The Sea Called Sri Sathya Sai – By Sanjeev Abbi

Sanjeev Abbi with Sri Sathya Sai
Very often, when I need a little booster, I read this poem displayed on the wall of my office room. 

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very handsome man,
And wished I were as handsome.
When suddenly he rose to leave,
I saw him hobble down the aisle.
He had one leg and wore a crutch,
But as he passed, he passed a smile.
Oh, Bhagawan, forgive me when I whine,
I have two legs; the world is mine. 

I stopped to buy some candy,
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad,
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me, “I thank you,
You’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you,
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, Bhagawan, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes; the world is mine. 

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
But he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join them dear?”
I forgot, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, Bhagawan, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears; the world is mine. 

With feet to take me wherever I go,
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
With ears to hear what I want to know,
Oh, Bhagawan, forgive me when I whine,
I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine. 

Then I wonder why, when by Bhagawan’s Grace, all of one’s body parts and senses are intact and functioning properly; when one has been provided with food, clothing and shelter, is one still unhappy? Why does one get perturbed by the other person’s success, happiness, contentment and mental peace? He broods over the good fortune of others rather than being grateful to Bhagawan for having bestowed His Grace on him. Bhagawan has said, “I separated Myself from Myself so that I can love Myself”. 

We are all small drops in the ocean called Sai. We have come from Him and will merge in Him. Then why is it that we do not develop love and a feeling of brotherhood for each other? Why is there hatred, greed, anger and jealousy amongst us? This is because some where down the line, man has deviated from the path of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa and has got embedded in materialism.

Man is a spark of Divinity as he has originated from the Divine and merges back into Him – today or tomorrow. Thus each one of us has a relationship with Bhagawan. This relationship with Bhagawan is sacred and direct, with no interference or mediation by any other being – even his nearest and dearest ones. Does this mean that man should not care for the well being of others? The idea is not to project an image of man, wherein he moves on the spiritual path towards Bhagawan, ignoring his worldly duties towards his less fortunate brothers and sisters. The emphasis is that for one’s own Spiritual Sadhana, one develops a one-to-one relationship with Bhagawan. As he moves towards Bhagawan, his negative qualities give way to positive ones; his vision broadens and then it encompasses the entire mankind as one. It is during this transition stage of Sadhana that man develops and inculcates the values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa and puts them into practice. 

Sitting for Darshan, during the early days of my life at the Institute in Parthi, and at the start of my journey of Sadhana towards Bhagawan, I was often perturbed, sometime or the other, by the following questions: 

1) Why does Bhagawan talk to him and not to me?
2) Why does Bhagawan give him interviews and not to me?
3) Why does Bhagawan speak to him so sweetly and lovingly, but only glares at me?
4) Why was I not lucky enough to have come under Bhagawan’s fold in the year 1960 instead of decades later? 

‘Why this and Why that’ – is how I used to spend time in Bhagawan’s presence – both physical and omnipresence. Then one day Bhagawan opened my eyes as I came in contact with a devotee friend of mine, who narrated to me the following incident. 

Few years back, two blind people came to Parthi for Bhagawan’s Darshan, after hearing about His healing powers. Bhagawan took both of them inside for an interview. After the interview, when both of them came out, to the amazement of all those who were seated in the portico, the vision of one of them had been restored. Those who were witness to this miracle sympathized with the person whose vision was not restored. Nothing is hidden from Bhagawan. Aware of what was happening, Bhagawan said, “In his (the man whose vision had not been restored) previous birth, he had pierced the eyes of his friend with the help of a sharp-edged weapon, and as a result of his action, he is reaping the fruits in this birth. If I want I can restore his vision, but then, the problem is that he has to suffer the consequences of his actions. He cannot escape it. If I do restore his eyesight, then the period for which he has to suffer the consequence of his action will be passed over to the next birth. It is better if he is freed in this birth itself.” 

On hearing this incident, I felt guilty. I then realised how narrow man’s vision is. He takes the present into consideration, whereas Bhagawan takes into consideration, the past, present and the future. After this incident, there were times when I observed Bhagawan talking to one person and ignoring the other; taking the letter from one who was sitting very far from Him and ignoring the ones sitting next to Him; blessing one with several interviews or talking to a wealthy person, etc., but never did I entertain any doubts. Being human, the mind would however not stop giving way to doubts and thus the only solace I had, was to chant Bhagawan’s Name. 

No man can answer these questions. No one can predict Bhagawan. The greatest miracle of Bhagawan is to take a human form and walk among mankind. Each one of us need to only concentrate on Sai, our relationship with Him and take from Him what He has come to give us. To become a proper vessel in order to receive what He has come to give us, each one of us has to follow our path of Sadhana, and develop a one to one relationship with Him, so as to rise above the mundane matters and broaden our horizons to see ‘The same Soul in you as the Soul in me.’ 

At this juncture I am reminded of a story in which God comes down on earth to remind mankind about His existence. In this endeavour, God works through a little girl. In the end, after the Mission has been accomplished, God profusely appreciates the little girl’s efforts. After thanking her, as God is about to leave the earth, the little girl runs up to Him and embraces Him and says, “Thank you God for giving me a role in this Mission of yours as even without me your Mission would be achieved.” 

Bhagawan has given us all this unique opportunity to improve ourselves by being a part of His Mission. As each day passes, millions more are being brought under His fold. 

He has come for everyone. Each person has his own personal experience which has brought him to Bhagawan’s Feet. This points towards a one-to-one relationship which Bhagawan wants us to develop and nurture in our spiritual journey from- ‘I and SAI’ to ‘SAI and We’ and ultimately to ‘SAI and SAI’. 

It is towards this goal that we need to direct our energies everyday – at office or at home, during business hours or at leisure, during the thick and thin, during success and during failure. Let us reaffirm our pledge to play our role in His Mission. 

- Sanjeev Abbi
Student (1988-1990), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Deputy General Manager, Neptune India Ltd., Noida 

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