Saturday, September 22, 2012

THE COSMIC LION’S ROAR




This is the transcript of the talk delivered by Mr G S Srirangarajan, a former student and currently a faculty member in the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance of Sri Sathya Sai University, on August 23, 2007 in the Divine Presence in Prasanthi Nilayam.





Bhagavan says that this entire Universe arises from the mind. Mano Moolam Idam Jagat. Therefore, needless to say, all the problems that arise in this manifest world are ultimately related to the mind. The only aspect that separates a human being from His own Truth, from God is his mind.


If we were to think deeply, we would realize that the purpose of all religions, the purpose of all spiritual practices, be it the Karma, Bhakti or the Jnana Marga – are all associated with just one objective – mastery over the mind; so as to turn the mind inwards and realize one’s own true Self.


If this is the essence of all spiritual practices and the secret of our bondage and freedom, obviously this becomes the very purpose for which the Cosmic Lord comes down in a human form – to correct man, to transform him – which in essence means turn his mind inwards and make him realize his own true nature.


How does Bhagavan accomplish this feat? 

Once a devotee prayed to Swami, “Swami you say that this whole world is nothing but a projection of our mind and is therefore nothing but a dream. But you too have taken a Form in this dream, so are you also not a part of this dream?”

Bhagavan smiled and replied, “Yes my dear, I too am part of your dream. But I am like the roaring lion in the dream. My roaring will wake you up from this dream unto reality!”


Let us have a glimpse of how Bhagavan – the Cosmic Lion roars and wakes each one of us into the reality of our own Self. The roar could come in any form. It could be a dream, a smile, a deep look, a conversation, a single word, even a whisper or even His Silence!


Let me take recourse to a few conversations that I have had with Bhagavan and some that I have heard in the last few years at His Lotus Feet, to illustrate how He wakes us up from our deep slumber.



Where Am I From?


The most common conversation that I have heard between Bhagavan and a devotee in the Mandir verandah is Swami asking the devotee, “Where do you come from?” Invariably, the devotee replies: “Swami, Canada”, “Swami from Delhi”, “Swami, Italy” and so on. But this dialogue goes on every day and often one starts wondering as to why Swami asks the same question every time. Does He not know where we come from and why the same question again and again?


Later, we understood that Swami does this to set us on the path of introspection. We start thinking, “Hey what is wrong with my answer? What does Swami expect from me?” Thus begins our inward journey, a journey of self introspection wherein the mind is used as the instrument to turn itself within and look for a deeper meaning and purpose in life.


Now we all know that an appropriate answer to this question is, “Swami I have come from you.” Many devotees have given this answer and we have seen a blissful smile on Bhagavan’s face. But well, you can never outsmart Him. When I discovered this answer I got fully prepared for the situation, if at all it would arise; and arise it did. One day, it was Darshan time. Bhagavan came towards me and asked, “Where do you come from?”


With great joy and a sense of pride for I was well prepared, I replied, “Swami, I have come from you.” Immediately, I saw a frown on Swami’s face instead of the blissful smile that I expected and He said, “That is different saar, which place do you come from?” I knew I was caught. Whom was I talking to? The indweller of my heart. How could I play with Him? Swami wishes that the answer must come as a result of deep self enquiry and not merely from the tip of our lips! The journey inwards has to be undertaken.



‘You Are God’


There are several occasions when Swami has even asked many devotees, “Who are you?” I remember one occasion when we all were seated right over here. Swami was floating amidst us slowly with a beautiful smile on His face. As He just came close to me, He turned to a M.Sc. student sitting just opposite to me, and asked him very casually, “Who are you?”


The student was taken by surprise and remained dumbfounded. Bhagavan patted his cheek and very naturally, with a spontaneous ease He said, “You are God.” It was as simple as it would be for us to look at this mike and say ‘this is a mike’ or look at a table and say ‘this is a table’. The Truth is as clear as that to the Cosmic Lord, nay He is the Truth Himself and is revealing Himself – the true Self to all of us. This incident left a deep impression on that student and on many of us who heard those sweet words from Bhagavan’s lips.



A Bold Request


For Bhagavan, the entire world is one unified entity and He sees nothing but His own Self everywhere. However, looking at His physical form, one gets so easily deluded in believing that He is just a human being like us. Bhagavan says that He comes down in a human form to live with us, laugh and talk with us, but at the same time He rises to the supreme heights to remind us of His reality and to take us along with Him. It has been a very common experience for we students to witness how Swami mingles with us and makes us feel so comfortable as though we are with our dearest friend and then suddenly through a single word or remark, He reminds us of His grand Truth and reality.


Almost a decade ago, there was one undergraduate student from Delhi. He was the son of a temple priest and thanks to the past samskaaras and family upbringing, he was a very devoted and sincere student. He was a true Jignasu – a seeker of truth and had just one wish – to receive the grace of self realization from the Lord. When he would talk to us, we would explain to him that this was not an overnight affair and one had to struggle a lot for it and so on.


One evening, it was Darshan time. This boy was seated in the first row across the passage where Swami used to come walking giving Darshan. I was seated a couple of rows behind him. As Swami came closer to the boys’ section, suddenly, this boy knelt down on his knees and looked pleadingly towards Swami.


Normally, unless Swami gives an indication – no student is expected to kneel down that way and so I was truly concerned as to what would he ask Swami, what would he do? The student in a loud voice – loud enough for all around to hear – without any hesitation or feeling of shyness, asked Swami, “Swami I want Self Realization!” We were shocked. How could this boy be so arrogant? What would Swami say? But it was too late to do anything and we just sat glued to our seat. What happens next? It was amazing! Swami comes close to the boy and in an equally loud voice promptly replies, “I will give!” Who other than the supreme Lord can dispense Self Realization – as simply as that – just like distributing chocolates!


We all were stunned with Bhagavan’s response and the mind received a strong jolt – once again turning inwards to proceed on its partially traveled journey. The Cosmic Lion had roared and woken us up! It was unto us now to keep awake or go back to our deep slumber.



A Child of God


Once in an interview in Trayee Brindavan, Swami explained to us the meaning of true devotion. He said, “How can everybody simply claim that they are My devotees? It is I who must certify to that effect. You saying that 'Swami I am your devotee' is not as important as Me saying that you are My devotee.” Bhagavan went on to say that, first we must say, “Swami, I am Yours.” This is like sending a registered post to Bhagavan – not an ordinary registered post but registered post with acknowledgement due.


Then, Bhagavan must tell us, “Yes, you are Mine!” This is like we receiving the receipt. Only then the relationship is complete. Having heard all this, I was deeply moved and this truth got embedded in my heart. Towards the end of the interview, Swami went around distributing Vibhuti Prasadam to all of us seated in the room. As He approached me, He asked like an ideal teacher conducting the test on the syllabus that He had just completed, “Who are you?”


I was so happy to hear that and smilingly I replied, “Swami, I am Your son!” Immediately Swami shot back. What did He say? It was again His roar. He said, “No, do not say I am your son. Son bhi ho sakta hai, daughter bhi ho sakta ha – you may be a son or even a daughter. Say, I am Your child!” What pearls of wisdom! Bhagavan was, in one sentence taking us to the reality of our true Self – wherein we are neither male nor female. These attributes are all related to the body and not to the Atma. He wanted the mind giving this answer to keep the Atma as its reference point and not the perishable impermanent body. That is our Lord. How subtly but yet profoundly, He reminds us of our own Truth through every gesture and word of His!



Beauty is Within


The Diamond Swan in Sai's Hand

Another wonderful incident. This was in the Brindavan Campus college auditorium. Swami had just completed delivering His Discourse on the valedictory day of the Summer Course. Towards the end, He had materialized a beautiful diamond swan, which He related to the mythological story of Nala and Damyanti.



But what was more joyous was that, Swami came walking across the auditorium, between every row of chairs, holding the diamond swan in His hand for all to see. What compassion and love - the Lord walking across every row of chairs in an auditorium. But would He waste this opportunity without giving one of His roars?


Impossible. As He came closer to where we all were seated, He stood for a while at one point. All of us craned our necks to catch a glimpse of that beautiful swan. Well, this was the right moment for Bhagavan. He withdrew the swan and as we all suddenly turned towards Him, He said, “That is only creation - who is the creator? You all are interested only in the creation, not the creator.” Wow! That was like a lightning from the blue!


Immediately, our mind did a summersault and went inwards to appreciate and feast on this wonderful statement made by Bhagavan. Do we all not get caught in this pretty trap of His? Bhagavan compares this to an aircraft and the pilot. He says that when a plane flies across the sky, we get so enamoured by its majesty, that we forget that there is a pilot who is inside the cockpit driving the aircraft. Bhagavan is the Cosmic Pilot who is driving the entire Universe.


Again and again, Swami propels our mind to turn inwards and again and again we bring it out and let it loose among the temptations of this attractive world. How painful must this task be for Him? As Bhagavan Himself says, “I alone know the agony of teaching you every step of the dance.”



Who is Sai?


How do we express our Love and gratitude to our dear Lord. Simple - by helping Him to facilitate this journey of ours. The journey may be painful, full of thorns and stones, but let us not complain. Let us bear all the difficulties for it is only after the heating, hammering and twisting that the gold is transformed into a beautiful jewel. Do we all not want to be instruments in His Divine Hands? Again, a beautiful episode and one of His Cosmic Roars.


It was the Parthi interview room and all the MBA students were enjoying a beautiful interview with the Lord. Towards the end, all students started praying, “Swami, please make us your able instruments.” Swami smiled and said, “That is My duty saar, that is My duty. You are all My instruments.” Pointing at each one of us, He said, “You are My instrument, you are My instrument…." and finally pointing at His own body, Bhagavan said, "This too is My instrument!” What? Our breath stopped for several moments. If this Divine body is also Your instrument, who are You Swami? Who are You Swami?



The Player of the Flute


He is the ultimate reality, the Cosmic Self, the ‘I’ in each one of us. The bodies are just instruments in the hands of the Cosmic Self. We have no separate existence of ours. What we perceive and feel as a separate existence is only a delusion of the mind. Just one more roar of the Cosmic Lion and I shall stop.

This was right here at one corner of the Mandir verandah. It was 5.15 pm and the flute recital had just begun. It was those days when before evening Bhajans, there would a 15 minutes flute recital inside the Bhajan Hall. One of my brothers was seated at the corner. Swami came walking towards him. The student folded his hands and knelt down. Swami asked him, “Where is this sound coming from?”


Pointing to the speaker above, the student replied, “Swami the speaker is up here.” Bhagavan smiled and said in a voice that all of us could hear – for the message was meant for all of us – “The speaker is outside here, but the actual player is inside.” Saying so, He smiled and went further. The message was loud and clear. The real doer is within, and the body is just the instrument.



A Startling Revelation


The earlier we embark on this inward journey, the better it is for us. Why? Swami Himself gives the answer, and this is not just a roar but this is like an atomic explosion which has to wake us up. The scene was the Bhajan Hall over here. The occasion – a surprise Divine Discourse to the staff of the Mudenahalli School and our Prasanthi Nilayam Hostel teachers.


Bhagavan was talking about the Mahabharata and the episode where Lord Krishna reveals to Karna the truth that he was actually the brother of the Pandavas. We had heard Swami narrating this story before and hence we were anticipating further details from the Mahabharata story. But most stunningly, Bhagavan gave a sudden twist to the story and said,


“Understand that after Karna realized that the Pandavas were his brothers, he felt so sorry that he was fighting and causing them pain for so long. He was filled with uncontrollable grief.


My dear ones, one day you too will realize that there is only One Self and that all the others around you are none other than your own reflections – reflections of the one Divine Self. At that moment, you too will feel immeasurable pain for having hated and caused harm to so many of your own reflections. Therefore, to avoid such a situation, realize now and at this moment that there only one Divine Self everywhere.”


This alone is the solution to all the problems of the world. Manomoolam Idam Jagat. Therefore all the problems are related to the mind alone. Mana Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoho. This mind is the cause for both our bondage and our liberation. Turn it outwards and it binds us to the world, turn it inwards and it reveals to us our eternal Self and frees us forever. The mind when turned outwards sees diversity in unity, but when turned inwards, it perceives the grand unity in creation and nurtures a world full of love, peace and harmony.


May I conclude by reminding one and all that our dear Lord Sai stands for SAI – See Always Inside.


Jai Sai Ram.





Friday, September 21, 2012

Meeting Ganesha on the Inner plane




Behind all lore is truth.
Find the jewel hidden within.
Then all you wish to know will unfold.

While writing this book, I thought, "Can I write about Sri Skanda and not about his older brother, Ganesha, the first son of Shiva? Of course, I can't." With that in mind, my thoughts flew backwards to my early days in the Orient. I remembered saying in jest and fun to a newly found Hindu friend who had a picture of Ganesha, "Who would worship an elephant?" And I merrily laughed in fun, though not in ridicule.

A day later, while sitting in meditation, who appeared in my inner vision but an elephant with laughing eyes. I apologized and never made fun again. I have learned to love Sri Ganesha's form, but rarely in any statue have I seen it correctly carved, especially the face which, though full of mirth, is the epitome of wisdom itself.

When I had learned to appreciate, understand and love Ganesha's elephant form, He gave to me a gift - to see Him as His True Self, as He is in His celestial abode. I awakened on the ceremonial day of His birthday. Ganesha stood there on my altar in all His splendor, in His princely celestial form. He looked very much like Skanda. I said, "You are so beautiful, as beautiful as my Skanda," and then I laughingly said, "Well, nearly as beautiful, not quite." He serenely smiled, and all day He remained in this glorious appearance. On the next day, He returned to His elephant form.

In Jaffna in southern Ceylon is an ageless, ancient temple, carved in beautiful stone. Inside is one small shrine which I often visited before going to see Yogi Swamigal, a great saint who lived in Jaffna. When I would go to him, he would always say, "Have you been visiting the stone swamis again?" I would say, "Does it matter?" and he would chuckle, "No."

At this particular time, I was having many troubles and felt I had reached the end of my rope. I wanted to go home, but was not given permission to return to the United States by the Masters. I walked up the three small stairs to the little shrine. It was very dark inside the inner sanctum, where a black carved stone statue of Ganesha in His elephant form was enshrined. I could not see the form in the darkness. With tears running down my cheeks, I heard myself call out, while standing in front of a Hindu shrine, "Jesus! Help me, Jesus! Please, Jesus! Help me!"

I thought I saw a movement within the shrine, as if someone inside was waving a black cape. I peered inside intently. To my amazement, I saw the large stone ears of Ganesha waving back and forth. The stone statue had come alive.

I was surprised, for I had called to Jesus, and both Jesus and Ganesha had heard my prayers. And as I stood there, I remembered the story of a saint who was asked by a woman to petition on her behalf to Mary. The saint then knelt before a shrine of Saint Francis and started to pray. The woman stopped her and said, "You are making a mistake. I asked you to pray on my behalf to Mary, not to Saint Francis." The saint answered, "All shrines are the same, for it is God Who hears our pleas and answers them."

I walked away from the temple feeling that the world was all right. And as I went out into the sunshine from the dark, cool temple, I felt as if all the heavens had opened and God was one and had heard me.
I have pondered much on the true meaning of the form of Ganesha and have never found an answer that would clear my soul's yearning to know the truth behind His form.

One day I went to my room and laid down and said, "Ganesha, could you explain what I would like to know?" I fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly I was awakened by Ganesha and I heard Him say, "Take a pen in hand and write."

I did not move. He repeated, louder, "Take a pen and write."

This is what I wrote:

"To bring understanding to the illiterate of long ages ago, so long ago that the flood had not yet engulfed Lemuria, fables or tales were told to the race emerging from the darkness of an unenlightened mind. These stories had been handed down and have remained as symbols to be understood only by the few.

"Just as Jesus spoke in parables only to those who were to understand, so in those long ages past, to bring intelligence to the race emerging from ignorance and to awaken some understanding in their brains, symbols were used to educate them and quicken their evolution.

"This was in the age when the Gods walked the Earth and were the spokespersons for the illiterate and just-awakening souls. The initiated understood that the signs were used to stir the intellect of the unfolding race. These symbols have remained until this day, handed down from father to son, mother to daughter. Many still worship them, hardly understanding what they do. Yet when a heart is felt in a mantra or prayer, can a God resist love?

"It matters not the legend, as you call it, or the beginnings, if the heart is open. Slowly, the understanding and higher consciousness will follow and be experienced within as the growth of the soul. For is that not what man's life on the physical plane is all about?

"The growth is the moving upward from the lowest chakra to the highest chakra. Does it matter what My form is all about if the results ensue? The ignorant, the unlearned children, will not want change, but change will come in spite of that, for at the time of the end of every age or epoch, there is a cutting away of the old. Jesus said, `I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.' (John 15:1-2). The branches that are not taking root in the Truth, that are dead, must be cut away to make room for the living.

"You have known Me in My true form, as beautiful as My Brother Skanda, but do you love Me any less in a grotesque appearance as an elephant? Does My princely and Godly form, as you call it, give you any more wisdom, or does it just plant a seed of desire to understand what is behind the symbolism?

"When I appear to you as Ganesha the Elephant, and you say you see beauty, joy and laughing eyes, is that not as beautiful as a princely form? I have nurtured the race from its inception long ages past and will continue to do so for the children of the planet Earth. Is that enough? Or do you need to know that I am Wisdom and that I bring it forth within all who worship and open up their beings to know the Truth?

"All Hindu myth is symbolic, and behind each form is another story for those who seek. To know truth, one must step aside from the Earth and fathom deeply. These answers, when discovered, satisfy the soul. Others, steeped in fantasy and lore, will have no interest in these inner meanings. The outward appearance is enough for them. They wend their way from life to life, never digging deep into the mystery of the Self to find the diamond hidden there. To those of My children who have lived eternally in the Light, I am a Prince, I am Divinity, it is true. I took the elephant form to teach, awaken and stir the cells of the brain in those who dwelt upon this Earth so long ago, who were swallowed by the flooding waters and sank below.

"Again, in another age, they took form to start the upward climb to knowledge, just emerging from the animal state, this everlasting wending upward from dust of earthly life. Could I, as a Son of God, have helped that race with words not understood, when all that they could comprehend was to strive and live from dawn to dusk?

"The evolution of man has been slow but sure. Time is naught; it is a fragmentation of the mind."

I saw a quick transition from Ganesha's serene face as an elephant back to a princely face like Skanda's, and back and forth, again and again, from one face to another. Ganesha continued:
"The two forms I just revealed are both true. Both are real to those who know I am a princely form; to others, I am Ganesha the Elephant. I am the Intelligence, the Word of Truth, that starts the upward climb. As it has been said, "In the beginning was the Word," and the beginning was Intelligence. So My trunk forms the letter in Hindu scripture that represent Om, the word or sound of thought. In those days when giants roamed the Earth and the Sons of God came down to help the race of Mother Earth, I repeat, I trod the Earth. And as time ensued, to create an understanding of what I was teaching, a symbol for the newly evolving race was made. The simplicity of an elephant was one which could be understood - one who could overcome all obstacles. The overcoming of obstacles of the lower self was taught thus.

"That I have shown you My True Self, does that make you wiser or your life less hard? Or does this answer the riddle that you have so long pondered upon when others would not listen as you tried to tell them of My True Form?

"You have seen with your soul's eye the truth of My Being. The race of Earth still in ignorance dwells, hardly using one small portion of its God-given brain. It remains stagnant and ignorant, unable to understand Wisdom and Life, Truth and Light. We of the celestial realms plead that evil shall drop its dark veil that has kept man in ignorance of his own Self. For this, My Brother of many names - whom you address as Sri Skanda and others call Subramanyam, Murugan, and other such names until they realize that He is the Divine Essence of God - took form to break the darkness of evil. I have taken form to break the darkness of ignorance.

"Thank you, children, for your interest in Truth.
"I will reward all those who will read this book
and understand with their inner souls.
Ganesha or Prince, all the same am I.
What matters the outer form to the One on High?
"I, Sri Ganesha, First-born Son of Shiva, have spoken."

After Ganesha finished, I came out from my room deep in thought. "Is this true, all that Lord Ganesha has said?" My eyes were drawn to a bright yellow pamphlet in the bookcase. I took it out. It was called The Glory of Ganapati (another name for Ganesha), written by Sri Vasishtha Ganapati Muni.

This book was new to me and I started to read it in amazement, because within this little booklet's pages was confirmation of all Sri Ganesha had said. The Hindu scriptures and the Bible were coming together in truth.
It said, "Ganapati represents the Primordial Sound from which all worlds have taken birth. He is the Lord of the Spoken Word, the Master of Speech." The Lord of Speech represents the sound `Omkar,' or `Om.' This was reminiscent of the first verse of John in the Bible, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."

I turned another page, and Sri Muni said, "The Image may look monstrous, grotesque [the same word used by Ganesha] to the ordinary vision, but to those who can really see, the divine beauty and harmony of form will be unfolded." He called Him "Prince Elder, the first-born." In the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures, the Creator of Word is in charge of creation, because all manifests from sound.

"Counted as first in the Galaxy of Gods, He occupies a unique place in the worship of the realm of yogic sadhana (spiritual effort). To rational minds, the half-animal and half-human form of the deity is the creation for a primitive age when man was first emerging from the subcontinent in an animal state. In this way, the Elephant was understood by those whose evolution was just beginning. To make the Godhead understandable at the time of Lemuria and before, they cast the idea, the power and the purpose of the Godhead into a figure or image. As Sri Aurobindo said, `The spirit in form, the soul in body.'"

Sri Muni continues: "Therefore the Gods came down from the Supreme Ether, to take their part in the cosmic functions, and also to descend to Earth and be born in the heart of man so there would begin to grow a relationship and intimacy and finally an identity between God and Man." Thus, Sri Muni's book confirmed all that had come from the wisdom of the diamond within, as told to me by Sri Ganesha.

The Bible also confirms this: "In those days there were giants in the Earth; and also after that, when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men." This was a sacrifice of the Celestials to help hasten the evolution of humankind.

Christian doctrine says that the Lord, the Father, is in heaven and sends the Son of God to bear the cross and lead humanity. This truth also is sustained through the work of the Perfected Beings. These Masters are high above, watching closely the progress of the Earth, and they manifest or send down their emissaries to help at the hour of need. The Planetary Beings are watching over us, ready to come to our rescue if necessary.

Therefore, many parts of the puzzle of life found in various scriptures have come together to make the picture more clear.

O Son of Shiva, shining like a resplendent sun, a Prince, please keep Thy word to us and dispel the veil of darkness from all who read this book and let them be triumphant in combat with their inner battles and be unvanquished and know their own True Self.

I humbly bow before Thee,
My Beloved Prince Ganesha



The incredible account above is an  extract from Hilda Charlton's wonderful book Skanda.  To know more please click at the link below :

http://www.hildacharlton.com/store-books-info.asp?id=7



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sai Baba manifests the Kohinoor


The manifestation of the Kohinoor diamond was a spectacle noticed by the students' batch of 1986 when the MBA batch of that year was called by Baba for a class interview (interview for the whole class). The talk began with a few students questioning Baba about Indian history. The topic ranged from the different kings of India, their adept administration and their love for their subjects. Ranjit Singh's name too was mentioned by Swami as one of those who gave up his life for his subject's well being. Ranjit Singh was one of the great rulers of Punjab and possessed the KOHINOOR, the priceless diamond that is said to be the most fabulous and the costliest ever. Once the topic of discussion shifted to Ranjit Singh, the focus shifted to Kohinoor.

Ranjit Singh possessed the Kohinoor diamond but since he died issueless, as per laws prevalent that time, his kingdom was annexed into the British Union and a Governor-General was appointed on behalf of Her Excellency there. Once the governor came, he transferred all assets chief among them being Ranjit Singh's famed peacock throne and the matchless Kohinoor. Kohinoor and the peacock throne among others have since then been kept in possession of the British Queen in a museum far from the visibility of the general public.

As the Kohinoor was being discussed, Baba suddenly felt silent. A few moments later, the entire assembly fell silent, with all eyes on Baba. Baba got up, walked among the students gave a look here and there, came back the same way and sat back on His seat. "Would you all like to see the kohinoor?" asked Baba to the surprise of everyone present there. He suddenly whirled His hand in air and there came in his hand a huge diamond. As everyone tried going nearer in excitement, Baba stopped them and said "Wait, this is counterfeit. Kohinoor is always kept in guard. Two guards always keep watch over it walking form one end to another. If the guards find the kohinoor missing, they will raise an alarm. I have created this counterfeit to replace the actual diamond with this when I actually bring the real one here.      
           
Swami then closed His eyes, and said "Now they are crossing.... time for replacement" so saying Swami let go the diamond that was there in His hand. Almost simultaneously He seemed to say " Come.." and in the air came flying, into His hand, the 'Kohinoor'.

As it came, Baba held it in His hand for all to see. The diamond was quite huge and Baba passed it around for all to see. As it was being passed, Baba said, "OK, Now.... Have you all seen it?". "Swami, a minute more", said everyone. As it kept passing, Baba watched everyone look so eagerly at Kohinoor. A while later He said "All right, That's enough, time to send it back.". So saying, Baba asked for the diamond. As it was handed over to Baba, Baba let it go off in air saying, "go" and as it disappeared into thin air, the imitation came flying into Baba's hand. Baba held it in His hand and blew it, it disappeared.

Baba, after a moment's silence, said, "All of you were so engrossed in looking at the diamond. Did any one of you even glance at ME, who created it, as you clamored for a look at that piece of creation...?" No one spoke for Baba had spoken the truth. Not one of them had done so. Baba continued, "The whole world is like that. It runs after the created, the materialistic desires, and not GOD, the creator".

The assembly remained silent. Baba got up and as He moved towards His room turned back and said "Money comes and goes, Morality comes and grows. Money and materials are temporary. They relate to the body, which itself is temporary. Then how come these materials will give you lasting joy? HAPPINESS IS UNION WITH GOD. SEEK THE HIGHEST AND EVERYTHING ELSE SHALL GET ADDED ON TO YOU."

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Atheist Critic Interviews Sri Satya Sai Baba : An incredible account

Russy Karanjia was a special correspondent at The Times of India, before leaving to start Blitz in 1941. A small, delicately architectured Parsi, quite a contrast to his towering reputation, Karanjia prided himself on his interviews with world leaders from Anwar Sadat to Nikita Krushchev to Marshal Tito in the Nehruvian non-alignment era.
His interactions with the Shah of Iran resulted in a book The Mind of a Monarch.

A self-declared atheist and Marxist, Karanjia tore into crooks and charlatans, and among his favourite targets was the Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. When Sai Baba gave him rare access and interviews, Karanjia turned around, and admitted he was wrong, and proclaimed him as a living god, even becoming his follower.



The Extended Interview given by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to the Senior Editor, Sri R.K. Karanjia of Blitz News Magazine in September of 1976 :


R.K. Karanjia, Blitz Newsmagazine: At the outset, Swamiji, we would like to know something about your triple incarnation -- past, present and future -- that is, from Shirdi Sai Baba to Sathya Sai Baba and the Prema Sai Baba to come, according to your prophecy.

Baba: First of all, you must grasp the complete oneness of the three incarnations of contemporary times with those of the past like Rama and Krishna. This is a difficult task. When people cannot understand the present, how can they comprehend the past ? Every incarnation is full and complete in relation to the time, environment and the task. There is no distinction between the various appearances of God as Rama, Krishna or Sai.
Rama came to feed the roots of truth and righteousness, Krishna followed to foster the plant of peace and love. Now these sacred principles are in danger of wholesale destruction by reason of human weakness under the onslaught of evil forces. They are overcoming the good, the spiritual and the divine in man. That is why the present Avathar has come invested with the totality of cosmic power to save dharma (righteousness) from anti-dharma.

Q: By the present Avathar, you mean Sai Baba?

Baba: Yes, I incarnate from age to age, time to time, to save dharma from anti-dharma. Whenever strife, discord and disharmony overwhelm the world, God incarnates in human form to show mankind the way to love, harmony and peace.

Q: That is understandable. But skeptics wonder why God should assume human form?

Baba: Because that is the only way to incarnate the God within man. The Avathar takes the human form and behaves in a human way so that humanity can feel kinship with divinity. At the same time he rises to godly heights so that mankind also can aspire to reach God. The realization of the indwelling God as the motivator of life is the task for which Avathars come in human form.

Previous Avathars like Rama and Krishna had to destroy a few individuals who could be identified as enemies of the godly way of life and thus restore the dharmic path. Today, however, wickedness has tainted so many that humanity itself stands under the threat of destruction. Therefore, in My present Avathar, I have come armed with the fullness of the power of formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people back on the right path of truth, righteousness, peace and love to divinity.

Message of Triple Incarnation

Q: Why had this task to be divided into three separate incarnations of the Shirdi, Sathya and Prema Babas?

Baba: They are not separate. I have already mentioned the complete oneness of the three in the final objective of the mission. I will give you an example. Take a kilo of gur (a sweet substance). The whole of it tastes sweet. Next break it into small pieces. Each of them is sweet. Finally break them into small grains. You find the same sweetness in them. So the difference is one of quantity and not quality. It is the same with the Avathars. Their tasks and powers requisite to them differ according to the time, the situation and the environment. But they belong to, and derive from, one and the same dharma swarup or divine body.

Let us take the example of fruit. It begins with the seed which grows into the tree and from it comes the fruit. Work can be compared to the seed, worship to the tree and wisdom to the fruit.

The previous Avathar, Shirdi Baba, laid the base for secular integration and gave mankind the message [that] duty is work. The mission of the present Avathar is to make everybody realize that the same God or divinity resides in everyone. People should respect, love and help each other irrespective of color or creed. Thus all work can become a way of worship. Finally, Prema Sai, the third Avathar will promote the evangel news that not only does God reside in everybody, but everybody is God. That will be the final wisdom which will enable every man and woman to go to God. The three Avathars carry the triple message of work, worship and wisdom.

Man Must Develop into Mankind

Q: So that is the holy mission and divine purpose of this triple incarnation?

Baba: To unite all mankind into one caste or family in the establishment of the unity - that is, Atmic realization - in every man or woman, which is the basis on which cosmic design rests. Once this is realized, the common divine heritage that binds man to man to God will become apparent and love shall prevail as the guiding light of the universe.
In the first place, man has to develop into mankind in the fullness of its integrated potential. At present mankind as such is absent in the world. There is no synthesis between thought, word and deed. Man today thinks one thing, says something different, and acts quite the contrary. So what we have is the individual man, confused, confounded and bombarded with contradictory thoughts. What we do not see is mankind in him motivated by good thoughts, good words and good deeds. We have to make him realize God within him to develop a synthesis correlating thought, word and deed.

Once this primary lesson is taught in the family, the school, the college, the society, the cities, the states, the nations of the world, then man will become conscious of the fact that all mankind belongs to one family. As Christ preached, all are one, be alike to everyone. The vital issue is the oneness: one caste, one class, one creed of humanity: and this can be achieved only by the surrender of one's self or ego to pure, selfless, universal love and devotion. Love is the basis, the common denominator, and devotion the divine spark, the cementing, unifying, integrating factor between man and man, and man and God.

Let Me give you an illustration. (Baba spreads his handkerchief on the ground between us). Here is a piece of cloth. As you see, it is all made of threads. Pull out the threads separately and the cloth becomes weak. Put them together and it is firm and strong. It is the same with mankind. Love binds it like the million, billion threads in cloth and devotion reunites it with God. I, therefore embody love and use it as My instrument to regenerate man and create the brotherhood of mankind with the help of the latter's devotion. I always say: Start the day with love. Fill the day with love. End the day with love. This is the quickest way, the surest path to God.

Life is love, enjoy it;
Life is a challenge, meet it;
Life is a song, sing it;
Life is a dream, realize it;
Life is a game, play it.

Shirdi Baba Incarnate

Q: Did Shirdi Baba actually claim that he would be born eight years after his death in 1918?

Baba: Yes, he did. This has been recorded by Kaka Dikshit as well as a number of other devotees who were with Shirdi Baba.

Q: What makes you so sure that you are Shirdi Baba incarnate?

Baba: The knowledge of My own authentic experience, of course. Since no one who knew Shirdi Baba is alive today, there is no evidence except My own knowledge and experience. The very fact that I announced that I am Shirdi Baba 40 years ago, when I was only 10 and when nobody in this part of the South had known or even heard of Shirdi Baba proves this fact.


Q: The existing situation driven by evil forces to destruction as you have correctly analyzed it, appears to suggest the inevitability of another Mahabharata-type (an epic relating to the battle of Kurukshetra) war. Does this mean that the salvation for which you are working can be consummated only after a destructive war?

Baba: The evil must and shall be removed before such a catastrophe takes place. There will be minor wars and skirmishes, of course: these cannot be helped in the existing state of affairs. The Mahabharata war was a different issue altogether. Lord Krishna decreed it and, in fact, led Arjuna to the battlefield in order to rid the world of evil men and ungodly forces.

Today, as I told you, the evil is so widespread that humanity itself would be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust in the event of a world war. It is to prevent such a catastrophe that this Avathar has come to raise human consciousness above the existing syndrome of anger, hate, violence and war and save the world from disaster. This can be achieved only by the reestablishment of the brotherhood of mankind though the Vedas, Shastras and all religions with their evangel of dharma to liberate the human race from the chains of karma (the cycle of birth and death). I always say: Let the different faiths exist, let them flourish, let the glory of God be sung in all the languages in a variety of tunes. They should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognize them as valid so far as they do not extinguish the flame of unity.

God is Man Minus Desire

Q: From what Baba has said, it seems that there is not much difference or dichotomy between God and man. Am I right?

Baba: Quite right, God is man and man is God. All of us have something of God, the divine spark, within us. All men are divine like Myself, but with the spirit embodied in human flesh and bone. The only difference is that they are unaware of this Godhood. They have come into this karmic prison through the mistakes of many lives. I have taken this mortal form out of My own free will. They are bound to the body, while I am free of this bondage. The main difference is that they are shoved hither and thither by desire but I have no desire except the supreme one to make them desireless.
Take paddy or rice by way of an illustration. Every grain of rice is enclosed in a husk. You have to remove the husk to get the grain of rice. Now husk and rice, both come from the same seed. Rice is the equivalent of God in man, while the husk can be compared to desire which reduces God to man. Therefore, My formula is:

LIFE + DESIRE = MAN
LIFE - DESIRE = GOD

The Way to Self-Realization

Q: In what way can life without desire make Gods of men?

Baba: Life without desire means the realization of the pure, genuine self that is Atma. Bound to desire, the self degenerates into selfishness. Atma turns into ego. The way of self-realization is to cleanse the self of this ego of selfishness. Then you reach a state of consciousness beyond the mind or intellect, revealing the true self that is God. The mind is like a cloth that covers andstifles consciousness, the threads of which are desires. If we give up the desires, the threads fall and the cloth disappears, revealing our true nature. That is what the Vedanta (epic of ancient wisdom and knowledge) means when it enjoins that one must get rid of the ego to realize oneself.

Q: You mean that the mind of man as such creates the block between man and God?

Baba: Yes. One must make a distinction between the mind that is the ego, and the real self that is consciousness. The latter helps us to cross the frontiers of the ego-mind and become aware of oneself as the witness of truth. Normally the scientist of the mind looks outside to what can be perceived by the senses existing in the world of the mind to ask: What is this? The scientist of consciousness, on the other hand, always looks inside to that which is beyond the senses or the grasp of the mind to ask: What is that?

One has, therefore, to rise beyond the mind to consciousness to achieve self-realization. To gain the infinite, universal Atma, the embodied self must break out of the puny, finite little prison of individuality. Desire belongs to the senses, the brain, the mind; once you become free of it, you realize the self, Atma, consciousness, enlightenment, and become one with the cosmic power. Self realization is God-realization. Thus man reaches God.

Q: What is the significance of the vibuthi (holy ash) and the trinkets that you materialize and give to people? Is there any need for a Godman to demonstrate such miracles which any magician can conjure?

Baba: So far as I am concerned this is evidence of My divinity. It is not by any means an exhibition of divinity. All performances of magic, as you know are done for the sake of income. These are tricks of the magicians trade. They constitute a kind of legalized cheating, the transfer of an object from one place to another by a trick of the hand which goes unnoticed. They involve no siddhi (occult power) or miraculous power.

What I do is quite a different act of creation. It is neither magic, nor is it siddhi power either. For one thing, I seek no return. For another, I do not cheat people by transferring objects, but I create them. Again, I do so not because of any need or desire of exhibition of My powers. For Me this is a kind of calling card to convince people of My love for them and secure their devotion in return. Since love is formless, I do materialization as evidence of My love. It is merely a symbol.

Q: Still I do not understand why you should materialize rings, bracelets, watches and those kind of trinkets...

Baba: Most people desire talismans as symbolic of My protection. So I provide them. When they are in trouble they feel the grip of the ring, bracelet or watch to remember Me and call Me to their rescue so that I can help them. On the other hand, if I give them something they cannot wear, they are likely to store it and forget about it.

The main thing is that these trinkets or talismans, by whatever name you call them, give people a sense of security and protection they need in times of troubles or crises and create a symbolic link covering the long distances between them and Myself. When the devotees need Me, these objects flash the message as if by wireless and I instantly come to their rescue.

Q: I am sorry to be persistent, Swamiji, but isn't the gift of an Omega or HMT watch an act of cheating the company or breach of its patent?

Baba: I assure you there is no such thing. It would be cheating the company or breaching the patent if it were a case of transfer of the watch from one place to the other. But I do not transfer; I totally create. Whatever I will, instantly materializes. I know of no company that has complained about any breach of patent.

Significance of Vibuthi (Holy Ash)

Q: What about vibuthi materialized by you? We would like to know its relevance because your critics are trying to discredit you by sending around magicians who produce exact replicas of vibuthi.

Baba: What I materialize is a manifestation of divinity with a potent significance as well as symbolism. It is symbolic of the cosmic, immortal and infinite nature of all forms of God, Atma or the spirit -- that is, what is left when everything worldly, transient and changeable has burnt away.

I have spoken to you of the imperative of a desireless life. After Shiva had burnt the God of desire, Kama, into a heap of ashes, he adorned himself with the ash to shine as the conqueror of desire. When Kama was destroyed, Prema reigned as the Goddess of love. Such is the significance of ash.

In the first place, it is symbolic of the life-death cycle in which everything ultimately reduces itself to ash. "For dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou returnest." Ash or dust is the final condition of things. It cannot undergo any further change. In the spiritual context, it constitutes a warning to the receiver to give up desire, to burn all passions, attachments and temptations, and makes one pure in thought, word and deed.

It is in order to press home this lesson that I materialize ash for those who come to Me with love and devotion. Like the other materializations, it also acts as a talisman, healing the sick and giving protection to those who need it. It is the symbol of divinity, quite different from the magician's trickery mentioned by you.

Miracles of Healing

Q: You are believed to have performed miraculous cures to the extent of resurrecting the dead. There are cases where you reportedly saved people from drowning and other accidents in distant places. Medical experts have attested to remote controlled surgical operations performed by you. How do you manage these?

Baba: By My own sankalpa -- that is, divine will and power. As an Avathar, this power is intrinsic, inherent, total and natural to My will and decision. I need no mantra (mystical formula), no sadhana (spiritual practice), no tantra (sacred writings) and no yantra (pilgrimage) to perform the so-called miracles which are natural to My state. My powers are simply the expression or assertion of the reality of goodness which merges Me with everything, everywhere, at all times and places. The miracles belong to the boundless power of God.

Now coming to the main points of your question, this healing phenomena has a dual aspect. I can cure, save, even resurrect people provided they are in a spiritually receptive condition. It is like the positive and negative currents of electricity. My capacity to heal can be compared to the positive current. Your devotion to Me is like the negative current. Once the two come together, the devotion provides what is called the miracle of healing.

It is man's mind that is really responsible for his illness or health. He himself is the cause or motivator of either. So when it comes to healing or curing, the necessary faith has to be created within his mind for the purpose. All I do is invest him with the confidence, will and power to cure himself. It is My abounding love reciprocated by the intensity of the devotee's faith in Me that produce the desired result.

Not Siddhis or Magical Tricks

Q: So these are not siddhic powers or magical tricks, as your critics suggest?

Baba: They are neither magical tricks nor siddhic (occult) powers, which can come to everybody with the appropriate discipline and yoga exercises, but My powers to protect, heal and save people and materialize objects originate in God and can be used only by an Avathar. They are in no way designed, disciplined or developed, but flow from cosmic power.

Q: Some say that you command invisible spirits which can transfer objects from one place to another on your orders.
Baba: There is no need for Me to command invisible spirits since My own divine will materializes the objects. I am everything, everywhere, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; and so whatever I will, instantly happens. Like the qualities of truth, love and peace, these are things that generate the atmic (godly) or cosmic forces behind the universe.

Q: Your followers at home as well as abroad claim positive evidence of the presence of Baba in their innermost hearts. Some have written of you as their in-dwelling God. What is the explanation of this phenomenon?

Baba: This is the grace begotten of My love for them reciprocated by their devotion. After all, as I repeatedly say, we all belong to the samedivine principle. The godliness which is present in everybody in the form of a little spark is present in Me as the full flame, and it is My mission to develop every little spark of God in everyone to the fullness of the divine flame.

The first imperative of this development is that the receiver of the grace also provides from his or her side the devotion necessary to the consummation. Those who carry the presence of Baba in their hearts like an in-dwelling God belong to these kinds of devotees. They come to Me, see Me and hear Me, experience My love for them and receive it with devotion. Thus, they become part of Me and My divinity.

To the doubting or confused ones, I give this illustration. Those who want to secure pearls from the sea have to dive deep to fetch them. It does not help them to dabble among the shallow waves near the shore and say that the sea has no pearls and all stories about them are false. Likewise, if a person wants to secure the love and grace of this Avathar, he must also dive deep and get submerged in Sai Baba. Then, only, will he become one with Me and carry Me in his innermost heart.


Q: The critics of Swamiji ask why Sai Baba does not help people in distress by bringing rains in times of drought or creating food where there is famine by means of his sankalpa shakti (divine power, universal energy). Cannot an Avathar help humanity to control the natural forces and prevent calamities like earthquakes, floods, droughts, famine and epidemics?

Baba: This is precisely what I am doing by incarnating the in-dwelling God in man to overcome such calamities. There are two ways in which an Avathar can help people: an instant solution as against a long term one.

Any instant solution would go against the fundamental quality of nature itself as well against the karmic law of cause and effect. Most people live in the material world of their desires and egos, which is governed by this law. They reap the fruits of their actions. This brings about their evolution or devolution. If the Avathar intervenes to instantly solve their problems, it would stop all action, development, even evolution. This solution can be ruled out because it totally negates the natural laws.

The other and more effective alternative presents a long-term solution whereby the Avathar leads the people themselves to a higher level of consciousness to enable them to understand the truth of spiritual laws so that they may turn towards righteousness and steadfastly work for better conditions. This will relate them back to nature and the karmic law of causation. This would then transcend the cycle of cause and effect in which today they are involved as victims and thereby command and control the natural forces to be able to avert the calamities you mention.

Raising Man to God

Q: You mean that you are presently raising the consciousness of mankind to a godlike condition to enable them to command their own destiny?

Baba: Exactly. They would become shareholders of My sankalpa shakti (divine power, universal energy). I have to work through them, rouse the in-dwelling God in them and evolve them to a higher reality in order to enable them to master the natural law and forces. If I cure everything instantly, leaving the people at their present levels of consciousness, they would soon mess up things and be at one another's throats again with the result that the same chaotic situation would develop in the world.

Suffering and misery are the inescapable acts of the cosmic drama. God does not decree these calamities but man invites them by way of retribution for his own evil deeds. This is corrective punishment which induces mankind to give up the wrong path and return to the right path so that he may experience the godlike condition of sat-chit-ananda -- that is, an existence of wisdom and bliss. All this is part of the grand synthesis in which the negatives serve to glorify the positives. Thus death glorifies immortality, ignorance glorifies wisdom, misery glorifies bliss, night glorifies dawn.
So, finally, if the Avathar brings the calamities mentioned by you to an immediate end, which I can do, and do, when there is a great need, the whole drama of creation with its karmic (universal, inescapable duty) law will collapse. Remember, these calamities occur not because of what God has made of man but really because of what man has made of man. Therefore, man has to be unmade and remade with his ego destroyed and replaced by a transcendent consciousness so that he may rise above the karmic to command.


Q: Have you succeeded in bringing about this synthesis, Swamiji, particularly with the wealthy and powerful classes?

Baba: I have not reached all of them as a class, but to the extent that I am able to contact them individually, the results are encouraging. The wealthy and powerful, of course, present a difficult problem in the matter of transformation. They need a special approach. The poor people, on the other hand, are very cooperative. They understand, appreciate and help My plans and ideas.


Q: What is the solution to this escalating conflict between wealth and power on one side, and poverty and weakness on the other?

Baba: The transformation of both into a single cooperative brotherhood on terms of equality without competition or conflict. This can result only from truth and love. The main issue is to fuse the two classes into one single class. The problem, however, is one of bringing them together on a common base or platform. Wealthy people live isolated in a certain state or condition. The poor also are similarly isolated in another state or condition. How do we bring them together?

I do so in many subtle ways by breaking the barriers of wealth and poverty and creating a feeling of equality and oneness between the poor and the rich. In this ashram (spiritual community) you find them living and working together, even performing menial labor on terms of complete equality. Here there are no distinctions whatever, nor any special facilities for the rich. They live, eat, work, worship and sleep like the poor. All live like a community of workers to share the common austerities of the ashram.

Despite our rigorous discipline, industrialists and businessmen want to come here. Why? Because they secure peace of mind beyond physical comfort which no wealth or power on earth can purchase or provide.

Thus we open to them a wonderful new world of spiritual treasures and they must sacrifice material wants and comforts. My mission is to show them the way to peace of mind which everybody, rich and poor alike, desires. In that process of spiritual evolution, the seeker learns that this blissful state cannot be purchased for money in a shop or gifted to one by anybody but oneself. It can come only from the universal source of divinity, the in-dwelling God that embraces poor and rich alike. This concept creates a common fellowship, a brother hood of give and take between the wealthy and the poor. Those who have too much are obliged to give up their unnecessary wants, while those who have too little get their needs fulfilled.

After all, in spiritual terms, all mankind belongs to one and the same class, caste or religion. The divine principles in each and all of them derive from one and the same God. This fundamental oneness has to be made manifest to them through direct contact with spiritual realities and the persuasive expanding power of love, till they become part of the universal religion of work, worship and wisdom.


Material Wealth is Spiritual Poverty

Q: All this would be simple and welcome evangel for the poor since they lose nothing and gain everything from your philosophy, but what about the rich who have to lose all if they followed it?

Baba: That is the crux of the problem. They simply have to lose, surrender, submerge their false values if they want My grace. So long as people continue to be slaves of materialistic definitions of wealth and poverty, there can be no solution. I, therefore, try to convert their minds and hearts to spiritual values and truths.

After all, who is the richest man? One who has the largest wants and, therefore, troubles and worries? Or one who is satisfied with the barest necessities of life and, therefore, is more or less desireless and comparatively happy? Judged from this criterion of happiness, the poor are spiritually rich but the rich are spiritually poor. It is not material but spiritual satisfaction that ultimately makes life worth living.

As I have said before, life without desire brings divinity to man; and those who seek My grace must shed desire and greed. Riches provide a fatal temptation. They are the source and cause of human bondage. The desire to raise the standard of life can never be satisfied. It leads to multiplication of wants and consequent troubles and frustrations.

The solution lies in our emphasis on the quality as against the standard of life, on high thinking and lowly living. The mind is the horse, the body the cart: to achieve mental peace, you must put the horse of high thinking before the cart of physical comfort.


Q: This is sound philosophy but how do you implement it in action?

Baba: The rich as well as the poor come to Sai Baba to seek love, peace and liberation from their problems and troubles. My prescription to them is absolute selflessness and desirelessness. To the poor, this is a natural state or condition. So My love flows to them to embrace their devotion. Thus they obtain My grace.

The rich, on the other hand, cannot secure this grace without surrendering their materialistic outlook and selfish attachments. So it becomes obligatory for them to sacrifice material greed to receive spiritual grace. I tell them:
Ego lives by getting and forgetting,
Love lives by giving and forgiving.

In this way, I change their mental attitude. I transform their monkey-minds into loving, giving and forgiving minds.


Q: Monkey-minds, Baba -- what do you mean?

Baba: It is a kind of mentality that is used by peasants to trap and destroy monkeys. When the peasant wants to catch a monkey, he uses a big pot with a narrow mouth as a trap. Inside the pot he puts edibles which the monkey loves. The monkey finds the pot and puts its paws inside to grasp as much of the stuff as it can hold. Once it does so, it is unable to pull out its paws from the small mouth of the pot. It imagines that someone inside the pot is holding its paws, so it struggles and attempts to runaway with the pot, only to fail and get trapped. No one is holding the monkey; it has trapped itself because of its greed. If only it lets the stuff in its paws go, it will be free of bondage.

In the same way I tell rich people, man is tempted by the wealth, pleasures and desires of the world. When he gets lost in such attachment and suffers the consequences of greed, he thinks that something is binding him down, capturing him, destroying him. The moment he gives up material wealth and desires, he will be free. I make him realize his bondage to the monkey-mind and liberate himself.


Baba's Spiritual Socialism

Q: Baba seems to be prescribing a kind of spiritual socialism based on the conversion of wealth into a trusteeship for the removal of poverty.

Baba: Yes, a trusteeship based on love, cooperation and brotherhood. What else can one do? The change must evolve from the heart; it cannot be imposed from outside. All materialist doctrines have failed to bring about any real transformation. There is no equality anywhere. Only spiritual transformation into a desireless mentality can put through the imperative revolution in human consciousness from which alone the desired changes can accrue.
We need to transform society from false to real values. We have to convince people that the ideal of a high standard of life is wrong. It must be replaced with a high level of living and thinking on the basis of humility, morality, compassion and etachment, as against the existing greed for competitive luxury and conspicuous consumption. People have to be convinced that the only way to rouse the latent divinity in them is to master desires and conquer greed for pleasure and luxury instead of being a slave to these false materialistic values.


Q: Then I take it that the various educational and social service organizations run by Baba -- some 3,000 in all -- are designed to create the cadres necessary for bringing about the desired socioeconomic change by means of love and persuasion?

Baba: They are designed to put the new generation on the Sai path of truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. Their motto -- work is worship and duty is God -- seeks to bring in the new social order related to Sathya -- that is, truth, and dharma -- namely, right action.

Q: India has been described as a rich country of poor people. We have the wealth of the whole world locked up in the bosom of our good earth. And yet the people remain economically poor and backward. Have you any solution to rehabilitate our economy?

Baba: Your analysis is correct. The solution to the problem you have posed lies in hard work and increased production on a cooperative basis. To achieve this, one has to rid people of the disease of individuality, greed and selfishness. Every individual must be taught to think and work in the broader concept of society and its needs. Once that is done, there will be less talk and more work.

Here again, it is the spiritual path that can save this country and the world from the wrongs of a materialistic order. What we need is a synthesis of the spiritual and material aspects of life. That will provide man with the social conscience and cooperative spirit imperative to the creation of national wealth and prosperity through selfless, cooperative labor.

Q: Very good counsel, Swamiji - but the trouble is that all the wealth created by labor appears to find its way into the pockets of a rich and powerful minority. Have you a spiritual prescription for this inequality?

Baba: There is no doubt that the distribution is not taking place properly. The existing doctrines of equality, socialism, etc., have not succeeded in achieving equality in distribution of wealth and property. The difficulty is that you equalize, wealth, land and property by legalization, but can the law bring about equality in the desires of the people? This requires the healing touch of spiritualism.

To begin with, one has to cure desire and its evil consequences. We must persuade the rich that desire and its fulfillment in materialistic wants is an aspect of the monkey-mind which can only harm them and put them under bondage. That alone will solve the problem of inequality and maldistribution.

The rich will give up their extravagant wants, the poor will get what they need and a little more; and this process will bring about more equitable distribution.


Q: To conclude this section, Swamiji, would you sum up the main causes of India's social and economic backwardness?

Baba: From a purely material viewpoint, it is a question of supply and demand. Because of the overpowering material values of our society, the demand is growing larger and larger, while the supply remains the same or decreases. The solution, obviously, is to increase the supply or decrease the demand. Then, of course, there is the problem of growing population. This triangular issue of economic imbalance needs to be spiritualised if an effective solution is to be found.

It is here that our insistence on a desireless life, in which human wants are reduced to the minimum needs, comes to the rescue as the only possible way of restoring the social and economic balance. Curb your desires, reduce your wants, live in spiritual austerity, and the available material will be sufficient for all humanity. More than that, the tensions of a competitive socioeconomic system will be dissolved and peace of mind will be restored.

Life is like a journey in a vehicle between birth and death. The body is the vehicle in which you are motoring to death. The less luggage you carry the better. Why encumber yourself with worldly riches and material comforts, when you may have to change your course or even meet with some dislocation or accident and, in any case, at the end of the journey you will have to leave behind all your possessions accept your Atma? Would it not be better to attend to the immortal spirit rather than waste time which is running out on gaining wealth and securing comforts?
This is the logic of spiritualism with which I seek to change the attitude of people.


Q: Baba has already clarified most of the issues raised by Dr. Narasimhiah and other critics. Some, however, remain unanswered. Narasimhiah asks why you do not materialize a pumpkin or a cucumber or a watch with a distinct mark to prove that it is your creation and not a transfer of somebody else's manufacture?

Baba: Pumpkins and cucumbers can be materialized as easily as rings or objects. But these are perishable objects and the whole point of materialization, as I have already explained, lies in their permanence. That is why rings or watches become more serviceable as talismans or means of contact and communication, between the Avathar and his devotees.
The point they are trying to make is that big objects like pumpkins cannot be transferred while small ones like rings can be. But as I have repeatedly said, I do not transfer things by a sleight-of-hand. I create them to be talismans.
Now coming to your question about a ring or watch with a distinct mark to prove that it is My own creation, would you like Me to materialize something for you?

Miracle of OM Ring

Q: Yes, Swamiji, I certainly would.

Baba waved his hand in the air to produce a silver ring bearing the inscription OM in the centre with Sai Ram marks on the sides and held My right hand to gently put it on the third finger. It was an exact fit and it was precisely what I wanted from Baba.

Q: Thank you, Baba, you have answered the question beautifully. Now to Narasimhiah's unanswered point regarding the bogus Sai Krishna or Pandavapura exposed by his committee as a fraud and a cheat. He alleges that the boy had your patronage.

Baba: I can assure you there is absolutely no connection between him and Myself. His people have several times attempted to arrange a meeting between us, but we have refused their requests. Of course, thousands of people, as you saw this morning, come here for darshan. There are others also who masquerade as My disciples or make money using My name. As this happens not only here but in other states and even abroad, we cannot do anything about it. They expose themselves sooner or later, as did this boy. I have absolutely no connection or relationship with such people.

Q: The Narasimhiah Committee wanted to investigate your miracles scientifically under controlled conditions, as they put it. You rejected the proposal. Would you like to comment on this controversy?

Baba: How can science which is bound to a physical and materialist outlook investigate transcendental phenomena beyond its scope, reach or comprehension? This is a fallacy on the face of it. One belongs to the material and the other to a spiritual plane. Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena; it tends, however, to exaggerate its contribution.

Q: That is true, Swamiji, but science is developing all the time so that the metaphysics of yesterday become the physics of today.

Baba: Quite right, but it is still blind to the vast and invisible world of consciousness. The very fact that science is changing all the time proves its incapacity to investigate the ultimate and absolute truth. Some time ago, scientists maintained that the atom cannot be broken, but recently they succeeded in breaking it. They are still ignorant about the realities of the pranic force behind the atom, which is the least of its components.

Science is merely a glow-worm in the light and splendor of the sun. It is true that it can research, discover and gather a lot of information about nature and its material functions and use it for the development of worldly things. Spiritualism, on the other hand, reigns over the cosmic field where science has no place. That is why some discoveries of science are useful while others can be disastrous.

As I have said before, Dr Narasimhiah and his group are like the Telugu men who go to the cinema to see a Tamil film. They will see only the dancing, the fighting and violence, the heroes and villains, the star with a beautiful face and these kinds of superficial things, but they will lose the subtler aspects such as the music and the poetry, the plot, the dialogue, the jokes and the like.

However, as I have said again and again, those who want to understand Me are welcome here. It is the spirit of the investigation that is important. Foreign parapsychologists have come here and examined Me in such a positive and constructive spirit. You have seen their reports. They do not write letters or make public demands.

Narasimhiah's approach was improper; that is why I rejected it. If it were not so, he would have been welcome. I do not call people here so that they may bow to a God. I want them to come, see, hear, study, observe, experience and realize Baba. Then only, they will understand Me and appreciate the Avathar.

Q: Dr. Narasimhiah maintains that according to science, "Nothing can be created out of nothing." You have evidently negated this law of science with a transcendental formula for controlling cosmic energy and producing paranormal power. Can you explain this mystery?

Baba: The formula that nothing can be created out of nothing is appropriate to the limited field and dimensions of science. It does not at all apply to the transcendental field and dimensions of spirituality. In the latter field, anything can be created by the supreme will. All that exists can be made to disappear and what does not exist can be made to appear.

Our history and tradition, scripture as well as literature, are full of such incidents which they call miracles. The material laws and formulas simply do not apply to divinity. For Me this is not a matter of any mystery or mystique. What I will, happens: what I order, materializes.

Q: The Vice-Chancellor appears to ridicule your statement that "There is God in us all." He asks: "Is this not pure escapism? How can God be so unsure of Himself?" Your rejoinder, please?

Baba: His questions contradict the very basis of Indian philosophy as well as that of most religions. All our scriptures assert that God is present in everyone. According to Vivekananda, "God is present in all." The only thing that is manifest and common to the whole world and, in fact, governs and directs the entire universe, is divinity. Nothing else really exists except divinity.

Mine is no escapism but the fundamental and eternal truth. I say so not because I am unsure of My own divinity. It is My confidence in its absolute and total authenticity that makes Me affirm this fact. It is the scientists who are so unsure of themselves that they indulge in escapist theories.

For example, they say that the moon is lifeless. Simultaneously, they maintain that all matter consists of moving atoms. Now isn't the moon also a conglomerate of the same moving atoms? Then how can it be lifeless? There is no matter which does not consist of atoms, electrons, neutrons and protons, which are also constantly moving. This energy, too, is God.
So also there is no human being in whom there is no divinity. To say there is no God in man is like saying that there is no atom in the moon or any large lump of matter. The omnipresence of God has been described in our ancient texts as: "ano baniyammahatoo maniyam" (God is a small particle in the smallest of particles and a large mass in the largest of masses). In this context, how can one say that God is not in man?


Q: Another pertinent issue raised by your critics is that you show a preference for wealthy and powerful people as opposed to the poor and week in the matter of divine gifts, miracle cures and individual darshans. Is this true? If so, why?

Baba: This is wrong. I never see or make any distinction between the rich and the poor. I only look at them from the viewpoint of their devotion, their desires, the sacrifice they are willing to make and their troubles. You were here this morning and saw hundreds of people, a few rich, the majority poor. Did you find Me making any distinction? All those I brought with Me to this room were poor and weak, sick or troubled.

In My view, those who appear to the world as wealthy or powerful persons really bring to Me their troubled hearts and sick minds. I cure them by asking them to surrender material wealth and power to spiritual peace and grace.

Q: From what Baba has hitherto said, it appears that your mission is to enable mankind to rediscover and incarnate its lost godliness. Am I right?

Baba: You are right. When man turns inward to realize his true self, then God will become manifest to him. Self-realization is God-realization. In simple words, it is the realization that you are not just a body and mind with physical organs, but there is within you a self - the Atma that is God - distinct from these perishable things. This self is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. The comprehension of this truth puts you on the correct path to God-realization.

Terror of Nuclear War

Q: So your objective can be summed up as a brotherhood of humanity to be achieved through the doctrine of love?

Baba: Yes, what else can save the world from thermonuclear fires? Everything points to the terror of conflagration coming; and My mission is to preempt the fires by reestablishing dharma and the spiritual law of one God, one religion, one language embracing one humanity.

I preach only one religion of love for all, which alone can integrate the human race into a brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. I know only one language of the heart beyond the mind or the intellect which relates man to man and mankind to God, thereby creating mutual understanding, cooperation and community life in peace and harmony. On this basis I want to build one humanity without any religious, caste or other barriers in a universal empire of love which would enable My devotees to feel the whole world as their family.

Q: Well said, Baba -- but wouldn't this dharma with its Hindu orientation conflict with the established religions?
Baba: No, it will not do anything of the kind because My objective is the establishment of sanathana dharma, which believes in one God as propitiated by the founders of all religions. So none has to give up his religion or deity, but through them worship the one God in all. I have come not to disturb or destroy but to confirm and vindicate everyone in his own faith.

Q: But how will that prevent a nuclear holocaust?

Baba: By removing all causes, sources, barriers and provocations of class, caste, creed, color and race, and replacing the existing hate and violence with love and non-violence. I expect to provide humanity with an evangel of peaceful cooperation to replace the present escalation to death by co-destruction.

R.K.Karanjia: Thank you, Swamiji. I am all the more grateful to you because I really did not expect you to answer the whole long list of my questions.