Swami often says, “If you take one step towards Me I will take a hundred towards you”. At first I found this statement very confusing. I thought, here I am, ready to take any number of steps to be with Him and here He is ready to take a hundred steps for one step from me. Then why aren’t we already together? Is this saying of His figurative or symbolic or poetic or something else? But over the years through various experiences wisdom has dawned on me and I have come to believe that when Bhagavan says, “I’ll take a hundred steps towards you,” He really does that in letter and spirit. Let me explain this.
After having joined the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, I thought of putting into practice some simple things that Bhagavan says. “Love All, Serve All”, was the first such experiment. Service was easy. But I was at my wit’s end trying to find out how to love everybody equally and unconditionally. I was depressed by the response that my efforts received. I almost came to the conclusion that it is simply impossible for me to love everyone unconditionally.
|Sri Sathya Sai delivering a Discourse during the Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality at the Brindavan Campus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning|
The question may arise, “Could it have been a simple coincidence of my having asked a question to Swami in thought and getting a reply the very same day through a devotee?” I feel it is not so. Man generally explains the apparent absence of God’s help using this word ‘coincidence’. And if at all God’s help looks very obvious, man dismisses it saying, “I was lucky!” Such instances as narrated above have been too frequent and too many for me to think of them as something other than God’s help.
|Divine Darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam|
Swami is very keen to answer all our sincere spiritual queries. But for some strange reason He chooses to clothe His reply in the colour of the ordinary and the mundane. He wants us to perceive His hand behind the ordinary. He teaches through different mouths, in different ways. He is the most versatile teacher of all.
When He makes us look at a crippled man or a handicapped person He is reminding us, “Look, My child, I have given you a perfect body with all limbs intact, use it for doing good to others.” “Paropakarartham Idam Shariram” (the body is given to serve others).
When He makes someone criticize us He is reprimanding us, correcting us and improving us through him or her. When He makes us look at a mentally retarded person He is reminding us, “My child, I have given you a sound mind. don’t entertain crooked thoughts. Think of the Lord.” Like this, through very thing that we see, everything that we hear, everyone we meet, everything read, He is teaching us lessons, answering our queries and talking to us.
When we come to accept this truth, all our speech will become a conversation with God, all our actions will become a service to Him and we would be unconsciously thinking of Him all the time. We will then realise that when Bhagavan says, “If you take one step towards Me I will take a hundred towards you”, it is not a poetic phrase, a symbolic statement, or a confusing line. It is a promise, a promise given to every spiritual seeker, nay, everyone in this whose destiny beckons him to arise and march forward on the spiritual path towards God, but hand in hand with Him.
- Santosh Muralidharan
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning