EVERY Avatar,Prophet and Saint continues to express the utter uselessness of judging others. However, who among us has not judged? We listen to wise counsel but in the light of day when we are beset with trials and tribulations, how easy it is to forget what we have been taught. There is a fine line between reporting a criminal to the police, advising an erring neighbour or friend, and judging or fault finding.
Sri Sai Baba gives excellent advice and as always – “pure exemplars are our best tutors.”
LOVE..LOVE..LOVE – FIRST LOVE, AS LONG AS LIFE LASTS. FOR MYSELF, I CAN SAY I SHOWER MORE BLESSING ON THOSE WHO DECRY OR DEFAME ME THAN ON THOSE WHO WORSHIP AND ADORE ME! FOR, THOSE WHO SPREAD FALSEHOODS ABOUT ME DERIVE JOY THEREFROM; I AM HAPPY THAT I AM THE CAUSE OF THEIR EXULTATION AND JOY. YOU TOO MUST ACCEPT THIS LINE OF ARGUMENT AND BE VERY HAPPY WHEN SOMEONE DERIVES JOY BY DEFAMING YOU. DO NOT RESPOND BY DEFAMING THAT PERSON; THEN THE CHAIN OF HATRED WILL NOT BIND BOTH DOWN. LIFE WILL NOT BECOME A TRAGEDY. CONQUER ANGER BY MEANS OF FORTITUDE; CONQUER HATRED BY LOVE. DO NOT FEED ANGER WITH RETALIATION; DO NOT FEED HATRED WITH FURY. MEET HATRED WITH YOUR INNATE PREMA (LOVE); MEET GRIEF WITH INNATE JOY; MEET ANGER WITH A SHIELD OF SHANTI, INNER PEACE. YOU ARE BOUND TO WIN.
– Courtesy – Sanathana Sarathi
I was pretty young when this experience occurred. I was alone in my room one summer evening and feeling lonely and upset. I had been made redundant four months earlier, had no work, no money and had broken up with my current boyfriend when my job as a journalist finished.
I decided to pray very hard to be given a sign, anything that would give me courage to carry on. What is prayer, I thought – was it an escape from reality, or was it something real. My prayer was desperate and heartfelt.
I then sat on my bed, the bedside light was on, my eyes were wide open. It then seemed as if the wall directly in front of me had disappeared, I was looking out into a vast night sky, the walls of the bedroom were still perfectly visible on either side. I could see the stars and a round blue ball, very beautiful, which was the Earth. A large, rounded man with a round, beaming face was sprawled across the sky holding this ball between his thumb and forefinger. I understood that this was God, who was taking the shape of this unlikely looking plump figure. Flashes of light hovered in groups at this extremities. I understood these were, or had been, human beings.. The man’s face was unbelievably restful and joyful, although he looked down sadly at the globe of the Earth, which seemed to be trailing clouds of smoke.
At the moment, I became afraid, I could still see my room, the walls etc. I looked ahead and there was the night sky. Suddenly, the pictures became to fade; there was now a light which made me even more afraid! I felt I would be engulfed. However, within minutes all was back to normal, I do not know how long the experience was, two minutes or an hour.
For a few days, I was carried along on an immense tide of joy. The event made a deep impression on me. Many years later, I met a woman who had a book in her house on an Indian religious leader, Sri Sai Baba. There was a picture of a plump, round-faced man on the cover; it was the same figure who had appeared as “God” to me in the vision.
Transmission Through Dreams –
Doing some research, we found this explanation in one of our books – ‘When the guru appears in dreams, it is real. When he talks or gives a message, it is real. If the guru or ishta keeps his hand on the head in the dream, then it’s a blessing. This is real and not symbolic.’ ‘If, in dreams, one feels the touch of the guru or the ishta on the body, it is the transmission of spiritual power. It is real.’ ‘Physical communication is often limited because the guru is governed by time and space, but in dreams the guru is free to give personal help and guidance and it is real.’ ‘The guru gives spiritual transmission through dreams, through heart-to-heart communication, through inner guidance and intuition. The secret is to develop your ability to understand your own intuitive nature.‘
God expresses Himself through different things with varied qualities. This gives us immense happiness. Human beings do not experience happiness for no reason. There’s some connection somewhere. They will only be happy when somethings appeals and there is a certain feeling of joy. Why does a mother experience happiness upon seeing the child? Only she knows the connection. It is better to establish a similar connection with everything around us. Furthering the soul bond in this manner is the way to develop happiness. Only experience can tell us how serene it is to view everything with love. The valuable metals of gold and silver are found in the bowels of the earth. Corals and pearls lay hidden deep in the sea. You may assume that God too hides in a special place somewhere. But we need not excavate anywhere for God. God is manifest everywhere and in everyone. _Baba – From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
Gurupournima is always a venerable celebration. This time-honoured festival is held every `full moon day’ around July in honour of the guru. I had inwardly asked Swami for a spot inside the Mandir and feeling confident that he would oblige, I ‘d bought a bright festive pink punjabi especially for the occasion.
Before dawn, I rose and left for darshan. There was a dream-like quality everywhere. The early morning sounds of distant chanting could be heard, and the crows nesting in the trees leading to the Mandir made a hard rasping sound as they greeted the new day.
From small houses tucked away behind zigzagging gardens, small lights shone – throwing a hazy glow along narrow alleyways, from which shadowy figures now and again emerged, as they walked drowsily to the temple.
A distant musical clock chimed the four o’clock hour with its melodic nursery rhyme tune – the last few notes of which hung defiantly on to the stillness of the night air.
At the temple, the long queues of ladies spilled over into one another as they squatted in tired readiness for Omkar, the morning chant.
And on reaching the seating area, I noticed ladies assembled everywhere.
The endless queues stretched beside and around the Mandir entrance. In fact, there must have been over forty lines all of which were double. They sat squashed and anxious. I chose the row by the side of the Poornachandra Hall which I hoped would be favourable.
Soon dawn began to break and in the early morning light, I noticed the Mandir had already begun to fill with visiting V.I.P.s, hospital and ashram staff, I knew few `general lines’ would be permitted to enter.
When the Seva Dal lady came along with her bag of numbers, I held my breath and prayed silently for a positive token, but being seated somewhere in the middle of the line, I couldn’t find out what number we had drawn. Suddenly, the young girl in front of me turned and whispered, “It’s o.kay, we have line five.”
Line one slowly rose and were seated, and then a pause before line two moved. After what seemed endless waiting, line three and four both rose and went in at the same time. Then another tedious wait. Ultimately, after a heated discussion among the Seva Dal, we too, were guided in and placed unexpectedly in the front. Just after we sat down, the Seva Dal closed the gates.
Avaita (non-dualism), is the first and foremost stage in the process of realization. It is beyond mind and word and can only be experience in the state of yoga samadhi (equanimity), Vishistaadvaita (???) however, can be expressed in a word through the mind and intellect. Life’s ultimate goal is to realize one’s inherent divinity.
-Baba from Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
Swami gave clear indications to many devotees either directly or through dreams that He was leaving this body and assuming the COSMIC form like all Avatars have done. However many of us chose to deliberately block this knowledge from our minds or could not understand what He actually meant till after the event.
No Avatar leaves till the spiritual tasks they have undertaken are completed. Swami had often indicated that raising the consciousness of humanity is what He has come for. The work was started by Shirdi Sai and will be completed by Prema Sai. Our own Sathya Sai stands in the middle. Our exposure to Swami in different ways surely has transformed us; perhaps we lack the self-confidence to assert it because we are so used to having Him around and we are numbed by our grief. However nurturing the seeds of Consciousness that He sowed within us and watered them into saplings with His Love, is our foremost duty now Swami is not absent, in fact He is now PRESENCE, OMNIPRESENCE. We do miss his physical presence, but His Omnipresence has become more real in many ways. Grief can block this awareness and stop us from experiencing Him.He is also somehow more PRESENT within each one of us now, otherwise how is it that we have all not gone mad ?
The body that He assumed suffered in many ways due to taking on the mass karma of humanity. Do you really want Him to come back in the same body and suffer again for our sakes because we do not choose to truly follow Him? For, that is what all Avatars do. They endlessly sacrifice and humanity carelessly laps it all up. Wanting Him to come back in the same body is selfish in one sense. When we truly love, we do not want the Beloved to suffer. So let us reflect on this. Were He to ‘come back’ now we will resume what we were mostly doing – disregard Him again.
Let us not postpone our spiritual homework just because we have got so used to Swami doing all our assignments for us and giving us Grace marks. His mission continues and HE will not ‘come back’ because He has not gone anywhere.
When Diana Baskin, a longtime devotee from USA visited Him in 2010, Swami told her the day she was leaving, “I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE” He repeated this to her twice from the car and she did not know then what He meant. The relevance of His words flashed on her when she was grieving for Swami a year later.
The inherent joy derived in the process of performing karma is not found in its fruits. The immense joy that one derives while performing karma is like a stream of joy. Will an artist stop painting if money is offered to him? If you offer money to a poet to stop composing poetry, will he do so? Do real artists submit themselves to these kinds of deals? They derive purest joy in expressing their art. That joy is the true fruit of those karmas. In comparison, its external fruit is negligible. The word karma is used in the sense of swadharma. (ones particular duty. We eat, drink and sleep. All these are karmas, but not in the way the word “karma” is referred to in the Gita. There the word means “to follow one’s path or dharma.” In this way, those karmas performed in introspection, is referred to as vikarma in the Gita. Karma is the solid state, (Sthoolarupa), of to follow one’s Dharma. Concentrating is chitta (consciousness), while external karma is “vikarma.” When we offer our salutations to somebody, if we do not bow our heart along with the head, the external salutation has no value. The external and the internal should be unified. From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
It was during one summer in the early 1990′s at Brindavan that I noticed Swami was blessing more than the usual number of silver sweet platters.
One particularly happy afternoon I watched with interest two ladies seated on the aisle holding their bright silver platters high while waiting for his attention. Swami came to darshan walking from side to side in his usual fashion but eventually stopped in front of the ladies then blessed their platters, which contained not only toffees but also photos, vibuthi and lockets. I sat thinking to myself, I wish I too, had a silver platter to hold high for such a blessing.
Before darshan the following morning, I plucked up enough courage to buy a silver platter, a huge bag of sweets (Mango Melodies), and three packets of little golden lockets, each one with a small picture of Swami with his hand held in the ’Abhaya Mudra – ( the ‘WHY FEAR, I AM HERE’ blessing ) and one yellow rose. I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare my platter nor did I know where to place the lockets. After some thought I placed them under the toffees and then placed the rose on top. Ah, it looked pretty, I felt sure that Swami would bless my offering.
But Swami did not bless the dish on my first attempt and by the second day I lost confidence and gave the dish to an Australian colleague to offer but Swami would not bless the sweets. On the third attempt I was happy to be seated on the carpet’s edge of block two where Swami always walked. He stopped, looked, and blessed the sweets forcefully. I’d felt him taking a large swipe of the contents into his hand then he threw them, showering what seemed like a good portion of devotees. I could hear loud whoops of joy as the sweets were thrown. Puzzled, I wondered why.
After Swami had passed by, I glanced at my platter for the 3 packets of lockets but only one remained. Apparently Swami had thrown two packets of lockets with the toffees! No wonder there had been such loud whoops of joy from devotees in block two.
A few days later I learned that the lockets had been thrown without their clear wrappers. In fact they had been dispersed individually with no trace of the wrapper anywhere. One of the lockets had fallen to a lady with cancer and two others had gone to another lady with a serious illness! What I do know is the lockets made a lot of people very happy.
The fire of Wisdom has the power to transform anything. Does not a piece of black coal when subjected to fire lose its natural form, and take the form of a piece of burning ember? Similarly, though God’s flames of compassion are cool, once they blend with the flames of bhakti, the heat thereby generated increases. Fire is born from water, which is a medium used to put down fire. The reason is when the water flows incessantly in circular motion, it generates a new power that we call electricity. Similarly when we think of the name of God and repeat it incessantly, power is generated from the friction. This is the essence. To procure that essence, practice is necessary for that practice, God’s name is the basis. ~Baba
Baba’s face was radiant and his smile so beautiful. He was walking towards me. I could hear my heart pounding loudly in my chest as he came closer. Baba now stood close to me. My attention was focused on his lotus feet. As soon as the border of his orange robe exposed his feet, I stretched out and rested my head on them in a state of total surrender. My head lay on his feet for a while. Baba then gently moved back and walked away.
Baba walked around the hall slowly, raising his hand in blessing now and then. After some time had passed, to my astonishment, I realized he was walking towards me again. He searched in the crowd, and when his eyes sought mine he stopped and stared. I noticed his large penetrating pupils, they seemed to be the color of amber, I was completely taken aback, stunned and dazed. I sat there dumbfounded, in a trance. When I regained my awareness, Baba had already left. All the devotees were getting up and leaving.
On the journey back home, I was silent, I felt strange and tranquil.
Something had seemed obvious. I knew that His grace had entered me. I felt that I had been showered with a new energy, as if my body was pulsating and vibrating lightly. It was a divine feeling and I felt blessed.
Om Sai Ram.
Once an individual moves away from the worldly desires, all dharmas are one and the same. God resides in all living beings. He is in everything. One should not peal of the outer skin of the wound before it is healed. Once dry the dead skin falls off by itself. If the skin is forcibly pulled, the wound bleeds and the healing has to continue. In the same way, it is impossible for man to understand nishkaamakarma (actions without expectation of its fruits) before he realizes his true nature. To perceive this truth, is mans primary purpose. His varnaashrana dharma (The duties of man as per his level of consciousness); his gruhasta dharma (the duites of a householder) facilitate in unraveling this mystic secret. Once these dharmas are conquered, every thing becomes one and the same. -Baba From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
Beautiful Video of Swami in Darshan,
Whether one remains in the affairs of the world (samsaara) or renounces it thinking that everything depends on God’s will, and offers everything to God and performs one’s karma, there is nothing one can do beyond this. Just as the quantity of bread depends on the quantity of flour, so is it jnana of the divine realm that one attains, and depends on the devotion (bhakthi) that one has gained. It is an act of insanity to search for jnana in a place where there is no dedication or true worship to God. Undeterred faith is essential for God to reveal himself. Undeterred faith in chanting His name and is essential for the revelation of God. Discriminate between the permanent and the transient. To kill others, one may require swords and spears, but to kill oneself – is not a small needle enough? In order to preach to others, one has to study many scriptures (shastras) in order to attain revelation of God; repetition of a single mantra is enough. ~Baba from the book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
The book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana is an authentic translation of Swami’s words written originally in his native Telugu, then translated “precisely” into the English language. Although at first glance, the words and sentences are not easily understood by English speakers, due to the phrasing used at the time the book was translated. But the book is all Swami. Indeed it is.From my point of view, the simple and beautiful translation is more meaningful than many other translations of his collective works.
Here is Sai Baba chanting the Gayatri Mantra in his soft haunting voice. It is a beautiful you tube, worth watching and listening to. I remember being in darhsan many times while Swami or someone else chanted the mantra. I also have to thank Baba for being instrumental in my learning it. I remember one particular time in Brindavan, where all I could do was chant the “Gayatri” quietly to myself. I suspected at some level, Sai was prompting me to learn and recite it. I am so glad he did so.. Sai Ram
The most important tool useful for the worship of God is your own chitta (consciousness) that is not affected by love and hate. Your word contaminated by untruth, your body, not subjected to any abuse, alone should be used in the worship of God. Comfort is not found in externals. It is within you. It is foolish to search for your happiness in worldly thoughts and the five sensory attractions. Happiness can be found only within you and in the blissful chanting of God’s name. -Baba
from: Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
A beautiful yet little known you tube, “My heart will go on” from the film Titanic. Here on this video are some excellent film clips of Swami. I love this particular vid. of Baba giving darshan, he looks so well and radient. This video fits in with my memories of the old days in Whitefield, when afternoon bhajans were sung in the Sai Ramesh Hall. Baba used to enter the hall from the old brown door at the back of the stage. My heart used to miss beats as he entered. He’d slowly walk on to the stage, then pause for a moment, turn and smile and bless us all. ~ Love you Baba
In his journey of life, man craves for material comforts. Instead of trying for brahmaananda1 (Eternal bliss), that is within his reach. He gets lured by lowly material comforts, gets caught in the illusory net and perishes. This is similar to the rats in a big granary being drawn by the smell of puffed rice placed specifically to draw them into the trap, entering the trap leaving the sumptuous grains outside. The material comforts are similar to this.. ~ Baba
from Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana