Volume 6 - Issue 01
CONVERSATIONS WITH SAI
(Continued from the previous issue)
H (HISLOP): What is duty to society?
SAI: Duty is the exercise of your freedom, but in such a way that you do not deny others their freedom. For example, a teacher's freedom to leave the classroom is dependent on his duty to teach the students. A politician's freedom to run for public office is dependant on his ability to serve the people.
H: Is duty to society universal and binding on every person?
SAI: If a man is living on spirit, he has no duty or obligation to society.
H: Living on spirit must be having total faith in God and total dependence on Him?
SAI: Faith in the Divine is single and cannot be gained by reason. Either there is or there is not faith. It can arise through sadhana…Why are people unhappy?
H: Because they are not fully surrendered to God.
SAI: That is overall. But what is the immediate reason? The reason is they do not live in the present. Young people think of the future. Old people think of the past. While you are here, do not think of the world, or the Sai Organization. Be only in the present. Think only of Swami and be happy.
Transcending Humanity to Realise Our Divinity
H: If the world is unique, no other place like it in the universe, then the destiny of its inhabitants must be likewise unique. What is the man's destiny?
SAI: Man's destiny is to return to his source, and merge into that source.
H: If the world is unique, perhaps it is an accident?
SAI: No, not an accident.
H : If there are no other beings in the universe comparable to man, their destinies must be different from the destiny of man?
SAI: No. All life has the same destiny, to merge into God, just as rain drops wherever they fall eventually merge with the sea, their source.
H: How is mankind different?
SAI: Only man has intellect and conscience. By means of these he may in full consciousness realize that he is the Divine. If a God, manifest with form, should fall, he would again have to seek human birth to again realize himself.
H: If the other being of the universe are lacking in conscience and intellect (Buddhi) then how can they realize their destiny?
SAI: They each have their own means of fulfilling destiny, just as man has his means. Man measures and judges by what he knows of himself. To man it seems impossible that beings could live in circumstances unlike his own. Whereas, in fact, countless beings live within the unimaginable heat of the sun; other multitudes live in the cold of ice. At this very point (Swami jamming his thumb down on the arms of the chair) there are countless multitudes of beings. There is life in every place throughout the cosmos. Wherever God is, there is life.
H: There seems to be something about Earth, life that is different in a different way. Swami, the Lord Himself, is giving pointed attention to life here. Is there any other place in the universe where Baba needs to give such pointed attention?
SAI: There is no life apart from God's "beingness". God is everywhere at all times. Man sees Him as an all-powerful being with human form, whereas to a frog He would appear to be a giant frog, and so on.
H: I still don't see how other beings realize their destiny, when they do not have the instruments of intellect and conscience.
SAI: Other beings do not worry about achieving their destiny. They live happily within nature. For example, fish live and sport in water without anxiety to be other than they are. Throughout the universe, beings achieve their own destiny through their own unique inherent nature. Only man transcends his humanity to self-consciously realize his divinity.
H: Swami, a question I am constantly asked and which I am unable to answer - that is, about UFO's, beings from other planets visiting us here. This is a big thing in the USA. Books are published, and there is all sort of verified evidence.
SAI: It is imagination only.
H: But Swami, there is evidence -- the metal of a crashed spacecraft in the hands of the Government. People are examined by qualified specialists and they are not inventing their experiences. When I tell questioners that it is all imagination, the persons who ask are unable to accept that answer.
SAI: Nevertheless, it is imagination. Imagination can project physical evidence. There is life in every place and those societies have their own cultures. They have no interest whatsoever in the Earth or about the Earth's society. They do not visit the Earth.
H: Then, Swami, I should reply to people that despite all evidence cited to the contrary that UFO's and alien visitors, the whole thing is a product of imagination and imagination only?
SAI: There is no problem. You can enjoy the praise.
H: But I do not, Swami. There is no person there to receive the praise. There is only a void there. No person is found.
SAI: You do not have to receive the praise. Regard it as part of the impersonal stream of happenings that you see.
H: That which I observe is not me.
H: When Swami said he would give me strong sight, what sight did he mean?
A Healing Gift
SAI: All sight. Physical sight and wisdom too. I will see that you are dependent on no one of either physical sight, or wisdom.
H: Swamiji, is there an encouraging word for her illness that I can tell Victoria?
SAI: (Baba, moving His hand, creates a lingam) See - this has two different halves. One half is for your eyes. The other half is for your wife's illness. There is nothing wrong with the body's mechanism. It is an infection only. Put a little water on the lingam and drink the water. Place a drop of the water in each eye also.
H: Swamiji, at this very moment, now, I abandon life, concepts and individuality -- I pray there will be no need for another birth.
SAI: Another birth is best for you.
H: No freedom yet!
SAI: Yes, another birth is best. In that you will get total, final Liberation.
H: But, Swami, I don't want to go through Youth again. Youth is not a good experience - it is dangerous and difficult.
SAI: It will be better life than this one. Don't waste time thinking of the future. Where is the lingam?
H: Here, Swami.
SAI: (Swami took the lingam and showed it to the others in the room: Then the lingam disappeared from Swami's hand and a Shakti-Siva symbol was there). Baba said, "This is the beginning and the end, very sacred. The base is Shakti and the remainder is Siva. Would you like the lingam or this?"
H: Swami, how can I choose? I don't know enough. (Then the Shakti-Siva symbol was gone, the lingam reappeared and Baba handed it back to me.)
SAI: You did not make up your mind. You waited too long.
H: Just before bringing forth the Shakti-Siva symbol, Baba asked me if I would prefer a large lingam. I replied, ‘I don't know, Swami, Swami knows what I need. He must decide.’ Then, after the Shakti-Siva was taken away from me, and after some further conversation with the other men present, there was a moment of silence. Then I said,
Swami, cannot I have both the lingam and the Shakti-Siva?
SAI: (Laughing and poking me on the forehead, Swami then said:) Both! You are greedy! (Then he settled back in his chair, smiling, then moved His hand and there again was the Shakti-Siva symbol. He held it out to me, smiling, and said): See, this is the wish-fulfilling tree - whatever you wish for you may have.
H: Swamiji, even though one finds himself much devoted, the intelligence still wants to understand.
SAI: When devotion grows intense, the wish to understand does not continue. There is no further wish to understand. There is only devotion. Body lasts for only a few days and there is only bliss, bliss on all sides, bliss only. One only, the Ocean of Bliss.
H: When, I turn attention inwards, a state is found where there is no God and no "I" can be found, no focus, no point. I see that this state exists from the earliest childhood memories and nothing has been learned or changed. What should be my next step?
SAI: That is very good. Just continue with that. No Hislop and no God. That state is called Samadhi. It is correct.
H: When I look at myself inside, just beyond the surface of consciousness, it seems to me that it is Swami there, not me.
Finding the Right Level
SAI: That is not permanent. It comes and goes. It will become steady. Then there is Swami only. In your talk to the foreigners yesterday, you confused people.
H: How is that, Swami?
SAI: You said ideas above their understanding. Then they would ask questions based on what you said, thus creating further confusion. Your understanding is very high; theirs is very low. They need to know Swami's teaching, not concepts above their understanding. Your replies have great value, but it is beyond them. You should evaluate the level of a group and tell Swami's teachings at their level.
H: But Swami, if I do not say what I understand, I feel that I am cheating them.
SAI: It is not the medicine they need. It is your medicine. They have need of Swami's teachings said in terms of their level.
H: Very well, Swami. I will do better next-time. But Swami, you are in this small room and the lecture hall is far away. In this room only these walls can be seen.
SAI: Yes, these walls only. But don't you know that Swami has a thousand ears, a thousand eyes? He hears and sees everything.
H: But in what aspect of Himself does Baba see all and hear all? Is it His aspect as Iswara?
SAI: Swami sees all and hears all as Universal Consciousness. (Note: The question-answer session which Swami was fully aware of as Universal Consciousness, hearing all questions and answers and knowing the reactions in the various minds, was some 300 yards away from the interview room in the Mandir).
H: (The following day) Swami, did I do any better with the Italians yesterday?
SAI: Yes, better. You spoke of Swami's teachings. One person was confused about what was said about Jesus, and there was a language problem.
H: Yes, Swami. Only the interpreter spoke English.
SAI: How many there?
H: I think about 60 people.
Note: Shed #25 where I met with the Italian group is a long distance from Swami’s room in the Mandir. There are multi-story residence buildings in between.
Pure Untainted Witnessing
H: Swami, liberation does not make much sense to me. What can be the value of that idea? There is always manifestation. If not the Hislop form, then some other form.
SAI: There is a conscious being; then consciousness- awareness universal. That is liberation.
H: Swami, as I watch, I see what it is to be conscious of experience moving across the field of being conscious of things - fear, pleasure, anger, events observed and events happening to me, but at the same time there is the watching of that, not affected by what is watched. But I wonder if all that is not just a division in the state of being conscious?
SAI: Yes, there can be a mixture. Watching mixed with consciousness, back and forth, mixed up. But there is also the pure untainted witnessing, and that itself is liberation.
H: Swami, the witnessing is by itself, not involved with the happening. Is it correct, then, to continue watching and seeing the witnessing as separate from experiencing?
SAI: Yes, that is good. That is the correct way. We will talk further about your sadhana.
(Sunday, Feb. 18, 1990, before Bhajans, about 8.10 a.m., Swami called me in with a new interpreter. As soon as we were seated I handed Swami three notes. The first was to ask about departure on the night plane to Bombay on Feb. 23. Flights were being cancelled and I wondered if I should leave a day early. Baba studied the note for a moment or so and then said that I should continue as originally planned. Next note said the Central office asked me to give a talk. Swami said to do so. Final note was to ask something in connection with Sri P.K. Suri, Convenor, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, to which Swami replied, "Yes".
Balancing Discipline with Love
SAI: How are the American Sai Centres?
H: Slow, Swami. We should have 300 or 400 instead of just over 100.
SAI: One reason for the slow growth is that Hislop's discipline is too harsh. The Sai Organization works through softness, kindness, love and harmony. In America the people are outspoken with strong and often harsh ideas and opinions, and when they are confronted with an equally harsh ruling there is a confrontation and cessation of advancement and progress. Persuasion should be applied softly and with kindness. Before long the people will accept that and they will change and do as they should.
H: Swamiji, I do months of soft persuasion without effect; then I have to act with firmness.
SAI: That is because people see you in the disciplinary role and not as a spiritual leader. In America, the women are like the men. They face life with the same strong and harsh opinions as do the men. You have considerable spiritual power, long and broad experience in spiritual matters and you are a perfectionist in your devotion to Sai. This perfectionism is viewed as harshness by the devotees. You must modify so that people will see you as a spiritual man and as a spiritual leader, then they will agree to do the things that are essential for the Sai Organization.
When you apply discipline and are met with resistance it affects you. You feel depressed and your mind is agitated and worried. You are advancing in age and the depressed feeling and worried mind affect the body. The body suffers from this and gets older. Swami tells you the plain truth for your own good.
The identical situation arises in your house. Your wife is a spiritual lady with long and deep spiritual experience. She has a short temper and this temper and worry affect her health. You react to this and this adds to the factors which diminish your own health. All this does not affect your spiritual power which exists undiminished. You must resolve to be happy and not accept or tolerate worry and depression.
Because of your spiritual power, your long experience and your devotion to Sai, you are the senior devotee in America. Sai has absolute confidence in Hislop. There are some organizational matters?
H: Yes, Swami. Since I am held responsible, it is necessary that I have the authority to veto when needed, and act when needed.
SAI: You have the authority to say what is needed. Then use gentle, patient persuasion. In all matters concerning America, you can consult with responsible people there and see if general agreement can be reached. But you have the authority to say what you see to be correct.
Feb. 21, 1990 , Swami called me in with a group of devotees. When it became my turn for a few private words with Baba, He said:
SAI: You are a good devotee. Swami knows it, and so do you. Swami will take care of everything for you. Be happy. When are you leaving?
H: On the 23rd, at 11 a.m. Swami.
SAI: I will see you before then and give you special prasad for your wife.
- END OF THE BOOK -
Vol 6 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2008
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