The Twain Are Meeting
Sathya Sai Baba
‘East is East and West is West and Never The Twain Shall Meet’ says the well-known line of Rudyard Kipling, but he does go on to prophesy a time when they will meet and that will be at the feet of God. Today the twain are meeting, in truth, at the feet of God, not only East and West but races of all the world are coming to the feet of the Living Avatar of God. This must surely signify the approach of a great change in the consciousness of mankind. But before considering this, let us talk about what we understand by the term ‘Avatar’ and what it has always signified in the history of man.
It was during my first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in 1966 when I first heard Sathya Sai Babaa being called an Avatar. I was sitting with a small group of young Indian men on the ladies side of the Mandir, when Sathya Sai Baba suddenly appeared and started walking across the large square of sand that has now become a green park. He was walking barefooted and red-robed towards one of the terraced houses that then stood in line with their backs to the road, and their doors and front windows facing the square of golden sand. We watched the progress of Sathya Sai Baba in silence for a time, then the young man sitting beside me with whom I had a great deal of discussion, said in a quiet voice, “Many of us regard Him as an Avatar.” This gave me something of a shock did he mean that this little figure, with the mop of fuzzy black hair above his soft luminous eyes was God? I looked at the speaker again. It was the serious face of the Crown Prince of Venkatagiri. From our previous discussion, I had learned to respect the knowledge and insight of this young man. Now he spoke in all seriousness about one that I had considered to be a great yogi with miraculous powers and understanding, being an Avatar of God. I remained silent, but mentally decided that when I got back to the Theosophical Headquarters, I would get any books I could find from the library, and try to learn what I needed to know about the term ‘Avatar’.
However, I did not, in fact, learn very much from the books available. Lord Krishna, who lived some five thousand years ago, seemed to have been the last of the Avatars. He brought great changes to the people of the earth at that time as did, indeed, the former Avatar Rama. Did such Beings, when they came to the earth, always shake and move and change the world? Later on, I remember hearing Sathya Sai Baba say that Jesus Christ was a partial Avatar Jesus did in fact change the Western half of the world from the pagan, power seeking, egotistical values of the Roman Empire to the compassionate Christendom. If a partial Avatar could do so much, what might a full Avatar do for the whole world? But first, I must get clear in my mind, what was meant by an Avatar, and find out if this small red-robed figure, whom I had begun to respect and love deeply, was really one. While I pondered this question, I continued to be with Sai Baba as much as I possible could, which was most of the time.
‘God as Man on earth!’ this seemed to be a far-fetched and incomprehensible idea certainly in my early years. Christian theology had taught me that God had come to earth once, but only once, in the form of Jesus Christ and that He would never come again, except at the end of the world. Certainly, my own thinking and Theosophy had knocked this idea out of my mind. It was not now a part of my belief system. I knew that Theosophy did accept the truth of the earlier Avatars, Krishna and Rama – but this was all so long ago.
The idea of God Himself coming to the earth in the form of a man in this modern world was a concept that seemed impossible for me to accept. And if Almighty God did in fact decide on such an unlikely move, why should He choose to be born in a remote, primitive village, hidden away in Southern India, where the mass of mankind was unlikely to hear of Him for a very long time, if ever?
Then suddenly, the whole idea became acceptable to my understanding and to my belief. It happened this way. One day, I was strolling quietly in a small garden that fronted the doorway of Sathya Sai Baba’s interview room in the two-storey house that stood where the white, lotus-shaped Mandir now stands at Brindavan, Bangalore. We were all expecting Sathya Sai Baba to emerge from the doorway at any moment. Appearing suddenly, Sathya Sai Baba walked into the garden among us. He stopped not far from where I was standing. A young Indian, probably in his early twenties, stepped boldly in front of Sai Baba, and even more boldly asked the question, “Are you God?” the hush that fell over the group of men seemed expectant, and yet somehow fearful. But Sathya Sai Baba was his calm, normal self. He pointed his finger at the young man and replied, “You are God!”
Then, standing among us in that small, quiet garden, He gave a simple revealing talk that taught me so very much about the nature of man and God. The gist of it was that God incarnates in every man and woman born on earth but we are not aware of this wonderful truth, although perhaps sometimes dimly aware. Our very purpose in being born as a human being, He told us, it to work towards the realisation of the great truth of our Divinity. We are, in fact, when born Avatars, without the knowledge of this stupendous truth! The ones who are called Avatars are those who are born with the knowledge of this great truth of their identity with God. And so He said, “The only difference between you and Me is that while you are Avatars and you do not know it, I knew it from the time of My childhood. When I tell you as I do, that you are God, that God is within you all, you may or may not believe it, but you have to do more than believe it, you must by the life you live, and through your Sadhana reach the point where you experience your own Godhood. Then you will not only believe, but realise that you are God. That is the one step that you must realise in your mind and experience in your whole consciousness, that you and I are one.”
I knew at that moment that Sai Baba was an Avatar. And then as the weeks, the months, the years passed, in close proximity to Him, the conviction that He was the Avatar of this age who came for a certain wonderful purpose became firmly rooted in my belief system. Now after more that thirty years of His Presence, physical or subtle, the understanding and belief that Sai Baba is God on earth, has become firmer, broader and more understandable.
Now let me try to give you in a few words an overall view of the day-to-day work of an Avatar in this modern age, and the special work for the world, the way in which He will change the world before leaving His body as Sathya Sai Baba. When I speak of His day-to-day work, please remember that it is a seven-day week for fifty-two weeks of every year, for He never takes a holiday. This day-to-day work of God is about the transformation of individuals. His aim is to place the feet of every individual, who is ready, on what He calls, ‘the ancient road back to God’. There never has been any other road than this, although within it there are many laneways. He leads the feet of the individual along whatever laneway or Yoga path that is most suitable to his temperament. For the majority of people in this age, the most suitable Yoga pathway is that of devotion.
This may be called the Yoga of Love. For this, Sathya Sai Baba opens the Heart Centre of each individual who is ready and lets the love flow out towards him as God and towards every individual in the world at whose centre, God exists. I know this because this was my own initiation on my first visit to the Ashram in 1966. Love is the super glue that binds us all together to God. Karma Yoga or yoga of service to mankind is a very important part of his devotional path. So, Bhakti Yoga or Yoga of Love, combined with Karma Yoga is the main devotional path for the majority of people in this age.
As part of His work at the level of the individual, there is the establishment of the Super Speciality Hospital at Prasanthi Nilayam with another one near Whitefield. There is also His remarkable work in the educational field. As all the devotees may know, His educational institutions range from kindergartens to colleges, and to the Institute of Higher Learning, which has all the powers and authority of a university. To academic excellence is added the spiritual guidance and authority of the Avatar. Years ago, when the university was first established I heard one of the very old and learned devotees say that a boy who has spent only one year at a high school should become a Chancellor of a university is one of Sai Baba’s greatest miracles. But to me, there are some that seem even greater, and establish Him beyond question as Almighty God in human form. Such, for example, is His suspension of His own Laws of Nature, by making apples and pears and other fruits grow on the branches of wild bush trees.
This divine work, among so many individuals over the face of the earth, has already brought Rudyard Kipling‘s prophesy true. ‘East is East, West is West and Never the Twain Shall Meet, Till Earth and Sky Stand Presently, at God’s Great Judgment Seat.’ The twain are meeting East and West are gathering at the feet of God. But, does this mean the end of the world as the poet seems to suggest? It certainly does not mean the end of the planet, but I believe that it does mean the end of the old world and the beginning of an entirely new one. In early days, when there were not so many of us gathering at His feet, I have heard Him say, “The Golden Age will begin before I leave this body.” He has said it since and He has said several times that the new world will be ushered in before He leaves His present body. He has said it in a quiet casual voice, as if it was nothing at all. But it is in this manner that He makes all world-shattering announcements. He did not say what year that this great change of the world would take place only that it would be in the first two decades of this 21st century the beginning of the new millennium.
There are many, many workers on what the late Sir George Trevelyan used to call ‘The Forcefield of Light’ helping the great living Avatar in His work of changing the old world into the new. Among these many first grade assistants to Almighty God are two of those called Ascended Masters. These two are Ascended Master Kuthumi and Ascended Master El Morya. In the book entitled “The Light Shall Set You Free”, they have made two statements of interest that I give you here. One is ‘Avatar Sai Baba is carrying the Christ Consciousness in the world today.’ The Christ Consciousness means of course the same as the Krishna Consciousness or the Divine Consciousness in man. The other statement they make is that ‘The Golden Age would begin in 2011 or 2012′. It is explained in other parts of this same book and in other spiritual books that by the year 2011, due to the work of Sai Baba and His Helpers in the Light, a sufficient number of human beings will have raised their consciousness to create what they call ‘the critical mass’ that will bring about a quantum leap in the consciousness of all mankind to bring us into the fifth dimension from the third dimension in which we are now. And as man’s consciousness creates the world in which he lives, the Golden Age or the new Sathya Yuga will begin. Any stragglers will be brought up to the fifth dimensional level by Prema Sai (Sai Baba’s next incarnation). And, so it may seem, in the new century the members of the human race, who have suffered hell itself in the last century, will find themselves back in the metaphorical Garden of Eden talking and walking with God.
Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet
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