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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 18, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given By Anil Kumar

Health Management (Part 3)

August 18th, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Feeling of Well-Being

Today we’ll be completing the topic ‘Health Management.’ Under ‘Health Management’ there are three categories. The first one is ‘Food and Dietary Habits’. The second is ‘Physical Fitness and a Disciplined Life’. And the third one is ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’. ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’ - I commenced this topic last week and will be concluding this morning.

How do we develop the feeling of well-being? Though people are well, they don’t feel well. That is the tragedy. They are well, but they don’t feel so well. Why? Some people are unwell yet they feel well. How? They have no reason to say, “I'm well.” They are not rich enough, and they are not in high positions. They don’t have any godfather to support them. They are not well in any way; yet they have the feeling of well-being. So, those who are well may not have the feeling of well-being, while those who have the feeling of well-being may not be well. That is the first point I want to make clear.

The second point is that the feeling is more important than the actual state. Why? You should be good. You should also look good. You should be decent both within and without. You should be good inside and out. If you do not feel well, then of what use is all your wealth? If you do not feel well, of what use is having power? If you do not feel well, of what use is all the scholarship? If you do not feel well, of what use is your sadhana or these practises? All of them are to give us a feeling of well-being. So it is in this context that the ‘Feeling of Well-Being’ requires an in-depth study as an aspect of ‘Health Management’.

What are the points mentioned by Bhagavan during some of His discourses? My attempt is only to collect the pearls, to collect the gems that are actually Sai teachings given to us on different occasions, organised under one title. That’s all. Now, what is it that we need? What is it that we have to possess? What are the things that we are to cultivate to have the feeling of well-being?

The Richest Treasure

One, what is the richest treasure in this world? Even if you are given gold mines, micron mines, you still want something more.

Bhagavan was saying the day before yesterday… What did He say? “Who is the richest man? The richest man is the one who has satisfaction. Who is the poorest man? The one who has many desires.”

The man who is full of desires is the poorest man, while the man of much satisfaction is the richest man according to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So my friends, to have a sense of well-being, we should have this richest treasure of satisfaction - not the bank balance, not the jewellery, not the plots and the sites, nothing at all.

What is our richest treasure? It is a peaceful and contented mind. “I'm peaceful, I'm satisfied.” Then you are richest of all. So that is the first and foremost requirement to develop the feeling of well-being.


The second thing we need -- What is the best city in this world, where we can have the best life? The best city is not geographical. It is not New York or Chicago, not Delhi or Bombay. The best city is ‘simplicity’. Simplicity is the best city. Why? If you remain simple, you can have ample joy everywhere. Greatness lies in simplicity.

Bhagavan says, “I take simple food. I lead a simple life.”

All great people lead simple lives. They had simple food, simple living, and high thinking. Today we have very high life and simple thinking. That’s the reason why we are confused and we are not happy. At least spiritually - those of us who have opted to be spiritual, those of us who have chosen this spiritual path of life – we must be simple because the best ‘city’ is simplicity. That is the second thing we need for our well-being.

Separated From Ourselves

And the third thing…Why are we not so well? Why don’t we have the feeling of well-being? Why? The reason is that we are separated from ourselves. You are separated from yourself. When I say this, it might sound nonsensical. Some people may mistake this as trying to play at word-building or vocabulary gymnastics. It is not so.

We are separated from ourselves. You are separated from yourself. What do I mean by being separated from your Self? What do I mean by that?

What am I in reality? What is the core of my being? What is the centre of my being? I'm taken away from my centre, while I'm just groping in darkness, moving on the periphery. Since I'm moving on the periphery, I'm separated from the centre of my life. So I'm away from the centre of my being. I'm away from the core of my being. I'm just on the periphery of my own being. That’s why I have no sense of well-being. I have no feeling of well-being because I'm away from my own Self.

What is my reality? What is the core of my personality? What is the centre of my being? The centre of my being consists of three aspects. It consists of three points. What are they? They are existence or sath, awareness or chith and third, ananda or bliss. Sath-chith-ananda. The centre of life, the very core of my being has these three components, sath-chith-ananda - existence, awareness and bliss. My core, the centre of life, compromises three - Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram - Truth, Love and Beauty. Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram - that is the core of my life. That is the centre of my life. Sath-chith-ananda is the very centre of my life. Since I'm away from my centre, since I'm just living on the periphery, I don’t have the feeling of well-being.

Why am I cut off? How am I cut off from my centre? Why? The reason is I have no knowledge of Truth. I have no awareness of Truth. So, one point of my centre is gone. I have no reality of the very fact of life. I have no awareness. So I have lost another point from the core of my being. Third, I'm not blissful. I don’t have any taste of bliss. So I have lost the third point of the very centre of my being, sath-chith-ananda - Truth (existence), awareness, bliss. When one after another is gone, the very centre is lost. So I'm on the periphery.

Happiness and Biss

I enjoy happiness. I have happiness, but I don’t know what bliss is. Bliss is separate from happiness. We’ve talked about it many times in the past. Bliss is non-dual; happiness is dual. Bliss is spiritual; happiness is physical. Bliss is eternal; happiness is momentary. Bliss is the Self; happiness is related to things, material objects and individuals. Bliss is unconditional; happiness is conditional. Bliss is our real state; happiness is that which comes and goes. We have talked of this at length many times. So let’s not go into the details again.

Since I have no knowledge of this bliss, since I have no knowledge or awareness of my true Self, since I don’t know my own Reality and Truth; I'm cut off from the centre of my life, from the very core of my being. So I have no feeling of well-being. Though I'm perfectly well, I still don’t have a feeling of well-being because the core is gone. I'm away from my own Self.

Life Is Simple

The fourth attitude to cultivate: Life is simple…stupidity makes it complex. Whatever you ask Bhagavan, He’ll say, “Very simple, very simple!”

“Swami, is spirituality very difficult?”

“No, no very simple!”

“Swami, is the principle of non-dualism, Adwaitha, is it very difficult to understand?”

“No, no, very, very easy!”

“Swami, is sadhana complicated?”

“No, no, no, very easy, very simple!”

According to Bhagavan, everything is simple and easy; but man is clever enough to make simple things complicated. (Laughter) Man complicates simple things (which is the total expression of his stupidity), whereas Divinity makes a complex thing simple. That is the sign of Divinity. The sign of Divinity is to make any complex thing very, very extremely simple and easy.

So let us understand…Life is simple. If I find any difficulty, it is my stupidity that is responsible. It is my foolishness that is responsible. Or else, life is so simple. Why? Bhagavan said at one time, “Has engineering helped human society to grow? Has engineering helped human society to grow in any way? No. Has medicine helped society to develop? No. Has architectural beauty helped human society to progress? No.”

Bhagavan tells it this way, “Birds, bees, and animals all live without the knowledge of engineering, medicine, architecture - nothing whatsoever. We have not heard of any animal attending Harvard University or Oxford University. (Laughter) We have not heard of it. Without any university degrees, without any formal training, animals, birds and bees - they’re all so happy!


There is one word that we say, “Boring, boring.” No animal complains of boredom. No bird ever said, “I am bored.” (Laughter) No dog every said, “I am bored.” Man is totally bored. Man is the other name of boredom. Why?

You ask any fellow, any of the school children, “How are you, boy?”

“Bored, daddy!” (Laughter)

Oh I see. You ask any college student, “Hey, how are you, dear son?”

“No, no, it is boring. Well I'm not able to…I can't bare this boredom.”

Oh-ho. If you ask an officer, “How are you?”

“Sir, life has become boredom.”

If you ask a housewife: “My husband has made my life such boredom.” (Laughter)

So each of them has become a bore to the other person. The husband is a big bore to the wife and the wife has become a big bore to the husband. The office is nothing but a bore; plus studies are boring. I don’t know why this boredom!

There is boredom because we have made life mechanical: 4:30 AM darshan - run, run! Why? I must run! (Laughter)

“Why do you sit there?”

“Swami may feel badly if I'm not there.”

Oh-ho, I see. He’ll feel happy if such a fellow is not there! We are not there to make Swami happy. We are there to make ourselves happy. Out of fear, some people go to darshan. Out of tension, some people run there. They come like that, having been here so long, and finding that there is no other alternative.

I go to bhajan. Why? “What is the fun of sitting here?” So, let me go too.

So, this kind of attitude, this “let-me-go-too” attitude, is the cause for boredom. It means that I have lost the charm of life. I have lost the beauty of life. I have lost the thrill of life because I have made my activity totally mechanical. Housewives or husbands or administrators or professionals or students - anybody - if they say life is boring, it only means that they lost the very charm of life. Their life has become mechanical. They travel in a Mercedes Benz but yet - oh, boring! Why? Mechanical.

But life is so simple that we should enjoy every moment of it. Let us observe Bhagavan. What is He doing? Every day He gives darshan morning and evening. He sits there for bhajans morning and evening. Collecting letters, giving interviews, this Divine Romance has been going on for the last sixty years or even more!

But He never said, “It is boring.” (Laughter)

Calling the same fellow, talking to him many times, He never says, “It’s boring.” Sometimes repeating the same points in His Divine Discourses, He never feels bored. Why? Why? Just question yourselves. Why doesn’t Bhagavan feel bored? Why? He doesn’t feel bored because He’s Life embodied. He’s energy personified. He’s dynamism in human form.

The Freshness of Life

Here some simple examples. Watch the sunrise every morning. Nobody will say, “Ah, the same sunrise I saw yesterday. It’s boring.” (Laughter) Go to certain areas like Kanyakumari or Cape Cameron. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Just go behind the Round Buildings, you’ll find the sunrise and sunset. Nobody will say, “Ah, the sunset is boring.” If anyone says watching the sunrise and sunset is boring, you can take it from me that he’s already dead and gone - a finished case! Why? Because the sunrise is ever fresh; the sunset is ever new.

Or take, for example, a rose flower blossoming. “Ah, boring! So many flowers blossom.” No idiot will say that because each flower is new. Each flower is fresh. In its blossoming, there is a message. So when you observe Nature, it is never boring. With bhajan songs, though you sing the same song, yet it is never boring.

Therefore, my friends, we have to find the freshness of life…something new… where we realise every moment is precious, every moment is valuable. Time is God. Work is worship. When I have the attitude that work is worship, work will never be boring. When I feel that time is God, time will never hang heavily. “Time waste is life waste. Laziness is rust and dust. Realization is rest and best”, according to Bhagavan Baba. So my friends, let us live every moment, not simply lead a life.

“How are you?”

“Pulling on, going on.” No!

“Fine, I'm very fine.” Let us learn to say that.

“I'm very fine, extremely fine!” Why not?

This is what is called a feeling of well-being.

Life is Paradoxical

Then, life is paradoxical. We have to accept it. We cannot always expect a life full of achievements, no! There will be failures also. Life will never be always a victory. There will also be defeat. Life will never always be full of profit; sometimes there will also be loss. Both things coexist. Let us accept the reality of life. The reality of life is that life is paradoxical.

One helps the other. Night is not negative. Night, although it is dark, is positive because it gives us rest. Day is quite positive. Why? It helps us to work. Daytime is positive because it helps us to work. Nighttime, though it is dark, is also positive. It’s not negative. Why? We can take rest at night. In that way, night and day are equally positive.

Every fruit has a skin around it that is bitter. But the juice inside is sweet. The bitter skin is necessary. Why? To protect the inner juice which is sweet. So, let us understand the melody of life, the music of life, the harmony of life, the combination of life, the integration of life, where things are complimentary, never contradictory. Things are never contradictory.

The husband and wife will have a heated argument. People who are busy may have an argument once in a month. People who have enough time may fight every day! (Laughter) Yes. It depends upon the availability of time because it’s only an avocation.

So the point is, when people have a heated argument, later after that comes Himalayan love. There’s the deep valley of conflict; then there is a Himalayan range of happiness and love on the other side. So love is a mountain, while hatred is a valley. You cannot have only the mountain. There will also be a valley. So love and hatred exist together.

So I cannot say, “I choose love only”. You cannot avoid your shadow. It will follow you. So when you ask for love, hate will follow unasked, unsolicited, uninvited. But yet it is not boring. It is not an unwanted thing. The hatred will lead to love. The love will take you to hatred. They are the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

Likewise my friends, life is paradoxical. Full of opposites, polarities, contradictions; but we have to accept it willfully and happily - therein lays the thrill. There lays the real beauty. If there is only love throughout, it is tasteless. It becomes insipid. It becomes boring. There is occasional fighting because it strengthens our love. It strengthens our friendship. That is our paradoxical life. Accepting life as it is will generate a feeling of well-being among us.

Do Not Dominate

The sixth attitude to cultivate -- Do not dominate. When you dominate, understand that you are creating an enemy. When you try to dominate, whether you succeed or not, you’ll succeed in creating an enemy. Never dominate. After all, what is there to dominate here in life? There’s no reason to dominate anybody. The one who tries to dominate is highly egoistic and is more or less thamasic or animal-minded. An animal-minded, egoistic person will try to dominate. A man of inferiority complex will try to dominate. No man of any decency would ever dominate.

Here’s a simple example. When Bhagavan was staying one summer in Kodaikanal, some engineers brought plans for the construction of a new canteen here and some other buildings. Swami started looking at all the plans saying, “Mmm,” while the engineers were explaining everything.

“Very good, very good, very nice.” He gave them ten minutes.

Then He said, “In My opinion - listen to Me - I think it would be better if you do that.”

He accepted what they said in the beginning. He never said, “Keep quiet! What do you know? I will tell you.”

He never said it, though He is God. Though He is the all-knowing, all-powerful ultimate, He never said: “You stop! I will tell you what to do.” No!

“Good, good. Huh? Very good.”

And when introducing that person to everybody, He said, “Very big engineer, internationally-known, a very great man. Because he’s a great devotee, he has undertaken our project.” He was full of compliments.

Only after ten minutes He had said, “In my opinion, you’d better do it this way.”

This is the way of acceptance. This is the correct approach. This is the sign of humility, courtesy, decency - not domination. Even though you are right, if you dominate, it ends up in mistakes. You’ll be misunderstood. You’ll be mistaken, if you dominate. So the spirit of domination is the sign of ego, jealousy, and inferiority complex.

Seek Out Your Own Faults And Others’ Merits

The seventh attitude to cultivate -- Seek out your own faults and others’ merits. Bhagavan was telling us yesterday evening, “Never complain. If you can, explain. If you still think you are capable, inspire. All cannot do it. Many can make everyone perspire! Instead of inspiration, we find perspiration.”

Well, it is not given to everybody to inspire, no! If you cannot inspire, at least explain. If you are not capable of even explaining, never complain.

Quite often we complain this way: “He's a good man. He’s a better man. He’s so awful. He’s so dirty. He’s negative.” How about you first? Never find fault with others. Know your own faults and try to know the merits of others. Seek out your own faults and others’ merits. That helps us to have a feeling of well-being.

And further Bhagavan said, “You said such a man is bad. How do you know he’s bad? Unless there is something bad in you, you won’t be able to identify something bad in others.”

This is a pen. How could I recognize this is a pen? I saw such a pen before; therefore I could identify this as a pen. I know he is bad because I have been bad; so I could easily identify a bad person. So, all that we say of others is within us. That’s what Bhagavan says: “Reflection of the inner being.” Everything is a reflection of the inner being, the good and bad or whatever you may say of others. This is one of the points that needs to be stressed.

Who Lives Well?

Next, who lives well? Not everybody. There are three points to be made here. Who lives well? First: The one who laughs often lives well. Take Bhagavan. Have you seen Him with a serious face? No! If He wanted to scold you, He would show you a serious face. But at the same time, to another man, he has a smiling face. The Divine actor! He will change His face immediately. Why serious? To correct you. He's serious only to correct you, to rectify - that’s all. But He always smiles, always smiles.

One person said, “Swami, how is it that You always laugh? How is it that You’re always blissful? Why? Let me know the secret!”

Do you know what He said? “I don’t think of the future. Things that are bound to happen will happen on their own accord. I have no regrets of the past. I live in the present. I live in the moment. I live in existence, so I am happy. I have no desires. I have no selfishness. I have no plans. I will and it happens.” Whatever Bhagavan wills, will happen. His thought translates into action, right then and there. Whereas, whatever we will in the year 1999, it may or may not happen.

In the case of Bhagavan, His Will or Plan - its reality or action are simultaneous, spontaneous, instantaneous. It is not preconceived, no. It is just spontaneous -- something like a waterfall or like a fountain, as beautiful as something like a dew drop on the lotus leaf. Things are spontaneous. So, the one who laughs often will be well.

And the one who loves much will be happy. But the dosage of love, the intensity of love, the weight and the height of love may vary in our case. I love you because you oblige me. I cannot love you if you do not oblige me. So, it’s not so. Love much, whatever may be, accepting things as they are. You are good, fine. You are not good - it’s OK. Whatever may be, accept things as they are, not as per your design.

Some people say, “Well, I cannot mix with everybody. All right, then be in a cage or in a den. (Laughter) Some people say, “I cannot make myself understood by everybody.” OK, your place is the mountaintop. The feeling that, “I'm not given to everybody. I cannot mix with everybody. I cannot be understood by everybody,” is something psychotic. One should be able to mix with everybody. One should be able to communicate happily with everybody.

Look at Bhagavan, the way He talks to primary school children, how He cajoles college students, how He cuts jokes with devotees – there’s no distinction whatsoever. He can communicate with anybody. He can mix with everybody, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, Indian or foreign, decently dressed or not, whatever it may be. He can immediately mix with everybody and go on making jokes. It’s really a sight for the gods, how Bhagavan mixes with everybody. There’s nothing like selection; nothing like selective groups, none whatsoever. Effective communication - that’s the reason He loves much and laughs often.

Sacrifices His Happiness For Others

And third, he who lives well sacrifices his happiness for others. One day, It so happened there was a table fan on one side of the room. Bhagavan said, “Turn this table fan towards that boy who is sweating. Turn it toward that side.” He never said, “Let it stay like that. Turn it only towards Me.” (Laughter) He never said that.

Yesterday He was inquiring. He had sent a few boys to go around to certain neighbouring villages, where He has plans to construct buildings for primary schools. The boys were asked to make a survey in the nearby villages. They returned around 5:30PM. Do you know what Swami asked?

First question: “Where did you have your lunch? Second question: “Where did you have your tea?” Third question: “Was it very hot outside or were you comfortable? Fourth question: “Did you go to the hostel and wash your face? Are you fresh? Are you comfortable?” These are the questions He asked. And, “How did you go? Was there any conveyance?”

In fact, any other person would have asked this way: “How many villages have you seen? (Laughter) Any plans, any survey made? Will you give me a rough estimate of expenditures?”

Chi, chi, chi! He never asked such questions, would you believe me?

And further He said, “You had your tea in the hostel, I know. You didn’t come straight here, I know. You had tea there. Am I right?”

“Swami, yes, yes!” (Laughter)

“I just wanted you to go the villages and find out some information; but you went on measuring the whole plot, the length, and the breadth of the whole area, so that lead to delay, am I right?”

“Swami, I'm sorry.”

“I did not ask you to do that. I just wanted you to go there, make some inquiries and return. But you went on taking measurements and that led to a delay. Am I right?”

“Swami, You’re perfectly right. We are sorry.”

Oh-ho! He looked at one boy and said, “Mmm. You accepted one glass of buttermilk given to you there in that village. Is it right?”

“Oh Swami, perfectly right.” (Laughter)

So, what I want to impress upon you is that Bhagavan wants to know how are our comforts, how fine we are, how happy we are. He doesn’t think of His own happiness. There were times when He waited till 2 o’clock in the afternoon without a sip of water, waiting for the boys. It so happened that the bus broke down on the way to Coimbatore. The bus did not reach Coimbatore. Two buses of boys were supposed to reach Coimbatore by the afternoon - at 12 o’clock, but there was some problem. They reached at 2PM. Our good God did not have a sip of water, waiting at the gate.

“What happened to the boys? What happened?” And He sent about fifteen seva dal people with cars and mechanics -- all to go and see that the boys would get there safely.

If this were any other person, he would have had lunch and be waiting for tea along with the boys. Bhagavan is not like that. He sacrificed his own happiness for others. Your happiness is His happiness. “Your bliss is My food,” said by Bhagavan. So who lives well? The one who laughs often, the one who loves much and the one who sacrifices his happiness for others.

Know What You Want To Do

Next point -- Know what you want to do. What is your goal? Knowing your goal gives you the feeling of well-being. What is your goal? The goals have to be set based on your abilities. The goal has to be reasonable and it must be practical. That which is practical, that which is reasonable, that which fits into or is commensurate with our abilities, will help us to reach the goal. But if the goal is that which is beyond, far beyond our capacity, impossible - we’ll never have the feeling of well-being.

Swami was talking to the boys and gave one example. “You have the talent the size of the mustard seed - a seed so small, so tiny. But the ego is of the size of a pumpkin!” (Laughter) So we should know our own limitations.

It happened during Guru Purnima, you know. Bhagavan had some swelling here (Anil Kumar points to his cheek) with excruciating pain. That day He said, “See the swelling there? I cannot speak. To move My jaw is very difficult. I’ve not had any food - just some porridge, that’s all. Why don’t you speak on My behalf?” That’s what Bhagavan told me.

My reply was, “Swami, I have children. I want to live for some more time.” (Laughter)

He said, “What?”

“The devotees will manhandle me! They will finish me off! They have come all the way to hear You, not me.” (Laughter)

“No, no, no, no, no! What shall I do? I cannot.”

“Swami, You don’t need to speak, just sit there. Your Darshan is the message. You don’t have to speak. Your gestures will communicate. Your smile will make us understand. That itself is the Holy message, the Divine message.”

Then He said, “OK, I will sit. You speak.”

“No, no Swami, I will also sit in front of You.”

You see this? He talks in such a way, in such a beautiful way, that He wants to estimate whether we know our capacities or not. If that question was put to anyone, “Are you ready to speak?”

They would say, “Sir, I will speak, Swami.”

If you start speaking, you’ll get it at the end of your speech! (Laughter) I tell you my friends, there have been occasions when the topmost singer of this country has given a music concert here. And sometimes Bhagavan just gets up and retires. Believe me, the moment Swami leaves the dais, everybody gets up except a few Seva Dal volunteers in charge of shutters. (Laughter) Nobody stays there. You may be the topmost singer, but you will have to sing to yourself. (Laughter) Nobody will hear you. This is a known fact to those who have sufficient experience. Therefore, we should know our capacities. You can never replace Bhagavan. You are not a substitute for Him. Impossible!

What Shall I Sing?

The other day, two days ago I believe, Bhagavan asked two young boys to sing. They were very young. They may have been ten or twelve years old. Both of them sang excellently. It was “Rama Katha” (“The Story of Rama”). Swami enjoyed it very much. But He did not leave it at that. Towards the end He said, “Anil Kumar, are you ready to sing? (Laughter) You sing.”

What shall I sing? I said, “Swami, I will sing after the evening bhajans and arathi because nobody will be left!” (Laughter and applause) After arathi, who will be there? Nobody! I can sing to my heart’s content, to the best of my ability. My voice will not reach the corner - no mikes - only the pillars and the flooring will hear and they will remain silent! Good! So, I should know my abilities, I should know my capacities before I set my goals. That’s one thing.

Then, trouble starts when I think that I'm better than others. We don’t have that feeling of well-being. Why? Because of this feeling of superiority: “I'm superior. I'm better than others.” That is the feeling that is a sign of utter ignorance. We cannot be better than anyone else.

Bhagavan gave one example of two persons. One was Dharmaja, the eldest among the Pandavas, and the other, Duryodhana, the eldest among the Kauravas. Dhritharashtra, father of the Kauravas, said, “Hey! I called both of you. You go and find any good person in this kingdom.” Dharmaja went around, as did Duryodhana. Both fellows returned.

What did Duryodhana say? “Sir, you wanted me to find any good person in our kingdom. I'm very sorry to say that there is none other than me. I'm the only good man in this kingdom. All are hopeless fellows. I'm very sorry to say that.”

“Oh-ho! Sit down.”

Then Dharmaja was asked, “Dharmaja! What is your report?”

He said, “Father, I went round the whole kingdom. If there is anything that is bad, it is only in me. All are good.”

So this is the kind of feeling one should have: “All others are better than me.” That is the correct feeling - I am not better than others. How can you say that you are better than others? So this kind of feeling has to be under constant check.

If you cannot afford everything that you want, think of what a thrill it is when you can afford something. Instead of feeling sorry about all that I cannot afford, let me feel happy for everything that I can afford. I can afford to buy this, yes, I'm very happy.

“God, I'm happy with the good lot You have given to me.”

“Whatever I can afford, I’m happy.” That’s the kind of feeling we should have - not being unhappy for what we do not have in life.

Education and Good Company

Number twelve -- Education. We think the aim of education is proficiency. People think, “He’s very proficient.” The goal of education, the purpose of education, is not proficiency. It should be efficiency. Efficiency is different from proficiency. Proficiency is to know the subject in depth. Efficiency is knowledge in action. Knowledge in action is efficiency. Knowledge in depth is proficiency. Today many are proficient, but very few are efficient. So, we have a feeling of well-being if we are efficient and not simply proficient.

Number thirteen -- To have a sense of well-being, we need good company. After spending time with the devotees here, we go back and spend time with those who are worldly. Here we have been spending time in the company of those people who sing the Glory of God, who exchange their personal experiences in the very presence of God and who are exposed to the vibrations of Divinity. Back home we are just in the midst of a crowd. So we should be selective with regard to our company, which means selective about with whom we mingle.

What should be the quality of our friends? Bhagavan gave this example: Sand in the company of air (wind) rises or goes up. That very same sand in the company of water goes to the bottom. So, in the company of good people, you’ll come up. In the company of bad, you’ll go down in your life. So we should be selective with regard to our company. Keep good company.

Like What You Do

Next (fourteenth) point -- To have a sense of well-being is to like what you do, not just doing what you like. Let me like what I do.

There are some who say, “I would have been a better person had I been a district collector. I would have made a better career as a doctor.”

This is all nonsense. What you are is a test of your ability. Where you are is the test of your capacities. So it is not like living in a dream.

“I would have been better as an actor.”

No, no! You are acting sufficiently here (Laughter). You don’t need to be an actor on the stage. So, let’s not think that we would have had a better career otherwise, no! What is given to you to do right now by God is a holy mission. So, like what you do; never think of doing what you like.

Choice and Preference

Number fifteen – It is ‘Ceiling on Desires’. When we have a ceiling on our desires, we will be happy with whatever we have. Here, in this context, I want to bring to your attention two words - one is ‘choice’ and the other is ‘preference’. Be preferential and choiceless. If you are choiceless, you’ll be very happy, whatever is given to you.

“Sir, you have come to our house for the first time. What do you care for?”

“Well, I have no choice – I’ll take whatever is available.” Well and good! Yes, they will serve you whatever is available and you’ll be happy.

On the other hand, if you say, “I choose coffee” well, there may not be any coffee available.

They will say, “Sorry, sir. It is not available.”

On the other hand, if they say, “Coffee and tea are available. What do you prefer?”

“Yes, I prefer coffee.”

So, be preferential and choiceless: a preference when there are two (you prefer one of the two) or be choiceless and take anything that is available. So, by being choiceless in life, we can be quite happy.

“Bhagavan, I have come here with the idea that You’ll give me at least one interview.” (Laughter) Oh-ho!

“At least a chain, if possible.” (Laughter) “I will give you some options.” This is choice. This will make our life miserable.

On the other hand, “Swami, I prefer to get the seat in the first line instead of the last line. I prefer the first line.” Or, “Instead of an interview, I prefer just a smile. That is enough for this life.”

So, there is great joy in preference, but there is misery in a choice. Then, when your desires are under check, you’ll be absolutely happy.

Finally (point sixteen) – It is ‘Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed’. “I am happy inside. I am happy outside.” When I am happy outside and unhappy inside, that gives me high blood pressure. That which is outside is called ‘personality’ and that which is inside is ‘individuality’. So, that which is true within is ‘individuality’. That which is exhibited, that which is social, that which comes under ‘manners’, ‘etiquette’, ‘decency’ - all that ‘show’ is ‘personality’. But when personality and individuality are one and the same - that which is within is in conformity with that which is outside - we have that feeling of well-being. That is the ‘Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed’.

Onam Celebrations Begin

Tomorrow the Onam Celebrations begin. On the 19th and 20th, I understand we will have programs in the Poornachandra Auditorium for an hour each day. On the 21st, Onam day, we will have a program in Sai Kulwant Hall for one hour in the morning and one hour and fifteen minutes in the evening. That’s all, as far as the timings are concerned for the Onam celebrations, which commence tomorrow.

Onam is the festival where God asked for three footsteps from a king named Bali. God asked for three footsteps, that’s all. And this emperor, a great man, was ready to offer them.

But his teacher said, “Don’t do that. Don’t give them to him.”

And this emperor asked, “Why not?”

The teacher told him, “If you do that, you are finished because the monk who came here is God Himself. He will rob everything - don’t give an inch.”

But this emperor said, “God has the Hand that gives and gives, and that giving Hand is now asking from me. What else do I want? I'm ready to give whatever He asks.”

That is the sacrifice behind the spirit of emperor Bali. As a reward, God granted him the boon that his name would be remembered throughout this country as a man of surrender, as a man of sacrifice. That boon lets him come back to Earth, to his kingdom in India in the state of Kerala. That boon lets him go around to his people, enjoying how happy they are. He sees them and he meets them every year. That is the Onam festival.

Emperor Bali became so great because he surrendered three footsteps to God. What are these three footsteps? When all of Creation belongs to God, why these three footsteps? When everything is Divine, what need is there of these three steps? I’ll just give you a brief summery.

Other Interpretations

The three steps that Bhagavan asked for are the three periods of time – the past, present and future. The three periods of time have to be surrendered to God, so that you will live in peace and bliss. That is the meaning of the three footsteps.

The second interpretation is the three levels of consciousness. What are they? They are the gross body, the subtle body or the mind, and the causal body or the spirit. All these three need to be sacrificed to God.

Another interpretation is the three attributes. What are they? They are the sathwic quality or piousness, the emotional aspect or rajasic, and inertia, the bestial or thamasic quality. These three attributes are to be surrendered to God.

Another meaning is S-A-I, SAI. What does this mean? ‘S’ is for spiritual change. ‘A’ is for association change. ‘I’ is for individual change. These are the three levels that symbolise what God asked when He requested the three footsteps.

Another interpretation is the Trinity - GOD. ‘G’ is the generator - God, Brahma. ‘O’ is the organizer, Vishnu. ‘D’ is the destroyer, annihilator, or Siva. So, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva - the Trinity or the Triune God is to be realized. That is the significance of Onam.

Yet another interpretation: First is the physical: to let the physical body be surrendered to God so that it will be spent in service, serving our fellowman. Second is the psychological - to let the mind be in constant contemplation of God. That is psychological. And third is the spiritual – the spirit, the conscience, Atma – to let me dwell in the Self; let me live in the Self. These three should be kept in mind when we think of Onam

My dear friends, Onam, which begins tomorrow, is such a grand festival, having multi-dimensional interpretations and having a multi-dimensional approach.

May Bhagavan be with you!


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!

Thank You!

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