As a humorist Sai is matchless. His subtle
humour, which is often earthly in texture, deludes us to believe
that He is of the earth and is with us on the same plane.
It will not, all the same, hurt or offend anyone. He is at
home with the boys of His College with whom He cracks jokes
to often convey a lesson in spirituality, morals or ethics.
One day Swami on His way to the Hostel plucked
a Tulsi leaf and placed it in the palm of a student and said:
'Keep it safe. Don't show it to anybody'. He just obeyed.
But the warden insisted to see it. When the boy opened the
handkerchief in which it was tied he found a gold coin. So
he said 'Keep it safe, don't show it to anybody'. But his
friends pestered and he had to yield. When they opened the
handkerchief it was only a Tulsi leaf. The boy was greatly
disappointed. Seeing his disappointment Swami called him and
asked for the leaf. He blew at it and lo! The gold coin appeared
and Swami blessed him to keep the same with him as His gift.
Nothing is beyond His Power. His sankalpa is enough. It can
change earth into sky and sky into earth. This incident, though
humorous, was but a glimpse of His omnipotence. The students
get such revelations often which cement their faith in their
protector and patron.
Once Baba was to reach Bangalore a few days
after the Shivarathri festival at Puttaparthi, as was His
wont. But even after a week or ten days He did not move. Students
at Bangalore were disappointed at the delay and they started
imagining about possible reasons. But towards the end of March
news reached them that Swami was shortly expected there. Their
joy had no bounds. The usual preparations were carried out
briskly for receiving the Lord. Baba came. The students sang
and did Aarathi. He received it with no smile or talk. The
students were flabbergasted. Each one started a vigorous and
thorough search of his heart. None could find any reason.
Swami gave darshan to the devotees and returned to His residence
with head down as if to avoid the students standing in a row
on either side. Their prayer for reason was unanswered. There
was gloom in the campus. They apologised for any error unknowingly
committed. No effect. Prayer turned into sobs and tears. The
next day He gave darshan and returned as usual. But this time
the students were determined and they encircled Him and cried
for Pardon. Nothing happened. He looked only downward. A few
seconds passed in grave silence. Then He like a great actor
just mumbled "April Fool". There was a spurt of
radiant laughter, which was shared with love by Swami as well.
What a drama! The Divine actor cum director wanted to open
the floodgates of joy to His ever loved dearest children,
His 'only property'.
Once, looking at the overgrown hair of a
young man in the hippie style sitting before Him in the interview
room Baba asked, ' Why are you carrying this hair? Why don't
you crop them off? The young man replied: 'Yes Baba, You may
kindly cut one strand and the rest I shall do' Baba replied
'I am Baba, not Barber'.
A devotee once told Swami: 'Swami, there
is one way to wipe off the poverty of India'. 'What is that'
Swami enquired. 'If you can by your divine power convert the
water of Indian Ocean into petrol, that is enough', said the
devotee. Swami said 'But….' The devotee enquired ' Why
but, Swami?' Swami quipped: 'Then, if someone throws a lighted
matchstick into it?.
Once with a mischievous smile Swami asked
Allen Drucker: 'Drucker have I gone fat?' 'No' Swami 'No'
replied Drucker. But placing his hand on His abdomen Baba
repeated the question. 'See why this is so enlarged'. Drucker
repeated his 'no'. Then swami slowly whispered in the ear
of Drucker 'I am carrying Prema Sai'.
Judy Warner was waiting for Darshan with
the typed script of her book in hand for Swami's blessings.
Bhagawan came and stood before her. When she showed the manuscript
He touched the same and enquired 'What is the name of the
book?'. She replied 'Transformation of the heart'. 'Transformation
of the spiritual heart or physical heart?' Swami asked. 'Swami,
Spiritual Heart' she said. 'Good. The only change for the
other heart is Bypass surgery'.
An incident of 1959 which Kasturiji has narrated
in his Loving God is interesting and revealing. Kasturiji
was called to the Presence through a messenger. Baba told
him that He needed a photograph of Kasturiji to be passed
on to the editor of a newspaper having a circulation of 30,000.
Kasturiji was enticed by the prospect of high publicity and,
as directed, he rushed to get ready for the event that was
to bring name and fame to him. He returned 'shaved and starched'
in minutes to be positioned and photographed by Baba Himself.
Looking at him through the lens Baba further inflated his
ego by admiring Kasturiji's 'photogenic face'. And with a
'Ready' He clicked, only to drive out a cotton mouse tucked
inside the camera which drew a shrill shriek from a frightened
Kasturiji who had already reached the corner of the room thinking
it was a real rat. Baba had a hearty laugh and Kasturiji followed.
Reprimanding for being so gullible Baba advised him to aspire
for lasting fame through dedicated service to God than through
newspapers, which became waste paper the next day.
Swami's humour is only a medium to convey
a great lesson, a correction to weed out a flaw, and a gentle
push on the path of spiritual progress.