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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
December 31, 2000

The Main points from the Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar on December 31st, 2000.




OMÖ OMÖ OMÖ

Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Our Beloved Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

I wish you all a happy and a prosperous New Year. May Bhagavan shower His choicest blessings on every one of you. May Sai help us to move along the path of devotion, service and Self-realization.

Before I mention a few of the points that I want to share with you this pleasant morning, I want to express my deep sense of appreciation to our brothers and sisters from overseas Sai centers.

Recently the Christmas function was held there in Whitefield at Bangalore. Christmas celebration at Bangalore happened after sixteen years! All these years we had it here only. All our brothers and sisters would be happy if I tell you that Bhagavan is immensely pleased with the Christmas carols presented by overseas Sai devotees. He was very, very happy! (Applause) You may ask me how I come to know that? (Laughter) I have told you a number of times that, "In this age of BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation, I am ABC: Anil Kumar Broadcasting Corporation!" (Laughter)

Bhagavan asked me how I liked the carols that evening itself. I said, "Swami, very nice." He asked, "How and why?" Unless one is ready with an answer for these two, 'how' and 'why', the mere appreciation carries no meaning. Mere appreciation appears as if it is flattery. But I am not of that type. I am a teacher basically. I have justification for every remark.

I said, "Bhagavan, Christmas carols this year were fantastic, specially composed and rendered, presented to You by overseas devotees. Why? Number one, many of the songs have been presented to You for the first time -new, ones which I havenít heard before. The second reason is this. There were certain songs that carried the Vedic Ďdictaí, certain of the statements from our Vedic culture, like:

Asato Maa Sad Gamaya,
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya,
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya

(Lead me from the false to the real, from darkness to light, from death to Immortality)

And they had a reference to Whitefield also included in one of their carols!" There were also hymns ending with 'Sai' with a beautiful melody that made Bhagavan immensely happy. All devotees were ecstatic about it. Let me congratulate you on this choir.

It did not end there. On Christmas Day, that morning our boys also presented their own program. I was in two minds how they would match our Western brothers. I didnít want them to be 'number two' because they are children of Sai. But by Bhagavan's grace, they also matched them, doing exceedingly well. Though later, Bhagavan said, "Overseas presentation stands first." He is quite impartial. (I still have got that touch of 'belonging'. What to do? Iím still to get over those weaknesses of attachments, the sense of belonging. I do admit my weakness. I am extremely happy about that.)

And the decoration there in Whitefield, it was taken up by all the brothers from overseas Sai centers. But it was special and unique this year in the sense that Christmas trees were on the dais, with beautiful illumination, and adding to that, stars were all along the auditorium!

Well, you are all the 'super stars' that have done such a beautiful job that pleasant morning. Then I told Swami, "Swami, the illumination, the entire campus building, the Trayee Brindavan, the hostel, the auditorium, the illumination there inside, the Christmas tree, all this speaks of the excellence of Sai devotees, who can excel not only in the warmth and depth of their feelings, but even excel in decoration!" So, we excelled in decoration, apart from the spiritual depth and insight that we all had.

This morning I was just thinking what I could speak to you about, particularly as this is a time when we are moving into a new year, ending of the old millennium, beginning of a new millennium, ending one year 2000, and going on with the year 2001. Let us welcome that year. Let us recall what Bhagavan said in this context. If you just go through "Sathya Sai Speaks", earlier volumes containing Bhagavan discourses, you will come across two or three occasions when Bhagavan gave Divine Discourse on New Yearís Day. This being an occasion to think of that, let me draw your attention to certain points.

What is a New Year? How to celebrate it? What is the significance of 'New Year'? Why should we celebrate it? Why and how? Why and why not? What are the implications? What is the inner significance, the deeper meaning that we can get out of Sai literature?

Bhagavan said one point. Please try to understand what Bhagavan meant. Seconds constitute a minute. Sixty minutes is an hour. Twenty-four hours is a day. Thirty days is a month. Twelve months is a year. So, 'New Yearí means we completed twelve months, calendar months. Each month is comprised of thirty days. Each day consists of twenty-four hours. Each hour contains sixty minutes. Each minute consists of sixty seconds. Ultimately 'new year' means seconds. Just like currency, it may be a five hundred rupee note or a hundred rupee note or a fifty rupee note, but Ďnaiya paiseí (the smallest unit of Indian currency) is there as the unit of currency. Similarly, the unit of time is a second, just as the unit of weight is a milligram. Milligram is a unit. Degrees centigrade is a unit of temperature. So units of time is this second.

So, when we invite a New Year, it means we wholeheartedly invite every second of it. We welcome into our life every second of the coming New Year because without that second there is no year at all! That's Bhagavan's concept of New Year. It's not simply a calendar or simply the first of January. No. It is something more than that, something deeper. We welcome every second of the New Year. Let every second of the New Year be sanctified. Let every second be meaningful. Let every second be fruitful. Let every second be purposeful. Let every second be sacred. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Babaís New Year. That is Saiís style of welcoming the New Year. That's the Saiís way of welcoming the New Year.

In fact my friends, what does Bhagavan say? Here's another point for this occasion. (Being a teacher, I can only collect the data and repeat like a parrot. Do not consider that I am more than anybody else, more than anyone of you here. I am the least of all. I have just been called for this occasion of teaching, given the gift of communication, with a prolonged period of experience and the blessing of being with Him. I know some points to share with you. That's all. Nothing great. There's nothing special with me or in me. Perhaps most of you excel me in several of the aspects of which I am quite aware.)

What does Bhagavan say? The New Year is a special calling. It's a special Divine mission. It is the one of commitment. It is one of dedication. It is an occasion to take resolutions. Most of us take resolutions, we resolve something or other, on the occasion of every New Year. Later we observe these resolves more in breach than in observance! No resolve, no decision is ever followed. No one is an exception to this.

We think, 'with effect from 2002', 'with effect from 2003'. This is what happens in our lives. But it does not matter. We falter and we fumble. We are just human. But God is merciful. God is compassionate. He grants a number of occasions to correct, a number of chances to rectify, by always saying, "At least from now onÖ".

Most of you, I am sure must have gone through Bhagavan's discourses. Every discourse ends with a note like this: "At least from today, practice one or two of what you have learnt." Every discourse carries this remark with it. Bhagavan never says, "You are useless fellows! You have not followed even one point! Better you quit!" He doesn't say that. He never says, "I have been talking to you for the last fifty years. There are thirty volumes of Sathya Sai Speaks, fifteen volumes of Sathya Sai Vahinis, fifteen volumes of Summer Showers. Why another discourse? Better not! Go! Get lost!"

He doesnít say that because He has got Himalayan patience. His Love is really oceanic, as wide, as vast, as infinite as a mighty ocean, as vast as the sky. So He can understand with all sympathy. He has got perfect understanding. And so every occasion He says, "At least from now onÖ"

Further He also says, "Past is past." Yet it is only for Bhagavan to say it like that. How many of us say, "Past is past"? We never say that! "In the year 1995, you have insulted me! Iíll wait until 2010 to take revenge!" (Laughter) I will never say, "Past is past." (Laughter) "At the time of my first birthday in India in 1942, my mother told me that you did not care to attend that celebration. Iíll wait for an opportunity to see that I donít greet you on your sixty birthday!" We will never say, "Past is past." No.

We have got our own weaknesses. We have got our own pitfalls. We have got our shortcomings, like revenge. We donít have that forgetfulness. We donít have that forgiveness. Forgiveness and forgetfulness are not known to our life. Thatís the reason why life is full of pride and prejudice. Life is full of ego. Life is full of revenge. Better we take this first principle as we welcome the New Year: "Past is past."

"Past is past," as Bhagavan says. This gives us another ray of hope. I might have done something wrong, something serious. I must have committed blunders in the year 2000. I might have denied God. I might have gone astray from Bhagavan. I must have listened to all dirty stuff. I must have watched certain things, which I am not supposed to. I must have gone through certain things about which I am not happy to tell you. Yet, "Past is past," meaning, "Forget about it."

Did you say hope? It's a big promise, a promise not given by a man, not by a human. But it is a kind of benediction, a sort of blessing, a hope, a promise made by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself. So when He says, "Past is past" it means, "It does not matter, my dear son. Just forget." When once we forget all the past, weíll have something new.

Bhagavan is very fond of this beautiful example: A glass is full of water. If you want to fill it up with milk, what should you do? You should remove all the water. You should throw it off, and then fill it up with milk. With the water here in the glass, you cannot have milk there. You have to empty it first. You have to first throw it away.

To invite the New Year, let us leave, let us throw out the rotten stuff of the year 2000 about which we are not happy, about which we are ashamed of on certain occasions. On certain occasions, we might not have behaved befitting the stature of a Sai devotee. We might have spoken in such a way not befitting the level of a Sai devotee. Our words, our thoughts, our actions must have harmed certain people. Some people might have said, "Is this the way, as a Sai devotee, you behave?" Some people might have said that in the year 2000.

Bhagavan tells, "Past is past." It is a kind forgiving with Love, not because all the loans are written off due to an insolvency petition. It is not like that. It's not an insolvency petition, where all the loans or debts are just scraped. It is not like that. This forgiveness is out of compassion. This forgiveness is out of Love.

Lord Jesus Christ, what did he say? When a woman, who breached the conduct, who was highly undisciplined, was brought to His presence, everybody started pelting stones at her for her breach of conduct. Then Jesus asked, "What is it that you do?" The people said, "My Lord, she sinned! She sinned! So the punishment for her sin is to be pelted at with stones. We throw stones at her. She should be stoned to death! This is the punishment of the day."

The Lord says, "Come on! Is there anyone here who has not committed any sin? Is there anyone who has not committed any sin till this day? Anyone? Get up!" No one could dare to open their mouth. Everyone had sinned. Everyone had committed some mistake or other. We are not totally free from guilt. We are not totally free from blunder or mistake, whatever you may say. So nobody could come forward.

And then, when everybody left, Lord Jesus, the compassionate God, walked slowly and majestically, beautifully blessing that lady and said, "Look here, I have not committed any mistake. But I donít throw stones at you. Go forth, my dear woman. Sin no more. Sin no more." That is compassion.

Where there is love, where there is compassion, there will be forgiveness. When you cannot forgive anybody, it means there is a shortage of love. There is a dearth of love. There is a lack of compassion. There is emptiness in our life. That is the reason why we are not able to forgive people.

This year 2001, let it be a year of forgiveness. Let us forgive all those who might have acted against us, who might have spread rumors against us. "Unless you settle your score with the neighbor, you cannot enter into the gates of Heaven," says the Lord. You have to settle any differences. Yes. You must compromise. You cannot take the matter to the court and call yourself a devotee.

Bhagavan Baba is also the same type as Jesus. To give you one example: Bhagavan gave an interview to two of the office bearers. One is the president. The other is the vice-president. Both of them were called for interview. They went into the interview room. Calling them inside, our mischievous, beautiful Lord came out of the interview room and closed the door, which rarely happens! (Laughter) Our good God started moving among the devotees. After twenty minutes, He opened the door and He said, "Since you two are fighting there at home, I want you to fight all alone here. Therefore I left you to yourselves." (Laughter) There in the interview room what happened? These two, who never saw eye-to-eye, said, "It is time that we should not fight any longer, that we should compromise. At least in the interview room, we should not fight." Swami told all of what they had been talking about.

So Jesus said and the Holy Bible says, You cannot fight with everybody. You cannot be inimical with everybody. Unless you settle your scores with your neighbor, you shall not get into the gates of Heaven. So, this year 2001 should help us to compromise, to adjust, to forgive all those who might have acted against us, who might have stood in our way towards progress, advancement in our career, in our profession, along the spiritual path, in every walk of our life.

Bhagavan said on another occasion, " 'New Year' means what? It stands for refinement of intellect, proper direction of the mind, and giving enough of work to the body." There are three important things. We should make use of this body for service. Bhagavan has put it in a beautiful way, "Bend the body." It does not mean that I should literally bend, because, after seventy, one naturally bends! It is not spiritual. When the vertebral column or backbone is weak, one bends. That bending has got nothing to do with the spirituality. "Bend the body" means that we should work hard, serve everybody, serve the fellowmen in society. The hands and the feet are all gifted to serve.

Bhagavan said, "Eyes are gifted not to watch the TV and cinemas. Eyes are gifted to see the majestic, beautiful form of the Lord. The ears are gifted not to listen to whisper and gossip, to vain talk and rumors. Certainly not! The ears are there to listen to the melody of Sai bhajans." Every part of our body has got its own meaning, has got its own definite purpose. This is what is meant by, "Mend the senses". The senses have got to be mended, have got to be corrected because senses have become senseless. Or senses sometimes make us sensual. Either we are sensual or senseless, but senses are not functioning in the way they are expected to act. So, this New Year 2001 should help us to mend our senses.

In the first instance, we should "bend our body" to serve the community. Number two, "mend our senses" so that weíll enjoy the company of the Lord. You can really enjoy Him. Some people say, "I have been to Prasanthi Nilayam a number of times. I am not ecstatic about it. Thereís no change in me." My friends, unless we are receptive, unless we are sensitive, we cannot expect anything tangible, anything substantial to happen in our life. We cannot expect the electricity to pass through our Hawaiian plastic slippers or sandals nor through a log of wood. Electricity would never pass through a log of wood. Similarly, when our body and our mind are like dead wood, the electricity of Divinity shall not pass through it. So, we have got to be receptive. We have got to be sensitive. Allow the Divinity, the electric flow, to pass through us so that we will be energized with the Divine energy. That is possible only if we are receptive and sensitive.

When Swami speaks certain things, it goes deeply into our heart if we are sensitive. I can give you some situations: People have given up drinking. People stopped taking non-vegetarian foodstuff. People stopped smoking. People have given up so many vices and bad habits after listening to Bhagavan. Why? They are receptive and sensitive. Without being receptive and sensitive, if we go on listening to the discourses, repeating like a parrot and feeling proud of all that, it is not spiritual. We have simply become a tape recorder!

So my friends, the year 2001 should be the one of transformation. Transformation is possible if we mend our senses. Bend the body in service and mend the senses so that we can enjoy His Company, so that we could be receptive and sensitive.

Spirituality is not knowledge. Unfortunately, spirituality and knowledge go together only from the standpoint of a layman. In the ordinary world, in the field of science, technology, and the humanities, knowledge is power. Knowledge is power. But in spirituality, knowledge is not power. Knowledge is weakness. In spirituality, knowledge is weakness! Why? The more we read, the more we learn, the more we speak with authority, quoting profusely from sacred texts, the more you are confused! (Laughter) You become confusion confounded!

Bhagavan gives a beautiful example: There you find a number of medicine bottles on the table. There are a number of bottles - that syrup, this syrup, disprin, mycin, that mycin, entromycin, streptomycin, all "cins" on the table, (Laughter) all sorts of syrups on the table. Why? He is terribly sick, awfully sick, so he has got a number of bottles on the table, injection syringes, and what not. Similarly, the one whose table is full of books, he is mentally sick. (Laughter) This is the example given by our good Lord! (I am not capable of joking at that standard. I donít think so. (Laughter) You can easily understand it is Swami's, not Anil Kumar's. I am not capable of that standard. Not in the near future, Iím sure!)

So the point is, knowledge is not spirituality. On the other hand, knowledge is weakness. Why? God is not knowledgeable. You cannot catch Him. You cannot limit Him by your knowledge. What is knowledge after all? Knowledge is never original. Knowledge is borrowed. Knowledge is second-hand information. Knowledge is that which is contained in the books, full of the experiences of others. It does not help you. At twelve-thirty lunchtime, I do not ask you to eat on my behalf, do I? No. So knowledge, which is second-hand information, knowledge which is borrowed information, will never help us along the spiritual path. Knowledge is even a barrier.

Jesus Christ is not the one of knowledge. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is not the one of knowledge. Prophet Mohammed is not the one of knowledge. Buddha is not the one of knowledge. They are the ones of wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are different. Knowledge is a collection of facts and figures. Knowledge is brain-stuff. Knowledge is full of pride and ego. Suppose you donít greet me. If you donít say, "Hi" to me, I start feeling, 'This fellow does not know that I am a man of knowledge! (Laughter) Why does he not say, 'Hi'? He is a fool and more! He doesnít know. Ignorant fellows! They donít know men of knowledge.'

Knowledge is pride. Knowledge is ego. But wisdom is humility. Wisdom is light. Wisdom is simplicity. Wisdom is innocence, not ignorance. Wisdom is innocence. Ignorance and innocence are different. Ignorance is very close to foolishness. Innocence is all freshness. All that is fresh is innocent. All that is rotten, all that is negative, is ignorance. So my friends, knowledge is a barrier for the realization of God. Wisdom is a practical experience.

Whatever Jesus said, it is all the pearls of wisdom. Bhagavan Baba, who ended his formal education at the level of seventh standard, can talk to Nobel Laureates, can talk to the highest scientists of the day. He gives minute details of the body, of the heart, to the cardiologist himself, so that the specialist falls flat (in namaskar) in front of him. (Laughter) He can tell certain special engineering skills to an experienced engineer such that, if he is honest enough, he admits his ignorance on that very subject.

He talks to a computer expert, telling that he is only a computer, saying that computer is nothing but rubbish. Composer is more important than computer. A simple thing He says is, "Come on! The world is dictated by computers and computer technology. 'Software' seems to be the popular word today, though one is hard at the core! 'Hardware' - he is hard, but speaks of 'software'! (Laughter) Better he doesnít wear anything! (Laughter) At the core, he is hard, but he speaks of 'software'!"

Bhagavan says, "OK. If you think that software is so important, then come on! Stand in front of a computer and say, 'Hi, computer! Where is my wife? (Laughter) Whom am I going to marry?' It shall not give you any information!" So computer is the discovery, is the invention of man. But unfortunately, his own invention is dominating him. That is the tragedy. We are afraid of the atom bomb. But we are not afraid of the maker of the atom bomb. See that. This was what Swami has told. Therefore, our senses have got to be mended so that they do not run after information. The head stands for information. The head symbolizes knowledge.

Let the year 2001 be not of the head. Our heads are stuffed with second-hand information, with all that is told, with all that is heard, with all that is collected, with all that is gathered. The head is just a big cupboard of books! The head is a computer, giving responses based on all the information that is fed into it. So, the head, yes! Letís put a full stop to it.

Let the year 2001 be the 'Year of Heart', not of the head. The 'Year of Heart', what does it mean? The Divine qualities like compassion, truth, peace, love and sacrifice, they all emanate out of the heart. Heart is the feet of compassion. Heart is the center of love. Heart is the center of truth. Heart is selfless. Heart is sensitive. If I say, "I did this wholeheartedly. I love you wholeheartedly." No one will say, "I love you wholeheadedly." (Laughter) We can say pig-headed, dull-headed, strong-headed. We donít say wholeheadedly. Do you? No country says that. It is not an idiom anywhere. It is not the proper usage either.

"Wholeheartedly", "heartfelt" - Heart stands for sincerity. Heart stands for steadiness. Heart stands for commitment. Heart means surrender. So my friends, let the year 2001 be not of the head, of the knowledge. Let it be the 'Year of the Heart', which is really the one of compassion and love. That is "mending the senses", the second requirement, the second decision, the second resolve that we have to take this New Year's Day.

The third one is "End the mind." What do you mean by "End the mind"? We know the phrase, "Never mind". For example, I ask, "What do you mean?" You reply, "Never mind." OK. But I don't mean that. "End the mind," means what?

Bhagavan gave a number of discourses along this line. In fact, we donít need to go anywhere. Someone asked Baba, "Baba, Swami, are you God?" Do you know what He said? "Yes, I am God. And you are also God." To those who have no idea of this, it might look very funny. How can there be two Gods? He says He is God and He says you are also God. Everyone is God. Thereíll be competition among the gods! (Laughter) A struggle for existence! What is all this?

The realization of the Divinity, the experience of God within, the knowledge of the Divinity within is possible if only we reach that 'no-mind' state. 'No-mind' state is a guarantee. It is the only path to feel the Divinity within. Mind is the biggest stumbling block, the bottleneck, or the 'iron curtain'. Why? A simple example: The mind creates everything. Today we are frustrated. We are disappointed. We are eager. We are anxious. We are not relaxed. The modern generation (all of us) do not know what relaxation is. We know what tension is. Our life is full of tension. Our life is full of fear. Our life is always one of speed, speed, running fast. We find people running, running, running. If you ask, "Why?" Their style is like that. Their style of life is like that. They are always in a hurry, hurry, hurry - H-U-R-R-Y. Life should not be one of hurry. Life should be one of Sri Hari - H-A-R-I, God. It is not hurry - H-U-R-R-Y. It should be H-A-R-I, Hari, the name of God.

Let the year 2001 be not one of hurry. Let it be one of Sri Hari. For this, relaxation is much required. When Bhagavan goes round for darshan, we find facesÖ really, if we watch our face in front of a mirror, we feel very badly about it! Some faces are seen so serious, though Bhagavan is passing by. Why is the man so serious? He doesnít enjoy the thrill nor the beauty of the Lord. He thinks of his family, his loan, his bank account, his return flight ticket, his return journey and the leave that is getting exhausted, the number of people who will pull at his collar, the promotion that he is likely to get or not, and the alliance that is kept in waiting, confirmed or cancelled. These are his thoughts! With these thoughts, while looking at Swami, what kind of face do you expect? There's no thrill! Afterwards family members ask, "Did you meet anybody?" He simply replies, "Ah, Swami came for Darshan." Is that all?

You can enjoy Swami only in a state of 'no-mind'. 'No-mind' state means silent mind. When the mind starts working, how does it function? Have we ever examined our own mind? We say, "There is no time, no time." We have time for everything else. But we take no time for our own selves. "I have no time to spend for me. I have got all the time to spend with you. I have got all the time to spend with my family. Iíve got all the time for my profession. I have got time for every gossip, TV watching, everything. But I have no time to spend with my real Self. I have no time left to examine myself. I have no time to feel absolutely relaxed, left to my Self." Life has become full of tension and ambition. Therefore, we are never relaxed. We donít even know what relaxation is.

So, in spirituality, in a 'no-mind' state, we can enjoy Swami. Here is a simple example. Let us see Him. Be happy. But when the mind starts working, how does it receive Swami? It applies with everybody. I am no exception. (I repeat a number of times, again and again, that I am no exception in any manner. With any point I make, we are all sailing in the same boat. Every lecture, every talk, is an opportunity to think together, to share together, to investigate together, to explore together, to enjoy together. I am not a person speaking from a rostrum or a pulpit either. It is not so. We are just thinking together.)

Now, when my mind starts acting during darshan time, how does it conduct itself? How does it make me a monkey? Swami says, "Mind is a mad monkey." We donít know that we are monkeys! But we are very happy to call others monkeys! (Laughter) And weíll be very happy to watch the real monkeys because it is just a reflection of the inner being! (Laughter)

So, when the mind starts working during darshan time, what will be our state of experience? 'To whom is He giving padnamaskar?' (Laughter) 'Who is called for interview?' (Laughter) 'Who received vibhuti?' (Laughter) 'Who received a ring?' (Laughter) 'Oh, He smiled at the person! Ah-ha.' (Laughter) 'Oh, He took his kerchief!' (Laughter)

These statistics wonít help you. (Laughter) 'If the other man receives vibhuti, it does not benefit me.' 'If so-and-so gets padnamaskar, it wonít make me happy. It wonít help me.' Because of the mind, one goes on collecting the data, 'Who got namaskar?' 'Who does it?' 'Who did it?' And so on like that. It doesnít say, 'Oh fool, you did not get it!' (Laughter) It does not say when you will you get it. It will never say, 'Change yourself.' It doesnít say, 'Transform yourself.' It doesnít say, 'Be cheerful, my boy. Be blissful, my boy. Be playful. Be happy!' It doesnít say that. It goes on thinking of everybody else. Thatís the reason why you are unhappy.

Mind thinks of the outside. Mind always is outward, Ďpravritti.í Therefore, we know how many people got interviews. And the moment we come to know that so-and-so is close to Swami, so-and-so is spoken to, we are quite jealous of them. Thatís the next reaction of the mind: 'That fellow never attends nagarsankirtan. That fellow never attends any single service activity. Am I not a man of service? Why don't I get interview? Why not? Why he gets it? Why not I?' This is the gimmick of the mind, with the result that we donít enjoy Him.

And not only that, when once Swami comes close to us, I am always conscious of the letter in my pocket! When to give it to Him? 'Let me see Him. Let me be happy. The letter, after all, I can post it!' Baba has said a number of times, "The moment you start writing, I get the news. I know what you want, the moment you start writing. You donít have to give it to Me." But we want to have the satisfaction of giving it to Him and the joy of been watched by others while giving it, which is more important! (Laughter) If Swami stops His car on the road, when nobody is watching, and then He takes the letter, there is no excitement. But in the auditorium when He takes the letter, 'Great!' because everyone knows thatís my letter. (Laughter) This is the ugly state of the mind. We are all guilty of this. No one is an exception.

So, 'no-mind' state does not care for publicity. It does not care for pomp and show. It does not indulge in self-praise. It always shares. I can enjoy Swami, if I am not bothered about the letter in my pocket. Let the letter come later! Let the letter not bother us all the time! This is 'no-mind' state. Let us not question Him. Let us not try to analyze Him. Let us try to realize Him. God is not an experiment. God is an experience. God is not one of analysis. He is the one to be realized, not analyzed.

Our life is full of too much analysis. It is a simple thing to love Baba. But some people ask me that question, "How to love Baba?" I answer, "You never asked me how to love my son. Please put that question first." No one asked me how to love my son. No fool would ask this question, "How to love my wife?" No one. Is anybody asking you, "Please tell me how to love my wife"? If they were to ask, then weíll say, "This is not the place for you." Psychiatrist's address weíll give! (Laughter) So, we never ask anybody, "Please tell me the way to love my wife. Please tell me how to love my son." But, "Please tell me how to love Baba." Equally foolish, equally foolish! Horribly foolish. Terribly foolish. Why? Because Baba is closer than your near and dear.

The near and dear may be away on certain occasions, at certain moments. When you are in the office, you are not close to your children. If you are close to your children and make your home the office, youíll have to be on the street tomorrow. (Laughter) You canít concentrate on your job! So there are certain occasions when you are on duty, you will be away from your family. When you are on a trip, you will be away from your children. But Bhagavan always says this, "I am with you, in you, above you, around you, below you." He says like that. Now, who can say how to love Baba? When He is with you, when He is in you, there cannot be any question like this, "Would you please tell me how to love Baba?" It only means that he is ignorant. He is ignorant! His ignorance makes him put that question. You cannot but love Him.

You love yourself. Is there anybody who says, "I donít love myself"? Oho, good. Then whom do you love? If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love anybody. If you cannot respect yourself, you cannot respect anybody. So, who will say this? Is there anyone here who will say, "I donít love myself"? Would anybody say that? No. So, when I love myself, it means I am loving Baba in me because Baba is in you.

Likewise if you say, "I respect myself" it means, "I respect Swami." "I love myself." It means you love Baba equally. Because of false identification with the body, because of this misnomer that you are the mind, because the superposition with the sense of ego, we donít get the truth. This ego is playing, making all the havoc. Or else you would experience the real entity, the core of your being, the existence, which is the spirit or Atma.

Therefore my friends, 'End the mind' means 'no-mind' state - no analysis, no experimentation, no reasoning, no rationalization. It is only simple experience. When there is a cool breeze during winter season, Christmas season, a beautiful season of the year, is there anybody who will put these questions, "Why is there cool breeze now? How long the cool breeze will be there? To what extend are you going to enjoy it? Is that beautiful?" You will say, "Please, sorry Sir, weíll meet next year! (Laughter) "Sorry. Please leave me alone here." (Laughter)

So you cannot rationalize cool breeze. You cannot go on questioning, "Why cool breeze? Why enjoy? What is the beauty of it?" The beauty of it lies in the experience of it. The taste of the pudding lies in the eating of it. Similarly, you enjoy the cool breeze. Thatís all. You donít rationalize it. You enjoy the sunrise, a beautiful sunrise. (Some of you must have gone to Cape Cameron, Kanya Kumari. It is a beautiful sight to see the sunrise there.) Nobody would go there and say, "Sunrise - When? What? Why? How long? What is all this?" "All right! Please go back. Leave me all alone!" (Laughter) Sunrise is beauty. The stars do glitter. The moonlight, 'Oh, moonlight! Beautiful moonlight!' So, certain most valuable things are not given for reasoning, are not given for rationalization, are not given for laboratory experimentation. No. They are there to be experienced.

In summer, particularly in India, mangoes are available, mango fruits. Oh! People love them a lot. When a ripe mango fruit is brought to me, I donít ask the man, "Wherefrom did you get it? Please take me to the tree that has yielded this fruit. Allow me to meet the gardener." (Laughter) Terrible! That man will understand from your remarks that this fruit is not for you! (Laughter) "I thought you were a sane man. (Laughter) Now I have understood you are sufficiently insane! (Laughter) Let me be on my own guard so that you donít bite me now!" (Laughter)

So the point is, you start tasting the mango fruit. You are not bothered about the cultivation of mango trees, the kind of absorption, the strain of the tree, and what kind of manure you have to apply to them as a grown mango crop. No. You enjoy the fruit, donít you? Similarly, fruits, moonlight, sunrise, cool breeze, pine trees, mountaintops, the snow, morning dewdrops, they're to be experienced. They are not to be analyzed. Another example, the smile of a babeÖ As a baby smiles, you donít ask, "How long does he smile? (Laughter) Why the child smiles? (Laughter) Does he expect anything from me - a few dollars at least? (Laughter) Or some loan from international monetary fund? How terrible to think this way!

So, the smile of a babe is to be enjoyed. The blossoming of a flower is to be enjoyed. The morning flowers, the roses, the sunflowersÖas each flower blossoms, we enjoy the flower. These things, these most valuable things, are not to be analyzed. They cannot be put within the framework of reason and season. You are lost in appreciation of the beauty of Nature. That is what is called 'living in existence'. Let us live in existence. Let us live in the moment.

'Oh Bhagavan, I am grateful to You that You have given me this body, that I am able to be with You in this moment. I enjoy every moment. Iím grateful to You for this existence.' That is spiritual life. The spiritual life is not of the past. The spiritual life is not of the future. The spiritual life is right here in this moment.

Some people say while Bhagavan gives us His beautiful darshan, "I may have to go next week." When you have to go next week, why should you cry this day? (Laughter) One has to go some day or another, either from one place to another place or to the other planet! (Laughter) So there is no reason to cry. Enjoy this moment. Experience this moment. Be happy!

Let this year 2001 give this 'life of existence'. Let this year be a life of moment after moment, each second of life appreciated. Let us enjoy the existence, the creation, and the beauty. And let us identify ourselves with Nature, which is existence. You should see Bhagavan standing in the midst of flowers. Whenever, He visits Kodaikanal, oh, there are a number of plants, beautiful plants, beautiful flowers! Perhaps flowers also pray and wait for the Lord! Flowers are also happy.

My dear friends, Iím not speaking anything irresponsible. I am a student of botany. There are recent discoveries about plants. It seems that a plant that is watered by you personally thrives. You water that plant located in the backyard. You attend to that. You stand by that. You are happy with it. Meanwhile there is another plant that you neglect. The sewage water is supplied to that. All the dirty water is supplied to that. It is connected to the bathroom and it gets its water from there. You watch the growth of both the plants. The plant that has been watered personally flowers earlier than the plant that received the restroom water. The plant that receives your personal attention flowers earlier than that the plant that is neglected.

So a child that is neglected suffers from obsession in life, suffers from inhibition in life, becomes a psychological wreck or mentally retarded. So children should be cared for. Children should be caressed. Children should be fondled. Similarly, let us identify with existence. Let us love plants. Let us love animals because all existence is one.

All are one, my dear son. Be alike to everyone.

Existence is Divine. Life is Love. And the principle of life is one and the same in the entire existence. When once we start loving the existence, life will be one of Truth, Beauty and Goodness, Sathyam Sivam Sundaram. When I am happy with Nature, Nature is happy with me. When I am happy with myself, I am happy with everybody. When I am so satisfied, contented in my life, my life will be so smooth.

So, let the year 2001 be the year of existence. Let it be the year of refinement of our intellect. Let it be the year of the blossoming of our own inner core, the real Being, the center of our life. Let it blossom to whatever extend possible. Let the year 2001 say 'goodbye' to the year 2000. There is nothing to look back on. 'I donít look back. I am not proud of the past nor am I depressed over the past nor am I accountable to the past.' Nor need I feel guilty of the year 2000. No.

Guilty feelings, guilty conscience, are more dangerous than the guilt itself. Let us not feel guilty about anything because the feeling of this guilty conscience makes you obsessed with the guilt. It makes you feel inferior. It makes you feel a slave. Letís not be like that. No guilt. Nothing doing. Therefore we donít need to feel a guilty conscience about anything. 2000 - Past is past. I donít need to feel proud of it nor do I need to feel guilty about it. I enter into the year 2001 with all its freshness, with all its novelty, with all its beauty. That gives us ample opportunity to live in existence, moment-to-moment.

Let us understand that life is not mechanical. If you ask somebody, "How are you?" He answers, "Pulling on." I feel like pulling the fellow actually! (Laughter) How do you say you 'pull on your life'? No! Are you simply a railway wagon to be pulled? Or are you a tractor to be pulled? It is a mechanical, dead life! Letís not say, "Pulling on. Somehow or other, yes, it is just going on." Itís not like that! My friends, life is a celebration. Life is a festival. Life is dance. Life is music. Life is Love. Life is ecstasy!

Life is ecstasy. It is not excitement. Excitement and ecstasy are different. Excitement changes. Ecstasy is matured experience. Children are excited by watching toys. It is not that kind of excitement we want. We want ecstasy, where we are lost in the beauty of it, where the individuality, the personality, the name and form do not exist. That is ecstasy. In the state of ecstasy your name, your form, your ego, your authority, your knowledge, your qualifications, your nativity, your profession do not exist. That is the state of ecstasy. When you say, "I am Ph.D.", you are excited but not ecstatic. When you say, "I am six feet tall and a champion," OK. Be excited. You are not ecstatic. Ecstasy is spiritual. Excitement is physical.

Let year 2001 be ecstatic. Let us not have this excitement any longer. You cannot be excited. When you are excited for every simple thing, you will develop blood pressure and hypertension. (Laughter) Ecstasy!

So my friends, life is music. Life is music - a silent, silent music. As the flowers talk, as the leaves move along with the cool breeze, there is the music of life. As you find running brooks, the rivers and the waters as they flow unceasingly, there is music. As the raindrops fall, yes, there is music. See the morning dewdrops, as you notice here on a lotus leaf. With the morning dew, as the dewdrop falls into the water around, there is music. Life is music. The heartbeat has got a rhythm. It has got music. If the heartbeat has no rhythm, has no music, we become heart patients! (Laughter) There is music in our heartbeat. There is music in our blood circulation. Life is music! Life is rhythmic. Life is dance, a celestial dance.

Watch Bhagavan as Aarati goes on. He goes on moving His body in time to the beat. He doesnít stand like a military man. No. Life is dance, a dance celestial. Life is a song celestial. Life is music celestial. Life is a moment from terrestrial to celestial, from mundane to the spiritual. Life is fun. Life is humor. Life is fun and frolic. Life is joy. Life is never burdensome.

Unfortunately, in the name of spirituality, we made even religion burdensome and heavy. (Laughter) "I have to do my morning meditation." "Oh-ho. Is that serious? (Laughter) You seem to be a surgeon, ready to go into the operation theatre to operate, maybe for appendicitis, that calls for your immediate attention!" (Laughter) No. So, it's not seriousness. It is not one of tension. Moreover, life is bliss. Life is a challenge, the challenge to face all problems in life, all kinds of negativity, and to maintain composure and equanimity.

In all humility, on behalf of all Sai devotees, with all reverence and respect to all Sai brothers and sisters, who have been so gracious to assemble here this morning, I offer my prayer. I am sure that all of you would join me in praying to Bhagavan to give us this spirit to enjoy life. Enjoy because we are contemporaries of God! This opportunity is not given to everybody. This is not given to everybody every time. This is the biggest benediction, nay, a blessing. Let us enjoy this blessing of being in company with the Lord. Let us enjoy this blessing of listening to Him. Let us enjoy this special opportunity and the privilege that is uniquely given to us to see Him morning and evening. Let us rejoice, enjoying and singing in praise of our Bhagavan!

Let the year 2001, be a year of celebration, of rejoicing, of ecstasy, singing His glory, such that as the morning dewdrop falls into the river, it forgets. It loses its name and form. It becomes one with the water. So long as it is on the surface of the leaf, it is a bubble. It is a drop. When the drop drops into the ocean, it becomes one with the ocean.

Let this 2001 help us to drop this 'drop' of ego, help us to drop this 'drop' of pride, help us drop this 'drop' of individual personality so that we can become one with the ocean through devotion, one with the Infinite, one with the vast, one with the boundless. There lies the real state of bliss. That is the real attainment in life, not a few increments, not so many more bank accounts! That is no achievement.

Spirituality is not an achievement, let me tell you. Spirituality is not an accomplishment. Spirituality is not a trial. Spirituality is one of immediate experience, right here and now.

May Bhagavan bless you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SAI RAM.

(Professor Anil Kumar ended his talk by chanting, "Rama Krishna Hari Narayana".)

Thank you very much.

Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityormaa Amritam Gamaya
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu.
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu.
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu.


Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
 

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