Satsang with Anil Kumar for a youth group from Kerala
SaiRam all young sisters and brothers from the state of Kerala, welcome to all of you to Prasanthi Nilayam.
I am so happy to see so many of you this morning.
It is the Divine will that manages such a good arrangement for us even though it is raining heavily today. The State President of Kerala has managed this kind of unforeseen situation before.
Youth of today
I have taught youth for forty years and you are the youth and we, the elders are useful; the teacher is beyond the age because he is in the company of young people all the time so we owe our healthy smiles and young appearance to the youngsters. I am very much aware that Kerala has the highest rate of literacy in this country, India and the youth are bringing this forward. Swami praises Kerala state to the sky for its high standard and from the point of view of the Sai Organization, you are in the very front. The state of Kerala has also a developed culture of art and literature. I do not miss any opportunity to watch the Kerala channel in the morning, particularly the classical dance and music programs.
Adi Shankara the founder of Adwaitic philosophy hailing from Kaladi village in Kerala State, his interpretations of all the ancient scriptures are unique and stand on their own with the highest standard up to this day, personally he gives me joy and all my hair stands up on my body when I hear him. Recently I gave a couple of talks bringing parallels between Adi Shankara’s talks and Sai Baba, it was broadcast in the Sai radio and very well received by the Telegu listeners.
I would like to draw your attention to certain special points that can be useful for youngsters these days. Some youngsters think that old people are fools but the elders usually have the experience and knowledge to know that in our youth we are fools. So I hope that some of what I have to say will apply to your life situations and hopefully be a help in solving some thoughts on truth, peace, love, righteousness if and when thoughts appear.
I have to accept that you belong to a generation which is highly intelligent, where computers and other electronic instruments are easily used from a young age; also knowledge about evolution, exploration of nature and botanical knowledge as a whole, has been revealed to you due to past studies and research. So teachers have to be updated to match the intellect and interest of their students. We teachers are facing a challenging generation, questioned by youth who are brought up with experimental broadminded intellect and are eager to know more and more, to go deeper and deeper into the subject in hand.
Swami attracts the whole world
I also know that this generation of engineers is drawing lakhs of rupees every month but lack health and mental peace. We should not envy them or try to compete or compare ourselves with them. But the fact is they are not as happy as we are who live a modest and balanced life. Some are miles away from smiles, and it is not unusual that man in the business world have heart problems and high blood pressure due to stress. The previous generation was healthier than this generation and future generations will suffer from many stress symptoms and sickness if they do not change their attitude and lifestyle. We have comfort and convenience but no mental peace or minimum bliss; many have knowledge but no wisdom. Many youngsters go to Gurus and Ashrams because they do not have the basic material needs, others do not have happiness or love.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba attracts the maximum of people in the world, youth, middle age and old age people from all over the world. Baba is not only comforting with health, wealth, and peace, He also preaches about lifestyle and patterns. Sai people are different from others, they have a direction and purpose of life, they work for values and think of the culture not only the civilization, and they work for the needs of all and not only for fulfilling desires. The work Sai devotees are doing all over the world is wonderful, tremendous and beyond all estimation. I welcome you all to Baba’s Ashram which is international in its texture and composition. It is also interreligious and it is a center of spirituality embracing all religions. Prasanthi Nilayam is the only one of its kind in the world; the presence of a living Avatar, multidimensional in religions, nationalities, colors’, language and age. A young boy or girl responds in the same way to Swamis smile as a person in advanced age. You see the map on the globe and you find all the countries here in Prasanthi Nilayam, you will also find people from all professions, classes and status visiting Baba.
I also want you to know that nobody is here in Sathya Sai Baba’s presence without His selection and knowing, it is not merely an accident, life is not accidental life is existential. We all belong to existence and have a specific place and duty to fulfill while we are here on earth, no one is alike, no one is the same, if we are not here the whole energy of the world will miss us; we are all interrelated and if one moves we all move, we are valuable and precious we are unique. Never let us consider ourselves belonging to a crowd; animals and birds may move in a crowd but as a human individual we are important, existential and special. When we are aware of this and are humble we will have all the respect and honor we deserve.
To maintain the quality of uniqueness we have to develop creativity. What do I mean by creativity? God is the best example of creativity; Baba the Creator. No function is organized in the same way as before, no pattern of decoration is repeated, and no speech is delivered in the same way. Nobility, change and freshness is the quality of the Divine. Let’s all be creative, act, think and do something new, fresh and original, that will bring joy into our lives. Swami doesn’t like the same Bhajans to be repeated He wants the singers to make it new every morning and evening, He does not expect the one who gives talks to repeat the same talk again and again at different functions. Repetition is boredom, routine and mechanical like a robot or a machine. We are humans and we should be creative in our style, talk, dress, qualifications and performance.
I believe some of you are working and some are studying, I will tell you the best way to start being creative it is to love what you are doing, love what you are doing right now that will take you further and further. The world and your life are being created while you are walking; that is creativity. Simple example; as a teacher I have to try to do my job in creative and new ways otherwise I would lose my students attention and they won’t learn anything and the job will be boredom and stagnation for me as a teacher. Teaching is life and the profession you study is your potential in the world. As an engineer, doctor, pilot, chef or a business man you have to be creative and the best way is to love your job, pay attention and be aware of all details then you will find it wonderful whatever you do.
Never think that you should be in someone else’s shoes, you are you and you are in the best place at this moment. I myself studied biology to become a doctor but ended my career as a professor in botany. I feel proud to be a professor; I would have been a total failure if I had become a doctor as I cannot watch anyone suffer, be in pain or cry; before the patient starts to complain I may have started crying myself so God knows where I am useful. Now I see flowers blossom in the company of my students.
From Physical to Divine Love and Compassion
We have to develop inner spiritual love, most of us know love through cinemas, books and stories, and through these we have some ideas about love. Love is the seed which can become compassion if and when it matures and blossoms. The lowest form of love is physical and love in its highest form is compassion. Love is the seed that grows within every individual. The love of compassion is unconditional, kind and soft interrelated to everything. When our love is not only a desire or a need, when our love is a sharing and not asking for something in return, but is ready only to give, that is compassion.
We have very limited experiences of true love. First of all, love yourself, many people complain about themselves: I have bad habits, I am a failure; but try to improve. Even in the spiritual field people complain for lack of results and blame the Guru. If we have comparison and competition in our lives and are always thinking that someone is better than us, we do not love ourselves; we cannot love others as long as we are comparing. Love and respect yourself first then you will be able to love and respect others.
What is it you find in a person who loves himself; it is peace, serenity, calmness, sweetness, kindness equanimity and happiness!!!
To be alone is not the same as to be lonely
Loneliness and aloneness; there is a great difference between these two words and I would like to clarify them. When we are lonely we miss the company of someone else. To be lonely is a negative state because then we are depending only on others, if so we are bound to feel lonely when they are not there. How to get out of this loneliness?
If we are filled with love and there is a communication between the Divine Baba and you, you will never feel lonely. If the Divine heart to heart communication is there we are less dependent on other people’s company, we give others the freedom to be with us in joy, when they are not there we are still in joy. The relationships will be based on freedom and respect both ways which will be deeper and longer lasting.
Therefore the key to our own happiness is not with the others it is with me. It is our own choice to withdraw ourselves and be in the company of our inner self, to explore our inner world, our mystical world where miracles and the Divine can be found. This is the state all Avatars, Mystics and Gurus speak about, the Divine romance. My friends when we reach this heart to heart communication with Baba then we will never feel lonely; we will develop courage to face the challenge of life.
Loneliness is absence of another; aloneness is the communication with your inner self. Ultimately all of us must develop the capacity to trust the Divine in our own heart.
Courage is needed for the seed to germinate
What do I mean by courage? As a youngster you can study far away from your family, be comfortable in your own company, open and relaxed to meet and find friends wherever you are. I have met many young boys and girls who study and lived by themselves far away from home, these people develop courage to stand on their own feet.
Now as I am a Botanical Professor, I will tell a story about the unknown, a flower and courage;
The life journey is like a seed, and a seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never seen the flower and cannot believe that it has the potential to become something beautiful. The seed is secure hidden deep down in the soil. The journey that will bring the change from seed to flower needs effort, and it is always safer to stay as a seed, because nothing is guaranteed and the path is still unknown. The seed tries and makes an effort, it let’s go of the shell and starts to move, the struggle starts immediately, with the soil, the stones, exposure to wind, water and sun all around. There is no danger to be a seed, it can survive for hundreds of years but for the sprout the dangers are many, even so the sprout begins its journey towards the unknown, the sun, the light, not knowing what the future holds. It is only the dream which keeps the seed moving, because the challenge to become a flower is so great; finally a perfect strong flower will be standing there that has met the challenge of the stones and the wind on its path and emerges into the light.
This can also be the path of man, much courage is needed, so please be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are designated to be
This too will pass
We all have several break downs in life; no one can escape the ups and downs. Failure will be there, it might be in an examination, failure to be promoted, failure to maintain a relationship, failure to earn as much money as our neighbor. Some famous people fail to be appreciated by their spouses; the whole world may appreciate them but not their own spouse. Some are successful in public but a failure at home; these breakdowns can lead to depression and frustrations in one’s life. Even as a youngster you have some breakdowns which will be more serious for you at the time than a major one later in life when life experiences and wisdom give you safety.
My friends whenever you happen to be in a time of hardship take it as a breakthrough and not as a breakdown. When you have experienced too much suffering for your taste and understanding, you may come to a point when you say “enough is enough.” The work of a Master is to transform breakdowns into a break through. It is one of the deepest journeys we can make in life, going through a breakdown with awareness, spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Our inner chaos is gathered from ancient and many past lives, without going through it we will never be an integrated, whole, balanced, individual. Trust and have faith in Baba, surrender to His Divinity and we will successfully emerge back into the light again stronger than before after every challenge.
We need to apply a different attitude towards life. As humans we always want to be the best, the most beautiful or handsome we desire always to be at the top, at the peak. But once we reach the peak and we have everything in the material world we will experience boredom, restlessness and have difficulty sleeping because our mind is in the grip of fear; fear of losing what we have or not getting what we desire next.
Attaining materialism is not all, it is not attaining much at all. Mountain tops are beautiful so are valleys, in the valley we can rest whilst at the top we are tense and nervous that someone will come and take away that top position. Boys and girls understand that night and day exist together; the dark and the difficulties are needed as much as the light and easy.
Accepting the ups and downs in a balanced state of mind is what we call success. What comes must go, either it is a failure or a success; life is a continuous journey as long as we are alive.
When your father is on tour you will be more excited to see him on his return than if he was there all the time. Therefore it is a good thing to be separated now and then from family and loved ones, we will be more aware of the good qualities the others are bringing into the family and as a result have stronger appreciation for each other. Children should go and stay for some times in a hostel, eat hostel food then they will appreciate the excellent standard of their mother’s cooking. They will also understand the caring concern of their fathers. Separation in love is not a loss it is a gain. Life is like a river which flows and flows to eternity, it is like the Ganges River, Yamuna River which flows continuously. Life is as vast as the ocean and the sky, so let’s enjoy the life from eternity to eternity.
The Grace to be at Prasanthi Nilayam
We are all here in Prasanthi Nilayam because of merits from the past. Many people have not got the possibility to be here so be happy and be thankful that we have the opportunity to spend time in the presence of the Avatar Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He will help and guide us if we open our hearts and our minds for that possibility. You have come on a pilgrimage from Kerala to Sathya Sai Baba’s holy Ashram that is a journey in itself. On your way you must have had a lot of music, jokes, dance, and excitement, is it not so? We enjoy the journey and the pilgrimage so take the whole of life as a pilgrimage, a journey in joy, bliss and happiness full of wonderful experiences. It is necessary to come periodically to a holy place like Prasanthi Nilayam as a break from our normal routine. Our cells in the body need to be recharged by the Divine Grace now and then, not only your cell phone needs to be charged you also need to be filled up with the vibrant energy from the Source of all Source. Many people ask me “Mr. Anil Kumar do you have a cell phone?” I say “I have millions of cells in my body why should I have one cell phone”
Thoughts and action should be in harmony
So life and life experiences, good and bad times will pass, nothing is permanent in the outer world. Once you know this truth and believe in it you will relax, that awareness that ‘this too will pass’ will make you relaxed. Why are we so tense and tight all the time? Our worry, conflict and pretension gets stronger day by day, all this because we want to have all the popularity, wealth and health due to an inner wish to be loved and appreciated by each and everyone, is it not so? You like to do good deeds and be good to others. When thought, action and reaction are in harmony we are in harmony. Usually these are not in harmony, we know what a good thought is and a good action but we do the opposite, we say one thing and do another. For example: suppose we say “I love my country, I am deeply patriotic” but apply for a visa to move to USA. We say “gramma seva is important in my village” but settle in Los Angeles; this creates conflicts. Between husband and wife we like to be good to each other yet we try to dominate and control. Usually a man wants to be the boss, but actually he is the servant of his wife (Laughter). When your thoughts and actions are in opposition it creates a split and divided personality.
Be humble and yet have a strong personal character
What we should do, when aspiration is different from reality, when ambitions are different from reality; is to integrate both. Accept what is the reality at the moment; see the present moment as it is, be courageous enough to be honest with yourself. If you are a “slave” accept it, make inner enquiry about why you are something you do not want to be and slowly and gradually make changes to what you do want to be. When you are integrated in spiritual wisdom you are able to be humble and yet strong in your character, you can have the latest and first class dress and yet be simple, that is a combination of a person who is integrated in the outer and inner world.
Look at Sathya Sai Baba, He has the latest most beautiful cars, yet He is humble. His dress is of the best quality and always neat, yet when you see Him he could be a beggar or a film star. Although it looks like He is living in luxury, Baba lives in total simplicity in all areas of His worldly life. He is humble but at the same time highly integrated, and assertive, He is soft as butter but tough as a diamond; a combination of logic and illogic, rational and irrational, belief and doubt.
In respect of the Divine and spirituality our logic and rationality will not work. God doesn’t bother about our logical mind; He is going His own way, so therefore we have to accept the mystical and miraculous in life, totally and unconditionally, especially when we walk with the Avatar. But in society you have to be scientific, logical and rational. If we only go to one extreme we will miss the other; so my friends what we need today is an integrated, comprehensive, united personality of both kinds. When that integration of both personalities happens, a transformation of our total being is possible. Transformation is not a shift from one pole to another pole; true transformation is acceptance and integration of both. As a parent we accept all our children, a not so intelligent child is equally loved as an intelligent child, is it not so? In that transformation we will discover ourself.
Know your inner self and your outer self
We think we are experts and know what is best for others to do but we do not know our self. We see a thorn in others but not the stalk in ourselves. We think we know the whole picture but we cannot explain one single piece of detail. Discover yourself, know yourself. Start with what is closest in you, closest to you and advance from there. Know your culture, your language, know your people, after that the world might be explored, that is what discovering our own self is all about.
Baba says; India is the mother land which has been given birth to Sages and Saints since the beginning of time and has spread its wisdom around the globe. This land manages to retain its freedom after many years of occupation. This country has so much excellence in the field of art, literature, science and technology. Have we discovered our nature and our nation? In this land of Bharath, what is beauty? It is not lipstick and cosmetics no, no the beauty is the spirit of tolerance and acceptance, of what is.
The peak of all spirituality is born out of this country and is still the highest of its kind. What is the most nectarine and sweetest feeling other than the motherly feeling? India is the country where the character is held higher than life itself. By following someone else’s culture we lose our inner strength and will be left with dresses and fashion that is all. Therefore my friends along with inner knowing we have to discover our own culture, our own state and nation.
Once we discover ourselves we will have the Grace of Divine Love and attraction. Charisma and an aura of peace surround every person who knows themselves. With this self discovery we will have a new vision. What do I mean by a new vision? So far many of us have been selfish and self centered by unawareness or not knowing the essential spiritual truth behind every action and reaction done by us. You have heard what we sing at the end of Bhajans every day “Samastha loka sukhino bhavantu. Old vision is restricted to our personal self only, but with discovery, we will have a new vision of other priorities which are not limited to the small self but extended to the whole universe. We react, we respond to the whole of nature, we feel for the whole world.
Here in Prasanthi Nilayam people from all over the world mingle as brothers and sisters even though they have never met before. There are no questions of westerners and eastern people; no, no Sai devotees are what we all are, that is all. The new vision of life is that “I care for you and you care for me, love all and serve all.” This is what we all transform into, from ordinary level to the level of maturity and integration, from limited to unlimited. Our new vision also helps us to adjust to any circumstances with equanimity and understanding.
Life is a rainbow with different colors and every color is beautiful you cannot say that blue is better than green. New vision wants you to appreciate a rainy day as much as a sunny day. To wait for Baba should awaken the same feeling in you as when He enters the Sai Kulwant Hall. This vision will help you to be cheerful and playful. Unfortunately many people take life very seriously and show a hard face and a stiff body language. He will allow himself to be in a chair like luggage, he does not say “Sai Ram” or “good morning” with a smile. Many people are even serious when they are in a temple or when they are singing Bhajans. It is sickness and a lot of hospitals are full of people who end up with different diseases because they have lost the joy and acceptance of life and its play. Happiness, laughter, joy, bliss, love will keep you healthy young and on the right track for spiritual growth and understanding. Religion is not for emotional paralysis or non accepting fellows. We will never find Bhagawan Baba’s face serious, He goes on smiling and He knows everything, every part of everyone’s life. If someone is saying ‘Baba, my leg got fractured,’ He will say “very good” or ‘my mother died,’ He will say “very good,” ‘I am going abroad’, “very good”. This is cheerfulness, this is religion this attitude is Divine. A cheerful man will continue to be cheerful in spite of setbacks or what sometimes looks like a negative situation on the surface.
Rich in life and rich in God
Another fundamental truth I would like to shed some light on this morning is that some people have an opinion that religious people are poor. Some think that religious people do not have money to buy clothes or shoes and it is a common feeling that religious people live a beggarly life. No, no you should be rich in life as well as in spirit and in God. You should be rich in science and technology and you should be rich in meditation and consciousness. If a man is not succefull in life how can you expect him to be successful in religion? If you cannot earn rupees how can you earn grace? The roots are in the soil and the fruits are up above the ground. You cannot get the fruit without the root, roots without the fruits are fire wood. Roots should be established firmly and deeply in the ground to be able to bear juicy fresh and sweet fruits. Root is life, fruits are God. In the tree of human personality the root is our thought, the fruit will be our visible life and circumstances. We should all work for or aspire to being whole, which will bring holiness and godliness into our life. When we are whole, and with whole I mean integrated, in all parts of life, we will be holy. This is a benediction or a blessing, the fragrance of life.
How to be even happier
I can also tell you how to be happier. Be a participant of life and not a spectator. As a watcher we will not have the thrill; if we participate in life we will have the experiences and the excitements of what life is all about. A simple example a few fellows are eating sweets in front of your eyes and you are only a spectator, will you be happy? No, you will say please stop or give me some. If you are participating in life it will be more effective, you will be more receptive and you will enjoy everything more. Life situations will be more purposeful. When you only listen to Bhajans it is one thing, but when you join in and sing yourself, you are vibrant with the melody and the body moves on its own when you get ecstatically involved. If you listen without any feelings involved your expression will be stiff and your face closed, in participation there is real enjoyment and ecstasy.
Whenever you forget your small self and participate with your whole being you are with God; you are one with the whole, one with existence, the Creator. If you look at natures beautiful view over the mountains or the ocean, you may have a feeling of bliss, love and oneness. Get out of the feeling that you are not one with the whole, every thought and feeling you have will effect and have an impact on the other. It may be a person, an animal, a flower anything that has life will be affected by your inner attitude. You are one with all, we are all from the same source and we will all go back to the same source. It is like electricity; even if the bulbs are different the source is the same. Never consider your inner self small, Baba says: we are the image of God and there is no difference between Him and you.
Do not compare
Never compare yourself with others. Look in nature how beautiful everything is arranged. I do not think a cow would think that it would rather be a dog or a peacock thinks that an eagle is more beautiful than he is. A bamboo tree will not compare itself with an oak. Everything in nature is just as it is and the grass is not jealous that it is not a flower. Tell me who is not beautiful, I have not yet come across someone who is ugly, to me all are beautiful and handsome. It is your own complex that makes you feel small and compare yourself with others, you are not aware of your own potential and strength. Comparison brings inferiority and superiority, when we stop comparing, all inferior and superior complexes disappear.
Some people think they are sinners if they have done something wrong, that they will never be forgiven. I tell you to stop that nonsense, we are all doing our best and sometimes things are not going the way we would like, we might find ourselves in situations which are difficult to know how to handle. We are all accepted by God from the beginning of time so we are all heroes, we are the children of immortality and eternity how can we be small? Self praise is bad enough but self condemnation is worse. Our life belongs to the Divine and we are given a life to live by the Grace of the Divine. In fact we have no right to complain, compare, or be negative towards the life we have, everything is a reflection of our own attitude and thoughts.
Please my friends have a positive attitude towards life, say; “Sai Ram” or “Hello” with a smile to people you meet. If you tell your mother that you love the food, she will feel joy cooking for you also; if you have a positive attitude towards your Doctor he will engage himself more in your welfare. Be happy and thankful for what you have and more will be given to you. You are all special and unique.
Be aware of feelings and thoughts
Our feelings are a feedback to ourself about whether we are on track or not, if we are on course or off course. When we feel bad it is a warning from our inner awareness to prompt us into changing our thoughts. We are not embracing our life energy if we are in a negative frame of mind. We can begin right now to feel the love that is surrounding us, think positive thoughts about others, and think positive thoughts about daily situations and future situations. Life will always correspond and respond to our thoughts and feelings and manifest exactly what we believe.
When you shake hands with someone feel the warmth of that person’s love, when someone gives you a smile feel the vibration of joy in you. Watch a child and give it a smile, the child will respond to you with a lovely smile, so everything my friends will come back to you as a reflection, reaction and resound. Watch nature, flowers, trees, a sunset; it makes you happy.
Science has shown that even a plant which is given love will grow faster than a plant which is neglected. People who have pet animal’s go on touching them, talking nicely to them then the pet surrenders totally to the owner. Try to feel the touch of a friend, the touch of a parent, then you will experience the silent communication which flows from one individual to another. That is what padanamaskar is, once we touch Baba’s feet, we get vibrations; we get thrilled and totally transformed.
I myself am not so used to pet animals, once I went to a Sai friend in the US he introduced two of his sons and finally called Caesar, I thought the third son’s name was Caesar, but his pet dog of my size came and started climbing up on me like Tensing on Mount Everest. I was shaking like a break dancer while the owner asked me to say hello to Caesar, please let me say hello from a distance!
“Be Happy. Make others Happy; All will be Happy. God will be Happy”
I thank you all for being here this morning and see you all again tomorrow morning.