SAI : There is One, not two. If one sees a second, then Maya is in operation.
H (HISLOP): Life appears to be somewhat a jungle of unexpected dangers!
SAI: Maya is harmless to the devotee of God. That same Maya , so dangerous to the person who does not believe in God, protects the devotee from all harm. The cat carries the kitten in the mouth from here to there, and the kitten is unharmed. But a rat is killed by a cat. It is the same mouth in both cases. Maya brings trouble, yet it is the same Maya that tenderly protects the devotee of God.
H: Then, the devotee of God may just do his work and not worry about penetrating the illusions of Maya?
SAI: Yes. The devotee may do work for God and pay no attention to the powers of Maya. God protects His devotees. His devotee is near and dear to God, and He carries the devotee safely through life. In Indian kitchens tongs are used to pick up and move the cooking utensil. The instrument can seize everything except the user. Maya are the tongs held and used by God.
H: Then God holds Maya in one hand and the devotee in the other?
SAI: Two hands are not needed: one hand is enough. If God held the devotee with one hand, the tongs might still seize him! So God holds both in the same hand.
H: What does Swami say about the three states of consciousness?
SAI: There is waking, sleep and dream, and deep sleep. In deep sleep there is no mind. All are changing states. Past is gone, future is coming, present is leaving. None of these changing states is truth; for all agree that truth is real and the same whether in the past, present or future. You are always that truth, changeless, constant, unaffected by change, always the same.
H: Swami says that 'I' refers to the body. But when one
thinks of himself he sees not just the body, but also his mind,
his conditioning, and his tendencies.
SAI: 'Body' means all the five senses and all that is implied by any extension of these.
H: In deep sleep, body is gone and mind is gone. But there is a strong happiness. However, that happiness is only known afterwards as memory, and memory is just a thought; it has no reality.
SAI: The difference between deep sleep and Samadhi is that in Samadhi the happiness is known at the time it occurs.
H: Swami says that in Samadhi, happiness is known at the time that it occurs. But how could the person, the subject, be aware of himself as happy? Surely that implies a subject-object relationship. Subject-object is unreal, so what is experience in those terms must also be unreal, is it not?
SAI: If one looks in the mirror and sees dust on the brow, he will at once remove it, even though he was unaware before looking in the mirror. Guru is the mirror.
H: Once he has tasted sugar, one never mistakes salt for sugar. If that bliss of which Swami speaks is our real nature
how is it that we confuse the unreal for the real?
SAI: You have not tasted either the salt or the sugar, but are just looking at them and imagining about them.
H: When one is merged in the divine bliss, is one aware of it?
SAI: He is the witness of his bliss. The person loses his limited awareness for God's total awareness. Deep sleep is Samadhi, where there is no world and no mind but only the experience of ‘I’. Freedom is that same experience in full awareness.
H: At various times, Swami mentions happiness, joy, bliss. Is there a difference?
SAI: Happiness is temporary; it is given to us by others. Next comes joy; one is joyful while filling the stomach - it comes and goes. But bliss is one's rightful nature; it does not come and go. Bliss is not something that comes to one; it is one's real nature and is permanent.
H: If one is wholly absorbed in God, who will take care of the body?
SAI: In waking and dreams, the mind is there, but who takes care in sleep? God takes care. Who takes care of the body at any time? One side may be paralysed - can you make it move? The genuine saints and yogis in the Himalayas have no way to take care of their bodies. It is God who takes care.
H: Baba says that in Sadhana, at a certain stage the exterior nature ceases. How is that?
SAI: There are ten stages in Sadhana, each cognized by sounds of various types ranging from just sound, through vibrations, bell, flute, conch, Om, thunder, and explosion. The 10th is pure form. Then senses are transcended. Until then everything is in the sense realm. Above the senses, there is the state of bliss as the universal body of God, which is light.
H: Is that state of bliss there only for a time? What happens then in the daily round of living?
SAI: That state, when fully realised as natural, always remains, Then the world is bliss, always bliss. Think God, eat God, drink God, breathe God, live God.
H: Does everyone pass through these Sadhana stages?
SAI: No. One may go directly to the transcendental state, or to the state number 6 or 7 or anyway at all. It is not uniform.
H: What should be one's attitude to these Sadhana stages as one encounters them?
SAI: The states change, but the attitude should be unchanging.
H: But what value should one give to the various stages?
SAI: The sadhaka will not be satisfied with any of the states. Because it is complete union that is desired. Desire remains strong and constant until the transcendental bliss is realized, and then desire ceases. Who is the poorest man in the world?
H: The man without God?
SAI: No the man with the most desires is the most poor. Until we realize the desireless state of pure bliss, we are in poverty.
A Visitor: One gains a measure of spiritual understanding, but in the next life is it all swept away and lost?
SAI: We say, 'I am not the body, mind or intelligence, because they are impermanent'. These are of the same matter. They are not of different material. Just as butter, curds, buttermilk, ghee cannot again be joined to the others to once again constitute milk, in the same way the quality of spiritual being, once separated by churning the milk of the world, does not go back again into the world. The spiritual beingness is never lost once it is manifested.
H: This car in which we are driving has certain natural factors that are neither good nor bad. If moving, it has speed and momentum. In like fashion, what are the natural powers of the mind?
SAI: The mind does not have any powers. The only power is Atma Shakti, the power of the Atma. Actually, the mind does not exist. There is no mind. The moon is lit by the sun. What we see is the reflected light of the sun. What we take to be the mind is the reflected light of the Atma shining on the heart. Really there is only the heart. The reflected light is taken to be the mind, but that is just a way of looking at it, a concept. There is just the sun and the moon. (The reflected light is not a third object).
In another way, mind cannot be compared to a car. A car has form. Mind has no form, for mind has no existence of its own. Mind can be said to be woven of desires. The Atma shines on the heart, whether the heart be pure or impure. If the heart is purified and if the strongest desire is for God, that is best.
H: My mind and intelligence are in operation at this very moment, regardless of the subtlety or coarseness of quality. Baba says that the only power is the Atma power. So why do I not see as Atma, that Atma that is in operation through the mind-intelligence complex at this very moment?
SAI: The Atma in its purity will be seen when the hindrances to clear vision are removed by spiritual practice, by Sadhana . Real Sadhana is not just sitting in meditation. Meditation is constant inner inquiry as to who am 'I', what is loving, and what is harsh? Meditation is thinking on spiritual principles, searching out the application to oneself of what Baba says, and so on.
H: I have the conviction so strong that it is into the marrow of my bones that life is one, and that other beings and myself are one. The Atma is that One and it is fully here at this moment, and I am constantly engaged in Sadhana. So the question remains, 'Why do I not actually experience that unity as no other than myself?'
SAI: Your conviction of unity is an idea, a thought. It is not experience. For instance, your wife has a chest pain. Do you have the chest pain? If not, where is the unity? The unity of life must be experienced - not idea or thought without experience.
H: Now! Swami has to say about experience! If Sadhana and conviction do not bring that unity as real experience, then how is one to get it?
SAI: With steady Sadhana, no special effort is needed to try and get the experience of One. Just as with ourselves in this car. We need only concern ourselves with the careful driving of the car, and in due course we will arrive at Ananthapur. With correct and steady Sadhana, in due course, the actual experience of One will naturally come about.
H: Swami, it is not possible to tell death to wait for a convenient time. In respect to death, in what state should the mind be?
SAI: That we feel that only oneself will not die is the greatest wonder. Flowers bloom and give perfume before dropping, whereas man, when his end is approaching, has only a long face. He should be like the flower, and do something good and bright when dying.
There are two things to remember: death and God.
And there are two things to forget: any harm done to us by others, and any good we may have done to others.
For to hold onto these two would be to reach for future results, and there will be future consequences if these are held in the mind. Whatever we think, or put in mind, we experience the reaction. Of course, death should be held in the mind always, for then much good action will result, and much harmful action will be avoided.