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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
October 20, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar


OCTOBER 20TH , 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams to the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Declaration of Avatarhood

Let me convey my greetings to you this morning. This happens to be a very special day. Today is the 62nd Anniversary of the ‘Declaration of the Advent of the Avatar’. Sixty-two years ago on this day, October 20th, in the year nineteen hundred and forty, in that remote village of Uravakonda, Bhagavan was returning from school. He threw away all His books and told everybody at home — His brother and His sister-in-law, “I do not belong to you. My devotees are waiting for Me. I am Sai.” No attachment whatsoever.

So October 20th is the declaration of His Avatarhood. It is the declaration of the advent of Avatar Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So to mark the occasion, I am positively hopeful of a celebration this evening. Some distinguished elders may be addressing us this afternoon in Sai Kulwant Hall. Though no announcement was made to that effect, perhaps the Divine suspense gives us a greater sweetness than the usual announcement of sweets distribution.

World peace and happiness

Now, friends, this morning I still owe you some details regarding yagna and yaga. I said I would give you three talks about the yagna and yaga that are performed in connection with Dasara in particular. We completed two of the talks and one remains. People have been asking, “Anil Kumar, should we wait until next Dasara?” (Laughter) That will not be necessary. Being a teacher, I will complete the syllabus on time. My apologies -- I did not have time to write notes on the board as I usually do because of certain unavoidable circumstances. However I shall put certain important words there for the benefit of the English-speaking people who are not used to these Sanskrit terms.

As I made clear in the very beginning, a yagna, the sacred ritual, is meant for world peace and happiness. Secondly, what is the difference between a yagna and a yaga? Both of them are sacred rituals. Both of them are auspicious. Both of them have a common aim of world welfare and world progress. The universal peace aims and objectives of a yaga and a yagna continue to be the same. Then what is the subtle difference between the two? The subtle difference between the two is that a yagna is more ritualistic and has more ritual content in it. The sacrificial fire, homa, and Divine utterances, manthras -- all the paraphernalia, offerings, and ritualistic aspects are found in a yagna; whereas, a yaga need not be 100% ritualistic. That means there is less ritual in a yaga than in a yagna. That’s what I want to make clear.

Offer 'I-ness'

I want to draw your attention to another point also. During a yagna many offerings are put into the sacrificial fire. Many precious things are offered, beginning with ghee. On the final holy day -- the finale, Purna-Ahuthi -- Bhagavan offers precious gems, stones, and pearls into the sacrificial fire. What does this mean? The offerings in a yagna made to the homagunda, the altar or homa, the sacrificial fire -- what do they signify? It has a meaning. It has an interpretation. People may think it is just a ritual because everyone does not know the meaning. But it is an act of worship. They may think it is a mechanical process followed by Hindus and performed by the priestly caste. My friends, this is not correct. What is to be offered is this — the feeling of ‘I-ness’ or ego. That should be offered.

To put this in context: Anything that gets put into a fire gets burned. Nothing remains. Fire is so great that it will never say, “Enough.” It is ready to accept more. That’s the reason why fire has a name in Sanskrit – Anala. A-na-la. Anila is wind. Anala is fire. Anala or fire actually means that which doesn’t say, “Enough” -- that which doesn’t say, “No more”. That which says, “Yes, some more.” That is Anala.

In this sacrificial fire, which will never say, “Enough”, we have to offer our ego. We have to offer our ‘I-ness’ — the body identification. When this body identification is offered -- when this ego is put into the fire, everything will be burned. Nothing remains.

So my friends, offerings in a yagna indicate going beyond the body, transcending the mind, having a transcendental experience, going beyond the name and form. This yagna also helps us to acquire knowledge of the Self. We have knowledge of everything except Self-knowledge. I know everything in this world. I know astronomy. I know physics, chemistry, medicine, engineering, and whatnot. Man thinks that he knows everything. But he knows nothing of himself.

Unity in Diversity

A knowledgeable man is measured in terms of his degrees and scholarship; but that is not knowledge in the spiritual sense. What is real knowledge in the spiritual sense? Real knowledge is awareness. Real knowledge is awareness of the Self. Real knowledge is wisdom of the Self. Real knowledge is the acquisition, the awareness and the experience of the Self. That is ‘real knowledge’. The rest of the knowledge that we acquire in this world helps us to eke out our living, to earn our daily bread. But that is not the purpose of life. Worldly knowledge, secular knowledge and the acquisition of this kind of knowledge is not the purpose of life. The purpose of life lies in acquiring knowledge of the Self.

So my friends, the purpose of a yagna -- the aim of a yagna -- is to bring out this knowledge of the Self; to make everyone of us experience the Self. The natural question is, how? How? Very simple, by trying to find unity in diversity one can know the Self. But unfortunately, we don’t want to know about unity in diversity. Because once that unity is known, our individuality is gone. Once unity is known, our identity is lost. When that unity is understood, our ego has no place. Once that unity is comprehended, our individuality no longer exists. Once that unity dawns, we as individuals are totally lost.

Whether we accept it or not, most of us are only comfortable in diversity. It is the truth. If you only have raw gold, you will not have a ring, correct? Do you wear a gold brick here (Anil Kumar points to finger)? Or would you wear a gold bar around your neck? No! You enjoy the ring. You enjoy the chain. You enjoy the ornaments, the jewels; but the original, raw gold, no, no, no, no. Golden jewellery is good, but not raw gold, right?

So, diversity gives enjoyment. Diversity gives pleasure. Diversity gives gratification. Diversity satisfies our vanity. Diversity gives publicity. It is just a show or an exhibition. But unity is beyond all that. We don’t make an attempt to know this unity because then, ”Where am I?” I want my own identity. I want to be known by name. I want to be introduced to everyone by my profession. I think I am unique. I think I am special and I think I am more than the others. In this feeling, in this madness, in this stupidity, in this foolishness, in this ignorance, we don’t want to experience or know unity at all. Once I know that you and I are the same, I can’t claim anything special for me. I can’t dream that I am greater than others. No!

‘Unity in diversity’ -- though we say the words as a vocal exercise, in reality no one is prepared to find out what it’s all about because we are afraid that we may lose our individuality. We are afraid that we may not be unique in the sight of others. We might lose our name, fame, prestige, dignity, titles, positions, and whatnot. What about our property? What about our children? What about our name? What about our lineage? Ahh! And the five-story building and five degrees -- what will happen to all that?

So my friends, ‘unity in diversity’ is the toughest thing to investigate. It’s so simple to say that phrase, but we are not in the least prepared to have it, to live it. That’s a fact. If we look in our heart-of-hearts, we are not prepared for unity because everyone wants the special VIP line, yes! (Laughter)

“I am closer to Swami than you are!”

“Oh-ho, closer? How close?”

One gentleman yesterday was talking — he was about eighty years old or so.

“I am the dearest devotee of Bhagavan,” he said.

Then I said, “I don’t think Baba is my stepmother.” (Laughter) Then I called to him, “Sir, by virtue of your age, I can touch your feet because you are equal to my father. But I pray that Bhagavan will give you this much wisdom -- to know that we are all equal.” No one is closer to Swami than anybody else. No, we are all equal.

‘Close, closer, closest’ – ‘dear, dearer, dearest’ -- forget that grammar, that’s all. The comparative sentence with superlative degrees has no place in spirituality. Who is closer to air? Those who are living are all very close to air. “Sir, I am not very close to the air, which means I am not breathing -- I am no more!” (Laughter) “Sir, I am not close to fire.” Oh, I see. So your temperature is not 98.4 degrees? That means your temperature is zero degrees because there is no fire in you. Yes, then you ‘kicked the bucket’ long ago. (Laughter) “Sir, I am not close to the earth.” Then where are you walking -- where are you moving -- in the air or in the sky?

We are close to the earth. We are close to fire. We are close to the wind. When you are close to the five elements, to creation, aren’t you close to the Creator? Can you say so-and-so is closer to the Creator? It shows open admission of foolishness and ignorance. He’s a dunce. Just forgive him, that’s all.

So, my friends, that identity of the Self, that spirit of the Self, the awareness of the Self can only bring about this principle of ‘unity in diversity’. This is the aim of all yagnas.

From Untruth to Truth

The yagna and yaga also have another purpose. We say three prayers toward the end of the event:

Asato Maa Sad Gamaya – “Oh God, lead me from untruth to Truth.” Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya – “Oh God, lead me from darkness to Light.” Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya – "Dear Lord, take me from death to Immortality.”

Let me say just a few points regarding this prayer. What is untruth? What is Truth? “Oh God, take me from untruth to Truth — Asat to Sat. What is untruth? All this is untruth. My life, my family, my status, my property — everything, the whole world is illusion, imagination according to Adwaitha philosophy, according to the theory of non-duality. Jagam mithya – meaning the whole world is illusion. That’s all just imagination. Everything is untruth. Brahman Sathyam: God is Truth. That’s all. So, “take me from this untruth of prapancha - the world, of panchabhootas - five elements, of nama - name, of rupa - form. Take me to Sathya, the eternal, pure, unsullied Divine, which is Truth.

So, “Take me from untruth to Truth” means “Take me from the untruth of the physical world to the Truth of the Divine”, which is the spiritual core of our very being. When there is ‘being’, ‘becoming’ is lost. My friends, we want to ‘become’ instead of to ‘be’. “What do you want to become?” “I want to become a devotee.” “I want to become a Convenor of a Sai Centre.” “At least I want to become someone in charge of rolling the carpet there or (Laughter) in charge of seating people.” I see. So, there is this “I want to become.”

My friends, this desire to ‘become’ is the biggest obstacle in spirituality. It is the biggest bottleneck, stumbling block or iron curtain in spirituality. I am sorry if I am talking forcefully to you. I am not talking to you; I am actually talking to myself. I am shouting at myself because I am disgusted with my own foolishness! I am vexed with my own ignorance. I am disappointed with my own understanding. I have no way out. Therefore I am shouting. Do not misunderstand me. How long can we continue this way of life, trying to become something? What do you want to become? What happened to those who have ‘become’ already? After becoming, they are regretting why they have become. (Laughter) Now, they are trying to get out of that state of becoming. Now they understand that it is only a nightmare. They know that it is only a mirage. They know it is only a vapour. They begin to feel the heat of it. They are afraid that they may be burned.

So my friends, right this moment let us give up this idea of ‘becoming’. Becoming is lost in ‘being’. What is being? Being is your core. Being is your true Self with which you exist, not merely now but eternally. Your true being is eternal. Only this lifetime has this particular body. In an earlier lifetime, I do not know which body I had. And, it is premature to guess -- or not even necessary to know -- what kind of body I will have in the future. So I change my dress, the vesture, which is the body. On special occasions, I may feel like wearing a necktie and a suit; yes, or an evening dress, a sports jacket, a sports suit, or even a swimming suit! So in the same way as I go on changing my dress like that, I go on changing my body.

Whenever I change my body, I call it ‘death’. But it is not so. There is no death actually speaking. There is no death at all. Yes, what we call death is the disappearance of life. What we call death is the dropping of the body. What we call death is the merger of the five elements in the body back into the five elements around us. That’s what we call death. But there is no real death whatsoever. Nor is there birth. When there’s birth, there will be death. Birth actually means when we take upon ourselves a new body. The arrival of the new body is birth. The departure of the old body is what we call death. But I am not the body. When I remove this dress, I don’t say that I am dead. Do I say that? When I change my dress, that doesn’t mean I am gone. No, no, no. I look better in another new dress. Why not? I don’t come out without checking myself in front of the mirror, right? So, I give my appearance the finishing touch too.

So the point is, whenever I change my dress, I look fresher or refreshed. Similarly, whenever we change the ‘dress’ of the body, we are rejuvenated. But I existed, I am continuing to exist, and I will continue to exist. So this real ‘I’ is ‘being’. It has no beginning or ending. So the real ‘I’ -- the beginning, the core, the Atma, the spirit, consciousness -- has no beginning and has no ending. It is eternal.

So my friends, to think ‘I am born’ or to say, “He is dead” is asat. It is untruth. Because the Truth is that you are eternal; you are birth-less; you are deathless; you are beginning-less; you are endless – you (and everyone) are eternal. That is the Truth. So the yagna helps us to understand: “Oh God, lead me from untruth to Truth.

“Oh God, take me from darkness to Light.” What is darkness? Darkness is the ignorance of thinking that this life is permanent; that this body is permanent; or that this position is permanent. Whether the rank, the class, the name, the fame, the title or the personality, to say that any of them are permanent is the darkness of ignorance.

One question was put to Dharmaraja. The Yaksha asked Dharmaraja a question, “Dharmaraja, what is most surprising in this world?”

“The answer is simple. My Lord, most surprising is this: Everybody sees many people dying everyday, but no one sees that someday he will also die -- even though he sees many people leaving this world, saying farewell or ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to this planet.”

My friends, we are only cosmic visitors to this planet -- that is all. We are all visitors. We should say ‘bye’ and happily go -- that’s all. When the flight takes off, the pilot doesn’t have to cry. He should be happy to fly. That is his purpose. So we are all cosmic visitors. Say ‘goodbye’ happily.

To think that this is permanent and say, “This is mine. This is mine. These are mine.” -- this is darkness. “Oh God, help me to come out of this darkness of ignorance into the Light of Wisdom. Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya. Then comes, Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya — “Lead me from death to Immortality.” What is called ‘annihilation’, what I think is ‘destruction’, what people say about ‘death’ is meaningless. So, “Take me to Immortality. Oh God, make me realize that I am immortal, that I am Your reflection, that I am Your spark. Oh God, help me to know that I am Your child.”

As Bhagavan said recently in His discourse: “Man, being the spark of the Dvine, should be Divine in his approach. He should be Divine in his thought. He should be Divine in his looks because he is a spark of the Divine. But who really acts like that?”

That’s what Bhagavan said. We act as if we are sparks of the demon, not the Divine. “God, help me to know that I am Your child. God, help me to know that I am Your spark. God, help me to realize that I am Your own, that I reflect Your Divine attributes, nothing else. We need to know this. That is the purpose of the yagna.

Purity of Heart

With such lofty ideals, when such noble objectives are behind the performance of these yagnas and yagas, it calls for our sincerity, discipline, and introspectiveness. There is a reason why Bhagavan said, “Listen to those manthras carefully. Be attentive. Do not consider them simple. Do not let the spirit of negligence destroy your attention. Listen to those manthras attentively because that shows your sincerity, your faith, your steadfastness, which in turn ensures purity. Participate in the yagna. Listen to manthras because they guarantee purity of heart. They subtly grant you purity of the heart.” This is another purpose of the yagna -- to purify the heart. Out of purity of heart is born knowledge of the Self. The awareness is born out of purity. An impure heart cannot have awareness. People speak about awareness and they write about awareness, but they cannot be in awareness. Speaking about a thing and writing on a topic are different from ‘being’ that.

So my friends, if I am to be that wisdom, that awareness of the Self, it is most necessary to have purity of heart. How would I know if my heart is impure? Do I realize that my heart needs purity? I need to know what is impure in order to know what purity is. Lust, anger, greed, revengefulness, avarice and ego — these are all impurities that have made our hearts so dirty. More so in the recent times, this heart that is dirty, full of these weaknesses and lapses, must be purified. How? By participating in a yagna, by listening to the holy manthras, there will be purity of heart. In that state of awareness, the Self can be experienced and this awareness of the Self takes you to the height of devotion -- Ananyabhakthi or Parabhakthi. Ananyabhakthi or Parabhakthi are supreme devotion, which means identification with the Divine. You are not separate from God. “I and you are One” -- Aham Brahmasmi. That thou art – Tat Twam Asi. This is the finale. This is the final stage of experience when you have Ananyabhakthi, the supreme state of devotion. This is also the objective and the purpose of the yagna.

The Process of Breathing is Yagna

Now we come to the next aspect of the yagna. We are all alive. I don’t think anyone would deny that. Well, how can I say that I am living now? Because I am breathing. A patient may be lying on the bed, but we do not send him to the cemetery, do we? So long as there is breathing, we cannot dispose of the body. One may be in a hurry to do it, but one has to wait for legal proceedings at least. (Laughter) So we cannot dispose of the body as long as the breathing process is there. My friends, Bhagavan said that the very process of breathing is a yagna. Inhalation and exhalation -- breathing in and breathing out -- are a yagna. That’s what He said.

“Oh, I see. But I don’t know.”

Whether you know or not, it is happening.

“I don’t know that I am breathing.”

Oh-ho, better that you do not know! (Laughter) It is good that you are breathing – at least the doctor notices that you are breathing.

So my friends, as long as there is breathing, there is a yagna going on in everybody. We are just not aware of the fact that it is a yagna. We consider it a biological process. We consider it a life principle, but it is something deeper. As Bhagavan says repeatedly in His Divine discourses, “As you breathe in, ‘So-ham’, meaning ‘I am That’ or ‘I am God’.” Right? As one breathes in, everyone says ‘so’. .Nobody says ‘ham’ while breathing in. It’s impossible. If you say ‘ham’ while breathing in, you’re finished! (Laughter) You say ‘ham’ while breathing out. So, while breathing in, we say ‘so’ and while breathing out, ‘ham’. “I am That. I am Divine.”

This awareness of the breathing process -- of inhalation and exhalation -- is the So-ham Gayathri, Ajapa Gayathri. A Gayathri manthra that is not spelt out -- that is not said, yet continues on -- is called Ajapa Gayathri or Hamsa Gayathri. This goes on for 21,600 times per day in everyone’s life -- not one more in the USA or one less in India. No, it is the same. This is what we call swasha nishta. Swasha nishta is the breathing process. Know that this swasha nishta or breathing process is a yagna.

Be determined to realize the purpose of this yagna through the breathing process. That is your diksha. Nishta is spiritual process. Diksha is your determination. So use this diksha, determination, to understand that swasha nishta -- the breathing process is a yagna.

My friends, these remarks are all taken from Sai literature. I am happy to repeat this any number of times. I will repeat it as many times as possible, so that we will take every word with the due reverence and respect and understand its authenticity.

So this swasha nishta, the breathing process, which is a yagna -- needs your determination, diksha, in order to enjoy the fruits or the objectives of this yagna. That’s what Bhagavan has said.

Different types of yagnas and yagas

Yagnas have different durations. Some yagnas are done for a day. Some yagnas require twelve days. Some yagnas require one full year and some yagnas may go on for twelve years. So there’s lots of variation as far as duration is concerned. There is one Sathra Yaga. There is another one that is called Deergha Yaga. These are two that require years and years. And there are certain other things --Yagna Sthoma. These are all technical terms that we do not need to learn because we are not appearing for any examination. Nor do we need to be scholars about these unnecessary details. These are only of academic interest. Bhagavan mentioned these details, which I am telling you, so that we will know that it’s all in Vedic literature. Yagna Sthoma, Jyothi Sthoma and the third one is Vajpeye -- not Vajpayee! (Laughter) Aswamedha, Yagna Sthoma, Jyothi Sthoma, Vajpeye -- these are all different types of yagnas and yagas that require years and years.


If we take Aswamedha, the last one, as explained by Bhagavan, we have a fund of information. Lord Ramachandra performed this Aswamedha Yaga. This requires three years. In the first year, they procure a special horse, which is named Kalyani. It is prepared, brought from somewhere that suits the requirements — a princely and royal horse. The selection and the preparation of the horse are done in the first year.

In the second year, all manthras and rituals are spoken openly so that the Divinity principle is shared with everybody. The Divinity is brought to the attention of all — that is in the second year.

The third year this horse is set free. Any king can catch hold of it and keep it with him. But he should be able to win it from the owner. Suppose I own this horse and you caught hold of it. Tomorrow I will fight with you and claim my horse. But if I lose it, this horse belongs to you. I think you understand. So in the third year, the horse is released. Anyone can arrest it. But when the owner comes to claim it and fights with you, if he wins, he will take the horse. If he loses, it belongs to you.

That is the story part of it -- the external part of it. But it also has an inner significance. What does Bhagavan say? The horse represents the human mind. Oh, I see! Why? If it is a good horse and properly fed, a horse runs fast. Just as the horse runs fast, our mind also runs fast. So aswa, the horse, is the human mind.

The second point is that a horse is never steady. It goes on shaking its ears. It goes on moving its legs or moving in some way or another. It is never steady -- like some of us! So, unsteadiness is the natural quality of the horse, which is the human mind. This human mind, which is wavering and unsteady, must be made steady by the second state — by uttering manthras, Divine utterances, prayers to God, doing meditation, contemplation, chanting and special prayers.

While praying to my mind, “Oh mind, be steady. Oh mind never waver. Oh mind, never be a mad monkey.” This is the prayerful appeal to the mind in order to appease the mind. “Why do you make me cry? Oh mind, be steady.” This is the second state.

The third state—what does it mean when you let this horse out so that anybody can catch it? In the story, two boys named Lava and Kusha caught this horse. They were Ramachandra’s own sons. Lava and Kusha caught the horse -- not anyone else. Who are these two, Lava and Kusha? They are prajnana sujnana — awareness and spiritual knowledge - meaning knowledge of the Self. So, the mind can be brought under control only by awareness -- not by taking a bottle of Scotch whiskey, not by drugs, not by injections, not by consuming marijuana, no. The mind can be brought under control only by the knowledge of the Self and by the awareness of the Self. That principle is reflected here when Lava and Kusha caught this horse, which represents the human mind. Am I clear?

Now what happened? The owner Ramachandra came and claimed His horse. The boys handed over this horse, which was in their custody until that moment. What is the Self? It is Divine. So God has come here to claim: “You and I are One. Tat Twam Asi. God says, “I and you are One. I am That.” So Ramachandra coming to claim His horse only means what God says, “My dear young man, I and you are One.” This is the implication of Aswamedha, which we should know.

Then what happened? In the story, then Rama meets Sita, His consort. Rama meets Sita at the end of the Aswamedha Yaga - after He had reclaimed His horse. Who is Sita here? She is Anubhava Jnana, the Knowledge born out of experience. So Sita is experiential Knowledge (or Wisdom). Sita is existential Knowledge — Knowledge of awareness. This is not experimental knowledge. It is practical knowledge. So Rama could have Sita. This means He can grant you existential knowledge. That is what you are — practical knowledge. So I want to bring your attention to the fact that this was the end of the Aswamedha Yaga.

Manthras in yagna and yaga

In the yagna and yaga, you hear manthras repeated by the priests. Suppose I attempt to say those manthras. I may mispronounce these sacred manthras. Pronunciation is most important.

Suppose your name is David. I say, “Diavid.”

You say, “Shut up! My name is David, OK?” (Laughter)

Be careful here. So when your name is mispronounced, aren’t you agitated? Aren’t you insulted? Wouldn’t you wait for an opportunity to give me one-two? (Laughter) Mispronouncing one’s name is an insult to the deity or to the person. So we should never mispronounce these manthras. One has got to be very, very careful in this aspect. One should be as careful as one is with fire. If you are careless with fire, you will not only lose your belongings, you will lose your body. Similarly, just as you cannot be negligent with fire, you cannot be negligent with the pronunciation of these manthras. One has to learn them under an expert, with a long period of training.

The four priests

There are four positions in a yagna. At the altar, there are four priests sitting at four points. One position is Hotha. The second position is Udjatha. The third position is Adhwarya. The last is Brahma. Each priest represents one of these posts. Whoever sits in the Collector’s Office, right on that chair, is the District Collector. The District Collector is not his name. The District Collector is a position that he holds. Similarly, a priest who sits over there is Hotha. A priest who sits over here is Udjatha. Another priest is Adwarya, while another priest is Brahma. Do you understand? These are referring to locations or positions. But here there is one further implication. Adwarya is the overall important man. He has to own the responsibility, if anything goes wrong, like a Principal. If there are a number of failures, he will be nicely suspended. If there is indiscipline, increments will be cut. Similarly if anything goes wrong with the yagna, Adwarya will be held responsible. So he has to do a special prayer everyday to atone for his sins, seeking the pardon of God Himself, as there may be certain lapses or certain mistakes while performing yagna.

The Four Steps

Then there are four important steps. I would be failing in my duty if this were not brought to your attention as this represents the quintessence of the entire yagna principle. The first state is Atma; the second one is ‘I’; the third one is thought; and finally, ‘talk’.

Atma is the being, the Self, the Divine out of which this identification, the identity of this ‘I’, is born. “I am this, I am that.” How can you say that? Because ‘I’ is the ‘son’ of Atma, meaning that ‘I’ is born from Atma, the spirit.

It is this ‘I’ that gives rise to thought. Without this ‘I-ness’, there is no thought at all.

“Sir, I am not there. ”

“I see. Then how can you think?”

For all thought, ‘I-ness’ is necessary. So this ‘I-ness’ gives birth to thought. It is thought that takes you to the speech faculty -- I express and I talk. This talk or expression is born from thought. This thought has arisen out of ‘I-ness’. This ‘I-ness’ has as its source the consciousness or Atma. To quote Bhagavan here, “Talk, the speech faculty, is the ‘great-grandson’ of Atma. Atma is the ‘great-grandfather’. The ‘grandfather’ is ‘I’. The father is thought; and the great-grandson is talk.” Am I clear, please?

So, the relationship between talk - the vak or expression - and Atma is something like great-grandfather and great-grandson. As I talk, I should be conscious of the fact that my great-grandfather is consciousness. I cannot speak lies. I cannot be harsh. Nope, it’s got to be Divine. Once I know that thought is from ‘I-ness’, it should be Divine. Once I know that this ‘I-ness’ is born out of the Atma, the consciousness, it has got to be Divine and non-dual. This is the purpose of a yagna, Bhagavan has said.

The Vedas

In Veda, there is Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is full of manthras, full of praises to God. All praises to the Lord are contained in the Rig Veda. Sthuthi means praying. All sthuthi or prayers that are put in the form of music are called Sama Veda. Prosaic or verbal praises are in the Rig Veda. Musical expressions of praise to the Lord are in the Sama Veda. Praising the Lord in the form of a manthra is in the Rig Veda. I think you understand.

All the musical part of prayer — the rhythm, beat, and tune -- is all in the Sama Veda. If it is full of manthras, it is the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda and the Sama Veda are one and the same in one sense. One is verbal or vocal, while the other is musical. Then Yajur Veda speaks of these rituals, the procedural aspect of yagnas. The Yajur Veda declares how they are to be performed. That’s the reason why, though people say there are four Vedas, Swami says essentially there are only three Vedas. We say there are four Vedas — Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharvana Veda and Sama Veda. But Bhagavan says there are only three because the Rig Veda and the Sama Veda are the same. So that’s why Bhagavan’s residence in Bangalore is called ‘Trayee Brindavan’. Trayee means there are three Vedas.

“What? I thought there were four Vedas?”

“No, no. The fourth Veda -- Sama Veda -- is nothing but the Rig Veda, only the musical part of it.”

The Special Message of Yagna

Before I say anything else, I especially want to bring to your attention the main purpose of the yagna and yaga, the sacred ritual. Whatever you may do, the purpose is for the individual to join the universal. The individual mind should merge in the Universal Mind. The individual conscience should be one with the Universal Consciousness. The drop should find its place in the ocean. That spark should find its identity with the fire. You are not a drop -- you are the whole. You are not separate; you are the whole, that’s all. You are the word; you are God. That is the message of the yaga and yagna. You are the word. You are the universe. You are not dust. You are not so simple. That is the special message of the yagna and yaga.

All of those special activities that have been taken up on some plea or other, for the fulfilment of desires are called vihitakarma. This means certain spiritual activities taken up for the fulfilment of certain projects such as: “My son should get a miracle seat, so I do this puja. That is my master plan.” It is goal-oriented or need-based. That is one purpose.

Secondly, I pray for the good of everybody: Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu. “Let everybody prosper and progress.” This is called Kamyakarma. Nivitakarma is goal-oriented. Kamyakarma means for the good of everybody.

Third, nishedhakarma means that which you are not supposed to do, like drinking and gambling.

The fourth is prayaschita. “All right God, knowingly or unknowingly I have done certain mistakes. Please pardon me.” Repentance or a prayer full of regrets is also a karma or activity.

A Wonderful Promise

My friends, before I say goodbye to you for this morning’s session, how can we atone for our sins? Bhagavan Himself said these things. They will keep you in good spirit for the rest of the day. Perhaps you would be missing this if you did not think of these three important points. The first and most important is Dharsanam Paapanaarsanam. When you look at Bhagavan during darshan time, it will atone for your sins. That’s what Bhagavan has said. What a wonderful promise it is. Dharsanam Paapanaarsanam — all your sins are pardoned. You stand excused. There’s no guilt at all.

If Bhagavan says, “How are you? Where do you come from? What do you want? Manchadee -- good. Wait, wait, sit down” -- this is Sambhashanam Sankatanaasanam. When once He talks to us, He may not give a discourse. He may not speak a number of sentences. But, yes! Those few words are enough.

“Where do you come from?”

Yes, that’s enough.

“How long are you here?”

That is enough. If He speaks a language not known to me, it is more than enough. If I hear Him when He is talking to my neighbour, yes it is everything. So listening to Him directly or indirectly, from the platform or in the front of you or even to your neighbour, is Sambhashanam Sankatanaasanam. Then there’ll be no more problems, no more worries, no more agitation, no more disturbances, no more tensions, no more high blood pressure, no more hypertension.

So, Dharsanam Paapanaarsanam means the very darshan of Bhagavan will atone for your sins. His conversation grants you composure, equanimity — that calmness and peace within. Then there is Spasanam Karmavimochanam. Even if He just pats you on your back, pinches your cheek or just makes fun like that, your karma nashan — all that karma that has been accrued in the past lives -- is completely written off.

I’ve taken a bank loan for one lakh. Now the bank people have said it is written off, “You don’t have to pay.”

I’d be very happy; don’t you think so? So similarly, all your past life karma is written off, that’s all, free! Don’t worry. That is Spasanam Karmavimochanam.

The most precious day

I repeat once again that this is a holy day, the most precious day in the annals of Sathya Sai era, in the lives of Sathya Sai devotees all over the world. Today happens to be the sixty-second Anniversary of the Declaration of Avatarhood by Bhagavan Baba.

In the year 1940 on the 20th of October, there in Uravakonda, returning from school, he threw away all his books and said, “Know that I am Sai.”

“Don’t have any kind of attachment. Don’t make any attempts.”

“No more blood relationship any longer.”

“Any mighty man, any intelligent man, any intellectual cannot know Me. It is impossible for anybody to gauge Me, to estimate Me, to know Me – impossible.” That is what He said.

This happens to be 20th of October. This is a golden day. Bhagavan willed that all of us should be here today. In fact we did not know or plan to be here. We will have the celebration of this occasion this evening in Sai Kulwant Hall. Some of the senior devotees will be talking to us this evening. So that is why I make reference to this historic event.

My friends, I am sure, had there not been Sai in our life, our life would have been chaotic. Had there not been Sai in our life, we would have been helpless; we would have been forlorn. Had there not been Sai in our life, we would have been in the deep sea of the world. If we did not have Sai, the Light of our lives, we would have been groping in the darkness of ignorance. Had there not been Sai right in the midst of us, we would have been the forlorn, neglected, oppressed, depressed, unhonored, unwept and unsung. Because He is the silent Listener of every conversation, the unseen Guest at every meal and the Master.

Professor Anil Kumar finished his talk by chanting the bhajan, “Narayana, Narayana”.

Thank you, 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

Thank you very much, Sai Ram!

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