Sai Baba on self-realisation

Self-realisation means recognising that you are one with Divinity. Many of us did not understand this. We thought we were separate individuals experiencing the ups and downs of life.

 We identified ourselves by our heritage, our employment, or what others thought of us. It was shocking when I came to Prasanthi Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparti 24 years ago and repeatedly heard him teach, “You are God.” I simply could not imagine such a thing.

Yet, according to the Avatar, “All spiritual practices (Sadhana) will go in vain if you do not know your true identity. Instead of asking others, ‘Who are you?’ ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’ We say, ‘This is my book, this is my tumbler.’
Then, Who am I? The feeling of ‘my’ is illusion (maya). All this ‘mine’ is matter; it is negative. You think you are the master of this material world. Master the mind and be a mastermind! Make an effort to know your true identity. To know this, you should first give up body attachment. When I say this is ‘my handkerchief’, I am separate from the handkerchief. Similarly, when I say this is ‘my body’, I am separate from the body. When I say, ‘my mind’ it means I am separate from my mind. Then who am I? Constant enquiry on these lines would lead you to self-realisation.”

To discover your true identity, your spiritual self, is to empower yourself. You will have to give up the victim role, for instance; and you will have to let go of the idea that you have any control over others.

In order to proceed, Sai Baba says, “There are three paths. There is that of devotion; the guru guides and all is left to the guru to perform.”

However, not everyone wants a guru. Some people resist spiritual teachers. But they can still achieve self-realisation.

The Puttaparti Preceptor explained, “Then, there is the perception that God is Omnipresent; the future comes up to the present and the past falls away from the present. God is Omnipresent so the present is good; this is knowledge.”The path of knowledge, study of the scriptures, for example, brings you to the awareness of who you really are — a child of immortality.

For those who are not inclined to study there is still a path. “Swami Sai said, “Then there is surrender to God.”

It was difficult for me to just surrender my life to the God of my understanding, but eventually, I could let go. By doing so, I found that God did for me all that I could not do for myself.

“There are people, even today, who have the genuine experience of divine vision and self-realisation. But they do not travel here and there in the world, building up a following of disciples.

They stay very quietly away from public view and do sadhana. If you were to find such a one and ask for guidance, he would not be interested in you.”

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