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  Volume 4 - Issue 10 OCTOBER 2006


Questions and answers with Prof. Anil Kumar

In the September issue, we had the transcription of a talk delivered by Prof. Anil Kumar in the USA recently in the article “Life Is A Celebration”. His talk was followed by many questions from devotees to Prof. Anil Kumar seeking clarifications on Swami and Spirituality. We now present an excerpt of that question and answer session.

1) Can you please talk about a day in the life of Swami?

Nobody can answer that question 100% accurately, but a normal day in Swami’s life is very, very busy. It starts around 4:00 in the morning, and goes till 7:00 – 7:30 in the evening. Morning darshan, followed by interviews, bhajans and then talking to members of the organizations, giving them directions, afternoon darshan, more interviews and then bhajans. But, let me tell you something that happened in this context – I am sure that you will take it in the right spirit.

It was in Brindavan and Swami was laughing when I said, “Swami, you always say, ‘You are God! You are God!’ It’s nice to hear that I am God. Now I want to say a few words, Bhagavan, please permit me; do not misunderstand me; don’t reprimand me later.” I sought all sorts of assurances that could be thought of on this planet Earth. He said, “Don’t worry, you can say.” Then I said, “Swami, you say: ‘You are God!’ Now, I am God!’ My name is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; I am God, right? My program begins at 3:30 in the morning which is not possible in this body – 3:30, I can’t get up everyday. Then come down – around 6:30 – to give Darshan, after just drinking a glass of water, that’s all. By the time I come for Darshan, I will have three rounds of coffee already. Well, I am not comfortable that way.

Then start giving Darshan and see the devotees who occupy the front row continuously, as if it is their birthright, not giving a chance to freshers anytime even in the wildest of their dreams. They can successfully leave their families and properties but not that particular seat on which they sit. This sitting attachment, I do not understand."


So Bhagavan has to see the same old faces, and He has to receive letters. What letters? Letters of demands: ‘I want this, I want that! Grant me at least an interview, if not a chain!” And there are some complaining letters. No letter ever says: “Swami, thank you for all that you have done. Swami, I am grateful to you.” No letters of gratitude or thanksgiving, but letters of regrets and demands and complaints. Well, I will be vexed with that!

Then grant interview to some selected group; take every opportunity to pass on some spiritual doctrines, some spiritual truths, because the Incarnation takes every chance to communicate to make everyone know about Divinity – the experience of God; that’s the purpose of the Incarnation! Bhagavan says, “Whatever I say, whatever I do, whatever I act is only to educate you in terms of Divinity.” That’s what Bhagavan said. But those of you who are called for an interview are always bothered when You take letters – joint pains, arthritis, spondilitis and what not. So, watching those faces who are indifferent to Your talk, always bothered by the talk, of the letters and of other people. Really, that bothers everybody. Well, I cannot bear it.

Then sit there at bhajans and listen to some songs which are not to the taste of Bhagavan. Sometimes He wants the Sarva Dharma prayer songs to be sung. Some boys don’t do that in spite of repeated warnings. So He calls them and asks, “Are you singers or sinners?”

And then go for lunch. There He sits with two or three honoured guests. While the guests are given so many items to eat, Bhagavan takes just a spoonful of ragi malt. I cannot do that really! The guest will have at least twenty items; a royal banquet. So, I prefer to be a guest than being Bhagavan Baba Himself – very difficult! Then go and listen to all kinds of things from administrators, so many demands, so many things they want.

And then again pass through the same – evening Darshan, same thing and retire by 7:30 and go back. Swami, I am comfortable as a human being. I don’t want to be God right now. I am not prepared. So can you please talk about a day in the life of Swami? Please imagine yourself in His steps; just put yourself in His shoes. I don’t think you would wish to be Swami right now.

2) Can you explain more of what Swami said in the discourse of March 16th 2003?

People have been sending Him ointments, syrups, and other things, thinking that He is having pain in the joints, but Bhagavan said it’s not like that. Don’t be worried. It is because of some gravitational force which He explained is pulling Him that He is not able to walk as fast as He used to. And when He asked Sri Narsimha Murthy – the warden of the Brindavan Campus – when He was walking; He could not lift His leg there. It was gravitational force activity. Bhagavan spoke in terms of having a magnetic force – the magnetism that is holding on more and more to this planet Earth. To that extent I can tell you.


3) How did you become Swami’s translator?

I did not become; this was thrust upon me. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them! I fall under the third category.

4) To what extent do you practice His speeches as a translator?

Very embarrassing question! I have the speaker in front of me; it just amplifies; it will pass on my voice to reach you. You can’t expect this speaker to practice whatever I am telling. So also Anil Kumar.

If everyone follows Swami’s talk they will say Swami’s speech is excellent. Suppose they don’t follow, they blame the translator. So this translator job is an unenviable job. Nobody would compete to be a translator because you will be exposed of your ignorance and innocence. When Swami speaks at a very fast rate, you cannot be slow. And Swami initially asks you to be slow. But you are two engines; He goes fast, and you cannot go that fast. If both of us are fast, you will hear voice only; in the beginning there is only a word – you don’t catch that word. So, it is a tough job indeed. But He will make you comfortable and He will see to it that you are successful. And in my humble opinion, from my experience and a firm conviction, no one is indispensable. He can get anything done by anybody, anytime, anywhere.

So many people, to whom Telugu is not their mother tongue, were asked to translate His discourses earlier. Tamilians, who speak Tamil, were asked to translate Telugu discourses in English. So, I cannot take any credit in that area. So far as of now, I am quite sane about it. He can make anyone do anything at any point of time.

5) What are the practical steps to surrender?

There are no practical steps to surrender.

6) What are the practical steps to move towards light?

Only one step: get away from darkness! That is the way of being in the light. So there are no steps to surrender. When once we give up our selfishness, that is surrender.

7) Is Swami the reincarnation of Shirdi Baba?

He said He is. He Himself said that He is the reincarnation of Shirdi Baba. There is no doubt about it.

8) Why does Baba need a translator?

He needs a translator because He wants to give some chance to a poor individual. Do you want to be a translator? The one who put this question; I pray on your behalf to make you a translator! A chance for somebody – to build a college, to raise a bridge, to treat a patient – these are all chances given to devotees. Different chances to do sadhana for one’s own upliftment and elevation. There is nothing special about it; He can manage it all on His own.

Since this question has been put to me, I will give you one example. There were two young boys sitting there. One boy spoke Oriya language; he hails from Orissa. The other boy spoke Hindi; he hailed from Delhi. Swami was speaking to that Hindi boy from Delhi, in Hindi. Whereas the response is coming from the Oriya boy, whose mother tongue is Oriya language. He is smiling to whom he is talking. Because I was sitting there, I was watching these two boys.


After Swami went to His interview room I went straight to the Oriya boy. “Why do you smile? In fact Swami spoke in Hindi. The questions were directed to him and he should answer, so why are you answering?” He said, “Sir, what nonsense you are speaking. He spoke in Oriya language. You have not heard it? Why do you correct me like this?”

9) Do you have any messages from Swami about the USA and its future?

Swami does not speak about the USA. He speaks from the point of God, the universe, not from the point of the United States, India, Tamil Nadu. No, no, no. The whole thing is One after all; it’s all One composition; One unit. Creator, Creation. Creation is the reflection of the Creator. Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat. The whole thing is Divine. He doesn’t have to bifurcate, or segment, or fragment, or cut into pieces, and view in a limited sense. It’s not so. Loka Samastas Sukhino Bhavantu. Let the whole world, the whole Universe progress, and advance. That’s the view of Bhagavan.

10) Did Swami say anything about difficult times in this world?

The world is composed of human beings. The world is comfortable, it’s going on well, but we invite difficult times when we bring problems and make life problematic. Life as such is without a problem, but we make it problematic. Therefore, the world as such will not have difficult times unless we bring it in. It is for that purpose, educational programs and human values is introduced to such an organization, so that we will not have any difficult times. The human perspective, human psychology, the fabric of human thought all need a total change. It is not a revolution but a sort of evolution which is needed today.

11) Please elaborate on God’s will and free will.

My friends, this question has been put to me quite a number of times. We often mistake human effort for free will. Human effort is different from free will. We think human effort means free will. What are Swami’s views about it? Free Will. First, are you free? No. Why? I see that what I am not supposed to; I hear that what I should not. I go there where I am not supposed to go. The senses are not under our control. I am not able to control my tongue. I always like spicy stuff though I speak about sattwic food. I absolutely relish Rajasic food. What can I do? Perhaps in the next life I should try. So the point is I am not free. So where there is no free will, where is the question of exercising your free will?


12) Why should there be a word like free will?

The word free will is more or less meant for human options, human effort, and human preference. But there is only one who is absolutely free, God Himself. God is beyond the senses. Why? I can explain it this way. Some people say, “Sir, I am very weak because I am carried away by the senses.” Some say “I have total control over my senses; I am above my senses.” But both are wrong. One is indulgence, the other is avoidance. If I say I am not sensual, it means avoidance. If one says I am sensual, it is indulgence.

But spirituality is neither avoidance nor indulgence but Transcendence! Transcendence is spirituality. So in that way, we can understand that we are yet to transcend the limitations. And so we are not free. But God is Transcendence. Transcendence, non-dualistic. So He has got free will, but not so the human being.

13) I am being selfish when asked to help a relative’s physical suffering.

If you help everybody that suffers you can cross this limitation of suffering. Not merely your relative; suffering is suffering everywhere. When we know Swami is within us, then why are we having so much yearning? This yearning is only to feel Him from within. Not that He is missing. Yearning means deep, intense pining for God, intense feeling for God. An attempt to go within. A kind of expectation to get identified with the Self, to be the Self, of the Self alone. That is what is called yearning. So yearning is a spiritual exercise.

Tamaso maa jyotir gamaya mrityor maa mrityung maya.

A travel from death to eternity; from falsehood to truth; from darkness to light; that is pining.' Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free', so declares the holy Bible. 'Seek ye the kingdom of heaven; everything shall be added on to you', says the holy Bible. This is what is called yearning. Not that without yearning that there’s no God within. Yearning is a spiritual pursuit; it is a spiritual endeavor.

14) How do I conquer fear? What are Swami’s views on this?

Fear arises because of a sense of guilt. The Gita says: Shudram HrudayaDurbalayam: Fear is the sign of weakness. Chakto chitha param tapa. Oh Arjuna, get up from sleep and slumber. Don’t fear. We fear because of our own mistakes. We fear because of the sense of guilt. But truly speaking, the feeling of this sort of guilt is much worse than the guilt itself. Guilt is less dangerous than the feeling of guilt. To feel guilty is more dangerous than the committing of something guilty. So this feeling of guilty is the cause of fear. How do I substantiate this statement? Many times when people come and say to Swami, “Swami, I am at fault. I have committed many sins. I have not been alright all these days. Pardon me.” He says: “Past is past, already past; forget the past.”

Fear comes because of that sense of guilt. Fear is because of uncertainty of the future and what is going to happen. There are some people who are worried about what will happen to them twenty years after retirement. Where is the guaranty that you will live till then?

There are some bachelors who reserve seats for their future born children, in kindergarten schools, elementary schools, before getting married because of the fear that they may not get seats later. So fear is because of uncertainty, because of the risk factor, because of a lack of a sense of security. Yes, this is fear. And the fear is because of a complex. Fear is a psychological ailment.

How to get over his fear? Only one solution: “Why fear when I am here.” When once we are convinced that He is there, there will be no fear. Because we don’t understand it, we don’t have total faith in it, one finds comfort in this spirit of being fearful. “I have fear.” No. Actually people say this: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But Swami changed all this. “Fear of sin and love of God!” Fear sin and love God. That is what He meant: Paapa Bhiti, Daiva Preeti.Daiva Preeti – Love of God. Paapa Bheeti – fear of sin. Sangha Neeti – Morality in society. So, one can cross over this fear; there’s no worry about it.

Once there was a gentleman there in Kodaikanal. He hardly speaks. Swami wanted him one day. “Come on, speak!” “Swami I have never spoken before.” He forced him to speak and he made an excellent speech. Because he said, “Swami, You should do it; I cannot do it.”


But when once he submitted to Him, He spoke through him. This is how to conquer fear. When one is absolutely sure and has surrendered to God, one can certainly do his job to the best of his ability.

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 10 - OCTOBER 2006
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