Sai Sandesh Volume
5, Issue 12; Dec 2008
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Attach Yourself to
the Lord, Not to the World
I Want You to
Live for Me
Do Not Be Afraid;
I am With You
Open the Third Eye
The Best Gift
to Ask from God
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Attach Yourself to the
Lord, Not to the World
By The Sai Sandesh Team
A remote forest was the habitat for
millions of animals, birds, and beasts. It was nature's oasis in the
midst of human civilization and it was here that God's creation was
thriving to its fullest potential. In that paradise, there was a family
of pigeons living with extreme attachment to each other. Their bonds
were so strong, the slightest of separation from each other appeared
unbearable. The mother would exert herself to the fullest in order to
feed her little ones and the father, too, spared no pain in finding the
choicest of foods for his family. At night, the father bird would
lovingly watch over the mother bird and her little ones as they slept.
When there is abundance of wealth in any form, however, there will
always be the notorious few who want to capitalize on the resources and
make the best profit possible. A hunter accidentally discovered this
otherwise undisturbed forest-it was almost as if he found a gold mine
that his competitors had no access to. He lost no time in laying traps
and made a lot of profit in doing so.
One day, he came across the tree where these pigeons were spending their
time joyously. He laid a cunning trap all over the place and caused a
huge fire. The little ones had never seen the bright orange light before
and jumped into it out of their curiosity. Much like their human
counterparts, they did not heed to their mother's warnings and hastily
proceeded to pursue their exploits. Within moments, they were consumed
to ashes. This was too much for the mother bird and she, too, jumped
into the fire to join her young ones. The father had just returned from
the woods, only to find his family to be a heap of ashes. Out of extreme
attachment, he, too, jumped into the fire and ended his life.
Attachment is perhaps the most difficult knot to untie when one is on
the spiritual path. From people to possessions, we burden ourselves with
heavy luggage that makes our spiritual journey harder than it should be.
In this constant pursuit to fulfill our desires, we forget the real
purpose of life (self realization) and end up as ashes just as the
pigeon family did.
King Bharata (the ancestral protagonist from Mahabharata) realized this
lesson in his last days. This great king after accomplishing the most
impossible of feats, decided to retire in solitude and spend his last
days in constant contemplation of God. As he dedicated himself to
untiring devotion and ceaseless meditation on God, he started making
rapid spiritual progress. Numerous miracles started manifesting in his
surroundings and he quickly progressed to higher spiritual realms. Once,
this king was passing through a lake when he found an infant deer
trapped in an extremely powerful current of water. Unable to bear this
sight, the compassionate sage jumped into the water and rescued the
infant deer, whose mother had just died.
He brought it to his hermitage and started nursing it with utmost care.
From feeding to bathing, the sage assumed responsibility for all aspects
of the deer's welfare. In no time, this king became so fond of his
new-found child, he forgot everything about God and the purpose of human
life. Meditation had taken a backseat and all he could think of was the
deer's welfare. The wheel of time spares none, however, and the all the
king could think about was the little deer that he considered to be his
precious one. Even when death was approaching the king, who had
renounced his family and given up his kingdom, would be engrossed in
worrisome thoughts: "What will happen to my little deer?" "Ah, his sweet
smile." "Who will give him food and watch over his welfare." "Alas, he
will become an orphan!"
Lord Krishna has taught in the Gita that "Whatsoever a man contemplates
on during his last moments, he shall reach to that state." All saints
and sages therefore advise us to detach from this world and constantly
contemplate on God all through our lives. It is only then can we expect
to think about Him during our last moments.
Unfortunately, this great sage had disregarded this truth and allowed
himself to be deluded by worldly bonds and as he thought about this deer
so intensely during his last moments, in the next life he was reborn as
a deer. Due to God's grace, he retained the memory of his previous life
and continued pursuing his spiritual exercises without attachment to
anyone. In the next life, he was reborn as Jada Bharata and went on to
become a great sage, a self-realized soul who finally realized the
ultimate goal of life.
Swami often illustrates the principle of detachment with the help of a
handkerchief. He says to hold the handkerchief for long periods of time
takes a lot effort and causes intense pain in the fingers, but to let it
go is very easy and painless. In the same way, clinging to attachments
and past memories causes us pain but to let go of them is very easy and
painless-as easy as dropping the handkerchief.
Baba never advises His devotees to leave family and work and retire to
forests. His maxim is "Hands in the society, heads in the forest." We
must continue performing our worldly duties and take care of one
another. Only the mind must be detached and focused on God as we
continuously walk toward the true goal of human life: God realization.
God is no partial benefactor. He gives the
fruit from every tree according to the seed. If you had planted the seed
of a sour variety of mango, then why lament that the fruit that you got
is not sweet? Do good and aspire to get the fruit of goodness - that is
pardonable. At least, it is not as bad as doing evil deeds and blaming
God for its consequences.
Thought for the Day:
November 30, 2008, Prashanti Nilayam
I Want You to Live for Me
By The Sai Sandesh Team
In times of trials and
tribulations, it is natural for us feel dejected and weak. Baba,
however, teaches His devotees to be brave despite the worst of
odds and battle even the most trying circumstances all the way
A devotee of Shirdi Baba, Gopal Narayan Ambedkar, Poona, was
suffering from unbearable circumstances. His life had become
extremely painful and no matter what he tried, extreme sorrow
just did not appear to leave his life. He tried many remedies
and would visit Baba every year to seek His divine intervention.
Every time he would plead his tale, The Lord would urge him to
have faith and to be patient.
In 1916, however, his cup of sorrow was overflowing and unable
to bear the pangs of suffering, he decided to end his life in
Baba's holy presence. With this intention he visited Shirdi and
just when he was about to throw himself into a local well, Sagun
Meru Naik, a devotee of Baba, came to the scene and asked him,
"Did you ever read this Akkalkotkar Maharaj's life?" Ambedkar
casually took the book and as soon as he opened it there was the
story of a devotee of Akkalkotkar Maharaj who suffered from an
incurable ailment. With the intention of ending his misery, he
decided to end his life and just as he was about to do so, the
Holy Maharaj rescued him and said, "You must enjoy the fruit
(good or bad) of your past actions; if the enjoyment be
incomplete, suicide won't help you. You have to take another
birth and suffer again. So, instead of killing yourself, why
not suffer for some more time and finish the store of your past
deeds and be done with them once and for all?" Why suffer
Ambedkar was moved by this timely warning and decided to cancel
his cowardly act. He had understood Baba's hint through this
story and his faith in Baba was confirmed. This time, Ambedkar
decided to be brave and with re-doubled faith he started
worshipping God and concentrated on improving his prospects. He
gained fair renown as an astrologer and was soon able to improve
his financial circumstances and lead a happy existence
Had Ambedkar followed through with his plan, he would have never
been able to enjoy the happy moments that were in store for him.
Swami has a unique way of handling circumstances and teaching
life-changing lessons through the most unexpected of
circumstances. Once, Swami called one of his young students and
said, "What can you do for my sake?" This little child was very
innocent and said, "Swami, anything. I will even sacrifice my
life for your sake."
The young lad never expected Swami to capitalize on this
comment, though. Swami, however, looked at him and said, "Can
you go to the top floor of this tall building and jump down for
my sake?" The student was shocked. He loved Swami more than
anything in this world and had just given his word that he would
unhesitatingly sacrifice his life for the Lord. Now that the
Lord had requested that sacrifice what could he do? He mustered
all the courage he could and said, "Yes Swami!" No sooner had he
said that, he started walking toward the stairs.
Would our sweet Lord ever allow His innocent children to fall in
this manner? Nay! Never! Swami immediately ran to His beloved
child, hugged him and said, "My sweet child, I don't want you to
die for Me. I want you to live for Me!"
"I want you to live for Me!"-what a profound message Swami gave
that day, not just to that student, but to all of us. He wants
us to live selfless lives and do good to one and all.
God Will Provide
By The Sai Sandesh Team
Nanasaheb Chandorkar was a staunch
devotee of Baba. He had enjoyed numerous experiences and
miracles due to the extreme compassion of Lord Sainath. Once,
the daughter of Nanasaheb, Maintai, was in the terminal stages
of her pregnancy. On the day of delivery, she experienced
unbearable pain and it appeared as if her very life was in
danger. What could Nana do? He called out his beloved Lord Sai
in this hour of danger. Could the Lord ignore any devotee's
call? That can never happen.
Mainatai was suffering in Jamner, but Baba had divined this
situation one hundred miles away at Shirdi and He immediately
called one devotee, Bapugir, who was on his way to Khandesh and
directed him to visit Nana's village, Jamner, instead. Bapugir
was apprehensive because he had merely Rs. 2 in his possession
and that would be insufficient to take him all the way to Jamner.
When he raised this concern, Baba said, "God will provide."
Hearing these words of assurance, the devotee embarked on his
journey. He reached a station called Jalgaon and as he was
wondering about the remaining portion of his journey, a
well-dressed peon called out his name and offered to drive him
in a horse cart to the residence of Nanasaheb. The peon also
explained that he was sent by none other than Nanasaheb himself.
When the duo reached their destination, Bapugir alighted to
answer nature's call. When he returned to thank the driver for
the timely ride, the driver and the horse cart disappeared in
front of his very eyes. On making further inquiries with
Nanasaheb, he was told that Nana never knew about his arrival
then how could he have sent a horse cart to receive him? It was
then that Bapugir realized the significance of Baba's words:
"God will provide."
A devotee of Swami was once kidnapped and held captive in some
remote forest. Due to Swami's immense grace, the devotee was
able to escape from his captors but lost his way in the dense
forest and was cut off from all sources of sustenance. The
concerned family members visited Puttaparthi and sought the
divine intervention of the Lord of Lords. Swami broke into a
mysterious smile and said that He had already freed the devotee
from the captors.
The family members were relieved but raised concerns about the
number of days since which the devotee may not have eaten. At
this, Swami broke into another naughty smile and said, "My
angels are feeding and taking care of him."
In our daily lives, we so often forget that there is a Higher
Power who nurtures us and looks after both our physical
and spiritual needs. Not realizing this, we worry and assume
needless burdens on our heads. When we learn to trust this
power, however, He will unfailingly demonstrate His constant
protection and care.
Vivekananda had experienced this truth on numerous occasions.
Once, Vivekananda was traveling by train. He had not eaten for
days but still looked fresh and energetic, as if he derived
nutrition from a completely different source. Just opposite
Vivekananda's seat, a father was sitting with his children. He
had just bought delicacies to feed his little children.
When the father saw Vivekananda, he mocked him for his tattered
clothes and said harsh words about how he was unwilling to feed
someone who appeared to be so lazy and unwilling to work that he
had adopted the path of renunciation. Vivekananda, being the
great saint he was, merely smiled at this ridicule.
Just then, a man rushed to Vivekananda and said that he had seen
a divine dream vision in which he was asked to feed a great
guru. The stranger also explained how the beneficiary he had
seen in his dream was none other than Vivekananda himself.
The father was astonished to see this miracle and not only did
he realize his foolishness, he also realized the truth that God
does provide for the welfare of His children and that he
unfailingly nurtures and takes care of even the minutest needs
of every one of us-whether we realize it or not.
Do Not be Afraid; I am
A Sai Devotee, New York
Swami has a strange way of
communicating with His children. At times, he grants visions
while at other times he communicates via thoughts, books, or any
other form He may deem appropriate. One thing that is sure about
these communications, though, is that the devotee will always
recognize these communications as direct hints from Swami. The
heart just knows when that happens.
During a recent visit to India, I had the opportunity to
experience Swami's omnipresence. A strange characteristic of
this journey was that every time I would worry about some
impending danger, I would some how come across a picture of
Akkalkot Maharaj (an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya) with the
following words written underneath: "Do not be afraid. I am with
you." Almost immediately after seeing any such picture, the
trouble would just vanish in thin air. I experienced this
concurrence numerous times and was convinced that it was Swami
who was communicating with me in that manner.
Just one day before my return to US, my father suddenly
developed a heart ailment. Most tests run the previous night
were not conclusive and were indicative of something abnormal. I
was not sure if I could leave him in that condition. My return
was necessary, however, and I was in a dilemma. We decided to
rush him to the hospital for a final test and while we were on
our way I kept hoping that if I could somehow see that picture
of Akkalkot Maharaj, it would be a sure sign that everything
will be well. It was very early in the morning and since all
shops were closed, the chances of that happening appeared to
negligible, if not impossible.
God does not need to depend on human instruments, however. Just
as I was thinking in this manner, a taxi overtook us, rather
unexpectedly. At first, we were shocked at the way the cab
driver maneuvered his vehicle ahead of ours-it was very, very
abnormal. But my initial shock was soon transformed into relief
because the back window of the car had a painting of the very
picture I was looking for and the very words I wanted to hear:
"Do not be afraid. I am with you." It was almost as if Swami had
made the driver act in the rash manner only so that He could
fulfill my heartfelt desire and reassure me.
Needless to say, all the tests suddenly changed from the results
that had come out the previous night and my father was given a
clean bill of health.
Open The Third Eye
By The Sai Sandesh Team
At the dawn of creation, the
universe was constantly plagued by wars between good and evil
forces-devas (demigods) and asuras (demons). Each side was
equipped with the most ferocious of missiles, weapons that could
be produced by mere thought as opposed to lab techniques
prevalent today. All living beings felt harassed by the fear of
powerful missiles released by each of these forces.
According to the universe's destiny, it was Lord Shiva and
Mother Parvati's child, Subramanya, who was to lead the gods to
victory and end this terrifying war once and for all. How could
that happen, though? Lord Shiva is known to be the Supreme
Ascetic, forever detached and ever at one-ment with the
universal supreme. Would He ever give up his austerities and
marry the Divine Mother? None thought that to be possible. The
gods were desperate, however, and decided to dispatch Kamadeva
(God of Desire) on a mission to disturb Lord Shiva's meditation.
Kamadeva was terrified at the mere thought of disturbing Lord
Shiva, but conceded to the gods' demands by thinking that it was
far better to sacrifice oneself if it benefits a greater cause.
He knew his end was near but embarked to perform his duty with a
detached spirit. When he arrived at the abode of Shiva, he was
surprised by the holiness of the environment and the pure
spiritual bliss that appeared to envelop every atom in His
surroundings. Even birds and beasts appeared to be in meditation
Kamadeva started working on his most challenging assignment,
ever. Within moments, he held sway over the entire universe and
everyone, from princes to priests were overcome by passion. Lord
Shiva, however, was unperturbed. It was as if desire had no
effect on Him. His face radiated the same peace and serenity
despite all of Cupid's attempts. Finally, Kamadeva with the help
of his wife, Rati, released the most powerful arrow of desire.
This arrow scratched Lord Shiva's heart but failed to disturb
the Supreme One.
Desire had played enough havoc on all beings, thought Shiva, and
so He opened His divine eye, His third eye. The fiery radiance
that emanated was enough to consume Kamadeva to ashes and the
very desire that attempted to burn Lord Shiva, was itself
consumed to ashes. All the devas who were witnessing this scene
were disappointed. Some attempted to pacify the Great Shiva,
while others decided to flee.
The Compassionate Shiva, divined their intentions, however, and
decided to grant life to Kamadeva. He also assured the devas
that He was aware of their plight and would soon take steps to
assuage their concerns.
Many may have read this wonderful piece of spiritual history,
but what is its significance for us as human beings? We, as
humans, are constantly fighting an inner war, the fight between
good and evil that resides within each of us. As we are doing
so, desires constantly make room in our hearts and attempt to
disturb our serenity. If, however, we take lessons from Lord
Shiva and open up our intellect (the third eye or the eye of
wisdom) and discriminate between right and wrong, these desires
will be burnt to ashes in no time and we will be able to make
rapid spiritual progress.
In the process, we can wed Supreme Knowledge or the Knowledge of
the Self (as symbolized by the Divine Goddess). The child that
would be born as a result would be the bliss of self realization
and this will ultimately rescue us from our worldly bondage and
take us Godward.
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The Best Gift to Ask from
Source: Oka Chinna Katha I
Our faith diminishes because our ambitions
are limitless. There was a rich person who had a daughter with a flat
nose. The father wanted to get this girl married. Every person who came
and looked at the girl used to go away, although they were tempted by
In those days, persons who could perform plastic surgery were not
available. In desperation, he announced that he would give plenty of
money to anyone who would marry his daughter. The marriage was
performed, and thereafter the couple developed considerable faith in
God. They visited many temples, went on many pilgrimages and bathed in
many sacred rivers.
They met a saint who advised them that he, who created the nose, alone,
could bring it back to normal. Although they had lot of wealth, they
were not happy at all. The girl used to feel others were looking at her
and making fun. She suggested to her husband that they should both go to
the lonely Himalayas and spend a month there in that manner. He agreed
and they did go.
The girl had a great desire to get back her nose, so she began to pray
to God in great earnestness. God appeared, due to her good luck, and
asked her what she wanted. As soon as God appeared, she asked for the
grant of a good looking big nose. God said, so shall it be and granted
her the boon. As soon as God disappeared, she looked at her face. She
looked at the big nose and felt that she had become uglier than before.
She prayed again more earnestly and God appeared again and asked her
what she wanted. She said that she did not want that big nose. God said,
so shall it be and granted her the boon. She immediately found that her
nose had completely disappeared. The moral of this story is that
although God is present before you, playing with you and talking with
you, you do not know what to ask.
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