ABDUL RAZAK BABURAO KORBU
SAI SATHYA SAKHA(Sai – My True Friend)
Blessed by Bhagawan Baba on 25th May 2001,
Friday at 7.25 a.m.
1. Tending by Baba
2. Towards Baba
3. New University and I
4. Experiencing the
5. One More Miracle
6. Order for Me
7. Hard Days
8. Big Interview
9. A Farewell
My first book 'SAI SATHYA SAKHA' was
published in Marathi with Baba's written Blessings, on 18th
June 1988. Five thousand copies of this book reached the
devotees directly within a span of two to three years; it was
not sold through any book shop. This great response and
enthusiasm received by this book is indeed a SAI Miracle.
Many devotees and well wishers sincerely urged
me to write further. In keeping with the overwhelming desire of
all these friends, on Thursday 13th may 1993, I commenced
writing this book in Marathi. It was published on Thursday 25th
I vouchsafe that every event narrated in this
book is my experience only; They are not the product of
imagination or hallucination or borrowed. Their authenticity can
be proved by witnesses.
Abdul Razak Korbu
Swamy has been transforming individuals into
better human beings. He never reforms. Transformation is through
love and is permanent. Reformation is mainly through punitive
measures, and many a times impermanent - the individual may
slide back. Transformation is change of heart, done by constant
and consistent cleansing with love as the cleanser. Reformation
is changer of monkey mind, with fear of punishment as the tool.
Love creates more love; fear creates more fear.
This book is a real story of transformation by
Swamy of Professor R. B. Korbu, as told by himself, from a very
poor uncared urchin into a highly educated and self realised
person. It is amazing how and why Swamy chooses persons like
Professor Korbu irrespective of their social and religious
background, and transforms them. This book confirms another
important truth - "Once under Swamy's umbrella we remain
for ever under His umbrella."
Religion divides. Spirituality unites.
Swamy is the Infinite Spirit of Union. Reading into this book
(not merely reading it as we often do) we can experience the
This is a translation of the second book written
in Marathi by Professor R. B. Korbu, who is no more alive. There
is a human tendency to suppress, alter and change truth to suit
one's requirements. From this book it is apparent that Professor
Korbu did not have this tendency. So also this translation.
1. TENDING BY
Many times, Baba said that he took care of many of
His devotees since their respective childhood. However, only
very few of such devotees, who went to Baba either in their
youth or old age, realised as to how Baba took care of them or
tended them. Only at the correct moment will a devotee know that
he has already been taken under care by God.
I was nearing the age of sixty years, when I
realised this that I am one of those fortunate pre-surveyed gems
and Baba's play-thing thereafter. To understand that Baba's
unique method of play is applicable in my transformation as
well, you must know my first forty four years of life. That is
from the year 1934 to 1977 – when I was unaware of Baba. I
sincerely hope that, at least for the sake of Baba, you will
have the patience to read through this narrative of mine.
My date of birth, as mentioned in the seventh
standard vernacular final examination certificate, is 29th
September 1934. I was born as a Muslim; my father hailed from
Udgaon (Kolhapur District, Maharastra State) and my mother from
Gokak (Karnataka State). My father was a tailor, and carried out
his profession at Jaisingpur (Kolhapur District). Jaisingpur is
my present place of residence. Just two years after my birth, my
father, who had many vices, died of tuberculosis. We had no
relatives to seek help. Therefore, discarding her veil mother
took up working for meagre wages and had no time to look after
me, the only child. I become very indisciplined. When I grew up
into a little boy, to protect other neighbouring small children
from me, I was admitted in the nearby Marathi school. For school
admission, my mother had to sign a declaration regarding my date
of birth in the presence of the District Officer – it was then
decided that my date of birth was 29th September 1934.
We were living in a hut. My mother was not much
concerned about my school attendance. However, my neighbours
used to conduct me into the school, only to protect their
children from me. The cold and stale food given to my mother by
her employers was the only sustenance we had – I used to eat it,
that too happily! Some nights, to appease my hunger, I stole
jaggery and ground-nuts from shops. At times I was caught and
beaten by the shop-keepers. Reading this, you may feel sorry and
grieved. I was a playful, mischievous, happy go-lucky boy and
despite of extreme hardship I enjoyed life as I lived then. I
was contented with what I had and was never aware that I was
deprived of new well fitting clothes, fresh and tasty food and
other simple amenities of cleanliness. I did not envy anyone or
implore for anything. I was friendly and intimate with all my
companions, and admired heartily if anyone was foppish. I was
happy if others were happy and if anyone cried I too cried.
There was no reading or rites and I was fearless. Who was
keeping me contented, happy and without envy, despite of poor
and adverse circumstances? Certainly my Baba, even though I did
not know Him then.
This is nothing, many more miracles were yet to
happen. In the beginning I was unwilling to go to school, but
started enjoying it later. The main reason for this change in my
attitude was our reverend Head Master, Sri Padmanna Chougle
Guruji, who also hails from Udgaon. He took special care of me.
Some even prompted Guruji not to leave me during recess also.
The Head Master had a heart of Gold, but had a
cane in his hand with which he used to beat me. I had to learn
Sri Ganesa (ABC Rudiments). I did not have a slate, note books,
pencil, books or school bag, because of my extreme poverty.
Guruji collected second-hand items and gave them to me. Friendly
wealthy students shared their lunch with me. I never lost my
self-respect and begged for anything.
I was ashamed of being caned in the presence of
other students, and started to go to my classmates' houses,
whenever they are free, for studying. I could read the lessons
only once – poems, arithmetic tables, sums, additions,
subtractions, other calculations etc. May be because of the cane
and consequent humiliation, I was able to remember them well. I
became a 'Aikpathi' or 'Ekasanthagrahi' (one who can memorise
hearing only once). My progress was such that within two years I
ranked first in every subject at the annual examinations. I
continued to rank first in every annual examination upto the
The seventh standard annual examination was
vernacular final and was to be held at Kolhapur, the district
headquarters. My Guruji (Head Master) took special care and
guided me through out the year. I was permitted to use the
school blackboard and chalk for my study practice. As I had no
money at all, it was impossible for me to meet the expenses in
travelling by train to Kolhapur and staying there for three days
during the examination. Once again Guruji helped me by giving
all the money I needed.
That was the year 1947, and it was my first
visit to Kolhapur. I heard that a wrestling match, between Bhola
Punjabi and Mallappa Ladakhe, was being held in the nearby
Khasbag maidan (play ground) at that time. The wrestling match
was to commence at 5 p.m, whereas my examination time was upto 6
p.m. It was beyond me to overcome the temptation of witnessing
this match between two renowned wrestlers. That day, in the
examination, I completed writing the answers in great hurry by 5
p.m and reached the ground forthwith. It was already full with
spectators; with courage I managed to sneak in without a ticket,
and witnessed the match. After the examinations were over, I
returned to my home town by train that too without a ticket.
After about a month, the result of examination was published in
the newspaper 'Pudhari' and I was at the school when the
newspaper was received. My roll number was not in the published
list of students who passed out successfully in the examination.
Oh, My God, my Guruji was thoroughly disappointed at this turn
of events. When I went near him and said "Sir, this could be due
to a printing error", he angrily snapped at me. On being
informed by another student about my leaving the examination
hall one hour early one day to attend the wrestling match,
Guruji understood the reason for my failure in the examination.
As I was sure of my success in the examination, with tears in my
eyes I requested Guruji, "Please go to the newspaper office at
Kolhapur and verify. There is some error." He did so, as he was
also of the same opinion. The very next day, admitting their
error, Pudhari published my roll number as successfully passed
in the examination in place of a wrongly published roll number.
I once again assert that my first rank success
upto the seventh standard is indeed a miracle. My capital built
up from Guruji's caning, his continued help, my Aikpathi way of
study are not enough for achieving such great success. Surely,
this was made to happen by BABA, my god!
All the above is in retrospect, but true in
every word. I wish you understand one important facet of my
nature. In my childhood, no one admired or appreciated my
success. My mother did not understand as to which standard I was
studying in, or my achieving first rank in the final
examination. So far, no one praised me directly. But the
understanding in me always is that I am the cause for anything
bad happening to me for which I repent and wept, and anything
good happening is by accident. I remember Baba, and tears of
happiness start rolling out of my eyes.
After I successfully passed out the seventh
standard examination, many persons advised my mother that I
should get employed in writing accounts for some local merchant.
Mother was also obstinate in compelling me to do so. I was
unable to decide on this matter. I was impressed by the well
dressed boys, and especially girls, attending the Jaisingpur
High School, which was in the vicinity of our Middle School, and
developed a desire for completing the matriculation examination.
Because of our poverty, none were in favour of this. At this
juncture, my friends came to help; (there were no girl students
in our school). No one praised me for having passed the seventh
standard examination in the first rank. However with this as my
capital, along with my friends I went to Sri Hardikar,
Headmaster of the High School, and requested for concession in
school fees, and he in turn advised me to approach the President
of LMC, Dr. Bhirdi (later I used to call him 'My Anna' i.e. my
elder brother). Dr. Bhirdi appeared to be a pious and
considerate person. He instructed Me, "do not worry about the
fees. just take admission" I took admission in the Special
Standard, which for one year prepares students, who have
successfully passed seventh standard final examination, for
admission to the eighth standard.
During 1948 to 1952, when I was studying in the
High School, Jain merchants were in full hold of Jaisingpur city
and High School management. The teachers were all Brahmins.
Religious prejudice was very strong. Muslims were very few, with
about 10 to 15 households – of which ours was a mere hut. I grew
up in such a prejudiced social environment and had none near to
me except a few school friends. They too be friended me without
the knowledge of their parents, and on occasions such as
marriage of their brothers or sisters invited me orally for
dinner. As I sat for dinner along with other invitees, often I
was asked to get up and leave; I was then told to have dinner
later along with the bandsmen, who were Muslims. My stomach was
hardly worried about such insults. Only when my tummy was full
to the brim did I get up, cleaning my face with the sleeve of my
My application for fee concession was considered
after I took admission in the Special Standard, and only 50%
concession was granted. Oh! my God! Now what should I do? I did
not despair, and with firm determination started giving tuitions
to one or two school boys, who paid me only five rupees each. At
that time, there was only one cinema theatre in our village – 'Vikram
Talkies', owned by a Muslim and managed by a Hindu from
Ichalkaranji. (Even now this cinema theatre is functioning.)
Mustering courage, I met the owner and requested him to employ
me as a door-keeper, to my surprise and good luck I got the job.
During those five years in High School, my daily routine was
attending classes forenoon and afternoon, and working at the
cinema from 6 p.m to 12.30 midnight. I was never able to afford
buying text books and other study material, however my God given
gift of 'Aikpathi" stood by me. I somehow managed to read the
text books only once at some friends house. Once again I stood
first in the eighth standard annual examination; not only the
teaching staff but also many persons in Jaisingpur were
surprised at my forthcoming from them. How can I blame them for
this attitude? I was branded as a mischievous Muslim boy whose
father had many vices. At school games I used to fight with
other boys. To keep me awake till 12.30 midnight at the cinema
theatre job, I started consuming betel leaves with tobacco and
smoke cigarettes and bidis. I never had proper dinner; instead I
used to eat savories like misal, bajji, bread etc. When the
theatre closed after midnight, I used to go to some friends
house and slept there. Whenever I took bath, it was either at
the public well on the outskirts of the village or in the
By the time I entered the ninth standard, I had
a few intimate friends, boys as well as girls. Jinpal, who today
is a renowned practising pathologist at Sangli, was the best of
all of my friends and continues to be so even to-day. Similarly,
Dr J. B. Patil, who is a Sai devotee. Although I belonged to a
religion different from theirs, all my friends helped me and
took care of me. I was a little popular amongst the girls. Some
of them used to bring sweetmeats for me and lunch packs for me
during picnics, without the knowledge of their elders. But the
special contribution by them was completing my home work,
drawing and other class assignments and submitting them in my
name to the concerned teacher.
Now I must tell you a very amusing incident that
took place during the Annual Inspection of our High School. The
Management, Head Master and all the teachers were scared and
tense whenever such Inspection took place. Saturdays was our
morning school, but I used to report at 09.30 a.m only, because
of my late night duty at the theatre. Guess how I looked, with
red swollen and sleepy eyes, unbrushed teeth, unbathed body,
unwashed clothes, disheveled hair and empty stomach?
That Saturday also I reached the school at 09.30
a.m minus text books or note books, and sat on a back bench. Sri
Rawal, was then teaching a geography lesson, ordered me "Razak,
come and sit on the front bench," and I immediately complied. On
my right the girls were seated and on the left boys, with a
small dividing passage between them. I was fond of staring at
girls, but was afraid of physical closeness. I looked around,
saw that all were very well dressed, the girls in saries with
flowers in their braided hair. I was unaware of the impending
Inspection; and I was looking like a railway porter. The
Inspector, Sri Mule (pronounced Mooley) entered the class room
and started collecting our homework notebooks. When he came near
me, seeing that my attention was riveted on the girls his face
became red with anger. One girl gave me my notebook; the
Inspector took it and also the girl's notebook. (This girl
remained my God-Friend for fifteen years.) Noticing that the
handwriting, including sketch map of India in both the notebooks
are the same, the Inspector angrily shouted at Sri Rawal "Who
copied whom?" Both Sri Rawal and the girl became speechless with
fear. On my saying boldly "This girl does my homework", the
Inspector left the class room shouting "Is this school allowing
this business of copying?"
The bell rang – Sri Rawal left the class room
and Sri K. R. Ghorpade, our Marathi teacher, arrived. We all
adored and respected him. He was a staunch Hindu and a member of
Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, and a very kind teacher. Shri Mule,
the Inspector, came again straight to me. Finding that I had a
match box in my pocket, he asked "For what purpose do you carry
a match box in your pocket?" Unperturbed, I replied "For smoking
bidies". "Get Out" he immediately, roared at me. Sri Ghorpade
intervened and explained how I was attending the school despite
of extreme hardships. The Inspector was not convinced and said
"What about the school discipline and studies?" Sri Ghorpade
very boldly told the Inspector "You can examine Razak on any
subject. If the boy fails or gives a wrong answer, I shall
undergo any punishment you may decide." Using my Aikpathi
memory, I correctly answered every question put by the
Inspector, to his surprise and bewilderment. I was also cool and
collected; Sri Ghorpade was unable to hide his tears of joy. The
following further conversation took place between me and the
Inspector — "Now I will ask you questions on
I – "But, I have taken Sanskrit for study."
Inspector – "You and Sanskrit!"
I – "Why, sir, is it forbidden?".
Immediately, before the Inspector could say
anything, I recited lines from the Sanskrit classic 'Kadambari'
(Novel) composed by the renowned Poet Bana long ago, and
followed by quotations from 'Mrichakatika' meaning. 'The Clay
Cart' (this is the first ever written drama in human history and
dates back about two thousand years ago). Inspector – "This is
not in your ninth standard syllabus."
I – "I am studying for the Pandit examination of
the Tilak Vidyapeeth."
The Inspector was very overwhelmed, and patted
me on my back. After enquiring about my school fees, he said
"Henceforth you do not have to pay any fees, you will get
hundred percent concession." In this mysterious God's drama, I
benefited by getting 100% fee concession.
I scored first rank upto the tenth standard, and
in the tenth my friend Tatya Katti and I scored equal marks.
(Tatya Katti later retired as Civil Engineer and settled in
Jaisingpur). to honour the top scorers in the tenth standard
examination, our High School rewarded them by giving a gift of
Rs. 20/- to the first and Rs. 15/-to the second ranker
respectively, every year. So too, this year, and the prize
distribution function was presided by none other than my Anna,
Dr. Bhirdi. As the function began, our Headmaster said "Both
Razak and Katti scored equal marks in the first rank. Hence, it
has been decided that they share equally the first prize of Rs.
20/-, that is each one will get a gift of Rs. 10/-." I declined
to accept this decision saying "By this arrangement first ranker
gets Rs. 10/- and second ranker Rs. 15/-, which is unjust. I
will accept the gift if it is Rs. 20/- otherwise not." Anna was
later convinced with my argument and as a result I and Katti
were rewarded Rs. 20/- each. At that time my sole concern was
money, and not the principle!
My last high school examination was eleventh
standard final examination. Only my school friends encouraged
and wished me well. Although my teachers Sri Ghorpade, Sri
Kulkarni and Sri Pujari (Sanskrit) took some interest in my
progress, the Head Master would not even speak to me. I used to
feel that the entire village was against me not only because of
religious prejudice but my unkempt behaviour also. This
animosity was aggravated by my own actions as related below.
To get admission in colleges for degree courses,
we have to do extremely well in the eleventh standard final
examination. However, the Management appointed Sri Deshpande to
teach us Algebra who was inexperienced in teaching. The
Management did not concede to our pleas to change him. As a
consequence we went on strike under my leadership and then only
he was replaced with another able teacher. One more incident
added fuel to this fire. Sankar Katekar, a friend of mine, was
appearing for the tenth standard final examination, and
requested me to help copying in the examination. Though poor, he
was large hearted; he lived with his parents in the nearby
Dhanager village and was from a backward community. We both were
caught in the act of copying and expelled from the High School
immediately. Sankar ran away to Calcutta. (He is now a famous
Homoeopathic doctor practising at Chinchwad, Pune) I was out of
the school for about two months. I fell at the feet of Anna, and
the management relented and allowed me to continue studies in
the school. I had no text books and could not study much.
Because of the foregoing circumstances, in the final examination
I obtained third rank with an average of 65% marks.
I took admission in the arts faculty of Rajaram
College, Kolhapur, although I could have got admission for MBBS
in a college of my choice, due to my financial difficulties. I
was given merit scholarship of Rs. 150/- per month; in addition,
two more organisations, Dawoodi Trust of Bombay and Muslim
Boarding of Kolhapur, awarded me scholarships. Much later, I
realised that this was all Baba's plan. The Principal, Sri V. K.
Gokak, taught us English (Shakespeare). How fortunate I was!
Having taken Sanskrit as second language, Prof. Shuktankar
taught works by Poets Kalidas and Bhavabhuti. I learnt Marathi
under Prof. Rajadhyaksha and Prof. P. N. Kulkarni. I ranked in
the merit list in the first, second and third years and
graduated with B.A. (Honours). [Bachelor of Arts]
A simpleton theatre doorkeeper becoming a
honours graduate! what an impossible turn of events. Now, in
retrospect, I have no doubt that Baba's grace' only made this
possible. To understand this, let me ask you a question. Have
you an explanation if such marvellous events occur in your life?
To get the answer, in my opinion, one should consciously think
deep inside and search. Then only enlightenment comes, and so!
you become aware that a Divine power is behind it. It does not
make any difference to the Divine Supernatural Power as to what
name you call it. Once you like the fragrance, why argue on its
name? Such is this aromatic Flower, and I name it 'Sathya Sai
Each one of us have our physical mothers who
have given us birth. But there is the Greater, Mother of all
mothers, She is SANATAN – ancient, invisible and immortal – this
is my simple understanding of Advaitha (Non-duality).
After obtaining B.A. (Honours) degree, I did not
know what to do next. To my surprise, our Sanskrit teacher Sri
Pujari visited me in my hut one fine morning and asked "What
have you decided to do next?" I answered "That is the big
question in front of me." He advised me "Do carefully decide
whatever you wish to do. In the meantime, start teaching in our
High School. You will be paid a monthly salary of Rs. 120/-" I
fell at his feet for his concern and kindness for me. In June
1956, I become a teacher in our High School, and along with my
seniors whom I respected taught many subjects and become popular
among the students.
On my application, I was selected as a Sales Tax
Inspector and appointed at Bombay on 1st January
1958. I started changing slowly, accepted bribes and enjoyed
life in the big city. After about six months, I was ashamed and
depressed for having become corrupt and degraded. I was
convinced that such corrupt earnings are a curse and stopped
accepting bribes. As I was a source of their extra income, my
superiors were troubled because of my refusing to accept bribes.
After making adverse remarks in his confidential report on me,
my head of the department initially transferred me locally here
and there, and finally to Palanpur in Gujarat; Palanpur was
considered as a punishment centre.
Before joining at Palanpur, I met Sri Vaishnav,
the commissioner of Sales Tax, Bombay, who was reputed to be a
strict disciplinarian, and humbly said "Sir, I will obey the
transfer order although I have not been accepting bribes or
harmed anyone. I will be thankful if you kindly tell me as to
what adverse remarks have been written in the confidential
reports on me by my superiors." "Confidential reports are
confidential" the Commissioner said. When I asked "Have I no
rights to represent my side in case of such injustice to me"' he
replied, "First join your duty at Palanpur and then you may make
out your case in writing to the Deputy Commissioner of Sales
As I came out of the Commissioner's office, Sri
Bhandari, Personal Assistant to the Commissioner, took me to his
cabin and the following conversation took place.
Sri Bhandari – "Mr. Korbu, please treat this as
confidential. Your case is unique in the entire state; that is
why I am interested in the confidential reports you received
from various offices."
I – "Sir, I have not taken any bribes. How is it
that I have been punished so harshly?"
Sri Bhandari – (In Marathi) "Let me tell you a
secret. The charges of bribery are ordinary and unimportant.
That is not the reason for your transfer. If we had followed
this style of transfers on corruption charges, Korbu, Sales Tax
Department will be like a fast action movie cinema. Right from
the Commissioner down to the Peons will have to be transferred
almost daily and all of them will be in transit period of
joining time! Within a span of one year you worked in 5 or 6
wards in Bombay. Five transfers in a year because of only one
similar complaint against you from each place, and that is
having immoral affairs with the girls in the department wherever
you were posted."
I thought – Oh my God! These are absolutely
false charges on me of course, I was friendly with the ladies
and vice versa, and that is all. Except one, who gave me her
residential address, I did not even know their full names or
addresses. I shook hands with the Personal Assistant and told
him "Good bye and thank you sir. I shall show the department
what I am worth and what I can do to rectify this injustice." He
shook my hands again and said "Wish you the best of luck." From
his facial expression I gathered that he was less concerned
about the injustice meted out to me and more concerned about the
false charges of immoral behaviour.
Immediately after joining duty at Palanpur, as
per rules I submitted a ten page representation to Sri Patankar,
Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax, Ahmedabad. He was modest and
honest, and sent a team to Bombay to verify the facts in my
representation. The team reported that the allegations against
me are false.
Sri Patankar visited Palanpur and sent for me
and I called on him at the Government Guest House, where he was
camping. After informing me that the complaints against me were
false and that I am clean, he said "I have decided to transfer
you to any place of your choice in Maharastra." I replied "Thank
you sir. I will be happy if you transfer me to Sangli, which is
six miles distant from my home village." Shortly I was
transferred to Sangli. I started my to and fro trips from
Jaisingpur to Sangli from 1st May 1960.
How is Baba connected with the above events?
Then, though unknowingly, I complied with Baba's advice -
"When you fight against injustice, fight till you win". Soon
I realised that I was not suited for this kind of job. After
three years, I took request transfer to Pune, with the intention
of studying L.L.B after completion of which to resign and leave
At Pune, I took admission in the JCS Law College
and stayed in their hostel. I successfully completed the L.L.B.
examination in the merit list. Then I resigned from Government
service, and started my private practice at Sangli as a 'Sales
Tax & Income Tax Consultant'. That was in the year 1965 and I
had Rs. 300/- only with me. My family consisted of one wife
(later I married a second wife) three sons, one daughter and
mother. In those days, to be a successful advocate, a fresher
used to work as an assistant with a well known advocate for a
year or two. Having worked in the Sales Tax Department, I had a
good knowledge of sales tax rules. To acquaint myself with
Income Tax rules, I studied it well. I was confident that I will
do well in the practice as a consultant, although my friends
were not. I took Rs. 5,000/- loan from the Sangli Cooperative
Bank to meet the initial expenses for house keeping, office rent
etc. and bought an inexpensive bicycle. Earlier many merchants
knew me as a very honest Sales Tax Inspector; I renewed my
contacts by visiting them and telling them about my practice as
a consultant. I took membership in the Gymkhana Club and Rotary
Club to extend my contacts. The number of clients increased
slowly and I was able to earn enough to meet all my modest
expenses relating to the house and office. From 1968 my practice
started prospering with abundant money income, but my private
life took a dirty turn. My popularity at the Gymkhana Club
soared and I started indulging more and more in their immoral
activities (other than prostitution). At home I had no fear of
any one – children were very young, wife had no courage to speak
and I had no parent. After participating in such activities, I
used to repent and moan at my fallen life and for having been
caught in a vicious circle.
The Sivaji University, Kolhapur, Started
master's degree in law (L.L.M) in the year 1970, and I thought
it as a golden opportunity to do this post graduate course as I
can escape from the attractions of immoral enjoyments at the
Sangli Gymkhana Club. Soon after, I joined the Law College,
Kolhapur, for L.L.M and was commuting there thrice a week by
State Transport buses. As in the past, from the first year to
the final third year examinations, I obtained first rank in all
the subjects. I was admired and my photograph with a write-up
was published in the newspapers. Even then I could not overcome
my weakness for immoral activities, and internally I became very
disappointed and depressed.
My law practice increased and my eldest son, who
qualified as an advocate, joined me as my assistant. Along with
prosperity, my vices also increased without any restraint at
all. I realised that I cannot reform myself, and needed a
fatherly Guru. I felt like a person who is drowning in a flood
and unable to save himself, needs help from someone else, or the
fire which cannot extinguish itself till the time it turns into
Studying for LLM did not improve my character. I
can now affirm "Only by academic education one cannot become
virtuous." I was employed as a Professor in both the Law
Colleges, one at Sangli and the other at Kolhapur, and my
experience coupled with my fondness for teaching increased my
reputation in the academic circles. I purchased a new Fiat
Padmini car. Yet internally I started becoming hollow and hated
myself. My inner voice warning me said "You are not born for
this and this is not your original self. Come out of this
quagmire fast." Despite of this intense inner conflict, I was
unable to reform myself. I was fully entangled in the web of
temptations. My heart cried out "Search for your Guru." But
where and how? I did not know who will cure me of these vicious
melodies. Shall I go to a temple? or a Masjid? Since my
childhood, I had never visited a temple or a Masjid or did
pilgrimage to any holy place. I had no liking for such things,
and that was my bad luck. What will I get at such places? Even
to-day, except Prasanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi, I have not
found any other temple of interest to me. Gurus, Saints,
Incarnations of God of the past do not interest me; I do not
know if any of them are alive and in human form now. Whether
such an attitude is my strong or weak point also I do not know.
I then started my quest by reading books on
Gurus and Incarnations of God, and also enquired from other good
persons about them. Out of the names suggested by them, I
selected three who are alive – Satya Sai Baba, Jiddu
Krishnamurthy and Acharya Rajnish.
I was influenced by the articles appearing in
the Blitz, Maratha, Indian Express, Illustrated Weekly
criticizing Baba as a hypocrite. Some learned persons and
scientists also denounced Baba at the Rastra-Seva-Dal meetings,
which I attended in my youth. Even intellect did not accept
Baba's miracles. Therefore, first I deleted the name of Satya
Sai Baba from the list of three!
I avidly read books on J. Krishnamurthy. His
great intellectual discussions impressed me but did not reach my
heart, especially his saying "Always act, never react".
But, how is this going to reform me? After much thought, I
deleted his name also from the list.
Then I started with Acharya Rajnish, purchased
all books written by him and audio cassettes of his discourses.
I agreed and liked the meaning he gave for 'Bhagawan' (The
Supreme Being, God) and fell in love with It. I and some friends
decided to get initiated by him, wore red ochre robes and
rosary, and became his disciples; for this we were to go to Pune
soon. I read one of his best writings on Upanishads "Mrityorma
Amritam Gamaya". With the exception of Indira Gandhi and Morarji
Desai, Rajnish vehemently criticised Satya Sai Baba, Governments
of India and Maharashtra, which I enjoyed. Rajnish's critical
analysis of Baba's miracles initially impressed me but later
made me thoroughly confused.
To overcome this confusion, I contemplated very
deeply on the upanishadic aphorism 'Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya'
(the first two lines of this are 'Asatoma Sad Gamaya, Tamasoma
Jyotir Gamaya') and to my surprise and delight enlightenment
came showing me the path to the living God Satya Sai Baba. I
have no doubt now that this sensational drama within me is
Baba's play! I thought I found my happiness, but later corrected
it as I found my pathway to happiness. I found the truth I was
searching for 'Satya' that is 'Satya Sai Baba'. That was in 1976
Like others who wish good for all, I too had the
question "Why are many poor and miserable and a few rich and
seemingly happy? Why some become criminals and some law abiding?
If Baba is a Jagat Guru, why is he not taking care of all? why
is equal justice not there for everyone?" The answer came from
within me- "All other beings are born as actualities; only human
beings are born as potentialities." Animals and birds are
complete by themselves at birth; later they grow, multiply and
die. Human beings are like a blank canvas papers. There is an
invisible writing of this canvas-Fate or Destiny-On going Karma,
the result of their good and bad deeds in their previous births;
added to this some inherited qualities. The most beautiful'part
Of this Divine play is that we are given full freedom as to what
to paint on this canvass. This is where we need a Divine Guru to
guide us, to higher levels of awareness of God. Many do not
believe in this and take freedom as license to do anything. "Tat
Twam Asi" technique teaches to know thy self, Khuda, God and
that you are His part. Those who experience this, paint their
canvas finely, others spoil it, that is why different life
This is the way of Sai.
I have come not to
disturb or destroy any Faith, but to confirm each in his
own Faith, so that the Christian becomes a better
Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim and a Hindu a
The Teachings of Rama,
Krishna, Mohammed or Jesus are meant for the
emancipation of man. No religion preaches violence or
harm to anybody some evil minded people misinterpret
sacred teachings and indulge in wicked deeds. All the
noble souls taught good things, they did not preach
hatred. God never tells anybody to kill others.
2. TOWARDS BABA
My eagerness to know more of Baba and
Puttaparthy increased. I met some devotees for this and they
gave books written on Baba. I refused the books as I now felt
that I will not be satisfied with second hand information
however interesting it may be. I want to experience the 'Truth'
myself. But how do I find time now for this? My law practice and
teaching job at two colleges kept me busy with no time left for
any other activity. What shall I tell my typical orthodox
Islamic family members? I had four young children. My family
members and all friends were against Baba. After much thought, I
retained my full time job at the Sangli College, and resigned
from the honorary job at the Kolhapur College which will leave
me free on Saturdays and Sundays.
That was in 1977. I do not remember the exact
dates; took casual leave on Thursday and Friday, gave necessary
instructions to my office, told my family that I have to visit a
friend and travelled to Bangalore via Miraj by train. From
Bangalore I travelled by bus and reached Puttaparthy at 1.30
p.m. the second day. Baba gave me the slip in my first visit
only! On enquiring at his ashram (Prasanthi Nalayam), I was told
that Baba was at His other ashram at Whitefield, Bangalore. I
returned to the bus stand, at Puttaparthy, travelled by bus to
Bangalore reaching there in the evening; next day, Saturday, I
went to Whitefield by the early morning train (a very short
journey). As I entered the ashram wearing sandals, a volunteer
(Seva Dal member) stopped me and asked me to leave my sandals at
the allotted place for footwear, which he pointed out. I
complied and returned. The volunteer then pointed his finger at
a large number of men sitting in a group and said 'Sai Ram'. As
I went there and sat in the front, another volunteer said 'Sai
Ram' and pointed his finger towards the rear. I shifted to the
rear and sat. I was angry with myself – Having so far lived a
dossoluntary (dissolute) and disorderly life, can I adjust to
this strict discipline? Sounds of Bhajan were coming from a
distance towards the Krishna Idol. I could not fathom out any of
the words or its meaning. My attention was elsewhere. What the
hell am I doing here after taking the trouble of coming and
sitting amongst an unfamiliar crowd? A slight feeling of guilt
and repentance engulfed me.
Baba was nowhere to be seen and I had no idea of
how to get a Darsan. I noticed that all the men were turning
their heads towards left, where there is a gate, again and
again. I became impatient and asked a volunteer in a white dress
and red-ochre scarf "Will Baba certainly give Darsan?" His look
just made me freeze, and yet dared to ask "When will He come?"
From his answer "Only He knows", I understood that no one can
foretell the exact time. And Ah! my God! I was getting the urge
to smoke a cigarette. But I did not go out as it was impossible
to get the same seat on return. Then I observed the faces of
others sitting around me. Oh! they appeared much relaxed and
serene. Their attention was at the gate. Can't they sit still
even while singing bhajans? What kind of devotion is this?
All of a sudden I heard 'Quiet, be quiet', 'Oh!
Baba' and 'Oh! Swamy'; all were looking towards the gate. I saw
Baba as he emerged from the gate talking to someone and
proceeding towards the groups seated in an orderly manner. While
walking he slightly lifted his robe with his left hand so that
it does not entangle his feet, and sometimes moved his right
palm over the hair on the rear of his head. A few volunteers
followed him. Looking at the groups generally He said "Hallo!
How are you? Fine?" As Baba proceeded between the groups, ladies
and gentlemen in the first line, (they were seated in separate
groups on either side) bowed at Baba's feet as he passed by.
Then Baba bent forward and touched a few on their heads. He
accepted letters given by some and ignored letters from others.
Afterwards, I was able to see Baba sitting on the red cushioned
chair near the Krishna idol and listening to the bhajans for a
little time. As he got up, Aarathi was performed. Walking
between the groups nearby, he left for his residence through the
gate. I asked a person sitting next to me "Why Baba did hot come
to our side?" He replied "Who are we to ask?" I did not then
properly understand his answer and had many such questions in my
mind which made me disappointed and depressed. Is this the much
talked about Darshan for which one has to spend so much time,
energy and money? What benefit did I get and what have I
achieved? Only I have lost my Kolhapur College job!
As the crowds dispersed, I too came out of the
ashram. I felt better only after smoking two cigarettes, one
after the other. I enquired about any restaurant and was guided
to Baba's canteen where I ate idli and wada. I came out and
smoked a cigarette again. The canteen was filling up with ladies
and gentlemen – they all had sacred ash (Vibhuthi) smeared on
their forehead. The surprising thing was that everyone seemed
to be drowned in some sort of unsurpassed joy and ecstasy.
Oh! what is it that is so great they think has happened? Baba
came, sat in the chair and went back. Such a small deed of Baba
only can have such miraculous effect! What have I wronged that I
did not feel the joy and ecstasy like others? In fact, I had to
smoke three cigarettes to overcome my feeling of weariness!
I decided to return home and never to come here
I reached home on Monday fully exhausted and
tired. I lied to my family by telling the name of a friend, whom
I said I had visited. Within me I regretted for having spent
about Rs. 400/- on this visit to Puttaparathi. In the evening I
went to the Gymkhana Club, of which I was the President, and was
asked by some friends "Where were you for the last four to five
days?" I replied "In the hell". Thereafter, I followed the same
old monotonous daily routine, which I very much wanted to
change. After a week or so, when I was free and sitting alone,
the following thoughts emerged in my mind "Such a large
gathering at Whitefield. Can they all be fooled? Or, are they
all fools? People even go to fairs and pilgrims centres. What do
they get? But what glow of satisfaction and joy I saw on the
faces of people at the Whitefield canteen! Can it be false? Even
foreigners were there and all were bare footed. No, their
satisfaction was certainly hundred percent true. But Baba had
not done anything. Only the crowd had bowed with folded palms.
Then who has created this happiness? And how? What could be the
media of communication? What could be the method of contact? Or,
were they all blind and ignorant devotees? Have they found a
mirage where they quenched their thirst temporarily? Even if it
is so, how is it that I was indifferent and nothing reached me?
After about a month, we had a Friday as a
holiday – thus making it three consecutive holidays along with
normal Saturday and Sunday. How do I spend these three days?
Earlier I never had such a question, in fact, time was short for
my activities. On Wednesday night, I felt lonely and gloomy, and
my mind was full with some sort of painful regret. Some
unfamiliar attraction was pulling me. I was vacillating, shall I
go again to see Baba? What did I get from my visit a month ago?
If I go again will it be the same -exhaustion from futile
efforts? I had not seen Puttaparthy fully last time. Is Baba at
Bangalore or Puttaparthi? In such a state of mind, I went to my
office and telephoned Sri Narayana Rao, Railway Station Master
at Miraj, a devotee of Baba, and asked him whether Baba is at
Bangalore or Puttaparthi. When he confirmed that Baba was at
Bangalore, I felt disappointed as I wanted to visit Puttaparthi
when Baba is there. A second thought came in my mind – to go to
Bangalore now or not to go at all. Finally I came to the
decision that I have to go to Bangalore. What can happen? At the
most history will be repeated. It will definitely be better than
getting drowned in the whirlwind of so called enjoyment at the
Gymkhana Club on Sunday. This thought came to me for the first
time. Despite of repenting for my activities on Sundays at the
Club, these bad habits used to pull me back again and again.
Thursday morning I told my wife "I am going out
of station for four days". She asked "So soon again. And where?"
I answered "To my friends". My wife was doubtful. Earlier,
whenever I was away from home without informing her in advance,
her innocent understanding was that I was held up in some
important work and her impression was always correct. But I
never cared for her understanding or took her seriously. My
doctrine has always been 'Complete the work in hand, good or
bad, fearlessly without worrying about its results'. Changing
this is least possible for me. The methodology and style of work
changed and modified in radical manner as time went by, however,
my inherent nature from birth remained the same. I never
indulged in loose talk or deceptive living. One thing I am proud
of is that there is no curtain between my inner and outer life.
Thursday afternoon I left for Bangalore and
stayed at the same lodge. As the train reached Bangalore late, I
could not go for the morning Darsan. For the evening Darsan, I
reached the asram quite early at 3 p.m. and sat on the men's
side opposite the Krishna idol, where Baba would come and sit in
His chair. The devotees increased slowly and the hall became
full. The singing of bhajans started.
After some time Baba entered, came straight to
the front row where I was sitting, stood before me and without
looking at me took letters from those who were seated behind me.
Automatically I put both my hands at his feet and bowing down
put my forehead on his feet. All this happened as an impulse.
After this Pada Namaskar, I resumed my sitting position and
looked up. At the same moment Baba also looked at me and it was
like a powerful torch light flashed at my eyes in darkness. My
head was thrown back with the sudden impact, and an electric
current was passing throughout my body. My eyes were dazzled and
shut for a moment, and when I opened them I saw Baba sitting in
His chair. After that Baba did not ever look towards our side
and left when the Aarathi was over.
I came out, put on my sandals, had no sensation
that I was standing on the ground, and almost floating walked to
the canteen. Something extraordinary had taken place and my head
was light without any other thoughts. I had tea without paying
any attention to its taste. Without even smoking a cigarette,
I boarded the bus from Whitefield to Bangalore and reached the
lodge. I decided to go for the next day morning Darsan, smoked a
cigarette and went to sleep. Slept very peacefully I do not
remember that I ever slept so peacefully.
Next day morning I reached Baba's asram at
Whitefield early and sat near his chair. Bhajan started and for
the first time I listened attentively. I was engulfed in a
feeling of well being, like a sick man who has just been cured
of his illness. As there was no sign of Baba even after some
time, we could hear whispers "Is Baba coming or not?" The bhajan
stopped and the devotees started dispersing. I asked a volunteer
"Is there no darsan this morning?" The volunteer replied "Swamy
left just now for Prasanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi". I was
confused and did not like the unique way of leaving without
giving notice to the devotees. Oh! why can't He announce His
programme a day in advance. Even the bhajan singers came to know
of His departure for Puttaparthi when the devotees started
Devotees rushed out. Those who had their own
vehicles or on hire, were on their way to Puttaparthi. This was
something new to me. I did not like Baba's style and even today
I have the same opinion. I was little angry also. Oh! Why am I
angry and with whom? In my last visit I was eager to return to
Kolhapur. Today why am I sad and depressed at the sudden
departure of Baba to Puttaparthi? The only difference between my
first and second visit was that of Baba's gaze at me, in my
eyes, this time. Can such minor incident have so great an impact
on me? It is true that this happened to me, otherwise why should
I feel so sad? Just even to think that a person (male or
female), whom I never knew or was acquainted goes away after
looking at me and this made me sad! Will that create agony of
separation? Oh! now I know – I have definitely fallen in love
with Baba at first sight! Is it one sided love? Who loves whom –
I love Baba or Baba loves me? I could not find a definite
answer. Only one thing was true – I, THIS MEERA, HAD GONE CRAZY
FOR BABA, HARI.
Even after carefully considering that I have to
attend to my duties at the Law College at Sangli from Monday, I
decided to overlook this and reached Puttaparthi by night.
Although accommodation was available inside Baba's asram, as I
was unaware of the procedure to get such accommodation, I stayed
in a lodge outside the asram. I ate south Indian curry-rice
dinner, smoked two cigarettes and went to sleep.
I woke up to the sounds of 'AUM' at about five
o'clock in the morning. As it was quiet in the lodge, I wondered
where the sound was coming from. I got up from the bed, without
bothering to do my morning ablutions, headed towards the sounds
emanating from inside the asram. I saw many ladies and gentlemen
standing in two separate rows and others coming out of the
mandir and joining them. All started singing Bhajans and walked
slowly to circumnavigate the mandir. I came to know later that
this is called 'Nagar Sankeerthan' and is carried out early
morning every day. Prior to this at 'Brahma Muhurt' the sound
'Aum' is chanted twenty one times by a congregation of devotees
sitting inside the mandir.
After seeing the above mentioned events, I
returned to the lodge, completed morning ablutions. Had tea at
the same restaurant outside the asram gate (even now I like the
tea at this place), smoked a cigarette, bought a chocolate and
put in my mouth, and then entered the asram for darsan. Oh! What
am I doing? Why am I, for the first time in my life, taking such
precaution to conceal cigarette smell emanating from my mouth?
Right from my boyhood, even in school or college, I did not
bother about this. This is the first occasion I felt a little
guilty. I do request all Sai devotees to learn to observe even
such minor incidents in their lives. They will know that this
Sai is like a powerful magnet – once you go and take His darsan,
you are permanently attached to Him! It does not mean you are
transformed overnight. But it is for certain that the Divine
Rays of Sai Lamp have started lighting your heart, and slowly
spreading. These Rays are driving away the darkness within you,
step by step. Would not you agree with me that this is the
greatest Sai miracle taking place in todays chaotic world?
Many people were sitting on the ground in a
haphazard manner, some of them especially foreigners, I had seen
at Whitefield. Oh! where will we get darsan? In the Hall
(adjacent to the temple) which I had seen from outside early in
the morning, two volunteers came, made everyone sit in rows,
gave numbered tokens, from a bag, one each to the first person
sitting in each row. According to the serial numbers one after
the other persons in each row were sent to sit inside the darsan
hall. Our row got the last number and I could only sit far
behind, near the wall. The following is the text of my
conversation with a devotee sitting next to me.
I – "From where does Baba come for giving
The devotee understood that I was a newcomer,
and drew my attention to a door on the right side of the mandir.
I – "Who are those sitting on the veranda next
to the door?"
He – "They are VIPs. Baba's close devotees and
I – "How do they go there?"
He – "Directly from the front gate. The
volunteers know them well, and if someone happens to be new he
has a pass signed by Kutumba Rao."
Hearing this, I questioned myself "Why this
difference? Why VIP treatment to some? Is this not partiality?
Why not give equal treatment to all? And why are there no ladies
amongst the VIPs?"
At this juncture, I noticed groups of students
along with their teachers coming fast from the front gate and
sitting in an orderly manner, one behind the other in rows, on
the verendah and nearby space. The students were carrying books
in their hands.
I – "Who are these boys?"
He – "They are students of Baba's primary and
I – "Are there no girl students in Baba's
He – "Schools and colleges for girls are
separate, and their routine is different, and are located at
Anantapur, Baba is still not in favour of co-education.
Bhajan started but I could not see the singers.
Then I saw a line of male devotees going into the Mandir through
the door on the left, under the guidance of volunteers. A few
returned, perhaps the Mandir was full, and sat behind us.
I – "Why did these devotees enter the Mandir at
this time and that too before darsan?"
He – "Later on Baba goes into the Mandir and
give darsan to those gathered there."
I – "Most of the devotees are sitting outside
here for darsan. Why should a few go into the Mandir for
He – "They are interested in singing bhajans
along with the singers who are already inside. More important is
that Baba goes inside, sits in a chair just in front of the
congregation of singers and listens. They also have the
opportunity of seeing Baba taking aarathi before He goes into
the adjacent room where he gives interviews. Thus these devotees
have a prolonged darsan."
I had not seen any lady entering the Mandir just
like in Muslims' Masjid. Are ladies not allowed in the Mandir?
If this is so, I should not be here even for a minute! On my
asking, the devotee explained "On the contrary, there are more
ladies than gentlemen inside the Mandir. Are you not hearing to
ladies' voices also singing bhajans? The singing is from inside.
Ladies enter the Mandir through a separate door on the other
side, which is not visible from here." On hearing this, I was
I do not like some of the customs which are
accepted and practised. Muslim ladies are not allowed in the
Masjids and are also not allowed to do Namaz there. When Muslims
criticise Hindus on untouchabllity, is not this treatment of
ladies amongst Muslims a sort of untouchability also? 'Quran'
and 'Hadis' are the two main books of Islam religion. 'Quran' is
speech of God. 'Hadis' are the customs and traditions, which
came later and put on the name of Mohammed Paigamber. In 'Quran'
there is no injustice to women. To say more about 'Hadis' in
this book will be out of context.
Then Baba went towards the students and for more
than ten minutes had a tete-a-tete with them. Any intelligent
devotee, after seeing this event, will realise how Baba is
conveying by his actions right from his childhood for the past
sixty years the meaning of the proverb "Children are the flowers
of God". I could not control my tears of joy on witnessing this
touching scene. With one kid, Baba acted like a loving mother
beating the child by hand. Baba's action was worth seeing. Even
today, whenever I recall this incident I become very emotional.
But why does this not happen to all the devotees? After many
years, I feel that I have found the answer to this question? I
am now of the opinion that most of the devotees are so immersed
in their own affairs that they cannot appreciate such sensitive
actions of Baba. Being always self-centered and thinking about
their own lives, even if they look at such events they cannot
see and experience Baba's love; they just carry the burden of
their raised hands and folded palms. Why Can't they forget their
material existence and dive deep into Sai aspect of Baba? Is
there any other meaning of surrender? When death is like zero
(soonyatha) and you think you are merging into zero (nothingness
or soonyatha), while dying, why can't you surrender to Sai and
merge while living? My meaning of 'Samaadhi' is 'This is his
realm' (Aashi) and 'Only He is there and not me' (Sama) – i.e.
'He is me and I am Him'. (Advaith).
Afterwards, Baba walked towards the ladies and
then walked back towards the gentlemen. He was quite far from
me; since my eyes were moist I had a blurred vision of Him. At
one place Baba bent a little and gave something into the palms
of devotees. From my neighbours talk, I understood that Baba
created Vibhuthi and distributed it. He took letters from some
devotees and did not take from others. Then He went towards the
gate where some sick persons were sitting in wheel chairs. I
expected that Baba would talk to them. No, He just looked at
them, walked back and stood on the veranda. The reasons for
Baba's apparent disinterest at these sick persons in wheel
chairs are not yet clear to me. Then I saw a few devotees among
the gentlemen, ladies and foreigners getting up from where they
have been called for an interview by Baba. I have already
written in detail about these interviews in my first book, and
as such I am not repeating it again in this book.
After the Aarathi the devotees dispersed. The
time was 9.30 a.m. I had tea, cigarette at the same restaurant
and returned to the asram, and wandered around. I read that
day's message of Baba written on a black board, saw the
accommodation office, book stall and purchased a few English
books. Thereafter, I returned to the lodge, lied down on the bed
and lighted a cigarette.
Then only I remembered the College at Sangli and
my duty there, but decided to take one more darsan in the
evening and leave for Sangli next day morning. Oh! My! to my
surprise it occurred to me then that in Baba's presence I had
forgotten all about my problems and vicious desires which were
bothering me. Baba has become my Guru, and how come my problems
did not crop up in my mind? Why have I not asked Him anything or
at least told Him in my mind? Why did I become taciturn and
forgot myself? Whatever has so far happened is correct and for
good? Who am I to tell or ask? Baba is omniscient – knows
everything. Let me wait and see if anything new happens in the
The evening was just the same. I extended my
stay for two more days, but nothing new took place. Yet, I was
not disappointed! I was sure that though I did not get anything
externally, I did get something very deep internally. While
leaving, I put forth in my mind my only prayer "Baba give me
chances to come for your darsans, even from the last row. I do
not want anything else. I will prove to you that I am much
changed and reformed".
It was Thursday morning that I returned to
Kolhapur. I did not bring Vibhuthi or Baba's Photographs as I
had no attraction for them. I cherished my journey and kept it a
secret. Some books in English, which I purchased at the asram,
were at the bottom of my suitcase.
After my arrival, my family members were in
gloom silence for one or two days and I was depressed. I was
quite used to this, and being at fault bore it patiently. On
such occasions I never became wild and angry with anyone. Being
the eldest and earning member of the family, I never used this
position to shout or scold any other member for any mistakes on
their part. I could have cleared their misunderstanding, if any,
at that time, but did not do so. I was afraid that someone might
oppose me, which I would not be able to bear. Further, It is
wise to hide your happiness under such circumstances.
On reaching my office, I found a letter from
college. It was a Memo and read as "You were absent from the
college without prior intimation. This has caused inconvenience
to the students and also affected the routine of other
professors. Your casual leaves are almost exhausted. Henceforth,
please do not abstain from your duties in the college. Also
render a written explanation for your unauthorised absence last
week from Monday to Wednesday, etc." Now in retrospect I think
that the College Authorities were not wrong in issuing the Memo
and I should not have lost my temper. But in those days, I used
to get very angry at such provocations without carefully
reasoning out the real cause.
I pulled out my office letter pad and wrote a
reply. In brief I wrote "I went to Puttaparthy in Andhra Pradesh
to have a darsan of Sri Satya Sai Baba. Henceforth, I intend to
go for His darsan every month for four days. I will be going
after taking up my Wednesday's lectures and return on Monday
mornings. You can account for these two days, Thursday and
Friday, as leave without pay. I do not mind even if you consider
this as break in my service. You may, if you like, disallow my
pension, provident fund, gratuity etc. However, I assure you
that by taking extra classes I will complete the syllabus well
in time and will not cause any inconvenience to the students. If
you disagree with my above mentioned demands I will not be
coming to the College at all."
Later I came to know that this letter was kept
before the LMC meeting. I and Sri Satya Baba – many of them did
not believe, and someone exclaimed "Oh! both of them are sailing
in the same boat!" A few newly appointed members suggested my
dismissal. But senior professors knew my reputation amongst the
students and one of them said "If we remove Professor Korbu the
students will go on strike and we will have to close the
college. He is our only Star Professor who has mastery over all
the thirty subjects which are being taught in our college. Why
should we be concerned with his private life? Students come to
this college just to attend his lectures. As for the others, we
have to almost force the students to attend the lectures, etc."
Then the management decided to allow me to continue in the
service as a special case. The principal called me to his office
and narrated to me all the above. He also asked me to sign the
attendance register for the absent days without fail and added
that such things cannot be given in writing!
Then there was a whispering campaign against me.
It was said that I was a hopeless case and therefore had to go
to Sri Satya Sai Baba in Andhra Pradesh for help. This infamy
reached the Gymkhana Club, of which I was the President, the
Rotary Club and also my home. There was also a good outcome –
some shy old devotees of Baba, living in Sangli and Miraj,
started visiting me. Some of them related their experiences and
we discussed Baba's life and teachings. I also started visiting
Baba's devotees in Kolhapur. In short, I came to know many
devotees around here and we all came closer. There was not much
response at the Gymkhana Club and the Rotary Club as a large
number of the members had negative critical opinions on Baba.
They even went to the extent of giving my example as evidence to
prove that "Baba is a fraud not God. One who is bringing such a
rotten spoiled person as Korbu close to him, how can he be an
Avatar? The devotee is a fraud and his God is also a fraud."
Till then I did not give any weightage to such adverse
criticism. But this time, I resigned my membership from the
Gymkhana Club and the Rotary Club, that too with pride.
Then a second bigger miracle took place. At
home, although no one agreed with me for my devotion to Baba,
yet as my usual style of living was slowly changing for the
better, an air of contentment was spreading in my house. The
observation of my family members was that the head of the family
was slowly and definitely getting humanised; almost like being
resurrected. They became happy and I too was glad. I offered all
this at Baba's lotus feet. I commenced visiting Puttaparthi
openly; of course, I was sitting in the last row for darsan.
That was upto 1981. Slowly some of the wounds of endurance
healed up. Other wounds were still there but bearable. The
journey was balanced. During those initial five years, Baba
never even once looked at me or gave 'Pada Namaskar'. Despite of
this, I was contented!
It is always preferable
to approach God for the fulfillment of wants, rather
than cringe before man, who themselves are tools in the
hands of God. In his own silent way, God will transform
the mind and turn it towards Sadhana and successful
spiritual pilgrimage. He cannot allow His children to
loose their way and suffer in the jungle. When you
approach God and seek his help and guidance, you have
taken the first step to save yourself. You are then led
to accept His
will as your own. Thus, you achieve
UNIVERSITY AND I
In February 1981, I went to Whitefield for
Baba's darsan. Oh, yes! Baba was there. By that time, I had
become a regular devotee and could easily find out His
whereabouts. In the past five years I felt that I have endured
enough trials and tribulations arising out of my own deeds. Some
blots were yet there to disturb me much.
One evening Baba did not come to give darsan.
Well, that is Baba's style! I got up and for the first time felt
like visiting Baba's College and Hostel. But will the volunteers
allow me to visit them? I went out to put on my chappals. A
volunteer was there. Although I did not know him, I always used
to see him at this spot. A young fellow with trimmed black
beard, grey hair and wearing spectacles. I don't know why, but
while passing I said 'Sai Ram' to him. He also replied 'Sai Ram'
came closer to me and said "I have seen you often here. Don't be
disappointed at Swamy's absence today for darsan. He has gone to
Prasanthi Nilayam, at Puttaparthi. By the way, where from are
you and what is your occupation?" I told him about my academic
activity only, thanked him and turned to leave. My voice become
weak and eyes blurred with tears because of separation from
Baba! The volunteer called me back saying "Oh, Mr... Prof.
Korbu, one minute please." I turned back, and the following
conversation took place between us.
Volunteer – "Swamy is starting His own
University at Puttaparthi from June this year. This University
needs some visiting professors. Why don't you apply?"
I – "Is He initiating law faculty also?"
Volunteer – "No, how can a law faculty be
started at Puttaparthy? There are no law courts and no advocates
I – "Then, what will be the use of my applying?
I am not eligible for any other faculty."
Volunteer - "But there is certainly going to be
a commerce faculty, and someone well qualified in law will be
required to teach mercantile law."
I – "Thank you very much for the information, I
shall sincerely think over your helpful suggestion."
Oh, my God! How is it that this ordinary
volunteer knows so much about university level faculties of law,
commerce and mercantile law etc. I became uneasy. I turned back,
and asked him in an abashed tone in the following manner
I – "Please forgive me for not enquiring
anything about you. I was very much confused, but I have a
puzzle for you to solve. Despite of the fact you are a volunteer
here, how is it that you know so much about the academic aspects
at a university level? What is your occupation when you are not
a volunteer here?"
Volunteer – (in a natural disposition) "I am
known as... (I have forgotten his name now). I am the Head of
the Department of Philosophy in this college. However, when I am
free, Swamy has obliged me by permitting me to serve here as a
volunteer. Very kind and noble hearted is Swamy."
Oh! that is marvelous. I was astonished. What an
incomprehensible way of walking by Baba the 'Avatar'? The Head
of the Department of Philosophy doing the work of a volunteer
and that too as a caretaker of devotees' footwear! And that also
he calls Baba's Grace! What an unassuming and humble nature?
Even when telling his name, he did not prefix it with Principal
or Professor. I was almost hit on the head. I sincerely make an
earnest appeal to the many Indians, who are choked below heaps
of wealth or power or degrees, that at least in the name of site
seeing they should visit Puttaparthy. You may not go for Baba's
darsan, but at least try to feel, understand such experiences of
persons who are living examples of values of human education and
That same night I caught a train and returned to
Sangli, the next day. The second day, after my siesta, I
prepared my Bio-data and wrote an application for the post of a
visiting professor in Baba's new university. I did not inform
anyone in my family about this. I did not worry at all as to
what will happen to my full time job at Sangli College, if I am
selected for professorship at Baba's college at Puttaparthy.
What will be my salary? Or, will it be an unpaid job? How many
times and days in a month will I have to go? What about my
travelling allowances? Will I be given free accommodation and
food etc? I kept aside all such questions out of my mind. Then
along with my application, bio-data and certificates, I wrote a
separate letter saying "I am very rich (untrue!). I do not
require salary and travelling allowance (against my wish!). I am
a popular professor, famous as a star, and have mastery of
teaching over thirty subjects in law. And I am a Baba's devotee
(true)." I prepared a bigger envelope, enclosed all of them, and
posted it to Puttaparthy address.
I went to Puttaparthy at the end of March 1981.
This time I had completed teaching my college syllabus fully.
Therefore, there was no hurry to return to Sangli. One day after
morning darsan, my routine tea, cigarette and chocolate, I
headed towards Baba's High school and enquired about the
university. I was told that the Boys' College has information,
about the University, there. I went to the college. The
administrative office was in the ground floor. The walls were
adorned with different portrait photographs of Baba. Despite of
a large number of non-teaching staff working there, there was
pin-drop silence. After my enquiring at a window, I was sent to
the concerned clerk. He said, "Sai Ram, please have a seat. What
can I do for you? Thereafter, the following conversation took
place between us.
I – I had applied for the post of visiting
professor of "Mercantile law". Can you please tell me when I
will be called for an interview?
Clerk – Oh! I am sorry. I did not know that you
are an applicant for professorship. Please sit on the opposite
sofa. I will also come there and give you all the information.
I did not feel much of his modesty. It is a way
of life here. The sofa was of ultra modern design, elegant and
looked very expensive. Later when I visited Baba's Nursery, High
School, College, University and Hospital (which was recently
commissioned) I found nothing of ordinary style, equipped with
modern amenities and equipment as per Baba's wish, made possible
from unconditional donations by devotees. Even the plans for the
buildings were approved by Baba.
After we shifted to the sofa, our conversation
Clerk – All the faculties of the deemed
university are going to need fourteen visiting professors. We
have received your application. There have been some problems
regarding interviews, which were beyond the scope of the
Registrar and the Vice Chancellor. Therefore, Swamy will be
taking the decisions.
I – I am sorry, but it is not very clear to me.
Clerk – In response to our advertisement in the
'Sanathan Sarathi' magazine three months ago, we received
eighteen thousand applications from all parts of the world. It
was an enormous task to scrutinise all these applications and
take interviews. So when the Vice Chancellor acquainted Baba of
this difficulty, Baba told him" Don't worry. I will do the
I – Can you please tell me as to how many
universities the applications have come from?
Clerk – I do not know, as the applicants
envelopes have not yet been opened and still more applications
are coming. Yet from the addresses given on some of the
envelopes, I can mention Oxford, Cambridge, San Diego,
California and many other foreign universities. And from almost
all universities in India.
(Readers please do not guess my increased heart
beats and fallen face!)
I – By the way, who is the Vice Chancellor and
Clerk – Dr. Gokak is the Vice Chancellor, and
the Registrar is Sri Chakravarthy, a young IAS (Indian
Administrative Service) Officer from Bengal who knows all the
languages of South India.
I – Dr. Gokak! Is he the world famous V. K.
Clerk – Yes. He is one of the senior devotees of
Baba and has been staying here for many years.
I recalled the year 1952 when I was a student at
the Rajaram College, Kolhapur, where Dr. V. K. Gokak was the
Principal and my English Professor! The renowned educational
expert is the Vice Chancellor and an IAS Officer is the
I – Is the Governor of Andhra Pradesh ex-officio
Clerk – The Chancellor of this University is
Baba Himself and not the Governor. This is going to be a Deemed
University and teaching will be at world level. Admissions will
not be only on academic merit, but on aptitude test. All the
students and professors will reside in one campus. Each faculty
will have regular professors and also selected visiting
professors, who are experts in their fields.
My mouth dried up, voice become weak, hearing
this! I could only say 'Sai Ram' and came out. I blamed myself
for having sent my application. I became depressed and decided
not to appear for the interview if called. I left Puttaparthy
without, waiting for the evening darsan.
In my homeward journey, my mind was full of
questions. Why should I be sad when I sensed that I was not
suitable for this post? Earlier have I not rejected chances of
well respected posts of power? Then why has this inferiority
complex come now in my mind? What am I going to lose if I do not
get this job? In fact, I should be happy and proud that Baba's
university will be having world famous renowned teaching staff.
Is the cause of my depression my hurt ego? Well, this must be
the reason. Although I was known as a humble professor, my ego
as a successful star professor had definitely blossomed, and
this ego was hurt, making me depressed. Oh, my God! I realised
for the first time how such self introspection was useful. On
the pretence of chance of service, I wanted service of chances.
Rather than a post for service, I desired of post to strut about
that I was a professor at Baba's deemed world university. Then I
calmed down. My ego was deflated. A good incident, had taken
place in my teaching career.
I returned home in peace and became reserved.
One fine day, I called my two advocate sons and Sri Bajaj, my
partner, and told them "Sri Bajaj, please relieve me from our
partnership. You have worked a lot for this. You may please make
a new partnership deed with my two sons as your partners. You
can take 50% of the profit as your share, and give 25% each to
my sons as their share. Henceforth, I shall be giving free
tuitions to needy students."
Baba is always away from Puttaparthy and
Bangalore during the months of April and May visiting other
places, and returns to Puttaparthy in mid-June. That is, after
my last darsan in March 1981, I will have to wait till June 1981
for the next darsan.
In the second week of April 1981, I received a
letter from the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. It
read as "You have been appointed as a visiting professor of
mercantile law in this institute. Please make it convenient to
see the undersigned immediately. Registrar."
The readers would assume that I must have become
mad with happiness after reading the above letter. But nothing
of that sort happened. I got up, from the office, went
straightaway to my bedroom upstairs, sat on the bed after
bolting the door from inside, and started weeping profusely like
a kid. I do not remember how long I wept? But my handkerchief
was thoroughly soaked, what a great relief – Bliss is there in
tears of complete happiness and blessings! This realisation
swept over me for the first time in my life. In such utter
happiness eyes get closed. Expressions change from words into
rolling tears of happiness. What can be more natural than this
expression of happiness and grief? That time words, languages
fail. The higher natural state of the mind – how can it be
expressed through any other medium than tears? I do say that
tears are a gift to human beings.
Baba spoke many times beautifully on the
importance of tears. He once said "Happiness and grief
occurring in life are the two sides of the same coin and the
natural proof of this are tears."
After some time I came down stairs, and told
this news to my family members. They were very pleased. One of
them asked "What about the Sangli college job?" "That will be
seen later" I answered.
I immediately started for Puttaparthy. As
expected, Baba was away from Puttaparthy. I was not
disappointed. I went to the accommodation office in Prasanthi
Nilayam, and showed the letter to Sri Chand Sahib, who was in
charge. After reading the letter, he called me inside and
offered a seat. Janab Chand Saheb is a retired officer of Air
India. He spoke to me in Hindi, Which is his mother tongue, and
with others in either Telugu or English. On his instructions,
one assistant went out and shortly returned accompanied by a
short bald person wearing a nehru shirt and dhothi. Sri Chand
addressing me said "He is Sri Kutumba Raoji, chief of this
asram", and then spoked to him about me in Telugu. Kutumba Raoji
welcomed me in English and spoke to Chand Sahib also in English,
and went away. There is no one like Kutumba Raoji, M.A., L.L.B,
a Karma Maharshi. He does not talk unnecessarily, and is very
busy for long hours efficiently managing the asram. He very
rarely smiles or laughs, and works from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. He is
the only frequent visitor to Baba's room. He discarded his body
two years ago.
Chand Saheb gave me a key, and pointing to an
assistant said " This man will show you the accommodation
allotted to you and also the canteen where you can have your
food." The assistant picked up my luggage and I went along with
him. To my astonishment, I found that the accommodation is a
well furnished, self contained double room, clean and tidy and
also provided with spotless bed linen. I enquired from the
assistant about this quick housekeeping, he told me that as soon
as I handed over my letter to Chand Sahib, the process started.
I went to bed after having rice dinner in the
canteen. Next day, at 9 a.m. I went to the University
Registrar's Office, sent a note inside and was immediately
called. As I entered, Sri Chakravarthy got up from his chair and
welcomed me saying "Salaam Ale Cum". I replied and sat in a
chair opposite to him on the other side of the table. In Urdu,
he enquired "How is everything?" I was surprised because I knew
that he was a Bengali IAS officer, fluent in all south Indian
languages, but Urdu also! After answering "Well" in Urdu, I said
"If you don't mind, can you please tell me how many languages
you know?" Smiling, he replied "By the Grace of Swamy, I know
eleven languages including a few foreign ones." After the
formalities were over, he gave me my schedule. Commencing from
June, I will have to come once a month, and thrice in a term. In
every visit, I will have to take morning classes for three days.
During that time, even if Baba is at Puttaparthy, there will be
no morning darsan for me etc. etc. I asked "When can I meet the
Vice Chancellor?" and he replied "He is not available today. You
can see him tomorrow. The adjacent office is his." Then I took
leave. If you visit any officer in Prasanthi Nilayam or the
University, you will be served cold water only and no other
refreshment like tea, coffee or snacks. This is so even if you
are a VIP.
On the second day morning, I was in the spacious
imposing waiting hall of the Vice Chancellor's office. I was
called in immediately after I sent a note. I said humbly "May I
come in, sir?" "Yes, come in" he replied. I went in and noticed
that he was busy writing something. Later I come to know that
his stenographer was on leave. Before his attention would turn
towards me, I looked at him fully and wholeheartedly. I have
great respect for Dr. Gokak and Sri Kasturi and honour them
almost equally with Baba, except that Baba is an 'Avatar'! Only
because of these two, the whole world has come to know that Baba
is the source of spiritual wealth. Dr. Bhagavantam, whom I do
not know personally, is also to be equated with them. Now all
thre 'of them and Sri Kutumba Rao have left their bodies and
merged in Baba. I remembered the year 1952 – the six and half
feet tall principal of Rajaram College. Twenty nine years have
passed since then but I found him to be the same except for a
few fallen hairs.
Actually, Dr. Gokak does not know me, nor did I
expect him to know me. There was no connection between us yet.
However I became touchy. In the past five years, Baba's darsans
have made me very emotional that my tears respond first to even
After a few minutes he stopped writing and
looked at me. In a slightly authoritative voice, he said "Why
are you standing there Professor Korbu? Please come forward, sit
in the chair in front of me and relax for a little while." His
was Oxford English, grammatically correct and poetical. He never
speaks ungrammatical American slang – for example he never says
'ya' for 'yes'. He kept the papers he was attending to in the
table drawer, looked into my eyes and said "I know that your
have been selected to teach "Mercantile law" to our students of
commerce faculty. May I know your educational qualifications,
your home town and present occupation?"
I was a little surprised as all this information
was given in my bio-data. Probably this may not have reached
him, and hence I told him the required details in short,
stressing a little more on Rajaram College.
Dr. V. K. Gokak – "Did I ever teach you."
I – "Yes sir. You taught us Shakespeare dramas."
(I wanted to ask him some questions, but did not dare to do so!)
Dr. V. K. Gokak – "Since how long have you been
a devotee of Baba?"
I – "Five years, sir."
Dr. V. K. Gokak – "I am glad to say that you
should feel yourself to be very fortunate to have come so close
to Swamy in such short span of time. Of course, it is the
sincerity that counts more than seniority in any field of life
in general and within Swamy's Vision in particular"
Then, I became a little bolder and said "May I
ask you a question, sir", to which he consented.
I – "Can you tell me how I was selected for the
appointment without being first interviewed?"
Dr. V. K. Gokak – "How was it possible to
interview thousands of applicants? We requested Swamy as to how
to do this selection. Swamy said that one day he will come and
do the needful. There is no need to open any envelope or call
any applicant. One day, after morning darsan, Swamy came to this
office and I followed him. Swamy instructed us to spread all the
envelopes on the floor, which we did. Then Swamy picked up
fourteen envelopes from them in fourteen seconds, told us "These
persons are selected" and left. Afterwards we opened the
fourteen envelopes. We found that there was one envelope for
there was no duplication or triplication. In
that lot, your's was for Mercantile law. Swamy's miracles are a
routine to us now. If you have any doubt yet, you may contact
the Registrar. Except for these fourteen, all the other
envelopes are still sealed."
Then I met the Registrar. Ofcourse, I did not
dare to discuss anything on the above matter. I informed him
that I would send the time table of teaching, in writing.
Acquired the syllabus, took his leave and started for Kolhapur.
After my arrival there, the first job I did was
to write a letter to the Sangli College enclosing a copy of my
appointment letter from Baba's University. In this letter, I
stated – "I have to attend to this new assignment for three
consecutive days in a month every term. I may please be given
necessary concession for these three days – i.e. from Thursday
to Saturday inclusive. You may decide whether to sanction this
as paid or unpaid leave. Any decision in this matter by the
management is acceptable to me. In case you cannot grant this
concession, then please relieve me from service in your college
form June 1981." In May, the Principal told me on telephone that
my request had been granted.
I then wrote to Sri Chakravarthy, Registrar,
informing him of my teaching schedule and requested him to keep
my class on Sunday also as a special case. My journeys for this
assignment commenced from June 1981. I used to leave on
Wednesday night to reach Puttaparthy by Thursday afternoon and
return by Monday evening for Sangli College duty. I used to get
evening darsan only, that too if Baba was at Puttaparthy.
I delivered my first lecture At Baba's College
one day morning in June. In the evening, I sat in the queue for
Swamy's darsan. A volunteer came to me and said "Sai Ram, please
follow me". He led me to the veranda, made me sit along with the
VIPs and told "From now onwards, you have to sit here always for
darsan." I was surprised but kept quiet as I saw Baba coming out
of His room at that moment. I was seeing Baba from very near for
the first time after a gap of about five years when Baba stood
in front of me and gazed into my eyes in my first darsan episode
at Whitefield. Baba glanced at the VIPs sitting in the veranda.
Without speaking to anyone, he went to the students and remained
with them for a long time. I just kept on drinking the nectar of
his divine movements and beautiful appearance.
Baba went round the darsan hall, first towards
the ladies side and then towards the gentlemen's side. I looked
at VIPs but knew none. Neither Dr. V. K. Gokak nor Sri
Chakravarthy were there. Then I saw Sri Kasturi, who was
continuously looking at Baba as he moved around. I got up and
bowed down at his feet. He spoke to me in a clear, gentle
subdued voice. At that moment I realised as to why some
knowledgeable persons call him 'Valmiki', because of the manner
in which he wrote Swamy's biography. It was also said that prior
to coming to Baba, Sri Kasturi had many characteristics of
'Valya' the fisherman. One unbelievable thing which I noticed
was that with the exception of Sri Kasturi, there was no trace
of devotion in the faces of the VIPs sitting in the veranda. I
felt that they made a pretence of devotion by holding their
palms up together whenever Baba is in the veranda. Even today
also my opinion on this is not changed. Foreigners are
different. I may be wrong, but compared with the intense longing
one notices in the faces of countless common people sitting for
darsan in the hall, the same is not noticeable in the faces of
the VIPs sitting in the veranda. I have no answers to why this
is so. But I do sincerely wish that this impression of mine
should prove wrong!
Baba was still walking around. I looked at the
students sitting close by and realised that they were the same
students whom I taught in the morning, and many of them were
also looking at me. I had no doubt as to what opinion they
mighthave formed about my teaching. I have always been confident
about the teaching gift given to me. But, by whom? This has to
be Baba, otherwise how was I chosen by the miraculous manner of
Baba returned, entered the Mandir, took Aarthi.
Then, along with the lucky few, who were called for interview,
he went inside his room. Soon afterwards, we dispersed.
On my way out, I met Sri Kutumba Rao. While
Swamy goes around giving darsan to the devotees sitting in the
hall, Sri Kutumba Rao stands at the gate with folded hands along
with two volunteers, and does not sit in the veranda. Before I
spoke, he said "Professor Korbu, as a matter of discipline, you
have to sit in the veranda for darsan, now you are a member of
the intimate Sai family."
In this manner one year, June 1981 to June 1982,
passed by. Baba never even once looked at me, or talked to me or
gave Padanamaskar to me during this year.
After the first fortnight of June 1982, many
good events took place. On the very first day of my lecture, I
received a written note from the University office saying that
"Please come and see the Vice Chancellor soon after your morning
lecture is over". This made me a little apprehensive. Did I make
any mistake? Are the results of examination in my subjects bad?
It cannot be this reason. Compared to the students, I taught in
other colleges for eleven years, my students here are top model
students. The students of this University are well disciplined,
studious, free from bad habits, healthy and clean. They are also
modest, playful, fond of jokes and self-confident. Spiritual
awakening is noticeable in their faces. Such students are found
only at Baba's University.
I called on the Vice chancellor as instructed.
With a stern look he asked me to sit and said "Professor Korbu,
how much salary and travelling allowance did you claim for your
last year lectures? You do not have to answer. It is evident
that you did not claim anything. On my asking, Chakravarthy
showed me your application for appointment in which you stated
that you are rich and are not in need of remuneration etc.
Professor Korbu, why did you write lies in your application".
I fumbled "But sir". Dr. V.K. Gokak
continued, in the same stern manner "Please do not try to
justify your previous wrongs by making more mis-statements.
Yesterday evening Swamy was furious and told me that you are not
at all rich and in fact you have incurred debts to meet the
expenses for coming here. Swamy ordered me to immediately make
full payment of whatever is due to you for the past one year's
teaching. Your cheque is ready. See the Registrar and collect
it. Do not repeat such things. Swamy knows everything."
Like a machine I walked to Sri Chakravarthy. He
handed over to me a cheque for full payment of the honorarium
and travel expenses for one year, He also seemed to be angry. I
asked him "Have I lost my job?''
The Registrar replied "No, no! not at all. Swamy
loves you very much. Along with the Vice Chancellor, I was there
in Swamy's room yesterday. Swamy said that your are very good at
heart. Swamy explained that the real reason behind your
mis-statements was your cherished desire for this post and hence
the sacrifice on your part".
What can I say about such happenings? For the
evening darsan that day, I sat in the rear of the veranda with a
plum face, and was happy that Baba did not come to that side at
all. In the night, I did a casual verification of the amount
mentioned in the cheque, and found it to be much more than what
I expected. I was paid at the rate of Rs 90/- per lecture of one
hour each, first class return fare from Sangli to Dharmavaram,
free accommodation and food. I was of the opinion that teaching
is a holy work, Vidyadan, and salary will be less. Later I
realised that working in Baba's University was a luxury!
I returned home. Even after clearing all debts
and paying other outstandings, I had considerable balance left.
In the third week of June, my teaching at the
Sangli college re-commenced. All the members and the chairman of
the college managing committee were changed. Orders were
received from the Shivaji University, to which the college was
affiliated, to appoint a full time principal as prescribed by
the University Grants Commission. From its inception in 1965,
the college was being administered by honorary principals in
contravention of the regulations. In compliance with the
University directive, the newly constituted managing committee
decided to appoint a full time principal immediately. The
advertisement calling applications has not yet been given. I was
suitable for the Principalship as I had the requisite
qualification and experience. Till then I did not experience any
religious bias against me in being selected for the teaching
jobs. But now doubts crept in my mind. I met the chairman
informally to know my position. He was outspoken and told me
that not only, I will not get the principalship but also that
the management does not approve my frequent absence for visiting
Puttaparthy. I decided to resign for the simple reason that I
never acted against others wishes.
Four days after this, I read a newspaper
advertisement that calling applications for the post of
Principal for the evening law college which is being started at
Kolhapur by the Pune's Bharathiya Vidyapeeth. Dr. Patangrao
Kadam was the founder secretary, whom I did not know. I applied
immediately and was called for interview in July, for which
twelve applicants were called. After interviewing me for about
15 minutes, Dr. Patangrao told me to wait outside. When all the
candidates were interviewed he called me inside again and
informed that I have been selected for the appointment. I
replied "I have something to say. Every month I should be given
paid leave for five days, inclusive of Saturday and Sunday."
"What for?" he asked. I explained to him about my visiting
professorship at Baba's University at Puttaparthy. Dr. Patangrao
quarried "If we do not agree, then what?" I replied "In that
case, I am sorry that I cannot accept your offer." I thought
that I have lost my chance, but Dr. Patangrao smiled and said "I
like your honesty and resolve. To achieve one's goal, there
should be no compromise of one's principles. Your goal is Baba.
Let me tell you that even our Shankarrao Chavan, (Ex. Chief
Minister, Maharashtra, Ex. Home Minister, India) is also a
devotee of Satya Sai Baba. Whenever he feel like going to
Puttaparthy, he runs away leaving his duties of ministership.
Please take me also there one day. I have heard that Baba's
University is worth visiting. You may please take your
appointment order now and take charge of the college tomorrow.
I was sure that behind all these happenings is
Baba's planning only. I took the appointment order, reached
Sangli same day evening and submitted my resignation to the
college authorities. In lieu of the required three months notice
period, I paid them equivalent salary of about seven thousand
rupees. Luckily I had this cash ready with me, being the balance
left from the payment I received from Baba's University.
This is the transformation of one time cinema
door keeper (in my boyhood) who ticked the tickets of the
wealthy. Now they come to me by appointment for advice as a tax
consultant. I have also become the Principal of the prestigious
law college at Kolhapur. Whatever others might say, I am certain
that these paradoxical changes are nothing but synchronised
Baba's leelas and grace!
I seek the gifts of
truth, virtue, peace and love. I draw you to Me and then
transform and re-shape you. I am a kind of smith who
repairs broken, leaky damaged hardware. I repair broken
hearts and fragile
minds, warped intellects, feeble
resolutions and fading faith.
EXPERIENCING THE MIRACLE
After becoming the Principal of the College in
Kolhapur, I went to Puttaparthy in the third week of July 1982
to teach. I thought I should inform Baba of my principalship at
the College in Kolhapur. Baba did not even look at me during the
past one year. I was familiar with Baba's dearest devotees – Dr.
V. K. Gokak, Dr. Bhagavantam, Sri Kasturi, Lt. Col. Joga Rao –
and met well known writers on Baba such as Sri P. Balu, Sri R.
Ganapathy, Howard Murphet, Dr. Hislop and Dr. Samuel Sandweiss.
I could not get Baba's grace yet, although it would have been
better if I sat with the crowds than being close and neglected.
But something new was to happen. At the evening
darsan, He came straight to me. With tears in my eyes, I took
His Pada Namaskar. Then Baba asked me "How are you sir?" "I am
alright Baba, but now ..." and before I could complete the
sentence Baba said "I know, I shall see you later" and went
away. This made me happy.
Next day I met Dr. V. K. Gokak in the college.
He told me "Swamy loves you very much. Your students have been
saying that you teach very well and that they are happy about
you. I wish to attend your class one day." I humbly replied
"Please do not do it sir. I will not be able to utter a single
word in your presence." Dr. Gokak laughed heartily at this.
My normal routine was to return to Kolhapur on
Sunday, but this time I missed the bus and therefore stayed back
and went for the evening darsan. There were no interviews. After
darsan was over, Baba came straight to me and the following
conversation took place on the veranda between Baba and me.
Baba – "What is your First name, sir?"
(Why Baba Calls me by "sir" I understood later
I – "Abdul Razaak."
Baba – "What is the meaning of Abdul?"
I – "A devotee."
Baba – "What is the meaning of Razaak?"
I fumbled and could not answer immediately. Then
Baba himself said.
Baba – "Razaak means Allah. What is the meaning
I – "God."
Baba – "That is not quite correct. Allah means
all high – above all, that is the meaning of Parameshwar – Param
Ishwar. No difference – Allah and Parameshwar are one – this
whole existence – this vishwa!"
For the first time Baba talked so much with me
in the veranda. Everyone in the veranda was listening to Baba.
Sri Gokak, Kasturi, Bhagavantham etc. I became blank, almost
Then Baba said, "Come!" and started walking.
I could not understand and got confused.
Sri Kasturi was standing nearby. He could
realise my condition and came to my rescue saying,
"Swami has decided to give you a solo interview.
Very fortunate. Go into His room."
I got up and started walking towards Baba's
room. He was standing near the door. I went near him and stood
bending forward with folded hands. (It is my opinion that no
one, even Baba's critics can not stand straight in His close
Sri Gokak was also there, and he was watching us
smilingly. Baba looked at Sri Gokak and pointing towards me said
to him, "Poor man, I love him."
Then facing towards me Baba said in Hindi,
"Andar Jao Abdul. (Go inside the room, Abdul.)"
I went inside, then Baba came in.
Baba switched on the fan and sat on his special
I sat at his feet and started weeping profusely.
Baba – "Sit properly and do not make noise by
your weeping. Why fear when I am here. You are Abdul – my
Abdul, and I am your Razak – you know, is it not?"
My wet handkerchief was of no use then. I
straight away wiped my eyes and nose with the hem of my nehru
shirt and tried to control myself. After a few minutes, Baba
said "Abdul, look up," and I raised my head slightly. Baba moved
his right hand, palm facing downward, around my head and I
noticed white vibhuthi appearing in the centre of his palm. In
the same flow of movement of hand, he held his palm upward
facing me – Abhay mudra – indicating not to fear. I saw a small
white spot of vibhuthi at the centre of his palm.
Baba – "Eat it all. You will feel relaxed."
I ate the Vibhuthi as ordered by Baba, and
Baba – "How is your new principalship, sir?"
I – (Oh! Baba knows it all) "I am happy with my
new position Baba."
Baba – "Do not be over happy. It brings sadness
(I did not say anything and kept looking at
Baba – "I know that you teach law very well.
What is law?"
I – (As a professor of law, I was first puzzled
at this unexpected question) "Law means rules of behavioral
discipline enacted by the Government for the betterment of
society in general."
Baba gave big smile and I became a little
Baba – "Bookish answer! Tell me Abdul, why do
you give notes to the students in the classroom by dictating
from your note book?"
I – "What is wrong with that, Baba?"
Baba – "Very wrong. Why not dictate notes from
your memory rather than your note books?"
I – "Baba, it is very difficult to memorize law
subjects for dictation."
Baba – "Nothing is difficult. Don't you give
your clothes to the washer woman here every morning? Thousands
of devotees give their soiled clothes to the washer woman every
day. The cleansed and ironed clothes are correctly delivered to
every family, the next day morning. Do the illiterate washer
woman ever make notes of the clothes and the owners? How does
she remember correctly. Sincerity is natural. Seriousness is
unnatural. From now onwards be sincere always and I -shall
see that you give better notes by dictating from memory. Nothing
is difficult for a devout person. Devotion is devoid of
difficulty. Man makes law for man. How can it be difficult? Law
is sad but simple. PRESENCE OF LAW MEANS ABSENCE OF LOVE.
Breathe love and law dies."
Oh! such an easy and great thoughts! Why I could
not think of them earlier all these years? Because of 'I' the
ego. And Baba is omniscient – knowledge himself! Thus, I was
wildly thinking. I was very quiet. Baba took out a handful of
Vibhuthi packets, gave them to me and said "For your family
members. I will see you again tomorrow morning, and you will not
miss the bus to Bangalore tomorrow."
That night I could not sleep and felt elated.
There was no point in trying to solve the enigma of the bus –
whether I missed it or I was made to miss it! I realised the
meaning of what Baba once said about the events and happenings
in one's life which are not like normal events. I was also happy
as Baba said "I will see you tomorrow morning".
After the Monday morning darsan, I saw a group
of foreigners, five ladies and four gentlemen, accompanying Baba
for the interview and I became worried whether I will be able to
depart by the 10 o'clock bus. Baba instructed the group to
proceed, turned back and beckoned me. In the outer chamber, Baba
asked a few of them some questions, gave advice to all, created
vibhuthi and distributed it to everyone. Then he called each one
for individual interview in the inner room. (On some occasion
there could be about forty persons for personal interview. Only
after the interviews are over and Baba leaves, all others in the
outer room go out.)
I went inside, then Baba came in and sat in his
chair. I fell at his feet. Bowing down to Baba's feet is an
insatiable desire of Baba's devotees.
Baba – "I know that you have faith in me, but
you do not believe in my power with which I create articles. Is
it not so?"
By this question, Baba captured me fully. I
could not think of anything to say. In a way, I was happy that
finally this topic has surfaced as I was still not fully
satisfied on this account. I wanted to see and experience it
myself. During the past five years, I spoke of Baba and about
Baba to scientists, doctors and other learned persons. I could
not answer their questions on creation of objects from air. I
felt it may be because I did not experience it or I had no
adequate knowledge about it because of my half-hearted efforts.
One should be aware of the well known fact that
in this universe creation is a mystery. Right from the beginning
of the world-of-science to todays modern science, no scientist
has been able to give true explanation of creation, i.e. how and
why? He is able to describe it only. For example, a child is
conceived by mating a male and female. Perhaps this can be
explained more with the help of science. But no one is able to
answer "Why?". Let us consider another example. Water is formed
by mixing two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen – H2O.
But this process needs a catalyst. One cannot make water just by
merely keeping two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen in a
bottle. In what manner the catalyst acts is a mystery of nature.
In breath, after inhaling we absorb oxygen and exhale
carbondioxide; in plants and trees it is the reverse, thus
maintaining a balance in the atmosphere. Who controls, manages
and maintains this balance?
Science says that knowledge can be divided into
two parts – one the known and the second the unknown. We assume
that as science progresses, the unknown goes on decreasing.
Adhyatmic gyan (spiritual knowledge) affirms
that there is profound knowledge beyond the reach of science,
which can be experienced from within one's Self and not in the
laboratories. My understanding on this is that instead of
debating on this issue, we should embrace both and progress.
Mankind needs both spiritual discipline and scientific
discipline to live a meaningful and happy life. Without internal
worship, real external happiness cannot be experienced fully.
Creation is an internal and universal truth. When one
experiences this within one self, then both these systems are
complementary to each other and not otherwise.
I was not keen on knowing the methodology of
creating material objects from nothing. I wanted to witness it
to know if it is a natural phenomenon or magic. Baba has given
me an opportunity today.
I – "Forgive me Baba. It is so."
Baba – "Your absence of belief in my power of
creation is genuine and inquisitive also. I like your frankness
and love you. It is very good that you do not take anything for
granted. Your faith in me is not blind. Very good. Now I am
telling you to ask me for anything and I shall give it to you
here and now. Take your time and ask for anything you desire."
Now I had a break. I had seen a number of
objects created by Baba and handled them also. I was convinced
about the genuineness of the articles, but I was not sure
whether Baba himself created them. After thinking for a while,
knowing very well that there were very few Muslims among Baba's
devotees, I decided to ask for an impossible article no one has
seen so far!
I – "Baba please give me such a thing which
embodies in it the entire universe and only my own religion is
shown on it."
Baba – With a sweet smile "Abdul, do you really
think that you have put an impossible request before me?"
Without a reply, I only kept on staring at Baba.
Baba – "Look at my palm. Do you see anything in
it? Nothing is in my palm or behind it. You can verify it."
Baba turned his palm upside down, his cape was
above the elbow. I could not dare to hold his hand. Then Baba
caught my wrist forcefully and moved my palm from around his
palm to his elbow.
Baba – "Now, go on looking at the centre of my
palm for some time."
Within seven to eight seconds, the skin in the
centre of His palm opened up and I saw a roundish large sized
object coming out of it, soon the skin became normal as before
and there was a beautiful luminous ring there.
Octangular gold ring with embedded Navratnas and Allah in Arabic
at middle of it in green gem stones, manifested by Baba and
given to Mr. Korbu, as per his wish.
Baba – (In Hindi) "You pick it up and give it in
my hand. Before that have a careful look at it."
As ordered by Baba, I picked up the ring and
inspected it very carefully. It had a crescent moon and a star
engraved in gold. I put it back in Baba's palm.
I – "Baba I cannot understand anything about
this ring. Please explain."
Baba – "You are only born as a muslim. You do
not understand anything about Islam."
That was the truth. Earlier I mentioned my
religion to Baba to take his test. I am not a religious person
in the true sense.
Baba – "I have made this gold ring in Asta konas
(Octangular), embedded Nava-ratnas (nine gems), both represent
the universe, and in the middle of the navaratnas I have put the
Islamic symbol of the star and crescent in emeralds (green gem
I – "Baba where is the Muslim religion on this
Baba – "Look at these green stones. That is your
religion. Now I will put this ring on the fourth finger of your
left hand as your right hand finger is disfigured."
With this talk, Baba put the heavy ring on the
said finger. Ah! It fitted perfectly. I bowed down again at his
feet, now with plenty of tears. After a few minutes, I followed
Baba to the outer chamber. Baba told the nine foreigners, who
were waiting in there, about the ring and me as "My naughty
I came to the outer veranda. The fourth finger
of my left hand became heavy with the ring. The ring is a heavy
sparkling beauty. Sri Kasturi's attention was drawn to it at
first. He raised my palm, examined the ring minutely and
exclaimed" I have never seen such a beautiful creation by Swamy
so far! These are navaratnas. But what is this in the middle
green portion of the ring? Is it Aum?" Dr. V. K. Gokak, who also
examined it, said "It is not Aum certainly. Whatever it may be,
this ring is an exquisite beauty. I am too witnessing such a
creation by Swamy for the first time." A few other devotees also
saw this ring and touched it to their foreheads and eyes.
I had almost lost my speech, finding it
difficult to utter even a single word. As I came into the darsan
hall, a very large number of devotees surrounded me, amongst
them many foreigners were also there.
One of them was a bearded American devotee. He
came near me saw the ring closely, took my hand with the ring,
put it on his chest and said "All Hum do Allah! (Oh! God, your
pastime is fathomless)."
I was astonished by this and asked him to tell
me more. He answered "I am a Muslim. The ring reveals that you
too are a Muslim." I asked him again "How did you make this
out". He said "Can you read Arabic?" When I answered in the
negative, he clarified "It is inscribed in the middle all in
green." I further asked "What is the meaning of the
inscription?" He answered "It is Allah in Arabic."
Only at that time I came to know that Baba has
inscribed the word "Allah" in the centre of the green emerald
stone. I had asked Baba for my religion, and Baba blessed me in
this wonderful manner! Then only to my surprise I realised that
Baba spoke of the disfigured fourth finger of the right hand
without ever seeing or touching it!
I returned to my quarters, and then remembered
that I was to catch the 10 o'clock bus and the time was 11.30
a.m. Without taking lunch, I left hurriedly to the bus stand,
where I was told that I can easily go to Kolhapur with a little
discomfort of changing buses on the Puttaparthi – Anantapur –
Bellary – Hubli -Kolhapur route. Immediately I boarded the bus
for Anantapur and reached my place on the next day early
morning. On an empty stomach, and sleepless night. I did not
feel any fatigue or tiredness. Where was I? I was fully lost in
My eyes also see you
without you knowing it whether I look at you or not is
of no importance. For there is no way that you can gauge
my look and the meaning of it. It is 'ego' to be so keen
about wanting to see. Being seen by God, that is what it
is all about.
And God sees everything and everyone.
5. ONE MORE
(Before narrating the undermentioned episodes, I
have to state a related truth in my personal life. I was married
twice. We all have been happily living together.)
As per the routine, I went to Puttaparthy for
delivering lectures in the second week of December 1982. After
Baba blessed me with the ring, I stopped dictating to the
students from notebooks. Being the month of December, the number
of foreign devotees was increasing. Almost all the foreign
authors, who have written books on Baba, are seen daily sitting
on the veranda for Baba's darsan. I do not know how Christmas
(25th December) and New Year (01st
January) are celebrated at Vatican City. By the manner in which
these two events are celebrated by Baba at Puttaparthy, we can
understand why millions of Christian devotees from world over
believe that the Holy Soul of Jesus Christ has ascended on this
earth in the form of Baba. Lacs of Christian devotees from
almost all countries in the world come to Puttaparthy during
December – January every year because of this. I must say here
that almost all foreign devotees of Baba donate liberally to
Baba's projects and pray to Him to accept it as a token return
of the spiritual strength and wisdom they receive from Him. Many
of the Indian devotees are not so liberal always, and come only
to gain something.
It was a Saturday evening, and my last day of
darsan of Baba in December. Baba came out on the veranda, spoke
to the foreigners, especially the authors of books, for quite
some time. He then walked to the other end, came towards us
again and spoke to a devotee sitting next to me. I first took
Padanamaskar and resumed my sitting position doing namaskar. In
a way Indian devotees become foreigners in December! Baba walked
a few feet away, returned and looking at me said loudly "Abdul
bring your wife next month." After that he walked a few feet
away and started talking to someone. I was doubtful – which
wife? senior or junior or both? But how can I clarify from Baba
in this crowd? Does Baba know that I am the husband of two
wives? Would he approve of it if he comes to know? Baba came
closer to me again, bent a little forward and whispered "Second
wife." I was relieved – it was clear that Baba heard all the
doubts arising in my mind!
While on my return journey, that Sunday
afternoon, my circle of thoughts started – What for Baba has
asked me to bring my second wife? Why not the entire family? Why
not the first wife also? What will she feel? Will my second
wife, Naseem, agree to come? Impossible. She is a very orthodox
Muslim woman, does Namaz five times a day and has reverence for
Quran only. She is uneducated as well. Would she consent to come
to Puttaparthy? Baba does not impose anything on anyone. Then
why is he insisting about my second wife? Is it not sufficient
that I am a devotee? No, Baba never does any injustice. In this,
Baba must be having a secret plan! etc. etc.
Thus I returned in a confused mind. My next
lecture commitment at Baba's University was at the end of the
third week of January 1983. As travel reservations are to be
done a week in advance, I called my second wife, Naseem to my
room a week in advance of my departure, and told her that this
time we both will go to Puttaparthy. She said (In Hindi) "Mai
our tumhare saath udhar aau? Butparastike liye aur main? yeh
gunah mujse kabhi nahi hoga. Mujhe dojak me nahi jana hai. etc."
(Who me! To accompany you for going there. For
worshipping on idol? I can't commit such crime and I do not want
to go to hell, etc.) I had expected such an answer from her.
Even if Baba had told me, I never liked to impose it on anyone.
I never spoke of Baba or impose devotion to Baba on anyone who
followed his religion, God or saint. Baba has sternly warned on
this point. In my twenty three years of academic teaching
career, I never told my colleagues or students that I am a
devotee of Baba. In spirituality, rather than cause the final
effect is important; all the causes originate from Him, from
that seed only. "Ekoham bahusyam."
Naseem is a firm Muslim believer. I can also say
a fanatic in her beliefs, who would have preferred 'Talak'
(divorce) rather than taking part in any irreligious activities.
I thought of giving one more try in this matter. Since I was
teaching 'Muslim Law' for the past ten years, I know much more
about 'Quran' and 'Hadis' than others. The following
conversation took place between us.
I (In Hindi) – "Dekho Naseem, meri baat jara
dhyan se suno. Puttaparthi jakar vahake mandirme jana, ya Satya
Sai Baba ke samne hath jodna, unke pair chuna, adi kaunsibhi
baat ki jabardasti nahi hai. Turn sirf mera sath nibhanke liye
chalogi. Aakhir, Shauhar uski bibika majhabi khuda hi to hai
(Naseem you listen to me attentively. I am not
forcing you to go to any temple at Puttaparthi, or to do
namaskar to Satya Sai Baba or bow down at his feet. You will
just accompany me. Is it not that a husband is also said to be a
religious God to his wife?)
Naseem – (Sharply) " Apne fayideke liye Hadiski
bate mat karo. Abhitak to aapne vaha chalneke liye kabhi nahi
kaha tha. Is barhi aap mujhpar yeh jabardasti kyon kar rahe ho?
(Do not talk of Hadis for your advantage. So far
you have never asked me to come there. Why are your forcing me
I – "Mai jabardasti nahi kar raha hu. Khud Satya
Sai Baba ne tumhe bulaya hai."
(I am not forcing you. Satya Sai Baba himself
has called you.)
Even if it was against her will, the panacea of
Satya Sai Baba served the purpose and she replied.
Naseem – "Theek hai. Mai aungi. Lekin meri yeh
shart rahegi. Mai vaha kisikebhi samne mere hath jodungi nahi,
Pair chuna to namumkin."
(Alright, I will come on the conditions that I
will not do namaskar in front of anyone and also bow down to
In my mind, I prayed to Baba for forgiveness and
I – "Munjur".
I made advance reservation of two seats for our
journey by bus, and started on a Wednesday evening in the third
week, January .1983. We reached Puttaparthi next day afternoon,
had bath and lunch, and went for darsan. I instructed her to sit
on the ladies side and when I raise my hand she must get up and
come in the direction which I point out. If Baba goes to her
side and summons her, she should immediately come to the veranda
side. After hearing carefully to what I told her, she said "Mai
firse kah deti hu, Mai hath nahi jodungi". (I am telling you
again, I will not do namaskar). I assured her and said "jaise
tumhari marji." (As you wish).
Baba came. First he went to the ladies side,
then to the gentlemen's side, thereafter to the verandah.
Although Baba was seeing me after a long time, he recognised and
came to me. I did padnamaskar. He said "I Know that your wife
has come," and went away.
On the second day, that is Friday, while going
for the evening darsan, I repeated all the instructions. I gave
her yesterday. She'said "Thik hai. Lekin mai firse dohrati hu ke
mai hath nahi jodungi, Pair nahi chooungi." (Alright. But I am
again telling you that I will not do namaskar or bow to anyone's
feet.) I felt that since all this was happening against her
wish, Baba should not have invited her!
Baba came out, looked at me, went to the
gentlemen's side, then to the ladies' side, returned to the
verandah, stood near the door and beckoned to me. With folded
palms I went to him "Call yor wife" Baba said. I raised my hand
signalling her to come. Then I saw her getting up from among the
crowd and walking towards the verandah. Oh! I Was very relieved.
Actually, I was apprehensive after I signalled her to come. If
this woman does not come, then what should I do? But she did
came. (Baba's great luck!). Baba asked us to go inside, which we
did. He followed, shut the door and drew the curtain behind. I
bowed down at his feet. He stroked my back with his hand, and
instructed me to sit on the right side of His chair. My wife
bore a taciturn face, did not do namaskar or bow down at his
feet. However, On Baba's face was a celestial smile, which I
felt was more prominent today. Baba did not create Vibhuthi,
although it was his usual practice. He seemed to be in an
altogether different mood.
I – "Baba, Please forgive her".
My wife, although she does not know English, she
can grasp what is being spoken.
She understood why I put this request to Baba,
and gave me a look of disapproval.
Baba – "Keep quiet. You talk too much."
I became mute. I am giving below a brief in
English of the conversation between Baba and my wife in Hindi.
Baba – "How are you, my bachhi (child)?"
My wife did not feel like answering, but the
word 'Bachhi' made her open up. Looking at floor, she answered.
My wife – "I am fine."
Baba – "How many children do you have?"
Naseem – "Four. Three sons and a daughter."
Baba – "What do they do?"
Naseem – "Two are practicing law. Two are
studying. Daughter is doing medicine."
Baba – "Very good. I am very happy."
After this my wife felt better, but I was
uneasy. Then Baba turned towards me, enquired about my teaching
at the college. He advised to be careful regarding my work at
college in general as in the near future I may have some
problems with the management. He further said that I must
increase my tolerance and fortitude. I heard it all but was
still very uneasy. Baba laughed a bit slyly. Baba must have seen
through my disturbed state of mind, otherwise why should he
Baba – "Abdul, tell me if you desire anything
I – "Nothing Baba. But ....."
Before I could complete the sentence, Baba
indicated by his hand to stop talking. Athough Baba told me to
ask, I was not in an appropriate state of mind to do so. Naseem
was sitting in the meditative position of Namaaz, with face
looking down and both hands folded on her knees.
To my wife, Baba said again "Meri bachhi" (My
child). Using vocative case is very touching. I experienced this
when Baba called my wife "Meri bachhi!" Naseem became slightly
relaxed and for the first time raised her head to look at Baba.
In a very casual manner, Baba asked her "Don't you want your own
son?" Now I became completely relaxed. With this question, Baba
gazed into Naseem's eyes without batting his eyelids. It is well
known that while Baba is talking, his eyelids move faster that
those of others. Naseem was transfixed with her eyes looking at
Baba only. This divine communion went on for a short time. Then
suddenly, as if pulled by some invisible force, she fell at
Baba's feet and plaintively mooed "Oh! Mere Baba." (Oh! My
Baba.) Her whole body was trembling. She was profusely weeping
and washing Baba's feet with her tears! I was about to go near
her and help, but Baba signalled me to sit quiet. Baba picked up
his handkerchief, wiped his face and lips and sat at ease.
Except for the sound of Naseem's sobbing, there was pin-drop
After a few minutes, Baba said "Utho men bachhi"
(get up my child). Naseem managed to get up and sat there only.
In her hand she held a corner of Baba's robe which was hanging
on the floor. Some devotees may not be aware of the fact that,
in his present avatar, Baba never touched any of his female
Baba looked at me, kept his hand on my left
shoulder and told me to sit next to my wife, who was still
sobbing. Continuing to look at me, the Avatar said "This lady is
pregnant from this moment. She will deliver a very intelligent
son on a nationally important day. She will deliver one more son
on another important day." Oh! My jaw dropped and I was amazed.
Slowly speaking, I said "Baba, the doctors confirmed
that.........." Cutting off my sentence, Baba said "What
doctors? Doctors – I am the Doctor of doctors!" Naseem and I
both understood, and both of us fell at his feet again. In this
manner, Naseem did 'Sai Namaz' prayers twice.
Baba then ordered us "Ab utho" (get up now), yet
we could not stand up immediately. Baba created Vibhuthi in his
inimitable way, put it in my outstretched hand and instructed me
"Sab bachhi ko do" (give it all to my child). I did as directed
by Baba, and she ate it all. I licked whatever vibhuthi was
sticking to my palm. Baba then handed us ready made packets of
vibhuthi and we all came out on to the veranda. From there,
without talking to anyone on the way, we returned to our
accommodation and lied down on our beds.
As a prologue to this Divine Drama, I have to
narrate the following. I married my second wife, Naseem, about
eight years ago. As she did not bear any child for long time, we
consulted gynaecologists at Kolhapur who declared that it is not
possible for her to conceive due to blockages of tubes and
O-Rh-negative blood etc. Yet we continued her medical treatment
by Dr. Nagavkar and Dr. Mrs. Meena Maladkar (Bhadre). Naseem
loved my first wife and her four children without any
reservations. The children also loved their 'Choti maa' as much
as their 'Badi maa'. That is why, when Baba asked "How many
children?" she was able to give a firm answer "Four." This being
untrue and Baba not saying anything about it, I become uneasy
and had little doubt about his omniscience! Another point for
consideration was that before leaving for Puttaparthi we visited
Dr. Mrs. Meenatai, and she told us that she will try artificial
insemination next month, i.e. February.
After returning form Puttaparthi, on the second
day I went to Dr. Mrs. Meenatai, and told her that Naseem is
pregnant and will deliver a son and later on a second son.
Meenatai looked at me doubtfully as she had thoroughly checked
Naseem just prior to our leaving for Puttaparthy. Even her
menstrual cycle was due end January. Then I narrated to Meenatai
what all happened at Prasanthi Nilayam. She and her Bhadre
family members were devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi. She was
suspicious of Satya Sai Baba. However, she said "I do agree that
this is possible only with the 'Sankalp' of an Avatar. I am
advising you not to disclose this till we are convinced by
appropriate medical tests. Who knows? you may be disappointed."
I agreed with her. However, considering my observations and
experiences of Baba's 'Sankalp' so far I was confident that we
will not be disappointed at all and in the next two or three
days, I announced the news to all the members of my family,
relatives, close friends and their wives. None of them approved
of my haste, including Baba devotee friends and their wives.
They were apprehensive that if this does not happen, Baba may be
dishonoured. I did not agree with them and told them "There is
no question of dishonour in this. If what Baba said turns out to
be untrue, it will be known to the world that Baba is not
omnipotent. In that case even I will have to rethink." A doctor
devotee, who was a close friend of mine, took me aside and asked
a delicate question, "Had you cobeded after the December course
of your wife?" I replied, "Of course... Often."
On the appointed date, I took Naseem to the
clinic – Apeksha, behind Ayodhya theatre, Kolhapur. After
carrying out necessary medical examination it reported "the
pregnancy has been clinically confirmed."
Immediately I told this news to Meenatai.
Instead of congratulating me, she expressed her desire to know
more about Satya Sai Baba!
News of this miracle by Baba spread amongst all
his devotees residing at Sangli and Kolhapur. Baba did not look
at me when I visited Prasanthi Nilayam in the first week of
February 1983. I had this good news during my visit in the
second week of March 1983. Baba did not come to my side at the
evening darsan on Thursday. Next day, Friday, Baba came to me at
the evening darsan, and I bowed at his feet. When I was about to
convey the news, Baba said "I know you are very happy and Naseem
is also happy, this is what is called 'Manushya Swabhav' (human
nature). Bring the boy six months after his birth. I will
perform his naming ceremony. And at that time bring all the
members of your family. Don't forget to bring your first wife."
Naseem's pains started on 1st October
and was admitted in Meenatai's Maternity hospital. As the
delivery did not take place for the day, Meenatai decided to
carry out Caesarean surgical operation. She was bit worried
about getting suitable blood if needed, because 2nd October was
a holiday, being Mahatma Gandhiji's birth anniversary, and the
following day was also a closed holiday, being a Sunday. Where
can we find a donor of her blood group? With much difficulty we
could get half a bottle of blood from the Pramila Raje Hospital.
Meenatai, an experienced and skilled gynaecologist, was hesitant
to carry out the surgery. At last I said "Tai, please do the
Caesarean surgery. Whatever is to happen will happen." She did,
and a baby boy was born. Surprisingly, there was negligible
bleeding. From this experience I realised that all this was
Baba's wish and resolution, and has happened as per His plan.
What can I say but that this is Baba's method of testing a
devotee's devotion, patience and endurance!
In this manner, as per Baba's 'Sankalp' Naseem
gave birth to her first son on 2nd October coinciding
with the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi – a National
Six months after his birth, we took this baby
boy to Prasanthi Nilayam for the naming ceremony by Baba. With
me were my mother, both wives, three sons, daughter, eldest
daughter-in-law, grand daughter, some devotee friends and of
course the baby boy – altogether about 35 persons. On Friday,
Baba gave a group interview to all of us, in the outer room.
During the personal interview in the inner chamber, Baba spoke
to us which left everyone weeping. Baba identified my elder
wife, made her sit with Naseem and told me to be seated in
between them. Then he went near my elder wife, from his palm
created a Muslim style gold 'Mangal Sutra' (auspicious marriage
chain), and asked me to put it around her neck, which I did,
Afterwards, he went near Naseem created similar, but a little
larger, (to suit her measurements) gold 'Mangal Sutra' and asked
me to put it around her neck, which also I did. In this manner
we were married again, which Baba calls 'Spiritual marriage –
marriage of the souls'. Again Baba made a circular motion of his
hand, created small gold locket with chain and instructed Nassem
to put it around the neck of the baby boy, which she promptly
did. Then Baba told us to wait, went into the adjoining room,
returned with two differently coloured silk sarees and gave one
each to my wives. Jokingly he said "These are mill made,"
Turning towards me, Baba asked "What name do you
wish to give to your son?" I replied "Baba, he is your 'Sankalp
Putra' (born out of your resolution). You please name him. "Baba
said "You are right, this is my gift. Sai's gift. Gift means
'Baksh' so he is 'Sai Baksh'. Our eyes were filled with tears of
joy. Thereafter, Baba created handful of vibhuthi, distributed
to all of us, and picked up ready made vibhuthi packets which
also he gave us. Addressing all of us, he said loudly -
"When you are happy, I am happy. Your happiness
is my happiness.
There is no other reason for me to be happy. Today I am very
happy, I bless you all."
There have been similar miracles in the lives of
Sai devotee friends as a consequence of which phenomenal changes
took place in their spiritual lives. I was a witness to all
these miracles and changes. However, it will be out of place to
narrate them here.
After the naming ceremony, the following events
Baba interviewed my eldest son in the inner
chamber, He did not materialise anything for my son (Miracle
no.1). Baba gave a beautiful wrist watch to my second son and
warned him "If you take a wrong path the watch will stop." After
a few days the watch stopped & still It is not functioning
(Miracle no.2). He gave a pen to my third son and advised him
similarly, After a few days the pen stopped working forever
(Miracle no.3). Baba told my daughter that her wish will be
fulfilled. Long afterwards, her inter-caste marriage took place
as per her wish. She told me that her desire was fulfilled as
per Baba's blessings only (Miracle no. 4).
During the abovementioned events, my
daughter-in-law had to take her crying child outside and sit
there, she was also two months pregnant. When I mentioned this
to Baba, he said "I will see her tomorrow." Accordingly, Baba
interviewed her the next day. Later on in time she delivered a
boy, whom we named 'Abdul Sai' (Miracle no. 5)
Tarabai, our maid servant, was also in our
interview group. She was sitting in the far corner behind us,
and our pride made us ignore her. She was employed in our house
as a servant girl and worked till she became old. How can we,
the affluent persons, remember a servant woman when we were
being interviewed by Baba? But Baba is Baba! He knew her value
as an integral part of our family. He invited her to the inner
chamber and gave her interview for considerably long time. By
this Baba conveyed an important message about human values to
all of us. I felt that we were fit only for whipping. Much
afterwards, I casually asked her "Tarabai what did Baba speak
about to you for so long?" She replied "Baba first generally
enquired about my family and told me how to conduct myself and
adopt a spiritual way of life through bhakti marg. He instructed
me to take good care of my aging husband, educate my son well
and blessed me saying that my daughters will be married well in
time, etc.." (Miracle no. 6)
Tarabai no longer works in our house, because of
her age. She is happy that Baba's blessings have come true. Her
son is educated and well employed. Her daughters are married and
her husband is in good health. She is happily living in the
house her son built along with all her brood. Every day she
invariably worships Baba.
Naseem gave birth to her second child, a boy, on
19th November 1984. 19th November is the
birth date of Smt. Indira Gandhi! Dr. Mrs. Meenatai had to
perform Caesarean surgery this time also, surprisingly there was
no bleeding. The naming ceremony was done at our home and the
boy was named 'Sai Kalam' as per Baba's wish. The sacred verses
of Quran are called 'Aayat' and the second line of 'Aayat' is
Baba made all the abovementioned incidents to
occur on Fridays, although Thursdays are celebrated as Baba's
sacred days. Baba does not stress on this. But for us, why it
was Fridays only can be easily understood. The important thing
to understand in this connection is that whatever Baba does is
only to make his devotees happy.
Eyes made of earthly
material, intelligence shaped out of incompetent senses
– with these you cannot comprehend Me. The Jnananethram,
the eye made of pure wisdom, that alone can see the Lord
in all his glory. That eye is won by Sravana (hearing),
Manana (reflecting) and Niddyasana (Meditation). Listen
reflect with discrimination; meditate
with one pointed devotion. Then the truth will be
revealed and doubts will disappear
I am all forms ascribed
to the Almighty;
I am the embodiment of perfect Peace. I
am known by all the names through which the Almighty is
addressed and adored by man. I am the embodiment of
Goodness; I am Being-Awareness-Bliss, Atma, the one
without a second, Truth, Goodness, Beauty.
6. ORDER FOR ME
In mid 1984 (probably August) I went to
Puttaparthy to deliver lectures. After the evening darsan, on
the first day, I went to the main gate to go out and have tea in
a hotel opposite the gate. I was surprised to see the gate
closed and guarded by volunteers. They told me "Sorry, sir. No
devotee is allowed to go outside. All over Andhra Pradesh
Political riots, arson and looting was going on resulting in
firing by the police in many places. There was tension even in
Puttaparthi village. All hotels and shops outside Prasanthi
Nilayam were closed indefinitely. Curfew had been imposed and
police were patrolling outside." I turned back and went to my
accommodation. The University and the college were also closed
as they were outside the asram premises. On the second day, I
went for the morning darsan only to know that darsans, both
morning and evening, were cancelled from that day for eighteen
days, so also interviews. Instead, Swamy will be delivering
lectures on Gita, both morning and evening, inside the mandir
for all these eighteen days. Baba named these lectures as 'Sai
Gita'. After attending one or two lectures I stopped going as I
became restless with a choked up feeling. You may not believe
the causes for my restlessness. First one is that I was unable
to go out to the hotel and have tea which I liked. I did not
relish the canteen tea. The second one is cigarettes. It had
become my routine to go out of the asram after dinner to
Mukherji's shop and smoke two cigarettes, return to my room and
then only I could sleep. I never smoked within the asram
premises including my accommodation in compliance with the asram
rules. I was in a troubled mind – cigarettes were not available,
Mukherji's shop was closed and we were not allowed to go
A more important reason was when and how will I
reach Kolhapur to fulfil my duties as the Principal of the Law
College? In addition to the Principalship, I was teaching four
subjects. If my departure from here is delayed any more, I will
not be able to complete teaching the prescribed syllabus well in
time. Further, who will manage the college in my absence?
In this way a week passed by. Baba's lectures on
'Sai Gita' were continuing. Sitting in the ground outside the
mandir, I tried to listen to the lectures. My mind was not in it
and I felt helpless. One day, I went near the closed main gate
and noticed the pan-beedi shop on the opposite side of the road,
partly open with some customers standing in front of it. The
volunteers at the gate knew me as a regular devotee coming every
month and that I am one of those sitting on the VIP veranda. On
my request and promise that I will return in five minutes, they
allowed me to go out. Except that shop, all other shops were
closed. I bought some cigarettes and a match box. I went to the
nearby bus stand to smoke, but seeing some of my students there,
I returned with the cigarettes and match box in my pocket, went
to my room. Finally temptation overcame my discrimination! I
admit that I only knew the meaning of discrimination – at this
juncture practising it was beyond me! I went to the toilet,
smoked two cigarettes one after the other, gargled, went to bed
and had a sound sleep. Like that the ninth day was over, and yet
there were no bus services. A few taxis were plying to
Bangalore, for which passengers had to pay Rs. 500/- per seat
and also face the risks enroute. I was short of cash. Late in
the night, I heard a knocking sound at my door and opened it. A
volunteer, who was standing outside handed me a note. It had
only one sentence in it – 'Vacate the room immediately'.
It did not take me long to guess the reason for
this. The smell, actually the stink of the cigarette smoke, had
reached Baba! I anticipated this, but my craving for smoking
made me to take the risk. Despite of my closeness to Baba, my
bad tendencies of childhood have not been fully wiped out. I am
weak willed. I cannot give any excuses for my behaviour.
I could not sleep for the rest of the night.
Early in the morning I packed my baggage, locked the room, after
keeping the luggage outside. I went to the accomodation office,
returned the key. Sri Kutumba Rao was there but did not show any
sign of recognition.
I went back to the place where I kept my
baggage, outside the room, and sat there. I had no appetite
although I did not eat anything since morning. I was worried as
to how to reach Bangalore enroute to Kolhapur. After some time,
an Ambassador taxi, carrying a foreign couple and their
daughter, stopped in front of me. On the front seat, next to the
driver, was the same volunteer who visited me in the night to
give vacation notice. He got down, kept my bags in the taxi and
told me in faltering Hindi "Go in this taxi to Bangalore. You do
not have to pay anything." I could not understand as to who
arranged to send me this taxi, and who told that I had no money
to pay for the fare: Who will pay Rs. 500/ – fare? Without
worrying for the answer, I got into the taxi. It stopped at the
asram office. Sri Kutumba Rao came and told me "These are
devotees from West Germany and they paid for your taxi fare.
Come next month."
Finally I was on the way to Bangalore. During
the drive, my thoughts revolved round the events since last
night. I was under the impression that my career at the
University ended and I have lost my job because I transgressed
the rules by behaviour. I thought that I had been discarded by
Baba. I was now sure that all these thoughts were wrong. Baba in
his immense compassion had pardoned me, which he conveyed
through Sri Kutumba Rao. Otherwise, Sri Kutumba Rao could not
have told me "Come next month!" Besides this, who else could
arrange free taxi ride to Bangalore for me?
We reached Bangalore after about eight hours
travel in the taxi. On the way, we had to remove about twenty
road blocks put by the agitating mobs. The German, who could
speak Pidgin English only, paid for the local help who removed
the obstacles. I was exhausted, both in body and mind, and
conversed very little. The German family got down from the taxi
at the Hotel Ashoka, bid farewell to me and instructed the
driver to leave me at the railway station, which was quite far
from the hotel. How did this gentleman know that I had to go to
the railway station? The person who ordered me in the middle of
the night to immediately vacate the room, why should he take
care of my departure and arrange things to ensure my comforts?
Is this the work of an 'Avatar' or a 'Human being'? I was
convinced that it was not the 'Avatar' but the 'Human being' –
the 'Great Mother' in him did all this. This way 'Baba the
Mother' had taken pity on me! After being slapped by him, the
'Mother Baba' had taken proper care of me!
I spent that night on the railway platform, and
boarded a train the next day morning. I returned to Kolhapur
after being away for thirteen days. In the afternoon, I went to
the college and found a heap of letter on my table awaiting my
return. One of these letters was from Bharati Vidyapeeth marked
'Confidential'. After clearing other work, I opened this
envelope. It contained a memo from the management saying "You
have not been performing your duties properly and have been
remaining absent for a number of days without prior intimation
and permission. You are requested to submit your answer in
writing." Clarifying the matter, I wrote "Prior to accepting the
Principalship, during the interview I asked a concession of five
days leave including Saturdays and Sundays every month for
visiting Sri Satya Sai Baba's University College at Puttaparthy
which you agreed. This time, due to circumstances beyond my
control, I had to stay away for longer time for which I
apologise. I cannot avoid my monthly visits to Puttaparthy in
future also. Yet I assure you that this will not adversely
affect my teaching schedule in any way on the college
management. In case you are not satisfied with my explanation
and refuse the concession in future, you may treat this letter
as my resignation."
Within a week I received the reply saying "Your
explanation has not been found satisfactory. Your resignation
had been accepted with immediate effect."
I did not blame Bharati Vidyapeeth for this
outcome. One full time Principal was found negligent in
performing his duties – that was management's view. I had no
7. HARD DAYS
From the year 1984 to 1988 was a hard and
difficult period in my life. It is not in my nature to grumble
or narrate to anyone my difficulties, unhappily events and
financial setbacks and seek their sympathy. Very rarely in
extreme circumstances I talk about them to intimate persons,
that too very briefly. Of late, my main intimate and close
friends are Sai devotees. Whenever I meet Sai devotees, who are
new to me, my tears of joy welcome them first. In every such
meeting, I get the joy of getting the company of Baba himself
and nothing less than that! Sai devotees come closer at human
level and I get the feeling of familiarity and oneness with
them, compared to the distant feeling with Baba the Avatar.
In fact, I had no intention of writing this
chapter. After reading the previous chapters, you may form the
opinion that in my life's Journey Baba has spread a bed of
roses, and that too without thorns! Well this in not true at
all. Despite of taking shelter under Baba's loving umbrella, the
hardships I had to bear and go through can be described as not
only hard and painful but also endless.
There are millions of Baba's devotees all over
the world and Baba considers them as equal. Baba never
differentiates devotees – as those who are near and those who
are far away, those who sit near him and those who sit in the
hall, those who sit in the car with him and those who walk
alongside the car, and those who got interview and those who did
not, Indians or foreigners, whatever language they may speak,
whatever caste, creed or religion they belongs to, Baba showers
his love on all of them equally. He does not differentiate
between rich and poor, no devotee is different. I can assert
this from my experiences. Many devotees have the
misunderstanding that Baba discriminates and differentiates.
This is superficial knowledge only and is wrong.
In this world, we often notice that misfits and
undeserving persons are given VIP treatment and respect
especially in social, cultural and political gatherings. When
one sees similar happenings even in Prasanthi Nilayam, he is opt
to misunderstand and misjudge. At that time one should ask
himself as to who are these persons getting Baba's special
grace? There are many answers to this question. In trying to
answer this question, I have separated them into four
categories. The first one are those who donate their hard earned
white money unconditionally to Baba's welfare projects. The
second are those carrying out special responsible duties in
Baba's asram, hospitals, schools, colleges, university and other
institutions. Baba's childhood friends and devotees form the
third category. The fourth is limited to a few – whose only aim
and goal is to spiritually advance and ultimately merge in Baba,
these do not consider Baba as a means to fulfil their desires
and get material benefits. It was estimated in 1988 that there
are fifteen crore (hundred fifty million) devotees of Baba
spread all over the world. How many amongst them are Baba's
intimate devotees? As far as my knowledge and study shows very
few. Yet why Baba should shower special grace on all the above
mentioned four types of devotees only?
The answer to the above question is like this.
Baba and all the millions of his devotees all over the world
form a huge 'Sai family'. The head of this family is Baba. Baba
takes care of every member of this family as per his needs (not
will), as per his usefulness and capability. In comparison, even
in our families every member is an integral part of the family.
Yet the one who contributes more for the well being of the
family is given more respect and praise. This does not mean
injustice is done to the other members of the family. This is so
in the huge Sai family also. One can only say that Baba's method
of rewarding is different. Many have come to one or other of the
four categories mentioned above, and many have not come to any
category at all! Why? The answer can only be the past and
present karma – that is the result of their good and bad deeds
in their past and present lives. I have written about this in my
In the first three categories of devotees, their
number is quite large, and the fourth very few who consider Baba
as their life's goal and not as an instrument for material
gains. This means that a very large number of devotees take Baba
as a tool to solve their problems, Practice worship and sadhana
with the same aim. Here, a very important question is whether
sadhana is for getting the instrument or it is for reaching the
goal? I sincerely request every Sai devotee to introspect and
find his own answer to this question. This does not necessarily
imply that we the devotees should not present our problems to
Baba. Otherwise what work will be there for the Avatar? Please
understand that there is no paradox in what I am conveying. Is
Baba an instrument for material gains and solving problems, or a
life's goal to merge in? Once your sadhana is concentrated on
mergence with Baba all other obstacles will slowly disappear; it
has only one desire 'I want Baba'. When you are established
firmly in this type of sadhana, karmic difficulties get
mitigated, knotty problems become easily solvable, and you may
not feel their pinch or harshness. Then life will be a little
easy and bearable as well. After realising that you have Baba in
you, will you be reading interviews or articles given by him?
Once you have the giver, what importance have the given? Having
reached the source of Ganga would you prefer the flow?
The above words and language are mine, but the
thoughts are Baba's. Speaking generally, many times Baba said
"These are all my part time devotees only!"
This does not imply one should chant endlessly
"Baba, Baba..." No. While I was sitting on the veranda, once
Baba told me "Every one comes to me for their work. No one comes
for me." We all should ponder over this important statement of
Baba, understand it well and direct our sadhana to get Baba
only. We should try and understand his desire to transform us
into better human beings and his sorrow at our failure, and
correct ourselves accordingly.
Even an hour's loneliness becomes unbearable to
us, We become uneasy, and yearn for some or someone's
companionship. Baba is an Avatar, but having taken a human
birth, He is all alone except during his darsans, bhajans and
visits and discourses. What pals has he except we the devotees?
What are we doing so that he does not feel lonely? The answer to
these questions is "Do not ask anything from Baba, say to him "I
want Baba". If this happens then Baba will not be able to say
"No one comes for me".
At the beginning of 1984, my second son became
an advocate. Further, he was successful in a competitive
examination conducted for recruitment in a nationalised bank,
with good grades. My eldest and youngest sons were running my
income tax consultancy firm. That makes the number of earning
members of our family as four. Because of this our monthly
income was a little more than what is normally required by our
family of thirteen members. We were then living in a rented
house. Instead of this, it occurred to me that we can have a
larger house built by taking a loan from a bank which can be
repaid in instalments with our surplus income. We decided
finally to build it at Jaisingpur, my birth place and purchased
a plot of land, large enough for a big house for four families.
We made a part payment as advance for the land, balance of which
was to be paid within a year. Naturally, the estimated cost
increased, making us realise that a bank loan will be
insufficient to meet the escalated cost. To solve this problem,
we decided to collect advance fees from selected clients. I
prepared a list of such clients, and along with my eldest son we
approached a client. After explaining our requirement, we were
to request him for Rs. 5,000/- only. He readily agreed and gave
Rs. 1,00,000/- in cash. We collected some advance fees from a
few other clients also. Unfortunately, soon after starting the
construction, I lost my principalship at the Law College at
Kolhapur. After this blow, my second son who appeared for an
examination for appointment in a nationalised bank received a
letter stating "Due to directive from the Reserve Bank of India
filling up of vacancies in the bank have been stopped. In view
of this, we cannot appoint you, even if you were successful in
The construction of the house went on and was
completed in time. We shifted to this new house and started
living in it without performing the customary 'Vastu Shanthi'
and other traditional rites. I was not at all in favour of
performing them. I firmly believed that if we are at peace, our
home would also be at peace!
The bank interest and monthly repayment
instalments started increasing. Since we took advance fees from
our clients, there was no income from that source; consequent to
my losing the principalship there was no regular income as
salary either. Till then we were living very well. With these
unforeseen large reductions in income, there was scarcity of
funds even for buying normal, monthly provisions. How can we pay
the bank interest and monthly instalments? I sold my car and
bought a scooter. With the remaining amount I could pay bank
Among the students of law colleges at Sangli and
Kolhapur, I was popular as a good teacher. Why not start
coaching classes in law at both these places? I took a bank loan
again for renting places to conduct the classes, buying books
etc, and advertising also. I started morning and evening classes
three days in a week at Sangli and three days in a week at
Kolhapur. The response was very good and encouraging, but all
the income went into the bank interest only! The distance
between Kolhapur and Sangli is fifty kilometers. After attaining
the age of fifty-plus, I was travelling this distance by scooter
to teach the students and augmenting my income!
Someone suggested that I should start a posh
consulting office at Kolhapur. Once more I took a bank loan of
about Rs. 40,000/- to hire the office premises and meet the
preliminary expenses, and two partners to assist in the work.
This decision went wrong and created hell for me. The burden of
loan became heavy.
All these increasing difficulties have caused
tremendous pressure on all the members of my family. The bankers
started demanding early repayment of the loans and even were
sending notices to me and the sureties also. We almost got a
notice of attachment and auction of the house. Even the client
friend, who gave me an advance fee of Rs. 1,00,000/-, was
insisting on repayment. Bluntly he told me to sell the house,
shift to a rented place, and clear the debts. I flatly refused
and told him "I will never sell the house. I am prepared to
undergo any difficulties and will return your money certainly
when possible for me to do so. If you do not agree you may go to
From 1984 to 1988, because of all these very
difficult circumstances, I and my family, especially the
children, had to go through many privations. My health worsened.
But, in all these five years, I did not miss Baba's monthly
darsans. The only difference was that devotee friends of mine
were meeting all the expenses on this score. During this period
of extreme financial difficulties, I did not project them before
Baba. I felt that I have acquired Baba and He is in me, in my
blood and breath. All these external difficulties are the result
of my own foolish actions, and so I have to endure them. I am
convinced that Baba is omniscient and he will intercede as he
wishes. How can a devotee have the authority to decide when and
how Baba must act? In this situation also I was shedding tears
of happiness because getting Baba itself is an enormous wealth.
Those who have acquired this wealth will have no fear of death –
"Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya". Once you overcome this fear, then
this life with all its ups and downs becomes bearable. Several
times we become uneasy, worried, sorrowful and afraid of
sickness. Are not all these related to death? It does not mean
that we should never worry? Our pessimism must be skin deep only
and must not be allowed to penetrate deeper inside to make us
loose hope and inactive. It must not pollute or ruin our
personality. This is possible only when a great divine soul like
Baba be friends our soul!
Towards the end of 1988 I read an advertisement
by Bharathi Vidyapeeth calling applications for the post of a
Principal for their Law College at Kolhapur. This was of no help
for me since the same institute gave me memo and accepted my
resignation in 1984. How will they accept me again? I did not
apply. To my surprise, after the last date for receiving
applications was over, I received this message "Please meet the
Director of Bharathi Vidyapeeth at the earliest." I went and met
the Director. He said "We expected your application. Although
you did not apply, we have requested you to come after the
expiry of the last date for applying. Would you please take
charge as the Principal again? I feel that the college cannot
function properly without you! I will give you whatever
concession you ask. Every month you can go to Puttaparthy. If
you wish fill the form just now. I will give you the form."
Then and there only I filled the application
form and gave it to the Director. The formality of interviewing
all other applicants was taken care of by the management. I
returned to Jaisingpur with the appointment order. As per this,
my salary at the commencement will be 5,000/- per month.
Unexpectedly, within four days my second son received an
appointment order from the Bank of India, the selection
examination of which he appeared four years ago. Thus, all of a
sudden our monthly income increased by Rs. 8,000/-. Even the
work of the clients, from whom we took advances fees, increased
and the repayment was adjusted easily. With this increase in our
income all the loans were cleared in an year.
Yet I have not become fully debt free. I call
this resurrection of my life as "Baba's Grace", a debt from
which I cannot become free. It is not necessary also. I call
this bliss a donation. Baba never takes back whatever he
The Divine can be grasped
only through love, faith, and Sadhana, surcharged with
Universal Love. Reason is too feeble an instrument to
measure it. Denial of the Divine cannot negate it. Logic
cannot reveal it. All the tirades now being made on the
Divine are from atheists who are opportunists. People
with a disease in the nose cannot appreciate the
fragrance of a flower. Those who cannot appreciate or
recognise the Divine are suffering from an illness which
handicaps them to do so.
Hands that help are
holier than lips that pray.
8. BIG INTERVIEW
In September 1990, I went to Baba after a gap of
more than two and half years, i.e. after 30th January
1988. Our group of friends, with whom I made this trip, planned
this visit to Puttaparthy well in advance. Seva Dal from
Maharashtra were at that time on duty at Prasanthi Nilayam,
Puttaparthy. To our disappointment, we came to know through them
that Baba is at Whitefield asram (Brindavan) and not at
Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthy. Many wanted to cancel the visit
as they were not in favour of going to Whitefield near
Bangalore. Devotees, who are frequent visitors to Puttaparthy
and Whitefield asrams, can easil,y understand this reluctance.
It is a fact that many Indian devotees prefer to visit and stay
at Puttaparthy because of the better and easier facilities
available there, both inside and outside the asram. There is no
accommodation inside the asram at Whitefield, and perforce the
devotees to stay in expensive lodges outsides. Alternatively,
one has to stay in a hotel or lodge at Bangalore and travel up
and down to Whitefield, a distance of about twenty kilometers,
which is expensive and tiresome. A more important reason is that
most of the Indian devotees feel closer to Baba at Puttaparthy
than at Whitefield, where people around Baba are mostly from the
higher income group.
There are many books written on Baba in several
languages – Indian and foreign. After reading these books,
persons who seek his darsan go either to Puttaparthy or
Whitefield. There is no difference in their love for Baba
whether they go to Puttaparthy or Whitefield for Baba's darsan.
Some feel more attracted towards Baba at Puttaparthy than at
Whitefield. This is my opinion and observation. Now the question
is why does Baba go frequently to Whitefield and stay there a
number of days? The answer to this question is complex.
At Whitefield there are Baba's college and his
residence. The residence is a two storied building with many
rooms and large halls, well furnished and equipped with modern
amenities. Baba's work is spread all over the world. In every
continent of the world, every country and every city there are
Sai Centres, Seva Dal Centres and devotees. It is so even in
Iran and Iraq. I had talked to many Muslim devotees from these
two countries, that too when the war between them was at its
peak. Baba goes to Whitefield to preside over meetings of
national and international committees and also to give advice
and guidance sought by VIPs from all over the world. While
attending to this work, he finds time to give darsan in the
mornings and evenings also. In fact, he does not come here for
giving darsan but comes to attend to the work mentioned above.
That is why there are not enough arrangements for devotees who
come to Whitefield for darshan. Out of ignorance, some may ask
"Why such meetings are not held at Puttaparthy?" The answer is
that Whitefield at Bangalore is more easily accessible to the
VIPs coming from all over the world than Puttaparthy and time
saving also. Considering the important Sai work these VIPs do,
Baba therefore meets them at Whitefield. I request experienced
devotees to guide new comers in these matters accordingly. Those
critics of Baba who have remained critics even after taking
darsan of Baba, are those who took darsan at Whitefield. I have
not seen or heard anyone who took Baba's darsan at Puttaparthy
after staying there for three or more days, criticising Baba.
In September 1990, my friends were against going to
Whitefield. However, I could persuade them and we all, a group
of twenty five including ladies, went there. Baba's 'Meri
Bachhi', Naseem and his sankalpa putras Sai Baksh and Sai Kalam
were also there. We stayed in a lodge at Bangalore and made
daily trips to Whitefield for darsan. Before I tell you more
about this visit and the 'Big Interview' let me go back to 30th
January 1988, my last visit and interview. I have briefly
narrated in my first book about the five Ds that Baba told me at
that time. The five Ds are :-
If it is formed into a message, it will be like this – "Both
in worldly life and spiritual life, choose what you feel is
right. If you do not have the freedom of choice, accept what
comes by as right natural selection." Baba says "Why should
always do what you love to do and why not love that what you
have to do? Once you have made your choice, pay full attention
to it. Try hard and keep on with your efforts, in a disciplined
manner. Do not overlook discipline. By this only devotion to
your work will come. In due course, devotion will bloom into
dedication and your life will be fruitful."
After instructing me about the five 'D's, Baba told me why I
had to go through all those distressing troubles. It is because
I lack the third 'D' – Discipline. Well, by now it is too late.
Impossible for me to develop this as I never paid attention to
this drawback of mine so far. I cannot wipe out all my age long
shadows. Yet I am contented with whatever I received from Baba.
Baba spoke of 'Resolution', 'Courage' and 'Self Control' also.
In the interview in 1988, I thought Baba will refer to the
cigarette smoking incident when I was ordered to immediately
vacate the accommodation and he will reprimand me severely. But
Baba did not utter even single word about that. If it helps it
is fine if not that is alright! What is the use of trying to
make dried up plants to sprout? In my case, Baba overlooking my
fault I call it a favour, a special concession. (Really
speaking, this is my wishful thinking only.)
Sri N. Kasturi stands first among Baba's close devotees. Baba
forgave Kasturi's abominable habit of using snuff for many
years. He did not discard Kasturi but sometimes ignored him,
that's all (Refer to the book 'Loving God'). Perhaps Shirdi
Baba, who used to smoke a small pipe (Chillum), has in the
present form become a little generous! (Again my wishful
The daily routine at Whitefield is a little
different from the routine at Puttaparthy. Before morning
darsan, Baba interviews some full time Sai workers, devotees
actively participating in Sai projects and those who have done
good work in other fields. To get an interview after the morning
or the evening darshan is very difficult and exceptional.
Besides this, at times Baba does not come in the evenings for
giving darsan. In view of this, we all went for the morning
Again I am recapitulating an interview given to
me by Baba sometime in 1985 or 1986 at Whitefield. My first wife
was with me in that trip. After travelling for about twenty six
hours from our home town to Puttaparthy, we came to know that
Baba left for Whitefield in the morning of the day we reached
there. Although we were exhausted, had no bath or proper rest
and food, we immediately went to ST Bus stand and boarded a bus
for Bangalore. We did not have many days to spare, that is why
we were in a hurry. Immediately on reaching Bangalore, we took
an autorikshaw and went to Whitefield. We were fully bathed in
sweat and covered with dust. Our hair as unkempt and dusty, our
clothes were so much soiled and dirty that one cannot guess
their original colour. In this condition we got down from the
auto in front of the main gate enquired if we can attend the
evening darsan. Alas, it was just over! The devotees were
leaving and were on their way home. We sat there near the gate
for some time. To my wife I pointed Baba's residence and told
her "That is Baba's masjid (mosque). Our Paigamber (prophet) is
inside. We will do Ibadat (prayer) in our mind sitting here.
After that we will return to Kolhapur by train." Tired but with
blissful mind we squatted there only. Except for a few
volunteers there was no one on the ground. But we could see many
well dressed ladies and gentlemen loitering near the residence.
Their luxurious cars were parked in a line near the gate where
we were sitting. When we were about to leave, a volunteer came
running and informed us in half English and half Hindi "You both
please come inside. Swamy has called you." Seeing that we got up
without picking up our baggage, he said "Bring your bags with
you." We picked up our bags and went towards Baba's residence.
We got the smell of perfumes put on by the elite devotees
waiting there. Many were wearing expensive clothes and costly
jewellery. Some carried parcels in their hands. All were waiting
to be called by Baba. Some of them, after looking at us, were
whispering among themselves. We preferred to remain a little
away from themselves. We preferred to remain a little away from
them because we did not want to dilute their perfume. The gate
opened and a volunteer peeped out. All those devotees stood up
trying to catch the eyes of the volunteer. The volunteer saw us,
took hold of our bags and said "Follow me." I felt that we may
be pointing the perfumed atmosphere. From the faces of the
waiting devotees they appeared to think that the volunteer made
a mistake. I felt proud of myself! Why should I not? It is a
confirmation that he is "Sab ka Malik" (The One who is above all
and anything). If we do not feel proud of such incidents when
can we do so?
We kept our baggage, chappals (shoes) outside
and entered. The volunteer took us to the veranda and went away.
First we peeped into a hall. Baba was not there. Then we went
into a second hall and then a third. Everywhere, we saw elite
ladies and gentlemen dressed in expensive clothes and wearing
costly ornaments. But where is Baba? At last I told my wife to
sit in the corner of a hall and I also reclined against a wall
near her, and was looking at the crowd. Just casually I looked
up and saw a balcony, there were two open, doors, just inside I
saw Baba standing and blessing me with "Abhaya" mudra with a
cute smile. Hurriedly, I asked my wife to stand up, and we both
did 'Sajda' (touching the ground with nose and forehead as in
Namaz) then and there only. While we were doing this, the crowd
inside looked at us first and turned in the direction where we
were looking. All of them stood up and said resounding 'Sai
Ram.' Suddenly Baba was gone and the doors were closed. The
crowd again sat on the floor. Both of us were drowned in tears.
I felt that it was time for us to leave. Just at
that moment, a volunteer came to us and said "Please follow me."
He took us outside a curtained door and told us "Go in". Baba
was sitting inside on a big chair, and no one else was there.
Next to Baba was a large sandal wood idol of Ganesh. There were
elegant sofas on all sides of the room. We went near Baba, bowed
at his feet with eyes full of tears and then sat on our knees.
Baba wiped his face with a handkerchief, and spoke to us in
Hindi thus -
Baba – "Hamne tumko upparse dekha. Bahut thak
gaye hai na. coffee pina hai?" (I saw you from the balcony
above, are you very tired? Will you take coffee?")
I – "Nahi Baba. Hame Kuchh nahin chahiye. Jo
chahiye tha wo tho milgaya." (No Baba. We do not want anything.
We got what we had wished.)
Baba – "Bahut thaka hai. Aaj ratko turn idharhi
raho. Kal mai car doonga." (You look very tired. Stay here
tonight. Tomorrow I will give a car.)
I – "Nahi Baba. Shukriya. Aaj rat hi hum trainse
jayange." (No, thanks Baba. Tonight only we will go by train.)
Baba – "Thik hai. Bachhe Kaise hai? Unko K.G. ke
liye Puttaparthy bhejo." (Alright. How are the children? Send
them to Puttaparthy for K.G.)
I – "Alright, Baba."
We again did pada namaskar and took leave.
You might ask me why I did not stay there. Oh!
How can we get sleep when God is moving around in the next room.
Also, in such circumstances, Baba tests devotees of their
desires and endurance. No one in this world can know what is in
Baba's mind. It is always better and safe for us to live as per
our level and standard.
In this visit to Whitefield in September 1990. I
was not in my usual mood, probably because of the two and half
years gap. I wished for Baba's interview and also for his
explanations to the questions and doubts I put forth in my first
book, written in Marathi. I had also decided to write this
second book after my discussions with Baba. It seemed that this
wish may not happen. I sat in the rear for darsan. The other
members in our group were also not in good spirits, especially
the ladies, because at Puttaparthy they used to get good darsans
in every visit. Yet a few of them were able to sit in the front
row wishing a close darsan or if lucky Padanamaskar and
I had one more intention in this visit. I had
cataract in both eyes. If I have to write this book, I must have
clear eyesight. The cost of surgical operation for cataract was
about Rs. 12,000/-. In addition, for about two to three months I
have to take post surgery care with medicines and wear black
goggles. After carrying surgery on one eye, the other eye will
be operated on after an year. I was a bit depressed with all
this. So in this visit I had a strange desire to request Baba to
cure my eyes immediately just like that!
One morning we were sitting for darsan in a
line, and there was a little time for darsan to commence. A
volunteer came to me and asked "Are you Principal Korbu?" After
I replied in the affirmative, he told me "The Boys' hostel
warden has called you immediately." I followed the volunteer to
the warden's room. The warden welcomed me and said "Please come
in Principal Korbu." After offering me a chair, he continued "I
know you since you used to come to Prasanthi Nilayam for
teaching mercantile law at Baba's College. At that time, I was
warden of the boys' hostel there. The boys liked your teaching
very much. Today, I have requested you to come here at the
instance of Swamy. Swamy will see you this evening at 4 o'clock,
before darsan. Please come here a little before 4 p.m., and I
shall take you to Swamy. Let us now go for darsan.
I went back for darsan. After Baba's darsan the
crowds dispersed. My friends gathered around me as they had seen
me going with the volunteer somewhere. I told them that I
received a message from Baba to meet him at 4.p.m. "You alone or
we also" was their immediate question. I replied "I do not know.
I have to be at the warden's room a little before 4 p.m. I will
find out at that time." After lunch in the canteen and resting
under a tree, we gathered in the ground at quarter to four. I
went to the warden's room on time. Another volunteer was there
outside his door. The warden came out, said "Sai Ram. Let us
go." All three of us went through the crowd towards Baba's
residence. I had instructed my friends earlier to sit together
and while going to the residence if I signed by raising my hand
then they are to join me otherwise not.
The gate opened, only the volunteer and I went
inside. The warden returned. Baba was addressing a group of
students. Some one was sitting next to Baba. After removing my
chappals, I stood inside at close vicinity so that Baba can
notice me easily. After about fifteen minutes, the students
left, and Baba beckoned me. I did pada-namaskar and was about to
sit on the floor, when Baba told me to sit on the sofa opposite.
The talks between Baba and the other person were over in a few
minutes, and he did 'Sastang Pada Namaskar" to Swamy. When he
was about to leave, Baba looked at me and said "Our future Vice
Chancellor." (Name probably Sampat). Afterwards, pointing at me
Baba told him "He is the principal of a law college in
Maharashtra. Today he has come here to ask me a few questions.
You may go." He bowed and left. Well, the clear meaning of this
can be nothing but "This idiot is going to ask me a few
Baba stood up, and I too did so. He said "Come"
and we came out of the house. Baba walked towards the gate
keeping his left hand on my shoulder. When we came near the
gate, the volunteer started opening it. I guessed that my
meeting is over and Baba is going out to give darsan. My high
flying hopes were crushed to the ground. Suddenly Baba waived
his hand to the volunteer and the gate was opened. Standing at
the gate and raising his hand in Abhaya mudra, Baba gave darsan
to the devotees outside. Then he walked towards his residence. I
did not know what to do. After covering a little distance, he
turned towards me and beckoned. Again my spirits soared.
Baba took me to the same room where the Ganesh
idol was there and where I and my wife did pada namaskar to him
on an earlier visit. Baba indicated me to sit on the sofa
opposite, which I complied.
The big interview was finally taking place! I
realised that Baba's sentences were short precise and were in
the form maxims.
Baba – "How are you, sir."
Oh! God. This addressing (sir) by Baba is
a pointer to my increasing ego. Well, it is important that I
should do self introspection again.
I – "Fine".
Baba – "What is your plan?"
I – "Baba I got cataract in both eyes. Please
Baba – "I know. But no miracle for a matured
devotee. Undergo surgery. Your eyes will be cured. Next?"
I – "When I came here in my last visit I saw
many gentlemen and ladies. Are they all your true devotees?"
Baba – "Not many of them. But they are longing
for me. Poor people, that way, are simple to mould. As for these
wealthy – it is difficult to remove their self-conceitedness,
their attachments, their adulterous way of life and their
showiness. For this reason, I have to bring them a little closer
than the others and do the job. These are the persons who are
running in the race for worldly happiness and go exactly where
there is no happiness. Are not they also human beings? Once they
start improving, they will be helpful to my mission. Wealth
is not a sin!
I – "Baba we thousands of poor, hard working and
honest devotees misunderstand. Actually, you do not meet many of
them. They do not get anything except your darsan, that also
from very far off distance and with great difficulty."
Baba – "I give close look at only such persons.
I am always in the hearts of my common devotees. I do not put
them away from my eyes even for a moment. I understand their
needs and fulfil them. But I do not fulfil their wishes and
demands! Many devotees' wishes are out of lust for wealth and
envy. If I give them what they want it will be like allowing
them to drown in the ocean of grief and unhappiness. Then they
will resemble the devotees who come here. Those who are poor for
want of wealth can remain poor. As for those who are wealthy,
many of them are actually beggars. They move around holding
costly begging bowls begging for peace and happiness. Therefore,
how can I put my poor devotees to distress by making them only
rich by wealth?"
I – "I feel it will be difficult for those poor
devotees to understand and agree to this difference."
Baba – "Do you understand at least?"
I – "I do now."
Baba – "Then what you people are doing in the
world? You just tell and try to show off how close a devotee you
are of Sai Baba. Overcome this ego. For me all devotees are
alike. The distance between me and all of them is the same.
Actually, there is no distance. You people can only see
geographically and compare the difference. It is the job of
senior devotees to remain alert for removing these
misunderstandings. Well you, what have you done in this
I – "I tell them very much. But I do not think
that all of them are convinced."
Baba – "It is your fault. You lack convincing
power. Compared to the wealthy, the awareness and understanding
of the poor is very flexible. Always tell everyone that I am in
them all the time. My purpose of calling them here is to
re-charge their spiritual batteries. Just stop the comparison
between far and near devotees. Devotion cannot be compared.
Devotion is self made and a quality complete by itself.
I – "In these days sins, crimes, bribery,
murders, lust for power etc. are on the increase in India and in
other countries also. Innocent persons are killed. Where are the
saviours, the Avatars, why are you not setting it right? We, the
devotees, are also in a dilemma on such questions. Can you
please say something in this context?"
Baba – "Sin and merit, good and bad, happiness
and grief, life and death, day and night are not against one
another. They always co-exist. They are inseparable parts of one
and the same, complimentary to each other. When one is there,
the other is not seen. Like the two sides of a coin – when one
side of a coin is seen can you say that the other side is
absent? Human life is also just like that. His birth is out of
love. Love is his original nature. Love is his religion. If you
consider love as day, then non-loving can be night. Absence
of merit is sin. Absence of goodness is badness. Absence of
happiness is grief. Absence of good conduct is bad conduct.
That is why these seemingly bad qualities are not the basic
qualities of a human being. They are his negative parts. Because
of some reasons when his basic nature of love is eclipsed and
the good qualities are not seen, that time it is night of
badness or demerit, From the birth of civilisation till today
and even in the times of avatars also, good people have always
been in minority. This is the law of nature. In the
Bhagavatgeetha it is mentioned that you have to protect the good
people. Who to protect and from whom? The minorities are to
be protected from the majority. The majority, the bad
qualities being strong are not afraid of the minorities, the
good qualities. Human being is the same. Good and bad are
together and one. If all become good, how can they be compared
and praised? To cut is the character of a knife. A doctor cuts
to save life, a butcher cuts to take life. Both are human
beings. Every person has got his inborn basic elements and
instincts. When these qualities are blown to a bigger form, the
situations you mentioned are created. But this is a passing
phase. A type of venting out. This is also a quality of nature.
And a human being is a small part of this nature (Prakruthi). No
person can be 100% good or 100% bad. People are the same. Only
the part that is seen varies. That which is seen can change or
I – "Your devotees are not 100% good?"
Baba – "Every one is a criminal. Only what is
seen or shown differs from person to person."
I – "I did not get it."
Baba – "You are the Principal of a law college.
You have studied law and are an expert in it. Suppose tomorrow
your son steals and you know it. Police arrest him.You will bail
him out, is it not? When the case stands in a law court, will
you get a lawyer for his defence or not? Don't deny. You will do
this at any cost. That time you will also be a criminal! But
there is no punishment for this crime! Due to attachment, to
back up a criminal with the help of law is not a crime in terms
of law. I have many devotees who have both qualities. Devotion
and at the same time attachment to worldly things. Yet, I will
not discard them. I will try to remove their attachment.
I – "But why don't you change today's chaotic
Baba – " Every Avatar had worked like a magnet.
In the field of his aura, he pulls all the ferrous items
unawarely. His boundary is not geographical but of devotion.
Many people who come near to me, stay near to me may be at
Puttaparthy or outside. Those who do not follow me criticise. In
what way I can be related to them? Those who are rusted by mind
and behaviour are not pulled up by this magnet. Well, if you try
to remove this rust or at least wish in your heart, then this
magnet can attract iron particles from anywhere.
Nature has given complete freedom to everyone as
to how to behave. Who am I to change the laws of nature? An
Avatar never interferes with laws of nature.
Although Avatar is for the common people and
like the common people, yet he is much different and very
powerful. To make them believe this, in exceptional cases he
shows his supernatural powers this is also a law of nature. In
every body the life force, nature's current of omnipotent God is
flowing. In my case the voltage is much more.
You were saying that the proportion of crime and
sin has increased. On what basis? In comparison with what? Does
it not prove that in this society somewhere there are virtues
and virtuous people. There is no other test or method of
Darkness cannot be seen without the smallest
lantern or the smallest earthen lamp. Social darkness is there
and it is seen. That means the small earthen lamp of virtues is
burning somewhere or other. My job is to preserve the same."
I – "When will today's frightful situation
Baba – "Rather than asking me when the situation
will change, ask me when the man will change. I tell you man
will definitely change. Now in this world his basic element,
virtue of love, is eclipsed but not extinct. At the same time
the small living lamps of love are still shining on this earth.
Because they are small, night seems to be exceedingly dark and
horrifying. In reality, night is not there. Light is the only
truth. Light will spread every where when the time comes. This
is the everlasting law of nature, i.e. to keep on flowing."
I – "At least to stop killing of innocent
people, you will....."
Baba – "Why do you give so much importance to
death? Life, to live, sign of life is for ever, everlasting and
death is a pause for some moments. The time lag between two
births is death! That should be the auspicious moment. The
origin of your question is the passionate attachment to life. It
is an ignorant question. In volcanic eruptions, earthquakes,
storms, river floods and other natural calamities thousands,
lacs of human beings, animals and birds die. At that time, will
you ask the question why this happens?
Everyone considers that death is a sad incident.
But as per nature's law of 'continuous change' it is
unavoidable. Mankind's base instincts are swelling up. Very soon
they will calm down. Then everything will change for the welfare
of humanity. In my 'Sai Era' whatever I have to do, I will
I – "Religious quarrels – why have they become
Baba – "Religion and quarrel can't stay
together. Where there is religion, there is no quarrel or war.
The duty of any religion is to keep quarrels away, to uproot
quarrels. That is the only religion of religions.
Religion is personal and not social. It is
homely and not marketable. When religion remains personal and
homely then only human relations exist, otherwise humanity will
remain only as a crowd jostling each other."
I – "What does Baba mean by personal religion?"
Baba – "Personal religion means every human
being's innate nature and that is love without selfishness,
without any returns. For such religion there is no other name
but love. No Avatar has given name of a religion to his
teachings. Divine teachings are omnipresent and eternal without
any geographical or public boundaries!
Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh such todays names
are not names of true religions. They have come out of the egos
of those communities. Todays quarrels and wars are not religious
quarrels and wars – they are ego quarrels and wars. Absence of
love means enmity, envy, hatred, selfishness and murders. When
love is eclipsed the community is eclipsed and suffers."
I – "Baba, what is the solution for this?"
Baba – "Demolish present religions (differences)
and man will be truly religious."
I – "Will you be able to do this?"
Baba – "Of course. I am doing this only. Sai
devotees have no other religion but the religion of love."
I – "Then why are you preaching all religions?
Your own instructions, will they not be sufficient?" Is it not
that all religious are being encouraged by your teachings?"
Baba – "Why all religions, because they preach
only one thing – Love! If one understands 'Love' he need not
take the support of religion. Once you reach the other side bank
of the river, then why march pompously with the canoe on your
head? I have brought all the religions together to uproot the
differences between them, to dissolve into each other and become
one religion of love! I do not teach anything different of my
own. No Avatar so far has done that. All taught only one
internal religion of love.
Mathematics is a single subject. Although there
are many teachers teaching it in their own way mathematics
remains the same. It does not get multiplied."
I – ''Do the governments lack in this for
finding out remedies?"
Baba – "Where is the government? There is only
exploitation. Have you finished?"
I – "Last question, Baba. When you are a
reincarnation of the Avatar of Shirdi Baba, how is it that you
never visited the place of your previous Avatar?"
Baba – "I am omnipresent. In that Shirdi also
comes. Where is the question of my going there, when I am
I – "Are you there in this form or of Shirdi
Baba – "Of course in this form only. The
vitality of Shirdi Baba has merged into me. Then, how can the
Shirdi form be in life? Todays form of Shirdi Baba is I only."
I – That means, without your vitality the Baba
of Shirdi is not there. Only you are there also."
Baba – "Such a simple thing also you cannot
understand. Don't you believe in reincarnation?"
I – "Of course, I do because reincarnation is a
Baba – "Do you agree that I in this body is
reincarnation of Shirdi Baba?"
I – "One hundred percent."
Baba – "Then as per the rule of rebirth, how can
one life be in two forms or two bodies at the same time? As per
this rule, I always say "I am in all Avatars and all Avatars are
in me". Forms are many, physical frames are many, but the
vitality of the life is only one. That is the only eternal
religion, eternal truth!"
I – "That means it is pointless for your
devotees to go to Shirdi."
Baba – "Again wrong question. Go to Shirdi or
Ram Mandir or Krishna mandir, Masjid, Church. Go wherever you
feel better. I am everywhere in everybody. I am omnipresent.
Those who do not believe me and believe Shirdi Baba, when they
visit Shirdi and see Shirdi Baba, I take that form to satisfy
them. For Siva devotees I become Siva. Like that I become Ram,
Jesus and Mohammed. I am in them all. This is the truth of
eternal non-duality. This is the only world religion, the
religion of love."
I – "But then?"
Baba – "Enough now. You talk too much."
I – "Last one doubt. You said you are in that
form at Shirdi. Then how is it that at Shirdi five star hotels,
permit rooms, gambling and improper behaviour have been allowed?
For your darsan over there, why the devotees have to pay by way
of abhisheka, prasad etc. If it is perfectly alright there, then
why it is not done at Puttaparthy and here also? Why your
photographs and books are not available at Shirdi? I see
photographs and other articles of Shirdi Baba here."
Baba – "That is a fault of the management. Not
of Shirdi Sai or me or the devotees. Those who are allowing
these and those who are taking part will bear the consequences,
and go through the cycle of trials tribulations. A true devotee
will not be like that. At crowded places counterfeit coins are
also circulated with true coins. Such things take place at all
places of pilgrimage also. They will bear the consequences.
Although I am every where, here I am living in human form. At
other places, only my divine waves move. This is also my
nature." "You should not compare and say Senior Sai and junior
Sai etc. Understand the Ultimate truth of non-duality. That
truth is love. Love is one without a second."
Then Baba stood up. Hurriedly I bowed at his
feet and came out. The interview lasted for more than one and
half hours. Outside my friends were still sitting and waiting
anxiously. They asked me "No interview for us?" I replied "Not
only you but today Baba has given interview to the whole world!
Let us go."
Baba did not answer fully my question as to why
he does not go to Shirdi. I feel that the answer is that he does
not want to impose himself on others beliefs. Whenever devotees
behave in a disorderly manner and rush towards him, Baba just
turns his back on them and walks away. Well, this may be reason
why he does not visit Shirdi. Of course, this is my opinion.
Baba only knows the truth.
Today in June 1993 I am writing out of memory
the discussions I had with Baba in the interview of September
1990. I had not done audio recording or noted down the points at
that time. I am correctly writing down all the questions I
asked. I may be making some errors in writing Baba's replies. I
may not have translated them correctly into Marathi and also I
may not have correctly understood what Baba said. But all these
thoughts are Baba's only. I have been listening to Baba's
lectures for the past fifteen years. I have also read books
written by devotees of Baba. All these have led to forming a
firm opinion in my mind, and may have affected my memory in
writing this interview also. If any devotee finds some sentence
improper or paradoxical, he may please take it as a lapse in my
memory. Why I am saying like this here is because I have noticed
similar flaws in the books written by some devotees about Baba.
In some books even false and exaggerated writings have been done
about miracles. Of course, Baba knows this all. The proof of
this is that on such books you will not find Baba's written
blessing. Baba had already blessed in writing my first book.
In the interview I was aware that Baba will not
do anything about my cataract problem. I have heard of similar
experiences by Dr. Gokak and Sri Kasturi even. Yet, I dared to
ask Baba to cure me, not with a liking for miracles, but to save
the surgical operation expenditure of Rs. 12,000/-. I will now
tell you what has happened afterwards.
Dr. Bhausaheb Paranjape, well known
ophthalmologist of Sangli, is a friend of mine. I wanted my eye
surgery to be done by him only. He was reputed to be practical,
efficient, very strict and uncompromising especially about his
fees etc. But my decision was firm. At that time I was drowned
in debts. The surgical operation on one eye was performed on the
day fixed earlier. On the day of discharge, I came with the
required money. That morning the doctor came, changed the
bandage and said "Go now" and went away. We collected our
baggage and vacated the room. When my son went to the counter
for paying the bill, the sister told him "Bhausaheb has ordered
not to charge you fees." When I heard that, I remembered Baba.
Through the Doctor, Baba performed another miracle. After a
post-operation check up, I asked the Doctor "It is well known
that you never do free surgery or reduce your fees. Then why am
I the only exception?" The Doctor answered "It is my wish and
pleasure. I did not feel like charging you any fees. But I can't
explain to you why I felt like that." After one year, the second
eye was operated on and lens implantation was also done free of
Not today, but any day,
it is beyond the capacity of any one, however hard he
may try, by whatever means and for which ever period of
time, to assess My true Nature.
Today, 22nd May 1994, I am writing
these words of farewell on completing this book, 'Satya Sai
Satya Sakha' (in Marathi).
During the interview in September 1990, Baba
told me to write a book in English after completing this book in
Marathi, which will be published by Prasanthi Nilayam. I am not
sure when this will take place. It will happen according to
Baba's wish only.
(In this Marathi book, I wrote some sentences in
English. I request those who are conversant with the English
language to explain these sentences to those who are not
conversant with English).
(Prof. Korbu merged in Baba on 27th
May 2000 [Friday night / Saturday morning] at his residence at
A souvenir titled "Leaves of love at the Lotus
feet of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba" was published in English on
the 65th birthday of Bhagawan Baba. It contained articles
written by well known devotees world over. The first article was
written by Sri Deen Dayal Sharma, President of the Republic of
India, Sri Shivraj Patil, Speaker of Indian Parliament, Pandit
Sri Bhimsen Joshi, Vocalist, and Sri Sunil Gavaskar well known
cricketor, also contributed their articles. Along with the
articles written by such eminent persons, Baba has shown his
benevolence to me by including my article in this souvenir.
Well, thank you very much and Khuda Hafiz (and
let God bless you)!
Wrist watch manifested by Baba and given to the
second son of Prof. Korbu.
|It is essential to please God and win
his grace by regarding Him as a friend and not indulging in
excessive praise. For this, supreme Love is the primary
means. This Love should be firm and unchanging, unaffected
by trials and tribulations and the vicissitudes of life. It
should be realised, however, that there is no greater
friends for anyone than God. He is beyond the reach of
praise or censure. He does not give up man on the ground of
the latter's failure to come up to His expectations. That is
why God has been given the appellation, "a good friend
(suhrid)." God desires no offerings from any devotee. God is
the only one friend who confers benefits on devotees without
expecting any return. Nevertheless man does not readily
accept such a friend. Only the man who accepts God as such a
friend and is guided by His advice can understand the full
meaning of Divine friendship. Faith of this nature alone
constitutes true Supreme Knowledge (Jnana).
Religion today has become
rendered meaningless and valueless by all kinds of
misinterpretations given by sectarian and perverse
exponents. The basic meaning and purpose of 'religion'
consists of two parts: 're' meaning 'again' and 'ligio'
meaning 'to come together'. That is to say, 'reuniting with
God is religion'. People consider religion as a bundle of
doctrines do's and don't to be followed strictly. This is
totally wrong. The sacred aim of religion is to remind man
of his divine origin and help him to reunite with God.
Translated from Marathi by: Dr.
L. Siva Prasad, Mr. Vijay G. Vadnere.
Publisher: Mrs. Saltanath (Naseem) Razak Korbu
Plot No. 1, 'Sai Baksh' Kachare Society, Jaisingpur, Pin Code –
Ph. No. (02322) 25825.
(Books are available at the above address)
1st Edition: 15th August 2002.
Intended for personal or group study only.