Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles


Sai Baba. The life breath of every soul



There have been no Avatars who have not been criticised, or have no enemies to condemn them and malign them. Baba is no exception.

n  One of such Baba's critic was Shri P.C. Sorcar, a great magician, who challenged Baba to come out in the open but Baba completely ignored him. Then appeared an article in the monthly magazine 'Gentleman', in the June1983, published in Bombay. In that article Shri P.C. Sorcar vented a lot of venom on Baba, to accuse Him and malign Him. In course of time, the accusations disappeared in the air.

n  Next came Black Magicians, from America. Some of Baba's women devotees, living abroad, were caught up in the fold of a few Black Magicians, who used their acquired powers, to play with the sanctity of those women. The women devotees approached  Baba, to save them from their clutches. Swami by exercising His Divine Will, took away the powers of such Black Magicians, and the women were set free.

The Black Magicians, sensing the above and with a vengeance, published a book entitled 'Man of the Air'. In that book a lot of malice and rotten mud was thrown on Baba and even filthy sexual accusations were made against Him. The author saw that book, on sale in the book stall at Bombay  Airport, but he would not look at it or even touch it with a pair of tongs. The matter was brought to the notice of Baba, by the Trust  members, and Baba's reply was, "Even these people will come to My Lotus Feet, during the course of time".

n Then, in some of leading Newspapers, appeared a very exciting news, that there is a boy, who is able to materialise things like Baba and can also produce Vibhuthi at his will. There was another news,  a yogi who is able to walk on water, also challenging Baba to face him? Shri J. S. Hislop, happened to be with Baba at that time and he put a question to Baba on these matters. The author gives hereunder the resume of the questions and answers which has been taken from  the book 'Conversation with Bhagavan Sathya Sri Baba' , by J.S. Hislop :

Hislop : I gave Swami a ring created by a Yogi. I did not want to wear it and I did not know what to do with it. That is, I sent it up to Swami by a messenger with a note about it.

Swami: That was another attempt aimed at you by other interests. You are known as a devotee of Baba, and it was an attempt to interest you elsewhere. Like that western city matter. You should reject such attempts.

Hislop : But that man from there said Swami stayed at his house.

Swami : Not true. that area is strongly communist. At one time Baba did bring about a genuine evidence of His Sankalpa there, but ego and money making arose, so Baba stopped things. Again He allowed it, and now again He has stopped it. Those people, in fear of loss of reputation, are now doing things by tricks.

Hislop : The man seemed a very nice fellow.

Swami : Not so. There is always good and bad in dualistic phenomena. When there is an Avatar, there must always be bad. Rama's foster mother was His enemy. Krishna's uncle was His enemy even before He was born. Shirdi Baba was much abused. Not long ago, there was a man who challenged Swami to some tests. Stories appeared over broad area, even in other countries. This man had some foreign people in his camp. Some of Swami's devotees urged him to reply; But reply would have been shameful. This Yogi was eating nails and glass and so on. He created a special tank for a test of water walking. Why a special tank? Something crooked. He sold tickets to spectators for up to 100 rupees and more per ticket. On the appointed day he stepped on the water and sank in the water. The police had to put him in a cell to protect him from abuse, and all the money was refunded. Now, people said, what a fool he had been to challenge Swami. His disaster was the result of the foolish challenge. Later the man wrote to Swami disclaiming any serious intent to challenge, and confessed that he had used Swami's name just to increase ticket sale. The man is gone and now nothing is heard of him.

Hislop : But Swami, why would the man be so foolish as to try to walk on water without practice beforehand?

Swami : The man was walking on water. But ego and greed arose, and that finished it. Thought, word, and deed must be the same.

n  Mr. Erlender Haraldsson, Ph.D, writes in his book 'Miracles are My Visiting Cards' that Baba was challenged by a Sadhu (Hindu holy man) from Northern India. He writes, "I remember when a big Sadhu from Kashmir came to Puttaparthi. He was a Tantric - that is he was himself able to perform the miracles. As soon as he arrived at Puttaparthi, he challenged Swami saying, "I can do better things than you can". He demonstrated his abilities. For example, he used to take an empty pot, pour from it, and out would come water, and he says it is from the Ganga. And he used to open his hand and reveal Kum-kum. He was a well-built large man with a big beard. He was a good musician too, had a big steel rod, called Gazale in Hindi, that is used as a musical instrument. He played on the Gazale, attracting most of the people.

At that time there was with me in Puttaparthi an old Poojari Seshagiri. I did not feel bold enough to talk to the Tantric by myself, but the Poojari came with me and we asked the man : "What do you mean by doing all these things?" He said, "I am challenging Swamiji to stand before me instead the other way around". And he told us to tell this to Swamiji. Swamiji replied by saying "Wait for three days and then we will see to it". Then, one day, when bhajan was going on, the man suddenly got up and just fell at Baba's Feet. He started crying - that big Tantric Sadhu. Everybody had been scared that he was going to harm Swamiji or do something. We never thought that he was going to surrender himself. We expected that he might be playing some trick to harm Swami. Instead he started crying like a child, Swamiji started laughing.

The Tantric said, (I remember his words even now) "I am a fool. I never realised that you were Narayana". Narayana is the same deity as Rama. He was from Badrinath, where the population is predominately Vaishnavite.

From that time onwards he became like a docile cat. He was there for more than seven days. He started preaching that Swamiji is God. He told us " You are all very lucky. I have been to so many hills and places or pilgrimage and done all these Pujas and Tapas (Religious austerities) and it is only now that I am able to see the real God". He then took his leave and departed, saying he would not come back.

n  Then came the episode of Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, the then Chancellor of the Bangalore University. He constituted a 12 member committee to investigate rationally and scientifically the miracles and other verifiable superstitions. The committee was constituted on 27th of April, 1976.

On behalf of the committee, Dr. Narasimhaiah  wrote a polite letter to Sai Baba in which he said that, "I would be very thankful if you can kindly give me and another members of the committee an opportunity to meet you and discuss with you all these issues (Miracles and superstitions) and also to conduct the investigation of these phenomena according to the well-established methods of science under controlled conditions". Sai Baba did not reply to this letter.

In May, 1977, the committee members went to Brindavan, Whitefield with a hope that Baba would meet them, but Baba would not accede to their request. This episode started off a widely publicised controversy that raged in the newspapers for several months. Even the respected daily Times of India printed an editorial on the controversy on 25th July, 1976, entitled 'No Miracles'.

Baba is said to have responded curtly, when someone mentioned this affair to him, by reciting an old Kannada proverb : 'Nothing happens to the sky if a dog barks'.

(Taken from the book 'Miracles are My Visiting Cards' by Erlender Haraldsson)

However Baba had clarified most of the issues raised by Mr. Narasimhiah and other critics. Narasimhiah asked why Baba does not materialise pumpkins and cucumber or a watch with a distinct mark to prove that it is his creation and not a transfer of somebody's else's manufacture? Swami replies, "Pumpkins and cucumbers can be materialised as easily as rings or objects. But these are perishable objects and the whole point of materialisation, as I have already explained, lies in their permanence. That is why rings or watches become more serviceable as talismans or means of contact and communications, between the Avatar and his devotees.

"The point they are trying to make is that big objects like pumpkins cannot be transferred  while small one like rings can be but as I repeatedly said, I do not transfer things by a sleight of hand. I create them to be talismans".

The following question and answer session is between Shri. R.K.Karanjia and Swamiji, when Baba granted interview to Karanjia, this full interview will follow after this. (The author has only taken the question raised by Dr. Narasimhiah, and Baba's reply)

Baba : "Now, coming to the question about a ring or a watch with distinct mark to prove that it is my own creation, would you like Me to materialise something for you?"

Karanjia replies, "Yes Swamiji, I certainly would".

Baba waved His hand in the air to produce a silver ring bearing the inscription 'Om' in the centre with  Sai Ram Marks on the sides and held Karanjia's right hand to gently put it on the third finger. It was an exact fit and it was precisely what Karanjia wanted from Baba.

The above materialisation proves that Baba does and can produce even a watch with His distinct mark. The author would like to stress one important point here : Is it necessary for Baba to prove each and everything to anyone and everyone? He may only reveal the Truth about His own life to a few of His chosen devotees, because what He is proving to them is pure and Divine. For instance, when a mother is feeding her child through her breast, there is a genuine flow of milk, which only she knows, but there might be many sceptics who would not believe the same, without a practical demonstration. Will the mother come forward for such scrutiny? She, out of her own coyness and chastity will not come forward merely for the sake of demonstrating the truth to people, specially to the sceptics, who may be having some malice in their mind while pretending that they are seeking the truth.

n Now, lastly, the author comes to the final critic of Baba, Shri R. K. Karanjia of Blitz,  Bombay. He used to write articles condemning Baba's miracles and calling Baba a hoax. One of his good friends once told him, "Karanjia, you are editing a magazine of repute, and isn't it your responsibility to see that what is published in the magazine is true and honest. Why don't you go to Baba, meet him personally, examine Him, experience Him and then publish the facts in your magazine". This prompted Karanjia, to go to Swami, and Swami immediately called him for an interview. In the interview room, before Karanjia could pose any question to Swami; instant came the reply.

This truth convinced Karanjia about Swami's Divinity.

The following extracts are taken from the book 'The Essential Sai' by the Sainet Editor Committee, Vancouver, Canada.

The extended interview given by Sri Sathya Sai Baba to the chief editor Shri R.K.Karanjia, of Blitz in September of 1976, is a most extraordinary document. The record of an interview between a reporter and the Lord incarnate cannot but absorb us. Baba explains very carefully and openly to Shri. Karanjia the situation facing humanity, the purpose of His mission, and His preferred modus operandi as Avatar of the age. He says that all the sacred principles are in danger of wholesale destruction and that the Avatar has come to prevent thermonuclear conflagration. He will raise human consciousness above anger, hatred, violence and war, He says, "Save the world from disaster". He acknowledges that He has come invested with the totality of cosmic power to achieve His mission.

Speaking as the Lord incarnate, Sai Baba tells the interviewer that He comes from age to age, whenever strife and discord threaten to overwhelm the world ( a declaration also made in the Milestone speech). He tells us that He intends to encourage the rise of universal love by teaching the primary lesson that all people are one. He acknowledges that He has not come to disturb the various faiths but to show them their common basis in Sanathana Dharma, or the ancient wisdom. "Let the different faiths exist, let them flourish,"He says, "So far they do not extinguish the flame of unity".

He encourages all to live a desireless life, by which means the Earth will provide plenty for the sustenance of the human family. Life without desire would result in the realisation of Atma, He advises. He tells the interviewer that He gives people miraculous talismans so that He can know when harm threatens them and He may protect them. He says that His power to create and destroy is intrinsic to Him as an Avathar and requires no spiritual practices to acquire. They are not the result of magic or Siddhis, but are natural to God. To allow the interviewer to see a manifestation first-hand, Baba materialises a silver ring for him, which fits his hand perfectly.

In a majestic declaration, He reveals, "I am everything, everywhere, Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent". The godliness present in us as a spark is present in Him as the full flame. He discusses the options open to the Avatar to help mankind and rejects any instant solution such an immediate, blanket approach, which He is capable of taking, would leave humanity with its evil tendencies intact. Men would soon be at each other's throat again. As well, the natural laws of the universe would be suspended by His intervention and the whole drama of creation would collapse.

He calls His a long-term solution whereby the Avatar would lead humanity to a higher level of consciousness from which it could transcend the cycle of cause and effect and command and control the natural forces. He calls upon humanity to reject a high standard of living in favour of a high level of living, He advises : "Conquer greed for pleasure and luxury instead of being a slave to these false materialistic values". He asserts that only the spiritual path can save the world from the wrongs of a materialistic order. He declares it is His purpose "to build one humanity without any religion, caste or other barriers in a Universal empire of love which would enable my devotees to feel the whole world as their family".


R. K. Karanjia:  At the outset, Swamiji, we would like to know something about triple incarnation - past, present and future?that is from Shirdi Sai Baba to Sathya Sai Baba and the Prema Sai Baba to come, according to your prophecy?

Baba : First of all, you must grasp the complete oneness of the three incarnations of contemporary times with those of the past like Rama and Krishna. This is a difficult task when people cannot understand the present, how can they comprehend the past? Every incarnation is full and complete in relation to the time, environments and the task. There is no distinction between the various appearances of God as Rama, Krishna or Sai.

Rama came to feed the roots of truth and righteousness, Krishna followed to foster the plant of peace and love. Now these sacred principles are in danger of wholesale destruction by reason of human weakness under the onslaught of human evil forces. They are overcoming the good, the spiritual and the divine in man. That is why the present Avatar has come invested with the totality of Cosmic power to save Dharma (righteousness) from anti-Dharma.

Q.  By the present Avatar you mean Sai Baba?

Baba : Yes, I incarnate from age to age, time to time, to save Dharma. Whenever strife, discord and disharmony overwhelm the world, God incarnates in human form to show the mankind the way of love, harmony and peace.

Q.    That is understandable. But sceptics wonder why God assumes human form.

Baba : Because that is the only way to incarnate the God within man. He takes the human form and behaves in a human way so that humanity can feel kinship with divinity. At the same time He rises to godly heights so that mankind also can aspire to reach God. The realisation of the indwelling God as the motivator of the life is the task for which Avatars come in human form.

Previous Avatars like Rama and Krishna had to destroy a few individuals who could be identified as enemies of the godly way of life and thus restore the Dharmic path. Today, however, wickedness has tainted so many that humanity itself stands under the threat of destruction. Therefore, in My present Avatar, I have come armed with the fulness of the power of formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people back on the right path of truth, righteousness, peace and love to divinity.

Q.    Why had this task to be divided into three separate incarnations of the Shirdi, Sathya and Prema Babas?

Baba : They are not separate, I have already mentioned that complete oneness of the three is the final objective of the mission. I will give you an example. Take a kilo of Gur (A sweet substance). The whole of it tastes sweet. Next break it into small pieces. Each of them is sweet. Finally break them into small grains, you find the same sweetness in them. So the difference is of the quantity and not quality. It is the same with Avatars. Their task and power requisite to them differ according to the time, the situation and the environment, but they belong to, and derive from, one and the same Dharama Swarup or Divine body.

Let us  take the example of a fruit. It begins with a  seed which grows into the tree and from it comes the fruit. Work can be compared to the seed, worship to the tree and wisdom to the fruit.

The previous Avatar, Shirdi Sai Baba laid the base for secular integration and gave mankind the message (that) duty is work. The mission of the present Avatar is to make everybody realise that the same God or Divinity resides in everyone. People should respect, love and help each other irrespective of colour or creed. Thus all work can become a way of worship. Finally Prema Sai, the third Avatar, will promote the evangel news that not only the God resides in everybody, but everybody is God. That will be the final wisdom which will enable every man and woman to go to God. The three Avatars carry the triple message of work, worship and wisdom.

Q.      So that is the holy mission and the divine purpose of the triple incarnation?

Baba: To unite all mankind into one caste or family in the establishment of unity - that is Atmic realisation - in every man or woman which is the basis on which the cosmic design rests. Once this is realised, the common Divine heritage that binds man to God will become apparent and love shall prevail as the guiding light of the universe.

In the first place,  man has to develop into mankind in the fulness of its integrated potential. At present mankind as such is absent in the world. There is no synthesis between thought, word and deed. Man today thinks one thing, says something different, and acts quite the contrary. So what we have in the individual man, confused, confounded and bombarded with contradictory thoughts. What we do not see in mankind is that he is not motivated by good thoughts, good words and good deeds. We have to make him realise God within him to develop synthesis, correlating thought, word and deed.

Once this primary lesson is taught into family, the school, the college, the society, the cities, the states, the nations of the world, then man will become conscious of the fact that all mankind belongs to one family. As Christ preached, all are one, be alike to everyone. The vital issue is the oneness: one caste, one class, one creed of humanity: and this can be achieved only by the surrender of oneself or ego to pure, selfless, universal love and devotion. Love is the basis, the common denominator, the devotion and the Divine spark, the cementing, unifying, integrating factor between man and man, and man and God.

Let Me give you an illustration. (Baba spreads His handkerchief on the ground between us). Here is a piece of cloth. As you see, it is all made of threads. Pull out the threads separately and the cloth becomes weak. Put them together and it is firm and strong. It is the same with mankind. Love binds it like a million, billion threads in cloth and devotion reunites it with God. I, therefore embody love and use it as My instrument to generate man and create the brotherhood of mankind with the help of the latter's devotion. I always say: Start the day with love. Fill the day with love. End the day with love. This is the quickest way, the surest path to God.

Life is love, enjoy it
Life is a challenge, meet it
Life is a song, sing it
Life is a dream, realise it
Life is a game, play it.

Q.   Did Shirdi  Baba actually claim that he would be born eight years after his death in 1918?

Baba : Yes, he did. This has been recorded by Kaka Dikshit as well as the number of other devotees who were with Shirdi Baba.

Q.   What makes you so sure that you are Shirdi Baba incarnate?

Baba : The knowledge of My own authentic experience, of course. Since no one who knew Shirdi Baba is alive today, there is no evidence except My own knowledge and experience. The very fact that I announced that, "I am Shiridi Baba 40 years ago, when I was only 10 and when nobody in this part of the South had known or even heard of Shirdi Baba proves this fact".

Q.   The existing situation driven by evil forces to distraction as you have correctly analyzed it, appears to suggest the inevitability of another Mahabharatha (An epic relating to the battle of Kurukshetra) war. Does this mean that the salvation for which you are working can be consummated only after a destructive war?

Baba : The evil must and shall be removed before such a catastrophe takes place. There will be minor war and skirmishes, of course: these cannot be helped in the existing state of affairs. The Mahabharatha war was a different issue altogether. Lord Krishna decreed it and, in fact, led Arjuna to the battlefield in order to rid the world of evil man and ungodly forces.

Today, as I told you, the evil is so widespread that humanity itself would be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust in the event of the world war.  It is to prevent such a catastrophe that this Avatar has come to raise human consciousness above the existing syndrome of anger, hate, violence and war and save the world from disaster. This can be achieved only by the reestablishment of brotherhood of the mankind through the Vedas, the Shastras and all religions with their evangel of Dharma to liberate the human race from the chains of Karma (the cycle of birth and death). I always say : let the different faiths exists, let them flourish, let the glory of God be sung in all the languages in a variety of tunes. That should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognise them as valid so far as they do not extinguish the flame of unity.

Q.   From what Baba has said, it seems that there is not much difference or dichotomy between God and man. Am I right?

Baba : Quite right, God is man and man is God. All of us have something of God, the Divine spark, within us. All men are Divine like Myself, but with the spirit embodied in human flesh and bone. The only difference is that they are unaware of this Godhood. They have come into this Karmic prison through the mistakes of many lives. I have taken this mortal form out of My own free Will. They are bound to the body, while I am free of this bondage. The main difference is that they are shoved hither and thither by desire but I have no desire except the supreme one to make them desireless.

Take paddy or rice by way of an illustration. Every grain of rice is enclosed in a husk. You have to remove the husk to get the grain of rice. Now husk and rice, both come from the same seed. Rice is equivalent to God in man, while the husk can be compared to desire which reduces God to man. Therefore, My formula is:


Q.      In what way can life without desire make Gods of men?

Baba : Life without desire means the realisation of the pure, genuine self that is Atma. Bound to desire, the self degenerates into selfishness. Atma turns into ego. The way of self-realisation is to cleanse the self of this ego or selfishness, then you reach a state of consciousness beyond the mind and the intellect, revealing the true self that is God. The mind is like a cloth that covers and stifles consciousness, the threads of which are desires. If we give up the desires, the threads fall and the cloth disappears, revealing our true nature. That is what the Vedanta (Epic of ancient wisdom and knowledge) means when it enjoins that one must get rid of the ego to realise oneself.

Q.      You  mean that the mind of man as such creates the block between man and God?

Baba : Yes, one must make a distinction between the mind that is the ego, and the real self that is consciousness. The latter helps us to cross the frontiers of the ego-mind and becomes aware of oneself as the witness of truth. Normally the scientists of the mind look outside to what can be perceived by the senses existing in the world of the mind to ask : what is this? The scientists of consciousness, on the other hand, always look inside to that which is beyond the senses or the grasp of the mind to ask: What is that?

One has, therefore, to rise beyond the mind to consciousness to achieve self-realisation. To gain the infinite, universal Atma, the embodied self must break out of the puny, finite little prison of individuality. Desires belong to the senses, the brain, the mind; once you become free of it, you realise the self, Atma, consciousness, enlightenment, and become one with the cosmic power. Self-realisation is God realisation. Thus man reaches God.

Q.   What is the significance of Vibhuti (Holy ash) and the trinkets that You materialise and give to people? Is there any need for a Godman to demonstrate such miracles which any magicians can conjure?

Baba : So far as I am concerned this is evidence of My Divinity, it is not by any means an exhibition of Divinity. All performances of magic, as you know are done for the sake of income. These are the tricks of the magicians' trade. They constitute a kind of legalised cheating, the transfer of an object from one place to another by the trick of the hand which goes unnoticed. They involve no Siddhi (occult power) or miraculous power.

What I do is quite a different act of creation. It is neither magic, nor it is Siddhi power either. For one thing, I seek no return. For another, I do not cheat people by transferring objects, but I create them. Again, I do so not because of any need or desire or exhibition of My power. For Me this is a kind of calling card to convince people of My love for them and secure their devotion in return. Since love is formless, I do materialisation as evidence of My love. It is merely a symbol.

Q.   Still I do not understand why you should materialise rings, bracelets, watches and those kind of trinkets.

Baba : Most people desire talismans as symbolic of My protection. So I provide them, when they are in trouble they feel the grip of the ring, bracelet or watch to remember Me and call Me to their rescue so that I can help them. On the other hand, if I give them something they cannot wear, they are likely to store it and forget about it.

The main thing is that this trinkets or talismans, by whatever name you call them, give people a sense of security and protection they need in times of troubles or crisis and create a symbolic link covering the long distances between them and Myself. When the devotees need Me, these objects flash a message as if by wireless and I instantly come to their rescue.

Q.   I am sorry to be persistent, Swamiji but isn't the gift of an Omega or HMT Watch an act of cheating the company of breach of its patent?

Baba : I assure you there is no such thing. It would be cheating the company or breaching the patent if it were a case of transfer of the watch from one place to another. But I do not transfer; I totally create. Whatever I will, instantly materialises. I know of no company that has complained about any breach of patent.

Q.   What about Vibhuti materialised by you? We would like to know its relevance because your critics are trying to discredit you by sending around magicians who produced exact replicas of Vibhuti.

Baba : What I materialise is a manifestation of Divinity with potent significance as well as symbolism. It is symbolic of the cosmic, immortal and infinite nature of all forms of God, Atma or the spirit. That is, what is left when everything worldly, transient and changeable has burnt away.

I have spoken to you of the imperative of the desireless life. After Siva had burnt the God of Desire, Kama, into a heap of ashes, he adorned himself with the ash to shine as the conqueror of desire. When Kama was destroyed, Prema reigned as the Goddess of Love. Such is the significance of ash. In the first place, it is symbolic of the life-death cycle in which everything ultimately reduces itself to ash. "For dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou returnest". Ash or dust is the final condition of things. It cannot undergo any further changes. In the spiritual context, it constituates a warning to the receiver to give up desire, to burn all passions, attachments and temptations, and makes one pure in thought, word and deed.

It is in order to press home this lesson that I materialise ash for those who come to Me with Love and Devotion. Like the other materialisations it also acts as the talisman, healing the sick and giving protection to those who need it. It is the symbol of divinity, quite different from the magician's trickery mentioned by you.

Q.   You are believed to perform miraculous cures to the extent of resurrecting the dead. There are cases where you reportedly saved people from drowning and other accidents in distant places. Medical experts have attested to remote controlled surgical operations performed by you. How do you manage these?

Baba : By My own Sankalpa - that is, Divine Will and Power. As an Avatar, this power is intrinsic, inherent, total and natural to My Will and decision. I need no Mantra (Mystical formula), no Sadhana (Spiritual practice), No Tantra (Sacred writings) and no Yantra (mystical powers) to perform the so-called miracles which are natural to my state. My powers are simply the expression or assertions of reality of goodness which merges Me with everything, everywhere, at all times and places. The miracles belong to the boundless power of God.

Now coming to the main points of your question, this healing phenomena has a dual aspect. I can cure, save, even resurrect people provided they are in a spiritually receptive condition. It is like a positive and negative current of electricity. My capacity to heal can be compared to the positive current, your devotion to Me is like the negative current. Once the two come together, the devotion provides what is called the miracle of healing.

 It is man's mind that is really responsible for his illness or health. He himself is the cause or motivator or either. So when it comes to healing or curing, the necessary faith has to be created within his mind for the purpose. All I do is to invoke him with the confidence, will power to cure himself. It is My abounding Love reciprocated by the intensity of the devotee's faith in Me that produce the desired result.

 Q.  So they are not Siddhic power or magical tricks, as your critics suggest?

 Baba : They are neither magical tricks nor Siddhic (occult) powers, which can come to everybody with the appropriate discipline and Yoga exercises, but My powers to protect, heal and save people and materialise objects originate in God and can be used only by an Avatar. They are in no way designed, disciplined or developed, but flow from cosmic power.

 Q. Some say that You command invisible spirits which can transfer objects from one place to another on your orders?

 Baba :  There is no need for Me to command invisible spirits since My own Divine Will materialises the objects. I am everything, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent; and so whatever I will, instantly happens. Like the qualities of truth, love and peace,  these are things that  generate the Atmic (Godly) or cosmic forces behind the Universe.

 Q. Your followers at home as well as abroad claim positive evidence of the presence of Baba in their innermost hearts. Some have written of you as their in-dwelling God. What is the explanation of this phenomenon.

 Baba : This is the grace begotten of My love for them reciprocated by their devotion. After all, as I repeatedly say, we all belong to same Divine principle. The Godliness which is present in everybody in the form of a little spark is present in Me as the full flame, and it is My mission to develop every spark of God in everyone to the fulness of the Divine flame.

 The first imperative of this development is that the receiver of the grace also provides from his side or her side the devotion necessary to consummation. Those who carry the presence of Baba in their hearts like indwelling God belong to these kinds of devotees. They come to Me, see Me and hear Me, experience My love for them and receive it with devotion. Thus they become part of Me and My divinity.

 To the doubting and confused ones, I give this illustration. Those who want to secure pearls from the sea have to dive deep to fetch them. It does not help them to dabble amongst the shallow waves near the shore and say that the sea has no pearls and all stories about them are false. Likewise, if a person wants to secure the love and grace of this Avatar, he must dive deep and get submerged in Sai Baba. Then only , he will become one with Me and carry Me in his innermost heart.

 Q.   The critics of Swamiji ask why Sai Baba does not help people in distress by bringing rains in the times of drought or creating food where there is famine by means of His Sankalpa Shakti (Divine power, Universal energy). Cannot an Avatar help humanity to control the natural  forces and prevent calamities like earthquakes, floods, droughts, famine and epidemics?  

 Baba : This is precisely what I am doing by incarnating the indwelling God in man to overcome such calamities. There are two ways in which an Avatar can help people: an instant solution as against a long-term one.

 Any instant solution would go against the fundamental quality of nature itself as well against the Karmic law of cause and effect. Most people live in the material world of their desires and egos, which is governed by this law. They reap the fruits of their actions. This brings about their evolution or devolution. If the Avatar intervenes to instantly solve their problems, it would stop all actions, development, even evolution. This solution can be ruled out because it totally negates the natural laws.

 The other and more effective alternative presents a long-term solution whereby the Avatar leads the people themselves to a higher level of consciousness to enable them to understand the truth of spiritual laws so that they may turn towards righteousness and steadfastly work for better conditions. This will relate them back to nature and the Karmic law of causation. This would then transcend the cycle of cause and effect in which today they are involved as victims and thereby command and control the natural forces to be able to avert the calamities you mention.

 Q. You mean that you are presently raising the consciousness of mankind to a God-like condition to enable them to command their own destiny?

 Baba : Exactly. They would become shareholders of My Sankalpa Shakti (Divine power, Universal energy). I have to work through them, rouse the in-dwelling God in them and evolve them to a higher reality in order to enable them to master the natural laws and forces. If I cure everything instantly, leaving the people at their present level of consciousness, they would soon mess up things and be at one another's throat again with the result that the same chaotic situation would develop in the world.

 Suffering and misery are the inescapable acts of the cosmic drama. God does not decree these calamities but man invited them by way of retribution for his own evil deeds. This is corrective punishment which induces mankind to give up the wrong path and return to the right path so that he may experience the God-like condition of Sat-Chit-Ananda that is an existence of wisdom and bliss. All this is the part of grand synthesis in which the negatives serve to glorify the positive. Thus death glorifies immortality, ignorance glorifies wisdom, misery glorifies bliss, night glorifies dawn.

 So, finally, if the Avatar brings the calamities mentioned by you to an immediate end, which I can do, and do, when there is a great need, the whole drama of creation, with its Karmic (universal, inescapable duty) law will collapse. Remember, these calamities occur not because of what God has made of men but really because of what man has made of man. Therefore man has to be unmade and remade with his ego destroyed and replaced by a transcendent consciousness so that he may rise above the Karmic law to command.

 Q.   Have you succeeded in bringing about synthesis, Swamiji,  particularly with the wealthy and  powerful classes.

 Baba : I have not reached all of them as a class, but to the extent that I am able to contact them individually, the results are encouraging. The wealthy and powerful, of course, present a difficult problem in the matter of transformation. They need a special approach. The poor people, on the other hand, are very co-operative. They understand, appreciate and help My plans and ideas.

 Q.    What is the solution to this escalating conflict between wealth and power on one side, and poverty and weakness on the other?

 Baba : The transformation of both into a single co-operative brotherhood on terms of equality without competition or conflict. This can result only from truth and love. The main issue is to fuse the two classes into one single class. The problem, however, is one of bringing them together on a common base or platform. Wealthy people live isolated in a certain state or condition. The poor also are similarly isolated in another state or condition. How do we bring them together?

 I do so in many subtle ways by breaking the barriers of wealth and poverty and creating a feeling of equality and oneness between the poor and the rich. In this Ashram (spiritual community) you find them living and working together, even performing menial labour on terms of complete equality. Here there are no distinctions whatever, nor any special facilities for the rich. They live, eat, work, worship and sleep like the poor. All live like a community of workers to share the common austerities of the Ashram.

 Despite our rigorous discipline, industrialists and businessmen want to come here. Why? Because they secure peace of mind beyond physical comfort which no wealth or power on Earth can purchase or provide.

 Thus we open to them a wonderful new world of spiritual treasures and they must sacrifice material wants and comforts. My mission is to show them the way to peace of mind which everybody, rich and poor alike, desires.  In that process of spiritual evolution, the seeker learns that this blissful state cannot be purchased for money in a shop or gifted to one by anybody but oneself. It can come only from the universal source of divinity, the in-dwelling God that embraces poor and rich alike. This concept creates a common fellowship, a brotherhood of give and take between the wealthy and poor. Those who have too much are obliged to give up their unnecessary wants, while those who have too little get their needs fulfilled.

After all, in spiritual terms, all mankind belong to one and the same class, caste, or religion. The divine principle in each and all of them derive from one and the same God. This fundamental oneness has to be made manifest to them through direct contact with spiritual realities and the persuasive expanding power of love, till they become part of the universal religion of work, worship and wisdom.

Q.    All this would be simple and welcome evangel for the poor since they loose nothing and gain everything from your philosophy, but what about the rich who have to lose if they followed it?

 Baba : That is the crux of the problem. They simply have to loose, surrender, submerge their false values if they want My grace. So long as people continue to be slaves of materialistic definitions of wealth and poverty, there can be no solution. I, therefore, try to convert their minds and hearts to spiritual values and truths.

 After all, who is the richest man? One who has the largest wants and, therefore, troubles and worries? Or one who is satisfied with the barest necessities of life and, therefore is more or less desireless and comparatively happy? Judged from this criterion of happiness, the poor are spiritually rich but the rich are spiritually poor. It is not material but spiritual satisfaction that ultimately makes life worth living.

 As I have said before, life without desire brings divinity to man; and those who seek My grace  must shed desire and greed. Riches provide a fatal temptation. They are the source and cause of human bondage. The desire to raise the standard of life can never be satisfied. It leads to multipications of wants and consequent troubles and frustrations.

 The solution lies in our emphasis on the quality as against the standard of life, on high thinking and low living. The mind is the horse, the body the cart: to achieve mental peace, you must put the horse of high thinking before the cart of physical comfort.

 Q.     This is sound philosophy but how do you implement it in action?

 Baba : The rich as well as the poor come to Sai Baba to seek love, peace and liberation from their problems and troubles. My prescription to them is absolute selflessness and desirelessness. To the poor, this is a natural state or condition. So My love flows to them to embrace their devotion. Thus they obtain My grace.

 The rich, on the other hand, cannot secure this grace without surrendering their materialistic outlook and selfish attachments. So it becomes obligatory for them to sacrifice material greed to receive spiritual grace. I tell them:

 Ego lives by getting and forgetting,
Love lives by giving and forgiving.

In this way I change their general mental attitude. I transform their monkey-minds into loving, giving, and forgiving minds.

Q.   Monkey-minds,  Baba ?.what do you mean?

Baba : It is a kind of mentality that is used by peasants to trap and destroy monkeys. When the peasant wants to catch a monkey, he uses a big pot with a narrow mouth as a trap. Inside the pot he puts edibles which the monkey loves. The monkey finds the pot and puts its paws from the small mouth of the pot. It imagines that someone inside the pot is holding his paws, so it struggles and attempts to run away with the pot, only to fail and get trapped. No one is holding the monkey; it has trapped itself because of its greed. If only it lets the stuff in its paws go, it will be free of bondage.

In the same way, I tell rich people man is tempted by the wealth, pleasures  and desires of the world. When he gets lost in such attachment and suffers the consequences of greed he thinks that that is binding him down, capturing him, destroying him. The moment he gives up material wealth and desires, he will be free. I make him realise his  bondage to the monkey-mind and liberate himself.

Q.     Baba seems to be prescribing a kind of spiritual socialism based on the conversion of wealth into a trusteeship for the removal of poverty?

Baba : Yes, a trusteeship based on love, co-operation and brotherhood. What else can one do? The change must evolve from the heart; it cannot be imposed from outside. All materialistic doctrines have failed to bring about any real transformation. There is no equality anywhere. Only spiritual transformation into a desireless mentality can put through the imperative revolution in human consciousness from which alone desired change can accrue.

We need to transform society from false to real values. We have to convince people that the ideal of a high standard of life is wrong. It must be replaced with a high level of living and thinking on the basis of humanity, morality, compassion and detachment, as against the existing greed for competitive luxury and conspicuous consumption. People have to be convinced that the only way to rouse the latent divinity in them is to master desires and conquer greed for pleasure and luxury instead of being a slave to these false materialistic value.

Q.   Then I take it that the various educational and social services organisations run by Baba?some 3,000 in all - are designed to create the cadres necessary for bringing about the desire socioeconomic change by means of love and persuasion?

Baba : They are designed to put the new generation on the Sai Path of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence. Their motto---Work is Worship and Duty is God-Seeks to bring in the new social order related to Sathya, that is Truth, and Dharma?namely right action.

Q.   India has been described as a rich country of poor people. We have the wealth of the whole world locked up in the bosom of our good Earth, And yet the people remain economically poor and backward. Have you any solution to rehabilitate our economy?

Baba : Your analysis is correct. The solution to the problem you have posed lies in hard work and increased production on a co-operative basis. To achieve this one has to rid people of the disease of individuality, greed and selfishness. Every individual must be taught to think and work in the broader concept of society and its needs. Once this is done, there will be less talk and more work.

Here again, it is the spiritual path that can save this country and the world from the wrongs of a materialistic order. What we need is the synthesis of the spiritual and material aspects of life. That will provide man with the social conscience and co-operative spirit imperative to the creation of national wealth and prosperity through selfless, co-operative labour. 

Q.   Very good counsel, Swamiji - but the trouble is that all the wealth created by labour appears to find its way into the pockets of a rich and powerful minority. Have you a spiritual prescription for this irregularity?

Baba : There is no doubt that the distribution is not taking place properly. The existing doctrines of equality, socialism, etc., have not succeeded in achieving equality in distribution of wealth and poverty. The difficulty is that you equalized wealth,  land and property by legalisation, but can the law bring about equality in the desires of the people? This requires the healing touch of spiritualism.

To begin with, one has to cure desire and its evil consequences. We must persuade the rich that desire and its fulfilment in materialistic wants is an aspect of the monkey-mind which can only harm them and put them under bondage. That alone will solve the problem of inequality and maldistribution.

Q.    To conclude this session, Swamiji, would you sum up the main causes of India's social and economic backwardness?

Baba :  From a purely material viewpoint, it is a question of supply and demand. Because of the overpowering material values of our society, the demand is growing larger and larger, while the supply remains the same or decreases. The solution, obviously, is to increase the supply or decrease the demand. Then, of course, there is the problem of growing population. This triangular issue of economic imbalance needs to be spiritualised if an effective solution is to be found.

It is here that our insistence on desireless life, in which human wants are reduced to the minimum needs, comes to the rescue as the only possible way of restoring the social and economic balance. Curb your desire, reduce your wants, live in spiritual austerity, and the available material will be sufficient for all humanity. More than that, the tensions of the competitive socio-economic system will be dissolved and peace of mind will be restored.

Life is like a journey in a vehicle between birth and death. The body is the vehicle in which you are motoring to death. The less luggage you carry the better. Why encumber yourself with wordly riches and material comforts, when you may have to change your course or even meet with some dislocation or accident and, in any case, at the end of the journey you will have to leave behind all your possessions except your Atma? Would it not be better to attend to the immortal spirit rather than waste time which is running out on gaining wealth and securing comforts?

This is the logic of spiritualism with which I seek to change the attitude of people.

Q.  Thank you, Baba, you have answered the questions beautifully. Now to Narasimhiah's question regarding the bogus Sai Krishna of Pandavapura exposed by his committee as a fraud and a cheat. He alleges that the boy had your patronage?

Baba : I can assure you there is absolutely no connection between him and Myself. His people have several times attempted to arrange a meeting between us, but we have refused their requests. Of course, thousands of people, as you saw this morning, come here for Darshan. There are others also who masquerade as my disciples or make money using My name. As this happens not only here but in other states and even abroad, we cannot do anything about it. They expose themselves sooner or later, as this boy. I have absolutely no connection or relationship with such people.

Q.    The Narasimhiah Committee wanted to investigate your miracles scientifically under controlled conditions, as they put it. You rejected the proposal. Would you like to comment on this controversy? 

Baba : How can science which is bound to physical and materialistic outlook investigate transcendental phenomena beyond its scope, reach or comprehension? This is a fallacy on the face of it. One belongs to the material and the other to the spiritual plane. Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena; however, to exaggerate its contribution.

Q.   That is true, Swamiji, but science is developing all the time so that the metaphysics of yesterday becomes the physics of today.

Baba : Quite right, but it is still blind to the vast and invisible world of consciousness. The very fact that science is changing all the time proves its incapacity to investigate the ultimate and absolute truth. Some time ago, scientists maintained that the atom cannot be broken, but recently they succeeded in breaking it. They are still ignorant about the realities of the Pranic force behind the atom, which is the least of its components.

Science is merely a glow-worm in the light and splendour of the sun. It is true that it can research, discover and gather a lot of information about nature and its material functions and use it for the development of worldly things. Spiritualism, on the other hand, reigns over the cosmic field where science has no place. That is why some discoveries of science are useful while others can be disastrous.

As I have said before, Dr. Narasimhiah and his group are like the Telugu men who go to the cinema to see a Tamil film. They will see only the dancing, the fighting and the violence, the heroes and villains, the star with a beautiful face and these kinds of superficial things, but they will lose the subtler aspect such as the music and the poetry, the plot, the dialogue, the jokes and the like.

However, as I have said again and again , those who want to understand Me are welcome here. It is the spirit of investigation that is important. Foreign parapsychologists have come here and examined Me in such a positive and constructive spirit. You have seen their reports. They do not write letters or make public demands.

Narasimhiah's approach was improper; that is why I rejected it. If it were not so, he would have been welcomed. I want them to come, see, hear, study, observe, experience and realise Baba. Then only, they will understand Me and appreciate the Avatar.

Q.   Dr. Narasimhiah maintains that according to science, "Nothing could be created out of  nothing". You have evidently negated this law of science with a transcendental formula of controlling cosmic energy and producing paranormal power. Can you explain this mystery?

Baba : The formula that nothing can be created out of nothing is appropriate to the limited field and dimensions of science. It does not at all apply to the transcendental field and dimensions of spirituality. In the latter field, anything can be created by the Supreme Will. All that exists can be made to disappear and what does not exist can be made to appear.

Our history and tradition, scripture as well as literature, are full of such incidents which they call miracles. The material laws and formulae simply do not apply to divinity. For Me this is not a matter of any mystery or mystique. What I Will, happens: what I order, materialises.

Q.   The Vice Chancellor appears to ridicule your statement that "There is God in us all ". He asks, "Is this not pure escapism? How can God be so unsure of Himself?" Your rejoinder, please ?

Baba : His questions contradict the very basis of Indian Philosophy as well as that of most religions. All our scriptures assert that God is present in everyone. According to Vivekanada, "God is present in all."The only thing that is manifest and common to the whole world and, in fact, governs and directs the entire universe is divinity. Nothing else really exists except divinity.

Mine is no escapism but the fundamental and eternal truth. I say so not because I am unsure of My own divinity. It is My confidence in its absolute and total authenticity that makes Me affirm this fact. It is the scientists who are so unsure about themselves that they indulge in escapist theories.

For example, they say that the moon is lifeless. Simultaneously, they maintain that all  matter consists of moving atoms. Now isn't moon also a conglomerate of the same moving atoms. Then how can it be lifeless? There is no matter which does not consist of atoms, electrons, neutrons and protons, which are also constantly moving. This energy, too, is God. So also there is no human being in whom there is no divinity. To say there is no God in man is like saying that there no atom in the moon or any large lump of matter. The Omnipresence of God has been described in our ancient texts as : "anoryaniyan mahato mahiyan"(God is a smaller than the smallest of particles and larger than the largest masses). In this context, how can one say that God is not in man?

Q.   Another pertinent issue raised by your critics is that you show a preference for wealthy and powerful people as opposed to the poor and weak in the matter of divine gifts, miracles, cures and individual Darshans. Is this true? If so, why?

Baba : This is wrong. I never see or make any distinction between the rich or the poor. I only look at them from the viewpoint of their devotion, their desires, the sacrifice they are willing to make and their troubles. You were here this morning and saw hundreds of people, a few rich, the majority poor. Did you find Me making any distinction? All those I brought with Me to this room were poor and weak, sick or troubled.

In My view, those who appear to the world as wealthy or powerful persons really bring to Me their troubled hearts and sick minds. I cure them by asking them to surrender material wealth and power to spiritual peace and grace.

Q.    From what Baba has hitherto said, it appears that Your mission is to enable mankind to discover and incarnate its lost godliness. Am I right?

Baba : You are right. When man turns inwards to realise his true self, then God will become manifest to him. Self-realisation is God-realisation. In simple words, it is the realisation that you are not just the body and mind with physical organs, but there is within you a self - the Atma that is God-distinct from these perishable things. This self is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. The comprehension of this truth puts you on the correct path to God-realisation.

Q.    So your objective can be summed up as a brotherhood of humanity to be achieved through the doctrine of love?

Baba : Yes, what else can save the world from thermonuclear fires? Everything points to the terror of conflagration coming; and My mission is to pre-empt the fires by reestablishing Dharma and the Spiritual law of one God, one religion, one language embracing one humanity.

I preach only one religion of love for all, which alone can integrate the human race into a brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. I know only one language of the heart beyond the mind or the intellect which relates man to man and mankind to God, thereby creating mutual understanding, co-operation and community life in peace and harmony. On this basis I want to build one humanity without any religions, caste or other barriers in a universal empire of love which would enable my devotees to feel the whole world as their family.

Q.    Well said, Baba - but wouldn't this Dharma with its Hindu orientation conflict with the established religions?

Baba : No, it will not do anything of the kind because My objective is the establishment of Sanathana Dharma, which believes in one God as propitiated by the founders of all religions. So none has to give up his religion or deity, but through them worship the one God in all. I have come not to disturb or destroy but to confirm and vindicate  everyone in his own faith.

Q.   But how will that prevent a nuclear holocaust?

Baba : By removing all causes, sources, barriers and provocation of class, caste, creed, colour and race, and replacing the existing hate and violence with love and non-violence. I expect to provide humanity with an evangel  of peaceful co-operation to replace the present escalation to death by co-destruction.

R.K.Karanjia : Thank you, Swamiji. I am all the more grateful to you because I really did not expect you to answer the whole long list of my questions.

(The entire episode of R.K.Karanjia's interview, including the commentary is taken from the book 'The Essential Sai' by the Sainet Editorial Committee Vancouver, Canada, Nov 23, 1995)

The author would like to end this chapter with the following comments :

If the astronauts want to examine the moon, they go to the moon, in space ships; the moon does not come to them, for verification. Again the moon is under no obligation or bound in any manner, to reveal to them, the entire truth, in all its totality.

The same thing applies to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He is the moon. He is all the purity. He is love.

R.K.Karanjia has recently written a book on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, entitled, "God Lives In India". The book is available at Sai Towers, Puttaparthi.

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