The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar
“What Is Happening?”
June 13th, 2003
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We thank Swami wholeheartedly for making it possible for all of us to meet once again after a gap of about two months. I hope you have enjoyed your summer in spite of the severe heat. With the return of Swami, we are quite jubilantly enjoying His company, and the days are simply passing by like that. Since this is the first day of satang after the summer break, it was suggested that I wait for one or two minutes more before commencing so that others could join. But we have to start at 10 o'clock on the dot, as we have been doing all along.
Anyway, I was thinking of what I would talk to you about this morning. People requested, “Let us know what’s happening.” So I thought that had better be the topic of the day: “What's Happening?”
Everywhere people have been asking me, "How is Swami?" "How is Swami?" And people have started interpreting in their own ways. “What is happening?” From all over the world, we are getting emails also asking, "What’s happening? What’s happening?"
To discuss this topic, I have a few points that I want to draw to your special attention this morning. Towards the end, you’ll get the answer to “What’s happening?”
Let's know what is happening with us first, before we try to know what is happening outside. Let us know what is happening within every one of us to start with. That would enable us to know what is happening outside. We are restless; we have no peace. We are educated, yet we are disturbed and the mind is turbulent. Why?
Pride is the cause of misery
The main reason which Swami focused on in several discourses happens to be this - pride. Pride is the cause of misery. We are not aware of the existence of pride and, although it varies in dosage and in quantity, it exists in everyone.
Pride manifests in several forms. It forms part of the ego-complex. It exhibits and manifests in various dimensions. The only thing is that the more we are aware of it, the more we will be free from it. But if we are not aware of that kind of ego, then the pride within us wells up. Misery is the result. Man is miserable, man is restless and without peace of mind whatsoever because of this pride.
Bhagavan often tells the students that ‘pride goes before a fall’, in spite of your achievements, accomplishments, position, authority, contacts, influence, or whatever else you may call it. Just as water is sure to flow downward, a man of pride is sure to fall in life. Water always flows downward. I don't think that anybody would dispute that. Whatever may be the country, water is sure to flow downward. Likewise, a man of pride is sure to fall someday. So, one has got to be vigilant. One has got to be extra careful. One has to assess for one's own self to what extent he is influenced by the unnoticed pride that is hidden within.
One gentleman used to joke a long time ago about humility of pride, arrogance. “He has humility of arrogance. He appears to be quite humble, but there is arrogance within and pride of virtue.” It appears to be quite an irony of life. One might appear to be quite simple and humble but yet there’s pride within, ego within.
Don't bother About what others think of you
Here is a simple example. I get phone calls from our friends asking, "What does Bhagavan say about me?"
“Oh, I see.”
Some person says, "I gave a letter. Did He respond?"
"I gave Him a book. What does He say about it? What are His comments about my book? My book has not yet been published. Did Baba say anything against it?"
"What do people say about me in Prashanti Nilayam?"
What reply I can I give them? What reply? I can only pray, ‘Father they know not what they do. Forgive them.’
It is only ego which makes you feel that people think about you. Nobody will think of anybody, this is certain. This is stated by William Shakespeare in The Twelfth Night about the character Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino is happy in the idea of being in love, though not loving anyone himself. He doesn't love, but he feels happy in the idea of being in love.
Similarly, since we feel so important, we want to know what others are saying about us, what others are feeling about us and what opinion others are having about us. “What is their opinion?” We want to know. It is nothing but ego, that's all.
Sometimes I get a phone call from someone asking, “What are people saying about me in Prashanti Nilayam?”
You are 20,000 miles away from this place, and you want to know what people are saying about you here?! We can laugh sometimes, or we can simply avoid answering, but we cannot do it forever and ever. There must be some full stop to such questions.
Finally I gave an answer. I am sure you will agree with me. This is my answer to the question. What is the question? “What are people saying about me in Prashanti Nilayam?” “What does Swami say about my letter?” “Has anybody reported against me to Swami?”
My answer is this: “Why do you think you are so important? Why do you think that you are the centre of discussion here? You are not even the President of a nation -- you are not Blair or Bush or someone like that. Why do you think that people are discussing about you? It is nothing but ego. Please forgive yourself. Don't bother what others think about you.”
This is not inquisitiveness -- to know what others are feeling. No. It is nothing but an expression of ego. So, ego expresses itself in different forms. One has to be aware. One has to be alert. That is the cause of misery, as Bhagavan explained in earlier discourses.
People are jealous of each other
Point 2: People are jealous of each other. Suppose someone says, “This is what I have done.” The other man will say, “I have done much better than you!”
If anyone says, “I had very good darshan this morning,” the other man will say, “You are wrong. Yesterday was better than today!”
If anyone says, “Swami stood in front of me,” the other man says, “He always stands in front of me everyday!”
If anyone says, “Swami appeared in my dreams and said this,” the other asks, “Is this the first time you are dreaming?” (Laughter) It is nothing but ego. The second man is not prepared to accept what the first man says because he wants to show his superiority. That is nothing but an ego complex.
Someone will say, “I had beautiful darshan of Swami.” The other man will say, “Is this your first visit?” (Laughter) “Is this your first visit?” This is all nothing but ego.
We are not prepared to hear. We are not prepared to accept what another man has to say. The reason is that we want to express our domination. We want to show our superiority. We want to show our seniority. Seniority and superiority are born out of a fundamental inferiority complex. This is all nothing but jealousy and envy. This is what Bhagavan said.
Suppose one student says, “Sir, this is the ring given to me,” the other fellow will say, “Is that the only one He gave you? I will show you my chain.”
Watch, you know, just watch. We will know how things happen. What is happening within me? Suppose Swami gives you something. Well, immediately I start thinking about what He has given me earlier. ‘Is it the same type or a different type? What kind of watch? What brand is it? Nine gems, circular fashion, angular or what?’ This is because I don't want the other man to be equal. No, no, no! I should be little more than the other man!
You should not feel jealous
This gift is a bond. That’s why Bhagavan, while materialising vibhuthi during darshan, immediately says, "Are you jealous? Jealousy, jealousy!” That's what Swami says. But once I was trying to be smart when Swami gave a watch to one boy. He immediately looked at me and said, "Jealousy? Are you jealous?"
Then I said, "Swami, I don't have to be jealous because You gave me one already.” (Laughter) I thought that was the correct answer.
But Swami said, "No, no, no. You are not jealous because you got it earlier. No, no, no. You should not feel jealous even if you did not get one before. Because you got it earlier, you are not jealous. Even without getting it before, you should never feel jealous of anybody.” That's what Swami said.
So, my friends, what is happening with me? It is pride that is the cause for my fall and misery. Jealousy and envy express an intensity that spoils mutual relationships. Why? Why are we jealous? What is the root cause of this jealousy and pride? Why?
One reason is absence of awareness or absence of experience of one’s own true nature. When I had no experience of my true nature, when I had no sense of my true identity or awareness, pride, envy, jealousy and hatred all stepped into my life. One has got to be sensitive. One has got to be receptive, responsive, fully aware and alert.
We lack Self-Confidence
So, spiritual awareness is not merely the promise of another world or a better world or an inter-planetary travel up to heaven or the paranormal in a life-after-death. No. Spiritual awareness is beneficial right here and now. It is beneficial right here and now. But it calls for self-examination, self-evaluation, self-scrutiny, self-observation, and self-study. Most often, we are interested to study everybody. But we don't study ourselves. We evaluate everybody else, but we do not assess ourselves.
So, what's happening in the world? What's happening with me? Either there is jealousy or pride. They just start appearing alternately, making life miserable, very sad. The main cause for this jealousy and pride, as I brought to your attention here, is the absence of awareness, the absence of Self-confidence.
I will give you one example: Somebody came and told Swami some things that people say about Swami and His mission. They mentioned some points.
Then Baba said, "I am not carried away by your praise nor will I be disturbed by your blame. I am beyond praise and blame. I am not elated or bloated by your words of praise; nor am I disturbed or depressed by your blame. I am beyond praise and blame."
Then immediately came another question: “How is it possible for You? Why is it not possible in our case? Why am I not able to go beyond praise and blame? I want only praise. I don't want anybody to blame me. Even when there is genuine cause for people to start blaming me, I try to justify it. I do not accept that I am wrong.” This is because of the absence of Self-confidence, as Baba has said. Absence of awareness and absence of Self-confidence.
As Baba says, "What I will, will happen. My will is inscrutable. I can transmute earth into sky and sky into earth. Nothing can interfere with My will. What I want to happen will happen.” This is the Supreme confidence.
Being Baba's devotees, if we have just a decimal of His confidence, naturally we will be beyond praise and blame. We will certainly be above duality. We will be naturally peaceful and happy. Swami wants us to be Self-confident.
You Are Born with confidence
Then came another question immediately. (We want to ask questions and we want to know, though we don't want to do. We don't want to act but we want to know.) “Swami, what is the cause of misery?” He answers. “What are my weaknesses?” He mentions. “Why?” He gives the reason. “Then why are You like that?” He tells you.
Then the next question comes, “How do I develop Self-confidence?” You say that the absence of Self-confidence is responsible for all misery. Fine. Envy and pride all get in because I don't have Self-confidence. Fine. Next question: “How do I develop Self confidence?”
And now Baba, with a smile, tells you: Self-confidence is neither imported nor exported; neither generated nor manufactured. It is not shifted. It is not a gift either. You are born with confidence. You are born with confidence! But unfortunately, the confidence which is one’s birthright is lost with the passage of time because of selfishness, unhealthy rivalry, competition and comparison. Unhealthy rivalry, competition, and comparison are responsible for the absence of Self-confidence.
In fact, we are born with Self-confidence, as Baba repeatedly tells us. If you are not Self-confident, you will never step out of your house. If you think that there is no chance of returning home, you will never come out of your house. You are confident of your safe return, isn't that right? You go to school because you are quite confident that you will follow the lesson, appear for the examination, and come out with flying colours. You are quite confident of your memory. You are quite confident of your strength. You are quite confident of your will power. You are quite confident of your people.
Nobody taught you this confidence. This confidence you have not learned anywhere. Why? Because you are born with it. But it is lost due to silly considerations of selfishness. Therefore, Baba wants us to be free from pride and jealousy by developing awareness and a little more Self-confidence.
a sacred duty
The third point is one that Swami always tells the boys (students.) My friends, all that He says to students is equally applicable to everybody. We are all Baba's students. It is only with this view in mind that I started recording all of what Baba says to the students. These articles have been appearing in the Telugu Sanathana Sarathi every month. The English version of this will be ready quite soon, by Dasara at least. Included there is everything that He says to the students there on the veranda. In these talks, He creates a situation to convey the Divine message -- a message that should reach everybody.
I was talking to our professors and colleagues at the university the other day. I told them that it is our duty to record all that has been happening here. It is our duty to share with everybody everything that we know about Swami. We are accountable to future generations.
They will ask us, “What the heck have you done here? What is it that you have got to tell us? Have you got anything to share with us?” People will ask you that tomorrow. You cannot only say then, "I have only 2 packets of prasadam and 3 fruits." You cannot say that unless you want to become the laughing stock in front of others. I told them this openly.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to record what is happening, to preserve it and share it with as many people as possible. That's an obligation, a sacred duty, which one has to take upon oneself; more so, the members of the university -- students and teachers. That is very important.
We have too many contacts
The third point that He says quite often to students and teachers is: “Too many contacts. Watch your company.” Having too many contacts is also one of the reasons for our sad state of affairs; this is responsible for our unhappiness -- too many contacts.
Well, these contacts are necessary for a man who wants a social life, or one who wants to have a political career, or have a little more influence. We have so many international organisations where people have many contacts in order to foster their businesses. Very good. Like the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Contacts are necessary to have businesses here. I can't say, “Do some meditation in the Indian Chamber of Commerce.” I can't tell them. These are necessary contacts.
But a spiritual organisation is definitely not for contacts and influence. Some people go on taking and collecting addresses, e-mail addresses and contact addresses. Why? This is a spiritual organisation, where we are not supposed to have too many contacts. Swami tells us this repeatedly. Why? Does He not want us to be benefited by our friends? Does He not want us to be enriched with the association of others? No, it is not this at all.
The Dual mind is half-blind
Baba gives a simple reason. The more contacts you have, the more and more you interact with others. Being in the spiritual field, what is the result? The mind becomes extroverted. The mind turns outward. What we call pravritthi. Pravritthi means a mind that is extroverted, a mind that is outward, worldly, physical, sensual, dual. Therefore, when the mind is turned outside, it becomes a dual mind. “The dual mind is half-blind,” as Baba says. The one with the dual mind is half-blind.
Therefore my friends, with too many contacts, influences, and circles of friends, what happens is the mind becomes outward. The mind turns outward. Even if you sit for meditation, these thoughts would get in: ‘I could influence this batch of ten. When shall I reach the other group of ten? When shall I go to the next group?’ This is because you are very much bothered in trying to increase the number of people known to you. Well, that deviates or diverts your attention. God expects single-pointed attention. Ekagra chitta, one-pointedness. That's what is expected in the spiritual field. That's why Swami appreciates the boys who are very silent.
To be very frank with you, I am not able to come anywhere near Swami's expectations, as of today. This is because we have come to Swami very late in our life, at the age of 48 or 49. So to expect any transformation is a mistake. Old habits die hard, you know. (Laughter)
So Swami wants to mould boys at a tender age, so that they will be able to live with an inward-turned mind; they will know how to turn the mind inward. If the mind does not turn inward, one can never be spiritual in a lifetime. The basic fundamental principle for a spiritual aspirant or seeker is to have an introverted mind, a mind that is inward. So, avoid too many contacts and too much company.
Furthermore, Bhagavan has given this example: A mind that is extroverted, a mind that is outward, pravritthi, is like the hot sun. In the hot sun, you have the light and the heat together, as in the summer. The heat and the light together are unbearable; whereas, with a mind turned inward, you have the light and all coolness, all comfort. So, this is the third cause for our misery.
“What is happening with me? What is happening?” I should be free from these three: Pride and its twin sister, ego, free from this pair; next is jealousy; and last, too many contacts and company. These three are detrimental to our growth and progress along the spiritual path.
Sadhana is a solution to a problem
“Then Swami, please give us some solution. How do we get rid of this ego? How do we get rid of this jealousy?”
Bhagavan gives us solutions that we call sadhana. Sadhana is a solution to the problem. Sadhana is a solution to any psychological problem, or spiritual problem, or whatever it might be. Bhagavan does not leave you at that level; He will remove your problems. But we give problems to others, and we have many more problems ourselves. Bhagavan comes forward with some solutions to these problems -- sadhana. What is it?
Forced to be silent
One: Silence. Here I can say this with no ill will to anybody, and with goodwill to all. A man who is really silent will have a cheerful face. Peace and bliss are quite noticeable on the face of a man of silence.
But there are many, many, many people who are silent by force, not by option. They are forced into silence by so many seva dal people or by some of the devotees saying, "Shh, shh!" (Laughter) So, he is forced to be silent.
When he is forced to be silent, what happens? He starts talking within himself. There is inner talk. You find some people… (Anil Kumar imitates some people, and there is laughter.) Just watch. But some of us make the mistake, thinking that these people are highly spiritual. No, no. They are very, very close to visiting a lunatic asylum (Laughter), not the meditation hall! Next life, that’s all.
So, the point is that a man of silence should be peaceful; he should be blissful. The face will express it. The face is the index of the mind. We can find a face very much disturbed. The face itself will appear disturbed. Keep something bitter on your tongue and watch your face in a mirror. Stand in front of the mirror. You cannot hide your feelings. It is impossible.
Have some sweets. The North Indian canteen is famous for sweets. Of course, I don't receive any commission from them! (Laughter) Keep one sweet on the tongue and watch your face, while standing in front of a mirror. Or, when you meet your near and dear after a couple of years, watch your face. You cannot hide your feelings. Even actors could not be so successful.
So, the point is that a man, when in silence, shows on his face if he is disturbed or agitated. The reason is that there is inner talk going on. When I meet that fellow, he will not say, “Sai Ram” to me. I’ll call him back, even shout at him, but there’ll be no response. Therein lays the problem. He is talking within himself. There is no one there.
The inner talk may be vindictive, vengeful, manipulative, manoeuvring, or flowing with numerous thoughts. Though he is outwardly silent, his mind is totally noisy. Though he is apparently alone, he is in a crowd. He is alone practically, physically, but he is in a crowd or a mob, as his mind is a market place. His mind has become a supermarket place -- a pandi bazaar or Chinese bazaar -- very noisy, a noisy mind.
Silence is The withdrawal of the mind
So, solitude or silence does not mean refraining from talking or keeping the lips tight or staying all alone. No. Silence, as Baba says, is the withdrawal of the mind. It means withdrawal of the mind. Okay, never mind. Where is the mind? Where is the mind? Where is the question of ‘withdrawal’? Where is the mind? What is the mind? The mind according to Swam is, "Manava is manaha”, which means thought flow, recapitulation, and memory.
“Five years ago, you did not say, ‘Sai Ram’ to me!” Oh I see. “Three years ago, you pushed me when I was standing there in the queue in front of the canteen.” Three years ago?! This is the mind, full of all the recordings and memories of the past, like a computer floppy disc. That is the mind. It is full of all that is fed into it.
So, what does ‘withdrawal of the mind’ mean? You don't think of the past and you don't think of the future. The mind is just withdrawn. It is a thoughtless state. That is the idea of silence. That is the purpose of silence. When there is continuous flow of thoughts, we cannot call it silence by any standards. So, the first solution that Bhagavan suggests is inner silence or withdrawal of the mind, meaning the ‘I’-less mind. This is true mind.
Suppose you sit at a place where I usually sit, and Swami starts giving darshan. I cannot push you out, as it is too late. Had it been before darshan, there would have been a very good boxing or wresting or shouting. But Swami has started giving darshan with you sitting in a place where I usually sit. What can I do now? I cannot shout because Swami has already started.
So, I sit somewhere else and remain silent outwardly. But inwardly, I am thinking, ‘Immediately after Swami goes into the interview room, I will pull his collar. (Laughter) I’ll see that he is out!’ Are you silent? No, no, no. You are thinking what to do next. In fact, you want Swami to complete His darshan sooner so that you can jump on him immediately!
Silence? What is the use of it, my friends? These are simple things that happen in our life. If we just read about it from an academic point of view as a text, we can complicate it. But these things have been happening regularly, every day in our lives.
"Withdrawal of ‘I and mine’, consciousness, silence, withdrawal of the mind, thoughtless state, well, why? How am I benefited by that?”
Baba says, “You can make your life sacred, you can make your life sublime, you can make your life holy, you can make your life spiritual, you can enrich your life, you can develop faith more and more by observing silence. You can develop more concentration by observing silence.”
Therefore, silent sitting is introduced right from the bal vikas stage. You find children and pre-seva dal students sitting there. They practice silence right from the beginning. The purpose of it is to develop inner concentration. Have more faith in this. That’s one solution which Baba suggests.
Befriend Your Mind
The second suggestion is to befriend your mind. Yes, befriend your mind. There are some people who go on complaining, “I am not able to do that.”
You are doing 108 pradakshinas around Ganesha; yet you say, “I am not able to do it.” You don't eat on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in the name of God, but you speak, “I am not able to do it.” Arre, Arre! Go ahead, fast; do not eat throughout the week. Why are we bothered? (Laughter) Spirituality and eating have nothing to do with each other.
We are very much worried. Why? Because we fight with our mind. The mind always aspires; it always wants to attempt to do something more, to achieve something more. It wants to be ‘something more’. That is the situation. We don't have any other enemy in this world other than our own mind. It always wants to be special.
‘Oh! So you are doing pradakshina 108 times? I’ll do it 110 times! So, I will have double the liberation!’ (Laughter) Am I clear?
‘Oh, you are doing it in the mornings? I see. I will do it in the evenings also!’
In this sort of a thing, what happens is that we are fighting with our own mind. The other man is not responsible. No, no, no. It is my mind that wants me to be more than everybody else in every aspect.
‘You are doing service, okay. When you do service for two hours, I will do it for two and half hours or three hours!’
‘When Swami talks to you once, well, I don't sleep until He talks to me twice! If it is once, both of us are equal, so it should be twice.’
The need to be extra or something more than others is a weakness of the mind, a feature of the mind, an expression of the mind, a trait of the mind, a quality of mind that is making our life miserable.
Therefore, befriend your mind when the mind goes on competing with everybody. When the mind goes on aiming high, to be something extra, something more than others, befriend your mind. Silence your mind: ‘Oh mind, you may be more than A, but you will be less than B. You may be more than A and B, but you will be less than C.’
There is nothing like absolute greatness. There is nothing like that. Life is relative. There is nothing absolute like that. ‘Oh mind, don't crave to be more than others.’
Don't be crazy. Befriend your mind. If I don't appeal to my mind, if I don't befriend my mind, what happens is this. It turns into an Alsatian dog. It pounces back! Yes. Never fight with your mind. Those people who fight with their mind either become lunatics or unacceptable people -- unacceptable because they go on fighting with their mind. When one goes on fighting with his mind, he will be totally restless, incompetent, and inefficient. So, you have to tame your mind, tame your mind.
Don't fight with your mind
Here is a simple example: You visit a friend who has many pets -- Pomeranian and Alsatian dogs. They go on jumping on you. Well, if you run away, they will chase you. If you want to fight with them, you may need fourteen injections around your navel, as per the old rabies calculation. Today, they say one injection is enough. Well, I know, you can't do that. So when you are close to the dogs just stand there and befriend them. They will start wagging their tails. There is no problem, so you don't need to run away from that.
Similarly, don't fight with your mind. Be a friend to your mind. Talk to your mind; appeal to your mind: ‘Don't worry. Don't cry. Don’t be egoistic. No, no, no, no. Don't run that way. Please go this way.’ Try to dictate a better direction to the mind. Be a witness to the actions, to the vagaries, whims and fancies of your own mind. Just be a witness. Watch how your mind is functioning. Be a watcher.
However, unfortunately I am not a watcher. I don't watch how my mind is thinking. On the other hand, I become the mind. I start feeling that I am the mind. When identified with the mind, naturally I will be a terrorist with a dualistic mind full of vengeance, full of vindictiveness, full of anger and fury.
That's the reason why one should go beyond the mind. Go beyond the mind. All saints, all sages, all seekers, all spiritual people are happy because they have gone beyond the mind. This is most essential. The people who go beyond the mind, come what may, they continue to be happy. Promotion or demotion, reversion or dismissal, whatever it may be, they continue to be happy because they are not identifying with the mind. So, befriend your mind. Once you understand your own mind and study your own mind, you develop Self-confidence.
Grow in confidence by watching our own mind
People lose Self-confidence because they have no idea of their own mind. They cannot predict when the mind will jump up and down, or bump and jump. But if you watch your mind, you are separate from the mind. Then you are not carried away by the whims and fancies of the mind. Am I clear? So, that's what Bhagavan says about how to develop Self-confidence.
Most of us are very much concerned about what others think and feel about us. Baba says, “Do not bother about what others say and feel. Others praise you as long as you oblige them. Others condemn you when it is not possible to oblige them. Others appreciate you as long as you agree with them. Others will distance you when you start disagreeing with them. So do not bother what others say about you.”
Be an observer
Bhagavan Himself said, “You may call me bald, but I am not bothered, as I have a mop of hair. Why am I concerned about your opinion after all? You may say, ‘Baba has a mop of hair all around.’ Then it is not an insult because I do have a lot of hair. So, when you say what I have, it is not praise, and when you say what I don't have, it is not blame. After all, why should I be bothered about it? You are saying something which is not there in me.”
Therefore, let us grow in Self confidence by watching our own mind. Then we will learn how not to be affected by what others say and feel about us. The whole world may call you good, but within, you know that you are not as good as what others are saying about you. Or others may say that you are bad, but yet within yourself, you know that you are not as bad as what people are saying about you.
So, go by your own conscience. That is what Swami says. “Follow the Master.” The Master is the conscience. “Do not bother.” That's what Sita tells Hanuman in Ramayana. Sita tells him, “Hanuman, if you want to be peaceful, if you want to be blissful, if you want to be happy, do not criticise others. Do not find fault with others. Observe your own mind. See how it has been entertaining thought after thought, and in which direction it is flowing. See in what direction it commands your body to take action. Just observe. Be an observer. Be an experiencer. Be a witness.” That's what Sita tells Hanuman.
REPEAT HIS name
Now, Bhagavan gives another solution. That is, contemplate on the form. Repeat His Name. Contemplate on the form which is close to you. It doesn't matter what form it is. It can be your chosen deity, your family deity. Choose the form that is endearing to you. Better you contemplate, saying His Name and seeing His form. Why? To make your life sacred. When you see His form and say His Name, your mind is withdrawn. You are thoughtless, thought-free.
Come on! Sing loudly, do bhajans. When you sing loudly and do bhajans, I don't think that you will think of yourself at that moment. I don't think that you think of your past. I don't think that you will think of your future when you start singing bhajans loudly. When you start looking at Swami, I don't think that you will think of anybody else other than Swami. Therefore, see His form and say His Name in order to make your life sacred. It is one of the ways, one of the solutions, to be free from pride and envy.
Path of enquiry
There are two processes toward only one end. One is quite easy – contemplation or bhakthi. The other one is the path of enquiry and it takes you to the same goal. What is that?
Let us analyse. You are able to see the world. You are able to experience the world. How? With this body. When there is no body, you cannot interact with the world. All five senses of perception and all five senses of action are responsible for experiencing the world. That is the body. So, the seed of this world is the body. Without this body, you cannot experience the world.
Furthermore, the seed of this body is thought. The seed of the body is thought. You can go through any scripture, and the scripture will tell you that it is the thought which is responsible for birth and re-birth. Every scripture says that. What is responsible for birth and re-birth is thought. Therefore, the seed of the world is the body, and the seed of the body is thought.
This thought is born out of Atma, the source, or heart, hrudaya, or consciousness. So, thought is the mind, while the seed of the world is the body. Thus, the body is born out of thought and thought is born of Atma.
So do constant enquiry, as Ramana Maharishi says. As Baba puts it, ask, ‘Koham? Who am I?’ If you go on enquiring, ‘I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the intellect,’ you will be getting to the very source of life. You will go to the very centre of your life. You will be at the very being of your life -- the very centre, the very core of your life. That's how one can go to the centre, the consciousness or the spirit. This is one way - the path of enquiry or vicharana or mimamsa. This is the path of wisdom or Jnana marga.
Path of Devotion
On the other hand, there is another path that is much easier. It is the path of bhakthi or surrender. Here it is clearly stated that when you cannot withdraw your mind, when you cannot go back to the source, when you cannot understand the whole technique, this process of meditation or enquiry, then the easiest thing to do is to surrender to God, saying, ‘Whatever happens is for my own good.’ Just leave everything to Him, whatever it is. When once you surrender to Him, the very food that you eat becomes prasadam, as Baba says. So surrender. Leave everything to God. That is the path of devotion or bhakthi marga.
God takes human form to teach Idealism
So my friends, what is happening with me today -- feeling jealous or envious and having an extroverted mind, all this is the main cause for my misery. The solution is to follow either the path of enquiry or surrender.
My friends, God comes down in human form (takes an Incarnation) to demonstrate to the world how man should live as an ideal parent, an ideal son, an ideal leader, an ideal manager in all the different facets of life. Idealism is taught to mankind. It is for this purpose that God comes down in human form.
Christ, though we see that He was bleeding, though we feel that He was in agony, though we feel that He died on the cross, still He taught to the whole world what sacrifice is, what Love is, what compassion is. And the resurrection is an expression of His Divinity. Bearing the cross is a pain He bore, so that the world would know how to bear pain. And the resurrection is an expression of His Divinity, His true identity. So, Christ’s apparent suffering has a message behind it. In the resurrection, we understand that He is not affected by this suffering.
Any Incarnation may appear to be in pain at times, may appear to pass through discomfort. It is all apparent, but inherently, there is no pain or discomfort whatsoever.
Rama, in Ramayana, cried because of His separation from Sita. He went on crying. You may ask, ‘Why should He cry? Why should I worship a God who cries? I am crying already. Let my God not also cry. How can that teach me since I have been crying all along? I am not yet ready to worship a crying God!’ No.
Why should Rama cry because of His separation from Sita? Why? To teach a lesson to everybody that when one loves one’s own dear so much, he starts crying at separation. This is how an ideal husband should be. And when His brother Lakshmana fainted on the battlefield, Rama cried once again. Why? To show ideal brotherhood. So, Rama shedding tears because of separation from Sita, and also His shedding tears when Lakshmana fainted on the battlefield is a lesson to humanity. Actually, He is not crying. The tears have got a message behind them.
The very name ‘Rama’ means ‘bliss’. So how can He cry? That which is as sweet as a laddu cannot taste sour or bitter. It is impossible. It is sweet sugar; so can it be bitter? Impossible. Similarly, the very name ‘Rama’ means ‘bliss’. He cannot shed a tear. He cannot be miserable. He cannot be sorrowful. Then, why all this drama? To teach the world how an ideal husband should be, and how an ideal brother should be. That's what we learn from the life of Rama. From the life of Christ, we understand how to bear suffering, rising above it.
It was Dayananda, the founder of Arya Samaj, who accepted poison from the hands of his own servant. He told his servant, “Look here, boy! You are bringing milk which you want me to drink. Every night before I go to bed, I drink a cup of milk. Yes. Tonight you are bringing me that cup of milk, I know. But there is poison in it; that I also know. Since my task is over, since the purpose for which I have come is over, I don't mind drinking it.” And he added, “There are thirty silver coins there. Take them and runaway from here, because tomorrow my disciples may attack you!” He knew well that it was a lesson to everybody -- the lesson of forbearance and the lesson of endurance.
Ramana Maharishi suffered from a severe cancer on his arm. When he was operated upon, he started joking with his own body -- joking with his own body! When everybody came and said, “Swami, is it painful?” Ramana Maharishi said, “Does my body look like that? Does my body look like that? Do you find that it is suffering any pain there?” He puts a question to his body along with the others.
When he was not healing, a chair was put in the open air, and Ramana Maharishi was made to sit there on the chair in order to heal his wound. He started calling to everybody: “See that cut on the body? See how shiny it is? Red, precious stones, gems shining. See that?” He was speaking like that about his own body. It is a lesson that one should go beyond the body. That is the lesson that the life and message of Ramana Maharishi teaches to everybody, that one should go beyond the body.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Why that far? Take Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa suffered from throat cancer. It reached a state where he could not drink even a drop of water. Many disciples came and prayed, “Good Lord, Master, why don't you take rest for sometime? We see you suffering so. Why don't you take rest for sometime?”
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said, “I have not come here to take rest. When most of you are drinking water, this body does not need to drink water again. You are drinking water, quenching your thirst, but I don't have to drink again.” That's what Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said.
In an adjoining room next to Paramahamsa's room sat Vivekananda, the first and foremost disciple. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is known to the world through Vivekananda, as most of you know.
Vivekananda was in other room and he started doubting, ‘How can I believe my Master? Is he Divine? Is he the Divine Master? If he is really Divine, why is he suffering? Why is he not curing himself? Why should he suffer? Why should he bear the whole torture? Why is he torturing himself?’ That was the doubt in the mind of Vivekananda.
Then all of a sudden, Paramahamsa appeared in that room and smiled saying, “Vivekananda, Naren, what a fool you are! What a fool you are, my boy. My body may give an appearance as if it is passing through pain. My body may look as though it is painful, as if I am miserable, but I am not. You see my effulgent form now. Rama of Thretha Yuga, Krishna of Dwapara Yuga is Sri Ramakrishna standing in front of you now. Do you understand?” And then, he disappeared. That was the day when Vivekananda developed some viveka, some discrimination. He had doubted his Master before.
Sarada was the consort of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. After Paramahamsa left this world, Sarada Devi went on crying because she had to stay with her brother, looking after her brother's children, washing their clothes, cooking and doing everything.
One day she was crying, “Oh good Lord, had you left me with one child, I would have taken care of that child. My life would have been so happy. Why did you leave me all alone here?” She went on crying.
Paramahamsa appeared there and asked her, “Why do you cry, Sarada? Why one child? There will be hundreds of children who you will be looking after and running after tomorrow.” That is the Sri Ramakrishna Mission and movement which followed and continues today. Do you understand?
What is happening?
So, the Divine Master may appear uncomfortable. The Divine Master may give an appearance that there is some discomfort. We may feel that there is something happening there. But what is happening there is a lesson about what is to happen within me. What is happening there is a lesson for me to learn in order to improve myself.
What is happening there is judged by my mind. What is happening there is watched by my senses. But, in reality, the spiritual Truth is known when one goes beyond the body and beyond the mind. Now I think you have got an idea of what I really want to convey. I don't need to elaborate further.
Everywhere people have been asking, “What is happening? What is happening (with Swami)?”
The answer if this: Nothing is happening outside. Something should happen within me. I should understand that whatever I see outside carries a message for me to learn in order to advance or evolve, whereby I will go beyond the body and the mind.
May Baba bless you. Thank you very much. (Applause)
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