“Professor Anil Kumar’s Talk in Seattle, USA”
May 2, 2009
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
My humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of our most beloved Bhagavan! I am extremely grateful to you for your kind invitation. This visit was long overdue. Perhaps Bhagavan decided that I should visit this place this year (Applause), better late than never. I have visited several places, organising youth workshops during this trip. Seattle is the last one, the pinnacle, the zenith the climax (Applause)!
Those familiar with mythology must know the description of Kailash, Lord Shiva’s abode. Lord Shiva performs the celestial dance Tandava in Kailash Mountains. In Rainier Mountain in Seattle, I can see Shiva Tandava (Applause). I was so excited! As the flight started landing, I saw the beautiful mountain range covered by a glittering silver sheet from the touch of the sun’s rays, like a beautiful bride. Oh God, how beautiful You are! You don’t need to go anywhere other than the great Seattle to feel God in reality; to see the Creator in action in the form of His creation. Every second I can feel the presence of Bhagavan.
I drove all around with my friend Harish. The route is the same as the one in Kodaikanal. It’s almost like in the west, Kodaikanal is called Seattle. And it doesn’t end with the route; the river and the building in front of it looked exactly like Sai Shruti, the official residence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Kodaikanal.
Swami, have You hijacked Kodaikanal and brought it to Seattle? I don’t miss Him, because I see the similar ambience everywhere. Thanks to Swami for the beautiful boat ride I enjoyed yesterday. I will share with you what Bhagavan said.
During Swami’s visit to Kodaikanal, I followed Him for six times in six years. (The conversations between me and Bhagavan Baba resulted in the publication of two books: Sathyopanishad, Volume 1 and 2.) Every time He asked boys to go for a boat ride, He would pay for them also. He gave them money to go for the boat ride. When He asked me to go for the boat ride I said, “Swami, they are boys, I can understand. But how can I go?”
“Oh, you don’t want to go alone. You want your wife to be beside you.”
It was my mistake; I should have gone immediately without asking any questions! (Laughter)
“I have a number of rooms here. Shall we bring her here?” He asked.
“Swami, it is not necessary.” (Laughter)
So, the boat ride I had yesterday was the replica what we enjoyed annually in Kodai. Bhagavan, I don’t miss Kodai surroundings, I don’t miss Kodai mountain range, I don’t miss Kodai rides, and I don’t miss Kodai scenery and greenery. That’s what Seattle is. I am extremely happy about it! (Applause)
This morning my friend, Sri C. G. Krishnamurthy, the former State President of Sathya Sai Organisation of Tamil Nadu called me from Kodaikanal. He said, “Mr. Anil Kumar, How are you? We miss you.”
I told him, “You may miss me, but I don’t miss Bhagavan. I don’t miss Kodaikanal, because Seattle is Kodaikanal.”
Here in this building is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, moving amongst us! (Applause) I am sharing this with my friends; these feelings come from the bottom of my heart. How Swami makes you feel that He is always with you, behind you, below you, above you, in you!
There are three levels of understanding God. The first level is thinking. Some people would like to think about God. Let them think about Him. Thinking will land you nowhere. I am very hungry. If I think about pizza, it will not satiate my hunger. If I am very thirsty and I think about Cokes or Sprite, my thirst will not be quenched. So, thinking will land you nowhere.
Veda Vedangamulu Valle Vesi Vunna, Padya Gadyambhu Goorpa Kaligi Vunna
You may recite Vedas, you may recite all sacred texts, and you may compose poems.
Chitta Suddhi Leka Yunna Chedunu Veedu, Chitta Suddhi Leka Yunna Chedunu Veedu,
Sathyamaina Maata Ee Sai Maata
You may be a composer, you may be a scholar, you might be reciting Vedas,
But without purity of heart that is useless, that is useless.
These are poems written by Baba. Never mistake that I have written them. I have not touched that area so far. I am not capable of writing poetry either. What does He say?
Veda Vidyalella Velayanga Thata Viduyu.
You may go through all the sacred texts.
Maatalanda Nerpu Nipunudayyu.
You may articulate nice sentences, you may give nice sermons.
Samskaari Kaakunna Padunuleni Bhoomi Pandanatle, Sathyamaina Maata Ee Sai Maata.
Just like you cannot expect any kind of crop out of barren land, scholarship from a barren heart is useless.
Therefore my friends, thinking is not enough.
He is a great thinker. Finished! (Laughter) Let him complete his life at that level. Thinking, after all, is the beginning. Thinking will make you accumulate knowledge. Thinking will help you read books. Thinking will help you to assimilate, to take, to digest, to receive, to study, and to read all that is contained on paper in the form of books. If you go through history, I am not exaggerating; most of the thinkers ended their lives in lunatic asylum! Too much of thinking will never take you anywhere.
The process of thinking is related to the human head. You think with your head. Head is the external world; head is physical, worldly and full of ego. Head manipulates and manages. We want to go by the head only, so we have become heartless creatures. Thinking is not enough. Thinking is accumulating, collecting, understanding, and apprehending, that’s all.
By just purchasing vegetables from a grocery store, you cannot have a banquet or a lunch. All these things will have to be cooked. It is not enough to cook them; they also have to be partaken. There are three steps involved: buying the vegetables, cooking them and then consuming them. Thinking is akin to purchasing vegetables. If we limit it to that, we become headstrong and arrogant. You may also become an intellectual.
We say that he is an intellectual, but he has no common sense. Baba Himself has said this several times. He gives the example of Sir Isaac Newton who did research in his laboratory. He had a pet cat that disturbed him while he was deeply involved in research. He loved the cat very much. To ensure that the cat won’t disturb him, he called the carpenter and asked him to make a big hole in the door, so that the cat can conveniently jump in and out, without disturbing his research. Convenient!
Later, the cat gave birth to three kittens. He called the same carpenter and asked him to make three more holes for the kittens. The carpenter laughed and said, “Sir, one hole is enough for the cat and kittens to get in and out. Why four holes?” Then Isaac Newton realised what a fool he was! (Laughter)
What is common sense? Common sense is a rare and enviable thing. Common sense is not common. The word is ‘common’ but ‘sense’ is uncommon! Most intellectuals do not have common sense. Swami refers to one scientist, with no malice or ill will. It is a fact and I am sharing it with you. He is a great scientist, a member of the scientific advisory board working in the central university at the national level, and former Vice Chancellor of several universities, who spent a long time in the company of Bhagavan.
Swami saw him searching for something. Swami asked, “What are you searching for?”
“Swami, I lost my glasses.”
“Have you? They are on your nose. You are wearing them!” This gentleman was actually wearing his glasses. But he thought he wasn’t and kept searching.
This happened in the case of Dr. S. Bhagavantham, a member of the scientific advisory board in those days. Therefore, my friends, mere thinking will not help us. I will give another example. These are all from Sai literature; nothing is my own. I repeat that 1000 times so that no one will mistake me.
There was a great scholar who read books and gave discourses in the temple. But he had a habit of having hot coffee in the morning. After that, he could speak better. One lady used to bring milk for this scholar everyday from the neighbouring village. But she was always late. He scolded her badly. “Don’t you know that you should get the milk by five o’clock? I need the first cup of coffee by six, so why are you late?”
“Sir, why do you scold me? The boatman has to bring me here. All VIPs and other people get into the boat first. So I am late.”
The scholar said, “Sing bhajans so that the river will split and you can walk through and bring me the milk. Don’t you know that much?”
“Ah, I see.” That lady left.
Next day it was raining, but this lady brought the milk on time at five o’clock. He was surprised. He asked, “How could you get here on time?”
“Sir, yesterday you asked me to repeat God’s name. I repeated God’s name and the river gave me the way, so I am here on time.” (Applause)
The scholar asked, “What? The river gave you the way? Let me check.”
He followed her, because he wanted to see how the river split. This lady was in the front and the scholar behind. The lady walked singing “Govinda Gopala Hey Nanda Lala, Radhe Gopala, Gopi Gopala, Mera Ke Natha Prabhu Murali Gopala. Govardhana Udhara Gopala Bala Radhe Gopala, Gopi Gopala.”
When this lady started singing the river parted, (Whosh!) like that (Laughter), exactly like that! (Applause) This lady could walk through; the scholar was coming behind. He feared he might drown. He was lifting his dhoti, but the water started rising. This fellow sank, but that lady could go. That’s what it is. The scholar had all the thinking process, but no practical experience.
Swami gives another example. In India, priests give talks in temples on great epics like Bhagavatham, Mahabharata, and Ramayana. In one such session, one great scholar was speaking on Bhagavatham. He started describing the jewels of Lord Krishna. Among the audience there was a thief who heard all that.
‘What is the fun of stealing a bit every day?’ he thought. ‘If I steal the jewels of Lord Krishna, I can be done for life! Why should I bother with retail, when wholesale is better?’ He came to the scholar and said, “Sir, what are the jewels of Krishna?”
The scholar described Krishna’s jewels in detail.
The thief asked, “Sir, where is Krishna?” (Laughter)
This fellow had no answer. He is an innocent guy.
“If you don’t tell me the address of Krishna, you cannot go home tonight—understand that! And there will be no talk from tomorrow onwards.” (Laughter)
The scholar was afraid of the situation and said, “Don’t worry, boy. Go to the outskirts of the village and stand until Krishna comes. He will come there.” He only said it so he could go home.
So the poor guy went to the outskirts of the village and stood there. He thought of Krishna constantly for three days. On the fourth day, Krishna appeared in front of him, covered in jewels from top to bottom. The thief was noting the jewels and ticking off a mental list: ‘Jewel #1, okay! Jewel # two, okay!’ (Laughter) And then, when he opened his eyes, Krishna disappeared!
A big bag lay in front of him. He opened it. It contained all the jewels of Krishna. Then he thought of what he should steal now. Should he take the whole bundle? Then he started feeling, “Oh Krishna, if I take the earrings, how your devotees will see you? The earrings are far better on You than anybody else; so I shall not take the earrings, Oh Lord.”
“How about stealing the chain? If I steal the chain, how can the devotees look at Your chest. You are so beautiful Krishna; let me not do it.”
Eventually, he could not touch any of the jewels at all. Lord Krishna stood behind him. Basically, the scholar knew about the jewels of Krishna, but he never saw them because his knowledge was only limited to the thinking process. The head process is like a library, a computer disk, or a DVD. He memorised the jewels, but had no feeling for them or experience of them. Therefore my friends, in life we begin thinking, we learn, we study, and we read. But that is not the be-all and end-all.
That thinking should go to the next step, which is feeling. Thinking is the job of the head, while feeling is the job of the heart. People say, ‘wholeheartedly’; nobody says, ‘wholeheadedly’. (Laughter) It’s wrong usage. Nobody will say, “I offer my thanks to you wholeheadedly.”
Unless he is dumb-headed, no one will say that because head means nothing. All our intellectuality, all our knowledge-ability, all our vocabulary is just an almirah (cupboard), that’s all.
Pustakamulu Mastakamunu Maarchutaku Kaadu,
It is not enough if you collect books here.
Let it be retained, let it seep into the heart.
Of what use is the water in the water tank if it is not drawn? For worship or for what? That water should come here; you should be able to draw water out of the tank.
That tank represents thinking. Eventually it should come down to the heart and that represents feeling. What is the difference between the heart and the head? The heart feels; it’s receptive, sensitive and simple. It is the dwelling place, the altar of God. “A pure heart is the temple of God,” says Bhagavan Baba.
Ishwara Hrudyesa Arjuna Thishtathi
In Bhagavad Gita it is said, Ishwara (God), Hrudyesa (in the realm of the kingdom of the heart) Thishtathi (God resides over there in the human heart)
Heart is pure and sensitive. Heart responds to feelings. How does heart speak out or respond?
Here is a simple example. When Bhagavan passes by you in the lines, holding the red robe with one hand, waving the other hand into the empty air, you stare at Him and you forget yourself. He adjusts His hair with one hand and His beautiful finger moves this way and that way, and you wonder, “My Lord, how beautiful You are!”
As He passes by you, to your astonishment, to your total surprise, tears start rolling down your eyes. Why? Nobody knows.
If someone asks, “Why are you crying?”
“Am I crying? No, I am not crying. I didn’t realise there were tears in my eyes.” That’s your response.
Therefore, tears roll down your cheeks without your awareness. That is the sensitive heart. A sensitive heart, by the mere darshan of Bhagavan, can be brought to tears. And not only that, a sensitive heart is lost in rapture and ecstasy from listening to bhajans. Bhajans are not entertainment or a music concert. Bhajans represent the rhythm of the heart. They are the pulse and heartbeat of life. The one who does not like bhajans is dead and gone. Bhajans make our heart beat. It is God’s name that pulsates, reverberates, and echoes. That is the feeling of the heart.
And how is the heart sensitised? Once the heart is sensitised, when I look at a poor man, I feel like giving him something. When I look at a student with a serious face, I feel like going to him and making him smile. That’s my job in the university. Apart from teaching botany, I watch some students who are a little bit serious. I go to them and make them laugh. I don’t leave them until they laugh.
Sometimes I also tell them that if they are serious now, then at my age, they will have to roll on the street. They are young fellows and they should be happy. That’s what I tell them. So I crack some jokes to make them happy. That’s my job. They need not be botany students. Students are students.
I know one student who was gloomy, as if he consumed one bottle of castor oil! (Laughter) I was tired of his long face. I asked him, “Hey boy, why are you like that? You didn’t fare well in the examination? Or your warden trashed you? Or you are bullied by your roommates? What’s wrong with you?”
“No, Sir.” (Laughter)
I see. “What is your name?”
“Sir, my name is Manish.”
“Manisha Koirala, what is this? You are Manisha Koirala, the film actress! You cannot be like that.”
“Sir, Manisha Koirala?” (Laughter)
He was very happy. And now that fellow is drawing a hundred thousand rupees monthly salary! He came to Prashanti Nilayam after four years. He had put on weight too, so I could not recognise him.
He said, “Sai Ram, Sir.”
I said, “I cannot remember you.”
“Manisha Koirala, Sir!” (Laughter)
We cannot see anybody serious or crying or worried. We cannot see anybody in troubled waters, because the heart responds. The heart is sensitive so it reacts.
Bhagavan gave one example. One modern fellow, a computer student, was passing by a river. He saw a yogi having his bath in the river. And that yogi would get up every now and then, and then drop back into water. What is going on, he wondered?
He noticed that every time he came up, a scorpion crawled on his finger. When it stung him, he would drop it back into the water, and then he would collect that scorpion again. It bites, he drops. This romance was going on. (Laughter)
The fellow thought that this yogi must be crazy. ‘Why does he collect it every time, even though he gets bitten like that?’ He goes to him and says, “Sir, why do you pick the scorpion up every time even though it bites you?”
And that yogi said, “Biting is its nature. To save life is my nature. When it does not give up its biting nature, why should I give up my helpful nature. That is the nature of the heart.” (Applause)
That is the nature of the heart! I shall not give up my love. I shall not give up my nature of being helpful to somebody. I shall not give up my nature of trying to answer to or cater to the requirements of the people around. That is the nature of the heart.
Heart is the seat of Love. Of all the words in the dictionary, the most misunderstood word is the four-lettered word LOVE. Love is misunderstood. People say, “I love you.” Others say, “No one loves me.” Oh! How do you know that no one loves you? How do you say that you love someone?
My friends, only those who have love within, can share love. An empty heart cannot give love to anybody. A beggar cannot donate; he is already a pauper. If I go with some donation list, he will ask me to join him. Therefore, the heart that is devoid of love, cannot give love to anybody.
Bhagavan gives love to everybody because He is the fountain of love, the embodiment of love, and the very metaphor of love. He is love personified, walking on two feet in our midst. So He can share it, whereas we ask for love. Asking for love is the sign of a beggar. An asking heart will never receive love; but a sharing heart can receive love. So let us have that sharing, caring heart, not the one that asks God for love.
Then, what is love? Once Swami asked V.K. Gokak, a great Vice Chancellor and an eminent man in English literature, “Gokak, yemi love ante chepu choostanu?” (“Gokak, what is love? Tell Me, let Me see.”)
He said, “Swami, how can I define it so briefly? A big volume has to be written. I cannot describe it so briefly.”
“Aa sarele kuchu. It’s okay, sit down.”
Then Swami asked several people to define love. People gave their own definitions, long and short ones. He said that all of them were successfully failures.
Then Baba defines love this way: “Selflessness is love. Lovelessness is self.” Come on, tell me! Who can give such a definition other than Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba? Nobody can give such a simple definition! (Applause)
Selflessness is love. So long there is self, there is no love. What do you mean by self? From the ordinary sense, I mean I-ness. What are you? I am Anil Kumar. Oh I see. Are you born as Anil Kumar? No. My parents named me later. I am not the name. Outer illusion is the name and form. Inner illusion is I-ness or ego. Unless we come out of this illusion or delusion, we cannot experience love. Where there is ego, there cannot be love at all.
Many people speak on the platform, “Love all, serve all.” That is political. That fellow who says “Love all, serve all” loves none and serves none. Therefore my friends, when we are without ego, when we are without I-ness, there is love. In the presence of ego, there is no place for love.
Let me give a simple example. Once darkness went to God and complained, “This hopeless sun spoils my sleep as it rises very early.”
(In the US, though it is 7:30 pm, it is still bright outside. Perhaps darkness has more to complain about here. What surprises me is that in India, when it is dark or twilight, we feel like eating. But here we cannot eat because it is bright daylight at 8:30! Hari Om! So we have to eat based on the watch, not otherwise. Interesting!
So this darkness went and complained, “Oh God, the sun is disturbing me. The sun doesn’t allow me to rest and relax.”
Then God asked the sun, “Come on fellow, you shouldn’t do it. He has equal rights to relax.”
Sun said, “Oh God, where is darkness? I want to know. I am not competing with darkness. Where is darkness?”
It means that where there is light, there is no darkness. Absence of light is darkness. Presence of light is absence of darkness. Similarly, ego and love cannot go together. Love will find its place in an egoless heart. Do we know what love is? How to love?
A woman was being pelted with stones because people thought that she behaved in an undisciplined way by committing adultery. Jesus Christ walked gently, silently, majestically with a compassionate look and asked everybody stop.
” What is going on here?” he asked.
Everyone said; “Lord, this woman is guilty, therefore the law of the land is to pelt stones at her until death. That’s what we are doing.”
Then Jesus said, “Anyone who has not committed any sin so far can throw the stones at her.”
Everyone left. All of us are sinful and guilty in some way or other. We have no business to point fingers at others. Everybody left. Then Christ came close to her and said,” Look here I have not committed any sin. Look here, mother, I shall not throw stones at you. Go forth; thy sins are forgiven.” That is the compassionate Lord Jesus Christ, who knows how to give and forgive.
Jesus attended a wedding. There was enough fish and wine to feed only twenty people; but five hundred people attended that holy wedding. Everyone came and said, “Lord, along with You so many people came.”
Just as many guests follow Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to Kodaikanal or Bombay, wherever He goes! If I invite Baba, I should be prepared to host one hundred people. So those who want to host Baba in Seattle should be ready to serve food for one hundred people. Let all volunteers be ready! (Applause. You cannot have Baba alone. Impossible! He is always surrounded.
Rajadi Raja Rajendra Sai Jagavadana.
Jaya Jaga Raghu Nandana Jai Janaki Jeevana. Rajadi Raja.
He is the King of Kings, not just an ordinary king. He comes with a battalion of people!
So, Jesus saw the inconvenient position of the householder. He told them not to worry, but to take him to the kitchen. In the kitchen he found empty barrels. The Lord touched them and they were full of fish and wine enough for five hundred people. What a giving Lord, forgiving Lord, Jesus Christ!
It was in Kodaikanal—I am the proof. It was Eswaramma Day celebrations on May 6th and it was the first year of my service in Bangalore. In the first year, we can commit some mistakes and they will be forgiven, that being honeymoon period! (Laughter) Second year, you will be under observance; and the third year, the reaction begins.
So, that first year I was just moving like a child in front of Bhagavan. Somebody called me to the kitchen. “Sir, we prepared food for one thousand people. The food is exhausted, but one thousand more are coming! What we shall do? Please tell Swami.”
Like a fool, I went to Him. (Laughter) “Swami!”
“Tell me what the matter is?”
“Food is over, Swami.”
Yenti yenti chepu?” (What, what, tell Me?)
“Shut up. I don’t want anybody to say Aiypoyindi. I don’t want anybody to say the food is exhausted. No! Go back and see.”
Please believe me; you can check with anybody, my friends. I will give their addresses also. By the time I went to the kitchen, all vessels were full of sambar and rice enough for three thousand people! Forgiving Lord Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! (Applause)
Then I went to Swami. “Yemantivi Appa?” (What did you say?)
“Aiyapondi Annanu Swami” (I said the food is over.)
“Aiypoyindi kadu. Saripoyindi Annavayya.” (Don’t say it’s over; say it’s enough for distribution.)
That’s what Bhagavan said. Our giving, forgiving and compassionate God Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! That is the definition of love. Definition of love is giving and forgiving.
“Swami I have made so many mistakes. My life is not a blank paper. It is not a clean sheet. I have committed mistakes. “
“Yem Bangaru Atla Chesedi.” (Past is past; don’t cry, my dear child.) That’s our forgiving Bhagavan.
Therefore, do we know what love is? We have no idea. We limit our idea of love to the physical level. We limit love to the sensual level. We limit love to the selfish level. But we don’t understand the universal, cosmic level of love.
One follower Mary Magdalene invites Jesus Christ, “Lord, would you step into my house?”
And Jesus smiled and said, “Mother, I sleep under the tree. I am going.”
Then Magdalene said, “Oh Lord, can’t you rest for sometime at my residence. Can’t you step in?”
And Jesus said, “The moment you invited me, I am there. I don’t have to come in. The moment you invited me, I am there.”
That’s why Baba says, “If you say, ‘Swami’, I will say, ‘Yemi? What do you want?’ ”
If you say “Sai”, He will say, “Oyi, what is it that you want?” That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, so giving and forgiving, at our call every moment whenever we want Him. That is Love, Love supreme.
I also remember that one year mass weddings were celebrated in Prashanti Nilayam. At that time the chief minister was to be present. But his arrival was delayed. Politicians always come late because that shows their level. It seems if they are punctual, they are not leaders. So this man came very late.
For your information, our Bhagavan does not take anything other than a glass of water at 6 am. At 12:30 He has two spoons of ragi (a local kind of millet grain) malt and a little rasam (pepper and tomato soup) for lunch. He doesn’t take anything that we consume. In that department, man is better than God Himself! (Laughter)
So what happened? The minister’s arrival was delayed. It was 12:30. Bhagavan was sitting there; He didn’t have anything, not even a glass of water. He was sending apples and bananas to everybody. Then I slowly went close and asked, “Swami?”
“Ah yemi?” (What happened?)
“Swami, You did not take anything. You did not have even a sip of water. You didn’t eat anything, Swami. It is already 12:30. You give us apples and bananas. How about you, Swami? Why don’t you eat?”
This is the statement of Bhagavan. “Bangaru, why should I eat? When all of you eat, I don’t have to eat.”
I see. When you eat a sweet, how I can say that I have eaten? We don’t do that. Our attitude is: serve me first and then later you eat. (Laughter) Only Baba says that when we eat, He doesn’t have to eat.
“Yemi Swami atla antaru?” (Why do you say like that?)
“Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva Praninaam Deha Mastritaha. What is your prayer? Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhutva: ‘All this food is an offering to God.’ Well, all that you have eaten has reached Me, so I don’t have to eat,” said Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Divine Lord. That is love.
Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, nailed on both his palms and feet as well. A crown of thorns was kept on the head. There was heavy bleeding on the face. Many people started crying. What does the Lord say? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” said Jesus Christ on the cross.
Some people came to Swami and said, “Swami, many people criticise You and write articles against You. There is so much rubbish against You. What is this Swami?”
Do you know what Baba said? “All those who praise Me are the size of this mountain. All those who criticise Me are of the size of this mountain. I am busy blessing both of them at the same time because they are happy praising Me and these are happy criticising Me.”
“Love is My form, Truth is My breath, bliss is My food. You are blissful by criticising Me. Another is blissful by praising Me. Bliss is God. God is bliss. That is love. Love is non-dual. Love is neither praise nor blame. It is neither pain nor gain. It is neither pleasure nor displeasure. Love is unconditional.”
Once the boys said, “Swami, You have done so much for us. You have given us free education, Bhagavan. We left our parents long back. You gave us degrees without us having to pay You anything. How shall we express our gratitude to you, Bhagavan?”
Do you know what He said? “No Bangaru, you don’t have to express any gratitude. Bring good name to your parents, to your country, to this University. That is enough gratitude for Me. You don’t have to do anything for Me,” said Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who is selflessness embodied. There isn’t an iota of selfishness in Him. That is supreme love—a wonderful demonstration to the entire humanity today. So the heart represents unconditional love.
The pure drinking water provided through Swami’s water project in Chennai has benefited multitudes of people. But many people do not know that it is given by Sathya Sai Baba. There are no boards or advertisements. But what do we do? If I donate this, what do I do? On one corner, I write ‘Anil’ and over here, ‘Kumar - 1942, India, Andhra Pradesh’. (Laughter) I want my name to be written on all sides. If it is a ceiling fan, I want my name on all the blades. (But there should be a power-cut so you can read my name!) (Laughter)
Love knows no publicity. Love knows no propaganda. Love is not an advertising agency. Love is your birthright. Love is your very nature. But unfortunately, that true, selfless, unconditional, non-dual, blissful, Divine love has not been our experience till now.
So what shall I do, my friends? If you want water, dig deep and make a well. Take a crow bar and break the surface. Remove all the stones and sand in the way. There underneath you find the stream or current of water.
So to experience the current of Love, which is present in the well of our heart, we must remove the sand of selfishness, the boulder of ego and the pebbles of jealousy. Let us remove them, so that we can experience this incessant flow of love. Therefore my friends, thinking in the head should go down to our hearts, to the level of feeling.
The third level is being - thinking, feeling, and being. What is being? It is for the being, not for the time being. Understand. ‘Time being’ is different from ‘being’. Being is existence. Being is the reality. If you think what you are, you think of the body. Everyone stands before the mirror. ‘Yes, how am I? Am I presentable?’ That is not the being.
What about what others think you are? Others think that you are a citizen, an individual. My friends, if you think that you belong to a crowd or a group, then you are one in a mob. You are like sheep or cows. No. But we are not a gang or a group. Everyone is created uniquely. That is the beauty of creation. No two are alike. So you are not the body. You are not the individual, as society thinks of you. Who are you then?
Being is your reality. Why? The body falls down (passes) eventually. I understand that in China, a body has been preserved with chemicals in a case for over 200 years. But a body cannot be there forever.
If you are the body, it should stay the same. But a few years ago, we were all handsome. Today we feel ashamed of our own looks. After ten years, we may break the mirror because it’s not reflecting us properly! (Laughter) If you’re the body, it should hold the same beauty and continue to be as handsome as before.
A stone is so hard that we can have our name written on it. In our temple, there is a practice; people have their names written on the stones over which we walk. So he wants to be under our feet, very good! (Laughter) In the natural course of time, the stones also wither. The rock becomes sand. So, your name and form ultimately become sand.
Therefore, I am not the body. Then who am I? Am I the mind? No. If I am the mind, it should be constant. If I am the mind, it should be same as before. As a child, my mind was innocent. Later, it becomes ignorant. Innocent mind is different from ignorant mind. Innocent mind is Divine, spiritual, and pure. A child’s mind is innocent; while an ignorant mind is full of garbage. The ignorant mind is to be condemned and taught a lesson.
Therefore, an innocent mind becomes an ignorant mind. The ignorant mind has become a selfish mind, an egoistic mind and thereafter – “Never mind!” (Laughter) In addition, most of us had good memory earlier, but today we can’t remember anything. So the memory also fails with advancing age. Therefore, you are not the mind.
Then who am I? I am the being. What do you mean by ‘being’? At 10 o’clock in the night when somebody knocks at the door, we ask, “Who is there?”
They say, “I am here.”
Nobody says, “I am the American here” or “I am the Russian here.” So what is that ‘I’? ‘I’ is not limited to any geographical area or religion, or gender considerations. Nobody says, “I, the woman, am here,” or “I, the man, is here.”
‘I’ is beyond all linguistic, narrow, chauvinistic considerations and attitudes. The supreme ‘I’ is your being. So, thinking has to come down to feeling, and feeling should make you experience your very being.
That’s what Jesus meant: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” What do you mean by Kingdom of Heaven? That real ‘I’ has no pain or pleasure, because it is neutral, equanimous, balanced, and supreme. That mind has become super and that mind is now the very being. Well, why don’t I know that? Why don’t I realise it? Is it all fantasy? Is it all a story?
No my friends, it isn’t. What happens when you stir a spoon of sugar into a glass of water? Where does it go? There is no more sugar seen, but the water tastes sweet. Why? Because the sugar has dissolved into the water. Similarly, some girl said that her name is Bindu. Very good! That Bindu must be here.
Then I told her that bindu means ‘a drop’, and sindhu is the ‘ocean’. When bindu, the drop, merges into sindhu, the ocean, the drop is no more. All rivers merge into the ocean. Can we ask where the River Krishna is? Where is Godavari River? It is the ocean now. Therefore my friends, when this body identification is lost, when the identity with the mind is gone, the true being is awakened and we experience the non-dual, oneness.
What is our feeling immediately thereafter? When you experience the being, what is your experience? When you see something beautiful, you are excited. When you listen to music, you are excited. When people say you are intelligent, you are excited. But when you experience the being, you are not excited; you are ecstatic.
Ecstasy is different from excitement. Excitement is physical and physiological, while ecstasy is spiritual, intuitive, immanent, inborn, latent, and transcendental. Therefore, being takes you to a state of ecstasy.
How about Bhagavan? What does He think? Swami says that He has no worries at all. We asked Him why.
Swami said, “I have no worry because I don’t think of tomorrow. I don’t think of yesterday. Past is past. Past is beyond recovery. I don’t think of tomorrow. Future is uncertain. I live in the present. I live in existence. Live in the present.”
My friends, if we are really spiritual, we should live in the present. Some people ask me questions such as, “How long does Kali Yuga last?” Kali Yuga will last for two thousand years! Are you going to survive till then? You are not sure of tomorrow. Why are you so interested in the period of Kali Yuga? Please leave me. I will offer you a cup of coffee.
It’s a tragedy that we don’t live in the present. Sai devotees should learn from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He lives in the present. Baba is a presence and not a person. How do you say that? We see His presence in Seattle; therefore He is present. On the other hand, in Kodaikanal He is a person. So, God is a presence, not a person.
Then who is that person in Kodaikanal? That person will make you experience His presence. From person to presence, that should be our spiritual travel. If you want to say, “Swami, I want to run after You, I want to sit with You, I want to sit on Your lap,“ (Laughter) what is happening here?
What is happening to you? You are not religious at all. If you feel His presence, you are religious. If you run after the person, you are not spiritual. Baba is a presence, not a person. He is present over the vast humanity. We should learn from Him.
At the feeling level, what is Baba’s feeling? He cannot bear to see anybody cry. He won’t look at you until you cry. And then He cannot allow you to cry any more.
Kanneeru Theppinchu, Kanneeru Thappinchu,
Pichi Pogottu, Pichi Pattinchu
Chinmaya Moorti Sathya Sai Netlu Pattagalaru
Sathyamaina Maata Ee Sai Maata
He won’t look at you until you cry,
He won’t allow you to cry more.
He will cure your madness,
He will make you mad.
He will make you mad and he will cure your madness. Why? He does it because we get carried away by worldly attachments, by sensual pleasures, by the comforts and conveniences around us. That is a pity; that is madness. There is no end to that. Too much desire is madness. Anything that it limitless, is madness.
Here is a simple example: a poor fellow was crying while doing some work. A sadhu passed by and said, “Why are you crying, my boy?”
“Swami, I have no food to eat and no water to drink. I am a beggar. Please help me.” He fell at his feet.
The sadhu said, “Okay, I will help you, but on one condition. You have to keep asking. When you stop asking, you will die.”
“Sure, I can think of many things to ask for.”
And this Swami created a devil, who became the boy’s servant. “As your servant, this devil will do whatever you ask. But if you stop asking, this devil will kill you.”
The boy thought that he could do it. So he kept asking, and the devil kept executing his orders. There came a time his when list was exhausted. The devil was ready to swallow him. The boy started running, but the devil chased him. The boy fell at the feet of this Swami and said, “Swami, I am going to die. I have everything in this world, but this devil is going to swallow me! Please save me!”
And sage said, “Bring an electric pole and keep it here. Ask this devil to go up and down the pole until further orders.”
So the boy was safe. Similarly, that devil is our mind. Let the devil go up and down the pole of bhajan so that we will be eternally happy. We should be constantly engaged in the up-and-down, the in-and-out of So-hum, So-hum, so that we will experience our real being.
Therefore, when you look at Swami, His feeling is for every one of us. Once in Kodaikanal, He was running a fever of 104 degrees. His body was shivering.
I went close and said, “Swami, let us cancel this afternoon’s program. Let there not be any discourse.”
“Aa Yemi nuvvu anedhi malli cheppu?” (“Repeat what you said.”)
“Swami, how can You give a discourse this evening. Swami, You are running a temperature.”
“Oh! Then you give the discourse!” (Laughter)
“Swami, if I give discourse in Your place, You will find me in the lake! The fellows will push me there.”
Then He said, “See Bangaru, I may be running a temperature, but there are so many devotees waiting for Me. So many foreigners are staying there in hotels, spending so much money in order to see and hear Me. I will not disappoint them. There will be discourse. There will be darshan. There will be bhajans. You shut your mouth and go and sit there.”
His feeling is for everybody. When boys distribute prasadam, He asks them, “Have you given to everybody? That man did not receive prasadam—you go there.” That is Bhagavan. His feeling is for everybody. Sai’s feeling is universal, cosmic. Sai is for everyone. Everyone is for Sai.
Then, how about His being? Some people, who come from far-off distances like you say, “Swami, we are going. Swami, we will miss You.”
Swami says, “You are going? Where are you going? We are going; understand that.”
“We are going? Swami, I am going. Only I have passport and visa. How can You come?”
“Shut up! We are going.”
Once, Prof. Gokak was sent to USA by Bhagavan Baba on a lecture tour. Swami gave his family an interview. He looked at his wife and said, “My blessings are with you.”
This poor lady said, “Swami, be with him and bless him.” Nothing wrong with it; every woman prays like that.
Swami did not look at her face for two months, until that man returned. This lady felt that in addition to missing her husband, she was missing daily padanamaskar also. ‘What’s wrong with Swami?’
Then after two months when the husband returned, Swami gave them an interview. He inquired about all that had happened on the American trip. Eventually the wife said, “Swami, when my husband was not here, You never looked at me. When he came back, You are giving an interview. What is this, Swami?”
“I am correct. You asked me to be with your husband and guide him. I was with him, so how can I call you. You gave me the order, so I fulfilled your desire.” (Laughter) That is Bhagavan. He knows how to manage things.
And Mr. Kasturi once said, “Swami, please come to my house once.” At that time, Kasturi was living in Bangalore. “Come to my house.”
“Yendi my house anta undave.” (“Why do you say ‘my’ house?”)
“No, Swami, it is our house!”
“Then why should you invite Me? It is our house, so I can come anytime.” (Laughter)
That is Divine. When I ask for Swami’s permission to do anything He says, “Oh when you take breakfast or lunch, do you take My permission?” (Laughter)
“Antha show ra, antha show.” (“It’s all show.”)
Suppose I don’t tell Him and I come to United States. Finished! My career is gone! (Laughter)
“Can’t you take My permission? Do you find any place where God is available physically for all the 365 days, 24 hours every day? How dare you go?”
So, shall I tell Him or not? To be or not to be?
Some people were asking me how I manage God. So tough! I am afraid I may go on like this because of my 30 to 35 years of association with Bhagavan. I recall so many experiences with Him.
But I would rather conclude by saying that this evening’s talk centres around three important points—thinking, feeling and being.
Thank you very much! (Applause)
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya,
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya,
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya.
Om Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu,
Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu,
Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.
© Copyright Prof. Anil Kumar Kamaraju - Puttaparthi All rights reserved.