Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
February 23, 2003

The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

“Dynamics of Life”

February 23rd, 2003


Sai Ram

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The topic that I have chosen for this morning is “Dynamics of Life”. Dynamics of Life – this particular topic is chosen in the light of the fast approaching Sivarathri festival (a religious observance held to honour Siva – the third God of the Hindu Trinity - on the 14th day of the last half of the waning moon, usually in February). This needs to be discussed at length so that we will have a true celebration and a true observance of the Sivarathri festival. My friends! What do I mean by "Dynamics of Life”?

Myriad ways of manifestation

First point: Life is the same, but its manifestation and expression differs. That is all. It is similar to the kinetic energy, or cosmic energy, which remains the same, though it may express or manifest itself in a myriad ways to be useful to mankind.

Therefore, for identification or acquaintance, for utility or social purposes, life manifests itself in different ways. But basically life is one and the same. This life, we can call it ‘energy’. In a wider sense, we may call it: cosmic energy, radiant energy, vibrant energy, or vital force.

You can give it any name that you like. But the fact is that this life expresses and manifests itself even in inert matter. This inert matter may look lifeless; but truly speaking, inert matter is full of atoms, molecules, electrons, neutrons and protons, which revolve in different orbits at high speeds. It may seem to be inert or passive. It may look dull, yet it has the principle of life within. It has minute particles that move, actively liberating energy. So this is not matter; this is energy. And that energy is life. And that energy is dynamic energy, radiant energy.

Mineral matter has life. Then if we go to the plant kingdom the concept of ‘energy’ can be explained as follows: In plants, the shoot and the root express innate life energy. The flowers and the fruits are the expression of the life energy of a tree. The expression is at a higher level in a plant.

Moreover, when we come to the animal kingdom, the expression of life is much more prevalent than in mineral matter or in the plant kingdom. The animal has a circulatory system, a nervous system, a sensory system and a digestive system. So, many systems are present, working in harmony and in perfection, in a sequential order without any discord. So, this life energy is expressed more widely, and in a big way, in the animal world.

When you come to mankind, we find that life, the energy, manifests itself one hundred percent. The manifestation of life force, life energy or cosmic energy is one hundred percent in mankind. That’s the reason why in almost all of the discourses of Bhagavan, He necessarily mentions that human life is the rarest of all. Human life is the noblest of all.

Purpose of life

Being the recipients of human life, the rarest and noblest of all, the purpose of life is very important. It is enough if mineral matter exists. Nothing more is expected out of it. I don’t expect this plate to become some other object. No. I don’t expect this glass to become something else. No. Least is expected from matter. If it continues existing, that in itself is enough; whereas from a tree, a little more is expected - like fruits, the flowers and beauty.

From animals, something more is expected - responses to stimuli, a particular value system: dogs represent faith and unity; the eagle, shrewdness; the donkey, forbearance. A little more is expected from the animal kingdom when compared to the plant kingdom.

Coming to the human world, one hundred percent perfection is expected from man. One hundred percent expression of Divinity, the life force, the vital energy, is expected from man. But it is not happening. Why? Instead of looking up, we are trying to look down.

In the context of evolution, biologists would certainly say that mineral matter, the plant world, the animal world, and human society have progressed, have evolved, in due course of time. But we do not seem to have the consciousness or awareness of that evolution. So we look down.

As I look down, immediately below me, I find the animal world (referring to the order of evolution). Therefore, I find the animal in me expressing itself. So, we show more of the tendencies of the animal, and not that of a human being. That’s the reason why Bhagavan Baba started ‘Education in Human Values’. What a pity it is! We have to be taught education in human values today. What is the reason? We are sufficiently educated in inhuman values. We are sufficiently well versed in animal values. But human values are missing. So, my friends, the life energy - the dynamics of life - calls for expression of human values to its maximum, to its zenith, to the utmost. This is because a human being is further endowed, having certain extra faculties.

It’s just the mind!

Second Point: A human being is endowed with intellect. This intellect does not operate in the plant world or in the animal world. Intellect is an extra faculty given to mankind. Mind is present in animals too. However, intellect is an extra faculty given to man alone. Nevertheless, we have not been able to make use of this intellect - that is why our journey is backward and not forward.

And most of us also are not aware of the intellect because we are very happy with the mind. It is very convenient to be with the mind. It is so beautiful to be of the mind, by the mind and for the mind: Manomoolam idham jagath, meaning, ‘the whole universe is based on the mind’. The whole world is just the mind, that’s all. Other than the mind, there is no world at all. Is that true?

Well, it may sound senseless. A simple example: When you are fast asleep, snoring and dreamless, you can take it from me that in that deep sleep state, the mind is missing. The mind is passive or absent. In that state, where is the world? After a long day’s strenuous and laborious work, physically tired, I fall asleep forgetting my surroundings and the workplace. When I am fast asleep, I have lost myself, or forgotten myself, and also what happened in the world. Where is the world? No world. Anyone may come and behead me. Anyone may come and kill me. I will not know because the mind is missing; it is in a deep sleep state. Once I am back to my waking state, to my consciousness, once my mind is alert, then the world reappears.

So, what is the world? Mind is the world. World is the mind. So, we cannot say any longer, “Never mind” (Laughter), because if I say, “Never mind”, there is no world. Therefore, mind is the world. Mind is time.

Mind is time because, suppose I ask you, “At what time did you fall asleep?” You can only tell me when you went to bed. But you cannot tell me the exact time when you were fast asleep. (Laughter). Can you say, “I will sleep for an hour and then get up”? How do you know when the hour has passed? Unless you set the alarm, you will not know when the hour is up.

So, you cannot say exactly when you are in the deep sleep state. You cannot say the length of time that you will sleep. No, impossible. Why? The mind is non-functional in deep sleep. So, time consciousness or time awareness arises when the mind is alert and active. So, mind is the world, and mind is time.

Mind is pseudo

Third point: Mind is the experience. Mind is the experience, but not the experiencer. I am very careful about this. Please, please don’t misunderstand me. Mind is the experience, not the experiencer. The experiencer is different. It is something like a film projected on the screen, which is different from me, who watches that scene. Am I clear? Films are projected on the screen. Yes, you agree. But I see the film. I am different. Similarly, mind is experience. But the experiencer is different. We will come to that later. Mind is the experience.

What sort of experience? Good and evil, success and failure, sweet and sour, hot and cold – all opposites. All that is paradoxical, with opposite polarities are the experiences of the mind. So mind is the experience, which is dual. Dual experiences relate to the mind.

Then what else is the mind? The mind is the one (rather similar to a thing) that appears to exist, but which in reality is not in existence. (I am not trying to confuse you. All these ideas are from Swami’s literature.)

I don’t mind repeating again and again that I am a student of botany, and not a student of philosophy. Thank God (Laughter)! Because if I had read extensively in philosophy, that would have confused me much more. That would have led to a situation where the hall would be totally empty! (Laughter). But because I belong to the science faculty, being basically a biologist, my thoughts are very clear.

And Swami’s message is very strong. The little I know, I know well and I know for sure. Therefore, I am a good communicator. Extra knowledge amounts to confusion confounded. Thank God it’s not like that. In that case, you would have been dumbfounded. Well, that has not happened. So you can be very clear about the mind being non-existent, but appearing to exist.

‘Pseudo’ is the technical word. ‘Pseudo’ means ‘false’. Not ‘judo’ - that is different (Laughter). ‘Pseudo’ mind may make you take up judo -- that’s a different thing. ‘Pseudo’ means ‘false thing’. Why do I say that? If the mind is real, it should be there all the time. Isn’t that so? As I said a moment ago, in deep sleep there is no mind. If mind is permanent, if mind is existent, it should continue to be there in deep sleep also. It’s not there. So, mind is non-existent, but appears to have existence.

‘No Mind’ state

OK, who brought the mind? What is the composition of the mind? Doctors can give you the composition of the brain, but not the composition of the mind. In the composition of the brain, and in brain surgery, we know whether it is the left or the right brain that is being operated upon. That’s what happened to the mother of one film actress, Sri Devi from India. The mother was operated upon in America. Instead of operating on the left part of the brain, it was the right part, following which the patient left this world to rest comfortably in heaven (Laughter). The mind went there, totally happy (Laughter). So, doctors would be able to tell you about the brain, but that is all -- not the mind. So, I can say that about the brain.

However, what is the mind? The mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. A bundle of thoughts! “Oh Sir, is that so?” Yes. When there are no thoughts, there is no mind. The cloth is made up of threads. Once the threads are removed, there is no cloth, either in Australia or in America (Laughter). Whatever the place, cloth becomes cloth when threads are closely interwoven, interspersed. When the threads are unwoven and dispersed, the cloth is no more.

Similarly, once the thoughts are gone or withdrawn, when thoughts are checked or kept under control, we reach a ‘no mind’ state. Please note that it is ‘no mind’ and not a ‘know mind’. It is not a ‘never mind’ state. Because ‘never mind’ state is indifference, impertinence and nonsense. So, I am not speaking of a ‘never mind’ state, but of the ‘no mind’ state.

So, ‘no mind’ state exists. There is no mind at all once the thoughts are withdrawn. How to control the thoughts? That’s the first question. Very nice if there is no mind, good! How to do this? How to see that there will be no thoughts? It is a big problem because “a man’s empty head is the devil’s workshop”. The more I want to control my thoughts, the more the thoughts come in sequence. This is everybody’s experience who decides to meditate. If they didn’t meditate, at least they would have been comfortable! (Laughter) In the name of meditation, thoughts disturb a person more than otherwise. If we are honest, we have to accept it (Laughter). While talking to you, at least I am concentrating on the subject. While listening to me, you are concentrating on the point I have been talking about. But when both of us sit silently for five minutes, we think of five hundred nonsensical things (Laughter), because it is not that easy to withdraw the process of thoughts. It is not that simple to check the thought process.

Japa - Ajapa

How to do this? Bhagavan has told us how in simple words. Sage Ramana Maharshi also gave a beautiful formula, which I want all of us to try, including myself here. When I say this, I am not saying it as a teacher with standing in this subject. Certainly not. I am not speaking with authority based on experience. Definitely not. What I am doing is providing you with data collected from Sai literature, just as the computer does. That’s all. Therefore, what is it that Ramana Maharshi has said?

Yesterday I was talking to our friends and I wish to repeat it here. As you sit for meditation, as you start counting, as you start repeating His Holy Name, “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram”, we keep score. Some people want to repeat it 108 times. Some people want to repeat 1008 times. OK, whatever score or target you have, I cannot query it. I have no authority. You are your own judge. All right.

When you repeat God’s Name, or any mantra (a recitation of sacred words having a vibratory power), that is called japa. Japa is repetition of a mantra, or of any God’s Names of your choice, based on a number -- the number of times repeated. That is why you find some people saying the mantra, and counting the number. Sometimes they might talk to you, while doing the mantra mechanically (Laughter). Here is the difference: it has become a habit. Just as some people keep on moving their legs as if they had a problem there (Laughter), it is a habit. That’s all.

So here, I am not referring to that. The conscious, sincere act of repeating God’s Name in a limited number is called japa. Now that is what Sage Ramana Maharshi wants us to do. But what I do is this: I repeat God’s Name 108 times, and then say, “That’s finished”, and go for a hot cup of coffee!

No, don’t do that. Don’t be in a hurry, because if you are in a hurry to have your cup of coffee, you will be waiting from number 50 for the magic number of 108 to come up (Laughter), as the coffee is hot and waiting. So that is not the right way. Slowly, sincerely, count, count, recount and lose yourself there. You lose yourself so much in japa that you forget to count. You forget to count whether it is 107 or 105 or 180. You don’t know because you started counting, yes, but later you forgot to count. You do not know where you left off. That’s it.

This next state is called ajapa. Ajapa is a state of repeating God’s Name without counting. Go from japa (the first state) to ajapa (the second state). In this state, you are no longer counting. You do not know when the counting stopped. You simply go on repeating God’s Name.

Then comes the third state. Now you stop repeating God’s Name. You stop even that. There is no lip movement. There is no repetition - verbal, vocal, by word - nothing whatsoever. But still the mantra is going on within you. The mantra is going on within you. Outwardly you are silent, but inwardly the mantra, the sound is going on. Am I not right? This must have been the experience of many people. The sound is in silence; by silence I mean that not a word is being spoken. You are not repeating God’s name loudly. You are not counting the times you repeat His Name. No. You are silent with your eyes closed and your back straight.

The internal Sound

The inner sound of God’s Name goes on…Omkar (the primeval sound of Creation). The mantra of “Om, Om, Om” (the primal sound vibration) is going on. Where does it come from?

I say, “Om” - yes, outwardly. Who is saying “Om” inside of me? Who is it, the one that says “Om” within you? My friend, no one says it. It is there in you. I am not hearing my inner sound because I am busy with my outer sound. As I am totally eloquent, as I am grossly involved in the external sound, the inner sound is not heard. The inner sound is kept under pressure by outer sound.

This is what noise pollution is (Laughter). This is what sound pollution is. So, we are the cause of sound pollution. How to avoid it? Stop. That’s the reason why all religions want silence to be observed. All religions plead, “Silence please. Silence, silence!”

Why? Not merely that sound leads to disturbance. ‘Disturbance is interaction with others.’ It’s not so. You are disturbed in yourself. You are disturbing yourself by talking. You are disturbing yourself by listening. First, don’t disturb yourself, let alone disturbing others. The man who is disturbed within disturbs others. The one who is calm and peaceful within will make others calm and peaceful. Therefore, let me not be disturbed. If I don’t want to be disturbed, what should I do? I should not talk; I should not hear you as you talk. So, silence.

Therefore, in the state of silence, I start repeating God’s Name, counting as I repeat, thus reaching the state of japa. When I stop counting, I reach the state of ajapa. Then I also stop repeating God’s Name, close my lips, and the sound goes on inside. How long? I do not know. That is called “thapas” (heat that burns out sin and reduces karma to ashes). So these are the three levels, my friends: japa to ajapa to thapas. This is true way of nullifying the effects of the mind. These are three steps to be taken to withdraw the mind, to annihilate the mind, or to achieve control of the thought process.

Be Simple

There is another method suggested. Close your eyes. You breathe in, breathe out. “So - ham” (the sound that the breath makes as it passes in and out). Inhalation – exhalation. Breathe in – breathe out. This spiritual path wants us to concentrate on our breathing process. Concentrate on the breath as it goes in and as the breath comes out. Please note that swasa means ‘breath’ and dhyasa means ‘concentration’.

So through this concentration on breath, thoughts are arrested. My friends, this is stated by all experts. Bhagavan has repeated it time and again. Concentrate on the breath…“So-ham”, which results in the withdrawal of thoughts. It results in the annihilation of the mind, or the withdrawal of the mind.

But there is one caution. If you want to take on this breathing exercise as a spiritual process, as a spiritual discipline practice, then it is called pranayama. Pranayama is a breathing exercise done in a scientific manner. But I should also tell you what Baba said. This is dangerous. This is dangerous because if pranayama (breathing exercises as spiritual practice) is not done under the supervision of an expert, the nervous system will naturally break down. There are some people whose respiratory system has been affected. There are many people who even have turned mad ultimately. So, leave liberation alone; let us not end up in the lunatic asylum! (Laughter) No, no, no! Why? Why do you want to overdo it? Why do you want to strain yourself?

There are some people who ask me, “Sir, how do I raise Kundalini?” (the dormant spiritual energy at the base of the spinal cord) I say, “Let it lie down there. I am not going to do it!” (Laughter) When I don’t know of its existence, why should I unnecessarily awaken it and bother myself. Let it lie down.

These are all exercises that I, however, do not dismiss. No. These are not exercises that I consider low and cheap. No, certainly not. Please don’t misunderstand me. They are spiritual practices of a very high order. Experts, sadhakas (spiritual aspirants), sages, saints, seers, and seekers practise them. But they are not for ordinary people like you and me.

We are ordinary people in the sense that we have our own problems. If I suddenly turn mad, what will happen to so many of my commitments? (Laughter) If a fellow in the forest is wise or mad, nobody is bothered. Good. But we people have certain responsibilities. So, we can’t afford to fall sick. And moreover, when there are simpler things, why should you go for something strenuous? When there are calculators, and yet you continue to multiply using pen and paper, what people will say? Arrrai! Use the calculator, taka, taka… (Laughter). If we write out the whole textbook, what will people say? Hey! Scan it into the computer, taka! Cut, paste, it’s there! Computers! That’s all you need. So, when there are simpler things, why do you want the hard method? In this matter, we are faulty because the mind is always out for achievement.

Mind goes for advertisement

“You know, I have raised my Kundalini.” (Laughter)

“Oho, you have raised your Kundalini? Thank God, you have not tried to raise my Kundalini!” (Laughter)

And there are some, on the other hand, who may say, “Do you know, I have written the Sai Ram Name two crores (two thousand) times.” (Laughter)

“I see. Why not three thousand times?” (Laughter)

“I don’t know.” (Laughter)

“Why did you write it?”

“I don’t know.” (Laughter)

“Why did you tell me?”

“For you to know.” (Laughter)

This is the quality of the mind. Mind is always out for achievement. It always wants to achieve something. It always wants to make you special.

“Sir, last year I came to Prashanti Nilayam and attended the Sivarathri festival. It was so nice.”


“I have been coming for 20 years!”

“Did I ask you that question?” (Laughter)

Why do you tell me your seniority status? Mind, mind! Because I tell you, it doesn’t want to accept anybody doing something better.

‘Senior attending Sivarathri the most number of times (25 years)!’

Ayyayyaa! Who can help us? Who can help us? The mind is always out for achievement and advertisement. In other words, it is ego -- the ego problem. Supposing you read a message in Swami’s book - a wonderful idea. You want to share it with your friend.

“You know, this is a beautiful idea given by Swami here!”

“Mm… hmmm…Did you read this book? Here He mentions it in a different way.”


“The first is one way. And here is a different way. Anyway, you should know both.” (Laughter)

It means that the mind does not want to accept that the other man knows too. The mind is not prepared to accept that he might not know as much. Therefore, he will tell you what you do not know, though he himself does not know what you are talking about. This is all the problem of the ego. That’s why we don’t grow. So, my friends, mind is after achievement and advertisement. Mind is the ego.

So, in human dynamics, in the dynamics of life, this important component - the mind - when it is thoroughly analysed, when we are critical about this mind, then we will be able to experience realisation. We will be able to experience bliss in the true sense.

Bhagavan Baba, in one of the discourses, told this story a long time ago. It seems a person said, “I know yoga (conquest of senses leading to union with God). I have practised yoga for 25 years. Tomorrow in the auditorium at 5 o’ clock, there will be a display of my yoga. The charge is 25 rupees each.” A display of yoga, after all, is not for 25 rupees!

That’s what Swami said. A man began yogic exercises for the purpose of collecting funds. Yoga is not a fund-raising programme. Dhyana (meditation) is not a fund-raising programme. It is not a financial investment or a business. Therefore, we have to understand the mind and its nature so that we can really experience the thrill of life.

Body - the moving temple of God

Therefore, coming back to the dynamics of life, the first aspect is the body. My friends, there are those who condemn the body. We should not do it. We are not supposed to do it because we did not make our body. No. The body has not come by your choice. No. So, neglecting the human body is a sin because the body is God’s gift. Life is God’s gift.

Some people say, “I am waiting for my death.”

My answer is, “You don’t have to wait. It is waiting to take you.” (Laughter) Death is also in a hurry because it is fed up with this useless man -- useless to himself and dangerous to others.

“Shouldn’t I withdraw him from this planet?” says Death. (Laughter)

So, it is terrible to say, “I am waiting for death. But somehow, I keep on pulling away.” You cannot pull away by yourself because you cannot make your heart beat. You cannot make your blood circulate. So, how can you say, “I am pulling away?” What are you pulling on? Nothing! (Laughter)

So, the body is God’s gift. Life is God’s gift. They should not be condemned. They should be maintained. They should be taken care of. You are the trustee of your body; you are the caretaker of your life and body. Suppose I rent your home. You are my landlord. I pay you money every month. I have to keep your house nicely. I cannot put holes in the walls or anywhere else. I cannot remove cupboards. No. I have to maintain it perfectly. I must hand it back to you when you want me to vacate. Similarly, the body: I am the caretaker of this body. I am the trustee of this body. I cannot spoil or neglect it. I cannot claim to be the owner.

“This is my body.”

“Ah, I see! Is that your body? I see. Then do some of the things that your body can do.”

No, I cannot dictate anything to my body. Suppose there is a stomach ache. I can’t say, “Oh, stomach, take this ache away!” It will increase further! (Laughter)

When there is a headache, “Oh head, be free from the headache.” It will get worse because, when you think of the headache, it increases. If you just divert your attention, the headache will be less. But if you concentrate on the headache, you will give a headache to the neighbours also. (Laughter)

Therefore, you are not the owner of this body. This body is the temple of God. Baba said the body is the moving temple of God. This body, which is the moving temple of God, has to be kept clean and pure. A temple should not be kept in a dilapidated condition. It should not be the house where bats, rats, cats, dogs or pigs enter. The temple should be clean. Similarly, the body should be clean and healthy. The dynamics of life want us to know the human body as the temple of God, in full awareness that this body and life are not the ‘be-all and end-all’. No. This body is sure to disintegrate. This body is sure to be lost someday or another.

As Baba said, every medicine has two dates - the date of manufacture and the date of expiry. We know our ‘date of manufacture’ - the date of birth. We celebrate birthdays. But the other date is not visible (Laughter). The expiry date is not visible. That’s all. But that date is also definitely written. No medicine can be on the market without both of these dates present. Am I not right?

So, similarly this body is not the ‘be-all and end-all’. There is a date of expiry. The body disintegrates day-by-day. So, it is called ‘sareera’. Sareera means ‘that which decays or disintegrates’. The body has another name ‘deha’. Deha means ‘that which gets burnt’. The body will burn without any petrol added. There is enough petrol there in the storage tank filled over the last 70 or 80 years (depending upon the date of expiry). In addition, while we are alive, the body gets burnt because of worries and anxieties. In life or at death, it gets burnt. There is disintegration; there is burning. The body has a third name, which is ‘kshetra’. Kshetra means ‘pilgrim centre’. The body is a pilgrim centre. It is the temple of God. It is holy.

Taming the mind

Therefore, the dynamics of life want us to know the body, considering its ephemeral nature. At the same time, how valuable it is! The body is like a water bubble, no doubt about that! Yet it is precious. That is the first level.

The second level is the mind, about which we have spoken at length. So, what shall I do with the mind? I should know, first of all, that the mind is non-existent. I should also know that the mind is the biggest obstacle. I should also be convinced that all the grief, pleasure and pain are due to the mind only; that all my problems in life are due to the mind or ego. This is the second step of awareness in the dynamics of life.

So, what shall I do? The mind is really getting worked up. The mind is tense. What shall I do? Come on, 9 o’ clock bhajan (devotional singing) starts. Sit down there. Sing loudly. Don’t grumble, whisper or murmur. Sing loudly. Yes! If the other fellow cannot stand it, let him go. (Laughter)

Why should you sing loudly? It is so that hopeless thoughts won’t get into the mind. If you go on singing softly, concerns about your passport, visa and return tickets will enter the mind. (Laughter) We may even think, “Today is pizza day. Let me be there on time!” (Laughter) If you sing loudly, thoughts cannot enter. Also, clap while you are singing.

Yes, here is an extra warning: If you don’t clap properly, you will be out of time. The other man will say, “Stop! These are bhajans.” (Laughter) Because once Swami asked, “What type of thaalam (beat) are you doing? It is as though you are killing mosquitoes.” (Laughter)

You should know how to keep the beat properly. So, the mind should be controlled. It is possible by active, enthusiastic, dynamic participation in bhajans. And the mind can also be withdrawn through service activity. The mind can also be withdrawn by the reading of Sai literature. The mind can be withdrawn while looking at His picture steadily. By repeating His Name again and again, the mind can be withdrawn.

The mind should be put at rest because if the mind is not at rest, the incidences of blood pressure, hypertension and cardiac arrest go up, making a good practice for medical practitioners. All this is because the mind has no rest. In the conscious state, I am calculating credit, debit and the balance sheet. Even in dreams, the balance sheets start appearing (Laughter). In dreams, too, the mind is an accountant. In the waking state, the mind is an auditor. So, the balance is nil!

My friends, if the mind is not at rest, people develop diabetes, blood pressure, etc. All diseases are due to mental agitation. We should try to control mental restlessness. To control the mind and to keep it at rest, the only path is through bhajans, meditation, service and the reading of Sai literature. It is that simple. Note that the Kundalini yoga, or going to the forest, or turning your body upside down, or going around my house 1000 times, or staying awake throughout the night is not required to achieve this! (Laughter) Chee, chee, chee! That will make the situation worse. (Laughter)

If I am simply a mad man, it is all right. Nevertheless, if a mad man turns violent, you can understand the consequences. Things would become much worse if we resort to those options noted above. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar of our times, has given us homeopathy pills, very easy to swallow: the homeopathy pills of bhajans, meditation, service activity and the wonderful Sai literature. It is very easy.

But if you say, “Sir, I want to have surgery and an intravenous injection instead of homeopathy pills.”

“All right.” (There are many such people.)

Therefore, the dynamics of the mind will tell us the problems and the solutions.

Follow the intellect

Next one is the intellect. This intellect should be very sharp. We should know that the intellect is decisive. The intellect is non-dual and is always right. Why? It is close to the Self. Self is Atma, the soul, spirit, consciousness, prajna, Brahman or awareness, whatever name you may use. Dollars, schillings, dinars or rupees, after all, they all refer to money, right?

So similarly, whatever name you give, it refers to the Self. And that which is very close to the Self is the intellect. Therefore, the intellect is always right because it is very close to Atma, as close as the bodyguard is to the President. The bodyguard cannot be in another village when the President is here. The bodyguard must stand by his side. So, Self or spirit is the President and the bodyguard is the intellect. So, the intellect is always right because the bodyguard watches every movement of the President. He cannot look aside or he will lose his job (Laughter). Therefore, intellect is always correct. It reflects the spirit or the Self. So, go by the intellect. Do what it says. Don’t question it. You can question your mind; you can doubt your mind. But never doubt your intellect, because it is always right.

It is like saying, “Sir, the windows are open, but there is no light inside.”

Then I will say, “Please have your eyes checked. Consult an eye-specialist!”

When the doors are open, the light is sure to get in. That’s all. Similarly, when the intellect is functional and operative and takes charge of the reins of your life, it is bound to be one hundred percent perfect. The reason is that it is very close to the spirit or the Self.

Seek Him inside

The final step in the dynamics of life is the Self, the Atma, Brahman, Prajna or awareness. And this Self is the supreme spirit itself. It is only a witness. Picture a scenario where a sports meeting is taking place. Boys and children are coming and going. Many, many items are on display. We clap and we shout. We smile and laugh. But on the dais, Bhagavan watches silently. He is the witness. Bhagavan is the witness. So, Bhagavan is within every one of us.

Bhagavan within is spirit. Bhagavan outside is Sathya Sai Baba. That’s all. We call Him Sathya Sai Baba when He is outside. We call Him spirit when He is inside. Am I clear? But Sathya Sai Baba outside has darshan times (when we can see the form of the Lord and receive His blessings). Sathya Sai Baba outside may go to Kodaikanal or Bangalore. But the same Sathya Sai Baba is in you as the soul, the spirit or consciousness. The spirit cannot be distant from you. You will not be distant from Him because you and He are One. That is the pinnacle. You and He are One.

There is no doubt about it. For example, there are people who want to run after Him. Impossible! Some people ask me, “When is He going to Bangalore?”

I say, “What do you do when He is here?” (Laughter)

Some people ask me, "When is He going to Kerala?”

I say, “I don’t have His programme sheet with me. Whether He goes or not, what should it matter to you?”

Why do I say that? We should see Him inside. We see Him outside to experience Him inside. Please understand this, friends! We see Him outside to experience Him inside. Experience is inside. That’s all. Suppose I eat a sweet. The taste is known inside, not outside. Suppose I hold in my hand a pie, a doughnut or a sweet – or a Gulab jamun. Abba…very sweet! “How can that it be sweet?” No! Put it in your mouth and taste it. Sweetness is inside. Sweet is outside. Am I clear? All right!

I have seen Sai Baba outside. Very good! But the sight is inside. The scene is outside. The sight is inside. Sweet is outside. Sweetness is inside. Therefore, my friends! Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba or God or Paramatma is outside so that we can experience Him inside as spirit. One is the object, while the other is the reflection. God outside has a Name -- His Name, Sathya Sai Baba. God outside has a Name and a Form. But the same God inside is nameless and is formless.

So, the true spiritual path is to realise this fact: to move from Form outside to formlessness inside, and from Name outside to namelessness inside is. Please understand. These are the dynamics of life and the dynamics of Sanathana Dharma (the eternal path of righteousness), which is the Vedanta of life.

Significance of Sivarathri

As we are very close to Sivarathri, I wish you all a holy festival and a happy, fruitful, meaningful time during the festival.

Sivarathri is the combination of matter and energy. Matter is Parvati (Siva’s consort – the Mother of the Universe). Energy is Siva. This is something like the electric wire and the current. The wire without the current is useless. Mere current without the wire is hopeless. So, we need the wire and the current. The wire is Parvati. The current is Siva. Parvati is matter. Siva is energy. Parvati and Siva, matter and energy, are both responsible for the whole of Creation.

Tandava is the celestial dance, the cosmic dance of Siva and Parvati, the energy and matter responsible for all creation. The matter and energy are together. The matter is not at one place and energy at another. They are together. That is Arthanaareeswara (the deity represented as half-woman and half-man). This is the persona of Lord Siva. If it was true literally, in physical form…fundamentalists must excuse me...that creature would be horrible to look at. It is non-existent. It is only symbolic, just as a national flag is the symbol of the nation, or currency is the symbol of economy and wealth. Half-man and half-woman is symbolic. Purusha (Self in man) and matter -- the man and woman existing together is the message of Sivarathri.

And Sivarathri has another special significance. It is rathri (the night) when we are on vigil, awake throughout the night and participating in bhajans. Night symbolises darkness. When we think of God, you have the light of the Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is the light shed in the darkness of the night during Sivarathri. And Sivarathri also means ‘auspiciousness’ or Sivam.

So long as I am here, people respect me saying, “Sai Ram!” and all that. Bhagavan uses an example. It seems a rich man, a diamond merchant, died, and the body was being taken to the cremation ground. Suddenly it started to rain heavily. People were going along the main street. Suddenly they saw a shop. They asked the shopkeeper, “Sir, can we leave the body for a while in the shop as it is raining heavily?”

The owner of the shop replied, “Shut up! What do you mean? You want to keep a dead body in my shop? Get out, useless fellows!”

All right, they left, still carrying the body of the rich man while it was raining. Another man came and said to the owner of the shop, “Sir, I am going to the temple and I am wearing a new pair of chapels (footwear). It is raining heavily. May I leave my footwear in your shop?” (The temple is the most probable place where we lose our footwear (Laughter). That is the surest sign of having visited a temple. Nobody will doubt you. You have lost your shoes? Must be at the temple. No problem!) (Laughter)

The shop owner replied, “Oh sir, why not? Welcome! Welcome!”

Baba says that the body of the richest man does not even have the value of a pair of shoes after his death. Please understand! Once the auspicious life principle has gone, it is Savam (a dead body). Sivam is auspicious. So, Sivarathri is the celebration of auspiciousness, of the life principle within us.

Various names of Siva

And Lord Siva, in some scriptures, is said to have five heads, Panchaanana (five), Panchamukha (five heads). What are they? They are the five elements. The five elements are His five heads because if there were a person with five heads, we wouldn’t go to him at all! (Laughter) With just one head we are already tired. Why have five heads? (Laughter). Therefore, the five heads represent the five elements of Nature.

In some scriptures, they say Siva has four heads -- only four: Uthsaaham, Mangalam, Dhairyam, Mrithyunjaya (standing for activity, auspiciousness, courage and Immortality). Those are the auspicious and Divine qualities. And Lord Siva has another name. That name is Kamahari, meaning ‘who kills the desire’ or ‘who is desireless’. Siva is desireless. He is also deathless. Mrithyunjaya means immortal. So, we will all be immortal if we conquer desire. Desireless Siva is immortal. The one who is without desire is immortal.

What is death? Desire is death. What is deathlessness? It is being without desire. What is the cause for birth? Desire. So, in order to be unborn and therefore deathless, we should be desireless, and not senseless (Laughter).

So, Sivarathri calls for having no desires. And Lord Siva is always portrayed with a begging bowl, though He is a very close friend of the richest man, by name of Kubera -- the richest man, richer than the International Monetary Fund, IMF (Laughter)! Though Siva is the closest friend of the richest man, He is always with a begging bowl. Why? Plenty, prosperity, affluence and property are all obstacles to realization. So Siva holding a begging bowl speaks of detachment and renunciation. Siva symbolises a renunciant nature. That is Sivarathri.

Lord Siva has water (Ganga) on His head and fire at His centre. Fire and water are opposites. Both are in Him: the fire that burns and the water that holds life. Sustenance and annihilation are both together. Life and death go together. One can live without food. One cannot live without water. So, water is life; fire is death. Life and death go together. Death always follows like a shadow.

Also Siva is said to have three eyes: trinetra, meaning the past, present and future. And Siva always wears the sacred ash or vibhuthi on His temple. It means that everything will be reduced to ash. If you burn ash, it remains ash. Ash has no other form. Ash is the ultimate form. So, Lord Siva will tell you that is the ultimate. Understand it. And Sivam, being awareness, alertness and auspiciousness, confers Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being, Awareness, Bliss). It confers on everybody the abiding bliss that is non-dual, supreme and eternal. On Mahasivarathri (the Great Sivarathri festival held on the 14th day of the last half of the waning moon, usually in February), we are going to get Brahmananda (transcendental bliss), Advaithananda (the bliss of being the One and Only) and Paramananda (supreme bliss).

Siva is worshipped in the form of lingam. Lingam is the form of Siva. Lingam means in Sanskrit a sign, a symbol. It also means ‘That into which everything merges, the ultimate’. So Lingam is the ultimate into which everything merges. Leeyathe gamyam ithi Lingam. Everything merges into the Lingam. So, on Sivarathri we worship the lingam with the total understanding that ‘I am from God, I am in God, I will go back to God’. That is the supreme realization in the celebration of Sivarathri, the most sacred festival. In the Siva temple, we find the bull at the front, Nandi, who always looks at Siva in full concentration. It only means: look to God in full concentration, in steadiness.

My friends, there are a number of things associated with the celebration of Sivarathri. It is the day of enlightenment: Jnana linga. It is the day of supreme bliss: Sadasiva linga. It is the day of the sustenance of life: Andapindabrahmanda linga. It is the day of illumination, brilliance: Jyothirlinga.

May all these aspects of multi-faceted, multidimensional spiritual knowledge and experience be with you forever and ever more! Sai Ram!

Om Asathoma Sadgamaya
Thamasoma Jyothirgamya
Mrithyormaa Amrithangamaya

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

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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

Thank you! Sai Ram!

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