3 - Issue 8
CONVERSATIONS WITH SAI - PART 11
(Continued from previous issue)
Hislop: Why does Baba have regular schools? Why not religious schools?
SAI: Religious schools would appeal only to the religious, whereas Baba's task is to raise the general public into devotion and spiritual life. One aspect of Baba's task is to reform education, and if that were impossible He would not have come. Now, having come, be assured the task will be accomplished, but not as fast as impatient humans would like. By an intensive T.V. campaign, rapid change could be accomplished, but it would be only temporary. God sees things differently to man and He knows that to start early, drive slowly, reach safely is correct. The change that Baba is bringing about may be through slow methods, such as His colleges, but the methods will be effective.
H: What should we do about young people to correct their character and behaviour?
SAI: A child is bound to touch a hot lamp until once burned. Young people are without balance and they want immediate results. For example: yesterday there was a marriage here. The young man wanted a son at once; he did not wish to wait for nine months. A Guru (so-called) comes into view, and the young people flock to him, hoping for quick Self-realization. But, once disappointed, they turn away and, in the process, gain some caution and patience.
A small story: a young man of very poor parents graduated with a B.A., mainly because the teachers were fed up with his many failures at the exams. His parents were now proud and said, 'We will find you a wife'. The boy replied. 'I will take only a B.A. girl, for I am a B.A.' Mother said, 'We cannot afford servants for a girl who will come from her room at 9 a.m. We need a wife to help with the housework.' The son replied, 'It is my needs that matter, not yours. Do as I wish or I will leave'. The parents capitulated and secured the desired wife. The boy told his friends, 'I am now happiness itself.' Three days later he said to his wife, 'My dear, arise now and make me coffee'. She replied 'My dear, I am B.A., same as you. Please arise and get coffee for me!' Now the boy proclaimed to all that life had become black and all was unhappiness and misery. Thus, from total happiness to total misery in 3 day's time.
This behaviour of the young is typical because they have not been taught to respect and revere their parents. Their behaviour in the spiritual direction is similar. How can there be any spiritual light until the inside is clean? Inside work is quiet inquiry and discrimination. After the inside is clean, outward disciplines may have some value.
H: Young people nowadays say how can they respect their parents, when the parents engage in wrong actions?
SAI: Young people do not realize how their parents worry. No matter how faulty the parents, they wish only the best for their children. At the very least, the children can honour this and also realize the sacrifice, care, and love given to the child to keep it alive and give it a chance for life. These factors must be appreciated and honoured even though the parents have faults. Only by honouring the parents will the children's children honour them. A clear case of action and reaction.
H: Swami, if the parent says one thing and the Guru says another, to which order should the child give preference?
SAI: The parents who give the body come before God.
H: Parents come before God, Swami? That is surprising.
SAI: For people in the worldly sphere, that is true. For young people leading a pure spiritual life, God comes first of all.
H: Swami, these young college students who are in Swami's college here, they have first class education, the highest examination scores and so on. And they are also building an inner character of strong morality. Will not these students become the leaders of India? Their fine education will get them positions, and their strong morality will sustain them?
SAI: This is the purpose of Swami's college.
H: Then in 20 or 30 years we should look for a great change in the Indian nation.
SAI: Twenty years? In ten years.
H: But Swami, in 10 years they are still in their late twenties. People come to power in the late thirties, in their 40's and 50's.
SAI: In India people reach positions of power and influence earlier in life. Even now there are a number of examples throughout the nation.
H: Do these students realize their destiny and the great responsibility to the world that they will carry?
SAI: The students say that when they grow up they will do as Sai wills. These young men will occupy positions in every area of the Indian society, as the positions become open. Wherever they go they will influence and change society for the better. Corruption and such problems will sharply diminish. Their influence cannot but express itself. Right now, 80 per cent of the parents of the students have had their lives changed because they observe the effect of Sai on the characters of their children. The parents are content. They say they will not interfere and that their children should follow the guidance of Sai. (pointing to a young student from Hong Kong ). This boy will speak tomorrow. (A number of students were gathered around the door of Swami's dining room, as He was having His evening meal).
H: (to the student) Have you prepared your speech?
Student: Swami is my voice. What He says will form into words in my mouth and will be spoken.
H: You are saying that you make no speech preparation whatsoever? Surely the first idea must be in your mind so you can get started. Tell me what you have in mind to say.
Student: I do not make ideas. Only by the prompting of Bhagavan, who resides in my heart, do ideas come to mind. He is God and there is nothing else but Him.
SAI:(to Student) Speak now.
Student: Swami's being is pure beauty. His eyes tell me to watch my thoughts, watch my actions, watch my words, watch my heart. His smile is like a beautiful rose whose fragrance fills the garden of my life.
SAI: (to Student): How do you know Swami is God?
Student: (is silent).
SAI:(to Hislop) Go ahead. Ask him some questions.
H: How does one know that Swami is God? It is not very clear.
Student: Swami gives a person the power to know Him.
H: How do you mean?
Student: When the three gunas are in balance, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas - when those three qualities or characteristics are in balance with each other so that the person is balanced, when that happens by means of discipline, devotion and duty, then Swami is pleased to give the power to know that He is God.
H: When does that happen? At an early age, or later on?
Student: Age is not the important factor. The balance of one's nature is the important thing and this is by the practice of duty, devotion and discipline.
H: What is the destiny of man?
Student: His destiny is to realize that he is the embodiment of God.
H: Do girls have this same destiny?
Student: There may be some difference, but really both are the same. When Swami is at the girl's College at Anantapur, the boys here at the Brindavan College realize that He is omnipresent and that He is still here, even though He is at Anantapur. They know that if their devotion is strong enough He will come back to Brindavan. The girls are the same. They know that Swami is omnipresent and that if their devotion is strong enough, He will visit Anantapur College in His physical person.
H: What is your career? What are you going to do in life?
Student: I will do that which Swami tells me to do.
H: No plan to do anything? No wish to do this kind of work or that kind of work?
Student: When the correct plan comes, Swami will guide me into the work that is my correct duty in the world, just as He has guided these older boys standing there who have now taken up careers in the University.
H: This is a strange idea to people in the world. The world over, young men arrive at their own decision as to a career, and then try for success in that career by applying their full energy.
Student: They did not know about their career until some inner prompting told them. Until that time they did not know. The same for yourself. Until Swami told you to be President of the American Sai organization, you did not know about that.
H: That is for sure! I certainly had no such wish or idea prior to Swami saying so. But you are so sure that Swami is God. Many people come here and go away not believing that. Their circumstances and early influences have bent them another way and so they are not able to see Swami as you do. How about them?
Student: Some trees grow up straight towards the sky, some are bent and twisted by stormy weather. It does not really matter. Even the most twisted person will come to know Swami as God.
H: How can you say that? How will that happen?
Student: It cannot do other than happen. Swami, as God is the Resident of each person's heart and the irresistible strength of this fact cannot but eventually make itself known.
H: You are so sure about it. But you are just a boy, just starting to experience life. Suppose a full grown, widely experienced man comes to you and says, 'I tell you that Swami is just a man, an extraordinarily intelligent and powerful man'. What would you say?
Student: Swami has taught us not to rely on the experience of another person, but to trust in our own experience. My experience is that Swami is God, and your experience is not mine.
To be continued...
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