Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  IIT Professor meets Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"The atheists wish to say GOD IS NO WHERE, whereas, the theists wish to say GOD IS NOW HERE.  The beauty is that both state what they wish to say by using the same words,  least realizing the fact that they are doing so, just by associating the letter with either the word NO or with the word HERE," said Bhagavan on Sunday the 21st January 1979 at Brindavan during an interview that He graciously granted to a group of scientists.  Who are the lucky few that got this rare and precious opportunity to sit in the presence of Bhagavan is not important; but what is important is: `What message did they receive from Baba?'

To reproduce verbatim what Bhagavan said is like trying to build a bridge across the ocean.   We shall  endeavour  to present  what He told this group in summary form; we hope readers of Sanathana Sarathi will benefit from it.  It was Sunday; about  15 of us gathered in the Bhajan Pandal of Brindavan and we were asked to sit together so that we could move en bloc if Swami gives the green signal. At about 9 AM Bhajan started  and the crisp and cool winds in Brindavan were soon carrying the devotional music to the  nooks and corners of the world. Soon the Bhajan tempo increased and suddenly every head turned towards the main building wherefrom, like the rising Sun, Bhagavan made His appearance bringing joy and light to the hundreds of devotees gathered in Brindavan.

After giving darshan to the many devotees who were waiting near the gates of the main building, Bhagavan  made His way slowly and steadily towards the Bhajan. Soon He was standing in front of us and enquired whether all of our party had come, and when the answer was in the affirmative, He told one of  the volunteers to guide us to the room where the interview was to held.  We waited for some time outside the room while Baba completed His meeting with other devotees.  After sometime the room was opened by Baba Himself and He asked  us to come inside.   He addressed everyone as "Bangaroo" and He admitted us into that room, extending to us the most affectionate welcome that we have ever witnessed in our lifetime.  All of us were overwhelmed.  With the last man in, Baba moved from the door towards His chair and suddenly He called the name of one of us as if He had known him for ages.  Naturally the concerned person was overjoyed and he prostrated before the Lotus Feet of Baba. Then Baba asked the people to raise any subject they choose.  Some  people put questions relating to their personal affairs and Bhagavan answered them most affectionately. In fact Bhagavan assured that He would meet us individually to listen to personal matters some other time, thus suggesting that we better concentrate during this interview on more general matters.  Of course, even after this assurance, when some of us persisted out of genuine anxiety in  asking  questions about our personal matters  He did not dissuade us at all;  on the contrary He tried to comfort us by pouring love and affection.  We realized that for the Anandaswarup it is but natural to comfort, console and protect  those in distress.  Baba, however, utilized the opportunity, while answering some personal questions, to bring home the point that one  should not get overjoyed while experiencing pleasure and get depressed while experiencing pain. He pointed out that between two pleasures there will be always pain and vice  versa.  One should experience both pleasure and pain with equanimity. Also He emphasized that all humans being the children of God are inherently GOOD and Satsangh, good company, is the elixir for the growth of goodness in a person.  That is  why He often says: Do Good, See Good and Be Good. As is characteristic of Baba, He explained the meaning of all His statements with examples from daily life. 

Continuing on the theme that human life is precious and unique and that pleasure and pain are integral parts of life, He extolled the virtue in being a human by saying:  "Humans and animals are equal in all respects except for the difference that Man has been endowed with the capacity to think and reflect".  He told us that He addresses everyone as Bangaru because He knows that all humans are as precious as Gold. But then, Gold has to be heated and treated in order to be converted into jewelry.  Man also must undergo similar processes in order to become useful to himself and society.

Baba stressed the importance of the quest through Sadhana for self-realization.  There are three important stages in the process of self-realization and they can be considered in terms of Dwaitha, Adwaitha and Visishtadwaitha.  To illustrate these three aspects He gave three different but very  striking examples. "Each of you is three persons, not one," He said.  "What you think are, What others think you are and who you actually are".  The first stage is, as Jesus said, that "I am the servant of God".   The next one is the Visishtadwaitha stage: "I am son of God".   At last the Adwaitha stage: "I and my father are one" is reached.  So too the sadhana stages of I am in the light, the light is in me, I am the light.

Baba explained with more examples how the endeavors of self-realization get constrained or hindered by the growth of attachment to the material world.  He emphasized that everyone should try- by cultivating proper methods of Sadhana- to reduce his attachment and allow the growth of an attitude of detachment towards worldly things.  He pointed out that attachment to worldly things is the single source of unhappiness for the human race.  Baba explained that Man, because of his attachment to the material world, tends to get distracted from the path of Dharma in order to amass wealth.  What a beautiful couplet He devised to condemn the blind rush of Man to amass wealth: "Money comes and goes; Morality comes and grows," He said.  Further He said: "But still man prefers money to morality and discipline."

Bhagavan emphasized the importance of Mauna (silence) as one of the constituents of Sadhana for self-realization.  He pointed out that it is not Mauna if one keeps his mouth closed but has the switch of the mind `ON'.  Actually the real state of Mauna is when you shut off the wandering mind.  This is very important because it allows one to cultivate the all important habit of concentration. From concentration one graduates to the stage of contemplation and finally to the stage of meditation.

At this point, one of us asked: How can one make  his Bhakthi grow?  Bhagavan said Bhakti  can be allowed to grow by Sadhana and conscientious effort, like any other trait of a human being.  One can increase his Bhakthi, quantum by quantum through disciplined behavior and attachment to God.

Then the discussion turned towards the Scientists and a question was asked: Are we trying conscientiously to orient our educational methods to turn out scientists who perforce should disbelieve and deny the existence of  God?  Bhagavan replied that while there appears to be that sort of a trend now-a-days, He does not believe that there is any atheist.  It is His assertion that man may choose, for material reasons to play the role of an atheist, but every man knows in his heart that he is the son of a supreme father and hence he must believe in His existence. It is becoming a fashion to call oneself a rationalist.  But science and spirituality are like the two halves of a circle and one is incomplete without the other. Baba emphasized, by giving Einstein as example, that an accomplished scientist will be humble enough to accept the necessity of spirituality and the existence of God.

At this juncture someone said:  Swami I could not understand what you have said. But in summary you seem to say Science is a tool.  If we use it with love it is good. If we use it with ego or greed it is bad. Am I right?  Baba replied that it is right not only in the case of scientific endeavor but true in the case of all human endeavors.  In fact  love  is  everything  and all problems of this world could only be solved through Love.   He said: "How can Peace be established if politicians talk about Peace with bombs in their hands, which the scientists have helped them to possess.  There are many ways through which a scientist can utilize his knowledge for constructive purposes such as improving the health, sanitation and nutrition of our people. Every man (be he a scientist,  an artisan, a farmer) has a role to play in promoting the welfare of society and he can play this role effectively if he cultivates Love towards his fellow human beings and treats them  as his brethren." Baba closed the interview, saying: "There is only one caste and that is the caste of humanity.  There is only one religion and that is the religion of Love".

Thus came to an end the most memorable interview with Bhagavan. Then He distributed prasadam.  We all came out wishing that the interview had never come to an end.

-Prof. S. V.  Pappu
Indian Institute of Science

As appears in Sanathana Sarathi March, 1979

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