Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
July 29, 2001

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

The Significance of Bhagavan's Recent Talk to Students

July 29th, 2001


Sai Ram!

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Points From Bhagavan’s College Visit

I want to share with you some of the thoughts expressed by Bhagavan in His Divine Discourse delivered recently to the college students at the Institute. As most of you know, the other day Bhagavan addressed the students. Some of the points that are of general interest I want to share with you this morning. People are usually quite anxious to know what Swami has said. Naturally we are all inquisitive to know. So I will give you a few of His points for your information.

Those Coming From Far Away

Are More Aware Of His Divinity

The first point He made was that those devotees coming from far away are more aware of His Divinity than those who are always physically near Him. This statement is very difficult to hear and bear. It is a very 'hot' statement and we may feel hurt. But it is the fact of facts. I repeat His point, which was that those coming from far-off distances, even those coming from far places like Himachal Pradesh, or those coming from other places in India, and all foreigners, have more awareness and more of a realization of His Reality. They know the value of Bhagavan much more than those who are near Him physically.

He also gave an often-repeated example. What is that example? A frog is sitting on a lotus but does not know the value of the lotus. But from a long distance there comes, uninvited and unsolicited, a honeybee to suck the honey of the lotus. It comes on its own and drinks the nectar. It sucks the nectar and leaves the flower happily and blissfully.

So it is with many devotees who come here from long distances. They know the value of Bhagavan. This is what He wanted the students to realize and know. But I feel that everybody should know this, not only the students. We are all students and the whole Universe is a university. It is not necessarily meant for hundreds of students only because life is a process of continuous learning and unlearning: unlearning what we are used to and learning what is necessary and what contributes to our spiritual advancement. That is one interesting and pukka (correct) statement that He made, there’s no doubt about it.

Feel Bhagavan Is Inside

The second point He made was that as long as you consider God outside yourself, you will never know Him inside. This statement is a profound statement, requiring some in- depth understanding. We feel that Bhagavan is outside us. He is moving on the verandah and He is giving us darshan. We feel Him outside and see Him outside. This is what makes us request padanamaskar, or expect a look or a smile. When these are denied, we feel dejected and depressed.

So Bhagavan's statement is this: Bhagavan, whom we see outside, must be experienced INSIDE. We have to establish a communion WITHIN when we want to communicate with Bhagavan. Commune from within. Communication is outside. Because we are at the level of outer communication, we experience dejection, depression, frustration, and anger. These are all the consequences of outer communication. When we are in communion within, when we feel and experience Bhagavan inside, peace naturally abides. There is no appointment necessary. There is no outer communication required. There is only communion. So this is the second statement Bhagavan made.

He also said that you can stay here any number of years, but it is useless as long as you feel that God is outside of you. Feeling that way, you will never understand Him and you will never really experience Him. Perhaps this is the reason why He is withdrawing some of the outer opportunities that He has previously given to us so far. Talking to us, giving us padanamaskar, and giving darshan repeatedly, these chances are being withdrawn or reduced day-by-day. Why? Because all of us have been tuned to (used to) seeing God on the outside and we refuse to improve ourselves. We find it comfortable remaining at the nursery-school level.

I used the word, ‘we’. If there are a few exceptions at a higher level, I salute them and bow to their feet in all humility. I adore and appreciate them. However, many belong to my category. But hats off to the exceptions! For every rule, there is an exception. However, the majority belong to my category, for whom Bhagavan’s message is meant. The enlightened souls don’t think of anything. They don’t even have to be here.

So He said, irrespective of the number of years you have spent here, it is useless as long as you feel God is outside of you. This statement is now forced upon us. When He doesn’t look at you, you feel helpless and then you have no alternative left but to see Him within. 'OK, since You don’t look at me, let me look at You from within. Since You don’t talk to me externally, let me talk to You internally. Since You ignore me, let me certainly concentrate on You. This is now enforced and prescribed for us. This second statement is really interesting.

We Think Of God In The Way We Want

The third point He made was that we think of God in the way we want to. We expect God to react according to our own sentiments, impulses, and feelings. We attribute to God our own shortcomings, our own misgivings, and our own narrow-mindedness. Many people have a constant feeling that they are close to Bhagavan. Some will also openly declare this announcing, "I am close to Bhagavan." Beware of such people! No one is close to Bhagavan. Some other people will say, "I am not as close to Him as you are." Such a person has no redemption for lives to come!

We are all equally close and equally distant. The Upanishads say, "So near and so far." The declaration in the Bhagavad Gita is, "If you feel Him near, you are really near. If you feel you are distant, you are really distant and cut off from Him." It is only our own reaction, our own reflection, our own resound, and our own narrow-mindedness.

Bhagavan says, "You attribute to God your own feelings, your own misgivings, and your own understanding." For a person to say, "I am close and you are not close. He loves me," how do you know? God cannot love only a few! He cannot help but love all! God is Love. Love is God! I cannot say, "He loves me." No one can say, "I am close to Him." No! These are all our ideas, which we attribute to God.

Some will say, "We had a very good darshan this morning." Does it mean that you had a bad darshan yesterday? (Laughter) "Swami is very good today." Does it mean that He was bad yesterday? What do these statements mean? These statements are immature, inexperienced, illogical, irrational, irreligious, and non-spiritual. We are not supposed to make such statements.

God is always good. When we are good, we say, "He is very good." When we are bad, we just keep quiet and don’t react. We are not receptive or responsive. Non-receptivity and non-responsiveness are one’s own reactions. One has to be receptive.

"Come To Darshan Only At Three O’Clock"

This morning Bhagavan was gently walking in His usual style. While climbing up the steps close to where we sat, He turned to the boys and said, "Boys, from today onward you can come at three o’clock in the afternoon." The boys heard it. Then Bhagavan turned towards me and said, "You can all come here at three o’clock from today on." I said immediately, "Thank You, Swami!" Then Bhagavan said, "You are saying thanks, but the boys are not saying thanks. They are not happy!" (Laughter)

I am not a fellow to grab the credit or throw the blame. I always feel that I am an instrument or a representative to negotiate and to make compromises. That’s my status now, as it has always been and always will be. Then I said, "Bhagavan, Your voice is not audible to them. They could not hear what You said and that is why they are silent." (Laughter) "You are saying, 'Thanks'. Do you mean to say they did not hear My words? Can't they hear your voice?" I said, "No, no, Swami. They have not heard Your voice or my voice." (Laughter) "Hey! You are Just saying all of it your self ! " He said and left.

Then I turned to the boys and said, "We have been feeling so sad for the last two months that we could not establish the same rapport we used to have, as it had been up until now. Bhagavan is somehow avoiding us. But when the chance came on a holy day, the holiday, the Sabbath day, the Sunday, you have lost the opportunity. You all could have said in chorus, ‘Lovely! Thank You, Bhagavan!’ I don’t know why you all kept quiet. You lost this opportunity." Poor fellows, they could not say anything!

Then the warden came and said, "Sir, those in the front are school boys. They didn’t know what to say and besides, many don’t understand Telugu. They were taken by surprise and so they had questioning expressions on their faces. They were helpless." I said, "That is to God's advantage and to our disadvantage! What can we do?"

Always Be Prepared And Thankful

So my friends, as a fellow devotee, I want to caution you. We should never be unprepared because we’ll be caught when we're unprepared. We have to be prepared at all times. On the day when you don’t clean your home, He will say, "Let us come to your home now." (Laughter) On the day when you are ready and when everything is perfectly clean, all spic-and-span, He will postpone His visit saying, "I will see later. Wait, wait." (Laughter) We have to be ready at all times. We have to be ready, ever ready. That's all. There is no question of postponement because God waits for an opportunity when you are not ready only in order to postpone again. So this is the lesson I instructed my students about this morning: "Be always alert."

Be thankful to God. We have to thank Him for the number of opportunities we have already had. Do not develop a grudge or be dissatisfied or discontented because we are ignored today. We have to count His blessings. "We are so thankful to You for all that You have given us. We are so thankful to You for the lesson that You want to teach us today. You want to teach us a lesson by giving this kind of treatment now. We are enriched for it. Thank You!"

God's eloquence is as beautiful as God's silence. The silence and eloquence are both beneficial and enriching. Both are rewarding, instructive, and informative. Sometimes His silence is the greatest eloquence. Many times eloquence takes you to silence. One leads to the other. One is the result of the other. One is the benefit of the other. Both are complementary.

Both Opposites Are Useful

Attention and neglect are both useful. Attention is given in order to encourage you. Or, receiving the opposite treatment, you are neglected so that you will inquire within, go deeply within your own Self. You are neglected so that you may proceed along the path of Self-Inquiry. You are given special attention so that you’ll be encouraged to proceed along the spiritual path. A student who is just starting to improve will get 40% in the beginning. He will get 50% when I encourage him and perhaps the next time he will get 60%. On the other hand, I should neglect a boy who has been getting 80% all along, as he may only get 70% or 60% or 40% if I keep on talking to him. His marks will be decreasing and he will not progress. So let us understand that neglect is also useful.

Night and day are both useful. People say the night is bad because it is dark. But we should not curse the night. Some people say darkness signifies animal qualities, a bestial temperament. They say that day is effulgence and full of radiance and therefore shows wisdom. But I say that it is not so. The night helps you by giving you rest. The day serves you by giving you an opportunity to work. Work in the day and rest in the night are both helpful to you. Can anyone say that they don’t want the night? If you say so, then be sleepless and ready for doomsday! To have days only would be disgusting, boring, and abhorrent. To have night only would be incorrigible and unthinkable. So, day and night go together. That is the splendor, the beauty, and the grandeur of life. The résumé of life, the music of life, comprises both day and night.

Both positivity and negativity contribute to the beauty of life. One comes to Bhagavan because of some family problems at home, some sickness, some delayed promotion, or some court litigation. So, a negative problem brought us close to Bhagavan. Coming to Bhagavan is the positive consequence resulting from a negative situation. A negative factor has taken you to the positive end of Bhagavan’s darshan. So then, what is negative and what is positive? It began negatively with family problems but ended positively because you came to know Bhagavan. You now have developed spirituality and started a religious life. That is very positive.

Sometimes we think positivity or positive things are advantageous. For example: "By the Grace of Bhagavan, I have become rich and I am growing richer and richer day by day." But the day will come when you will say, "I have no time to see Bhagavan! I have no time to even think of Him!" That is the negative result. So, in one case the positive ended up negative and yet in other cases, the negative will turn into positive again. These two are inseparable.

Bhagavan gave another example: I invite you for lunch or dinner. Upon your arrival, I receive you at the doorstep. I cannot say, "Sir, the head is very auspicious but your legs are inauspicious. So let your head come in, but leave your feet outside on the doorstep!" (Laughter) I cannot say that unless I am a fool. Even though the head is auspicious and the feet are inauspicious, that doesn’t mean you should disconnect or amputate your legs in order to go inside, later reconnecting them like any type of collapsible plastic material. It is not possible. So Bhagavan said both go together.

You should also see good in the bad because both go together. This is true religion. Life is a paradox! Life is contradictory. These diabolical, paradoxical, diametrically and diagonally opposite things are to be viewed in synthesis. That is the art and essence of religion. The essence of religion is the readiness to accept the contradictory and paradoxical nature of life. Therefore, if I go on complaining, that is irreligious. Or, if I go on choosing one of the two, it is non-spiritual. The readiness to accept both good and bad, the reality as it is, and the actual acceptance of both is surrender. Surrender is the hallmark of religion and of a spiritual aspirant.

"Worship a Picture As God, But Not God As a Picture"

Bhagavan gave a fourth point: You can always worship a picture as God, but not God as a picture. He has said this earlier, but He repeated it the other day again when He visited our college. You can worship a picture as God, but not God as a picture.

He further explained that a day should come when you will be able to see God in everyone. A day should come when you feel your body is the temple of God. A moment should come when you see the Divinity within your body. "This body is the temple of God!" The body is the temple of God and the Indweller is the presiding deity. That is what Bhagavan has said. We are still waiting for that moment, as we are not matching His speed. Bhagavan is walking very fast, true to the Space Age we live in, like a jet airliner. We, on the other hand, are still at a slow pace like a bullock cart! (Laughter) So, He wants to bring in a change through force at least, by withdrawing Himself.

Withdrawing Has a Purpose

Withdrawing Himself more and more from our outward view and insisting on our turning inward has a purpose. Bhagavan has adopted a forceful and painful method. A pampered child, used to being carried in the arms of the mother, will start crying when asked to walk all by himself.

So we are all pampered. Now He wants us to walk on our own, so we cry. But there is no alternative except to grow up! I cannot expect my mother to carry me until my day of my retirement! It is so foolish and childish. One has to be child-like but not childish. As a seeker, you have to be child-like in order to enter into the Gates of Heaven, not childish. To expect pampering and personal attention all through our life is nothing but the goal of the ego. Egolessness has to be learned some day or the other so Bhagavan is adopting the ‘by force’ method. So, we have to rise to this occasion.

When Bhagavan said in His Guru Purnima Discourse, "Hereafter no more padanamaskar," many were shocked. It had been the bonus or incentive for many because we claim recognition for our devotion. Just like you get a Master of Science degree after two years of study, so you get padanamaskar after two years of devotion! So padanamaskar had become a sort of claim, a kind of publicity or show, a matter of exhibition or ego-gratification or complacency. Now that Bhagavan has discontinued this, what does it mean? He wants us to grow above that spirit of self-gratification. We should go beyond that. So what is going on today is for our own good.

Further, the other day Bhagavan told the boys something that He has said earlier a number of times: "Whatever I do, whatever God does, is in your own interest, is for your own good." We have to develop the feeling that whatever is happening is for our own good. I take it for my own good if I prosper in business or if everything in my family goes well. No, no! That is not acceptance. I have to accept anything that might happen to me. I could lose my job or any other negative thing might happen in my life. "If you are ready to accept everything willfully and gladly as for your own good, that is spirituality." That is what Bhagavan has said.

Bhagavan wants to explain to the boys why He has been silent for the last two months, why the interaction has not been as intense or as frequent as it had been before. Now, there is a spiritual, Divine romance going on between Swami and His students. I always tell them that Swami comes that way every day. Now suppose He does not come that way today. What does it mean? My interpretation is this: He first looked at that row and then He avoided it. Suppose He doesn’t want to look at me. It appears as if He avoids me by going an alternate way. But the truth is that He first looked at me to see where I was seated and only then He knew where to go in order to avoid me! (Laughter) So, in truth He first saw those people who now think that Swami did not look at them!

We think that Swami has not looked at us, but my idea is that He first looked at us and then only He avoided us. Very good! This is also to our advantage. How can He avoid me without seeing me? I am thinking, 'Without seeing me, You cannot avoid me. So, it means that You have seen me, and therefore You can now avoid me.' Very good! (Laughter)

'You are talking to everybody on all four sides except me, which means that You have seen me all along. That’s why You could avoid me so totally. You talk to my neigbor, "When did you come?" You ask, "How are you? How is your son? How is your child?" I am in the center of that situation. Unless You have seen me, how can You talk to all the four people around me, yet still avoid me so nicely?' (Laughter) Very good! So, He has seen you four times more than those people! This is my calculation. Why not?

So my friends, let us not give scope for any kind of pride because of getting too much of His attention. Nor let us give any scope for any frustration because of His apparent neglect. God will never be negligent. There is a purpose behind everything. The purpose is spiritual awakening, spiritual enlightenment, or perhaps there is some service to be done for His institutions. Maybe He wants your immediate involvement in His institutions. To encourage you to participate effectively, He might talk to you. That does not mean you are celestial, certainly not!

I repeat these types of observations quite often because I also fell victim to such things. I am also one among you who feel that way, so I am not tired to repeat it again and again. I was in a period of prolonged 'probation' for eight long years! Yes, it was eight years of 'probation', of utter and total neglect. Then Anil Kumar was a non-entity. He was not physical; he was just space! Swami would talk to everybody on all four sides except to this non-entity, Anil Kumar. Even if I managed to get first line, darshan was cancelled on that day. (Laughter) Or even on those days when I manipulated someone big or made a friendship or an attempt to be close to VIP’s, managing in my own style to get first line, He would give darshan from the other end! (Laughter) This was my experience for eight long years. So no one is an exception!

Please take it from me: 'All days are not Sundays', either good or bad. Good days will not continue forever nor will bad days because good and bad are mixed. Since they are mixed, you cannot have one without the other. It is like the back and the front. I cannot carry only the front and deny the back. Impossible! They follow each other like a shadow. This acceptance of the truth is spirituality.

After all, unconditional Love is called trust, whereas conditional love is selfishness. Trust is unconditional Love. Selfishness is conditional love. People say, "Trust in God. He will help you." This means that we should surrender with unconditional Love. It means accepting happily and with a smile everything that is kept in store for us, without conditions and with the feeling that it is good for us.

Two Points: Known And Unknown

But there’s a big question: There are two points in life - one is known, while the other is unknown. The point known to us is our life. We all very well know this beginning point. Life is a straight line - ‘A’ is at one end and ‘B’ at the other end. ‘A’ is known to us, meaning things like our date of birth, our height, our weight, our job, our scale of pay, our properties, our income tax, declared and undeclared ('white' money and 'black' money)! (Laughter) It also includes our 'known' personality as well as the part of our personality, which is known only to us. This includes all those things that could be known by others and also all those things, which should not be known to others. Those are all the points known to us. We feel very comfortable here because we know the benefit and the loss, the reward and the punishment, the beginning and the end. These are all the details known to us.

What is beyond the body, beyond the mind, beyond the intellect is the unknown point. That unknown point is the spiritual end. In spirituality you cannot say, "I am going to get this." Spirituality is not about 'getting' anything. Upon a devotee's return home, some people ask, "What did you get this time?" What do you expect to get? What do you want me to get from Bhagavan? What a silly question! Some people ask repeatedly, "Every time you go to Puttaparthi. So, what did you get there?"

The same question was put to Picasso, a famous painter. Somebody asked Picasso, "What a beautiful painting this is! It is the costliest painting! People will pay $2000 for such a beautiful painting! How could you do it? What made you to do it?" Picasso, who was also a philosopher, answered by saying, "What a silly question! You ask me why I did it? What made me do it? Go and ask the flowers why they are so beautiful! Go and ask the moon why its moonlight is so beautiful! Go and ask the clouds why they give you a cool breeze! Go and ask the plants why they are so beautiful! Go and ask the mountains, the plains, and the green pastures why they are so wonderful!"

Everything Is God's Will

There is no answer to that question, 'Why?' as everything is God's Will. Everything is God's Play. Somebody asked me, "Sir, how long will Kali Yuga last?" (Laughter) I said, "Why are you so concerned? (Laughter) You are not going to last until the end! (Laughter) Suppose there was a guarantee that you were going to live until the end, then you had better start planning for it right now! (Laughter) I am not sure about tomorrow. Why do you think of the end of Kali Yuga?"

He did not leave me at that stage. He continued, "How many years were Dwapara Yuga and Thretha Yuga?" I don’t know about Dwapara Yuga. I am not interested in these calculations. If I read any book where these numbers are mentioned, I simply sleep as I am not interested in how long this Yuga will last. When I won’t last, why should I be interested in this calculation, this 'lasting effect'? Why?

So my friends, there should not be any 'why' questions! Somebody asked, "Sir, this Creation has good and bad, and has so many creatures, so many living beings. Why has God created this world?" I answered, "Please ask Him when you next meet Him!" (Laughter) That is a silly question!

Instead of 'why' you could ask 'how': 'I am born here. How should I lead my life? I am in this Kali Yuga. How should I lead my life? With all these opposites of good and bad here, how should I conduct myself?' So instead of 'why' let us know the 'how'. 'How' implies the technique, the know-how, the technology of life. 'Why' speaks of the signs of life, whereas 'how' speaks of the technology of life. The 'how', the technique of living, is more interesting and useful.

Beauty Lies In the Mystery

So the second point, that unknown point, is mystery. The future is a mystery, while the past is history. The beauty lies in the mystery. Some people like to visit certain places where the future is interpreted. They visit some place where the Nadi Grandhas, some age-old books, are read. The reader examines these ancient books and tells you what is going to happen to you in the future. I'm not interested to know! Please, let us not be interested in the future. When the future is known, we lose the thrill of life.

The future is always kept in the future by Bhagavan. So why are we so interested to know about it? The future is kept as 'Top Secret' to maintain the suspense of life. Suppose you go to a movie, knowing the whole story ahead of time. "All right, the hero will not die even though he is jumping from the mountaintop. Don't worry! (Laughter) Though the heroine is crying, she will join the hero. Don't worry! I know the story." (Laughter) When you know the whole story, there is no thrill. So, excitement and thrill lie in the future, which is not known to us. Beauty lies in the mystery. Therefore, let's not go and try to find out the future.

Someone asked Bhagavan, "Swami, we visited certain places where the books composed by the ancient rishis are still available, the Nadi Grandhas. They told us everything about the past and they also revealed the future to us. But Swami, I have one doubt." Swami said, "Go on. You started with one doubt. Now go on to the next question." The man answered, "Swami, what the reader said about the past is quite true. It has really happened as he said. But certain things that he said about the future did not happen. How shall I understand this?"

For your information Baba said, "These are the books composed by the great sages. Sage Brigu wrote the Brigu Nadis. Unless you can achieve his wavelength, unless you are in tune with his thought and intellect, you cannot interpret them. You cannot elucidate these ancient pages unless you are as wise as the wise men or as intelligent as the sages. You can easily read the past because the past is past. The story or history is always correct because you have already passed through that. You cannot interpret the future. The one who can peep into the future is a saint or a sage. This ability of interpretation is not bestowed on everybody. Simply by demanding one hundred rupees they declare, 'I can read the Nadi book.' It is not so. Sages' knowledge cannot be valued and purchased with one hundred rupees!"

Do you see how life has become a business? My friends, Bhagavan cautions us and instructs us not to unravel the mystery of the future. The mystery is always kept in suspense in your own interest. To live here in the moment, to live here right now, is religion. Religion and spirituality are to live right here in the now, in the present moment we have.

I can give you one example: Two people were given an interview the other day. One was crying. Maybe it was ecstasy or maybe it was uncontrollable happiness expressed in the language of tears. But do you know what Bhagavan said? "You are missing a great opportunity offered to you when you cry like that. I have given you an interview and you are supposed to enjoy it! You are supposed to bask in enlightenment. But you are crying, so you are losing this opportunity." Therefore, instead of emotional outbursts, balance is required. Balance is spirituality. A balanced state of mind is spirituality, not crying.

One Lady Cannot Leave Swami

Yesterday a lady came to me with her two children. She said, "Sir, I am from that country." The place doesn’t matter, but the point is important. She comes from another country. I asked, "What is your problem?" She spoke while crying and wiping her tears. "Sir, I have decided to stay here." (AK)"Oh, are you married?" (Lady)"Yes." (AK)"How about your husband?" (Lady)"He will be there." (AK)"Oh, I see. He will stay there in your country." (Lady)"Yes, but I have decided to stay here." (AK)"Oh! What about your children?" (Lady)"Let them be admitted in Swami’s school." (AK)"But why this decision?" (Lady)"Sir, I cannot leave Swami. I want to be with Swami!" She said all this while shedding tears.

I allowed the cylinder (of tears) to be exhausted! (Laughter) Let the cylinder with all the gas of emotion be emptied! I allowed her to cry to her heart’s content and joined her in-between as an incentive! (Laughter) Then finally I said, "Look here! Your husband living over there in your country and you and your children being here, even going to school here, this is not what is expected of you. This is not a sign of religion. You cannot call yourself 'a devotee'. I am very sorry. Neither do I want your husband to come and stay here."

"Why do I say that? Both of you are young. You are supposed to work at this stage in your life. Your children are so young and have a long career ahead of them. Let them be educated there. You and your husband serve until the age of sixty. The decision to stay here is not really yours to make. If Swami asks you to be here, then it is all right. So, please go and join your husband there and take care of your children. That is the spiritual sadhana I prescribe for you," I said.

To think that you cannot leave Swami is a childish expression. How can you leave Swami? You have to live WITH Him. You have to live IN Him. You cannot leave Him! You can leave an object or a place, but you cannot leave air. If you leave air, you cannot live. If you leave earth, you are gone. You cannot leave the five elements. You have to live with these five elements and the Creator of the five elements.

How can you imagine that you are able to leave Him? It is impossible because you are in Him and He is in you and you and He are One. As Jesus said: (In the beginning) "The Light is in me." (After some time) "I am in the Light." (At the final stage) "I am the Light." Similarly, "I am the messenger of God." "I am the Son of God." Lastly, "I and My Father in Heaven are One." The body, the mind, and the Atma are these three levels of Consciousness.

I told that lady, "When you are in Him, when He is in you, when He and you are One, where is the question of leaving? Don’t be childish, my dear sister! Please join your husband." I don’t know what she felt about me. I don’t wish to show my face to her in the near future. (Laughter) She seems to be quite a violent devotee. I'm afraid she may manhandle me! (Laughter) I had better be cautious. But I said what I felt Bhagavan teaches us.

So from a known point, we travel to an unknown point. Why? That unknown point is indescribable. The known point of the life pattern is estimable and measurable. It is comprehensible. That which is measurable, comprehensible, describable, and understandable is this known point. But the unknown point is beyond description, beyond comprehension, beyond expression. That unknown point is spirituality. That mystery is religion. That is what the Upanishads say.

Expressing Means No Experience

Words cannot express things properly. If I go on expressing myself, it means there is no experience. For example, tell me how much do you love your mother? Will it take four pages to write? (Laughter) Or, we give some essay questions to our students: "Write critical notes on the following… 5 marks for 100 words." Now, how much do you love your mother? "Please write it down in one hundred words." Can you do that? "How much do you love your husband? Write it down in ten words." Can you do that? (Laughter) It is impossible! Of course, after twenty years of married life, ten words might be too much! Maybe five words are enough! (Laughter and applause) If five words are enough, why waste your words on ten? (Laughter) For honeymoon periods, we can write volumes. But later, ten words are too many! (Laughter)

So my friends, the most valuable things cannot be measured or expressed in words. When you cannot express your gratitude and your love, your sacrifice and truth in words, how do you expect to describe God verbally? It is impossible. So that unknown point is beyond expression. What is written is only textual and academic. Words cannot express the unknown, nor can the mind think about it. The mind cannot estimate or gauge or comprehend the unknown. Someone may say, "Sir, I know what it is! I can think about it and tell you!" But please, remain at home because that unknown area is beyond word and thought.

So my friends, religion is travelling from the known point to the unknown point. Let us not make any attempt to describe the unknown point verbally or to estimate it because the Upanishads clearly say it is impossible. The Bhagavad Gita goes a step further: "It is a mystery, miraculous and mysterious." You will be mystified and surprised to see its development. The moment you see Bhagavan, you cannot describe your feelings. The moment you are close to Him, you cannot describe it. You cannot understand it. Your mind and words fail. Even if anyone tells you, you cannot accept it.

Yoga Takes Us From The Known To The Unknown

Truth is existential. It is experimental and beyond comprehension. From the known to the unknown is beyond expression, and the process of that travel is called Yoga. I am not speaking of yoga in terms we all know it, as used in newspaper bulletins. 'Yoga' of today is almost a physical exercise. Every TV station - Gemini TV or E.T.V. or V.T.V. or STAR TV, or Super Star TV - presents us with 'yoga'. What does it mean? What they show is gymnastics! (Laughter) Or maybe it is acrobatics or physical exercises. They all go by the name 'yoga'. But that is NOT it.

Yoga is not a physical exercise. Yoga is a process that takes us from the point of the known to the point of the unknown. Yoga is the connecting link between the known and the unknown. Yoga is a link between man and God. Yoga is a process, which is something like 'tuning' the individual to the Divine within. As we tune our radio volume, so does Yoga tune the individual to the soul. Turning inward is Yoga.

Bhagavan says it so beautifully: What is happiness? Happiness is union with God. This is Bhagavan’s definition: Happiness is union with God. Happiness is not what you get with a hot cup of coffee. You think you are happy because of a pie or a pizza. But pizza and pie are not happiness, nor are donuts or cheese or hamburgers happiness. Certainly not! Happiness is union with God. He said 'happiness', but in spirituality we call it 'yoga'. Yoga is true happiness. This is union with God, which connects the known with the unknown. From the expressed to the inexpressible, from thought to beyond thought, this is called Yoga. This is spirituality.

But truthfully speaking, I cannot totally condemn the usual yogic practices. No, no! The Yoga we know gives certain physical postures, which keep the body fit and steady. When the body is steady, the mind is also steady. When the body is not steady, the mind will also be unsteady. Mind and body are not separate. The gross structure of the mind is the body, the subtle part of the body is the mind. Am I clear? So, our body and mind are interrelated. I cannot say, "I kept my mind at home, but my body is here!" (Response:) "Please leave me alone! I am already confused." (Laughter) That is how we would respond!

Body and mind are interrelated. A simple example: When the body is sick the mind cannot be active. When the mind is under the influence of hypnosis, the body acts accordingly. Hypnosis can make your body move because your mind has been controlled and the hypnotist will make your body move. So we are a combination of body and mind. Medically speaking, I call this 'psychosomatic', the combination of body and mind. Yoga helps us to bring into harmony a steady body and a steady mind, while we travel towards the point of the unknown.

More next week. Thank you very much! (Applause)

(Anil Kumar closed the satsang by leading the bhajan, 'Govinda Gopala...')

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!

© 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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