Language of the heart – Author Ramesh Sharma believes being spiritual is being human

Language of the heart – Author Ramesh Sharma believes being spiritual is being human
by Bissme S.

Since young, Ramesh Sharma has been fascinated about finding out the true purpose of human life. As he grew older, he continued with his quest, even going on trips to India to meet up with spiritual gurus.

Two years ago, the 53-year-old former salesman decided to write down his experiences.

A Buddhist Disciple Muk Tho’s Journey of Spiritual Mystic (Pristine Books, RM33.80) tells of some experiences which might seem ‘miraculous’ and somewhat out of this world.

For instance, there is the story about a garland his mother had placed on a photograph of Indian mystic Sathya Sai Baba which, his mother claimed, had grown longer.

“When she first told me about it, I didn’t believe her,” says Ramesh (bottom) at a recent reading of his book. “So when my mother told me again that the garland had grown longer, I was ready to prove her wrong.”

He decided to measure its length. To his surprise, he found the garland had actually grown longer! In the end, it grew so long that it touched the floor of the prayer room where the photo was placed.

Ramesh, who was 12 then, was speechless and spellbound.

Then when he was 15, he was stung on the hand by a bee. While getting ready to go to the hospital, his maid suddenly went into a trance and acted like she was possessed by the monkey god Hanuman (an Indian deity).

She grabbed his hand and sucked out the poison.

“I was trembling at that time,” he recalls. “Amazingly, the swelling on my hand went down.”

Another story also concerned his mother. During a trip to see Sathya Sai Baba in India years ago, she was given a locket by this holy man. But on the day she died, the locket mysteriously disappeared and was never found.

Of course, sceptics might have a hard time digesting some of these stories but Ramesh remains unperturbed.

“Miracles and divine interventions are experienced by people of all religions and races,” claims the author, who grew up in Penang.

“Spirituality cannot be found in books nor can it be intellectualised. It needs to be experienced through self endeavour and enquiry. Do not take my word for it.”

He encourages people to go on their own journey to find the meaning of life, love and god. “You cannot look for those things from other people’s experiences,” he adds.

Ramesh also believes that the human race will always want to be one with the Creator. “But man must be sincere in his quest to be connected to God. Being sincere means not asking for material wealth all the time. The human race always asks for the wrong things from God.

“Real happiness is not always equated to the material things in life but rather, it is within you – the way you feel and see things in life with contentment.”

He believes that God wants the human race to lead a fruitful life. “You should ask for virtues that will make you a better person. You should ask for strength and guidance.

“When you leave this world, you’re going to leave your money behind and where you’re going will depend on your good deeds.”

He dismisses the notion that being spiritual is about wearing robes, chanting mantras and meditating in a cave. “Being spiritual is being human,” he says. “And being human is about touching someone’s heart.”

Pointing to the late Mother Teresa as an example of a truly great human being, Ramesh says she once brought home a dying homeless man and bathed and cleaned him. She held his hand as he breathed his last.

“Before dying, the homeless man apparently told her: ‘I had lived my life as a pauper but I’m going to die as a king’.

The man was grateful that there was someone who loved him enough to clean him up and hold his hand on his deathbed. It is love that everyone is craving for, and not material wealth.”

It was his mother, Nivedita Joshi, who triggered his interest in spirituality. She was an ardent reader of books on this subject.

He was especially struck by a line in one book, Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. It says: “Why do you search for me when I am within you,” which he found very comforting.

Years later, when he inherited most of her books after her death, he read all of them and they opened up a whole new world of experiences for him – one that he cherishes till today.

Reference

The Divine Alchemy-A Miracle Of Sathya Saibaba

The Divine Alchemy-A Miracle Of Sathya Saibaba

Is there an end to Sathya SaiBaba’s miracles, that take place in glorious, mysterious ways?

Buzz up! A fascinating episode has been recorded in “Sai Baba: Invitation to Glory” by Howard Murphet.

There is no dearth for miracles in a Master’s prescence. Divine alchemy as we may call it, when Jesus Christ turned water to wine at Cana in Galiliee and Mosses turned the river Nile to a stream of blood in Egypt, is still a continuing story as Sathya Sai Baba turns water into petrol.

An old Sai devotee was once driving with Baba and others, just after the second World War, through the country side, heading to a religious festival. It so happened that the car car stopped mid way in want of fuel. One of the passengers knew a fuel station down the road but was not sure about the availability of petrol. The driver opted to buy petrol from somewhere nearby but since the availability was the seeming question, Swami asked him to fetch a pail of water from the house that stood less than a hundred meters from them.

When the driver returned with the bucket of water, Swami Sathya Baba played his finger on the surface of the water as those who accompanied Him stood watching silently. He then instructed the driver to pour the ‘Water-fuel’ into the petrol tank warning him not spill even a drop. Soon the Swami and the othres began to drive as the car responded to Swami’s miraculous petrol!

If this achemy could happen in Sathya Sai Baba’s physical presence, there are instances where it could happen in the absence of His bodily presence. The petrol tank of Mr. Gordon Chetty’s car, a nine seater Station Wagon, was always full miraculously! The vehicle was employed in spreading Baba’s teachings irespective of the distance. It happened eleven times in two years.

Once Mr. Gordon was in a wedding party when suddenly he was called by someone urgently to attend to the petrol spilling out of the tank. It was always a usual happening that his parked car would have its petrol tank full miraculously, and a little of the fuel overflowing. It was customary of a huge crowd, of over hundreds, watching each such miracle. At this particular happening there were about 800 spectators and twelve people who collected the overflowing petrol for their own use!

Is there anything that Grace cannot manifest?

One India Reference

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

How Sathya Sai Baba Answered The Prayer Of Sri S. N. Singh

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


How Sathya Sai Baba Answered The Prayer Of Sri S. N. Singh

Sri S. N. Singh, a successful businessman, is an ardent devotee of Bhagawan. He has had many thrilling experiences with Sathya Sai Baba, which have strengthened and solidified his faith in Him. Here is one instance of Baba infusing life and strength into Sri Singh’s mother in answer to his fervent prayers, narrated by Smt. Shakuntala Balu in her book, “Living Divinity”:

It happened in 1975 to his eighty-nine year old mother. In the first week of May, her kidneys and ankles were very swollen. Medical experts in Calcutta had attended on her, but none of them could do much to help her.

The swollen leg was nine inches wider than the other one, she could hardly eat and, for the last six weeks, she had existed on two teaspoons of barley water a day. Sri Singh was devoted to his mother who had brought him up singlehandedly as his father had died when he was only four years old.

During this desolate period, Sri Singh heard that Sri Sathya Sai Baba was to be in Bombay and he wanted very much to go there and see Him. Two days before his intended departure, his mother went into a coma. He sent a telegram to Professor Gokak (a close devotee of Baba) expressing his regrets and his inability to travel to Bombay.

That night, Sri Singh felt that worldly success, wealth and all its accoutrements were singularly useless, for they could give no succour to his sick and dying mother.

At midnight, he left his mother’s bedside and, before going to bed, prayed to Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Swami, take her away if that is your will. But, please do not make her suffer. Give her perfect health and a good appetite till the very last and give her these for two or three more months. Then, take her to your lotus feet.” A tear escaped down his cheek. He cannot remember how he finally fell asleep.

Next morning, the nurse came running to his wife, excitedly saying that her mother-in-law was sitting up in bed and asking for khichri (a dish of rice and lentil). Mrs. Singh went to her mother – in – law and said, “how can you possibly want ‘khichri? For the last six weeks you’ve been on liquids only!”

The old lady-smiled and said that Sri Sathya Sai Baba had come to her in the night with a rope in His hand (such as is used for swings) which He swung about playfully and had said, “eat well and get well. . .. I will take you, when the time comes.” Then He had vanished.

She said that as soon as she woke up that morning, she felt absolutely well and quite hungry, so she asked the nurse to fetch some khichri. The mother’s condition improved so suddenly that the doctors were taken aback. There was no more need to keep her on a liquid diet. She ate well, very nourishing and even rich food. She could even relish all her favourite foods like makki roti (cornflour bread)!

Although the doctors continued to be mystified, the family was very relleved and happy. Though the old lady had not realized the extent of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s omnipresence and omniscience, Sri Singh attributed her remarkable recovery entirely to Him.

Later, when Sri Singh was in Puttaparthi, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said to him, “I got your two telegrams.”

Sri Singh said, “Swami, I sent only one, to Professor Gokak, about not being able to go to Bombay.”

“What about the second telegram from your heart?” He asked, touching Sri Singh’s chest.

Sri Singh was overwhelmed. Yes, it was true, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had heard even that silent and tearful nocturnal prayer he had addressed to Him about his mother’s suffering!

Reference: “Living Divinity” by Shakuntala Balu. Page: 231-232. Published by S. B. Publications, Bangalore, 1983.

Cultural Program by Sathya Sai Devotees From Kuwait

Allah

Allah

Cultural Program by Sathya Sai Devotees From Kuwait
Faith and Surrender

Sathya Sai Baba devotees from Kuwait presented a skit entitled ‘Faith & Surrender’, a drama based on the power of Prayer. There is a devout Muslim searching a good match for his daughter. In his daily interactions with the shopkeeper of the local grocery store, he discovers the power of prayer. The episode narrated here is of a very pious but poor lady who begs for food at the store. When the shopkeeper mockingly tells her that he would give her provisions equivalent to the weight of her shopping list, she takes the name of Allah and places the list on the scales. The scales get “tipped” so heavily in favour of the one taking the Lord’s name that no amount of provisions seems to move the weighing balance! With the Lord’s name, nothing is impossible. And so with the Lord’s name on his lips, the devout Muslim is able to find a good match for his daughter. That lad is also devout and hardworking and helps a music teacher, Rammohan, to run his music classes.

Some years after their wedding, on the holy day of Eid Ul-Fitr, a begger comes to their house and asks for alms. The protagonist argues with his wife that charity comes above family and his wife reluctantly parts with the food. He convinces her that Allah will take care of them and that she should not loose her faith. Before he could complete his sentence, a guest appears with lot of sweets for all of them to celebrate Eid and the wife regrets that she let her motherly anxiety overcome her faith.. Finally, there were simple dances and songs in praise of Bhagawan.

As the programme concluded, Bhagawan called a little girl (one of the children in the story) and materialised a gold chain for her and put it lovingly around her neck. He also blessed them posing for group photographs. Bhagawan then permitted them to sing bhajans. Very creatively and nicely, they sang Bhajans, each threaded into the other. After the singing went on for about 15 minutes, Bhagawan blessed the prasadam to be distributed and then retired after receiving Aarthi.

Reference (With Pictures)

RadioSai: This evening, devotees from Kuwait presented a musical drama and a bhajan medley. They were seated in the centre of Sai Kulwant Hall with their green scarves, with a picture of a mosque as a backdrop when Swami came for darshan. After Bhagawan reached the stage, the programme got underway at 4.50 pm. Children acted out the drama while the songs were sung by the older devotees. Swami came down from the stage to take pictures with the group, and when He returned onstage, the devotees sang Sarva Dharma bhajans in medley style, with no gaps between bhajans. After fifteen minutes of the Bhajan medley, Swami accepted Arati and returned to His residence.

Americans Believe In Miracles, Heaven, Power Of Prayer

Faith & Belief

Faith & Belief


Americans Believe In Miracles, Heaven, Power Of Prayer
Jun 23, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Around three-quarters of Americans believe in miracles, more Americans believe in heaven than in hell, and nearly six in 10 pray every day, a report based on a survey of 35,000 US adults showed Monday.

Of those who pray regularly, around a third — 31 percent — say God answers their prayers at least once a month, and one in five Americans said they receive direct answers to prayer requests at least once a week, the report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said.

Seventy-four percent of those surveyed for the report, called the US Religious Landscape Survey, said they believed in heaven as a place where people who have led good lives are rewarded, while only around six in 10 believed in hell, where unrepentant evil-doers languish in eternal punishment.

The report reflected the changing face of the US religious landscape and also the diversity of belief among Americans, Pew researchers said.

“Once upon a time, belief in heaven and hell were very closely related and in many people’s views were two sides of the same coin,” John Greene, a senior research fellow at Pew, told a telephone news conference.

“That does not seem to be the case any more. Many more people believe in heaven than believe in hell,” he said, surmising that Americans today view God as “someone who is merciful, generous and forgiving” rather than as “a judge who punishes people.”

Nearly eight in 10 American adults (79 percent) believe that miracles occur, the survey, conducted between May and August last year, showed.

But perhaps most striking in the report was the near unanimous belief in God, held by more than nine out of 10 Americans.

“While this survey finds that more than nine in 10 Americans believe in the existence of God or a universal spirit, it also shows that there are considerable differences in the nature of this belief,” Pew research fellow Greg Smith said.

“Six in 10 adults believe God is a person with whom people can have a relationship, but one in four, including about half of Jews and Hindus, see God as an impersonal force,” he said.

Oddly, one in five of those who identified themselves as atheists in the survey said they believe in God.

“It may very well be that they don’t really know what atheist means. It sounds good so they answered it; we call that measurement error,” Greene said.

“But this also shows us the complicated way that people think about their faith. Many people who identify as atheists may not be telling us they don’t believe in God, but that they don’t like organized religion,” he said.

“In addition to having atheists who say they believe in God, we have people who say they are very committed to a religious tradition but don’t believe in God,” he added.

“There is a lot of complexity in American religion,” Greene summarized.

The survey also showed that religious affiliation tends to translate into social and political leanings.

“Mormons and members of evangelical churches tend to be more conservative in their political ideology, while Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists tend to be more politically liberal than the population overall,” the report says.

As the United States gears up to elect a new president in November, that translates to the simple fact that “there are votes to be had by the Democratic and Republican candidates by making appeals to religious groups,” said Greene.

Pew issued a first report, based on information gathered in the survey, in February this year.

That report, which focussed on the impact of immigrant flows on the religious landscape of the United States, predicted that Protestants would no longer be in the majority in the United States by the middle of this century.

“While native-born Protestants outnumber Catholics by two to one, among immigrants, Catholics outnumber Protestants by the same ratio,” Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said when the first report was released.

“So even though immigration is by and large confirming the Christian social nature of the American people, it is helping to tilt the balance towards Catholicism,” he said.

Reference