Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Anil Kumar's Sunday Satsang at Prasanthi Nilayam
August 1, 1999

This is the Sunday Satsang held on the first floor of the North Indian Canteen on 01-08-99 given by Anil Kumar

Topics: Why God incarnates; How Baba prompts us from within; Kodaikanal stories;Renouncing doership and enjoyership; Be aware what to ask Swami for; Stories of Swami’s protection and glory.

Sai Ram.

Thanks to Swami for having brought us safely to this morning's satsang. Dear friends, I would like to draw your attention to one foremost, important point. In Bhagavad Gita, in the fourth chapter entitled Jnana Yoga, this is the only chapter that refers to the need for an Avatar. I repeat. In Jnana Yoga, the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna speaks of the need for an Incarnation. God has to explain why He has taken birth in a human form. He offers an explanation, the need for Incarnation. Perhaps in the other chapters you do not find such a thing. It is only in this fourth chapter, Jnana Yoga, that you find such a declaration or pronouncement - an explanation about the need for an Avatar.

What does He say there? The first point in connection with the need for an Incarnation or Avatar as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita is this: to protect the pious people and to remove or kill or annihilate the wicked. The first purpose of an Incarnation is to offer protection to the pious people, the noble people, the good people, and to annihilate, destroy or kill wicked people. This is the first point in the preamble of the Incarnation, the first objective of an Incarnation. (I do not want to put a whole sloka in Sanskrit because I know that most of us do not know it, including my humble self here. I only know the working knowledge of Sanskrit. Eighty percent of Telugu has its origin in Sanskrit, 80%. There is no pure Telugu as such in what I speak. So I have only a working knowledge, but I do not want to after all quote anything to express my scholarship or anything. I do not have such desire.) So, the first purpose of an Incarnation is to protect pious people and to annihilate the wicked people.

But Bhagavan Baba, the modern Avatar, revised it. My friends, my idea is to bring to your attention how the present Avatar is an improvement over the past Avatar. It is not only a continuation, but an improvement. Because ways have changed, times have changed, people have changed, psychology has changed as we are in the electronic space age. God cannot continue with His antique, outdated mode of functioning. He too needs to be modern, ultra-modern. So, how does Baba improve on Himself as an Incarnation? How does He improve Himself?

He has said that, all right, I will protect the pious people. First point, OK. Same as before. Same as Lord Krishna said earlier. I can give you My word on the same thing. But the second point, that is to annihilate or kill the wicked, this I will not do now because it is quite sure, excepting Me, nobody would remain here!

Excepting Swami nobody would find a place here and He is fully aware of it! After all, He needs to have so much work done and so He wants everybody, each one of us here. If He were to follow the second principle and kill the wicked, annihilate the wicked, destroy the wicked, then He has no other job than to remain all alone! So He must make a kind of amendment. Most of you must have known that the Indian Constitution also makes all sorts of amendments repeatedly. So even the Divine Constitution has to be amended to suit our convenience and to give Himself enough of a job to do: transforming us all! How has He amended it? He said, OK, it is all right that I said I would protect the pious people in the past as Lord Krishna which I declared in that sacred text Bhagavad Gita. It is true. But the second thing is, instead of finishing off people, instead of killing people, instead of destroying wicked people, what I want to do now is to transform them.

I can give you umpteen number of examples how transformation is wrought in several of the lives of the devotees we know, in many, many of the lives of devotees. The other day He was telling, "I don't ask anybody, but people liberally come forward and contribute their mind, their kind and other ways." Swami does not stretch out His Hand to anyone participating in His mission. He does not ask anybody, but people come on their own and do this and that.

On this day I just want to recall one incident which I do not know whether I said earlier. One devotee from London came to Kodaikanal. He brought with him fifty beautiful gold pens, 24-carat gold, real gold pens! And he wanted to give those to Swami but he did not dare to do it. Well, I was a greater fool in those days. Suddenly he came to me and asked, "Mr. Anil Kumar, why don’t you please tell Swami that I brought gold pens to be distributed to the boys." I took my time. I did not act immediately because I did not want to take any divine risk. But ultimately I picked up some courage. That day, immediately after breakfast, I went close to His table and started speaking, "Bhagavaning" slowly and softly, to draw His attention.

Immediately He said, "What! What do you want to say? Why are you here?" I said, "Swami, one Sai brother from London has brought gold pens." Immediately He said, "So what!" (Anil:)"Swami, he wants to give them to You." He said, "I don't want them. I don't write, so I don't want." (Anil:) "Not that, Swami. He wants You to distribute them to the students." (Swami:)"Oh! Now I understand: You want them. You take the pens," He said. "Now I understand. You are just prolonging the discussion, extending point after point, with an idea to have the pens. Then you have it for yourself." Now the cat is out-of-the-bag.

Then somehow I said, "No, no, no, not that Swami. I just wanted to tell You that he is here." And He immediately smiled and said, "You know why he brought gold pens. He thought that he could bribe Me like that. He thought that I can be corrupted by gold pens. He thought that I would grant him an interview by this act. Understand that these things will never work. Nothing doing. And if you ask for the second time, you will also join him outside the bungalow." Then I could understand what it is, how serious the situation is.

Why I am telling you is that we cannot draw the attention of Swami by these means, no, no, no. Instead He prompts us from within. As we heard on that Guru Pournima Day, Mr. Puri came from Indonesia all of a sudden and started announcing that "I am here freely gifting 10 crores for the construction of Sri Sathya Sai Music and Fine Arts College." Baba never asked him. Baba never told him His plan to start a Music College. He never told anybody. Supposing that Swami announces, I want to start a Music college, then you can take a chance and I can take a chance. Both of us can take a chance. A third person may grab the chance. But it is not so. He did not announce. He did not tell anybody. How that man came out and started telling, "I want to give 30 crores for Baba’s Music College." Who said there's a Music College? Where's the need? Who told you?

This is an instance, my friends, to tell you how Swami works from within. Swami works from within. No advertisement. No publicity. No announcement. No program as such. Nothing like:"These are the programs for which you can liberally come forward and participate." There is nothing like a railway timetable or an Indian Airlines schedule. Nothing whatsoever. People feel the prompting from within. They liberally come forward to do it. Is it not enough to say that a kind of transformation is brought about from within. It is not told. It is not dictated. It is not commanded. He just gets things done, working from within.

I should also tell you some other instance. When Bhagavan was there in Kodaikanal, He wanted the boys to have some kind of a … I should say what they put on the lips…Not lipstick! (Anil jokes:) For boys, not lipstick. Not yet. We have not started to play like that so far. He wanted to give some kind of oily thing here (patting his face) … Oh, mmm, something like that…because He felt they are in a cold place, in a cold climate, so He wanted them to apply cold cream or something like that. He started looking at everybody, saying, "You need cold cream. Your skin is dry." He was commenting like that.

Believe me, friends, as we were just talking to the boys, suddenly one man came up with fifty tubes of this cold cream, to be given one to each. Swami just looked at me. I could not tell the man the discipline here. I said, "Swami, you did not tell him outwardly. You told him from within. You made him bring all those cold creams to be distributed to the boys." This is an instance to show how Swami works from within. Yes. It is really fantastic. He does not tell anybody.

It is always the beginning of summer when Swami visits Kodaikanal. In fact one day after arriving there, He was remarking that it was the beginning of summer. He said, "It is the season of mangoes." Most of us like mangoes very much. I was feeling, "See, what is this? Wherever can we get mangoes here in this hill station? Had I been there, I should have been at my native place so that I could have had a litre of mangoes, lots of them! Believe me, the very next day, we got four basketfuls of mangoes! Immediately He came to me and said, "Wherefrom the mangoes came?" I said, "They came from You!" Then Bhagavan smiled and said, "You wanted to eat mangoes. Therefore, I had to bring them here!" You see how things happen. The moment you want it, immediately you get it there.

Last year somehow there had been a number of devotees accompanying Swami, about eighty members. They came with their families. The boys were feeling so badly that they did not have their photographs taken with Swami: individual photographs taken with Swami and each student separately. It is a life treasure to have such a photograph with Bhagavan, an individual photo. It is not a small thing. It is more important than our PhD degree. It is not an easy thing to get you know. The boys said to me, "Sir, we do not have photos with Him. What to do?" I said, "What to do? What can I do?" Then one day I told them, "Be Ready! Be well-dressed!" They said, "Sir, what dress shall we wear?" I told them, "Swami presented us with nice T-shirts with Prashanti emblems and "Om Sri Sai Ram" written on it. OK, you wear all the T-shirts presented by Bhagavan. The rest of the drama we shall see how we can play it."

All of them were well-dressed with the T-shirts and the pants presented by Swami to all of us. They were such nice fellows. Every fellow was looking quite handsome. So they were all seated there. Swami came out. "What is this? Exhibition! All are wearing T-shirts?" Then He looked at me. He said, "You are also in T-shirt!" I answered, "Oh, yes, Swami. Why not! You gave me a T-shirt. Why should I not wear it!" (Swami:) "Mmmm…This is all a drama you have done, I know." (Anil:) "Yes, Swami." He asked, "Why?" (Anil:) "Swami, we do not have any individual photographs this time. During this trip we did not take any photographs with You. So I only suggested that we should be dressed like this so that we can take individual photographs." Then He spiritually forced, religiously forced everyone of us to have an individual photograph taken with Him! The boys were very, very happy about it. That desire, that prayer to have photographs with Swami was fulfilled in that inscrutable, wonderful way that day there in Kodaikanal. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

On another day He was just talking to everybody. He said, "In ten minutes a devotee will come. His car broke down on the way. The poor fellow! He is late. Get some food ready for him." That is Bhagavan Baba. My friends, we could give any number of illustrations like this, only to convince ourselves that Baba is within, that Swami works from within. We need not be especially told or anything like that. So, the first declaration in the Bhagavad Gita is just rather an improved version, made latest by Bhagavan Baba declaring, "I protect good people. I transform the wicked people. I bring about a change in bad people."

I do not know whether I said it earlier, but it is worthwhile hearing this story any number of times. From where did I hear it? From that very small booklet with the violet cover. It is the experience of devotees from East Africa. It is a small booklet. Anybody can read it. A beautiful book. And it is available outside. (I am not a bookseller for your information. I do not get any commission. No. Just for your information, to establish the credibility and authenticity of my statements.) I tell about this also, not that you do not believe me. Being a teacher myself for three decades and a half or more, I have got to equip myself with these books.

There in this small booklet a miracle is mentioned. Two devotees from East Africa came here. These two gentlemen have their own special habits of that country: These two chaps used to go to bed only after having some sips of whiskey. After having some whiskey only then they could get to sleep. Otherwise it was not possible. Their philosophy was, "Whiskey is not risky," and also,"Liquor acts quicker." They believed like that. Poor chaps! While coming here, they bought and brought a big bottle of Scotch whiskey with them. They did not know the rules of this place. Poor fellows! It was not their mistake. We know most people rightly only take water outside. They have finished with any such habits. These are the only chaps who came here with a Scotch whiskey bottle. They did not know that drinking is prohibited. It was their first time here. It was their first visit here. I am not telling that they were guilty. I do not call them sinners. They did not know the rules. That is all.

So they came with their bottle. They were given a nice accomodation in Round Block Three. Fine. They had morning darshan. Good. And attended bhajans. Nice. Then they had a good lunch in the foreigners’ canteen with pie and pizza or whatever they liked. Later they had evening darshan, and participated in the evening bhajans. They ate evening supper also. Finally they came to their room and they wanted to retire, to take rest, to go to sleep. But they cannot get to sleep unless they have their drink. So what to do? They opened their suitcase and brought out that whiskey bottle. They had two glasses there in their room. They kept both the glasses in front of them, opened the bottle and filled these two glasses with whiskey. They started drinking. What happened? Instead of whiskey, they could only taste water. Only water! They were very surprised! They did not want water! They wanted whiskey. They had purchased some very costly whiskey! Anytime when the whole whiskey becomes water, it is an unimaginable failing!

Then one fellow said, "No, no, no. We have not emptied these glasses in the beginning. There must have been some water already there. Let us empty these two glasses and clean them now. So they just poured out the contents of the glasses and washed the glasses. They made sure they were empty this time. Then they filled the two glasses with whiskey again. Now when the two glasses were full, they started to drink. Again, water! They were pretty much disgusted and disappointed. What is all this? What is going on here? They did not know the rules or anything of this place. They were wondering, "Has whiskey become water here, or has water become whiskey? It would be so nice if water also becomes whiskey, isn’t it?" They were thinking thus because like this a lot of strange things were happening. Then one of the men immediately thought, "Why not have it straight from the bottle? Why use the glasses! Pour the bottle straight into the mouth!" So he kept it straight upright and started drinking. But only water again! He felt so badly at this place. What is going on here???

OK. Somehow they spent that night and then they got up in the early hours of the morning and sat in the darshan lines. To their panic, they got the first line! Why to their panic, I shall tell you: When we feel we need to see Swami, we get the last line. When we are afraid of Him, we get the first line, isn't it? So those two got the first line. All right, they sat there and our mischievous Bhagavan started walking towards them, stood in front of them and said, "How are you?" "We are fine, Swami," they responded. "How about last night? ‘Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!’ They were dumbfounded! They could only say, "Oh, Swami, Swami!" Then He said, "See, you should not drink like that. It is a very bad habit. So I converted it into water. Now you understand what happened!" So Bhagavan is here to transform people, to bring about a change in our lifestyle, in our life pattern, not to annihilate or kill totally. That is the one thing that is mentioned in Jnana Yoga, the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

Then there is another thing also said in the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. This is also stated: Why the Lord should incarnate in a human form. Why? The reason is that when righteous conduct and life is totally gone, then in order to bring back or restore righteousness, to restore the dharma, God will take the form of a human being as an Incarnation of God. He comes down in a human form in order to restore the dharma which has been neglected or which has not been adhered to or followed. Then the dharma will be restored because He has come down with human form. "Whenever dharma declines, and righteousness is not observed, whenever there is a breach in the servitude of the code of conduct, I incarnate Myself." That is what the Lord has said in the Bhagavad Gita.

What does Swami say here? The same thing. Here there is a very big point. The first thing is that He has said the same thing. My friends, my idea is when once we read the Bhagavad Gita from the background of Sai literature, we will appreciate it much more than before. If we read the Bhagavad Gita straight away, it appears as if it is a heavy volume, something mechanical or a routine. You are in a hurry to finish it off because you have to go to your office. Instead, in full knowledge of Sai’s message, if you read the Bhagavad Gita, you will enjoy the taste of it much more than ever before. The same thing Swami has said. What did He say? As I said earlier, He is an extension of the Bhagavad Gita. It is not repetition. What does He say?

First stanza: You know, in the summer, the water tanks run dry and the wells go dry. It is hot summer and there is no water supply. Then suddenly there is a shower of rain. When there is a continuous downpour of rain after the severe hot-hot summer, how do you welcome it? Yes, you feel very happy about it because you are in need of water. The tanks are dry. The wells are dry. There is no supply of water. Then there is a downpour of rain! Ah! It is most welcomed! That is the first stanza.

Then in the second stanza, what He has said is this: Imagine a fellow who is fasting. He has not been eating. He lacks food. Suddenly you supply him with nuts and sweets and hot items and cakes. Oh yes, and a milkshake and ice creams too! How does he like it? That fellow has not been eating anything for the last couple of days not because of sickness but because of the non-availability of foodstuffs. He could not have food for some reason or other. Suddenly he finds delicious items in front of him. Just imagine the situation. Ah! Anyone in his place would jump for joy!

Then the third situation: There is a couple who has no children at all. They are very rich, affluent people. They have property enough for four generations! But they have no children. Suddenly God blesses them with a good son, a really good son. If they had had a wicked and horrible son, he would have finished off the property right in front of their eyes! But no, this boy is an extremely good son. So, how do they feel? The couple will be extremely happy.

In the same way, on this earth in which the Vedas and the dharma is on the decline, Baba incarnates Himself. Wherever this dharma is on the decline, Bhagavan Baba takes birth in this human form time and again, previously in Shirdi and right now in Puttaparti. These slokas are quite analogous to what is meant and to what is stated in Jnana Yoga, the fourth chaper of the Bhagavad Gita. Here He has explained it more elaborately, more extensively, and more convincingly with some beautiful examples and additions. That is the beauty of it.

Furthermore Bhagavan often explains in His discourses something which is plainly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. Why are we unhappy? What is unhappiness due to? This is very well explained in JnanaYoga. The unhappiness is due to this body, this birth, this human life. Why do we have this body? It is because of past actions or karma. The body, this human birth or janma, is because of karma, the past action. All right, why has there been past actions or karma? Why? It is due to our attachments, our likes and dislikes, raga and dwesha, attachment and hatred, union and separation, and attachment to the world. Therefore we have done so many actions in the past. But why is there this raga and dwesha? Then comes the answer. It is due to our ajnana or ignorance. But why do we have this ignorance or ajnana? It is because this ajnana or ignorance has been there for long. Since when? Since a long time. Can you tell me since how long? No.

The Bhagavad Gita explains this nicely. I will tell you once again. Being a teacher, I do not mind repeating because each time I repeat I become more thoroughly convinced of what Krishna has said. The first point: Why this suffering? The answer is the body or human birth, janma. The second question: Why this body or janma? The answer is because of our previous actions or karma. The third question: Why this karma or actions? This is due to attachment to the world, raga and dwesha, likes and dislikes, attachment and hatred. The fourth question: Why do this raga and dwesha exist? Why all this attachment and hatred? It is due to our lack of discrimination or aviveka. There is no discrimination. Then why do we lack this discrimination? This is the next question. The answer is that it is due to our ignorance or ajnana. Next question: Why do we have this ignorance or ajnana? The answer is: It has been there for long. Since when? Since infinity. What a beautiful explanation, step by step by step. My friends, this ajnana or ignorance has been there over the ages.

Now Baba tells us the answer now. There the Bhagavad Gita ends. The Bhagavad Gita ends by saying that you cannot say since when ignorance dawned upon you. No. But Swami explains clearly by saying, All right, my boy, why are you bothering to know since when ignorance dawned? Be clear. Ignorance is age-old. Instead of worrying about the age of ignorance, try to solve this ignorance. Try to be out of this ignorance or ajnana.

Bhagavan gives a simple example: I go into a cave. That cave is pitch dark. I call somebody there. "Hey, it is dark here!" He answers, "Yes, sir!" I ask, "How dark is it?" Again he answers, "It is pitch dark!" Then I ask, "Since when?" His answer: "I do not know." So I say, "Then call your grandfather. Bring him." He responds, "Yes, alright."

The grandfather comes. Again I ask, "Hey! Is it dark here?" The grandfather answers, "Yes." So I continue, "How dark?" He answers, "Pitch dark!" My next question, "Since when it has been so dark here?" The grandfather’s response is, "Since before I was born!" So it has been dark since ages. Nobody can say.

Then one little boy says, "Sir, why are you bothered about this darkness? Don’t you have a match box with you? Don’t you have a candle with you? Come on and light this candle! The darkness may be 20 years old or 30 years old or 100 years old or even 1000 years old! The whole darkness gets dispelled immediately the minute you light the candle."

This is an extension of Bhagavan Baba’s interpretation to the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita stops there and Swami answers here. Continuity. It is a work of continuity to eternity. The story of an Incarnation is one of continuity to eternity. That is how Swami explains to us. So let us not be bothered by anything of the past. Most of us suffer when someone says, "Ah, Sir, I am not a good man. I was very bad. I did so many bad things earlier. I am a sinner." Nobody is a sinner. That is all. Why? You tell me who is a sinner based on the actions or the akarma. The actions depend upon the circumstances and the time. And so you are not really the doer. The Bhagavad Gita clearly explains this.

Really I am so lucky this year because there in Sri Sathya Sai University they just started a new course, a post-graduate diploma in Indian Culture and Philosophy. We have eight students participating in this program. Two have finished their M.Tech. Two finished their M.Sc. Two completed their M.B.A And two completed their M.A. in English. All of the eight boys are very good boys. Somehow Baba planned it that these boys came and asked me: "Sir, why don’t you give one or two classes to us?" Without any second thought I said, "Why not? I can simply try." (Basically I am a botanist or a student of botany. But as they asked me, I thought, "Let me try.")

Now what I did was I collected the Bhagavad Gita commentary books written by several different authors. I brought all the books and I also bought audio cassettes and I kept Swami’s Gita Vahini there. I started preparing transparencies, slides and charts because it should be at the post-graduate level. I do not know how the boys enjoyed the class. But I am sure that I enjoyed the Bhagavad Gita even more that the boys. In fact, I was very much ashamed why I had not read it so far. I felt humiliated and insulted. The moment when I read it, I wondered why I did not study this until now. Why did I not study this for so long before? In order to teach in the classroom I must prepare. I cannot walk into the class as though I am going into the canteen! I must prepare first and so I looked into each and every sloka. Believe me, my friends, I see Swami in them. I feel Swami talking to me. I feel Swami explaining the intricacies of every sloka and I start to recall whatever Baba has said before. It is in this connection that I want to bring a few instances to your attention.

The Bhagavad Gita: what has our Swami said? Simply He improves on it and He gives some beautiful examples. The Bhagavad Gita has said that when once you feel that you are the doer (having thoughts like "I have done it" or "I am responsible for that"), this "I-ness" or feeling of doership (having thoughts like "I am doing it") is the cause for all sin. If you think that you are not the doer, then there is no sin at all (holding the thought "I am not the doer"). So it is this doership feeling that makes you feel a sinner. This doership makes you feel arrogant and egoistical. When once you give up this doership idea, yes, only then you are great! Only then there is no more idea of ego. That is what is called sannyasa yoga. Sannyasa yoga means the process of giving up this sense of doership. So renounce and say, "I am not the doer."

The second point is enjoyership. There is a second aspect called enjoyership which means having such thoughts or feelings like "I constructed this house. Let me stay here" or "I did so much work in serving Thee. Let me get padnamaskar" or "I am the convenor. Let me stay in the first seat in the first row so that Swami will conveniently…" (Swami may conveniently avoid you!) Enjoyership is the second point: "I have done it, so I must enjoy the fruits." This enjoyership has to be given up.

Giving up enjoyership is called karma yoga. Giving up doership is called sannyasa yoga. The mixture of these two is karma sannyasa yoga, the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The sixth chapter in the Bhagavad Gita is a combination of karma yoga plus sannyasa yoga, called karma sannyasa yoga. Karma yoga means giving up enjoyership, meaning "I do not crave the fruits of my work. I do not work for rewards. I do not work in anticipation of certain results." So, giving up enjoyership is karma yoga. Giving up doership is sannyasa yoga. The combination is karma sannyasa yoga.

Here are a few examples: One man told in the darshan lines, "Swami, my son got a job." Swami replied, "Ah ha, good. Where?" So innocently our God asks, "Oh, he got a job? Where?" The answer comes, "Swami, he got a job in Bangalore." Again Swami, "Ah ha." He proceeded on and then He returned and looked deeply into the man’s eyes. "You got him the job there?" Swami asked. The man answered, "Yes." Swami continued, "You said, ‘My son got the job.’ Did you get him the job there? Who gave him the job there?" "Swami…" Swami goes on, "I gave him the job, you understand. That fellow is not worthy of the job. That fellow is not worthy of the job. In fact, I am responsible for the job there in Bangalore. You understand me?" He only meant let us not claim doership and let us not be attached to the rewards or the fruits of our work or karma. Let us not claim enjoyership. That is what Bhagavan is saying.

One other example: Some people from some other place came and asked, "Swami, we are all waiting for your arrival here. You need not come." Swami responded, "Oh! You are waiting for Me yet I need not come! Oh, I see." Then Swami started telling them, "Shall I tell you what preparations you made there? Every day about fifty seva dal come and they clean the entire premises. I know. One day they removed all the thorny bushes around. That man came, this man came." He started giving the postal addresses of the people. Then can you say that you are the doer? Can you say that you are the enjoyer? Can you claim that "I have done it"? Knowing fully well that Swami does everything, can I think that I have done this?

There is one more simply charming story. One lady from Kenya came here by the name of Mrs. Rangaswamy. When she was coming over here, some office bearers there in Kenya asked, "Look here, please get some of the latest books from Puttaparti, at least fifteen of them." She said, "OK, after all, Swami books I would love to carry back. I would love to bring them back for you. Why not?"

She went to the bookstall in Prashanti Nilayam and collected the fifteen books and made them into a beautiful package. When she went back to Kenya, she was about to hand over this parcel to the office bearers when she decided to open the packet. Please believe me! When she opened the packet, in every book there was vibhuti! In every book, in all the fifteen books, vibhuti! In some of the books, there was also sandal powder. In other books, there was also tumeric. All of the fifteen books were like that.

They jumped in joy! Now who brought the books? This lady. Did she say, "I brought them"? OK, she has carried them. Then wherefrom all the vibhuti? She brought them without vibhuti. She can only say, "I am totally responsible for carrying the books, but not for the vibhuti."

So, knowing fully well what is happening all around, knowing that Baba does everything for us, can I say "I have done it"? If I say, "I have done it," what a fool I am! Who can do it through me? So, my friends, it is very, very, clear that I am not the doer. Since I am not the doer, I cannot be the enjoyer. So this is what is called jnana or wisdom. The true wisdom or jnana is the realization that I am an instrument in the Divine Hands. That is what Baba says, "You are only an instrument." When once I feel like an instrument, I will be so humble. I will be so simple. There will be a quivering. I will be soft. I will be sensitive. I will be spiritual. On the other hand, if I feel I am the doer, then I will be highly arrogant and egoistical.

I will tell you another thing. You see we ask Swami so many things. But let us be very careful what we ask. Let us not ask anything unknowingly because we are human beings. Given the intellect and the intelligence, let us know what to ask for.

There is one family from Hyderabad. They come here regularly. They have been Swami’s devotees for fifty years at least. They had two daughters.

You know, Swami often gives His own pet names to devotees. For example, a fat fellow comes and He calls him, "Hey, Pakora!" That man’s name is not Pakora. But because he is so fat, Swami calls him "Pakora," which is a puffy fried food dish in India. If any tall fellow comes, He will say, "Hey, Coconut Tree, come here, Coconut Tree!" That is what nickname He calls him. But He puts it very nicely. So to be called like that by Him is very nice!

For your information, He never calls me by my name at anytime. Never Anil Kumar. No. He always calls me something like Vaidenti Mala or Draupadi or Janani Krishnamoorthy: all dancers’ names, all feminine names. He calls me like that. I do not know why, but always He will call out, "Hey Dancer, come here. Hey how are you?" Or "Hey Vaidenti Mala, come here." Or "Hey Chandramayi, how are you?" Or "Draupadi, how are you?" What am I to say? How feminine are these names! Then everybody starts laughing! But I do not feel badly about it. Maybe in a previous birth, I used to be a woman? Or next life I am going to be a woman? Or in the present life, He finds a woman in me? I could never understand it. But it is so nice to be called a pet name by Swami.

So getting back to the story, Swami looked at these two girls of the couple from Hyderabad and said, "The elder girl is Godavari." He gave the name Godavari. Looking at the younger girl, He said, "She is Chitravati." He gave these two names. Since then every year whenever they came Swami would ask, "Hey, where is Godavari? Where is Chitravati? Oh, Chitravati is here, not Godavari."

One day these two girls were very close to Swami and they were offering something to Swami, "Swami, Swami, please, please!"**** They were giving some clothes or something like that saying, "Swami, Swami!" At that time Swami looked at the second sister, Chitravati, and asked, "Oh, what do you want?" The girl said, "I want mukti, liberation." Swami looked at her, "Liberation? You know what this is? You know what liberation is? Why do you want liberation, moksha? Why? You know what it is? Who will tell you? Is it hot or sweet or like cool drinks or ice cream? Who will tell you what is liberation? What is mukti?" "Well," she said, "Swami, mukti is the place where You stay." (Swami:)"Oh, I see. Ah ha. Then when you get mukti, how will you always see your mother? How will you talk to your father?," asked Swami innocently. "Swami, no problem. You will make me see my mother and you will make me talk to my father. So, give me mukti," she said. "Mmmm…," He replied. They stayed there at Prashanti Nilayam for fifteen days. While the family was leaving, Swami looked at the mother of these two girls. Her name is Rajamma. Swami said, "What a pity it is, Rajamma! What a pity it is! Poor thing!"

Not long after they returned to their home, Chitravati had a sudden fall. Suddenly she fell down there in the dark. Immediately the doctor was summoned. The doctor came and declared that she had an attack of meningitis. Shortly thereafter she died. The family was really surprised because hitherto she was quite alright. So suddenly she had collapsed! After some time, they came to Puttaparti. Swami gave them an interview, consoled the mother and said, "Your second daughter wanted mukti. What could I do? She wanted liberation. So I granted it. Why do you cry? She wanted to merge in me. Why do you cry? She is able to see you now. Why do you cry? Why do you cry like that?"

So when we ask Swami for what we want, we should be very conscious of what we ask for. Yes. Because He will grant. He grants immediately. Are we prepared to receive these things? Are we in a position to receive such things? That we have to ask ourselves.

On the trip to Kodaikanal, Bhagavan started distributing sarees to all the air hostesses there on the Indian Airlines aircraft. I said then, "Swami, you are giving costly sarees to the air hostesses. Why? Because they receive a very high salary. Air hostesses there are very well-paid. Why do You give these costly sarees?" Then He asked, "Are you jealous?" And He added, "I will give you a saree." I answered, "Swami, there is no chance. I cannot wear a saree in this life! Let me try next life." And I did not stop at this. Further I said, "Swami, if I were to wear a saree now, I am sure that I would be more beautiful than most of the ladies here!" He laughed and laughed saying, "Is that so?" "Next life I will try to wear sarees," I said. Then immediately He looked straight into my eyes and said, "Why? Why saree? Why should you say that you will be born again? That too in the form of a woman! Why don’t you pray that you should not be born again? You should have mukti. You should have moksha, liberation. Why do you say that?"

Then I told softly, "Swami, nobody told me how liberation is, whether it is sweet or hot, whether mukti is tall or short, whether it is fair or dark? I do not know. But, as a human being, speaking about You, talking about You, singing Your glory, I know the charm and the beauty of it. So I do not want mukti, no! I am sure! I want to be born again and again. I want to be the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Organization in Andhra Pradesh and I want to propagate Your message, to go to every village and talk and sing about You! That is what I want. I do not want that liberation. Oh no, I do not want it!" Then He said, "Hey!" so nicely and He added, "It is so good to hear about it." So, my friends, we ask for certain things about which we do not really know. Is it not unfortunate? Are we really prepared? So Bhagavan Baba explains several things for us. We find new revelations everytime.

There in the United States one of our devotees attended a music concert. The artist happened to be Furgison, a famous trumpet player. He is a very jovial, nice chap. He gave a music concert and our devotee of Bhagavan Baba also attended that program. The devotees were sitting in a corner. As a Sai devotee, what is it you would like to offer? We give a Swami photograph or a vibhuti packet. These people had with them a very beautiful picture of Baba. But they were thinking, "How shall we give it to Furgison? He is there on the dais, playing all the while." (You have to understand when Furgison plays, he not only plays but his whole body starts swaying to his tune.)

Those people were feeling badly that they could not figure out a way to hand over this photograph. Suddenly while playing, Furgison got off the dais and started moving among the audience. He stopped right in front of the couple and took Swami’s photograph. He showed it to everybody and then he said, "I will play a special song for Sai devotees at that music concert." Then the devotees who attended the music concert wrote like this: "My prayer has been answered, Baba. How well You take care of us! How You have concern for us! How You wanted me to pass on this photograph! Such a simple thing. But it is proof enough to say that You are always with me, Swami. You are in me. You are with me, Bhagavan.There is nothing that I can hide from Your knowledge. You know just how to answer my prayers!" There is a beautiful article written by that gentleman.

I also want to tell you another very important story. There is one gentleman by the name of Narayan, Shankara Narayan, an IAS Officer whose character was transformed. He served there in the northern corner of this country in the state named Tripura. As an officer he was posted there in a place named Ajantha. This man Shankar Narayan, who was also a Sai devotee, had to work there at the army camp because it was the time of the Pakistan war and there was bombing everywhere. The people were trying to go back to their places, in fear of the bombings. But this Shankar Narayan called to everybody and told them, "Look here! Swami will protect us. We do not need to run away from this place here in the state of Tripura. We do not need to run away from here. Swami will take care of us. Do not worry!"

His friends responded like this: "Bombing everywhere! You say ‘Do not be afraid,’ yet we hear the sounds of the bombs and shelling is going on everywhere!" Then what did they do? They started doing bhajans. My friends, it is recorded in the records of the government: "Excepting the places where the bhajans were held, the rest of the places were bombed!" The rest of the places were seriously damaged, but the places where they did bhajans, they were safe in the Hands of Swami!

Swami was telling in a discourse the other day that Narada was once asking Lord Vishnu, "Vishnu, where are You? I know You have branch offices. But You are not seen there at any one of Your branch offices. I want to know where is Your head office. Please give me Your latest visiting card." And God gave him a visiting card. What was that address? "My devotee whenever he sings My glory, I install Myself there. O Narada, take My address! I am found wherever My glory is sung." So this is the experience of Shankar Narayan and friends who could see Swami’s presence whenever they started singing the praises of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

There in that place called Agathara, there was one family where in that house lived only one lady staying there with her son. The husband was hiding there in the closet. The Pakistani soldiers were striking right there. A lady with her son who was all alone. Just understand her situation. What to do? She started crying and singing the glory of Swami. Next morning the war stopped and the Indian soldiers declared success and victory over there near the borders. The war stopped and the soldiers marched off. Then she said, "Swami saved me, my kindly husband, and my country as well." This is how Bhagavan responds to our prayers everytime whenever we look to Him.

I should also tell you another instance. There is one gentleman by the name of Karunyananada, a red-robed man who stayed here for a long time. Most of you must have seen him. Karunyananada stayed there in South Prashanti Block I. He spent quite a long period in the company of Swami. Somebody asked him, "Sir, have you ever been a witness to any miracles while you were directly in the company of Swami?" Karunyananda said, "Yes, why not!" And then he told this story.

One day Swami was going with Karunyananda towards Whitefield. There in the front seat of the car sat Dr. Bhagavantam. In the back seat, Swami and Karunyananda were sitting. They were travelling towards Whitefield. Suddenly Swami fell down while struggling. Karunyananda got up hurriedly and stopped the car and made Swami rest fully in that back seat. Karunyananda shifted to the front seat. He sat by the side of Dr. Bhagavantam.

After fifteen minutes, Baba got up. He said, "Karunyananda, are you afraid of the situation? Don’t worry. Nothing will happen to Me. I am going to be here in this body for 50-60 years? to come. Nothing will happen." And then He spoke to Bhagavantam: "Don’t worry. Your wife just now had a paralytic attack. I went there and saved her. She is fine now." Tell me, friends, anybody who will share our difficulties? Who will take upon themselves our sickness? Who will put themselves to stress and strain and pain with no gain, with no expectation of return? Show me anybody in this world! Swami told, "Look here Bhagavantam. Your wife had a paralytic attack. I went there and I saved her. That is why I fell down here. Now she is all right." Who else would say that!

There in Brindavan a few years ago it so happened that Swami did not give darshan for three or four days continuously. Swami was seriously sick. Doctors started telling that in both His heartbeat and pulse something was wrong.We got our own medical reports information…the backdoor information. On the fourth day Swami came and said, "There is one Bal vikas teacher from Nanital. She has four children. She had a serious heart attack and she might collapse anytime. And she has been separated from her husband. Poor lady! She has to take care of her children. Who will save her? That is why I went there. All of these four days I stayed there in Nanital to save My devotee!" This is an instance to show that Swami is always with us, watching us and taking care of us. This is the assurance given in Bhagavad Gita: "Whomsoever cries, whomsoever prays to Me, I will be with him."

Most of you must have heard that Shirdi Baba said, "Why fear when I am here!" Shirdi Baba also said, "I’ll look to you, if you look to Me." Sathya Sai Baba says, "I look to you, even if you do not look to Me!" which is an extension of Shirdi Sai’s message. Shirdi Sai said, "I look to you if you look to Me." The "if" clause is there. The conditional clause. But Sathya Sai Baba says, "I look to you even if you do not look to Me!"

I very well remember a devotee from a village telling me that he came to this place after a gap of twenty years. Just imagine. Swami, while giving darshan, went up to him and blessed him saying, "You are here after twenty years. You must have forgotten Me, but I have not forgotten you! Your first son must be the director-manager now. Your second son is an engineer. The second child was not born right then…" He started telling all the details. This fellow started shaking. He could understand. His was a shake dance or what dance, I do not know! He started crying loudly. So, "I look to you even if you do not look to Me" is Bhagavan Baba’s declaration. "I install Myself whenever My glory is sung." These are the declarations of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. These are all His cryptic statements given to everybody.

I also know one gentleman who wanted to become a Minister. But he had no chance as he had no money. (Unless you have money, you cannot contest in an election. Please believe me. He hailed from my native place. I can give you all the details. Since you are not interested, as you do not know that man, I am not giving the names, that’s all.) That gentleman, who could not afford to pay the house rent, contested the election and became a Member of the Assembly. Later he also became the Speaker of the Assembly. Still later, he became a Member of Parliament and a VIP there. After all, originally he had been a very poor man. But in Sai we have all the glory. With Sai we have all the protection. In Sai we find our refuge. In Sai we find shelter. With Sai we find all the happiness and comfort. And when once we become Sai, things will start moving very, very fast, even mundane things, worldly things, or professional things, everything.

I do not know how many of you have heard of our President Shankar Dayal Sharma, the President of this country. His son-in-law was a Member of Parliament, Lalit Markam. While Sharma was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, his son-in-law was shot dead. As his son-in-law was shot dead, Sharma was completely depressed and frustrated. He had total depression. He immediately came to Prashani Nilayam and said, "Swami, I lost my son-in-law. My son-in-law was shot dead in the premises of the Parliament. (The accused were shooting the whole country in those days.) I want to get out of politics," he said. Swami said, "You cannot. There is a long way to go. You are going to become the President of India," He said. Sharma was the Governor at that time. Look here: He became Vice-President of this country. Later he became the President of India as predicted by Bhagavan Baba ten years before.

You must also have heard of Sivaraj Patel, the Speaker of Lok Sabha in this country. He came to have Swami’s darshan here and Swami said, "Wait, wait. You are going to become the Speaker of Lok Sabha." He said, "Swami, do not speak like this. Congress Party is not in power now and my name is not on the panel. I am not going to become the Speaker. Please Swami, please don’t say that. Let not Your words go in vain." Swami’s response: "Shut up! You are going to become the Speaker, OK?"

By the time he got back to Delhi, the panel of names that they had had just been rejected. All opposition, everybody, was unanimous in selecting Sivaraj Patel as the Speaker of Lok Sabha! You know what he did? He immediately few to Bangalore. He did not take the oath of office immediately. He did not occupy his chair. He flew straight to Puttaparti and fell at His feet and cried, "Swami, You brought me this position. Before the swearing-in ceremony, I wanted to have Your darshan and go back today." That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, everyone is bound to be a hero, I tell you. Everyone is found to be a hero. You will be respected wherever you will go. You will receive all the esteem and respect and the glory wherever you go. You will be recognized wherever you go. People come acting as if in awe, that is all!

Infact I hit on some official work in Hyderabad to settle my accounts there. I went to the Secretariat. I saw a number of people waiting at the gate, a number of senior people and principals and vice-chancellors, who were all waiting to have an interview with him, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Doubting my chances, feeling I am a nobody there, I sent my visiting card to the Secretary: "Anil Kumar, Prashanti Nilayam." That is all.

Please believe me, my friends, immediately I was called in there in front of all the people who had been waiting outside there before me. They were top people. That gentleman, the Secretary, kept on asking me, "Oh, where do you come from?" (Anil:) "Puttaparti." (Secretary:) "How is Sathya Sai Baba? Please tell me some latest miracles." (Anil:) "All right." When once you ask a fellow like me to speak, I will go on and on. How about the fellows waiting outside? They will finish me off! So I was very quick and I told him certain things. He was so happy. He started shedding tears. And the P.A. brought the taperecorder and started recording whatever I was telling him. Then he said that he had much work to do but he wanted to hear my speech about Swami. I forgot the purpose for which I had gone there! When I was finished with my speech and about to leave the room, he asked me, "Why have you come here?" (Anil:)"Well, Sir, these are my papers." (Secretary:)"OK. Done. We will do it. Done. Don’t worry."

With Swami behind us, we are everything. Top people were there. I was told to just go straight into his chamber which is otherwise possibly impossible! That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Swami is by our side. He has the status. He gives you the status. He gives all the decorum that is needed at the time so that you are treated rightly. There was no question of going back to at all. I can tell you like this how I had so many thrilling experiences, exciting experiences.

In fact once when I went to one place, a center by the name of Kakipet near Hyderabad, the railway superintendent called me. So I went there. The superintendent of the railway station started asking me, "Anil Kumar, I could not attend your talk this evening. I am so busy. Would you please come into my chamber and spend some time." It was an air- conditioned office. There was still about one hour to go before my train arrived. Instead of standing there idle, I could spend some time in his office. I went in and started talking about Swami. He was so happy. The time was nine o’clock. It was time for my train to arrive. So I said, "Sir, the train must be there. Let me go." He said, "Oh, yes, yes, let us go." But when both of us came out of his chamber office, we saw the train leaving the platform! I was feeling so badly. "Oh, Baba! Why should You unnecessarily break me while I am on leave? Why should that man unnecessarily ask me to talk about You, Baba? I feel intoxicated. I feel lost the moment I start speaking about You! This has been my weakness. And this has made me curse now. Swami, what am I going to do?"

I was feeling so badly. The train left and had gone up to the railway signal. I was feeling so badly. Please believe me, those people there can verify what happened next: The train started running backwards! And then it stopped just where I was standing! I got onto the train. Do you all expect a train to run backwards? Huh? When it is running forwards our trains often meet with accidents. Well then, when they run backwards, avoiding all the other trains, that is saying a lot about our Swami! Then after I came here Swami said, "Why should you cry? I made the train come to you, OK? You don’t need to go to the train!" It was really fantastic!

So my friends, the life journey with Swami is so pleasant. Open the door to the sweetening of Baba, who is the sweetest, the sweetest in life. If at all we have to love anybody in this life, let us love Swami only. All others are not worth loving at all, are not worth caring about. Up until the time of departure, the time of heaven, people dance all around. Afterwards we are left all alone. But never say you are alone because Baba is with you by your side. He is there in the hospital, there by your side along the bedside. He is there to comfort and to console and the encourage you every time, giving you peace of mind. Bathe in the light of bliss all the time. Let us grow more and more in devotion to Swami, as we sing His bhajans, as we hear His leelas, as we go through His divine discourses. The mightiest divine leela is incarnate, who is beyond all known and beyond all estimates.

May we spend our lives till the last breath at His Lotus Feet.

Jai Sai Ram


© Anil Kumar Kamaraju 2004 - Here reproduced for personal use of the devotees for the purpose of seva.
Anil Kumar website: http://www.internety.com/anilkhome/ - http://www.internety.com/saipearls/


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