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(continued from the previous issue)

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(Continued from the last issue)

In the car with Baba, Mr. Srinivas and Mr. Radhakrishna. We had gone to the Sai School at the foot of the Nandi Hills. A beautiful and peaceful setting, with a hundred-acre campus including orchards, dairy, and farm crops. There was a grand reception for Baba by the boys and the faculty. Two students spoke at the meeting after the reception and Baba gave a discourse. One of the speakers broke down in tears. During His discourse, Baba would stop for a moment and question some of the small boys to see if they were paying attention to what He had been saying.

SAI: What did you think of the first speaker?

H (Hislop): He tried and was doing fine, but then dissolved in tears.

SAI: It was his first talk in front of Swami. He won a Lion's Club award for speaking. But that little boy whom Swami asked - how fast he replied - even before Swami finished asking! What attention and concentration on what Swami was saying!

H: All the little boys were totally silent and absorbed. I was watching them. They were not even restless.

SAI: The parents of these boys, although they need the help of these children, tell the sons, "No, stay in school. It is good for you." Often there is only the mother living, and even in such cases the mother insists on the son staying in the school. Where the mother has nothing but the son, Swami takes care of the mother. These mothers stay at the girls' school near Mangalore and work in the kitchens and dormitories. There are 300 acres there and the boys' school is on the same land. The boys’ school has 80 instructors and this school here has 60 instructors. Now, it is vacation time with the high school and junior college students away. All the teachers are unmarried, and no teacher takes any salary.


H: Swami! 140 teachers and all work without salary? It is unheard of. They sacrifice marriage so they can do seva for Swami without need of salary! This is the most extraordinary situation. Why is it not known?

SAI: Swami thinks it best to carry on such activities without fanfare.  


The True Devotee  

H: Swami, this is a big puzzle. In discourses, Swami says that he is looking for a true devotee, but does not find that devotee. How could that be? What wonderful devotees are these teachers. How is it that Swami can say he has not found a devotee?

SAI: (He laughs and says) That is a different category. The true devotee is the same inside and outside.

H: Then it seems that the status of that sought for devotee cannot be reached!

SAI: Oh, yes. It can be reached.

H: Swami, Rama and Krishna must also have been searching for a true devotee in those times.

SAI: Yes, every Avathar is searching for a true devotee. Rama was not regarded as God. Would they have sent Him to the forest as God? He was looked upon as a King. He acted so. Only a very few sages knew his Divinity. Krishna also was a king. As God, would He have been put to work as the driver of a chariot?

H: But in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna calls Krishna "Divine".

SAI: But still there was the body view of comrade, friend and relative. Only after Krishna left the body did Arjuna realize that Krishna was God. Even in their status as kings, only the residents of their respective cities gave Rama and Krishna homage and worship. The Sai Avathar is the only such where His Divinity is known to all peoples of all religions. Never has there been that before. With Krishna, only the gopis were aware of him as God - but they were rishis.

H: They were rishis, Swami? As rishis they took birth as ignorant villagers?

SAI: Yes, they were great rishis before taking that birth. When Krishna died, the gopis stopped taking food, and they discarded their bodies in that way.

H: Swami, the matter of a true devotee in this Avathar is still a big puzzle. Swami has said that in this very lifetime there are men fully liberated from delusion. Would not even they meet the test for a true devotee?

SAI: A life fully liberated would meet the tests of a true devotee as set by Swami.

H: Then for those who would seek that status?

Srinivas: They should do perfect Sadhana.  

SAI: Sadhana! No! That is physical. It is a matter of love. Confidence comes first. Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is truth. Where there is truth, there is bliss. Where there is bliss, there is God.

(Note: Swami's words were translated only when he was talking with me. The rest of the time he was talking in Telugu to Mr. Radhakrishna who was driving and to Mr. Srinivas.) 

Money in the Sai Organisation

H: Swami, in this matter I am not clear. Swami says that money should not be a part of spiritual matters, that money should not be paid. I accept this and have been strict about it to the extreme in the American Sai Organization. But I do not understand the principle. It seems to me, and it does to most Americans, that almost no value is given to that which is free. Whereas, when money has to be paid, care is given, attention is given, and what costs money is valued.

SAI: Yes, at first that is the case. But it does not last. The value given is sudden and, like fireworks, it rises fast. But, like fireworks, the fall is also fast. With the payment of money there is no love or appreciation. You go to the shop and pay for what you want. Why thank the seller, or have any appreciation? You paid in full and that is the end of it.

A guru will start a philosophy, a method of sadhana. Money will be charged and paid, interest will rapidly expand, and people will think they must join and take part. Then, in a few years, where is it all?


A recent example is the young person, (name deleted), was that his name? The world over, people gave money to receive instruction. Where is he now? There is no word of him.

Swami does not do like that. He builds slowly, but it is firm and sound and it continues. You remember Prashanti Nilayam fourteen years ago, and now you see the slow but solid growth of Swami's work.

Spiritual matters must occur only in a context of love. When advice and instruction and help is given in compassion, in love - and not for money paid, there will be some feeling of appreciation; and in the context of appreciation and confidence there will be some spiritual benefit. Moreover when the actions are done in love and not as part of money-raising, money comes anyway.

An example: Here is a coconut palm tree. (Baba raised his arm in an upright position). And up here (touching his wrist) are the coconuts. This tree has a shadow which extends for a distance on the ground. Now, a man who wishes to secure the coconuts climbs up the coconut tree. At the very time he is climbing the tree, his shadow may be seen climbing the shadow tree. And, when he plucks the coconuts, his shadow may be seen plucking the shadow coconuts. The man who climbs the real tree secures the real coconuts and, at the same time, his shadow self climbs the shadow tree and plucks the shadow coconuts. But if the man does not relish the task of climbing the real tree, and instead limits his action to the climbing of the shadow tree, he will not get satisfaction from the shadow coconuts.

The shadow tree represents the world, and the shadow coconuts represent worldly prosperity. The real tree represents spiritual life, and the real coconuts represent the fulfilment of life. Thus, the person who devotes his life and energy to spiritual values will automatically get worldly benefits.

H and Srinivas: Swami! What a wonderful example! What a wonderful way to convey Swami's teaching that one should do his work in the context of love and not for money! Automatically, the worldly needs are cared for.

SAI: It is a good example?

H and Srinivas: Swami, it is a perfect example!


Becoming Free of Body Attachment

H: Swami, a puzzle in daily life is this: Daily life is a continuous sequence of small choices, and we select the option which gives the best pleasure or comfort. In this way, our entire life is directed to comfort and pleasure, and such a life cannot take us to "Liberation". What to do?

SAI: The principle which Swami teaches is to like that which we have to do instead of doing that which we like. Every action should be done for Swami, every action dedicated to Swami. Then, duty, discipline, and devotion are the guides for action. So long as you take the body to be yourself, action will be for comfort and pleasure. Realize that you are not the body, and be free of the need for pleasure and comfort.

Doing One’s Duty

H: This question will sound silly to Swami, but it is serious to me.

SAI: What?

H: I write many letters to Swami about activities, problems, and accomplishments in the American Sai Organization. But often I think it is silly to describe problems and events, since I know from my own direct experience that Swami is omnipresent and knows all about the events.

SAI: There is much nonsense about Swami being omnipresent and omnipotent! People start to think they need do nothing, that Swami will do everything! Then they do not bother to do even their daily duty.

In spiritual life, the relationship between you and Swami is heart to heart. But in worldly life, Swami has given you work to do. This requires work in the world, activity in the world. You are required to do your duty to the very limit of the task. So far as writing is concerned, the writing of letters to Swami is for your satisfaction.

H: For my satisfaction, Swami?

SAI: Yes, for your satisfaction. You write to Swami, and your mind is then free of the matter. It is not that Swami does not know. Suppose you withhold some troublesome point, you then have a guilty feeling. But you tell Swami, and there is no guilty feeling. Do your duty fully and completely in the work which Swami has given to you.


(To be continued...)

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– Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2007
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