Understanding the Love of God - By M.S. Giridhar

Sri Sathya Sai at the Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir at Guindy, Chennai
Wonderful are the ways of Lord SAI His love is so elevating, that our hearts crave more and more for Him. In the forties, my grandfather had a plot of land at Guindy in the suburbs of Madras. A Siddhapurusha, who lived there then a century ago had prophesied that a temple would be built at the same spot for a great soul. His prediction has been - written on a palm leaf scroll. He also foretold that an industrial estate would come up towards the left of the plot of Land. Strange happenings preceded these two events. 

A black magician who commanded the services of evil spirits built a hut in a corner of the plot of land. Despite repeated warnings, the necromancer refused to budge from there. Finally reaching his wit's end, my grandfather, Sri Lokanatha Mudaliar brought a bailiff and proceeded to forcibly throw out the evil man's belongings. As he was doing so, the former returned from somewhere and was extremely furious and his rage took the form of a curse. With red eyes, he thundered - "You will be a raging lunatic tomorrow". Paying no heed to this, Mr. Mudaliar returned to his house at Triplicane (Tiruvallikeni) in the city. 

Next day dawned, Mr. Mudaliar was a totally different person - uttering words and throwing articles about - a pathetic victim of the necromancer's curse. His daughter, Miss Leela Mudaliar and his wife Smt. Dhanamma were at a loss to understand his turbulent behaviour as he had not divulged his encounter with the evil sorcerer. The Medical Superintendent of Kilpauk Medical Hospital was summoned. He suggested that he should be admitted to the hospital the next day if there was no improvement. Evening passed and dusk fell - there was darkness all around. 
In the night, a wonderful thing happened. As my grandfather had gone into the realms of deep sleep, he perceived a red robed figure with a mop of hair, who beckoned him and gave him Tulsi water to drink The stranger told him that his madness would disappear. "I am fine. I have been cured by an Afro-haired person donning an ochre robe". These were the joyous exclamations of an individual who had been the witness of a dream cure. 

At 11.30 a.m. a knock was heard on the door of the house. It was opened. .10 and behold, our Omnipresent Lord Sai was standing there in all His majesty and splendorous beauty. In a gentle voice, He said, 'Last night itself I gave you Tulsi water. I have now come to assure you that you will never be affected by the curse.' The Lord waved His hand and materialised a talisman and tied it around Mr. Mudaliar's neck. The latter wanted to prostrate at the Lotus Feet but was unable to do so because of a knee problem, Bhagavan tugged and the knee joint fell in position. 

"You are God I" exclaimed Mr. Mudaliar and fell at Bhagavan's feet. Tears of overwhelming gratitude and divine ecstasy wetted the soft, little, cosmic feet, so tender, yet bearing the unimaginable weight of the Cosmos.! 

'Go and dig at a spot where broken pieces of pottery lie.' These were the words spoken by Bhagavan. On Implicit obedience of Bhagavan's orders, carcasses of a chicken and goat were found, connected with the rites of sorcery. Bhagavan materialised Vibhuti and distributed to all members of the family. Mr. Mudaliar decided to build and house for Bhagavan in Guindy but he perceived the form of Shirdi Baba in a dream and was instructed to install a statue of Shirdi Sai Baba. On the day following the dream, a letter arrived from Lord Sai with the same instructions exactly as those given in the dream. 

As the construction was going on, a sculptor in Madras was repeatedly getting dreams instructing him to proceed to a house near Guindy railway station. Finally, he decided to go and on arrival at the station, he was escorted by a to Mr. Mudaliar's house The stranger introduced the sculptor to Mr. Mudaliar and the two were engaged in a discussion regarding the statue of Shirdi Baba. After a while, Mr. Mudaliar turned around to express his gratitude to the stranger but to his utter astonishment found that he had vanished.
Sri Sathya Sai with the Mudaliar Family the Guindy Mandir
On the day, the idol was installed, a few hundred devotees witnessed the levitation of the statue three feet above the pedestal and is subsequent fall back into position. Click here for more details on what happened that day - February 3, 1949, when the world's first Shirdi Sai idol was installed at Guindy.

Our beloved Lord had called Mr. Victor Kanu one day when all the student were seated on the portico of Prasanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Supreme Peace. Bhagavan enquired about the Sathya Sai activities in Zambia. The former replied that Sathya Sai Baba's glory was extolled in the churches and little children asked Mr. Kanu to request Baba to send small photographs of His Beautiful Form to them. Bhagavan was overjoyed and looking at the students seated there said, 'See the devotion of the little children' and gazed piercingly into my eyes and said, 'You are a doubting Thomas.' I realised how I sometimes failed to understand the significance of His actions and deeds. His sweet smile, piercing stares, the wave of His hand to produce anything and his writings on the ether and many others besides are beyond the comprehension of the finite mind. How can the limited human mind seek to gauge the grandeur and the majesty of the Entity who pervades the entire cosmos... yet His infinite powers, as evidenced by breathtaking miracles on the one hand and his mundane actions on the other, are indication of the Avatar that sometimes delude the human mind. The fervent appeal that wells up in my heart is, 'O I Lord... You are the repository of infinite powers that include the power of delusion, Maya or the cosmic veil. Give me the strength and wisdom to cut asunder this veil. O Sai, I cannot always understand Your Ways but I rest in the conviction that whatever You do is for my ultimate good.' 

My father was an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home at New Delhi. In 1979, a list of candidates for foreign training was being prepared in the Ministry and pressure was exerted by the other candidates with the result that the chances of my father's selection became slimmer each passing day. He decided to come to Brindavan and pray to Bhagavan and seek His Grace as this would be a second and last chance to go abroad for the training programme. He secured leave for five days and he came over to Brindavan from Delhi. 
It was Darshan time... my father was seated in the front row. The gates opened and Bhagavan came out in all His majesty, gave a stern look to my father and went away without accepting his letter. With deep disappointment, he returned to Delhi. At the railway station, he was informed by my elder brother that he had been selected for the training abroad I Yes, we cannot always understand His ways but they are for our ultimate good .

The most effective form of prayer is informal, loving conversation with God from the innermost recesses of our heart'. Conversing with God with utmost sincerity and intense feeling is a sure way of contacting Him. As He often says, 'the warmth in the prayer is necessary for melting the butter of My Heart' There is no need of uttering complex intonations whose meanings we are not familiar with. Shloka leads to Shoka, He jokes sometimes. About twelve years ago, my brother and grandmother were attending the summer course in Brindavan. The latter had an observer badge and used to attend the speeches delivered by eminent speakers and our Master's Divine Discourse each day. My brother used to witness the proceedings with great difficulty seated outside the auditorium braving the intermittent rain and the chilly winds that frequently accompanied it Prayers to our Lord welled up in his heart and he cried, 'O! Divine Master How I long to be inside the auditorium and behold Your Thrilling Form and listen to Your nectarine words.' One particular night, the prayers had reached their zenith as it were and he relapsed into deep sleep and awoke the next morning. He opened his suitcase and 10 and behold, a nameless, guest badge was lying right on top of all the clothes.

Our Divine Master possesses powers which parapsychologists characterize as extra sensory perception, psychokinesis, clairvoyance and many more besides. The source of all powers, He has rescued people from disasters, effected cures in dreams, performed surgical operations with instruments in vivid visions and even resurrected individuals and brought them back from the dead. The other fascinating facet of His Divine personality is that He can be so childlike and sweet that our hearts crave and our eyes crave ever more for His most enthralling Form. 

The President of India visited the Ashram in the month of June. On that day, I wrote a letter reluctantly to our beloved Master and was almost certain that He would not take the same. He came straight towards me and said 'Your handwriting is not good. You have studied M.Com, haven't you? I replied, M.Sc., Swami.' He took my letter, opened it and a beautiful smile broke on His Divine Countenance and He said, 'Today you have written slowly and your handwriting is good.' I was immensely thrilled. Our sweet Lord had spoken with the individual who occupied the Highest Office in the land and to me demonstrating that everybody is same for Him. 

Bhagavan Baba spoke to Dr. Sandweiss, seated nearby, a Psychiatrist from the United States and asked one student his native place. The boy replied, 'Venezuela'. In all his innocence our sweet Lord inquired, 'Where is that?' The former answered, 'Swami, South America'. Our Lord told Dr. Sandweiss, 'This boy comes from 'Venjula'. Dr. Sandweiss had not heard of such a country and looked enquiringly at Bhagavan. O! our Lord knows every nook and corner of Venezuela, nay the cosmos in its unimaginable vastness and entirely but what an act He puts on.
Our Divine Master was speaking to a set of boys a few days ago. He said that every act of ours is recorded by Chitragupta, a Hindu mythological entity who records the deeds of all the beings of the world. Each action of ours will have a resultant effect in the form of a reaction, reflection and resound. Thus Bhagavan after stresses the importance of good actions. He added that the Chitragupta is actually Chittagupta -the hidden mind that is intangible. Kare Jung's Theory in Western Psychology emphasizes the concepts of the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The former is that part of the mind that consists of all impressions recorded in the present birth and the latter constitutes memories of past births recorded in the fabric of the limitless human mind. Under hypnosis, the conscious mind is suppressed and patients recollect happenings that occurred in their lives many years ago and other events having no connection with the present life confirming the concept of reincarnation. The ultimate task for each individual is the purification of the mind so that the microcosmic entity merges and becomes part of the infinite macro cosmic principle of cosmic consciousness or God. How is this possible? Our Divine Master says ceaseless repetition of the name of the Lord brings about the purification necessary to achieve the goal of human existence — mergence with SAI. 

God does not respond many a time when I have prayed. On introspection, I have felt that were two causes for this. Firstly, the level of intensity was not strong enough and secondly, the appropriate time had not come for His response. I liken the chanting of the name of the Lord to depositing currency in the bank whose denomination is directly proportional to the level of intensity with which the name is taken. Let God not respond immediately. The balance in His Cosmic Bank is increasing as I pray each day and when He responds in the most unexpected and sweet manner, I am transported into the realms of inexpressible joy. 

The various sense attractions of the world are compared by a saint to the toys that a child plays with. He enjoys a certain playmate for a limited period of time and gets too familiar with it and wants a new one. The saint further adds, the prayer that wells up in my heart is: 'O I Lord - if Your creations are so wonderful, how infinitely tempting must You be. Give me Yourself. Only in You, will I secure eternal bliss. God is EVER NEW JOY.' 

Christ said and our Lord reiterates, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added unto you.' Fantastic... My mind reasoned, I will seek God with full fervor because along with Him I would obtain everything else of mundane value. What nonsense I cannot be too clever. God is cleverer. He responds only when there is complete detachment from the world. I realised how important was the process of deep introspection where the motives behind all my actions are laid threadbare and analyzed. Such a process considerably cleanses and purifies the thought processes and contributes greatly to self-improvement. 

A Sanyasi professing to be an ardent devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba came to Delhi and the Sai devotees gave shelter to him because he claimed to have contacts with the Shirdi Sansthan and could arrange for a trip to Shirdi. He took many devotees including us to Shirdi but was sent away on return because they suspected his motives. A year elapsed. One day, a letter arrived at our house and my mother broke down as she went through the contents. Subsequently, she never went out of the house alone and was always accompanied by my father. A fear psychosis revealed in the house and my parents went to Brindavan to pray to their ever-merciful Lord. Our Omnipotent Lord replied. "What can a Sanyasi do to you when I am always with you? Why fear when I am near? " Needless to say, the tense atmosphere in our house gave way to a joyful mood owing to these vibrant words uttered by the Source of Eternal Succor. 
I have always wondered at the mystery behind the purpose of God's creation. In the Bhagavad Geeta it is said: Not a leaf moves without my bidding. If God has ordained everything and controls, the movement of the trillion leaves in this vast planet and all that we see is part of His master plan.... Why is there suffering in this world? O Yes, my mind answers.... misdeeds committed in the past life. Another question crops up. If God has directed the course of the universe since its very beginning, why did He create Adam and Eve in the first instance and implanted in their minds, the seed of temptation? For is He not the Indweller in our hearts and is the cause of all thought that arise in our mind. No answer seems to be forthcoming. Our Divine Master answered a query of a brother of mine in an interview so graciously granted to the two of us on one day. 'O God, You have the power to change the earth into sky and vice versa. Why don't you purify all our minds and end the suffering in the world?' Our Lord replied, 'My Master Plan is to build a house but the workers have to work, isn't it? Man is endowed with the faculty of discrimination and should engage himself in ceaseless action. For Divine Grace is proportionate to human effort. The sayings of our Lord have many layers of meaning and we interpret them consistent with our levels of spiritual evolution. The key to the secret of cosmos is known only to Him.

I would end by a fervent prayer that wells up in my heart His LOVE Is Luminous, Overflowing, Vitalizing Energy that has touched my heart I pray ever more sincerely that He showers this indescribable property of this, on this little child of His, in abundance.

- M.S. Giridhar
Student (1984-1991)
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

Source: Sai Vandana 1990

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