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Sai Sad Guru
Devotees have succeeded in persuading Baba to vouchsafe to them the pleasure of welcoming and worshipping Him in their own towns and homes. On such occasions, it is but natural that they should desire more and more people to get the benefit of His Darsan and His Discourse. Baba has often agreed to these requests and, so, at Chittor, Trivandrum, Bombay, and other places, many had the chance of personally paying homage to Him. He had also addressed public meetings at many places, thus giving thousands the unique and unforgettable pleasure of listening to His captivating voice and strength-giving Upadesh.
Baba has equal love towards all; similarly, He does not make any distinction between a village or a city; in fact, He responds perhaps even more readily when Bhakthas from remote villages require Him. He is quite at home in a Raj Bhavan or in a Parnasala. He takes with Him when He goes out to the homes of His Bhakthas barely a few persons, for He does not like to increase the burden on their attention, as well as on their purses, He is quite well able to took after Himself and so can dispense with the impediment of an entourage. As a matter of fact, His kindness and consideration towards the persons who accompany Him when He travels, make these latter feel themselves more a burden on His attention than a help to make His journey and stay comfortable!
Baba has so far travelled quite a number of times through Tamilnad visiting Coimbatore, Trichinopoly, Tanjore, Salem and rest of the towns, like Tinnevelly. He has been to Hyderabad many times, and travelled through the towns and villages of Telingana. He has been to Ellora and Ajanta, in order to show them to His devotees for, He has no need to go to places, in order to see them! He can describe any place anywhere to the minutest detail, without actually being there physically. As related already, He has journeyed to Delhi, Rishikesh, Kashmir, Mathura and Brindavan. Baba has paid also a flying visit to Bombay City. He has travelled many times along the East Coast road from Madras to the Krishna and Godavari Deltas, halting at Nellore, Ongole, Guntur, Nuzvid, Chebrole, Rajahmundry, Peddapuram, Samalkot and Masulipatam and meeting devotees and others at every place. He has even gone into more distant Moffusil places like Bhadrachalam, and Aukiripalli. In Karnataka, Baba has been to Bellary, Hospet, Mercara, Mysore, and Mandya, and He has spent many weeks, off and on, at Madras, Kodaikanal, Ootacamund and Nandanavanam in Whitefield, near Bangalore.
Baba has a keen eye for beauty spots when he rides along in His car and pulls up at quiet shady corners where nature is loveliest, or by the side of running brooks gurgling among the rocks, or heights from where the panorama of hill and dale spreads out before the tired eye. He prefers to stroll on the seashore, or between the trees of the forest or along the borders of plantations.
He uses every opportunity to clarify the doubts in the minds of the Bhakthas for, faith and steadfastness can grow only on the soil of conviction. Thus, Baba's journeys become moving schools for those who have the chance to be of the party. When a devotee told Baba, "I heard that your Kerala tour was most pleasant and wonderful. I am sad that I was not destined to join," Baba replied, "Have the confidence and hope that when next such an opportunity arises, you may be able to join. Meanwhile, listen to the account given by those who joined, and be happy."
A word about that adjective, 'wonderful': The devotee was referring to a very dramatic, indeed astounding miracle that happened at Kanyakumari. In the evening when the sky had turned into a carnival of pink and purple, and the clouds had decorated themselves with golden fringes, Baba proceeded to the seashore and with His Bhakthas around Him, played with the waves of the seas that mingle there. Each succeeding wave seemed to be more eager than the previous one to touch His lotus Feet, and to offer Him its own special homage. Suddenly, as if aware of the yearning of the seas, Baba stood facing the waters and said to those beside Him, 'See! The Ocean is welcoming Me, with a Garland.'
At the very moment one could discern a stately wave a few yards away, advancing majestically towards the shore and, soon it swept Baba's Feet and receded. Imagine the wonder and amazement of every one when they found, round Baba's Feet a bewitching pearl garland, swaying and swinging with every surge of the waters around Them! One hundred and eight translucent pearls each a priceless gem, strung on a thread of gold! O, how charming Baba looked! The Avathar of the Lord receiving the homage of Varuna again!
Reverting now to the discussions that form the main items of the day's programme for Baba when at Prasanthi Nilayam or anywhere, it would be best to go though a list of the questions asked on the great day on which the Sea paid its homage to Baba. 'Is all this Creation just Maya?' No. Taking it as creation is the Maya; ignorance of its real nature is Maya. "Are epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharatha, true?" True? They only give some part of the truth; for example, when you speak about Me to others, you are not able to describe Me fully, is it not? "Why should God come down as Man to re-instal Dharma? Is not more Sankalpa enough?" Of course, it can be done by mere Will; but, how are you to get all this bliss, if God does not come in human form?
When there is a small local disturbance, a constable is enough to put it down; when the trouble is threatening to develop into sizeable proportions a Sub-Inspector is sent; when it grows into a riot, the Superintendent of Police himself has to quell it; but, when as now, all mankind is threatened with moral ruin, the Inspector General comes down, the Lord with His army of saintly men and Sadhakas. 'Where does an Avathar take place?' At the place where spiritual Sadhana can best be undertaken.
"How can we know that You are Shirdi Sai Baba?" It is difficult for you; when I 'went' the other day, as an old man to save Venkataraman's child on the road near Bagepalli, he did not recognise Me, he thanked Me profusely and held out a rupee coin towards Me(!). He believed that I was a villager named 'Jodi Adipalli Somappa,' when I gave that name! Rama and Krishna are Avathars of the same Lord, but, their characteristics are different; so too how can you realise the identity between this Sareeram and the Shirdi Sareeram? Those who worship Shirdi Sai have not understood Him and you too have not understood Me. It is only those who have understood both that can pronounce judgement, is it not?... This was the trend of the conversation on the beach, after the Pearl Garland Offering!
The next day, too, when the party reached Courtallam on the way to Surandai and sat outside the Travancore House for Bhajan in the evening. Baba invited those around Him to ask Him questions. These are the answers; I am behind every Sadhaka; they turn back to see Me but how can they? I am still at their back! Sometimes in a flash, I give them My Darsan out of My own Sankalpa... God is Anaadi (beginningless) but, now people have started quarrelling because they say, "God is Naadi, Naadi, mine (mine in Telugu)!" In Jivaloka, there is both good and bad; in Pranaloka, there is only the good; in Atmaloka, both are equal; in Paramatmaloka, there is neither good nor bad... there is no Nasthika or Dushta; all will realise God sooner or later... I shall pardon a hundred faults of yours. First examine whether you have followed My advice, and then judge whether My words have come true... There are tests, held every week and every month and there are quarterly and half-yearly examinations, in school. But, it is only after the final examinations are held and the papers are valued that the results are announced and you are declared, "Passed" or "Failed." Do well in each test and earn the grace of the Examiner... You can either destroy or develop Karma; the Sadhana you do can either turn it or breed it... Indians have to learn much from Westerners. People this country instil fear even in the minds of young children. "You will fall; you will hurt yourself," they are told. Children are not trained to climb trees or swim or to do a hundred other useful actions. They are warned about ghosts, thieves, and they grow up in mortal dread. Children must learn self-reliance, courage and enthusiasm...
There are three stages of Sadhana: when the Sadhaka is a Sahajamanava, when he becomes Sadhanamanava, and when he attains the stage of Sarveswaramanava; First there are three entities, Loka, Jiva and Iswara. Then, they reduce themselves into two, Jiva and Iswara. Finally only Iswara remains as all three... All this Creation has been made possible with only these two, Jadam and Chaitanya, Prakrithi and Purusha. Vidwan Chowdiah, the Violinist plays 400 ragas, not with a violin of 400 strings, but with a violin having 4 strings, is it not? Mud and water make a pot; Siva and Sakthi make this Jagath... Here all are Brahmas; one Brahma asks, ten Brahmas listen; one Brahma answers and all Brahmas are satisfied... When the rays of the sun are caught and concentrated on a point by a piece of glass it produces fire; when the rays of the Lord's Grace are thus concentrated, it will light up Buddhi, burn and destroy the mind... The Lord has ordained sorrow, for without sorrow, man will not cling to God; it is something like the dietary and other restrictions which the Doctor prescribes in order to supplement the effect of his drug... Sraddha will come only if you develop hunger for God; a man who does not feel hunger will not relish a feast... For Dhyanam and Japam, there are certain steps and stages which have to be followed; random pursuit of spiritual ideals is no good... If you ask Me which is more useful, Japam or Dhyanam, I will say, 'that which induces more Sraddha in you'... In Japam, the lips and the tongue should not move; Japam has to be mental. Radha is Dhara, the Earth, Prakriti, the counterpart of Purusha. Radha is Bhakthi, the ADHAR; it must flow like a DHARA or unbroken stream... If you adhere to the path of Sathya, failure will not appear as failure; misery will not appear miserable'... These are some of the precious utterances of Baba, which make a Yatra with Him a veritable Jnanayatra, for every one.
Wherever Baba stays, He vouchsafes personal interviews as at Prasanthi Nilayam and confers the boon of consolation and courage and faith to all who seek them. He also encourages the Bhakthas to arrange for Bhajan and the singing in chorus of the Name of the Lord. Very often, He trains them in the singing of songs. Thus, Baba moves from place to place, making all hearts bloom in joy, showering His Blessings on all who are afflicted and earnest, proving by miracles every moment that He has assumed the Human Form for you and me.