Questions & Answers
This page contains questions asked of Sathya Sai Baba in His subtle form and His answers given at gatherings/satsangs held all over the world.
In a satsang held in the divine presence at Suffolk, UK, on 3 April, 2016, a devotee asked why have all avatars been male. And here is what Swami said:
Question: Why have all Avatars been male? Have there been female Avatars in the past?
Swami: Only a lion will understand the language of a lion and only a donkey will understand the language of a donkey. Similarly, only men need all the training, only men need to make a great improvement, so the Avatar needs to come as a man. (Laughter and applause) Every woman is an Avatar. Only God has the power to create.
God has shared this power with women and women are nothing but embodiments of Divinity. They are far better than men and they do not need anybody to come and teach them. (Applause)
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Argentina, on 17 September, 2016. A devotee asked, after waiting for 17 years how did Mr. Isaac Tigrett achieve the Divine proximity. And here is what Swami said:
QUESTION: Swami, Tigrett waited 17 years before You took him with You. What exercise did Tigrett do and what did he achieve in the end to pass the test?
SWAMI: Tigrett waited for 17 years, but I waited for him over many births to become what I wanted him to become. He grew spiritually hungry so that, when the food was served, he could digest it well. He did not suffer the indigestion of thoughts. I kept him hungry so that he could be trained and, only when he is trained, is he given his treat. That is how you train tigers, don’t you know that? (Laughter)
Tigrett changed from an untamed, wild tiger to a tamed, domestic, pet tiger. He won over all his vices. He won over a lot of his vagaries. His associations changed and he grew more and more hungry for God and less and less hungry for the world. That is why now, he is with Me all the time. He did not have any attachment. I told him one word and he dropped everything. It is not easy to drop something all of a sudden, for which you have worked all your life, which is your very identity, how the world admires you, respects you and recognises you. Dropping all of that in a trice for the sake of God, that strength, that devotion, that detachment, is what he developed in those years he stayed physically away from Me. Nevertheless, know for certain that, if I am ignoring you, I am paying all the more attention to you than others. So I was keeping a silent watch on how he was growing and, when I felt that he was ready to drop all the baggage so that he could climb higher, I brought him closer. That is what I do to everyone.
To some, I speak and do it, to some I do it through silence. Yet to others who, despite all this, do not listen, I snatch it away. It is for their higher good. If a child is playing with a knife, would its mother remain silent? She would demand, “Give me the knife.” Suppose the child does not give it. The mother may say, “I will not speak to you if you do not give me the knife.” The child may still refuse. Finally, the mother will go and snatch it away, because it is a knife, which is dangerous for the child.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Sri Lanka, on 4 July, 2015. A devotee asked Swami's guidance for all the healers across the globe. And here is what Swami said:
Question: With Your grace, aside from me, there are many healers in Sri Lanka and all over the world. This question is not only for me, but for all of us. Many times, after healing, we become lifeless. Then, we don’t know what to do. On more than three occasions, I nearly died after healing. Swami, please guide me and all the healers in our country and the world as to what we should do in such circumstances.
Swami: My grace is there on everyone equally, just as the sun, which shines on all the continents, all the lands and all the people equally. The sun does not differentiate, nor does the wind, nor the water. Similarly, My grace is there on everyone, in all countries, in all places, and at all times. Regarding your question about healing – if you want to bring water to a boil, you have to place the container full of water on top of the stove, switch on the stove, and let it boil for some time. However, the moment a few bubbles form, you switch off the stove, thinking it will boil by itself. It is too early that you withdraw all that you do, and you don’t wait for the process to continue to completion. Every time you switch it on and switch it off, without letting it boil, you are only wasting your time and energy. Until the work is completely done, until the healing is complete, continue the effort. Periodic efforts are not going to help.
Ultimately, what is it that will cure everyone of all diseases, of the entire illness? It is nothing but the fear should disappear; the fear of holding on to your ideas, your bodies, your possessions, your relations. That fear alone creates all the troubles in the body. Fear is the greatest disease that man is suffering from. The day that you get rid of this fear, all the healing is complete. This fear will not go with medicines, consultations, doctor’s visits, or operations; only faith can remove this fear to its completion. When you improve a little bit, you give up your efforts. You are not here to remember God only during times of distress. If you continuously remember God at all times, and are totally out of this disease of fear, in no way will you fall sick again.
If at all the body has to undergo some trouble, let it proceed fearlessly. Everybody that is born out of the five elements ultimately has to merge with the five elements. What differentiates each person is whether you go with a sense of fear, or you go with a sense of faith; that alone defines your achievement in life. One must get rid of this fear; only then will you be permanently healthy. Fear, not only of being embodied, but also all the relations and attachments that come along with this body. If that fear disappears, you will never fall into that situation again. Once and for all, you would have passed the test, and you won’t have to appear for the test again and again. Develop greater faith; everything else is secondary.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at The Netherlands, on 5 April, 2016. A devotee asked why is there so much violence and destruction in the world.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, I want to see the beauty in the universe where we live. I have two beautiful sons and through their eyes, I can see their discovery of the world and things they find beautiful. However, when I turn on the eight o’clock news, I see many horrible things and find it difficult to see Swami in these things; such evil and violence in the world.
Swami: The whole universe is governed by three laws: the Law of Creation, the Law of Sustenance and the Law of Destruction. Based on these three laws, the universe moves forward. Creation is as beautiful as sustenance; sustenance is also as beautiful as destruction, for all the three are God’s wish. In a given season, a certain flower blooms. It stays for some time, but then it withers away and dies. As the seasons change, it cannot continue living. As we were coming here in the car, the boy told us that the largest garden of flowers is here, in The Netherlands. However, this happens for only three months in the year. For three months, all the flowers bloom and then they wither away. As the seasons change, they cannot continue to remain and you have to wait for another season to see them again.
Likewise, in this creation, all beings are created, they live for a certain time and when their time has passed, they must leave, too. The seasons are changing. The Golden Time and Golden Age are coming. Those who will not fit into the new Golden Age, some way or the other, will be annihilated. Therefore, those who do not become pure, those who do not remain kind and those who cannot develop Divinity, will not service in this new season. It is a natural law; by some way or another, they will be destroyed. If you look at the whole universe from this point of view, you will understand the beauty in it. I am putting effort all the more, and so must all of you, to become worthy to move into the Golden Age. If you do not change and adapt yourself to adjust into the Golden Age, you will not be able to move into it. Look at the whole world from this point of view and pray for those who are unable to understand.
Swami has given you two beautiful children. See to it that they grow into golden ones. Help as many as you can to become golden. For those whom you cannot reach, pray for their welfare. Arjuna had a similar dilemma in the Bhagawad Gita. When he saw the Virata Rupa, the Viswarupa of Krishna, he understood the secret: everything is born out of Krishna, is sustained by Krishna and finally merges into Krishna. Those who follow the path of dharma will continue in the coming Sathya Yuga, Dharma Yuga, Suvarana Yuga, which is the Age of Truth, the Age of Righteousness, the Golden Age. You are seeing all these things happening in recent times because the season has changed. Let it go on as a part of creation. Pray and help as many to transition from this Age to that Age. You help as many people to move from this to that, and for the rest, just pray.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at The Netherlands, on 5 April, 2016. A devotee asked to clear the doubts regarding Swami's communication through a third-party.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami-ji, we have heard from the eloquent speakers of the great works that You have done and the inspiration You have given to the rest of the world. Yet, we are in a quandary, hearing the drums beating from Puttaparthi, where they are reiterating that Swami-ji does not need a ‘third party’. Can You please settle this doubt for us?
Swami: I just gave an entire discourse about the oneness of all. Where is the ‘third party’? All hands are Mine; all eyes are Mine; all heads are Mine; all ears are Mine; all feet are Mine. Who and what is not Mine? Those who see the reflection as different from them will bark out of fear. Whereas those who know the nature of God – who is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, and can do anything He wills – will understand. Who is Swami, again I ask? Swami is nothing but the same Divinity that resides in you. Why did Swami come? To show you that your own Divinity is the truth – the truth which you are. Avatars come to show you that; they come to take you to your Divinity, which is within you. If you think that way, even an Avatar is a third party to you and your Divinity.
Why do you need an Avatar at all? You are yourself Divine. Because you do not know, you need a teacher to teach you that. You can find out the nature of an object by looking at its reflection. If you see the shadow of a tree, you will know that the tree is behind you. If you see the reflection of a boy in the mirror, you will know that the boy is behind you. You might not see the tree, you might not see the boy, but by looking at the shadow or the reflection in the mirror, you can ascertain that both exist behind you. Likewise, Swami’s reflection is service. If love is the object, service is the reflection or shadow. All the service that is going on right now itself is the proof of Swami’s presence. If you think Swami was just the body, even that body was only a third party. It was your own Divinity that had to take a physical form to show you who you are.
Even now, Swami is Divinity, nothing less, and again, He is here to teach you, to remind you of your Truth, through various ways. As I said, a pure and calm mind can see the reflection clearly. A mind that is afraid and ignorant will always see duality. When Swami manifested in Puttaparthi, not the whole world believed. Even today, how many in the world know or believe that Sai Baba is God? There were always many people who did not come to know or did not believe, as per Swami’s will.
Even now, it is only Swami’s will – whom He wants and whom He does not, at this point. In the darkness, you may mistake a rope for a snake and be afraid. In the darkness of your mind, you do not realize the truth. When you light the lamp of love, then you can see in its reflection the truth. Just as nobody can eat for you, breathe for you or sleep for you, nobody can tell you where Swami is and where He is not. It is your own experience; it is your own understanding that will be a witness to it. You must understand and experience it yourself to know the Truth – and truth alone will free one from all the fear of ignorance.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Japan, on 21 March, 2016. A devotee seeks cure for all the struggles in ones life.
And here is what Swami said: Question: There are those who come to this place, wanting to receive some advice regarding their daily struggles, or craving for a cure from a disease. What is your advice to such people?
Swami: If you are healthy, you don’t need a doctor at all. It is only when you don’t take care of your health, that you need to rush to a doctor. If you always follow the right way of living, eating, resting, your body will be fine and you won’t incur diseases. When you deviate from healthy living, diseases come and you have to see the doctor.
Likewise, problems come when you deviate from the path of spirituality, the path of morality or path of unity. By harbouring selfish desires, attachments, greed and all such negative feelings, you spoil your spiritual health. If you carefully analyse the root cause of all your problems in life, it is either due to ego or attachments. Whenever there is an excess of ego or attachments, there always is a trouble. So, if you already follow the path of humility and detachment, where is the question of you having any troubles in life? Nevertheless, when there are problems that come, it is a kind of reminder from God that you are forgetting Him, and that is why you are getting into all this. Now that you have a health problem, there is no harm in going to a doctor, taking medicine, taking his advice – but then, you must continue to follow that. You may seek the solution to your mundane problems from God – there is nothing wrong in it. However, when God gives you the medicine of humility and the diet of detachment, you must go back and follow it. You come to God, seek advice, go back and do not follow. It is like keeping the medicine in the bottle. That is not going to cure you.
I have been God since the beginning of time, and I shall continue to be till the end of time. I have known everyone’s problem, and I can clearly tell you, the reason is either ego or attachment. An inexperienced doctor may diagnose you differently or wrongly, and give you a different prescription. I, however, am an experienced doctor, and I can clearly tell the reason it is either due to ego or attachment. So, this medicine of humility and the diet of detachment is the perfect cure for bhavaroga, the disease of this world, all the problems of this world.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 10 July 2016. A devotee asked Swami to bless a doctor suffering from cancer.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, one of the devotees who looked after the cancer hospital in Sri Lanka, now has cancer of the intestines and had an operation recently performed on him. Swami, what relief can You give him? He is an ardent devotee and he looked after his patients as his own parents. Now, unfortunately, he himself has cancer.
Swami: You did your duty by praying for him. That is your duty and you have done it. I will do My duty regarding what is good for him. The master, Ramakrishna, got throat cancer though he had only been speaking the truth, though he had only been giving discourses about divine and good things and spirituality. Yet, he had throat cancer and could not speak, eat or drink. When all the disciples gathered around him and prayed to him, “Master, you have done no harm to anyone, you have committed no sins, rather you have used your throat to speak only good words, words of solace, words of kindness, words of benevolence and blessings. Why then do you suffer in this way today? Why don’t you ask Mother Kali, to whom you speak every moment of every day, to cure you of the illness and give you relief?”
Ramakrishna, who had, by then, been reduced to a mere skeleton, heard all their remarks and, because of their insistence, finally went to the Mother and said, “Mother, for me it doesn’t matter; You know what is best for me and, in Your own wisdom, You will do whatever is best – but, my disciples and Your devotees around me, insist that I pray for a cure from You so that I can eat well and regain my health.” The Mother laughed and said, “My son, I eat through thousands of mouths, I speak through thousands of mouths and I drink through thousands of mouths. If I don’t speak, eat or drink through one of them, what does it matter?” Ramakrishna was satisfied with the answer and went back happy saying, “Mother knows what is best for me and I don’t need to say any more, but you have done your duty for the sake of others and that is fine.” The truth is, the person who is suffering has not been praying to me for a cure. It is the others around him who are insisting on it. So be it, I will do what is best for him.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Greece, on 28 April 2016. A devotee asked how can one experience more divinity.
And here is what Swami said: Question: (Asked by the hostess, Mrs. Ioanna) Swami, we are so grateful that You came here, but how can we experience more divinity? You reveal Your divinity in our hearts and give glimpses of this because we experience You, but we need more...
Swami: If you continuously think of Me, you will experience Me. In the last three days, you had no other thought than of Me, so you felt great bliss. If you make every day the same – every act, every thought, every word for Me – you will experience Me more and more strongly, all the time. The problem is, you experience for a while and then you are cut off. You come and go. Coming and going is not good. Thinking of Me should become like the breath – you have to go on breathing every moment, to remain alive.
Whatever you are doing, whether you are house-keeping, meeting friends, shopping, cooking food – whatever you do should incorporate thinking of Me – ‘This for Swami, that for Swami’, consciously thinking that I am with you and around you. Think that you are doing it for Me and you are only a recipient of prasadam, just as here, you have served Me and then, every time, served everyone prasadam. Every moment, every task, should be treated like this, as an offering to Me – then you will experience Swami at every moment.
The mind, which consists of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, should vanish; that is the way. Dhyana, meditation, is the constant experience of the Self – but that experience occurs only because there is no other thought in the mind, other than God. If there is anything else, it will not be as powerful or as intense.
Help the children with whatever they need. They are young, they are just learning. They may need help in conducting the programmes. Be there with them; help them in whatever way you can. A small meeting of twenty or twenty-five people; a few things have to be organised. It can take place in the home; or in the garden; it can take place anywhere. You can provide very little food or snacks before they return home.
With these sort of small events, gather together and get the foundation in place very quickly, so that you can continue to do all these little things. Sreenivas said that, if any surgeons are required to do operations, they can come here or children can go to India, whichever way is most suitable. Start developing that, since you already have the facility. If you are ready, I will send work and I will send people.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 10 July 2016. A devotee asked if they could take part in service activities in the hospital being built in Sri Lanka.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, in the hospital which is going to be built in Sri Lanka with Your blessings, are we allowed to participate by undertaking certain areas of the hospital? I have served in the Puttaparthi Super Speciality Hospital for more than ten years. Can I participate in these operation theatres, too, with my love, as I have done for so many years, on behalf of Sri Lanka?
Swami: For good work, you do not need My permission. Go ahead and do it!
When Rama was building the bridge and monkeys were bringing boulders much bigger than themselves, putting them into the ocean and helping Him build the bridge merely by their devotion, there was a little squirrel watching the whole scene. It thought to itself, ‘I am not as powerful as these monkeys, who are able to bring these boulders and put them in the ocean. However, if Rama and His army walk on these boulders with such sharp edges, they may hurt their feet!” It did not just remain silent after seeing the effort involved; it didn’t simply give up, thinking it was no good or did not have the skills or knowledge to do what they were doing, or how they were doing it. Instead, it thought to itself in what way it could contribute.
It soaked itself in the ocean waters, rolled on the sand and then went and shook itself so that the sand would fall in the gaps between the boulders. It kept on working in that way, to make the path smooth for Rama and His army to walk on. Looking at the efforts of the little squirrel, Rama went and patted it and, it is said, even today, that those lines on the back of a squirrel are the blessings of acknowledgement by Rama for the squirrel’s service.
If a little squirrel, which had no medical degree or knowledge of antibacterial technology thought with such determination, how it could help Rama in His mission, how much more determinedly should you think, who are intellectual, educated and skilled? Take every opportunity to participate. Do not miss any!
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Ottawa, Canada, on 11 July, 2016. A devotee asked how does one know if we are practising Swami's teachings correctly.
And here is what Swami said: Question: As we are practising Your prescription, how do you know that the Doctor is right there with us, watching our treatment?
Swami: If you follow the prescription, you will become better. Your sickness will disappear. You will become healthier. The progress that you make is proof of the doctor’s supervision. I am there, watching – that is why you are able to benefit. If you make the effort to follow what the doctor has instructed, your health will definitely improve, just as one who has received correction for his vision – someone who is jaundiced sees everything yellow; once he is cured he sees everything in the right light. Similarly, all your selfishness will disappear and you will see the whole world in a different, divine light. You will see that you are not different from the rest of the world, that it was your illness that made you see things differently. Once you get rid of that, everything will be divine.
When you reach the stage of wellness where you see God, not just here or just within yourself, but everywhere, in everything, you must continue to follow the prescription. If you take just a little dose, it may not help; if you do not take it at regular intervals, it may not help. You have to take the right dosage of medication and at the right intervals. Doing spiritual practices once in a while, just for the sake of appearances is not going to change you at all. Doing good continuously, day and night, all the time, is when the change will happen. If change is not happening, despite making these efforts, it means your efforts are not sufficient. Having doubts as to whether the doctor is there or not is not good.
God’s grace is there for everyone, equally. It is what you make out of it with your efforts which defines how quickly you get over your sickness of ‘I’, selfishness. Once you have lost your selfishness, you will see everything as divine. That is when you will be completely well. The doctor, God, is not only there, not only here, but everywhere.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Australia, on 23 September, 2015. A devotee asked how one knows if what is done is right or not.
And here is what Swami said: Question: How should I know if what I have done is right or not?
Swami: Everybody must ask this question. Only then will you know whether you should correct yourself or not. If you think that you are always right, then who can teach you or correct you? Look -- it is raining outside, but it also rained a while ago. Now, when you go out of this hall, you may not know whether it has rained or not -- you may not have seen it raining, but when you see the soil and the wetness of the soil, it will be clear to you that rain has fallen. In the same way, if you do the right thing, immediately peace will descend; your mind will be put to rest and your heart will be filled with a sense of peace. You will know that this peace is nothing but the result of knowing that what you have done is right. If you experience this peace and joy, know that what you have done is right. If you do not experience this peace, but you are experiencing confusion, then you should know that what you have done is not right. There is no other definition. Your heart will tell you whether it is right or not. Selflessness is always right. If you have to choose between your desire and the benefit of many, choose the benefit of many -- that will be the right choice. If you have a choice to abstain from talking harshly, from saying things that would hurt people, from doing things that would not be in the interest of many, then abstain from it. Even if it costs you, it will be less painful to let it go than to suffer later for having done something wrong but, more importantly, there are two things that you must consider while doing anything; paschaat tapa or remorse, is feeling guilty after you have done a thing and realised that it is wrong -- then you try to change it but, since the time has gone, the opportunity is gone and it is very difficult to put right the damage. Poorva tapa means that you think of the consequences of what you are going to do, before you do something and whether it is going to benefit everybody. Is it honest? is it just or righteous? You must ask these questions before you do anything. Thinking before you do something is more important -- there is no point in thinking after you have already done it.
In the Bhagawad Gita, when Arjuna was about to fight the battle, in which his own kith and kin would be killed, he was full of remorse. He told Krishna, “I do not want to fight this battle because I can foresee the consequences” and, for that reason was feeling sad. In the same way, sometimes, you have to operate upon a limb that is diseased, and very dangerous to the whole body, so you have to cut it off. Likewise, these bad people must go and therefore, Krishna told Arjuna, “Fight with the sense of duty of Kshatriya, that is the warrior clan, that you belong to.” Arjuna’s duty was to remove the ego so what he choose to do was the right choice -- but Arjuna did a lot of thinking before he decided to fight the battle. It is right to think before you act. There is little benefit in thinking after the event. Therefore, think before you do anything, whether what you are doing is the truth; whether what you are going to do will help many, or is just for your selfishness. Finally, is what you are going to do going to please Swami or displease Him? If you ask these questions, and then act accordingly, you will always be able to do the right thing. A state of peace will always prevail in your mind. The proof that you have done the right thing is that you will always be peaceful. Go and reflect upon all the incidents that have happened in your lives; analyse for yourself and discover, when have you have felt absolutely peaceful? Then think about the decisions that you had taken at that time, believing them in your heart to be the correct choice.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Dubai, on 31 March 2016. A devotee asked if it is good to consume dairy products.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, I have read that we can consume milk and dairy products, but there is a big question as to whether we should. We do not know if the animals that give us milk are being treated well. I want Your advice on how we should look after our diet; whether or not we should consume dairy products.
Swami: If you ask whether animals are being treated well or not, from where you get milk and, based on that, whether to drink milk or not, then you have to question everything. Is the earth that gives you food being treated well? Should you consume the food from such an earth? Is the air that you breathe being treated well? Should you even breathe today? Everything has been polluted and destroyed by the selfish
pursuit of man.
You will have very little knowledge as to whether the food on your plate has come from righteous or wrong ones. You must even ask whether, to prepare the vegetarian food you are eating, which grows from earth – how badly was the earth treated and misused to procure and prepare that? So many chemicals are used nowadays to make the earth yield more. Is it not ill-treatment of Mother Earth, just as the ill-treatment of a cow or any other animal?
Hence, it is difficult to decide whether to eat or not to eat, based on how something has been ill-treated. The truth is, there is a great deal of exploitation, and most of the animals, the earth, the air and water – everything has been misused by man. So, what do you do at this stage? Should you stop eating? Stop drinking? No, that is not the solution.
The true solution is, as much as possible, try to promote and encourage those people who are doing it in the righteous way, the right way. Help them to continue doing the right things; even if it is difficult or costly for you, go for that which does not destroy the nature around you, in order to feed yourself. Nevertheless, get rid of any of those ill-things that come along with your food, prepared or produced by ill-means. Continue to pray, “God, I do not know where this food comes from, who has cooked it, who has produced it, or how it has been done. Still, I offer it to You because all I need is to sustain the body in order to be Your servant, in order to be Your instrument.” With that surrender, if you consume the food, there is no harm.
Debates will go on – there is no end to it. Those who want to promote dairy will say one thing, those who do not want to promote it will say another; those who promote vegetarianism will say one thing those, while those who promote non vegetarianism will say another. Do not give in to the debate; there is no end to it.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Encinitas, USA, on June 20, 2015. A devotee asked if He will stay with us and protect us always.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, we love you, thank you for being with us. Will you always stay with us and protect us?
Swami: You wanted to tell Me ‘thank you’? In ‘thank you’, there is ‘I’ and there is ‘you’. But between Me and you, we are both same. So, there’s no question of you thanking Me! Don’t distance yourself from Me by thanking Me. Just be grateful.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Dubai, on 31 March 2016. A devotee asked about the mystery of Bermuda Triangle.
And here is what Swami said: Question: There are many mysteries in this world, and one such mystery is what is happening in the ‘Bermuda triangle’. Swami, what is happening there?
The earth is a great magnet. Its magnetism comes from certain minerals and elements, and this magnetic force is what keeps everybody together. If there is a strong magnet, what will happen? It will pull everything to itself. If it is a weak magnet, it will attract only to a certain extent. Earth is also like a magnet; it has its own powers distributed around.
The Bermuda Triangle is one such place where the magnetic waves are so strong that other waves get diminished or are lower, so they are not picked up. That is why no communications, no other tarangams or waves are seen or can be captured in that area. The power of the magnetic waves are so much that all the other waves become very low and cannot be captured.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at El Teatro De Camara, Mexico, on 22 June, 2016. A devotee thanked Swami for blessing the Mexicans during Chihuahua crisis.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, I do not have a question, but just want to thank you all who are here today. It is not a coincidence that you arrived at the moment there is a crisis in Chihuahua. You came to awaken love. Thank You, Swami, from the bottom of the heart of all Chihuahua.
Swami: I also want to thank you for being here. God always wants to be with His devotees, just as devotees want to be with God. Just as children want to be with their mother, the mother also wants to be with her children. That way, when the children need their mother most, she is always there for them. Even before the child opens its mouth to call out, its mother, ever watchful, is always in tune with her child. That is why I am here; because you need Me; and you are here because I need you!
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Australia, on 24 September, 2015. A devotee asked what should one do when something wrong is happening around us.
And here is what Swami said: Question: In the world, when we see so much wrong, it’s sometimes difficult to remain silent. I want to know, as an individual, should we say something when something is wrong or just transfer the problem to You, Swami?
Swami: If you see that something is going wrong and do nothing about it, you are also a part of that wrong. You become equally guilty of the mistake being made, or the crime being committed. You have seen, and though it was within your capacity to do something about it, you decided not to. First you need to make an effort yourself -- I always say, “Do your best and then leave the rest to Me.” Without doing your best and leaving everything to Swami, nothing is going to happen. I put you in such situations to teach you how to deal with them; to make you learn courage; to make you learn compassion. If you do not make any effort and pass it all on to Me, how are you going to learn anything?
If parents keep doing the their children’s homework out of their misplaced love, when is the child going to learn anything? Therefore, when you see that something is going wrong, make an effort to stop it. Pray to Me to help you. There is no escape -- you must make an effort first and, only then, must you pray to Me for help. Just transferring things to Me is not going to bring you any result. When you are sitting at home and you are hungry, do you simply pray to Me for your hunger to be satisfied? Or do you go to the kitchen, find something, cook it and eat it? When it comes to your own problems, you want to solve them immediately. When it is other people’s problems, you want to transfer it to God (laughter). Make an effort!
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Australia, on 23 September 2015. A devotee asked what more can one do to an individual going through lot of physical pain.
And here is what Swami said: Question: If we are surrounded with people who are going through a lot of physical pain, and we are doing our best to serve them, what more can we do?
Swami: God will give bigger challenges to people whom He thinks can handle the bigger challenges. Anyone can do very small things, even a child would be able to do them. However, as you grow up, the complexity of your examinations will grow. Therefore, if you want to be promoted and reach higher levels, you must pass tougher tests. You serving somebody and them serving you is a very easy test. When you serve somebody, but they don’t serve you, is a little more difficult test. When you serve somebody and they harm you, that is still more difficult. So do not give up -- think that God trusts you; that you can definitely do better than before. As a result, He makes your challenges harder, because He knows that you are capable of achieving them. With God by your side, nothing is impossible. It might be impossible for you alone, but for God, nothing is impossible. The Pandavas could not have won the battle of Kurukshetra with just the five of them and a handful of soldiers. It was Krishna’s presence that made all the difference.
Think, ‘Swami is with me in every situation,’ consult Swami, who is in your heart, and don’t be in a hurry to simply follow the dictates of your restless mind. Then you will definitely find a way to win over the hearts of people. The greater the challenges, the more exciting the journey. When you look back at your life, you will be happy that you were able to do the right things and could transform so many people. When a river flows, it does not discriminate -- it flows freely for everybody, whether they wash their dirty clothes in it or, they drink water from it. Whether it is an animal, a beast, a bird, a saint or a criminal, it does not discriminate. It goes on flowing, because its nature is to flow. Your nature is to love. Whether somebody loves you or does not love you, should not matter to you. How many of you drink from a river and thank the river for giving you the water? Very few -- but river does not mind, it knows that, only if it flows, can it reach the ocean; if it stops flowing, to discriminate and differentiate and to analyse, it will not be able to reach the ocean. Flow like a river -- selflessly. The more people demand, the more you must love -- your love is inexhaustible, because the source of love is God, which is inexhaustible. Have faith that God is trusting you with greater challenges because He knows that you can become better and take up every challenge. Life is a challenge, meet it.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Australia, on 23 September 2015. A devotee asked what is forgiveness and how can it be achieved.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Could You please define what forgiveness is, and how we can achieve it?
Swami: Oneness is forgiveness. When your right hand hurts your eye, you don’t punish your right hand. You forgive the right hand because you know that this hand also belongs to you, just as your eye does. When you think that both belong to you then, obviously there is no question of you punishing or forgiving. In fact, with the same hand, you put ointment on the eye, apply a medicine or a balm, and help it recover. It is only when you know that all are One, that all are part of the same principle, that you are not different from each other, that you will truly forgive. When you truly love, you truly forgive, when you truly feel all are One, then you will forgive. That is why I say, “Love lives by giving and forgiving,” because love knows that all are One. If your tongue is bitten by the teeth, you still know that it is an accident, not intentional. When you know that both teeth and tongue belong to you, you don’t pull out your teeth. In the same way, if you truly love, and you feel everybody is One with you, then you will forgive very easily. In fact, there is no question of forgiving, for you know that it happened because of ignorance or by accident.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Fiji, on 26 September, 2015. A devotee asked if there is any special message for Fiji youth.
Question: Do You have a special message for the Sai Youth of Fiji?
Swami: All My messages are special – ‘Love all, Serve all’. Young people, when you have your hands, head and heart – all three faculties – intact, you should be able to do much more. In old age, your hands and legs will become weak. You will not be able to serve everybody and others will have to come and serve you. Before you reach such a helpless age, use all your faculties to serve others. Your intelligence is sharp; your hands are strong; your heart is pure. Use all three to serve humanity.
Rest assured that nothing can harm you and that what you need will come to you – that is My assurance. If you do My work, I will do your work. You may not do My work well, but I will definitely do your work much better than you could. Be assured, be courageous, be confident. Serve others, be selfless, be an example to others. You have been granted to be near Me – you are the fortunate ones.
To you, much has been given; therefore much is expected. Now, I will be known through all of you. When people ask, “Where is Sai Baba?” They will say that Sai Baba lives in this youth, for he or she is a reflection of Sai Baba, so selfless, so courageous, so kind and compassionate. My children should be My reflection. A lion’s cub has to be a lion; it cannot be a cat. Therefore, My young people should be like Me: courageous, bold, fearless, confident, loving and compassionate. Become like that! That is My message.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Dubai, on 31 March 2016. A devotee asked when can we see Swami again in the physical form as Prema Sai.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Since you mentioned about Karnataka State and Prema Sai, we are all eager and full of curiosity to know when we can see Swami again in the Sthoola Shareera (physical form) of Prema Sai?
Swami: What will this eagerness fetch you? You must understand the working of the Avatars. It is not as simple as you think. It is not that an Avatar appears, you go and knock on His door, He opens the door and you have His darshan, sparshan or sambhashan. It may seem that it is as easy as this, but it is not so. Out of the billions of people on earth, only a few million knew about Sathya Sai Baba. Out of these, only a few believed in His Divinity and worshiped him. Even among those who knew and believed in Him, very few had the opportunity to see Him, experience Him and be in His presence. Of those who experienced, saw Him and were in His presence, very few understood what Sathya Sai Baba’s Avatar really was and is.
Therefore, it is not really a question of physical darshan or meeting Prema Sai, Sathya Sai or anyone, physically. Unless you are internally prepared to meet the Avatar, there is no way you can go and meet Him. Just because you are devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, don’t take it for granted that you will automatically be promoted to Prema Sai Baba’s presence – that is not the case. There will be a test at the end of every year; only those who pass will be promoted to the next level. The tests are going to get more and more difficult, as you go further in your education.
Asking when Prema Sai Baba will come, where He will come, what His schedule will be, what He will eat, what He will wear, how will He be – all these are curiosities, like a primary school child trying to know what is taught in the university. Even if I tell you, nothing will be understood and it will be of no use. In your own time, as you reach the university and pass through each class, so will you reach His presence. Having said that, nevertheless, the university is about to open; it is only a matter of a few years from now, then His Avatarhood will be declared, just as this Avatar or previous Avatars declared themselves. Those who have passed all this and have entered the university will definitely attain His presence.
Karnataka is just a place. Everyone has to be born somewhere on the earth. You were also born somewhere on the earth. You were not born in Dubai, yet you are living in Dubai today. Likewise, Prema Sai will be born in Karnataka, but it is foolish to think that He will be seen only in Karnataka or belongs only to Karnataka. He belongs to the whole world. He will travel very extensively. Who knows, you might not even have to go to Karnataka to see Him, He may come to Dubai to meet you! That is only if you have deserved it.
That Avatar is different. Every Avatar is different. There is more of silent preaching, more of travelling, more of meeting people around the world – that is how He is going to string the entire world together in one garland through His prema, or love; that is what He stands for. I am here, Shirdi Baba was there. Like a gardener, Shirdi Baba prepared the flowerbeds. He sowed the seeds in the earth and watered the plants. Sathya Sai Baba came to remove the thorns and collect the flowers. Prema Sai will come to string the flowers together into a beautiful garland. This is how the Avatars operate. Those who are thorny will not find a place in the garland. Therefore, you better get rid of ego and attachment, which are the thorns. One way of doing this is by serving and loving. Constantly loving and serving everybody, you can get rid of ego and attachment, which are like thorns, hurting others and not giving them joy. Even the best of flowers will not be picked if they are surrounded by too many thorns. This is what you must do now, to be in His presence tomorrow. Don’t worry, you don’t have to search for Him. He will seek you and come to you, if you really deserve Him. Prepare for that.
In one of the satsangs held in the divine presence at Singapore, on 23 March, 2016. A devotee asked how can one do service even in their hectic life and how much time must be dedicate for serving.
And here is what Swami said: Question: Swami, I want to ask a question on service. Many of us are here working in Singapore and having a very hectic life. Swami, You have said many times that service is very important, that man exists for service, that service is critical and service is one of the most important things. So, I just want to know, to what extent must we dedicate our life to service? How much time must we dedicate to rendering service, and how should it be done? Also, a related que
Swami: There is an old saying: “Work is worship and duty is God.” You must follow this dictum; all work should become worship, then all work will become service. Even if you feed your body, you must think, ‘This is God’s temple and God resides within.’ He, in the form of hunger, accepts the offerings, like oblations into the fire – yajnam. Therefore, even that is an act of service. If you look after your children, your family, your friends, you must think all of them are nothing but gods – ‘God is coming to me in different forms and different names’ and any act of help, any act of service, is worship in its true sense.
Then there is nothing like finding time for service. At all times, you can keep doing service. If you live this way, all work will become worship. Without this spirit, all worship will also become just work. Service done with any sense of doership or ego, that ‘I am the one who is doing it for someone else’, is going to bring you great misery. If the right hand puts something into the left hand, it is not doing service to the left hand. Similarly, if the right hand hurts the left hand, it is not doing disservice to the left hand. Both are part of the same body, and the same body is sharing it. You must serve with this attitude: all are nothing but the same Divinity encapsulated in different bodies. This spirit is very important.
As I said, if it is not spiritual, it will tend to become ritual; it will cease to be worship, it will simply remain work and work will bring its own results in its own time.
For Me, the best prayer is service. However, prayers chanted from the lips do not have the effect that an act of service can have. Narasimha Murthy said, “Yat karoshi, yat juhoshi dadaasi yat” – everything that you do, say, or offer should be for God’s sake. If you follow that one dictum, all life will become service.
Sometime, you might have an opportunity to serve people whom you do not know at all, through groups, associations or simply as an individual. That is fine, that also is an act of service, but don’t restrict it to only such times. It is a very limited view of what service means. Every act, every thought, every word is service. If you can go out, you have a good and able body, like young people, yes, use the body, mind and heart to serve. People who are a little older can still serve with their experience – they can guide, counsel and share their views or thoughts with those who are in need; they can still be of service with their mind and heart. If you are even older and your body is frail and the mind weak, you can still serve with your heart by spreading love, by bringing joy and love to anybody who comes in your vicinity or proximity.
There is no end to service. Every moment, every day, every time you can keep doing service, but the spirit should be right. You are not doing it for anyone else; you are doing it for yourself; you are doing it for the same Divinity that resides in all, without any claim of doership.
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