Talk with the Mid-Atlantic Region Devotees in New Jersey, USA
April 5, 2009
(Professor Anil Kumar began his talk with the bhajan, “Adi Shesha Anantha Sayana Srinivasa Sri Venkatesa”)
My Humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of our most Beloved Bhagavan,
I am indeed very, very grateful to every one of you. If anyone comes and says, “Thank you, Anil Kumar, for visiting us,” I do not like it. Participation at a Sai gathering is not a matter of thanksgiving. I should be grateful to you for extending this opportunity to me.
Anything that is spiritual is an opportunity; anything that is spiritual is a blessing. Therefore, I am very grateful indeed to every one of you, and to Bhagavan, for having permitted me to visit this place. The examinations go on at Swami’s university until the thirty-first of March, and I arrived here on the first of March, an event which is almost another wonder of the world.
I do not know how I got the courage to ask Swami for the Divine sanction, approval, and permission to be here. I don’t know, because I know that asking was a spiritual danger, a religious risk. (Laughter) What is to be done? Somehow He Himself created the opportunity, so that I could simply whisper or murmur slowly, then stop speaking immediately, watching His face. (Laughter) Somehow, with a smile He allowed me to make the request, and He generously, mercifully, permitted me to leave the place. Therefore, you find me here this afternoon. (Applause)
KNOW THAT YOU ARE CONVERSING WITH GOD
My friends, when anyone asks you what your achievements are in this world, you may claim several things. My achievement, after all, is nothing.
Dhanamunnadhani Peddalanuchan Kanagune Kaani, Pudami Addaniche Muktiraadoo
Because of wealth, money, properties, possessions, and acquisitions, you may claim to be great,
But that will never take you to the gates of heaven or to liberation, certainly not!
Balamunnadhani Mettipadavachunegaane, Pudami Addaniche Muktiraadoo
Because of physical strength you can wrestle with anyone,
But physical strength is not the way to liberation, certainly not!
Padavi Kaddani Palukubadichoopalukunekaani, Pudami Addaniche Muktiraadu
Because of position you may wield influence in society,
But that will never take you to liberation, certainly not!
Bhakti Leniche Raadu Mukti
Without devotion you cannot have mukti or liberation.
That is what Bhagavan has said. So the greatest achievement in our life is to know that there is God, that we are His contemporaries. God is walking amongst us in human form, conversing with us. There is no greater achievement than this.
BEING A SAI DEVOTEE IS THE HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENT
I recall that the Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was asked to address Sai devotees about thirty years ago at Guntur. He was introduced to the gathering by the then President, Dr. Amarendra, the first Principal of Prashanti Nilayam’s Sathya Sai College, and Chief Justice of the High Court of Parthasarathy.
Please note this point. You know what he said? “I do not feel anything about being the High Court of Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Justice. I have not come here in that capacity. I am more joyful, and I feel very elated, when you call me a Sai devotee. That is more than a Chief Justice of a High Court.” (Applause) That is what he said.
I also remember an incident of another gentleman, who served in various capacities, both in national and international bodies, as an ambassador, as an advisor to a planning commission, and what not. He had education and vast experience in the country. He was very well known, and his visiting card would be a full page, because he had so many things to claim. But he had only one line, “Victor Kanu, Sai Baba devotee.” Hari Om, that’s all!
All that one could say or claim as prestigious is nothing compared to being a Sai devotee. I can also bring to your attention another important person from India, a Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, a lady. The position is high, and the personality is equally big. (Laughter) Her physical stature and official position compete with each other! (Laughter)
You know that lady said, “I feel happier while serving a cup of tea to my husband, or helping him tie his shoe lace, because I am inspired by Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba’s Education in Human Values training, more than pronouncing judgment in the High Court of Calcutta.” This is the influence of Sathya Sai Baba. Baba made her realise the value that lies in serving, in helping take care of the family, more than pronouncing judgment. That is the influence of Sai Bhagavan.
I also remember an astronaut. People started looking at him to see how an astronaut looks. How does an astronaut look with no make-up? An astronaut! Swami asked him to give a talk. While giving the talk, what did that astronaut say? There is nothing great in walking on the moon; greater still is walking on the sands of Prashanti Nilayam. That is the greatest achievement! That’s what he said. (Applause)
THE ORDINARY IS EXTRAORDINARY
Perhaps mushroom-like achievements, decimal, minimal, or negligible accomplishments may make people feel proud; but in the long run, we become convinced of what life is. We want to be extraordinary. My friends, let me tell you there is nothing extraordinary in being extraordinary.
What is it to be extraordinary? To be ordinary is extraordinary. Why? Stars are ordinary, the ocean is ordinary. Flowers are ordinary, the waves are ordinary. Sunshine is ordinary, the smile of a baby is ordinary . . . and you want to be extraordinary? Fool number one! (Laughter) What is it?
Therefore, if anyone says he wants to be extraordinary, something is wrong with him. There is nothing extraordinary in this world, nothing to feel great about it. No one can claim to be greater than anyone else.
What is the purpose of life? At this time, I would rather repeat what Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said. In the evening time when it is slightly dark, glow worms feel that they are great, because they are shining. After some time, the stars begin to appear. “Shut-up glow worms! We are shining more than you, so keep quiet.” Later the moonlight appears. The moon says, “You keep quiet; I am shining now, okay? When the morning sun rises, we all will have to keep our mouths shut.” Therefore, life is comparative and relative. Nothing is absolute.
BHAGAVAN IS HOLISTIC
If there is anything that is total, or if there is anything holistic, it is a spiritual experience. The worldly and physical life is fragmental and segmental. It is a part, but not all, of life! But Bhagavan gives you a holistic experience, the totality of experience that we preserve for a lifetime.
At this moment I would like to draw your attention to the fact that many, many people are drawn to the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan. I understand this is a mixed gathering. I also understand that the gathering comprises people with different faiths. Let me first openly say a known fact. Baba is not a religion, Baba is not a cult. You cannot limit Him to a particular religion, and you cannot say He is so-and-so.
Someone said, “Swami, You are Rama.”
Baba said, “No, you are wrong.” (Laughter)
“Swami, You are Krishna.”
“Swami, You are Lord Shiva.”
“You are wonderfully mistaken!”
“Swami, then what are You? The list is exhausted.”
He said, “I am ‘I’.”
“I am I” is the statement of Bhagavan. What does it mean? Let me share a few thoughts on “I am I.”
The lunch was very delicious; therefore, I have a great demand for water. (Laughter) Thanks to the wonderful host, this is an incentive to make another visit. (Laughter) (Applause) (Anil Kumar laughs.)
People say it is a journey from “I” to “we”, but it is a journey from “I” to “I”. What does that mean? The statement may look paradoxical and contradictory, as if not conveying any meaning at all. But slow enquiry and investigation will help us understand the meaning, the depth, and the profundity of the statement, “I” to “I”.
Usually two or three of us make “we,” but Bhagavan gives this beautiful example. If anyone comes in the night and taps the door: .tac . . . tac . . . tac! Naturally you will say, “Who is there?” The person will answer by saying, “I am here.” No one will answer, “I, the man, am here.” “I, the woman, am here.” “I, the engineer, am here.” Nonsense! (Laughter) No one would ever answer by saying that.
“I” is common to everyone. No one says it in a different way in another region, in another country, or in another language for that matter. For all, “I” is the same. The first thing you are born with is “I”-ness: “I am that, I am this.” All claims follow this “I”.
“I” IS NOT THE BODY
What is this “I”? Some people say, “I am the personality. My height is such and such, my weight is such and such, my chest is such and such.” But “I” is not the body. After all, the body goes on changing through time.
People of my generation would agree with me when I say that twenty years ago we were very handsome. (Laughter) Now we don’t feel like looking at our own faces. We all had curly hair then, but now we are plain people, very plain. (Laughter) In some cases, people do not need a mirror. (Laughter) But at one time, we had curly hair; can you deny that? He was not born with a bald head, and because he had curly hair back then, his wife married him. (Laughter) Otherwise, she would not have ventured to do so.
So, my friends, I would like to impress upon you that you are not the body. “I” is not the body. “I” cannot be the body, because the body goes on changing. It goes on changing.
PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUALITY
Because of the “I”, I speak of how handsome I look, or what kind of clothing I have. Those things come under the category of personality. The personality may be a handsome personality; but if you go beyond that, personality is not what is important. It is individuality that is most important─ so personality and individuality.
The personality is external, while individuality is internal. The personality is in tune with the civilisation of the time, while individuality is value-oriented or culture-oriented, age-old values. Personality goes on changing, while individuality lays much emphasis on eternal values in a changing society. That is what individuality is.
Personality may change, but individuality will never change. Therefore, the so-called “I” related to the body is nonsense, because the body is more or less a reflection of the personality. The personality is external, physical, changing, ephemeral, and may vanish at any time.
Satavarshamuladaaka Mitamucheppitivi Kaani
People may say you are going to live for a hundred years
Satamaanam Bhavati Sataayushendriya Pratitishati
He may say goodbye to the planet this very evening!
How can one say that? We cannot speak of the lifespan; therefore, you are not the body. “I” is not the body.
THE MIND CREATES HEAVEN OR HELL
The body is like a water bubble, says Bhagavan, so this “I” is not the body. Then “I” may be the mind? No, no, no! There is no greater or higher monkey than one’s own mind. You are a friend of yourself, or you are the worst enemy of yourself, all because of the mind. It is the mind that makes heaven out of hell, or hell out of heaven.
Manaeva Manushayaanam Kaaranam Bandhamokshayo
The mind is responsible for bondage or liberation.
What separates me from God is this mind, or ego. The mind is the one that claims identity, that clamours, that struggles hard for identity, for recognition. This is this mind. How can “I” be the mind?
The mind is not constant either. If anyone does not say “Sai Ram”, I become very upset. If I don’t get a seat on the veranda as a VIP, I am upset. VIP, to my understanding, does not mean a Very Important Person. VIP is a Very Insignificant Person. (Laughter) You cannot be a VIP, after all. There is only one VIP: God Himself! He is the only V-VIP! We are insignificant.
So the mind gets upset with all kinds of bumps and jumps, lashes and slashes. It goes on making us feel elated, proud, and egoistic. At the same time, we can be frustrated, depressed, and totally lost because of the mind.
If anyone tells me that I am a great man, I begin to think, “Have you only realised this just now? (Laughter) What happened to you all these years?” The mind is like that.
If anyone tells you that you are handsome, you reply, “Oh, is that so? Oh, very good!” But if anyone asks what is wrong with you, you reply, “No, no! Something is wrong with you, not with me!” The mind wants appreciation. The mind craves for convenience, and the mind yearns for praise. The mind is not ready for criticism. The mind is not ready to accept comment. The mind is not ready to improve. That is the reason why we are like this.
YOU ARE NOT THE MIND
Manasu Kaaranambu Madhiendununnanu,
Manasu Lenivaadu Mandhiramunanunna,
Viluvademi, Sathyamaina Maata Ee Sai Maata
The mind is responsible.
If you don’t have that awareness, what is life for?
When you don’t understand your mind, it doesn’t matter where you are!
We may go and sit in an ashram, but we want conveniences. Someone said, “I have a beautiful house in Prashanti Nilayam.” I see! Do you have an ugly house at your native place, or what? (Laughter)
Someone said, “What a beautiful darshan this morning, Anil Kumar!” Arey, what happened to you? Darshan is always beautiful. Why did you say this morning’s darshan was beautiful? You are beautiful now, and darshan is equally beautiful. God is a mirror, He just reflects. Nothing is absolute. Nothing in particular is contained in Him, He just reflects: reaction, reflection and resound. So, I am not the mind; “I” is not the mind, never. Impossible!
THE SOURCE OF LOVE IS NOT THE MIND
Bhagavan often gives this example. A newly married couple was walking around the public gardens in Hyderabad. The husband noticed a thorn on the walkway, and went on shouting, “Hi dear, a thorn, be careful! Watch your step.”
The girl was very happy, thinking, “I should thank my father for getting me such a nice guy. (Laughter) And I should claim some extra dowry also, if possible with arrears,” as we say. She was very happy.
After six months they were walking again, when another thorn appeared. The husband said, “Be careful while you walk.” Fifty percent gone! (Laughter) After one year, when they were carrying a baby in their arms, they came across another thorn. The thorn was teaching them philosophy. (Laughter) This fellow, instead of saying to be careful, went on shouting, “Half of my medical bills are being wasted for all this. (Laughter) Don’t you know how to walk?” Finished! Then that lady understood thoroughly what love is!
What is true love? The mind is not the centre of love. The mind is for lust and not for love. The mind is after attachment, not vairagya, renunciation or detachment. You cannot be this mind.
THE THREE STATES: JAGRAT, SWAPNA AND SUSHUPTHI
If I say that I am the mind, then what happens to the mind in deep sleep? I can say that many people attended the talk. Fine, this is the waking state. In the dreaming state, I can talk about what I dreamt. Suppose there is a fellow whom I cannot beat in the waking state, but I can finish him off in my dream land. (Laughter) You can do anything in your dreams, but it is better not to say it openly. (Anil Kumar laughs) So in the dream state you can explain and express, and also in the waking state you can explain and express.
How about deep sleep? No dreams, nothing! I mean a sound sleep, not snoring. You get up and say, “I had a very nice sleep, and I feel very energetic.’”
“I see, oh, I see! How did you feel? What is that deep sleep?”
“Shut-up! Deep sleep is deep sleep. Why do you ask me that?”
Is it tall or short? Chi, chi! No, no, no! Is it hot or sweet? No, no, no! What is your experience in deep sleep, what you call sushupthi?
The waking state is what you call jagrat. The dreaming state is swapna. You will be able to explain the experiences of jagrat, the waking state, and you are in a position to express the experience of the dreaming state or swapna; but the deep sleep state of sushupthi you cannot express.
Why? In the deep sleep state, the mind is passive. The mind has been active, but now the mind is withdrawn. Therefore, you cannot express deep sleep, because the mind is not functional in deep sleep. If I say I am the mind, then what happened to this mind in deep sleep? You cannot claim knowledge of it, even when passing through the baggage claim gate; gone! The mind is passive in the state called deep sleep.
THE INTELLECT SUPPORTS MISTAKES
Therefore, my friends, I am not the mind, and I am not the body; I am the intellect. We may say that we have a very sharp intellect, but how are we making use of our intellect? We are making use of our intellect in support of all our mistakes!
Baba gives one example. A street dog jumped on a fellow beggar, who was standing at the doorstep. The dog attacked the beggar and the beggar was seriously hurt. He filed a complaint in the court and the judge called him.
“To whom does this dog belong?”
A rich man came and said, “This is my dog.”
“Okay, good! You know what he has done?”
“I know, sir. The dog has hurt him.”
“Arey! Beggar, is this is the dog?”
Then the rich man said, “I have a complaint now. I do accept that my dog attacked him, but why should the dog be beaten like that? The beating led to the death of my pet dog. Why should the dog have been beaten? That’s my complaint,” said the rich man.
Then the judge asked the beggar, “What do you say in response to this?”
The beggar said, “The dog attacked me with its teeth, near my head. Therefore, I broke its head and the dog died. It did not attack me with its tail or feet. It attacked me with its head; therefore I broke its head.”
This sort of argument is based on logic. It is the power of the intellect. It is the power of the intellect in support of our own stand.
INTELLECT VERSUS INTELLIGENCE
You cannot be the intellect because it goes on changing from one time to another. So what am I then? I am not the body, I am not the mind, and I am not the intellect. Then what am I?
I am I, that’s all! I am I, and this “I” is common to everyone. “I” plus “I” plus “I” is equal to “I” only. We cannot say: “I‘s” (in plural). No, no! “I” plus “I” is equal to “I” only. Therefore, “I” to “I” is a feeling of universality, a feeling of catholicism, a feeling of fraternity, a feeling of one family, a feeling of oneness and unity. Unity or oneness is the philosophy of the principle of ‘I’-ness.
The same “I”, when identified with the mind, is ego. The same “I” identified with the mind is arrogance. “I” identified with the body is personality. “I” identified with the intellect is the quality of an intellectual.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that an intellectual is different from an intelligent man. You become intellectual by your study, you become intellectual by your learning, but you are born intelligent. One has to be intelligent, not necessarily an intellectual. All intellectuals need not be intelligent. We know many cases—better not mention specific names. (Laughter) Most intellectuals are not intelligent.
We are born with intelligence. How can you say that? An ant would be able to separate out the sugar particle from the sand grain. A honey bee would be able to detect pollen from the real, actual flower, while we are mistaken and confused when we come across artificial, plastic flowers. The honey bee is never confused. (Laughter) A new-born calf would draw milk out of the udder, not from the tail, of the mother cow. That is intelligence.
In Sanskrit I may say pragnana, intelligence. Pragnanam Brahma, the intelligence with which we are born, is Brahma, the Divine. We become intellectuals later, and subsequently lose our intelligence.
Bhagavan will awaken that intelligence today. He will kindle that intelligence, and will help you improve upon that intelligence—Pragnanam Brahma—such that you will travel from the mundane world to eternity.
THE BISHOP FROM FRANCE
Before I say certain things, I would like to draw your attention to what I mentioned earlier—how people are drawn because of the principle, “I” to “I”.
A few years ago, a bishop from France happened to visit Prashanti Nilayam. He was an elderly gentleman, with a white beard and a face like a ripe mango. He had an almost gold complexion and wore a black gown, typical of a bishop. He was accompanied by his disciple, a tall man with a pointed nose, who would make a very good actor if he were to play the role of Jesus Christ.
These people were given the VIP treatment by Bhagavan Baba. Swami continually gave them interviews morning and evening, and the gentlemen continually enjoyed breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner with Swami. This happened for one full month.
It was very difficult to bear that sight! (Laughter) When He does not care to look at you, yet here is a gentleman who is near Baba for one full month! No, no, we cannot tolerate that. We cannot bear it any longer—one full month!
Later I came to know that initially the bishop had wanted to go around all of the country of India and visit all the pilgrims’ centres and hermitages present in India. When he came to Prashanti Nilayam, he had decided not to go anywhere else, and to spend the whole month in Prashanti Nilayam only. So Swami started pampering him, but how about us? (Laughter) This is the problem—“I” as the mind.
I wanted to see the bishop and how he looked. I thought I may not be able to see Swami, but at least I should see the bishop! (Laughter) So I chose to see the bishop on a Sunday, because we are permitted to go and sit for darshan on Sundays. On other days, we are supposed to go to the college. On that Sunday, Swami called a few people for an interview. During the interview, I walked along the veranda, and then I saw the bishop.
Ah, good, nice to look at him! To my misfortune, Swami opened His door. He called to me, “Why are you here?” (Laughter)
What could I say? I could not bluff. If I bluffed, He would loudly say that I had, and expose it—the cat would be out of the bag. (Laughter) I know what it costs! So I answered, “Swami, I have come to see the bishop.” (Laughter) (Applause)
Baba smiled and said, “While the bishop has come to see Me, you have come to see him! What is all this?” (Laughter) (Applause) Then, after some time, He granted an interview to the bishop and his disciple, and on that day a princess from Belgium also happened to be there, along with her sister. I was also there.
Swami called me, “Come on.” He said it in Telugu, because all the others don’t follow Telugu. (Laughter) “Bishop ni choodalunukunnavu kada, baaga choodu vaadni.” “You wanted to see the bishop? Come on and look at him to your heart’s content. He is not a film star.” (Laughter) (Applause)
I wanted to look at him, because that fellow was getting chances for one full month! (Laughter) That is the reason, not because of his personality. I said, “Swami, I saw him.”
THE BISHOP’S INTERVIEW
Please believe me, I am speaking in the Divine physical presence of Bhagavan, believe me or not. Swami was speaking on certain statements from the Holy Bible with authority. So many explanations were not known to the bishop himself! “Wow, wow, is that so Swami?” That is Bhagavan!
The bishop was very surprised, because until then he didn’t know some of the interpretations of the Holy Bible that Baba provided on that day. He was ecstatic, and he was very happy. Details already appeared in Sanathana Sarathi; but these things are not written there. Therefore, I am sharing them with you.
At the end of the interview, Swami materialised a gold cup and a spoon, and that cup was full of nectar. It was a very small cup. He told me to hold it, and that not a drop should fall. (Laughter) My hand was steady till Swami warned me like that; then it started shaking a lot! (Laughter)
Swami said, “What did I say?”
“Ah, okay, Swami!”
Swami said, “Follow me.”
I was like a character. (Laughter) Swami then distributed one spoonful of amritha or nectar to everyone, asking everyone to open their mouth—aah!—like that. (Anil Kumar demonstrated by opening his mouth.) Then I was wondering whether I would get any or not. (Laughter) Am I to carry the cup only, or what? (Laughter) (Applause) I was looking all around, like that. (Anil Kumar shows by looking all around.)
Bhagavan said, “Aah Kaani, nuvvu kooda kaanivayya.” (Laughter)
Alright, Swami! Some more amritha was left, and to whom was He going to give that extra quantity? (Laughter) I was very bothered about it. (Laughter) (Applause)
Baba asked, “What is it? What are you are staring at?” (Laughter)
“Swami, there is some surplus left. (Laughter) It is so sweet. Sweetness that has gone up to the navel will last for one week, no doubt about it. Ah, Swami, ah!”
“Hmm! You speak a lot, I know. Open your mouth.” He emptied the whole lot into my mouth. (Laughter) (Applause)
ABC – ANILKUMAR BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Then some amritha fell on my palms; it was quite sticky. At the end of the interview, after speaking about so many aspects of the Holy Bible, Bhagavan said, “I have not materialised amritha for the last forty years. This is the first time I have materialised it since then. Don’t tell anyone!” (Laughter)
He said that to me, of all people! (Laughter) The dangerous thing is that if anything is known to me, it is like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), that’s all. I represent ABC: Anilkumar Broadcasting Corporation. (Laughter) (Applause) In the Sai world, I am ABC, yes! Therefore, I tell everyone, “Don’t tell me anything that you don’t want me to tell anyone.” I will certainly talk about it, take it from me. (Laughter) Swami told me not to tell anyone; but He was talking to a journalist, a reporter! I said, “Okay, Swami.”
Silently, I came out of the interview room. My hand was sticky, so I stretched my fingers out like that. (Anil Kumar extended his hand and fingers.) (Laughter) In those days, I was the State President of the Sathya Sai Organisation. I knew most of the seva dal, all of them. They noticed me keeping my fingers like that. They said, “Sir, sir, what happened? What happened inside?”
“Baba said, ‘Don’t tell.’” (Laughter) So I could not tell them. “Baba said, ‘Don’t tell.’” But they forced me to tell them. Then I said, with just a little logic, “He told me not to tell, but He did not tell me not to allow you to smell.” (Laughter) He didn’t say that. That honey is fragrant, like a French scent. Therefore, I said, “Arey! Boys, some advice, don’t ask the details, and you can smell.” (Laughter) (Applause)
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS WITHIN YOU
This I am telling you to let you know how our Christian fraternity, right from the level of bishop, is drawn towards His Lotus Feet, and how He could reveal certain important explanations of the Holy Bible. Grand, grand!
One example: the Holy Bible says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” The Kingdom of Heaven is within you: what does it mean? Many of our friends do not know, because they do not say, “Oh Father, Thou art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” Heaven is at a distant place while in prayer. The holy text says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” What does it mean?
Amrutasya Putra . . .
You are the son of Eternity, you are the immortal soul,
The immortal spirit of Heaven is within you.
Swami kept explaining that to the man, and he was very, very happy. Baba said many things.
Some books, written by Peter Phipps, bring parallels between Baba’s teachings and the teachings from the Holy Bible. Peter Phipps wrote about four volumes. We also know a Catholic priest, who describes in his book, his own experience of what Christians find in Sai.
Christians find in Sai the Cosmic Christ, the second coming of Jesus Christ today, in the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba! (Applause) That is the reason they are so determined. Some Sai centres are located in churches, do you know that? Not in India, but it is happening here, because of the oneness identification with the cosmic Christ.
DOCTOR HAYAKOVA’S HEART
I would draw your attention to another experience. One doctor, by the name of Doctor Hayakova, from Tokyo University in Japan, happened to visit Prashanti Nilayam. He is a Buddhist. This doctor described his experience with Bhagavan in the year 1972, and I am known for the memory of it up until today.
When this Hayakova Buddhist visited Prashanti Nilayam, Swami granted him an interview and said, “Look here, your heart has only three chambers. The heart is supposed to have four chambers.”
Of course, some of the chambers get blocked, in due course of time, giving practice to cardiologists.
He said, “What, Swami? A heart should have four chambers! Why do you say three?”
Swami: “I say you have three chambers only. This fact is not known to anyone. Your mother knows and the doctor knows, but no one else!”
Hmm! He came out of the interview room and immediately made a phone call to his mother in Tokyo. His mother was surprised. “Arey! Who told you that you have got three chambers? He must have been God, that’s all! No one can know that!”
When his mother said that, he started developing some faith in Bhagavan. The Buddhist had a kind of feeling that Bhagavan Baba is Buddha Himself.
BUDDHAHOOD IS A STATE OF AWARENESS
One day, in an interview with Hayakova, Baba explained what Buddhism is. We think that Buddha is a person. We think that Buddha is a name, but Buddha is not a person. Siddharth is His name. Buddha is an attainment; Buddhahood is a state.
Collector is not a name. Engineer is not a name. Similarly, Buddhahood, Christhood, and Krishna Consciousness are states of awareness. These are the states of evolution of consciousness from “I” to “I”. Only a person of “I” to “I” can understand Buddhahood.
Baba went on to explain that the meaning of Buddha is the one with buddhi, or intellect. In the beginning, with this intellect or buddhi, you should discriminate between what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. Having understood what is good, consider it your duty to follow the path of goodness, meaning your dharma, or righteousness. This dharma or righteousness, or righteous conduct, is to be observed in sanga, the community.
Sangham Saranam Gachchami
Dharmam Saranam Gachchami
Buddham Saranam Gachchami
My dear fellow, with this intellect or buddhi, discriminate and follow the path that is good and wise. Follow the path of dharma, in sangha, the community that is Buddhahood. See that? Many Buddhists don’t know, but He knows! We don’t know, so that’s why we run after Him, yes!
You should also know that Buddha Purnima is celebrated every year in the month of May, by Buddhists coming to Prashanti Nilayam by the thousands. Buddhists are Baba devotees. They consider Buddha’s teachings quite parallel and similar to the teachings of Bhagavan Himself.
SWAMI EXPLAINS THE ISLAMIC FAITH
I would draw your attention to another illustration from the Islamic faith. Swami granted an interview to a few devotees from Iran. They were all wearing white saris and covering their heads with white cloth. We were just looking.
Swami said, “Whom are you watching on the ladies side?” (Laughter)
It’s dangerous to look at ladies, particularly when Swami is giving darshan. I said, “Swami, white saris covering their heads.”
Swami: “They are all from Iran.”
“Oh! Is that so Swami! There are devotees from Iran also?”
Baba said, “Yes, don’t you know? Many people come to me. There are a number of Sai centers there!”
Then Swami called them for an interview, talked to them for a long time, and I wanted to know the details, because my business is only this. (Laughter) I asked some of them, “What happened inside?”
One gentleman said that Swami materialised a locket with a crescent and star. The crescent and star represent the Islamic faith. Swami explained to them that the crescent moon is like the mind, and the star represents steadiness, or faith. Like the star you should not waver, and like the star you should be steady. Like the crescent moon is the vanishing mind; the mind goes on disappearing, being withdrawn—manolaya, or manonashana. He explained the Islamic faith and the principle of fraternity or soubrathuthva.
He also explained the principle of upavasa, the importance of fasting, so that they could observe certain Islamic principles in full awareness, along with the reality of what they believe in.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF BHAGAVAN
Therefore, believe me if I say that three hundred devotees from Iran visited Prashanti Nilayam last month, and chanted the Veda in the presence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It can happen only now! It has never happened before in human history. (Applause) It never happened before in human history. You could never before make them recite the Veda like that.
That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, drawing people from all religions. Therefore, let us not identify Him with a particular religion. Let us not lay much emphasis on a particular procedure that we adopt. Sai centres are secular. Sai centres are universal. Sai centres are international. Sai centres represent the fellowship of faith, and the congregation of worship in togetherness. There cannot be domination by any creed, sect, or religion, no!
That is the reason why Swami encourages English bhajans also. Why not? We should sing English bhajans also. We should not lay much emphasis on certain bhajans that we hear. It is good that we often refer to the Holy Bible, if we know it, and are not merely restricted to certain Sanskrit verses that we have mastered.
It should never give a colour of fanatism or dogma, because Swami belongs to everyone. All religions lead to Him. He is the goal; He is the way that we have to understand.
SAI BABA IS THE INCARNATION OF LOVE
I also bring to your attention who Sai Baba is. We can say in one word that He is Love, that’s all. If He is a person, you can be close to Him. If He is an object, you can possess Him. He is not an object; He is not a person.
One day, Swami was speaking about a particular building plan. I was looking at it and said, “Swami, how extraordinary it is. It is very extraordinary. How wonderful it is!”
Then Baba said, ”Oh, oh! Ippatidaka ordinary anukuntunavu kabolu.” (Laughter) “You are thinking that it is a simple thing until now. Now you have come to realise how great it is!”
A DOCTOR’S EXPERIENCE WITH SWAMI
It was the time of the International Cardio-therapeutic Surgeons’ Conference held in Prashanti Nilayam, hosted by the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, which was attended by many, many doctors. Being the translator of Bhagavan, I had the opportunity to follow Him. Bhagavan gave a talk, which happened to be the keynote address to the doctors. They went on quoting Him repeatedly.
One doctor from Italy, who was very close to the Pope in Rome, attended the conference. Do you know what he said? This is published in Sanathana Sarathi. I am saying that this is published in Sanathana Sarathi because some people may doubt it, the doubting Thomases! Samsayatmana vinaysyati, dead and gone! We have family, and we want to survive. Let’s not doubt it, you will see! I am giving talks so that we will never doubt.
On the second day of the conference, some of the doctors were asked to share their experiences and their views about the conference. The doctor from Italy said . . .with Bhagavan’s permission, let me narrate the experience: “Yesterday evening, as a true Catholic, I bolted the door from inside in the room, knelt, and was saying prayers with my eyes closed, when suddenly I felt the touch of a gentle hand on my shoulder. Upon the touch of a gentle hand, I turned around and found Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba right over there. Then I began to wonder, ‘Swami, how could You come in when I bolted the door?’”
Swami said, “Bolts and nuts and screws don’t come in my way. You are a nut-case!” (Laughter)
I narrate the stories as they were; they don’t come out in my own way. The doctor narrated the event in public, on the platform, and said, “Though I am personally attached to the Pope, His Holiness at the Vatican in Rome, at the risk of my job, at the risk of my reputation, I openly declare that Sathya Sai Baba is the Cosmic Christ!” That’s what he said on that platform, on that day, as a doctor, a cardiologist.
Therefore, we may try to analyse Him, but very soon we come to the conclusion that we cannot analyse Him. Experience is different from expression. All that is experienced cannot be expressed. Though we keep expressing meaning, we still have to experience.
BHAGAVAN IS AN ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE
Bhagavan gave an example. When you stand knee-deep in water, you can talk. When you stand neck-deep, you can still talk. When you are totally drowned—Hari Om Tat Sat—you can’t open your mouth! (Laughter) You can’t open your mouth. Therefore, the one who is totally drowned in the Divine experience of the blissful state of consciousness, or ananda, cannot express himself. If he goes on speaking, there is still some time to go.
Therefore, my friends, the experience of Bhagavan is an ultimate experience. It is not given to expression. One has to experience Divine Love. That is possible only if we turn to Him.
As Bhagavan said, when you are ready with your camera, if the photographer is ready to click, and you turn your back, how do you expect your face to show in the picture? You can’t turn your back. Turn towards the camera lens, so that your picture will be perfect.
Therefore, let us turn towards God. That ultimately gives you the beautiful experience of God, and His Divine Love. Once we taste it, we will certainly come to the conclusion that nothing in this world is worthy. We don’t have to study anything, if we taste it at all.
WE ARE NOT DEVOTEES BY CHOICE
I also know at this moment that many, many people struggle hard, and have been planning for years to visit Prashanti Nilayam but cannot get there, even up to this day. But those who are not prepared, who never made any reservation, who are negative, find themselves transported to Prashanti Nilayam in spite of their mind.
What I want to impress upon you, my friends, is that you are not a devotee by choice. Please be clear about it. I cannot say that I am a devotee of Baba. No, you are not. I am not a devotee by choice, because you are not here by any election; you are here by selection. He made you a devotee; you are not a devotee on your own. Therefore, let us conclude that we are Baba’s devotees, because we are the chosen children of God. What a fortune it is! (Applause) What a fortune it is! Can there be any other greater attainment more than this?
Srunvanthu Amruthasya Putrah.
What more do we want in this life than to be identified as God’s children?
You can speak of the scripture, you can speak of so many stories that we hear from our grandmothers; but have you experienced them? No! You say that God is everywhere, very good! If you know that God is everywhere, why are you behaving like this? Ah, chaltahai, that’s all! (Laughter)
GRANITE FACTORY INAUGURATION
Let me give you one example. Near Bangalore is one place by the name of Thunkoor, a granite factory owned by Ramesh Beti. Swami was to inaugurate that granite factory and I followed Bhagavan.
It so happened that I was in the second car behind Swami, who was travelling in His car, and I felt very bad. ‘I have not come to travel in the second car, Swami; I want to sit by Your side. Without You this is not a car; it is only a hired carrier, that’s all.’ I was feeling very bad about it.
But to my good luck, Swami stopped His car, called me, and made me sit down in His car, so I sat by His side. He said, “Enta chuppanativadivira nuvvu. Chi, chi!” (Laughter) “Can’t you be patient enough, can’t you wait? Why do you feel so bad sitting in that car? Come!” So I sat in His car, and we went.
On the day of the inauguration of the granite factory, we had a music program by Anoop Jalota, an excellent program. Then Bhagavan went straight to the dining hall, a big dining table with around twenty chairs. Some union ministers were there, plus a board of directors with one director from Japan, one from France, one from China, all from different countries.
Swami was sitting there and talking to them. I wondered if I should go to them or not. If I go, He may ask me why I have come and what my job is. Suppose I go, He may say, “Who asked you to come?” (Laughter) Double-edged sword, I know! So I stood at the gate, with half of my body peeping out, like that. (Laughter) (Applause) If He is serious, I can run away, so it’s a convenient position. (Laughter)
Swami spotted me from a distance. “Come here. What are you watching?”
“Swami, You may need me any time. Swami, You may call me, and therefore, I was just waiting.”
Swami: “Hmm! What did you notice?”
I could not simply stand there.
Swami: “What did you find here?”
“Swami, I saw you speaking to a German in the German language. I saw you talking to a man from Japan in the Japanese language, and to another man from China in the Chinese language, but my doubt is…”
“What is your doubt?” He said.
“Swami, when You know all these languages, why do You need me?” (Laughter) (Applause)
You know what Baba said? “I know all the languages. To make you know that I know, I brought you here.” (Laughter) (Applause)
GOD IS SARVAJNA, ALL-KNOWING
Then we can understand that God is everywhere, all-knowing, not otherwise. He is sarvajna. Nice, how do you know? I know by experience.
At that time, the meeting was followed by lunch, and all the chairs were occupied. I didn’t have a chair to sit in, so what was I to do? I simply left the place. I knew that the situation was delicate, and it was bad manners to stand there while others were eating, so I stepped out of the room, went into the kitchen, and had some lime juice. That’s all.
Then I travelled with Swami on our return journey. Swami was asking, “How was my talk? How did you like it? How was the meeting?”
On the way back, we stopped at the residence of a Member of Parliament for a snack. One of Swami’s students said, “We all had a very good, sumptuous lunch, but one fellow had only lime juice.” (Laughter)
Swami: “Anil Kumar did not have his lunch? Ayyo! Papam! Serve every item double, so that he may eat in retrospect!” (Laughter)
I want to tell you the story to illustrate that He knows everything. He knows everything and He makes you know that He knows, so that when you say that He is Sarvajna, all-knowing, it is not purely academic or merely from a text.
SPIRITUALITY VERSUS RELIGION
When academic, scriptural or textual knowledge and information becomes part of our life experience, that is spirituality. Reading scripture is religion, and reading scriptures regularly is religiousness; but understanding the depth of the religion in practice, by experience, is spirituality. That is the difference between spirituality and religion.
Unfortunately, we want to be religious, and not spiritual; that is the problem. We run after ritual, and forget the spiritual aspect of the scripture. Therefore, let us not be simply ritualistic; let us be spiritual in our approach. Spirituality is Sathya Sai Baba and not a religion: that’s what I want to impress upon you. (Applause)
Further, I can also say that religion is the banner, and spirituality is the manner in which you conduct yourself. The application of religion is spirituality. The experience of religion is spirituality. If religion is science, spirituality is technology. Bhagavan speaks of spirituality in depth, so that we will come to know the inner significance of every ritual that we observe in our festivals.
CONSTANT THOUGHT AND CLOSENESS TO GOD IS UPAVASA
Preetito Raatri Paykaata Aadinantha, Jaagarana Aguna.
By playing cards on Sivaratri, you cannot say you observed a vigil!
You played cards. If at all you have to reach Heaven, you may land in Las Vegas. (Laughter)
Aalito Aligi Pastunnanta,
Because you had a fight with your wife and did not take food,
you may say, “Today I am doing upavasa or fasting.”
You have no alternative! (Laughter) You have no other choice. Bhagavan explains that upavasa, or fasting, is not simply refraining from partaking food. Upa means ‘near’, vasa means ‘dwelling’. When you are close to God, when you have constant thoughts of God, upavasa is not simply fasting.
Some people, in the name of fasting, start eating an extra dose from breakfast time. (Laughter) As Baba joked, “Vastondira Ekadasi, siddham chey nalabhai dosi.” (Laughter) (Applause) “Get forty dosas ready, today is Ekadasi.”
A housewife would feel that normal days would be better than upavasa days, because she has to make extra preparations on that special day! (Laughter)
BHAGAVAN’S TEACHINGS SHOULD BE PRACTISED
Religion has become a matter of laughing stock, a matter of publicity. My friends, let me emphatically tell you that Bhagavan’s teachings are for practice, not for preaching. Bhagavan’s teachings are not for declaration, not for propaganda, and not for publicity. The teachings are for making you live up to His ideals, to make you walk along the path that He has shown us.
The teachings are not simply a kind of recitation or repetition. Any DVD would be able to do that. We should be aware of what we really mean. That’s what Bhagavan explains in clear-cut terms, repeating many times.
A very important thing most of you must have noticed: (I am not comparing anyone; I am just speaking facts) Some of the saints of India attract the highest intellectuals, that’s all. Some noble people attract masses. Some noble people attract those who are having a problem. If there is anyone who attracts people of all cadres, of all sections, of all age groups, of all professions, of all religions, all over the world, it is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! (Applause)
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE RAMAYANA
He may speak about the Ramayana and make different statements, but what a wonderful difference it is between the interpretations.
A simple example: you know that Sita was abducted by Ravana. In one discourse He said, “It was the mistake of Ravana; it was the weakness of Ravana that made him kidnap Mother Sita.” Very good, we know that.
The next year He said, “It was the mistake of Lakshmana to have left that place. In fact, Rama wanted him to be there. Why should that fellow leave that place?” So, it was the mistake of Lakshmana—disobedience on the part of Lakshmana—that lead to the abduction of Sita.” This is a second interpretation.
A third time He said, “Sita wanted to follow Rama throughout. Having left when Emperor Janaka sent Rama away, having left all the comforts and conveniences, gems, pearls, and emeralds, she simply followed her husband Rama. But she wanted a golden deer. She wanted the golden deer, though her father would have given her a golden elephant. Why did she want a golden deer, after all? (Laughter) It is nothing. When Sita followed Rama, she was very happy. When she was seeking kama or desire, she had to be separated from Him.” So now Sita is responsible.
Which explanation is true? (Laughter) All of them, all of them! Who can explain the Ramayana like this? Who can explain it like this? It is only Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who explains such different dimensions of the same thing.
EMPEROR BALI AND LORD VAMANA
You must have also come across the Onam Festival. The Malayalees (people from Kerala) celebrate Onam. It was Vamana who asked that three footsteps to be offered to Him. He made Emperor Bali promise that: three footsteps in all.
One year Swami said, “The three footsteps that Vamana asked for represent three levels: the body, the mind, and the soul. Be surrendered to God.”
The next year He explained that one is the gross form, sthula. The second is the subtle form, sukshma, and the third one is the causal form, karana, offered to God. Array, God! Baba is a diamond.
The next year He explained what the three footsteps represent. One is bhutakasha, the universe. The second is chitthakasha, the mind. The third one is chidakasha, the spirit. He gave the explanation of the three levels like that.
Bhagavan is a diamond. He gives so many kinds of interpretations. He interprets religious or spiritual teachings to our lifestyle.
WHEN ALL ACTIONS ARE OFFERED TO GOD THAT BECOMES SERVICE
Recently, old students met in Prashanti Nilayam. I have jotted down all the points. It is published in Sanathana Sarathi also.
One student got up and said, “Swami, we are living in a competitive world. Around six hundred students came recently. We are living in a competitive world, Bhagavan, and we have no time to do sadhana. We have no time to participate in service activities. What do you advise us, Swami?”
He never asked to get out of the competitive world, no! He didn’t say that. Swami was so sympathetic and understanding then, and He said,
Bangaru, Nuvvu Chese Pane Service Ayya, Vere Akkaraledayya!
What you do is service itself!
It is only your way and your attitude that makes the difference between a job and service. Swami also said:
Sarva Karma Bhagavat Preethyartham.
When all actions are offered to God, they become service.
Who will speak like that? It is a kind of philosophy, an application to our daily life situation.
Anil Kumar sang the bhajan, “Hari Hara Om, Shankara Om, Narayana Hari Om, Narayana Hari Om.”
In Hong Kong, I visited the president of the Sai centre at his residence. He told me they were in a dilemma about fixing an alliance to a member of their family. What to do? “To be or not to be, that is the question” . . . and their situation.
Suddenly, when they were singing bhajans, on the picture of Baba appeared a line: “Perform the marriage,” including the date. On Baba’s picture! What do you say to that? That’s what I actually heard from him.
I will also give you another experience about a principal from a college named Warangal. He later served as the Director of Intermediate Education. The principal’s name happens to be Badari Narayana Rao. I am giving all the details. I am a student of science. I have not lost my sense, and therefore, I give these details.
Bhajans were going on in full swing in Badari Narayan’s house, when suddenly a paper slip fell from Baba’s picture. On the slip was written this: “Stop bhajans! A man is about to die. He is standing quite close to the well, and he may jump. Save his life!”
By the time they went to the well, that fellow was ready to launch, (Laughter) and drown in the well. Suddenly, they stopped him and he was saved. Later he became the president of a Sathya Sai centre. Not only was he alive, he became president of the centre! (Laughter)
I can also mention a situation where, because of jealousies, I am not happy if I am simply happy for myself. I will be happier if you are unhappy. (Laughter) That is the situation! What to do? When bhajans were going on at one residence everyday, some jealous people felt so bad. They said, “Why not at our residence, why not?” So there were parallel, competitive bhajans, like political parties—polling booth one, polling booth two. Then, at the second home’s altar, a paper slip fell down from Swami’s picture, and on it was written, “Stop the bhajans and go there.” (Laughter)
KUSUMA HARINATH BABA
One whole family was devoted to Kusuma Harinath Baba. Kusuma Harinath loves the Bengal gram called senagalu. It seems he loves that very much. One day a slip fell: “Tomorrow I am going to visit you, along with Kusuma Harinath Baba. Be ready with enough prasadam.”
They made sweets in one bowl, and Bengal gram in another bowl, and offered them to Bhagavan after arathi. Then they meditated a couple of minutes and took off the lids. The bowl of Bengal gram, which was meant for Kusuma Harinath Baba, was completely, completely empty, because Kusuma Harinath had been waiting to finish it off, whereas in the bowl of sweets they could see the fingerprints of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba—His fingerprints!
They collected one hundred and eight letters which had fallen from Bhagavan’s picture, and they pasted the letters in an album. He is the Director of Education; He need not bluff. He does not want any propaganda. Cheap propaganda is not necessary! These kinds of experiences which people are having are really great.
BHAGAVAN WALKS AND CONDUCTS
Today people say, “How is Baba?” I am very surprised to hear that question.
“He is perfectly well. He is asking, ‘How are you?’ Who are you to say, ‘How are you?’” (Laughter)
One gentleman said, “Swami, meeru nadavali.” “You should walk.”
Swami said, “Nenu nadustanu, mimalni nadipistanu.” “I will walk and I will also conduct you.”
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
These are certain questions that come to our mind when we have not gone into literature in depth, nor have sufficient experience. I know that you are ready with some questions, and I am quite willing to answer them to the extent possible. To those questions for which I have no ready answer, I will be frank enough to admit that I do not know. I pray for an early opportunity to seek clarification and the exact answer from Bhagavan Himself. So you may just pass on your questions if you have any.
Sometimes I joke with my students, “Any doubts? Boys don’t sit like that.” Perhaps they are waiting for the bell to ring so that they can get out! (Laughter) So what I tell them is this: “You will not have doubts under two conditions. First, when you have understood everything, you will not have any doubts. Second, when you have not understood anything, you will have no doubts.” (Laughter)
I will read out some of the questions and try to answer them.
WORRY IS OUR IMAGINATION
Whenever we ask and pray to Swami for peace, He gives us more worries and disturbances.
Oh, oh, in life we pray for peace and He gives worries, I see! This is what Bhagavan said, “Worry is our own making, and worry is our own creation. We are born with peace; peace is our birthright.”
Any man of sickness, any man of abundant worries, can sleep happily, because that blissful state, that peaceful state, is a deep sleep state, so worry will not follow a man in all three levels of consciousness. Worry is our imagination.
To give an example of worry, an alliance was fixed and the bride and bridegroom were ready. They distributed the wedding cards. The bridegroom collected rotten, old cloth. The father asked, “What is it? You are a bridegroom. Why do you collect rotten, used, torn, and worn-out cloth like this?”
“Daddy, when I have a child to clean, I want some cloth. Therefore, I am getting this cloth ready.” That fellow got worried already! Why? There is no reason at all!
Some people worry for nothing. They have no reason to worry. For that reason, whenever they put on a long face, I get worried. I go to them and ask, “Arey! What is wrong with you? Why can’t you smile? If you are like this as a student, with a serious face, when you reach our age, you will have to roll on the street.” (Laughter)
What is it, after all? There are three reasons for worry, as Baba said. One, antuleni aasalu, or limitless desires. Two, ardhamleni avedana, meaningless agitation, meaningless turbulence in the mind, meaningless disturbance in the mind. Three, praptha prapthamulakai prakuladuta, people desire without deserving. We should deserve and desire. These are the three reasons for worry.
Why do you worry? We worry because of the future. We worry because of the past. Someone came and I asked, “How are you?”
“I am fine, Mr. Anil Kumar, but last year, do you know what happened?” (Laughter)
By talking to some people, we become patients (Laughter) and we lose our patience, because the person goes on explaining, “In fifty-two, I had one attack, in seventy-two, another attack.” Please don’t attack me like that! (Laughter) Please leave me alone; then you may have any number of attacks.
We worry unnecessarily about the past, you know. “Last year you did not say hello to me; therefore, I am waiting for an opportunity to cut you down.” Worry comes from the constant thought of the past. Worry comes from the constant thought of the future.
“Ten years from now, if I am to meet with an accident, will I have enough money to pay the medical bill?” (Laughter) Why should you sustain an accident at all?
“After twenty years, if I fall on my bed, will my children take care of me?” Who said you will fall on your bed? You may take off straightaway! (Laughter) (Applause)
Arey! If the future is not known, why do you think of bad aspects even, which is negative thinking? Worry is our own imagination. Worry is our own creation. Peace is our birthright. We are always peaceful. Unnecessarily we get disturbed.
COMPARISON AND COMPETITION DISTURB THE MIND
A simple example: Swami gives you vibhuthi, and I lose peace. Why? When He gives you vibhuthi, why should I be disturbed? Some devotees ask me about it, because I mingle with everyone. I don’t maintain any aloofness. Tigers and lions are to be kept away, but not human beings, particularly teachers. We should move freely. Swami gave vibhuthi to someone.
“Sir, why He has given it?”
“Arey! I will find out. Wait!” (Laughter)
I cannot ask him straightaway, “Sir, congratulations. Swami gave you vibhuthi. Congratulations. Good, good!”
“Mr. Anil Kumar, we don’t have issues, we have no children. Swami has given me vibhuthi.”
I came to one boy and said, “Come on, take vibhuthi, and you will get a child tomorrow.” (Laughter) Arey! He has given vibhuthi for that purpose. Why are you bothered about it? A cancer patient? He gives vibhuthi. “I want it.” “Come on, sir, you will get it.” (Laughter) (Applause)
Even in a spiritual centre we go on comparing ourselves, we go on competing with each other, such that we lose peace. Comparison and competitions are responsible for the absence of peace.
If anyone says, “Mr. Anil Kumar, you are a professor. Your former classmate is now the Director General of the Police.” I tell them, “He is happy as a police officer, and I am happy as a professor. Why? He has to meet only criminals, whereas I meet students. (Laughter) After retirement, no one goes to him.”
A teacher has no retirement. A teacher is a teacher, forever and ever! (Applause) Yes, we are very fortunate to see the smiling faces of boys—not crying faces, no, no, no! Not melancholic, not tragic. Given the chance, my friends, I want to be born again and again as a teacher, any number of times in the future. (Applause) Yes, why not? I am very happy. My wealth, my passbooks, are nothing but the heart of my students’, and the entries in the passbook are nothing but their smiling faces and their best wishes. So I am very happy.
THE ABSENCE OF PEACE IS OUR OWN MAKING
One day in Prashanti Nilayam, Baba said, “Anil Kumar, what do you want? I will give it to you now.”
“Swami, I don’t want anything. I don’t want anything.”
“No, no! Ask and I will give it to you.”
“Swami, I am in front of God, who gives me everything without asking. Why should I ask now?”
“No, no! You ask.”
“No, Swami, no!”
Then Baba said, “Do you want moksha, liberation?”
I said, “I don’t want.”
He said, “Why?”
“Swami, no one who attained moksha ever came to me and said, ‘Moksha is a nice sweet.’ (Laughter) (Applause) No one ever came to me and said, ‘Moksha is very beautiful.’ No one said what moksha is. Why should I ask for that which no one knows? (Laughter) Swami, if you are keen to ask me what I want,” I told Him, “You can ask anyone. I want only one thing—to go all around the world and speak about the experiences and the message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for any number of lives to come!” (Applause)
This is the thrill and excitement I get; there is nothing in worthwhile in the gunny bag of lifeless currency notes. Nothing doing, after all!
Bhagavan speaks of Alexander the Great, when he was about to leave his mortal body. He said he wanted an extension of five minutes. Nothing doing, no extension! Indian Railways may delay, but not this. (Laughter) It will run in advance sometimes. He said, “I will give you half of my kingdom.” Nothing doing! “Come on,” he said, “I will give you my whole kingdom.” Nothing doing!
That’s what I call, “Nahi Nahi Rakshati Drukin Karena, Samprapte Sannihite Kale. When the end approaches, nothing will happen to stop it. The absence of peace is of our own making. So let us correct ourselves.
INNER VOICE IS THE CONSCIENCE AND NON-DUAL
Please tell us how to distinguish between the real inner voice and the false voice of our mind.
The false voices of our mind are imaginations, hallucinations, and desires. But the inner voice is the conscience. The false voice is dual, while the inner voice is non-dual. The voices, the prompting of the mind, give you a choice: to do or not to do. The inner voice is a direct command, while that voice prompted by the mind will be for your convenience.
Suppose I want to go to a movie, or I want to go to Universal Studios in Orlando, and my inner voice says to go. Nonsense, stop it! Stop that noise! I would say that it is not a voice; it is noise!
On the other hand, “Nothing doing; go to the Sai centre”--that is the inner voice. That which is positive, that which is directive, that which is non-dual, that which is spiritual, is the inner voice. That which is physical, that which is dual, is a prompting of the mind.
THE DEBATE IN KODAIKANAL
Can you share with us Swami’s teachings on guidelines for newly married young adults, or young adults who are just about to enter the sacred bond?
Ho, ho! Let me first congratulate them. (Laughter) It’s a joke and not meant to hurt them. Please do not misunderstand me. Anil Kumar is against hurting anyone. I am ready to bear the cross; this is just a joke.
Once Swami was in Kodaikanal and there was a debating competition. Is man superior or is woman superior? Who is superior? On behalf of women, we had at that time Jayamma Gopinath, the warden of Anantapur Campus, and Padma Kasgair, the High Court Justice from Bengal. The poor gentleman V.K.Narasimhan and I were left to speak on behalf of men. (Laughter)
Swami did not keep quiet, “Hmm! Hmm!” doing like that. A terrific event!
Jayamma Gopinath said, “Swami, behind the life of every great man, there is a greater woman.” That’s what she said.
Swami: “Anil Kumar, hmm, hmm, come!” (Laughter)
Then I said, “Behind the sickness of every man, there is the hand of a woman. (Laughter) (Applause) Women are the cause for blood pressure and sugar promptings.” (Laughter)
Then Jayamma got up.
Swami: “Hmm! Jayamma, kaani...kaani!”
Jayamma got up and said, “No.” She kept speaking of Tulasi, Savithri, and all those people.
Swami: “Anil Kumar, carry on!”
“Swami, Sita is responsible for this war. Draupadi is responsible for that war,” I said. (Laughter)
Anil Kumar: “If we make a comparison, the number of heart complaints are higher among men, because they cannot cry openly.” (Laughter) The boys were clapping. Oh, nice, nice!
Finally, Baba said, “Woman is greater than man. Anil Kumar, keep quiet! Women are certainly grateful.” (Laughter)
He gave that judgment. Everyone clapped. I enjoyed it. (Applause) Oh, I see, come on. (Anil Kumar drummed on the podium) (Laughter)
Then He looked at me and He explained to me why woman is greater than man, and all that.
Later the crowd dispersed, and we were at the dining table. Swami came close to me, “Papam, you lost the case.” (Laughter)
“Swami, I am sorry to have lost the case, but I have another point to say.”
“The point is, Swami, man may be dependent on woman, but woman can manage herself, in her own way. Naturally you are quite partial to woman, because she is responsible for the glory, or prestige, or dignity of the family. I can understand, Swami.”
WIFE = WISDOM INVITED FOR EVER
Then Baba looked at some boys, because the question was related to those who were ready to get married. The question belonged to them.
Swami: “Eera! When are you getting married?”
The boy, who was ready to complete his MBA, said, “Swami, feeling shy!”
“Aahah! Abbah! Asamkartahai! Abbah! You are very happy,” He said. Then He looked at the boy, “Arey! “Wife, ra! W-I-F-E: Worry Invited For Ever—ra!” (Laughter) (Applause) and then He said, “You love your wife, ra; but when she becomes a knife, you will understand what life is.” (Laughter) (Applause)
I wanted to put a full-stop to this, because I am a married man, you see, and I would have a problem later. (Laughter) I said, “Swami, “Ninety-nine percent of Sai devotees are here only because of their wives, ninety-nine percent! I am no exception.” (Laughter) (Applause)
Every woman says that her husband is not devoted, and is not as devoted as she. She keeps complaining, until the fellow is forced to get into the field of spirituality. He goes so deep that the same woman complains later: “My husband is suffering from too much Sai. He has no time for me!” (Laughter) (Applause)
We are enjoying the story because it is our own life story, you know. (Laughter) (Applause) (Anil Kumar laughed)
“We would not be devotees, Swami, but for our wives.”
Swami said, “No, no, no!”
I also said, “Swami, because I was so busy with your organisation for thirty long years, I had no time for my family at all. I never greeted them on their birthdays, nor dropped them at their schools or anything like that. Somehow they could study well, and grow up by Your grace, Swami.”
Swami: “Sare levayya. WIFE in your case is Wisdom Invited For Ever.” (Laughter)
He changed it again. “Worry Invited For Ever” was now “Wisdom Invited For Ever”. So, to prospective bridegrooms, I wish them to have “Wisdom Invited For Ever”! (Applause)
THE MESSAGE OF THE WHEELCHAIR
I am in pain seeing Swami in a wheelchair. What penance should we do to see that our Swami walks like the previous Avatar, and can bless us?
We need not do penance for Swami. That is His problem. Let us not worry about it, because Swami says, “I am fine.” Let us not worry about it. Like the previous Avatar, every Avatar has His own agenda. But I don’t want to escape from this question.
Let me tell you my friends, when Swami was walking briskly, going around Purnachandra Auditorium ten to fifteen times, going until the end, and sprinkling water during the yajna, did you question why He was walking like that? Why did you ask that question about the wheelchair now? When we did not question Him about His activity earlier, why do we question it now?
The second point is that He was very active, telling us how to be active, and why to be active. Today He is in a wheelchair, and He is showing us how to bear the pain, how to bear the suffering, yet smile, yet spread happiness, and spread love to everyone, why not? (Applause) With multiple fractures, He goes in a wheelchair, smiling and smiling, giving interviews, and making everyone happy. Is it possible? A simple headache is enough for us to make it a universal, international problem! (Laughter)
Therefore, Baba in a wheelchair has a message to convey: we have to learn how to bear our suffering; we have to learn how to meet all the challenges of life, irrespective of the pain. Baba in a wheelchair demonstrates how to share happiness with everyone; how we have to carry on with our schedule without dropping any of our duty, in spite of our pain.
Pain is a gain, in the case of Baba, in order to share His teachings to the entire humanity. Let us understand that. Therefore, instead of asking why He is like that, we should understand that He has got a message to convey to all of us, because we want to be comfortable and we don’t want any ill health; we do not want any sickness, no, no, no!
Even God will be like that, but He transcends. He keeps repeating, “I am not the body.” But it has never gone into our head; it has never gone into our head. Today He is demonstrating that He is not the body.
Believe me or not, in the days when He would go by car to Kodaikanal, He started from Bangalore at six o’clock in the morning, reaching Kodaikanal by six o’clock in the evening. If you looked at His face, it was fresh, fresh! We may apply powder, and half the tin may be gone, but we still have castor oil faces. We will never change in our lifetime! (Laughter)
That is the Original. He is not the body. He always seems to be very happy, in a blissful state. Therefore, Swami in a wheelchair has a message to convey.
UNITY REQUIRES LEADERSHIP AND COMPROMISE
When a Sai centre splits into two or three separate groups because of some issues, what is the best thing to do?
When three children are fighting with each other, what is the duty of the parent? He should see that the matter is settled. The organisation presidents and the regional president should sit and resolve all these things.
My friends, where there is no unity, there is no God; take it from me, there is no God. Baba wants unity. Very important!
A simple example: a president and a secretary of a Sai centre came to see Swami. They were at loggerheads with each other. They didn’t see eye-to-eye. Swami granted them an interview, closed the door, and He came out of the interview room. (Laughter) (Applause)
Though He spoke to everyone, those people were neglected until that day. All the old files were settled. He delayed further, and then opened the doors.
Swami: “Bangaru, baita potladukuntunnaru kada, ikkada kooda kasta time iddamani.” (Laughter) “You’re fighting outside anyway. I want you to fight in my interview room also.”
Why not? Exhaust yourself. Let the cylinder be empty. Therefore, my friends, Bhagavan does not want us to split. The one who compromises, the one who accepts, the one who surrenders, the one who steps down to maintain the prestige and the dignity of the Avatar, is a Sai devotee; but not the one who wants to hang on to his chair. (Applause) The chair is not in consideration.
A few years ago, Bhagavan gave padanamaskar to many state presidents. I am sorry to say this because this is a sensitive organisational question; but I have to openly come out and say it. Some of the state presidents had to be escorted by three to four people to the dais. Most of them were suffering from spondylitis, arthritis, pneumonia, bronchitis, and what not. (Laughter)
Do you want to be a state president? Organisational posts are not for useless stuff, or a second-hand body. The organisation is for young, dynamic people with leadership. Let us understand that point. (Applause) The organisation is an opportunity to do spiritual sadhana, not to pull on the organisation like that. Those people who have retired, with no one to care for at home, long to dominate in society. It is not an opportunity to do like that. Please vacate, quit!
A Sai devotee will compromise on certain issues. He will never take it as a political background and fight on issues like that. This I am telling you, my friends, as your brother, not from the pedestal of authority. Please understand me in the correct sense.
Anil Kumar sang the bhajan, “Govinda Gopala He Nanadalala, Radhe Gopala Gopi Gopala”
SWAMI NEVER LEAVES YOU
What is the best way to talk to Swami, and connect with Him, when we are so far away from His physical form?
Hmm, good question. The best way to talk to Swami is to wait. I waited for seven long years, believe me or not. For seven years He never looked at me, let alone accepting a flower or a letter from me. Many times He even avoided the line in which I was seated. Sometimes darshan was cancelled also. That is the fortune of a person, you see, for seven long years.
He knows when it is the right time to talk. He knows! But whether He talks to you or not, He will never leave you, please understand me. You may leave Him, but He will never leave you. Please understand and believe me in that statement. I will give you one example.
One gentleman, by the name of Rajagopal from Venkatagiri, came to Swami after twenty years, twenty years! Swami came close to him and said, “Bangaru meeru marichina, Swami marachaledayya, Swami marachaledayya.” “You must have forgotten, but I have not forgotten you. You may forsake me, I shall not forsake you,” said Bhagavan.
Talking is not that important. Taking care of us is more important. Father has no time to talk to His son, but He will take care of son’s well-being. He educates him. Just because He doesn’t have the time to talk doesn’t mean that the child is neglected. He knows when to talk, and why to talk. Let us not make an issue about it.
BABA IS NOT A PHYSICAL FORM
Another thing: Baba is far away from being the physical form. When you think Baba is a physical form, that thought is a problem. When you think that He is not the physical form, that thought is a spiritual phenomenon.
Baba is not a physical form, but a spiritual phenomenon. Understand that. When we understand that He is a spiritual phenomenon, you will feel the pulse, you will feel the vibration, and you will get the response, if only you are receptive. If you go by the physical form, when you are not responsive or receptive, any stimulus would not bring any kind of response. Baba thinks more of those people who are far away.
DEAR IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN NEAR
One son stays with his father, while another son is staying far off. The father receives services from the son who stays with him, and always thinks of the son who is far away from him. While that is natural in a family, in the case of us poor, mortal human beings, God thinks of us more than anything, because being near is not important. Being dear is important to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. (Applause)
Dear is more important. Some may be near Him for certain reasons. There are many contractors, electricians, and many cooks who are very near Him, and there are many shops. People say they got their birth reserved in Vaikunta, nonsense! Spiritual experience is psychological. Spiritual experience is inner, not external.
A simple example: even at the human level, will any husband talk about his wife in public, saying, “I love my wife very much. I love my father very much. I love my mother very much.”? No, no!
The most intimate relationship is the inner, personal one. It is not something to be described. Swami is inner, personal. He is personally connected to you, who are staying far-off from Him. I will tell you what is pakka, the truth.
Another time Baba said, “Honey bees come from far-off places and draw honey out of the flower. Those who are far are like honey bees that come here, suck the honey of devotion and return, while you fellows, like snails and fish around the lotus flower, do not know the taste of honey.”
That is what Baba said. Therefore, never feel that you are neglected; never feel that you are far away. Away and near are matters of distance and time.
God is beyond time and space: Kaalaatheethaya Namah! Therefore, you are far-off distance-wise, by geographical consideration. But you have a place in the heart of Sai, if not on the lips of Sai. If you are there on the lips of Sai, you will find the occasion to talk to Him. If you are in the heart of Sai, it is a permanent reservation. (Applause)
How do I know that Swami cares about me? (Laughter)
When this “me” is gone, He cares for you. (Laughter) Swami cares, that’s all! When you talk about “me,” He doesn’t care. Forget that “me”! That is the secret.
TRUE SURRENDER AND COMPASSION
How do we truly surrender every act of ours to Swami?
I don’t truly surrender. I don’t know false surrender, I know true surrender. Surrender is pakka, there cannot be false surrender. There cannot be partial surrender. Someone said, “I am ready to surrender, partly.” (Laughter) Oh, oh! I surrender. “If’s” and “but’s” don’t apply. Surrender is total.
How can you surrender every act of yours to Swami? Simple thing: don’t grab the credit. Don’t frustrate yourself in times of failure. If I am a failure, Swami, You want to teach me a lesson. If I am successful, Swami, this is Your beautiful gift, and You are encouraging me. Not identifying with the result is the key to surrender.
In terms of doing service, please explain the difference between compassion and pity? What is compassion? What is pity? For example, you see a beggar and give person the money. Is that compassion, or pity, or both?
Pity is temporary. Compassion is permanent. Pity is your response, while compassion is your nature. Pity is based on a situation. Compassion is one which goes on from womb to tomb, from birth to death. Pity is a quality you cultivate. Compassion is the one that’s natural, inborn, imbued, latent, and immanent. It is not anything that is cultivated.
You give money to a beggar out of pity, no, no, no! Give out of compassion. If you are having pity, you will say, “Poor fellow,” and leave the place.
Pity in action, pity plus feeling, pity with sacrifice is compassion. Pity is personal. Compassion is broad and universal. That is the difference between the two.
SWAMI’S WORK IS YOUR WORK
Swami has stated that the whole world will become one and spirituality will spread throughout the world. Could you please explain that?
Saying the world is going to be one is not a prophecy. If you go to Prashanti Nilayam, it is a mini-world. The world is one, as God is one. The only one is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Prashanti Nilayam.
YOUR WORK IS SWAMI’S WORK
I know that our ultimate goal in our life is to see ourselves and all others as one, so I try to focus on this at home and at work. However, if I do not go to regularly scheduled Sai activities, sometimes I lose this focus. I am busy and will continue to get busier with family responsibilities in the future.
Very good, a very good problem! Sai activity is not different from your own activity. Swami seva, swakaryamu bhinnamu kaadu. Swakarya is your profession, swakarya is your job, and Swami seva is service. No, no, no, your work is also Swami’s work!
So the attitude, the temperament, the direction of thought is more important. Let us not say that this work is Swami’s work, and that is my personal work. Who are you to have personal work? There is nothing like personal work.
A simple example: a long time ago I received a letter from my daughter, and I was deeply touched reading through that letter. I kept it in my pocket. Swami stood in front of me and said, “Where is the letter?” (Laughter)
I said, “What letter, Swami, what?”
Swami: “Hey! In your pocket!”
“Swami, it’s a personal letter.”
“Oh, oh, is anything between Me and you personal and not public? If you are not going to take out that letter, I will declare publicly all that is written in that letter.” (Laughter)
Therefore, there cannot be anything personal, please understand that.
DON’T PREACH, PRACTICE
How do you speak about Swami to someone who has not heard of Swami?
Don’t speak about Swami; act per His teachings. That would be the best demonstration. There are some people that hammer more on this. If anyone comes, they go on hammering that Baba is that, Baba is this. So what? If you are peaceful, if you are compassionate, if you are truthful, if you are selfless, loving, and caring, yes, that is the best way to speak about Baba, rather than giving a talk. Baba can be propagated by practice, not by preaching. (Applause)
YOU ARE NON-DUAL BUT FUNCTION AS DUAL
Theoretically we are all one. Can we live anywhere? What will be our home?
All are one. What is to be done? All are one basically. Suppose I have a leather belt, leather shoes with leather straps, all items made of leather. That does not mean I will have shoes around my neck. I won’t keep the belt on my feet. (Laughter)
If my jewels are made of gold—earrings, chain and waist belt—I can’t have earrings at my waist and my waist belt at my ears. Basically, bhavaadvaita kriyaadvaita. Bhavaadvaita: essentially you are non-dual, but functionally you are dual.
Suppose I go to class and say, “Boys, you and I are the same.” What is there to teach? “There is only one.” (Laughter) (Applause)
“Sir, the classroom is not the place you are supposed to be; you should be under the psychiatrist’s care, thank you!” (Laughter)
EXPERIENCE GOD AS LOVE AND TRUTH
Did you ever experience God in Swami yourself? Anything else?
That’s what I said so far.
How do you know that experience is God? Is there a definition or set of attributes?
The experience is not God. Please understand that the experiencer is God, experience is not God The experiencer is God. Sight is not God, the seer is God. Hearing is not God, the hearer is God. Thinking is not God, the very thought is God. Singing is not God, the very song is God. The dancer is not God, the very dance is God. Therefore, experience is not God, because experience goes on changing. The experiencer is a witness, and is God.
Is it bad if a person is an atheist, but he does a lot of seva? If an atheist does lots of seva, but he doesn’t believe in God or in Swami, what is to be done?
No problem, no problem! A long time ago I said, “Swami, Russians are atheists. They don’t believe in God. Am I speaking the truth?”
Baba said, “They may not believe in God, but they believe in love. They believe in truth, which is God.” Truth is God, love is God.
You believe in God, yet your speech is full of lies. You believe in God, yet you hate everyone. You burn the lives of everyone, yet you believe in God? What is that horrible belief? No, no! Living the truth is God. Love is God. Faith is God. Peace is God, and bliss is God. Don’t have God separate from these things, no!
SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES WITHDRAW THE MIND
What are the most memorable moments that you have had with Swami?
Every moment is memorable.
What is a technique to withdraw the mind? If the mind is withdrawn, is it possible to engage in action?
The mind is withdrawn—this you will understand when you are the witness state in deep sleep. The mind engaged in action means the waking state.
Simple example: MBA—Mind, Body and Atma = the waking state. If we just remove “B” out of the three letters, it becomes “M and A”—Mind and Atma; that is the dreaming state. If you remove “B” and “M”, only Atma is left; that is the deep sleep state. Therefore, in the three states, Atma is continuous.
That’s what is to be done. The mind is withdrawn; that it is meditation.
A simple example: when Swami is giving darshan, we go on talking—ta, ta, ta, ta! You will look at Him. Ah! What happened to your mind? Let me know! We don’t know!
When Swami gives you an interview, you will forget to give the letter. You wrote a long letter, rewrote it a number of times in active voice, passive voice, direct speech, indirect speech, submission, prayer and all that. (Laughter) You forget to give it to Him. What happened to your mind? Switched off? He will simply stop it like that, finished! You cannot ask. Therefore, experience with God is withdrawal of the mind.
Suppose you sing bhajans with a full throat, and you enjoy singing. Some people don’t sing full-throated. They go on grumbling and murmuring. One group from Andhra Pradesh said that people who don’t sing loudly will lose their speech in the next life. (Laughter)
Once you are immersed in bhajan, you are lost. Where is the mind? When Swami stands in front of you, you have forgotten. Where is the mind? Spiritual experiences are the best lessons to withdraw the mind.
ACTION, NOT ADVERTISEMENT
We are not supposed to advertise, so how do we increase the Sai centre membership?
Centre membership cannot be increased by advertisement, no, no, no! As we go on serving, people will come to know what we are doing. Yes, society is not isolated. You are not living alone; you are in a community, and people will watch you and will certainly follow. Whereas, with advertising come problems. But through demonstrative action, people will follow you.
Swami has told us many times to bring new visitors to the Sai centres. How?
He never said to bring Sai visitors. Visitors come! Who brought you here? Why should anybody bring visitors? We don’t want any help. We can walk. Nobody needs to bring visitors.
One gentleman said, “Swami, we will take You to our state.”
Swami said, “Tappaka vasthanu, Bangaru.” “Definitely,” He said.
At the dining table I asked, “Swami, when are you going?”
“Vadevadayya nannu teesukelled?” (Laughter) “Who is he to take Me?”
“You said, ‘Yes.’ That fellow didn’t understand, so I asked.”
Swami said that no one can take Him, no! He comes. You see, few ants can bear the weight of jaggery (brown sugar) or can lift it. No man can take Him; only devotees can take Him anywhere. Understand it. He allows Himself because of their wishes, in response to their prayers; it is not that you take Him! He is not luggage or baggage, no, no, no!
ONE IS A GUIDE UNTO HIMSELF
Please give us a practical guide to purify our heart.
There is no practical guide. One is a guide unto himself. When I am lying, I know. When I am untrustworthy, I know. Conscience is the best guide, thermometer, weighing machine, and blood-pressure machine, to tell us where we stand.
BHAJAN AND BHOJAN CAN MIX
I believe Swami has said that bhajan and bhojan (eating) do not mix. Please elaborate.
Yes, bhajan, bhojan, why not? Why not?
We can sing and eat, eat and sing, why not? There is nothing wrong with it. (Laughter) (Applause) Nothing wrong! (Applause)
On the other hand, I consider bhojan more important also, yes, why not? (Laughter)
REACTION, REFLECTION, RESOUND
You talked about physical, mental, and intellectual training in Milwaukee. Can you please elaborate on the intellectual?
These things I said already.
When Swami says everything is reaction, reflection and resound, what exactly is meant by resound?
As you say, so will be the resound. When you go to a cave or a closed house, when you shout, it echoes the same. If you say “OM,” you get the same resound, “OM.” If you laugh ecstatically, you will get same resound. As is the sound, so is the resound. As is the action, so is the reaction. As is the object, so is the reflection, that’s all.
BABA’S WORDS ARE THE BEST FOOD
Baba says that we are the Atma, not the body. Yet there are several names for Baba, like “Sarva Roga Nivaranaya, Anna Vastra Daya,” which are related to the body.
Good! Roga relates to body; vastra relates to body; anna relates to body. They are for maintenance, not for eternity.
The greatest aahara, the food that He supplies, is nothing other than His discourse. His teachings are the food that He offers to everyone. Other food is available everywhere, please let us understand it. Therefore, my friends, roga is not a simple affliction, no, no! Roga is birth and death. Swami’s prescription is to come out of this cycle of birth and death, bhavaroga! It is not that ordinary sickness that we think it is.
MEDITATION IS LIKE SMELLING A ROSE
Can you speak a bit about the difference between concentration, contemplation and meditation?
Very good! A simple example: Swami said, “You want a rose flower, so what do you do? You go to the garden, where there are many plants around; but you go straight to the rose plant, because you want a rose flower. As you go the rose plant, what do you do? You pick up a flower. Then what do you do? You smell it and enjoy.”
Going to the garden and straight to the rose plant is concentration. Cutting off the leaves and the thorns, and picking up the flower is contemplation. Enjoying its fragrance, aroma, or the odour of it, is meditation. One is preparation, the second is the thought around it, and the third is getting immersed in it. These are the three levels.
Okay, I completed my portion of the syllabus, like a teacher who is relieved. (Laughter) (Applause)
Professor Anil Kumar finished his talk with the bhajan, “Bhaja Mana Narayana Narayana”
Samarda Sadguru Sainath Baba Maharaj Ki Jai!
Thank you very much. Friends, I know that you have come from so many places, from distant places, driving all the way. May Bhagavan bless you and your families for your time spent coming here and listening to my talk, in rapt attention. It speaks more of your love than my competence. It speaks more of your devotion to Bhagavan than the individual self.
I know that I am the last and the least. I know that with Bhagavan, I stand nowhere. All the love and respect that you attach to me is due to Bhagavan. I remind myself of that more than the number of times that the heart beats, believe me or not. Hats off to your devotion!
May Bhagavan bless you, forever and ever, and ever more! (Applause)
© Copyright Prof. Anil Kumar Kamaraju, Puttaparthi. All rights reserved.