Sai Spiritual Showers: Vol 3, Issue 20 Thu, Oct 27, 2011
Those attached to God, aspiring for God, aware of God, adoring God have certain distinct marks by which they can be identified. Such people have a compassionate heart. Get up, place the rosary in its bag, and activate yourselves in relieving distress – that is the true spiritual path. Do not waste all your years with stone images, pictures or idols. Learn to see in every living vital active person, the embodiment of all energy, all beneficence, namely, God. God is subtler than ether, filling the smallest crevice with His majesty. Know this and serve His manifestations, wherever you meet them.  - Sri Sathya Sai
The Form and the Insignia: Although Bhagawan repeatedly reminds devotees that all Forms and all Names are His and that one form should not be regarded as superior or inferior to another, many devotees are apt to forget this essential teaching. On such occasions, Bhagawan has His own way of making the devotee see the light. From Sanathana Sarathi February 1984 issue.

Once some friends of mine suddenly decided to go into a Siva Temple which we were passing by. I was given to understand that it was an auspicious day. But, according to Swami, the day we spend in the contemplation of God is the only holy day. This point was stressed in the Bhagavatam through Prahlada. Anyway I went with my friends through the milling crowds and stood at the side railings near the sanctum sanctorum. As the idol was somewhat in a lower position, the heads of the devotees on either side of the railings were blocking the view of Lord Siva. Even my height of 5'—8” did not help me to have a glimpse. I resorted to meditation, closing my physical eyes.

When I was trying to mentally picturise the Siva Lingam with the symbol of three sacred horizontal vibhuti marks, I was getting the picture of 'Seshasayi' of Srirangam (the Lord Ranganatha reclining on the serpent Adisesha). Twice, thrice I repeated the exercise, but the picture did not alter. Then I prayed: "Swami, I wanted to visualise Lord Siva right at this moment, but why are you giving the vision of Sriranganatha? I want the horizontal Vibhuti lines not the vertical Vaishnavite lines at present." That very instant, I heard the familiar voice of Bhagawan, with His intriguing smile, saying "Yes, Yes. I know you are going to pose this question and hence this pose. Otherwise, I would have given darshan as Lord Venkateswara in a vertical manner. See what will happen to the namam of Vishnu if he lies down as Sriranganatha. Will they not become horizontal namam, which you are seeking for?" and suddenly His voice became stern and serious. "Am I not telling you repeatedly to give up these names and forms and meditate on the formless!" That very moment the namam of Lord Sriranganatha began revolving and became pure white light with increasing brilliance. I lost all sense of time and place and stood there perhaps for sometime till the Archaka brought me back to consciousness by saying: 'Sir, please take Arati', holding the flame in front of me. So with the Light inside me and that outside I opened my eyes!

Baba Answers: Noted scholar and seeker after Truth, Sri VS Page, the then Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council had an opportunity to pose some questions to Bhagawan during Bhagawan’s sojourns in Mumbai between 1966-1968. Excerpts from the inteviews as published in Bhavan’s Journal.

Q: Baba, can You tell us how do You produce sacred ash or rings or other objects? I have seen persons who produce things like these but they were unable to explain how they could produce such things. I hope, I am not insulting the yogic power when I mention it to You that some of the persons who possess such powers do not necessarily possess good moral character. I have seen persons who have this power but who, i am told, have taken to drinking and such other vices. I am told also that there are certain lower creatures or deities or genii who do this work of bringing the objects from other source in a very obscure manner. But these are powers of a very low character. Some Yogis, it is said the Shastras, produce things out of their mind or mental stuff. Will You kindly explain to us the process of this objectification or projection?

A: Yes, as you say, these miraculous powers are of different types. Some bring the things from somewhere else, but there are higher powers through which you can project the things out of your mind. You can create the things by mere Sankalpa or auspicious will. Powers acquired through certain processes of Yoga are like a storehouse. They can be used and exhausted. But for one who uses the power of God, there is no exhaustion of resources. It is the Divine Power that is in operation through him.

Q: I remember to have read somewhere that God, Who is Chaitanya, exhibited the whole universe outside, which was already within Him and He is compared to a Yogi who projects things out of his mind without any outside material cause.

A: Yes, it is the same power that created the whole world by mere Will which operates through a Yogi and when it is so, the power is inexhaustible because it is a sort of Nidarshan (Instance) of God's power to create by force or Will. But the Yogi does this with a desire to instil faith in God in all those who observe this Nidarshan or an example motivated by the spiritual aim. The Yogi is a fit vehicle of God to give out this example to man.

Q: When we talk about pleasure, what is the real character? Is the pleasure of worldly life the same as that of Yogi or a Brahmajnani?

A: No, certainly not. The worldly pleasure are nothing but counteractions against pain. You feel thirsty, then you drink water. You are hungry, you eat food. It is not positive pleasure that you have, but you negate the pangs of thirst and hunger.

Q: I am reminded of a verse from Raja Bartuhari's 'Vairagya Sataka', which means that when the mouth is parched with thirst, one drinks water, sweet and scented; tormented by hunger, one takes a morsel of food, that is rice with contiments; when the fire of passion catches the heart the youth embraces the wife; thus counteraction of pains is really misunderstood by people as some positive pleasure.

A: Raja Bartruhari was wallowing in pleasure, being the king of a prosperous kingdom; he gave up all, because he understood that all worldly pleasures were nothing but a sort of counteraction. He wanted some joy. It is vairagya or detachement alone that can lead one on the path of spirituality. When you detach yourself from sense perception or sense enjoyment, you have inner joy or anand which is different from pleasure. This ananda is permanently there in the heart of everyone and everyone is perfectly free to seek it and get it.

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