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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
September 22, 2002

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

Dasara - Part 1

September 22nd, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of our

Most Beloved Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Questions and Comments Welcome

I have one important announcement to make. Not the one that I usually make on the veranda! So many friends, brothers and sisters, are approaching me with doubts, seeking answers to their questions. I have been galloping for want of time. The constraint of time is a big factor, and meeting with you only once a week is another limiting factor.

Within the time limitations, without any grudge over matters beyond our control, I thought of a media method. Please pass along your questions on paper. We will pool them. The questions that have already been answered will be omitted. The questions posed for the first time will be answered.

In other words, we have to screen all the questions. If it is a matter of repetition, we’ll be wasting our time. Since all the information is already available by way of transcriptions, audiocassettes and other ways besides, let us not waste our time. I beg of you to co-operate. Gather your questions on a paper and pass them on so that we can screen them. We will avoid questions that have already been answered during our sessions. That will maintain the time factor.

Secondly, your comments are also most welcome. I would be failing in my duty if I did not take into account your comments for improvement. Your comments are most welcome. Negative comments don’t matter. Negative comments will also help for a constructive process and progressive development. I welcome your comments also.

If it is a comment, put that as the heading. Then give the comment. If it is a question, put the question down and underline it. I will appreciate you mentioning your name and the place where you belong. The questions need not be anonymous.

I can also tell you that the questions you ask will help me to collect information from the Sai literature. I do not believe in answering as per the stretch of my imagination; I don’t believe in that. I call that nonsense! If you interpret in your own way, there will be another man who will interpret in his own way. Let it not be like that.

I will try to gather answers from the Sai literature and try to answer the questions. Those that I fail to answer, I will pray to Bhagavan to provide a satisfactory answer at an appropriate time. The only thing that we have to do is pray to our Lord that He will give me a time to ask these questions. This is not a thing to be taken for granted. I eagerly look forward to a day when I can ask these questions on your behalf and solicit answers at an appropriate time. From this week onward, that is our job.

Dasara Celebrations

The Dasara Celebrations commence from 9th October to 15th October. I understand that is the concluding day. We call that day Vijaya Dasami. The Dasara festival is a nine-day function. The 10th day is the Valedictory function.

What is Dasara, why is Dasara and how it is done? I want to speak to you about this from this Sunday onward. We will have three Sundays, God-willing.

Let us go into detail about the Dasara Celebration, collecting information from the infinite Sai literature. It will help to do our homework. That way we can enjoy the celebration meaningfully, purposely and joyfully, so that we observe a celebration toward fulfilment and enlightenment, not merely passing time or being entertained. It should be a ‘Celebration of Enlightenment’. For that, we need to do some homework. Therefore, I thought it best to do homework from this Sunday on. I hope you will appreciate this process.

Why Dasara and what is it celebrated for? The Dasara festival is celebrated to commemorate the ‘Victory of Good over Evil’. For your information, all festivals remind us of our duty; all festivals have a purposeful direction. We have many festivals in a calendar year. Every festival is a milestone; every festival is a signpost; every festival will remind us, at least from now on, to turn Godward. From now on, let us direct our minds toward God. From now on, let us turn within. So every festival is not only a celebration. It is also a caution.

Life is coming to a close. How long will we waste our time? Life is coming to an end. How long do we want to have the sort of life, which centers on birth, growth and death? It is nothing but feasting, merrymaking, dancing and drinking. That’s all. How long will we go on like this? At least from now on, let us focus our lives in a new direction. It is against this background that festivals are celebrated every month, scrupulously, religiously and carefully. Why? To understand the inner significance!

Good Over Evil

Good over evil - who would wish that evil win over good? Nobody would wish like that. We always wish that good should triumph and that good would win over evil. During the Dasara Celebration, if we focus on seeing to it that good will win over evil, if we work toward that and pray for that with all our efforts in this particular direction, the whole year will be blissful.

Here the good are called ‘devas’. Devas are good forces. The evil are called ‘asuras’. Asuras are evil forces. These are Sanskrit words. They are not only present in the outer world. They are present within each of us. All of our weaknesses - the lust, greed, anger, desire, hatred, avarice and animality - are asuric qualities, demonic qualities, and evil forces. On the other hand, qualities like truth, peace, love, bliss, sacrifice, tolerance, forbearance, purity and patience, these are all good qualities or daivic qualities, the qualities of angels, the qualities of deities (the gods). So the Dasara Celebration commemorates the Victory of Good (the devas) over Evil (the asuras).

Dasara Celebration Is Not of Recent Origin

Secondly, the origin of the Dasara Celebration is not recent. It was observed long, long ago, even in the Thretha Yuga when Lord Rama was the Incarnation. In the Thretha Yuga, thousands of years ago, Dasara was celebrated. It was during Dasara then that Rama was coronated, after killing Ravana and returning from Lanka. So, Dasara is a joyful occasion of celebration, going back thousands of years to the Coronation of Lord Rama in the Thretha Yuga.

The Celebration of Dasara also dates back to the Dwapara Yuga, during the time of Krishna’s Incarnation. The story goes like this: The Pandavas - the noble souls, the pious people, and the righteous people - had to spend a year incognito. They had to spend one full year without being noticed by anyone. During the period when they had to hide themselves, they had to keep all their weapons on the branches of a tree. After that year, they collected their weapons from the branches of the tree and retrieved them. Subsequently, they fought and won the war. That was Dasara!

So, Dasara was the time when, after one full year of exile spent incognito, they retrieved their weapons from the branches of the tree where they were hidden. I think that I am clear!

Dasara Is Related to the Vedas

Now the third point: Dasara is the festival that is related to the greatest scriptures, the greatest spiritual texts of humanity, called the Vedas. The Vedas are the greatest, highest scriptures of humanity. The Vedas mention the Dasara Celebration, particularly with reference to human life, human conduct and human behaviour. This comes under the title of Dharma, which means ‘quality of life’. The best way of life, the nobility of life, the highest peaks of humanity, the attainment of the highest peaks of humanity is all contained in the word, Dharma.

The Vedas speak of Dharma - the way for humanity to conduct itself in Nature or prakrithi. The Vedas speak of performing Dharma by observing certain spiritual practises in Nature and in the world. Performing a certain spiritual ritual is called yagna. A spiritual activity, a spiritual ritual, is performed to maintain Dharma. By doing this, we will be quite happy in this world and thereafter.

In the four Vedas, there is one important Veda, which we call the Yajur Veda. Yajur Veda speaks of performing prayers, activities and rituals to please the gods, to please deities, to please those who are responsible for our safety, peace, and plenty, and for the prosperity of the whole world. We have to pray to God and to propitiate and appease the deities.

All the prayers are said in the form of manthras. Manthras are prayers to appease and propitiate the gods, to ensure peace, safety and prosperity on earth. We call dhana as wealth and dhanya as food. These two are important. Dhana (wealth) and dhanya (food) are necessary for humanity. To ensure these two, yagna or sacrificial acts or rituals are performed. The procedure and process to follow have been well stated in the Yajur Veda.

My friends, I repeat once again that all these points are collected from Sai teachings only, not from any other texts. It is not my interpretation. I repeat this in every talk so that none of you will ever think that these are neither my own ideas nor my scholarship. No! Basically, I'm a student of botany. Being interested in communication, I read a lot and share with Sai brothers and sisters. These ideas are all collected from Sai literature only.

We Worship the Divine Power

What is done during this season of Dasara? God is worshipped in the form of energy, in the form of dynamic energy, in the form of Cosmic energy, in the form of Transcendental energy, in the form of Universal energy. There is a name given to God in the form of Cosmic energy, namely Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi. Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi is the name given to the Goddess who represents Cosmic energy, the dynamic Universal energy. She is the embodiment of Divine power. So, the dynamic aspect of Divinity is Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi.

During the Dasara season, we worship the Divine power and we adore the Divine energy, so that we will be energetic. Everyone needs energy. If I don’t have energy, I cannot stand. If I don’t have energy, I cannot speak. If I don’t have energy, I cannot exist. If I don’t have energy, the different systems - the digestive systems, the circulatory system, the sensory system and the heartbeat - don’t happen. The result is that a man without energy is very close to death or doom. We all need energy and we all need dynamism.

Everyone wants to be dynamic. Nobody would like to be sluggish; nobody would like to be inert; nobody would like to be dull; nobody would like to be passive. Everybody would like to be dynamic. By worshipping Maha Shakthi or Para Shakthi - God Himself in the form of Cosmic energy, the embodiment of Divine power - it is possible to be dynamic and it is possible to be energetic.

We do not use this Divine power, this Cosmic power, as it is. Where is this Cosmic power? Am I to import it? If I can import it, I can export it. But it can neither be imported nor exported, neither reported nor deported. We only have to realise that this Cosmic energy - this Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi - is within us. It is not outside, but within us!

God is so great that He has sent us all into this world with this energy. He doesn’t want us to wait. He doesn’t want us to look for it elsewhere. He doesn’t want us to purchase it with dollars or rupees (the value of which is going down day-by-day). Dollars, pennies, pounds, marks, shillings or rupees have no value here! We don’t have to buy this energy. We don’t have to manufacture it. It is not alchemical, artificial or polyester. No! It is within! We are all born with it!

The Awakening of Kundalini

This Primal energy is present within everyone in the form of Kundalini. Kundalini is Maha Shakthi. Kundalini is the Para Shakthi in everyone. The Kundalini or Para Shakthi present in everyone has to be awakened. We must withdraw money from the bank to spend it. Am I clear? Just like all the vegetables we buy must be cooked and the rice we buy must be boiled! Similarly, though the energy is present, the Kundalini within us has to be awakened.

The awakening of the Kundalini is called the prayer to Maha Shakthi. I pray to Maha Shakthi and I pray to Para Shakthi. This prayer is the awakening of the Kundalini. People follow many paths - breathing exercises (pranayama) worship, singing or service. Whatever we may do, the awakening of the Kundalini within is called the offering or prayer to Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi.

Kundalini Expresses In Three Levels

This Para Shakthi or Maha Shakthi present within everyone in the form of Kundalini manifests in three different directions, not in a single one. Here is a simple example: a white light, when it is allowed to pass through the prism of glass, will come out in the form of seven colours, is it not so? (Excuse me if I am behaving like a typical teacher. After forty years of service as a teacher, it is not possible to forget all of this!) (Laughter)

In a similar way, this Para Shakthi present within us expresses itself in three levels, in three directions, in three forms, which manifest for three different purposes, using three different names. That’s all.

What are they? The first aspect of the Kundalini is the Para Shakthi, the Cosmic energy within. The first expression is called Maha Kali, the second is Maha Lakshmi and the third is Maha Saraswathi. These are the three different names.

Do all police do the same thing? Some are in the task force; some are reserve police; some are railway police; some are law and order police. Yet, they all belong to the police department, is it not so? Some police are there to rise to an occasion for a special purpose – the task force. Some police take care of passengers on the railway platform – the railway police. The regular police are in the police station to hold thieves. The regular police are for law and order. All belong to the police department. Am I not right?

Similarly, Para Shakthi or Adi Shakthi or Maha Shakthi is the Primordial, Cosmic, and Universal energy present within everyone in the form of Kundalini, which expresses itself in three ways. Just as my body has three parts - the head, neck and torso, similarly the Cosmic energy has three expressions for functional purposes, for operational purposes.

They are given designation like railway police, reserve police, law and order police. Like the police example, the body parts are given three names. What are they? Maha Kali or Maha Durga, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswathi.

“Oh I see! If Maha Shakthi is within me, then where is Lakshmi? Where is Durga? Where is Kali?” That will be our next question.

These are titles or names given. Maha Kali or Maha Durga is the body. Maha Lakshmi is the mind. Maha Saraswathi is the Atma, Spirit or Soul. Body, mind and Atma all have names. The body is given a name - Maha Kali or Maha Durga. The mind’s name is Maha Lakshmi. Atma’s name is Maha Saraswathi. These are just names, that is all!

Maha Kali or Maha Durga Is the Body

This question will arise now: “What are the functions of these three?” The body is born and is sure to perish. The body is born and is sure to die. Therefore, Kali or Durga is the Destroyer, the Annihilator. This body needs rest; this body needs food; this body needs sleep. This body has all these features of rest, sleep, thirst and hunger. These qualities all come under the title of the thamasic quality. What are thamasic qualities? Sleep, hunger, thirst and rest are thamasic qualities, which are born and will vanish; they will come and go.

The body, which is given to us while on Earth, will go back. That is Maha Kali or Maha Durga. The body is given to us for a purpose. An officer is here to do some job, not just to sit at a table and then leave. So, this portfolio of Maha Kali or Maha Durga has one purpose or one job, something like a Minister of Finance, or Home Affairs, or External Affairs.

So, the Maha Kali in me, the Maha Durga in me, is the body, which has a job to do. With this body, I'm supposed to act and I'm supposed to discharge different functions - kriya shakthi. Kriya means ‘actions’; shakthi means ‘power’ - the power or energy behind our actions. If I have no energy, I will just be lying down. If I'm just lying down, I am like a vegetable.

We are not supposed to vegetate our lives away. No! We are not to simply vegetate or hesitate. We have to discharge our duties well and do the functions and actions expected of us. This is possible because of energy. So, Maha Kali or Maha Durga represent the body with thamasic qualities like sleep, hunger, thirst and rest. And then, the body is endowed with another energy to discharge different activities, which we call kriya shakthi. I think I am clear!

Maha Lakshmi Is the Mind

What is the second expression of Maha Shakthi or Para Shakthi, the Cosmic power in the form of Kundalini? It is Maha Lakshmi. Who is Maha Lakshmi, and where is she? Maha Lakshmi is within us as mind. Mind is Maha Lakshmi. Body is Maha Durga. I think I am clear!

During the Dasara Celebrations, you’ll be hearing these names. So don’t get confused: Lakshmi, Durga, and so on - there are so many gods! The god population and the human population are a global problem, is it not so? The only difference is the portfolios or names, that’s all. At different levels, God is only One. For our comprehension, apprehension and experience, many different names have been used. That’s all.

So, Maha Lakshmi is the mind. Why has mind been given that name? Lakshmi is wealth. When wealth comes and when it goes, nobody can say. A millionaire may be a pauper next morning, like during an incidence such as earthquake in Gujarat. In Gujarat, there was an earthquake, which made millionaires into paupers the next morning. So, who is a millionaire and who is a pauper, we cannot say.

That which goes on changing, that which goes on moving, is the mind. Mind is never stable. Mind is very happy in the morning, very unhappy in the afternoon and miserable at night. Mind is enthusiastic during the morning, dull in the afternoon and wants to sleep at night. It has nothing to do; it has no constant values. It goes on jumping, making full use of our personalities. It is only the mind that is a mad monkey, as Bhagavan calls it. So, the mind is a mad monkey, as it goes on changing. Why the Maha Lakshmi aspect?

There’s No Guarantee

The mind has a rajasic quality. What are rajasic qualities? Rajasic qualities are ambitions, desires, plans, super-plans, so many desires, and so much ambition, scheming, and planning. “I want to plan my life after retirement, after seventy.” Oh-ho! This is a rajasic quality. “You may not be here the next moment.”

Some people tell me, “I am planning a few lakhs for each of my children and a couple of lakhs for myself, so that in twenty years things will be comfortable.”

“Where is the guarantee that you’ll live until that time? There is no guarantee!”

Bhagavan often gives this example: A priest, an old Brahman, approached Dharmaja the great king of the Pandavas. He said, “Oh King, please help me. I'm very poor. I'm a beggar. Please help me.”

The king Dharmaja said, “Not now. See me tomorrow.” Perhaps the Revenue Department started then! (Laughter) “Come tomorrow, not now.”

Bheema, his younger brother, overheard this. Immediately he ordered that the whole city of Hastinapura be decorated. The whole city of Hastinapura should be filled with music, dance, paraphernalia, festoons, festivity and gaiety everywhere.

When Dharmaja came out of the palace, he heard music and saw dancing everywhere. He called his brother Bheema, “Oh brother, what is all this?”

He said, “This is all because you are sure of your life tomorrow. (Laughter) While no one is sure of life tomorrow, you are sure of your life tomorrow. Therefore, we are celebrating today.”

So my friends, this kind of planning or ambition for a future that is unknown is the nature of the mind - Maha Lakshmi. This is a rajasic quality. The will or the thought is called ichcha shakthi – it means ‘will power’. Kriya shakthi is the power of action; ichcha shakthi is will power. That is the portfolio of Maha Lakshmi.

Maha Saraswathi Is the Spirit

The third aspect of Para Shakthi, which is present within everyone, is Maha Saraswathi. This is Atma, Spirit, Soul or Consciousness, whichever you prefer to call it. This Maha Saraswathi – Spirit or Consciousness - is always in a state of balance. It is unruffled, pious, calm, peaceful, and equanimous. So, Maha Saraswathi symbolizes the equanimous state of the Spirit, the balanced state of Atma.

The qualities of equality and equanimity are sathwic qualities. This is called jnana shakthi - meaning Divinity Itself. Jnana is Divine. It is spiritual knowledge. The Spirit or Consciousness has its own awareness. Consciousness is awareness. Consciousness is alertness. Consciousness is awakeness. So this state of awakeness, alertness and awareness is Consciousness. This is Maha Saraswathi. These qualities of Divinity are sathwic.

My friends, before I go to the next point, I want to say in brief that the Primordial Maha Shakthi or Para Shakthi principle is in everyone. Each of us expresses ourselves in three forms - action, thought and the Divine.

The action level, which is performed by the body, is Maha Kali or Maha Durga. Having thamasic qualities, the body becomes annihilated or destroyed in the course of time. The second level is the mind with all of its desires, which is rajasic. It is called Maha Lakshmi. The final level is Consciousness or Atma (Maha Saraswathi), which is equanimous. It has pious, sathwic qualities, with all jnana or awareness. It is Divine in its nature.

So, there is kriya shakthi, ichcha shakthi, and jnana shakthi – the body, mind, and Atma – which we call Maha Kali or Maha Durga, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswathi. This is one part of the significance behind the celebration of Dasara.

The Sacrificial Altar Is the Mind

Of the four Vedas, one Veda is called Yajur Veda. This is the one Veda that deals with the ritualistic aspect. It also mentions that all deities, presiding deities or gods (whatever you prefer to call them) have different tongues. You are going to witness, beginning the 9th of October in the Poornachandra Auditorium, the sacrificial fire on the altar on the stage. At the time of the yagna, that fire is nothing but the tongue that stretches forward. Just as fire accepts everything – meaning, it does not reject anything - the gods accept and receive our prayers. This description is in the Yajur Veda.

There is a place where this yagna, the sacrificial fire, is kept. We call it an altar. It is where offerings are made. In Sanskrit that place is called Homa Gundam. Homa Gundam is the mind! There is yagna going on in our body every minute, every moment. That outer yagna is a symbolic expression of the inner yagna or sacrifice, regularly going on within everyone. Within everyone, it goes on, while the outer one is only symbolic. We want to understand that what happens on the altar is also happening within. So, the mind is the altar or Homa Gundam, where all offerings are made.

How Do They Reach God?

Then the modern man begins doubting: “How do all those things thrown into the fire reach God?” We doubt, yes, because we’re students of science and technology.

“Whatever is thrown into the fire gets burned. How do we expect it to reach the gods?” This seems like a very natural, sensible question. However, if we go deeply, we will understand it is a senseless doubt. Why?

All letters put into the same post-box will reach different people. There is no separate post-box for Delhi, or a separate post-box for Hyderabad or for Bangalore, no! All letters are put in the same post-box. Am I clear? In either India or abroad, all letters are posted and put into the same post-box, but they reach different people, according to the address written on the envelope.

Similarly, all the offerings - ‘swaha’, ‘swaha’ - that are offered into the sacrificial fire will reach different deities, like our letters put in the post-box.

Bhagavan gave us this forgoing example. No one else could do it, impossible! We are living with the latest God and the latest God uses the latest examples to help us to understand.

Fire Compared with a Tiger

Next, Yajur Veda compares the fire with a tiger. The fire in a yagna, why compare it with a tiger? The tiger is known for its nails - long, sharp nails. With those nails, the tiger can catch and kill any prey. With those same nails, it will protect its offspring; it will protect its children. Therefore, the same nails used to kill are the same nails used to protect.

Similarly, the same fire that burns, is the same fire that gives. The sacrificial fire in a yagna is meant to give everything to humanity, in particular protection. We only see its burning nature, burning everything to ash. Yet, the same fire also gives us everything.

How can we say that fire gives us everything?

“No! Fire burns! Fire will never give.” This is our doubt. But it is totally wrong to think like that. Why?

What is the body temperature? 98.4 degrees. This keeps us safe. If there is no heat in the body, Hari Om Tat Sath! (An expression of finality, as well as being a Name of God.) That fellow will have left the body! Now tell me whether fire is necessary or not? It is necessary! It declares that we are still alive!

Secondly, there is fire in the abdominal area so that the food we eat is digested and assimilated. That is called jatharagni. Jatharagni is the fire of the digestive system in every human being, responsible for the processes of ingestion, digestion and assimilation. So, fire is everywhere. It protects and it sustains. We only think that it destroys. No! No! No! It is something like the nails of a tiger that can protect, but can also kill. That is the comparison, which Yajur Veda brings out.

You will be watching this yagna from the 9th of next month. The fire is not lit with the help of a matchstick or petrol or kerosene. No! No! No! Two pieces of firewood are rubbed against each other. Then fire comes. In other words, there is fire within which comes out by rubbing two pieces of firewood. The fire (spark) comes out automatically. Similarly, when you take two stones and strike them against each other, you will find fire (in the form of a spark) coming out of them. Am I not right? Similarly, when two pieces of firewood are rubbed against each other, you will find fire coming out of it.

The Son Becomes One with the Parent

Now, Bhagavan says that the piece of firewood that you keep, which is present on the upper side, is called puroorava, while the piece of firewood on the lower side is called oorvasi. These are their names, yet we do not understand their significance.

We readily congratulate ourselves for having being born during this time because we can know the significance of various things, as God Himself is giving us the explanation. We don’t need to depend on second-hand information. Books are not necessary! Sai gospel is there. Sai’s teachings are direct!

So, the upper piece of the wood is called puroorava, while the lower piece is called oorvasi. They are equal to mother and father. When they are just rubbed against each other, fire - the son - is born. Fire is the son. What does this son do? He burns both the parents! (Laughter) The very same fire (son) born out of them (the parents) burns the two pieces of wood.

The inner meaning is that the son becomes one with the parents; the son becomes merged into the parents. The son and the parents become indistinguishable, non-separable, a single entity. This means that the son becomes the father and the son becomes the mother. Thereafter, there is no difference between father, mother and son. Then there is only the ‘Father’! We call this the state of awareness, the state of samadhi, where we are beyond duality, immersed in a total experience of Oneness. There is nothing like father and son, no blood relationships. There is only the One principle of the Spirit, only the Spirit of Consciousness. This all occurs in lighting the sacrificial fire.

Bhagavan gave this example in a discourse: “If we watch, we will see birds rest on tree branches at night. We don’t see any birds on the ground during the night. All over the world, birds rest on tree branches during the night. Why? Birds can feel the heat coming out of the earth during the night. Therefore, they settle on tree branches. This only means that there is fire everywhere - within you, within a stone, within wood and within the earth.”

Many Offerings

In the sacrificial fire during the Dasara season, we will find many, many offerings: ghee, tins and tins of ghee, and precious grains, so many forms of grain! So there will be many offerings put into the sacrificial fire. Yes!

Some people may say, “What a waste of money it is! Why is one tin full of ghee put into the fire? After all, if they give it to you or me, we can use the same amount for one full year. What is all this? A waste of money, a waste of food! So many grains are put into the fire: grains - navadhanya, meaning nine types of grain, plus ghee and everything. Why all this waste? Particularly at a time when we do not have enough food to eat, why should we waste like that?”

This is the question of a modern man. However, it is not a waste!

Bhagavan gave this example: A modern man, a student who completed his B.Sc., thought that he was the greatest scientist on earth. Whether someone considers him great or an idiot, please understand - only a stupid person will think that he is great because actually no one is great. If you want to call anyone great, there is only one who is great today: that is this Incarnation by the name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! That’s all! All the rest are nobody. (Applause) The sooner we understand this the better.

Bhagavan gave another example: One modern fellow went to a village where there were a number of fields. This modern man watched the fields, enjoying the breeze. Then he saw a farmer throwing paddy grains into the air just like that.

This fellow said, “Why do you waste grain like that? Useless fellow! Can’t you store it? Can't you preserve it? Why do you throw it like that?”

The farmer explained, “Oh modern man, now I understand that all those coming from cities and towns are dunces. I'm not simply throwing the grain away, no! One bag of paddy grain thrown into the field will yield four bags of paddy later. One bag of paddy grain today will yield four bags of paddy very soon. This is the secret of agriculture. You do not know this. You think of culture, but you have forgotten agriculture.” That was the farmer’s reply.

Therefore, the one tin of ghee we may offer today is going to provide food for the whole earth. All the grains that are offered here may look like a waste of food. No! No! No! It is going to provide food for the whole year. Today we have to remember this.

There is fire in water too. There is fire within me. That is called jatharagni. There is the element of fire (for example, heat) in water. That is called badabagni. Badabagni is the name given to the fire in water.

Different Tasks of the Priests During Dasara

I’ll just mention the names of the tasks today. Next Sunday we’ll go into greater detail. Starting on the 9th of October, watching the process of the yagna on the stage, you’ll see all the priests coming in a procession, sitting in different places and doing different tasks assigned to them. What are these tasks?

One will be praying to the Sun god. This is called Surya Namaskaar.

One will be praying to Siva, doing what is called Rudra Homam or rudras. Then there will be many Siva lingas and Sahasra Lingarchana, the thousand names of Lord Siva, will be repeated. This is a special worship to Siva.

There will be someone reciting the “Devi Bhagavatham”, a text relating to the power of Maha Shakthi.

Somebody else will be reciting the great epic “The Ramayana.”

Another priest will be reciting the Rig Veda. The priest who recites the Rig Veda has a special position. The name of that person who recites Rig Veda is called ‘Hotha’.

Then another priest will be reciting the Sama Veda.

Still another priest will be reciting the Yajur Veda.

In addition, the chief priest of all will recite the Veda that is called ‘Adharva’. The chief priest in this position is Brahma. Brahma is the chief priest who recites the Atharvana Veda.

There may be several mistakes during the process. Because of our own lapses, our own forgetfulness, there may be omissions. I may forget to do a certain thing expected of me. So there is one priest who will be offering these prayers: “Excuse me, God! Pardon me! There may be lapses, but why worry about them? Please excuse me!” That priest will be praying constantly to atone for sins. He is called ‘Adhivarya’. ‘Adhivarya’ is the priest who continuously prays to atone for sins.

Next week, we will discuss the other details. The coming two Sundays I want to speak on Dasara. That way we will have done our homework. Then we can enjoy Dasara in a purposeful way.

As you recall, I made an announcement in the beginning that questions and comments are welcome from all of you. They will all be screened and time will be allotted, depending on the questions asked. Hereafter, if there are many questions, we’ll spend half an hour for them and half an hour for a regular talk.

I received two questions, so I’ll try to answer them and wind up this morning.

Do We Have Free Will or Not?

“Do we have free will or not?” That question was given to me.

The answer is simple. As I told you before and I repeat here, all the answers are from Sai literature only. What did He say? “You don’t have free will!”

Straight! God does not mince words. There is no ambiguity; it is straight!

“Why not?” we question again!

The answer is simple: You are not free, so how can you have free will? Am I not free? Yes, I am not free! Why not? We see what we should not see. We hear what we are not supposed to hear. We do what we should not do. When we are a slave to our senses, when we are a slave to our mind, when we are chained, when we are imprisoned, when we are in a cell, we are not free! How can there be a question of free will? Utter nonsense! To be free, first we have to have free will. Oh I see! Will you show me one person who has free will?

The straight answer - God has free will! He is totally free! Therefore, His Will will happen!

Bhagavan gave this example to the question of free will: “If the left part of your body is paralysed, you cannot move the paralysed part.”

All right, you have free will, come on and lift it! No free will! You have a will; that is all! But, you are not free! You cannot lift that paralysed part. Therefore, you have no free will!

Will He Take Care of Us Now?

This is the second question I received: “As Swami’s mission, including seva projects, are expanding everyday, will He still look after His devotees of many years in the same manner as He has been doing from His declaration in 1940’s? Because Swami is very busy nowadays, will He take care of us now?”

Oh-ho! This answer is so simple! Perhaps we have taken Him as a human being. ‘He is so busy with office work; He's so busy with audit accountancy, inspection and what not; so, will He have time for me?’ It is not like that!

Bhagavan is not a person! Bhagavan is not an object! Bhagavan is an energy unto Himself! Bhagavan is energy! Bhagavan is everywhere! Bhagavan is in everyone. There is no sense to a question like this: ‘Will He have time for me?’

Because Bhagavan is time, there is no question of, “Will He have time!” No! Because He is time and available at all times!

We are not giving Him time! We have no time to think of Him; we are not giving Him an audience. He is waiting, waiting and waiting for everyone! Yet we ask, “Since You are so busy with water projects, universities, etc., do You have time for me?”

What a thing to ask! He has all the time because He is everywhere and in everyone.

Someone asked Baba a question last night about a long and healthy life. “What is the secret behind a long and healthy life?” Physical exercise? Or meditation or what?”

Bhagavan said this: “Two things will guarantee a long and healthy life. What are they? Prema - love and thyaaga – sacrifice, these two will give you a long, healthy life. No other thing will, no other!” Bhagavan said this last night to His students.

The Secret of a Long and Healthy Life

In this connection, Swami gave this example of Rockefeller, a man from the United States. Rockefeller was a millionaire, the richest man in this world, having earned lots and lots of money. Suddenly he fell sick. All the doctors declared, “One and a half or two years more to live. You cannot live longer because you have ailments that are incurable. You are sure to die.”

So, Rockefeller started distributing his property and his money to everyone. There is a Rockefeller Foundation in the United States, which takes care of charitable trusts. It takes care of the forlorn and handicapped. It also takes care of students, offering the highest standards of education in the field of research and investigation. The Rockefeller Foundation is the biggest charitable trust in the world today.

After beginning these acts of charity, Rockefeller lived beyond eighty years. He fell sick at the age of forty-eight. As per the doctors’ predictions, he should have collapsed within two years. Yet, this man lived beyond eighty years.

To live a long life, one should have love as the food and sacrifice as the medicine. These two – diet and medicine – are normally required. Every person requires diet and medicine: if you take medicine and don’t follow the diet, you will never be free from a disease. If you observe the diet regulations and don’t take the medicine, well, the disease will continue. Therefore, medicine and diet are the two requirements – namely, thyaaga, meaning sacrifice, and prema, meaning love. Bhagavan said this last night.

Thank you very much for being with us this morning and listening to our talk.

Thank you very much!

May Bhagavan bless you!

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

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!

Thank You!

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