work. Why? He is encouraging them to proceed along this path. When they say something, He says “Very fine.”
So, having installed, having imbued, having sown the seeds of this path, the Master takes upon Himself the duty of sustaining it, of maintaining the goodness He has instilled. That is the Vishnu aspect, the Sustainer.
Shiva destroys evil thoughts
The third aspect is Shiva, the Destroyer or Annihilator. Baba says, “Master Guru is Shiva.” Why? How? He destroys. What does He destroy?
“If He destroys me, I don’t want that God. I don’t want Him because I believe God is life; God is not death.”
Then you may say, “Sir, then what is death?”
“There is no death at all. Appearance of the body is birth; disappearance of the body is death. But life is continuous; life is constant; life is infinite. It is beyond.”
God Shiva is the Destroyer or Annihilator. Whom does He destroy? Not the man. No. He destroys evil thoughts in you – all your manoeuvring or manipulation strategy. All these things are destroyed if one is an aspirant or a seeker.
We pray for the one who is a manipulator, even in the spiritual field. Suppose one wants to manage things, we can pray, ‘Oh God, at least reform him in the next life because he wants to manipulate and manage things here.’
Things can be manipulated and managed in the world; but you cannot manage the Divine. You cannot manipulate the Divine. However, He may appear to have been managed to make you a double fool, a master fool!
Therefore my friends, on the occasion of Guru Purnima, we extol the Master as Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara. This means that He sees to it that good thoughts are born in us and maintained in us, and that bad thoughts are removed from our hearts.
Life and nature are the best teachers
Bhagavan Baba tells you the very definition of a Master. If we think that the Master is limited to the body, we are completely mistaken. The Divine Master is Nature; Nature is the Master. Life is the teacher; life is the preacher. Life and Nature go together.
Swami says, “Life is the best teacher.” We have to learn from life. “Nature is the best preacher.” We can learn things from Nature. Nature is the Master of Masters. If one cannot learn from Nature, then one cannot learn from anybody. It is impossible.
Trees teach the lesson of sacrifice
Swami rendered a beautiful poem. He does this often before His Divine discourses. He tells us that trees give us a lesson:
Every tree is a Master. Why? Trees give shelter to everybody -- beyond caste, community, nationality, gender, and class. Anybody can stand under a tree and enjoy its shelter. So, equality is a lesson that trees give to mankind.
A tree, while alive, gives shelter. Later, when it is cut to pieces, to death, it is used as firewood. So the tree is useful while alive and also useful after death! How about useless fellows while alive? We are all useless while alive. But a tree is useful both while living and also even after death. While in life, it even bears fruit; after death, it is used as firewood. That is the lesson of sacrifice that we can learn from trees.
Mountain is always steady, it never complains
Swami has said, “Mountain is your teacher.”
“I see mountains every day, but I don’t see any qualification of a teacher in the mountain.” That is because you don’t have the proper eyes to see it.
The mountain is strong and steady. Let there be a rainy day, a stormy day, a windy day, or a cloudy day, the mountain remains strong and steady. People who survive during summer, particularly in Puttaparthi in the month of May, are really angels. It is very hot. Unless they have become used to it, it is not an easy thing.
Mountains do not say, “I am hot! Why don’t you bring a cooler to me?”
On a rainy day, mountains do not complain, “Why don’t you bring me an umbrella?”
Mountains do not ask for a blanket during winter. They do not shiver. They do not waver. They do not complain. Mountains remain steady, balanced and uncomplaining. So, the uncomplaining, ungrudging nature of acceptance is the lesson of life from the mountains to mankind.
Every season we complain. First, we complain because there are no rains. Then in the rainy season, we complain that there are rains. In summer, we complain because it is not cold. In winter, we complain that it is too cold. When don’t we complain? We spend our life complaining.
When I am in the midst of people, I say, “Too many people. I have no time to be by myself. I have no private time. I have no personal time. I am always in the midst of a crowd.”
But when you are alone you say, “I am lonely. I’ll die because I cannot bear this loneliness. I want company.”
While in company, you want to be alone; when you are alone, you want to be in company. But the mountain never complains. It is quite happy. It accepts what is given to it. Nature is the best preacher. Nature is the best teacher.
Birds teach us the lesson of detachment
What about birds? Birds fly high; it is so beautiful! It’s wonderful to watch birds fly in one line, disciplined like in an army -- left, right; left, right. With birds, there is no whistling, no shouting, no commanding, and no tension.
Watch the faces of soldiers as they march along – they are full of tension. Unless there is tension, they cannot march. Marching and tension go together. But birds move together, without any tension, in exact precision, with all accuracy.
Why are soldiers tensed? “I am tensed because I doubt my accuracy. I doubt whether I am putting my left or right foot forward. I am also aware of the commander, who may ask me to run about twenty kilometres as a punishment if I march forward with one wrong step. I am worried and therefore tensed.”
But birds have no worries. They are not worried about their bank accounts; they are not worried about their fixed deposits; they are not worried about their status; they are not worried about the bank interest rates. A bird is totally detached. That’s why their wings flutter and they fly high.
Even as I am about to move from here, I begin to think whether it is safe or not: ‘Am I going to be first in the queue or not? Am I going to be in the middle or last? Will somebody push me, or who should I push?’ (Laughter) I am worried, and therefore I am not able to step forward.
Birds fly high because they are worry-free. Birds give this lesson of detachment.
Guru Purnima is an occasion for studying nature
What about the sky? There may be wind or rain; it remains a witness, unaffected.
So, sky teaches the lesson of being a witness; birds teach the lesson of detachment; trees teach the lesson of equality. Nature is the best teacher. Therefore, Guru Purnima is an occasion to study Nature in depth.
Long ago, as a student, I remember one of our principals gave a speech at the Christian college where I studied. It was a big gathering of 5000 students.
The principal said, “Look here, boys and girls! While on my way to the college in my car, I saw some buffaloes passing by. Proceeding further, I saw a few street dogs passing by. While I was coming closer to the college, I saw some of our students also passing by. I did not find any difference between buffaloes, dogs and students.” (Laughter)
He meant, why don’t the students say ‘good morning’? Buffaloes cannot say ‘good morning’; dogs cannot say ‘good morning’. If you too simply pass by, you are as good as a buffalo or a street dog. That’s a nice way of putting it.
We are Sai devotees. Can’t we say ‘Sai Ram’ to each other? We are indifferent. We simply pass by a beautiful scene; we pass the sunrise. Buffaloes don’t watch; they are indifferent. Sunrise, sunset, cool breeze, beautiful flowers - why don’t we enjoy Nature?
Because we don’t enjoy Nature, we have not known our own inner nature. When the outer Nature is not known, how do you expect to know the inner nature? It is impossible. Therefore, Guru Purnima calls for a closer observation, a deeper observation, and a spiritual observation of Nature as a teacher. That is the second point I want to draw your attention to.
True guru takes you along with him
Here is the next point: A guru is one who takes you along with Him so that you and He are One. An ideal guru will never keep you at class-two level or class-three level: “You be inferior to me.” He never says that.
Baba says, “Never walk in front of Me because you may miss Me. Never walk behind Me because I may leave you; you may not follow Me. Walk beside Me.”
“You be with Me,” says Bhagavan. That is the quality of a true guru. You are not in front of Him; you are not behind Him; you are by His side.
That’s why in some of the bhajans, the song says: “Bhajo Re Bhai Sai Ram”, “You are My beloved brother”; “Bhaktha Sakha Bhagavan”, “You are my friend.” But we keep saying, “You are God, You are God. You be there; I will be here.”
God is not to be feared. God is not there to frighten us. He is not an income tax officer. (Laughter) He is not a police officer. He is not a man with a revolver, a gun, or a pistol; nor is He a surgeon ready to operate. God is your friend. In one of the poems, Baba even said, “Nearer, dearer than your mother and father.”
We should remember that this is the aspect of the Divinity of a guru, because a true Master not only trains you and guides you, but also makes you as great as Him. He makes you feel that you and He are One. He will never keep you at a distance.
When one thanks Baba, you hear Him say, “No thanks. I am not a third person. You and I are One, so why do you thank Me?”
This is a beautiful point about an ideal preceptor, an ideal guru, who raises His disciples to His level of consciousness, His standard of awareness. I wanted to draw your attention to this.
Guru shines with sixteen vibrant aspects
Guru Purnima is the second of July. Purnima means ‘full moon’. What is full moon? Please wait and watch. Full moon is the day when the moon shines with all its sixteen aspects or kalas. The moon has sixteen aspects. Guru Purnima means the guru shines like the moon, with all sixteen aspects, to teach us to give up the sixteen dark aspects. He acquires sixteen splendorous, radiant, vibrant aspects to help us give up sixteen dirty aspects, which are within everyone of us.
What are those sixteen dark aspects? He gives a detailed list of the eight aspects of arrogance or pride. This perhaps is an old list. If Swami were to revise it, it may be eighteen dark aspects from tomorrow! Let us wait and see. (Laughter)
So, according to earlier data, in the floppy of the human mind, in the computer disk of human behavioural tendencies or ‘Windows 2003’, He wants us to give up eight stupid gadgets of pride. That’s what you call mapa arrogance:
Some people are arrogant regarding their birth: “I am Brahmin”; “I am Kshatriya.” So, arrogance can stem from one’s birth.
Arrogance can be based on physical strength. “Well, you see I can handle ten of you.” But there will be a fellow who can handle twenty later on! So, arrogance is born out of physical strength; or arrogance is based on birth.
Arrogance may be due to wealth. Some arrogance is based on complexion, based on beauty and personality. Some are arrogant of their power; some are arrogant of their scholarship.
We have so many reasons to be arrogant. So there are eight reasons to be arrogant. They should all be given up. This is the first and foremost message of Guru Purnima.
Then, give up the six weaknesses: Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya -- lust, anger, greed, desire, arrogance, and envy. These are the six weaknesses. So, 8+6=14. Two more are to be given up, as the list is 16. What are they?
One is the thamasic quality, meaning the bestial quality, inertia, or animal tendencies. The other one is rajasic quality, meaning the emotional quality or the passionate temperament.
So, Guru Purnima is a day of determination, a day to take an oath; it is a day of our preparedness and determination to give up the sixteen dark qualities. Eight are due to our pride; six are basic weaknesses; the last two are rajas or emotional temperament and thamas, the bestial temperament. That makes sixteen. Am I clear?
The Divine Master has all the sixteen beautiful, splendorous, radiant, vibrant, brilliant aspects, which help you to give up and get rid of the sixteen evil propensities or evil traits. That is the message of Guru Purnima.
You are a guru to yourself
Another aspect: Bhagavan says, “You don’t have to look for a guru outside. You are a guru to yourself.’ Oh, I see.
“Am I a guru to myself?” Yes, why not! “I fail to know that.”
I am a guru to myself: My body is one aspect of my teacher-hood or guru-hood, Gayatri. My life is one aspect of a guru, Savitri. My spirit is another aspect of guru, Saraswati. So, I am Gayatri, Savitri, Saraswati or the body, life, and source or spirit; or ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. Body, life and spirit are all in me, so you are a guru to yourself. You are a Master to yourself. You don’t need any external Master.
Role of a guru is to teach you about Divinity
On this occasion, Bhagavan also tells us about the role of a guru. He teaches us about Divinity, Tat. Tat means Divinity. He teaches us that Divinity, the Divine principle, is you, twam. “Thou art That.” Tat twam asi. In the words of the holy Bible, “The kingdom of Heaven is within you.” The guru teaches that Divinity, Tat + you, twam + is, asi. Tat is Divinity, tvam is humanity. As Bhagavan puts it, that is the lesson of Guru Purnima.
In our lifetime, who is our first guru? Mother is our first guru; father, the next guru; then the teacher. The Guru of gurus is God Himself. We come across our guru right from birth, starting with our mother.
There are some people who say, “Sir, I am in search of a guru.”
“Where do you search for him? How long are you going to search? Are you going to be successful in your search?”
Baba tells us this, my friends. We are confused. I never say you are confused. I don’t say that. We are confused. Among the confused people, I may be the first and foremost. I always include myself; I never exclude myself because, even in my wildest dreams, I am not more than anybody. I am the last and least of all of you. The only gift I have is that I have heard Him talk; I go through his literature; and being a teacher, I feel like sharing with you, that’s all.
‘ordinariness’ is the basic quality of a spiritual seeker
I must have repeated this statement ’n’ number of times, only to remind myself. I am as simple, as ordinary as anybody else then, now and forever. I believe that ordinariness is the basic quality of a spiritual seeker.
When you consider yourself to be extraordinary, you are not spiritual. One wants to be extraordinary in the world, in academics: ‘Let me be a gold medallist’; professionally, ‘Let me be an officer’; politically, ‘Let me win the election.’ Achievement is extraordinary -- that is the world.
You are already God and all are the same. What is extraordinary about it? Ignorance is extraordinary. Foolishness is extraordinary. Stupidity is extraordinary. (Laughter) To know that I am as good as anybody, that there is nothing to achieve in this life, that I am already that, I have to realise and experience. There is nothing extraordinary about it. It is no achievement.
Therefore, Guru Purnima is a day to tell each and every one of us that we don’t have to wait for a guru outside, reserving a ticket to the Himalayas.
Somebody was telling me, “Anil Kumar, I had been to the Himalayas.”
“What did you see there?”
“I saw some gurus.”
“What did you learn?”
“I have not learned anything.”
“What did you see in Himalayas?”
Once, a man of achievement extraordinaire came to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the great guru. He said, “Paramahamsa, I am a guru myself. Do you know that?”
“Oh, I see. I am yet struggling with how to be a guru. What are your capacities?” asked Paramahamsa.
Like an innocent child, the man said, “You know, when I open my mouth, fire comes out of it.”
“I see. How long did it take for you to do it?”
“Only fifteen years.”
Then Paramahamsa tells him, “What a waste of time! A matchbox is enough to light a fire. (Laughter) Why take fifteen years?” A match box costs ten naya paisa!
Therefore, my dear friends, when we say so-and-so is a guru because of his achievements, like water or fire coming out of his mouth, or that earth breaks under his feet, it is silly.
Your conscience is your guru
Baba says that you don’t have to search for a guru. Your inner thoughts, your inner voice, your own conscience is your guru. Follow the Master. Follow your own conscience, not the master of your classroom or the master in a cave.
Guru Purnima is a day to find our own Master within. Master conscience is within everybody; the super Master conscience is within us. Let us follow our conscience, which shows us the right path. That is the message of Guru Purnima.
Further, Bhagavan says that (what beautiful points He tells us!) a guru always speaks of and should teach you the Divinity that is formless. If he tells you his height, weight and chest size, you can say, “All right, thank you. I am not going to a gymnasium. I am not going to attend a beauty contest.”
True guru speaks of the formless aspect of god
A guru should teach you the formless aspect of Divinity because God has no form. If God has no form, what should we do? We should reform. What do I mean? God has all these forms. So, what is His form? When all are His forms, you can say He has no form, right? When He has a specific form, I can tell you that He is this way. When all are His forms, what shall I say? He has no form. He can take any form He wants. Am I clear?
So, a true guru should speak of the formless aspect of God. You cannot say that God is short or tall, white or yellow or pink or dark, handsome or ugly. You cannot say so because He has no qualities at all. God is attributeless.
A simple example: Here is a screen. You can project a film where a heroine dances – a beautiful dance, or rock ‘n roll. Or, you can project Michael Jackson - pop music. Later, you can project a film of fire, havoc, palaces being reduced to ashes. Or you can show a film of rain and thunder. You may show any film, but the screen is not wet. The screen does not burn. The screen does not move to the beat of the dance. It does not shed a tear when the heroine cries. It does not respond; it is only a witness.
You can see all the features on the screen, but the screen has no feature of its own. This is what Divinity is -- attributeless. Every attribute expresses because of Him and no attribute is in Him. I think I am not confused and I hope I am not confusing you! (Laughter) Because I should take care that I am not confused, and doubly care that I have not confused you.
It is the electricity that gives us a breeze through the functioning of this fan. It is the electricity that gives the benefit of amplifying and magnifying the sound. It is the electricity that sheds the light through the bulb. Electricity is there in these gadgets, giving us the benefits of light, sound, and heat. But the mike is not there in the electricity; the fan is not there in the electricity; the tube light is not there in the electricity. So, electricity is in the electronic gadgets, but the gadgets are not there in the electricity.
All attributes function because of Divinity, but the attributes are not there in Divinity. Gold is there in the ring, but the ring is not there in the gold. Gold is there in the chain, but the chain is not there in the gold. Clay is there in the mud, but the mud is not there in the clay. It is out of this clay that you can make a pot, but the pot is not there in the clay. You can make a plate out of the mud, but the plate is not there in the mud. So, the primordial substance, the super consciousness functions; all and none of these are present in that. That is the aspect that a guru is supposed to teach.
You find so many advertisements. Some gurus are available on Sunday between 9 and 10, admission fee of 250 rupees. I don’t know why there is an admission fee. Why special times? A true guru is beyond time and space, and a true guru is totally free. Wind is free, sky is free, and earth is free. Why are gurus costly? I don’t understand. (Laughter) I don’t understand.
Anyone who has anything to do with money is not a guru but a baru. Baru means burdensome. So, let us not run after gurus who charge us. Let us not run after gurus who calculate in terms of money.
There is a guru who is available to us totally free of cost, the only one guru, by the name Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. (Applause) Completely free, the darshan free, the conversation free, the bhajan free, the admission to Kulwant Hall free, His smile free. (Laughter) Nothing is costly; nothing is expensive.
Therefore my friends, Guru Purnima wants us to know the Prompter within us, the Master within us. The form of conscience is the true Master, the true guru, who teaches us the formless, attributeless aspect of Divinity.
There are eight types of gurus
Furthermore, Bhagavan says in His discourses that we come across a number of gurus in our life. One guru teaches sacred texts: Some recite the Bible; some go through the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. They teach us the sacred texts, in Sunday school or Saturday satsang. They are experts in teaching – the bodha guru. bodha means teaching. They teach sacred texts which speak of our true nature, unravel our true nature, and explain our inner spirit. This is the first class of guru.
The second guru is Veda guru. He explains the inner meaning of the text. A simple example: We hear the Vedas recitation, but we don’t know its meaning. I don’t know its meaning. Salutations to your feet if you know the meaning! I don’t know. I simply hear; that’s all. The Veda guru explains the inner meaning, the inner depth, and the inner significance.
The third guru prescribes certain activities for certain times - prayer at this time, meditation during this time. He gives you a procedure and is called the nishiddha guru. A nishiddha guru gives you a schedule, a program, a procedure to follow.
There is another type of guru who tells you, “If you want promotion in life, go around Ganesha 108 times. If you want to have a son, go around Gayatri 150 times.”
This guru tells us what we need to do to fulfil our desires. You’ll find that most of the temples are busy on Saturdays because Hanuman fulfils all promises on that day. (Laughter) Thursday, all Sai Baba temples are busy because Sai Baba is available on Thursday to fulfil you. Some people fast on Thursday because Sai Baba is happy if you fast on Thursday. I am not able to understand these things. I am not able to follow this. They may consider me a fool, but to me they appear as double fools.
Sai Baba Thursday is different from Sai Baba Wednesday. There is no Monday Sai Baba, no Tuesday Sai Baba. For Sai Baba, all days are equal! So then, why do you say Thursday Sai Baba? If you do it at least on Thursday, you may learn to do it on Friday also; feel Him on Wednesday also. That’s what it is. It’s not that the rest of the six days He sleeps or allows you to sleep.
That too, our Sathya Sai Baba never sleeps, nor allows you to sleep. We have to be on our toes always because when you just start dozing, He asks you, “Where are you?” When you are alert, He will not look at you. So you have to continue to be alert 24 hours! (Laughter)
When you go to the canteen for your breakfast, He comes for darshan. When you want to have your breakfast after darshan, He may not come until 9:30, meaning He comes after bhajans. (Laughter) We cannot say.
There are some gurus who take care of your desires and tell you some methods. They are called kamya gurus – for desire fulfilment. There are other gurus who also teach you about sitting postures, yogasanas, straight backbone, gestures, concentrating at the centre of the two eyebrows, breathing exercises, and pranayama. They are vachaka gurus. There are some people who tell you how to control your senses. These people are soochaka gurus. They tell you the procedures.
These are things said by Baba. I don’t collect these from other books. Take it from me, I don’t do that. These are collected from Sai literature. This is the occasion where you have to know the details of gurus.
There is another class of gurus who tell you, “Man, know you are Divine. Understand that you are God. Understand that you are beyond. Never limit yourself.” They tell you your real identity. That class of gurus are called the kaarana guru.
Next class of gurus are those who clear doubts. Once our doubts are cleared, our mind remains pure. There are some gurus who care to clarify and clear our doubts so that we may have pure minds. They are called vihitha guru.
Baba mentions these eight types of gurus. The superior class of gurus are kaarana gurus because the kaarana guru tells you that you and God are One. That is the highest class of gurus.
I am happy that we are in the company of a kaarana guru. Bhagavan Baba Himself tells you, “You and I are One. I belong to you; You belong to Me. You and I are One.”
Offerings to god on guru Purnima
This is the day when people make offerings to their gurus. Most people give drafts, some cash, dollars, or pounds. What offering shall we give to Baba on Guru Purnima day?
Our offering is this: “Swami, let me offer to You, as an act of sacrifice, this body identification. I identify myself with this body; let me offer this to You, so that I no longer identify myself with this body.”
“Swami, my offering is my mind. Let me offer You my mind. Let me offer You my body by serving. Service is the activity that is an offering. My body will be busy in service. This is an offering I make unto You.”
“I offer my mind so that it will think only of You. I offer my intellect to You so that it will always discriminate between right and wrong, between good and bad, so that it will determine and discriminate in the right direction. Swami, I offer, as a sacrifice, my separateness so that I may feel that I am one with You, that You and I are One.” That is our prayer, as we approach Guru Purnima.
The greatest gift that all of us have, the unique gift that all of us here have, the highest boon that we have and that we enjoy today is that our God is also a guru. Guru Bhagavan Baba takes us within; He guides us, He teaches us, He leads us unto Himself.
May Baba bless you on Guru Purnima day! (Applause) Thank you very much.
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