Gopis were very unique, as devotees. They had no consciousness of the body at all; they were all the while attached only to the principle that is embodied in It. They were eager to know the `other’, not to experience ‘this'. As a matter of fact, it is the identification with the gross body that lies at the root of all the cruelty, injustice, greed, violence and falsehood that parade all over the world. It is this that breeds desire, that multiplies wants, that makes man ride on the waves of whim and fancy. When he is not able to catch up with his ambition, man becomes a prey to disappointment and grief, hate and avarice.

If you ask God to fulfil your wishes, your worship is degraded into an act of bargaining; your reverence is equated with what you receive; you are selling homage for so much of satisfaction. You become a paid servant, a hired labourer, insisting on wages and calculating how much is got for the work done. Be on the other hand, a member of the family, feel that you are the Lord's own, do every task as `my work' `my task' without any idea of the return therefore; then the work does not tire, it is done well. When this attitude is taken up by you, you feel not clamour for wages at all. The Master will maintain you and your people as He feels you deserve. This secret of happiness the Gopis knew; you must also live out your lives on these lines.

(extracted from Divine Discourse on 19th August 1965)

“Faith in God and in His Omnipresence has to be unshakable so that man can win” - Sri Sathya Sai

In late summer 1985 I visited a few remaining relatives and friends in Germany. While in Hamburg, I saw an old friend who owns and runs a small goldsmith shop and studio, close to the city. Since her husband, who was also a friend and colleague had passed over many years ago, she mentioned a few times her concern regarding security in the shop where she spent most of the time alone...

I carried a small spare photograph of Swami with me. I bought a nice little picture frame and put it in a showcase next to the counter and said, "SAI BABA will protect you; believe in it and you must do the same..."

She thanked me for the picture and said that she believed in BABA, even though she knew little about Him, other than what I told her...

14 months passed by. One day, late in November 1986, I received a phone call from Germany, from my friend in Hamburg. Totally upset and excited she told me that she has just been held up in her shop by a young man waving a pistol at her and threatening her life demanding five most valuable rings from the central showcase... She could not even take a single side step to press the silent alarm connecting the shop to the police...

The thief took the 5 rings and moving backwards, threatening to shoot when followed, left the shop... The police arrived within minutes after the alarm was activated. But the thief had vanished. What made me feel really sorry for her was, when she said, "You told me, SAI BABA will protect me and I really believed so much in it" (So did I). Feeling deeply with her I could only say: "He actually has helped and protected you, you could have been hurt or worse if that man was a violent type..." After that telephone call my thoughts went around in circles... I was aware of her predicament, since those valuable rings were not 'insured' as she said she could not afford the insurance. It was a substantial loss for her.

A few days later I received a long letter from her. To my bewilderment, she wrote that two days after the incident, she received a phone call from a Catholic Priest at an outer suburb, asking her, whether her shop had been held up two days ago? Bewildered about his knowledge of the incident, (the papers did not mention the robbery at her request) she admitted to the happening and, in return, she wished to know where he obtained that information.

The priest told her, a young man came to him, and handed over 5 rings and a gun, telling him he committed a holdup in a jewellery shop of such and such address, threatening the lady in the shop with the gun to obtain those valuable rings. He asked the priest to return the rings, since "he could not find a peaceful moment since." Grateful and happy, my friend visited the priest and received the stolen rings.