“She picked me up from the muddy world,
And gathered me into Her fold.
She nurtured me and moulded me,
Into a child so bold.
Every cell of mine was recharged here,
Every drop of blood was made good here.
Home sweet Home, a Home for all,
Mother sweet Mother, a Mother for all”
Every child brought up under the direct guidance of Mother Sai feels a unique kind of gratitude. The fact is that there is something strong that binds us to Her - The Divine Love. Every child surrenders to its mother with a strong faith that she shall take care of everything. This faith forms the basis for the love and surrender.
It was yet another fine evening when Swami briskly walked towards the students and during the conversation asked a boy what he was going to do after twelfth standard and the boy promptly replied that it was for Swami to decide. This too is surrender, for the child had faith in the words of Sai and surrenders, letting the Lord set the future. After all, He is the knower of the past, present and the future.
Surrendering to the Almighty is the easiest of the paths. When we surrender, we have the Lord Himself with us.
“This be My word supreme to thee,
Let go thy rites,
Let go thy forms and creeds,
Make Me thy single refuge, child!
This be My deepest word to thee,
Cling on to Me,
Cease in Me, to serve Me.
So that thou should come close to Me!”
These were the holy words of Lord Krishna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. But many today have no complete faith in God. They are not ready accept fully what God has given them.
Years ago, a strong wire was stretched across the Niagara River, just above the roaring falls. It was announced that a tightrope walker was going to walk on the suspended wire from the American side to the Canadian side. The great moment arrived for the death-defying feat. Large crowds watched with wide eyed wonderment as the man perfected with calm deliberateness, so nonchalantly the awesome stunt. The people cheered wildly! Then he performed an even more daring stunt. He began to push a wheelbarrow with grooved wheels across the suspended wire. At the conclusion of this breath taking performance, thunderous applause went up. The performer observed a boy whose wonderment was clearly discernible on his bright face. Asked the man, “My boy, do you believe that I could take you across in this wheel barrow, across the falls?” “Oh, yes,” said the boy quickly. “Then get in the wheel barrow”, requested the man. The boy instantly dashed away far from the tightrope walker. The boy was a witness to the great feat performed by the man, yet he lacked the faith that the man could take him across the river safely.
Very similarly, though we know of God’s great powers, His ability to create, sustain and destroy, yet we lack the firm faith to follow all that He says. Many lack one of the precious commandments - Atma Nivedanam, the total surrender.
A few years back, the assistant Director of the Drug Control Association Mr. Raman Rao came to Puttaparthi to have Bhagavan’s Darshan. As he sat among the devotees, Bhagavan smoothly glided towards him and began innocently asking him when he had come and so on. Just as He slowly moved away, He softly said, “I have some work for you. Wait.” This man was in a fix. He had to leave for Hyderabad for an important assembly meeting. A minister was to preside over the assembly and Mr. Rao was to represent the health department and be ready with his answers to questions, which might be asked in the assembly. But Swami had asked him to wait. He took the holiest of decisions and surrendered!
Days passed, Swami never spoke to him. One fine day Swami casually walked up to him. During the conversation Swami told him that the work was over and he could now leave. Seeking Swami’s blessings he left. He had wild thoughts flashing across his mind of his boss and other colleagues. He was late by three days or so, but when he reached things were as normal as ever. When he enquired he was told that the assembly was cancelled as the minister had some other appointments. Even the boss never questioned his absence. It was all surprising for Mr. Raman Rao and he realised that it was all because he had surrendered to Swami’s directions. It is only when we surrender and perform Sadhana that we can get closer to Him and also get Him to come closer to us.
Swami, in one of His discourses explained the inner relation between the devotee’s Sadhana and the Lord’s Grace. The stalactite-stalagmite formation is a phenomenon noticed in certain caves having certain minerals and elements. The ceiling is covered with a layer of calcium carbonate, and in the course of time, this percolates down as icicles. This is known as stalactite. From the water drops gathering on the roof and falling down on the cave floor over the years, similar pointed protrusions grow up from below also. These are called stalagmites. The formations grow together and ultimately join together. Swami then said, “Similarly, the grace seeping from the stalactite of God will keep dropping on the jiva, the individual soul, and by doing Sadhana and surrender, grows up with the stalagmite ultimately merging in the Divine.”
The whole world is His, we are all His children, and it is up to us to move towards Him. We must desire for His love and only then shall we deserve Him.
Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam,
Dustara Bhava Sagara Taranam.
Surrender at the Lotus Feet of Swami and He shall take you across the ocean of Bhava Sagara. As one of the saints rightly said, “The one who aspires to attain Mukti or Liberation without chanting the Lord’s name and surrendering at His Lotus Feet is like a foolish traveller who wants to go to the sky catching rain drops.”
Looking back, we find in the Treta and Dwapara Yugas, two great examples of surrender. Hanuman tore open His chest and the people around could see Lord Rama and Mother Sita in His heart. He laid His entire life in the service of Lord Rama. Arjuna had steadfast faith in Lord Krishna and he was ready to accept all that Lord Krishna said. In this age, when we have got among us both Rama and Krishna, the question arises, “Can’t we develop steadfast faith in the Lord and surrender to Him? Is there any difficulty in lightening our burdens at His feet and surrender?”
Sitting in the first line of the student’s portico of the Kulwant Hall, a thought once struck me why there was gap of three steps between the Lord and the students. It was just a small thought that had struck my mind and I soon forgot about it. After a while, Swami came out to the portico to talk to the students. I had a letter in my hand and a prayer in my heart. Time ticked away as Swami was talking to Prof. Anil Kumar. The letter in my hand was wet with sweat. I cried aloud in my heart, “O Ma! I offer all my love to You; please accept my letter.” I found no response. After a while, the anxiety in me grew stronger but I kept encouraging myself and said, “I have the faith that He will take my letter,” there was no response. I felt pain in my heart but I was covering it with a smile and said, “My Lord, I surrender.” I suddenly saw Swami’s hand stretching, asking for my letter. I rushed forward, climbing the three steps of love, faith, surrender and the Lord accepted my letter with a smile and also granted Padanamaskar. After Swami went in, I pondered deeply over the moment and realised the reason and significance of those three steps that lay between the Lord and me.
Surrendering doesn’t mean giving up; it is giving unto. We give unto the Lord our problems and ask Him to solve because we are nothing but His creation and will not the Creator care for His creation? Let us all surrender to the Lord, the Lord who has come to repair the ancient highway leading man to God. He has come in response to the prayers of sages, saints and seekers for the restoration of that road. Let us not leave His Lotus Feet.
Having grasped what ought to be grasped.
Hold on with a tight grasp till the end.
Having desired what ought to be desired.
Hold on till the desire is fulfilled.
Having asked what ought to be asked.
Hold on till you receive that you have asked for.
Having thought what ought to be thought.
Hold on till the thought comes true.
Either He has to bless you out of frustration
With your prayers.
Or you have to ask with all your heart intensely.
It is not proper on the part of devotees to give up half way.
These are the holy words of our Lord Sai Himself. Whether they are problems of domestic life, medical problems, academic problems, spiritual problems, financial or any other problems, we need to realize that He is an all-round Protector. Things may seem bitter, but in the hands of the Divine it all turns sweet, so let us all surrender. Let us all pray from the depths of our heart to the Lord to bestow upon us strength to develop complete faith and surrender unto Him.
That if the Lord points to a hill and calls it a tree, we accept.
That if He points to sparrow and calls it eagle, we accept.
That if He points to the sky and calls it earth, we accept.
For doesn’t His creation stand at His will?
I am reminded of yet another poem of Swami.
Why should I bother about Earth?
If You are positively disposed towards me, that is enough for me;
Why should I bother about comforts and riches?
If You are disposed towards me well, that is enough for me.
Why should I bother about fulfilling my desires?
If I have Your compassion, that is enough.
Why should I bother about glory?
If I have Your love, that is enough.
What You have given me is sufficient! Oh! Father
Other possessions will automatically come.
It is enough if You say, “He is my devotee!”
And shower Your grace on me!
- P. Hari Prashant
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus