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Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Answers For
Scriptures And Baba
Swami! We take sumptuous meals twice a day. Again, we take heavy breakfast,
evening tiffin and several cups of coffee now and then during the course of the
day. Still, we feel weak and exhausted. You don't take anything except one or
two spoonfuls of food. But you work and strain yourself a lot. You walk miles in
a day. How are you so energetic?
Bhagawan: This is
divinity. You derive energy from the food you eat. If you take less food, you
become weak. But, the energy of Swami is not derived from food. I don't take any
breakfast. I just drink a glass of water at 10.00 in the morning. I eat very
little. I do not take curds, ghee, sweets, ice cream, oily or spicy stuff and
the like. My food is a poor man's food, ` ragi ', millets. You have seen me not
taking anything in the evenings for the last one year. I do so much work. I
personally look into every minute detail of the institutions here: educational,
hospital, Mandir, besides the current water project. I have direct
contact with every devotee. No one stands between. Since there are no secrets, I
have no secretary. It is all a connection of only love-to-love and
heart-to-heart. For the work I do, it is estimated that I need 1500
calories of energy. But the food I take has hardly 200 calories. Then, where
from do I get the energy I need? It is not from food. Know that I am energy,
nay, its very source.
Physically, I am 70. Yet, I
can see even an ant from a distance. I don't wear glasses. You people begin
wearing glasses from 40 years of age. I can hear any sound, even the slightest,
and my teeth are very strong and sharp. I don't have even a single grey hair. I
feel like walking more and more. But it would put you all to inconvenience as
many follow me wherever I go. I attend to my personal work. You may wonder how
my senses are so sharp.
What is your prayer before
you take your food? You pray to God who is in the form of Vaisvanara and to whom
food is offered as he digests, assimilates, and supplies the essence to the
different parts of your body. Therefore, the food you all eat comes to me and I
am in you. Just examine why your senses are weak. The answer is simple, viz.,
misuse of senses, selfishness, and narrow-mindedness. There is not an iota
of selfishness in me from top to toe. You are mine. My only concern is your
welfare and spiritual progress.
Swami! I beg your pardon for asking this question. While I am afraid to pose the
question, I am also very keen to know the answer from you. Since you are our
most compassionate God, I have made bold to ask you this question. Swami! You
talk to some devotees as soon as they come here, whereas you don't talk to some
others who have been here for a long time. How are we to reconcile these two
Bhagawan: There is
nothing wrong in asking any question in your search for truth. It is not good to
entertain any doubts. All the more so, in respect of God.
You should always
believe in one thing: whatever happens to you, it is for your own good. Only God
knows what, when, how, why and to whom anything is to be done. You don't
understand this. Every action of Swami will help you. Swami may talk to some
immediately and may not do so to some others for a long time. This is a matter
of time, according to you. But Swami is beyond time and space.
I give you a simple example
here. Suppose a bus starts from here, and passengers start boarding it. What do
you notice? The passenger who gets into the bus first goes to the front and
occupies the seat by the side of the driver. The last passenger has to stand
near the door. Then, when the bus stops at the terminus and the passengers start
getting down from the bus, what happens? The last passenger standing near the
door gets down first and the first passenger sitting near the driver gets down
last. Isn't it so? Therefore, the first becomes the last and the last the first.
The same thing applies to Swami's devotees:
Saint Mrikanda put a similar
question to sage Narada. "Oh Narada! How is it that so young a boy like
Prahlada could see the divine manifestation at an early age whereas we, who have
been doing penance for the last hundreds of years, are doing it in vain? Why
should it happen like that?" Narada replied like this: "Oh Saint!
Prahlada is very young in years, no doubt, but his yearning for God must
have been for several of his previous lives. This is the result of the
cumulative effect of his earlier lives of prayerful yearning for God. You may
think that you have been doing penance for long years. But all this you have
done during this lifetime of yours only. The body of Prahlada is young but his
soul has been pining for God ever since his earlier births. You are old now in
age but your attempt has been short."
I will give you another
example. A young man, with a hammer, wanted to break a stone. Inspite of his
twenty strokes, the stone did not break. An old man passing by that side
hammered the same stone twice. It broke! You may wonder how it could happen. The
old man could break the stone that couldn't be broken by the young man. Do you
know why? The stone had already received as many as twenty hammer strokes from
the young man. So the total came to twenty-two strokes, with the old man
hammering it twice. Similarly, the dawn of God-realization may look early
or late from your point of view. But the reality is different.
Swami! We don't find out our own faults. Even if we recognise them, we justify
them and because of our narrow‑mindedness, we don't understand your
infinite love. We doubt and limit your love. As ill luck would have it, you
don't seem to look at our faces when we sit in Darshan lines and
sometimes it appears that you are avoiding us. We are depressed because you
don't talk nor do you at us. How are we to take and face this sad situation?
Bhagawan: Believe it
or not, from top to toe there is not an iota of selfishness in Swami! Whatever I
do and say, it is for your own good. Why am I harsh with you at times? It is my
love for you, and in order to check and transform you, I pretend to be harsh and
serious. If I don't feel that you are mine, why should I bother to correct you?
It is my duty, since you are mine, to set you right when you are wrong.
You feel sad when I don't
talk to you because you value my words. Your wavering mind and your shaky faith
make you listen to and act according to the words of some irresponsible persons.
You are carried away by them. So, there arise some undesirable thoughts in your
mind and some unbecoming traits in your behavior. Therefore, I act as if I am
keeping you away from me. Why? My intention is to correct you quickly.
Take one example. When a road
is under repair, what do you do? You take a diversion and pass through another
route, don't you? Similarly, to bring about reformation in you, very often I
pretend to be avoiding you and not observing you. The day you change, everything
becomes normal, just as the traffic is resumed soon after the road is repaired.
God, out of His intense and infinite love for you, incarnates only to correct
and guide you. So, I treat in this manner those people who tread along the wrong
path in my `hospital' of Prashanthi Nilayam. Soon after they are cured and their
health is restored, I discharge them, and then establish with them the same old
and usual relationship.
I have to re-affirm,
re-establish and rejuvenate your faith. I have to lay the proper and
strong foundation for you so that you may lead a happy and dharmic life.
I have to infuse self-confidence in you so that you don't fall victim to
worldly, sensual pleasures. Your prayer may not bring about world peace. See
that you don't have bad qualities like greed and violence. This is a tough,
rough and difficult path to follow. But you have got to follow it. Tarry no
longer and do not allow the bad qualities you have long adopted and nurtured to
have a firm grip over you and your life. Do give them up forthwith.
In the olden days when anyone
fell sick in Puttaparthi, they used to get him treated by a non-medical,
unlettered, unqualified and inexperienced fake doctor. As a result, the
condition of the patient often became very serious. Later they began running to
places like Anantapur, Chickballapur,
Swami! Over the years, we read thousands of books, and heard numerous speeches.
But our Swami's speeches are unique, incomparable, deliciously sweet, ever new,
and stir our hearts. What is the secret?
Bhagawan: What is
natural is necessarily beautiful. What comes from the heart is ever fresh. Jnana
is not something to be learnt, say, from books, but experiences to be
enjoyed like that of a delightful fragrance.
Now you are considered as
individuals, members of a society. Individualism blooms only though teachings,
boldly refreshing true and eternal. An individual is more than a form, a shape.
He becomes a vyakti, person, when he manifests qualities of the inner
self. It is the teachings of Sathya Guru that convey to you your divinity
and make you capable of recognizing it.
Swami! Your discourses and conversations are full of illustrations, and short
and sweet stories. They are simple and easy to understand. They are related to
situations from our daily life. They give us immense joy. What is the secret?
Bhagawan: Today, there
are very few teachers who know and explain spiritual matters clearly, leave
alone their experience. So, their actual meaning and true significance are not
conveyed properly. Distorted versions, perverted views, wrong interpretations
are often passed on to the general public. Hence, the reality is never
understood and experienced, so much so, spirituality to many modern people is
nothing but confusion confounded, and full of contradictions.
I give many small
examples drawn from your experiences in daily life. In order to win a case in a
court of law, should you not have proper witnesses? These examples are given in
support of the subject so as to make you understand and remember it easily.
Swami! Please do not mistake us. Please pardon us for a feeling that comes to us
quite often. As we listen to your discourses, we find many repetitions. We feel
that the things we have heard and already understood are being simply repeated.
What is to be done then?
Bhagawan: You are
thoroughly mistaken. It is a feeling of the ego, born of ignorance. You should
never feel this way, particularly when you are on the path. Every religion has a
spiritual text like the Bible, the Koran and so on. The followers of Hinduism
read the Bhagavad Gita, the Sundarakanda of the Ramayana, etc.,
as Sadhana. Scriptures remind us of our duties, responsibilities,
obligations and aims besides enabling us to spend our time in a sacred way. For
spiritual seekers and aspirants, scriptures are the lights of wisdom. Therefore,
theists revere and read holy books. You feel that you are hearing the same old
messages. But have you experienced them? Have you practiced all of them? In
fact, these spiritual matters should be repeated time and again until they are
Scriptures like the Vedas,
the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita mention repeatedly and emphatically
important spiritual aspects like bhakti, karma, vairagyam and jnana.
They direct seekers to cultivate healthy spiritual habits and qualities to
attain Moksha by emphasising and repeating at several places things like Bhakti,
karma, and jnana. Don't you know that your dehamata, the physical
mother, makes the child repeat Telugu words like amma, mother, mama, uncle,
atta, aunt, tata, grandfather, and so on, and teaches him how to
speak. So, this Sai lokamata, Sai, Mother of the Universe is Vedamata as
well. Sai Mata, Mother Sai repeats these fundamentals again and again for
the sake of the child.
Often you wear the same
clothes. You take food every day. You drink coffee several times every day. In
spite of these repetitions, you still want to continue the old habits, and are
not fed up or bored. Similarly, you have to hear these spiritual matters
repeatedly so that you do not forget them. You should never feel disgusted at
any time with matters pertaining to spirituality. Still worse are some people
who have a headache or fall asleep when spiritual matters are discussed. But,
while the talk is on mundane matters, or people are gossiping, they evince keen
interest and follow each word with rapt attention. Such people should note that
whatever spiritual sadhana they do is all a waste. A cakora bird
may get tired waiting for the moonlight. A koel, known for its melodies,
may be exhausted while singing. You may not even relish drinking amrita, celestial
nectar. But, in respect of God, no one should ever feel disgusted, bored or
tired. This is important for a devotee. A fool like you once asked a purohita,
priest, at the time of the marriage of his second daughter,
"What, Sir! You are repeating now the mantras you had chanted at the time
of my first daughter's wedding!" Mantras don't change from one wedding to
another. This is the height of foolishness.
One may read any number of
books. One may hear about the contents mentioned in Holy Scriptures. One may
give lectures on spiritual topics. Until one takes to practicing what one
believes in, all other acts are useless. A small story for you to illustrate
this. There was once a pandit, an expert in the Bhagavad Gita.
He was very poor, and found
it hard to maintain his family. He decided to go to the king, give discourses on
the Gita and thus please him. He expected the king to reward him
profusely for his scholarly presentation. In fact, the king himself was a great
scholar in the Gita and he had even experienced the truths mentioned
there. But no one knew that the king was well versed in the Gita.
The pandit requested
the minister to convey to the king his intention to give talks on the Gita in
the presence of the king. On hearing this, the king sent a message to the pandit
saying that, the pandit was yet to know the essence of the Gita. After
fifteen days, the pandit again approached the king through the minister.
But the king turned down his request saying that he, the pandit, was yet
to go into the depth of the Gita. The pandit was totally upset and very
much disappointed, and returned home. He refused to answer his wife when she
asked him for the reason nor his sadness. She, after some time, served him
tiffin and tea and softly elicited the reason for his frustration. The pandit
said to his wife: "Look! You
know that I am an expert on
the Gita. None can equal me in speaking on this sacred book. I got
several titles and rewards as well as recognition from the public for my
expositions and interpretations of the Gita. But for the first time, I
feel humiliated as the king has refused me permission to enter his court and
speak. Had it been anyone else, I would have taken him to task".
Then, the wife said,
"Sir! It appears to me that what the king said is true". The pandit
was very angry on hearing her comment. He said, "What nonsense are you
speaking? Are you a fool? Don't I know the Gita? Am I not a scholar? What
do you mean by saying that the king's remark is true?" Then, the wife
politely and respectfully said, "Sir! I am fortunate to have been listening
to your valuable discourses for the last several years. I very well remember
your saying that in the Gita, God assured His devotee, ananyas'cin
tayanto mam, if only the devotee concentrates fully on Him, yogaksemam
vahamyaham, God would look after him in every way. You also said that God
added, moksayisyamima sucah, God would grant even liberation. But I am
surprised to see you trying to approach the king instead of God! Perhaps you
believe that God may not keep His promise. Isn't it so?" Similarly, we have
today many scholars who can speak excellently on the Gita,. They have no
faith in what they say. They merely chant, repeat verbatim, and preach to
others. This is not important. One must put into practice at least one or two
principles out of all that is studied, learnt and spoken.
Swami! How nice would it be if we follow your exemplary acts, take your life as
your message, do things at the exact and right time! We see you distributing
gifts immediately as and when you decide. Kindly suggest ways and means of
Bhagawan: You should
never postpone doing good things. There should be perfect harmony in your
thought, word and deed: This is true human value. I give you a simple example
here. When you fire a gun, what happens? The release of the bullet and the sound
of the shot occur at the same time. Similarly, your decision and action should
take place together, simultaneously.
There is a small episode in
the Mahabharata. Once a poor old Brahmin approached Dharmaja with a
request to help him, absolutely poverty stricken as he was. Dharmaja
considered the matter sympathetically all right, but he asked the Brahmin to see
him on the following day. Bhima who was also there happened to overhear their
conversation. That night he made all the arrangements for decorating the city,
huge platforms were raised and various gifts made ready to be distributed among
the poor and deserving. The next morning Dharmaja got up as usual and was
surprised to see the hectic activity going on all around the city. He asked
Bhima what it was all about, and the reason behind it.
Bhima said, "Brother!
Yesterday I heard you asking the poor old Brahmin, who came seeking your help,
to meet you today. I was so happy to note that you were so sure of your life.
Life is uncertain. But you were so sure about it. This made me happy and
celebrates your certainty about life in a big way". Thus, he indirectly
conveyed to his brother that good things should be done immediately.
There is another
small story. One day Karna was taking an oil bath. A servant was massaging his
body with oil from a gold cup. A poor man came and begged for Karna's help.
Karna immediately gave the gold cup he was holding in his left hand. The poor
man said, "Oh King! Is it proper on your part to present a gift with your
left hand? Why did you do that?" Then
Swami! Your love is incomparable, second to none: It excels the sky and the
ocean in its vastness and depth. You are the very personification of sacrifice.
Why are we not able to comprehend it?
Bhagawan: You can
bring water from the sea, but only as much as the container you carry. Isn't it
so? Your Heart is a small tumbler. How can you carry Swami's love, which is an
ocean? How can you estimate it? After all, you are at the physical level. So,
you are comparing your body to My body. Then, what about the Heart? You have a
very narrow mind. Swami's Heart is as broad as the infinite sky. You may at the
most know the present, but Swami knows the past; the present and the future. My
car has forward gear and also a reverse gear.
Note: God has the three
qualities, akarsana, samkarsana and prakarsana. If I sit in the
chair inside the Mandir, you will come near me, have Darshan, and return.
But I don't do that. I walk along the lines in your midst repeatedly. You will
be very happy if I walk round you. This makes Swami also feel happy. Bliss is my
food. Thousands of devotees come to this place for Darshan. I look after
them and providing accommodation and food. They return home full of satisfaction
and bliss. They have immense love for Swami.
If you have nigraha, sense
control, you will get anugraha, grace. Take a small example. When you go
to a goldsmith, what would you do? You give him gold, mention the design of the
ornaments of your choice and you note the exact weight of the gold you give,
don't you? You don't say, "Do not burn the gold I have given you. I don't
want you to hammer and cut it". But, what you want and expect is the jewel
according to the design and the weight given before. I do the same thing here. I
make you learn manners, develop good behaviour, and act with discipline. I
transform you into most precious jewels.
Remember always that a boy
should have good `behaviour', a man good `manners' and a devotee `discipline'.
You know the Godrej Company. It is not Godrej that is important. What is
important is God raise, i.e., God raises you to a higher level of a life of
quality. You must be ready and prepared for it. You call a human being manisi
in Telugu. Now read it in the reverse, it becomes `cinema'. Life
should not be artificial like a cinema or movie. With this sort of an artificial
life, how do you expect to know and experience Me?
Swami! You are the embodiment of Love. Invariably your divine discourses are
permeated with Love. If we understand even a tiny particle, we will become
blessed. Please enlighten us on the place of Love in spiritual terms.
Bhagawan: There is
nothing greater than Love. Love alone is life. Love alone is the support of
everything. There is no greater Sadhana or spiritual practice than Love.
Love alone is the destination. Love alone is the key to bliss. "Love is
God, God is love". Of these two, "Love is God" is correct. The
nature and existence of God, you have neither known nor experienced. So, to say
"God is love", something beyond your knowledge and experience, is
meaningless. But, there is none in the world devoid of love. Man may not have,
or be lacking; something or other. One may or may not have education, wealth,
and authority. But there is no man or place devoid of love. Love is the
foundation of the building called God. Love of God is affirmed, cognised, and
experienced by all mankind. From where has this Love arrived? Has it come from
outside? No, no. It has come from the self. Love is right within you. Love is
the key to all spiritual practices. You chant God's name. Do you chant it
without Love? Can you perform japa without Love? Only those spiritual
practices you love, you take up. Love is of prime importance in your Sadhana.
Adi Shankara is the emperor of advaita, and propagated the doctrine
of advaita. Even this Sankara composed the celebrated, Bhajagovindam `Worship
Govinda', and warned, Govindam bhaja mudhamate. "Oh! Stupid
one! Worship Govinda!" He, thus, pointed out the way to experiencing God's
Love. In other words, Love surpasses even the highest reaches of jnana. Man
experiences Love in a variety of ways: mamakaram , becoming a slave to
attachment through love of worldly things; vatsalyam, developing
affection for children and grandchildren; anuragam desire for wife; abhimanam,
pride in one's kith and kin; maitri company of colleagues and people
of one's own age. Above all, there is Love of God, devotion. Pure, unselfish,
and constant love is ideal, transcendental devotion. Being Himself love, God can
be realised only through Love. Fill your heart with Love. Life is Love. Share
it. Enjoy it.
Swami! Listening to Your conversations, teachings, and discourses is true
Jnaana. When this is put into practice, this becomes wisdom gained through our
experience, and shines as practical wisdom. When, say, will our ignorance be
dispelled? Your profound, divine discourses are a feast for our ears, enthusing
and inspiring us.
Bhagawan: What use is
simple listening? Is merely glancing at cooked food enough? Knowledge gained has
to be turned into experience. This jewel of jnana has to be secured with
ever so much care, love, and piety. Here is an example. A raw fruit may be
thrown away without any loss to it or to you. But what happens when you throw
away or let drop a ripe, sweet mango? The fruit bursts and the sweet juice
spills to the ground, doesn't it? That is why you have to hold the ripe fruit
gently with both hands safely. In the same way, the fruit of jnana is to
be secured, leaving no chance for it to slip down.
of its duration and magnitude, vanishes the moment jnana dawns. Even
though ajnana had persisted through many lives, the light of jnana dispels
the darkness of Anna instantly. Take this example. Suppose you lock your
house and live in another town. More specifically, locking your house in
Note this carefully. A tree
might have grown very tall, and may have been there for a long, long time. But
how much time does it take to fell it with an axe? The fire of Jnaana, the
sword of Jnaana, in an instant, puts an end to ajnana of very long
This ajnana is really
darkness, ignorance, illusion, and delusion. You may have your ears pierced with
rings, wear bangles on your hands, or have a necklace round your neck. Now, the
knowledge that all these are made of gold is jnana. Visualising these as
ornaments and noting their names and shapes, their diversity, is an illusion, a
delusion. Enjoying gulabjamun, basundi, jangri, laddu and so on as sweetmeats is
ajnana; considering them all as sugar is Jnaana. Remember, cattle
feed on grass and you eat rice.
Humanness consists in not
permitting re-entry to evil, once you know it to be evil. The fundamental
recognition that hunger and thirst are common to all mankind is Divine. Thus jnana,
as it is Divine, integrates all things. Conversely, by whatever name it is
called, illusion, delusion, avidya , bhranti, bhrama, Maya, ajnana is
the force behind shattering and breaking into pieces, the force of
The man who possesses Jnaana
behaves in private as he does in public. He has no use for stunt,
exhibition, or hypocrisy.