Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
August 3, 2003
The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
“Questions from America” - Part III
August 3rd, 2003
OM… OM… OM…
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This is the third section in the series, if I remember rightly,
covering questions put to me on a variety of topics. We started on
the spiritual aspects last week. One question was dealt with then.
Now I shall proceed with the rest.
For those who are here for the first time, we are dealing with
questions put to me in the United States during my recent visit. I
classified them under different headings - individual, social,
organizational and spiritual. The final ones are the spiritual
aspects, which I started answering last week.
We shall continue from there. The first question I covered last
week, for your information, was “How to develop, protect and
“My Faith wavers - What should I do?”
“Sometimes my faith wavers. How can I make it steady? What should
I do to make it firm?” A genuine question indeed!
Faith is a gift from God. Faith is not cultivated by man. Faith is
a Divine quality. By constantly looking forward, by regularly
praying to Him, by the process of meditation, and by the constant
repetition of His Holy Name, we strengthen our faith. The source
of faith is God Himself. When the source is God, when we pray to
Him, naturally He will help in its sustenance and maintenance.
That’s one thing.
The second point is this: Do not mix with those who do not agree
with our principles and ideals.
I don’t brand them as bad company; I dare not. From their
viewpoint, we are the bad company. So, let’s not brand anybody as
good or bad. “Judge not, lest ye shall be judged.” Let us not
Let us not mix with people who do not agree with our views and
principles. I believe in Swami. There is no point in mixing with a
person who denies Him. I believe in Sai philosophy. It’s
practically useless to move with people who negate those
principles. So, avoiding company that does not have a belief in
Sai philosophy is one way of strengthening our faith.
Thirdly, in our chosen path, having developed a strong faith in
Swami, we should gather more and more strength. When we read more
and more of His literature, when we join satsang - good spiritual
company like this, study circles like this - we will be
strengthening our faith. It will not waver.
Wavering is the first threat to our faith, a starting problem.
Once faith is strengthened, we can relax. During the initial
period, we have to be careful, trying to avoid bad company and
choosing company in which our faith shall never waver.
Bhagavan has A myriad ways of blessing
“Although we know God is Omnipresent and we feel that we are
sincere devotees, we are still disappointed if vibuthi does not
materialize on our altars, or if we are not granted interviews.
Does this mean that we have not done enough sadhana or spiritual
practice to receive God's Grace?” It’s a genuine question, indeed.
These days we find wide publicity of miracles. Miracles, or
experiences of miracles, are of two types: one - the absolutely
personal, and two - the miracles that convey a message, a lesson
to learn, to share with others.
When we keep on advertising personal miracles, it leads to
questions of this kind: “Why doesn’t this happen in my case? Why
there only?” “Vibhuthi falls there; why not at my residence?”
Vibhuthi is not necessary! For instance, Bhagavan thinks it is
necessary there; therefore, He materialises vibhuthi there. Here,
He thinks it is not necessary. Therefore, He does not materialise
it here. Both situations are equally good. Why not? Why should we
think that one place is a chosen place and this is a forsaken
place? It is absolute, total ignorance.
My friends, Bhagavan has a myriad ways of blessing. He is
multi-dimensional. In fact, the procedure or the way that He
confers a blessing on one person never corresponds with another.
He gives a ring to one devotee. He gives a chain to another
devotee. Vibhuthi is given to another. To still another devotee,
He appears in a dream. He talks through His photo to another
devotee. He sends a friend or a messenger to another, and through
that person, a message is conveyed.
And He answers your prayers in His own mysterious,
non-understandable, inexplicable way. By the time you return home,
your problem is solved. By the time you go, the problem is solved.
That is what is important.
All worldly things have a formula. Water is H2O all over the world
- in Russia, America, Pakistan or Iraq. Water, H2O - that is its
formula. All worldly material has a formula and a definite
process. But spiritual experiences and spiritual manifestations
are beyond our comprehension. They are above explanation. They are
above our head. So let us not worry about it.
“Why this, and why not that?” That’s material. ‘Why’ and ‘why not’
are questions to be put where worldly things are concerned. But in
spiritual experiences, in the spiritual realm, the only thing that
we have to learn is total unconditional surrender or submission:
“O God, Let Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
‘I am happy with what I am. I am blessed this way, very good,
thank You.’ That kind of a feeling should arise. The question of
the presence of vibhuthi and the granting of interviews has arisen
because of competition. This question has arisen because of
comparison. Once you get out of the madness of comparison, you
will be free. You will be happy with the blessing conferred upon
you. That’s my answer.
Message of Bhagavan in one sentence
“What is the Divine Message of Bhagavan? Convey it in one
We teachers set up question papers. But the questions that are put
to me, see! (Laughter). OK, what is the main message of Bhagavan?
Put it in one sentence.
I said, “Why a sentence? I will put it in one word - LOVE.
(Laughter) That’s all - LOVE! Why one sentence? A sentence is
superfluous. (Laughter) One word is enough.” That's what I said.
Mukthi, Moksha, Nirvana explained
“Explain Mukthi, Moksha, Nirvana briefly.” (Laughter)
This is a very good question. We are living in the computer age -
instant food, instant coffee, instant Moksha or liberation.
Instant, instant! I can understand. We don't want to lose time. We
want to know things straightaway, fast. We want prompt, ready-made
Now, the question is to explain Mukthi or Nirvana. My friends,
Mukthi or liberation or Nirvana, heaven or paradise, are not
located at a different place. It is your own mind that makes
heaven out of a hell, or hell out of a heaven. Liberation is not a
different world. Nirvana, Mukthi or Moksha are not a different
place. Liberation is not limited to time and space. No!
Liberation - what is true liberation? It is liberation from body
attachment, liberation from attachment to the individual soul,
liberation from desire and liberation from ignorance. That is
Moksha or liberation, Mukthi or Nirvana.
What is the way to light? The way to light is to get out of
darkness. That's all. Once you get out of darkness, there is
light. Similarly, when you are liberated from this desire, when
you are liberated from this attachment, when you are liberated
from all these wants, from the body attachments and from the
individual soul, that itself is a paradise. That is what you call
Mukthi or Moksha.
“How to overcome my ego?”
“How do I get over my anger? What does Swami say about this? How
to overcome my ego?”
A two-in-one question - OK! (Laughter)
Well, how do I get over my anger? How do I get over ego? These are
the two questions. Well, the thing is this: the very discovery of
anger within one’s own self is enough of an achievement. The very
identification of ego in one's self is enough of a success,
because people identify themselves through ego.
When I identify with my ego, well, there is no chance of
redemption for one hundred lives to come. So, the very
understanding that I am not the ego is enough of a success. Once I
decide to give up my anger, that is enough of an achievement.
The next step is: How do I give it up? How do I overcome it?
Why am I angry? I am angry because of the ego. Ego and anger are
very close relations: cousins, brothers, or you could say, twins.
Ego and anger go together. An egoistic man is always angry.
Therefore, the root of the problem of frustration, depression,
jealousy, or hatred, the base or the source of all these evil
traits happens to be the ego. So, let us know how to give up this
To give up the ego is quite possible just by measuring ourselves,
by measuring what we are in this vast universe or cosmos. The
Bhagavad Gita has explained this very clearly. Those who have gone
through the Bhagavad Gita will agree with me.
In this vast universe of the planets, the solar system, the lunar
system, what are you, after all? Earth is the smallest planet. In
this planet, minus the water, what is size of the land, after all?
Very small. And in this land, out of so many countries, what is
India? It is the size of an ant. And in India, what is Andhra
Pradesh? The eye of an ant! In Andhra Pradesh, what is the
Anantapur District? A speck in the eye of an ant! Then Puttaparthi
is a speck-in-the-speck! (Laughter)
Then where are you? You do not know! (Laughter) Therefore, when
you compare yourself with the vast expanse of this Universe, when
you think of this manifestation of the Divinity, you understand
you are negligible and I am negligible.
If this glass of water, in its simplicity, thinks it is very
great, I just laugh at it. When I take this glass of water to the
ocean, this water will understand it is only a drop. So, a drop
will lose its ego when it is close to the ocean. When the drop is
dropped into the ocean, the ego is gone. The ego is present
because of identity. The drop feels it is something special and
great. (Laughter) So with the identity, once it is gone, ego is
lost totally. To drop the ego, the drop has to be dropped in the
ocean. I think I am clear.
Similarly, if this ego is to go, the only solution is to think of
God, to think of this Universe, to think of this Creation, to
think of the Creator. ‘What am I after all? What am I?’ This is
not self-denial. This is not self-condemnation. It is
understanding the true identity of one's own nature. ‘I am, after
all, nothing in this vast world.’
This kind of separateness of name and form is the cause for the
presence of ego. Once this separateness goes, identification is
gone. When you understand that you are a part of the whole, the
ego naturally goes. Therefore, the best way to lose the ego is to
understand the entire Creation, to think of the vast expanse of
this universe, to think of God and His Creation. Then we know how
small we are. That is the best way to give up our ego.
“ALL DAYS ARE NOT SUNDAYS”
I often tell our boys this, because boys are boys. When big boys
don’t understand, we can have sympathy for small boys. When Swami
suddenly talks to a boy, a student, well, he will think he is very
special. (Laughter) Because he is a special creature, he puts on a
serious face. (Laughter) Swami has spoken to him. Therefore, he
must be someone out of the ordinary. (Laughter)
I give him some time because all these flights fly high. Yet, he
has to come down someday for refueling. (Laughter) So, let us
allow those flights, OK.
Then comes a time when our good Lord will allow him to undergo
another test. He starts ignoring him. The fellow who enjoyed
earlier…ah, now it is winter! It always comes after summer.
So, he comes to me and asks, “Sir, nowadays Swami is not talking
to me. What shall I do?”
“Oh, don't do anything. There is nothing to be done. You forgot
the fact that the season of winter will certainly follow that of
summer. It is your mistake. All days are not Sundays. There is a
test period. Certainly. One necessarily has to go through that.
The whole day includes both night and day. Both are there. Summer
and winter make a year. Don't you think so? The day - daytime and
nighttime - make up twenty-four hours. Don't you think so?
Similarly, you cannot have the time you choose all the time. No!
Life is a matter of cycles. A cycle, that’s all. Because you were
egoistic then, you are frustrated now. Because you felt very proud
then, you are depressed now. Had you been calm, had you been
composed, had you been equanimous, had you maintained a balanced
state of mind, then you would not be depressed now.”
Therefore, my friends, we have to be careful when times are
favourable. We have to be more careful when we are successful. We
have to be more careful when we are the recipients of Bhagavan's
blessings, so that we don't lose them. We have to treasure them by
being more humble, more serving, non-egoistic, non-jealous,
non-competitive, friendlier and more loving with everybody.
Otherwise, on the day of test, you will be left with people
pitying you. If you are egoistic today, when you are in the test
period, it will be a cause of celebration for others, at your
cost. Why? It's not worth it.
This question of Swami ignoring the student has arisen because of
an ego problem. An egoistic man is not able to move freely with
everybody. An egoistic man is not able to share with everybody. An
egoistic man is not able to care for others - no caring, no
sharing and no concern.
“How do you know there is ego?”
One boy asked me, “Sir, how do you know that there is ego?”
Very simple. There is ego, which can be easily detected, because
you want to show yourself as superior before everybody. You think
that you are greater than everybody. That is ego. To feel that I
am one among many, that I am the least of all, that I am nobody -
that is the absence of ego or being egoless. Once ego is gone, all
the problems of this world will be absolutely, totally solved.
“How to remove bad thoughts?”
“How do we remove bad thoughts?”
Bhagavan gave a very simple example: I am holding a rope. I think
that I am holding a rope. It is evening time, twilight time. There
is not much light, so I think that this is a rope. Somebody comes
up and immediately switches on his torch. He says, “Poor fool! You
are holding a snake, not a rope!”
“Is that so?” Immediately, I will drop it, won't I? Yes! Finding
that I am holding a snake and not a rope, what will I do? Since I
know fully well that snakes are poisonous and dangerous, I will
drop it immediately. Therefore, once you know that these thoughts
are really bad thoughts, you will not entertain them.
If the idea of how to give up bad thoughts does not arise, it is
because we are comfortable with the bad thoughts. So then giving
up bad thoughts is a problem. When we do not know how dangerous
they are, or what sort of an obstacle they are towards realising
the Divine, then giving them up is a big problem. But once we
understand that they are dangerous, that they are not to be
entertained, then once and for all, we will immediately put a full
stop to those things. That's one point.
The second point is this: We should not fight our bad thoughts.
After all, we are humans. My friends, I always tell my audience
each time that I am nobody; that I am in no way superior to
anybody, not in the least. I know that in the audience there are
many, many people far, far superior to me. I am fully aware of
The point is this: Do not dwell on the fact that there are bad
thoughts in us. “These are bad thoughts! How do I remove them?”
When I think too much along these lines, then I fight the bad
thoughts and I become worse! A simple example given by Baba: One
fellow is bad. If you want to defeat him, you have to become worse
than him! (Laughter) How else can you defeat a bad man? It's not
Therefore, instead of brooding over the bad thoughts, instead of
thinking too much along this line of continually fighting with the
mind, let us take a positive approach. Entertain good thoughts.
Spend more time in good thoughts and good company, so that bad
thoughts slowly diminish. With the sunrise, darkness gets
dispelled on its own. With more and more good thoughts coming and
appearing, the bad thoughts start disappearing. That's my answer.
A Few words on Ahimsa
“Please say a few words on Ahimsa, non-violence.”
There are many acts of ahimsa. There are many expressions of
ahimsa also. But himsa, violence, is rampant today. Himsa means
violence. It is rampant. Today, violence is everywhere. You hear
it the moment you switch on your radio, the moment you switch on
your TV. You read it the moment you sit at the breakfast table and
open the newspaper. The whole front page speaks of violence
somewhere or the other - this group fighting with that group, or
this man murdering so many people. Violence! Violence!
Bhagavan's concept of violence is different from the ordinary
connotations. The concept of violence that we understand is
hurting or harming somebody. Bhagavan has gone a step beyond: You
can be violent by how you look at another. Some people look at us
in such a way that we feel very much embarrassed. ‘Why is that man
looking like that? Why? What happened to him? (Laughter) He seems
to be some wild animal. Why? There is no friendship in his looks.
There is no love in his looks. Something is wrong with this man.’
So, you can hurt, you can be violent through your looks.
By using words, you can be violent. I can give you numerous
examples because we are surrounded by acts of verbal violence,
“Sir, where can I sit?”
"SIT THERE!" Violence! (Laughter)
“Sir, I want to give a letter to Swami. So can I sit in the
"NO, SIT, SIT!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, I want another spoon of Sambar.”
"NOTHING DOING!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, is this book available?"
“CHECK THE LIST! CAN’T YOU FIND IT THERE?" Violence!
“Sir, when is darshan time?”
“ASK THE NEXT FELLOW. THIS IS NOT AN ENQUIRY COUNTER!" (Laughter)
So, you can be violent verbally. You can also be violent through
your looks. Then you can be violent by your thoughts. If we are
always thinking of the fall of the other man, waiting for the
failure of the other man or waiting for the other man’s defeat,
that is also violence.
So, violence does not necessarily mean only killing. One can be
violent by word, thought and deed. Therefore, ahimsa,
non-violence, means refraining from hurting anybody by thought,
word and deed. That's the answer.
“Why am I crying during Bhajans?”
“I really do not know why I start crying while singing bhajans.
Can you please tell me why this is happening?”
This is happening to the questioner and I have to give a solution.
Well, I am glad about one thing. The question is put to me this
way: “Why am I crying during bhajans?” Good. If you cry at home
over something else, I have no answer. (Laughter) Those answers
are purely private and personal, but this crying during bhajans is
a welcome feature. It's positive. Don't say crying. No! They are
tears of joy, Ananda, bliss. In fact, everyone should cry while
singing. Yes! This shedding of tears of joy is not the shedding of
tears of grief. They are not the tears of sadness. They are tears
of joy in singing the glory of God. This is a welcome feature. You
can't help it once you become absorbed in the singing.
Usually, when bhajans are going on, your thoughts will be on the
singer: ‘Who is singing?’ (Laughter) Why are you interested in the
singer? When you are interested in the singer, there won’t be
tears of joy. Some people are interested in the instruments. ‘How
nice! Who is playing?’ (Laughter) ‘The tabla is nice’, as if the
harmonium is awful! (Laughter) Or, ‘The harmonium is nice’, as if
the tabla is bad! So, when you concentrate on the singer, when you
think of the instruments, when you think about that sort of
When you think of the song, singer or instrument, naturally you
cannot identify with the bhajan. You should be the song. You
should transform yourself into the song, such that you are the
song. The song is not different from you. You are the rhythm, you
are the beat, you are the melody and you are the bhajan. Bhajan is
not separate from you.
Once you identify yourself with that process of bhajan, tears of
joy start rolling unnoticed. You think of Lord Krishna: ‘Giridhar
Gopala, Giridhar Gopala, O Lord Krishna!’ You think of Him, so
naturally tears of joy will start. But if you think of the singer,
the instrument or the song, the joy is gone.
Think of the content; think of the meaning. Be a song onto
yourself. Be a melody to yourself. Be the music. Then you can
identify. Then you will understand what bliss is during a bhajan
session. We don't experience bliss during bhajan because we are
separate from the bhajan. I am separate from my bhajan because I
am watching who is sitting around me. I am watching my group or
some other group. But I have not come here for groupism!
Some people say, “Sir, we don't allow them because they don't
belong to our group.” I want to know to which second-rate group
you belong! (Laughter) So, you belong to that group of second-rate
fellows. Let’s not concentrate on the groups. Chi! Unity is
Divinity. Groupism is not worth it at all.
Sitting for bhajans, I am conscious of my environment. I am aware
of the people around. I watch and others are watching me. So where
is the question of tears of joy? (Laughter) Close your eyes and
understand. Get into the meaning of the song, the melody. Picture
yourself with all the content and the meaning of the bhajan. Then
you become the song itself. You become the music itself. Then the
tears of joy come. That's the answer.
“How is the spiritual heart connected with the mind in the
“How is the spiritual heart connected with the mind in the body,
in terms of feeling, thinking and action? How do I connect them
for a better life?”
“The mind and heart, how are they to be linked?” Swami gave the
answer a long time ago.
We should know the distinction between the mind and the heart. The
memory, the intelligence, knowledge, recapitulation, and all
secular knowledge, all the information of the outer world, all
this is in our head. The head is the seat of learning. The head is
the seat of knowledge. The head is the centre of worldly
The heart is the seat of wisdom. The heart is the centre of
intuition, not intelligence. The heart is the centre of awareness.
The heart is the birthplace for human values in life, like truth,
sacrifice, peace and compassion. They all arise in our heart. The
memory, intelligence, statistics, data, computer - that is the
head; whereas compassion, love and peace, these are found in our
So, the heart and the head - I have told you the difference
between the two. Now, how to link them? It is quite simple.
When the heart prompts, when the heart dictates, the mind
executes. When the mind executes, when the mind acts on the
dictation, acts on the command of the heart, the life is in
perfect harmony, in perfect unison, in perfect unity, in perfect
co-ordination, in complete integration.
If the mind does not agree with the heart (consciousness or
awareness), if the mind declares independence, “Let me act in my
own way! (Laughter) I am quite independent. Keep quiet, heart!”…
when the mind goes on acting in its own way, what happens?
If we act according to the mind, completely neglecting the heart,
it means that we are giving expression to our ego. The mind is the
ego, individual consciousness or individual identification. On the
other hand, the heart is cosmic; the heart is universal; the heart
is spiritual. If the mind acts without the background of the
heart, the mind naturally diverts, deviates, digresses and
misdirects. This digression, this misdirection, this wrong
perversion is responsible for all the chaos in our lives. When we
are directed by the mind, our life is full of chaos and confusion.
On the other hand, if the heart commands, and the mind acts
according to the command of the heart, life will be peaceful. Life
will be spiritual. That’s why Baba says, "The body is a water
bubble. Don't follow the body. The mind is a mad monkey. Don't
follow the mind. Follow your conscience!" That is what your heart
is. That is what the heart is. That is the answer to the question.
Harmony in thought, word and deed
“Explain harmony in thought, word and deed in terms of its inner
In terms of its inner meaning - thought, word and deed, yes! The
words that I speak and spell out, those acts are visible. The
thought is entertained in the mind. The thought will find its
expression by word and action. I cannot speak without thought. If
thought does not produce the word, I am a mad man. We say that he
doesn't know what he is saying. What does it mean? When there is
no thought behind it, one is mental, psychotic. If there are no
thoughts behind an action, the actions are going to be foolish.
The actions will land you in total failure. Thought is the
promoter of word and action.
Then, what is the source of thought? The source of thought is the
Self, the Atma. The source of thought is Self, Consciousness.
Awareness is the source of thought. Once we are aware of the
Awareness, the thought comes out of it. This thought produces
speech. This thought directs, reflects, manifests, by way of
Because we are not aware of it, because we do not know the source
of thought, we are confused. When we speak, we are not conscious
of our speech. When we act, we are not sure of our actions.
Sometimes, our motives are questionable. Once we know that the
source of thought is the Self, these things are neatly solved.
Then, no thought or thoughtlessness is Divinity. Thoughtlessness
is Divine. Withdrawal of thought is Amanaska, ‘no mind’. The
withdrawal of thought, mano laya, merging of the mind in the
Absolute, this annihilation is Divinity.
From that no-thought state, we come to the individual self. After
all, there are two states: one, the Cosmic Self, and the other,
the individual self. The Cosmic Self is no thought. The individual
self is the seed of thought. Then the thought expresses in word or
action. I think I am clear. The Cosmic Self is something like a
thermal power station. The individual self is like a transformer.
The mind is like a meter. The body is like an electric light bulb.
The electricity is the action.
Therefore my friends, the source is the Cosmic Self, which is
thoughtless, which manifests and proceeds into this world in the
form of individual self, out of which thought is born. This
expresses itself by way of word and deed. Therefore, the unity
from within can be established by being aware of the Cosmic Self,
the Paramatman - the Universal Soul, the Parabrahman - God.
“All good people suffer - why?”
“All good people suffer - why?” (Laughter)
First, why should you think that you are good? (Laughter) You
cannot declare yourself to be good. There should be someone else
to say that you are good. You cannot say, “I am so good; why am I
suffering?” Oho! (Laughter) Maybe I should ask by what standards
you declare yourself to be good?
So, all good people suffer. Why? Last year, this question was put
(By the way, for the benefit of English-speaking people, I may say
that by the time of His Birthday, I would like to have all these
questions published in book form as well as those things spoken
about by Bhagavan on the verandah. For your benefit, I am in the
process of getting them translated into English.)
This question was put to Bhagavan: “All good people suffer. Why?”
Bhagavan said, "You think that they are suffering. But they don't
feel they are suffering."
Understand this point: You think that they are suffering, but they
never feel suffering. They don't think they are suffering at all.
But they appear to be suffering. As you know, Jesus Christ was on
the cross, at the moment of tests and turmoil, at a time of
challenge, and heavily bleeding. He prayed, “God, O God, O Father
in Heaven, they know not what they do. Forgive them!”
He prayed for their pardon! “Let these people be excused. They do
not know what they do.” Is it possible for an ordinary man to pray
for his executers, to pray for those people who nailed Him on the
cross? Is it possible? We think He was suffering, but He was not
Gandhiji, a man who used non-violent means to bring about India’s
independence, was jailed. We think Gandhiji, the father of the
Nation, was suffering, but he never felt he was suffering. No, he
never felt so.
We thought that Prahlada, the saintly son of the king of the three
worlds, was suffering. Actually, he was laughing and singing. If
there were any suffering there, perhaps it was for God, as He had
to rescue him everywhere. God had to save Prahlada.
If there is anybody suffering, it can only be God, because He has
to save us all the time. We commit so many mistakes. He has to
excuse us, and He has to save us from all possible threats and
dangers. So we don't need to suffer, because He is there to take
care of us.
Therefore, when you say that all good people suffer, it is only
your imagination. Their goodness lies in bearing that suffering.
Their goodness lies in resisting that suffering. Their goodness
lies in still holding on to their principles and convictions very
firmly, even at the time of suffering. That is their greatness.
“What is good company And what is bad company?”
“What is good company and what is bad company? Can't we change the
bad into good?” (Laughter)
Whether we will be able to change the bad into good or not, let us
be careful that we don't change ourselves! (Laughter) First, we
have to be very careful that we are not changing ourselves.
Secondly, what is good and what is bad, is known by all. We don’t
need to say that this is good company…that this is bad company. We
don’t need to tell anybody. Everyone knows! In fact, good and bad
are not outside. Let us go a little deeper into the topic.
Bhagavan said…Abba! Really, I tell you that I forget myself when I
think of certain statements of Bhagavan. We should go into the
depth of His statements, and then we can forget ourselves. We are
lost in the fathomless depths of the content and the intensity of
His expression, of His dicta, of His sayings, or whatever we call
Bhagavan said: "Bad and good are not outside. They are within you.
Good and bad are within you. When you entertain good thoughts
within you, you are in good company. When there are bad thoughts
in you, you are in bad company."
I think I am clear. That’s why Baba said, “Everything is the
reflection of the inner being.”
“I say that you are a bad man because…” How do I know that you are
bad? The bad quality in me identified the similar bad quality in
you, and therefore I say that you are bad. So, both of us are
equally bad. (Laughter) Am I clear?
I say that you are a good person. Why? The goodness in me helped
me to identify the goodness in you. Therefore I say that you are
good. Both of us are equally good.
So, the good and bad are in me, and when I find this reflection
externally, I start branding; I start judging; I start
classifying; I start fragmenting; I start dividing. It’s all the
expression of the inner being. So my friends, the meaning of good
and bad company is to be good for the sake of yourself.
My friends, after all, I am not prepared to mix with bad people
simply because I refuse to accept that bad which is within me. I
am not able to excuse myself. I am not able to bear myself. I
don’t excuse myself. I don’t love myself. Therefore I say, “They
are bad, they are bad, they are bad!” First, I should learn to
excuse myself. I should learn to respect myself. I should learn to
love myself. Then I can accept everybody, good and bad. That is
“How do you distinguish between THE true inner voice and THE
“How do you distinguish between the true inner voice and the
mind's whisper?” Very good.
The true inner voice! I am glad that you have accepted the
existence of the inner voice. I am also glad that you know there
is a mind's whisper separate from the inner voice. How to
distinguish them? Very simple.
When can we hear the inner voice? The inner voice can be heard
when the outer noise stops. The outer noise should cease for the
inner voice to be heard. Just as there is an undercurrent of
water, all the boulders must be removed, the pebbles must be
removed, the sand must be removed to touch the flow of water
beneath. Similarly, when all the outer noise is gone, when all the
outer actions are withdrawn, when one turns inwards, one is able
to listen to the inner voice.
Next, how do you separate it from the mind's whisper? The mind's
whisper is always for your convenience. ‘Why can't I go now?’
‘Don’t go! Stay until the lecture is over.’ That’s the inner
voice. (Laughter) Clear.
‘I went there this morning, but Swami did not come this way. Why
not sit some place outside for an extra half hour, and then come
for darshan, and come for bhajan when it suits me.’ That’s mind's
‘Keep quiet! Be there by 2:30. Swami may come anytime. You can
have His darshan at least. You can see Him.’ That’s the inner
‘It’s not possible to see Him again and again. You have come all
this way. Why don’t you go visit some other place?’ Mind’s
‘Keep quiet. Be there by 3 o’ clock.’ OK? Inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘You can sleep tonight. Why not stay on for
half an hour more?’ (Laughter)
So, the mind's whisper is always for your convenience. The inner
voice is conviction. The mind's whisper is dual, giving you a
choice: to be or not to be; to go or to stay back; to do or not to
do. The mind's whisper gives you a choice.
The inner voice is choicelessness. Choicelessness.
‘Speak the truth.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘Not everybody speaks the truth.’ (Laughter)
‘Why should I speak the truth, after all? Not necessary.’ The
mind's whisper. I think I am clear.
‘Love everybody.’ The inner voice.
‘How can you love everybody when those fellows hate you?
(Laughter) When those fellows are harming you, how can you love
everybody?’ Mind's whisper.
‘Remain in peace.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper, ‘What will happen to my salary next month?
What will happen to my promotion next month? How will my business
prosper next week?’
So, the mind's whisper is worldly. The inner voice is spiritual.
The mind's whisper provides choice; the inner voice is choiceless.
The mind's whisper is for convenience, whereas the inner voice is
conviction. That’s how you can certainly distinguish and
differentiate. The inner voice stands for values, whereas the
mind’s whisper is always for personal gain. The mind's whisper is
egoistic. The inner voice is without ego.
"lET THIS SUFFERING TURN INTO PRAYER"
“What explanation would you give to a person who does not believe
in past life, and who is as good as one can be, in regard to the
pain and suffering he goes through?”
It seems a person is going through pain and suffering. He doesn’t
believe in past life. What explanation can be given to him?
I can give him only one explanation - continue to suffer.
(Laughter) Continue to suffer.
If you see that the suffering is from a past life and for one’s
own transformation, then you won’t feel the pain of suffering.
Seeing this, the pain of suffering can become less and less,
negligible if possible.
The talk about a past life will be kind of a solace. It will be
sort of a comfort. It will give sort of an explanation. That’s the
reason why, in this country, in India, there is no demand for
psychiatrists. (Laughter) There is no demand for psychoanalysts.
There is no demand for the treatment of mental illnesses or
ailments. No, nothing! No demand. No one turns mad as in many of
the other countries.
Why? We have accepted the suffering. ‘I am suffering. All right, I
accept it, come what may. This suffering is because of a past
life. OK. That keeps me sane and comfortable, at least conversant,
at least amicable and friendly with others.
Suppose I don’t believe that, and I am suffering. ‘My suffering
should be cause for the whole world to suffer, OK?’ (Laughter) ‘My
suffering is an international problem, you understand?’ ‘The kind
of suffering I am going through, no one else has ever gone
through.’ Your suffering is world suffering. Ultimately, you go on
suffering so much, you are fighting within yourself so much, that
you are unable to keep yourself in one piece. Ultimately, you turn
mad, and then pay money to a doctor for treatment, and finally
become normal again. (Laughter) Why all that?
Moreover, suffering can be taken as a lesson. Let us take this
period of suffering as a period of meditation. Let this suffering
turn into prayer. We cannot turn pleasure into prayer. No, because
pleasure, I think, is my own making. Pleasure is my own doing. So,
pleasure makes me egoistic.
In fact, both pleasure and pain can be turned into prayer. When
pleasure is turned into prayer, it is gratitude. When pain is
turned into prayer, it is meditation. Why not? Therefore, my
friends, pleasure and pain can be transformed into prayer.
Suffering is for one’s own elevation, for one’s own
transformation, for one’s own advancement, and not a matter of
punishment - certainly not! That's what I say.
"I am not satisfied with MY spiritual progress"
“I am not satisfied with my spiritual progress. Why? How to be
My friends, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two states. I am
satisfied with this blue file made in the USA. Good. (Laughter)
Aha, when I don’t have this, I am dissatisfied. Satisfaction and
dissatisfaction are two states of experience. When I possess, I am
happy. When I do not have, I am unhappy.
In spirituality, there is no question of satisfaction and
dissatisfaction. There is no question of happiness and
unhappiness, because you are already that (Divinity)! You are not
getting anything more in the spiritual field. You are not going to
get any extra. You already know what you are. You think you are
only the body; you think you are only the mind; you think you are
the individual. No. You are God! You are Divine!
In spirituality, the word satisfaction can be defined as the true
realisation of the Self. Dissatisfaction means the non-realisation
or ignorance of the Self. Ignorance of the Self is
dissatisfaction. Awareness of the Self is supreme satisfaction. I
think that is the way we have to take it. Spiritual progress means
awareness of the Self. Spiritual failure means non-awareness of
the Self. That is the answer given on that day.
“How to earn His grace?”
“How to earn His grace?”
A simple thing: the sun is shining here, yes! If you go in the
opposite direction, there will be a shadow in front of you, right?
Turn towards the sun and walk towards it; the shadow will be
behind you. When you turn away from the sun, the shadow is in
front of you. When you walk towards the sun, the shadow is behind
Similarly, when you think of God, you are earning His Grace. When
you are walking towards the world, you are denied His Grace.
That’s all. Sun is God! Walk towards Him. That is Grace - more and
more light. If you turn against or away from Him, you have to
follow your own shadow. This shadow is the illusion, delusion,
mistaken identity, super imposition, Maya or whatever you may call
“What is surrender?”
“What is surrender?”
This question is asked because surrender has not been achieved. A
simple example: Here is a glass of water. I mix one spoon of sugar
into it completely. Where is the sugar? The sugar has dissolved in
the water. There is no sugar now. Even if you ask, “Oh sugar,
please let me see you! I want to see you,” it will say, “Sir, stop
asking. I am one with the water. I am dissolved in the water.”
Similarly, once you have surrendered, you don't ask, “What is
surrender?” The sugar will not say, “Where am I?” because it has
become one with the water. So, the one surrendered will not ask
this question, “What is surrender?”
He is going towards surrender. He is in the process of surrender.
Surrender means accepting His Will unconditionally. Surrender
means forgetting the individual self. It means being One with the
Supreme Self, the Cosmic Self, being One with Brahman (the
Universal Absolute). That is true surrender.
Devotion is dual - Surrender is non-dual
Feeling separateness is not surrender. Separateness is devotion.
Being One with the Divine is surrender. Surrender is superior to
devotion. In devotion, there is the devotee and there is God. When
the devotee becomes God, when the devotee is One with God, it is
surrender. So, devotion is dual. Surrender is non-dual. I think I
am clear. That is the answer.
“Should We women follow Sita or Urmila?”
“We women, whom should we follow? Should it be Sita, the wife of
Rama, who accompanied her husband into exile, or should it be
Urmila, the wife of a brother of Rama, who remained at home?”
We know the story of Sita and also that of Urmila in the Ramayana,
the story of Rama. One went along with her husband, Rama, while
the other one allowed her husband to follow Rama. (Laughter) Whom
should we follow, Sita or Urmila? Should we follow our husbands
like Sita, or be like Urmila, allowing them to go and remaining
Urmila and Sita are two characters representing two different
situations. There may be an occasion where you have to act like
Sita. There are times when you have to act like Urmila.
Here is a simple example involving the same person. The husband is
working in the army. He is an army general. In times of war, the
husband, being an army general, has to go to the front. He has to
go to the battlefield. Then the wife would not say, like Sita, “I
will follow you.” (Laughter) She has to be like Urmila - stay
behind and encourage her husband to go and fight.
Later the husband becomes a government employee and he is
transferred to another place. That place is in a remote corner of
the jungle. The poor fellow has to manage on his own. Then the
wife would follow him and say, “Don't worry. I am here. Never
think that you are alone. It may be a new place. It may be a
forest area, but as long as we are together, the place is like a
garden to us. It’s no longer a wild forest, no. I am here by your
When your husband needs your support, you act like Sita. When the
husband is duty-bound, you are Urmila. Urmila and Sita represent
two different situations. You have to identify the actual
situation. Then you will know whether you should follow your
husband or stay back.
You should not say, “My husband is a surgeon. He is in the
operating theatre. I will be like Sita. I will follow him!”
(Laughter) No, no, no! You have to stay back.
“My husband is sick. He has been admitted to the hospital. I will
be like Urmila and stay at home.” No, no! (Laughter) You should
then be Sita. You should follow him. You should go to the
hospital. We must use our sense of discrimination.
“What are your views on dreams?”
“What are your views on dreams?”
Let me be very honest. I do not dream much, and the dreams I have
are not worth mentioning. They are not worth sharing. This life
itself is enough torture! Why dream as well? (Laughter) Why more
But I do not deny nor do I reject dreams concerning Swami. Swami
appears in our dreams when He decides to appear. In that case,
those dreams are true. However, some people make their own
psychological projection and interpretation of the dream.
I am ashamed to give you an example of a person who went to a lady
and said, “Swami appeared in my dream and wanted me to marry you.”
Oho. (Laughter) That fool.
That lady said to me, “Sir, Swami appeared in my dream and wanted
me to marry this man.” Oho. She had a dream and that fellow had a
Both of them came to me and said, “Sir, in the dream it appeared
that we should marry.”
“I don’t deny what you say. Yes, Swami told you. Where? In your
dreams. So please get married there, in Dreamland. (Laughter) Get
married in Dreamland, not on this land. Understand?”
Therefore, my friends, psychological projections are different
from Bhagavan appearing in our dreams. The unfulfilled desires
project themselves through the dream and we think they are real.
No, no, no!
Bhagavan appears at a time when you don’t think of Him at all.
Bhagavan appears at a time to give you direction when you badly
need it. Bhagavan gives you kind of a support, kind of an anchor
when you are lost in the waves, in the tossing of the ocean’s
waves. When you are there in the turbulent ocean, when the ship is
tossing, Bhagavan appears: “My dear child, don’t worry. I am by
When you are helpless, when you are forsaken, when you are given
up by everybody, Bhagavan appears and tells you, “My dear child, I
am by your side. Why fear when I am here?” That is a Baba dream
and not just a psychological projection.
“Is God on vacation?”
“I am suffering. How is it that Bhagavan is not able to respond to
my prayers? What's wrong with Him? Is He on vacation?” That is the
question put to me.
“How is one supposed to pray to Swami when everything goes wrong?
How come nowadays every Sai devotee I meet is going through a hard
time? Is Swami on vacation? (Laughter) Is Bhagavan on vacation?”
Very good! Because we have a vacation, let us try to give Him a
vacation. But the problem is, when He is on vacation, we will have
The answer is simple: When everything is going wrong, I should be
thinking that there might be a mistake in my approach. There may
be some mistake in my procedure. There may be some mistake in my
intention. There may be some mistake in my motives. Perhaps I may
not be deserving of what I want. I may be undeserving; I am simply
desiring. Perhaps I should find out know whether I am deserving or
not? It may be because of my mistake; it might be because of wrong
procedures; it could be because of my bad motives or because of my
Above all, let me learn a lesson that when I am wrong every time,
that it is a lesson for me. Let me look to God's guidance. Let me
see what Bhagavan is telling me. Let me pray to Him. What
intuitive feeling does He give me? How is He awakening my
intellect and asking me to proceed in the direction of success?
Instead of complaining that I am going wrong, let me inquire
within, ‘Why am I wrong?’ If one is always wrong, there must be
something wrong somewhere. I must enquire in depth. Outwardly, I
should be more competent; I should be more talented; I should be
more skillful. Inwardly, I should be more investigative. I should
enquire more and more from within, and pray for God's help, so
that I will be successful. God is never on vacation!
Bhagavan always said, “At least you have Sundays as holidays. I
don't have any Sundays.” Our good Lord has more work on holidays,
more work on Sundays. He has no holiday. He is never on vacation.
“Is there anything wrong in praying to Swami for our wants?”
“Is there anything wrong in praying to Swami for our wants, for
There is nothing wrong with it. We have no other to ask. We have
none to fall back on other than God. The Bhagavad Gita also gives
this sanction: Artho Jignasu Artharthi. Artho - the one who yearns
for His Grace, Artharthi – the one who wants money, Jingnasu - the
inquirer, Jnani - the one of wisdom.
From all directions, you can reach for His Grace. British Airways,
Indian Airlines or Lufthansa - all these different airlines take
you to JFK Airport in New York. Similarly, you can pray to God for
anything. ‘O God, I want this… I want this’, but with the
preparedness to accept whatever He gives. With preparedness, ‘O
God, whatever You give is my good luck.’
Once Swami said, “Debbalu Kottina nee Manchike.” “Even if God hits
you, beats you, it’s for your good. Even if He denies you, even if
He does not grant you your desire, it is for your good.” That’s
what Bhagavan has said.
“MY LIFE IS MY MESSAGE”
“Swami repeatedly says, ‘My life is My message.’ Could you please
share your thoughts on its basis for the benefit of the devotees
in the Bay Area?” (The questioner was from San Jose, California.)
“My life is My message” refers to the life of Love, the life of
sacrifice, the life of truth, the life of righteousness. That
should be enough guidance for everyone. That’s how the devotees
will benefit. The life of Swami in itself is His Divine message.
“IN A FAMILY, How is it one or two are devotees, while the rest
are not devotees?”
“In a family, how is it that one or two are devotees, while the
rest are not Sai devotees? Why?”
What can I say? (Laughter) There are three people in the family.
One person gets a university degree. The next one gets through the
University examination. The last one successfully fails!
How am I to answer? In respect to spirituality, it depends upon
one’s own fate, one’s own destiny. After all, life is just a
moment. That’s all. Out of a series of lives, the present life is
a just a moment. The present is a speck. Everyone passes through a
number of lives. Life is a continuous journey to eternity. This
life is just a moment; it’s just an incident.
Actually there is no death whatsoever. Death is a useless word.
Death is a meaningless word. Death actually refers to the
disappearance of the body. The appearance of the body is birth.
The disappearance of the body is death. There is neither birth nor
death. I am not mad. I am not making you mad either! (Laughter)
Actually, there’s neither birth nor death. We are eternal. We are
immortal. When we think of life in that way, we can certainly
understand. Some people have this awareness and some do not have
So, why is it that some are devotees and others are not? It only
means that God has chosen you. God’s Grace makes you devoted.
God's Grace makes you more faithful. Those who are denied His
Grace…well, they will get it slowly. If not this flight, they can
catch the next flight. All are sure to reach the destination. Some
people miss the flight, but they make arrangements with the
airlines to go on the next flight!
So, if not now, then the next life. Coming next to the Sai family
is the communist. (Laughter) A communist is not an atheist; a
communist is not a non-believer. He comes next, so ‘come you next’
= communist. Therefore, some children are devoted and others are
not devoted, because ‘come you next’. That’s the answer I can
“What is the difference between surrender and merger?”
“What is the difference between surrender and merger?”
Surrender or merger is one and the same. Merger is said to be at
the physical level. Surrender is the spiritual, technical term for
“would you explain a little more about the Three r’s”
“Would you please explain a little bit more about the three R's -
reaction, reflection, resound?”
When man is Divine, what is the problem then? When man is Divine,
what is the fun of reaction, reflection, resound? Because I do not
know that I am Divine, I think in terms of reaction, reflection
and resound. Once I know that I am God, there is no question of
reaction, reflection and resound.
A simple example: I am in front of the mirror, and therefore, I
see my reflection. When there is no mirror, there is no
reflection. Because I feel that that I am a person, because I feel
that I have a body, because I feel that I am an individual, there
comes the problem of reaction, reflection and resound. Once I am
convinced that I am Divine, there is nothing to be seen of the
“I don’t get TO sleep - what should I do?”
“I don't get to sleep every night due to fear. My mind bugs me
with problems. What should I do? Should I say take a tablet, a
sleeping pill?” (Laughter)
I said, “No, no, no! A nice Sai bhajan will give you sleep. Or
read a spiritual text and then you will go to sleep because you
won’t understand it! (Laughter)
“My family does not accept Baba”
“I am from Lebanon and I am a Jordanian Christian. My people
accept all that is related to Christianity, but not Baba. What
should I do?”
Don’t force them. Let the Christian follow the Christian faith.
Let the Muslim follow the Muslim faith. To proceed in your own
faith is the nearest and surest way to reach Baba. To follow your
own faith is the easiest path to reach Baba. Baba will never
accept any conversion, nothing whatsoever. That's the answer I
“When I have to suffer My own Karma, What sort of help does
Baba extend to Me?”
When I have to suffer my own karma, what sort of help does Baba
Very logical: When I have to suffer my own karma, why should I
come here? Karma cannot be avoided. (Laughter) Why waste money on
reservations, inconveniences and mosquito bites? (Laughter) Why
all this? A very reasonable question.
You have to suffer your karma. There is no way out of it. However,
coming to Baba, you will have the courage to bear the suffering.
When the anesthetic is given, you don’t feel the pain. Although
there is suffering, you don’t feel the pinch because of coming to
Baba. You are not escaping the karma, but you don’t feel the
pinch. That is the advantage of coming here.
“Why should one desire liberation?”
Now to the last question: “Why should one desire liberation when
he has no idea of it?” (Laughter) Very good question.
Some people say, “Sir, I want Moksha…but why?” He does not know
why. (Laughter) It is neither sweet nor hot. It is neither whiskey
nor beer. Why? Why do you want Moksha? Why do you need liberation?
People think that it is something elsewhere. No! The place is
non-dualism: that is the place where there is no pain or pleasure,
the place where there is neither suffering nor ecstasy. It is
place where you are in a blissful, non-dual state. It is beyond
want and beyond desire. It is a place or a situation where there
is an attitude of equanimity, a balanced state of mind - that is
Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to suffer. Why do I want
it? So that I don’t have to face the pain. Why do I want it? So
that I don’t have to pass through the chain of duality. To be
non-dual, to rise above, for my own comfort. My friends, that was
the answer given.
I thank you very much for being here and for the extra time. It
took longer because I wanted to complete the whole thing. With
this third talk, I have completed all the questions put to me in
the United States by the devotees, which I really wanted to share
I thank Swami for having given me this golden opportunity.
Moreover, I thank you very much for being with us this morning,
and for next week. Thank you very much.
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