How Will You Eat the Apple of Spirituality?

First think, in what way do you look at spirituality? Do you think of spirituality as something that can be found in a book? If you do, then I would advise you to follow that. Now, I feel I have so much capacity [Swamiji holds up an apple] yet nobody eats of it. So what is the purpose of talking? First you have to eat and, if you can’t, then you will have to wait…sit and wait. (…)

In what way do you want to learn spirituality? Do you want to learn it using polite table manners or are you so hungry that you just can’t wait to eat it? If you are very hungry you will immediately take a bite of the apple but if you want to eat it with nice manners then you will take your time to find a knife and neatly cut up the apple. First you will ask me, “How does it taste? What is its significance? Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Is it washed yet? Where is the knife, and a tray?” A ravenously hungry person will not ask all these questions, they will immediately take a bite of the apple! But if they are not so hungry, they will ask things like, “Where did you buy this?” “In Trichy.” “How much did you pay for it?” “Two fifty.” “Ah, very good. And do you think it’s tasty?” “Yes, I think it’s tasty.” “In what country was it grown, in India or somewhere else?” “No, in that place.” “Okay, bring a knife.” And then someone goes to get a knife.

When a knife is brought they will ask, “And where is the tray?” Then someone brings a tray. And before cutting the apple they will carefully wash it and then slowly and neatly cut it into nice pieces. Moreover, before eating it themselves, they will first offer it to others, “Here, please help yourself to a piece.” You see, they use very good manners. [Swamiji mimes someone politely eating.] Do you feel all this is necessary in order to eat an apple? This is ‘acting-eating’.  Who is really hungry? Go and give this apple to the Ashram children – it will be all eaten up before they even get to the building next door! They will never ask you where the apple came from and where it was grown, how it tastes or whether you washed it or not…they won’t care about all that, they will just want to eat the apple!

What is spirituality? How you eat this apple represents two kinds of spirituality. For those who want to realize the highest spirituality, I will give them this apple and they should eat it immediately. For those who want to understand spirituality…their way is like in the knife story. This satsang we are having now is the knife story; you are asking where I bought the apple. I tell you where and then you ask me where I bought the knife and I answer that too. This is information, it’s like a class, like giving a lesson, but if you want to feel and realize the highest spirituality, then this is a waste of time. Jump! Immediately! Practise! That is the madman’s way….practice.

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