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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
October 29, 2000

The Main Points taken from Sunday's Talk Given by Anil Kumar on October 29th, 2000.



Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Our Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In every field, there are things that we should follow. There are certain things that we should forget and certain things that we should not follow. For example, in the field of science, we conduct experiments. As you do so, the procedure tells you: Do these things. Do not do those things. This is a caution. In the laboratory, there are certain do's and certain don'ts for the successful completion of the experiment.

Similarly, in schools and colleges and universities, there are certain specific rules. You follow these rules: Be punctual. Be regular. Be studious. And there are also certain don'ts: Don't smoke on campus. Don't drink on campus.

As a citizen there are certain do's and don'ts. Do's: I am supposed to be honest. I am supposed to speak the truth. I am supposed to be helpful to everybody. Don'ts: Don't kill anybody. Don't steal. Don't covet others' properties.

So, in every field, there are certain do's and don'ts. As we follow these do's, or principles or expected codes of conduct or commandments or dicta according to the Scriptures, we'll be successful. If we don't do certain things, we'll be comfortable, meek, peaceful, unagitated, and undisturbed.

Do's and don'ts must be studied at the same time. A simple example: One leading industrialist, who had a lot of money, asked Bhagavan a simple question: "Swami, we do certain bad things. Of course, we can't help it. At the same time, we do good things also. When we do good things, naturally we should earn merit or good results. When we do bad things, we'll have to face the consequences or punishment. Now, we have good acts (plus) and bad deeds (minus). Will not our good acts nullify the effect of bad things?"

An example: I construct a temple. Good thing. I harm two people. Bad thing. Equation balanced? (Audience laughs.) Will good deeds not nullify the effect of the evil deed? That is the question. Will not the effect of good deeds nullify the effect of the evil deeds or the negative acts?

Bhagavan said, "Spirituality is not business! For all good things you have done, you'll be enjoying good results. For all the bad things you have done, you'll face the consequences. You cannot escape from the consequences of the evil deeds." Then Bhagavan gave an example. "Here are some seeds. They germinate into fruit-yielding plants. Here are some other seeds that develop into thorny bushes. I mix both the seeds and now sow them in the soil. What will happen? The fruit-bearing seed, the seed which is to grow into a fruit-bearing tree, will grow that way. A seed, which is to develop into a thorny bush, will germinate or sprout up in that way. There's no confusion. All the seeds might be mixed up. Here you find a fruit-bearing tree. Here you find a thorny bush, growing together side by side. Similarly, you will have all the rewards of good actions and all the punishments of bad actions, simultaneously enjoying, simultaneously experiencing." (God will put up a nice timetable of what we have to face!)

God has another name: Yama Dharma Raju. This is the name associated with the god of death. But my friends, this god of death is not a frightening person. He's not the one as we see in cinemas with a moustache and a dagger and a sword - a nightmare! No. Here it means God, who will see that you cannot escape from the consequences of your actions. You cannot escape. You have to necessarily pass through that. That's the reason why God has this name, Yama Dharma Raju.

So my friends, when we do certain things, naturally we'll have all the fruits. And when we observe don'ts - "Don't do these things" - we should observe this also, so that we will have all the benefits. So do's and don'ts are mentioned everywhere - in educational institutions, in hospitals, in laboratories, in organizations, in business - do's and don'ts are clearly mentioned. In certain places, they put a board: "Don't smoke." "Leave the footwear outside." "Silence please." These are all our indications what we have got to observe.

My friends, Swami referred to four important don'ts which I want to share with you this pleasant morning. There are four important don'ts. Number one is Ashraddha. Ashraddha is a Sanskrit word which means negligence or utter neglect or indifference. That is Ashraddha. The second is Avishwasa, faithlessness or disbelief or absence of faith. The third one is Ahamkara, ego. Fourth one is Asuya, jealousy. These are the four mistakes. These are the four blunders. These are the four sins that we are not supposed to commit. So let us study these four don'ts this morning: neglect, absence of faith, ego, and jealousy. Don't have these four!

"Sir, I do puja morning and evening. But still I have these four don'ts. That's all." Oh-ho, that's useless, doing puja! An example: I have got so much of rice pudding or a pie or a wonderful cake. But I have just put one spoon of poison in that. One spoon of poison there will make the whole lot poisonous. Similarly, we may read any number of scriptures. We may recite God's name any number of times. We may adopt and follow any spiritual practice. But if we have these four mistakes, all of the above are useless. Therefore, first see that these four are removed.

Before we occupy a house, what do we do? We clean the premises. We remove all the dust, cobwebs, everything there. We clean it and only then occupy it, is it not? We don't occupy the house first and then spread our bed and start dusting! We don' t do that. So we clean the house first, dust the house, mop it up till clean, and then only occupy the house.

Similarly, any spirituality or spiritual path is worth practicing, worth trying, worth experimenting, provided that these four don'ts are followed, provided we give up these four. So let us study one after another this morning. I am reminded of His Divine Discourse on this particular topic, "The Four Don'ts" or "The Four Mistakes".


The first one, Ashraddha, is negligence, indifference, or carelessness. Supposing somebody says, "Swami is coming now as it is darshan time." Another man says, "It's alright. Let me continue to talk." It means, 'I'm indifferent to Swami's darshan. I am careless of Swami's darshan there.' This Ashraddha is the first danger, the first mistake, the first blunder that we often commit.

My friends, I often tell my students, "Never consider life mechanical. Never make life monotonous. Never make life a routine. If life becomes a routine, a monotony, a program like the computers, it loses its charm. It loses its beauty. It loses its glamour. It loses its flavor. It loses its fragrance. Therefore we should never take things as mechanical or as a routine. No. Everything is fresh. Everything is new.

Because life becomes mechanical at home, differences of opinion naturally set in in the family. Between husband and wife, between parents and children, differences of opinion start because life has become mechanical. It has become routine. The husband is no longer very happy with his wife because after all, she is there at home. The wife is also not very, very particular about the husband because he has no other place to go other than this. This kind of a monotony, this kind of a mechanical life, makes us really feel disgusted. Life becomes contemptuous. Life is no longer worthwhile if we make it mechanical.

It so happened, in those years I had one such bitter experience. Swami asked me to bring something. Immediately I called one student and asked him to get it. He got it. I was about to hand it over to Swami. Bhagavan said, "I asked you to get it, not that boy. If I really wanted, I would have asked him to get it for Me! You are not necessary."

When anything is given to you, you should do it all by yourself, at any cost. It may be very difficult. It may be strenuous. It may be laborious. It may be boring. Yet you have to do it. If you neglect it, you'll be running into Divine risk! You'll be in spiritual danger. You'll never be assigned any task hereafter - never! That's all. So my friends, we should never have this Ashraddha or negligence or neglect anywhere, more so in the spiritual aspect.

Supposing I have got the habit of praying at twelve noon because it is a fine time. Is it necessary to pray everyday at the same time, say at ten o'clock? Why not different days at different times? Monday prayer - 10 o'clock; Tuesday - 8 o'clock; Wednesday evening - 5; Thursday - 6 o'clock bhajan; Friday - 8 o'clock; Saturday/Sunday - weekends - dance to the pop music! Why not! (Audience laughs.) Why not? I have got my own program! Why not?

Here Swami gives a beautiful example. Supposing you start feeding a dog at twelve o'clock everyday. On the sixth day, it will be there at twelve o'clock. Seventh day, it will be there at twelve o'clock. A dog reports itself punctually. When a dog responds, do you think God won't respond? (This is what Baba said.) When dog is so punctual and systematic, do you think that God is not punctual and systematic? Do you think so?

It is in this respect that Bhagavan said, "You have to observe your timings, your appointment with God. Hold on! Never miss your appointment with God!" Appointment with God in Eastern philosophy is called meditation. We have got a specific time for meditation. Why? This is the appointment with God. I cannot afford to miss it. If you miss your appointment with your boss in your office, you'll be out of the office! If you miss your appointment with your sweetheart or your wife, when you miss that, you'll get it that day! Or over a week! (Audience laughs.) If she is the nagging type, over a month! (Audience laughs.) At least!

So we cannot afford to miss our appointment with our family members. We can't afford to miss our appointment with our office boss. How dare you miss your appointment with God?! How dare you do that! Do you consider that God is less than your family? Do you consider that God is inferior to your boss? No! It is negligence, utter neglect, total indifference. At a very heavy price, we'd be doing it.

So my friends, first 'don't' this morning: Don't be indifferent. Don't be careless. Don't be negligent. Ashraddha is the first don't, the first precaution.


The second don't is Avishwasa or lack of faith or faithlessness. Vishwasa is faith. Avishwasa is faithlessness or disbelief or absence of faith. Bhagavan goes one step further and tells, "Your Swasa, breath, is Vishwasa, faith." Now who will tell me that he has no faith now? A breathless fellow should say that! Someone who is no-more! So, a person who is alive, the one who has got his continuous breath, he's faithful. He has got faith. His very breath is faith. Bhagavan says, "Avishwasa, faithless - Never be faithless." This is dangerous.

"God, I am faithful at times, and faithless on other occasions due to some genuine reasons. I am really faithful so long as God attends to my requirements. So long as life is positive, I grow in faith, higher and higher, step by step, so religious, so spiritual, so ritualistic. Because whatever I want, that simply is happening. So I grow in faith."

"But supposing the reverse in life happens: Children fail in the examination successfully. There is heavy loss in business. The health breaks down. The house is uncomfortable. There is enmity with the neighbors. There's a calamity somewhere. At that time, O God, I have every reason to be faithless! God should be understanding at least that much! He should know why I am faithful. He should also understand why I am faithless. "

Here, in this context, Bhagavan said, "Let us understand what faith is." Faith does not necessarily mean positive. There are three levels here, my friends, which I want to share with you. One is belief. We have so many beliefs in this world. Christians have certain beliefs. Muslims have certain beliefs. Hindus have certain beliefs. I don't need to have belief in these beliefs. It is not necessary.

Belief is something that you have. Belief is something that you develop. You may believe and you may not believe. Beliefs are partial practices. Beliefs are traditions. Beliefs are based on the time, the generation and the circumstances prevailing at that period. Beliefs are never constant. They change.

At one time, it was believed that the sun sets, that the sun rises. Later it was proved scientifically by Galileo that the sun does not rise nor does it set. It is only the earth that moves. It is the earth that rotates, not the sun, making the day and the night. So, the belief that the sun rises, the belief that the sun sets, those two will not hold good in the context of this discovery.

It was a belief at one time that the atom is indivisible, indestructible. Today that belief no longer holds good. The atom is divisible. When the atom is divided, you get a lot of energy, used for electricity.

So, beliefs change with the changing circumstances, with the changing knowledge of the times, with the growing intellect. With the growing seeking mind, beliefs change. So, we begin our life with beliefs. Those beliefs change, based on the family, the tradition, the culture, and the country. Beliefs are there in any case.

But belief should go to the next higher state of faith. Faith is something stronger. Faith is something deeper. Do you say, "I believe in my mother"? Wrong. You say, "I have faith in my mother." Correct. Or, "I believe my teacher"? Wrong. You say, "I have faith in my teacher." Correct. So, faith is stronger than belief. Faith is deeper than belief.

So, this faith is so important. Bhagavan has said it. Some people say, "Swami, I have no faith in You." One person said, " Swami, You are giving me interview. But I have no faith in You." Then Swami said, "Oh-ho. This man has no faith. Please tell him in which market it is available. Tell him." (Audience laughs.) In which mall is it available, where faith is sold? Is there any department store, any company where faith is sold, kept in the open market, stock exchange?

Faith is not sold. Faith is not purchased. Faith is not gifted. Faith is not simply passed on. Faith is not generated. Faith is not manufactured. YOU ARE BORN WITH FAITH. "What? I am born with faith?" Yes, you are. So says Baba. How? Swami gives the examples: I have full faith in myself that I would be safe and that I would return safely from the market. So I go to the market. I have full faith that I will continue to live. Therefore, I have built my house. I have full faith that I'll get promotion. Therefore, I am working sincerely in my office.

So, I have faith in every affair, in every field, in every matter. I go to the barber. In full faith, I bend my head, allowing him to shave. By any chance, if he puts his knife on my neck....well, I don't doubt that. I have full faith. "Oh barber, come on, proceed!" I have got faith in a barber.

Many of you must be here for the first time. Well, we have got faith in the washerman, the dhobi. We give all our costly clothes to him. In dreams we never dreamt that he would run away with all our clothes! We have faith in the washerman, the dhobi. We have faith in the barber. If the doctor says "I am going to operate on you," we have full faith in the doctor, lay ourselves on the operation table for the doctor to operate - maybe to be taken to the other world? Or other planet, who knows? (Audience laughs.) Where are you going to be?

So my friends, we have had full faith in a doctor, have had faith in a dhobi or a washerman. We also have full faith in a goldsmith. We give our costly gold and ask him to make an ornament, a ring or a chain. We have faith in everybody - every Tom, Dick and Harry.

But it is most unfortunate that we have no faith in God. It is most unfortunate. We say, "Well, I have no faith. How to develop faith?" It is foolish. Having been faithful, having been endowed, gifted with faith in abundance, to lose the faith is artificial. Remaining in faith is natural. To be faithful is spontaneous. To be faithless is selfish. To be faithful is religious. To be non-faithful or faithless is utterly worldly, the temperament of self-interest.

So this faith is something that I am born with. When I say I have no faith in God, it means that I have made my life artificial. I have purposefully removed my faith, which has already been there. Here is a ring. I remove it and say, "How to possess a ring?" It is already there. You only removed the ring! Similarly, there is faith and when you say that you have no faith, it only means that you yourself removed it. It is only your mistake. "While the faith is there in everybody, I have got faith in everyone. But I have no faith in God. It is my own mistake."

And further Bhagavan says, "It is this faith that generates love towards God." Unless you're sure of the existence of God, unless you're sure of Divinity, you cannot love Him. Unless you have got full faith in your children, you cannot love them. Unless you have full faith in your life partner, you cannot love him/her. If wife has no faith in her husband, well, love is out-of-the-question. When husband has no faith in the wife, well, we will meet them in the court for a divorce. Faith is necessary to live together.

Bhagavan gives one example: It seems the wife had full faith in her husband. It was the early period of marriage, of course! (Audience laughs.) So she had full faith in him. So, when this poor fellow was returning home from the office late in the evening, she is so much concerned: "You're very much tired, honey! Dear, you are very much tired! However, I cannot do anything about it. I cannot help it. I'm so sorry you're struggling. Yes, the work is strenuous, dear, I understand. Here is a hot-hot cup of coffee. Have it now. A hot cup of coffee. Now I made certain preparations that you like most tonight for dinner. Enjoy yourself! I feel so sorry that you are exhausted." Those words are said in total faith in her husband.

As ill would have it, somebody said to her, "Your husband is having an affair with his lady stenographer." Then this poor girl believed all what is reported to her. The husband's office closes at 5 o'clock. To drive home, because of traffic jam, it cannot take more than half an hour. Five thirty-five he arrives. "What happened to those five minutes? What were you doing? Where were you?" (Audience laughs.) If it is six o'clock, the doors will be shut. That's all! (Audience laughs.) If it is six-thirty, he has to sleep on the pavement. (Audience laughs.) If it is seven o'clock, forget it for the time being! (Audience laughs again.) Why? The lady was so concerned, the housewife was full of love, concern, sympathy, understanding, and ready with a hot-hot cup of coffee! Now what happened? She says, "Get out! What happened to you? What about that girl? What happened there?" The Korean war starts there! Why? It is simply because of lack of faith.

Absence of faith is responsible for disharmony or disunity. Absence of faith is responsible for misunderstanding. Absence of faith is responsible for non-adjustment. Adjustment is gone. Cooperation is gone. Unity is gone. Love is totally missing. Why? Faith is lost. So, the second 'don't' that God tells is, "Never be faithless! Hold on, cling on to your own faith, faith in God.

So we begin with belief, and we get into faith. Faith is a continuous process. Faith is one for eternity. Faith is one of continuity. Faith is the one with which we are born. It is not cultivated. Belief is what we get in a social system, as a member in society. So, from belief, we grow to the state of faith. But that is not the be-all-and-end-all. Still one more state is there. One higher level is there. What is that? Trust. Belief, faith, and then the highest level is trust.

What is trust? How is it different from faith? Trust is the deepest. Belief is superficial. Faith is something deeper. And trust is the deepest, the bedrock, the substratum of your very being, the very core, the very center of your life. If you believe me, OK. If you don't believe me, better. If you have faith, good. If you don't have faith, you will suffer. If you have trust, excellent. If you lose this trust, the life is gone. The life will be at stake because trust is something serious. Trust is commitment. Trust is loyalty.

Do you know Sathya Sai Central Trust, Tirumalai Tirupathi Devasthanam Trust, Rockefeller Foundation Trust, and Ford Foundation Trust? For every charitable trust, there is a trust, and the members of the trust are called trustees. So, we should have trust. We cannot betray anybody. So trust is deeper, the very basis of your life, the very core. The very center of your being is trust.

When trust is lost, life is not worth living. When anybody loses trust in you, we cannot face him at any time. Trust is something spiritual. Trust is not secular. Trust should not be used with reference to newspapers, useless stuff. Trust should not be used in regard to the television newscast. Trust should not be used with reference to the radio broadcast. Trust should be used only with reference to spiritual matters. Trust should be used with regard to spiritual experiences. "I trust Baba," means nobody can shake you. Trust is unshakeable. Trust is permanent. Trust is strong. Trust has no opposites. Trust has no reverse. Trust has no opponent. Trust has no enmity. Trust is one of permanent sympathy, empathy, amity, total friendship. Total identity is trust.

So we start with the beliefs of the society, get to the level of faith, and then end our lives in the state of trust, which is our very being, our very core.

A simple example: Bhagavan said, "I trust everybody. But you don't trust Me." Poor Swami! What a statement He said. If there is anyone to pity upon now, we have to pity Bhagavan because He said, "I trust you. But you don't trust Me." Well, it is usual with me not to keep quiet, though it is risky to speak. (Audience laughs.) Yet I dared to ask this question: "Why should it happen? Why should You trust? How is it that we don't trust? Why? Why should it happen?"

Then Bhagavan said, "Who are you? You and I are one. I know that. I am you only. You and I are one. I know this. So when I trust you, I am trusting Myself. When I love you, I love Myself. You do not know that. You think that you are separate from Me. You think that you are different from Me. So, you don't trust."

So, trust is Divine. Trust is spiritual. Trust is the bedrock, the foundation. Trust is within. Belief is practiced. Worship is a belief. All rituals are beliefs - going around the temple, offering flowers. They are all beliefs, external. Whereas faith arises from the heart, trust is the very spirit or consciousness. The very consciousness or very awareness is trust. And the only trustworthy thing in this world is this awareness. Nothing is trustworthy in this world because all is transient. Nothing is permanent here.

As Bhagavan says, it is something like a passing cloud. All beliefs are passing clouds. Not even one is permanent. Faith can shake. It is shakable, collapsible, something like this table. This can be taken out and the whole thing can be folded. Faith is collapsible. Faith is shakable. That's why we lose faith at times. We are strong in faith at certain moments. But trust is strong, steady, unshakable, totally spiritual, essentially Divine and the very core of our Self or the being. This Bhagavan tells us is our right in life. And it is not anything that we have to fight for. It is not anything that we have to cultivate. It is not anything that we have to undergo or make strenuous efforts to develop faith. No. You are born with it. So, Ashraddha, negligence, and Avishwasa, disbelief, are the first two 'don'ts'.


The third one is Ahamkara, ego. Somebody was asking me, "Sir, what is ego?" We have got some first-year students from Brindavan campus of Bhagavan's Institute. They are so anxious to know these things. A few boys came to me and asked, "Sir, what is ego?" What shall I say? Some other boy asked, "How to know that you are egoistic?" A third boy asked, "How to be free from ego? What is the path to be egoless?" They asked these questions on ego.

Well, I said, "My friends, ego is very much misunderstood. All of us have this sense of ego. It is only a difference in percentage. 20% ego in somebody; 50% in somebody; 100% in many! (Audience laughs.) 100%, total! So, the percentage of ego differs, but ego is there in everybody!

What is ego? How to know that? There are so many interpretations about this ego. Anything that says "I" is ego: "I am a man." " I am a lecturer." "I am a postgraduate student." "I am an Indian." "I am a householder." Anything that introduces yourself this way, "I am...", is ego. Now tell me who does not say this? Everyone says this because this "I am", I-ness, establishes your identity, brings out your individuality. It is a sort of introduction in this world. This sort of introduction to others in this world, this finding out our own identity, this I-ness, is ego.

Then is it good or bad? This question means, functionally, is this a desirable thing? Supposing I call my students, "All right, boys! I am going to teach you." If the boy says, "Sir, God is present in you and in me equally. How is it that you teach and I hear? Sit down. I'll teach you!" (Audience laughs) Supposing I call my office clerk and tell him, "Look here! Get ready with this draft." And say he responds, "No, God is in you. God is in me. I dictate. You take down the notes!"

So this is not functional. You cannot operate in this world with this misunderstanding of philosophy. At the operational level, at the functional level, ego is permissible. This is allowed. This is called Dharma, the ethics, the code, the way to function effectively at the individual level, at the collective level, at the community level, at the national level, and so on and so forth.

So, "I am so-and-so." This I-ness is ego. But it becomes bad, it becomes objectionable, it turns into a mistake, it turns into a blunder when it takes ugly forms from there. The problem is this I-ness would not remain at that stage. The I-ness will not stop at that stage of mere introducing yourself. It does not stop there. "Who are you?" "I am a lecturer." It does not stop there. "I have been a lecturer for the last thirty-eight years!" "Who asked you that? (Audience laughs.) I am not interested in how many years of service you have done. This is ugly. This ego has to be given up. Here ego means pomp.

Supposing I say, "Sir, I have come here for the first time to Puttaparti. By what time should I be there for evening darshan?" And the man next to me responds, "Is this the first time!?! I have been here for umpteen number of times." The first man, "But I am not bothered about your seniority. (Audience laughs.) You have not understood my question. My question is, what time should I report myself there for evening darshan? Why do you hammer with these answers that, 'I have been here quite for a long time, that I have made umpteen number of visits.' What nonsense it is!" This is ego, pomp and show.

"Sir, what is prayer time in the evening?" He responds, "Don't you know? Few years back..." "Oh, I see. Why do you go back? Let me show my back to you and run away from you!" (Audience laughs.) Am I clear? This personal, unwanted bio-data, this unnecessary stuff, certain of the personal experiences, I don't know why we want to impose it on others!

Some person comes and tells me, "While I was meditating, some light has come from here." How do you know from here or from there? (Audience laughs.) When you do not exist in meditation, how do you know where the light is coming from? It is imagination. Somebody else says, "While in meditation, I see some form moving, some form disappearing. How do you know whether it is God or a devil? (Audience laughs.) How do you know that?" What do you think I am? Do you think you can speak any nonsense you like? It is really tragic. So, we have to clearly understand here this ego makes people make much about nothing. This is what Shakespeare's drama, "Much Ado About Nothing" is about.

Similarly, this kind of publicity, this kind of show, this kind of pomp, what Swami calls, "Stunt! Stunt!", is an expression of ego. This is ugly. This is to be condemned. This is to be given up.

The next ugly form of ego is a kind of feeling of superiority, expecting something or expecting preferential treatment. "You want me to sit here? Here? Don't you know that I'm a senior devotee?" Oh-ho. Is there anything like senior devotees and junior devotees? I don't know! (Audience laughs.) In jobs, there are seniors and juniors on different pay scales. But in devotion, I don't understand. Why? "You know this is my regular seat?" Oh-ho. A thousand sat there. You are thousand and one! What is all this? This expecting something, this preferential treatment, this feeling of superiority is a manifestation of ego. This is to be given up.

And this ego is negative in the sense that it has a sort of exclusiveness. For example, it is not enough that I get padnamascar. It is more important I only should get padnamascar! (Audience laughs.) Why? If you also get it, well, it's after all, a common thing. (Audience laughs.) A general Narayana Seva. Everybody would get food. So similarly, "He gave padnamascar." "No, no, no. If I only get it...ah-ha!" That's the ego. Preferential treatment, a feeling of superiority, exhibitionism - this is all the ugly ego!

Another question is, "How has it developed? Why has it developed? Why ego at all? How has it come all of a sudden into my life?" It is because over the years, we develop a false image, a false personality of our own selves. "I am so-and-so. I have got such a brilliant record, you know? I have got so many certificates of merit! I have got so many testimonials, you know?!" "Aha. I see." You have developed a personality, a false personality. Suddenly when anyone says, "May I know your name please," that ego is hurt.

I know some people. Let me not name them. A big man comes, big in the sense that he thinks he is big. (There is nothing like big and small in front of God!) There is a Seva Dal man who doesn't know that he is a VIP. He doesn't know because Seva Dal people work by turns here. That Seva gentleman stopped him (the VIP) because his duty is that. He can permit only those who have permission to go through that gate. That man stopped him, "Sir, you can't go!" The VIP said, "You know who I am?"

How do you expect him to know? (Audience laughs.) You are not President of India! (Audience laughs.) You are not any chairman of the United Nations Organization. What are you, after all? Why do you think that's so important? Why do you think that you'll be known to everybody?

"You stopped me!" That Seva Dal man said, "Yes! Why not!" This VIP man was very angry because his ego was hurt. "Give me your badge! Who is your Convener? I'll throw you out by the neck!"

How things were happening right in front of my eyes! I could not bear it. Let me take the risk. I went and spoke politely. The antidote for seriousness is being light-hearted. The antidote for seriousness is a sense of humor. I went there and said, "Sir, this man is a recent recruit in Seva Dal. He joined Seva Dal yesterday and he is only doing his duty. He doesn't know your greatness, you know. We know how great you are! (Audience laughs heartily.) We know what a V-V-VIP you are! This poor chap doesn't know. Please spare him for this time. You can excuse him this time." Then he laughed, "Yes, these chaps don't know who we are, after all." (Audience laughs.) I could safe the situation. That is ego, ego. There is nothing wrong when this I-ness is functional in society or in an organization. But not the vulgar, ugly, obscene, objectionable expressions of ego like this.

A false personality, a false image is built by us over years. When that image, that personality is hurt, we feel the pain. We feel the pain. When I am sitting there, when Swami talks to the neighbor, it is my ego that is hurt. Naturally I should not feel badly. Swami gave padnamascar to my neighbor and I could see Him so closely. I should congratulate that man! "Hey! Boy! You are lucky! Oh, Swami gave you padnamascar! So wonderful! It took seven years for me to go anywhere near. You could get this immediately! Congratulations!" I don't do that. "Um-hum. How did you get this seat here? Let me find out. Where do you come from?"

So, it is not the chance that I did not get that matters. I did not get padnamascar. This point is not a matter of pain to me. Yourself getting it is a matter of pain because my ego is hurt. This is ego. So, ego is something like a pain, a hurt, a harm, an injury to a false image, to a false personality that an individual develops over a period of time. This is highly dangerous, particularly with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He may tolerate anything. But this ego is something where He becomes a surgeon! He makes a deep cut. You have to feel so badly. That too, what kind of surgeon is He? The ego which you may develop tomorrow, He will operate on today itself! (Audience laughs.) We can understand an operation as and when it is required. But this is 'spiritual operation', an operation done even before you need it, so that you'll never be egoistic at all because it is done now itself.

I know. Bhagavan stopped talking to a friend of mine. You know we don't know the reason why. And that man was looking so gloomy. He told me, "Sir, Swami stopped talking to me. What shall I do?" "When He stopped talking to you, what is it I can do about it? I can only cry with you for some time. (Audience laughs.) Comrades in distress! I cannot help the situation."

But I could not bear that sight. Somehow slowly I said, "Swami, he's crying. Swami, he's crying, crying." "Ah! You also cry," He said. (Audience laughs.) Since I was prepared for it, I was not hurt. (Audience laughs.) And further He said, "I'll give you my kerchief also to wipe out your tears!" (Audience laughs.)

And then He said, "Look here." That man was sitting behind. I was in the front. "See his eyes. They are full of anger, full of hatred towards Me, that I am not talking to him. So he has developed hatred. Instead of more Love, instead of more self-introspection, instead of self-examination, self-assessment, self-evaluation, that man has developed hatred. His eyes speak of that. His very walk is highly egoistic. That road is under repair. (Audience laughs.) When the road is under repair, there'll be a board: ROAD IS UNDER REPAIR. TAKE DIVERSION. VEHICLES GO THAT WAY." (Audience laughs heartily.)

So when we are egoistic, the road is under repair. So Bhagavan avoids the whole line. He goes the other way. Until the highway is ready for Sai-way to run! For Sai-way to go, the highway should be in perfect order! So long as it is under repair because of ego, well, that automobile, Sai-mobile, will avoid that highway. That's what He said.

So, our looks, our talk, our gestures, our walk certainly speaks of our ego. Certainly this could be easily detected. Swami will say, "You see how he stands? See how he is standing." He tells boys in particular. When we stand in front of Swami, how should we stand? Can you stand as if others would get an impression that you are egoistic? How to stand in front of God? How to speak to God? How to dress ourselves in front of God? Can I have all jeans and all that? And then also a Walkman and say, "Hi, hi!" Can I do that? Not this lifetime anyway. Too late to do that, unless I am mental. So, how to conduct oneself in front of God?

So, my friends, this ego expresses itself in several ways. Once a Supreme Court Justice came for Bhagavan's darshan. He told me, "Sir, please tell Swami I am here." (Audience laughs.) Like the fool, I accepted this (Audience laughs), thinking that I'll be doing some seva to this man and a favor to God. I wanted to take a chance to be close to Him, because man is the worst exploiter.

Man is the worst exploiter of Nature. Man is the worst exploiter that led to air pollution. Man is the awful exploiter that led to food pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, oil pollution, soil pollution. There's no solution to the pollution! So man is the worst of the exploiters. We want to exploit the spiritual path also. So, in tune to the present day temperament, I wanted to exploit this situation. "Please inform Swami I am here," said the Supreme Court Justice. "Sir, please be seated. I will go inform Him. OK?" (Audience laughs.) He sat there. I went in.

Swami was there at the dining table. Boys also were ready for the evening tea. I said, "Bhagavan..."

"What? Tell, tell, tell."

"Supreme Court Justice has come for Your darshan, Swami."

"Oh-ho. Has he any horns there? Any horns like a bull or a he-buffalo? Any extra horns? (Audience laughs.) You sit down here. You sit here."

So that I cannot go and tell him, He says, "You sit here!" That man is waiting for me there. (Audience laughs heartily.) Then I have understood that I cannot represent anybody. It's a very costly game to represent on behalf of anybody. Well, I have taken a pledge not to repeat that mistake any time later. Very, very dangerous to do these things like that.

A gentleman from London brought gold pens. He wanted Swami to distribute those gold pens to students. Well, he said, "Anil Kumar, please tell Swami that I brought pens." I said OK, because that was the early honeymooning period. I didn't know the rules still. Now I can't hear those things at all. There's no question of obliging. They don't get into my ear now.

I went to Swami. "Eh? What? Tell."

"Devotee from London brought gold pens."

"So what!"

"Swami, he wants interview."

"Oh I see. Do you mean to say that he is going to purchase interview like this? Does he want to bribe Me???"

"Swami, gold pens..."

"Oh-ho, you take them all. (Audience laughs.) Gold pens, you are very much enamored of them. Take as many as possible. You go. You go and give him interview! You give him interview because you want gold pens. (Audience laughs heartily.) Well, I don't want."

You see that. It is only sometimes we speak unknowingly. It is our ego. Some of us say: "Swami will not come this side" or "Swami will not look at you" or "Swami wants this" or "Swami likes this". Who are you to say that? Swami has personal relationships. His relationship with you is different from his relationship with me. Every individual has got his own personal, individual, intimate relationship with Bhagavan. How can I compare it? How can I judge that? How can I postulate a common principle, a common general rule?

In offices in governments, there will be official orders which are applicable to everybody. Spiritual relationship is not a general order. Spiritual relationship is too intimate, is too personal, highly confidential. Bhagavan reveals certain things to you, Bhagavan asks you to do certain things. These things are too personal. We cannot tell anybody.

My friends, this generalization, taking things as common, considering things uniform, applicable to everybody, is an expression of ego.

As the time is up, I shall cover the last "don't" next week.

May Bhagavan bless you. May Bhagavan bless you. May Bhagavan bless you.

Anil Kumar then chanted a bhajan to close his talk.


Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityormaa Amritam Gamaya


Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu


Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Sai Ram.

Thank you.


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