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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
December 30, 2001

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
Happy New Year!
30th December 2001



OMÖ OMÖ OMÖ

Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Happy New Year

This is our last meeting -- I donít think that Iíll be meeting you again for the year 2001 (Laughter). Weíll be meeting again in the year 2002! Before I actually begin, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. (Audience answers, "Sai Ram, Happy New Year!") May Bhagavan bless you! May Bhagavan be with you and your families. May Bhagavan help us to grow in devotion, service, and help us to realize and experience the Divinity within.

New Year is waiting at the doorstep. Goodbye to the bygone year and welcome to the New Year. This is an occasion to make a sort of retrospection-- an evaluation, an assessment, nay, an examination. What has been achieved? What could not be? What do we want to do in the year 2002? What are our plans for the year? It is in this connection that I would like to share with you a few thoughts on this eve of the New Year 2002.

Life Is Most Precious

Life is a matter of challenge. Life is never a routine. Life is not mechanical. Life is not monotonous. Unfortunately, if it becomes mechanical, it is utter boredom. If life is repetitive, it is disgusting. If life is a routine or programmed, it is depressing. Life is new; life is fresh. I can appeal to you my friends to consider life as the most precious gift of our Lord, our savior and our redeemer, our dear God, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Life is most precious.

There are some that condemn life. There are some that consider the body as a curse. There are some that consider life as just so cheap and so low. Do not go by that. Life is Divine. The body is God's gift. You cannot manufacture the body. You cannot manufacture life. Life and body are the most precious gifts of God. Let us not consider them as cheap and low! Life is a celebration! Life is a dance. Life is ecstasy! Life is blissful. It is never boredom. Life is a melody. Life is music.

If you cannot enjoy life, well, you are most unfortunate and donít deserve to be here on this planet earth. Why? Because it is said in the scriptures time and again that human life is the rarest of all. There are 84 lakhs of species in this creation. Of the 84 lakhs of varieties, human life is the most supreme, noble and exalted, and has to be lived happily and blissfully.

Had this life not been here, we would not have come to know Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Had this body not been here, we would not have been able to serve Him. We would not have been able to see Him. We see Him, we serve Him, and we enjoy Him. Let us be with Him, live in Him, and see Him in me and in you.

So life is most precious. It is a celebration. Life is music. Life is a dance. Life is ecstasy. Let us not feel disgusted. Let us not feel boredom anytime. No! Every second is a bonus. Ever moment is a beautiful gift.

Oh, Bhagavan Baba! We thank You for the year 2001! We thank You for all that You have done for us. We thank You for saving us from so many risks in our life. We thank you for this beautiful gift of being with You on this New Yearís Day. We thank You for all that. This is an occasion of thanksgiving to our Lord. While welcoming the New Year, we thank Him for the bygone year.

Life Is a Challenge

Life is a matter of challenge. Life is not an escape. Life is not merely for competition on unhealthy grounds. Life is not merely for comparison, which is vulgar. So, comparison and competition will make our life miserable. We forget the beauty of life. We do not enjoy the fragrance of life. We do not taste the sweetness of life. Comparison and competition rob the very beauty of life.

So my friends, let us live life in a beautiful way. Letís not ask in the worst of our dreams, "How are you?" (Response:) "Pulling on, pulling on." No, no, no! Say, "I am happy, I am happy!" Let everyone say, "How are you?" (Response:) "I am happy!" Not, "Pulling on, so-so." Tsk! No! Letís not say that. We are happy. None of us are in the hospital right now. None of us are in prison right now. None of us are in court litigation right now. None of us are in Afghanistan right now or in Kandahar right now. (Laughter) Yes, we are here.

How lucky we are! If we do not understand the luck and the gift and the Grace of our God, our Lord, how unfortunate we are. There are many who cannot see, there are many who cannot hear, there are many who cannot come here. We see, we hear, and we are here. What greater luck could there be on earth for a lifetime? Oh Bhagavan, we thank You for all that.

We realize the value of life. Life is a challenge. It is not an escape. It is not frightening. No! It is not a nightmare. Life is a challenge. What challenge? To make more money? No! What challenge? To come to power? No! What challenge? To see God within me and to experience Divinity within me. That is the challenge of life.

Here is a challenge. Is it a challenge that you earn 200 crores? No, no! That is only a financial challenge. In times of war, we become zero, finished, and all money is gone. How about the market today? The economy is on the downward trend today. Where are we? So, money is not a challenge because money comes and goes. Position is not a challenge. We find a Minister today out of power tomorrow. So position is not a challenge, money is not a challenge, and influence is not at all a challenge. People say, "Oh you are great today!" But tomorrow they will call you a wretched fellow. We should never go by name and fame. That is not a challenge. What is the real challenge in life? To know the Divinity within and to experience that I'm the spark of the Divine.

So my friends, let us invite the New Year, taking life as a challenge and let us not run away from that. Life is a challenge, so meet it. I'm going to meet this life as a challenge - to know that I am Divine, to know that I'm the spark of the Divine. Let me also know that life is not one of anger or jealousy. No, no! It is not one of envy or pride. No! Pride, envy, and jealousy are all animal characteristics. If I'm jealous of you, well, the past life accounts are brought foreword now, as we do in business. The last entry will find its entry on the top of the next page. The animal characteristics are brought forward. No, no, no, no! Life is not anger. Life is not pride. Life is not ego. Life is Love.

Life Is Love

Life is Love! Yes! What sort of Love? The Love that is unchangeable, the Love that increases, the Love that is beyond age and beyond power, the Love that is Divine. Life is Love, and that Love, being in me, means I cannot be selfish. That Love overflows, that Love spills out from the cup of my heart. My heart is too small to accommodate the Infinite Love that God has given to me. He made that Love overflow.

Life is Love. Share it. If I condition my Love, well, Iíll be very good as a watchdog, not as a human being. Life is Love. Share it! Life is a challenge. Meet it! Let me also know that this life is just a beautiful, golden dream - a golden, beautiful dream. At night I dream as if I travel to the other side of the planet. At night I dream that I'm a millionaire, a beautiful dream. This is a daydream; that is a night dream. The whole thing is a dream.

Life is a dream. Let me not consider this a reality just because you are fine today. It does not mean youíre going to be fine eternally. No, no, no! Life is a dream after all. Nothing is permanent. Everything is fleeting like passing clouds. As Bhagavan says, "Everything is passing clouds - not even one cloud is permanent." This is a daydream; that is a night dream. Let me know that life is a dream. Let me realize it. Life is a dream. Realize it!

If I identify myself with a dream, I may dance, I may cry, I may sing or shed a tear. If I consider it a dream, I donít need to dance; I donít need to cry; I donít need to laugh hysterically. I can accept it as it is because a dream never stays. Life is a dream. Realize it.

Let me also know that God has given me this life, making this whole world as the playground. The whole world is a playground. Life is a game. In a game, I cannot sit on the playground. I cannot relax. On the playground, I cannot lie down and sleep snoring. No, it is not possible! Life is a game. What for? To play it! Why? In a game, whether I win or lose, I should smile. That is sportsman spirit. When I win, I smile and drink. When I lose, Iíll kill you. Well, that is not sportsman spirit. Let it be win or lose, let it be victory or defeat, let there be praise or blame, life is a game. Life may be praise or blame, victory or defeat. Whatever may be, let me know that life is a game and let me play it with sportsman spirit, with a total spirit of surrender and unconditional acceptance.

My friends! We all pray together to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba so that weíll understand in spirit what He said about life in general. Life is a challenge - we have to meet it. Life is a game - we have to play it. Life is Love - we have to share it. Life is a dream - we need to realize it. Life is music - let us sing. Yes!

Life is a celebration, as I was saying earlier. Thatís the reason Bhagavan does not want to see serious faces, melancholic faces, tragic faces, envious faces, emotional faces, passionate faces, ambitious faces. The face that never knows a smile is a horrible creature on earth. (Laughter) If anyone is unlucky in this world, heís the one who cannot smile.

So my friends, let us love life. Let us love life and let us live life. Live life. So many people donít live life. They just live something like luggage or baggage, simply carried on. (Laughter) Something like a carry-on. Is life like a bag to be carried on? To carry on or pull on? No! Life is to be lived. Life is to be lived happily with all festivity, with all gaiety, with all happiness, ending in bliss. With this prayer, I have a few more thoughts to share with you as we invite in the New Year 2002.

Isaiah 45:2

According to Isaiah, 45th chapter, second verse, Bhagavan Baba will be telling this. I shall read out that statement and explain in-depth.

I will go before you this year. Follow me.

What an assurance it is! I will go before you, my child. If you go before Me, you may not reach the goal. If you go before Me, you may meet with an accident and you may miss the track altogether. What dangers are there? What incidents are there? What accidents are there? How the road is, how the track is, how the traffic is, you do not know, my child! How people are going to test you, how people are going to obstruct you or object to you, you do not know, my child! I will go before you. This year 2002, follow Me!

When we follow Bhagavan, He will clear off the traffic. Whenever there are red lights, traffic should stop and the other vehicles can go. Bhagavan will give a red light to all our enemies, (Laughter) to all our opponents, to all our dangers and to all possible threats. "Red light, stop! Because I will go before you. Stop the traffic. Follow Me." Tada, ta-da, thatís it! (Laughter) Thatís whatís going to happen. If you donít want to follow Him, you go the other way and get admitted in the hospital (Laughter). Thatís it. This is an assurance.

If you follow God, He tells you clearly in Isaiah,

You will walk in Light, not in darkness.

If you walk with God, you walk in Light. If you donít follow God, you will be in the darkness of ignorance. Youíll be in the darkness of threat. Youíll be in the darkness of illusion. Youíll be in the darkness of imagination. If you follow God, you are in the Light. You are the delight of knowledge, of awareness, of wisdom, where you are safe and secure.

John 14:6

John, 14th Chapter, 6th verse:

I am the Truth, Way and Life.

"I am the Truth, I am the Way, I am the Life," says God. Bhagavanís name is Sathya Sai Baba. Truth! Truth! Sathya means Truth! Bhagavan - let us follow Him because Heís Truth.

"I am the way." That way Bhagavan has shown us. What a wonderful way He has shown us! What did He say? "A life without God is a forest of brutes." Life with God is pure heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. "I am the way." Bhagavan is our way. What is His way? The way of Love, Peace and Righteousness. So, "I am the way." Let us proceed along the way of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

"I am the life." It is a life that is not passive, dull or inert. It is a life that is dynamic, sustaining and full of vitality. O God! How many thrilling things have been happening all over the world! At a place where there is no conveyance, we find Sai devotees laying the road. At a place where no one could ever reach, we find Sai devotees constructing a school, arranging for electricity and doing seva! How is it possible? It is possible because "I am the life," said God. He will make any one of you do anything!

If I tell you, how many of you are going to believe me? Children are going to present certain items on 11th of January at the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet. With only ten days training, theyíll be performing certain gymnastics, acrobatics and aerobatics, as if they received training for a year or two. How could they do it? Little children doing everything! Why? "I am the way, I am the life." When we accept Bhagavan as the Life, that is dynamism! That is leadership! That is chivalry! That is courage! That is strength! That is valor. Why not? That is what is said: "I am the Truth. I am the Way. I am the Life."

Faith and Hope

Now, this New Year 2002 requires a special message, which I just categorized under four headings, hopefully to be completed within the limited period of time. (To complete within the limited time period - that has been my problem throughout!) (Laughter)

The first thing is about faith and hope. Today, my friends, we have electronic gadgets. Man can go anywhere - to the other side of the planet - within no time. The conveyances, aircrafts and mass media today have made the whole world so small. It is a global village. It is no longer vast. No! No! How small it is we can understand. Anything can go - FAX messages - finished! Internet - faster than mosquito-net. (Laughter) Ta-da, ta-da! Anything will reach anywhere within no time!

Weíre a small village. Yet none of us are happy, none of us are blissful. Why? Many of us have lost faith and many of us have lost hope. Let us remember to live in endless hope, rather than live a hopeless end. Endless hope is better than a hopeless end. My friends, that hope is possible if you have faith. The moment faith is lost we are dead and gone.

Today we are not able to believe in God. We have no faith in the Holy Scriptures and we have no faith in God. Why? To begin with, I have no faith in myself. The one who has no faith in oneís own self has no faith in God. Faith is absolutely necessary. Out of this faith is born hope of a better future. A hope of prospects! A hope of the golden period to come! Faith and hope go together.

I said "Bhagavan! I have no faith, so what am I to do? Let me know the company that supplies faith, so that I can order a packet of faith or a bundle of faith. (Laughter) Where is it available? Is it manufactured like Swiss watches or Big Ben of London? Or something like a spray from the United States? Where is it that I can have some now? Faith and hope, where can I get it? "

Bhagavan said, "How foolish you are! You are born with faith, but you have become faithless in respect to God." You are born with faith. With absolute faith, I go to the hairdresser and bend my head. Whether the knife is going to be on the head or on the neck, I have faith in the barber, but not in God! (Laughter) I purchased a Raymondís woolen suit, a beautiful suit! I give it to the washerman in absolute faith that heíll wash it well, or I'll give it to the electric dry-cleaners for a chemical wash, and I have the faith that he will return it safely to me. I wouldn't dream that he would snatch it out.

So I have faith in the washerman, but not in God. I have faith in the dhobi and the barber, but not in God. I go to the hospital and the doctor says, "Come on, lie down, Iíll examine you. You need to be operated." I say "OK, Doc." Whether I come back to earth or go to the other planet, we do not know. I have absolute faith in the doctor, but no faith in God.

So to say, "I have no faith," is utterly false, utterly false! We have faith in everybody. In most cases we have faith in those whom we should not have. (Laughter) We have got full faith in undependable, unreliable people, but not in God. That is the tragedy. Because of this loss of faith in God, we are hopeless.

St. John

Saint John says this: "Save that which exists." Kindly follow the statement - a beautiful statement.

Save that which exists between seeing God and believing in Him.

What a wonderful statement by Saint John, made long back! We see Him, but we donít believe Him. Some believe Him, but they do not see Him. Those that believe might not see. Those that see may not believe. So, between seeing and believing there is some gap. That space should be removed, that gap should be removed, and what remains has to be saved, so that seeing and believing go together

Men see, but they donít believe. Why? The kind of feelings they have, the harsh words they use, the harm they do to others, the selfish life they lead and the life of temper and pride - that only shows they have seen God, but they have not believed God. Had they believed God, they would not have been so proud. They will never be egoistic. They will never be jealous. They will never be envious. They saw God, but they did not believe Him. I think you get the point.

Some believe Him, but they have not seen Him. They say, "There is God. God is powerful. Did you see Him?" "Well, I have not." So, mere belief is imagination. Mere belief is a hypothesis. Mere belief is theoretical. So, belief should have and should be followed by seeing. So, seeing is the reality, while belief is psychological. Both should go together.

Our prayer, "Oh God! Save that which exists between seeing and believing. O Bhagavan! We see You and we also believe You. Bhagavan, we believe You and we see You." Belief and seeing should never be at variance with each other. There should never be a divergence from each other. They should converge, not diverge. They should merge, never deviate. Thatís what faith and hope is.

St Catherine

Saint Catherine made another statement.

In the light of faith, I'm strong, constant and persevering.

Sometimes I feel weak, sometimes I feel deviant. Sometimes I feel lost. Sometimes I feel all alone. I feel lonely. I feel forsaken. Why? It is simply because faith is on the decline. Faith is decreasing, faith is disappearing, and so frustration and depression get into our mind.

Many of us help psychiatrists to earn money. (Laughter) Why? We have no faith. But psychiatrists have full faith that youíll pay their fees! (Laughter) Thatís it! Because we lost faith, psychiatrists are so busy all over the world! In India earlier, there were no psychiatrists. You could just count them on your fingers. Today we have more psychiatrists because of this point: As faith is gone, we get emotionally upset, tensed and worked up, with the result that we are emotionally upset and have an imbalance.

Therefore my friends, clearly St. Catherine says, "In the light of faith, you are strong." To quote Bhagavan, "Why fear when I am here?" "Oh God, when once I know that You are here, why do I fear?" The sense of fear is there because that assurance that Bhagavan is here, that guarantee that Bhagavan is here, that celestial, Divine statement that God is here and now, is lost gradually from the horizon of my mind. Therefore, I feel deviant. But with faith, God is here. Bhagavan is with me - that makes us feel strong, come what may.

There were instances when all flights were cancelled because of a disturbance at Bombay airport a few years ago, due to communal clashes. All flights were cancelled and the whole city of Bombay was put under curfew. But Bhagavan blessed a young girl to go abroad and do her advanced study in medicine. Having taken Babaís blessing, that girl reached Sivaji International Terminal Airport, Bombay, now known as Mumbai.

By the time the girl got there, she saw on the board, "Flight numbers are cancelled, cancelled," She said "Swami, You blessed me. You wanted me to go abroad, but here at the airport You cancelled the flights. (Laughter) What is all this? How can that happen?"

When that girl started staring at that notice board, suddenly there appeared there: "Lufthansa Airlines, scheduled to go to New York from Bombay". What did it mean? "In the light of faith, I am strong. Oh Baba, what You said, now I believe You." Yes! Then you feel the strength. Then you are strong.

"I Made the Train Return!"

I very well remember visiting a place several years ago. Somehow I have this weakness of talking all the time about Bhagavan. (Laughter) If anyone is willing to hear, I go on speaking, forgetting all my limitations. This has been happening for the past three decades. (So, I donít think that I will lose that habit right now, even if I decided to.)

Well, I was just there on the railway platform at Kaizapet near to Hyderabad. The railway superintendent came out and said, "Sir, I could not attend your talk this morning as I was so busy. Why donít you step into my office?" "Why not?" I said. (I know that hot coffee will be waiting, and I was badly in need of it at that hour after the lecture!)

Well, having enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, I started repeating all of what I had said at the talk. The Superintendent, lifting his eyebrows, started listening to me in rapt attention: "Ah! Wow! Fine it is!" Babaís miracles are the sweetest of all in this world. They are unique, unparalleled, unbeaten, unheard at any point of time. And so he was listening to me, "Ah! Fine!" Suddenly he said, "Mr. Anil Kumar, I think it's time for your train. Let us go."

By the time both of us came out of his office room, we saw my train leaving the platform! (Laughter) I said, "Oh, what a fool! You are a fool and I'm a double fool! (Laughter) I should report to duty tomorrow morning." Then I was working in a Christian college. My job is finished - there ends the matter! I would certainly get a pink slip. They will say, "Thank you for your services. Weíll inform you when we need you again." Thatís all. What am I to do?

Believe me, that gentleman who traveled along with me is also here! That train left the platform and had gone a few kilometers. Then suddenly it started reversing! (Laughter) Chakka-chakka-chak! It reached the platform where we were standing and we jumped into the train. When we came back to have Bhagavanís visit, Swami said, "You would have lost your job, so I made the train return!" (Laughter and Applause)

God will take care of His program there because I was speaking about Him. Had I started speaking about my bio-data, I would have been on the railway platform begging! (Laughter) See this! So, with faith everything would be all right.

Thank You, Swami!

I also remember another occasion when I just unknowingly said "ües" to another man who asked, "Sir, as you have come this far, why donít you attend our place also and give a talk?" I said, "Oh, yes!" It was 200 miles away from that place and I said, "Yes"! (Laughter) It was a working day, so what to do? Having said, "Yes", this man left earlier to make arrangements. So I went there and prayed to God. My life, my job has been a pendulum, oscillating that way and this way. What am I to do?

I went and gave the talk over there in Adilabad a long time ago. By the time I returned, I was expecting a dismissal notice, or suspension at least. By the time I reached my college, none were there in the college campus. And the college peon said, "Sir, today is the marriage of one of the lecturers. All are attending that wedding, so today is a holiday." (Laughter) Then I prayed within myself, "Oh, Baba, bless the couple! Let all youngsters get married like that (Laughter) so that I can do Swamiís work a lot." You see? Bhagavan! How He takes care of it!

There was also another instance: It so happened that I missed the second train. I had to catch the next train because the first train in which I had been traveling was running late. Trains running late in India are a very, very common thing - (Laughter) a normal thing. We are not surprised. If it reaches at the right time, it must have been yesterdayís train. Thatís all. (Laughter and applause) Thatís it.

So I didnít mind it. But it was so late that I could not catch the next train. What am I to do? And I was late to the college, again ready to face dismissal. What happened? I did not find any student on the campus. A peon told me, "Theyíre all there in the college auditorium." I asked, "Why?" "Our students won in the cricket match. They are receiving the trophy from the hands of the principal, and so today is a holiday. (Laughter) Then I said, "Thank you, Swami! Please make my students win every time so that I can go every day!" (Laughter)

You see that? In the light of faith, I am strong - strong, constant and persevering. Constancy: it shall never waver, nor it shall ever get shaken at any point of time. You are strong and constant, and persevering with enough patience.

St Catherine

And now we also find another statement from St. Catherine, who said, "If one said to meÖ" Please listen carefully.

If one says to me, "I would understand that I may believe," my answer is this: "Believe that you may understand."

There are two statements. "Some say let me understand and believe." Very few people know how to understand because many of us misunderstand. We donít actually understand or misunderstand, but correct understanding is missing. If real understanding in the true sense were there, there would not have been conflict. There would not be misunderstandings, there would never be in-fighting and there would never be any kind of hatred or jealousy.

There is no proper understanding. There is only misunderstanding. Therefore, if I say, "Iíll have understanding first and then believe next," youíll never get it in this life. Have faith first, so that understanding will come next. That is the statement of St. Catherine on faith and hope.

St. Augustine

"Sound faith." Sound faith does not mean that it makes noise! Sound means firm, unshakable, strong.

Sound faith is the beginning of eternal life.

Life is a long journey. Life is not a short-term plan. Life is not anything momentary. It is a long journey. When you have to travel a long way, you need faith. If I start constructing a house with no faith as to whether I would be living tomorrow or not, I wouldnít lay the foundation stone. If I board the train with no faith that I would be reaching the destination, I would prefer to cancel my trip.

So faith is necessary because life is a long journey. Whether you go to the market or Minneapolis, Heathrow Airport or Kennedy Airport, you should have faith that nothing would happen. That faith will save you, as life is a long journey. It is the beginning of eternal life. Faith is the beginning of eternal life. This is a beautiful statement.

You must have heard of Saint Augustineís life. In the beginning, he was reckless, wayward and a mischievous boy. His mother, Ebidol, went to church and knelt before the cross, crying, "Lord, save my son!" She shed tears continuously on the cross, and that wavering, mischievous child later turned into St. Augustine. And that Saint Augustine says this:

Faith is to believe what we do not see.

It means you have faith in that which you do not see. I have got faith in God. Have you seen Him? I donít think so. Well, I have got full faith that I'll get through the examination. How do you know? I have no reason. I have got full faith that I'll be able to win the match. How do you know? I cannot say. So, you have got faith in that which you do not see. And Saint Augustine says that the reward of such faith in what you do not see is that we see what we believe. Thatís it!

Reward of that faith is to see what we believe.

I have got full faith in Bhagavan. Having come here, I see Him. It means faith leads to the manifestation. Faith confers the blessing of seeing His form in full. So, we all see Bhagavan today because faith has brought us here. Faith has transported us to this place. Thatís what St. Augustine says.

So my friends, may this happy New Year 2002 be full of faith and hope. "O God, I've been a sinner so long, well, I donít have a place here." No, no! Every sinner will have a future. Every saint had a past. A sinner will have a future. So God will never forsake anybody. Heís a forgiving God, the ever loving and living God. So there is nothing like being dropped in the middle or along the way. He will be with us throughout. So hope and faith will be with us forever and ever more.

Silence and Peace

Then we come to the second point: Silence and peace. Faith and hope lead to silence and peace. What is silence? What is peace?

We know what silence is. Some people do not speak, but their face tells you that they are not in silence within themselves. I am not silent within. I go on manipulating, I go on manoeuvering, I go on managing, I go on wishing the worst of the things to happen to everybody. This is not silence! It is useless! So tight-lipness is not silence. That is only physical silence.

Silence means absences of thoughts. Absence of thoughts is the state of silence. The withdrawal of the mind is the state of silence. That silence which is spiritual, the thoughtlessness, takes you to the state of peace.

There is no peace today because though weíre externally silent, we are totally peaceless. You may say, "Sir, I enjoy peace," but the face is the index of the mind. We can show how peaceful you are: If I ask you, "Sir, when is the darshan?" (A.K. demonstrates by using a mean, bothered voice) and you reply, "No! Grr, Brr!" Ah-ha! (Sarcastically) Are you now peace incarnate? (Laughter) Let us say that I ask, "Sir, where are the stores?" and you answer gruffly, "Well, do you think I am the man to be contacted?" Oh-ho, are you the embodiment of peace?

So, peace is reflected. Peace is very much seen in interaction. Peace is very much seen and felt in our words and in our dealings. So this peace will come when there is silence, the silence of a thoughtless state. Enjoying the state which is Divine; which is the eternal Witness. Enjoying the company of the eternal Witness is the silence and the rest is noise. The rest is noise!

I may not speak out, I may not talk to anybody, but all thoughts inside here go on making noise much worse than a fish market or railway platform! Why? The mind is full of thoughts. So, silence means the thoughtless state or withdrawal of the mind. That confers peace.

Imitation of Christ

Thereís a book, Imitation of Christ. It comes forward with a statement. What is it?

It is in silence and peace that the devout soul advances and learns the secrets of the scriptures.

If you want to know the secrets of the scriptures, if you want to know the inner significance of the scriptures and what they want to convey, you should experience silence and peace.

There are many people who know scriptures by heart. They can repeat verbatim the whole Bhagavad Gita, but they do not enjoy even a fraction of the benefits that the scripture promises. Why? Silence and peace are missing. Then the scripture you may read is all useless. Thatís what it is said in that beautiful book, Imitation of Christ, which is quite popular.

Romans 2:10

Romans, second chapter, 10th verse: "Peace to everyone that worketh God." What a beautiful statement!

Peace to everyone that worketh God.

My friends, I work for my company. I lose my peace because the board of directors is profit-oriented. They go on getting me to work more and more, more and more, and they never say, "Fine, young man!" No, no! I lose the existing peace.

I meet people. I go on talking about myself, how great I was, and how my children have settled. You'll make the other man lose his peace! (Laughter) So, Iíll be losing my peace on the one hand, and losing your peace on the other hand.

You can only attain peace and you can only live in peace by working for God. As a Sai devotee, you can undertake any service activity. You can do any service in that activity and you enjoy peace, but not in any other way. Well, that is what is said in Romans, second chapter, 10th verse.

John 14:27

John, 14th chapter, 27th verse, regarding peace, ah! This is the statement:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you.

Not as the world giveth do I give unto you.

That is John, 14th chapter, 27th verse. What does it mean?

You just watch the faces of the people who are called for an interview. You can see whether they are coming from the interview or going for the interview. Seeing the faces you can clearly see. If they are walking towards the interview room, they have long faces because they have a long list of things to ask. "What is to be done? Whether Swami will talk to me or not. What is going to happen inside?" With a heavy heart they go.

As they return from the interview room, ah! They are dancing or floating in the air. (Laughter) Why? What happened there? Has He given you any travellerís checks? (Laughter) Has He given you any gunny bag full of currency notes? Or have you been promised any position? No, no! He gives His peace unto you. He gives His bliss unto you. The bliss that is Bhagavan is passed onto you, is transferred to you. Peace that is God is passed onto you. It is transferred to you.

It is not the peace of the world or the bliss of the world. It is bliss that is Divine. It is peace that is Divine. When it gets into you, ah! You start floating right there. That has been the experience of everybody.

By 6:30 in the morning, we are all seated. Swami may come at any time after 6:30. We are restless. At 6:40 - He has not yet come. I think, 'I havenít had my breakfast. What is to be done?' Around 7 oíclock - 'I had some food last night. Now itís nearly 7 and God is not coming out. How compassionate He is!' (Laughter) Well, it is 6:45. The music starts - the music of life. The sound of music begins.

God walks in. In the meantime, until He started walking in, we were starting to sharing our anxieties and worries about the return journey, the flights, reservations, business obligations, and other worries. All problems and anxieties, which have completely occupied our mind, we had started sharing with everybody.

Then when Swami comes, He smiles. Then thousands smile! Everyone starts telling, "Swami looked at me! He smiled." (Laughter) Oh-ho! He looked at you only, and then five thousand people smiled. I see. It is kind of a wholesale deal. The Divine is always wholesale, for everyone. But we think it is individual retail. No, itís not retail; it is wholesale.

Further, He comes and stands and He goes on talking to you. You think, "Swami stood in front of me." No, no! He wants to give darshan to everybody, so He stands there, thatís all. (Laughter) That is the game. That is the Divine Romance. To think that He stood in front of me, spoke to me, is an illusion of Himalayan dimensions. (Laughter) No! If He wants to talk to you, He can call you for an interview and 'bang' (correct) you heavily.

Why should He stand in public? So that thousands can see. Why? He gives His peace unto you. He stands there on the verandah or in-between the two lines there and looks hither and thither, that side and this side, in order to send forth the vibrations of bliss to everyone of you and to send the current of peace to everybody, so that you are all happy. Thatís what is said, "Peace I leave with you." Itís not of the world, you understand. Thatís what John, 14th Chapter, 27th verse said.

St. Luke 24:36

And now St. Luke, 24th Chapter, 36th verse, what does He say?

Peace be to you. It is I. Fear not.

Peace is not you. No! Peace is God. God is peace. So, when once you know that you are peaceful, understand that you are Divine. Understand God has given you that peace. Understand that God made you live in peace. Remain peaceful. So, fear not. Why? I am the peace. St. Luke said: "Peace be to you. It is I." What is that Ďití? Peace. "Fear not." When once I am here, be peaceful.

"Swami, what is going to happen to me at home?" "I'm here, Swami. Swami, I have got a letter. You have not given me a chance to give You that letter." "Swami, my wife told me to ask you these questions, but You are just escaping me and avoiding me! What shall I do?"

It is I. Fear not! No, no, no! I give you peace, donít worry. Without having to take your letter, without giving you any interview, Iíll keep you in peace. Youíll remain peaceful. Donít worry because "Peace be to you." It is a blessing. "Peace be to you." If you donít have peace here, where else can you get it? Only pieces you will get elsewhere. There is not peace anywhere else. (Laughter)

"Peace be to you," says God because the very name of this place is ĎAbode of Peace - Prashanti Nilayamí. It is not ĎShanti Nilayam'. It is ĎPrashanti Nilayamí. There is a difference between ĎShantií and ĎPrasanthií. ĎPrasanthií is ĎSupreme Peaceí. ĎShantií is normal, simply human, worldly, ephemeral, physical, mundane peace. (Laughter) The spiritual, the celestial, the Divine peace is ĎPrashantií. ĎPrashanti Nilayamí: the ĎAbode of Supreme, Divine Peaceí. "That peace, I give it to you." Thatís what God says here: "Peace be to you. It is I. Fear not." That is the guarantee that Prashanti Nilayam gives to all of us.

Proverbs 11:12

Book of Proverbs, 11th Chapter, 12th verse. The third aspect, which I want to bring to your attention, is humility. Having had a kind of understanding of faith and hope, silence and peace, that will take us to humility. May the New Year help us to know the value of faith and hope, and to live in silence and peace, so that we develop humility.

About humility, the scriptures say, and the great sages openly declared repeatedly, that arrogance and ego in spirituality is more dangerous than worldly ego. Worldly ego is far more tolerable than ego developed in the spiritual sense. If you start claiming, "I am close to Bhagavan," if you start feeling, "I do His work," if you start feeling, "I serve diligently, I sacrifice all that for Bhagavan," then you are bogus number one! (Laughter)

God does not need YOUR sacrifice, after all. Perhaps Heíll be better off without you and me. Our presence is almost a nuisance. He has been carrying on well for the last 75 years without you and without me, most successfully. Problems only appeared when we started working there! (Laughter)

So my friends, spiritual ego or spiritual arrogance is most dangerous and sinful. Thatís what scripture and saints have declared. "I have constructed a temple." Oh-ho! Is it your grandfatherís property? (Laughter) No! "I did so much worship." Has God asked you to do it? No, no! Letís not be egoistic. Particularly let us be cautious in the spiritual field. The fall in spirituality in moments of ego is fatal when compared to the worldly ego. Thatís what is clear.

Where humility is, there also is wisdom.

Youíll have wisdom, not knowledge. If you remain humble, you will have wisdom. See Bhagavanís humility - how He talks to everybody and how close He is! He talks to an illiterate and He talks to a scientist, a doctor, and to a rustic, rural, unsophisticated person in rags. It is the same Love because Heís so humble.

"Bhagavan, I think we should do this." Swami will never say, "Shut up." He will say, "Oh-ho, is that so? We can do? Ah! Good! But I think it can be done this way also." He will never condemn you to the face. If you tell, "Swami, this is my plan," He will say, "Accha! Very good." And then Heíll say, "Why donít you think this way also? According to Me, I think this is better." Ultimately, that is correct. (Laughter) He will never dissuade you. He will never condemn you. No! That is the hallmark of Divinity.

How humble He is! God has come to serve and not to be served. He still thinks of his classmates of yesteryears. He thinks of this village as it existed 70 years ago. He remembers every person well. He is the very personification of humility. Humility is absolutely necessary.

Matthew 18:4

Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, he is greater in the Kingdom of Heaven.

According to Matthew, 18th Chapter, 4th verse, be humble like a child. Swami always tells this to the boys. Recently one of the students, who was doing some activity, started feeling that heís quite close to God. But he is (actually) away from God. It's all foolishness. "Father, they know not what they do." We can pray for them, thatís all. All are close to God. If anyone feels that heís closer to God, please consider him a lunatic. All are close to God. It is not anything exclusive. No! It's all-inclusive.

Then this boy, who was imagining that he was so close to God, lost his grade. Before he was getting ĎOí grade (Ďoutstandingí). This time he got ĎAí grade. Swami asked him to get up. "Mmm. You donít seem to be intelligent. You donít seem to work hard. Why? Pride and ego. Where there is pride and ego, youíll never be close to God. You'll never be able to experience God." Bhagavan said, "The water may be on the hilltop, the water may be on the mountaintop, but it flows downward. So, you may be a scholar, you may be talented, you may be competent, but if there is ego, you are sure to fall. Pride goes before a fall, whereas the candlelight travels upward. Humility takes you upward, while arrogance takes you downward."

Prayer and Grace

So, humility is the fourth point. Then prayer and grace. I just collected these twins, if I may say so, faith and hope, silence and peace, prayer and grace. Where there is prayer, there is grace. What and why should we pray?

In prayer, we hold conversation with God.

This is according to St. Nilus.

A simple example: Swami asked me to lift a heavy basket. As I told you earlier, I'm used to speaking, not to hard work, much less to physical work. So when he asked me to lift, well, Iím not able to. I could not do it. I said, "Bah! Narayana, Narayana!" (Laughter) I was struggling hard. Swami had already advanced. He walked ahead of me. Suddenly He turned (and in Telugu He said,) "What? Did you call Me? Have you called Me?" He said.

I said, "Narayana." There was no chance for Bhagavan to hear this. How dare I say that! If I say "Narayana" and start lifting, Heíll say "First give a chance to someone else." (Laughter) So I just whispered within myself, "Aba! Narayana!" He turned back and told, "Have you called Me? Have you called Me?" Yes, yes, that is prayer, silent prayer.

Dial number nine: nine is the Divine number. It is higher than ISD and STD! It. goes immediately to Him because:

In prayer, we hold conversation with God.

Prayer is the uplifting of the soul to God.

Through prayer the soul will be in communion with God, according to St. Nilus.

Padre Pio

Then Peter, in 3rd Chapter, 18th verse, Peter says,

By means of pious reading.

There are people who think that they can know God and they can experience God by reading, reading, reading, and reading. Swami said, "What is it you get by reading? A person having a number of bottles on the table is a patient. One who will be taking syrup, tablets or capsules is a patient.

The man surrounded by a number of books is compared to a patient, who is just swallowing pills. Reading books and books, he is converting his head into an almirah (closet or cupboard) of books. After all, the brain is not a computer. A floppy can do a better job than all of us can. No, no! So here it is said, by Peter:

By means of pious reading,

ĎPious readingí means reading the scripture, or what we call Ďparayanaí.

By means of pious reading, we search for God.

"Oh, hey! Is there any reference to God? Are there any miracles about Swami? Or experience of devotees?" We go on searching for God by pious reading, but:

By means of meditation, we find Him.

St. Ignatius

By means of meditation, we find Him; by means of reading, we will know Him. To find Him is far superior than knowing Him. Thatís what St. Ignatius says:

For the beginning is faith, the end is Love.

We begin with faith and we end in Love.

My friends! This year 2002 should help us in every possible way to earn the Grace of God. The Blessing of God should help us to make our lives sublime, not merely physical or mundane with a physical framework of bones, flesh and blood. It should be something beyond. The year should help us to realize the Divinity within, to grow more and more in faith in Bhagavan, to develop that spirit of faith, and also to live in hope. Someday weíll certainly progress.

But spiritually speaking my friends, there is nothing like time, for your information. There is no time at all. Why? Mind is time. Mind is time. I say 11:10. Why? My mind is functioning. A madman never knows the time. While you are in deep sleep, you donít know the time. Time sense is synonymous with the mind. Mind is time; time is mind. But spiritually you are not the mind, you are not the body. You are not the body because the body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey. You are not the mind. God transcends both body and mind. So, when you are not the mind, you are not time. When you are timeless, you are eternal and you are immortal. That is the true spirituality, as explained by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

This holy, happy New Year 2002 helps us to transcend limitations of time and limitations of body and intellect, so that weíll commune, or rather establish ourselves in that state of Supreme Bliss, by being in a constant state of the Spirit or the Self.

May Bhagavan bless every one of you in this year 2002, so that weíll be serving more and more, weíll love more and more, and our life will be full of smiles. May you all live and lead a happy, peaceful, prosperous and Divine life. Thank you and Happy New Year!

May Bhagavan bless you!

Thank you very much! (Applause)

(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, Sai Narayana, Narayana...')

Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya


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

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!

Sai Ram,

Thank 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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