Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
June 27, 1999

This is the Sunday Satsang held on the first floor of the North Indian canteen on 27-6-99, given by Anil Kumar.

Topics: Kodaikanal Trip & Questions and Answers Put to Bhagavan.

Sai Ram. With pranams at the Lotus Feet of our Bhagavan.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Thanks to Swami for making it possible to meet this morning after a long lapse of time. For first time we're meeting after Bhagavan's recent visit to Kodaikanal. I am always in the habit of sharing all that happens everytime with fellow devotees, with fellow pilgrims because that is a kind of self-reminder. I never feel that I am talking to any group. No. no, no. I feel that I am reminding myself, that I am getting more and more thorough with the information. This is one such opportunity. To say a couple of sentences, the trip to Kodaikanal this year was unique and very special for more than one reason. Usually Bhagavan makes His annual trip by car followed by so many other vehicles, including A/C (air-conditioned) vans for students, and usually He takes about fifteen or eighteen students. This trip was special in the sense that around thirty students followed Bhagavan. Thirty. Apart from that, around fifty families, close devotees of Bhagavan, chosen devotees of Bhagavan, the privileged few with their families and children could also follow, making it a total of around eighty - a very big number. That way, this year was unique and special.

The second fantastic thing happened to be that all of us have gone by flight all the way. The first stop happened to be at Madurai where Bhagavan inaugurated the Community Hall, built by the Chettiars. Here one point which I want to bring to your attention is this: Bhagavan made a promise to Madurai Chettiar that He would inaugurate the Community Hall there at Madurai on 22nd of April and He did it exactly on the dot of the appointed time, as promised earlier. By the time we went, we came to know that Chettiar had passed away by then and that not even ten days had passed. The elderly man, about eighty, had passed away. But Bhagavan said to everybody who gathered there, "I made a promise that I would be here on the 22nd, the Inauguration Day, and I kept up My promise. I am here on that day, on that dot of time." That is Bhagavan, who never fails, but fulfills His promise. He keeps up to the word given. He would never break His promise. It is in this context I want to bring to your attention three important words which were brought to the notice of the vast gathering that assembled there. The Community Hall is too small to accommodate the vast crowd, four times more than present inside. The whole track was full of devotees and all of them could not find their accomodation or seating space inside the hall. Bhagavan made a very beautiful discourse as He does every time. The whole thing can be summarized in three words for your information, which had universal application, which had universal appeal. He made a mention of three words. One, He said Nethi. Another word, Rethi. The third, Khythi. These are the three words. Nethi, Rethi, Khythi, three Sanskrit words. I'll certainly give them translation also.

Nethi. The first word is Nethi. Usually we understand the meaning of Nethi. The English translation happens to be ?morality?. But Bhagavan said another thing: Nethi here stands for, or Nethi means Truth. Bhagavan said, "Sathya mey nethi". Truth is true morality. The true morality, Nethi, is comprised in the Truth. Sathyam mey nethi. Truth is Nethi or morality. And He spoke at length about this Truth, the Nethi, the morality, telling that all things are transitory in their nature, they?re evanescent, they're fleeting, they're momentary. But that which is eternal, that which is immortal, that which is permanent is that principle of Atma. That is the eternal Truth He says. Truth here does not mean worldly truth or scientific truth. Truth here means that which is eternal, that Truth which is permanent, that which is the spirit or the soul or Consciousness or Atma or whatever you call it or the Divine in the individual. This is Nethi or the Truth or Sathya.

The second word He said was Rethi, Rethi. The usual meaning that we give to this word Rethi is ?the procedure", is ?the method?. But Bhagavan gave another meaning to this. God incarnates from time to time to give a new interpretation to every word, to every theory, to every principle written down there in the sacred texts relevant to the situation that we live in, relevant to the social conditions, to the norms of life so that they could be translated into action easily. So a kind of new dimension is added to this Rethi, the procedure. The root Rethi, Bhagavan said, is Dharma or righteousness. So Rethi means Dharma, the righteous conduct, the righteousness, the procedure. Nethi means the morality, the Truth, whereas Rethi is the Dharma, the procedure. So that which is said by way of Truth must be practiced, what we call Dharma. That is Rethi. So, in method, in practice, by way of procedure, we should adhere to this Rethi or Dharma. That is what Bhagavan has said.

And third comes Khythi. Khythi in the ordinary connotation, in the usual sense, means ?reputation?. It means acting fairly, Prakhythi, Khythi, reputed fairness or a reputation of being fair. This is the meaning of Khythi. But Bhagavan gave another meaning to this: Khythi means Tyaga. Bhagavan said, "Tyaga mey khythi". Tyaga mey khythi. Sacrifice is khythi. The real reputation consists in observing the spirit of sacrifice. One can be famous not in the worldly sense. You win all the esteem and honor by following the principle of sacrifice.

So my friends, these are the three words He said which are very important to all of us: Nethi, meaning morality which is the Truth, Sathya; Rethi, the procedure meaning Dharma; and third, Khythi meaning Tyaga or sacrifice. Thus He elaborated at length on that day of Inauguration of the Community Hall, well-built there at Madurai by Chettiar.

I should also bring to your notice the beautiful sight for gods: travelling with God by flight all the way itself is an exciting experience, a lifetime opportunity. Usually, as all of us experience, as the flight takes off, Air India, Lufthansa or whatever it may be, they give you some announcements: "Welcome onboard Indian Airlines.Thank you for flying with us." They also tell you the temperature, the pressure and the altitude at which you are travelling. But what kind of announcement we had there in Indian Airlines this time? They said, "Welcome aboard Sai Charter?Sai Charter! Indian Airlines is highly grateful to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and His devotees for flying with us." What a beautiful announcement it was! Usually in the airlines we also listen to music: instrumental music, in particular on Indian Airlines, classical instrumental music. But this time we could hear Sai bhajans! This time there were Sai bhajans! As you also know, as we fly by any aircraft, they supply certain things, whether we relish it or not, which are conventional, which are traditional. They follow this procedure and give you some kind of juices or some peppermints or something like that, some snacks. But this time we had idly and dosa which are special South Indian preparations. This was quite totally against the norms, quite new. And then the air hostess and the members of the crew started competing with the devotees in catching hold of the Divine Lotus Feet! They, too, wanted to have padnamascars. Being the members of the crew, they could win over all the devotees seated there who were not supposed to get up. Had it been left to our muscle power, we would have made our own attempt. But there was no chance like that. So they had padnamascars repeatedly. The boys did not count how many. But each crew member must have had more than fifty padnamascars, during that brief flight, which lasted about a half-an-hour or so. So nice. It was at that time that everyone must have felt that had they had a chance like this, being a member of the crew, how fortunate they would have been. The lucky ones.

When we reached there, Bhagavan was received by a tumultous welcome, a grand reception over there. Swami moved all over the aircraft, that end and this end, talking to everybody. At one point, Bhagavan stepped into the cockpit where the pilot and co-pilot were seated. Thanks to Swami, they did not leave their places. Had they also followed the other members of the aircraft, leaving the engines to their fate, well, really we would have enjoyed the manifestation of the Divine in the space! Such a thing did not happen. Bhagavan Himself went to the cockpit there. We could peep in as we were occupying the rear end seat there. He kept one of His Hands on the shoulder of the pilot and the other Hand on the shoulder of the co-pilot, and He started talking to both of them for at least ten minutes or even more .

Well, how envious most of us were is beyond our estimation because they were seated while Bhagavan was standing all the time, speaking to them for so long a time. Towards the end, He materialized a diamond ring for each one of them, that is, for both of them. While He was returning, it so happened that He stood in front of me for sometime. As you know me, I rarely keep quiet, sometimes even take Divine risks. And so somehow I ventured, picked up some courage and said, " Bhagavan, it is rather very strange, mysterious, and wonderful! I have seen regular interviews, interviews or conversations along the darshan lines, interview on the verandah, interviews in the interview room. But this is unique: to watch ?space interview?. Space interview. And I also saw you materializing so many things everywhere. This is ?space materialization?, materialization of the diamond rings for the pilot and co-pilot. What a fantastic thing it is!"

Then on the return, we could get into the flight there in Coimbatore back to Bangalore. Bhagavan presented to the members of the crew beautiful sarees for the lady air hostesses there. Very beautiful sarees as I can estimate. Ladies as they are, anywhere on earth or in the sky, immediately picked up the sarees and they went on checking, standing in front of the mirror, "How matching it is!" Each one started appreciating each other: "This color suits you." The other lady naturally said, "This color equally suits you." Mutual compliments. So they were so happy about it. I was watching the entire scene. Bhagavan also presented three gray-colored suits for the captain and for the pilot and the co-pilot and also another gentleman over there, gray-colored suits. And I was watching all this. After landing there at Bangalore, immediately I got a call from Bhagavan asking me to join there at the tea table. It was teatime, around four o?clock. There I said, "Is it not strange that You distributed sarees and suits to the members of the crew and air staff, which doesn?t happen anywhere, anytime, by anybody. The Prime Minister may travel. The President may travel. They would not distribute sarees and suits like that. It is very strange to watch it, Swami," I said. And Bhagavan said, "Are you jealous about it? When I distribute them, do you.that you loose anything?." And He did not stop at that. He further said, "Perhaps you are feeling highly jealous because I did not give you one saree to wear!" Then immediately I answered, "Bhagavan, there?s no chance of wearing a saree this lifetime, I?m sure. But if ever I try to wear the saree, I am more than sure that I would look more beautiful than most of the women around. Perhaps I would pray that this chance may be kept in abeyance, waiting till next life. Perhaps in the next life when I am to be reborn as a woman, you can present me a saree."

Swami laughed and laughed and said, "Cha! What desire is this? Why do you pray that you should be born as a woman next time? Why don?t you pray that you will not have birth at all? Why don?t you pray for moksha? Moksha means liberation, where you don?t have to be born again, where you?ll cut off the chain, the cycle of birth and death. Why don?t you pray for that immortality, moksha, liberation?"Then I said, "Swami, I have not met any liberated soul so far. I have not met any person who is enjoying that blissful state of moksha. The moksha or liberation is a state about which all of us imagine. We have not met anybody sharing their experiences. So why should I covet that, why should I pray for that which I do not know? Whereas this I know: singing Your glory, seeing You, watching You, talking to You, listening to Your message. Yes! This reality I know. Given the chance, I want to be born again as the State President of Sathya Sai Organization in the State of Andhra Pradesh so that I would go around all villages, talking and sharing Your gospel, because this gives me the greatest joy in life which I want to be repeated off and on."Bhagavan was so happy about it. "Yes, it is good that you asked for it." And Bhagavan spoke of earlier people in those times: "Swami Vivekananda never wanted any heaven. He never wanted any liberation. He wanted to be born again and again to serve humanity. So nothing is wrong in desiring like this," He said.

Like this, days rolled on. But our stay was quite brief - only fifteen days. Including trip travel, it came to eighteen days, that?s all. Though quite brief, still the material we gathered was ample. At this moment I should also draw your attention to another interesting feature: We had there in Kodaikanal a mountain, which is so high that if you were to make an estimate, it is around 7,500 feet above sea level. 7,500 feet! It?s the highest peak. Right from that mountaintop, you can see only the mist and the clouds. That?s all. And down the hill, valleys are so deep, so deep; the mountains are so sloped, so steep. You don?t find anything except the clouds and the mist and that?s all. Such a beautiful scene I have not seen anywhere. There on the mountaintop, there is a beautiful palace, which was occupied by the British people long ago. The late Birla Company owns it. The Birlas, very rich people, are business magnets of this country. They bought it from the British people. They never lived there. It is so spacious, spread around seventeen acres, worth about a couple of crores. They went around Swami again and again and again and again, a number of times. Bhagavan made them cry nicely to their hearts? content. Ultimately, finally, He accepted to receive the gift of this plot and the palace located on that mountaintop. Now it is owned by the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Bhagavan took all of us there and we had individual photographs taken. Such a beautiful spot, full of mist and clouds everywhere. Such a lovely garden! How am I to draw that, how am I to describe that? Very spacious halls, no one has halls like that, with a jhoola (swing) at the center and well-furnished, beautiful- colored carpets on the floor. Better that I don?t describe further because I cannot do it full justice. Then Bhagavan said, "This being so high, it looks like Kailas or the very heaven. Let it be called ?Sathya Sai Kailas Giri? from now on." So it is named as ?Sathya Sai Kailas Giri?, the highest now. We have ?Vidya Giri? here in Prashanti Nilayam. We have ?Kailas Giri? there in Kodaikanal. Everywhere, here and there, we are on the ?giri?, the mountaintop, both here and there! That?s one of the things that happened this year.

We had a number of occasions to put questions to Bhagavan and He, the compassionate Lord, in all His Infinite Mercy, responded to our questions. This I would like to share with you. Bhagavan never said this next statement which I am going to share with you, but it is the feeling of the devotees. I am not saying that Bhagavan has said it. I am highly cautious in my wording in the structure of the sentence. Bhagavan has never said it. But it is the feeling of most of the devotees that Prashanti Nilayam, being a crowded place, Prashanti Nilayam, being a place full of heads of governments from different countries, full of members of the Organization office bearers, full of educational institutions, Bhagavan is so busy. We find Bhagavan is very, very busy every day here in Prashanti Nilayam. Therefore, devotees feel that Prashanti Nilayam is His office, where the Boss is very, very busy. He?s very busy. Then the devotees say that Whitefield there at Bangalore is His residence, is His home, where the Master is living rather leisurely, rather relaxed. There He talks to students. He talks to everybody. There in Brindavan, Whitefield, in the evening, we have ?Trayee? sessions. There in Bangalore, the main residence of Bhagavan is called ?Trayee?. ?Trayee? means three Vedic texts. Vedic texts are only three. But the fourth one, Sama Veda, is the music part of it. If you go by the textual content, if you go by the textual matter, Vedas are only three. The fourth, Sama Veda, is the music part of it. So that Brindavan building is called ?Trayee? Brindavan and we have everyday a session. Swami is surrounded by students and some special invitees. He talks to everybody and He calls everyone by name. Therefore, Brindavan, according to the devotees, is His residence, is His home, while Kodaikanal is His playfield. Kodaikanal is His playfield, full of fun and frolic, full of humor, full of smiles! It is rather very difficult to feel that He is God. On the one hand, He makes you feel, He sees to it, that He is God. On the other hand, He sees to it that you forget that He is God because He can?t stand this distancing of company. Suddenly He gets into your bedroom and He sits on the same cot where you sleep and He comments on your dress and hairstyle. He thinks and speaks of your personal habits not known to anybody. He gets into the inner recesses of your heart and speaks loudly all of the secrets that you don?t want the public to know. It is very, very embarrassing! Very, very embarrassing!

To share with you a little thing that had happened there: As you know, all men here wear white dresses. Well, I don?t want my white dress to be mixed up with others. So that it could be spoted immediately, so that my dress could be collected earlier than others, somehow I took the precaution to write my initials on the back collar here: K.A. Well, that morning the washerman brought all the clothes and kept it on my cot. I never dreamt that Bhagavan would step into my bedroom. I was not there that day. I went round the lake along with students there in Kodaikanal. Swami went in and saw these clothes and asked somebody, "To whom do they belong?" One lecturer said, "Swami, they belong to Anil Kumar." Then He said, "Anil Kumar should be A.K. It cannot be K.A. How is it that he wrote his initials K.A.? It should be A.K." And that lecturer picked up some courage and said, "Swami, K. is his surname, Kamaraju. A. is Anil Kumar. Kamaraju, Anil Kumar." "Oh, I see."

By the time we returned, this lecturer humbly, silently, and softly whispered into my ear what had transpired in my absence . OK. Please believe me, my friends. After fifteen days, in the public hall, while Bhagavan started giving His discourse, He said, "This country needs men of sacrifice, Tyagaraju! This country needs men of spiritual practice, Yogaraju! This country does not need Kamaraju, the one of desire! This country does not need Bhogaraju, the one of affluence and pleasure." And He then peeped into my eyes. Then I started shivering which some must have noticed also. So, such beautiful things, intimate things which we cannot forget in a lifetime, they do happen there in Kodaikanal. Therefore, Kodaikanal is the playfield of God.

Oh, this is one thing which I really want to tell you: He is so intimate and He knows your personal likes and dislikes and the dining habits, too. We cannot cover nor can we hide anything. It so happened that my eating co-efficient or eating capacity or the fastness or the speed with which I eat must have slowed down. This must have certainly been noticed by the Divine. On the fourth day, He walked gently and questioned me, "How is it that you are not eating in full?" I said, "I?m OK, Swami.' Then He said, "I know! You miss your Andhra pickles, that hot stuff! So I have brought it for you. Now you can do your normal gestures." It?s rather unbelievable, unbelievable how He talked so endearingly, how He moved, and the kinds of presentations that He made, the cameras and tape recorders He gave, which are costly gifts. Though we started from yet a single suitcase, we could have another suitcase-load of gifts from the Divine Hands! God's love is limitless. God's love is infinite. The love of the Divine is unconditional. It is selfless. It is universal. It is permanent. It is immortal. It is eternal. It is nectarine. One has to experience it. It's beyond comprehension and beyond description.

Apart from that, I would like to draw your attention to certain questions which were put to Bhagavan and the answers He gave. I am also quite glad to announce, rather to share this news, because I sincerely believe that we belong to one Sai Family. It is not for declaration on the dias. It is not for addressing a congregation that we say ?brothers and sisters?. I really believe that we are brothers and sisters. Yes! True to the spirit is what I say. It is not just a convention. No. I have written down all the questions put to Swami and the answers that He gave. Divine answers to human questions. In all, I joined Bhagavan during five summers to Kodaikanal. Five trips. So, as I noted down the questions, they have come up to roughly around 240. And all the answers I also wrote. Luckily, Bhagavan gave His Divine Consent for the publication of this book in the near future by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Trust Publication. I pray that the book should be released quite soon because we'll have all the information which you do not get anywhere else.

And for your information, I should also tell you another point. The ancient texts of Bharat, according to Sanatana Dharma, the whole philosophy, the text of Vedanta, proceeded by way of a dialogue between guru, the preceptor, and sishya, the disciple. The entire conversation goes under the name of Upanishad. Upanishad is nothing but a dialogue, a conversation. The disciple questions, and the teacher responds. The meaning of Upanishad, according to Swami is this: upa ? near, ni - below, shad - sit down. Sit down near. That is the meaning of Upanishad. So, disciple has to sit down near to the teacher and from there easily flows the knowledge, the flow of wisdom. So Upanishads are many in Sanatana Shastra, in Sanatana Dharma. To name a few, there is Kenopanishad, Isavasyopanishad, Mandukyopanishad, Kathopanishad, and Aitharayopanishad. A number of Upanishads are there. But how shall I name this Upanishad? A dialogue, a dialogue between the devotees and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Kodaikanal. Many ask many questions. It's not the monopoly of this speaker. No. Anybody can ask any question. Well, how shall I name it? Since this is Upanishad, dialogue between Baba and the devotee, Baba being Sathya Sai Baba, then I prefer to name it Sathyopanishad.

So, Sathyopanishad, with these 240 questions, awaits publication-release anytime. Bhagavan was so happy to go through the whole manuscript and He lovingly, affectionately autographed it also. But I simply said, "Swami, I saw you signing or blessing people with your autograph. Well, I don't have one." "But," He said, "you never asked for it. You never asked for it before. Now only you're asking. Therefore I am putting my signature here." He said. So, these are the questions asked recently which I want to share with you because I believe in things being served ?hot-hot? right from the oven. ?Hot-hot? things should be served so that you will enjoy the dish much more. Therefore, here are some of the questions, the answers to which I'm sure you will enjoy.

One question is this: What is maya? Maya is illusion or delusion or mistaken identity. Maya has so many names: mistaken identity, illusion, imagination or delusion. What is this maya? Bhrama. In Sanskrit it is called bhrama. Maya or bhrama are Sanskrit words which mean illusion, superimposition, mistaken identity. So what is bhrama, illusion, and what is Brahma, the reality? Brahma is reality, the Self, the Soul, the Atma, the Consciousness. So what is the difference between bhrama and Brahma, illusion and the reality?

The answer is unique. My friends, I may look like rather a crazy man whenever I say it is very important, it is very special. I don?t mind if you call me like that. I am crazy. I want to be more. Because having gone around the temples earlier, having heard a number of talks over a period of 40 years everywhere, having gone through many books, I am more than sure the answers given by Bhagavan are more perfect. You don't find anywhere any book speaking of these things. Therefore, they are very precious, more precious. What is the answer? Difference between illusion and the reality, bhrama and Brahma? His Answer is straight and simple. What did He say?

The principle of unity is the reality. Ekatvam Ekatma. Oneness. Oneness. Unity is the reality. Oneness. Why? Plurality, multiplicity, diversity is bhrama, illusion. So diversity or multiplicity are anekatma, are imaginaion. Ekatvam, unity, oneness, is the reality. A single sentence. Please tell me who can define like that. Please let me know anyone who can simply bring it down into a single sentence like that, the difference between two big things that we know. And how Bhagavan explains further because He knows we can't understand by a single statement: Here is gold. Out of this gold, you make many jewels, like earrings or nosestuds or chains or rings or something like that. Jewels are many. All the jewels are made up of the same gold to start with. The same gold to begin with. Out of the same gold, you can make so many jewels. So, if you look at the jewels, it is illusion. If you think of the gold, which is one and the same, the primordial, fundamental principle, that is the reality. So, gold is the reality, while the jewels are an illusion. Ah! What an explanation it is.

And further, He gives a second analogy: Here is clay or mud. Out of this clay or mud, the potter makes so many articles, like a pot or a slate. He can make anything out of this clay. If you look at the pots, the pots are many. If you look at the pots of different forms and different sizes, that is imagination, maya, or illusion. But if you look at the basic clay which is one and the same thing, that is the reality or Brahma. So that is the answer given by Bhagavan which will certainly get imprinted in our minds. If you are carried away by the name and form, that is just illusion. We are different here, from different nations, from different places, of different cultures, of different nationalities. But essentially, basically, we are all divine. Basically, we are Atma. That is the reason why Bhagavan addresses the congregation as, ?Embodiments of Divine Atma?. So, to consider that we are different, to feel that we are many, that is imagination. That is maya. Whereas to understand the essential unity, the Atmic Principle, that is the reality.

Still He gave a third example: In a garland, there are so many flowers. The maker will bring all the flowers together, tie them up with a thread and make it into a beautiful garland. Flowers are many, but the thread is one. So, the thread, which is one, is the reality; the flowers that are born, the flowers that blossom, the flowers that fade out, that fade away, that drop down, is the illusion. So flowers represent the illusion, while the thread represents the reality. That is the definition given by Bhagavan. That is the answer, the truth, which I am sure many people have failed to communicate in such simple terms. Infact, I am not tired to repeat that it was Howard Murphet who said the sign of an Avatar, the sign of Godhead, the symbol or the sign of the divinity is the ability to communicate the toughest and the greatest Vedantic philosophical truths in the simplest way: toughest things communicated in the simplest way. Whereas we humans are capable of complicating simple things. Simple things are complicated by man. Complicated things are made simple by God. That is the simple difference between us. Because we feel that we are great by complicating! Yes. But Swami simplifies everything.

The second question: Oh God, Bhagavan, you say God has no form. Formless. Nirakara. Formless. Nirakara. No form. You also said in Your discourses that the qualities like gunas, our height, our weight, our complexion, our chest, that all these attributes are within the gunas. Our pious quality, our emotions, our desires, the ways of the mind, the vagaries of the mind, the whims and the fancies of the mind, the decision-making of the intellect and the body, these are all formed due to the gunas. So, a man, a jivi, the individual has gunas or traits or attributes or qualities. But God is beyond attributes, attributeless. God has no attributes. "Swami, I have seen You in human form. You say God is formless, but Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has a form. Is it not right? We see His form. But God has no form. You have said it. How am I to understand both? Has He form? Or has He no form?"

Well, most simple to the understanding God! He does not dismiss the question as a foolish question as do most of us teachers. When we find the question tough, we'll ask the student to leave the class.! A good solution. I also have told many times that we teachers have got a very good way of escape: the A, B, C, D of teaching: A = avoid. When the student asks any question, we say we meet next time. A is for avoid. B = bypass. If he asks a question, we respond by saying, do you know that, do you know this, do you know that until he forgets this! Bypass. A = avoid. B = bypass. C = confuse. You repeat the question in this way: active voice, passive voice, direct speech, indirect speech, make it complicated. Poor student gets confused: "Sir, I'll meet you tomorrow." C = confused. D = divide, for example telling the students, "Last year boys were much better than this year boys. They never put such silly questions." So, the teaching has come down to the level of A, B, C, D = avoid, bypass, confuse and divide.

Well, the reality, Bhagavan, the all-knowing Bhagavan, how He answered this question! He never confused me. Clarity is Divinity. Clarity. Brevity. Simplicity is Divinity. Unity is the Reality. How effectively He communicates this, kindly follow. What does He say? "God has no form," I said, and He gave a few examples. "What is the form of Love? Love, what is its form? Is Love short or tall or black or white or brown or yellow or sweet or hot? What is the form? How do you describe it?" Swami, I cannot. "But your mother who loves, has she a form or not? Your mother loves you. Has she a form or not?" Yes she has. "Then what!" So, Love has no form, but loving mother has a form. And further He says, "What is the form of fragrance, smell, aroma? Smell has no form. Jasmine flowers, they have a form. Rose flower has a form. So, smell, as such has no form, but the flower that smells has a form." Oh. Third example, "Air, what is the form of air? No form. But air pumped into a balloon takes the form of a balloon. Air pumped into a tire takes the form of a tire. So, air takes the form of the tube or the tire or the balloon into which it is pumped. " Lastly Bhagavan tells, "What's the form of water? Water has no taste. Nothing. Tasteless. But when the water is there in a glass, it takes the form of a glass. One supports the other. One is the basis for the other."

Then Swami, it's OK. I understand. God has no form. But in an incarnation, the divinity expresses itself through a form. I understand it. Then when You say God is everywhere, God is everywhere, why should He take a human form at all? We say God is omniscient. We say God is omnipresent. We say God is omnipotent. Why should He take a human form? Why?

Then Baba said: "You do not know that until I said that He is everywhere. You do not know that God is everywhere until I said it." Oh, I see. Finished. Fuse is gone. And now He explains further, "You see, here is gold and here are diamonds or pearls. The pearls and gold themselves do not make jewels. There should be a goldsmith who will make a chain, who will make a necklace. So, God is the goldsmith. God is the maker of the jewels, though gold and diamonds are available. So similarly, you are God. But God tells you that you are God. So there is somebody to remind you of your reality. There's somebody to tell you of your own true self. Because we mistake ourself with our body, we mistake ourself with our mind, we are carried away by the sense of ego, somebody should tell us who we are."

"And a further example," Bhagavan said, "here is a thread, here are the flowers. Will it make a garland? There should be a maker. Here is a container, here is oil. There's a wick. Do you get the light? Somebody should light it. There should be a maker of the garland. There should be the goldsmith over here." Similarly, Avatar is necessary. God should necessarily take a human form to tell everyone of us that we are basically, essentially divine, that we are divine, that we are not the dust. We are not made up of, or comprised of the five elements of Nature alone.

Further, Bhagavan, what is the purpose of life? What is the purpose of life? We're all born anyway. It's not given to our choice. We are all here, what for? What is the purpose of life? What shall we do now?"

What is the answer of Bhagavan? He said, "Here is an envelope, a cover. You post it. Every cover that you post, every cover that you put into the post box, must have two addresses: one, to whom you have written the letter. Another, your from address. So on every letter should appear two addresses: To: so-and-so and From: so-and-so. These two addresses must be there. Supposing you don't write these two addresses and post the cover. What will happen? It will go to the dead letter box. That's all. So, likewise, human life is like an envelope. Human life is like a cover, a postal cover. You should have two addresses: Where do you come from? I don't know. Where do you go? I don't know. As I don't know where I come from, I equally do not know where I go. So, the to-address and the from-address must be there on the cover. So similarly, the purpose of human life is to know where we come from and to know where we go, what is our destination, our goal. This is the purpose of life: ?from? and ?to?. On the other hand, we are only bothered about the life inbetween ?from? and ?to?. That's all. ?From? is not known; ?to? is not known. Time is something just spent like that.

Further Bhagavan said, "The purpose of life is something more." What is that? He said, "Remember, remember always the purpose of life is to know and experience the Divinity." How to know? How to experience divinity? I don't know. When I don't know, how can I experience it? The very fact that we have not experienced the divinity is very well known to everybody. How do I know? We are disturbed. We are confused. We are educated. We are full of doubts. We have got bumps and jumps in life, ups and downs in life. We feel elated when we are praised. We feel frustrated when we are commented upon or criticized. We have got so many types of bumps and jumps in life, as Bhagavan puts it. Our life is full of successes and failures, full of gains and losses, full of grief and happiness. Our life is dual. This is not our reality. This is not our reality! The purpose of life lies in knowing the reality, in knowing the truth. What is it?

Bhagavan gives a simple example: "Here is a glass of water. You have at the bottom sugar; at the bottom is sugar. Now you taste the water at the top. Agh! Tasteless! You taste the water in the middle. Tasteless. Why? Because the sugar is there at the bottom only. Now with the help of a spoon, come on and stir it up! Mix it well. Taste the water on the top. Sweet. In the middle? Sweet. At the bottom? Sweeter. What is the difference between then and now? The difference is that earlier there was sugar which had not been mixed properly with the help of the spoon. Sugar was there, is there, and will be there. The only thing you have got to do is to stir it, to mix it up properly. Human life is like a glass of water. Human life, human body is like a glass of water. The sugar is the divinity inside."

Oh, but we find life tasteless. We find life disinteresting. We find life depressing. We find life frustrating. We find life meaningless. Why? The sugar is there at the bottom which means that the divinity is there at the bottom of our life. What should I do now? Swami?s answer is, "Take the spoon of the intellect or buddhi. Stir it now. Mix it now. When you mix this sugar of divinity with the help of the intellect properly in the top of life, the whole life turns sweet or nectarine." So, my friends, it is left to us now to mix this properly, to enjoy it in the real sense. The purpose of life is to mix this divinity into our day-to-day life situations so that the whole life becomes interesting. The whole life becomes extremely useful. This is what Bhagavan has said. This is the purpose of life as explained by Bhagavan at that moment.

Swami, you want me to mix this divinity. You want me to know this unity. You want me to experience this Atma. OK! But I'm very busy with my job. I'm very busy with my financial management. I'm very, very busy with the house construction which I have taken up recently. I'm very busy seeking admission for my children elsewhere. I'm very busy in finding out new avenues of income. Where is the chance to know the Self? So when shall I know about this. Please tell me the proper time. Early hours of the morning, or in the afternoon, or after retirement?

Many people reserve retirement period for spirituality. But those that reserve that period may get ?conserved? in between. Where is the guarantee that we live up to retirement? No guarantee. No guarantee. The insurance is a guarantee to the survivor, to those who are left behind. But the fellow who leaves, yes, he leaves empty-handed. So insurance is no guarantee for us. No. no. It is a guarantee for those who are left behind. Therefore, we are not sure of our survival. We are not sure of our life after retirement. So that's not a time for spirituality.

Now Bhagavan tells, "Look here. You should have certain priorities in life, certain priorities in life. What is most important? What is next in importance? What is least important? Nothing is unimportant in life. Nothing is unimportant. All are important. Some are important. Few are more. Very few are most. That's all." While shifting house, it must have been the experience of everybody that we don't want to leave anything behind because we consider even rotten chappels very important to be carried to the new house! Old chappels are also shifted because we don't want to leave anything behind. We consider everything important. So similarly in life, all are important.

Now Bhagavan explains clearly the priorities of life: what is top priority, what is next in priority and what is least in priority. Swami explains it in this way: There are two sets of fellows ? first, the Pandavas, the spiritual people; next, the Kauravas, the mundane people, our next cousins, worldly people. Bhagavan describes in this way: The Pandavas gave priority to God first, God first. Top priority. Next, others. Last and the least, themselves. ?I come in the last. God comes first! Others next. I come in the last.? That was their priority. Because they kept God in the first place, top priority, they won the battle of life. They were so victorious, they were so famous, they were so respected down to this day, though thousands of years have elapsed. But still Pandavas are held with very high respect because they kept God first, others next, ?I? in the last. Whereas Kauravas were just the opposite: They kept ?I? first: ?I'm very important!? Others next. And God, the last. They gave the last priority, the last place in priority to God. Therefore, they failed ultimately. If you go by the statistics, the army was much greater on the Kauravas' side. Weapons were more on the Kauravas' side. But they lost both the life and the battle. Why? Because they kept God in the last priority. So, the purpose of life is to keep God in top priority. The purpose of life is to divinize or spiritualize our lifestyle, Bhagavan has said.

Further, Swami said a very important thing here: Why are most of us very much worried? [Friends, I think this is very important. Being a teacher, sometimes in the classroom I tell the students this is ?very important? for this March examination. So, my old habits die hard, you know. Being a teacher myself, I often say ?very important?. Please do not mistake me. It is my habit, being a teacher for over 37 years. You see, I can't help it.]

Now the question is this: Why are we miserable? Why are we sad? Why? If you just go around the campus you find long faces, Shakespearian faces, worried faces. Rarely do you come across smiling faces. Rarely people smile: ?Sir, where is Accomodation?? (As if in response to the question, Anil makes a grumpy sound.) ?Sir, would you please, some more sambar?? (Anil again makes a grumpy sound.) ?Sir, what is the darshan time?? ?Don't you know??, said in the same grumpy fashion. Shock, electric shock everywhere. Why? Why people are not happy? Why people are not blissful? Why people are agitated and disturbed? Why? Why don't they smile wholeheartedly? Why don't they smile? ?Hi, Sai Ram! How are you?? ?Why don't they?oh! Foreigner!" (Anil makes some gestures depicting the situation to make everyone laugh.) Full of tension, full of BP, hypertension. What's all this? What is spirituality for? If spirituality is a burden, is it worth having? Spirituality should lighten you. It should never be a heavy load. Why are we so serious in life? Why?

Bhagavan gives this answer. Beautifully. People worry for two reasons: One, they constantly think of the past. The wife goes on nagging her husband. "Ten years ago, your mother ill-treated me." Ten years ago when mother-in-law ill-treated her, how can the poor fellow husband help the situation now? Or, fifteen years ago, you did not present a beautiful saree on our wedding anniversary." What shall I do now? Fifteen years have passed! So we'll feel very sad about the past incidents. Another example: "I know many, many years ago you did not receive me properly. You did not pay proper attention when I visited you." OK. So, most of the misery, most of our unhappiness is because of our brooding over the past. We think of the past. Bhagavan says, "Why do you think of the past? Past is past, beyond recovery." I may cry for any number of days, but I cannot bring back the past again. Past is past. On the other hand, having passed through the past, you know the route you experienced. Why do you think of it again? Not worth it. So, 50% of misery will go, 50% of unhappiness will go away when you forget the past. Forget the past. Past is past. I may be the worst of sinners. I may be very bad. Or I might have got the name that I am undependable. I might have had certain sad experiences. Forget the past. Past is past. 50% of worry is gone. The other 50% of worry will also go if you don't worry about the future.

We think of the future and get worried. One small example: A fellow is not yet married. The parents are still in search of a proper bride for the fellow, while this fellow goes around to nursery schools for a reservation for a future-born child. For a future-born child! This fellow is not yet married! See that.

And Bhagavan also cuts a joke here. It seems that that fellow's wedding was fixed and the boy is quite happy because he is going to be married. Of course, Bhagavan also tells boys, "Wife, wife, wife is life. And when wife becomes knife, you'll understand life. I know you want wife, wife, wife. Later on you say, wife is life. And when the wife becomes knife, then you come to Me. Not till then."

And so the boy is extremely happy that he is going to be married. Fine. The parents bought him nice suits, Raymond?s woolen suits. But the parents, all of a sudden, see this boy collecting old torn-out, worn-out cloth. Totally torn cloth. Old cloth. Old clothes! He's just collecting them! So mother asked, "Hey, my dear son, what is it? We have brand new clothes ready for your wedding." The boy tells, "Mother, I'll have a child after one year. To clean the child?s bed, I need these torn clothes. Therefore, I'll preserve it from now on." He's preserving all old clothes so as to clean the bed of the child, the future-born child. This fellow is not yet even married!

So, most of the worry is because we think of the future. Better we don't think of the future. Why? Future is uncertain. Where's the guarantee that we will live till then? So, the reason for our worry is that we keep worrying, we feel so sad, thinking of the past and also of the future. So Bhagavan says, "Past is beyond recovery. Future is uncertain. Take care of the present. Take care of the present. The present is the result of the past. Present is the foundation for the future. Past, it was a tree. Future, it is going to be a tree. In the present, it is a seed. The present is the seed which came out of the past tree. The present seed will grow into a future tree. So, take care of the present. Why? Because the present is the result of the past. The present is the foundation for the future. So this present is omnipresent, not a simple present." Present is omnipresent, according to Bhagavan. So our misery is because of silly things which are not worth it at all. Utter ignorance.

Then about worry, Swami tells us another thing about why we worry. Why do we worry? It is of our own making: While talking to boys, He says "Hello boy". When I say, "when are you going to marry?" the boy is so happy. "You're now a Mr. You're a Mr. You have got full control on your time and resources. You walk straight. When once you get married, you'll be walking on four legs, like an animal. Your speed of walking becomes slowed down. Then you have a child, means six legs, "like a scorpion", to quote Swami. If you have another female child, you'll be eight-legged, "like a cockroach". Eight-legged. So, with the addition of children, more and more the speed or the momentum or the velocity of your life slows down. You can't walk speedily with many legs!

Likewise, the family bondage, the family obligations, the family responsibilities are of your own making. I cannot say that my family is a bondage. No. Because family itself cannot walk on its own. The family is the one I have made. I have built it up over the years. So the bondage is of our own making. It's not anybody's gift. Therefore, most of us feel so badly because of too much attachment, because of so much attachment to everything. So Swami, alright. I've got family now. Even before coming to You, I had family. Now You say, "of your own making. You cry now. I can't help it. What am I to do now?"

Now Swami tells a solution: After fifty, after fifty years, after that, you should not have any kind of attachment. When once children settle, let them take care of themselves. You should not be worried about your son's savings. You should not be worried about your grandson's investment. You should not be worried about your granddaughter's educational qualification. Why? After fifty, the stage is called vanaprastha. Vanaprastha is the state of life after fifty when you should be totally detached, the charge handed over to the children. After sixty, sannyasa ashrama, be a total renunciant. But unfortunately, we want to be a brahmacharia at the age of fifty. We want to be a grihasta at the age of sixty. So the place is a hospital, not a residence. Therefore, the cause for misery is due to the management of life. This management is not like management of a business, M.B.A. This management of life, management of time, is more important when one is free from the responsibilities after fifty. So then there will be no reason for any kind of disturbances, for any kind of misery.

I shall also share with you this next point and then disperse for this morning. One morning I saw in the newspaper the headlines: "Naxalites killed five people". These are some terrorists. There are some people of violence called Naxalites in the State of Andhra Pradesh. There are terrorists in Punjab. There is border movement in Assam and LTT gang in Tamil Nadu, who believe in violence. They want to finish off people. They think that by killing people they can have a solution to their problems. They'll take away the property from a rich man, distribute to others, and say that they have established equality. Now this is the question: Bhagavan, some people believe in equality. Why not everybody be rich? Why not everybody take property? Why not all be equal? Yes! Yes! Yes! Equality Communism. Is equality possible? What is equality? There are two words here: samathwa, samanathwa. Samathwa, samanathwa. Equality, is it possible? This is the question put to Swami.

You know what He said? "Samathwa samanathwa. Equality is impossible." Oh, impossible?! Why? The whole earth is not equal. You find mountains. You find valleys. Up on one side, down the other. The body is not equal: The nose is a projection. The mouth goes back. The neck is there. The body is not like a pillar, a granite stone. It has got its ups and downs. The earth has got ups and downs too. So, Nature is not equal all through. Equality is not possible in society. And Bhagavan gave one simple example:

It seems a king went around in disguise all over his kingdom and saw people suffering. He thought, "There should be equality in my kingdom." Well, he went to the forest, did deep penance and prayed to God. God appeared and said, "What do you want?" "Oh God, I want to live for a hundred years to establish equality in my kingdom." God said, "Fine. You are blessed. You go." Seeing the king returning happily, the queen noticed what was the cause of her husband?s happiness, as he wanted to live for a hundred years. And then she said, "Oh king, if you live for a hundred years, people also should live for a hundred years. If they die at the age of fifty, to whom are you going to be a king? Who is it that you are going to rule here? So people should live for a hundred years." So some elders of the kingdom went and prayed to God, "Oh God, is it true that You granted a hundred years to the king?" "Yes." "Please grant us a hundred years also." "Yes, granted, you go." Then the queen went and said, "Oh God, You gave a hundred years to both of them. Do You want me to die sooner than them? Let me also live for a hundred years." "Alright, granted."

Now the king started returning home because his kingdom was granted equality. Everybody was be equal. Everybody was happy. God granted their desire. While he was returning, he saw palaces everywhere. All are equal now. But he could not recognize his own palace! With great difficulty, and only by watching and identifying the queen, he could find his own palace. Till then it was not possible.

He saw the queen and he said, "Oh queen, why is it that the streets are so dirty?" The queen said, "Oh lord, oh king, there are no sweepers. All are kings today. Understand." "Oh I see. My God! Because I prayed for equality?" And then he said, "Oh Queen, I want to have a bath since a long time. Long time back I had bath. Please get the water ready. Ask the servants to do it." She answered, "No servants, I am sorry, oh lord. Better help yourself." "Oh I see. Why?" Again she responded, "No servants. All are kings now. Equal." Then king said, "Oh I see." "Well, I want these clothes to be washed. Come on." The queen said,"No doobi. No washermen. They are all kings now."

Now the king could understand the whole social order was disturbed since there was no functional division. The operation, the management became very difficult. And then he went to the forest again. "Oh God, please bring the old order again."

So equality is not possible. And then Swami brought out this distinction. Those who know the Sanskrit words will appreciate it better. Samanathwa is equality. Samathwa is equanimity.. There's a lot of difference between equanimity and equality. Equanimity is a state of mind: to consider loss and profit with a spirit of equanimity. To take gain and loss, success and defeat, all in equal spirit is equanimity. So, equanimity is done, or rather, is practiced, is visualized, is observed at the individual level; whereas equality is in a society. In a collective form, in a community, you strive for equality. At the individual level, you try to achieve equanimity.

Like this. Bhagavan answered several questions. We'll certainly meet, God willing, next week, same day same time. Thank you.

Sai Ram.

(He ended his talk by singing "Bhaja Mana Narayana, Narayana, Narayana.)

? Anil Kumar Kamaraju 2004 - Here reproduced for personal use of the devotees for the purpose of seva.
Anil Kumar website: http://www.internety.com/anilkhome/ - http://www.internety.com/saipearls/


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