The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
February 22nd, 2004
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On Shivaratri, we heard Bhagavan talk to us about the antithesis of the mind and our thoughts. Let us also remind ourselves about what Swami has said pertaining to this topic on earlier occasions. The whole theme of His Shivaratri talk centered on ‘thought management’, to put it in modern terminology. Before I go into detail, I would like to mention a few points.
My friends, the cause of birth and rebirth is the mind. When the mind carries with it desire after desire, it is the root cause for rebirth. In other words, the mind is responsible for our birth and rebirth. The thoughts of the mind have to be carefully looked at. The mind has to be investigated in depth. All great philosophers, sages, saints and seers have commented on the mind and its nature.
Bhagavan brings out all that is within us
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba explains the nature of the mind in the simplest way possible. Gone are the days when we can spend a lot of time studying. Gone are the days when we can meditate, or follow some strict spiritual penance or spiritual practice, to find the solution and be free from the problem. We do not have adequate time. We do not have adequate energy. We do not have sufficient background to go into the depth of the subject.
Bhagavan is presenting His views in the simplest way. This is appropriate for the times we are living in. All of Bhagavan’s words are practical and applicable to our daily life situations. That is the reason why people from all over the world run after Him. He puts things in the simplest way, so that we can implement it and put His teachings into practice in our daily lives. That is the reason why at the end of every discourse, if you just follow the crowd, one person after another will say, “My doubt is cleared. My question was answered. My search has ended.” Repeatedly, we hear these comments. This only means that Bhagavan brings out all that is within us. My friends, it is within this context that I want to talk to you on certain points pertaining to the topic of mind and thoughts.
One has to grow beyond the mind
According to Bhagavan, the mind is nothing but a bundle of desires. He often uses the example of a handkerchief, which is made up of closely interwoven cotton threads. The cotton is made into threads and those threads are closely interwoven, making a handkerchief. Once the threads are removed, the handkerchief does not exist. This analogy gives us sufficient understanding of the main problem of life. Every religion emphasises this particular point that one has to grow beyond the mind.
The question is, how is this possible? Different people suggest many paths, but Bhagavan puts the answer into one sentence. The mind, which is made up of desires, can be annihilated or made functionless by being desireless. Once it is desireless, the mind no longer exists. So, being desireless is the only way to grow beyond the mind, or to live in the no-mind state. In Sanskrit, we call it manolaya. For your information, all I am talking about comes from Sai literature.
Mind is a bundle of thoughts and counter-thoughts
Mind is a bundle of thoughts and counter-thoughts.
“I shall go now” is a thought. “I shall not go” is the counter-thought.
“It is good to be here” is a thought. “It is not good to be here” is the counter-thought.
“Better I remain here”, a thought. “Better I get away from here”, a counter-thought.
The thought ‘I am following’ may be the correct thought. The thought ‘I am following’ may be wrong. So, life is full of thoughts and counter-thoughts.
“Shall I go for darshan or not? Shall I make a trip to Puttaparthi now or not? Shall I go to bhajans now or not? Shall I stay awake all night or only until ten o’clock?”
Every situation in life is full of thoughts, ranging from silly things to spiritual heights. Life is full of thoughts and counter-thoughts. So the mind is nothing but thoughts and counter-thoughts.
How to go beyond the mind?
How to go beyond the mind? How to cross beyond the mind? How to be in a mindless state? How to reach the ultimate goal of spiritual life? Bhagavan Baba always emphasises this point: “One has to grow beyond the mind.”
What is the thought-less state of the mind? A moment ago I said that a desireless state is a state where you can be beyond thought, and a thought-less state is a state where you can be beyond the mind. The mind only exists because of desires. The mind exists because of thoughts and counter-thoughts. These are all things that Baba has said.
How can we be desireless, how can we be thought-less? This is our question.
Is it wrong to desire to talk to Swami?
Once a young man asked me, “Mr. Anil Kumar, I have come here for Swami’s darshan. That is a desire. Is there anything wrong with this? I wish that He would look at me. Is there anything wrong with that? You said that being desireless is the goal of life; but I still have desires to see Swami and talk to Swami. Is anything wrong with such desires?”
Let us not give our own answer to this question. We may be right or wrong, because we imagine and speculate. We do not need to do that, as we are most fortunate to be the contemporaries of the Avatar. We are blessed being close to Him, and privileged to get direct answers from Him.
Why speculate and imagine? This only adds to our confusion and consequently we may confuse others. (Laughter) Let me not commit that sin, which I have avoided so far. I don’t think that I will do it in the future either. What I do know, I have taken from Bhagavan’s point of view. What I do not know, I take the time to seek clarity about from Him.
I put this question to Swami: “Swami, would You call it a desire if I want to see You? Would You call it a desire if I want to talk to You? You said that I should be desireless. What is the solution?”
you desire what you do not have
Bhagavan said in simple terms, “Desire means getting what you do not have.”
I desire to have a house. Why? Until now, I do not have a house; so I desire to have one. I desire a job, as I am now unemployed. I desire to get money because I do not have any. So we desire what we do not have.
I do not desire a pen because I have two pens now. (Laughter) Why desire pens unless I want to start a shop? (Laughter) I don’t desire a big diary like this. Why? I already have this one. So we don’t desire what we already have. We desire what we do not have.
Swami is already there in you
Now, when you want to talk to Swami, when you want to see Swami, it is not a desire. Why? Swami is already there in you, but you do not know it yet. That is why you have the desire. Swami is already there within us. The problem is that we don’t realise it.
If Swami were not already in us, we would not be here. If Swami were not already in us, our prayers would not have been answered to this date. If Swami were not in us, we would not have been saved from so many dangers, from so many threats, from so many risks that we have faced up until now. So, all of our experiences, all of our miracles, prove that Swami is in us.
outer to inner vision
What does the desire to see Him mean? Absence of realisation! What does the desire to talk to Him mean? Absence of understanding! So, when I come to see Him, when I desire to see Him, He will grant me that desire, so that I can see Him within when I am away from here. We come here to see Him on the outside, so that we can see Him on the inside. We talk to Him outside, so that we can talk to Him within. That is what we call the ‘inner voice’.
Swami is within you. So when you say, “I want to see You,” how can that be a desire? When Swami says, “You are God,” and “You and I are One,” when you say, “I want to talk to Him,” is that a desire? It is not!
It is incorrect from the spiritual point of view, because you are already God. You are already Divine. We have desires because we are not realised.
meditation leads TO A STATE OF NO-THOUGHT
My friends, it is possible to attain a state of no thoughts. How can we be thought-less? We become thought-less via the channel of meditation. Meditation is the only process, which leads to a state of no thoughts.
Some say, “No sir, there are more thoughts when I meditate. When I do not mediate, I am fine. When I start meditation, it is like the New York JFK airport -- flights and thoughts of flights are landing there every five seconds. What shall I do?”
My friends, when there are thoughts during meditation, it is not meditation at all. No! Real meditation is thought-less. When there are thoughts, there is avocation. It is provocation. It is not meditation. We meditate to withdraw the mind. We meditate so that we are thought-less.
to be one with God we must be without thoughts
To be one with God, we must be without thoughts. If we desire to realise our Divinity, the process of meditation leads to a state of no-thought. A simple example: Once you listen to Swami’s discourse, once you start singing Sai bhajans loudly and to the correct beat, you find you no longer have thoughts. You are totally absorbed in Swami’s words. You are totally absorbed in singing Sai bhajans.
Bhajans lead to a state of no-thoughts
If you are really participating in bhajans, there are no thoughts in your mind. Those people that have thoughts during bhajans would be better off at home; at least they can take a rest at home. Bhajans are meant to make us thought-less (thought-free).
How is this possible? We identify ourselves with the bhajans. We sing full-throatedly; we clap; we picture the Divine form. We picture the form of Krishna, Rama, Christ, Buddha or whatever Name we choose. We sing with the Divine form in our mind and the Name on our tongue. That is the key to being without thought. It is the easiest path towards developing a state of no thoughts.
Kundalini Yoga requires strictly regulated pranayama
There are some people who come to me and ask, “Anil Kumar, do you have any knowledge of kundalini yoga? How do you raise the kundalini?”
I reply, “Until now, I have kept away from that subject. Some people have said that when their kundalini rose, they had a nervous breakdown. Others have advised to avoid kundalini manifestations or expressions. The lungs get spoiled.”
It is clearly said that kundalini yoga requires pranayama, or a strictly regulated breathing process. It is a scientific, technical process. If the breathing process is regulated under the strict supervision of an experienced, selfless, noble soul, then you will be able to realise it subjectively. But, if you are practicing other ways directed by your own imagination, your health will be totally upset.
kundalini is not given to everybody
Bhagavan said this in Dhyana Vahini. Please believe it. Pranayama, the breathing process, and kundalini, are not given to everybody. It is a very tough process. It should be done under the guidance of an experienced and selfless preceptor, not under the direction of any Tom, Dick or Harry, for the purpose of making money.
I have not delved into kundalini yoga yet, because I do not want to be hurt, nor do I wish to forego liberation.
easiest way to let go of thoughts is path of Bhajans
My friends, the easiest way to let go of one’s thoughts is the path of sankirtan or bhajans. It does not need any special space. It does not need any special time. It does not need any special assistance or supervision, nor does it cost you anything. Just play the tape. While listening to it, you forget yourself.
Just get up in the morning and play the cassette of your choice, or participate in singing bhajans in the company of others. When you are alone and listening to a Bhagavan cassette, you cannot help but cry. Tears start rolling down your cheeks without your realising it. Why? When you are alone, you need the company of God. Once you need the company of God, you start thinking about Him. When you start thinking about Him, you start singing. When you start singing and stop thinking, you no longer exist. You are not there; only Bhagavan is there! That is the thought-less (thought-free) state of meditation.
bhajan and japa - WAYS to withdraw the mind
So my friends, meditation is a process, which leads to a state of no thoughts. This state is the ultimate aim of all sadhana. All spiritual sadhana, be it pranayama, bhajans, or whatever else, should lead to the withdrawal of all our thoughts. That is the thought-less state, which Ramana Maharishi emphasises.
Adi Shankara emphasises how one can withdraw one’s thoughts. This is done via the practice of bhajans, also called sankirtan, or dhyana, which is meditation. We are familiar with sankirtan; but what is meditation or dhyana? It is nothing but the process of Self-enquiry.
Recently, Bhagavan said: “The answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ is: Soham, Soham - I am That, I am That’. Tat Twam Asi - That you are.” This is the path of Self-enquiry, which leads to jnana via the process of dhyana or meditation.
The process of singing leads to a state of being without thought, by becoming one with the deity whose glory you are singing. I think I am quite clear. Sankirtan, dhyana, bhajan and jnana are excellent, simple, easy ways to withdraw our mind, to bring about desirelessness.
How do we become desireless? We now have sufficient information on thought-lessness. Let us now consider how to be desireless.
desire never takes you to an higher level
We have endless desires. In the beginning, I came here with the desire to see Swami. Then a humble desire to get the first row developed. Then that humble desire became the wish that Swami would pass along the line where I sat. Then the next desire was to have a chance to pass on a letter to Him. Then came the next desire: ‘If possible, let me get an interview.’ The next desire was to get some recognition from Him. The next desire: ‘Let me be the only fortunate man to whom Swami will speak.’ The final desire, the climax of all desires: ‘Let me be the only privileged fellow.’ Ah! Ah! (Laughter) Desire is an unfortunate thing. Desire never takes us to a higher level!
I desire Moksha, liberation
Some people say, “I desire moksha, liberation.”
I think about looking at them and saying, “Why do you desire moksha? Has anyone told you what moksha is?”
It is like someone saying, “Anil Kumar, this is moksha,” while showing a sweater, a pie or a donut, feeling that moksha is something wonderful and beautiful. (Laughter) Everyone has said that moksha or liberation is most beautiful; so let me try to see it. But nobody has reported directly on moksha. All information is second-hand information, bookish knowledge. None of it has anything to do with reality. The people who desire it don’t exactly know what it is that they desire.
Once Bhagavan said, “Anil Kumar, what do you want? What do you want Me to give you?”
I replied, “Swami, why should I ask for anything from God, who is giving me everything without my asking? When You ask, ‘What do you want,’ I must search for a want. I have not asked for anything because You have given me everything that I want. Do not tempt me like that.” (Laughter)
After some time, an older man started to speak about moksha. Then Swami said to me, “Do you want moksha? I will give it to you!”
I said, “Why should I ask for something when I have no idea of what it is?”
Then He said, “Then, what do you want?”
“I want what I have already experienced - closeness to Bhagavan. It is an opportunity and a blessing to listen to Your discourses. I do not want anything else, because I know the taste of this. The greatest service is to share Your message with a number of people, and in as many places as possible. This is what I want. I want nothing else.”
I know the joy and the thrill of sharing Sai’s messages with people. When people come and say, “Anil Kumar, we enjoyed your talk,” I am right on top of a mountain. (Laughter)
People come and say, “We have learned so many things! Without you, this would not have been possible.” Yes! That makes me extremely happy. I feel like a millionaire. This is what I want to do for a number of lives to come. I want nothing else.
Let me desire what makes me desireless
My friends, what does desire mean? Let me desire that which makes me desireless, as every other desire leads me to yet another desire. There is no end to desires.
If you desire God, you cannot desire anymore. God is amongst us. If you desire God, there is nothing else. You can be desireless by desiring God. When He is with you, the whole world is with you. When He is not with you, even if the whole world is with you, life is empty and meaningless. Without God, we will not have any peace of mind. We will not have any bliss.
Men of God
We know many rich people and what has happened to them. We know many people in very high positions and know what kind of life they are leading. But watch men of God. See how peaceful and how happy they are. They are sathwic. They appear to be without comfort or conveniences, yet in their heart-of-hearts, they are full of bliss. Their faces are full of smiles. Their life is a celebration. Men of God are very peaceful. People desire their company. People are drawn to them. They attract everybody. With some people, we feel we are with God. Why? Some people have this attractive power, as they are men of God.
If men of God are attractive, how can God Himself be other than one hundred percent a magnet? God is the biggest magnet!
Let us Desire God - there is nothing beyond that
What do we do to become desireless? Let us desire God! There is nothing beyond that. So my friends, to be without thought, one has to meditate. To be desireless, one must desire God. This leads to the highest accomplishment in life.
‘But where is God?’ God is already here. Let us realise how great we are and how rich we are, as God is already within us. What more can we want than to know this! “The Kingdom of Heaven is within in you,“ says the Holy Bible. When you are a king yourself, why do you need to beg?
Bhagavan’s talk on Shivaratri was about the mind and thoughts. If there are thoughts, let us ensure that they are holy, that they are sacred. If I cannot be free from thoughts, at least let them be sacred and holy.
The mind makes heaven out of hell and hell out of heaven. By having holy thoughts, my life will be holy. By having sacred thoughts, my life will be sacred.
my classmate of fifty years AGO
I want to let you know how thoughts work. I met a person on Shivaratri who happened to be my classmate in school fifty years ago or even more. Without notice, he rushed to my apartment. I did not recognise him because, after fifty years, like anyone else, he was out of shape and out of proportion. (Laughter) He was very difficult to recognise. Of course, I must have been difficult to recognise, too. Yet, I was courteous enough not to show my confusion and inability to recognise him. After hearing my name, he said, “We were classmates, you know, fifty years ago.”
I said, ”I am sorry. I forgot.” Then I asked him, “What are you doing?”
He said, “I am a doctor.”
I said, “Very fine, good! And who is she (the person with him)?”
He said, ”She is my wife.”
I said, “Wonderful! So nice to have met you again after fifty years!”
Then I started recalling some of my past and some of my classmates. He started speaking more about them, too. Watching both of us, people around must have thought we were two crazy fellows meeting. (Laughter) Some must have thought that these two fellows must have escaped from a mental asylum, because we were laughing hysterically! (Laughter) To go back into the past, so many years ago - ah! How amazing! There is nothing like remembering the past. Our school days were most beautiful.
Suddenly his wife said, “I forced my husband to come to meet you today. He doubted that you would recognise him.” But I said, “It does not matter!”
I said to her, “Double thanks to you. Thanks for having brought him here. I am very grateful.”
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Surgeon
Then my classmate, whose name is Shyamsundar, a military doctor in Medak in the State of Andhra Pradesh, started telling me that he had stayed in different places such as Bombay and Puna, until suddenly and unfortunately, his enemies threatened his life. One day, they stabbed him. His condition was critical. He was admitted to the hospital in Puna. The doctors immediately operated him on. Because of the seriousness of the stabbing injury, the doctors came out and said, to his wife, “Madam, your husband will not survive. We have lost hope. We did all that was possible!” Then they left.
My friends, I am giving you his name and address, so that any ‘doubting Thomas’ will not question me. You can verify the story with him. I obtained his permission to tell this story to everybody, because anything that is mentioned by Anil Kumar will be broadcast and telecast everywhere! (Laughter)
So, the doctors said that this man had no chance of surviving the stabbing and left the wife, who was waiting outside the theatre, crying.
Then I said to my old friend, “You stop speaking now, because when you were there in the hospital, you must have been under anesthesia or sedation. Therefore, you cannot know what happened. You keep quiet and let your wife tell the story.” Then I told his wife, “Now you speak.” (Laughter)
She started telling me the story: “You are right, Mr. Anil Kumar. He did not know. I told him what happened only later.” I need only first-hand information, so ladies first! (Laughter) When she started talking, she was crying.
Please believe me, my friends. I am speaking in the Divine presence of Bhagavan with first-hand information. She saw Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in physical form, walking along the corridor. He opened the door to the surgery theatre and went in. After one hour, Bhagavan came out of the theatre. This lady was waiting outside because she was not permitted to go in. The doctors had said, “Do not go in.”
After a couple of hours, some doctors came and examined the patient again. Then they came to his wife and said, “Amma, your husband is out of danger. There was a cut on one side. We don’t know how that incision got there.”
Then this doctor friend of mine lifted his shirt and said, “This is the original cut made by the surgeons. This is the second cut made by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Divine Surgeon. As a result of His intervention, you find me here this morning, talking to you.”
The recipients of His Divine Grace best know how Swami saves lives. It is not to be questioned. We know that Swami is in us. We have often read heard Him say that God is above you, below you, around you and in you. So nice! But we don’t have that awareness, totally, through the day. Constant Integrated Awareness is a state of being, where one has that awareness throughout the day. I was unable to speak to anybody after my old school mate had showed me both cuts. That is Bhagavan!
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as custom official
I know that some of you must have heard me mention a devotee who lived in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, for ten or fifteen years. His parents wanted him to come back home for good, so he packed all his things and returned. Now he is a resident of Hyderabad. He is a young man and an eligible bachelor. His parents wanted me to find him a suitable bride. I don’t think that I am suited for that job. (Laughter) His looks are not appealing to me, so I cannot recommend him to anybody. (Laughter) But, I said that I would try.
With delight, I wanted to share this experience of his with Sai brothers and sisters this morning. This young man had lived in L.A. for a little over a decade. So when he left, he brought with him everything that was precious to him. By the time he finished packing, he had a lot of luggage.
When he reached Mumbai, the officials said, “Overloaded! You have brought so much luggage! You must pay over 10,000 rupees.”
This young man thought that it was not worth all that. It would be better that they take the luggage. He said, “I don’t want all these things.”
He contacted his sister by cellular phone. She said, “Don’t worry, I will send you the money, so you can have your things.”
He said, “I don’t want them. It is not worth spending the money!”
It was midnight. All of us know that most of the flights arrive at midnight. There were long queues while the custom officials were checking his luggage. One of the custom officials said to him, “I know you are a Sai devotee. You are clear. You can go!” (Laughter) Straight! (Laughter) No checking! No payment required! The young man did not know the official. He had never met him before.
The devotee then went to find out about the local flight. Out of courtesy, he wanted to thank the custom official. He went back and stood at the counter. Once he cleared the customs, he could not go back inside. He wanted to wave his thanks to the custom official from outside, through the glass. But the official was not there. (Laughter) He spent an hour and a half searching all over the airport and was in such a state because he could not find him.
Yesterday that man said to me, “Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba served as that custom official.” (Laughter)
I said, “Good! Swami, what is the role that You cannot take?” Only yesterday, He told me that He remembered well a similar thing happening to me.
Swami wanted me to go to Bangkok. Well, I simply went to Bangkok, but I did not have a visa to allow me to move around that place. I never thought it was necessary to have a visa. (Laughter) I do not think along those lines.
I got there and they asked, “Do you have a visa?”
I said, “No, I don’t have one.”
Then they said, “You cannot stay here. Go back.”
I found long queues of people waiting to have their luggage checked. I wondered what I was to do about my luggage.
I climbed down the steps, feeling desperate. I thought, ‘OK, let me go back. What is here anyway? I don’t have any investments here. If permitted, I’ll give three talks. If not permitted, I’ll just go back.’
Suddenly, I found a person in front of me. He was well dressed, wearing a dark blue suit, a dark tie and a blue shirt, and he was quite handsome. I began speaking about my experience.
He was smiling and said, "Hi, Anil Kumar.” I thought that maybe there was another passenger called Anil Kumar. You are from Prashanti, sir, right?”
I said, “Yes, I am.”
“Oh, I see. What is the problem?”
I said, “Sir, I do not have a visa. I thought they would permit me to enter the country without one. (Laughter) I do not have a visa and there is a long line for the baggage and security check. What am I to do?”
“Don’t worry, follow me,” he said.
“I should join the queue. Why do you want me to follow you?”
“Don’t worry! Come with me.”
To my great surprise, everybody everywhere in the airport just greeted him by saying, “Hi! Hi! H!” I thought to myself that he must be a very, very important person. (Laughter)
Then he said, “You don’t have to stand here. Follow me.” So, no queue; I simply followed him! (Laughter)
Then he said, “What do you want?”
He said, “Ah, yes! Come on.”
He took me to a place and asked me to enter a glass chamber-like thing. I went inside. They took my photograph and right there, they issued me with a visa.
Then he said, “Come on. Let’s go!”
“Wait a moment. What is this? Where are you taking me? Who are you?”
He said, “Mr. Anil Kumar, I am Jumsai. I often come to Prashanti Nilayam. (Laughter) I know you.”
“Ah, this is wonderful! How could you get me the visa so quickly? How could you help me avoid that long queue?”
He said, “I am related to the royal family. I am a member of the Parliament. I am a leading scientist. Above all, I am a Sai devotee. So let’s go!” That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
constant integrated awareness
My friends, so many things are happening in our lives, yet we don’t recognise Him all the time. That is the problem. When we always feel Him throughout our lives, it means that we are living in a state of Constant Integrated Awareness, as Bhagavan puts it.
The quintessence of Bhagavan’s talk was that one could be thought-less apart from having one thought only - the thought of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. One can be desireless if one desires the grace and the presence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The best way to withdraw the mind to the thought-less state or the desire-less state is to meditate on Him or sing His glory, whichever is the best and the easiest way.
Questions AND ANSWERS
mergING into Brahman, there is NO COMING back
Q. “What about merging with Brahman at the end of all creation and returning in the next creation in another human form?”
I would like to draw your attention to an interesting question that was passed on to me this morning. The question concerns the process of merging with Brahman at the end of all creation and returning in the next creation in another human form.
My friends, there is a very simple answer. Merge means ‘no return’. A simple example: a spoon of sugar is mixed in water. It becomes totally immersed, totally dissolved. Now I say, “Oh, sugar, come on, come on out!” I cry. I do penance. I sing bhajans. Still, I do not get the sugar. It is impossible!
To merge is total. Merging is not partial. Once you are merged in Brahman, there is no question of coming back. There is no other creation possible. You have become one in Brahman.
The other day, Bhagavan gave an example: You find a river. Rivers have different names and forms. As they flow, they pass different cities; they travel down the valley, up the hill and finally they merge in the ocean. Once a river merges in the sea, if you stand in front of the sea and say, “I want my river, I want the Mississippi River and so on,” the sea will say, “Oh fool, go back!” Once a river merges in the sea, there is no return. That is the answer I can give you. To merge means ‘no return’!
ONCE WE MERGE WITH GOD, IT IS FOREVER
Q. “Once we merge with God, is it forever? Will it mean that we won’t ever take any form again, even if God wills it?”
When you are one with God, you are God, and you no longer exist. You are not there. Once you are merged with God, just as the river that merged into the ocean no longer exists, you no longer exist. Am I correct? So once you are with Brahman, coming back does not exist. ‘I’-ness is God. That is called merging. Am I clear on this yet?
WHY THE LINGAM?
Q. “Sathya Sai Baba produced three Atma-Lingams as part of Lingodbhava on Friday, February 18th. What did He do with the Lingams? Did He use them for something? Did He create them for somebody or for the world?”
“What did He do with the lingams? Ah! Ah!” (Laughter) My friends, what did He do with the lingams?
First, let us know why He creates the lingam. Bhagavan has said that the lingam is present in everybody. But the lingam that is present in Bhagavan emerges in solid form because of His Will.
The lingam is present in everyone near the navel. That gold, which is near the navel, is in a liquid form. But in Bhagavan, it takes a solid form and emerges during what we called Lingodbhava, occurring on Shivaratri. When the Shiva lingam emerges, a terrific heat is produced within the body. This is necessary for the liquid to take the solid form. (These are all the words of Bhagavan, not my imagination. Please be aware of that.)
When the heat is generated, the body appears to shiver, the body appears to have fallen sick, and the body appears to have become weak. These are all the signs of the liquid turning solid by the heat generated there.
Swami has said, “Nothing can ever happen to me. The lingam is the finest symbol of Divinity, like a national flag.” The symbol for lingam is the origin of creation. Lingam is that into which all creation will finally merge. Lingam is the origin and the end of all creation.
The next question is: What does He do with the lingams?
I know Swami has presented lingams to some devotees who do regular worship. The Shiva lingam requires a specific ritual to be followed. There are some people who are ritualistic, who are orthodox. Swami may present a lingam to them.
Other times, the lingam disappears. When we asked Swami where the lingams are, Bhagavan answered, “They have gone back to the place where they came from. They went back to their source.”
Both possibilities are there. That is the answer.
HOW TO GET SWAMI’S GRACE
Q. “How does one get Swami’s Grace?”
A good question. “How does one get Swami’s Grace?” My friends, it is not a thing to be got. You cannot go to the store and buy it. How do we get bread? We go to the bakery and buy it. How do we get ice cream? There is an ice-cream parlor here. How does one get God’s Grace? It is not to be got.
“Oh! I see! Why not?”
“It is already there. God’s Grace is not to be got. It is already there!”
“Oh, I see! Then why don’t I know it?”
Swami gave this example: When you want to hold water in your hands to drink, what should you do? You go to the tub of water. If you hold your hands down, you cannot hold water from the tub. If you cup your palms together, you can hold water and then drink it. There is water and there is the tub. Water is flowing continuously, but in order to retain it, you need to hold your palms upward and cupped together.
Similarly, Grace is always there, like the continuous flow of the water; but if your heart is turned upside down, you cannot experience the Grace. Grace is already there. That is the example that Bhagavan has given and that I want to share with you.
Bhagavan, let us be convinced that Your Grace is already there with us. We should turn our hearts towards You to collect the rain of Your Grace, to retain the rain of Your Grace. Let our hearts be positive. That is what we should do.
THE REAL PRASHANTI NILAYAM IS WITHIN THE HUMAN HEART
Q. “How does one settle in Prashanti Nilayam?”
First, let me ask you this question: “Where is Prashanti Nilayam? Is this place here Prasanthi Nilayam?” No! Prashanti Nilayam is in your heart. Where there is shanti, where there is peace, where there is bliss - that is Prashanti Nilayam. If I am annoyed, if I am agitated, if I am disturbed, if I am nervous, if I am angry and harsh with everybody, how can this be Prashanti Nilayam, or in fact how can I claim to be in Prashanti Nilayam? Prashanti is a state of mind!
Prashanti is a state of mind. Prashanti is an attitude. Nilayam is the center. So, Prashanti is in the mind and the heart. To be settled in Prashanti Nilayam is to be constantly thinking of Swami, constantly praying to Him, constantly reading His literature, constantly repeating His Name. Only then, can you be in Prashanti Nilayam.
I may be in Prashanti Nilayam doing business. I may be in Prasanthi Nilayam with my mind full of politics. What for? That is only the physical Prashanti Nilayam. The real Prashanti Nilayam is in the mind. It is in your attitude. You are already there.
Instead of asking questions about how to settle in the physical Prashanti Nilayam, let us ask the question, “Why am I unsettled?”
A child is in prashanti or supreme peace. Let us watch a child sleeping Ah! Bliss! If you watch an elderly person sleep, it is often disturbing. If he snores, he looks like an animal from the zoo. Why? Because his mind is full of desires and attachments, so he cannot have a good sleep.
Prashanti Nilayam is in the mind, the human heart, and in one’s attitude. So we are already settled. The reason that we feel unsettled is because of desires and attachments. Because of these things, I am unsettled. The moment I am separate from these things, I can go back to my original place of peace.
That is why Bhagavan continually addresses us as “Embodiments of Love, Embodiments of Divine Atma, and Embodiments of Peace.” It means that we are peace itself.
Unfortunately, we have reduced this peace to pieces. We already are bliss, but we have made life miserable. So, let us question why we are unsettled. The reasons for our state of being unsettled are our attachments, possessiveness, pride and ego. Once we are free from these, we are already in Prashanti Nilayam!
HAVE SINGLE- POINTED AND UNWAVERING DEVOTION
Q. “Baba says that He does not transfer His power to anybody. In a few places, we find vibhuthi manifested and some people who are able to materialise vibhuthi and the lingam, etc. Is this not a transfer of power?”
My friends, please be attentive. Anybody may materialise vibhuthi; anybody may materialise a lingam. However, Baba creates vibhuthi to make you more spiritual, to make you detached, to make you desireless, to encourage you to perform sadhana, to make you noble, to improve you. That is the purpose of vibhuthi.
Baba materialises the lingam to show you your place of origin and the place where you will ultimately merge. That is the final goal of existence. Let us not talk about others; let us not think of others. Let us only think of Bhagavan.
That does not necessarily mean that I should not go to a certain other place. I may find some other person that is as beautiful as my mother, but I cannot call her mother. Isn’t that true? God wants unalterated, unpolluted and single-pointed, steady devotion. Please remember this: Let us not be carried away by anything that we come to know, or by anything that we hear. God wants us to be single-minded. God wants us to have an unwavering mind. In this context, let us not think about others.
Will Baba show the whole world that He is God?
Q. Will Baba show the whole world that He is God in His present body, or in the body of Prema Sai? Will Baba show that He is God now? Or, will He show this as Prema Sai, the next Incarnation?
My friends, the answer is straightforward. He need not show that He is God because He is God. Showing is only necessary when one is not that. I give a show that I am God, as people do not experience that I am God. Showing indicates a division. Showing is artificial. Showing is pompous. Showing is self-praise. Baba need not show that He is God because He is already God. Am I clear? He is already accepted as God, as there is no country, no island, no place where He is not known. Everybody knows him. He is materialising everything. He is manifesting His Divinity.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi