FINDING THE SECRET OF BLISS
By Dr. John S Hislop
Pranams at the Lotus Feet. Sai Ram Dear Devotees!
The Bhajans were very nice; I thoroughly enjoyed them - and I am sure that Swami also enjoyed them - since He is here even more real than me; more real than you.
Well, on this occasion, Swami gave away all the money He had; and there was still some distance to go! So I had a roll of rupees in my pocket – some small stuff like 2’s, 5’s and 10’s – so I said: “Swami, please accept this – it’s a gift from me!” So He said: “All right!” And took the money – which is all His, mind you, not mine – and gave it around until we finally passed all the people who were waiting for money.
Then, when we finished giving the notes; He said: “Put it in your pocket!” Mind you, it’s His money not my money – so I put it in my pocket. Then we came to the Police Chief’s house again and stopped.
Now, perhaps you have noticed that the protocol with Swami in the car is that when the car starts, you get in first – the guests gets in first – Swami gets in last. But when we come to the destination this reverses. Swami gets out first because the people want to see Swami and not the passengers! Later, when Swami is well clear out of the car, the passenger gets out.
So Swami got out of the car. He was in the back seat as He always was and I was in the front seat with the driver as I always was. So He gets out of the back seat and walks and there is a whole bunch of people lined up in front of the house of the police man. And Swami walks off with them. Then I see Him giving the servants fistfuls of money! We thought: “He’s giving money! He doesn’t have any money! How is He giving money?”
So I reached into my pocket – no money! He never came within ten feet of me; I never came out of the car; yet in my pocket there was no money; He handed it to give to the servant. Every time I think of that; it amuses me!
But Dr. Hussein told me that he could do that only after praying to the Goddess Durga! So Swami has said that just like the executive of a big Corporation – the Chief Executive Officer – He does not deal with every sub-manager; or every customer; or every prospective customer. He has heads of departments who take care of production, distribution, advertising and so on.
So Swami said, in the same way, He has a great executive staff! And these Divinities then exist – like Durga, Ganesha and so on. And they have a function – that is they play a part in this world of Maya; this world of make-believe which doesn’t exist really at all – except in our imaginations! But we are striking for the heart of the situation, for the capital! So, what is that capital for us? Swami says: “I am always in Bliss! I never worry about anything! Nothing ever bothers me! I am always in Bliss – Ecstasy!”
Hold on to That Bliss!
So, who can say that? I don’t see a lot of hands. So, then why are we here? Why do we come to these meetings? Because if we had that fountain of Bliss; that fountain of Beauty; of Love, of Bliss and Ecstasy rising up – always new and ever-fresh as Swami says - then we would be happy; not looking for this or looking for that!
He wrote a very interesting book about his experiences as a young man. And in one instance, I remember he came to a well-known yogi. He had somebody with him who wanted to talk to this yogi. They waited and made some noise and finally the yogi came out of where he was (meditation) and said: “What do you want?” So Swami Rama said: “This man wants to talk to you!”
And he said: “Alright; but why did you do it?” He said: “I was in such bliss with my Guru – my God – and now you called me out of that to talk.” So he found that source of Bliss when he was in deep meditation in his Samadhi.
But with Swami, there is no Samadhi necessary. He has that fountain of Bliss coming up within His heart every moment of the day and night.
It was the same with Sri Ramana Maharshi – he had that fountain of Bliss with him all the time! You remember this great sage? Ramana had cancer coming out of his arm. And the devotees wanted to operate, but he didn’t want to. So the operation wasn’t successful and the tumor kept coming out again. And someone asked him: “Swami! There must be terrible pain with that tumor pushing through your arm?”
And he stopped for a moment and said: “Yes, there is pain, but I am not in pain.” He made a clear distinction between the body and himself. He knew from his early experience as a young boy when suddenly he had felt that he was going to die and he lay down on the floor and felt his body as though he were dead! And then he realized that: “Body is dead; I am lifeless and yet I am still there!”
So he became conscious of this ‘I’ – this Self. And never for one moment for the rest of his life did he let loose that thought; that consciousness; that ‘I’. And Swami says the same thing: “Once you realize that fear of death; that reality; grasp it! Never, ever let it go! Even if you feel some temporary happiness; some temporary Bliss, grasp it! Don’t let it go! Hold on to that Bliss! That’s the only Real thing! The rest is all imagination!”
So that is what we really are striving for! And we would like everybody else to have it too, of course. But how are we going to reach that culmination; that satisfaction of that fundamental desire?
The Fundamental Steps to God
We do it according to Swami’s instructions. Now you know this already but every time we talk; before we get to other topics, we should recapitulate the basic fundamental things. So, what are the steps? How do we go about finding ourselves – that which we really are? How do we contact and be that Source from which everything comes and flowers and arises?
So, if we can conceive or imagine that Swami is with us every moment of the day; then the task is done! Our mind and heart will automatically be purified - hatred, anger, and all these cruelties that are going on through this world; are flowers of the dark – flowers in the night. They can’t survive in the light of the Sun! And Swami is that light of the Sun! If you have Him with you; then they can’t survive! They wither away by themselves without any effort on your part. No effort is needed; they just disappear and you never feel them again!
It is a task we set for ourselves; we have to figure it out ourselves; if we are quite satisfied with the world as it is; we, Sai devotees set ourselves a task – of finding the secret of Bliss; the secret of ecstasy; the secret of freedom!
And for that, Swami said: “So say all the scriptures - right through Ashtavakra and the other great sages - that it is extremely important to take the Form of God that you have chosen – personal God – and keep it in your mind all the time!”
Do you remember the story of the two guardians of heaven? They committed some sin and were to be expelled from heaven and God gave them a choice. He said that: “You can incarnate as My devotees and have 15 or 20 rebirths and then you can come back. Or, you can incarnate as My enemies and you only have to take two births.”
Why was that? Because how much throughout the day – those of us who Love Swami - how often do our minds wander off to this and that and memories and friends and anticipations and some even remember Swami and then the mind goes away again! So the mind is not on the Lord all the time. But how about on your enemy? “Oh! How I hate that guy! What he did to me! I’ll get even!” We are thinking all the time of the enemy.
So these two who came as enemies – as enemies of God; they were thinking of Him all the time! That was enough to dispel all the ignorance and bring them back! So, that is the heart of our task – to remember Swami all the time; dedicate every action to Him!
When you come here; instead of getting in the car, you say: “I dedicate this action to You Swami, I am not the doer Swami; You are the Doer. I am just the witness. All my life goes by like a picture – like a moving picture in front of me – all caused by karma; that which has been thought, or felt, or done – it has its effect! And here is this show that is going on in front of me Lord; but I have nothing to do with that; I am separate from that; I am I and I am my Self and therefore I dedicate everything that I do to Thee - Oh Lord!”
Swami has said that again and again: “ Krishna and His instructions to Arjuna as to how to reach liberation; and of course due to the English language, we can’t say it correctly – we say how to reach liberation – that is quite wrong! We are already liberated; we have a fear because of the language; that we are human beings striving to live up to God; to freedom, to liberation – quite untrue according to Swami and according to the sages.
So if we wish to find this fountain of Bliss; this ecstasy ever fresh; then we must think these things through and reach the firm conclusion that we are Divine. Swami says: “This ‘I’; without anything added to it – I am a man; I am a woman; I am big; I am small; I am young; I am old – just ‘I’; that ‘I’ is God. That is God.”
So we should watch our own life. We can see that as we go through life, no matter what happens to us, ‘I’ remains the same. Day in and day out, you go back into yourself, sit back into yourself as all you can and you will see this ‘I’ hasn’t changed one iota since your earliest memory as a small child. It’s the same ‘I’ precisely – it hasn’t learnt a thing; it hasn’t forgotten a thing; hasn’t changed – exactly that ‘I’! That’s God!
So we should see that, feel that and not allow ourselves to be caught up and carried away by the rest of the events in our daily lives and get lost. That’s for us - the Sai devotees; how lucky we are to be born at this time; and know of the Lord; know our Swami; hear the wonderful teachings of Swami and be in a position to put it into practice!
Now if we see the Truth, Swami says: “None of this sadhana is necessary.” You can forget the whole thing – forget bhajans; forget seva; forget prayers; forget meditation - forget the whole business - because all that is simply in gaining the Truth; seeing the Truth! So we can think things through.
Then we have the strength and the will-power to put them into practice in our daily lives. That will-power is Divine Will-Power – we all have it! We call upon the will-power of the Divine to change our life according to our deep understanding of the situation as it is. We stop allowing our life to be managed by our senses or even by the wanderings of the minds. But the intelligence is in charge of the mind; in charge of the senses and will operate if you call on your own will-power – call on your God.
And as far as our daily world is concerned; our actions in our daily world – What should we do? What shouldn’t we do? We can always get the answers by acting consciously. Swami tells us again and again that God resides in me; He is the only real thing there is – everything else about me is our imagination. But He resides in me as consciousness and therefore as we ask our consciousness, we ask God directly and our consciousness will give us a correct answer. Thank you very much for your time.
- Heart2Heart Team