The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
“Questions from America”
Part III (Continued from Page 2)
August 3rd, 2003
"I am not satisfied with MY spiritual progress"
“I am not satisfied with my spiritual progress. Why? How to be satisfied?”
My friends, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two states. I am satisfied with this blue file made in the USA. Good. (Laughter) Aha, when I don’t have this, I am dissatisfied. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two states of experience. When I possess, I am happy. When I do not have, I am unhappy.
In spirituality, there is no question of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. There is no question of happiness and unhappiness, because you are already that (Divinity)! You are not getting anything more in the spiritual field. You are not going to get any extra. You already know what you are. You think you are only the body; you think you are only the mind; you think you are the individual. No. You are God! You are Divine!
In spirituality, the word satisfaction can be defined as the true realisation of the Self. Dissatisfaction means the non-realisation or ignorance of the Self. Ignorance of the Self is dissatisfaction. Awareness of the Self is supreme satisfaction. I think that is the way we have to take it. Spiritual progress means awareness of the Self. Spiritual failure means non-awareness of the Self. That is the answer given on that day.
“How to earn His grace?”
“How to earn His grace?”
A simple thing: the sun is shining here, yes! If you go in the opposite direction, there will be a shadow in front of you, right? Turn towards the sun and walk towards it; the shadow will be behind you. When you turn away from the sun, the shadow is in front of you. When you walk towards the sun, the shadow is behind you.
Similarly, when you think of God, you are earning His Grace. When you are walking towards the world, you are denied His Grace. That’s all. Sun is God! Walk towards Him. That is Grace - more and more light. If you turn against or away from Him, you have to follow your own shadow. This shadow is the illusion, delusion, mistaken identity, super imposition, Maya or whatever you may call it.
“What is surrender?”
“What is surrender?”
This question is asked because surrender has not been achieved. A simple example: Here is a glass of water. I mix one spoon of sugar into it completely. Where is the sugar? The sugar has dissolved in the water. There is no sugar now. Even if you ask, “Oh sugar, please let me see you! I want to see you,” it will say, “Sir, stop asking. I am one with the water. I am dissolved in the water.”
Similarly, once you have surrendered, you don't ask, “What is surrender?” The sugar will not say, “Where am I?” because it has become one with the water. So, the one surrendered will not ask this question, “What is surrender?”
He is going towards surrender. He is in the process of surrender. Surrender means accepting His Will unconditionally. Surrender means forgetting the individual self. It means being One with the Supreme Self, the Cosmic Self, being One with Brahman (the Universal Absolute). That is true surrender.
Devotion is dual - Surrender is non-dual
Feeling separateness is not surrender. Separateness is devotion. Being One with the Divine is surrender. Surrender is superior to devotion. In devotion, there is the devotee and there is God. When the devotee becomes God, when the devotee is One with God, it is surrender. So, devotion is dual. Surrender is non-dual. I think I am clear. That is the answer.
“ShoulD WE women follow Sita or Urmila?”
“We women, whom should we follow? Should it be Sita, the wife of Rama, who accompanied her husband into exile, or should it be Urmila, the wife of a brother of Rama, who remained at home?”
We know the story of Sita and also that of Urmila in the Ramayana, the story of Rama. One went along with her husband, Rama, while the other one allowed her husband to follow Rama. (Laughter) Whom should we follow, Sita or Urmila? Should we follow our husbands like Sita, or be like Urmila, allowing them to go and remaining behind?
Urmila and Sita are two characters representing two different situations. There may be an occasion where you have to act like Sita. There are times when you have to act like Urmila.
Here is a simple example involving the same person. The husband is working in the army. He is an army general. In times of war, the husband, being an army general, has to go to the front. He has to go to the battlefield. Then the wife would not say, like Sita, “I will follow you.” (Laughter) She has to be like Urmila - stay behind and encourage her husband to go and fight.
Later the husband becomes a government employee and he is transferred to another place. That place is in a remote corner of the jungle. The poor fellow has to manage on his own. Then the wife would follow him and say, “Don't worry. I am here. Never think that you are alone. It may be a new place. It may be a forest area, but as long as we are together, the place is like a garden to us. It’s no longer a wild forest, no. I am here by your side.”
When your husband needs your support, you act like Sita. When the husband is duty-bound, you are Urmila. Urmila and Sita represent two different situations. You have to identify the actual situation. Then you will know whether you should follow your husband or stay back.
You should not say, “My husband is a surgeon. He is in the operating theatre. I will be like Sita. I will follow him!” (Laughter) No, no, no! You have to stay back.
“My husband is sick. He has been admitted to the hospital. I will be like Urmila and stay at home.” No, no! (Laughter) You should then be Sita. You should follow him. You should go to the hospital. We must use our sense of discrimination.
“What are your views on dreams?”
“What are your views on dreams?”
Let me be very honest. I do not dream much, and the dreams I have are not worth mentioning. They are not worth sharing. This life itself is enough torture! Why dream as well? (Laughter) Why more dreams?
But I do not deny nor do I reject dreams concerning Swami. Swami appears in our dreams when He decides to appear. In that case, those dreams are true. However, some people make their own psychological projection and interpretation of the dream.
I am ashamed to give you an example of a person who went to a lady and said, “Swami appeared in my dream and wanted me to marry you.” Oho. (Laughter) That fool.
That lady said to me, “Sir, Swami appeared in my dream and wanted me to marry this man.” Oho. She had a dream and that fellow had a dream.
Both of them came to me and said, “Sir, in the dream it appeared that we should marry.”
“I don’t deny what you say. Yes, Swami told you. Where? In your dreams. So please get married there, in Dreamland. (Laughter) Get married in Dreamland, not on this land. Understand?”
Therefore, my friends, psychological projections are different from Bhagavan appearing in our dreams. The unfulfilled desires project themselves through the dream and we think they are real. No, no, no!
Bhagavan appears at a time when you don’t think of Him at all. Bhagavan appears at a time to give you direction when you badly need it. Bhagavan gives you kind of a support, kind of an anchor when you are lost in the waves, in the tossing of the ocean’s waves. When you are there in the turbulent ocean, when the ship is tossing, Bhagavan appears: “My dear child, don’t worry. I am by your side.”
When you are helpless, when you are forsaken, when you are given up by everybody, Bhagavan appears and tells you, “My dear child, I am by your side. Why fear when I am here?” That is a Baba dream and not just a psychological projection.
“Is God on vacation?”
“I am suffering. How is it that Bhagavan is not able to respond to my prayers? What's wrong with Him? Is He on vacation?” That is the question put to me.
“How is one supposed to pray to Swami when everything goes wrong? How come nowadays every Sai devotee I meet is going through a hard time? Is Swami on vacation? (Laughter) Is Bhagavan on vacation?” Very good! Because we have a vacation, let us try to give Him a vacation. But the problem is, when He is on vacation, we will have problems!
The answer is simple: When everything is going wrong, I should be thinking that there might be a mistake in my approach. There may be some mistake in my procedure. There may be some mistake in my intention. There may be some mistake in my motives. Perhaps I may not be deserving of what I want. I may be undeserving; I am simply desiring. Perhaps I should find out know whether I am deserving or not? It may be because of my mistake; it might be because of wrong procedures; it could be because of my bad motives or because of my undeservedness.
Above all, let me learn a lesson that when I am wrong every time, that it is a lesson for me. Let me look to God's guidance. Let me see what Bhagavan is telling me. Let me pray to Him. What intuitive feeling does He give me? How is He awakening my intellect and asking me to proceed in the direction of success?
Instead of complaining that I am going wrong, let me inquire within, ‘Why am I wrong?’ If one is always wrong, there must be something wrong somewhere. I must enquire in depth. Outwardly, I should be more competent; I should be more talented; I should be more skillful. Inwardly, I should be more investigative. I should enquire more and more from within, and pray for God's help, so that I will be successful. God is never on vacation!
Bhagavan always said, “At least you have Sundays as holidays. I don't have any Sundays.” Our good Lord has more work on holidays, more work on Sundays. He has no holiday. He is never on vacation.
“Is there anything wrong in praying to Swami for our wants?”
“Is there anything wrong in praying to Swami for our wants, for our needs?”
There is nothing wrong with it. We have no other to ask. We have none to fall back on other than God. The Bhagavad Gita also gives this sanction: Artho Jignasu Artharthi. Artho - the one who yearns for His Grace, Artharthi – the one who wants money, Jingnasu - the inquirer, Jnani - the one of wisdom.
From all directions, you can reach for His Grace. British Airways, Indian Airlines or Lufthansa - all these different airlines take you to JFK Airport in New York. Similarly, you can pray to God for anything. ‘O God, I want this… I want this’, but with the preparedness to accept whatever He gives. With preparedness, ‘O God, whatever You give is my good luck.’
Once Swami said, “Debbalu Kottina nee Manchike.” “Even if God hits you, beats you, it’s for your good. Even if He denies you, even if He does not grant you your desire, it is for your good.” That’s what Bhagavan has said.
“MY LIFE IS MY MESSAGE”
“Swami repeatedly says, ‘My life is My message.’ Could you please share your thoughts on its basis for the benefit of the devotees in the Bay Area?” (The questioner was from San Jose, California.)
“My life is My message” refers to the life of Love, the life of sacrifice, the life of truth, the life of righteousness. That should be enough guidance for everyone. That’s how the devotees will benefit. The life of Swami in itself is His Divine message.
“IN A FAMILY, How is it one or two are devotees,
while the rest are not devotees?”
“In a family, how is it that one or two are devotees, while the rest are not Sai devotees? Why?”
What can I say? (Laughter) There are three people in the family. One person gets a university degree. The next one gets through the University examination. The last one successfully fails! (Laughter)
How am I to answer? In respect to spirituality, it depends upon one’s own fate, one’s own destiny. After all, life is just a moment. That’s all. Out of a series of lives, the present life is a just a moment. The present is a speck. Everyone passes through a number of lives. Life is a continuous journey to eternity. This life is just a moment; it’s just an incident.
Actually there is no death whatsoever. Death is a useless word. Death is a meaningless word. Death actually refers to the disappearance of the body. The appearance of the body is birth. The disappearance of the body is death. There is neither birth nor death. I am not mad. I am not making you mad either! (Laughter) Actually, there’s neither birth nor death. We are eternal. We are immortal. When we think of life in that way, we can certainly understand. Some people have this awareness and some do not have it.
So, why is it that some are devotees and others are not? It only means that God has chosen you. God’s Grace makes you devoted. God's Grace makes you more faithful. Those who are denied His Grace…well, they will get it slowly. If not this flight, they can catch the next flight. All are sure to reach the destination. Some people miss the flight, but they make arrangements with the airlines to go on the next flight!
So, if not now, then the next life. Coming next to the Sai family is the communist. (Laughter) A communist is not an atheist; a communist is not a non-believer. He comes next, so ‘come you next’ = communist. Therefore, some children are devoted and others are not devoted, because ‘come you next’. That’s the answer I can give!
“What is the difference between surrender and merger?”
“What is the difference between surrender and merger?”
Surrender or merger is one and the same. Merger is said to be at the physical level. Surrender is the spiritual, technical term for the merger.
“would you explain a little more about the Three r’s”
“Would you please explain a little bit more about the three R's - reaction, reflection, resound?”
When man is Divine, what is the problem then? When man is Divine, what is the fun of reaction, reflection, resound? Because I do not know that I am Divine, I think in terms of reaction, reflection and resound. Once I know that I am God, there is no question of reaction, reflection and resound.
A simple example: I am in front of the mirror, and therefore, I see my reflection. When there is no mirror, there is no reflection. Because I feel that that I am a person, because I feel that I have a body, because I feel that I am an individual, there comes the problem of reaction, reflection and resound. Once I am convinced that I am Divine, there is nothing to be seen of the three R's.
“I don’t get TO sleep - what should I do?”
“I don't get to sleep every night due to fear. My mind bugs me with problems. What should I do? Should I say take a tablet, a sleeping pill?” (Laughter)
I said, “No, no, no! A nice Sai bhajan will give you sleep. Or read a spiritual text and then you will go to sleep because you won’t understand it! (Laughter)
“My family does not accept Baba”
“I am from Lebanon and I am a Jordanian Christian. My people accept all that is related to Christianity, but not Baba. What should I do?”
Don’t force them. Let the Christian follow the Christian faith. Let the Muslim follow the Muslim faith. To proceed in your own faith is the nearest and surest way to reach Baba. To follow your own faith is the easiest path to reach Baba. Baba will never accept any conversion, nothing whatsoever. That's the answer I gave.
“When I have to suffer My own Karma, What sort of help does Baba extend to Me?”
“When I have to suffer my own karma, what sort of help does Baba extend?”
Very logical: When I have to suffer my own karma, why should I come here? Karma cannot be avoided. (Laughter) Why waste money on reservations, inconveniences and mosquito bites? (Laughter) Why all this? A very reasonable question.
You have to suffer your karma. There is no way out of it. However, coming to Baba, you will have the courage to bear the suffering. When the anesthetic is given, you don’t feel the pain. Although there is suffering, you don’t feel the pinch because of coming to Baba. You are not escaping the karma, but you don’t feel the pinch. That is the advantage of coming here.
“Why should one desire liberation?”
Now to the last question: “Why should one desire liberation when he has no idea of it?” (Laughter) Very good question.
Some people say, “Sir, I want Moksha…but why?” He does not know why. (Laughter) It is neither sweet nor hot. It is neither whiskey nor beer. Why? Why do you want Moksha? Why do you need liberation?
People think that it is something elsewhere. No! The place is non-dualism: that is the place where there is no pain or pleasure, the place where there is neither suffering nor ecstasy. It is place where you are in a blissful, non-dual state. It is beyond want and beyond desire. It is a place or a situation where there is an attitude of equanimity, a balanced state of mind - that is called liberation.
Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to suffer. Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to face the pain. Why do I want it? So that I don’t have to pass through the chain of duality. To be non-dual, to rise above, for my own comfort. My friends, that was the answer given.
I thank you very much for being here and for the extra time. It took longer because I wanted to complete the whole thing. With this third talk, I have completed all the questions put to me in the United States by the devotees, which I really wanted to share with everybody.
I thank Swami for having given me this golden opportunity. Moreover, I thank you very much for being with us this morning, and for next week. Thank you very much.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti