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Sathya Sai Speaks

Poem by N. Kasturi, Presented to Sathya Sai Baba on 16 October 1958
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust
Web posted at Jan 28, 2001

Have you heard our Baaba speak
At public meetings anywhere?
He never calls it speech;
Nor will you name it so!

He does not raise His voice, harangue,
Or rouse the mob or rail or flail;
He does not hesitate,
He will not calculate,
Hum and haw and pause and ponder,
Making you wonder why you came!

He does not waiver, wander,
Collecting thoughts, contriving notes;
He does not waste a moment, decorating thoughts in showy lace and frills,
clothing borrowed texts in shimmering gauze.

He is no orator-pompous, proud,
Clamouring for claps, publicity-mad!
He will not circumambulate, declaim... or, even... 'speak'!

He is the rain-cloud, bringing Life
To the parched ones here below!
He 'talks'... He 'talks', to you, and you, and every single you that has gathered there.
To every single Arjuna, with heavy heart and empty hand,
Afraid to fight the battle of Life on to Victory.

You feel He has come for you, to you.
You see Him, silently looking around!
The searchlight eye full circle swings!
How lucky, you are there!

He smiles; He wins you by that smile!
You scarce can take your eyes from off that Face,
So alluring, so Divine!
You scarce can pull your heart from off His grip;

The clasp is cool comfort!
The silence deepens...
Though thousands have been squatting, waiting,
For hours and hours...
Himaalayan stillness; twilight calm!


The Golden Hour has come!
Heaven's Gate ajar!
The voice is sweet as honey
Hived by Heavenly bees from Paarijatha trees!
His call is clarion clear!

O! 'Tis thrilling, 'tis filling rapture in the soul,
Flowing like the Ganga, freeing the bound,
Yielding rich reaping, for just ploughing and sowing
Welling and swelling like Gersoppa Falls,
Yielding vast power, for just wheeling and wiring!

His talk is a cascade, so limpid and pure,
Teaching, never preaching, unraveling all knots,
Stilling the questionings ere they emerge in mind;
Defining, refining, consoling the pining,

Commanding, yea, demanding the bending of pride,
Sparing no one, be He ruling or serving.

Chiding, reprimanding the fool, and fanatic;
Joking and coaxing, poking fun at all hoaxing;
Quoting from what He said in the past ages,
Detailing facts of his incarnating.

Resplendent poetry, spontaneous, sublime,
Painting pictures of transcendent Truth,
Parable, proverb, scintillating bright,
Tinkling, twinkling, tintinnabulating lilt,

Every hour a minute, every minute a second;
Every word a manthra, every phrase, Suuthra,
A Gayathri a sentence, Upanishath a speech!

For He is no well or tank or river!
His is the ocean of Wisdom Divine!
Oh! His words shower mercy, like morning dew
On every heart-bud awakening from dreaming.

He is feeding your roots and speeding the sap,
Sprouting the buds, painting the petals,
Perfuming them well, inviting the bees,
Ripening the pods, with each word of His!

There! The meaning of His word, a tiny seed
Drops on your rock-like heart! And wonder of wonders!
It germinates there!... sprouts and puts forth leaves!
The silken half-blind baby-roots do run about
Tickling the stone, jabbing, pleading for suckling!
Succeeding at last, it grows; and, growing into a tree,
Your rock is broken into clay!

His talk, you will find, is cooling, not freezing
Warming, not burning; raining, not flooding;
Healing the ailing and hearts bewailing;
Soothing, not searing; no toxin, but tonic;
Balming and calming; all fact and no fiction!

Every sentence spreads joy and scorches gloom,
Impelling attention, compelling assent,
Dispelling dejection, repelling sloth,
Attracting you nearer, detaching from bonds,
Infusing courage, and fusing creeds,
Imposing no doctrine, composing all feuds,
Informing (so charming!), never harming, disarming!
Sifting the responding, lifting the desponding.

Stressing on 'Doing, Behaving and Living',
Appealing for 'Feeling, Believing and Acting'.

Calling all listening, to spurn imitating,
Vainly disputing, blind leading the blind,
Knocking at Paradise through power and pelf,
Or boasting of branches of family tree,
And seeking for peace, in earning and spending
And wanting and panting and hoarding and guarding.

As you hear Him talking, you quietly resolve
To take a step forward on the pilgrim road;
Unfold your wings and soar into the sky!
You feel you are a Lion, cheated into bleating!
A diamond, set in dirty lead!

Engaging in no fray, enraging no foe,
He is welcoming all, who are thirsty or starving,
Or limping, or blinking, or climbing and sliding,
Raising the stooping, embracing the drooping
Assuaging pain, assuring His Grace.

He reminds us all of the road we have missed.
He describes the joy of the journey's end.
He opens our eyes; He strengthens our limbs;
He heartens the struggling, groping his way,
Awakening the sleeping, making the sitting stand,
The standing to walk; the walking to reach!

Proclaiming, revealing, announcing to all
Asserting His coming for our burden assuming,
Redeeming the wayward, the downcast, diseased;
Underlining the Truth, undermining the false;

Ah! What is this? What luck! What Grace!
Even as He talks, 'it' blossoms into song,
Oh! Captivating Song! He teaches us to pray
Tranquilising all the furious waves,
Steeling the nerves and strengthening the will,
Attuning our soul to Dharma! Sathya! Prema!

And when it stops
And you open your eyes,
You find them full of tears!
Your neighbour weeps like child for mother,
But why? Look up and see; He has left the dais!

Be proud you had the chance. From this moment, I know
You are bound to be an ascending, attempting, adventurous soul.
Arjuna, resuming arms for the fray
With Krishna leading the horses aright -
How lucky you heard Him talk!