3 - Issue 9
by Sri N B Vineeth
“We hear your Sai Baba gives gifts to people – chains, watches, rings and much more. What did your Sai Baba give you?" The boy looked up, and found five menacing pairs of eyes looking into his eyes, eagerly and expectantly.
The Toughest Moment
This boy had gone through what is the toughest moment of every Sai Student's life - to leave the portals of this hallowed Institution... to leave Him, rather, to leave His physical presence, for His Omnipresence always guides and guards each one of us. History will remember us not because we had any great property; history will remember us for we are His Property. History will not remember us, because we had any great possessions, but history will remember us, for we are His Possession. History will not remember us, because I am I, you are you or we are we; history will remember us, because we all are His.
And this boy was now sitting in front of an interview board in search of a job. And the question was, "We hear that your Sai Baba gives gifts to people - chains, watches, rings. What did He give you?"
What Greater Gift?
All that the student had to do was not to look at anything that was on his person, but to look at ‘himself”. The student looked up, smiled and said, "Sir, I hail from a poor village and if today, I sit in front of as great an interview board as yours, applying for an honourable post as this, what greater gift can I ask for than what I have received from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, my entire education - totally free of cost. " And needless to say perhaps, the student would by now be a part of the interview board of that prestigious company.
Yes, the student was right; and was wrong too. For education is not the greatest gift that we receive - rather, it is education with a little difference, education with lots and lots of care, 'Educare' - in the words of our beloved Lord.
For there are always two kinds of education. The one that makes a living and the one that makes a life. And the greatest gift that each of us here gets is this 'jam sandwich' - with one bread slice on the top - the education that teaches us how to make a living and the other bread slice below - the education that teaches us how to make a life. And in between, the best part of this sandwich - the sweetest of sweet jams - that is Him.
Let me take you students to the future ten years hence. Imagine how you would like yourself to be. There was a time when each of us had an ambition - he wanted to be a doctor, he wanted to be an engineer, I wanted to be a scientist... but today, the same he, the same I, envision a totally different future. If he is to be a doctor, he now wishes to be a doctor who heals his fellow men. If he wished to be an engineer, he now wishes to be an engineer, who longs to serve his country.
And to know what made the difference, all you need to do is to look at the stars of the night sky - not up above, but in the twinkle in His eyes we will see our answers.
And the way He brings about this transformation is totally unique and subtle. He teaches us that the greatest of the transformations is not brought about by force; the transformation of the heart is not brought about by fire and ice; but by love and sacrifice.
God Can Nullify Our Karma
Some years ago, there was a student who suffered from chronic asthma. Days and nights passed, but the simple joy of life - the sheer joy of breathing was never his. Come night, hard times would begin. For his heart was out at two jobs - his heart would pump hard, and his heart had to pray hard too. Needless to say, these hard times touched the soft Divine Heart.
One fine day, Swami called this student inside, and told him all about his problem. But then, Swami told him, "All this suffering is because of your Karma; and you cannot escape it." (A lesson to remember - even the Law Maker never breaks His own laws!) "See, if you were to continue this way you would be suffering all your life, but..." The student looked eagerly at Bhagavan. "But if I were to suffer for you, it would just take little time to nullify the Karma."
The student sat transfixed. How could his eyes see that form of love suffering for his sake? Even as he was about to plead, the student saw Bhagavan breathing deeply, and heard the whistle of His breath. Bhagavan had taken upon his asthma in front of the very same student. With moist eyes the student looked at the Divine form suffering. Minutes passed, and slowly, the shrillness of the whistle decreased, until there was silence in the room. Bhagavan looked at the student, and the student was relieved for life.
And that day, the student was transformed. For it is not the stick or the sword that transforms people, it is love and sacrifice. His love, His selfless sacrifice. And this 'jam sandwich' that He gives, is never limited to any particular group of people. It is for each one to take a bite, digest and feel that he has truly grown.
Swami’s Love for the Orphan Boys
For those of us who do not know, this Guru Poornima (2003) saw yet another chapter in the Divine Mission unveiled. Around 50-60 children who had been deprived of their parents were blessed to stay in the Deenajanodharana Padakam, situated behind the ashram.
These children have all their needs provided along with their education by Bhagavan. Sometime in August, just a month or two after the little children had come, one of the boys received a message from his relatives, saying that his uncle had passed away, and that he should rush home immediately. This boy had no parents, and now, his uncle too had passed away. As the relatives asked him to come home, this boy said, "No, I will not come."
The relatives were shocked. They pleaded with him to come, for it was his own uncle. But the boy sternly said, "No, I will not come. If you want, I will pray for his peace right here. But I will not come. Swami is my mother and father." At the next opportune moment, when Bhagavan went to the Padakam, the Divine Mother materialised a chain for Her son.
The transformation that He brings about is never localised. It is for each one of us to bite into the 'sandwich', digest it and feel that we have grown.
The Lord’s Abode
Long ago, when Bhagavan returned from the East Africa trip, Bhagavan was giving a discourse at Dharmakshetra, Bombay. Sri Kasturi was translating. Bhagavan then said "Ee vishwame maa illu." The translation went, "The world is my Mansion."
Swami sternly turned and said, "Tappu - mistake." Sri Kasturi wondered where he had made the mistake. He thought that perhaps he should have said, 'house' for 'mansion', for 'illu' literally means 'house'. But as it always happens, the difference between man and God is where they see - the outside or the inside. Sri Kasturi had looked at the wrong word. Prompt came the translation from Bhagavan Himself: "The Universe is my Mansion" - not the World, the Universe.
Yes, the Universe is His University. There is no one who is barred from His University that serves these 'jam sandwiches'. It is for us to take a bite, digest and feel we have grown, grow and then help someone else to grow.
The Story of the Pencil
Long ago, the Pencil Maker was making lots of pencils.
As He made one exquisite pencil, the Pencil Maker turned to the little pencil and said, "Little one, no matter where you go, wherever you are, remember three things." The little pencil looked curiously at the Pencil Maker.
The Pencil Maker continued, "Firstly, remember that you are only worth something in this world, when you are held in someone's hand."
"Yes, Master," said the little pencil.
"Secondly, little one, remember, there are times when you will be sharpened with a blade or a sharpener...it will be painful, but remember this makes you a better pencil."
"And thirdly, dear one, remember, there are many pencils in the world like you. Some are fat, some are thin, some are white, some are black, some are tall, and some are short. But remember, the lead inside all these pencils is the same."
Yes, we are little pencils that become worthy only, when held in His Hand.
We are sharpened now and then, and as we are sharpened, we become smaller - smaller not in size, but in ego. For it is when we are smallest, that we lose our identity and fit wholly in the Divine Hand and become truly His.
Courtesy: "Sai Prerana".
Vol 3 Issue 9 - September 2005
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