Satsang with Anil Kumar for a youth group from Kerala
Questions & Answers
I am so happy to be here once again this last evening satsang. Someone was commenting to me just this afternoon; they said are not the Kerala youth tired of you? I told them I am not tired of them and they are not tired of me, we are one together.
Based on Bhagawans discourses and teachings I will do my best to supply answers to your questions. I welcome any question about spirituality, philosophy and daily life. Please come forward. Ladies first as we say, so we will give priority to the girls.
Q: How can we know the influence of the past life in this life?
Anil Kumar: The past life is the seed and the present life is the plant and the tree. One is born in a wealthy family another is not, one is a scholar and another is not. Children around 10 years go to the world top in the field of music; others are genius in mathematics and can calculate by heart faster than any calculator and computers, it is the previous life experiences.
Q: The sins of last birth are they necessary transferred into this life?
Anil Kumar: There are three kinds of reactions, one is immediate. If I cut my finger blood will come out immediately; action and reaction immediate. If you drink a glass of milk you will have some appeasement for an hour or so and when you eat a big meal that action will last for more than 4 hours before a reaction is needed. If you sow a seed now it may bear fruit after a year or two. Some of the reactions are immediate, some are just after a while and others later and some reactions may come in next life. Therefore we face reactions now from actions we did in the previous life or a few years ago or just a few seconds ago but be sure no one will escape the experience of the past actions. Like income tax, income is the action and tax is the reaction. Janma means strict and Dharma means enforcement. Raj means authority; Janma Dharma and Raja (Death, Life and God). It is the king who enforces the law strictly without fear and favors.
Q: What is a reaction and what is a response?
Anil Kumar: A reaction can be positive or negative while a response always is positive. Reaction may sometimes be revolutionary and come out of agitation and reactions may sometimes be violent, while response is peace. Response comes from the heart, leads to unity and agreement and reaction comes from the mind and leads to conflict. This is why we say inner response and outer reaction.
Sathya SaiBaba often says, everything outside yourself is a Reaction, Reflection, and Resound of your inner being. Stones also respond; stone can also melt if it is given true love. Simple example; Sathya Sai Baba converted a stone by His Divine touch into a Shirdi Sai idol during His childhood days. This stone responded to the Divine call, the Divine wish was that this stone should become Divine and take the form of Shirdi Sai. We also know a miracle when Sathya SaiBaba collected a few flowers and all the flowers were then transformed and became a beautiful parrot which flew out of His hand. It means that the flower responded to the Divine love.
When it comes to human beings, let us see how we react reflect and respond. If Swami touches you, touches your emotional heart or your physical hand how do you feel? You feel Divine vibration, a sort of a pleasant shock, something is shaking you. When you look at Swami’s eyes something is happening, spontaneously some devotees start crying, tears starts rolling down for no reason. It is our own bliss, love and light which respond to the Divine form. The ears are very eager to listen to Bhajans and the whole body responds by vibrating with the music. Another level of response is the mental level and the intellectual level. When we hear about Swami’s message, His form and His miracles, we experience peace, contentment and as a response you start to worship Him; you start to visit Prasanthi Nilayam. You start to serve Him; you start to serve the community.
We have to be careful not to lose this most precious gem given to us by God. When you lose this response, you become insensitive and will make your life almost dead and gone. Response is life, without it, it is lifelessness.
Q: What is the result of living a spiritual life?
Anil Kumar: What is the result of a spiritual life? It is the secret of magic, it is not an additional income, and it is not professional prospects. The result of spirituality is a positive attitude; the temperament of readiness and acceptance. The Christian prayer goes; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We accept Gods will joyfully and unconditionally. This is surrender. The outcomes of spiritual life are positive attitude, acceptance, surrender, and seeing the situation we are in only for our own good. This is the result of spirituality. Not to win in a lottery or promotion immediately all this is secondary.
Another advantage is that we get to know ourselves; the most important is not the opinion of others. We will be capable of seeing ourselves as we are, not as others think about us.
Finally I can say that spirituality is for transformation. A man who knows he has an immortal soul has a deeper commitment to existence itself, to God himself. When we come closer to the truth, a great desire to share it with people arises. To live is to live in God, to breathe is to breath in God, where else can we be? This is the supreme magic! Once the higher heart has started functioning, it is a magical miracle that happens; all confusion disappears, clarity arises and life becomes transparent, we simply do that which has to be done.
Q: A vegetable is also living, is it a sin to eat vegetable?
Anil Kumar: A rock has consciousness which is passive, the consciousness in a plant is a little more and the awareness and consciousness is again a little more in an animal while in a man the consciousness is in its climax added with impulses, sentiments and feelings. Therefore when you kill an animal which has more consciousness than a plant, it is killing and it is violence; whereas in the case of vegetables, which God has provided for our sustenance, it is not violence. When you kill an animal it dies completely and everything is lost. When you cut a few vegetables the bush or vine won’t die. In a plant it is not total loss of life. If you go to a place where they grow up animals for selling as food you would cry and never eat meat again. The treatment of animals in these live stock farms is a terrible sight and violence in every aspect we can think of. It is hard to digest. If I collect two fruits the tree will not die that is the difference.
Q: Swami is saying that desires leads to disappointment. Can we live without desires?
Anil Kumar: Let us have only one desire and that is to be desire less. Let us desire to be equanimous even if our desires are not fulfilled. Let us have a higher desire rather than a lower desire, when the higher comes, the lower always bows down, it rules only when the higher is not present.
Simple example: we have Akandha Bhajans and a cricket match going on at the same time; which desire do you want to fulfill? If you give place for higher desires such as service and singing the glory of God, your Sadhana will prosper. Desire for the Divine has a greater quality than desires for mundane and material things and the result will be different. As we spoke earlier, we reap the fruit we sow, it is our choice. We have to exercise the sense of discrimination, discretion and judgment. Baba says: desires are decided by personal prejudices and fancies, they are momentary urges demanding immediate satisfaction.
Instead of having thousands of desires lets us have one classical desire. A simple example: a King asked his first wife I am going abroad what can I bring to you? I want jewels my dear. The King asked the second wife the same and she wanted the best saris in the world. The last wife said she wanted only the King to come back safe and secure. When the King returned home, he gave jewels to the first wife, saris to the second and went straight to his third wife with all the gifts he could imagine she would like and because she only wanted him, he stayed with her from there on. If we catch the feet of the Lord we will have all the gifts that we want.
God is a wishful filling tree, God will fulfill our desires; having this human life which is so precious the aim is to visualize and experience Him. If you desire God only, all your desires will be fulfilled.
Q: You said before that our present life is controlled by our past karma. Is it possible for Sai Baba to interfere and save us from bad karma?
I understand the experiences of past life can be really painful. We need some refuge and a method to understand and to resolve past karmic situations.
Simple example: a person is guilty after having committed a theft; he was put in jail for 10 years. In the jail he was very well behaved, highly obedient, making others happy and cheerful influenced the other inmates to be disciplined. The police of authority was satisfied with him and sent his file to the government for recommendation. That day happened to be independent day in India and some of the prisoners are relieved by recommendation that day and his name was on the list so his time was cut short by 5 years for his well behavior.
Suppose I have a business and I have to pay one lakh in tax. I go to a chartered accountant to help me and he will give me advice what to do to reduce my tax payment in a legal way. If I paid money to a charity trust, some tax will be reduced; also, if I have a car in my business and it had to be repaired some tax will be reduced and so on and so forth.
Similarly out of 100% karma we can reduce its negative effect by singing Bhajans and participate in service activity. Going to listen to Satsangs and participating in study circles will reduce the effect of your karma as well. All spiritual Sadhana will help you to live through your karma in a balanced and conscious way. We cannot fully escape to our karma but instead of a big accident we will have to experience a small accident, we break one leg or arm not the back or the neck; we lose small money not all we have, we burn one finger not the whole body.
This is the grace of the Guru and the effect of the spiritual work you do for yourself in this lifetime. Our present life can correct past mistakes by spiritual work and heart connection with a Master. It is in Baba’s hands, so my friends don’t accumulate more suffering in this life by negative thinking, judgment, anger, greed, attachment, and abnormal behavior. Surrender your pain to Baba, follow His teaching, sing His name and have His Darshan; it will purify your soul, soften your heart, strengthen your understanding and you will encourage others to expand in life not shrink anyone’s vision or creativity. By the Grace of God you will not even know that you are suffering. He will make you pass through hard times very smoothly and securely. Bhajans, service and Sadhana is like a painkiller.
I can tell you a number of Baba devotees who passed through unbelievably hard times but still they are smiling and still in a balanced frame of mind. In fact they have added an important quality and that is to be humble and thank full for what they have.
I told you this morning about Charles Penn from America, who died and his wife came to Swami in Kodaikanal three days after. Swami asked her how are you and she said I am fine Swami; my husband has not gone anywhere he is at your lotus feet. That is true spirituality: to accept anything without losing the ground of firm faith.
Q: How many times is it necessary to take human birth?
Anil Kumar: Oh, Oh are you tired of this life already? Life is so sweet, but we cannot take it too seriously. When I was in Bangalore Swami asked me “what do you want”? I said “I don’t want anything Swami” “Don’t you want moksha or liberation”? “Swami I do not know the taste of liberation, I do not know if it is sweet or hot, light or dark. I know the taste of doing seva by the feet of my beloved Bhagawan so please; my desire is to be born again and again as a servant of the Sathya Sai Organization and carry on the Divine message in every corner of the world and every doorstep. Let me reach out to the unreached. There is thrill and joy in speaking about You. Swami laughed and said “that is a good desire.”
Please do not get tired of life. We are born not to be born again and the purpose of life is to transform our mind and cross the circle of birth and death. Simple formula; Karma = Birth. Action is the cause of karma. Dharma is the life we are following and this Dharma contains the secret of our future; our future experience and result. It is a chain reaction. If there is no Karma there will be no rebirth.
How to get out of that karma? The mind and the thoughts are the cause of action. If we go beyond the mind there will be no necessity to take another human birth. No-mind state, master your mind that is the key not to be born again. Passive witnessing your mind is the process to meditation which leads to a no-mind state and in that state you are one with the whole, you are one with all Masters, you are one with the Creator. That is the highest achievement on this earth; if we pass the test we can go on to other lokas, if not the class have to be done again. Wisdom and awareness is the way to peace, bliss, and immortality.
Q: Is moksha the aim of Sathya Sai Organization.
Anil Kumar: Moksha is an individual attainment and an individual goal. Moksha is attained by sadhana of an individual. Bhagavad-Gita says: We all have to work for our own liberation for our own emancipation. It is not freely given, we have to attain it through following teachings, practicing the meditation and other spiritual exercises, have inner connection with the Master. If we follow the path, we will reach the truth, truth will have to be our own experiences and surrender happens when there is love.
An organization can provide us with the right surrendering and the right tools, that is true but enlightenment has to be through individual effort. The Sathya Sai Organization is a service organization. The object of the organization is to see God in everybody, to do everything in the name of God; to feel Him everywhere and to be one with Him. Collectively we encourage and support each other so the vibrations will be spread and felt amongst our brothers and sisters. Who so ever is ready to enter the Golden Gate will be attracted like a magnet to this vibration.
If we sit in the presence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and pay attention to Him and what is happening to inside our heart, (not your mind) we will be elevated. Understanding will arise in us, bliss will be felt and a strong wish to know the unknown and a wish to be in the same sphere as our beloved Master will automatically accrue. This is the Divine vibration and the Sathya Sai Seva Organization sends out the Divine vibration.
Q: Is our karma and our life already decided before we take birth?
Anil Kumar: We do actions with the spirit of doer ship. If we do anything as a doer we have to be the experiencer as well. If we don’t have doer ship we will not have to reap the fruit; it means if we have totally surrendered to God He will work through us; no blame or fame will affect us, all is surrendered to the Divine, the higher consciousness. We suffer because we identify ourselves with our minds thoughts and actions and have to live the reactions; it is the law of nature as simple as that. Bhagavad-Gita explains clearly this point in the chapter about Karma.
A story: one day Lord Vishnu was sitting in meditation far away on a mountain, and one of His disciples asked to perform some service for his Lord. Very well, Vishnu replied “I would like to have a cool cup of water” The disciple ran down the mountain singing in joy. He found a small house at the edge of a beautiful valley and asked for cool cup of water. The owner of the house could see he was a monk and said “Ah you must serve the holy saint upon the far mountain. Please good sir, enter my house and bestow your blessing therein”. “Forgive me” the disciple said “I am in hurry and I must return to my Master with the water immediately” “A short blessing will not upset your Master. After all he is a great saint and His disciples are obligated to help those of us who are less fortunate and it is such an honor to have you here.” So the story goes; he entered the house and blessed all therein. Then it was time for dinner and he was persuaded to stay and bless the food. It became late so he was persuaded to stay overnight. In the morning the cows were in pain, and after all cows are sacred to Lord Krishna and if the disciple could help them once. Days became weeks and still he remained. He married the daughter and they had numerous children. One day as an old man he stood and he thought about everything that had transpired since he arrived and he was pleased. Suddenly there was a great tidal wave and as he watched, it flooded the whole valley and in an instant all was gone. At that moment he saw his Master Vishnu riding upon a wave. Vishnu looked at him and smiled sadly and said “I am still waiting for my water” This is the story that is happening to everybody; we have forgotten why we are here, what we know and where we are going. And when the tidal wave comes as it always will, its name is death, and all will be gone.
Q: Is it predestined come to Prasanthi Nilayam?
Anil Kumar: Our past life has given us the instinct and impulses towards spirituality. Because of Darshan of the Avatar Sathya Sai Baba, Satsang and company of spiritual groups and people, this past interest and association is provoked and awakened and we feel drawn to participate more and more. The inner recognition of being together before is there as a light, a magnetic field; all this brings us here.
Q: Is Baba making us into His puppet?
Anil Kumar: It is all depending on how you think. With your ego you will feel you are a puppet, without ego you will take it as Bhagawans play. It is all the Divine’s play as you grow in your spirituality and awareness; but in the spirit of ego you take it in the negative sense. What made Ghandiji say Ram in the end of his life, he did not cry for his destiny or faith. Jesus Christ while he was nailed to the cross was praying for the people who hung him on the cross. High spiritually evolved souls know it is the Divine Lila and are at peace with whatever situation God puts them in because it is for the good; whereas you and I view situations with a sense of a doer ship with our mind and ego. So we blame ourselves, others and God for every situation we find ourselves in and do not like. Do not worry about past Karma; do not bother about the future, be careful right now as the present itself the result of the past and it is the foundation for the future. This moment, here and now holds the key for your future, right now we are in paradise, we are in heaven, let us celebrate this moment. Do not worry about why and what we have done in the past to experience this moment. In fact all that happens always happens now. Nothing ever happened in the past and nothing ever happens in the future.
Rama Krishna gave one example; a man went to the mango market, picked up a fruit and asked the owner many technical questions about the mango. The owner said, just eat the fruit and enjoy its lovely taste, do not worry about what tree it has grown from or how long time it took to ripen, just enjoy and be happy. Let’s live in the present joyfully.
Q: Does positive or negative thinking have a connection with our faith?
Anil Kumar: A religious man is always positive; it is a sign of surrendering. Positivity is an acceptance of the reality at the present moment, it is the submission to the Divine will, and it is to take everything that is happening for its own good. God is the embodiment of positivity; we go on making mistakes, He goes on forgiving and excusing, He is positive in His thinking that we will be transformed some day. If Baba was not positive Prasanthi Nilayam would be empty. Positivity is optimism, a half full glass of water is half full for a positive man and half empty for a negative man. Positivity is hope, let us lead and live a life in hope otherwise we will be hopeless in the end. Negativity is frustration, confusion and full of doubts. If anyone greets a negative man, he will think that a favor is wanted from him. Positivity is cheerfulness, negativity is misery. Many of us are aware of the ego of the other, but nothing can be done about the ego of the other. All that can be done is only with our own ego and in the present moment; that is positive thinking.
Q: If Swami is the Creator, why did He create some rich and some poor?
Anil Kumar: My dear friend, variety is the spice of life. You cannot eat only sweets all the twenty four hours of the day, there should be some hot stuff also. Life is a combination of both. Life is of polarities of positive and negative, life and death, light and darkness. Life is a paradox; our intelligence lies in our understanding the paradoxical quality of the nature of the universe. Watch nature, there are hills and valleys; there are fruits which are bitter and fruits that are sweet. Day and night makes the world go round, without the darkness there is no light. The variety is the beauty.
How can we understand an Avatar with our mind, it is a transmission, beyond words, beyond scriptures. The higher we go the thicker grows the mystery. The lower kind of facts can be relayed through words. Simple example; If Baba says a tree, we can understand because we have all experienced a tree, but if He says “you are God” or “there is no difference between you and me” it is a little more difficult to understand. The higher the truth, the fewer are those who will be able to understand. We have to learn to live with the mystery of higher truth. Darshan of Swami is one way; it has no words, it cannot say it is truth or untruth, it simply is. We just see, we become overwhelmed by His Darshan, we fall in tune with it and we are transported to some other realm, some other vision of reality. It simply takes our hand and leads us very lovingly into the mysterious.
Q: Why are so many people called to Swami; is it to transform us and bring out the good in us?
Anil Kumar: Your effort and His Grace go together and in that meeting point magic and transformation will without doubt happen. The connection with an Avatar goes deeper than the teaching, it is an energy transfer, it has to be heart to heart, soul to soul, and it cannot be verbal. People who come to Baba for a shorter or longer time are watching, experiencing and feeling the love that is manifested in and through the Master. Slowly just sitting by the feet of the Master we will learn many secrets, although they are never taught. One of the greatest secrets is that sitting at Baba’s side, the devotees starts to synchronize with Him and in that synchronicity Baba will meet us heart to heart.
Thank you very much let’s conclude with a Bhajan. First my heartful thanks and gratitude to my brother professor Mukundan for his invitation to speak to the youth of Kerala during the pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam I am happy to see so many smiling and happy faces among the youth of Kerala and I appreciate your deep interest in the spiritual quest. I have not seen any tired and sleepy faces during these days. I will never forget your visit to Swami and I will pray to Baba to let me visit you all in Kerala some day. The Kerala Organization is a Sai Seva Organization to be proud of. Please my friends keep the spirit shining and reach out to everyone in need. Let your light shine.
I will also thank all Districts presidents and their team there for the kindness they showed towards me. I am deeply touched by my Kerala brothers and Professor .Vaidyanathan from Trivandrum who downloads my Sunday talks from www.saiwisdom.com translates them and edits them into books. Millions of thanks to Professor .Vaidyanathan and his family and Badran and his team
May Baba bless you all