A Story From Sri Yogananda – Yogananda

When we don’t believe the Guru’s prompts, we deceive ourselves. Sai Baba often gave personal interviews to people, where he gave advice or guidance on whatever concerned that person. Oftentimes, Swami’s advice was taken “selectively” because, of course, Swami’s advice is not always music to our ears. Sometimes, he could shock us with truths we did not want to know. I have heard many a person come out from the interview room, telling of how Swami had told them this or that but then he had told them something, they simply did not grasp, consequently that part of the interview  guidance was  often discarded. However, like the story here, the Guru never speaks vainly and never speaks twice.  

When it comes to Swami’s will, each person’s intrepretation is according to their own personal preferences. 

Here is a story from Sri Yogananda that points out why it is important to listen carefully to the Guru. The story is from Autobiography of a Yogi.

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In Serampore

“I am often beset by atheistic doubts. Yet a torturing surmise sometimes haunts me: may not untapped soul possibilities exist? Is man not missing his real destiny if he fails to explore them?”

These remarks of Dijen Babu, my roommate at the Panthi boardinghouse, were called forth by my invitation that he meet my guru.

“Sri Yukteswarji will initiate you into Kriya Yoga,” I replied. “It calms the dualistic turmoil by a divine inner certainty.”

That evening Dijen accompanied me to the hermitage. In Master’s presence my friend received such spiritual peace that he was soon a constant visitor. The trivial preoccupations of daily life are not enough for man; wisdom too is a native hunger. In Sri Yukteswar’s words Dijen found an incentive to those attempts—first painful, then effortlessly liberating—to locate a realer self within his bosom than the humiliating ego of a temporary birth, seldom ample enough for the Spirit.

As Dijen and I were both pursuing the A.B. course at Serampore College, we got into the habit of walking together to the ashram as soon as classes were over. We would often see Sri Yukteswar standing on his second-floor balcony, welcoming our approach with a smile.

One afternoon Kanai, a young hermitage resident, met Dijen and me at the door with disappointing news.

“Master is not here; he was summoned to Calcutta by an urgent note.”

The following day I received a post card from my guru. “I shall leave Calcutta Wednesday morning,” he had written. “You and Dijen meet the nine o’clock train at Serampore station.”

About eight-thirty on Wednesday morning, a telepathic message from Sri Yukteswar flashed insistently to my mind: “I am delayed; don’t meet the nine o’clock train.”

I conveyed the latest instructions to Dijen, who was already dressed for departure.

“You and your intuition!” My friend’s voice was edged in scorn. “I prefer to trust Master’s written word.”

I shrugged my shoulders and seated myself with quiet finality. Muttering angrily, Dijen made for the door and closed it noisily behind him.

As the room was rather dark, I moved nearer to the window overlooking the street. The scant sunlight suddenly increased to an intense brilliancy in which the iron-barred window completely vanished. Against this dazzling background appeared the clearly materialized figure of Sri Yukteswar!

Bewildered to the point of shock, I rose from my chair and knelt before him. With my customary gesture of respectful greeting at my guru’s feet, I touched his shoes. These were a pair familiar to me, of orange-dyed canvas, soled with rope. His ocher swami cloth brushed against me; I distinctly felt not only the texture of his robe, but also the gritty surface of the shoes, and the pressure of his toes within them. Too much astounded to utter a word, I stood up and gazed at him questioningly.

“I was pleased that you got my telepathic message.” Master’s voice was calm, entirely normal. “I have now finished my business in Calcutta, and shall arrive in Serampore by the ten o’clock train.”

As I still stared mutely, Sri Yukteswar went on, “This is not an apparition, but my flesh and blood form. I have been divinely commanded to give you this experience, rare to achieve on earth. Meet me at the station; you and Dijen will see me coming toward you, dressed as I am now. I shall be preceded by a fellow passenger—a little boy carrying a silver jug.”

My guru placed both hands on my head, with a murmured blessing. As he concluded with the words, “Taba asi,” 1 I heard a peculiar rumbling sound. 2 His body began to melt gradually within the piercing light. First his feet and legs vanished, then his torso and head, like a scroll being rolled up. To the very last, I could feel his fingers resting lightly on my hair. The effulgence faded; nothing remained before me but the barred window and a pale stream of sunlight.

I remained in a half-stupor of confusion, questioning whether I had not been the victim of a hallucination. A crestfallen Dijen soon entered the room.

“Master was not on the nine o’clock train, nor even the nine-thirty.” My friend made his announcement with a slightly apologetic air.

“Come then; I know he will arrive at ten o’clock.” I took Dijen’s hand and rushed him forcibly along with me, heedless of his protests. In about ten minutes we entered the station, where the train was already puffing to a halt.

“The whole train is filled with the light of Master’s aura! He is there!” I exclaimed joyfully.

“You dream so?” Dijen laughed mockingly.

“Let us wait here.” I told my friend details of the way in which our guru would approach us. As I finished my description, Sri Yukteswar came into view, wearing the same clothes I had seen a short time earlier. He walked slowly in the wake of a small lad bearing a silver jug.

For a moment a wave of cold fear passed through me, at the unprecedented strangeness of my experience. I felt the materialistic, twentieth-century world slipping from me; was I back in the ancient days when Jesus appeared before Peter on the sea?

As Sri Yukteswar, a modern Yogi-Christ, reached the spot where Dijen and I were speechlessly rooted, Master smiled at my friend and remarked:

“I sent you a message too, but you were unable to grasp it.”

Dijen was silent, but glared at me suspiciously. After we had escorted our guru to his hermitage, my friend and I proceeded toward Serampore College. Dijen halted in the street, indignation streaming from his every pore.

“So! Master sent me a message! Yet you concealed it! I demand an explanation!”

“Can I help it if your mental mirror oscillates with such restlessness that you cannot register our guru’s instructions?” I retorted.

The anger vanished from Dijen’s face. “I see what you mean,” he said ruefully. “But please explain how you could know about the child with the jug.”

By the time I had finished the story of Master’s phenomenal appearance at the boardinghouse that morning, my friend and I had reached Serampore College.

“The account I have just heard of our guru’s powers,” Dijen said, “makes me feel that any university in the world is only a kindergarten.”

The Source Of Vedanta – Inspirational Quotations

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♥♥♥♥♥♥♥~Divine Inspirations ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Vedanta  teaches Oneness of Existence,Unity in Diversity. Also teaches that God is infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss. The term for this impersonal, transcendent reality is Brahman, the divine ground of being. Yet Vedanta also maintains that God can be personal as well, assuming human form in every age.

Most importantly, God dwells within our own hearts as the divine Self or Atman. The Atman is never born nor will it ever die. Neither stained by our failings nor affected by the fluctuations of the body or mind, the Atman is not subject to our grief or despair or disease or ignorance. Pure, perfect, free from limitations, the Atman, Vedanta declares, is one with Brahman. The greatest temple of God lies within the human heart.

♥♥♥♥♥~Divine Inspirations ♥♥♥♥♥
The Source Of Vedanta
There is a story in Mundaka Upaishad that runs like this: Once in a tree there were two birds, one at the upper branch, serene, majestic and divine, and the other at a lower branch, restlessly pecking fruits, sometimes sweet sometimes bitter. Every time, when the restless bird ate a bitter fruit, it looked at the upper bird and climbed a branch up. This occurred a number of times and eventually the bird reached the topmost branch. There it was not able to differentiate itself from the divine bird, and then it learned that there was only one bird in the tree, the upper bird, which is described as divine, the real form of the other restless bird. This is the thought of Vedanta. The fruits in the story are Karma, the restless bird denotes a human soul, and the majestic bird denotes the Absolute. ~ Wikipedia…
♥♥♥♥♥~Divine Inspirations ♥♥♥♥♥

Just added a wonderful website with  old bhajans sung by the incredible Anandamayi Ma. This is a real treat for me. 🙂 I must thank my friend, Michel Tardieu for this wonderful piece of history.
Click the link above, then follow down the page to the music sections with a list of bhajans, and “Menu.”  Then press the bhajan button. There are several bhajans to choose from. You will also hear Ma’s explosive laugh after the first two bhajans.  I don’t know what the joke is about, I cannot tell.  She is really having fun with her bhajans though and her laugh is quite hilarious. The first bhajan is Ram Ram Ram, He Baghavan, Hari Bol, Sita Ram, and one more…

Goddess Or Demon? “Lilith” – Myths and Legends

 

 

 

The Lilith teaching is actually used to divide the relationship between man and woman and destroy the institute of marriage which God intended for all creation. The Lord did not create two separate beings in the book of Genesis but one. Adam existed as a dual being until  God caused him to sleep and divided Him into another separate creation, creating Eve in Genesis 2. Man is neither complete by himself nor is woman, but the two come together to create the original creation. The story of Lilith is intriguing, but also dark. Lilith, the first wife of Adam, spoke the truth when she said, “I am equal to Adam in every way.”  She suffers a dreadful fate from a  wrathful God and vengeful men. She will be forever known as the demoness, the dark one. The seducer of men and young boys.

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The Story Of Lilith

From Ancient Israel: Myths and Legends by Angelo S. Rappoport

Queen of the demons is Lilith, long-haired and winged. She is supposed to have been the first wife of Adam. She had been one of the wives of Sammael, but of a wild, heroic and passionate nature she left her spouse and joined Adam. From their union issued the demons or Shedim, who rode about in the world as wicked spirits, persecute and plague men, and bring upon them illness, disease, and other sufferings.

Lilith, like Adam, had been created from the dust (Adamah) of the earth. But as soon as she had joined Adam they began to quarrel, each refusing to be subservient and Submissive to the other. “I am your lord and master,” spoke Adam, “and it is your duty to obey me.” But Lilith replied: “We are both equal, for we are both issued from dust (Adamah), and I will not be submissive to you.” And thus they quarrelled and none would give in. And when Lilith saw this she spoke the Ineffable Name of the Creator and soared up into the air. Thereupon Adam stood in prayer before the Creator and thus he spake: ” O Lord of the Universe, the woman Thou hast given me has fled from me.”

And the Holy One, blessed be His name, sent at once three angels whose names were Senoi, Sansenoi, and Sammangelof, to fetch and bring Lilith back to Adam. He ordered them to tell her to return, and if  she refused to obey then a hundred of her offspring would die daily. The three afore-mentioned angels followed Lilith, and they found her in the midst of the sea, on the mighty waves (which were once to drown the Egyptians).

They communicated to her the command of the Eternal, but she refused to return. And the angels spake to this rebel, this she-demon: “We will drown thee in the sea.” But she made answer: “Know ye not that I have been created for the purpose of weakening and punishing little children, infants and babes. I have power over them from the day they are born until they are eight days old if they are boys, and until the twentieth day if they are girls.” And when the three angels heard her speech they wished to drown her by force, but she begged them to let her live, and they gave in. She swore to them in the name of the living God that whenever she came and saw the names or images or faces of these three angels, Senoi, Sansenoi, and Sammangelof, upon an amulet or cameo in the room where there was an infant, she would not touch it. But because she did not return to Adam, every day a hundred of her own children or spirits and demons die.

The legend of Lilith and the message of the three angels is found in several sources of Rabbinical lore in some of which it is quoted from the Alphabetum Siracidis.

The book known as the Sefer Rasiel describes the formula to be written upon amulets or cameos and to be placed in the rooms where there are new-born babes. It refers to Lilith as the first Eve, and conjurers her in the name of the three angels and the angel of the sea to whom she had sworn not to harm the babes in whose rooms she found written on paper the names of the three angels.

Lilith is thus a female night demon, and is also known under the name of Meyalleleth or the howling one.

The she-demon Makhlath (the dancer) and her daughter Agrath4 are two female demons who live in strife with Lilith. Lilith is accompanied by four hundred and eighty hosts of evil spirits and destroying angels, and she is constantly howling. Makhlath is accompanied by four hundred and seventy-eight hosts of evil spirits. She and her daughter Agrath, from the Zend word Agra = beating, are in constant enmity with Lilith.

Constant war is waged between them, and they meet on the day of atonement. Whilst they are thus engaged in quarrel and strife, the prayers of Israel ascend to Heaven, whilst the accusers are absent, being otherwise engaged.

Agrath commands hosts of evil spirits and demons, and rides in a big chariot. Her power is pararnount on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for on these days Agrath, the daughter of Makhlath, roves about in the air accompanied by eighteen myriads of evil spirits.


1. Niddah, 16b; Erubin, 100b.

2. Alphabetum Siracidis (Sepher Ben Sira), edit. Steinschneider, 1858. See on Lilith. Gaster, in Monatsschrift fuer Gesch. u. Wissenschaft d. Judent., Vol. XXIX (1880), pp. 553-555.

3. Elia Levita, Tishbi s.v. Lilith.

4. Pesachim, 112b; Numbers Rabba, 12.

5. Yalkut Chadash, s.v. Keshaphim, No. 56.

6. Pesachim, 112b.

Source:  Lilith  from Ancient Israel: Myths and Legends by Angelo S. Rappoport

Swami’s Omnipresence – Sathya Sai Memories

•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•Om Sai Ram!!…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•

Here is a Wonderful Incident of Swami’s Omnipresence told by a former student of Bhagawan’s University :

It was a serene evening in the Mandir during the rainy season of 1990.
Swami had completed His usual Darshan rounds and had called some
devotees for interview. All the students were eagerly waiting for
Swami to come out and spend some time with them. They were surprised
by the sudden brush of a cool breeze that heralded soothing showers.

It was the time when the Sai Kulwant Hall had not yet been built. To
those directly exposed to the scalding rays of the sun, the rain was a
welcome relief. To the students it meant a blanket permit to rush
forward and occupy the front portico of the Mandir. It was a vantage
spot as it gave us the advantage to be very close to the interview
room door so that when Swami came out, His gaze in our direction was
guaranteed. I was then in my second year of the MBA programme. Along
with another brother of mine I was blessed to secure a strategic spot
in the front portico. From here we had a clear view of Swamis chair
in the Bhajan Hall.

As the rain persisted without any respite, I began reading a book on
Swamis miracles in Africa . I was particularly drawn to an incident
where two of the devotees who were driving a car on an express way at
speeds over 110 km/h suddenly met with an accident. Their car was
thrown out of the express way and into the bushes. The car was totally
smashed and there was no chance that its occupants would survive such
a crash. The devotees in the car however had taken the Lords Name on
their lips at the critical juncture and had escaped unscathed. They
were nonplussed and thanked Swami for His Omnipresence. I was quite
overwhelmed by this incident and happened to share it with the brother
beside me. I couldnt but help remark Look Swami is in Africa also.

Some moments later the interview room door opened. Swami came out and
stood on the upper portico of the verandah in the Mandir. He paused
and looked at me and my brother for a few seconds. I looked at Swami
with reverence. Suddenly Swami asked the students sitting in front of
me to make way. A path was made for Swami in the tightly packed
verandah. Before I could realise Swami walked straight up to me and
then paused. Gazing into my eyes He remarked, ” Dunnapotha! You are
talking in the verandah.”

Then after a small pause He continued, “I am here. I am in Africa. I
am everywhere.” Saying this, He walked away with a nonchalant gait. Do
Do I have to say anymore?

Let Go, Let God – Early Devotees

Here is a wonderful “Sai teaching story” from Al Drucker. The same  can be found  on his website at http://www.atmapress.com/.  I never got an opportunity to speak to Al, although I heard much about him during my time in Prashanthi Nilayam. Al, was one of the first Westerners to arrive at Swami’s feet, and was given a rare glimpse into the inner sanctum of Sai Baba’s ashram. He enjoyed a physical closeness that few people in later years could ever imagine. Luckily he has written down many of his accounts.

   

Let Go, Let God

Once I complained to Swami, “Swamiji, the spiritual path is so difficult.”

“No,” he said, “it is very easy, easier than anything else in the world.” He took his handkerchief and grasped it in his hand very tightly.

He said, “You see, this is difficult. But spiritual path is not this. Spiritual path is very easy.” He just opened his hand and the handkerchief fell down to the ground. “You see how easy it is. Letting go is easy. That is all there is to it.”

So when we reach the point when we want nothing else but God and to fill ourselves only with God, then we are on the spiritual path. And that is not really so difficult. All we have to do is just let go of everything else.

One time he came up to me on the verandah and asked, “Drucker, what do you want?” I laughed at his twist of my name and I answered his question, “Swamiji, I’m very content. I’m satisfied.”

“You mean you want nothing?” he asked, with some astonishment in his voice.

I said,”Swamiji, all I want is God!”

“That’s not NOTHING,” he said quite forcefully, “That’s EVERYTHING… that’s health, wealth, freedom, liberation, bliss…” And he continued on with a long list of good things. Then he added, “Nothing is there!” pointing to the world outside the ashram, “Everything is here! Everything!” and he pointed to my heart.

So, it is all already here within us, one hundred percent; nothing more needs to be given. Only the veil of ignorance must be removed. The room may have been dark for thousands of years, but the sunlight will always be waiting. Pull away the curtain and instantly the darkness will be replaced by a dazzling flood of light.

The Al Drucker Story – Early Devotees





The banning of devotees has been something associated with Sai Baba from way back during the early years. Most of you will remember he banished from his ashram, one Krishna, a young man at the time. Krishna, in particular, had enjoyed much closeness to Sai Baba. We can read the full details of Krishna in a popular devotee’s book  by Anyatha Saranam Nasthi – “Other Than You, Refuge There is None.”

We do not know why Sai Baba suddenly dismisses devotees, not only those physically close to him, but others too, from his sight. We only know he does banish people  from time to time. Perhaps the most famous to be banned is Al Drucker. His story  follows.

I’ve chosen Al Drucker’s story to share here because his knowledge and understanding of Sai Baba is quite unique. We can also read in other Sai Baba books, about Professor Kasturi who unfortunately was banned for five years. He was called back to Puttaparthi, and given the position of Ashram Manager, as well as that of Editor to the then newly created Sai magazine, Sanantha Sarathi.



Al Drucker:


In 1981, after I had made some fifteen or so trips to Sai Baba, he directed me to come and live at Prashanti Nilayam. So I went back to America and gave up everything. I sold or gave away all of my possessions and I was back at the ashram within a couple of months. At his direction I was to give up my U.S. citizenship and become an Indian citizen. My life in America was to be finished! So I started the process of Indian naturalisation and I arranged that I would become an Indian citizen on my 60th birthday, because that is a particularly auspicious day. I planned to go to Bangalore that day to be sworn in and also, a few days later, to deliver a paper at a conference of the heads of all the Indian universities on the Awareness Programme, six courses unique to Swami’s University, which covered the whole range of human knowledge – the humanities, the sciences, the arts, and the spiritual and religious history of the world – which all undergraduate students were required to take. I had had a hand in formulating the programme. Now at that time Swami was in Whitefield.

So that morning I was sitting in my room, working on my presentation, when a policeman knocked on the door and informed me that I was under arrest! Well, you call imagine the shock and disbelief that I felt. It seems that they had decided that I was a CIA agent and would pose a threat to the country if I became a citizen. The policeman had orders to take me to Anantapur. I insisted that I had to go and see Swami first. Well, amazingly, I got to see him. It’s a wonderful story and I cannot tell it all now, but I got to see Swami and he told me, despite my fervent objections, that, yes, I was CIA, and it would be best if I left the country! Then he explained that CIA really meant Constant Integrated Awareness, and that I should call the headman in Anantapur. I called this officer and to my astonishment he directly answered the phone, which is most remarkable in India. When I told him that Bhagavan had advised me to leave India, he gave me eight hours in which to leave the country. Now this is the day, my 60th birthday, on which I am supposed to become an Indian citizen and give up my U.S. citizenship and, in a moment, my life was totally turned around! I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have a ticket, I didn’t have an exit visa yet, somehow, Swami miraculously arranged for all of that and I ended up by flying to Germany, of all places. That was as far as I could go at that time with the funds that I had available. I stayed with some German Sai friends that I had met at the ashram. Now the husband was in the Wehrmacht, the German army, during the war and his wife was a leader of the girls’ side of the Hitler Youth movement. We spent an intense month together discussing the war and clearing out all our old karma. It was totally finished for us and we became very close friends. We put the whole war experience to rest.  In my talk yesterday I referred to the pure light that shines in the eyes of the children in Swami’s schools and I have a clear sense that many of these kids are the reincarnated souls of the beings that died in the gas ovens of Auchwitz, and that they are now with Baba and so have forgiven all that was done to them in the past!  I am really clear in my own mind that even if Adolf Hitler were sitting here in front of me now I would forgive him and see only the wholeness and the completeness and the perfection of his being, and not dwell on the horror of what he, in his madness, perpetrated on the world.

David: How long did it take you to recognise Sai Baba’s divinity. My path was a very slow one, requiring many visits, with much doubting and testing.  How was it for you?

Al: I loved Swami the first time that I saw him. I just loved him. As I said yesterday, the very first time that I saw Swami was in the Poornachandra Auditorium on the day of Mahashivaratri.  Just before he came out, I had this very powerful deja-vu experience of being back in Nazi Germany. There were the massed flags and the swastika symbols, which of course was the symbol of Nazi Germany, the slogans and banners on the walls, similar to what the Nazis used to do, and when Swami started speaking he was saying the same things that Hitler said! Then I woke up and realised that here was the ultimate of goodness that had come into consciousness, the ultimate in the totality of the history of the world as it is known in the West. There had not been a full avatar on the Earth since Lord Krishna, over five thousand years ago. I recognised that I had experienced both the ultimate of divine goodness and the ultimate of evil in my life. They both used some of the same outer forms, they both used some of the same expressions, they both used some of the same symbols and slogans, and they both used similar mannerisms. In the talk that Swami gave that day he said that it does us no good to go around digging ten metre holes in a field in our search for water. We can dig holes all over a field and still find nothing. He said that we must dig one hole, but dig it deeply, in order to find pure clear water. If we want to know the reality of this Sai Avatar, we must come close to him and dig deeply. The intensity of that experience was so powerful that it has remained with me ever since.

David: You’ve been so close to Swami, do you think it is because of your actions in past lives or in this life?

Al: I really do not know.  All I can say is that there is nothing that I am aware of in this life that would relate to that extraordinary privilege.

David: We both know of people, such as yourself, who were very close to Swami and then have suddenly fallen from grace and been banished from the ashram. I have this feeling that it is safer not to get too close to Swami. It’s almost like getting too close to the fire and getting burned. What are your feelings about this?

Al: When the devastating moment of incineration comes it is almost always totally unexpected, like the incident on my 60th birthday that I just spoke about. In some ways, it’s a lot like death. We think that death is something that happens to everybody but us! Here is another story with an unexpected result. One morning I got a message to report to the head office of the ashram. Remember that at the time I was a lecturer in the Sathya Sai Institute and, in fact. I was the only Westerner there. Swami also had told me to do study circles for the residents in the ashram and for the staff and students at the University. I also gave talks to the Westerners who visited the ashram. So there were many opportunities for me to slip up and to make a mistake, but in this particular incident even the mistake was missing. I had done nothing wrong. Anyway, I went down to the office, it was just before morning darshan, and waited for the manager of the office to arrive. He was coming straight from seeing Swami, since they have breakfast together. He walked up to me and said, “Pack up your things and leave. You have to be out of here by noon!” I said, “Out of here, what do you mean?” He replied, “You are being told to go. You’ve got to go.”  Now this is after I’ve been there three years.  I asked, “What is this all about?” but he replied, “I’ve been instructed not to tell you.”  So I returned to my flat and said inwardly “Swami, what have I done? I don’t understand it. I have to leave and my whole life is here. This is where all my things are.” At that time I had an extensive library of over five hundred books. I began packing and choosing a few favourite books to take with me I picked up a book of Shankara’s poems, opened it and read ‘Mother, how could you be so cruel to your only son, you’re my Mother and how can you not love your son?  Somehow I knew that it was no accident that I was looking at this poem. Just then a message came for me to go and see Dr. Gokak, who at that time was the vice chancellor of the University, and who was also my boss. He told me that Swami was very unhappy with me and I had to leave. I said, “What is this all about, Dr. Gokak?” He replied that he had been told not to tell me, but that Swami was unhappy with something that I had said at a public meeting. I returned to my flat and continued with my packing when Professor Kasturi called for me. Now Kasturi and I were like father and son. I spent much time with him. He said, “Drucker, you’ve done it.” I said, “What is it that I am supposed to have done?” He replied “Swami says that you were cracking dirty jokes in your talk to the foreigners” I said “That’s just not possible, Kasturiji, that’s totally incorrect.” Kasturi said that Swami had received a letter from a German lady who had reported this fact to him. He also said that he (Kasturi) had received a letter from the same German lady asking for an introduction to me.  I have no idea who this lady is. So I went off for my last darshan and as I’m sitting there in darshan Swami comes up to me and says “You are a Surpanakha.” Now Surpanakha is the name of a demon in the Ramayana.  She is the sister of Ravana and when she discovers Rama and Lakshmana she desires them so much that, in a jealous rage, she tries to kill Sita.  Lakshmana intervenes and with his sword disfigures her, first cutting off her nose and then her ear. She runs back to her brother Ravana in order to raise an army of demons and so avenge herself. Ravana is amazed that she stayed around long enough to have both a nose and an ear cut off, and he asks her why she did not run away. She replies that they were both so beautiful she couldn’t take her eyes off them! So when Swami called me “Surpanakha” and jokingly said that he was going to cut off my nose, I responded by saying “0 Swami, you are so beautiful, I’ll have to stay around until you cut off my ear too!” Apparently, that was the right answer. Swami told me to take padanamaskara. I kissed his feet and that was the end of the incident. It was over, and I stayed at the ashram. But it was a warning to me that at any moment I could be thrown out, with or without good reason and, as you know, later on it did indeed happen to me. I have always recognised that God can take anything that He likes away from me. I have heard Swami talk of the three zeros, of reducing a true devotee to nothing, of taking away their wealth, their health and their name to prepare them for liberation. I am ready for that.

David: Obviously the fact that Swami did eventually throw you out of the ashram must be for your highest good, but what, do you think, was his reason for doing that?  Do you think that he is preparing you for liberation?

Al: I had always believed that the meaning of the three zeros was that God can take any material thing away from me, but that He could not take God away from me. I worshipped Swami as God and here I was getting thrown out of the ashram. So I felt that even God had now been taken away from me. I felt totally devastated, without roots of any kind. I believed that there was no existence left, but then I discovered something. There is no way that God can be taken away from me. The form of God was no longer in my eyes, that was all.  Now that discovery was not immediate.  It took me about a year to get over the feelings that something horrible had happened to me. Nevertheless, during this period of time, I experienced many remarkable acts of grace, including being in the interview room with Swami every day for some weeks.  It was a direct experience.  It was not a dream.   It was a state of awakened consciousness. I was sitting there and Swami would be sitting here and we were talking. It was no less real than the exchange that we are having now. I realise now that Swami will never take himself away from me.


David: Ann and I have always created a separation between the forms that we call Sai and Super Sai. We love to go and visit Sai, that is to say the physical form of Sai Baba, but we also recognise that Super Sai, that is to say the omnipresent form of God, is with us every moment of our lives and, indeed, is here right now. It is Super Sai that is for us the God in which we trust and in which we believe and with whom we have no conflict. It seems to me that conflicts such as you have experienced only arise when you get close to the form and have to relate to the form!

Al: Well, David, we have to be willing to get close to Swami and even to risk being thrown out, but even if that happens we will discover that nothing really has happened. How can anything ever come between Swami and his devotees? He is pure love and he yearns for all of us to come very close to him. One reason Swami gives us vibhuti is to remind us that ash is the only thing that survives in a fire. We have to be willing to do what it takes to be consumed in his fire and to realise the truth of who we really are, which cannot be affected by anything.

David: What has been your experience of being nine years in the wilderness, of being removed from Sai Baba for so long a time, after being so close to him?

Al: During the eight years I was at the Ashram I did indeed feel very close to Swami. In the first years Swami would speak to me every day. So I was treated like I was a very special person. But what has come to me in these years of being in the wilderness is sanity. I thought that I was special, but it is now very dear to me that I am not special, none of us is special, and I don’t want to shock your readers when I say this, but even Swami is not special. There is nothing special about anything in this world.  Underneath we are all exactly the same, one unchanging divine essence; on the surface there is just the changing names and forms of maya, the veil of illusion.

David: When you say Swami, you mean the form of Swami?

Al: Yes, absolute truth does not have a form. It cannot be seen with the eyes, nevertheless, some forms can be used to point the way to the realisation of our true reality. Such is the form of Swami, but we must go beyond that stage to the direct experience of the formless divinity as the truth of our being.

David: Professor Kasturi was always having a hard time with Swami, even though he was very close to Swami. Swami sometimes did some harsh things to him, didn’t he, to crush his ego?  Is this the price that you pay for being that close to him?

Al: No, I don’t think that it’s like that; I don’t think that it’s a price you have to pay for being so close to him. I think that it’s the price you have to pay for having chosen to be on the fast track to liberation. You have to pay that price if your ego is to go.  The sense of individuality has to go and all that Swami is doing is to help you to realise that all forms of individuality are a mistake. So I think that this sort of thing happens to all people who have made the commitment to liberation, no matter what. There is only one interest in my life and that is the path to liberation, so anything which blocks that path has to be removed, and quickly, because I am not prepared to wait for another five lifetimes. Ann, in her talk yesterday, said that the Book of Brighu astrologer had told you that you were going to incarnate again with Prema Sai and live in his ashram for most of your next life and would die at ninety-five. This, apparently, was confirmed to you at Shivaratri when you did not see the lingam emerge. You have now accepted this as a fact.

David: Yes.  That is true.

Al: I think that’s a terrible mistake. Excuse me, David, but I have to tell you that that is very foolish. Don’t accept anything like that. Your mind has the power of God and you can change destiny by changing your consciousness. You can, I know that! You have the power to do this unless you have talked yourself into wanting to be around for another one hundred and fifty years or so.

David: I have no desire to be here again, even for a life with Prema Sai.

Al: Then don’t accept it. Don’t accept it and Swami will not support that mistake. It really is a mistake. He would not support it unless that is your wish. So make that decision now and even if the three zeros and all that stuff follows, so what? This world isn’t worth anything anyway, so why invest in it?

David: May I ask you a personal question now? Was your decision to marry Yaani, the decision which directly led to you being thrown out of the ashram, made from the heart or from Swami?

Al: It was not from the heart, it was clearly from Swami, although now it has become a thing of the heart. You know, it’s an interesting fact that that was the way of most marriages until this century. Parents or preceptors usually arranged marriages, because it was in the best interest of the individuals concerned in their journey to God. The love, which was often very deep, usually came afterwards. I would say that I’m a very reluctant husband.  I went through sixty years of life without ever having contemplated marriage and just at the time when I am supposed to give up everything I get married!

David: What game do you think Swami is playing with you with regard to your marriage?

Al: Well this marriage has been my principal sadhana for the past ten years and in retrospect I can say that nothing else that I can think of has been as valuable as this marriage in terms of personal growth and development. From a worldly and a cultural sense we are totally opposite! There is a constant opportunity for friction between us. We have Swami in common, as our common love. Other than that we have few other common interests. What a grand opportunity this presents for self-interest, for ego, to expose itself and to be seen and set aside! It is something of a challenge. Swami has presented us with a final challenge to enable us to finish this silly game.

David: Life is a game, as Swami says, and we must play it, but now that you are allowed back in Prashanti Nilayam can you tell us about your more recent experiences?

Al: Well, my first impression after nine years absence is that nothing has really changed. Everyone says that the ashram has totally changed and, of course, from a physical standpoint that is true, but I didn’t pay too much attention to that. I was just aware that Swami had not changed one iota in some twenty-five years. He is the same beautiful being, he expresses the same immeasurable kindness and concern; he emits that same unfathomable unlimited love. There is that same awesomeness and magic when he comes out to give darshan. He inspires us with the same hopeful message of redemption. He coaxes us in the same way, to rise above desire and temptation, to realise our incredible divine inheritance.  Swami is totally unchanged. He is still saying what he said when he gave his first discourse, namely, my life is my message. He is teaching us to follow his example of raising our thoughts to heaven above and of using our bodies to serve mankind below.  Now recognise that we also haven’t really changed. We go through these histories, these life-stories, and we think that so much has happened but, in fact, we are still as we have always been, even before we came into this birth and even after the death of these bodies. We are always whole and perfect and one with Sai Baba. We are love itself, and that is why Swami has always addressed us as Premaswarupa, as embodiments of pure divine love. This is now becoming my direct experience. I can relate one experience that came up for me during the Paduka festival last year at the ashram. They brought out this golden chariot for Swami to ride in and out of nowhere all this judgement came into my mind. Good heavens, I thought, Swami, what are you doing? What have you got to do with this garish obscene thing, this huge golden chariot? Would Jesus or Saint Francis ride in something like that?  I was very troubled by it, but at the same time, I was also very much the witness of my trouble. Where did all of these feelings come from? Why should I care what ever this chariot looks like? But still I cared. So I had to quiet myself down. I just had to close my eyes and shut it all out, become very silent and very quiet and, then, when I opened my eyes, Swami was sitting in the chariot and this incredible feeling of love gushed out of me. I started crying. I was just overcome. It was as if I had put on these glasses of love and everything was just pure love.  Wherever I looked, at the people, at the chariot, all I saw was pure love. It was a wonderful experience.

Whitefield Darshan – how I remember it during the 1990’s

David: The chariot was a donation of love, wasn’t it, but Swami did point out that he had no need of it and he did give it away, didn’t he?

Al: I don’t know and to tell you frankly, I’m not particularly interested in the chariot. I mentioned this incident to show how Swami takes something about which we have made some negative judgement and turns it into an experience of love. Swami tells the story of Jesus walking with his disciples on a road, when they come upon the stinking decomposed carcass of a dead dog. The disciples try to lead Jesus away from the gruesome sight, but Jesus bends down very close to the remains and says, “Look at the beautiful teeth of this dog. How much it must have been loved by its master.” So Jesus saw the one beautiful thing in that otherwise unpleasant sight. That is Swami’s message to us. Give up your judgements. Put on your love glasses and see the face of divinity, in other words, see Swami’s unbounded love in whatever you see.

David: My last question, really, is in the light of all your experience with Swami and the suffering that you had to endure, what do you think is the purpose of life?


www.atma-institute.org


Please note this story represents the opinions of Al Drucker and not necessarily those of this writer. Thanks.

The Gift Of Darshan – More Sathya Sai Memories

this video is in HD and is clear. Maybe it will be slow but that’s how vimeo works.

*”˜˜”*°•.ƸӜƷ✫

Darshans up until the time Swami stopped walking were wonderfully relaxing. We sat for only a short while before Sai came out from his home in the Poornchandra Hall. We sat there expectant and anxious. Most of us had letters or something we needed to convey to him,  sometimes we only wanted to whisper an “Om Sai Ram.”

One day a friend of mine, held out her passport instead of the letter that she had intended to offer to Swami, he blessed the passport! Such was his mischief. (Perhaps there was a message in the blessing of the passport. One never knows!)

While  he slowly moved along the red carpet, every eye was on his shining form. Sometimes we could see an aura around his head, like a mirage in the desert, all hazy  and wavy.  I remember how quiet it was back then. How respectful people were. We would often be talking softly for a little while beforehand, but always, I’d say at least ten minutes before his appearance, Sai’s  darshan could be felt. We would all suddenly go very quiet and a certain hush would envelop us in a soft vibration. It was simply magical. Here is a video of that time, called Gift Of Darshan.

enjoy.

 I Only Wanted Swami To Talk To Me! – A 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 of even    talking to anyone.  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 no.) 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 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 thru 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 doesnt 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 a friend

Divine Directions – Sathya Sai Memories

 

Question by Prof. K. Anil Kumar in Bhagavan’s presence :

” Swami, we are so devoted and dutiful (if not beautiful). In Prashanti Nilayam there’s Divine vibration, people smile, they are obliging, they are accomodating to the maximum. But the moment they leave, their personality is completely changed. Why is there such a contrast?

Baba: It only means that the message of Sai is NOT IMPRINTED IN THE HEART. That is the reason for such a digression, contradiction, divergence. Example: There is a paper with some words printed on it. Suppose there is a little breeze, the paper will move but the letters will not move. Likewise, your Heart must carry with it the Print of Sai teaching or message so that it will not move. We deviate from His teaching because the message has not been indelibly printed.

Taken from : “Divine Directions” by Prof. K. Anil Kumar.