Ask a small child the following question: What do you want to do when you grow up? The young child will reply, “A fireman, policeman, bus conductor, washer man, or a gate keeper, etc.” Why doesn’t the child reply- A doctor, a lawyer, an engineer or something along these lines? It is because the child is immature and so does not realize the respect he is likely to command from society.
In the same way, if you were to ask the 5 billion people in the world about their primary goal in life, the majority would reply that they want to be “rich and prosperous”, but a few wise men would aspire to be “near and dear to God”. God does not necessarily refer to Lord Sai in the physical form, for not all have had the blessings of physical proximity of the Lord. The wise men aspire to be “near and dear” to the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient Lord.
|Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra|
Many have lamented the great decline in moral and ethical values and principles of the people in the present world. But Bhagavad Gita reassures:
Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glaanir Bhavathi Bharata
Abyuthanam Adharmasya Tadaatmanam Srijamyaham
Paritranaaya Sadhunam Vinashayacha Dushkritam
Dharmasansthapanarthaya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge
The quintessence of these two Shlokas is as follows: “Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and a rise in unrighteousness,
for the protection of the good and for the destruction of the evil;
for the firm re-establishment of Dharma (righteousness),
I manifest Myself from age to age.”
In this Kaliyuga, the Lord has descended on earth, not to destroy the evil but to transform their hearts. Let me put Swami’s mission in His own words: “I have come, not to destroy or disturb any faith but to confirm each one to his own faith, so that the Christian becomes a better Christian, the Hindu a better Hindu and the Muslim a better Muslim.”
Swami’s greatest miracle is not the materialization of rings, pendants, chains, etc., but the transformation of hearts.
Let me narrate an incident that bears testimony to Swami’s greatest miracle. In 1984, my father had visited the Prasanthi Nilayam for the first time to have the Darshan of Bhagavan. Before leaving, he had purchased a brand new car and had instructed my elder brother, “Please don’t drive the new car. Use the other one.” With these words my father left. My brother, under the influence of his friends, was tempted to drive the new car. Being unfamiliar with the new car, he met with a serious accident and the car was smashed. Luckily, neither my brother nor his friends were seriously injured. Believe it or not, until the year 1984 my father had a bad temper. Even the slightest provocation would throw him into a rage. You can well imagine the plight of my brother. He was dreading father’s return to Canada.
Sure enough when my father returned after a few weeks, this was the first news he heard. He asked calmly, “Did anyone get hurt?” The reply was a “No.” My father immediately said, “Thank you Swami. Who cares, when wealth is gone nothing is gone and when health is gone something is gone, but when character is gone everything is gone.” Since that day, my father has neither lost his patience nor his temper. His life was transformed with just one interview with Swami. As you can see Swami’s greatest miracle is the transformation of the heart. But how does He do it? He merely uses the divine weapon, the weapon of Love, pure and selfless Love.
There are about 5 billion people in this world. Out of them, by now, maybe a few tens of millions of them have become aware of Swami’s descent on earth and out of them may be only 8-10 million have taken the initiative to have Swami’s Darshan. Out of these 8-10 million, a fortunate few hundred thousand may have had ‘Sparshan’ or ‘Sambhashan’ and out of these, a few thousand may have had the rare chance to be physically close to Him. Out of these, about a few hundred would have had the golden opportunity of being a “Student of Sai” and being loved by Him as His own.
Bearing all this in mind let me pose a question to all. Would you rather have an interview with Swami or with the Prime Minister of India? Obviously you will reply - Swami. After all, the fate and destiny of India lies in the hands of Swami Himself.
Once, the President of a developed country was travelling in his car along with his party. It was about lunch time and the President and his party were feeling hungry. They came across a reputed restaurant and there, they stopped for lunch. After the President had partaken his lunch there, the tariff in the restaurant was increased five times. Why? It was because the fact that the President is well respected among all the people and if he ate food at a restaurant then people attach a premium value to the restaurant.
|Sathya Sai with Students in the|
Prasanthi Nilayam interview room
Swami speaks highly of His students and spends much of His time with them. That’s why the entire world looks to 'Sai Students' as examples.
Let me narrate an example to prove my point. I come from Canada. During the holidays in 1991-92, when I had gone home, every day, different people were inviting me to their houses. They weren’t really inviting me, but they were inviting the 'Sai Student' in me. They wanted to know from me why Swami is so fond of His students. They wanted me to share my experiences with them. After that they asked me to speak in the Sai Center for about 10 minutes, but I ended up speaking for 25 minutes and for the next 5 weeks or so, I was speaking regularly. They gave me so much respect which I obviously did not deserve; but it all happened because of Swami. Being a 'Sai Student' gave me that respect. I am ever indebted to Swami. Our lives are already made when we come out of Swami’s Institute as 'Sai Students'.
It is said, “To gain respect is as difficult as pushing boulder up a steep hill, but to lose respect is as easy as watching the boulder roll down.” Coming from Swami’s Institute and being a 'Sai Student', the heavy boulder has already been pushed up the steep hill. Our duty is just to make sure that it doesn’t roll down.
|Swami with a materialised watch|
All of a sudden, I realized the sin that I had committed and I knew something was to happen, for I didn’t watch my actions. After this I went to the bathroom to wash my face and comb my hair, I took hold of the watch so that it would not be made wet by the water and placed it on the sink basin. When I finished, I went to put my watch on my wrist but lo and behold! It vanished in front of my eyes! I knew it had gone back to Swami. When I reached home that night, Swami told me in a dream that the watch had reached Him and that He was always with me, so there was no need for me to worry. The ever watchful Swami had been with me even in the faraway Frankfurt!
- Neilank Jha
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Source: Sai Nandana 1995 (70th Birthday Issue)