By The Editor, Sai Sandesh, Om Sai Mandir, Sai Mandir in Queens, Flushing, NY
Baba is the Master of the Universe and whenever He does something, it is always very simple, loving, and inspirational. In His own unique way, He establishes conciliation between two individuals even if they were at war with one another just a few moments back. Basically, Baba’s message is very simple: He wants us to love and serve everyone without any form of discrimination. Love and serve everyone! That is all He wants us to do. The rest He will handle.
We are humans, though, and differences inevitably crop up between individuals and even an avatar has to handle such issues. Talk about conflict resolution. Baba resolves conflicts in a witty, gentle, and yet masterful manner. Doing so, He brings out beautiful moral lessons for all to follow. We are presenting four real-life examples wherein Baba tactfully diffused conflicts among His children.
Treat women with respect, love them as receptacles of the Divine Mother’s energy
Once, mavsibai, an elderly lady in Shirdi, and Anna, a senior male were both massaging Baba as a form of seva. The lady was on the right side of the Lord, while Anna was on the left. As it so happened while shampooing Baba’s hands, they were both in close proximity and mavsibai, being humorous by nature, made a casual remark: “Oh, this Anna is a lewd (bad) fellow, he wants to kiss me. Even being so old with grey hair he feels no shame in kissing me.” This remark enraged Anna and he started screaming at the elderly lady. Baba did not lose the opportunity to pacify both of them and said, “Oh Anna, why are you unnecessarily raising this hue and cry? I do not understand what harm or impropriety is there, when the mother is kissed?”
Not only did Baba pacify both parties, He also brought out a beautiful lesson. It is only right to treat women with respect and adoration. If men learn to view women as their own mothers and treat them with respect, many of the modern world’s problems will be eliminated.
Do not have attachment to things; attach yourself only to God
Ramadasi was a follower of the saint Ramadas and Baba. During his visit to Shirdi, he would often sit in one place and read holy books. Despite his practices, his mind was constantly agitated and he was very attached to his earthly possessions. Baba wanted to set him right and benefit both him and others and so once Baba devised a strange play. As the Ramadasi sat to read his scriptures in Baba’s presence, Baba said that He was having intense stomach pain and therefore the Ramadasi should go to the market and fetch a certain herb (Senna Pods). The Ramadasi rushed to get the medicine. As he left, Baba took one of the books on Vishnu Sahasranam and granted them to Shama, another devotee of Baba. When Ramadasi returned, he learnt about what had transpired and flew into a rage. He took Shama to task and blamed him for using Baba as an instrument to acquire one of his favorite books. Nothing appeared to pacify him when Baba spoke calmly: “Oh Ramadasi, what is the matter with you? Why are you so turbulent? Is not Shama our boy? Why do you scold him unnecessarily. How is it that you are so quarrelsome? Can you not speak soft and sweet words? You read daily these sacred books and still your mind is impure and your passions uncontrolled. What sort of a Ramadasi you are! You ought to be indifferent to all things. Is it not strange that you should covet this book so strongly? A true Ramadasi should have no ‘mamata’ (attachment) but have ‘samata’ (equality) towards all. You are now quarreling with the boy Shama for a mere book. Go, take your seat, books can be had in plenty for money, but not men; think well and be considerate. What worth is your book? Shama had no concern with it. I took it up Myself and gave it to him. You know it by heart. I thought Shama might read it and profit thereby, and so I gave to it him.”
Baba’s words had a magical effect and the Ramadasi calmed down instantly.
Not only did Baba benefit Shama by granting him a very precious scripture, He also taught the Ramadasi to be detached, calm, and devoted. How remarkable were Baba’s methods of correcting His beloved children.
Learn to get along
When we go to a holy place, we often forget the very reason why we went there. Our purpose should be to focus on God, but inevitably we get entangled in human follies. The same happened to a lady in Puttaparthi. As she was seated in the darshan line, she was treated rudely by one of the volunteers at the ashram. The volunteer was simply trying to manage the large crowd but this devotee was sensitive and took the admonishment to heart. She wanted to react but didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, she was called for an interview that day and as soon as she was in Baba’s presence, she wanted to complain about that rude volunteer’s behavior.
Voila! What an opportunity! She decided to let it all out, forgetting completely that she was in God’s presence. What a precious chance to seek liberation, but instead she decided to express how she was treated rudely. So, when she got the opportunity, she rushed to Baba and told Him everything about the volunteer. Baba was very calm. On one hand was a daughter who was visiting Him and on the other hand was a volunteer who was residing in the ashram. Could the Lord take sides? Nay! So, what could He do to pacify both His daughters. Baba handled the situation in His own unique way and whispered in the lady’s ears, “I too am afraid of her.” What could the complainant do? She burst into laughter and realized her folly.
We are all different as human beings. Each has their own personality. When possible, we must learn to get along with each other. If not possible, then simply avoid the other person’s presence. Why quarrel and upset ourselves?
Don’t speak bad about others
We often forget that there is God in everyone. As it so happened, two brothers developed differences between each other and their dislike turned into intense hatred toward each other. On one occasion, one of the brothers spoke the most horrible things about his brethren. Baba, who was passing that way, pointed to a pig and said, “Behold how, with what relish it is gorging dung. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart’s content. After performing many deeds of merit, you are born a man, and if you act like this, will Shirdi help you in any way?”
It is true. Whenever someone speaks ill about us, they eat away our karmas with their own tongue. Why should we get the same bad karma by talking ill about others. Leave others to their own means and let us focus on the Lord Himself. He will surely liberate us.