Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 5, 2001

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

"Search For Truth"

August 5th, 2001


Sai Ram

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of our Most Beloved Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

This morning I would like to share with you some thoughts relating to Truth and the way we receive it. How do we receive Truth? How do we conceive Truth? How is it received and how is it understood? With your permission, I would like to share with you some ideas about various aspects relating to the search for Truth, the investigation into Truth, and the inquiry into Truth.

The process of the search, the mode of operating, or the methodology, the process of inquiry, of investigation, these are all related to the human mind. It is the mind that inquires. It is the mind that doubts. It is the mind that searches, and it is the mind that needs clarification. Therefore, what we are talking about this morning is related to the mind: how the mind grasps, how it absorbs, how it receives, how it reflects, how it reacts, and how it is sensitive.

Broadly speaking, mind reflects or reacts in five ways. Let us try to study one after the other, to the extent possible. Any mind, not necessarily 'Indian mind' or 'British mind', is mind! (Never mind!) (Laughter) The mind is mind. The mind receives, absorbs, operates, and functions at five levels.

The Five Capacities of the Mind

The first one is the capacity to receive right knowledge. The mind has got the capacity to receive right knowledge. The second capacity is that it also has the ability to receive wrong knowledge. Perhaps it enjoys and delights more there! So, the second one is the capacity to receive the wrong knowledge. The third capacity is the ability to imagine. It has imagination. Fourth, it has the ability to remain there without functioning, like a snake that coils around itself within a basket. Am I clear? When the snake is kept in a basket, it coils around itself with the lid covering the basket over it. Likewise, the mind lies withdrawn. It is not that it is destroyed. It is not that it has disappeared or vanished. It just remains without activity. That is deep sleep. And the fifth capacity is that the mind is capable of recalling the past or bringing it back to memory.

So, the mind has five traits or features, five areas of functioning, capacities, abilities, or simply, functions. What are they? Number one is the ability to receive right knowledge. Number two, the capacity to receive wrong knowledge. Number three, the tendency to imagine. Four, the capacity to lie in deep sleep - non-participatory, non-contributing, silent, dull, and inert. The fifth one is the capacity to recall, memorize, and bring back to memory. These are the five features of the mind of any man, coming from any nation at any point of time.

1 - Right Knowledge Through Direct Cognition

Let us try to understand one after another. The mind has got the capacity or the ability to receive right knowledge, which means correct and accurate information. The mind has that capacity, but it depends upon the way we receive information. So, how does the mind receive right knowledge?

(All this is taken from Bhagavanís books. He gave a series of talks on the mind, its vagaries and its functions, during one of the Dasara Festivals. Thereís a beautiful book written by Sandweiss on the mind, the spirit, and a psychiatrist. This summery presentation which I'm giving this morning is based on these books. Nothing is original. These are all only from excerpts from Sai's messages.)

How does the mind receive right knowledge? First, it does so by direct cognition, which is a very simple thing: I see you here. Therefore, I believe what I see. This is right knowledge. I do not see a peacock here, so I do not believe it to be here. This is right knowledge. I see the fan. Yes, I accept it is here. This is right knowledge. I do not see a heater here, so I do not accept it as being here. This is right knowledge.

So, the first feature is direct evidence, direct proof, or direct cognition. That which is heard, that which is seen, that which is touched upon by the five senses, they provide evidence and substantial proofs to believe in. This is what I called 'direct perception' or 'direct cognition'. In other words, just two words are enough - 'right knowledge'.

Right knowledge is acquired by direct perception. "Seeing is believing." But can we totally go by this? No. (Swami should help me again, by providing some illustrations from His infinite number of Discourses. My friends, I am not tired to repeat this any number of times because I strongly believe in it. We donít have to interpret Baba. We only have to admit that we are not capable of interpreting Him, if you are honest enough.)

Babaís literature and Babaís Discourses will help us understand His teachings, just as the sunlight will help you see the sun and the moonlight helps you see the moon. But it is not so with the halogen lamp or a zero-candle bulb. Similarly, Swamiís messages will help you understand Swamiís message. It is not necessary for my mind to strain itself, to get confused and turn everybody mad! We donít have to turn mad. If we do not get enlightened, well then let us at least remain where we are!

Is Direct Cognition Always Correct?

Therefore my friends, direct cognition or direct perception is the way of receiving the right knowledge. But is it correct? Is it always correct? No. Why? Swami gave some examples in His Discourses. Here is one: We are seated here. We are stable, right? Is anyone shaking here? No, no one is. Is there anyone with a high temperature or some other health problem? No, we are not shaking. In fact we are all quite stable.

Is the earth stable? Is that a correct statement? No! The earth is revolving at a very high speed around itself. Not only that, it rotates around the sun also. But as I am seated here, I am fine. The earth does not appear to be moving. And you aren't moving. You are staying still there! So, the direct perception or the direct cognition does not necessarily convey the Truth or the right knowledge.

Here is another point: During the night, you are passing by along a road. Suddenly you feel that there is a snake. You are afraid of snakes and you start running. Next morning you happen to pass along the same street. 'Where is the snake? Last night I saw it here. Where is it now?' There is no snake now, only a rope. So, last night my eyes or my vision told me that I saw a snake. But today, the very next morning, my eyes say, 'No snake. It is only a rope. Last night it was only a mistaken identity or a superimposition.' Your eyes have deceived and betrayed you. "Last night my eyes saw a snake, but this morning it is only a rope!"

Now can you say that everything we see is true? Not necessarily! All that we see may not be true. All that we see may not feed right knowledge to the 'computer', which is our head. The mind is a computer. Sometimes the eyes may not 'feed the computer' (our mind) the correct information. Sometimes people speak about the millennium bug or the Y2K bug - even computers suffer from bugs! So, as we suffer from bed bugs, even the computers have their own bugs! (Laughter) The computer also goes out of order because of these things! Similarly, the eyes or the vision or sight sometimes provide information to the 'computer', which is wrong. Am I right?

Now consider the hearing. I think this is the sound of an animal. A dog is barking: "Oh, there is a dog around somewhere," I say. But on inquiry, I come to know that one student is very good in mimicking or imitating the sound of a barking dog. Heís successful in barking because he imitates so well, being a mimic artist. So, can I say that everything I hear is true? The ear says there is a dog barking, but it is not true.

Suddenly I feel the soft touch of a cushion. Is there a cushion here? But immediately when I look, I find that it is nothing but a teddy bear (the kind children play with) or maybe it is the soft skin of a cat. So, the sense of touch may also not convey the Truth. So, the sense of hearing may not convey the Truth and the sense of sight may not convey the Truth. Only on face value, we say that direct evidence is necessary. But it is not necessary! Thatís one point.

We also know that these senses are the eyes, the ears, the nose, and the skin. These senses of perception or cognition are merely mechanical devices. They are only instruments and they work powerfully for some time. Later, after sixty years, they boycott and go on a strike! (Laughter) Until age sixty, they have been working. But later after a certain age, these senses become non-functional. This means that the senses are mechanical. So what can we do now?

Transcendental Experience

This mike conveys my voice, bringing to your attention what I say. When I remove the mike, you and I are face-to-face. Am I clear? The mike is an instrument between you and me. Once this instrument is removed, you and I are presented directly face-to-face.

Similarly, we have to grow beyond the senses, to grow above or transcend the senses. There the knower and the Known are face to face. What there is to be known is there. The knower who wants to know is here. It is direct encountering. They are present, face-to-face. There is no more need for the senses: I donít have to see. I donít have to hear. I donít have to touch! No. When these instruments stop, I face You face to face.

This is transcendental experience. One has to transcend. The transcendental is an experience beyond the senses. We should understand another point: the senses are necessary to see that which is outside. You are there, so I see you. There is sound elsewhere and I hear it. There is an object outside, so I touch it. So, senses are required to experience and feel the objects, persons, and materials present outside of us. Am I clear? But senses are not necessary to know your Self. The blind man knows that he is the right man. He may not have eyes. Suppose I ask the blind man, "Where are you?" he won't say, "Let me be in search of Him." He will say, "I know what He is."

So to know your Self, you donít have to depend on the senses. To know the Reality, to know your Self, the senses are not necessary. Spirituality conveys the Knowledge of the true Self. Spirituality does not speak of the objective world. Spirituality does not speak of what is around you. Spirituality wants you to know your real Self. To know the real Self, to experience the real Self, senses are very poor instruments. They are rather unfit to know the Self.

There is the Consciousness of the Spirit within me. My eyesight wonít help me to know this Consciousness. The power of audition or the ears, however nice they might be, are useless to know Consciousness. The skin may be black, white, brown, or pink. But knowing the color of the skin is useless as far as experiencing the Self. I think I'm clear. Therefore, no matter how powerful the senses are, they are useless when it comes to knowing the Self in its Totality, in its Reality, because the Self is above the senses. The Self is transcendental.

Therefore, the first area, the first avenue of acquiring right knowledge through direct perception, is not full proof. It is not 100% correct. In Sanskrit this knowledge, this kind of acquiring of knowledge, is called prathyaksha pramaana or 'direct evidence'. Prathyaksha means 'direct evidence' and pramaana means 'proof'. So, using this method, all our direct cognition is not 100% correct.

Then there is another way of acquiring right knowledge. The first method to acquire right knowledge is direct cognition - to see, to hear, to taste, and so on. If that fails or is not valid, if that doesnít give you the kind of information you want and expect, you can switch onto the second 'channel'. Like TV sets, you can switch onto this next 'channel' to acquire right knowledge. What is this second 'channel'?

2 - Right Knowledge Through Inference

That second 'channel' is inference. In Sanskrit it is called anumana pramaana, meaning inference. This inference also helps us to acquire right knowledge to some extent. How? An example: I see smoke at a distance, so there is a possibility of a fire over there. The smoke indicates to you to infer that there might be, that there could be, that there is a possibility of a fire present over there. This is anumana pramaana or inference.

I go to college every day at 8.30 in the morning. Suppose by the time I get there, I find the students coming out of the college building. What does it mean? I use anumana pramaana: I infer that Swami might have called them there for a group interview. Or another possibility is that it is a holiday. A third possibility is that it is Sports Day. A fourth possibility is that they could be preparing for the Convocation. Or there even could be some other reason why the students have come out early. When I find them outside, my mind infers all of these possibilities. This is what is called anumana pramaana.

This kind of anumana pramaana or inference is based upon logic or upon argument. Somebody said, "There is smoke, but yet there is no fire." Another says, "No! Unless there is fire, there cannot be smoke." It becomes an argument! One says, "No!" Another says, "Yes!" (We escape from both of them because it is based on their arguments and depends upon their rationality and logic, how best they can get their arguments across!) Therefore, inference is not totally true because argument or logic can show only a glimpse. That is all. It gives only a 'birdís eye' view.

Suppose there is a very big picture of Bhagavan. Not Swami, but a Hillview Stadium photograph at the Birthday Celebration. Lakhs of people are there! You can see only black heads everywhere. They look like insects or ants. They look microscopic. Somewhere there is a red dot. "There is Swami," I infer. Why? All are in white dress, but there is only one red spot, so that could possibly be Baba. "Or, is it possibly a rose flower? Why not?" "No, no. I donít know, but I think it is Baba."

Similarly, heated arguments or logical, rational, and scientific presentations will show only a glimpse or a part of the over-all picture. To be clearer, Bhagavan holds up a handkerchief like this and says, "What is this? This is piece of cloth, true? No. Now open the cloth or handkerchief." We know this is a piece of cloth, but this is not right knowledge. To know that it is a cloth, a handkerchief, that is right knowledge. So logic or inference, anumana pramaana, shows only a fragment, a piece, or a glimpse, but not the Totality. Therefore we have to be careful.

Inference Can Be Right or Wrong

Our inference may be right or wrong, so we have to be careful about it. Suppose I hear the sound of a car on this side and the car is moving. "Ah! Swamiís car! Let us go!" By the time we go, we find some other car going that same way. So, it may be the sound of a car, but it does not necessarily mean that Swamiís car is passing by this side! Therefore, inference could be right or wrong. Right inference will help you, whereas wrong inference will misguide you. Right inference will guide you and improve you. It will take you to progress, while wrong inference will spoil you totally.

Here is a simple example: This file is made in the USA, United States. We donít make files with calculators here in India. So it is from the United States! A supply company must have made this nice file. It did not just drop from the sky like rain! Somebody made this file, am I right? So here is an article and a maker, here is a watch and a maker - Swiss watch, HMT watch, or Citizen watch. So, there is an object and a maker: a mike or amplifier - the Huja company; a refrigerator - Godrej company. So for everything there is a maker. There cannot be anything without the maker. I think I'm clear.

This glass was purchased from the maker's shop in Bangalore. This glass has not just fallen from the sky all of a sudden. So for everything, there is a maker. Take this building as an example. There is a designer, a contractor, and a builder. So this is the right kind of inference.

This world and this Universe, this entire Cosmos, which is so perfect with the sunrise, the sunset, the moon, the moonlight, the glittering stars, the different seasons, the entire Creation of 84 lakhs of varieties of species, all experiencing birth, growth, and death, has a Maker. There is a regular cycle to life. Things have been happening in a regular and scientific manner, one after the other, one after the other. There must be a Director. There must be a Maker or else this universe could not work with such exact precision and accuracy. There must be a Maker. There must be a Builder. That is a right inference, which will help us to proceed spiritually.

There is also another type of inference, wrong inference, for which I can also give you an example. Someone says, "I donít think there is a Maker of this world. If God made the world, who made God?" (Laughter) "You see, the whole world is created by God. But God is created by whom?" "No one. He made Himself!" "How?" We cannot explain it. This is wrong inference.

Then there is another man who says, "If there is a God, then He will be utterly bored with this mechanical Creation where the sunrise is always at six oíclock AM, the sunset always at six oíclock PM, the moonlight coming during certain lunar seasons, the rain falling only during the monsoon season. Why all this boring regularity? Water boils at 100 degrees. Why not change it to 40 degrees from tomorrow onwards? (Laughter) Why not? All right. Or, the summer heat - why can't we experience that heat during the winter? Why not?"

The same man continues, "So, if there is anyone behind this Creation, He should like to be creative. He should like to be novel. He certainly would like change. But this Creation is changeless! There are always the same normal temperatures, pressures, and conditions. There's really no change at all! So, there is no Creator. There is only Creation. Creation has been going on in a mechanical way. There is no novelty. There is no freshness. And therefore, there is no creativity (or Creator)."

This is wrong inference because it takes us nowhere. It will take us away from spirituality. Therefore, inference is also a handicap and an obstacle. It does not convey the right knowledge like direct cognition. Inference also has inhibitions. It is not 100% foolproof.

Then the third point is that we don't go totally by our inferences. "Where there is smoke, there may be fire." This is an inference. But the mind thinks, 'Why not? Why and why not?' The mind does not accept anything immediately.

People are lining up because Swamiís car may be coming that way. But it turns out to be a false alarm. Sometimes the people in the Mandir are tuning the amplifier, and suddenly we hear the Darshan music. We think Swami is coming. But no, they stop it immediately. It is called a 'false alarm'. "Swamiís not coming. They are only just testing the mikes. Thatís all." Then similarly, "This time also the music is heard. Is it a false alarm? Not so! Swami is coming!"

So you are always at the crossroads to accept or not to accept. So this kind of evidence, inference, is not totally true, not 100% fact because the mind doubts even the inference. "It could possibly be that also. Why not that also?" So, the mind doubts all that is inferred because mind is logical. Therefore, the fourth point about inference, which is most important, my friends, is this: You cannot prove God by your arguments. You cannot arrive at any inference through logic. It will not help you.

Then what is the way? To know Him, you have to live in Him. To know God, you must be Godly. To know God, you should be God. Thatís it. Thatís what Bhagavan says, "You are God." You are basically Divine. So when you remain Divine, youíll experience Divinity. When you are Godly, youíll experience God within. No logic will help you. No inference will help you unless you know God, live God, and be God. Know God! Know Divinity! Live in the Divinity. Be the Divine yourself! Be that! You have to live your Divinity, not depending upon logic or anything else. This is the second avenue of acquiring right knowledge.

So, right knowledge could be obtained by these methods. The first one is by right knowledge through direct cognition, prathyaksha pramaana. The second one is by inference, anumana pramaana. The third way is by the words of those who are awakened, aptha pramaana. The third way is to accept the words or teachings of those people who are dear to you and are awakened or enlightened.

3 - Right Knowledge-Through Acceptance of the Enlightened Teachings

Our Christian scripture, the Holy Bible, is so sacred that I accept it. The Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, is so sacred that I accept it. So, when the utterances, the sayings, and the teachings of enlightened, awakened souls are accepted unconditionally, this is what is called aptha vaakya pramana.

This is duality: electricity is there, but there is an electric short here! (Laughter) So, this is anumana pramaana. There is electricity, but the mike is not functioning. Anumana pramaana means that there is a power supply. But it doesnít necessarily mean that the mike should work. (Laughter)

Thatís why Swami always says that spirituality is so simple, but we are clever enough to make it complicated! The more complicated we make it, then others might think that we are greater scholars. Spirituality is not scholarship, I'm sorry. Scholarship is only a matter of show or a matter of recognition. It has nothing to do with spirituality. Great people have said this repeatedly, but weíll come to that aspect later.

So the point is, you cannot think of any inference. You have to live it. Later, we started to know the words of the awakened and enlightened people as standard sayings. "My grandfather has said this. Therefore I believe it." Or, "My father said this. So I accept it." Or, "My mother, who loves me most, told me not to go this way. She told me to only go that way. So I believe her."

So, aptha means 'those who are near and dear to you' and vaakya means 'their sayings'. Aptha vaakya pramaana means 'the sayings of those who are close and dear to you'. You believe and you follow what they say. This is also one way of acquiring right knowledge. But is it foolproof? No!

Jesus Christ said, "I am the Son of God." Did people hear Him? No. "Since you are the Son of God, let You be on the cross, not another!" What was the reward for Jesus Christ? Heís so dear and close, but we still have not accepted his utterances. We have not accepted His teachings. "I am the Son of God." "No!" So, He was crucified. The utterances and teachings of Prophet Mohammed were not accepted. He always stood on the threshold of death by murder. He even had to run away from Mecca to Medina.

So even when dear people speak, we donít accept it because our mind is full of (counter) proof or foolproof. We donít accept whatever they say. Even when dear people speak, we don't accept it. We have seen the position of these people. Now the point is this: How to accept what elders say?

This morning Swami wanted me to make the announcement that two students in our Institute came first in the computer examination. I announced it and the boys clapped. Swami went inside. Two boys from the back came up to me. "Sir, is it true?" (Laughter) I said, "You can doubt what I say, but you cannot doubt what Swami says" (because of aptha vaakya pramaana). Heís so dear. Heís absolutely Divine. So, whatever He says is Truth and nothing but Truth! I think I'm clear. When the students asked me, "Is it true?" what could I do with them? I pitied them, thatís all. But since I love them, I told them that this question should not arise at all. You should not even ask that question because Swami said this!

Trust in Him

When people who are dear and close to you, whom you adore, people whose example you want to emulate and copy in your own life, say something, you have to accept it. How is it possible to accept the advice and sayings of elders? You must have trust in them. Trust them. What Baba says is true. You should trust in Him and then youíll follow Him. Without trust in Him, you cannot hear Him. Without hearing Him, you cannot follow Him. Without following Him, you cannot enjoy Him. Without enjoying Him, you cannot know that He and you are One.

This unity (where you and He are One) is known if you enjoy the experience of following His command. You will follow His command if you have trust in Him. So, aptha vaakya pramaana, to accept what the elders say, we need to trust them. It is necessary to trust them. Is it possible?

Belief - Faith - Trust

My friends, please understand that trust is different from belief. Between belief and trust is another one - faith. Belief, faith, and trust are the three levels. I think I said it earlier, but it doesnít matter if I repeat myself. (Teachers have this habit of repetition because we are examination-orientated. What was said last March should also be repeated in September for the benefit of the students taking examinations!)

So, there are commonly held beliefs, which are all social beliefs at the community level. For example, Americans believe that number '13' is inauspicious. People from Tamil Nadu State believe that a dark night is very auspicious. People from Andhra Pradesh believe that a full moon night is very auspicious. You can believe or disbelieve any of these beliefs. "I donít belief in it." You can deny and reject. Or, you can follow these beliefs.

If this belief grows into a higher level, there it turns or transforms into faith. "I have faith in God!" That faith wants you to be faithful. Even this faith may sometimes be faithless. "I lost faith in Him!" Why have you lost faith in Him? "Because He has not answered my prayers!" Oh, I see! "I am growing in faith." Why? "Everything that I am thinking about is happening immediately." Everything you want to happen is taking place immediately. Therefore, you have faith. But if it so happens that whenever you think about something and it does not happen, then you lose faith at that time!

So, we can have faith and we may also lose faith. But even that faith can become deeper, like a firm bedrock and as strong as a pillar. Like a concrete pillar, faith can be unshakable and unperturbed. That unshakable faith settles down as trust. Trust is the final settlement, the concrete proof. So, at the base, there is belief. Then belief develops into faith, and finally faith settles down into trust. I think I'm clear.

Therefore, my friends, to accept the teachings of elders, all those who are near and dear to us, we must trust them. Trust in those people is absolutely necessary. But you can experiment with this trust. You can experience and develop trust. You cannot simply proceed in a blind way, no!

Truth Is Experimental, Experiential and Existential

Baba said long back, "Come, examine, and experience." Just three words: "Come, examine, and experience." He never said, "Come here and then experience." He never said, "Come here, experience, and then examine." It is not the reverse order. He never said, "If you donít believe Me, youíll be finished tomorrow!" He never said that. On the other hand, He gave you an option. "Come, examine, and experience." Thatís all. Your experience is the witness. It is final. "Donít go by the experience of others." Thatís what Bhagavan repeatedly tells us.

Therefore, even to develop trust, we should experiment. We should experiment because Truth is experimental, experiential, and existential - these three beautiful words or points. Truth is existential. It is existence. You are not importing Truth. You are not exporting Truth. You are not generating Truth. You are not preparing Truth in the laboratory or manufacturing it. Truth is existence, so it is existential.

Secondly, Truth is experimental. You can experiment and know the Truth for yourself. I say, "Baba will come to your rescue." "Yes?" You experiment yourself. "Baba is the embodiment of Love." Experiment yourself and find out. "Baba is everywhere." Experiment and see. So, Truth is experimental and existential. You can experience it also. So Truth is experimental and helps us grow. The nature of Truth is existential and experimental. You know Truth by listening to the words of awakened people.

The third one is, when we want to develop trust in Him, to experiment with Him whom we want now and whom we need. There were two points mentioned earlier: one is prathyaksha pramaana, the direct cognition. The second one is anumana pramaana, based on doubt or inference. The third one is to follow the words of the awakened people, agama pramaana. Agama pramaana means you follow those who are enlightened who are close to you. But who is it whom you have to follow? Who is near and dear to you? It is clearly said: the Master. Now comes the need for a Divine Master.

First comes weakness, "I do not know." Second feeling is "I donít know and I am not able to know." Then who will help you to know? The Teacher or the Master. Am I clear? So, when the first one, direct cognition (prathyaksha pramaana) fails and the second one, inference (anumana pramaana) also fails, then the third one, listening to the words of the dear and near (agama pramaana) comes. This is the teaching of a Master. The teaching of a Master will help you. When you do not know, when you are not capable of knowing, when you cannot know the Truth, all by yourself. Then the Master will help you. The Master is a necessity.

Our Business Is Only To Trust Him

But here comes the point. The Master confuses you. Sometimes there is terrific confusion: "I will talk to you tomorrow!" Weíll be waiting. Weíll get up at 4:30 AM and attend Nagarsankirtan all dressed up, with some spray on! (Laughter) Weíll sit there nicely, but then He avoids us. "Yesterday You said You will talk to us this morning. But You donít even look at our faces!" There is confounded confusion! The Master, how He confuses you! "Does He remember or has He forgotten? He said yesterday that He would talk to us. Baba must have forgotten because He is so busy (Laughter) with so much administration. He must have forgotten." Confusion!

It is not only that. Here is another example. You are a foreigner. He starts talking to you in Tamil, a South Indian language! But you know only English! So why is He talking to you in Tamil? There is Himalayan (gigantic) confusion! "I donít know Hindi at all! Suddenly He starts asking me questions in Hindi. So I have to put a question here: "Does He know that I only know English?" (Laughter)

You have been here for the last six months. Suddenly He comes and asks you, "When did you come?" (Laughter) "What is all this? I have been here for the last six months! But You are asking, 'When did you come?' What is this? I donít understand!" There is confusion and suddenly we are all confused.

Suddenly all the boys are there in Sai Kulwant Hall. Usually the boys and girls are coming only on Sundays and Thursdays. On other days, itís not possible. Suddenly on a Sunday like this morning, He comes and says, "Why are you here? Why is everybody here?" (Laughter) That question is not logical. Not only they, but I also am confused! Full of confusion!

Suddenly He looks at me! "Why are they here?" "I donít know." (Laughter) They are here for the same reason I am here. (Laughter) Both of us are here for the same reason. What is it? Then suddenly He said, "Is it Saturday today?" "Today is Sunday." (Laughter) Oh, God does not know that today is Sunday? (Laughter) All right, all days are uniform. After all, He is beyond date and day. Shall I take it that way? More confusion!

The Master confuses you. But even in that confusion, our trust should remain. Things may sound absurd, things may sound meaningless or totally false and of no relevance. Yet our trust should remain. That is the test that the Master gives to a disciple or a devotee. So we should not say that it is confusion. It is a test. We should not say it is absurd. It is a test. We should not say it is relevant. No, it is but a test. He wants us to accept even absurdities. We have to accept it even if it has no meaning because He wants to test us.

Here is a simple example: There was a great philosopher by the name of Gurdjieff. He called one disciple, "Come on!" The disciple was quite active because the Guru called him by name. What more do you want? That was a treat for everybody. He jumped up and went to the Master. "Master, what can I do for you?" "OK, dig a deep ditch now. Dig a big pit here." Why not! I believe in muscle power!

The fellow went on digging a deep ditch. In the evening the Guru, Gurdjieff, came. "Very nice, my boy. Now, fill it up!" "Fill it up? I have been digging since this morning! What is the fun of asking me to fill it up? Master, whatís wrong with you?" (Laughter) Guru said, "Whatís wrong with me? I donít know what you are saying! Please," he said, "you have no place here. Get out!" He meant that whether it is yes or no, logical or illogical, our business is only to trust Him.

One day in Kodaikanal, Bhagavan was talking to the students there upstairs on the terrace. He called one boy. "Come on, jump from the top. Come on, jump!" The boy was ready. He was about to jump when Bhagavan said, "This is what I want. Would I allow you to jump and fall? No, I wonít. But you must be ready to jump from the top because I said so. This is the trust I want." This is what Bhagavan said. That boy has now been elected to go abroad. I announced his name this morning. That boy is going for one year to California for a degree in hospital management.

So that boy has such a trust! He was about to jump from the second floor because Swami had said, "Come on! Do it." He was ready. Immediately Swami caught hold of his shoulder and said, "Would I make you fall like that? No, no, I wonít do that. But I wanted to test you, whether you are ready or not." My friends, I think you understand.

So even the absurdity, even what is nonsensical, may be a test from God. He wants to test to see if you are a true devotee. A test is to attest, not to deny or to disqualify or to throw you out. A test is to elevate, to upgrade, or to promote. Therefore, while listening to awakened souls, we should have total and unconditional trust in them.

So my friends, I explained the various avenues of acquiring right knowledge: the direct cognition, the inference, and the teachings of awakened people - agama vaakya, anumana pramaana, and prathyaksha pramaana. These are the ways of acquiring right knowledge through the ability and capacity of the mind.

Beware of Acquiring Wrong Knowledge

But mind is also capable of acquiring wrong knowledge, perhaps even more capable! Bhagavan said once, "Even if I tell you openly, you are not prepared to hear Me. All rumors, gossips, and falsities get into your ears, which are the welcome gates or welcome arches!" (Telugu poem) We donít want to hear good things. Therefore, the mind is anxious to receive wrong knowledge. One has to be cautious about this.

What is wrong knowledge? Wrong knowledge is that which is not real, that which does not correspond to the thing in question. For example, if I say that this building is like an elephantÖ? Is it like an elephant? This is wrong knowledge! So wrong knowledge means something that does not correspond or agree to the thing being considered. Wrong knowledge includes certain concepts, notions, prejudices, and biases. This is all wrong knowledge.

One person asked me, "Is Baba God?" What shall I tell him? I simply said, "Why do you put that question? Why?" He asked me, "Can a man be God?" "OK, why not? Why not?" Then he said, "God cannot be a human being." I said, "I see. Weíll meet tomorrow." (Laughter)

I said, "We'll meet tomorrow." Why? His mind is already prejudiced that God cannot come in a human form, that God cannot be a man. He has got some concept of God of his own, which he does not want to lose. He is not open-minded. He is biased and prejudiced. We cannot help such people.

A prejudiced mind has wrong knowledge. A biased mind has misinformation or wrong knowledge. Then what does a man with wrong knowledge do? Suppose I say, "Baba is God." That man already has some knowledge. "God is Truth. So why do you say that Baba is God?" That is his question. It only means that he has not understood the mind. He has some preconceived idea about it, and that idea in his mind is projected onto this situation. Heíll project his preconceived notion onto whatever you say.

There are some Sai devotees (let us also blame ourselves sometimes) who, no matter whatever others say, will immediately respond with, "This is what Swami said." I did not ask you whether Swami said that or not! Suppose I say, "The Holy Bible says, 'I am the Truth, I am the Way, and I am the Life'." I'm quoting from the Holy Bible. Immediately one fellow will say, "That's what Baba said: 'Truth is God. God is Truth. Live in the Truth'." I say, "Well, I know, Sir. I never asked you. Why do you say that?"

It only means that we project all that is there in the mind. We donít receive (hear) things. We want to project onto the current topic what is already existing there in our own mind. Of course, it's vanity. It may be ego or show. It may be exhibitionism. Whatever you may call it, this kind of projecting of preconceived ideas (those that are already there in the subconscious mind) is wrong knowledge.

Here is a simple example: When I say "rose flower" immediately someone will say, "So beautiful!" Why do you say that? Did you see the rose flower? No, no! But the rose flower is supposed to be beautiful. Therefore 'beautiful' is wrong knowledge. You have read and heard about roses and therefore, you say that the rose is beautiful. But you have not really verified its beauty. You have not experienced that beauty. You have not enjoyed that beauty all by yourself. Because of hearing some preconceived notion, because of an earlier experience, you say it is beautiful. But it is not necessarily so! Am I clear? This is wrong knowledge. Wrong knowledge is prejudiced. Wrong knowledge is biased. Wrong knowledge just immediately projects from the subconscious mind, declaring what it has already known.

"Die Every Moment In Order To Be Reborn Every Moment."

So my friends, what does your God tell you? Your God comes forward with a beautiful solution on how to come out of this wrong knowledge. Some people say, "I'll tell you. Swami appeared like this. Swami showed this. Swami said this." This is all wrong knowledge.

Suppose I say, "I sat for meditation and a blue color appeared." Why not orange color? Why not? Somebody might say, "When I sat in meditation, I saw some beautiful pictures!" Or, "When I closed my eyes, my body started shivering." Itís not possible. How can I accept it?

Therefore my friends, here Yoga comes forward with a beautiful solution on how to avoid this wrong knowledge. Yoga tells us, "Die every moment in order to be reborn every moment." See that! This means to let every experience of the past die. The past is death. Let the past be past, so that you may be reborn. When you are reborn, you are all fresh, utterly innocent, and childlike.

If I give a shining stone to a child, it is so beautiful! The child goes on playing with that precious stone. If I give it to a grown-up, "Oh, it's not a diamond. Maybe it is a marble. Throw it out!" He has already some prejudice about it!

So, one has to die to the past in order to be reborn to live in the present. This is yogic or a Yoga Sastra (yoga scriptures) injunction, a Yoga Sastra prescription: Die every moment, so that you may be reborn every moment with all the freshness and all open-mindedness. That's what Baba says.

Sadhana Is a Necessary Daily Cleaning Process

Also, to be free from wrong knowledge, there is something else you should do. Clean yourself every moment because somebody may come and pollute your mind. Somebody may talk to you and try to make you lose your faith. There are some experts at it. Let's be very careful. Let us clean ourselves every moment. That is what is called sadhana. To clean ourselves is sadhana. Sadhana is not anything to attain. Sadhana is not an achievement. Sadhana is a cleansing or cleaning process.

Here is a simple example. You must have heard of Zen Masters. One disciple came to his Master, "Master, I want to learn many things at your Lotus Feet." The Master said, "O.K." This disciple stayed with his Master for three years and learned some spirituality.

After three years, he said, "Master, I have learned many things from you. What should I do now?" The Master said, "Now I will send you to a higher man, a greater man, a man superior to me, from whom you can learn more." "Oh, is that so, Master? Is there a man greater than you?" "Yes, I'll give you his address. You go to him." He gave the address of a person whom he wanted him to meet. He took this address and left.

It is the address of a servant working in a restaurant in the Holiday Inn Hotel. This fellow went there. "My Master sent me to you." That servant responded, "A letter is not required. You can stay here. Donít worry!"

So this fellow stayed there and went on staring at the servant. 'What is it that I have to learn from this fellow? He is only a sweeper and he washes the utensils every day. He gets up every day in the morning, takes a broomstick, cleans, then washes the utensils in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings.' This had been going on for six days. He became fed up and very angry. 'Is this what I'm to learn?' (Laughter)

He was very angry and came back to his teacher, the Zen Master. "Master, what the hell have you done? (Laughter) You have betrayed me! You have underestimated me! Sir! Why? I have spent three years at your Lotus Feet. I learned many spiritual things. Now you send me to that servant! What is all this?"

Then the Master asked him this question: "What did you see there?" "I saw the servant cleaning the vessels, mornings, afternoons, nights, mornings, afternoons, nights. Every day he was only washing and cleaning." The Master said, "That is the teaching that you have to learn from him."

What is the teaching? Clean yourself every moment to moment. Be ever vigilant. See that the dust of the past does not collect. See that the hopes of the future (or the clouds of the hopes of the future) do not gather. Hopes of the future and dust of the past should not be gathered and collected in order to live in the present. Therefore, the teaching of that man was all about cleaning up continuously. Spirituality wants us to see that we do not have wrong knowledge. Let us see with a clean mind whatever is with us still. In addition, let us see whatever is possible and what could possible.

So, we have covered two aspects - the right and the wrong knowledge. The rest we will continue with next week.

Thank you very much! Sai Ram!

(Anil Kumar concluded his Sunday Talk with the bhajan, "Purandhara Ranga Hare Vittala.")

Om Asatoma Sadgamaya
Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya
Mrtyurmaya Amrtamgamaya

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Sai Ram.

Thnk you.

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


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