Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings


 (Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombai Srinivasan

Chapter 11
Can we escape from the fate?

Other than the two Ashrams familiarly known as Prashanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi and Brindavan at Whitefield, Bangalore, the three magnificent Sai centers, namely Sathyam in Bombay, Sivam at Hyderabad, and Sundaram in Madras would also compel a mention.

Sathya Deep at Dharmakshethra in Bombay stands out as a gem of architectural beauty. It stands atop small hill like a fully blossomed Lotus in a Pond. Swami on the 12th May1966 inaugurated Dharmakshethra. The first World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations was also held during this period, the venue being the vast grounds of Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan in Andheri East. I had the good fortune to be present and participate in these programme. Swami was present for full five days conferring a blissful time for all of us. During the days of the conference, it became increasingly evident and clear to me that Swami belonged to all the community spread all over the world. Bombayities had just then been coming to know of Swami and it was amazing to learn of so many millions of devotees that Swami had, from all parts of the world and of the thousands of Sai centers already functioning.

We became aware of the concept of and the opportunities for integrated service activities. I felt very happy indeed over the ample chances available for Seva, which Swami likes very much.

I got thrilled when Swami, in one of His discourses announced to the world that He is the embodiment of all the Gods being worshipped in various forms by the humanity. This left a deep influence on me to be so humble and devoted from that day onwards, motivating my spiritual self-advancement.

My brother Sri. V.S.Mani had a friend in New Delhi who was the then resident reporter of the American Magazine, “News week”. This man was a very much feared and respected journalist with an imposing personality in political circles. He had an assignment to interview Swami. Having come to know of Baba’s visit to Bombay, he also cane down to Bombay from New Delhi. But Swami’s schedule remained very busy and tight, the Divine visit being restricted to around 5 days only, with so much demand on Swami including the International conference in session. And we also knew that Swami would not like any introduction or recommendation. Only He decides whom He will talk to or select for personal interview. Swami had never  given any interview to any journal and He strictly put down any effort on publicity at the media. “I know how to contact my devotees and I need no publicity whatsoever” is the command from Him.

Some how we could manage to get permission for allowing this reporter to sit in the Dharmakshethra mini hall, named Sathya Deep just below the Lotus shaped structure. Only very important personalities from the organizations would wait in this hall when Swami climbed down from His room. Normally, during the morning hours, Swami would pass through this hall when He goes to give Darshan to the devotees assembled at Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan compus, some 6 kilometers away.

That day als0kl radiant with Divine Smile, Baba appeared in the hall and immediately walked towards our friend, the reporter.  Swami called him by name, patted on his chest, and asked him what he wanted. The great journalist, who normally puts any senior politicians in uncomfortable position, was dumb founded at the Divine sight and could not bring himself to reply. The avowed purpose of his visits to Bombay skipped out f his mind. Instead only a prayer from his lips for some Vibhuthi from Swami slipped. Instantly he Divine Hand moved in circular motion and poured out a pinch of Vibhuthi to him with a benign smile. Swami further had a few kind words of information to him that Devotees were waiting for the Darshan and that He would come back very soon and talk to him.

And Swami was back very soon and called out those who were outside the hall, to come and sit inside. He announced that there was a journalist present who wanted to ask a few questions and that Swami would give replies, which would be beneficial to all. Swami then invited the questions. Our friend who had come prepared with a set of questions started with the first question…

“It is mentioned that we are bound by acts of our past karma, the so called fate. Is there any way for us to escape from this fate, especially by the Grace of Divine personalities like Baba?”

Swami smiled at him and started explaining. Indeed it became a fulfilling discourse lasting about  an hour.

“Yes, not only man, by all the creations in the universe take birth again and again based on their past karmas. The evolution takes place on the merits of their karma. From birth to birth, man very often indulges in dushkarma (bad deeds) and he will have necessarily to pay for it by way of retribution some time or other. There is no way of escape at all from the effects of such bad Karmas, which act as the preordained fate or destiny, deciding the births, the pain, the sufferings etc. If there have been good deeds to his credit, he will get good rewards of such good karmas. In short man is the author of his own destiny, from which he can not escape”

“God may choose to influence or soften the destiny of a man but in some extreme situations. He himself decides how far He can come to the rescue of the devoted calls of a man who sincerely repents and engages in Sathkarmas. Or sometimes God can also make things easier for him to pass through the sufferings, which he has to undergo as a result of past bad karmas. Much depends on the efforts of the incumbent.”

Swami illustrated this with an example.

“in a vast slush green field, a cow is tied to a peg, with a rope of about 100 meter long. The fate of the cow is now fixed. It can choose to graze in a circular area of 100-meter diameter. By a foolish act, if the cow chooses to go round, round very often, the length of the rope gets reduced, and it cannot even enjoy the allotted area of grazing. On the contrary, if the cow uses its own strength to uproot the very peg to which it is tied down; it can reach out a much larger area without any limitation. Thus many options are available for the cow. The cow’s specific choice of the option and the effects of such option becomes it fate. By using its intelligence and making efforts, it can overcome the so called fate, or the limitations enforced upon it.”

“Likewise, man can also over come the effects of the fate destined for him. He may either choose and determine to live a pure life which helps to retain what is allotted to him or opt for an easy and impure life,. and further slip down. By leading a pure spiritual life, he can cleanse his chitha, his intellect. He will then engage himself in  “Nishkama Karma” Seva activities, which will go beyond his self-interests and benefit people beyond him or his family. The rewards of those good acclivities will start accruing to his account, which will slowly erase the effects of past misdeeds”.

“If one the contrary, resulting from pride and ego, the man indulges in dushkarmas.- bad deeds- he stands to loose the opportunities available to him to bring about a purification of his thought, word and deed. (Thrikarana Sudhi) and thereby getting over his destiny or fate in the present birth. This is the lesson one should learn. Always engage in ‘sath’ karmas, engage in service activities, live a life useful to the humanity at large, and then pray to Him. In such cases, God will definitely hear your prayers and will show compassion and reward you with His merciful Grace to mitigate or overcome the so called fate, to which the human beings are bound in bondage”.

During the hour-long discourse, Swami touched on various other matters also. Our friend did not ask his second or any other further questions; for whatever questions he wanted ask, had already been replied to by Swami during his long discourse.

Author's statement in:

Many of you may be aware that I had authored a book with the title "Sri Sathya Sai Hrudaya Nivasi (Indweller of Hearts). This book had seen the third reprint, and is being sold in Bhagavan's Bookstall at Prashanthi Nilayam. Many of you would have purchased and many would not have got chance to go to Parthi and get the book. After the third edition, this may not go to print again. As such I wish to bring the contents of this book to each and every one of you.

Starting from today I shall post one chapter every week or if possible twice a week, depending upon the response I get from you all. I would request you to kindly read it and then re-circulate it to your other friends in the Sai Family.

The text could be transferred to your hard disk, and if possible print outs taken out.

Utilize the contents, as much as you like.

With Lots of Love and regards
Bombay Srinivasan


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