Swami : Is the entrance test from May 9th to 11th? Call only some people for entrance. (Swami said that by calling too many people, a lot of money went waste on transport charges.) It is very hot inside. (To a student from abroad) Which class?
Student : 9th class Swami.
Swami : Till 12th class, no problem. After that there is visa problem. Every six months, they ask to renew visa. How old are you?
Student : 14.
Swami : How do you know?
Student : Parents told.
Swami : (To Prof. Anil Kumar) What is your age?
Prof. A. K. : 59, Swami.
Swami : Why one less. Round it off to 60! It is very hot inside. (Then Swami narrated the following incident, which was received with much mirth.) When a Swamiji wanted to put on the fan inside his room, one man told him not to do so. When asked why, he replied that his name was written on the fan and it would not be seen when the fan was rotating!
Prof. A. K. : Swami nowadays people write their names on tube lights and also on slabs so that when people sit on them, their names will get sanctified.
Swami : During the 75th Birthday, they wanted to release a stamp with Swami’s photo. I did not agree to it because they put rubber stamp on the stamp, and every day I will be getting so many hits! (Swami asked the school and the institute boys about their performance in the exams. To the reply “O Grade”, Swami expressed dissatisfaction, saying that “O Grade is given for 70% and above, and hence is not a true indicator of one’s performance.” Swami praised few school students for having done very well in the on-going Board exams of 10th and 12th class. Suddenly turned to Sri Bhagia, Faculty Member, School of Business Management) How many marks? You Sir?
Sri Bhagia : Swami in SSC, 75%.
Swami : See even teachers have got 75%, then how can boys get better marks? (To Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar, Faculty Member, School of Business Management at Swami’s University) How much you, Bhaskar?
Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar : Swami 86% in…
Swami : (Jokingly) Since it cannot be verified, you are telling like this. (To the students) I want 90% and above. When I was at school, I used to get remarks like “V. V. V. V. V. Good”. I used finish two hours paper in just half-an-hour. 75 is 7 + 5 = 12 is 1 + 2 = 3 (Individual, Nature and God). 81 implies Maya and God. 8 + 1 = 9 (Brahman). 90 implies Brahman + World is ‘0’. 99 implies ‘All is Brahman everywhere’. 100 implies only One exists, no desires and no ego.
After the interviews, Swami brought with Him an elderly devotee who is an executive of the Sri Nagarjuna Construction Company and made him sit next to His chair. This gentleman had written 108 poems on Potana and wanted to offer them to Swami. Swami accepted the book and gave him permission to recite a few poems in the Divine presence. Swami explained the meaning of the word Potana, breaking it up as ‘Po’ + ‘Tana’. ‘Po’ means ‘Gone’ (body consciousness), ‘Tana’ = ‘Ta= + ‘Na’. ‘Ta’ means Tatvam, ‘Na’ means Jnana. So Potana is one who has lost body conciousness and is established in Tatva Jnan. After the recitation, Swami materialised a fresh fig (Anjeer) and gave half of it to the elderly devotee and breaking the other half and gave it to Prof. G. Venkatraman and Vice-Chancellor, Sri S.V. Giri. Bhagavan commanded them to eat it and asked them how it was? They said that they had never tasted such a fruit ever before. Swami explained that figs are unique in that they do not grow from a bud or a flower. They appear directly as the fruit. When the fruit has ripened fully, the skin, pulp and seed are inseparable and have to be eaten together, and all together their taste is sweet. Swami explained that, in a spiritually ripened person, all the three aspects of Karma, Bhakti and Jnana, coexist as inseparably.
Swami : (To Sri Bhagia) Which subject?
Sri Bhagia : Swami, Leadership.
Swami : Who is a leader and what are the types of leaders? (He explained that a leader should have individual, national and fundamental character.) What are individual character, fundamental character, and national character?
Sri Bhagia : Individual character is with respect to a particular person, his personal needs, etc.
Swami : What is fundamental character?
Sri Bhagia : It is beyond the Self, it is for the society and nation. Any action that is done which is good for all human beings.
Swami : In today’s world there is no individual character, then how will fundamental character be there? In politics, there is nothing. This year many troubles will be there. Even good people will be affected by the actions of bad people if they are in their company. (After a while) A person asked a married woman, “It is your husband who is earning the money, how can you spend the money for your food and other things. You should earn and only then you can spend. How can you have food with the money he earns?” The lady replied, “I am his Ardhangi (wife), I have the right. For the money he gets, he is having his food. For the work I do by preparing the food, I am having it”. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) How much money do you give in your house? Where do you keep the money?
Prof. A. K. : Swami, in house only.
Swami : Ladies are not given much freedom. After all what would they do? They spend the money on children only. But men do not believe them. In olden days, it was different. People used to have big hearts. But now it is not so. Earlier, there was a lot of respect within a family. The wife used to be very humble. She used to serve food first to her husband and then she would have her food. Though she was humble, she was very courageous. But nowadays it is not like this. Immediately after the marriage, when the wife and husband are going in a park, if the husband notices a thorn on the way, he very lovingly tells her to be careful. After a few days more, in a similar situation, he will just tell her to be careful without showing any concern. After some more days, when they are on the same way, when she steps on the thorn, he scolds her saying, “Can’t you see?” (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Do you tell your wife also in the same way?
Prof. A. K. : Swami, I am still in the older tradition, not modern.
Swami : What do you call your wife? Earlier they used to call their wife Aavida, meaning housewife. Nowadays, people call by name. Earlier when the husband came home, he would call out, “Who is there?” Though he knows that his wife was there, he would call this way.
Prof. A. K. : Swami, nowadays not only does the husband call his wife by name, but even wife calls her husband by name. Without proper training by in-laws this is what happens. At least six months training is needed.
Swami : (To Vice-Chancellor, Sri S. V. Giri) Do you call your wife by name?
V. C. : No, Swami.
Swami : (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Do you call by name?
Prof. A. K. : I am half modern. Sometimes I call by name.
Swami : It is not a mistake. Some people call there wife ‘Yemae‘ (casual way of calling a woman). They call as if they are calling a servant!
Prof. A. K. : Nowadays, they cannot do that. They will get thrashed!
Swami : Nowadays, wives are earning ten rupees more than their husbands. Some people call their wife, ‘Ose’ (casual way of calling a woman). They call like this without any respect. (Then Swami narrated the following story.) There lived two friends, one an educated girl, and another an uneducated girl. The educated girl got a medical seat and went off from the village. Later, she got married and settled, and forgot about her childhood friend. After some years, the uneducated girl wrote a letter to her. Her husband read it. It was written, “…We used to play together, eat in the same plate and sleep together…” At the end of the letter it was signed as ‘Lakshmi Narayana’. Thinking this to be a man, the husband asked her who it was. She replied that she did not know. There was a misunderstanding between them. But in the letter it was written that she would come to their place to attend an interview and she would see them. The husband waited for that day. When she got down from a Tonga (cart) in front of their house, the husband asked, “Who are you?” She replied that she was Lakshmi Narayana. He asked her how she got the name? She said that her name was Lakshmi and her father’s name was Narayana. Hence she got the name. In modern days, the husbands treat their wives badly. This is the reason for families getting broken up. I wrote this story in Bukkapatnam.
Prof. A. K. : Swami, You wrote about today’s problems that time itself.
Swami : Nowadays, they don’t keep the father’s name. They keep their husband’s name. In the modern age, they just have their name and husbands call them by name. They will call, ‘Yenna, Yemi‘ (What).
Prof. A. K. : Nowadays, before she calls, the husband himself goes like a slave!
Swami : (To a student) What about you?
Student : I follow only You.
Swami : Shuddha Abadam (completely false). In two years, see what will happen. How many people have told like this to Me!
Prof. A. K. : Swami, there are some people who are still staying.
Swami : (Jokingly) But I have a doubt. (To a Teacher) What does your father call your mother?
Teacher : Vemme.
Swami : Then he is in the old times. What does your mother call?
Teacher : Yemmandi.
Source: Students with Sai: Conversations (2000-2001)