Volume 9 - Issue 011
November 2011
Other Articles
Follow us: facebook twitter vimeo

Posted on : Nov 5, 2011

Radio Sai Study Circle – 6

Understanding Love in All Its Dimensions





AD: The theory of MAD goes something like this: You are attached to an object only till the next object comes to your domain. A lot of us actually suffer from this syndrome when we are in love with a specific thing. For example, I recently bought a new phone and I am deeply in love with it. But the moment I find something else, my love moves on… it lasts only that much time until I find the next gadget.

SG: Until, perhaps, the next model comes in.

KMG: Or reaches you…

AD: Yes, the next gadget reaches me and all of a sudden my so called love for this phone goes away and now I’m attached to something else.

GSS: I think we all are infected with this ‘MAD’ syndrome.

AD: Yes, in many ways…

SG: And I don’t think there are mental hospitals which can treat this syndrome!

GSS: Except Swami…

AD: So this is how we all get attached to in this Momentary Attachment and Detachment syndrome.

GSS: Amey, I’d like to analyse this ‘MAD’ syndrome that you spoke about. It’s very interesting and this is again based on what Swami has said. If we were to pause for a while and ponder over the process of this moha we will find that it follows the following pattern; when we love somebody or something the immediate reaction is that we want to own or possess it.

AD: Very true.

Love is Selflessness, Attachment is Possessiveness

GSS: Now why does this happen? Bhagawan says that you could be walking on the road and see something in a shop, it could be a beautiful vase or a painting. You like it so much that your first thought is to buy it. Swami asks why do you want to buy it. You can love it the way it is in the shop but we want to buy it because we consider the object we love as something different from us. Our love for it drives us to possess it in the false understanding that by possessing it, we will become one with it.


Once a devotee asked Bhagawan as to why the mind gets so attracted to the external world but finds it difficult to abide in the Self. Bhagawan explained ‘that the mind treats the entire universe as something different from it and therefore makes every attempt through the means of love to unite with objects that it likes’. So once again, we see the cosmic glue aspect of love operating at the gross level to establish this unity; the intention is genuine but the understanding is faulty.

By possessing or owning people or objects instead of attaining oneness with it we only get attached to it. And as Giridhar said, what does this attachment lead to? It leads to sorrow alternating with joy and the end result is that we do not find fulfillment in such love and a sense of hollowness prevails. I think this is what Amey really meant.

AD: Very true.

GSS: Bishu, what are your views on this?

BP: Well, the supreme love which manifests as moha poses problems when we get attached to things. And I would like to share an instance where one person was able to really transcend this; he was able to sublimate this moha into something very divine.

It is an instance related to the life of Mr. Victor Kanu who passed away recently. He was an exemplary devotee of Swami and there was a time when he was the High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to UK, Norway and Sweden, and later he became a Sai devotee and lived in London.

During an interview in July 1989, Swami suddenly told him: “Victor, go to Zambia and spread My message of love there. Build a school.” He was dumbfounded and thought ‘Zambia is a strange country’ as he had been there not more than once. His wife was more flabbergasted than him, so she just blurted out: “Swami, where do we get the money from?” Bhagawan spontaneously responded saying: “Sell your house.”

GSS: My God…

Dr. Victor Kanu (right, in whites) in the Sathya Sai School of Zambia, the 'miracle school' he was instrumental in setting up

BP: Baba said, “Sell your house and use that money to buy the school and if that is not enough, borrow money from the bank.” And you know what they did, without even batting an eyelid they immediately went back to London, sold everything they had including land, building, pots, pans and curtains. Soon they moved to Zambia and started a school which is now being hailed as the 'miracle school' of Zambia.

AD: Fantastic!

BP: So he is one person who had really sublimated his attachment for things into such an exalted state. This shows how you can really convert this moha or attachment to objects into something supreme.

AD: Yes, the whole idea is to actually sublimate the attachment, so that even an attachment to a supposedly material object can be taken to a completely different level. And we have many examples to illustrate this idea.

Whoever thought 10 years back that Bill Gates would be one of the leading examples for giving away his wealth? We always associated him with ‘making a lot of money’. There’s an incident I believe that changed this thinking completely. On a visit to Africa, he was supposed to go on a safari in the savannah and for some reason it was cancelled. He then visited a village and was moved by the utter poverty in which people lived. It’s said that at that moment, he and his wife Melinda wondered how they could live a life...

GSS: In such a lavish way...

AD: In such luxury while other human beings lived in dire straits and that is said to have changed his perspective towards life. Today, Gates is hailed as one of the greatest philanthropists in the world. There are several examples in our own country. Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Technologies Ltd. gave away two billion dollars of his personal wealth for the setting up of several primary schools across the country because he felt that is what India needs. I think these are the few moments in people’s lives where things and perspectives have changed and they have been able to sublimate their moha or attachment to material wealth to something that elevates the entire world.

GSS: Ganesh, what about your thoughts on this?

sathya sai baba  

KMG: My understanding of moha, if I’m right, is that it refers to the power that has come to delude you. We and many people around us complain that we are stuck with a habit or an unending pattern in life.

One of the funniest patterns about moha is that we hold onto some feelings or emotions towards a particular thing, and then go on to complain that that person or object is holding us back and making our lives miserable. We forget that every object or person who comes to our life has a well defined and a limited role to play. No object or person can give us completeness or the fullness which the mind imagines.

Let me give you an example: a person in moha is like a person holding a glass of water. If he holds it for a few seconds with a purpose of bringing it close to his mouth to quench his thirst, then there is no problem. Even if he holds the glass for a minute or so because of the beauty and elegance of the glass, there is no problem. But as the minute turns into hours and finally into days this man’s arm starts becoming numb and sore because he’s still holding the glass out of attachment. Then he starts complaining that his arm is aching and pleads for a massage or treatment but the actual ailment is in the mind that is unwilling to put down the glass out of attachment. Moha can also make you forget the purpose of life itself.

GSS: Very true.

SG: In fact Swami narrates a similar example. He picks up a handkerchief from the discourse table and asks, “How long can you hold this handkerchief? It’s not the handkerchief that is holding on to you, you are holding on to it. After some time, you develop a pain in the shoulder, go to a doctor to get it treated and try different ways to alleviate this suffering. While the solution is simple. Just drop the handkerchief. The moment you drop it, your hand is free and the pain is gone.”

So, we don’t realise that the fundamental issue arises when we hold on to too many things.


KMG: And this I feel is mainly because there is a sense of insecurity that a person feels thinking that he may lose a thing and that’s what drives him to hold on to it.

AD: Swami has so simply and easily illustrated this fact.

GSS: I think it’s basically all about understanding the mind than the physical existence. Swami lived amidst so many material objects but we know He was attached to absolutely nothing. It’s just like you trying to hold onto water in your hand; the more you try to, it just flows away. So the point is how do we get away from this attachment. I remember Swami saying that the more you run after something, the more that object eludes and runs away from you. But when you get detached, it actually comes running behind you.

BP: Like a mother and child!

GSS: Yes, absolutely. But the worst part, I think is to get deluded about the fact that one is not attached and advise other people about detachment. There’s a beautiful story Swami uses to help us understand this.

A couple are on a pilgrimage and are in the mood of worshipping God in a very spiritual ambience. On a walk along the beach, the husband notices a golden bangle on the sand. Thinking that nothing should deter the spiritual thoughts of his wife or make her mind waver, he pushes some sand on top of the bangle as if to hide it. The wife notices this and laughs out loud. When the husband asks her for the reason, she replies, “Oh! Do you still see a difference between sand and gold?” So one never knows what real detachment is; it’s something that has to come from within.

- Read Other Episodes of Study Circle -

 - Radio Sai team 

counter for wordpress