Volume 15 - Issue 09
September 2017
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Posted on: Sept 06, 2017

Hungry for Love

by Ms. Aarthi Krishnan

Once brother Aswath Narayan, a tremendously gifted singer who is part of the Prasanthi bhajan group, was singing in Bhagawan's divine physical presence the famous Kannada devotional song Baro Krishnaiyya by saint Purandaradasa, which entreats Lord Krishna to come to the devotee's home.

"What Will You Give Me?"

Suddenly Bhagawan looked at him and said, “Hey! In the song, You are calling Me home. So what will You give Me if I come to your house?”

He was referring to the first stanza of the song Baro Krishnaiyya, Krishnaiyya Baro Krishnaiyya, Ninna Bhaktara Manekeega which translates as “Come Krishna! Come to Your devotee's house now.”

Brother Aswath was rather taken aback. Gathering his wits about him, he said, “Swami, I will give You my bhakti (devotion).”

Swami smiled sweetly and said, “No! Whatever is there to eat at home, it is enough if you offer that to Me.”

That is the adorable and lovable Lord of ours! He is hungry for love, not anything else.

Baaro Krishnayya sung by brothers Aswath and Anirudh during the students'
musical program on 23rd June 2013 in Brindavan ashram, Whitefield

We have listened to stories galore of how Lord Krishna as a young child used to steal butter. Why did He do that when there was enough and more at His home?

In His Krishnashtami discourse of 1994, Bhagawan explained the inner significance of this episode beautifully.

Let us listen to the explanation in His silken voice.

If in the Dwapara Yuga the Lord stole butter as Lord Krishna, in the Kali Yuga what did He do? As Shirdi Sai Baba, He went begging on the streets for food.

Did Shirdi Baba Really Seek Alms?

Although my first love is the Lord of Puttaparthi, I have some deep inexplicable connection with His Shirdi counterpart too! Our beloved Swami also keeps giving me many signs to prove that my prayers to Shirdi Baba reach Him.

So whenever I heard this episode from the life of Shirdi Baba mentioned in a song or I read it in the Shirdi Satcharitra or viewed it in the movie on His life, it always brought tears to my eyes. And in my mind I would always ask, “Swami, how much You come down for us mere mortals! Why did You have to go and beg for food in Your avatar as Shirdi Baba?”

One answer I got from a dear Sai sister was that Shirdi Baba did this only to destroy the sins of those who gave food as alms to Him. A similar explanation is given in the Shirdi Satcharitra also.

Although this explanation seemed very valid, it somehow satisfied only the mind and not the heart. And our beloved Swami decided to answer this gnawing question in His own way and satisfy my heart.

In the evening of July 26, 2017, I came across a small video clip which explains why Shirdi Baba went begging for food. In fact it was not food that He was begging for, but love!

Watch this very moving account narrated by Mrs. Geetha Mohan Ram, a long-standing devotee of Bhagawan Baba, and you too will be drenched in the unending stream of our Lord's love.

After watching this clip I ruminated over the explanation that Swami gave and I was in tears. Then something that happened the week before that struck me and it made me realize the depth of the Lord's compassion.

Baba Himself Comes Home

In the street adjacent to where I live in Chennai, there is a life-size Shirdi Baba statue and the devotees who maintain this small but beautiful mandir do puja every Thursday and on all days sacred to the Lord of Shirdi. Every morning and evening too it is kept open for a couple of hours for people to have His darshan.

I generally go on Thursday evenings for darshan; this idol is so lifelike and it oozes with peace and serenity. I really experience the Lord's bliss and peace, grace and blessings when I look at His benign form and beautiful eyes.

For a long time now owing to a health issue I have been sleeping very late at nights, around 2 or 3 am. On July 20, 2017, in the afternoon I was very upset with Swami because the previous night I had slept at 2 am. Moreover I was feeling very exhausted because the weather had again become very hot in Chennai, which only aggravated my condition.

So I told Swami that I was not going to the Shirdi Baba mandir that evening and also that if He wants He can come home to give me darshan. This was just a fleeting conversation in my mind.

  The photo the author received - Shirdi Baba begging for food on the streets

That evening when my mother returned from a nearby Shiva temple, she brought a photo of Shirdi Baba! I was astounded and I silently shed tears and thanked Baba.

When I asked my mother how she got it, she said that in that Shiva temple too there is a small statue of Baba installed and a group regularly does puja there every Thursday. That evening when she went to the temple one lady specifically went to her and gave her the photo.

I felt very blessed that Baba came home to give me darshan even though I did not go to the mandir. He had indeed answered my exasperated anguish: “Swami, if You want You come home to give me darshan, I am not coming today.”

If we connect to Him in our heart, He responds instantly. That is the power of pure, childlike love.

Do We Really Love Him?

Once Bhagawan was talking to a student about his personal matters and in the course of the talk, He gave an analogy:

“When you organise a marriage, there is an order in which food is served. First, the guests are served with all the delicacies. It is then that the relatives have their food. After them, the close family and the couple sit down to eat.

"If there is food remaining, the workers and helpers at the wedding hall are given food to take home for their kith and kin. If food still remains, the beggars and poor people nearby are called and fed. Even after that if there is surplus food, it is thrown and dogs and crows come and eat it.”

After giving this elaborate explanation, Bhagawan said something which made the student burst into tears. When I heard this incident a few years ago, I too cried.

Bhagawan said, “My condition when I seek love is like that of the crows and the dogs! People offer their love to everyone they find and only the discards are offered to Me.”

Let us not offer the discards of our love to Bhagawan but our complete and total love to Him!

On one occasion, a student prayed to Bhagawan, “Swami, please let me be steady in my faith.” When asked why he prayed thus, he replied, “Swami, my faith in You trembles at times. I don't want it to collapse.”

Bhagawan smiled and asked, “Bangaroo, do you love Me?” The student said, “Yes Swami. I love You.”

Bhagawan said, “That is enough. There is no need of faith. If you love Me, you deserve Me.”

That is how magnanimous and compassionate our Lord is! He never seeks even ‘faith’ from us. He is hungry only for our love!

In His divine discourse on the occasion of Christmas in 1998, Bhagawan declared that even the love we feel in our hearts for Him is not our property but His and so we must gift it back to Him.

Let us not make the Lord stay hungry and beg for our love. Let us fill His heart with our love so that He remains satiated all the time. That is all He seeks from us!

- Team Radio Sai

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