Answers by Prof. Anil Kumar
I met Sathya Sai Baba for the first time in 1970.
Having seen him I was very much imprested by the org. around him. I was surprised to find many of
the devotees who worked voluntarily helping and working for his mission. I was also very much
impressed by the service activities going on all over the world in his name. Particularly I am very
much pleased with his message which is universal and in a sense it includes all religions. There
after I have had a taste of his divine love that made me hold on to him and cling on to him once for
What is the importance of
discipline in the regular practice of yoga, meditation and breathing, to make progress on the
A. The answer is quite simple discipline is very
essential not only in the path of spirituality it is also very very essential in our daily life. As
a student one has to be disciplined to cause a distinction, as a business man one should have
discipline to carry on with his business. A scientist should have discipline to make his
observations time based on his experiments. In every walk of life, whether it is physical, worldly
or spiritual, discipline is the fundamental law of life. Discipline is the key to success. And this
discipline is not the one that we have to cultivate it is inbuilt and it is natural. To be
undisciplined is unnatural. Why, you may ask? There is discipline in the movement of the galaxy,
lunar and solar system, sunrise and sunset. Discipline in the entire creation, plants has a
disciplined way of life right from their stage of germination to the stage of fusion. Animals have
discipline. Discipline is the law of nature, mans inbuilt structure is disciplined. To trespass
discipline is unnatural and can make man face some difficult experiences.
If discipline is imposed, if
it is given to us from outside, there is something wrong with it. It will not stay for long. If the
discipline is self generated we will maintain it. If it is from outside the ego will not accept it
and we well be rebellious. So discipline should be self generated and convinced of the advantages.
Sometimes we have to cultivate discipline because of bitter experiences.
Simple example, I take coffee
twice a day, without discipline I start to taking coffee every one hour 12 cups a day. What will
happen? I will have stomach problem, the whole health will get spoiled. Therefore I have to
cultivate discipline because of bitter experiences. If I am good enough I will follow my scriptures,
I will follow my Guru all by myself, without having to be a victim to voices and indiscipline. By
suffering out of indiscipline I may learn to be disciplined, one way, or I can learn discipline from
my Master, by strictly obeying his commands. Or life experience will teach us, because the Dr. will
say no more of smoking etc because the health does not cooperate any longer. Then we have to start
some discipline. Why can we not do it all by ourselves? If I do not take care of my body, who is the
loser, I am the loser, who has to suffer, I have to suffer.
If discipline arises from
inside, one, there will be total understanding, and two complete adjustments, and three
reconciliation. If discipline is from within we will be able to excuse others, understand others,
reconcile others, and love others. Excuse yourself first then excuse others, love yourself first
then love others, respect others, respect yourself first. All that comes out of discipline, born
The second point was
discipline in meditation, breathing and yoga; all the three are uniformly basically the highest
standard of discipline. Place, time and technique. The place where you do your yoga, meditate and
breathing exercise has to be peaceful and allow you to be undisturbed. You should also have a
specific time for your exercise. To know the techniques in yoga, meditation and breathing is
important. Sometimes without the knowledge of these techniques we can face health problems. These
processes involve regular training and unless they are done, learned and practiced under the direct
supervision of an expert, a saint, a guru; it is not advisable to practice on oneís own. Also a true
teacher, guru will not expect money from anyone. If he expects money or there is a demand for money,
it has more or less become commercial.
What is the best way to prepare
oneself to meet and create an inner connection with a living Master?
To go to a Master we need to
prepare our self. If you are a Dr. you need to prepare for the operation in a right way. Similarly
while meeting your Guru you need some preparation, the knowledge of the Guru. How can you have the
knowledge of the Guru? You read his books, his teachings. If I am going to Sweden I need to know how
to go there, what to see. I need a map, also someone who knows the place, who has been there before.
The Guru is there to show you the way, the right way, he is your guide. He has achieved realization
already and can show you the right path.
Have total faith in him. If I
begin to doubt whether he is a true Master or not, whether he is of my choice or not. When I begin
my journey with doubt I cannot establish inner connection with the Master. Inner connection begins
with faith, first step. Inner connection can be developed by contemplation, we contemplate his form,
his teachings, we go on thinking of him, something like his lover, his friend etc, likewise to
develop inner connection we have to contemplate, think of him deep, constant, repeatedly. The first
step is faith, the second step is contemplation and the third step is love. The more and more we
love him the stronger and stronger will be the inner connection. The children may be away but you
love them therefore the inner connection is there. Love is the basis for this inner connection.
Point four; the inner connection can be strengthened, further, by doing what pleases the Master. For
instant Baba, What is it that pleases him? Service and Love. Love all, Serve all. So by doing that
which is pleasing your Master you will strengthen the inner connection, your consciousness and your
Before an inner
connection, is it possible an outer connection might be there?
It is very very clear, things
do not happen in life just like that. How do you expect a person from Sweden to come all the way
here? There is already an unseen inner connection. Once we start to understand that these things are
not accidental, that there is already some kind of inner connection, the only thing we have to do is
realize the inner connection. Otherwise you would not come to the Master. You would not have the
longing or the urge to go to the Master.
We do not all have a close
physical relationship with Baba, many are far away.
We see the building but we do
not see the foundation, we see the tree but we do not see the root. Because we do not see the root
we cannot say the tree has no roots. There is two categories here, one what we see and the other
category is what we do not see. Inner connection is the one not seen, is the one to be experienced.
By being here itself, is a sufficient physical experience of the inner connection.
How do we know we are in
the right place?
How do you know you like a
particular dish served to you? How do I know that you know? Or how do you know all by yourself? By
tasting it you know that this dish is delicious and you start to eat and want more.
How do you know it is the
right Guru, how do you know it is the correct spiritual path? The kind of peace of mind you
experience, the equal mindedness that you have. The heights of love that you develop. A kind of
brotherhood, universality you will have. A selflessness, detachment, and an unshaken faith in the
Divine; these are all the signs of a spiritual aspirant.
When we stay for a long
time with a Master, what will happen to the ego?
Ego will always reject, ego
will always doubt. Rejection, denial, doubting, negation are the signs of ego. It will not allow us
to accept the truth or the fact, it will not allow us to surrender, and it will not allow us to take
positively whatever is happening in life. So ego is the first and the last obstacle.
When I am walking along the
spiritual path these things seem to be reduced automatically. Like a balance that will happen. When
one pan is up another pan will be down. The more spiritual sadhana, the less and less of rejection,
denial, anger, greed etc. Meaning, along with the sunrise the darkness will diminishing, and
vanishes automatically. Godís grace happens naturally. Effortlessly, because your direction is
How do you know if and
when it is time to shift, change or leave your Guru?
When your Guru tells you.
Initially you may have to follow one guru for a long time, in full concentration, total faith,
observing all the discipline and sadhana expected of you and then the Guru blesses you, inspires you
to move on if that is necessary.
If we have a Guru, teacher we
can by his grace go to other Teachers and learn from them. You will not be able to go to another
Guru without the grace of that Guru you are with right now. He inspires you; he blesses you to go
somewhere. Until then you are not suppose to make an attempt by yourself
Another example is if we dig
a well many places we will never find water. It is wasted time and energy instead of digging one
place until we find water as much as we want. Holding on to one Guru is so important, by digging
everywhere the whole plot will be full of pits and you will not be able to get water from anyone of
What are the most significant
advantages in having Darshan? (To meet and see a realized person)?
Darshan makes us focused on
Swami. During Darshan as Swami comes towards us a particular energy flows from him to us so we will
be more energetic than before. So physically we will be more energetic, mentally we are more
focused, intellectually we are sharp. We are in a blissful state, we do not think of anything else
other than Swami. That is the advantage. The mind gets single pointed and empty. We can experience
this energy more if we are able to be empty, if we are stuffed with thoughts etc, it will be
difficult to experience the energy fully.
When the Guru gives us a look
it means a direct recognition of our spiritual path, he accepts or endorses our spiritual path. It
is a kind of a blessing; he blesses us with a kind of appreciation of our Sadhana. Maybe granting of
our desire. When he looks at us it shows his concern. If a true Master is looking at us during
Darshan it also has a physical advantage, we may be freed from all kinds of ailments. Mentally, when
he looks at us we will be peaceful and give us the satisfaction that we are preceding on the correct
spiritual path. True Maters is also able to lit the light in a true disciple. And last we will feel
so happy to have been blessed by him.
When it goes wrong between a
Master and the Disciple, is that the fault of the Guru?
This is a genuine question that often strikes every disciple. In all good faith a
disciple comes to a Guru, and he follows whatever the Guru says, but there comes a time when the
disciple take things for granted, and he takes liberties with Guru. Initially he considered the Guru
almost Divine but with the passing of time he considers the Guru just as an ordinary human being,
like you and me. This makes him deviate from the spiritual path. This makes him sometimes to disobey
the Gurus advice, with the result that he has to face the anger of his Guru. Guru is angry not
because he is emotional, anger is not a quality of a Guru at all but his anger is the one he has
imposed upon himself to correct the disciple. Therefore the motive behind his anger is, once again
love. Out of love for the disciple the Guru is angry and tries to correct him. And in the process
the ego of the disciple is affected and he cannot tolerate any punishment, any check on his
behavior. And he wants to quit that place. A disciple who finds fault with his Guru is more or less
an ego problem. Once the disciple is ego less there will be no problem at all. Everything will be
quite smooth. Then once the disciple feels that whatever his Guru says is for his own good, for his
own benefit, whatever it is praise or blame, and then there is no question or any difference of
opinion or any issue to decide whose fault it is. If it is the Gurus fault or the disciples fault,
does not arise when there is no ego problem, so more or less it is the ego problem of the disciple.
Finally, one more point I can say. Guru may appear to be the one who is at fault; this is only an
external appearance, outwardly the Guru my look as if he is mistaken, as if he is at fault, but it
is not so. This also happens only to test the faith of the disciple, in what spirit he will take it,
how he would stand in the long run, It is a process of test on the part of the Guru and it is a
matter of challenge to the disciple.
What is clear intuition?
the inner voice, intuition is creative, intuition is spiritual, and intuition is the product of our
inner being, the center of our life. Your higher consciousness which expresses itself by your
intuition. Simple example; in the world of science we find scientific discoveries inventions are
intuitively made. Take for example Issac Newton; the falling of an apple was enough for him to come
forward in the theory of gravitation. Achimedes, a scientist comes forward with a theory of density
by taking a bath in a tub. Intuition is always sudden. Galileo, by praying in a church, kneeling, he
watched the lamp moving this side and that side, and led to the intuitive discovery of watches and
the clocks. They are all intuitive they are not done in a laboratory, no invention; no discovery is
ever made in a laboratory alone. In laboratory, observations are made, experiments are done.
Experiments, observations, inference, these are the three aspects at the level of the mind, so
intuition is above the mind. Man thinks, explains and interprets only at the level of the mind. In
the state of silence the intuition starts working, so intuition is the inner voice, which is always
creative and spiritual. Unscheduled, all of a sudden like a bold from the blue, it happens and it is
always positive. Intuition is more for the individual. The intuitive feeling I have the intuitive
voice I heard, need not to be the same as yours, it may not happen every day, it may not happen to
everybody at the same time, no it is all the Grace of God. It is in his hand to awaken the
intuition. We have to pray for the Grace of God to be able to listen to our intuition. Our intuitive
direction is beyond the state of the mind. For example, my intuition tells me to behave like that,
my intuition tells me to direct you, and this is all a secondary thing or a thing which can be
ignored. Because it is not our business to correct everybody, and it is not our business to advice
everyone, it is not our business to interfere with everybody. If we take the advantage of the
intuition for our personal development, for spiritual progress, then we may reach a state when our
intuition reaches out to others for the benefit of others; Not until then First the intuition is for
the personal benefit later at a higher level of spirituality it can be useful for the benefit of
What is a spiritual experience?
And how will it affect the person? How do we integrate a spiritual experience?
different levels of experiences. I see a movie it is a physical experience; I eat ice-cream, a
physical experience many experiences are physical experiences.. Music, literature, love of art,
religion, and spirituality, are a psychological experience and can be experienced by the mind. Then
what is a real spiritual experience? Experiences of the mind still separates us from God, because we
experience God, we are separate from God. We experience God's miracle, we are different from miracle
and God. Even the experiences of the mind are dual, separating us from God, but the real spiritual
experience will make us feel that we are not different from God, that we are one with God, and the
real spiritual experience is to feel the same God in anybody, right from an ant to the entire
cosmos. A spiritual experience is a universal experience, universal integrated experience, which is
selfless, which is desire less, which is formless, which is nameless, beyond all religion, dogma and
all that. Integrated experiences are spiritual experiences, we are one with God. With whom are we
going to integrate? There is nobody, the integration word is applicable when there are two. When
there is no question of integration, it is one, totality. We then will always be in a state of
experience, seeing God in everybody who so ever we meet. Once we realize that the nature of our
existence is beyond thought and emotions, that it is incredibly vast and interconnected with all
other beings, then the sense of isolation, separation, fear and hopes fall away.
Sufis say that we cannot search
for God unless he has already chosen us. Kindly say something about this?
How do we
know your teacher? How do we know our Guru? How do we know God? It is by identifying him. So to say
I have chosen God or Guru, is ego. God is within. We are outward and once we are inward God are us
only. The mirror is directed outwards and once the mirror is directed inwards we find our self.
Therefore God is in search for us, meaning, we are not inside.
What is the importance of
thinking of our death?
No one can
say I am going to die on that day at that time. Birth is not in our hands; death is not in our
hands. Our business is to live in between. We may say; to live in between, yes, automatically I
live; after all, I donít need to make any effort I live on my own. That is not proper living, proper
living is to live a life now in such a way we donít have to be born again. Our life pattern, our
style should be such that we do not have to die, once again. Therefore the presence is ultimate; I
do not have to be born again and when I am not born again there is no question of dyeing. I can tell
you that the constant reminder of death may make you negative. In that sense, you think; anyway I am
going to die, let me enjoy. Let me have my drinks, my gambling, everything. That is the negative
effect of that thought. People may have a positive thought also, it is; how much I may enjoy I
cannot escape death, however well I may dance and mingle with people I cannot escape death. This
leads to renunciation, detachment, so the positive result of this process of remembering the death
constantly is the development of detachment and renunciation, the negative effect of the feeling I
have of going to die tomorrow is that; it makes me unaware of the precious time I have as a human
being and not thankful to be the owner of this very life. If I remember death, love for instance
will be more important than fighting. Forgiveness is more important than blaming.
Donít be a doer let God do it! Is it practically possible before we are free from the ego?
Let us know
what will happen when we are a doer as an ego and a doer without an ego, If we are a doer with a
sense of ego, we will feel very happy running after publicity, recognition, for every achievement,
accomplishment but if our actions are not related to ego we donít feel that we take credit at all.
We are successful because it is a non egoistic doer ship. An egoistic doer ship claims and a non
egoistic doer ship doesnít claim. So egoistic tendencies bind us and non egoistic tendencies
liberate us. Egoistic actions will frustrate us if there is a failure or a defeat, a non egoistic
action will help us to be balanced even then. So doer ship not as an ego is a doer ship in the hands
Detachments - indifference
is psychological, detachment is based on discrimination. Discrimination takes you to detachment.
Laziness takes you to indifference
How can we establish peace and
silence in the mind?
Silence and peace in the mind.
First of all let us know that mind is never silent, let us also know that the mind is always
restless and never peaceful, because peace is not the nature of the mind. Steadiness is not the
quality of the mind so what we have to do is go beyond the mind, transcend the mind. As long as the
mind is dominated by attachment and anger, peace is impossible. How can we transcend the mind? When
we sing Bhajans, the mind is passive, the mind is withdrawn, and the mind is silent. When we
meditate the mind is silent and passive. When our active mind is free, and then comes the problem,
so engage the mind continually so it can be silent, peaceful and steady. Engage it in activity that
makes the mind be at peace. Meditation, conscious steady breathing, yoga, jappa anything that helps
to rest the mind.
To be centered and balanced is
important. Can you please say something about that?
ungrounded out of your center, to be ďaboveĒ the ground these are all emotional or psychological. I
donít deny these states. We are responsible for the feelings we experience and we cannot blame
others for the way we feel. Once we realize the true evolution of our mental state, we will never
blame any other living being for how we feel. Being unaware makes us hurt and disrespect others; and
being unaware of our own behavior and mental attitude makes us lose our humanity. The higher state
is spiritual, when we feel that everything is whole, everything is one. We are connected to the
earth, here and now at the same time as we are connected to a higher consciousness. I recommend
people to have this as a goal, to try to reach that state. Have your feet on the ground and your
head in the forest; meaning, be balanced and keep your mind peaceful. When we are emotional we will
one day feel up one day and the other day we will feel down and depressed. This up and down process
might initially make you feel happy, you feel special and you feel you have some spiritual
elevationsí, spiritual experience. Actually a spiritual experience has no distinction. There are no
differences between inner and outer, up and down. There is no superior or inferior. The whole
universe is one entity. If we have that as a target we will not be deviated in the middle. If we
have a higher experience and start to feel we have achieved something and we are special, our
spiritual progress stops. The goal is to know that everything is whole, everything is one. The
nature of conscious awareness and wisdom is peace and joy.
What is the difference between a Guru and an
fundamental difference is that the Guru shows the way while an Avatar is the way and the goal also.
He takes us to himself. Mostly Guru operates externally outside, an Avatar works from within. A guru
has a particular pattern a particular way and lineage and will tell you to follow this particular
way in which he is committed. You have to fit into that pattern. An Avatar will encourage us to
proceed in our own way, if we like karma work, we can do that, if we like wisdom, then we inquire.
He will strengthen and deepen the path we feel attracted to. A Guru has a time bounded program; he
has to teach you certain things. An Avatarís teaching is a prompting from inside, conscience, inner
voice, and its goes on, on and on, as a perpetual guidance. An Avatar donít see himself separate
from us, he will often say you and I are one, there is no question of past present and future, there
is only present. He is in us, he is not separate from us, we know our past and as he is in you he
knows it as well.
What is a vision?
intuitive, spiritual, inner prompting. Dreams are psychological, and of the mind or manipulations of
the mind. Visions are spiritual, divine directions, inner knowing. If someone has a vision of an
avatar outer or inner, it is a demonstration that he, God, is everywhere, a proof of his divinity.
All Avatars are the same they are one, like the electricity, it is the same everywhere the only
difference is in its expression, the light intensity, and the currents are the same. The same power
is behind all Avatars.
All books, explanations,
answers, experiences, understandings can be put up side down when we meet a fully realized person.
He doesnít follow normal laws; he can heal incurable diseases, and demonstrate paranormal
activities. It is a paradox in a way.
That which is
experienced with the body is known that which is experienced with the mind is also known. That which
is intuitive may also be under the known, but that which is beyond the body mind and intellect
constitutes the world of the unknown, the level of spirit or consciousness.
What is the unknown?
example; I know you, I am here, you are there; the knower, the known and the knowledge. When I and
you are one, who is the one to know the other? What is to be known? When you are different from me
we have to get to know each other. When you and I are one there is no other, we feel the
consciousness everywhere from microcosm to macrocosm. We feel one with the whole of nature; the
flowers, the mountains also the beggar on the street. So when we are related to everything the
experiences are beyond expression. We are not an individual we are cosmic, we have no identity, we
are universal. Universal consciousness is unknown; there is no knower, nothing to be known, the
knower and to be known are one and the same. Like the drop apart from the ocean, it knows it is a
drop from the ocean, the drop is limited the ocean is unlimited. The drop knows it is limited. When
the drop is put back in the ocean, it becomes the ocean and again experiences the unknown. Grace is
there, when we are in the hands of the Divine, things will be more spiritual, more creative, more
divine, more exciting, a bliss state.
Do you feel the Divine is going through you sometimes when you give a talk?
and sudden. Some of these ideas that are not there in my mind, which I donít prepare or write down
suddenly, comes on their own. It is Godís Grace. It is unknown. The source is unknown and it works
through me. Everything known that works through me is all scholarship, predictable. When I am just
there in the hands of the unknown things will be more creative, more spiritual, more exciting, it is
bliss. Divine intoxication. These messages or sentences will always amaze me, and when I go back and
contemplate on them, they will energize, inspire me. Karma or action will help us to experience the
known through the senses; the unknown can be felt only in the state of meditation. Meditation is a
state of mind a silent mind not only sitting cross- legged. We can make everything a meditation, if
we are one with what we do, when we lose our identity the unknown comes to the reality. When thought
words and deed are in union in the present moment, we experience meditation or the unknown. It is
effortless on our part, it happens when we relax our ego, mind. Be effortless and it will take you
to the unknown.
plus the mind is equal to an individual. We are an individual so long there is mind and ego.
Individual minus mind is consciousness. So long as there is ego, this individual will take birth and
rebirth. Once the ego is gone, no birth and death. We can clear out our ego by the spirit of
inquiry, through the field of wisdom. It is only wisdom that helps us to know that we are not the
ego not the mind.
What is the
strongest challenge on the spiritual path?
Are we ready
to accept spiritual life, or do we want to go in the world of the mind? The worldly way is known,
spiritual life takes us to the unknown. There is insecurity, are we ready to face the challenge? In
the known the results, the targets can be worked out. In the unknown there are no targets, there are
no results. In the known we have somebody to work with, in the unknown we are all alone. This is the
challenge. Are we ready to make our travel all alone? Are we ready to grow beyond body, mind and
intellect? Is it worth it? That is the challenge. Spirituality is very challenging every moment. It
is a test, a medicine prescribed specifically for an individual at the specific time. It will
strengthen us and it will give us inner authority, confidence, true equanimity, neutrality,
integrity and wisdom.
How to behave in front of a Master?
and totally egoless. Faith in him, and a strong desire to follow the path given to us. Finally a
firm decision that we will never leave him. It means we never leave him from our heart, the physical
presence is not so important when we are with an Avatar. If we understand that his Grace is there
always, it makes us graceful.
If one really
looks into the spiritual teaching with intelligence, one feels greater and greater faith rather than
Interview By Christina Nord submitted to
SBOI with kind permission of Prof. Anil Kumar.
flowers." read more