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
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
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
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
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
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