A satsang with Mohanji from ‘The Love of Shirdi Sai Baba’ disciples
Q. Om Sairam! Thank you, Mohanji, for joining us. Thank you for gracing us with your presence here.
We offer this bouquet from ‘The Love of Shirdi Sai Baba’ disciples and volunteers as our expression of love for you.
We hold you dearly in our hearts, so please accept these flowers.
Q: Mohanji, The title of this Satsang is ‘The Phenomenon of Shirdi Sai Baba’! Mohanji, we have a few questions which have come in. Maybe we can go through some of those questions together today. But would you like to say a few opening words, or can we deep dive into the questions?
Mohanji: Yes, I’m a bit under the weather. My throat is not good, so if I’m coughing, that’s because of that. But I will take your questions now.
Why is Sai Baba a phenomenon?
Q: Mohanji, the first question relates to the title of the satsang. You have said in your own words that Baba is a phenomenon. You say that his presence is very tangible – felt across the world. But the question that’s come in is: why is Baba such a phenomenon? Why now, in this current time? Please shed a bit of light on that for us.
Mohanji: This time, Kali’s time – our era is a time of total unconscious existence. We are deluded by various concepts, theories, and understandings. We are trying to figure out who we are. Most people are actually rotating in darkness – from darkness to darkness. Most people do not understand any deeper impacts or any deeper value of what runs the show. What is in them (the spiritual aspect)? So, Sai Baba came as a beacon of light and made it very tangible, extremely tangible.
This Kali’s time is a time of deep degeneracy. It is a time of delusion: the good looks bad, and the bad looks good. Even if you take the life story of Baba, he was tortured by the community at that time. People even took him to court. But now we know how powerful he was. One hundred years later, he is everywhere after he left the body.
Most people do not recognize this truth during their (master’s) lifetime, and they (masters) are sometimes persecuted or not accepted. So, with all these situations, Baba rose as a beacon of light shining bright for the sake of the world. And what he proved is that you can become the same: through acceptance. With acceptance and no resistance, you can become very powerful.
Most people go to Sai Baba to ask him something. But if you go to Baba, ask him for only Himself. All you need is Baba. Then everything comes to you. If Sai Baba was not there, there would be no Mohanji today. He made me! Whatever I am in the world today is because of Him.
I heard you speaking about various masters, but always remember that they are just various forms of one master: Universal Consciousness. Universal Consciousness comes in many forms, time after time to guide and enlighten people and to bring brightness to their lives. And forms have no value.
Sai Baba came as a form, and that form is just a point of contact. If you meditate on Baba’s form continuously, eventually, you will not see the form. You will see only the brightness, the Consciousness. This is what Baba is urging everybody to do: “Come closer, come closer, come closer and be Me.”
If faith and patience are missing, we cannot. That patience we should have, that faith we should have. Our love is usually conditional. We don’t love unconditionally. So you can’t have a better and tangible guru or God, like Baba, during this time.
It’s not so easy to connect to anybody only because we don’t trust ourselves. Since we don’t trust ourselves, it’s very difficult to trust others, and so what happens is that all our relationships are shallow and transactional. We connect to somebody only for something, and after that, there is no connection.
So it’s important that we connect to Baba unconditionally – accept all that comes to us through sincere connection and faith by surrendering ourselves. The only authentic thing you can give to Sai Baba is yourself. Whatever else we are giving are just materials we have collected from here or the shells we have picked up from the seashore. But we are the original, the real, and the authentic – that is the biggest gift we can give Sai Baba.
Why Baba is a phenomenon and why he is so relevant today is because He is very easy to connect with.
We need an easy connection, and if an easy connection doesn’t happen, then we will not connect. If there are elaborate processes to connect, it will not happen. Just by remembering, you can connect! You don’t even have to chant, pray, or make any offering! Nothing!
Just remembering Baba and having faith that he’s with us. He is with us because he has proved it thousands of times. That’s what makes him a phenomenon. If he was just a personality who had lived at a particular time in a particular place, he could not become a presence. He was not just a personality; he was a Presence at that time and even more in this time. That makes him a phenomenon!
Another thing is that he always personified simplicity, humility in an unassuming way. If you follow those principles and if your feet are firmly on the ground (God or destiny may bring you riches, fame, name or fortune), you will become very close to Sai Baba. As I said earlier, you don’t have to do anything extraordinary to connect to Sai Baba. That makes him even more of a phenomenon because he has no demands.
When you drop the 10 rupees, he gives you 10,000 rupees back, which means he gives you much more. You take one step; he takes ten steps. I think most of us have seen this in our lives; it is not something like a theory; it’s a truth, a reality.
Experience with Sai Baba
Q: It is very, very tangible in terms of his presence. You said that you are here today because of Baba. Mohanji, I believe you’ve had a few experiences yourself with Baba, and I know we could spend the whole day talking about them. Is there one that really stands out for you that really touched you?
Mohanji: Well, my experience that really changed my track was the experience at Shirdi, Dwarkamai itself. I have already recorded that, and I think it’s on YouTube. But briefly, I came to India from Dubai and went to Shirdi. In those days, the dhuni (sacred, perpetually burning fire) was open – you could put your offerings of wood in the dhuni. I arranged with the taxi driver to get me some good quality stuff to put into the dhuni, and went into the queue.
The queue entered from one side and exited out through another side. Whatever I got from the taxi driver, I gave him half. We were going along in the queue, and then I offered it to the dhuni. There were a lot of people, and the queue was long; as I was coming out, one person came up against me, and he had a child holding his hand. He was wearing a pale sandalwood/slightly more yellowish coloured kurta and a priestly dhoti.
There is a small wooden pillar a couple of metres outside the Dwarkamai. And just like a command, He told me, “Sar idhar rakkho!” (put your head there). I spontaneously obeyed, knelt down and touched my third eye to that rod. Then he said, “Abhi jao” (now you go).
I remember him holding my hand. He actually held my hand so strongly (not painfully so), but it was very, like determined. I still feel it. Then I left.
I was in communication with one of the saints in those days, and he had told me there was a big miracle waiting for me. I didn’t know what it was, and it wasn’t that kind of miracle that something would fall from the sky or something. It was that Baba met me, and that changed my life.
So many things happened afterwards. I left my job later and went through a series of issues, but Sai Baba stood by me. And that’s exactly what Baba does for you. People will not understand you; people may not recognize you; people may ridicule you or even try to pull you down. But Baba stands by you. You only need Baba. People are minds, and Sai Baba is Consciousness. That’s the difference. No discrimination.
You know, the strength of our friendship is our ability to be associated with the other person even at their worst time. Being steady, being stable all the time, not conditionally, not emotionally, not transactionally. Be always connected and always be stable.
You should never ever have instability. Others may have instability – they like you today, they may not like you tomorrow – this can happen. But you should always remain stable. Then you’re representing Sai Baba.
Sai Baba is like that. He asks nothing. He stays firm, and I don’t ever think that I’m doing something great in the world. I feel that things are happening through me. It’s true. Things happen through you, and all you have to do is to make yourself available. Just make yourself available.
People mostly connect to any spiritual teacher or spiritual master. There’s a difference between a teacher and a Master. The teacher is somebody who has learned and is teaching. A Master is somebody who has found it, settled in it, or stabilized in it. Or, in short, settled in himself – that’s a Master.
When you settle in yourself, what happens is silence – where there is nowhere to go and nothing to do. In that silence, surrender is spontaneous. You don’t have to surrender with the mind. And with the mind, you can’t surrender because our ego or personality never allows us to surrender. So whenever you say, “I’m surrendering to Baba”, ask how you’re surrendering.
The best thing you can do in this lifetime is to take the help of Baba and assimilate yourself into yourself. And then what happens is the silence. That’s the beauty of silence – perfection! The fragrance of being yourself. And then what happens is surrender, knowing fully well that you and Baba are one. That is exactly what Hanumanji did! He didn’t do any practices or any sadhanas, but his whole life, he focused on Rama, nothing else.
You focus on one – that’s why I said there are no “many masters”. There are many forms, but if you don’t see the unity in Consciousness amongst all, you don’t see anything. You only see forms. From which level are you seeing the forms? Through mind level and through eyes, what you can see are differences, bounds, and personalities. Those have nothing to do with Consciousness. In fact, that’s an illusion if you look at Baba as a particular form.
Baba came and met me, not in the form that we know normally. He can come as a bird or an animal or as any creature because he’s Consciousness. Consciousness can operate on every level. We need to understand and make our connection to Sai Baba as a lifestyle – all the time. For that matter, consider all gurus are Baba. You are also Sai Baba.
So how will you treat yourself? The way you want yourself to be treated – that’s the way in which you need to approach the world – with love, kindness, compassion, and acceptance. If you do that, you will feel great and powerful. That’s when you will start recognizing the power and energy of Sai Baba.
You can follow the path of Bhakti yoga – devotional path; Jnana yoga – knowledge path, or Karma Yoga – selfless service path based on your orientation. Nobody can question you. Please remember that you are unique, authentic, and original; never compromise that. Baba never wants you to compromise. The path of Dattatreya, the path of Baba, never asks you to be something else. There’s no condition here. The beauty of the path is there’s no condition. Here you are yourself, but your attitude should be that of Consciousness. Consciousness never disturbs, destroys, or discriminates.
Grace of Sai Baba
Q. Mohanji, how can one win the grace of Sai Baba, and how can this be done at a practical level?
Mohanji: The very simple, one-word answer is: Faith.
The sun is always outside when you open the doors in the morning. If you open the windows, you get light. But if you close the windows, you will not know if there is light outside. We should always remember this: open the doors of your mind so that grace can flow.
Grace does not mean you have to do something for the other person. All you have to do is to be open to the feeling that there is an energy in us and that energy is vital. When that energy leaves our body, we call it a dead body. This understanding is all you need.
When you connect to somebody who has accomplished himself or an avatar like Sai Baba, you can’t even put him in any frame because his birth is avataric. How would you know it’s avataric? A hundred years after he left his physical body (or not left actually, he pulled the curtain in the drama of existence), he’s available and much more active. People have met him, seen him, spoken to him, and transformed because of him.
So all you need is grace – a factor which is spontaneous. You don’t have to do anything extraordinary to earn grace. Whenever you try to do something extraordinary to earn grace, delusions always come, comparisons come, and in a way, competition comes. They are all delusions, illusions, and emotions.
What happens then? Complete derailing from the bhakti or devotion will happen. So it’s important to accept yourself and connect unconditionally with devotion. If you’re not on a devotional path, at least recognize the Supreme Consciousness occupied by a form called Baba and understand that’s inside you.
Many years ago, I used to visit the Himalayas very often. This was in the early 2000s after my daughter’s death. I used to have the company of a saint, but I don’t have the authority or permission to mention his name because he doesn’t like to be known. I had a good heart-to-heart connection with him.
One day he took me to his kutir (hut) and gave me a picture of Sai Baba from his puja room – his small room where he was doing worship. I told him I had pictures of Baba. He said, “No, you keep this one. This is special.” So I accepted it. Then he told me that Shirdi Sai Baba lives in your third eye.
I didn’t understand anything at that time. But later on, the connection intensified. The picture is just a medium. It is not about the picture – the intention behind the picture changed things. In our life, the intention matters. How are we connecting to a master? Usually for something. When we get that thing, or if we don’t get that thing, we detach from it. That’s where the problem lies.
If we connect without any requirement, without expectation, the master gives himself to you – that’s the best. I don’t know how many of you have read the book ‘Mast’, the book/novel which I wrote. In that, the disciple was allowed to spend sufficient time with himself so that he actually was ready for receiving the full, and the master transferred his Consciousness to him. Thus, what you need here is patience or saburi. If you have enough saburi, and each situation of life enhances the strength of your connection to Baba, you will experience extreme grace.
As I said, no master is accepted during his time – it always takes the next generation or further generations to recognize the power. It is the same with Baba. So there were Kulkarnis in everybody’s life and in Baba’s life also. And they tried to harm him because of jealousy or because of non-understanding. You’ve got to look at all these things as part of the play; it’s a divine play.
Opposition is part of divine play. Don’t ever feel that if everything is okay, I will be able to connect. Not like that. Most of all, you should connect when things are not right.
An example is Hanuman. Hanuman met Rama when Rama was in bad shape. Rama was in the forest; his wife was kidnapped. All these situations were against him. When all the wrong things were happening in his life, that’s the time when Hanuman connected – connected consciously, connected sincerely and stood by him in his worst times. That shows his integrity. Hanuman became a god!
Rama wrote a ‘kavach’ or sheath/armour of protection under Hanuman’s name. Can you believe it? Rama is an avatar. He wrote a ‘kavach’ in Hanuman’s name! Hanuman is his servant in that context, but the respect Rama had for Hanuman! There is a particular song also: “How will I ever repay you? How can I give you back what you have given me?”
See, even avatars recognize. And the capacity of Hanuman’s connection to Ram was infinite capacity.
We all look at the world through our eyes, am I right? We only look at the world through our own eyes, our own capacities, and we believe that some things are not possible. But imagine the Consciousness like Baba, and if your intention is pure, what is not possible!
But adversities happen sometimes. They happen because we have done many things in life. We have inherited many things in life from our father’s side and mother’s side. And we have many desires, many inclinations, many tendencies, so they have to play up. You have no other way. Life brings you to situations.
While situations are happening, if you resist, they persist. If you accept, they disappear and dissolve. Thus, by connecting to Baba, connecting to the Consciousness, and surrendering your limited capacity at his feet, you will have ‘ashta siddhis’ and ‘nava nidhis’ like Hanuman.
Hanuman used more powers than Rama ever used. Why is it so? Not because Hanuman is more powerful than Rama, but Hanuman used it because he was connecting to it and had no qualms about it. Rama lived his whole life like an ordinary person, went through the processes, the adversities and the difficulties of life – everything like an ordinary person. Hanuman used the same strength and showed his invincibility. We can do that.
Our connection to Baba should be visible in our conviction and action. I repeat, our connection to Sai Baba should be visible in our conviction, action and respect to all – people, birds, animals, beings of water, beings of the sky, beings of earth, and human beings – all as representations of Sai Baba. Your approach should be that of humility and acceptance. Self-acceptance is important; self-love is important. Please remember that we are also reflecting Sai Baba. We are representations of Baba.
But don’t ever believe, don’t ever think that somebody is better than the other! That’s not true. Creation is not like that. All beings are unique. I tell you, I am not better than you. I am not more important than you. I am not! I don’t have better powers than you. Maybe the difference is that I have probably accepted myself better than you have. Probably. So that makes the difference here.
You accept yourself more; you will feel that power. Nobody can shake you; the outside world gives you opinions. They are seeing you through their eyes, put on by them. Instead, you see yourself through your own eyes. Look at what you are, connect to what you are and connect to Sai Baba’s Consciousness; you will know that you are invincible. Grace is the by-product.
Tangible signs of Baba’s presence
Q. Beautiful. Thank you, Mohanji. The next question is: So often, we don’t have the eyes to see Baba. But how do we know that Baba is with us? What are the tangible signs?
Mohanji: When Dattatreya was asked, “Who are you?”, he replied, “I am a worshipper of nature.”
Then they asked him, “Where can we find you?”
He replied, “In nature.”
Then they asked, “How can we worship you?”
He replied, “When you worship nature, you are worshipping me!”
The same happens when a person becomes a presence. There is nothing that is not Baba. He comes in millions of forms, ‘bahuroopi” (various forms), right? He sees through many eyes. He works through many limbs: ‘sahasraaksha sahasrapaad’. Sahasra doesn’t mean thousands – it means many millions. So millions of eyes are working, seeing you tangibly, and millions of hands are working. Millions of eyes are seeing you, and millions of hands are serving you. This is exactly how they operate.
So if you’re stuck with the form of Baba, you may not see him that way because many times, you can also get deluded. People dress up like Sai Baba, and they do various things in society. Some people say that they have been connected to Sai Baba in past lives and stuff like that.
Some people pretend to be Sai Baba and start giving ‘pravachans’, various sermons or predictions. Always understand the stability of the person! Baba never wanted anything from anybody, but Baba gave himself to the world. So you need to look at the tangible signs that connect a person, that visibly links a person to Consciousness.
As I told you in the beginning, when you become Consciousness, you’re married to silence internally. Then whatever you speak outside is just an expression of silence. As I told you, it took me about six years of constant effort to touch the realms of silence because noises are easy, and noises are very addictive.
I was busy with the world of noises when I was practising in the early 2000s. I was the country head of a company and had a very busy work schedule each day. All problems were happening at that time. My daughter passed away, I lost all my savings, I lost my possessions, and finally, I lost my job. I also contracted a disease.
Everything was going against me when I was seriously practising; it was not a very conducive state. It is not that when everything is okay, then I can practice and connect to Sai Baba. It never happened that way.
When I was practising, all I did was that I never blamed anybody. I never complained to Baba or anybody. I never criticized anybody. I just accepted it: “Okay, this is the situation.” Please remember that during those times, even your so-called closest friends will not be with you. They will criticize you and move away. The relatives, friends, relatives, or whoever, may not be holding your hand when you really need them. But that makes you independent. I walked alone. And because I walked alone, you have Mohanji in the world today.
Also, understand that these adversities should be used to strengthen yourself. All that I was connected to was dropping off. I was very deeply connected to my daughter Ammu, but she went away. I can’t bring her back. So that’s gone. Then each thing which I was probably attached to was removed. Then what happens?
The test is: are you going to be stable without everything or anything? That question should be answered with your life. You can’t answer in words. You need to lead by example, live it and prove it, and that time if you sit and blame other people, blame the situations, complain about it, criticize, judge, you have lost. The grounds are lost.
You need to think: “Okay, I’m getting one more step closer to Baba.” This is because lifetimes or possibilities of existence in many lifetimes are getting crushed into one, reduced. What happens is that liberation takes root.
Liberation means things go away, a letting-go. It doesn’t mean that you leave things. If you’re leaving things, at which level will you leave things? The mind level? The mind can’t be leaving things. When the mind leaves things, the mind will always be occupied with that. Like the black monkey story – if I tell you that you should not think about a black monkey, all you will think is about a black monkey. That’s how the mind works.
Every situation is given to strengthen and solidify us, and that stability will reflect in the world today. Today thousands of people are coming to see me. Why are they coming to see me? There are many people like me in the world. I always wondered what I would give them. The stability that I display is what they are looking for. So this is how it is.
See Sai Baba in every plant, every flower, every bird, every animal, every fish, beings in the water, every being in the air, every being on the earth and in human beings. Don’t look at the form. Look at the Consciousness that’s in everything. The same electricity that operates in a light bulb also operates in a washing machine but gives a different effect. When it goes to a refrigerator, it gives another effect. When it goes through television, it gives a different effect.
The same soul operating through different bodies gives different effects. That’s it. There’s nothing more. If you understand that, you have understood Baba; you have understood the Consciousness. He is here, He is there, and He is everywhere.
Transcribed by Padmini Ravikumar
Proofread by Geeta Iyer & Rekha Murali