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  Volume 4 - Issue 11 NOVEMBER 2006
 
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EXPERIENCE HIM IN EVERYTHING AND EVERYWHERE

By Dr. Narendranath Reddy


This is the transcription of a talk delivered by Dr. Narendranath Reddy in USA. Dr. Reddy is a member of the Prasanthi Council which oversees the activities of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations the worldover.

 

 

With reverence and love, I offer my prayerful pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet of our dearest, sweetest, loving Lord, Sathya Sai. Sai Ram to all of you.

What a day of holy fun. I don’t know if you are ready for a talk after all this wonderful music and play you’ve had. As Swami says, there is one good thing about spirituality around Swami; it is not having a long face, – as He says a castor oil face – it is having a wonderful joyous time, singing, dancing, and having good food, calling it as prasad; just having a good time.

So that is the beauty of living with Swami. Being around Swami is always having lots of happiness and joy.

Kasturi’s Test

It reminds me of an incident when Professor Kasturi was giving talks which I attended – this was about twenty years ago. He was talking about how Swami puts us through all kinds of tests.

At the request of the devotees, he went to give a talk in West Bengal. He gave a wonderful talk and everything went well. People were very happy; they all felt Swami’s Love.

When he came back, he felt Swami would pat his back and say, “What a wonderful job you did.” Instead, Swami ignored him and didn’t talk to him and he got the opposite treatment. Earlier, at least Swami would talk to him and take him for lunch, but now Swami completely ignored him. This went on for a couple of weeks. He was shocked. He thought, “I went and did service, I talked about Swami, I shared His Love, and He ignores me.”

His mother was there. One day she took the liberty and went up to Swami and said, “Swami, my son is devastated. He’s crying, he is depressed, he doesn’t eat.” Then Swami said, “Okay, ask him to come.” He went there and got on his knees and said, “Swami, what did I do wrong?” Swami said, “You went to Bengal and you talked.” He said, “But what did I do wrong, Swami?”

There he showed the invitation which said ‘Professor Kasturi talks about Bhagavan and arranges the interviews’. Swami said: “You gave interviews to people. I don’t need to give interviews; now you give interviews to people.” He said, “Swami, I didn’t do that. People put it without my knowledge.” “But you were happy inside: ‘Oh they are doing this to me.’” So this ego – rogue – plays the trick. That is why I give any credit – whatever happens – to Swami. I hope Swami’s Love flows through me.

 
   
Swami with Kasturi

“Never Try to Explain Swami”

Another thing Professor Kasturi said, “Never try to explain Swami.” Because Swami Himself said that He cannot be explained, neither can He be understood. Swami gave a history making discourse in 1968 where He said that the Avatar can never be understood. Whoever it is, even great scientists after thousands of years of enquiry, no one can understand Him. We can just experience His love.

 

When I was there recently on November 4, Deepavali Day, the festival of lights, that morning there was a beautiful, joyous music program. And that day, Swami gave a discourse, and that day God Himself was quoting the great devotee Tyagaraja.

In His inimitable sweet voice Swami sang a Sanskrit song meaning God is beyond words. That is why even in the Narada Bhakti Sutra, it says that this is something to be experienced; you can’t put it in words. And even the Upanishad’s say the mind and the words cannot grasp; they recoil.

When I was new to Swami, I was passing through Singapore. I stopped at some bhajan places; I saw vibhuti coming in the pictures and lot of miracles happening. As soon as I went to Swami, I said, “Swami, I saw these miracles happening.” Because I was new to Swami, I was excited. Swami said, “Every person has a miracle. Every house has a miracle.”

So each one of you can probably write a book. That is the Love of the Avatar. So we can all experience and enjoy that Love. And that Love, we should share it with others. That is why having experienced Swami’s Love, we have to expand that Love and we have to share it with others.

Tyagaraja
   

The Greatest Blessing: “This is the Golden Chance”

Really we are blessed and fortunate; we don’t realize that. The greatest blessing is to be born as a human being and to have a desire for God and on top if it to come in contact with an Avatar, a jagadguru, a world teacher – that is the greatest blessing.

People have probably heard of Don Mario Mazzoleni. He wrote the book: A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba. A few of you must have read that book. This man passed away in September 2001 in Prashanti Nilayam in the Super Specialty Hospital. He was a Catholic priest who was condemned because he was following Sai Baba. But he said that what he experienced and learned from Swami is the gist and summary of all the holy teachings of all the religions possible. He said his whole life changed. On his deathbed he said:

“Don’t miss this chance – this is the golden chance. To be contemporaries of an Avatar; we don’t know how lucky we are.” That is why sincere seekers come from more than 170 countries who do not understand Telugu or English. That in itself is the greatest miracle of Swami, that Love, His magnetism and how it attracts. So Swami is there for us, for anybody who is a sincere seeker. But the main thing is that we should be able to make use of His teachings and live them practically in our life.

 

 

Every Discourse - A Gita

Swami has summarized: “Love all, Serve all. Help Ever, Hurt Never.” But He gives us different examples in different discourses. He is the source of all knowledge, both secular and sacred knowledge. He is not only the source of the Vedas, every word He speaks is a Veda, every word He speaks is a mantra, every sentence He speaks is a sutra, and every discourse He gives is a Upanishad or a Gita.

So, everything He says we should listen to very carefully because He is the source of all knowledge. In fact, He is not only a source of spiritual knowledge, He is also a source of scientific knowledge, business, and politics.

I can share with you some experiences. One geologist went to Swami many years ago, and because he was a scientist, Swami took him to the Chitravati River. (In those days, He used to go to the Chitravati River.) Swami took a stone and asked him, “What is this? What does this contain?” He said, “Stone, Swami. It contains silica, atoms,” etc. and he gave all the scientific details.


Sai – the Scientist

Swami said, “No, look again.” And it was a beautiful sugar idol of Krishna. So Swami gave him a message, two things here. Whatever Swami does, there is an inner message. Everything is Divine; that is Krishna is God and everything has sweetness. So don’t try to see the material aspect, but see the divinity and sweetness in everything.

And another thing: Swami is the source of all music. We should remember that a lot of great musicians of India come and perform at the Feet of Swami. Even a couple of weeks ago I saw Pundit Shiv Kumar Sharma, the great santoor player, was there. One time he was performing and he said he composed one for Swami. He said, “For Adi Purusha, I am composing this Adi Raga.”

“One Day You Will See Me as a Speck”

One time I was with Swami in Kodaikanal, I shared this in front of Swami and Swami loved it and I am sharing it with you. There was a devotee, a lady named Kamalasarthi. She was the wife of the Defense Secretary Mr. Parthasarthi. She shared on Swami’s sixtieth birthday what Swami had told them about fifty or sixty years ago when there were only fifteen devotees.

 

He said, “The day will come when you will have to see Me from a distance. You will see Me as a speck and you will see Me through binoculars.”

She thought He was telling stories. Because there were only fifteen to thirty people, she didn’t believe it. She shared this at the Hill View stadium on the sixtieth birthday with Swami. And this lady was a great music lover. She was learning music from a teacher in Delhi. At that time her husband was the Defense Secretary and she was taking lessons. Because she loved Swami and she made frequent visits to Swami, she one day told her teacher, “Do you want to see Sai Baba?” He said, “No. I am not interested.” She said, “Just come one time, for my satisfaction.”

 

Sai – the Source of All Music

So she took this music teacher, who was an expert in Tyagaraja music, to Prashanti Nilayam. He heard all these bhajans. He thought these people don’t know what music is. So then Swami called him for an interview. He asked this man to sing some songs.

He did. Then Swami suddenly started singing some rare compositions of Tyagaraja. This man was amazed. “Swami, how do you know this Tyagaraja kirtana?” Spontaneously came the reply, “Who do you think taught Tyagaraja?” So He is Sri Rama Himself who taught Tyagaraja. That was the revelation. He was amazed and he became a lifelong devotee of Swami.

So He is the source of music. People forget that. Not only that, in any field you talk about – medicine for example – Swami was asking me what is diabetes and what are the new trends? I told Swami something and Swami told me some aspects of dietary management about eight years ago which at that time were not known. I was wondering what Swami was saying, and then I learned that change has come only five years ago.

Sai – the Real Doctor

I know a few friends in the field of cardiology who were once doing a cardiac angioplasty. One of my friends, a cardiac anesthesiologist, said they were worried the vessel may rupture when they were doing the procedure. Then he said Sai Gayatri and the procedure went on well. So He guides everyone.

In my own case I can tell you from the last year a wonderful experience about an Italian devotee who is the President of an Italian organization. His daughter had a rare condition called Cushing Syndrome. It is a disease of the adrenal gland, and she had a tumor. It was demonstrated by x-rays. She was quite ill. The surgeons in Italy said she needed surgery. Swami told them to consult me as that is my specialty. I said the same thing: “Yes, she definitely needs surgery.”

I happened to see them again a couple of months ago. Amazing! She doesn’t need surgery! All her tests have come back normal, all her x-rays are normal. Even the doctors in Italy are all amazed. He is the real Doctor. He is confounding. His miracles are mind-boggling. So He teaches us every step.

A Pundit Tests Swami

Once someone was saying, “Even Vedic pundits; who come to scoff at Him, who come to test Him, stay at His feet prayerfully.” Recently, at Dasara time, one of the Vedic pundits was admitting that He came to Swami about 40 years ago. At that time Swami was very young and not well known.

Swami doesn’t sit there all the time. The pundit was withholding some mantras; he wanted to test Swami whether He would discover this. Swami asked him, “Did you chant those mantras?” He said, “Yes, Swami!” Swami asked him three times. Every time he said, “Yes, yes.” Swami didn’t say anything. The pundit thought, “Oh, Swami doesn’t know.” Then Swami took him behind the curtain and He scolded him. “If you skip those mantras again you can never come back to Prashanti Nilayam.” Then he fell flat at Swami’s Feet and now he has been coming for the last 40 years.

 

These Vedic pundits are very orthodox from a region called Godavari in Andhra and are well known for their Vedic scholarship. They put up a special mandala and Swami came and told them, “No, not that way.” They consulted with some people in Madras who are knowledgeable in Vedic rituals who could verify what Swami said was true. So He is the Veda Purusha, He is the Veda Mata. So whatever He says, whether in a scientific field, a spiritual field, you should take it as a mantra. That is what I have learned.

 

Sai – The Architect

Every one of the Hospitals is constructed by a company called Larsen and Toubro. The chairman, Mr. Ramakrishna, told me that when they were constructing the Hospital in Bangalore, the front dome was so high. The architects and engineers said there’s no way they could do it. Swami gave them some suggestions on how to put the pillars, otherwise they were at a loss. It is the same thing with the planning of the Sai Kulwant Hall, where the pillars at one time were coming in the way. Everything was changed by Swami so now devotees can see.

Even in politics, Swami knows what people are going to do. Once, Mr. Rasgotra, who is one of the persons in charge of Swami’s cultural center in Delhi, was sharing that he was sitting in the veranda and Swami came and said of him, “He is the High Commissioner of India to England.”

Sai – the Political Prognosticator

This man thought, “Swami is from a small village. He is Divine, He is holy, but He doesn’t know about these things.” He had already served as Foreign Secretary and had retired. Then, to his amazement, two years later he was appointed as High Commissioner to the U.K. So for Him, He knows our past, present and future. We know only the present. That is why we have tunnel vision, whereas He has global vision.

That is why Krishna says in the Gita: “Oh, Arjuna! I know your present, I know your past, I know your future. But you cannot know about Me.” That is why whatever Swami says, we should implicitly believe. We don’t know what He knows about the past and present and future. Implicit faith is what we should have. That is what they were singing in that song too: “Lord, let me have faith and follow You sincerely.”

As You Perceive Him, So He Is

Whatever you think about Him, that is what He is. If you think of Him as just a man, He is man. If you think of Him as a magician, He is a magician. If you think of Him as a holy man, He is a holy man. If you think of Him as an Avatar, He is an Avatar. If you think He is Para Brahman, He is Para Brahman. If you think He is beyond all, He is beyond all. It all depends upon your level of sincerity, your level of purity.

And then I have heard how people have experienced different aspects of Swami. Most of it I have personally heard from them, some I have read.

The Maya of the Avatar

Easwaramma, like all the mothers of the Avatars, became deluded by Maya. God Himself creates that Maya. Yashoda saw all the worlds in Krishna’s mouth, yet she was bewitched by the Maya of Krishna; she thought He was her own son.

The same thing happened with Easwaramma. She loved Swami but she had her own thing; she treated Him as her endearing child rather than thinking He is the Supreme God.

But in Brindavan, before her passing when she was ill, she suddenly saw Swami and had a vision of Him as Rama with His bow and arrow in all His splendor and beauty. She was deeply touched and emotionally driven and called this lady named Peddabotu. She used to be a devotee of Swami and was with the Shirdi Avatar as well as this Avatar. Easwaramma told her, “Swami is really Rama.” Peddabotu was a very sincere devotee of Swami. She said, “I am happy at least now you have realized He is Rama.”

 

The only solution is given by the Lord: “By surrendering to Me completely you can conquer Maya.” “Lord, I don’t know what is good and what is wrong. Thy Will be done. You know what is right.” So, if you completely surrender, then Maya won’t affect you at all. This is the only way to get out of Maya.

 

Krishna Darshana

I think a lot of you might have heard of the vision of Krishna. Dr. Hislop talks about the vision of Krishna he had when he was going with Swami in the car from Bangalore to Puttaparthi. On the way, he looked back and instead of Swami he saw that beautiful blue complexion Form, and he didn’t know who He was but he could not take his eyes away from that and then Swami revealed to him later on that it was the Divine vision of Sri Krishna that He gave him.

Yesterday, Dr. Kailin was saying one time Swami gave that vision in Brindavan to many people. So many people saw Him as Sri Krishna! He has given visions of Dasha Avatars to people. During Dasara when I was there, Mrs. Jayalakshmi, warden of Girls’ Hostel in Anantapur, was saying Swami gave her the vision of Divine Mother when they were doing the Gauri puja in the Prashanti Mandir. And there was this lady, Swami’s elder sister Venkamma, a great devotee of Swami – everybody praises her purity and devotion to Swami, a very sincere devotee – she came late because she was bringing some food.

Darshan of Divine Mother

In the meantime, the puja was going on and she looked through the window and instead of Swami she saw this beautiful sari with beautiful red border and kumkum and jewelry and she was confused. When she looked again, she saw that Form! But when she didn’t see it again, Swami called her and said, “Venkamma, look here!” Then again the same Form appeared. After that she couldn’t take it and said, “I can’t see anymore!”

These stories I have personally heard which is why I thought you should hear the glories of the sweet Lord. There was Dr. Saraf, an ex-Vice Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Once he told that during sports at the Hill View stadium, Swami went early in the morning. Since it was very hot, Swami said, “Give them drinks, give them food.” But He was not having anything. He was feeling sad that everybody else has and Swami is not taking even a sip of water. What to do?

Vishwa Rupa Darshana

He was trying to get Swami’s attention, but someone said, “You cannot get Swami’s attention until He wants to give His attention.” So he could not draw His attention and he was feeling sad. But then, suddenly, Swami gave him a wonderful Vishwa Rupa Darshana, how in the form of all the people there He was drinking water. He said he could never forget how just for that moment, he was having the Vishwa Rupa Darshana.

That is why we are so fortunate to be contemporaries of the Avatar. Once in Kodaikanal, another late Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sampat, told Swami, “It is our great good fortune, it is our merit of our previous lives that we are at Your Feet.” Swami said, “No, wrong! It is not only your punya (merit), but also your parents, your grandparents, your ancestors, all their punyas combined, that is how you are at My Feet.”

 

Taking Our Pains on Himself

The more you Love Him, the more He takes care of all our regular, secular, and spiritual problems. There is a great example of how Swami took the illness of many people. Most of you must have heard of how He took the intense pain and suffering of a young boy who was suffering from mumps. He cried, “Swami! This pain is too much! I can’t take it anymore!” Swami took it and suffered for three weeks. By His sankalpa He can cure Himself, but He is so pure and selfless. He says He doesn’t use it for His own curing. He said, when people prayed, He cured His illness.

During that time, Swami was kind enough to talk to some American devotees and He shared on different occasions how He took the heart attack of some devotees and paralysis of a devotee. He is so kind and compassionate that sometimes He reveals to people whose sickness He took, but sometimes he does so without revealing anything, He will avert our dangers; that is the beauty of the Lord! We do some good thing and we take the credit. He does so much for us without our own knowledge. Swami says, “So many times I take care of your dangers without even telling you.” Sometimes we may not even know that He has come and saved us.

French Fries Prasadam

I can tell two incidents in my own life; it may sound silly, but really, how Motherly Swami is. I was new to Swami. I was going to a Hollywood Vedanta center where we go for bhajans every month. On the way, I saw there was a sign for French fries. I love French fries. I told my wife, “Hyma, let me have some French fries.” She said, “No. Swami says, ‘Ceiling on desires,’ so no French fries! We should practice ceiling on desires.”

So I said “Okay.” So what could I do? We went to the Vedanta center and we were eating. And there I see French fries. I could not believe it – it never happened before and never happened after. There is usually rice, fruits, etc. How Swami fulfills even our petty desires. That’s the compassion of the Lord; He fulfills even petty desires.

 

“Tell Them the Plum Story”

Another thing happened in Kodaikanal. Swami took the boys and invited some guests. He went to one Arjuna Raja’s house. You know Swami; He loves to take pictures with the boys. Suddenly He went to a bougainvillea vine and took out a couple of plums and gave them to two of the students. I was thinking in my mind, “Oh, I wish I had a plum too,” but I didn’t say anything.

Next morning, we get up and on our nightstand I see two plums. I showed them to Hyma. The next day, we asked the house landlord, “Did you put the plums there?” He said, “No.” Then we asked if the servant put it there and he too said, “No.” Then we thought, “How kind of Swami.”

Right after the trip, when we went to Brindavan, Swami told me to give a talk in the Trayee session. I was talking about Vedanta and He said, “Stop all the Vedanta. Tell them what happened at Kodaikanal. Vedanta you can share later. Tell them about the plum story.” Then I related how Swami was kind enough to manifest those plums. Everybody was enjoying the tale and Swami was laughing.

This shows how Swami takes care of all our desires with or without our knowledge. To be able to enjoy such Divine glories of Swami, to be contemporaries of the Avatar; Swami says, if you want to continue enjoying His grace, you need two things: medicine and pathyam [the suitable diet].

Medicine and Pathyam

When He inaugurated the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore, He said, “Some people may have a stomach problem, a lung problem, or a heart problem. But everyone who is born has this common disease called bhava roga (of being in the world).” We all have that. That is why we suffer. But Swami says there is a cure. “The medicine is Love. Love God with all your heart and soul.” Like Jesus’ first commandment, “Love God with all your heart and soul.” The second thing is pathyam, which means dietary restriction. That is, follow His commandments sincerely. If you do this, you will have the grace of Swami all the time.

So how to Love him? Love Him with intensity. For me, the greatest revelation of what Love really means I learned by living with Swami. The next best way is to read Prema Vahini where Swami talks about what Prema really is.

For me, one of the greatest examples is Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the saint of Dakshineshwar, who is regarded as an Avatar. He said he loved Mother Kali so much that he used to rub his face against the ground. “Mother, another day is gone. How can I not see You?” He used to cry. He says but nowadays people cry jug fulls of tears for wife, children, name, and fame. Who cries for God?

The Number One Priority

He says if you cry for God for three days – he didn’t say three years or three weeks but three days – if you cry intensely for God, you will have the Darshan of God. So you should have that intensity of longing, “I want Swami. I want God! And I want the Truth and nothing else!” For spiritual seekers, that should be our number one priority. If we have that intensity of longing, if we have that, everything else is assured. Like the Gopikas, the cowherds of Krishna in Brindavan are perfect examples. They used to curse the eyelids, “Oh, eyelids! Why are you given? Just at the blinking of eyelids we lose the vision of Krishna.” They can’t forget the vision of Krishna for even a moment.

Actually, when I was there during last Gurupurnima, Swami asked one of the devotees from England, “What sadhana (spiritual practice) do you do?” She said, “Swami, I remember You.” Swami says that is the greatest sadhana. When we were there a couple of weeks ago, my first daughter asked Swami, “What sadhana should I do?” Swami said, “Just remember Me. That is the greatest sadhana.” Swami says to just remember Him, through song, play, reading or writing, talking, somehow or another, remember Him. That is the greatest sadhana. Love means you should always remember Him. Have that intensity of longing, like Sri Ramakrishna, like the Gopis of Brindavan.

“Give Me an Excuse to Give You Grace.”

But this Love automatically includes sacrifice. Swami says tyaaga is very important for a devotee. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Not by good works, not by progeny, not by charity, but by sacrifice alone you will attain immortality.” The real sacrifice is the sacrificing of our whole mind, body and soul for God, sacrificing our ego. For the sake of God, you should be able to at least sacrifice something. Swami says, “Sacrifice your time or sacrifice your energy or your money, something at least; it should give me an excuse so that I can give you some Grace.”

Actually, Mr. Kanu – some of you know he is from Africa – started wonderful service in Zambia. They were trying to start a Swami school but they did not have enough funds. He approached Swami. “Swami, we don’t have enough funds to finish the project.” Swami said, “Sell your house and do it.”

Sacrifice by Swami’s Students

When I was there a couple of weeks ago, Swami was so lovingly talking about His students, about how much they sacrifice. A lot of them are MBA’s, PhD’s and they have left everything. Swami said they were getting 20 to 30,000 rupees a month in Bombay but they left their jobs. One of the boys, He was saying, had a bond with the company for one lakh rupees, and if he quit the job he would have to pay them 100,000 rupees. He quit the job, took a loan and paid them 100,000 rupees and came to see Swami. Swami was touched by the sacrifice.

Then I mentioned to Swami, “How lucky those boys are. How sacrificing those boys are.” Swami said, “That is their great punyam. It doesn’t come that easily. It is their praapti and good karma, their good merit that made them do this sacrifice.” So Swami really appreciates sacrifice.

 

Not the Amount, but the Sacrifice

I remember for the seventy-fifth Birthday we were sitting on the veranda and there was a boy named Sainath – he plays the tabla – actually he is a teacher and he is still there. He gave 5000 rupees for Swami’s seventy-fifth birthday. Swami was telling so much about him. “This boy, he has a wife and children!” 5000 rupees – that is not big money – that is about 100 dollars. But Swami was raving about him. There are people who have given millions – it’s not the amount he gave but how much sacrifice he made. But Swami was telling everybody, “He gave 5,000 rupees.” So Swami is bhava priya not bhaya priya. He sees the bhava, with what loving feeling you give.

That is why Krishna says, “You give Me anything – leaf, flower, fruit or water – if you give it to Me with love, I will take it with joy.” But our Swami doesn’t even care for those things. Our Swami beautifully says, “Give me the water, the water of joyful tears of your devotion; give me a flower, the flower of your heart; give me fruit, the fruit of your work; give me a leaf, the leaf of your body and your actions.” He doesn’t even want these material things. He just wants you to sacrifice.

Like Rama. He didn’t even care about Shabari offering Him the fruits that were tasted by her, but He saw the love behind it. Same thing with Krishna when He went to Vidhura’s place. He didn’t eat the banana; He ate the peel of the banana which was offered because it was done with love.

Walking From Bangalore

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Prashanti Nilayam. Swami was sitting on the chair in Kulwant Hall and a few devotees and students were there. This man was somewhere in the hall, all the way back. Swami called him and told him to sing a song. This man started singing beautiful Sanskrit bhajans.

Then Swami asked him, “How did you come?” This man had come from Bangalore walking 160 kilometers, by just repeating and saying, “Aum Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Babaya Namaha.” Swami called him for an interview. He said, “Swami, next time I will come on my knees.” Outside, Swami was telling the students, “See the devotion of this man! He walked 160 kilometers. And next time, he wants to come on his knees.” But inside the interview room he was saying, “Tell him bad! Don’t come on the knees, you will get disabled. There are convenient buses with cheap fare. You can come in a bus.” So I had to tell him, “Swami is saying come in a convenient bus.” But outside He was telling the students, “You see that devotion? That is real devotion. You don’t have devotion like this.” So that shows what real sacrifice is. Just do something; you don’t need to do big things.

Once Swami took me to a place called Sai Nagar where in the last three to four months, Swami recently built for orphans about 100 homes. They give them shelter, education and they also take care of their health needs. I happened to be there with those boys who were orphans on the streets without any knowledge of how to read and write. And now they are chanting Vedas, Rudram, and all these Vedas and Upanishads. I was amazed! They learned all this within three months. I said, “Swami, they have learned by Your grace!” He said, “No, not My grace! Their shradha and bhakti, their faith and devotion made them learn, not my grace.” God never wants to take credit. He was giving credit to them. I went back and I told those boys how Swami was touched by their love and devotion.

Wild Flowers for Sai

And then when we were coming back from that place – this was at the outskirts – people were picking up wayside wild yellow flowers and throwing flowers on Swami’s car. Swami said, “See their devotion. They didn’t even know I was coming. They plucked these flowers.” So you see how God is not touched by expensive garlands.

As He was entering the ashram, there was one devotee, she was throwing flowers. Swami said, “Did you see her? She is a Russian devotee.” And then He added mysteriously, “I don’t know how she finds out. Whenever I am there in the car, she always has flowers.” I wanted to see her and tell her how lucky she was that God made a special comment on her devotion.

 

Extend Love to All God’s Creatures

Once we were staying in Prashanti Nilayam and in our room these lizards were bothering us. It was okay with me, but my daughter was scared of them. So I told our boys, “Just take them but don’t kill them. Just put them in the garden outside.” Then I asked Swami, “Swami what should we do with these lizards? Should we throw them out?” Swami said, “Why should you throw them out? Think they are also worshipping Me in the puja room with you.” You should have that broad kind of feeling. You should not only love all human beings, you should even love lizards. Love all doesn’t mean one must only love all human beings. You should have that extension of love.

Swami says we should practice His teachings: hear good, hear no evil; speak good, speak no evil. As He said, if we are devotees for so long, we must see whether we talk softly, sweetly, we don’t hurt other’s feelings. These are simple things. We don’t need to be an expert in Vedas, Upanishads, and Gita. He says they are good but you don’t need to know them, rather we should practice them.

Today one of my friends was sharing that he had stopped watching TV and movies for so long but now he was tempted to see TV again. Sense attractions are so powerful; they pull us down. Swami told a beautiful story about this, how our vasanas come back because these bad habits have been with us for lifetimes. If we think we have gotten rid of them, they come from somewhere, the anger, the jealousy, criticizing other people.

 

 

Vasanas – the Unwanted Guest

Swami told a beautiful story to illustrate this. There was a nice couple who had a guest. But that guest was like a pest. He didn’t want to leave. At first, they treated him well for one or two weeks. Later, when they saw he wouldn’t leave, instead of giving him three or four snacks, they cut it down to one snack. They used to give him two meals, but then cut it down to one meal. But he still wouldn’t leave.

One day they got frustrated because now this guy was staying with the family for almost one year. They didn’t know what to do to get rid of this bad guest. Then they made a plan: The husband and wife enacted a drama that they were fighting with each other. “Either you stay in the house or I will.” Finally the guest looked disgusted and left. The wife said, “See how beautifully I acted. That’s why he left.” The husband said, “No, I acted better, that’s why he left.” Meanwhile they heard a knock on the door. They asked, “Who is it?” The guest said, “Oh, I acted even better,” and he came back.

So like that, these vasanas are very dangerous. You think that you have rid yourself of them? No! You cannot get rid of them easily. They are all the time with us. You should be very careful. That is why in the Gita it says, “If we sincerely pray, only by our sincere longing: ‘Lord I don’t want these bad qualities. I don’t want this,” and only by His grace can we completely eliminate this. When that stage comes, then we will see only Oneness.

The Same Atma Pervades All

I will end this talk by quoting a beautiful aphorism from Swami. “I will put the essence of all Vedanta and all the scripture’s in one sentence: Experience that the same Divinity, the same Atma, is pervading everything.”

In every atom, every cell, every moment is pervaded by Sai, the Divinity. We have to experience that Swami is in everything, everywhere, forever. So we have to have that ultimate experience!

 

I pray to Swami to bless us all on this beautiful and auspicious occasion to have Pure Divine Love for His Lotus Feet and to all His creation so that we can experience Him in everything, everywhere, ever.

Jai Sai Ram.

- Heart2Heart Team


 
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Vol 4 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2006
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