Shri Yantra – Sacred Geometry

A saying from the Vedas claims that “Speech is the essence of humanity.” All of what humanity thinks and ultimately becomes is determined by the expression of ideas and actions through speech and its derivative, writing. Everything, the Vedas maintain, comes into being through speech. Ideas remain idealised until they are created through the power of speech. Similarly, The New Testament, Gospel of John, starts “In the beginning was The Word. And the Word  was with God and the Word was God.” Different cultures use language differently. The Buddhist and Hindus have always looked for esoteric sounds that correlate with the universe. The Latin language, also ancient, led to  the Monks creating perfect mantras in the musical composition of the Gregorian chants.

Gregorian chant has been used around the world in the Roman Catholic liturgy for over a thousand years. The chants are most closely associated with the Benedictine order of monks, who would use the chants daily in services and in prayer. The Gregorian tradition superseded the Ambrosian, Gallican, and Mozarabic chants between the eighth and 11th centuries, except in Milan, where the Ambrosian chants are used to this day. The chants formed part of the day to day worship; the choir, clergy and congregation would sing prayers instead of saying them.

 

 

Shri Yantra

The most important of all Tantrik yantras –

The outer triangles are occupied by divinities which represent the subdivided energy-self of the Great Goddess.

A standard table providing complete information about the file, including description of what it shows and how it was made, copyright status and source.

  • Description – Sri Yantra 256bw.gif Sri-Yantra B/W picture
  • Date – 10 December 2006(2006-12-10)
  • Source – Own work
  • Author
  • N.Manytchkine

What is Yantra Art?


Yantras are of geometrical design and traditionally contain the energy of a particular deity as perceived or seen by ancient rishis or enlightened masters. They are visual forms of mantric energy and often contain a mantra associated with it. Yantras are also used for purposes such as to attract harmony, peace, enhance learning and the quality of one’s life, promote healing, and more.

Though drawn in two dimensions, a yantra may represent a three dimensional sacred object. Once such example is the  2D representation of a 3D Maha Meru as shown here in the yantra image. They are made out of metal plates like copper, created on silk fabric or paper, and used for worship and meditation. Even if the yantra art enthusiast is not a meditator, it’s ok. Viewing yantra art itself works through its symbolism subtly on you and your environment infusing it with an uplifting, healing and centering energy. It helps you to connect with the center of your Being to experience more inner peace, bliss and harmony in your life.

In ancient texts, Lord Shiva is supposed to have explained the mystical meaning of the yantra to his consort Goddess Parvati.

Yantras as Meditation and Centering Device

Keeping yantra art like a Sri Yantra is an expression of the Divine Mother Goddess, or a Maha Meru image, a three dimensional representation of the universe, in your home, or on an altar, is auspicious. These images can be used for worship or as meditation and centering devices.

The Meru Chakra or Sri Chakra is a three-dimensional Shri Yantra, the embodiment of Sri Lakshmi (abundance) and Tripura Sundari (beauty).  It is the yantra of Sri Vidya, sacred knowledge of the Goddess. It can also be seen as the unification of Masculine Divine and Feminine Divine:  Shiva and Shakti, Lakshmi and Narayana, Purusha and Prakriti. It can be effectively used for correcting defects of the north (direction of health, fortune, career, and money) and northeast (energetically, the most sacred and important area of any building). When placed in the northeast, it improves the spatial energies of the whole house. Defects in the northeast and north are the most serious, so the Meru Chakra is a valuable corrective tool of Vedic yantra technology. Even if your home or office has been built according to Vastu, the Gold Meru Chakra is a great energetic blessing that enhances
the flow of vibrant energy of health and abundance.

-Sadhana.tamilelibrary.org.

Yantra and Astrology

Yantra may be used to represent the astronomical position of the planets over a given date and time. It is considered auspicious in Hindu mythology. These yantras are made up on various objects i.e. paper, precious stones, metal plates and alloys. It is believed that constantly concentrating on the representation helps to build fortunes, as planets have their peculiar gravity which governs basic emotions and karma.  These yantras are often made on a particular date and time according to rules defined in the vedas.


A mandala  bought some years ago in Puttaparthi

(I  believe it is the Dalai Lama’s Yantra, although not sure.)

Mantra

Several aspects must be distinguished in the universal vogue of the sacred formula – a vogue that, on one hand, led to the highest speculations on ‘mystical sounds,’ and on the other, to the Lamaistic prayer wheel. First of all, we must take into consideration the inevitable ’popular success’ of such a method, of the apparent ease with which salvation, or at least merit, could be gained, simply at the cost of repeating magical words, or mantras or dharanis. We shall not dwell on this popularisation and degradation of the spiritual technique; it is a familiar phenomenon in the history of religions, and, in any case, it is not its popular success that will teach us the secret of the mantra-yana. The practical value and philosophic importance of mantras rest upon two orders of facts; first, the yogic function of the phonemes used as “supports” for concentration; second and this is the peculiarly trantric contribution of the elaboration of a Gnostic system and an interiorised liturgy, through revalorisation of the archaic traditions concerning mystical sound.

The dharani, literally, ’she who upholds or encloses,’ was already employed in Vedic times as a ’support’ and ’defence’ for concentration (dharana).

Phonemes discovered during meditation probably expressed states of consciousness ‘cosmic’ in structure and hence difficult to formulate in secular terminology. Experiences of this kind were already known in the Vedic period, although the few documents by which they have been transmitted to us seldom contain more than allusions, particularly in the form of images and symbols. It is a definitely  archaic spiritual technique that here confronts us; some cosmic ecstasies of the shamans are expressed by unintelligible phonetic inventions, which sometimes result in the creation of a secret language. These are experiences, then, that are in some measure bound up with the discovery of language and that, by this ecstatic return to a primordial situation, shatter diurnal consciousness. All of the tantric yogin’s effort is expended upon reawakening this primordial consciousness and rediscovering the state of completeness that preceded language and consciousness of time. In tantrism, the tendency toward a rediscovery of language to the end of a total revalorization of secular experience is shown especially by its employment of secret vocabularies.

The unlimited efficacy of mantras is owing to the fact that they are (or at least, it correctly recited can become) the objects they represent. Each god, for example, and each degree of sanctity have a bija-mantra, a ’mystical sound,’ which is their ’seed’ their ’support; – that is, their very being. By repeating this bija-mantra in accordance with the rules, the practitioner appropriates its ontological essence, concretely and directly assimilates the god, the sate of sanctity, etc. Sometimes an entire metaphysics is concentrated in a mantra.

The entire cosmos, with all its gods, planes, and modes of being, is manifested in a certain number of mantras; the universe is sonorous, just as it is chromatic, formal, substantial etc. A mantra is a ’symbol’ in the archaic sense of the term – it is simultaneously the symbolized ’reality; and the symbolizing ’sign.

There is an occult correspondence between the mantra’s mystical letters and syllables (the mairkas, ’mother’ and the bijas, ’seeds’) and the subtle organs of the human body on the one hand and on the other, between those organs and the divine forces asleep on manifested in the cosmos. By working on the ’symbol’ one awakens all the forces that correspond to it, on the levels of being.

Excerpted from Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Willard R. Trask tr. Bollingen Series.LV1.

Master Kabir – Children Of Light

miniature

The Ascended Masters are our elder brethren, highly evolved souls, also known as the Illumined Ones or the Elect. Those who have incarnated on Earth have been teachers, prophets, leaders or creative artists. Because they have been so much more evolved than we are and have, therefore, seen life with Divine understanding they have acted and spoken differently from the average human being. As a result many of them have been martyred, ridiculed and put to death. Only subsequently have they been deified or turned into saints. They have paved the way for us and we are assured that as our turn comes to ascend we will have an easier passage.

In order to help us now many of the Ascended Masters are communicating telepathically with people whose vibrations are high enough to receive their messages. As more individuals are becoming enlightened and dedicating themselves to the spiritual path, the Illumined Ones are able to impress or channel through them great waves of light, hope, inspiration and truth. When we are ready for the responsibility which is inherent in working with the Illumined Ones they will guide and assist us in our evolution. In the past this is something that only happened to the very few who were aware and pure enough to tune in to their broadcast. Now it is available to us as soon as we raise our vibrational frequency high enough. These are some of the Ascended Masters on whom you may call for help.


Here’s a little about the Ascended Master Kabir


Six hundred years ago Kabir was born in India in 1398 AD. He lived for 120 years and is said to have relinquished his body in 1518. This period is also said to be the beginning of Bhakti Movement in India.

A weaver by profession, Kabir ranks among the world’s greatest poets. Back home in India, he is perhaps the most quoted author. The Holy Guru Granth Sahib contains over 500 verses by Kabir. The Sikh community in particular and others who follow the Holy Granth, hold Kabir in the same reverence as the other ten Gurus.

Kabir openly criticized all sects and gave a new direction to the Indian philosophy. This is due to his straight forward approach that has a universal appeal. It is for this reason that Kabir is held in high esteem all over the world. To call Kabir a universal Guru is not an over exaggeration. To me personally, the very name Kabir means Guru’s Grace.

I have been personally very deeply influenced by reading Kabir.  Kibir reveals my feelings and also, how this idea of my translating Kabir’s verses, came into its being.

Here is one of Kabir’s love songs along with the translation.


The Master is an expert Dyer, He has colored my veil

Removing the dark stains, he gave that color of love
By washing which fades not but becomes brighter by the day
Using water of affection in the tub of feelings, He poured the color of love
Rinsing away the bodily sorrows and dirt, the Expert dyed it deftly
The Master who dyed the veil is expert, beloved and great
I surrender everything to Him – Body, Mind, Wealth and Life
Says Kabir, The Beloved Dyer is benevolent on me
Covered with this cool veil, My being is blissfully fulfilled.


Explanation


In this wonderful love song, Kabir brings into focus the sense of completeness,  fulfillment and realization of the Truth within.

Most of the worldly acquisitions (referred as colorings) lose their luster over time. In other words, even though they may attract us immensely in the beginning, they lose their charm as time progresses. For example if we buy a new car, we feel so thrilled to have it as our possession. Even other people compliment us on our new acquisition. We take extreme care that it doesn’t get dirty, stained or scratched/bumped by another vehicle. But as time progresses, it slowly becomes just like any other possession we have.

Kabir, in this song, points out how a spiritual or inward-directed coloring is the only reality that actually grows in its beauty and luster with time. The veil, in this song, represents the sheaths of perception that cover our innermost being. These sheaths, in turn, are the mechanism of how we perceive reality. The coloring of spirituality (given to us by the Guru) indeed permeates all these sheaths. While normally our perceptions are covered by a myriad of worldly colors, the spiritual coloring, on the other hand, is unique, one-pointed and singular. That is, it replaces our dispersed perspective by a single color of love for God. This oneness removes confusion and cleanses the root of all maladies. And once an unalloyed clarity emerges even this color disappears, making us the display the glorious radiance of our inner being in all its purity and joy.

Translation by

Rajender Krishan


Sathya Sai, My Story – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

swami9599

My Story

“Sai Baba to a devotee in 2009 – “In two years there will be no more foreigners here.” Most of my friends living in Puttaparthi have left. It is the end of an era. The whole point of being with the guru is to grow in wisdom. Once you have had the physical presence for so long, it is time to go away and put into practice what you have learnt. Remember always, the journey, is from oneself to oneself. It is not a point of who is the best, the closest or the most popular among us. These habits belong to the world, not to people wishing to advance on the spiritual path.  Sai should not be  thought of as a personality, but a spiritual mirror. The guru is first and foremost a Mirror into our hearts.

 

What does a guru do?

“The very first lesson devotees learn from a guru is to catch his hint. A guru always hints. Later on when the devotee is well on his way, the hint will be felt even stronger and comes to be known as the ‘divine hint.’ To some people the guru will use words to aid the devotee to learn. Sometimes, even orders are given, because orders are  easy to understand. The devotee needs always to understand the hint,  for if the hint is lost so also  is the opportunity of learning.

The grace of God cannot be seized; it descends. The actions of the Guru are nothing in themselves; they are only for the good of the devotees. We are loved by the guru and then we feel love for the guru in return. The love is created.  To say ‘I love you’ is easy, but to realise it is difficult. Here is the hidden the mystery of the issue: God Realisation, or Truth.

The guru who has planted the love in the heart of a devotee will always look after him/her, as the gardener looks after a plant; he does not want it to die. The guru devotee relationship is ‘a journey of the soul’…..  Devotee and guru have links with each other from the past. From other dimension too, from where they come.  Returning together although, we might not recognise this link at first, the Guru always knows his devotees. Time and Space does not exist for him. Devotees  come back many times  to be with the guru. Sometimes the training can be rough, for others it is according to their temperament. Some are trained according to the will of the guru. Each of us are at different places of understanding. We are trained accordingly.”


 

Thirty years have passed since I first heard about Sathya Sai Baba. I can still remember vividly the Sunday afternoon in a bookshop in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. when, out of the blue a young man came up to me and said, “That’s rubbish!” He then pointed to the book I was looking at and grinned. I asked why was it rubbish. He did not explain, he only asked me to follow him to the next book aisle where there were books on Indian philosophy   and various other subjects to do with India. He pointed out a book with an orange cover. “That’s the book for you.” he said then took the book out from the bookcase and placed it into my hand. I glanced at the book without much ado. The little man on the front cover grabbed my attention. His afro hairdo did not exactly turn me on. I was not into Indian gurus at that time. In fact, I knew little about India and absolutely nothing about Indian traditions or religion. I declined the book. The young man, who interested me more than the book because he was so good looking, began a short conversation. I cannot remember just what about, but in the end he decided he would buy the book for me. “”Oh I don’t want it!” I said with a sigh. It wasn’t a book I would read. He insisted. We went to the counter of the bookshop and he paid for the book and gave it to me. Before he left, he wrote an address inside the book cover where bhajans were held in the state Maryland. I lived in Virginia and knew there was no way I would ever make it all the way around the beltway to Bethesda, Maryland to learn more about the guru. The book was put away in my bookcase and never read. It would be years later before I was to meet, again by chance, another person, who would introduce me to Sai Baba with more positive results. I did not visit India until 1990, years after the first introduction to him through the book incident in the Yes bookshop, in Washington, D.C.

The years with Sai Baba passed by quickly. I visited every year and sometimes twice a year, until recently. Those early years, now a distant memory, were full of sweetness and surprise. We were free to roam the ashram at will. Darshans were regular and always at the same time. Sai never kept us waiting. A front line was not too hard a task in those days and we all saw plenty of him. Playful, mischievous and caring, he reflected back to us our own strengths and weaknesses like a mirror. I also noticed, at times, he appeared shy – yet, he always hid his grins from us, when we made him laugh unexpectedly. He was often formal, warm to many, cool to others, harsh with the undisciplined. We always knew our place when at darshan. He was never to be underestimated.  I have known Sai Baba, although not personally, most of my life and have survived many an ordeal in his ashram. Would I do it all again? I cannot say yes or no.  There was so much joy but also Sai is a harsh teacher, there were also many tears. Oftentimes, I felt left out or let down or have become doubtful. A terminal case of doubts always exist in devotees/followers until they have overcome the business of ‘overcoming the form.’  I suppose I’ve obtained another sort of wealth,  one not of this world. Only time will tell. I shall miss Sai Baba and his darshans. They  are fading  away, like summer flowers as the fall sets in…..


https://sathyasaimemories.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/miss-tedeev-goes-to-the-ballet/

Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will meet many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.

-Sai Baba


…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•Sairam!!…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

-Sai Baba

…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•Sairam!!…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•


Kodai-Krishna, Tales From Discourses – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

 

Govinda Meaning

“I worship Govinda, the Primeval Lord, the First Progenitor Who is tending the cows, yielding all desires, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose-trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of Lakshmis or Gopis.”


Small Gems from
Swami’s Kodaikanal Discourses

In 1997, Swami gave discourses everyday in Kodaikanal. To make them more interesting to us, he often included small parables to get the meaning across. I wrote down  several of those stories to be use in our magazine InnerViews. Now they will do equally well for Sai Memories.


Four Wives and Four Ways


A rich man had four wives. The first wife was highly spiritual. The second wife was sick. The third wife read many good books. The fourth was a modern wife; she enjoyed fashionable sarees and jewelery.

The rich man went to America on business. There he was delayed. He wrote to his wives to explain, and asked each of them to send a fax and tell him what they wanted him to bring home.

The fourth wife, the modern woman, wanted the husband to bring her the latest fashionable sarees and jewellry. The third wife wanted books full of information and biographies of noble people. The second wife said, “Bring the latest medicines.” The first wife said, “I don’t want anything. It is enough that you return safely.”

The husband returned. He gave the latest sarees and jewels to the fourth wife. All books he gave to the third wife. To the second wife he presented the latest medicines, and then he stayed with the first wife. The three other wives were angry, and asked, “Why do you stay there? Why don’t you stay with us?”

It is difficult to live with one wife, and beyond measure with two wives. Three wives were responsible for Rama being sent into exile. Four wives are unbearable! All three wives started to fight with him.

Then he said, “I gave you what you wanted. You wanted the jewels and sarees; you wanted good books, and you wanted medicines, but first wife wanted me, and I am staying with her.”

God is the same. He acts in a similar way. If someone prays to God, “Oh God, I want wealth and comfort.” God may grant them. If some others pray to God for wisdom, certainly God will teach them wisdom. God also has constructed the Super Specialty Hospital for those who fall sick.

But to those who pray, “Oh God, I want you!” He will be very close to that one. These are the four ways of approaching God.


– Sai Baba


The Best Visa


Whatever you want, God will grant it. But your desires are not important; God is important. If you have God, you will have everything. Real wealth is God; real health is God. You should make every effort to pray for God, because you are from God. You should go back to God. So many have assembled here. Where do you come from?

You belong to different countries all over the world, and now you are here. Though in a blissful state, you have to go back the moment the money is spent, or when the visa expires, you must then return. It is not possible to stay here always.

However, God is not a temporary visit, you should have a permanent visa. It is God’s grace that you can acquire love, love, love! When once you have love, you will have a permanent visa.

There is love in each one of you. Develop that love and share it with others. You can also experience it from others. Love is not one way traffic, it is two ways _ give and take. We don’t need to go anywhere, if we have love.

Many foolish, foolish, foolish people go everywhere seeking that Swami and this Swami.

You need not go anywhere. God is in your heart. Have full faith in God. Do not change your faith. Do not change your concentration, follow one path, have belief in one God; that is the spirit of love.

– Sai Baba

Two Brothers

Excerpt from discourses given in Kodaikanal on the 25th April, 1997


“Once there were two brothers living together. One was a miser and the other was an even greater miser. They were so miserable that they didn’t enjoy anything in life. They heard from a nearby village that an elderly person had died the evening before, and the elder brother decided to visit the village to pay his respects.

To save money, he walked rather than take the local bus. He got up early the next day, lit the lamp and went on his journey. When the younger brother saw the lit lamp he extinguished it with his hands to save oil. Alone in the dark a scorpion stung him, and he suffered greatly.

A half an hour later there was a knock on the door. When he went to open it he saw his brother had returned. I’ve returned to ask you whether or not the lamp was put out,’ said the elder brother. The younger brother still in great pain said, ‘Brother, what have you done? By going and returning, the soles of your shoes have worn out.’

One who has greed and miserliness will have no happiness. Sacrifice is most important. There is no higher quality than sacrifice; with sacrifice one can attain everything.”

– Sai Baba

The Highest

Excerpt from a discourse given in Kodaikanal on the 2nd May, 1997


“People have come here from many distant countries and spent a lot of money. Why? They have come here, due to Divine Love. Without love they could not have come this far and also undergo so many discomforts.

Love is within everyone. Think of everyone as a temple of love. Have love for society, not the illusory love of 1 + 1 + 1. (My, myself and I). Love all the world. At least when you come here try to expand your love.

The world is a mansion where all men belong to rooms called countries, such as India, Japan and America.

Each nation is a room with a different name. But all people are the same Atman. Understand the intimate relationship between the house and the family. Man can achieve anything with unity, but he must make an effort.

“Look to the highest.”

– Sai Baba


Rose Coloured Glasses

Excerpt from a discourse given in Kodaikanal on the 1st May, 1997


“An optimist and a pessimist were both looking at the water in a tumbler. The optimist said that the tumbler was half full and the pessimist said that it was half empty. The optimist is full of happiness. The pessimist uses a parachute, but the optimist uses an aeroplane. But sometimes the parachute is correct. Pessimism and optimism both depend on the attitude.Hopelessness is due to faulty vision. The optimist and pessimist can walk down the same street, the optimist looks up and sees the stars, whereas the pessimist looks down and sees a hole. Both are walking on the same road but there is a difference in the vision or attitude.

Change your vision to think that everything is God. Know the difference between spectacles and vision. With our natural eyes we see colours. When we use the spectacles of love, the entire world is full of love. Everything becomes love. Spectacles cover the eyes but do not obstruct vision. See the proper colour, the whole. God is full of love. Wear the glasses of love.”


Darshan seating!

From a discourse given in Kodaikanal on the 3rd of May,1997


“The darshan queues now resemble a bus queue. Everyone is thinking only of him or herself. There is no thought for others. When the time for the bus is due the queue pushes and tramples over others to get to the best available seats. No one stops to consider others, their welfare. All rush without a care for anyone else!

This is not right, THERE IS A SEAT FOR EVERYONE. No one should take all the best seats at the expense of others!

( Swami gave a direct look to those in the bhajan hall ) I tell you, there is a seat available for everyone of you – no need to worry.”

– Sai Baba

Fire is hidden in wood and God in Man – Baba


The best and only religion in the world is the religion of love. The good-hearted man who professes no religion is the truly religious man. All are pilgrims on the road; some going very fast, some going slower, that is all. The goal is the same for you all though the roads may be very different and many in number.

–  Sai Baba

Sai brings Comfort Through Dream -Sathya Sai Memories

A  Dream About My Pet Cat Buster

Swami’s love for animals is well-known. He speaks about them with real affection and tenderness. He also cares for devotees pets too. I have experienced his care for animals many times. One incident of his love for animals  I remember well and would like to share it.

One night many years ago, I lay awake worrying about my Siamese cat Buster, who suffered chronic tummy problems. We had two Siamese cats at the time, but Buster was often quite sick and I was afraid of losing him.

Moreover, my visit to Swami had been booked and I did not want to cancel it. But I did NOT  want to leave Buster. I was afraid I might not see him again.  Exhausted, by these thoughts, I fell asleep eventually.

During the night I had a beautiful dream of Swami. He was sitting  on a chair in  a friend’s bhajan hall and I was sitting toward the back. Swami beckoned to me to come forward. I moved to the front to sit beside him.  On looking down, I found to my surprise, Buster  sitting on my lap! Swami smiled and stroked him on the head and Buster, typical of Siamese cats, meowed most loudly. Then the dream faded.

Buster, with the help of a brand new diet, overcame his stomach problems and is still with us today. He is now fourteen years old and in sound health. Sadly, our other cat Orchid, died last year. My grief over her loss was so severe, I wrote a long letter to Swami telling him all about her. He lovingly took the letter earlier this year.

This is a very old story. Buster died in 2002. He now comes to me through dreams from time to time….and I can still feel the love that formed a strong bond  between us during his lifetime.

sathyasaimemories.



Buster as a young cat

A Change Of Heart – Sai Story – Early Devotees

“I ask only that you turn to me when your mind drags you into grief or pride or envy. Bring me the depths of your mind, no matter how grotesque, how cruelly ravaged by doubts or disappointments. I know how to treat them. I will not reject you. I am your mother.” – baba

 

from Sai Baba – Avatar by Howard Murphet


A brilliant Indian student by the name of Vemu Mukunda had taken science courses at universities in India. Then he left his motherland to conduct post graduate research in Scotland. He took a job in England working in the field of nuclear science. Although outwardly he seemed to have successfully established himself in his chosen field, yet he was not happy. He had left his family, friends, and culture behind and now found himself living in an environment where the advancements in technology were considered the highest goal and his only social life consisted of attending endless rounds of cocktail parties. He felt his life was empty and without purpose and this feeling came to a crisis point when his brother and sister both died back in India. Furthermore the negative use of nuclear science to build weapons of mass destruction weighed on his conscience and made him question his choice of career. He began to sink into a state of chronic depression which was only briefly relieved by the release he felt when he made music on the Indian stringed Veena that he had played since childhood.


It was during that period of black despair that a series of strange incidents occurred to bring a new influence into his life. By coincidence, a mutual friend in London had a veena at home that was badly damaged and when he heard of Vemu’s skill with the instrument he invited him to his home to see if he might be able to repair the instrument. Vemu went to the home along with some friends and indeed found the instrument so badly damaged that he was completely unable to get any pleasant sounds out of it at all. However he agreed to take the instrument back to his home and see if he could repair it.

On the way home, the friends who had brought him wanted to stop at a house where they knew the residents were conducting Sai Baba bhajan sessions (sacred singing). Though Vemu had no special interest in doing so, since he was riding with them he went along with the plan.

When they arrived at the house and went in, he saw a picture of Sathya Sai Baba on the wall and immediately had the thought: “Oh, no not him”. His parents had been followers of Shirdi Sai Baba and they felt that Sathya Sai Baba, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, was an imposter and so Vemu had also taken on this attitude. Shirdi Sai Baba left his body in 1918 and many of his original followers were unwilling to believe that he had taken on the Sathya Sai form eight years later (Sathya Sai was born in 1926) even though Shirdi Sai Baba had told his followers just before his death that he would take birth again eight years hence.

Vemu had no interest in the bhajans and so he sat behind the other singers and took no part in the singing. However during a lull in the bhajans the hostess put a veena in his hands and asked him to play something. In an abstracted mood he began to strum the instrument and presently a tune came into his head and he began to play. The others very much enjoyed his playing and when the song ended they asked him to play another song. He agreed, playing the first tune that came to mind. At the end of the second song, he suddenly realized that the two songs he had just played had been composed by two different Indian Saints but the titles of the songs had the same meaning in the respective languages of the composers: “No One is Equal to You”.

Now Vemu looked down at the veena he had been playing and realized that it was the badly damaged one he had been taking home to repair. But mysteriously, every note he had played on it had been completely harmonious. Now he tried to play it consciously and not a single harmonious note would come out of it. He began to feel as if something miraculous had occurred and he felt the hair on his head standing on end.

He thought to himself: “Sai Baba! What power. Is he a black magician?”

After this incident Vemu began to get invitations to play professionally. He accepted whenever it fit into his schedule and strangely, wherever he played he would run into someone who would talk about Sathya Sai Baba. At home his friends in London kept pressing him to attend Sai Baba bhajan sessions. He began to feel that he was being pursued by Sai Baba!

Vemu had been schooled on the principles of science and so his confidence was more on the field of matter than that of the spirit. He felt that the realm of spirit was only a way by which some people escaped from harsh reality. And yet some part of him wanted to proceed into the spiritual realm while the other part wanted nothing to do with it. His mental torment increased and he felt himself being torn in two different directions. He continued to resist the spiritual impulse and yet, the world of physics and materialism had lost its charm for him.

Finally in a state of complete desperation he sat down and addressed a letter to Sathya Sai Baba at his residence at Prasanthi Nilayam. Although he had heard that Sai Baba does not answer directly by writing back, it was said that he would provide the answer in some more direct form. He poured out his heart’s dilemma asking Sai Baba if he should continue in his chosen profession of nuclear engineering, quit and become a full time musician, or renounce the world and become a religious devotee (Sannyasi).

As he boarded a flight to Paris for a Veena concert, he wondered how and in what form he might receive a response to his letter but nothing unusual happened on the trip. On his return to London, he began to feel an inexplicable urge to visit the same home where he had played the damaged veena during the bhajan session. This was curious to him since he didn’t even want to go there the first time. He ignored the urge for a while but finally gave in. Approaching the house, he noticed the “Om Sai” written on the front of the house. The owner of the house, Mrs Sitabai, greeted him at the door and told him she was very glad he had come because she had something for him. They went to the shrine room and she handed him a photograph telling him an unknown visitor had attended the last bhajan session and had asked that the picture be given to Vemu as soon as possible. He looked at the photograph and saw that it was a picture of Sathya Sai Baba playing the veena!

He was immediately overcome with emotion and surrendered to Sai Baba by prostrating before the large photo of him on the wall. Tears of emotion ran down his cheeks. He knew now that he had his answer. He soon quit his job and became a full time musician. His reputation as a skilled veena musician spread and he began to get calls from all over Europe, including as far away as Russia. He felt that somehow his sudden success was due in part to the guiding hand of Sathya Sai Baba and he began to feel that he wanted to return to India and visit him. At about this time his mother and father were also asking him to return to India to see them and so he began to think seriously about making the trip home. But at the back of his mind was a fear that all the events were just coincidences and the result of his own imagination and that Sai Baba might refuse to see him. It would be a great disappointment to him if Sai Baba ignored him.

He decided to write to a friend and have him ask if he should come to visit Sai Baba. Soon afterwards he had a vivid dream in which Sai Baba came to him and rubbed his sacred ash (vibhutti) on his left shoulder beneath his shirt and said to him: “Come to India”. When he awoke the dream seemed very real but he still felt that it might have been created out of his wish to go to India to see the great teacher. After several days of struggle he made up his mind to go so he canceled all his performance reservations and took a plane to India.

When he arrived at Swami’s (i.e. Sai Baba’s) residence he took his place on the grounds at the end of a line of men. One of the devotees told him that he had arrived just in time for Darshan, in which Sai Baba circulates among his devotees giving sight of a holy person. Vemu sat quietly enjoying the feeling of peace that emanated from the place and waited patiently. Soon there was a stir at the other end of the lines and he caught sight of the orange colored robe of Sai Baba as he circulated slowly, gracefully among the devotees, stopping briefly to talk to some, to create vibhutti for some lucky ones, or to take letters from others. As Sai Baba got closer, Vemu felt his excitement and anxiety increase. As he saw the robe and delicate feet approach him he could not bear to look directly into his face, encircled with a halo of hair and so he cast his glance downward onto the ground. His heart was in his mouth and his body became rigid as he noticed the feet approach ever closer. Vemu had written a letter to give to Sai Baba but he had completely lost his wits and did not even think to hand it to him. He felt Baba take the letter from his hand and then he raised him up and he heard him say in a quiet voice: “Go inside and wait”.

Vemu went inside and when at last he faced Sai Baba alone in the interview room, Sai Baba created vibhutti for him and rubbed it on his left shoulder under his shirt just as he had done in the dream. Then Sai Baba began to discuss the obstacles in his life showing complete familiarity with his career struggle, his desire to play the veena, his depression, and other details of his daily life. As the talk ended, Baba circled his hand and produced out of air a five faced rudraksha bead in a gold setting at the end of a gold chain. He gave it to Vemu to wear constantly and told him that he would have great success both in his new career and in his spiritual progress. He then invited Vemu to play the veena at a musical concert to be held at the Sathya Sai College in Brindavan.

When the time of the concert came, Vemu brought along his eighty year old father who had been a close devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba. His father told the son he would just sit outside on the outer grounds and wait. But when Sai Baba learned the father was present he immediately called him inside and in Vemu’s words: “For a whole hour Swami talked to my father like a loving mother to her child. After that my father was a changed man.” Now the entire family, Vemu’s father, mother, brother and all the other members of the family are followers of Sathya Sai Baba.

From a story that appears in its original form in Sai Baba, Avatar by Howard Murphet. Birth Day Publishing. San Diego, CA. This book contains a whole collection of devotee’s stories as well as the personal experiences of the author with Sai Baba.

Sai Baba’s Parable – Kodaikanal,1997 – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

old photo of darshan in Kodaikanal during 1997

Sai Baba from a Kodaikanal Discourse, 1997

In 1997, Swami gave discourses everyday in Kodaikanal. To make them more interesting to us, he often included small parables to get the meaning across. I wrote several down. Here is one that I found fascinating.

Four Wives and Four Ways

A rich man had four wives. The first wife was highly spiritual. The second wife was sick. The third wife read many good books. The fourth was a modern wife; she enjoyed fashionable sarees and jewellry.

The rich man went to America on business. There he was delayed. He wrote to his wives to explain, and asked each of them to send a fax and tell him what they wanted him to bring home.

The fourth wife, the modern woman, wanted the husband to bring her the latest fashionable sarees and jewellry. The third wife wanted books full of information and biographies of noble people. The second wife said, “Bring the latest medicines.” The first wife said, “I don’t want anything. It is enough that you return safely.”

The husband returned. He gave the latest sarees and jewels to the fourth wife. All books he gave to the third wife. To the second wife he presented the latest medicines, and then he stayed with the first wife. The three other wives were angry, and asked, “Why do you stay there? Why don’t you stay with us?”

It is difficult to live with one wife, and beyond measure with two wives. Three wives were responsible for Rama being sent into exile. Four wives are unbearable! All three wives started to fight with him.

Then he said, “I gave you what you wanted. You wanted the jewels and sarees; you wanted good books, and you wanted medicines, but first wife wanted me, and I am staying with her.”

God is the same. He acts in a similar way. If someone prays to God, “Oh God, I want wealth and comfort.” God may grant them. If some others pray to God for wisdom, certainly God will teach them wisdom. God also has constructed the Super Specialty Hospital for those who fall sick.

But to those who pray, “Oh God, I want you!” He will be very close to that one. These are the four ways of approaching God.

– Sai Baba