Imagine if Jesus Christ Himself had taken the quill and systematically tabled in black and white His Gospel with all its annotations and enunciations – would there be so many versions of the Bible and consequently, unending debate on instances related to His Life and Message? What if Lord Rama had left “The Story of My Life” before ending the drama of His holy descent; envision Lord Krishna documenting the entire Bhagavad Gita that He sang for all mankind (Arjuna being only a conduit); or for that matter, if only Shirdi Sai had left a diary of His daily divine discussions in His darbar (what we have now in the Shirdi Sai Satcharita is only incidents related to the last ten years of His life) – how profound, precious and invigorating these would have been!
The Almighty Lord in His every incarnation came down to the level of man, lived with him, ate with him, played with him, and at the same time preached to him, purified him and awakened in him the power of his own inner strength. The Lord always spoke and gave sermons, be it in the Sathya Yuga (Vedic times), Treta Yuga (Rama’s reign), Dwapura Yuga (the age of Krishna ) or even in the early Kali Yuga (Jesus, Mohammad, Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir etc.). But in His latest incarnation, out of His immense compassion for mankind, Sathya Sai decided to do something He had never done before – He took the pen Himself! The mind-uplifting message of the Master came now in an enthralling flow directly from its source, its purity preserved and content unscathed. And what did He choose as His vehicle to carry this message to the masses all over the world? The sacred Sanathana Sarathi.
Yes, it is this holy ‘mouthpiece of the Lord’ emerging from Prasanthi Nilayam that has carried the priceless streams of ‘Vahinis’ that Bhagavan wrote for an astonishing three hundred and eighteen months spread over more than two and half decades. Starting from February 1958, when He inaugurated this holy magazine, Swami continuously penned, however tight be His schedule, an article every month which was either an exposition of divine love, an explanation of deep philosophical thought, an enlightening dialogue between the seeker and the master, or narration of entertaining yet elevating divine sport relating to His earlier manifestations, which revealed instances of His earlier actions and their inner divine intentions like never before. All these ‘Streams of Divine Grace and Illumination’ that Swami wrote till October 1984 for the magazine were compiled into volumes and that is how you have the “Prema Vahini”, “Dharma Vahini”, “Bhagavatha Vahini”, etc. in the Book Stall in Prasanthi Nilayam and elsewhere today.
Swami, in His first discourse in 1953, had declared that after sixteen years each of leelas and mahimas, (divine sport and miracles, in that order) in His life will start the third phase, that of Upadesha or spiritual instruction. And precisely after thirty two years, Swami launched the “Sanathana Sarathi” to spearhead the spiritual revolution that the current generation desperately needs to save itself from impending peril. But why the name “Sanathana Sarathi”? Did Swami Himself christen it? How did it all begin? Who were the hand-picked instruments for this mission? How did He nurture and foster this ‘creation’ of His so that it has now become literally the ‘lifeline’ of thousands of devotees from California and Cameroon to Canberra and Takahama? For media houses today, what is the ‘take home’ from this spiritual magazine which is translated into thirteen Indian languages and as many overseas tongues, and being shipped every month for an annual charge to lakhs of subscribers for a cost much cheaper than a small size McDonalds French fries? You will know all this and more when you read our informing and elevating cover story this month.
Sanathana Sarathi celebrates its golden jubilee this month. The splendid history of its fifty glorious years under divine guidance and grace is difficult to encapsulate in a limited twenty six page narration. What we have tried is to present before you only its greatest moments, heartening highlights as well as its trying times and consequent triumphs. In an effort to dedicate this issue to this enduring and hallowed ‘messenger of Sai’s mission’, we have three other articles from its archives. As you celebrate Shivarathi this month, you can read accounts of how thrilling the occasion was three and half decades ago in our feature article taken from the 1970 issue of Sanathana Sarathi. Similarly, there are astounding experiences of Dr. John Hislop and Ms. Indra Devi in the SwaMi and Me section brought to life from the Sarathi’s 1971 issue.
Sai is as mysterious a phenomenon as He ever was and always will be. The same incredible instances of healing, love and grace continue to confer support and solace to any being whichever corner of the earth needs Him and longs for His protection. When you read the feature ‘Sai Movement in Bolivia’ you will be in awe at the implausible working of the Divine Will. Yet another scintillating account of this ever-loving phenomenon is by Dr. Ravi Kumar, a former student and current lecturer in Swami’s University, who shares the beautiful relationship that He has had with Bhagavan like every student of His University, and how Swami never ceases to overwhelm him with His ever-caring concern. More of such sweet instances of this one-of-its-kind relationship you will find in the stories of Swami’s stay in Kodaikanal with His students in 2006 and earlier years comprehensively complied and documented by Prof. Venkataraman which we have in the H2H Special section.
The month of January saw Swami making a much-awaited visit to Chennai after a decade. We will be having a complete coverage of this landmark event in the next issue of Heart2Heart. For now, we want to take you down the memory lane to those prized visits of Swami to Chennai He made in the seventies and eighties; and so, we have the enrapturing Photo Album in this issue entitled “Sathyam in Sundaram”. Enjoy it!
The compassionate Lord is ever busy granting ananda to all without any discrimination whatsoever. His love flows in the same measure to the saint as well as to the sinner. And this is, perhaps, the only valuable lesson we have to learn to make our lives His message. If we can love for love’s sake, without any conditions, expectations or reservations, there is nothing more to accomplish in this world.
Let our lives become silent roses which exude the sweet fragrance of His love, everywhere at all times.
Loving Regards ,