Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
December 15, 2002
The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
"Whose Mistake Is This?"
December 15th, 2002
OM... OM... OM
Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan
Dear Brothers and sisters
“Whose Mistake Is This?”
I am glad to be here again this morning. Today, I would like to
draw your attention to the following question: “Who is at fault?
Who is guilty? Whose mistake is this?” That is the topic for today.
Let us discover who is guilty, so that we can be free from all the
evil effects and enjoy the fun of life.
Why is it that some are saintly? Why is it that some are Divine?
Why is it that some are demonic? Why is it that one person is a
sinner and the other is a saint? What is the reason? Whose mistake
is this? Let us analyse it clearly. My friends, all these things
have been discussed at length in the fifteenth chapter of the
Bhagavad Githa, called Purushothama Prapthiyoga. It explains
clearly where the mistake lies. “Whose fault is this? Whose
mistake is this?” Let us analyse clearly.
The first point that I would like to draw your attention to is as
follows: Life is a process of evolution from the lower to the
higher. I am just quoting Bhagavan. I think by this time you must
be quite sure that whatever I say is from Bhagavan’s literature.
Nothing is left to speculation or imagination. I dare not do it.
Life is a process of evolution from low to high. In the course of
evolution, the process may be slow for some individuals and may be
fast for certain other blessed souls. The process is slow in most
cases because we don’t want to evolve too fast. We want to take
our own time and evolve leisurely. The ones who choose to hasten
and speed up the process of evolution are called seekers,
aspirants, or sadhakas. By following the spiritual path, these
seekers speed up the process of evolution, while the others evolve
more slowly. But evolution is a must. Therefore my friends, there
is no reason to feel frustrated. There is no reason to feel proud.
You may reach there tomorrow and I may reach there the day after,
but both of us will certainly get there, okay? So on the spiritual
path, the process of evolution happens whether you like it or not.
If you don’t like it, it will take more time. If you like it, it
will happen sooner -- that’s all.
The Ultimate State
If I prepare for the examination, I will pass this year. If I do
not, it doesn’t matter because in September or March there is a
supplementary exam. So, it doesn’t really matter. We may take a
couple of lives to evolve, but evolution is certain.
What is the pinnacle? What is the climax? What is the destination?
What is the goal? What is at the top of the ladder of evolution?
What is the finale, the final step? The final step in the process
of evolution is identification with Divinity or total merger with
the Divine -- understanding and experiencing that you and God are
one. This is the ultimate state of evolution. Until I find this
identity -- unless I know my reality and I know that God and I are
one -- the process of evolution will go on and on and on. It is
only a question of how many lives, that’s all. Some people may
take any number of lives, but there will still be evolution.
It goes something like this: You may catch a non-stop flight to
reach New York, or you may take either KLM or Singapore Airlines,
which stop at other places before arriving in New York. Take
Lufthansa non-stop and you can save time. This happens to be a
popular example these days. Therefore, while some flights are
non-stop, others are not. These have to connect with another
flight in order to continue the journey. Yet, all of those flights
are sure to reach J. F. Kennedy Airport someday.
Similarly, the process of evolution is certain: We will find our
reality; we will know our identity with God. That is the finale.
That is the ultimate state, which we call the Narayana state. It
is that state where you are God. As Christ said: “I and My Father
in heaven are one.” The Narayana state is the final state in the
process of evolution.
“Am I really human?”
But, there is a preliminary step before that final state. Before
trying to become Narayana, let us become Nara or human first. Are
we human? Certainly not. We appear to be human but we are inhuman
in our behaviour. That is the reason why Bhagavan has said many
times, “Repeat this manthra: ‘I am man, I am not animal. I am man,
I am not animal’.”
If you just say, “I am man”, it is only half the truth. “I am not
animal” is the other half -- if not the better half. So say, “I am
man, I am not animal.” This is a statement that will help us
realize that we are not yet human.
How do we reach the state of Narayana, when we are not even Nara,
human, yet? Let us try to be human. That is the penultimate state
in the course of the evolutionary process. The question now is:
“Why am I not human?” You may ask me where is the evidence that I
am not human. Perhaps your spiritual discipline will keep you
silent but you may still have the question in your mind “What is
this man talking about? When I am absolutely human, why does he
say I am inhuman? ”
Please look into the pages of history. Almost 300 barbarous,
heinous crimes of war have been committed in recent times. There
are certain places that continue to be immersed in problems.
Decades and decades have passed by and yet they are still in ‘hot
water’ -- no peace at all. Bombs have killed hundreds and hundreds
of people. Humanity has not forgotten Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How
do we account for World War I and World War II? How do we account
for the terror going on everywhere? How do we explain the attacks
at the national or at the international level? How do we reconcile
This agitation, this violence and these attacks are not the
features of Nara or a human being. Dogs fight, animals fight and
wild animals fight. It is an animal quality to fight like that. I
am Nara for all photographic purposes, but within I am a Vanara,
the monkey. (Laughter) Vanara is a monkey. Nara is a human.
Narayana is Divine.
What I want to communicate to you is that there are three steps in
the process of evolution. The animal has to improve itself. The
animal has to grow and evolve into a human and a human should
reach a state of perfection by identifying with the Divine,
Narayana, Himself. These are the three steps in the process of
evolution, no matter which country you belong to.
The Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad Githa
The fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Githa speaks of three words
that are very interesting but are also very confusing. Those who
read this chapter without any background by Bhagavan Baba will be
deluded if they think they have understood it. I believe that we
can understand our scriptures much better if we go through Sai
literature first. If you read Sai literature first, you will be
able to understand our scriptures completely and perfectly. If not,
you may become a scholar but not a wise man.
A wise man is different from a scholar. A scholar is vocal or
verbal, and is repetitive in his approach, whereas a wise man
believes in his experience. So let us try to be wise men -- like
the three wise men that met Jesus Christ immediately after his
birth. Three wise men from three different places came to see
Jesus Christ. They could identify His holy birth because they were
wise. If they were not wise, they would have been otherwise,
spending time in reading scriptures! (Laughter) All scholars are
otherwise, but here there were three wise men, guided by a star to
the town of Bethlehem to see the newborn babe. We have to be more
experience-oriented than scholarly.
What are the three special words in this chapter? One is kshara.
Another is akshara. The third one is purushothama. To be very,
very honest with you, I am teaching the Bhagavad Githa to some
post-graduate students at our Institute. For that purpose, I have
with me all the versions and commentaries on the Bhagavad Githa.
My house is filled more with Bhagavad Githa books than with botany
books, which happens to be my main profession. (Laughter)
I am fully aware that I am talking to post-graduate students. They
have to be convinced about a subject, so they don’t just sit
silently or begin to snore. I don’t want them to develop any type
of allergy towards this material later. I want to present it in
such a way that they are encouraged to read about the subject
themselves. That is why I have on hand so many books and cassettes
about the Bhagavad Githa.
However, having all of these versions made me totally confused. (Laughter)
Sai literature came to my rescue. It was a lifeboat that helped me
to understand the Githa much better. If you ask those who are
familiar with the Githa for an explanation of these three highly
confusing words -- kshara, akshara and purushothama -- they will
evade you by saying, “We will talk later.” (Laughter)
The ‘ABCD’ of Teaching
Someone told me that there is an ‘ABCD’ of teaching. To be
successful, every teacher must remember these four – the ‘ABCD’s.
‘A’ stands for ‘avoid’. If a student asks you any questions, you
should say, “Meet me later, son.” (Laughter) ‘B’ is for ‘by-pass’.
If the student asks one question, the teacher will say, “How about
this? How about that?” in such a way that the student will forget
his original question. (Laughter) ‘C’ stands for ‘confuse’. If you
confuse them, then the students will feel it is better not to ask
any further questions or any questions at all! (Laughter) And ‘D’
means ‘divide’. You do this by saying such things as: “Last year’s
students didn’t ask such a question.” Or, “Year-before-last, they
didn’t have such silly questions.” So the ‘art of teaching’ has
come down to the level of these ‘ABCD’s -- avoid, by-pass,
confuse, and divide! (Laughter)
If you ask scholars what are the meanings of kshara, akshara and
purushothama, they will be forced to use the ABCD of teaching,
that’s all. But our great, good, wonderful Bhagavan, the Teacher
of teachers, made the subject so simple that I could easily
understand. Bhagavan defines ‘kshara’ as the physical or conscious
level, meaning that which is perishable, such as the physical
How do I relate to this? I am conscious of my personality. For how
long? Until I am no more. I am conscious of my background. For how
long? Until I come across a better person. I am conscious of my
handsomeness. For how long? Until people say that I am not
So this is what I was in the past. What I am now or today, I am
not going to be tomorrow. With age, we change -- the body does not
remain the same. Anywhere, in any country, everyone must pass
through this change. If there is no change then there is something
wrong with that person. There is bound to be change. So that which
is born and grows, that which changes and decays, that which is
full of senses and operates at the level of the senses, such as
the body, is called kshara or conscious.
Yesterday Bhagavan was giving an example to a group of
industrialists. An eighteen-year-old boy was crying in front of
the dead body of his mother, aged thirty. Somebody came and said,
“Boy, why are you crying?”
The boy said, “I lost my mother.”
A wise man came and said, “What happened?”
“I lost my mother.”
“Are you mad? Your mother is here. You have not lost her. She is
here. Come on, take her inside.”
Then that boy came to his senses. “I am sorry, sir. The body of my
mother is here, but her life is gone.”
So what was it that he lost? It was the life that was lost but not
the body. Therefore, it is necessary to know that the body and the
senses function because of the life force or the spirit and
because of awareness or chaitanya, as we call it in Sanskrit.
‘Akshara’ is conscience. While kshara is perishable, akshara is
imperishable until it goes to the next state. Why? Let us be very
clear. We have taken many, many lives. (Anil Kumar sings a
Punarapi Jananee Jathare Sayanam.
We are born again and again. We keep taking the steps of birth and
death, birth and death.
Taking birth repeatedly is the state of akshara. The body is gone,
but the soul continues to be born again and again. Bodies come and
go. For example, in the morning, I change my clothes and put on
something new. In the evening, I put on something different yet
again, but I continue to live. Similarly, bodies change. However,
it is the soul that is changing its dress, which is nothing but
the body. I think you understand.
This state, this cycle of birth and death, will end someday or
other. Why are you born? You are born so that you will not have to
be born again. Why do you die? You die so that you will not have
to die again. The end of the cycle of lives, which enables us not
to be born again, is called liberation or nirvana or moksha. That
is the purushothama state or consciousness. So, ‘purushothama’ is
consciousness, while ‘akshara’ is conscience and ‘kshara’ is
conscious. These are the three levels of understanding and
experience. Also these are the three steps of evolution and the
three rungs in the ladder.
So, if you feel that you are the body at the physical level, ‘the
one you think you are’, then you identify with the first state --
the kshara. In the second state, everyone considers you as an
individual like anybody else. You are an individual among many.
So, this state where you feel that you are ‘the one that the
others think you are’ is the second state — the akshara. Finally,
‘the one you really are’, the Divine, is the purushothama, the
So the three steps are: ‘the one you think you are’ -- kshara or
conscious, ‘the one others think you are’ -- akshara or conscience
and ‘the one you really are’ -- purushothama or consciousness.
What a wonderful explanation Bhagavan has mercifully given us.
Without this, if you read the fifteenth chapter, I tell you, you
will never feel like opening the book at all again. (Laughter) It
is so confusing and disturbing. You may feel, “‘Okay, I can watch
TV or read the newspaper -- that will not confuse me. After all, I
have to be born again and again, so why bother about whether I
know it or not?” (Laughter) Therefore, you may be vexed and
disgusted without this background information.
Bhagavan Baba has thoroughly and wonderfully explained the
scriptures. We have to learn them. We should find some time to
learn and equip ourselves with sufficient knowledge for
transformation. But instead we are busy with our mundane
responsibilities: “Bhagavan, if You talk to me, please tell me
when it will be possible to get my daughter married.” “If I get a
chance to talk to You, I would like to know when my son is going
to get a visa to go abroad. Your Githa — please keep it to
We are so engrossed and busy with our mundane responsibilities
that we do not want to get that for which He has come. He has come
to give and distribute freely that precious gold, but we are
satisfied with the tinsel and trash, leaving behind the precious
gold. That is the tragedy.
Now coming back to the point -- kshara, akshara and purushothama.
This kshara state, ‘the one you think you are’, the physical level
of awareness, is common to the entire organic world. Every animal
knows this state. That is why when a dog from the neighbouring
street enters this street, both dogs fight. That is the kshara
level or body consciousness. When we fight -- or have water
disputes, border disputes, atomic bomb disputes, and so on -- we
are at the kshara level. If we are honest, we will confess it; but
we have nice suits, dresses and good degrees that do not allow us
to accept this truth.
The second state is, ‘I am not the body’. There is life in me.
This life is permanent. Life is there the whole time that the body
is changing. As Bhagavan says quite often, “You are a boy today,
later a man, and after a couple of years, a father and lastly, a
grandfather. All these are different states in different periods
of time for the same individual.” The individual who passes
through these different stages is ‘the one the others think you
are’ -- akshara or conscience.
Akshara is limited and is within the framework of an individual.
Now what is to be done? Bhagavan has given a beautiful example:
When the tire bursts, or once the balloon bursts, the air in the
balloon or the tire merges into the air around. Is that clear?
When a river merges in the ocean, it becomes a part of the ocean
and is no longer a river. If it is a river, you may call it any
name. Say, Mississippi, why not? The point is that rivers have
their own names, their own places and geographical distribution.
However, once the river merges, no matter whether it is in the Bay
of Bengal or the Pacific or the Atlantic, the river loses its
identity; the river loses its name. It is one with the ocean.
If I go to the ocean and say, “Oh Ocean, where is the
Mississippi?” it will say, “Shut up. (Laughter) There is no
Mississippi any longer. You missed it! Now it is with me and it is
in me. The Mississippi and I are one and the same now.” Similarly,
‘the one you think you are’ or the conscience takes
life-after-life repeatedly with the understanding that it is not
the individual soul or spirit, but it is a part of that eternity,
that ocean of infinite Divinity.
When one cuts off the chain of birth and death and that individual
finds identity with the Infinite, that is called ‘purushothama’ or
consciousness. Baba has given another example, for which we are
eternally grateful to Him. Were it not for You, Bhagavan, we would
never have been able to understand the Vedantic truths that we
must know some day or other -- if not this life, then the next.
You cannot be away from it. Just as death is certain, realization
is also certain. It is just a question of the number of lives,
that 's all. You may eat at 10 o’clock, 12 o’clock, or 2 o’clock.
It is left to your convenience. But you must eat to survive.
Similarly, realization will happen sometime or the other.
Therefore Bhagavan gave this example, my friends, for your
information: Because of the heat from the sun, the water in the
ocean is transformed into vapour. Vapour accrues as clouds and the
clouds come down in the form of rain. This rainwater flows
continuously in the form of lakes or rivers, and they all merge
finally into the ocean.
It was an ocean in the beginning, became a vapour next and later a
cloud; then it became rain, then a river and an ocean again. That’s
all. So similarly, we are from this ocean called ‘purushothama’ --
the eternal, nectarine, unblemished, and unsullied consciousness.
Out of this ocean came the individuality, the duality, the
identity and the separateness of clouds that rain down to create
rivers with names and forms. That is called ‘akshara’, the
conscience. It finds its fulfillment when the river merges into
the mighty ocean -- when the conscience merges into purushothama,
So what separates me from my God is my own name and form. What
distances me from my consciousness is my own separateness or
individuality. This fifteenth chapter gives the answer to the
question, “Whose mistake is this?” It is my mistake. It is not
anybody else’s mistake. To feel that I am the body is my mistake.
Nobody told you that you are the body. Did anybody tell you? No. I
feel that I am the body. Therefore, I fight, I argue and I differ.
I feel that I am the body. It is my mistake to think so. Later
because of the ego factor, I feel that I am a separate individual.
I also feel that I am someone special, extraordinary and better
than anyone else. That is also my mistake. Whose mistake is this?
It is my mistake. Someday I must realise that I am not separate
As Bhagavan was saying to those officers yesterday, “Yekoham
Bahusyam. One is manifested into many. Sarvatah Panipadam
Sarvathokshi Siromukham. God is present everywhere.” His hands,
His feet are spread everywhere, which means everyone is Divine.
All hands are His; all heads are His; all ears are His; all eyes
are His. That is consciousness, the final state of purushothama.
Well, you may wonder, “How do you say the hands are His when they
are mine?” No, no, no. When I say that I have ten hands in my
office, it does not literally mean that I have all the ten hands
attached to this body. ‘Hand’ stands for the man behind it. This
is a figure of speech in English literature, what we call
synecdoche. Therefore, in that synecdoche, or figure of speech in
English literature, a part represents the whole. So, all are
Divine. Everyone is as much Divine as I am. This is what is called
the consciousness, which is the finale.
These states have also been referred to using many different names
because Vedanta has so much nomenclature — words, words. Why? It
is not to confuse you. It is out of compassion. It expects that
out of so many words, at least one word will convey the real
essence and that at least one expression will reach you; or that
at least one word, used precisely at the right moment, will
convince you. That is the reason why we find so many words used
for the same thing.
We can call the conscious aspect ‘sthoola’, which means the gross
body. Then you have the conscience, the one others think you are,
which is called sookshma, the subtle body. And the third,
purushothama or consciousness, the one you really are, is called
karana, the causal body.
So the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body — the
sthoola, sookshma and karana – are, in other words, the conscious,
conscience and consciousness. In terms of the Githa, they are
referred to as kshara, akshara and purushothama. Then Bhagavan
puts it as, “the one you think you are, the one others think you
are, and the one you really are”, meaning the body, the life and
Atma or the Divine. Do you understand?
The point is that there is something common between the first two
— the conscious and conscience. Why? These two function because of
illusion or maya. Illusion or maya is common to sthoola and
sookshma, or conscious and conscience, or kshara and akshara.
Delusion is common to both.
You may ask me why and how? It is simple. I think I am the body.
Why do I think so? Because of Illusion. I think I am
extraordinary. I think I am very special. I think I am superior to
you all. That is again an illusion. So these two states take you
to delusion. Thus, delusion is common to these two states.
But the third state of consciousness, the supreme state of
consciousness — realization — is beyond illusion. It is non-dual
and cannot be captured or victimized. It cannot be captive to this
delusion or illusion because it is beyond reach. It cannot be
deluded. That is what Bhagavan has said.
Then the purushothama aspect is dealt with very well in the 17th
sloka of the 15th chapter. The 17th stanza, the 17th canto, the
17th verse of the 15th chapter explain clearly what this
purushothama or consciousness is all about.
As we have limited time, let me answer the questions that I have
received so that those who have asked them will not be
disappointed. We will continue with the rest of chapter 15 next
I will read the question and give the answer to the best of my
What decides one’s gender is this birth?”
What is the primordial factor that decides one’s gender in this
birth? Why are you a man? How can you afford to be a woman? (Laughter)
So the question here is what decides the gender in each life. Is
it because of our past lives?
The answer is simple, my friends. I quote from Sai literature. The
real Self, the reality, is neither a man nor a woman. The man or
the woman — the difference in the identity lies in the body, not
in the spirit.
If someone knocks at the door and you ask, “Who are you?” they
will answer, “I am so-and-so.” No one would say, “I, the man, am
talking to you” or “I, the woman, am here”. Nobody would say that.
‘I’ is common to both men and women.
The second point is that Bhagavan has said, “All are women.” Hari
Om Tat Sat. (Laughter) My friends, do not mistake me. Try to
settle any scores later. (Laughter) All are women. So you don’t
need to feel inferior. We have no reason to feel superior. Why?
The spirit in you is purusha or man. The Atma is masculine,
purusha, while the body is prakrithi or nature, which is feminine.
But the masculinity is of the spirit and not of the body.
Thirdly, He gave an example: If you go to the women’s college at
Anantapur on the annual college day, when they are staging a drama,
you’ll find a girl in the role of a king. You’ll find another girl
in the role of a soldier and another girl in the role of a servant.
Because of their costumes, they appear to be men; but in reality,
they are women. Similarly, all are women. Some may look like men (Laughter),
but basically all are feminine. I mean the body principle is
feminine, prakrithi, meaning it is inert matter. This is feminine,
while the life principle is masculine.
I am very grateful to have these questions because it helps me to
go back in my memory to what Bhagavan has said over the years.
Here is another example. You must have heard of a great lady named
Meera, who was a great devotee. Meera wanted to meet the King. She
came into the palace.
A soldier said, “Sorry, you cannot go in.”
She asked, “Why?”
The man said, “Women are not permitted to go in. Women are
prohibited from going into the palace.”
Then Meera said, “Where are the men here? I don’t see any men here.”
The soldier was surprised and must have been thinking, “Is
something wrong with me or with her?” (Laughter)
This is the truth. The body is feminine, inert matter, only. But
the life force is masculine. So all of us are a combination of
both. When you ask, “What decides the gender?” I say, “Why worry
about it?” Whether the sugar candy is in the shape of a rat or an
elephant, the child eats it, right? Similarly, a chocolate may be
circular or rectangular or hexagonal; but after all, a chocolate
is a chocolate. Biscuits may be quadrangular or circular. Whatever
it may be, a biscuit is a biscuit.
So similarly, life is life, whether you are a man or woman. It is
only external. So let’s not question what it is that decides our
gender. There is nothing wrong. Men and women suffer equally. (Laughter).
Oh, that’s right -- we blame each other!
How do we treat these invaders with love?
The next question is this: We have many cockroaches moving around
our house at night, creating not only a health hazard, but also
scaring us out of our wits at times. Can you please advise us how
to treat these creatures? How do we treat these invaders with
Perhaps cockroaches have become an international problem. (Laughter)
Well, I have had that same problem and have become friendly with
them because I cannot get away from them anyway. To some, a
mosquito is a problem, but to me the mosquito is not the problem.
It is the humming music of mosquitoes that I have to get used to
-- that keeps me from sleeping. (Laughter)
My friends, whether it is mosquitoes, scorpions, snakes or
cockroaches, the point is this: If you kill anything for joy,
thrill, excitement or as a pastime, then it is a sin. However, if
you kill it to make yourself free from suffering, then it is not a
sin. If you kill it for the fun of it – say, like hunting for
excitement -- then it is not acceptable. Hunting used to be a
pastime for kings. Now that kind of thing is a crime. But if a
tiger is going to attack you, you can shoot it. How can I treat it
lovingly, and allow myself to be eaten by it? (Laughter)
There is a subtle difference between the two. If I am not killing
anything for the joy or pleasure, if I am doing it in order to
save myself, then it is not a crime. That is also treating things
The next question is: Why do we have to go through this or any
life to get Self-realization? Why didn’t we arrive already
Self-realized? Have you found anyone who is? Also, once you have
blessed something, or asked for something, or chanted a manthra,
why do we have to do it over and over again?
Very good! This is a question to be asked in this computer age. As
I told you last time, I am not making fun of these questions. I am
not underestimating the calibre and the spirit of the person who
has asked this question. I have the highest respect and reverence
towards them and thank them from the bottom of my heart because
they help me to go through Sai literature time and again.
Now the question is this: “Why do we have to go through this or
any life to get Self-realization? Why?” The answer is simple. We
find many people sitting in front of the TV, watching serials
these days. I don’t know about television serials abroad, but here
in South India particularly, some of the serials go on for 500
episodes or more!
There is even a joke about it. It seems that an old man wrote a
letter to the television director saying, “I may die any moment.
Let me know how the story ends so that I may die peacefully. (Laughter).
Since I do not know how long it will continue, I may have to be
born again! Why all this? Tell me the ending of the story!”
And secondly, something that is common to all the television
serials in South India in particular is that most of them make you
cry. None of the serials make you laugh.
There’s also a joke about that. It seems a young girl went to the
TV director and asked, “Sir, why don’t you give me a role? I want
to act in your serial.”
The director said, ”Yes.”
He asked for a plastic bucket to be brought and put in front of
The director said, “Come on -- fill this bucket with your tears
and after that I will give you a role.” (Laughter)
So, one has to learn the art of crying, you know? We sit in front
of the television and we also cry. A few days ago, I got a phone
call from my friend in Hyderabad. He said that his wife and
mother-in-law don’t go to bed unless they have cried bitterly
until 10 o’clock at night, and only then do they retire. (Laughter)
The crying starts at seven PM and goes on until 10 o’clock! They
are busy until seven, or else they would have started at five o’clock!
Why do we cry? We pay money and cry. (Laughter) Why do those
actors cry? They receive money and cry. So, we have got two
categories of people who cry -- those who pay to cry and others
who get paid to cry.
My friends, we cry. Why? Because we think that the hero in the
television serial is real. Or we think that we are in a difficult
position, so we cry. Suddenly the husband comes home from the
office. He says, “I am tired from working and you are crying here
at home! Let me have a break.” Then the wife will come to her
So my friends, when I consider a television serial to be true,
when I consider the cinema to be a reality, it is because I am
identifying with it and so I cry. However, once I am aware that it
is just a cinema or that it is just a television serial, I am not
disturbed. I am not perturbed.
Similarly, in life we pass through bumps and jumps, ups and downs,
smiles and tears, elation, jubilation and frustration. It’s like a
pendulum that moves in between two extremes. When you are praised,
you are up in the sky. But when you are pointed at, you are down,
totally down. This is because of a lack of realisation.
Realisation will help you to achieve equanimity and balance.
Realisation will help you to not feel proud of all the simple
achievements or simple talents that you have. Realization will
never allow you to be depressed or frustrated or create a
situation where you need to consult a psychiatrist!
Therefore, Self-realisation is necessary for your own sake. In
your own interest, you should seek Self-realisation. Bhagavan has
given a simple example. It so happened that a small cub lost its
way and started living among some sheep. Suddenly one day a tiger
was ready to attack the sheep.
When the sheep started running, the little cub also started
running. “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!”
The tiger said, “Stop that! Don’t cry.”
The cub said, “We are sheep. I am a member of the herd. Don’t kill
“No, no, no, you are not a sheep. You and I are one. Let us go to
the river and check out the stripes on our bodies. You roar and I
roar. Our language is common. The body is common. Why do you think
that you are a sheep?”
Then the cub understood that it no longer belonged with the sheep.
Similarly, we think that we are sheep. We think that we are so
cheap. We think that we are so simple. We think that we are nobody,
no, no, no. Shrinvantu Vishve Amrithasya Puthraha. “You are the
Son of Immortality.” “You are Divine.” When Bhagavan addresses you
as ‘Divyatmaswarupulara’, that means you are embodiments of
Divyatma. You are embodiments of the Divine. Why do you think that
you are a pauper? Why do you think that you are so simple?
It’s like the man who kept asking for loans. Then someone said,
“There is one lakh rupees to your credit. Why are you seeking more
He said, “Oh, I see. I forgot. That was long time back.”
He immediately went to the bank, utilised the money and no longer
needed to ask for loans. Similarly, when you have Self-realisation,
you are beyond the duality of good and bad, profit and loss,
victory and defeat. You are in equanimity and are perfectly
balanced. It is for that reason that you need to realise the Self.
The second question by the same Sai devotee: “Why do we need to
say a manthra repeatedly?”
I remember a joke. A patient came to the doctor and asked,
“Doctor, I have consumed three bottles of syrup so far over a
period of three months. How long should I continue to take this?”
The doctor said, “Until you die.” (Laughter)
Similarly, how long should you repeat the manthra? Until you
forget the feeling that you are repeating the manthra: “’Sai Ram,
Sai Ram, Sai Ram’. How many times should I repeat it?” “Oh, say a
hundred times or more.”
That’s all nonsense. You should go on repeating Bhagavan’s Name
until you have forgotten the number of times that you have
repeated it. Bhagavan gave a beautiful example here. I tell you,
no one can explain it like He does: A boy said, while going to bed,
“Mother, please wake me up when I am hungry.” (Laughter) The
mother said, “Useless fellow! You yourself will get up when you
are hungry. I don’t have to wake you up.”
Similarly, “How long should I say a manthra?” The answer is that
we should repeat it until the purpose is realised or until the
goal is achieved. “Then why do I have to repeat it so many times
or for a stipulated number of times?” I may say ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram,
Sai Ram’. I may say this 108 times. But my mind may concentrate on
the manthra only here and there for a brief period, while the rest
of the time it may be engaged in thoughts about an airline
reservation, a job, the mosquitoes, the canteen -- that’s it. (Laughter)
Hence, though I repeated the Name 108 times, the mind concentrated
on it only thrice. So, how many times is that? Only three times!
So the rest of 105 repetitions were a waste. It is only for
calculation and income tax purposes, not for this. (Laughter)
So my friends, we are asked to repeat things any number of times.
How many times should I breathe? Until I find my name in the
newspaper under the obituary column. (Laughter) It’s quite simple.
So we should keep on repeating the Name.
Grace and Blessings
And then one more question here: “What is the difference between
‘grace’ and ‘blessings’?”
A very good question. We may pray, “Baba, bless me on my birthday”
or “Bhagavan, bless my business attempt” or “Bless us on our
wedding anniversary day.” Blessings you need and blessings you ask
for, as and when you need them. You ask for blessings when you
feel it is necessary, or as and when you feel you run short of
them, something like running out of household provisions. Is that
clear? So, blessings are what you seek and what you ask for on
certain special occasions.
A blessing is what you need when you are not sure about something,
whereas grace is infinite. Grace need not be solicited or asked
for or sought after. Grace is abiding, without any demand. God’s
grace is like sunlight, which is available to us everywhere and to
everyone equally. Similarly, grace is continuous. Grace is eternal.
Grace is not to be sought after or searched for as it is always
“Are grace and blessings temporary or do they evaporate after a
period of time or after certain actions?”
Here’s a simple example: When I don’t follow Swami’s teachings,
well, I may not be the recipient of His blessings, but I have His
grace. When a son does not follow the order or the advice of his
father, the father will not bless him with pocket allowances, but
he has the grace of his love.
A student who does not do the homework will not have my blessings.
If he fails in the examination, he will not have my blessings. But
he has the grace of the teacher; who continues to love him until
he gets through the examination. So, grace is purposeless, meaning
it is not goal or need-oriented; whereas, blessings can be
withdrawn depending upon our actions.
Here is another example. Out of courtesy, I will not disclose the
name of the person I am referring to in this example. This
happened about 15 years ago. He was a very big man -- both by
virtue of his profession and by virtue of his physique – who
occupied a seat meant for four people!
Well, he came here. I knew him very well. He is no more of course,
but back then he had a very high post. I said, “Sir, very glad to
see you. I hear that you are in a very high position. What brought
He said, “I have come here for Bhagavan’s blessings to get married
once again.” (Laughter)
“Sir, how about madam?” I asked, referring to his wife, since he
was already married.
He said, “ This will be an additional wife.”
“Why an additional wife?”
“My current wife is into spirituality too much. She is spending
too much time here, so I need somebody to be in charge there.”
(When the principal is on leave, the vice-principal will be in
charge of the position!)
Then I just said, “Sir, I thought you were a great man. I am
sorry. I don’t find fault with you. I find fault with myself for
having thought that you were a great man. You are no longer
holding that place in my mind. Swami has said many times, “Wife is
knife.” Because of family, you are going to have entanglements and
many responsibilities. Bhagavan wants you to rise above these
chains of family life. Yet you want to get married for a second
time, and you come for Baba’s blessings while the first wife is
I said, “Sir, you better catch the next bus, or take a taxi and
leave because He may seek the help of Seva Dals to see you out!”
(Laughter) There will be no blessings for such silly requests, I
On the other hand, if you say, ”I am tired of my life and I have
dedicated my life to service. I want to spend the rest of my life
serving You, my Lord. Help me to grow in detachment and
renunciation.” Then yes, you will have His blessings.
If you say, “I want to get deeper and deeper into family life” --
there may not be any blessings. Nevertheless, His grace is still
there, waiting for you so that one day or the other, you will work
for your redemption. That is the answer.
We have two more questions. I don’t think time permits me to
answer these today, so I will go over them next week.
In all probability, next week we will discuss Jesus Christ and
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba because all over the West, the
Christmas season has already begun. It is a matter of great
celebration, wonder and thrill to see how the action of Jesus
Christ is being replayed in the present times with Bhagavan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba.
May Bhagavan be with you forever and evermore.
Thank you for listening to me with rapt attention.
Thank you very much!
Anil Kumar closed his talk by chanting the bhajan,
“Jaya Sai Shankara, Jaya Abhayankara”.
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
Thank you very much.