Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at
December 21, 2003
THE SUNDAY TALK BY ANIL KUMAR
“Wishing You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
December 21st, 2003
OM… OM… OM…
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I welcome you all to this morning session. Let me wish you all a
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I know that this month is
the Christmas season, and I also know that there will be grand
gala celebrations with festive functions everywhere.
I am reminded of my happy days on the faculty in the Christian
College, where for over 25 years there were so many Christmas
celebrations: students’ Christmas, parents’ Christmas, children’s
Christmas, staff Christmas, Christmas…Christmas, everywhere. Very
exciting. Naturally, I bubble with joy when I hear the Christmas
carols that remind me of those happy days.
The universality of Jesus Christ
After coming to Bhagavan, I understood better the depth of the
Bible and its meaning, more so than in the days of my stay at the
Christian College. This morning I would like to draw your special
attention to certain important points, most of which I am sure
might not have come to your notice. This is because we have been
exposed to certain selected interpretations and explanations. We
have not been exposed to the universality of Jesus Christ, and the
universality of His Divine message. It is in this direction that I
want to share with you a few thoughts, purely based on selections
from the Holy Bible. So as to make my talk more authentic and
credible, I have chosen to quote from the Bible extensively, so
that these points will go straight into our head.
Jesus and Sathya Sai Baba
I am reminded of the great man, Rev. Robert E. Pikes, a bishop
from the United States of America. He wrote two books “Jesus and
Sathya Sai Baba”, establishing similarities between the two
Incarnations and their message and mission. So this talk is based
on these two books.
Let me say first what Pikes said in his book. He said, “It is
because of my intense devotion, it is because of my long period of
penance, it is because of my loyalty and absolute faith in Jesus
Christ, that has made me deserving of the darshan of Bhagavan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba. I could come to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
because of the blessings of Jesus Christ.“ There he mentions, as I
did earlier on, “After coming to Sathya Sai Baba, I understand the
Bible more thoroughly than before, its applications and the new
interpretations. For this, I thank Bhagavan.”
Another interesting point which he mentioned is this: ”As all of
you know, Christianity is based on the Trinity: Father, Son and
the Holy Ghost. Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is the
only Son of God. Christianity says that one can reach God, the
Father, only through the begotten Son, Jesus Christ.” But Robert
Pike puts it in another interesting way: “The Bible says that the
Son will take you to the Father; but my experience tells me that
the Father has taken me to the Son. The Father, God, has taken to
me to the Son, Jesus Christ.”
In other words, the unity of the Father and the Son, the unity of
the individual soul with the Cosmic Self, is clearly established
in his introductory note.
Christmas is an occasion to practise the teachings
Bhagavan, on every important occasion, lays much stress on the
practice of the teachings of the prophets and the Avatars, and not
merely on the celebrations. Usually we end up with celebrations,
festivities, new clothes, the preparation of extra dishes for
dinner, decorating the house, and making it all more or less a
But a religious ceremony is holy; a religious spiritual
celebration is sacred. How then do you differentiate the
celebration of a spiritual occasion from that of a social
celebration? A social celebration is an occasion to meet; it is an
occasion to exchange greetings. Whereas a spiritual ceremony, a
spiritual celebration, warns us to practice what the prophet says.
While scripture is a religion, living the scripture is
religiousness. The Bible is the religion of Christians; the
Bhagavad-Gita is the religion of Hindus. The scripture is a
religion. But living the scripture is religiousness. Practicing
the religion is religiousness.
Therefore Bhagavan lays much emphasis on the practice and
principle of religion. Religion is not simply confined to the
scripture. It is not simply academic; it is not simply a sermon
delivered from the pedestal or the pulpit. It is much deeper than
Christmas is an occasion to practice the teachings of Bhagavan
Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, no doubt, is Bhagavan, the Divine
Incarnate. We worship Him only when we practise His teachings in
our daily life. That has been the clarion call of Bhagavan on past
No one dies because life is eternal
Christ believed in the unity of Divinity. Christ always expressed
His total faith in the Divinity of everyone. He did not visualise
any person as a mass of flesh and a collection of bones. No one is
just a collection of flesh and bones. No! You and I are beyond
that. We are much more than that.
When Christ refers to the wine and the bread shared with the
closest of the disciples at the Last Supper, Christ indirectly
conveys that the bread is the body and the wine is life. The last
message of Jesus Christ was to convince us that we are basically
Divine. The flesh of Jesus Christ is very much the same as in
every body. The blood of Jesus Christ is very much the same as in
every body. Jesus Christ declares that the blood flows through the
Divine will. This is enough for us to realise that we are
basically Divine. That is what Bhagavan rings in our ears, day and
We consider ourselves poor mortals; we consider ourselves
transient, ephemeral, and ever changing. But at the same time, we
are Divine. The body may change, but the spirit continues. As I
said some time ago, there is nothing like death. There is nothing
like death because there is no birth either. It may seem strange
when I make this statement.
But just observe this: Stand in front of the sea; go to the mighty
ocean and watch. You see many waves surging up, one wave after
another. Put this question, “O wave, when were you born? O
ripples, when are you going to die?” The ripples and waves surge
automatically, sequentially, one after the other. They are neither
born, nor will they ever die. The waves belong to the ocean.
Because of the effect of the wind, the ocean forms a wave
temporarily. It goes back into the ocean and again comes forth in
the form of a wave. Just as a wave has no birth and death, we too
do not have birth and death. We are eternal.
Then what is death? Death is just the disappearance of the body.
What is birth? The appearance of the body. But actually you don’t
die and I don’t die. The word ‘death’ is a misnomer. No one dies
because life is eternal. It is only the body that changes. That’s
all. Life is eternal. It is changeless. It is Divine. That is the
reason why the Holy Bible says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the
Life.” When the Bible says, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, I am
the Life”, it is very clear that life is not of your making. It is
not your invention nor your discovery. You can neither generate
life, nor can you remove life. When you kill a person, you are
killing the body, not his life. That’s all. It is the body that
A question was put to Ramana Maharshi. Somebody said, “Oh Swami!
You are going?” when he was on his deathbed and about to leave his
Ramana Maharshi gave this answer: “Go where? You tell me. You say
I am going. Tell me, going where?”
So when Ramana Maharishi said, “Go where?” he meant that it is all
one and the same. The place where you have come from is the very
place you go to. It is one and the same.
Bhagavan Baba always quotes these words from Jesus Christ. When
Jesus Christ was on the Cross, with a crown of thorns on His head,
He suddenly heard an ethereal voice. The voice said, “All life is
One, My dear Son. Be alike to everyone.” It means that this life,
this vitality, this dynamism and this metabolism is God’s gift,
and it is not of human making. That is the message of Jesus Christ
to all humanity.
Not only that. Jesus, in His last moment, made a statement to
which Bhagavan often refers during discourses of this nature. What
did Jesus Christ say? Before the spirit left the body, before the
body was left on the Cross, Jesus consoled His mother, Mary, who
was by His side. She was His mother, after all, and she cried
watching her son on the Cross in this agonising moment.
He didn’t want her to cry and He told her, “Death is the dress of
life.” I change my dress. I put on a new dress. It is not a moment
to cry. When one changes a dress, it is always for the better. It
is always for the good, to look a little smarter. That’s all. When
I look a little more smart, neither you nor I need to cry. So
therefore, when I change my body, it is a change of dress -
perhaps a better dress, more modern, more attractive, ultra
modern, the latest, to draw the attention of the crowds. It is an
occasion of jubilation. It is an occasion of happiness. Jesus
Christ’s experience is this: that death is the dress of life. The
same thing is declared in the Bhagavad-Gita.
Vasami jirnami yatha vihaya.
Just as we change the dress, similarly the individual soul will be
changing the dress -- that is, the body, from birth to birth.
Giving and forgiving is divinity
I am also happy to let you know what Baba said on one of these
occasions: “Jesus Christ is the best example to emulate, from whom
to learn”. The Avatar comes down on earth and moves amidst us, to
show the path, to give us the direction, to set before us an
ideal. We follow Jesus Christ, the best ideal that humanity ever
faced. Jesus Christ is an apostle. Jesus Christ is an aspirant.
Jesus Christ is a seeker. Jesus Christ is Divine.
It is unbearable to think of Jesus Christ on the Cross, with all
the pain and agony, and at the last minute, He is praying for
those who have crucified Him: “Father, forgive them for they know
not what they do.” He is seeking the pardon of the Almighty for
those people who have forsaken Him, who have persecuted Him, who
have crucified Him. That is the zenith and climax of forgiveness
in human history.
This forgiveness is unthinkable at an ordinary human level. If
someone has said some bad words about you, you wait for an
opportunity to pay him back. (Laughter) He didn’t directly say
anything to you; it is only hearsay that somebody passes on. That
is enough to shoot the blood pressure up. (Laughter)
So, we cannot control our emotions. We cannot control our anger.
Just think of Jesus Christ to whom the worst punishment was given.
He was praying for those persecutors, praying for those who put
Him on the Cross. He was praying that they should be forgiven. He
is not angry with them. That is the height of forgiveness: Giving
and forgiving is Divinity.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s life demonstrated again for
humanity the translation of this beautiful sentence into a reality
walking on two Feet – the reality of His giving and forgiving.
Somebody asked, “Baba! I know some people criticise You. I know
many that deny You, who decry You, who defame You. What shall I
Do you know what Baba said?
“All those that praise Me, all those that sing My Glory, are on
one side of the mountain. All those that criticise Me, attack Me,
decry Me, defame Me, deny Me, are on the other side of the
mountain. I am between both sides, blessing both.”
It is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who declared, “I am not elated
by your praise. I am not depressed by your blame. Truth does not
require any proof. The light is the very proof of the sun. Love is
the proof of My Divinity.“ (Applause)
Love is the proof of the Divinity of Bhagavan Baba! What more we
want? During this season of Holy Christmas, we should always
remind ourselves that: “Love is My form, Truth is My breath, Bliss
is My food.”
“Love is My form!” Yes! His is the lovely form -- Love walking on
What a transformation!
Somebody said, “Swami, in the past, I criticised You. I wrote so
many articles against You. These were published in newspapers.
Today, I am here in front of You, ashamed. I am not able to face
You, because of what I wrote against You then. Naturally it hurts
me now, as I have known the reality. Pardon me, Bhagavan!”
This happened in the life of R.K. Karanjia, the famous editor of
the magazine, Blitz, which is very well known in this country. I
used to read R.K. Karanjia’s articles before coming to Baba, and
after coming to Baba, too. (Laughter)
Karanjia wrote against Swami for ten years. Every sentence was
poetic and full of energy. Every sentence was thoroughly
convincing, defaming Baba. I used to memorise them and repeat them
in the classroom, though I am not a lecturer in English.
(Laughter) But I have loved the English language from childhood. I
loved Karanjia’s poetry. I loved his prose, because prose in the
hands of Karanjia transforms into poetry, unlike some who will
make poetry prosaic! (Laughter) Yes, all his logic sounded like
love. It was like a lullaby, when you went through the articles of
Karanjia in those days.
But the same Karanjia came here to Swami. In the early hours of
the morning, he listened to the sounds of birds, perching on the
branches of the tree at the Ganesha gate. In those early hours,
people started lining up for nagarsankirtan. There he wrote these
Puttaparthi, Prashanti Nilayam, the Divine valley,
Is full of devotees in the early hours of the morning,
With fog or mist still around,
When things are not clear.
They start moving and singing, and that melody
Is orchestrated by the singing birds of Puttaparthi.
“It is orchestrated by the singing birds of Puttaparthi.” Wah,
Wah! What a transformation! And then he says:
All the devotees there start repeating ‘Omkar’,
I feel the whole Divine valley echoing ‘Omkar’ all over.
The mountains echo, the trees echo,
The rocks and the stones and the pebbles,
The living and the nonliving start echoing the primal sound
That’s what Karanjia said. And furthermore he writes, “I sit there
in the darshan line, and watch Swami. He does not walk; He does
not run; He floats. He floats over the surface of the ground.
First, He looked at those who were needy and poor. Later, He
looked at those to whom He had to give certain instructions. He
looked at me last!” (Laughter) “Bhagavan, what a crime I
committed! What shame! I wrote against you for ten years. Now, I
My friends! The text of the whole thing is available. You feel
like reading it again and again. What else does Karanjia write?
“Swami! As I begin to scribble a few lines on paper, I can’t read
the letters because of the tears rolling down my cheeks. I cannot
write, Bhagavan. I cannot read the letters,” he said. The tears of
regret and repentance, the tears seeking forgiveness, the tears
shed out of a sense of shame for the past nasty articles, made him
publicly declare in the next article of the Blitz magazine, “God
is Indian!” (Applause)
Earlier he wrote an article, “God is a fraud.” (Laughter) After
coming here and having the direct experience of Swami, he then
writes, “God is Indian!” My friends, he has received very long,
marathon interviews with Swami, and published a series of
articles. But my intent is not to speak on Karanjia, this being
My intention is to let you know that the seeker of Truth will know
the Truth one day or another. A man of prejudice, a man of bias, a
man with foregone conclusions, will never arrive at the Truth. We
have to come to Prashanti Nilayam totally and absolutely
open-minded. If you want to project your ideas or feelings, if you
want to view Swami through the lens of pre-conceived notions and
ideologies, you will not arrive at the Truth. Let us be
I also remember another leading journalist from the Current
magazine coming to Baba for His darshan. I used to read newspapers
a lot then. I don’t say I don’t read them now, but I have reduced
the reading by 50 % -- for want of time, not that I have become a
saint. Certainly not! Due to lack of enough time. (Laughter)
Thakur is the editor’s name. It seems he came here, and he sat in
the front line. The first time he saw and watched Swami, he was
wonderstruck. He wrote the following in an article: “He looks like
a beautiful film actor. (Laughter) I haven’t seen anyone more
handsome than this person. Wouldn’t He make a good Hollywood film
star? (Laughter) Aha! The mop of hair, the Afro-style!” (Laughter)
What a wonderful smile He has – but is that hair real?” (Laughter)
That’s what he was thinking.
Walking gently, majestically, slowly, holding the red robe with
His one Hand, waving the other Hand into the empty air, with a
mischievous smile on His face, step-by-step, Bhagavan came and
stood in front of him. (Laughter)
“Do I look like a film actor, boy?” (Roars of laughter and
Not only that! He picked up the editor’s hand, “Would you like to
test my hair?” (Roars of laughter)
Then the man said, “Sorry, Swami. I am very sorry. I am ashamed of
my thoughts. Please forgive me.”
Bhagavan said, “It doesn’t matter. You are a seeker of the Truth.
Parva nahi, bangaru. Parva nahi. “ That is forgiveness. God is
ready to be scrutinised, and God is ready to be examined.
Materialisation from the divine hand
Some space scientists from California came to visit Prashanti
Nilayam. Among them were physicists and specialists. They were all
in the space research programme. While talking to them, Swami
looked at a person who was thinking, ‘The rings - where do they
come from? The watches - how do they get here? We scientists know
the properties of matter, and the dynamics of life.’ (Laughter) He
wanted to see materialisation from the Divine hand.
Suddenly, Swami stood directly in front of him, so that he
couldn’t have any doubt about what he saw for hundreds of lives to
come -- not just for now! (Laughter) Swami then pulled up His
sleeves and materialised vibhutti (sacred ash). This fellow must
have had some different ideas after that. All his doubts must have
been resolved. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “I’m ready!
Come on! You can test.”
There was also a time when thirteen doctors, most of them from US,
Australia and England, were at Prashanti Nilayam for the
International Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon’s Conference. All the
thirteen doctors were given an interview. Just by one wave,
thirteen watches materialised at the same time. You couldn’t hold
them with two hands! (Laughter)
They were all wonderstruck, because those things are natural,
effortless and spontaneous. Those things are immediate. They are
instantaneous. We cannot explain it. Those things, which are
beyond our explanation, are of the nature of the Divine. That
which comes under the purview of our knowledge, under the
limitations of our thought, bound by our explanations, can be
spoken of. That which is beyond our thought and ability to express
is Divine. That is how it has been with many people, and most of
you would have experienced Swami doing it.
Jesus said, “All My miracles are intended to instill faith in
you.” They are to make you convinced of the Divinity, not for any
propaganda or publicity.
Bhagavan said, “My miracles are My visiting cards.” They are a
visiting card, so that you might know that the ‘Cosmic Visitor’
right now is the Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who wants
to see you.
“Knock! The door shall be opened. Ask! Thou shall be given.”
Sathya Sai Baba goes a step further. “You don’t need to knock. I
am ready to come in. You don’t need to ask, I am already there.”
That really is a kind of revelation to all of us.
Love is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Bbaba
I can also let you know that we learn how to love. We learn the
experience of love from the very embodiment of Love, in the
personality of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. If anybody asks you,
“Who is Baba?” don’t tell him the first answer that comes to mind.
If you are asked, tell him, “Love, Love and Love alone!” He may be
a man of any religion, from any region, but within him is love,
undoubtedly. And that Love is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Bhagavan Baba is a reformer like Jesus Christ
Christ was a reformer. It was a belief in those days that no one
should do anything on the Sabbath day, Sunday, which is a holiday.
But Christ said that Sunday is not a holiday, because any moment
there can come a call for service; any moment there can be a call
to express service and love. It doesn’t matter if it is on Sunday
or any other day; all days are sacred.
Jesus Christ did not allow any violence in the church grounds
during His lifetime. He did not permit the sale of doves in the
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is against violence, and has given a
new interpretation. Violence does not mean killing a person. No.
Hurting a person with your words is violence; looks that make a
person feel humiliated are violent. Your wish to see the other
person’s downfall is violence. Your actions that ruin the other
man is violence. So, it is on this higher level that Bhagavan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba explains violence. Baba is similarly a reformer,
like Jesus Christ.
For centuries in this country, it has been a tradition that women
were prohibited from reciting the Gayatri (a manthra that removes
ignorance and illumines the intellect) and the Veda (Hindu
scriptures.) I do not defend this now or anytime for that matter.
Now women are permitted to do so, which is only made possible by
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He is a social reformer. He said,
“Every woman may recite the Gayatri. Who said that women should
not chant this manthra?” And He made fun of the prohibitive
tradition, because ‘Gayatri’ is the name of a goddess, and thus
sufficiently suited to the feminine. (Laughter) All the girls of
Anantapur campus, 1000 of them, can recite the Veda as eloquently
as, or even better than, the boys.
Why were women denied this right? After all, Gayatri is a woman.
Why should they not call on her for rescue? The Gayatri manthra
invokes three goddesses: Savitri, Gayatri and Sarasvati. Gayatri
is to take care of your body; Savitri to take care of your life;
Sarasvati to take care of your soul, or the spirit. They are all
feminine names. No man is called ‘Gayatri’. We would not address a
man as ‘Savitri’. He would feel offended. (Laughter) So when the
names are feminine, how can one say that women are forbidden to
chant this manthra?
Bhagavan Baba is a reformer, like Jesus Christ. He does not
approve of the caste system. Bhagavan speaks of caste with
reference to the attributes of a person, not by the accident of
birth into that caste. One may be a Brahmin by an accident of
birth; but by behavior and temperament, he may be worse than a
beast. The classification of society, the caste system, is more or
less based on guna, karma, vibhagashaha. Guna means the qualities;
karma means the action; vibhagashaha is the classification.
Catur-varnyam maya srstam.
“The four castes are of My Creation: Brahamana, Kshatriya, Vaisya
and Sudra. I created them, not to fight with each other, not to
establish the supremacy of one caste over the other. No. The
classification guna, karma, vibhagashaha is based on the quality
and action of the person, and not by the accident of birth.”
This morning in the Veda chanting, He asked one of the boys to
explain it clearly. The explanation given must have been
sufficiently clear to everybody: Veda declares that all castes are
one and the same part of the Cosmic Body.
God is the cosmic body
God is the Cosmic Body. Brahmins (those who foster spiritual,
moral and progressive living; who help others to visualise the
Reality of their nature) are from His head. Kshatriyas (those who
fight against unrighteousness; who protect the country’s welfare;
who punish the wicked; who come to the rescue of the weak) are
from His shoulders. Vaisyas, (those who produce and supply the
needs for a healthy mind and body; who establish commerce and
communication) are from His thighs. Sudras (those who provide
service and manual labour) are from His feet.
Who will say, “I want my feet amputated. I can manage without
them”? Who will say, “I want my head amputated. I can manage
without my head”? Who will say, “Why have hands? After all, I
don’t need them”? So, the human body requires all of the limbs to
work in perfect harmony and unison for the daily functioning of
our life. Thus, similarly the Cosmic Body of God is all four
castes and communities. We should not be divided and fight because
of an accident of birth. That is the reason He says:
There is only one caste -- the caste of humanity.
There is only one religion -- the religion of Love.
He does not speak of any segmentation, or of any narrow
boundaries. Bhagavan’s explanation, His vision of humanity, is so
vast. We have to live for its fulfillment.
we are all sparks of the divine
Jesus said, “I look on all of you as Divine souls.” That was the
feeling of Jesus. And Bhagavan says in all of His discourses,
“Divyatmaswaroopulara, Embodiments of the Divine.” He does not
say, “Ladies and Gentlemen”. He will never say, “Brothers and
Sisters”. He always addresses everybody as, “Sparks of the Divine,
Embodiments of Love”. That is the highest Cosmic view of life.
Swami said once when talking to the boys, “You have no faith in
Me, but I have total faith in you. Why? I know that I am in you
and you do not know that. So I have faith in Myself. And because
you do not know, you have lost faith in Me, and so you have lost
faith in yourself.”
Therefore the point is quite clear that we are all sparks of the
Divine, and not merely of material matter. Certainly not!
First STAGE: “I AM THE MESSENGER OF GOD”
I can also give you another example. Bhagavan Baba explains the
three levels of consciousness in our spiritual path, in a
beautiful way. All these, the life of a prophet, the life of an
Avatar, the gospel of a Saint, the doctrine of a seer, a school of
philosophy, or an ideal ideology, give us a practical approach
towards Self-realisation. The principles are not merely to be
Jesus started His spiritual journey as an individual, where He
felt the presence of the Divine. He accepted the existence of God.
Then He was ready to carry out the will of God. That is the first
level of awareness or consciousness.
Most of us come here, knowing that Baba is God. Most of us come
here wanting to serve Him. Most of us come here after having had
an experience with Him. The experience and faith brought us here.
Love brought us here, and we all decided to serve Him. This is the
first level of consciousness. It is the same as Jesus Christ,
where I refer to Him as a seeker, as an aspirant, as a devotee, as
an ideal. He is the spark of the Divine for everyone to emulate
and copy. The first level of consciousness is to feel God’s
existence, and to feel loyal towards that existence. This is what
made Jesus declare, “I am the messenger of God.”
“I am the messenger of God.” Yes! That’s why many boys say in
their speeches, “Baba, You said, ‘My life is My message.’ We pray
that our life will be your message. Let us lead our life in
accordance with Your message. That is our prayer.” You must have
heard them say this on the dais.
In a similar way, we find happiness in being with Him, and in
loving and serving Him. This is the first level of awareness of
Divinity. First there is the level of experience where God is
revealed to our consciousness. We become ‘the messenger of God’.
We speak about Swami everywhere after our first exposure to Him.
The one who comes here for the first time, or the one who comes
here for the second or third time, or the one who comes now and
then, all go on speaking about Swami, solicited or unsolicited:
how he makes a trip here, how he has come here, how special he is,
this is because…. And he goes on talking also, “You know what
Swami said?……… That’s what Swami said.”
Arrey! Why do you say this? Swami has said it already. Why do you
say it? (Laughter) It is because we assume the role of the
messenger of God. That’s why it is: “Swami said…”, “Swami said…”.
“Oh, I see. Swami said? But I can get the answers from books
straightaway. I don’t need you as an interpreter.”
“But I can’t help it! I am intoxicated with the Divine message. I
am drunk with His message. I am lost beyond time and space when I
share His message. It is not that you do not know or that the
books are unavailable in the bookstall. It is because I am fully
charged with the Divine message. My heart is full of the message,
which is over spilling. I can’t help it! I can’t help it!”
(Applause) And then you have to pardon him, since it is the
emotion which drives him.
It is my total identification with the message that makes me run
forth. It is the Divine vitality and the dynamism that makes me
speak. I don’t care whether you are interested or not. I am not at
all bothered whether you listen to me, or not. It is my activity;
it is my taste, that’s all.
Suppose you ask a cuckoo or a nightingale, “Oh cuckoo, Oh
nightingale, why do you sing like that in the early hours of the
morning? Nobody is clapping. No one is saying, ‘Once more!’ Still
you sing. Why?” The bird will say, “Shut up! I like my music, ok?”
(Laughter, applause) If you ask the flower, the sunflower, the
rose, the fragrant jasmine, “O flowers! How beautiful you are. How
nice it is to see you blossom. Why do you do it? There is no one
to thank you, no one to appreciate you.” The flowers will say,
“You dunce! I do it for my own pleasure.” (Laughter)
Similarly, singing the Name of God is not for the rhythm or tune
of it, nor is it for the cheers and applause; it is for my
pleasure. Is that clear? (Laughter) So also sharing the message of
Baba with everybody is not for the bustle and commotion, or for
the publicity. It is the opening out of one’s own joy - the
thrill, the excitement, and the ecstasy. That’s all. ‘The
messenger of God’ is the first level of consciousness, where we
begin to share God’s message with everybody.
SECOND STAGE: “I AM THE SON OF GOD”
Then we go to the second stage of the Divine experience of Jesus
Christ. As the messenger, He draws closer and closer to the
Divine. People speak of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. I am
sorry, but Baba said in His discourse: “Not merely on the cross,
but He sacrificed throughout His life. He sacrificed His pleasures
and comforts. He sacrificed His happiness in serving the poor and
the needy. He was always found in the company of the poor and the
downtrodden.” He chose the path of Love, He chose the path of
sacrifice, He chose the path of service, to be closer and closer
We should not merely be satisfied to remain at the level of a
messenger, a broadcasting centre. (Laughter) It should not be
that. It should be translated into action. “Yes, I believe Baba. I
believe His message. I am happy to quote and to repeat to others
His teachings.” But this is not enough. A tape-recorder can do
much better! (Laughter) This is the day of videos; any
videocassette will show Him to me. You don’t have to be acting as
Then going on from that stage of messenger, I can serve Him in my
own humble capacity. I am ready to sacrifice what little I have
for my Lord.
“You have given me this portion, my God,
which I am ready to sacrifice.
This life, my Lord, is Your gift.
This strength, my God, is Your Grace.
The talent, my God, is Your gift.
I offer them back to You.”
“This life is not mine. These talents are not mine. This strength
is not mine. All are Yours. Let me offer them all back to You, my
Lord.” This is the second stage of coming closer to God. It is
this second level of consciousness, the awareness of Divinity that
Jesus Christ experienced, which made Him declare, “I am the Son of
God.” The Son is different from the messenger. It is only the son
who can claim father’s property, not the messenger. If the postman
says, “Sir, when are you going to give me my property?” you will
say, “Give me my letter! Now go on.” (Laughter) He has no claim on
your property. So, the son can lay claim on the father’s property.
“O Lord! I serve you. I make claim on Your Grace. O Lord! I am
thinking of You, none else. I lay claim on Your mercy. O God! I am
claiming Your benediction, beatitude and blessing, because I think
of You all the time, my Lord.” That is the second level of
consciousness, when you say, “I am the son of God.”
THIRD LEVEL: “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE”
Then the third level of awareness or consciousness is when we are
lost in the melody as we sing bhajans. Of course, there may be a
few thinking about the singers, but most don’t think about the
singers. As Baba always says, “Are they singers or sinners?” So we
don’t think about the singers.
The singer may think about himself: ‘Is my song going to be good?
I want my song to be the best. Let me be better than the other
singer. Don’t let the next singer be better than me.’ So, the
singer may be conscious of himself. But a listener should never be
conscious of the singer. The listener is the song.
So, do not think of the singer. Be a song unto yourself. Do not
think of the dancer; be the dance. “I do not know who is singing,
but that song has taken me into the other world! I am not bothered
about who has sung. Instead the song is an aircraft, which has
taken me into altogether another place.” So be the song, be the
melody, be the dance, forgetting the singer and the dancer. You
become one with the feeling, you become one with the concept, and
you are lost.
Sometimes, when we sit with our eyes closed, concentrating at the
centre between the two eyebrows, we are thinking of Bhagavan. We
think of His smiling face, His gestures, His movements, the way He
adjusts His hair, the beautiful way He smiles -- He alone can
smile that way -- and you are lost! You forget yourself until
somebody says, “Come on! Get up. It is time to go to the canteen
You are lost in bhajans. You are lost in meditation. You are not
there. The body is there, that’s all. The real you, the Self, is
one with God already. You and God are melted together. This is the
climax of the Divine Romance -- being one with the cosmos, the
drop being one with the ocean, the wave being one with the ocean,
the ray being one with the light -- all together in oneness, where
individuality no longer exists. The ego is long ago forgotten. You
are lost. You are the vastness; you are the cosmos; you are the
That statement of consciousness, the ultimate, was made by Jesus
Christ when He said, “I and My Father in heaven are One.” So my
friends, these are the three levels of consciousness.
Holy Bible clearly stated Christ would come again
I know time is limited, but present circumstances are special,
demanding, and challenging. The sharing of certain important
statements from the Holy Bible is needed to be convinced that
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Second Coming of Christ, as
said in the Holy Bible. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Cosmic
Christ. The Holy Bible clearly stated that Christ would come
again, but this is difficult to recognise. (Applause) Christ has
come again in human form, the Second Coming, for which all
Christians have been waiting.
There was a Roman Catholic doctor from Italy who was staying in
one of the Round buildings of Prashanti Nilayam. Roman Catholics
are highly orthodox people. They never, at any cost, give up their
daily prayers. He was saying his prayers, eyes closed, at 6 pm.
The door of his room was bolted from the inside because he didn’t
want to be disturbed. Suddenly he felt a gentle hand on his
shoulder. He looked back. It was Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba!
Baba said, “You have been praying to Me all these years. I have
come to see you, my dear child. Go on with your prayer.” The
doctor himself narrated this experience in front of Bhagavan. I
have the date, the time, and the address of the doctor, so that I
would have enough material to convince any doubting Thomas!
Baba was standing so close that He was touching the doctor’s
shoulder as he spoke. The doctor clearly said in his talk, “As a
Catholic, I am taking a risk. My reputation as a Catholic doctor
is now at risk. Yet I declare, at the cost of my name and
reputation, that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Second Coming
of Jesus Christ.” He was deeply convinced of it. That’s what he
said. Baba is the return of Christ; He is the embodiment of Love,
the personification of sacrifice, moving amidst us.
Where is heaven?
The Bible declares that everyone is God, (as I said in the
beginning). Let us not say, “O God! Thou art in heaven.” Where is
heaven? We are in the oven! How can we think of heaven? (Laughter)
But my friends, I can tell you where heaven is. Heaven is
Prashanti Nilayam itself. It is nowhere else! (Applause) The place
where God lives, the place where God dwells, the place where God
moves about is the very heaven. When you think of God in your
heart, it is heaven; the pure heart is the temple of God. It was
John Wilson who declared, “It is the human mind that makes heaven
out of hell, and hell out of heaven.” So where is heaven? It is
said that it is in the human heart.
I have included some quotations from the Bible to authenticate my
talk, as mentioned before. You are essentially Divine, as is said
in the book of Psalms. “I say you are gods, you are sons of God
most high.” (Psalms 82, Verse 6) The Psalmist never said Andhrites
are Indians and therefore exempt! (Laughter) No, “all of you”.
“Nevertheless, you shall die like all people must die. You will
die the same as all the other leaders.” (Verse 7) One might die
like any man, but what is it that dies? It is the body that
disappears. You are eternal and life is eternal. Life is a
never-ending, continuous flow. Therefore, you are Divine,
according to the Holy Bible.
God is beyond the name
Heaven is not the exclusive destination for Christians. No! You
may be a Christian, but God is not in the least a Christian.
(Laughter) You may be a Hindu, but God is not a Hindu. You may be
a Muslim; God is not a Muslim. Being a Muslim, a Christian, or a
Hindu is a label one has - a trademark, a copyright – that’s all.
But God is beyond the label; God is beyond the name and here it is
clearly said, “Don’t think that it is only your privilege as a
Christian to talk to God. Don’t think it is your privilege as a
Hindu to chant Veda.” No.
This morning you must have seen the little American boy chanting
the Veda. I had to hide my head in shame because I can’t do that.
(Laughter) He is a better Hindu than me, who is born here!
(Laughter) It is, after all, a matter of shame that we can’t do
that. That little white American boy,…tak..tak…tak…he just did it
I am praying that Swami doesn’t ask me, “Do you know the Veda?”
(Laughter) Swami is amused when I say that I don’t know it.
He says, “Do you know the Veda?”
“I do not know it, Swami”. Then He gives me a broad smile.
Next day again, “Do you know the Veda?”
“I do not know it, Swami.”
Next day. “Do you know Veda?”
“I don’t know.” So, when I do not know, Swami, You are happy. OK,
let me continue to be ignorant! (Laughter)
But that boy could do it. It is a blow to pride, I tell you. There
are many boys from overseas who are quite alien to this land and
culture, who can chant the Veda. They are real Hindus in practice.
Therefore, it is not your exclusive privilege as a Christian to
serve God or to have Holy Communion with God. Certainly not! Any
devotee can establish communion with God.
(Isaiah: Chapter 55 verses 8 and 9:) “My thoughts are not like
your thoughts, neither are your ways like My ways,” said the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are
higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your
You may estimate God in your own way. You may say God is like
such-and-such. I will give you an example. Some people say that
Swami will be coming at 7 am, but He chooses to be there at 6:30
am. (Laughter) Somebody will say that because Swami came yesterday
at ten minutes to seven, let us be there by 6:30 am. And He comes
at 7:30 am! (Laughter) Who are you to impose your time frame? Your
duty is to be there at 6:30. Swami can come at 7 or 7:30 or 8:00.
‘All right, it is Your Will, my Lord. Having come all this way,
let me work out my duty. It is that I should wait for You, my
Lord. There should not ever be a situation where You wait for me.
That would be a matter of humiliation. I am ready because it is my
duty to be there as a devotee. I wait for You, because that
waiting is prayer, that waiting is meditation, that waiting is
religion itself.’ (Applause)
If I wait for the next aircraft, bus, or train to go to Bangalore,
it is a vexing, worrying, drawn-out and miserable experience; but
waiting for the Lord is a sweet experience. Waiting for the Lord
is a yearning, a meditation and a penance -- and it is God’s gift.
That is why He makes us wait and wait and wait. (Applause) We
continue to wait, as there is a thrill and joy in waiting. There
is a pleasure in waiting that is like lightning, with an
electrifying, energizing effect. This could not be attained by an
immediate appearance of the Lord. So, it is not that we should be
in readiness at the time we think it should be. We shouldn’t try
All religions are acceptable paths to God
The Bible is not the only book of scriptures. Many people say that
only the Holy Bible can take one to heaven. But it hasn’t the
copyright! How can you say that? Can you then say that the Koran
will take me to hell? The Muslims would finish me off within a
couple of seconds! Yes, the Christians may pray for me, but the
Muslims would finish me off. (Laugher) The Hindus are tolerant,
because even an atheist can be a Hindu. You can deny God and yet
continue to be a Hindu. Did you know that? Hinduism is so vast
that believers, non-believers, the useful and the useless, all can
be accommodated! (Laughter) It is so vast, you know. It is like a
mighty ocean -- all kinds of people can plunge in. Or it is like a
very big platform -- everybody can meet on it.
My point here is this: Let us not think that the Bible is the only
scripture that will take us to heaven, no. The Lord clearly said
(Timothy 2, Chapter 3, verse 16), “All scriptures are given by
inspiration of God.” The Bible, the Brahmasutra, the
Yogavashishta, Narada Bhakthi Sutra, the Koran, Purnasutham, Sri
Sutham, whatever Veda it may be, it is all uttered because of
Divine inspiration. “It is profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, for training in righteousness.” (Timothy) It is
the scripture that corrects; it is the scripture that transforms;
it is the scripture that guides and directs because any scripture
is a revelation prompted by Divine inspiration. This is not the
exclusive right of the Bible alone, according to the Bible itself.
Next point: Let us not think that Christianity is the only
religion to salvation. No! All religions are acceptable paths to
God. All religions!
There is only one religion, the religion of Love
As I made it clear in the beginning, religion is a banner, while
religiousness is a manner. Religion is the heart or root, while to
live the religion is religiousness. Ritual is religion;
spirituality is religiousness. Tradition is religion; significance
is religiousness. Principle constitutes a religion; practice is
I am not playing with words, my friends. I am not a student of
English literature. I have repeatedly told you, I use so many
words in order to make at least one clear to you. At least one!
That is all.
So the point is, all religions are acceptable paths to God. It is
clearly written in the Bible that all people who walk in the Name
of his God (not your God and my God), whomsoever he believes in,
is his God. “And we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God, for
ever and ever.” This is any God, in whom you have faith.
Somebody said, “Swami, shall I change my God?” Ho! The height of
The question was put to Shirdi Bhagavan, “Shall I change my God?”
Shirdi Bhagavan said, “I do not understand what you mean. Ask
again and be clear.”
The person said, “I have been believing in ‘so-and-so’. Now, I
will believe in you.”
Immediately, Shirdi Baba, who was a taskmaster, a well-built
(strong) person, got up and gave him two blows, one on this side
and another on that side. (Laughter) Then He asked, “Are you going
to change your father?” (Laughter)
Why do you want to change? True religion is not conversion. It is
transformation. After all, conversion is easy -- a change of name,
a change of dress. But transformation is a change of heart.
Transformation is change of behavior and attitude. Transformation
is change of the very thought itself. By contrast, conversion is
Therefore, here it is clearly told, “You do not have to convert.
You can believe in any religion.” Baba says, “You may call water
‘pani’ in Hindi, ‘neelu’ in Telugu, and ‘var’ in Sanskrit. It is
all H2O, all water. The composition doesn’t change.”
Bhagavan also says you may call God by any name: Christians may
call Him ‘Christ’, Muslims may say ‘Allah’, Saivaites may call Him
‘Shambo’, Vaishnavites may call Him ‘Vishnu’, but the One who
blesses everybody is the God Almighty, the only One.
Sahasra Deersha Purushaha Sahasraksh Sahasrapaat.
All Names are His, all forms are His.
Just beneath us, there is the North Indian canteen, very famous
for sweets. Not that I am their agent, don’t think that!
(Laughter) I do not get any commission from them. (Laughter) No
deal until now, anyway. (Laughter) The point is, there may be many
sweets there, but the same sugar is used in all these sweets.
There is not one sugar for laddu, one sugar for gulab jamun. It is
the same sugar, though certainly not brown sugar. (Laughter) Am I
clear? Thus the same sugar is used to prepare so many sweets.
So, sweet God has several Names. The sugar is God. The names are
laddu, gulab jamun, basundhi and jaggery, whatever the name.
Allah, Shambo, Vaishno, Vishnu are all God, whatever the Name.
That is what is said clearly. So then, all religions are
Bhagavan says you don’t need a mediator
The next point is that Bhagavan clearly says that you don’t need a
mediator or a priest to interpret the scriptures. You can read any
scripture and Bhagavan will talk to you. The role of a priest is
only to conduct a ritual, but the message you will get by
yourself. ‘What is this festival?’ ‘What is the message of God?’
You will know this by yourself.
Somebody asked Swami, “What is the Gita? What is the
Swami said, “The Bhagavad-Gita is a Divine Song totally meant for
“Meant for me totally?”
“Your body is the chariot; the hands and legs are the horses; your
attachment is the reins; at the place, the altar where the
charioteer sits, is God Himself.”
He has a special Bhagavad-Gita designed for you. Everyone has a
Gita specially designed for him. We don’t need any other
interpreter or middleman, no contractors and no tenders. You can
get the message directly. So the role of clergy as a profession
will become obsolete, according to John 1, Chapter 1, verses 2 and
What a wonderful statement from Bishop Pikes of the USA. His
statement is this: “Christ is the Way. Christ is the Life for you
to emulate and follow. Become God again as Jesus did.” “For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mathew: Chapter
6: verse 21)
Everything is the reflection of the inner being
Here are a few points before I leave. Jesus said, “Judge not, lest
thou shall be judged.” We go on judging people, we go on
evaluating people, and we go on assessing people. Baba clearly
said, “Judge not, lest thou shall be judged.” If you judge today,
tomorrow you will be judged. If you condemn anyone today, tomorrow
you are going to be condemned many more times than what you have
done. Baba puts it this way, “To criticise anybody, to point out
another’s mistake, is the worst of crimes.”
And furthermore He said, “First, find out your own mistakes and
faults; and then the merits of others.” Jesus said, ”You point out
the splinter (‘mote’) in the eye of others, without taking notice
of the beam (of timber) in your own eye.”
Jesus never cared for money. Baba never cares for money. Swami has
a lot of money. All right, He can handle it for He is above money.
He said, “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows.” He is
not for money. That is why the Holy Bible says that it is easier
for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to get
into the gates of heaven. It is not possible for the rich man to
pass through the gates of heaven; therefore we should rise above
Again, we should not judge anybody, for the Bible says, “If you
call so-and-so bad, that is the bad in you reflected in the other
man.” Baba says, “Everything is the reflection of the inner
being.” He summed this up in the three R’s: reaction, reflection
and resound. So, nothing is outside. Everything is your own
reaction. That is what Baba says.
“I applied in my heart to know, and to seek the wisdom and reason
for things.” The heart is the seat of God, not the mind. The mind
is the seat of doubt and the devil. The heart is the seat of God.
Do you want the devil or God? We have to decide, because the mind
is the hell, while the heart is the heaven. The heart directs
without any ambiguity or confusion, whereas the mind is for what
So on this auspicious occasion of the Christmas season:
Let us all learn to praise God.
Let us all learn to sacrifice.
Let us all learn to love.
Let us all learn to rise to the level of Jesus Christ,
to pray for those who persecute us,
to invite Jesus Christ into our lives,
identifying Baba as the Second Coming of Christ, the Cosmic
May the Lord be with you forever and ever.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you very much.
Om Asato Maa, Sad Gamaya,Tamaso Maa, Jyothir Gamaya,
Mrythyormaa 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 Babaji Ki!