Vibhishana was Greater than Bheeshma
Then Bhagavan mentioned two characters: one from Mahabharata, Bheeshma, and one from the Ramayana, Vibhishana.
Swami said, “Vibhishana of the Ramayana is greater than Bheeshma of Mahabharata.”
Indians do not know this and Hindus will not accept it, because Bheeshma is a senior man. Vibhishana is not great in archery or in penance or in wisdom. Vibhishana is just Ravana’s brother, an ordinary inhabitant of Lanka, but Bheeshmacharya is a great man.
Baba says, “Vibhishana is greater than Bheeshma.”
But who will accept it?
Swami added another dimension: “Bheeshma, although a great man, although a great scholar, an expert in archery, a man of deep penance, is less than Vibhishana, who is so simple and ordinary.”
Why? Because when Vibhishana came to know that his brother Ravana committed a mistake, he immediately confronted his brother: “You should not do this. Brother, you should not kidnap the wife of another man. This is wrong. If anyone did the same to you, wouldn’t you feel badly?”
Vibhishana opposed Ravana. He wanted to teach him a lesson. But elder brother Ravana refused to listen. So, Vibhishana left Ravana and surrendered to Rama.
But Bheeshma of the Mahabharata, in spite of all his greatness, continued to remain with the Kauravas, those brutal fellows. He never left their company. So, you may be wise, you may be aged, you may be a scholar and you may be an expert; but if you still continue to cooperate and support wicked people, all will fall into nothingness. You may be simple, you may be humble, you may be ordinary, but if you leave your own kith and kin when they are bad and surrender to God, you are really greater than any powerful man in this world. That’s what Bhagavan said.
He gave another example concerning Prahlada from the Maha Bhagavatha. Prahlada differed with his father. The father, Hiranyakasipu, tested Prahlada by giving him poison; he had elephants trample over his body; he had him set on fire -- but nothing ever happened to Prahlada. He withstood all the tests. That also Bhagavan mentioned.
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Swami Materialized a Fruit I could Not Identify:
On the dais that day in Kulwant Hall, Swami’s chair was in the centre between the two lions. To His left sat the vice chancellor, the registrar, and the controller of examinations -- some big people. In their company happened to be seated another man by the name of Raju, a builder, an industrialist from a very big company, Nagarjuna Builders.
Swami was talking to everybody and suddenly He waved His hand and materialized a fruit of this size -- atti pandu, something like a wild fig, forest fig or berry. I'm a student of botany, but I'm very ashamed to say I could not identify what it was.
Swami asked me, “What is this fruit?”
“I don’t know, Swami.”
Swami said, “You are a botanist -- don’t you know?”
“I don’t know, Swami.” (Laughter)
Then He said, “This is not grown here. This is not available here, so how would you know? It has been brought from elsewhere.”
Good. But, what if I could not identify a fruit that grows right here? What would happen to my prestige -- and in front of the students? (Laughter) I would cut a very sorry figure. But anyway, how could I guess the name of a fruit that is not available here and is from an unknown, far-off place, maybe even the Himalayas? What do I know? How can I guess? He asked everyone to see that.
Holding the fruit, He cut it into two pieces. He gave half of it to Raju, the industrialist. Then I thought, “The other half is meant for me.” (Laughter) But it did not happen that way. He gave the other half to the vice chancellor. He asked both of them to eat it right there. They ate.
Raju, the builder said, “Swami.”
“Raju, how is the fruit?”
“Swami, I have visited many pilgrim centres spread all over India. I have eaten fruits available from all over India. I have not seen this sort of fruit. I cannot express the sweet taste.”
He kept trying to describe it: “It is sweet from here -- from the navel.”
He continued to describe the depth of the sweetness, “Ah, ah! How deep it has gone! Very sweet, very sweet,” he said.
Then Swami said, “You can’t find this fruit anywhere. I just wanted to show it to you.”
God Expresses His Divinity in the Way He Chooses
Then Bhagavan turned around and started telling an episode. There was a lady by name Hemireddy Malamma, a great devotee. She was married to a person who was mad. Many people thought that the bridegroom was mad, but truly speaking, he was Siva himself. And Hemireddy Malamma was Parvathi. Both of them were Divine, but they came down in human form. Everyone considered the lady’s husband to be a lunatic, a psycho, but he was Lord Siva.
Like any mother-in-law, Malamma’s mother-in-law gave her trouble. One day she wanted fifteen bags of corn to be ground. Fifteen bags! They were to be ground in a mortar, and to be ready by the next morning. What is it that lady could do at this time?
The next morning when the mother-in-law came, to her utter surprise, all the fifteen bags of corn were well ground. Why and how? It is because of Malamma’s mad husband, who is Siva in disguise, who is Sankara in disguise.
Bhagavan said, "God expresses His Divinity in the ways He chooses, in the ways He prefers. The one you call ‘mad’ is truly speaking God Himself. That is how God manifests."
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The Motivation is to Make Swami Happy:
Above all, the motivation behind it is to make Swami happy. Whatever they do, whether gymnastics or athletics, motorbike or karate, their only motive is to make Swami happy. When Swami is happy, the whole world is happy. When Swami is not happy, there is no point in making others happy.
If you ask the students, “What is your incentive?” they say, “Sir, we are not doing this for recognition or for any medals or to win trophies, cash awards or for newspaper publicity, no! We just want a pat on the back from Bhagavan or just a photo with Him. We will be happy just to receive a smile. All we want is Swami to say, ‘I am happy,’ that’s all.”
Particularly for youngsters to have this feeling is really something great.
The Boy Immediately Got Up:
During the last sports meet in January 2003, you must have noticed that a boy fell on the ground off the back of a horse. Usually the horse would run away and the boy would quit, stopping further acts or performances. But this boy got up immediately. He ran up to the horse and jumped on the horse’s back. He finished all the stunts as planned, jumping over all the obstacles.
Swami immediately looked at me.
I said, “Swami!”
“Ah, what, what?” (Laughter)
“Swami, the boy fell!”
“Oh, I see,” He said. “Oho?”
“Swami, he ran and got back on the horse and did all the stunts as per their plan.”
“Hmm, good, good, good! See -- see what has happened? Usually this would not be the case.” said Bhagavan.
Nothing Can Happen Because Swami is There
Also, you must have seen a boy on a motorcycle hit a wall and fall down. The boy was on one side and the motorcycle on the other. Nothing happened to the boy. He immediately got up, picked up the motorcycle and started riding again.
Swami said, “See, nothing happened to him. You know why? They are confident that nothing will happen because Swami is here.” It’s really good.
And regarding the audience and all the spectators – why did they come? They did not come for entertainment, no. They did not come on a holiday. They came to see Bhagavan and the boys do so many wonderful things on the playing field.
The discipline and peaceful atmosphere that prevailed on the sports day are not seen anywhere else in the world. Elsewhere you will find clapping, cheering, shouting, slogans and all kinds of disturbances. But here the sports and games are spiritualised -- the whole atmosphere is calm and peaceful. It is made into a ‘religion’. That is something fantastic!
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Topics in this audio:
Absolutely Necessary for Everyone to talk Less:
His first point: It is absolutely necessary for everyone to talk less. Why? When talking, we lose energy, we lose memory, we are likely to speak lies and exaggerate the facts. So, in order to avoid these four mistakes of the tongue, Bhagavan wants us to talk less.
Further, He also went on to say that wrinkles on the face and old age are also due to too much talk. All of us wish to be young, so we should follow this caution.
Avoid Bad Company:
Bhagavan’s second point:He told the boys, “Always remember A - B - C.” What does this mean? Avoid Bad Company.
Tell Me your company, I shall tell you what you are.
Therefore, you have to be very careful about the company you keep.
Swami said, “You have to join good company and run away from bad company. As is the company, so you become. Sand, in the company of air, goes up. That very same sand, in the company of water, goes down. Fire, in the company of green grass, gets extinguished. That very spark of fire, in the company of dry grass, will burn everything. Therefore, you have to be very careful.”
Be Involved in Good Actions:
Bhagavan’s third point: “You should always search for an opportunity or wait for an opportunity to be involved in good actions, in good deeds. They are very necessary in life. They speak of your spiritual path. Without good service activities, you cannot be spiritual and you cannot be religious.”
Bhagavan’s fourth point: “It is better to have fewer contacts. Too many contacts take you toward socialisation and that will disturb your state of mind and your thinking process. So, with fewer contacts you can be true to yourself, maintain your own ideology, hold on to your own character, continue your own process of thinking and go by your own chosen path of life. For all these benefits, you have to have minimum contacts.”
Don’t Touch Anybody:
Bhagavan’s fifth point: “When you mix and mingle, you should see that you do not touch anyone. Because when you touch, those vibrations of the other will reach you. The vibrations of the other person will come to you. By the constant touch of the other person, you naturally lose your concentration.”
Meditation Is Possible Only When Alone:
Bhagavan’s sixth point: He made it very clear that meditation is possible only when you are alone, not in a community or in a group. Some people want to meditate in Kulwant Hall. Is that possible? One seva dal will ask you to move to the front; the next seva dal will ask you to go to the back; the third one will ask you to go to one corner; finally, another will ask you to get out! How can you meditate under those circumstances? Therefore, meditation is only possible when you are all alone, left to yourself.
Awareness of Divinity:
Bhagavan’s seventh point: He also made it very clear that one must have awareness of the Divinity, which is present in every atom or anu. This Divinity is present in every cell or kana. This kind of awareness is true spiritual experience.
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They lifted My Car.
And then Swami started laughing, all of a sudden.
“Swami, what? What happened?”
“Oh, I visited Punjab also.”
“Oh, I see Swami.”
You know, Punjabis wear turbans. You must know that. And the ladies will cover their heads with their saris. Have you seen? It looks something like a veil. So, there were all veils on this side and all turbans on that side - the men and women.”
“There were thousands - a very big crowd.”
“There was no space for My car to go, as it was so fully packed.”
“Swami, then what happened?”
“Four Punjabis, all well-built with their muscle power, lifted My car. They carried Me straight to the dais, from where I addressed the gathering.” That’s how Bhagavan recalled those days.
Ramesh and Suresh could not bear separation
And Swami also talked about attachment. Attachment to Bhagavan should be so intense and intimate, like that of two of His previous classmates, Ramesh and Suresh. They could not bear separation from Swami, so they took another birth as Jack and Jill (Swami’s two pet dogs), who stayed with Him.
And now, let me not mention their names, but they have taken this birth as two sisters. It may be out of place if I mention their names, as they belong to a royal family, the two sisters. So, Ramesh and Suresh, who were born as Jack and Jill, are now born as sisters. Their husbands are Bhagavan’s devotees, and one gentleman is already here. Please don’t tempt me to mention their names. (Laughter)
Boys should follow His instructions scrupulously
And then, Bhagavan was talking about how the boys should follow His instructions scrupulously.
He said, “Look here, sometime back I told one student, ‘You stay here. Don’t go home.’ That boy kept quiet. Then after some days I said, ‘You are a rash driver. Don’t ride any motorcycles.’ I told him - but that boy left this place.
While driving rashly on the motorcycle, he met with an accident and he was hospitalised. Bhagavan went to see him in the hospital. That boy, shedding tears, said, ‘Swami, it is my mistake. You warned me not to ride the motorbike. This is a tragedy of my own making. I have to blame myself. But anyway, I am glad that You have come here to give me Your Darshan in the last moment of my life.’ With folded hands, catching the hands of Bhagavan, he died there on the bed.” That’s what Bhagavan said.
Therefore, we may not understand the meaning of Swami’s words immediately. We may not know their implications immediately and we may not understand the significance then and there itself. But, with the passage of time, we will come to know why Bhagavan said what He did on that day, but not till then.
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Now I come to the 22nd of January 2003. All of you must have noticed Bhagavan proceeding to the Music College that morning. Am I right? Have you not seen Bhagavan going to the Music College that morning? You must have seen Him.
Why did He go there? The 22nd of January happens to be a day of celebration where all musicians, especially classical musicians, commemorate the life and work of a great celestial singer cumdevotee named Thyagaraja.
Thyagaraja is very famous for his classical music, a very great devotee par excellence. To commemorate his life and his message, all musicians celebrate the 22nd of January as a day of worship to Saint Thyagaraja. This year, as it is one year since the Music College has been established, and as Swami happened to be here on 22nd January, they all prayed to Swami to attend their function that morning.
Swami, in His infinite mercy, went there around 7:30 AM and He stayed there till 9:30 in the morning – for two hours! I don’t think that He has given that long a time to anybody else. What did He do there? All the students of all the Institutions were invited, plus teachers and guests - all were there. It was fully packed. He went around to each of them, blessing everybody.
And, He sat in one place. At the Music College, there is a beautiful elevation there, with the two violins and tabla - one on each and every corner. It is a beautiful elevation. I am speaking about that. And Swami sat there with all the students in front of Him. A little distance from the dais, twenty well-dressed children sat, and behind them, six more students also. All these twenty are vocalists and the six behind them were playing on the veena. They all started singing together the songs composed by Saint Thyagaraja.
There is one place by the name of Guruvayur, where all singers gather once every year. From the topmost singer down to the amateur, all gather there and sing together in chorus the compositions of Saint Thyagaraja. I was reminded of that scene when all of them started singing here. So beautiful! They sang about fifteen songs.
Swami, to my knowledge, never gave that long a time to any senior artist. Such an outpouring of Love was not because of their excellence. They are still children, so it was not the highest standard of music. These children, the Music College boys, were giving a programme for the first time. This is what made Him sit there patiently and appreciate them. Then He distributed prasad. After that, I expected Swami to give a discourse, but there was no time. He returned back to the Mandir for the arathi.........More in the audio.........
Know the feelings of society
Then He started talking about what had happened. “You know, one boy who sits there on the veranda unknowingly walked into the interview room while I was coming out of the room at the same time. His head hit My head. Immediately the boy went inside and started crying, “Swami, I am sorry, very sorry. I did not notice.”
Baba said, “Look here, it doesn’t matter if your head hits My head, or if My head is hitting your head. There is no difference at all. We can move shoulder-to-shoulder, no problem. But think of the devotees outside. They will all think that here is a boy who has no manners, who has no discipline: ‘How can he simply walk into the interview room and hit Swami’s head?’ That’s how people will feel. I know your love for Me and you know how much I love you. Apart from that, you should also know the feelings of the society, the feelings of the community.” That’s what Bhagavan said.
And it is in this context that Swami said, “Boys, I don’t want anything from you for having given you all free education during the period of your study here. I don’t expect anything from you. However, always maintain dignity and respect. You shall not compromise on these two, dignity and respect – the dignity of the institution and your self-respect. Well, that amounts to gratitude, which you can express to Me In this way for having been benefited by this institution.”
Here Swami said, “That’s why I tell you boys not to say, ‘Thank you’, because I am not a third person. It is My duty to serve you, so you don’t have to say, ‘Thanks.’” But He added, “From the point of view of society, you may have to say, ‘Thank you.’ I know in My heart-of-hearts that you don’t have to do so. But society - the culture of each place and the manners expected of you - may demand that you say, ‘Thank you.’” That’s what Bhagavan said then.
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Poet Thenali RAMAKRISHNA
Then Bhagavan mentioned a very interesting story about a poet by the name of Thenali Ramakrishna. Thenali Ramakrishna was a poet in the court of Krishnadevaraya. He was a very interesting poet - a poet of fun, frolic, retort and humour.
Swami talked about two episodes relating to the life of Thenali Ramakrishna. It seems what happened was that the other pundits and scholars in the court were feeling very jealous of Thenali Ramakrishna because he was very close to the king. These sort of jealous people were there down through the ages. They are not only here now for the first time. (Laughter) They were there, right since forever. Yes. So, in the open court, they challenged Thenali Ramakrishna.
“Oh King, let this poet explain why there is no hair on the palm (of the hand). While hair is everywhere, hair is not growing there on the palm. Why? Let him explain an answer to our open challenge.”
Thenali Ramakrishna, the poet, got up and said, “Your Majesty, I will explain. There is no hair on my palm because I have been receiving all the gifts from you. There has been no time for the hair to grow.” (Laughter)
Then the king laughed and said, “Oh ho, I see. But how is it that the others don’t have hair? Why?”
Then Thenali Ramakrishna said, “As you were giving the gifts, the others were feeling very jealous. They kept rubbing their hands together out of jealousy and so the hair did not grow.” (Laughter) That’s how Thenali Ramakrishna’s sense of humour was.
And then Bhagavan mentioned another episode relating to the life of Thenali Ramakrishna. It seems the king presented Thenali Ramakrishna with some diamonds, precious stones and gold. On the way to his home, some thieves noticed Thenali Ramakrishna carrying these precious stones and things, and they wanted to steal them. They decided to do this, and they went to his house that night. They were about to take away the jewels when the poet got up. Noticing this man, the thieves ran out of the house and hid themselves behind the well. Thenali Ramakrishna, being so intelligent, came out of the house.
You must have seen Indian wells, with a bucket, a rope and a pulley. This is how people take the water out. So, Thenali Ramakrishna went to the well and drew up some water. He put some into his mouth and started gargling, and afterward he spit it out, right where the thieves were hiding! The fellow Thenali Ramakrishna was a very smart guy, hmm? (Laughter) And then Thenali Ramakrishna picked up some cloth and bundled some stones inside and threw them into the well.
He told his wife, “Look here, the precious jewels cannot be kept at our residence because thieves may step in any time. So out of precaution, I am throwing them into the well.”
But, he did not actually throw the jewels in the well. Instead it was just a bundle of stones. However, the thieves didn’t know this. They thought the jewels were in the well, and they wanted to take them away. So, the whole night they worked at emptying the well, drawing water out of it. (Laughter)
The next morning Thenali Ramakrishna got up and said, “Thank you, sirs. The fields were without water till now. They needed to be watered, and now you have done it free of cost. I am very grateful to you.” (Laughter) That’s what Bhagavan said this afternoon.
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“ONLY DIVINITY IS EVERYWHERE “
There was another occasion when Bhagavan made a few remarks, which I want to share with you.
Bhagavan began by saying that there is only God and nothing else. There is only Divinity everywhere, nothing else -- all are His own reflection.
Then I asked a question, “Swami, why don’t I experience that? If Divinity is everywhere and nothing else, why is it that I do not experience that?”
Then Swami said, “Your attachment to the body is responsible for your ignorance and your inability to know your reality.”
Then I said, “Swami, excuse me. This glass and this pen are lifeless and have no preferences. I have certain preferences. I love hot, hot pickles. However, You say that everything is Divine. Then, what is the difference between me and the pen?”
Swami said, “It is the mind. Your mind entertains preferences but your spirit is choiceless. In fact, either you like this glass or you do not like this glass. Your likes and dislikes are yours, but this glass is the same. There is no change in the glass. Therefore, similarly, the Divinity in each is the same. However, your likes and dislikes are based on your mind and your attachment to the body. Without them, the entire universe is Divinity, which is beyond, without any duality or preferences.”
“Swami, is that all? Then why is it that I don’t like everything?”
Swami said, “There may be some mistakes within you that may not help you to relish everything.”
Mistakes? Me? (Laughter) “What mistakes, Swami?”
Then He said, “A diabetic patient cannot eat sweets. Just because a diabetic patient cannot eat sweets does not mean that something is wrong with sweets. It is a mistake in the body of the diabetic patient, not a mistake of the sweet. You cannot blame the sweet. We have to blame the mistake in the diabetic patient. Is that clear? You are not able to enjoy the gifts of God because of some mistakes within you. The mistakes within you will hinder your ability to experience Divinity everywhere.”
“Is that so, Swami? Then, why is there good and bad? Everything is Divinity, right? Then why do You sometimes say, 'This is good and that is bad,' ‘Is he a good man or a bad man, a good woman or a bad woman?’ Why, if everything is Divinity?”
Then Bhagavan said, “There is nothing like good and bad. They exist together like positive and negative. Good and bad are based on time. The food that you eat now is good. However, the next morning, it is bad. So, what is good and what is bad now? Four hours time is what makes the difference, that’s all.” (Laughter)
“Oh, I see, Swami. I stand corrected.”
More Topics in part 10D Audio.........
“HOW DO WE CONTROL DESIRES?”
“Swami, it is nice to hear from You that we need to control our desires. Why? How do we do it? Please tell me. When I see that someone is better off than I am, then I want to be much, much better than they are. Don’t you think so? How are desires controlled? I know I have to control them, but how? I don’t know.”
Then Bhagavan answered liberally, with a beautiful example. “Don’t get worried because the other man has a big building. Be happy that you have a shelter to live in. Do not get worried that the other man has a car. Be content that you have kaallu, your legs. Be happy that you have legs. You don’t need to spend money for petrol and, when there is a petrol price hike, it won’t bother you. Because you have God-made tires, kaallu, the legs.”
“Swami, all right. Excuse me for this question. A luxury today may be a necessity tomorrow. A phone was a luxury; today it is a necessity. A refrigerator was a luxury, and today it is a necessity. Swami, what do You say about this?”
As you know, Swami’s word should be the last. He does not budge even an inch on that. Immediately He said, “Didn’t you get along without a phone earlier? Didn’t you live at a time when you had no telephones? Were you not happy in those days without a telephone? Were you not peaceful without a phone in those days? Why do you think that you cannot carry on without a phone? This idea is of your own making. This is one of your own attachments. Why do you say that? You had less expenditures in those days, and you were more comfortable.” That’s what He said.
“And actually speaking, you go to five-star hotels, super-star hotels. Is that necessary? Not necessary. To appease your hunger, to satiate your hunger, a simple meal is enough. Why the extravagance? Why the luxury? It is not necessary.”
That’s what Bhagavan said.
“SPIRITUAL THINGS ARE NOT DESIRES”
“Swami, all right, I want to see You. I want to talk to You. These are spiritual feelings. Are these spiritual feelings also desires? You said, ‘Don’t have desires.’ I want an interview. I want to have Your darshan. Is that also a desire?”
Let it be very clear. Bhagavan said, “No. (Laughter) All those feelings that are spiritual are not desires.”
“Why, Swami? Because You are involved, right?” (Laughter)
He said, “No, no, no! Actually, what is a desire? A desire is something you have developed to procure a thing or an object that you don’t have, right? You don’t have a car, so you desire to have a car. You don’t have a building, so you desire to have a building, right? So, a desire is something that is developed to possess or acquire what you do not have. Is that clear?”
“But, in spirituality, there is no procurement or acquisition of anything that you do not already have. It is only experiencing what you already are and what you already have – Love. Love is not a desire. You are the embodiment of Love. And peace -- peace is not a desire. You are the embodiment of peace. Or Truth -- Truth is not a desire. You are the embodiment of Truth. And God -- God is not a desire. You are God. So, how can that be a desire?”
Then I thought it wasn’t a good time to continue with this topic.
Suddenly Swami looked at me and asked, “Do you have any desires now?”
What should I say?
I said, “Swami, I have no desires.”
I thought He might give me a compliment. He didn’t! (Laughter)
“You had a sumptuous lunch with so many sweets and spicy items, so now you have no desires. (Laughter) You had a sumptuous, delicious meal - well, I can understand.” That’s what He said.
More Topics in part 10C Audio.........
POMP AND DIGNITY
There is a word, darja, which means ‘with all pomp and show’ and a second word, theevi, which means ‘with all dignity.’
Then I said, “Swami, with this darja and theevi, with this pomp and dignity, if I cannot be like that here, where else can I be like that?”
Swami was watching me keenly. Then I thought it was time to just take a chance and try to make it a little lighter. So I said, “Swami, what is the difference between darja, pomp and show, and theevi, dignity? What is the difference? Are they one and the same?”
Then Bhagavan said, “What is darja outside is reflected as theevi inside. The pomp and show is outside, while the dignity is inside. It shows up like that. All that is seen outside is darja and what is then projected onto the TV, television, is theevi. The theevi is the TV.”
Do you understand the beautiful pun with these little words? Therefore, the theevi or dignity is like TV, while darja or pomp and show are the scene shot from the outside.
“Wonderful, Swami. Very nice, very nice. I'm so happy.”
More Topics in part 10B Audio.........
“YOU SHOULD NOT DEPEND ON OTHERS”
The first thing He said was: Whether it is the Sports Meet or anything else, one should not depend on others. We should not hire anything from anyone. We should not employ people from anywhere. We should not deploy any agency for this purpose. You should be self-dependent and self-reliant. This is what He called swasakthi, which means self-reliance or self-dependence. This is a beautiful message for all of us that will help us to stand on our own feet, and not depend on our neighbors.
This made me ask a question, “Swami, is it possible to be self-reliant throughout life? Is it wrong to seek help from an external agency? Why not?”
Then Swami answered, “Even if some other man comes and tries to help you, it is only the spirit within you that should respond, not anything else. The external agency would act as a stimulus, and the real spirit within you should respond to that stimulus.”
What a wonderful reply! Now I understand that all the people with whom I mingle and associate are there only to help build my spirits. When we are out of sorts, or in a mood, others may say a few words to offer solace and support, but ultimately the spirit has to be built within us. In other words, as a matter of course, the external agencies kindle your spirit from within. This is the first point made by Swami.
More Topics in part 10A Audio.........
The Greatest Act of Charity
One senior professor asked this question, “Swami, of all the charities, which is greatest?”
Though that question had no relevance to what was being discussed, Swami tolerated it because of the professor’s age. If I were to put such a question in the midst of that maya, illusion – well, I know the reaction, reflection and resound that would come back to me! (Laughter) So, a senior man asked the question, “What is the highest, biggest act of charity?”
Swami said, “Food distribution. Feeding others is the biggest act of charity.” That’s what Bhagavan said.
There was still more time left before the instrumental music would start, which precedes bhajans. I wanted to make the best use of this time, so I asked another question: “Swami, in charity, the giver is superior and the receiver is inferior. Am I right?”
Swami said, “You are completely wrong. Why? The giver is never the greater because the giver, a rich man, may not be rich tomorrow. Money comes and goes. How can you say the giver is greater No, no! You should not think that way. In fact, in this world, no one is superior to anybody. All are equal.”
“I know all of you -- I remember everyone”
In the meantime, Bhagavan started giving compassionate looks to a boy. I saw His eyes getting wet. He called the boy to come close and hugged him.
“What are you studying, my boy?”
That boy said, “Swami, twelfth class.”
Then Swami said, “This boy came to Me in Brindavan when he was five years old. I gave him a place in our school. That day he received a telegram, informing him of the demise of his mother. Since that day, I have been taking care of this boy. He is now in the twelfth class. His brother is studying medicine. His sister is in Ananthapur.”
He went on explaining about the boy. And then He said, “Do you know why I am telling you about this boy? You boys think that I am not talking to you. You boys think that I am not noticing you. But remember, I know all of you. I remember everyone. I see everyone, but I don’t necessarily speak to you.”
58,000 Cardiology Patients Treated
Then we had another speaker from the hospital. This student has an MSc in bioscience and an MBA also. He mentioned that 58,000 patients have been treated by the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital Cardiology Department so far -- 58,000! In addition, about 1,500 people have come for valve replacements. And in the Urology Department, 18,000 patients have been treated. He mentioned these statistics and then talked about some of the experiences of certain patients.
There is a village very close to Prashanti Nilayam called Bukkapatnam. A teacher from there, who is a heart patient, needed an injection. It was very costly -- 50,000 rupees!
Swami said, “Come what may, we should save the life of any man who comes to us.”
And so, the doctors gave him the injection. And, after two days, he was operated upon. Some people came and asked him, “How are you, sir?” He said, “I am ready for lunch now!” (Laughter)
The man who should have left this world was ready for lunch! That is the grace of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
A Christian from Kerala came to the hospital. He was a heart patient who was to be operated upon. He had full faith that Baba and Christ are one, but his wife had no faith. It always happens that one of the two (in a couple) lacks faith in Swami. It always happens, and I am no exception!
So, Swami appeared in his wife’s dream. Not the man’s dream, because this man already had faith, so he did not need to dream of Baba. Thus, Baba appeared in the wife’s dream and said that He was the Cosmic Christ. This dream happened in the early hours of the morning. It is a convention in India to believe that whatever we dream in the early hours of the morning is true or that it will come true. That is the tradition.
So, this lady now had total faith in Baba. Her husband was operated on and he recovered. Now both of them have been visiting Prashanti Nilayam repeatedly. They do service here in Prashanti Nilayam. They must have visited here 16 times at least. That’s what he mentioned.
And in his talk, Ravi Mariwala from the hospital gave another illustration. He talked about a patient from Nepal. Before this man came here, he had sold his house and all his belongings to pay for treatment somewhere else. Yet, he was not cured there. He was not all right. So, what happened? He came to Swami because he could not afford any more treatment. After coming here, he was operated on successfully and today he is doing his job in a normal way, as he did before.
A husband and wife came for treatment from Jabalpur. The husband was suffering from heart disease, while the wife had stones in her kidneys. Both of them had health problems. They were given free treatment here, and today they are hale and healthy. That was the gist of Mariwala‘s talk.
The Divine Mission
Later, former students of the University presented a unique discussion where they spoke briefly about one aspect of each of the projects undertaken by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
The first speaker was Srinivasan, an MBA graduate. He said, “This Sathya Sai Central Trust, and our association and involvement in the Central Trust, is a journey of Love.” That’s how he put it.
He was followed by two other young men: Satish, MSc, and Arun Kumar, B.Tech and MBA. They served as commentators or ‘Masters of Ceremony’ for the session that day.
Arun Kumar said, “Bhagavan’s mission was very clearly stated by Bhagavan Himself in His letter to His brother long ago. His brother, Seshama Raju, doubted Him, thinking that He was under the influence of some evil spirit. Baba wrote a letter clarifying all his doubts and indicating His Mission.”
I won’t read the whole thing in Telugu, because you wouldn’t understand it. I shall give you the English version for your benefit. The first aspect of His Mission is to protect and confer bliss on all mankind. He is determined to do this.
The second point: He has taken a vow. What is that vow? To bring back those people who have gone astray from the right path, and to set them right. This is His second vow or point of the Divine Mission.
The third point of the Divine Mission is to come to the rescue of the poor and the needy, to be a refuge to the forlorn, and to help them – a point that is dear to Him, and very much to His taste.
The fourth aspect of the Divine Mission: The greatness of this Avatar lies in coming to the rescue of, and in extending protection to, those people who sincerely worship and adore Him in a prompt and disciplined way.
The fifth aspect of the Divine Mission is this: To see that we all cultivate a devotion that is unruffled by the bumps, jumps and jolts of life. We should not be agitated. We should develop a balanced state of mind and remain in equanimity. That is the definition of devotion, according to Baba. So, these are the five aspects of the Divine Mission mentioned by Bhagavan in His letter to His brother.
Sai, the Centre of our Trust
SEPTEMBER 10th, 2002
So far, by Bhagavan’s Grace, we have completed eight parts of “Sai Pearls of Wisdom.” And now, I want to share with you certain special and important events that occurred in September 2002.
One such event was the anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. A big function was organised on September 10th, 2002. It was really a big day, and many things were brought to light that deserve our attention. To think about these points will also strengthen our faith in Swami. It is with this view in mind that I want to share them with you.
The function was held on Vinayaka Chathurthi Day. You know, Vinayaka Chathurthi? It is the birthday of Vinayaka, otherwise known as Ganesha, which we celebrate during the month of September. Bhagavan gave His Discourse that morning on Lord Vinayaka and the significance behind the worship of Vinayaka. All that was said during the morning session. You probably have read about it in ‘Sanathana Sarathi’. So, it does not require any repetition, much less my comment.
But the evening function -- the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust function -- does deserve our attention. The whole function was organised by students of Sri Sathya Sai University, who work for the Central Trust. There are 100 former students, alumni of Sri Sathya Sai University, working with us in different places. All of them organised the function, and it was a really grand celebration indeed.
The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has completed thirty years. So, they thought that was an appropriate reason to organise a function to commemorate the event. They displayed a big sign with the words: ‘Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust in Service of Humanity’. ‘In Service of Humanity’ -- that is important. That has been the theme of the Central Trust since its inception.
And there were two more beautiful, multi-coloured banners that day, one on either side of the dais. One banner carried these words: ‘Sai, the Source of our Growth’. This was a very good title indeed, because Sai is the Source of any growth. If the Central Trust has reached this level today, rendering service to all humanity in such a magnificent way -- what is the Source? Sai is the Source. So, befittingly, they had hung one banner proclaiming, ‘Sai, the Source of our Growth’.
On the other side of the dais, they had placed another colourful banner displaying the words: ‘Sai, the Centre of our Trust’. It is not simply ‘Central Trust’. It is not simply a charitable trust. It said, ‘the Centre of our Trust’, which is also meaningful. Sai should be the centre of our trust. But unfortunately, our centre of trust is altogether different. Many of us put our trust in money, positions, influence, that’s all. God was never the centre of our trust, and that’s why we are confused. So, these two banners alone, one on either side of the dais, conveyed an ample message to everyone who witnessed that day’s function.
First, the meeting began with an M.Com student named Ramakrishna, who works for the Central Trust. He welcomed Bhagavan Baba, the devotees and the main participants of the event. Who were the chief participants? Some elders: One was Sri P. Rama Mohana Rao, Chairman of Prashanti Nilayam Township. The second distinguished guest was N. Charanjivi Rao. And the third guest of honour was Sri K. Charkravarthi, the Secretary of the Central Trust. These three represented the Central Trust -- elderly persons, experienced, distinguished personalities, who have grown with the Trust. The other participants were former students at the University, who are now working for the Central Trust.
A MODEL UNIVERSITY
A few other points I should also mention to you. A committee of experts and vice-chancellors, who are specially constituted by the University Grants Commission, Government of India, happened to visit Sri Sathya Sai University in Prashanti Nilayam.
That committee is popularly called ‘NAAC Committee’, meaning, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. This committee is supposed to go around the whole country and visit every department of every university and grade them, ranking them at the national level. They rank every department and grade every teacher’s qualification, performance and research. If their conditions are not satisfied, the professors and readers will not be promoted. That university will be ranked low. They have certain parameters and this NAAC Committee goes around the whole of this country.
The Chairman of this Committee usually monitors all these activities from Delhi. But he came to Puttaparthi himself along with the other members, who are all vice-chancellors and professors — top experts, reputed nationally and internationally. They visited the University and they had an audience with the professors and Vice-Chancellors. They also visited hostels and they went to Bangalore and Anantapur.
What did they say? They all said unanimously that Sri Sathya Sai University is the ‘Crest Jewel’ of the all universities of India. Secondly, Sri Sathya Sai University is the best university, a model university for other universities to emulate. Point three: The whole world is concerned at this time to introduce values into the educational program, which has not been totally successful until now. It has only happened in Sri Sathya Sai University, where values have been integrated with the regular curriculum and academics. Further, they also recommended that Sri Sathya Sai University should start a national academic staff college for integral education.
Even though it is not an easy thing to do, it is the achievement of the Avatar of our times. We take no credit. The appointments, the syllabus, the assessment, the equipment -- everything has been guided by Bhagavan for all these years. As God is perfection, as the Creator is perfection, so creation is perfection. Thus, the University of God is bound to be perfect, nothing less. This good news is a cause of jubilation for all Sai devotees the world over.
...More Topics in the audio.
GOD KNOWS NO CASTE
DECEMBER 31, 2003
It was quite interesting what Bhagavan said on the 31st of December. There was a simple experience that I should tell you about.
Bhagavan was speaking about so many details that day. Then He called an elderly person and said, “Look here, there is one driver. He had an attack of chicken pox. He is very thin and weak, so please tell the canteen that they should supply his whole family with breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner until he recovers totally.”
My eyes were filled with tears because of the concern and the Love that He has. Irrespective of cadre, irrespective of position, He showered His love on a driver. God knows no class and no caste.
...More Topics in the audio.
I asked Bhagavan this question: “I have seen the statue of Mother Mary, carrying the infant Christ. People worship Mary also. In convents, we find Mary’s statue, and we also find Mary holding Jesus on her lap. There is a very big church in Bangalore called ‘Infant Jesus’. What is that all about? Why do people worship Mary?”
Please note what Bhagavan said: “Just as you people worship the mother of this body for giving birth to this Avatar (referring to Easwaramma), people also worship Mary, Jesus’ mother, in reverence, adoration and gratitude for giving birth to the Son of God. It is really an act of gratitude. That’s how Mary has come to be worshipped by Christians.” That’s how Bhagavan answered.
SAINTS AND SAGES
I asked Him another question. “Swami, there are sages whom one refers to as rishis in Sanathana Dharma (the Eternal Dharma). But there are no sages mentioned in the Bible or in Christianity. I want you to comment upon this.
Baba said, “No, no, no. What you call a ‘sage’ in Sanathana Dharma is a ‘saint’ in the Holy Bible. Saint Paul, Saint Luke, Saint Matthew, Saint John — they are all sages.” That’s what Bhagavan told us.
Then I asked another question: “Swami, I am proud to say that I am from a Christian college. I spent about thirty years in a Christian college and even to this day, I am proud of my Christian college, my Alma Mater. The credit for the fact that I can speak English this well goes to the Christian missionaries, particularly the Lutheran Church in America. They sponsored our college, the Andhra Christian College at Guntur. Because of my affinity and close intimacy with Christian theology, I have one question to ask.
Swami was in a good mood, so I went on asking, “Swami, how am I to understand it when Christians, while praying say, ‘The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost’?” How am I to understand the meaning as a follower of Sanathana Dharma?”
What did Baba say? “Did you not hear what I say quite often? ‘You are not one but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are.’ That is the meaning of ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’. They are the same.” What a beautiful answer He gave!
...More Topics in the audio.
THE DISCUSSION ON CHRISTMAS AND JESUS CHRIST
DECEMBER 22, 2002
On the 22nd of December, some of the conversation that went on centered around Christmas and the life of Jesus Christ. Bhagavan said that the Catholics had their own philosophy of Christianity and followed their own concepts. However, they were not accepted by a certain section of Christians, who opposed them and protested against some of their concepts. Hence, this sect became known as the ‘Protestants’.
Bhagavan also said that Jesus taught that every man is God. He meant that Atma, Self or spirit is God. Swami calls this Chaitanya Shakthi, Divine power or energy, or Cosmic energy. That is Divinity. This is what Bhagavan explained then.
Swami said that Jesus faced opposition. Many people questioned him and doubted him. Like any God-man, Jesus faced all kinds of challenges. While declaring his own Divinity, Jesus spoke just as we find Bhagavan telling us today. He said that all are God, all are equal and all are Divine.
When a person asks Swami, “Are you God?” He says, “I am God and you are also God.” This was also Jesus’ teaching. When Jesus said that he is God and all are equal, He meant that the entire creation is Divine.
...more Topics in the audio.
“This Lady I Met 40 Years Ago In Bombay”
Suddenly Swami looked at a doctor and said, “You visited the Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi this morning. You must have seen the patient who got an injection costing 75,000 rupees, given without any expectation, not even of a ‘thanks’. That’s what you should know. You doctors should also know about the technicians in our hospital. They are two post-graduate students from our University, plus the dietitians are girls from our Anantapur Campus. You should know that.”
And then He turned to a lady and said, “You know, I met this lady 40 years ago in Bombay. Because she was strong, she is still alive. What a memory it is! Her house is very close to Dharmakshetra in Bombay. She lost her husband, and after some time, she wanted to get married again. I told her, ‘Don’t get married again. You have a baby. Take care of this child.’ Am I not right?”
That lady started crying. She’s a doctor now, doing a lot of service at the Dharmakshetra in Bombay -- a very eminent doctor.
Swami looked at that lady and said, “Had you gotten married again, you wouldn’t have been a doctor like this. You wouldn’t have been able to serve as much as you are doing now. You wouldn’t have taken care of your baby.”
And He immediately looked at another girl and said (pointing to her), “She is your daughter and she is also a doctor, I know. You are also a doctor, I know. You were just a baby back then.”
Everybody was very much surprised. Swami looked at the girl and said, “Your mother sacrificed a lot. It is your duty to take care of her. Your life is everything to her, so serve her. It is your duty to make her happy. See that she’ll never shed a tear. It’s your duty.”
That’s what Bhagavan said and then immediately Bhagavan materialised earrings for the girl, and diamond earrings and a chain for her mother.
Then He blessed everybody: “May you all live a long, healthy and peaceful life.” Then He distributed prasadam to everybody and had a number of group photos taken with them. With that, the August episodes comes to a close.
“Oh Doctors, Look At Me!”
Then Swami said, “Oh doctors, look at Me. I am 77. I don’t have glasses. I can see any remote object, yes, and I have no pain or suffering at anytime. I don’t take any pills or tonics -- nothing. After all, I eat only a small handful of ragi malt. That’s all -- just ragi malt. I don’t have any coffee or tea, or a breakfast of idly, vada or dosas like you fellows eat. I take only ragi malt. And on the next day, I have the same food, with nothing else in between. You must understand that I am quite strong and energetic.”
“How is my weight? For the last 55 years, I am 108 pounds. It has not changed. Check my BP – perfect, normal blood pressure. You may wonder, ‘How is this possible?’ First thing, I have total control of My diet or food. I don’t eat all that stuff like kurma-burma that you eat.” (Kurma is a preparation of spicy vegetables. Swami makes a pun of this word Kurma with Burma to make ’Kurma- Burma’. Burma is the name of the country, as you know.) ”So, I don’t eat all that spicy stuff, no, no, no, believe me or not.”
“I don’t know what appetite is. I don’t know what hunger is. I just don’t know. I am never hungry, no. But if there are some guests, in order to give then some company, I pretend to eat, that’s all.”
My friends, please believe me. I have been at the dining table with Swami thousands of times. I am not speaking with any pride, but in all humility and respect, dear brothers and sisters. You know me sufficiently by now to understand that I am not a man of show and publicity. In all humility, I tell you this: If we start eating like Baba, we’ll be ‘no more’ (dead) tomorrow -- simply finished! (Laughter) Wonder of wonders, He just mixes some rice and some rasam (in those days – now He takes just ragi malt) like this. (Anil Kumar demonstrates how quickly it happened.) Hari Om Tat Sat! Then He will get up and go. (Laughter) I don’t know what kind of eating that is!
There is a gentleman who keeps serving Swamiji. Swami will say, “Hey, I’ll ask you to leave! I don’t want more, I don’t want anymore.” He will never say, “I want more”, while we will never say, “I don’t want anymore.” (Laughter) In just the opposite way we say, “Welcome, my dear”. We are so courteous! We welcome all the dishes because food is God! (Laughter) We should welcome God, you know. (Laughter) We should not be discourteous. But the living God says ‘no’ to food, so it’s really very interesting.
“If You Have Total Faith In God,
You Will Never Question His Actions”
Then I realised that it would be all right for me to take a risk, as His mood seemed good. Hence, He would be lenient. I took the risk and said, “Swami, if Krishna is God, how can He afford to be partial to the Pandavas? Can God be partial? The Kauravas are also His children. He should be impartial. The whole Mahabharathashows Krishna’s total partiality toward the Pandavas. So, how can He be God? I can’t reconcile it. I know fully well that You are going to support Krishna because You are that same Krishna. But still I am not able to understand it. Please explain.”
Bhagavan said, “All your misnomers, all your misconceptions, all your misapprehensions are signs of your total, utter and complete ignorance. (Laughter) Your ignorance is responsible for this confusion, for this sorry state of affairs. Secondly, you do not have total faith in Krishna as God. If you had total faith in God, you would never question His actions. If you say Krishna was partial, and if He was partial, can He be God? It means that you have no faith in Krishna as God. So, absence of faith, lack of devotion and ignorance are responsible for such a lopsided view or wrong impression.”
“Oh, I see.” Now it is my turn to respond. “OK, Swami, but how do You justify that? How do You justify Krishna being partial to the Pandavas? That is my question. I am ignorant; I lack faith; I am sufficiently foolish -- I accept that. But what is Your answer to my question about Krishna being partial to the Pandavas? Can He do that?”
Then Swami said, “All right, I’ll give you a straight answer. The Pandavas followed Krishna completely. The Pandavas followed Krishna’s command totally, fully and unconditionally and, because they followed Krishna totally, He supported them. They were completely devoted to Him. It wasn’t partial, conditional or part-time devotion. Theirs was total devotion. In times of humiliation, in times of pleasure and pain, in challenging situations and in war, they followed Krishna totally. So Krishna supported them. How can you say He was partial?”
“Oh Swami! My case is lost. (Laughter) Now I understand. God cannot be partial. He may look partial, but only because of our ignorance. So, if God is to support us, if God is to stand by us, we have got to follow His command totally. We must develop trust in Him unconditionally.”
Swami said, “Had you known this earlier, you would not have asked this question!” (Laughter)
Then I said, “Swami, You said Yourself that I am a man of ignorance. So naturally I asked this question. (Laughter) My question is justifiable, while Your answer made me free from ignorance. I am no longer ignorant of the facts.” (Laughter)
Everyone joined in the laughter. With that, the evening session concluded.
“Money and Sai Baba Will Never Go Together”
Now I move on to the next episode. This incident is an example from Bhagavan’s life. Swami was sitting on His chair when He suddenly called a gentleman from the devotees -- an elderly person, an old man, wearing a dhoti with a long shirt.
The man came forward. Bhagavan introduced him to all of us. He said this man was a correspondent for a chain of schools in the State of Karnataka.
Then He looked at him seriously and said, “What is it that you are doing there in those schools? You have named your schools after Me. All your schools are named as ‘Sri Sathya Sai’ schools, but you are collecting money. You are collecting fees. You are collecting money for examinations, sports, library and all that. That is very bad. You cannot bear My name and collect money. Money and Sai Baba will never go together. You cannot have My Name if you want to collect money like that. I am dead against any fund-raising. Do you understand?”
That gentleman started shivering. “Swami, I beg Your pardon. I understand.”
And Baba said, “Immediately after your return, refund all the money. Refund it all and write to Me. Only then will I permit you to enter Prashanti Nilayam, not otherwise. It is not proper on your part to put education on sale -- like selling toothpaste or a matchbox. You cannot have education for sale. I don’t like it. Don’t do that.”
Sound In Silence
Then in the month of August, another wonderful thing happened! Bhagavan gave me an opportunity to talk to Him, as He does every day because of His infinite mercy, not necessarily due to my deservedness. (I am very open about that.)
I chose to ask some questions, "Swami, Ramana Maharshi made mention of the ‘sound in silence’. The sound in silence -- Nisabhda Brahman: Nisabhda is silence and Sabdha Brahman is sound. ‘Listen to the sound of silence.’ That’s what he said. Swami, is it possible? Ramana Maharshi also said that the best way of communication is silence. The best way to communicate is silence or mounam. I don't understand, Swami.”
I continued, “Ramana Maharashi's whole message is very simple: Inquire thoroughly into your Self by asking yourself this question, 'Who am I?' That is the essence of the teaching of Ramana Maharshi. I don't understand anything, Swami. Please let me know."
(My friends, since most of you do not follow Telugu, you are not in a position to attend my Saturday talks. Every Saturday I give a talk at 7.30 PM in Telugu. I have been speaking on Bhagavan Ramana and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba -- their teachings and parallels. With God’s Grace, we will take up that subject later on, after completing this project. Everything is recorded and the materials are available. My only ambition is to share this knowledge with as many people as possible, nothing personal. So, we will do it someday.)
Bhagavan gave a very beautiful explanation. What did Baba say? "In the state of silence, you will understand who you really are. The heart opens up in this state, and then you will understand who you truly are. Until the heart opens -- not the physical heart, not open-heart-surgery, no, I mean the spiritual heart -- when the heart opens up, you know your true Self, not until then. In the state of silence, when the mind is withdrawn, when we are in a thoughtless, wordless, speechless state, in an utter state of silence, then the heart opens up. You listen to the sound of Omkar from within, and you will know your true Self." That is what Bhagavan said.
TOPICS OF SPW 6D:
Today, Marketing Is Not Proper
Swami Knows All
Names and Their Significance
Sound In Silence
What Will I Get?
Learn the Art of Speaking from Hanuman”
The Power of Nagarsankirtan
“And then I went to the hospital canteen."
"Oh, you always believe in eating!" (Laughter)
"Swami, I believe that food is God and food must be worshipped! (Laughter) So I went there to the canteen. I found a 74-year-old man working there! So I said, 'Sir, why do you work here at your age?'”
“He said, 'Anil Kumar, by working here, I am healthy. At home, I am sick. So I am here.'”
“Oh, I see. That is the secret of health -- oh good! Sir, what do you do here?”
“He said, 'I do three jobs: one is canteen accounts; the second is providing accommodation to the attendants of the patients; and the third job, I maintain the records.'”
“Oh sir, at 74 years! I cannot imagine how much you must have worked when you were thirty or forty -- when you were young! How are you able to work like that at this age?”
“That man said, 'Look, Anil Kumar, I attend Nagarsankirtan every morning. The energy that I get by attending Nagarsankirtan is responsible for all of my activity.’"
To be very honest, you know, I don't attend Nagarsankirtan because I have to prepare and read a lot and do so much work -- writing articles, books and publications. If I were to attend Nagarsankirtan, I would end up sleeping in my classroom! My ‘teachings’ may then put the students to sleep! When that grand old man said that his energy was because of attending Nagarsankirtan, it was something very interesting to hear about -- the power of Nagarsankirtan.”
TOPICS OF SPW 6C:
What Did You Do There?
I Spoke to One Nurse
The Power of Nagarsankirtan
A Teacher Attends on a Sick Student
Examined in the Super Speciality Hospital
In August 2002, I went to the Super Speciality Hospital for a check-up. The doctor said, “Anil Kumar, you had better have a check-up." I have some pain in my joints. They said I might have a gout problem. The doctor told me, "You better come and get yourself examined in the Super Speciality Hospital."
Well, I went to the hospital and visited there for the first time as a patient. Of course, I had been there on the Inauguration Day, translating for Swami, but not since then. Why? I’m afraid of hospitals. I’m afraid of doctors. I don’t like to see doctors because I might be reminded of my non-existent diseases! (Laughter) And I don’t want to see the patients suffering. Why torture myself unnecessarily? So I don't usually go to the hospital. This time I had to go because they asked me to go for a check-up.
Well, then in the evening, Bhagavan asked, "Why did you go?"
"Where, Swami?" (Laughter)
"Hey! Where did you go?"
“Swami, I went to the college. I am still working there.”
"No, no! After, after!"
I had classes first and then after that, I went to the hospital. So Swami asked, “After, after?”
"Swami, I went to the hospital." (Laughter)
Then He said, "Ah, what happened?"
TOPICS OF SPW 6B:
Three Hundred Doctors
Examined in the Super Speciality Hospital
It is Buckingham Palace!
“No One Knows My Age”
It is in this context that Bhagavan made a statement that will be of interest to all of you. He said, "Here is a man who said that he has now crossed 83 years old. Another man here says that he has just completed 60 years. But I can tell you that no one knows My age! No one knows My age!"
Bhagavan did not comment any further on this statement. But I started reflecting on one of His earlier statements. In one of His poems, He said: "God has neither a beginning nor an end, neither birth nor death. He is non-dual. God is existence. There is nothing like appearance and disappearance for God.”
So when Baba says, "No one knows My age", it means that He is infinite. His so-called November 23rd ‘Birthday’ is only the age of His body, not of His Divinity. That is one explanation.
The second explanation is that He is 77 years old this year. However, in the previous Incarnation, He came as Shirdi; while in earlier ages, He came as Krishna and as Rama. So, who can say His true age? He has manifested from time-to-time, from age-to-age, in response to prayers and according to a designed, stipulated program for establishing Peace, Love, Truth and Righteousness. So, in this Sathya Sai form, in this current body, we know His age. But we cannot say His true age because He has taken so many different forms from age-to-age.
Therefore, Bhagavan is correct when He says, "No one knows My actual date of birth." It is because He was never born! Further I can also say, "Bhagavan is never born nor will He ever leave us."
Instead of trying to figure out His age, we can put it this way: Bhagavan is a Cosmic visitor. He is here as a visitor, having neither a beginning nor an end. His statement about no one knowing His birth-date is an indirect way of communicating His Divinity to all of us.
TOPICS IN THIS AUDIO:
Swelling on Swami’s Cheek
Swami Blessed Him
No One Knows My Age
Ego Leads to a Sense of Fear
"There Is Already a Man Seated There”
Love Is God, God Is Love, Live In Love
Greatness Lies In Making Others Happy
Distance Does Not Matter
The Prestige of the Family
"Why Do You Bluff Like That?"
My Words and My Actions Are Not Understood By Many People
Bhagavan, the Doctor of Doctors
Treat Her Immediately
He Will Never Send You Away Empty-Handed
Bhagavan takes upon Himself the sicknesses of others. What happens when He does that? Will He suffer? Why should He accept sickness?.........
I Suffer On Your Behalf
Here is another ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ that was shared on the 9th of October. What was it? Bhagavan takes upon Himself the sicknesses of others. What happens when He does that? Will He suffer? Why should He accept sickness?
Swami said this: "I accept, I receive, I suffer on your behalf in response to your prayers because, if left to you, the pain would be unbearable. The pain would be unbearable, excruciating, and terrible, and you could not bear it. As you pray, I take it upon Myself."
"Swami, do You also suffer as I suffer? Will You have pain, as I have?"
"Yes, but in My case the duration is for a short time, whereas you have to suffer for a long time. When I take it upon Myself, the period of suffering is cut short -- it’s a very brief time. I do it so that you are free from that sickness, and you are free from that pain. That’s why I accept others’ pain."
That’s what Bhagavan said.
Once, Swami granted an interview to a schoolboy who was asthmatic. Many asthmatic people find it very difficult to breathe during the rainy season.
The young, innocent boy said, "Oh Swami, I suffer so much. I cannot breathe. It is unbearable, Swami."
"Oh I see. Don’t worry, My child. Don’t worry."
Immediately Swami was gasping because He had taken that asthma problem upon Himself. It lasted for a couple of minutes, and then subsided.
When Swami was normal again He said, "You won’t have an asthma attack again. Don’t worry."
This is an example of how Baba takes upon Himself the sufferings of people and gives them total relief.
Before I conclude, here is another story.
Yesterday Bhagavan came out and said, "Have you seen those two doctors?"
"Swami I did not see them because the doctors went into the interview room and came out, and I sit over on the steps, as You know. So how can I see them? Impossible! Swami, I did not see them."
Baba said, "Those doctors are from Germany. Both husband and wife are heart specialists. They are top doctors who have performed several heart transplants. They are heart transplant experts, and they have been invited by the Government of Australia to go there and serve.”
Before leaving for Australia, they wanted to have the Darshan of Baba and visit His Hospital. They knew about Baba and had heard of the work done in the Super Speciality Hospital. So, having heard about Swami, they wanted to come here, study and then go to Australia with His Inspiration and Divine Blessings.
Bhagavan Sri Sathay Sai Baba asked two boys to speak on that day:
"There Is Already a Man Seated There”
Next, let's cover two points mentioned by another speaker who is named Arun Kumar. Arun Kumar studied engineering from a prestigious Institute of Technology. Later, he completed his MBA. Now, he is working at Sai Radio for Global Harmony.
That boy said, "It seems a train was moving fast and one drunkard, who was really drunk, got into a compartment. He was standing there and almost lost his awareness and started misbehaving. He started speaking in abusive and vulgar language. One girl was seated nearby. She was feeling so sad.
'Swami, save me!' she prayed, 'This drunkard may sit here because there is an empty seat next to me. If this drunkard sits here by my side, then how will I bear his company -- his awful smell and idiotic behavior, what do I do?'
Then, another fellow passenger in the train said to the drunkard, 'Hey, sit down over there, where there is space -- sit down.’
'By the side of this girl,'
This was by the side of the girl who was already praying, ‘Don’t let that fellow sit here!' (Laughter))
That drunkard came close to the girl, and when he was just about to sit, he shouted, 'Why did you ask me to sit here? There is already a man seated here. Don’t you see him? (Laughter) A short man, with a red robe and long hair is already seated there. Don’t you see?'
'Nobody is seated there.'
'No, you are a blind fellow. The seat is already taken,'
That’s how Swami rescued and saved that girl from embarrassment."
And then Arun Kumar made mention of another thing.
"When people feel happy with the world, the fact is that the happiness is not out there in the world. The happiness is within, not outside. Happiness is not outside -- happiness is within. Why? You are the embodiment of Bliss. You are the embodiment of Truth. You are the embodiment of Peace. You are Bliss. To think that Bliss is outside is a mistaken idea. Bliss is within you, you are Bliss."
In this context he gave one example.
"It seems a street dog got hold of a bone. This dog went on chewing on that bone. In the process, his gums started bleeding and some of the blood spread on the surface of the bone. The dog started licking the blood, enjoying it. The dog thought the blood, which it relished, came from outside. But actually, the blood didn't come from anywhere. It was his own blood. Similarly, we are happy with some people, we are happy with some objects, but not because of happiness outside. It is only our own reaction, reflection and resound."
That’s what Arun Kumar mentioned on that day, which I liked very much and wanted to share with you.
My Words and My Actions Are Not Understood By Many People
November 4th, 2002
And now I move on to what Bhagavan said on the 4th of November. What did He say?
He said this as if He were helpless: "My actions and My words are not understood by many people. You don’t understand My actions. You don’t know the meaning of what I say. Some people are even mistaken. They feel so badly because I use some words that make them feel hurt. They don’t understand. That makes Me very much worried. I don’t tell you the meaning of My actions; I never explain the inner significance of My actions. I feel so badly because you don’t understand the spirit behind it. Whatever I say, whatever I do is in your best interest. I’m not selfish."
What made Swami make that statement when I was there? (Laughter) Then I started introspecting. On the 4th, Swami was very harsh to me. Wow! He blasted me like anything. Ta-ta-ta, abba -- I felt so badly, very much hurt.
And in the afternoon He said, "Some people don’t understand My words. (Laughter) Some people don’t understand My actions. They don’t know that whatever I say is only in their best interest."
Not some people, He meant me, nobody else. ‘While Swami can directly tell me, why this indirect way?’ So, that’s what I felt.
Swami conversation with a devotee:
A Devotee from Greece
November 1st and October 28th, 2002
Now I come to the 1st of November and also on the 28th of October. These two days are important in the sense that Swami spoke to a gentleman from Greece. The gentleman’s name is George. Swami stood there and just called, "Hey, Greece, come here."
The gentleman came crawling forward. I wondered if something was wrong with his feet, or something like that?
Swami said, "See how he’s coming?"
"Swami, he’s crawling on his knees."
"Out of devotion. He's not like you - to walk like rowdies. No, no. You see, he feels devotion."
"Oh, I see, Swami."
The fellow came forward and Swami asked, "Boy, what’s your name?"
"Oh, George, hmmm. What do you do?"
"Swami, I run a bookstore."
"What is the name of the bookstore?"
"’Ananda’, Swami, ‘Ananda’."
"Oh! Who else assists you?"
"Swami, my sister helps me."
"Oh, I see. What do you do?"
"Swami, bookstore cleaning, selling and all that."
"Oh, then what else?"
"We sing, Swami."
"What do you sing?"
"When do you sing?"
"Throughout the day."
"Where do you sing?"
Swami said, "See his devotion. You’re not like that, mmm – that fellow from Greece -- see there’s devotion."
And then He said, "Oh, I see. Last time how did you come to Prashanthi Nilayam? How did you reach here?"
"Swami, I walked from Bangalore airport to Puttaparthi."
"Oh, how many miles?"
"180 miles, Swami."
"How long did it take?"
"Four days, Swami."
"Oh, did you just walk like that?"
"No Swami, I carried 18 kilos of luggage on my back."
He walked for four days to reach Prashanti Nilayam.
Swami said, "Anyone of you like this? See, see his devotion."
Then Swami said, “How long have you been coming to Puttaparthi?"
"Swami, 29 years. I’ve been visiting here for 29 years."
"Ah, what did you do in those days?"
"Swami, I used to collect sand from Prashanthi Nilayam and put it in a bag. Wherever You walked, I collected the sand. I collected it in bags and took it back to Greece. I kept it there in my pujaroom at the altar," he said.
more in the Audio.........
With this last story, I will close this evening’s session. Swami was talking to boys the same day at the close of the day’s program. He said, “Boy, what are you taking?”
“Swami, whatever You say.”
“Will you do that?”
“Mrs., Mrs. – meaning, get married! You are Mr. So-and-so. After MSc, get MRS -- get a Mrs.”
“Oh, Swami, oh.”
Some training to boys on how to face an interview:
Then He said, “Okay boys, you know when you go and appear for an interview, you should be very smart -- you should be very intelligent. Do you think that I don’t know how interviews are conducted? I know.” How informally He talks to the boys! That’s very interesting.
And He told those boys, “Boys, look here. Forty years ago I gave some training to boys on how to face an interview.”
“Oh Swami, did You?”
“Were they selected?”
“They stood first in the interview. I will also give you fellows training. But you have no common sense. You should be able to give the correct answers.”
It seemed that one boy came back and said, “Swami, there at the interview, the people asked me a very embarrassing question.”
“What was the question?” Swami asked.
“Tell us how many steps you climbed up to reach this office. How many steps are there?”
Who would count the number of steps? They are counting their stars, thinking about whether they will be selected or not.
“I don’t know.”
But Swami said, “’I climbed up the number of steps equal to the number I will walk down now.’ (Laughter) That’s the correct answer he should have given.”
And then Swami said, “You know Indian train engines? Some of the engines back then were still operated by charcoal. Of course, now we have the latest engines. But in the past, the old types of engines were charcoal-managed. When that engine goes forward, it releases smoke from the top -- you must know that. There was one fellow who faced this question in an interview: ‘When the train is moving fast, in which direction does the smoke from the engine chimney move?’ ”
Who would watch it? Swami said, “The answer is simple. What do you say? You don’t know? As the train moves forward, the smoke will go backward, very simple. You fellows have MSc and PhD, but all have empty heads, you know. You have no common sense.” That’s what Swami said.
It seems a fellow, out of mischief, put this question in an interview: “Boy, here is an ink bottle in which a snake is caught.”
Swami went around asking, “An ink bottle -- you know? It has a narrow neck. A snake is inside. How can it come out? Is it possible?”
“Swami, I don’t know.”
He answered, “It will come out the same way it got in!” (Laughter) “So simple! So in order to be selected at interviews, you fellows should make use of that term, ‘common sense’.”
Thank you very much. Sai Ram for this opportunity to be with you. I wish you all a happy Dasara beginning tomorrow and let us also listen to those sacred manthras.
We may or may not understand their meanings. Most of us don’t understand, but the sound has got its own effect. Suddenly when you hear the lightning and thunder, don’t you feel the shock? Similarly, the sound has got its own effect. Manthras are sounds that purify the whole atmosphere, purify the heart and sanctify the human life. It is difficult to get all the priests gathered at one place to chant in the Divine presence. So I’m sure it will be a happy and enjoyable Dasara. Thank you very much.
September 14th, 2002
Now, I will take you to the 14th of September. Bhagavan made this statement: “Never beg from anybody. Don’t be a beggar. Don’t ask for anything. Things will come to you. If your thoughts are selfless, if your motive is selfless, and if your activity is charged by love, things will come to you. You don’t need to ask for them. Self-respect has got to be maintained. Self-esteem is very important.” That’s what Bhagavan said.
Bhagavan said, “Look at Me. I have not asked for anything. I have not stretched My hand to anybody, but things come on their own. Why? I am selfless. I am full of Love. If you are also like Me, everything will be perfect and proper.”
And another thing He said, “Never be after show. Never be after exhibitionism. Never be after publicity. Never be after vainglory. Never be after self-aggrandizement. Never be after self-praise.”
My friends, you should excuse me for using so many words. All my attempts are only a struggle to make myself clear to you.
Then He gave an example. Bhagavan went to Delhi some time ago. There, a beautiful car -- car number one, owned by the President of the country -- was sent to receive Bhagavan at the airport with the request and prayer that He could use this car wherever He went. But you know what Bhagavan said? “Nothing doing. This is a government car. This car belongs to the government. You are the head of the government. You have no right to loan that car to Me. I am not going to get into that car.” Instead, He got into a small Morris, old model car. Why? Self-respect is more important than a gorgeous car or the latest model car.
It is a lesson for all of us. It is better to stand on our own two legs than ‘shine with borrowed feathers’ – that was the lesson of Bhagavan.
Only a Witness
September 17th, 2002
This happened on the 17th of September, 2002. Bhagavan seemed upset with some fellow — maybe an administrator or a student or a teacher. In this big organization, there will be disappointments for Him — ways we might have failed to come up to His expectations.
So He was a little bit upset and He looked at me and said seriously, “When something is wrong with the wife, the husband is responsible. When something is wrong with the children, it is the mother’s mistake. If anything goes wrong with the students, the Principal is responsible. If the Principal commits any mistake, then the Vice-chancellor is responsible.”
All of them are seated there. Immediately the thought came to me, if the Vice-chancellor commits a mistake, it must be the Chancellor’s mistake. Who is the Chancellor? Baba! (Laughter) You know what He said?
Swami immediately said, “If the Vice-chancellor commits any mistake, it is not the mistake of the Chancellor. (Laughter) Why? Here the Chancellor is only a witness. He is only a witness -- it is not His mistake.”
More conversations in the audio.........
“The Giver Is Bhagavan, So I Want It.”
September 15th, 2002
I’ll move on now to the 15th of September, 2002. (I am trying to keep in sequential order.)
While Swami was sitting there that pleasant evening, He looked at one boy, “Hmm, what class are you studying?”
The boy said, “Swami, the 11th class.”
“Come on.” He came. “Why did you not go home?”
“Swami, why should I go home?”
“Your father met with an accident. Why did you not go home?”
The boy said, “You did not ask me to go home, so I didn’t go.”
Then Swami smiled. “Because of your faith, I can tell you nothing has happened to him -- just a small little accident. Everything will be all right. Don’t worry,” Bhagavan said. And then immediately Swami said, “This afternoon you got the phone call from your mother telling you there was nothing to worry about.”
“Why didn’t you tell Me? I know. I know what your mother told you on the phone.”
This was a miracle to everybody there. Swami knew what had happened and He also knew about the phone conversations between the son and the mother.
Then Swami said, “Boy, you have strong faith. Do you want a chain from me? Shall I give you a chain?”
He said, “Swami, yes I want a chain.” (Laughter)
“You ask your mother-in-law! She will give you. Why should I give you? (Laughter) You ask your father. He will get it done for you.”
“No, no, Swami! I don’t want one from my mother-in-law or my father. Since You are giving, I want to have it. The giver is Bhagavan, so I want it, Swami.”
“Oh, I see.” He immediately materialized the chain and gave it to that boy. Everybody was very, very happy.
More conversations in the audio.........
Then in a lighter vein, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba asked that boy, “Do you have friends?”
That boy answered, “Swami, I have a few friends.”
“Few friends? No, no!”
He asked another boy, “How many friends have you?” Before that boy gave his reply, Swami said, “You have many friends, I know.”
Then He said. “Who is your true friend?”
They were just thinking.
Bhagavan said, “God is your true friend. God is your only friend.”
Then Swami gave a beautiful definition to this word ‘friend’. In English we say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed. “
That’s what Bhagavan said. “Who is a true friend? The one who will always be in your company, who will never betray you, who will never cheat you, who will never give you up in times of difficulties, in times of sickness, in times of danger -- He’s only your true fried. Do you have any friend on earth like that, who will never leave you, who will be with you always, supporting you in times of difficulties and sickness? He’s God. So treat God as your true friend. He’ll be always with you.”
More conversations in the audio.........
“What Is Society?”
September 25th, 2002
And then on the 25th of September 2002, we were quite lucky to have many, many spiritual points mentioned in the conversation with Swami. As usual, after completing the interviews, He sat there staring at everybody, collecting letters from all boys. Oh! They all made a beeline, giving letters one after another. The kind, merciful Bhagavan received letters from almost everybody and then sat there. Then He started conversing with us.
He said, “What is society?”
Society in Sanskrit is samaja. Bhagavan had put this question to me, “What is samaja, society?”
I said, “Swami, a group of individuals.”
Bhagavan said, “No!”
I'm always prepared for that kind of answer or reply from Swami. I prefer to give even wrong answers because then we can get more information from Him. It is also sometimes a spiritual strategy or religious manipulation or human managerial technique. (Laughter) So I said, “Group of individuals.”
“No, no!” Swami said, “The very meaning of that word ‘samaja’ is ‘equality’. ‘Sama’ means ‘equal or equality’. ‘Ja’ means ‘born out of’. So ‘samaja’ means ‘born out of equality’, that which is equal-minded, that which is equanimous, where there is equality. How can you say, ‘A group of individuals’?”
Then I said, “Swami, then what is the difference between the individual and society?”
Bhagavan said, “The individual is always selfish. The individual always has self-interests. The individual always aims at esteem, name, fame, and popularity. So, the individual is different. The individual is self-centered.”
“Oh.. Swami, then society?”
“No, society thinks of creation. Society thinks of creation, which is a larger dimension.”
“Oh! Then Swami, creation thinks of what?”
Bhagavan said, “Creation thinks of the Creator. So, the individual leads to the community; that community or society thinks of creation; and creation thinks of the Creator.”
“Bhagavan, ah! Swami. What a scientific explanation it is!”
Then Swami used four important technical Sanskrit terms, which will be of some interest to you. The first word is vyeshti (also known as vyashti), which means ‘individual’. The second word is samashti, which means ‘community’. Third word is srishti or ‘creation’. And the fourth word is Parameshti, which means ‘Creator or God’. Swami used these four words -- vyeshti, samashti, srishti, and Parameshti. Now how did He establish a connection or a sequence between these four levels?
Bhagavan said, “Vyeshti, the individual, is self-centred, while samashti or society always aims at equality, samatwa. By practicing samatwa (equality), the samashti (community) always thinks of srishti (creation). And this creation (srishti) wants to experience Parameshti (the Creator). So one leads to the other in a perfect sequential, preferential order.”
More conversations in the audio.........
“Everyone Should Do Seva Wholeheartedly”
Then Bhagavan asked one boy to speak. You might have heard him. You might have seen the boy standing there talking to the other boys. I'm talking about the 28th of September -- the details of that boy’s speech. He spoke on seva. He said that everybody should do seva wholeheartedly. And then he quoted Swami’s poem where this is mentioned: “More than all worship, meditation or pilgrimages, service is most important.” And then he mentioned a few of his experiences:
Some time ago, Swami used to serve food to all the poor people. This is called Narayana Seva. It seems one time when Swami had started serving food; He stopped at one spot, noticing a lady who was carrying a little, small child in her arms.
Swami stopped there and called to one Seva Dal boy. “We are serving food to these people; how about that child?”
That Seva Dal had no reply. “Swami, what should I do?”
“Bring a glass of milk for this child.”
So the Seva Dal boy went all the way to bring one tumbler of milk.
Swami went on moving around the lines, serving food. From a long distance, He stopped and shouted, “Did you give milk to that child?”
That boy said, “Yes, Swami.”
Swami said, “Nothing doing!”
Swami went all the way back to that lady and touched the glass. “It is very, very hot. How do you expect the child to drink the milk? No, bring another glass.”
He started cooling the milk -- pouring it this way and that, pouring it from one glass into the other. He made it cool and offered the milk to the child and only then left.
This shows the personal care He takes and the sprit that He wants us to maintain while doing seva. Seva or service is not a routine; it is not mechanical, no! It is not a schedule. We have to do it wholeheartedly.
More conversations in the audio.........
Professor Anil Kumar presented these talks as extra satsangs from October 2002 till mid-March 2004 . He has selected important messages Baba imparted to the students gathered around Him during the afternoon sessions on the veranda at Prashanti Nilayam in those days. These talks carry precious gems of wisdom from Bhagavan Baba.