"A CRITICAL SITE ABOUT SAI BABA"
The "Blitz Interview"
INTERVIEW GIVEN TO R.K. KARANJIA BY SAI BABA
(The following is an extended interview given by Sri Sathya Sai Baba to the Senior Editor, Mr. R.K. Karanjia of Blitz news magazine in September of 1976.)
Q: At the outset, Swamiji, we would like to know something about your triple incarnation - past, present and future - that is, from Shirdi Sai Baba to Sathya Sai Baba and the Prema Sai Baba to come, according to your prophecy.
Baba: First of all, you must grasp the complete oneness of the three incarnations of contemporary times with those of the past like Rama and Krishna. This is a difficult task. When people cannot understand the present, how can they comprehend the past? Every incarnation is full and complete in relation to the time, environment and the task. There is no distinction between the various appearances of God as Rama, Krishna or Sai.
Rama came to feed the roots of truth and righteousness, Krishna followed to foster the plant of peace and love. Now these sacred principles are in danger of wholesale destruction by reason of human weakness under the onslaught of evil forces. They are overcoming the good, the spiritual and the divine in man. That is why the present Avatar has come invested with the totality of cosmic power to save dharma (righteousness) from anti-dharma.
Why God Takes Human Form
Q: By the present Avatar, you mean Sai Baba?
Baba: Yes, I incarnate from age to age, time to time, to save dharma from anti-dharma. Whenever strife, discord and disharmony overwhelm the world, God incarnates in human form to show mankind the way to love, harmony and peace.
Q: That is understandable. But skeptics wonder why God should assume human form?
Baba: Because that is the only way to incarnate the God within man. The Avatar takes the human form and behaves in a human way so that humanity can feel kinship with divinity. At the same time he rises to godly heights so that mankind also can aspire to reach God. The realization of the indwelling God as the motivator of life is the task for which Avatars come in human form.
Previous Avatars like Rama and Krishna had to destroy a few individuals who could be identified as enemies of the godly way of life and thus restore the dharmic path. Today, however, wickedness has tainted so many that humanity itself sands under the threat of destruction. Therefore, in my present Avatar, I have come armed with the fullness of the power of formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people back on the right path of truth, righteousness, peace and love to divinity.
Message of Triple Incarnation
Q: Why had this task to be divided into three separate incarnations of the Shirdi, Sathya and Prema Babas?
Baba: They are not separate. I have already mentioned the complete oneness of the three in the final objective of the mission. I will give you an example. Take a kilo of gur (a sweet substance). The whole of it tastes sweet. Next break it into small pieces. Each of them is sweet. Finally break them into small grains. You find the same sweetness in them. So the difference is one of quantity and not quality. It is the same with the Avatars. Their tasks and powers requisite to them differ according to the time, the situation and the environment. But they belong to, and derive from one and the same dharma swarup or divine body.
Let us take the example of fruit. It begins with the seed which grows into the tree and from it comes the fruit. Work can be compared to the seed, worship to the tree and from it comes the fruit. Work can be compared to the seed, worship to the tree and wisdom to the fruit.
The previous Avatar, Shirdi Baba, laid the base for secular integration and gave mankind the message of duty is work. The mission of the present Avatar is to make everybody realize that the same God or divinity resides in everyone. People should respect, love and help each other irrespective of color or creed. Thus all work can become a way of worship. Finally, Prema Sai, the third Avatar will promote the evangel news that not only does God reside in everybody, but everybody is God. That will be the final wisdom which will enable every man and woman to go to God. The three Avatars carry the triple message of work, worship and wisdom.
Man Must Develop into Mankind
Q: So that is the holy mission and divine purpose of this triple incarnation?
Baba: To unite all mankind into one caste or family in the establishment of the unity - that is, atmic realization - in every man or woman, which is the basis on which cosmic design rests. Once this is realized, the common divine heritage that binds man to man to God will become apparent and love shall prevail as the guiding light of the universe.
In the first place, man has to develop into mankind in the fullness of its integrated potential. At present mankind as such is absent in the world. There is no synthesis between thought, word and deed. Man today thinks one thing, says something different, and acts quite the contrary. So what we have is the individual man, confused, confounded and bombarded with contradictory thoughts. What we do not see is mankind in him motivated by good thoughts, good words and good deeds. We have to make him realize God within him to develop a synthesis correlating thought, word and deed.
Evangel of Love and Devotion
Once this primary lesson is taught in the family, the school, the college, the society, the cities, the states, the nations of the world, then man will become conscious of the fact that all mankind belongs to one family. As Christ preached, all are one, be alike to everyone. The vital issue is the oneness: one caste, one class, one creed of humanity: and this can be humanity: and this can be achieved only by the surrender of one's self or ego to pure, selfless, universal love and devotion. Love is the basis, the common denominator, and devotion the divine spark, the cementing, unifying, integrating factor between man and man, and man and God.
Let me give you an illustration. (Baba spreads his handkerchief on the ground between us). Here is a piece of cloth. As you see, it is all made of threads. Pull out the threads separately and the cloth becomes weak. Put them together and it is firm and strong. It is the same with mankind. Love binds it like the million, billion threads in cloth and devotion reunites it with God. I, therefore embody love and use it as my instrument to regenerate man and create the brotherhood of mankind with the help of the latter's devotion. I always say: Start the day with love. Fill the day with love. End the day with love. This is the quickest way, the surest path to God.
Life is love, enjoy it;
Life is a challenge, meet it;
Life is a song, sing it;
Life is a dream, realize it;
Life is a game, play it.
Shirdi Baba Incarnate
Q: Did Shirdi Baba actually claim that he would be born eight years after his death in 1918?
Baba: Yes, he did. This has been recorded by Kaka Dikshit as well as a number of other devotees who were with Shirdi Baba.
Q: What makes you so sure that you are Shirdi Baba incarnate?
Baba: The knowledge of my own authentic experience, of course. Since no one who knew Shirdi Baba is alive today, there is no evidence except my own knowledge and experience. The very fact that I announced that I am Shirdi Baba 40 years ago, when I was only 10 and when nobody in this part of the South had known or even heard of Shirdi Baba, proves this fact.
Dharma (Righteousness) Alone Can Save the World
Q: The existing situation driven by evil forces to destruction as you have correctly analyzed it, appears to suggest the inevitability of another Mahabharata-type (an epic relating to the battle of Kurukshetra) war. Does this mean that the salvation for which you are working can be consummated only after a destructive war?
Baba: The evil must and shall be removed before such a catastrophe takes place. There will be minor wars and skirmishes, of course: these cannot be helped in the existing state of affairs. The Mahabharata war was a different issue altogether. Lord Krishna decreed it and, in fact, led Arjuna to the battlefield in order to rid the world of evil men and ungodly forces.
Today, as I told you, the evil is so widespread that humanity itself would be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust in the event of a world war. It is to prevent such a catastrophe that this Avatar has come to raise human consciousness above the existing syndrome of anger, hate, violence and war and save the world from disaster. This can be achieved only by the reestablishment of the brotherhood of mankind though the Vedas, Shastras and all religions with their evangel of dharma to liberate the human race from the chains of karma (the cycle of birth and death). I always say: Let the different faiths exist, let them flourish, let the glory of God be sung in all the languages in a variety of tunes. They should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognize them as valid so far as they do not extinguish the flame of unity.
God is Man Minus Desire
Q: From what Baba has said, it seems that there is not much difference or dichotomy between God and man. Am I right?
Baba: Quite right, God is man and man is God. All of us have something of God, the divine spark, within us. All men are divine like myself, but with the spirit embodied in human flesh and bone. The only difference is that they are unaware of this Godhood. They have come into this karmic prison through the mistakes of many lives. I have taken this mortal form out of my own free will. They are bound to the body, while I am free of this bondage. The main difference is that they are shoved hither and thither by desire but I have no desire except the supreme one to make them desireless.
Take paddy or rice by way of an illustration. Every grain of rice is enclosed in a husk. You have to remove the husk to get the grain of rice. Now husk and rice, both come from the same seed. Rice is the equivalent of God in man, while the husk can be compared to desire which reduces God to man. Therefore, my formula is:
LIFE + DESIRE = MAN
LIFE - DESIRE = GOD
The Way to Self-Realization
Q: In what way can life without desire make Gods of men?
Baba: Life without desire means the realization of the pure, genuine self that is Atma. Bound to desire, the self degenerates into selfishness. Atma turns into ego. The way of self-realization is to cleanse the self of this ego of selfishness. Then you reach a state of consciousness beyond the mind or intellect, revealing the true self that is God. The mind is like a cloth that covers and stifles consciousness, the threads of which are desires. If we give up the desires, the threads fall and the cloth disappears, revealing our true nature. That is what the Vedanta (epic of ancient wisdom and knowledge) means when it enjoins that one must get rid of the ego to realize oneself.
Q: You mean that the mind of man as such creates the block between man and God?
Baba: Yes. One must make a distinction between the mind that is the ego, and the real self that is consciousness. The latter helps us to cross the frontiers of the ego-mind and become aware of oneself as the witness of truth. Normally the scientist of the mind looks outside to what can be perceived by the senses existing in the world of the mind to ask: What is this? The scientist of consciousness, on the other hand, always looks inside to that which is beyond the senses or the grasp of the mind to ask: What is that?
One has, therefore, to rise beyond the mind to consciousness to achieve self-realization. To gain the infinite, universal atma, the embodied self must break out of the puny, finite little prison of individuality. Desire belongs to the senses, the brain, the mind; once you become free of it, you realize the self, atma, consciousness, enlightenment, and become one with the cosmic power. Self realization is God-realization. Thus man reaches God.
Q: What is the significance of the vibuthi (holy ash) and the trinkets that you materialize and give to people? Is there any need for a Godman to demonstrate such miracles which any magician can conjure?
Baba: So far as I am concerned this is evidence of my divinity. It is not by any means an exhibition of divinity. All performances of magic, as you know are done for the sake of income. These are tricks of the magicians trade. They constitute a kind of legalized cheating, the transfer of an object from one place to another by a trick of the hand which goes unnoticed. They involve no siddhi (occult power) or miraculous power.
What I do is quite a different act of creation. It is neither magic, nor is it siddhi power either. For one thing, I seek no return. For another, I do not cheat people by transferring objects, but I create them. Again, I do so not because of any need or desire of exhibition of my powers. For me this is a kind of calling card to convince people of my love for them and secure their devotion in return. Since love is formless, I do materialization as evidence of my love. It is merely a symbol.
Still I do not understand why you should materialize rings, bracelets, watches and those kind of trinkets.
Talisman of Protection
Baba: Most people desire talismen as symbolic of my protection. So I provide them. When they are in trouble they feel the grip of the ring, bracelet or watch to remember me and call me to their rescue so that I can help them. On the other hand, if I give them something they cannot wear, they are likely to store it and forget about it.
The main thing is that these trinkets or talismans, by whatever name you call them, give people a sense of security and protection they need in times of troubles or crises and create a symbolic link covering the long distances between them and myself. When the devotees need me, these objects flash the message as if by wireless and I instantly come to their rescue.
Q: I am sorry to be persistent, Swamiji, but isn't the gift of an Omega or HMT watch an act of cheating the company or breach of its patent?
Baba: I assure you there is no such thing. It would be cheating the company or breaching the patent if it were a case of transfer of the watch from one place to the other. But I do not transfer; I totally create. Whatever I will, instantly materializes. I know of no company that has complained about any breach of patent.
Significance of Vibuthi (Holy Ash)
Q: What about vibuthi materialized by you? We would like to know its relevance because your critics are trying to discredit you by sending around magicians who produce exact replicas of vibuthi.
Baba: What I materialize is a manifestation of divinity with a potent significance as well as symbolism. It is symbolic of the cosmic, immortal and infinite nature of all forms of God, atma or the spirit - that is, what is left when everything worldly, transient and changeable has burnt away.
I have spoken to you of the imperative of a desireless life. After Shiva had burnt the God of desire, Kama, into a heap of ashes, he adorned himself with the ash to shine as the conqueror of desire. When Kama was destroyed, Prema reigned as the Goddess of love. Such is the significance of ash.
In the first place, it is symbolic of the life-death cycle in which everything ultimately reduces itself to ash. "For dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou returnest." Ash or dust is the final condition of things. It cannot undergo any further change. In the spiritual context, it constitutes a warning to the receiver to give up desire, to burn all passions, attachments and temptations, and makes one pure in thought, word and deed.
It is in order to press home this lesson that I materialize ash for those who come to me with love and devotion. Like the other materializations, it also acts as a talisman, healing the sick and giving protection to those who need it. It is the symbol of divinity, quite different from the magician's trickery mentioned by you.
Miracles of Healing
Q: You are believed to have performed miraculous cures to the extent of resurrecting the dead. There are cases where you reportedly saved people from drowning and other accidents in distant places. Medical experts have attested to remote controlled surgical operations performed by you. How do you manage these?
Baba: By my own sankalpa - that is, divine will and power. As an Avathar, this power is intrinsic, inherent, total and natural to my will and decision. I need no mantra (mystical formula), no sadhana (spiritual practice), no tantra (sacred writings) and no yantra (pilgrimage) to perform the so-called miracles which are natural to my state. My powers are simply the expression or assertion of the reality of goodness which merges me with everything, everywhere, at all times and places. The miracles belong to the boundless power of God.
Now coming to the main points of your question, this healing phenomena has a dual aspect. I can cure, save, even resurrect people provided they are in a spiritually receptive condition. It is like the positive and negative currents of electricity. My capacity to heal can be compared to the positive current. Your devotion to me is like the negative current. Once the two come together, the devotion provides what is called the miracle of healing.
It is man's mind that is really responsible for his illness or health. He himself is the cause or motivator of either. So when it comes to healing or curing, the necessary faith has to be created within his mind for the purpose. All I do is invest him with the confidence, will and power to cure himself. It is my abounding love reciprocated by the intensity of the devotee's faith in me that produce the desired result.
Not Siddhis or Magical Tricks
Q: So these are not siddhic powers or magical tricks, as your critics suggest?
Baba: They are neither magical tricks nor siddhic (occult) powers, which can come to everybody with the appropriate discipline and yoga exercises, but my powers to protect, heal and save people and materialize objects originate in God and can be used only by an Avatar. They are in no way designed, disciplined or developed, but flow from cosmic power.
Q: Some say that you command invisible spirits which can transfer objects from one place to another on your orders.
Baba: There is no need for me to command invisible spirits since my own divine will materializes the objects. I am everything, everywhere, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; and so whatever I will, instantly happens. Like the qualities of truth, love and peace, these are things that generate the atmic (godly) or cosmic forces behind the universe.
Q: Your followers at home as well as abroad claim positive evidence of the presence of Baba in their innermost hearts. Some have written of you as their in-dwelling God. What is the explanation of this phenomenon?
The In-Dwelling God
Baba: This is the grace begotten of my love for them reciprocated by their devotion. After all, as I repeatedly say, we all belong to the same divine principle. The godliness which is present in everybody in the form of a little spark is present in me as the full flame, and it is my mission to develop every little spark of God in everyone to the fullness of the divine flame.
The first imperative of this development is that the receiver of the grace also provides from his or her side the devotion necessary to the consummation. Those who carry the presence of Baba in their hearts like an in-dwelling God belong to these kinds of devotees. They come to me, see me and hear me, experience my love for them and receive it with devotion. Thus, they become part of me and my divinity.
To the doubting or confused ones, I give this illustration. Those who want to secure pearls from the sea have to dive deep to fetch them. It does not help them to dabble among the shallow waves near the shore and say that the sea has no pearls and all stories about them are false. Likewise, if a person wants to secure the love and grace of this Avatar, he must also dive deep and get submerged in Sai Baba. Then, only, will he become one with me and carry me in his innermost heart.
Q: The critics of Swamiji ask why Sai Baba does not help people in distress by bringing rains in times of drought or creating food where there is famine by means of his sankalpa shakti (divine power, universal energy). Cannot an Avatar help humanity to control the natural forces and prevent calamities like earthquakes, floods, droughts, famine and epidemics?
Baba: This is precisely what I am doing by incarnating the in-dwelling God in man to overcome such calamities. There are two ways in which an Avatar can help people: an instant solution a against a long term one.
Any instant solution would go against the fundamental quality of nature itself as well against the karmic law of cause and effect. Most people live in the material world of their desires and egos, which is governed by this law. They reap the fruits of their actions. This brings about their evolution or devolution. If the Avatar intervenes to instantly solve their problems, it would stop all action, development, even evolution. This solution can be ruled out because it totally negates the natural laws.
The other and more effective alternative presents a long-term solution whereby the Avatar leads the people themselves to a higher level of consciousness to enable them to understand the truth of spiritual laws so that they may turn towards righteousness and steadfastly work for better conditions. This will relate them back to nature and the karmic law of causation. This would then transcend the cycle of cause and effect in which today they are involved as victims and thereby command and control the natural forces to be able to avert the calamities you mention.
Raising Man to God
Q: You mean that you are presently raising the consciousness of mankind to a godlike condition to enable them to command their own destiny?
Baba: Exactly. They would become shareholders of my sankalpa shakti (divine power, universal energy). I have to work through them, rouse the in-dwelling God in them and evolve them to a higher reality in order to enable them to master the natural and forces. If I cure everything instantly, leaving the people at their present levels of consciousness, they would soon mess up things and be at one another's throats again with the result that the same chaotic situation would develop in the world.
Suffering and misery are the inescapable acts of the cosmic drama. God does not decree these calamities but man invites them by way of retribution for his own evil deeds. This is corrective punishment which induces mankind to give up the wrong path and return to the right path so that he may experience the godlike condition of sat-chit-ananda -- that is, an existence of wisdom and bliss. All this is part of the grand synthesis in which the negatives serve to glorify the positives. Thus death glorifies immortality, ignorance glorifies wisdom, misery glorifies bliss, night glorifies dawn.
So, finally, if the Avatar brings the calamities mentioned by you to an immediate end, which I can do, and do, when there is a great need, the whole drama of creation with its karmic (universal, inescapable duty) law will collapse. Remember, these calamities occur not because of what God has made of man but really because of what man has made of man. Therefore, man has to be unmade and remade with his ego destroyed and replaced by a transcendent consciousness, so that he may rise above the karmic to command.
Q: Have you succeeded in bringing about this synthesis, Swamiji, particularly with the wealthy and powerful classes?
Fusion of Rich with Poor
Baba: I have not reached all of them as a class, but to the extent that I am able to contact them individually, the results are encouraging. The wealthy and powerful, of course, present a difficult problem in the matter of transformation. They need a special approach. The poor people, on the other hand, are very cooperative. They understand, appreciate and help my plans and ideas.
Q: What is the solution to this escalating conflict between wealth and power on one side, and poverty and weakness on the other?
Baba: The transformation of both into a single cooperative brotherhood on terms of equality without competition or conflict. This can result only from truth and love. The main issue is to fuse the two classes into one single class. The problem, however, is one of bringing them together on a common base or platform. Wealthy people live isolated in a certain state or condition. The poor also are similarly isolated in another state or condition. How do we bring them together?
I do so in many subtle ways by breaking the barriers of wealth and poverty and creating a feeling of equality and oneness between the poor and the rich. In this ashram (spiritual community) you find them living and working together, even performing menial labor on terms of complete equality. Here there are no distinctions whatever, nor any special facilities for the rich. They live, eat, work, worship and sleep like the poor. All live like a community of workers to share the common austerities of the ashram.
Peace of Mind Beyond Wealth
Despite our rigorous discipline, industrialists and businessmen want to come here. Why? Because they secure peace of mind beyond physical comfort which no wealth or power on earth can purchase or provide.
Thus we open to them a wonderful new world of spiritual treasures and they must sacrifice material wants and comforts. My mission is to show them the way to peace of mind which everybody, rich and poor alike, desires. In that process of spiritual evolution, the seeker learns that this blissful state cannot be purchased for money in a shop or gifted to one by anybody but oneself. It can come only from the universal source of divinity, the in-dwelling God that embraces poor and rich alike. This concept creates a common fellowship, a brother hood of give and take between the wealthy and the poor. Those who have too much are obliged to give up their unnecessary wants, while those who have too little get their needs fulfilled.
After all, in spiritual terms, all mankind belongs to one and the same class, caste or religion. The divine principles in each and all of them derive from one and the same God. This fundamental oneness has to be made manifest to them through direct contact with spiritual realities and the persuasive expanding power of love, till they become part of the universal religion of work, worship and wisdom.
Material Wealth is Spiritual Poverty
Q: All this would be simple and welcome evangel for the poor since they lose nothing and gain everything from your philosophy, but what about the rich who have to lose all if they followed it?
Baba: That is the crux of the problem. They simply have to lose, surrender, submerge their false values if they want my grace. So long as people continue to be slaves of materialistic definitions of wealth and poverty, there can be no solution. I, therefore, try to convert their minds and hearts to spiritual values and truths.
After all, who is the richest man? One who has the largest wants and, therefore, troubles and worries? Or one who is satisfied with the barest necessities of life and, therefore, is more or less desireless and comparatively happy? Judged from this criterion of happiness, the poor are spiritually rich but the rich are spiritually poor. It is not material but spiritual satisfaction that ultimately makes life worth living.
As I have said before, life without desire brings divinity to man; and those who seek my grace must shed desire and greed. Riches provide a fatal temptation. They are the source and cause of human bondage. The desire to raise the standard of life can never be satisfied. It leads to multiplication of wants and consequent troubles and frustrations.
No grace without sacrifice
The solution lies in our emphasis on the quality as against the standard of life, on high thinking and lowly living. The mind is the horse, the body the cart: to achieve mental peace, you must put the horse of high thinking before the cart of physical comfort.
Q: This is sound philosophy but how do you implement it in action?
Baba: The rich as well as the poor come to Sai Baba to seek love, peace and liberation from their problems and troubles. My prescription to them is absolute selflessness and desirelessness. To the poor, this is a natural state or condition. So my love flows to them to embrace their devotion. Thus they obtain my grace.
The rich, on the other hand, cannot secure this grace without surrendering their materialistic outlook and selfish attachments. So it becomes obligatory for them to sacrifice material greed to receive spiritual grace. I tell them:
Ego lives by getting and forgetting,
Love lives by giving and forgiving.
In this way, I change their mental attitude. I transform their monkey-minds into loving, giving and forgiving minds.
Q: Monkey-minds, Baba - what do you mean?
Baba: It is a kind of mentality that is used by peasants to trap and destroy monkeys. When the peasant wants to catch a monkey, he uses a big pot with a narrow mouth as a trap. Inside the pot he puts edibles which the monkey loves. The monkey finds the pot and puts its paws inside to grasp as much of the stuff as it can hold. Once it does so, it is unable to pull out its paws from the small mouth of the pot. It imagines that someone inside the pot is holding its paws, so it struggles and attempts to run away with the pot, only to fail and get trapped. No one is holding the monkey; it has trapped itself because of its greed. If only it lets the stuff in its paws go, it will be free of bondage.
In the same way I tell rich people, man is tempted by the wealth, pleasures and desires of the world. When he gets lost in such attachment and suffers the consequences of greed, he thinks that something is binding him down, capturing him, destroying him. The moment he gives up material wealth and desires, he will be free. I make him realize his bondage to the monkey mind and liberate himself.
BABA'S SPIRITUAL SOCIALISM
Q: Baba seems to be prescribing a kind of spiritual socialism based on the conversion of wealth into a trusteeship for the removal of poverty.
Baba: Yes, a trusteeship based on love, cooperation and brotherhood. What else can one do? The change must evolve from the heart; it cannot be imposed from outside. All materialist doctrines have failed to bring about any real transformation. There is no equality anywhere. Only spiritual transformation into a desireless mentality can put through the imperative revolution in human consciousness from which alone the desired changes can accrue.
We need to transform society from false to real values. We have to convince people that the ideal of a high standard of life is wrong. It must be replaced with a high level of living and thinking on the basis of humility, morality, compassion and detachment, as against the existing greed for competitive luxury and conspicuous consumption. People have to be convinced that the only way to rouse the latent divinity in them is to master desires and conquer greed for pleasure and luxury instead of being a slave to these false materialistic values.
Sai Path to Dharma (Righteousness)
Q: Then I take it that the various educational and social service organizations run by Baba - some 3,000 in all - are designed to create the cadres necessary for bringing about the desired socioeconomic change by means of love and persuasion?
Baba: They are designed to put the new generation on the Sai path of truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. Their motto - work is worship and duty is God - seeks to bring in the new social order related to Sathya - that is, truth, and dharma - namely, right action.
Q: India has been described as a rich country of poor people. We have the wealth of the whole world locked up in the bosom of our good earth. And yet the people remain economically poor and backward. Have you any solution to rehabilitate our economy?
Baba: Your analysis is correct. The solution to the problem you have posed lies in hard work and increased production on a cooperative basis. To achieve this, one has to rid people of the disease of individuality, greed and selfishness. Every individual must be taught to think and work in the broader concept of society and its needs. Once that is done, there will be less talk and more work.
Here again, it is the spiritual path that can save this country and the world from the wrongs of a materialistic order. What we need is a synthesis of the spiritual and material aspects of life. That will provide man with the social conscience and cooperative spirit imperative to the creation of national wealth and prosperity through selfless, cooperative labor.
Q: Very good counsel, Swamiji - but the trouble is that all the wealth created by labor appears to find its way into the pockets of a rich and powerful minority. Have you a spiritual prescription for this inequality?
Desire must be equalized
Baba: There is no doubt that the distribution is not taking place properly. The existing doctrines of equality, socialism, etc., have not succeeded in achieving equality in distribution of wealth and property. The difficulty is that you equalize, wealth, land and property by legalization, but can the law bring about equality in the desires of the people? This requires the healing touch of spiritualism.
To begin with, one has to cure desire and its evil consequences. We must persuade the rich that desire and its fulfillment in materialistic wants is an aspect of the monkey-mind which can only harm them and put them under bondage. That alone will solve the problem of inequality and maldistribution.
The rich will give up their extravagant wants, the poor will get what they need and a little more; and this process will bring about more equitable distribution.
Q: To conclude this section, Swamiji, would you sum up the main causes of India's social and economic backwardness?
Baba: From a purely material viewpoint, it is a question of supply and demand. Because of the overpowering material values of our society, the demand is growing larger and larger, while the supply remains the same or decreases. The solution, obviously, is to increase the supply or decrease the demand. Then, of course, there is the problem of growing population. This triangular issue of economic imbalance needs to be spiritualized if an effective solution is to be found.
Less Luggage : Better Journey
It is here that our insistence on a desireless life, in which human wants are reduced to the minimum needs, comes to the rescue as the only possible way of restoring the social and economic balance. Curb your desires, reduce your wants, live in spiritual austerity, and the available material will be sufficient for all humanity. More than that, the tensions of a competitive socioeconomic system will be dissolved and peace of mind will be restored.
Life is like a journey in a vehicle between birth and death. The body is the vehicle in which you are motoring to death. The less luggage you carry the better. Why encumber yourself with worldly riches and material comforts, when you may have to change your course or even meet with some dislocation or accident and, in any case, at the end of the journey you will have to leave behind all your possessions accept your atma? Would it not be better to attend to the immortal spirit rather than waste time which is running out on gaining wealth and securing comforts?
This is the logic of spiritualism with which I seek to change the attitude of people.
Why no Pumpkins or Cucumbers
Q: Baba has already clarified most of the issues raised by Dr. Narasimhiah and other critics. Some, however, remain unanswered. Narasimhiah asks why you do not materialize a pumpkin or a cucumber or a watch with a distinct mark to prove that it is your creation and not a transfer of somebody else's manufacture?
Baba: Pumpkins and cucumbers can be materialized as easily as rings or objects. But these are perishable objects and the whole point of materialization as I have already explained, lies in their permanence. That is why rings or watches become more serviceable as talismans or means of contact and communication, between the Avathar and his devotees.
The point they are trying to make is that big objects like pumpkins cannot be transferred while small ones like rings can be. But as I have repeatedly said, I do not transfer things by a sleight-of-hand. I create them to be talismans.
Now coming to your question about a ring or watch with a distinct mark to prove that it is my own creation, would you like me to materialize something for you?
Miracle of Om Ring
Q: Yes, Swamiji, I certainly would.
Baba waved his hand in the air to produce a silver ring bearing the inscription OM in the centre with Sai Ram marks on the sides and held my right hand to gently put it on the third finger. It was an exact fit and it was precisely what I wanted from Baba.
Q: Thank you, Baba, you have answered the question beautifully. Now to Narasimhaiah's unanswered point regarding the bogus Sai Krishna or Pandavapura exposed by his committee as a fraud and a cheat. He alleges that the boy had your patronage.
No Contact with Fake Boy
Baba: I can assure you there is absolutely no connection between him and myself. His people have several times attempted to arrange a meeting between us, but we have refused their requests. Of course, thousands of people, as you saw this morning, come here for darshan. There are others also who masquerade as my disciples or make money using my name. As this happens not only here but in other states and even abroad, we cannot do anything about it. They expose themselves sooner or later, as did this boy. I have absolutely no connection or relationship with such people.
Q: The Narasimhiah Committee wanted to investigate your miracles scientifically under controlled conditions, as they put it. You rejected the proposal. Would you like to comment on this controversy?
Baba: How can science which is bound to a physical and materialist outlook investigate transcendental phenomena beyond its scope, reach or comprehension? This is a fallacy on the face of it. One belongs to the material and the other to a spiritual plane. Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena; it tends, however, to exaggerate its contribution.
Q: That is true, Swamiji, but science is developing all the time so that the metaphysics of yesterday become the physics of today.
Glow-Worm in Sunlight
Baba: Quite right, but it is still blind to the vast and invisible world of consciousness. The very fact that science is changing all the time proves its incapacity to investigate the ultimate and absolute truth. Some time ago, scientists maintained that the atom cannot be broken, but recently they succeeded in breaking it. They are still ignorant about the realities of the pranic force behind the atom, which is the least of its components.
Science is merely a glow-worm in the light and splendor of the sun. It is true that it can research, discover and gather a lot of information about nature and its material functions and use it for the development of worldly things. Spiritualism, on the other hand, reigns over the cosmic field where science has no place. That is why some discoveries of science are useful while others can be disastrous.
As I have said before, Dr Narasimhiah and his group are like the Telugu men who go to the cinema to see a Tamil film. They will see only the dancing, the fighting and violence, the heroes and villains, the star with a beautiful face and these kinds of superficial things, but they will lose the subtler aspects such as the music and the poetry, the plot, the dialogue,the jokes and the like.
Wrong Spirit and Approach
However, as I have said again and again, those who want to understand me are welcome here. It is the spirit of the investigation that is important. Foreign parapsychologists have come here and examined me in such a positive and constructive spirit. You have seen their reports. They do not write letters or make public demands.
Narasimhiah's approach was improper; that is why I rejected it. If it were not so, he would have been welcome. I do not call people here so that they may bow to a God. I want them to come, see, hear, study, observe, experience and realize Baba. Then only, they will understand me and appreciate the Avatar.
Q: Dr. Narasimhiah maintains that according to science, "Nothing can be created out of nothing." You have evidently negated this law of science with a transcendental formula for controlling cosmic energy and producing paranormal power. Can you explain this mystery?
"What I Will, Happens"
Baba: The formula that nothing can be created out of nothing is appropriate to the limited field and dimensions of spirituality. In the latter field, anything can be created by the supreme will. All that exists can be made to disappear can be made to disappear and what does not exist can be made to appear.
Our history and tradition, scripture as well as literature, are full of such incidents which they call miracles. The material laws and formulas simply do not apply to divinity. For me this is not a matter of any mystery or mystique. What I will, happens: what I order, materializes.
Q: The Vice-Chancellor appears to ridicule your statement that "There is God in us all." He asks: "Is this not pure escapism? How can God be so unsure of Himself? Your rejoinder, please?
God Exists in Everybody
Baba: His questions contradict the very basis of Indian philosophy as well as that of most religions. All our scriptures assert that God is present in everyone. According to Vivekananda, "God is present in all." The only thing that is manifest and common to the whole world and, in fact, governs and directs the entire universe, is divinity. Nothing else really exists except divinity.
Mine is no escapism but the fundamental and eternal truth. I say so not because I am unsure of my own divinity. It is my confidence in its absolute and total authenticity that makes me affirm this fact. It is the scientists who are so unsure of themselves that they indulge in escapist theories.
For example, they say that the moon is lifeless. Simultaneously, they maintain that all matter consists of moving atoms. Now isn't the moon also a conglomerate of the same moving atoms? Then how can it be lifeless? There is no matter which does not consist of atoms, electrons, neutrons and protons, which are also constantly moving. This energy, too, is God.
So also there is no human being in whom there is no divinity. To say there is no God in man is like saying that there is no atom in the moon or any large lump of matter. The omnipresence of God has been described in our ancient texts as: "ano baniyam mahatoo maniyam" (God is a small particle in the smallest of particles and a large mass in the largest of masses). In this context, how can one say that God is not in man?
No Preference for Wealth and Power
Q: Another pertinent issue raised by your critics is that you show a preference for wealthy and powerful people as opposed to the poor and week in the matter of divine gifts, miracle cures and individual darshans. Is this true? If so, why?
Baba: This is wrong. I never see or make any distinction between the rich and the poor. I only look at them from the viewpoint of their devotion, their desires, the sacrifice they are willing to make and their troubles. You were here this morning and saw hundreds of people, a few rich, the majority poor. Did you find me making any distinction? All those I brought with me to this room were poor and weak, sick or troubled.
In my view, those who appear to the world as wealthy or powerful persons, really bring to me their troubled hearts and sick minds. I cure them by asking them to surrender material wealth and power to spiritual peace and grace.
Q: From what Baba has hitherto said, it appears that your mission is to enable mankind to rediscover and incarnate its lost godliness. Am I right?
Baba: You are right. When man turns inward to realize his true self, then God will become manifest to him. Self-realization is God-realization. In simple words, it is the realization that you are not just a body and mind with physical organs, but there is within you a self - the atma that is God - distinct from these perishable things. This self is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. The comprehension of this truth puts you on the correct path to God-realization.
Terror of Nuclear War
Q: So your objective can be summed up as a brotherhood of humanity to be achieved through the doctrine of love?
Baba: Yes, what else can save the world from thermonuclear fires? Everything points to the terror of conflagration coming; and my mission is to preempt the fires by reestablishing dharma and the spiritual law of one God, one religion, one language embracing one humanity.
I preach only one religion of love for all, which alone can integrate the human race into a brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. I know only one language of the heart beyond the mind or the intellect which relates man to man and mankind to God, thereby creating mutual understanding, cooperation and community life in peace and harmony. On this basis I want to build one humanity without any religious, caste or other barriers in a universal empire of love which would enable my devotees to feel the whole world as their family.
Q: Well said, Baba - but wouldn't this dharma with its Hindu orientation conflict with the established religions?
Baba: No, it will not do anything of the kind because my objective is the establishment of sanathana dharma, which believes in one God as propitiated by the founders of all religions. So none has to give up his religion or deity, but through them worship the one God in all. I have come not to disturb or destroy but to confirm and vindicate everyone in his own faith.
Dharmic Way to Peace
Q: But how will that prevent a nuclear holocaust?
Baba: By removing all causes, sources, barriers and provocations of class, caste, creed, color and race, and replacing the existing hate and violence with love and non-violence. I expect to provide humanity with an evangel of peaceful cooperation to replace the present escalation to death by co-destruction.
R.K.Karanjia: Thank you, Swamiji. I am all the more grateful to you because I really did not expect you to answer the whole long list of my questions.
Location: Prasanthi Nilayam Date: September 1976
Source: Spirit and the Mind, 235-58. Transcriber: Samuel Sandweiss
Editor: N/ A
Click on the "back" button on your browser to go back to the previous page,
or go to the initial page.