Fascinating Buddha. What a powerful personality ‘the enlightened one’ was! Even after two thousand and five hundred years the warrior prince-turned-ascetic remains a tremendous source of inspiration not only for the 350 million Buddhists spread across the globe but also for scores of other individuals seeking lasting peace and joy in life.
Why is he so charismatic? Because he once and for all solved the eternal riddle of man – “How can I be Happy?” And how did he do it? Through self-effort, inner strength and strong conviction. His life is an amazing saga of the triumph of the spirit over the senses and he was so human (living a married princely life) just before he left his wife and little son Rahul. It is this ordinary-to-super-human facet of His life which makes every man think, “Yes, it could be possible for me too.” The Buddha practised what he learnt and taught what he practised. In perfect harmony with his innerself as well as with society, he became just the right conduit for divine love and wisdom.
Desires, the Buddha said and as Swami reiterates so often, are the root cause of all suffering. “As he gave up all desires, Buddha became an epitome of total renunciation. There was nothing in him except love. He considered love as his very life-breath,” Swami said in the just concluded Buddha Poornima celebrations in Brindavan, Bangalore on May 13th.
Such was his love for mankind that even after attaining Parinirvana (complete Nirvana or Salvation) under the bodhi tree, the Buddha chose to live in the mortal frame for another four and half decades just to share the ‘greatest wealth’ he had discovered and aid fellow human beings to come out of pain and suffering and like him be in everlasting bliss and peace. The compassionate spiritual doctor prescribed very down-to-earth rules of living which when strictly adhered to would slowly but surely lead man to that state where there would be no sorrow - namely enlightenment. It was a ‘you-can-do-it-yourself’ mandate for every man.
The Buddha lived till the ripe age of eighty, traveling in the Gangetic plain of Northeastern India touching the hearts of thousands. From Kings and nobles to street outcast sweepers and servants, all found comfort and solace in his soothing words and loving message and the transformation in them was instantaneous. When pure unsullied divine love assumes a human frame, it opens the long forgotten and hidden spiritual vaults present inside the heart of every man so effortlessly and effectively that the evolution of man happens at the pace of a space jet. And this is what we see happening everyday.
While the Buddha then and now Sai say the same thing – Non-violence is the greatest Virtue, Help Ever, Hurt Never, etc. – what the Buddhists and all other spiritual seekers have now is a Being who can by His mere physical presence elevate man’s consciousness to the level of the divine. And this is precisely the reason why thousands of Buddhists gather at Swami’s Lotus Feet every year on Buddha Poornima Day. How do the Buddhists celebrate Buddha Poornima in His divine presence? How do they understand Buddha’s teachings better listening to Sai’s divine messages? And how have the different revelations from Swami from time to time about the Buddha and His life broadened their levels of understanding and made their spiritual journey easier? All this and more, you will know when you read our cover story. In the Prasanthi Diary, you will find a detailed account of how Buddha Poornima celebrations went on in Brindavan this year with lots of pictures and stories.
If people from California to Canberra flock at Swami’s Lotus Feet, it is not because He creates rings or watches or gives Vibhuti. It is because He touches the inner core of every being in such a remarkable way that the experience pulls the devotee to Him. There is nothing more fascinating in this world than Divine love and it is this love that creates all wonders, whether we realise it or not. When you read the riveting tale of how Sai entered the small Central American country of Guatemala in our feature article, you will find one more telling example of how His mysterious and mind-altering love works.
Many times we ask: how do I get close to Swami? How do I feel His love? And the wise men say actually we do not have to do anything except allow His love to flow deep into us. When you read our articles Precious Closeness To Bhagawan and First Come The Tears in the Swami and Me section, we are sure you will know not only how to connect with the Lord and but also remain in that state of intimacy and feel His love every moment of your life. Do not miss these real life stories of a Sai student and a Jewish lady from Israel – they have felt His love and found never-before bliss and you can experience the same too!
Ask anybody who had been to Kodai Kanal this April and they would say, “It was so beautiful! So… indescribable.” To see the Lord in the Mountains every morning and evening is heavenly. While a very few who were physically present there enjoyed it, many missed it. It is for this reason that we are working on a very special article, nay a series of articles, starting from the next issue so that you can relish this divine ambrosia drop by drop, ultimately becoming as blissful as He is. But for now, we have heart-filling pictures of Swami in Kodai in our Photo Album. Before you get on with this issue, here is a surprise! This issue’s Photo Album is special. It is not just a static nine pictures for the whole month, you are going to see a fresh set of pictures everyday from the 3rd of June. You are going to travel with Swami to Kodai Kanal and loose yourself.
Let’s let Him take over our life.
In Sai Service,