“The Prime Minister is coming to Prasanthi Nilayam for the Cricket Match…”

December 8, 1997
Swami was discussing some details about the forthcoming cricket match.

Swami : Today 5 minutes before I came, you were practicing the group song… but it did not come out well. Bangalore students sang it last time. Who took the flag last time? (Nobody replied, and then Swami called a student and a teacher)  (To the teacher) The Prime Minister (Sri Inder Kumar Gujral, Prime Minister of India) told that he would come for the match (Sri Sathya Sai Unity Cup International Cricket Match between India XI and World XI). He will come on the 29th. He will also hoist the flag. The band students (Sri Sathya Sai Institute Brass Band) will lead the procession, followed by 6 students carrying the flag. (To the student) Ask the students to practise well. (To students in general)  Did you get the dresses?

Students : Yes, Swami.

Swami : I will give the ties on 25th. It will have the cup symbol. 60 cricketers are coming. Out of them 30 are players and 30 are invitees. Former players like Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri are also coming. The cup is 5 feet in height and it will come in a trolley, so that all can see. Nobody has given such a cup! This will be in the evening.

Teacher : Swami, will it be telecast on TV?

Swami : It will be telecast throughout the world. They will also telecast about the various places in Puttaparthi. Each player will get a silver bowl. It is not like a usual cup, which can be kept only in a showcase. It will be like a bowl with a bat at one end and a ball at the other and has a broad base. They can use for keeping fruits etc. There are sixty cups. 30 for players, and 30 for invitees. Prime Minister will give the cups, not Me.

Teacher : Swami, You organised this match, that itself is a great thing.

Swami : There are also 4 Pakistani players. They are good students. Yesterday who served food for cricket players? (Some students responded. Yesterday there was a trial match on the new pitch, in which some state level players played.) They were very happy. They were never treated so well anywhere before. On the match day, players will have lunch, breakfast and also evening tea. For breakfast, they will be given bhajji - bonda. For lunch, lemon rice, vegetable rice, chapatti, two curries, one sweet, and ice cream. Light lunch. They will have to play. They will also be served tea in the evening. They can take the items themselves.

Student : Swami, buffet type lunch.

Swami : What do you mean by buffet system? What is the meaning of this ‘bafe’, ‘bufe’? (Jokingly)

Student : It is self-serving Swami.

Swami : Then why do you want to say buffet? Buffet is from British English. ‘Self-serving’ is good. Tell ‘self-serving’. What! Buffe, buffalo gaya, buffalo aaya! Yesterday bowlers did not bowl with concentration. Ball was going this way and that way. One should bowl with such a concentration that it should either hit the 3 stumps or the batsman should hit it. Batsmen were also not playing properly. ‘Batsman’ not ‘badman’! Who all play cricket here?

Student : Swami, I play cricket.

Student2 : Swami, I used to play before coming here.

Swami : That time young age, now old age. To play cricket, your body should be thin. What is Deham?

Student : Body. 

Swami : Not the translation, but meaning. It is an instrument. It is a temple for God. Hence one should keep it fit, without any diseases. (Pointing to another student)  He takes good care of the body, not only now, before coming here also. Daily he keeps admiring himself in the mirror; he puts a bridge across the teeth also. But it is skin. Beauty is not in skin, but deep inside. Character is important.

Teacher : Swami, what is the Individual, National and Fundamental Character?

Swami : One should take care of individual character because fundamental character and national character are reaction, reflection and  resound  of individual character. Yesterday, I talked with the cricket boys for 1-½ hours on life and cricket. They were very happy. I materialised an Omega watch for Laxman (cricket player) There is another tall boy. His name is Arun Kumar. I performed his parents’ marriage. When he was born, I named him; I performed his Aksharabhyasam (initiation into the world of education). He also studied in our college in Prashanti Nilayam, where he took his B.Com degree. After that he went out. He is the grandson of Venkatagiri Raja. The Raja was a well-built man, 7ft tall. He also used to play cricket and polo… horse polo. He was very good in the game – horse polo. I once took him to the forest. In the forest (laughing), he had an urgent urge for nature’s call. He went a little distance to attend to the call. Suddenly a tiger came towards him and pounced on him. But he was very brave. He killed it without getting scared. That tiger’s skin is the one, which is under the chair in the Bhajan hall. First, I refused it because I don’t like violence. But he prayed to Me to accept it as an expression of gratitude for saving him. (To a student)  Lunch Khaya? (Did you have your lunch?)

Student : Yes, Swami.

Swami : Discourse Khaya? (Did you ‘consume’ the Discourse?)

Student : Yes, Swami.

Swami : Digest Kiya? (Did you ‘digest’ it?)

Student : Yes, Swami.

Swami : No, digestion. Today I spoke for, 1 ½ hours.

Student : No Swami.

Swami : Like teachers I should also talk for 45 minutes only. The translator became tired. His translation was good, but he did not make use of right words, which would have conveyed the correct meaning. 

Swami : (Calling a student) You were talking in the room about Swami’s Discourse. You were discussing Swami’s choice of words and it’s usage. (To students in general) Who are the band students here? (Some students knelt down)  You are very slow, you should walk fast, and brisk, you should have the spirit of marching. No slow tunes, play fast ones. Practice well for the performance on the match day. Who is your leader? M-a-s-t-e-r (Swami elongated the word) (To the band master) Practice well; band students will follow the flag.

While talking about the programme held in the morning, Swami had pointed out that one of the students had used a paper containing main points while giving his speech. He also mentioned that He had never used any such papers during the last 50 years of public speaking. He concluded by saying that He was the embodiment of perfection.

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