Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
June 23, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

"Thus Spake Baba" (Part Two)

23 June 2002


Sai Ram to Everybody!

Come Inwardly

Our sincere thanks to Bhagavan Baba for bringing us safely here this morning.

I want to share with you a few of the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Many of us have come here to see Bhagavan and go back to our homes. Some pray to be here. Many feel badly to go back. We come and go. This happens after years of planning. We are here and we don’t know when we are to go. The trip to Puttaparthi has been a lifelong ambition, a desire and a dream. We are here and we enjoy Him. But what does Bhagavan say about our being here?

“Until we come inwardly, outer coming or not coming does not have much meaning.” What a wonderful statement this is! Until we come or turn inwardly, outer coming does not matter. It is as bad as or as good as not coming. In other words, Bhagavan wants us to be here inwardly. It means we should enjoy Him from within.

Many years ago Howard Murphet said when leaving, “Bhagavan, I'm so sorry to leave You. I feel so sad to leave this place now.” Bhagavan said, “You are not going! You are going to come back.” To part is to be together. We part so as to be together. Not that you are going alone. This sort of feeling of Bhagavan -- this sort of feeling on the part of everyone here -- experiencing Bhagavan inwardly, is more important than outward visits to this place. That’s what Bhagavan meant.

It’s also equally important to know that you are more important than the path you follow. We find many people saying things like, “Sir, do you meditate?” We find one lady talking to another lady, “How many times do you go around that Gayathri Temple? How many times do you go around Lord Ganesha? How many times do you attend nagarsankirtan?”

We are eager to know everyone else’s path. What path do you follow? What form of worship do you adopt? Let me know. We are very eager to know these details from our friends and devotees.

The Traveller Is More Important Than The Process Of Travel

But what does Bhagavan say about this? What does Bhagavan say in this context? He wants you to know that you are more important than your path. The traveller is more important than the process of travel. It is not the path that takes the traveller to the destination. It is the traveller.

Yes, I go to my destination. This is the road that takes me to the North Building over there. Yes, I know the path. But I have to go there. The road will not carry me -- no, impossible! Am I being clear? So Bhagavan wants us to know -- you have to reach the destination. You have to travel along the path. So the traveler is more important than the path.

Here in this context I may tell you, my friends, we are so caught up in the path that we forget to travel. We know the path, but we do not travel. That’s the reason why we continue to remain where we are. We do not make even an inch of progress. We do not get even a step ahead because we know the path and we think that knowledge is the ‘be-all and end-all’. We think we know and we think that knowledge is enough to reach the destination. No!

Here is a simple example. Bhagavan said that you might go through the home science book a number of times. Or you may go through a book that speaks of many delicious items -- the recipes and the process of cooking. But, even if you read that book, it will never satiate your hunger. It will never satisfy you. Reading a memo recipe card, going through the recipe, will never fill your belly! True?

So my friends, going through the book of home science or going through this memo card will never satisfy or satiate our hunger. Similarly, the path, the knowledge, the technique, or the skill will never take you to the destination because it is you who should walk.

Bhagavan gave a simple example. A mother loves her son very much. Poor mother! When the son sustains a fracture, the mother cannot say, “Oh doctor, my son sustained a fracture. I don’t want him to suffer, so please put the bandage on my leg.” Can a mother have a bandage on behalf of her son? Impossible! The mother loves the child very much. But the mother cannot say, “My child cannot eat. Let me eat on behalf of my child.” Is that possible? Impossible!

Therefore my friends, we have to travel. We have to make a beginning at some stage or other. The mere knowledge or the skill -- the mere awareness -- will not help. Once we know the road, the map must be left behind at some time or other.

We should also recognize another basic fact. When you travel, you reach the destination. When you make an attempt, you enjoy the state of bliss. Why? Because you do it. We cannot designate or delegate our powers to anybody else to do it on our behalf. You are the seed. The seed sprouts into a sapling and the sapling grows into a tree with all its flowers. When these flowers spread their fragrance, you are there in the fragrance of the flowers. When the tree bears fruit, you are there in the sweetness of that fruit. Yes!

We are the seeds and we are the trees. A seed of today is the tree of tomorrow. I spread this fragrance myself. I am the sweetness. I am everything. This ‘I’ is common to everybody. Do not take it in the literal sense! ‘I’ is the ‘I’ in everybody. So I am everything. I am the bliss. That’s what Bhagavan wants us to know.

Who Is An Ideal Disciple?

Yes, how is it possible to know that I am everything? How is it possible to know the path? What am I to do? Bhagavan said, “Be a disciple.” What is our concept of a disciple? What is our idea of a disciple? Is it to present one’s own self in front of the guru physically? Is it to be here quite often? No! That is not the behavior of an ideal disciple.

Who is an ideal disciple? How to be a disciple? It is an art by itself. It is a skill by itself. It is a gift. It is a blessing. It is not freely given. That is the reason why when I say, “I am your disciple,” Bhagavan says, “Certainly not, I never said so!” To call myself a devotee is a matter of ego because Bhagavan should certify that.

“I am a devotee of Bhagavan.” Who said? You declare it. It is a self-styled position. It shouldn’t be like that. It should not be a position. It should not be a declaration or imposition or supposition. It should be one of acknowledgement from God -- from Bhagavan. Therefore, the point is this -- let us learn to be a disciple. How to be a disciple? It is an art. It is a skill, as I said in the beginning.

One has to learn to bow down in front of the Divine Master. Do we know how to bow down? Well, I don’t think so. To bow down means to have humility, discipline, and obedience. You find people bowing down in all reverence and respect. In front of the Guru, one has to be respectful and reverential. So be prepared to bow down.

You find Buddhist monks bowing down repeatedly. The disciples of Zen Masters bow down repeatedly. Every time, wherever they see the Guru, they go on bowing down. It is not a ritual. It is not an exhibition or a show. It is an expression of reverence and respect towards one’s own teacher. So, the first quality of a disciple is to be simple and humble. Then there is no place for ego and no place for arrogance -- none whatsoever.

The art and skill of learning is discipleship. In order to be a Collector (a position in India like district or county Mayor), the position is achieved. To be an engineer, the position is accomplished. Or to be a doctor, the position is acquired. Similarly, discipleship is acquired. Discipleship is an achievement. Discipleship is an accomplishment. It is not inborn. It is not latent. It is cultivated. One has to learn how to be a disciple. To learn the art and skill of discipleship, be willing to bow down.

And the disciple should be prepared to acquire wisdom. Wisdom is more important than one’s own ego. I can give you this simple illustration. Bhagavan is so merciful that He grants me an interview. Yes, I go into the interview room. What do I do there? “Bhagavan, these are my problems. Bhagavan, when do I get money? When am I going to be a millionaire? When am I going to become the Prime Minister at least?”

I am so busy putting forward the memorandum of desires, this list of desires: “O God, make me free from sickness. O God, make my children be top in the world -- unparalleled, unbeaten, unequalled. O God, see that I would never die, that I would live eternally. O God, see that I won't have any joint pains, arthritis, or bronchitis.” These problems will be waiting at the doorstep after age 60. They are our regular guests then. We have to live with them. There’s no point in having any grudge or anything whatsoever. Let us be friendly and befriend these ailments.

The Soul Pays The Rent of Disease

So the point is, once I know that Bhagavan is there to answer my requirements, I'm deprived of wisdom. I’ll give you one example. There’s one great gentleman from Andhra Pradesh, a very great man. He wrote about 100 books on Lord Sri Rama. He lived for 90 years. He was a great devotee of Bhagavan and an excellent exponent of Vedanta, particularly on the Rama Avatar, whose name was Sri Rama Sharan. Sri Rama Sharan is known all over Andhra Pradesh for his scholarship.

He had joint problems and his legs were swollen, you see. Well, he looked very sick. In fact, he was a very sick person. I went to him and I touched his feet and said, “Sir, why don’t you ask Bhagavan for a cure? Why don’t you ask Bhagavan to give you some medicine? Why don’t you ask Bhagavan to give you some vibhuthi? Why, because we want you to live long. We want you to be healthy because you’re an excellent orator and you’re one who follows what you say. You are an ideal to all of us. Your life is very precious to all of us. Sir, why don’t you ask Bhagavan?”

This is the answer of Sri Rama Sharan. Do you know what he said? It is important for all of us to hear this. Therefore I want to share it with all of you. What did he say? “Mister Anil Kumar, one has to suffer. Having stayed in a rented house, you have to pay the rent. You stay there in the house but don’t pay the rent. Then you are the culprit. You’ll be sued in the court. Having stayed in the house for rent, you must pay the rent regularly, as per the contract.”

“Similarly, the body is the residence. The body is the house where the individual soul is staying -- not as an owner, but on a rental basis. So the soul, or the spirit, will have to pay the rent regularly. What is the rent? Not pounds or dollars or rupees, but sicknesses, ailments, diseases. So the soul pays the regular rent in the form of disease and complaints, for having stayed in this rented building -- the human body.”

So if we don’t say to Bhagavan, “Swami, I want this, I want that, please cure me”, if we don’t say that, then words of wisdom will flow from Him. Words of wisdom, philosophy, spirituality -- so many, most precious things you’ll be fortunate to hear. But when we start speaking about our own diseases, about the problems of our children, He’ll say, “Manchidi bangaroo, very good! I’ll take care of you. It is darshan time, you go.” But it is still one hour until darshan! (Laughter) Or, “It is bhajan time, you go.” But, it’s one and a half hours until then!

This means He wants us to listen to His wisdom. He wants us to grow along the spiritual path. He wants us to take up spiritual sadhana or spiritual practice, and not be so concerned simply with that joint, this body, the headache and the stomachache. The aches will be there because of the body. Some part or the other aches, we cannot help it.

So Sri Rama Sharan said, “By praying to Bhagavan, what He will do is postpone it. Instead of suffering today, He’ll allow you to suffer next year.” (Laughter) OK? If you still cry -- like examinations, which are postponed -- He’ll give one more year. Examinations can be postponed, but they will never be cancelled.

Similarly, our suffering will be postponed. But suffering will never be cancelled. Why? Because suffering is due to our own actions. As is the action, so is the result. If actions are good, the results will be equally good. If actions are bad, suffering is the result. Having done bad things, having been guilty in several areas of life, then I must face suffering. Well, I cannot say, “I don’t want to suffer.” I'm guilty of stealing, of pilfering money from the bank, and I don’t want to be put behind bars. What will people say? “Whether you like it or not, that is your place.”

Similarly, one has to face the consequences of one’s own action -- what we call the fruits of karma or the fruits of action or prarabdha or the consequences or rewards for one’s own action -- however you may say it. So pain and pleasure are not because of God.

You Are Responsible For Your Pain

I can tell you one simple incident. A couple of years ago, a few students were asked to speak in front of Bhagavan. One student after another went on narrating experiences, miracles, and glory -- how every fellow was saved from the threshold of death. Every fellow explained how Bhagavan’s miraculous Hand saved him, because it was an occasion to express each one’s devotion and loyalty.

Thereafter Bhagavan started His Divine discourse. “Remember God will never save and God will never punish.”

Oh, I see! You don’t punish and You don’t save? Then what are You doing here? What is Your job? Why should I come here and sing full-throated? Is it just inviting pain and throat problems? Why?

Do you know what He said? “The pain and pleasure are not My gifts. They are not of My making. They are of your own making. You are responsible for your pain and you are responsible for your pleasure. You are responsible for your happiness. You are responsible for your sadness. God is not responsible.”

Then what are You, God? “I am the witness.” God is an eternal witness. The eternal witness, the perimeter, the bearer, the experiencer. He sees to it that you cannot escape from the consequences of your actions. He’s not an income tax officer to be bribed. He sees to it that you face the consequences of life. So, God is an eternal witness. He’s not responsible for pain and pleasure.

I Give You Strength To Bear the Suffering

Then Bhagavan, what is the way out? Swami gave a little example. Though you have to pay income tax, if you contribute to the provident fund, there will be some deduction. You can save some money -- perhaps use it as postal savings? Out of the total amount of tax you have to pay, well, some amount can be tax exemption. Please understand tax exemption is different from tax evasion. Tax evasion is a crime, whereas tax exemption is legal. Yes! That’s the reason why people are very busy thinking of tax exemptions in the month of February and March. Similarly, you have to pay the heavy tax of suffering for all the bad, for all the sins, you have done.

“Oh Swami, what shall I do?”

“I’ll give you some tax exemptions!”

“What are they?”

“Do some service -- get some tax exemption. Do Namasmarana -- get some exemption. Do acts of charity, show concern, serve people -- get some tax exemption.”

“Swami, I'm doing all this. But I'm still suffering! I have been serving people. I have been giving money to poor people -- those who are needy. Yes, I am serving. Still, I am suffering. God, what is it? What exemption have You given me? You are taxing me additionally! Further, had I not come here, I would have been happier!” Sometimes that thought comes to my mind.

Then our beloved God says, “My dear son, remember I gave you the strength to bear the suffering.” People suffer but yet they suffer smilingly. They suffer joyfully. They suffer willingly. They suffer with the hope that God is by their side -- with the conviction that God will help them some day.

Similarly, what does God do here? He gives you the right attitude, so that you will not be vindictive; so that you will not be revengeful; so that you don’t react in a violent way; so that you’ll not be emotional; so that you’ll not be full of passion; so that you’ll be able to bear the suffering with a feeling of equanimity and a balanced state of mind. With a balanced state of mind, with the spirit of equanimity, you’ll be able to receive pain and pleasure with equal-mindedness. That is the right attitude. That is God’s gift.

So my friends, when we’re prepared to accept things as they happen in life, we’ll have ample chance to listen to the words of wisdom from the Divine lips of Bhagavan Baba. That’s the reason why experienced people, those truly devoted to Bhagavan, don’t ask anything for their personal gain. They don’t ask. They just sit and listen to Him.

“What do you want?”

“Swami, I'm happy to be here.”

There may be a kidney problem. There will be a heart problem. Yet still such a devotee is happy to be here. That is the way! That is how an ideal devotee behaves so that he’ll be able to learn from Him. He’ll be able to hear from the Divine lips the most valuable, precious words of wisdom. That’s what’s important. So our heart should be a begging bowl that is receptive, that is prepared to receive the pearls and the gems of wisdom from Bhagavan Baba.

Face The Master In Total Emptiness

So then, how should I go to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba? How should I go into that Kulwant Hall -- with what feeling? Not with the feeling that I'm a PhD or I’m a D.Sc., that I am IAS or I am IFS. That’s a foolish approach, a stupid approach -- an approach of utter ignorance and total darkness. When you go to your Master, you should feel that you do not know anything. “I do not know God.” That’s what we should say because, whether what you know is correct or not, you do not really know.

So let us face the Master: Let us face Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in a state of total emptiness. “I'm totally empty, God. I do not know anything. All that I knew is lost.” Perhaps in the presence of the Divine Master, unlearning is more important than learning. One has to unlearn what has been learnt. One has to empty one’s own self. In that state of emptiness, you can listen to the Voice of God. You can listen to the Voice of God in that state of silence -- when there is a void, when there is emptiness.

Go to the valley and shout -- you can hear the echo. Here you can shout to any extent and you won’t get an echo because here we are full of stuff. In an empty valley, you can hear the echo. So to listen to the sounds of the Divine: “Let me empty myself. Let me go in with an attitude that I do not know anything.” That should be the attitude of a devotee.

Once you’re face-to-face with Bhagavan, what you should learn is the art of listening -- not the art of speaking. There are some people who start speaking. If it is an elderly person, Swami will say, “Manchidi, manchidi. Continue your own path.” It means that fellow refuses to improve himself. He’s conditioned, he’s prejudiced, he’s biased. He has settled himself. It is very difficult to unsettle him. It is very difficult to teach him. So in front of Bhagavan, one should learn how to be silent.

Words Create Distance

How to listen and not speak? You may wonder how some people speak in front of Bhagavan. They speak so as to get more opportunities to listen. They don’t speak. They put questions so that Bhagavan will speak out -- so that they will have the opportunity to hear from Him because nobody can interpret like Bhagavan. This is a unique, rare opportunity. Why do you speak? Ask some questions if given an opportunity -- so that you can have all the wisdom of the Divine. So, listening is an art that is greater than speaking. People say speaking is an art. But in spirituality, listening is an art. You gain by listening.

Furthermore, it is said that words from the disciple create a distance. When you go on speaking, Swami says, “Manchidi (Good).” He passes by you -- that’s all. It creates a distance. Words from the disciple create distance. Words from the Master bring you closer to Him. So one is closer to God when He speaks. One creates a distance when you and I start speaking. That’s why it is said: “Listen. Do not speak.” You gain by listening. Words from the disciple create a distance. Words from the Master bring you closer to Him. So when you are listening, you get closer and closer. When you are speaking, it takes you away from Him. “Ah! Manchidi, manchidi, manchidi!” That is the technique. Let us learn to listen to Bhagavan. Let us learn how to be silent. That’s what is advised.

Don’t Imitate

Then, sometimes in the field of the spiritual path, we want to imitate. Well, I want to be a singer like some student here – all right. I want to be like that – okay. But when I start singing, the hall is going to be empty! I cannot be a singer like he is. There is one sportsman on the college campus -- an all-rounder, an excellent cricketer: I want to be a cricketer. Finished! Never imitate -- don’t copy! No! Imitation, comparison, competition are totally human, meaningless, useless, futile, and foolish. So it is a foolish exercise to imitate anybody, to copy anybody, to compare oneself with anybody, to compete with others. These are all signs of weakness.

You are great unto yourself. You are unique unto yourself. Why do you compare yourself? So the desire to be someone -- wanting to be like him -- is nothing but madness. You’ll not be able to realize your own true Self-nature. In trying to be like someone else, you lose your nature. You lose your identity. You lose your uniqueness. You lose your specialty. So don’t imitate. Don’t try to copy anybody.

Bhagavan gave one example. A crow watched a swan. As the swan started walking in a tender, beautiful, sensitive, delicate, dancing style, the crow also wanted to imitate. So the crow, watching the swan walking, started imitating. After successfully imitating for some distance, it forgot its own style of walking. It appeared as if the crow had gone mad because it had forgotten its own style of walking!

So my friends, each one of us is gifted with our own style of thinking, our own style of functioning, our own style of expression, our own way of blossoming into fullness. No two are alike! That’s the law of nature. All biologists would agree with me -- no two are alike. Not even twins! No two leaves are alike; no two flowers are alike. It is impossible! So, variety is the spice of life. In this life that is full of variety and diversity, to imitate someone or to copy someone is so cheap. That’s what Bhagavan says. The desire to be someone else is madness. If you do that, you’ll not be able to realize your own Self-nature. Understand what a beautiful thing it is!

Understand this and remember it: You are unique. You are special. You are unparalleled. You are you -- everyone here is. Is that so? Yes, it is! Because we don’t know the truth, we compare ourselves, compete with others, and come down to a level so low. It should not happen. You are great in your own way, so never compare.

If anyone says, “Swami, Swami! So-and-so is like that. Bhagavan, we have done this work. The same work is also being done elsewhere, but we are better.” Bhagavan will always say: “Never compare. Creation is Divine. Imitation is human.” So never do that. Understand that everyone is special here. No one needs to be like anyone else -- that is not necessary.

A rose flower is beautiful and a lotus flower is beautiful. The rose flower need not be a lotus flower. The lotus flower need not be a rose flower. Each flower is so beautiful in its own way. A small flower is beautiful. A big flower is equally beautiful. A small flower should not say, “I want to be big like that.” The big flower should never feel that it should be a small flower – “so handy to be small.” These are stupid, totally foolish and totally worldly, mundane, cheap ideals! So my friends, a rose is a rose. A lotus is a lotus. Each is beautiful in its own way.

The Past Must Be Buried

Then, in front of Bhagavan, all the past must be buried. All the past must be forgotten. There are some people thinking that they are humble. Feeling that they’re open-minded, they go on declaring, “I did so many bad things in the past. I was an agnostic. I was a critic. I was an atheist. I never believed in Sai.” Well, I don’t want any message from you. If you are not that now, then why should you think of the past? “I was a non-believer in the past.” Forget the past. You might not have accepted Baba then, but now forget about it because “Past is past” and beyond recovery. “Future is uncertain.” So why do you think of the past and the future?

So, an ideal devotee, an ideal seeker, will bury the past. Nobody should say, “Ten years ago I constructed a temple.” Oh, ten years ago! Then why do you speak of it today? There are some people who say, “Fifteen years ago Bhagavan gave me an interview. What happened was…” Please keep it to yourself -- I'm not interested! There are also some people who go on giving dates also: “February 15th, 1980.” Well I'm not a student of history. Please write down your own biography. I'm not interested! Why? Because the past is dead and gone. Why do you think of the past? So the point is very clear. Let us proceed right now, with an acceptance of our total ignorance.

I'm innocent, O Bhagavan! I'm innocent. I'm ignorant. O Swami, I do not know anything because all that I learned in the past is gone now. It is not there -- not even a remainder or residue -- no leftover, no hangover! Everything is gone. Everything is just buried. So the total acceptance of ignorance is the first step of wisdom. If I say I do not know, it means that I know something, but it’s not worth mentioning. It was Socrates who said, “I know only one thing -- that I do not know.” So, in our case, we do not know that we don’t know. What a tragedy it is!

Therefore, acceptance of ignorance is the first step of wisdom. If you fall sick, there is medicine ready. If you do not know that you are sick, nobody can help you. Unless I accept Bhagavan, I do not know anything. So here is a chance to learn -- or else, it is not possible.

Drop Ambition

In the field of spirituality, there is another important caution. Another important point that you have to bear in mind is to drop feelings of ambition. “Well, in the world I want to become something. I want to become the Principle of the College. I want to become the District Collector. I want to occupy the top chair. I want some position.” In life, there is a constant struggle to become someone. Spirituality is not the process of becoming, no! “I want to be that.” No! It is not becoming. Spirituality is being, not becoming. So all your ambitions should be dropped.

“People should recognize me. I should get some position. I should get some name and fame. I should be known for that.” Nonsense! This is all non-spiritual and irreligious. So, just drop ambition. Why? After all people will say, “If I don’t have ambition, how do I come up in life? I should be ambitious to be rich. I should be ambitious to occupy positions of authority. If there is no ambition, where is the advancement? Where is the progress?”

But in spirituality, ambition is an obstacle. In the world, ambition will take you towards a goal. In the world, ambition will help you to achieve what you do not already have. What you are not today, you are going to become tomorrow. So ambition is there in the world. But in spirituality, you are to be what you already are! In that case, why have ambition?

To know that I am Anil Kumar is not an ambition. I'm already Anil Kumar. To know that I'm Anil Kumar, well -- if I say that it is my ambition to be Anil Kumar, people will start pitying me: “Anil Kumar, it is time for Bhagavan to start a Psychiatric Department in the Hospital!” (Laughter) Somebody once asked me, “Sir, how is it that we have a Cardiology Department -- why not Psychiatry also?” Then I said, “The OP (Out-Patient) section should be located in Sai Kulwant Hall because all of us are equally mad! (Laughter) Any number of doctors would not suffice because thousands of devotees, thousands of patients are there!”

So my friends, it is a sort of madness to think that I want to know me. No! You are God. Thath Thwam Asi: That Thou Art. Aham Brahmasmi: I am God. Ayam Atma Brahma, Prajnana Brahma. These are the Mahavakyas (great sayings) that say you are God. You are God!

I see... so I'm not going to become God. If I'm going to become God, it means that I am not God now and I never was God before. No! You are already God. So it requires only realization. It requires awareness. It is not any sort of achievement. It is not anything like a mechanical or technological process. Certainly not! So, drop ambition. You don’t have to become anything new. You are already ‘That’, God.

And comparisons, yes! By comparing yourself, sometimes we may feel, “Sir, you are more devoted than me.” How do you know? “Sir, he’s a very great devotee.” How do you know? Is there any thermometer or barometer or weighing machine? (Laughter) If there is weighing machine, can you say how many kilos is devotion? (Laughter) Who are you to judge? How do you say that he’s a devotee? How do you say that he’s a great devotee? How do you say that he’s a devotee of long-standing, as if there’s a service register! (Laughter) “He’s an ardent devotee.” How do you know that? No, no, no, no!

We are not here to judge people -- certainly not! By comparing yourself with others -- “He’s a great devotee” (as if I'm not) or “He’s an ardent devotee” (as if I'm not) -- this amounts to insulting one’s own self or disrespecting one’s own self. Why should I disrespect myself? Why should I dishonor myself? Why should I injure myself? Why should I damage myself? No, no, no! Therefore, it is clearly said, “Drop ambition. Stop comparing yourself. You are not respecting yourself. You are insulting yourself.” That’s why Bhagavan says to drop ambition.

Kill Out the Desires Of Life

And then there is another point: Kill out the desires of life. “Oh, I see. If I don’t have the desires of life, then what is it that I should have?” Any desire involves a time factor. Desire fulfillment requires time: I have got this desire. For its fulfillment, one needs time. So, desire is a promise; desire is a hope. So, desire is the future.

Spirituality is not a desire. Religion is not a desire, no! Why? Because desire is futuristic. Desire is related to time. Spirituality speaks of life here and now. God here and now is not a question of desire. Desiring means postponement. Desiring means that which is to happen in the future. Therefore, kill out the desires of life.

“I want to live a long life.” Somebody said in front of Bhagavan -- an important man said, “Swami, I want to be born again and serve You when You come back as Prema Sai.” He’s ‘Fool Number One’. (Laughter) He thought that he would express his devotion in this way – it was like a fountain of devotion. Do you know what Bhagavan said? “It is enough if you serve Me now. You don’t have to wait for the arrival of Prema Sai.” (Laughter) So, let me not even have the desire to live long, no! Let me kill the desire for life (longevity or rebirth).

I am alive now. Because I am very much alive now, I'm full of life. I'm full of enthusiasm. I'm full of dynamism. I'm full of God's Grace. Let us bask in God's Grace. We are under the canopy of Divine Grace. We are in the magnetic field of Divine attraction. When I am in that Divine magnetic field of attraction, of cohesion, why should I desire further? So, once I desire, the charm is gone, the beauty is gone, the grandeur is lost because life is here and now. God is here and now. It has nothing to do with the future.

Be Happy!

Then Bhagavan always tells many of you to be happy. Most of you must have heard Swami say, “Be happy! Be happy!” I see. “Swami, why do You always say, ‘Be happy?’” Even if I say, “Swami, the college boys did this,” He will repeat, “Oh, happy, happy.” I see. So, You’re always happy and You always want us to be happy too. Why?

It is simply because we are unhappy. We are unhappy, wanting what we do not have. It is because we find happiness in unhappiness! I can tell you thousands of examples. But I'm afraid you’ll feel offended so I won’t talk of those people. Still, I know many such cases: They have no reason at all to be unhappy. Their children are very well settled. Their bank account, wow! There is so much! But he feels so badly because of the high income tax. He doesn’t know where to hold all his money. He has got all the comforts and all the luxuries in life. So, he’s very well settled. But he puts on a long face – ‘a castor oil face’ as Bhagavan puts it. There’ll be no smile at all. Why? He finds happiness in unhappiness.

People find happiness in unhappiness! Why? If you say to someone, “How are you?” they will say, “There is some pain here.”

“Well, how can I help you?”

“I'm unhappy because I came three weeks back, but Bhagavan never looked at me.” Well, I have no authority to say, “Bhagavan, please look at him.” (Laughter) Why all this drama? So I tell you my friends, as long as we find happiness in unhappiness, we will continue to be unhappy. Nobody can help us then. No!

Let us know how to be happy. How to be happy? In fact, we have no reason to be unhappy! Out of a population of millions, we are here right now with Bhagavan, in front of Bhagavan, watching the Divine darshan, listening to the melody of Swami’s words. What better fortune could there be in this world? What higher benefits could there be in this world? What greater blessing could there be in this world other than to be in the Divine Presence? You have no reason to be unhappy.

We are happiness -- we are the very personification of happiness. We are the embodiment of happiness. We are bliss. But unfortunately, unhappiness seems to be more profitable. (Laughter) Unhappiness seems to be more convenient.

Only To Draw Others’ Attention

Here’s a simple example. When the parents are very happy, when the elder brothers are very happy, when the TV has a very good program, the child starts crying. “Stomachache, Mommy! Stomachache!” Why? There’s no stomachache at all. It’s only to draw the attention of everybody so that Mommy will carry the child and put the child onto her lap. “Poor thing! Poor thing! Stomachache!” (Laughter) It’s only to draw others’ attention.

The same child, even though there really is a stomachache, will not cry when the parents are not there. If the parents are nowhere around, the child will not cry and will never complain. The child starts complaining and crying only when he is near to the parents. Why? It is to draw their attention. When there are some guests -- when the parents are talking to them -- the child starts crying because everybody should talk about the child and concentrate on that child. Then the child finds happiness.

It is also the same with the housewife. The husband returns home from the office after a long workday. The housewife, who has been chitchatting with everybody in the neighborhood, suddenly pretends to lie down on the bed, “Oh! What a headache!” (Laughter) Why? Then the husband will show her special attention:

“Oh I see, I see! How long have you had this?”

“Since the morning.”

Until just now, she was chitchatting with everybody. So the housewife wants to draw his attention. Yes. And the little child wants also to draw special attention, special care.

So my friends, we prefer to be unhappy because it is rewarding. That’s the reason why we don’t want to be happy. We can't find the reasons to be happy. We can’t find the way towards happiness because we find that which is most convenient.

So what does Baba say? We consider stealing to be a sin. Drinking is a sin. Adultery is a sin. What does Baba say? Living with an unhappy attitude is a sin, and to make others unhappy is a greater sin -- the worst of all possible sins. So, why are some people happy when others are unhappy? Why? Because by making others unhappy, they can forget their inner unhappiness. They can forget their own misery. They can forget their own sadness. They can forget their own problems by creating problems for others. It makes them feel, “I'm better than him because he’s more miserable than me. He’s more unhappy than me.” So, to make their problems seem little, they’ll give others greater trouble! So my friends, it is a sin to have an attitude of unhappiness. The worst sin is to make others unhappy. That is the thing that we are to learn.

Spirituality Is Not An Ideal

A search for spirituality is not a search for ideals. Spirituality is not an ideal. Spirituality is a reality. Spirituality is the Truth. Spirituality is your Self-nature. So what we are supposed to do right now is to get into the field of Self-discovery -- the art of Self-discovery. The art of knowing one’s own Self in reality. That is the thing that we are to know.

So, spirituality is not an ideal, just because people say that we have so many ideals in our religion. Please keep such ideals in an iron safe and lock it. Ideals may be reached, realized, or not. But Self-nature -- you are bound with your Self. You are the Self. Therefore, it calls for the discovery of one’s own Self.

Now here is a secret. What a beautiful thing Bhagavan says! Please understand. Why do we come to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba? If anyone puts that question to me, this is my answer: I have come to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for the philosophy, for the spirituality. He makes philosophical doctrines so simple that they can be understood very easily. Man complicates, while God simplifies. We think someone is a great man if he complicates. But Bhagavan will never complicate. No! He will never allow you to complicate a situation. He will never complicate a problem. He will simplify it. He explains in a simple way.

The Outside Factor

Here’s a simple example. Suppose you scold me. I feel very badly. I'm very angry now. This anger in me was not there in the beginning. Because you scolded me, I am now angry. So the anger is there because of a force from outside. The outside factor is responsible for the anger. The outside factor is responsible for the jealousy. The outside factor is responsible for the envy. So, all those things are from the outside. So what does Bhagavan say?

When there is envy, throw it out -- because it has come from outside. When guests come to visit you, they go. They don’t stay and occupy your house. I don’t think the situation has become as bad as that: Just because the visitors visit you, they don’t own your house -- they won’t stay with you forever! (Laughter) Guests come and go. They come from outside. They come, visit you and go.

Similarly, anger, lust, jealousy, envy – all are from outside. Just throw them out because they don’t belong to you. They are not your nature. They have nothing to do with your Self. So, those things from outside must be driven out, must be sent out -- things like anger and pride. Renounce that suffering which comes from the outside. Suffering is from the outside. You are happy. You are bliss. So, renounce the rest. Existence is eager to make you blissful.

Nature Is The Best Teacher

Here’s a simple example. When I walk in the evening around 6:30, what a cool breeze I enjoy! When you watch the sunset, you enjoy the colorful paint across the sky by the Divine painter. When flowers blossom, what a beautiful smile God puts on His face! The flower blossoming is the smile of God. The wind that blows is the touch of God. The rainbow is the beauty and the grandeur of God. Nature is the best teacher. Life is the best preacher.

So when you watch Nature, you feel Divinity: Sarvam Vishnu Mayam Jagat. Everything is basically and essentially Divine. So, existence is ready to make you happy. Listen to the coocoo-bird. Listen to the beautiful sounds of the birds -- birds that attend nagarsankirtan.

People are in a hurry to run. They’re in a hurry to jump. They’re ready to make a number of trips around Ganesh: “Hari, Hari, Hari!” I don’t know what it is -- as if a doctor is hurrying to the operation theater to save a patient. Why are you in a hurry? When I go to nagarsankirtan in the early hours of the morning, why don’t I listen to the melody of the singing coocoo-birds and the nightingales? Wow! What music it is! Why don’t I watch the sunrise and enjoy its beauty? So existence, Nature, is eager to make us happy but we are not ready to take it. That is the tragedy -- even though Nature is ready to make us happy in every possible way. So bliss is within and that is our true nature.

The Art Of Self-Discovery

What shall I do now God? What should I do, my dear beloved Bhagavan? Bhagavan gives a simple example. Where is gold? Gold is beneath the earth. What do you do now to get it? Dig deeply enough. Remove all these boulders. Remove all the pebbles. Remove all the sand, all the dust, all the stones -- then you find the precious gold that is already there. Nobody is hiding gold there. The gold is already there. But pebbles, stones, mud and boulders cover the gold. So all you have to do is just remove all these things and collect the gold beneath.

Similarly, man is bliss. God is bliss. You are bliss. That is everything. We have to remove the boulders of arrogance. We have to remove the stones of pride. We have to remove the mud of possessiveness. We have to remove the dust of attachment. We have to remove the pebbles of ego. So then, the gold within is automatically and readily available to you. This is spiritual sadhana. Spiritual sadhana is not anything like importing any stuff from a foreign land. It cannot be imported. It is the art of self-discovery -- of finding one’s own true identity.

May God bless us with that spirit of inquiry, with that spirit of awareness, with that spirit of inquisitiveness, with that spirit of wisdom, so that we may find our own true nature by the art of Self-discovery.

Thank you very much!

Sai Ram!

(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, “Sai Narayana, Narayana..”)

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


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