In Conversation with Sri Sathya Sai: "Religious Intolerance is not good for anyone…"

Saturday, March 10, 2001 

After the evening interviews, Swami came to the Ganesh portico. 

Swami : (Referring to the devotees whom Swami had just given interview) Those are Mexican devotees. They are very good. They felt very happy. (Swami noticed some bundle of papers with Prof. Anil Kumar.To Prof. Anil Kumar) Keep that market in your shop only. Don’t bring it here. Whats the news? 

Prof. A. K. : Swami religious intolerance is on the rise. 

Swami : Where? 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, in Delhi and Hyderabad. 

Swami : Why? 

Prof. A. K. : One of the Muslim heads made the statement that the demolition of the Buddha statues is due to the demolition of Babri Masjid (the mosque in the temple town of Ayodhya in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Babur in 1527, and destroyed during a political rally in 1992) in India. Muslims got inspiration from that and they started destroying Buddha statues in Afghanistan. 

Swami : It is not good for anyone. Those who wish for the welfare of the world, don’t do such acts. Whether Hindus, Muslims or Christians, they will be benefitted only when there is unity among themselves. Those who commit such act of destroying are Kiratakas (hunters). What happened at Hyderabad? 

Prof. A. K. : Some disputes are going on Swami. Some people are throwing stones at shops and buses. 

Swami : No one is less in such things. (Seeing a ring on a teacher’s finger) Where did you get this ring from? 

Teacher : It is mine, Swami. (Then Swami materialised a diamond ring for him.) 

Swami : This diamond is very costly. This is very good for you. (Then Swami narrated an incident where He saved the lecturer from a heart ailment. 

To a student) Sit straight. Only then will you get good Buddhi (intellect). Between the spinal column and the brain, there is a gap equal to the length of four fingers. Between each Chakra (centers of spiritual energy in the human body), there is some gap. If students sit straight, they will understand the things that are taught properly and remember them for longer time. If they don’t sit straight, they will not understand. They will give wrong answers. (Referring to the devotees whom He had given interview) They do meditation. 

Prof. A. K. : They also do meditation, Swami! 

Swami : Foreigners are better than all of you in meditation. They sit straight and do meditation. Today, 66 devotees have come from Spain. I gave interview to 48 of them. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, is the interview room sufficient for those many people? 

Swami : That is nothing. Once, I gave interview in that room to 108 devotees of Karnataka. 

Prof. A. K. : If Swami wants, He can give interview to any number of devotees. Swami, You can extend the walls by Your will! 

Swami : Bangalore boys (students from the Brindavan Campus of the Institute) are working hard for the exams. Those students don’t talk during the study hours. Here, our boys keep moving around (during the study hours) in the corridors (of the Hostel). (Swami was appreciating the level of discipline in the Brindavan Campus and indicated through this observation that there was scope for improvement in discipline in the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus of the Institute.) 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, here also students are studying nicely. Students study, not only to making their parents happy and get good marks, but also to please You. The students think that if they don’t study properly, Swami will feel hurt. 

Swami : They have that in their mind. But they are not putting in to practice. 
(To a School student) What was the exam today? 

Student : Swami, there was no exam. 

Swami : Tomorrow, which exam you have? 

Student : Swami, Mathematics. 

Swami : Oh Mathematics! Then so many boys will have fear. How many marks you got in Mathematics in first year? 

Student : Swami, I don’t have Mathematics subject, I have Accounts. 

Swami : Accounts is also like Mathematics only. How many marks you got in Accounts? 

Student : Swami, marks have not yet been given. (Swami asked the names of the teachers, who are teaching him. The student told the names of his teachers.) 

Swami : (Jokingly) Isn’t the teacher, who teaches you, your mother-in-law? 
(Swami asked Sri Ramakrishna Reddy, Teacher in the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, who had gone to Lepakshi for invigilation about the work he did there. Swami asked the teacher) Was someone copying during the exam? 

Sri Reddy : No, Swami. 

Prof. A. K. : (To the teacher) How many students wrote the exam? 

Sri Reddy. : Around 400 students. 

Swami : (To Prof. Anil Kumar) I have constructed the two buildings for them. Before that, they had only huts. They came and prayed to Me and I constructed those buildings for them. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, Lepakshi is famous for sculpture. 

Swami : Yes, there are so many sculptures and also many idols. The idols are made of limestone. The place is also famous for arts and crafts (Vrutti Vidya). 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, Dharmavaram is also famous for that. 

Swami : They don’t have proper facilities. Government is also not encouraging them. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, in Dharmavaram the weaving industry is also going down because of lack of proper facilities. 

Swami : The cunning businessmen deceive the poor people. Deceiving such people is not good. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, some Indian businessmen deceived Chinese in the same way. 

Swami : Yes, some Indians exported tobacco to China. They put some sacks of mud, instead of tobacco. So, on finding this, the Chinese broke the business relation with them. Why go that far (mentioning the name of a person), he also used to do many things like this. When there was an order placed to him, he put four bricks and supplied goods to meet the contractual requirements. I asked him why he was doing like this. He replied that before coming to Swami he had desire for money and therefore he did like that, but afterwards he did not do anything like that. ‘Duraasa Dukhaniki Chetu’ (Greediness leads to misery).
(Prof. Anil Kumar told Swami something regarding the current political situation.) One should go by Swa-Bhava (one should be conscious of the Atma in oneself). Swa means Atma. One may be a political leader, but he should not leave his Swabhava. Swa–Bhava means Swa-Shakti (one’s own strength). We should not give up our self-respect. (Then Swami narrated the life of Abraham Lincoln, Former President of U.S.A.) Though he was poor, he always lived with self-respect. He knew that he is poor. Hence, he thought that he should lead his life accordingly. 
(To a student) Next year you can go to the Delhi Darbar, after finishing the M.B.A. 

Student : Swami, I want Sai Darbar. 

Swami : This is not Sai Darbar, this is congregation of Sai devotees. 
(To Prof. Anil Kumar) His parents are very good. His mother is a Bal Vikas teacher. She always spends her time with children. On his brother’s insistence, he joined here. His brother didn’t go home for hoilidays for past three years. This is the third year.
(Mentioning the name of Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations) He came here directly from Kodaikanal. He has made all arrangements for our stay. There is a new plane. I will be the first person to be in that. I want to take all the boys, but the place is not sufficient. During holidays, boys will go home. 
(Swami went back to the interview room and came after sometime. He brought Sri Srinivasan with him.) He came directly from Kodai. (Sri Srinivasan mentioned that because Swami did not go to Kodai last time, the shop keepers had a huge loss. Swami also acknowledged it.) The Chairman of the town is also inviting Me.

Devotee : Swami, climate over there is very nice.The temperature is 18 to 19 degrees during day and 16 to 17 degrees centigrade during night. The lake is waiting for Sai showers. 

Swami : Here also climate is very good. (To a student) Isn’t it? 

Student : Yes, Swami, very good climate. 

Swami : (Pointing towards Prof. Anil Kumar, Swami said with a smile) Here someone is cherishing to go to Kodai. (To Prof. U. S. Rao) Have you have been to Kodai? 

Principal : Swami, only once. 

Swami : Along with Me? 

Principal : No, Swami. 

Swami : (Pointing towards Sri Srinivasan, to the students) Who is he? 
(Some students mentioned his name.) His position? 

Students : All India President for Sathya Sai Organisation. 

Swami : (To the students) When are your exams getting over? 

Students : By March 31st. 

Warden : 2nd of April is Ram Navami

Swami : (Smiling) After that students will go to their homes. Then I will go to Kodai. 

Students : No, Swami! 

Then Swami went to interview room. 

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