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  The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

   “Ganesh Chathurthi”

August 31st, 2003

 OM…OM…OM

Sai Ram

  With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

Let me greet you all on the occasion of Vinayaka Chavithi, which happens to be a very auspicious day.

I want to bring to your attention certain aspects concerning this festival. I want to talk about the presiding deity, so that we will be aware of all the rituals. Then we will know all that is associated with the celebration.  

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR BEGINS WITH VINAYAKA CHAVITHI

  Every field (of endeavour) has its own plans and execution. We have the financial year. The financial year of accounts begins 1st of April and ends 31st of March. The academic year commences 1st of June and ends 31st of March. The calendar year begins 1st of January and ends 31st of December. So, we have a calendar year, a financial year, an academic year and so on.

As for the spiritual calendar, the spiritual calendar of festivals, this is the beginning. Vinayaka Chavithi is the opening day or the beginning date for the commencement of the spiritual calendar. The first point: From now on, we will be having a number of festivals, which I wanted to bring to your attention.  

VINAYAKA IS WORSHIPPED FIRST

  The second point: Vinayaka is the name of a deity. It is the name of the God, the presiding deity, who is worshipped not only on this day, but also throughout the year. That’s the reason why you find Vinayaka is there at the entrance (of Prashanti Nilayam). You do not have to walk a long distance. He is there at the entrance to greet you, to receive your offerings and salutations.

 

VINAYAKA IS TO BE WORSHIPPED EVERYDAY

The third point: Before the commencement of any ritual, sacrifice, yagna, sacred ritual or any holy function, whatever it may be, it begins with an offering of prayers to Vinayaka. Vinayaka is a deity who is worshipped every day.

People may belong to different schools of philosophy. They may be Shaivites, who follow Shaivism, who worship of the Lord Shiva, or Vaishnavaites, who follow the path of worshipping Vishnu. However, to both of them, Vinayaka is important because first, they should offer their prayers to Vinayaka and then go on to the next.

WORSHIP OF VINAYAKA IS AN AGE-OLD PRACTICE

The fourth point which I want to bring to your attention: Worship of Vinayaka is not just of recent times. It has been there as an ancient practice. Vinayaka Chavithi and the celebration, as well as the need for offering prayers to Vinayaka, were mentioned even in the Vedas and Upanishads. The Vedas and Upanishads also mention worship to the Lord Vinayaka. So, this is an age-old practice.  

VINAYAKA IS WORSHIPPED ALL OVER THE WORLD

The fifth point: Worship of Vinayaka is not limited to India only. There are certain other countries in the East, certain Far-Eastern countries where Vinayaka is worshipped. In Thailand, Malaysia and Japan, you find the idols of Vinayaka receiving worship and offerings. This is an international festival. Observance of the ritual is found all over the world.  

VINAYAKA IS THE SUPREME BOSS

Now I want to explain the deeper meaning, the inner significance of Vinayaka, as explained by Bhagavan Baba Himself. The story of Vinayaka is a very long one, which has been explained in-depth and in detail in various scriptures. My job is not to repeat what is in our scriptures. I don’t intend to repeat the whole story, but I would like to draw your attention to special features conveying the inner significance, which will help us a lot as we pray to Him. 

What is the meaning of this word ‘Vinayaka’? I work in the college where my boss is the professor and the head of the department. His boss is the principal of the college. His boss is the vice-chancellor of the university. Everyone here has a boss, a superior. But Vinayaka has no boss above Him. Yes, He is the Master -- no boss above Him. No one gives recommendations; you can approach Him straightaway. ‘Vinayaka’ – ‘The One who has no boss’ is the meaning of this word. 

VIGHNESHWARA REMOVES OBSTACLES

There is another word for Vinayaka, what we call, ‘Vighneshwara’. What is the meaning of Vighneshwara? ‘Vighna’ means obstacles, the obstacles in our lives. We naturally come across obstacles, particularly when we want to do good. There will be many, many obstacles in our way whenever we want to achieve anything, whenever we want to accomplish anything. When we work along a particular route, we have many obstacles - in our job, in our business, in our profession and in our family -- all full of obstacles. So, prayer to Vighneshwara implies (recognises) this.

“O God! Help me, so that I can accomplish what I really want to.”

“Help me so that I will be able to achieve what I really want to.”

“I pray to You, Vighna, to remove all obstacles along the way.”    

START THE DAY WITH PRAYER 

This only means: Start the day with prayer. Don’t start the prayer with a fight. Don’t start the prayer with a shout. Never start a prayer with a cry. Start the day with prayer! The prayer ensures, helps you to remove the obstacles along the way, so that you will be able to reach your destination properly. Vighneshwara, I think I am clear, right? Vinayaka, Vighneshwara.

GANAPATHI IS IN YOU  

The third name is Ganapathi. What does it mean? Dear Bhagavan gave two meanings to this word. First, there are ganas. What are ganas? According to Bhagavan, they are the five senses: Karmendriya - five senses of action, Jnanendriya - five senses of knowledge, Panchakosha - five life sheaths, Panchabhootha - five life elements, Manas - mind, Buddhi - the intellect. They are all ganas. So, ganas are not found outside.

Ganas are not located in a foreign land. Ganas are there in you. The five senses of action, the five senses of knowledge, the five life sheaths, the mind and intellect are all called ganas.

Ganapathi: Who is the Controller of these ganas, the Master of these ganas? It is the Atma, or Spirit or Soul or the Divine in you, the God in you. It is whom you call the Spirit or Soul or Consciousness -- whatever Name you give it. So, where is Ganapathi? Where are the ganas? They are in you and in me. The Ganapathi, the Master, Atma, is in each of us.

ACQUIRE SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE WITH THE HELP OF INTELLECT

Bhagavan gave another meaning to this word, Ganapathi. Ga, the letter Ga, stands for buddhi, intellect. Na stands for spiritual knowledge, vignana. So, Na stands for vignana, Ga stands for intellect. This only means that with the help of the intellect, we acquire spiritual knowledge.

Spiritual knowledge can be acquired through intellectual means. The secular knowledge, the worldly knowledge can be acquired by the mind, whereas the spiritual knowledge can be acquired only by the intellect. The reason is that intellect is very close to the spirit. Intellect is very close to Atma. That is the reason why this is said: "Buddhi Grahyam Atheendriyam."

Buddhi or intellect is transcendental, or beyond the senses. Buddhi or intellect is very close to Consciousness. Therefore, it will be able to receive; it will be able to grasp, Na, the vignana, the spiritual knowledge. So, Ganapathi means to acquire the spiritual knowledge with the help of the intellect.

So, that explains Vinayaka, Vighneshwara, Ganapathi.

ALL OF US ARE THE CHILDREN OF MOTHER EARTH

Number four: The Lord has another name – ‘Parvathi Tanaya’. Tanaya means ‘son’. Parvathi is the name of the mother. The name of the mother of Vinayaka is Parvathi. What is the meaning given by Bhagavan? Parvathi means not merely a woman, not simply the mother of Vinayaka. No! Parvathi means Prithvi. Prithvi means the earth. ‘Parvathi Tanaya’ means the son of Mother Earth.

Not only Vinayaka, but also all of us are the sons of Mother Earth. So Parvathi Tanaya signifies and implies that all of us are children of Mother Earth.  

VINAYAKA DISPELS IGNORANCE

Then there is another attribute, which we call Mushika Vahana (meaning, the rat as a vehicle). Lord Ganesha, Vinayaka, has a rat as His chariot. It may look rather ridiculous, very funny, in these days when there are airlines and very fast vehicles and modes of transport.  How is that Vinayaka relied on a rat?

Why? The meaning is simple. The rat moves about in the dark, during the night. Unless they are over-populated, you don’t find rats during the daytime. The night signifies the darkness of ignorance. So, the rat, which happens to be the chariot of Vinayaka, symbolizes the darkness of ignorance. When Vinayaka rides on that, the ignorance is dispelled.

The light of awareness dispels the darkness of ignorance. The light of the knowledge of the Self sheds the darkness. That is the meaning of Mushika Vahana as explained by Bhagavan. 

HEALTHY OFFERINGS MADE TO VINAYAKA

I also want to draw your attention to certain other aspects of Vinayaka, particularly offerings made to Him on this day.  There is a special preparation that we call undrallu. To give you some idea of this special preparation, I can tell you, it will be the colour of idli. You must have eaten idli in the canteen. It is the shape of a table tennis ball. Undrallu is a special preparation made on this day as an offering to Vinayaka.

This preparation is made of important things like rice flour, and flour made of til (sesame seeds), cashew nuts and some sugar. At the end they are steamed, just in boiling water, that’s all -- no oil, no frying.  It is a preparation made out of steam like idli.

Bhagavan says that this type of offering is proper on this day because all steamed preparations are healthy. We eat oil preparations; therefore, we fall sick. All preparations made out of steam are very healthy, good for our health. They are very good for our eyesight. They are very good for our lungs, for breathing.

These are the points made by Bhagavan. I am not a doctor. These are the points I have gathered from the Divine discourses, which I wanted to share with you this morning, as this happens to be Vinayaka Chavithi, that holy festival day.

I strongly believe that there is no use in a celebration without knowing its significance. After all, it is a futile attempt, which will not help us in any way. Unless we know the in-depth meaning, the interpretation, unless we attempt to translate it into our lives, we will not be benefited totally. Therefore, this preparation is very necessary. It is very healthy, and it carries a message to humanity.

So, every act associated with Vinayaka Chavithi or Vighneshwara has its own interpretation, has its own depth, its own meaning. 

HANDS OF BENEDICTION AND PROTECTION

Before I take you to other aspects, you must have seen the photographs of Vinayaka. Vinayaka has four hands. Four hands! What do they mean? What do they signify? In addition to the two hands that we have, He has two extra hands. What do they signify?

Bhagavan says that the third hand is to confer blessings on His devotees. The fourth hand is to save them, to protect them. So, one is benediction, the other is protection -- benediction and protection. He has these two extra hands. So, wherever you see His picture, Vinayaka will be showing four hands. Very interesting! 

SIGNIFICANCE OF VINAYAKA’S FOUR HANDS

Then in some pictures, you will see Vinayaka holding a big rope with one hand. What does it mean? The rope of attachment binds us all! This whole world is bondage. The rope that He holds in one hand symbolises this bondage. If we pray to Vinayaka, you and I will be freed from that kind of attachment. That is the rope’s indication.

Further, with another hand He holds an iron rod, which we call ankush - this means punishment. Whenever something is wrong, whenever something unrighteous happens, whenever you are involved in an unjustifiable act, there is that ankush. So, be careful. You will be dealt with! Without an escape, you will have to meet the consequences. That is the meaning of ankush.

On the third hand, He has a hand that just blesses -- Varada. This Varada-hasta, the third hand, represents Jnana or wisdom.

So, pasha, the rope in one hand symbolises bondage. In another hand, ankush, you are liable to punishment when you go wrong. In the third hand, Varada brings blessings. Always God showers His blessings.

The fourth hand holds this Modaka. Modaka is what I said above – that undrallu preparation. It is special prasad prepared on this day out of steam. Modaka, a steam preparation is the prasad of the day. What does it speak about? This modaka speaks of pious food, food that is healthy, not made from an oil preparation, as I said earlier.  

THE TRUNK REPRESENTS “OMKAR”

You also find Vinayaka with a trunk. This trunk is in the form Omkara, OM, the Sanskrit OM. Omkar, for your information, is the Primal Sound. It is a Primordial Sound. The whole of the cosmos is filled with Omkar. The entire universe is full of resonance with the sound of Omkar. If you go further, Omkar is the first sound, the first letter out of which the whole of literature and language originated. This trunk represents Omkar.  

THE BELLY REPRESENTS THE UNIVERSE

Then He has a very big belly. This very big belly speaks of the vastness of the universe. The universe is so vast; the world is so big and full of planetary systems. The whole thing is in His stomach, which means that the whole universe is in God. So we can say, “God is bigger than the universe.”

Recently Bhagavan said, “When you say God is in me, it is a false claim, as if you are bigger than God. Instead you can say, “I am in God” as God is bigger than you.

So, this means that the broad stomach speaks of the universe, which is present in Him.  

ATTRIBUTES OF GANAPATHI

Some of the scriptures describe Ganapathi as having thirty-two attributes. So, thirty-two forms of Ganapathi have been dealt with in some of the scriptures. Each aspect stands for a particular school of philosophy, a particular idea, a particular notion and a particular theory. All thirty-two aspects of Vinayaka represent thirty-two aspects of Vedanta or philosophy.

We offer worship to Vinayaka, making use of twenty-one types of leaves -- twenty-one types! So, botanists, the students of botany or plant sciences, should be very happy because they offer prayer to God. Yes, I am a student of botany, so I am quite happy about it. Twenty-one varieties of leaves are offered to Him. Every leaf has significance; each leaf represents a branch of knowledge, a skill and a talent.

Therefore, Vinayaka Chavithi and worship to Vinayaka is very, very important, not merely from the point of worship, but from the point of the attributes and Names that He has. This is what I wanted to inform you about, at the beginning, because we find it rather funny to see that God.  His story goes like that.  

POEM ON VINAYAKA

I happen to be the student of a great poet, who is a great devotee of Bhagavan. He composed a beautiful poem on Vinayaka and read it in front of Swami. Swami was very happy. What are the contents of that poem? The meaning of that poem is this:

You know, Lord Shiva and Parvathi stay there in Kailash. Vinayaka is their son. Their other son is Subramanya. So, Parvathi and Shiva have two sons, Vinayaka and Subramanya. The poem goes on like this:

One day, Shiva, the Master, started complaining about Vinayaka to Parvathi, His wife. He said, “Look here, Parvathi, I find our second son, Subramanya, reporting here everyday; but I don’t see our eldest son, Vinayaka. What happened to Him? I have not seen Him in recent times. He is so irresponsible. I don’t find Him anywhere.”

Parvathi, being the mother, very compassionate like any other mother, wanted to defend the absconding son. What did she say? “Look here, He is so busy; why don’t you understand? He has not even a moment of free time. He is very busy because He is there at the entrance of Prashanthi Nilayam accepting the fruits and flowers from devotees! Therefore, you don’t find Him here.” (Laughter) “You don’t find Him in Kailash, because Vinayaka changed His address to Prashanti Nilayam. He is there at the entrance itself.”

It was a lovely poem, which he composed and rendered in front of Bhagavan.  

FESTIVALS ARE REMINDERS OF THE SPIRITUAL PATH

So, the worship of Lord Vinayaka is very interesting and very important to everyone. I want to share with you certain other points along this line of thought.

Every sacred festival is intended to remind us of our onerous responsibility. Every festival, every occasion of celebration, is meant to direct us along the spiritual path, at least from now on.

There is a criticism from people of other religions: How is it that Hindus have so many festivals? There are almost one or two festivals every month! So, they have so many public holidays! (Laughter)

Why? The answer is definitely not just for a celebration, and not just to have a jolly day. Every festival day is a holy day! Every festival will remind every person of this: “At least from now on, think of God. You have completed so many innings in your life. You have half a foot in the grave, that’s all. At least from now on, think of God.”

It is something like, when you speed along the road or national highway in your car, you find milestones, showing how many miles you have crossed, or how many kilometres you have crossed. Similarly, fifty years, sixty years or seventy years are very close to the last -- very close to the end.

A festival tells you, “My boy, you have crossed so many kilometres. At least from now on, start thinking of God.”

That’s why we have so many festivals -- not for mere celebration and to eat neck-deep, no! If it is just limited to eating and wearing new clothes, it is all a waste of money and a waste of time. Every occasion should be used for introspection, self-inquiry and self-examination.

My friends, very often we consider ourselves very successful from the point of view of the outside world.

If you ask somebody, “How are you?” he answers, “I am fine. My children are fine. I am fine with my bank account. I am fine, good.” He thinks he is fine. Actually, he is not. 

If you ask a college professor, “How are you?” he will answer, “I am very fine with my degrees, with my research. I am fine.” But he is not.

If you ask any person in an exalted position, “How are you?” he will answer, “I am very fine. I have reached the top position. It gives me great satisfaction.” But in fact he is not satisfied.

In other words, position, property or scholarship will never satisfy you totally. It will never give you gratification or satisfaction in full. No! All that is acquired and all that is gathered gives success only in the outer world. Success in the outer world is only partial. Success in the outer world is only phenomenal. Success in the outer world is only acquired. Success in the outer world is only relative. Success in the outer world is only comparative, not absolute.  

OUTSIDE WORLD CANNOT FILL THE VOID INSIDE

I will go one step further. This kind of craving for position and everything else is only a reflection of an inner emptiness. There is an inner emptiness. There is a lacuna. There is a void within. To fill that void, to fill that inner emptiness, man attempts to gather money, occupy positions, read books, and he fills the head with knowledge. These are all vain attempts. That emptiness is still inside, even when you are filling it up outside.

When there is a brain tumour, it does not help to put a bandage on the leg. Am I clear?

So, all our attempts today, whatever country we may belong to, all our attempts are to fill that inner emptiness, trying to gather everything from the outer world. This is a futile attempt.

You may ask me, “Why do you say that?”

You don’t find any trace of total peace on the face of any man in a high position. Just look at a man in a high position. He rarely smiles. He has lost his first human quality. You meet any man who is stinking rich. He loses his sleep, a basic quality. He cannot sleep because his constant worry is about how to increase his income and how to protect the existing position. This leads to high blood pressure and hypertension. Very good! So, what has his position brought him?

SCHOLARSHIP, MONEY AND POSITION DON’T BRING HAPPINESS

All right, in respect to scholarship, you read so many scriptures. You read this Vedanta, that Vedanta. Good. So many books! Ultimately, you have landed in a state of confusion -- confounded confusion. If I ask you what you learned, you will say, “That book says this. This book says that. I say nothing.” (Laughter) Very good!

So, the scholarship that you have acquired gave you confusion. Money that you have acquired landed you in fear. The position that you have acquired resulted in tension. But you craved for all these things; you struggled for all these things, all with the best intentions, in order to be happy. Yet, you are not happy.  

BLISS IS REALIZED BY TURNING INWARD

The reason is that the bliss is inside, but that bliss is not realised. That bliss is not experienced. That’s the reason why I am trying to search in the outer world, trying to gather artificial things.

 A question was put to Bhagavan: “Bhagavan, why is it that people are not able to experience bliss? Why?” Why are you not able to experience bliss, when bliss is your nature? When bliss is your birthright, why is it that you don’t enjoy bliss? Why?

Swami gave a simple answer: “You don’t turn inward.”

You do not turn inward. You are always outward. You have always been an extrovert. In being an extrovert, outward or external, you have no time to turn inward, with the result that we have forgotten the very birthright of a living creature, which happens to be the state of bliss, the nature of bliss.

Bhagavan has said, “Don’t go by the standards of the outer world. Certainly not!”

The inner emptiness must be filled. The inner urge must be satisfied. The inner hunger must be satiated. The inner thirst must be quenched. This is possible! How is it possible?  

LOVE AND MEDITATION WILL REVEAL INNER BLISS

For the outer things, there are ways. For scholarship, you go to some institution or university. Go to some professor, and you will have all the knowledge. Very good! What about money? Start some business, have some consultancy, and have some experts. All right, you will have money. For a position, manoeuvre and manipulate, and you can get it easily. 

What about this process of finding the inner nature, which happens to be the bliss? What is the procedure? Bhagavan said, “Only two things. One is Love; the other is meditation.”

Meditation is the process; Love is the content. Without Love, meditation becomes mechanical, meditation becomes lifeless, and meditation becomes meaningless. Therefore, meditation is meaningful only with Love. You can turn inward and you can certainly proceed on the path of inquiry, if only you take to meditation.

The next question is: “What is meditation?” “How can you meditate?”

Many people observe and follow different techniques. My job is not to speak as an expert on this. I am not that foolish yet. (Laughter)  But I can give you some concepts of meditation. I can shed some light on basic ideas.

MEDITATION IS BEYOND TIME, SPACE AND EGO

Suppose somebody says, “I meditate.” That is totally wrong. Why? Because ‘I’-ness is there: “I am meditating.” When the ‘I’-ness is there, you cannot call it meditation by any standard. Meditation cannot be a claim.

Someone said, “In a big house, which I recently acquired for three million dollars or so, there is a meditation hall.” I see! It is not meditation by any standard, because it has limited meditation to a space. Meditation cannot be limited by space.

Some say, “I meditate in the morning between 5:30 to 6:30, or in the evening from 6:30 to 7:30.” Totally wrong! Meditation cannot be limited to time.

Therefore, the basic concept according to Sai literature, which I can share with you, is that meditation is beyond time, space and ‘I’-ness or ego!

Now, if we go by this standard or parameter, I don’t think that we can say that we are in the process of meditation, no! We are altogether on the wrong route. That’s the reason why people meditate and meditate, but they hesitate to tell us that they do it. It is not the proper way.  

MEDITATION IS THE ANNIHILATION OF THE MIND

What is meditation? According to Bhagavan Baba, “Meditation is the annihilation of the mind. Meditation is withdrawal of the mind. Meditation is a ‘no-mind’ state.” A ‘no-mind’ state; not, ‘ever-a-mind’ state. There is no mind at all.

Withdrawal of the mind is called meditation. Why? If I lose my mind, what will happen to me, to my family, to my profession? Those questions might come to mind. The answer is quite simple. The path is quite clear.

Bhagavan tells us this: “You look at Swami’s picture, constantly continuously. When you look at Swami’s picture constantly, continuously, what happens? Thoughts are withdrawn.”

You don’t think of anything else. Thoughts are gone. You see His picture continuously. Then, you close your eyes. You start picturing Him in your mind. You have seen His picture outside. By closing your eyes, you are picturing Him within. You start thinking of the same picture, seeing it from inside. When you start seeing from inside, the mind totally disappears. Once you start picturing Him inside, once you start thinking of Him inside, the mind vanishes. Once the mind disappears, time and space are gone.

Time and space are the two qualities of the mind. A mad man cannot say the time because mind is the time. What is time? Mind is the time. What is space? Mind is the space. Once the mind is gone, you have transcended the limitations of time and space. That is called meditation.  

THE MIND IS LIKE A CHILD

Can we tell ourselves that we meditate? I don’t think so. We think that concentration is meditation. We think that forcing the mind is meditation: My mind is going towards the western canteen because somebody said that today is pizza day. Pizza day! So, the mind is just pizza now, full of pizza. It’s nothing to do with meditation!

Now I say, ‘O mind! Don’t think of pizza. Just wait for one hour, please. (Laughter) This is my meditation time. Come on, think of Swami.’

So, you force the mind, do you understand? ‘You’ means, starting with me! Please understand. I am not on any high pedestal. I know that all of you are certainly, by all standards, greater than I am, more than I am, in every aspect. What I’m doing is being a teacher: I read and share with you, that’s all. No extra claim, not until this date, I am sure.

So the point is, when you force the mind saying, ‘O mind, don’t think of the canteen now; come back!’ then the mind will immediately run to the stores for the latest arrivals! ‘O mind, it’s nothing. Come on! Get in! Think of Swami!’

This creates a great pressure. There is a great conflict. There is an intense force within. You are violent towards yourself. The mind is not such a thing to be forced. The more you force it, the more it will get perverted, and the more it gets diverted.

It’s something like a child. If you shut the child up, the child will be noisier. If you beat the child, the child will add to the problem by crying louder. You cannot do it! Similarly, the mind is like that. Like a ball, if you hit it on the floor with double the force, it will bounce up higher. Nobody can say how controlled his or her mind is! It is bogus. It is not that easy.

WATCH YOUR OWN THOUGHTS  

Therefore, instead of pressurising the mind, instead of trying along this channel of the futile exercise of controlling the mind, what Baba says is this: “Understand! See your own thoughts! Watch your own thoughts!”

What is the mind? Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, like threads that are interwoven to form a cloth. Once you remove the threads, there is no more cloth. Similarly, the ideas, the thoughts and the counter-thoughts are the yarn, the threads, which are closely interwoven, making up the mind. Once the thoughts are withdrawn, once the threads are taken away, just as cloth does not exist any more, there will be a ‘no mind’ state. 

SACRED WORK IS MEDITATION

What Baba says are simple things: “Engage yourself in some work. That is meditation. Engage yourself in constructive work, in positive work, in sacred work, in your duties. That is meditation.” Further, He goes on to say, “Eating, writing, talking - everything is meditation.”

What does this mean? While driving, if you are not careful, if you go on thinking of everybody, you and those in the car will have to be admitted to the hospital because of an accident. So, driving is meditation. Cooking is meditation. You cannot add too much salt, pepper and chilli powder. No! Every act is meditation, meaning you should think of only that and nothing else.

STUDY TO BE STEADY  

Meditation is not a separate process. Give some work to the mind so that the mind will learn how to be steady. Swami has gone a step further: “Study to be steady.” That’s what He said. “Study to be steady. Don’t study for a degree. Don’t study for a job. Study to be steady.” Therefore, as we want to be steady, we study. Then that steadiness is there when you are at work.

When I am reading for an examination, if my mind is not steady, I will successfully fail in the examination. Am I not right? When I am at work with some machine in the workshop, if my mind is not steady, the whole machine could be spoiled and I might end up in danger, even a threat could be there to my life. So, at every place, I have to be careful.  

KARMA YOGA IS MEDITATION

That’s why Swami says that reading, writing, talking, riding -- everything is meditation. That way the mind is engaged.

Trying to sit at 4:30 AM to meditate is the best time for all dirty thoughts to get in. The more you want to concentrate, the more unnecessary thoughts will rise within because you have tried repeatedly, but you have not been trained in a technical way. You have not been able to withdraw your mind.

So, allow enough time to work. This is what we call the karma yoga part of meditation. Karma yoga is meditation, which you can do by following the path of action. It is action-oriented meditation.  

WHEN YOU ARE WITH SWAMI, THINK ONLY OF HIM

A simple example: Swami sits on the chair there. You go on looking at Him. Once your mind gets disturbed, immediately Swami will know that: “What’s wrong with you? What are you thinking about?”

Umpteen number of times He has asked, “What are you thinking? What about your family? They are fine. Something is wrong only with you! (Laughter) They are very fine. Something is wrong only with you: Your children and wife are all thinking of Swami, while you, fellow, are thinking of them, while sitting right here. (Laughter) You are here, so close to Swami, and your family is away from Swami, but thinking only of Swami. You, being so near, you think of them. So, you are an idiot and number one in stupidity.”

Therefore, when you look at Him, look at Him with all seriousness and jubilation, not with tension. When you look at Swami, if you look with tension, I don’t think there is any redemption for life! When you look at Him, with all joy, with all excitement and ecstasy, what happens? No thoughts are there! Therefore, when you are engaged in an action, the mind becomes withdrawn, which is action-oriented meditation.  

BE THE SONG, NOT THE SINGER

There is a second school of meditation. What is that? When I sing bhajans loudly, when I sing bhajans full-throated, I get totally involved. I become the song and not the singer. I am the song; I am not the singer.

When I am the singer, I will be watching how many people are praising me. Am I singing to the beat or not? I am afraid that a better singer may follow me. So, let me see that a fellow who is less than me, who is not that good, would succeed me, so that my level will be maintained. 

So, when you remain as the singer, you will be conscious of your performance. You will be conscious of the tune, the rhythm and the beat, but not the content and the feeling of the song. So, you should become the song and not the singer.  

DEVOTION-ORIENTED MEDITATION

When you are the song, you are the very content; meaning, Consciousness is converted into the content. The content of the bhajan song will take you to higher levels, to higher realms, to greater altitudes, higher platitudes, so that you will experience the blissful state during bhajans, during nagarsankirtan, during worship. This is devotion-oriented meditation.

There is action-oriented meditation and devotion-oriented meditation. Then there is a third way of meditation. It is ‘knowing’ -- the knowledge-oriented meditation.  

‘KNOWING’- ORIENTED MEDITATION

I don’t say knowledge-oriented meditation purposely, because as I said repeatedly, knowledge is a dead thing. Knowledge is borrowed. Knowledge is second-hand information. I am not speaking about that. I am speaking about ‘knowing-oriented’!  

‘Knowing’ means inquisitiveness; ‘knowing’ means preparedness; ‘knowing’ means alertness; ‘knowing’ means awakeness. You are awake, you are aware, you are alert, you are ready, you are prepared, you are receptive and you are sensitive. That is all knowing. You are fresh; you are pristine and pure. This is ‘knowing’!

On the other hand, when you say, “I know that”, it becomes knowledge. That is the difference between ‘knowing’ and knowledge. Knowledge is ego. ‘Knowing’ is simplicity and humility! Knowledge is a carbon copy, a Xerox. ‘Knowing’ is original and creative. Knowledge is the past, dead and gone. ‘Knowing’ is the present.

Therefore, ‘knowing’-oriented meditation means you want to know what is. You want to know the experience. You have decided to have your own experience. This is what is called ‘knowing’-oriented meditation.

Karma-oriented meditation is action, Bhakthi-oriented meditation is devotion, and Jnana-oriented meditation is the ‘knowing’ process of meditation. 

KNOW THE MIND

We are capable of making anything a routine. The mind is like that. The mind is always after some mechanical process. It wants to follow a schedule. It stops being creative. Is there something wrong with our minds? Yes! We study everything in this world, but we don’t study our own mind. That is the biggest, saddest thing.

The worst of the tragedies is this: a total lack of awareness, a complete ignorance of the nature, vagaries, whims and fancies of one’s own mind. Once I know the mind, everything is known. Yet, I know everything except this. Therefore, life has become meaningless.

So, understand the nature of the mind. People say that the mind has two parts: the left and the right, the left side of the mind and the right side of the mind. The left side of the mind is mechanical. The left side of the mind is repetitive. The left side of the mind is memory. The left side of the mind is recapitulation. The left side of the mind is a routine affair, ‘programmed’, in computer jargon, conditioned.

So, the left side of the mind is conditioned, programmed, non-creative, mechanical and repetitive, whereas the right side of the mind is creative, innovative, non-mechanical and unconditional. There is the left and the right. The left is mechanical, while the right is non-mechanical. The left is a routine; the right is creative. The left is conditioned; the right is unconditioned. The left is a carbon copy, repetition, that’s all, whereas the right is innovative, and something special.

 

MECHANICAL SIDE OF THE MIND DOMINATES

What is happening now? Today the whole of the energy is drawn from the left side of the mind only. The whole energy is drawn from the left side of the mind only. That’s why we become mechanical -- a robot almost.

‘Go around Ganesha three times, Subramanya three times, and say the Gayathri three times. Three times three equals nine times. OK!’

“Why so many times?”

“I don’t know!”

“Why do you go around?”


“I don’t know! 

“Why do you do it?”  

“Others are doing it, therefore I am doing it!”

This is how the left side of the mind acts.

Immediately after the darshan, run and stand in the line to get into the Mandir.

“Why?”

“Others do it, therefore I do it.” I see!

“I want vibhuti.”

“Why?”

“The other man got it. Therefore, why not me?”

Why? I do not know. This is the left side of the mind. ‘Whatever others do, let me also do that. Whatever others got, let me also get that.’ This is the left side of the mind.  The right side will not do that.

While the left side of the brain is logic, the right side of the brain is Love. The left side of the mind is prose, prosaic. What is the meaning of prose or prosaic? Dull, inert, insipid and tasteless. But the right side of the brain is poetry. Prose is logic, while this poetry is Love.

 

RIGHT SIDE OF THE MIND IS INNOVATIVE

All fine arts, dance, music and poetry are the products of the right side of the brain. Today what is happening? We are making use of the left side, so we become mechanical.

I ask some people, “Why have you come for darshan?

“Swami may feel my absence; therefore, I am coming.” Oh I see. Swami may feel his absence; therefore, he is going, as if Swami is waiting for him.

Some people may write letters, “I have not been coming for darshan; therefore, I come now.”

Some people come because they are working here; therefore, it is their duty to come. This is all the tendency of the left side of the brain.

The right side of the brain will say, ‘No, no, no! Every darshan is unique.’ It considers every darshan the ultimate. It doesn’t think, ‘After all, I will get darshan in the evening. It doesn’t matter if I miss the morning.’ No, no, no, no! This is the ultimate; take it as final. Feel this moment is the final, that’s all. That is the message of the right side of the brain.

 

MEDITATION BRINGS OUT CREATIVE ENERGY

What does meditation do? So far, the left side is active. So far, the left side is transporting, transcribing and transforming all forms of energy into you, making life a routine, dull. Now, by meditation what happens? The right side of the brain starts functioning. Then the creative side, the innovative side, which is unique, supplies its energy, and the left side also is converted into the right side energy.

It is something like this: There are two pipes. Water has been flowing. Close one pipe and divert this water. It also goes into the second, so that water pipe will be full. Am I clear?

Therefore my friends, what is happening today? One pipe is completely closed, which is the right side. We are using only our left side. Once you open the right side, the left side will be closed. This allows the flow through the right side as extra energy, Divine energy. Then you will be creative, you will be bubbling with enthusiasm, you’ll be full of dynamism and you’ll be full of freshness.

 

BHAGAVAN IS ALWAYS FRESH AND HIGHLY CREATIVE

When we look at the faces of some people, they are very fresh. All the time they are fresh. Look at Bhagavan. He never gets tired. He is very fresh even now, despite whatever people have been saying about Him (which I cannot say on this platform because I am afraid it may be taken as authentic. I am not supposed to make any statements.)

What people are speaking about, as the rumour goes on, we think that so many things are going on. But when you look at His face, you will certainly agree with me when I say that nothing has changed. It is as if nothing has happened, His face is so fresh.

He even cuts jokes. Yesterday when He was coming in that go-cart, He passed just where I was sitting. He said, “Oho! You are already seated like Vinayaka – first seat, oho!” (Laughter)

Then I started questioning myself, ‘Is all that I hear, the gossip outside, is that true or is this true?’ I don’t know.

Then the day before yesterday, He came in the go-cart, very close. He was collecting letters from everybody. He stretched His hand and asked, “Where is your letter?”

‘Arey, what is this? I don’t understand.’ He is very fresh really, because the right side is dominant. It has nothing to do with the left side of the brain. Therefore, Bhagavan is highly creative. Bhagavan is unique. He is so fresh.

However, you and I are not that fresh because we have fit ourselves into that cycle. When anyone says, “How are you?” we respond, “Chalta hai duniya. Going on, going on.”

 

MEDITATION IS A STATE OF TRANSCENDENCE

What? Cha, cha, cha (expressing disapproval)! Life is not simply to go on like that. No! Let us enjoy every moment of this life. Everything! Everyone will have problems. The one who says that he has no problems has all the problems, even more than all of us. Life is full of problems. Yes! Yet, if you are above them, that is spiritual sadhana. Meditation will help you to cross over the bundle of problems, to be above the level of your suffering.

Meditation is a state of transcendence. It is neither pleasure nor pain. It is transcendent. If it is pleasure, you can call it too positive. If it is pain, it is negative. Meditation is neither positive nor negative. It is beyond. Therefore, my friends on this Holy day of Vinayaka Chavithi, we think of the Lord Ganesha.

 

GANAPATHI IS THE MASTER OF ALL SENSES

I think I should introduce one more word to you. Of course, I told you in the beginning itself. There’s one name in our epics – Indra. Indra is the head of the department of the gods. Where is he? Bhagavan tells us that every limb of our body has a presiding deity. The sun god is the presiding deity of our eyes. The moon is the presiding deity of our mind. Every limb of our body has a presiding deity. Indra - the master of all the senses, the master of the whole body - that is the mind. So, when we say Ganapathi, it means the master of all these senses or indriyas. Therefore, I repeatedly call upon you to give serious thoughts along this line.

 

WITH INTELLECT YOU WILL HAVE FULFILMENT

To sum up, I explained the meaning of Vinayaka, Ganapathi, Vighneshwara, Mushika Vahana, Parvathi Tanaya and the significance of the worship of Vinayaka, by offering the leaves and the special prasad made on this day.

May the Lord Vinayaka help us to grow along this process of the spiritual path, along this route of the spiritual path. People say that Vinayaka has two eyes: One is buddhi and the other is siddhi. Buddhi and siddhi are the two eyes of Vinayaka. But, some people say, “Not two eyes, but two wives of Vinayaka” because they don’t want that man to be free. Let him also be in bondage, double the effect!

Man is not allowing even Hanuman to be a bachelor. We don’t want Hanuman to be a celibate. No! Have Suvarchala. We perform Suvarchala kalyanam. Even we don’t allow Hanuman to be free. We don’t even want Vinayaka to be free.

“So, we give you two wives, Lord!”

No! They are the two eyes. They are two areas - buddhi and siddhi. Siddhi is self-realisation. Siddhi is fulfilment. Fulfilment is what we call Siddhi. Buddhi is the intellect. With the intellect, you will have fulfilment.  

GAJANANA REMINDS US OF OUR GOAL IN LIFE

Further, Bhagavan gives another meaning to Gajanana. Here are three parts: Ga - ja - anana. Ga means gamya – ‘the aim, goal’. Ja, janma means ‘birth’. So, the human birth is for gamya, ‘to reach the destination’. So, Gajanana is the face that keeps you in equanimity, full of love and joy, and constantly reminding you of your goal in life.

As we ruminate, ponder over and reflect upon these ideas and thoughts, may Bhagavan Sai Ganesh confer His choicest blessings on each and every one of you who has gathered here, and also shower His blessings on your families as well, here and hereafter.

                                       

Thank you very much.

(Applause)

 

Om 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

 

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Babaji ki JAI!!!