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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 4, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

Health Management (Part One)

August 4th, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Broad Outlines of the Topic

The topic for this morning is ‘Health Management’. Last week we discussed the topic of ‘Breath Management’. ‘Management’ seems to be the key word of the day. We have to manage life in general and these are the different components. It is in this context that I want to draw your attention to the importance of ‘Health Management’. I may require next Sunday also, to do full justice to this subject. But to those for whom it is not possible to be present next week, I shall explain just in tabular form, which will give you an over-all picture of the topic.

There are three aspects to be dealt with in health management. I'm trying to give you the broad outlines of the topic. I'm going to deal with the topic ‘Health Management’ under three headings. The first is ‘Food and Dietary Habits’, second aspect is ‘Physical Fitness and Disciplined Life’, and the third and final aspect is ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’. These three aspects come under the topic of ‘Health Management’. This has been designed purely in accordance to and in tune with the Sai message and Sai teachings. I'm sure it will be of immense help to every one of you.

Food, Head and God

‘Food and Dietary Habits’ - what are the things we need to know under this heading? Bhagavan said: “As is the food, so is the head. As is the head, so is God.” Food, head and God - all the three go in a sequential order. Food is the basis. Food is the first step that constitutes our mind. This mind helps us to think and to comprehend - and to experience God as well. And so, Bhagavan has said food, head and God - these three steps.

Let us talk about a few points under the heading of “Food and Dietary Habits”. Food for the body - usually we think that whatever we eat is food; but Bhagavan explains this in a broader sense. What we eat is food for the body. Our thoughts are food for the mind because the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts.

Sankalpa Vikalpatakam Manah.

Thoughts and counter-thoughts constitute the mind.

Manah Iti Manah.

Recapitulation, memory - that is the mind. Therefore, thought is the food to the mind. Senses of perception - we have five cognitive senses. Sound is the food to the ear. Touch is the food to the skin. Form is the food to the eye. Taste is the food to the tongue. Smell is the food to the nose. So the five senses also draw food in a different way out of this world.

It is not merely the food partaken. The thought, the sense of touch, of smell, of sound, of form - all these also constitute food. That’s the reason why Bhagavan said at one time, “Be good, See good, Do good.” That is all food.

All that you hear, if you listen to good things - that audition, that listening is food to the ear. Besides the sense of taste, good talk, sweet talk, soft talk, gentle talk is food for the tongue. All that we see, if good - like the mighty and beautiful nature, the grandeur of nature, the galaxy, the greenery, the landscape - that is food to the eye. Good thoughts - thoughts of God, thoughts of the Divinity - that constitutes good food to the mind. I mean regulated food, timely food.

Good listening, samyak sravana; good thought, samyak sankalpa; good sight, samyak drishti, good scenes; samyak kriya, good action - that’s all food. All have got to be regulated. All these come under, ‘Food and Dietary Habits’.

But we just limit ‘good food’ to the food that we partake. People are very careful how many calories. “Is it protein? How much starch?” They take food, and then immediately get to the weighing machine! They want to know. Well, that is not enough. We take all sorts of food, not merely food that is consumed. We should understand this.

Individual and Fundamental Discrimination

The intellect also needs food. What sort of food does the intellect require? It requires the sense of fundamental discrimination. Individual discrimination is bad food - is wrong food. Why? Individual discrimination makes you selfish. Individual discrimination helps you to support all your evil actions. Individual discrimination will not help you understand what is good. It will make you lose that sense of discretion, and will make you bereft of what we call judgement. So, we have got to be careful and feed our intellect with fundamental discrimination. So, individual discrimination is bad food, malnutrition. Fundamental discrimination is healthy food, protein food.

What is fundamental discrimination then? Fundamental discrimination is that which is applicable to everybody at all times; that what is good to me should be equally good to you. What is right to me should be equally right to you. So that which is applicable to all people all over the world, which is beneficial to everybody, is possible to acquire by exercising fundamental discrimination and never individual discrimination.

Further, what is food? The food we need every four hours? What is the food for the intellect? Inquiry. What is inquiry? Inquiry of the Self: “Who am I?”

So my friends, in the first topic of ‘Food and Dietary Habits’, I'm going to deal with the following points - body, mind, senses and intellect. That means the body that requires food, the mind that needs thought, the senses of sound, touch, form, taste, smell, and the intellect that requires discrimination, inquiry.

Unless the senses are proper, unless the mind is proper, unless the intellect is clean and perfect, unless the body is healthy, it is impossible to proceed along the spiritual path. The spiritual path, the spiritual exercise, will be futile, useless, and totally hopeless if the food and dietary habits are not proper. If they are not taken care of well, all of spirituality is nonsense. This constitutes the first aspect of ‘Health Management’.

Physical Fitness Is Absolutely Necessary

What is the second aspect? ‘Physical Fitness and Disciplined Life’ is the second aspect under ‘Health Management’. Physical fitness will make you physically fit and healthy, which means a sound mind in a sound body. Unless I'm healthy, I will not be in a position to take up any sadhana or any spiritual practise. Unless I'm healthy, I’ll not be able to do anything. Particularly when Bhagavan wants us to do seva or service, we should be physically fit.

It is a joke, but a reality in certain instances: We find people above 70 and 80 years old in Seva Dal's service activities. They need to be served because they cannot serve any longer. “Am I fit enough to do that? I'm now 70 or I'm now 80. Am I eligible to be in Seva Dal?” I should question myself. Can I do physical work? No. Therefore, physical fitness is absolutely necessary to get ourselves involved in seva, the service activity. Why? Why should I serve?

Sareeramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhakam.
Paropakarardhamai Edam Sareeram.

These are the two popular Vedic dicta. What do they say? “O God, this body is a beautiful instrument which You have given. O God, this body is Your gift. I have not made it in the laboratory myself. I have not created it myself. It is not manufactured by any industry. It is Your gift, O God! This body, being Your gift, should be dedicated to You, spent in a life of service and in constant contemplation, thinking of You incessantly. O God, that is the purpose to know and to realise.”

This body is merely an instrument. Why be physically fit? Why a disciplined life? Because human life is the rarest of all. As per the calculation, in this organic world, there are 84 lakhs of species. Of all these variety of species, human life is the rarest. That’s what Adi Sankara in “Viveka Chudamani” says:

Janthunaam Nara Janma Durlabham.

Meaning, of all the 84 lakhs of species in this Creation, human life is most precious, noblest and rarest. If the purpose is not realised, if it is not properly utilized, our misfortune is beyond all estimate and calculation.

Make Use of It

“I bought the latest car but I don’t make use of it. I keep it in the shed.” What happens? It gets spoiled. All the investment, all the money spent, is useless. It is just a mere waste. Similarly, all that we possess should be used - the radio or the TV or the heater or grinder or automobiles. Whatever we have, they must be used. Having acquired them, they must be put to use.

Similarly, having been born a human being, having been given this beautiful gift - a body that is physically fit - it should not be used for wandering or loitering or for gossip or for playing cards or gambling. That is a waste of life. Life has got to be used in a proper way. This is possible when we know that human life is the rarest of all.

The scripture also says: “My dear young man, know that you started your life as mineral matter. Slowly you evolved into a plant. Gradually and slowly you have grown into an animal. And gradually you have reached the climax in the course of evolution, so today you’re a human being. Just imagine how many millions of years you have spent, how many lives you have gone through, to reach this state of a human being. That’s the reason why it is said human life is the rarest:

Janthunaam Nara Janma Durlabham.

Therefore, this human life is a kshetra. Kshetra means the ‘field’ or we could say a laboratory where we can have successful results. Life is a laboratory where we can experiment the four objects of life - dharma, artha, kama, moksha or righteousness, aspiration, wealth and liberation. In human life, all these things are successfully experimented with. No animal can think of liberation. No plant can think of ambition. It is only man who has got ambition. It is only man who has got the thirst for liberation. Therefore, kshetra is the field or the laboratory in which to seek and to achieve successful results.

Disciplined Life

What do we mean? Why a disciplined life? Bhagavan tells us that, though we are undisciplined, we find discipline in nature. Discipline is order. I may tend to lead an undisciplined life. My life may be undisciplined, but if I examine my body, I will understand how God meant it to be disciplined. God designed this body to be disciplined. How?

Bhagavan tells us that the normal temperature is 98.4 degrees. If it is a little more, it is a fever. If it is a little less, it is a matter of concern. The blood pressure should be 120/80. When it is more or less, it is a matter of anxiety and worry. So, the blood pressure, the heartbeat, the blood circulation and the body temperature are all under certain limits. Thus, a disciplined life means: Nature is disciplined. The body is designed to be disciplined and we are expected to be disciplined.

If we are disciplined, we will be able to discharge our duty to the best of our ability, to the best of our capacity, and win the appreciation of everybody. We can think of a promotion, besides esteem and respect. If there is no discipline while discharging our duty, suspension orders are ready, waiting on the table, if not a dismissal. So, our duty can be discharged in the best way if we are disciplined.

And for devotion, discipline is a must. How? There are prescribed timings for nagarsankirtan, prescribed timings for bhajans. Everything is prescribed. Everything is regulated: a time for seasons, a time for day and night, a time for our prayer, a time for our meditation. Everything is specific, and everything is indicated.

Sadhu Vaswani gives a beautiful illustration. Sadhu Vaswani tells it this way: Suppose you are to meet your boss at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Can you avoid it? Can you go there to meet him at 12 o’ clock? You’ll find the door closed. And if you say, “I’ll meet you tomorrow,” he will say, “Better not.” So you can never miss your appointment with your boss. Similarly, meditation is our appointment with God. We should never miss that.

Our Baba goes a step further. He explains: If you feed a dog everyday at 12 o’clock in the afternoon, that dog will be waiting at the doorstep at 12 o’clock punctually. There is one place here in Tamil Nadu by name of ‘Pakshi Teertham’. When food is served at 12 o’clock in the noon, two birds come there punctually. This has been happening over many, many years. “When a dog is punctual, when a dog is ready at the appointed time, why not God?” said Bhagavan!

Why Should I Be Disciplined?

So my friends, for duty and devotion, self-discipline is a must. In order to be dutiful and devoted, we have got to be physically fit. We have got to be disciplined. Why all this? Why should I be devoted? Why should I be dutiful? Why should I be disciplined? Why? What has it got to do with spiritual life? How is it related to religion? That will be our question.

If it is a matter of working at the office, I can understand. I will get some more money and a promotion. If it is a matter of business, well I can understand. I welcome your suggestion because dividends and profits are guaranteed. If it is a matter of my life, I'm more interested because I want to live long. But I want to know how these things are related to God. Why should I be dutiful? Why should I be disciplined? Why should I be devoted? What have they to do with religion? How are they related to spirituality? This is our immediate next question.

The answer is simple: the four 'D's' - duty, devotion, dedication, discipline. The three 'D's' - duty, devotion, and discipline - will take us to dedication. Discipline, duty, and devotion will land us right there on the helipad of dedication, ready to take off. So, in order to land there, three things are required. What are they? Discipline, duty, devotion are needed to take off from there to dedication.

What Is Dedication?

What is dedication? “My father dedicated his property. I have dedicated my life. I have dedicated all my belongings to Bhagavan or to such-and-such a charity trust.” We hear these words. We also hear or read these things published in newspapers.

What is dedication? Dedication, according to Bhagavan, is to sacrifice your ego. Sacrificing the ego is dedication. No one has given this wonderful definition. People say, “Dedicate your property to Sathya Sai Trust.” Bhagavan is not interested in your property. “I dedicated my body” – useless. There are many people ready. (Laughter) “I dedicated my life”. No one wants it. No one is interested.

What is to be dedicated? The ego is to be dedicated. The ego must be sacrificed. The ego must be killed. The ego must be totally annihilated. That is called dedication. It is not so easy to kill the ego because the ego is an expert in this ‘hide-and-seek’ game. If you just take it out the front door, it will start coming in from the back door. It is very difficult to remove ego. It is very difficult to be free from it because the ego is such a favourite thing, having grown over several lives, over several hundreds of thousands of lives! Such an ego that is so strong will not go so easily. It is something like blood pressure and sugar, which will be with us life-long. We can just control it, that's all. You cannot be totally free from it. Likewise my friends, in dedication, the ego can be killed only when we are disciplined, when we are dutiful, and when we are devoted.

Why Should I Kill the Ego?

“Why should I kill the ego? I'm comfortable with my ego. (Laughter) Everyone says, ‘Sai Ram’ to me. (Laughter) Everyone recognises me. Everyone is ready to offer a seat because of my ego. It is the ego that gives me identity. It is the ego that establishes my personality. It is my ego that wins name and fame. It is my ego that has brought all this reputation. Why should I sacrifice my ego? I can water it, I can manure it, and I can grow it further! When it is profitable, when it is enjoyable, when it is useful to exploit others, why not, O ego, let you grow!” (Laughter)

But the reality is different. For example, just imagine something behind this wall. If you want to see it, what should you do? You should remove this wall to see it. Open the door and see what is there. Similarly, God is just behind the ‘iron curtain’ of ego saying, “O my dear man, I am ready here. But you are not ready to see Me. I am waiting for you. You have no time to see Me. I want you, but you don’t want Me.” Why? Because of the ‘iron curtain’ of ego.

We don’t need to do any sadhana, no yagna, no yaga, no sacred religious ritual, no meditation, no penance, no bhajan, nothing. If we are able to kill our ego, good! Because all of these activities are meant for killing the ego. When ego is not killed by all of these activities, the result is a big zero.

The meaning is this: I have taken A-vitamin, B-vitamin, C-vitamin, D-vitamin - ten tablets a day! Still I continue to be weak. Still I'm not able to manage myself. What does an intelligent man say? “Please wait for death. That’s all.” You are taking ten to fifteen tablets a day. Still there is no progress, only the date is yet to be announced - the date of your last journey!

Similarly, I do bhajan, I do nagarsankirtan, I read a lot, I speak a lot; but people see ego walking on two feet on the street in me. Why all this activity? Why this reading? What for all these bhajans? So my friends, in spirituality, all rituals, all sacred activities are prescribed only to kill ego. lf that is not done, well, all those activities would be a waste of time, a waste of energy, and a waste of money. If you don’t kill the ego, then you will be following the routine of millions, where one is rich or totally sick, one of the two. So ego is the biggest obstacle. It is the major barrier. We are not able to comprehend and visualise Divinity because of this ego.

Physical fitness and disciplined life will help us to be determined. We are determined. What sort of determination have you taken? “I have determined to push a fellow who is standing in front of me during darshan line.” This is not determination. (Laughter) “I have determined to jump two lines in front of me so that I’ll get a front seat.” That is not proper determination. “I have determined to see that you will certainly fail in life.” Chi, chi! That’s a horrible determination. (Laughter)

Good Determination

What is good determination? What is true determination? True determination, an ideal determination, is not to give up an effort until the goal is reached, until the aim is realised, until the life-that-is-a-dream is realised. “I'm ready to face the challenge of life. I'm ready to face the devil of life. I'm ready to fight to the end.” That is proper determination.

“O Bhagavan, I'm not going to give this up until You are happy with Me. I'm not going to leave the spiritual sadhana until You are happy with me. I'm not going to leave this place until You look at me.” That is determination. Not to wait for the fall of the neighbour or not to wait until that man is totally gone out of the picture - that is horrible, that is negative. Bhagavan spoke about these things many times. So, duty, devotion, dedication, and determination - all these are possible when we are physically fit and lead a disciplined life.

And above all, we need to do a self-audit or self-evaluation. A disciplined life requires a self-audit or self-evaluation. In the sight of everybody, I may be a good man, but I know within how terrible I am. People may declare that I'm a great devotee. I know from within what a long way I have to go. People may call me virtuous, but I'm highly aware of my lapses and weaknesses. So, it is not the praise of others; it is not the claps and the cheers that matter. Claps and cheers happen for just everything. If a film star comes there on the stage, people clap. So, claps are not the criteria. Number or quantity is never the criteria, never the parameter or the yardstick.

What is most important is, “Am I loyal to the royal within? Am I faithful to my conscience? Is my conscience satisfied? Can I say I'm good with all my heart? Can I say that I'm ideal in the real spirit?” That’s possible if we make Self-evaluation. Constant, repeated Self-evaluation is what we call inquiry or Atma vicharana. This means Self-inquiry. I should inquire within. I should evaluate myself as to what extent, how near I am to the goal. That’s what Bhagavan says repeatedly during His Divine discourses.

YOU To Start With

You have been coming here for a long time. You have been visiting this place repeatedly. But what is it that you have achieved? What is it that you have learned? To what extent have you been transformed? What change is there in you? These are the questions that Bhagavan puts to us in almost all of His Divine discourses. I think you will agree with me. But the pity is this: We think that the questions are put to the other man and not to the person concerned. (Laughter)

Bhagavan says, “Why should you come here so many times, without any change? “

But I direct this question to that man whom I don’t like. (Laughter)

Baba adds, “You are wasting your time.”

I think of the other person, not myself. This is the worst tragedy that could ever happen.

When Bhagavan says, “You are not reformed,” it does not mean the other man. It means YOU to start with. It means ME to begin with, not the other man. There’s no other man, other than myself. When Bhagavan says, “Some of the office bearers are not doing their duty properly,” the office bearers think it is some other office bearer, other than those who are seated there in the auditorium (Laughter). They think it means those who could not make the trip here. I see. That is a very convenient philosophy. Philosophy is not for convenience. Philosophy is for conviction, not for convenience.

Be Happy!

The third aspect under ‘Health Management’ is the ‘Feeling of Well-Being’. This is missing in a number of people. They are very wealthy; they are in a very high position; they are healthy; but still they have a long face. “How are you?” “Pulling on.” (Laughter) “How are you?” “Going on.” “How are you?” “So-so.”

What shall we do with those people? If I am not happy here, where else can I be happy? If I am not satisfied here, where else can I be satisfied? If I do not experience bliss here, where else is bliss? What is bliss, actually speaking? This is the place where we can experience satisfaction, where we can be happy, where we can be blissful? If it is not possible here, where else is it possible?

If you don’t feel the heat out of a heater, what is that heater for? Throw it away! If all the foodstuff that you preserved in the fridge is spoiled, throw it out on the street or into the garbage. If the thermometer does not record the temperature, what use is it? Throw it in the gutter.

So, if we are not happy, if we are not satisfied, if we are not blissful, if we cannot smile here, we are unnecessarily giving business to Air India, British Airways, and that’s all. (Laughter) Our travel to this place is not to give business to those people, no! We have no business to give them business. Our main business is to be blissful, to be happy and to smile.

That’s why in every interview, Bhagavan tells to everybody, to the boys, the elders, and men and women alike, “Be happy, be happy, be happy.” It means, be happy for yourself, be happy with your family, be happy with the society. Happy, happy, happy!

If you are not happy yourself, your family will be miserable. When you are on tour, your family is very happy in your absence. Why? Because you are contributing misery to the family. (Laughter) Suppose a son says, “My father is on tour” with a smile. It only means that the father is torturing the son at home. So when the father is away from home, it is a holiday and a jolly day for children - a matter of celebration. (Laughter) So, a man who is not happy with himself cannot make his family happy. So let me be happy.

“Well, how are you sir?” “I'm not happy!” Just let us calculate: For kidney transplantation, each kidney cost two lakhs. God has given me two kidneys is equal to four lakhs. (Laughter) Heart transplantation cost ten lakhs. I have a good heart so, that means ten lakhs. If you calculate the cost of the body in terms of transplants, we are billionaires, all of us! (Laughter) No reason to cry. Are you a millionaire? Yes, why not? (Laughter) Take note: two kidneys is equal to ten lakhs; one heart is equal to ten lakhs. Yes, I can give you a list! (Laughter) Yes! If you want, we can feed it into the computer also - the cost of the human body, like that.

So, there is no reason to be unhappy because the body is very costly. If you want to calculate the cost of the body, just go to the hospital for a total check-up. The bill will be five thousand. In the West, to fall sick is a matter of luxury. All can’t afford to fall sick. Yes, to be healthy is very cheap, but to fall sick is very costly. I think most people from the West will agree with me.

No Man Is Happier Than You

So, if we are very healthy, why can’t we smile? Why can’t we be happy? God has given you enough food to eat. God has given you a perfect body and God has given you good children. Yes, why can't we be happy? We are not happy because we think the other man is happier. (Laughter) Please take it from me - no man is happier than you are because he thinks that YOU are happier than he is! (Laughter and applause) Yes!

A man who moves about in his car feels jealous of a man who walks on the road. Why? Petrol charges are so high! A man who walks on the street is quite happy because he has got ‘number 11’ - meaning, two legs. It is comfort - no petrol necessary. (Laughter) No repairing, no overhauling, and you don’t need to throw it on the street. If there is any problem, I can comfortably walk – ‘car number 11’. That’s quite comfortable. And a man walking on foot thinks the man in the car is more comfortable. But both these are uncomfortable.

The man who is rich always thinks that a poor man can eat anything of his choice. A poor man can eat hot stuff and sweets also. The very rich man, because of his diabetes, cannot touch sweets. Because of blood pressure, he cannot touch hot stuff. He has to eat only bread, that’s all. Man does not live by bread alone, but the rich man lives by bread only. (Laughter) So he thinks, “Oh, here I am going to the five-star hotel.” Why? To eat bread. (Laughter) Whereas a poor man thinks that he is very rich because he can eat any stuff under the sun. So he is the super-star - not the film star or the five-star. So my friends, there’s no reason to be unhappy.

A man of formal education, with just one degree, thinks that he’s not that wise. He’s not in the cadre of a scholar. Whereas the great scholar, with Ph. D and D.Sc. thinks, ‘I'm very unfortunate because I'm full of doubts.’ (Laughter) The greater the scholar, the more are the number of doubts. The less the scholarship, the higher is the clarity, and greater the depth of devotion and total faith.

Scholars with a number of degrees will have faith on Monday and be faithless on Tuesday. (Laughter) Have belief on Wednesday and disbelief on Thursday. So every day is a problem to a scholar because scholarship adds to the confusion. “I'm not that kind of fellow to believe everything.” Oh-ho! We end up in state where we fail to have faith in ourselves. Faith in one’s own Self is totally gone - that is the climax of scholarship.

So my friends, never think that the other man is happier than you are. Never think that the other man is luckier than you are. Never think that the other man is more fortunate than you are. “Oh! Swami granted him an interview! How lucky he is!” But in the interview room, Swami tells him, “Don’t worry! You had a major surgery, a heart surgery. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” So, if you are prepared for that, you’ll have interview this evening! (Laughter)

Why do we think in those terms? “We are quite happy. Bhagavan, I am here. I'm quite happy.” It’s more important to think along these lines - to be satisfied, to smile and smile all the way - to be blissful and blissful all along. The state of complacence, the spirit of satisfaction, is absolutely necessary - no comparison and no competition.

A Feeling of Well-Being

A feeling of well-being -- it’s not enough if you are well. You should feel well. Yes!

“How are you?”

“I'm fine.”

The body is perfect, but the face lacks that expression. Swami says ‘castor oil face’. (Laughter) The body is perfect, but the face has no expression of perfection. You should be well and you should feel well. Make others feel well. Make everybody happy. Be happy unto yourself. Let your family be happy with you. Let everybody be happy with us. That is the feeling of well-being.

This is possible when we follow this famous saying of Bhagavan, “Help ever, hurt never.” As I think of this saying, I know some people who “help never and hurt ever”. (Laughter)

“Sir, will you please do this?”

(Gruffly) “I have no time! Get out!”

“Sir, can I go this way?”

“You should not!”

Their life is just the opposite, namely, “Hurt ever, help never.” So if we can’t help, at least let us not hurt. “You cannot always oblige, but you can always speak obligingly,” as Bhagavan says.

A feeling of well-being will help you not to hurt anyone. When you feel well, why can't you help? Unless you are happy, you cannot help anybody. Unless you don’t hurt anybody, you don’t feel like helping anybody. This is necessary.

A feeling of well-being will be there if we know the three R’s of Bhagavan - reaction, reflection, resound. These are the three famous R’s of Bhagavan. I know some responsible office bearers of Sai Centres are here in this assembly. I want these questions to be put to our Bal Vikas children. What are the three R’s of Bhagavan? What are the three S’s of Bhagavan? What are the five D’s of Bhagavan? These questions should be put to Bal Vikas children. They are very important. They will help them in the long run.

What does Bhagavan mean by reaction, reflection, resound? If you respect other men, you’ll be respected. If you are friendly to the other man, he will be your friend. If you love somebody, you’ll be loved in turn. So everything that comes to you is nothing but reaction, reflection, resound. Bhagavan gives this example quite often: Stand in front of mirror and salute. Your reflection also salutes. Or lift up your forefinger, “Take care!” your reflection also, “Be careful!” So, there is nothing but reaction, reflection and resound.

In life, if you are unhappy, it only means that you never made anybody happy. How do you expect others to make you happy when you have never made anybody happy? How do you expect others to help you when you do not know the spelling of ‘help’? When you have never attempted to help anybody, how can you expect to be helped? When you are not courteous, how can you expect others to be courteous to you?

So my friends, in order to have the best things in this world, we should be the best to start with. That’s why Swami says, “Be good first; then you can see good; then you can do good.” Everything starts with this being - with you. So if I laugh, that’s good; everybody will start loving me. If I am happy, everybody will be happy with me. So this is the secret of well-being. This is the secret - to have a feeling of well-being.


The feeling of well-being will be there if you observe a period of silence. A period of silence is very much emphasized and is very much stressed by almost all religious leaders. By a ‘period of silence’, I don’t mean silence in the ordinary sense. I'm talking now, but I am thinking something else. This is not silence. I stopped talking, but I am thinking something else. This is not silence. So silence can be in different states. Silence means ‘withdrawal of thoughts’. Silence means ‘withdrawal of mind’. Silence means ‘thoughtless state’. Silence means that ‘state of stillness, that state of void, that state of emptiness - no thought whatsoever’. Be calm.

Somebody asked sage Ramana Maharshi, “Swami, what should I do for liberation?” Ramana Maharshi said, “Only think that what you have to do is not to do.” (Laughter) Don’t do. Why? Whatever you do, you do it at the level of the mind. Whatever is done, you do with your mind. “I decided to do this.” Decision is of the mind. “I am doing.” This is a claim of the mind. “I did that” is a claim of the mind. Whatever is done is the prompting of the mind - is the will of the mind, which is just worldly, which is mundane.

The actual Reality transcends the mind. It is beyond the state of mind. Therefore, the point is that silence is the ‘withdrawal of ‘I’-ness - the withdrawal of ego’. The ‘I’-ness is gone. It is a state of egolessness, thoughtlessness, withdrawal of the mind. It is in that state that you’ll have the feeling of well-being.

In Prayer There Is No Ego

When you spend some time in prayer or join in bhajan, you have the feeling of well being because in prayer and in bhajan there is no ego. As you pray, you cannot have ego. I remember my school days when I was in my 11th class. On the Annual School Day my teacher wanted me to pray. He gave me Rabindranath Tagore’s prayer. I love English and therefore he selected me to offer prayer on the Annual School Day. I learned it by heart, Tagore’s, “Where the mind is far from fear and head is held high, where knowledge is free…” I was ready, ready!

Just a few hours before the Annual School Day, my teacher called, “Anil Kumar, repeat Tagore’s prayer.”

I said (with an arrogant voice), “Where the mind … and head is held high, where knowledge is free….”

He said, “You are pulling the collar of God! (Laughter) All the words are full of ego and arrogance. (Laughter) That is not the way to pray. (Speaking in a strong voice,) ‘Where the mind…’ No ,no no! It should be so humble.”

(Anil Kumar says in a soft, humble voice), “Where the knowledge is free…” Yes. “Where the mind has no fear...”

He made me practise it again and again. So in the state of prayer, there is no ego as I had, (in an egotistical voice,) “Where the mind…” (Laughter)

As Swami said, how people say ‘Sai Ram’! (In an overbearing voice, “SAI RAM!” (Laughter)

(In a fast, harsh voice,) “SAI RAM!” (Laughter)

Shouting “Sai Ram”, angry “Sai Ram” - well I don’t know. ‘Sai Ram’ has so many meanings. For somebody to say, after the work is over (softly), “Sai Ram”, it means, “Goodbye!” (Laughter)

Actually ‘Sai Ram’ is God's name, but we use it this way. That’s why the Bible says, “Thou shalt not use the Name of thy God in vain.” The Holy Bible clearly says, “Thou shalt not use the Name of thy God in vain” like this (in a hurried voice), “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram!” (or in an angry voice), “Sai Ram!” It is the worst of sins ever possible.

So the point is, in prayer there’s no ego. In silence there’s no ego. There is only the Reality. It is only emptiness. The Self is in a state of the eternal Witness. There is no ego at all - that gives you the state of well-being.

Ceiling On Desires

Ceiling on desires helps us to have a feeling of well-being. Any number of worldly objects, any amount of money, any exalted position, any depth or any heights of name and fame will never give the supreme state of satisfaction. Impossible!

I told this assembly a few weeks ago that it is Einstein who said, “If I am to be born again, I want to be born as a carpenter.” Zen is a school of philosophy. For your information, all Zen masters lead their life incognito. They don’t want to be recognized. They don’t want their name to be known to anybody. You cannot recognize a Zen master - extreme simplicity, total austerity, a life of incognito. They don’t want to be recognized. That is the quality of a Zen master.

You will find a Zen master still leading the life of a carpenter, a Zen master leading the life of a cobbler, a Zen master leading the life of a blacksmith. He does not change his pattern of life because he finds true Divinity in the state of egolessness. They never believe in this: “I am so-and-so, you know! Don’t you know that?” Oh, I see. He is Dr. Ego - a Ph.D, in ego. Yes! So, true spirituality lies in the egoless state. You can feel well when you are egoless. I am nobody. I'm a non-entity. I'm ordinary. There you feel the happiness of well-being.

We should have a check on our desires saying, “This far - no further. I'm happy with my lot. God has given me whatever I wanted. No more, that’s enough.” Why the burden? Why the additional baggage? “Less luggage, more comfort, make travel a pleasure.”

“Yes. I'm quite happy with the lot I have.” That gives you the feeling of well-being.

I have listed here ‘Food and Dietary Habits’. There are so many things to be learned. Next week I think I shall be able to deal with them all. This morning I wanted to do this chart, because next week it may not be possible for some of the brothers and sisters to join us. For them, they’ll have an overall picture of the three areas under this title, ‘Health Management.’ Thank you!

(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan,

“Govinda Gopala He Nanda Lala…”)

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!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!

Sai Ram, Thank You!

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