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Chapter 2 / parts 11 -15

Workshop on Spirituality - Part 1
11  Truth and Righteousness

   Devotee: "Swamiji, should we think of God as both father and mother?"
   Swami: "Your physical mother is with you only for some years. She is your temporary mother. Your physical father is also only temporary. The real relationship is different. Truth is your real father. Truth is permanent. Where there is truth, there will be no change. Truth has no birth; it has no death."

   This is very important. This is the Indian understanding of truth. We use the word truth in the sense that we should not lie, we should be truthful. But truth means something much higher than that. Truth means that which never changes - something which has not come and which will not go. You say there is no righteousness in the world. But dharma, or righteousness, can never change. Righteousness and truth are one. They never change.

   It is the practice of righteousness that can change. It is the practice of truth that can change. But what is true will never change. What is the only thing that never changes? The divinity, God. That is truth. That is your real father. "Divine love is your real mother. Devotion is your real brother. Wisdom is your real son. Peace is your real daughter. For all these there is no change, there is no birth, there is no death. These make up your permanent relationship, your God relationship", Swami says.

   Devotee: "Swamiji, if the divinity is my permanent relationship and these others are only temporary relationships, then do I still have to take care of my family at home?"
   Swami: "Of course you must! That is your duty. Do your duty. Take care of your family."

   Devotee: "Even if it takes me away from God?"
Swami: "No, no, no, do not abandon your family. You must take care of your husband and your children. Do your duty. Duty is God. Work is worship. Do not forsake your duty."

   Devotee: "But Swami, when God calls?"
Swami: "God is in you. He is with you. He is above you. He is below you. He is around you. He is not calling or sending for you. He is always with you. You, yourself are God. Always think like that. I am God. I am the supreme self. I am all. Think like that and do your duty at home. God is not sending for you or asking you to come from somewhere. You, yourself, are God. He is always with you."

12  The Immortal Self and the Individual 

   Devotee: "Is everything predetermined? Is the time we take to merge already mapped out? When we finally merge and get realization, is that already written on our foreheads?"
Swami: "For the immortal self there is no time and there is no form. It is beyond time and beyond form. In this supreme self all are one. Remember that unity. Live in that unity. Make that your goal. All are one. Be alike to everyone."

   Devotee: "Baba, what is the relationship between the supreme self and the individual?"
   Swami: "Where is this supreme self? It is everywhere. How do you know? You do not know? What you say now all comes from your imagination. You have no experience. Do some spiritual practice. Experience it. Practice it. Live it. Realize it."

   Devotee: "But Swami, what I wanted to ask is do I have an individual higher self? Is there an individual higher self that is specifically related to me?"
Swami: "The individual exists only in your imagination, in your mind. It is just an illusion. It is not real. When the one self is everywhere, when it is one without a second, then where is the individual? Only in your imagination. The supreme self alone is real. Realize it through meditation."

   Devotee: "Then Swami, there really is no higher being related uniquely to this body, judging me or guiding me?"
   Swami: "You are still in one-hundred percent body-consciousness. Do not stay with this body-consciousness. Remove that. Take it away. What will remain will be God-consciousness. Then there will be no anger, no hatred, no envy, no jealousy, no desire, no ego, only complete bliss, only bliss, bliss, bliss, only pure joy."

   Devotee: "But then, what is reborn, when there is reincarnation, what is born?"
   Swami: "The body is born. Birth and death only have to do with the body. Ego relates only to the body. Similarly, reincarnation relates only to the body. Do not think of the body, think of the immortal self. It is one. It is unchanging. For that one self there is no incarnation; there is no reincarnation."

 Devotee: "Swami, do I, as an individual, exist at all?"
   Swami: "I, I, I! First you must ask who am I?"

   Devotee: "But Swami, is there no individual anything?"
   Swami: "When you realize the supreme self, then there is no separate individual. You can think of individuals as different lightbulbs. There will be differences in wattage. There will be differences in age, in color, in form, in name. One is a fluorescent light and another is an incandescent light. There will be differences in shape, but everywhere the current is the same. That current is you. You are not the bulb which appears different from another bulb. You are the current, the one current in all the bulbs. That is who you are."

   Devotee: "Swami, is there any difference between me and God?"
   Swami: "You are God. You are not the ego. You are God! You are God!"

   Devotee: "I am God???"
   Swami: "Yes, yes, you are the immortal self. You are permanent. The physical ego is not permanent. The physical is not the immortal self, but you are that self, not the physical. You are God. Think like this, always. Do not think about the body. Think about God. The body comes and the body goes. For it, there is birth and death. But you are not the body. Body is just rust and dust."

13  Think of God

    Devotee: "Swami, I do healing, and I wanted to ask..."
Swami: (interrupting) "Healing comes through God. Think of God. God is everything. He will do what is needed. Think only of surrendering to God. You may say: 'I am healing others', but this is just ego speaking. Healing cannot come through the ego. Thinking that you are doing healing is very harmful. You are not the one who is doing. You are only the instrument. God does everything. Think only of Him. Love Him."

   So now the level is coming down one step. Can you feel it? Now, Swami says: 'You are an instrument.' Before, he said: 'You are the immortal self.' That seed has been planted. But we want to constantly return to duality. That is all we have known for many thousands of lives. This is very strong in us. So, we climb down and Swami will do that with us; but then he lifts us right up again to his highest teaching.

   Devotee: "Swami, how can we love something we don't understand?"
   Swami: "Develop self-confidence. Then love will follow. It will come naturally, from within. In that way the love will be pure. Your journey starts with self-confidence and ends with realization of the self. That self is you; it is God. This is who you really are."

   Devotee: "Swami, does self-confidence mean confidence in the immortal self?"
   Swami: "Yes, self-confidence is confidence in the self. It is an unwavering love for the divinity that is within. What will help you to develop this confidence? Be equalminded. Be satisfied with what you have. Be happy!"

   Some of you may have studied the Upanishads. In the Isa Upanishad, the first verse is: 'God is in all beings. Be happy with what you have. Make that your renunciation. Do not covet anyone's wealth.' Swami quotes that quite often. God is everywhere. Be happy with what you have. Don't go desiring anything outside. Be equalminded. Swami continues in this same vein: "The secret of happiness is not in doing what you like but in liking what you have to do. That is a great truth. Always have complete faith in God, who takes care of everything. True greatness can only come from faith. Now there is no confidence in you. Without confidence your faith will be shaking and wavering. Then where is there room for grace to come in? Where is the room for the divinity to come inside? If you shut the door, how can the spirit be revealed?"

14  Love and Grace
   Devotee: "Lord, I want to arrive very early to you. What do I have to do? I am ready. I want to come."
   Swami: "Through love, only through love. Love is everything. Love is God. Live in love. Start the day with love, spend the day with love, fill your day with love, and end the day with love. That is the way to God."

   Devotee: "But then, Swami, how do we develop this selfless love? How do we develop this self-confidence and this selfless love?"
   Swami: "Only through God's grace."

   Think about that a minute. That is a very surprising answer. So, who is developing this love? How do we manifest this love? Only through God's grace. Why are we here inside this conference hall on a nice long holiday week-end when we can be out in the country? How did we get here? Only through God's grace.

   One time I asked Swami: "Swamiji, you once said it is more important that we gain the love of God than that we love God." It is one thing for us to say: "I love God, I love God, I love God." But Swami has said that it is much more important that God says to us: "I love you. My dear one, you are my own. You are my nearest and dearest." That is what we want to hear from God. That is very important. I said: "Swami, how do we gain God's love?" He said: "Think only of God with love. Repeat the name of God with love in your heart. When you turn towards God, God turns towards you. And God is always only love. When He turns towards you, He fills you with His love." "But Swami, if that is so important, why don't we do this all the time? Why do we forget? Why don't we always think of God so that He will fill us with His love?" Here Baba smiled and said, "That is God's grace. For you to think of God is God's grace. It is His gift. It is his blessing. It is something He gives, the chance for you to think of God."

   We speak of free will but here it would appear we don't even have this little bit of free will, that we can think of God on our own, when we wish it. Perhaps tomorrow we will talk a little bit about free will, but ultimately, where is this free will? All is just a gift of God.

   Swami continued: "Love, selfless love - it all comes through God's grace. Without grace you cannot do anything. First do your duty and think about God all day, from morning until evening. See everything as God and be happy. Think to yourself: 'O Lord, you are my everything. You are my goal. You are my breath.' Do not think that this is mine or that is mine or that this is not mine. Instead, think: 'All is you, Lord. All is yours.' Think: 'I am beyond the body. This mind is just a mad monkey. I am the supreme self. I and God are one.' Think like this: 'Before this body was formed, I was there. After this body goes, I am there. When this body leaves, I am there. Without this body I am still there. I am omnipresent. I am the all.' To reach this truth you have to do some spiritual practice. You have to inquire what is God? Who is God? Who am I?

15  Spiritual Practice and Service 

   "Jesus spent twelve years in the desert and then he realized. The first step in realization is to always think of God, and after some years you will know that you are one with God. In the beginning you can think that this whole world is just like a stage, and you are only an actor. God is the director. All are actors. He is directing everything. But do not stop there. Move on and identify only with God. Think God. Be God."

   Devotee: "Swami, shall we go out and tell these things to others also?"
   Swami: "Do not talk so much. Do some spiritual practice. First do. Then be. Then you can talk. But only a little. Do some meditation. Do everything with love. Be good, see good, do good. After you develop self-confidence and love for God, you can share with others. But it is a good rule not to talk too much. Talk very little, even about God. In spiritual practice there will be internal talk with God. You will give up all attachments and attach only to God. For this purity of the heart is very important. Where there is no purity, there is no unity. Without unity you cannot attain divinity. Then your whole life is just a waste. First purity, next unity. Then you will realize the divinity."

   Devotee: "And purity comes from service, Swami?"
   Swami: "Yes, purity comes from selfless love, from doing selfless service. All are one family, serve all. Not just the Sai family, but the whole world family. All are brothers and sisters. All are one. Be alike to everyone. That is unity. The brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God."

   Devotee: "Swami, even in a country like Germany, where there is not much spiritual feeling?"
   Swami: "Germany, Japan, America, Italy, France... the countries are all different, but the heart is the same. God is everywhere. Everywhere you can do service and develop your love. Wherever you are, do everything with devotion and love. And know that you have Swami's blessing."

   So, here in this interview, Swami has been teaching on a number of different levels, but he has consistently been stressing the highest level. What is true at one level is not necessarily true at another level. For example, Swami says we must not think of the self, we must be selfless. But then, at other times, Swami says we must only think of the self. Same words, different level, totally different meaning. One is the limited personal self, the other is the universal supreme self. So what we have just listened to, much of which was at the highest level, was Swami sowing seeds.

   I suspect there are very few people in this room who are ready to go out and totally live these teachings. But you can be sure they will work within you anyway, because they have been planted there. They are in the heart and they will grow. They will get stronger and stronger and eventually they will become second nature to us, because they are, in fact, our true nature. But until that comes, and as long as there is still some body-consciousness, there will be duality.

   When there is duality, then a different practice is appropriate, because a different level is involved. And so, we continue with our dualistic practices, but at the same time we prepare ourselves to move on up, because here Swami is telling us what is important, what has to be done to reach the highest level, which is our own truth.

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