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Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Answers For
Spiritualising Our Day-To-Day Life
HUMAN VALUES [contd.]
Swami! Pardon me for asking this question. At an advanced stage in our life when
somehow our memory fades, we will not be able to remember all that we should.
What is to be done?
Bhagawan: You are
mistaken. Never say that your memory is fading. You say you are old. It is only
an excuse, but it is not really so. You remember your date of birth, you
remember exactly when you married, when your children were born, when you
performed their marriages, when your grandchildren were born, when you joined
service and retired. If what you say is correct, that you are losing your memory
as you are aging, how do you remember these details then? It is only love for
your family that makes you remember these dates. You have interest in these
matters. Since you do not have such intense love for and interest in
spirituality, you take advantage of your advanced age as a lame excuse for
complaining that your memory is fading. A fruit may be fully ripe, yet the seed
within is hard.
Swami! What are the sources of our peace, happiness, wealth, comforts and
convenience? How do we get them? Why are some denied these most coveted things?
Bhagawan: You don't
get anything in life for nothing. One gets these things in life because of any
one of the following three reasons. Take one simple example. You know banking.
You are an account holder. Suppose you want some money. What should you do? You
go to your bank and get the money. But you should be having enough money to your
credit. and by submitting a Cheque, affixing your signature you can withdraw the
money you want. If you have no money to your credit in the account; you don't
get any money. Yet, you need money. How to get it? If you mortgage your
permanent assets like gold or landed property, the bank will give you some money
proportionately. You may not have permanent assets. Still you want money. Then,
if a rich man stands as a surety or guarantor, the bank will give you the money
you need. Thus, these three are ways of getting money from the bank.
Here money is God's grace. If
you are doing some good deeds in the present i.e. depositing some amount of
money in your account, you can withdraw the money of God's grace in the future.
If in the present there is no such credit, at least the good deeds you did in
the past, that is to say, your permanent assets when mortgaged to the bank,
entitle you to receive money. Without these two good acts you may still be
eligible to draw money from your bank. if a rich man i.e.God or an Avatar or a
Sadguru stands as your guarantor. So, you receive God's grace either because of
your past merit, or present merit, or if a rich man stands as a surety or
guarantor. There is no other way. These are the reasons for a person's
affluence, luxury, life of happiness. Comforts and conveniences.
Swami! You tell us that we are not mrnmaya (dust thou art), but cinmaya
(you are awareness). Therefore, we devotees should know that we are not simply
the body, but awareness. You also repeatedly say, "You are God."
Then, when I am God, aham brahmasmi, why should I pray? Where is the need for
all this spiritual exercise, then?
Bhagawan: You may know
or may not, you may agree or may not, and you may believe or may not, but you
are God indeed. "Mamaivamso jivaloke," said Krishna
in the Gita, which means "You are mine, you are the spark of My
The three divine attributes sat,
being, cit, awareness, and Ananda, bliss are in you. Prajna,
conscience in you is divine. So, it is said, prajnanam brahma. The great
mahavakya, the supreme statement, also says, tattvamasi, "That
We have today
intelligent people who observe plurality or multiplicity in unity. But good,
noble, and pious persons who find unity in diversity are rare. Once it so
happened that a little tiger cub got mixed in a flock of sheep. Thus, moving
about with the group for some time, the cub thought that he was also one of the
sheep families. One day a tiger came that way and attacked the sheep. On seeing
the tiger, the cub started shivering, and said, "Oh! Don't kill me. I am
one of the sheep, after all, so weak". Then the tiger spoke to the cub,
"Why do you fear? You are not one of the sheep. You are a tiger. Come on.
Follow me. Look into the river and see your reflection there in this water and
compare your figure with mine. You will find the same stripes on the coat of
your body, a moustache on your mouth and a roaring sound in your voice. Why do
you think you are one of this flock of sheep. Oh dear one? You have forgotten
your true identity and nature". The cub then realised its true nature and
abandoned fear from its mind.
Similarly, in the field of
spirituality, a guru, through his uppeds'a, divine teaching, tells you
your true identity. Once you separate yourself from all that is not your true
Self, spirit or Atma, you will experience your reality, i.e. Atma. Therefore,
self-enquiry is very essential. I say "You are God" but this
truth has not come into your experience. You should continue your spiritual
practice until you've experienced it. You have to continue your Bhajans,
meditations, etc., till the reality is experienced.
Swami! By now we have known about divinity very well. What more do we need in
Bhagawan: You are
mistaken. It is not enough if you merely know. If you spend your lifetime
reading books when are you going to experience Bliss? It is experience which is
important and not bookish or scriptural knowledge. The Gita refers to
three specific steps in spirituality, jnatum, knowledge, drastum, sight
and pravestum, experience.
Suppose you want to eat a
delicious item. What do you do first? You know about delicacies such as kurma,
pulao, etc. Then in the next step, these two items, pulao and kurma,
are to be served in a .plate. It is not enough if you know, jnatum, the
items and see them, drastum. Isn't it? You have to eat and enjoy the
dishes, pravestum, and experience. So mere information and knowledge are
useless. You should practice and realise. This is wisdom and when you attain it,
you find yourself immersed in bliss and you remain dumb.
The same thing has been
explained in the Brahmasutras also. The first principle is: athato
brahma jijnasa which means, athato, hereafter, brahma, about
God, jijnasa, developing interest. But what is meant by `hereafter'? When
exactly should we develop interest in Brahman? This word "athato ",
is interpreted in many many ways by scholars and visionaries. They run to
volumes. But what is first needed is karma jijnasa, interest in
action, later dharma jijnasa, interest in discrimination, and finally bramha
jijnasa, interest in divinity.
I give simple examples for
you to understand this. Suppose you want to eat coconut chutney. What do you do
first? You should procure all the material necessary for its preparation. This
is karma jijnasa. You should grind all the material so procured nicely.
This is dharma jijnasa. You have to keep it on the tongue to decide the
taste and to know if anything else should be added to it. This is brahma
jijnasa. This means mere karma jijnasa is not enough. You need at the
next stage, dharma jijnasa and finally, you develop interest in Brahman, brahma
jijnasa. The wisdom so gained must be practiced and experienced. You should
share the bliss with others.
Swami! We do both good and bad deeds. Don't our good actions nullify the evil
effects of our bad actions? Don't they at least balance each other? In other
words, will our good actions cancel the bad effects of our misdeeds?
Bhagawan: Since you
are a Commerce student, you have put this question. All your thinking is along
the direction of credit and debit. But, God, you know, is a super divine
accountant. His balance sheet is not of your type. He will make you face the
consequences of your actions, good for good actions and bad for bad actions. He
will not add or subtract any of the consequences of your actions.
A small example I give you in
this context. Suppose you have some seeds of both thorny plants and fruit
bearing trees. When you sow them, what will happen? The seeds of the thorny
plants will germinate into thorny bushes and the seeds of the fruit bearing
trees will germinate into fruit bearing ones respectively. Germination will
never happen contrary to this, will it? The same is the case with your sinful
deeds and the meritorious.
You must have seen persons
who vow to offer ten. thousand rupees to Lord Venkateswara if they win a lottery
for ten Lakhs. Can't they understand that God who can give you ten Lakh rupees
doesn't expect your ten thousand rupees? They don't think reasonably and
logically. People think according to their worldly standards. But, Swami wants
you to spiritualize your worldly actions as well.
Swami! Is it not enough if we are good? How can we know God?
Bhagawan: Remove one
"o" from `Good'. If that extra "o," prakrti or body
feeling is given up, it becomes God. You know the letter "W". It is
double `you', i.e., the individual soul jivatma and the cosmic soul, paramatma.
It is the illusion, Maya that prevents you from knowing the unity of the two. If
you repeat "my" a couple of times, it will sound like
It is the feeling of
`mine' and 'thine' that is responsible for all the misery of the world. You are
least disturbed if your neighbour's car is damaged. But if there is a slight
scratch on your own car you are very much worried and disturbed. If your
neighbour sells or disposes of his house it matters nothing to you. But if
circumstances force you to dispose of your own house, you will feel very very
sad. Why? The feeling "this is my house", makes you feel sad. This
feeling of `mine' is Maya if this is gone, you will experience unity in
Swami! It is said that we can't escape from the consequence of our actions Why
do we find some wicked people happy in spite of their treacherous deeds?
Bhagawan: Here we
should note one important point. You say some wicked people are happy. They may
do all the misdeeds smiling,. but later they have to cry and suffer. Some
actions give results immediately, some take some more time, and while others a
long time. I give you a small example. If a blade cuts your finger, your blood
gushes out immediately. This is an action that gives result from the cut
immediately. To draw milk from the udder of a cow it takes some time. This is
the second category of action. It takes food a few hours to be digested. This is
the third category of action.
If you sow a seed, it takes a
long time to germinate and grow into a plant. So also your actions give results
at different points of time. It is all a question of time. One must necessarily
face the consequence of one's own actions without fail.
Swami! Since all forms and names are divine, what is the need then for the Lord
to incarnate in human form?
Bhagawan: You do not
know until I tell you that all forms and names are His. You need to be told of
the divine nature i.e., sat, being, cit, awareness, and Ananda,
bliss. This is the purpose of incarnation. God in human form is the
embodiment of love. He teaches and makes everyone experience love.
Though flowers, thread and
a needle are present,
don't you need someone to
make a garland?
In spite of gold and
pearls being available,
Shouldn't you have a
goldsmith to make a chain?
The wick, container and
oil will not give light
Unless you light the lamp,
Avatar, God incarnate, sets
an ideal for the entire humanity. There is nothing He needs in this world as
everything is His only.
Swami! We feel that life is going on and on. But it sounds purposeless and
aimless. Kindly tell us about the purpose of life.
inundi vaccitivo acati keguta naijamu pranikotikin', (Telugu verse).
It is necessary that you should go back to the place of your origin. Truly, you
should know that you are from God and you should go back to God.
A pot, a slate, etc., can be
made out of clay. Suppose you have a pot. After using it for sometime, you drop
it by accident. It falls to the ground and breaks into pieces over which several
automobiles pass crushing the pieces further. Then, what happens? You get the
clay back again. So earlier it was clay and at the end it is clay once again the
pot also is made of clay. Similarly, you are from God, bound to God and are God
as well. Realisation of this truth is the purpose of life.
One example. Any letter you
post should have two addresses, one to whom you have written, another your own
address, so that if by any chance, it doesn't reach the addressee, it will come
back to you at least. But, if the addresses are not written it will go to the
dead letter office similarly, you should know where you come from and where you
go from here.
Merging in God or to be one
with reality, or total identity with God is the ultimate aim of life. "punarapi
jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani jathare s'ayanam." (Adi Sankara's
Bhaja Govindam). After all, the whole thing is a cycle of repeated births
and deaths. After death one has to go back to the womb of the mother and be born
once again. It is only life after life. But spirituality helps you, so to say,
not to be born. Having died, you don't have to die once again by having another
birth. You take medicine so that you don't have to fall sick once again. Death
should take you to immortality.
One more example.
Once a prisoner was released after the completion of the prison term. The jailor
said to him, "Pack your baggage and leave!" The prisoner in reply
said, "Sir! Why the trouble of taking the baggage? Anyhow I will come back
soon." It implies that he will commit some crime again and is prepared to
put himself behind bars. Our life should not be like that. It should be like the
newspaper. Today's newspaper is not read tomorrow. Why? Today's newspaper is
tomorrow's waste paper. Always remember that you are from God, in God and will
be back to God.
Swami! I find many people sad. People who are rich and in a high position also
are sad. Why? Please tell us what we need to do ?
Bhagawan: There are
two reasons for this. People are sad thinking of the past. Don't you know that
the past is beyond recovery? Having walked all along and passed by several
things, why do you need to look back? Past is past. Don't brood over the past.
The second reason for sadness is worry about the future. Where is the guarantee
that you will survive until your plans are realised? Do you know what will
happen to you in the next moment? What is destined and bound to happen will
happen in its own course. Everything goes according to God's will. Why do you
worry? The future is uncertain. Suppose you go on accumulating money with the
idea of educating your son and sending him abroad, where is the guarantee that
he will study well? So don't think of the past and future. Live in the present
and be happy. This is not the ordinary present. This is omnipresent.
One simple example here. In
the past it was a tree. In the present you have a seed of that tree. In the
future it grows into a tree. So the present is the result of the past. It
is the foundation of the future. Keep this in mind. Then, you will never worry
and feel sad.
There is another reason for
sadness. Unlimited desires also are responsible for your sadness. For example,
if you drop a piece of cloth, it falls down. Why? Due to its weight it falls
down, doesn't it? But if it is cotton, it never goes down, instead it goes up.
Why? Since it is light in weight it goes up, the man on the moon loses his
weight. Having been a householder for fifty years you should be totally
detached. A grhasta, householder, should become a vanaprastha, recluse
and finally, a Sanyasi, renunciant. If your desires are less, you will be
happier. "Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure", is the
slogan of the railways.
The more you love God the
more will you be happy. For this, faith is necessary.
Where there is Faith,
there is Love.
Where there is Love, there
Where there is
Peace, there is Truth
Where there is
Truth, there is God.
Where there is God, there
It begins with
faith and ends in Bliss.
Swami! How am I to know that I am nitya, eternal? I undergo difficulties; I
notice many changes all around. How can I feel that I am eternal?
Bhagawan: A simple
illustration. There was a poor villager who had a wife and a son. He found it
difficult to make both ends meet to improve his lot, he went to another town
leaving his wife and son behind to do some business there.
One day he had a
dream; in which he was a rich man and had five sons. After some time, he woke
up. When he returned to his native village, he was informed by his wife that his
only son had died as he couldn't bear separation from his father. This man stood
unruffled. Then his wife asked him, "Are you not sad over the death of your
only son? What has happened to you?" The poor villager replied, "I
know the tragedy. But I am at a loss to know for whom I should cry. Should I cry
for the loss of five sons in the dream there or for the death of the son
here?" Similarly, you should know that one is a day dream and the other is
a night dream. One doesn't exist, when the other is present, but you are present
in both the states. You are the experiencer in the waking and dream states.
Then what is the difference
between the day dream and the night dream? The day dream is bound by factors
such as the kaya, body, kala, time, karya, action, karana, reason,
and kartavya, duty. Suppose,
you have gone to
Swami! God is the creator. He should have created only happiness. Why did he
create difficulties and troubles? Pardon me, Swami, for putting this question.
difficulties you can never get happiness. 'Na sukhat labhyate sukham'. You
do not get happiness out of happiness. No hardships end up in hardship.
Without difficulties, you will never know the value of pleasure.
For instance, you are
spending your time in this air-conditioned room. If the value of
air-conditioning is to be known, what you should do is to come out and go
round in the open space in bright daylight. Even a mother would not be able to
love her child, if there is no death in her family. Here is an orange fruit.
This has an outer bitter skin. But within it you find sweet juice. So, both good
and bad co‑exist. The bitter skin protects the inner sweet juice. Does it
not? Another thing you notice is, a thing that gives you happiness now may make
you unhappy later. Similarly, an unhappy thing now may make you happy later.
So, nothing gives you
absolute happiness or unhappiness. See, a woollen coat in winter makes you
happy, but in severe summer it makes you unhappy. Does it not? So also a heater
in winter makes you warm and happy. But, in summer the same heater makes you
very uncomfortable and unhappy. Does it not? Therefore, happiness and
unhappiness depend on the time, circumstances and position. Pleasure is an
interval between two pains. Pain is an interval between two pleasures. If you
think of the difficulties and the intensity of suffering in times of sadness the
pain doubles. In bad times, you should think of those days and moments when you
were happy . Then, the intensity of suffering decreases.
You should face all the
difficulties as tests of God. A devotee should welcome troubles which are the
tests of his devotion and faith. How do you expect a student to be promoted to
the next higher class without facing a test? Otherwise, he has to remain in the
same class. Can a doctor diagnose his patient's disease, prescribe medicine and
treat him without testing? How do you expect crude gold to shine unless it is
burnt, hammered and polished so as to be shaped into an ornament? But, if you
set some pre-condition that the gold should not be hammered or burnt and
yet you want a shining jewel, will the goldsmith ever be able to make it?
You also know how you get
sugar. The sugar-cane must be crushed and the juice must be heated and
processed so as to make sugar. Otherwise, it is impossible to extract sugar. You
know how an earthen pot and a slate are made: The clay must be burnt repeatedly
in order to transform it into a pot which you lift and carry on your head.
Before the clay is made into a pot, it is trodden and trampled by anybody and
everybody. The pot does deserve a place over our head because the clay has
allowed itself to be burnt and processed. So, you should not be afraid of
difficulties in life.
In the epic Mahabharata, Kunti
Swami! From where has evil come? Do you say that the mind is the source? Then,
what is it that transcends both, good and evil? How is evil to be eliminated?
Swami alone can explain this with felicity, none else can. Kindly enlighten
Bhagawan: Evil is not
related to the mind. Rather it stems from samskaras, previous
The mind is full of thoughts.
That is why it is said, sankalpavi kalpatmakam manah, the mind is
essentially determinations and negations. Being hard like wax, the mind softens
with a little heat. In that state anything and everything sticks to it. When wax
is thrown into fire, it melts completely. Attachment and hatred stick to the
mind only when it is in the soft state. When the mind is melted away, nothing
sticks to it. Then how does the mind melt away completely? Even as fire melts
away wax completely, Jnaana, supreme wisdom, melts away the mind.
Atma is beyond good and evil,
and nothing can touch or injure it. Being a witness, Atma transcends duality.
Notice this little example. The lotus flower blooms in water and mud. Without
these, there is no way it can exist. But, neither water nor mud sticks to the
lotus. Mud represents samskaras of past lives, and water, the
fruits of present actions: The flower of the soul is beyond past and present.
Desires which are bounded by
time constitute nerpu (Telugu), skill or craft, while Divinity mined from
the recesses of the heart is kurpu (Telugu), arrangement or synthesis. In
other words, nerpu is pravrtti, outward oriented, and kurpu
is nivrtti, inward oriented. If `nerpu' is a matter of the mind, `
kurpu ' is a matter of the heart. A small example. For irrigating the
fields, an etam or water-lift is used. It bails out water. A long
wooden beam is laid across a well with a heavy stone tied at one end with a
rope, and a bucket hanging from the other end. When the bucket goes down deep
into a well or a canal, it gets filled with water. At that time, the heavy stone
goes up as in a seesaw or a balance. The stone represents desires, and hence the
heaviness. This is nerpu or previous accomplishment. But, the bucket is
not like that. It sinks deep into the well of the heart, and fills itself with
the water of divinity. This is kurpu. Are there any games without a
ground to play them in or a song without a rhythm to it! The bird comes out of
the egg, and the tree from the seed. Likewise the nature of Atma and humanness
are reciprocal, and supplement each other. Then, not taking note of evils is the
way to do away with them. Consider them illusions. That would be fine.
SATYOPANISAD VOL - II [Part-III, Chapter-VIII] by Anil Kumar Kamaraja