THE GREATEST DISEASE OF THEM
Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.
These days, there is a lot of concern about killer
diseases like TB, AIDS, Malaria, and so on. In recent times, even greater
concern has arisen about the so-called Bird Flu. As of now, Bird Flu has not
yet become a pandemic, but everywhere there is great fear that if the H5 N1
virus that is responsible for Bird Flu were to undergo one deadly mutation,
then hell can break loose and millions would die in a matter of months if
not weeks. Mass outbreaks of flu leading to millions of quick deaths have
happened in the past and therefore the present global concern including in
the WHO, is not without a basis.
Today we would like to discuss another disease, somewhat of a different kind
though, but which is very dangerous and has already infected almost every
single human being. And yet, the amazing thing is that hardly anyone is
paying attention to it! You do not believe this? Well, read on and see if
what we are trying to say is correct or not.
The disease we are referring to is called body-consciousness [BC]. At this
point, a good many of you might feel cheated and possibly yawn, “Oh that? It
is ridiculous and preposterous to suggest that BC is a killer like AIDS or
Bird Flu. Looks like the H2H Crew has gone bananas!” Well, that is the way
BC might appear to most people who have not sat down to ponder over the
consequences of BC. However, we are choosing to focus special attention on
BC because protection against BC is as important for the welfare of mankind,
as the protection against TB, AIDS, Bird Flu etc. Allow us to explain.
We wonder how many realise that Swami has discussed BC repeatedly over the
decades. Would He do it if BC were not something we ought to guard ourselves
against? This being the case, let’s get down to business, and examine what
exactly BC is and how it can affect the individual as well as Society.
We start with Swami’s reminder that every human being is actually a union of
three distinct entities – the gross body [B], the subtle Mind [M], and the
Eternal Atma [A] or Soul, whatever you wish to call it. That is why Swami
sometimes says we are all MBAs!
Agree that every human being is a conglomerate of three entities. The
question now arises: “What is the hierarchy, what is the pecking order, who
is the boss?” Two scenarios are possible. In scenario 1, the body along with
the senses get into the driving seat and weaken the Mind. In this case, the
Mind slavishly follows the body and the senses and allows itself to be
dragged excessively into the external world, and that is not good.
You might wonder: “Not good? Why? What’s wrong with the so-called external
world? After all, is it not God who created this world? Why then shun it?
Something seems to be very cock-eyed here!” By the way, a person who is a
slave to the senses is suffering from acute BC! To get back to what we were
trying to say, this is the way people suffering from BC would tend to look
at the entire argument.
Let us examine the whole matter a little more closely and dispassionately.
We must start by asking which is more important – the transient or the
Eternal. This question is not as ridiculous or irrelevant as it might appear
to some people. The long term is very important and if it were not, why then
all the hue and cry about the environment, the eco system, the danger to the
planet and all that? Do people say: “Let’s have a ball right now, and forget
about what happens to the planet? If the people who come later inherit a
planet that is screwed up from top to bottom, well, that is their problem.”
Do people talk like that? In fact, can we ever talk like that? Can we
summarily dismiss future generations? Absolutely not! In the same way, we as
“individuals” must also examine what is supposed to be our “long-term”
The nature of our ultimate destiny has been spelt out very clearly by
Bhagavan Baba on innumerable occasions. He says, “O man, I have granted you
the invaluable blessing of human birth, not for you to fritter it away in
meaningless pursuits, as in fact you are doing now, but to recognise the
Divinity latent in you. Live so that this Divinity within finds expression
in all aspects of your daily life. This and this alone would help you to
return to your true home. From God you have come and to God you must
Question: “All this is fine but what has BC got to do with all this?” Our
answer is: “Everything.” You see, BC makes us think we are the body but are
we? Swami conveys the same beautifully: “You drive a car and travel. Are you
the car? NO! In the same way, the body is just a car. Who is the driver? The
Indweller. That Indweller is none other than the Real You. Instead of
realising you are the actual owner of the car and behaving as such, you are
going about acting as if you are the car. You know what happens to a car?
After a few years it becomes junk and is scrapped. That’s what happens to
your body! Your body may perish but the Real You will not and cannot. The
moment you realise this and adjust your life to this truth, you would come
So it all boils down to this. If we do not consciously fight BC and allow
ourselves to be dominated by it, then we will start hurting Society without
being aware of it. There are innumerable ways in which one can hurt,
starting from smoking, to offering and receiving bribes. You might ask: “How
can smoking and corruption be related to BC? This is too far-fetched!” Is
it? People smoke because the body craves for it. If the person is not
attached to the body, would the person smoke? As for corruption, why does
one pay or receive a bribe? To get some personal advantage. Why this
craving? To satisfy greed, ego, etc. So once again, BC enters the picture.
If we think carefully, the explosive growth in the consumer industry is a
direct result of an exponential growth in desires, which in turn is due to
BC becoming more virulent than ever before. Drug addiction, alcoholism, AIDS
– all these can be traced to BC. It is thus the mother of all infections! In
which case, should we not give some thought to fighting it?
Swami says that no matter how devoted we are to God, if we do not try to
fight BC, then we are doomed to be born repeatedly and face the music, that
is to say all the problems of life over and over again. In Gita Vahini,
Swami makes it very clear that we must live this life so that we are not
born again, and that this death would be the last one. Human birth is thus a
precious opportunity to escape forever, the cycle of repeated births and
deaths. The question is: “Do we want to blow this opportunity?”
Think about it! Thanks for allowing us to spend some time with you, and see
you again next Sunday.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai's e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service.