“For Me, all Religions are Same…”

Sunday, July 30, 2000


Morning

During Darshan, as Swami approached the Primary School students and saw that all of them were having ‘Vandana’ books, He asked one of them…

Swami    :    (To a Primary School student) What is it?

Student    :    (Thinking that as usual Swami was enquiring about the morning breakfast in the Hostel) Swami, Idli and Chutney.

Swami    :    Not Idli and Chutney. What is that book? (The student shows the book to Swami. Swami opens the book and flips through few pages. Pointing a picture of a man on the cover page) Is He your friend? (The boy did not answer.) What was the breakfast?

Student    :    Idli and Chutney.

Swami    :    How many?

Student    :    Four Idlis.

Swami    :    What is the sweet? (The students keep quiet. After interview, Prasadam was distributed to students. To a student) Where is your Laddu?

Student    :    Swami, it is here. (He showed his Laddu to Swami.)

Swami    :    Eat it, otherwise, thieves will take it! (Swami went further and asked one more student.) Where is your Laddu?

Student    :    Swami, I ate it.

Swami    :    Good boy. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Where is your Laddu?

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami, I ate it.

Swami    :    Very good. Now it is safe. Storing it is very bad. Yesterday Satyanarayana Rao came. He is the Union Minister for Agriculture.

Prof. A. K.    :    Is he an old devotee?

Swami    :    Yes, he is a long-standing devotee and he is from East Godavari district, Rajahmundry. He was telling that in Delhi, at Prime Minister’s house, life-size photograph of Swami was there and wherever he went, there was Swami’s photograph. Even in other countries, he saw Swami’s photograph. He said that Swami should send Shanti Sena (Peace Army) to Guntur. (There was some communal intolerance in Guntur.) For Me, all religions are same. We sing in our Bhajans praising all religions.

Swami went back to the interview room.


Evening

After the interviews…

Swami    :    (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Four, three, two. How many Idlis?

Prof. A. K.    :    For now three, Swami.

Swami    :    (Smiling) No shame! So, after Bhajans, you will have more.

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami, railway station is going to come soon.

Swami    :    Who said?

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami, boys were saying. (Prof. Anil Kumar pointed towards some students. Two students went near Swami and showed a photocopy of the new railway timetable. Warden, Dr. Siva Sankara Sai also joined them.)

Warden    :    Yes, Swami, the new railway guide has come. (Few M.B.A. students gave Swami a bunch of letters and a card. They asked Swami for an interview.)

Swami    :    No interview. Come with your wives, and then only I will give you interview.

Student    :    Swami, tell us what to do for M.B.A. anniversary day.

Swami    :    (Smiling) All of you get together and dance.

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami, mass dancing is a very good idea for M.B.A. anniversary day!

Student    :    Swami, we will do as You say.

Swami    :    Mass dancing, mass dancing, mass dancing. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Peace settlement was made. Terrorists surrendered their arms. Abdullah (Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir) is happy, Prime Minister is happy. Abdullah said if everything is in peace, Swami would visit the place. (Swami went back and came after sometime with a cover in His hand. Swami called a devotee and gave him the cover and he took Padanamskar. To the devotee) How many service camps? How many eye camps?

Devotee    :    175 cataract operations, Swami.

Swami    :    Very happy. (The devotee took Padanamaskar.) How many times will you take Padanamskar? (To Prof. Anil Kumar) They have been coming here for a long time. They start from Bombay, touch places like Pandharpur, Shirdi and reach Puttaparthi. They come all the way by walk and they put their food and clothes in a cart and pull it. This man has been coming from his childhood (from 20 years). In the villages on the way, they tell people to worship Sai Baba. This is 75th birthday time, so 75 people have come. They conduct medical service camps in Andheri, Bombay.

Prof. A. K.    :    Is it so, Swami?

Swami    :    32 days. It took them that much time. (Jokingly) Your Andhra people will get down at Kothacheruvu (a nearby town) and from there, come by walk. (Referring to a teacher, who is also a writer) He always scribbles something on paper.

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami, even his son wrote some books. He is also an all-round Gold medallist.

Swami    :    Is he a Gold medallist or a bold medallist? (Swami started moving towards the interview room. One School student showed Swami a card. Swami read out the following lines from the card.) ‘With You I am everything, Without You I am nothing’. (To the student) Never think of ‘without Swami’, always think of ‘with Swami’.

Swami gave Padanamaskar to the student and went back into the interview room. 

After the Bhajans at 5.30 pm, Swami retired to the Poornachandra residence. 

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