Anil Kumar's talks & text Index
Avatar Declaration Day
To celebrate this landmark event in Baba’s life - 20th October every year is celebrated as the Avatar Declaration Day. It is on this historically significant day in the year 1940 that the young lad Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come.
(Offering on the Anniversary of Avatar Declaration Day)
---- Kamaraju Anil Kumar
nēnu sāyini teliyumu nikkamuganu
mamata bāyumu yatnamul mānukonumu
pāse mīku nātōḍi sambandhaminka
kādu nanpaţţa yeţţi ghanunikaina
“Know that I am truly Sai.
Cast off attachment! Give up your attempts!
From now on your ties to me are dead.
Not even the greatest can bind me.”
When was this sung! Well, these are the words Baba spoke to his family, roughly 66 years ago, on the 20th October 1940, right after discarding his books on returning from school. In those days, none would have heard the name “Sai” in the whole of Andhra Pradesh. In fact, it is only after our Baba’s declaration that he is the avatar of Shirdi that people became acquainted with the name “Shirdi Sai.” Now it is well known in every nook and corner. The earlier avatar is being very widely worshipped, and Shirdi Sai mandirs have come up in their hundred and thousands. Baba’s amazing and marvellous declaration, “Know that I am truly Sai,” is indeed the prelude for all this.
Baba decided upon who his parents and close associates should be, as also the lineage of descent, the Ratnakaras. To the delight of everyone he had been performing numerous amazing miracles right from the moment of his birth. Our revered Baba uttered these words on a supremely auspicious morning. This Declaration of Avatar marks a new dawn for the earth and a new era for the universe. For the human race, it is a beacon of hope, a gentle shower of Love, a great gift of Peace, a radiant Truth, a Lamp of Dharma.
Prostrating at the lotus feet of Bhagavan and offering my respectful salutations, I submit this article, a modest attempt to recapitulate revered Baba’s sweet teachings and poems. Reading this with devotion, diligence, and faith, and acknowledging our debt to him for guiding us on the path of life, let us present to the Avatar our flower-blossoms of gratitude for being his contemporaries. Let us bathe with tears of joy our Swami who has always protected, nourished, and cared for us. Let us pray to Sai to make our lives meaningful by rededicating ourselves to fully understand and implement Sai’s message.
Once Krishna had left behind his parents, Devaki and Vasudeva, he never returned to them again. Nor had Rama met Kausalya and Dasaratha after leaving Ayodhya. History tells us that Bhagavan Buddha set out on his quest for nirvāṇa from the women’s apartments of the royal palace. It is well known that the Great Adi Sankara took leave of his mother and became the sovereign of the world of Advaita. It is common knowledge that Raman left home and acquired great fame as Ramana Maharshi. This is true of Sri Aurobindo as well. But the avatar who declared at a very tender age, “Know that I am truly Sai,” cautioned everyone to “cast off attachment,” and added, “Give up your attempts” (to bring me back),” asserted in no uncertain terms, “From now on your ties to me are dead,” and indicated that the nature of the avatar is beyond enquiry and investigation, saying, “Not even the greatest can bind me,” is the matchless avatar, the pūrṇāvatār, Sri Sathya Sai avatar.
Sri Sathya Sai is a unique, marvellous, and most urgently needed divine avatar. This great and glorious avatar offers solace to four types of people: those in distress, those in quest of wealth, or knowledge, and the wise.
padi dinambulanunḍi pastunnavāniki
ceruvubāvula nīļļu karavaina yappuḍu
varusagā varshambu kurisinaţlu
santati lēkanu cintillu vāniki
puṇya suputrunḍu puţţinaţlu
kūţiki lēkanu allāḍucunnaţţi
pēdaku bhakshyambu dorikinaţlu
dharmanāśana magucunna dharaṇiyandu
prabhavamandenu śrī sāyi partiyandu
intakannanu vēreddi erukaparatu
“Like the chance of a good meal
For one starving for ten days,
Like a ceaseless downpour
After a drought had left every tank and well dry,
Like the birth of a good, pious son
To one grieving without offspring,
Like a few dainty dishes
For a poor man in need of food,
When dharma is declining in the world,
Sri Sai took birth in Parthi.
What else is there for me to add,
O Gentle, noble, honoured, cultured people!”
Rama, Krishna and the other avatars destroyed the wicked, protected the virtuous, and revived dharma. Bhagavan Sri Krishna brought this out in the Bhagavdgita, saying: paritrāṇāya sādhūnām / vināśāya ca dushkṛtām/ dharmasamsthāpanārthāya/ sambhavāmi yugē yugē, “For the preservation of the righteous, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of dharma, I take birth in yuga after yuga.”
Revered Baba described his avatar in these words:
durguṇambulu savarinci toḍaruţakunu
garbhaduhkha mokintayu kāncakunḍa
puţţucunḍu svēcchagā puḍami sāyi
“To amend and reverse evil traits,
To undertake the care of good men,
Without even an iota of pain during birth
Sai incarnates on earth of his own will.”
The Lord’s declaration in the Bhagavadgita, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata abhyutthānamadharmasya tadātmānam sṛjāmyaham, underscores the decline of dharma in the world. Swami has once again reminded us of the promise made by the Gitacharya. The Krishna of that time and the Sai of today are identical, and have one and the same mission for their advent. Long ago Swami explained in detail the goals of the present avatar, and these are being accomplished all the time. He is a siddhasankalpa, one who can work miracles. He has clarified that the Sai avatar descends on earth not to punish, but to transform wicked people, “amend and reverse evil traits.”
Bhagavan has outlined the objectives of the avatar in these lines:
rakşimcucumdutē dīkşa nāku
sanmārgamunu vīḍi cariyimcu vārala
patti kāpāḍutē vratamu nāku
bīdasādalakaina penubādha tolagimci
lēmini bāputē prēma nāku
manci ceddalu kūda manasulō samamugā
bhāvimcucumduṭē bhakti nāku
anaga bērondi nāyanḍa nalaruvāri
nennaḍunu maruvani vāḍananna māţa
neţţi kucitamu madiki nēnērpakundu
aţţi nā pēru ceḍuţa yeţlagunu bhuvini
“Bestowing on all men happiness
And protecting them is my ‘Vow’;
Bringing back those straying from the path of virtue
And saving them is my ‘Mission’;
For me, wiping away agony and penury,
And protecting the destitute is ‘Love’;
For me, holding both good and evil
In the mind as equals is ‘Devotion.’
Thus, I never forsake those under my care,
Nor teach them any kind of meanness,
How on earth can my name be tarnished!”
Giving us reassurance of security with the words, “Bring your sorrows, leave them at my feet, and carry home happiness,” ”Your happiness is indeed my food,” “Be happy and Swami is happy,” and “Why fear, when I am here,” Swami adds, “Bestowing on all men happiness, / And protecting them is my ‘Vow’.” The good fortune of Swami’s darśan has brought about a transformation in ever so many people given to bad habits, corrupting ways, and sinful deeds. Many there are who have reformed themselves, responding to Swami’s call, “Give up smoking, drinking, and eating meat.” This is why Swami observed, “Bringing back those straying from the path of virtue / And saving them is my ‘Mission.’” Bhagavan himself conducts on his own numerous service and welfare activities. He demonstrates the ideal, and is “wiping away agony and penury,/ And protecting the destitute” all over the world through the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. Counselling us to maintain equanimity, and not to be elated by success or depressed by failure, Swami asserted, “For me, holding both good and evil / In the mind as equals is ‘Devotion.’”
On another occasion Swami described the activities of the avatar in these words:
nayamārgamuna trippi naḍupukoraku
lōkambulella kallōlamai ceḍiyunḍa
nishkalmashamu cēsi negaḍukoraku
durmārgabuddhulai krungi dīnata nunḍa
sādhu samrakshaṇa salupukoraku
kshmābhāramu bāpi bhūdēvi manupukoraku
trētanosagina kōrkelu tīrcukoraku
avatarincenu acyutu ḍavaniyandu
satyarūpuḍai partilō cūḍu ḍipuḍu
“When modes of yugadharma tumble down,
Reversing their course and setting them aright,
When nations in turmoil head towards ruin,
Removing the rot and aiding their success,
When, with evil minds, men droop dejected,
Carrying on the support of the meek and gentle,
When time passes leaving doubts unillumined,
Explaining the secret keys of interpretation,
Nourishing the Earth, easing her burden,
Fulfilling the boons granted in Treta Yuga,
Imperishable Achyuta came down to the earth.
Come! See him in Parthi as Sathya.”
In this modern age when men move about despising the nation’s culture, traditions, and customs, bidding goodbye to her values, Bhagavan Baba is reviving and implementing the cherished values of dharma, morality, and spirituality. A clue to the way he guides Bharat’s progress is suggested in the description: “When modes of yugadharma tumble down, / Reversing their course and setting them aright.”
Swami announced an aspect of his mission in the passage: “When nations in turmoil head towards ruin,/ Removing the rot and aiding their success,” Today mankind is lost and bogged down in jealousy, hatred, and ostentation. Through EHV (Education in Human Values), Swami holds out a new hope for humanity and will imbue it with Truth, Righteousness, Peace, and Love. “Carrying on the support of the meek and gentle,” Swami’s spiritual campaign is geared to the transformation of man through encouraging righteousness and inspiring righteous conduct and activities. As “time passes leaving doubts unillumined,” the truth and inner meaning of ancient Vedic lore, the Upanshads and Puranas are lost and a variety of meanings are fabricated. This accounts for Baba’s remark on “Explaining the secret keys of interpretation” and clarifies the meaning of the statement: “Imperishable Achyuta came down to the earth.“ The avatar is a special feature of Sanātanadharma. In other religions the mention of avatar is not to be found. This is the peculiarity of Hinduism. As the divine plan unfolds, the Immutable Lord, without shape or form, takes on form and attributes as an avatar in accordance with the time and the society. He uplifts mankind by demonstrating the truth of the ideals he proclaims. Swami has pointed out that the divine Sathya Sai avatar, moving among us and making us happy and the earlier avatars are indeed part of the will of the one Supreme Spirit.
ē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
prahlādu pālimpa paramapurushu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
pēda kucēlu brōva vēgacaritu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
karini gāceḍu tari kamalanayanu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
balicakravarti kāvanga nōrci
ā guṇambe gaṇinci yī amaravandyu
ḍārtajananādhu ḍīnāḍu avatarince
velge partīśuḍai nēḍu pṛthiviyandu
“Which trait had the Supreme Spirit weighed,
The day he came to protect Prahlada?
Which trait had the Embodied Veda weighed,
The day he came to save poor Kuchela?
Which trait had the Lotus Eyed One weighed,
The day he came to rescue Gajendra?
Which trait had the Lotus Eyed One weighed,
The day he came to cherish Emperor Bali?
That very trait this Adored of Gods weighed
To descend, and relieve suffering mankind.
Today the all-pervading Consciousness, Srinivasa,
Manifests himself on earth as the Lord of Parthi.”
We should always keep in mind that Srinivasa, the all-pervading Consciousness, who out of his infinite compassion protected Prahlada, Kuchela, Gajendra and Emperor Bali appears on earth in visible form as the Lord of Parthi. On another occasion, echoing as it were, Krishna’s assurance, “I shall take birth in each yuga” depending on the state of the yugadharma, revered Baba remarked: palumāru puţţu nā caluva yella, “my Grace manifests itself several times.” Thus, the connection with earlier avatars has been suggested.
makara pīḍita mattēbhamunu nāḍu
vīkshinci brōcu nā prēmaphalamu
valuvalūḍceḍināḍu vaidarbhi vadinanu
vaḍi gācinaţţi yavyājakaruṇa
āhlādamoppa nā prahlādu saragunan
pālincinaţţi yapāra kṛpayu
dushţulan degaţūrci śishţulan dari jērca
palumāru puţţu nā caluva yella
telisikommu kastūri nā ţēne manasu
janmadinamuna nā dīvenala nandukommu
“Seeing the elephant king tormented by the crocodile,
My Love it was which that day came to his rescue.
That day when Draupadi was being disrobed,
My free Grace it was which flew to save her honour.
When Prahlada was protected in a trice,
It was but my infinite Compassion sporting merrily.
Drawing close the good, and humbling the wicked
My Beneficence fully manifests itself several times.
Realise now, Kasturi, how tender my heart is
And receive on your birthday these blessings of mine.”
The “Love” which rescued the elephant king, Gajendra, the “free Grace” which saved Draupadi’s honour in the royal palace, the “infinite Compassion” which protected Prahlada, and the “Beneficence” which ceaselessly manifests to humble the pride of the wicked ---- all point to his tender heart. Bhagavan Baba, the Bhōlāśankar (Easily pleased Sankara), Abhayankar (Granter of Fearlessness) is verily the embodiment of Siva. The Paramasiva, who has vibhūti daubed all over himself, became Sathya Sai to bless devotees with the most sacred vibhūti , which fulfils all our earthly desires and grants salvation too.
In Kodaikanal once it so happened that I could see Swami’s feet at close quarters. On the left foot I saw the marks of anklets, and the right foot appeared normal. I asked Swami, “What is this, Swami? This is so amazing.” Swami replied, “Don’t you know even this much? This is the form of Ardhanariswara.” Bhagavan is indeed aparaśankara, another Sankara. Let us note what he said on another occasion:
mauļi gulkeḍu candra makhanḍa kaļatōḍa
beḍagāru gulkeḍu jaḍalatōḍa
jaḍalatō pravahincu cadalēţi jigitōḍa
ḍambaina phāla nētrambu vāḍu
nallanēreḍu vanţi nallani meḍamīda
naḍumuna cuţţina nāgacarmamutōḍa
maininḍa naladu bhasmambutōḍa
nuduţa cērcina doḍḍa kumkuma boţtutō
āru śāstrambulanduna nandaginci
nallakaluvala hasiyinci kollalāḍu
merugu cāmanacāya mēnitōḍa
partivāsuḍu nēḍu sākshātkarince
“With a bright moon beaming over the top-knot,
With locks of bright hair playfully stirring,
With dazzling Ganges gushing down matted locks,
With a gorgeous third eye adorning the forehead,
With a bracelet of snakes
Over the neck and arms dark as black plums,
With snakeskin winding round the waist,
With sacred ash smeared all over the body,
With a charming vermilion mark gracing the brow,
With lips reddened by chewing betel,,
Elegantly sketched in all the six sciences,
With a smile making the blue lotuses blush,
And a body swarthy and lustrous
This day the Lord of Parthi appeared in visible form.”
Looking at the pupils from our revered Baba’s institutions, we feel they might have been the cowherd friends of Krishna. Swami’s mandir in Bangalore is indeed Brindavan. Puttaparthi strikes one as though it once was Repalle with its own Gokulam started by Swami. Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda, turning himself into Sai, the embodiment of Bliss, has come down to identify his kith and kin. That Ramachandra became this Sai Ram and is looking after his former “soldiers.” The child Sai Isa is busy playing with his band of friends. MahaVishnu, the Great Vishnu himself had come down as Mahivishnu, Vishnu on earth, and got possession of his weapons. What else do we want besides watching, rejoicing, and recalling how the Supreme Spirit is at play now with his puppets on this world stage as he did in the past!
ā nanda bāluḍē ānanda bāluḍai
tana vāri gurtimpa tarali vacce
ā rāmacandruḍē ārāmacandruḍai
tana banţulanu kangonaga vacce
ā yīśuḍē bāla sāyīśuḍai
tana gumputō āḍukonaga vacce
ā mahāvishṇuvē ī mahīvishṇuvai
tana āyudhamulu cēgonaga vacce
aţţi paramātmayanu bommalātagāḍu
tānu jīvula rangasthalāna nilipi
āḍu ānāţi īnāţi āţa jūci
sunta varṇinci konta santasamu ganuḍi
“To recognise his former kith and kin,
That son of Nanda set out as this Blissful Child.
To spot his erstwhile troops,
That Ramachandra descended as this Sylvan Moon,
For some fun with his previous playmates,
That Isa arrived here as Bala Sai Isa,
To once again take up arms,
That Mahavishnu turned into this Vishnu on earth.
That puppeteer, also known as the Supreme Spirit,
Himself assigns each creature a role on this world stage.
Now go, watch His old familiar game,
Recount it a little, rejoice a little!”
Bhagavan Baba is ever subservient to the devotees. If you call out, “Sai,” he answers, “Ōyī! Yes!” When you address him saying, “Swami!” his reply is, “Ēmī! What now!” These instant responses confer immeasurable solace, relief, and courage. Sai Sarvesvara and no other, grants divine experiences and protects even those living in far flung areas of the earth. That is why the poem runs:
kalata dīrcu nokaţa kalalōna kanipinci
dhyāna manduna tōci dariki pilucu
manasulōna yunḍi manciki naḍipincu
“Appearing in a dream, he removes worry at one place.
In dhyana at another, he beckons you to come closer.
From within our mind he guides us for our good.
Bestower of peace and comfort, O Sathya Sai!”
Once a pilot lost control of his plane and direction too. While he was utterly helpless, suddenly there emerged from the sky clear loud instructions. Signs saying, “right,” “left,” and “straight” were received. The p[lane landed safely at an airport. He thought to himself, “Oh God! What a lucky escape!” Nobody knows who gave the instructions and signs. Eventually the pilot reached Prasanthinilayam. A few days later, Swami gave him an interview and remarked, “I am the one who saved the plan that day.” Guess who the pilot was! He is none other than James Sinclair, an American from Connecticut.
Once a gentleman and his grandson went to Darjeeling. The boy was playing with some friends. It was getting dark. The grandfather wanted to go to the bus all by himself and lost his way. Now everyone knows how some young lad appeared there and led him to the bus. Well, that lad was no other than our Swami. Many years ago a somewhat stout lady, a devotee from our town (Guntur) came to Parthi for Swami’s darśan. She slipped and fell down from the top of the hill. But, nothing happened to her. That evening during the darśan hour, Swami was joking with her saying, “What? Did you mean to break the rocks of the hill?” Even today her family recounts this event and bursts out laughing. Once there was in the Foreign Ministry a certain gentleman, Anantaraman. He did not have much faith. Yielding to the insistence of his mother, he accompanied her to Brindavan for Baba’s darśan. His son had been playing in the swimming pool of the hotel. Suddenly they discovered the dead body of the boy floating there. In utter desperation, they were moaning and praying to Bhagavan, and attempting to revive him. The boy came back to life, and their faith was strengthened. Irrespective of time and place Sri Sai saves us and grants us freedom from fear.
paţţaṇamuna nunna palle nunna
guţţa nunna naţţēţa nunna
madini sāyi ninnu maruvaḍepuḍu
“In the sea or the sky,
In town or village, wherever you may be,
On a hill or in the middle of a stream,
Sai will never forsake you.”
Go anywhere, and ask any devotee whatever his nationality or language may be. “What is your experience?” He begins to roll his eyes, raise his eyebrows and shedding tears of joy, instantly becomes voluble. Even if the sea were to turn into ink, the trees into pens, and the earth into a book, we doubt whether these would be sufficient to record all the experiences of every devotee. After all, how many can be recorded? Each of them has a novel feature, a unique touch to it. What matters most to the devotee is experience. That explains the song:
ē dēśamēginā yī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya paţhana
ē ūra jūcinā ī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya japamu
ē nōţa vinnanu ī nāmamē sumī
sāyi rāma yanucu satya japamu
ē cōţa cūcinā ī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya bhajana
viśva mellaḍa vyāptiyai baraguvāḍu
bhakta janulaku prāptuḍai paraguvāḍu
bhakti nosagi rakshinceḍivāḍu
partivāsuḍu mimmēla hattukonaḍu
“Whichever be the country we visit, this name alone,
“O Sathya Sai!,” thus runs the constant refrain.
Whichever be the town we visit, this name alone,
“O Sathya Sai!,” thus runs the unending chant.
Whomever we meet, this name alone,
“Sai Rama!,” thus runs the daily greeting.
He who pervades the universe entire,
He who is ever the prop of devotees,
Who, instilling faith, protects us,
Why won’t he, the Lord of Parthi, clasp you?”
When I was in Brindavan I read out this poem. Swami said, “Read it again.” and enquired, “What did you say towards the end?” I replied, “Swami! I concluded, ‘Why won’t the Lord of Parthi clasp you!’” “No, no.,” Swami added, “Correct it to read, partivāsuḍu mimmēla ettukonaḍu, Why won’t the Lord of Parthi pick you up and hold you, like a child, in his arms!” Swami’s love is lofty like the Himalayas. Swami remarked, “Even if you leave me, I shall not abandon you.”
When, after my retirement, I sought permission to leave for my native town, Swami remarked, “There or anywhere else, I myself have to look after you. Who is there for you?” Isn’t that true? Wherever I look, here, there, or elsewhere, there is only One, Bhagavan.
śrī puţţaparti nilayuḍu
kāpaḍunu ninnu nepuḍu karuṇākaruḍai
cēpaţţi ninnu brōcucu
ē paţţuna viḍuvaka ēlunu ninnun
“The Lord of Parthi, the Compassionate Sai,
Looks after you for ever and ever.
Holding you by the hand, he watches over you,
And never letting go, he guides you.”
For us, who struggle, drown, float, and choke in this ocean of worldly life, the boat that can lead us to the shore happily and safely is indeed Bhagavan Sathya Sai. He says, “With faith in me, patiently wait a little and your own experience will teach you.”
sāramu lēni yaţţi bhavsāgaramandu muningi tēlucun
dāriyu tennunu ganaka tattara mandeḍi
vōrimi yincukanta madi nūnucu bhaktini kalgicuḍu śri
kāruḍu satyasāyi ninu kāvaga vaccina nāva gāncavē
“Why sink and float in this dull ocean of earthly ties,
And become agitated, lacking means and method?
Have a little patience, and with devotion watch!
Behold the rescue boat, the giver of plenty, Sathya Sai!”
Swami says, “Do not try to understand me. Experience me.” Understanding, explaining, clarifying – all these have to do with the mind. The amazing thing to note is that Divinity is not accessible to the mind; it transcends the mind. In fact, we should say that it is beyond the reach of language and thought, but directly accessible through experience. Speech, writing, memory, intellect, and erudition are all linked to the mind. That is why Bhagavan has been described as avāŋmānasagōcara, not cognisable by speech or thought. The Upanishad declares, “The one who says, ‘I know,’ does not know.” As experience is the only evidence, nothing more is required. If we place our trust in the mind, we will be ruined.
centa cērce naţancu santasinceda ranna
venţanē eḍabāpi cinta gūrcu
ēḍipincuţa sāyi vēḍuka yandurā
kaḍupubba navvincu naḍuma naḍuma
pogaḍucunnāḍani pongi pōyeda rēmo
tappa kappuḍe egatāļi sēyu
abhaya miccenu gāna hāyiga nunḍeda nanna
paḍu bādhalaku antu paţţakunḍu
venuka kēga nīḍu cana nīḍu mundnku
manasu marulu golpi madhana beţţu
iţţi cinni sāyi cinmaya mūrtini
eţţu tiruga galaru ilanu mīru
“When you want to rejoice over a little nearness,
At once distancing himself, he makes you sad.
If you think your grief is fun for Sai,
From time to time he makes you burst with laughter,
If you are ever elated over his words of praise,
Certain it is, he will tease and mock you next.
If you relax, as he assured you freedom from fear,
You learn, your troubles have no end.
He does not permit any retreat, or advance either.
Enthralling your heart, he leaves it agitated.
How on earth can you manage
This little Sai, this Embodied Consciousness?”
Offering our humble salutations at Swami’s Lotus Feet during the Declaration of Avatar celebrations, let us earnestly pray that all of us may receive his boundless grace and blessings, and bear in mind that Sai’s protection is the salvation of the world,
(Translation: Padma and Ramesh Dutta Thippavajjala)
Source: with kind permission of Prof. Anil Kumar (Offering on the Anniversary of Avatar Declaration Day 20th Oct.) / SBOI
20th October every year is celebrated as the Avatar Declaration Day. It is on this historically significant day in the year 1940 that the young lad Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come. The following lines capture the events on that epochal day:
Sathyanarayana started for school as usual. However, within a few minutes, He returned to the house. Standing on the outer doorstep, He cast aside the books He was carrying and called out, “I am no longer your Sathya. I am Sai.” The sister-in-law came from the kitchen, only to be blinded by the splendour of the halo around Baba's head! He addressed her, “I am going; I don't belong to you; Maya (delusion) has gone; My Bhaktas (devotees) are calling Me; I have My Work; I can't stay here any longer." When the brother hurried home on hearing all this, Baba only told him, "Give up all your efforts to 'cure' Me. I am Sai; I do not consider Myself related to you".
In spite of repeated pleas, Sathya would not step into that building again. He moved in into the garden of the Excise Inspector Sri Anjaneyulu's bungalow, and sat on a rock in the midst of the trees. People came into the garden from all directions bringing flowers, fruits, incense and camphor to worship Him. The garden resonated with the voices of hundreds singing bhajans (devotional singing) and following the lines of the first prayer that Sri Sathya Sai taught them.
“Manasa Bhajare Gurucharanam Dusthara Bhava Sagara Tharanam “
(O Mind! Meditate on the Feet of the Guru, which will take you across the wearisome sea of Samsara or worldly existence.)
To celebrate this landmark event in Baba’s life, the Avatar Declaration Day is celebrated every year with devotion and gratitude.
Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses:
In 2002, Avatar Declaration Day discourse Swami recalled His childhood days and shared with everyone His early years. A small excerpt is here:
“The Corporation Commissioner of Bellary and his wife played host to us for three days. They took us to the Virupaksha temple in the nearby Hampi Kshetra. Seshama Raju and his wife told Me to remain outside the temple and keep a watch over their belongings as they would go inside to have darshan of the deity. I readily agreed and remained outside. As soon as they entered the temple, to their utter astonishment, they found Me standing inside the sanctum sanctorum where the deity is supposed to be standing. Seshama Raju could not believe his eyes. He thought, "Why did he come here when I told him specifically to remain outside and take care of our belongings?" He at once came out of the temple only to find Me standing there! He again went inside and found Me there also! Still he was not convinced. He told his wife, "You go outside and keep a watch over Sathya. Do not allow him to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I will go inside and see whether he is still there." She did accordingly. He again saw a smiling Sathya standing in the sanctum sanctorum. The Corporation Commissioner was also a witness to all this. He recognised My divinity. When they came out of the temple, he caught hold of Seshama Raju's hands and said, "Raju, do not be under the impression that Sathya is your brother. He is not an ordinary person. You are deluded seeing His physical form. There is divine power in Him.
We came back to the Commissioner's house, had our food there and started our return journey to Uravakonda. The Commissioner wanted to give Me a gift. He said that he would get four pairs of shorts and shirts stitched for Me. I firmly told him that I would not accept even one. He did not want to force Me either. Then his wife suggested that a gold collar pin would be an appropriate gift for Me. In those days, it was a matter of prestige for children to wear a collar pin. Immediately, he bought a gold collar pin and put it on the collar of My shirt. I protested. Under any circumstances, I never accepted anything from others. But, Seshama Raju insisted that I accept the gift. He said that my refusal to accept the gift would amount to showing disrespect to the Commissioner. So, I obeyed him.
After returning from Hampi, I was going to school wearing the collar pin. The pin dropped on the way and could not be traced. A major change took place in Me. Worldly attachment left Me in the guise of a collar pin. I decided to embark on My mission to alleviate the sufferings of My devotees.”
“Avatar Declaration Day”
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Let me greet you all at the outset, as we celebrate the Avatar Declaration Day, or the day of the Advent of the Avatar. It was in the year 1940, on October 20th, in a place named Uravakonda, that Bhagavan declared that He is God Incarnate. Therefore, the 20th of October marks a very important event in history.
The Avatar Declaration Day has a purpose behind it. Why Avatar? What is an Avatar? How to reach an Avatar? These are the aspects I want to deal with this morning as a preparation for tomorrow’s celebration. When we know these aspects in depth, we can really enjoy the event.
What Is ‘Avatar’?
The first point: What is ‘Avatar’? ‘Incarnation’ is the English translation. Why should God incarnate? The first aspect I want to deal with this morning is: What is an Incarnation? What is an Avatar?
Here are a few points. It is not possible to cover all, but at least if I highlight a few of the important features, I think the major purpose will be served. Having been inspired, later you might gather information all by yourself.
What does Avatar mean? Avatar is the ‘descent of God in human form’. What do I mean by that? God, who is everywhere, God, who is all-pervasive, God, who is everything, unmanifest, blemishless, spotless and without a beginning or an end -- that all-encompassing God takes a human form. In other words, the descent of God in a human form is called an Avatar.
Avatar Has a Dual Personality
As may be well known to you, I have been a teacher for the last four decades. Old habits die hard, so naturally you will find this teaching trait in every one of my activities.
Point two is this: The Avatar has in Him a dual personality, a twofold dimension. What is it? One is the human aspect; the other is the Divine aspect. Avatar has a dual personality, with a human perspective and a Divine aspect coupled together.
AVATAR MANIFESTS In Response to Prayers of Devotees
Point three: How is it that an Avatar is not seen annually? Why not everyday? Why only occasionally? This point will tell us why an Avatar comes once in a while. The Avatar happens for aspirants, for seekers, for devotees. In response to the prayers of the seekers, aspirants and believers, God, out of His compassion, manifests in a human form. Avatar comes in response to the prayers of seekers, aspirants and devotees.
‘Sri Sathya Sai Intercontinental Airlines’
Point four: Avatar is like an aeroplane. Just imagine the flight that brought you here - Lufthansa, Transworld Airlines or Indian Airlines.
Here we have ‘Sri Sathya Sai Intercontinental Airlines’. This flight has come down to pick up passengers. We can’t expect to board the flight while it is flying high. It’s impossible! When it is above ground level or at three or four thousand-feet, it is impossible to board a flight. Am I not right? Naturally, the flight has to come down and land. The flight lands, so that we can board with an embarkation card, visa and passport. The embarkation card is eligibility. The visa is devotion. The passport is sadhana, spiritual practice. With the spiritual practice and the devotion, we have the embarkation card - the deservedness, the right to get into ‘Sri Sathya Sai Intercontinental Airlines’. The aeroplane naturally has to come down and land so that the passengers can get in.
Who are the passengers? They are the seekers and the aspirants. Where is the airport? Is it Heathrow Airport or J. F. Kennedy Airport or Indira Gandhi International Airport? The airport is the human heart. It is so vast. You are sure of a safe landing and safe take-off, without any crash landing. ‘Sathya Sai Intercontinental’ air flight is safe. It cannot be hijacked. It is impossible, because the pilot is God Himself.
You find constant announcements during the flight. Sathya Sai Bhagavan, the captain and the pilot of ‘Sri Sathya Sai Airlines’ assures all of safety and comfort. Call on Him for whatever you require. The air flight services are at your disposal. The calling is nothing but bhajan. Then you can call and have members of the crew over and ready to serve you at every moment. The members of the crew are Sai volunteers. The volunteers are ready to serve you whatever you want, but you should have your seat belts well fastened. Fasten the seat belt of discipline. If this seat belt is not there, safety is doubtful.
Near And Dear
Point five: Unless you are so near and dear to a person, it is not possible to establish kinship. You cannot communicate, you cannot converse, you cannot feel free unless you are near and dear to a person who is in the physical frame. So the Avatar comes in a physical frame in order to establish kinship with all the devotees, seekers and aspirants.
100% Awareness Of The Divinity
Point six: The Avatar is poorna. Poorna means ‘total’ or ‘whole’.
I will share with you one point that Bhagavan made some time back. In our own humble way, we are also Avatars. Yet, we have not recognised the Divinity within every one of us. Because we have not allowed the Divinity to flow incessantly, we are not aware of the Divinity within. Why? We are always external and worldly, pravrithimarga. Pravrithimarga means ‘external, outward’. We never make the inward journey. We never make a breakthrough, and hence we have no concept of the Divinity within, though it is there.
The Avatar, unlike all of us, is aware of the Divinity. That’s why Bhagavan always says, “I’m inscrutable. Whatever I will, will happen. I can transmute earth into the sky and the sky back into earth. Nothing can come in My way. Whatever I will, will happen!” This assertion is because of the awareness of total Divinity, in depth and in full. So we can say He is Poorna Avatar, with 100% awareness of His Divinity.
Bhagavan also made a reference to other forms of Avatars -- Amsaavatars. Amsa means ‘spark’. We are all Amsaavatars meaning ‘sparks of Divinity’.
There is another category, Avesa Avatar. Avesa is an outburst of energy, full of temper, full of fury and anger. This is to correct, rectify and eradicate. It is to remove the evil force henceforth. Certain things require immediate treatment. Other things can afford to wait. Complaints like appendicitis will have to be attended to immediately, failing which the patient will find a birth on the other planet; while other complaints can be kept in abeyance, waiting for some time.
So an Incarnation happens because the situation is so bad that it calls for personal intervention. His assistants won’t do. All those people at His beck and call cannot serve the purpose. We need the ‘chief physician’. We need the ‘chief surgeon’ to intervene to solve the problem, to restore health and establish normalcy. That is the Poorna Avatar, who is whole and total.
It Is Not The Normal Delivery
Point seven: The birth of an Avatar has a special feature. This you know from the Bible. The spark of Divinity entered the womb of the mother, Virgin Mary, who gave birth to Christ. This we read in the Bible. All Avatars are born in that way. The holy light on that holy night took a human form, the babe of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ.
Divinity getting into the womb of the mother is not in any way related to a normal human birth. We call it pravesa, which means the Divine light gets into the womb of a mother, and the baby is born. The normal human birth is prasava. Avatar it is not the normal delivery, as in the case of a human. Instead it is pravesa, Divinity entering the mother.
The Avatar Chooses His Parents
Point eight: We are born for reasons not known to us. No one gave us any application form to ask to whom we should be born. Had any application form been given, we would have asked to be born in the Rockefeller family, the Bill Gates family or something like that, right? Why not! But the situation is beyond our control. We do not know; we do not have a choice.
But the Avatar chooses His parents. It is not by an accident, but by His Will. The other blood relations are also chosen, which we come to know in the course of the biography of any Avatar. The biographical details of any Avatar will give us the reason why He has chosen to be born in that family; why other members happen to be His contemporaries and blood relations, and their particular role in the Divine mission.
God Descends As A Mark Of Compassion
Point nine: We may feel that God, who is all-encompassing, all-pervading, formless and attributeless, might be setting limits to the limitless by taking a human form. We are attributing finite to the Infinite, bringing down the measureless within the framework of the measure. It is bringing down the birthless, the endless Divinity, within the framework of birth. Why? God comes down in human form not in any way to limit His Divinity, not in any way to narrow His scope of mission, not in any way in submission, but out of compassion. God coming down in limited form is an expression of compassion, not submission.
I will give you an example from one of Bhagavan’s Divine discourses: “The mother bends down to pick up the child in order to make the child eat a morsel of food. The mother bending down is not a sign of slavery; hers is not a menial temperament. It is her compassion. It is her love for the child that makes her bend. So God also bends. God descends as a mark of kindness and compassion.”
I have given you some glimpses into a few of the concepts on the first aspect, which I wanted to deal with this morning, at the time when we are about to celebrate the Avatar Declaration Day. You can find out more for yourself by going through Sai literature.
The Second Aspect: Why Avatar?
The second aspect is: Why Avatar? As I told you, as I am a typical teacher, I go on like this.
The first point: He comes to establish dharma. What is dharma? It is a code of conduct, a method of behaviour, the established norms of society, morality and the fixed law. All of them constitute the single term ‘dharma’. Sanskrit is a language where every word is multi-dimensional. Every word has so many meanings. We can only understand it depending upon the context rather than the occasion.
I want to bring this point to your attention: A tree lives the life of a tree; a bird lives the life of a bird; an animal lives the life of an animal. Unfortunately, the human is not living the life of a human! The human is worse than a beast. The human is worse than a bird.
So when a human being has forgotten to live the life of a human being, God has to come down and say, “Look here, my dear friends, this is not the way. I want you to live befitting the title of a human being.”
One time Bhagavan said, “This word ‘person’ is derived from the etiological word, persona. Persona means ‘that which is sacred’.” So a ‘person’, derived from the word persona, has to be sacred.
Yet, man today is living a most unsacred life. A bird has the quality of a bird. A tiger relishes only meat and flesh. Even if you offer it south Indian idly or sambar, it will not touch it. Man has been given the choice to relish meat or vegetarian food. Man is endowed with discrimination, discretion and the faculty of judgment. Therefore, all human beings, all animals and all trees are meant to conduct themselves as per their own code.
Yet humans are not leading a manly life. Humans are not behaving in a human way. Every day tells us how inhuman we are. No animal takes the life of another animal. A dog might bark at another dog, but a dog won’t kill another dog. No tree ever kills another tree. No lion kills another lion. It is only man who kills his fellow man. Our civilisation, our science and our technology are used to kill the other man, to meet our selfish interests and satisfy our selfish ends.
So here comes our God to tell us, “No, nothing doing! I am here to tell you that you have to live life in a human way.” This is the precise code called dharma.
You Are Not Just Human
Point two: We think that we are just human: Dust-to-dust thou return. People think that birth is accidental. People think that they are born just to die, and the gap between birth and death is to be spent in a gala way - drinking, dancing, eating and merrymaking.
“I’ll go to the casino at Las Vegas. Why not?” As you know, that has been the dream. “Why shouldn’t I gamble? Why not drink? Human life is gifted to me now, and I’m not sure what will happen next. So I’ll make the best use of every moment given to me. Being in the world, let me be worldly.” It is justifiable or human or materialist.
But the Avatar tells us, “No, my dear son. It is not that. You are not just human. You are not just a living being. You are not just an organic entity. You are beyond. A tree can afford to be a tree. An animal can afford to be animal. A human being can live as a human, but he can even become Divine! So you are more than you think you are. You think that you are just a human. No. You can even be Divine. You can transcend yourself. You can beat your own record, my dear son. Understand you are basically Divine.”
A constant reminder of the latent Divinity in everyone is one of the tasks the Avatar has taken upon Himself.
God Is Beyond Time And Space
Point three: The Avatar is here to make us experience that God is everywhere. You find Baba responding to the prayers of those living in Rio de Janeiro, Argentina, Peru, Italy and Africa. Name the country and you find Baba there. His manifestation is everywhere, all over the globe, which makes us believe that God exists.
Being here, you and I cannot be in the canteen simultaneously, though we wish to. You and I cannot be here and at the same time there, no matter how willing we are. It is impossible as we are conditioned by time and space.
However, God is beyond time and space. By manifesting everywhere, by showering His grace whenever He is called upon, by responding to prayers, we have the firm conviction born out of experience that God is everywhere. That is the Divine purpose behind an Incarnation.
Point four: God teaches us the lesson of Love. You may be wondering: “Why do I need a lesson? I know what love is. I love, yes!”
You may love, I may love, and we may say that love is familiar to all of us. Yet, the love that we have, that we claim, is just mundane, just worldly, just conditional, bound by time. It’s partial and biased; our love is not unbiased. Our love is not unconditional. Our love is not selfless.
As Bhagavan says, “When your father is in a good position, when there is enough money in his pockets, everyone will be saying, ‘Hello!’ Once his pocket is empty and the father retires, nobody will say even, ‘Goodbye!’”
That is the way of the world. Therefore, our love is conditional. As long as the husband attends to the requirements of the wife, he is so relevant. She is ready at the doorstep to welcome him. The moment that he finds it inconvenient to attend to some of her demands, he has to open the door all by himself.
To quote Bhagavan, “There will be a mini-nuclear war.” The love between husband and wife, the love between parents and children, the love among colleagues, that is all artificial and conditional. It is not firm. It is not steady.
Bhagavan, the Incarnation, the Avatar, teaches by demonstration what selfless Love is. When He cures the diseases of the devotees, what is it that He expects? By giving free medical treatment, what is it that He expects? By making education free, what is it that He expects? By adopting one hundred orphans, giving them food and free education, what is it He expects? Nothing!
Not expecting anything in return is the hallmark of selfless Love. Selfless Love is demonstrated right in front of us, for us to learn from and to emulate in order to progress and advance along the spiritual highway.
All the time we see Bhagavan showing concern. Though He has been advised to rest, He is restless. Though He can take rest if He wants, He does not. He says that while moving amongst the devotees He finds rest.
Two days ago, He was commenting to one of our senior members of the organisation, “Look, I cannot live without meeting my devotees. My devotees cannot live without seeing Me.”
That is the dual, bi-directional Divine Romance. Romance cannot happen with only one. Therefore, it is bi-directional, called ‘give and take’. He shows us what true Love is. That is the purpose of the Incarnation.
God Decides To Cleanse The Universe
Point five: Here is another reason why we have the Avatar: You want to occupy a house that you purchase. When do you move in? First, you clean the house. You paint the walls. You furnish it and you make everything spic-and-span, clean, neat and tidy. Only then you do the house-warming ceremony. Unless it is neat, you don’t move in. Am I not right?
Similarly, God decides to cleanse the universe, to purify the universe, to clean the whole world. Today there is air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, oil pollution and food pollution. Even poison is polluted such that man cannot even commit suicide if he decides to. There is no solution to this growing pollution. The body is polluted; then there is also mental pollution and intellectual pollution. Pollution has become the order of the day.
So, God has come down with all the necessary equipment - incense sticks, camphor, scents, fragrances, aromas and perfume, so that the dust and the filth will be cleared out of this mansion where humanity resides. To purify, to clean our residence and the world, is one of the purposes that the Avatar has taken upon Himself.
A Golden Chapter In Human History
Point six: This is another purpose of the Avatar: Most of us today have enough money, we have possessions and we have enough to eat. We don’t have to worry, no. Yet, we are leading a deficient life. Talk to anybody:
“How are you?”
“OK. Pulling on. Carrying on.”
It is really an awful state of life. The one who says, “Pulling on”, take it from me, is dead and gone. Life is not like that. Life should be one of bubbling activity, full of dynamism, full of laughter and full of smiles, because life is full of glitter and glamour. There is no reason to feel frustrated. There is no reason to feel hopeless. If there are such people, better they live by themselves. Let them not spoil the community.
Let us live life with smiles. Let us be happy, in ecstasy. But alas, we know excitement, not ecstasy. Excitement is temporary; ecstasy is permanent. Excitement is physical; ecstasy is subtle. Excitement is sensual; ecstasy is of the spirit. Excitement requires interaction; ecstasy is born within you. Excitement is generated in response to external stimuli; ecstasy is inborn. Excitement is an external agency; ecstasy is your birthright.
Therefore, God incarnates in human form to tell you, “Look here Man, a golden chapter in human history is going to open.”
This golden chapter will make you live in hope. It will never allow you to be frustrated; it will never allow you to live life in depression; it will never allow you to feel sickly. You can be sick, but don’t look sickly.
I know many sick people, but they do not look sickly. There are many healthy people who look sickly. Sickness is not the cause for worry. No, it is sickliness.
To give us hope, to give us the promise of bliss, of Immortality, of truth, of peace, a golden chapter is going to open. That is the purpose of an Avatar.
Sathya Sai Swarna Yuga is not the name of a person. Swarna means ‘gold’. The Golden Age is going to be ushered in quite soon. It doesn’t mean that gold is available everywhere. It’s not material gold, no. We have enough of this gold. It is the golden heart, the golden attitude, the golden temperament, the golden behaviour, the golden interrelationships and the golden fraternity. All that is best and ideal in life, all that is golden. So that chapter is going to be ushered in very soon. That’s one of the purposes of the Incarnation.
God Will Have A Program
Point seven: The Incarnation has a program, depending upon the situation. The same program is not valid all through, because from time-to-time, the social-economic conditions change. Depending on the situation, God will have a program, not a target. Targets are human; fulfillment is Divine. As a human being, I may not reach the target, but God has no target at all. He is the achievement! He is the fulfillment! He is the success! He does not take upon Himself any future goal to reach, because He is both the way and the goal.
There are a few important Ages: The first and foremost Age was called Kritha Yuga. In those times, God incarnated. His main program then was the preservation of Vedic tradition, the holy texts. Holy texts were just thrown away. Holy texts were ignored. Holy texts were damaged. People had not lived up to the principles of the holy texts. Even then there were people prepared to damage these. So, to save this Vedic tradition, God incarnated in that Age, which we call Kritha Yuga.
Then came the next Age - Thretha Yuga. Rama incarnated during that period. Why? There are three points here. In those times, women were dishonoured. To see that they were honoured, that their modesty, respectability and chastity were maintained, God incarnated during the Thretha Yuga in the form of Rama.
Next, two values were completely damaged, annihilated. What were they? Sathya and Dharma - truth and right action. During those times, they had lost their place. To bring back those two values - Sathya and Dharma, Rama incarnated during theThretha Yuga.
Then comes the next Age - Dwapara Yuga. This was the time of the Krishna Incarnation. Why? There were three purposes. First, Krishna saved property from injustice. People were full of greed. People did not want to abide by the law. They wanted to grab. They wanted to occupy the neighbour’s property. So, property had to be safeguarded against occupation by illegal methods, by dubious measures. Krishna incarnated in order to see that the owner maintained the property on genuine grounds.
Then two values were also at stake - Shanti (peace) and Prema (love.) In those times, peace and love were missing. To see that they were established again, Krishna incarnated. That was the Divine schedule.
Now we are in the Kali Yuga. You ask me what is missing today? Well, everything valuable is missing. All four are at stake - Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the present Incarnation, has come to re-establish those four human values and to establish the kingdom of heaven within us. He is the Avatar of these days, showing us the way to get to the realms of Divinity within, to get into the Avatar of the human heart, to visualise God installed in the human heart. He has taken that program upon Himself.
The Third Aspect: The Latest Avatar
I will say a few points relating to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar of today. What are these points? My friends, I’m just giving you a few glimpses of each aspect. That’s all. The rest you can have all by yourself.
Point one: Bhagavan is the personification of Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram – Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Bhagavan is the embodiment of Sat Chit Ananda – existence, awareness and bliss.
Point two: Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, meaning matter and energy. Matter is Shakti. Energy is Shiva. Matter and energy coupled - the positive and the negative. The combination of these two is Shiva-Shakti. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Point three: He is the embodiment of Prema – selfless love, Karuna – compassion and Shanti – peace. These points have all been taken directly from Bhagavan’s Divine discourses. They are not of my making or imagination, but straight from Bhagavan’s Divine discourses. He is Prema, Karuna and Shanti personified.
The Latest Miracle
Point four: Every time I speak, many people ask, “Mr Anil Kumar, would you please tell us the latest miracles of Sai Baba.” At that moment, I feel like crying.
There’s nothing like ‘latest’ miracle, ‘ancient’ miracle, ‘archaic’ miracle, ‘outdated’ miracle, ‘modern’ miracle and ‘future’ miracle. To me, it is a surprise when people ask such a question.
My friends, the outer miracle that we experience by way of receiving gifts of Grace from the Divine Hands in the form of rings, chains, bracelets, lockets and watches, all of these are external signs of Grace. These are miracles only to make us know the ‘miracle of life’. We don’t see the ‘miracle of life’ as special, as extraordinary. Yet, it happens from womb to the tomb. Every breath is a miracle. Every dawn is a miracle. Each sunrise is a miracle; each sunset is a miracle. The cool breeze is a miracle; rain is a miracle. Sunshine is a miracle; moonlight is a miracle. A beautiful flower is a miracle; nectar is a miracle. Life, in general, is the ‘miracle of miracles’.
So, life is the ‘miracle of miracles’. Daily we are breathing in and out 21,600 times. The breathing process goes on and on without any generator, without any power supply. The heart will never go on any strike. Lungs will never organise any strike. The heart, the lungs, the arteries and veins of the human body do not gain pay revision. They do not expect promotion. They don’t even expect recognition or thanks.
If there is any ungrateful fellow in this universe, it is man himself. He is never thankful for existence. He is never thankful for the valleys and the mountains. He is never thankful to the heart, the lungs and the beautiful body. Therefore, my friends, the job of the present Avatar is to show us an attitude, which helps us to see life in the correct perspective and to feel the Divinity within us.
Let me emphasise this point: Bhagavan Baba does not perform miracles. Let us correct our English. ‘Perform’ is the wrong usage. Magic is performed. Performance is a stage play; performance is a display; performance is commercial; performance is publicity. Baba does not ‘perform’ miracles. Miracles simply happen; they are not performed!
Long back, Professor Gokak said this -- these beautiful words still ring in my ears. I believe this to the core: “A performer expects a large audience to see the performance. Yet, God gives us something in the interview room unnoticed. He calls somebody close and materialises vibhuthi in a silent way. He is not a performer; miracles happen after His Will, that’s all!”
Somebody once recommended: “Bhagavan, here is a devotee. Why don’t You give him some vibhuthi please?”
He said, “That Will is not coming from within. What can I do? I want to give, but that sankalpa is not coming. What can I do?”
Of course, that gentleman deserved only that kind of interpretation because he cannot go beyond. Swami’s responses depend upon our own background, our own culture. Bhagavan’s sayings and teachings are understood based upon our own level of comprehension, our own depth of experience, the merit accrued from past lives and the grace of parents and forefathers. So the point is that leela or miracles are His swabhava, His nature! It means that He doesn’t need any homework; He doesn’t need any time. No. It is His swabhava.
This is a simple example: Sunlight is the swabhava of the sun. A flower is fragrant; fragrance is the swabhava of the flower. Cool moonlight is the swabhava of the moon. Similarly, leela, mahima or miracle is the swabhava of Bhagavan Baba.
He Is Indweller In Every Creature
The next point: Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is experienced today as the Indweller in everyone, in every human heart, in every creature, in every living being.
In the early period of my stay in Bangalore, Bhagavan used to come out of that beautiful building, Thrayee Brindavan, and bless the devotees with His morning darshan. As He was climbing down the steps, I saw the peacock dancing. I saw many ducks fluttering their wings and jumping.
Swami started staring at them, beckoned me and said: “Look, Anil Kumar. See, the birds are happy. The peacocks are dancing. Watching Bhagavan’s darshan how much more happy should you be!”
Animals respond. Birds respond. Particularly during summer in Kodaikanal, the flowers naturally dance. Flowers would like to touch His feet; He would like to have photographs with those flowers. We cannot decide who is more beautiful - Bhagavan’s face or the flower! I can say ‘flowery Face’ -- a compromise. He loves nature. He loves flowers. He loves animals, birds and pets very much.
He is the Indweller; so He does not expect anybody to kill any animal. He does not expect anybody to kill the trees -- deforestation. He doesn’t like to see trees falling. He wants vegetation to be preserved. Bhagavan Baba is the highest, biggest, forest conservation officer. He doesn’t want wildlife to go; He wants wildlife to be preserved. That is the only solution for the problem of pollution today.
To make everyone realise that He is the Indweller in every living creature is one of the outstanding features of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The Human Highway To God
The next point: He has come to repair the ancient highway to God. You know how the roads in India are! Even if you have the costliest car, you will have a most unhappy experience. Even if you have an expert driver and make sure of your insurance coverage, you will have a most unhappy experience. The roads are so bad!
The human highway -- the ways of human lives -- is damaged, full of pits and full of dust. It is not clean. God wants to repair this highway, not the national highway. It is the international human way. How does He repair? What is the budget?
Bhagavan decided to repair the human highway, not at the cost of public finance or revenue, or the public works department. No. Bhagavan repairs the human highway by the most powerful weapon -- maintaining silence! If we do something disturbing, the punishment that He gives is to maintain silence, such that we feel Swami beat us black and blue. Actually, that would be much better than Divine silence.
I tell Swami, “You’re quite free to insult me there in the stadium, rather than maintain silence. God, You can ask me to get out or excuse me until next morning. You don’t have to maintain the Himalayan silence. I cannot bear it.” The punishment meted out by this Himalayan silence, the Divine silence, causes much more excruciating pain than any injury.
Bhagavan has said, “I am not beating you. I am not canning you. I am not abusing you. What is it I am doing?”
Somebody asked, “Bhagavan, why don’t You come to this side? You’re always going to that side. Why not this side?”
Swami said, “That side road is under repair. Let the road be repaired completely so the traffic can be restored. Now that it is under repair, I avoid it and take a diversion.” So He takes a diversion. That is one way the present Avatar handles us.
Then we have the Sai Trinity, three diamond manifestations of Sai. The earlier Incarnation of Sai we call Shirdi Sai. Bhagavan Himself said that the Shirdi Sai Incarnation could be compared to a mother who is very busy in the kitchen, preparing delicious items for a festival day. She doesn’t want to be disturbed. The housewife is totally busy. Nobody can converse loudly. Nobody can play because items are under preparation. That’s why whenever Shirdi Baba was disturbed, He shouted and preferred to beat. Manhandling was the manliness of Shirdi Sai Baba. Nobody dared to be near Him. Beating was also an expression of compassion. Thrashing was an expression of compassion. Shirdi Sai was such a Divine Mother, so busy.
This Mother doesn’t do that. Sathya Sai, this Divine Mother, smiles, laughs and walks as if He dances, as if He floats gracefully, talks mercifully and smiles romantically. Yes, because Sathya Sai, the present Incarnation, is the Mother serving the food. If you smile as you serve the food, the other person will be encouraged to eat more. If you serve with a serious face, he can’t eat and the little he has eaten cannot be assimilated. Therefore, serve with a smile. That’s what the present Divine Mother, Sathya Sai, does.
The next Divine Mother, Prema Sai, the third of the Trinity, wants us to assimilate the Divine meal, to enjoy the fruits of the Divine meal.
This Divine Mother has served the food and we have partaken of the food. That’s not enough. Food that has been partaken should be assimilated, digested and supplied to every bone of our body. That way we grow stronger and stronger, day-by-day. In the next Incarnation, the fruits and the strength are the targets and expected results.
The next point: My friends, this is a very important point. Not that the rest are unimportant, but teachers say that they are important, because the issues presented may come up later for examination. This has been a conventional style of speaking.
Baba says, “I will not give you up, nor can anyone give Me up. I will not give you up. You cannot give Me up!”
This is an inseparable union. What a wonderful union it is! Sun and sunlight are inseparable. Rose colour and rose flower are inseparable. Picture and the paper on which the picture is printed are inseparable. So you and God, God and I, God and the individual, are inseparable. That is a beautiful treaty or agreement, which is assured by Bhagavan Baba Himself to every one of us.
This Avatar gives clear evidence to the fact that He is the ‘main switch’. We are a room switch, that’s all. There are individual switches, yes. But He is the ‘main switch’! When you are called for an interview, you forget to hand over the letter because your switch is off. When He stands in front of you, you forget to ask what you really wanted to because your switch is off!
Your wife gave you a list of demands, telling you, “Honey, please go there. Please see that you give Him this letter. I’ll be waiting for your return.” You return with the letter and, of course, face the music. So, Bhagavan Baba is the ‘main switch’. That is our experience.
He Is Beyond Time
The next point: Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives a beautiful experience of our vast past, present and future. He is the knower of all the three periods of time. He is time and the master of time, the controller of time; yet He is beyond time.
One time He told a man who he was in his earlier lives. He told a famous musician from Andhra Pradesh, by the name of Ganta Sala, “I have known you for the last eight lives.” Eight lives! We have already forgotten what we ate for breakfast yesterday. That is our memory!
When Bhagavan started narrating what had happened centuries ago, somebody asked, “Oh God, You are, after all, 60 or 70. How can You say what happened a thousand years ago?”
Baba said, “My car has a front gear and a reverse gear.” To make everyone of us experience the past, present and future is one of the manifestations of the present Incarnation.
He has divided His life into three periods. The first period was full of miracles. Miracle is an excuse for the word leela, which is a fancy term. Miracle is just a translated version, for want of an equivalent word. So, leelas are miracles. That first period was sixteen years. The next sixteen years coupled miracles with some teachings. Thereafter, the main concentration and attention is on teaching.
So, the first part of his life is leela or mahima. The second part of his life is leela and bodha. And the third period is mainly teaching. It does not mean that miracles are going to be absent. No. But the stress, the emphasis will be more on teaching, as Bhagavan Himself said.
He Is A Servant
We also know Bhagavan will make us experience that He is our Father and our Mother. While giving us fruits and sweets, He is Mother; while correcting us, He is a combination of Father and Mother.
Bhagavan Baba Himself declared once, “I am the servant of the devotees.” What a statement it is! Christ also declared, “I have come to serve and not to be served.”
Krishna was the charioteer. Krishna was a kingmaker, but not a king. Yet, Bhagavan Baba declared that He is a servant.
Baba also said, “I shall not rest until I reform all of you, not just those called for interview.” A wholesale deal that’s what it is!
Bhagavan also said, “What is this? This is an empty Hand. Yet, the whole limitless power is here. Limitless power is in this Hand. This is nothing to you, but it is everything to the whole world.”
SAI - Sai Baba And I Are One
My friends, let me share this one last idea before we end: “S” is for service, karma yoga, the field of action. “A” is for adoration, the field of bhakthi, or bhakthi marga. “I” is for illumination, jnana, or wisdom.
SAI – karma, bhakthi and jnana – service, adoration, illumination. All three-in-one is SAI.
At another time, Bhagavan said, “SAI – S, spiritual change; A, association change; I, individual change. “
S, spiritual change is the Divinity, Parameshti. A, association change is community, samashti. I, individual change is vyecti. S - spiritual change, A - association change and I – individual change: S-A-I change leads to transformation.
I can give you another idea; these are all from Swami’s discourses: SAI: S - Sai Baba, AI - and I. SAI – ‘Sai Baba and I are One’. Tat Thwam Asi – ‘That thou art.’ Tat Thwam Asi is a Mahavakya, a famous dictum from the important Veda called Sama Veda. ‘Sai and I are One’ is from that.
Then Baba gave another explanation of Sai. If you reverse it, I-A-S, it is ‘I and Sai Baba’. ‘I and Sai Baba are One.’ Aham Brahma. ‘I am Brahma. I am God.’ Again, ‘You and I are One.’ Aham Brahma is a Vedic dictum taken from Yajur Veda.
And then Baba also says, “Sai Baba – Sa is Divine; Ai means mother; Baba means father. Sai Baba means ‘Divine Mother and Father’.”
Finally, Baba is a double graduate. The first B is Being, A is Awareness. Second BA is graduation; this B is also bliss and A is Atma. Satchidananda Atma is the meaning of Baba.
My friends the time has run out. In the next session, I’ll answer some of the questions.
As we celebrate the Advent of the Avatar, the Declaration Day on 20th of October tomorrow, I pray on behalf of all, that Bhagavan confer His bounteous blessings on each and everyone assembled here, and on your families as well. Being contemporaries of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Baba, may you be benefited in full. May Bhagavan be with you.
Anil Kumar concluded his talk by chanting the bhajan, “Manasa Bhajare”.
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
by Anil Kumar
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