Sri Sathya Sai: An Ocean Of Love, Compassion, Grace And Bliss – By Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi

In this world of today where we find only mutual suspicion, fear, conflict and chaos at every level - domestic, national as well as international - where selfishness, jealousy and greed dominate people's conduct, attitude and social behavior, where hypocrisy and untruth pervade every sphere of human activity, where time honored principles and basic values have all been cast to the winds, the sole source of hope for the redemption of mankind lies in the most lustrous spiritual beacon light shining from Prasanthi Nilayam whose powerful rays reach out to every part and corner of the globe carrying the message of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanti (peace), Prema (Purest unselfish Love) and Ahimsa (non-violence) offering to man hope, solace, mental peace and spiritual upliftment leading to everlasting bliss. 

The greatest miracle that Bhagavan Baba performs is the transformation that He brings about in the minds, hearts and lives of many hundreds of thousands of His devotees spread all over the Globe. It is a silent revolution that is continuously taking place in the minds of millions of devotees whereby the animal nature is slowly and steadily subjugated and gets replaced by noble instincts which are the true human attributes and thence comes about a further gradual evolution elevating them to that level of consciousness where there is a realization of one's true identity with the Divine - "Aham Brahmasmi-Sivoham" 

Justice Balakrishna Eradi
The earliest signs of this mysterious transformation of mind are felt by every person even during his first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam. Soon after one enters the sacred precincts of the Ashram there is a noticeable change in one's attitudes - all bad thoughts are automatically swept out of one's mind and virtuous and noble instincts suddenly appear and fill one's being. One also develops a clear sense of detachment as is evidenced by total unconcern for what is happening in the material world outside and the absence of any craving for newspapers, Radio and T.V. etc. One learns automatically to observe the Sadhana of silence even from the first day and drops the old habit of unnecessary talk and gossip. In course of time, after the first few pilgrimages to the Lord's sacred abode, faith and devotion take stronger roots in the hearts of devotees, a firm conviction develops that the beloved Lord Sai who he adore resides primarily in his own heart with the result that his heart becomes transformed into a 'Prasanthi Nilayam' and all the noble qualities and sentiments that were surprisingly experienced by him during his stay at the Ashram become permanent attributes of his innate nature thereby bringing about his total transformation. To the true devotee, the Grace of Bhagavan that he has earned is his most precious asset and he would most zealously guard that treasure without allowing the six enemies, lust, anger, envy, greed, pride and jealousy again to gain entry into his mental system. He is ever conscious that Bhagavan is not merely guiding and protecting him but is also closely watching not merely his words and actions but also his thoughts. This prompts him to be absolutely pure in his thoughts, sweet in his words and just and upright in his actions. In course of time it becomes his whole ambition and endeavor in life to dedicate all his work as service to the Lord keeping in mind Bhagavan's teaching "Work is worship" and to discharge his worldly duties in such a way as to earn the approval and pleasure of his beloved Lord who is always by his side, rather inside him, observing it all. 

Life at the modern age has become so complicated and ridden with problems of various kinds that man has hardly the time to apply himself to a deep study of the vast body of spiritual literature embodying the precepts of the great religions. Taking note of this Bhagavan has through the medium of His Divine Discourses given us the quintessence of the fundamental teachings contained in all the great religions in a simplest form understandable by even the commonest of minds. Bhagavan has told us that we can earn the Love and Grace of the Lord only by recognizing that Prema is the most important spiritual principle to be observed in our lives and that we must fill our hearts with pure unselfish love, that we should gradually expand our hearts so that our love becomes all-inclusive and that such pure love should manifest itself in the, form of service to fellow-beings, without any distinction of caste, creed, color or religion, rendered with humility and devotion with the firm conviction that every living being is an embodiment of the Divine and hence in serving any person in need of help of any kind one is really serving the Lord. Bhagavan has further taught us that once we develop such universal love there will thereafter be no place at all in our hearts for ego and selfishness which are really the root cause of all the other bad qualities such as anger, greed, pride, jealousy etc. and all these evil traits will automatically cease to be part of our nature. When that happens, one gets transformed into a pure Sattvic person filled with self-confidence, ever ready for self-sacrifice in the cause of serving the suffering humanity, thereby derives self-satisfaction and finally reaches the goal of self-realization as a Jeevan Mukta (a fully liberated person even while alive). 

Bhagavan's message is of universal application. It is not merely for the people of any single country or persons belonging to any particular religious’ faith, but for the entire humanity. Bhagavan’s Teachings emphasize the unity of all religions and the need for developing equal respect for all religions treating all faiths as sacred paths leading to the same supreme goal. 

Sathya Sai Sarva Dharma Symbol
The emblem of the Sathya Sai Organisation contains symbols representing the five major religions of the world. Inspired by this symbol and united in their hearts by the strong bond of devotion to the Divine Master, millions of Sai Devotees spread over the different continents, conjointly endeavor to spread Bhagavan’s message of Love and Service by precept and practice and to inculcate in the younger generation through the Bal Vikas Programme a proper sense of ethical, moral and spiritual values. It is indeed a heartening feature that Bhagavan’s scheme of Education in Human Values has been incorporated in the curriculum of Primary and Secondary Schools not only in several States in this country but also in many educational institutions in different overseas countries. 

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning is the only University of its kind in the world where academic instruction of the highest standards of excellence is combined with value based education of the spirit. In refreshing contrast to the commercialization of education that one finds almost everywhere else, the education imparted in this unique university established by Bhagavan is totally free, no fees of any kind being charged from the students for their education from the lower kindergarten class up to and inclusive of the Ph.D. course. Through the instrumentality of the Sai Educational Programme, through the activities of the Sathya Sai Organization with its Centers spread worldwide, through the divine discourses delivered by Bhagavan which have translated into many languages and published and above all through the experiences bestowed on millions of devotees who have been fortunate to have Bhagavan’s Darshan at Prasanthi Nilayam or Brindavan, as also many more who have only prayed to Him from long distances after installing Him in their hearts, the divine message of Love, Truth, Righteousness, Nonviolence and Peace has permeated into and transformed many a million heart and that process is going on. 
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam
Bhagavan has declared that His objective is to bring about a Global integration of the entire mankind where the whole human race will be united as one world-family, knit together by strong bonds of mutual love and respect believing in the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. The recent most unexpected developments in the International sphere, such as the sudden termination of the cold war, the removal of walls and barriers separating Eastern and Western Europe and the most welcome signs of establishment of friendly relations between the "Big Super Powers", which were hitherto ranged on opposite sides and were piling up nuclear and congenital weapons for use against each other, are clear signs that the divine Sankalpa is fast taking concrete shape. Bhagavan has His own time schedule for completion of His programs. We can only keep praying that the day should soon come when the whole humanity gets unified as one big family observing strictly the principles of Truth, Righteousness, Love, Peace and Nonviolence. That will mark the establishment of the Sai Rashtra and blessed indeed are those who will be able to experience that Heaven on earth. 

To those of us who are already fairly advanced in age, we should feel jubilant over our having had the greatest good fortune of being born during the period of the advent of this Avatar and, what is even more important, having had the great blessing of coming into contact with the Divinity incarnate. 

Sathya Sai Darshan
at Prasanthi Nilayam
I have had the good fortune to be attached to Bhagavan's Lotus Feet for the past 27 years and this has been the most eventful and fruitful period in my life. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that the impact of Bhagavan's overflowing love and compassion is such that one's attitude to life undergoes a total change, worldly aspirations for material progress and career advancement etc. Automatically recede to back stage and earning Bhagavan's Grace becomes one's principal aim and ambition in life. It is also my experience, in common with that of innumerable devotees, that once we sincerely submit ourselves at His Divine Feet, Bhagavan assumes full charge of our lives from then onwards, molding it according to His divine Sankalpa. He becomes the head of the family of each of us, constantly protecting us, guiding us, correcting us and also chastising us as a strict task master when we seriously go wrong.  In all times of difficulty and danger His protective force unfailingly comes to our aid. Nothing happens in the life of a devotee except by His Sankalpa. Bhagavan has often told us that Pleasure and sorrow are inevitable parts of everyone's life and that pleasure is really only an interval between two pains. Each of us has come to this world in the present birth with a backload of past Karma accumulated over many past births and we have to face the consequences of that Karma, good as well as unpleasant. Bhagavan, who knows fully the whole past record of each soul, considers at every crucial stage what would be best for the spiritual evolutionary progress of that soul and shapes His Sankalpa in such a way as to promote the spiritual advancement of that soul. Without realizing this, we often foolishly ponder as to why Bhagavan permitted any particular unpleasant event to happen to a devotee or his family. The Sai mother is full of Love and will never permit anything to happen which is not good and beneficial to one's soul. Bhagavan sees us not as just this body but only as the indwelling soul and concerns Himself with the progress of that soul towards attainment of the ultimate goal of total merger in His Divine Lotus Feet. This is not to say that Bhagavan does not pay attention to the material welfare of the devotee; far from it. As already indicated, once we submit ourselves whole heartedly at His Feet, Bhagavan assumes full responsibility for molding our lives and careers. 

When I first went to Bhagavan I was a young practicing advocate who had built up a decent volume of private practice in the High Court of Kerala besides being Senior Government Pleader. As is well known, it is the ambition of almost every young advocate to get elevated to the High Court Bench and to this I was no exception. But I could not legitimately aspire for such elevation at the time when I first went to Bhagavan since I was then too young in age by the standards that were in vogue during those days when persons below 50 years of age were not ordinarily considered for High Court Judgeship. I had never mentioned to Bhagavan anything about my professional career at any time. But the all-knowing Lord decided, within a very short time of my taking refuge at His Lotus Feet, that I should become a High Court Judge. Only because of His Sankalpa I was elevated to the Bench of the Kerala High Court at the very young age of 44 years. Thereafter I was appointed in due time as Chief Justice of the High Court and it is not without great significance that the intimation conveying the news of my appointment as Chief Justice which was communicated by telegram was received by me in Prasanthi Nilayam on Bhagavan's Birthday in 1979. Even prior to that, on 26th January, 1976 Bhagavan had told me to get ready to go to Delhi to take my seat on the Bench of the Supreme Court. 
Sri Sathya Sai in the Prasanthi Nilayam Verandah
On Guru Poornima Day in 1980 (17th July, 1980) Bhagavan announced to the devotees sitting on the Veranda of the Mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam that "Eradi has been appointed to the Supreme Court". No official move of any kind had even been announced by the Government of India or by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court up till then. But, on the very next day after I returned to Ernakulum i.e. on 20th July, I received a telephone call from the Chief Justice of India offering me a judgeship in the Supreme Court and asking for my consent to accept the appointment. This is how Sai Sankalpa works! 

In the spiritual sphere also, Bhagavan has showered His kindness by giving me very precious opportunities to serve Him through the Sai Organization and the Central Trust. I had the great privilege of being appointed by Bhagavan as the first State President of the Sathya Sai Organization in Kerala State in December 1967 and to serve in that capacity till 1975. In the meantime, when the Central Trust was first constituted, Bhagavan was mercifully pleased to nominate me as a member of its Council of management and I have had the blessing of continuing to function as such ever since. Bhagavan also nominated me as a member of the World Council. These signs of appreciation and recognition, coming as they did from the Divinity incarnate, by giving a chance to participate actively in the programs of His Divine mission were a source of greater inner satisfaction than the advancements that I had in the worldly judicial career, which also do value greatly since they had also come about solely due to Bhagavan's kind Grace only. 

In the day to day family life also we have been enjoying the constant grace and care of Bhagavan. Bhagavan has always responded to our call for help in times of distress, saving us from serious car accident, effecting miraculous cures of serious illnesses of myself my wife and our two children even by materializing for the said purpose medicines (shining globules for me, and for my son a sealed polythene packet of divine capsules). In many other diverse ways also Bhagavan has come to our aid in various difficult situations. As the head of our family Bhagavan took over the entire responsibility of performing the marriage of our only daughter at Prasanthi Nilayam in 1985 and all that I was permitted to do was to get the invitation cards printed. When it was time for the first confinement of our daughter, who is in U.S.A., Bhagavan materialized special Vibhuti and directed that it should be administered to her in water as soon as the pains commence and assured us that she would have a most easy and perfectly normal delivery. The effect of Bhagavan's Grace working through the Vibhuti was most wonderful. Within about half an hour of our daughter's going to the hospital, after taking the special Prasad, she had a most easy and normal delivery and the doctors in America (who know nothing about the divine intervention) remarked that this was indeed a 'miracle' since they had never before seen such an easy and quick' first Delivery'! To put it shortly, our existence has become meaningful only because of the mercy and Grace of Bhagavan and without Him our life is absolutely empty and purposeless. "Twam Eva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva" - 'Thou art my everything. Oh my Supreme Lord'. Similar must be the experience of many other devotees. 

In an article, which I contributed to the first issue of "Golden Age" in 1978, I had described Bhagavan as a "Vast Ocean of Grace and Bliss". Twelve years later, on further deliberation in the light of added experience, I now feel that it would be more correct and appropriate to describe Bhagavan as a "Vast Ocean of Love, Compassion, Grace and Bliss". 

About the Author:

Mr. Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, after taking his B.L. Degree from Madras Law College. practiced first at the Madras High Court and later from 1956 onwards at the High Court of Kerala. Was appointed Senior Government pleader in the High Court of Kerala in 1961. Elevated to the Bench of the High Court of Kerala in April 1967. Was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala in January 1980 and later elevated to the Bench of the Supreme Court of India in January 1981. Retired from the Supreme Court of India in June 1987. Subsequently, he served as Chairman of the Ravi and Beas Waters Tribunal. He was appointed President of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 17th August 1988. A member of the Council of Management of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trusts since its inception in 1972, Justice Eradi merged at the Lotus Feet in December 2010.
Justice Balakrishna Eradi with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Source: Sai Vandana 1990 (65th Birthday Offering)

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