Volume 1 Issue 86, Thursday, Apr 16, 2009

Memorable Days with Bhagawan

A trip to Kodaikanal with Bhagawan is always a most unforgettable and blissful experience. Bhagawan gives freely of His time to the students, whom He takes with Him, addressing them as often as possible—quite often three to four times a day, giving them new insights into the life of the Spirit, exhorting them to live up to the high ideals of Bharatiya "Samskruti", and inspiring them to high endeavour by relating stories from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Bhagavatam. Nor were stories and parables from everyday life lacking. The matchless raconteur that Swami is, He endows every parable and incident He relates with dramatic appeal and poetic charm. It is no wonder the boys yearn for His discourses with an insatiable appetite. (From the June 1988 issue of Sanathana Sarathi)

During one of such Kodai trips, the Rajmata of Nawanagar, a veteran devotee of Swami for many decades, was one of the few select devotees who were privileged to attend Swami's discourses. She was present at all the evening discourses in "Sai Shruti”—Bhagawan's residence—during her ten day stay in Kodaikanal. Before leaving Kodaikanal, the Rajmata sent the following message to the students (which was read out to them in the evening):

"It is always so very hard to leave the (physical) presence of the Lord. Somehow, Sai Himself makes it possible; otherwise, no one would ever leave. With a deeply rooted confidence that He will continue to guide, guard and guarantee all our pilgrimages to His very own resplendent presence within our hearts, I leave these few words of love and thanks to the golden angels that are all Sai’s Vidyarthis, the most blessed ones of the present generation.

In a way, it is not right to thank the Lord, but my heart is overflowing with humble gratitude, and I do not know what else to do. May Sai forgive such clumsiness and frailty.

All the angels will soon have to descend into the world to lead lives full of purpose, high purpose. I pray that all your lives will be as clean, straight and accurate as the flight path of each one of Lord Rama's arrows. Meanwhile, I must alert you to the fact that the world is full of winding, twisting and turning mazes.

The Power of Maya

When I was a child, growing up in my father's house, I used to wonder at the infinite variety of Maya. How was it ever going to be possible to know everything, or to choose what to know and to do from the thousands upon millions of things there are in the world to do, see, hear, know? The beauty of the world is undeniable for, when all is said and done, what is Maya? It is the shadow of God, so there is not the slightest possibility that it can be anything but beautiful. It is we, mankind, in our misguided efforts to find happiness, who make it anything less than perfect. Ugliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So, it is most certainly not to be despised, but it is also undeniable that the power of Maya, though it emanates from our own subjectivity, does delude, does veil the truth and cause needless confusion. What can we do about Maya? Our so beloved Bhagawan once told us a "chinna udharana" on this very dilemma.

One day, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were walking in the forest. They walked in single file: Rama first, then Sita, then Lakshmana. Lakshmana could not get a good view (Darshan) of Rama with Sita in between them. In this small example, Sita represents the Maya veiling the truth that is Rama, and Lakshmana is the seeker, or the worshipper. There were two choices for Lakshmana: he could take a swipe at Sita and knock her out of the way, so that his view of Rama would be unhindered, or, he could humbly and lovingly beg Sita to move aside, just a little, so that he might now and then glimpse the Lord. In the former way, not only would Maya have turned upon the seeker and taught him a jolly good lesson, but the Almighty would also have been mightily displeased. No, we do not have the right to ill treat God's creation or His creatures.

Now, I simply do not know what the qualification M.B.A., means as a degree, but from mentions made in talks during these past days, I surmise that the subject matter includes business, possibly, management or marketing and could the 'A' stand for administration? These are among the most confusing activities in today's world, Maya within Maya, producing deeper Maya. You will have other people's needs, dreams, ideas to deal with. You may have to make decisions affecting many hundreds of people.

"Use only the Sai currency"

So, with MAYA'S infinite variety in mind, there is only one thing to do. In your dealings in the world, use only the Sai currency, and you will never go wrong. Do you know what the Sai coin looks like? On one side, there is the majestic profile of Sai, the King of Kings, with His aureole of divine authority; on the other, there is the Sarva Dharma symbol, with the words 'Sathyam vada Dharmam chara' inscribed all around it. As Bhagawan said on Sunday evening, if you hold fast to these two, all the rest will follow. Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa can only exist where there already exist Sathya and Dharma. Indeed, the rules that bring success in God's shadow are the same that you have learned in His shade.

There may be trials and tribulations ahead, or only smooth sailing through the ocean of Samsara. Either way, it cannot matter to those whose spiritual muscles have been well stretched.

We look to you, angels of Sai, to usher in a kinder, gentler, more just world. And this you will do if you live as you have been taught by your Divine master, the universal father and cosmic mother, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.