Volume 4 - Issue 12 DECEMBER 2006
ELEVATING OUR INTENTIONS AND ACTIONS….THE SAI WAY
By Dr. M Sainath
This is the transcription of the talk delivered by Dr. Sainath in the divine presence of Bhagavan Baba during the Dasara Celebrations on October 12, 2005.
I offer my most prayerful pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet. Revered elders, sisters, and brothers.
What Is Peace?
A soldier once went to a Zen Master and said, “Master, I have fought many a pitched battle. I have undergone the rigors and the training and the discipline of being a soldier. Yet, I do not know what peace is. Pray! Tell me what is hell, what is heaven?” The Master looked at the soldier and asked, “Who are you?” And the soldier said, “I am a samurai!”
The Master then exploded, and asked, “You! A samurai? Who on this earth would take you as a soldier?” This infuriated the samurai. He drew out his sharp sword and rushed at the Zen Master. The Zen Master calmly said, “Here opens the gate of hell.” The samurai then realized in whose presence he was, sheathed his sword, bowed down in humility and surrendered. And the Master then said, “Here opens the gate of heaven.”
If there were to be a moral to this story, it is that we are the architects of our own hell, and our own heaven. When we contract the world into ourselves, and take in all the dualities that the world is associated with, in the process we open the gates of our hell. But when we expand to encompass the entire world, we see unity in diversity and open the gates of our heaven.
The Right Direction of Action
At one point of time, Bhagavan identified six important qualities that a devotee needs to have to attain peace and happiness. As stated in the Bhagavad Gita, He said:
“These are: Anapeksha, not desiring any fruits;
A devotee went up to Bhagavan and said, “Bhagavan, in these days how are we to develop these six qualities?” And Bhagavan said: “Very simple! You dedicate all your actions to God with purity of heart and action.”
Action is verily the road to success but the main question to ponder here is in which direction? Many of us are so busy climbing the ladder of success that we do not have the time to see if the ladder is propped against the right wall or not, before it is too late! On this holy day, in this august assembly, I would like to share with you all a few of my thoughts and experiences on this point of action and progress.
The Intention Behind Action
The first point I would like to touch on relates to what my elder brother spoke on just before me: the purity of action. Bhagavan was once saying, while illustrating this very point: “You can clap your hands to keep in tune with the bhajans; you can also clap your hands to squat mosquitoes.” A patient is forced to fast because of the illness that is afflicting him, but a devotee fasts with the purpose of penitence. Which action gives merit, which action does not?
Bhagavan lays enormous stress on the intention behind the action. For one convocation ceremony of the Institute, the late President of India, Dr. S. D Sharma, was the chief guest. During the interval between the convocation and the cultural drama program which the students were to put on, it started to rain. Bhagavan sent word to the President of India: “Since it is raining, you may choose not to come, it is all right.” But Bhagavan was going and the President, who was a very ardent devotee of Bhagavan, said, “How can I stay back when Bhagavan is going?” And so he too went, even though it was raining. And in the car he asked: “Bhagavan, why are You choosing to go when it is raining?” The answer was very illustrative.
Bhagavan said: “For the last twenty days my boys have been struggling, giving up their food, giving up their sleep with the sole intention of making me happy, with the sole intention of getting one word out of my mouth ‘Chaala bagundi’. When they have worked so hard for my sake, how can I let them down? Rain or no rain I am going!”
This illustration is very important in the sense, that it drives home the very important point: The intent is as important - if not more - than the content.
‘You Look to Me, I Look to You’
We now go over to this next point. There was a time during darshan when Bhagavan picked me out of the students and He named the place where my father was posted at that time and said, “Such a small place, but so many dangers! But, you don’t worry, Swami’s protection is always there.” I was perplexed! What danger? What protection?
And so I went back to the hostel, I rang up home and they told me that recently there was a spate of robberies in the locality and every house was falling victim to these thieves. And for the next few days, I was very upset. Worrying what was happening there, I was unable to concentrate on my work.
Sometime later Bhagavan picked me out once again and asked, “Vachaara?” (Did they come?). I asked Swami, “Who?” and He said, “Dongalu! Inka Evaru?” (Thieves, who else?)
I was alarmed! Thieves! Swami said: “Don’t worry, everything is all right!” Once again I called home and this time I got the news that the previous night there had been a break-in. The glass panes of one of the windows were removed and the wire mesh was cut! But what was surprising was that not a single soul had entered through the window. And when I went back in the evening to thank Bhagavan, He said: “Naku Thelsuney! (I know) You did your duty here, I did mine there.”
This is an example of the mercy that God has for us when we focus all our actions on pleasing Him - He takes care of all our needs. There is nothing to worry about and that is an important aspect of all our activities.
The True Riches
For illustrating the third point, I would like to take up an example which Bhagavan often uses. This is about King Bhatruhari, who had once performed a great sacrifice. And in the process of the sacrifice, he had given away everything that he had: his clothes, his riches, even his kingdom. At that point of time, one renunciate came and said, “Oh king! What will you give me?” And the king said, “I have only my kingdom left. You can take it.” And the renunciate took the kingdom.
He then told the king, “Oh king! You have nothing now! You have lost everything. You have been reduced to a pauper. You have a family to maintain. Shall I give you something so that you can start your life all over again?” King Bhatruhari, a very wise man, said, “Master, what I had given away in the form of riches and gold was never mine. I was a custodian of the people’s wealth. What is really mine is my own Character, my own Strength, my own Truthfulness, my own Bliss. It remains with me, no one can take it. And regarding me being a pauper, how can I be a pauper when all of you have blessed me for giving and sacrificing so much? I have not lost anything, I have gained much.”
What really matters is the strength within us - the strength of our character. As Bhagavan says: "To depend on the ephemeral to gain the eternal is a folly of the highest order."
Acting in the Omnipresence
For the next point, which I consider to be perhaps the most important point to be held in mind while we go about our lives, I would like use an illustration from my own life. Those were the times when I was doing my Ph D; I was working very late in my laboratory and at that point of time there were some important sets of readings which I had to take once every couple of hours. I had taken the last set, and since it was very late at night, I was relaxing. When suddenly some unknown force threw me literally out of bed to rush into the lab like a madman, and there in front of my eyes I found catastrophe unfolding!
I had forgotten to tighten the clamp or the pressure was too much on the water cooling pump circuit, and the clamp was slowly unfolding with the result that the water pipe was coming out right in front of my eyes. Before I could do anything, water was spewing all over the lab where there were open circuits and expensive instruments! I did not know what to do. I just shouted, “Sai Ram!” and went in. In my eagerness to undo the damage, I did not see the water pool below me on the floor and before I knew what was happening, I was being electrocuted. I did not know how long I was there; but I did feel some powerful hand pull me back! I recovered, I undid the damage but the matter did not end there.
I always used to feel that among all the laboratories in the Institute, the nuclear physics lab was one place where Bhagavan had - please note this word - directly never inaugurated. And I used to pray to Swami, “Swami, why is it that you never came into this lab?”
It was a couple of days after this accident, when one of the student-brothers came from Brindavan and he wanted to see me. He had a message for me. I came to see him and he said, “I have message for you from Swami. Swami wants to know how you are.” I had never informed anybody about all that had happened. Swami wanted to know how I was. Swami had even said, He told me: “You need to be more careful and not careless.”
A few days later, when I went to Bhagavan to offer my gratitude in person, Swami put His hand on my shoulder and said, “Why do you want to invite me to a place when I am already there?” If our actions do not take into consideration the Omniscience and Omnipotence of God, it is not going to get us anywhere. Two actions performed with different intentions, are bound to invoke two different reactions. An act which is done considering the Omnipotence and Omniscience of Bhagavan is bound to get the desired result.
Spontaneous Acts of Love
I would like to conclude with a very touching incident. When I was passing out of the higher secondary school, my headmistress told us: “You cannot distribute the perfume of joy to others without getting a few drops of it on yourself.” And this was illustrated to me - much later I would say - when I was in the hostel.
All of us are with Bhagavan and we have been touched by Him in various means. There was a time when the department of physics was holding its viva for the second year post graduate students. One batch had finished their viva, and the second batch was scheduled to be held the next day. It was quite late in the night and the photocopying room is right next to mine in the hostel. I heard some activity going on in there, so I just walked in to see what was happening. I discovered that all those students who had finished their viva were very busy photocopying and binding their books and reports.
I asked, “What are you doing here?” And they said, “Sir, we are binding and photocopying the reports of the batch which is going tomorrow.” Then I said, “Why aren’t they doing it?” Their answer made me very proud - very proud because I had brothers who had taken that spring of Love from Bhagavan, who had learnt to act without anybody coaxing them. Their reply was: “Sir, we sent them away. This is a menial job; we did not want them to get disturbed with this. We had already finished our viva, and as they had not yet finished, we sent them away to study; we are sitting and doing it here.”
No one had forced them to do it. No one had asked them to do it; they had done it spontaneously. That spontaneous expression of love which is characteristic of Bhagavan is what we need to see here. Each one of us sitting here has been touched by Bhagavan in various ways - direct, indirect, with our knowledge, or without our knowledge. But the fact remains that the spark of His love is there somewhere within each one of us. And the greatest activity which we can do is uncover this spark.
Speaking on an occasion Bhagavan said: “The syllable Ra stands for destruction. Nara, or man, therefore stands for the indestructible. Man is basically indestructible, he is Eternal. But the syllable Ka when you add it to Nara becomes Naraka or hell. And this Ka," Bhagavan said, "represents Kaama and Krodha. When we associate ourselves with this Ka syllable of Kaama and Krodha, what was Eternal now becomes extinguishable, we become destructible."
On this auspicious conclusion of Dussehra celebrations, this is the greatest sacrifice that we need to do: The sacrifice of excluding this Ka or Kaama and Krodha from our activities, purifying our hearts, performing our actions with this purified heart, and then offering it at the Lotus Feet.
Jai Sai Ram!
- Heart2Heart Team
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Vol 4 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2006
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