Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
October 15, 2000
The Main Points taken from Sunday's Talk given by Anil Kumar on
October 15th, 2000.
HOW TO BE CLOSE TO GOD
OM… OM… OM…
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Our Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
I have spent some time with my friends recently. I was so happy to
be so close with them after a long gap of time. It also happened
that I could spend some time with my relations who came here to
visit me. I was so happy to be so close to them too. I was really
happy when I was very, very close to my relations. Likewise I am
quite comfortable when I am close to the fireplace during winter
in order to warm up, particularly when the whole climate is very
cold. To be close to the fire, you feel the warmth and you feel so
Closeness gives us happiness. Closeness gives us joy. Closeness
constructs love. Yes, you'll be so close to your beloved. You want
to be so close to your grandchildren. You want to be close to your
children. Yes, this closeness makes us very, very happy. We crave
for that. As I said, in family circles, closeness means affection.
Being close to one's own children, being close to one's own
grandchildren, closeness is affection. Closeness is love.
Closeness is a sort of expression of concern, a longing for the
beloved. That is the expression of closeness.
By being close to a fan, to have cool breeze, or being close to a
heater in winter, to feel warmth, in these cases closeness means
comfort. Or to sit in the back seat in a good Contessa car or
Toyota, or to take front seat, executive seats in Air India or
British Airways, executive class, close to the cabin, yes, that
closeness also gives us the joy, the thrill and excitement.
Closeness to material objects, like a ceiling fan, like a heater,
front rows, front seats, that gives us the thrill. Closer the seat,
more the thrill! Closer the seat, more the excitement!
Closeness is enjoyment. Closeness is comfort. Closeness is
convenience with material objects. Being close to a contemporary,
being close to my friend, is friendship or association. I meet a
person, my classmate when I was in high school. When I am close to
him, it is friendship. Like this, my friends, closeness means so
many things. 'Being close to' means so many things. We can be
close to a person. We can be close to an object. We can be very
close to our peers.
But in respect to God, it should be different. If anyone says, "I
am close to God. I am close to Baba," well, sorry to tell you, but
he has no idea of Baba at all. He cannot be close to God.
Impossible! To be close to God is only an imagination. To be close
to God is an expression of pride. To be close to God is just an
expression of ego. One cannot be close to God. Why? Because God is
not a person. You can be close to a person. God is not a person.
God is a phenomenon. God is not a person. I can be close to this
mike. I can be close to this table. I cannot be close to God,
because your God is not an object. God is not an object. God is
the subject. God is a phenomenon, not a person. So my friends,
false claims such as, "I am close to God," these are all
expressions of total ignorance.
Why should there be a feeling to be close to Swami? Why do we
desire to be close to Him? What are the advantages of being close
to Him? I want to draw your attention to certain of the anecdotes,
certain illustrations, certain of the experiences to the best of
It so happened that Swami suddenly called a person, a doctor, who
had just come for the first time. He went close to him. He said,
"Take padnamascar!" The doctor was happy because he was not
expecting this. He's sixty years old. His friends are here who
have been so-called 'senior devotees', all confirmed devotees. But
in this case you find the doctor, who came here for the first
time. Bhagavan went close to him, "Come on, take padnamascar!" The
others could not understand the mystery behind this.
Later, on investigation and inquiry, we came to know that this
doctor, who is an eye specialist, organized a number of eye
clinics. He also runs an orphanage and he serves so many Christian
hospitals. He is a member of several charitable trusts. He is a
most dedicated man of service. He is not a man of money. He is not
a man for socialization, like Rotary Club or Lions Club. He's not
for socializing. He's a man of service. Here is Bhagavan who went
to him straightaway, "Take padnamascar!" So the point is that
though he came here for the first time, Bhagavan went straight to
him and talked to him.
Spiritual close is different from physical closeness. Physical
closeness is proximity or nearness, whereas spiritual closeness is
dearness. Spiritual closeness is dearness. Spiritual closeness
brings God, makes Him walk toward you. Physical closeness demands
you run and occupy the front row! That's the reason why so many of
us fail. Why? We want physical closeness. If we are really
spiritually close, He Himself would walk towards us! He Himself
would send some message, some messenger, calling you, talking to
you. So my friends, closeness is really something which you have
to ponder over, which you have to face, something deep.
God is such a phenomenon. Of course, as we cannot think and
discuss the Infinite, we call It abstract. Being Infinite, we
cannot grasp Him. As It is beyond our mind, we cannot comprehend
It. As the mind could not comprehend, the word also could not
express. So, that which is beyond expression, that which is beyond
imagination, comprehension, understanding, estimate, measure, how
can I be close? Is that possible? Impossible!
Bhagavan Himself gave some examples. What did He say? My mother
loves me, as any mother would do. I love her. Every mother loves
her child. Every child loves his mother. OK, express how much love
she has for you. How many kilos? How many liters? How many degrees?
Can you say that? Kindly express your mother's love and your love
for your mother in terms of degrees, kilos, grams, or anything you
know of, any measure you like. Impossible! The reason is that He
is beyond all measure, second-to-none. He is the hidden. He cannot
be expressed. He is beyond comprehension and understanding. He
cannot be thought of, cannot be created, cannot be expressed. One
can only experience Him.
So closeness means experience, but not expression. If one is close
to Bhagavan, he should have experienced Him. He should experience
Him, but not express about Him. Expression is full, is a way
towards experience. Not that expression is useless, not that
expression is to be condemned or to be abandoned or to be given
up. No. Expression takes you to experience. Expression is like
steps, leading you to the terrace, taking you to the mansion.
Expression is a corridor taking you to the Durbar Hall, the open
book of experience. So closeness here means experience, but not
I can also give you another example. Bhagavan visited Hyderabad
long back. Many, many people were speakers there: District
Presidents, District Seva Dal Conveners. Something like army
titles, we have got a hierarchy - Conveners, Presidents,
Vice-Presidents, what not. All were seated there. But our good God
was searching for someone who was not there!
'Oh Swami, You are very unkind. You are very uncharitable. I got
up at four o'clock in the morning, dressed up so nicely, could
engage a taxi. Being a Convener and a President, nobody could stop
me and take the vantage point. I am also physically strong enough
to pull out or push away a couple of fellows, and take the front
row! But You do not look at me? Why? What happened to You? Can't
You see things right in front of You? Am I a bacteria or a virus
that could not be seen? What's wrong with You or with me???'
That might have been the question. But good God suddenly asked for
one gentleman. Suddenly He asked, "Where is Akshi Raju?" Akshi
Raju was just a worker, a member of Sai Organization, not a
President or a Secretary, nothing. "Where is Akshi Raju?"
Acting as an innocent person, the President in front row said,
"Ah?" Feeling innocent, but truly egoistic; appearing ignorant,
but inherently egoistic, he said, "Akshi Raju is not President or
Convener, you understand? O God, you understand? As this is the
meeting of Presidents and Conveners, how do you expect Akshi Raju
to be here? He's not coming."
Do you know what God said? "If he's not the President, who else is
the President? If he's not the Convener, who else is the Convener?
Yes! Where is he? Go and bring him!" He said. The whole
proceedings were suspended until one fellow went running and
brought him there. This is closeness!
"I'm close to God. I'm close to Swami" should mean not mere
physical closeness. We should get an acknowledgement from Him. We
should get an indication from Him. We should get a sign from Him.
We should get at least a word of inquiry from Him, not simply a
one-way traffic. That is closeness.
So spiritual closeness does not necessarily mean being physically
near. Spiritual closeness does not mean speaking how close one is
or how nicely one occupies the front rows wherever Bhagavan goes
anytime. That is NOT closeness, my friends. The spiritual
closeness demands that stage when God Himself responds, when God
Himself walks towards you, comes towards you, alerts you,
appraises you, and yes, elevates you! I think He finds Himself
with you. That is what you call spiritual closeness.
Once-upon-a-time Bhagavan gave one beautiful example: A river
wants to merge into the ocean. The river flows towards the ocean.
It wants to merge. It wants to unite. But the sea rebels. The sea
retaliates. The sea fights. The sea rejects. The sea denies. The
ocean denies. The mighty sea rejects. Ocean says "No!" But the
river prays and prays, dashes against it. There's a clash. The
river does not merge into the ocean immediately. There's a
constant clash. There's a constant encounter. Finally, as the sea
overflows, the river slowly, silently, majestically, in all
solemnity and dignity, in a state of silence, flows down as the
sea covers it up. The sea overflows and the river passes silently
beneath, with all its dignity, in all spirit of surrender, having
taken, having born all the suffering of retaliation, rejection,
non-acceptance, and utter neglect by the sea. This is the example
given by Bhagavan.
When once we want to be close, physically close, you do not get
any acceptance. You do not get any approval. You do not get any
indication or sign of acknowledgement because the river wants to
merge into the ocean. It is not an easy job. Unless the river
learns to be so humble as to flow downward, allowing the sea to
flow upward, above, overflow, merger is not possible.
So this physical closeness is a meeting point. It is a point of
encounter. Physical closeness is a point of challenge, whether the
river is prepared to lose its name or not; whether the river is
prepared to lose its state or not. Unless river is ready to lose
its identity, unless the river forgets its name, form and taste,
the river can never merge in the ocean. That is the point of clash.
When once the river is in the ocean, it becomes ocean, no more a
river. All rivers merge in ocean. When once the river merges in
the ocean, there is no separateness. There is no identity. There
is no craving. There is nothing to boast of. There's nothing to
feel proud of because it has become part and the whole of the sea
itself. It is a part and the whole also. As it was merging, it was
a part to begin with. As the merger was complete, it is the whole.
Closeness means being one with the whole; becoming whole, not
remaining a part. Closeness is the very life of the being. It
touches the very life, the very existence, the very being, not the
So unless we are prepared to forget our identity, unless we are
prepared to forget all our egos, all our pride, all the so-called
personalities, the sea will not accept us. The river can go close
to the ocean. Yes, you are free to go so close. But the ocean will
not accept it. So, physical closeness is an attempt. Spiritual
closeness demands of us being a non-entity, forgetting one's own
identity such that he becomes a whole, but not a part. A drop
becoming an ocean. That's all. The drop does not exist any longer.
It is the spirit. It is a state of total surrender.
Somebody asked, "Can there be total surrender, or can it be
partial?" Somebody asked me. Why? Because a book is published in
Telugu, meaning "Total Surrender". Somebody asked me, "Sir, how do
you justify this title, 'Total Surrender' ?" But I said, "To the
best of my knowledge, surrender is total and not partial.
Surrender itself is total. Unless it is a total, you cannot call
it surrender. It cannot be part-time surrender or it cannot be 50%
surrender or surrender in the morning, freedom in the afternoon!
It cannot, impossible!" So, surrender is total. Surrender is whole,
but not a part. So, closeness, being close spiritually, means
Physical closeness is worldly. From the worldly point-of-view, we
can be very close. In fact I don't mean everybody, but I mean the
majority. More than being close to Swami, many people want others
to know that he is close to Swami! Being known is more important
than being. I am reminded of "Twelfth Night", the Shakespearean
comedy, where the Duke loves the heroine, Viola. He's more happy
with the idea of being in love than in actually loving Viola, the
heroine in "Twelfth Night".
So more than being close, some want it to be known that they are
close! It is nothing but ego. It is nothing but pomp. It is
nothing but show. It is nothing but aggrandizement, publicity,
vanity. It is all an act of vanity, that physical closeness.
But the spiritual closeness is humility. Spiritual closeness is
humility. It is so humble. Spiritual closeness is what we call
adoration, respectfulness, reverence, friendliness, loveliness,
not merely being a friend. Kindly understand: Physical closeness
can make you a friend. But spiritual closeness will develop a
quality of friendliness.
Friend and friendliness are different. You can be a friend to one
or two. If you're a politician, you can be friends to many, but
with none in the world excepting votes - selfish interests. You
can be friend to a limited number of people. But you can be
friendly with any number of people. You can be friendly with
plants. You can be friendly with dogs. You can be friendly with
cats. You can be friendly with the entire Nature because the
Nature is a reflection of God.
Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat. The whole world, the whole cosmos, the
whole universe is the reflection of God. If anyone condemns the
world, he stands condemned. You cannot condemn this world. Some
people say, "I am disgusted with this world!" The world has not
done anything to you. The breeze has not done anything to you.
Mountains have not done anything to you. The gigantic, huge trees
have not done anything to you. The gushing waves of the ocean have
not done anything to you. The beautiful valleys have not done
anything to you. Wonderful, panoramic, excellent sunrise,
beautiful sunrise, has not done any harm to you. The excellent
sunset, beautiful scenario of sunset, has not done anything to you.
The dew marvel, dewdrop, falling on the rose petal, shining like a
pearl, has not done anything to you. The coo-coo birds, the
nightingale, the morning birds singing have not done anything to
If you still say, "I am disgusted with the world," well, we are
disgusted with you! God is disgusted with you because the whole
world is so beautiful. He made this world so beautiful for you and
for me. We cannot condemn this world. The peacock with such
wonderful colors, as he begins to dance in the morning, your heart
jumps in joy! The heart also dances. The heartbeat will be in
accordance with the steps of the dancing peacock. The peacock has
not done anything to you. How can you ever be disgusted with this
world? How can you be frustrated in this world? How can you be
disappointed in this world? How can you be hopeless in this world?
How do you find yourself miserable in this world? How and why do
you feel sad in this world?
"I feel sad in this world. I am not interested in this world
because I want to do business in this world. I want to make a
business in this world, so I have not seen the beauty of this
world. I value money, but I don't value the splendor of Nature. I
value coins, but I don't value the beauty in the music of the
nightingale or a coo-coo bird. I am more bothered of my bank
accounts and share market, stock market. Everything is a patent
thing. I am ready to patent oxygen also. I am even ready to patent
sunlight if possible!"
Utter greed, utter selfishness, man's weakness, man's business-
mindedness, only make you fed up with this world. For there cannot
be a paradise, a heaven, more than this world where we live in
because paradise is not a separate place. Heaven is not present
anywhere else. Heaven and paradise are very much here. Moments of
joy, occasions of happiness, the state of bliss, beautiful and
positive receptivity to music, sensitivity towards Nature,
friendliness towards the organic world and all the living
creatures will make the world so beautiful!
We have no time to enjoy Nature. We have no time because, if it
were left to us, we are ready to do business in the night time
also! Only because the body does not permit this, do we go to
sleep. If the body is active, if body does not want food and drink
and sleep, yes, let us make coins! Let us make rupees! To take
with us along with the body to the graveyard! We don't enjoy the
Nature. We don't enjoy the beauty of the world because our values
have been different. Our calculations have been different.
My friends, that's the reason why Bhagavan says, "Nature is the
best teacher. Life is the best preacher." Life is the best
preacher. Nature is the best teacher. To be close to God means to
be close to Nature; to be close to friendliness; to be close to
loveliness; to be respectful to Nature; to be graceful towards
Nature; enjoy the beauty of Nature; enjoy the music of life; enjoy
the dance of life. That is being close to God.
We want to be close to God. Why? To name my grandson. Whether God
names him or not, by the time my grandson grows up, he'll find a
better name than what I would have given him. He'll pick up some
beautiful Hollywood name...why not? So, we want to be close to
Bhagavan for individual, personal, selfish reasons. So we lose the
very beauty of it. We lose the very beauty of it.
I tell you my own bitter experience, which you may not love to
hear. But it is a reality. My life has not been a sequence of
happinesses, has not been a sequence or a series of
successes-after-successes in procession. No. I, too, had many
bitter experiences. Of course I don't take you to all those
details. Not worth it. But here how we lose the charm or miss the
beauty is what I want to tell you:
It was those early days of my stay in Brindavan, Bangalore. In the
early days, I did not know the tradition. I did not know the
precedents. I did not know the practices. That happened to be a
New Year's Day. Some elders stopped (elders meaning Presidents,
Conveners, that level). They were holding some flowers. I didn't
know why they were holding them.
'Why should you pluck the flower and hold it? I can understand the
plant keeping its head up. If the flower can raise its head,
attached to the plant, the plant can feel the pride of it. I pluck
it, I kill it, I murder it and hold it as if it is my grandfather's
property! What a shame it is! I pluck the flower. I injure it. I
hurt it. I make it ugly. A flower attached there to a plant is so
beautiful, so lovely, so attractive, so charming, full of
fragrance and aroma, with a message to convey, and vibrations to
touch. But I pluck it and hold it. What a dirty game it is! I did
not understand this meaningless act.' So I was thinking to myself.
Then someone said, "You should have one."
"I didn't like you having it! Why should you say that I should
They said, "This is the practice."
I was afraid that I might lose my job if I didn't follow the army
people. Somehow I said, " I don't have a flower. What am I to do
now? Swami may come anytime."
Someone gave me a flower. I was holding it on hand. Our good God
came, opened the doors at Trayee Brindavan, Bangalore, Whitefield.
He wore a smiling face that morning, a beautiful face, the red
robe, beautiful red robe (a challenge to the color of the rose
petal itself!), the face beaming with joy and smiling, catching
the attention of everybody, and the forelocks of the hair dancing
to the breeze, excellently to the beat and the sound like a
lullaby. God walked down step after step.
Immediately He looked at those two in the front, smiled and took
those two flowers and blessed them, while I'm on the other side,
nicely, conveniently ignored! Not on the list! As if I am a
non-entity, ethereal and not physical! Swami went straight to that
place to give darshan.
What shall I do now with this flower??? Shall I throw it? Shall I
keep it? What for? God already left! I was just holding it like
that (showing his arm outstretched). Within myself, 'O good God,
when we have come here for darshan, when everyone started looking
at Your beautiful face, appreciating the sunrise as at Kanya
Kumari, Cape Cameron...(at Cape Cameron people go and wait for
sunrise. People wait and watch the sunset there too, at Cape
Cameron in India, right at the bottom of the map. Such a beautiful
scene!)...When people are anxious to have Your morning darshan,
all my concentration was on that silly flower, which is not mine.
Swami went there, went round all the devotees, and then slowly He
started coming. My hand is paining, still that flower in hand!
Well, He looked at me. Shall I go and hand over? I dare not. Would
He come and collect it? I am not sure. Shall I throw it at His
Feet? I have no guts to do it. I feel like doing all these! I was
just holding like that flower outstretched helplessly! God looked
at me, walked into His Mandir and closed the door!
Shall we still stand till the evening darshan? The flower may fade
away, may lose its beauty, and as the flower falls down and fades
out, the petals separating themselves, it will be laughing at my
position. It will be cursing me for falling into the wrong hands!
I was feeling very badly.
Suddenly the door opened! And Swami said, "Oh, oh, oh, where is
your flower?" He took it!
That day I determined NOT to take a flower in my lifetime! Why?
Because instead of Swami, the flower has become a center of
attraction. Instead of Swami, the flower has become a center of
concentration. Instead of meditating on Swami, I was reflecting on
My friends, we lose the charm of Bhagavan. We miss the beauty of
Bhagavan. We miss this golden opportunity of being with Him when
you have things like letters, flowers, requests, favors. Gone!
Just as we have spoiled our own relationship with Nature, we have
become indifferent towards Nature.
We are indifferent to Nature which is very much evident by way of
air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, soil pollution,
oil pollution, not to mention mental pollution. Our total neglect,
our absolute disrespect and lack of reverence towards Nature, has
already been reflected at the world level by the 'greenhouse
effect' or what you call 'global warming' or 'ozone holes'. That
only shows man's lack of respect towards Nature. Though living in
Nature, we have even cut off our relationships with Nature. We
have misused Nature. We have abused Nature. We have made it ugly.
My friends, let us not commit the same mistake with the Creator!
We made this mistake with the Creation. Let us not repeat this
same mistake with the Creator! People say, "We are not happy in
this Creation because we have abused it. I am not blissful in this
Nature because I have misused it. Let me not repeat the same
mistake with the Creator, God Himself! Let me enjoy Him. Let me
have the excitement of watching His face. In fact, when I am not
bothered of anything else, I can enjoy."
So long as the mind is crowded - and our mind is crowded - the
mind has no space for God to be there. The mind has no space for
the Divine thoughts. Mind has no space for the spiritual
sentiments to enter. Mind is overcrowded.
I may be permitted to say a simple experience of many people. Many
people observe silence. They love silence. They impose silence on
everybody. But what silence is it? They're tight-lipped! They don't
talk. They want to be alone, but they are in a crowd! Mind is
crowded, always thinking of families, always thinking of
belongings, because a fact - truth is always bitter - the ashram
store's rush is more than the rush for darshan! Please observe
this! Any stock that comes to the store here will be exhausted in
an hour! It is a heavy rush! So, I am silent, but very busy
thinking when I should go to the stores to have some Choco-Bar or
vanilla or ice cream. I'm crowded! The brain is full of the store,
but I am silent, tight-lipped.
So, though one is alone, he is in a crowd because his brain is
crowded. It is not the physical numbers that count. It is not the
physical, numerological individuals around. It is your mind that
is important. Silence means empty mind. Silence means
thoughtlessness. Silence means absence of mind. Silence means
absence of desire. Silence means without any ulterior motive.
Silence means absence of selfishness and self interest. Silence
means absence of ego, pride, and jealousy. Silence means absence
of individuality or personality. Thoughtlessness, emptiness, being
totally vacant - that is real Silence. And that real Silence helps
you to be spiritually close to God. If one wants to be spiritually
close to God, he should empty himself. When I am full of the
desire, when full of so many of plans, yes, there's no time for
God to get in nor any place for God to get in. It's only that we
have to empty ourselves.
So my friends, we have to understand clearly what this closeness
actually means. But though I might say this for any length of
time, but yet I shall not miss an opportunity to sit very close to
Him. Is it not hypocrisy? Is it not a double standard? No, my
friends. Let me explain what real closeness is in terms of
Bhagavan's Discourses. I shall not interpret in my own way. I
shall not commit that mistake. I never committed nor would do so
in the future. I take the help of Swami's Discourses to explain
What is real closeness? Why closeness? What is the benefit by
being close to Bhagavan?
Swami gave a beautiful example: Here is an iron rod. Here is a
fire. Keep the iron rod close to the fire. What happens? The iron
rod becomes red-hot. The iron rod, hitherto dusty, rusty, brown,
and dirty, when once it is close to the fire, it becomes red-hot.
That is closeness. That means the iron rod becomes one with the
fire, acquiring its qualities of redness, being hot, and the
capability to burn. It means all the traits, all the qualities,
all the attributes of the fire are noticed in this iron rod, due
to its being so close.
So when I say, "I am close to God", the meaning is that it is
necessary that I should be Godly. The one who is close to God
should be Godly. There should be Godliness in him. But is it
demonic being so close? Well, the very word 'closeness' has a
different meaning altogether. This closeness has after all gone in
vain, has gone to the brain, an opportunity missed, an opportunity
misused, if the iron cannot become hot. If it cannot get hot,
either something is wrong with the iron or there is no fire at
all. Or the iron has got some chemical which would not allow it to
be burned, which would not allow it to be red-hot, some chemical,
some fluid or other.
So if we are not Godly, if the Godliness is missing in us, the
closeness has lost its objectivity. The closeness has lost its
very purpose. The closeness has become meaningless. The closeness
is absurd or useless. Being close to God, if you are not Godly, it
is an investment that is lost in a business. The investment lost
in a business makes you miserable. Similarly, if our closeness to
God will not help us to be Godly, that is a closeness gone.
My friends, why do I speak of that? Because being close to
Bhagavan, staying in the same place, being with Him and seeing Him
every day, and often listening to Him, all of us (in fact,
beginning with me - I am not excluding myself from anybody.
Perhaps I am the last and the least of all of you. I am nobody in
front of you. I am highly aware of that) should know the purpose
of this closeness: To be Godly, to be friendly, to be lovely -
these are the purposes and the objectives of this closeness.
And when once you are spiritually close to God, even if you are in
the twentieth row, even if you are in the fiftieth row, even if
you are in San Jose, California, or Los Angeles or Tokyo, Japan,
yet you are near to Him. Air India may take a couple of hours to
your destination. Lufthansa might promise you an earlier arrival
time. But spiritual closeness will take you to Swami then and
When you put on the switch elsewhere, when you put on the
amplifier over there, when you put on the switch elsewhere, the
mike starts working here. The fan starts rotating here, though the
switches are elsewhere. Similarly, we may be anywhere. But working
begins there and then itself. This is spiritual closeness. This is
spiritual awareness, then and there itself.
Physical closeness may take some time. My son is staying far away
from here. My daughter is also staying far away from here. For
them to be with me or for me to be with them, is a question of
time and space. Physical closeness requires time and space:
Darshan time - 7:00 AM; Darshan time - 3:30 PM; Darshan time, sit
there in Kulwant Hall. Time and space are required for physical
But for spiritual closeness, there are no requirements of time or
space. God has to present Himself any time you want, any time you
demand. Any time you call for Him, He's at your beck-and-call, at
your doorstep because the switch is in your hands now. This
holding the switch such that you're in a state of company with the
Lord, in His Company, in His Proximity, enjoying the nectar of
Divinity, this is spiritual closeness. Spiritual closeness is
beyond time and space. Spiritual closeness is psychological. It is
God, as I said in the beginning, is not a person. God is not an
object. God is subject, but not an object. Subjectivity is our
relationship with Him, not objectivity. God is not a person, so
our personality will not help us to be close to Him. God is a
phenomenon and hence our attitude will take us closer to Him. As
He is not an object, a thing, we cannot count Him in terms of time
So, as He is not conditioned by Nature, we cannot express Him. We
cannot think of Him. We can only experience Him. So my friends,
make every opportunity of establishing rapport with Bhagavan,
contact with Bhagavan, psychologically, mentally, intellectually.
Try to experience Him within, which is the most important.
That's the reason why when Bhagavan passes by the darshan lines
and whenever anyone wants to have padnamascar, He says in Telugu,
"Do it within! Do it within! Do it within!" Do padnamascar within.
"Why? What does it mean, O God? You allow some people to take it
without (on the outside, meaning physically), and you want me to
take it within (inside, meaning mentally)? What is this partiality?
I think God is impartial. Why do You say, 'Take padnamascar' there,
and You ask me to take it from within?"
My friends, it depends upon our own samskara, our own awareness,
our own understanding of the Divinity. To those who can experience
Him anywhere, to those who feel Him anytime, Bhagavan will say,
"Do it within." To those who need that external touch, to those
who are in need of physical padnamascar, of a direct expression of
it, who need that kind of external contact with Him, He allows
them, "Come on do it. Come on do it." Those who can feel Him, it
is not necessary. Because where are God’s Feet? God’s Feet, if
they are here, I can take padnamascar. When His Feet are
everywhere, where can you take His padnamascar? Where? They are
Where do you want to breathe air? "I want to breathe in Delhi."
And you want to be breathless in Puttaparti or what? Where can you
breathe? You can breathe everywhere, as air is everywhere. "Where
shall I have water? Near the river?" And you are not going to
drink water here? Water is everywhere. You can drink water
everywhere. The only thing is you should have the hunger or
appetite to eat. You should have the thirst to drink. You should
have the desire to experience. You should have the yearning. You
should have the prayer. You should have that pining. You should
have that longing to experience Him. It’s not simply, "Food is
available. I can eat." Without appetite you may eat, but you
cannot digest. You may eat, but you cannot assimilate. You may eat,
but you cannot enjoy.
So, there are some who do not enjoy Him. There are some who are
not ecstatic. There are some who are not blissful. Why? Because
they have no appetite. While singing bhajans, you find such
people. See their faces, whether they really enjoy bhajans or not,
I often tell my students: If their faces are colorless, waterless,
tasteless, like oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen gases, when they
sing bhajans and there is no smile on their faces, when they do
not sing full-throated, then they are a dead log of wood! It is
like throwing pearls in front of swine! Is there no expression on
his face? Supposing I say, "Here’s cheese and ice cream!" Saliva
starts oozing out naturally. "Here is a pie or a donut…milkshake!
Cheese!" Ahhh! But "Rama" or "Krishna"…no. People show no interest
in chanting these Divine names with heartfelt enthusiasm.
So this thirst for God, this hunger, this appetite, these are
wanting in many of us. That keeps us at a distance. But not in
reality. God is in fact so close to me, to everyone. But as there
is no appetite, so we don't find the taste in chanting the name of
God, like Rama and Krishna. God is so close to you. But we say, "I
am not thirsty." So we don't gain the ambrosia, the nectar, the
cool drink of God. Why? Because we're not thirsty.
So my friends, have appetite, hunger, and thirst for Bliss, to
become one with Him. Mother will not be happy watching the child
from a distance. Mother feels happy in hugging the child. Child is
happy in hugging the mother, clasping her neck with both of its
little hands. That is possible only when there is true affection,
not "Hi! Hi!" or the political waving of the hand.
Most of us, we fold our hands in Namascar when Swami comes out on
the verandah, something like military salute. "Oh, Swami's coming!"
Hands together in Namascar. "He left." OK, fine. Hands go back
down at our side. So it has become mechanical, everything.
Therefore we lack the beauty. We don't understand the freshness.
We have become indifferent. We have lost the very taste of life.
So my friends, spiritual closeness is more important than physical
closeness. That is the topic of this morning.
May Bhagavan help us to develop more of interest in Him so that we
may hunger for Him. We must search for Him such that He would be
the feast for all of us, such that life is a festival. My friends,
let us not call life boredom. Life is not boredom. No, no, no, no,
no! Life is music. Life is dance. Life is a festival. Life is a
celebration. That is the life with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
May Baba be with you forever and ever more!
We meet again same day, same time next week.
Anil Kumar ended his talk by chanting the bhajan, "Sai Narayana,
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