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Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prasanthi Nilayam. Many years ago, when Swami used to go for drives after morning Darshan, He took one day, as He often did, a devotee with Him. At that time, Swami was in Brindavan. After a while, this devotee who was sitting in the front next to the driver of the car, said to Swami, “Baba, why is there so much Adharma in the world?” Swami did not reply and remained silent. The devotee who asked the question thought, “There goes my question!”

After a while, Swami asked the devotee a question. He said, “Tell Me, what is the mood like, before I come out for Darshan?” The devotee who was happy Swami was talking to him replied, “Swami, there is absolute silence in the Darshan hall. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baba and is looking in the direction from which Swami would make His entry.” Swami said, “Oh, I see,” and then remained silent. The devotee riding with Swami was wondering why Swami asked him that question. Even as he was wondering, Bhagavan asked yet another question; this time it was: “Supposing before Swami came out, a child started crying; what would happen then?” The devotee was puzzled by the question, but the answer was straightforward. He said, “Swami, everyone would turn to look where the sound came from.” Again Swami responded with, “Oh, I see.”

The devotee was wondering why on earth Swami was asking such questions, but then he did not appreciate that the Lord does not do anything without a purpose. After a pause, Swami said, “You see when many are silent, no one takes notice but when one individual cries or makes some noise, all pay attention. It is the same with Dharma and Adharma. So many people are doing good work in the world but hardly anyone notices that. However, crime and things like that get a lot of publicity even though the number of people involved in such activities constitute only a minute fraction of the total population. Since there is a lot of media attention given to such acts of unrighteousness, the public imagines that Dharma is extinct. It is not, as you seem to imagine.”

So there you have it! In His own beautiful way, Swami gave an answer even though the devotee who asked the question believed Swami had put his question in the back burner. Today, we would like to comment on the “silent majority” that in its own quiet way tries to follow the path of Dharma as best as it can. The point we want to make is that in the midst of darkness, light persists. So, however bleak the present situation of the world might appear - and many things that are currently happening are indeed matters of grave concern – we should not forget that silently, millions and millions of people are, in their own imperfect way perhaps, sustaining Dharma. If that did not happen, humanity would have totally perished by now. Having said that, we must at the same time recognise that the present situation is far from healthy. Humanity must therefore pause to take careful stock of the grave dangers ahead and do something positive as well as definitive about it, especially in improving its track record in sustaining Dharma. Then alone can humanity really survive; that is the topic we would now like to briefly comment upon.

As Swami has pointed out on many occasions, in India , the word Dharma has multiple meanings. Sometimes it is used to refer to religion; sometimes it is used for describing charity, and so on. We, however, focus on the core meaning, which is righteousness or righteous action.

What is this righteousness? For many, this means following the laws of the land. Yes, the laws laid down by Society are important, and must be followed. For example, almost every country has road rules. These rules are laid down to ensure the safety of all who use the road, and they must certainly be followed. There are many such obligations, and if they do not violate one’s Conscience, then one must definitely obey them. But does righteousness end with just following the rules and norms of Society? We submit it does not; it is MUCH more. In what way? That is what we shall consider next.

Whether we like it or not, there is, as Gandhi once put it beautifully, a Moral Law governing the Universe. This Moral Law must never be flouted and that really is what righteousness boils down to. A couple of years ago, a leading politician in India who, incidentally, was also in a position of great authority, made some deals that were supposed to be questionable. A case was registered, and it slowly wound its way to the Supreme Court. After extensive hearing, the Honourable Judges concluded that though the defendant could not be convicted under existing law, the person concerned was answerable to Conscience. What this says is that though man-made rules may be weak, there is always a Higher Power that guides us and we must never fail to listen to its Voice.

All this is well known; why then do people fail to listen to the ever-present Voice of Conscience? Because of background noise. Remember the saying: “It is only in the depths of silence one can hear the Voice of God”? What does silence in this statement mean? It means that the Mind must be silent, that is to say, free from unnecessary and distracting thoughts. If one seriously wants to listen to one’s Conscience, then one must stop the constant chatter of thoughts that go on in the Mind. In other words, one must focus seriously on God and pray to Him for guidance. We would then be able hear the Voice of the Master, loud and clear - no question about that.

Few realise that righteousness is not confined to what we normally regard as major issues. To illustrate the point, we would like to consider the coffee kiosk in Prashanti Nilyam located near our Studio. We are sure most of you who have visited Prashanti Nilayam would not only be familiar with it but would have also had coffee there, sometime or the other. Next time you are at the kiosk, just watch how many people carelessly throw used paper cups on the ground, ignoring the big garbage cans placed for collecting used cups. Would these people who are so careless about littering, throw used cups on the floor of the drawing room of their houses? Prashanti Nilayam is supposed to be the House of God. Is this the respect we show to the House of God? By the way, this does not mean that one can throw litter outside the Mandir. We must never pollute this beautiful world that God has given us. God is everywhere, and thus no place is available for pollution!

Some may object to this kind of reasoning but we submit that righteousness is closely connected with sensitivity. Many devotees who come here bring servants and they are pretty rough with their servants. Some make collections in the hope they can give a big fat cheque to Swami. All such aberrations occur because we fail to pay careful attention to what Swami says. Does Swami who has created the entire Universe, really want our money? Has He not said many, many times that He does not even want our Love, and that He is fully satisfied if we leave behind with Him just one bad habit of ours? Whenever Swami goes out, say from Prashanti to Bangalore or from Kodai to Madurai or whatever, many people hire taxis so that they can follow Swami’s car all the way. There is a tremendous eagerness to follow Swami’s car, which we understand. But we wonder whether there is equal enthusiasm for following Swami’s teachings. In the ultimate analysis, which is more important? We leave you to ponder over that question.

We now come back to our starting point, namely the silent majority. You might wonder what all the above remarks have got to do with millions of people silently following Dharma. Quite a lot in fact. Let us start with us, who claim to be devotees of Swami. There can be no question that despite our shortcomings, we do form a part of the silent majority. But is it enough to be just “routinely righteous” and think that all is OK? Given the fact that the Avatar of the Age has, in various ways given us the special blessing of recognising Him, seeing, and even talking to Him on occasions, do we not have a special responsibility to humanity? We do not know what you think but we look at the matter this way.

Throughout human history, there has always been a clash between the forces of evil and the forces of good. This battle always rages within almost every single individual, and the scriptures of all religions are meant essentially to guide people on the path of righteousness. These days, however, there is a higher call and duty. Society is so highly interconnected that Adharma, though driven by a minority, is capable of affecting the majority. Just to give an example, consider the number of people engaged in the tobacco business; not many really. Yet they cause global havoc. This example can be multiplied.

You may say: “Look, what can we do about it?” Again, the history of the cigarette industry gives us the answer. Large numbers of people have said no to cigarettes and have also waged a campaign against it. As a result, in America at least, smoking has taken a nosedive. But where alcohol is concerned, the situation seems to be getting out of control. The long and short of it all is that we devotees must enlarge our vision of righteous action, and that means taking all of Swami’s teachings very seriously and being pro-active in following them. To put it differently, we must now give serious thought to the quality of our actions. It must not be just goody-goody but real GOOD!

Let us illustrate. Quality enhancement starts with very small things. Consider waiting for Darshan. It is amazing how many people compulsively talk in the Darshan line, when Swami is a bit late in coming out. Could we not spend that time looking inwards and talk to Swami the Indweller, instead of the person next to us? Swami says Love All and Hurt Never; yet how often one sees devotees being rude in conversation, especially if they are engaged in some supervisory activities? Once again, we leave you to ponder on this topic.

Special mention must be made in this connection, about corruption. Today, barring Antarctica , corruption has spread to all continents. Many think of corruption mainly in terms of offering or taking money for doing a favour. Bribery is a manifestation of corruption no doubt, but what about corrupting the minds of people, especially young ones with false advertisements, pornography, etc? Why is that not considered corruption but whitewashed as freedom of expression? All Sai devotees must be firm where corruption is concerned. If we firmly resolve to abstain from it, then even though we might be placed in very tight corners, the Lord will always come to the rescue, like the US Marines used to in films of olden times!

The long and short of it is the following:

We devotees who form a sizeable section of the “silent majority” have a profound obligation to enhance the quality of our devotion through a more firm commitment to Dharma.

We must make every effort to improve unity amongst ourselves so that our effectiveness in Society becomes greater. Today, people talk of the help Red Cross, Oxfam, etc., give in times of emergencies. Besides the emergencies caused by natural calamities etc., there is, we believe, a great Moral emergency at present. The world must see Sai devotees as the “Golden Cross” that comes to the help of people in spiritual distress.

There are many out there, looking for Moral support and for God. Somehow, quietly and without fanfare, we must help all such people to think of Sai when they need support. They must not be allowed to feel they are alone and abandoned.

The forces of Adharma may be very strong – they in fact are. However, when individuals committed to Dharma combine in large numbers, they can defeat any evil force on earth.

In the Mahabharata war, the Lord did not fight . Lord Krishna just stood aside as a Witness, giving Moral support to the forces of Dharma.

In the same way, if we Sai devotees really unite, then the Lord who is already very much here, will be with us all the way and help us to at least contain Adharma, something desperately needed at present.

People talk of the Golden age of Sai. This Golden Age will not drop like Manna from Heaven; we have to work for it. However, if each of us takes one serious step and does so in collective harmony, the Lord would then take one mighty step , and the enemy has no choice but to take to his heels!

Do you agree with our thesis that the “silent majority” can in fact become an effective majority and overpower the forces of Adharma prevailing today? What do you think? Why don’t you let us know?

Good luck and may all be well with you, till we get in touch with you again next Sunday.

Jai Sai Ram.


Sai Inspires - 30th April 2006 from Prashanti Nilayam