The Day Love All – Serve All Died!

 

sai-tigrett       Isaac Tigrett talking with Sai Baba at darshan in 2009.
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I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love. ~ Sai Baba

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Madhu with Sai Baba

                                             Madhu with Sai Baba during his student days


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…II

Easter Sunday 2011 is the saddest day in the memory of millions of Sai Baba devotees world-wide. It was the day He passed away. The day we never thought would come, but come it did and earlier than we had expected. It was the day “Love All – Serve All” died too. I use the term Love All – Serve All, because it is a well known quotation associated with Swami and is the one loved the most and its meaning is associated with everything Sai Baba taught over the years.

So what did Love All – Serve All really stand for during Sai’s life? Well, ‘what didn’t it stand for’ might be the better question to ask. Swami had for decades, come rain and shine, come pain or illness, gave two daily darshans to the huge crowds gathered at one or the other of his ashrams. I only remember Him ever missing darshan one month, that was during his recovery from His hip replacement surgery in June 2003. I was there in Whitefield at the time, on looking back, I keenly remember how miserable and utterly soul-destroyed we all were due to not seeing our Baba, the “One Light” that so filled us with joy and energy.

When the month was finally over, He gave a glorious come-back darshan sitting on a gulf buggy. I swear it was the longest darshan I’d ever had. He also gave a detailed talk about His hip operation on that day, July, 5th, 2003. He said, “I am not this body. Body consciousness leads to untold suffering. One has to get rid of body attachment in order to enjoy peace and happiness. What is this body composed of?

This body is a den of dirt and prone to diseases; it is subject to change from time to time;
it cannot cross the ocean of Samsara. It is nothing but a structure of bones.
O mind, do not be under the delusion that body is permanent. Instead, take refuge at the Divine Lotus Feet. (Telugu Poem)”

He also gave other hints during that talk, that his time with us would not be long. And although we thought the buggy was temporary, it wasn’t. Swami no longer walked among us after the operation, he used a variety of vehicles such as the famous golf buggy that, I believe, he first used in the Whitefield Ashram and later on he used a small car, then during the last years a wheelchair.

He would move among us for another six years, although the last year He appeared extremely ill and with the additional handicap of two strokes. His strength began to fail. Still, even then he came to darshan often, never giving in to the horrible suffering of that little impermanent body, that he told us he had no attachment to.

His message remained the same: My Life is my message. My life is one of giving and sharing with others. I give you what you want, so you will want what I have come to give. Love all, Serve all. Love ever, Hurt never. The message he gave was always the same message, only made different by the quotations and words He chose to use to pass on this all-important lesson, that we are born to live, love, share, and adhere to the highest values of human life.

Heart-felt grief hit all of us on the day He left his little body. Life would never be the same again. We had lost our “Sai Light” – our “Radiant Sai,” the giver of joyful bliss, often coupled with hard life-lessons too.  We were forced to face the future that would not include a physical Sai Baba. That beautiful form. He would not move among us in the flesh again. We had to do as He’d done, move on. Move on to a higher practise, one that required us to mature and seek the God within.

Isaac Tigrett had made the quotation, “Love All – Serve All” famous by using the slogan in his numerous Hard Rock Cafés, dotted all over the world. He’d been instrumental in the building of the now famous hospital in Puttaparthi. Isaac Tigrett had given a cheque for a princely sum towards the building of that beautiful building.

Oddly enough, he’d been living in the ashram at the time of Swami’s passing. He had predicted that Swami would die early in his 2009 Dallas talk, and he told us afterwards, that Sai’s passing had been no surprise to him.

In the whirl-wind of change taking place in that empty space left by the physical Sai Baba, things were changing fast. We had the drama where Mr. Tigrett claimed Baba had instructed him to build a retreat and a school somewhere in Coorg.  He’d called it the 7th Ray. He was given the name, the “Living Will” by the press, however, things did not go to plan.

Meanwhile, in the small  hill-top hamlet of Muddenahalli something else was unfolding, something none of us could have or would have ever imagined! Mr. Murthy, a long time devotee and senior officer there, claimed the spirit of Sai Baba contacted him, whereby instructing him to build schools and hospitals. He also claimed he’d had vivid dreams of Sai Baba.

Even more strange, an unknown student of Sai Baba, Madhusudan, emerged on the scene. This young man had a knack for mimicking Sai Baba. He had actually made quite an art of this during his student days. (How a student could mimic Sai Baba is a puzzle to me and shocking.)

A few years later during 2014, Mr. Murthy and friends, Madhusudan and Isaac Tigrett attended a gathering of  former VIP and studnets in Kodaikanal. It was during that rather impassioned meeting that the “Muddenahalli Baba” aka as “The Light Body” or “Sukshma Baba,” became the invisible source for everything Sai Baba. Apparently, we learned, Sai Baba’s  “subtle body” was using the former student to talk through! This affair had all the hallmarks of being delusional, because Sai Baba had often given speeches during his life-time, condemning those people who claimed he spoke to them. He said, time and again, he needed no one’s help to communicate messages. He had entire control over the universe and on all levels of life both living and dead, astral and causal.

Video of celebrations on 24th FEb. 2017 – at 2.08 – the former student coughs up a lingam. Camera cuts away just before he spits out the marble.

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False Baba aka MMM

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Another, the former student

Below video on how regurgitator does the trick, this time with a ball


Link To Mr.Tigrett’s Muddenahalli Talk of several years ago :

http://www.znakovi-vremena.net/en/tigrett-muddenahalli.htm

Yet, all written statements and video clip from Sai Baba, declaring  He was beyond normal needs of communication and, whether in the body or not, He could contact anyone at any-time, or anywhere. Space and time were no barrier. This all fell on deaf ears. People flocked to Muddenhalli! There, they could relive their old darshan days once more, by following Madhusudan who mimicked Sai Baba’s every action.

Now, three years later, we see a bold Madusudan who not only mimics Sai Baba, but also can “produce” rings, create vibuthi and now, on Maha Shivaratri, cough up a lingam!– just like his mentor and teacher, Sai Baba had done all those years ago.

So what do we have today? – We do not have a physical Swami. We do not have unity. We have division and dissent in the Sai world. We have Sai followers who are confused and perplexed, with some even leaving the fold. We have the old ashram in PP, with its beautiful Samadhi, now condemned by Mr. Murthy as a waste of time. We are to be felt- sorry-for. He claims that Madhusudan is now the real source of Sai Baba, there is no other. (Odd that Sai Baba would condemn his own samadhi and abode of the highest peace where he, himself, lived some 85 years.)

Perhaps, too, we still have many grieving and lost former Sai followers who cannot make the transition from dual to non-dual; the very fabric of Sai’s teaching; The core value of his teaching; The highest of his teachings!

Whatever has happened, we now have a sad situation of a “wannabe” Baba, soon-to-be a fully-fledged Baba, all-be-it utterly contentious, acting out on behalf of many gullible people, who cannot bring themselves to accept that the old order has passed away. Not only that but the former Student now has a fly-by-night following world over. There’s to be a new ashram in Ca. USA, probably in the form of a retreat, come ashram, 7th Ray style perhaps? for Madhu devotees to revel in.

Whatever joy and monies may be made out of this new cult, remains to be seen, or even if it can stand the test of time. Our Sai Baba stood the test of time, his presence permeates every stone of the ashram, every tree, every flower, every brick, every cat and dog, every monkey, every insect and every heart and soul there.

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There is a group of MDH followers who live and hang out in Parthi because they can’t afford the living expenses at their high end fantasy land. The cheapsters have no shame in living off the generosity of PN because here they enjoy a good comfortable and clean lifestyle at very low prices. But their loyalty is to the dark side. They too sit outside the Sai Kulwant Hall or hang out by our coffee kiosks in the ashram trying to recruit more gullible and innocent people. If they have an iota of self respect they should not set foot in the sacred ashram which they denounce and criticise so vehemently. I guess their downward spiral will land them where these ungratefuls belong. And they even display an attitude of arrogance. Why can’t they follow their faith in the fraud all the way without defiling our slice of heaven with their stinking presence. Disgusting bunch of shameless Judases. ~ Comment on facebook by Kuruna Munchi

Until such time we listen to  our Wisdom teachers, all of whom tell us God is within, we will always have the three GMMM – God Mullah-Making- Machines – only too willing to part the gullible from their money and commonsense.

Eve

CATCH A FALLING “STAR” – Sathya Sai Memories

Isaac's Krishna with flowers
Isaac’s Krishna with flowers

 

Catch a falling star, put it in your pocket and save it for a rainy day. Those few words from the song of the same name, sum up my experiences I had this year in the Puttaparthi Ashram. I had given the post another name, but feel this title is more in keeping with the post.  So here goes.

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On my visit to Puttaparthi this year, I noticed so many changes. Gone were most of the small cafés I’d enjoyed eating in. Gone too was the prettiness of the ashram. The huge concrete buildings were in need of a lick of paint, the pathways that meandered around the darshan area, all were in need of repair. It was noisy. I remember one day a young seva dal worker walked up and down the walkway in East Prashanthi, with a placard that read: “Please be quite.” There seemed to be such a lack of awareness that this was supposed to be a place of peace, quiet, and reverence.

I opted out of sitting in the darshan hall this year, preferring to sit in the gardens at the back of the Ashram. They were beautiful and cool. The Bougainvillea and other tropical plants painted the landscape brightly while providing shade. The statues all around the garden, freshly painted, were a reminder of times gone by when everything had been spick and span. I used to sit there on the stone bench under one of the Neem trees, watching exquisite black and red butterflies dancing from branch to branch. The Neem trees were in full bloom while I was there, and as the tiny blossoms reached out toward the sun, all kinds of insects came to settle. My! the chirping sounds of those insects added a sense of the sublime to the whole scene. The birds too chirped their mantras and whooped, often it seemed, keeping time with the Vedas being chanted in the darshan hall some five hundred feet away.

The bench under the Neem tree was my favourite place to sit. The gardeners watered the area in the early morning, leaving everything wet. A smell of fresh earth embraced us.  The temperatures also dropped sharply after the thorough watering. It was simply the best place in the ashram to stay cool.

Isaac Tigrett’s ‘Krishna’ status stood directly under his 4th floor apt. It, too, had received a fresh coat of paint. The dark blue colour shone in the sunlight, and if one looked sideways at the statue, it appeared to have an aura. I am not sure what optical illusion made this appear so. Anyway it was enchanting to the eye.

Isaac’s apt was high up, in full view of the canopy of the Neem trees. How I envied him that special place. I never saw him in or around the ashram but sensed he enjoyed his apt. and its spectacular view! But he is no longer there now. He gave up his residency this June. Apparently his “Mission” had ended.

Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.
Isaac outside the ashram gate on Guru-Pournima celebrations this year.

He’d lived there for seven or more years. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he’d held early morning bhajans there in his apt. I attended only twice in 2008. Isaac at that time was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of ladies attending. Obviously the famous former owner of the Hard Rock Cafe was centre of attention – that is after Sai Baba. He had not expected on his arrival, he could create such a stir. But human nature being what it is he was very much in demand. It was like everyone wanted a piece of him, and he later retaliated by withdrawing.

Isaac had gone through many up and downs during his stay in Prashanthi Nilayam. He arrived a few years before Swami’s demise, and had weathered all the political storms that were to come later. Although respected and admired on his arrival, he had difficulty settling in.

I’d not known Isaac personally and, after 2008, I hardly saw him. He’d told people he had no friend’s there. I am not sure that was altogether true, but perhaps he felt that it was. He’d hired young men to run errands or to assist him with his projects. I was told that even his assistant had been less than loyal and had been let go. Yet, he was generous in supporting the local villages, and was well-liked by those who lived outside of Puttaparthi.

bench3Catch A Falling Star

I remember seeing him two years ago in the Mandir hall. He’d looked much older. His hair once dyed black now was white, his untrimmed beard didn’t help his appearance. I guess he’d ceased to care much about his looks, once under the influence of Sai Baba. Gone also, I thought to myself, was the image of the chic entrepreneur of the famous Hard Rock Cafe. He looked somewhat awkward and out of place. I watched while he did his pranams to Swami, then as he got up, he glanced over at the ladies in an embarrassed way, and slowly walked out. It was around that time he stopped visiting the Mandir. I had a strange feeling at that time, his days there were numbered.

Isaac deciding to leave the ashram marks the end of an era. I arrived just after he’d given a huge cheque for the SS hospital to be built in 1991. Everyone was talking about him. They all said that with the building of the hospital, things would be great for Sai Baba. And weren’t we the lucky ones to be there with Him at this time?

Well, in my opinion, that was an unlikely truth. The ashram had certainly changed with the great influx of money though not altogether for the better. Now that he has gone, will things settle down to the slow pace of life that the ashram enjoyed before Isaac’s mission? I suppose so, but Isaac Tigrett will never be forgotten. He left his mark there and as for the hospital? No one can erase his memory from that. What a sad ending…

 

Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi
Bamboo in the garden. The garden is the heart of the Ashram in Puttparthi
In the garden after the rain
In the garden after the rain
Ashram Gardens
Ashram Gardens

Finally, this writer is most cautious in posting articles that may be contensious  I always check with people who are mentioned in my posts. It is only good manners to do so. I contacted Isaac Tigrett, before the final draft of this blog-post was released. I have always done that with his posts (those on this blog) and for others too. thank you..

From Hard Rock To Hard Knocks – Isaac Tigrett

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Quotation from Isaac Tigrett’s 2007 Talk in Singapore.

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I believe that the Jyothi Lamp is lit in the vibrations of the words they leave behind; that we find our spiritual identity in the vibrations of these words of Ultimate Truth. Sai Baba is preparing to leave us. He said He would leave at age 96. He has also said that He could leave his body at any time He wished. Are you ready for this event? Are you only attached to the form? Do you know the formless? He has told us over and over again that we are Divine Beings, that we are Him.

Do you know your true identity? How can we know? –

~Isaac Tigrett


Thanks. 

 


For people who have not heard of Mr. Tigrett, he was the co-founder of The Hard Rock Cafe, and The Founder of House Of Blues.

The quotations posted today, I feel, are from the heart. Isaac Tigrett had more private experiences with Sathya Sai Baba than almost anyone else. He first visited India when he was only 24 years old and stayed devoted until the end of Sai Baba’s life, a long time indeed. Due to his closeness to Sai Baba, I feel that he is able to talk from a viewpoint that few of us “general public Sai folks,” could even begin to understand. In this talk given in 2007, in Singapore, he takes us on a journey through his extraordinary life. He speaks frankly of the successful years of the Hard Rock, and later the years of  “Hard Knocks.”  Life, for us all,  is a journey from “Our Self back to Our Self” and in Isaac’s case, it was one filled with adventure, glamour, pain, illness and loss, way beyond most peoples’ lives. I might just mention, that I do not  know Isaac, although I have seen him often during my visits to Puttaparthi, India.

Sadly Isaac Tigrett no longer lives in Puttaparthi but has gone to live in Bangalore. He now is a follower  of  Madhusudan – The self-style Godman of Muddenahalli…

 

DivineLord19997eveSwami and Isaac Tigrett during Darshan

During my twenty years of visits, I mostly sat towards the back of the hall. From so far back it was impossible to see Sai Baba during darshan, yet alone speak to him. Only on very special occasions was I even allowed to hand him a letter. Sitting at the back did not necessarily mean a person was prevented from receiving Darshan, for it was always available in some sort of way. It did mean though, that one could not sit comfortably or at ease. We at the back were invariably pestered by Seva Dal workers, or people sitting very close by. There was never an inch of space between people gathered for darshan. The hall towards the back, often had a suffy feel. People grew tired with the long waits for Swami to appear, so many sat and chatted. There was little chance to pick up the beatific vibrations, the people seated at the front had easy access to. We only heard stories from VIP’s about the extraordinary ways Swami worked with them.

I found, during those last years, that sitting outside the hall, was by far the best way to absorb Sai Baba’s darshan. Of course, we all had experiences that seems way beyond coincidences but I, like so many other visitors, was unable to confirm my experiences with Sai Baba himself, like Isaac did.  I engaged in much pondering about the subtle nuances that seemed to occur. Were they real or just fabricated or fanciful, I could never tell.

I know on one occasion my husband, was sitting in Sai Towers entrance cafe, when Sri Sai Baba drove by in his car. He rushed out to the street to give greetings to Swami. After His car had passed by, he returned to his seat in the cafe. He was alone there but for a waiter, when suddenly he felt an enormous peace flood through him. The large garland on a Sai painting on the wall opposite to where he was sitting, suddenly snapped, with the sound of a powerful fire cracker. The garland’s string had broken, two bundles of  stringed jasmine flowers,  fell to the floor. The waiter was stunned and so was he.


Thanksgiving, Another Viewpoint – Value Of Kindness

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” In years gone by America was, by definition, a kind of recapitulation and consummation of all human possibilities”Patrick Laude

America is no longer a place  to dream. Today, the once taken-for-granted dreams  for a better world for ordinary Americans seems to be fading, rather like roses in a scandalous wasteland. The fertile dreams of yesteryear have given way to dread for many of her citizens.

Once the guardian of the process by which the soul of man could grow and act upon the earth, America is surely being destroyed, not necessarily through war, but slowly from within like a hollowed-out-tree, standing tall in the desert of petrified life. In hindsight, perhaps the pilgrims who first set foot on the ‘new land,’ had already started the decaying process, when they refused to share with the indigenous inhabits, whose land they gladly settled on. Here is a small piece from a woman of the Dineh Nation.


“As a child of a Native American family, I was part of a very select group of survivors,  I learned early  that my family possessed some ‘inside’ knowledge of what really happened when those poor tired masses came to our homes. When the Pilgrims came to Plymouth rock, they were poor and hungry, half of them died within a few months from disease and hunger.

When Squanto, A Wampanoag man, found them, they were in a pitiful state. He knew English, having traveled to Europe, so could speak to them. Their English crops had failed. The native people fed them through the harsh winter and taught them how to grow crops.  They were not merely ‘friendly Indians.’ They had already experienced European slave traders, raiding their villages for a hundred years or so, and they were weary, but it was their way to give freely to those who had nothing. Among many of our people, showing that you can give without holding back is the way to earn respect. Among the Dakota, my father’s people, they say, when asked to give, “are we not Dakota and alive?” It was believed that by giving there would be enough for all, the exact opposite to the system we live by now, which is based on selling.

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To the newcomers, the Wampanoags were heathens, and of the Devil. They saw Squanto not as an equal but as an instrument of their God to help his chosen people, “themselves.”  Since that very first sharing of food, nearly seventy percent of all crops grown today were originally cultivated by Native American people. I sometimes wonder what they ate in Europe before they met us. Spaghetti without tomatoes? At that first Thanksgiving, the Wampanoags provided most of the food, and signed a treaty granting Pilgrims the right to the land at Plymouth, this was the real reason for the first Thanksgiving. What did the Europeans give in return? Within twenty years their disease and treachery had decimated the Wampanoags. “Least we forget,” let me tell you a story.  In stories told by the Dakota people, an evil person always keeps his or her heart in a secret place separate from the body. The hero must find that secret place and destroy the heart, in order to stop the evil.. I see, in the first Thanksgiving story, a hidden Pilgrim heart. The story of that heart is the real tale that needs to be remembered this Thanksgiving.”

Small excerpt from New America Media