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The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

 “Seek and Search”

  September 14th, 2003

  OM…OM…OM…

Sai Ram

 

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

Welcome back to this morning’s session. The topic I have chosen for this morning is: "Seek and Search".

 

You have to work for your own Liberation

All of us know pretty well that life has become a matter of questions. Life is a problem. “To be or not to be?” is the question. Life often takes us to crossroads. We are not able to decide what is to be done, what is not to be done, and how to go about it. To what extent are we right? Are we following the correct path? Do we get what we really want? And what we have got already, does it satisfy our requirements? Where are we? What do you want?

These are the questions that naturally come to thinking minds. If we follow the crowd, if we follow the mob, there will be no doubt at all. Stand in the queue, get in somehow or the other, stand in line, go in and get out. But life is not like that -- just a matter of a queue. Life is absolutely individual. Life is individualistic; it is not a crowd. Because the crowd is convinced, that does not mean that you are convinced. Life is absolutely individualistic. It is not a mob or a crowd either.

Mob psychology, the psychology of the crowd, is totally different from the psychology and the psychological reactions of an individual. That's the reason why, though many people follow one path, though that large crowd is there, but still I don't agree with them. As an individual, I don't join the crowd, because in a crowd you lose your individuality. In a mob, you lose your identity. You are nobody. When once this individuality is gone, when once this identity of individual thinking, individual perception is gone, we are lost. That's the reason the Gita says that each one has to work for one's own liberation. Each one has to work for one's own emancipation. Each one has to work for one's own progress and advancement.

As a crowd, you are not going to be liberated. As a mob, you are not going to be transported to the world of paradise. We are not going to be condemned as a mob either. So, it is absolutely necessary to remain as an individual, introspect, seek and search.

Therefore, my friends, in an organisation, we move together as a body to inspire each other, to guide each other -- but not to be liberated together. Work, we can do together. Think? Yes, we can think together. Plan, we can. But so far as liberation is concerned, so far as the experience of the ultimate is concerned, it is absolutely left to the individual, and has nothing to do with anybody else. Uddhare Atma Atmanam: “You have to work for your own liberation.”

Nobody is going to give insurance coverage or a guarantee card. Therefore, people say that religion is a lonely pilgrimage. That's why people say that spirituality is a pathless land. That's why people say religion is a goal-less, eternal journey, because we have our own perceptions. We cannot draw any generalisations.

I may humbly submit to you that in spirituality, in the field of religion, no one can claim to be absolute. No one can say that he is unique. Your own experience may be unique, but you cannot deny the other man's experience, because spirituality offers a multi-dimensional approach to the vast humanity. Each one will have his own approach.

If one says, “This is how I feel”, I cannot say, “Stop that nonsense. This is how I feel! Take it down -- I will dictate the procedure.” It is not like that. Everyone is right in his own way. Ekam Sath Viprah, Bahuda Vadanthe: “The Truth is One. Interpretations are many.” Experiences are many, because it is a diamond with many faces.

 

Life is a Quest

So, life is a matter of questions to all of us. And we do not find suitable answers at times. But my friends, life may be a matter of questions, but in spiritual parlance, in the field of religion, life is never a question. Life is a quest.

Quest and question are different. We teachers know pretty well how to question our students. Students know pretty well how to answer our questions, if they come fully prepared. So, question-and-answer, we know about that. At the time of the interview, we question and we get the answers. Then the boss questions when the sub-ordinate does not attend to his duties properly. So, questioning and answering is a normal way of life in every walk, in every aspect, in every sphere of our public activity.

But spiritually, there is no question. It is only a quest. The difference is this: Intellectually, you can answer any question. But a quest requires an answer that is altogether different. The quest needs to be answered existentially. I repeat: An intellectual answer is enough for a question; an existential answer is required for a quest. Now in a spiritual sense, life is a quest and no more a question.

Another point is this: In life, there is somebody to question you, and you are here to answer, either at the official level or professional level, whatever it may be. There is a person who questions you; there’s another one to answer you. But in a quest, there is no second man. The thirst for quest arises in you. The answer comes up then and there itself. There is no second person here, as in the field of questioning, where one person questions and another answers. 

In this spiritual process, there is a sort of quest deep within; the answer, the reply, is found there, deep within. There is no second person here. There is no accountability here. There is no question of responsibility being thrown on somebody else. Quest is original. Quest is creative. Quest is intuitive. Quest is spiritual, whereas questions are physical. Questions are a matter of rapport. Questions are a matter of togetherness. Questions are physical, worldly. Questioning is based on the intellect. Quest is spiritual, happening deeply within you.

Perhaps that’s why Bhagavan insists you spend some time in silence. All religions, all spiritual texts, lay much importance on the observance of silence. Why? In a deep state of silence, you proceed along the path of the quest. Where there is noise, there cannot be quest. Question requires verbal expression. Question needs to be put in words. But quest is a process. Quest is a phenomenon. Question is external, while quest is internal.

 

God made man in His own Image

I think now we are clear as to what is a quest and what is a question. My friends, the answers that we get for our questions in the outer world may help us to some extent. But the deep quest within, the answers that I get within myself, are for my being. The answers to my questions outside are meant for my mind. Question answering relates to the mind, whereas quest is related to the very being, because the very being -- that is me. I am not the body; I am not the mind; I am not the senses. I am the being. And that being wants to be revealed. That being wants to be experienced. That being wants to be realised, to find an answer, which is existential.

Therefore, my friends, questions and answers may be there. But the eternal quest is a thirst that is unquenched, a hunger that is unsatiated. Life’s ambition is the quest for one’s being. With this quest missing, life is not worth living at all.

And where do we land? What is the terminal point to this eternal journey of quest? The terminal point is this: That being is cosmic. That being is universal. That being is not a separate entity. The real being, which is me, is universal, it is cosmic, and it is not separate.

Just one point here my friends: In the world, I feel that I am separate from you. You feel that you are different from me. We get separated on grounds of profession, cadre, qualification, caste, creed, gender, nationality, and race. We find it very convenient to get divided. It is easy to divide, because this sort of division will flare up your ego. When I class myself as an educated man, aha, that is ego. When I brand myself a great researcher, it is Himalayan ego! So, separation is an expression of ego, which has no place in religion.

Whereas, truly speaking, Eko Vasi Sarva Bhootanthratma: “It is only the single cosmic soul, which is present in everybody, though it appears to be different.” Though seemingly different, though apparently varied, inherently and basically, it is one and the same. So, it is the experience of a single cosmic entity, Vasudeva Sarvamithi. Or, if I might say, “The whole universe is Divine. Everybody is none other than the reflection of God.”

That's the reason why the Bible even says, "God made man in His own image." He has not made man in the image of a dog or pig. Certainly not! Oh man, do not consider yourself mean. Never consider yourself so low. Do not think that you are so simple -- no.

The very life of a human being is most precious. It is most valuable. And this precious life has got to be accepted joyfully, happily, because a precious gift cannot be dropped down. That's the reason why Meerabai, a great saint, goes on singing, “Oh God, you have given me a precious diamond. Let me not drop it.” Sage Thyagaraja also sings the glory of the human life. Therefore, this life will find its fulfillment. This life will find its fructification. This life will have total gratification in experiencing the real being, the Self.

So, the life quest, the quest in the spiritual sense, is nothing other than experiencing the existential being. And you are That: “Thathwamasi, Thathwamasi.” You are the existential being. You are not different from anything else. This is the quest of life, not the question of life.

Questions lead to many more questions. If you put to me one question and I try to answer it, before you hear me, before I complete the answer, you start thinking of another question. This is what happens. Those who like to put questions know pretty well. I ask a question, you are giving an answer. Halfway through your answer, I think of another question to ask you, because my question is very often only asked to put you down. Sometimes it’s to express, to show how much more I know than you, not necessarily to project or to share another dimension -- not necessarily so. Because, if one wants to project, if one wants to bring out another dimension, one will have the patience to hear what the other man says. But I am not interested -- I am only interested in stopping you halfway. So, there are questions and questions, without end. Life ends in a question mark!

 

The Path of Quest is Enquiry

To quote Swami, “Some people have a body which is also in the form of a question mark.” (Laughter)  They have a question mark body, with a big stomach and all that. They don't need any table, as they can write on their stomach. (Laughter) That is a question mark body! So, the body has become a question because of too much fat. The mind has become a question, because it doesn't really want answers. The intellect, whether in existence or not, is doubtful. 

My friends, questions are not our friends. Beware of questions, because questions speak of our intellectuality. Questions speak of our mental potentiality. Questions show our ability to comprehend, but our incapacity in actual experience.

That's why, if you ask fundamental questions, they have no answer. Take a simple thing. The question is, “How do you experience Love?” Where is the answer? There is no answer. I can only say, “You love.” That is the answer. “What is Truth?” What is the answer? “Be truthful.” That is the answer.

So, quest has not many answers. Quest is existential, which does not lead in turn to the next sequential further process of questioning. It ends. That's all. Because the being-ness, being One, gets satisfied. It gets revealed. It comes as an experience.

Questions can be answered by our scholarship, by our knowledge. You ask me a question: “What is this energy? What is happening? What is that plant? How is it growing?” OK, questions can be answered on the grounds of scholarship and knowledge. But the path of quest is ‘enquiry’. It is called "Vicharana" in Sanskrit, or "Mimamsa".

In every discourse, Bhagavan tells us that each one of us should put a question to ourselves: “Who am I? Who am I?” But we are more interested to know who the neighbour is: “Who are you? Where do you come from?” 

But if I ask these questions to myself, ‘What am I? Where do I go? Where am I?’, I have no answers. On the other hand, while trying to know your antecedents, your bio-data, I am happy. While trying to find out my own bio-data, I am frightened. “Who am I?" I don't know. So let me know who you are! (Laughter) Where you are going! It adds to my information. Where am I going? I am worried because I don't know where I am going.

Therefore, reflecting on one’s own self, going deeply within, is the process of enquiry. The process of enquiry, which is a quest, is not verbal. It is meditative; it is contemplative.  Meditation is the path of enquiry. Meditation is the only answer for the quest, which is eternal.

So, meditation is wordless. Meditation is speechless. Meditation is expressionless, because it is an experience. If anyone wants to express meditation, it becomes a mechanical process, like 'a + b…a whole square…b square + 2 ab'…no! Meditation is a process of experience, which is not verbal. It is a process of enquiry, which is wordless, soundless. It is an utter state of silence, where ‘I’ am gone. ‘I’ am lost. In meditation, my body, my qualification, my personality, my height, my weight and my chest do not matter. They are immaterial, irrelevant. I just become empty, in a state of nothingness, where ego is gone. That is meditation. In the very awareness that ‘I’ remains, it cannot be called meditation by any standard.

Therefore, my friends, quest is meditative. Quest is contemplative, whereas question and answer is limited to concentration. Concentration is enough to answer a question. But meditation is necessary for quest. Therefore, seek by being contemplative; search by being meditative.

 

Unconscious anonymity

The topic for this morning is: “Seek and Search”. It is not external. Search for the culprit? Search for income tax evaders? No. It's not that. Search within. That’s where it is: Search within.

I will tell an anecdote. A few years ago, in one of the western countries, they wanted to know about the life principle: “How does life get into the body? How does life leave the body?” A western scientist was inquisitive and wanted to know. A dying man, whose time was almost over, was brought and kept in a glass house. He might collapse any moment, so he was a worthy patient to be examined. ‘So, let me see where the life principle goes out. How? What is the path? No doors, no windows. Will the life principle break the glass? Or is there anybody who will get in and take out his life like a postman? What is going to happen?’

They kept him in a pukka glass house, all proof. Then they were observing. After some time, without them noticing, life was gone. (Laughter) They were just watching, and after sometime, they went in to check up. The fellow had left long back. That is life.

Therefore, the point is, that which is not noticed, that which is not cognizable, is what we call ‘unconscious anonymity’. If that is translated into ‘conscious anonymity’, it becomes sadhana. Unconscious anonymity, if it is to be processed, if it is to be experienced as conscious anonymity, is what we call ‘meditation’. Below the level of the conscious, I am animalistic and bestial. Remaining at the level of consciousness, I am human. But beyond that -- super consciousness, I am the Divine.

Seek that, which you are. Search for that, what you are. Because we search for certain external objects, we seek that which we do not have. But the spiritual search, the spiritual seeking, is for that which you already are. But we identify ourselves with different realms, with different possessions, positions and objectives in life.

 

Life is not a Benediction

My friends, I can say that life is not a benediction and life is not a blessing without knowing one’s own true nature. It is an opportunity wasted, a gold treasure that is simply ignored. It is pearl thrown before swine. Let's not spend our life like that. Knowing and experiencing the true nature of one’s own Self is the very purpose of our birth.

Man is the only living creature in this universe who can transcend himself, who can excel himself.  He thinks he is human. No, he can also be Divine. He can go beyond. He thinks that he is limited, but he can experience the Infinite if he really wants to. If he strives for it, if he tries, he can experience the Infinite. Being human, he can experience Divinity. Excelling one’s own self, surpassing one’s own self, is the God-given capacity. That potential, which is so great, is misused and misspent, and very often abused. But that potential given to man to excel himself, to experience Divinity, will make him experience true peace of mind.

We know many rich people who spend sleepless nights, because they are afraid that their money may be robbed any time; or, his kith and kin may kill him any time, to take away the money he amassed. A man in power is always in tension. Why? He has the threat of losing power anytime. So, powerlessness is known more while in power. A man without power cannot know what it is to be powerless. Have power and you know how powerless you are. Yes, you think that the position of a minister is highly powerful. But, by the time you become a minister who is all-powerful, you know that you are powerless because you have to act according to the wishes of the chief minister.

The paradox applies that when you are rich, you know what a beggar you are inside. The powerlessness is experienced more when you are in power. This is the paradox. This is the beautiful contradiction that we find in our lives.

 

The real seeking is experiencing

We tell Swami, “Bhagavan, some supreme court justice has come for darshan.” He will not say, “Ask him to come inside immediately.” We used to do that. We do that. I said, “I thought I was doing some favour to Bhagavan, by passing on some information.” By telling that he is a VIP, I thought that I could also become a half-VIP…(Laughter)…half a VIP, or at least one-fourth! What happened?

Our good God says, "Oh, supreme court justice? Is he like a bull with two horns? Let him wait there." (Laughter) Let him wait there. It means that, in the spiritual sense, these things are utterly nonsensical, useless. They have no relevance at all. 

When a big vice-chancellor, a great scholar, was in the immediate Divine presence of Bhagavan Baba, I said, as that gentleman was my friend, “Swami, he is vice-chancellor. He has written about 150 books. He wrote a commentary on Rig-Veda. He is such a great scholar.”

Baba said, “Is there anything inside here? (Laughter) Without anything inside here, how can he write 100 books?”

I had put on a question mark face. Then Bhagavan said, “It’s mechanical. What is done is mechanical. What is done is based on memory. What is done is based on intellect. Nothing has come through experience.”

Therefore, my friends, our attempt is not to be a scholar. Our attempt is not to be a scientist. Our aim is not to be a man of knowledge. Our seeking is to end in experiencing. The real seeking is experiencing. So, you seek to experience. You search to experience. That is the message of all religions, of all God-men, of all sages, saints and seekers.

 

What is the latest miracle?

So, my friends, Bhagavan's discourses, for the last ten years at least, are full of philosophy, full of spiritual content. Over the years you will notice this. If you refer to Sanathana Sarathi’s, or listen to Bhagavan's discourses given 15 or 25 years ago, they are full of stories. They are full of anecdotes, full of humour, full of illustrations. But over the past 15 years, He stopped giving us ‘homeo pills’…no more homeo pills, which are sweet. He is giving us the ‘mother tincture’ directly. It may be bitter; it may be difficult to swallow. But it must be accepted sometime or other, because life is not as sweet as we want it to be.

In fact He said too many of the devotees, “How long would you like to remain learning alphabets? How long would you like to remain at the kindergarten level? Why don't you evolve?” And He also told one of the devotees that in the beginning, a child starts learning with a picture of a dog, with the letters ‘D-O-G’ underneath. The child starts learning words, identifying with the pictures above. But as the child grows, he will not carry that picture all the time. He starts learning. He doesn't do that at the graduate level, does he, in any country? I don't think so. (Laughter) So, life is a process of learning, from the lower to the higher. Therefore, we have got to know the spiritual content at some stage or other. 

I pity myself if someone comes to me and asks, “Anil Kumar, what is the latest miracle of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba?” I was really sorry for my own position of helplessness when this man asked, because I could not tell him the latest miracle.

I said, “The latest miracle is this: That you still want to know the miracle -- this is a miracle.” (Laughter) Enough of miracles! We want to know them only! I would have been happy had he asked, “What does He say about this? What does He say about sadhana? What does He say about meditation? What does He say about liberation? What does He say about profession? What does He say about discipline? What are His views?” But we don't want that. “What is the latest miracle?” The latest miracle is that we continue to have these miracles. That is the miracle of miracles.

It was Bhagavan Baba who said, “To know if the sea water is saline or salty, you don't have to drink the whole sea. One drop is enough.” To know that Bhagavan Baba is God, one experience is enough; one miracle is enough. It doesn't mean that we should have a series of miracles. But yet, even then there are people who refuse to be convinced.

In Mahabharata, there are two groups of people who witnessed miracles throughout. But one gang refused to accept Him, though they noticed miracles after miracles. The Kauravas refused to believe, though they saw a number of Krishna’s miracles happening in front of them, whereas the Pandavas were convinced, in spite of a period of tests. In spite of challenging times, their faith did not waver. Both witnessed miracles, but one gang remained where they were, and the other people continued in faith. This is a lesson. It does not mean that one miracle will make you convinced for a lifetime, because you still want another miracle to happen. 

 

We want to make a generalisation

Someone was asking me, “Anil Kumar, we see Swami coming in His go-cart, coming in the evening; but He is not giving darshan during morning times. Why?”

I said, “My friend, Swami is giving darshan only in the evening. You are asking why Swami is giving or not giving. Why is He giving? Giving or not giving is Swami’s choice. Where do I come into the picture? (Laughter) I don't know. You ask Him if you can. (Laughter) Or let Him say when He chooses to. How can I give a reason for His actions?” (Laughter)

This is the dilemma. We, the so-called intellectuals, if we have to say, we want to make a generalisation. It’s very funny to watch people speaking, giving their own interpretations -- oftentimes expressions of Himalayan ignorance, ignorance of fathomless depths, ignorance that can never be written off for 100 lives to comes! It is really pitiable.

Some people ask me, “Is it true that He had a second fall? He fell down once. Then it seems He had second fall?”

I said, “I do not know. But you and I have been falling every moment! (Laughter) Every moment we are falling. I don't know about that fall. This fall I see in front of my eyes.” (Laughter)

And some say, “Is it true that He may not get up and give regular darshans for sometime to come?”

 I said, “On what basis do you say that? I have no information.”

 And that man says, “In my dream, this is the message I got.” (Laughter)

 Then I tell him, “In my dream, the message I got was not to question.” (Laughter)

 

Spirituality is Surrender

My friends, spirituality is acceptance. Spirituality is surrender. Spirituality is transcendence.  ‘Bhagavan, if You talk to me, fine. If You do not talk to me, it is equally fine. When You come in the morning, fine. If You do not come, yes, it is also fine. If You come by go-cart, yes -- I prepare my mind. If You prefer to walk in the usual way, yes, I am ready.’

There is a simple anecdote. It seems Krishna and Arjuna were passing along the roadside. Arjuna watched a bird, and Krishna also watched the bird, which was perched on the branch of a tree.

Krishna said, “Look here Arjuna, is that bird a parrot?”

Arjuna said, “Yes, my Lord.”

Then Krishna said, “Oh Arjuna, is it not a crow?”

“Why not, my Lord? It is a crow.” (Laughter)

“Oh Arjuna, look here, probably it might be an eagle!”

“Yes, my Lord. Yes, it is!”

Then Krishna said, “What a fool you are! (Laughter) You are telling ‘yes’ to whatever I say.”

Then Arjuna gave this answer: “My Lord, if You say that it is a crow, You are capable of making anything into a crow. (Laughter) Even if it is some other bird, when You say ‘crow’, You will convert it into a crow. You will make it an eagle; You will make it a pigeon; You will make it any bird of your choice, when You only say so. You are capable of doing it. Therefore, I said ‘yes’ to You, my Lord.”

This sort of acceptance is the beginning of wisdom in spirituality. It is not a question of doubt. You can doubt material science; you can doubt secular knowledge; you can doubt your physical experiences. You can doubt anything that relates to properties of matter and dynamics of life. But, so far as the spiritual field is concerned, there is only acceptance.

 

Bhagavan is capable of anything

My friends, it so happened that once, long back, Bhagavan wanted me to get the auditorium ready, as it had not been used for ten years. Some chairs were loose, you know, and Bhagavan wanted to start the summer course. So, He called me.

“Get this auditorium ready for the summer course.” He gave me another caution: “The chairs’ nuts and bolts may be loose. Some VIP's may be sitting there. Well, they may find themselves on the ground instead of on the chair. So, check up on all the bolts and nuts.”

“Swami, yes, I will do it.”

Well, with three hundred students at my command (Anil Kumar was then the principal at Whitefield college), I declared that classes be suspended, and I asked the three hundred boys to be on the job of tightening the nuts and the bolts. (Laughter) One student would sit there, while another student watched – so it was not only tightening, but also testing. (Laughter) It took one full day, but it was quite easy with three hundred students. After all, there were only one thousand chairs. Over!

In the evening, Bhagavan came as usual to check and test. "Anil Kumar, how are the chairs?"

"Swami, perfect. Pukka!" (Laughter)

"Oh, I see. Have you tested?"

"Yes."

"Now come! Fifteenth row, twelfth chair, you go and check up." (Laughter)

So, I had to climb up the steps, count to the fifteenth row, the twelfth chair. I found the seat, which I could lift up easily! (Laughter) My hand picked up the seat because it was not tight.

Swami said, "Aye, what did you tell me? All are perfect? What is this?" (Laughter)

Then I said, "Swami, all were perfect. I think to teach me a lesson You might have made that chair like that. (Laughter) You are capable of making things loose, and You are capable of making things tight. We have experienced both! (Laughter) You made our lives alternatively so convenient, so horrible, so bearable, and then so terrible. Baba, life has become like a pendulum, moving from that side to this side. So, I know what it is, Swami. All one thousand chairs were perfect. You made that chair loose purposefully. That is making me nervous now!"

Swami laughed and laughed, and said, “What a knack it is!” (Laughter) It’s all a knack. You see, not that I am an example or ideal, but what I say is, Bhagavan is capable of that.

The members of a trust received a telegram. I won’t say what trust it is, because I don't want you to guess. It is risky on my part to leak that information, though I have got this weakness of sharing with everybody. (Laughter)

They received a telegram. It had some instruction, and they were discussing it. One of the members read out the text of the telegram. All the people heard it, and they were discussing and deliberating on the details. They kept it there the whole day. 

Bhagavan came at lunchtime. "What are you discussing?"

"Swami, we are discussing this important issue."

"What?" One, two, three…they said like that, fine.

Then Swami said, “No, no, no. You are discussing something else.”

“Swami, we received a telegram. We are discussing this issue.”

"I see. But that is not the text of the telegram. No, you have not read it properly. Come on, open and read it!"

When they opened and started reading, it was altogether different! (Laughter) Totally changed! The fellows started sweating, “Oh God!” (Laughter)

Then Swami started joking, “You don't know English. (Laughter) You don't know letters. You are all graduates, postgraduates, PhDs. What is the use?”

Bhagavan is capable of anything…

 

He is more than what you see

We should have that acceptance. We should have that spirit of surrender. For your information, I can give another example. There used to be a grand old gentleman, by the name of Sri Rama Brahmam, who was the caretaker of Brindavan there in Whitefield. He spent about thirty to thirty-five years with Bhagavan.

Living with Swami in those years was not an ordinary thing. We say that living with God is life near the fire. But in those days, it was life in the fire. (Laughter) You can understand how scorching it was! Also, Brindavan had no electricity supply, except in the Mandir, and the area was full of snakes. There were also no beautiful buildings as we find today. That man had to carry the hurricane lamp and walk all through this area. That was the situation of those days.

Swami arranged a big lunch in honour of very important guests. For that purpose, silverware was specially bought for twenty people or so -- all silver plates, everything silver. The dinner was over and Swami was to return to Puttaparthi. He told Ram Brahmam, “Keep all this silverware in that almirah (cupboard). Lock it, and keep the key yourself. We may need it when another dignitary visits this place.”

”OK, Swami.” Ram Brahman was the best example of a true ‘yes’ man, one for all of us to emulate. He said, “Yes, Swami.” Then Bhagavan came to Puttaparthi.

In those days, after every festival, Bhagavan used to go back to Brindavan. Though He has stopped doing so, we have not given up that rumour habit. From the day after any festival, the rumour starts spreading: “When is He going?” (Laughter) It is all because He went like that in those days.

So, “When is He going?”

“Some say He is going on 8th.” He fixes the date for Swami's departure also -- the devotee dominating the deity. It sometimes happened. So, after some Birthday festival, Bhagavan went back to Brindavan.

“Ram Brahmam, tomorrow we are going to have an important guest. Check up on the silverware, spoons, plates and all those things. See how many we have, and if we need more, place an order and get them.” This man opened up the cupboard. All the racks were empty! (Laughter) No silverware!

Then Swami said, “You are a chora -- you are a big thief! I should not have put you here. What happened to the silverware? Sevadals, search his house!”

This grand old man at the age of 60 was left with no option other than to cry at the top of his voice. He started crying. Swami went on 'banging' (meaning, accusing him), and everybody was shivering because we couldn't bear that sight.

Then after a couple of minutes, Swami started laughing. There was an outburst of laughter. "Ah, Ram Brahmam, don’t worry. I know you are not that type of man. I transported all the silverware to Puttaparthi. (Laughter) Everything is there now, so how can you find it? Therefore the almirah is empty.” (Laughter)

My friends, we should not allow ourselves to be deluded by what we see. We should not be deluded by all that we see…because He is beyond. He is more than what you see. He is more than what you know. He is more than what you read about. No amount of reading, or imagination, or thinking can ever reach Him. The Upanishads clearly say that the word fails to extol Him. The word fails to describe Him. The mind fails to comprehend Him.  Then how do you bring Him within the stretch of your imagination and vision? Impossible!

 

God is unpredictable

Bhagavan, what You are doing today, what we see today, should not waver our faith. It should never allow any doubt to enter within our mind. Because God shakes -- He shakes you. He doesn’t allow you to immediately merge. Life is not that simple a process as mixing sugar and water. He is not so simple.

When the river is about to merge into the ocean, the ocean refuses. The ocean will not accept the river immediately. There is a kind of clash. There is a sort of coercion. There is a sort of struggle between the river and the ocean. The ocean says, “Get out!” The river says, “I want to get in.” So, in that struggle, the river submits and becomes humble. As the river flows down, the sea flows upwards, embracing and hugging the downwardly flowing river to merge into its mightiness.

So, the individual is the river. Baba is the ocean. As we go, there is a kind of lack of coercion -- the clash of doubt, of questioning, of non-acceptability, if I may say so. Our conditioned mind, our prejudices, our bias may not permit us to accept. This is the struggle we have to come out from.

Seek such that doubt has no place. Search such that bias and prejudice will find no place, because God's actions are paradoxical. Here is a simple example:

At one time a person had back pain. Swami gave him a room in East Prashanti and He started visiting morning and evening. “How is your back pain? Did you get lunch? Did you get dinner?” He went on enquiring. That man was enjoying his back pain because Bhagavan started visiting and sending everything from the canteen. Why not? VVVVVIP!

Later Kasturi had a similar back pain, and he thought he would have East Prashanti, the next room. (Laughter) But Bhagavan did not do that. “Kasturi, I got 500 calendars from Delhi to be distributed to all the people -- to East Prashanti, West Prashanti, and South Prashanti. You climb the staircase, A floor, B floor…Go to every room and give one calendar to everybody and come down.” (Laughter)

“Oh Bhagavan, 4 south Prashanti’s and 1 East Prashanti, 3 floors with this back pain! I thought that You would allow me to lie down and give me idli and upma (Laughter) as You have done to the other man.”

"No, this is the treatment."

My friends, God is unpredictable. There is nothing like conformity. There is nothing like uniformity. He is full of contradictions. To a highly educated man, He will tell him to do some work in the canteen. To a person who does it scrupulously, religiously, and with hard work, He will tell him to take to dhyana, meditation, because He is the doctor who knows the right medicine to be given.

“Doctor, you have given him a capsule. I would also like that capsule, that colour. Let me swallow it.” But I will be no more tomorrow! (Laughter) Therefore, the same prescription cannot be given. There is nothing like uniformity. So, the apparent contradictions, the seemingly marked polarities, the opposites that we find in front of us should never delude us, should never make our faith waver, should never make us question His Divinity. Who knows what is what? What is the message behind what is going on now? We do not know.

On the other hand, God also provokes, instigates, allows you to pass though that dilemma, and that chaos. My friends, unless there is chaos, there cannot be cosmos. Cosmos is out of chaos, if you go through the theory of genesis. If you go through the theory of the mystery behind creation, you will know that there is a big bang in the beginning. This ‘big bang’ theory led to this creation, the universe.

Unless the curd is churned repeatedly, you don't get the butter settling above. This churning process is going on in our mind, so that the butter of wisdom, the butter of devotion, the butter of steadiness, the butter of acceptance, the butter of surrender will settle all over the surface.

So my friends, in all humility, with the spirit of prayerfulness and submission, let us all pray together that we will be stronger and stronger day-by-day, when we begin to accept this choiceless awareness. You have got to be aware of what is choiceless, because you cannot have awareness by your choice. It is one and the same reality. In the stage of this choiceless awareness, let us grow on the path to Divinity, to experience more and more without question. This is what is called unconditional surrender.

May Bhagavan bless you. Thank you very much. (Applause)

   

Questions - September 14th 2003

 

“Better we don’t know the Future”

  Q: What is Swami's opinion about Jyothisha? Horoscopes?

My friends, I don't remember that Bhagavan said anything on this aspect. But I can tell you some points related to this. Somebody once said, “Swami, there are texts like the Nadi Grandha, a text which contains the details of all of our lives. People go there and spend some money. The readers go through that Nadi Grandha, and tell you all the details.”

Bhagavan said, "The Nadi Grandhas, the books that contain the bio-data and biographical details of all the people, are correct so far the past is concerned. But the future need not necessarily be valid."

Why? Saints like Bhrughu wrote the Nadi Grandhas. Bhrughu is a sage who wrote the Bhrughu Nadi. Sages and saints wrote them all. So, to be understood and to be interpreted correctly, we need a saintly man -- not a man who takes Rps. 100 to interpret them! The saints cannot be brought down to the level of 100 rupees, no. So, the readers cannot interpret it correctly, so far as the future is concerned. Well, no one can do it. So, I don't condemn the horoscopes; I don't deny it. But we don't have genuine interpreters. Therefore, we are often misled.

And in my humble opinion, it is better we don't know the future. (Laughter) It’s better, because there is nothing you are going to get out of it. On the other hand, you lose the thrill of life. You lose the beauty of life. Let the suspense be maintained by God, so that we can enjoy the drama of our life, the mystery of life. That's what I personally feel about it.

 

“Why do you want to exert?

Q: How can we transmute our energy in the chakras?

 Bhagavan gave one full discourse in the year 1978 on Shad Chakras, the six chakras in our body. The primal energy at the bottom of the spine will start moving upwards in a zigzag movement called Kundalini. It is the movement of primal energy in an upward direction, passing through the six chakras. The one at the base is Mooladhara, the first chakra, and the last one is Sahasrara. So, the primal energy is on the ascent, and reaches Sahasrara. This is called Kundalini Yoga. This is what Bhagavan explained, to the extent I remember.

But my friends, there is a caution. If everybody takes up Kundalini Yoga, it is going to give negative results. There is going to be a nervous breakdown, and the lungs are going to be affected, unless an expert teaches you, unless a guru teaches you, where there is no monetary transaction.

Some say, “I teach Kundalini Yoga for five hundred rupees.”

No, no! Where there is a demand for money, there is no Divinity, please take it from me. Bhagavan has repeatedly said that where there is a transaction of money, there is no God at all. God has got nothing to do with money. The air is free, earth is free, and fire is free, whereas these people charge you! That's why our very faith in doctrine, in philosophy, is shattered. Therefore, my friends, though Kundalini is genuine, we do not have selfless experts to teach us. That's why we have negative results.

But why should we suffer? Why do you want to exert? Why do you want to strain yourself, when things are made so easy now? When a computer is there, why do you want to write? When a calculator is there, why do you want to strain? When things are delivered in the form of a capsule, why do you want to exert yourself? A capsule is given today, a nice package is given to humanity today, which is effortless, which is so simple and has no threat at all. There is no danger, no reversal, and no negativity. It is the easiest, simplest thing and we can do it anytime, anywhere. The easiest path is Namasmarana. Bhajan is a sure path to reach God. Why do you want to strain yourselves?

It is nothing but the exercise of the ego: “You know, I have done Pranayama.”

“I see. Do it next life also.” (Laughter)

“You know that I am specially trained in Kundalini?”

“Good, have an institute in your name.”

It's not that. The end is important, but the mind refuses to accept what is readily available. Yes, all of us are breathing now. I don't doubt anybody. Nobody feels proud that they are breathing. All are breathing -- nothing special about it. I experience a cool breeze; yes, all of us are experiencing it. But the air conditioner is a special qualification. “You know my residence has air conditioning?”

But don't have a conditioned mind, please.  Man wants to be special. Man wants to achieve something. This is there, reflected in the spiritual field also. That is the tragedy. So let’s not strain. Let’s not exert. Things are easily available right at our doorstep.

 

Anil Kumar closed his talk by singing the bhajan, “Bhajomana Narayana Narayana”.

 

      OM…OM…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 Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi