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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
March 10, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

“Bhagavan’s Utterances”

March 10th, 2002


Sai Ram!

I extend a hearty welcome to all brothers and sisters of the Sai family and offer my Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan.

Why Should i Sit for Long?

Last week we started sharing all the conversations that were taking place there on the verandah. I covered six of them last week. The rest will be taken up this morning.

It is rather surprising that I have received many, many letters from our friends. Plus there are many, many oral requests - complaining, if not demanding that I should share with you all of what Bhagavan has been speaking to the students and the teachers there on the verandah

Recently Bhagavan said, “What is the use of talking, when many are not hearing Me? Why should I sit here?” That’s what Bhagavan said. “Many are not able to hear Me. Why should I sit for long?” Then I said, “Swami, many see You all throughout. They may not hear You but they see You all throughout that time. That itself is enough of a message to a devotee. Bhagavan’s darshan itself is a message to a devotee. So Swami, do not feel that all are not able to hear You. But all are able to see You.”

Why did I say this? I'm doubtful whether He would appreciate the idea of having the mike and public address system. If we ask for that, we may lose what we are having already. We may be denied that. I don’t want to take that Divine risk, so I have put it positively. “It is enough if we see You, Swami!”

A Brief Review of Last Week’s Talk

My friends, I shall just give you, in a nutshell, a very, very brief review of what was discussed last week. I think we covered six questions. The first question was: God is everywhere; how do you say that? He supports your tongue, so you can speak. He supports your ear, so you can hear. He supports your tongue; that way you can taste. He supports your eyes, so you have vision. Thus He’s the Supporter of all our senses of cognition, all our senses of actions, and still beyond.

And the next (second) question was: How to know that? Bhagavan’s usual teaching, though we take it in a casual way, has got all the answer in depth: that God is in you, with you, above you, below you, and around you. The third question: Why don’t we know Him? This is because of illusion or Maya. Illusion or Maya is nothing but to feel that that which is non-existent is existent. It is mistaking the rope for the serpent. That’s what Maya is.

I won’t go into depth because we have many things to cover this morning. Next Bhagavan said, “You are the world.” When you open your eyes, you see the whole world. When you close them, nothing exists. There is an abyss, darkness. There is no one else once you close your eyes. But you are still there. When I close my eyes, I am still there, but you are no longer there. Only I am there. When I open my eyes, you all come into the picture. Likewise, the world comes into existence when you open your eyes, not otherwise. So, you are the world. Beyond you, there’s nothing. To quote Swami, “Reflection of the inner being is this entire Universe.”

Then the next point was that the whole world is nothing but reaction, reflection, and resound. Whatever I do, it comes back to me by way of a reaction. All the good that I do will certainly bring me good results. In the same way, all the bad that I do will come back to me by way of bad results. We can never escape from the results. We have to face them.

Then came the next point: The greatest act of charity is anything that you do wholeheartedly, which is not counted in terms of coins and currency. It has nothing to do with the foreign exchange. It is the spirit that counts; it is the feeling that matters. It is the motive, the idea that is the measure; it has nothing to do with numbers.

Then came the question: What is civilization? Civilization is not pomp and show. Civilization is not possession. Civilization is just exercising a ceiling on desires. Be happy with what you have. Let me not be worried that I do not have a big multi-storied building. Let me be happy that at least I have some shelter to live in. Let me not be bothered about the car that I do not have. Let me be happy with the legs that I have, which help me to walk, which help me to walk smoothly without any problem of petrol consumption or any danger of accident. Let me not worry that a thorn has pinched my foot. Let me be happy that I'm not bitten by a snake. Let me not even worry that a snake has bitten me: Let me be happy that I did not die because of a snakebite! (Laughter)

So, to be happy with what you have on hand is the true spiritual mind. It is the true culture. Hence, culture is just the reflection or the manifestation of our inner values, what Bhagavan calls ‘guna sampathi’. The values, which are not seen, which are not apparent, will have a bearing on my relationships and will have an effect on my actions.

So, I think we have now covered all of the eight points made so far last week. We’ll proceed from here, then, with point nine. I want to repeat once again for the benefit of those who have just joined us now that all of these points, my friends, every single point that I have been speaking on here, then, now and in future, are all based on Bhagavan’s literature and Bhagavan’s conversations only. What we are speaking about now is the gist or important points of the conversations that have been taking place between Bhagavan and students there on the verandah recently.

Empty Yourself

I asked Bhagavan, “In spite of my spiritual pursuit, in spite of my spiritual involvement, penance, meditation and worship, I have not been able to experience the spiritual realities. I don’t have any spiritual experience in spite of my worship, in spite of all my spiritual rituals. Why?”

The reason is, Bhagavan said, that unless you empty yourself, you cannot fill yourself up with anything fresh or new. The cup of the human heart is full of the poison of hatred. The cup of the human heart is full of venomous jealousy. The cup of the human heart is full of pride. The heart is full of comparison and competition. The heart has no space left.

So what we have to do is, we have to pour it out. We have to empty our hearts first so that we can fill our hearts with love, sacrifice, truth, compassion, forbearance and tolerance. Then we’ll have positive results in the spiritual path.

In the spiritual path, many of us do not have any experience or any result. Why? Though we do everything sincerely, though we attend Nagarsankirtan, though we also sing full-throated, yet we have no experience. The reason is that the mind is already biased and prejudiced. So, why are we not successful? Due to the background. We have to empty ourselves; we have to be totally free, without any bias or prejudice, without any weaknesses. That is the reason

Bhagavan wants us to understand and analyze: What is spirituality? Spirituality, according to some, is attending church every Sunday. Spirituality, according to some, is to attend mosque or a temple. To some, spirituality means fasting. To some, spirituality means keeping vigil throughout the night - not sleeping at all. My friends! These things have nothing to do with spirituality.

If I fast, God will not appear in front of me; but my digestive problems will go. (Laughter) If I keep vigil or keep awake throughout night, God will not appear in front of me; but I’ll begin to sleep during the daytime. If being awake in the night is a guarantee for liberation, all hospital nursing staff, all railway engine drivers, and all watchmen would find a birth in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, keeping awake in the night is not a path to liberation. With fasting, one may become thinner and thinner, where fasting further may even end your life; but that’s not a guarantee for liberation. So, everything that we think is spirituality is not spiritual in any way.

What is Spirituality?

What is spirituality? Swami suggests three important points: kill the animal in you; develop the humanness in you; and be the Divine, which is within you. These three points refer to the fact that you are not one, but three: the animal, the human and the Divine.

“Why? Do you say I'm an animal?” Yes, certainly! When I am angry, if I look at my face in the mirror, I look worse than an animal. (Laughter) When my heart is full of jealousy and pride, if I stand in front of a mirror, well, every animal will feel ashamed when I say, “You are an animal.” No! No, no, no! I'm better than the buffalo! That’s what we’ll say.

So my friends, there is the animal within us. Jealousy is an animal quality. You have a dog, a pet, already at home. If you bring home another dog, the two dogs will start fighting. Why? Due to jealousy. The snake stands for revenge. So the weaknesses such as anger, pride, and jealousy are the animal qualities that we all have. Yes!

Furthermore, we have not made any attempt to kill them or remove them because we consider them as qualifications. We consider them as merits. That’s the reason why we are not aware of these animal qualities. So first let us diagnose them; let us first identify the animal qualities and then try to remove them, kill them, or annihilate them totally. Then we’ll discover the human qualities.

What are the human qualities? Sympathy, forbearance, sacrifice, truth, understanding - these are all human qualities. Let us develop them. Let us grow them. When once we develop the human qualities, then we will recognize the Divinity beneath everything, the underlying current of Divinity, the Divinity that is nectarine, immortal and ever-present within us. So these three constitute true spirituality in the strict sense of the term.

What is Desire?

Next, another question was put to Bhagavan: “Swami, You say that desires are bad. You say that I should exercise a ceiling on my desires. You say that desire is an obstacle, that desire is an ‘iron curtain’ between You and me. So, I should not have desires. OK. But I desire to be near You. I desire to be close to You. I desire to see You. Is that desire also negative? Is it wrong to have that desire?”

In understanding Bhagavan said, “Religion is not a desire. Spirituality is not a desire.” What is desire? First let us know that. You desire that which you do not have. I don’t have money, so I desire money. I don’t have a position, so I desire a position. We desire that which we do not already have.

But in true religion, you don’t need to desire anything because you are already THAT, Thath Twam Asi. You are already Divinity. You are already God. You are God: Thath Twam Asi. Aham Brahmasmi: I am God. Therefore, the pure heart is the Temple of God. I and My Father in Heaven are One. Therefore, the idea that “I am God” is not a desire. It is not a longing. It is not a petition. It is not a request. It is not an appeal. It is simply awareness. It is simply realization.

When I find my pen here in my pocket, it is not any desire. It is not a request. I forgot that there was a pen in my pocket. Now I realize there is pen in my pocket. Similarly, spirituality is realization. Spirituality is awareness. Spirituality has got nothing to do with any desire. That is what Bhagavan has said.

God is in and also beyond. God is in the mind, but He is also beyond our mind. Without God, the mind cannot think. Without God, you cannot talk; but yet the mind cannot estimate Him and talk cannot describe Him.

Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe
Aprapya Manasa Saha.

It means any talk fails to describe Him and one returns in vain. The mind fails to comprehend Him and returns in vain. Neither can our talk nor our mind estimate Him as per the Upanishad. Though He’s the Supporter, though He’s the Cause, though He’s the Source, He cannot be estimated; He cannot be comprehended; He cannot be described. So God is in and also beyond.

You Think I Forgot

The next point is on: “You think I forgot.” Now you come across a few miracles here! Swami immediately looked at a boy of the 12th class. He’s quite a chubby boy with a well-built body. He comes from the wheat-eating part of India, namely North India. We belong to South India, the rice-eating part. This boy comes from the wheat-eating part. He has a well-built body and is quite handsome. He comes from Himachal Pradesh. Those hailing from Himachal Pradesh have very good complexions because of the weather. We feel like seeing his face time and again. Yes!

Swami looked at that boy and called him: “Come on!” And then suddenly Swami’s voice choked. He was touched. I saw His eyes becoming wet. His eyes were wet and His voice was choked. He was literally emotional. Why? Swami asked him, “What class are you studying?” The boy said, “Twelfth class, Swami.” “Where do you come from?” “Himachal Pradesh, Swami.”

In the meantime, Bhagavan said, “This boy came to Me at the age of five to get admission in our school. He came straight to Brindavan. At that time, he received a telegram informing him of the death of his mother. From then till now, I am his mother.” That’s what Bhagavan said, “I am his mother!”

He called that boy closer and closer, and touched his cheeks. The boy started crying. The eyeballs were red. Tears started rolling down his cheeks. Swami said, “Don’t cry, My boy. Don’t cry.” Then He said, “Oh, where is your elder brother? I know. He’s in Chandigarh studying medicine. He’s there in the medical college, right?” The boy said, “Yes, Swami.” “Where is your sister? Ah! She’s in Anantapur, studying B.Com. I know.”

Then He turned to all the boys and said, “You boys think that I do not know. You boys think that I forget you. I don’t forget anybody. But I talk to you at the right time. I talk to you when it is necessary. When I don’t talk to you, never be under the impression that I have forgotten you.”

This applies to each and every one of us. Some of us think that God has not spoken to us. He has not spoken to us because it is not necessary. This is the answer given by Bhagavan Himself. It is not my concoction. It is for you to agree or disagree.

A Song Composed by Him

A few boys presented compositions to Him. They had written some poems on Swami. They started stinging songs. Bhagavan Himself composed some of the songs that they sung some sixty years ago. I should congratulate these young chaps and young fellows! From where they could get these cassettes with such old, original songs. It seems they are archeologists! (Laughter) They can go back into history. From where they got these songs, I don’t know! When they practiced them is also a mystery!

You should have seen Swami’s face. A song of His, composed by Him sixty years ago, just now sung in front of Him - just imagine how pleased He’ll be! He was very happy. “Do you now when I composed this song?” (Laughter) Who amongst them knows? After all, they are only 18 or 19 years old, that’s all. “Sixty years ago I composed this song!” “Oh, Swami!”

Then in the middle, He started singing, joining in the chorus! That was the beauty. That was why the boys started laughing - because He, too, started singing. And the stanzas that they had forgotten, He started to prompt them. “What is that? This was the real chorus!” We really enjoyed it. Swami also started singing, correcting now and then.

A simple example of how He corrects us: ‘Donga bhaktulu’ is the phrase in question. It would mean: “I will know who are fake devotees. I know who pretend to be devotees, who are just putting on a drama in front of Me. I know.” That is the meaning of that line.

But when asked, Swami immediately said, “I never said ‘donga bhaktulu’! (Laughter) I never said that devotees are pretending. I don’t say that. I never said that devotees just act in front of Me. I never said that. I meant ‘donga sanyasulu’, referring to those people who pretend to be sanyasis and celibates, who pretend to be renunciates. I was referring to them, not to devotees. My devotees never pretend. They are very good people.” He said, “My devotees never pretend. They are very good and very honest. You fellows, you have changed the words. Maybe it is just a reflection of the inner being. You are speaking about your own selves!” (Laughter) That’s what Bhagavan said.

So Swami said, “Alright, boys! I'm happy about your compositions. You have written poems and you have written songs. I'm so happy. But…” That is a big BUT! (Laughter) But then comes the problem: ‘kaani’ means ‘but’. “Chaala bhagundi bangaru! Very nice! Kaani…, but…” Then comes His remark or correction. “Ah, what do you mean, Swami? What, what, what?” Swami: “Kaani…but they are all artificial.” (Laughter)

But Swami wants ‘heartificial’, heart-ificial, not artificial. Art is outside; heart is inside. All that art outside is pravrithi, external. The heart is inside, nivrithi, meaning internal. God wants nivritthi or internal, not pravritthi, meaning external. “Don’t be artificial, bangaru! Speak from the heart,” He said to us, and that’s what He meant by ‘kaani’ or but.

Entertain Good Thoughts

Then He said, “My boys, I have a few things to tell you. Always entertain satsankalpa, good thoughts. Have good thoughts always.” Why? Good thoughts will help you to take good actions. Why? Good actions will give you good results. So what? Good destiny is guaranteed. Then what? Then comes luck or fortune.

We say, “He’s fortunate” or “So-and-so is lucky.” Why is he lucky? He has reached the correct destiny. How could he reach his correct destiny? He had good results. How could he achieve good results? Out of good actions. How could he take to good actions? He had good thoughts. Right! Simply reverse the order, up and down.

Baba, the mathematician; Baba, the scientist; Baba, the chemist: He tells things with perfect precision and in a correct sequential order. This is what is called ‘chain reaction’ in chemistry. It is what they call ‘equation’ or ‘derivation’ in mathematics. Whatever it may be called, Bhagavan Baba is the Scientist of scientists. He tells it in such a scientific rational, logical, sequential way, which is appealing to every modern mind.

How to Develop Good Thoughts?

So then, this is the question I have put. As I told you earlier, when I say I have put a question to Swami, it does not carry any note of pride or ego. I am always conscious of the fact that it was only a chance given to me, a special grace showered on me, without which I’d find my place at the bus stand! I know that. So, I don’t dare to take any Divine risks. Watching His face, finding out His mood, looking around at the company there, only then I could slowly pick up courage and put a question to Him. That’s all. It has nothing to do with my personality; there is nothing great here. It is not an achievement, no, nothing! Given the chance, you too can do it, even much better than what I have done. That is my most sincere feeling.

Now, the question was this: “Swami, you want boys to develop good thoughts. How to develop them? It’s good to have good thoughts. How to have good thoughts? How to develop them? How to foster them? How to entertain good thoughts?”

Bhagavan said, “You should start cultivating them from childhood.” That means, “You sit down! You cannot cultivate them now. It’s only for boys.” (Laughter) Oh! He nicely put it. Instead of saying directly, “You cannot do it now,” He said, “You should cultivate them from your childhood.” I said, “Childhood?” Swami: “Ah, yes!”

Swami gave an example of the snake gourd. Most of you must know the vegetable called the snake gourd. Yes. It is a very long, snake-like plant. What is done to the snake gourd? They’ll tie a small stone at the end of it, connected with a string. Why? As the snake gourd grows in length, its weight will also increase. To ensure that the snake gourd grows straight, that it does not bend or become curved, they’ll keep hanging a heavier weight at the end of it. I think you all know that.

“Similarly, every boy is a snake gourd. I have to put some weight of discipline so that they will grow straight, so that they’ll entertain good thoughts later on.” I asked, “Swami! Oh, so it is too late for me to entertain good thoughts? Shall I try next life?” (Laughter) In other words, in ordinary exams, if some students fail in the math examination in June, then they will have to appear again for the September examination. Come September, one again dances to the music of life! So, “Shall I wait for next life?”

No, no, no! Bhagavan said, “No. Still you have got a chance!” “What is it?” “If you follow what I say, if you follow My teachings, yes! Success is guaranteed. You’ll be fortunate enough and you’ll be lucky enough, the moment you follow Me, the moment you listen to My words.” So, we can also live with hope along with those boys, thanks to Swami.

Change of Post

And then Bhagavan started telling us an incident. If we follow Swami, then what will happen? He gave an example of a Foreign Secretary from Sri Lanka, who was there that afternoon, sitting on the verandah. He asked, “Have you seen him?”

If I say I have seen him, He may say, “Have you come to see him or Me?” (Laughter) So I cannot say that. If I say I have not see him, Swami will say, “Why do you bluff? You have your eyes wide open! You must have necessarily seen him!” So I will have the additional punishment of having spoken a lie. So what did I say? I smiled. I simply smiled. That is neither a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. (Laughter)

Then Bhagavan immediately said, “You know? The Foreign Secretary from Sri Lanka came this morning.” “OK, Swami.” “Three months ago I told him, ‘You are going to be Public Service Commission Chairman later.” Then I put on a question-mark face because the Foreign Secretary post is higher or superior to the Chairman of Public Service Commission. I said, “Swami? The Foreign Secretary or the Public Service Commission Chairman?”

“Hey! You keep quiet!” (Laughter) “OK, OK, fine! Oh yes. Yes, agreed.” Then He went on telling, “When he was the Foreign Secretary, one Prime Minister was there, Chandrika. Now Chandrika is the President, so there is another Prime Minister now. As the Prime Minister changed, this man’s post has also changed. (Laughter) Today he came here to take permission from Me to take charge as the Chairman of Public Service Commission. He followed Me. He obeyed Me. Had he not accepted this post, his life would have been different. He followed My command strictly, so you should also follow.”

He Followed My Command

“OK, Swami. Yes, yes.” At least, let us follow, meaning understand, what He says! Then Bhagavan said, “This gentleman, the Foreign Secretary, both of his kidneys stopped functioning! He had kidney failure in both of his kidneys. He went to all doctors, and they had given up all hopes. They had even said, “Kidney transplant is necessary.” But nobody came forward to donate their kidneys. Even his wife and his near-and-dear people also refused to consider the proposal.

So what was to be done? He came straight to Prashanti Nilayam. (These are the words that Swami said - please note with caution.) So he came to Prashanti Nilayam with his abdomen swollen because both of his kidneys had failed. He found it very difficult to squat on the ground. Wow! There was terrific pain. But that was the bhajan time, so this man dared not to get up. Why? If you get up during the bhajan session, you’ll be literally carried out by the Seva Dal, and will be conveniently placed there for departure at the airport! (Laughter) So, he did not dare to get up! But he was in excruciating pain.

After a couple of minutes, during the bhajan, our merciful, compassionate Bhagavan got down from His chair, went into the interview room and sent a chair for this gentleman to sit in. This gentleman sat on this chair shedding tears, appreciating Bhagavan’s compassion: “How could He know me?” But still he’s suffering.

Then Bhagavan called that gentleman in for an interview while the bhajan was still going on, an occurrence that usually never happens. And Baba said, “I just tapped both sides of his stomach.” (Anil Kumar demonstrates by tapping his hand twice on his own stomach.) He came out and then, after bhajan, he went straight to his room. He had a motion and he felt completely free. He went to the hospital the next morning and the doctor said, “Operation is not necessary. The kidneys are first-class now. They’re working much better than ever before!” (Applause) Swami said, “I simply tapped, that’s all.” That is the Divine tap! That is Divine tapping!

Then Bhagavan said, “Why did I do this? Because he followed My teachings. He followed whatever I said. He followed My command; therefore, I have saved him.” That’s what Swami said. This will be a lesson.

All of You Want Three Things

And then He turned to boys and said, “Boys! All of you want three things, right?” They said, “Yes, Swami!” Without knowing the three, they said that they wanted it! (Laughter) Perhaps they might have expected three sweets because “You’re not one, but three” – therefore, you need three sweets! (Laughter)

Whenever we distribute prasadam, the boys will say, “Sir, I want two more.” I said, “Why?” “Swami said, “You are not one, but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one that you really are. Therefore, I need three sweets because I am not one, but three!” “Very good!” I said, “I support you, then I too will get three sweets!” (Laughter)

And then Swami looked at those boys and said, “Boys! You want three. I know. What are they? You want kalimi: wealth. You want chelimi: friendship. And you want balini, strength.”

My friends, those who do not know Telugu, if you remember these three words which are very often repeated by Bhagavan, you’ll be able to understand even before I begin to translate. Yes. You will also be in a position to correct when I go wrong, yes! Not only Bhagavan, you can also correct me! Why not? I enjoy whenever I stand corrected because life is a process of learning. We never reach a saturation point.

So Swami said, “Everyone wants three: kalimi, wealth; chalimi, friendship; and balimi, strength. Boys, do you want these?” “Yes, Swami, we want those three.” Then Bhagavan said, “If you want these three, then what you should do is remove anything bad that comes to you. Anything bad in you and anything bad near you must be removed immediately, then you’ll have these three things.” That is also applicable to every one of us here. If you want to have good friendship, if you want to be wealthy, if you want to be strong, we should not allow anyone bad or anything bad around us.

He gave an example. Suppose there is a fruit-bearing tree and near that there is a thorny bush. What do you do? You remove the thorny bush in order to preserve the fruit-bearing tree. Fruit-bearing trees can be preserved. Fruit-bearing trees can be better maintained by removing all the thorny bushes around. So you clean the ground and don’t allow any thorny bushes to grow.

Similarly, if you want to have the fruits of wealth, if you want to have the fruits of friendship, if you want to have the fruits of strength, do not allow any thorny bushes of bad company or bad thoughts. That’s what Bhagavan said. Then you’ll have a long life and a healthy life.

Grand Old People

Then Bhagavan mentioned the names of those devotees of the earlier days. They left us thirty years ago; some fifteen years ago. They are no more here. Those devotees are illustrious persons, grand old people, who set an example to every one of us. There are many lessons to learn from them. The tests and the challenges, the troubles and tribulations they faced, well, they are beyond our estimate. They lived with Bhagavan for a long, long, long period. Swami mentioned a few things about each one of them. Each one of them lived for 100 years or even more. They had long and healthy lives.


To begin with, there was one great Sanskrit scholar named Kamavadhani. Kamavadhani lived here in Puttaparthi for a very long time. He was known as a Vedic scholar all over South India. He could recite slokas with full-throat. No one could compete with him. That was his Master’s voice, a Metro-Golden voice! No one can ever match that. That Kamavadhani lived for a hundred years. Swami said a few things about him that are worth noting.

Kamavadhani, having come here from his native place, never returned; he never went back. He had properties, children, sons, daughters-in-law, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, but he never went back. That’s all. Having come, he stayed here.

Swami told, “It so happened that I visited his native place sixty years ago, and this gentleman accompanied Me. There his children hosted lunch for Swami and those who followed. This gentleman also sat by My side. Then Kamavadhanai's children came and said, ‘Daddy, let Swami go today. You stay with us for one more day because you have come here after such a long time.’

He said, ‘Nothing doing! If you say that, I will not take food also! (Laughter) You should permit me to follow Him now itself or else I won't take food.’ They said, ‘OK, its alright. It's better that you go.’” That’s what Swami told us: “He did not want to stay with his children for one more day. He only followed Me.”

And then what happened? On the day of ‘Sita Kalyana’, Kamavadhani performed the celestial wedding of Rama and Sita. He recited and chanted the Vedic manthras. At the end of that recitation, the idols of Rama and Sita were all placed on a chariot to be taken in a procession.

Kamavadhani attended to all these duties and returned, went to Swami, took Padanamaskar and told Swami, “Swami, I’ll go home now. I’ll do some puja (worship) at home. I’ll have my lunch and then see You this afternoon, Swami.” That’s what he said. Swami said, “Don’t come to Me. You go home, have your lunch and sleep.” That’s what Baba said.

The gentleman went home, did puja, had his lunch and then slept - and he never came back to life! That’s a nice take-off, no land-crash! Sathya Sai Inter-Continental flight! Zap! Off to another planet altogether! “No pain, nothing; no hospitalization; no one was required to serve him at anytime. That is the destiny of those who follow Me.” That’s what Bhagavan said.


Another great gentleman was named Kasturi. There are none among Sai devotees who do not know his name. We are grateful to him because Sai literature is made available to all of us, to the Sai world of devotees, because of the hard work that he has done in composing much of Sai literature, in the form of books available to us.

Bhagavan started speaking about Kasturi: Do you know how Kasturi died? One day Bhagavan went to the college to watch rehearsals of a drama to be put up by students. Swami saw all the drama. While returning, He went to the hospital where Kasturi had been bedridden for many days. Swami called, "Kasturi!" He opened his eyes saying, "Swami!" Bhagavan slowly made him drink a glass of water. (He poured it into his mouth.)

Kasturi recognized the meaning: "Swami is pouring water into my mouth. So, my work on this earth is completed." Swami came out and said to the people there, "Get everything ready for the cremation." They said, "He is fine - still alive - isn't he, Swami?" Swami said, "Why should you consider that? Get everything ready!" Just as Swami reached the Mandir, the news came that Kasturi had left his body."

Such a neat take-off! No problem at all. Why? It is the end that concludes the kind of life that we led till then; the end of life speaks of the quality of life that we led till that moment. So Kasturi’s so grand, Swami said.

Seshagiri Rao

Then there was Seshagiri Rao. Seshagiri Rao happened to be the father of Dr. Padmanabhan of Bangalore. Most of you might have seen that gentleman. Seshagiri Rao, having come here, never went back. He said, “I don’t want Bangalore, Swami. I don’t want to go to Bangalore, Swami.” And whenever Swami left for Bangalore from here, he never followed. He would stay here. He had such a nice end. Many times the end is also enviable. The end glorifies.

And then Swami mentioned about Pujari Kistappa, who also had a peaceful end. He also mentioned the name of Surayya, who was a tall, six and a half feet, well-built, hefty personality. He was doing door duty here. He never permitted anybody to enter in without Swami’s permission. He was such a strong man. While sitting, talking to everyone, nobody knew that he passed away. That was it! So, these are the names that Bhagavan mentioned.


Then Swami mentioned a few names of Rajas. During the British regime, we had some Rajas or kings who were managing their estates, their towns and neighboring villages. They were all called Rajas, meaning kings. So Bhagavan mentioned about these rajas.

Swami said, “You know, these Rajas visited Me long, long ago, when there were absolutely no facilities at all, no approach roads, no comforts, and no buildings. These Rajas, the kings of those days, walked along the sands in the hot sun from Bukkapatnam. They reached here, stayed under the trees, and spent their time here - all the Rajas or rich, kingly people of those days.”

The Raja of Venkatagiri

He specifically mentioned the names of the Raja of Venkatagiri, the Raja of Bobbili, the Raja of Chalapathi, the Raja of Pithapur, and the Raja of Baroda. All these Rajas came to see Swami again and again.

And Bhagavan mentioned in particular a few points regarding the Raja of Venkatagiri. I was lucky enough to have visited Venkatagiri three or four times earlier, as the Chief Guest to speak on the occasion of Bhagavan’s Birthday Celebrations there at Venkatagiri. Venkatagiri Raja happens to be an outstanding devotee of Bhagavan. Not standing out, no, no! Outstanding. (Laughter) (We belong to the later category, standing out!)

So, Bhagavan made a mention of this Raja of Venkatagiri. Raja of Venkatagiri is very tall, more than six feet tall, and a very hefty personality. He would compromise on any issue; but when it was a matter concerning Bhagavan, there was no compromise. He is so strict and strong that he reacts violently if anything is said against Bhagavan. There is no compromise. This is what Bhagavan said.

A Fellow Challenged Bhagavan

It so happened that sometime back a fellow challenged Bhagavan. So there were idiots in those days as well as foolish ones even now! Such people follow every great, noble soul. Why? To glorify them, so that the Divinity is spread well, better than ever before. Christ faced challenges; Krishna faced challenges; Prophet Mohammed faced challenges. Every great man faces challenges. Why? To establish their own glory, so that their Name and fame will be spread more and more day-by-day.

So, a fellow challenged Bhagavan. What did he say? He said, “I can walk on the surface of water. Let Sai Baba also walk on the surface of water! I can swallow pieces of glass. Let Sai Baba also do it. I can simply swallow fire. Let Him do it”. All were nonsensical things. The Raja of Venkatagiri was very wild and said, “Swami, You should reply to that man.” Baba said, “I will not. I don’t care to.”

But what happened there in Bombay? A big tank was built and filled with water. This man was about to walk on the surface of the water. But before he had put forward even one step, he conveniently sunk deeply into that tank! The people had to lift him out. In the meantime, the crowds had gathered because they purchased tickets to watch this show. After what they saw, they were ready to manhandle this fellow! (Laughter) Yes, people were ready to manhandle him or tear him to pieces.

Then Baba sent a message: “Don’t do anything to that man. After all, he wanted to have some publicity. After all, he wanted to earn some money. For Me or against Me, what do I care? Don’t do anything to him. Set him free. Let him go free.” That's what Baba said.

And then after sometime, when Bhagavan visited Venkatagiri, a very big conference was convened, attended by scholars. There were big, great Sanskrit scholars. The Raja of Venkatagiri insisted, “Swami, You should answer this challenge.” He insisted. Swami said, “I don’t.” He insisted, “Swami, please!” Then Baba said, “I will tell indirectly.”

All Divine messages are conveyed in an indirect way. But we do not understand this and directly get into problems! (Laughter) When indirect messages are not understood, that will take us to direct problems. That has been the experience of many of us who did not understand the indirect messages!

Swami, during the course of His discourse, said indirectly, “It is the pig that feeds on excreta or waste matter. It is the cow that grazes on grass. It is the human being who eats food. The pig cannot challenge the cow saying, ‘Eat as much as I eat.’ The cow cannot challenge man saying, ‘Eat as much grass as I eat.’” Thus He concluded His speech. It means that as I am a human, I don’t care to answer to …. - you can understand what He meant! (Laughter) So indirectly He conveyed, ‘I don’t need to answer.’

Bhagavan also mentioned this about the Raja of Venkatagiri. Whenever Swami left Venkatagiri in His car, there would be dust rising up there. This Raja rolled on the ground so that the dust of Bhagavan’s vehicle would touch his body. That would help for his redemption. That would ensure his liberation. That was the intensity of Raja of Venkatagiri, Bhagavan said.

Driving License At the Age of Nine

And then Swami went on to say a few things about His own experience. “You know, I got a license. I could drive My car. You know at what age I got the license? At the age of nine!” (Laughter) Ah! Now only You’re like that! How short You must have been at the age of nine, Bhagavan! How could you handle the breaks and all that? (Laughter)

“I got a license at the age of nine. You know who gave me the license? Two officers in the State and Regional Transport Offices. In what state? In Madras Composite State. In those days, there was no Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and all the rest. The entire South India was under ‘Composite Madras State’. For the entire state, there was only one State Transport Officer, by the name of Seshagiri Rao. And there was another Regional Transport Officer, in charge of ten districts, by the name of Hanumantha Rao. These two fellows gave Me the license when I was nine years old, do you know that?” (Laughter) “Swami, they gave it to You?” “Yes!” “How? How, Swami? Let us know how!” (I don’t think that I'm eligible for a license now. It is enough if I walk well, leave alone driving.) (Laughter)

Do you know what Swami said? These two officers drew lines on the ground and asked Bhagavan to drive the car in-between the lines. “I did it excellently! (Laughter) They kept their mouths shut and gave Me a license.” “Oh, Swami!”

“Do you know, Anil Kumar, what I did?” “Swami, what did You do?” “I made these two fellows sit in My car and I told them, ‘I will take you to Madras.’ (Laughter) ‘Wow! Swami, Madras?’ ‘Yes!’

But those fellows were afraid to sit. (Laughter) Why? Because I would go at a terrific speed! And all of the people would stand on the road there (because cars were very rare in those days), wanting to watch to see how a car looked. All of the villagers, standing on either side, started watching the car and the speed with which I was driving. They started thinking that a drunkard must be driving! (Laughter) ‘He must be a drunkard! What is this fast way of driving?’ They were feeling like that.”

“And then do you know, Anil Kumar, what the Transport Officers did? They closed their eyes and began chanting, ‘Sai Ram! Sai Ram!’ (Laughter) They were praying because they felt that they might reach Heaven at any moment of time, due to this rate of speed.”

And then what happened? This Regional State Transport Officer Seshagiri Rao’s wife was ready there at Madras. Her husband said, “We have started here from Puttaparthi with Swami with our eyes closed! I prayed to Swami to save my life. Don’t worry! We may reach there, Madras, any time or no time - I do not know!” (Laughter) His wife said, “Don’t talk like that. Swami will take care of you. Don’t you know that Swami is God? Why do you feel like that?” But he simply said, “I don’t know by what time.” But the wife was quite sure that Swami would be arriving there at 11:30.

Swami started from here at 7 AM; 11:30 is lunchtime in Madras! Prrrrt! (Note: A fast car trip from Puttaparthi to Madras usually takes about 8 hours.) That’s all! You can only imagine at what speed He went there!

Swami went on speaking about His experiences. “Anil Kumar, for 15 years I drove my car, do you know that?” “Ah, Swami, is that so? Very nice.” “And in those days, because it was war time, petrol was not available. Only one gallon was supplied per month. That gallon was not enough for Me because I moved up and down every day.” “Ah, Swami, then what did You do?”

“I would ask one servant boy, by the name of Subanna: “Subanna, yes, come on! Draw water out of the well there. Come on, pour it out there.” And that water was transformed into petrol! That water only I used, not the government supplied petrol!” “Ah!”

That’s what Bhagavan was telling us. Everybody burst into laughter. Swami is known for His humor, while we are known for our rumors, yes! (Laughter) And Bhagavan’s humor is really matchless as it should be. His words should be final in the end.

You Also Sit

When He was talking like that, while standing all the time, one gentleman said, “Swami, You are standing. Swami, please. Oh, you must have strained a lot! Sorry Swami.” Swami said, “I'm not strained. It’s no strain to Me. Are you not teaching in the classes while standing? You are teaching there. You stand and teach, don’t you? Similarly, I'm talking to you. That’s why I'm standing.”

But one teacher wanted to be smart. We want to be smart. When we want to be smart, we’ll be exposing our foolishness. One teacher said, “Swami, in Gurukula, the ancient system of education, the teachers sit and teach.” Swami said, “This is not Gurukula; this is samakula: Here there is perfect equality. You are God, I am God. How can this be Gurukula? You are wrong.”

Then another teacher wanted to be smart. “Swami, since you say both of us are equal, we are seated, while you are standing. So, as we are seated, better You also sit.” Then Baba said, “Hu-mm. While teaching, I should stand. Otherwise, I can sit along with you. Do you know the meaning of ‘Upanishad’? Upa, near. Ni, sit. Shad, down. ‘Sit down near’ - that is the meaning of Upanishad. So, Upanishad, you sit down here,” that teacher simply said, “Oh, Swami.” So, we cannot reply to Him. Swami is full of humor. All of the people burst into laughter.

There are a few more points. I know the time is up, so those in a hurry, they had better leave.

And Swami said, “When you follow Bhagavan, when you are in the company of Bhagavan, you will experience Divine vibrations.”

Mind, Position, Destiny, Property

Bhagavan made one point. “It is your mind that prompts certain thoughts. Mind is mathi. Mathi means mind. Mind decides your sthithi position, which will take you to destiny, gathi, which is your property or wealth, sampati. These are the words that Bhagavan uses quite often. I want to you to note and remember them: mathi, sthithi, gathi, sampati. So we should keep our mind always pure, unpolluted.

Then I said to Bhagavan, “Swami, when You say all are equal, I feel offended.” I said that!“ After all, these little boys who are studying in ninth and tenth class, how can they be equal to me? I have completed 38 years of service as a professor. I'm a post-graduate. After all, what are these fellows? How can they be equal to me? How can all be equal?”

Then Baba said, “Oh-ho! You say that you are different from others because of your intelligence. That is wrong. A simple example: All of us give clothes to the dhobi, the washerman. We make note of the number of pants, the number of shirts, the number of banians (T-shirts), how many kerchiefs - we make note of all of them. But that fellow does not note it down at all. He collects clothes from everybody and returns them all exactly. Who is more intelligent? Are you more intelligent or the dhobi?” The dhobi.

So, I must accept unconditionally that my M.Sc. degree stands nowhere in front of the dhobi. Hence Bhagavan has said that it is not the intelligence that matters. It is only the Atmic level, the Spirit, the Consciousness in you, which is very much the same as the Consciousness in the other man. So, at the Atmic level, all are One.

Sivarathri, the Holy Night

My dear friends, I’ll just take a couple of more minutes. Sivarathri falls on the 12th. Many of the foreigners approached me and wanted me to say a few words about Sivarathri. The points that I am going to speak on now are meant for them.

Sivarathri, the Holy Night, has a special message for all of us. If we know it beforehand, we will know the sanctity, the grace, the purpose and the significance of it, so that we will observe Maha Sivarathri in all solemnity, in all dignity, in a benefitting way. What did Bhagavan say?

Sivarathri happens to be the 14th day during the dark fortnight in the month. Every month has two parts: fifteen days, the light fortnight and fifteen days, the dark fortnight. So, the fourteenth day is Sivarathri. That comes every month. But this celebration is not a simple Sivarathri. It is Maha Sivarathri. It comes once a year.

What is it? The moon starts warming up. It is hot in the daytime and nighttime is very hot too. Moon is warming up and the sun enters into Aquarius position, as per the zodiac system. The position of the sun is in Aquarius.

The second point: In ‘Sivarathri’, according to numerology, ‘si-va-ra’ are the three letters. In numerology, ‘si’ stands for number five, ‘va’ stands for number four, ‘ra’ stands for two. Five plus four plus two: the total is 11. These 11 are rudras. And who are these 11 rudras? Who are rudras? Rudras are those that make us cry, that which makes us weep. Who are they? They are the five senses of action, the five senses of perception, and the mind, all equal 11.

We cry because of these 11 rudras. During this Maha Sivarathri, if we pray to God, if we chant the manthra of Lord Siva, all these 11 rudras will be cooled down. They will be pacified. Their evil effects will be nullified. They will be glorious; they turn sacred from that day onwards.

The Cosmic Dance

Maha Sivarathri also stands for the Cosmic Dance, as described in the epics. This includes the togetherness of Divinity and Nature. The Divine is Lord Siva; Prakrithi, Nature is Parvathi. Parvathi and Siva are not merely husband and wife as we think of them. They represent the Divinity and Nature. Maha Purusha is Absolute Consciousness or Parama Purusha, while Nature, Parvathi, is Prakrithi.

So, the Cosmic Dance signifies the togetherness of Prakrithi, the consort Parvathi, and the Super-Consciousness or Absolute, Lord Siva. That is the Cosmic Dance of Siva, called Thandava, which takes place on that Holy Night. This Siva Thandava, the Cosmic Dance, is responsible for the entire Creation or Sristhi.

During this time, since Siva Thandava or Cosmic Dance takes place at a very fast rate, fire comes out. To cool Him down, consort Parvathi keeps Ganga water on His head and also keeps the Crescent Moon on His head, in the coils of matted hair of Lord Siva. To cool Him down, Parvathi applies sandal paste on His body. And cold-blooded snakes coil near His hands, joints, and also His feet.

These are all vivid descriptions. Don't take the description as the Reality. It is the description given in the epics, the Puranas. In other words, to put it in one sentence, Sivarathri is the combination of Matter and Energy. Cosmic Energy is Siva, while Matter is Parvathi. Matter and Energy are equal to Life; this is the Creation. That is Maha Sivarathri.

Moon is the presiding deity of the mind. Sun is the presiding deity of the eyes. Every part of our body has a presiding deity. During Sivarathri, you don't find the moon in the sky; it is just a streak, a line. Moon has 15 kalas, 15 ‘shines of glory’. Sivarathri happens to be on the 14th day. It means that there is only one shine, there is only one streak of the moon, only one line. It is not full moon. What does that signify?

On this Maha Sivarathri, if we spend the day singing the glory of Siva, even that single streak of mind will vanish, so that mind is withdrawn, so that the mind is annihilated. Mind is an obstacle; mind is the ego. That is the state of the withdrawal of the mind, or amaskar, which is one of the interpretations of Maha Sivarathri.

‘Sivam’ Means 'That Which is Auspicious'

Swami also mentioned a few more points. Sivam means that which is auspicious. Rama is a person and Krishna is a person. But Siva is an idea; Siva is a philosophy; Siva is an ideal. Siva is not a form. So, Sivam means that which is auspicious.

We keep awake on Maha Sivarathri, called jagarana or overnight vigil. We observe vigil. What does it mean? You can call it nocturnal vigil. We are awake all during that night, making a vigil, so that we will be watchful of our mind. We will fill our minds with the Name of God. For that purpose, we stay awake.

Some people keep themselves awake by watching four cinemas. (Laughter) Some people observe nocturnal vigil by playing cards or spending time in a casino, the Las Vegas type. Well, it is not that. It is thinking of God that has to be done. It is what we call jagarana.

Swami made another point: Linga is the diagram I have drawn. I am not good at drawing, but this will give you some idea. This Siva Linga has two parts: the horizontal part and the vertical part. The horizontal part is called panavattam and has three sides: one, two and three.

These three surfaces represent three gunas. What are the three attributes? Sathwa, pious quality; rajas, emotional quality; and thamas, bestial quality or inertia. So, this horizontal panavattam, which is three-faced, represents pravritthi or the world, which is three-dimensional, which is triangular, which has got three attributes, The balanced state, the emotional state, and the inertia - that is our nature, our human body. The whole world is a composed of these three attributes. They are in every one of us.

Then there stands this vertical part, what we call the Linga. Linga is the vertical part. What does it mean? While the body is triguna, there is Linga, which is upward. That upward Linga thinks of God, the Divine. The world is horizontal, Nature is horizontal, the body is horizontal, but Divinity is upward. That is Linga, as explained by Bhagavan.

We should understand this concept clearly. That which is present in every one of us, which is the spirit, which is the consciousness, which is the soul, is what you call Atma Linga. It is the soul, the spirit in you. Am I clear?

It is also full of awareness. This Self is full of awareness, so it is called Jnana Linga. This life force is called Anda Linga. It is full of activity, full of Divinity, so it is called Sada Siva Linga. It is the Light of Knowledge, so it is called Jyothi Linga. These are the names given to Linga. So, the same soul, the same spirit as awareness is Jnana Linga; as activity is Sada Siva Linga; as light of knowledge is Jyothi Linga; as the spirit is Atma Linga. These different names are given to that spirit or soul or consciousness within everybody.

Siva has the vehicle of the bull. Why? The bull represents stability. You go to any Siva temple; the bull is always looking at Lord Siva. Similarly one should have full concentration, looking at Siva.

Lord Siva has got three eyes, so he is called Trinetra. We have two eyes but Siva has three eyes. He must look awful if he really has three eyes! (Laughter) We can't look at him! Three eyes are not referring to the physical eyes. The three eyes represent the past, present and future, Trinetra. God knows all the three periods of time.

Names of Siva

Siva has another name: ‘Digambara’. It refers to the four poles - east, west, south, and north. These are the four poles that stand as the canopy under which the whole world exists. 'Dik' means ‘poles’and ‘umbara’ means ‘canopy’. So this world has got the canopy of the four poles; that is ‘Digambara’.

Siva is also called ‘Sankara’, which means that He confers all the good that happens to you. Siva is also called ‘Kamahari’, meaning He destroys all desires. When once the desires are conquered, you become ‘Mrutunjaya’, meaning you have conquered death. So, one becomes ‘Mrutunjaya’, the conquer of death, when he successfully kills all his desires; and one becomes ‘Kamahari’, when one believes that all the four poles of the Universe form the canopy under which we live, also called ‘Digambar’.

God, the All-Knowing, having awareness of the past, present and future, called Trinetra, is riding on the vehicle of stability, namely the bull. Siva has four faces. What are they? With this one face, we manage to see well. With four faces, how would we look? Well, I don't want to tell you. But these four faces of Siva are not the types of faces we have. The four faces are Shantham, equanimity; Roudram, terror; Mangalam, grace; and Utsaham, elevating energy. These are the four faces of Divinity.

There are many more things to speak about regarding Sivarathri. But this much I wanted to place before you as some kind of information, a sort of practical guideline, so that you will have some basic knowledge. With this knowledge and information we can observe Maha Sivarathri in a benefiting way, thinking of Lord Siva and His beautiful, majestic form of Auspiciousness. Chant His Glory. Repeat His Holy Name. Thus we will get into that state of desirelessness, that state of deathlessness, that state of Immortality and Awareness.

May Bhagavan be with you forever and ever more! Sai Ram!

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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