Humility Is The Hall Mark Of The Great And The False One Of The Escapist

Sathya Sai Baba And Humility

Sathya Sai Baba And Humility


Humility Is The Hall Mark Of The Great And The False One Of The Escapist

For this special article, we have a former student of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba‘s Institute, Sri Y Arvind, deliberating on the most important virtue – Humility.

In the words of John Adair:

“Greatness is a word that signifies a matter of degree, it can be applied separately or collectively to position and rank, knowledge and character, the three main strands of authority in leadership. In democracies there is a subdivision between great position, great rank, insofar as the highest born or the first in the social order, do not necessarily rule the country.”

People may be perceived to be great on the basis of their office or lineage. This may suffice for a period of time such as their term in office or perhaps their lifetime; but for a person to be truly great in the historical sense, there must have been a really significant achievement. More than this achievement, the personal traits matter. The character of the person with office and to an extent the lineage, give a measure of his or her greatness – or other wise.

The world as we perceive it today has returned in full to the time when it all began. The Stone Age – when man first learnt to think and live – not merely exist – he first realised that might is right and so attempted to be on the right side of the line that demarcated the ruler and the ruled. But history has always proved to be a story of great men and women, warriors, kings, monarchs, prophets…every one of them has a place in history. But why is it that few find a place in the true annals of time as great people? Why does the fact remain that even in a dynasty of rulers some receive greater attention and are termed ‘great’ while others receive only passing mention. Any historian would answer pointing to the special qualities of the stalwarts for only the great leave indelible footprints on the sands of time; only the noble perform deeds worth emulation; only the courageous inspire man to better his best and only the humble teach not by mere precept but by example that to be able to serve is a prerequisite to be served. Humility is indeed the hallmark of the great.

Humility, more often than not, is misinterpreted and misunderstood to be a synonym of meekness and servility. But humility is itself power. History gives testimony to the power, latent in a silent humble man – “beware the anger of the patient man” warned Confucius. From the Chinese Taoist Lao tzu to Mahatma Gandhi, from Lord Jesus to General Montgomery, their lives are an infallible vindication to this fact. Any action or venture that involves other people or developing a rapport with other members of society – demands first a patient ear and then a humble bearing, virtues of humility and reserved speech that call for greater attention, than pompous mien. The desiderata found in St Paul ’s church dating back to ages before the advent of modern philosophers, says, “give every man thy ear but few thy tongue; be on good terms with all but without surrender.” Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba simply says “you cannot always oblige but you can speak always obligingly”.

In Chinese philosophy water is attributed the quality of humility. In fact Lao tzu writes “How did the great rivers and the seas get their kingship over the hundred tiny streams? Through the merit of being lower than they; that was how they get their kingship.” Tomas A Kempis, a medieval Christian writer wrote, “No man can safely appear in public unless he himself feels that he would willingly remain in retirement. No man can safely speak who would not rather be silent. No man can with safety command who has not learnt to obey.” Such words though profound in wisdom – regretfully also have a less appealing implication – the modern politician.

The present day scenario in the political world, is a scene so disturbing that the less it is thought of the greater the peace. There could be no greater folly than such an attitude. Why did this situation arise? Unfortunately this far reaching hydra headed monster of the nexus between politics and criminals has its roots in the words of Tomas A Kempis. How? The answer is: beginning as a stooge – a minor antisocial element, a ruffian, a hired muscle, a man makes his way up. He obeys his master’s slightest wish, he serves humbly catering to his master’s whims. Then using this façade of humility inches his way up – callously eliminating any competition. He gains the favour of his master, becomes his right hand man, learns the trade and realizes the best market for a man like him and hey presto! – you have a politician.

Here in brief is the making of a great man…the great escapist. They don the mantle of responsibility bear the titles that proclaim authority and make a song and dance about their honesty. In all their attempts they could not have been more dishonest. Ripping apart the fabric of their country for their own selfish gains; these looters play with the lives of the very same populace that once fed them. The political arena has been used only as an example to portray the hollowness of an escapist’s mind. Their reach extends into all walks of life and so life today is not life but a struggle for existence. The very same noble qualities that have been the bench mark for the judgement of greatness have been undermined by these escapists.

Every leader is not granted the epithet of ‘great’. What makes him great? The philosophers give the answer. They envisaged a leader who practiced humility – being neither assertive nor talkative yet strong and capable. That is the spirit of a great man. John Ruskin wrote in his ‘modern painters’: “I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I don’t mean by humility dearth of his own power or hesitation in speaking out his opinions; but a right understanding of the relation between what he can do and say and the rest of the world’s sayings and doings.” The most important quality of great people is that not only do they know their business, they are also aware what exactly it is. They not only know how it is done but also how to do it. That makes them a class of their own apart from the losers. Every man has an idea of how a job is to be done, but few know how to do it exactly. Some feign the attitude of not being confident enough to do it – knowing fully well that they have absolutely no idea how it is to be done – the mark of the escapist. This attitude of humility leads to an impression on the observer that “oh yes! Here is a man who knows his limits.” Actually though the man knows nothing at all.

In the same vein ‘the great’ have a real estimate of their own capacities. They have no intention of feigning. For them a spade is a spade is a spade – nothing else. They do not live under the delusion that they are actually the ones performing the deeds. Instances are many where the ones whom history has recognised and honoured, have concluded that their achievements are of infinitesimal value in comparison to what remains unknown and unachieved. The people of Athens were surprised to hear the oracles verdict that the wisest man in Athens was Socrates. When questioned the philosopher, he replied “I know that I know not”. A simple answer which conveys in depth the attitude of the truly great. In a layman’s perception there is an ocean of wisdom and experience – but they are aware of the true extent of their knowledge and intellectual powers. Albert Einstein when questioned on the future work on his unified theory (QED) replied with an analogy which to this day acts as a driving force – a source of inspiration for scientific research. Einstein said he was a little boy playing with the least valuable pebbles and shells on the shore of a mighty ocean and now he had realised that the true value – the mighty ocean lay unfathomed and unexplained. This was said in true spirit – for, after all his research, Einstein’s dissatisfaction could be assuaged only when he came to accept this fact – that he was but limited in his intelligence and power, whereas creation had much more than he could master in a single life time.

It came not as a surprise, not even as a disappointment to a witness – of the world’s degradation into chaos. Disillusioned law makers – the honest ones have confessed that laws today are passed such that one may live at the expense of another. Ayn Rand explains it in her novel “Atlas Shrugged”. This leads to a deepening of the rift that separates the rich and the poor; dissatisfaction on one hand and selfishness on the other widen the gorge till a day will finally dawn when the chasm cannot be bridged – yet there is hope. There is hope in the heart of man. The Roman Consul Quintus Arrius is known to have said, “Hate keeps a man alive”. But no – it is not hate but faith and hope that keep a man alive.

“What the world needs today are men and women of good character”, said Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They must have the capacity to work and the humility to serve. Lord Jesus said to his quarrelling disciples “…which is greater, one who sits at the table or the one who serves? It is not the one who sits at the table, but I am among you as one who serves.” The emphasis on humility in leading the world is unmistakable. In every sphere of life the ability to accept ones mistakes is paramount. The episode that involves Thomas Edison and the light bulb is well known. After many long hours of hard work an electric light bulb was manufactured and a young assistant was given the responsibility of carrying it to the inventor’s study. But on the way – despite cautions, the bulb slipped from his grasp and shattered against the floor. There was no admonition from Edison . Wearily the group returned to the work table and resumed their attempts – another bulb was made and Edison picked it up. Looking around he spotted the laboratory assistant and called him – the same boy as before. A gesture of faith and understanding.

Faith in others develops when one comes to grips with one own fallacies. And the fallibility of the human mind and system. Nothing is infallible. Yet nothing is impossible. It is to make this possible that one must strive to develop humility. “Greatness lies not in doing extraordinary things but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily”…for the escapist greatness lies in getting things done by others while himself taking the credit. It is akin to a system when if a particular project succeeds the person in charge gets the credit on the other hand if it fails; the men who actually worked on the project get their knuckles rapped. An escapist stacks the cards before he plays a game. And for sure he is to win. But when time finally weary of the game and in a swift moment lays bare the truth – the consequences are understandably unpalatable. Life will then reveal itself in its most bitter form to this man.

The world’s dictators are examples for this frame of mind. Hitler blamed his losses on the incompetence of his generals and subordinates. While as a leader it was expected of him to take the blame for the losses. The embezzlers, forgers and all other men of their like make us of the façade of silence and meekness to hide their nefarious activities. The country – India today has been rocked by the scandals. Not merely their proportion but also their number. There were no scapegoats this time but still the accused are not reprimanded seriously. Why such incompetence? It is said vice does not roam alone; it always has half a dozen of its sisters along with itself. When assailed by such a predicament as this what does the country do – sit silent? Live in the false assumption that everything will one day turn out fine? Malcom Forbes said, “When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could be worse – and when they are, we’ll find hope in the thought that things are so bad that they have to get better.” Whether the statement was made with sarcasm or in true spirit of optimism is uncertain but for certainty it applies here, in this context. Such decadence in temperament will add to further downfall of the global infrastructure.

True men are needed, men of valour and courage. People who dare to think and speak out their thoughts. Open minded people are those who have the broad mind to accept a view yet possess the discrimination to judge the right from wrong. Draw a line where it is to be drawn and not hesitate to take a heavy decision. Such people can exist in this world. They do, and still remain unseen and unheard. This is their true hall mark. Silent service; humble workers for the betterment of humanity. It is said, “an activist is not the man who complains that the river is dirty, an activist is the man who cleans it up.” Merely complaining and letting the issue rest at that is escapism. Taking up the cause, working for it and succeeding is genuine concern.

Greatness lies in being able to place oneself in the others shoes. To be able to look at an issue from all possible stand points and then come to a conclusion. John Stewart Mill says “There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides of an argument”. Fairness and justice are sought by people today. But who are the ones to hand them their true claim? People will trust only those individuals who are able to bring themselves down to the level of the people. General Montgomery made it a point to know the names of all his officers – this endeared him to all of them and he was called ‘Monty’. General Slim who had the heart to send a private home since his mother was sick and dying won the hearts of all his men and they called him Uncle Bill. To be able to communicate on par with others requires humility. This is what people expect when they speak to a superior. Bosses are never liked leaders are; because a leader leads, but a boss merely show the way and follows behind the group. In fact life must be lived so that one may have no need to hide ones diary. An escapist may succeed, but he shall inevitably fall victim to his own ways of lies and deceit. The truly humble and tolerant man shall live not merely in the pages of history but in the hearts of men. In the eyes of generations to come, as an ideal, an example, a vindication to the fact that humility is indeed a hallmark of the great.

History shall – yet, in no way be partial; for it shall record the life of even the coward. The escapist – the con man. The man unwilling to face his own faults. The man who made virtue a front to cover his own deficiencies. The man who used the precepts and tenets of life as stepping stones to his own shadowy success. Yes! History shall also lay bare his story – it shall record too that ‘humility’ has been and is, a façade for the escapist. “Beware” it cautions, “humility is the hall mark of the great while being the false one of the escapist.”

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team.

Got A Minute To Spare To Listen About Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Got A Minute To Spare To Listen About Sathya Sai Baba?

Loving Sai Ram, and greetings from Prasanthi Nilayam.

This Sunday we would like you to spare a minute to read the following three quotations, all of which relate to education:

EINSTEIN:
I want to oppose the idea that school has to teach directly that special knowledge and those accomplishments, which man has to use later directly in life. The demands of life are much too manifold to let a specialized training in school appear possible. Apart from that, it seems to me, moreover, objectionable to treat the individual like a dead tool. The school always has as its aim that the young man leaves it as a harmonious personality not as a specialist…. It is not enough to teach a man a speciality. Through it, he may become a kind of useful machine, but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise, he with his specialized knowledge more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA:
Is that education, which slowly makes a man into a machine? It is more blessed in my opinion, even to go wrong impelled by one’s free will and intelligence than to be good as an automaton. ….The education that does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring about strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and courage of a lion – is it worth the name?

SISTER NIVEDITA:
Our concept of education must have a soul. It must form a unity. It must take note of the child as a whole, as heart as well as mind. Unless we train the feelings and the choice, man is not educated. He is only decked out in certain intellectual tricks that he has learnt to perform. By those tricks, he can earn bread. He cannot appeal to the heart, or give life. He is not a man at all; he is a clever ape. Learning in order to be clever or learning in order to earn a livelihood – not in order to become a man to develop one’s own manhood and manliness – means running into danger. Therefore, in every piece of information imparted to a child, we must convey an appeal to the heart. … There is one way and one way only. It is, throughout the early years of education, to remember that there is nothing so important as feelings. To feel nobly, and to choose loftily and honestly, is a thousand-fold more important to the development of faculty than any other single aspect of the educational process.

Three different quotes from three different people, but echoing very similar sentiments. We presume you must be familiar with the first two names. The third one might not be so familiar; it is the name of an English lady who came nearly a hundred years ago to India in search of spiritual enlightenment, discovered Swami Vivekananda, and settled down to become his disciple, adopting the name Nivedita. Her example recalls the names of two others, namely, Annie Besant whose name would for ever would be associated with the Theosophy movement in India and Mira Ben who became an ardent follower of Gandhi.

Getting back to the quotes, they all, each in its own way of course, convey the same message which is:

– Education should not, in the name of producing specialists, convert humans into skilled robots.
– Education must have a SOUL, meaning it must awaken noble feelings latent in the Heart.
– Education must have a moral base and fill one with moral courage to face the moral and ethical challenges of the world.
– And finally, education must train one for life rather than merely for filling the belly.

It does not take much imagination to realise that these are the very principles that Swami talks about it, and form the basis of education in His Schools and Colleges.

The question arises: “Why did Sathya Sai Baba set up His Schools and Colleges?” Mainly to act as exemplars to a Society that has lost its way. Just look around; there are tens of thousands of colleges and hundreds of universities the world over, all supposed to produce educated men and women. If indeed students are really getting educated in these educational establishments, as everyone believes they are, then how come the world is so full of problems today, indeed more problems than ever before? In fact, it would appear that today’s Society is better at creating problems than in solving them! So what has happened to these various educational establishments, including those with famous brand names? Where have they all slipped?

That is not difficult to determine, if we use the guidelines of the quotes above, which, by the way, is only a small selection of invaluable quotes available on education. From the Greek philosophers to Lincoln to Gandhi, all great men stressed the importance of moral values; and for centuries, some attempt was made to adhere to them as well as to structure education around moral and ethical values. It is only in the half century that followed the Second World War, that values have been withdrawn, rather like pulling the rug under one’s feet. Following which, the inevitable has happened everywhere without exception – politics without principles, business without scruples and all the rest of it; we all know the list, don’t we? Swami has quoted them so many times.

Is there any particular reason why we are harping on this particular theme this Sunday? There sure is, a chain of connected links in fact. First, there was a nasty article directed entirely against Swami in the Hindustan Times, published from Delhi. Quickly came after that a one-hour TV talk show on NDTV, against so-called God-men, and inevitably, there was a lot of mud slinging against Swami. Apparently, the Guardian in the UK also had something but we have not seen that. Anyway, we shall deal with all this anti-Swami stuff elsewhere, but here we would like to look deeper and ask ourselves why Society has become so sick as to see negativity all the time, often unfounded? There are of course superficial reasons as well as deeper causes, and may be we should comment on both.

Superficially, things have changed enormously since World War II, thanks to three factors. 1) Technology, 2) enormous growth in transport and communications, including TV, Internet, etc., and 3) the engine of economic growth becoming supercharged with, shall we say, hyper-activity! The net result of all this is the quest to dominate the mind. In the colonial era, those with money wanted to dominate the land so that they could have easy access to commodities and markets. Later, it was the quest for market, or market dominance, without the expenditure of maintaining armies, that colonialism involved. Now it is mind-dominance, because once the mind is dominated, humans can be manipulated in any way the powerbrokers want.

These are complex matters and maybe we shall comment on them in detail elsewhere, but the bottom line is that everyone is in a tearing hurry in pursuit of their own particular objectives. Those who “inform” wish to do it all very quickly while those “who want to be informed” also want it all very quickly. We see it here all the time working for Radio Sai and H2H. Our boys here work so hard round the clock but most people simply do not have the time to read or listen to what we offer via H2H and via Radio Sai. Most devotees stir into action only when there is a blast of negativity in the outside media.

What we are trying to say is that since everyone seems to want everything in a hurry, the media obliges by having instant opinions and instant commentators. These days, wars, whether they are fought in Afghanistan or Iraq or whatever, are played out in front of TV cameras. Everything from protests to soccer matches to war and insurgency has become subjects for TV shows, talk shows and so on. Is it any wonder that “instant experts” appear everywhere airing opinions left and right without bothering to check whether they are accurate or not? News now means negativity, sting operations and so on. Good works and good news are “boring” and not “newsworthy”. That is the mantra circulated everywhere, and is it any wonder that those who want bang for their bucks as they say, dare to project even falsehood as news, as long as they do a sort of “balancing act” making it appear that they have given “equal” time?

If you think about it deeply, all this is because we have all been brought up bereft of values. Our schools have let us down and that is because Society simply did not think that moral base is important in education. When values are drained away, understanding disappears; when understanding becomes scarce, conflict arises; when conflict erupts, there is pain and even destruction.

This is a huge topic, and we simply cannot do justice to it here. But this much we can and will say. If there is one educational institution that has steadfastly stood for and helped students to absorb values and practice them in the modern world, it Swami’s Institute . That is Swami’s greatest gift to humanity, an Institute that helps students to really understand what morality and human values are all about and how higher learning is related to all that.

So what does higher learning, morality etc., have to do with negative reporting that is appearing to drown out the good work being done by Sathya Sai Baba’s institutions? Simply the following. We must, all of us together but each in our own way, help the Divine Light to reach far and wide. Divine Light cannot be extinguished; however, it can be covered and eclipsed. And we have it in our power to remove that cover. How? Well, if our readers, old students and the like would only take a few minutes off now and then and share with us, good news they have access to, we can spread it far and wide.

The world today is actually very hungry for good news. We know it because of the mail we receive. But the sad point is that good news is not easily accessible. That is because the traditional news agencies do not regard good news as news at all. If however, Sai devotees, share with us what they know, instances where people have come out better by adhering to Dharma, then when others read it, it would give them some courage. We need to hold each other’s hands. There are so many things we can do and do so easily. However, at present we do not; that must change, and when that change occurs, there would be fewer and fewer takers for non-news, bad news and wrong news. For example, strange as it may sound, not many people in Chennai/Madras are aware how much Swami has done to bring water to that troubled city.

When there was no drinking water, everyone hollered and prayed, depending on their disposition. But once water was provided by Sai Baba, few bothered to remember Him and almost took it all for granted, as though it was the job of Sai Baba to do the fixing. Not only is this phenomenal accomplishment ignored, but instead, people ask, “If Sai Baba is God, why did He not stop the tsunami?”

If people only took time off to do some serious reading, then would they have such questions? These days, people seem to want Vedanta in five minutes, and the Gita in just two! If that is all the time we can give to God, then why should we expect God to keep on bothering about us? They ask about God hiding Himself during the tsunami. Who gave land that we so readily pollute? Who gave water that we so readily pollute? Who is killing millions in genocide, God or man? So what are the self-appointed bleeding hearts doing about it?

Let us pull all this together and wind up this seemingly random and apparently disconnected exploration, so that you can see the purpose behind. This is what we would like to say this Sunday, as our bottom line:

  1. If some people sling mud at Swami, it is in part because of the corrupted value system of today, which reflects on the tragic erosion of values, in all segments of Society.
  2. We may be feel hurt; that is but natural. However, we should not let our feelings run away too much.
  3. If criticism comes from the riff-raff, and let us remember that many who try to tarnish Swami do belong to that category, we should not engage in a direct confrontation with them.
  4. That said, it does not mean we should always remain silent. There are occasions when one has to exert for the sake of Dharma. That was Krishna’s lesson given to Arjuna. Depending on the circumstances, we must make our judgement and react as fitting and appropriate.
  5. We did that from here when we dealt with the UNESCO; that story has been told elsewhere.
  6. Similarly, on this occasion, there have been some well composed, dignified and strong response from a few devotees, especially one of Swami’s students; more about this later in H2H.
  7. Meanwhile, devotees must try and spend more time trying to absorb Swami’s teachings as well as details of the amazing missions He has executed. It is not enough to have some vague feeling about the Hospitals for example. We must be aware of the moving details so that stench can be rebutted by the fragrance of details about selfless service.

There is much more to be said on this and related themes. For the moment, please do reflect deeply on the extra-ordinary achievements of Swami’s University, and its moral authority. This year, the Institute held its 25th Convocation, and as always, it was held on 22nd November. This might appear like a routine procedure, but if you look at the record of the three hundred and odd universities in India, including those who can trace their history as far back as 150 years, there is not a single university that can boast of such regularity. Even if the Guest of Honour is the President or the Prime Minister or whatever, our Convocation has always been held on 22nd November. May seem like a small thing but compare it with the record of others and you would know what we are talking about. Is the world aware of it? You think this is a small achievement? Well, do you know that right now, a major University in UP, the land of birth of Rama and Krishna, is facing problems because the Vice Chancellor has suspended nearly a hundred students from contesting student elections? And you know why? Because all these students have criminal complaints against them, including murder, yes murder! A university with students on its rolls who have murder complaints registered against them? Amazing but true!

Is it any wonder we have invited your attention to the meaning and purpose of Education? Who in this wide world has done for so long and so consistently what Swami has done and is still doing? Why is the world silent about it? Why are we devotees so ignorant about it?

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

Recent Events At Prashanti Nilayam – Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

– Curtesty RadioSai:

Friday, March 27, 2009
The new Telugu year “Virodhi” was ushered in on this Yugadi morning with Bhajans in the beautifully decorated Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba arrived just before ten o’clock and came onstage after a full round of the hall in the chair. He sat onstage with the bhajans going on for a few minutes and then asked one of the MBA Professors to announce this evening’s music programme by the students. Arati was then offered at 10.20 am following which Swami returned to His residence blessing many devotees on the way. In the evening, Bhagawan arrived for darshan at 4.45 pm in the golden-coloured special chair and began the music programme by the students when He came onstage at five o’clock. Carnatic and Hindustani classical music along with a Quawwali and semi-classical songs were presented with panache by the students for an hour till Bhagawan accepted Arati a few minutes past six o’clock and returned to His residence.

Saturday, March 21, 2009
This evening, the outgoing batch of students of the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Prasanthi Nilayam, presented their gratitude programme. Bhagawan completed His darshan round and came onstage to begin their programme at 5.30 pm. Their hour-long musical presentation fused the Carnatic and Hindustani styles of Indian classical music in a harmonious offering. Bhagawan accepted Arati at 6.30 pm before returning to His residence after a brief interaction with the music college students.
Gratitude Program by students of SSS Mirpuri College of Music, 21 Mar 2009, Images

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This evening, Bhagawan came for darshan at 5.30 pm while the bhajans were going on. When He came onstage, He called up some of the students who were holding letters, these were the students from the campus here who had secured ranks in the GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) Exam including a few ranks in the top ten. He interacted with them and blessed them with group photographs, and gave a chain to one of them. It was 6.10 when Swami accepted Arati. He then moved to the interview room for ten minutes before interacting with some devotees on the verandah for a short while and then returning to His residence in the car.

Monday, March 16, 2009
The graduating batch of post-graduate students from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University presented their gratitude programme this evening. Bhagawan came for darshan in His chair and after a round of the hall and a brief visit to the Bhajan Hall, came onstage to begin the programme just after 5.30 pm. The students innovated with items like Dumb Charades on scenes of Swami’s childhood, a mimicry session as part of ‘passing the parcel’ and so on, in addition to a musical tribute and short speeches in various languages. Bhagawan went into the interview room after 45 minutes had elapsed, and returned after five minutes for the programme to continue for twenty minutes more. As the students sang bhajans, they went up in small batches and had group photographs onstage. It was seven o’clock when Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Gratitude Program by final year PG students of SSS University, 16 Mar 2009, Images

Sunday, March 15, 2009
The outgoing batch of students from the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Sai University presented their gratitude programme today. Bhagawan came for evening darshan in the chair, and after His darshan round, came to the Bhajan Hall where some of the students were in costumes. After a brief interaction with them, He moved to the interview room and later to the stage to begin their programme at 4.50 pm. Since Bhagawan had called their batch the “Vainateya”s, Vainateya being another name of Garuda, the characters in costumes Lord Narayana, Garuda and Narada gave a brief introduction to their programme of songs interspersed with short speeches in various languages. Bhagawan blessed them with group photographs after their programme and seemed to acquiesce when they pleaded with Him to come to Brindavan. After ten minutes of Bhajans by the students in which they again sang Bhajans like “Aao Aao Nandalala”, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence at 6.30 pm.

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Last evening, the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand were to leave, but they were informed that Bhagawan had consented to have their drama this evening, so their stay at Prasanthi Nilayam was extended by another day. Bhagawan came for darshan and went into the interview room after a brief visit onstage, speaking to some ministers from Tamil Nadu on the way. When Swami returned onstage, the programme commenced at 5.30 pm. In a 40 minute drama entitled “Chaitanyam”, the balvikas children and youth brought out a message of love for Mother and Motherland through Educare. Bhagawan came down from the stage and had group photographs with the participants, and then gave them clothes seated amidst them. When He returned to the stage, the students began bhajans at 6.15 pm. A couple of Bhajans later, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.
Holi Celebrations by Bihar and Jharkhand, 11 & 14 Mar 2009, Images

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Sai Kulwant Hall was colourfully decorated for the Holi celebrations by the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand. Bhagawan came for evening darshan at 4.30 pm and when He came onstage twenty minutes later, the Holi celebrations commenced. The programme consisted of dances to the accompaniment of Holi songs by the devotees from Bihar and Jharkhand. After their 45 minute programme, Bhagawan went briefly to the interview room, and when He returned to the stage, the devotees commenced bhajans. Swami sent clothes for the participants and blessed them with group photographs while prasadam was distributed. At six o’clock, Bhagawan accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

Sunday, March 8, 2009
This evening, Bhagawan came for darshan in His chair at 4.45 pm and came onstage entering the verandah from the Eastern side. Listening to the Vedam chanting for a while and blessing some of the students, He went into the interview room before the five o’clock bhajans commenced. In a few minutes, He returned to the stage and sat there while the bhajans went on till He accepted Arati at 5.45 pm. While He was returning to His residence in the car, the students of the outgoing batches of the Anantapur campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University prayed for a chance to sing for Him. Swami stopped His car near them and they sang a couple of songs and got items blessed by Him from the car itself before Bhagawan returned to His residence.

Saturday, March 7, 2009
The outgoing batch of undergraduate students of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of Sri Sathya Sai University were ready with their gratitude programme today. Bhagawan came for darshan and went into the interview room by 5.30 pm. It was nearly six o’clock when He came onstage and asked for the programme to commence. Swami was pleased with their presentation of songs and short heart-felt speeches in many languages. He called them onstage for photographs with Him, and they went up in groups of five and six. After the students, it was the turn of the teachers, and most of the teachers of the University were blessed with padanamaskar and a group photo. After blessing everyone profusely, Bhagawan retired for the day after Arati at 7.10 pm.
Gratitude Program by III year UG students of SSS University, 07 & 15 Mar 2009, Images

Friday, March 6, 2009
This evening, materials for distribution to the needy were kept in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall. The devotees from Khamman were distributing not only items for earning a livelihood like wet-grinders and sewing machines, but also computers with suitable software to visually challenged students and hearing aids for those hard of hearing from a Deaf-Dumb-Blind school in their district. Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall just after five o’clock and went into the interview room. When He came onstage, the leader of the group called out the items for distribution after an introductory speech at 5.45 pm. When the distribution concluded, one of the visually challenged children presented a song on the sweetness of the Telugu tongue. A music programme by the devotees followed, while Bhagawan called up and blessed all the visually challenged students. After half an hour of the songs by the devotees, He called up two of the student singers and blessed them with bracelets. They then sang a few bhajans with alap before Bhagawan accepted Arati at 7 pm and returned to His residence.

Thursday, March 5, 2009
This evening, the devotees of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh presented their programme. The proceedings got underway with Swami coming onstage and the leader of the group making an introductory speech in Telugu at 5.20 pm. The dance-drama presented by them for the next 45 minutes exhorted the youth to arise and join Sathya Sai. Bhajans by the devotees commenced after Bhagawan blessed the participants, and twenty minutes later, He accepted Arati at 6.45 pm.

Monday, March 2, 2009
This evening, the students of the XI class of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School presented a drama, ‘Journey to Sai’. Bhagawan came for darshan just after five o’clock, and came to the Bhajan Hall after His darshan round, interacting with the students in costumes there for a while. The 50 minute drama began at 5.30 pm once Swami came onstage and the Principal of the school announced the presentation. Swami blessed the participants after the drama by moving down from the stage for group photographs with them. Once He came onstage, He accepted Arati at 6.30 pm. He interacted with some teachers and students for a few more minutes before returning to His residence in the car.

Sunday, March 1, 2009
This morning, Bhagawan came for darshan just after the nine o’clock bhajans began. After completing His darshan round in the chair, He came near the Primary School students, and the XII class outgoing batch of girl students brought up many items to be blessed by Him. After a few minutes of interaction, they began singing songs to Him, and the bhajans were stopped. Swami sat near them and later on the verandah and listened to their singing for nearly twenty minutes, sending them chocolates and vibhuti prasadam. After a brief visit to the interview room, the bhajans recommenced, and Swami came onstage and sat there while the bhajans went on for another twenty minutes. He then moved around the verandah, remaining there for twenty minutes, and then went into the interview room for twenty minutes. It was eleven o’clock when He returned to His residence after accepting Arati onstage. In the evening, He arrived for darshan at 4.45 pm, and had another long bhajan session till just after six o’clock.

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami
PNS | Cuttack

Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba will offer keys of the newly-constructed houses under the Sai Kutir Yojana to the families which were severely affected by the devastating floods in the State last year.

He will hand over the keys of these housed on the occasion of the Ram Navami on April 3 at Puttaparti in Andhra Pradesh.

Six hundred two families of 14 villages in Cuttack, Puri and Kendrapara districts are included under the Yojna. Out of these, 200 families will be rehabilitated in the first phase. About Rs 6 crore is estimated to be spent in the construction of these 602 houses. Construction company L&T under the super vision of Chalpati Prusti and Ramkrushna Prusty, the engineers of the Prasanti Nilayam, is constructing these houses.

Heads of these 200 families along with their wives are invited to Puttaparti. Expenditure of transporting and lodging will be bore by the Satya Sai Sangathan.

They will get the blessings of Baba, besides new clothes and home appliances. The family members led by Sangathan’s State wing president Prof Harikrushna Das will start their journey on March 30.

The members in support of the Sangathan will present a cultural programme on their miserable conditions after the devastation by the flood and the grace of Baba.

In another programme, these beneficiaries through a song-drama based on the life of the Mythological character Sabari will request Baba to come to Orissa.

The Pioneer Reference

Double Dose Of Amrita

Colusa Vibuthi Manifestations

Colusa Vibuthi Manifestations


Double Dose Of Amrita
On Guru Poornima Day, there was a big gathering of devotees from all parts of India at Prasanthi Nilayam, a gathering of at least a few thousands. I had no chance all these years of receiving from Sathya Sai Baba‘s Hands the sanctifying Amrith that He distributes on holy festivals. So I was anxious to be present and to receive it. The devotees had arranged themselves in rows along the verandah and porch and the open spaces opposite the Nilayam expecting Baba to come through there and give the nectar that thrills the soul.

A few minutes before the arrival of Baba, a volunteer asked us, under directions, to go into the Prayer Hall and sit in lines there; for, Baba will enter the Hall and give Amrith there also. Only two or three of us responded and went into the Hall. The rest remained where they were. Meanwhile, Baba started distributing the nectar to the people on the verandah and those who received it came into the Prayer Hall, for it was nearing Bhajan time. The volunteers did not allow us to move out of the Hall to where Baba was; the rule is that no one should disturb others by getting up in the middle and walking towards the door. I prayed to Baba to take pity on me.

After about an hour, Baba entered the Prayer Hall. Seeing a few devotees like me who had not received the Amrith, He summoned for the vessel, and graciously distributed it to those few. He came near me; I was overjoyed that my prayers had been answered; but, to my surprise, He said that I had already received it at His Hands! I could not understand Him. I begged Him to bless me with the Amrith He had in His hand, saying I had not received it. With a smile and a look full of mercy, He said, “All right! Have your second dose!” and poured into my palm a spoonful of the nectar.

After the Bhajan, I returned to my room, with mixed feelings, and sat before the portrait of Baba in my prayer room. To my great astonishment, I saw drops of Amrita, trickling down from that photograph. Baba had given me the first dose of Amrith in my room, in answer to my prayers. What He gave me in the Prayer Hall was the second dose!

O, Sarvajna, Sarvasaktha, Sarvantharyami, Deenadayapara! I surrender at Thy Feet.

Reference

Sri Jodi Adipalli Somappa

He has a million names and a million forms, though He is beyond all names and forms, all adulations and attributions. The One whose stature transgresses all the limits and benchmarks set by the worldly, He often comes in response with the most viable and potent solution to his puzzles and problems. Quite often we have experienced this gentle tap from the Greater Heaven in the most unexpected, unfamiliar form. Read on for yet another story of His ‘visiting card’ born out of the pen of the illustrious Prof. N. Kasturi, as published in the Sanathana Sarathi, May, 1959.

Sri Jodi Adipalli Somappa

“Then, suddenly from among the crowd, an old man emerged. He shouted in a loud commanding voice, ‘Give the child to me;’ there were two women and one man with him, who also pleaded, ‘Give the child to him, lady! He is famous as a curer of children’s diseases. He has saved many children from death.’ And, so, losing all fear, my wife handed over the child to him.”

This is from a letter written by S. R.V. on 28th November 1958. The incident happened on 25th November 1958. The ‘old man’ was no other than Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself; the two women and the man who accompanied him were also creations of His Grace and Power, whom He had with Him, while He appeared in disguise in His Mission of Mercy! The child is the lovely little baby that Sathya Sai Baba is seen holding, in the picture that forms the front-piece of this number of Sanathana Sarathi. (NOTE: The same image is reproduced in this article) Let us now look a little closer at this strange story, this Leela of Bhagawan…

Sathya Sai Baba With Sudha

Sathya Sai Baba With Sudha


Sudha Raghunathan As A Child With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sudha Raghunathan As A Child With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A devotee, S.R.V. from Bangalore had come to Puttaparthi, with his wife and child, for the Birthday Festivities of the Bhagawan, on 23rd November 1958 and he left the Prasanthi Nilayam on the 25th at 12.45 P.M. taking leave of Baba, and receiving from His hands, the Vibhuti which He gets by a mere wave of the Hand, as well as a few oranges.

At 5:30 P.M. that evening, when some devotees gathered round Him at the Prasanthi Nilayam, Baba told them a dramatic tale of ‘death’ and ‘rebirth!’ He said that S. R. V.’s child, Geetha Sudha, called Sudha, for short, had died on the way to Bangalore at 2:45 p.m. but, He had left His body at Puttaparthi and hurried to the place and manifested Himself as an old man and saved the child. His narration was full of details and very clear and devotees who keep diaries of their experiences have recorded every word of it. He said that the child was sleeping on the back seat; that a scratching sound was heard by the mother; that when she turned she was shocked to find the baby stiff and blue and practically lifeless; that the moving car was stopped; that the time was 2:45 P.M.; that the place was between Palasamudram and Bagepalli; that a huge crowd of villagers gathered on account of the wailing; that every one was advising all kinds of remedies and cures; that a bus proceeding to Hindupur came on the scene, was stopped and added to the confusion; that as soon as the bus moved off, He appeared as an old man and demanded that the child be given over to Him, saying that He heard about the tragedy and had come running to the place; that He asked the party for a little Vibhuti, because He was sure they had it; that, keeping the child on His lap, He showed it His real form, upon which the baby, as usual on all occasions when He took the child up in His hands, cried; that He pretended to go through some curative rituals and handed the baby to the overjoyed parents; that S. R. V. thanked Him profusely for His service; that he offered to pay Him a rupee, which He refused to accept; that he pressed upon Him an Orange out of the five or six that He Himself had given him at noon while leaving Him at Puttaparthi, and that after invoking upon that fruit the calamity that had pursued the baby, He threw it away before reaching the Nilayam!

On the 28th November, a long letter written by S. R. V detailing the entire incident was received at Puttaparthi and it was given over by Baba to be read by those who had heard Him describing the miracle, three days earlier, within a few hours of the ‘death’ and ‘re-birth.’ What a surprise it was to read in the letter that the child was sleeping on the back seat (!) there was heard a scratching sound (!) that the body was stiff, that the child was breathless, that the villagers ran in from all directions, that there were suggestions galore, that the Hindupur bus was stopped at the scene (!) and then, the para quoted above! “Then, suddenly from among the crowd, an old man emerged…”

The letter continued, “The old man placed the child on His lap and she began to cry (!) He also heated a copper wire and applied it to the brow. We thanked him much for saving the child to accept at least a rupee as a reward (!) But, in spite of our best efforts he refused to accept it. I then gave him an orange from among the ones which Baba had given us while leaving. He asked us to leave for Bangalore without worry and do Arati to our Ishtadevata, Venkataramanaswami as soon as we reached home. I asked him his name and he gave it as Jodi Adipalli Somappa.”

S. R. V. concluded his letter thus, “I am now certain that the Old Man was no other than Baba Himself. I also suspect that the three villagers who asked us very forcibly to give Sudha into His Hands were also ad hoc creations of His Leela. My inference is that Baba must have gone on a ‘trance’ about 2:30 or 2:45 P.M. on the 25th.”

We, who had heard Baba relate the whole thrilling story on the 25th evening itself, have no doubt in our minds that Jodi Adipalli Somappa is no other than Baba Himself, Baba manifesting Himself 48 miles away to save the child!

Om Jodi Adipalli Somappaya Namah. . . Mysterious are the ways of the Lord. Words are of no avail, if one desires to describe Him. The mind is too feeble and instrument to measure His Glory. . . . . aprapya manasa saha!

(Readers may note that the story is an episode from the life of one of the distinguished voices in the carnatic music in India, Sudha Raghunathan from Chennai. Smt. Sudha Raghunathan has experienced the rare blessing of singing in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on various occassions)

Reference

Sathya SaiBaba – Test My Omnipresence

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya SaiBaba – Test My Omnipresence

Once, when my husband was on a tour – he had to tour the whole of Madhya Pradesh – my son became very ill, and had 103-104 degrees fever for 5 days! One doctor came and saw him, and at first he thought that it was malaria, and then he said it was influenza; he couldn’t find the precise cause. So he went on treating, but my son didn’t respond to any medicine!

Then, on the 4th day, he came and told me, “I suspect it could be typhoid.”

My son was maybe 5 or 6 years old, and his fever was not coming down at all! He became delirious! His brain was a muddle. He could not recognize people; he didn’t know what was happening. He would say all sorts of irrelevant things! He didn’t recognize I was his mother; he just looked at me and was running away from the bed and was babbling! I was trying to put him into bed, but he wanted to run! I was worried and wondered what had happened to him!

Then immediately, Sathya Sai Baba‘s thought came in my mind: ‘I told you to test My Omnipresence! Now is the time for you to test! Go and pray to me.’ Not that I heard a Voice or something; it just came into my own mind. I told the maid to somehow manage and look after the child, and I will just go and pray, and return.

So I went to my shrine – it was 9 o’clock – and I talked to Swami:

“Swami, You said to test Your Omnipresence. Today I need Your Omnipresence, because this child is behaving so queerly! I can’t even understand what is happening! I want your help! You must fulfill 3 conditions of mine! One, when I go back now, he should be fast asleep; he shouldn’t be running and saying all sorts of things! Then I will know you are Omnipresent. The 2nd is, when I get up in the morning, and when I check his temperature, it should be normal – exactly 98.4 – I will not even accept a 99! The temperature usually goes up again in the afternoon. So when I will test again in the afternoon, and in the evening, it should be continuously 98.4! He should be absolutely normal in every sense! Then I will believe you have helped him.”

Swami had told us that to contact Him, you have to do japa, chant His Name. He is hridayavaasi, the Indweller and He is listening not just to me, but everybody else too, because He is within everybody. So the message will reach Him.

Then I got up and returned to the bedroom, and I found him fast asleep! Then I asked my maid: “When did he go to sleep?” She said: “Amma, a few minutes after you went, he went off to sleep.” And in the morning too, he got up very normal! None of that babbling was there! He recognized me as he has always been! I took his temperature in the afternoon and evening – it was 98.4! What more did I need?

Apparently at that time, Sathya Sai Baba was in Venkatagiri, with the Maharaja of Venkatagiri and He was talking to them at 9 o’clock. He used to stay with Venkatagiri and Kumara Raja (the King’s son) during the festival of Sri Rama Navami. Maharaja used to take Swami by car to Venkatagiri.

So at that time, when I prayed at 9 o’clock, Swami was talking to Maharaja of Venkatagiri, and He went into a trance! He just fell back and they couldn’t understand what happened!

When Sathya Sai Baba came around, they asked Him: “Swami, what happened?” They had heard about HIS trance but had not witnessed one till then. So they asked Him: “Was it a trance? Did you go anywhere?” Swami confirmed this.