Volume 10 - Issue 02
February 2012
Other Articles


Follow us: facebook twitter vimeo

Posted on : Feb 15, 2012




- a conversation with Vinod Cartic, an alumnus of SSSIHL


Listen to the Radio Programme


Part - 4



RS: In your mention about the making of this orphanage, you spoke about courage and your belief in the virtues of courage and love and how steadfastly you remained true to your conviction despite all odds. These are important points to note because in today’s times, it is very difficult at times to convince youngsters that virtue is power or character is power! Instead they feel that connection and networking is power. And, you have these management books that encourage them to think so. Probably, the only way you can convince the young is by offering examples of people like you.

Vinod, suppose a youngster comes up to you and says – “honesty is not something that will take me up the success ladder so fast… this will take me forever to get to the top”, what would you say?

VC: Interesting question! I don’t know if I can answer it point blank and probably need some time to respond to such a question. But fortunately, at least in India, we have two spectacular epics - call them stories if you wish but I believe them to be the reality. Both of them are essentially based on one eternal principle - ‘Sathyam Eva Jayate’ - or what we also call as the Victory of Truth and Righteousness. Take the case of Rama or Krishna, both have gone through a host of challenges. Or, even take the case of Swami, because I think He is the most direct personification of dharma that all of us have witnessed. Even during my student days, I have seen the construction of the indoor stadium in a record time of about 140 days. So, whatever the challenges, victory will be yours if the perseverance is sincere.

RS: We have seen that area being just a jungle. And over four months, an absolutely spectacular indoor stadium came up in the same place.

VC: And, even if we leave aside the Divinity aspect of Swami and regard Him as a human being who has shown what conviction and power can do, there are so many illustrations that stand as testimony. I say this because I think for an eighth grade pass to actually go ahead and state that something has to be done within a certain time frame - if you just take this worldly aspect of Swami -  I think that in itself is a marvel.

prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai prashanti nilayam, radiosai
Puttaparthi over the years

Look at the Super Specialty Hospital. It was constructed in just about six months. The first six months were just about getting the architectural drawings right. And here was Swami actually correcting people who were architectural experts, and saying - this is how the hospital needs to look like. Or say, this is how the Hanuman on the hill-top needs to look like.

Believe me, this kind of conviction is not something that is beyond human ability. Because I find that the times when or as long as I have been standing by truth, it is the same conviction that drives us all, each and every one of us. The moment you know that you are truthful, there is an unbelievable power that is backing you.

So, even if everyone tells me: “You know, Sai Baba is human, He has left His human form” and so on and so forth...I am going to hold on to my convictions and say: “Well buddy, I know that Swami is God; not only that, I also know that you and I are God; and all of us are going to witness a spectacle to make sure that our convictions are confirmed.”

Vinod was blessed with many opportunities to be part of cultural events staged in the Divine Presence.
In the picture on the left he is at the extreme left and in the image on the right he is second from right.

There are a lot of things that you need to first experiment and then see the result. Unfortunately, spirituality is not like mathematics where you can show in numbers where 2+2=4. All of spirituality is experiment-based.

Try Truth and See!

RS: You need to first have the faith.

VC: You essentially need to have the basic conviction that the experiment will work before you go ahead with it.  I think the single most important determinant, as far as I have seen, is to have an open mind. This is the first thing that science teaches us - to be curious. This is not an easy trait to possess as I have seen a lot of people with very big closed doors in their minds.

During my student days, I would ask people to please come to Prashanti Nilayam to just take a look. I would tell them to put aside the doubt as to whether Swami is God or not, and come with an open mind. So, I would say that the fact you are willing to experiment with something is a great beginning. Similarly in spirituality, you need to experiment. Try truth, see what happens.

Try dharma, see what happens. I would also say try adharma and see what happens.

RS: Basically, you just can’t write it off. You must have your own experience and give truth a chance. What you have mentioned is, when you are truthful, the force that is backing you is very powerful.

VC: There is no doubting that. And there are innumerable instances where I have had arguments, with say train ticket collectors and so on - all of them willing to take Rs. 50 or Rs. 100 for a ticket. Most people are actually willing to pay the bribe to save themselves from some discomfort. But, in allowing yourself to go through a little bit of trouble and not paying that Rs. 50 as a bribe, the feeling of well-being that you are left with is definitely far greater.

prashanti nilayam, radiosai  
Mr. Vinod Cartic in the studios of Radio Sai, October 2011  

When people see me adopt this attitude, more often than not they have come back to ask me who I am. The minute they know that you are from the Sathya Sai University, they form a better opinion. Again, it’s not just for getting a good name for the University or for yourself that you need to behave in a certain way. It is more to do with touching the other person’s life unknowingly.

There are so many times where I have actually experienced people who have drowned themselves in corruption, come back and say, “Yes, I think you were right.” Even the elderly have said so.

Having said all of this, more than a sense of happiness I feel a bigger sense of gratitude to Swami for actually inculcating some of those virtues that stand us in good stead today.

RS: The single most virtue that Swami has always stressed on is love. I also personally believe that any problem in the world can be solved with love - that’s what Swami has showed us.

If you put love into any situation, you will find a solution, and if you don’t find a solution, you put more love into it - you are bound to get an answer.

VC: You’re right. Probably, that’s one area that I need to further work on.

Our Conscience is Sai

RS: Vinod, you have had the chance to physically interact with Swami on so many occasions. Does it feel any different now given the changed circumstance?

VC: Again, difficult question. You know, all of us, who have been here in the ashram in Prashanti Nilayam, would probably say we miss Swami physically to some extent, but at the same time, we have also had the opportunity to experience His Omnipresence and Omnipotence on numerous occasions.


Allow me to narrate a recent experience. We had all gone for Grama Seva to one of the villages. Some of the elderly women and men were so happy that they shed tears and said: “We never thought you would come; Swami is, no doubt, still here.” On a personal note, I share a conviction which - again, I cannot explain - it is just intuition that of course Swami is Omnipresent; He is always here, but I am absolutely, 200% sure that we will see Him physically again. I have no doubt about this.

Swami has said a lot of things; I don’t think we need to actually lessen our faith for different reasons. Swami keeps every single word of His. The whole Universe has to re-orient itself to fulfill His Word. Let’s all remember, that we are talking about God incarnate and not someone ordinary.

From my experience, if there is one essential learning as far as the physical aspect of Swami is concerned, I know that the voice of Swami is also the voice of the conscience. There has never been a dilemma where Swami has said something and the conscience is saying something else. This is why I say with complete conviction that every single thing that He has said will prove itself in time.

There were numerous times when I have asked Swami, “Swami, why does this not happen immediately? You know, we all want these instant results, we belong to an electronic generation; we believe that everything should be now.”

And Swami would say: “For everything, there is a right time. Everything fulfills itself in time.” And I think, we have seen enough of Swami to know that His Word is completely infallible.

We also know that what we are going through now is just a temporary phase. As far as I am concerned, I know that we will all see Swami once again; we will experience that Love. And I am not talking of another form; I am talking about the same Sathya Sai form.

RS: Let’s hope and pray this happens. I think, every devotee has their own conviction about Swami and the way they connect to Him and He too responds to each one of us in His own way.  Thank you very much Vinod. Anything else you would like to share with us as your parting comments?

sathya sai baba, radiosai sathya sai baba, radiosai sathya sai baba, radiosai sathya sai baba, radiosai sathya sai baba, radiosai sathya sai baba, radiosai

VC: I would like to tell everyone that besides cultivating courage and love, it’s equally important to follow your heart and intuition. Let the world say anything; let anyone say anything, your heart already knows the truth. You already know that Swami is God, let not the world shake you about it, it’s just a passing phase. He is right here with us, and we are all destined to see Him.

RS: Yes, the Guru within; let us recall what Swami says, “Follow the Master; Face the devil; Fight to the end; Finish the goal.”

VC: Yes, Swami is the doer and helps us finish the game successfully. Sairam.



- Radio Sai Team

counter for wordpress