Volume 9 - Issue 03
March 2011
Other Articles



By Dr. (Ms.) N. Niranjana


Accumulating Good Deposits…

Once I happened to ask Bhagawan in an interview, “Swami, is it necessary for us to pray for everything we need from you?” Swami said, “Yes, you have to pray for what you need but I will decide about the outcome. I will first see if you have done anything in your previous birth to deserve that boon.”

In that interview, Swami also spoke about rebirth - how it would be decided on the basis of our previous karmas. In that sense, sanchita karma can be compared to a sack of rice or to a storehouse where you need to finish up the contents. Unless and until you completely use up your store, you will be required to undergo the cycle of birth and death.

Here it would be pertinent to mention that the curriculum followed in SSSIHL under the direct guidance of Bhagawan underlines how we can add more good deeds to our deposit with God.


At the college, we have a daily ritual of Suprabhatham chanting early in the morning. It requires the students to wake up and mark their presence, as Suprabatham is an integral ritual in the University's curriculum. Some of the older devotees would assemble between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning and Swami would say that if some of us wished to do japa or meditation for at least 10 minutes, we could join them too.

Once a few students and teachers had the opportunity to stay in the quarters close to Bhagawan’s bungalow in Brindavan. During a morning darshan, Swami came to us and without a warning asked, "What is this, I did not hear any Suprabhatham this morning?”

We never expected Bhagawan to ask us this and felt guilty that we had slept off without participating in the Suprabatham.

So, we had no reply when Swami questioned us. He then said, “Do you know I got up at 4 o’ clock, had my bath and was ready to listen to your Suprabhatam? But I did not hear anything.”

One of us summoned enough courage to ask, “Swami, do you listen to our chant every day?” Swami said, “Definitely. Not only that, I am ready by that time."

So, the next day, we got up early and chanted the Suprabatham. Swami again came and said, “Hmm! Today I heard your chant. Do you know how you sang the Omkara? You said – 'O Hum' - that is not the way to sing Omkara."

Swami then taught us how to sing the Omkara saying only if we chanted it the right way, in the early hours of the morning, would we benefit from its efficacy. He said the right sound is “AUM” and it must rise from the nabhi (the navel).

I had also heard from a devotee of Sri Aurobindo the belief that Gods walk around in the universe during the early hours, looking out for people to bless. When they see those praying before the break of dawn, they shower their blessings on them.

Swami would repeatedly remind us to put the early hours to good use for either meditating, chanting or singing bhajans. He would say time and again that whatever we did would be kept as fixed deposits in our account. He would tell us, “In the bank, I will keep it safely. I will not use it for anything.” He would also mention that whatever good deeds we did during the day would be used for granting our prayers and solving our problems!  

Swami has also said that if we sing bhajans with bhava (feeling), it has the capacity to purify the gross, the subtle and the causal bodies. It is for this reason that we have included early morning suprabhatam and meditation in our curriculum. We also chant the college prayer, and hold a night prayer and evening bhajans.

Whatever I have narrated above are all dictums of Swami to merely ensure that we increase our deposit.

And, in keeping with Swami’s words that each thought of ours creates an impression on our mind that will in turn form the samskaras and decide our next birth, He has planned the curriculum in such a manner that we accumulate only good samskaras to enable the faculty and the students achieve good births.

Discouraging Bad Deposits…


I believe the recent global economic meltdown that began in late 2008 is an outcome of unbridled greed. A conference on "Ethics and the World of Finance" that was held in Prasanthi Nilayam and we participated in also arrived at the same conclusion. 

Such greed is driven by comparison, which makes us conscious or inadequate about what we do not have and creates a desire to possess the same. The comparison is present between individuals, groups, institutions and countries too. In an interview, Bhagawan reminded us that to be happy in life we must avoid comparisons as the tendency only leads to jealousy and other bad qualities.

I feel it is the compulsion of comparison that would have contributed to the obsession of some nations to remain the richest in the world and thus resulted in the economic crisis we see around us. Swami prescribes a ‘ceiling on desire’ and says only a contented man is a rich man and it is only values that can revive countries.

I would now like to share a couple of experiences to illustrate how Swami discourages bad deposits.

Swami does not approve the habit of watching TV. He says that every thought, every word, and every deed leaves a deep impression on our mind. So, whatever we watch on TV will not only be recorded in the subconscious mind, it will also leave a deep impression and manifest itself as an action at a later point in time. In recent times, I know that Swami has recommended many to listen to Radio Sai to help accumulate a good karmic balance.

Back then, we never had a TV in our campus. There was only one television set in the auditorium. Some serials would be telecast from 9.00 pm and I somehow developed a routine to watch these with some of my colleagues. One day in my dream, Swami said, “Hmm, so you have started watching serials?” I don’t know why, but I didn’t take the dream very seriously and kept it to myself. A few days later, a colleague mentioned that the film Sound of Music was scheduled to be telecast soon and we must all watch it together. 

I told them I would not wish to do that as Swami has already expressed his displeasure over our habit of watching TV. That night in my dream, Swami once again appeared and said, “Serials are now over…next is movie, is it?” This time, I told my colleagues about the dream. But they said it was after all a children's movie and there was nothing wrong in watching it.

Dr. Niranjana speaking in the Divine Presence

So, at the time of the film’s telecast, we took the key and went to the auditorium. When the movie was just about to begin at around 10.00 pm, a teacher noticed a snake lying near the podium. She screamed ‘snake, snake’. We put on all the lights in the auditorium and saw a huge cobra lying there. By the time the snake was killed, it was almost 2.00 am! The movie was over by then. While returning to our rooms, we realized that it was all a lesson from Swami for not heeding His words.

The second incident occurred at the time I was at darshan during Dussehra. My colleague said something and I laughed. After some light-hearted exchange, I thought I should get serious, as it was time for Swami to emerge from His room. That day, Swami came to me and said, “What you are sitting and laughing during darshan time? Not only that, you are thinking that as soon as Swami comes, you need to become serious. I am everywhere, I am everywhere.”

Then Swami started narrating, “Do you know the reason for Mahabharata? Draupadi’s laughter. Women should be dignified and know how to conduct themselves. You know, thousands of eyes watch all of you to see what they can learn from you. And what will they gather if you are laughing?"

Sometimes out of ignorance and at times due to lack of common sense, we commit certain mistakes. Bhagawan rectifies those too. I once got an opportunity to offer aarti to Bhagawan at the hostel. I had put a huge lump of camphor in the aarti plate. Swami looked at this and said, “Why have you kept such a big lump? Break it. Use a small one.” I said, “No Swami, let it be there”. Swami immediately took the camphor lump, broke it into pieces and lit only a small piece. To my surprise, when I started the aarti, Swami stepped back. Each time, I would move forward towards Him, He would take a couple of steps back. Then Swami said in Telugu, “He! Dunnapotha aggi ani nenu venakala velithe nuvuu vasthava (It is fire, I am going back and you are coming closer)!”

One day, we asked Swami why He sometimes pointed out our mistakes in the public. Swami said it was because He did not want us to repeat those mistakes in the future. And each time He corrected us, it was only to ensure that we did not accumulate bad deposits in our account.

More on Banking…


A banker has two obligations to a customer - honoring his cheques and maintaining secrecy of the account.

If we consider the first obligation, for a banker to honor a cheque when you wish to withdraw money from your account, he must first be given the cheque. Even if it is your own money that is in your account, still you need to request the banker to facilitate the cash withdrawal for you. Not just that, upon receiving your cheque the banker will first confirm or verify that you have sufficient funds in your account, only then will he authorize the transaction.
The same principle is followed by the Universal Banker. The cheque we give Him is in the form of a prayer. Though we have a deposit with Him, unless we make a prayer, He will not grant us our wish. Swami has said, “I have come down to give whatever you want. But you must ask for that. If you do not ask how can I give? So you must first ask.”

He gave the same answer when I asked Him, “Swami, is it necessary that we should pray to you each time we want something?” Swami said, “Yes Amma, you have to.”


We must also keep in mind that although we might ask for anything, He alone will decide what to give in accordance with what we deserve and need. In the same context, Swami said even when Draupadi was humiliated in the court of Duryodhana and she prayed to Lord Krishna, the Lord thought for a minute on what she had done to deserve His blessings. Then He recalled that when He had a cut on his little finger while eating sugarcane, it was Draupadi who had torn a part of her sari and tied it on His finger. Lord Krishna thought of this and, therefore, gave her an infinitely long sari when she was in trouble.

Swami said, “When you offer a prayer or make a wish, God also considers if you have done anything worthwhile for that prayer to be sanctioned." This principle, however, is not applicable when the customer with a current account is fortunate enough to have an overdraft facility. In such cases, the account holder has the flexibility to ask the bank for an amount over and above what he holds in his deposit. Similarly, Swami showers His special grace on certain devotees and I feel that most of us who are here living in His vicinity are enjoying that overdraft facility with the Universal Banker.


This thought was reiterated when a student asked Swami if we were getting His blessings because of good deeds done in the previous births. Swami replied, “All your past birth punyam is equal to one darshan of Mine.” What more proof do we need that we are all indeed enjoying this overdraft facility from Him?

In truth, Swami knows all about our past, future and present. But He feigns ignorance. Someone asked Swami what was the most difficult task for Him. He replied, “To pretend that I do not know anything despite knowing everything.”

Just as a banker knows all about our deposits with the bank and is expected to maintain confidentiality, similarly as a Universal Banker, Swami knows all about us and our cycle of lives; yet He maintains confidentiality, birth after birth, thereby proving that He is the indeed the Universal Banker who fulfills every obligation to anyone who trusts Him with their deposit of deeds.

Balancing the Account

Let us now focus on withdrawals from an account. The banker is not concerned about how much we deposit or withdraw from our account. He remains indifferent and impartial.

Swami has clearly stated that God is not a partial benefactor. Neither does He reward nor punish anyone, He is just a witness to our store of merits and demerits and watches us when we deposit our ‘wealth’ into His account.

In a bank, we get a passbook when we open an account. The small book shows all our deposits, withdrawals and the interest we acquire from the bank. The clerk makes the entry and the manager marks his initials. In the same way, God keeps a record of whatever we store in our subconscious mind. The Indweller puts His initials after verifying the entries. This is why we use the term “Chitragupta”.

So Chitragupta is in our subconscious mind. Whenever we deposit or withdraw money in the bank, we are so curious to see whether our balance has increased or decreased. The former makes us happy while the latter sad.

This principle must be applied to check up our life’s passbook too. Before going to bed every day, we need to spend at least 10 minutes to see what has been registered in our subconscious mind. It is a personal audit. This will help us to know how much we have accumulated during the day.

There is a saying that ‘yesterday is a stale cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, while it is only today that is ready cash’. So we need to focus on is today. That is why Swami says the Present is Omnipresent. It includes the past and the future.

It is also essential to update the passbook regularly. Finally, a word on investment banking. It is a long-term loan that a bank extends to industries or to any borrower who wishes to make a permanent investment either on land, building or other infrastructure development. Interestingly, the Universal Banker has His own technique of investment banking.


Let us look at the permanent investment that Swami is making in us. He is constantly reinforcing in us the need to develop a healthy mind to help us think good, speak good and do good. In doing so, He strives to fill our hearts with an unceasing fund of love and our hands with a tireless desire to serve. This is the investment He is making in us - instilling long-term values through offering a holistic education.

Value-oriented education is a process wherein a well-organized institution and committed faculty lead the students steadily and firmly on a path - from individuality to universality, from imminent reality to absolute reality, from competition and collusion to harmony, cooperation and team work, from being a slave to the senses to becoming a master of the senses, from one of indiscipline to that of equipoise, from the human-animal state to the human-divine state, from self-centeredness to enlightenment, from an attitude of individual freedom to universal consciousness.


As long as we have an account with the banker, our relationship continues. Should you wish to close an account, you need to repay the loan if you are a borrower or withdraw all funds if you are a depositor. Likewise, if we want to close our account with the Universal Banker, we must make all efforts to achieve self-realization. Or else, the account will continue to be carried forward, birth after birth.

Finally, here is another thought: When you deposit some valuables in the bank, say your documents, jewelry or other precious items, the banker returns these in good condition at a later point in time.

In the same manner, countless parents bring their most treasured possession – their children – to the Universal Banker and entrust them in His care. He, in turn, nurtures and transforms them and returns them to their parents after investing them with an immeasurable wealth of knowledge and good conduct.

Let us continue to enjoy this comfort of being under the protection of Swami’s grace and continue to pray to Him for giving us the will and attitude to build our deposits of good karma with Him! Sairam!

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Would you like more such stories from devotees who have been touched by His Love? Please write to us at h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

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