Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
November 17, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar


November 3rd, 2002


Sai Ram

Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

“Satyopanishad” is now available

Let me wish you all a happy Deepavali. May Bhagavan bless you with the Light of Wisdom. I have one important announcement to make, which I am sure is a matter of great joy to all the devotees. God confers things on all of us. I can tell you that I had the unique opportunity of following Bhagavan to Kodaikanal six times. Each time I stayed with Him for a month, and every single day I had the occasion to listen to His discourses - four to five talks. Among the four to five talks per day, at least two sessions were question and answer sessions. Kodaikanal is really a lovely place where we can ask any question under the sun. Nothing is barred, including details of income taxes and film stars! (Laughter)

When I moved from Brindavan to Puttaparthi, I thought of documenting these talks. I started writing down all the questions addressed to Swami and the answers given by Him. They roughly came to 272 questions. These questions and answers have been published in the Telugu Sanathana Sarathi for over three years in 36 issues. It has also been translated into Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Nepalese languages.

In Sanathana Dharma, there is one important component - the Upanishads. The Upanishads are a very important component of Vedic literature. The actual meaning of Upanishads is: upa means ‘near’, ni means ‘down’, shad is ‘sit’ = ‘sit down near’. The teacher asks the student to ‘sit down near’ him so he can easily communicate to the student. Upanishadic literature is more or less a conversation, a question and answer session, between the teacher and the student. It is not a uni-directional flow of thoughts; it is not a classroom lecture, no. ‘Upanishad’ is a dialogue. That is the reason why Upanishadic literature is very important and very popular. Since we sat at the Feet of our Divine Master Sathya Sai Baba to learn, I thought that I should name it Satyōpanishad – Satyo for Sathya Sai Baba and Upanishad, meaning the Vedic literature. Whatever He speaks is ‘Satyōpanishad’.

For the past three years, the Telugu and Kannada versions of Sanathana Sarathi brought out the complete text of Satyōpanishad. Now there has been an increased demand from English readers. They said, “If it is in Indian regional languages, we should also have a copy of it in English. Otherwise, how can we learn about it?”

I prayed to Bhagavan and He has graciously permitted me to translate it into English. On the 25th of October, which happened to be my 61st birthday, Bhagavan was very kind and released that book. Satyōpanishad is now available in our bookstore. (Applause) This is my third book. The first one is called The Universal and Practical Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a book of talks given by Bhagavan in Bangalore where I spent about six years as the Principal of Swami’s College there. The second book is Divine Directions, a collection of talks that I gave here in the EHV Hall of the Prashanti Nilayam campus.

Before I proceed, I have one or two words to say about the new book. There is a guide to pronunciation, which is given for the benefit of English readers. This guide explains how to pronounce words like Dharmaraja and Abhimanyu. There is also an index at the end so you can refer to the contents in alphabetical order. The third point I want to share with you is that this book is divided into three parts. Part One is Samskriti, the culture. Part Two is Sādhaka, the aspirant or seeker. Part Three is Sādhana, the spiritual path. The first two parts are in Volume One and the third part is available in Volume Two. Volume One of this Satyōpanishad is available now; Volume Two is on its way.

Volume One - Part One, Samskriti, has three sections. The first section is called “India Eternal” because India is known for its rich cultural heritage and legacy with a history of about five thousand years. All of the questions put to Bhagavan relating to the rich cultural heritage of India are in the first section under Samskriti, the culture. The second section deals with trends in modern society — how modern society has been progressing. We feel helpless quite often, and when we express our helplessness, despair and despondency, Bhagavan liberally comes forward with answers. That comes under Section Two. The message of Bhagavan to the youth of this country comes under Section Three.

Volume One, Part Two relates to the Sādhaka, the seeker or aspirant. Volume Two also has three sections. The first section is “Outer Door”. The second, “Certain Spiritual Concepts” and the third is “Parallels and Polarities”. All the answers are given by Bhagavan Himself, directly to those chosen few who happened to accompany Him to Kodaikanal.

Personally I feel so glad and I am very grateful to Bhagavan that He chose the 25th of October to release this book. Thanks to Him once again on behalf of myself and all those people who wanted this book released in English.


This morning’s talk is divided into two parts. The first part relates to Deepavali and the second part will be a question and answer session as usual. Deepavali is a festival for children because of the display of firecrackers and fireworks. Many delicious items are prepared at home and sweets are distributed. Deepavali is an occasion of gaiety, festivity and joy.

Deepavali has to be studied under three headings to know its inner significance. The first part is the mythological interpretation of Deepavali. The second is the geographical concepts of Deepavali, and thirdly, the spiritual aspects of Deepavali. I am sorry if I sound like a typical teacher - I can’t help it. Having spent four decades as a teacher, it is too difficult to forget that trade!

The Mythological Aspect of Deepavali

Let me start with the first heading, the mythological aspect of Deepavali. Many people think that the Deepavali festival started in the Dwapara Yuga during Krishna’s Incarnation, but Bhagavan says that Deepavali was in existence even before the Dwapara Age. On Deepavali day, Lord Rama was coronated. Rama, along with Lakshmana and Sita, returned to Ayodya after killing Ravana and all his associates in Lanka. I am sure that most of you know the story of Rama, so I won’t go into the details. Lord Rama killed Ravana and all of the demons in Lanka. After killing them, Rama, accompanied by Lakshmana and Sita, returned to his kingdom, Ayodya. There, in Ayodhya, He was coronated as emperor. Rama’s coronation took place on Deepavali day.

Secondly, you must have heard Bhagavan talking to us at the Onam festival in the month of August. He said that God came down in the form of Vamana. Vamana means “dwarf”. God chose to come in the form of Vamana to remove the ego from King Bali. Emperor Bali was highly egoistic because of his good name, his achievements and his accomplishments. God really appreciates all of our achievements and accomplishments, but He does not excuse us if we strut about with pride about our achievements. If we are egoistic, He will not tolerate it. So the ego has to be subdued -- pride needs to be totally destroyed. For that reason Emperor Bali was sent to the lower world, called Pathala. The upper world is Swarga, the middle world is Bhuloka, and the underworld is Pathala. (I don’t mean ‘underworld’ as in ‘black market’, no, no. That did not exist in those days. We created that and we are the ones who have to be congratulated for it!)

Emperor Bali was sent to Pathala so he would be free from pride and ego. It happened on Deepavali day. Sri Rama was one Incarnation and Vamana Avatara was a second Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The third Incarnation was Krishna of the Dwapara Age.

At that time, there was a demon named Narakasura. Narakasura was a demon-king who had all the bad qualities ever possible in one person. Today we have two-in-one and three-in-one, but Narakasura had all the bad qualities rolled up in one! What were they? One quality was lust, not in small quantities but in Himalayan dimensions -- the same as Ravana’s lust. Ravana was known for lust. So Narakasura had lust at the same level, the same stature, quantum, and intensity as Ravana himself. No one can beat Ravana as far as lust is concerned, but Narakasura also had all that lust in him.

Then there was pride. Sishupala is at the head of all those people who pride themselves for their accomplishments. Sishupala is the mythological name, the very personification, metaphor and embodiment of pride and ego. Sisupala’s ego and the lust of Ravana are present in Narakasura. Just imagine that wonderful man!

We also find in Narakasura the hatred of Kamsa. Kamsa is known for his hatred -- no one can compete with him. These are all unbeaten, unparalleled fellows, known for these weaknesses. Narakasura is the greatest of them all because he bundled up all the bad qualities in one lifetime. So Narakasura represents all the bad qualities.

Though it appears to be a mythological story, it is of immense importance today because we are all Narakasuras in our own humble and simple ways. Given the chance, we want to equal him, but it is not possible. We are all Narakasura in our own humble way because we have hatred, lust, and pride.

So Narakasura is a man with evil qualities. Minus these evil qualities, Narakasura can be a nara or a ‘human being’. Nara is a human being. Narakasura is a demon. A demon should give up his demonic qualities, narakasura, so that he will become nara, a human being. This nara, the human being, should develop human qualities so he can become Narayana, the Divine. My friends, this is a spiritual journey from the narakasura, demonic level to the nara or human level, and then to the final level of Narayana, the Divine. I think I am clear. We travel from Narakasura to nara ending up in Narayana state, as the Divine Lord Himself.

Now this Narakasura, the demon-king with all the bad qualities, was really a king -- and not a small king. The capital of his kingdom happened to be Prajjyothishapura. Praj means ‘right from the beginning, even earlier, even before’. Jyothi means the ‘light of life, Divinity, the Self’. Sha means ‘forgotten’. Pura means ‘the place where such people live’. To split it up once again, it is really quite simple — praj means the earlier nature, that with which you are born, that with which you are gifted -- that is what you are from the beginning. Jyothi is your Self or Atma. Sha means that which is forgotten. What is forgotten? That ‘I am the Self’, that ‘I am Atma’, that ‘I am the Spirit’, that ‘I am the Consciousness’ — this is forgotten. In other words Prajjyothishapura means a city inhabited by people who have forgotten their true nature of the Self. All our cities can be called Prajjyothishapuras because we have forgotten our true nature. We are also Narakasuras in our own humble way with one of those qualities, if not all in some measure.

Lord Krishna killed Narakasura with the help of His consort, Sathyabhama. It may look rather silly because Krishna could have killed Narakasura straight away. Why does He need Sathyabhama, His consort? If Sathyabhama is needed it means that she is more powerful than Krishna Himself, which is an insult to the masculine part of society. All men are put to shame if you say that. So why does He need Sathyabhama, why? If Sathyabhama is that courageous, full of valour and strength, she should have asked Krishna to rest at home. (Laughter) Why should His consort accompany him?

Though the story appears to be rather silly, it has its own inner meaning. Sathyabhama means ‘awareness’. Sathyabhama is ‘spiritual awareness’. Sathyabhama is prajnana, which means ‘spiritual knowledge, spiritual wisdom’. Krishna, accompanied by Sathybhama, means that Krishna, with all His Divinity, with all His awareness -- being the sum total of Divinity, the total Incarnation of spiritual wisdom, with all the wealth of spiritual knowledge -- killed the demon Narakasura, who had all the bad qualities of pride, ego, hatred and lust. Am I clear?

This is the inner significance of the story that goes on to say that Narakasura was killed on this day. Today is called Naraka Chaturthashi, which means 14th day of this month -- not per the English calendar but of this month called Kaumudi. So, on this day Narakasura was killed and it became an event to be celebrated. The birth of a noble man or the death of an evil man calls for celebration. If an idiot dies, it has to be celebrated. If a great man is born -- an Incarnation or the descent of an Avatar, the descent of God Himself on earth -- this is a matter of festival and celebration. So today, everyone celebrates the death of Narakasura, the demon king.

There is one more point here. As long as we have those demonic qualities -- those evil qualities, being Narakasura ourselves -- we spend our time in Naraka, which means hell.

When people say, “How are you?”

“Ah, life is just a hell! What can I do?”

Why? Life has become a hell, naraka, because we have become Narakasura. Once you give up the narakasura qualities, you will be out of this naraka, hell, so that you can live on earth as nara, a human being. By constant meditation and spiritual practice, you can find your Self, your identification with God Himself, and understand that you are Narayana. Then you have kaivalya, liberation.

So, there are three things or levels now. The lower one is naraka, hell -- the thamasic quality, the bestial quality, the animal quality, the lower quality. These are the evil qualities that are at the Narakasura level.

Once we kill the animal within us, we become nara, the human being. We are all naras, human beings with human qualities. If we don’t have human qualities, we cannot be called human beings at all. Swami says that the one with kindness belongs to mankind. A person who is unkind cannot belong to mankind. Do you remember that? Therefore we are nara, human beings, only if we have nara qualities, the qualities of a human being.

Narakasura transforms into nara, the human being, with the rajasic quality, with the emotional quality and the desire to become something good. The individual, community, and nation — they all want to become something. That stage of becoming is what is called nara or the human level of awareness.

The third level is Narayana where there is no becoming -- it is the state of Being. It is not a question of becoming because you are the very Being. That state, that consciousness and awareness is Narayana. It is also called moksha, liberation, nirvana. That is the inner significance behind this mythological story.

Deepavali also happened to be the day when Emperor Vikramadithya ascended to the throne. Emperor Vikramadithya is known for his scholarly qualities. He was a great patron of literature and music. In his court, He had nine great scholars called Navaratna.

Navaratna means nine precious gems. Who were they? They were the nine great poets in the court of Vikramadithya, among whom Kalidasa was one. Emperor Vikramadithya ascended the throne on Deepavali day.

That is a brief overview of the mythological interpretation of Deepavali.

( I think I have been clear with my talk. Questions are quite welcome from you. You can just write them down on a piece of paper and pass them on. Thank you.)

The Geographical Aspect of Deepavali

Now we come to the geographical aspect of Deepavali. Actually our ancients lived in the Arctic region, meaning the polar region where it is light six months of the year and dark for six months. In a year, there are six months of continuous light and then for six months, it is dark. That is the geography of the polar regions.

If you go by the Zodiac calendar, the sun appears in Aries. Aries is the position of the sun in the Zodiac system, and that time is called Makhara Sankranthi. Makhara Sankranthi is the six-month’s time frame when there is light in the polar region and the sun is in the position of Aries in the Zodiac system. Later, after an interval of six months, we find the sun entering into the next position, Libra -- going from Aries to Libra in the Zodiac system. That is called Tula Sankranthi. During this period the sun, sets and darkness begins. So for six months there will be Makara Sankranthi - light and for six months, there will be Tula Sankranthi - darkness, depending upon the position of the sun in the Zodiac system.

When it was dark for a period of six months, how did they manage? During that dark period of six months, they would light their lamps so they could carry on their daily work. The lights were lit constantly for six months. That light is called Nithyajyothi, the perennial light. With that light, in all delight, they will be able to discharge their daily activities, their daily duties.

This month of Deepavali is what we call Kaumudi month. That’s all with regard to the geographical aspects of Deepavali.

Spiritual Aspects of Deepavali

Now we come to the spiritual aspects of Deepavali. Though many of you may be very tired of hearing this, I am not tired to repeat it time and again. These are all things collected from Sai literature. Nothing is my own.

Now for the third aspect, the spiritual aspect of Deepavali: Deepavali, the very word, the very term, means ‘the array of lights’ -- avali is ‘group’ and deepa is ‘light’. So, ‘group of lights, assembly of lights’ is the meaning of Deepavali.

If you light a candle, you will find that the light is directed upward. Water flows downward, but the light points upward. So the light that travels upward represents the spiritual path, which we call Brahma marga. The upward direction is the Divine path. Man is to proceed upward, which means nara, the human, has to become Narayana, God. For the human to become God, he should travel in the upward direction -- that is what is meant by the light that always travels upward. That is the first spiritual aspect of Deepavali.

The second spiritual aspect highlights the words Tamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya – “Oh Lord, lead us from darkness to Light.” What is darkness and what is light? Bhagavan, in His discourses, has mentioned clearly what darkness is. Sorrow is darkness. Lack of peace is darkness. Loss is one form of darkness. Disappointment is darkness. Misery is nothing but darkness -- lack of enthusiasm, activity or dynamism is darkness.

So we can check to what extent we are in darkness. We need to celebrate Deepavali to come out of this darkness of sleep, slumber, and gluttony, lack of activity, sluggishness, laziness, sorrow, restlessness, disappointment, depression, and frustration. This is all darkness.

The fellow who puts on a long face is an excellent example of a creature living in darkness. The fellow who goes on shouting without any courtesy or decency, who loses his temper, has another name — darkness. We should all come out of the darkness. “Oh God, lead us from darkness to Light.” Tamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya. Tamas is darkness and jyothi is light. “Take us from darkness to Light.”

So what is that Light? Happiness is Light. To be happy is Light. Smile. Be happy. Yes, bliss is happiness. Health is Light. Happiness is Light. Prosperity is Light. Peace is Light. “Oh God, take us from the darkness of peacelessness to the Light of peace. Oh God, take us from the darkness of ill health to the Light of health. Oh God, take us from the darkness of loss to the Light of prosperity. Oh God take us from the darkness of misery to the Light of bliss.” That is the inner significance of the second aspect of Deepavali.

Third, where is this Light? This Light is within us. We are not aware of this Light. The importance of Light is primary in every religion. Every religion believes in lights, lamps, and candles. We find the Christmas season full of lights. We find fire very important in Zoroastrian philosophy. The sacrificial fire is very important in Hindu philosophy. Lighting candles is very important in every religion. It is to remind you and me that the light you see outside is within you. Light is not forced or transplanted into you. Light is not imported from anywhere. That Light is within you. Deepavali means that the Light is within you.

What sort of Light? The light that we find outside, as in the light of candles, is extinguishable. The moment the oil is gone this external light goes out. The moment the wax melts, the light of the candle goes out. The external light is extinguishable, but the Light within is eternal. The Light within is immortal. The Light within is one of continuity to eternity.

You are the Light. The Light is you. We should understand that you are the Light. Because of this Light, we are able to move about in this world. Because of this Light, we are able to attract everybody. Because of this Light, we are full of activity. Because of this Light, we are successful. Because of this Light, we live in awareness. We have spiritual knowledge and spiritual experience because of this inner Light. So my friends, Deepavali is an occasion of being aware of the Light within, which is inextinguishable.

Bhagavan gives one example. When you go for your evening walk and you switch on your torch (flashlight), you will only be able to see a short distance. Beyond that, the torchlight cannot shine. So what should you do? You should carry the torchlight with you, and then you can travel further and see clearly all along the way. Streetlights shed light for only some distance. Beyond that you will not be able to see. But when you carry the torchlight with you, you will be able to find your way wherever you go. You will have a safe and comfortable journey and you will be able to see whatever is along the way.

My friends, Deepavali, the Light of lights, which is eternal, but manifests as the Light of bliss, the Light of happiness, the Light of success, the Light of health, is within us. We are born with that. We don’t have to buy EverReady batteries in the store. We don’t have to go to the Hong Kong airport to buy torchlights, no, no. The Light is within us. The only thing is that we have to be aware of it. When we are aware of the Light within, we will be able to travel along the path of our life safely, comfortably and successfully. That is the inner meaning of Deepavali.

So my friends, Deepavali, a holy festival, has three interpretations — mythological, geographical, and spiritual. I wanted to bring to your notice these three aspects. I wish you once again a happy Deepavali. (Applause)


For the last two weeks we have had a question and answer session for at least 15-20 minutes. I receive so many questions, but I have to inform you of one point. Don’t let the questions be lengthy or personal. Don’t let the content of the letter be such that I would not be able to make out anything. I received some lengthy letters and I could not make out whether it was an answer or a question. Then that has become my question! (Laughter) So my friends, I beg of you to be very brief, direct and straight. I also request that you ask questions of general interest on spiritual aspects.

I got a question, “Would Baba come along with me on my morning walk?” (Laughter)

What shall I tell him? In support of that question it is clearly written, “Mr. Anil Kumar, you said in your talk that Baba wants to walk. But Baba is not able to walk because crowds will run after Him. He will not have enough space to walk, whereas I am sure that I can take Him along with me for a morning walk. Could you please answer my question?”

Well, I have no answer. Would Swami come along with me for a morning walk? Instead of putting that question, if you are aware that Swami is within you, you could realize that He is also the one walking. The Swami within me is also the one eating. Swami within me does everything. That satisfies all sorts of questions. This is not an answer I am trying to evade or escape. I will give a very simple example. When all of us were busy eating, Bhagavan did not eat anything. It was very embarrassing. I said, “Swami, why don’t You eat? When we are eating, why don’t You eat? I don’t feel like eating when I see You like that.”

Then Baba said, “When all of you eat, it comes to Me. What is your prayer at the dining table? (Anil Kumar starts singing) Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva Praninam Dehamasritaha. ‘I am in your body. All the food that you eat comes to Me.’ Therefore why should I eat when you are eating?”

When you are walking, Baba does not need to walk separately. That is the answer I can give you. Now I will deal with a few more questions in the time left this morning.

First question: “Why do some children die at a young age?”

I repeat once again. If you go through the two volumes of Satyōpanisad, most of the questions will be answered. This question was dealt with here in this book with the answer straight from Bhagavan: “Young or old relate to the body. It is the body that ages. It is this body that is young. It is this body that is old. So, young and old are the terms applicable to the body. But the soul is eternal.”

Therefore, this story is one of eternity. To me, he may be a boy. But in the earlier life, in the previous lives, that soul has been pining, that soul has been praying for merger into the Divine. This so-called ‘child’ is young from your point-of-view. But the soul is pretty aged. It is immortal and eternal. It doesn’t want to remain outside. It wants to be one with the Divine. The drop does not want to exist separately. It wants to be back in the ocean. Am I clear? So the drop wants to come back to the ocean.

We may say, “Drop, you are so simple; you are so small; you are like a pearl; stay there.”

It will say, “No, no! I must go back to the sea.” The drop and the ocean are one and the same.

Another point. A great saint, Narada, asked this question of Sri Mahavishnu, God. This is also from Sai literature. “Oh God, you seem to be partial. You look very much biased. Why?”

Then immediately God asked Narada, “What is this nonsense you are talking? I thought you were a wise man. Perhaps you are out of your mind now. What’s wrong with you? Since you have been moving in all of the three worlds, you must have become imbalanced!”

Then Narada gave the answer: “Swami, Prahlada is a young boy. He could attain liberation very quickly, whereas there is one sage named Morocunda Maharishi, a great sage, who did penance for hundreds of years, but he could not have realization. Why? How is it that this boy could have realization so soon, but this old man could not? Why?”

Then the Lord gives the answer: “This Maharishi, who has been doing penance for hundreds of years, started that penance only in this lifetime; whereas this boy, Prahlada, has been doing penance for the last several lives. He may appear young now, but he has been doing this for the last several lives. That you do not know about.”

Bhagavan Baba gives one example It seems two men were passing by. One gentleman has picked up a crowbar and hit it against a hard stone. He hit it but the stone did not break. He hit it again and again, but the stone did not break. He hit it ten times and it did not break.

Then the other man said, “I will try.” He took the crowbar, hit it once and it broke immediately.

The first man felt sad. “I tried ten times and this stone did not break. Now it has broken. Nature is not fair.”

Then the second man said, “Look here, I have hit it now and the stone has broken into two. Please understand the simple mathematics here. It had already received ten strokes by you. Mine was the eleventh stroke; therefore it broke. It had ten strokes already.”

Similarly, young age or old age is our own calculation. But in the Divine formula, it is a different dimension altogether.

Next question: “Does the Atma have a religion?”

Religion is of your own making. Atma has nothing to do with the religion. It has no religion. It has no attributes or qualities. It has no name and form.

Third question: “Is it bad karma to change from one religion to the other?”

Yes, it is bad karma. We don’t have to change our religion because all religions are one and the same. There is unity in diversity. All religions teach the same Truth. Truth is One. Scholars represent this in different ways, but Truth is one. Sugar is one; all sweets are made from it. So, when we understand that Truth is basically One, there is nothing wrong with whichever religion you follow.

Next question: “In a family situation, if the parent has done wrong, will the child suffer the bad karma, resulting in the death of the child?”

Nothing doing. In the Divine calculation, each has to suffer the consequences of his own karma. The father’s karma is not brought forward to the son. The son’s karma is not brought forward to the grandson. No, it is not like that. If it were like that, we would not be here. Prashanti Nilayam would not be full. All rooms would be empty. No, no, no. Everyone has got his individual account. Parents have got nothing to do with that. A man of violence and terror (named Hiranyakasipu) has a son named Prahlada, a great devotee. So the son has nothing to do with the father.

Swami gives this example. It seems a person collected seeds from thorny bushes and seeds from fruit-bearing trees. If you sow them, what will happen? The seed of a thorny bush will only grow into a thorny bush. The seed of a fruit-bearing tree will only grow into a fruit-bearing tree. There is nothing like foreign exchange here.

“When does the Atma leave the body? What happens to the Atma after death?” This is the next question.

Where does Atma go? There is no place where there is no Atma. So there is no question of Atma vanishing somewhere. It doesn’t go on any holiday trip or ego trip or weekend holiday because Atma is present everywhere. It doesn’t go anywhere. It is everywhere. A simple example Baba gives is this. There is a light bulb. When you remove the bulb, isn’t there still electricity? There is electricity, but when you put the bulb there, you get the light. There is a power supply. When you remove the bulb, there is still the power supply, but you don’t get the light. This is the example given by Bhagavan. Similarly, whether the body is there or not, the Divinity, the Atma, the Consciousness, the Spirit exists because it is immortal.

Next question: “I still have desires. What to do?”

There is nothing that can be done. We have to understand the root cause of the desire. The desire has not arisen out of my body. The desire has not been produced or manufactured by this hand. The leg does not take me to the desire. It is the mind that is the root cause of desire. Desires are born in the mind. Once you understand that the mind is the substratum, that the mind is the basis, that the mind is the cause for the desire, you can try to be desireless.

How? My mind is going this way towards desire. I tell my mind, “Don’t go this way. Go towards the Mandir.”

When the mind thinks of God, when the mind chants His name, when the mind is in meditation, when the mind always sings His glory in bhajans, there is no desire. When the mind is diverted towards the world, it is full of desires.

My friends, please understand, this is only from Swami’s teachings, which are recorded in this book, Satyōpanisad. For your reference you can go through it. Here is a simple example given by Baba. This is a hand fan. If I do this (Anil Kumar waves his hand, fanning away from himself), you get the breeze. But when I turn the hand fan and wave it towards me, I get the breeze. Is it not true? Similarly when the mind is turned toward the world, it is suffocated. It is breathless. It is full of desires. When the same mind is turned inward towards consciousness, it is blissful. There are no more desires.

The second part of the question: “How is it possible to lose a desire but not shut down the heart?”

Please understand we have confusion about the portfolios here. Mind is the centre of desire, whereas the heart is the centre of feeling. The mind is dual; the heart is non-dual. The mind is diversified; the heart is unity. The mind is emotional; the heart is balanced. The mind is always for convenience; the heart is for conviction. The mind is physical; the heart is spiritual. I don’t mean the physical heart -- that needs a cardiologist. I mean the spiritual heart. So shutting down your heart means that you are closing the doors of your soul — you are closing the doors of your consciousness.

If you shut down your heart, then you don’t want to turn inward. You just want to grope in the darkness of the whims and the fancies, the likes and dislikes and the vagaries of the mind. The mind is full of vagaries, likes and dislikes, choices and preferences. When I move about in the realm along the horizon of the mind, I become mental or psychotic. I should not shut down my heart at any cost. The heart should be open. The more and more the heart is given a chance and a preference, the mind gets closed automatically — the mind will shut down automatically on its own.

Third part of this question: “Your whole life is a sacrifice, is it true? Does God really want us to be such martyrs?”

No, no, we should not blame poor God like that. He doesn’t want us to be martyrs. Why does He want you to sacrifice? It is so that you will be happy. Sacrifice your desire because desire takes you to misery. If you are desireless, you will be blissful. Then you are not sacrificing for anybody. You are sacrificing for your own sake. Instead of going to the theatre, I am going to the Mandir.

“Sir, I’m not going to theatre. I have not gone to cinema, so I have sacrificed.” Oh, you have not sacrificed anything. By going to the theatre and watching a cinema there, your mind would have turned violent. Your mind would have become agitated. Your mind would have been disturbed. Your mind would have been full of turbulent waves. The mind would have lost its balance and peace. By going to the Mandir, it enjoys peace of mind. It enjoys equanimity. It delights. So, what have you sacrificed? You have not sacrificed for anybody else. You have sacrificed for your own advantage, for your own improvement.

The next question is: What does Swami have to say about friends and the role they have to play in our life?”

Swami often says, “Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are.” But, my friends, we don’t have friends today. No, no, no. A friend in the morning becomes an enemy by the evening. Most of the friendships today are selfish. Most of the friendships today are political. Most of the friendships today are motivated. But who is the real friend? What is the definition of a friend?

Bhagavan said, “The one who is with you, the one who will be with you, the one who was with you - that one who is always by your side in the past, the present and also in the future, He only is the true friend.”

Supposing we get into any litigation, they will not look at your face. As Baba has said, “When the pockets are full of money and the father has a position, everybody will say, ‘Hello, hello.’ When the pocket is empty, after the retirement of the father, nobody will even say, ‘Goodbye’.” There are no true friends today.

Bhagavan gave one example. It seems that one man was dragged into the court because of some litigation. He had three friends. He asked one friend, “Would you please come to the court and be a witness?” That man said, “I am sorry. I was so happy playing cards with you in the club, but I don’t want to come to the court and be a witness, I am sorry.”


Then this man went to the second friend. “Hey there, friend! We have been classmates, childhood friends. Why don’t you come to the court and stand as a witness so that I will be acquitted?”

That man said, “No, no, no, I am not going to come to the court. I will give you the address of a good advocate, a good attorney, a good pleader who will defend your case, but I won’t come to the court. “

“Oh-ho, thank you.”

Then he went to the third friend. “Would you please come and help me?”

“Why not? I’ll come with you. I’ll stand there in the witness box and speak in support of you so that you will be acquitted.”

Similarly, we have three friends. Who are they? The first fellow represents our friends, our acquaintances or those who are very well known to us. These friends will just say, “Oh, that fellow died? Oh-ho, he was a good man. What can you do?” That’s all.

The second types are relatives, who will come to the cremation or burial ground. And the third friend — He will come with us even after death, as the consequence or result of all our good actions or karma. Karmaphala -- the rewards of our actions will follow us. Therefore that friend, Karmaphala, is the eternal Witness, who is God Himself. So the answer to the question, “Who is my friend?” is that God is my friend. That’s all - no one else.

The next question: “What time does Baba come out for darshan?” (Laughter) I don’t know.

“What time do they give tokens on the men’s side in the morning and the afternoon?” Hari Om Tat Sat.

What are the bhajan timings? 5:15 evening and mornings 9 o’clock. Morning darshan is between 6:30 and 7am and tokens are given from 5:30am onwards in the morning. In the afternoon it is from 12 o’clock. That’s all.

Those are the questions for the day. I am happy that some questions have come. Gradually we will think deeply and we will come forward with genuinely spiritual questions.

Anil Kumar closed his talk by chanting the bhajan,

“Jaya Ho Jaya Ho Gopalana”.

Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Thank you very much!

Sai Ram!

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