Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
January 13, 2002
Anil Kumar Sunday Talks - 13.01.2002
Sankranti (Second Part)
OM… OM… OM…
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Sankranthi Is a Festival of Thanksgiving
I am so happy to be amongst the Sai
members of this study circle group, and I wish you all a happy
Last week we just started to know the inner significance of
Pongal. I covered at length last week the ritualistic aspect and
the festival aspect of it. This week I would like to deal with the
remaining part, concerning Sankranthi and its celebration.
Sankranthi inevitably falls on 14th of January every year. There
will be no change of date, you can take it from me. Any festival
dates you may need to know. But this festival, Sankranthi, is on
14th of January without fail. What is it for? Why is it
celebrated? Why is it important? This part of it has yet to be
covered and is the topic for this week.
Sankranthi is a festival of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving: we thank
God for all that we have and for all that He has given -- the
harvest, the rain, the milk, the food, the comforts and
conveniences, pleasures, joys and more. It is all an occasion to
My friends, very often it is mistaken that we need to thank God
when we are affluent, when we are wealthy, or when some more money
is added to our wealth. No! If we just are to look into Sai
literature, wealth has different dimensions. Wealth does not
necessarily mean currency.
The Quality of Life Is Dharma
Dharma: Dharma means the quality of
our life. Dharma is such a word in Sanskrit, which has so many
shades of meaning. We have to go by its context. In translating
Dharma, I often go wrong and happily submit myself for correction
by Bhagavan Himself, much to your amusement. (Laughter) This
happens every time.
Dharma has varied meanings in Sanskrit. Therefore, Dharma in this
context has to be taken as ‘quality of life’. What does ‘quality
of life’ mean? Trees, animals, birds, bees, all have their own
quality of life. We human beings also have our quality of life,
which is the human way of life (though we find in some humans the
inhuman way of life).
When they are inhuman, perhaps they go back to their earlier
births, the previous account of animal life. Darwin’s theory of
evolution says that the animal world evolved into the human
society or human race and is technically called ‘homosapiens’.
‘Homosapiens’ are human beings.
Therefore, O God! I thank You for having given me this birth of a
human being and this human life. Nara means human. This is human
life (Nara). However, if I act like vaanara (monkey) well, woe
unto one’s own self. So, we are maanava, human, but behave as a
daanava, (demon). Well, it is a pity, the life that is demonic.
So God, I thank You for having given me this life of maanava
(human or Nara), which is a wealth all by itself. It need not
necessarily be an entry that finds a place in our passbook at
State Bank or Canara Bank (local banks in India). It is in our
passbook of the human heart. How far are we humans?
The Wealth of Jnana, Prema and Moksha
Jnana means wisdom. Wisdom is
wealth. Knowledge is not wealth. A computer has much more
knowledge than all of us. The computer can retain the information
that the human brain cannot. Man has excelled himself in inventing
the computer. You can feed the entire library into CD’s today. The
human brain is no longer required. We do not need to be good at
mathematics; calculators are enough. The only thing is that we are
not asking the machines to lead our lives! That is the only
difference. (Laughter) Of course, there are robot scientists too,
but we have certain reservations.
Therefore my friends, Jnana or wisdom is not knowledge. The wisdom
that distinguishes right from wrong, truth from untruth, what is
to be done and what is not to be done is viveka (or
discrimination). This is also wealth.
Prema is the wealth of Love. Bhagavan said, “I am the richest man
in this world.” “O God! How can You be richest? I see You in two
or three pairs of red robes, that is all. (Laughter) You wear the
same dress in all seasons. I also know that You do not eat much,
except a spoonful of ragi malt. You live in a very small room. In
addition, You do not have any bank account in Your name. O God?
How do You call Yourself richest?” And Bhagavan says, “I am
richest of all because of Love. Love is My property.”
Then there is liberation. Only a human being can work for
liberation. An animal cannot work for liberation because it has no
intellect and no sense of discrimination. It has mind, but not
intellect. It can think, but it cannot discriminate. It can feel,
but it cannot use discretion. It can act, but it cannot judge. So
judgement, action, and discrimination are the features of an
intellect. Man is endowed with this intellect. Therefore, man can
work for liberation or freedom from bondage. This is a beautiful
gift of life, which is again a wealth.
To sum up: “God, I thank You! This Sankranthi is a thanksgiving
function and a thanksgiving occasion. I thank You for giving me
Dharma, this quality of life; Jnana, wisdom; Prema, Love; Moksha,
liberation. You have given me these forms of wealth, for which I
am ever, ever grateful to You, my Lord! “
My friends, most of you know the following. But for the sake of
newcomers, I repeat myself: I humbly submit to you that whatever I
speak, what all that has been noted here on the board, these are
all from Bhagavan’s Divine Discourses only. I cannot take credit
for anything. That which you do not understand, I can certainly
take credit for that! (Laughter) But Swami’s sayings are very well
understood. I may be clever enough to make it misunderstood or
even never understood at all! (Laughter) For Swami puts most
complex things in the simplest possible style.
Secondly, Sankranthi is another occasion when we pray for God's
benediction, for God's blessings. This is an occasion to thank God
and an occasion to pray. These two are necessary. People go on
praying, but they forget to thank. That has become the
ultra-modern fashion. People are not grateful. They go on getting
and forgetting. But our good Lord goes on giving and forgiving.
Therefore, this is an occasion not to forget, but to remain
grateful, very grateful.
Pray To God For Health
“Swami, I am very grateful to You”.
”Why?” “Bhagavan, I am grateful for all the physical excellence
You have given to me – yes, for the sound physical health that I
have. Well, I may not be very strong. I may not be a weight lifter
or a boxer. Yet, I have a satisfactorily acceptable level of good
health. Occasionally I am bothered by sporadic cold and fever. But
rest of the time, I am quite fine.” There are many people who are
physically not well or not healthy.
For our health, we should pray to God because health is not
totally in our hands. You can take care of your food and your
physical exercise, but total health is in His Hands. In spite of
all our efforts to take care of our health, a direct ticket or a
passport may be issued. (Anil Kumar is implying that one’s time on
earth may end at any moment.). Anything might happen by way of
earthquakes, accidents, and kidnapping or even abduction! Though
you may say, “No, I do exercises regularly,” yet God may say, “Let
Me do this exercise - to take you away!”
So my friends, though we can take care of our physical health, yet
the final success of those efforts is in His Hands. So we pray to
God for our physical health, for our physical requirements, for
physical pleasure and for physical comforts.
“God, I pray for my ethical
progress.” Ethical means Dharmic progress, so that I may undertake
certain activities of charity, service, etc., that will make me
rise above my ego self. I have been self-centered so long and led
a wretched life. Let me lead a life that is really ennobling and
sacred. Ethical life calls for sacrifice, concern for others, and
not merely self-centeredness. “O God, I pray so that You may help
me to progress along ethical lines.”
Finances Are Necessary
Regarding financial needs, though it
is said, “Money is not everything” or “Man does not live by bread
alone”, yet bread is also necessary. Therefore, finances are
necessary. However, it is not the be-all and end-all. Bhagavan
said two words to remember. One is ‘Nasti’. If anyone says, “I
want money,” upon genuine grounds and proper verification if you
find that he is in need of your financial help, you should never
be in a position to say, “Nasti”, meaning, “I don’t have money.”
You should be able to help the other man if it the need is genuine
because otherwise, I am afraid that all people may start giving,
and thereby improve the art of begging, which art is already
there. So, let me not be in that pitiable condition to say, “I
have no money (‘Nasti’).” We should give to the other man when he
is in dire need of money.
The second word is ‘Dehi’. This means let me not get into that
position so as to stretch my hand in front of everybody, begging
for money. These two are important: Nasti, “I don’t have money”,
when others ask you; and dehi, “I want money from you.” So, one
should not have these two in one’s life. They are curses. So, “O
God! I pray to You to make me financially sound, so that I don’t
have to stretch my hand in front of anybody; nor let me say, “No”
to anybody, when I really want to help other people.
About the spiritual aspect: “God, I
pray to You for my spiritual advancement.” On the spiritual
career, there are many obstacles, not only one or two. When we
want to go to a bhajan, a friend will ask us to join on a weekend
boating trip. Why not go boating? Or sometimes an invitation will
come to stay at Holiday Inn, or go to a family get-together. Why
not? Particularly when I want to do a spiritual activity, some
obstacle gets in the way. I want to go to nagarsankirtan tomorrow.
Well, I don’t wake up at all. It is enough if I get up by darshan
time (Laughter), let alone nagarsankirtan.
Well, I do not want to eat tonight. Baba said that after 50, one
should eat only once a day. Why should I eat twice? So, from this
day, let me eat only once, and then at nighttime just have milk.
However, by the time we go to the canteen, or by the time we go to
our residences, we smell delicious items and are tempted to eat.
My resolution will come into effect from tomorrow only (Laughter),
not necessarily from today! So, there are so many obstacles. “God,
only You should help me to cross these obstacles, so that I will
be able to go along my way spiritually.”
About moral values, we want to
compromise our values when it comes to our own case. If anyone is
absent for darshan, I immediately say, “Don’t you know why you
have come here? Don’t you know that you should be present here for
darshan? Are you here simply to loiter around and sleep?” But
suppose if I do not attend darshan, I have some excuse like, “I am
very much tired.” (Laughter) That other fellow, too, is also
That is why certain statements of the following kind have come
into circulation: “The Devil quotes the scriptures.” Or, “Those
who condemn others must be condemned first.” I have no business to
condemn, criticize or point out to anybody their faults. Let me
see my own mistakes. It is immoral to find out others mistakes. It
is moral to find out my own mistakes. Only then there is scope for
me to correct myself. This is really progress.
Therefore, Sankranthi is an occasion to pray for the special
blessings of God, so that we can advance physically, ethically,
financially and spiritually, along with improving the moral aspect
Dakshinayana: Southward Journey of the Sun
I do not think that I have
successfully drawn the picture of sun. This is only a symbol.
Well, you find sun god traveling in two directions. One, he
travels southward. After that, he travels northward. The southward
journey of sun from house to house, depending upon months, as per
the zodiac system, is called ‘Dakshinayana’, southward journey of
And this, Dakshinayana (southward journey of sun) period, is meant
to express our gratitude to our fathers, forefathers, to whole
family and progeny. That is what is written here. We express our
thanks to all our pedigree, the family, fathers and forefathers.
We have to remember them in our gratitude. The properties, the
personalities, the life in general, they are all because of our
parents and grandparents. This period of Dakshinayana, during
which sun god travels in the south, is also called ‘Dhanur Maasa’.
And this period ends, today.
And from tomorrow, onwards Uttarayana begins i.e., sun god
traveling towards north side begins.
Uttarayana: Northward Journey of the Sun
This northward journey is very
precious and very auspicious. It is very special. Why? It is the
time to begin any spiritual activity or sadhana. For those of us
who have crossed over age 60 or are nearing 60, it is time to
remind ourselves that Uttarayana is the time to start some
spiritual activity at sometime or other. Eating, drinking, and
talking, well, we have all been spending quite a lot of time doing
these things during Dakshinayana (the southward journey of the
sun). Enough is enough. (Laughter) All these kinds activities -
loitering, yearning, worrying, being anxious and tense, amassing
wealth, power, or position, such tinsel and trash, all should come
to a stop. It is time to travel northward, beginning from
tomorrow, by starting a spiritual activity, doing something very
important which will take us to heights. Like what?
Swadhyaya: The Study of the Self
Swadhyaya means the study of the
Self. Swadhyaya is the study of the Self. We have studied about
everything in the world, but we have not studied anything about
the Self. An engineering student studied about engineering.
Medical students studied in depth medical sciences. We studied for
Ph.D., DSC, and any number of degrees that would extend by a
couple of lines as a suffix to our names! We have got any number
of branches of study. But this is the time to study about the
Self. That is what is called Swadhyaya.
What do you mean by Self-study? What shall I study now? Any
scripture of any religion will speak of the Self only. The Bible,
Koran, Guru Grandh (the scripture of the Sikhs), Dharma Padda
(scriptures of Buddhists), and Bhagavad Githa, they all speak of
the Self. Therefore, it is time to start an in-depth study of our
scriptures. We can use our own scripture, the one that we believe
in, not necessarily something alien to us or something new to us.
Swadharme Nidha Nam Sreyah means ‘the path in which you have been
treading’. This path will be very, very helpful to you. Para
Dharmo Bhayavah means that the different path about which you have
no idea, or which your fathers and forefathers never knew anything
about until now, Bhayavah - it will be full of fear. So, go forth
in your own way.
That’s the reason why all devotees that come to Bhagavan from
different faiths say this: That a Christian becomes a better
Christian, a Muslim becomes a better Muslim, a Buddhist becomes a
better Buddhist and a Hindu becomes a better Hindu. So, follow
your own scripture, do Swadhyaya, the study which speaks of the
About pilgrimage: This is the time
when we go on a pilgrimage to a holy place. That we have already
done by being here! The best of the pilgrimage centers that we can
ever think of today in the world is Prashanti Nilayam and we are
here (Applause). It is really God's Grace and God's Will that we
are here during these auspicious days of Uttarayana. A
million-dollar profit! How lucky we are, really! Most of us do not
know that it is so precious and important. Most of us do not know
that it is particularly auspicious that Baba brought you here
because you all have been the chosen children of our Lord Sai
(Applause). So this is the time to make a pilgrimage to different
holy centers, which is something that you have already done by
Observing spiritual activities like daily prayers, meditation or
daily worship is a spiritual activity or what we call sadhana.
This is the time to do that.
So my friends, the two phases or the two paths of the sun’s
journey, one southward and the other northward, is significant as
follows: The time of the southward journey of the sun is for the
human life, the parents and grandparents, while the northward
journey of the sun marks the time to be spent for the life
hereafter. That is the spiritual essence and significance of
Kshara Saagara: The Saltish Human Heart
Now, by all this, what will happen?
By all this activity, what is going to happen? The human heart is
kshara sagara. Kshara means saline, saltish. The human heart today
is saltish, highly saline, meaning totally polluted. If another
man is happy, I am unhappy. (Laughter) If Swami talks to somebody
other than me, I do not feel like eating. (Laughter) If somebody
gets an interview, I would skip my sleep that night. (Laughter)
Therefore, this has been the way. Even if I do not get profits in
my business, I wish my neighbor should have total loss! (Laughter)
So the human beings here are full of pollution, jealousy, envy,
and unhealthy rivalry. In this rat-racing age, in this age of fast
life, we compete in a vulgar, unhealthy way. We have made
We are competitive, even in front of God. For example, when Swami
is talking to this man, some other man from behind jumps over him,
as if this were a circus or something similar to that. (Laughter)
We are very clever - clever enough even to make the holiest of
things into the nastiest of things ever possible. When Swami wants
to collect a letter from one person, ten people around get up and
He is totally sunk deep in their midst. It is not our mistake. Our
life is full of competition. Therefore, in front of God also we
are competitive! That is the tragedy of our life. We compete to
get a train ticket or a movie ticket, while standing in a queue.
So, let me compete when Swami gives darshan, as competition has
become my way of life. That is unfortunate.
So my friends, the heart has become kshara sagara, full of salt.
Nothing is sweet there. I am not able to share another’s
happiness. I am not able to share another’s grief. I do not
respond to another’s pleasures. This has been the sorrowful,
pitiable state of my heart. That is kshara sagara, salty water
like the ocean. As the statement goes, “Water, water everywhere;
but not a drop to drink!” Likewise, the human heart is full of
water, salty waters, unfit for human consumption.
Ksheera Sagara: Ocean of Milk
That kshara sagara, ocean of salt
water, must be converted into ksheera sagara, the ocean of milk.
Ksheera is milk. Therefore, when our heart is full of ksheera or
milk, it is acceptable because milk is sweet and gives us physical
strength. So the heart should also be full of sweet milk, not
The purpose of the spiritual practices that are undertaken during
the period of the northward journey of the sun god is to convert
the kshara sagara into ksheera sagara. If one says that he has
been doing meditation, but in fact he cannot tolerate anybody near
him, well then, he continues to be in kshara sagara in spite of
his sadhana or spiritual practice. Better we advise that man to
stop that practice, as it is not helping him to grow in any sense.
God Will Never Give His Timetable
Some people put these sorts of
questions: “Sir, is there going to be Sivarathri this year?”
(Laughter) Forgetting about today, now, and the present moment,
they want to know about Sivarathri. Some person asked me this
morning, “When do you expect Swami back from Brindavan?” He has
not yet gone there, but we are asked when do we expect Him back
from Brindavan! (Laughter and applause)
It only means, my friends, that our life is supersonic,
electronic, mechanical and monotonous. “What is next? Then next
and next?” (A.K. starts snapping his fingers and saying indistinct
At this moment, God is here and now. Spirituality is the life
which is here and now, not tomorrow or the next moment. This very
human mind often has become so mechanical, and so it asks, “When
He’s going to return? Is there Kodaikanal this year or not?” Why
Kodaikanal? Why? Why are you interested?
God will never give His timetable. When He starts, we should
follow. That is all. When we say He starts, He will never start!
(Laughter) Yes. When we are sure that He will never go, we find
His car already leaving! The only certainty is uncertainty. We
have to love His uncertainty. So, let us not think what is Baba’s
“O Bhagavan, help me to enjoy You here and now. Let me enjoy and
be benefited by Your Divine Presence here and now.” That is my
religion. That is my understanding of spirituality.
Therefore, ksheera sagara implies that all our spirituality and
all of our spiritual activity should help us to love other people,
to treat everyone equally. If I have some class conflict, which is
a vasana about position, like the feeling of being a VIP or a
VVIP, that is kshara sagara, full of saltish water.
Ksheera sagara means all are equal. All are one, my dear son, so
be alike to everyone. If I treat everybody equally, if I feel that
all are important, that everyone is unique, that kind of feeling
is there as a product of this ksheera sagara or ocean of milk.
Feelings or thoughts such as: “I am superior to you” or “I have
been coming here for 20 years, so I am senior to you” are all
products of kshara sagara. All such false claims represent the
unproductive and spiritually-impoverished stay in kshara sagara,
the ocean of salt.
Intellect Is an Extra Faculty
Now, as I told you in the beginning
this morning, the intellect is an extra faculty given to man (of
course, that includes women also)! (Laughter) I am afraid of
Women’s Liberation Movement! (Laughter) As the quota system for
ladies as legislators in the Parliament has been increasing
day-by-day, if I am not careful, well, I am heading for a grave
risk, which I do not want to do. (Laughter) I want an equal number
of audience members on this side of the hall also for my talks!
So the point is, the intellect is an extra faculty given to the
human race. Without this intellect, he is almost a colleague of
animals, almost a beast. Therefore, this intellect is functional
because of the sun. According to the shastra or the scripture,
every part of our body has a presiding deity. The presiding deity
of the human mind is the moon: Chandrama Manaso Jatah. Chaksho
Suryo Ajayatah. So every limb, every part of our body has a
The intellect shines with all its brilliance. The intellect is so
functional because of its presiding deity, the sun god. It is this
intellect that makes me Divine, which helps me to travel from the
human to the Divine. Therefore, man becomes God because of this
intellect. So that’s the reason why people pray to sun in the
morning. They just offer their obeisance. They offer their
respectable salutations to the sun god because Gayathri says, “Dhi
Yo Yonah Prachodayat.” This means “O God, help my intellect travel
along the sacred path. Guide my intellect to proceed in the right
direction. You are the Director. You are the Guide who will take
my intellect along with You in the correct direction.” Therefore,
the sun will guide the intellect so that man becomes Divine.
In this context, I should tell the three words and stages that
Bhagavan mentioned: matter, humanity, and Divinity. Matter is the
mineral matter - the rock, mountain, sand, gravel, or metal. That
is all matter. Next comes humanity - all of us. And finally comes
Divinity. So humanity is in between matter and Divinity. Intellect
is essential for humanity to have in order to rise higher up, to
reach the state of Divinity. Therefore, intellect helps you to
travel from padardha, matter, to paraardha, Divinity.
So that is the message we have to
catch during this period of holy Sankranthi. This Sankranthi also
has something to say about our three epics. The first epic relates
to the Bhagavatha. Bhagavatha is an epic that deals with the
leelas, the miracles of Lord Krishna and the gopikas. The devotees
of Lord Krishna were mostly illiterate. They were milk venders.
Many of them were ladies. They are called gopikas.
So, should I be a lady now because Krishna devotees were ladies?
So, when am I going to be a lady? That is a foolish question. Here
‘lady’ does not represent gender. A woman does not represent
gender, no! Woman represents tenderness, not gender. Tender, not
gender. Therefore, anyone with a tender heart is a woman.
Therefore, the whole society is feminine. There is only one man:
God Himself, called Purusha. So Purusha is God. Alternatively, I
can put it this way: Purusha is the Indweller. Pura is the body,
be it that of a man or a woman. It is also a dwelling place. So
Purusha is the Indweller.
So, this is how Bhagavatha speaks of gopikas. Many ladies
(meaning, all the devotees who are tenderhearted aspirants and
seekers) approached a sage by the name of Narada. Narada is known
among Hindus as a person who encourages conflict or
misunderstanding between everybody. However, Narada is not a
mischief-monger. Narada has another meaning. ‘Naram Dadathi
Narada’ means ‘the one who confers wisdom is Narada’.
So these gopikas approached Narada and prayed to him, “O Narada! O
benevolent sage! O wise man! We want you to tell us a correct path
to attain Divinity, to reach God, to feel God, and to experience
God. Please tell us a way.” In those days, people were good enough
to approach wise people. (Because of the non-availability of
followers and the non-availability of those who lead, better we do
not speak of our present position.)
So, those gopikas approached Narada and Narada told the gopikas,
“Look here. All of you should observe a ritual known by the name
of ‘Katyayani’. Narada prescribed this Katyayani ritual worship to
these gopikas. Why perform this worship? To attain Divinity, to
God Is the Master
This Katyayani ritual is
traditionally performed during Sankranthi time. What is Katyayani
all about? The following two points are to be noted here. Everyone
should consider God as the Master. There is your husband, whose
wishes you have to follow. Fine. Then there are your children and
you have an obligation to take care of them. Fine. But who is your
Master? God. Therefore, everyone should consider God as his
Master. God is the Master of this house. God is the Master of this
life. To have this feeling that God is the Master; this Katyayani
ritual is observed, as advised by Narada to the gopikas.
Bhagavan explains this in a spiritual way. Swami is Swami, do you
see? Nobody can imitate Him. How He explains this! Regarding the
moonlight, the moon cannot shine on its own. The moonlight is only
reflected glory. Due to the sunlight reflecting on the moon, hence
we get the moonlight. I think I am clear. However, sunlight is
original. Sunlight is natural, while moonlight is only reflected.
Therefore, the mind is the moon. The sun is the intellect. The
sunlight is the spirit or Atma. So the Atma or the spirit (or
Consciousness) is effulgence, radiance and brilliance. The
brilliance or effulgence (of the intellect) is the spirit, which
is present in the shining of the sun and which is then reflected
on the moon (of the human mind).
So Consciousness or Sprit is independent. The sun has no reflected
glory. The sun shines on his own, whereas the moon shines because
of the sunlight. Therefore, the sun has no Master above him. The
Consciousness, the Self, has no Master above Itself.
To put it in another way, at a lower level of the senses, consider
the body. The body is controlled by the mind. The mind is
controlled by the intellect. The intellect is controlled by
Consciousness or Atma. Who controls Atma? It controls itself. It
is independent. Therefore, the point is to realize the
body-mind-intellect-Consciousness connection. So this is the time
to recognize Consciousness or Atma, the spirit, which is the
Master of my life.
But I am not feeling all alone. I am thinking that my mind is the
master of my life. Therefore, I am very proud of my IQ. I am very
proud of my memory. I am very proud of my academic achievements. I
am very proud of all that I have because of the feeling that the
mind is the master of life. This is a stupid idea.
And if I feel that intellect is the master of life? Well, I think
you know what decision I have taken in my life! “I have taken a
correct decision, which has given me a beautiful turn in my life.”
This means that I consider my intellect very sharp. I feel that I
am intellectually alert, unique and great, which is again a wrong
idea because the intellect has a master above it.
Therefore, the body has a master, which is the mind. The mind has
a master, which is the intellect. The intellect has another Master
above it, which is the Consciousness or Atma or spirit. And this
spirit or Atma has no master above it.
So this state of realization, this state of fruition of endeavor,
is what is called ‘Katyayani’. This Katyayani mode of worship is
observed by aspirants to realize that the Consciousness is the
supreme Master, who controls, governs, encompasses, embraces, and
engulfs the whole universe and the entire Cosmos, individual as
well as collective.
Mahabharata and Bheeshma
Now comes the next epic:
Mahabharata. Mahabharata also has its own place in this festival
of Sankranthi. In Mahabharata, there is a great character, a
character by the name Bheeshma, who exemplifies the qualities of
sacrifice, penance, supreme peace, wisdom and renunciation.
Bheeshma stands for sacrifice (thyaaga), wisdom, (jnana),
spiritual discipline (yoga), and devotion (bhakthi).
Bheeshma is a representative of shantha bhakthi, the path of
devotion that is known for peace. Because most of us don’t have
that shantha bhakthi, if anyone sits close to us, we say “Hey,
grrr!” (Anil Kumar uses a gruff voice.) Ours is a restless
devotion. (Laughter) It is not shantha bhakthi, possessing the
abiding supreme peace.
Bheeshmacharya, who had taken care of all of the Kauravas and all
the Pandavas, sacrificed his own life: He remained a celibate. He
remained as a renunciate and an ascetic throughout his life.
Now that Bheeshmacharya has got a capacity to withdraw from the
body whenever he wishes. Nobody can kill him. He can withdraw from
the body on his own, as and when he likes, as and when he prefers,
as and when he chooses to withdraw from the body. How could he
attain that? He could attain that because of thyaaga (sacrifice),
jnana (wisdom), bhakthi (devotion) and vairagya (renunciation).
So, jnana, vairagya, yoga, thyaaga, these qualities will help not
only Bheeshma but also everyone of us withdraw from the body as
and when we like, as and when we choose. The timetable will be
under our control, if only we have these four.
Now, Bheeshmacharya, this man of renunciation and supreme
sacrifice, this senior-most supreme commander of the army, waited
for 56 days on a bed of arrows on the battlefield called
Kurukshetra. He was not on a U-foam bed or a My-foam bed, no!
(Laughter) Not on any mattress, but on a bed of arrows he waited
for 56 days!
Why did he wait? He waited for this ‘Uttarayana Punya Kaala’ (the
meritorious time of Uttarayana), which is the sacred day of
Sankranthi to begin. Because if one leaves this body on this
sacred day of Uttarayana Punya Kaala, if he leaves at this
auspicious moment, he will not be born again. He will not return
to this cycle of birth and death.
Bhagavan cautioned as follows: This does not mean that everybody
should attempt to commit suicide and leave his body on that day!
(Laughter) Do not think that just because it is a holy day, let me
take some gamacyin or potassium cyanide and say, “Holy day! O God,
Moksha!” No, no! If a person commits suicide, he will have a
thousand more lives (rebirths). (Laughter) He will not only have
the next life, but a thousand lives more. He has no freedom to
die. It is not in his hands.
Therefore, the point is that Bheeshma waited for 56 days for this
auspicious moment of Uttarayana Punya Kaala, the Sankranthi day,
when the sun enters into Capricorn (also called ‘Makara
Sankranthi’) to give up his life, in order that he would not have
to be born again, thereby avoiding getting into the repeated
cycles of births and deaths.
Here is one example that Swami gave.
There was an emperor from the State of Maharashtra by the name of
Sivaji. This Sivaji happened to be the disciple of a great
preceptor, whose name was Samardha Ramadas. Samardha Ramadas,
being an ascetic and a preceptor, had no property. His disciple,
Emperor Sivaji, wanted to reward him. So he sent gold, diamonds,
and so on to his guru as an offering. The fellows brought gold and
diamonds and said, “Sir, these are the beautiful gifts that our
emperor presents to you.” And this teacher, Samardha Ramadas,
said, “You give all that to a person who has nobody to take care
of him.” Such a person is called ‘anatha’. Anatha means the
neglected, forlorn and uncared for. “You give this to a person who
is anatha, forlorn, who has nobody taking care of him.”
They said, “You’re beggar number one! Why do you say like that?
(Laughter) Have you anybody to take care of you? Our Emperor has
sent these gold and diamonds to be given to you because no one
takes care of you. You are anatha, you have no natha or master to
take care of you.”
Then he said, “No, no! My God, Ramachandra, Sri Rama, is my Natha,
my Master. And my Master Rama has no other Master. So Ramachandra
is anatha, beggar number one!” (Laughter) Yes. We all have
somebody to take care of us. However, God has nobody to care of
Nobody Is Here to Take Care of Me!
I will tell you in this context something that had happened. Well,
I was going through some crises, some mental problem and some
personal problem. Well, Swami was passing by and I simply said,
“Maaku Dikku Evaru Swami?” “Who will take care of us?” I said it
softly because I know the risk involved. (Laughter) Right! I
thought that sufficient precaution was taken. However, this word
got into His ear. He passed by, turned back and asked, “What did
you say, repeat! Repeat!” (Laughter) “Who will take?” “Keep your
mouth shut! I am here to take care of you. Nobody is here to take
care of ME! (Laughter and applause) And I am here to take care of
So, who is anatha, the forlorn, with no Master above him? It is
God Himself. We have Him as our Master. So, that is the saying of
Samardha Ramadas. “When Rama is my Master, I don’t need YOUR gold
or YOUR diamonds,” he said.
I Am Ramachandra
Swami said something great about
Samardha Ramadas. Samardha Ramadas concentrated on Ramachandra
deeply for a very long period. After many long years of deep
penance and meditation on Ramachandra, he started to feel that he
was Rama Himself. While he was walking along the roads, he used to
walk like that. (Anil Kumar imitates someone walking confidently.)
Only the bow and arrow were missing, that is all! (Laughter)
Walking like that, he used to say, “I'm Ramachandra.”
People thought something was wrong. However, they also thought he
would not declare himself as Rama unless he had discovered
something special in himself. Otherwise, he will not behave like
Somebody brought a dead parrot to him. “Swami, this is a parrot.
Take it.” He asked this question, “Who killed this parrot?”
“Swami, You only killed it.” Oh-ho. “If you are really Ramachandra
as you declare yourself to be, bring this dead parrot back to
life.” (Anil Kumar snapped his fingers.) And Samardha Ramadas,
holding this parrot, prayed to Ramachandra and then let it fly off
- it came back to life again! That is the story of Samardha
Ramadas, so wonderfully narrated by Bhagavan Himself.
Sankranthi is also special for another reason. This is the day
when Adi Sankara, (Shankaracharya, the great) took to ascetic
life. He decided to totally renounce, to become a celibate or
sanyasi, on this day of Sankranthi, which is so precious a holy
Pongal and Ponguta
Then this Sankranthi is also called
‘Pongal’, particularly in Tamil Nadu. What do you mean by
‘Pongal’? Bhagavan, being the Master of all languages, plays with
the words. Pongal is a Tamil word. Now He takes the Tamil word
‘Pongal’ and puts it into Telugu and gives a different meaning.
‘Pongal’ becomes ponguta, meaning surging up. ‘Ponguta’ is Telugu
word; ‘Pongal’ is Tamil word. Bhagavan has used both words.
(Laughter) And I have no words to describe the mystery behind it
all! (Laughter) I have just no words.
So, ponguta means surging up. Suppose you boil milk, what will
happen? It surges up. Similarly, Pongal symbolizes the surging up
of noble, Divine and spiritual ideas. So this Pongal should help
you to develop this surging up of noble ideas. Bhagavan says that
Divine thoughts will happen on this day of Sankranthi.
‘Samyak’ Plus ‘Kranthi’ Is Sankranthi
Then He gave another meaning: Samyak
+ kranthi = Sankranthi. That is the etymology of the word
‘Sankranthi’ Etymologically, ‘samyak’ plus ‘kranthi’ is
‘Sankranthi’. What do you mean by ‘samyak’? ‘Sa’ means that which
is auspicious, that which is sacred. ‘Kranthi’ means ‘time – the
past, present and future. We pray for good and sacred times, so
that we all have a happy spiritual time ahead of us, starting from
tomorrow, the day of Sankranthi. That is the meaning. In this way,
the whole year following Sankranthi will be peaceful and the whole
period will be sanctified.
Because of this samyak-kranthi, kranthi, the time that becomes
samyak, sacred, will help us to develop in three steps. The first
step is Love. I love, but I love myself. That is all. Thank God
there are people who do not love themselves. (Laughter). I love
myself. Anything that happens to me makes me happy. So this is a
beginning point, and it is called swardha or selfish love.
Then there is the second state of mutual love. That is called
parardha. I love you because you are useful to me. (Laughter) You
also love me because I will be useful to you. The third one is
supreme Love. This is also called samardha. I love for Love’s
sake. My Love is unconditional. My Love is selfless. That kind of
Love is called samardha. And during this Sankranthi season, most
of the auspicious activities like housewarming functions,
marriages, thread-ceremonies, etc. are performed.
That is in brief the inner significance of Sankranthi, which I
wanted to share with this august assembly this pleasant morning.
I Was There, Taking Care
I have two or three things to share
with you in relation to the Sports Meet that we had on the 11th of
this month. Let me tell you one or two miracles that happened
because you will be very much interested to know this. We find
anything happening to another man a miracle, forgetting that our
life is full of miracles. Every life is a miracle. Every
individual is a miracle, but we can understand this clearly only
when it happens to others. When it happens in one’s own life, we
tend to ignore it or take it as an accidental coincidence. That is
Most of you must have watched the event in which the boy from
Brindavan Campus was doing some stunts on a go-cart, coming at a
terrific speed. You must have noticed that it had hit the wall
there - ta-da! And the honorable Minister Uma Bharathi on the
dais, said, “OHHHHHH!” We too wanted to say that. However, because
we are watchful of the Divine presence, we controlled ourselves
and said it within ourselves instead. (Laughter). If we also
shout, people will doubt our devotion. Therefore, we have to be
spiritually cautious! (Laughter)
Bhagavan said yesterday evening, “The whole go-cart should have
been broken into pieces. The boy should have faced multiple head
injuries. Nothing happened because I was there on the dais, taking
care of the boy there.” (Applause)
Anil Kumar cannot keep anything to himself. (Laughter) British
Broadcasting Corporation is called BBC. Anil Kumar Broadcasting
Corporation is ABC! So successfully broadcasting over last two
decades, I will continue to do so till the last breath of my life.
Yes! This has been my job and I will continue to do it. (Applause)
Also, a second thing that I want to bring to your attention is the
following. Most of the girls from India will have long hair,
braided into a plait. Yesterday you must have seen two girls on
motorcycles jumping. There was a big wheel-like thing, burning
full of fire, which they had to jump through. Plus we had a
terrific breeze yesterday, so the fire was coming from all sides.
This girl with long hair, shaa-daa! She could just jump through
Swami said, “They wear silk saris, plus they have long hair. So
anything could have been burnt. You think Sai Baba is sitting on
the dais. What am I doing? Protecting My children there on the
field.” (Applause) That is what Bhagavan said: “Protecting My
children there.” Swami, yes, You alone can do it! Or else, who can
ever think of doing such things?
I can tell you there is another fellow from Vijayawada. His name
is Sai Krishna. He was practicing jumps on the trampoline. You
must have seen there in one corner, there were the cubes. Then one
fellow started jumping, ta-ka ta-ka, just as in the Olympics. And
this fellow fell from at least from 15 feet high, ta-da!
He was taken to the hospital and people thought he must have had
multiple fractures in this region. However, after taking some
X-rays, they only noticed a slight scratch there. (Applause) That
is Sai! Sai-scratch! We know people sustaining multiple fractures
by falling in the bathroom! (Laughter) This fellow fell from 15
feet, but nothing happened except for only a scratch. That is Sai
Baba! That is Sai Baba, please understand! (Applause)
And I should tell you another thing: A girl from Anantapur had
some pain. However, with all that pain she prayed to Bhagavan and
participated on motorcycle stunt. Because of this pain, later she
went to the hospital and it was reported that she had some
fracture. Still she could do the stunts. Any fracture will
certainly give us excruciating pain. But bearing all that pain,
she could still perform her stunts. That is the power of Sai.
Giving Prasad At the Right Moment
This is the climax. Because I heard
this from Bhagavan, straightaway I wanted to share it with you.
The Honorable Minister who came yesterday as the Chief Guest was
the Honorable Uma Bharathi. She is a Central Minister, in charge
of Sports and Youth activity. All of you must have noticed that
she was brought there on a wheelchair. We only know that. But
Bhagavan told this yesterday afternoon, when I was there with Him.
Perhaps He knows whom to tell! (Laughter) So, what He said is
Bhagavan was so gracious towards her. She attended the only
morning session because this Minister had to go back to Delhi and
therefore she could not stay for the afternoon session. So
Bhagavan was so compassionate and gave her an interview. She was
taken into the interview room. Bhagavan spoke to her and then she
came out of the interview room walking straight, no more in the
wheelchair! (Applause) That is the power of Sai Baba.
Also Bhagavan, by the wave of His hand, materialized a small
silver cup or something like that with a lid, full of sacred
vibhuthi, which will never get exhausted. Akshaya means ‘that
which will never get exhausted’. So He materialized that vibhuthi
She landed there in Delhi and went to the Prime Minister
straightaway, “Here’s prasad for you from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba. (Applause) And the Prime Minister was so happy. “Thank you
very much for giving prasadam at the right moment!” Do you know
what that moment is? Newspapers will tell you. (Laughter) At the
right hour, Swami has sent this prasadam.
All these things Bhagavan told us yesterday. I have been waiting
for an opportunity to meet you and share this happy news with all
Let me conclude by wishing you all a Happy Pongal!
May Bhagavan bless you!
(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, “Kshirabdhi
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!