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The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

“Questions from America”

Part I

July 20th, 2003


    OM…OM…OM…

  Sai Ram,

  With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am extremely happy to be back once again amidst you this morning after a gap of about 4 months or so. With Bhagavan’s blessings, I visited the U.S. in the months of March through May. I left on the 4th March and returned on the 20th May. I want to share with you some questions asked of me when I was in the United States.

Bhagavan blessed me with an opportunity to participate in several retreats. On 6th of April, I participated in a study circle meeting held at Milwaukee in the State of Wisconsin. On 20th of April 2003, I participated in the retreat organized by Region 10, in Texas. During April and May, I met with members of Sai Organization in San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. At San Jose, California, they held Easwaramma Day and Mother’s Day meetings. Again on 11th of May, I met with devotees of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin center.

They asked me many questions, which will be of general interest to everybody. To avoid duplicating in future, I want to deal with those questions here this morning. For the purpose of analysis, I have categorized these questions under different headings: questions regarding my personal life; social aspects; spiritual aspects, and so on. 

I had the privilege of meeting some Sai devotees who were kind enough to share their personal experiences with me. To be very honest with you, I don’t know why, but I was more devoted there than here. Over there I could see more of the manifestation of Sai, the miracles of Sai, the glory of Sai. 

Due to the limited period of time, it was not possible to meet many devotees. I met with some who shared their experiences with me, and I want to share those with you before I go on to the question and answer session.

 

Submit To Bhagavan

            This story may look rather silly and simple, but it is not so when once we submit to Bhagavan. A young couple wanted to own a car, but they did not buy it the moment they decided. The young bride, an ardent devotee, refused to buy the car that was available. She prayed to Swami,  “Bhagavan, if You will that we should have a car, see to it that we have the latest car.” (Laughter)

Bhagavan is the latest God! He will never give you archived or outdated things. The couple was so fortunate that the offer came to their doorstep, and they purchased it immediately! The wife told me, “This is not a coincidence, Mr. Anil Kumar. Swami told me that He is going to give me the latest car. I could see the car in my dream, and the color of car. That car is what I see here now!” That is Swami.

I usually don’t dream -- the waking stage is enough torture for me. (Laughter) So it was good to hear their dream experience.

 

Person With Heart Problem - Swami’s Infinite Grace And Mercy

I met another devotee who said that he was admitted to the hospital recently for a heart problem and the situation was quite critical.

A critical heart problem is always critical, whether we are healthy or admitted into the hospital. Because the heart will take people directly to the other planet (Anil Kumar jokingly speaks of death here) without one month’s notice, as is commonly done in service (or work). It takes you directly (e.g. immediately) -- a direct flight without any stopover!

The gentleman’s family prayed to Swami. The devotees at the Sai Center also prayed and gave him some vibhuthi, which is a wonderful antibiotic! Today that gentleman is quite hale and healthy and he tells me that his total cure is because of Swami’s infinite grace and mercy. I was happy to hear that.

 

Non-devotees Turning Into Devotees

I was introduced to a family in the Sai Center who were not devotees. I was curious to know why they were there.

I stopped the man and asked, “You are not a devotee. Then, what made you come here?”

That gentleman said, “My son made me a devotee.” Swami has His own way of baptism or evangelisation

“Very good. How did your son influence you?” I asked.

The father and mother told me that their son’s friend was a Bal Vikas student and wanted their son to attend Bal Vikas too. They had no idea what Bal Vikas was. Nevertheless, their son started attending Bal Vikas classes.

After a month, he started praying at home every day and offering the food at the dining table with the prayer, “Brahmarpanam, Brahma Havir…”. They never thought such a change would take place in him. They watched, as the child grew more disciplined. They wanted to know more about Sai and so they were there at the Center.

Bhagavan brings people into His fold through the agency of children. Sometimes, the most popular agency is the housewife, and the poor fellow cannot escape! (Laughter) Ninety-nine percent of the time, this is true all over the world. I was happy to meet this couple.

 

Saved From Litigation

I am not making any disparaging remark, but it is a fact that in the United States there is maximum awareness of the law. When there is any lawlessness or anything that pertains to individual freedom, they certainly take it to the court. Attorneys receive the most money there.  Another couple shared their experience with me: 

An old couple was traveling in car. They met with an accident and the wife died on the spot. The police caught the poor husband. There were no witnesses. Therefore, the court was under the contention that the husband intentionally killed his wife. How could such an old man, 70 to 80 years old, turn into a murderer? Since there were no witnesses, nothing could be done. The whole family was very disturbed. They had to spend huge amounts of money on lawyers to defend their case. 

They kept praying to Swami and got out of the case. The family said it was all because of Swami. The old man was already in prison under suspicion and it would not have been possible to get out of it. That’s how Swami saved that family from litigation. See how Swami works.

Relationship Among Sai Devotees

I met another man who is quite active. I was given to understand that he was a very big man and director of a very big company. As ill luck would have it, he was admitted to the hospital with some problem of blood clots. He was to be operated upon. But the doctors could not control his condition. They were helpless. The Sai center devotees visited him everyday and started chanting Sai Gayathri.

My friends, you will all agree that there is no other closer relationship than that among Sai devotees. The blood relationship is secondary, as Sai bondage is thicker. It is eternal, unconditional and selfless. As these devotees started chanting Sai Gayathri, believe it or not, next morning, though the doctors had given up hope, the gentleman was fine and had no problem. When all doors are closed, a window is kept open for us to escape. This miracle he shared.

He suddenly pointed to another man in the dining hall and said, “You see, Mr. Anil Kumar, he was suspected of having cancer, and nobody thought that he would recover. But today, you find him very smart, quite active and back to duty. He believes that it is only Swami who kept him out of danger.”    

              

Sometimes Negative Events May Also Be Miracles

I should also share with you another experience. When things turn to our advantage, we consider them to be miracles. But sometimes even negative events can turn out to be a miracle for our own advantage. The earlier we can develop this kind of attitude the better. Even negative things, the worst tragic situation like that of death, may ultimately turn to be positive. This is also a miracle.

I was informed of a child in a hospital whose condition was very critical. The doctor informed the parents that either the child would be handicapped or the child would die. If the child were to survive after the operation, the child would remain handicapped. Having been left with no other option, they went on praying to Swami. Sai brothers and sisters joined in chorus, repeating Sai’s holy Name, that matchless Name. The child died. The child died!

Look at the attitude of the parents: They said, “Thank You, Swami.”

Why? Had the child survived, the child would have grown up handicapped until death. They felt that perhaps Bhagavan thought it was better to take the child, instead of the child living handicapped. The parents are active workers in the Sai Organization. They wanted to participate in service activities and could not have been home to take care of the child. Look at their temperament. This kind of attitude is absolutely essential. 

I wanted to give you a few glimpses of what I saw, though not all. I shall seek another opportunity to share some more stories with you later.

 

First category: Questions Related To Personal Life

The first set of questions is related to my personal life, which I usually don’t share with anybody. But these are of general interest.

 

“How Did You Become The Translator For Baba?”

Question 1: “How did you become the translator for Baba?” (Laughter)

What can I say? My answers are already on record and are subject to verification. I cannot give a different answer from what I said in the United States -- all the audiocassettes are in circulation!

I said, “I did not become a translator. I was made a translator. Bhagavan willed that I should be a translator. I made no effort, no attempt and I never dreamt of it either.  I spent seven years of probation, sitting in the 40th and 50th row! I never dreamt of anything like this.”

 So, if you ask me, “How did you become the translator?” I can only say, “I did not become; Bhagavan willed it so.” That is all. And moreover, it is even more surprising if you look into my educational background. I hail from a small town, not from a city. I did not study in any public school or in a convent. Until tenth grade, I studied in the Telugu medium. I am myself surprised to be in the capacity of a translator.

 

“Who Translates In Your Absence?”

Who helped Swami with the translation while I was away here in the US?

Some people might have expected that I would mention one or two names. I am not a fool to say that. I said that if Bhagavan wills it, anybody could do it. If He picked up a stick and asked it to do it, it would be able to!

No one can take credit. No one is indispensable in the Sai Organization. It is only a chance given to you. If you don’t take it, another person will. Please understand: every person is a better substitution. If you don’t avail of the opportunity, you are the loser.

A Tamilian (from Tamil Nadu), whose mother tongue is Tamil, was asked by Bhagavan to translate His talk into English. Bhagavan gave His discourse in Telugu. The Tamilian translated His discourse into English. I was a witness to this incident.

My place would be in a lunatic asylum if I felt that Bhagavan was left with none other than me. If not me, He will find a better person.

            I also happily recall another situation. There is a place very close to Bangalore called Tumkur. The director of Tumkur granite factory invited Bhagavan to visit the factory. Bhagavan went there and I followed him. There was a big central hall with a round table, well decorated, highly prestigious. I saw people from different countries seated there: one from Germany, one from Japan, one from France. They were members of the board of directors. Swami sat among them.

I wondered if I should go in or stay back -- to be or not to be? (Laughter) ‘What am I to do?’

If I do not go in, Swami might say that I was shirking my responsibility. If I go in, He might say, “Why did you come? I did not ask you.” (Laughter)  What is to be done? So I stood there at entrance with my face showing now and then. It was like hide-and-seek. If He asked me to come in, I could run. If He did not see me, I can slip off. That was the situation.

I saw Swami talk to the devotees from Japan, France and Germany.

At the end, Swami slowly came very close to me and said, “Come here.”

I went to Him. He said, “I know all the languages.” (Laughter)

Then I said, “Swami, why did You call me here? Why am I here?”

He said, “I know all the languages, but you should know that I know them all! Therefore I brought you here.”  (Laughter) That is Bhagavan for you.

I will share another incident. Bhagavan was in darshan line talking to a person whose mother tongue was Hindi. Next to him was a boy from Orissa, whose mother tongue was Oriya. This boy did not know any Hindi at all. Swami was talking to the Hindi man in Hindi, and he was replying.  But the Oriya fellow also started smiling. We did not understand why he was smiling.

 When Swami left, the Hindi gentleman asked the Oriya man why he smiled and nodded his head, even though he did not know Hindi.

”Are you mad?” he asked. The Oriya man said that Swami spoke in Oriya and not in Hindi!

He knows all languages. He can communicate in one language, while speaking in another! That is language beyond language -- the language of the heart!

 

Leading A Detached Life

The next question was a request for me to share my experiences about leading a detached life, yet attached to Swami. The questioner expected an authentic answer from me, and was already under the impression that I was an example to emulate.

I said that there was no doubt about the second part of the question -- that we all are attached to Swami. Not only me -- all of us. Sai devotees all over the world are equally attached to Swami. No one is more attached or less attached. Comparisons have no meaning in spirituality. Only brainless people measure attachments in kilos, tons, milligrams and degrees. All are equally attached. There are no parameters. There is no yardstick to measure spirituality, because it is immeasurable - avyasta, aprameya - beyond all known measure. Never measure; never try to estimate; never judge.  All are equally attached. 

Regarding leading a detached life, I told them directly that I was a poor example. I am not leading a detached life. I am attached to good rest. I am attached to the first cup of hot coffee, very much attached to hot pickles -- spicy things. So I cannot speak with authority on how to lead a detached life.

Do not keep me on a high pedestal. Never think that I am an example for you to emulate and copy, certainly not! We are all fellow pilgrims. We are all fellow seekers. We are all traveling towards perfection. No one is more than another. I cannot say that I am holier than you. No body should say that.  It is for Bhagavan to say that you are good. And that He will not say in front of you, I am sure. (Laughter) Therefore, I cannot stand as an example for a detached life.

I am sure they appreciated the frank, direct answer rather than my giving answers that are polished, which I never do.  

 

“How Can We Get In Touch With You?”

“As members of the Sai family, how can we get in touch with you, from wherever we are?”

 I said, “Don’t get in touch with me. Not only that. Don’t get in touch with anybody. Be in constant touch with Bhagavan within you. That is most essential. ” 

Establishing contact with people, being in touch with people, is a useless thing that we are supposed to do. It is meaningless to be in touch with anybody. If you are to be in touch with anybody, it should be with Bhagavan. We should always be in touch with Bhagavan. That is called ‘Constant Integrated Awareness’.

 

God Is Not A Person

“It is really a different experience to be in physical proximity. How would you handle or lead your life if you were not in the physical proximity of Bhagavan?”

The problems arise when you take Swami as a person -- if you take Swami as an individual. If you take Swami as a phenomenon, if you consider Sai as a Presence, not as a person, you will certainly behave in the same way as you would behave near Him. God is not a person. I am very fond of this statement.

If you consider God as a person, you can be near Him for some time. You also have to be necessarily away from Him later. But, because He is within you, you can never be near or away. You cannot be away from your Self. It is foolish to say that I am near my Self. You are what you are and you are where you are.

Therefore, God is an eternal Presence. He is within you. So this problem of being away from Him or being near Him does not arise. God is not an object to be bought, to be owned, to be purchased or to be manufactured. He is neither an object nor a person; He is a phenomenon. ‘Person’ is the term given to God for practical purposes. He is cosmic energy, Divine. Divinity is awareness. What is His nature? Energy. That is all. You can give that energy any name, but in spirit this is the reality.

 

“Have You Acquired Magnetic Power?”

“Iron kept near the magnet acquires all the magnetic power of the magnet. You live in close proximity to Bhagavan. Have you acquired magnetic power too?”

I said, “I could have acquired magnetic power, but this iron still has some dust. Until the dust is totally removed, it cannot be drawn towards the magnet, let alone becoming a magnet -- which is a later development. It has not yet been cleansed totally. I cannot claim any magnetic power as of now.”

 

“How To Drop Ego?”

                “People say, ‘Give up the ego.’ Tell us in simple terms how to drop ego?”

                In simple terms?  (Laughter) It is a Herculean task -- not an easy task!

                When you say you want to drop the ego, it means you know that it is unwanted stuff. You also know ego is not to be solicited; ego is dangerous for any spiritual seeker; ego is to be dispensed of, has to be gotten rid of. When you know that it is dangerous, what should you do it? 

                Baba gave one example. If you pick up a rope in the dark and suddenly switch on your torchlight and recognize that it is not a rope but a snake you are holding, what do you do then? You drop it immediately. As long as it is your impression that it is a rope, you will continue to hold and play with it. The moment you are aware that it is not a rope, but a snake, what would you do -- you drop it and run away.

                Similarly, this rope-like ego is so nice and so comfortable to play with. With the light of awareness, you understand that it is not a rope but a snake, so you have to drop it immediately. If you continue to hold it, it means you are comfortable with it. It means there is no trace of awareness and you do not know the danger involved. Therefore to drop the ego, awareness is required.

 

I Am Not A Singer

                I am an extrovert and I cannot keep anything to myself. So I will talk about this question: “Mr. Anil Kumar, your singing is extremely inspirational. (Laughter) Could you please give us a cassette of your songs?” (Laughter)

                 I said it was the joke of the century because I am not a singer by any standard. Perhaps they have not been exposed to better singers…and that is why I inspire them.

 

“Does Baba Speak All Languages?”

“Does Baba speak all languages?”

‘Mother tongue’ is a familiar phrase. He, being the Mother, can speak all the languages. 

 

“Does Swami Get Upset?”

“Does Swami get upset, angry? Is He emotional?”

I cannot say ‘no’ because I have been the victim. To say that He is emotional questions the very Divinity. What shall I say?

I always pray, ‘Swami, bless me with one characteristic: to say what You said and not manipulate, imagine or speculate things, but just quote You. And when I really don’t know, let me be able to plainly say so. If answers do not strike my mind, let me admit it and ask for more time.’ I have been doing this for the last several years.

So this question was put to me: “Is He ever angry, upset, emotional?”

This is an example given by Swami: “I pretend to be angry; I pretend to be emotional. Actually, I am never emotional, never angry. It is only in order to correct you that I pretend to be angry. That too, I change my tone, that's all. I change my voice into a stern voice. This pretension is only to correct you. That is all. The hailstones may hit you, but they melt away very soon. Similarly, I may be harsh, but I melt very soon.”

Swami gave another example: The five Pandavas asked to be protected by a sage, Durvasa.  Durvasa was known for his anger and temper. He could be head of the department for people who lose their temper quite often! (Laughter) But he lost his temper for the benefit of humanity, while we lose our temper to benefit our doctor. 

Krishna approached Sage Durvasa and said, “Oh Sage, let these five Pandavas, five pious people, be under your protection…just for one day. “

He asked, “Swami, against whom?”

“Against anybody. You must hide them somehow.”

But the sage said, “Oh God, I will safeguard them. I can hide them in some safe place. But I shall never utter a lie. If I am asked where they are, I will tell their address. (Laughter) I will never utter a lie.”

Then Krishna said, “Look here, Durvasa! Will I ever ask anybody to speak lies? No, no. You manage somehow. They will be under your protection.”

“Oh God, I shall do all I can, but I shall never utter a lie.”

Sage Durvasa dug a deep and wide pit. He made the Pandavas sit there and put wooden planks covering them. He then sat on the wooden planks.

In the meantime, some fellows came there in search of the five brothers. They said “Oh, Durvasa, where are the five Pandavas?”

Durvasa decided to speak the truth. But he changed his tone and said (roughly), “They are here!” (Laughter) Being afraid of his tone, they ran away. So Durvasa spoke the truth, but the very truth made them run away. Therefore, you can certainly be truthful. Hold on to the principle of truth. As Bhagavan says, just change your voice. Change your tone to correct people.

Bhagavan is never emotional. I can give you another example. A VIP was asked on the previous day not to sit in his usual place. According to that individual, VIP means ‘Very Important Person’. In front of God, he is a very insignificant person. Who is a VIP before God? I believe that everyone is a VIP. All are equal in the sight of God. 

Bhagavan told that VIP person, “Don’t sit there tomorrow. A very important guest is coming. He is a king of a country. You sit at the back.” But as this person was an old man, he might not have heard what Bhagavan said clearly, so he sat in his usual place. The guest of honor came and he also sat there. You should have seen the drama that went on! (Laughter)

Swami looked at the king and said, “How are you? When did you come? How are your children, and is your wife here?”

Then He looked at the other fellow and said, “Why are you sitting here even though I told you not to sit here?”

He said this simultaneously. You try to do such a thing -- you cannot. You will laugh at the wrong place. Bhagavan can manage both the situations at the same time - the Divine actor, the Divine dramatist. So, He is never emotional. He just pretends to be emotional.

 

“How Do We Pray To Swami?”

“How do we pray to Swami when we are in difficulty and our life disturbs our balance?”

What shall I say? In times of success, prayer comes out naturally with all the sense of gratitude and with all the spirit of thankfulness.

In situations of failure and when we are tested, during challenging moments of life, you pray with deep agony, right from the inner recess of your heart, crying for help. You don’t need to be specially taught. So, there is no special prayer to be offered in difficulties or special prayer to be offered in times of pleasure. It is only the feeling that makes the difference.

When someone comes out of the interview room, watch his style…(Laughter) as if to say, “I am the only selected man in this world. (Laughter) No one else on this earth got the interview.”

When asked about the interview he says, “Yes, you know, Swami was not scheduled to come out this morning, He came purposefully to call me for an interview.”

The happiness, the intensity, is like that. We don’t blame him.

But the situation is different when Swami does not look at him. When you speak to him -- anticlimax!

“How are you, Sir? ” 

“I am busy.” (Laughter)

Earlier, he had stopped the entire traffic to say that he got an interview. Now he simply says, “We will meet later.”  (Laughter) The same situation, same person.

 

“What Does It Mean?”

“What does it mean when Baba stands in front of you during darshan, waves His hands and looks into your eyes, blesses you and walks away without saying anything?”

They wanted me to interpret the meaning of this. But I told them never to ask for interpretation, as no man can interpret. Please avoid anyone who interprets on behalf of Swami. It is the job of Swami to see to it that the message is conveyed to you. He will see to it that the message is conveyed to you directly, by way of waving His hands, His postures, His gestures, and the dialogue in the interview room, and so on.

Don’t ask anybody to interpret. Can anybody interpret Swami’s words? Impossible! How does one know what Swami meant? The relationship between you and Swami is direct. There is no mediator. Some people may ask innocently about what Swami meant. Please tell them that they will know it by themselves. Who are we to interpret Swami’s words?

When you want to know Swami’s message, what He meant, what He wanted to convey to you, the best thing is to think and sit in silence. Reflect within, close your eyes and meditate, then you will get the message. You will be confused if you kept talking to everybody. Please pray and meditate. Swami will let you know what He meant. Swami has made it very clear that there is no mediator between the devotee and Himself.

 

“What Is A Typical Day?”

“What is a typical day and what are the challenges you face, being so close to God?”

What is a typical day? I think all of you will agree with me that every day is typical in its own way. Every day is typical; every moment is typical. Nothing is repetitive in existence; nothing is repetitive in this creation. Everything is new. Sunrise is not a repetition. Sunset is not a repetition. The blossoming of a rose is never repetition. The smile of a baby in the cradle is not repetition. Life is not repetitive.

If you feel that life is repetitive, we are very close to doomsday! It only means that we have lost the charm of life, the beauty of life. 

This morning’s darshan is different from yesterday’s. Today is different from yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be different from today. No day, no moment, is repetitive. 

Let us pray, “Oh God, let us enjoy this world in all its freshness. Let this existence be one of beauty. Let us enjoy this whole creation, this universe, in its ecstasy and in its entire splendour. Let us not take it for granted, because nothing is repetitive.”

 

Second Set: Organizational Questions

The second set of questions is based on the organization. There are some of our friends here who attend Sai centers. There are some here who are organizers. I will share these questions as they may have some relevance to you.

 

Who Is A Non-Devotee?

A funny question: “I am new to the Sai Organization. As my husband is a devotee since childhood, I follow Sai. I like the good work of the Sai Organization. But I am not able to accept Swami as God, like Rama and Krishna. How do you accept Him as God?”

This was a question from a housewife. This is a very interesting question as usually the question is the other way around:  “My wife is a devotee…what am I to do?”

 I meet many people like that. But here is a wife who is complaining about her husband being a devotee.

The answer is simple. It is immaterial whether the husband is a devotee or the wife is a devotee. How do you say one is a non-devotee? Who is a non-devotee? I have not met a non-devotee.

Even an atheist is a devotee. Because he believes that there is no God. He is devoted to that concept of the non-existence of God, so he is also a devotee, believing in the absence of God.  Theist is a devotee, believing in the concept of believing in God. So all are devotees.

If you are devoted to your husband, then you are also a devotee. All are devotees -- some are devoted to the office, and some are devoted to computers. All are devotees.

“You say you are not able to accept Him as Rama and Krishna. I doubt if you have total faith in Rama. Then you have not experienced Krishna. Why do I say that? Because a devotee who has total faith in Krishna sees Bhagavan in Him -- Krishna appeared as Bhagavan. A true devotee of Krishna observes non-duality. A true devotee of Rama observes non-duality. A true follower of Christ sees Bhagavan as Christ. If you are a staunch follower of Rama, a true devotee of Rama, you will find that Baba and Rama are one and the same. Because you are not truly devoted, because you don’t have the true experience, thus you entertain this doubt.”

The wife appeared to be convinced.

 

“Does Bhagavan Want Us To Sing English Bhajans?”

“Since we live in America, does Bhagavan want us to sing English bhajans?“

            I said, “English bhajans or Telugu bhajans or German bhajans or Japanese bhajans -- bhajans are bhajans.”

The other day we heard some Japanese bhajans. Everybody started clapping. The tunes were familiar. I heard many people singing equivalent songs, Prashanti bhajans, in the same tune. That is Baba.

You are not a stranger anywhere. No language is alien to you, because Sai is the common bondage. Sai is the connecting link. You will be comfortable in any language. So if people want to sing English bhajans, yes, they have every liberty to sing. No language should be imposed upon anybody.

 

SArva Dharma Symbol Is For Organizational Use

Next question: “We are in the process of opening a new business. We would like to have the Sarva Dharma emblem prominently displayed at the entrance of our store with Baba’s quotation. Is it OK?”

I said, “No.”

Why? The symbol of the Indian government is three lions. You must have seen this on the stamps and on currency. Can I have it in front of my house? No, because it belongs to the government, for use of the government, for the use of all communication at the top levels, not for private individuals.

We cannot have the national flag on the top of our houses or on our cars. The flag carries authority that has some status, some specialty. You cannot have national symbols on your letterhead: I cannot have ‘K. Anil Kumar’ with three lions.

Therefore, the Sarva Dharma symbol is an organizational symbol; it is not for individuals. It is for the use of office bearers for the purposes of transactions and communications, but not for everybody.

So far as Swami’s quotations are concerned, nobody has any copyright. No one has the copyright to the Holy Bible.

Somebody asked, “We want to translate your book into our language. Would you give us your permission in writing?”

I said that suppose you want to quote the Bhagavad Githa. Should you get permission from Krishna? It is foolish! No one has got any copyright on sacred texts.

Bhagavan’s message is universal. Getting a copyright, etc., is the personification of ego.  They are Bhagavan’s words -- that is all.  Who am I to say? But my job is to see that you don’t misrepresent, to see that you don’t misquote, to see that you don’t misuse them.

 

Bhagavan Has No Representatives

“Is it not the bounded duty of the Sai Organization to actively and resolutely campaign against people who use the name of Sai and indulge in methods of treatment like vibhuthi and run temples by collecting money?”

 This question is related to the organization. My friends, I do not know why we want to be foolish -- why we want to continue to live in foolishness. How much longer? All these years, umpteen numbers of times, Swami has made it clear that “fund raising, fund collection, has got nothing to do with Me.”

Bhagavan has also said in Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 1: “I have no representatives. I don’t transfer powers. I don’t possess anybody. I have no secrets. I have no secretary. No one is delegated on behalf of Me to function in this way.”

 Bhagavan has stated this very clearly. Sanathana Sarathi also notifies to be careful of people who collect funds in the name of Sai.

But alas, it is most unfortunate that we still get carried away by intermediary people. When Bhagavan is available, His name is so miraculous, when so many people have so many mystical experiences, why do we want a third person? The moment we think of Him, He appears in our dreams or conveys some message or gives some direction by way of intuition or inspiration. When we read a book, we find a relevant passage; when we look at Swami’s picture, we get some indication. Why do we run after other people like that?

 

Speakers At Retreats And Their Interview Experiences

“Speakers always tell us about their interviews and how badly they feel if Swami ignores them in one darshan. Most of us have had no personal interviews. Swami tells us not to seek interviews, but inner-views, so why do most of the speakers at the retreats tell us about interviews, but not about inner-views?”

This is a very genuine question. It is a frank question and I like it. Most of the speakers speak about personal experiences they had with Swami. That is really damaging. As I have repeatedly said, I could not be close to Swami anywhere in the vicinity for 7 long years.

What did I do during that period of exile, that period of long probation? What I did was, immediately after my return from a visit to Swami, I avoided Sai devotees for 15 days. Why? Every devotee used to come close and say, “Did you get an interview? Did you get padanamaskar?”

People say different things like, “I got vibhuthi.” 

“Baba gave me this ring.”

A person who failed an examination was told, “I got a gold medal.” 

People who do not get these things say, “So you got it. Why did you tell me? I did not get it. So I am worried. Why do you add fuel to the fire?"

This kind of advertisement and ‘show business’ should be avoided. Bhagavan blesses you with gifts of grace, but not for publicity. It is absolutely personal. But we do it because of our ego. Ego damages the organization. This is not the purpose. Personal things are not to be shared with everybody unless they have got a message behind it. If your personal experience has got some message, yes, please share it.

People say these things because they have nothing else to say. They are not familiar with His message; they are not familiar with His vision. So they go on speaking of their personal experiences.

“Please excuse them, Father, for they know not what they do. Forgive them.”

That is the prayer we can say. I was myself like that for a long time and I know it now.  

 

Spirit Of Traveling Together

“Explain the spirit of traveling together. Recently about 300 devotees from Region 10 of Sathya Sai Organization in the States of Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas visited Bhagavan in Bangalore. When I was in Dallas, they were making preparations.”

Traveling together is not mere travel -- it is a pilgrimage. When you all go together to Prashanti Nilayam, the only objective is Bhagavan. You don’t speak of anything else. Everyone speaks about Swami. Everyone shares his or her experiences. Swami is the center of attraction.  Bhagavan is the center of discussion. Therefore, it is a holy pilgrimage. It is sadhana, a spiritual practice. As Swami is the unifying factor, it is a process of unity.

When we think of Swami, personal things do not arise. It is one of purity, as Swami is the only goal and objective in our path towards Divinity. So traveling together is one of unity, purity and Divinity. 

So far, so good -- we will take up the rest of this next week. Thank you very much for being with us this morning.

 

OM…OM…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!

Thank you!