Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 36 – Devotion and faith

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith and devotion

Two Gentlemen

Once two gentlemen came from Goa for taking darshan of Sai Baba, and prostrated themselves before him. Though both came together, Baba asked only one them to give Him Rs.15/- as Dakshina which was paid willingly. The other man voluntarily offered Rs. 35/-. This sum was rejected by Baba to the astonishment of all. Shama, who was present, asked Baba, “What is this? Both came together, one’s Dakshina you accept, the other, though voluntarly paid, you refuse. Why this distinction? Baba replied, “Shama, you know nothing. I take nothing from anybody. The Masjidmayi (The presiding Deity of the Masjid) calls for the debt, the donor pays it and becomes free. Have I any home, property or family to look after? I require nothing. I am ever free. Debt, enmity and murder have to be atoned for, there is not escape”. Baba then continued in His characteristic way as follows:- As first he was poor and took a vow to his God that he would pay his first month’s salary if he got an appointment. He got one on Rs.15/- p.m. Then he steadily got promotions, from Rs.15/- he got Rs. 30, 60, 100, 200 and ultimately Rs.700/- per month. But in his prosperity he forgot clean the vow he took. The force of his karma has driven him here and I asked that amount (Rs.15/-) from him as Dakshina.

Another story, While wandering by the sea-side I came to a huge mansion and sat on its verandah. The owner gave me a good reception and fed me sumptuously. He showed me a neat and clean place near a cupboard for sleeping. I slept there. While I was sound asleep, the man removed a literite slab and broke the wall entered in and scissored off all the money from my pocket. When I woke up, I found that Rs.30,000/- were stolen. I was greatly distressed and sat weeping and moaning. The money was in currency notes and I thought that the Brahmin had stolen it. I lost all interest in food and drink and sat for a fortnight on the verandah, bemoaning my loss. After the fortnight was over, a passing fakir saw me crying, and made enquiries regarding the cause of my sorrow. I told him everything. He said, “If you act according to my bidding, you will recover your money; go to a fakir, I shall give his whereabouts, surrender yourself to him, he will get back your money; in the meanwhile give up your favourite food till you recover your money.” I followed the fakir’s advice and got my money. Then I left the Wada and went to the sea-shore. There was a steamer, but I could not get into it as it was crowded. There a good-natured peon interceded for me and I got in luckily. That brought me to another shore, where I caught a train and came to the Masjidmayi.

The story finished and Baba asked Shama to take the guests and arrange for their feeding. Then Shama took them home and fed them. At dinner, Shama said to the guests that Baba’s story was rather mysterious, as He had never gone to the sea-side, never had any money (Rs.30,000/-), never travelled, never lost any money and never recovered it, and enquired whether they understood it and caught its significance. The guests were deeply moved and were shedding tears. In a choking voice they said that Baba was omniscient, infinite, the One (Para Brahma) without a second. The story He gave out is exactly our story, What He spoke has already taken place in our case. How He knew this, is a wonder of wonders! We shall give all the details after the meals.

Then after the meals while they were chewing betel-leaves,the guests began to tell their stories. One of them said:-
“A hill-station on the ghats is my native place. I went to Goa to earn my living by securing a job. I took a vow to God Datta that if I got any service, I would offer Him my first month’s salary. By His grace I got an appointment of Rs.15/- and then I got promotions as described by Baba. I did forget all about my vow. Baba has just reminded me of it in this way and recovered Rs. 15/- from me. It is not Dakshina as one may think it to be, but a repayment of an old debt and fulfillment of long forgotten vow”.

Moral

Baba never, in fact, actually begged any money, nor allowed His Bhaktas to beg. He regarded money as a danger or bar to spiritual progress and did not allow His Bhaktas to fall into its clutches.

Then the second guest began his tale. “My Brahmin (cook) was serving me faithfully for 35 years. Unfortunately he fell into bad ways, his mind changed and he robbed me of my treasure. By removing a laterite slab from my wall where my cup-board is fixed, he came in while we were all asleep and carried away all my accumulated wealth, Rs. 30,000/- in currency notes. I know not how Baba mentioned the exact amount. I sat crying day and night. My enquiries came to nothing. I spent a fortnight in great anxiety. As I sat on the verandah, sad and dejected, a passing fakir noted my condition and enquired of its cause, and I told him all about it. He told me that an Avalia by name Sai lives in Shirdi, Kopergaon Taluka. Make vow to Him and give up any food that you like best and say to Him mentally that ‘I have given up eating that food till I take your darshan’. Then I took the vow and gave up eating rice and s0aid, “Baba, I will eat it after recovering my property and after taking your darshan”.

Fifteen days passed after this. The Brahmin, of his own accord, came to me, returned my money and apologized, saying, “I went mad and acted thus; I now place my head on your feet, please forgive me”. Thus everything ended well. The fakir that met me and helped me, was not seen again. An intensive desire to see Sai Baba, whom the fakir pointed out to me, arose in my mind. I thought that the fakir who came all the way to my house was no other than Sai Baba. Would He, who saw me and helped me to get my lost money ever covet to get Rs.35/-? On the contrary without expecting anything from us, He always tries His best to lead us on the path of spiritual progress.

I was overjoyed when I recovered my stolen property and being infatuated, I forgot all about my vow. Then when I was at Colaba, one night I saw Sai Baba in my dream. This reminded me of my promised visit to Shirdi. I went to Goa and from there wanted to start for Shirdi, by taking a steamer to Bombay, en route. But when I came to the harbour, I found that the steamer was crowded and there was no place. The captain did not allow me, but on the intercession of a peon, who was stranger to me, I was allowed to get into the steamer which brought me to Bombay. From there, I got in the train and came here. Surely I think that Baba is all-pervading and all-knowing. What are we and where is our home? How great our good fortune that Baba got back our money and drew us here to Himself? You Shirdi folk must be infinitely superior and more fortunate than we; for Baba has played, laughed, talked and lived with you for so many years. I think that your store of good merits must be infinite, for it attracted Baba into Shirdi. Sai is our Datta. He ordered the vow. He gave me a seat in the steamer and brought me here and thus gave proof of His omniscience and omnipotence”.

Essence:

The experiences of the two gentlemen, shows the omniscience of Baba. So let us do our best and pray with faith and devotion, Baba will surely guide us to move forward in the right direction.

For Children:

We must always put in our best efforts in whatever we do and pray for guidance to move forward in the right direction. Then definitely we will be guided in form or the other to make the right move. Therefore let us put in our best efforts when we take up a task to do.

The story below depicts the importance of pure intention and devotion:

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/shaluks-victory-devotion-value-love/

 

Being a SSE (Balvikas) Guru-3- Power of Gayathri Manthra

With Swami’s Grace and Blessings am happy to share an experience of one of my students.

One of my students used to work hard to the best of her capabilities.  But she was sad that she could not get the grades she expected. One day she was discussing this with me, I told her the significance and benefits of chanting the Gayathri Manthra. She noted down the Gayathri Manthra and made it a habit to chant three times in the morning and three times at the night.

After a few days she told me she could find a lot of difference in the manner in which she approached situations in day to day life. She also felt more confident when she went to write her exams.

I would like to share the note she wrote to me after she was sure that Gayathri Manthra had made a great change in her life.

Hello Teacher,

Thank you so much for teaching me the Gayathri Manthra. It really helped Me! It has made me more confident,  I can see and feel that I am approaching the situations in day to day life  in a calm and positive manner. Thank you for bringing this wonderful difference my life. – Lakshmi Priya

This note from a child inspired me to chant Gayathri manthra more. Thank you Swami at your Lotus Feet for reminding us your children to Chant Gayathri manthra which is so potent which we can experience only when chanted  with faith and devotion.

Jai Sairam

Vassanthi M

 

 

Master’s messages- Vol 1- Chapter 13- Bliss through dedication

Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol 1- Chapter 13

Sadhana through Namasmarana, Seva, Satsang- Attain purity of heart

 


 

Control the impulses ;Observe silence; Unhealthy are to be nursed back to health

The first step for spiritual discipline is to observe silence, to experience the Prema that Swami has to share with us. Confusion is created by our impulses. In a spiritual gathering , we must be quiet, attentive and calm .Use these spiritual opportunity to sublimate your instincts, impulses, and impressions left on the mind by past actions (vasanas) and rise higher and higher in the moral and spiritual plane. This will help in your spiritual advancement.

 

Be conscious of your kinship with God; Do Namasmarana

Ananda comes with dedication to God; Offer your pure heart as fragrant flowers and spiritually disciplined levelled mind as fruits; Improve Ananda/Bliss by Satsang/good company. Read spiritual texts and put them into practice to seek the truth;give and share love , for one’s nature is of God and God is Love. Meditate on the truth, and you will find that you are but a sparkling bubble upon the waters — born on water, living for a brief moment on water, and dying upon its breast, merging in it. You owe your birth to God: you subsist on God and you merge in God-whether living or non-living. Recite the name of God without any expectation. That is real renunciation. 

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/power-of-chanting-the-lords-name/

Develop Prema (love) for All

Rich or poor, look at all with eyes of Prema. Not only poor, the rich too need sympathy as they have fewer chances of developing the attitude of renunciation! See all as embodiments of Lord Narayana (Narayanaswarupa), and worship all with the flower of prema . Prema will destroy the feeling of envy, anger, and hatred in all. Remember, Trust begets trust and Love begets love.

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/sai-satcharita-chapter-9-love-and-see-god-in-all/

For spiritual discipline, lead a regulated life

God is everywhere, everything is His, His gaze is on all ;but he resides in a clean heart , that is in one who leads a regulated life,with good thoughts, virtuous (sathwic) food and noble(sathwic) pursuits .When the Lord chooses the heart of a devotee, it does not mean that all other hearts are not His. They are not clean, that is all He means.

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/lord-and-his-devotee/

Therefore, have full faith in God and in yourselves

Engage always in good deeds, beneficial activities; speak the truth, do not inflict pain by word or deed or even thought. That is the way to gain peace (santhi); that is the highest gain that you can earn in this life.

Source

Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol 1

Picture image- Sanatan Sanstha

Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 35– Greatness of Udi and Baba’s omniscience

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith and surrender

Story 1

Sai Appearing as Serpent

Once Raghu Patil of Shirdi went to Balaji Patil at Newase. That evening he found that a serpent entered the cowshed hissing. All the cattle were afraid and began to move. The immates of the house were frightened, but Balaji thought that it was Sai Who appreared in his house as a serpent. Without being afraid in the least he brought a cup of milk and placing it before the serpent said, “Baba, why do you miss and make noise? Do you want to frighten us? Take this cup of milk and drink it with a calm mind”. Saying this, he sat close by unperturbed. The other members were frightened and did not know what to do. In a short time the serpent disappeared. Nobody knew where it went. It was not found though a search was made in the cowshed.
Balaji had two wives and some children. They sometimes went to Shirdi from Newase for taking Baba’s darshana. Then Baba bought saris and other clothes which were given to them with His blessings

Story 2

Balaji Patil Newaskar 

This man was a great devotee of Baba. He rendered most excellent and disinterested service. Every day he swept and kept clean all the passages and streets in Shirdi through which Baba passed in His daily routine. This work was, after him, equally well-done by another female devotee named Rahda-Krishna-Mai, and after her by Abdoola. When Balaji reaped his corn every year, he brought the whole quantity and presented it to Baba. He returned with what Baba gave him and maintained himself and his family with it. This course was followed by him for many years and after him by his son.

Story 3

Insomnia Case 

A Kayastha Prabhu gentleman of Bandra suffered from Insomnia for long. As soon as he laid himself down for sleep, his departed father appeared to him in his dream, and abused and scolded him severely. This broke his sleep and made him restless the whole night. Every night this went on and the man did not know what to do. One day he consulted a devotee of Baba in this respect. He recommended the Udi as the only infallible remedy he knew. He gave him some Udi and asked him to apply a little of it to his forehead before going to bed and keep the Udi-packet under the pillow. He tried this remedy and found, to his great surprise and joy, that he got sound sleep and that there was no disturbance of any kind. He continued the remedy and always remembered Sai. Then he got a picture of Sai Baba which he hung on the wall near his pillow and started worshipping it daily and on Thursdays, offering garland, naivedya etc. Then he got on well and forgot altogether his past trouble.

Essence:

When we make it a habit to pray every day, we experience faith developing in us. Faith and surrender is a good virtue one should possess that helps us to face difficult situations with positive approach.

For children:

Let us make it a habit to pray every day and gradually we can see us bloom as  a better human being.

A story which depicts the essence of the above:

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/tales-of-ramanuja-lord-as-the-mother-who-feeds/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The greatest sacrifice

 

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Empathy, caring

Buddha used to keep with him always a rattle-drum. His disciples once asked him: “Master! Why are you always keeping this rattle-drum by your side?” Buddha replied: “I shall play on this drum the day a person who has made the greatest sacrifice approaches me.” Everyone was eager to know who this person would be. Wishing to attain this distinction, a Maharaja loaded his elephants with considerable treasure and went to Buddha. He hoped to offer the treasure to Buddha and earn his praise.

On the way, an old woman greeted the Maharaja and pleaded: “I am hungry. Will you give me some food?” The Maharaja took out a pomegranate fruit from his palanquin and gave it to the old woman. The old woman came to Buddha with the fruit.

By then, the Maharaja had also come to Buddha and was eagerly waiting to see when Buddha would sound the rattle-drum. For a long time Buddha did not use it. The Maharaja stayed on. The old woman approached Buddha staggering on her legs, and offered him the pomegranate fruit. Buddha took it immediately and sounded the little drum.

The Maharaja asked Buddha: “I offered so much wealth to you. You did not sound the drum. But you rattled it after receiving a small fruit. Is this a great sacrifice. Buddha replied: “Maharaja! In sacrifice, it is not quantity that counts. It is the quality of sacrifice that matters. It is natural for a Maharaja to offer gold. But what great sacrifice is made when a hungry old women offers the pomegranate fruit to the Guru despite her hunger. She did not care even for her life and gave the fruit. What greater sacrifice can there be? It is not sacrifice to offer what is superfluous for you. True sacrifice means giving up that which is most dear to you, that which you value most.”

Learning:

Caring and sharing is good virtue one should possess. When we share our things with others, we can experience immense joy when we see the happiness and smile on the face of the person who received it. Let us make it a habit  to care and share with our friends and family.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.saibaba.ws/stories/thegreatestsacrifice.htm

 

Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 34 – Greatness of Udi

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith, Surrender

This Chapter continues the subject “Greatness of Udi”

Story 1

Sharma’s Sister-in-law

Shama’s younger brother Bapaji was staying near Sawool well. Once his wife was attacked with Bubonic plague. She had high fever and two bubos in her groins. Bapaji rushed to Shama at Shirdi and asked him to come and help. Shama was frightened, but according to his wont, he went to Baba, prostrated himself before Him, invoked His aid, and requested Him to cure the case. He also asked His permission to go to his brother’s house. Then Baba said, “Don’t go there at this late hour (night), send her Udi. Why care for the fever and bubos? God is our father and master; she will be alright easily. Do not go now, but go there in the morning and return immediately.”

Shama had full faith in Baba’s Udi. It was sent with Bapaji. It was applied on the bubos and some of it was mixed with water and was given to the patient for drinking. No sooner was it taken in, than perspiration set in profusely, the fever abated and the patient had a good sleep. Next morning Bapaji was surprised to see his wife alright and refreshed with no fever and bubos. When Shama went there next morning with Baba’s permission he was also surprised to see her at the hearth and preparing tea. On questioning his brother, he learnt that Baba’s Udi cured her completely in one night. Then Shama realized the significance of Baba’s words. “Go there in the morning and return immediately.

After taking tea, Sharma returned and after saluting Baba said,”Deva, what is this play of Yours? You first raise a storm and make us restless and then calm it down and ease us”. Baba replied “You see mysterious is the path of action. Though I do nothing, they hold Me resonsible for the actions which take place on account of Adrista (destiny). I am only their witness. The Lord is the sole Doer and Inspirer. He is also most merciful. Neither I am God nor Lord. I am His obedient servant and remember Him often. He, who casts aside his egoism, thanks Him and he, who trusts Him entirely, will have his shackles removed and will obtain liberation”.

Story 2

Bombay  lady

A woman of the Kayastha Prabhu caste in Bombay always suffered terrible pain at her delivery. She was very much frightened each time she became pregnant and did not know what to do. Shri Rama-Maruti of Kalyan, who was a devotee of Baba advised her husband to take her to Shirdi for a painless delivery. When she next became pregnant, both husband and wife came to Shirdi, stayed there for some months and worshipped Baba and got all the benefit of His company. After some time the hour of delivery came and as usual there was obstruction in the passage from the womb. She began to suffer labour pains, did not know what to do, but began to pray to Baba for relief. In the meantime, some neighbouring women turned up and after invoking Baba’s aid, gave her Udi-mixture to drink. In five minutes, the woman delivered safely and painlessly. The issue was still-born according to its fate; but the mother who got rid of the anxiety and pain, thanked Baba for the safe delivery and ever remained grateful to Him.

Story 3

Irani’s  Daughter

Now read the experience of an Irani gentleman. His young daughter got fits every hour. When the convulsion came she lost her power of speech, her limbs got shrunk and contracted and she fell down senseless. No remedy gave her any relief. Some friend recommended Baba’s Udi to her father and asked him to get it from Kakasaheb Dixit at Vile Parle (suburb of Bombay). Then the Irani gentleman got the Udi and gave it mixed with water to his daughter daily for drinking. In the beginning the convulsions, which were coming on hourly, came every seven hours and after a few days the daughter recovered completely.

Essence:

Surrendering at the feet of the Guru develops faith which helps us to face any situation with great strength. Similarly Udi when with faith is applied or taken internally is efficacious.

For Children:

Children should make it a habit to apply Udi every day after praying with faith.

A story which depicts faith and surrender is beautifully described in the story below:

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/miracles-of-faith/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a SSE (Balvikas) Guru-2- Value Education through Stories and Experiencess

Sai Ram all.
My loving Pranams at Swami’s Lotus Feet.
By way of a quick background, while growing up Swami’s picture was in my bedroom and both my parents were His devotees from before my birth. However personally though I believed in a Universal God for all , I had no direct meaningful relationship with Swami (i.e. with His Name and Form) until well into my adult life.
While I grew up in a loving, values-based home, I had never attended Bal Vikas classes as a child and only developed a closer familiarity with Swamis teachings largely through reading Sai literature and watching videos as an adult. My own values and internal philosophies till then had thus been shaped by my life experiences over time and by fairly independent thinking. So when the opportunity came up to conduct an SSE Group 4 class I was understandably skeptical on my own competence to lead such a class given Swami’s high standards and expectations from Bal Vikas Gurus and students alike!
After the first few classes I realized that rather than muse over my relative inexperience in exposure to Bal Vikas , the unique mix of my own life experiences that Swami enabled and values imbibed through reading and other sources were the best tools that I had to share with the young minds. So I decided to embrace that fully rather than be apologetic about it.
In my childhood in the pre-digital age, Amar Chitra Katha comics were a fabulous source of both education and entertainment and held a special place in my heart. Mythology tales from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panchatantra, historical biographies, etc were pictorially hard coded into my mind and still readily mentally accessible when a relevant, related topic came up given my passionate love for them. So I experimented with a combination of ancient stories and modern day insights in the classes and had some very unexpected insights  some of which are shared below :
1. Nothing holds more intrigue, fascination and interest to an audience ( irrespective of age) than a story well told! This was perhaps why Great Masters across the Ages ( The Buddha with the Jataka Tales, Sri Ramakrishna with his folk tales, Jesus with His Parables and our very own Swami with His “Chinna Katha’s) used this as a most powerful and  profound way to simplify the Divine to the masses and convey deep spiritual wisdom in an engaging way.
2. Simple stories from the past when re observed now with adult eyes have several hidden layers of meaning within them. Unlocking these layers now together with the students ( in an age-appropriate manner) can enable a discovery or opening within their own hearts and minds that can serve them well through life.
3. Students in the digital age ( particularly older ones) relate more to authenticity than to preaching or “talking down to”. So simply sharing your own direct experiences, experiments, mistakes ,choices made (however flawed or otherwise) and allowing the relevant insights from the sharing to blossom in the students hearts in Swami’s good time is better than forcing an immediate outcome or a “right answer” from them.
I do hope these few takeaways from my SSE journey so far prove useful to Bal Vikas gurus and children alike.
SSE Guru- Bro Satish M

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