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I met Sai Kaka about 4 1/2 years back. He is from Sangli, a city in Maharashtra.  I read a book on him (in Hindi) Pooja Ka diya and quickly had an opportunity to meet him. I was  impressed with his straightforward and practical approach. Take an example Sai Kaka says “Religion is an individual choice, in groups it is not a religion but a community and where there is community there can be communalism!” What we see in India or world over, maximum wars are fought over in the name of religion, right? More about Sai Kaka is on his website. The most important lesson he taught to me was this –

Sai KakaSanskar yukt chaitanya jab (संस्कार युक्त चैतन्य जब)

1. chintan karata hai to usko chitt kahate hai (1. चिंतन करता है तो उसको चित्त कहते है)

2. manan karata hai to usko man kahate hai (2. मनन करता है तो उसको मन कहते है)

3. nirnay karata hai to usko buddhi kahate hai (3. निर्णय करता है तो उसको बुद्धि कहते है)

4. asmita ka bhan karata hai to usko aham kahate hai (4. अस्मिता का भान करता है तो उसको अहं कहते है)

inme se sansakar nikal jaye to jo bachata hai vo shuddha chaitanya hai (इनमे से संस्कार निकल जाए तो जो बचता है वो शुद्ध चैतन्य है)

This in English means –

When a conscious filled with rituals (or say the lessons learnt about ‘way of living’)

1. thinks we call it mind (imagination)
2. contemplate we call it Mind [there is a difference between Chitt and man which I am not able to translate in English]
3. makes a decision we call it intellect
4. perceives pride we call it Ego

Now when the rituals or ‘way of life’ learnt, get out of this conscious mind, what is left is the pure consciousness.

It means “pure consciousness” is blurred by our different (Sanskara) learning about life. Therefore in some cases religion becomes a problem.

Thanks to http://www.quillpad.in I could write in Hindi and http://hindi-english.org for translation help.