Can We Have The Cake And Eat It Too?

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Can We Have The Cake And Eat It Too?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam, the Sathya Sai Baba Ashram.

In recent centuries, humanity has experimented with three major socio-economic systems. They are: First the Capitalist System at one end and second the Communist System at the other extreme. In between is the third system namely, hybrid Socialistic System that India, for example, tried to operate for about forty years after its Independence. Each system has its passionate advocates and every system claims that it is the best option for Society, because it alone can provide good economic and social security besides keeping its citizens happy.

These are claims. If, however, one looks carefully at the scorecard, one would find that no system has emerged as the clear winner. The simple reason for this is that no modern socio-economic system is explicitly based on Morality. No doubt, implicit in every system is the idea that people would be honest, truthful and ethical in their behaviour. However, the enemies of man lurking inside are so powerful that they easily overcome the vague commitment to values that these systems demand. That is THE fundamental reason why all modern systems are doomed to fail; and the danger posed by such a failure can create grave crises in the future, if some core issues, hitherto swept under the rug are not frontally confronted.

Experts say that for any economic system to operate four major inputs are necessary: Trained human resource, financial capital, infrastructure and raw material. Where raw material is concerned, mankind draws from a ‘Bank’ called Nature. All the renewable as well as the non-renewable material resources that drive the engine called economy are drawn from Nature. For thousands of years, everyone laboured under the impression that Nature is a Bank with infinite resources and that one can draw as much as one wants, any time. Lately we have discovered that this assumption is not true, and therein lies a serious problem.

Planet earth is finite, and it simply cannot provide infinite resources, just because we want it to. Lately, this truth has begun to sink in, though only in a limited fashion. For example, many have realised that oil which is one of the principle movers in modern economy, can one day run out. One can go to town on this subject of finite resources but we will not . For the present it suffices to say that consumerism which is the engine of modern economy, is very wasteful and is placing on planet earth a burden it cannot carry for too long.

What is the alternative? Sathya Sai Baba has indicated this but before we discuss that, it is pertinent to call attention to a report published several decades ago, known popularly as the Club of Rome Report. In effect, it warns mankind as follows: ‘The present consumption pattern is UNSUSTAINABLE. Curtail consumption immediately and drastically; otherwise, one day, the Bank called Nature would go broke and you would not be able to draw from it.’ This is the warning given not by religious or spiritual leaders but by hard-nosed economists, based on cold reasoning, and pitiless statistics and all that.

What does Satya SaiBaba say? He of course has been telling us a long, long time to practice CEILING ON DESIRES, not from the point of view of the Club of Rome, but from much higher spiritual considerations. When we place a ceiling on desires, it means we stop buying things we really do not need – and let’s be honest, we can jolly well do without most of the gadgets of today. We get sucked into buying them because of heavy advertisement. OK, suppose we stop buying all sorts of video games, I-pods and so on; so what? Well, that would immediately decrease the demand for mercury, cadmium, copper-beryllium, lead etc., which go into all electronic gadgets. All these are deadly materials, when they get into the environment.

Take, for example, cell phones. There are nearly a billion of them; and the models change so often. What happens to old discarded phones? They end up in India, China, Vietnam and so on, where they are dismantled by unskilled people, in the process spreading a lot of pollution into the environment. There are so many of today’s evils that get automatically eliminated, once we cap our desires. Of course, the more important thing is that people who curb desires, develop detachment and get closer to God.

Sceptics would shake their heads and say, ‘This is stupid. Consumerism is the engine that drives the modern world. If we curb desires, markets would collapse, unemployment would shoot up, and there would be disaster everywhere. Ceiling on desires may be nice to be talk about but it will not work; in any case, we cannot give it up. In any event, what other alternative is there?’

We will not get into a debate here about the virtues of consumerism but focus instead on the alternative. To appreciate the significance of that alternative, we must realise that in a consumerist society, products are often created using mass-production technology. Superficially this might make sense but it leads to unemployment. In decades past, when the economy grew, it also meant increased employment. But these days, economists are talking of ‘jobless growth of economy’. In turn this leads to a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots, as is being seen today not only in China and India, but even in the United States. So what are we to do? We have to switch from mass production to production by the masses, and anchor social life to sharing and caring rather than competition and exploitation.

This is where an important teaching of Sathya Sai Baba comes into the picture. Sathya Sai Baba often says: ‘The proper study of mankind is man.’ This means that mankind must follow the same rules that Lord God has ordained for the human body. In the human body, there is no organ that is selfish. All organs perform their functions in a co-operative manner and in harmony with all the other organs rather than competing with each other and in being selfish. As Swami says, when a sweet is put in the mouth, the tongue tastes it but does not keep it to itself; it sends the sweet to the stomach. The stomach digests and send the digested matter to the intestines. The intestines allow the nutrition to leak to the blood vessels, which carry the nutrients to the muscles all over the body and so on. One can give any number of such illustrations.

So the main lesson that our body teaches us loud and clear is that individuals in society must care for and co-operate with each other instead of being ruthlessly competitive and selfish. Next, they must function in harmony for a common goal, the welfare of Society as a whole or mankind, even as the organs of the body function for the benefit of the body as a whole.

This is where the concept of Trusteeship comes into the picture. In essence, what it means is that individuals as well as groups function as Trustees of God. Both individuals and groups must take the following view: ‘Every skill and resource we have belongs really to God and has been given to us to be used judiciously for and on His behalf. In that sense, we are Trustees of God.’

And this is how the Trusteeship idea works. A doctor uses his medical knowledge to relieve suffering and NOT for making money. This does not mean he should not charge fees. He could and should, especially if he is engaged in private practice. However, he does not overcharge and treats for free, those who cannot afford. Whatever he does, he offers to God, as recognition of his role as a Trustee of God. Corporations too must operate in the same spirit. Thus, drug companies would focus on saving lives rather than maximizing profit as they do these days [with good PR to cover up the anti-social behaviour]. One can develop the idea in extenso, and we shall do so in Heart2Heart later.

One might ask: ‘But what happens to jobs?’ Presently, globalisation-driven economy tends to ‘improve’ the economy while decreasing the number of jobs at the same time. In the Trusteeship regime, mass production is replaced by production by the masses. Some might wonder: ‘Will this work?’ It does, and the Milk Revolution in Gujarat is proof of that. Here, thousands of dairy farmers joined together to form a successful milk co-operative. So successful has this co-operative movement been that India, which once used to import milk powder from Denmark has now become the largest producer of milk in the world; and the venture has given employment to thousands and thousands of people.

If we think carefully about it, mankind DOES have an alternative to the present consumerist way of life, which is wasteful and is leading us straight to disaster. That alternative of course demands the price of simple living and a spirit of cooperation, with people caring for each other and sharing with each other, exactly as the organs in a healthy body do.

Many dismiss such an idea with the comment: ‘All this is nice in theory but will not work.’ Well, it all depends on what people want. People go to great extent to make money, to take care of their children, to be successful in life and so on. That is because, they value the end objective. In every case, sacrifice is involved and success represents the triumph of will power, which is the key to discipline. If in the same way we attach great importance to the real purpose of human birth and life, then there should really be no difficulty in practicing a ceiling on desires and letting life be guided by the principle of Trusteeship. This principle calls for detachment and actually, in many things we do, we are detached without being aware of it. A cashier in a bank handles everyday, huge sums of money; yet he does not ever imagine it is his money. A taxi driver working for a cab company, does not think he owns the cab; and so on, there are many examples one could think of. With effort, one could extend this idea to things that one believes belongs to the person concerned. In the trusteeship regime, a rich man would regard the wealth he has as given to him by God for being used for Divine purposes.

People today might be very sceptical about such an attitude to life but you would be surprised to learn that when late Prof. Kasturi (Baba’s biographer) was born, his parents took the baby to the local Siva temple, placed the baby before the idol and prayed, ‘Oh Lord, You have given this child of Yours to us for looking after and bringing up. Please give us all that we need to do Your duty as best as we can.’

If we want, if we love God, if we want to avoid inflicting more wounds on Mother Earth, then we can and ought to be able to change our mindset. If we fail to do that, and want the present untenable life style then we must also get ready to pay the price for it. Scientists are very much concerned by the rapid melting of Arctic ice, and if the same happens with the ice in Antarctica also, then terrible things can happen, like half of Bangladesh getting swallowed by the sea. Experts say that even if humanity stops consuming oil today, it is not possible to stop global warming. The process started will stabilise at best; all that one can hope for is preventing of still further rises in the long term.

The bottom line is simply this: If we want to eat the cake, then it would disappear and we cannot have it! The options are clear and the time to decide is NOW. Tomorrow may be too late!

What do you think? Do you agree?

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Gandhi often said that he wanted to live till 120 but he died much before that, not due to natural causes but due to assassination. Gandhi preached and practiced non-violence, peace and love; but ironically, he died on account of the anger and hate in the mind of the assassin. Gandhi is remembered for many things but today, we would like to dwell briefly upon a few aspects most important for our times.

If there is anything that stands above everything else in the personality of Gandhi, it is his firm commitment to Sathya and Dharma. Where these two were concerned, Gandhi took no orders from anyone except his Conscience. As Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us, Conscience is our true Master. Even recently, Satya SaiBaba was telling a couple of people from overseas, ‘People worship my Form but that is not enough; God is Inside and they should listen to His voice which is always speaking and giving good advice.’

Getting back to Gandhi, one might ask: ‘We all have Conscience; God is in all of us; then how come we are not able to do what Gandhi did?’ This is a question we really ought to be asking ourselves all the time, especially when Sri Sathya Sai Baba often tells that we are very deficient when it comes to following His teachings. The answer to the question we have posed is simple: Gandhi practiced many of the things that Swami teaches even though he never met Swami and had never even seen Him – remember Gandhi died on 30th January 1948, when very few people in this country knew about Swamiji. We, on the other hand, pride ourselves in listening and reading Swami’s Discourses, but avoid practice.

Gandhi took God seriously, indeed far more seriously than most of us do, and that is what made him so very different. Now what are those things that Gandhi did that gave him such towering Inner strength? Firstly, he was always chanting the Name of the Lord so much so he literally died with God’s Name on his lips. Next, he tried his best to remain true to his Conscience, indeed even in politics. Chanting the Name and being true to one’s Conscience are precisely the things that Swami wants from all of us; yet we consistently deny exactly those two to Swami whereas Gandhi gave just Him that; and that is because he really loved God.

Gandhi was called Mahatma; what does that mean? All of us are embodiments of the Divine Atma, as Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us; but Gandhi made that embodiment come ALIVE, and that is why he was called Mahatma, which means a great Atma. Gandhi was not born a Mahatma but by strictly adhering to the command of God, he became one.

Sathya Sai Baba often talks of bookish knowledge and practical knowledge. Gandhi is a good example of a man who translated bookish knowledge into brilliant practical knowledge. And this is something we should pay careful attention to. Today, if anyone were to say that Sathya and Dharma are very essential in national and international politics, people would dismiss that person as a bloody fool. Gandhi showed, however, that indeed even politics must be pursued keeping in mind all the time, what we call human values.

When Gandhi launched the famous Sathyagraha [non-violent, civil disobedience] movement as a part of the freedom struggle in India, he made it very clear that the struggle would be non-violent. However, some misguided people let their passions run away and burnt a Police Station, which resulted in the death of many Policemen. Gandhi was stunned; he did not expect this. Promptly he suspended the Sathyagraha, publicly declared that he had made a huge mistake – a Himalayan blunder as he called it – and then went on a fast to purify himself.

In August 1947, the British partitioned the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan. All the assets of British India were divided between these two new countries – the railways, the Central Bank [called the Reserve Bank], and so on. It so happened that as a part of this division, India had to pay Pakistan 550 million rupees [or 55 crores as we would say in India]. Immediately after partition, there was an armed conflict between the two countries and on that basis, India withheld the 55 crores. Gandhi criticised that action as being morally incorrect; the word having been given, must be kept, politics or no politics. Such was the respect that Gandhi commanded, that the Government of India yielded and did precisely what Gandhi advised.

Gandhi started off as like most of us, as an ordinary person. He was not a scholar of the scriptures, the Vedas and the Upanishads. But one thing he knew – in life, Truth and Righteousness are always of paramount importance. And he resolved that never would he compromise on these, even if it meant death. That is what firm faith is all about. In other words, Gandhi demonstrated beyond doubt that with firm faith and deep love for God, one can develop so much self-confidence that one can face any adverse situation.

It is no surprise that Gandhi attracted and continues to attract admirers and even followers. Speaking on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 85th Birthday, President Clinton said that in politics he admired no one more than Gandhi. Martin Luther King never saw Gandhi but he showed that Gandhi’s principle of non-violence works even in modern times. And, in his own way, Nelson Mandela too demonstrated that non-violence is superior to violence.

These are days when people tend to dismiss Sathya and Dharma rather quickly, claiming that they won’t work in the age of globalisation. This is a myth and it is tragic that such falsehood is being actively peddled amongst the gullible.

If we concede that it is God who has created the Universe of which we are a part, and that God is Sathya, Dharma and Prema, then we too must have those genes of basic values. If we have come from the Creator, how can we not have at least some of the ‘Divine genes’. Under the circumstances, to deny Sathya and Dharma is to deny ourselves as well as God. Nothing could be more foolish. Today’s generation might tend to dismiss Gandhi but, as Einstein said of him, centuries hence people would wonder whether such a man did really walk on earth.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi


When Sathya Sai Baba talks of values like Prema, Ahimsa etc., we nod our heads and clap but later dismiss them as irrelevant for this age. That is not true; as long as there are humans on earth, values are a MUST, and instead of dismissing them because we are too weak to follow them, we must take courage from the shining example of Gandhi and try to emulate him, in at least a small measure, by listening to our Conscience, for example.

Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart”
RadioSai’s e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service

Built In Terminator

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai


Built In Terminator

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. While creating the Universe, God, in His infinite Wisdom, has ensured that nothing is permanent. This applies both to inanimate as well as animate entities. Stars are born, but they also die. Incidentally, you may surprised to know that the atoms in our bodies have all come from a star that had an explosive death before our Sun came into existence. As for animate entities, Shakespeare said beautifully that all that lives must die and go from here to eternity.

It is not only individual living beings that have a birth and a death; species too go through the same sort of cycle. A species comes into existence, exists for several million years and then one day becomes extinct, like the dinosaurs, for example. What we wish to discuss in this “Sunday Special” is that coming under the spell of constant change, socio-economic forces, including those that harm Society, also appear to have a termination, at least to some extent. Unfortunately, however, while one evil phenomenon becomes extinct, others, often more virulent, take their place. Thus, it is rather like what happens in a garden. Weeds appear and through the use of pesticides etc., the weed is exterminated; but other weeds appear, and the cycle goes on.

The question before us is the following: “Placed as we are in a Society that is becoming increasingly crowded, and where money power is slowly appearing to become absolute, how are we to protect ourselves?” Before we try to address this question, we would like to cite some examples of such transient phenomenon. In the business world, for example, success is not eternal. Take, for instance, the automobile industry. Time there was when America literally dominated the scene. In fact, so powerful was General Motors and so important was it to America that it used to be said: “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” Presently, however, the American auto industry that once held such a powerful position is in the red. A similar eclipse is being forecast in the Television industry. For decades, three TV channels in America ruled the airways. They were true giants. But with the emergence of cable technology, internet streaming, etc., these once powerful institutions are worrying about what they must do to stay alive.

Let us turn next to powerful empires. Barely seventy years ago, it used to be said that the Sun never sets on the British Empire. Where is it now? After the Second World War, the Soviet Empire seemed invincible, the Berlin Wall being its symbol of might and authority. Yet, how quickly the Soviet Empire crumbled, almost overnight as it were! Much before this, there were the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czarist Empire, the Ottoman Empire , the Moghul Empire, and so on. Every one of them has vanished into the dustbin of history. What we are trying to drive at is that any social or economic system based on social imbalance and inequity, has a built-in factor that one day leads to the extinction of that system. In that sense, this built-in “Terminator Factor,” in so far as it applies to evil forces, is good news. However, though a particular form of evil might become extinct, if the overall climate for evil to flourish does not change, then evil would always reappear in some other form.

Diseases provide an example of how one problem is often replaced with another. Till about seventy years ago, small pox and plague used to kill in thousands if not hundreds of thousands. They were very much feared but today, they are extinct. Polio, likewise, claimed its victims in millions but today, it has almost disappeared, except in a few countries. But even as these deadly diseases have taken their bow as it were, others have appeared in their place, the most notable and feared of them being AIDS. Believe it or not, till 1980 AIDS simply did not exist, but today, it is killing five thousand people every single day; and for your reference, that number is roughly one and a half times the number of people who were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, on September 11, 2001.

This brings us to our main point. Yes, specific forms of evils do have a life span, and one day may become extinct. But where humanity as a whole is concerned, it does not quite get off the hook. These “local extinctions” might benefit some people, but suffering and misery continue; while some who suffered earlier might later prosper, others who had it good earlier might now suffer. To make matters worse, the number of people suffering might even increase. So, if one looks at humanity as a whole, the “Gross Misery Index” tends to increase, despite the “Terminator Factor”.

The question arises: “In that case, what’s the big deal about the so-called Terminator Factor in relation to evil? Why talk about it at all, when it really does not matter much where overall suffering is concerned?” There is a reason and we now wish to focus on that. Let us start by asking: “We earlier considered ‘Local Terminator Factors’. Is there any ‘Global Terminator Factor,’ that can take care of the whole bunch of evil?” Our answer is: “Yes, there is one.” Want to know more about it? Read on!

Let us go back to the diseases example. How did humanity get rid of the dreaded smallpox? Essentially by eliminating the virus all over the globe. What this tells us is that if we are looking for some kind of a ‘Global Terminator Factor,’ then the first thing we have to ensure is that evil has no place to hide anywhere. This raises the question: “Where exactly does evil normally hide? What is its home? And where is this home?” The answer is straightforward: “Evil hides in the Minds of humans.” So, if evil has to be eliminated globally, then all Minds must be spiritually disinfected.

You might wonder whether at all this is possible. When we are facing so much difficulty in fighting AIDS and getting rid of it, can we ever “disinfect” Minds everywhere, spiritually that is? We are not suggesting that this is going to be easy but we do believe that humanity must give this a serious try. Swami says if you see a deadly snake, you would do everything to avoid getting bitten by it. We must have the same attitude here.

Let us look at this issue in some greater detail. Today, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of rich and upper-middle class people who are well off, but there are also billions of people who are suffering in innumerable ways. Even the rich are not happy. They might be loaded with money, but few of them are relaxed. To make money, one has to compete fiercely and that sort of aggressive life brings its own quote of problems. All this is well known and so we shall not go into those details. But we have to mention that the great divide of humanity into the haves and the have-nots is the source of conflict in many societies. As one intellectual put it, the conflicts we often see boil down to a confrontation, sometimes violent, between raw money power and equally raw people power. The distinguished Harvard Professor J. K. Galbraith who died recently – J.K.G was, during the Kennedy administration, America ’s Ambassador to India , a post he adorned with great distinction – once said, “Wealth does not understand.” What he meant was that wealthy people simply do not understand that the under-privileged have serious life and death problems, most of them caused by the huge disparity in income. When those who do not have problems do not understand the suffering of those who are beset with innumerable problems – they may be financial, connected with health, mental retardation, physical disability like blindness, etc., – then there will always be friction, sometimes violent.

You might say, “All that is old hat. What exactly is the point being made?” Our answer is the following:

First and foremost, if evil is to be removed, ALL must make a commitment towards it. For example, small pox got eliminated when everyone got vaccinated.

Next, EVERY ONE must accept that the Mind gets disinfected best by following Swami’s teachings in full faith.

In particular, CEILING ON DESIRES is a must for every one, both the rich and the poor, each in their own way.

Sathya Sai Baba says that there must be LOVE FOR GOD, and also FEAR OF SIN. What exactly is sin? Sin is any act that God would not be pleased with. God would not like acts that pander to the senses; God would not like anything that harms others; God would not like greed, and so on. So, fearing sin really means being afraid to hurt God!

Since we have gone through all this many times earlier, we presume we do not have to elaborate on this topic. But we would like to discuss briefly why all this is important.

You see, the world of today is so interconnected that what happens in one part of the world affects a lot of people even far away. Heavy disturbance to the environment in Mongolia and China , has led to desert sand from China being blown all the way to America . The Chernobyl nuclear accident took place in Ukraine but it affected people all over Europe . Poverty in the less-developed countries has resulted in massive immigration into the rich countries, often illegal immigration. The rich countries that once welcomed immigrants are now not so enthusiastic about it because all kinds of problems have surfaced. Rich people in wealthy countries want good wooden furniture and they encourage people in poor countries to cut their forests. In turn, this causes devastation to the topsoil, leads to flooding when there is heavy rain etc. The list goes on.

In short, man today has too much power, too much technology, too many desires and too little wisdom. May be not every one of the six and odd billion humans on planet home have money, power, etc. But when there is a huge disparity as there is at present, it can create all kinds of problems, all over the place, even if the number of rich is only few millions. The time has come to move away from the money-power versus people-power type of confrontation. We should all regard ourselves as children of One Loving and Compassionate God, and share with as well as care for each other by abandoning selfishness, to which all are addicted, both the rich and the poor.

Is selfishness all that easy to get rid off? Not easy we admit, but it IS possible, if we truly Love Swami, as we invariably claim to.

You know something? True Love is immensely powerful and is the ONLY effective Terminator available to us. Swami loves us so much and gives us so much. Can we not, by way of expressing gratitude, set apart every single day, wherever we are, just two minutes in the morning and two in the evening, when we contemplate quietly and say to Swami:

“Lord, when I see You in Your Cosmic Macro Form, I see that You are suffering through millions of human forms and millions more of other forms like the whale, the baby seal, and so on. Swami, I realise that all this suffering is caused by us humans. And the reason for this is because I have not allowed You who are my Indweller to express Yourself through this body and Mind of mine.

Forgive me please, and let me at least now say with true feelings of Love and Compassion: LOKA SAMASTHAA SUKHINO BHAVANTU. I know that I routinely chant this Mantra at the end of every Bhajan session but this time, I assure You it is truly from the Heart.

They say that prayer is God’s only weakness. I believe in that. So Swami, I earnestly pray that You do not suffer through all those millions and billions of living forms. Please help all of us not to thoughtlessly put You to such suffering.

Trapped as we are in stupid delusion, we cannot end the evils of the world, for which we are really to blame. We plead guilty but please Swami, we do not want to be stuck with it! And there is only one Global Terminator for all the current problems, Your Love!

Baba! Please help us so that that Infinite Love of Yours can arise and swell in our Hearts and sweep away at one stoke like a Huge Divine Tsunami, all the evil on earth!”.

You know something? If each one of us really prays in this manner every single day, then there is sure to be a change. The Heart, which is the seat of God, holds infinite power that can do wonders. Suppose we go one step further and pray in this manner, intensely, at the end of each Bhajan session, the results would be even greater. Suppose all the Bhajan groups in a city decide to do this at a particular time of a particular day, every single week, even greater Moral cleansing can be expected.

A carbon dioxide laser is essentially made up of trillions of very tiny molecules. Yet, when the molecules cohere, the radiation from the laser can drill and cut through five centimetres of steel! This is not any new-fangled technology but has been there for twenty-five years, and is extensively used in many industries. If tiny inanimate molecules can do so much by coming together, how much more humans can do when they come together!

We now ask you to sit back and reflect on all that we have tried to say; after that, reflect on why Swami asks us to do Akhand Bhajans at least once a year.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

Sathya Sai Baba’s 2009 New Year Discourse

Sathya Sai Baba New Year 2009

Sathya Sai Baba New Year 2009


Sathya Sai Baba’s 2009 New Year Discourse
Date: 1 Jan 2009
Occasion: New Year Day
Place: Prasanthi Nilayam
Know Thyself! Then You Will Know Everything by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The sun appears serene and peaceful
The days have become shorter and the cool wind is blowing
The fields are ripe with golden crops
Marigold flowers are blossoming like garlands of pearls on the banks of rivers
The farmers are rejoicing and singing
The sweet festival of Sankranti has come in the Pushya month,
Filling the granaries in our homes with the freshly harvested grain.
(Telugu song)

Embodiments of Love!

This is the Sankranti festival time. Sankranti is a great festival. It is a day on which the farmers bring home the harvested crops consisting of all varieties of food grains and pulses needed for the household. The farmers, having finished a hectic schedule of harvesting the crops and becoming free from agricultural operations, enjoy good food and rest in their homes. They spend a leisure time, happily with their family and friends indulging in fun and frolic. They invite the newly married sons-in-law to their houses and present them with new clothes. The entire house abounds with joy. In this context, there is a folk song in Telugu depicting the festival atmosphere in the villages:

As Sankranti is the festival of festivals,
Oh! Newly married bridegroom, visit your in-laws house;
Come, spend your time in fun and frolic with your brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
The entire household and the neighbourhood will honour you with love and affection.

In the earlier days, the means of transportation were not much developed. The sons-in-law used to visit their in-laws’ houses by walk or on bullock carts. Hence, the entire village used to shower a lot of affection on them and respect them by attending to their needs. They used to be fed with a variety of tasty dishes.

The Sankranti festival is also an occasion when the bullocks are decorated elaborately and taken to various houses in the village. The bullocks are worshipped and fed sumptuously as an expression of gratitude for all the hard work they have done in the fields. Even the bovine members of the household are feted.

A symbolic marriage is performed between a pair of bull and cow, naming them Rama and Sita. They are taken along the streets and made to dance to the delight of every one. The cow named Sita is asked, “Rama is black. Do you like him?” Sita would swing her head in disagree-ment. Then, she is counseled, “please do not say no; Rama is great. He is handsome and respect-able!” Then Sita would nod her head in agreement.

An elder brother watching this beautiful show invites his younger brother to witness this sym-bolic marriage and offer gifts to the “couple”, thus:

Oh my dear brother, here comes the Gangireddudasu.
Come, let us go and see him. He wears a silver medallion and a waist belt.
He carries a decorated staff and wears special marks on his forehead.
He brings with him the richly caparisoned sacred cow and bull and performs their marriage.
Let us see the marriage ceremony and offer our gifts.
(Telugu folk song)

Thus, the Sankranti festival is celebrated in the villages with a lot of religious fervour and fun. Festivals like Sankranti and Sivaratri are meant to contemplate upon and realise one’s innate Divinity.

People say “Idi naa dehamu” (this is my body), very casually. But people well-versed in Sanskrit language would interpret the expression “naa dehamu” (my body) in a different way. They explain that “na” means “not” based upon the literal meaning and conclude that “naa dehamu” means “I am not the body.” Similarly the Telugu expression “naa manasu” (my mind) can be interpreted as “I am not the mind.” The same is the case with buddhi (intellect).

The sum and substance of all these expressions is, “I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the buddhi (intellect). etc.” In the same logic, one has to maintain a state of perfect equanimity unaffected by pain and pleasure at all time affirming, “these sorrows and difficulties as well as happiness and pleasure are not mine. I am beyond these dualities.”

“It is my body” means. “I am different from the body.” When you consider yourself as separate from your body, why should you feel the pain out of it? The situation, however, is that you are unable to bear the pain caused to the body. Hence, you remain at the level of a human being only. You are unable to come out of the delusion of body attachment. As long as you are attached to the body, these sorrows and difficulties as well as pain will haunt you. These are all your own making.

Suppose you get angry. From where did this anger come? It has come from you only. Similarly, jealously is a quality that manifested from your mind. Thus, each one of these bad qualities are the result of your own thoughts. Hence, if only you are able to control your thoughts properly, you will be able to achieve anything in life.

The mind, intellect, and chittha (subconscious mind) are the reflections of Atma. The mind has no stability. It is the repository of thoughts and desires. It is said, “Manayeva manushyanam Karanam bandha mokshyah” (the mind is the root cause of either bondage or liberation). Hence, one has to keep the mind under proper control by putting some ceiling on desires.

Both the body and mind undergo change constantly. However, there is one entity inside that is changeless, that is Atma. It has no form but it has a name: Atma. Self and Atma both mean the same.

Atma is also called Aham. One should not confuse oneself in this context that this Aham is ahamkara (ego), which is identified with the body. God has no name and form, and He is always referred to as Brahman. If God were to reveal His true nature, He would say “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). The same Brahma Tathwa (Brahman principle) permeates all beings as Atma Tathwa (Atma principle).

We say so and so is my wife, so and so is my son. so and so is my daughter-in-law, etc. These are all illusory and bodily relationships. They are acquired by us and are not God given. Similarly God does not grant you either pleasure or pain. All are your own making only. They are due to your body attachment. As long as you are attached to the physical body, you will experience pain only. Once this physical body is consigned to flames, nothing comes along with you.

Atma, Self, I — these are the different names given to the same Atmic principle.

The identification with the body is done by the individual, thereby resulting in ahamkara (ego). That is why Jesus advised to cross the little I (ego), so that one may become God oneself.

Your own Self (Atma) directs all your activities from within. This Self has no birth and death, just as Brahman has no birth and death. It is eternal, true, and changeless. We have to attach ourselves to such an everlasting principle, not to the constantly changing and ephemeral objects.

Suppose you married a girl. You call her your wife. Prior to the marriage, who was she? Who were you? There was absolutely no relationship between you. Only by your marriage did you become husband and wife and acquire marital relationship. The relationship is acquired by you. God has nothing to do with these worldly relationships. Yet, He is the eternal witness to all that goes on in this world.

Dhyana (meditation), japa (constant repetition of God’s name), or yoga are of no help in realising the Atma Tathwa. Neither are the nine forms of devotion like sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender) of any help. They are different forms of sadhana, which we ourselves have taken up. They are not God-given.

How many ascetics in this world do severe penance? How many people constantly do japa? Even when they are sleeping, the japamala (rosary beads) rotates in their hand. Do all these spiritual exercises confer moksha (liberation) on oneself? Never! One has therefore to constantly contemplate on the Atma Tathwa.

If someone asks who you are, you should be able to reply “I am God!” with all the faith and confidence at you command. The Atmaswarupa in all the human beings is one and the same. It is eternal and changeless.

I have told you several times about the story of Alexander the Great. Though he conquered large parts of the world, he could not take with him even an iota of property that he accumulated. He had to leave this world with empty hands. In order to demonstrate this truth to the world, he instructed his ministers to take his dead body in a procession through the streets of his capital keeping both his hands in a raised position pointing the sky.

When the ministers were curious to know the reason for this strange request from the Em-peror, Alexander replied, “I have conquered several countries and accumulated great wealth. There is a vast army under my control. Yet, none is accompanying me at the time of my leaving this mortal body. I am going with empty hands. This truth has to be demonstrated to all people.”

We may acquire a lot of wealth and deposit in the banks or lend it to others for interest. Yet, we cannot take even a handful of earth along with us at the time of leaving our body. Nothing of this world comes along with us. We are unnecessarily struggling and planning several schemes constantly thinking about them day and night. In spite of all our struggles, what has to go out of our hands will go.

“The body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey.” If you follow this mad monkey, you will get into trouble. On the other hand, if you believe in the body, you do not know when this body, which is like a water bubble, will burst. Nothing is permanent. Only the Atma (SELF) is eternal and immortal. That is God.

“I”, “Self”, “God” are all different names by which Divinity is referred to. The Atma that is referred to as “I” is donning different names and forms.

God had incarnated as Rama, Krishna, etc. Rama underwent several difficulties and demonstrated great ideals. Krishna demonstrated several leelas (sports, plays) and attracted several people. Finally, He left His mortal coil. The physical bodies of the Avatars undergo changes, but the Divine Atma in their bodies remains the same. The Atma is omnipresent.

However, in order to attain Atma Jnana (Atmic wisdom), your resolves have to be pure. You have to constantly contemplate upon the Divine Atma.

Your thoughts and actions may change; the methods of your japa, tapa, and yoga may change, but Divinity will not undergo any change. That is why Divinity has been described as nirgunam, niranjanam, sanathana niketanam, nitya, shuddha buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam (attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free, and embodiment of sacredness).

People pray, “Oh! God! Grant me your Divine darshan.” Even if He grants you His divine vision, it is only momentary. It comes and goes like a flash. In fact, God is very much immanent in your own heart. He is hearing all your prayers. He is answering your prayers.

Even when your physical body ceases to exist, the Atma remains. That Atma (Self) is eternal. It assumes different forms. We witness several objects in this Universe, like the stars, the sun, the moon, etc. Though they appear to be static, even they undergo changes. Only Divinity, which is the basis of all these, remains changeless and eternal.

One should always maintain purity. In fact, this land of Bharath has earned great name and fame, for purity and character:

This land of Bharath has given birth to many noble women, like
Savitri, who brought her dead husband back to life,
Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth;
Sita, who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed, and
Damayanti, who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity.
This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and
Became the teacher of all the nations for the world because of such women of chastity.
(Telugu Poem)

Good character is very essential not only for ladies but for gents too! If only one has character, you can call them a man or a chaste woman. Today, we find boys and girls moving very close and behaving as though they are husband and wife. But for how long? Only for a short period. Thereafter, the situation changes. Once they are married, the boy will be somewhere and the girl will go somewhere else. However, there will be no change at all in the divine nature.

It is customary to exchange diamond rings between a boy and girl when they marry. The diamond ring, which is an impermanent object, is symbolic of Divinity, which is changeless and is available to people at all times. We should safeguard our character like a diamond. It is the custom of even overseas people to exchange diamond rings at the time of marriage. Thus, there is a meaning in every custom and tradition not only in India but also in all countries.

As I have already mentioned above, you say that this is “my body” (naa dehamu). Here “naa” refers to self in Telugu language. But, in Sanskrit, “naa” refers to “no”. Hence, it means, “I am not the body.” Thus, there is a lot of meaning in every expression.

God is described as “Sahasra seersha Purushah sahasraksha sahasra paad.” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet). You have only one head, whereas God has thousands of heads. What does it mean? All heads in the entire creation are His!

Likewise, it is not correct to say that Swami has seen a thousand full moons (Sahasra chandra darshan). I have seen not just one thousand full moons but crores and crores of full moons. As the Veda declares, “Chandrama manaso jathah,” (moon is the presiding deity of our mind.) You each have a mind. I have been seeing all your minds. I have been seeing the minds of crores of people all over the world. Thus, it amounts to seeing not merely one thousand moons but crores and crores of moons.

The boys sang a song, “Neeku maaku unnadi oke bandhamu, ade prema bandhamu” (It is the bond of love that unites us with you), a few minutes ago. You should ensure that this bond of love lasts forever.

Outwardly, we may display several qualities, but the inner thoughts or values are only five: sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa (nonviolence). These are innate qualities, not superimposed from outside. Neither they can be purchased from any shop. They are very much ingrained in the core of our personality. Our duty is to manifest those qualities and reflect them in our daily life. That is “Educare”. On the other hand, education refers to acquiring knowledge relating to the physical and secular world.

Truth is eternal. It has to manifest from within. Same is the case with dharma. It is said, “Dharmamoolam idam jagath.” In fact, it is, “Sathyamoolam idam jagath.” Truth is righteousness. All other values are contained in and originate from Truth.

Love is another quality that is innate in human beings. It should be manifested and shared with one and all. Where there is love, there cannot be hatred. Love transforms itself into nonviolence. A person is suffused with love cannot indulge in any kind of violence. Where there is no love, people cause harm to one another.

From truth emerges righteousness. When these two qualities go together, peace is the result. Peace manifests as calm and serene behaviour. A person in that state says, “I am peaceful.” Several people, when asked about the purpose of their sadhana, reply, “for attaining peace of mind”. But, where is peace? There are only pieces in the outside world.

A mother loves her child. She will not forsake her child under any circumstances, even when provoked to get angry. Love drives it away. If nonviolence is to reign supreme in the world, the quality of love must be cultivated by all.

It is not enough if you love yourself. You should love your neighbours too. You must develop the feeling that everyone belongs to you and the same Atma resides as the indweller in all people.

For example, there is only one moon in the sky. The same moon is reflected in a thousand pots. You will see the moon reflected in each of the thousand pots separately. Can you therefore say there are thousand moons. No! Similarly, there are no suns separately in different countries like India, USA, and Japan. Only one sun illuminates the entire world.

However, the time at which the sun rises in different parts of the world differs. Now it is 6 o’clock in the evening for us, whereas it is 6 o’clock in the morning in America. In Japan, it is 12 noon. On the basis of this difference in time, you cannot say that there is more than one sun in the sky. Only one sun illuminates the entire world.

Similarly, only one God resides as the indweller in different people. Each one worships Him in their own way, ascribing a particular name and form to Divinity.

Several people are trying to ascertain from Me the birth place of Lord Rama. During the past several years, a number of people approached Me and pleaded with Me, “Swami! Please tell us where exactly Rama was born.” I told them, “Rama was born in the womb of mother Kausalya.”

In fact, do you search for yourself in the outside world? No! Your true nature is to be found in yourself only. You are you only. Similarly, it is futile to search for God, asking, “Where can I find God?” God is omnipresent. Sarvatah Panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham, sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya tishthati. With hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe. Hence, there is no use asking, “Where is God?”

Try to know about yourself, in the first instance. Then you will know everything. Unfortunately today people are trying to know about everything in the outside world, without first knowing about themselves. No purpose will be served by such an exercise. “Know thyself! Then you will know everything.”

Remind yourself, “I am the Embodiment of Divine Atma; the Atma is immanent in me.”

People often say “this is my …; this is my …” But who is that “my”? To whom does it refer? The feeling of “my” is maya (illusion). However, people do not make any effort to understand this.

Since you are an individual, you say, “my….” But God is not confined to a particular name and form. He is the principle of “I”, which is all pervading. Several names and forms are ascribed to Him, but He is one and only one! “Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanthi” (truth is one the wise say it in different ways). The different expressions like “I”, “I am God”, “I am Brahma”, “I am Vishnu”, etc. refer to only one God.

Unfortunately today people are “dividing” the “Divine”. You should treat Divinity as only one. Do not differentiate between people, saying this man is my brother, this person is my son-in-law, etc. All are brothers and sisters only. When you consider all people as your brothers and sisters, where is the feeling of difference between individuals? Spirituality teaches exactly this feeling of oneness among human beings.

People say that they could realise God by doing japa, dhyana, and such other sadhanas (spiritual exercises). But when and where? How? They will not be able to see even the person standing right in front of them when they close their eyes. How then can they see God in meditation? All these sadhanas are meant to control the mind.

The mind is very unsteady. It is always affected by bumps and jumps. How then can you control such an unsteady mind? It is not possible. The mind can be controlled in only one way: by constant contemplation on God.

We often see people changing the names and forms of God for contemplation, frequently. One day they contemplate on Rama, the next day on Krishna, and yet another day on Venkateswara, etc. Mind control is not possible by such contemplation. If you consider Rama as the God of your liking, then stick on to that name and form till your last breath. Then, surely you will have the sakshathkara (vision) of Rama.

Great painters like Ravi Varma portrayed Rama in a particular form, but Rama and Krishna are not confined to such forms only. In fact, God has no particular form. He assumes a particular form at a particular time, for the sake of devotees. Thereafter, even that form vanishes.

Several pictures and paintings of God in a particular form are sold in the market. They are done by painters like Ravi Varma. Did Ravi Varma actually see Rama or Krishna? No. He only heard stories about Rama and Krishna and painted their forms based upon his imagination. These pictures and paintings only remind you about Divinity. Neither Ravivarma or any other person did actually see God.

You are God, verily! Do not think that God is somewhere in a distant place. You yourself are God. Develop that confidence. However, when you consider yourself as God, you must develop divine qualities. Then only are you entitled to consider yourself as God.

Since no one had ever explained the nature of Divinity in this manner, people have fallen into dogmatic theories. God is immanent in every human being, nay, all living beings. There is no place where God is not present. Wherever you see, God is present there. In fact, you need not come over here to see God. He is very much present in the place where you reside. Without realising this truth, people are spending a lot of money and going on pilgrimages. That is not what you are expected to do.

Develop the quality of love in you and share it with all. Then all people can become one. All are one, be alike to everyone. No living being can ever live without love. Living is possible only with love. Hence, develop a loving nature. When you go home, close your eyes and contemplate upon God. You’re sure to find Him in your own heart. When you open your eyes to the outside world, you see all and sundry.

What do you think is the purpose for which you are endowed with eyes? It is only to see God.

If you go to a doctor complaining about some problem in your body, they will take an X-ray of your heart, liver, kidney, etc., and decide about the particular malady from which you are suffering. Spirituality is like an X-ray photo that will reveal your true nature.

Install the form of God in your Heart and contemplate on Him incessantly. Never change that form for any reason. You are sure to realise God. You need not search for Him elsewhere. If you wish to see Swami, install the form of Swami in the altar of your heart. You can surely visualise Swami there. If you develop a feeling of oneness with Him, everything will turn out to be good for you. This is what you have to realise today.

Festivals come and go. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday — days roll on like that. Saturday lapses into Sunday. But God will never change. He is eternal. Realise this truth.

Reference

Also see:
Happy New Year 2009 From The SathyaSaiBaba WordPress Blog

New Year 2009 At The Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

Old And The New

Old And The New


2009 New Year Morning Darshan At Prashanti Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

New Year Celebrations At Prashanti, 01 Jan 2009, Pictures

Curtesty SaiEditor:
The darshan hall is quiet, the flag-bearers await Swami, the procession and band wait quietly outside Yajur Mandir. The darshan hall is chock-a-block full of waiting devotees. Primary school children enter the darshan hall, in their bright orange vests; parents wait for their children to pass and get a glimpse. Classes carrying New Year Cards and Greetings to Swami; some are quite large.

Silence; waiting for the Lord. My mind wanders and I wonder if Swami is waiting for Muhurtam, a most auspicious time for giving of grace, blessing and Love, Love, Love. At 9.45am, the procession enters the darshan hall – Flag bearers, students dressed as brahmins in ochre robes with white shawls enter next, chanting slokas, among all of that I hear the Sai Gayathri, and then Swami enters, dressed in white, in the gold throne chair, with umbrella following him.

A slow procession across the darshan hall, then across the very front of the porch, up to the veranda.

The porch cover is draped in bunting, green boughs and there is a floral arch atop with Happy New Year. Swami’s face is beaming, almost a radiant, golden face, he has a smile and moves slowly across the front of the porch to traverse the length of the veranda where cards and cakes are presented by the various classes and schools.

Swami then arrives at the front of the porch, where he lights two lamps; there is applause as Swami lights the lamps. The brahmin students continue to chant slokas. Swami turns and faces the darshan hall. Looking down the darshan hall, I can see men standing at the back, the crowd is impassable, there are men on the steps, men have climbed the iron fencing itself to obtain darshan.

Up the front, cameras flash. Students kneel in front of Swami; there is some conversation and the morning’s program is presented to Swami.

Enfin, the Brahmin students chant Shanti, Shanti Shantihi.

Silence.

First is an orchestral presentation … orchestral music, trumpets, drums, electric piano, tuba, oompha, more drums, cymbals, it is grand to listen to. There is loud applause as the Music College students finish their numbers.

One student arises, takes padnamaskar and speaks. He talks about the difference Swami makes to this world, every sunrise, every day, every breath of wind, all of creation is graced by all of His love. His integrity, his grace and above all, His love, makes our lives pristine, pure and a holy offering. On behalf of all of us present, and devotees everywhere, he greets Swami on this auspicious new year day.

The violins play a catchy tune, and there is a song, very uplifting about the glory of Sai Baba. The next song is pure magic. It is a song to Sai Maa, with western backing, it grabs the very heart and soul and lifts the emotions, all of who you are up with each refrain to Sai Maa. Swami is reading the program. A pause; more of this marvellous song:

Sai Maa,
Sai Maa,
Atma Maa,
Atmaswarupa Maa,
SAI MAA

And that last Sai Maaaaaa just about blows the roof of the darshan hall. Marvellous.
The oboe plays a solo number; serenity pervades the darshan hall.

Students then sing a composition called Sai Prema Govinda, those voices are of the quality I recall of the great singers of classical ragas. They are fabulous voices. There is a twist, a very nice song with a strong catchy drum support about “Surrender to you, Sai Prema Maa”, and I realise its the same song, Sai Maa with a catchy rock beat behind it; they sing of the glories of Shirdi, the glories of Parthi. Then Sai Govinda, beloved of the Gopees.

Students approach Swami, kneel and offer the next part of the program to Swami. One of them gives a talk and towards the end of the talk, the electric piano starts up accompanied by flute, and a lovely song, the crowd sing along and clap, “Everybody loves Sai”. A very catchy song, sung bhajan style. Crowd joins in enthusiastically. Its a mixture of blues, rock, very appealing and parts of it remind me of Frank Sinatra singing! That causes me to pause a bit and ponder the skillbase of these students — they have certainly acquired a vast repertoire of musical ability; this reminds me of what Swami told me one day, “What I look for in people is capacity”.

Swami, wearing a white robe, is seated at the front of the darshan hall on the golden throne-chair, (I don’t think this one is a car seat, somehow) (although it could well be) … and he dabs his lips often, and keeps referring to the program. A troupe of students wearing gaily coloured headbands approach the front of the porch and begin dancing and singing Nacho, Nacho, Nandalala, and they move through several different types of dance as they sing; a Radhe-Gopala bhajan, and then Govinda Krishna Jai which everybody joins in, singing and clapping. They did it really well.

Another student gets up and gives a talk; students then approach Swami with bowls of prasadam which Swami blesses. Electric piano and flute lead the bhajans as the students begin to thread their way through the darshan distributing prasadam to all present.

And that was the morning darshan for New Year Day. The Lord Sai was captured prisoner by the love and devotion and presentations of the students and assembled devotees on this New Year’s Morn.

Courtesy: http://saieditor. com/spirit/

Curtesy RadioSai
Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Sai Students – alumni of Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan – were ready to escort Bhagawan from His residence to Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession with flag marchers and Poornakumbham with Vedam. Swami arrived just before 10 am in a dazzling white robe seated on a golden chair, granting New Year darshan to the devotees who filled and surrounded Sai Kulwant Hall. When He reached the verandah, Bhagawan blessed the cakes there and came onstage to begin the programme arranged by the Sai Students. A band programme with symphonic and vocal accompaniment was followed by songs composed for the occasion by the Sai Students. The whole programme was interspersed with short speeches by the alumni, reliving their days with Sai. A bhajan medley formed the score for a short dance programme too. Swami blessed the participants who came up to Him one by one, and after prasadam was distributed, accepted Arati at 11.35 am.

Bhagawan arrived in the evening for darshan clad in a deep red robe. When He came onstage just before 5.30 pm, He blessed the brass band of the University to perform, and they played a couple of pieces with brief introductions. Songs by the students followed. Swami called up some of the alumni singers and asked them to sing, and they sang some of the group songs which used to be sung by the students in the mid-90s. After 45 minutes of music, Bhagawan delivered His Divine Message. Bhagawan’s emphasised the message of Advaita, stressing the point that there is nothing in this world which is not divine, and that we should conduct ourselves bearing this in mind. After speaking for more than 70 minutes, Bhagawan asked for Bhajans to begin at 7.25 pm. Prasadam was distributed, and Swami accepted Arati at 7.45 before returning to His residence.

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Happy New Year 2009 From The SathyaSaiBaba WordPress Blog

Sathya Sai Baba, The Avathar And The Intellectual

Sathya Sai Avathar

Sathya Sai Avathar


Sathya Sai Baba, the Avathar and the Intellectual
By Prof. G.Venkataraman
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Tal Brooke And His Tall Tales About Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Tal Brooke Avatar Of The Night - The Hidden Side Of Sai Baba Tal Brookes Book - Sai Baba Lord Of The Air

Introduction To ‘Robert Taliaferro Brooke’ – Tal Brooke:
Tal Brooke is the President and Chairman of SCP (the Spiritual Counterfeits Project); a Christian Evangelical organization located in Berkeley, California (read their Statement of Faith). Tal Brooke is the son of American diplomat Edgar Duffield Brooke. He lived part of his childhood in Europe and the Middle East, and in the mid 1960s was enrolled as a student at the University of Virginia from which he graduated. In the 1980s he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Tal Brooke’s Involvement With The Indian Guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba:
Robert Taliaferro Brooke (an extreme fundamentalist and evangelical Christian) was the first person to make accusations of sexual impropriety against Sathya Sai Baba (a revered Guru living in India). Tal Brooke published his first Anti-Sai book in 1976 under the title “Lord Of The Air”. It was republished in 1979 as “Sai Baba, Lord Of The Air”, renamed “Avatar of Night” in 1982 with a reprint in 1984, was renamed “Lord Of The Air: Tales of a Modern Antichrist” in 1990 and reprinted again as “Avatar of Night” in 1999.

When Tal Brooke was with Sathya Sai Baba, he began to compose a work called The Amazing Advent. However the completed manuscript was never published and according to Howard Levin (author of Good Chances), Tal Brooke took the manuscript to be blessed by Sai Baba and the Guru refused to bless it. According to Tal Brooke (in his book “Avatar Of Night”), he received a “clear command from the Lord to utterly scrap the pro-Baba book, ‘The Amazing Advent’”.

99% of the allegations and rumors circulating against Sathya Sai Baba can be directly traced to Tal Brooke and his religiously-fueled Anti-Sai propaganda, which started in 1976 and continues to the present day through expensive internet ad campaigns on Google soliciting his Anti-Sai book.

Tal Brooke purposely exaggerated when he claimed he was Sai Baba’s number one Western follower (at best, a dubious and subjective claim). Those who met Tal Brooke in the early 70’s at Sai Baba’s ashram immediately recognized him as a fanatic Christian (contrary to his claim that he converted to Christianity post-Sai Baba). Tal Brooke wrote that Sai Baba was a hermaphrodite based on an alleged story related to him by an unidentified person named “Surya Das” who in turn related a story told to him by another unidentified man named “Patrick”. It was alleged that “Patrick” claimed he had coital (vaginal) sex with Sathya Sai Baba. Because of “Patrick’s” alleged story, Tal Brooke perpetuated the idea that Sathya Sai Baba was a hermaphrodite. Tal Brooke also claimed that Sathya Sai Baba told a man named “Wendell” the following about “Patrick”: “False lies. Blind jealous reaction after I tell him to go. Now others believing lies. His word over Swami’s!”

The only problem with all of Tal Brooke’s tall-stories is that none of the alleged witnesses he cited (who have never been identified as real people) have ever come forward in 30+ years to corroborate his stories.

The scholar Lawrence A. Bapp wrote in his book “Redemptive Encounters – Three Modern Studies In The Hindu Tradition” (which was critical of Sathya Sai Baba), “The animus of Brooke’s book (Lord Of The Air 1979) is too strong for one to have much confidence in its accuracy.”

In Tal Brooke’s book “Riders Of The Cosmic Circuit, The Dark Side of Superconsciousness”, he attacked Hinduism, suggested that enlightenment is an evil path and that God-Men and Gurus are in a state of perfect demon-possession. Tal Brooke believes that Sathya Sai Baba embodies a “timeless, demonic presence”.

Since Tal Brooke heavily relied on subjective, fanatic and religiously-based arguments to draw his conclusions that Gurus are in a state of perfect demon possession and that enlightenment is an evil path leading to Satan, what does this say about the integrity and objectivity of his claims against Sathya Sai Baba?

In an interview with John Ankerberg, Tal Brooke acknowledged as true that he had “spirit guides” come to him and that he had “out of body experiences”. Tal Brooke claimed that after he played with a ouija board when he was 11 years old, he felt “spirit presences” in his room and then began to have “out of body experiences”. Tal Brooke also stated that he became involved with “psychic stuff” (i.e., psychic gateways, reincarnation and routes to higher consciousness) during his teen years. These alleged experiences were what drew him to India in 1969. In January 1970, he encountered Sathya Sai Baba. However, Tal Brooke failed to discuss the fact that what really drew him to India was a drug-induced hallucination of being self-realized after taking a massive dose of LSD-25 (ten times the normal dose) when he was an undergraduate at at the University of Virginia.

Tal Brooke said of Sathya Sai Baba:

“Baba’s miracles purportedly mirrored those of Christ and baffled India’s top scientists. He drew vast crowds, and his following numbered over 20 million in India alone. Many of the greatest gurus and New Age teachers around the world went to Sai Baba just for his blessing.”

Tal Brooke stated that the reason he left Sai Baba was because he had a “demonic encounter”. When asked to clarify the alleged “demonic encounter”, Tal Brooke (looking perplexed and hesitant) said he had “out of body experiences” that were “very demonic” (new information that Tal Brooke never discussed in his Anti-Sai books). As a result of his alleged “demonic encounter”, Tal Brooke perceived an immoral side to Sathya Sai Baba that was “unbelievable”.

Not only was Tal Brooke claiming “out of body experiences”, hearing the voices of “spirit guides”, seeing spiritual entities and having “demonic encounters” on the astral realm (whose descriptions matched the classic manifestations of sleep paralysis), he also admitted he experimented with LSD and was involved with a pro-LSD organization (i.e., Neo-American Church) founded by Arthur Kleps (who was a follower of the LSD-Guru Timothy Leary). It is entirely possible that Tal Brooke’s alleged “demonic encounter” was actually either a drug-induced bad trip or a hallucination induced by sleep paralysis (whose symptoms —paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, buzzing sounds, being held or weighted down, seeing demons, etc.— he described perfectly). For example, Tal Brooke described one such experience and said:

“Then at 2a.m., I experienced the same semi-paralysis and borderline dream state that inevitably accompanied those rare times when I had apparently astrally projected in years past. Just the effort to get a single digit on the little finger to move would require huge will. In and out of this state any number of times, I let go and tried to drift into sleep. It would start up again: first the utter paralysis as though held down by 10 G-forces, then my mind would begin to hurtle, as a loud siren and jet-engine noise would start up in my head. It was during this prone state that I felt a certain baleful presence in the room. I was momentarily pinned down and unable to move. As I drifted deeper into the ‘buzz region’, as I used to call it, a large rat tore through the room, scampering right up the length of my body. When it hit my head, seemingly carrying an explosive static force, I saw a configuration of blue energy crackle around me, first in an electrical pattern, then materializing into the hideous shape of some demonic aerial creature. I broke out of the paralysis and tried to chase it through the wall, slamming into a thick block of mortar and pelting back on the floor mat.” (Avatar Of Night; pp 277-278, Chapter: “Telegram From The Abyss”)

The Original Kleptonian Neo-American Church was briefly in existence in the late 1960’s (around the time Tal Brooke first encountered Sai Baba). Needless to say, this information puts a new spin on Tal Brooke’s packaged and highly polished writings against the Indian Guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba. As it turns out, Tal Brooke’s alleged experiences with Sathya Sai Baba (and his subsequent defection) revolved around hallucinogenic and psychedelic drugs he was experimenting with at the time and hypnagogic hallucinations induced by sleep paralysis episodes (which were not very well documented in the early 1970s).

Tal Brooke’s Alleged Picture Of Looking Like A Demon
Tal Brooke alleged a picture was taken by a friend of his when he was in the “wilds of Puttaparthi” on his way to a well for a swim. When the picture was taken, Tal Brooke claimed he made a conscious effort to surrender to Sathya Sai Baba. Upon viewing the developed picture with a magnifying glass (and later having the picture enlarged) Tal Brooke was shocked to discover he looked like a demon. Tal Brooke said:

“My face was grossly distorted – monstrous beyond normal limits. One eye, huge, globular, baleful, was four times the normal size. The other eye, a thin Mandarin slit, resembled the eye of death. The composite picture of both eyes resembled an ancient occult enemy staring up from the photograph. But for the horns missing, it was a powerful likeness to the Goat of Mendes, the Satanhead. I felt this was no accident, whatever the cause of it. A deep chill went through me.” (Avatar Of Night; p 281, Chapter: ‘Telegram From The Abyss’)

Needless to say, the alleged demon-picture was not provided in Tal Brooke’s book (although seven other pictures of him during his devotee-phase were). In all seven of Tal Brooke’s devotee-phase pictures, he looked very content, non-demonic and his eyes were definitely proportionate to the rest of his head.

Constance Cumbey Alleges Tal Brooke Is Anti-Semitic
Constance Cumbey, a devout Christian and Michigan lawyer, has openly accused Tal Brooke of being Anti-Semitic and that he plagiarized her writings. Constance Cumbey said:

“For the record: Tal Brooke IS anti-Semitic and aggressively so. This is one reason why I understand Ron Enroth (no angel as I am concerned myself) resigned from SCP. Tal Brooke was aggressively promoting Eustace Mullins’ writings! In my opinion, he did not leave the New Age Movement — he merely joined a different (disinformation) division! You may check with John Loeffler. He was one of the recipients of Tal Brooke’s threats that he would be blackballed in Christian media if he continued to associate with yours truly.” (Reference)

“To the best of my knowledge, although Tal Brooke’s publisher acknowledged it was my work, I had neither a correction nor an apology from Tal Brooke who has never once spoken to me, even though I tried to reach him by phone and told he was available — and then I was told he REFUSED to take the call. SCP is listed in my oldest New Age directories under its original name and present address on Dwight Street in Berkeley, CA as a New Age community ‘where people live together in order to get on with the aims listed under Center’. I too deeply admire Lee Penn’s work — but I’m not sure what Tal Brooke’s angle is in publishing it, but as St. Paul said, ‘For whatever motive they are preaching the gospel, still the gospel is being preached.’ I so very much admire your work and blogspot! Keep up the excellent work.” (Reference)

“Privately, Tal Brooke has been circulating some of the worst of the worst Jew baiting theories and giving his personal endorsement to same. Some have been passed on to me.” (Reference)

Eustace Mullins is the author of the virulently anti-Jewish book “The Biological Jew” (Faith and Service Books, Stauton, VA, 1968). Mullins, in this lengthy comparison of Jews with biological parasites, wrote:

“The Jew has always functioned best as a panderer, a pornographer, a master of prostitution, an enemy of the prevailing sexual standards and prohibitions of the gentile community….

We must remember that there is no Jewish crime per se, since the existence of the Jewish parasite on the host is a crime against nature, because its existence imperils the health and life of the host…

This religious ceremony of drinking the blood of an innocent gentile child is basic to the Jew’s entire concept of his existence as a parasite, living off the blood of the host…

The Jews do not want anyone to know what Nazism is. Nazism is simply this–a proposal that the German people rid themselves of the parasitic Jews. The gentile host dared to protest against the continued presence of the parasite, and attempted to throw it off. It was an ineffectual reaction, because it was emotional and ill-informed…”

Mullins’ writings are a standby on the Klan/neo-Nazi circuit. A recent Sons of Liberty book list included Mullins titles such as “Jewish TV: Sick, Sick, Sick,” ”The Jewish War Against the Christian World,” and ”Easter,” which the catalog tells us give a ”look at the 5,000 years of history in the ongoing war between the Satanic-Jewish forces and their Babylonian religious system and the rest of humanity.” (Sons of Liberty Fall 1992 catalog, New Christian Crusade Church).

In an interview hosted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PlnFT0ksbQ&NR=1 [dead link]), Mr. Mullins once again alleges that ritual human sacrifice is (i) a central tenet of Judaism; and (ii) the singular source of anti-Semitism. It appears in this interview that Mr. Mullins believes that the Rockefeller/Rothschild funded Zionists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

The Bombshell Truth About Tal Brooke by Lisa De Witt:

The Bombshell Truth About Tal Brooke and His Connection to the U.S. Information Agency and CIA

Christian fundamentalist Tal Brooke was the first person to make lurid accusations against the famous Indian holy man, Sathya Sai Baba in his book, Lord of the Air. In the first of several revised incarnations Lord of the Air was published under his legal name, Robert Taliaferro Brooke, by Lion Publishing in 1976. The 1990 edition again titled Lord of the Air, then retitled Avatar of Night in 1999, was published by Harvest House Publishers-a Christian owned publishing company. Just two years earlier, in 1988, former CIA Director and then U.S. Vice President, George H. W. Bush chose Harvest House Publishers to print and market his autobiography, Man of Integrity. There was a photo of Bush Sr. with the Harvest House owner, Bob Hawkins Sr. on the company website until this article was published and that page has since been removed. The archived link is posted below in the reference section. You may have to re-enter the link into the archive.org. wayback machine to see the page.

In another twist, Tal Brooke admits to taking LSD and being involved with a group called the Neo-American Church (new members received five peyote buttons and a membership card). The Neo-American Church was a pro-LSD organization founded by Arthur Kleps, a follower of LSD guru Timothy Leary. Kleps was alleged to be anti-semitic, first by the Dutch police who expelled him from the Netherlands and later a church associate who was so disturbed by Klep’s fascist ideology he separated his Colorado-based Neo-American Church from Kleps. This should probably come as no surprise given the name of Klep’s organization.

Tal Brooke, who graduated from the 1963 Class of George Mason High School in Falls Church, Virginia, has also used the alias Tai Brooke. Brooke writes very little about his family in Avatar of Night, other than to say his father was an American diplomat in London and an atheist. In the preface of a book titled Harvest co-written with Chuck Smith, Brooke also wrote, “I grew up in an atheistic home.” In a later interview with Dan Wooding on Brooke’s Spiritual Counterfeits website he revises his father’s belief system to agnostic. In his mother’s obituary on the savannahnow.com website, Tal Brooke’s father’s name is listed as Edgar Duffield Brooke. According to a National Security Files memorandum from the Kennedy Library, Edgar D. Brooke was appointed Director of Media Content for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) by Edward R. Murrow in 1961. This bombshell evidence, which Tal Brooke has failed to reveal, shows Brooke’s father was in charge of the worldwide distribution of propaganda during one of the U.S.’s most racist periods in history. Famous civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated in 1968 and in 1971 it would be revealed there was a COINTEL program to discredit blacks and other worldwide organizations considered to be a threat to the U.S. agenda.

This information regarding Brooke’s father opens the question as to Tal Brooke’s true purpose in going to India in the late sixties. When Tal Brooke left India after two years, he alleges he had just canceled the publication of his pro-Sai Baba book and feared retaliation. Brooke opines in his book (1990 Harvest House edition),“What the enemy might do I had long ago anticipated, was trump up a civil offense charge against me that would be enough to incarcerate me for years.”

In a conversation with an inspector, Brooke further opines, “Listen to me. I came here on a diplomatic passport. Do you think I came here to do anything other than my intended mission of inquiry?” Since a person with a diplomatic passport has diplomatic immunity, Brooke’s fear doesn’t make sense. The only way Brooke could most likely lose his diplomatic immunity is if he had been found to be a spy.

So the question is, why was Brooke traveling under a diplomatic passport and why was Brooke so afraid of being held even though he had a diplomatic passport? What was his intended mission of inquiry? Was he a spy?

This would certainly explain why Prime Minister Vajpayee and two former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of India have signed a public statement declaring the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba to be concocted and malicious.
by Lisa De Witt
©2004 LisaDeWitt (Reference)

Tal Brooke’s Conspiratorial Views And Beliefs:

Brooke has been a controversial figure in his writings that oppose New Age spirituality. Part of his interpretation of New Age is framed around a conspiracy theory. He regards New Age as a Satanic conspiracy through which people are spiritually seduced and they may even be controlled by demons. He also interprets New Age as part of the human impulse for self-worship, and tries to chart those impulses in the context of late Twentieth century western culture. However, his advocacy of a conspiratorial interpretation of New Age differs from the standpoint that was taken by the staff of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project prior to his presidency such as in the SCP Newsletter (January-February 1984) and in the SCP book The New Age Rage (published in 1987).

Brooke’s controversial stance on conspiracy theory formed part of a brief news report by Robert Digitale in Christianity Today magazine in January 1990. Digitale speculated on the apparent shift in perspective at the Spiritual Counterfeits Project under Brooke’s presidency and with changes in the personnel of the ministry’s board of directors.

Other evangelical countercult apologists, such as Elliot Miller (Christian Research Institute) and Douglas Groothuis, have rejected the conspiracy interpretation of New Age as proferred by other apologists such as Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey. Although Miller’s and Groothuis’ books were published prior to Brooke’s When The World Will Be As One, many of the points Miller and Groothuis cite in objecting to conspiracy theories generally seem to apply to Brooke’s argument.
Tal Brooke Wikipedia Reference

Even the internet is not immune to Tal Brooke’s paranoia and conspiratorial views. In Brooke’s book Virtual Gods (“Lost in the Garden of Digital Delights”, page 176), he argued that virtual reality on the World Wide Web will inevitably lead to a Godless universe. Brooke described global computer networking as the “Tower of Babel” and believes that the internet fosters an environment of “the worst kind of alienation – from reality and from God”. Brooke believes that by connecting to the internet, people are inspired to hide from “reality” and play God. Despite this amusing and poorly reasoned belief, Tal Brooke, the SCP, numerous Christian organizations and numerous Christian churches are all heavily invested and involved with the internet and their online solicitations pose an interesting contradiction.

Tal Brooke believes that Hollywood is also part of a conspiracy against Jesus Christ because it “vigorously injects Eastern mysticism” into the American culture through television, movies, dvds, etc. (as related in Tal Brooke’s interview with Russell Chandler, Redwood City, Calif., 23 November 1987). Some of the movies and films that Tal Brooke believes are brainwashing the public with demonic, satanic, New Age and Wiccan themes include: Clockwork Orange, Rosemary’s Baby, the Exorcist, Dr. Strangelove, Cocoon, Angel Heart, Harry Potter, Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (also see “Spellbinding a Culture: The Emergence of Modern Witchcraft”, SCP Journal 24 no. 4 year-2000: 8). Most of the articles that Tal Brooke authors or co-authors have to do with conspiracies against Jesus, conspiracies against the Church, conspiracies against the Bible and the “great lies” of Paganism, the New Age and the Occult.

There seems to be no end to Tal Brooke’s conspiratorial views. Everything non-Christian is taboo and holds the possibility of evil in Tal Brooke’s eyes. Therefore, it is of little surprise why Tal Brooke’s self-aggrandizing accusations (which have never been corroborated in 30+ years) and his smear campaigns against Sathya Sai Baba have had such little effect on Sai Devotees. As a matter of fact, it appears the only people who have gullibly swallowed Brooke’s Anti-Sai pabulum are fellow Christians and bitter Ex-Devotees (who can often be seen bashing Christians and Christianity).

Tal Brooks – Lord Of The Airways:

Tal Brooks – Lord of the Air ways
by Bon Giovanni

Over the years many folks have written me to say, “I read a book by an ex-disciple who tells of his experiences with the Sai Baba. Some of the experiences (of a sexual nature) are shattering my belief system.”

My view is that ‘belief systems’ which are based on secondhand stories deserve to be shattered because they can never support actuality.

Belief systems that do not support reality are most useful when they are outgrown. So, I say to my correspondents, do you want to outgrow yours in due course or do you want to burst it before the chrysalis opens? You see, more than one person has expressed alarm after having read Tal Brook’s opus, “Lord of the Air”, and some have felt ‘oh no, there goes my faith’. One can almost hear the chrysalis pop as doubt grows.

But then, that is after all Tal’s function: to bring doubt up and into view, and to bring it up sooner rather than later.

To aid that burgeoning effect, among Tal’s fans it is now claimed that “all (3000) original copies of his first book were mysteriously destroyed”— as if some Darth Vadar like force had made the books vanish,or as if Tal is now a hero for making that book available, ( and for only $15.00– a mere nine times the cost before the entire first printing mysteriously vanished.) Frankly the claim that Tal was “silenced” is absurd, in that Tal has been talking for a long, long time. Besides, I bought one of those 3000 allegedly destroyed copies in Higgenbottoms Books on MG Road in Bangalore, right out in the open, in 1978, long after the books were supposedly “destroyed.”. I suggest therefore that Tal had not been the “victim” of any dark force other than the green kind: money and envy. By that I mean that when Tal first published LORD OF THE AIR, he made no money on it, drew attention from but few carpers in India, but then a few years later apparently saw the bucks and the attention to be gotten from American fundamentalists. Poof. “All the copies vanished”, but are now available (at much higher cost).

Surely Tal deserves that, because according to Tal he is but an humble evangelist battling against Satan, waging holy war against all those dark forces that want to Silence The Son of God, battling like a simple man against mighty odds, with nary but a quill and a will. [cough]

I note that any humility in that battle, however, has never been Tal’s strong suit, since he intimates in print and on tv over and over, that Tal was THE number one disciple of Sai Baba– or when Tal explains that the HEAD of the Ramakrishna Order was “prepared” to hand him monkhood, presto, just like that. Further, Tal is not surprised at any honour, since he was just soooo “spiritually advanced”, doncha know. (For those unfamiliar with the Ramakrishna Order, Tal’s story is like claiming the Pope saw you in a crowd, came over to you and said, “You, yes You, I know you are not Catholic, but because you are so holy, I am naming You as Cardinal of Rome, now”. Still, if you were like Tal, you would turn it down, as a station not becoming a person so Chosen and Special and Humble as yourself.)

As far as I can tell, Tal’s “humility” is like that; it is paramount to hubris– at any rate, his fundamentalist talkshow appearances as well as his later books evidence why I hold that impression.

But no matter how proud or humble the fellow seems, at least Tal speaks from his own first-hand experience when he relates gossip. That establishes another honour for Tal: it makes him unlike the vast majority of all other online critics, in that Tal went to see Sai Baba for himself, (even though he later altered the experience to fan his fantasy. In his later stories, Tal enhances his 14 months in India into either ‘many years of intense discipleship under Sai Baba’ or as ‘several years of close personal intimacy with Sai Baba’). Nowadays on talk shows Tal almost always “mentions” that he was ‘the number one western disciple of Sai Baba’– a title which is not only bogus, (and is a title which Tal alone gave himself), but which is a status noone else with him in India attended.

In whatever way fourteen months has now become several years, or however whichaway scant interest in his first book somehow becomes ‘satanic forces arrayed against Tal’, his later efforts do show he has since advanced in one area in particular: he has learned the value of using “doubt” as his shill. But then, that is after all Tal’s function: to bring doubt up and into view, and to bring it up sooner rather than later.

Since you have read this far in my webpage, you know I feel doubt is very valuable, and certainly is not to be feared nor ignored. At least, that is true about doubt which arises from one’s own experience. Doubt that rises due to gossip, as Tal’s doubts example, is however just a word-vampire’s delight: it feeds on assumption, not fact, and leads to delusion, not clarity.

Still, over the years I have come across many folks who say, “I read a book by Tal Brooke in which he tells of his experiences with the Sai Baba. Some of the experiences (of a sexual nature) are shattering my belief system.” GOOD! Why? Why because it is good to stop imagining things. For example, some folks imagine Tal tells of his own experiences ‘of a sexual nature with Sai Baba.’ That simply is not in the book. My correspondent, having read Tal’s Press Releases, might then say, “Well, maybe so, but still Tal renounced the Baba and then turned to Christ and only then wrote this book.”

I might then reply: “Do you think so? It looks to me like Tal simply re-wrote his journal, changing specifics here and there for drama, but please, tell me: What is it about Tal that convinces you he has turned to Jesus? As far as I can tell, Tal is using Jesus now in the same way he tried to use Sai then: as a front man. Tal is still promoting Tal; that is what he has ever done. Tal says he was The Number One Western Disciple Of Sathya Sai Baba, yet in fact he was neither numero uno, nor was he a disciple, nor was he chosen to be the Saint Paul of the Sai movement (as he ever strives to paint himself). So, please, just look closely at what Tal tells, and does not tell. For example, do you find him making any mention of Jack Hislop ?”

If, however, you yet enjoy Tal’s doubts, then know there are also three or four other such authors (such as Beyerstein and Premanand — although Tal is unique in believing that Swami does real miracles– because Sai is, according to Tal, The Devil incarnate. The other carpers assert only that Swami is “just a fake out for the cash”.) What matters to me however is not what others “report” second or third-hand, but what I experience.

Does your experience matter to you? If so, then what have men like Brooke or Beyerstein to do with you? Since you have read my webpage, surely you know I will say, “examine *your* heart, examine YOUR experience, experience YOUR doubt. If you go around picking up the doubts of others so eagerly, then when will you ever address your own?”

One devotee read the first few chapters of Tal’s first book, then wrote to me saying, “I am torn and do not know what to think.” My reply is that then it is high time you looked very closely at the basis of your beliefs, is it not? That is the way to avoid any further tears. Why fear? After all, the TRUTH will set you free, you know.

“My faith in Baba was just growing and now I’m very confused.”

Faith that is not based in your own direct experience is not faith at all, it is imagination. Faith however will come when you root out imagination; it will come as a RESULT of your inquiry into the BASIS of your present doubts. So rather than fretting, I suggest this Tal story could be a very good thing for you, if you will undertake genuine sadhana and enquire within. “I’ll bet you never expected to get this kind of letter.” Ok, but please note that perhaps because I am so vocal online, I get letters from truly regal doubters more often than you can imagine. I think folks like to tell me about their secondhand doubts because they know I went through the same thing when I first heard Tal’s tale. (Tal is very good at what he does: sprouting doubts.) In the spiritual realm, like can attract like– you know.

Relax; the truth is greater and more wonderful than any story anyone can spin– and the truth is so far beyond gossip and fiction that doubt itself shudders in fear of seeing itself unmasqued.

Enquire within. Enquiry ends doubt.

But perhaps that sounds too distant or cold. If so, then for another view of the time Tal talks about, consider the first hand report of a fellow present there with Tal, but who saw it a mite differently than Tal did. The book is GOOD CHANCES , and is available from Toronto Bookstore. Still, since you have interest in Tal, you may know he has many more books at his own site , including a newsletter, videos, and cassettes, plus ample sermons.

Whatever you decide, my hope is that the Lord of all beings ever blesses you with His Loving Presence, so that doubt is seen as a conscious tool, not a hidden master.

Books By Tal Brooke

  • America’s Waning Light: The Betrayal of Our Christian Heritage
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • AVATAR OF NIGHT The Hidden Side of Sai Baba
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • Lord of the Air: Tales of a Modern Antichrist
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • Lord of the Air (Aslan Paperbacks)
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • The Mystery of Death
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • Riders of the Cosmic Circuit, the Millennial Edition: The Dark Side of Superconsciousness
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • One World
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • Harvest (Gang members, drug addicts, mental patients, society’s rejects…Chuck Smith’s amazing story of Calvary Chapel and the unlikely leaders God called.)
    Authors: Chuck Smith and Tal Brooke
  • The Conspiracy to Silence the Son of God
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • Virtual Gods
    Author: Tal Brooke
  • When the World Will Be As One: The Coming New World Order
    Author: Tal Brooke

Reference

Also see: Rationalist And Christian Movements Against Sri Sathya Sai Baba