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July 30th, 2006

“One Into Many” part 1

“One Into Many”

Part 2


Sai Ram

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


I am very pained and unhappy to have to share with you the tragic news of the sudden death of Jack, our video man. Jack was the tall man who made a video of each Sunday’s talk. His services were invaluable. He made many videos and DVDs and supplied them totally free of charge all over the world. Totally free! It was really a selfless work. Jack was a perfect gentleman, and apart from his dedication, he had nothing else. He settled in Prashanti Nilayam, leaving behind his kith and kin. I really feel very sorry about his death and miss him a lot. I pray to Bhagavan to bless his soul to be in bliss and peace at His Feet.

As to how he left, well, that was also quite grand. He was not bed-ridden, not even for an hour. He was just talking when he fell down from his chair and breathed his last. That was all! According to tradition, that kind of end is the most glorified, the most solicited, blessed, and prayed for. He just left this planet, saying good-bye, without any struggle or strain, and without putting anybody to inconvenience. We all pray for his soul. Thank God for the gift of Mr. Jack who gave such a wide coverage of our Sunday satsangs! May his soul rest in peace.


I was thinking of the subject for this morning. Last time we had the topic, “As You Think, So You Become” which we discussed on two consecutive Sundays. This Sunday, we are going to take the subject “One Into Many”. Baba says this quite often in His discourses: “Ekoham Bahushyam”, “One Into Many.”

Why should I take up this topic? What is the interest in it? Because, my friends, we are run by diversity. We become divided because we think that we are many; and because of that, we fight with each other. The struggle for existence has been going on since time immemorial. So the feeling of diversity, the psychology of plurality, the sentiments of multiplicity lead to conflict, confusion and chaos; whereas the feeling of unity and harmony, the sentiment of synthesis, and the experience of oneness is Unity.


As Baba said in one sentence, “Unity is Divinity.” So long as we feel that we are divided, we will compete with each other. So long as we do not agree on any point at all, the ego will dominate. There will be no scope for any spiritual awareness and no chance of any religious experience. Therefore my friends, unity in diversity is absolutely necessary for every spiritual aspirant or seeker.


Let us understand history from the religious point of view. On Judgment Day, the Lord will separate the sinners from those who are meritorious. The group that does meritorious deeds goes to heaven. The group of very sinful people will be condemned to death.

On facing the Lord, the people ask Him, “Oh God! Why do you punish us like this? What are our misdeeds? What are the mistakes we have committed?”

Then the Lord replies:

“When I was hungry, you never fed Me.

When I was thirsty, you never gave Me water to drink.

When I was sick, you never took care of Me.

When I was in difficulties, you never said any words of solace and comfort.

When I was naked, you never gave Me any clothes to wear.”

Then the people ask Him, “God, when were You thirsty, when were You hungry, when were You in difficulty? When did You fall sick, my Lord? When did we deny You? When did we desert You? When were You sick?”

Then, as written in the Holy Bible:

“Whosoever came to you hungry in the past, understand it was I at your door step.

Whosoever came to you thirsty, understand it was I who came to you.

Whosoever you came across who was sick, realise that it was I who was sick.”

“I am there among the sick. I am there among the hungry people. I am there among the thirsty.” So declares the Lord.

So the Holy Bible also clearly establishes that One manifests into many, that the One God is present in everybody. It is not the monopoly of anybody to say, “God is in me”, as if the other man has no God in him. That is total and utter ignorance. God is in everyone--the same God manifest in many. In this way we can understand and interpret the Lord’s teachings in respect to the Judgment Day.


Then if we just go further, in the Krishna story there were many gopis, cowherd girls, not one or two, but sixteen thousand girls! And Lord Krishna danced with each and every one of them!

Somebody said, “Since Krishna had sixteen thousand girls, why should I not have a couple of women? (Laughter) Why should I accept monogamy? Why not polygamy? Krishna had eight wives and sixteen thousand girl friends! Why not I?”

The other man said, “Yes, why not! You can have double the number! (Laughter) Have fifty thousand, if you are also capable of becoming sixteen thousand or more Krishnas! (Laughter) But I cannot multiply myself into as many as I want.”

So what is the meaning of Krishna manifesting into so many gopikas? It is that He is “One Into Many.” He is one with everyone. That is the underlying principle behind it. Our epics or Puranas relate many symbolic stories. We cannot take them all literally. Let us understand their meaning figuratively.

Every Incarnation is put to a test. Brahma, the Creator, was jealous of Krishna. Oh! Oh! Why not? You are also jealous. And because I am jealous, I can say God is also jealous. It is only my own reflection. Humans wrote the Puranas and naturally we see our own reflection there.

Brahma cannot be jealous, but as per the Puranas, He was jealous, and He wanted to test Krishna. What did He do?

Brahma successfully kidnapped all the cows and the cowherd boys. So kidnapping is not something only happening today. (Laughter) It is not merely limited to human beings. (Laughter) Ravana did it and Brahma did it. So Brahma kidnapped all the cows and the cowherd boys in order to see how Krishna would behave. But Krishna, in His own inimitable Divine style, manifested Himself into many cows and cowherd boys - the same number as before! Poor Brahma lost the game and had to accept defeat. This is an episode which tells you that God, the One, manifests and expresses into many.

Though appearing to be many, there is only One, the underlying Unity behind all. The electric current is one, but fuses are many. Light is one, but it has seven colours. Therefore, One into many is quite natural; but we are not able to accept that in reality.

I cannot accept that God is in you, no, no! He can be in me only. If you say that He is in you also, I will claim that He is a little more in me than in you! (Laughter) Sixty percent of God is in me, forty percent is in you. (Laughter) This kind of claim--that ‘God is more in me and less in you’ or ‘I am closer to God, whereas you are not so close’--these are gimmicks, the totally absurd play of the mind. It certainly ruins us spiritually. It was in the Bhagavad Gita (“The Song of God”, the holy teachings of Lord Krishna) that it says, ”Let us be cautious about that.”


The Bhagavad Gita says that a spiritual fall leads to total ruin with no recovery. If there is a financial loss, you can recover sometimes; if there is a political loss of power, you may regain that sometime later. Any loss can be recovered. But spiritual defeat, loss or fall is beyond recovery. Therefore, we have to be extra careful in this field. There are many, many chances of being lost in maya, confusion or delusion. This can happen when we start feeling superior, and that is most unfortunate. That is how we can understand the Day of Judgment.


So, my friends, the same God manifests into many. That is how we have to understand the Bhagavatam (a sacred book on the Glory of God), where Krishna manifests into innumerable, infinite numbers of forms.

One day the good God said to a lady, “I will come to your house tomorrow for lunch.” The poor lady believed it (Laughter) and prepared all the cookies and sweets, ready to receive the Lord. But the Lord didn’t turn up. He didn’t keep His promise.

The next day, the lady came up to Him and said, “Oh, good God! I understand that we humans bluff, but do You also bluff? Do You also break Your promises? Do You also speak lies? Like a God, You said that You would come, and I was waiting to receive You, but You didn’t turn up!”

Then this good God said, “I came, my dear child.”

“You came? No!”

“Yes, I came.”


“I came in the form of a dog and tried to taste the food that you had ready for Me. Instead of giving the offering, you beat Me with a cane. Here are the scars on My back which you can see.”

What does it mean?


Well, Lord Shirdi Sai once told a lady that He would come to her house. He made that promise. This lady also believed it. She thought she would be more devoted, making extra sweets so that He would keep His promise and be sure to come. She was ready with all the extra sweets, puddings, and all that. But Shirdi Bhagavan didn’t turn up.

The next day, she went to Swami and asked, “Swami, why did You not come?”

Shirdi Bhagavan said, “I came in the form of a buffalo, but you beat Me! Here are the marks on My back.”

What does it mean? One Into Many.


Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba told His own sister, Venkammagaru, that He would come to her house on Thursday and present her with His photograph. Poor lady, she was waiting for Him on Thursday. It is difficult even for God to change His old habits, as old habits die hard. God is no exception! (Laughter)

So He didn’t turn up at the appointed time. But around 1 o’clock or 2 o’clock in the afternoon, a monkey jumped through the window into the room, dropped the photograph and jumped out. Baba chose to come in that form.

Shirdi Sai is in the form of God, and Sai is there in the dog also. One Into Many.


While Baba was speaking in Brindavan, Bangalore, there was a sudden phone call from Kerala, saying that Baba was there, visiting. Baba was here speaking in Brindavan and He was there in Kerala on a visit.

How is it possible? Which is true? Both are true. He is here on the one hand in Bangalore and touring Kerala on the other. This is on record with dates and details. It is quite possible. Why not?

When Swami was speaking in the open auditorium, He gave darshan (direct vision or seeing the Lord) in the kitchen to those people who were working hard, making chapattis for North Indians. How? Yes, it is possible for God. One Into Many.

It was Sathya Sai Bhagavan who said, “I separated Myself into many in order to love Myself.” So all these forms, all 84 lakhs (one hundred thousand) of species in this universe, are nothing but One God into many. That is the meaning of Ekoham Bahushyam.


Another example is that of Adi Shankara, the teacher and propagator of Advaita (non-dualistic) philosophy during the 8th century. Once he had a holy bath in the River Ganges and was proceeding along the way with his disciples. Suddenly there appeared a member of the untouchable caste, half-naked, uncivilised, horrible and stinking, followed by a couple of dogs. He was about to touch Adi Shankara.

Adi Shankara said, “Don’t touch me!”

He replied, “Why?”

“I have had a holy bath and my body is sacred now. So don’t touch me.”

The untouchable replied, “Oh, oh! Your body is sacred because of the holy bath. I see! But by evening, it has become unsacred and you must have another bath. Then it becomes unsacred by morning and you must have another bath. Any number of baths will never make the body sacred because the body is made of flesh and bones. So how can it ever be sacred?”

He continued, “Oh Master, understand this: My body is as sacred as your body, and your body is as unsacred as my body. Both are horrible and terrible! Therefore, there is nothing wrong in touching you. If you say that your spirit, Atma, is sacred, that spirit in you is the same as the spirit in me. The consciousness, that awareness, is the same in both of us. There is, therefore, no wrong in touching you.”


Then Adi Shankara understood that the man was not an uncultured, unlettered fool. He realised that the man was a manifestation of Lord Shiva Himself. He had come to give this teaching to Adi Shankara in the form of an untouchable. Shiva also chose dogs as the forms which followed Him.

What does it mean? It means that there is no such thing as a superior being or an inferior being, whether animal, plant, rock, pebble, mountain, water, valley, or other. Whatever it is, everything is Divine. From the microcosm to the macrocosm, from an ant to the vast Brahman, the Creator God Himself is present in all. God is One in all, in everyone That is the lesson that Adi Shankara demonstrated for the whole of humanity.


Shirdi Sai granted a number of such experiences, and Sathya Sai Bhagavan is the contemporary reality today. He is experienced everywhere, because as He says, “Come on! I look to you if you look to Me.” And “Why fear when I am here?” What a great thing!

Somebody said to Bhagavan, “Swami, You came there and saved my life.”

Baba said, “I came there? No, no! I did not come; I was already there because I am everywhere. I am that that I am.”

This is what Ekoham Bahushyam means: “One Into Many”. As long as this kind of experience, this kind of feeling and conviction exist, every one of us will be aware of the reality, and will enjoy the Divinity.


A devotee said to Ramana Maharshi, “Good-bye, Swami, I am leaving tomorrow. I have been with you for two months, but I have to go back to the United States of America, I will miss you, Swami.”

Ramana Maharshi said, “Who came, and who is going?” (Laughter)

One might think, “This man is already mad. Such a reply means he must have become totally mad!” (Laughter)

But who came, who is going? Who is missing whom? If you and I are One and that One is in everyone, then there is no such thing as being separate from the other. So this kind of separateness, the ‘otherness’, is a weakness, a psychological dilemma. It is a dichotomy. ‘Otherness’ is conflict and war. Therefore, spirituality wants us to know the underlying Oneness, the unity of “One Into Many”.


Therefore, down the ages, all Avatars, all teachers of all religions, demonstrate this principle of unity in diversity: “One into many” and “One in many.” This has to be the goal and objective of our spiritual life. As long we consider ourselves as ‘many’, class conflict will continue to eternity.

We feel that we are many because of other attributes, plus the ego and the mind. When the attributes and the mind are withdrawn, multiplicity ceases to exist. The waves in the sea are many; but once the waves subside, the sea is one, the water is one. When the gold is cast as ornaments, there are names given to the many forms--like ear-rings, nose-studs, finger ring, wedding ring--whatever ring you may call it (until we are in the ring!) (Laughter) But, when all these jewels are melted, you find all is the same gold. Similarly, Ekoham Bahushyam, the One Into Many.


My friends, Bhagavan makes this point. We think that if we have some degrees, we are knowledgeable. Because of a little information, we think we are men of wisdom. To feel that I am a man of wisdom is 100% proof of my ignorance. To think that I am a man of knowledge is 100% proof of my foolishness. Knowledge is the ‘one’ that we acquire through learning; but intelligence, jnana, is the One born with you.

Unless I have eyes, how can I read? Unless I have ears, how can I hear? Similarly, unless there is someone with you who knows, how do you know what is written in the book? In the book is knowledge; the One who knows this is the Knower; that Knower is the One in everyone. Knowledge changes and is derived; knowledge is borrowed, or second-hand information. Whether I continue to read, whether I continue to know or not, the Knower is ever-existent and eternal. This is what is non-dualism, unity and oneness. Baba says this is the real Jnana.

What is real Jnana or wisdom? Not having a M.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.P.S., or M.R.C.P. certificate. That is acquired knowledge, no doubt; but what is the real knowledge? Advaita Darshanam Jnanam, non-dual experience is true Knowledge.

Advaita Darshanam Jnanam means the visualisation and experience of Oneness. It is all ego to do with scholarship when I feel proud that I have a M.Sc. and he has only a B.Sc., or I am a Ph.D. and he only has a M.Sc. Some songs, so beautifully rendered by our students on special occasions, were by a great composer called Annamacharya, who says that sunlight is seen by all, whether a scholar, an untouchable, or a dog. The sun sheds light uniformly on everybody—a pauper or millionaire, literate or illiterate, whatever is the nonsensical term which we use to categorise ourselves. Therefore this kind of uniformity, this sort of non-dualistic experience, this Oneness or non-duality, should be the aim of our life. Because if we do not have this non-dualistic experience, we are going to be miserable at some time or another.


All right! A simple example. You will be happy if Swami gives you an interview. Very good. Tomorrow you don’t get an interview. So you are going to be unhappy. You get an interview in the morning, you are very happy. In the evening, you don’t get an interview. Unhappy! Tell me for how long are we going to be affected by this dualistic experience?. Our job is to taste the Divine nectar, the personal private conversation, to reflect and think on it, and to pray for similar, repeated experiences within. The outer experience should prompt you to have the inner experience.

Water taken from outside quenches the thirst inside. Am I clear? Here is the food outside, and I eat it. It appeases the hunger inside. So all outer things are for inner things. No? Sir, store the food outside in the almirah or cupboard, and you starve. Sir, the water is outside, keep it there and die of thirst. Arrey! Thirst! Therefore, my friends, all outer things are for inner satisfaction. Outer things prompt inner experience.

Seeing Swami outside should help you to see Him inside; Swami talking to you outside should help you to talk to Him inside. Let the experiences that you have be your inner experiences eternally. This is Advaita, non-dualism.


So long as you think that there is an outer, there is an inner. For instance, when I say that Swami spoke to me on that day, but the next day He didn’t talk to me; or when I say that I saw Him in the morning (meaning that I didn’t see Him in the evening), that is dualism. Dualism is always miserable. Dualism is to be condemned—dualism is to remain blind, blank. No, no, no! I should have that awareness and consciousness, that kind of experience to feel Him every moment.


Then the next step is this: When you feel Him within, you will feel Him without. Please follow me: When I feel Him as outside, I may not feel Him inside. Am I clear? Once I feel Him inside, I will feel Him on all sides. Therefore, inner experience is more important than outer verbal communication or expression That which comes from the outside should reach the interior.

Then from this inner awareness or experience, whomsoever you meet will be Divine. Whatever you say will be friendly; whatever you do is born out of the fathomless depths of Love. Then there is no question of inner and outer. When I am limited to the outer, there is outer and inner. Once I have the inside experience, I find Him inside and also outside, and that is non-dualism. Outer experiences are dualistic, while inner experiences are non-dualistic, because the wall between the inner and outer is totally removed and gone.

Baba gives this simple example: Here is one hall, there is another hall. The wall between the two halls separates them. When the wall is removed, there are no longer two halls. So, once I say outer, there is an inner. There are two—dualism. When I experience inside, there is no inner and outer because I see everything as One—non-dualism. Advaita Darshanam Jnanam, non-dualism, is true Knowledge.

In reference to the sayings of Bhagavan, my friends, please understand that I am capable of only quoting them. After all, I am a student of botany. I only prepare by reading His books just as I read botany and teach it to my students. I read His literature and share these things with you. It is not that I am extra perfect. No, no! This much perfection is enough for this lifetime. Why extra? (Laughter) This is enough headache! Why more?


All right! In the world, can you experience non-dualism? Yes, I am in this world. I am working at the university; you are working in the bank or you may be an engineer or a banker or a doctor. How can you acquire the spirit of non-dualism, whatever your profession? Or is non-dualism on sale anywhere? (Laughter) Is non-dualism presented in nice packets, on sale in U.S. department stores for 50% off? (Laughter) No. There is only one place where non-dualism is available. Where is it?

Jnanam Maheswaraditye.

The true experience of non-dualism is Jnana.

The Grace of God can bestow this kind of non-dualism. It is in the hands of the Divine. That is the second point. When I pray to Him, I can experience it. That is the reason why Adi Shankara composed many songs in praise of God, though He is the champion of non-dualism. See that!


Ramana Maharshi honoured many people who visited pilgrim centres. One lady came to Ramana Maharshi, and he asked her from where she came.

“Swami, I come from Madurai. The Meenakshi Temple is there.”

Ramana Maharshi asked her, “Have you brought any prasadam (consecrated food offered to devotees) for me?

So non-dualism should never make you arrogant, egoistic, or make you feel superior. In fact, those are the opposite of non-dualism. When all are one, where is the idea of you being more than the other? When all are one, there is no question of ego or arrogance.


It is Baba who said, “All those with half-knowledge of non-dualism are half-blind.”

Half-baked bread, half-boiled rice, all are unfit for consumption. Similarly, non-dualism which is half-understood, half-interpreted, half-deliberated, and half-argued is nothing but the symptom of half-blindness.


There are certain basic statements repeated very often by Bhagavan which establish Oneness, this non-dualistic philosophy.

Sarvam Kalvidham Brahma.

Everything is Brahman. Everything is Divine Cosmic Consciousness.

Beejam Mama Sarva Bhootanam.

I am the seed for all other beings.

Beejam – seed

Mam – I, I am the seed

Sarva Bhootanam - for all other beings.

An example: The seed of a banyan tree is so small and tiny. When this small seed is sown, it grows into a gigantic tree, with thousands of leaves, hundreds of branches, thousands of flowers, thousands of fruits, all out of one seed.

Beejam Mam Sarvabhootanam.

I am the seed of the whole creation.

I am the seed of the whole life.

I am the seed of the whole organic cosmos.

This establishes “One Into Many”, Ekoham Bahushyam.


There is another statement. These are all from the Vedas, often repeated by Bhagavan in His discourses.

There is only One. Existence is one, while expressions are many. Sugar is one, while sweets are many. It is not that one sweet is from brown sugar or another from black or yellow sugar. That is all colour blindness. All sweets are made from the same sugar. Similarly, existence is One, but the manifestations are many.

Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahudavadanti.

Truth is One.

Existence is One.

We may interpret it in different ways.

Existence in Sanskrit is “Sat”

Ekam Sat - Existence is One

Vadanti - we interpret and we speak about

Bahuda - in many

Here is another statement from Bhagavan.

Vasudeva Sarvamithi.

Everything is Divine.

Mithi – This

Sarva – everything

Vasudeva – Divine

This statement Swami says quite often.

Vasudaika Kutumbakam.

The whole Universe is one family.


You must have heard of Sadhu Vaswani, the Sindhi saint, and a very great man. He was a man of compassion, and a modern saint. Do read his books or listen to his cassettes.

Vaswani says that a dog is your brother as much as is your own brother. The cat is your brother the same as your own brother. You have no right to kill them. All belong to His family of animals, plants, mountains, rivers, valleys and trees. They are all your family members. You cannot say that my family consists of three sons and two daughters. No, no, no! My family is countless and infinite; my family is indeterminate and abundant; my family is everywhere.

In this manner, we do not fight for water, we do not fight for atomic weapons, we do not fight for geographical claims, we do not fight for economy, domination, or have a security council (as if others should live in insecurity). Therefore my friends, I belong to this family of the Universe. ‘I am One in this cosmos’ is the underlying spirit of non-dualism, Advaita.

Baba makes another statement—these are all collections from Swami’s speeches.

Isavasyam Idam Sarvam.

Everything is Divine.

Idam – This

Sarvam – Everything

Isavasyam – Divine

You may say Isopanishad or Isavasyopanishad. You can put it any way. The other stanzas, I do not have to repeat.

All Holy Scriptures say the same thing. It was the Lord of the Holy Bible who said, “All are One, my dear son, be alike to everyone.” This is non-dualism, as we understand it.


Bhava Advaita is the term used when we have the feeling that we are all one. This is non-dualism at the level of feeling, a sentient, emotional, thought process. So if you have non-dualism in the background of the mind at the psychological level--if you have the emotional conviction of Oneness--you may call that Bhava Advaita. This is first, as Baba puts it.


Second: Action born from psychological Bhava Advaita is called Kriya Advaita, action-oriented. It is action based on non-dualism, or non-dualistic action. So there should be Bhava Advaita, at the psychological level, and there should be Advaita or non-dualism at the level of action, Kriya Advaita.


Thirdly, Advaita or non-dualism can also be viewed from the materialistic point-of-view. Padartha, material; Advaita, non-dualism.

I will give you an example: Whenever Swami goes to Kodaikanal with a batch of students, every student wants to present Him with a gift, or all the students join together and give a gift.

When He is in Kodaikanal, Baba suddenly gives money to every one of them. “Buy something for your parents,” He says. “Buy something for your brothers and sisters. They will be so happy to receive these gifts. You have spent time with Swami here in Kodaikanal, so give gifts to your people.”

So that they can buy, Swami gives them money. Then these boys, out of gratitude, want to give a gift to Him. Someone gives a toy, a parrot, or some such thing.

You should see Swami! He will pick up the toy, “Abbah! Very beautiful! A toy!”

“Are you a child, Swami?” (Laughter) Vatapatrasai - the child Sai.

“Abbah! This toy is so beautiful! See its tail!”

It will not be worth more than one or two rupees, but He feels millions and millions of dollars worth of happiness. What does it mean? He sees your spiritual love, not the toy you present, or not the material value of whatever you present to Him.

A boy in primary school will draw some zeroes. Two zeroes for the eyes, one line for the mouth, two lines for the legs, and two lines for the hands.

Swami will be very appreciative: “Oh, very nice, very good! You look exactly like that!” (Laughter) He will be very happy. The boy put two lines there for the hands, two lines here for the legs, and one zero or circle for the head. Abbah! Swami is enjoying it, very nice!

Then a top-class painter may bring a beautiful painting and present it to Him. “Good!” (Appreciating) “Very nice. Very good.”

A student takes a photograph where all is hazy, where He cannot identify anybody. “Abbah! Good photo, very nice!” (So that he may improve and take better pictures next time.)

The meaning is that in front of Sai, there is nothing higher and nothing lower. There is no grading system.

So, non-dualism at the material level is Padartha Advaita, non-dualism at the level of the mind is Bhava Advaita, non-dualism in action is Kriya Advaita, as Baba says. The undercurrent is Advaita or non-dualism, which should exist as the basic principle, according to Baba.


The Bhagavad Gita lays emphasis on this on different occasions, at different places. There is the sixteenth verse in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. I am not going to repeat the whole sloka or verse in order to exhibit my scholarship, which I don’t have, (Laughter) (nor do I have any desire to acquire it). Already enough scholarship has made me sufficiently mad! The existing knowledge is enough.

It says this: “That which exists (something like this plate) is not true.”

“Ah! But I can see that plate. Why do you say it is not true? “

The plate was previously glass. This glass was melted and made into a plate. What is it now? A plate. Earlier it was glass, before that it was molten silica, so it goes on changing. Now, how can you say, “This is existence.” Existence should be changeless.

So that which you see is non-existent, and that which you think is non-existent, is actually the reality. Why?


You cannot see the electric current. Can I say because I do not see the current, it is non-existent? Electricity expresses as the mike. If it does not express, it is just current. The electric current expresses as light in the bulb. How can the current be non-existent? I don’t see air, so shall we say that air is non-existent? Good! The population problem will be solved! (Laughter) I say that the Earth is stable. But this is most unscientific, as it is revolving at a very high speed.

So that which you do not see, and so think is non-existent, exists; while that which you think exists, does not really exist. So that which is neither, that which is beyond, is consciousness or Atma. Reality is beyond existence and non-existence. Beyond! Am I clear, please? Reality, which is beyond existence and non-existence, is non-dualism. To say that non-existence is non-dualism is non-sense. It is both and beyond.

“Sat – Asat”. Sat is existence; Asat is non-existence. The Reality (Atma) is Sat, Asat and beyond. That is what the Bhagavad Gita says.


The seventh sloka in the seventh chapter gives another good example. Baba always refers to it. There is a necklace. It has so many diamonds and so many pearls, but there is only one thread. A garland has so many flowers, but all the flowers are strung onto the same thread and then made into a garland. So that unifying principle is the non-dualistic Divinity. That is what the seventh chapter says.


The thirteenth chapter, third sloka of the Bhagavad Gita says this. Understand that the I in everyone is the real I, God Himself. I am the Reality, saying I. The actual I is the actual Divine— I am in you and say I. So everyone may say I, I, I and that I is as high as God Himself.

Ask anybody, “Who are you?” He will say, “I am so-and-so from the U.S.” Okay! “I am an engineer”. Good. “I am a doctor.” “I am a professor”. Good. But everyone says I.

Nobody will say, “The American, I am.” “The Russian, I am.” I comes first. Your position, your nation, your age, your gender, comes only next. “I am a poor man”. “I am a class one officer.” I comes first. Do you understand that this is what the thirteenth chapter is saying?


What does the eighteenth chapter, twentieth sloka of Bhagavad Gita say? Ignorance is to think that he is different or they are different; separation into ‘those’, ‘that’, ‘this’, ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘yellow’, ‘blue’, ‘high’, ‘tall’, ‘dark’, ‘brown’, ‘fair’, ‘unfair’--blah! blah! blah! All this is called ignorance. One should understand that though all appear to be different, they are all actually one and the same. That is true knowledge or sathwic Jnana.

Sathwic Jnana, pious knowledge or true knowledge, is to understand and live by this basic principle of Unity in Diversity.

We will continue this next week. Thank you very much for your time, for being with us this morning.

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

(Anil Kumar sang the bhajan, “Jai Jai Prabhu Giridhari…Natavara Nanadalala.”)


Asato Maa Sat 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

August 6th, 2006

“One Into Many”

Part 2


Sai Ram

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Awareness of the self is the only goal of a seeker

Last week we started a topic entitled “Unity in Diversity” or the “One Manifesting Into Many.” We shall try to complete the same topic this morning.

My friends, I am sure that you would agree with me that awareness of the Self is the only way to liberation, salvation, nirvana or moksha. Whatever we do, whether it is meditation, or chanting or writing His holy Name repeatedly, or reading His spiritual texts, are all means to an end – the awareness of the Self. That’s why Adi Shankara, Ramana Maharshi and Bhagavan Baba repeatedly say, “Know thyself.” “Know who you are.” Ask, “Ko Hum (Who am I)?”

Anything that is not a search of the Self is a ritual. I am not denying or negating anything. My only question is: What is the aim of all that we do? Right from Nagarsankirtan till the evening bhajans, what is it all about?

We may do several things, but the purpose is one: the awareness of the Self. You may eat in the North Indian canteen or the South Indian canteen or the Western canteen, but the objective is one and the same – that your hunger should be satisfied.

We are attracted to a particular sadhana or spiritual practice depending upon the procedure and where we left off in our previous lives. That’s the reason why people are automatically drawn to a particular path. Someone may like to do bhajans because he did bhajans in the earlier life. He immediately fits into the channel of Namasmarana. The man who previously worked selflessly fits into karma yoga (the path of action) effortlessly in the present life. Life is one of continuity to eternity; it goes on and on.

Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam.

The end or the finish of this birth and death cycle is awareness of the Self. Therefore, awareness of the Self is the aim of any spiritual path or religion or spiritual seeker.

God is form, formless, and beyond

Last time we left off at this point: God has form, God has no form, and He is both these and beyond.

When I was going back home after completing this talk, one gentleman asked me to explain it again for one or two minutes. “There seems to be some confusion,” he said. So let me say a few more words on this subject, so there will be no ambiguity or further perplexity.

Here are the four points:

1. God has a form.

2. God has no form.

3. He is both.

4. He is beyond.

All the four statements seem to be opposite and contradictory. So when I say this, I may seem to be foolish; but I assure you that’s not the case yet (Laughter). Let us spend a couple of minutes on this. As long as this mike is functional, as long you can hear my voice clearly, electricity has the form of a mike. As long as the bulb is illuminated, electricity has the form of a bulb. The electricity has a form now. In the bulb, it is in the form of a bulb. In the mike, it is in the form of a mike. Wherever electricity goes in, it takes that form and discharges those appropriate functions.

What happens when there is a power cut, which often happens here? What happens? Nothing is functioning. Where is the electricity then? Has it run away from here? What is its new address? “Catch hold of it and bring it back!” No, no. It is here, but without a form. Electricity has no form as such. As it fits into these gadgets, it takes on their forms. So electricity can be with form and without form. From where has it come? God is chaitanya (consciousness). The source is God or Brahman. That source of Brahman can have form or be formless, as it chooses. It can be both and be beyond.

Sarvendriya Guna Bhasam

Sarvendriya Vivarjtham.

As electricity flows through the mike, it reaches you in the form of sound. As it flows through the bulb, it reaches you in the form of light. But electricity is neither sound nor light. It can be both sound and light, depending on how we use it. Its source is Brahman – the substratum is Brahman, consciousness, Divinity. That consciousness, which is beyond, can have a form or be formlessness, or be both. This is what we mean by the transcendental nature of Divinity.

Sugar can take the form of any number of sweets like jamoon or laddu. Can I say that jamoon is sugar? No. Can I say laddu is sugar? No. I can’t because jamoon is not sugar. The sweetness in the sugar is present in laddu and jamoon. Form and formlessness are aspects of the same Divinity. It can have a form, or be formless, or be both. Since it is the source, it is beyond.

You are NOT SEPARATE from the Divine

If we understand its intricacy, its implications, and comprehend its ramifications, then by God’s grace, we can experience it. Nothing more is needed in a lifetime because you are one; you are not separate. Just as a drop is the ocean, you are the Divine. “You are God,” as Baba often declares. Since that friend asked me to repeat this subject, I just took a few minutes to pick up the thread and resume the continuity of our topic.

My friends, you must have understood by now that I am an extrovert. I can’t keep any secrets. That is impossible! I collected around 800-900 poems of Swami’s in Telugu. Before commencing each talk, Swami recites a poem which He composes spontaneously. Then He develops His talk based on that poem. As I was going through His poems, I discovered their amazing literary style. Aha! What expressions! And in the simplest terms ever possible!

Therefore I feel like going deeper into them. Once we are familiar with this, there is nothing left and there is nothing beyond. That is the fund of literature that Baba has given us. But we are busy with our own agenda: “I want Him to look at me, but I don’t want to hear Him. I want Him to fulfill my desire, but I don’t want to act according to what He says.” We have no time to hear Him because of our personal agenda and desires. We have no time to understand Him and act according to His guidance. Therefore, we continue to remain where we are.

Growth is the sign of life

If one of my former students comes and tells me, “Sir, you have not changed; you are what you have been,” is that a compliment? (Laughter)

If I am what I was, it’s an insult since it means that I have not grown. Absence of growth is not a sign of life. This mike will always be like this; it won’t increase in size. Growth is a sign of life. If you think that you just have hands and legs, then you are only as good as a table (Laughter)! Funny as we are, we take it as a compliment; but it is not. We should be mature and intelligent enough to know what is good, what is right, and what has to be done.

Bhagavan’s language is simple, but HIS message is profound

Coming back to Swami’s poem, I don’t want to exhibit my scholarship by singing the whole poem or by repeating it. That is all unnecessary. As it is in Telugu, I am sure it may not be easy for most of you to understand. But I may be able to explain it to you in the form of a quotation.

Those who know me will certainly appreciate this. In this poem, Swami gives a wonderful example. Many people have a habit of going to the temple once a year or once a month or on festival occasions. Those of you who are fortunate enough to have listened to the discourses in a temple or by some gurus will certainly agree with me. The best style of communicating the highest Vedantic truth is made possible by an Avatar – Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – because He puts it in such a simple style!

I’ve heard many people say, "I have read lots and lots of books, but Swami’s is the simplest language. Even a villager can understand it; yet it is fathomless and profound.”

Man has to go back to his Divine source

A simple example is clay or mud. A pot is made out of clay. When the pot breaks, it becomes mud again. So a pot made of mud eventually returns to mud. It cannot become gold. The material (clay) out of which the pot is made will eventually go back to the source (mud). Similarly, where will man, who is made out of Brahman, eventually go? Man being Atman, being Divine himself, has to go back to the source or Divinity.

Therefore Swami says, “A tree grows out of the soil into many branches and then goes back to the soil. Similarly, the Creator is the source of creation, and creation will go back to the source.”

That’s what the Christians call “Doomsday” or “Judgment Day” and Hindus call it pralaya. Pranaya is romance, but pralaya is annihilation or ending. Therefore, the creation, which was created by the Creator, will go back to the Creator.

From an ordinary perspective, Creator and creation look different or separate. But they are one and the same. Here is gold and here is a ring. The ring and the gold seem to be different. We keep gold in the form of an ornament, like a bangle or a ring. But the ornaments, when melted down, turn back into gold.

Therefore we may think that the Creator and the creation, man and God, are different, but both are one. Gold and ring are one, drop and ocean are one, and Creator and creation are one. It appears that they are two entities, but basically they are one and the same. Knowledge of this oneness is understood only by the grace of God, or else this Truth of truths looks pedantic or scholarly.

Non-Dualism is wisdom

I began my talk by quoting Bhagavan last Sunday, 20th of August, 2006:

Advaita Darshanam Jnanam.

Non-dualism is jnana or wisdom. Experience of non-duality is wisdom. Wisdom is not just familiarity with books, nor is it whims, vagaries, fancies, or fantasies of the mind.

To reiterate, I will say these few words from another of Swami’s poems. Matti is the soil, and chettu is the tree. Chettu, the tree, is born in matti, the earth. After death, it goes back to matti. Similarly, creation goes back to the Creator. It is so simple.

But I can’t go to the tree and say, “Oh, this is soil, wonderful! Take some fruits out of the soil.” People will run away from me because nobody wants to be close to a madcap! He might bite or pelt stones at them. Never mistake it, I am not that mad.

Somebody asked me, “Baba started the Super Specialty hospitals for heart, lung, and kidney diseases. Why did He not start a hospital or a department for psychiatry, for mental problems?”

I said, “Baba didn’t do it because whole of Sai Kulwant Hall would be in the OPD (Outpatient Department)!” (Laughter)

It is only a question of quantity. Some are as mad as the size of a grape; some are as mad as the size of a lemon; some are as mad as the size of a pumpkin. The size is different, but we are all mad! (Laughter) I may be mad in my own limited way, but we are all brothers sailing in the same boat! (Laughter)

One God in Many bodies

Let’s look at another of Baba’s poems. Go means cow, ksheera means milk. Milk is one, but cows are many.

If I want milk, I cannot say, “Go to cow #22 (Laughter) from the Gokulam and get milk.”

They will say, “Sir, you better go yourself. I would like to serve you, but not at this level.” (Laughter)

You don’t say that, do you? So cows are different, but milk is the same. Similarly, if I want a ring, I cannot ask someone to get me a ring of gold extracted from Kolar (where there are gold mines). They will ask you to go into the mine and then they will pray that you don’t come out! (Laughter) Am I clear?

So, the same gold is used in all different kinds of ornaments or jewels which we wear. Ekam (one) Paramatma (God), Bahu (many) Devarthi (bodies). The same one God is present in all bodies.

“Is it possible? No, no, no! I have my personal God. ” (Laughter)

“I have my Indian God with me and you may have your American God or Russian God with you. And that too, among Indian Gods, there is only one special Andhra God (Laughter). In Andhra, that special God, who is naturally from Guntur District, is 100% Divine.”

Oh! There are people who talk like that! How is it possible that when he says, “my God”, that same God is equally mine too? You have every right to say ‘my God’ and please say that, but that doesn’t mean that I have no God. Your God is my God as well. How is it possible?

Baba gives us an example. Assume you have several pots or containers full of water. On a full moon night, watch these pots. You will find the reflection of the moon in all of them. Each pot can say, “My moon.” There may be several pots, but the same moon is reflected in each of them. So, it is one into many. That’s the example Baba gives: Ekoham Bahusyam – One manifest into many.

Religions are many, but their goal is the same

You may pray in one way; he may pray in another. He may come to the temple through the main gate, the security gate or the northern gate. He may come through any gate, but there is only one Mandir in Prashanti Nilayam.

Religions are different, but the goal is one. There may be so many threads, but all the threads are interwoven into one cloth. Similarly, there maybe many beings, but the indweller is the same.

“No, sir! South Indians breathe oxygen, but North Indians breathe nitrogen.” (Laughter) It means that I don’t know what oxygen or nitrogen or breathing is; therefore I talk like that!

All breathe oxygen, irrespective of who we are or where we are. Even if you want to try nitrogen, you can; but write your will first (Laughter)! Therefore my friends, beings are many, but breath is one.

We may have our own visions, our own experiences. There are some people who tell me, “I saw Swami just between my two eyebrows.” Please continue to see Him. There are some people who say, “Swami appeared in my dream last night.” Very good, please dream like that continuously. There are people who say, “I felt a touch of my Swami on my shoulder.” Very good! Feel His touch everyday if possible.

Whether you see Him, hear Him, experience Him, or feel His sense of touch, it is the same Baba, the same Swami, the same God. Our experiences may be different, but they relate to the same Swami. This is what Baba says:

Darsanambulu Veru.

My vision or concept of God may be different from yours, but the same God is responsible for each of our experiences and interpretations.

Awareness of God is lost because of illusion

Baba also explains why people do this. Unless I say that my God is higher than your God, or a little taller than your God, there would not be so many religions; business or politics would not be made from religion; and there would not be so many conflicts among people. Therefore, this diversity is a sign of politics, business, conflict, and confusion. But Baba explains that unity is Divinity.

The doctor knows the disease and also its remedy. As I am suffering, if he only knows the disease and not the remedy, then I don’t need him. The doctor should know my disease and suggest a cure for it. Bhagavan Baba clearly diagnoses and perfectly prescribes our individual treatment. This explains why we entertain the thought of diversity. Baba says that because we are caught in the cobweb of illusion or delusion or maya, awareness of God is lost.

Prakrithimaya Chetha Bandhimpa Batuda Chetha.

You are chained by the maya (illusion) of Prakrithi (nature).

Nene Brahmambu Anu Eruka Chedara.

The very awareness that I am the Divine is gone.

Eruka (that awareness) chedare (is gone). Nenu Brahmambu (I am God). The very awareness that I am the Divine is gone. Why? Maya Chetha Bandimpabadutha Chetha – I am bound by illusion and hence I have lost the awareness of my true identity.

Senses deceive our understanding of reality

Here Swami tells us the second reason why our awareness of Divinity is lost:

Panchendriyamula Che Vanchimpabaduta Chetha.

I am deceived by my senses.

This is the meaning of Swami’s original quotation: “I am deceived by my senses.” I think that eyes see. No! A blind man has more beautiful and better eyes than a seeing man, but he cannot see. Likewise, I think the ear hears. However, a deaf person also has ears, but he cannot hear. I think the skin feels the sense of touch, but the paralysed man cannot feel it.

I think that the senses are giving me the experience – that is the tragedy. The experiencer is the cause for the experience. Without the experiencer, there is no experience.

Experiences are many, but the experiencer is one and the same. The one who sees, the one who hears, is one and the same experiencer. But because of the five senses, we seem to divide the experiencer into many -- like the hearer, seer, and so on. But that is our error, because really it is the same Divinity.

Therefore Swami says:

Panchedriyamula Chethe, Vanchimpa Baduta Chetha.

Due to the five senses, you are deceived and cheated.

The five senses lead you into this trap of illusion. The five senses put you into this cage of delusion. What is the result?

Devude Jeevudu Telivi Poyindi.

God is that man in front of you.

God has taken human form because it is only the human whose senses are able to recognise. However, that awareness is completely gone because we are trapped by the five senses.

feeling of oneness is lost due to ego and attachment

Third reason:

Mamatha Ahamkara Ekatva Bhavam Leka Poye.

Mamatha is “attachment” and ahamkara is “ego”. That feeling and experience of oneness is missing because we are carried away by our egos and attachments.

body attachment and delusion cause loss of awareness

Fourth point: Dehabhimana (body attachment) and moha (delusion) are responsible for the fact that I have no idea of what consciousness or reality or Divinity is.

Being a teacher, my friends, I beg of you, if I am strict or too hard and treat all of you as students, it is only because old habits die hard. Having spent all my life in the teaching profession, I am prone to occasionally repeating myself to ensure that I am understood.

In summary, the four points that are responsible for the absence of awareness, the absence of the experience of Divinity, and the absence of our experience of oneness, are:

1. The illusion of nature

2. The five senses which are extroverted, outward; pravritti

3. Attachment and ego

4. Body attachment and delusion

These are responsible for the absence of the awareness of my true identity, my true Self, which is Divinity or pure consciousness.

Understand that you are God

Therefore, what is the result?

Brahmalo Neevu, Neelona Brahmamu Unda.

When you are in God, God is in you.

Neeku Brahmambu Lekayunde.

Understand that there is no difference between you and your God. Both are one and the same.

Nene Brahmambu Anuchu Ippudu Erugu Neevu.

“Understand right now! Understand you are God!” Swami tells us in every discourse.

Sai Prema Bodha Groyee Neevu.

“Having tasted the nectar of Sai’s gospel, the ambrosia of Sai, understand that you are God,” says Sathya Sai Baba.

How nicely explained! What a scientific analysis! If ten to fifteen slokas are recited conveying the same message, we can effortlessly get into a state of samadhi! When some scholars quote Sanskrit verses freely, either we look at the clock, or lean against the back of our neighbour and sleep, or try to find a corner passage through which we can silently escape (Laughter).

don’t complicate spirituality

Somehow (and you are free to correct me, because I may be wrong), we think that spirituality is a complicated thing. The more complicated I make it, the greater the spiritual understanding. It is as if you believe that because you take 500 mg tablets, it means you have a great disease (Laughter). “No, no, sir. I take injections.” The condition must be more serious then. “I need an operation.” Then we are not sure of your return!

When a spiritual truth is conveyed, the more complicated it is, the more confused the speaker himself becomes (Laughter). Complication is not an effective means of communication.

Why are temples not full of people when there is a discourse? People are ready to do puja, as it is very easy to get some material and mechanically utter something (Laughter). You give some flowers or rice, the priest does something, and you do something. Neither of you know what is happening, but your future in heaven is guaranteed (Laughter)!

Therefore, my friends, complicated speeches that are verbose and use only big words, show that the speaker is an exhibitionist. He wants to exhibit his scholarship so he uses fifty slokas. At the end, we return with shoka. We go from sloka (verse) to shoka (misery). That should not happen.

Seriousness is not Necessary in spirituality

Due to this confusion, we think that a spiritual man is serious. In all spiritual gatherings, seriousness prevails – a grave atmosphere (Laughter). That Himalayan silence is simply an indication of a graveyard! There should be peals of laughter, joy, and ecstasy. Life is joy, my friends. God is joyful. God is a dancer, a musician, full of humour.

“Well, I want to be a castor-oil man. I want to be a serious man. I want to wear a long face so that people will run away from me. When they see my scholarship, people will be afraid of me, as if I am a tiger or a snake.” A zoo is a fit place for that category of person!

Therefore, our congregations, assemblies, and spiritual talks are not very well attended or appreciated because we make the subject serious, complicated, and take it out of context. We feel happy by making everyone unhappy (Laughter). That’s why, even after of coming out of one of Swami’s speeches, what do you say? “I do not know.”

“Why. . . did you sleep in there?”

“. . . It was very nice.”

“How nice was it?”

“I have no time to explain…it’s canteen time now.” (Laughter)

I don’t believe this at all. Swami’s speeches are full of humour. Bhagavan’s discourses are witty. He smiles and makes everyone smile, whereas other individuals cry and make all of you cry. Therefore we should simplify our spiritual talks so that everyone may understand us.

The most complex things are made simple and easy by an Avatar. That is the sign of an Avatar, according to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Sathya Sai Baba is an Avatar, making things the simplest ever possible.

In some spiritual talks, at other places, we are asked to imagine that there are fourteen worlds, and other fanciful things. I am not able to get by in this world, so why do you tell me about fourteen worlds!? (Laughter)

Others talk about dreams and imaginations. I am tired enough with this life, but you want me to imagine further! This life and just the waking state have given me high blood pressure enough, yet you want me to think about other states, other levels, and all that? Thank you, sir, I am happy with what I already have (Laughter)!

Baba’s discourses are the most interesting. Baba’s messages are easily communicated to everyone, from an illiterate person to the scholar of scholars. It is because He knows how to deliver popular lectures. He knows how to say it in such a way that it directly reaches everyone’s hearts. It is like shooting an arrow straight into the target. This must be the experience of each and every one of you.

Essence of Advaita is THAT EVERYTHING is Divine

Therefore Bhagavan says:

Kalam Anthayu Brahma.

The whole of time is God, understand it.

Sai prema bodha: His teaching is that of a loving, living, caring master. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says that you and God are one. It is because of other distractions and attractions that your understanding of Divinity is that of plurality or multiplicity.

To quote more of Swami: Chukkalanniyu Brahma.

All stars and galaxies are Divine.

Suryundu Adhi Brahma. Chandrudannanu Brahma.

Sun is God. Moon is God.

Jalamu Brahma.

Water is God.

Swargamannamu Brahma. Vaikuntamani Brahma.

Heaven is God. Heaven is Divine.

Thalli Yannanu Brahma. Thandri Brahma.

Mother is God. Father is God.

Bhagyamannanu Brahma. Swalabhyamu Adhi Brahma.

Your property, riches, and affluence are Divine. Your good fortune is Divine.

Yuva Raasulu Brahma. Jeevi Brahma.

All beings are Divine. The individual is Divine.

Puttinchuta Brahma. Poshichuta Brahma. Gittinchuta Brahma.

Birth is Divine. Sustenance is Divine. Death and withdrawal is Divine.

Grihini Brahma.

The housewife is Divine.

Kalamanthayu Brahma. Ee Srushti Brahma.

Time is God. Nature is God.

Prakithanthayu Brahma. Aa Shakthi Brahma.

The world is God. Energy is God.

Sarvamu Brahma. Ee Sabhayu Brahma.

Everything is God. This congregation is also Brahma.

“The whole Kulwant Hall, with thousands of people there, this congregation, this assembly is Brahman, is Divine,” says Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sathyamul Telupu Mata Ee Sayi Mata.

The Truth of truths is the declaration of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Can anybody put Advaita in a simpler or easier form than this? Impossible! You may say one thousand slokas on this topic. But neither do I care to hear, nor will you understand a single sloka. Swami’s quotation started with the stars and ended calling the whole congregation Brahma (Divine)!

Swami and you are one

My friends, I would add one note with your permission:

A man in a high position would always like to remain there so that he can be the beneficiary of everyone’s courtesy and hospitality. He would never come down to a lower level. A Sub-Inspector will never come down to the lower level of a Constable. A District Collector would not come down to the level of a Revenue Officer. Most of the gurus nowadays are like that. Unless the guru stays at a superior level, people will never follow him.

Sathya Sai Baba, the Divine Master, is the only one who says, “You and I are one.” He doesn’t claim that He is superior to you or greater than you. He says, “You and I are one.” This utterance, said with confirmation and courage, can only be borne out of conviction in the unity of Divinity.

It was Krishna who said, “Arjuna, you and I are one.”

It was Christ who said, “All are one, my dear son, be alike to everyone.”

It was Ramana Maharshi who said, “You are not separate from me. Who am I? Find out who you are and you will understand that all are one.”

It was Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who said that we all are one. We are all the children of Mother Kali.

The highest truth is that of Oneness. No one is superior. No one is extraordinary. This makes me fall flat in front of Baba: “I am God, you are God, and both are One. I am not separate from you; you are not separate from Me.”

Further He says, “God is full, and you are full.” A simple example: If I told my students that I was a PhD, full of knowledge, and that they were also full of knowledge, they might say, “Sir, from tomorrow onward, I need not come to your class.” (Laughter)

If I ask someone for money, he might say, “I am rich and you are also rich.”

“No, sir. I want to be richer, so please give me some money.” (Laughter)

There is always expectation, division, conflict, and confusion in diversity. Diversity is like business or politics, where people always want to move higher. What is that “higher”? There is only one state higher, and that is obtained after we leave this planet! Yet here is Baba, who says that you and I are one. This is the height of Advaita or non-dualism.

Unity is wisdom, diversity is ignorance

Therefore, we return to where I began last week: What is real jnana (wisdom)? Bhagavan says:

Bhinna Dehamulandunna,

In different bodies,

Thanu Ekamaguchu.

He unifies like a thread that passes through each flower in a garland.

In a similar way, we are many, and a common God unifies us, unites us, and brings us together.

Avayambayi Velgundu.

The immortal, eternal, blemishless Divinity is ever brilliant, ever radiant, and ever effulgent.

This is jnana, according to Sathya Sai Baba. So long as we are divided on the silly grounds of language, caste, creed, and community, it is ajnana – ignorance. Unity is jnana or wisdom; and duality or diversity is ajnana, ignorance.

God is at the cosmic level and also at the individual level

Finally, let me mention a simple thing. God can exist within an individual and God also exists all over. For example: Air is present everywhere. It can be in the tyre of a cycle, a car, a lorry, or a tractor. Air can be put in the tyres of many vehicles, and air is also present all around.

Similarly, God is everywhere and within an individual. God who is everywhere is called Eswara. Eswara is Divinity at the cosmic or universal level. God within an individual is called jeeva or the individual soul. The individual soul is conscience (jeeva), whereas the universal or cosmic soul is consciousness (Eswara). It is the same entity with different names.

Air in the cycle is the same as air in the tyre of a car. The quality of air in the tyre of a car is the same as the quality of air in the tyre of a lorry. But the tyres are different. In a similar way, Divinity all around is Eswara, and that in an individual is called jeeva. Understanding this is true wisdom, according to Bhagavan.

experience Baba in your heart and rise above petty talk

My friends, these subjects are serious. These subjects are above our experience; but God is so great that you were able to hear the talk, and I am very grateful to you for listening. God bless us both to interact more..

How long are you going to discuss, “I was coming in a lorry; then I fell down from the lorry! Baba saved my life!” Why? How long can you talk about such topics? Baba, who saved your life, is here. That doesn’t mean that you are going to become a monument, like the Taj Mahal (Laughter). A body can be embalmed like Chairman Mao‘s in China. According to Mao, a body is permanent and may be preserved in a box with chemicals. You can be permanent by that measure. But saying, “Baba saved my life” doesn’t mean that you are eternal. Baba’s miracles are merely the invitation to walk up the front steps into the mansion of Divinity.

At Gopuram Gate (the main entrance to Prashanti Nilayam) you cannot say, “I have seen Baba.” “Alright, go back to the bus stand then!” No, that is only the main door. You have to pass through the main door, go into the Mandir, and see Him there. That Mandir is the heart and Baba is inside. These doors are our experiences, or our five senses.

I prostrate and offer my humble salutations at the Feet of Baba. I pray that we may be more and more interested in the depth of philosophy, in the reality of spirituality, and not be caught in the peripheral, superficial matters that we usually discuss with each other. It is ego and publicity. Let us dig into the mansion of Sathya Sai Jnana Sagara (the ocean of wisdom). May Baba bless you very much! Thank you.


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


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