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Sai Baba in Africa

Summary of Chapter Nine

1. Baba's Message to Africa

2. The Awakening Continent

3. The Message I Bring (4 July 1968)

Sai Baba in Africa





Summary of Chapter Nine

Baba's Message to Africa

Baba's trip to Africa is the only one He has made outside India to date. His reception throughout the two weeks He spent there is detailed by Sri Kasturi in Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram. Before turning to that acount, we hear Baba looking back on the trip twenty-two years later. He repeats the themes He stressed there. Serve all, love all. Serve selflessly, He says. This is the best and most pleasant way to God. Serve man with all your heart as the visible God. The prescription to love is the same in all religions. May this continent achieve the goal of man's pilgrimage -- the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.

The Awakening Continent

In the pages of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram, Vol. III, Sri N. Kasturi takes us on tour with Baba through Africa. "I have no need to see places. I am everywhere, always!" Baba declared, but, in keeping with His first vow in His letter to His brother, Baba allowed Himself not only to be driven and flown through the countries of Northeast Africa, but also agreed to extend His visit to allow Africans His darshan. He told the residents of Nairobi that the body of flesh and bone housed the One, Indivisible, All- pervading God. He materialized vibhuthi and miniature portraits and answered questions on spirituality. On the return to India, Baba's plane stopped at Aden where a long line of devotees and admirers filed into the aircraft to touch His Lotus Feet.

The Message I Bring (4 July 1968)

Baba told a large crowd in Nairobi, Kenya, that their Reality was the Self, a wave of the Overself. The one object of human existence is to visualize that Reality. All other activities are trivial, shared with bird and beast. Man has uniquely clambered through all the steps in the ladder of evolution to inherit this high destiny. Man's unique faculty of reasoning should be used to discover the Truth of everyone and everything: God. The same God shines through everybody. Those who see differences are deluded. Love is how the Self Principle expresses itself in Man. The practice of Love regulated by Truth will win for Man his ultimate prize. The human body is a gift from God to be used as a raft on which to cross the sea of change. Launch the raft soon, before you are overpowered by illness. Establish yourself in unruffled peace. I have come to light the Lamp of Love in your hearts. I have come to tell you of this universal unitary faith, this Path of Love. All hearts are motivated by God; all faiths glorify the One and Only God; adore Him with love. Cultivate Oneness between all men. Foster Love, Live in Love, spread Love and Love will grow in you.

Baba's Message to Africa.

Some twenty-two years ago, I was in Africa for two weeks. My "Message of Love" and "Mission of Peace" were delivered during My discourses.

The duty of man is to share with other children of God the infinite boundless Love that God showers on him. Serve all, love all. Serve selflessly, being ever grateful for the opportunity. This is the best way, the most pleasant way to earn the Grace of God.

Love links the various creeds and cultures in all continents. Love is the motive that draws celestial bodies together and keeps them in orbits. This is the reason why man is told, "Love thy neighbour as thyself." For the neighbour is no other than thyself.

Serve man with all your heart, for he is the visible God. That is the highest and most fruitful spiritual exercise.

Religions are paths laid down by messengers from God for the pilgrimage to the One All Merciful Omnipresent God. The languages through which people express their thirst is the same in all lands. To quench this thirst the surest remedy, Love, prescribed in all religions, is the same.

May this Continent attain the goal of man's age-long pilgrimage -- the realisation of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. I bless that you may achieve the glorious consummation of human endeavour.

(AFSB, 3.)

The Awakening Continent

"I have resolved to enfold the people of the world in the fostering care of Universal Love as laid down in the Vedas. For the world is My mansion and the Continents are the halls therein. I have come to inscribe a golden chapter in the history of humanity, wherein falsehood will fail, truth will triumph, and virtue will reign. Character will confer power then, not knowledge or inventive skill or wealth. Wisdom will be enthroned in the Councils of Nations.

"Do not be misled. It is not my purpose to strike men dumb by the display of miraculous might! I have come to confer the boon of blessedness, the benediction of bliss, as the reward for genuine spiritual endeavour, and to lead mankind into Liberty, Light and Love."

With those words, Baba concluded His revelation of Himself and His Mission on Earth, which thrilled the 1700 delegates privileged to listen to Him.

On the last day of June, barely fifty days after this announcement, Baba emplaned the Boeing leaving for East Africa from Bombay. This was His first voyage beyond the confines of India, that is to say, accomplished. physically, announced in advance, and undertaken with members of His entourage.

He was going to the infant Republics of a Continent that was just emerging into the dawn. He was to confer courage and consolation, to knit hearts and quicken the circulation of Love! Baba always rushes to where aspiration calls or anxiety gasps.

The citizens of Bombay at a mammoth Public Meeting convened at Dharmakshetra bade Him farewell on the 29th of June. Later, at the Airport, crowds spilled over the terrace, pushed through to the tarmac area in thousands and used every atom of enthusiasm to cheer Him as the plane took off! Flying at 590 miles an hour at altitudes of over 35,000 feet, Baba was busy in the Boeing, granting the passengers (many of whom had boarded the flight on purpose) signs of Grace, such as autographing a book or photograph, materialising a handful of curative ash, or furnishing illuminating answers to solve personal problems of every kind....

The sky was ... mostly murky, what with the huge concourse of slow-moving monsoon clouds on their way to India. The sea mirrored the sky ; there was an occasional zigzag of silver ripple upon its surface. One felt as if the plane hung in mid-air, while sea and land were pulled away from underneath by an unseen hand. Soon, gleaming streaks of rocks and boulders and blotches of greenery were visible as far as the eye could see. But fluffs of cloud soon hid the ground. Mount Kenya was announced! We saw only its jagged crown of blue, over the sea of milk.

In a moment, that sea was over us! Below us, scintillating in and reflecting the sun, was a quilt of red and brown roofs, Nairobi! The clock showed four minutes to twelve, while our watches insisted it was already 2:24 P. M.

Baba at the door was greeted -- "Nandalala! Yadu Nandalala!" -- spontaneously from the yearning hearts of thousands perched on all available vantage points. While we of the party waded past the counters and through the corridors, filling forms, and having certificates stamped and signed, climbing over the routine hurdles, Baba was whisked away in a floral automobile by Dr. C. G. Patel into the gathering from which the welcoming Bhajan had emanated.

"It was a feast for the eye and ear -- the scene where they showered flowers and waved lights, when they sang melodiously and from the depths of their hearts," Baba said. "I was reminded of the days when Jayadeva and Gouranga sang the Glory," He wrote.

We had to proceed to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda -- the State known as the 'Pearl of Africa.' The road was 407 miles long. The cars sped on, encouraged by the fine unbending road through miles of delightful scenery.

The motto of the State of Kenya (through which we passed until night enveloped us), is 'Marambee': "Let's pull together," and this spirit was evidenced all along the route in wheatfields, cattle plantations and groups of village-folk on the wayside, brimming with vitality. They were merrily dancing along with leafy boughs in their grasp, which they shook vigorously at the sky.

The tedium, of dreary hours of travel was made less monotonous by the beautiful avenues of trees through which we passed. Their restful green together with the coolness of air as we climbed higher and higher, was comforting. The rains that come upon this land all the months of the year have mothered a succession of gurgling streams and fresh water lakes.

We had a glimpse of the Rift Valley about which I had read when teaching Anthropology in my college at Mysore.

Two thousand feet below us it gaped, with sheer escarpments for its banks! We saw the soda lake, Nakuru, and the town bearing its name. A sizeable gathering of eager Africans and Indians awaited Baba there; they were rewarded with Darshan. Baba moved among them, and discovering a few who needed Vibhuti, He created it and blessed them.

From Malaba, on the border of Uganda, an impressive pilot car preceded the car of Baba, as a sign and symbol of His being welcomed by the rulers of that State. The cars drove on to Jinja, where the Nile emerges out of the womb of Lake Victoria, and, channelled through turbines, flows on the North to fulfil its vow of a 3500-mile pilgrimage to the Mediterranean Sea.

Kampala was reached at 1:30 A. M., hardly the hour for a hearty welcome by a cheering throng. But Baba is a category by Himself. Wildly waving banners of silken welcome stretched across the streets; every few yards a floral arch (someone of the party counted exactly 108) beamed with lights as Baba passed through. Outside Dr. Patel's bungalow, 2,000 people continued their Bhajan, singing with unabated ardour in the hope that Baba would give them the coveted Darshan. And Baba did not disappoint them. Alighting, He walked slowly amidst them, feasting the eye and delighting the heart. Their restraint and reverence were exemplary.

Never had Kampala yearned so excruciatingly for daybreak as on that night! For the city knew that Baba had arrived and would be granting Darshan when the sun rose. Baba came out early next morning; He stood facing the unprecedented massive gathering. He moved, lithe and lovely, along the passage between the barricaded blocks of people, showering upon everyone His supreme Compassion.

When He saw a sad face, or heard a groan of distress, He stood for a moment, waved His hand gently, and created for the person the Divine Cure. He went up to the lines of standing Africans on the margins of the assembly; He held many by the hand and brought them Himself into the shade among the others so that they may sit in comfort, listening to the community singing of the Bhajans. We felt that those were the devotees who prevailed upon Baba to fly across the sea and give health and happiness by personal ministration.

"I have no need to see places. I am everywhere, always!" Baba told us. "You may drive around. I have my work, work for which I have come." But Dr. Patel persuaded Him to visit the Hindu temple, the Bahai House of Worship and the Television Tower Hill. While driving down, He summoned the six-foot Police Constable acting as motorcycle escort, and created for him a charming locket with the picture of Christ, to be worn around the neck. He knew the man was a Christian.

Baba has come to fulfil, not to destroy or to disturb, man's faith in God. His love brooks no barriers, no boundaries, no walls separating 'ism from ism.' During the Bhajans, He selected the sick and the disabled, the deaf and the dumb, the blind and the maimed, and, taking them into the bungalow, He spoke to each one with love and tenderness. He spoke in Swahili, in English or Hindi, and gave each some token of Grace-holy ash, talismans, lockets with His own portrait or the picture of Christ or some sacred design. Everyone who came out of the room had a smile on the face, a twinkle in the eye, a ray of sunshine in the heart, and firmness in the step. A person who was stone deaf when he went in, came out wonder-struck at the amazing world of sound. A polio-affected boy came prancing outside; a patient who was wheeled into the 'Room of Hope' walked out, his hands on the shoulders of his companions, while a volunteer pushed the empty chair out of the gate.

The third day of July was a memorable one. First, the flight to Ngorongoro Crater. It is the largest concentration of wild life in Africa. Reaching the Entebbe International Airport by car, Baba, with some members of the party, boarded a twin-engine aircraft at 9 A. M., while three of us having full faith in Him, brushed aside the fear aroused by overzealous friends who warned that a single engine plane was not the craft that one would choose to fly over a jungle, teeming with wild life!

We followed Baba in that frail super-wagon, piloted by a veteran Britisher who oozed confidence all the time. For an hour and a half we flew over the immense inland sea of fresh water-Lake Victoria-which the Nile attempts in vain to drain. We could see hundreds of gazelles, zebras, and wild beasts while our vehicle flew slowly over the Serengeti National Park. The Crater is a huge circular plain, over 127 square miles of grassland, bush and forest, sheltering large masses of wild life. A few Masai Manyattas, stock full of fat cattle, were to be found in this fantastic milieu.

As we drove from the air-strip, to the Crater Lodge, a family of wild elephants received us with the gentle flapping of broad ears and an array of ivory tusks gleaming in the pre-noon sun. Landrovers took us into thick shoals of wild buffaloes, zebras and gnus. Soon we entered the haunts of the simba (lion). From within the safety of the cars we admired a heavy-weight male yawning on a mound, and very nearly ran over a pair of fat females having their siesta amidst the grass! We came upon more such families, and soon they endeared themselves to us. Baba had come to bless them, we felt. Rising up almost from nowhere, a stately dowager lioness walked majestically towards a group of sleek giraffes. This onset of danger was communicated to the long-necked fraternity by some birds, and they, in their turn, alerted the buffalo, zebra and gnu! In a few seconds, they disappeared into the distance and the distinguished lady stood, sniffing the empty air!

Baba drew our attention to this demonstration of mutual service. He said man is highlighting the advantages of competition and the struggle for survival, but the beast is teaching him co-operation and service as the ideal means for survival.

We took off from the Crater at four o'clock in the afternoon, and, when we neared Lake Natron, the planes flew perilously over a newly formed volcano, emitting incense to the God of Fire! Our `mini' wagon hovered a while, awaiting a signal from the airport over the Nairobi National Park giving us a bird's eye-view of giraffes and ostriches, before landing at Embakasi.

Baba's car crawled through the crowded roads of Nairobi to the park where He was to address His first public meeting in Africa. The rush of listeners was without parallel in the annals of Kenya, for no visitor until now had such universal appeal. People loyal to a single faith, or to all faiths, sceptics and sadhaks, scientists and spiritualists, men, and women from all walks of life were there, filled with eagerness to see Him and hear Him, and if possible, to be accepted by Him. Baba builds His shrine in every heart with the brick of Truth and the mortar of Love.

His discourse stressed that each human being, in fact each being, was "a spark of the Divine Effulgence, a wave of the Divine Glory." He advised ail to see beneath the skin, within the physical, mental, and even intellectual encasements. "This habitation of flesh and bone, of fear and feeling, of doubt and desire, is the residence of the One Indivisible, All-pervading God." Baba knows that this vision is the strongest basis and the surest means for ensuring racial and regional harmony.

Baba returned to His residence and blessed the enormous gathering that surged around it. Later, He sat before the television set which some members of His Party were seeing for the first time. The programme that was then on led to a discourse by Baba on the evil sown by that medium. Baba said that it blunted the higher impulses and activated the lower. "The aim of the sponsors is to bring more and more people before the receivers; so standards get more and more vulgarised and this valuable instrument of education is reduced into televisham (telepoison!)," He said. Baba is a relentless opponent of films, comic strips, and horror serials that sow the seeds of sensualism, anarchy, greed and blood-thirstiness in virgin minds.

Nairobi is the only City in the world which has a suburb owned and inhabited by Lions! It awakens every day to the full and free roar of these regal cats. On the 5th of July, early in the day, we went into the National Park and proceeded to the Hippo Pool. There was a busy school of these monsters, and also a few crocodiles basking quite near. This led Baba to point out to us how the beast is wiser than man in the art of living. "We slaughter our own kind, for the greater glory of ourselves!" He said.

While driving back from the Pool, we saw two magnificently maned lions, and three well-groomed lionesses basking indolently in the sun. They did not wince at all when a dozen cameras clicked. Instead, they preened themselves like stars surrounded by fans! We also watched many ostriches, and giraffes hurrying in uncouth haste to some mysterious rendezvous.

After lunch, Dr. Patel took Baba and the party in cars to Nanyuki, 6400 feet above sea level -- a town where, if you have the poetry in you, you can experience the thrill of having one foot in the Southern Hemisphere, and the other in the Northern, for the Equator passes through the place! In fact, a hotel here boasts that the Line passes through its verandah.

The road to Nanyuki showed us coffee and sisal plantations; thatched huts of the Kikuyu peeped furtively at our cars. In Secret Valley, we stayed at 'Tree Tops,' built on high stilts, from where at night, under an artificial moon, we could see leopards mauling meat, bison's licking salt, and elephants, gazelles and other beasts showing themselves off and generally enjoying themselves.

It was Thursday; so Baba turned us away from elephantine fantasies, and the antics of animals. He took us, instead, into the jungle of our own minds and described how the wild beasts sheltering there could be trapped. He told us about the discipline that can quieten and domesticate them. Suddenly, with a circular gesture, He created a jewel with the imprint of His portrait, and placed it in the hands of the person sitting by His side. Here! Wear it! For many years you have longed far this. Then turning to us He said, "Oh, each of you wants something, don't you?" And the hand waved again. There was a golden vessel in His Hand now. When He unscrewed the lid, it was full to the brim- Divine Ambrosia! Fragrant beyond imagination -- thick, sweet, liquid Grace!

Next morning, on the road back to Nairobi, Baba alighted at Nanyuki and many other towns and villages, where crowds were waiting for Him. He wondered, "Who has informed these people that I would be passing this way?" They must have sensed it through His compassion; that was the only explanation we could offer. About noon, Baba and others boarded the waiting aircraft, and flying over the Rift Valley, the famous Kenya Highlands, and the inland Port of Kisumu on Lake Victoria, reached Entebbe.

Baba's Presence at Kampala was utilised by many for receiving Blessings and Counsel. The High Commissioner of India, Shri K.P.R. Singh, the Chief of Staff of the Uganda Army, General Idi Amin, the Minister of Defence, Mr. Onama, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Ojira, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Bataringaya, the Inspector of Police, Mr. Oryema, and other African leaders met Him at Dr. Patel's residence and obtained a glimpse of the Glory of Baba. During His stay He addressed gatherings of Lions and Rotarians, Doctors, Businessmen, and members and workers of service organisations. He replied with His natural gentleness, sweetness and sense of humour, even intimate personal questions from those who participated. Towards the close of each of the meetings, He moved among the participants creating and distributing to those around Him portraits in enamel or gold, of Christ for the Christians, Guru Nanak for the Sikhs, Zarathustra for the Parsis, and of Himself for those who yearned for them. He spoke lovingly and for long to a group of students from Makrere University and stood amidst them, when they wanted a photograph with Him.

During the group meetings, a variety of questions were asked. "If there is a God, why cannot we see Him?" Baba replied, "Why should you seek to see God? You are God. There is nothing that is not He. Experience Him that way." "How can we be happy always?" Baba said, "Derive joy from within. You are the Atma, the eternal spring of Ananda. Love all; no one will then hate you or envy you." He said to the doctors: "Jealousy is the professional disease of doctors and lawyers! Be glad when another doctor earns a good reputation or remuneration; honour the affirmations you made at the Convocation where you took your degree."

On the 7th, Baba addressed the first public meeting at Kampala. He told the multi-racial, multi-credal gathering, "Just as the same bloodstream circulates in all the limbs of the one body, the One Divine Principle activates the entire Universe. Do not get too involved in the turmoil of living and ignore the kinship in God that you have with all beings around you. Do not over-emphasise individual variations, but fix your attention on the universal kinship. Ignore the beads, contemplate upon the unifying eternal ever-present thread." This was a heartening message, and it was received with enthusiastic approval by Muslims, Christians, Bahais, Hindus and Parsis alike.

On the 8th of July, Baba addressed another vast gathering at Kampala. He said, "Here in Kampala, I shall pinpoint the basic requisites for a good, contented and happy life." He elaborated the discipline essential for it, like Dhyana and Prema, meditation and love. "Love is Power; Love is Bliss; Love is Light; Love is God," Baba said.

These discourses bound Baba close to the hearts of Africans. People recognised in Him a friend, a guide, a leader and a light. But word had spread that Baba was leaving on the 10th for India, since that was the day of Guru Poornima. So that evening when Baba moved among the thousands seated in the Pandal, rows of Africans knelt, handing notes and letters to Him, some with tearful pleas. Looking through a window of Dr. Patel's bungalow at the faces filled with adoration, I could not suppress my tears. I was overcome by a delightful sense of gratitude for the opportunity Baba gave me to witness this spontaneous surge of devotion in a new continent. I was awakened from my reverie by a light tap on my back from Baba who enquired; "Why the tears?" The notes and letters were filled with sorrow, for the Africans had learnt that Baba planned to leave for Bombay on the 10th. "Father, do not leave us so soon!" was the plaint in every prayer.

India was informed by cable that the return was postponed.

The full moon day, when spiritual aspirants dedicate themselves anew at the Feet of the Master, was on the 10th. Baba had told Bombay that He would reach that City by plane at 9:45 P.M. leaving Kampala at 11 A.M., so that both Africa and Asia would have the thrill of His Darshan on the same day! But, yielding to the yearning of the Africans, He decided to spend the whole day at Kampala, granting devotees in other Continents other evidences of His Omnipresence.

More than 25,000 persons gathered that morning for the Bhajan. The Africans joined the chorus led by a Tanzanian, Mr. Zoodoo. For over two hours, Baba walked slowly among the lines of lonely, love-seeking, eager hearts, giving each person a handful of sweets and a packet of Vibhuti. To the amazement of the recipients, most of them discovered inside the packet, lying ensconced in the midst of the Holy ash, enamel or metal portraits of Christ, the Cross, Krishna or Sai Baba Himself. The "Uganda Argus" published an article, announcing that Baba had brought the message of Unity and Service, to the peoples of that Continent. Baba's discourses as well as activities were also televised and broadcast, so that the entire population could share the inspiration of the Gospel.

On the evening of the tenth day of July, Baba talked to about 200 young men and women, who served as volunteers at the Bhajan gatherings and at Public Meetings. The constables on duty as well as the chauffeur of the pilot car were also rewarded by His Grace. Baba appreciated the spirit of service and the intelligence of the youth of Kampala. He spoke about them later at Bombay on His return. "They had no previous experience in controlling and guiding such vast congregations; they had no training; they were their own guides, but they behaved with exemplary patience and alertness. They worked tirelessly, round the clock, with smart team work," He said.

On the 11th, besides the Bhajan sessions, for which, as days passed, more and more people from far and near flowed into the Capital, Baba met groups of sadhakas and active workers in service organisations, from the far flung States of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Later, Baba visited Dr. Patel's Clinic and also the residences of many ardent devotees. Wherever He went, throngs of people, eager to win one more glimpse of the Radiance, rushed in and stood at the gates or on the pavements for hours.

\ \ \

From Masindi we proceeded to Kikondo, 80 miles away. where a Bhajan Mandir, in authentic Afro-architectural style built by a devotee, was to be inaugurated. It was a large estate, growing paddy, sugarcane And bananas. The Mandir was full of squatting African labourers, who venerated Baba as the God-man from the East. Baba sat on the special seat arranged for Him, but soon He was among the kisans, creating and distributing sweets and curatives.

He told the gathering of Africans and Indians that man alone among the animals had strayed from his allotted tasks; the rest stuck to their Dharma, whatever the obstacle. The tiger will never stoop to eating grass; the elephant can never be tempted to have a meal of fish or flesh. But man, the crown of creation, is grovelling in the mire of bestiality and, withal, proud of it.

Kampala was reached at 1 P.M. The lateness of the hour only whetted the appetite for Darshan of the thousands who were waiting there, busy with Bhajans. Baba gave them the much coveted gift, walking among them and standing on the decorated dais long enough to satisfy them. The 13th of July was a day of growing gloom, though everyone had the chance of Darsan, Sparsan, Sambhashana (seeing, touching the holy feet, and listening). From Mwaza, Daressalam, Mombasa and Eldoret people came to persuade Baba to visit their places. The Mayor of Kampala pleaded for a short extension of the stay. Baba is always everywhere. He reveals His Presence to all who call on Him, or even to many who are unaware that God is amidst them for their sake. So. for Baba there is no going or coming, no arriving or leaving. Still, the physical presence wins such indelible loyalty that one feels an orphan without it.

On the 14th, hours before dawn, half of Kampala was at Dr. Patel's door. Streams of cars and planes, brought people from Jinja, Mbale, Kakira, Kabate, Ikaye, and Kapila where Sathya Sai Seva Samithis and Bhajan Mandalis were active. "I have no desire to stun or shock people into submission or adulation; I have come to install Truth and Love in human hearts," Baba declared. Therefore, thousands prayed that He should stay on, or if that was not possible, at least come again very soon.

When He got into the car, even the hefty constables on duty, keeping back the surging rows of citizens, wiped the tears streaming from their eyes! Baba patted their backs, but that only sharpened the pang! The road to Entebbe was choked with cars, trucks, scooters, and cycles. The East African Airways Plane which was to take Baba to Nairobi (where the Air India International Boeing was waiting) developed a small trouble while moving on the runway; so Kampala got a bonus of two more hours with Baba on its soil! The motto of the State of Uganda is "For God and my country". And Baba blessed the people who bore it.

Nairobi was reached at 2:30 P.M. and the thousands who acclaimed the plane were rewarded by a quick Darshan, since the delay prompted the airport officers to set the Boeing on its way immediately. We flew over Ethiopia and Somaliland, ferried across the Red Sea at a height of over two miles and a half, and landed at Aden at 5:15 P.M. Bombay was 1910 miles away and two hours and forty minutes ahead!

Though Baba did not disembark and though the date of the flight had been postponed while at Kampala, we were surprised to find a long line of devotees and admirers (Indians and Arabs) filing into the aircraft and touching the Lotus Feet. Baba spoke to them with sweet affection; He created holy healing Ash for their sake.

At 12.45 A.M., Indian Standard Time, the plane, which had the unique good fortune of carrying the most precious cargo that the world offers in this age, touched ground at Santa Cruz, starting off a chorus of Jais from over ten thousand quickly pounding hearts.

On the 15th, Baba addressed a mammoth gathering at Dharmakshetra which was presided over by Dr. K.M. Munshi. Dr. Munshi could not suppress his tears of joy and gratitude, when he said, "I was pained to see around me the quick decline of faith in God and earnestness in religion, and I was on the brink of despair when I contemplated the future of this ancient land. But, as I look upon Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and witness the transformation He is effecting in the hearts of millions, I am heartened and happy." Baba declared that racial conflicts and animosities spring from sheer ignorance of the basic brotherhood of man....

"All men are brothers; they owe love, service and reverence to one another; but they are not aware of this Truth, and so they hate, they fight, they kill, they poison themselves by revenge. "Triumph over another is only another name for self-humiliation," Baba said.

"It was this Truth, this Unity, often misunderstood as diversity when seen through ego glasses, that was propagated by Me in East Africa," declared Baba. "The people whom I met there and those who listened to my discourses and talks had a glimpse of the Reality upon which the waves of joy and grief, of gain and loss, of travail and triumph, alternately rise and fall.

"Many of them told me that the vision of the Indian Sages alone can save them and fill the heart with Peace. The splendour of the genuine culture of India will spread in this manner from continent to continent, from country to country, from community to community, continuously in the days to come. That is my Task. That is my Will," He said.

Months later, a Muganda teacher wrote from Africa, "Baba! redeem me, deliver me from grief! One of my best friends was fortunate to touch the hem of your robe, while you walked near him. He directed me to pray to You and to save myself from sorrow." An aspirant from Mukono wrote, "0 Lord! Give me the strength to forgive those who harm me; make me forget the injury I receive from them." A Roman Catholic from Sierra Leone writes, "Many of His sayings I have inscribed in a little notebook and I often refer to it when I am in need of consolation or guidance. Some day, if it is His will, I may have the good fortune to come to Prasanthi Nilayam. Or perhaps it may never be but I shall continue, in my own way to try to cultivate an ever increasing awareness of God. "

These are intimations of the wonderful transmutation of urges, the sublimation of impulses, inclinations and attitudes, the touch of His Robe, or the touching of His Feet, a chance perusal of a book by Him, or about Him, a word or two from Him, or the grateful acceptance of a glance from His Eye can bring about in man.

May the Light of His Love illumine our hearts too, and may the whole world shine in that eternal effulgence.

(Sathyam, III, 21-40.)

The Message I Bring

Your Reality is the Self, a wave of the Overself. The one object of this human existence is to visualise that Reality, that Self, that relationship between the wave and the Sea. All other activities are trivial; you share them with birds and beasts, but this is the unique privilege of Man. He has clambered through all levels of animality, all the steps in the ladder of evolution in order to inherit this high destiny. If all the years between birth and death are frittered away in seeking food and shelter, comfort and pleasure as animals do, man is condemning himself to a further life-sentence.

Man is endowed with two special gifts: the faculty of reasoning and the faculty of analysis and synthesis. Use these gifts for discovering the truth of yourself, which is the Truth of every one else, of everything else. All countries are borne and sustained by this Earth; all are warmed by the same Sun; all 'bodies' are inspired by the same Divine Principle; all are urged by the same inner motivator. The Vedas are the earliest testaments of the victory of man over himself, his discovery of the underlying Unity in all Creation and his pulsating contact with the Truth that unifies. They declare: God is the inner Reality of all beings all this is enveloped by God; all this is God.

The Divine principle that is in every one is like the electric current that illuminates the bulbs of different colours and different candle powers. The same God shines in and through everyone, whatever be the creed, colour, tribe or territory. The current animates and activates all bulbs: the Divinity animates and activates all. Those who see differences are deluded; they are befogged by prejudice, egoism, hatred or malice. Love sees all as one Divine Family.

How does this Self Principle express itself in Man? As Love. Love is the basic nature of man that sustains him and strengthens his resolve to march ahead. Without Love man is blind; the World, for him, will be a dark and fearsome jungle. Love is the light that guides the feet of man in the wilderness. The Vedas laid down four goals before man; two pairs of goals, rather; Morality -- Wealth; the earning of the wherewithal for living through moral means and Desire -- Liberation: the attainment of liberation from the twin experience of pain and pleasure and the desire for that Liberation and for nothing less than supreme treasure. All these goals are attainable through the practice of Love regulated by Truth, Righteousness and Equanimity. The Vedas teach that man must earn wealth through the path of Righteousness; that is not taken to heart; wealth is not to be accumulated anyhow! The Vedas teach that man should have only one desire namely, for Liberation. This too is not respected; man is drowning himself in the maelstrom of desire; the fulfilment of that desire can never quench his deeper thirsts. How can a prisoner have any desire other than liberation? The wide spread anxiety, fear and unrest that is evident all over the world are the consequences of this mistaken course.

The human body, so filled with skills and capable of great adventures, is a gift from God to each of you. It has to be used as a raft on which you can cross this never-calm sea of Change that lies between birth and death, bondage and liberation. Awaken to this primal duty even when your physical and mental faculties are keen; awaken even while your power of discrimination is sharp. Do not postpone the launching of the raft, for it may become unserviceable soon. It may be burdened with illness so that all your attention will have to be spent on its upkeep. Think of the incomparable joy that will surge within you when you approach the shore of Liberation! Ride safe on the raging waters of Change; be witness, do not crave for the fruit of action, leave the consequence of all the good acts of yours to God's Will. He is the doer; you are but the instrument. Pursue nobler ends; have grander ideals. Sensory pleasures are trinkets, trivialities. The sages have discovered the disciplines that will keep you unaffected by defeat or victory, loss or gain. Learn them, practise them; establish yourself in unruffled peace.

In homes and schools, training of the minds of the young on these lines has to be taken earnestly by teachers and parents. Of course, they must equip themselves for this work by steady practice in meditation and recital of the Name of God. In every home, a certain period of time must be fixed every day, in the morning as well as evening, for readings from spiritual books and the recital of the names of God. In fact, all the time must be dedicated to God. So, as the first step, a few minutes may be devoted to the adoration of His Glory or the gauging of the depth of that Glory. Gradually, when the sweetness of the habit heartens you, you will devote more and more time and feel more and more contented. 'The purpose of living is to achieve the 'living in God'; every one is entitled to that consecration and consummation. You are the Truth; do not lose faith; do not belittle yourselves. You are Divine -- though often you slide from humanity to animality or lower.

Cultivate Love; share that love with all. How can you give one person less and another more, when they are both same as you? If you forget your basic Divinity, hatred sprouts; 'envy raises its hood.' See the Self in all; Love sprouts; Peace descends like dew. You are embodiments of Love. You have been sitting here [for] hours, in the open, putting up with great discomfort, awaiting Me, eager to hear Me and see Me. I am speaking to you from this dais, only to satisfy that ardour. When I sense your love I feel I must share it and allow you to share My Love; that is the best of all communications and communions. The media of words is then unnecessary.

I have come to light the Lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come to speak on behalf of any Righteousness like the Hindu Righteousness. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect the followers for any doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into My fold. I have come to tell you of this universal unitary faith, this Inner Self principle, this Path of Love, this Righteousness of Love, this Duty of Love, this Obligation to Love.

All religions teach one basic discipline; the removal from the mind of the blemish of egoism, of running after little joys. Every religion teaches man to fill his being with the Glory of God and evict the pettiness of conceit. It trains him in the methods of detachment and discrimination, so that he may aim high and attain liberation. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the One and Only God; that all faiths glorify the One and Only God; that all Names in all languages and all Forms man can conceive, denote the One and Only God; His adoration is best done by means of Love. Cultivate that attitude of Oneness between men of all creeds, all countries and all continents. That is the Message of Love, I bring. That is the Message I wish you to take to heart.

Foster Love, Live in Love, spread Love -- that is the spiritual exercise which will yield the maximum benefit. When you recite the name of God, remembering the while His Majesty, His Compassion, His Glory, His Splendour, His Presence -- Love will grow within you, its roots will go deeper and deeper, its branches will spread wider and wider, giving cool shelter to friend and foe, to fellow nationals and foreigners. God has a million names. Sages and Saints have seen Him in a million Forms; they have seen Him with eyes closed and eyes open. They have extolled Him in all the languages and dialects of man; yet His Glory is not exhausted. Select any name of His, any name that appeals to you, select any Form of His. Every day when you awaken to the call of the brightening East, recite the Name, meditate on the Form; have the Name and the Form as your companion, guide and guardian throughout the toils of the waking hours. When you retire for the night offer grateful homage to God in that Form with that Name, for being with you, by you, beside you, before you, behind you, all day long. If you stick to this discipline you cannot falter or fail.

I must give you one more advice. Endeavour always to promote the joy and happiness of your fellow countrymen in this continent; be sharers in their happiness and joy. India is called Bharat because the people of that country have great attachment to Bha ( Bhagawan; that is God). They are devoted to God and so to all the children of God. They are afraid of sin; they are eager to acquire Wisdom.

Resolve to carry on the quest of your own Reality. Resolve to live in the inspiration of the constant remembrance of God. Cultivate love and share love with all.

I bless that you achieve success in this endeavour and derive great joy therefrom.

Nairobi, Kenya

4 July 1968

(SSS, VI, 224-29.)