The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
“Questions from America”
Part III (Continued from Page 1)
August 3rd, 2003
A Few words on Ahimsa
“Please say a few words on Ahimsa, non-violence.”
There are many acts of ahimsa. There are many expressions of ahimsa also. But himsa, violence, is rampant today. Himsa means violence. It is rampant. Today, violence is everywhere. You hear it the moment you switch on your radio, the moment you switch on your TV. You read it the moment you sit at the breakfast table and open the newspaper. The whole front page speaks of violence somewhere or the other - this group fighting with that group, or this man murdering so many people. Violence! Violence!
Bhagavan's concept of violence is different from the ordinary connotations. The concept of violence that we understand is hurting or harming somebody. Bhagavan has gone a step beyond: You can be violent by how you look at another. Some people look at us in such a way that we feel very much embarrassed. ‘Why is that man looking like that? Why? What happened to him? (Laughter) He seems to be some wild animal. Why? There is no friendship in his looks. There is no love in his looks. Something is wrong with this man.’ So, you can hurt, you can be violent through your looks.
By using words, you can be violent. I can give you numerous examples because we are surrounded by acts of verbal violence, verbal acts!
“Sir, where can I sit?”
"SIT THERE!" Violence! (Laughter)
“Sir, I want to give a letter to Swami. So can I sit in the front?”
"NO, SIT, SIT!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, I want another spoon of Sambar.”
"NOTHING DOING!" (Laughter) Violence!
“Sir, is this book available?"
“CHECK THE LIST! CAN’T YOU FIND IT THERE?" Violence!
“Sir, when is darshan time?”
“ASK THE NEXT FELLOW. THIS IS NOT AN ENQUIRY COUNTER!" (Laughter) Violence!
So, you can be violent verbally. You can also be violent through your looks. Then you can be violent by your thoughts. If we are always thinking of the fall of the other man, waiting for the failure of the other man or waiting for the other man’s defeat, that is also violence.
So, violence does not necessarily mean only killing. One can be violent by word, thought and deed. Therefore, ahimsa, non-violence, means refraining from hurting anybody by thought, word and deed. That's the answer.
“Why am I crying during Bhajans?”
“I really do not know why I start crying while singing bhajans. Can you please tell me why this is happening?”
This is happening to the questioner and I have to give a solution. Well, I am glad about one thing. The question is put to me this way: “Why am I crying during bhajans?” Good. If you cry at home over something else, I have no answer. (Laughter) Those answers are purely private and personal, but this crying during bhajans is a welcome feature. It's positive. Don't say crying. No! They are tears of joy, Ananda, bliss. In fact, everyone should cry while singing. Yes! This shedding of tears of joy is not the shedding of tears of grief. They are not the tears of sadness. They are tears of joy in singing the glory of God. This is a welcome feature. You can't help it once you become absorbed in the singing.
Usually, when bhajans are going on, your thoughts will be on the singer: ‘Who is singing?’ (Laughter) Why are you interested in the singer? When you are interested in the singer, there won’t be tears of joy. Some people are interested in the instruments. ‘How nice! Who is playing?’ (Laughter) ‘The tabla is nice’, as if the harmonium is awful! (Laughter) Or, ‘The harmonium is nice’, as if the tabla is bad! So, when you concentrate on the singer, when you think of the instruments, when you think about that sort of song…No!
When you think of the song, singer or instrument, naturally you cannot identify with the bhajan. You should be the song. You should transform yourself into the song, such that you are the song. The song is not different from you. You are the rhythm, you are the beat, you are the melody and you are the bhajan. Bhajan is not separate from you.
Once you identify yourself with that process of bhajan, tears of joy start rolling unnoticed. You think of Lord Krishna: ‘Giridhar Gopala, Giridhar Gopala, O Lord Krishna!’ You think of Him, so naturally tears of joy will start. But if you think of the singer, the instrument or the song, the joy is gone.
Think of the content; think of the meaning. Be a song onto yourself. Be a melody to yourself. Be the music. Then you can identify. Then you will understand what bliss is during a bhajan session. We don't experience bliss during bhajan because we are separate from the bhajan. I am separate from my bhajan because I am watching who is sitting around me. I am watching my group or some other group. But I have not come here for groupism! (Laughter)
Some people say, “Sir, we don't allow them because they don't belong to our group.” I want to know to which second-rate group you belong! (Laughter) So, you belong to that group of second-rate fellows. Let’s not concentrate on the groups. Chi! Unity is Divinity. Groupism is not worth it at all.
Sitting for bhajans, I am conscious of my environment. I am aware of the people around. I watch and others are watching me. So where is the question of tears of joy? (Laughter) Close your eyes and understand. Get into the meaning of the song, the melody. Picture yourself with all the content and the meaning of the bhajan. Then you become the song itself. You become the music itself. Then the tears of joy come. That's the answer.
“How is the spiritual heart connected with the mind in the body?”
“How is the spiritual heart connected with the mind in the body, in terms of feeling, thinking and action? How do I connect them for a better life?”
“The mind and heart, how are they to be linked?” Swami gave the answer a long time ago.
We should know the distinction between the mind and the heart. The memory, the intelligence, knowledge, recapitulation, and all secular knowledge, all the information of the outer world, all this is in our head. The head is the seat of learning. The head is the seat of knowledge. The head is the centre of worldly information.
The heart is the seat of wisdom. The heart is the centre of intuition, not intelligence. The heart is the centre of awareness. The heart is the birthplace for human values in life, like truth, sacrifice, peace and compassion. They all arise in our heart. The memory, intelligence, statistics, data, computer - that is the head; whereas compassion, love and peace, these are found in our heart.
So, the heart and the head - I have told you the difference between the two. Now, how to link them? It is quite simple.
When the heart prompts, when the heart dictates, the mind executes. When the mind executes, when the mind acts on the dictation, acts on the command of the heart, the life is in perfect harmony, in perfect unison, in perfect unity, in perfect co-ordination, in complete integration.
If the mind does not agree with the heart (consciousness or awareness), if the mind declares independence, “Let me act in my own way! (Laughter) I am quite independent. Keep quiet, heart!”… when the mind goes on acting in its own way, what happens? Accidents.
If we act according to the mind, completely neglecting the heart, it means that we are giving expression to our ego. The mind is the ego, individual consciousness or individual identification. On the other hand, the heart is cosmic; the heart is universal; the heart is spiritual. If the mind acts without the background of the heart, the mind naturally diverts, deviates, digresses and misdirects. This digression, this misdirection, this wrong perversion is responsible for all the chaos in our lives. When we are directed by the mind, our life is full of chaos and confusion.
On the other hand, if the heart commands, and the mind acts according to the command of the heart, life will be peaceful. Life will be spiritual. That’s why Baba says, "The body is a water bubble. Don't follow the body. The mind is a mad monkey. Don't follow the mind. Follow your conscience!" That is what your heart is. That is what the heart is. That is the answer to the question.
harmony in thought, word and deed
“Explain harmony in thought, word and deed in terms of its inner meaning.”
In terms of its inner meaning - thought, word and deed, yes! The words that I speak and spell out, those acts are visible. The thought is entertained in the mind. The thought will find its expression by word and action. I cannot speak without thought. If thought does not produce the word, I am a mad man. We say that he doesn't know what he is saying. What does it mean? When there is no thought behind it, one is mental, psychotic. If there are no thoughts behind an action, the actions are going to be foolish. The actions will land you in total failure. Thought is the promoter of word and action.
Then, what is the source of thought? The source of thought is the Self, the Atma. The source of thought is Self, Consciousness. Awareness is the source of thought. Once we are aware of the Awareness, the thought comes out of it. This thought produces speech. This thought directs, reflects, manifests, by way of action.
Because we are not aware of it, because we do not know the source of thought, we are confused. When we speak, we are not conscious of our speech. When we act, we are not sure of our actions. Sometimes, our motives are questionable. Once we know that the source of thought is the Self, these things are neatly solved.
Then, no thought or thoughtlessness is Divinity. Thoughtlessness is Divine. Withdrawal of thought is Amanaska, ‘no mind’. The withdrawal of thought, mano laya, merging of the mind in the Absolute, this annihilation is Divinity.
From that no-thought state, we come to the individual self. After all, there are two states: one, the Cosmic Self, and the other, the individual self. The Cosmic Self is no thought. The individual self is the seed of thought. Then the thought expresses in word or action. I think I am clear. The Cosmic Self is something like a thermal power station. The individual self is like a transformer. The mind is like a meter. The body is like an electric light bulb. The electricity is the action.
Therefore my friends, the source is the Cosmic Self, which is thoughtless, which manifests and proceeds into this world in the form of individual self, out of which thought is born. This expresses itself by way of word and deed. Therefore, the unity from within can be established by being aware of the Cosmic Self, the Paramatman - the Universal Soul, the Parabrahman - God.
“All good people suffer - why?”
“All good people suffer - why?” (Laughter)
First, why should you think that you are good? (Laughter) You cannot declare yourself to be good. There should be someone else to say that you are good. You cannot say, “I am so good; why am I suffering?” Oho! (Laughter) Maybe I should ask by what standards you declare yourself to be good?
So, all good people suffer. Why? Last year, this question was put to Bhagavan.
(By the way, for the benefit of English-speaking people, I may say that by the time of His Birthday, I would like to have all these questions published in book form as well as those things spoken about by Bhagavan on the verandah. For your benefit, I am in the process of getting them translated into English.)
This question was put to Bhagavan: “All good people suffer. Why?”
Bhagavan said, "You think that they are suffering. But they don't feel they are suffering."
Understand this point: You think that they are suffering, but they never feel suffering. They don't think they are suffering at all. But they appear to be suffering. As you know, Jesus Christ was on the cross, at the moment of tests and turmoil, at a time of challenge, and heavily bleeding. He prayed, “God, O God, O Father in Heaven, they know not what they do. Forgive them!”
He prayed for their pardon! “Let these people be excused. They do not know what they do.” Is it possible for an ordinary man to pray for his executers, to pray for those people who nailed Him on the cross? Is it possible? We think He was suffering, but He was not suffering.
Gandhiji, a man who used non-violent means to bring about India’s independence, was jailed. We think Gandhiji, the father of the Nation, was suffering, but he never felt he was suffering. No, he never felt so.
We thought that Prahlada, the saintly son of the king of the three worlds, was suffering. Actually, he was laughing and singing. If there were any suffering there, perhaps it was for God, as He had to rescue him everywhere. God had to save Prahlada.
If there is anybody suffering, it can only be God, because He has to save us all the time. We commit so many mistakes. He has to excuse us, and He has to save us from all possible threats and dangers. So we don't need to suffer, because He is there to take care of us.
Therefore, when you say that all good people suffer, it is only your imagination. Their goodness lies in bearing that suffering. Their goodness lies in resisting that suffering. Their goodness lies in still holding on to their principles and convictions very firmly, even at the time of suffering. That is their greatness.
“What is good company And what is bad company?”
“What is good company and what is bad company? Can't we change the bad into good?” (Laughter)
Whether we will be able to change the bad into good or not, let us be careful that we don't change ourselves! (Laughter) First, we have to be very careful that we are not changing ourselves.
Secondly, what is good and what is bad, is known by all. We don’t need to say that this is good company…that this is bad company. We don’t need to tell anybody. Everyone knows! In fact, good and bad are not outside. Let us go a little deeper into the topic.
Bhagavan said…Abba! Really, I tell you that I forget myself when I think of certain statements of Bhagavan. We should go into the depth of His statements, and then we can forget ourselves. We are lost in the fathomless depths of the content and the intensity of His expression, of His dicta, of His sayings, or whatever we call His teachings.
Bhagavan said: "Bad and good are not outside. They are within you. Good and bad are within you. When you entertain good thoughts within you, you are in good company. When there are bad thoughts in you, you are in bad company."
I think I am clear. That’s why Baba said, “Everything is the reflection of the inner being.”
“I say that you are a bad man because…” How do I know that you are bad? The bad quality in me identified the similar bad quality in you, and therefore I say that you are bad. So, both of us are equally bad. (Laughter) Am I clear?
I say that you are a good person. Why? The goodness in me helped me to identify the goodness in you. Therefore I say that you are good. Both of us are equally good.
So, the good and bad are in me, and when I find this reflection externally, I start branding; I start judging; I start classifying; I start fragmenting; I start dividing. It’s all the expression of the inner being. So my friends, the meaning of good and bad company is to be good for the sake of yourself.
My friends, after all, I am not prepared to mix with bad people simply because I refuse to accept that bad which is within me. I am not able to excuse myself. I am not able to bear myself. I don’t excuse myself. I don’t love myself. Therefore I say, “They are bad, they are bad, they are bad!” First, I should learn to excuse myself. I should learn to respect myself. I should learn to love myself. Then I can accept everybody, good and bad. That is the answer.
“How do you distinguish between THE true inner voice and THE mind's whisper?”
“How do you distinguish between the true inner voice and the mind's whisper?” Very good.
The true inner voice! I am glad that you have accepted the existence of the inner voice. I am also glad that you know there is a mind's whisper separate from the inner voice. How to distinguish them? Very simple.
When can we hear the inner voice? The inner voice can be heard when the outer noise stops. The outer noise should cease for the inner voice to be heard. Just as there is an undercurrent of water, all the boulders must be removed, the pebbles must be removed, the sand must be removed to touch the flow of water beneath. Similarly, when all the outer noise is gone, when all the outer actions are withdrawn, when one turns inwards, one is able to listen to the inner voice.
Next, how do you separate it from the mind's whisper? The mind's whisper is always for your convenience. ‘Why can't I go now?’ Mind's whisper.
‘Don’t go! Stay until the lecture is over.’ That’s the inner voice. (Laughter) Clear.
‘I went there this morning, but Swami did not come this way. Why not sit some place outside for an extra half hour, and then come for darshan, and come for bhajan when it suits me.’ That’s mind's whisper.
‘Keep quiet! Be there by 2:30. Swami may come anytime. You can have His darshan at least. You can see Him.’ That’s the inner voice.
‘It’s not possible to see Him again and again. You have come all this way. Why don’t you go visit some other place?’ Mind’s whisper.
‘Keep quiet. Be there by 3 o’ clock.’ OK? Inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘You can sleep tonight. Why not stay on for half an hour more?’ (Laughter)
So, the mind's whisper is always for your convenience. The inner voice is conviction. The mind's whisper is dual, giving you a choice: to be or not to be; to go or to stay back; to do or not to do. The mind's whisper gives you a choice.
The inner voice is choicelessness. Choicelessness.
‘Speak the truth.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper: ‘Not everybody speaks the truth.’ (Laughter)
‘Why should I speak the truth, after all? Not necessary.’ The mind's whisper. I think I am clear.
‘Love everybody.’ The inner voice.
‘How can you love everybody when those fellows hate you? (Laughter) When those fellows are harming you, how can you love everybody?’ Mind's whisper.
‘Remain in peace.’ The inner voice.
The mind's whisper, ‘What will happen to my salary next month? What will happen to my promotion next month? How will my business prosper next week?’
So, the mind's whisper is worldly. The inner voice is spiritual. The mind's whisper provides choice; the inner voice is choiceless. The mind's whisper is for convenience, whereas the inner voice is conviction. That’s how you can certainly distinguish and differentiate. The inner voice stands for values, whereas the mind’s whisper is always for personal gain. The mind's whisper is egoistic. The inner voice is without ego.
"lET THIS SUFFERING TURN INTO PRAYER"
“What explanation would you give to a person who does not believe in past life, and who is as good as one can be, in regard to the pain and suffering he goes through?”
It seems a person is going through pain and suffering. He doesn’t believe in past life. What explanation can be given to him?
I can give him only one explanation - continue to suffer. (Laughter) Continue to suffer.
If you see that the suffering is from a past life and for one’s own transformation, then you won’t feel the pain of suffering. Seeing this, the pain of suffering can become less and less, negligible if possible.
The talk about a past life will be kind of a solace. It will be sort of a comfort. It will give sort of an explanation. That’s the reason why, in this country, in India, there is no demand for psychiatrists. (Laughter) There is no demand for psychoanalysts. There is no demand for the treatment of mental illnesses or ailments. No, nothing! No demand. No one turns mad as in many of the other countries.
Why? We have accepted the suffering. ‘I am suffering. All right, I accept it, come what may. This suffering is because of a past life. OK. That keeps me sane and comfortable, at least conversant, at least amicable and friendly with others.
Suppose I don’t believe that, and I am suffering. ‘My suffering should be cause for the whole world to suffer, OK?’ (Laughter) ‘My suffering is an international problem, you understand?’ ‘The kind of suffering I am going through, no one else has ever gone through.’ Your suffering is world suffering. Ultimately, you go on suffering so much, you are fighting within yourself so much, that you are unable to keep yourself in one piece. Ultimately, you turn mad, and then pay money to a doctor for treatment, and finally become normal again. (Laughter) Why all that?
Moreover, suffering can be taken as a lesson. Let us take this period of suffering as a period of meditation. Let this suffering turn into prayer. We cannot turn pleasure into prayer. No, because pleasure, I think, is my own making. Pleasure is my own doing. So, pleasure makes me egoistic.
In fact, both pleasure and pain can be turned into prayer. When pleasure is turned into prayer, it is gratitude. When pain is turned into prayer, it is meditation. Why not? Therefore, my friends, pleasure and pain can be transformed into prayer. Suffering is for one’s own elevation, for one’s own transformation, for one’s own advancement, and not a matter of punishment - certainly not! That's what I say.