When Sri Sathya Sai saved me from Quicksand... - By Vijay S. Prasad

The Love in your heart wasn’t
Put there to stay
Love isn’t Love till you give it away

To love and be loved is the greatest joy on Earth. It is the only thing that increases by giving. You may give money, only to become poor by a few more pennies, but if you give love-selfless and unsullied, then you find to your amazement that the happiness within you rises to an all time high. But, what is happiness? Where can we get it? Is it permanent or fleeting? To answer these questions one must turn inward. As you do this, you get the answer. True and permanent happiness can be attained only in union with God. It is because God, who is the ocean of love, envelopes you. Then you realise that you are in a state of true joy and happiness. This joy persists as long as your relationship with God exists, intact and firm. 

As Bhagavan always stresses the need to “Love all and Serve all”, we all must serve with our hands and pray to God all the time with our heart. Gandhiji always used to say; “We are not doing any favour by helping the needy and the downtrodden. It is they who are doing us a favour by giving us a chance to do so.”

Love is simply beyond words. One has to taste the sugar to know its sweetness. Likewise, one must experience love to know what it is. 

Love is sandal in its coolness, an its very enchanting fragrance.
Love is a lotus in its neatness, as it removes dirt and brings cleanliness.
Love is a rose in its tenderness, so tender and soft.
Love is a fish in selfishness, it removes dirt, does it not?!
Love is selflessness, self is lovelessness.
The thing you should have is goodness, 
And you will be ready to answer his call.

Love is giving and forgiving. Bhagavan only gives. He never takes. If at all He takes anything, it is only the burden and troubles of His devotees. Here are a few instances. 

Swami giving Darshan outside the
Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar - Swami's School at Ooty
I was studying in Bhagavan’s residential school at Ooty. One fine Saturday, my parents came to take me for a night’s stay in one of the famous lodges at Ooty. It was the year 1989. I was then studying second standard. That night, I stayed in the company of my parents. The next day I visited various places of interest in Ooty with my parents. We visited the lake in Ooty, had a pleasant ride in a boat and then we visited the famous Botanical gardens. It was around 11 a.m or so. We decided to rest for sometime in the gardens. So, we sat next to a pond. My sister and I were playing with a frisbee. As we were playing, the frisbee landed in the pool. In my innocence, I jumped into the pool. As soon as I landed in the pool, I noticed to my horror that I couldn’t come up. It was quicksand and I was being drawn to the netherworlds faster and faster. Hearing my screams and my sister’s screams, my parents came running to me. I was beyond their reach. Already the marshy water had almost submerged me till my neck. My parents realised the gravity of the situation and prayed to Bhagavan. Their prayers were answered. The next moment, some great force pushed me up and I was able to reach my parents! God takes care of His devotees. 

Here is another instance when Bhagavan came to the rescue of His devotees. Of course, such instances are simply innumerable and uncountable. These are just drops in the mighty ocean. There was a devotee whose son was employed in a chocolate factory. Both of them visited Prasanthi Nilayam where Bhagavan gave them an interview and assured them that He would always protect them no matter where they were. So, after receiving Bhagavan’s love and grace, they left Parthi. The son’s work included putting slabs of chocolate under a splitter. This splitter split the chocolate bar into pieces of equal size and shape. He had to be always circumspect. Every time he would push a chocolate slab into the splitter, he would have to take out his hands very fast or else, it would cut his hands. One day, as he was pushing the chocolate bars, his hand got stuck up and however much he tried it was of no avail. The splitter was coming down to fragment the bar, and with it, his hand also. The son remembered Bhagavan, closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable. He waited; five seconds passed... ten seconds... nothing happened to his hand! He slowly opened his eyes and saw something-something nobody could believe. But with God, there is nothing impossible. He does the impossible just in a trice. Even as he opened his eyes, he saw that the splitter had stopped just about an inch from his hand due to power failure! Everybody in the factory was amazed. Later, when they came to Parthi, Bhagavan quipped with a naughty, mischievous smile, “When Sai power comes, all other powers fail.” God does take care of His devotees. 

Bhagavan is a multifaceted personality. He says of Himself- “I am a man among men, woman among women, a child among children and alone, I am God.” 

A Child among Children
Bhagavan is a child among children. As a student, I have witnessed many a time this facet of the Divine Lord. Imagine God coming to His children and asking or inquiring about the day’s menu. Here is an instance, which augments the understanding of the above statement. It was the year 1979. Students from the newly established Whitefield campus were in Bombay with Bhagavan to stage a drama entitled ‘Bhaja Govindam’. It was such a great success that there were proposals for inviting the boys to various states and even abroad for staging the drama. But, as the examinations were to be held within a week, Bhagavan said, “I will see.” It was time to leave for Bangalore. The students were feeling sad, as they had to part the company of the Lord. Two buses were arranged. By the time Bhagavan came, the first bus had already started. So, Bhagavan could just wave His hands. But the boys in the second bus were to witness a moving scene. Bhagavan came to the second bus. All the boys wanted to open the door and touch Bhagavan’s feet. But Bhagavan told them not to open the door and just remain seated. Bhagavan went to each and every window of the bus and gave send-off to the boys just as a mother or friend would do! The boys were in tears. The bus then started and Bhagavan then went to a vantage point from where He could observe the bus for the longest time and kept waving His hands until the bus was out of sight. The devotees who were seated in the Dharmakshetra were moved to tears. The Lord of the Universe had come to such a level only due to one thing - Love and Love alone. 

And alone - He is God. Many times, He reveals the contents of the letters without opening them. These are but petty things for the Divine. His greatest miracle is the transformation of the Heart through His Love. There are many things we take for granted. During a Satsang in our Samiti, a devotee was emphasising the fact that “little things mean a lot.” He said that before he came to Bhagavan, he used to visit various pilgrim centres and could see only the statues of God. But, in Prasanthi Nilayam, the first time he saw Bhagavan he was moved to tears and said that his wish to see the living God was fulfilled. Another thing he brought to our notice was, “Usually devotees go around the idol or do Pradakshina (circumambulations), but in Parthi it is just the opposite. Here, God goes round the devotees.” To top it all, he added, “In temples normally we offer coins at the Hundi, not knowing who would take it. But in Parthi, the loving God takes the letters or rather the troubles of His devotees.” 

Love can exist only with the help of strong and firm support. And the support that is necessary here is selfless service. Selfless love and selfless service together form the greatest combination that can possibly exist. It is this that attracts God. It binds Him to you, more firmly and more securely. So Bhagavan says - “Manava Seva is Madhava Seva, Jana Seva is Janardana Seva and Silent Seva is Sai Seva.” It is very important to know two things here. Firstly, one should never do service having a selfish motive behind it and secondly, one must always observe silence to the maximum extent possible. For, it is only in the depths of silence that the voice of God can be heard. Experience is the best way to know the essence of love. And the ultimate experience of love can be had only with the loving God, i.e. our dearest Bhagavan. 

To experience love, one must be ready to receive and realise the essence of this Divine love. To accomplish this, one must be an optimist. The mind can be compared to a parachute. It functions best only when it is open. To be broad-minded is simple, provided we have control over the senses. Control over the senses can be gained only when the mind is controlled. To control the mind one must follow the conscience. There is an ideal example to explain this point. Once Winston Churchill said, “God, I’m going to be the Prime minister of the whole world.” Roosevelt got up and said, “I’m going to be higher than Churchill. I’m going to be the President of the whole world.” Stalin then said, “Respected sirs, do you think I’ll let you become what you think you will become?” Here the senses can be compared to that of Mr. Churchill and the mind to that of President Roosevelt. We should be powerful like Stalin (i.e. we must have control over the mind and the senses). 

Bhagavan emphasises that low aim is a crime. Always have your eyes on the ultimate goal: to cultivate and give selfless love. One should remain in the world but unattached to it. The leaves of the lotus grow in the dirty, marshy water and yet remain untouched by it. One should not fool the world nor should it fool one. One must learn from his mistakes. If a man deceives us once, shame on him. If a man deceives us twice, shame on us. Correcting our mistakes and thus striving hard for perfection is one of the greatest qualities. For all the love we get from the ocean of love that He is, can we not share this love with our fellow beings? Love everyone so that you love God and He will give it back a thousand fold for He is the Loving God. 

Love everyone, as they are God; what binds us is only love.
Serve everyone, as they are God; start it all just now.
Loving God as He is; share this love with all.
For all things are made by Him, both big and small.
Let there not exist selfishness, as a barrier or wall.
Love is the only answer to God’s call.

Vijay S. Prasad
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

Source: Sai Nandana 2000 (75th Birthday Issue)

1 comment:

  1. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

    love, the answer to all problems


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