Seeing divinity in all

One devotee of Om Swami narrated this incident to him.

cobbler dog

“Swami,” he said, “The first thing I do immediately after taking a bath in the morning is to light a lamp at the altar and say my prayers. Other than incense and lamp, I also offer fresh flowers. I’ve a small fenced area where I grow these flowers with great care and love because they are offered to God. I water them every morning and evening.”

“While you’ve just come from the mountains, it’s been extremely hot here in the plains,” he continued. “Due to the intense heatwave, people have been staying as much indoors as possible. Even dogs and cows run for shade and shelter during the day and heat is already scorching soon after sunrise. If you step outside, you start sweating even at seven in the morning.

“It was a Sunday and I had barely slept the night before because of a power cut so I started my day later than usual. At around 9 a.m. I went outside to gather flowers for my morning prayers. Much to my annoyance, a street dog had made its way through the fence and was sitting in my little lawn. A hedge of flowers was partially destroyed. The dog had dug a pit creating a mound of earth nearby.

“With his tongue lolling out of his mouth, he was resting in the cool earth. I was as sad as furious to see the state of the lawn. Plus, I thought how would I offer fresh and pure flowers at the altar now. He could have peed in any corner of the lawn and I wouldn’t know. I got really mad and yelled at the top of my voice and the dog ran away.

“I prayed in haste because I couldn’t focus at all, and spent the next one hour fixing my lawn. I was in a bad mood throughout the day. Later that afternoon, I had to see a cobbler to get my shoes repaired. He was sitting on the footpath of a wide road. A faded and patched umbrella was tied to an old stick that was strategically stuck in the seat he sat on. A smutty and tiny workbench, that looked almost vintage, had countless engravings from weathering numerous cuts from various tools over the years.

“Alongside an awl and other implements, a whetstone lay nearby. And next to it was a soiled bowl with water. This is where he would regularly dip his sole knife and rub a bit on the stone to sharpen the blade. Sitting on my bike, I was feeling hot and restless while the cobbler worked slowly and patiently. He seemed unaffected by the heat or the noise.

“He was about to dip his sole knife in water when a stray dog sauntered in and started drinking from the bowl. The cobbler stopped and smiled. One moment I was looking at the dog and the next moment at the shoemaker. He was watching the dog with unearthly serenity and contentment on his face. Soon the water was finished and the dog was licking the bowl.

“Without saying a word, he reached in his bag, pulled out an old plastic bottle and poured more water in the bowl. The dog was drinking again. The shoemaker too took a few sips from the bottle and put it back in his bag. Given the soaring mercury, the water must be more than warm if not nearly hot.

“After drinking some more the dog looked at him, wagged his tail and sat nearby. The cobbler gazed at him lovingly out of his beady and compassionate eyes set in his dark and grimy face. The concrete pavement was too hot for the dog though. He got up, drank a bit more water, wagged his tail again and quietly left. As for the shoemaker, he dipped his knife in the same bowl and went about his business.”

“I can’t even begin to tell you, Swami,” he continued, “that how ashamed I felt. There I was, an educated man who had been listening to your discourses for years and reading your posts and yet I could not see any god in the dog that spoiled my lawn. I chased him away like a mad man. I was upset beyond words. And here was an illiterate cobbler who probably never read scriptures, nor prayed at an altar, yet he was far more spiritual than I could ever hope to be.

“I hear you say so often about seeing God in everyone and treating them like that, but when I actually had the opportunity to do so I failed miserably. A shoemaker, on the other hand, was living your words, he was adhering to the scriptures. I feel so guilty and terrible, Swami.”
“Don’t worry,” Swami said. “At least, you learned a lifelong lesson.”
“No Swami,” he cried. “Please tell me how do I repent.”
“Your awareness is your penitence.”
“Still, Swami,” he persisted, “give me something to do.”
“Okay then,” Swami said. “Put a bowl of water just outside your home for dogs and birds. And keep three chapatis or slices of bread next to the water. Everyday. For as long as you can.”


When we realize God, we become humble naturally. Arrogance and ego flee us like thieves do in light. We become an embodiment of goodness, we choose our words carefully. We weigh our actions meticulously. We check our thoughts artfully and act mindfully. It all happens effortlessly, for we see the same Divine in everyone.

No matter how learned or religious we may be, until we feel the pain of other sentient beings, we are all alike — self-centered and self-concerned. And when the truth dawns, we realize that we still are all alike — eternal and divine. Only the perspective changes. Before realization, we see bodies, differences and outer appearances. After realization, we see souls, similarities and the inner essence.



Krishna and the sparrow

Value- Faith

Subvalue- Surrender


The battlefield of Kurukshetra was being prepared to facilitate movement of mammoth armies with large cavalries. Areas were marked for rival camps. Huge bundles of wood were organized to cook food for a sea of army. Trees were being felled by elephants to clear the ground. On one such tree lived a sparrow, a mother of four young ones. As the tree was knocked down, her nest landed on the ground along with her offspring — too young to fly — miraculously unharmed.

The vulnerable and frightened sparrow looked around for help. Just then she saw Krishna scanning the field with Arjuna. They were there to physically examine the battleground and devise a winning military strategy before the onset of the war. She flapped her tiny wings with all her might to reach Krishna’s chariot.

“Please save my children, O Krishna,” the sparrow pleaded. “They will be crushed tomorrow when this battle starts.”
“I hear you,” said He, the omniscient one, “but, I can’t interfere with the laws of Nature.”
“All I know is that you are my savior, O Lord God. I rest my children’s fate in your hands. You can kill them or you can save them, it’s up to you now.”
“The wheel of Time moves indiscriminately,” Krishna spoke like an ordinary man implying that there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“I don’t know any philosophy,” the sparrow said with faith and reverence. “You are the wheel of Time. That’s all I know. I surrender to thee.”
“Stock food for three weeks in your nest then.”

Unaware of the conversation, Arjuna was trying to shoo away the sparrow when Krishna smiled at the bird. She fluttered her wings a few times in obeisance and flew back to her nest.

Two days later, just before the conchs were blared to announce the commencement of the battle, he asked Arjuna for his bow and an arrow. Arjuna was startled because Krishna had vowed to not lift any weapon in the war. Besides, Arjuna believed that he was the best archer out there.

“Order me, Lord,” he said with conviction, “nothing is impenetrable for my arrows.”

Quietly taking the bow from Arjuna, he took aim at an elephant. But, instead of bringing the animal down, the arrow hit the bell around its neck and sparks flew off.

Arjuna couldn’t contain his chuckle seeing that Krishna missed an easy mark.

“Should I?” he offered.
Again ignoring his reaction and question, Krishna gave him back the bow and said that no further action was necessary.

“But, why did you shoot the elephant, Keshav?” Arjuna asked.
“Because this was the elephant that had knocked down the tree sheltering that sparrow’s nest.”
“Which sparrow?” Arjuna exclaimed. “Plus, the elephant is unhurt and alive! Only the bell is gone!”
Dismissing his questions, Krishna instructed him to blow his conch.

The war began and numerous lives were lost over the next eighteen days. Pandavas won in the end. Once again, Krishna took Arjuna with him to navigate through the ruddy field. Many corpses still lay there awaiting their funeral. The battleground was littered with severed limbs and heads, lifeless steeds and elephants.

Krishna stopped at a certain spot and looked down thoughtfully at an elephant-bell.

“Arjuna,” he said, “will you lift this bell for me and put it aside?”

The instruction, though simple, made little sense to Arjuna. After all, in the vast field where plenty of other things needed clearing, why would Krishna ask him to move an insignificant piece of metal out of the way? He looked at him questioningly.

“Yes, this bell,” Krishna reiterated. “It’s the same bell that had come off the elephant’s neck I had shot at.”

Arjuna bent down to move the heavy bell without another question. As soon as he lifted it though, his world changed forever.

One, two, three, four and five. Four young birds flew out one after another followed by a sparrow. The mother bird swirled in circles around Krishna, circumambulating him in great joy. The one bell Krishna had cleaved eighteen days ago protected the entire family.

“Forgive me, O Krishna,” said Arjuna. “Seeing you in human body and behaving like ordinary mortals, I had forgotten who you really were.”

I’ve always held that faith doesn’t mean life will go according to you. Instead, it means that you learn to get along with life. You recognize that life must run its own course. That your individual life is a tiny, albeit an integral, part of a grand play of nature. An immensely grand play, actually.

Krishna had left the sparrow in the battlefield for it was destined to be there. The bird might have wished to be at a safer place with her children. It might have argued Krishna to take it with him. She might have begged that three weeks of food be provided to her. It didn’t do any of those. She simply followed the instruction and left it in the hands of the one she believed in. She didn’t forego the effort expected from her.


Many of us see faith or surrender as a way to have our dreams come true. We believe that we’ll pray to some god and our wishes will be granted. This is not how nature operates. It can’t afford to, for we often wish for the wrong things. We keep desiring certain outcomes without realizing or understanding the cost of those desires. We forget that our choices are intricately linked to our fate, they shape our destiny. In  wanting the “good” stuff alone, we only see what we want to see.

We can grow a seedless melon but not a skinless one. Nature puts a protective covering on everything. Removing that layer can be sometimes tedious or messy, but without it the fruit will perish before it even ripens. Some part of our life will inevitably go in laboring to peel the coconut before we can enjoy the tender inside.

Faith is not a tug-of-war between your desires and His grace (both of which are endless) hoping that one day you’ll lure God into playing unfair. On the contrary, it is letting go. It is raising our hands in surrender without giving up on our action. Faith is knowing that not every day out there will be sunny. And that’s okay. It is realizing that dawn will follow dusk. Faith is awareness that a cloudy sky doesn’t mean the sun has set.

To work on everything that you can and to let go off everything beyond your control is faith in a nutshell. Such faith, made up of action and surrender, is the most potent antidote of all fears.


Sai Saicharitra – Chapter 20 – Contentment





Value – Contentment

Sub value – Faith and surrender

Sai (Lord) was originally formless. He assumed a form for the sake of Bhaktas. With the help of the actress Maya, He played the part of the Actor in the big drama of the universe. Let us remember and visualize Shri Sai


SadGuru only competent and Qualified to Explain
Das Ganu once started to write a Marathi commentary on the Ishavasya Upanishad.  How difficult it is to translate this Upanishad in a vernacular language, and brief out its exact meaning. Das Ganu translated it in Marathi ‘Ovi’metre, verse by verse, but as he did not comprehend the gist or essence of the Upanishad, he was not satisfied with his performance. He therefore consulted some learned men regarding his doubts and difficulties and discussed with them at great length. They did not solve them nor did they give him any rational and satisfactory explanation. So Das Ganu was a little restless over this matter. Therefore, he thought, that he who has himself attained self-realization, can only give him the true or correct interpretation of the Upanishad. When nobody could satisfy Das Ganu, he resolved to consult Sai Baba about this. When he got an opportunity to go to Shirdi, he saw Sai Baba, prostrated himself before Him, and mentioned his difficulties about the Ishavasya Upanishad and requested Him to give the correct solution. Sai Baba, blessed him and said- “You need not be anxious, there is no difficulty about the matter, the mind-servant of Kaka (Kakasaheb Dixit) will solve your doubts at Vile Parle, on your way home”. The people who went present then and heard this, thought that Baba was joking and said, “How could an illiterate maid-servant solve the difficulties of this nature”, but Das Garu thought otherwise. He was sure, that whatever Baba spoke, must come true, Baba’s word was the decree of the Brahma (Almighty).


Image result for kaka maid servant satcharita free images


Kaka’s Maid-Servant

On fully believing in Baba’s words, he left Shirdi and came to Vile Parle (a suburb of Bombay), and stayed with Kakasaheb Dixit. There the next day, when Das Ganu was enjoying his morning nap (some say when he was engaged in worship), he heard a poor girl singing a beautiful song in clear and melodious tones. The subject matter of the song was a crimson coloured Sari, how nice it was, how fine was its embroidery, how beautiful were its ends and borders etc. He liked the song so much that he came out, and saw that it was being sung by a young girl, the sister of Namya, who was a servant of Kakasaheb. The girl was cleaning vessels, and had only a torn rag on her person. On seeing her impoverished condition, and her jovial temperament, Das Ganu felt pity for her and when Rao Bahadur M.V.Pradhan next day gave him a pair of dhotars, he requested him to give a sari to the poor little girl also. Rao Bahadur bought a good Chirdi (small Sari) and presented it to her. Like a starving person getting luckily good dishes to eat, her joy knew to bounds. Next day she wore the new Sari, and out of great joy and merriment, whirled, danced round and played `Fugadi’ with other girls and excelled them all. The Day following, she kept the new Sari in her box at home and came with the old and torn rags, but she looked as merry as she did the previous day. On seeing this, Das Ganu’s pity was transferred into admiration. He thought that the girl being poor had to wear a torn rag, but now she had a new Sari which she kept in reserve and putting on the old rag, strutted herself, showing no trace of sorrow or dejection. Thus he realized that all our feelings of pain and pleasure depend upon the attitude of our mind. On thinking deeply over this incident, he realized that a man ought to enjoy whatever God has bestowed on him in the firm conviction that He besets everything, from behind and before, and on all sides and that whatever is bestowed on him by God must be for his good. In this particular case, the impoverished condition of the poor girl, her torn rag and the new Sari, the donor, the dance and the acceptance were all parts of the Lord and pervaded by Him. Hence, Das Ganu got a practical demonstration of the lesson of the Upanishad – the lesson of contentment with one’s own lot in the belief that whatever happens, is ordained by God, and is good for us.

Unique Method of Teaching

From the above incident, the reader will see that Baba’s method was unique and varied. Though Baba never left Shirdi, He sent some to Machhindragad, some to Kolhapur or Sholapur for practising sadhanas. To some He appeared in His usual form, to some He appeared in waking or dreaming state, day or night and satisfied their desires. It is impossible to describe all the methods,that Baba used in imparting instructions to His Bhaktas. In this particular case, He sent Das Ganu to Vile Parle, where he got his problem solved, through the maid-servant. To those, who say that it was not necessary to sent Das Ganu outside and that Baba could have personally taught him, we say that Baba followed the right or best course, or how else could  DasGanu would have learnt a great lesson, that the poor maid-servant and her Sari were pervaded by the Lord. Now we close the Chapter with another beautiful extract about this Upanishad.


We must surrender with a firm conviction  that God besets everything, from behind and before and on all his sides and whatever is bestowed on him by God must be for his good.  We must ne contented with what we have and whatever happens to us, ordained by God, and is ultimately good for us.

For Children

The following story depicts the value: Contentment


Sai Satcharita – Chapter 18 & 19 – Encouraging good thoughts



Value: Surrender

Sub Value: Love, Devotion


Story 1

Encouraging Good Thoughts of Fruition 

It is interesting to note how Sai Baba encouraged good thoughts. You have to surrender yourself completely to Him with love, and devotion, and they you will see how, He helps you, off and on, in so many things. Some Saint has said, that when you get a good thought, immediately after awakening from sleep, and if you develop the same afterwards during the day, your intellect will be unfolded and your mind will attain calmness. Hemadpant wanted to try this. On one Wednesday night before going to bed, be thought – “To-morrow is Thursday – an auspicious day and the place, viz. Shirdi, is so holy; so let me pass the whole day in remembering and chanting the Rama-nama, and then he slept. Next morning when he got up he remembered without any effort the name of Rama and was much pleased. He then, after finishing his morning duties, went to see Baba with flowers. When he left Dixit’s Wada, and was just passing Booty’s Wada (present Samadhi-mandir) he heard a beautiful song that was being sung nicely by one Aurangabadkar, in the Masjid before Baba. The song was Guru – kripanjan payo mere bhai” etc. by Ekanath, in which he says that he got collyrium in the form of Guru’s grace which opened his vision and made him see Rama, in and out, in sleep, dream, and waking state and everywhere. There were so many songs; and why was this song particularly chosen by Aurangabadkar, a devotee of Baba? Is this not a curious coincidence arranged by Baba to feed the determination of Hemadpant to sing unceasingly Rama-nama, during the day?

All Saints agree on and lay stress upon the efficacy of uttering Rama’s (God’s) name, in fulfilling the ambitions of the Bhaktas and in protecting and saving them from all calamities.

Story 2

Remuneration for Labour

One day at noon, Baba came near Radha-Krishna-Mai’s house and said – “Bring Me a ladder.” Some men brought it and set it against a house as directed by Baba. He climbed up on the roof of Vaman Gondkar’s house, passed the roof of Radha-Krishna-Mai’s house and then got down from the other corner. What object Baba had, none could know. Radha-Krishna-Mai was, at that time, shivering with Malaria. It may be to drive off that fever that He may have gone there. Immediately after getting down, Baba paid Rupees two to the persons who brought the ladder. Somebody asked Baba, why he paid so much for this. He replied that nobody should take the labour of others, in vain. The worker should be paid, his dues promptly and liberally.


Like a loving mother forcing bitter but wholesome medicines down the throats of her children for the sake of their health, Sai Baba imparted spiritual instructions to His devotees.Sad-gurus like Sai Baba open our (eyes of the) intellect and show us the divine beauties of the Self, and fulfill our tender longings of devotion. When this is done, our desire for sense-objects vanishes, twin fruits of Viveka (discrimination) and Vairagya (dispassion or non-attachment) come to our hands; and knowledge sprouts up even in the sleep. All this we get, when we come in contact with Saints (Sad-guru), serve them and secure their love.

For Children

When we get good thoughts we should develop the same and put it into practice in our everyday and we will see that it gradually becomes our habit and personality and we will be calm and happy.


The following story explains the power of good thoughts;

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