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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
July 22, 2001

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

Different Categories of Religions (Part Two)

July 22nd, 2001

OMÖ OMÖ OMÖ

Sai Ram.

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

First Category: Ignorance-Oriented

Last time we met, we spoke about the various categories of religions. Out of the seven categories, we learned about five. The title of that talk was ĎDifferent Categories of Religionsí (Part I). This morning we will discuss the remaining two. Now I will give you just an overview, for the benefit of those who could not be present last time, since it is not possible or desirable to repeat the whole thing again.

The first category, the first type of religion, is ignorance-oriented or ignorance-centered. Such people are dogmatic. They are penchant and very often idiotic. They do not compromise; they do not listen; and they do not care to know others' viewpoints because of their Himalayan ignorance. So the first category is ignorance-oriented. They also take to violence.

Second Category: Fear-Oriented

The second category is fear-oriented religion. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Why have fear of God? "Because Iíll be thrown into hell if I do certain sinful deeds. As I read the description of hell, Iím going to be fried on a frying pan in hot oil, and Iíll be reduced to the level of potato chips! (Laughter) Or, Iíll be kept in the hot sun and dried like a fish! I donít want to be in trouble, because I know there is a hell. There are people in hell who will torture me. They will make me walk across the edge of this world, and make me walk through fire." So, to escape that torture of hell, I have a religion.

This is fear-oriented religion. They speak more of hell, punishment, torture. Whether there is a hell or not, you do not know. But by believing in hell, you lose the joy and thrill of the present. You lose the enjoyment, the excitement, and the bliss of the present. You don't enjoy anything at all, believing that bloody hell follows you. Hell follows you everywhere, and all the steps you take are only to avoid hell. This is fear-oriented religion.

Third Category: Greed or Need

The third category of religion is greed-oriented. This type of religion is born out of greed or need. We belong to this group - greed or need. Here is an example: "I want my son to get a seat in the medical college. So, I get up at 4.30 Ė 5 oíclock in the early morning and follow the nagarsankirtan (the early morning bhajan chanting in the ashram) religiously! Again, I sit at 2 oíclock in the afternoon and have darshan. Then I attend evening bhajans with closed eyes, thinking (of course) of engineering school fees and not of Baba. But I'm highly religious because I'm need-oriented."

Greed-based religion thinks and acts like this: "When my first daughter is to be married, I go around Lord Ganesha nine times in the morning and nine times in the evening, until He is totally disgusted with me! Ganesha then will say, 'All right! I will send some fellow to you!' (Laughter) After, when sheís married, I'll say, 'Thank you, Ganesha. See you again when I next need you. Bye!' " (Laughter)

So, when there is some kind of a problem or a need, whether it is official, in the family, or in the business, whether it is a personal, community, or collective problem, it is need-oriented or greed-based. Whatever the problem may be, it is a need-oriented or greed-based religion. This is the third category.

Fourth Category: Calculation and Cleverness

The fourth kind of religion is based on calculations and cleverness. What is meant by 'calculations and cleverness'? These people go on arguing until you lose all interest in religion. This is because they speak about a level that they have not experienced and of which they have no real knowledge. We can know who is a man without experience because simple things are made quite complicated by such a person, whereas a person with experience can put things in the simplest possible way. When the person without knowledge uses certain words and expressions, their inexperience shows. They are not practical.

Therefore, the fourth category is based on logic or arguments. This is very dangerous because one person may say, "Follow the 'Non-Dual Path'." OK, his ideas seem to be good. Then the next day, another man comes and says, "Follow the 'Dual Path'." Oh, I see! The dual path seems to be good.

Afterwards, I see the third man on the third day who says, "Follow the 'Qualified Non-Dual Path'." At this point, I'm not qualified to follow any of the three as I am in so much confusion! (Laughter) There are other men advocating 'Materialism'. All this is very convenient. So, by listening to so many different people, I feel comfortable doing nothing at all! This is confusion confounded!

Religion is not an argument or logic. Religion is not simply an explanation or a sacred text. Spirituality is not an exposition. Spirituality is an experience. Religion is not an explanation, but an exploration. One has to explore and dive deeply into the ocean to collect the pearls of wisdom. Superficially, the ocean will show you rising waves,or, near the shore, you can collect fresh-water mussels. While on the contrary, the pearls are deep down at the bottom of the ocean. So, dive deeply and explore. Be exhilarated, but do not exploit.

So, it is a kind of exploration and experimentation. It is not simply listening. Religions have become a matter for argumentation, debates, logic, scholarship, and bookish knowledge. We hear these sort of talks and forget them there on the spot itself. They donít deserve to be remembered, as arguments create counter arguments. This is the fourth category of religion.

Fifth Category: Intelligence (Sath)

The fifth category of religion is based on intelligence (Sath). Last time I spoke of a distinction between intellect and intelligence. At that time, I discussed with you all the arguments and points related to the difference between intelligence and intellect.

Here is a short summary: We are intellectual; however, we are not intelligent. Please be clear about this. We are not intelligent; we are intellectuals. What do I mean by intelligence? If I am intelligent, I should know how to synthesize, how to bring together, how to be harmonious, how to make a blend out of many pieces. To be harmonious, to synthesize, to blend, to combine, and to permutate is the job of an intelligent man.

An intellectual man believes in pieces, in fragments, and in half-knowledge, which is dangerous. We are intellectuals because we specialize in only one branch of knowledge, in only one area. This is intellectual. On the other hand, an intelligent man will have a total view, a holistic view, and a kind of awareness. This is what is called 'religions based on intelligence'.

Last time we deliberated sufficiently along these lines. Now let me speak about the two categories of religion that are left.

Sixth Category: Meditation (Chit)

The sixth category of religion is based on meditation. People have very funny ideas about meditation. (I am never too tired to repeat this, as I have told you earlier, because these audiences are not always the same.) We have made meditation ridiculous, a mockery, a farce, and a cheap business.

You may not like it when I make these negative remarks. But please go through the newspapers and see for yourselves. There you will find an advertisement: 'Meditation in Thirty Days' for only five hundred rupees. Should we think, "Oh, those rishis and sages did not have enough money! Therefore, they spent hundreds of years in penance, in the forests meditating. While now, new initiates can easily purchase meditation classes, paying only five hundred rupees for a week!" We are very good in doing business with religion. Is meditation so cheap that one can learn it in a week, by paying five hundred rupees? Who is the buffalo who can teach us like that? Nonsense!

My friends, having come to the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, please remember this. Let this be a sort of self-reminder. I am reminding myself of Babaís words. That is all. That it is the job of a teacher - to remind you. I have no extra authority. I do not stand on a higher pedestal. I donít have any extra experience or devotion. I am one among you, or the least amongst all of you. The only credibility and qualification I have is that I am a teacher here, used to speaking publicly since my childhood.

Secondly, I enjoy the nearness with Bhagavan. For that reason, I know certain things that He speaks of to people, which are not available for larger, wider sections of the audience to hear. Having been blessed with this opportunity, I like to make use of this chance to share it with others. I consider this my responsibility and derive great joy from it. Once these talks are recorded, they will help posterity.

Today meditation has become a matter of business. It has become so cheap. But, what is true meditation? Meditation is the withdrawal of the mind. When the mind comes to a standstill, when the mind does not exist anymore (positively, negatively, or in a worldly way), this 'thoughtlessness' (thought-free-ness) is meditation. Positive thinking, after all, is thinking. So also, negative thinking is still thinking. So, thoughts should totally stop. The moment thinking stops, we become thought-free (without thoughts). This thoughtlessness is meditation. So, meditation is beyond positivity (positive thinking) and negativity (negative thinking). It is a thoughtless or thought-free state. So, thoughtlessness is meditation.

(May I remind you again that everything I speak here is collected from Bhagavanís Divine Discourses. None of these ideas are my own. )

The next point is about optimism and pessimism. Optimism is always endless hope. He who lives endlessly in hope is an optimist, while he who believes in a hopeless end is a pessimist. So, the one believes in a hopeless end, while the other believes in endless hope. Endless hope is optimism. Hopeless end is pessimism. But meditation is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither a hope nor an end. Meditation is beyond both because both of these are related to the mind. "I am hopeful." Why? My mind is hopeful. Or, "I am hopeless." This means that the mind is in a state of hopelessness. So, being hopeful or hopeless are two attitudes of the mind. But meditation is beyond the mind. It is neither positive nor negative.

Up and Down the Ladder

There is another point: Imagine a big ladder with many rungs or steps. People climb up the ladder; they can also climb down the ladder. Am I right? Intelligence is like climbing up the ladder, whereas intellect is like climbing down the ladder. Intelligence is upward, whereas intellect is downward. So, the religion of logic, the religion of calculation, which is the fourth category, is the one of the intellect going downward. The religion of intelligence is the one climbing the ladder upward.

The sixth category of religion, based on meditation, is neither upward climbing or downward climbing. Meditation means throwing the ladder away altogether! (Laughter) Throw the ladder away! When the ladder is there, you will feel like climbing. That is intelligence. Or, when the ladder is there, you may climb downward. That is intellect. Just throw the ladder. Have nothing to do with the ladder.

What does this mean? You either climb up or go down. But instead, remain where you are - don't climb up and don't climb down. Just remain where you are. Be with your own Self, undisturbed, in the stillness of your heart, in all serenity, in all solemnity, in solitude, in Aloneness (All-Oneness)! Living in oneís own Being - this is the religion of meditation. Religion of meditation is to be with oneís own Self, not with the body, not with the mind, and not with the intellect. To be with one's own Self, to be with the Being, to be One with that Being, the Self, is called the religion of meditation. This is very, very necessary for everybody.

Procedures of Meditation

Why do most people close their eyes in meditation? They close their eyes, sit with their vertebral column straight, and meditate. Why? The reason is that once you close your eyes, you automatically turn inward. Dhyana Vahini, is the book written by Bhagavan, which conveys the secrets of meditation and the procedure for meditation. When you meditate, you should sit straight and not lean on others or sleep on the lap of the neighbor! (Laughter) We cannot doze or move. We have to be alert, awake, and aware. We should not go to sleep.

In the beginning, some people may say, "I meditate". But within a couple of minutes, we hear them snoring! (Laughter) It is 'loud meditation' or 'meditation with sound facility', a 'public address system'! (Laughter) But genuine meditation is not like that. Meditation is being awake with the eyes closed. Normally, once we close the eyes, we may sleep. But in meditation, I close my eyes, but I do not sleep.

What do I do with my eyes closed? I donít manipulate; I donít manage; I donít plan for my prospects; I donít dream of a state when my enemy loses the game; I donít dream of when I will be able to control everybody and fly high! This is all nonsense! Many people close their eyes, but the mind is in the marketplace or in the office or with the enemy. Mind is always dreaming of the fall of the enemy. Mind is always expectant. But meditation is not this dirty game of the mind.

With the eyes closed, one proceeds to turn inward to the very Being of life. What does this mean? It means you donít think anymore. You have no more desires, no more hopes, and no hopelessness whatsoever. When there is no planning, the mind turns inward and you forget your association with the body and the mind. You start thinking of the Expansion of Love, as Bhagavan puts it. Then you start feeling the Consciousness all around. You feel that the Divinity in you is the same all around., Visualizing and perceiving this Cosmic Consciousness everywhere is meditation.

Bhagavan joked about the kind of meditation that we do: It seems a fellow was meditating when suddenly, (Anil Kumar knocks twice on the table) there is a knock at the door. This man, who is sitting in meditation, shouts immediately to his wife, "Go! The milkman has come. Open the door. It is time for my cup of coffee!" This is 'coffee meditation' - not anything else!

Please go through the Sai literature and you will see that Swami says these things. Bhagavan tells another example: There was another man meditating. Suddenly he smells all the cooking smells from the kitchen, and he asks his wife, "What are you preparing for breakfast? Get it ready!" This is not meditation! It is 'kitchen meditation' or 'coffee meditation', though the eyes are closed and the doors are bolted! Why do all this?

There is another category of people who meditate. These people meditate conveniently from 4.30 to 5.30 in the early morning. They also bolt their doors so that nobody could disturb them, even if they get into samadhi or sleep! (Laughter) Outside the family people say, "Itís time to get up and go to the office."

But when this man comes out of the puja room from his meditation, he goes on shouting at everybody! He shouts at his son for not getting up on time. He shouts at his daughter for not getting ready. And he shouts at his wife for not purchasing all the provisions needed for the week. So what has he meditated on? Only on his son, his daughter, and the provisions. Can you call this 'meditation'?

How can he become so normal (his ordinary, worldly way) immediately after meditation? How can he act in such an abnormal, strange way immediately after meditation? It can only mean that what he is saying to his family members has been the focus of his attention during this so-called 'meditation'. My friends, this is not meditation by any standard!

Religions based on true meditation means: identification with the Self; being with your own Being; withdrawing from the small self (ego); reaching the thoughtless state, the desireless state, which is beyond both positivity and negativity, optimism and pessimism. It means to be always alert and aware.

So, religion based on intelligence, Sath, is the fifth category. The sixth category of religion, based on true meditation, is called Chit or awareness. The seventh and last category of religion is based on ecstasy.

Ecstasy and Excitement

Ecstasy means Ananda (bliss). My friends, letís speak for a couple of minutes about Ananda. Do we know what ecstasy is? We have heard the word 'ecstasy', but we are never ecstatic. We are 'erratic', we are 'lunatic', and we are 'cosmetic', but we are never 'ecstatic'! 'Ecstatic' refers to a state of ecstasy. We are excited, but never ecstatic.

Ecstasy and excitement are different. Iím not playing with words. I am not a professor of English. For your information, I'm a teacher of bioscience (botany), which has nothing to do with language. (Plants do not speak, but they make me speak! But that is a different story!) So ecstasy and excitement are different. Ecstasy is spiritual, while excitement is physical.

Recently, I meet a friend after twenty years. I also met another colleague of mine after thirty-eight years. I cannot say, "I'm ecstatic to meet you." If I were to say such a thing, my friend would think, 'He doesn't know English!' You cannot be ecstatic simply because you meet a friend after such a long time. However, I may be excited, yes! I may go on talking with him, even jumping all around in eagerness. Any people watching will say, "This fellow is excited!"

Excitement is a state that comes to you suddenly and unexpectedly. A long, cherished, dear beloved appears before you. (Anil Kumar claps his hands together.) That makes you excited! Or, when suddenly I win a lottery, Kaun Banage Crore Pathi! (Laughter) (Note: In Hindi, this literally means, "Who will be the owner of a crore?" This is the name of a popular Indian quiz show, the grand prize being a crore of rupees, the equivalent of $213,000). Suddenly they announce, "You are a Crore Pathi" (the winner of a crore)! What excitement! So, when I win the lottery, I am excited. When I meet the beloved, I am excited. Or, suppose the government confers a title on me, I am very excited.

Excitement is worldly, physical, and temporary. I cannot be excited twenty-four hours a day unless there is something wrong with my mind! (Laughter) Someone would take me to a psychiatrist! It is not possible to always be excited. So, excitement is temporary, worldly, and physical. It is related to oneís unexpected moments of happiness. Happiness to the millionth power is excitement. Joy to the billionth power is excitement. But ecstasy is different.

When I see Bhagavan, I'm not excited. I'm ecstatic! When you see Bhagavan, you are in a state of ecstasy. When you get an interview, you are ecstatic. When I am granted padanamaskar, I am ecstatic. (Of course, I should be up-to-date in my interpretation: As we all know, as of Swami's Guru Poornima Discourse, there will be no more padanamaskar hereafter, unless some 'black-marketing' takes place!) (Laughter) When Swami says, "Go inside the Interview Room," I am ecstatic. When He looks at me, I am ecstatic. But when I meet a friend, I am excited.

So, ecstasy is spiritual. Ecstasy is godly. Ecstasy is Divinity. Ecstasy is a state beyond the mind and the intellect. Ecstasy is of the Being, not for the 'time being'. Excitement is for the time being (for this moment), whereas ecstasy is part of the Being (in the Being-ness). I think you understand.

So, this religion of ecstasy, Ananda, is non-dual. Religion of this category is most important. Why? Bhagavan Baba propounds and explains about ecstasy. He advocates bliss and wants us to follow this category of religion only, the religion of ecstasy or Ananda. What does this mean?

"Always Happy!"

As Swami walks along the darshan line, somebody will say, "Swami, my leg is fractured." "Manchidi. Very good!" (Laughter) He answers like that. Another fellow will say, "My grandmother died." Swami will answer, "Chaala Santosham. Very happy." Someone in the third line will say, "Swami, I am getting married." The Divine replies, "Chaala Santosham. Very happy." That is ecstasy! Whether there is a death or a fracture or a wedding, Bhagavan replies, "Chaala Santosham! Very happy, very good."

Can you do that? Can you say that? Please try it for a minute. If anyone comes and tells you, "I lost my grandfather," you will not say, "Chaala Santosham, very happy," unless you have your life insured! You would not dare to say that. If someone else says that he has a fractured leg, would you say, "I'm happy"? You would not dare to unless you had tight security around you!

But here is Bhagavan, who will say "Santosham, very happy" or "Manchidi, manchidi. Very good, very good" for everything, whether it is about birth or death, or about weddings or separations. Yes, He will always only say, "Manchidi, manchidi. Santosham! Very good, very good. Very happy."

That is the state of bliss! Bliss is not a state that is always to our advantage. Bliss is not a state that is always in the best interest of our lives. Bliss is not always advantageous or profiting. It is not necessarily so. Rather, there may be a total loss. There may be betrayal. There may be failure or a tragic death. But yet, bliss continues because bliss is non-dual. Bliss has got nothing to do with birth and death, profit and loss, or success and failure because bliss is a non-dual state.

Thanking and Thankfulness

At one time, Bhagavan made the following statement. I think all of you will remember His words: "I donít like people praising Me. I donít want speakers to praise Me." Would anyone of us be able to say that? We want everyone's praises only, am I right? We say, "Praise me only!" But Baba says, "Do not praise Me. I donít like it." Why?

When we say, "Thank You, Swami", Swami will say, "I am not a third person, sir!" What does He mean? When your father gives you a new pair of clothes, do you say, "Thank you, Father. You are such a good man. You have given me a nice shirt." Do you speak like that? It implies that yesterday he was bad because he gave nothing, but today he is good for presenting you with a new pair of clothes. Tomorrow, if he says 'no', he'll be bad again. So, you don't thank your parents. You donít thank your mother for the nice rice pudding or porridge or pizza or donuts or pies, do you? Why don't you? She is your mother and you have every right to ask her for it. She does not expect any thanks.

Similarly, a third person expects thanks. If you drop a handkerchief and a person picks it up, you will say, "Thank you." If anyone gives you a pen, or when you have to borrow a pen, you say, "Thank you." You thank a third person. Thatís why Bhagavan says, "I am not a third person, sir." You donít need to thank Him, but be thankful to Him. Am I clear? Thanking Him is different from thankfulness. I'm thankful to You, but I donít say, "Thanks." Am I clear?

'Being thankful' means having gratitude, while 'thanking' is a mere routine: "Thank you, thank you, thank you." Why do you say it? It does not mean anything. Take for instance Air India or British Airlines. When the flight is over and passengers are leaving the aircraft, they stand at the gate and go on repeating to each passenger, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." I think they also practice their smile. (Laughter) We know that they donít mean anything. We also donít say, "Youíre welcome" when they say, "Thank you". We know itís a routine matter, so we simply carry our baggage and walk out. (Laughter) But when anyone says, "Thank you" and he or she means it, weíll respond with, "Youíre welcome." Am I right? So my friends, thanking is different from being thankful. So, let us be thankful, but not express "Thanks".

Therefore, bliss is thankfulness, not merely thanks. Bliss is gratitude, not simply remaining grateful. Gratitude is different from simply being grateful. "I am grateful to you if you do this. But if you do not do this, Iíll become ungrateful and become your enemy!" Gratitude is a fundamental basic quality, like a bedrock. Gratitude is your quality of life.

Sailaish

Here is a simple example. On the recent Latur trip, Swami was seated there at the dining table, while all of us were quite busy watching the number of dishes being served. Some dishes we relished and some we didn't; some dishes we wanted seconds of and some we didnít want at all! We were watching the table and all the items being served.

Bhagavan, who just sat there watching, suddenly asked, "Where is Sailaish?" Why should He ask about a person who was not there? "Sailaish, where is Sailaish?" All of us were there - Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers - but He asked for a person by the name of Sailaish!

Then I thought, ĎHow nice it would be if my name was also Sailaish!í (Laughter) 'If Baba calls for Sailaish a number of times, it would be so nice to have that name also, rather then having a name that is unheard of, unhonored, unwept for, and unsung for.' He went on asking for Sailaish. We all just starred at each other.

Then immediately He called me, "You know the boy who traveled with us in the aircraft? He did not have dinner last night, and he didnít even drink a glass of water until now. Ask him to come!" So I had to think of that boy, whom I had so conveniently and nicely forgotten because his job was finished. I tried to remember him and went in search of him. I found that young man at the gate and told him, "Swami wants to see you, Sailaish. Come here!"

Now Sailaish became a 'V-V-V-V-VIP'. So-called VIPís are 'very insignificant persons'. This person is now a VIP, a 'very important person'. 'VIP' means both a 'very insignificant person' and a 'very important person'. When Swami looks at you, you are a VIP, a 'very important person'. When He ignores you, you are a 'very insignificant person'. We are all VIPís. The only difference is that some are 'important', while others 'insignificant'. Thatís all. So, Sailaish became very important. We made him sit, and Swami personally served him food. Ah, what a lucky fellow! Then I thought, "That chapter is over.'

But at teatime, Swami again asked, "Where is Sailaish?" (Laughter) I started looking for him. After finding him, I told him, "You'd better hang around here so that I don't have to search for you again. You seem to be the 'man of the match', the 'man of the season', 'the 'man who won the lotto trip', or the 'most coveted man' with an Oscar award. You had better stick around here." (Laughter)

When Sailaish came, Swami said, "This morning you did not eat well. A few items you did not eat. Now you start eating." I was thinking, 'Swami could ask me as well! (Laughter) He could ask some other persons there. Why this one young man only? I donít know; only He knows.'

And then He turned towards me and said, "Poor fellow! Sailaish has been with us, looking after all the arrangements. But he has not been eating properly because heís thinking only of what has to be done. Therefore, since he is thinking of Me, that is why I am thinking of him." Because I was thinking of the dining table, Heís not thinking of me! We are thinking of food, but Sailaish is thinking of Baba. So Baba is thinking of Sailaish! That is what you call gratitude. Baba is Gratitude personified. Swami is the very metaphor of gratitude. I am telling you about this boy as an illustration, as the latest example.

It did not stop there. We went to another place called Nanded, where there was a very large crowd. These big crowds created such a heavy stampede that it was very difficult to get into the house. Swami stood at the gate until Sailaish got into the house. This fellow was more in demand than the Chief Minister was! Why? (Laughter) Bhagavan was just expressing His gratitude in this way, by showing concern for that boy, who might otherwise be ignored or even left behind.

Being in that state of gratitude is to be gratitude itself. This is bliss! To be just grateful is only worldly. To be loving is to be love itself. This is bliss! To be a friend is worldly. You can be a friend to a few people, but you cannot have the whole world as a friend unless you are a cheat or a politician. Politicians say, "Brothers and sisters," but they donít mean it, excepting their own blood relations.

Instead of being a friend, one can be friendly. Friendliness is bliss! To be a friend is worldly. To be a lover is worldly, whereas to be love itself is spiritual. So my friends, I can speak to you for any length of time about these things - this aspect of bliss, which is friendliness, which is Love itself, which is Gratitude embodied.

Peace and Bliss

Just one more word about this before I go on. Some people have achieved something through the religion of meditation. "Sir, I believe in meditation." That's very good! "Sir, I have been meditating." That's encouraging! But they miss something in life. Even though they are successful in meditation, still they miss something valuable in life. They are in peace, but not in bliss. Peace is different from bliss. Peace is a preparation to be blissful. Peace is the precursor to bliss. Peace is the procurer of bliss. Peace takes you to bliss. So, peace is not the ultimate. It is penultimate, while bliss is the ultimate.

You find some people who are highly spiritual, but very serious. Their faces are frightening! (Laughter) Their faces bring an instant sense of fear in us. Their faces will make us feel that it is better if we are far away from them. They are not dangerous. In fact they may be highly spiritual. But they have not tasted bliss yet.

Bhagavan Baba is the best example. He is bliss and He makes you blissful. We are blissful in His Presence because Bhagavan is bliss. God is bliss and bliss is God! Live in bliss! Baba is bliss! So, in His Presence, we are blissful. Why? He takes you beyond the state of peace to bliss.

"At home, I meditate. In the Mandir, I meditate. I experience peace. I know what peace is. I'm not disturbed, I'm not agitated, and there is no tension or pretension. I enjoy the stillness of my mind. I have identified with my Being. Still something is missing." There is enough daal, but the salt is missing. If a little salt is added, the daal will be tasty. So, you have the peace, but the salt of life, bliss, is still missing.

Therefore my friends, bliss is the ultimate experience. Bliss is to be coveted. Bliss is the culmination of spirituality. (Here Anil Kumar repeats a Sanskrit sloka.) The Upanishads say, "The whole world came out of bliss; the world is sustained by bliss; and finally it annihilates in bliss. Bliss is everything."

Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahmam.
Anandam Shivam, Sathyam.


That Anandam or bliss is Brahman. Therefore, bliss is life.

How do you experience the bliss of life? The bliss of life wants you to experience life as a festival. Life is a dance. It is music. It is a celebration and it is laughter. Life is not high blood pressure or hypertension. Life is not serious. Life is jubilant. It is laughter and music; it is a festival and a dance - look at Nataraj (Lord Siva, who dances the Cosmic Dance). Life is so beautiful! Enjoy this festival of life. Beautify life. Life is not to be condemned.

Swami always uses three words: sausilyamu, beauty; saumanasyamu, understanding; and Jivanopaadh, to live life. Life has to be lived! But we donít live life; we leave life! You can live life in jubilation, in laughter and enjoyment. You can live life in a state of bliss!

For this, there are three points that I want to share with you before I finish this morning.

The Three States: Birth, Death, and Love

There are three states, two of which we know well. The first state is birth; the second state is death. The first date we know. But the second date we do not know. However, it is for certain. We all know these two doors of birth (or entrance) and death (or exit). The first state creates the body, the physical birth. Death, the second state, is an unknown. Where I will go, I donít know.

Some people say that you go to the grave. Some people say that you go to the tomb. Some people say that you stay as you are, but without the body. All right. You can describe ninety different possibilities, but nobody has returned to tell me, "This is what happened to me after death." (Laughter) So, please forget about it. The first state, the door of birth, is known. The last state, the door of death, is unknown. One is the physical state; the second is an unknown state. This is life.

The seventh category of religion, the religion of bliss, opens the third in-between door. We have a first door and a last door and now we have a central (middle) door. What is this door? It is the door of Love. This door of Love is at the center. But we do not know about the existence of that door. We do not know about the presence of that door. We are not aware of that door because it has always remained closed. Because the door of love has been closed, we know only of the two doors of birth and death.

Why is this door of Love closed? "I love my people, I love my family, I love my business, I love my house, myÖ." - my, my, my, my, my = maya, maya, maya! Swami says that if you repeat quickly the word 'my, my, my, my', it becomes 'maya', meaning illusion. So, the closed door means contraction of love, which is death, as Baba has said. Expansion of love is life, and contraction of love is death. So, when the door of Love is closed, it is death. This door of Love has not been kept open so far. So my friends, let us open the central door of Love now, the door of 'expansion Love', which is life.

By opening this door, what happens; what is the advantage? We die while living; we die while alive! (I'm not mad, my friends. Let me explain.) What happens when there is Love? The ego dies. Thereís no more ego when you love. An egoistic man can never love. If an egoistic person still loves, we call him an actor. It is a drama! Swami says, "Show, show, drama, drama!" This means, it is only a pretense.

A man who truly loves will never be egoistic. The death of the ego is the secret of Love. When the ego dies, Love is born. So my friends, when I open the door of Love, my ego is dead. Ego is the cause for the cycle of birth and death. Through Love, I die while in life because my ego is gone. This is Immortality or Amrithathwam or Eternity. Eternity or Immortality is 'death-while-in-life'. This is what we call 'jivanmuktha', meaning 'one who is liberated while being alive'.

So my friends, liberation or moksha, is not a state after death. Moksha or liberation is the state that one gets while in life. Death, while in life! How? The death of your ego makes you immortal, makes you eternal. Therefore, let this body entertain the feelings of the heart, Love. The heart entertains the feelings of Love and travels towards the state of the unknown, the state of Immortality. So, from our known birth to the unknown state of death, open the door of Love, leading to Immortality.

May Bhagavan bless you!

Thank you very much!

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


Om Asatoma Sadgamaya
Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya
Mrtyurmaya Amrtamgamaya

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!



Glossary for the Sunday Talk 22-07-2001

(Taken from "A Glossary of Sanskrit Words Gleaned from Sai Literature")

Amrithathwam: (pg. 20) Immortality

Ananda: (pg. 21) Bliss; unconditioned joy

Anantha: (pg. 23) Endless, without end

Brahmam (pg. 86) It is all-pervading; immanent in the whole cosmos. It is Param Aksharam, the Highest Indestructible, indescribable

Chaala santoshan: (Telugu meaning very [chaala] happy [santoshan])

Jivan muktha (pg. 165) Attaining liberation while still alive

Jivanopaadhi: (Telugu word meaning livelihood, means of living)

Jnana (pg. 166) wisdom

Manchidi (Telugu word meaning Ďgoodí)

Maya (pg. 229) Illusion. Maya is the power of bewilderment which gives the appearance of reality to that which is unreal, and which hinders the perception of the real.

Moksha (pg. 233) liberation, merging

Muktha: (pg. 237) one who has realized the Self or one who is free from

Padanamaskar: (pg. 257) Obeisance at the feet of the Lord or a holy person. It also signifies surrender of the self.

Sathya (pg. 341) Truth that persists without change at all times and at all places

Saumanasyamu: (Telugu word meaning satisfaction of mind; agreeableness)

Sausilyamu: (Telugu word meaning beauty, grace, elegance; goodness, excellence; lightness, suppleness, fleetness

Shivam: (pg. 351) auspicious, graceful. Blessed


© 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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