Am I Not Your Father?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Am I Not Your Father?
Experience from the garden of Love

There was one classmate of mine whose father died during his childhood itself. Swami had told his mother that He would look after the boy and his elder brother, who was and is still working at Parthi. He then called this classmate of mine and told him: “From now, I am your father. If you need anything, you should ask me and not trouble your brother or mother.”

A few days passed after the first semester of our first year was over. Most of the students were going home and my classmate too wanted to go and see his mother. But he did not have money for the ticket. He asked his elder brother who too expressed his inability to spare any money at that point of time. The boy was distressed, but did not tell anyone. Even we could see that he was slowly getting withdrawn in the room (he was my roommate too.).

In those days, Swami would call all the students to sit right from the bhajan door once bhajans started. Swami would keep moving in and out of the bhajan hall on several rounds of darshan.

One such day, He had just come and sat down on the throne and was looking at us as we rushed to sit from the front. He then suddenly got up and went into the interview room door. He then signaled to my classmate to follow Him. When my classmate came out 5 minutes later, he was weeping. Later on in the room, he told us what happened.

Swami had called him inside and asked him: “I told you that if you need anything you should ask me. Why did you go and trouble your brother? I know you want to go home and see your mother. You should have asked me. Am I not your father? Why do you then hesitate to ask me what you want?” He then gave him money for the ticket and spending and then told him to go and enjoy his holidays.

And the surprising thing was, my classmate never told anyone about what was eating him from within. Swami just knew!

-Related by a Sai student


Time For A Break

Time For A Break

Ng And Siew Lean Kong

Ng And Siew Lean Kong

To some Malaysian families, Chinese New Year is not about traditional get-togethers or merrymaking. Rather, it’s the time to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend quality family time in a foreign destination, writes SHANTI GUNARATNAM

THE wind of change is blowing towards many age-old traditions, particularly spending the lunar new year in the homes of matriarchs and patriarchs.

Instead of returning home to spend Chinese New Year with their parents, in-laws and relatives, many are packing and heading for some exotic destinations.

In the case of Billy Fong, his idea of a good Chinese New Year holiday is to spend time in Puttaparthi, north Bangalore, India, with his spiritual guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

But Fong, who owns his own seminar consulting firm, will not be alone on this annual trip.

His wife, two children and some 400 members of the various Sathya Sai Baba organisations will be joining him, as in the previous years.

In Puttaparthi, which is transformed into Chinatown during the festive season by the hundreds of Chinese who converge there from all over the world, is one big happy place to be during the lunar new year.

The whole place will be decorated with cherry blossoms, ang pow packets. lights and lanterns, filled with activities such dragon and lion dances, plays and dramas and fantastic vegetarian meals, all prepared by the devotees themselves.

“Puttaparthi is a wonderful place to be during Chinese New Year because of the activities there. We learn so much about the importance of filial piety and values from Sai Baba himself” says Fong.

“We never miss home and the lunar new year celebrations when we are in Puttaparthi.”

Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi, which has the capacity to house thousands of devotees, is called Prashanti Nilayam.

Fong and his family often spend three to four days in Puttaparthi before returning home to continue with the Chinese New Year festivities in Malaysia with their family and friends.

Stressing the importance of filial piety and values, Fong says he goes home to Penang one or two days before Chinese New Year to have the reunion dinner and spend the first day of the lunar year with his octogenarian father and siblings before leaving for India on the second day.

Spending time with his father, he says, is just as important as his trip to Puttaparthi.

“I leave for India only after fulfilling my obligations to my father and siblings.”

For printing shop proprietor Ng Kai Ling, it doesn’t make much of a difference if she misses her family’s reunion dinner or spending the first few days of the lunar new year with her relatives and friends.

More importantly, spending time with her husband and daughter in a faraway land is very crucial to her.

“The Chinese New Year holidays are the only time we can spend time together as a family,” says Ng, who this year will be going to Harbin in northeast China for eight days.

“At no other time during the year will my husband, daughter and I will be able to go away together because someone has to look after the business.

What fun will it be if we cannot get away for the holidays as a family, at least once a year. We really look forward to the Chinese New Year holidays.”

China is the family’s preferred holiday destination because they enjoy its culture, food, hospitality of the mainlanders and the shopping.

Ng and her family, who started travelling 10 years with their first trip to Disneyland in Los Angeles, have also gone on holidays to Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand and numerous trips to China.

“The Chinese New year celebrations in China are no different from Malaysia. However, they only celebrate it on the first two days of the lunar instead of 15 days, unlike how it’s done in Malaysia.

We don’t feel guilty about not joining the reunion dinner because both sides of our families are in Kuala Lumpur. If we want to have reunion dinners, we can do it every weekend.”

The New Straights Time Online Reference

Sai Spiritual Showers – Issue 74

Sathya Sai Baba Silence - Sailence

Sathya Sai Baba Silence - Sailence

Right behind the darkness of closed eyes are the wondrous forces of the universe, and all the great saints; and the endlessness of the universe…wrote Paramahamsa Yogananda speaking about the beauty of silence. Yes, it is …for the world of spirituality is the world behind the closed eyes that brings the innate divinity. For the bestowed brand of Sai Fraternity, ‘Sailence’ is the best of the boons offered by the Avatar of the age, writes Prof. N. Kasturi on the magic behind the silence in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, as published in Sanathana Sarathi, May 1977.

‘Sai’- lence
“Silence” is a word included in dictionaries of the English language. According to the lexicographers, it means: “Absence of sound; abstention from sounding; taciturnity; flavourlessness.” It is a negative phenomenon, a vacuum where something is not, an exercise in denial, an adventure of withholding. We abstain from speech when fear benumbs the tongue, when shock puts the brain out of action, when passion overwhelms, and when authority commands. At birth, we swallow a gasp; at death, we hide a groan. We weigh the pros and the cons and when reason tells us that ‘silence is golden and speech is gilt’ we lapse into silence and pride ourselves on our cleverness. Often, the words we have are trivial currency for the massive transactions in which we are involved and so, we are forced into silence! We speak of the ‘silence’ of the tomb; dead men tell no tales. We speak of the ‘silence’ of snow clad peaks, where a whisper might trail off an avalanche. We speak of the awesome silence on the moon where a whimper commits suicide on the lip. We speak of the ‘silence’ of the desert, for, we believe that the vast waste is devoid of the murmur of leaves, the chatter of birds, the gurgle of rills, and the inquisitive dialogues of insects. We speak of the silence of the ocean bed, where no echo can be heard of the roar of waves, or the grunts, squeaks and squeals of aquatic folks. But, when all is said that can be said about “Silence” it is but flavourless, as the dictionary says. It is but a temporary manacle on the mouth, a some time relief for the ear, a poetic fantasy falsified by facts, a dream of anaemics disgusted with shrieks and shouts.

Let us turn to Sailence! This word is not found in dictionaries. No lexicographer has commented on it. For, it is too ethereal to be swaddled in syllables, too fine and filamental to be voiced about in vocabularies. It is a positive state of mental peace; it is a vibrant experience of individuals; it is a valued treasure; it is far richer and fuller than Silence; it is a reward eagerly sought for; it is a possession highly valued; it is an achievement won by Sadhana.

When the pilgrim leaves behind him the higgle haggle of the bazaar and enters the temple, when he passes through the pillared halls, the painted corridors and sculptured mantaps, when he picks his way through the dim lit passages and steps, and stands before the Inner Shrine, he is greeted by the Sailence, in the presence of Embodied Infinity. Sai is all the Gods before whom man bows, kneels or prostrates. He greets with His Grace all pilgrims in all lands in all ages.

When you proceed through any spoke, to take shelter from the gyrations of circumferential existence to the axis, where calm prevails and Sailence reigns, it is Sai, the All comprehensive Will, Intelligence, Existence, and Bliss that welcomes you and enfolds you in invigorating Love. Sailence is the home where all children of Sai find rest when, tired of the game of worldly life, they run to the lap of the Mother. It is the home in the region beyond A, U and M, beyond the bounds of wakefulness, dream and sleep. It lies where the Pranava fades into the faintest of fancy. Sailence is the height to which the soul climbs when it yearns to reach the cloud from which it fell on its way to the sea of Grace where it was born.

We get a foretaste of the Bliss that Sailence. Is, when we sit face to face with Sai, communing with Him in the language of the Heart, intent on offering the little ‘i’ to the parent ‘I’ that He is. Those who have installed Sathya Sai Baba in their hearts can immerse themselves in that effulgent Sailence, even when they are engaged in the tasks of daily life. Like the fishes that come up every few minutes to fill their lungs with life-giving air, they can, through the inner compulsion of Love, dive into that Sailent pool in their hearts and draw sustenance and salvation there from. They can assert, “In Sai we live and move and have our being. In Sailence, we grow and thrive and find our meaning and worth.” May that Sailence be the dynamo that activates us into Lamps of Love and Sources of Light.