Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the mystic poet and India’s first and the only Nobel laureate in literature, had his life dedicated to social causes We are ever grateful for his gracious uplifting of the downtrodden and the oppressed women and highlighting the tragic incidents of the so-called low-caste people of India.
‘Punishment’, one of his more powerful books with a social message for corrective measures, is a treatise on social horrors.
But, it is his Nobel-winning book, Gitanjali, that deals with divine and human love, and makes him a messenger of peace and love across the globe.
With his “song offerings”, Tagore turned himself into an instrument in making the world realise that truth is God and God is truth.
Tagore stood for humanity and humility, and for him God did not dwell in temples and other places of worship; for him God was with the poor and the workers and the tillers in the field. In other words, Tagore wanted to make us realise that work is worship and, therefore, God’s presence is among the humble and those who toil for an honest and truthful living.
Rabindranath Tagore believes that God pervades the whole of the human existence and man is nothing but an instrument in the hands of God, a servant whose duty it is to carry out the commands of his master. The human body is like a frail of a vessel which God empties again and again and then fills it ever with fresh life. Man dies and takes birth in another shape. In this way, human life is constantly renewed. this shows Tagore’s faith in the Hindu doctrine of transmigration.
He compares his body to a flute, made of reeds. God is the musician and He plays upon it everywhere, over the hill, as well as, in valleys. He always plays new and fresh melodies. Tagore believes it is under divine inspiration that he is always able to sing fresh and new songs. As God is everywhere and in every object of Nature, he gets His inspiration everywhere and sings over hills and dales.
Whenever God touches his soul with His immortal hand I.e. whenever He inspires him, he sings with immense joy, forgetting his own physical limitations. He loses his identity in his union of man and God, the eternal soul gets absorbed in Infinite.
God’s bounty knows no limit. His gifts are numerous and He has scattered them everywhere for ages. But the human soul is too little to enjoy in full abundance and profusion of divine bliss. again human soul is compared to a little child, whose hands are too small to hold the gifts which his parents offer to him. God has been bestowing His gifts upon His slaves for ages and still, His blessings are not exhausted. God’s gifts are endless.
This is the first poem from the collection of poems “Gitanjali” by Rabindranath Tagore.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure, this frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new. At the immortal touch of thy hands, my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable. thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still, there is room to fill.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight. Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colors and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim. My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple. No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight. Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.
Just a taster for anyone unfamiliar with Rabindranath Tagore and his wonderful creative spirit and genius.
Recent video of the Muddenahalli group enjoying holidays. Interesting footage.
Madhusudan taking letters from people gathered in Muddenahalli
exactly in the manner of the original Sai Baba
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive!”
A follow up on the Muddenahalli Team – two years on.
Curiouser and curiouser is the case study of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, the former student of SathyaSaiBaba and later colleague and friend to Mr. N. Murthy. Several years ago I wrote about the beginnings of the “Light-Body” phenomena, when it first became known to the public at large. I have never been able to quite understand how, at first, we were told stories that Mr. N. Murthy, through dreams, was able to communicate with SaiBaba and to carry on the mission of SathyaSai in a way most extraordinaire and beyond our ken! The whole idea that SaiBaba would be interested in carrying on a worldly sojourn from the astral planes just did not make sense to me. However, Mr. N. Murthy, decided he was the chosen one to take the SaiBaba mission forward and he explained why in detail, through a Souljourns video talk posted on line. He spoke at length to Ted Henry about his amazing mission – for those of you interested, I have reposted it here.
Later the former student, Madhusudan came on the scene and proclaimed he was actually the one and only person to hear and see the “Light-body.” (The astral SaiBaba) and proclaimed himself to be the medium or “instrument” for the deceased Avatar! This caused many devotees to gather round him and pay homage at his feet, or rather to the unseen SaiBaba who was readily available to Madhu – at least in his own mind! The chosen venue for the darshans being Muddenahalli, the fourth branch of the Sri Sathya Sai University way up in the Nandi Hills.I am not sure that Madhusudan can actually cope with so many former devotees of the living SaiBaba now gathering at his feet, or to grant copious blessings and give Godly advice together with the odd trinket or two that he can now manifest – just like magic!
After the group’s Kodaikanal visit during May 2014, the show and Madhu, the impish raconteur, was up and going and in full swing. The senior group with Madhu, were off on travels to far flung places, while picking up handsome donations from some of the richest followers of the original SaiBaba. I have to think how must life be for this youngish man upon whom, everything depends? He is responsible for a host of grief-stricken SaiBaba “hangers on” and is also responsible for the building/s of a new Sai Ashram in Muddenahalli as well as grandiose building projects for the future – among them, no less, a casino and a hospital in Miss. USA! Can he still be sane with so much depending on his dubious connection to the “unseen and unheard deceased SaiBaba?” Or has he, in his own mind, morphed into a self-styled God man while using the original SaiBaba name also mimicking his mannerisms? I cannot say. I only know that Madhu is carrying the world on his shoulders and I wonder if he can stay the course without some mishap or two.
Probably by now, he has convinced himself that he is indeed a very special personage, the chosen one to carry on SaiBaba’s mission here on earth. I am beginning to feel “sad” for Madhusudan, the “Sukshema Baba” who has so much depending on his continuing performances to convince people that he is indeed in deep communication with SaiBaba, who has afterall, now been gone five years. Notwithstanding that the Sai world at large is scrutinising his every move and just waiting to jump on his case, when the vibuthi runs low and the luck turns thin.
Just recently Madhu and his group visited Nigeria as guests of a wealthy follower of their cult. By all accounts posted on the internet, they were detained and questioned by the police about their activities and were then promptly deported. I am not sure they actually were deported, although that is the story one reads from the Sai Org. letter posted on line and the newspaper article that appeared shortly after. ( Both can be found on line.) I am not going into the full details of the offical letter or the constant flow of claims and counter-claims on both sides of the Sai movement, whether this is true or not. I would rather not be part of that. I actually don’t want to be part of anything or any movement other than be by myself nowadays. Still, I do have to wonder how long SaduMadhu will be able to stand the pressure of being a self-styled Godman – to be the provider of solace, substance and miraculous boons to all who need a surrogate guru for the now dead SathyaSaiBaba.
My original post from May 2014 – “Speaking of Sathya Sai Baba’s Light Body”
The Rudolf Steiner link I meant to provide is very hard to understand and long to read. I have instead, re-written the one paragraph that stands out.
The astral being or the soul of the deceased – on reaching the higher realms does not interfere or mingle with souls on Earth, unless in the case of possession or are earth bound. There are cases where a medium might contact a spirit, often one not on the highest levels, to give messages to their relations of survival of death. However, these links are not ever strong and can only be sustained for a very short time. The energy of the medium or instrument and that of the astral soul, would not vibrate for long on the same frequency. That is just not possible. There are laws that govern the universe and for those who are complicit to using them for occult reasons, they are unable to do so at will. The boundaries between the Earthly realm and other higher realms are overseen by the universal laws. (The angels of Light.) Thus, the many types of energies, (the earthly souls and the astral souls,) cannot co-exist for long, due to the energy and vibrations of those on the light realms being very different from ours on Earth. thank you.
“I call those ready to see me; of course, there are different levels of readiness!!” ~ Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi
There are people of different religions; each of them has faith. How do I treat the faith of somebody else? This question has been high-lighted by the recent awful events here in France, and shows no signs of being solved. So what is faith?When I wish to speak about faith what is it I want to speak about? What is faith, is it an emotion? If so, what sort of emotion? Is it a state of mind? Or is is just a matter-of-fact “Here I am and I believe in something.” “In through the Looking-glass,” The Red Queen says to Alice, “Why , sometimes, I’ve believed in six impossible things before breakfast.” So is faith this – believing in impossible things? When the early Latin writers wrote about Jews, they spoke about the “superstition” of Judaism. Is the faith of somebody else a superstition? Is God real? People make some choices about belief. If I believe in god: Believing in God is not just a simple statement without any obligation. It has all kinds of unpleasant ramifications – even to how I see my own life and my own experiences. Now some people will say that they are believers – and you find this in every religion, because it doesn’t cost them anything. For them to say “yes” and “no” is quite equal. The point is, in what do I believe? -Or what do you believe? Your comments are welcome. thanks eve
~ taken from a few notes on faith: ~ Adin Steinsaltz
Here is an excerpt from Hazrat Inayat Khan – The Purpose of Life ( This could read ‘The Purpose of faith’.)
A man may say, “We are here to gain honor.” In this case someone has to be humbled in order to give him the honor he seeks; but he in his turn may have to be humbled by a still more ardent seeker of honor.We may think that being loved is all-important, but we should know that the beauty in ourselves which makes another love us is transient. Furthermore the beauty we possess may pale in comparison with the beauty of another. When we seek the love of another we are not only dependent upon their love, but are ourselves devoid of love. If we think that it is desirable to love someone who deserves our love, we are mistaken, for we are always liable to be disappointed in the object of our love, who may perhaps never prove to be our ideal. One is led to suppose and believe that virtue is the only thing that matters in life, but it will be found that the greater number of sufferers from moral hallucination are to be met with among the self-righteous.
Then the only purpose of our life here on earth, if there be any, is the successful attainment of life’s demands. It may seem strange at first sight that all which life demands should be allowable and worth-while attaining; but on a closer study of life we see that the demands of our external self are the only ones we know, and we are ignorant of the demands of the true self, our inner life.
For instance, we know that we want good food and nice clothes, comfort of living and every convenience for moving about; honor, possessions, and all necessary means for the satisfaction of our vanity, all of which for the moment appear to us as our life’s only demands; but neither they nor their joy remain with us constantly. We then come to think that what we had was but a little and that perhaps more would satisfy us, and still more would suffice our need; but this is not so. Even if the whole universe were within our grasp it would be impossible fully to satisfy our life’s demands. This shows that our true life has quite different demands from those with which we are familiar. It does not want the joy experienced by this individual self only; it desires joy from all around. It does not wish for a momentary peace, but for one that is everlasting. It does not desire to love a beloved held in the arms of mortality. It needs a beloved to be always before it. It does not want to be loved only for today and perhaps not tomorrow. It wishes to float in the ocean of love. It is therefore that the Sufi seeks God as his love, lover and beloved, his treasure, his possession, his honor, his joy, his peace; and this attainment in its perfection alone fulfills all demands of life both here and hereafter.
Then again it may be said, there is a purpose above each purpose, and there is again a purpose under each purpose; and yet beyond and beneath all purposes there is no purpose. The creation is, because it is. Life is a journey from one pole to another, and the perfection of the conscious life is the final destiny of the imperfect life. In other words, every aspect of life in this world of variety gradually evolves from imperfection to perfection; and if life’s evolution were not so in its nature, there would be no difference between life and death, for life on the surface is nothing but the phenomena of contrast. This, then, is another way of expressing what is the purpose of life.
Alan Watt’s videos are a great source of wisdom. This short one is no exception. He speaks here about attachment, and how we humans hang on to things. We grasp at fleeting happiness that, like a butterfly, flits in and out of our lives leaving only memories. Neither things nor people make us really happy. We need to learn happiness from those who are masters in that department. Anandamayi Ma was a master of happiness or what she called bliss.
In the book The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma, the author, Alexander Lipski has given many wonderful accounts of her mastery and her teachings on non-attachment. Anyone who was fortunate enough to meet Anandamayi Ma – and there are many fortunate ones still living – knows that something of her teaching is in her very person. She was the living embodiment of “A Blessing”, a gift to mankind. I wish there were more like her alive today, but it seems as the darkness of the age has drenched us with uncertainty and fear, so the great masters have retreated from our world. We are left with their words and timeless wisdom, in those we need to find solace in this age of Kali.
From Selected Discourses – Anandamayi Ma..
Question: “Please explain the nature of worldly and divine happiness.”
Mataji: “Divine happiness is pure, unalloyed bliss, happiness in its own right.”
Question: “But surely, there is happiness in the world too!”
Mataji: “Then why do you make this remark?”
Question: “Why do people run after material happiness?”
“You know this happiness from experience, and hence your question. But the Divine is gracious and makes you see that this so-called happiness is not happiness. He kindles discontent and anguish in you, which is due to the want of communion with the Divine. Worldly happiness is derived from the countless manifestations of God. People talk and marvel about those who renounce the world, but in actual fact it is you yourself who have renounced everything. What is this “everything”? God! Leaving Him aside, everyone is literally practicing supreme renunciation. It is only natural that the sence of want should awaken. Even in the midst of comforts and pleasures one feels homesick in a foreign land. There is distress even in happiness, one’s possession are not really one’s own – this is what He causes man to feel. It is said, it is not, that on being hit one recovers one’s senses, one learns by receiving blows.
When He manifests Himself as worldly happiness, one does not feel contented, for along with it He appears as the sense of want. But divine happiness, even the tiniest particle of a grain of it, never leaves one again; and when one attains to the essence of things and finds one Self – this is supreme happiness. When it is found, nothing else remains to be found; the sense of want will not awaken anymore, and the heart’s torment will be stilled forever. Do not be satisfied with fragmentary happiness, which is invariable interrupted by shocks and blows of fate: but become complete, and having attained to perfection, be YOURSELF.”
A precious necklace was seen flashing from the bottom of a lake. Many felt tempted to recover the valuable ornament and dived deep into the water for it, but found no necklace anywhere. Yet it was clearly visible to everyone from the edge of the lake. They were all puzzled. Eventually they realized that there was no necklace at the bottom of the lake; what they saw was its reflection in the water. They looked up and discovered the precious ornament hanging from a tree. A bird must have picked it up from somewhere and deposited it there.
God who dwells within you is the source of true happiness. In the objects of the senses this happiness is merely reflected. The individual, misled by birth after birth by having only a glimpse of this reflected joy, thinks that this is the real thing, namely sensuous delight. So long as one believes that true happiness can be had in sense objects without searching within, one will never taste true happiness. The kingdom of God, hence of happiness, is within you.
– Anandamayi Ma, the Mother Bliss – Incarnate, by Anil Ganguli
WHAT ARE ‘innerviews’ or religious experiences? From what I gather there are as many different types of innerviews as there are people. Religious experiences are as old as mankind. The bible tells us of visions, revelations, dreams and other divine experiences, in which they have happened to the prophets. Moses for example, was looking after a flock of sheep when be noticed a bush on fire, but not burning. Suddenly a voice spoke to Moses, telling him to take off his shoes because he was standing on Holy ground. Then God revealed himself to Moses as “I am who I am”. The Buddha, after much searching came to enlightenment during three nights of contemplation. He saw his previous lives pass before him and had revealed to him the holy truths; the knowledge of suffering and the removal of suffering was also revealed to him. Jesus Christ was baptised in the river Jordan when suddenly a voice from above proclaimed, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with whom I am well pleased”.
More than a few Christian Saints have written down their religious experiences. Julian of Norwich, wrote with insight and vision of her religious experiences. This makes her a favourite today. Her expression “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” is now a beloved phrase. In Lourdes, Bernadette Soubirous had an experience in which the Virgin Mary, revealed herself as ‘The Immaculate Conception,’ and promised Bernadette happiness in ‘the next world’. Bernadette, was to receive more messages from the apparition; one led to the miraculous discovery of water, and another, for a chapel to be built in the Grotto. Bernadette’s experiences were recorded and people from all over the world came to the small grotto in Lourdes, for healing. Today, it is a pilgrimage centre for Christians.
However, spiritual experiences are not exclusive to the prophets, saints, mystics or even the good. Religious experiences happen in all cultures and in all religions. Prophets, tell us time and again, to treasure our inner voice. ‘ Our insights are a spontaneous gifts of grace from the divine to his beloved children. I’ve have chosen a few recorded insights or if you like, spiritual experiences to share with you today. I hope they will inspire and delight the reader. I would be interested in readers comments on this topic. Perhaps you too have experiences insights that you might like to share. Oh! please do!
A MOMENT IN TIME
“A few years ago, I was feeling rather low and depressed. My life seemed to be falling to pieces around me. I was laying on my bed trying to make sense of it all, when suddenly I felt a light all around me. The next thing I was aware of, was being taken upward towards something of intense brightness. From the brightness, there appeared a figure and a voice said, “Go in peace and everything will be shown unto you.”
From that day forward, I have not worried over difficulties. I know I am guided and protected. I believe I always will be.”
NECTAR OF THE GODS -Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram – 1991
“During a lengthy stay in Sai Baba’s ashram in 1991, I devoted extensive time to meditation. I rose at dawn to attend morning chants in the Mandir. (Temple). Afterwards, I would join the lines for darshan and remain in the Mandir compound until after bhajans. My morning austerities would end with a steep climb up the hill leading to the meditation tree. There, I would sit for around 15 minutes enjoying the peace and the gentle cooling breeze. This routine lasted for weeks. I never felt tired or hungry. On the contrary I felt elated. The elation increased as the weeks passed by, my often nervous nature disappeared and for the rest of my trip, I became utterly at peace with myself and others.
Towards the end of my visit, I sat for some time under the meditation tree. On one particular morning, I heard an inner voice say: “Stay always sweet – remember sweetness is the nectar of the Gods.”I am sure it was not my imagination playing tricks, because the phrase ‘nectar of the Gods,’ was unknown to me.”
– family member
ALL WILL BE WELL Heidelberg, Germany, 1973
“At birth, my daughter was two months premature. The doctors had only let me see her for a few seconds before she was rushed off to intensive care and placed in an incubator. The doctors told me that her chances for survival were not good. I was given a room by myself to recover from the shock of her birth. The little room was dark, dingy and cold. I remember feeling incredibly lonely and afraid. Suddenly, the room became filled with a presence. It was not a single presence but many. I don’t know how to describe accurately what actually happened – but the presence seemed to be sending me waves of love and peace. I fell asleep within seconds. I knew I was being looked after and everything would be well. It was!”
ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE
“For many years I kept African Violets. They were my favourite house plants. One day, I was admiring one that had made a remarkable recovery from over watering.
Mentally, I began to talk to it. Suddenly, I became aware of a tremendous feeling of love flowing from the plant to me! In fact, I felt that I became the plant, and it became me and that we both were one with the universe! It was a beautiful feeling. I suppose I can only describe it as a deep peace. The feeling only lasted for a few seconds, but was like nothing else I have ever experienced.”
-Meg Maxwell and Verena Tschudin from “Seeing The Invisible” *
The 50th Birthday Present – an Out of Body Experience!
Perhaps the most odd insight that’s happened to me, came on my 50th Birthday. Not sure if it was not a divine joke on this writer. Why would the universe have to pick my half century marker to show me in a most precise way, I was definitely ‘not the body’ ?
The 8th November eve, we had been out for the evening visiting Canterbury, Kent, ( U.k. ) This particular evening we had spent at a yoga meditation chant meeting. I remember even today, the chants were powerful. One lady in particular, chanted AUM over and over in a strong clear voice. For me, at least, if was a tad overwhelming.
We left around 10 p.m. and drove home. Turning down our street, there was an odd-looking truck outside our house. At that time, we lived in a cul-de-sac, where large trucks were a rare sight. Now here was one parked outside our house. (It was extremely odd.) I remember seeing it for only a short time on our arrival, for when I looked out of the window some ten minutes later, the truck had gone.
Nothing more unusual happened that evening and I went to bed. The dream preceding the OOBE, I will never forget. I was in a house somewhere, where there were bedrooms. I knew that one of the bedrooms in this dream belonged to my daughter, and on her bed was a bright pink duvet. At the moment of seeing the pink duvet, everything went blank, and the next thing I remember was floating on the ceiling above my own bed. I knew instinctvely that if I went through the ceiling to the beyond, I would not be able to return back to my body that was sleeping on the bed. Instantly, I felt an urge to return to that sleeping form below me. I willed myself to turn from my horizontal position, (I was horizontal and parallel to the ceiling) to a vertical position, and then willed myself down, down, down, back into my body. The moment I thought to return brought about an instant change in my body position to vertical, and instantly I was back in my body. The entry was through my throat area.
I awoke with a shudder. My whole body shook with the impact of re-entry. I still remember how bewildered I was. I guess the experience was the most unusual birthday present I’ve ever had. Not sure I want another quite like that! – But it was a valuable lesson…
I would really appreciate feedback from readers… thank you.
Meg Maxwell and Verena Tscgydin have written an excellent book on the subject of religious experiences. The book title is ‘Seeing The Invisible’ and is available in the New Age section of any large book sellers. The sale proceeds of the book go to the Alister Hardy Research Centre, which has in it’s archives, more than 5,000 personal letters, collected over 20 years.
Next week, I will be on holiday and far away from the computer. Gosh! I need a break, time away to relax and indulge myself in photography. I leave you with this post on Truth as seen by several ancient women poets whom I admire greatly. Hoping you will all enjoy this post as much as I did writing it. I do enjoy comments, if only a one liner once in a while. They provide me with valuable feedback, without them, I am lost to know what to write and publish here. Here we go with my last post for a while.
I n every spiritual tradition, the same truth appears: I am sure you have all noticed that at some time or another. Writing on spiritual matters as I do, I honestly can say, there are as many paths to the divine as there are people.
While it is necessary to undertake specific practices in spiritual life – prayer or meditation, the vows of right behaviour and right speech, all the many paths that lead to “being awake and aware at the core of our being” – such practices do not create anything that was not there from the beginning. They only open the door to what is already present within us. We do not pray or meditate or engage in good works in order to reach a goal or to become some way “better,” but because these activities are the fundamental expression of the heart freed of the distortions of ego and dualistic thinking. Nothing we do can bring the Sacred into existence and nothing we do can destroy it: this is the message the mystics have always brought to us.
What follows in this post are several poems from different traditions and different times – all from women, yet each points to this idea of the hidden treasure of Truth that does not change.
The first poem is from Lalla Ded, a fourteenth-century Kashmiri poet. she was also a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite Sect. She wrote many devotional and mystic poems, expressing her longing for the Divine.
I was passionate,
filled with longing,
I searched far and wide.
But the day that the Truthful One
I was at home.
To learn the scriptures is easy, to live them, hard. The search for the Real is no simple matter.
Deep in my looking, the last words vanished. Joyous and silent, the waking that met me there.
– Lalla Ded
Sun Bu-er (1124?) was the most famous woman teacher of Chinese Taoism. She began spiritual practice only at the age of fifty-one, when after raising three children to adulthood, she and her husband undertook study of the Way. Each became a fully realized being and teacher, and SunBu-er left behind a number of Taoist treatises and poems.
Cut brambles long enough, Sprout after sprout, And the lotus will bloom Of its own accord: Already waiting in the clearing, The single image of light. The day you see this, That day you will become it. -Sun Bu-er
Interestingly, the inner sacred is almost never desribed as residing in a temple, but as being at home, kept from public view behind closed doors, in the inmost rooms of the self. Here is one example of such a poem, by the Sufi saint Rabi’a (717-801), a freed salve who lived in the simplest of huts on the outskirts of Basra, in what is now Iraq.
O my Lord, the stars glitter and the eyes of men are closed. Kings have locked their doors and each lover is alone with his love. Here, I am alone with You.
-Rabia al Adawiyya
From an early age Mirabai felt an irresistible attraction and devotion to Sri Krishna. As a young child she was given a Krisha doll, which she worshipped as if it embodied the living presence of Him. Although people misunderstood her, she considered Krishna to be both her best friend, lover and husband. Swami Sivananda said of Mirabai ‘It is extremely difficult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality – Mira – a saint, a philosopher, a poet and a sage. She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous soul. Her life has a singular charm, with extraordinary beauty and marvel.’
That dark Dweller in Braj Is my only refuge. O my companion, Worldly comfort is an illusion, As soon you get it, it goes. I have chosen the Indestructible for my refuge, Him whom the snake of death Will not devour.
My Beloved dwells in my heart, I have actually seen that Abode of Joy. Mira’s Lord is Hari, the Indestructible. My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee, Thy slave.
Sathya Sai Baba with Dear Sai Geeta – now passed on.
I do hope Sai devotees and others will enjoy this sweet letter from Ted Henry. (with thanks.)
Love as Thought is Truth.
Love as Action is Right Conduct.
Love as Understanding is Peace.
Love as Feeling is Non-violence.
Duty without love is deplorable.
Duty with love is desirable.
Love without duty is Divine. -Baba
~ THE MAIN EVENT
All is well here. Sai Baba is everywhere and his hand hand can be seen here in everyone’s lives. From dawn to dusk people talk of amazing first person experiences, from dawn to dusk my head spins from what I hear, see, learn and understand. Enough said.
~ LIFE IS BUT A BREEZE
Somewhere from deep within the Deccan Plateau comes an evening breeze that regularly cools off the still tiny town of Puttaparthi. Following the evening bhajans and darshan, the walkway back to Round House 1 is a good place to catch the breeze that always seems to bring the day’s best relief from the hot winter sun. Yes, it is winter here, but who would know? Daily the temp climbs to the high 80s with seldom a cloud in sight.
I do tend to go on about the ambiance of Sai Baba’s beautiful ashram. Actually I can’t help it. The late day’s devotional singing in the open air prayer hall clearly sets the stage for the brief program that remains at the end of each day here, a good dinner and a long read of one of the hundreds of Baba books available in the ashram. Jody is the chief reader in our apartment, but I manage to get in some good reading as well. And to my credit, as of heading into our sixth week here, I have yet to read a single word in any of the novels I brought to India with me.
The evenings are anything but lively here. You’ve got the sound of the crickets outside, the occasional howling dog off in the distant, and the ever present whirring of the two ceiling fans in our flat.
~ SOULJOURNS INTERVIEWS
We spent time with Jay Jethna yesterday. Jay is from Austrailia and works for the United Nations. On video he told us three amazing stories, not the least of which occurred back in 1968.
Jay was 13 at the time living in Uganda, where he was born. A friend told him that he had heard that God was coming to town in two days. Jay couldn’t wait and was extremely excited even though he had no idea if “The Blessed One” had a name or what he looked like. Jay and his family showed up to wait for Baba at the 6 pm appointed hour. It wasn’t until 1 o’clock in the morning that the country’s important guest finally arrived. Several people got out of the car but there was no sign of Him. When Jay asked someone about this he was told that the man in the orange clothes with fuzzy hair was who everyone was waiting for and that his name was Sai Baba. Jay had seen this man get out of the car earlier but thought he was one of the security guards.
The next day Jay sneaked into the backyard of the people hosting Sai Baba trying to get another view of the important visitor. Baba was blessing people in the yard when he spotted Jay in the back. When he went up to Jay, Baba told Jay that he was not well, which was true since Jay had suffered from a serious life long asthma condition.
And then Baba said, “Go”, but Jay thought this meant Baba wanted him to leave, to go back to school. But Baba wanted to see Jay for an interview, of course and later, once inside the host’s home Baba produced a fluid from the palm of his hand and applied it to Jay and said, “Go, no more sickness”.
Jay left and from that day forward he has never suffered from asthma again in his life. Twenty two years passed before Jay gave much thought to Baba again. At the age of 33, he was visiting a shopping mall with his wife in Hong Kong. On the sign board were the words, “Sai Baba and this made him think.” This prompted Jay and his wife to visit the tenth floor offices of the local Sai Baba center. As they entered, bhajans were underway, something Jay and his wife, Julie had never been exposed to, but they stayed anyway and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Needless to say, Jay reconnected with Sai Baba in his life and has become an ardent devotee coming to Prasanthi countless times since turning 33. Jay has two additional stories to share on Souljourns, both of which are blockbusters. Look for them soon at vimeo.com/souljourns and/or youtube.com/souljourns.
Also look for the many other Souljourns interviews we’re recording in India. So far we have about 30 of them recorded, and in their own way they’re all powerful. Many of them include useful guidance for additional spiritual growth.
“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between these two, my life flows.” ‘I am nothing’ does not mean there is a void or a wasteland within. What it means is that with constant awareness we open to a clear, unimpeded space, without centre or boundaries, there is nothing separate. Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything there is. “Everything” does not mean self- importance or the egotistical idea that self-aggrandisement is everything, but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate. Both the clear open space of ‘nothing’ and the interconnectedness of ‘everything;’ awakens us to our true nature.”
Here is a story about a powerful emperor who found that owning nothing gave him more happiness that owning everything.
Ashoka was an emperor in northern India who lived around two hundred years after the time of the Buddha. In the early years of his reign, he was a bloody tyrant. He wanted everything for himself. Land, riches, gems, jewels, he was greedy for them all. Ashoka might have been emperor but inside he was a very unhappy man. A man who could not find happiness even though he had conquered all the lands.
One day, after a particularly terrible battle that he had launched in order to acquire more land and wealth, he walked on to the battlefield amid the appalling spectacle of corpses of men and animals strewn everywhere, already rotting in the warmth of the sun. He watched as the carrion-eating birds devoured the bodies. Ashoka was aghast at the carnage he had reaped. He sat down and cried.
Just then a Buddhist monk came walking across the battlefield. The monk did not say a word, but his being was quite radiant with peace and happiness. Seeing the monk, Ashoka thought, “Why is it that I, having everything in the world, feel so miserable? Whereas the monk has nothing to call his own, other than the robes he wears and the bowl he carries, looks so serene and happy, even in this terrible place?”
Ashoka made a momentous decision on that day. He pursued the monk and asked him, “Are you happy? If so, how did this come to be? How can you be happy with nothing?” In response, the monk who had nothing, introduced the emperor, who had everything, to the Buddha’s teachings. The consequence of this chance meeting, was Ashoka changed from that day onward. Ashoka devoted himself to the practice and study of Buddhism and changed the entire nature of his reign. He stopped waging wars. He fed the poor and gave them homes. He transformed himself from a terrible tyrant into one of history’s most respected rulers, acclaimed for thousands of years after as just and benevolent.