Sai Sandesh Volume
5, Issue 10; Oct 2008
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Baba is Always
Swami Knows but
He Waits for the Right Time
The Royal Road
How Das Ganu was
Experiences with Baba
Aspirant Should Have
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Baba is Always Watching Us
By The Sai Sandesh Team
In the Sai Satcharita, Baba has declared
the following words:
"Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose. Remember this well that
all that you do is known to me. Seated in your hearts, I am the inner
ruler of all. I envelope all the creatures, the movable and immovable
world. I am the controller, the wirepuller of the show of this universe.
I am the mother, origin of all beings-the harmony of three gunas, the
propeller of all senses, the creator, preserver, and destroyer. Nothing
will harm him, who turns his attention toward Me, but maya will lash or
whip him who forgets Me. All the insects, ants, the visible, movable,
and immovable world are My body or form."
The truth of these words has been experienced by countless devotees who
have benefited from Baba's constant protection and grace.
It is easy to be misled into performing wrong actions by assuming that
Baba is not physically present and is hence not watching, but this mis-perception
is soon proven wrong when Baba manifests His glory. Once, a devotee was
visiting Shirdi. After taking Baba's leave, he was misguided by some
village rebels into visiting a woman whose morals and reputation were
questionable. The meeting started with conversations behind closeted
doors but as soon as the man was about to fall into moral perdition, the
doors flung open and Baba stood there warning the devotee not to indulge
in the immoral act. Baba's timely warning had saved the devotee from
what was to be a sure downfall.
A student in Swami's school in Puttparthi was deluded similarly and he
gave in to the temptation of smoking. According the school's code of
conduct and Swami's teachings, drinking, smoking, gambling, and other
immoral activities are strictly prohibited so this student went to
another village and hid behind thick bushes to smoke a cigarette. He
came out thinking no one had seen this and joined school as if nothing
had happened. When he was attending classes that afternoon, Swami
suddenly walked into his class and without losing any time, He said that
someone in that class had smoked that day. Everyone was dumbfounded.
Swami then looked straight into the eyes of the boy who was guilty and
asked him why he had smoked. Out of fear and embarrassment, he denied
the allegation. Swami then waved His divine hand and on the blackboard a
visual appeared miraculously.
As if watching a movie, all could see in precise detail the course of
events that had occurred that day. Swami waved His hand again and the
visual vanished as mysteriously as it appeared. The student was
remorseful and immediately fell at Swami's feet. The merciful Lord
granted forgiveness but warned everyone that none could escape his
all-pervading eyes. Needless to say the warning was well-taken.
Baba uses different ways and means to warn each of us. One gentleman
from South India, Bhaskar, for example, was in New York for some
official business. He was a staunch devotee of Krishna but one day he,
too, was momentarily led astray and decided to visit an unholy place.
Just as he was about to enter the place, he saw saffron-clad devotees
chanting the holy name "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna". This was enough to
help him regain his senses and he realized what a disastrous mistake he
was about to perpetrate. This awakening sent chills through his spine
and he left the area immediately.
The truth is that Baba is constantly watching us. Through our inner
voice, He is constantly asking us to refrain from following bad ways.
Unfortunately, most of us prefer to shut this voice out or ignore it
completely. Instead of following Baba's guidance, we choose to pursue
the whims of our never-ending desires, only to suffer undesirable and
often harmful consequences later in life. If we pay attention to God's
principles, however, our lives will be filled with bliss and happiness.
All are children of God. He is the sole
Lord of mankind. People may seem to differ in their names and forms and
in their beliefs and practices. But the source is the One alone.
Recognition of this basic truth of oneness is Brahmajnana (Knowledge of
the Absolute). This knowledge cannot be gained by merely studying the
scriptures and holding metaphysical discussions. What has to be
recognised is the truth that every being in the universe is an
embodiment of the Supreme. Awareness of the unity that subsumes the
diversity is the highest knowledge. -- Baba
Thought for the Day, Prashanti Nilayam, Oct. 01, 2008
Swami Knows but He Waits
for the Right Time!
The Sai Sandesh Team
It is sheer ignorance to praise ourselves
for achievements that materialize on account of God's grace and even
greater ignorance to blame God for events that occur due to our mistakes
and mis-steps. It is very easy to blame God whom we conceive as hiding
behind the curtain of maya. Little do we realize that it is in our hands
to raise this curtain and behold the Great Lord of this universe. Yet,
we prefer to play helpless victims and lazily await someone else to do
it for us. When we are surrounded by difficulties, we pray for succor.
God's heart is like a big call center operation. All our requests and
prayers are registered instantly but the response manifests when the
time is "right". Don’t doubt it.
One of Swami's students was suffering from severe asthma. He would often
suffer from attacks that would leave him lifeless for hours at a
stretch. The student would pray for relief every single day, but to no
avail. Swami would just smile and walk away as if He didn't know what
the child was asking for. One day, the suffering became unbearable. He
was so angry at what he thought was Baba's indifference that he decided
to teach Baba a lesson. When he was experiencing an asthmatic attack, he
took a piece of cloth and forcefully held it against Baba's portrait. He
angrily said, "See how it feels." That day, Baba came straight to the
boy and held his hand very tightly. Suddenly, Swami started experiencing
an asthma attack. The boy realized that the Lord had taken the illness
upon Himself but couldn't do anything to release himself from Baba's
grip. (Who can?) He helplessly watched his Lord suffer. Tears rolled
from his eyes. Finally, after two minutes, Baba resumed his normal state
and smiled. According to the boy’s karmas, he was destined to suffer for
two decades but since Baba had suffered the pain on his behalf for two
minutes, the asthma would never bother him again.
The truth is that Baba knows our pain and suffering, but He waits for
the right moment to accomplish ten things at one time. There was a very
devoted husband and wife team who came to realize this truth. The wife
had taken to a serious illness and was confined to bed in a
vegetable-like condition. Despite their grief, they had faith in Baba.
One day, Baba told the husband, "I will heal her just like that." Baba
then snapped His fingers. The wife's condition did not show any
immediate improvement but they did not lose hope. The husband was
working a full time job and also managed housework. One morning, he was
awakened by some noises from the kitchen. He rushed to see and was
surprised to find his wife making coffee. She explained that Baba had
appeared in their house that day and He snapped his fingers. With the
snap, she was cured. Their patience had paid.
Speaking of patience, I recall the experience of one devotee who was
paralyzed for eight long years. This person was so faithful to Baba, he
would come for darshan every single day and sit quietly until Swami
would leave the hall. For eight years, Swami did not speak with Him nor
give Him any assurance or benediction. This did not bother the
gentleman, however, for he loved Baba dearly. One day, a group of
visitors from the devotee's country arrived to see Swami. Baba invited
them for an interview and asked this gentleman to walk to the interview
room as well. Some people tried to explain Baba that the devotee was
paralyzed and could not move. Baba insisted, however, and ordered
sternly, "Get up, walk, and go to the interview room." These words were
enough to work out a miracle. For the first time in eight years, the man
mustered enough courage to move his legs. He slowly rose from the chair
that had almost become a part of his body for eight years and paced a
little with fumbling steps. Within seconds he felt as if he had regained
his lost vitality and he walked to the interview room like a normal
person would. Baba had cured him in the wink of an eye.
Sometimes, Baba's instant response may not serve our best interests so
Baba waits for the appropriate moment. There was an ardent follower of
Baba who wanted to invite Swami for his daughter's wedding. With a
beautifully decorated invitation card, this devotee waited for Swami to
come out that day. Much to his disappointment, Baba ignored him cold and
walked away as if He had not seen the devotee at all. This indifference
was enough to break the tender heart of this innocent man and he burst
into uncontrollable grief. "How could my Lord ignore me?" That was the
uppermost thought in his mind. After some time, as he was about to leave
a volunteer came running to him and said, "Swami is calling you." When
he approached Baba, the Lord held his hands and said, "You want me to
attend your daughter's wedding, right? Swami knows. Swami knows. Don't
lose heart, I did not accept your invitation earlier because at that
time it was Rahu Kalam (inauspicious time). Had I accepted, there would
be obstacles in the wedding. Now, the time is right."
We have become so accustomed to instant dinners and to the fallacy of
making things happen at the push of a button, we have lost the virtue of
patience. Our vision is very narrow and we often fail to grasp the big
picture that is known only to God. God waits for the right time for a
reason, for our own good, for our long-term happiness. Shraddha (faith)
and Saburi (patience) are the twin foundations of spiritual discipline
that Sai Baba advised his followers to practice. The joy is in the
journey, not the destination. Have faith, be patient.
The Royal Road to God
An average man consumes about four
meals a day and a minimum of ten to twenty gallons of water
every single day. Over a period of one year that would be 1,440
meals and 3,600 to 7,200 gallons of water. Multiply that by the
average lifespan of man and the figure becomes astonishingly
large. Add to that so many other resources that man uses for the
purpose of his daily existence. Yet, in return for all these
gifts from God, man does nothing for the welfare of others, and
continues living for the fulfillment of his own desires.
Even an earthworm fertilizes the soil in which it lives and thus
makes the job of the farmer easier. A tree, though inert,
provides shade and fruits to one and all without any distinction
or favoritism. Imagine, if these lower forms of life can do so
much for others, how much more can man, the true acme of God's
creation, do. The glory of selfless service is illustrated by
the following story.
In an ancient land, a single mother and her children were living
amidst unbearable material hardships. The mother would toil day
and night to provide for the little ones and would not hesitate
to sacrifice even her blood for the sake of her children. Most
of her children would busy themselves in play and merriment and
pay very little attention to the mother's hardships. The
youngest child, though little in years, could perceive the
sincerity of his mother's service and would often try to help
her with his little hands. Carrying small pebbles for her,
dusting off a few sheets, nursing his siblings-he would perform
whatever small tasks he could. The mother would often ask him to
go and join other children but he would insist on helping her
and say, "My sweet mother, let me to do this small service for
your sake. I know it may not be much, but it is my humble effort
to be useful."
Even without his help, the mother was capable of fulfilling her
obligations, but the little boy's sincere love touched her heart
and she would often caress him with utmost affection. Their bond
became stronger and due to her blessings, he developed wonderful
qualities and gained fair renown worldwide. All his progress was
the fruit of his sincerity and selfless service.
This entire creation is like God's home and Sai is like the
selfless mother He is forever engaged in taking care of all of
us. Despite all the troubles of maintaining the creation
(trouble, when viewed from the author's limited vision), He
continues to selflessly serve all of us. There is so much work
in His house, so many children who need help, so many problems
plaguing an otherwise beautiful planet. If we could just learn
something from the little boy and do our bit to serve God,
wouldn't He be so touched with these little attempts. They need
not be big works or gigantic enterprises; whatever little we can
do with our limited capacities. It is the noble feeling that
touches God's heart.
It was because of such noble feelings that an old villager,
though illiterate, was able to win Vivekananda's grace.
Vivekananda would often undertake long and arduous journeys in
order to spread the message of God. During one of his tours, he
was discoursing in a village. Masses would gather to hear what
the young saint had to say and people would often be spellbound
for hours together. Vivekananda, too, would discourse tirelessly
from dawn to dusk. This went on for several days.
Once, when everyone had left after the discourse, an old man
approached Vivekananda and said, "Son, I have been noticing that
for the past few days you have been exerting so much energy for
our sake. You speak for so many hours so that we may benefit,
yet none in the village offered you either food or water. You
must be hungry, my child. I may not have much to offer because I
am very poor but if you will accept even a few crumbs from me, I
would be very grateful to you." It was true. Vivekananda had not
eaten for days together and he was quietly suffering for the
sake of others. Yet, none could notice this sacrifice except
this villager, who was labeled "illiterate". Despite his lack of
worldly learning, he was suffused with the spirit of service.
Vivekananda was very touched by the man's humble request and
accepted his hospitality with utmost reverence. How blessed was
the old man to have the opportunity to serve none other than
Vivekananda. It was truly the man's spirit of selflessness and
service that had won him the rare opportunity to be blessed by
such a great saint.
Great saints and sages after years of intense penance and
enlightenment often come down to the world of ordinary men to
perform selfless service. After all their penance they come to
the conclusion that we are all one and that service to man is
service to God. How much more fortunate are those individuals
who undertake selfless service from the very beginning itself.
Such selfless service is indeed the highest form of penance.
Other forms of prayer and sacrifice may or may not win God's
grace. May or may not secure enlightenment but selfless acts, no
matter how small, will surely win God's grace. Seva is the royal
road to God and how fortunate are we that Swami, though his own
life, has taught us this maxim. Even God, as Sai Baba, is
serving fellow man. What a wonderful lesson for us, what a
beautiful royal road to reach God and win His highest grace.
Ganges Worships Baba!
By The Sai Sandesh Team
On one occasion, streams of water
suddenly started rushing through the streets of Puttaparthi. The
water was flowing in an orderly fashion, as if directed by an
invisible force. The scared villagers rushed to the gates of
Prashanti Nilayam and sought protection from their beloved Lord.
Would the Lord ignore a sincere heartfelt plea? Never! Out came
the Lord who was smiling and offering abhaya hasta mudra
(blessing hand posture assuring fearlessness and protection). He
immediately climbed on the rooftop and made signs as if ordering
the waters to retract quickly.
He then came to the gates of the ashram and stood there waiting
for something to happen. The stream quickly touched His lotus
feet at which Swami said, "My Dear Ganga, I hope you are
satisfied to have my padnamaskar (rare opportunity to touch
God's feet). Now, return quickly. My children are scared." No
sooner had Swami said these words, the water began to reverse
its path and water levels receded immediately. How glorious is
How Das Ganu Was
Das Ganu was one of the foremost
apostles of Shirdi Sai Baba. Through him, Baba's message was
spread to countless devotees across several states in India. On
one occasion, Das Ganu wanted to visit Prayag, the confluence of
holy rivers. Before leaving, Ganu paid a visit to his master,
Sai Baba, in order to seek his permission and blessings.
On seeing Ganu, the omniscient Sai said, "Our Prayag is right
here." Unable to understand the significance of these words, Das
Ganu quietly prostrated at Baba's feet. As soon as he touched
Baba's feet, a marvelous miracle manifested. From Baba's toes,
streams of water started flowing profusely. The emanating water
bathed both Ganu's body and soul and he immediately burst forth
into a poetic recitation. This was a mighty miracle, one that
none had witnessed before. All were astounded. The realization
sunk in that all holy rivers, holy places of pilgrimage, all
incarnations and saints, reside constitute but a tiny fraction
of Baba's feet. The real greatness of Sai is unknown to us, but
we are all very fortunate to have the opportunity to worship and
My Recent Experiences
with Baba By Mayank Saxena, NY
A few nights back Baba literally
saved our family's home. I put some food in the toaster oven,
and went to watch some television. I usually come every two to
three minutes to check and make sure the food would not be
overcooked or burned. However, this time I fell asleep.
It must have been no more than five minutes. I immediately
sprang to my feet and rushed to the kitchen. Just like they show
on TV shows, the entire top half of my kitchen was filled with
dark-gray smoke. Glancing over towards the toaster oven, to my
horror, I saw it was on fire. I rushed towards it, opened it,
and gave one blow and the flamed subsided.
I then opened all the doors and windows, and inspected to make
sure no damage was done. It took me a good few moments to
realize the severity of what had just happened. The toaster oven
was on fire. The kitchen was full of dark, poisonous smoke.
There was a window drapery just adjacent to the toaster oven.
All these were the recipe for the ultimate disaster. And to top
it off, I foolishly blew onto the fire, when I should have used
our emergency fire extinguisher to combat the blaze.
Then I realized - it was Baba who calmed the fire. The flame was
not so grand in size, but not negligible either. It was a good
one-half to one feet high. My mere blowing on it instantaneously
extinguished the fire. It shrunk in a matter of two seconds,
without threatening to flare up. I recalled the incidence in the
Sat Charita of how Baba calmed the storm in Shirdi which
terrorized and frightened the villagers. The turbulent storm
dissipated more and more as Shirdi Baba struck his stick onto
the ground - ordering the rain and thunder to disperse.
Baba need not appear in human form to save His devotees. Though
He requires no medium nor instrument to help His devotees, His
lodge in my heart and home elucidated to me how Baba can pull
His devotees out from the jaws of death. Such is the power of
Baba. Anothr experience.
Just two weeks back was the beginning of the new semester at my
college. I was anxious as this was my very last semester before
graduating, and I wanted to make sure I was enrolled in the
final classes required to file for my graduation audit. As with
many people's summer - I was involved in traveling overseas and
entertaining relatives from abroad. Because of that, I
registered late for my classes, but with Baba's grace, I was
accepted into all the classes I needed in order to graduate.
Right before college started, I glanced down at my schedule and
realized I had made a terrible mistake. Though I was registered
and accepted into all the required classes, I foolishly chose an
Economics course for Thursday evening... the day I usually come
to volunteer for Baba at the Om Sai Mandir.
I realized how difficult it would be to change to another class.
The Economics Department at my college is known for being very
bureaucratic and strict in policies, especially to class
registration. All my friends said to give up and just take this
one class and get done with it.
But how could I? Up to four months or more without serving Baba,
it was unfathomable for me.
The next morning I called the Economics Department, and they
said I would have to come in next week during advising hours.
However, I did not have much time. Each day was another class I
would miss. In a desperate attempt, I e-mailed one adviser,
hoping they would grant me permission to change.
"Sorry, you have to wait until next semester." I was
disheartened. I tried the second. Same response. I tried my luck
with the third and last adviser, and came to the same road
block. Perhaps Baba destined for me to take this class at this
time - after all, everything He does is for our benefit.
Before retreating to my laborious studies, I copied and pasted
my desperate plea to the Chair of the Department. I looked
towards Baba's picture, sighed, and simply left it to His loving
hands. I did not mind - I could always return when I graduated.
When I returned to check my e-mail in a few hours - lo and
behold! An expedient response from the Chair! Unbeknown to me, I
read the e-mail in utter astonishment. A simple sentence "Okay,
you have been granted permission."
The head of one of the most bureaucratic and stringent
departments in my college casually granted me permission! It was
I laughed. I laughed and looked towards Baba and smiled. He has
His own way in aiding His devotees. Though we may think of one
means to an ends, it is His will that ultimately decides. could
now return and serve my Baba. How happy Baba made me feel. He is
always with His devotees.
A Spiritual Aspirant
Should Have --Source: Oka Chinna Katha
A certain spiritual aspirant went
to a sage and asked him to give him a mantra. The sage said that
he would impart the message only if the disciple agreed to serve
him for twelve years, carrying out all his injunctions. The
disciple agreed and carried out his services to the preceptor
with devotion for twelve years. At the end of the period, when
the sage felt that his own end was approaching, he asked the
disciple to bring a palmyra leaf on which he would inscribe the
mantra before his death. The disciple went in search of a
palmyra leaf, but before he could return, the preceptor died. On
enquiry from a boy who was there, he learnt that before dying,
the sage had written something on a bed of sand, which a woman
had copied and then wiped off the inscription. The disciple went
in search of the woman, who was having some donkeys. He learnt
from her that she had inscribed on the palmleaf roll that she
wore in her ear-lobe what she found on the sand. When she learnt
from the young man that the writing on the sand was a mantra
intended for him and for which he had served the sage faithfully
for twelve years, the woman said that she would give him the
palm leaf only if he served her dutifully for twelve years. The
disciple who was determined to get the mantra at any cost,
agreed to serve her.
The young man looked after the donkeys and served the woman for
many years, living upon the food given by her. One day, he could
not get the food from her and went about in search of food. At
that time, he learnt that the king of the region had been
feeding the poor for a long time and that he might be able to
get food if he went to the feeding place. On going there he
learnt that the king had stopped the feeding from that day
because it did not yield the result he was expecting from it.
The king had started poor feeding on the advice of his preceptor
who had told him that he would have a son if a truly godly man
ate the food that he would serve to the poor. A bell was kept in
the palace and when it rang by itself, that would be the sign
that a godly man had partaken of the king's food. As the feeding
had gone on for long without the bell ringing, the king decided
to stop the feeding.
That was the very day when the young disciple went to the
feeding place. On learning that all the vessels used for cooking
the food had been sent to the river for cleaning, the young man
hastened to the river bank to find out whether some food scraped
from the vessels would be available for him. He found some
crumbs at the spot and started eating them. At that very moment
the bell in the palace started ringing.
The king was startled to hear the bell and immediately sent out
messengers to find out who was the person who had eaten the food
that day which made the bell ring. After enquiries, the
messengers traced the young man at the river and brought him to
the king. The king was overjoyed on seeing the young man because
he felt that he would soon have a son. He offered the young man
half his kingdom and invited him to stay with him. The young man
told the king his whole story and said that he was not
interested in the kingdom or anything else, but only in the
mantra from his guru, which was now in the keeping of the woman
with the donkeys. The young man insisted that the palmleaf
ear-ring worn by the woman should be obtained without any
The king sent out men to trace the woman, who was brought before
him. Learning that she was an acrobat, who could perform feats
on a rope, the king asked her to demonstrate her skill before
the queen who was now enceinte. As she was dancing on the rope,
he asked her whether she could catch two diamond ear-rings he
would throw at her and wear them while dancing on the rope. She
readily agreed. Catching them in her hands, she took out the
palmleaf rings from her ear-lobes, cast them down and wore the
diamond ear-rings in their place.
As the palmleaf rings dropped down, the young man rushed towards
them and eagerly read the message inscribed there in.
Immediately after reading the mantra the young man secured
instant illumination and liberation thereafter.
A spiritual aspirant should have such determination and
preparedness for any kind of sacrifice to achieve his goal.
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