Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 4, 2002


Health Management - Part One Part2  Part3

August 4th, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Broad Outlines of the Topic
The topic for this morning is ‘Health Management’. Last week we discussed the topic of ‘Breath Management’. ‘Management’ seems to be the key word of the day. We have to manage life in general and these are the different components. It is in this context that I want to draw your attention to the importance of ‘Health Management’. I may require next Sunday also, to do full justice to this subject. But to those for whom it is not possible to be present next week, I shall explain just in tabular form, which will give you an over-all picture of the topic.

There are three aspects to be dealt with in health management. I'm trying to give you the broad outlines of the topic. I'm going to deal with the topic ‘Health Management’ under three headings. The first is ‘Food and Dietary Habits’, second aspect is ‘Physical Fitness and Disciplined Life’, and the third and final aspect is ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’. These three aspects come under the topic of ‘Health Management’. This has been designed purely in accordance to and in tune with the Sai message and Sai teachings. I'm sure it will be of immense help to every one of you.

Food, Head and God
‘Food and Dietary Habits’ - what are the things we need to know under this heading? Bhagavan said: “As is the food, so is the head. As is the head, so is God.” Food, head and God - all the three go in a sequential order. Food is the basis. Food is the first step that constitutes our mind. This mind helps us to think and to comprehend - and to experience God as well. And so, Bhagavan has said food, head and God - these three steps.

Let us talk about a few points under the heading of “Food and Dietary Habits”. Food for the body - usually we think that whatever we eat is food; but Bhagavan explains this in a broader sense. What we eat is food for the body. Our thoughts are food for the mind because the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts.

Sankalpa Vikalpatakam Manah.

Thoughts and counter-thoughts constitute the mind.

Manah Iti Manah.

Recapitulation, memory - that is the mind. Therefore, thought is the food to the mind. Senses of perception - we have five cognitive senses. Sound is the food to the ear. Touch is the food to the skin. Form is the food to the eye. Taste is the food to the tongue. Smell is the food to the nose. So the five senses also draw food in a different way out of this world.

It is not merely the food partaken. The thought, the sense of touch, of smell, of sound, of form - all these also constitute food. That’s the reason why Bhagavan said at one time, “Be good, See good, Do good.” That is all food.

All that you hear, if you listen to good things - that audition, that listening is food to the ear. Besides the sense of taste, good talk, sweet talk, soft talk, gentle talk is food for the tongue. All that we see, if good - like the mighty and beautiful nature, the grandeur of nature, the galaxy, the greenery, the landscape - that is food to the eye. Good thoughts - thoughts of God, thoughts of the Divinity - that constitutes good food to the mind. I mean regulated food, timely food.

Good listening, samyak sravana; good thought, samyak sankalpa; good sight, samyak drishti, good scenes; samyak kriya, good action - that’s all food. All have got to be regulated. All these come under, ‘Food and Dietary Habits’.

But we just limit ‘good food’ to the food that we partake. People are very careful how many calories. “Is it protein? How much starch?” They take food, and then immediately get to the weighing machine! They want to know. Well, that is not enough. We take all sorts of food, not merely food that is consumed. We should understand this.

Individual and Fundamental Discrimination
The intellect also needs food. What sort of food does the intellect require? It requires the sense of fundamental discrimination. Individual discrimination is bad food - is wrong food. Why? Individual discrimination makes you selfish. Individual discrimination helps you to support all your evil actions. Individual discrimination will not help you understand what is good. It will make you lose that sense of discretion, and will make you bereft of what we call judgement. So, we have got to be careful and feed our intellect with fundamental discrimination. So, individual discrimination is bad food, malnutrition. Fundamental discrimination is healthy food, protein food.

What is fundamental discrimination then? Fundamental discrimination is that which is applicable to everybody at all times; that what is good to me should be equally good to you. What is right to me should be equally right to you. So that which is applicable to all people all over the world, which is beneficial to everybody, is possible to acquire by exercising fundamental discrimination and never individual discrimination.

Further, what is food? The food we need every four hours? What is the food for the intellect? Inquiry. What is inquiry? Inquiry of the Self: “Who am I?”

So my friends, in the first topic of ‘Food and Dietary Habits’, I'm going to deal with the following points - body, mind, senses and intellect. That means the body that requires food, the mind that needs thought, the senses of sound, touch, form, taste, smell, and the intellect that requires discrimination, inquiry.

Unless the senses are proper, unless the mind is proper, unless the intellect is clean and perfect, unless the body is healthy, it is impossible to proceed along the spiritual path. The spiritual path, the spiritual exercise, will be futile, useless, and totally hopeless if the food and dietary habits are not proper. If they are not taken care of well, all of spirituality is nonsense. This constitutes the first aspect of ‘Health Management’.

Physical Fitness Is Absolutely Necessary
What is the second aspect? ‘Physical Fitness and Disciplined Life’ is the second aspect under ‘Health Management’. Physical fitness will make you physically fit and healthy, which means a sound mind in a sound body. Unless I'm healthy, I will not be in a position to take up any sadhana or any spiritual practise. Unless I'm healthy, I’ll not be able to do anything. Particularly when Bhagavan wants us to do seva or service, we should be physically fit.

It is a joke, but a reality in certain instances: We find people above 70 and 80 years old in Seva Dal's service activities. They need to be served because they cannot serve any longer. “Am I fit enough to do that? I'm now 70 or I'm now 80. Am I eligible to be in Seva Dal?” I should question myself. Can I do physical work? No. Therefore, physical fitness is absolutely necessary to get ourselves involved in seva, the service activity. Why? Why should I serve?

Sareeramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhakam.
Paropakarardhamai Edam Sareeram.

These are the two popular Vedic dicta. What do they say? “O God, this body is a beautiful instrument which You have given. O God, this body is Your gift. I have not made it in the laboratory myself. I have not created it myself. It is not manufactured by any industry. It is Your gift, O God! This body, being Your gift, should be dedicated to You, spent in a life of service and in constant contemplation, thinking of You incessantly. O God, that is the purpose to know and to realise.”

This body is merely an instrument. Why be physically fit? Why a disciplined life? Because human life is the rarest of all. As per the calculation, in this organic world, there are 84 lakhs of species. Of all these variety of species, human life is the rarest. That’s what Adi Sankara in “Viveka Chudamani” says:

Janthunaam Nara Janma Durlabham.

Meaning, of all the 84 lakhs of species in this Creation, human life is most precious, noblest and rarest. If the purpose is not realised, if it is not properly utilized, our misfortune is beyond all estimate and calculation.

Make Use of It
“I bought the latest car but I don’t make use of it. I keep it in the shed.” What happens? It gets spoiled. All the investment, all the money spent, is useless. It is just a mere waste. Similarly, all that we possess should be used - the radio or the TV or the heater or grinder or automobiles. Whatever we have, they must be used. Having acquired them, they must be put to use.

Similarly, having been born a human being, having been given this beautiful gift - a body that is physically fit - it should not be used for wandering or loitering or for gossip or for playing cards or gambling. That is a waste of life. Life has got to be used in a proper way. This is possible when we know that human life is the rarest of all.

The scripture also says: “My dear young man, know that you started your life as mineral matter. Slowly you evolved into a plant. Gradually and slowly you have grown into an animal. And gradually you have reached the climax in the course of evolution, so today you’re a human being. Just imagine how many millions of years you have spent, how many lives you have gone through, to reach this state of a human being. That’s the reason why it is said human life is the rarest:

Janthunaam Nara Janma Durlabham.

Therefore, this human life is a kshetra. Kshetra means the ‘field’ or we could say a laboratory where we can have successful results. Life is a laboratory where we can experiment the four objects of life - dharma, artha, kama, moksha or righteousness, aspiration, wealth and liberation. In human life, all these things are successfully experimented with. No animal can think of liberation. No plant can think of ambition. It is only man who has got ambition. It is only man who has got the thirst for liberation. Therefore, kshetra is the field or the laboratory in which to seek and to achieve successful results.

Disciplined Life
What do we mean? Why a disciplined life? Bhagavan tells us that, though we are undisciplined, we find discipline in nature. Discipline is order. I may tend to lead an undisciplined life. My life may be undisciplined, but if I examine my body, I will understand how God meant it to be disciplined. God designed this body to be disciplined. How?

Bhagavan tells us that the normal temperature is 98.4 degrees. If it is a little more, it is a fever. If it is a little less, it is a matter of concern. The blood pressure should be 120/80. When it is more or less, it is a matter of anxiety and worry. So, the blood pressure, the heartbeat, the blood circulation and the body temperature are all under certain limits. Thus, a disciplined life means: Nature is disciplined. The body is designed to be disciplined and we are expected to be disciplined.

If we are disciplined, we will be able to discharge our duty to the best of our ability, to the best of our capacity, and win the appreciation of everybody. We can think of a promotion, besides esteem and respect. If there is no discipline while discharging our duty, suspension orders are ready, waiting on the table, if not a dismissal. So, our duty can be discharged in the best way if we are disciplined.

And for devotion, discipline is a must. How? There are prescribed timings for nagarsankirtan, prescribed timings for bhajans. Everything is prescribed. Everything is regulated: a time for seasons, a time for day and night, a time for our prayer, a time for our meditation. Everything is specific, and everything is indicated.

Sadhu Vaswani gives a beautiful illustration. Sadhu Vaswani tells it this way: Suppose you are to meet your boss at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. Can you avoid it? Can you go there to meet him at 12 o’ clock? You’ll find the door closed. And if you say, “I’ll meet you tomorrow,” he will say, “Better not.” So you can never miss your appointment with your boss. Similarly, meditation is our appointment with God. We should never miss that.

Our Baba goes a step further. He explains: If you feed a dog everyday at 12 o’clock in the afternoon, that dog will be waiting at the doorstep at 12 o’clock punctually. There is one place here in Tamil Nadu by name of ‘Pakshi Teertham’. When food is served at 12 o’clock in the noon, two birds come there punctually. This has been happening over many, many years. “When a dog is punctual, when a dog is ready at the appointed time, why not God?” said Bhagavan!

Why Should I Be Disciplined?
So my friends, for duty and devotion, self-discipline is a must. In order to be dutiful and devoted, we have got to be physically fit. We have got to be disciplined. Why all this? Why should I be devoted? Why should I be dutiful? Why should I be disciplined? Why? What has it got to do with spiritual life? How is it related to religion? That will be our question.

If it is a matter of working at the office, I can understand. I will get some more money and a promotion. If it is a matter of business, well I can understand. I welcome your suggestion because dividends and profits are guaranteed. If it is a matter of my life, I'm more interested because I want to live long. But I want to know how these things are related to God. Why should I be dutiful? Why should I be disciplined? Why should I be devoted? What have they to do with religion? How are they related to spirituality? This is our immediate next question.

The answer is simple: the four 'D's' - duty, devotion, dedication, discipline. The three 'D's' - duty, devotion, and discipline - will take us to dedication. Discipline, duty, and devotion will land us right there on the helipad of dedication, ready to take off. So, in order to land there, three things are required. What are they? Discipline, duty, devotion are needed to take off from there to dedication.

What Is Dedication?
What is dedication? “My father dedicated his property. I have dedicated my life. I have dedicated all my belongings to Bhagavan or to such-and-such a charity trust.” We hear these words. We also hear or read these things published in newspapers.

What is dedication? Dedication, according to Bhagavan, is to sacrifice your ego. Sacrificing the ego is dedication. No one has given this wonderful definition. People say, “Dedicate your property to Sathya Sai Trust.” Bhagavan is not interested in your property. “I dedicated my body” – useless. There are many people ready. (Laughter) “I dedicated my life”. No one wants it. No one is interested.

What is to be dedicated? The ego is to be dedicated. The ego must be sacrificed. The ego must be killed. The ego must be totally annihilated. That is called dedication. It is not so easy to kill the ego because the ego is an expert in this ‘hide-and-seek’ game. If you just take it out the front door, it will start coming in from the back door. It is very difficult to remove ego. It is very difficult to be free from it because the ego is such a favourite thing, having grown over several lives, over several hundreds of thousands of lives! Such an ego that is so strong will not go so easily. It is something like blood pressure and sugar, which will be with us life-long. We can just control it, that's all. You cannot be totally free from it. Likewise my friends, in dedication, the ego can be killed only when we are disciplined, when we are dutiful, and when we are devoted.

Why Should I Kill the Ego?
“Why should I kill the ego? I'm comfortable with my ego. (Laughter) Everyone says, ‘Sai Ram’ to me. (Laughter) Everyone recognises me. Everyone is ready to offer a seat because of my ego. It is the ego that gives me identity. It is the ego that establishes my personality. It is my ego that wins name and fame. It is my ego that has brought all this reputation. Why should I sacrifice my ego? I can water it, I can manure it, and I can grow it further! When it is profitable, when it is enjoyable, when it is useful to exploit others, why not, O ego, let you grow!” (Laughter)

But the reality is different. For example, just imagine something behind this wall. If you want to see it, what should you do? You should remove this wall to see it. Open the door and see what is there. Similarly, God is just behind the ‘iron curtain’ of ego saying, “O my dear man, I am ready here. But you are not ready to see Me. I am waiting for you. You have no time to see Me. I want you, but you don’t want Me.” Why? Because of the ‘iron curtain’ of ego.

We don’t need to do any sadhana, no yagna, no yaga, no sacred religious ritual, no meditation, no penance, no bhajan, nothing. If we are able to kill our ego, good! Because all of these activities are meant for killing the ego. When ego is not killed by all of these activities, the result is a big zero.

The meaning is this: I have taken A-vitamin, B-vitamin, C-vitamin, D-vitamin - ten tablets a day! Still I continue to be weak. Still I'm not able to manage myself. What does an intelligent man say? “Please wait for death. That’s all.” You are taking ten to fifteen tablets a day. Still there is no progress, only the date is yet to be announced - the date of your last journey!

Similarly, I do bhajan, I do nagarsankirtan, I read a lot, I speak a lot; but people see ego walking on two feet on the street in me. Why all this activity? Why this reading? What for all these bhajans? So my friends, in spirituality, all rituals, all sacred activities are prescribed only to kill ego. lf that is not done, well, all those activities would be a waste of time, a waste of energy, and a waste of money. If you don’t kill the ego, then you will be following the routine of millions, where one is rich or totally sick, one of the two. So ego is the biggest obstacle. It is the major barrier. We are not able to comprehend and visualise Divinity because of this ego.

Physical fitness and disciplined life will help us to be determined. We are determined. What sort of determination have you taken? “I have determined to push a fellow who is standing in front of me during darshan line.” This is not determination. (Laughter) “I have determined to jump two lines in front of me so that I’ll get a front seat.” That is not proper determination. “I have determined to see that you will certainly fail in life.” Chi, chi! That’s a horrible determination. (Laughter)

Good Determination
What is good determination? What is true determination? True determination, an ideal determination, is not to give up an effort until the goal is reached, until the aim is realised, until the life-that-is-a-dream is realised. “I'm ready to face the challenge of life. I'm ready to face the devil of life. I'm ready to fight to the end.” That is proper determination.

“O Bhagavan, I'm not going to give this up until You are happy with Me. I'm not going to leave the spiritual sadhana until You are happy with me. I'm not going to leave this place until You look at me.” That is determination. Not to wait for the fall of the neighbour or not to wait until that man is totally gone out of the picture - that is horrible, that is negative. Bhagavan spoke about these things many times. So, duty, devotion, dedication, and determination - all these are possible when we are physically fit and lead a disciplined life.

And above all, we need to do a self-audit or self-evaluation. A disciplined life requires a self-audit or self-evaluation. In the sight of everybody, I may be a good man, but I know within how terrible I am. People may declare that I'm a great devotee. I know from within what a long way I have to go. People may call me virtuous, but I'm highly aware of my lapses and weaknesses. So, it is not the praise of others; it is not the claps and the cheers that matter. Claps and cheers happen for just everything. If a film star comes there on the stage, people clap. So, claps are not the criteria. Number or quantity is never the criteria, never the parameter or the yardstick.

What is most important is, “Am I loyal to the royal within? Am I faithful to my conscience? Is my conscience satisfied? Can I say I'm good with all my heart? Can I say that I'm ideal in the real spirit?” That’s possible if we make Self-evaluation. Constant, repeated Self-evaluation is what we call inquiry or Atma vicharana. This means Self-inquiry. I should inquire within. I should evaluate myself as to what extent, how near I am to the goal. That’s what Bhagavan says repeatedly during His Divine discourses.

YOU To Start With
You have been coming here for a long time. You have been visiting this place repeatedly. But what is it that you have achieved? What is it that you have learned? To what extent have you been transformed? What change is there in you? These are the questions that Bhagavan puts to us in almost all of His Divine discourses. I think you will agree with me. But the pity is this: We think that the questions are put to the other man and not to the person concerned. (Laughter)

Bhagavan says, “Why should you come here so many times, without any change? “

But I direct this question to that man whom I don’t like. (Laughter)

Baba adds, “You are wasting your time.”

I think of the other person, not myself. This is the worst tragedy that could ever happen.

When Bhagavan says, “You are not reformed,” it does not mean the other man. It means YOU to start with. It means ME to begin with, not the other man. There’s no other man, other than myself. When Bhagavan says, “Some of the office bearers are not doing their duty properly,” the office bearers think it is some other office bearer, other than those who are seated there in the auditorium (Laughter). They think it means those who could not make the trip here. I see. That is a very convenient philosophy. Philosophy is not for convenience. Philosophy is for conviction, not for convenience.

Be Happy!
The third aspect under ‘Health Management’ is the ‘Feeling of Well-Being’. This is missing in a number of people. They are very wealthy; they are in a very high position; they are healthy; but still they have a long face. “How are you?” “Pulling on.” (Laughter) “How are you?” “Going on.” “How are you?” “So-so.”

What shall we do with those people? If I am not happy here, where else can I be happy? If I am not satisfied here, where else can I be satisfied? If I do not experience bliss here, where else is bliss? What is bliss, actually speaking? This is the place where we can experience satisfaction, where we can be happy, where we can be blissful? If it is not possible here, where else is it possible?

If you don’t feel the heat out of a heater, what is that heater for? Throw it away! If all the foodstuff that you preserved in the fridge is spoiled, throw it out on the street or into the garbage. If the thermometer does not record the temperature, what use is it? Throw it in the gutter.

So, if we are not happy, if we are not satisfied, if we are not blissful, if we cannot smile here, we are unnecessarily giving business to Air India, British Airways, and that’s all. (Laughter) Our travel to this place is not to give business to those people, no! We have no business to give them business. Our main business is to be blissful, to be happy and to smile.

That’s why in every interview, Bhagavan tells to everybody, to the boys, the elders, and men and women alike, “Be happy, be happy, be happy.” It means, be happy for yourself, be happy with your family, be happy with the society. Happy, happy, happy!

If you are not happy yourself, your family will be miserable. When you are on tour, your family is very happy in your absence. Why? Because you are contributing misery to the family. (Laughter) Suppose a son says, “My father is on tour” with a smile. It only means that the father is torturing the son at home. So when the father is away from home, it is a holiday and a jolly day for children - a matter of celebration. (Laughter) So, a man who is not happy with himself cannot make his family happy. So let me be happy.

“Well, how are you sir?” “I'm not happy!” Just let us calculate: For kidney transplantation, each kidney cost two lakhs. God has given me two kidneys is equal to four lakhs. (Laughter) Heart transplantation cost ten lakhs. I have a good heart so, that means ten lakhs. If you calculate the cost of the body in terms of transplants, we are billionaires, all of us! (Laughter) No reason to cry. Are you a millionaire? Yes, why not? (Laughter) Take note: two kidneys is equal to ten lakhs; one heart is equal to ten lakhs. Yes, I can give you a list! (Laughter) Yes! If you want, we can feed it into the computer also - the cost of the human body, like that.

So, there is no reason to be unhappy because the body is very costly. If you want to calculate the cost of the body, just go to the hospital for a total check-up. The bill will be five thousand. In the West, to fall sick is a matter of luxury. All can’t afford to fall sick. Yes, to be healthy is very cheap, but to fall sick is very costly. I think most people from the West will agree with me.

No Man Is Happier Than You
So, if we are very healthy, why can’t we smile? Why can’t we be happy? God has given you enough food to eat. God has given you a perfect body and God has given you good children. Yes, why can't we be happy? We are not happy because we think the other man is happier. (Laughter) Please take it from me - no man is happier than you are because he thinks that YOU are happier than he is! (Laughter and applause) Yes!

A man who moves about in his car feels jealous of a man who walks on the road. Why? Petrol charges are so high! A man who walks on the street is quite happy because he has got ‘number 11’ - meaning, two legs. It is comfort - no petrol necessary. (Laughter) No repairing, no overhauling, and you don’t need to throw it on the street. If there is any problem, I can comfortably walk – ‘car number 11’. That’s quite comfortable. And a man walking on foot thinks the man in the car is more comfortable. But both these are uncomfortable.

The man who is rich always thinks that a poor man can eat anything of his choice. A poor man can eat hot stuff and sweets also. The very rich man, because of his diabetes, cannot touch sweets. Because of blood pressure, he cannot touch hot stuff. He has to eat only bread, that’s all. Man does not live by bread alone, but the rich man lives by bread only. (Laughter) So he thinks, “Oh, here I am going to the five-star hotel.” Why? To eat bread. (Laughter) Whereas a poor man thinks that he is very rich because he can eat any stuff under the sun. So he is the super-star - not the film star or the five-star. So my friends, there’s no reason to be unhappy.

A man of formal education, with just one degree, thinks that he’s not that wise. He’s not in the cadre of a scholar. Whereas the great scholar, with Ph. D and D.Sc. thinks, ‘I'm very unfortunate because I'm full of doubts.’ (Laughter) The greater the scholar, the more are the number of doubts. The less the scholarship, the higher is the clarity, and greater the depth of devotion and total faith.

Scholars with a number of degrees will have faith on Monday and be faithless on Tuesday. (Laughter) Have belief on Wednesday and disbelief on Thursday. So every day is a problem to a scholar because scholarship adds to the confusion. “I'm not that kind of fellow to believe everything.” Oh-ho! We end up in state where we fail to have faith in ourselves. Faith in one’s own Self is totally gone - that is the climax of scholarship.

So my friends, never think that the other man is happier than you are. Never think that the other man is luckier than you are. Never think that the other man is more fortunate than you are. “Oh! Swami granted him an interview! How lucky he is!” But in the interview room, Swami tells him, “Don’t worry! You had a major surgery, a heart surgery. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” So, if you are prepared for that, you’ll have interview this evening! (Laughter)

Why do we think in those terms? “We are quite happy. Bhagavan, I am here. I'm quite happy.” It’s more important to think along these lines - to be satisfied, to smile and smile all the way - to be blissful and blissful all along. The state of complacence, the spirit of satisfaction, is absolutely necessary - no comparison and no competition.

A Feeling of Well-Being
A feeling of well-being -- it’s not enough if you are well. You should feel well. Yes!

“How are you?”

“I'm fine.”

The body is perfect, but the face lacks that expression. Swami says ‘castor oil face’. (Laughter) The body is perfect, but the face has no expression of perfection. You should be well and you should feel well. Make others feel well. Make everybody happy. Be happy unto yourself. Let your family be happy with you. Let everybody be happy with us. That is the feeling of well-being.

This is possible when we follow this famous saying of Bhagavan, “Help ever, hurt never.” As I think of this saying, I know some people who “help never and hurt ever”. (Laughter)

“Sir, will you please do this?”

(Gruffly) “I have no time! Get out!”

“Sir, can I go this way?”

“You should not!”

Their life is just the opposite, namely, “Hurt ever, help never.” So if we can’t help, at least let us not hurt. “You cannot always oblige, but you can always speak obligingly,” as Bhagavan says.

A feeling of well-being will help you not to hurt anyone. When you feel well, why can't you help? Unless you are happy, you cannot help anybody. Unless you don’t hurt anybody, you don’t feel like helping anybody. This is necessary.

A feeling of well-being will be there if we know the three R’s of Bhagavan - reaction, reflection, resound. These are the three famous R’s of Bhagavan. I know some responsible office bearers of Sai Centres are here in this assembly. I want these questions to be put to our Bal Vikas children. What are the three R’s of Bhagavan? What are the three S’s of Bhagavan? What are the five D’s of Bhagavan? These questions should be put to Bal Vikas children. They are very important. They will help them in the long run.

What does Bhagavan mean by reaction, reflection, resound? If you respect other men, you’ll be respected. If you are friendly to the other man, he will be your friend. If you love somebody, you’ll be loved in turn. So everything that comes to you is nothing but reaction, reflection, resound. Bhagavan gives this example quite often: Stand in front of mirror and salute. Your reflection also salutes. Or lift up your forefinger, “Take care!” your reflection also, “Be careful!” So, there is nothing but reaction, reflection and resound.

In life, if you are unhappy, it only means that you never made anybody happy. How do you expect others to make you happy when you have never made anybody happy? How do you expect others to help you when you do not know the spelling of ‘help’? When you have never attempted to help anybody, how can you expect to be helped? When you are not courteous, how can you expect others to be courteous to you?

So my friends, in order to have the best things in this world, we should be the best to start with. That’s why Swami says, “Be good first; then you can see good; then you can do good.” Everything starts with this being - with you. So if I laugh, that’s good; everybody will start loving me. If I am happy, everybody will be happy with me. So this is the secret of well-being. This is the secret - to have a feeling of well-being.

The feeling of well-being will be there if you observe a period of silence. A period of silence is very much emphasized and is very much stressed by almost all religious leaders. By a ‘period of silence’, I don’t mean silence in the ordinary sense. I'm talking now, but I am thinking something else. This is not silence. I stopped talking, but I am thinking something else. This is not silence. So silence can be in different states. Silence means ‘withdrawal of thoughts’. Silence means ‘withdrawal of mind’. Silence means ‘thoughtless state’. Silence means that ‘state of stillness, that state of void, that state of emptiness - no thought whatsoever’. Be calm.

Somebody asked sage Ramana Maharshi, “Swami, what should I do for liberation?” Ramana Maharshi said, “Only think that what you have to do is not to do.” (Laughter) Don’t do. Why? Whatever you do, you do it at the level of the mind. Whatever is done, you do with your mind. “I decided to do this.” Decision is of the mind. “I am doing.” This is a claim of the mind. “I did that” is a claim of the mind. Whatever is done is the prompting of the mind - is the will of the mind, which is just worldly, which is mundane.

The actual Reality transcends the mind. It is beyond the state of mind. Therefore, the point is that silence is the ‘withdrawal of ‘I’-ness - the withdrawal of ego’. The ‘I’-ness is gone. It is a state of egolessness, thoughtlessness, withdrawal of the mind. It is in that state that you’ll have the feeling of well-being.

In Prayer There Is No Ego
When you spend some time in prayer or join in bhajan, you have the feeling of well being because in prayer and in bhajan there is no ego. As you pray, you cannot have ego. I remember my school days when I was in my 11th class. On the Annual School Day my teacher wanted me to pray. He gave me Rabindranath Tagore’s prayer. I love English and therefore he selected me to offer prayer on the Annual School Day. I learned it by heart, Tagore’s, “Where the mind is far from fear and head is held high, where knowledge is free…” I was ready, ready!

Just a few hours before the Annual School Day, my teacher called, “Anil Kumar, repeat Tagore’s prayer.”

I said (with an arrogant voice), “Where the mind … and head is held high, where knowledge is free….”

He said, “You are pulling the collar of God! (Laughter) All the words are full of ego and arrogance. (Laughter) That is not the way to pray. (Speaking in a strong voice,) ‘Where the mind…’ No ,no no! It should be so humble.”

(Anil Kumar says in a soft, humble voice), “Where the knowledge is free…” Yes. “Where the mind has no fear...”

He made me practise it again and again. So in the state of prayer, there is no ego as I had, (in an egotistical voice,) “Where the mind…” (Laughter)

As Swami said, how people say ‘Sai Ram’! (In an overbearing voice, “SAI RAM!” (Laughter)

(In a fast, harsh voice,) “SAI RAM!” (Laughter)

Shouting “Sai Ram”, angry “Sai Ram” - well I don’t know. ‘Sai Ram’ has so many meanings. For somebody to say, after the work is over (softly), “Sai Ram”, it means, “Goodbye!” (Laughter)

Actually ‘Sai Ram’ is God's name, but we use it this way. That’s why the Bible says, “Thou shalt not use the Name of thy God in vain.” The Holy Bible clearly says, “Thou shalt not use the Name of thy God in vain” like this (in a hurried voice), “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram!” (or in an angry voice), “Sai Ram!” It is the worst of sins ever possible.

So the point is, in prayer there’s no ego. In silence there’s no ego. There is only the Reality. It is only emptiness. The Self is in a state of the eternal Witness. There is no ego at all - that gives you the state of well-being.

Ceiling On Desires
Ceiling on desires helps us to have a feeling of well-being. Any number of worldly objects, any amount of money, any exalted position, any depth or any heights of name and fame will never give the supreme state of satisfaction. Impossible!

I told this assembly a few weeks ago that it is Einstein who said, “If I am to be born again, I want to be born as a carpenter.” Zen is a school of philosophy. For your information, all Zen masters lead their life incognito. They don’t want to be recognized. They don’t want their name to be known to anybody. You cannot recognize a Zen master - extreme simplicity, total austerity, a life of incognito. They don’t want to be recognized. That is the quality of a Zen master.

You will find a Zen master still leading the life of a carpenter, a Zen master leading the life of a cobbler, a Zen master leading the life of a blacksmith. He does not change his pattern of life because he finds true Divinity in the state of egolessness. They never believe in this: “I am so-and-so, you know! Don’t you know that?” Oh, I see. He is Dr. Ego - a Ph.D, in ego. Yes! So, true spirituality lies in the egoless state. You can feel well when you are egoless. I am nobody. I'm a non-entity. I'm ordinary. There you feel the happiness of well-being.

We should have a check on our desires saying, “This far - no further. I'm happy with my lot. God has given me whatever I wanted. No more, that’s enough.” Why the burden? Why the additional baggage? “Less luggage, more comfort, make travel a pleasure.”

“Yes. I'm quite happy with the lot I have.” That gives you the feeling of well-being.

I have listed here ‘Food and Dietary Habits’. There are so many things to be learned. Next week I think I shall be able to deal with them all. This morning I wanted to do this chart, because next week it may not be possible for some of the brothers and sisters to join us. For them, they’ll have an overall picture of the three areas under this title, ‘Health Management.’ Thank you!

(Anil Kumar closed his satsang by leading the bhajan,

“Govinda Gopala He Nanda Lala…”)

Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!

Sai Ram, Thank You!













August 11th, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Sathwic Food
Last week we studied the subject of 'Food and Dietary Habits' to some extent. We will continue along these lines in this second talk regarding Health Management.
Under the title of 'Food and Dietary Habits', I talked about three types of food and their effect on the mind. If we eat sathwic - pure vegetarian food, we will have a sathwic mind. If we eat rajasic - inflammatory food, we will have a rajasic mind. If we eat thamasic - dull, inert food, we will have a thamasic mind. In other words, as is the food, so is the mind. The mind is tuned on the basis of the food that we consume. Therefore, spiritual seekers have to be extremely careful about their dietary habits. This includes the timing and the quality of meals as well.
Bhagavan was talking to a team of doctors from Bombay the other day. He said one has to be careful about the quality of food as well as the timing. You have to take your food at the exact same time, not 10 o' clock one day, 12 o'clock another day, and so on. If you are not punctual and systematic in your food habits, it will lead to ill health. So food and diet regulation implies two points: One, the quality of food and two, the regular timing - the punctuality. That is what Bhagavan has said.
As is the mind, so is the thought. The thoughts will be pure when we eat sathwic food. The thoughts will be impure when we partake of tamasic food or what we call non-vegetarian food - alcohol and intoxicants. So, we have to be careful of the mind and the thoughts.
As is the thought, so is the action. As is the action, so is the result. The mind, thought, action and result are all based on food. From this we can understand how careful we should be. As is the food, so is the head. As is the head, so is God. What a beautiful sequential order it is! What a scientific development. What rational thinking based on reasoning! There cannot be a greater scientist than Bhagavan Baba Himself in developing the theme of this topic.
The cookware we use must be clean. This is paatra suddhi. We should make use of pure food. This is padaarda suddhi. The whole cooking process must be perfectly clean - what we call paka suddhi. Above all, the cook should maintain purity of thought. That is what we call bhaava suddhi. In other words, paatra suddhi, padaarda suddhi, paka suddhi and bhaava suddhi together constitute the perfect process of cooking - having sacred thoughts, using pure food and clean utensils. They all go together in the process of cooking. This is very important. We feel like eating more when our mother serves us food. We don't feel like eating more in a Holiday Inn or wherever else we might be. We feel like eating more when mother serves food because pure thought and love go along with it.

Half of the Stomach Must Be Empty
Only one quarter of the stomach should be filled with food. Half of the stomach must be empty. The remaining quarter should be filled with water. Most of us eat in such a way that we not only fill the stomach, but put a strain on the neck as well! (Laughter) That shouldn't be the process. Bhagavan has mentioned that underground tubers or root vegetables contain starch, so it is better to eat these sparingly.
For all South Indian people - they should be asked to eat chapattis, because they don't relish wheat. So when they eat chapattis, they won't want more than one! And all North Indian people should be asked to eat rice because they cannot. If you ask North Indians to eat rice, they say, "Enough is enough!" So when you eat like that, you won't eat too much - that is regulated food. That is the reverse reaction!

Offer to God
Before we start eating, we must offer the food to God. Why? Any impurities relating to either the cook, the process of cooking or the food become pure and perfect once the food is offered to God. And you'll be healthy. Why?
When Mirabai offered poison to God, it turned into nectar. Mira was to be poisoned by her husband because Mira, a great devotee, refused to live with him. She was enjoying the company of Lord Krishna. So her husband decided to poison her. He gave her a cup of poison. Mira did not know it was poison. Before drinking, she offered it to God.

Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva.
Praaninam Deham Asritah.

That is the prayer that we offer before we dine, before we start our dinner. So when Mira unknowingly offered that poison, the prayer meant, "God You are inside. This poison will go to You. You will be affected, not me." (Laughter) So God was highly conscious of it. He took care of it. The poison was transformed into amritha, or nectar. So that is the advantage in offering prayer before we eat!

Don't Eat in a Hurry
We should never eat in a hurry. We should enjoy food, every bit of it. Take time to compliment your wife for making such nice food for you. Don't go on swallowing like a frog that swallows insects with no expression on its face. If there is no expression on your face when you eat, you must have been a frog in a previous life. (Laughter) Your wife will feel sorry for having married a man who was a frog in his previous life. (Laughter) A good husband compliments his wife whenever she makes good cookies or delicacies.
So, don't eat in a hurry. The dining table is not a railway platform. Enjoy it, tell jokes, eat slowly and never eat when you're worried. If you eat when you're full of worries about the office, the competition, a difference of opinion at work, the food turns into poison. Yes!
Bhagavan gave one example. A mother was feeding her child. At the same time, she shouted in anger at a man. After some time, her child was found dead. Why? All the milk she was feeding the child turned into poison because of her anger and tension. We should not eat with tension, worries or anxieties in our mind. Eat slowly, enjoying every bit of it.
Also, let's not run for curries or food prepared with too much oil or fat. This food may taste very good. But, at the same time, it will lead to high cholesterol and the doctor! So, let's be very careful about that.
What is sathwic food - what is pious food? It is food that is rasyah - savoury, sthirah - substantial, and hrudyah - agreeable.
These are words taken from the Bhagavad Githa. I do not believe in making a random speech, left to my imagination. I don't believe in it because I don't think I am that great of a scholar to speculate or imagine, much less interpret. The Sanathana Dharma - ancient sacred scripture - says that whatever we say should have a scriptural sanction. Without a scriptural sanction, whatever we say is utter nonsense. That is the scriptural dictum. Therefore, whatever I say has a scriptural sanction. And the highest and the best of the scriptures available to us is Bhagavan's Divine teachings. Based on that, we gather here to learn on Sunday mornings.

Physical Fitness
With study of Food and Dietary Habits completed - the first aspect - it is now up to each individual to put those principals into practice. Now we go to the second aspect, 'Physical Fitness and Leading a Disciplined Life'.
If I want a government job or a job in the army, a doctor will check whether I am physically fit. But we are not here merely for physical fitness. We should also know whether we are spiritually fit. Spiritual fitness is as important, or even more important, than mere physical fitness. Spiritual and physical fitness are both important.
To make the topic easy, I have made a tabular form (on a white board). You must have guessed by now that I'm basically a teacher. With thirty-nine years of experience as a teacher, I cannot give up the habit of teaching. Everything must be written and documented. Further, I also believe that you should have something to read back at home, something to carry along with you, rather than simply amusing yourself or taking this information in a lighter vein as entertainment. It is enlightenment, not entertainment! So that you can take some literature with you, I jotted down a few lines of importance on the board.

Spiritual Fitness
We understand the first point of physical fitness. Then what is spiritual fitness? The points are clear. For physical fitness, one should have a good diet, food with sufficient protein and nutrition. To be spiritually fit, it's not the food that matters so much. You have to do good, see good and be good. That makes you spiritually fit.
If all our actions are wrong - if what we see is bad and we are in bad temperament - then by our behaviour, thought, word and deed, we are spiritually unfit. If I'm physically unfit, the army people will say, "Sorry, sir. This is not the place you should be. We are not going to appoint you because you're physically unfit." Similarly we'll be spiritually unfit if we do not have these three behaviours. We are spiritually fit if we have these three. What are they?

Do good, see good, be good.

The second point: To be physically fit, we should do some exercise. These days doctors tell you that exercise is very necessary. With more and more electronic gadgets, even robots, we don't have to even get up! We can continue to lie down on the bed and finally go to the grave! Life has become so mechanical that we don't want to get up. We don't want to climb the steps. Elevators and escalators will take us. That's all. We don't have to climb. We don't have to grind - there are grinders. We don't have to get up, just sit down!
A day may come very soon, in the next century, where we are served capsules or multi-vitamin tablets when we attend a dinner. You won't have so many items. Just open your mouth, some water and a capsule. (Laughter) That is the dinner, thank you!
Life has become so mechanical, so computerized, that the body has no exertion. The body doesn't strain and as a result, we have all sorts of problems like blood pressure, cholesterol and so on. Doctors say do some exercise - morning walks, evening walks. These are absolutely necessary for physical fitness. For spiritual fitness, it is not physical exercise. It is prayer, daily prayer, that will make us spiritually fit.
Point three: Avoid malnutrition. Avoid bad food. Food that is not nutritious, not fresh, food that does not have protein, food that is rotten, no, we should not partake of such food. That is what is called malnutrition. Avoid all bad food to be physically fit.

Avoid Negative Thinking
To be spiritually fit, avoid negative thinking. Is Swami going to look at me tomorrow or not? I'm sure He will not look at me! (Laughter) Why? I am sure that He will avoid the gent's side. I am sure Swami will give only a 'shortcut' Darshan, not total Darshan. (Laughter) This is all negative thinking. Will He look at me or not? Will my desire be fulfilled or not? This sort of negative thinking will make us spiritually unfit.
So, brothers and sisters, just as we are very careful of physical fitness, we have to be doubly careful of spiritual fitness. To sum it up - to be spiritually fit, do good, see good, be good; never miss your daily prayer; and finally, avoid negative thinking.

How Do You Discipline Yourself?
Now I will move on to the next aspect of 'Physical Fitness and a Disciplined Life', under the title, 'Self-discipline'. In spirituality, nobody will discipline us. In schools, teachers will discipline us, if they care to. In the army, superiors will discipline us. In the office, the boss will take care of us. But in spirituality, there is no boss, no schoolteacher with a ruler, no army captain with a gun or a pistol. Nobody will discipline us on the spiritual path. You have to discipline yourself. That's what is called self-discipline. If I say I'm disciplined, it means that I discipline myself. There is no external agency, authority or boss over me. I discipline myself.
Now, how do we discipline ourselves? We have to be mindful of one important thing. What is it? That all our thoughts lead to actions. Bhagavan was speaking to some doctors from Bombay the other day. He said: "Be careful of your thoughts."
We are human and sometimes bad thoughts do come to us. If anyone says, "I have only pure, good thoughts," avoid him because he's a number one hypocrite and I don't know what to say about him. (Laughter) A bogus. Avoid him. Even saints and sages could not be free from this. So thoughts do come, good and bad.
Bhagavan said do not act upon your thought immediately. Take some time and discriminate. Is it a good thought or a bad thought? Will Swami approve of this or not? Then, if there is a bad thought, it will be transformed. It will be negated, nullified, cancelled. In its place, a new thought will come. Unfortunately we don't take time. We act upon our thought instantaneously and get into trouble. Therefore, be careful of the thought and do not act upon the thought immediately.

Habits Form Your Character
Our actions constitute our habits. What are our habits? They are only a bundle of our actions. We have to be careful of our habits. Bhagavan said this to the Bombay doctors. "Be watchful of your habits." 'Habits' mean our daily actions, our relationship with others and our own deeds. These need to be taken care of since our habits form our character.
Baba defines character in a simple sentence. Habits form our character. There are volumes and volumes on character and, as we start reading them, we may forget what character is! Bhagavan defined character in a simple way. What did He say? "The harmony or unity of thought, word and deed is character." That's all.
Furthermore, He said that our habits make our character. This character determines our destiny. Our destiny is based on our character. A man of bad character cannot have a good destiny. A man of strategy, manipulation, evil motivation, scheming, a man of utter selfishness with too much ambition can never have a good destiny. That is the second point I want to bring to your attention.

Loss Builds Character
The third point is this - a point that is very important for a disciplined life. I am fine when everything is fine in life. When there is some jolt, when there are some bumps and jumps, ups and downs in life, I get tossed; I get confused; my mind vacillates and life oscillates. Steadiness is gone and faith is shaken. What does Baba say about it? "A blow under God's Grace is a blessing. A blow in life is a blessing."
One may fall sick -- that is a blow. But when it takes you towards God, when it makes you think of God, it is a blessing. Sickness is a blessing. Sickness is not a curse. Sickness makes you think of God. In times of well-being, we forget Him. So a blow under God's Grace is a blessing.
A loss in business will make us feel badly. But let's understand that a loss in business builds our character. When we sustain a heavy loss, we will have a re-evaluation, a self-assessment, an introspection. Here I am! I should not do wrong things to make gains in business. I should not use evil methods to benefit in business. Well, we arrive at these ideas in times of loss. Profit and gain will always make us more evil-minded. It will make us more strategic and will make us use devious methods to make more profits.

The Trap of Corruption
It is a matter of shame how rich people fall into the trap of corruption, cheating, deceit and conceit. The other day, the newspaper came up with a news item that a person made two crores of money in the village of Puttaparthi. Can you believe it, two crores? I don't know how he could get it. An inquiry is going on. Yes! So, we are capable of corrupting any sacred place. We are capable of corrupting any good man. This is to be avoided. Therefore, a loss in business is going to build our character.
Then there are obstacles: "Oh, this man stood in my way; this problem came in my way; this man spoiled all my chances." We always blame people. We always think of obstacles. Well my friends, an obstacle is an opportunity. Man's adversity is God's opportunity. An obstacle is an opportunity.
Finally we may say, "O God, I'm a total failure in life. I could not get a promotion. I was not very highly respected. I was not recognized." These may be our regrets. But, understand that 'every stopping-stone is a stepping-stone'. A man who denies you today will accept you tomorrow. A man who rejects you today will welcome you tomorrow. The man who criticizes you today will naturally appreciate you and compliment you tomorrow. The things that we consider 'stopping-stones' now will be 'stepping-stones' in the future.

Excess Baggage: To Grudge
Now I'll move onto the fourth aspect: At the airport, if you have just a carry-on, you can immediately board the flight and go straightaway. However, if you have lots of luggage, you'll have to check it in and shift to the next gate. It takes time. When we have to change our gates during our flights abroad, if we carry more and more baggage, it takes time. Sometimes we may miss the flight because of heavy baggage. But, if we simply have a carry-on, yes, on any number of flights it will be quick, quick! We can easily move on.
So my friends, when we have heavy baggage, heavy luggage with us, we are not able to move quickly along the path of life. What is that heavy baggage? I'm not referring to material baggage. I'm not referring to the number of suitcases you have to put your address tags on, no!
What I mean by 'excess baggage' is grudges against somebody. "Yesterday you did not wish me a good day, so I'm waiting for an opportunity to avoid you when you want to talk to me tomorrow." See this grudge. "A few days back, you did not help me. I've waited years and years for you to come to me for help, so that I can teach you a lesson." (Laughter) This sort of grudge is baggage, heavy luggage on our head, which we should not carry. A grudge is too heavy a load; it depresses our mind. Depression comes because of a grudge against another. Avoid excess baggage.

The Baggage of Guilt
Number two: the baggage of guilt. This is a very dangerous thing. "When Swami does not talk to me, I have the feeling something is wrong with me." Some students start feeling, "Have we done something wrong? Why is Baba avoiding us?" A few staff members ask me, "Why is Baba not sitting on the chair as He did last year? Have we done something wrong?"
A guilty conscious...the sense of guilt is more dangerous than the guilt itself. Guilt - anything that causes guilt, anything that is sinful - once it is done, there ends the matter. But, the idea of guilt, the thought of guilt, the feeling of guilt brought forward will make us feel so badly that we suffer and it affects our performance. The sense of guilt is more dangerous than the guilt itself.
So when people ask me, "Why is Swami not coming to this side? Have we done something bad?" I tell them, "When Swami came to this side the other day, did you think that you were highly meritorious, a sage and a saint? (Laughter) Swami came a few days ago and sat there. Did you think that you are a saintly man - that you're a noble man? Certainly not! You continue to be the same rogue then, today and forever." (Laughter)
So, we should not compliment ourselves nor should we ever feel that we are saintly and holy because Swami spoke to us - or feel perfectly guilty, totally guilty, because He avoids us. That is nothing but reaction, reflection and resound of one's own self. To estimate yourself too highly is as bad as considering yourself very low. If I think I am very high, it is very bad. If I consider myself very low, it is much worse. So to estimate oneself as very high or very low is equally bad.
There are people who say, "You do not know. In the past, I was a very bad fellow. I was a drunkard." Why should I know? (Laughter) You yourself are ashamed of your behaviour. You yourself are bending your head because of your bad habits. Why do you want to repeat them? Why do you want to chant about it like a holy manthra, and tell me, "You do not know that I was a drunkard!" No, no, I don't want to know. At least stop drinking from now on, and just leave me to myself. (Laughter)
So, the past that is bad should not be talked about, because we are ashamed of it. Why should we repeat it? This is what we call a guilty conscious. It is a psychological crisis. This sort of thing should be subjected to stress management, not health management. It is stress management. Therefore, guilt is very dangerous. Get rid of it.

Inner Conflict
Third: Sometimes it is quite possible to make a mistake because of too much work, because of too much brainwork. It may be quite possible that I could not oblige you because of too much tension. Suppose you want to talk to me. I may say, "I'm busy!" You'll find many people speaking to you like that, "Grr!" Ready to jump. Bhagavan Himself said that some people are much worse than Alsatian dogs and Palmarians. It is on record. (Laughter) You should not blame me for saying this. It's on record and published in Sanathana Sarathi also. Did Swami say this because He wants to popularise Alsatian dogs? Not so!
But we can be sympathetic towards those people. Why are they so angry? Why are they full of tension? Maybe because there are so many things that they are supposed to do. There may be inner conflict - "to be or not to be? Do this or don't do this? Shall I say this or shall I not say this?" There is a conflict, an agitation inside. Inner conflict makes them look so angry.
One time I might have been discourteous to you. I might not have obliged you. Well, I might have actually been quite harsh towards you. That is luggage on my head. So what shall I do? I should take the earliest chance, the immediate chance to say, "I'm sorry." Once I say, "I'm sorry", the head load is taken away.
So my friends, a grudge is excess baggage. A sense of guilt is excess baggage. Not saying a word of apology also makes us feel so badly. That's heavy luggage.

Change Yourself
Another interesting thing that I want to share with you this morning is "Change yourself". Why do I want to share this with you? Bhagavan said on several occasions that everyone goes on complaining, "He's like that; she's like that; you know how he is; you know how she was; I know how they will be." (Laughter) First, you should know yourself -- how you were, how you are and how you will be. You're not supposed to be bothered by anybody else.
This was a question put to Ramana Maharshi - the sage Ramana. Somebody complained to him, "Oh Swami, what is it? There are some mischievous fellows around. What is it? There are some fellows full of tension. What is it? Some people do not know how to speak nicely. What shall I do with them?"
The answer that Bhagavan Ramana gave to those people equally applies to every one of us. What did he say? "You have come here to reform yourself, not to reform everybody. That is not your business. Leave that to me. I am here. If you are gong to transform everybody, well then, I have no business here - I have no job. (Laughter) So it's better that you mind your own job. It's better you think of your own business. Don't think of others - change yourself."
Some people say, "Well, I want things to be like this: The queue could be organized this way. Books could be organized this way. The whole premises could be maintained like this." We go on recommending, suggesting and advising people unsolicited, unwanted. It only means that we want to change the conditions. The conditions are external. You may change the conditions, but your mind is conditioned. So there is no use in changing outer conditions without changing within - without bringing about a change inside you. It is not that important to change the outer conditions. Change yourself. That is most important.

Our Capital Is Time
What is our capital? When we start a business, people will ask, "What is your capital?" Our capital is time. We have so many minutes -- 10,080 minutes per week. That is our capital. We should make the utmost benefit of every minute. God gave us the greatest capital of 'time'. We may get money or we may not. We may be in a position or we may not. But these things can be gained. These things can be acquired. These things can be obtained. Once time is gone, it is gone forever.
That is why Swami says, "Time waste is life waste. Laziness is rust and dust. Realisation is rest and best." These are Swami's teachings. "Lifetime waste is life waste." Time is our capital.
Bhagavan mentioned this point when He was talking to the doctors: "Don't waste your time because time is God. God is time. God is the Master of time. God transcends time. He is time and the Master of time. He's beyond time. So, if you waste time, you are wasting Divinity. You are misusing Divinity. It is an abuse of Divinity." We should not do this.

Ego Is the Only Barrier
Then we come to the next aspect - the great barrier in life. What is the great barrier in life? Is it the Seva Dal? No? (Laughter) It is the shopping stores? No? Is it the bookstall? No? Or, the tall man sitting in front of me such that I cannot see Swami. Is he the barrier? Or, the hefty person who is the size of three people sitting in front of me - Is he the barrier? What is the barrier? Who is the barrier between you and God? Just inquire within.
It is very clear. Ego is the ONLY barrier. We have to say, "O ego, I want you to go! You are giving me too much pain. You are the bottleneck. You are the stumbling block. O ego, as long as you are here, I cannot have glimpses of Divinity. I cannot experience God. I'll be cut off from my relationships."
I'll have to stay away from people because the ego makes me egoistic. The ego is dangerous, more dangerous than pride. Once you identify pride, you can conquer it; you can win over it. Pride can be conquered. Pride can be gotten rid of; pride can be forsaken. But ego, the more you want to drive it out, the more it will come through the backdoor! It will take the dress of humility and raise its ugly hood.
You think that you are humble. I think that I'm very humble, but that is inner ego. So, ego appears in different forms, in different shapes. Even the slightest trace of ego is a barrier. So, how do we give it up? When ego cannot be conquered, when ego cannot be given up, what shall we do? What is the method to overcome ego? I have a few points to give you.

Do Not Push Forward
Point one: Do not push forward. When Swami is coming, we want to push forward, to get up and assist Him when it is not necessary, to accompany Him when we are not called to do so. Pushing forward may initially be tolerated. Later we have to pay heavily for it in public.
In the beginning, we want to push forward. Swami may give us a smile. The second time we push forward He may say, "Kurcho. Sit down." The third time He will say, "First, go to the back." So we have to pay heavily when we push forward. My experience with Bhagavan is this: The more we maintain a low profile, the nearer we will be, the dearer we will be. The more and more we push forward, the farther and farther we will be pushed back.
Then there is this kind of 'ego raising its head': Suppose Swami asks you a question. The nearby man gives the answer - this is Himalayan foolishness. (Laughter) When Swami gives you a bundle of letters, the same man will grab all those letters. It's nothing but ego. So, what is the sign of ego? If we are trying to push forward, we will immediately understand, "O ego, yes, you are coming. Now I detect you. Get out first!" You can say that.

Refrain From Too Much Talk
The second point: Refrain from too much talk. Don't talk more than absolutely necessary, particularly when it carries a personal note. If it is about Swami, fine. If it is on philosophy, that is very fine. But when it carries a personal note, you can be100% sure the ego will take over. The ego will certainly creep in when there is a personal note. So be careful and refrain from too much talk. See that there will never be a personal note.
When there is a personal note, we are prone to say how senior we are, how devoted we are, how many trips we have made, how many times Swami has spoken to us, and the number of gifts we have received. By listing all that, we come to the final result of a big zero. These are all gifts of Grace, not gifts for vanity or publicity. They are absolutely individual. They are not for community, no! When it is a matter of personal note, we have to be doubly careful.
Number three: Let us understand that our words will not matter much. If we have any concern for anybody, any sympathy for anybody, if we take pity upon anybody, let us know that words do not matter. What matters is our vibration. Our prayer counts more than our words. Vibration and prayer matter more, much more, than verbal, vocal, oral communication. Words will not matter.

How To Conquer Ego
Next: The Bhagavad Githa has put forth this idea on how to conquer ego. Then I shall also tell you what Baba has said. What does the Bhagavad Githa say? The Githa says, "Consider yourself as a tiny particle in the dust." After all, what am I? I am the minutest - I am nobody. Once I consider that I'm somebody, there comes the problem. When I'm nobody, nothing can ever happen to me.
Some people ask me, "Sir, why do you sit behind?" I said, "Without being asked to sit behind, if I sit behind, there will be no problem. Instead of being asked, "Go there," if I'm already there, what punishment can you give me? I'm at the back already (Laughter). So you don't need to say, 'Go back.' I'm already in the back."
Therefore the point is, consider yourself as so simple. After all, we are nobody in this world, in no way greater than anybody else, in any respect. When we consider ourselves and compare ourselves with the great Gokak, a former Vice-Chancellor and the recipient of Jnana Pitha award -- in front of Gokak, people like me are simply peacocks, that's all -- just nobody.
In front of a great man like Kasturi, you may be a writer, you may be a speaker, but you are a decimal in front of Kasturi. His humour, his language and his contribution to Sai literature - we are minimal or a decimal in front of him.
When we consider people who contributed 150 crores (one crore is ten million), 200 crores - that's a single person's contribution, what are you and where am I? When the President of India, the first citizen of this country, falls at His Feet, what are you and what am I? With respect to position, money, or scholarship, we are nobody, nobody! This is possible once we look at the situation as it truly is.
Sometimes I ask myself, "Bhagavan, do I deserve this chance? Do I deserve Your gentle look? Do I deserve Your kind words? Do I deserve Your kind gesture? What am I, after all? I know that I don't deserve this -- after all, what am I?" Because when I compare myself with all those who are around, there are people who work day and night for Bhagavan. Some people have left everything for Bhagavan. So what am I? I'll just come here for a holiday trip - a holiday, a jolly day, a holy day and a nice change. But, what about those people who have given up everything? What about those people who have sacrificed everything? What am I in front of them? Anyway you look at it, you will understand how little you are. Then the ego will leave you. The ego will never stay.
Let's not share our struggles, our achievements and our experiences with everybody. If we go on sharing, telling everybody our experiences, our struggles and our achievements, it is nothing but the very personification, the very precipice of one's own ego. These are the ways to overcome ego. It is the eternal Self that matters, that really counts, and not the physical self.

A Five-Point Map: Childlike Trust
I will take leave of you by bringing to your kind attention the five-point map of life. We find today every government and every political party coming forward with a ten-point formula, a five-point formula or a three-point agenda. I have a five-point map of life for you this morning. What are these points?
Number one -- Let us have the first point in the map of life - a childlike trust, meaning, the trust that a child has. This means total trust, not partial trust, not conditional trust, not seasonal trust, not trust based on reasoning, not trust based on selfish grounds - a total trust, a surrender with no desires, a desireless trust. This is a trust that is beyond all desire, a trust that is beyond all hope and aspiration. This is a total trust.
A child has total trust in its mother. This is not in expectation of a dress to be presented next month. No, no! Not for extra pocket allotments either. A child's trust is total and unconditional. That is the first point in the five-point map of life.

Do Your Best
The second -- Do your best. This means do not spare any efforts. Do not postpone. Start today. Some people start saying, "I plan to start meditation tomorrow." That tomorrow may be postponed for a lifetime. Bhagavan says, "Tomorrow marro: Kill that tomorrow ('marro' is 'to die' in Indian languages)." If you want to do something, do it today, right now, this moment. Some people go by the calendar: "Next month is auspicious. There will be a planetary conjunction. I want to start then." Maybe I will start in my next life!
So, do your best - take action right now. What is God? Who is God? Where is God? Only two words are important - here and now. You cannot say, "God is there. God will be there, God was there." No, no, no, no, no! What is God? Here and now! The only two words are 'here and now'! So, do your best, meaning do the best of your ability this moment, right now.

Help Others
The next point -- Help others! That's what Swami says: "Help ever, hurt never." Yet, they do just the opposite - help never, hurt ever. (Laughter) Well, we should not be that sort. Help others! When you help others, the broad smile that you see on their face, the feeling of gratitude that they express gives you a greater satisfaction than being selfish. Being selfish will not give you that kind of satisfaction. You may have a thousand things, but you'll never be satisfied. Self-satisfaction cannot be achieved until and unless you help others. Until and unless you help others in some way or other, you cannot taste what Self-satisfaction is. That is the philosophy of service according to Bhagavan. That is the basic principle behind service.
Service is not helping others. Service is not something you do for another person. Service is to help yourself. When you help others, you are helping yourself. How can I help myself? By being happy! How can you be happy? By helping the other man. It is just a cycle. After all, when you help the other man, when you serve a morsel of food, you'll be even more joyful than when you eat ten items of delicious food. Self-satisfaction will be at its maximum the more and more you help others. That is the third point in the five-point map of life.

Practise Silence
The fourth point -- Practice silence. Why? "It is only in silence that the Voice of God is heard. It is only in the depth of silence that the Voice of God is heard." We have no time to listen to that Voice. I was going through a passage from Bhagavan's literature. In silence what happens? I'll tell you very briefly. Listen in silence. Hear the voiceless. When there is silence, how can you hear? When there is voicelessness, when there is no word, when there is no voice, how do you hear? You can just hear. Hear in silence; listen in the state of voicelessness. Sound in voicelessness, what is it? You may finally say, "Anil Kumar, you seem to be senseless!" I am not, my friends! I'm not yet, thank God. What is the sound in silence? How do we listen in silence? What is voicelessness? What is there to hear?
A simple example I will tell you very briefly. Say, "OM, OM, OM" loudly for some time. Next softly, "Om, Om, Om." Third, mentally, 'Om, Om, Om.' Just mentally, 'Om, Om, Om.' Stop that also. Then you'll listen to the Voice out of silence. In that state of silence, the Voice is heard. Without noticing, you will find 'Om' being repeated within. So many people must have experienced this. You find 'Om' repeated again and again, though you are not shouting, though there is no lip movement. Still 'Om' is chanted within. That is the inner Voice. That is the sound in silence.
When it is not shouted, when it is not said loudly, when it is not said using the lips, if there is some sound going on within, that is the sound in silence. We should practice this silence, so that we can listen to the inner Voice. That inner Voice will naturally tell us what to do. It will also come forward with certain directions, with certain guidelines. That is possible only in a state of silence. That's the reason why Bhagavan is very particular about silence.
Further, we should be mindful that we are in front of God. God does not have to speak always, no, no, no! He can speak silently. He can make Himself understood in silence. He can make things clear to you in an utter state of silence, being speechless. That is possible when we experience the depth of silence.
His movement has a message for you. His gestures have a message for you. His looks have a message for you - wordless, but full of sound; voiceless, but filled with a message. We can understand His message. Some people say, "Swami told me this."
"Told you? I noticed He did not come to your side. How can you say that?"
"No sir. I could understand His message by His gestures. I could understand by His gentle looks."
So, to catch the glimpse of Divinity, to receive the message from Bhagavan through His looks or gesturers, by His gentle walk, though He does not speak, we have to practice silence. Silence has to be practiced to receive messages from Bhagavan in every possible way.

A Healthy Sense of Humour
The fifth point in the five-point map of life -- a healthy sense of humour. Unfortunately, many people consider seriousness as a religion. No! Seriousness is a sign of blood pressure. (Laughter) Seriousness is sickness. Seriousness is ambition. Seriousness is too many desires. Seriousness is the other name for ego.
An egotistical man cannot laugh. (Laughter) If he does, he suspects that you may take him for granted. He thinks that you'll run over him. He will think that you'll come to him for all your obligations. So, he maintains seriousness. This is inner sickness. Inner seriousness is the reflection in the form of outer seriousness. Inner sickness and outer seriousness go hand in hand.
You will never find Bhagavan serious. There are situations that I have witnessed. In one, He called two people. I happened to be one of them. The other one was a very important man. This person - his name and cadre are not that important - Swami wanted to 'bang' (chastise) him heavily. Swami went on telling him, "Useless fellow! Get out of that position! Resign, get out!" All the while, He was smiling at me. He was giving me a nice smile, while he was so serious with the other man.
Ah! Swami is the Divine actor. You are the Divine actor! You alone can do it. It only means that He is purposely serious. He is serious with a purpose. He is serious to correct. He is serious to rectify. He is serious to modify. He is serious to bring about a change. Otherwise, He is full of humour. He is full of joy. He is full of bliss. He is full of ecstasy. So, cultivate a sense of humour.
He makes so many jokes! Swami was speaking to the Bombay doctors. One doctor said, "Swami, shall I say 'Hari Om' or 'Om Hari'?" (Laughter)
"Why do you ask that question?"
He said, "Swami, it is said that 'Om' should come first: (as in) 'Om Nama Sivaya'. So 'Om' should come first. So, shall I say 'Om Hari'?"
Swami said, "If you say wholeheartedly, both are equal."
He did not keep quiet at that stage. While giving vibutti prasadam to all the doctors, while passing through the lines, He came across this same doctor and said, "Om Hari, take it!" (Laughter) And He gave another bundle and said, "Hari Om!" (Laughter)
And another doctor said, "Swami, You said we should not have desires. I understand. Is it a bad desire that my children should do well in life? To think, to desire that one's own children should do well in life, is that a bad desire?"
Swami said, "It is not a desire. To think that your children should be good is your duty." But He did not keep quiet because His is always the last word. "Mmm, you want your son to be good, but you should be a good father also." (Laughter) That is a sense of humour, ah! That is the sense of humour of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
My dear friends, humour, laughter, bliss - these are Divine. Seriousness, tension, anxiety, ego, selfishness are sickly, cancerous, carcinogenic, pathogenic. For God's sake, let us not have those symptoms of the worst diseases possible. Let us be joyful. If we are not joyful here, if we are not blissful here, where else can we be happy? Where else can we be blissful?

May Bhagavan bless you!
Thank you very much!

Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhaavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhaavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhaavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti









Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 18, 2002
The Sunday Talk Given By Anil Kumar

Health Management (Part 3)

August 18th, 2002


Sai Ram.

With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Feeling of Well-Being

Today we’ll be completing the topic ‘Health Management.’ Under ‘Health Management’ there are three categories. The first one is ‘Food and Dietary Habits’. The second is ‘Physical Fitness and a Disciplined Life’. And the third one is ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’. ‘The Feeling of Well-Being’ - I commenced this topic last week and will be concluding this morning.

How do we develop the feeling of well-being? Though people are well, they don’t feel well. That is the tragedy. They are well, but they don’t feel so well. Why? Some people are unwell yet they feel well. How? They have no reason to say, “I'm well.” They are not rich enough, and they are not in high positions. They don’t have any godfather to support them. They are not well in any way; yet they have the feeling of well-being. So, those who are well may not have the feeling of well-being, while those who have the feeling of well-being may not be well. That is the first point I want to make clear.

The second point is that the feeling is more important than the actual state. Why? You should be good. You should also look good. You should be decent both within and without. You should be good inside and out. If you do not feel well, then of what use is all your wealth? If you do not feel well, of what use is having power? If you do not feel well, of what use is all the scholarship? If you do not feel well, of what use is your sadhana or these practises? All of them are to give us a feeling of well-being. So it is in this context that the ‘Feeling of Well-Being’ requires an in-depth study as an aspect of ‘Health Management’.

What are the points mentioned by Bhagavan during some of His discourses? My attempt is only to collect the pearls, to collect the gems that are actually Sai teachings given to us on different occasions, organised under one title. That’s all. Now, what is it that we need? What is it that we have to possess? What are the things that we are to cultivate to have the feeling of well-being?

The Richest Treasure

One, what is the richest treasure in this world? Even if you are given gold mines, micron mines, you still want something more.

Bhagavan was saying the day before yesterday… What did He say? “Who is the richest man? The richest man is the one who has satisfaction. Who is the poorest man? The one who has many desires.”

The man who is full of desires is the poorest man, while the man of much satisfaction is the richest man according to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So my friends, to have a sense of well-being, we should have this richest treasure of satisfaction - not the bank balance, not the jewellery, not the plots and the sites, nothing at all.

What is our richest treasure? It is a peaceful and contented mind. “I'm peaceful, I'm satisfied.” Then you are richest of all. So that is the first and foremost requirement to develop the feeling of well-being.


The second thing we need -- What is the best city in this world, where we can have the best life? The best city is not geographical. It is not New York or Chicago, not Delhi or Bombay. The best city is ‘simplicity’. Simplicity is the best city. Why? If you remain simple, you can have ample joy everywhere. Greatness lies in simplicity.

Bhagavan says, “I take simple food. I lead a simple life.”

All great people lead simple lives. They had simple food, simple living, and high thinking. Today we have very high life and simple thinking. That’s the reason why we are confused and we are not happy. At least spiritually - those of us who have opted to be spiritual, those of us who have chosen this spiritual path of life – we must be simple because the best ‘city’ is simplicity. That is the second thing we need for our well-being.

Separated From Ourselves

And the third thing…Why are we not so well? Why don’t we have the feeling of well-being? Why? The reason is that we are separated from ourselves. You are separated from yourself. When I say this, it might sound nonsensical. Some people may mistake this as trying to play at word-building or vocabulary gymnastics. It is not so.

We are separated from ourselves. You are separated from yourself. What do I mean by being separated from your Self? What do I mean by that?

What am I in reality? What is the core of my being? What is the centre of my being? I'm taken away from my centre, while I'm just groping in darkness, moving on the periphery. Since I'm moving on the periphery, I'm separated from the centre of my life. So I'm away from the centre of my being. I'm away from the core of my being. I'm just on the periphery of my own being. That’s why I have no sense of well-being. I have no feeling of well-being because I'm away from my own Self.

What is my reality? What is the core of my personality? What is the centre of my being? The centre of my being consists of three aspects. It consists of three points. What are they? They are existence or sath, awareness or chith and third, ananda or bliss. Sath-chith-ananda. The centre of life, the very core of my being has these three components, sath-chith-ananda - existence, awareness and bliss. My core, the centre of life, compromises three - Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram - Truth, Love and Beauty. Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram - that is the core of my life. That is the centre of my life. Sath-chith-ananda is the very centre of my life. Since I'm away from my centre, since I'm just living on the periphery, I don’t have the feeling of well-being.

Why am I cut off? How am I cut off from my centre? Why? The reason is I have no knowledge of Truth. I have no awareness of Truth. So, one point of my centre is gone. I have no reality of the very fact of life. I have no awareness. So I have lost another point from the core of my being. Third, I'm not blissful. I don’t have any taste of bliss. So I have lost the third point of the very centre of my being, sath-chith-ananda - Truth (existence), awareness, bliss. When one after another is gone, the very centre is lost. So I'm on the periphery.

Happiness and Biss

I enjoy happiness. I have happiness, but I don’t know what bliss is. Bliss is separate from happiness. We’ve talked about it many times in the past. Bliss is non-dual; happiness is dual. Bliss is spiritual; happiness is physical. Bliss is eternal; happiness is momentary. Bliss is the Self; happiness is related to things, material objects and individuals. Bliss is unconditional; happiness is conditional. Bliss is our real state; happiness is that which comes and goes. We have talked of this at length many times. So let’s not go into the details again.

Since I have no knowledge of this bliss, since I have no knowledge or awareness of my true Self, since I don’t know my own Reality and Truth; I'm cut off from the centre of my life, from the very core of my being. So I have no feeling of well-being. Though I'm perfectly well, I still don’t have a feeling of well-being because the core is gone. I'm away from my own Self.

Life Is Simple

The fourth attitude to cultivate: Life is simple…stupidity makes it complex. Whatever you ask Bhagavan, He’ll say, “Very simple, very simple!”

“Swami, is spirituality very difficult?”

“No, no very simple!”

“Swami, is the principle of non-dualism, Adwaitha, is it very difficult to understand?”

“No, no, very, very easy!”

“Swami, is sadhana complicated?”

“No, no, no, very easy, very simple!”

According to Bhagavan, everything is simple and easy; but man is clever enough to make simple things complicated. (Laughter) Man complicates simple things (which is the total expression of his stupidity), whereas Divinity makes a complex thing simple. That is the sign of Divinity. The sign of Divinity is to make any complex thing very, very extremely simple and easy.

So let us understand…Life is simple. If I find any difficulty, it is my stupidity that is responsible. It is my foolishness that is responsible. Or else, life is so simple. Why? Bhagavan said at one time, “Has engineering helped human society to grow? Has engineering helped human society to grow in any way? No. Has medicine helped society to develop? No. Has architectural beauty helped human society to progress? No.”

Bhagavan tells it this way, “Birds, bees, and animals all live without the knowledge of engineering, medicine, architecture - nothing whatsoever. We have not heard of any animal attending Harvard University or Oxford University. (Laughter) We have not heard of it. Without any university degrees, without any formal training, animals, birds and bees - they’re all so happy!


There is one word that we say, “Boring, boring.” No animal complains of boredom. No bird ever said, “I am bored.” (Laughter) No dog every said, “I am bored.” Man is totally bored. Man is the other name of boredom. Why?

You ask any fellow, any of the school children, “How are you, boy?”

“Bored, daddy!” (Laughter)

Oh I see. You ask any college student, “Hey, how are you, dear son?”

“No, no, it is boring. Well I'm not able to…I can't bare this boredom.”

Oh-ho. If you ask an officer, “How are you?”

“Sir, life has become boredom.”

If you ask a housewife: “My husband has made my life such boredom.” (Laughter)

So each of them has become a bore to the other person. The husband is a big bore to the wife and the wife has become a big bore to the husband. The office is nothing but a bore; plus studies are boring. I don’t know why this boredom!

There is boredom because we have made life mechanical: 4:30 AM darshan - run, run! Why? I must run! (Laughter)

“Why do you sit there?”

“Swami may feel badly if I'm not there.”

Oh-ho, I see. He’ll feel happy if such a fellow is not there! We are not there to make Swami happy. We are there to make ourselves happy. Out of fear, some people go to darshan. Out of tension, some people run there. They come like that, having been here so long, and finding that there is no other alternative.

I go to bhajan. Why? “What is the fun of sitting here?” So, let me go too.

So, this kind of attitude, this “let-me-go-too” attitude, is the cause for boredom. It means that I have lost the charm of life. I have lost the beauty of life. I have lost the thrill of life because I have made my activity totally mechanical. Housewives or husbands or administrators or professionals or students - anybody - if they say life is boring, it only means that they lost the very charm of life. Their life has become mechanical. They travel in a Mercedes Benz but yet - oh, boring! Why? Mechanical.

But life is so simple that we should enjoy every moment of it. Let us observe Bhagavan. What is He doing? Every day He gives darshan morning and evening. He sits there for bhajans morning and evening. Collecting letters, giving interviews, this Divine Romance has been going on for the last sixty years or even more!

But He never said, “It is boring.” (Laughter)

Calling the same fellow, talking to him many times, He never says, “It’s boring.” Sometimes repeating the same points in His Divine Discourses, He never feels bored. Why? Why? Just question yourselves. Why doesn’t Bhagavan feel bored? Why? He doesn’t feel bored because He’s Life embodied. He’s energy personified. He’s dynamism in human form.

The Freshness of Life

Here some simple examples. Watch the sunrise every morning. Nobody will say, “Ah, the same sunrise I saw yesterday. It’s boring.” (Laughter) Go to certain areas like Kanyakumari or Cape Cameron. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Just go behind the Round Buildings, you’ll find the sunrise and sunset. Nobody will say, “Ah, the sunset is boring.” If anyone says watching the sunrise and sunset is boring, you can take it from me that he’s already dead and gone - a finished case! Why? Because the sunrise is ever fresh; the sunset is ever new.

Or take, for example, a rose flower blossoming. “Ah, boring! So many flowers blossom.” No idiot will say that because each flower is new. Each flower is fresh. In its blossoming, there is a message. So when you observe Nature, it is never boring. With bhajan songs, though you sing the same song, yet it is never boring.

Therefore, my friends, we have to find the freshness of life…something new… where we realise every moment is precious, every moment is valuable. Time is God. Work is worship. When I have the attitude that work is worship, work will never be boring. When I feel that time is God, time will never hang heavily. “Time waste is life waste. Laziness is rust and dust. Realization is rest and best”, according to Bhagavan Baba. So my friends, let us live every moment, not simply lead a life.

“How are you?”

“Pulling on, going on.” No!

“Fine, I'm very fine.” Let us learn to say that.

“I'm very fine, extremely fine!” Why not?

This is what is called a feeling of well-being.

Life is Paradoxical

Then, life is paradoxical. We have to accept it. We cannot always expect a life full of achievements, no! There will be failures also. Life will never be always a victory. There will also be defeat. Life will never always be full of profit; sometimes there will also be loss. Both things coexist. Let us accept the reality of life. The reality of life is that life is paradoxical.

One helps the other. Night is not negative. Night, although it is dark, is positive because it gives us rest. Day is quite positive. Why? It helps us to work. Daytime is positive because it helps us to work. Nighttime, though it is dark, is also positive. It’s not negative. Why? We can take rest at night. In that way, night and day are equally positive.

Every fruit has a skin around it that is bitter. But the juice inside is sweet. The bitter skin is necessary. Why? To protect the inner juice which is sweet. So, let us understand the melody of life, the music of life, the harmony of life, the combination of life, the integration of life, where things are complimentary, never contradictory. Things are never contradictory.

The husband and wife will have a heated argument. People who are busy may have an argument once in a month. People who have enough time may fight every day! (Laughter) Yes. It depends upon the availability of time because it’s only an avocation.

So the point is, when people have a heated argument, later after that comes Himalayan love. There’s the deep valley of conflict; then there is a Himalayan range of happiness and love on the other side. So love is a mountain, while hatred is a valley. You cannot have only the mountain. There will also be a valley. So love and hatred exist together.

So I cannot say, “I choose love only”. You cannot avoid your shadow. It will follow you. So when you ask for love, hate will follow unasked, unsolicited, uninvited. But yet it is not boring. It is not an unwanted thing. The hatred will lead to love. The love will take you to hatred. They are the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

Likewise my friends, life is paradoxical. Full of opposites, polarities, contradictions; but we have to accept it willfully and happily - therein lays the thrill. There lays the real beauty. If there is only love throughout, it is tasteless. It becomes insipid. It becomes boring. There is occasional fighting because it strengthens our love. It strengthens our friendship. That is our paradoxical life. Accepting life as it is will generate a feeling of well-being among us.

Do Not Dominate

The sixth attitude to cultivate -- Do not dominate. When you dominate, understand that you are creating an enemy. When you try to dominate, whether you succeed or not, you’ll succeed in creating an enemy. Never dominate. After all, what is there to dominate here in life? There’s no reason to dominate anybody. The one who tries to dominate is highly egoistic and is more or less thamasic or animal-minded. An animal-minded, egoistic person will try to dominate. A man of inferiority complex will try to dominate. No man of any decency would ever dominate.

Here’s a simple example. When Bhagavan was staying one summer in Kodaikanal, some engineers brought plans for the construction of a new canteen here and some other buildings. Swami started looking at all the plans saying, “Mmm,” while the engineers were explaining everything.

“Very good, very good, very nice.” He gave them ten minutes.

Then He said, “In My opinion - listen to Me - I think it would be better if you do that.”

He accepted what they said in the beginning. He never said, “Keep quiet! What do you know? I will tell you.”

He never said it, though He is God. Though He is the all-knowing, all-powerful ultimate, He never said: “You stop! I will tell you what to do.” No!

“Good, good. Huh? Very good.”

And when introducing that person to everybody, He said, “Very big engineer, internationally-known, a very great man. Because he’s a great devotee, he has undertaken our project.” He was full of compliments.

Only after ten minutes He had said, “In my opinion, you’d better do it this way.”

This is the way of acceptance. This is the correct approach. This is the sign of humility, courtesy, decency - not domination. Even though you are right, if you dominate, it ends up in mistakes. You’ll be misunderstood. You’ll be mistaken, if you dominate. So the spirit of domination is the sign of ego, jealousy, and inferiority complex.

Seek Out Your Own Faults And Others’ Merits

The seventh attitude to cultivate -- Seek out your own faults and others’ merits. Bhagavan was telling us yesterday evening, “Never complain. If you can, explain. If you still think you are capable, inspire. All cannot do it. Many can make everyone perspire! Instead of inspiration, we find perspiration.”

Well, it is not given to everybody to inspire, no! If you cannot inspire, at least explain. If you are not capable of even explaining, never complain.

Quite often we complain this way: “He's a good man. He’s a better man. He’s so awful. He’s so dirty. He’s negative.” How about you first? Never find fault with others. Know your own faults and try to know the merits of others. Seek out your own faults and others’ merits. That helps us to have a feeling of well-being.

And further Bhagavan said, “You said such a man is bad. How do you know he’s bad? Unless there is something bad in you, you won’t be able to identify something bad in others.”

This is a pen. How could I recognize this is a pen? I saw such a pen before; therefore I could identify this as a pen. I know he is bad because I have been bad; so I could easily identify a bad person. So, all that we say of others is within us. That’s what Bhagavan says: “Reflection of the inner being.” Everything is a reflection of the inner being, the good and bad or whatever you may say of others. This is one of the points that needs to be stressed.

Who Lives Well?

Next, who lives well? Not everybody. There are three points to be made here. Who lives well? First: The one who laughs often lives well. Take Bhagavan. Have you seen Him with a serious face? No! If He wanted to scold you, He would show you a serious face. But at the same time, to another man, he has a smiling face. The Divine actor! He will change His face immediately. Why serious? To correct you. He's serious only to correct you, to rectify - that’s all. But He always smiles, always smiles.

One person said, “Swami, how is it that You always laugh? How is it that You’re always blissful? Why? Let me know the secret!”

Do you know what He said? “I don’t think of the future. Things that are bound to happen will happen on their own accord. I have no regrets of the past. I live in the present. I live in the moment. I live in existence, so I am happy. I have no desires. I have no selfishness. I have no plans. I will and it happens.” Whatever Bhagavan wills, will happen. His thought translates into action, right then and there. Whereas, whatever we will in the year 1999, it may or may not happen.

In the case of Bhagavan, His Will or Plan - its reality or action are simultaneous, spontaneous, instantaneous. It is not preconceived, no. It is just spontaneous -- something like a waterfall or like a fountain, as beautiful as something like a dew drop on the lotus leaf. Things are spontaneous. So, the one who laughs often will be well.

And the one who loves much will be happy. But the dosage of love, the intensity of love, the weight and the height of love may vary in our case. I love you because you oblige me. I cannot love you if you do not oblige me. So, it’s not so. Love much, whatever may be, accepting things as they are. You are good, fine. You are not good - it’s OK. Whatever may be, accept things as they are, not as per your design.

Some people say, “Well, I cannot mix with everybody. All right, then be in a cage or in a den. (Laughter) Some people say, “I cannot make myself understood by everybody.” OK, your place is the mountaintop. The feeling that, “I'm not given to everybody. I cannot mix with everybody. I cannot be understood by everybody,” is something psychotic. One should be able to mix with everybody. One should be able to communicate happily with everybody.

Look at Bhagavan, the way He talks to primary school children, how He cajoles college students, how He cuts jokes with devotees – there’s no distinction whatsoever. He can communicate with anybody. He can mix with everybody, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, Indian or foreign, decently dressed or not, whatever it may be. He can immediately mix with everybody and go on making jokes. It’s really a sight for the gods, how Bhagavan mixes with everybody. There’s nothing like selection; nothing like selective groups, none whatsoever. Effective communication - that’s the reason He loves much and laughs often.

Sacrifices His Happiness For Others

And third, he who lives well sacrifices his happiness for others. One day, It so happened there was a table fan on one side of the room. Bhagavan said, “Turn this table fan towards that boy who is sweating. Turn it toward that side.” He never said, “Let it stay like that. Turn it only towards Me.” (Laughter) He never said that.

Yesterday He was inquiring. He had sent a few boys to go around to certain neighbouring villages, where He has plans to construct buildings for primary schools. The boys were asked to make a survey in the nearby villages. They returned around 5:30PM. Do you know what Swami asked?

First question: “Where did you have your lunch? Second question: “Where did you have your tea?” Third question: “Was it very hot outside or were you comfortable? Fourth question: “Did you go to the hostel and wash your face? Are you fresh? Are you comfortable?” These are the questions He asked. And, “How did you go? Was there any conveyance?”

In fact, any other person would have asked this way: “How many villages have you seen? (Laughter) Any plans, any survey made? Will you give me a rough estimate of expenditures?”

Chi, chi, chi! He never asked such questions, would you believe me?

And further He said, “You had your tea in the hostel, I know. You didn’t come straight here, I know. You had tea there. Am I right?”

“Swami, yes, yes!” (Laughter)

“I just wanted you to go the villages and find out some information; but you went on measuring the whole plot, the length, and the breadth of the whole area, so that lead to delay, am I right?”

“Swami, I'm sorry.”

“I did not ask you to do that. I just wanted you to go there, make some inquiries and return. But you went on taking measurements and that led to a delay. Am I right?”

“Swami, You’re perfectly right. We are sorry.”

Oh-ho! He looked at one boy and said, “Mmm. You accepted one glass of buttermilk given to you there in that village. Is it right?”

“Oh Swami, perfectly right.” (Laughter)

So, what I want to impress upon you is that Bhagavan wants to know how are our comforts, how fine we are, how happy we are. He doesn’t think of His own happiness. There were times when He waited till 2 o’clock in the afternoon without a sip of water, waiting for the boys. It so happened that the bus broke down on the way to Coimbatore. The bus did not reach Coimbatore. Two buses of boys were supposed to reach Coimbatore by the afternoon - at 12 o’clock, but there was some problem. They reached at 2PM. Our good God did not have a sip of water, waiting at the gate.

“What happened to the boys? What happened?” And He sent about fifteen seva dal people with cars and mechanics -- all to go and see that the boys would get there safely.

If this were any other person, he would have had lunch and be waiting for tea along with the boys. Bhagavan is not like that. He sacrificed his own happiness for others. Your happiness is His happiness. “Your bliss is My food,” said by Bhagavan. So who lives well? The one who laughs often, the one who loves much and the one who sacrifices his happiness for others.

Know What You Want To Do

Next point -- Know what you want to do. What is your goal? Knowing your goal gives you the feeling of well-being. What is your goal? The goals have to be set based on your abilities. The goal has to be reasonable and it must be practical. That which is practical, that which is reasonable, that which fits into or is commensurate with our abilities, will help us to reach the goal. But if the goal is that which is beyond, far beyond our capacity, impossible - we’ll never have the feeling of well-being.

Swami was talking to the boys and gave one example. “You have the talent the size of the mustard seed - a seed so small, so tiny. But the ego is of the size of a pumpkin!” (Laughter) So we should know our own limitations.

It happened during Guru Purnima, you know. Bhagavan had some swelling here (Anil Kumar points to his cheek) with excruciating pain. That day He said, “See the swelling there? I cannot speak. To move My jaw is very difficult. I’ve not had any food - just some porridge, that’s all. Why don’t you speak on My behalf?” That’s what Bhagavan told me.

My reply was, “Swami, I have children. I want to live for some more time.” (Laughter)

He said, “What?”

“The devotees will manhandle me! They will finish me off! They have come all the way to hear You, not me.” (Laughter)

“No, no, no, no, no! What shall I do? I cannot.”

“Swami, You don’t need to speak, just sit there. Your Darshan is the message. You don’t have to speak. Your gestures will communicate. Your smile will make us understand. That itself is the Holy message, the Divine message.”

Then He said, “OK, I will sit. You speak.”

“No, no Swami, I will also sit in front of You.”

You see this? He talks in such a way, in such a beautiful way, that He wants to estimate whether we know our capacities or not. If that question was put to anyone, “Are you ready to speak?”

They would say, “Sir, I will speak, Swami.”

If you start speaking, you’ll get it at the end of your speech! (Laughter) I tell you my friends, there have been occasions when the topmost singer of this country has given a music concert here. And sometimes Bhagavan just gets up and retires. Believe me, the moment Swami leaves the dais, everybody gets up except a few Seva Dal volunteers in charge of shutters. (Laughter) Nobody stays there. You may be the topmost singer, but you will have to sing to yourself. (Laughter) Nobody will hear you. This is a known fact to those who have sufficient experience. Therefore, we should know our capacities. You can never replace Bhagavan. You are not a substitute for Him. Impossible!

What Shall I Sing?

The other day, two days ago I believe, Bhagavan asked two young boys to sing. They were very young. They may have been ten or twelve years old. Both of them sang excellently. It was “Rama Katha” (“The Story of Rama”). Swami enjoyed it very much. But He did not leave it at that. Towards the end He said, “Anil Kumar, are you ready to sing? (Laughter) You sing.”

What shall I sing? I said, “Swami, I will sing after the evening bhajans and arathi because nobody will be left!” (Laughter and applause) After arathi, who will be there? Nobody! I can sing to my heart’s content, to the best of my ability. My voice will not reach the corner - no mikes - only the pillars and the flooring will hear and they will remain silent! Good! So, I should know my abilities, I should know my capacities before I set my goals. That’s one thing.

Then, trouble starts when I think that I'm better than others. We don’t have that feeling of well-being. Why? Because of this feeling of superiority: “I'm superior. I'm better than others.” That is the feeling that is a sign of utter ignorance. We cannot be better than anyone else.

Bhagavan gave one example of two persons. One was Dharmaja, the eldest among the Pandavas, and the other, Duryodhana, the eldest among the Kauravas. Dhritharashtra, father of the Kauravas, said, “Hey! I called both of you. You go and find any good person in this kingdom.” Dharmaja went around, as did Duryodhana. Both fellows returned.

What did Duryodhana say? “Sir, you wanted me to find any good person in our kingdom. I'm very sorry to say that there is none other than me. I'm the only good man in this kingdom. All are hopeless fellows. I'm very sorry to say that.”

“Oh-ho! Sit down.”

Then Dharmaja was asked, “Dharmaja! What is your report?”

He said, “Father, I went round the whole kingdom. If there is anything that is bad, it is only in me. All are good.”

So this is the kind of feeling one should have: “All others are better than me.” That is the correct feeling - I am not better than others. How can you say that you are better than others? So this kind of feeling has to be under constant check.

If you cannot afford everything that you want, think of what a thrill it is when you can afford something. Instead of feeling sorry about all that I cannot afford, let me feel happy for everything that I can afford. I can afford to buy this, yes, I'm very happy.

“God, I'm happy with the good lot You have given to me.”

“Whatever I can afford, I’m happy.” That’s the kind of feeling we should have - not being unhappy for what we do not have in life.

Education and Good Company

Number twelve -- Education. We think the aim of education is proficiency. People think, “He’s very proficient.” The goal of education, the purpose of education, is not proficiency. It should be efficiency. Efficiency is different from proficiency. Proficiency is to know the subject in depth. Efficiency is knowledge in action. Knowledge in action is efficiency. Knowledge in depth is proficiency. Today many are proficient, but very few are efficient. So, we have a feeling of well-being if we are efficient and not simply proficient.

Number thirteen -- To have a sense of well-being, we need good company. After spending time with the devotees here, we go back and spend time with those who are worldly. Here we have been spending time in the company of those people who sing the Glory of God, who exchange their personal experiences in the very presence of God and who are exposed to the vibrations of Divinity. Back home we are just in the midst of a crowd. So we should be selective with regard to our company, which means selective about with whom we mingle.

What should be the quality of our friends? Bhagavan gave this example: Sand in the company of air (wind) rises or goes up. That very same sand in the company of water goes to the bottom. So, in the company of good people, you’ll come up. In the company of bad, you’ll go down in your life. So we should be selective with regard to our company. Keep good company.

Like What You Do

Next (fourteenth) point -- To have a sense of well-being is to like what you do, not just doing what you like. Let me like what I do.

There are some who say, “I would have been a better person had I been a district collector. I would have made a better career as a doctor.”

This is all nonsense. What you are is a test of your ability. Where you are is the test of your capacities. So it is not like living in a dream.

“I would have been better as an actor.”

No, no! You are acting sufficiently here (Laughter). You don’t need to be an actor on the stage. So, let’s not think that we would have had a better career otherwise, no! What is given to you to do right now by God is a holy mission. So, like what you do; never think of doing what you like.

Choice and Preference

Number fifteen – It is ‘Ceiling on Desires’. When we have a ceiling on our desires, we will be happy with whatever we have. Here, in this context, I want to bring to your attention two words - one is ‘choice’ and the other is ‘preference’. Be preferential and choiceless. If you are choiceless, you’ll be very happy, whatever is given to you.

“Sir, you have come to our house for the first time. What do you care for?”

“Well, I have no choice – I’ll take whatever is available.” Well and good! Yes, they will serve you whatever is available and you’ll be happy.

On the other hand, if you say, “I choose coffee” well, there may not be any coffee available.

They will say, “Sorry, sir. It is not available.”

On the other hand, if they say, “Coffee and tea are available. What do you prefer?”

“Yes, I prefer coffee.”

So, be preferential and choiceless: a preference when there are two (you prefer one of the two) or be choiceless and take anything that is available. So, by being choiceless in life, we can be quite happy.

“Bhagavan, I have come here with the idea that You’ll give me at least one interview.” (Laughter) Oh-ho!

“At least a chain, if possible.” (Laughter) “I will give you some options.” This is choice. This will make our life miserable.

On the other hand, “Swami, I prefer to get the seat in the first line instead of the last line. I prefer the first line.” Or, “Instead of an interview, I prefer just a smile. That is enough for this life.”

So, there is great joy in preference, but there is misery in a choice. Then, when your desires are under check, you’ll be absolutely happy.

Finally (point sixteen) – It is ‘Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed’. “I am happy inside. I am happy outside.” When I am happy outside and unhappy inside, that gives me high blood pressure. That which is outside is called ‘personality’ and that which is inside is ‘individuality’. So, that which is true within is ‘individuality’. That which is exhibited, that which is social, that which comes under ‘manners’, ‘etiquette’, ‘decency’ - all that ‘show’ is ‘personality’. But when personality and individuality are one and the same - that which is within is in conformity with that which is outside - we have that feeling of well-being. That is the ‘Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed’.

Onam Celebrations Begin

Tomorrow the Onam Celebrations begin. On the 19th and 20th, I understand we will have programs in the Poornachandra Auditorium for an hour each day. On the 21st, Onam day, we will have a program in Sai Kulwant Hall for one hour in the morning and one hour and fifteen minutes in the evening. That’s all, as far as the timings are concerned for the Onam celebrations, which commence tomorrow.

Onam is the festival where God asked for three footsteps from a king named Bali. God asked for three footsteps, that’s all. And this emperor, a great man, was ready to offer them.

But his teacher said, “Don’t do that. Don’t give them to him.”

And this emperor asked, “Why not?”

The teacher told him, “If you do that, you are finished because the monk who came here is God Himself. He will rob everything - don’t give an inch.”

But this emperor said, “God has the Hand that gives and gives, and that giving Hand is now asking from me. What else do I want? I'm ready to give whatever He asks.”

That is the sacrifice behind the spirit of emperor Bali. As a reward, God granted him the boon that his name would be remembered throughout this country as a man of surrender, as a man of sacrifice. That boon lets him come back to Earth, to his kingdom in India in the state of Kerala. That boon lets him go around to his people, enjoying how happy they are. He sees them and he meets them every year. That is the Onam festival.

Emperor Bali became so great because he surrendered three footsteps to God. What are these three footsteps? When all of Creation belongs to God, why these three footsteps? When everything is Divine, what need is there of these three steps? I’ll just give you a brief summery.

Other Interpretations

The three steps that Bhagavan asked for are the three periods of time – the past, present and future. The three periods of time have to be surrendered to God, so that you will live in peace and bliss. That is the meaning of the three footsteps.

The second interpretation is the three levels of consciousness. What are they? They are the gross body, the subtle body or the mind, and the causal body or the spirit. All these three need to be sacrificed to God.

Another interpretation is the three attributes. What are they? They are the sathwic quality or piousness, the emotional aspect or rajasic, and inertia, the bestial or thamasic quality. These three attributes are to be surrendered to God.

Another meaning is S-A-I, SAI. What does this mean? ‘S’ is for spiritual change. ‘A’ is for association change. ‘I’ is for individual change. These are the three levels that symbolise what God asked when He requested the three footsteps.

Another interpretation is the Trinity - GOD. ‘G’ is the generator - God, Brahma. ‘O’ is the organizer, Vishnu. ‘D’ is the destroyer, annihilator, or Siva. So, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva - the Trinity or the Triune God is to be realized. That is the significance of Onam.

Yet another interpretation: First is the physical: to let the physical body be surrendered to God so that it will be spent in service, serving our fellowman. Second is the psychological - to let the mind be in constant contemplation of God. That is psychological. And third is the spiritual – the spirit, the conscience, Atma – to let me dwell in the Self; let me live in the Self. These three should be kept in mind when we think of Onam

My dear friends, Onam, which begins tomorrow, is such a grand festival, having multi-dimensional interpretations and having a multi-dimensional approach.

May Bhagavan be with you!


Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!
Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai!

Thank You!



reproduced for the purpose of seva source:
source: www.saiwisdom.com

Note: This Audio & Text has the copyright of the author - Prof. ANIL KUMAR . It is "reproduced" on this website only for the purpose of (seva) service so that Sai Baba devotees  can download  AUDIO  Of Prof. ANIL KUMAR SATSANG Sunday Satsang at  Prashanti Nilayam.