Sri Sathya Sai: The Strict Father and A Loving Mother – By Dr. M. Sainath

Dr Sainath with Sri Sathya Sai
I joined the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus of the Institute in 1985. Staying for full five years in the benign Divine Presence of our most Beloved Bhagavan, has been a period of great transformation in me. During the years, I have had the rare opportunity of listening to hundreds of Divine Discourses including the Benedictory Addresses delivered on the occasion of various Annual Convocations of our Institute. From these words of wisdom, if I can pick up, in gist, the valuable lesson which Bhagavan gives us — is to Love All and Serve All — Help Ever — Hurt Never — Do good, Be good and see good. Now in these few words the total teaching of Bhagavan is covered. To put these teachings into practice, a great deal of effort is called for. This would mean that a student, a person, must have love in Him and it is only then he can serve all, irrespective of religion, caste, creed or region. It is only when one has love, he will not hurt anyone but will serve gladly and selflessly. In one of His Discourses, Bhagavan had said - that true service should be totally selfless, a total immersion into the task at hand with no eye on the result. 

Our Institute had organised a National Symposium on Value Orientation in Higher Education in 1987. This Symposium was attended by several Vice-Chancellors, educationists, and scientists. I was fortunate enough to be one of the nine students selected and blessed by Bhagavan to look after the convenience and comforts of the important guests. For carrying out this extremely difficult task, in a satisfactory way, we had the guidance and above all, blessing, of our Bhagavan and we had put in this service our heart and soul and did not mind even missing the Darshan of our Lord Sai. But then our Loving Mother Sai would Himself visit morning and evening the place to see the arrangements and this way we had the opportunity of not only having His Darshan, but also be blessed by Him by giving us Padanamaskar as well. Such a blessed opportunity comes just once. Our Lord attaches the greatest importance on doing our work, our duty allotted to us, in a most perfect manner and without any grudge or murmur. And this service has to be selfless —a service performed for the sake of service alone - to give joy and happiness to those whom we happen to serve. 

In one of the Discourses Bhagavan said : 
“Service to man is the highest type of worship. Do not offend or harm anyone. That is true adoration of God, for in truth, the other one is yourself. Awareness of this Truth is liberation (Moksha). Share your joy, your wealth, your knowledge, your skill with others who are less fortunate. That is the secret means of winning Divine Grace”.

And it is this service in which we, the students of the Sai Educational Institutions, should plunge wholeheartedly. This would not only give joy and happiness to us, but will go a' long way in becoming fit instruments of Bhagavan to spread the message of Love around, thereby contributing a little bit in eradicating the tears of the downtrodden and the needy. And in becoming useful to the society, a great deal of sincere effort is called for and such an effort is possible only if we have faith in ourselves and faith in God. Bhagavan says that this faith has to be stable and strong. Now to do good work, we need a pure heart, a noble heart, a loving heart and faith is a must in ourselves and in God for doing any good. 

In the summer of 1990, we had the first summer course, revived after a gap of eleven years. As is Bhagavan's love, He had taken care of everything to the minutest possible detail. Then one afternoon mangoes, Bhagavan's prasadam, had to be distributed for the dinner. The mangoes were in baskets made of reeds with sharp ends. While working hard, one of the boys cut his thumb and blood spurted on to his shirt This escaped his notice but not HIS. He saw the blood and instantly was there. He took the boy's hand and caressed it and lovingly soothed him, telling him to wash it with hot water and that everything would be alright The Loving Mother. Then there was an instant change of roles before us. A reprimand followed and the boy was told to take more care in future with such baskets. — The Strict Father. 
But more often than not, it is Bhagavan's role as the Loving Mother that we get to see - He is love incarnate. In Kodaikanal one day, Bhagavan told us that there was some field work to be done and hence got baskets, crowbars, spade etc. for us to work with. The baskets were the notorious sharp reed type and this time it was my palm that suffered a bad cut. But so does the overwhelming show of love that followed. Though cut, I continued working, chanting Bhagavan's name whenever the pain increased. That afternoon, Bhagavan was talking about the work, when He suddenly said, "The baskets are not good. They can cut the hands. Did anyone get cut?" There was no escape, especially when He looked straight at me after that I held my left palm out to Him. Muttering soothing words, He caressed it That was enough to cure it. He then told me to wash it with hot water and apply some ointment. The next day, we were again working, when suddenly, Bhagavan came out with a carton box He told us that the carton box contained gloves for protecting our hands. He then looked around and spotting me at a distance, waved. I came running. "You had cut your hand yesterday. you must not expose it to the dust etc. See, I got these gloves for you all. Here, this is for you". and handed over to me a pair of leather gloves. I was moved by the concern. 

It was once said : "Plan ahead. It was not raining when Noah built the ark" It is experienced by many of us that when we see Bhagavan making preparations for any occasion, nothing is left to chance. Everything is meticulously planned to the last detail. That's the lesson Bhagavan often wishes to teach us - to plan ahead and avoid the holding up of the work at hand. 

- Dr. M. Sainath
Student, Research and Faculty Member (1985-2008)
Department of Physics
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Professor, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Basar, Telangana 

Source: Sai Vandana 1990

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