Sathya Sai Baba and an early devotee discussing the physical body.
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 unchanging spirit.
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 body.
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; practise it.
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 home?
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 with you.
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? 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 guiding me?
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 no reincarnation.
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 which appears different from any other bulb. You are the current, the one current that is found in all the bulbs. That is who you are.
Devotee: Swami, is there any difference between me and God?
Sai Baba: You are God. You are not the ego. You are God! You are God!
Devotee (incredulously): I am God???
source: Ramala Centre, UK.
We tend to treat the guru with reverence and respect and yet turn away from each other. The truth is the light that shines brightly in the guru, shines in each one of us too. Let us not dim each other’s light but instead help each other to shine even more brightly.
I remember a story from years ago when Swami was out driving. The driver saw a snake in the road and instead of avoiding it, he run over the snake, killing it. Swami said nothing. When the driver stopped the car, Swami stepped out and on the back of his orange gown were tire marks, deeply imprinted. The driver said, “Oh Swami what are those marks on your back?” Sai Baba said, “These are the tire marks that killed the snake.”