With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of
Welcome back to this morning’s session on the second day of Onam celebrations.
Onam is an important occasion celebrated in a grand way in the great state of
Kerala. Kerala has the highest rate of literacy in India. The people are known
for their hard work, industry and sincerity. Kerala is the only state that is
permitted to have a celebration of its own festival here in Prashanti Nilayam.
No other state is that fortunate. We compliment them and congratulate them for
their nice presentations. I would like to briefly tell you some details about
Onam before sharing with you a couple of other thoughts.
First, Onam is an occasion of sacrifice. Emperor Bali sacrificed his whole kingdom and all of his belongings for God. This is the highest sacrifice anyone can make. Typically, we are not able to sacrifice our time, our talent, or anything; but here is an occasion, Onam, which calls for sacrifice, total sacrifice.
Second, Onam is a celebration that teaches the lesson of surrender. I do not speak of total surrender or complete surrender because total surrender is meaningless. The very word surrender itself is total. You cannot 'half' surrender or 'quarter' surrender; the word loses its meaning. Surrender itself is total, absolute and complete, unconditional. That’s what surrender is. So Emperor Bali surrendered to God, unconditionally, selflessly, not in expectation of anything from God. Therefore, Onam calls for surrender. Onam teaches the lessons of sacrifice and surrender.
Third, Onam symbolises devotion. Bhagavan said at one time, “If anyone stands
between you and God, you should choose God and no one else.”
The Epics give a number of references to similar situations. In the Ramayana,
Bharatha had a choice to make. His mother wanted him to be the king. But
Bharatha loved Ramachandra more than he loved his own mother. He preferred to
surrender the kingdom. He never wanted to be the king as per the wishes of his
mother. He chose his brother Ramachandra (God) and definitely not his mother. So
Bharatha in his situation had to choose between God and his mother. Bharatha
successfully opted for God.
Also in the Ramayana, there is the situation of Vibhishana. Vibhishana also had a choice to make - his brother Ravana (ten-headed demon king) on the one hand and Ramachandra on the other hand. He lived with his brother for so long and was loyal to him. It’s quite natural that one loves his own kith and kin more than anybody else. His challenge was, ‘Should I choose God or my brother?’ Vibhishana preferred God, Ramachandra, and not his brother Ravana. That was the situation -- brother or God?
In the life of Meera, a great devotee, she had to choose one of the two: husband
or God. Meera chose God and not her husband. Similarly Emperor Bali had to
choose between the dictates of his guru, Shukaracharya (acharya
means teacher), or God in the form of Vamana (the fifth Avatar of Vishnu, born
as a dwarf) who stood in front of him, asking for three footsteps (paces) of
land. Who should he choose? He disobeyed his guru and accepted totally
what God said. My friends, Bali preferred God and not guru. Therefore
when there is a situation like this, when there is a choice between your kith
and kin and God, one should choose God and definitely not the near and dear!
Onam is an occasion of choice for everybody. Who are you going to choose, God or
Mammon? God or friends? God or near and dear? Whom are you going to prefer?
Emperor Bali had this challenge during his time, and similarly we are faced with
the challenge, too. It does not mean that we should sever our ties. It does not
mean that we have to fight our family circles, certainly not! We should be able
to convince people; we should be able to sail together. We should never sink; we
should sail. We should flourish; we should never perish.
Onam demonstrates ideal leadership
So Onam is a festival of sacrifice. Onam is a festival of surrender. Onam symbolises devotion. Onam also signifies charity, compassion, and righteous rule of the domain. It is to the credit of Emperor Bali that he ruled his kingdom in a righteous way and established justice throughout his lifetime. The people wanted him to remain with them. After he was sent away, the people were waiting for his return, unlike most of the rulers who people hope will retirement and not return!
Here is a ruler, Emperor Bali, for whom the whole state of Kerala waits for 364
days a year. All the people are waiting to receive him on Onam day. This shows
what kind of emperor he was. It only speaks of what kind of justice he ensured,
of the path of righteousness he followed, and the peace he established in the
kingdom. Therefore, Onam is a festival that commemorates ideal leadership -- how
an ideal leader should be.
EVERY ONE OF US HAS TO SURRENDER THOSE ‘THREE FEET’!
Onam has philosophical implications and profound philosophical depth. It is pregnant with meaning. It is not a gala celebration; it is not a celebration for entertainment. Onam is a celebration of enlightenment and not merely entertainment. No doubt we eat well; no doubt we wear new clothes; no doubt we share gifts with each other; yet, it calls for spiritual advancement. It expects of us philosophical progress. It demands of us a religious upliftment. So, Onam is an occasion of spiritual advancement, religious upliftment, and philosophical progress.
What do I mean by that? It is such a great thing - an emperor ready to give
whatever is asked for. And there is Vamana, God Himself, asking for just three
feet of land, just three feet! What do I mean by that? What does the measure
‘three feet’ symbolise? Was it only Bali who surrendered three feet? No. Every
one of us has to surrender those three feet! What are those three feet? What are
those three footsteps that Vamana wanted from Emperor Bali? What are they? What
are the three feet that we have to surrender to God? What are the three
footsteps that God wants from us, demands from us? What are they?
"I don’t have an inch, so how can I give three footsteps?" we may say.
No! Every one of us has got these three footsteps, three feet -- everyone! Therefore, Onam is not an everyday celebration. Onam is a spiritual introspection. It is a philosophical assessment. It is a religious commitment.
WHAT ARE THE THREE FEET TO BE SURRENDered?
So what are the three feet to be surrendered to God?
‘Oh God, in the past, I might have committed some crime, some mistakes. Pardon me!’ The past is offered at the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
‘Oh God, in the present, I am doing all that I can. Help me to do the right things. Help me to do that which is acceptable to You.’ That’s all. The present is kept at the Feet of the Lord.
‘Oh God, I have no expectations for the future. I don’t expect anything in the future. What is destined to happen is sure to happen. Whatever You decide to give, You will give. No need to worry about reactions, as I cannot escape future happenings!'
Baba will not allow you to be lazy
There are some people who ask others, “Sir, would you like to talk to us?”
He says, “I don’t have time.” It only means his time is nearing. (Laughter) We have time! Those who can do have lots of time. Those who don’t have no time!
This is the basic truth in Prashanti Nilayam. Before coming here, I had plenty of time and was able to do all that I needed to do. Here in Prashanti Nilayam, we don’t have time. Unless you are ready at 6 o’clock, you can’t have darshan. When you want to go for breakfast, people say that Swami is again coming for darshan. You can’t have your breakfast. By the time you complete bhajans and come out, lunchtime is fast approaching. You must have brunch. It is neither breakfast nor lunch but brunch - a hybrid!
We have no time! We’ve got to be ready again by 1:30 because our Lord might come at 2:30, even though you were expecting that He would come at 3 o’clock. So we get there at 2:30; then He chooses to come at 4 o’clock! He is the Master of time. He decides. So we have no time.
But honestly speaking, we are able to do more things here than anywhere else in spite of the heavy time pressures. Everybody. I am not saying that it is only my personal experience, but it is everyone’s experience. Why? He is the timekeeper. He is the pacemaker. He will not allow you to be lazy, let me tell you. Even if you want to relax, you cannot. You must be on your toes.
"Oh God, I am 75 years old. I am tired and I am weak. I cannot do anything."
"Sit down there and at least make some vibhuti packets. You cannot
"‘Lord, I can do light work."
"Yes, at least you can be in charge of water distribution." He will not allow
you to be lazy.
Constant activity keeps us free from worry
Why? Because of constant activity, continued activity, we will not have time to think of our people who are away from us. We are very much tired by being with them for so long, as we had our problems, plus problems of the children, problems of the grandchildren, problems of the relatives, problems of friends, political problems, social problems. Ultimately we become a problem to ourselves! My friends, we have no solution to any problem. We have no solutions! As a result, we become a problem to ourselves and end up with high blood pressure, hypertension, that’s all!
That’s the reason why most people, after retirement, suddenly find themselves sick the very next day! Why? The brain is empty now. No work, no need to go to office. So they start shouting at their wife. She is the first culprit, the first victim of a retired man. The second victims are the children. The third victims are the relatives. He goes on pouncing on people like an Alsatian dog full of tension! A simple misplaced kerchief or a towel is enough for this man to become Durvasa, the angry sage. This is true in every family.
But here, you have no time to shout because it is time for darshan. (Laughter) Even if you want to shout, the wife would have left by then. Then all you can do is shout at the walls!
Somebody asked me, “Mr. Anil Kumar, how is it in the staff quarters? So many
teachers are staying there and it is very peaceful. The couples live in harmony
and perfect unity. Very nice.”
I said, “The secret for their harmony is their helplessness. When the husband is ready to fight, the wife must have left already. When the wife is at home, the husband must have left for darshan already. They revolve in opposite directions, so peace prevails. Even if they meet at the dining table at night, they are 100% exhausted. There is no energy left to shout at each other, so peace is abiding.
Though I said it in a jovial way, it is not simply a matter of fun. There is a definite advantage in taking up some work or other. By being engaged, we don’t worry ourselves. The turnover of work, the intensity of work, the magnitude of work, the credit you get, the discredit you get, that’s all secondary. They matter nothing to me. By getting involved, by getting ourselves associated with some work or other, we will be free from worry.
When once we are free from worry, we are free from any kind of ailment. That’s why people live long here. Ninety years, eighty years. Why? Because you go on working, and by working you are tired, so you go to sleep peacefully, finished. You are quite happy.
This way of being engaged in a healthy life, a righteous ruling, a kind administration of justice and truth is the lesson of Emperor Bali to humanity. This is the lesson of Onam to all the administrators: They should not be a pain to anybody nor should they be a pain unto themselves. They should be ideal leaders. Therefore, Onam is a celebration of ideal leadership.
NO ONE BEARS THE NAME 'SHUKARA'
Onam also shows the inevitable humiliation of selfish people.
"How great you are!" A selfish man will be put to disrepute; a selfish man will get a bad name, however rich he is, however great he is, however high or exalted his position is.
Here is a simple example: Shukaracharaya was selfishly telling Emperor Bali not to oblige God. He was a bad teacher. He was a bad guru. Therefore, no one bears the name 'Shukara'. There is nobody by the name of 'Professor Shukaracharaya'. No, no! It is considered to be a bad name. This character gives an example, an illustration, of how not to be, a demonstration of how not to be. That is Onam, this Kerala festival.
Onam teaches us to go beyond body, mind AND intellect
The Kerala festival teaches us to go beyond the body, mind and intellect, symbolised by the three footsteps. The ‘three feet’ means the past, present and future in one interpretation. Now in this interpretation, the ‘three feet’ refers to the three levels of consciousness - the body, mind and intellect. Because I feel I am the body, I feel mighty. I feel very strong. I feel very handsome, though people tell me to my face, “You are not.” Because I identify with the body, I think that everybody wants to play with me. Identification with the body should be given up.
Identification with the mind should be dispensed with as early as possible because it is nothing but ego. When there is ego, my life is like a football game. Anybody can come along and kick an inflated football (ego) in any direction. Thada! Thada! (Anil Kumar simulates the noise of a football, bouncing from one side of the field to another.) The ball will never reach the goal. But on the other hand, when the football (ego) is deflated, when the air is taken out, it becomes a chapatti. It cannot be kicked; it has to be lifted up with both hands. So, identification with the mind is ego and that has got to be dispensed with.
Third, identification with the intellect: The intellect is also dangerous in the sense that it tries to justify all our mistakes.
“Why are you late?”
Instead of being apologetic, I will say, “Swami was late; therefore I am late.”
“You have no business. Are you following Swami’s timings? Then you must get up
at 4 o’clock everyday. Are you ready to do that?”
We find some excuse or other. We find some justification or other for our lapses and mistakes. It is nothing but the gimmick or mischief of the intellect. One should go beyond these three - body, mind and intellect. That is another meaning of the ‘three feet’ to be offered.
So, this is the meaning of Onam: surrender the three periods of time - past, present and future, and also the three levels of consciousness - body, mind and intellect.
The Body is useless
Another thing to be surrendered is this body. The body is useless - anybody can kill you! So this body is not reality. All that you see is not reality. This is the gross body; it is not reality. This is all matter; this is not reality. It has got atoms, molecules, neutrons, and protons. What you see is not reality. Therefore, the gross is not reality, so it must be given up.
Secondly, this body is maintained by life (prana) but, once again, life is not reality. Life may be withdrawn at anytime. We find lives dispatched everyday. So, life may be withdrawn at any point in time. The principle of life is uniform in everybody. How can you own it? How can you monopolise it? How can you copyright it? How can you patent it? Impossible.
So, there is the subtle body, the gross body and the causal body (karana).
Then there is the radiance, the brilliance, the true Self, the Atma. The
individual self must be given up. The gross (sthula), the subtle (sukshma)
and the individual self (karana) must be given up so that you may know
the mahakarana, the cosmic Self, super Self, super consciousness. So you
have to offer these three bodies to God. That is the message of Onam.
“I am in the light. The light is in me. I am the light.” These refer to the ‘three feet’ that God expects from you. As Jesus said, “I am the messenger of God. I am the Son of God. I and my Father in heaven are one.” These are the ‘three feet’ that God expects from you.
So, Onam is not a simple function. Onam is not a simple celebration. It has got depth and fundamental significance within it. This is what I wanted to say in the beginning.
TEAMWORK AND the SPIRIT OF UNITY
Let me once again congratulate the Kerala brothers and sisters for putting on such a wonderful program yesterday. The dances and music were extraordinary. I hail from the Sai organisation. I was the state president of the Sathya Sai Organisation of Andhra Pradesh. I know what strains they have taken, how many hours they spent preparing this performance. Particularly, training children is not an easy joke, plus bringing the children all the way from Kerala!
They brought all the cut-outs, decorative pieces, and costumes. That is not an ordinary thing. All the way from such a distance! Even the Naadaswaram team was from Kerala. The special decorations that you saw are all from Kerala. They really deserve all our appreciation. May Bhagavan bless them with many more opportunities to come in the future. (Applause) We are very proud of our Kerala brothers for inspiring others also. They have set the best example with their teamwork and spirit of unity. Their example is worth emulation.
All are one
Well, this morning I have a few thoughts to share with you in the brief time left. Because I am still thinking about the Onam celebrations, I wanted to say a few words about Onam first. Though I am not a Malayali, though I am not from Kerala, I believe that those in Prashanti Nilayam belong to all and all belong to Prashanti Nilayam.
We don’t belong to a state. We don’t belong to a country. We don’t identify ourselves with a particular language. Those who do are narrow-minded, dogmatic, fanatics. The fanatics, dogmatic, leftist terrorists have no place in Sai Rajya, in Sai Kingdom. All are one. All are one, whatever language you speak.
When the Christmas season appears, we are all drenched in the love of Jesus. It
takes a couple of days to dwell on the spirit of the Christmas season. At least
this is true for me. Yes, since I could, I was still dwelling on the spirit of
the Onam celebrations. Thus I spoke so long about it! But there are many more
topics to be shared with you also. On earlier occasions, prior to Onam, I shared
thoughts and details about Onam. Also, what Bhagavan has said about Onam is
available on the Internet for your information.
GOD TAKES HUMAN BIRTH FROM AGE TO AGE
This morning I would like to share with you a few definitions stated by Bhagavan
that are quite novel, quite new, unique and Divine. God takes human birth from
age to age to redefine age-old Vedantic dicta or philosophical
truths. The same message is reiterated; the same message is reaffirmed, in tune
with the socio-economic conditions of society and its system of living. These
are points stated by Bhagavan, which are quite novel, quite new, uplifting, and
worth pondering over. They deserve contemplation. We may have to reflect upon
these thoughts many times in order to benefit from His Divine message.
Japam keeps us free from thoughts about others
Repeating God’s Name again and again -- ’Om Sri Sai Ram’ or ‘Sai Ram’ or ‘Vasudevaya Namaha’ or ‘Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram’ -- is called japam. Take any Name of God and repeat it. This process is called japam.
Why do we do it? There are some people who underestimate japam. Why do
it? "It’s all lip service. It’s all a waste of time. Why should it be done?"
Japam, repeating God’s Name, like Jesus, Allah, Nanak, Buddha or of any form of your taste and choice, is what is called japam. What is the purpose behind this japam?
What is the main purpose? We have to check to see whether we have realised this purpose or not. If the purpose is not known well, then this japam is useless. So what is the endpoint? What is the objective of japam, according to Swami? How does it help us?
The purpose is this: In the process of japam, you don’t think of others. No, sir! I can think of others and repeat the Name of God, but this is not japam. It is just passing the time. It is an exhibition. It is lip service, a spiritual drama. Real japam is repeating God’s Name without thinking of others.
Why not think of others? Why not? All problems are because of this thinking of
others. When we stop thinking of others, we will be the happiest persons in the
"I have a TV, but you have a colour TV." Therefore, I am unhappy.
"I have a car, but you have the latest car." Therefore, I am miserable.
"Swami looked at me, but He took your letter." Therefore, I am unhappy.
"He took my letter, but He gave you an interview." Therefore, I don’t want to
eat my food tonight!
"I got an interview, but He gave you a chain." Therefore, I am not able to eat
and I am not able to sleep!!
We think of others. We calculate life in terms of comparison, my friends. This is the dirtiest thing that is making a monkey of our lives. In fact, here is no reason to cry; there is no reason to repent; there is no reason to regret. There is no reason to be unhappy. Because we love to be unhappy, we find one reason or another to be unhappy!
If I say,” Congratulations you got an interview,” you say, “Ah, I got only one interview.” (Laughter)
"Oh, I see." You want to get it everyday. But is an interview a newspaper affair?
“Sir, you have got a good accommodation. Very good.”
“Haan! But this accommodation is comparatively smaller than your
“Yes sir, you have a very good accommodation -- quite a spacious one.”
“No, no. I have accommodation here only. You have it in Bangalore also. I only
have it here.”
So, the mind prefers to be unhappy on silly, dirty, reasonless, unscientific grounds. It always wants to be sympathised with, so that everybody will say, “I am feeling sorry for you.” It is very a sorry state of affairs, a very sorry state of affairs.
LET’S SEE HOW THE MIND IS
Let’s see how the mind is. This process of japam, repeating God’s Name,
will help us to not think of others. When we do not think of others, all
problems of life are solved en mass, wholesale! All problems get solved.
When we compare ourselves with brothers, or neighbours or colleagues, where is
I am a standard unto myself! My friends, before I go to the next point, let me make it clear. Everyone is unique. Please believe in that. We are not xerox copies. We are not duplicates. We are not carbon copies. We are not a mob; we are not a crowd. So when I realise that I am unique, I have no reason to feel sad for anything.
So the sadness is our own creation. At least japam will help us to save that time. As you repeat God’s Name, it gives you no scope to think of others, ensuring happiness during that period. That’s why most of the people repeat God’s Name.
You find that Catholics carry rosaries or talismans. Most Hindus have japamalas and go on repeating God’s Name. Some people have a discipline of repeating the Name 108 times or even 10,000 times! Of course, the number may look silly, but at least until that number is completed, you will not think of others as you are in a hurry to complete the rounds! (Laughter) Or maybe you hurry to complete it so you won’t forget the number! You may say 100 or you may say 50, then you may say 15 minutes more. So, you are in a hurry to complete it; you don’t want to miss your number. Therefore, one, two, three, ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram, dha, dha, dha!’ Good. (Laughter) That is far better than thinking of others and making our life miserable. That is one advantage.
Put good and bad away during japam
During japam, we are not supposed to think of anything - neither mistakes
nor good deeds nor anything else. Suppose I committed some mistakes. Why
suppose? Most of us commit mistakes! The one who says he has not committed
mistakes is cheat number one, bogus. Keep him at a distance. We are humans,
after all. There is no point in thinking of what is already over. That’s why
Baba says, “Past is past. “
Let us not think of good deeds also. Why? They are completed. You have already done it; others are doing it now. It is over. Sit down. Even others may be doing much better than you! So, there is no point in counting all the good things done by you.
Baba gives a good example. After you climb the steps to reach a place, do you
count the number of steps? No. You have reached here already; the matter has
ended. Similarly, good and bad should not be thought of during the process of
japam or the repetition of God’s Name. This is the first point that I wanted
SATSANGH IS BEING TOGETHER
Jnana Vahini, Dhyana Vahini, Upanishad Vahini, Dharma Vahini all speak of these precious thoughts, which I have collected and am sharing with you. I remind you once again. I am just a teacher. I collect the data and put it in front of you. Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am an expert on this topic or that I have experience with this topic. No! I am as good as anybody, and also as bad as anybody, if not much worse!
So we are just learning together, understanding together, investigating together and comprehending together. This togetherness is called satsangh. Satsangh is being together, sharing the knowledge. It is not only uni-directional flow of information. It is not mono-action. It is not uni-directional. It is the sharing of thoughts.
Meditation helps develop self-control AND mind-control
In this second topic, there are some thoughts collected from Sai literature about meditation or dhyanam.
Why should we meditate? If we meditate, what are the results? If the results are not positive, if the purpose of meditation is not realised, does it mean that something is wrong, that there is some error in the password, or some error in the ID (user) name? Is it like some error made when an email cannot be sent? As I find most of the people gathered here are accustomed to email, I think this example will fit everybody! So, this email is not going? Why? Is it because of an error in the password? Is it because of an error in the ID name? Similarly, some error in the process of meditation is responsible for not obtaining positive results.
What are the results of meditation? What are the fruits of meditation? Why should meditation be taken up? Bhagavan mentions two points: One, meditation will help you to develop self-control; and two, meditation will help you to develop mind-control. One can have control of the body and the mind by the process of meditation only.
Only Intellect can control the mind
Like a spoilt child, the mind refuses to be controlled. So, the mind refuses to
be controlled. The mind cannot control itself because it is uncontrollable. So
what is to be done? You should go beyond the mind. When the clerk is
irregular, when the clerk is dishonest, when the clerk is horribly, terribly
corrupt and refuses to do his work, you cannot correct him. He refuses to be
corrected. So what do you do? Go to the boss. He will set him right! He will
“If I see you taking bribes, you will be dismissed!”
“If I see you reporting late to the office, you will be suspended!” So, the boss will correct him; but the clerk won’t correct himself because he enjoys extra money.
Similarly, the mind refuses to correct itself because it feeds on silly things. It derives happiness out of simple things. It sustains itself on silly grounds. At times, it gets its strength from shameful thoughts or humiliating situations. It refuses to correct itself.
So, who is the boss of the mind? The boss of the mind is the intellect. It is something like a cursor. Yes, click on that cursor, and the intellect will say which is correct and which is wrong. Are you sure or not? Yes or no. Two boxes are there. Are you sure this can be deleted or not? Are you sure? It is the intellect that will say, ‘Are you sure? Good or bad? Are you sure whether Baba would approve this or not? Are you sure whether Baba would be pleased by this act or not?’
So, go to the boss. The boss will tell you whether something is good or not. The boss is what I call the 'inner voice', the conscience or the Master speaking within. This Master who is directing from within, the conscience, the inner voice will tell us what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong, what is to be done, and what is not to be done. Therefore my friends, through this process of the intellect being the boss of the mind, we are able to control the mind.
The mind never controls itself
The mind never controls itself. People may say, “I have got a good idea to control the mind. I have scotch whiskey to control the mind.”
I see. Scotch whiskey may control the mind for a short time, but then it becomes uncontrollable, at double the rate more than before. Then the body falls sick because of liver damage. So scotch whiskey is not a solution to controlling the mind!
Some people say, “Sir, when I sleep, the mind is controlled.”
I see. The mind is not controlled; it is just waiting to get up any time! You may think a dog is sleeping. But go anywhere near it and you’ll enjoy the joke -- fourteen injections around the navel! (Anil Kumar is referring to a series of injections that treat rabies, contracted through a rabid dog bite.) The dog may appear to be sleeping, but it is not sleeping! It can feel and hear your footsteps. Am I not right? So during sleep, the mind is like a sleeping dog, ready to pounce upon you at anytime! Thus, it is not controlled.
What is it that controls the mind? During meditation, when you go beyond the body and mind, the intellect is awakened. The awakening of the intellect is called 'intuition'. It is called the 'inner voice'. It is from that awakening of the intellect that discrimination is exercised. Judgement and discretion follow. Judgement and discrimination by the intellect are beyond the body. During the process of meditation, the mind gets controlled.
This dog is jumping, frowning at me. Who can control the dog? The master of the house.
"Hey Jackie, come here!" Right? You cannot control the dog. The nearer you go to
it, it is ready to attack. If you run away, it chases you. That has been my
experience quite a number of times. That’s why I am very much scared of dogs!
A long time ago when I was visiting my friend in the USA, he introduced me to
his first son, his second son, and all that. Finally he said, “This is Caesar.”
I thought Caesar was his third son, but Caesar was the name of the dog! It came so close to me, and it was ready to climb upon me like Sherpa Tensing who climbed Mount Everest! I was very much scared.
Then that man said, “Can’t you say hello to Caesar? 'Hello, hello, hello,
Caesar.' Can’t you say hello to Caesar, Mr. Anil?”
Then he goes on to tell me, “Caesar had his graduation from Columbia University.
"Oh, I see."
“Also Caesar won so many trophies,” he said, as if the dog was a human being. So that is a different way of the world altogether!
intellect is the reflection of THE self
So my friends, when you go beyond the mind, when the intellect says what is right, then that is the fulfilment of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to go beyond the mind, to be closer to the intellect.
Why? Intellect is the reflection of the Self. This intellect is nothing but the reflection of the Self or Atma. That’s why the intellect is called ‘Buddhi grahsyam itendriyam.’ It is beyond the senses or the mind, and it is the reflection of the Self.
So, follow your intellect and not the mind. Mind is a mad monkey; don’t follow the mind. Body is a water bubble; don’t follow the body. Follow the intellect, which is beyond the body and the mind, closer to the Self. It is the very reflection of the Self, which will guide us along the right line. That is the purpose of dhyanam or meditation.
MEditation dispels ignorance
Another advantage of meditation is that it dispels ignorance. Ignorance. What is ignorance? In spiritual philosophy, ignorance means false identification. Suppose I am the principal of the college. I am not going to be the principal of the college until the last day of my life. This position of principal is only held until I retire. If I identify myself with the position, that is ignorance.
“You know, Mr. Anil Kumar, I have a ten-bedroom house.”
"I see. Good." You cannot identify yourself with your property.
Ramana Maharishi says, “Do not consider that you are the owner of the property.”
Do not consider yourself to be the owner of the property. No. You are the
caretaker of your property. You are the custodian of your property. You have to
maintain your property. You should not abuse or misuse your property. You are
the watchdog of your property. I think I am clear. When once you feel that you
are the owner of your property, then tragedy comes. All the ills, all the evil,
all the vices will certainly follow when you claim ownership. No, I am the
custodian of my property.
Therefore, this dhyanam or meditation will remove all the false identification with position, nationality, language, personality and profession. All these are false identifications. Well, I identify with my body. I think that I look presentable. Well okay, but five years later, I am awful to look at! How can you identify with your body?
Just look at our own photographs. Twenty years ago, look how we were. People are happy with their photo albums. Truly speaking, they should be sources of unhappiness also, because we were so handsome then, with curly hair and all that, and now we are bald-headed! A comb is no longer necessary. (Laughter) Then we were so lean, trim, slim and smart. Today, we are gasping for breath just climbing down the steps! (Laughter) Can I feel proud of my photographs? They are reasons for unhappiness. So, the photo album teaches the lesson of life -- that you are not the body.
On the other hand, if I go on looking at my photograph taken thirty years ago,
when I looked like a romantic hero, if I go on telling everybody, “That was how
I was,” people will say, “Thank you. I’ll see you later!”
Living in the past has no truth today; it has no relevance today; it has no pertinence today; it has no application today; it is meaningless today. The photo album tells us that we are not the body. Perhaps any number of physical discourses, any number of spiritual discourses, may not help us to know that we are not the body. At least the album will help us to see that. Do you know that some people have photographs right from the time of their birth?
Just by repeating ‘Hari Om Tat Sat’ one will become deeply spiritual. Therefore, to go beyond the body and mind, meditation is the only process.
Meditation helps us go beyond name and form
As Baba says, the next step in the process of meditation is to slowly increase the period of meditation, the period of contemplation, the period of identification with the Self beyond the body and mind, with the true Self consciousness, with the true Self awareness. Slowly, slowly name and form vanish. The name and form that you meditate upon vanish. I think of Baba as a name. I think of Baba as a form. But in meditation, you go on meditating more and more. Then that name and form slowly vanish.
Why? Name and form are outside; nameless and formless are inside. So the process of meditation will help us to go beyond name and form. It will help us to go beyond body and mind. And this dispels darkness, dispels ignorance - the false identification with nation, language, or profession.
THE MEDITATOR IS MISSING!
The final stage, the essence, the topmost rung in the ladder of meditation (according to Ramana Maharishi) is that the meditator will be missing. There is no meditator any longer. I am meditating. I meditate from 5:00 to 5:30. This is the first step. Then this ‘I’ ness is forgotten when I forget myself, when I am lost, when there is nobody to say that the process of meditation is going on. Meditation started at that time will end at that time, because the meditation is going on, but there is nobody to report to, as the meditator is missing!
The reason is that the meditator and the one meditated upon are one and the same. That’s why Baba says, ‘I am God and you are also God.” It means that the meditator and the one meditated upon become one. There is nobody to report to, nobody to tell anything to. That is the state of bliss in the process of meditation.
We’ll take more of these ideas from Swami’s discourses slowly, one at a time, because they have got all such depth!
I repeat once again that I have heard Bhagavan for many years and thus, I am able to follow Ramana Maharishi. I am able to follow Aurobindo. I am able to follow Swami Yogananda. I could also know the underlying unity of all these things. I could also know that the Truth is one, ‘Ekam Sat, Vipraha Bahuda Vadhanti.’ I think that the Bhagavad Gita is better understood after going through Sai literature. The Brahma Sutras, which are very tough, are better understood after having gone through Sai literature.
I thank each and every one of you individually. I come here fully prepared and
for that preparation I needed some time. To prepare, I read, gather and collect
information. You are helping me to do this, and I am highly indebted to you. I
am very grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to read and collect that
material because the best way to learn is to teach. The best way to learn is to
teach because unless the teacher understands thoroughly and clearly, it is tough
to teach as the teacher cannot communicate properly. Individually to every one
of you, I am very grateful to you. Next time, next week, same day, same time, we
will meet again. Sai Ram.
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