Sathya Sai, My Story – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

swami9599

My Story

“Sai Baba to a devotee in 2009 – “In two years there will be no more foreigners here.” Most of my friends living in Puttaparthi have left. It is the end of an era. The whole point of being with the guru is to grow in wisdom. Once you have had the physical presence for so long, it is time to go away and put into practice what you have learnt. Remember always, the journey, is from oneself to oneself. It is not a point of who is the best, the closest or the most popular among us. These habits belong to the world, not to people wishing to advance on the spiritual path.  Sai should not be  thought of as a personality, but a spiritual mirror. The guru is first and foremost a Mirror into our hearts.

 

What does a guru do?

“The very first lesson devotees learn from a guru is to catch his hint. A guru always hints. Later on when the devotee is well on his way, the hint will be felt even stronger and comes to be known as the ‘divine hint.’ To some people the guru will use words to aid the devotee to learn. Sometimes, even orders are given, because orders are  easy to understand. The devotee needs always to understand the hint,  for if the hint is lost so also  is the opportunity of learning.

The grace of God cannot be seized; it descends. The actions of the Guru are nothing in themselves; they are only for the good of the devotees. We are loved by the guru and then we feel love for the guru in return. The love is created.  To say ‘I love you’ is easy, but to realise it is difficult. Here is the hidden the mystery of the issue: God Realisation, or Truth.

The guru who has planted the love in the heart of a devotee will always look after him/her, as the gardener looks after a plant; he does not want it to die. The guru devotee relationship is ‘a journey of the soul’…..  Devotee and guru have links with each other from the past. From other dimension too, from where they come.  Returning together although, we might not recognise this link at first, the Guru always knows his devotees. Time and Space does not exist for him. Devotees  come back many times  to be with the guru. Sometimes the training can be rough, for others it is according to their temperament. Some are trained according to the will of the guru. Each of us are at different places of understanding. We are trained accordingly.”


 

Thirty years have passed since I first heard about Sathya Sai Baba. I can still remember vividly the Sunday afternoon in a bookshop in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. when, out of the blue a young man came up to me and said, “That’s rubbish!” He then pointed to the book I was looking at and grinned. I asked why was it rubbish. He did not explain, he only asked me to follow him to the next book aisle where there were books on Indian philosophy   and various other subjects to do with India. He pointed out a book with an orange cover. “That’s the book for you.” he said then took the book out from the bookcase and placed it into my hand. I glanced at the book without much ado. The little man on the front cover grabbed my attention. His afro hairdo did not exactly turn me on. I was not into Indian gurus at that time. In fact, I knew little about India and absolutely nothing about Indian traditions or religion. I declined the book. The young man, who interested me more than the book because he was so good looking, began a short conversation. I cannot remember just what about, but in the end he decided he would buy the book for me. “”Oh I don’t want it!” I said with a sigh. It wasn’t a book I would read. He insisted. We went to the counter of the bookshop and he paid for the book and gave it to me. Before he left, he wrote an address inside the book cover where bhajans were held in the state Maryland. I lived in Virginia and knew there was no way I would ever make it all the way around the beltway to Bethesda, Maryland to learn more about the guru. The book was put away in my bookcase and never read. It would be years later before I was to meet, again by chance, another person, who would introduce me to Sai Baba with more positive results. I did not visit India until 1990, years after the first introduction to him through the book incident in the Yes bookshop, in Washington, D.C.

The years with Sai Baba passed by quickly. I visited every year and sometimes twice a year, until recently. Those early years, now a distant memory, were full of sweetness and surprise. We were free to roam the ashram at will. Darshans were regular and always at the same time. Sai never kept us waiting. A front line was not too hard a task in those days and we all saw plenty of him. Playful, mischievous and caring, he reflected back to us our own strengths and weaknesses like a mirror. I also noticed, at times, he appeared shy – yet, he always hid his grins from us, when we made him laugh unexpectedly. He was often formal, warm to many, cool to others, harsh with the undisciplined. We always knew our place when at darshan. He was never to be underestimated.  I have known Sai Baba, although not personally, most of my life and have survived many an ordeal in his ashram. Would I do it all again? I cannot say yes or no.  There was so much joy but also Sai is a harsh teacher, there were also many tears. Oftentimes, I felt left out or let down or have become doubtful. A terminal case of doubts always exist in devotees/followers until they have overcome the business of ‘overcoming the form.’  I suppose I’ve obtained another sort of wealth,  one not of this world. Only time will tell. I shall miss Sai Baba and his darshans. They  are fading  away, like summer flowers as the fall sets in…..


https://sathyasaimemories.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/miss-tedeev-goes-to-the-ballet/

Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will meet many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.

-Sai Baba


…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•Sairam!!…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

-Sai Baba

…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•Sairam!!…•♥•.¸ૐ•♥•


A Silent Lesson – Sathya Sai Memories Cont.

Shirdi Sai - a rare photo

A Silent Lesson

Teachings are given in many different ways by Sai Baba. He often  ‘disguises’ his teaching lessons by changing his personal form,  from beloved Sai to one we do not know! I have had this happen to me on 4-5 occassions. The ‘other’ ‘forms’ of Sai, are often strange or outlandish characters that one would not normally know or speak to. These characters appear to know everything about us. I find these experiences to be the most delightful of all the teaching experiences Sai gives.

SathyaSai Memories


My Dutch friend and I were sitting together one morning in the old darshan area,   the time –  between darshan and bhajans. We both had our purses. They were allowed back then.

I  remember the experience clearly because it was a few days before my flight home. I had been clearing out my room in the ashram, given away my entire collection of Swami photos and posters. I had one more photo in my purse and a packet of vibuthi that I decided should go to my friend. Although I loved being with Swami, I did not see him as my guru, nor did I want to keep photos or vibuthi or any form of attachment to him.

My friend was reluctant to take the vibuthi and the photograph but as I insisted, she took them and put them away into her purse.

Bhajans began and the old mandir- darhsan area, filled with an enormous crowd of ladies.  At the end of the bhajans, Swami came out and blessed everyone, then if I remember correctly, he returned to his upstairs room in the temple. As soon as the signal was given for us to rise and leave the darshan area, the ladies rose altogether and scrambled to leave by the main gate. The  horrendous rush caused chaos outside the gate. It was difficult to pass through without bumping into everyone…..

Once outside of the gate, a little old lady dressed in white approached. She tugged at my arm, and when I tried to loosen myself, she grabbed my hand, placing a small photograph of Shirdi Sai Baba into my palm.

“You keep this,” she said.

I turned to her and motioned that I did not want a photograph. She looked at me in a pained way but insisted I keep it. I remember her closing my fingers around the little photograph with much love. She gave me a beatific smile and disappeared back into the crowd.

I stood for a moment or two examining the photograph. When I turned it over, there was an interesting message on the other side.

“Look at me whole-heartedly and I, in turn, look at you similarly. Sitting in this Masjid, I speak the truth nothing but the truth. No Sadhanas, nor proficiency in the six Shastras are necessary. Have faith and confidence in your Guru. Believe fully, that Guru is the sole Actor and Doer. Blessed is he who knows the greatness of his Guru and thinks him to Be Hari. (God).”

What a surprise to read such a  message and what shocked me more was the photo of Shirdi Sai. The lady seemed to know how I felt and, by giving me the photo, she’d indicated my lack of faith in Swami. This had to be clearly the case, for the message on the backside of the photo also seemed to be telling me as much. It  most likely was an  indirect message from Swami himself.

Some years later I found the very same message in the Shri Sai Satcharita on page 98. The message is incorporated in the story of one, Mrs. Radhabai Deshamukh, who visited Shirdi to be with Sai Baba. She wanted Shirdi Sai to give her a mantra but he would not – and Shirdi Sai tells her during a long discussion how he himself, was not given a mantra only the unabated love of his guru.



Shirdi Sai photo – courtesy of The Internet.

The above picture was contributed by Sai Devotee Vengalam Praveen Reddy at the University of Dallas, USA.

The picture is claimed to have been sketched/taken the day before Baba’s samadhi though there is no supporting material.

Says Praveen,

“I could get this picture accidently when some one gave the picture for development in some picture lab and I was there when the person came to collect it. I requested and got a copy of that.”


Silence Is The True Spiritual Instruction – Inspirational Quotations

Dakshinamurthy taught His disciples by His silence. Yes, what He did was to make the disciples rely on their own intelligence. Do not demean your talents, when you dive deep into yourselves, you can discover the source of all strength.
(Sathya Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. 4 p. 155)


(¯`v´¯)

996078_10152871398850375_960214057_n

Many  true seekers visit Sathya Sai Baba but he does not speak to them often.  In the case of  some devotees, he speaks not at all!  Those seekers can visit year after years and yet never receive an interview or even a word at darshan. Why is it so? The truth is that  physical speech is on a lower level of communication. According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, no words are necessary. Words reduce, limit, harden, take away the subtleness and true strength – the life of the true teaching. Here is a sweet story about the importance of silence from Sai Baba.

(¯`v´¯)

253564_10152787885310375_1816175206_n



SILENCE IS THE TRUE SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION



Once a devotee came to visit Bagawan Sai Baba and said that the great Sages of the past had travelled extensively preaching the Truth and thus had served the world at large. Similarly, if Bhagavan were to travel thus it would be beneficial to many. Smilingly, Bhagawan replied, that His being settled in one place is also beneficial and narrated the following story.


“Brahma, the Lord of Creation, once lost interest in the work of creation and thought of taking to a life of tapas (penance). So, out of his mind he created Sanaka, Sanatkumaru, Sanandana and Sanatsujata, with the intention to hand over to them his job in the course of time. They grew up and mastered all of the branches of study. Brahma then decided to hand over to them his job and to retire. Sage Narada came to know of his father’s intention. Since Narada knew that his brothers were full of dispassion and fit to be initiated into the path of Self-knowledge, he decided to warn them beforehand of Brahma’s intention. On hearing this, the four brothers, who had no intention to follow the path of action, left home in search of a Guru without informing their father. They all proceeded to Vaikunta, the abode of Vishnu. There they saw Lakshmi sitting on Vishnu’s couch massaging His feet. On seeing this, they thought, “How can this family man bound by the intimate glance of his consort render us any help in learning adhyatma-vidya (Knowledge of the Self). Look at the splendour of this palace and this city! This is enough. Let us seek the help of Lord Siva”.


Lord Siva, who was in Kailas with His family, knew beforehand about their coming and understood their plight. He was sure that they would be disappointed on seeing him with a family, so taking pity on them, He decided to impart spiritual knowledge to them. The kind-hearted Lord, left Mount Kailas and taking the youthful form of Dakshinamurti, seated Himself with Chinmudra (lotus position), under a Banyan tree on the Northern side of Lake Manasarovar, just on the way by which these disappointed devotees were returning to their respective homes.

When they came and sat before Him, He went into samadhi (Absorption in the self). He was in Perfect Repose. Silence prevailed. They saw Him. The effect was immediate. They fell into samadhi and their doubts were cleared.
Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced. Others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore they require words to explain the Truth. But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit or explain. It merely indicates the truth through self-discovery.”

-story told to devotees by Shri Sai Baba


936791_10152756555270375_1772980208_n

(¯`v´¯)

“The highest form of grace is silence. It is also the highest upadesa (teaching).”

-Sri Ramana Maharshi


(¯`v´¯)

Question: Can the Guru’s silence really bring about advanced states of spiritual awareness?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: There is an old story, which demonstrates the power of the Guru’s silence. Tattvaraya composed a Bharani, a kind of poetic composition in Tamil, in honour of his Guru Swarupananda, and convened an assembly of learned Pandits (pundits) to hear the work and assess its value. The Pandits raised the objection that a Bharani was only composed in honour of great heroes capable of killing a thousand elephants in battle and that it was not in order to compose such a work in honour of an ascetic.

Thereupon the author said, “Let us all go to my Guru and we shall have this matter settled there.”

They went to the Guru and, after they had all taken their seats, the author told his Guru the purpose of their visit. The Guru sat silent and all the others also remained in mouna (silence). The whole day passed, the night came, and some more days and nights, and yet all sat there silently, no thought at all occurring to any of them and nobody thinking or asking why they had come there. After three or four days like this, the Guru moved his mind a bit, and the people assembled immediately regained their thought activity. They then declared, ‘Conquering a thousand elephants is nothing beside this Guru’s power to conquer the rutting elephants of all our egos put together. So certainly he deserves the Bharani in his honour!


(¯`v´¯)

968830_667756313239037_1057526277_n

(¯`v´¯)

Question: How does this silent power work?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise. Other thoughts arise after the “I”-thought rises and so the “I”-thought is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.

Silence is ever speaking. It is a perennial flow of language, which is interrupted by speaking. These words I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example, there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known instantly in silence, or in front of silence. Dakshinamurti and his four disciples are a good example of this. This is the highest and most effective language.



To read more about the importance of silent teachings:

http://www.hinduism.co.za/silent.htm