Teachings on Advaita or Non-Dualism
Devotee: Swami, what is the best
way to relate to the world?
Sai Baba: Do not think about the
world. Do not spend time thinking about the world or about your
relationships to individuals. These are all impermanent. They
will not last. Pay attention to that which lasts, to that which
is permanent. All things involving the world and human
relationships have to do only with the body. The body is like a
water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey. So do not follow the
body or the mind. Follow the voice of God. It is the voice of
unchanging truth inside you. It will direct you toward your
If doubts come, do not follow
them. Jesus had some doubts on the cross when the soldiers were
tormenting him. Then he heard the voice of God telling him, "All
are one, my dear son. Be alike to everyone." At that point the
last doubt dropped away and Jesus declared, "I and my Father are
one." He realised the truth of the oneness of Self and God. This
is the state of Advaita, of complete Non-Dualism, where there is
only unity. If you listen to the voice of God inside you, it will
tell you that there is no difference between you and God. There
never was a difference. It was your imagination only. The sense
of difference was only in your mind. There is no separate I or
God which has to become one. There never was any other. Always
there was just the one, without a second. To reach this highest
truth, do not think that you and God are separate. Think always "God
is with me. He is inside me. He is around me. He is above me. All
there is is God. I, myself, am God. I am the infinite. I am the
eternal. I am not two. I am one, only one. There is no one else
besides me. I and God are one and the same." That is called
self-confidence; it is the confidence that you are atma, the one
Self. You develop self-confidence by thinking all the time "God
is doing everything, without God I cannot be." When you realise
that God is not outside of you and separate from you, then you
gain self-confidence. Then there is love, there is peace, there
is truth and there is God. So first there must be self-confidence
and love of God. What are you thinking about now? You are
thinking about the body, but the body is just a water bubble. The
body is just a dress, only a dress.
Devotee: Swami, you say that
everything is God, but isn't the body also God? If everything is
God, then the body must also be God?
Sai Baba: You are asking about
the body. You are thinking about the body, not of God. If you
only think of God, then, for you, there will be only God. But now
you are thinking of the body. The body is an instrument; it is
made of matter; and matter is always changing. The world also is
always changing, but God is never changing. God is the one
Devotee: Is Swami's body also
just an instrument?
Sai Baba: Swami's body is like
all bodies. All bodies are just instruments. All bodies are only
temporary. They have birth. They have death. The indweller of
the body is permanent. That is the atma, the one Self. That is
you. That is the real you. You are the immortal Self, not the
Devotee: Swami, how do we rise up
to that highest level? How do we become perfect?
Sai Baba: Through love, only
through love. Develop divine love or Prema. Divine love is
completely selfless. Human love is mostly selfish. All the time
it thinks only of this little 'I'. This little 'I' is the ego.
Ego is a bad quality. It sees everything as separate. It sees
everything as dual. Remove this ego and you will see only unity.
Where there is duality, divinity will not be present. Think only
of the basis of everything. Think only of God. Now for you at
present there is only desire, desire, desire: I want this! I want
that! Desires are just passing clouds. They come and they go.
One moment they give pleasure and the next moment they give pain.
They cannot give permanent joy. Desires make up the mind. The
mind is nothing but a bundle of desires. Every thought in the
mind comes from desire. Don't follow the mind. Don't follow
those passing clouds. Desire comes, desire goes, but morality
comes and grows. Morality is very important. Follow morality;
Devotee: Swami, should we think
of God as being both father and mother?
Sai Baba: Your physical mother
is only with you for some years. She is your temporary mother. Your
physical father is also only temporary. The real relationship is
different. Truth is the real father. Truth is permanent. Truth
has no birth; it has no death. Prema, divine love, is the real
mother. Devotion is the real brother. Wisdom is the real son. Peace
is the real daughter. For all of these relationships there is no
change; there is no birth, there is no death. They make up your
permanent relationship, your relationship with God.
Devotee: Swami, if Divinity is
my permanent relationship and all these others are only temporary
relationships, then do I still have to take care of my family at
Sai Baba (very firmly): You must!
That is your duty. Do your duty. Take care of your family.
Devotee: Even if it takes me
away from God?
Sai Baba: No! 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, not even
when God calls?
Sai Baba (laughingly): 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. He is you. You, yourself, are God. Always think like
that. "I am God. I am God. I am atma. I am everything." Think
like that and do your duty at home. God is not sending for you or
asking you to come from somewhere. You are God. He is always
Devotee: Swami, is everything
predetermined? Is the time we take to merge already mapped out? When
we finally merge and get realisation, is that moment already
written on our foreheads?
Sai Baba: For atma there is no
time and there is no space. It is beyond time and beyond form.
In this Self all are one. Remember that unity. Live in that
unity. Make that your goal. All are one. Be alike to everyone.
Devotee: Then Swami, what is the
relationship between the Self and the individual?
Sai Baba: Where is Self? It is
everywhere. How do you know? You do not know. You have no
experience of it, so do some sadhana, some spiritual practice. Experience
it. Practise it. Live it. Realise 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?"
Sai Baba: 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? It is only in
your imagination. The Self alone is real. Realise it.
Devotee: Swami, is there really
no higher being related uniquely to this body, judging me or
Sai Baba: You are still in one
hundred percent body consciousness. Do not stay with this
body-consciousness. Remove it. 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 pure joy, only
complete bliss, only bliss, bliss, bliss.
Devotee: But then what is reborn?
When we reincarnate, what is born?
Sai Baba: The body is born.
Birth and death only have to do with the body. Ego relates only
to the body. Reincarnation relates only to the body. Do not
think of the body, think of the atma. It is one. It is
unchanging. For that one Self there is no incarnation; there is
Devotee: Swami, do I, as an
individual, exist at all?
Sai Baba: I! I! I! Always
this I. First you must ask "Who is this I? Who am I?"
Devotee (persisting): But Swami
is there no individual anything?
Sai Baba: When you realise the
Self, then there is no separate individual. You can think of
individuals as different light bulbs. There will be differences
in wattage. There will be differences in age, in colour, in form,
in name. One is a tube light and another is a bulb light. There
will be differences in shape, but everywhere the current that
powers them is the same. That current is you. You are not a bulb
that appears different from any other bulb. You are the current,
the one current that is found in all the bulbs. That is who you
Devotee: Swami, is there any
difference between God and me?
Sai Baba: You are God. You are
not the ego. You are God! You are God!
Devotee (incredulously): I am
Sai Baba: Yes! Yes! You are
atma, the one Self. You are permanent. The physical body is not
permanent. The physical is not the Self, but you are the Self,
not the physical. You are God. Think like this always. Do not
think about the body. Think about God. The body comes and goes.
For the body there is birth and death, but you are not the body.
The body is just rust and dust.
Devotee: Swami, I do healing and
I wanted to ask......
Sai Baba (interrupting): Healing
comes from God. Think of God. God is everything. He will always
do what is needed. Think only of surrendering to God. You may
say, "I am healing others", but this is just your 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 the healing. You
are only the instrument. God does everything. Think only of Him.
Devotee: Swami, how can we love
something we don't understand?
Sai Baba: 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 the realisation of the
Self. That Self is you; it is God. This is who you really are. Self-confidence
is unwavering love for the divinity within. What will help you to
develop this confidence? Be equal-minded. Be satisfied with what
you have. Don't hanker for anything outside. Be happy! The
secret of happiness lies 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
Devotee: Lord, I want to merge
with you. What do I have to do? I am ready.
Sai Baba: 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 the day
with love and end the day with love. That is the way to God.
Devotee: Swami, how do we
develop this selfless love?
Sai Baba: Only through God's
Grace. Prema, divine selfless love, comes only 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. Mind is just a mad monkey. I am the Self. I
and God are one." Think like this "Before this body was formed, I
was there. After this body goes, I will still be 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? The first step in self-realisation is to
always think of God and after some years you will know that you
are one with God. Jesus spent twelve years in the desert before
he realised this fact. 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 of Humanity are actors. God 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 other people?
Sai Baba: 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 and 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 always 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 realise divinity.
Devotee: And purity comes from
Sai Baba: Yes, purity comes from
selfless love, from doing selfless service. All are one family,
so 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?
Sai Baba: 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. You have Swami's blessing. Know that,
= - = - = - = - =
- = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - =
divine, that is the truth.
You and the Universal are one.
You and the Absolute are one.
You and the eternal are one.
You are not the individual, the particular, the temporary.
Feel this. Know this. Act in conformity with this."
Sri Sathya Sai
Source: Ramala Centre Newsletter,
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