Conversations with Sai
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Swami, these days, imitation has become very common. This is also responsible for young people to go in search of new fashions. What are Bhagavan's views on this?
It is not good to imitate. Swami often tells the boys: IMITATION IS HUMAN WHEREAS CREATION IS DIVINE!
Imitation diminishes one's intrinsic abilities and masks one's intrinsic nature. An example: Once, a crow tried to walk like a swan. It kept on trying for a long time but could not succeed. In the end it got fed up and gave up the imitation. But in the meanwhile, it had also forgotten how to walk like a crow! This is the ultimate fate of those who try cheap imitation. Always be your own true self.
Swami, some people say that there is no happiness in their lives, and that they can never be happy. Why is that?
The mind is the reason for such a feeling. Happiness can be attained only if the mind is turned towards God. If the mind is turned towards the world, then life would become painful.
An example: Take a hand-fan and move it towards you; then the breeze will come towards you. If, however, you move the fan away from you, how can you get breeze? In the same way, only if the mind is diverted towards God, can you get happiness.
Swami, what is it that humans should give up?
People think that giving up means that one must renounce life. What one must give up is attachment - this is the true meaning of renunciation. Swami Ramanand Tirth had a wife and son [before he became a renunciate]. After he became a renunciate, his wife once came to see him. The Swamiji turned his face and said that he was a renunciate and that therefore the lady should not come to see him. Hearing this, the lady replied that she had not come there to see her husband but a holy sannyasi. Ramanand Tirth was humbled by the reply and felt regret that he has spoken proudly to the woman.

You do not have to give up PROPERTIES. Instead, what is important is to develop PROPER TIES WITH God!

Swami, why don't we receive God's Grace?
This is a totally wrong notion. God treats everyone alike. The fault lies with individuals. For example, if it rains and you want to catch the rainwater, you must place a vessel in the rain with the mouth of the vessel facing the sky. Only then will the rainwater collect in the vessel. If on the other hand you place the vessel upside down, how can you expect rainwater to collect in the vessel? Your mind is the vessel and God is the sky. Turn the mind towards God; then the water of Grace can surely be collected.

Volume : PDS / 01 Date : AUG 31 2003