Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
June 23, 2002
The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
"Thus Spake Baba" (Part Two)
23 June 2002
OM… OM… OM…
Sai Ram to Everybody!
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
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!
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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’
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
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
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
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
Thank you very much!
(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan, “Sai
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