I am here before you all at our Lord's behest to share a few thoughts with you all. Out of His infinite compassion Swami has drawn me into His fold. My entrance into this Divine phenomenon was uneventful—rather a quiet homecoming. When I first joined His college for women at Anantapur I did not know anything about Him. But day by day the awareness of His divinity seemed to swell within me as I heard about His Leelas and listened to the Divine discourses. Swami often had an affectionate word for me. Thus, I prospered in Sai love and completed my Post Graduation. Then out of His immense love for us regardless of our shortcomings, I was granted a position as a teacher in His institution. So, have I come to His lotus feet—my haven of peace.
As a member of the Kingdom of Mother Sai, I keenly desired to put in my little share of service, and so I translated the volume of "Chinna Katha" into Braille script, to enable people like me all over to share the nectarine bliss of the numerous anecdotes Swami so often relates to us.
Recently I had the much-coveted audience with Swami wherein He encouraged me to speak. With His immeasurable love, He said, "You ‘Rama’ are far better than those people who have My gift of sight. They profit little and misuse it much. You are protected from such harmful exposure and blessed with the Eye of wisdom to see God with a clear mind." He bade me impress upon the listeners the proper use of our senses.
The faculties of sight and hearing are God's precious gifts to us. They are given to enrich our life, to see and experience the Glory of God. Alas, we are frittering them away in pursuit of loud and vulgar cinemas and even more worthless revels. We relish gossip and scandal. The most important human organ, the Eye, lies thus wasted. Crime and horror seem to be the order of the day. They excite the senses and mislead our mind. It is a criminal waste of time: I once heard some one say: "Now, how shall we kill time?" My God! Time is not meant to be killed!
Yes, we do need occasional entertainment. But need we resort to such vicious pastimes? Nature presents an unending drama of changing hues, coupled with melodies that delight our being. Personally, I find my entertainment in the sheer abundance of Nature around me. Oh, the pitter patter of rain upon the roof, the rustling of the wind amongst leaves, the chirruping of birds, the cool breeze and the roar of breakers upon the sea shore. If I can respond in thrilled joy to her, how much more joy can you find in her!
When we walk upon a thorny path, we cannot eliminate all the thorns. The easier and more sensible thing to do is to wear shoes and protect our feet. Likewise, good and evil co exist in this world. We can always learn to be blind and deaf to it. Unless we close our eyes to the external frivolities, we cannot delve deep into ourselves to draw from the perennial source within. It is not enough if we cultivate a negative attitude. True, evil must be avoided, but an alertness to absorb the beneficent influences around us must be developed. Insignificant objects in our daily lives have much to teach us. In fact, Swami uses such familiar examples to drive home profound truths. Only yesterday Swami said, 'Nature is a mirror which reflects God'. But unfortunately the eye is often too lazy to register much.
Helen Keller once asked a friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods as to what she had seen. She replied, 'Nothing in particular'. Helen Keller wondered as to how it could be possible for the mere touch of the tender symmetry of a leaf, the soft velvet feel of a petal, the luscious carpet of grass, to reveal the miracle of Nature to her, whereas her friend failed to see anything worthy of note in the woods. So she concluded that the seeing see little.
In every creature resides God. Every object in Nature is, as Wordsworth puts it, 'appareled in a celestial light', but we do not see it. It is unfortunate that we have lost the sense of wonder the child possesses. The film of familiarity obstructs our vision. We are too engrossed in our humdrum existence to notice the divinity prevalent. Here I am reminded of the lines:
'On life's busy thoroughfares
We meet with angels unawares
But we are too busy to hear,
Too busy to sense God is near.'
I wonder how some people entertain doubts about Swami's divinity inspite of seeing Him—seeing those compassionate love—showering eyes! But, let me tell you all, I have no such doubts at all. I feel that the Divine Hand leads me on gently ever.
Let me tell you of one of my experiences. It happened during the summer course of 1977, the one and only I have ever attended. The entire month was one rich experience for me. In the examination held at the end of the month I secured the first rank. Now, how is such an event possible? Let me tell you. Though I enjoyed my varied experiences there, yet there was one fact that disturbed my happiness. It was my fast approaching M. A. examinations. They were scheduled to be held ten days after the summer course. I was greatly worried as I felt such a short span would not suffice for my preparatory study. Worrying greatly I carried on. But miraculously, just a week before my exams, my mind seemed to clear. I watched the workings of my mind with a detached interest. There seemed to be a feeling in my mind suddenly that my M.A. exams were remote and of no great importance It was as if some one took over my worries and cleared my mind for some purpose—little did I know what it meant. Informed that I too was expected to write the summer course examination, I wrote it and the rest was His grace. Thus in His subtle ways, He has given evidence of His grace and love. Let us not take for granted His gift of the senses to us or use them as mere conveniences. According to Prahlada:
The hands that worship the
Lotus eyed Lord alone are hands;
Only the tongue that extols the
Lord of Sri is a tongue;
Only the eyes that behold the
Saviour of the Gods are eyes;
The head that bows to the Lord on
the Serpent Couch is alone head;
Only the ears that listen to the praise
of the Supreme are ears;
The heart that contemplates the
Foe of the demons is heart.
It means that all our senses should be employed in the glorification of our Lord, only then do they serve their purpose.
As for myself, I rest content with what I have. I ask not the Lord, 'Give me sight', for He has taught me to 'see' what is worthwhile in life and be happy. My only prayer to Him is to open my inner eye and I am confident that he will respond to my prayers. Every day I shall take one step towards the door of wisdom. The day will come when I shall knock at the door, it shall open softly, and I shall behold the beauteous vision of God.
(The article is from Kum. Rama Devi's speech delivered in the Divine presence during Bhagawan's Birthday in 1981, as published in March 1982 issue of Sanathana Sarathi.)