Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
July 14, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

Breath Management Part 2 and Gurupurnima

14th July, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Breath Management

Last week we dealt with the subject of breath management to some extent. Under the title “Breath Management”, I gave you, in ‘capsule’ form, three aspects of the subject. The first aspect was the Soham manthra -- the breathing exercise -- what we call Pranayama, which is essential for a long and healthy life, as well as for concentration and contemplation. The second aspect of the subject happens to be inner harmony and the third aspect is music and its vibrations. These three aspects come under the subject of breath management.

The ‘capsule’ form that I gave last week will be a guideline that will help us to think more in depth along these lines. This morning, I shall try to cover a few of the remaining aspects – the aspects of inner harmony and music and vibrations.

Establishing Inner Harmony

Let me say a few words on the aspect of establishing inner harmony. We do not have peace of mind. We are agitated and highly disturbed in spirit, in spite of all that we have in this world, because inner harmony is lacking. That is the reason why we are not able to live in peace.

And further, we look rather advanced in age. It is surprising that, though one is 40, they look as if they are 60 or 70. But there are many old people who look quite young. The secret behind this is establishing or living in inner harmony. Those that have this inner harmony look young. That is the secret. You can believe me or not.

And what is this inner harmony? How is it established? Here are a few points. Needless to say that all these points are gathered from Sai literature only. I have no copyright or authority otherwise, none whatsoever.

Waking and Dreaming States

There are there levels of consciousness -- three levels of awareness. The first level is the waking state. The waking state is called jagratha. In this jagratha, the waking state, we function with the help of three components: MBA. M is for mind, B for body, A for Atma - MBA. So in the waking state, jagratha, we work with these components. With these three constituents - body, mind and Atma - we enjoy varied experiences in this waking state.

Well, the second state of consciousness is the dreaming state -- what we call swapna. In a dream, I can dream that I have gone abroad or that I am a millionaire, which is the positive side of a dream. Sometimes I also dream that I have lost everything, been manhandled by people or condemned by many people, which is an example of negative dreaming. So dreams may be positive or negative; but yet the experiencer in a dream has these two components -- mind and Atma. The body component is missing.

So, it is quite evident that in deep sleep we unknowingly enjoy bliss. In deep sleep, we are in a state where the mind is missing, nonfunctional, withdrawn. When the mind is withdrawn, everything is fine.

When I say ‘mental’, please understand the difference. I am not speaking of a perverted mind that is a psychotic case. I am speaking of the withdrawal of the mind, numbness of the mind, the silent state of the mind. When the mind is silenced, when the mind is withdrawn as in deep sleep, we experience bliss. That is called sushupti, where only Atma remains as a witness.

So I say, "Oh! I had a nice sleep!" Who told you? Your mind told you? No! The mind doesn’t exist there in deep sleep. Your body informed you? No, no, my dear man! The body was not there. Then how do you know that you had a good sleep? "Please keep quiet. That is my experience." What does it mean? The witness or the sakshi tells you of that nice experience. It means that once you are in that state of the witness, when you are there in that state of consciousness without body and mind, you are in a blissful state. Why?

It is the nature of the soul, it is the nature of the spirit, it is the nature of the pure consciousness to be blissful. Bliss is Atma. Atma is bliss. I think this is clear. So when the body and the mind are gone, the Atma experiences bliss. That's the reason why we say, "Oh, fine, fine! What a good sleep I had!"

Super-Consciousness State

Now, above this there is another state, which we call turiya or super-consciousness. Turiya is beyond these three states. What is that super-consciousness? ‘Super-conscious’ means the identification of the individual Self with the Cosmic Self. It is identification of the individual Self with the Universal Self. It means a drop finds its identity with the ocean. The ocean is mighty, but a drop is so little and subtle. In super-consciousness, this drop identifies itself with the mighty ocean.

“What a foolish thing it is!” It may sound foolish if you go by quantity. Quantitatively speaking, a drop is so small. Quantitatively speaking, the sea is so vast and infinite. But qualitatively, a drop is as good as the ocean. The only difference is in quantity. The drop and the ocean, after all, are essentially basically aqua, water, H2O. The ocean is not H30 and a drop is not H40. Nothing doing! A drop and the ocean are essentially H20 or water. So identification of the individual soul, the drop, with the Universal Soul, the ocean, is what is called turiya or the transcendental state of consciousness.

Now there are few Sanskrit words here. I'll give you one illustration that Bhagavan always gives. For example, I am an actor and I play three roles in a drama. In the first scene, I play one role; in the second scene, another role; in the third, a different role. So I have three roles to play in a drama. Just take this example: I have three roles in a drama, but I am none of these three. Though I am in these three roles, I am none of these three roles.

When I play the first role, people think and I also feel that I am that role. Therefore, I am acting well. In the second scene, I take upon myself the second role and act well, identifying with this role. Therefore people think that I am that person. And in the third scene, I play another role successfully. I get applause and cheers and I think I am that person in that particular moment of time. At the end of the drama, I am not any of these three.

Here’s a simple example: I play the role of a peon in the first scene. In the second scene, I play the role of a king. At the end of the drama, I do not continue to be the peon nor do I pretend to be a king. Imagine what would happen if I were to walk into the canteen saying, "I am the king!" People would think, "This is not the place for you!" (Laughter)

Therefore, the super-consciousness, what is called Paramatma or Divinity, is at the individual level called the jivatma or individual soul or individual consciousness. That's what we experience in the deep sleep state or sushupti. The individual consciousness is experienced at the individual level in sushupti, Therefore my friends, the turiya transcendental, the merger of the one with the Infinite, the merger of the drop with the ocean, that is what we call the Cosmic Self, the Universal Self, which is transcendental.

So these are the four levels of consciousness, the fourth level being the highest. It is present in all the other three, yet transcends them. Remember the example I gave: I play the three roles in a drama, but I am none of these. Or, I am there but above or beyond these other states.

The Daydream and Night-Dream

So the second point is: To establish inner harmony, one needs to understand the four states of life. Well, you may wonder how you can have inner harmony simply by knowing the three states of consciousness? Let me answer that question. If I know this is the waking state, if I know that this is the dream state, if I know this is the deep sleep state, how can I have inner harmony? That is the basic question.

The answer is simple. What does Bhagavan say? Our Bhagavan gives us all a beautiful, tough, complicated, spiritual dictate in the simple form of a homeopathic pill, that's all! (Laughter) A homeopathic pill! It is so small, so little, so sweet! You can swallow it immediately! So, volumes and volumes of books are written on these subjects; but either we understand them or turn mad, and feel like committing suicide (Laughter)! But Bhagavan explains it in such a simple, beautiful, Divine, unique, unparalleled, beautiful style that we feel like reading more and more along those lines of thought. We feel like experiencing that Divine presentation. What does He say?

What we experience now is a daydream. What you experience in sleep is the night-dream. One is a daydream for twelve hours; the other is the night-dream for twelve hours. A day has 24 hours. We have only 24 hours in a day all over the world, whether in the USA or in Soviet Russia. So, while you are asleep, it is the night-dream, and while you are in the waking state, it is the daydream.

So Bhagavan says, "Life is a dream. Realize it." All that you experience now is a daydream. It will not stay permanently. And when you go to sleep and dream, it will also disappear. “Life is a dream. Realize it!” All are like passing clouds. I may be enjoying something now, but when I sleep I may have a dream where I am crying. I may cry in my dream and dance in the waking state. Neither of the two is permanent. Neither of the two is eternal. But the experiencer, the ‘I’, is eternal. So, by knowing the fact that this is a daydream and that is a night dream, and by knowing that neither is permanent, this helps us to establish inner harmony. It helps us to develop the spirit of equanimity to live in peace. That's why it is the first point that I wanted to discuss this morning.

The Four Stages Of Life

The second point is about the four stages of life. The first stage is childhood, balya. The second stage is youth, youvana. The third stage is middle age, kaumarya. The fourth stage is old age, vardhyaka. There are only four stages. "No sir, in New Zealand there is fifth state!" Will anybody say that? No! (Laughter) New Zealand may have something new, but it has no fifth stage! Anywhere there are only four stages of life, either in the past, present or future. So the stages are childhood, youth, middle age, old age.

Well, how does knowing this help me to develop inner harmony? It helps me to develop inner harmony when I realize that these four stages happen in succession, that these four stages occur in a sequence, that these four stages are inevitable, unavoidable, indispensable. They will happen. I cannot say, "O God! I want to remain eternally young." Impossible! No cosmetics, no cake, no face powder, no plastic surgeon can help you to remain eternally young. "No sir, Michael Jackson had some plastic surgery and now he looks young." I see! (Laughter) Let me see him, so I may have a similar kind of plastic surgery! Well, I may have all kinds of cosmetics available in this world, but I cannot be eternally young. That is impossible!

So I don't cry when I become old! I age gracefully. There is beauty in old age. Those who feel so badly are those who have not enjoyed the earlier stages in full. Suppose I have not enjoyed my youth. Therefore I go on complaining in old age. That's the reason why old people scold youngsters, "Useless fellow, why do you roam like that!" It means that this old person did not do all those things in the past. (Laughter) So if the childhood is enjoyed in depth, there is no regretting youth. When beauty is experienced in full, there are no regrets in middle age. When the advantages of middle age are fully accomplished or fully experienced and realized, there are no regrets in old age.

After all, if the son says, "Daddy! Here is Maruthi car!" father will tell, "After all, I used the Mercedes Benz, so sit down!" (Laughter) Son says, "Well, I have got the zodiac ties." Father will say, "Zodiac necktie? Cha, cha! I used British ties, you know that? Sit down!" So the point is, the so-called generation gap, the so-called psychological difference, is because of this: We have not enjoyed the earlier stage in full. Therefore we begrudge and complain in the subsequent stage of life.

So these things happen in sequence. No complaints or regrets because every stage of life has its own beauty, its own grandeur, its own splendor, its own taste. Knowing this, then we can have inner harmony..

Brahmacharya -- CELIBATE

Then, the third point is regarding the four phases of life. I want to draw your attention to that. The first phase is the phase of a celibate, a brahmacharya. This is a disciplined life -- not that other stages are undisciplined! Here he lives under total control of his senses. This period is to be spent in acquiring knowledge. It is the process of learning and schooling. So brahmacharya is a strict period of discipline in the acquisition of knowledge, equipping oneself for life. It is the preparation for life. Preparation for life has to be thoroughly made. It has to be carefully made so that the whole mansion of life will not collapse.

Recently the newspapers reported that a thirty-one-story building collapsed on Friday morning. Why? In Hyderabad, the newspapers reported that a sixteen-story building and a ten-story building collapsed. Why? The foundation was not properly laid. Similarly brahmacharya is the foundation. If it is strong, the building will stand. Likewise, the first phase of life, brahmacharya, is the preparation for life.

Grihastha -- HOUSEHOLDER

The second stage is the householder or grihastha. There are two objects in life during this phase. What are the two objects? One is kama, desire. The second is artha, wealth. Artha, money and kama, desire. One should have the money to have desires fulfilled. Without money you cannot fulfill your desires. You want to have Coca-cola. Nobody will give you a bottle free-of-cost. You want to have a pie or a donut or a cake. Nobody will offer it to you: "Here it is. You can take it." No, no! You have to pay for it. For everything you have to pay its price.

So as a householder, you have your desires - genuine and lawful desires - fulfilled by acquiring money. Artha and kama, these are fulfilled in this phase of a householder. You discharge your duties as a responsible householder.

Vanaprastha -- RECLUSE

The third phase of life is that of a recluse, vanaprastha. I did not say ‘reckless’. The state is called ‘recluse’. We have a number of examples of recklessness -- well I don't want to mention that! Recluse -- this is the state of vanaprastha. Who is a vanaprastha?

A vanaprastha, a recluse, is the one who distributes responsibility to his children and after, he just guides them -- that's all. So they can be independent. He will not become a partner. He will not start another business or bother the children, so that the children will wait for the demise of this fellow as he has been pestering them! If he goes on torturing his children, the parent becomes a burden. His business is to distribute to them and to guide them, helping them properly. That is vanaprastha. So when advice is sought, he's prepared to give it. When there is some planning needed or if he is needed in any way, he is prepared to guide them.

This sort of direction, this sort of guidance, is to be given based on his past experience as a householder. As he has been a householder, he knows many things. He has got all the richness of experience now, as he has reached the phase of vanaprastha, a recluse. And he is prepared to guide. "Oh, my dear fellow! I went through all these things, so I know. This is my suggestion. This is the plan I have. This is my design. Why don't you follow it?" If the fellow does not follow it, OK! That is his headache. One should not be bothered about it. One is ready to advise. If others don't pay heed to that advise, well that is their problem. So this is the state of vanaprastha or recluse.

Sanyasa -- Renunciate

The fourth phase of life is called the state of a renunciate or sanyasi. The state of sanyasi or the phase of a renunciate means that he's not attached to anybody. He has enjoyed life -- as a boy, he played very well. As a youth, well, he had all the fun of life. As a householder, he discharged all his responsibilities. As a recluse, he gave all the needed guidance and advice to his children. Now he’s a renunciate.

If anyone says, "Daddy, why don't you start a business?" he will say, "No more business! That is your business, not my business anymore! I'm sorry, please leave me to myself." The state of a renunciate is an undisturbed state, an unperturbed state, a state of total withdrawal, a stage of contemplation, a state of quest for inner knowledge, a state of inner search, a state to experience the inner Self. It is not a state for any business or any employment or fresh ventures, no!

He's not to keep the keys with him or calculate the interest that he would get -- stop that nonsense! Enough is enough. “I have no more interest in these things because the market price is changing day-by-day. Well, I don't want to have my blood pressure shooting up just because the interest rate is rising and falling from time to time. I have no interest in those interests. Please stop! Don't bother me." That should be the psychology. That should be the state of a matured mind -- being done with all these things as a renunciate, as a sanyasi.

He is not at all perturbed. He is not disturbed. He is in a total state of equanimity -- sama dristhi. He has no more desires -- no kama.. He has no desire for artha, money. He only maintains a state of stillness. He enjoys that void. He enjoys that emptiness within. He has withdrawn from the exterior. He gets into the interior now. So far, life has been in the outer world, the pravritti. Hereafter, life lies within. The greater life, the deeper life, lies within. A quest for Divinity within is the hallmark of the final phase -- the life of a renunciate or a sanyasi.

So, by discharging all duties, by attending to all that is expected of us in every phase of life, we understand that there is a connection. We understand that there is a course of evolution; there is a process of advancement. It is a course of progress. Then we can live in inner harmony. That is the third point that I want to draw to your attention.

The Instruments Of Life

Now comes the fourth aspect of inner harmony. What are the instruments of life? A doctor requires implements. A mechanic requires implements. A teacher needs a chalk piece, a textbook, and a blackboard. If any teacher says, "I don't need a chalk piece. I don't need a blackboard," well, he's a dull-headed teacher. He is not required any more. He should take up the job of a driver!

A teacher can do greater harm to society than any other person. After all, a doctor may be successful in killing 20 people in his lifetime. An engineer may be successful for the collapse of one or two bridges that he constructs. But a teacher, a misplaced teacher, a teacher without inspiration, a teacher without commitment, a teacher without dedication, a teacher without proper understanding, will spoil generations! Therefore, one has got to be very careful about going into this profession.

So, a teacher needs certain implements. A scientist requires a test tube, yes, and he requires a burette in the laboratory. So everyone requires some implements.

The Body

Similarly, what are the instruments of life? God has given us the body, deha. Nobody will say, "I don't need the body." Everybody requires this body. Nobody will say, "After all, what is this body?" He is a useless fellow if he says that! This body is sacred. Let us not deny this body in the name of religion. There are those who say, "The body is useless." All right, how do you speak without this body?

Please understand: This body is not of my making. This body is a gift from God. Bhagavan further says that the body is the moving temple of God. So if I say, "I'm prepared to torture my body,” if I am prepared to fast, if I am prepared to be lean and weak -- all in the name of spirituality -- it is nothing but nonsense and madness. We are not supposed to spoil this body because the body is a gift from God. It is not of your making, and you have no authority to spoil or ruin it. You have got to maintain it.

That's the reason why Swami, while talking to boys, will say, "Hey! Why are you so lean? Why are you so weak? Are you not eating properly?" He will tell them, "This is the age when you have to eat more. This is the age when you have to be strong." While to the people of my age, He will say, "Well, I see -- yes, you are taking the form of a question mark! Yes, be careful! Don't eat more (Laughter). Be careful! What is this? You are not able to get up immediately?"

So your body has to be well maintained. You cannot neglect it. It is the main equipment given to you by God -- a Divine apparatus given by Bhagavan, who is God Himself.

The Senses

The second instrument of life is indriyas, the senses. Merely having a body is not enough. It has senses -- the senses of perception and the senses of action. So, jnanendriya, the senses of perception and karmendriya, .the senses of action, are given to us so that the body may be effective, functional, meaningful, purposeful and goal-oriented.

Therefore, the senses attached to this body have a purpose. The eyes are not merely meant for watching all that nonsense. Eyes are given to watch that which is sacred. Ears are gifted not to listen to gossip or vain talk or rumors. Ears are given to listen to the melody, the music of life. Similarly, every limb and every part of body has got a purpose. Hands are not given to play cards. Hands are given to serve society. The nostrils are given to smell fragrance, not to receive or accept snuff. (Laughter) Certainly not! The tongue is given to taste and to sing, not to chew paan!

The Mind

So every part of the body has a definite sacred purpose. When we misuse it or abuse it, that is a tragedy. So this beautiful gift of life has this apparatus -- the body, plus indriyas -- the senses and manas -- the mind. God has given this manas or the mind. It is more powerful than a missile; more powerful than any atom bomb, hydrogen bomb or nitrogen bomb; more powerful than anything, even the latest device of mankind.

The mind can make a career and it can mar a career. The mind can make heaven out of hell and hell out of heaven. The mind is everything in life. It is the cause for bondage and it is the cause of liberation as well. If you want to progress in life, the mind will help you. If you want to ruin your life, the mind is ever ready. (Laughter)

So, there is nothing wrong with the mind. It is the way we use it. It is like education -- one can use it for selfish purposes or one can use it for social upliftment. It is like money -- one can use it extravagantly and luxuriously, or one can make use of money for sacrifice. So it depends upon the user, not upon the money or the education or anything like that. It depends solely upon the user.

Some people say, "I'm feeling very tired of the mind." Oh-ho! If you don't want to mind, people won't mind you because you have become mental! You should be an expert. You should have memory. You should have recapitulation. You should have this thinking faculty, feeling faculty, deciding faculty, judging faculty, discriminatory faculty, the faculty of discretion and judgment. These things are there in the mind. Thus there are all these aspects also within the mind. So you can do the best of the things with your mind.

So we cannot condemn the mind. Do not condemn the body. Do not condemn the mind. Why? We feel so peaceful in Prashanti Nilayam. How do you experience this peace? It is the mind that experiences the peace. When I shout at you, you are disturbed. It is the mind. When you sing Bhagavan's bhajans, ah! You are ecstatic. Why? The mind takes you to altitudes, to unknown heights. The mind takes you to those horizons. So, we cannot condemn the mind. Condemnation of the mind is a sign of weakness. A coward does it; an escapist does it. We should not do it. We should only know how to make use of the mind, how to channel the mind, how to direct the mind, but not how to condemn the mind.

The Intellect

Intellect or buddhi is very close to the spirit. It is the intellect that makes you experience, know and comprehend the Divine. Mind is external, whereas intellect is internal. Intellect is intuitive. Mind is psychological. Mind is outward, while intellect is inward. So, the intellect is such a powerful instrument that you cannot afford to lose it.

If a surgeon has no knife, what is he going to do? Is he going to do bhajans in the surgery theater? What is he going to do? A knife is very important to a surgeon. Similarly, buddhi is very important to every person because it helps one to go within. The best discoveries are intuitive. The highest spiritual revelations are totally intuitive. So, the intellect has got to be awakened.

Finally, we know the body: Who are you? The body says, "I am so-and-so." Whose hand is this? “This is my hand. This is my leg.” 'I' is there. “Well, I think, I feel this” -- 'I' is also there. “My intellect, my intuition, my inner voice tells me” -- the 'I' is there too. So 'I' is there in all these four stages. 'I' gets identified with the body. 'I' gets identified with the senses. 'I' gets identified with the mind. 'I' gets identified with the intellect. This 'I' is the common thread. And that 'I' is the super 'I'. That 'I' is the transcendental ‘I’. That "I" is the Divine -- Brahman.

So Bhagavan said, "What is this ‘I’?” You cannot say this ‘I’ is the body, no! It is not the mind. ‘I’ is ‘I’, that's all! Who am I? ‘I’ am ‘I’.” That is the answer Baba gave. (Laughter) “I am not you. I am not anybody. I am not the body, not the mind, no, no! I am ‘I’.” That is it -- the final answer. See that? This is possible to realize when there is perfect inner harmony, not otherwise. It is impossible by any other process.

Music And Vibrations

Now we will go to the final aspect, what we call music and vibrations. Any number of hours can be spent deliberating on this subject. But I do not want to take much time because this aspect is very well known to everybody. Though I have got a lot of literature with me, I will try to bring to your attention to some salient features.

Remember when we sing the glory of God, bhajans, God installs Himself there, wherever His glory is sung. That is the reason why we find bhajans all over the world. That is why people play their bhajan cassettes while traveling long distances in their cars to their offices. There are people who have Baba bhajan cassettes, which they play at home. They all listen to bhajans. Why? God has promised: "I install Myself wherever My glory is sung."

Music and vibrations are wonderful things to be used in depression, in frustration, in elation, in jubilation, in happiness, in pleasure and in pain. They are to be welcomed. They are to be recited.

Mad bhakthi: My devotee; yatha: wherever; gayanthi: he sings; Wherever My devotee sings, patra: there; thistha: I install Myself. It means, “I install Myself wherever My devotee sings My glory.” That is the greatness of bhajans.

It Should Come From The Heart

Then the singing should come from the heart. Bhajans should come from the heart. This means, from the depth of your feeling. But most often we go by the rhythm, the beat and the singer. There are some who say, "Who is singing?" Hey, why are you bothered?! (Laughter) Why are you bothered? Anybody can sing. If I'm bothered about the singer, the purpose is gone. If I concentrate only on the drums, I may be born as a drum in my next life! (Laughter) If I concentrate too much on the harmonium, my next life is certain to be as a harmonium!

So the feeling is above the beat, above the tune, and irrespective of the singer because you are lost in singing. You do not exist anymore. There are different notes in singing. There is a difference between one note and another note. This is obvious to those people who know music and are fully aware of it. Between one note and another note, there is a void. There is a space where the true experience is found. The true experience comes between two notes in music, just like “reading between the lines”. Just as in “reading between the lines”, in that short spell of silence between two notes, therein lies the state of bliss. There lies that emptiness, the void, where you experience Divinity.

So, listening to music is not a simple thing. Singing is not a simple thing. Singing is a Divine gift. Music is a Divine gift, and those who listen are equally gifted. To listen is an art -- to sing is an art. To sing is an art. To listen and join in the chorus is an even greater art. To be one with It -- to identify with It, to reach that state of total forgetfulness -- is the highest, the greatness. Then the purpose of music is realized. When I look at my watch and say to myself, “One more song?” Hey! You are no more! “How many more songs?” You’re finished! So when you forget the place, when you forget the time, when you forget the singer, when you just join and sing, forgetting yourself, then the purpose, the aim and the objective of music is realized. That's the way. The music will have its own vibrations.

In fact, since so many of you are not familiar with certain tunes, I have not listed them here on the board. But there are some tunes, you know, that if a particular song is sung in a particular tune, rain is guaranteed. Happiness is guaranteed. There are certain songs listed where their tunes or ragas are curative. Some are curative! Some are preventive. Some confer bliss. Some give you worldly joy. Music is Divine. I could go on speaking for some time on this topic.

The Cry Of A Baby

Then, take something like the cry of a baby, coming from the heart: A baby in the cradle starts crying. The mother hears it and rushes immediately, understanding that it is time for feeding. “Something is wrong; I should go and help my child.” The mother will never think, “In which tune is the child crying? (Laughter) Is the beat correct or not? Is the second child crying in the same perfect tune as the eldest child or not?” No such considerations! Just one cry -- that is enough.

So music is an expression of human ecstasy. Music is an expression of human agony. Music is an expression of the oceanic level of human sentiments and feelings. Oceanic -- I purposely use that word – oceanic. It means ‘that of an ocean’, as vast as an ocean, as infinite as an ocean. So music is an oceanic expression of human sentiments and human feelings. Its vibration will naturally affect the entire atmosphere. When a singer sings, he is not only ecstatic. He influences the whole ambiance. He influences the entire environment. He infuses the whole atmosphere. Well, it is just like the cry of a baby that comes from the heart. It is so genuine -- not lip service.

Then, nama is greater than nami. The name is greater than the person. We don't have Jesus Christ amidst us today in physical form. We don't have Lord Rama in physical form. We don't have Krishna in physical form. The gods of any religion are not present in physical form. After all, there is only one God, I use 'gods' because of the many religions. God is one, but Rama or Krishna or Jesus are not here in physical form.

But if you pray, "O Lord, Thou art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come…" yes, there God will come to your rescue immediately. If you say, “O Ram, O Krishna, this is my problem”, they are already there, yes, with all spontaneity, with all freshness, with all readiness to help you. So the physical form is not all that important. More than the person, the name is important. So bhajans are superior. Whenever you sing, yes, there you find God manifesting in front of you. So nama, the name, is greater than nami, the person.

God Expects You At The Appointed Hour

And further, we prescribe time for bhajans -- 6:30 to 7:30, no, no, no, no! The specific time is an appointment with God. Suppose you have an appointment with your boss. You are to meet your boss at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning in his office. If you miss your appointment, you will lose your appointment! The boss expects you at the appointed hour.

Similarly God expects you at the appointed hour. Never miss the appointment with God. Your daily meditations, your daily prayers, your daily worship, whatever it may be, you should never miss your daily appointment with God.

Bhagavan gave one example: "If you start serving food to a dog at 12 o'clock in the afternoon, the dog comes there regularly at 12 o'clock. When the dog comes regularly, why not God?" This is what Baba said. (Laughter) That's what Baba said, I tell you! Bhagavan says, “So similarly, never miss an appointment with God.”

So, besides that appointment, to be more efficient at work, to be more dynamic, to be more enthusiastic, to be more zealous (not jealous!), more dynamic, more efficient, let us sing and do our work. That doesn't mean that we should disturb everybody by singing loudly, no, no, no, no! You can chant His name silently within. Just as breathing goes on unnoticed, singing the Lord's Name should also go on unnoticed -- to be efficient, to be successful in life.

That is what is meant when Bhagavan says, "Head in the forest, hands in society." That does not mean I should cut off my head and put it there in the forest and leave my hands there in the open street! "Oh-ho, I'm following Baba's message strictly!" (Laughter) People will think that you must have escaped from the mental hospital. (Laughter) That's not what is meant by, ‘Head in the forest’. It means constant thought and constant contemplation on God. 'Hands in society' means doing your duty, your daily responsibilities. These two should go hand-in-hand. These are Bhagavans words.

Whatever You Do, Sing Bhajans

Whatever work you do, you should also sing. Go to the canteen -- you find so many ladies at work, singing bhajans. Go to the bakery. There you will find people working there, singing bhajans. You go to the hostel: the boys will be working and singing bhajans. So work and bhajans go together. It is not a kind of compartmentalization, not a sort of time allotment, not anything like, "This is the slot for bhajans." What are you supposed to do the rest of the time?

We should also understand that bhajans, music and vibrations, are the only solution for noise pollution. The whole atmosphere is noisy. But when we sing, the noise and pollution will never bother us. They will never affect us.

Let us take the example of our five fingers. Yes, the five finger formula -- I'm not saying the five or ten point formula like that of a politician, no, no, no, no! Five fingers, take these five fingers as an illustration.

First, the thumb -- you pray for the nearest and dearest, the closest. Second, the pointing finger -- you pray for all your teachers, all your instructors, for all your doctors, those who heal, those who instruct, those who teach – that’s the index finger. So second, you pray for them. And third, the tallest finger -- you pray for your leaders. You pray for businessmen. You pray for all industrialists because the country’s prosperity depends upon the economy. You pray for them. And then the ring finger -- you pray for the weak. You pray for those who are in pain. You pray for those who are in trouble. You pray for those who are downtrodden. And lastly, the little finger -- you pray for yourself. You are the last. You pray for yourself – that’s the little finger. So the five fingers speak of the methodology in which we should pray -- the method of prayer that is to be borne in mind.

Eight Types Of Gurus

As Guru Purnima is fast approaching -- that happens to be July 24th – well, I do not think it is possible to meet next week. If it is possible, I am lucky. I don't know about you, but it will be lucky if a slot is kept for us next week to have a session. However, I don't think it will happen.

May I wish you all a happy Guru Purnima. Guru Purnima is a celebration that helps us to express our gratitude to our gurus, to our Masters. According to Bhagavan Baba, there are eight types of gurus. Since we'll not be meeting next week, I want to give you a brief account of Guru Purnima.

There are eight types of gurus. Who are they? The first one is the bodha guru, which means ‘the one who teaches the sacred texts’. Bodha means ‘teaching’. He teaches all texts, that's all. The second guru is Veda guru. Veda guru is the one who teaches Vedas, the sacred texts. And third is Nishidha guru. He will tell you how to perform yagas, how to perform spiritual rites, yajnas. He knows the ritualistic aspect.

The fourth type of guru is Kamya guru. Kamya guru will tell you, "Do this so that you can earn merit or punya. Undertake meritorious deeds. Be a man of merit; never be a sinner." The Kamya guru will teach you the approach and process to earn merit.

And then the fifth type is Vachaka guru. Vachaka guru tells you the yogic exercises. Yoga is establishing a connection with God. Sixth, the Suchika guru will tell you how to control your senses. Seventh is the Karana guru. He tells us the link between the individual and God – between the jivatma, the individual soul, and the Paramatma, the Cosmic Soul. Guru eight is Vihita guru. It is he who clears all doubts and purifies our minds.

These are the eight types of gurus, according to Bhagavan Baba. So, Guru Purnima is the very occasion when we express, from the bottom of our heart, our gratitude to these gurus, with a pledge that we'll hold onto the sacred teachings, which we have received from them. Also, we can congratulate ourselves for having been so fortunate to be in the physical Divine presence of Bhagavan Baba on that holy day.

God Himself Is Guru

Guru Purnima is a very important, sacred festival. But what is a guru? A guru is not simply a human being. A guru does not always have a physical form in front of you. Bhagavan Baba Himself is a guru. God Himself is a guru. We are so lucky to have God as our guru. God is here, as the one who takes all of us unto Himself. He is the way. He is the life. He is the Truth. Bhagavan Baba is the way. Bhagavan Baba is the Truth and Bhagavan Baba is the life. He is our guru and He takes us along the way to Himself.

So, what a wonderful thing it is! He is the Goal and He is the Director. He is the aim. He is the teacher. He is the one who takes us all -- takes hold of our hands, who will never drop us in the middle and who takes us unto Him. That's the greatest good fortune.

So, who is the guru now? God Himself is the guru, and He has got these qualities, which are put here on the board. I shall explain to you as briefly as possible, within the short time available. (I know the time is up, but let me give you a ceremonious end to this morning's talk.)

The Features Of God

The first feature of God who serves as a guru is this: Brahmanandam. It is transcendental bliss. It is not worldly bliss. It is not anything that we experience. It is transcendental bliss, Brahmanandam -- that is the character of God who is guru.

The second is Parama Sukhadam, which means highest happiness, maximum happiness, the happiness that you have never experienced until now -- supreme happiness, Parama Sukhadam. That is with God, God Himself.

And third is Kevalam. That means the ultimate. God is the ultimate. If you purchase a ticket to New York, you don't get down in Frankfurt and settle there. You don't get down in London at Heathrow Airport and settle there. You have the ticket to travel on to New York. New York is the final destination. Similarly, God is the ultimate, Kevalam.

And then comes the next aspect: Jnana Murthim. He is the embodiment of Wisdom. As we listen to Bhagavan, we should be so eager and so attentive; we should be so concentrated as to collect the most valuable pearls of Wisdom. We should not be present in a body with a wandering mind. That should not be the situation. We should be physically and mentally present there, and listen to every word with rapt attention. And that is because he is Jnana Murthim. He is the very personification of Wisdom.

Dwandwatitam: God is non-dual. He is beyond the state of duality. He is not affected by any pleasure or pain. Then comes Gagana Sadrishyam, which means God is space. There is space in my body, where different organs are located. I'm not like a pillar, no, no! There is space where different parts of my body are located. There is space here where many planets are located. God is space, Gagana Sadrishyam.

Then comes Tatwamasyadhi Lakshyma. He is the aim. He is the goal and every purpose. He's the very meaning of our life. Ekam, God is the only One without a second. And then comes, Nithyam, meaning God is eternal. He is changeless. Vimalam, He is pure and unsullied, crystal clear. That is the feature of God. Achalam -- He is steady and motionless.

Sarvadhi sakshi bhutam: God is the Eternal Witness, just like this lamp is a witness. It is not affected by anybody. Whether there are 200 people or ten people, its light and intensity remain the same. That is what we call Sarvadhi sakshi bhutam. Bhavatitam means He transcends all verbal expression, all mental comprehension. He is beyond our understanding and verbal expression. And finally He is Trigunatitam: beyond all the three attributes.

A Privilege Conferred, Not Achieved

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

We do not know what meritorious deeds we have done in the past. But one thing is certain: We are singularly fortunate, extremely fortune, to have been born now, to have known Bhagavan Baba, to have been with Him, to have been present at this moment of time, when Guru Purnima is fast approaching. Why? Because we see in Him the guru and also God as He is both. He is the Way and the Goal too.

Bhagavan Baba is a teacher like Jesus Christ. He's an ideal like Rama, He's full of miracles like Krishna. He has got a form and He's formless too. He has attributes, and He's beyond attributes. That's our great good fortune.

We see Him, we talk to Him, and we listen to Him. Well, I don't know whether we deserve it or not. My humble feeling is that it is a privilege more or less conferred, not achieved. That's what I feel.

May Bhagavan bless you on this holy festival of Guru Purnima.

May He be with you forever and ever more.

Sai Ram!

(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, 'Jaya Siva Sankara'...)

Thank you very much!

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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