Volume 14 - Issue 06
June 2016
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Posted on: June 10, 2016


Guru Poornima Special Offering
(Daily Episode)

Part - 2

In 2006, eager to start a service which will help everyone to connect with Bhagawan's teachings on a daily basis, Radio Sai began 'Sai Inspires'. All who subscribed to this service, received an email from us which had a concise message of Baba accompanied with His image. This daily offering was received well, and soon the subscriptions grew. Today nearly 100,000 people from all corners of the world wait for this message to help them tide over their day with peace and ease. The power inherent in these discourse capsules is indeed tremendous. How much we benefit from it and how best we harness this energy depends purely on how seriously we ruminate over these words and how sincerely we put our learning into action. To help us in this noble and elevating exercise, Prof. G. Venkataraman has taken time out to elaborate on these messages. His reflections will not only give us a deeper understanding into what the Lord is communicating to us but also give us tips to translate them into our daily practical life with more ease.

The best way to value the Master is to master His values. As we prepare to celebrate Guru Poornima (July 19), when we pay our respects and obeisance to the Divine Master, let us work to offer Him the tribute that the Lord loves the most from us - to make our lives His message, to make His love and wisdom shine in us. To aid us in this endeavour we have this series where Prof. Venkataraman for the next 26 days from June 9, 2016 will share his insights on select Sai Inspires messages. We hope this will help us to understand His teachings better and bolster our determination to walk on the sacred path.


Sai Inspires Message


Do not limit your worship of God to festival days alone. Each and every moment should be spent in the contemplation of God. You may think, “If every moment is spent in the contemplation of God, how is it possible to do our work?” Do not distinguish between your work and God’s work; your work is God’s work because you too are God. It is a mistake to think that all that you do in the prayer hall is God’s work and outside it is your work. You should not entertain such feelings of separateness. Consider that your Heart is the altar of God and turn your vision inward. One who understands this truth and acts accordingly, is a true human being.


In this message, Swami does two things: Firstly, He demolishes a myth that we eagerly hold on to, so that we have a strong alibi for keeping God out of our lives, except when we desperately need Him. The second important point Bhagawan makes is how via this delusion, self-generated of course, we are actually wasting an entire life turning away from a precious gift that God is holding out in front of us all the time – the gift of Ananda. The rest of this reflection would largely be an amplification of the two points just made.

Let us start with the first point. Ever since the advent of globalisation, say around 25 or so years ago, people appear to have become busier and busier. This has happened in the case of people in the high income bracket as well as middle-class people who have just entered the rat race – I am here referring to India. If one talks of the West, say America in particular, the manner in which pace of life has quickened is even more stunning.

Cut now to the year 1940. True, World War II had run through one full year and Europe was being shaken up like never before. But here in India we felt the pinch and the austerities imposed by the war, since we were still very much under British rule. Apart from that and of course the tensions generated by the Independence movement, life continued to move at a very slow pace. People did not rush around, for we simply could not - the transportation system was primitive, we had very few roads, cars were a rarity, petrol was rationed, and buses had to run on coal which made them quite slow; add to that the fact we did not have many bus services. Indeed, thanks to all this, religious traditions were pretty strong and all festivals were observed with great fervour.

In spite of all this, at a time when no one dreamt that even in India people would, in a few short decades start running around like headless chicken and be on the cell phone even inside the temple where they have come to worship God, what did a young boy named Sathya tell His small audience in a small town called Uravakonda?

Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam
Dustara Bhava Sagara Taranam

It is the same message He is repeating several decades later - 'Don’t waste time; instead, use it wisely for contemplating on God.' It is amazing to think that almost two thousand years ago, the great Adi Shankara, to whom Swami makes frequent references, also gave the same message:

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam
Govindam Bhaja Muda Mathe

Same message, given long, long before we were all swept into the endless whirl of business travel, meetings, video-conferencing, juggling with three cell phones at the same time, etc.

Today, if anyone suggests that we should be spending time thinking about God rather than how to beat the competition or whatever, pat comes an objection. Knowing this Swami says in His quote:

O Man! I know what you would say. You would argue, ‘Swami, if every moment is spent in the contemplation of God, how is it possible to do our work?’

Swami has His answer ready and tells us that we come up with this excuse because 1) We think we are different from God, and 2) Therefore, our work is different from God’s work. This is wrong logic and hence a meaningless excuse. Swami’s point is that since it is He who really created us, all of us are really extensions of Him. As He puts it:

Your work is God’s work because you too are God.

This might appear a bit difficult to follow, which is why that great seeker John Hislop once bluntly asked, “Swami, I shave every morning. How am I to regard that as God’s work?” Pat came Swami’s reply. With a sweet smile, Bhagawan replied, “Hislop, why do you shave? So that you may appear nice and smart. After you shave and bathe, what do you do? You come here for My darshan. So, without your being aware of it, you are actually doing all this just to please Me. So, why don’t you do it consciously?” What does that mean? Swami explained that also. While we are getting ready, we must consciously tell ourselves that we are getting ready because we want to appear our best when Swami comes out for darshan.

Hearing about all this, one day a lady asked Swami, “Baba, I live far away. In the morning, after I have my bath and finish my worship, I start cutting vegetables, and get ready to prepare lunch for my husband. This is routine household work. How can all this become God’s work, Your work?” As always, Swami smiled and replied, “That’s simple! While you are cutting vegetables, think of Me and say, ‘Baba, this is my ego, and I am cutting it down the way I slice this vegetable – something like that!”

The message that Swami is sending is that if we are really determined to see God in everything and all that happens, then OUR ATTITUDE to life can and DOES change. That’s the key point, you see. Things might not change differently but the way we begin to see does change and that really is the starting point of it all.

Let’s say you are going somewhere and you meet with a small mishap. You might think that it was all because Swami did not bother about you, etc. On the other hand, two things could happen you might not even notice. One, you suddenly start thinking of Swami and say, “Why did You let this happen to me? Why do You want me to undergo pain?” But do you realise that but for this mishap, your mind might have been wandering elsewhere? So mishaps are like God-sent mid-course corrections on the spiritual path – that is the positive way of looking at things. And believe me, once one goes positive, life does change since you would be thinking more and more of Swami, who thereafter makes sure you have much more joy than sorrow. I really cannot go into it all here, but I can assure that I am speaking from direct, personal experience.

Let’s now look at the last part of the quote we are reflecting on, which is that our work is God’s work since we also are God. This is so very profound and yet people do not ever think about it. Let’s say you suddenly slip and fall; has happened to me many, many times. Someone rushes to help; that too happened many times to me. Actually, every time someone came to help, it was really Swami in disguise. The question is: “How often did I understand it?” The more we realise that people who help are Swami in disguise and people who hurt are also Swami in disguise coming to warn us or even punish us, the sooner we would get off the hook that binds us to this world.

May be I would have to take a minute or two more than I had planned but I cannot let go this opportunity to tell a nice story that late Prof. Sampath (the third Vice Chancellor of SSSIHL) once told me, which is a reminder that God can come in many disguises to offer help. This is how the story goes.

A man was in a river and got caught in a sudden and fierce flood. As he was being swept away, he managed to catch with an outstretched hand a bush growing on a small island in the river. He pulled himself out of the water and got on to the island. However, the island was very small, just about a couple metres in diameter and about a metre or so high, and meanwhile the water level was beginning to rise. Desperately, the stranded man prayed intensely to God to come and save him. Just then a river patrol boat came and the captain said to the stranded fellow, “Here, catch this rope that I am throwing and we shall pull you.” The man replied, “Thank you very much but God will come and save me.” The captain shook his head and muttering ‘What a nut!’ went away. The water level kept on rising and the situation more and more desperate. Luckily a rescue helicopter appeared and lowered a ladder, so that this stranded chap could be pulled in. The pilot looking out of the window shouted, “Get in quick! Don’t waste time, the water level has left just about 20 cms of land for you to stand on. Hurry!” The stranded man looked up and shouted back, “Thanks captain, I am waiting for God!” Shocked, the captain flew away to rescue others, even as he wondered about the stupidity of the fellow who was sacrificing his life to ignorance.

Well, as you would expect, the water level rose, the man was swept away and finally drowned. He then went to heaven, where he stood before God. Agitatedly this man asked God, “Lord, I prayed desperately for You and yet, You did not save me? Why? What wrong did I do? Did I not deserve to be saved? Why did You let me down so badly?”

God smiled and gently replied, “Son, I did try to save you, not once but twice. I came as the river patrol pilot and you rejected My offer. I made another try as a helicopter pilot and yet again you rejected My offer. If you shut your eyes to Me, then how can I help you?”

The story is apocryphal of course, but it does carry a message which is that a) We must see God in all, b) We must see God in us, and c) Since we are God we ought to behave like we expect God to! Now may be you appreciate why Swami always tells us:


Think about it! Jai Sai Ram.

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Radio Sai Team

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