Conversations with Sai...
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Swami, what is meant by Jnana or Spiritual Wisdom?

Jnana does not mean bookish knowledge! It has nothing to do with scholarship. To acquire Jnana, you do not have to master numerous books. Truly speaking, Jnana is attained when you investigate all your shortcomings and get rid of them totally. Spiritual Wisdom is NOT attained by stuffing the brain!

How to give up the feeling of 'I' and 'Mine'?

A small example will make this clear. There is a rich man living in a mansion. For protection, he maintains a fierce dog. If you want to enter the mansion, there are only two ways open to you.

One method is for you to become friendly with the dog. This is the path of Karma Yoga. Or else, the rich man must come to gate and take you inside; if he does not come, the dog will not let you inside. This is Bhakti Yoga. These are the only two ways of getting rid of the feelings of 'I' and 'mine'. Bhakti is the best way of destroying ego, which is at the root of the feelings of 'I' and 'mine'.

Swami,it is said that we are responsible for our actions, and that we cannot escape its consequences. Under the circumstances, what benefit can Bhakti [devotion] confer?

After creating everything, God gave man complete freedom to do as he liked. But God has imposed a condition. You may do what you want and enjoy what you desire, but you cannot escape the consequences. You have to face the result. Therefore, you alone are responsible for what happens to you. The good and the bad that happen to you were brought about by you alone. You ask: "Why then should we have Bhakti?" There is an example that will provide the answer.

You have some land. You may grow onions on it or jasmine - that depends entirely on your wish. But whatever it is, you must pay land tax to the Government. In the same way, you cannot escape the consequences of Karma or your actions. Here there is an important point. Your income tax is dependent on the amount you earn. But there are also tax exemptions. In the same manner, devotion, service, Sadhana, Bhajans etc., all fetch you some rebate from the consequences of your past actions.

Swami, some say God has no Form while others worship God with Form. Please explain what the difference is.

This is where many make mistakes. How can one even think of the Formless if there is no Form to start with? So, Form cannot be summarily dismissed. You have a form, don't you? Therefore, you must worship God with Form. If a fish were to worship God, it would think of God as a very big Fish. The same with a buffalo; it would think of God as a Super Buffalo. In the same manner, man must think of God in human Form. As a matter of fact, the worship of the Formless itself originated from the worship of God with Form. Without, Form, the Formless has no meaning. An example, you are here conversing in this room with Swami. Here you are dealing with the actual Form. Later when you go to your room, you recall this conversation and that mental recall does not involve actual physical Forms. There are no Forms now. This is the relationship between the Form and the Formless. Another example: You have milk and you want to drink it. You need a cup for that. In the same way, for devotion you need the cup called Form.

Swami, people say God is Omnipresent. Please explain this.

In the Gita Krishna says: "I am the seed from which everything came". This means that God is the primordial source of everything. For example, you plant a mango seed in the ground. This then becomes a small sapling, grows into a big tree, and then flowers. Then there are fruits and in each of these fruit there is a seed. The tree represents Creation; the fruits represent beings; and the seed in the fruits represent God!


Volume 01: PDS / 03 Date : OCT 01 2003