Love Is My Form – Memories of Sai Baba

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Himy, an old friend of mine on FaceBook and a great supporter of this blog, wrote the following account for this blog,  back when Swami was alive. I loved it so much, I am re-posting it today.

I understand exactly how Himy felt that far off day in 1999, when Swami gave him close Darshan. I often felt the same way too during darshan! 

In this small story, Himy tells how he had mentally told Baba earlier that day, “I don’t want anything” and Swami, as always, knew exactly what Himy had thought. Himy tells us in this story, “I didn’t even get a bit of the vibuthi  Swami made”.  Likewise, I, too, was always telling Sai Baba, “I do not want anything”, then while at Darshan, I would end up at the back of the hall, often where I could not see him!  Often in those early days, I would end up crying because of his lack of attention towards me. I never much thought that Swami was giving me exactly what I’d asked him for! Although, there’s never “nothing” with Swami – the Darshans were deep and  always filled with light and wonder. He was always, until the very end, radiant and sublime, and as a result, we came away from Darshan filled to the brim. – Eve

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I Only Wanted Swami To Talk To Me! – Himy’s Darshan Story

On one of my visits to Puttaparthi, I had a really great experience with Swami. (I think it was during 1999). I was feeling very down and out.
I was feeling very small and insignificant and unworthy, even when talking to people.  I was just keeping to myself. Then I prayed to Baba to talk to me because that would make me feel better and worthy of being talked to by others also. With that thought, I went inside Sai Kulwant hall after having drawn 4th token (or something near to that number.) And I was sitting in the second row in darshan on the men’s side.

Then the music started and Baba  came out from the Poornachandra Auditorium. He used to walk then. He shuffled forward taking letters, blessing sweet trays. Finally he was opposite my row. He spoke to someone there.  Then He suddenly turned towards our side. There was a Russian sitting  in front of me.  Baba said something to him. Then suddenly He was looking at me and  saying something  in Telugu (I think – because I heard something like “neevu” which is a Telugu word). My head was spinning. I couldn’t believe Baba was talking to me !! At the same time the thought passed though my head “could Baba be mistaking me for some other guy, some Telugu guy”? I dismissed that thought as soon as it came because I knew that  Baba knows everything. He doesn’t make mistakes. Then Baba repeated what he must have said earlier, in English.  He said “Where have you come from ?” I was still too stunned to reply. Baba spoke a third time.  This time in Hindi. He said “Keedhar se aayaa?” meaning again  “where  had I come from.” I managed to say:  “SAI, Mumbai”. Then Baba threw up His hands in the air as if I had given the wrong answer and He said “Oh!! Bombay!”

Then He proceeded to make vibhuti right in front of me and gave some to a Telugu farmer sitting next to me. Others nearby  stretched out their hands and Baba kept giving vibhuti to all. Finally, I also picked up the courage to stretch my hands out for vibhuti. But Baba just turned away. When i was praying to Baba earlier in the day, I had told him that “I dont want vibhuti or anything else,  Baba,  please just talk to me.”

By turning away Baba displayed His omniscience. He proved to me that He knew my thoughts.  What a proof !! I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks and couldn’t stop crying long after darshan. People would just look at me and I was not able to say anything. They just nodded, knowingly, and said “Ananda” meaning bliss! Baba does hear and answer our prayers. He knows everything.

From Himy

The Arrow Parable From The Buddha – Myth and Legend

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Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”  – Gautama Buddha

BUDDHA’S PARABLE OF THE ARROW

“Imagine a man that has been pierced by an arrow well soaked in poison, and his relatives and friends go at once to fetch a physician or a surgeon. Imagine now that this man says:

“I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know the name of the man who shot it, and the name of his family, and whether he is tall or short or of medium height; until I know whether he is black or dark or yellow; until I know his village or town. I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know about the bow that shot it, whether it was a long bow or a cross bow.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know about the bow-string, and the arrow, and the feathers of the arrow, whether they are feathers of a vulture, or kite or peacock.

I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know whether the tendon which binds it is of ox, or deer, or monkey.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know whether it is an arrow, or the edge of a knife, or a splinter, or the tooth of a calf, or the head of a javelin.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without having found out all these things.

In the same way, any one who would say: ‘I will not follow the holy life of Buddha until he tells me whether the world is eternal or not; whether the life and the body are two things, or one thing; whether the one who has reached the Goal is beyond death or not; whether he is both beyond death and not beyond death; whether he is neither beyond death nor is not beyond death.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without Buddha having told these things.

Because I am one who says: Whether the world is eternal or not, there is birth, and death, and suffering, and woe, and lamentation, and despair. And what I do teach is the means that lead to the destruction of these things.

Remember therefore that what I have said, I have said; and that what I have not said, I have not said. And why have I not given an answer to these questions? Because these questions are not profitable, they are not a principle of the holy life, they lead not to peace, to supreme wisdom, to Nirvana.”

– Majjhima Nikaya

The Good Neighbour – Love And Friendship

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The Guardian Of The Night – Source: Beauty Of The Arts

 

What’s the most real-life scary story you have posted on a blog? I’ve had several that I certainly would not wish to share, but this one is worth sharing. At least, I feel it is.  I call it my ‘Guardian Angel’ story. So here goes. 🙂


The phone rang in the kitchen just as I was about to go out. The aerobics class was at eight p.m. and I hated being late. Should I let the phone just ring? Whoever it was could call back later. It was getting dark outside, dang! I hated driving at night on route Seven.We lived in Reston, Virginia at that time. I was in my early thirties.

I rushed over to pick up the phone and said a rather impatient ‘hello’? A lady’s voice at the other end, one I didn’t know, answered :

“So sorry to bother you. You don’t know me but I know you. I was able to get your number from the phone exchange. I hope you don’t mind my doing this but I am concerned about you.”

I was stunned by her message as our telephone number was ex-directory. What did she mean by concerned? And why hadn’t the phone exchange alerted me before giving out my number ? I thought they would have asked permission.
With a seriously shaky  voice, she said, “ There is a rapist in the area, do you know?”

"Night Fairies: by: Hans Zatzka
“Night Fairies:
by: Hans Zatzka – source: Beauty Of the Arts

I didn’t of course. I rarely read the newspapers. Our only direct neighbors were out all hours and we rarely saw them. Feeling awkward she continued on :

“I know you go out about this time, I have seen you from my kitchen window. I live just down from you, facing on to the parking area. I am just calling to say don’t go out tonight. There is a guy in the area whose been raping women. He’s attacked three women so far.”

Stunned by what she said, I asked for more details. She didn’t have many to share other than to be very careful. I thanked her very much for caring. That night, I stayed home. Still, the thought of a rapist being around, was somewhat disturbing. I couldn’t sleep well.  Luckily for us, our house had been sold recently so, we would be moving out in a week or two.

We’d sold the house to an investor, who had, in turn, rented the house to two young women in their twenties. They came around to visit a few days after the sale went through. I gave them a house inspection and, remembering the rape, I warned them to be very careful not to take any chances.

The day we moved out, I wrote them both a note, advising them to make sure the locking ‘Charlie bars’ were always closed on the patio window. We’d had them installed a long time ago. They had done a great job to secure the back of the house. I popped the note into a kitchen drawer, where they would find it. We moved out and thought no more about our old house, until I met a former neighbour who said:

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“Have you read the newspaper?” I said I didn’t often read newspapers. “Your house made front page! A guy broke in the other night and raped a young woman. She’d only just got home. He was inside waiting for her. Poor girl, she nearly died!”


My heart skipped a beat. How had this man managed to get inside? I’d given the girls instructions to keep the house safe. What could have happened? Later, I learned they had forgotten to close the Charlie bars on the patio window. He’d forced the patio doors open.

It could have been me who had been the victim. How close had I come to being attacked by this villain? The thought made me shudder.

I often wondered about the neighbour who called me that night so long ago. I never met her. I still ponder on how she’d got my number without my consent. Of course, I am grateful she did. Had she been a guardian angel sent to warn me? I’ll never know. I will never forget her or her thoughtfulness.

just to finish, I would like to add, I still feel so sorry for the young women who was raped. I tried to be a guide to her by leaving a message in the kitchen drawer, also alerting her to the fact, I wish she’d had taken the messages to heart, for she didn’t deserve to suffer that way. No, not at all. Eve

The Starfish Story – The Value Kindness

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“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  ~  Mahatma Gandhi

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
 
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
 
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,
 
“Well, I made a difference to that one!”
 
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved. – adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley

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Perseverance against great odds and against the criticism of others is the very hallmark of value-based idealism, as is refusing to accept failure. The understanding that we hold in our hands the power to change a life, a mind, or a circumstance today – right now – is a powerful insight and motivator.

Silence Flowing Like A Stream – Ramana Maharshi

portrait in ink – by V.N. O’Key

Silence Flowing Like a Stream
From Paul Brunton’s, Search in Secret India

“Happiness is your nature.It is not wrong to desire it.What is wrong is seeking it outside, when it is inside.” ~ The Maharshi

“We shall now go in the hall of the Maharshi,” announces the holy man
of the yellow robe, bidding me to follow him. I pause outside the
uncovered stone veranda and remove my shoes. I gather up the little
pile of fruits which I have brought as an offering, and pass into an
open doorway. Twenty brown-and-black faces flash their eyes upon us.
Their owners are squatting in half-circles on a red-tiled floor. They
are grouped at a respectful distance from the corner which lies
farthest to the right hand of the door. Apparently everyone has been
facing this corner just prior to our entry. I glance there for a
moment and perceive a seated figure upon a long white divan, but it
suffices to tell me that here indeed is the Maharshi.

The divan is but a few paces away from a broad high window in the end
wall. The light falls clearly upon the Maharshi and I can take in
every detail of his profile, for he is seated gazing rigidly through
the window in the precise direction whence we have come this morning.
His head does not move, so, thinking to catch his eye and greet him as
I offer the fruits, I move quietly over to the window, place the gift
before him, and retreat a pace or two.

A small brass brazier stands before his couch. It is filled with
burning charcoal, and a pleasant odour tells me that some aromatic
powder has been thrown on the glowing embers. Close by is an incense
burner filled with joss sticks. Threads of bluish grey smoke arise and
float in the air. I fold a thin cotton blanket upon the floor and sit
down, gazing expectantly at the silent figure in such a rigid attitude
upon the couch. The Maharshi’s body is almost nude, except for a thin,
narrow loin-cloth, but that is common enough in these parts. His skin
is slightly copper-coloured, yet quite fair in comparison with that of
the average South Indian. I judge him to be a tall man; his age
somewhere in the early fifties. His head, which is covered with
closely cropped grey hair, is well formed. The high and broad expanse
of forehead gives intellectual distinction to his personality. His
features are more European than Indian. Such is my first impression.

Pin-drop silence prevails throughout the long hall. The sage remains
perfectly still, motionless, quite undisturbed at our arrival. I look
full into the eyes of the seated figure in the hope of catching his
notice. They are dark brown, medium-sized and wide open. If he is
aware of my presence, he betrays no hint, gives no sign. His body is
supernaturally quiet, as steady as a statue. Not once does he catch my
gaze, for his eyes continue to look into remote space, and infinitely
remote it seems.

It is an ancient theory of mine that one can take the inventory of a
man’s soul from his eyes. But before those of the Maharshi I hesitate,
puzzled and baffled.

The minutes creep by with unutterable slowness. First they mount up to
a half-hour by the hermitage clock which hangs on a wall; this too
passes by and becomes a whole hour. Yet no one in the hall seems to
stir; certainly no one dares to speak. I reach a point of visual
concentration where I have forgotten the existence of all save this
silent figure on the couch. My offering of fruits remains unregarded
on the small carved table which stands before him.

There is something in this man that holds my attention as steel
filings are held by a magnet. I cannot turn my gaze away from him. My
initial bewilderment, my perplexity at being totally ignored, slowly
fade away as this strange fascination begins to grip me more firmly.
But it is not till the second hour of the uncommon scene that I become
aware of a silent, resistless change which is taking place within my
mind. One by one, the questions which I have prepared in the train
with such meticulous accuracy drop away. For it does not now seem to
matter whether they are asked or not, and it does not seem to matter
whether I solve the problems which have hitherto troubled me. I know
only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me,
that a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and
that my thought-tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some rest.

I surrender myself to the steadily deepening sense of restfulness
until two hours have passed. The passage of time now provokes no
irritation, because I feel that the chains of mind-made problems are
being broken and thrown away.

Comes the first ripple. Someone approaches me and whispers in my ear,
“Did you not wish to question the Maharshi?” The spell is broken. As
if this infelicitous intrusion is a signal, figures rise from the
floor and begin to move about the hall, voices float up to my hearing,
and-wonder of wonders!-the dark brown eyes of the Maharshi flicker
once or twice. Then the head turns, the face moves slowly, very
slowly, and bends downward at an angle. A few more moments, and it has
brought me into the ambit of its vision. For the first time the sage’s
mysterious gaze is directed upon me. It is plain that he has now
awakened from his long trance.

The intruder, thinking perhaps that my lack of response is a sign that
I have not heard him, repeats his question aloud. But in those
lustrous eyes which are gently staring at me, I read another question,
albeit unspoken. “Can it be – is it possible – that you are still
tormented with distracting doubts when you have now glimpsed the deep
mental peace which you – and all men – may attain?”

The peace overwhelms me. I turn to the guide and answer: “No. There is
nothing I care to ask now. Another time.”

This is such a beautiful story, I thought I would share it with you all.


The Sacred Hill – Arunachela

Paul Brunton (October 21, 1898 – July 27, 1981) was probably born as Hermann Hirsch of German Jewish origin. Later he changed his name to Raphael Hurst, and then Brunton Paul and finally Paul Brunton. He was a philosopher, mystic and a  traveler.  He left a journalistic career to live among yogis, mystics, and holy men, and studied Eastern and Western esoteric teachings. Dedicating his life to an inward and spiritual quest, Brunton felt charged to communicate his experiences about what he had learned in the East to others. His works had a major influence on the spread of Eastern yoga and mysticism to the West. Taking pains to express his thoughts in lay person’s terms, Brunton was able to present what he had learned from the Orient and from ancient tradition as a living wisdom. His writings express his view that meditation and the inward quest are not exclusively for monks and hermits, but will also support those living normal, active lives in the Western world.

true teaching is always an epiphany; sometimes a clap of thunder…but often only a whisper, easily missed”

“All Is Within Me” – More Sathya Sai Memories

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Namasteji♥ ॐ♥Pranamji♥ ॐ♥Namaskarji
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Swami once told the following Wonderful Story : ” Lord Krishna always wanted to be left alone for an hour after the war was over for the day, Nobody knew what Sri Krishna was doing at that time. Once Dharmaja by mistake went into Sri krishna’s tent during that time and to his Horror saw huge amount of blood pouring from Sri Krishna’s palm, Yudhistira was stunned, he was shocked beyond Belief, he asked in  a shocked tone  to what had happened. Sri Krishna smiled and said “Oh;Dharmaja, every arrow which is Fired at my chariot at my Horses and at Arjuna are absorbed by me”
story source: Anantha Vijaya

Divine Mother – Children Of Light

Here is a very sweet story from the life of Ramakrishna.. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do….

♥ღϠ₡ღ♥♥ LOVE ♥♥ღϠ₡ღ♥

It is said that:

In whatever form the devotee worships God,
God will assume that form to bless his earnest devotee

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In this phase of his spiritual journey, Ramakrishna saw God as the Divine Mother, but his spiritual journey was never static. Next he took up devotion to the form of the Avatar Rama who lived thousands of years ago and after attaining a vision of Rama, he next fixed his goal on Krishna, another divine incarnation. In this way Ramakrishna spent his whole life seeking God in many different ways.

One of his young charges had a bible and used to read to Sri Ramakrishna stories from the bible. He became enamored of the wonderful stories of the life of Christ and of the beautiful picture of the Madonna with the Divine Child and fully immersed his mind in the Christian images for three days. On the fourth day as he was walking he saw an extraordinary looking person of serene aspect approaching him with his gaze intently fixed on him. Presently the figure drew near and from the inmost recesses of Sri Ramakrishna’s heart there came the realization: “There is the Christ who poured out his heart’s blood for the redemption of mankind and suffered agonies for its sake. It is none else but the Master-Yogin Jesus, the embodiment of Love!” In his divine vision the Son of Man embraced Sri Ramakrishna and became merged in him. The Master lost outward consciousness in Samadhi, realizing his union with Brahman with attributes. Thus was he convinced that Jesus Christ was an Incarnation of the Lord.

In addition to being a Devotee (an inherently dualistic relationship), Ramakrishna also attained to mergence in the absolute (ie complete non dualism). This came through a meeting with an advanced practitioner of Advaitha (Oneness with God) by the name of Totapuri. The wandering monk had attained the ultimate mergence in Nirvikalpa Samadhi after strenuous meditation extending over 40 years. After mergence he wandered freely seeing Brahman everywhere, oblivious to the joys and sorrows of the world. Totapuri saw only the formless and impersonal Absolute. He was not a devotee of God in the sense Ramakrishna was. On meeting Ramakrishna he recognized a man of some spiritual attainment and he asked him if he would like to learn Vedanta. Ramakrishna replied in his simple way that he would have to go “ask his Mother” and in a subsequent conversation with the Divine Mother she said, “Yes, my son. That is why I have brought him here”. So Totapuri initiated him and began to teach him Advaitha philosophy


“The Halo” – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

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“Dissolve the self in the supreme Self as the pot-space is dissolved in infinite space; then, as the Infinite be silent for ever, O sage!”

– Adhyatma Upanishad

 

 

One summer’s afternoon in 1994, I was sitting in the front of block two in the Sai Ramash Hall in Whitefield, listening to one of Swami’s discourses. It was one of those days when everything had gone amiss and I felt a strong sense of being let down. In this negative state of mind, I sat with arms folded in an effect to prevent further pain.

At the end of the afternoon’s discourse, Swami began to sing his favourite Rama bhajan, then instantaneously He beckoned us to join in the singing. The cheerful crowd began to clap and sing with enthusiasm – in fact the entire hall seemed to come alive and move with the music. But I stubbornly remained motionless – still hugging myself.

Swami, who was not far away, looked down with concern as I sat there still and silent. Then all of a sudden, the hall turned a misty brilliant white. I gasped and looked around me but within a few seconds the assembled crowd, myself included, were engulfed in the gathering mist. I rubbed my eyes and blinked but the luminescence continued to gather. As I sat there watching, the mist seemed to take on a life of its own. It began to thicken and intensify in a manner that seemed to reflect the joyfulness of the singing. When the bhajan came to its climax, I could no longer see anything as the mist had completly enfolded me.

At the end of the bhajan, I glanced up at Swami. He, too, was encircled by the mist, but to add to my surprise, a powerful light shone around Him. Not entirely convinced I was seeing correctly I thought to myself, ‘someone must be shining a very strong spotlight on Him.’ I peered around the hall for signs of extra lighting but there were none. When Swami turned slowly around to preform Arathi, I clearly saw at the back of His head, and unattached, a milky white shiny disc. When He moved, so the disc moved with Him, never wavering from its position.  It quivered with some unearthly luminescence.

After the Arathi, Swami began to walk away and the disc became more apparent. I can only describe it as a halo, but unlike those seen on pictures of Christian saints. Swami’s halo had a radiance that I felt was somehow charged by His divine essence. When Swami reached the door, both the mist and the halo disappeared.

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The memory of that long ago afternoon is as fresh today as it had been then. Swami had given me a wondrous insight to encourage me during a time when I felt like giving up and it was – ‘LIKE THAT HE TAUGHT ME’.