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The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

  “Krishnaashtami”

  August 17th, 2003

 

OM…OM…OM…

  Sai Ram

  With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

I’m glad to be with you again this morning. We have two days to go before the celebration of the birthday of Krishna…two days to go. All over the world, people hear the name of Krishna. There are many centres of Krishna consciousness, spread all over the world.  

I would like to share with you a few thoughts on Krishna. It is not possible, I can even say it is impossible, to do justice here within an hour. But yet, glimpses of His Divinity, a bird’s eye view on the life and mission of Krishna, will give us the spirit to read about Him, to meditate on Him, and to know more and more about Him, experience Him, and finally reach Him. It is in this context, I want to say a few words on this occasion.

 

‘KRISHNA’ MEANS ‘THE POWER TO ATTRACT’

There are three meanings of the word ‘Krishna’. The first meaning is ‘the One who attracts’. The whole world is attracted towards this place. There are many people who have heard and who have seen Swami in Krishna’s form. I have on my left side a person known to me for thirty years. I know his mother had a vision of Bhagavan appearing in the form of Krishna. Many people have had darshan of Krishna in the Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Today Bhagavan has the power of attraction. He is like a magnet, with its magnetic effect, drawing all the iron filings towards it. This attraction is the true justification for the meaning of the word ‘Krishna’: drawing the whole crowd, all over the world. The first meaning of the word ‘Krishna’ is ‘the power of attraction’.

 

KRISHNA PLOUGHS THE LAND OF OUR HEART 

The second meaning of the word ‘Krishna’ is a farmer, agriculturist or peasant, who tills the land, ploughs the land, removes the weeds, sows the seeds, waters and reaps the crop in the harvest season.

Here Lord Krishna acts as a peasant or as a farmer in the individual lives of everybody.  He is a farmer and a reformer in the sense that He ‘ploughs’ the ‘land’ of our heart. Our heart is the field. Our heart is the land, which is ploughed by Lord Krishna. Then He sows the seeds of Love for Him, so that the tree bears the fruit of bliss later.

In that way, the ‘Krishna’ word, the ‘Krishna’ term, means a farmer.

 KRISHNA IS ONE WHO IS ALWAYS JOYFUL 

The ‘Krishna’ word has a third meaning: the one who is always joyful, the one who is always blissful.

What a justification, what a wonderful proof of the word ‘Krishna’, is in the life of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! You will never find Him serious. He always has a smile. Physically, He may be indisposed. Physically, there is something wrong, you feel. But yet, He is always in a state of bliss. He always smiles.

No matter whether the situation is a tragedy or whether it is a comedy, the tragedy and the comedy do not matter. They do not matter to Him because He goes beyond the good and bad, the auspicious and inauspicious.  He leads a transcendental life -- a life beyond dualism.

How true it is! Lord Krishna went to sing in the battlefield, and He also went to sing along the banks of the Yamuna with the cowherd girls.

BABA IS BLISS, BLISS IS BABA  

The place and the time do not matter. Life is a song. If you ask Krishna, “What is Your life?” Krishna will say, My life is a song, My life is a melody, My life is a celebration.” If you look to Swami, Swami will always say, God is Bliss, Bliss is God. Baba is Bliss, Bliss is Baba.”

In trying to pray to Him, in trying to have His darshan time and again, there may come a moment when we rise to that standard. 

HAVE THIRST FOR GOD 

There is one word in Sanskrit that I would like to share with you: a two-syllable word - thrushna. Thrushna means ‘thirst’. You should have thirst for Krishna. If you have the thirst, thrushna, for Krishna, that thirst will be quenched.

We have a thirst for worldly possessions, for worldly acquisitions, but we have no thirst for God. That’s the reason why we continue to be thirsty. We remain thirsty. Once we decide to quench that thirst once and for all, we can develop a thirst for Krishna.

With this note on the three-dimensional meanings and interpretations of the word ‘Krishna’, I would like to draw your attention to some more details.

KRISHNA BELONGS TO THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE  

Krishna is a character of the past. Most people know that He belongs to the Dwapara Yuga - not of today, but to that age of thousands and thousands of years ago. Naturally, Krishna is a character of the past. Naturally we have to appreciate Krishna’s importance by giving a historical perspective. Krishna is important for history. So then, why should we read about Him? Why should we sing His glory?

My friends, Incarnation has nothing to do with history, because this Incarnation, this Divinity, is a mystery; it is not history. It is a mystery, not history, because in the past, in the present, and in the future, we need Him. In the past, present and future, we look to Him.

Therefore, Krishna is of the future, the unknown future, the future eternal. And we are mistaken if we see the Incarnation as an event of the past, a celebration of the past, merely a commemorative jubilation, merely an event to be recollected. Certainly not. It is a celebration of every moment.

KRISHNA MUST BE BORN IN OUR MINDS AND LIVE IN OUR HEARTS  

The birthplace of Krishna is known as Vrepalle. Where is Vrepalle? Where shall I find it? Look for it on a map. We know that in towns, the major cities in the USA, wherever people go, they use a map. “Go to the right; go to the left; 204, 305, left, right, over there.” I see. Good. So, let us consult the map as to where Vrepalle might be. After all, geographically it may be a location.

Vrepalle is the mind of man where Krishna is to be born. Krishna is to be born in our mind, not in a geographical location.

The story of Krishna tells us that He moved around for a long time along the shores in the land of Brindavan. Where is Brindavan? Is it Whitefield in Bangalore? Yes, we have visited Brindavan sometimes. No, not at all. Brindavan is in our hearts. So, Vrepalle, the birthplace, is the mind.  Brindavan is the human heart.  

DWARAKA IS A STATE OF EQUANIMITY 

And we hear of Krishna, settling there in Dwaraka, as the king. What is Dwaraka, where He settles as the Lord Supreme? What is Dwaraka? Dwaraka is that stage of experience of non-duality, of non-dualism, that stage of equanimity, that stage of balanced state, that stage where we are equanimous. That is Dwaraka.

When I am able to take both pleasure and pain, when I am able to take profit and loss, victory and defeat, with equanimity, that is Dwaraka, where Krishna reigns as king.  

MATHURA IS SWEETNESS ITSELF

We also think of Lord Krishna in Mathura as an emperor. What is Mathura? Mathura -- the very word means ‘sweetness’. What is sweet in this world?

You eat a sweet like a doughnut or pie, available in the western canteen, or any of the sweets available in the North Indian canteen, for which it is famous (though, for your information, I don’t receive any commission) (Laughter). The North Indian canteen is known for its sweets, yes. Those from the North eat plenty of sweets.

Mathura…So, let me go to the canteen and buy a sweet? No. The sweet that we eat there may not continue to be sweet after eating two or three. I eat one sweet now. I want to eat one more. Yes, I eat it. I feel like eating one more. Yes, I eat it. Later, I will say, “No more!” though it is still sweet. (Laughter) So, the sweet that you and I eat will not continue to be sweet forever and ever, whereas God’s Name, Mathura, is sweet. Madhurya is sweetness.

This sweetness lays in the holy, matchless, glorified Name of God. You can repeat it any number of times. You can sing it any number of times, from womb to the tomb, in every breath, and yet it continues to be sweet -- sweeter and sweeter, sweeter and sweeter. That’s why it is said:

Mathuraadhipathe Akhilam Madhuram,

“Oh God!”

  Hasanam Madhuram.

“Your smile is sweetness.”  

SHARING THE SWEETNESS OF THE LORD

We find some people all smiles, talking to their friends: “Look here, Baba smiled at me!”

When He smiled at you, why do you smile at me? Why? Why do you tell me? Because the smile of Baba…yes…is so capturing, so dynamic, so ecstatic that it leaves an indelible, permanent impression on your mind, and you want to share that with everybody. Why do I say Baba smiled at me? Not to advertise.

After all, my heart is a simple glass. When this simple glass is filled with more and more water, the water spills out. The glass of my heart is full of ananda, bliss. It starts spilling out. Therefore, I feel like sharing it with you.

My friends, people talk of Swami. Why? Because the cup of the human heart is so small, it cannot contain all the syrup, all the amrita, all the nectar within its limited space. So it starts spilling out to what is called satsang or good company, or to the study circle.

When I share, I have no claim on that. Sharing without a claim is a study circle. Sharing with a claim is ego. I don’t share with a claim. I am not egoistic. I share with the spirit of joy. I want you to place yourself in my position and enjoy. There life is real joy. That’s what it is. 

THE BIRTH OF INCARNATIONS 

WILL BE CELEBRATED BY HUMANITY FOREVER

Therefore my friends, Krishna is the Lord of the future. We should also know one important point. Over the years, not only in coming centuries but over the eons, Krishna will be remembered and Krishna will be praised. Also Christ and His birth will be celebrated as long as humanity survives.

Any Incarnation, any prophet, will never be forgotten by humanity. Their birth is a matter of celebration. That’s the reason why we greet each other with “Happy Birthday!” on the birthday of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The birthday of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a birthday for everybody. For everybody! It is not merely limited to that physical frame.  

INCARNATIONS ARE BORN AHEAD OF THEIR TIMES

I can also say that every Incarnation is born ahead of time. Since we have no head, we are behind the time (Laughter). We are born behind the time. That’s the reason why we are outdated and archaic, whereas Incarnations are born ahead of time. That’s the reason why their message is fragrant. Their message is vibrant. Their message is electrifying. Their message is energizing. Their message is catalytic, vital.

Therefore, the vitality, the dynamism of the call of an Incarnation, lies in the fact that the Incarnation is born well ahead of the time. So, you can never say Krishna was born in the past. So-and-so was born -- wrong. The rules and the grammar of the past are not applicable in the life and the mission of any Incarnation. It is present, continuous, and future -- no past tense. Teachers of English, please forgive me if I am wrong in any way. 

TURN YOUR LIFE INTO HIS MESSAGE  

Krishna’s life is a beautiful combination. My friends, Bhagavan Baba said once, "If you think, 'Oh Swami! You could do it because You are God! I cannot do it as I am human,' there’s no point in being here." There’s no point in going through His literature. There’s no point in listening to His discourses.

“Baba!  You could do it. You are full of Bliss. You are One of Sacrifice.” While so praising Him, I would like in turn to be blissful and turn my life into His message. We have to turn our life into His message. This is the true meaning of worship.

TRUE WORSHIP IS EMULATION OF THE GOD YOU ADORE  

Worship is often misunderstood. Offering a flower, offering a garland, offering a coconut - anybody can do that who has some coins in their pocket. God is not so cheap. Worship is not that simple. Worship is not that brief. After all, the priest may be offering worship, looking forward to some tips, that’s all.

True worship is emulation: emulation of the qualities of the person whom you worship, whom you adore, whose glory you sing. If you emulate, if you copy those qualities, that is what you call true worship or archana. We emulate the example of the Incarnation.

Krishna is the personification of Love. Bhagavan Baba is Love. I have got to be loving. If I am not loving, if I don't have any trace of love, yet say I worship Baba, this is nothing but hypocrisy. It is ridiculous. I worship Baba. Baba is One of Sacrifice. If I am miserly and greedy, I cannot call myself His devotee.

So my friends, Krishnaashtami, the adoration of Krishna, the praise of Krishna, actually means absorbing the qualities of the life of the Lord, assimilating the message of Krishna, copying His life, following His footsteps. Therein lies the true celebration of Krishna's life.  

BHAGAVAN IS BEYOND PLEASURE AND DISPLEASURE

As I said earlier, a laughing humanity, a joyful humanity will always look towards Lord Krishna. Krishna, the one with the mischievous smile, is always worshipped by a laughing humanity and a joyful humanity. I am reminded of what happened recently.

One boy said, "Swami, my grandmother died!"

Swami said, "Chala Santhosham", which means, “Very good.” (Laughter)

"Swami, I fractured my hand!"

"Very nice." (Laughter)

"Swami, my son left home!"

"Nice thing he did." (Laughter)

There is nothing such as ‘not nice’ in His lifestyle. There is nothing like ‘no’ in His life dictionary. The life dictionary of God is full of ‘yes, yes, yes’ only.

Sri Sathya Sai, Sri Sathya Sai. ‘S’, ‘S’ and ‘S’: Sri Sathya Sai. Triple ‘yes’, multiple ‘yes’, and infinite ‘yes’! There is nothing like ‘no’ in His life dictionary. Therefore, whatever we say, He is happy.

"Bhagavan, I have come here to see You."

“When did you come?”

“But my brother did not come.”

"Very good." (Laughter)

It is not as if you are pleasing Him in one way and displeasing Him in another way. He is beyond pleasure and displeasure. I can please you by offering you a cup of coffee. I can displease you by ignoring you.  If I don’t recognize you, if I ignore you, you feel so badly about it. Is it not true? It is. But you can never displease God. Impossible!

I very well remember a devotee visiting this place after a gap of twenty years. He came and sat there.

Our good Lord comes to him and says, “How are you? And how are your sons? I saw them when they were kids. One must be an engineer by this time, another a bank manager.” He talks to him of the present position of his two sons, whom He met when they were kids.

So, He doesn’t complain, “Why you have not come here in the past 20 years? Explain…or you will be terminated without notice! (Laughter). Or you will be served with a month’s notice to quit the place!”

There are no service conditions in the life of the Divine. There are no stipulations. There are no suspensions. There are no dismissals. There are no promotions. There are no reversals. You are where you are.

You are where you are – in your reality. Where are you? In the Divine. The Divine is in you and you are in the Divine. And that is my position and your position. There is no question of displacement. There is no question of misplacement. There is no question of replacement. There is only one placement - in the Divine.

ALWAYS BE BLISSFUL 

Therefore, Bhagavan is always joyful. Bhagavan is always blissful. He wants us to be blissful. When you and I put on a long face, He will ask, “What happened to you? Why the ‘castor oil face’? What happened to you?”

In fact, Swami Vivekananda said, “A long face, a serious face, deserves to go to a hospital and not to a place of worship.” (Laughter)

A smiling face, a joyful face, a life of bliss has a place in a temple, in a synagogue, or in a church. A sorrowful face, a miserable face, a complaining face, a life full of grudges, misgivings, misunderstandings and regrets has no place in a temple of worship. He can just cry on a railway platform all alone.

So, the message of Lord Krishna is that we have got to be blissful, joyful. So that also is the message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

THE LORD OF COMPASSION AND LOVE HAS COURAGE TO FIGHT  

In the life of Krishna, we find a beautiful combination: a combination of compassion and Love on one hand, and the courage to fight on the other. Krishna is all courage to fight violence on one hand, and all compassion on the other hand. He’s a combination, a blend of polarities or opposites.

They are actually paradoxical. It is the irony of life -- how positive and negative, juxtaposed, go together. Yes, it happened in the life of Krishna. He is ready to fight, though He is full of compassion and Love.

What is the message to all of us? We should have compassion and Love towards fellow men -- Love towards God and compassion towards fellow men. Compassion is the expression of Love.

I cannot say, “I have all Love, but I don’t look at you.” You must be blind! Or, “I have all Love, but I am not ready to share.” Then you are a politician! (Laughter)

So, Love expresses itself by way of sacrifice. And that’s what we call compassion. But we have forgotten compassion a long time ago. Instead we think of passion, not compassion.

“Where was this shirt made?”

“It is the latest fashion!” Oh, no compassion! (Laughter)

So, the Lord of compassion and Love has courage to fight. What does it mean? Let us fight against hatred. Let us fight against desire. Let us fight against possessiveness. Let us fight against attachment on one side with all courage.

GOD IS NOBODY BECAUSE HE IS IN EVERYONE  

It is not easy to fight against the ego. It is not so easy. If I fight with my ego, I lose my individuality. I lose my identity. I lose my brand. I lose my specialty. I lose my uniqueness. Nobody will say “Sai Ram” to me.

When I lose my ego, I am nobody. With my ego, I am somebody. When I am somebody, everybody will greet me. When I am nobody, no one looks at me. To be nobody is more difficult than to be somebody.

I know Bhagavan Baba. Seeing a poor person, He just opened His zip bag, and gave 500 rupees. This was for a poor man, carrying firewood on his head, who had never seen Sathya Sai Baba at any time, and who had never heard His Name till then. Nor did Sathya Sai ever personally let him know (about Him), because Sathya Sai Baba wanted to remain anonymous. He doesn’t want to be known.

Straightaway, a devotee went to that old man, that illiterate, rustic, uncivilised person, a poor man. The devotee told him again and again, “Do namaskaar (the palms of the hands coming together in a gesture of reverence) to Him, because He is God!”

Baba told the devotee to leave him alone and let him go. “Come on, come on! Let him go.”

God is nobody. God is nobody because He is in everyone.

If you are somebody, you can be at some place with some body. So, you are ‘somebody’. (Applause) But when God is in everyone, who is God? God is everybody.

That’s the reason why the song said: “Everybody loves Sai, Sai loves everybody” during the 55th or 60th Birthday. “Everybody loves Sai, Sai loves everybody.” 

EGOLESSNESS IS SPIRITUALITY

Therefore, on one hand, have these feelings of compassion towards our fellow men and Love for God. And on the other hand, let us have the courage to fight our own ego and lose our identity. Even if no one looks at me, I should be very happy, because to become somebody is nothing great.

Spirituality is defined this way: Egolessness is spirituality. Egoistic life is irreligious, immoral and non-spiritual. Egoistic life is non-spiritual. Therefore, Krishna, in the company of the cowherd boys, dressed in the same way, playing with the other boys, climbing on the trees, jumping, singing and dining with the cowherd boys, is an example of being nobody.

ORDINARINESS IS DIVINITY  

Bhagavan Baba, walking towards the primary school children, asked them, “What did you eat? What did you have for breakfast? (Laughter) How many idlis (small rice cakes) have you eaten? Two? Three? Why not half-a-dozen?” (Laughter)

He asked a college student, “Did you have your bath?” That boy had a bath three days ago. (Laughter) 

“Arey, what sort of a bath did you have? Was it, after all, the sprinkling of a few drops on your body? Can that be a bath?”

Yes, He becomes very ordinary. While talking to primary school children, He is a primary school child. When He talks to a college student, He is, verily, a college student. That is ordinariness. Ordinariness is Divinity.

The sun is ordinary; the moon is ordinary; the stars are ordinary; the ocean is ordinary; the valleys are ordinary; the forests are ordinary; the flowers are ordinary. But man wants to be extraordinary. What an extraordinary creature he is! (Applause)

EGOLESSNESS IS THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION  

There is nothing in being extraordinary. Some people start to say, “I cannot communicate with everybody because I am at such a high level.” But in fact, down in the depths of ignorance is he! (Laughter) When you cannot communicate with everybody, we will appreciate it if you remain silent. (Laughter)

Therefore, my friends, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Lord Krishna are perfect examples of effective communication -- effective communication because they remain anonymous. They have no separateness. They don’t consider themselves exalted. They don’t consider themselves superior, because they are in everyone.

 

If God is in you, and is not there in another person, then there is something special in you. When He is in everyone, there is nothing special about it. When there are so many sweets I can take, I cannot say, “I want this sweet.” They are all laddus -- equally sweet.

So,

Mathuraadhipathe akhilam madhuram.

  “He is all sweetness Himself.”

 

KRISHNA IS BEYOND INDULGENCE AND AVOIDANCE

Here is another thing I want to bring to your attention: Lord Krishna is beyond the two aspects (of indulgence and avoidance).

A simple example: A fellow wants to be a bachelor, a celibate, saying, “I don’t want to get married.”

Oh, great! You’re going to be a man of history, a man of the century. (Laughter) You are doing no sacrifice. At least the life of a woman is saved! (Laughter) (Applause)

Why are you afraid to get married? You are afraid to get married because you have no confidence in yourself. And you think that by getting married, you are getting into the area of indulgence. You say, “I don’t want to get married” because you want to choose the path of avoidance.

There are two parts here: indulgence, and avoidance. To both -- to those who get married, to those who do not get married -- the common thing is marriage. He wants to get into this - indulgence. Another doesn’t want to get into that - avoidance. But to both of them, marriage is the common factor. Am I not right?

“I don’t want to get married.” Oh!

“I want to get married.” OK.

Marriage is the common thing. But Divinity is not avoidance; Divinity is not indulgence. Divinity is transcendence. Divinity is transcendence, because avoidance or indulgence does not count at all. They do not matter at all in the spiritual sense, as Krishna was in the company of many women -- 16,000 of them! I don’t think that anybody could name them in the least. And He has to His credit 8 wives! But yet He is a celibate, a brahmachari.

 

KRISHNA IS A BRAHMACHARI

Krishna is a brahmachari, a celibate, Yogeeshwara, a yogi (an ascetic who has mastered the senses and the mind) Himself. Krishna’s life is the best example of being in company, but yet remaining alone; being in the midst of the society, yet solitary; being among relations, yet detached. That is Divinity. (Applause) That is Divinity.

The present God, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, gives us a message along this line. He doesn’t encourage everyone to be celibate. He doesn’t encourage everybody to run away from their families. He doesn’t call that, in any way, spiritual. Somebody just leaves his or her wife or husband - just runs away. So, is this spiritual? No. Leaving the wife or husband is quite easy. When we disagree, we leave. That is it. That doesn’t mean it is spirituality, no.

So, giving up the wife, giving up the husband, leaving the property, anybody can do it. But that is not spirituality. In the midst of life, in the midst of family, in the midst of struggle, in the midst of tension, in the midst of turmoil, if you rise above the reality, if you rise above what is happening, that is true spiritual sadhana, or spiritual life. 

RISE ABOVE YOUR PROBLEMS 

The Bhagavad Gita ("The Song of God" or “The Song Celestial” – legendary Indian scripture) indicates only one person. The Bhagavad Gita does not speak of just anybody, but concentrates instead on the quintessence, the essence of Vedanta (Indian philosophy).

Bhagavad Gita names one person, Janaka, King Janaka. He is a king, but yet a man of spirituality. Janaka is married, but a man of excellence. Janaka is an emperor, but a total renunciant. Janaka has his family, but yet is detached.

A boat is in the water, but the water is not in the boat. The lotus flower blooms and blossoms above the water, with its roots in the mud, yet with the flower above the water. The water does not get into the flower, nor does the mud stick to the petals of the flower. The mud is not stuck to the petals of the flower. The water does not drown the flower. But yet, the flower blooms above the surface of the water.

That is the message of Lord Krishna. That is the message of Bhagavan Baba. You should be above. You should not allow the problem to get into you.

HOW TO BE FREE FROM TENSIONS  

Somebody asked Swami how to be free from tensions. Though the question is simple, it is everybody’s problem. A rich man is full of tension because he has to think how to continue to be rich, and richer. That is his problem, his tension. (Laughter)

A poor man also has tension because he has no money. How to continue his life, how to eke out his living, how to win his bread? That is his tension. Tension is the ‘LCM’, lowest common denominator. It is common to both of them. (Laughter)

A sick man is full of tension because of his sickness. A healthy man is also under tension because he may fall sick later. (Laughter)

An educated man is full of tension because he feels an insufficiency or an inadequacy in the education that he has acquired. “I have a Ph.D. I have a M.Sc. Biotechnology. All the degrees I have, and I am very happy about that. But still, the knowledge and the degrees I have do not give me full and total satisfaction. Therefore, the inadequacy in my education is a cause of tension.”

Then, an illiterate man is full of tension because he feels inferior in front of an educated man.

So, everybody is full of tension. An officer is under tension because he is accountable to superiors. If he is negligent, he will be transferred. A subordinate is under tension because his colleague may rule over him tomorrow. Tension is common to both.

So, when this question is put to Swami, “Swami, what shall I do to get away from tension?” Baba said, “Forget everything, there and then itself.”

Forget everything, there and then itself! The moment I am in my office, that is the moment I am in the midst of my problems. The moment I leave my office, I leave my problems there.

The problems of the office should not be brought home, to make the housewife miserable. When I am a dunce, a misfit in the office, I should not make my wife suffer at home. When I am at fault in my office, I cannot punish my children at home.

Leave the problems there, in the office. The problems of the family should not be taken to the office. If there is a serious, heated discussion between husband and wife, the officer should not then shout at his people because of the ‘brought forward’ from home.

‘Brought forward’ is when the last column in the paper will be the first column in the next paper in the accounts department, (Laughter) but not in our lives. ‘Brought forward’ is the nature of accounts, budgeting, balance sheet, accountancy and finance. But ‘brought forward’ has no place in spirituality.

So, "Leave it there, and then leave itself," says Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, to continue to be ever blissful. This is transcendence.  

WHAT FORM OF KRISHNA SHOULD WE WORSHIP?

We also should believe in another important aspect. How do we worship Lord Krishna? Some worship Krishna as a child. Surdas (a blind poet) always sings of the glory of Krishna as a child, the child Krishna. Arjuna (a close friend and later relation of Krishna) appreciated Krishna as a young Krishna, a youthful Krishna. Meera (a female saint) appreciated Krishna smiling, a blissful Krishna.

But who is Krishna now? Can I say child Krishna is more beautiful, with all the stories, with all the miracles, with all the fun, frolic and humour? Krishna, playing with everybody, so enchanting, so beautiful -- these are the stories of His childhood. Shall I think of that?

Or, shall I think of youthful Krishna? That is, Krishna as a young man, with all the courage, with all the valour, with all the strength to fight and to win.

Or, shall I think of Krishna as the embodiment of wisdom, the Preceptor, the Teacher of teachers, who disseminated the knowledge of the Self in the form of “The Song Celestial”, the Bhagavad Gita.

My friends, the knowledge of Krishna is total -- the totality in worship. I cannot say that I love the child Krishna, or I love the young Krishna, or I love the wise Krishna. No, no. Krishna is all.  

FAMILY DIGNITY IS VERY IMPORTANT

If you want to appreciate Baba, let us study His childhood. If you want to appreciate Baba, let us study His youthful days. If you want to appreciate Baba, let us see Him now.

Bhagavan has a message to convey in every step of His life, in every step of His life. He doesn’t want everybody to know that He comes from a poor family.

To go to school, He preferred to walk. He did not use transport, because for transport one has to pay money. As He did not have enough money, He preferred to walk. As He did not have an extra set of clothes (having just one pair of shorts or trousers), He washed His shirt first. Then, after it dried, He washed His shorts. The message to learn here is that we people have no business to damage the dignity and prestige of the family.

Family prestige is very important. The name of the family is very important. It should not be talked about on the streets in a cheap way by any Tom, Dick or Harry. The name and dignity of the family are very important.

Not only that. The child Sai was invited by His teacher to come and visit him because the teacher’s wife had made special pakoras - hot fried stuff. (You’ll find it in the South Indian canteen in the afternoon. Of course, I don’t know their menu. I’m guessing, yes.)

“Sathyam, we’ve got pakoras this afternoon. Why don’t you visit us and eat?”

But Sathyam went silently, with hands together, and said, “Sir, I am sorry. If I come and eat, how would my classmates feel? How can you be partial to Me?”

LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF KRISHNA AND BABA  

Student Sai has a message to convey. Child Sai has a lesson to teach. Student Sai had a message to convey.  And a youthful Sai with all His strength, with the spirit of service, is well worth emulation. And Sai, being the personification of wisdom, is the One in whom we can get immersed, getting lost there. When we listen to Him, we become lost. When we sing, we forget ourselves.

So, what is the life of Sai? The life of Sai is totality. The life of Sai is holistic.

Krishna Karnamritha is the story of child Krishna; the Bhagavad Gita is the skill of the adult Krishna; Gopi Krishna is the story of Krishna in His youth. So then, who is Krishna? Gopi Krishna, Gita Krishna and then child Krishna, Chinni Krishna, are all the phases of Krishna consciousness only.

So, Krishna consciousness, Baba consciousness, Sathya awareness: There is a lesson to learn in every stage of His life, in every moment of His life. It is a totality, not a fragmentation. 

THE CONVERSATION OF UDDHAVA AND THE GOPIKAS

Somebody said, “I was reading Bhagavan’s book, and Bhagavan speaks of this story.”

So, your attention please: There was a great wise man by the name of Uddhava. Well, Krishna's friends (the gopikas) were waiting for His arrival, but Krishna didn’t have the time to visit. So, He sent Uddhava to them, saying: “Convey My message that I will come there some day.”

Uddhava went there and called all the women, the cowherd girls or gopikas.

“Come on! Here is a message from Krishna. I want to communicate it to you.”

And those ladies said this: “Uddhava, you have seen Krishna in the physical form. Uddhava, you are very near Krishna in the physical plane. You talk to Him, you converse with Him, and you are in His company. You are in the company of the song-full God. You are in the company of God with all attributes, saguna. So, you are in the company of God with attributes, saguna. You are in the company of God with form, akara.

“But you want to teach us about formless, attributeless Divinity. You run after the form, but you teach us formlessness. Why don’t you run for an election? (Laughter) You run after God with attributes, saguna, but then you speak to us of attributelessness, nirguna. You have one standard for you, and a different standard for us. We don’t want your message. Please go back."

A black flag demonstration: “Go back!”

That man Uddhava said, “What nonsense are you speaking? I have come here with a message from Krishna.”

“Sorry, we have no time to hear you. We have no mind to hear you.”

“What! You have no mind?”

“Yes. We have no mind.”

“Why?”

“That mind is given to Krishna. So, we never mind.” (Laughter).

This has a deeper implication. When the gopikas said, "We have no mind", it only meant the thoughtless state. It only meant the withdrawal of the mind. It only meant the annihilation of the mind. It only meant the stillness of the mind. The still water is calm; whereas agitated, disturbed water is different from still water. Similarly, when the gopikas said, "We have no mind", it signifies the still water, or the equanimous mind.

Then Uddhava understood that he was an unwanted, unsolicited ambassador, who was most unwelcome there. So he said, “All right. You don’t want to hear me. But Krishna cared enough to write a letter for you. Come on! Read it for yourselves."

One lady got up and said, “Sorry. We are from this village, unlettered and illiterate. We don’t know how to read. Go back. We don’t want letters either.”

Then Uddhava said, “What is this? Am I in the midst of illiterates? Rural, rustic people? Is there not one or two who can read and write?”

One lady got up and said, “I can read.”

“Come on! Then read it.”

“I am sorry. I won’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because of the pangs of separation from Him, from Krishna: When my tears start rolling, they may fall on the paper, and the letters may get erased, so that they cannot be made out. (Laughter) When the letters get erased, I can’t read, as the sentences are gone.”

“Oh, I see. OK. Is there anyone else who can read? This lady is highly emotional (Laughter), most imbalanced (Laughter). She keeps two rivers in her eyes, ready to pour out water. Is there any other girl who can read?”

One girl got up and said, “I can read. But I won’t read.”

“Oh, I see. What’s the problem with you?”

“Being separated from Krishna, my whole body is burning. My whole body is burning with a high temperature. When I touch the paper, it may be burnt up (Laughter). So I don’t want it.”  

WORDS FAIL IN THE DEPTHS OF EXPERIENCE

This is a simple story with a lot of meaning, with depth in it. Its message is that scholarship or book reading is useless. It also means that discourses or talking to somebody with preferences of their own, which are in the opposite direction to what they say, is nothing but duplicity, hypocrisy, and a double standard in life.  It also conveys the true feelings of a devotee.

My friends, we often think that someone is a devotee if he can quote freely from the Bhagavad Gita, or if he can talk eloquently on the Bible, or if he can freely say all that is said in the Quran, or if he can speak extempore, in a most impressive way. No. Speech-making is a mechanical process.

God is an experience; God is not an expression.

So, when I am speaking like this, please understand me. I belong to the category of people who have yet to experience. I have no sense of shame in telling you so.

Just two days back, Baba said, “When you stand knee-deep in water, you can talk freely. When you immerse yourself neck-deep, you can still talk. When you are fully drowned, there is no more talk.”

Similarly, talk or words fail in the depth of the total existence, in the state of bliss, in the state of ecstasy. Therefore, these gopikas, these illiterate cowherd girls, speak of the depths of experience. Where? Where silence is eloquence. Where silence is eloquence! That is a wordless word. That is a speechless speech. 

THE LOVE OF GOD IS IMMEASURABLE

Here is a simple example: You say, “I love my mother.” How much do you love her? How many kilos? How many tons? Calculate it in terms of money. How many dollars worth? Arey, what nonsense you speak!

Similarly, when you cannot measure by any known standards and parameters, the love towards the mother, the love towards the better half, and the love towards parents and friends, well, how do you estimate the Love of God? How do you measure the Love for God? Impossible!

Therefore, this story, this incident, this episode, this anecdote of the illiterate women of Brindavan speaks of the fathomless depths of experience, not about volumes of expression. You may be a scholar, but not a devotee. You may be knowledgeable, but you are not a seeker. You are knowledgeable from the position of your knowledge. You are a scholar from the point of scholarship. But all that is gathered from outside. 

A TEACHER HAS A TIME AND SEASON,

A MASTER RESIDES AT THE ALTAR OF YOUR HEART

But what is it that is original? What is it that is creative? What is it that you can tell me on the basis of your first-hand information? Nothing.

Therefore, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (a 19th century Bengali saint) discontinued his studies while he was in class 7 or 8. Jesus Christ was illiterate. Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba also discontinued His studies at a young age. But they have all become Masters, not teachers.

A teacher needs qualifications; a Master needs identification. (Applause)

A teacher talks to you; a Master inspires you.

A teacher has a time and season, a timetable, a schedule and a syllabus, a place to meet, a classroom. A Master resides at the altar of your heart.

A teacher communicates, while a Master communes. A teacher is separate from you, while the Master is One with you, is the One with you!

A teacher wants excellence. A Master says you are already excellent. You are already excellent! You don’t have to work for excellence.

A teacher takes you to a different place, to a higher level. But a Master keeps you where you are, and shows you what you already are.

That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. That is the message of Lord Sri Krishna. 

BHAGAVAN IS ALONE BUT ALL IN ALL

The life of Krishna is an adventure. He fought all alone, yet He is all in all for everyone. He is alone, but He is all to everyone. That is Divinity.

Bhagavan is all alone, single. But He is all to every one of us. He is all in all. But, on His own, He is alone. After bhajans, when He goes all alone, one might think, ‘Oh God! You are alone. But yet, You are in every one of us. You are personal and impersonal. You are in, but also out.’ Because You are in and out and beyond, that is Divinity. 

LEAD A MATERIALISTIC LIFE WITH A SPIRITUAL GOAL

Life is an adventure. The life of Krishna was an adventure, because He could annihilate all that was evil at that time. Life is an adventure today, the life of materialism, when everything is counted in terms of coins, dollars and money. It is only money that matters in family relationships. It is the money that counts when respecting anybody, in interrelationships. 

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the only one who says, “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows.”  That is life, an adventure in the sea of materialism. We are in the midst of the sea of materialism. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba wants us to swim against the tide. The adventure is not materialism.

But yet again, He doesn’t want us to run away from materialism. Just because money is not the criterion, that doesn’t mean I should remain a beggar. Definitely not! It does not mean that I should make my pockets empty. Certainly not!

My friends, keep this sentence in your view. Lead a materialistic life. Lead a materialistic life with a spiritual goal. Let all the branches grow in height. Let the tree grow in height to reach the heavens, which is spirituality. Let the roots be deeply rooted in the mud, which is materialism.

If the roots are not firmly rooted there, the tree will be uprooted. The tree has to be firm. So, that firmness is the material life. The branches growing up to the heavens, quite tall, gigantic, those represent the spiritual heights.

I can go on like this. There are many, many, many, many more things to know from the life of Krishna and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

A PRAYER TO BHAGAVAN

So with this note of greeting, with this note of wishing you well, with sincere prayers from the bottom of our heart to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to bless every one of us, we still have two more days before the celebration of Krishna Janmaashtami, (Krishna’s birthday). So, as Krishna inspired Arjuna then, Baba, may You continue to inspire everyone here, who is Arjuna himself.

“Oh Lord! Yes, You never vacated, You never left your residence that was the heart of your devotee, the gopika in those days. Oh Lord! I pray to You that You shall never leave me. I know that You are there, but let there not be a moment of forgetfulness. Let there not be any moment of unawareness.”

Once Krishna saved the life of an elephant, which was dragged into a pool by a crocodile. A crocodile dragged the feet of an elephant, so that elephant could not come out of the pool. In such a state of helplessness, that elephant, Gajendra, started praying.

God responded. God stopped dining. God stopped conversing with His consort. He left the dining table, started running, without relaying what was happening in that moment of time.  Responding to the call was more important than having time to Himself.

“Oh God! You did that then. We pray that You continue to do this for every one of us, because we are in dire and desperate need. We want You to help every one of us. The crocodile of worldly pleasures also catches our feet. We are also dragged into the pool of materialistic life. We, each one of us a mighty elephant, cry for Your help so that You can then come to our rescue.” God will come for our relief, even now.

We also look to those days when He could pardon the demons, when He could excuse the demons, and still grant them the state of liberation. “Oh God! Even now, we do have some demonic qualities; we do have some animal qualities, which we have come to know of only after coming to You. Before You, we were proud of those animal qualities. Having come here, we are exposed. We pray to You so that we may get out of this demonic and bestial character.”

“Oh Lord Krishna, You collected all the robes of the women there, all the saris of the women.” Krishna was a child at that time. Here the sari, the dress, is not a physical dress. It is the attachment to the body. “Oh Bhagavan, we want You to disrobe every one of us so that we will not have body attachment.”

Child Krishna dances on the six hoods of the serpent. When Krishna dances on the hoods of the serpent, the serpent vomits poison. “Oh Bhagavan, may every one of us vomit the poison of hatred, the poison of attachment, the poison of avarice, the poison of possessiveness. Just as the serpent could vomit with You dancing on its head, with Your Name in our heads, may all the bad be vomited out.”

Let that be the message of Krishna Janmaashtami for the day.

May Bhagavan bless you.

Thank you very much. (Applause)

(Anil Kumar closed his talk with the bhajan,

“Hari Narayana Govinda, Jaya Narayana Govinda”.)

 

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!!!