been no Avatars who have not been criticised, or have no
enemies to condemn them and malign them. Baba is no
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
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
Hislop : But Swami,
why would the man be so foolish as to try to walk on water without
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.
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
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
(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".
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?"
"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.
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.
extracts are taken from the book 'The Essential Sai' by the Sainet
Editor Committee, Vancouver, Canada.
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
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
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
INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER, 1976
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
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.
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
Life is love,
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
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
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:
LIFE + DESIRE =
LIFE - DESIRE = GOD
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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?
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
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
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.
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.
recently written a book on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, entitled,
"God Lives In India". The book is available at Sai Towers,