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(continued from the previous issue)

To access all the previous issues of Conversations With Sai, please click here.

The Teachings of Buddha

Hislop: What were the mistakes, if any, in the teachings of the Buddha?

SAI: One mistake he made was to allow women to come close to him in the Sangha. It was a woman who gave him the meat, the poisoned meat which killed him.

H: It was his custom to accept whatever was given into the begging bowl, even if it was meat.

SAI: That was a second mistake. Here he failed to put his teaching into practice - his teaching was Ahimsa - total non-violence to all creatures.

H: The Buddha taught that Nibbana (Nirvana) was the ultimate goal. Is that different from the liberation of which Swami speaks?

SAI: It is the same. Nirvana, Liberation, Realization are just different words.

Contentment and the Need for Spirituality

(Note: On the road to Anantapur, we came upon a woman beggar who was blind. Baba gave her money and she responded with “Sai Ram, Swami". It had been two years since He had been to Anantapur, but without Baba even speaking, she recognized Him.)

H: The woman seems to be happy.

SAI: She was born blind but is always happy. She has no worries.

H: How could that be? Look at her life. It must be a life of misery.

SAI: Why? She has no desires and is content. She does not know the life of the person who has eyes. She does not think that others are different from her. Her family is worried about her condition, but she has no worries.

H: How could she not want a life different from that of a beggar?

SAI: Desires arise from the tendency of the mind to compare. It is chiefly the eyes, the vision, which presents to the mind opportunities for comparison. She is blind, her mind is not busy with comparison, so desires do not arise.


H: If she continues happy and content, will she be finished with life and death and be free at the time she dies?

SAI: No. That requires spirituality.


Vipassana Meditation

H: It is very important to know what Swami said, that the ground from which desires arise is the mind making comparisons. Before I had the good fortune to meet Swamiji, my wife and I went to Burma every year for the practice of Vipassana meditation. It starts with Anapana.

SAI: I know, the watchman at the point where nose and lip meet.

H: After the mind got concentrated enough to sit there, the Meditation Master directed the concentration to the top of the head.

SAI: Then there was a sensation like ants crawling on the scalp.

H: Yes, Swami. Wherever I placed my attention, there was intense burning. That fire is said to be the direct perception of the arising and immediate disintegration of the smallest particles of matter which comprise the body. The conscious perception of the fire burns up all impurities. Was the Meditation Master correct in what he said?

The Important Role of Faith

SAI: It does not matter if the Meditation Master knew correctly or not. You did the work and you got the result. This is illustrated by a story. There was a guru and he had a woman disciple. The guru worshipped Krishna, and he had a lingam which required daily puja. Each day at the time for puja, the disciple would bring the required milk. However, guru and disciple lived on opposite sides of the river. Heavy rains came, and the river rose to a flood.

The disciple had to wait for a boat, and this made her late with the milk for the guru. He became angry that the puja could not be performed at the proper time and told the disciple, "You are late because of lack of faith in the sacred Name of Krishna. With faith in Him and reciting His sacred Name, you could walk across the surface of the river and not have to wait for a boat".

The next day, the disciple, accepting the word of her guru as the word of God Himself, walked across the surface of the river and delivered the milk on time. After two or three days of this, the guru became curious and asked the disciple how she had arrived on time even though the river was still in flood. The disciple replied that she did as instructed by the guru and walked across the river, constantly chanting the sacred Name of Krishna.

The guru could not accept this story and secretly followed her as she departed. To his astonishment, the woman never hesitated, but walked directly across the river. Instantly resolving to try it himself, he pulled up his dhoti above his knees and ventured to step on the water. The water failed to sustain him and he was instantly immersed.


This story illustrates the vital role of faith. The woman enjoyed full faith, and it never occurred to her to even lift the hem of her sari for fear of the water; whereas faith was lacking in the guru.

Dealing with Conflict

H: Swami, conflict between people appears to be inevitable. What to do?

SAI: Conflicts do come about, but they should be limited to that point, to the fact of conflict and should not be allowed to spread into additional words and feelings. If the conflict is allowed to expand, anger will deepen, bitter feelings will arise, and strong hatred will develop. On the other hand, love also starts as a point, and if allowed to do so, will expand until it fills one's entire life. This is spiritual truth. If there is conflict and disharmony between two people, and if they will leave it at that and not allow it to move further, then before long both parties will soften and harmony can again come into the relationship. At the worst, the conflict will remain dormant and will not grow to involve other people. The practice of limiting disharmony and allowing love to freely expand will bring an organization to a harmonious unity. That harmony will attract public admiration and make possible great accomplishments in the large, wealthy country of America.

Each member of the organization would do well to do each and every action for Sai. If every action is done for Sai, then Sai will be added to every action and will bring success with that action. If every action is with Sai, then the actor is with Sai. The actor will then not be different from Sai. He will be Sai. He who becomes like Brahma is Brahma. Sai divided into Jiva (individual soul) becomes Jiva. Sai divided into infinity becomes infinity. Jiva divided into Sai becomes infinity.

In spiritual life, the first point of approach for any problem is to observe the situation in respect to oneself, and first improve that situation. If, after that, the other person continues to offend, he may be warned once, twice, or three times. If there is still no improvement, the person may be removed from organization office. Then, the person should be forgiven.


This act of forgiving will bring about a change in the person, and also in the one who forgives. Suppose, for example, someone does something which brings severe pain into Swami's heart. What is the medicine which will cure the pain? The medicine is forgiveness. Forgiving is the medicine which will totally remove the pain from Swami's heart.


People who have developed a big intellect use it to entertain many ideas, and in this soil doubts grow. The humble, ordinary person knows much truth directly and does not cultivate as many doubts. Best of all is to have faith like a mountain of ice or a mountain of fire which does not provide soil for even a single doubt to germinate and grow. Where energy has been stored as intellect, that energy must be channeled into constructive activity.

H: In the America Sai Organization, we presently require all Officers to pay for all the expenses of their office (i.e. there is no expense reimbursement).

SAI: That is correct. Additional expenses must come from the American Sai Organization.

H: There could be 50,000 or more people in the U.S.A. who are Sai devotees, but less than 1,000 who are in the Centres. The Organization seems to be of minor importance. Why bother with it? Even the United Nations has dozens of non-organizational Sai devotees.

SAI: The Organization gives a chance to people. In America and other countries, there are large numbers of people who know about Sai, have faith in Him, talk about Him, His leelas, and His teachings, but who do not join the Organization. The Organization imposes some discipline and requirements which these people do not wish to take on.

The Sai Organization may be limited in size now, but as time goes on, it will attract so many people that the general public will not be able to be accommodated in the Sai gatherings. All available spaces will be assigned to the people within the Sai Organization. Thus, the Sai Organization membership affords a chance.

For example, you are Chairman of the American Sai Organization, and Bozzani is the Officer of the Foundation (i.e. Sathya Sai Society of America). Because of this, you are in the car with Swami, having some nine hours of interview instead of half an hour in the interview room.

Faith and Doubt

SAI: Faith is like a fire mountain. It is like an ice mountain. There is nothing else. There is no doubt.

H: What is doubt?

SAI: Doubt is confusion. When reading books, one writer says one thing and another writer says another thing. Take one idea and follow it. Rama had one will, one arrow, one mind. The arrow is intelligence.

H: Where, then, does discrimination play its part?

SAI: Discrimination is to look to conscience.

H: In choosing a path to follow, one should not decide amongst ideas by the use of logic?

SAI: No. Not by ideas. By conscience, by self-confidence, do not follow another. Follow yourself. To follow another is to be a slave. Who are you? "I am not body, not mind, not even Atma ". For, "I am Atma" is two - "I" and "Atma". Neti, neti, neti – not this, not this, not this - that is the way of the Vedas. Swami is in Your heart. Think of Him there.


The Light of God

H: What is God's Light, Swami - what is the light of God?


SAI: When Truth is joined with Love. That is the light of God. It is not outside light, like the electric light bulb. It is inner light.

H: Swami, how to be in that Light? Everyone here would like to be in that Light and stay all day in that Light.

SAI: When in a dark room you are looking with a torch, everything can be seen except one thing. Yourself - you do not see yourself. With your eyes you are seeing, but if the torch is turned on you, the objects of the room are not seen. As long as your attention is on the light which lights the world, you will not be enjoying God's Light.

H: To be in God's Light, the union of truth and love, how is that to be approached?

SAI: Meditation. Meditation is looking inward. It is light. (Note: The implication seems to be that as long as our attention is centered on our worldly life, we will be seeing the world and not seeing God).

SAI: I see good only. Everyone is God. There are some bad actions only.

H: That is very hard to understand, Swami.

SAI: No. Not hard. Easy, (to Malaysian group): All of you are God. There is only He. (To Barbara) Who are you?

Bb: Barbara.

SAI: No! That is only body name. Body is not you - Body has relatives, but soul has no relatives. There is only one Soul, and that is God.


(To be continued...)

To access all the previous issues of Conversations With Sai, please click here.

– Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 08 - AUGUST 2007
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