The Blessing Palm That Protected

The Blessing Palm That Protected

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Everything was unusually quiet; we were speeding towards the City of Kano in Nigeria, late in the night on the 22nd of December 1980. When we were just entering the City, suddenly I saw a crowd standing in the middle of the main road, about 100 metres away. Can they be armed robbers? The Nigerian driver managed to stop. He tried to reverse as fast as possible before we could be seen or trapped but it was too late. The crowd came shouting at us to stop. Then only the news headlines in the morning paper I had bought on the way flashed across my mind. There was widespread disturbance in the city and a number of people had been killed on the previous day.

I told the driver to stop, because running away may cause unpredictable damage to the car and life. I had a picture of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Baba, with the car documents and the passport. I collected them in my hands. The Blessing Palm of Bhagawan appeared to infuse some strength into me. Within seconds we were surrounded by the people who were fully armed.

Two of them, with two heavy iron crowbars, came and stood on either side of the car and brought their instruments to rest on either side of the bonnet making two deep dents on it. An elderly man who came shouting at me with a volley of questions both in Hausa and in English, cooled down when I told him that I had come to receive my wife and children, who were expected to arrive at the Aminu Kano International Airport on the next day. He waved his hands, indicating to the others around the car not to do any further damage.

We were driving slowly only to face another crowd at the junction 75 metres away. They also stopped us in spite of the shouting and waving of hands from those who had allowed us to proceed. This group examined the empty boot of the car thoroughly.

After this, they told us not to proceed on our journey, because they knew that the other groups waiting all along the roads will not permit any car to pass. They advised us to go to the Central Hotel or to the Daula Hotel to spend the night. Since these hotels were also far away from that place, an old man volunteered to take us to a safe place. His fete was painted white. We hesitated to give any answer. Without waiting for any reply from us, he simply pushed the driver to one side and took the wheel. Before we could realise what was happening, he turned the car from the main road and we were moving into the bush through narrow lanes and villages.

Finally the car stopped under a (Margosa/Neem) tree, in front of a Hausa pattern mud house. The man who was driving appeared to be the owner of the house. He got down from the car. Although it was midnight, the area appeared to be fully active and awake. Even children were around the car and were curious to find out more about us.

I took out the licence book with Baba’s picture and started sending an S.O.S. to Bhagawan. In this way I could shut out torturing thoughts presented by the unexpected train of events. Further, I assured my friend (who was highly upset) that Bhagawan Baba was with us and that there was nothing to worry.

The man who went inside the house, brought out two mats and requested us to relax under the tree. We thanked him for the kind gesture and told him to give a place for our driver to sleep somewhere inside.

Soon afterwards, a man came out from one side. He was commanding the respect of all the people present there. He spoke a few words with the owner of the house. Then he came straight to us and said: “You appear to be worried. Would you like to spend the rest of the night at the police station?” We gladly accepted and he offered to take us to the police station. He took the front seat and asked our driver to drive. The crowd that came with him were marching in procession in front of the car and were removing all the obstacles on the path to allow our car to pass.

This procession continued through the bush roads for about a mile and took about 30 minutes. At the police station the man introduced us to the officer in charge who was standing outside with a gun in his hand. We greeted the officer and turned round to thank the man who brought us safely up to that place. But the man was not there; we also never had any chance to meet him again.

The police officer pointed to a human body lying in the darkness at a short distance and said that he had to shoot him only a few minutes back. He was trying to run away inspite of the order to stop and surrender.

Our driver slept in the officer’s room and we managed to relax inside the car till 6.00 a.m. next day. We hurried out early in the morning and were shocked to see burnt cars and charred human bodies, some of which were still burning on the roadside.

The morning papers carried the news of a foreign reporter who was killed by a poisoned arrow on that night. The two dents on the bonnet of my car are there to this day; I treasure them as marks of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Grace that protected us all through.

Reference

Fill Every Moment With Quality

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Fill Every Moment With Quality

In March this year I was privileged to be in the residence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba along with devotees. As we waited eagerly for the sudden flash of the Red Robe, He appeared beaming with a smile; his eyes flashed “Vidyullekha”. I waited in grateful expectancy for events to unfold themselves. In Baba’s Presence we learn the art of waiting for things to happen; anything unexpected can and will happen!

He suddenly turned towards me and said: “So, you have been transferred to Bangalore!” He was asking me this question after several months of my transfer even after I had first reported to Him before taking charge of my assignment! Like others I have also wondered why Baba the ‘Omnipresent’, the ‘Omniscient’, asks such questions and sometimes even feigns ignorance! I have found an answer which I believe is true.

Supposing Baba starts telling in front of everybody about us, what is in our mind and all our deeds and misdeeds, how many of us will have the courage to go to Him again? If He reveals all the time His Divinity and the attributes of “Omnipresence” few of us will dare go to him; the skin-deep facade of a devotee which we all maintain even in His Presence, is so fragile that it will be shattered and there will be no scope for improvement and the ‘transformation’ for which He has incarnated. So, in His mercy He gives us the impression that He is merely human and envelopes us with this Maya that is essential for our transformation which, unfortunately, is slow. ‘Kramakramena’, ‘gradually’ you will have to give up your undesirable habits, He says in His infinite patience!

Returning to the occasion when He asked me the question, I said, “Yes! Swami” and I thought that was the best occasion to volunteer additional information. “Swami I have only 71 days more before I retire.” I hoped that He would say, “Yes! Bangaroo! Time will pass and you will join Swami’s service.” He suddenly turned round and looked at me with those penetrating eyes. Out came the Sadguru’s mantra: “Whether it is 71 days, 71 hours, or 71 minutes or 71 seconds, quality is most important” and in His characteristic style. He turned round and conveyed the same message to all. “Quality is important, isn’t it?” He asked them, His way of confirmation.

This is Sathya Sai Baba’s method; He uses all occasions to convey important lessons of spirituality in daily living by such mantra. He aims the mantra not only at the direct recipient but also at others who might care to learn the lesson. One will miss the import of His statements if one thinks that it was meant only for the individual who happened to be the target..

Sathya Sai Baba shook me from my stupor. He has repeatedly said that all work is His; there is nothing like Sai service and government Service.. All that you do is for Sai only; in fact it is for yourself, for awakening the Sai within you. Not that I did not know these teachings of His. But again I had forgotten the lesson and the ever vigilant Sadguru had given me the lesson again at the right moment.

What a great formula for Ananda! What is important is not what happens after 71 days. What is important is that till that last second we do not forget that it is His work and that we should carry out the work assigned with the highest quality since it is His Worship through whatever He has assigned. “The past is beyond recovery. Those days are gone. The future you are not sure of. The given moment is NOW! Sanctify it with holy thoughts, words and deeds,” He has declared. “Quality” means sanctifying every moment with holy thoughts, words and deeds. “The most important thing in life is not doing what you like, but liking what you have to do”, Sathya Sai Baba has told us. These are the keys to spirituality in daily living.

Can we do this in the office, in the factory, in the kitchen or in any other vocation and avocation? Yes! We can; we should try to bear in mind some of the other mantras He has given us. We can sanctify our thoughts, words and deeds if they are not motivated by the six enemies which the ancients had correctly identified, Kama (passion), krodha (anger), lobha (greed) moha (attachment) , mada (pride), matsarya (envy). Difficult? Yes but not impossible if we try. Read any book on modern psychology; you will learn that all our diseases are due to these six enemies; our diseases are psychosomatic caused by these passions.

There is another aspect to filling every moment with “quality.” We must be fully involved in enjoying the quality of the work we do! That itself becomes “fulfillment” rather than the fruit of the act. In fact the real fruit of the act is the sweetness of the process. The game is more important than whether we win or lose! That is the real meaning of the Lord’s statement, “Work alone is thy concern; not the fruits thereof.”

Knowing that we are all forgetful I pray: “Baba give me the wisdom to remember your mantra when it is most needed and fill every moment with the highest quality, for which you have endowed me with abilities..”

(Extracted from an article by M.V.N.Murthy, published in Sanathana Sarathi, June, 1981)

Sathya Sai Baba’s Quotations On Grihastha

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya Sai Baba’s Quotations On Grihastha

Dharma is elaborated in a variety of forms known sometimes by the person who codified it (Manudharma), sometimes by the group which followed it (Varnadharma), sometimes by the stage of life to which it is applied (Grihasthadharma). But these are subsidiary details, not the fundamental norm.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Sanathana Sarathi, Vol 30, Feb. 1987, 55]

All the four ashramas lead you to moksha or liberation if you follow strictly the dharma as laid down for each and if you devote yourself steadfastly to your uplift. Each ashrama is important to the particular stage; the conduct of the individual, his practice, that is the essential test.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p46.]

Whatever be the ashrama, if the person follows the dharma laid down for that stage and carries it out in practice and steadfastly yearns for liberation, he can get it; there is no doubt. To win Atma Jnana, one need not prefer this ashrama to that; all are capable of securing it.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanthi Vahini, p43.]

When a person is beset by attachment to some and hatred towards others even in the solitude of the jungle, he will meet only evil. Even if one is leading the grihastha life in the midst of the family, if he has achieved victory over the senses he is a real thapasvi. Engaged in karma that is not condemned, he is entitled to become a Jnani.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanthi Vahini, p46.]

Those who are ever active in the spiritual field, in whatever ashramas they may be, whatever may be their caste, they attain the Lord.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p47.]

The varnas relate to the physical aspect of man; they cannot affect the spiritual aspect at all. … Of course, “physical” includes the intellect, the mind, the chiththa, the antha karana, etc. Unless these are trained and regulated, the Atma Dharma cannot be understood.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p46.]

The Atma is Sath, Chith and Ananda; those are its nature, if somehow it has to be indicated. This can be realised only by purifying the heart, mind and intellect of man. Persons who have that purity, whatever their varna or ashrama, can attain moksha.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p46.]

The grihastha too attains moksha; only he must follow strictly the dharma laid down for his ashrama. There is no doubt that every one, to whichever ashrama he may belong, who adheres to the dharma of that ashrama, will attain moksha.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p46.]

Being married and living with the wife and children does not constitute grihastha ashrama as most people think. Without giving up the duties assigned to one’s caste and status, the person has to treat all with equal consideration – kinsmen as well as others. He must be aware of the rights of the elders and the obligations of juniors; he has to be full of sympathy and willingness to help; he should treat with loving kindness all those who are dependent on him; he must grow wiser with each new experience of the world; he should acquaint himself with the sastras and be alert to do dharma and avoid adharma; he must foster and protect his wife and children with a sense of responsibility; he has to trample down the eight egoisms, the conceit that develops from family, wealth, character, personal beauty, youth, scholarship, native place and even accomplishments in austerity. Conscious of the four goals of dharma, artha, kama and moksha, with no pride in material possessions though he might have them in large measure; utilising a portion of the day in the service of others; with no designs against any other household, himself deserving the trust of his wife and having a trusted wife, each understanding the other and having full faith in the other; such are the ways in which the grihastha manifests.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p10.]

You must … engage yourself in work that is purifying, with an attitude that sanctifies. Most people do not know how to set about on this most rewarding adventure. They waste their lives in sorrow, wading through disappointment and despair, for they cling to something as theirs and treat something else as belonging to others. They grab and grieve, and labour to acquire and lose. Desire multiplies desire, and man sinks deeper into discontent and distress. This behaviour is really artificial; it does not conform to man’s real nature, the prompting of his Atman, which is divine. In the universal, eternal sea of change, the Atman alone is above change.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol X, p40.]

If hindrances come, dedicate them too to the Lord, take them quietly as His leela and as His plan; that is the way to follow the grihastha discipline, the path for both men and women.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p50.]

Love your wife and children and do your duty towards them as a husband and a father. But always hold on to the true values. Do not lose your sense of proportion.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol X, p216.]

Proceed on the path of Love, the path of God… Love will expand your heart so much that you cannot escape from your duties to your kith and kin. Remember always that wife, son, mother — all kinship is basically only physical, body-bound, time-limited.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol X, p216.]

When there is understanding and harmony in the family, peace will spread to the community, and from there to the nation and the world. Unity confers joy and peace.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Sanathana Sarathi, Vol 34, Jan. 1991, p4.]

For one who is unattached, the home is a hermitage.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p46.]

The home is the thapovana for attaining non-attachment.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p49.]

If there is the will and strength to adhere strictly to dharma, if there are no difficulties in acquiring jnana, one can, without entering sanyaasa ashrama, remain as a householder and yet be liberated.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p49.]

Moved by the desire to cross this ocean of samsara, the husband and the wife must both have harmony of mind. The resolution to reach the goal must be equally strong and steady in both. Otherwise sanyaasa is the refuge!
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Dharma Vahini, p50.]

All ashramas are dependent on the grihastha. It is he who provides food and drink to the rest and fosters them. He promotes the study of the Vedas; he guards the scriptures. So the grihastha ashrama is the most important. … The grihastha who strictly adheres to his ashrama dharma is worthy of the greatest respect.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p43.]

He who earns money by lawful means, he who honours his guests, who serves and pleases his fellowmen, attains liberation along with those learned in the sastras and those who are well established in the fundamental philosophy of the spirit. No one can cross the ocean of birth and death because he is a sanyasi or brahmachari. High ancestry, attainments in asceticism, the status of a monk, profound scholarship – nothing will help, by itself. There must also be the faithful and steady pursuit of swadharma, the study of the scriptures, like the Veda or the Bhagavad Gita, and a disciplined spiritual life of japam and dhyanam.
[Sathya Sai Baba Ref: Prashanti Vahini, p44.]

Official Sathya Sai Baba Website

Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing


Twin Towers Of Healing
by Dr. A.N. Safaya
Sanathana Sarathi Special Edition

Desire to have knowledge about the Divine and its manifestations including the phenomenon of life in the living has been in the human mind since the beginning of human intellectual evolution. Along side it, there has been the urge for the practice of the art of healing the afflictions and injuries of the human form. The two have been together since eternity. The Vedas, which present the most ancient documentation on spirituality, amply exemplify the togetherness of thoughts on Divinity and the art of healing.

The Principles of Arogya
It is therefore but natural that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba emphasised the importance of human body and mind remaining in a state of good health to achieve the desired results when He initiated the Sai Seva Mission for the service of mankind. Advocating the importance of the awareness of Divinity and the practice of the principles of spirituality, He emphasises the need for the prevention of bad health and avoiding unhealthy personal hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle. Every now and then, Bhagavan keeps on laying stress on the observance of good and healthy principles of personal hygiene, food, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle.

Bhagavan advocates the golden principles of Arogya (absence of ill health). Seva Dal volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Samithis all over the country are spreading the awareness of these principles effectively and diligently. Under this programme of awareness, society is going on a steady march, at grass root level, towards a state of positive health for its members. This is how Sai Health Mission took its first step towards Arogya with the message that it was the foremost duty of man to keep his body healthy.

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals
The second step in the direction of treatment of disease, once it had occurred, was the establishment of two Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals, one at Prasanthi Nilayam and other at Whitefield, Bangalore. These two general hospitals look after the patients of all general ailments, conduct tests, give treatment, drugs and do surgical interventions completely free of charge. Nearly one crore patients have been benefited by the services of these two hospitals since their inception years ago.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi Nilayam
The third step was to establish the twin towers of Sai Health Mission in the form of two Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Sciences-one in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh and the other at Whitefield, Karnataka.

On the occasion of His Birthday on 23rd November 1990, Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba made a momentous declaration of establishing a Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi for highly specialised treatment of diseases of heart, kidney and eyes. As a consequence of this Divine Sankalpa of Bhagavan, Institute of Higher Medical Sciences was conceptualised, planned and built in a record time of six months. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri P.V. Narasimha Rao on 22nd November 1991 and started functioning fully from that day. It has never looked back. Established in an architecturally and aesthetically beautiful building, which sits majestically in the centre of its sprawling lush green lawns, it lodges the specialities of cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, urology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, laboratory medicine, blood bank, bio-medical and general engineering services. The staff working in these departments is hand picked, well chosen with care and dedicated to the service of ailing patients. The equipment used in diagnosis and treatment of the patients is the latest and state of the art. All the parameters of functioning of the Super Speciality Hospital in all its branches are highly satisfactory and of international standard. It is highly popular, well renowned and well known all over the world, and is open for treatment to all, irrespective of the distinction of caste, creed, colour, religion or country. All the diagnostic investigations, laboratory tests and the treatment including surgery are done completely free of cost to one and all, rich and poor!

Service with Love and Humility
All this workload is shouldered by the hospital creditably and completely free of cost to the enormous number of patients it has served so far. All the treatment is given by the dedicated staff of doctors, nurses and technicians to each and every patient with humility and love, amidst spiritual environment, with the name of God on their lips. The hospital maintains very high standard of cleanliness, purity and discipline with the help of nearly 100 Seva Dal volunteers working round the clock.

Seva Dal volunteers are the dedicated devotees of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and come by turn from every State of the country under a laid down scheduled programme. They dedicate their Seva at the Divine Feet of Bhagavan Baba and work in the hospital in honorary capacity for varied intervals of time of few days to few weeks or months. This is an excellent example of community participation in the healthcare programme. Middle level management and the care of the equipment including its preventive maintenance is done by a group of Technical Officers who are highly skilled graduates and postgraduates from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a deemed university. Their dedication and diligence is responsible for nearly 100 per cent uptime of all the equipment of the Institute. This Institute of excellence has developed within typical rural environment and has been functioning in a purely rurai setting since its inception. Of course, now an airport and a railway station have come up in close proximity, a great boon for the patients and their attendants. Patients of concerned specialities come from all over the country and are examined fully. Urgent cases are given prompt medical attention and those who can wait are put on waiting list and are called when their turn comes. Attendants of patients have a dormitory facility with a canteen attached.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield
Bhagavan Sri Sathya SaiBaba’s infinite love and compassion for the suffering masses concretised in the establishment of yet another Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefield, Bangalore. It is, in fact, a second Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. The Institute was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 19th January 2001. It is functional since then. The Institute is situated in a fully developed urban-cum-industrial setting, in fact, next door neighbour being the world famous International Technology Park. The palace-like architecture of the huge hospital building is breathtakingly impressive. This white brilliant jewel of a building sits pretty in the emerald green lawns surrounding it. It lodges the super specialities of cardiac sciences and neurosciences with all of their necessary support services. It has a bed strength of 333 which is looked after by highly dedicated, well qualified and experienced staff. Like the Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Prasanthi Nilayam, this Institute also gives international standard treatment to its patients for the diseases of heart and brain completely free of charge. Patients are served by the staff, doctors, nurses and technicians with love, understanding and sympathy in keeping with Bhagavan’s principles of loving selfless service.

The hospital is equipped with latest, state-of-the-art equipment; some of the systems for diagnosis and treatment are made available to patients for the first time in the country. A bigger team of Technical Officers keeps the equipment of the hospital in a state of perfect functioning at all times with practically no down time. They are supported by the Biomedical and General Engineering Departments. Though not connected directly with the treatment of patients, the workers of the support departments have thorough technical experience and knowledge to keep the hospital infrastructure and support services in ideal state of functioning in a manner which should serve as a model to other hospitals of the country.

The data and the indices of patient care are comparable to the data available from any other hospital at international level.

Patient Counselling Service
A unique feature in the patient care process of the two Institutes is the Patient Counselling Service. This service has been introduced as a model project in Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefietd. The consultants of the treating department of the Institute keep the patient under health surveillance after he is discharged from the hospital with the help of the volunteers of Sai Organisation.

The counselling activities cover all the three phases of the hospital-patient contact period, that is, the pre-hospital phase, the hospital phase for which the patient is admitted for surgery or treatment and the post-hospital phase after discharge of the patient from the hospital. This arrangement ensures that the counselling continues at the locality of the patient’s residence also. Counselling to every patient also includes spiritual counseling and offering suggestions on issues like faith, prayer, meditation and control of emotional stress, etc. Such a comprehensive counselling care is not only disease and person specific but is also holistic, and amounts to almost emotional adoption of the patient with a firm promise of help for his ailment. This is a distinct feature of the functioning of Sai Health Mission. The system is in operation in the State of Karnataka at present and is in the process of being extended to all other States of the country.

Twin Towers
Our country has incomparably large population and has equally huge incidence of disease and ill health. We have no illusion that these Twin Towers of Healing will treat all the patients of the diseases of heart, brain, kidney and eyes and will wipe the tears of all suffering patient population. No, it will help only a few – a drop in a big ocean! But, these Twin Towers of Healing will serve as models for establishing such Institutes all over the country and all over the world. Such centres will provide state-of-the-art medical treatment through dedicated staff with love, understanding and compassion, free of cost and without any restriction of caste, creed, colour and country, like these two Institutes provide to every patient everyday.

A Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The following conversation between a devotee and Sathya Sai Baba took place in Prasanthi Nilayam many years ago and was first published in an early issue of the Sanathana Sarathi, the official ashram magazine.

Devotee: Swami! The world is very cruel to me.

Sathya Sai Baba: That is its nature. The purpose of the world is frustration; it has to engender need. When the need is strong enough, the individual seeks fulfilment.

Devotee: And fails!

Sathya Sai Baba: Only when he seeks fulfilment without! Within him, he can get it. The within is accessible always; it is ever responsible. There is pain only so long as attachment for outer forms remains. Ultimate relief from pain can come only with the loss of ego, the neutralisation of that which reacts to something as pain and something else as pleasure, whose memory, whose conditioning, helps to recognise the dualities of joy and grief.

Devotee: But the world, Swami?

Sathya Sai Baba: The world is pain. Expect nothing from the world but that. I willed the totality of your conditioned existence to be pain, in order to draw you to me.

Devotee: Which I can, at best, only hope to attain.

Sathya Sai Baba: God asks for neither hope nor despair. They are subject to relativity. Universal Being is beyond both hope and despair, both certainty and doubt. It knows no lingering in its conclusions. It is ever flowing, in all directions, and in none of them.

Devotee: What then shall be my direction?

Sathya Sai Baba: Take what works today for today. What works tomorrow for tomorrow. One day at a time, each day for itself, each moment for itself, without a past, without memory, without conclusions.

Devotee: Conclusions?

Sathya Sai Baba: Yes. Conclusions bind; they press on the mind. The newborn baby is not confined to conclusions. All conclusions enslave. Most men are slaves to the conclusions into which they have fallen.

Devotee: Does that mean I have to give up my practice of concentration?

Sathya Sai Baba: The question that bothers you is one of fixity. You tried to fix your thought and attention on a word and later on a form, but you discovered that nothing lasts, that everything has to change. But I tell you; awareness can remain, even when form subsides, even when the word melts away.

Devotee: I find it difficult to hold my attention on form or word.

Sathya Sai Baba: Because when you try to meditate, the very trial invites the success-failure conflict onto the scene. You say to yourself, it is good to meditate on this and not that, or to meditate on that is wrong or foolish. Practise choicelessness; no objective, no intention. Be yourself. Choose no particular form, for all are equally His. Choose no particular word or sound, for all are His.

Devotee: I am often tossed between contradictory beliefs.

Sathya Sai Baba: Contradictions are inevitable. It is the very nature of this world and of the mind. But you can choose, either to be buffeted endlessly by the apparent contradictions or to remain in the calm centre of the cyclone. This is the problem of all problems, the problem of peripheral or central being.

Devotee: The circumference or the centre, the rim or the hub of the wheel?

Sathya Sai Baba: Yes. The hub is calm, steady, unmoved. But the mind will be drawn along the spokes, the objective desires, to revolve over mud and stone, sand and thorns. It will not believe that it can get bliss from the centre, rather than from the circumference, without undergoing a rough journey over turbulent terrain.

Devotee: Ultimately, it means the conquest of the mind?

Sathya Sai Baba: Learn to let all the conflicts spawned by the mind play themselves out, and cancel each other out. Be the witness to the holocaust. The ultimate solution to the conflict is not decision or even choice, but passive being. Dare to remain inconclusive. See the endless quandaries of the mind as a divine leela, God’s sport, as the natural function of the bundle of desires called mind. Do not believe in mind; do not rally to its assertions and appetites. Watch the mind from a distance; do not get involved in its tumblings and turnings. Then everything becomes insignificant. When everything recedes into meaninglessness, you are in the hub, in equanimity.

Devotee: Swami, you are the hub, the spokes and the rim.

Sathya Sai Baba: Do not be concerned with who I am! Concern yourself with who you are and how you can be ever aware of that truth. Do not be a willing captive of the endless stratagems of the mind. Abstain from all that draws you into its web. I will lead you, if you rely on me. The alternatives of the world will not bring you happiness, for the mind, which revels in alternatives, is but a will-of-the-wisp, flitting before your vision. I do not judge you for what is never yours, really. Your imperfection is no obstacle for me.

Devotee: I confess that I have not always observed the rules of conduct of the Sathya Sai Organisation.

Sathya Sai Baba: Your mind keeps asking for rules. But when you get the rules, you find you cannot keep them. Rules engender rigidity, they force. They do not bloom out of love or spread love. There is always a way of doing a thing without the strain of a rule. See how unperturbed I am with your restlessness! I live thus, so that I may afford a lesson for you to learn.

Devotee: I am restless, Swami, because I yearn for rest and do not get it.

Sathya Sai Baba: It is your reaction to restlessness that is bad, not the restlessness itself. Restlessness is only the rise and fall of a wave on the ocean that you are. Nothing matters, so long as the depths are secure. Success is not important: failure does not matter. The river of eternity is flowing ever into the ocean of the Supreme Will.

Devotee: How long am I to be torn apart from that Supreme Will?

Sathya Sai Baba: You are a fraction of that Supreme Will. That is why you are afflicted with the hunger to seek It and to merge in It and to find fulfilment and bliss thereby. Turning to the world for solace and sustenance to appease that hunger has been tried by countless generations, including your own, but the hunger is gnawing still.

Devotee: What then is the proper reaction to the attractions of the world?

Sathya Sai Baba: Let go. Don’t cling. Be still. Establish yourself in the homelessness of the mind; physical homelessness will not earn the victory. There are many spiritual aspirants still caught in the coils of greed, envy, pride and power seeking. They have not escaped from their homes. They have built prisons around themselves. I describe homelessness of the mind as mind abiding nowhere.

Devotee: And wandering everywhere?

Sathya Sai Baba: Do not exclude anything. Be the witness of everything. The exclusive cannot endure. God is all. Your restlessness came from exclusion, the pressure exerted by the excluded into the area from which it was excluded. All is God; how can you push God out of His Domain? Your mind concludes that the cause for the restlessness is whatever concerns it at the time. The actual cause is not that. You limit God by your assumptions, hence the restlessness. For you too are divine, and your reality protests against that limitation.

Devotee: Swami! Sometimes I feel so sad that I am so strange, so different in habits from the rest of those that come to you for succour.

Sathya Sai Baba: If your path contrasts entirely with those around you, believe that it is my will for you. Every way is my way and ways seemingly indirect may be the most direct for some spiritual seekers. For me there are no impossible cases, no incorrigible cases. Practise choicelessness as hitherto prescribed. Choicelessness is constant contentment.

Questioner: Swami, I am addicted to tea drinking, which hurts me. How can I stop this practice?

Sathya Sai Baba: Heaven is not refused to those who drink tea! A rajasic person is rendered hyperactive by tea, but to an invalid it is a welcome lift. But do not adore tea as the only reality. Now with regard to these habits that have gripped you, there are two methods by which you can discard them. The first is deprivation, denial. This can yield only temporary success. When one’s determination relaxes, the habit reasserts itself and it becomes difficult to resist. The second method is to become so absorbed in something far more pleasing that the habit falls off by itself. Remember, what is transient is not important. What is important is eternal. My prescriptions are varied; they differ from person to person, from stage to stage, even in the case of the same person. All prescriptions work. Let people come to me through Bhajan, through Japa, through Meditation, through Mantras, through Tantra or Seva ­ as I ordain. Every one will come to me; everyone has to come to me. There are no exceptions.

Devotee: We rely on your grace Swami, we yearn for it. Make us aware of it.

Sathya Sai Baba: I never asked you to earn me. I want only that you should need me. Your path is not one of merit. Bring the recurring desires of your mind to me, every time they emerge. They cannot shock me, for I willed them! Bring me your confusion, your fear, your craving, your anxiety, your inability to love the world, your hesitation to serve, your jealousy, all the deficiencies that defy your spiritual disciplines.

Devotee: How are we to do seva if we feel the urge to do so? What if the urge is absent?

Sathya Sai Baba: There are many ways to serve the world. You can serve, if not actively, at least by your serenity. Everyone need not do all things. Your Western heritage reveres active work. But if your being tends towards serenity and solitude, take it as the best. Do not be sorry for it. Only a small minority can delight in serenity and remain still. God has willed it so, otherwise, how could the world function? If stillness is your destiny, dare to be so. If you are a recluse, be a recluse, but a recluse with me. You may not be a saint, but you can peacefully be nothing. Let each be as he is, remembering, however, his source and his reality. None is as he is but for me.

Devotee: I have yet much to learn.

Sathya Sai Baba: You wish to learn from me. Well, if you are preoccupied by the body’s needs, by the arrangements for its travelling, its accommodation and the food it demands, time will fly. That student learns best and fastest who does not spend his time constantly shifting from one classroom to the next. You will learn everything worth knowing in my classroom. I will expose you to all states of being, so that you may learn to rest in me in all of them. There are no insurmountable obstacles to me; there are no pre-requisites for me. I am unconditional.

Devotee: But you are absent so often and away for so long at your headquarters.

Sathya Sai Baba: Always, at every time, at every place, I am where you need me. All things without are subject to the limitation of time and space, to the material laws of Nature. My outer form is no exception! If you would perceive my physical form, it must come within the range of your gaze, so position yourself so that you can see it. And even then, it may not gaze at you. But, I am omnipresent! The limitations of the body and the outer senses do not hold for the inner vision. Therein, you can see me at any time and any place and receive darshan. The outer vision is purposely insufficient, instantaneous, transitory, casual, so that you may crave for and accomplish the inner darshan. If I have separated you from my physical image off and on, it was only to bring you to me and to establish my presence within you. That alone will replenish you and refresh you, I know. None of my absences was a rejection or rebuke. So far as you are concerned, I intended them all. And, always, I willed that you return to me.

How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi


How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

In the Gita, the Lord says that from time to time when righteousness is on the decline He incarnates. Swami has added that He has come to save scriptural knowledge and to protect devotees of the Lord. This raises the question: ‘Who exactly is a devotee of the Lord?’ Operationally, any one who has devotion for the Lord might be described as a devotee. However, as we all know, there are all kinds of devotees; in fact, five thousand years ago, Krishna identified four major categories.

They are:

  1. those who come to the Lord because they want their personal problems solved,
  2. those who want the Lord to grant them wealth and prosperity,
  3. those who would like the Lord to guide them in acquiring Wisdom, and finally
  4. those who want nothing whatsoever and are content to enjoy Bliss immersed in God.

This was the classification given five thousand years ago and it still holds. The question now is: Which of these categories of devotees is eligible for protection? This in turn raises another question as to what exactly we mean by protection. But meanwhile, it is useful for us to note that Lord Krishna has said that He relates to devotees the very same way they relate to Him. Swami has amplified this with the remark that to a child He is a child; to a man He is a man, and so on. In other words, Swami is to us, what we think Him to be.

What has all this got to do with God’s protection? We are coming to that. Let us start with the question, whom does God protect? He certainly responds to prayers and offers His protection in some measure, but only to the extent we are eligible. Devotees often forget this aspect of eligibility and imagine God to be something like a slot machine. We pray and God has to respond – that is the way people think God should operate. Is that correct? Let us take the slot machine. When we insert a coin into a slot machine and press the button, the machine delivers a chocolate bar or whatever. But when the stock of the goodies is over, even if one inserts a coin, one would get nothing. The same is true of God’s Grace. When one has limited credit and that credit runs out, then prayers will not provide the protection one prays for. So it boils down to how to build up a good credit.

Lord Krishna and Sathya Sai Baba have made one thing very clear. God’s insurance office is open 24/7 and is accessible in all parts of the world from the North Pole to the South Pole. But if one wants comprehensive coverage, and God does have that plan, then one has to make proper payment of premium. And what exactly is the premium? Sathya Sai Baba has indicated that. Basically, it consists of two words: Aushadam and Pathyam. Aushadam means medicine and Pathyam means diet restrictions. Swami says that when one goes to a doctor with an illness like stomach upset, for example, the doctor prescribes medicines and also diet restrictions; the same is true of the Divine Doctor, says Swami.

What exactly does Sathya Sai Baba mean by these two words? Swami has explained that also. He says that the medicine is the constant chanting of the Name. OK, but what about the Pathyam or so-called diet restrictions? Swami says the Pathyam is TOTAL obedience of Swami’s commands.

We would now like to make some comments about the latter. From time to time, we get reports that Sai devotees in some place or the other, are actively playing host to a person, sometimes male and sometimes female, who claims that Swami has sent him or her, creates vibhuti or whatever, and ends up collecting money, of course, for some cause authorised by Swami – that is what the self-appointed agent says. This sort of thing seems to happen in all parts of the world the East to the West.

Times without number, Satya Sai Baba has declared openly in so many Discourses that He has no middlemen. Times without number, Sanathana Sarathi has published warnings about specific persons going round claiming to act for and on behalf of Swami. The Organisation too has sent circulars asking Centres and Office Bearers to stay clear of such self-appointed ‘messengers’. And yet, people seem to be drawn to such ‘messengers’. Not only that, devotees invite them to Sai Centres, make them sit on Swami’s Chair and even offer Aarathi to them.

Jesus once said, ‘Why call ye me Lord, when thou does’t not follow what I say?’ One can similarly ask: What is the meaning of we calling Swami God and all that, when we are bent on ignoring His emphatic declaration that He has no middle persons.

If this were an isolated phenomenon, we would not write about it. But we are constantly getting reports about such people from all over. That such people exist should not surprise us; the world is full of who would like to take advantage of the gullible. But what we find astonishing is that people who claim to be devotees of Sathya Sai Baba insist on violating His command.

People are free to follow whom they want, but they should be aware of the consequences. In the Gita, Krishna makes it very clear that those who follow the manes go to the manes; those who follow the deities, go the deities; but those who follow Him, go only to Him. Could anything be clearer? Think about it!

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart”
RadioSai e-Journal Team
In Sai Service

Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Read up on Giri Naidu’s (12th standard student in Prashanthi Nilayam shcool) experience as published in Sanathana Sarathi, March 1985.

A few days remained for the Navaratri festival to begin at Prasanthi Nilayam. I was at Madras, having no hopes of witnessing the grand celebrations at Parthi.

One night Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared in my dream. The next night too He appeared in my dream and repeated His order, “Leave for Parthi immediately.” I dreamt that I pleaded with Him, “Oh Baba! How to come to You when I am caught in the coils of never ending troubles.” Bhagawan replied, “Nonsense! Come immediately.” I was worried how I could leave for Parthi when my mother and sister were critically ill, and I not much better than they. The day passed while I was in a dilemma.

On the third night again my Lord appeared in my dream but not as Sai Baba, but as Sai Shiva, for He looked at poor me with angry eyes and lashed and thrashed me verbally for not obeying His divine command, and once again He summoned me to Parthi, without regard to my tearful pleadings.

I woke up in the morning dazed. I was unable to make up my mind. But the thought of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba again coming in my dream made me tremble. I dared not keep my head on the pillow, fearing I would fall asleep and He might again appear in my dream and give me another sound verbal thrashing. Somehow I decided to leave for Parthi that very night.

That day Madras seemed to have incurred the wrath of Indra for it rained incessantly. With the help of our sympathetic neighbour, my ailing mother, sister and myself boarded the night bus for Anantapur. We were to reach Anantapur at dawn. We spent the night miserably but waiting for the glorious day to dawn. As the bus sped by, tearing through the dark night I pined to see the golden rays of the sun. My childish emotions overpowered me, for I accused the sun of being lazy and a late riser. It was not too long when my angry accusation turned into prayers too. I prayed to the sun to rise fast at least for my sake. But the sun took his own sweet time, and the day dawned.

The bus was nearing Anantapur when it came to a halt with a sudden jolt. There was a bridge which it had to cross. It was heavily flooded. All around was a scene of destruction. The bus took an hour to cross the flooded bridge, with great difficulty. After we had crossed the bridge, to our great delight we found a bus going to Puttaparthi trying to cross the bridge. Our bus conductor advised us three to quickly get down and board the bus leaving for Parthi, without our going to the Anantapur bus stand. We hurriedly brought our luggage down and boarded the Puttaparthi bus. The latter’s conductor was very hostile. He rudely said, “There is no place, so get off the bus.” When I tried to request him, he took our luggage and threw it out of the bus, and forced us to get down. To our great dismay we found that the Anantapur bus was nowhere in sight and the deserted look all around made me shiver in fright. To my great surprise, as soon as we got down from the bus bound for Parthi, the bus could not move as its engine refused to start. Half of its chassis was in the water and half on dry land. It could neither proceed forward nor go back. It refused to move an inch.

My mother and sister seated themselves on the luggage and were on the verge of collapse. I stood beside the raging river and viewed the angry waters, while mother sat lost in prayer or despair, I do not know. Broken logs of timber rolled and came dashing against the bridge. The corpse of a goat was caught in the swift current of the swirling waters. The dark sky above seemed to be determined on a downpour to drench us, The grim situation cast a gloomy spell on me. I cursed myself for being responsible for the watery grave I had chosen, as I felt our end not far.

Something said within me that the Lord is my host and why should I give myself away to despair and frustration. No sooner had this thought occurred in my mind than I felt the pressure of a hand on my back. I whirled round and saw, “a white long robed yogi with a white beard and matted hair” smiling at me. He had a tender voice and spoke softly. His eyes twinkled and his face shone with splendour. I stood bewitched while he spoke, “Son! You seem to be troubled. Tell me, it may be that I could help you.” Hearing him speak such kind words, I was very much delighted. I told him of the soup that we were in. He gave me a reassuring smile and said, “Is that all! O. K. How many persons are you?” I replied, “There are three of us.” Then I saw him dig his hand into the side pocket of his robe and take out three pink tickets. The smiling yogi said, “I don’t need them, you can take them.” Now with tickets in our hands we boarded the bus that still stood there. As I was boarding the bus, I again felt a pat on my back. I looked behind and saw. It was the smiling yogi. He then uttered these mysterious words, “You go to Puttaparthi and `I’ shall meet you there.” And he hurriedly walked away.

We climbed the bus. The bus conductor gave us a threatening look before he could speak out a word, I showed him the tickets that the yogi gave me, The conductor was shocked and he questioned me, “From where did you get them.” I told him about the yogi. He got down from the bus to look for the yogi. The yogi could be found nowhere. He seemed to have melted into the thin air of the deserted region. The conductor climbed into the bus. He looked shaken. He timidly got three seats vacated and offered them to us. As soon as we took our seats, the engine that had refused to start for two hours miraculously started all of a sudden, and the bus moved towards its destination.

The happy passengers shouted with joy and the air was rent with shouts of JAI SAI RAM!

Reference