Tender Hearts...
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Dear Young Brothers and Sisters,

In this edition of Tender Hearts, we bring to you a very inspiring talk given in Swami's Presence by a young student, in April 2003. He asks us…….


Let me begin by telling you a little story, a story of a tree. This species of tree is supposed to be the largest and the highest in the plant kingdom. It is called the Giant Redwood tree. This tree grows in certain parts of the North American continent. This tree reaches the height of over a hundred feet. It's girth is expansive, its strength is immense. In the bark of the tree is a certain substance called tannin that gives it the red colour. Also, it gives the tree a lot more security. Fire cannot burn this tree, nor can water wet it.
This tree is like each and every one of us in our youth - strong and invincible. But what brings the downfall of this tree? This tree grows higher and higher. Thereafter, it falls down because it cannot bear its own weight. Why? The tree has shallow roots.
MAKE HIM YOUR CENTRENo matter what we are in our lives, no matter how strong, young and powerful we are, if our roots are not deep enough, we will fall. Our Lord said this morning that youth is the foundation of life. If this foundation is not strong enough, if it does not go deep enough, the building of our life will collapse when even a small earth-shake strikes.
Where should we base this foundation of our lives ? Generally we seek an education as the base of this foundation. We think that education will give us knowledge, wisdom and intelligence so that the foundation of our lives is strong, so that we will be strong.
It was when we were primary school students in Swami's school. One day Swami came to our school and said, "Boys! The education for which you have come here is like idli and all that I teach you is like chutney." One of the boys remarked, "Swami, idli is supposed to be the main dish and chutney 'is only the side dish. Your Love, Your teachings are like the idli and the worldly education is like chutney." To this, Swami replied, "Oh! No!" But the boys argued, "Swami, you are more important to us. You are like the idli, the world is like the chutney." After some time. Swami looked at us with a smile and said, "See, without the chutney, idli is bland, tasteless and useless." Without Swami's Love, without His teachings, without Swami in our lives, our lives are bland and useless.
Let us ask ourselves, "What will be our lives without Swami?" Our roots will be as shallow as those of the red wood tree. Any breeze will blow us down, even a small gust of wind will bring us down to the earth.
In our lives, at this age, we always seek a good piece of earth where we can strike our roots, we seek a centre of our lives. Many a time, the youngsters outside choose a wrong centre for their lives.
I'll give you a small exercise. Just close your eyes and think for yourselves. What is the thing that drives you every day? Who is the person that influences every action of yours? Are our parents the centre of our lives? Or are our friends the centre of our lives? Please remember, God is our only true friend. In other words, what should be the centre of our lives? We need a centre that is the strongest. We need Sai as the centre of our lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are very lucky. We are a generation on this earth blessed with a very rare ARE YOUR ROOTS DEEP AND STRONGopportunity. Where has been an Avathar so easily accessible to the millions, especially to people like us? If we make Him the centre of our lives, our lives will acquire some value.
It was a day in Kodaikanal. Swami asked me,
"Are you ready to do whatever I say?"
"Yes Swami, I am ready," I replied.
With a smile, Swami said, "All right, are you sure?"
I said, "Sure. Swami, I will do whatever You say."
"Then go to the terrace and jump down," said the Lord.
I was stunned. Swami had asked me to do something which I would never do in my senses. I looked into Swami's eyes, I had given my word to Swami, I had to do whatever He commanded me.
I got up and made a dash to the stairs. But before I could get to the foot of the stairs, Swami grabbed me in His arms. He looked at me and said, "Bangaru, I will never ask you to do such a thing. Even if you jump down, before you reach the ground, 1 will come with My arms to catch you."
Dear brothers and sisters, we need a centre that will never let go of us. We need a centre whom we will never let go of.
The incident did not stop there. The next day we were serving breakfast in the dining hall. That day, the item for breakfast was brinjal rice. Swami came to me with His mysterious smile and asked,
"Are you ready to do whatever I say?"
This time, I was silent. I didn't have the courage to speak out.
"I won't ask you to jump from the terrace, will you do whatever I say?"
I said, "Swami, I will." The events of the previous evening had given me much confidence.
Swami looked at me, pointed to the bucket of brinjal-rice kept there and said, "Sit down and eat the entire bucket of brinjal-rice." Brinjal was not exactly my favourite vegetable. I looked pleadingly at Swami. Swami smiled, everyone around had a hearty laugh. Then He stopped. The chutney was being added to my breakfast when He said, "Bangaru, if you want to make Swami happy, you need not jump from the terrace or eat buckets of brinjal-rice. You need not do anything great. Just be good.... Just be good... That's all I want from you."
If we have such a centre that will hold us so strong, that will inspire so much of goodness and godliness in us, do we need to ask for anything more?
We all believe in the law of Karma and the doctrine of rebirth. We have been here many times before. We have messed up all our previous births, that is why we are here again. This is one chance when we can live differently. We might have had different centres in our lives previously - money, power or anything of that sort. But we are given a chance again, just to live correctly.
This time, God is here with us, to teach us how to lead our lives. Is it not prudent on our part to go on to Him, to make Him the centre of our lives, to make this the last life which we will live gloriously to the end, doing His work, being inspired by His teachings, living our lives for Sai and making Sai's message our lives?
The opportunity is our's. The Lord is gifting Himself to us. He is standing with open arms saying, "Come, my children, Be a part of My Mission. Make your life different." Whatever we do in His Name is for ourselves so that our lives will become more worthwhile.
Make Sai the centre of your lives. We have all come here for a task and our Lord is ready to give Himself to us. Let us seize this opportunity, let us mould our lives into something which God will feel proud about.

Jai Sairam


Volume 01: PDS / 07 Date : DEC 01 2003