“Birth and Rebirth”
August 17, 2009
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With feelings of gratitude to everybody for making it convenient for me to be here for this satsang: I thank you very much for your gracious presence because it helps me to think, read, write and finally share. I consider this as my only sadhana. So I thank you because you are helping me to proceed along this path of sadhana.
birth and rebirth
Well, this morning I would like to talk to you on certain important aspects. You must have heard of people talking about birth and rebirth. This morning’s newspaper says that a girl of seven years claims to be a close friend of Dalai Lama; and that girl also says that Dalai Lama would come and see her very soon. She mentions the names of her parents in the previous life—and she is just seven years old!
Even earlier, we came across certain episodes where children started recollecting their past lives: mentioning their parents’ names, families and relationships. Another child is known to have taken all the villagers to the place where they lived in their previous life, recollecting their previous husbands, wives, and children--including their rooms and their furniture!
LIFE IS A COMBINATION OF RATIONALITY AND IRRATIONALITY
So the theory of birth and rebirth cannot be dismissed or denied. We cannot take it as irrational or unscientific. For your information, life is a combination of both: rationality and irrationality. Why do I love a person? I may not give any reason for it. Why do I love a person? There may not be a scientific explanation, proof, demonstration or an experiment. Why I love, I do not know. There is no reason, no rationality behind it.
So there are certain things which are irrational, illogical, unscientific and unreasonable, yet we have to accept them; we cannot deny them. While at the same time, we accept that which is scientific, logical and rational. Therefore, my friends what I want to draw your attention to is this point: that life is a combination of rationality and irrationality. If you think in rational terms only, you are mechanical. If you hold on to irrationality only, you are blind. Therefore, birth and rebirth is one such concept that seems to be irrational, but at the same time cannot be denied. Whatever that may be--what could be the reason for rebirth? What could be the reason?
When we study the lives of people, we find right from childhood one has an inclination for music; or one has a liking for literature; or right from the beginning, one wants to be a painter or one wants to be a service man or one wants to work on machines. These are certain inclinations, tendencies or traits which are not cultivated. Please understand. Poetry is not cultivated. Reading poetry can be cultivated: you can read a poem, understand it, and I can create an interest in you for poetry; but no one can make you a poet. A poet is born, not trained. A painter is born, not trained. So there are certain qualities within us which blossom in due course of time, which are brought forward from the previous life. Why and how does this happen?
MIND IS THE CAUSE FOR REBIRTH
First of all, let me say that the cause for rebirth is the mind. Mind is the cause for rebirth. That is the reason why great thinkers, seers, sages and spiritual heads want us to grow beyond the mind. Spiritual doctrines or spiritual theories also prescribe the methods to grow beyond the mind.
HOW TO GO OR GROW BEYOND THE MIND
Some say just through prayer you can grow beyond the mind. Others say, no! Maybe patience is the only way to go beyond the mind. So people suggest methods to go or to grow beyond the mind. No religion says, “Limit yourself to the mind.” No religion says that. No philosopher would ever say, “Act according to the mind.” No! Every school of philosophy wants us to go beyond the mind. Why? Because mind is the cause for birth and rebirth.
Then the question may arise: why bother? So let me be born again--what is the harm? What is the harm? Let me be born again. Good--if you think so! But life experiences, truly speaking, may not make us say that. Life experiences will not prompt us to say that--more so in the present times, when there are no proper relationships or values, when the standard of life is degenerating or declining day-by-day.
YOU ARE BORN NOT TO BE BORN AGAIN
If anyone asks you, “Would you like to relive your life?” --you might say, “I am sorry, I don’t want to.”
“Because I am bored, and I am tired and vexed.”
If we have a repetitive life of disgust, vexation or boredom, we do not want it again. Our life may be luxurious or extravagant, yet we do not want to live again. We do not want to be born again. Therefore, all religions suggest that we should work, while living this life, to be birth-less. We are born, not to be born again; we should die in such a way that we do not have to die once again. This should be the final journey. I don’t want to be brought forward, like in an account book. Enough is enough!
Hence, all religions want this life to be final, so we don’t have to be born again. And that state of birthlessness or deathlessness is what is called liberation, kaivalya, moksha, the kingdom of heaven or nirvana. These are all different names given to the same state which will not allow us to be born again, and which will keep us with the Divine, in the Divine, of the Divine—in a state of bliss forever and ever which is non-dual. Therefore, my friends, mind is the cause for birth and rebirth.
WHAT IS The MIND DOING?
Then the question may arise: what is it that the mind is doing? What is the mind doing to make me be born again? What is it doing? Let’s observe the present life. What is the mind doing? We say, “This is my friend and the other is my enemy.” “This is my friend because he says, ‘Sai Ram’ to me every time.” “That one is my enemy because he avoids me.” “He is my friend because he obliges me; he is not my friend because he does not oblige me.” These are all recorded in the mind. They are the reasons for prejudice, for bias.
VRITHIS AND VASANAS
We develop certain feelings towards people. All these things are stored in the mind and the mind is very anxious to show off. “Yesterday you didn’t look at me; therefore today I do not look at you.” (Laughter) “Yesterday you insulted me; I am waiting to pay you back in doubles and multiples.”
Mind always is expressive, because it records all these things. Those things which are recorded are called vrithis. Vrithi is a Sanskrit word which is nothing but a recording of experiences, consequences or results of our actions. It expresses at any moment and at any time, that which is inside; it comes out naturally.
Then there is also another situation: previous life experiences are also recorded in the mind and they are called vasanas. Vasanas are the experiences and the results of past life. Vrithis are the actions, reactions of the present life.
Mind is a beautiful DVD or a TV, while the body is a player. Body is only a player. We say, “Come on, put on the DVD,” and it begins. Suppose you hear some bad music; there is no point in breaking the CD! Suppose you record my music, what will happen? You will have to break the player, and you will have to break the CD also, because I am not a singer by any standards! Therefore, there is no point in blaming the player or the CD because the CD player plays what is on the CD or DVD.
So, player is the body, while the music that you hear is the result or the consequences or the manifestation or the expression of the CD or the DVD kept there. It may play the present experiences--what we call vrithis, or it may play past experiences—that is, vasanas. (I think I can make use of my preliminary fundamental knowledge of the computer to some extent!) (Laughter) Therefore my friends, mind is the cause for birth and rebirth, and it has the sound recordings and experiences of the previous life--what we call vasanas.
Now how should I get out of it?
I am already in trouble with the present.I am trying to get out of the present and forget the past! Past is also bothering me, past is also hanging heavily. I have loans now, and the loans of the past years also are haunting me. Therefore, past loans and present loans have to be repaid with compound interest. I have to pay with compound interest--so what shall I do now?
FIND PEACE AND HAPPINESS WITHin YOU
Vedanta philosophy says that until you find peace and happiness within you, you cannot get out of the mind. Vedanta clearly says that you are not the body, and that you are not the mind. Mind is as much an instrument as the body, and intellect is as much an instrument as the body. Legs, hands, eyes, ears, mind are all instruments. Some are seen outside, while some are within—just as some parts of the car are seen outside, such as bulbs or tires, while other parts of the car are inside, like brakes or steering. Therefore, friends, until we find happiness within, we cannot go beyond the mind.
If I depend on the mind for my happiness, the mind will show the other extreme also. Mind will put us to any torture. That is the reason why we are like this. For example, I am quite happy now; but after an hour, I begin to think whether I will be happy tomorrow or not? I am happy now, but my worry is whether I will be happy tomorrow or next month! There are some very good people who will worry about the next ten years also! (Laughter) Then we also worry about our misery last month or last week. Therefore, we are not living in the present. So, mind makes you happy for some time, and then it will make you unhappy also.
Therefore, let me not depend on my mind for my happiness, because it will also show me the other side: like a pendulum, it will not stop at one side. Unless the pendulum is damaged, it has to move--that’s all! The pendulum has to oscillate from this extreme to that extreme. It goes on swinging between happiness and unhappiness, success and failure, light and darkness. That is duality.
The mind goes on oscillating, so how can I depend on my mind--which is not steady--for my happiness? Therefore, my friends, Vedanta says, if you want to go beyond the mind, never depend upon the mind for your happiness.
BLISS OR ANANDA IS NON-DUAL
Happiness is a dual state. Happiness is followed by unhappiness, just like a shadow. One drinks: happiness, followed by cirrhosis of the liver, unhappiness. So unhappiness follows happiness like a shadow. It is inevitable—like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. On the other hand, the state beyond or above the mind is not happiness. It is not dual. It is what is called bliss or ananda. Bliss or ananda is above mind state or beyond mind state or ‘no mind’ state.
So what is bliss? Bliss is non-dual. There is no such thing as ‘un-bliss’ or ‘non-bliss’. Bliss is bliss--that is all! Happiness is followed by unhappiness, and success comes with failure; however, bliss is bliss. That is all. So the non-dual experience of bliss is possible above the mind only. Until we reach that state, we have to be born again and again.
Birth and rebirth are certain until we recognise the fact that there is bliss above the mind, that there is bliss beyond the mind which will wipe off, erase or remove all vasanas of the mind. All vasanas or tendencies of the mind are wiped off or erased once we experience the non-dual ananda beyond the mind.
My friends, these are the things that we have to learn; these are the things that we have to share. These are the things that we have to ponder over repeatedly because we are advancing in our age. We cannot afford to spend our time slowly, jumping around all our life. The time has come, so let us go deeper and deeper in the philosophy.
why don’’t you write about your personal experiences?
This is between us, since we are so close. One gentleman asked me, “Why don’t you write articles on your own personal experiences? You have plenty of experiences. Why don’t you also write articles on the experiences of your friends, because you have a lot of friends! Being in the organisation for thirty-five years or even more, why don’t you write? Why don’t you write your own biography?” This happened just one week ago. Since we are so close, I am just sharing with you, without mentioning the details.
You know what I said? My experiences are not as great as you think. I am not at all great, and I do not consider myself great or special. I am a very normal, common, average man. That’s all. Nothing special! Therefore, with what authority do you want me to write about my own experiences and about the experiences of the friends known to me? We have a whole store full of books covering experiences—some thousand or two thousand books are there, so you can read any book.
That man was very angry with me. Then he mentioned the names of two persons who had written their biographies. “Why don’t you write? You will write.”
That was violent devotion or devotional violence (Laughter) or spiritual attack. (Laughter) Then I told that man, “Of the two individuals you mentioned, one individual wrote his biography at the time when he was very old, at the time when the world had recognised him and already thought he was great. He knew that he was great and his greatness was wide-spread by that time. He has written his biography at the right age, when the world considered him great and when he knew that he was great. I am not great, and I am not known to be great. Therefore, I cannot be equated with that great gentleman, whose name you have mentioned.”
And then he mentioned the other gentleman. He is a very violent man, because he belongs to a violent area. Then I told him, “The other man whom you mentioned thinks he is great. The first man you mentioned is great; the second man thinks he is great and therefore he has written. I do not think I am great. I am not great nor do I think I am great, so how can I write? Please leave me alone.” He stopped talking to me for the last one week. He didn’t like my idea. What to do? So people are not prepared to accept that you are ordinary, that you are a very common, average man! They want to consider us special and great. (Laughter)
Therefore, my friends until we realise the world of happiness within us, the joy within us, beyond the mind, there is no question of attaining the state of immortality or Amruthathva or birthlessness or deathlessness.
Then what is it that deludes us, what is it that puts us in ignorance? Many people say maya, maya. Those who don’t know the language also use the word maya.
Some gentleman was saying, “Anil, maya, maya. Everything is maya.”
I said, “Array! You have picked up the best words: ‘Everything is maya or delusion!’ ”
What is maya? Maya is this: though the end of life is fast approaching, and the fellow on the death bed knows that life is coming to a close, there still is a thought that he won’t die.
“Array! Doctor said you are going to die!”
“Array! Let that doctor die, I am not going to die!”(Laughter)
“Nurses are waiting for your death.”
“Array! Let them wait; I am not going to die!” (Laughter)
“ECG, all those graphs say you are going to die.”
“That is the mistake of ECG! I am not going to die.”
This is delusion, this is maya! To think that I am not going to die, though I am sure to die is maya. There cannot be a greater example for maya or illusion than this. Therefore, when death is certain, it is quite a challenge to be deathless.
So, death is certain, but we can be deathless. “Aah?” You may be thinking, “On the one hand, you say death is sure, while on the other hand you say that you can be deathless. Are you sane or insane?”
My friends, if we examine the question, what is the cause for birth, then we come to know: the mind is the cause for birth. When I go beyond the mind, I won’t be born at all. When I am not born, then there is no question of death. That which is born is sure to die; while for that which is never born, there is no question of death!
birthLESSNESS MEANS ‘NO MIND’ STATE
A fellow who appears for examination may pass or fail; but if he does not appear for examination, there is no result. Therefore, deathlessness means birthlessness, means ‘no mind’ state, means beyond the mind. That is the sadhana we have to do. How can we do it?
Please examine: you find some people hurriedly going around Ganesha, running very fast, nine or 108 times--whatever number it may be. If you ask, “Why are you going around like that, sir?” –they may say, “Some health problem.”
“Oh! Very good!”
We find some people going around Gayatri statue, chanting the mantra loudly. “Good! You are doing a nice job. What do you want?”
“Some family problem.”
ALL OUR SADHANA IS PROBLEM-ORIENTED
So, all our sadhana is problem-oriented. (Laughter) If there is no problem . . . “Good-bye Ganesha and (Laughter) good-bye Gayatri. I will see you when I get into trouble later. See you later, Bye!” (Laughter)
This is what is called business. Business! All our sadhana has unfortunately become a matter of business. That is why we go to God. We visit temples and we go to Tirupathi to find a solution or to express our gratitude, by sacrificing the hair which can grow back within a week (Laughter)--so easy and inexpensive--in exchange for all that God has given us! My friends, this is not correct. This kind of sadhana that we do as a solution to our problem is business, not spirituality. Then what is spirituality?
CONSTANT INTEGRATED AWARENESS
As Baba puts it, spirituality is ‘CIA – Constant Integrated Awareness.’ “I think of You, God, in my pleasure as well as in my pain. Pain and pleasure I take as Your gifts, my Lord, as Your prasadam. Why? So, as pleasure should not make me proud and pain should not make me frustrated, let us take it as prasadam: pleasure to improve, and pain to learn a lesson. Pain is a test to my devotion and pleasure is a reward, an act of grace on Your part. I take everything equally, pain and pleasure alike.” That is devotion. That is true sadhana. But unfortunately, we are not anywhere near it.
Somebody was saying, “Mr. Anil Kumar, I came here 20 years ago.” This fellow is nearly 70 years and because I know him very well, I told him, “You could have waited for ten more years, and seen Him in the next life!”
How or why is it that we don’t take every opportunity to spend time with the Lord? Why don’t we use every opportunity to see Him, every moment to think about Him, every act to serve Him, every thought to appreciate Him and every act as an act of worship? Why don’t we do that?
Our mentality has become a matter of bargaining, a matter of financial transaction. Even our human relationships are not selfless! When I say, “How are you?” you may say, “I have a request,” or else we do not recognise each other! This is how things are!
TRUE SPIRITUALITY IS IDENTITY WITH divinity
Therefore my friends, the climax, the top-most spiritual sadhana, the highest spiritual sadhana, or the only spiritual sadhana, is that sadhana which will make you feel one with God, which will make you feel and experience being one with God. That God is not separate from you, whatever you do. That is correct sadhana. All else is simply preparation, that is all. So, true spirituality is identity with Divinity. That is spiritual sadhana.
So why don’t I do it, when it is the only sadhana? Why don’t I do it? It is because I think that God is in a temple, I think God is in church, I think God is in a synagogue, I think God is in a gurudwar, or I think God is in a mosque. As long as we think that God is outside, at a place in a temple of worship, we can never realise Him even after hundreds of lives! Therefore, the only way to find identity with God is to know that God is within you.
know that God is in you
Then you may say, “Why should I come to Puttaparthi? When God is in me, why should I come to Puttaparthi?” Why? To know that God is in you, to hear from Baba that He is in you, to listen to His discourse inform you that He and you are one. So, only to know that He is in me, I come all the way with visa and passport! But it’s worth it. It’s worth it, because staying far away, I think God is right there, sitting on the moon. He is present in some other loka, in some other world! That is the greatest delusion that could every happen! So I come to Puttaparthi to learn from my Divine Master Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba that He is within me. That is all.
the absence of clarity is because of duality
Then if I put the question, “Is He in Whitefield or in Kodaikanal?”--it means some more training is necessary, probation is extended, or intensive, rigorous training is required. “He is within me.” That is the correct answer; that is the thing that has to be experienced. So, the confusion, chaos, and absence of clarity is because of this duality that ‘I am separate from God’, that ‘God is present somewhere else’ and that ‘I can meet Him during the weekend’.
“This weekend I hope to meet my God; this weekend I could go.” This kind of psychology--that God is present at a distance--leads to confusion, chaos, and misunderstanding, creating a gulf, a distance between me and my God. Therefore, what is to be done?
divine, spiritual and physical troubles
I am subjected to three kinds of troubles. The three kinds of troubles are: spiritual troubles or adhyatmika; divinely-ordained troubles or adhidaivika, and those ordained by fellow living beings or adhibhoutika.
Adhidaivika – Divine
Adhyatmika – spiritual
Adhibhoutika – physical
These three kinds of problems put me to difficulties because of my ignorance. This ignorance is due to the feeling that God is separate from me. The ignorance is that I think God is present in a distant land. That is the cause.
Then, how do we understand, or how do we find out if a person has this awareness, if a person has found Divinity within or has experienced God within?
jnani – a man of wisdom
The one who continuously experiences God within is a jnani, meaning, a man of wisdom. But usually we think jnani is a person who has read a number of books. A librarian reads so many books. We think jnani is a scholar, but that’s not necessarily so. DVD or CD’s are greater scholars then you! So, jnani is not a scholar; jnani is the one who has experiential knowledge.
Knowledge experienced becomes wisdom. Without wisdom, knowledge is allergy. Knowledge is allergy without experience; whereas with experience, knowledge becomes wisdom. So my friends, how do you know that you have wisdom? How do you identify if so-and-so has wisdom?
It is quite simple. Here is an example: How do you know if I am a rich man? “You can see my house: I have 25 bed-rooms!” How do I know if you are a rich man? “I have so many cars!” “See my bank account!”
So you can know your wealth and I can know my wealth. You may not know how rich I am, but my passbook tells me how rich I am. Of course, truly speaking Baba knows how rich I am, because He is fond of calling me ‘Nil’ Kumar, not Anil Kumar. (Laughter) And He adds, “He is Nil Kumar because his bank balance is always nil.” (Laughter)
wisdom cannot be detected, estimated or identified
So anyway, everyone knows how rich everyone is because of the bank passbook; but no one knows whether he has wisdom or not.
“Do you have wisdom?”
“Well, I do not know.”
“Do you have wisdom?”
“I am not sure.”
“Do you have wisdom?”
“I am yet to get it.” (Laughter)
“Do you have wisdom?”
“I do not know what it is. Why?”
“But do you have knowledge?”
“How do you say?”
“I am MS, PhD.”
So knowledge can be known and knowledge can be estimated; but wisdom cannot be detected, cannot be estimated, cannot be identified, and cannot be known. Why?
knowledge can be claimed because of ‘I’-ness
I collect knowledge with the feeling of ‘I’-ness: that I am real, I am legendary and I know, I have read, I have studied, I have gathered information; or I attended university, I spent time in the laboratory in this university, I studied under that professor and so on.
So, all knowledge is gathered from this central point of ‘I’-ness. But there is no ‘I’-ness in wisdom because the ‘I’ is completely gone! So:
“Do you have wisdom?”
“I do not know.”
Even if you ask some sages or seers: “Oh Swamiji, are you a Jnani?”
“I do not know.”
Jnani would never tell that he is jnani. Jnani means ‘a wise man’ or ‘a man of wisdom’. He never says, “I am jnani and I know” because the feeling of ‘I’ is no longer there. If this ‘I’ were there, he would claim to be a jnani. Knowledge can be claimed because of ‘I’-ness, but wisdom cannot be detected or identified because of the absence of ‘I’-ness.
the outer ‘I’ is worldly
So what is this ‘I’? What harm does it do? The answer is simple. The context in which ‘I’ is referred to is outer. For example, “I am tall,” refers to the body. “I am intelligent,” refers to the mind. “I am handsome,” refers to the skin. “I love that, I hate this,” refers to your feelings. So “I” is utilitarian, used for practical purpose, for introductory purpose or for mutual acquaintance. The ‘I’ that we use is always outer, always external, and always physical, worldly, transient, ephemeral, and momentary. But the real ‘I’ is different from outer ‘I’.
the inner ‘I’ is spiritual, intuitive and transcendental
The real ‘I’ within is transcendental, while the outer ‘I’ is ephemeral. The outer ‘I’ is psychological, while the inner ‘I’ is intuitive. The outer ‘I’ is worldly, while the inner ‘I’ is spiritual. The outer ‘I’ is different from person to person, for example: “I am from Argentina,” “I am from Mexico,” “I am from USA,” or “I am a professor, a carpenter, or an engineer.”
So the outer ‘I’ differs from person to person, while the inner ‘I’ is uniform. The inner ‘I’ is there in everybody. It is unchangeable, changeless. The outer ‘I’ along with the body and the mind is subject to change; the inner ‘I’ is deathless and immortal. Therefore that inner ‘I’ which is deathless, common to all, uniform, blissful, immortal, blemishless, and eternal is spiritual in content. That ‘I’ is to be experienced, that is the sadhana.
But our sadhana is not towards that! “Oh Venkateshwara, let me have one more car!” “Oh! Bhagavan Baba, let me have two more promotions!” Thus we ask for the promotion of the outer ‘I’ or ego. Outer ‘I’ is ego, while inner ‘I’ is consciousness or Atma. Therefore, my friends true spirituality is an investigation, an exploration, an experience in one-ness, an identity with the inner ‘I’. It has nothing to do with the outer ‘I’. That is spiritual sadhana and that is what we are supposed to do.
life is uncertain
Then the next question is: life is uncertain anyway, more so now. For example, trains are not running well; there is constant derailment. We are not sure of a safe return now-a-days, because of road accidents.
In certain cities like Bangalore and Bombay, unless you start from home three hours in advance, you cannot reach the airport because of traffic jams! So life is uncertain, more so because of sophistication and fast mode of conveyance.
what will happen to all the spiritual sadhana we have done?
Suppose my life ends now. What about all the spiritual sadhana I have done so far? If a fellow leaves this planet, what will happen to his property? It will go to his children. If he has no children, government is ready to take over. So there are people to take over. Of course now-a-days, they are ready to take over while we are alive! (Laughter)
So, in other matters, we are sure how things will go at the end of our life; but how about sadhana? Should I begin again? Who is God? What is God? Where is God? Where should I go? Shall I begin again? No!
Bhagavad Gita states clearly, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says clearly, that the sadhana you have done so far will be continued in the next life. If you have done fifty percent of sadhana, you will start from the state of fifty percent, not from zero. Spiritual accountants seem to be quite compassionate. (Laughter) Spiritual accountants and auditors seem to be more kind and compassionate. Therefore, we need not worry about the sadhana done so far. It will be brought forward to the next life! You will start where you left off. That is what God has said--a promising statement by God Himself.
Then we may say, “Why is it that people do not believe that their sadhana will be continued in the next life? Why is it that people do not believe there is an inner ‘I’ and an outer ‘I’, and that the inner ‘I’ does not die?
The Gita says that there are three types of people who do not believe. Let us see to which type of category we belong.
The first type is those who have no faith: they are very clearly faithless fellows. They have no faith in themselves also. That is why they always look very confused. See the faces of those people who have no faith in themselves! Anxiety, tension, stress, and all such qualities are very clear on the faces of those people who have no faith.
The second category is those who are psychologically weak: weak-minded people.
“What will happen?”
“What will happen? Nothing will happen, you don’t worry.”
“Can you sit there?”
“No, no! Anything could happen to me!”
“Will you do this?”
“I am not sure!”
Weak-minded people have no confidence in themselves. They have no hopes and they do not know what their promise is so they have no idea what their future holds. They are full of doubts. So, faithless people are full of worry, stress and tension, while weak-minded people are full of doubts.
The third category of people are lazy fellows. If anybody asks, “How are you in India?”
“Well, I am spending time.”
You are not spending time; time is spending you! (Laughter) Time is spent on its own without you! Some people say, “I am spending time.” Time is spending (passing) on its own; in the meantime you are burnt off, finished! (Laughter) So, I am not spending time. I am spending my longevity, I am spending my own life--but not spending time!
We are spending our life—that is what we have to understand. Therefore, who are lazy? Lazy people are those who don’t do any work. They are sluggish, they over sleep, they indulge in gluttony or over-eating and drinking, as well as gambling. They too cannot understand the presence of the true ‘I’, the inner ‘I’, consciousness, the true Self.
why go to the temple when God is within us?
Then the question arises: “When God is in me, why should I go to the temple? Why should I buy coconuts and flowers? Or take flowers from the neighbour’s garden, (Laughter) or from the same temple and offer to the same God. The plants belong to the temple authority. (Laughter) But they take the flowers, make a garland and offer it to God.
So why should I go to the temple, when there is God in me? Simple answer: as long you have body identification, as long as you have body attachment, you should definitely go to the temple.
who NEEDS TO GO TO TEMPLE AND WHO DOESN’T
As long as I am attached to the body, as long as I am body conscious, I must go to the temple. But the temple is not necessary for the one who knows that he is not the body, the one who understands and experiences that he is beyond the body and the mind; that he is not a simple ‘I’ encased or encaged within his body, but that he is universal.
A person who understands the inner ‘I’ sees God everywhere
The outer ‘I’ is individual, the inner ‘I’ is universal. As long as I think in terms of the outer ‘I’ or the body, I must go the temple. Once I understand that I am that inner ‘I’ which is universal, then wherever I go, it is a temple and whomsoever I meet, he or she is God Himself. I meet only God, that’s all. I do not meet Tom, Dick and Harry; everyone is God. Such a person need not necessarily go to a temple to see God, because he sees Him everywhere.
fear of abondonment
I would like to share another point with you. I know the time is up, but this point has got to be known.
My friends, the current problem the elderly people face is this: “I earned so much money, but no one seems to care for me.”
“I gave so much property to my children, but I do not have anyone to take care of me.”
“I help everyone in the family, but I do not know who will come to my help tomorrow.”
“The son is good, but something is wrong with the daughter-in-law.” (Laughter)
“The daughter is good, but something is totally wrong with the son-in-law. Daughter wants to help, but son-in-law says, ‘No’!”
“Son says something, but daughter-in-law says, ‘Nothing doing!’ So who will come to my help? That is the problem.”
If you visit any Vrudhashrama or home for the aged, this is the talk: how your son kicked you out of your house, how my son kicked me out of my house, how your daughter-in-law facilitated easy dispatch, etc. The second topic might be what medicine you are taking for your high BP or sugar, who is the best doctor, and so on. These are the only two topics.
But a spiritual man will not talk like that. Please take it from me.
a spiritual man will not depend upon anybody except God
A spiritual man will not speak in terms of people who may or may not come to his rescue in times of need. “I will be alone, after all. You may come or not, but my God will help me. ‘Why fear when I am here? Why fear when I am here?’ There is God after all. You may say that you are helping me, my son, but unless God has given you an opportunity to serve me, some other fellow will come and serve and prove that you are a buffalo!” (Laughter)
Therefore, let us not blame our children, let us not blame our relationships, and let us not live in constant fear about who will take care of us. No one can take care of anybody, please understand. Prime ministers, kings, presidents--so many thousands of people are alone. Nobody can take care of anybody, those with children or without children, with spouse or without spouse, with property or without property, with position or retired. Let us understand this important rule that nobody can take care of anybody. Only God will take care of us.
“But where is He?”
“He is in you!”
“Why is He not coming?”
“You are not calling, that is why.” (Laughter)
So God is inside you. He is waiting for a phone call from you. He is just waiting for your call. But instead, we call others, and they will say, “Choddho, (which means ‘let it go!’) it is better if you leave today, not tomorrow because today is a holiday. So let’s finish off everything. Tomorrow is a working day, and I have no leave. If you die tomorrow, it will be a problem. So today is better.”
Therefore my friends, reliance or dependence on others--children, daughters, sons, relations, friends--is foolish stupidity because it is the way of the world to be ungrateful.
more FORTUNATE ARE those who have nobody to care for them
Somebody was telling me, “Mr. Anil Kumar, my son did this and my son did that.”
I said, “Sir, make Xerox copies of your stories; it is the same topic—2500 people in the Kulwant Hall have the same story! They are very busy and they have no time to care for anybody. They have no time even to drink; then how do you expect them to take care of you?”
Therefore my friends, let us understand that we are very fortunate because we have nobody to care for us. Very fortunate are those who have nobody to take care of them! Why? Because I depend more on God when I do not have anybody to care for me. But if I have somebody, then I will depend on them, and I will develop a kind of attachment. My devotion to God will be less, and this attachment will make me identify with the other man more and more, so that towards the end of life, I will think of him and he will be the cause for my rebirth.
So the man who helps you may seem to be helping you; but ultimately he is harming you because of the attachment that you develop towards him, and because he is the thought towards the end of life which is the cause for rebirth. If I do not have anybody, I will depend on God more. I will be more devoted. No one needs to help me because He is helping everybody and will take care of me. This devotion gives me enough wisdom and practical knowledge. This helps me to identify with the inner ‘I’ and no longer with the outer ‘I’.
May Bhagavan be with you forever and ever more! Thank you. Sai Ram.
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