‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “There is no short cut to any laudable achievement. Steady struggle alone can ensure victory. Things that are gained with little or no effort are not worth exulting over. The process of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana and dharana (control of the inner and outer senses, regulation of pose and breath, withdrawal into the inner consciousness, meditation and concentration) is difficult; but the final stage is Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the condition of perfect undisturbed equanimity. Whereas the pursuit of material pleasures will be ‘agre amritopamam pariname visham’ (like nectar at first but poison in the end). The pursuit of equanimity will be ‘agre visham pariname amritopamam’ (like poison at first but nectar in the end).”

Sadhana ~ The Inward Path Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation, Bombay, Revised Edition 1978. Visit the Sathya Sai Organisation Website.

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Just as the sugar cane does not yield sweet juice unless it is crushed, just as sandal wood does not give the fragrant paste unless it is grinded on a stone; the goodness of people does not come out unless they go through difficulties. From ashanti you get prashanti. From prashanti you get prakanthi. And from prakanti you get paranjoti. It is like the alternating of night and day; this recurring of joy and grief. Welcome disappointment, for it toughens you and tests your fortitude. The ills draw you nearer to God, making you call on Him always when you are in difficulty. Love God though tribulations may be your lot. Love Him though you are refused and rebuked; for it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleansed of blemish. The saints Jayadeva, Tukaram, Kabir, Gouranga, Ramakrishna, Ramadas, all had to go through travail and tragedy so that they could see God and merge in Him. They have won permanent niches in the temple of human memory. Ridicule and contempt must be met with joyous unconcern. Even Avathars are not free from such feeble tactics from small men.”

Sadhana ~ The Inward Path Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation, Bombay, Revised Edition 1978. Visit the Sathya Sai Organisation Website.

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “The One is shining in and through the many, the One is the many. ‘Ekoham bahusyam’, the One decided to become the many to enjoy its own manifoldness. The One appears as all this diversity. That is the Truth. The insistence of the fundamental unity of all creation is the special feature of Indian thought. Do not be satisfied with paltry scraps of information. Seek the Knower behind the knowing process. That is the real victory”

Sadhana ~ The Inward Path Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation, Bombay, Revised Edition 1978. Visit the Sathya Sai Organisation Website.

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Man must proceed ever towards ‘balam’, strength; he should not take to untruth, wickedness crookedness – all of which denote a fundamental fatal trait of cowardice, ‘balaheenam’. Balaheenam is born of accepting as true a lower image of yourself than what the fact warrants. You believe you are the husk (the body) but really you are the kernal (the atma). That is the main mistake. All sadhana must be directed to the removal of the husk and the revelation of the kernal. So long as you say and feel ‘I am the body’ there is bound to be fear. But once you say and feel ‘I am Brahman’, you get unconquerable strength.”

Sadhana ~ The Inward Path Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation, Bombay, Revised Edition 1978. Visit the Sathya Sai Organisation Website.

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

‘Sadhana The Inward Path’ – Quotes From Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sadhana - The Inward Path

Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Do not give ear to what others say. Believe your experience. Whatever gives you peace and joy, Atmanandam, believe in that. That is the real basis for faith. Why should you go about asking all and sundry whether something is salty or sweet? Is it not foolish to wander about consulting people about this? Put a little on your own tongue; that will settle the matter. What you are now doing is rejecting as salty what your own experience proved to be sweet simply because someone else who has not tasted it like you proclaims it to be salty or because someone who is down with fever finds the thing bitter.”

Sadhana ~ The Inward Path Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation, Bombay, Revised Edition 1978. Visit the Sathya Sai Organisation Website.

Seeing Sai Baba

Seeing Sai Baba
VASTHU SASTRA
By T.SELVA

Our columnist has a spiritual time in a remote village in India.

INTRIGUED by his teachings on human values and the fact that he has followers in 170 countries, I travelled to Puttaparthi, India, last weekend to experience Sathya Sai Baba’s darshan (blessings).

Puttaparthi is a remote village in Andhra Pradesh state in India’s south-east that has been placed on the world map as a top pilgrimage centre owing to the presence there of Baba, who is considered a living god by more than 100 million followers worldwide.

The shops, hotels, banks and other business outlets in the village all depend on the floating population of thousands who come there from all over the world throughout the year to seek Baba’s blessing and peace of mind.

My first glimpse of Sathya Sai Baba is when shopkeepers rush out of their stores to join the crowds lining the main street – Baba is passing by in a car escorted by police and volunteers, returning to his abode.

He’s returning from a visit to the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, which treats the poor for free and also handles cases related to cardiology, urology, nephrology and ophthalmology.

I later discover that to get into Baba’s Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace), one must go through airport-style security checks, including going through a metal detector and being frisked. And just like on an airplane, cameras, mobile phones, pens and sharp objects were prohibited. Men and women are separated to opposite sides of the huge hall.

The day that I’m here, Nov 7, is special because on the second Saturday of November every year, devotees in Puttaparthi and at Sai Baba centres worldwide sing bhajans (devotional chants) continuously for 24 hours to confer peace, joy, harmony and bliss to all of mankind.

Thousands of vocalists sing with full devotion and the divine vibration is said to have the power to remove negative thoughts, soothe the nerves, purify the mind and heal those within earshot.

I am overwhelmed by the vibrations of the sacred sounds the moment I step foot into the holy space.

Seated in a lotus pose in silence, I feel a sudden surge of energy rushing into my body when Satya Sai Baba arrives in a wheel chair.

Wearing a saffron coloured robe, Baba seems, to me, electrifying – so much so that I feel goose pimples, and tears well up in my eyes.

Some of his devotees tell me later that such experiences are common in the presence of a “realised master” because his mind is saturated with “God consciousness” and a great ecstasy will develop within any individual close by, without any mental or intellectual effort.

Sathya Sai Baba is pushed slowly along an aisle lined on both sides by over 10,000 devotees; he stops occasionally to receive letters and wedding invitation cards from his followers, and some cry with love and joy when he’s close.

He does not speak but gazes deeply into the eyes of everyone he comes into contact with; when he reaches the dais in front, he sweeps his eyes over all his devotees. His disciples clasp their hands in prayer and bow, while the crowd basks in the peace he is emanating.

Sathya SaiBaba was born on Nov 23, 1926, and, right from his childhood, there were consistent manifestations of his divinity. For instance, his birth was accompanied by strange phenomena – like the musical instruments in his house playing on their own and a cobra lying unthreateningly under his bed.

Even as a small child, he was against violence and refused to touch meat; by the age of four, when most children have not learnt to share yet, he began displaying compassion and generosity.

At the age of 14, he declared to his family that he did not belong only to them and set out with others who believed in him to launch his divine mission in the service of mankind.

He would enchant his followers by doing things like distributing sweets from an empty bag, plucking a variety of fruits from a tamarind tree, and creating holy ash in his hand.

One of his strongest messages then was to surrender completely to him, that he would take over his followers’ worries and fears.

According to Baba, surrender means not having expectations, not being upset if the outcome of events is different than anticipated. He says he can only help when an individual completely entrusts him or herself to him totally.

Baba says energy passes from him to devotees in his presence, and that whatever his eyes see will be vitalised.

In the meeting hall, I am five rows away from Sathya Sai Baba and cannot pass him the letter I am carrying for a Malaysian devotee – but Baba stares at me and then at the letter I am holding, and, somehow, I feel that he knows its contents.

Baba does not perform any miracles that day but some of his devotees experience visions and say they feel a sensation of relief and contentment in his presence.

I feel lighter and almost blissful after the two hour session in Sathya Sai Baba’s company.

Many who arrive there come “expecting” but return “accepting” the true purpose of life and of the power of love and compassion.

Vasthu talk
The columnist will present a talk on how to choose an auspicious property and create a happy home following Vasthu Sastra principles at 2pm on Nov 27 at The Star Property Fair at Hall 4, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Admission to the talk is free. To register, call 012-329 9713.

Senior News Editor T. Selva has spent years researching and writing about the ancient Indian science of construction, better known as ‘Indian feng shui’. He is the first disciple of 7th generation Vasthu Sastra Master Yuvaraj Sowma from Chennai, India.

The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

The Star Reference

Mother Supreme – Mother So Sweet & So Dear

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Mother Supreme – Mother So Sweet & So Dear
By T. Ravi Kumar

Dr. T. Ravi Kumar joined the erstwhile Sri Sathya Sai College at Brindavan (Bangalore) as a student for his intermediate course in the year 1974. He continued this with his Bachelors in Science in the same college. After he completed his Masters in Science (Chemistry), he joined the Sri Sathya Sai College as a faculty member in 1981. Later, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from the Sri Sathya Sai University in 1990. Currently, he is a Reader in the Department of Chemistry in the Brindavan campus of the same university. Additionally, he is a talented speaker and a keen student of Sri Sathya Sai literature.

The saddest day and the happiest day in my life fell on the same day – September 15, 1963. I was only 4 ½ years old then, and my mother had passed away that day. In the evening, as her body was being taken away for cremation, my cousin, who was slightly older than me, whispered into my ears that my mother would be taken in a procession. That somehow made me a lot happier as I imagined that it would be like the temple procession. Every image that my little mind could evoke of that religious parade was one of joy and gaiety.

But when my cousin said that “… she will not return” I was plunged in grief. All attempts to soothe me failed, and so I was taken across the street to my aunt’s house to keep me distracted. This aunt of mine was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, and so there was a nice photo of Baba in the front room of the house. Looking at it, I asked her who He was.

And she told me: “This is God. Pray to Swami and He will protect you”. Little did I realize then that the Divine mother’s compassionate eyes had fallen on me, at a time when my physical mother’s eyes had closed. And from that instant, I can say, my life has never been the same again.

It was in the year 1968 that my father was cured of cancer by Sathya Sai Baba by just uttering “Your cancer is cancelled”. Father lived for 38 years after that, and died of old age a couple of years ago! He was active till his last breath.

My family and I had always thought that it was only in 1968, after this miraculous curing of my father’s cancer, that we had the good fortune of being drawn to the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. But the sweet Lord was soon to remove our misconception!

One day, when I had the blessing of speaking in His Presence, I mentioned about how my family and I had come under Swami’s fold. But the all-knowing Lord corrected me by saying, “Not 1968 – 1963”.

Sathya SaiBaba went on to mention “Do you remember the day your mother died? Did you not ask your aunt, seeing My photo ‘who is this, aunty?’ From that day onwards, I have been looking after you”. And what an exciting journey it has been with Sai Maa to guide me! Swami has been a mother, nay much more than a mother to me!

Teenage Adventures
At the time it was made known that my father was suffering from cancer, our lives went through quite a few twists and turns. Since he was not expected to survive the cancer ailment, on returning to office after his trip to Puttaparthi, he found many of his colleagues, who were quite junior to him, had been promoted. This meant my father had to work extra hard to make up for lost time and opportunity.

At that time, I was studying in high school and fell into bad company. The school I studied in had the distinction of having three cinema theatres in front of it, and we – my friends and I – used to spend our afternoons in the cinema theatre watching movies and whiling away time. In fact, we would see as many movies as there were days in a week – we would even go for a morning show to make up for not seeing one on Sundays, which was a school holiday!

From ‘Good Boy’ to God’s Boy
One Sunday, my family and I went to Brindavan (Baba’s ashram in Bangalore) for Swami’s darshan, and Sathya Sai Baba picked us for an interview. Now, normally everyone looks forward for this blessing. You only need to see the joy on the faces of the devotees thus selected to understand what it means to them.

However, as we went to the interview room, I was filled with mixed feelings. There was a slight panic somewhere within my heart along with the joy that we had secured the coveted interview. As Swami returned from the darshan, He passed us and patting me on my cheeks, said “Good boy”.

Now, anyone who gets this remark, even once in his life, would feel that the purpose of life has been achieved, and would be excited and thrilled. But, believe me, it was nothing compared to the bliss I felt. The reason for this was two fold: on the one hand, Sathya Sai Baba had ‘certified’ that I was a good boy and I could wear this on my sleeve. But more importantly, on the other hand, it was also a feeling of tremendous relief as it confirmed that even Sathya Sai Baba was not aware of what I was up to!

However, the very moment this thought passed me, Sathya Sai Baba looked at my father and enquired about the other friends who had accompanied him. On being told that they were on the grounds outside, Baba sent him to fetch them.

He then turned towards me and with a sweet smile, again said, “Good boy”. I felt a glow within for a millisecond maybe, till this assertion became a question. “Good boy?” I tried to look as innocent as good boys do, but the questions followed: “Where were you yesterday at 2.30 in the afternoon?” Trying to look as pan-faced as I could, I answered confidently, “Swami, yesterday was Saturday. I must have been in the classroom…”

Satya Sai Baba quipped back saying, “That’s right, you should have been…. But where were you?” (I realized that the questions were becoming tougher and decided to remain silent). Swami continued, “Shall I tell you? You were sitting in the third row from the last in Ajanta theatre with your friends G and P on either side of you watching the film Katti patang” (a Hindi movie; the title means “a runaway kite”).

That was a precise description of my life till then! Swami’s voice trailed off, when from the corner of my eye I noticed that my father was coming with his friends. I shuddered realizing that it would be a red letter day in more than one way. Swami might choose to expose me within a second’s time and my father would punish me… my father strongly believed in the theory ‘do not spare the rod and spoil the child’. But what followed next, transformed me inside out! Instead of revealing it all to my father, Sai Maa, with the most loving smile, said, “He is a good boy. I was advising him to keep good company”.

I was moved beyond words can express. I asked myself, “Is there anyone in this world who can be and is so kind, in spite of knowing everything about you? Who could have loved me and helped as much, despite my many shortcomings?”

I reasoned that Sathya Sai Baba could have used this incident to demonstrate to my father and the others His omniscience, but chose to save me instead. From that moment, I decided to love this Mother with all my heart and serve Her lotus feet all my life!

This incident, truly, marked a new beginning in my life; I turned a new leaf. But what made it even better was when, after my schooling, Swami gave me the priceless privilege of being selected for the Sri Sathya Sai College for my intermediate class (XI and XII grade).

This meant that I could enjoy Swami’s proximity, and could grow up in the Divine Presence. That was in the year 1974. But now, when I look back at the tapestry of my life, I can see how Swami has so intricately and lovingly woven it with threads of gold.

Growing Up, Literally, with the Lord
Being in the junior most class, and that too the shortest, did not do much to boost my self-confidence. I secretly yearned to add a couple of inches to my height. One morning, in my first year, standing in front of the porch in Brindavan, Sathya Sai Baba said, “All short boys come to the front”. I was surprised to see that there were about 8 of us!

Sathya Sai Baba called the warden and instructed him to give us all a ‘medicine’ for growing tall! He handed over a box and instructed that it be given to us with hot milk in the morning everyday. The warden marched us to his office, and as an additional precaution noted down our heights. The next morning, when we were given the ‘medicine’ we were delighted to find that it was very tasty and sweet. How many times have we heard of a ‘sweet medicine’? But when the dispenser is the Divine Mother, how else would it be?

After fifteen days the ‘medicine’ was fully consumed. The warden went to Swami for the next ‘dose’. Swami just said, “There is no need. Measure their heights and see for yourself”. And of course all of us had grown taller. The evasive couple of inches had been added! Realization dawned on me that there was nothing too small to escape Swami’s attention, and nothing too big that He could not bless us with.

The Overpowering Sai Shakthi
It was a few days after the 70th birthday celebrations in the year 1995. I was sitting in the first line in the Bhajan Hall. Sathya Sai Baba had called a group of devotees and was inside the interview room.

I was reading an English translation of the Tamil classic Periya Puranam which my sister had presented to me a few days ago. It was the life story of Thirugnana Sambandar – a child devotee of Lord Shiva. In that particular story, one day, when the father wants to go to the temple tank for a bath and swim, the child, who was barely aged a couple of years, insists on accompanying him.

A tantrum follows and the father is forced to take the child to the temple tank. The father goes for his bath, leaving the child on the tank bund. After sometime, the child starts crying…….

At this moment, Sathya Sai Baba came out of the interview room and putting away the book I was reading, I looked at Him. Sathya Sai Baba came into the Bhajan Hall, went along the aisle, and talked to a devotee at the end of the hall.

When He returned, He looked into my eyes and asked, “Tell me how many litres of milk do you need?” The first thought that came into my mind was that Swami had warned me to reduce my weight six months before, and in fact, had even listed the items to be avoided! Had I failed in the attempt to diet? Swami repeated the same question thrice, and being unable to understand the purport of the question I remained silent.

For sometime after Swami returned to the interview room, His question kept bothering me… ‘Why did He ask me this question?’, I pondered. When, even after intense effort, I could not understand what the question meant, I decided to shelve it for the present, consoling myself that Swami would reveal the true meaning at the appropriate time, and returned to reading the book from where I had left off:

‘….. the child starts crying. It was hungry. Seeing its plight, Shiva and Shakthi appear before the child and the Divine Mother gives the child a golden bowl of milk. When the father returned from the swim, seeing the drops of milk on the child’s face, he questioned the child. The small child, who till then was barely lisping, sings out a poem describing the Divine couple.’

You can imagine my state. I put the book down, as tears of joy filled up my eyes. I was exhilarated when I realized that the very same Shiva and Shakthi had asked me the same question just a few moments ago!

I also realized that it was at the same spot (in the Bhajan Hall), that in 1963, on the Guru Poornima Day, Sathya Sai Baba had declared that His was the incarnation of both Shiva and Shakthi and cured Himself of the paralytic stroke.

To be a child and to enjoy the loving care of the Divine Mother is the greatest of experiences. Once in Trayee Brindavan, Swami was consoling a new student who had just joined that day, and was crying due to home sickness. He said, “I shall take very good care of you like your own mother… ask Ravi here, he knows”.

There is a famous quote which says, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world’ illustrating the supremacy of the mother’s role in shaping the citizens of tomorrow. How lucky all of us are, as the ‘Hand that rules the world, rocks our cradle!’

Reference