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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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

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 Sound Of A Thousand Butterfly Wings – Video

The amazing photography of Louie Schwartzberg –

(Photographers be warned: There is no other video to compare with this on you tube)

 

You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?

“I drank that wine of which the soul is is vessel. Its ecstasy has stolen my intellect away. A light came and kindled a flame in the depth of my soul. A light so radiant that the sun orbits around it like a butterfly.”  -Rumi
photo source: Nowie
photo source: Nowie

 

Louie Schwartzberg bio

For over three decades, the award-winning cinematographer has been creating iconic and memorable images while becoming widely known as one of the industry’s most innovative cinematographers. Schwartzberg’s work in the areas of time-lapse photography, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography are recognized around the world. Schwartzberg has been the recipient of two Clio Awards and received one Emmy Award nomination. He was recognized as one of the top 70 cinematographers for the “On Film Kodak Salute Series.” He is the ONLY cinematographer who has literally been shooting continuously, around-the-clock for over 30 years.

From The Ted Talk –  “Gratitude”

Did you know that 80 percent of the information we receive comes through our eyes? And if you compare light energy to musical scales, it would only be one octave that the naked eye could see, which is right in the middle? And aren’t we grateful for our brains that can, you know, take this electrical impulse that comes from light energy to create images in order for us to explore our world? And aren’t we grateful that we have hearts that can feel these vibrations in order for us to allow ourselves to feel the pleasure and the beauty of nature?

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. So I have a gift I want to share with you today, a project I’m working on called Happiness Revealed, and it’ll give us a glimpse into that perspective from the point of view of a child and an elderly man of that world.

Child: When I watch TV, it’s just some shows that you just — that are pretend, and when you explore, you get more imagination than you already had, and when you get more imagination, it makes you want to go deeper in so you can get more and see beautifuler things, like the path, if it’s a path, it could lead you to a beach, or something, and it could be beautiful. 

Elderly Man: You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even with the weather, we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now, has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. That formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same as it is right now. Open your eyes. Look at that.

Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom, not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far, and in this present moment, on this day, all the people you meet, all that life from generations and from so many places all over the world flows together and meets you here like a life-giving water, if you only open your heart and drink. 

 Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water, and drinkable water. It’s a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience.

http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude/transcript

Ted talk – The Hidden Miracles

http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_hidden_miracles_of_the_natural_world

 

 

Native American Indians Butterfly Facts

Due to the natural beauty of its wings, the butterfly is often considered vain. Yet, in Navajo mythology, the butterfly brings the sacred flint to the hooves of the horse. In the legend of the deity, “Butterfly Boy”  was cured of his vanity by being struck by an axe by Rain Boy on the head.   His  wounded head cracked opened  and out of it came all the butterflies of the world. The perishable dust of butterfly’s wings is sometimes thought to prove that such beauty is usually not durable.  A corollary:  In Navajo belief, the butterfly’s origin is the caterpillar, sacred because of his ability to transform into butterfly. However, while butterfly may not always be trusted because of their vanity, caterpillar is a simple, many-footed walker through life. He may give advice to his “betters.” (In other words the caterpillar does the work, the butterfly is just a creation of beauty that does not last long.)

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.


Memories From Three Sai Sisters – Early Devotees

A wonderful video worth watching. Three ladies talk about their visits to Sathya Sai Baba during the early 1970’s, onward. My first visit to Prashanthi Nilayam was near the end of 1990 but, by then,  personal access was already limited to group interviews and VIPS interviews. Now and then, Swami would speak to people in the front line, but not often. Still, there were our very own innerviews and, of course, his wonderful vibration. His vitality and energy did not decrease until the very end. I say end!  but really not then, darshan vibrations are still readily available to people who seek comfort in his presence. (Meaning the darshan area.)    


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“Who moves the world” – From the Upanishads: 

Kena 1:4 What cannot be spoken with words, but that whereby words are spoken: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore.
Kena 1:5 What cannot be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore.
Kena 1:6 What cannot be seen with the eye, but that whereby the eye can see: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore.
Kena 1:7 What cannot be heard with the ear, but that whereby the ear can hear: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore.
Kena 1:8 What cannot be indrawn with breath, but that whereby breath is indrawn: Know that alone to be Brahman, the Spirit; and not what people here adore.


Irina Tweedie, A Rare Talk, Mid 1960’s. – Irina Tweedie

Irina Tweedie, a Russian Lady, decided sometime way back in the early 1960′s to study yoga with a Naqshbandi Sufi teacher. (He was actually Hindu but took up Sufism and studied for many years under a Sufi Master, until his enlightenment.)


Irina Tweedie’s books “Daughter of Fire” and “Chasm of Fire,” tell clearly the story of a Woman’s experience of liberation through the teachings of a Sufi Master. The books  are written in the form of a diary. Her dear teacher had told her to keep a diary on their first meeting. He also told her she would one day write a book that would help enlighten seekers on the spiritual path. During her training, guruji, did not give her any specific spiritual practices. Her teachings consisted largely of her sitting in his courtyard or house, observing his interaction with other disciples and family, with occasional terse conversations with him. She was at one time thrown out of the house and had to return to England with no money. Also at one time she contemplated suicide but her guruji said, “I have not brought you this far to let you do that!” She was never treated as special on the contrary, she was often treated harshly.  Her  guriji did not treat anyone more speical than others. Yet, he gave each what they asked for and in most cases, they were not after things of a spiritual nature.

The result was one of intense stress, the cultural differences, the heat,smells, physical illnesses, and her own emotional deprivation seemed to cause a progressive emptying of her personality. Her ‘guruji’. who felt she had travelled so far for truth, gave her the highest possible teaching because she proved to be ready.  Her teacher described his method of instruction in the following way:

“..we do not teach but quicken. I am stronger than you so your currents adjust themselves to mine.” Thus causing, the stronger magnetic field to affect, quicken and weaken.”

This combination of suffering so that she would lose herself in every way, and her guruji’s continued presence and influence resulted in a very different type of spiritual experience. Her guru was not in anyway famous outside his own region of India. He was a married man with a family. Yet, his teaching was not only masterful but also thorough and majestic. The book Irina Tweedie eventually wrote, some eleven years after his death, is now considered a spiritual classic, along with those books written by Sri Yogananda. I thoroughly recommend ‘Daughter of Fire’ to seekers of all traditions.


Irina Tweedie in later life


The Talk begins: (in her own words.)

The subject for tonight is, I think, rather interesting, it deals with the powers latent in man. There are two great powers which we can achieve or  which are rather our Divine heritage. It is the Divine power from God and it is the Power of Yoga. Yoga is really union. The Sanskrit word Yoga means Union, union with God. How the yogic or Divine powers is acquired,  there are slight differences and slight difference in working.

The divine power is given. It is a state of grace. It is given only when the person has surrendered to the light within, which is One with God. Because we in the Theosophy, we believe that the soul of man is  one ray of infinite truth. Or God. I use the word God deliberately because it is short and everyone knows what I mean. The word truth or infinite light is not always familiar to people. It is all the same thing. It is all light. It is all God within and without. Like fish in water, we are in him and he is in our form. Now the divine power is given when the human being is completely surrendered to his maker. The yogic power is acquired, by the yogi or aspirant, through concentration, meditation and stilling of the mind. It is a very, very difficult process.

My dear teacher, who was a very, very great yogi of India…. I have just returned from India…. He died on the 21st of July. He left his physical body. I had to go to the Himalayan Mountains to recuperate in solitude. It was a shock, a great shock to us disciples.

My dear teacher worked with both the divine and the yogic powers. You see the working of the divine power and yogic power are a little bit different. For divine power you need faith. For yogic power you don’t need faith. And you don’t need faith for magic. But magic is a very low subject. I won’t touch that subject tonight, I am only going to speak about the yogic and divine powers.

I always remember the words of Christ when St. Peter wanted to walk on water, when he suddenly lost faith and became afraid and began to sink. Christ pulled him up and asked him where was his faith.
If you have no faith, the divine power will not work with you. In other words, if you come to a great yogi for a healing or anything. If you do not believe in him, the power will not work.

People came to my teacher for healings and others for help with the process in the law court. They want to win the case. People come to the yogi for all sorts of things and if, like my teacher, the yogi is great, if he is one with God, he will know which human being can be helped and which cannot. You see, we in the Theosophy believe in the laws of karma. Karma is the law of cause and effect. If I did evil, then evil will come to me. If I did something which is  considered good, then something good will come to me too. If the human being is sick and has great troubles and cannot be helped, this is something the person themselves have created. The yogi cannot help you. He will not hurt your feelings. He will not say I cannot help you. We disciples, we noticed one day, that our teacher use to sometimes say, “I can only pray.” This is a refusal.

Yet, if a person of faith came to him, and said, “my child is dying of smallpox or cholera” which happens often. People just die away. They cannot be helped with these cases. They die. My teacher would look at the child and say ’go home’ and give him a glass of water. The father would say, “but he cannot keep the water down”. My teacher would say “he can take the water and he will be fine. Just go home and let him sleep for twenty four hours and he will be fine“. The next day the child would be well.

I saw in my teacher’s house, a servant falling ill with smallpox. One day I arrived in his garden. There was no one there. This was very unusual. Someone came to me and said, “Mrs. Tweedie, our servant is ill with smallpox. You may be a afraid to stay.” I was not afraid as I had been vaccinated against smallpox for my journey to India. I stayed in the garden. After sometime, my dear teacher came out, he was a very old man, with a snowy white beard. He was all dressed in white. He said, “Mrs. Tweedie, you may like to leave because our servant is ill.” I said, “No I want to stay, I have had a vaccination“. He said, “our servant has smallpox.” I said, “would it not be better to send her to the hospital.” He replied, “Oh no she will be alright. I gave her a glass of water. And tomorrow she will be well.” Now this was a little bit too much for me quite frankly. Coming from the West, I had faith in my dear teacher but this was a little bit too much. I said nothing because I could not believe it, The next day the servant was washing dishes and she was full of smallpox marks. I asked, “For goodness sake is she not contagious!” My teacher said, “Oh no, I gave her a glass of water and that was that.”

I have seen the case of a mad dog who had bitten six people. Five of those died. The one who got the glass of water from guruji was alright. We called him guruji because that is the term used in India. The word ‘guru’ is teacher. The ‘ji’ is used as a term of endearment. It is like saying Sir guru….It is a Sanskrit word. Guru means the light and the dark…. Gu – ru.  He gave her a glass of water and she was alright. Like Christ he did this work.

Here in the west, I have not seen anyone cast out spirits. I have been told that some priest do it. The R.C. church has priest trained to do this work. I have never seen it. I have seen my teacher cast out an evil spirit from a boy. It was a horrific sight. The boy was rolling on the floor, foaming at the mouth. He looked like he was suffering from an epileptic fit. My teacher said it is not a fit but a spirit. He then ordered the spirit to go out.  It is was a terrific sight. My teacher was all dressed in white and very majestic. He pointed with his finger to the outline of the boy and drew an invisible line around him. The boy was lying on the floor, foaming and shouting. My teacher was saying very sternly to the spirit. “Go out or I will burn thee and all thy family”. Now, I did not know he was talking to the spirit. I thought he was speaking to the boy, and in my ignorance, I thought was a terrible way to talk to this boy when he is in this condition, then suddenly the boy became sort of blackish in his face, or blue rather and stopped shouting and was completely calm.  I said to myself, the boy has died, guruji has killed him! But after a few minutes, the boy sat up, with a perfectly normal expression on his face. He folded his hands in India salute and said, “thank you.” It was so beautiful to see the boy well. He rose and left with his father. He was from one of the local villages and he went home. I turned to my guruji and said, “well I never saw anything like this in the West.” He said, “Oh! this is nothing. When you stay with me you will see many such cases and much more of this sort of thing, It is nothing. It is the grace of God. We are given that. But we don’t care for these powers, we are not after these things.”

.

“We Yogis can do anything but we cannot heal everyone.”

In the afternoon, when in his garden, I asked him what he meant by the words,“I will burn thee and all thy relations“. He said, “Well those evil spirits are part of evolution, just as we are part of evolution. There are human beings, there are evil spirits, there are angels, there are all sorts of things. There are birds, and animals. These spirits are of a group soul. They are never alone. They are like a whole family. So when one is killed the others die too. I have no rights to kill a spirit. When an evil spirit enters a human being then I have a duty to help the human being because he is one of my own kind. So I cast out the spirit. But if the spirit disobeys me and comes again, I have the right to kill it.  Although I will not kill it without warning. I have to give it a warning. But if the spirit is disobedient then I have the right to kill it. I first have to give the evil spirit a warning and I give it three times. But with me it never happens! I give the warning once, it is enough. When a saint has great powers, the spirits dare not return“.  Actually the young man and his father never returned.

This is the end of part one of the lengthy talk given by Ms. Irina Tweedie on her return from India sometime in the late 1960’s. I will be translating more of the speech in the next few days and will post it when it is ready.

Watch part two here.

Thay Walks His Talk – The Value Of Kindness

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh says a spiritual revolution is needed if we are going to confront the environmental challenges that face us.

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has been practising meditation and mindfulness for 70 years and radiates an extraordinary sense of calm and peace. This is a man who on a fundamental level walks his talk, and whom Buddhists revere as a Bodhisattva; seeking the highest level of being in order to help others.

Ever since being caught up in the horrors of the Vietnam war, the 86-year-old monk has committed his life to reconciling conflict and in 1967 Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying “his ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.”

So it seems only natural that in recent years he has turned his attention towards not only addressing peoples’ disharmonious relationships with each other, but also with the planet on which all our lives depend.

Thay, as he is known to his many thousands of followers, sees the lack of meaning and connection in peoples’ lives as being the cause of our addiction to consumerism and that it is vital we recognise and respond to the stress we are putting on Earth if civilisation is to survive.

What Buddhism offers, he says, is the recognition that we all suffer and the way to overcome that pain is to directly confront it, rather than seeking to hide or bypass it through our obsession with shopping, entertainment, work or the beautification of our bodies. The craving for fame, wealth, power and sex serves to create only the illusion of happiness and ends up exacerbating feelings of disconnection and emptiness.

Thay refers to a billionaire chief executive of one of America’s largest companies, who came to one of his meditation courses and talked of his suffering, worries and doubts, of thinking everyone was coming to take advantage of him and that he had no friends.

In an interview at his home and retreat centre in Plum Village near Bordeaux, Thay outlines how a spiritual revolution is needed if we are going to confront the multitude of environmental challenges.

While many experts point to the enormous complexity and difficulty in addressing issues ranging from the destruction of ecosystems to the loss of millions of species, Thay sees a Gordian Knot that needs slicing through with a single strike of a sharp blade.

Move beyond concept of the “environment”

He believes we need to move beyond talking about the environment, as this leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet in terms only of what it can do for them.

Change is possible only if there is a recognition that people and planet are ultimately one and the same.

“You carry Mother Earth within you,” says Thay. “She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.

“In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.

“Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

“So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it and realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.”

Putting an economic value on nature is not enough

Thay, who will this spring be in the UK to lead a five day retreat as well as a mindfulness in education conference, says the current vogue in economic and business circles that the best way to protect the planet is by putting an economic value on nature is akin to putting a plaster on a gaping wound.

“I don’t think it will work,” he says. “We need a real awakening, enlightenment, to change our way of thinking and seeing things.”

Rather than placing a price tag of our forests and coral reefs, Thay says change will happen on a fundamental level only if we fall back in love with the planet: “The Earth cannot be described either by the notion of matter or mind, which are just ideas, two faces of the same reality. That pine tree is not just matter as it possesses a sense of knowing. A dust particle is not just matter since each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.

“When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.

“We want to be connected. That is the meaning of love, to be at one. When you love someone you want to say I need you, I take refuge in you. You do anything for the benefit of the Earth and the Earth will do anything for your wellbeing.”

In the world of business, Thay gives the example of Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of outdoor clothing company Patagonia, who combined developing a successful business with the practice of mindfulness and compassion: “It’s possible to make money in a way that is not destructive, that promotes more social justice and more understanding and lessens the suffering that exists all around us,” says Thay.

“Looking deeply, we see that it’s possible to work in the corporate world in a way that brings a lot of happiness both to other people and to us … our work has meaning.”

Thay, who has written more than 100 books, suggests that the lost connection with Earth’s natural rhythm is behind many modern sicknesses and that, in a similar way to our psychological pattern of blaming our mother and father for our unhappiness, there is an even more hidden unconscious dynamic of blaming Mother Earth.

In a new essay, Intimate Conversation with Mother Earth, he writes: “Some of us resent you for giving birth to them, causing them to endure suffering, because they are not yet able to understand and appreciate you.”

How mindfulness can reconnect people to Mother Earth

He points to increasing evidence that mindfulness can help people to reconnect by slowing down and appreciating all the gifts that the earth can offer.

“Many people suffer deeply and they do not know they suffer,” he says. “They try to cover up the suffering by being busy. Many people get sick today because they get alienated from Mother Earth.

“The practice of mindfulness helps us to touch Mother Earth inside of the body and this practice can help heal people. So the healing of the people should go together with the healing of the Earth and this is the insight and it is possible for anyone to practice.

“This kind of enlightenment is very crucial to a collective awakening. In Buddhism we talk of meditation as an act of awakening, to be awake to the fact that the earth is in danger and living species are in danger.”

Thay gives the example of something as simple and ordinary as drinking a cup of tea. This can help transform a person’s life if he or she were truly to devote their attention to it.

“When I am mindful, I enjoy more my tea,” says Thay as he pours himself a cup and slowly savours the first sip. “I am fully present in the here and now, not carried away by my sorrow, my fear, my projects, the past and the future. I am here available to life.

“When I drink tea this is a wonderful moment. You do not need a lot of power or fame or money to be happy. Mindfulness can help you to be happy in the here and now. Every moment can be a happy moment. Set an example and help people to do the same. Take a few minutes in order to experiment to see the truth.”

Need to deal with ones own anger to be an effective social activist

Thay has over many years developed the notion of  applied Buddhism underpinned by a set of ethical practices known as the five mindful trainings, which are very clear on the importance of tackling social injustice.

However, if social and environmental activists are to be effective, Thay says they must first deal with their own anger. Only if people discover compassion for themselves will they be able to confront those they hold accountable for polluting our seas and cutting down our forests.

“In Buddhism we speak of collective action,” he says. “Sometimes something wrong is going on in the world and we think it is the other people who are doing it and we are not doing it.

“But you are part of the wrongdoing by the way you live your life. If you are able to understand that, not only you suffer but the other person suffers, that is also an insight.

“When you see the other person suffer you will not want to punish or blame but help that person to suffer less. If you are burdened with anger, fear, ignorance and you suffer too much, you cannot help another person. If you suffer less you are lighter more smiling, pleasant to be with, and in a position to help the person.

“Activists have to have a spiritual practice in order to help them to suffer less, to nourish the happiness and to handle the suffering so they will be effective in helping the world. With anger and frustration you cannot do much.”

Touching the “ultimate dimension”

Key to Thay’s teaching is the importance of understanding that while we need to live and operate in a dualistic world, it is also vital to understand that our peace and happiness lie in the recognition of the ultimate dimension: “If we are able to touch deeply the historical dimension – through a leaf, a flower, a pebble, a beam of light, a mountain, a river, a bird, or our own body – we touch at the same time the ultimate dimension. The ultimate dimension cannot be described as personal or impersonal, material or spiritual, object or subject of cognition – we say only that it is always shining, and shining on itself.

“Touching the ultimate dimension, we feel happy and comfortable, like the birds enjoying the blue sky, or the deer enjoying the green fields. We know that we do not have to look for the ultimate outside of ourselves – it is available within us, in this very moment.”

While Thay believes there is a way of creating a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the planet, he also recognises that there is a very real risk that we will continue on our destructive path and that civilisation may collapse.

He says all we need to do is see how nature has responded to other species that have got out of control: “When the need to survive is replaced with greed and pride, there is violence, which always brings about unnecessary devastation.

“We have learned the lesson that when we perpetrate violence towards our own and other species, we are violent towards ourselves; and when we know how to protect all beings, we are protecting ourselves.”

source: The Guardian On Line


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.

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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