Sai Baba and the Quranic Myths
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, 2000.
At the Divine Feet of Sai Baba
You made me lovingly,
Put me in a dress of skin and blood.
Then planted deep inside me
A seed from Your Heart.
You turned the whole world into a sanctuary
Where You are the only ONE."
(From Jalaluddin Rumi Whispers of the
Beloved, London: Thomsons, 1999, p.50)
Scenes at darshan: Man's Eternal Quest
Process of the eternal quest
Role of the warners and Myths
Principles of mythical perception.
The Inner Journey: Its Multi Dimensional Aspects (a)Baba, (b)
Muslims (Stories from the Quran)
Devotion And the Heart traditional concept Indian Practices:
Zikr / ideal. Mohammed and Imam Hussein * Present
Love and Its Forms Divine and human love Myth of Yusuf and
Conclusion: Unity: The Self with the self.
Preface: For the reader of this book:
When I wrote the earlier work, Sai Baba And
Sufism, as a manuscript I offered it to Baba. His comment had
been an eye opener. "Thesis", he said and moved on. Much later, I
comprehended that it was the work of my mind, not the heart. Yes,
it was a thesis and that was all.
Today I feel it in broader perspective as man and
his history down the river of Time in relation to the Unknown,
God.Books are there but as a secondary source. It is true I have
to depend on them for verification of my own realization as a
writer. But the dissatisfaction which man feels within him needs a
search and a solution. This solution has to be to be found in his
previous historical evidence, and, above all, within himself.
Here I am not trying to compare. Comparison is
futile where there is unity. I am quoting from the sources, as
they are known to me. The perception therefore is for the reader
to consider the same.
The last few chapters deal with the theme of how
the Self in man is united to the Overself, and man should live
happily in Love, for time is passing rapidly. It is therefore
incumbent for man to spend it in Love. In doing it I do not negate
any belief. Nevertheless, I do not hesitate to say, "there is only
one religion of Love." Histoical, Mythical, Psychological
recourses of mankind show it. What more do we need as a proof?
These are shared thoughts and must be taken as such. Also it is a
fulfillment of an injunction where Baba has directed the educated
to give back to the society what has been given to the individual.
DARSHAN: MAN'S ETERNAL QUEST
On a misty, January morning a group of people,
clad mostly in white sit on a concrete floor in a small enclosure
now known to the world as Prasanthi Nilayam. (1). A small town in
South India, it has rapidly grown into a pilgrim centre acquiring
an international reputation. Thousands of people come here daily,
some do not even know what force has driven them to this place and
they try to give reasons their own interpretations, for being
here. At best one can consider them souls who have consciously
been called to meet the Supreme Soul SAI BABA.
The cool breeze throws in their laps a leaf, a
flower sometimes just a tiny sound that touches them unknowingly.
but they do not even notice it let alone realize that it is a
Divine symbol. In Islam it is called "the breath of the
Compassionate". (2) Oblivious of their surrounding their vision is
only focused on one Figure that seems to be moving towards them.
Their ears eagerly wish to pickup the rustle of an Orange Robe
that appears, so far, though it is so near. In other climates,
wearing different garbs they have waited in the same way but
just waited for the door to swing open; waited for that chance to
feel the Rustle of this Robe in their hearts. But their time has
not come and so they have gone their way, disappointed. In their
vision they have meditated on this Reality, and have called it
their Self. But many have forgotten those moments. They have
forgotten also that to find this Reality is the true quest of
their being, not the junk that they have accumulated for
themselves. Human culture and histories of civilizations have
affirmed this point. In spiritual language it is known as the
thirst of the part for the Whole. In ordinary jargon it is
named as the religion of love. In this study we can
designate it as Mythic Perception. (3) It reaches out of
time and space and tries to unite the cosmos and it Creator as
THE MYTHIC PERCEPTION
In the present study the author has tried to
examine the validity of this process in the historic background of
human race, selecting the examples from religious myth, especially
from the Quran and Sai Baba's sayings. This is further
conceptualized from the psychological terms. (4) and is affirmed
through its archetypes. At the end, after studying much material
and different subjects the author has reached to the conclusion
that in each culture its wise men say the same thing, though in
different way. This basic unity man must realize it today.
Also, the humanity, in an attitude of humility must consider each
revelation as the inner voice that guides mankind on to the
Straight Path (a Quranic phrase).
At present this unity is not visible in secular
writing. In the past many have tried to express it, but somehow
their voices have been lost to the world. For instance,Goethe, a
German philosopher in Faust has pointed out that the Invisible and
the Visible worlds meet in man. Tennyson, in his reassessment of a
myth, Oenone. has said clearly that man "must pay attention
to" self reverence, self-knowledge self control. Sai Baba and the
Quran have indicated that the outward and the inward have met in
the man, and therefore mankind has been named as the image (Kalifha
/ viceroy) of God on earth. But he has misused his potentials on
unnecessary facts. He has to set right his perception or else he
may be destroyed. In other words man needs to take the inner
journey. The Sufi literature and the Quranic myths are full of
such material. For instance; there is a myth in the Quran based on
a conflict and an explanation between Prophet Moses (the external
approach) and Khidhr (inner approach)(7). It tells of a journey,
which the two have decided to undertake. Three times Moses stops
his companion and wants an explanation. For Moses the unfolding
events during their sojourn lacked coherence. Khidhr once has made
a hole in a boat; as a result it has sunk second time he has
killed a young man. On a third occasion he has supported a falling
wall. Moses was very angry with him, as He has been unable to
understand the logic of these acts. Therefore, at the time of
parting Khidhr explains his behaviour that has been caused by the
order of the Almighty. There have been spiritual reasons for his
doing them (The Quran xvii 59-81). Their parting is also
significant. Jung has correctly pointed out this fact, when he
says: "We limit ourselves to attainable and this means renouncing
our psychic potentials."(8) Baba often repeats, echoing the Gita,
"You are God." But alas! Our two aspects, the inner and the outer,
remain separate. The Quranic myth forwards the same vision. The
two travelers are separated, and so is the modern man. He cannot
comprehend his divinity, as he is not able to undertake the inner
journey. Many a time Baba has pointed out that man lives by the
dictates of the mind; though there are many levels of growth after
the mind, they are within Man. In Islamic vocabulary this kingdom
is known as LAHUT. The journey in this kingdom has been
described by sages all over the world. Yet we, despite our
progress on air and water are afraid to look within ourselves. (9)
THE PROCESS OF ETERNAL QUEST
At the temple of Apollo at Delphi it is inscribed
"KNOW THYSELF'. If we have a glimpse at ourselves we will see that
there are basically two ways of doing it. One is called Bhakti
Marg (way of devotion) and the other, a more difficult path, is
identified as Gnana Marg (the way ofknowledge)(10). The most
obvious one, which Baba now shows to his devotees and is also
indicated in the Gita, is the way of selfless service. Named as
Karma Yoga, its central point is selfless service (Nishkama
karma). These processes are known to human beings .In all
civilizations as well as in all languages they are communicated.
Different, though in expressions, same ideas are voiced repeatedly.
Here a question may be voiced, and that concerns a guide or a guru
It is true that in the beginning a teacher is needed for a
wayfarer's convenience Lord Shirdi Sai in SATCHARITA has
pointed to its necessity and so has Rumi, the Persian mystic poet
of thirteenth century, but Baba in his conversations with Sri
Hislop has told that one's conscience is the best teacher. (11).
In Islamic tradition as has been already said, these people are
called Owasis. Here, it is essential to remember, that these
processes involve a transformation, which depends on the
individual and very often spreads over a whole life span in this
world. Many scholars in the world now recognize the unity of these
processes today. As a study here one quotes only from Baba and the
Quranic myths. (12) Their spiritual aspect takes into account
Joseph Campbell (13) and Jung(14). The last two names are there to
give the study cosmic dimensions so that one may not forget the
broader view point and may not miss the goal of universal unity,
which forms the core of the work. With this aim in mind let us
first consider the role of Warners and Myths here. One such word
that come steadily to the mind is incarnation. The purpose?
To help humanity. In shastras incarnation is a
manifestation of the Absolute Godhead.
ROLE OF WARNERS AND MYTHS
A reader must be warned against the tyranny of
words over our minds. We are Makers of words and their duty is to
help us in communication. But, alas! We identify our minds with
these words and are finally obsessed by them. For them we agree to
lose or win a battle. With the Reformers who wish to save humanity
words like heart, love, unity, harmony, have a divine
connotations. Implied for an inner and precise meaning they must
be symbolically understood for what they are referring to. Through
them, since times immemorial these warners, have made themselves
understood. For instance, the spiritual centre in man is the
spiritual heart, and it is different from the physical heart. In
the Upanishads and in the Quran it is referred to as such. "It is
their hearts that are blind,"says a sentence in the Quran. This
inner kingdom of man is mentioned in detail in Living Within
by Dalal (16). The myth and the warner, through these signs take
one to an Inner Journey inside oneself, so that man can see for
himself that which is called a Garden or name it a Vaikunta or
Kailash. Baba has many times observed that a heaven or hell is
within man. The myths and rituals give it a different name. (17).
Thus following an ancient tradition Baba has also indicated the
significance of love, harmony and the spiritual heart.
With these tools in every age a well wisher of
human race has tried to elevate man's consciousness, as this is
part of their mission. They try to impress on man a unity where
man, God and Nature are tied in an irrevocable relationship. They
must be viewed as ONE. Not many enter this realm, and lucky
is one who finds a way to it. Two incidents are related here to
confirm the truth of the statement mentioned above. The inner
journey starts with an intense yearning that impels one to take
action. The Buddhist call it Thrashna (inner thirst) and it
has tremendous potency. Sri Kasturiji in his biography, LOVING
GOD, (20) has narrated how he has experienced the same for
Bhagawan Baba. Another devotee too has tasted this nectar for
short while of seven days. Within herself she felt a supreme
Presence and joy has been oozing from it. It was an instance of
God's Grace and not her own efforts. The cement pillar in
Prasanthi Nilayam contains the image of a lotus on its top. It is
called the Sarva Dharma Sthamba. On a close consideration
this cement image is a mythic symbol of a fully realized heart,
happy within its own bliss.
The wind blows across it and the blue air moves
around, mist and rain envelope it yet it seems to be unmoved be
them. To the author it represents the potency of an "aware Heart".
All religions and all myths speak of this truth. That is what Baba_as
well as ancient Myths try to suggest to humanity: To see Man,
God and Nature as ONE in one's own heart, merging and emerging
in One. This perception is God's gift to mankind alone. There is a
myth of how Lord Krishna once left his butter-smeared footprints
to show where he has been hiding. The story tells of God's love
for humanity. Where can He hide expect within us? So little
Krishna has done the same thing. He left His prints to show the
There is a need to comment on the word INCARNATION
here. The dimension of Avatar has baffled the limited minds. One
must realize that the concept of an Avatar is given only to the
Indians, the rest of the world cannot comprehend it, and not being
able to scale the heights of Unity, they have been shocked, as,
for them God and Man have been a separate entity. The best way is
to see it in the light of faith and not in the twilight of
intelligence, a consolation prize is, however, offered by Martin
Islamic doctrine of Rasul is ultimately the
same as the Hindu
Doctrine of Avatar. The Avatar means decent of Divinity
Whereas Rasul is defined as an archangel or a human incarnation
Of the spirit, but this difference is one of perception than of
The solution is to be found not in scholarship
(22), but in faith and belief. Ibn-Ul-Arabi has correctly
estimated when he points out that:
The subject of incarnation... will never be found
on the plane of materially Realized existence. Because True
Reality is the internal (transcendental) Event.
(Henry Corbin. Alone With the Alone (New York:
Mythos Books, 1976) P. 153
Moreover, a human being needs to remember a
Quranic dictum. It reads: "God has Power over all things (for) He
is wise." This debate necessitates here that the Principles of
Mythic perceptions must be scanned from transcendental angle.
PRINCIPLES OF MYTHIC PERCEPTION
Recounted very briefly they, first of all,
constitute a UNITY. Though the external forms relate to
time and space and therefore are unimportant, they basically are
One; hence they are united. The second and the third principles
are associated to the first. Together they constitute one unit and
are called love and the heart. They envelop the Self in man
and work in wiping off the external vision in man. They lead to
the last and the fourth principle, well known to the elite. It is
known as surrender. It also means merging into the realm of
the Formless.Taken as separate entities each form a different
chapter in this study. The author grants the fact that there are
studies on each of these aspects, but here they are treated from a
lay person's view and as they are related to the myths in this
world. The first mythic perception, Unity of all objects, the most
important lesson that all sacred narratives relate, is valuable,
and must be remembered. It conveys the truth that all belongs to
God, and man, like others, has nothing that he may possess. Hence
the texts as well as rituals identify that all things are
transitory. The Gita suggests that the wise men are not attached
to anything. One must realize that this refers to a mental
attitude. The figure of sitting Buddha is a living image of this
realization. It conveys that all is within man only he has to
identify this Truth. In esoteric circles it is named as the
One. Baba has summed up this religious idea in the following
The form of God (is) energy... Everything is a
temporary form of energy and
Is suffused with it. In one instance this energy is turned into
Energy destroys the previous matter. It creates a new matter. This
is called a Nuclear process (which creates the universe).
(Extract from June: 22,1995.Discourse as the
Inaugural Address of Lazer and AI Lab.)
Hence the real form the this energy,
commonly, referred to as God remains invisible to the physical
eyes as well as to the limited perception. It is seen as emptiness
or even as darkness for humanity is not used to perceiving it.
This is conveyed to us in the last chapter of Attar's book, The
Assembly of Birds (edit.S.S.Gaurharin,Thehran,1977). The
common man, nevertheless, is not to lose sight of it. The ancient
mythic art has a way of projecting this role. The mythic
perception assumes an image. Two such examples taken from Zimmer's
book, Myths and symbols in Indian Art and Civilization may
serve this purpose. These are elaborated as a yantra (p. 14) and
Goddess Kali's face (p.212). It is not that mystics in
mythological experiences have not gone through the unity but for
reasons of their own they have resorted to a mode of duality. This
unity is also expressed by Baba in the above quoted passage. In
Islamic tradition it is also elaborated in the poems of Rumi (13th
century mystic) and Ibn-ul Arabi(23). The realm of the Invisible
and the Visible are found on earth. To experience it one has to
adjust one's awareness a little. The ancients call this
surrender, and it is discussed later in the study.
Enough it is, in this survey chapter, to reflect
on these principles as they are also found for our benefit in a
popular passage of Baba:
There is only one nation, the nation of
There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one language, the language of the heart;
There is only one God and He is omnipresent.
1. Pransanthi Nilayam in Sanskrit means "the abode
of Highest Bliss", yet people identify it as any other name and
thereby ignore it.
2. Morning breeze in Islam is considered to be "breath
of the Compassionate" as is suggested in the Quran. In
mythology it represents God's grace. It has given to Adam his
spiritual knowledge and thus has made him superior to the angles.
(Ibn-ul Arabi: Creative Imagination. translated by
H. Corbin as Alone With the Alone. New Jersev: Methos Books,
3. As the purpose of this study is to emphasize
the unity of all that is in cosmos and how every serious material
points out to it, the name is known as the mythic perception.
4. Jung, C.G The Portable Jung. (ed.) by Joseph
Campbell (U.S.A.: Penguin, 1971) Pp.3-22.
5. The author has restricted the references to the
Quranic narrations and Sai Baba's saying as they are best known to
6. Bakhtiar, Laleh SUFIS (Singapore: Thames
and Hudson, 1979).
7. The Quran: XVIII: 60-82 The nearest
equivalent to this figure is found in the Literature of Melchized.
In Gensis XIV 18-20 "he appears as King Salem, priest Of God and
blesses Abraham .Abraham gives him tithes", n.2411, pp.839-840."
(the revised edition by Presidency of Islamic Ifta, King Fahd's
Holy Quran Printing complex, Saudi Arabia).
8. Jung, C.G. Portable Jung. p.45.
9. One dimension of it is seen in our use of
language, especially when we use a word imprecisely or with a
limited meaning. It indicates our limited mind. Not only we use a
limited meaning, but also shorten it. Such instances we have in
words like Email, VIP, Com W.W.W.
11. These sages are known as Owasis, after
the mystic mentioned by Prophet Mohammed in his sayings. For more
information Corbin's book, Alone With the Alone. pp.34-35
may be referred to.
10. Antonio Rigopoulos The Life and Teaching of
Sai Baba of Shirdi (N.Y.: State Univ. of New York Press, 1993)
11. Hislop, John, S. Conversation With Bhagawan
Sri Sathva Sai Baba (Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books
and Publications Trust.)
12. Baba, Sri Sathya Sai Discourses 1998-99
(P.N. Sri Sathya Sai Books Publications Trust)
13. Campbell, Joseph Hero with a Thousand Faces
(U.S.A.: Methos Books, 1973.)
14. Jung, C.G. Portable Jung (N.Y. Penguin,
15. The word Incarnation is used here as a common
terminology known to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's devotees
16. Dalal, A.S. Living Within (Pondicherrv: Sri
Aurobindo Ashram, 1997)
17. Campbell, Joseph Myths To Live By (N.Y.:
18. Hasting(edt.) Encyclopedia of Religions and
19. The Quran XVII: I The reference here is
not to the form, but to the Supreme Self that appears before
devotees in the world. It is a pity that people waste a golden
chance by considering it as another person like himself or herself.
20. Kasturi, N. Loving God (P.N. Sri Sathya
Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1969)
21. Ling, Martin What is Sufism (Great
Britain: Unwin Brothers, 1975) p. 33.
22. For an example check works like Parrinder's
Avatar: Incarnation (N.Y. Oxford Univ. Press,1982),and
Gazzali's Ahaya. the Greek doctrine of Logos and Jili's
Perfect Man (Cairo: 1886)
23. Corbin, H. Creative Imagination in Ibnul Arabi
(New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969)
24. Twidee, I. Daughter of Fire (Nevada
City: Dolphin Publishing, 1986)
25. Osbon, D.K. Companion To Joseph Campbell
(N.Y.Joseph Campbell Foundation, 1991)
THE INNER JOURNEY
Modern man knows many paths, many routes over
earth, water and air, but he has forgotten how to travel on the
most ancient road that lies within him. He has also ignored the
fact that this path is known to him since times immemorial. In the
Quran we are reminded of this pre-natal journey's beginning.
Your Lord took from the loins of Adam their
seed and made
Them testify about themselves (by saying)
"Am I not your Lord?"
They replied "Yes, Truly we testify." 1
This then is the first stage of a journey that
humanity has agreed to undertake and it may end with the
Dissolution of the world when this era also will close.
We are informed that in twenty-first century most
people have discarded their conscience as they have found it
meddling with them in the rat-race of externalizing their energies.
However, they have winked at the very purpose of coming into this
world. They have forgotten the inner journey, in fact. One must
recall a few things. The first purpose of the Inner Journey is to
make us aware of our own mistakes and clothe us in a dress that
befits the name MAN. But we turn a blank face to our own selves.
The myths in all cultures remind us that we are a part of the
divine self- (2), therefore we must try to reach it within us. (3)
Ancient sages (4) who have traveled this path tell us what to look
forward to. A unity spans our world like a bridge, between the
Forms of life and their Formlessness .between the Visible and the
Invisible. Finally, the journey ripens our consciousness., because
to Baba there are no un-believers. Like Baba, Rumi also accertains:
In the religion of love.
There are no
Believers or Unbelievers.
Love embraces all.
(Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved. (London:
Thomsons, 1999) p.71. )
In modern psychology of Jung's school it is termed
as Collective Unconscious and its symbols are archetypes.
(5). And it is within us. So, who are we going to
disbelieve? Josesh Campbell terms it as the "first impulse to
mythology"(6) Here is it necessary to analyze a few aspects of The
Journey as they have come down to us through the mythology.
ASPECTS OF THE JOURNEY
There is no file or research thesis available for
the modern man to browse through. Depending on what one knows, a
summary is given. However it must be realized that every created
being has to take this journey, whether it is called an
individuation process. (7) or a merely a story. It is
unchangeable truth and cannot be dismissed as "fiction". In the
Islamic tradition it is conceptualized in another form, especially
by the phrase "die before you die"(8). The death identified here
refers to the suffering that is involved in the transformation of
the character. In another way it means Sadhana. The Sufis
always welcome this phrase as it stands for spiritual progress,
and it enables them to go from physical to supra formal Essence,
which is termed as the Self or God in man. This is termed as a
true education by Baba. (9). In the West it is often mistaken as
Schizophrenia(lO). One must realize that its roots lie too deep in
human potential to be treated by an ordinary physician. This Inner
journey through the myths continues to impress sometimes even
baffles human beings with its validity. It imposes a unity on
human mind, which it does want to impose upon itself.because it is
made of "infinite space and its light is without as well as within."(ll).
Our dreams and sometimes our experiences bring this phenomenon
before us. Very briefly two aspects are related here. Among the
Islamic tradition, first they have assumed that there are forty
states for a man to ascend to the highest degree of spiritual
excellence. (12) Then, later on,they have been reduced to seven.
Their meaning corresponds to the seven chakras finally, but
that is a different theme. These seven states are: repentance (tawba),
Fear of God (Wara) detachment from the world (Zuhd),
Poverty (Fuqr) ,patience or forbearance (Sabr),
Surrender (Tawakkul) and a joyful acceptance of God's Will
in wordily affairs (ridza). Their knowledge and that of
chakras is the same, though the Western public in a book form
calls them as Serpent Power (13). We are informed how
everything is within man. When the seventh chakra is reached "the
two God and the soul, the inward eye and its object, are
extinguished ...There is neither the object nor the subject, nor
anything to be known or named, but the Silence alone( remains)
that is ...the final grounding element. One's head no longer hears
syllable AUM". (Campbell: Myths to Live By. Viking Press Inc.
1972,pp. 107-114.) It is said that the ordinary human being cannot
even bear the tremendous rush of Energy, and therefore the
body falls down within twenty one days. One can witness this
phenomenon in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and how the divine
energy works at a terrific state. That is the reason why the wise
men call the body "temple of God"(14). In Satcharita Sri
Shirdi Sai has named the same states as nine balls of the horse's
dung. Considered as nine ways to reach Divinty they are
Shravanam, Kirtanam, Vishnu Smaranam, Pada
Sevanam, Archanam, Vandanam, Dasyam,
Sakhayam, Atma Nivedanam.(15) Of these only
Namasmaranam (Zikr) is fruitful, for obvious reasons, for people
of modern times. It underlines the dictum that true transformation
is a slow process. It is, nevertheless also true that the true
source of this journey, whether nine, or seven or forty stages,
lies within man. Let us now turn to some of the techniques that
Baba suggests in his book Sadhana.
The various methods for the Inner Journey are
listed as follows: (16)
1) Spiritual Disciplines (pp. 1-12).
2) Realization: Viveka, Jnana_(pp. 13-37)
3) Bhakti, Karma, Jnana (pp.38-57)
4) Meditation on Pranava (pp. 58-66)
5) Dhyana and Jnana Yoga (pp.67-109)
6) Physical, mental and vocal tapas (pp. 110-156)
7) Role of Guru in Sadhana (pp.157- 168)
8) Diet, Discipline (pp.169-175)
9) The three Gunas (pp. 176-184)
10) Steady Faith and Devotion (185-188)
Baba knows the fact that we are mentally as well
as physically weak and therefore He has recommended for the modern
man a steady faith and devotion. Luckily, in the Quran too there
is the Image of the worshipper and the worshipped .The historical
aspect of Islam it suggests it. The first Principal indicates this
when it proclaims :
La Illaha-Ila Allah, Mohammed ul Rasul Allah.
The overwhelm love of Divinity clearly is shown here as it
obviously indicates that Divinity takes care of the minutest
In Mahayana Buddhist cult known as Zen in Japan
and Ch'an in China another way to freedom is connoted. It is
called Jirki. A man through experience learns the way, and
does not expect any help from any deity. Hence it is based all on
self-help. The idea of the Zen way is to have realization not
naming any concept but allowing the consciousness to learn it by
simple accident or by a maturing mind.
Buddha, so says the myth, has leant the final
wisdom in this way, as he has been sitting under the Bodhi tree.
In other words it testifies the idea that illumination cannot be
communicated. A Zen story relates this idea well. In 520 A.D. a
Buddhist monk Bodhidharma has asked, Hui Ko, the first master of
Ch'an, about the doctrine of Buddha. "That cannot be found through
another", has been the reply given to him.
Later on this principle finds its way on the
monarty of Yellow Plum as a quatrain:
The body is no Bodhi tree, The mind no mirror
bright, Since nothing at the root exists On what should dust
These lines confirm the opinion of Baba that there
is no need of a guru. Everything is in man. Very
strange it may seem to us, Jung also says the same thing though
his statement is based on deep psychological discoveries. "Look
within"states a saying of Hui-neng (638-713 AD) "The secret is
within you." Hence in Zen monasteries of Japan the preferred
method is meditation, that is based on Koan (an expression
for a mental state) mostly from the masters, and the students
contemplate on it. It attests to a secular life, as Baba also has
suggested to his students many times,the way of life is a
discipline, with all its sufferings and joys. Everything negative
and positive is present in its full measure. If one can escape the
negative aspect it is Nirvana (17).
Yet it has its own dangers. In a popular myth
associated with Sri Ramakrishna, it is related how living
simultaneously on two levels of consciousness causes troubles. The
myth narrates the following incident: A young aspirant's teacher
has just brought to him the realization that he as well as all
things are identical in essence with the Power that supports the
universe. Exalted with the notion he has to face an elephant on
the road, with a mahout sitting at the head of the animal.
This young candidate for the sainthood meditating on the phrase:
"I am God; all things are God" though seeing the elephant refuses
to leave the road. The elephant nicely wraps his trunk round the
youth and throws him out of his way,on the footpath. The youth in
a shocked condition runs to his teacher and demands an explanation."You
told me that I was God", states the young man.
"Yes, It is Truth," says the teacher.
"You also told me that all things are God" quips
the young disciple.
"All thing are God. But why did you ignore the
voice of God warning you from the mahout's mouth when he asked you
to get out of the way?" (18)
This is the example of naive people who do not
read the symbols of a myth correctly. Amazingly, some symbols are
similar. For instance, in the Islamic and the Buddhist myths there
is the reference to the tree and the serpent. In the Islamic story
there is the mentioning of the Garden of Eden and how Eve hears a
serpent-form crying on a tree. She listens to his words and eats
the fruit of that tree, asking Adam to do that also.
Thereby the couple incurs the wrath of the Creator
for disobedience. They are made to leave the idyllic garden and
live on earth's barren surface. (19) In Buddhist narrative also
there is the reference Prince Siddharta sitting under a tree to
attain Nirvana (freedom from the sorrows of the world.) The state
that he gains corresponds to mankind's getting back to the garden
of Eden. In other words it refers to a mental equilibrium by
leaving all ego-oriented desires. The serpent in Siddharta myth,
instead of being harmful as in the case of Adam and Eve, is
beginen to Buddha. It represents, in both the stories, the
immortal energy of life on earth (20). The couple considers it an
enemy, but to Buddha it is protective. In the same way in
Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir there is a silver image of Lord Shirdi
Sai, sitting on the coils of a serpent, like Lord Vishnu .The hood
of the cobra is inverted. It is a graphic image of the universal
energy helping the man who controls it. In this light the saying
of Lord Christ can be truly grasped when he has said:
"The kingdom of the Father is spread upon the
earth, and men do not see it." (The Gnostic Bible According to
Thomas: translated by P.Q.Guiltaumont and Abdul Masih,
N.Y.Harper and Row, 1959) Lord Krishna in the Gita, alludes
to the same idea when He informs a bewildered Arjuna: "I am
manifest and unmanifest, Arjuna. I am the Mind and in beings I am
1. The Quran: VII: 172
2. Jung, C.G. Portable June. p. 3
3. Inspired Medicine, a manuscript (Va.:Leela
Press l999) p.156.
4. Refer to the journey described by Attar in
Assembly of Birds and Nachekita's story in Kathopanishad.
5. In Jung's School it is called Collective
Unconscious in man and its symbolic patterns are termed as
6. A desire to transcend is termed as "first
impulse of Mythology" (Campbell, J. Myths To Live By) p. 22
7. Jung in calls it individuation (maturity of
mind) process. (Check the Portable Jung)
8. It refers to the annihilation of ego, before
the physical death takes place. The phrase is attributed to a
saying of prophet Mohammed quoted by Hazrad Ali, fourth khalif.
9. Please check the black stone edict at Prasathi
Nilayam College.Its equivalent is also seen in Quranic phrases
like "seek His Face"(VI-52,and XVIII-28); "Dedicate life to Him"(VI-162)
and "forget Him not"(LIX).
10. J.Campbell Myths to Live By (N.Y.Viking Press,
11. Ibid, p.226
12. "MAQAMAT-I-ARBIN IN ABU SAID" by Damadi in
MARIF-I-ISLAMI, vol. XII, April 1 1971,pp.58-62. Also see Abu
Sarraj's book, KITAB-Ul-Luma (edit) by Nicholson, London.1914.
14. Nasr, S.H., Living Sufism (London:
G.A.Unwin, 1980,) p.56.
15. Divine Discourse 24-ll'98, (India: Sri
Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, '98)p.2.
16. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Sadhana: The
Inward Path India: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications
17. Hastings (ed) Encyclopedia of Religions and
18. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna pp.146-147
19. The Quran: For reference to Adam and
Eve's myth please checks Fall:iil9-25; Temptation by Satan: XX:120-121.
20. Compare the fall of Adam, and Buddha's life
story the mythic symbols of the tree and the Serpent have similar
21. Bhagavat Gita XI-9.
DEVOTION, ROLE OF THE HEART AND THE IDEAL
A person has once asked Shirdi Sai about devotion
and what will happen to the devotee if the person of the teacher
is not before him. Sri Baba in turn, has pointed at the mango tree
in front of him. The content of that metaphor is as follows: If
all the blossoms turn into fruits it will certainly be a splendid
crop. However, they do not. Many lie in the dust due to the wind.
The birds peck at a few, and many fall to earth, still green and
sour. Finally, the gardener is able to get only two or three in
his hand as good fruits. (1) This is also a comment on the present
affair of devotion. The relationship suggests that in spirituality
a teacher always refers devotion as a crop (2)or a process, not
the goal and therefore it always tends to fluctuate. It also
indicates that the devotion must be steady, facing the
tribulations of both worlds.
Noticing this deep ocean that confronts man one
must place one's hand on the heart and judge for oneself his or
her devotional attitude. Is it restlessness to be impatient, to
pester a spiritual teacher with one's petty demands? One will find
that one's definition of this type of devotion is unfitting to
one's nature, which reflects an "image of God". We seem to have
missed all points and behave like monkies. Take for instance the
scene at Darshan in Prasanthi Nilayam. Two times a day, morning
and evening, we see the ONE Incarnated as a Form passes by us. Yet
we are not satisfied. The mind perceives Him as God, but it also
forgets to assimilate the full implications of this rare chance.
So that this chance falls into the dust and is lost. We fail to
comprehend that we are noticing our own Self, and this moment
the two have merged as One. The revelations as well as the
text of ancient mystics are full of details of this relationship
this oneness. The author intends to review one or two aspects that
are well known to her. But about devotion let us recall what Baba
has insisted as the essence of devotion (3) Relating the story of
Prahlada as an ideal devotee Baba has underlined the feeling of
trust and a need to remember the Divine at every step: "It is
devotion that makes God manifest Himself" Baba remarks. One
observes this in the story of the little boy born to
Hiranyakashipu, the demon king who is killed finally by Narasimha
avatar. The Islamic tradition emphasizes the same dimension of
devotion, though in a different way. Zoon Noon Misry, an eleventh
century mystic has been talking to an old woman about the eternity
of God. She cuts Him short with the ejaculation that the "devotion
to God"is also eternal. All this confirm to us that the man who
associates himself to divinity also becomes immortal. This
immortality is in all of us, only we look outside ourselves .We
can reclaim it, if we desire it. From the life of Mohammed
(through obedience) or from the life of Lord Buddha (though
self-effort) one can get a vision of this devotion
Another dimension of devotion is known as
discrimination. It is seen in the dilemma of Arjuna, when
seeing the armies at Kurukshetra, described in Bhagavat Gita,
he feels dejected. Lord Krishna, the Self in man helps him to
discriminate. HE illumines the mind. Baba does a similar thing
though silently, especially if one observes the Darshan and reads
its meaning carefully. But look at the modern Arjunas. They look
like Adam and Eve, dismantled and disobedient. Yet, as human
beings, they are inheritors of the glorious tradition represented
by Buddha, Christ and Mohammed. They have listened to the voice of
their hearts but they have still far to go. So, let us now
consider the role of the heart in drama of worldly existence.
ROLE OF THE HEART
There are many qualities of the spiritual heart
which we understand with the help of the symbols and which create
a kingdom for it, setting it apart from the mind of man. Its
working perhaps one may call as Collective Unconscious but
even this title is not justifiable as it stops at the realm of
history of being. The ancients have called it the meeting place of
Divinity, and such people are named as "wise men" in Gita (I:
The Quranic stories also acknowledge its existence
few examples are listed below:
"God knows what is there in your hearts".
God calls to account" for the intention in
your hearts (11-205)
"Those in whose hearts there is a disease".
God made it a message of hope and an answer to
your heart (Mohammed and the Muslims, during a war with their
Likewise, Baba also refers to the gravity of the
heart. Mark the instances listed:
"What one has to offer God is pure heart." (Discourse:
"(God) dwells in the heart." (Discourse
11-10-'98,p.4) "Heart is the seat of God". (Discourse
29-9-'98.p.5) "Hridaya (heart) is the centre of Love and Peace".
"He is a true human being who cultivates love in
his heart". (Discourse: 15th and 16th Feb. 1999, p.2)
In the Quran the heart is called the garden of
eternity. Those who have observed Baba walking in the midst of a
gathering will testify to the truth of this mythic perception. He
moves in the heart of all, lotus-like, absorbing the nectar
of these hearts, sweet or sour, He does not care. Thus "Heart to
heart" connection is made. It is irrelevant which corner of the
vast cosmos you are in. A relationship is formed. Associated with
this bond is the idea of Zikr (Namasmaranam) which under
Baba's direction is now a popular means of invoking the grace of
God. Needless to repeat that this also is an ageless practice,
known to the mystics all over the world. The Quran recommends it
through an I-and -thou image:
"Then do ye remember Me;
I will remember you". (II-152)
If this subject is further detailed one may find
out many more things connected to the heart's role. For example in
Islamic lore the mystic's spiritual organ is called an eye,
through which God knows Himself. The power of the "heart" is "a
secret force or energy which perceive divine realities"(5) Its
special quality is known as Rahma (Compassion) As Ibn-ul
Arabi has suggested Rhama's special role is to function creatively.
This process is known as himma, and it will work at the
different levels in the mystic's heart. Each level is associated
with the different Presence of God. Needless to point out
that these levels are closely related to Islamic concept of
fana (annihilation) and baqa (existence) of a human
being in God. The knowledge of the spiritual heart is called in
Islam as the Science of the Heart (6). To remind the reader
Ibn ul_Arabi takes the help of many myths from the Quran most
noted of them is the story of king Solomon and Queen of Saba (Bilqis)
For modern man it is enough to understand these
terms with one word: Manifestations.
When a divine being manifests Himself He is
manifested not as he would be in Himself, but in a manner
conforming with the theophanic Imagination. (7) Whatever our
worldly credentials, let us trust when Baba says: "all that exist
in the world is divine", for, what he is saying is related to the
role of the heart, a science that we are ignorant of! Another apt
image is that of the Mirror for the heart. Baba, resorting to the
use of mythic image, pronounces:
"You are seeing God in the form of the world every
This being the case let us consider what patterns
an ideal Devotee's behavior.
THE IDEAL DEVOTEE
An ideal devotee brings to mind the portrait of
Guru Nanak, the Vedic Rishis, many saints and prophets. Indeed
they can be called real leaders of the world for they tirelessly
have worked for the welfare of humanity. Their main qualification
has been a steady faith and trust of the Unseen God. Baba has
termed it as "Yoga". The Bagavat Gita sees it in two stages of
Man. The first stage one is called man of wisdom (1:55-58)
and the final stage, when the Supreme Being is realized (I:I59 )may
be termed as mergence in God. In Islamic tradition one discovers
the soul of a perfect devotee in the image of Prophet Mohammed, as
one sees him fulfilling all the dictates of Allah In the
Quran he is mentioned many times in this role.
First of all in the Book of Wisdom (another name
of the Quran) he is considered to be a human being whose mission
is to call man to adore Allah. (VII: 158,XLIII- 8-9). As such he
must be respected (II: 104, IV:46)
His work is detailed and assessed in many
Quranic verses (III: 164, IV: 107, X-2, VII: 156-157, and LXX:
His simple and gentle nature is high lighted,
but above all he is considered to be a Mercy from Allah (XXXIII:
47-48, IV: 70-71). not only to the believers but for all
creatures." We have sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all
creatures" (XXI: 107)
But the most important quality of Mohammed has
been not to ask for a reward:
Say:"No reward Do I
Ask of you for it but this Ц
That each one who will
May take(a straight)Path
To his Lord (XXV-57)
In fact a whole chapter of the Quran(XVII) is
devoted to Mohammed, and his outstanding quality is the adoration
of his Lord.It is really most important factor for the modern man.
Bow down in adoration
And bring thyself
The closer (to God). (XCVI-19)
In the personality of Mohammed we see the points
that are also stressed by Baba (For reference please see appendix
I, where the summer course discourses at Bangalore, May:
2000 are given in the form of points.) Apart from Prophet Mohammed
the character of Hazrat Imam Hussein may also be mentioned as an
Ideal devotee's portrait. As a grandson of the prophet in the
seventh century AD. he is represents an image of sacrifice, and
Jesus-like, gives up his all for the love of Allah, As a mythic
symbol the Muslim world, annually, mourns for him in "Alam" (Grief).
It shows how the brave man with 73 followers faces an army of
10,000 soldiers and courts martyrdom all for love of Allah. The
last prayer of Hazrat Imam Hussein shows how dear has been Allah
O, my Lord, I have given up all without
exception out of my love for Thee.
And I have abandoned all my family and accepted the orphaning of
my children in order to meet Thee. If out of my love for Thee if
my body is slayed into pieces, even then my heart will not bend to
any but to Thee.
(Taken from a Persian Journal)
Significantly, Imam Hussein often is represented
by his horse, that after giving the news of his martyrdom to his
family, riderless and distraught, is finally lost to the world.
This horse is a symbol in myths of human mind. Can a human being
incurs such a loss for God!. Annually we are reminded of it, weep
but drown the ideal in our sorrow.
Let us now take two instances in modern times of
what an ideal means to us. They are examples of Sri Kasturiji
taken from his book, "Loving God" (9), and the two O'Brien sisters
"The Pink Twins" from their autobiography, "The Touch of the Lord"
(10). The love that in these three souls one witnesses for God is
of mythic dimensions. Like the love of Abraham, or Mohammed, or
Hazrat Imam Hussein, it forms an important link and reflects the
bond between God and His creation, not only humanity but the whole
cosmos. Sri Kasturiji relates the experience of another devotee,
Arnold Schulman that brings to mind the divine love:
A kind of warmth and closeness was spreading
through his consciousness and it frightened him. He felt in danger
of being smothered by it. But it was not just the intensity of the
feeling that disturbed him. It was the sudden realization that
this feeling of Love was different from any other kind of love
he had ever felt or heard about or read of before. (11)
Kasturiji also feels that all his lifetime he has
been searching for this love and he acknowledges it when he finds
(I) yearned since childhood for Parthasarathy
since childhood and secured the Sanathana Sarathy at the age of
The experiences that he has of this love are many.
Sometimes he terms them as Appetizing Adjacency sometimes
as the chiseled Child. Like many others he too senses "the
tug at the heart all the time" and he still remembers the "Vishwa
Virat Swarupa of Baba" to narrate it in the following way:
pleaded for a belated pilgrimage (to Lord
Venkateshwara's temple and after getting it Baba asked him) "Whom
do you hope to see there"?
I answered: "You" (when he stood before the
deity) The imposing bejeweled idol of Vishnu gave place to Baba,
who stood on the spot, smiling at me, eyebrows raised as if
surprised to see me standing there. (13)
We are also lucky to have many glimpses into the
mission of the Lord. For instance we are informed what He has told
to Arnold Schulman, and it refers to us too: "Understand? You. Not
a book The book is publicity. I don't need Publicity. I want
you. I want your faith". (14)
We are also informed of another Truth:
His avataric mission is to awaken in us an
awareness of Himself In us and around us.
Through Kasturiji, we, as human beings, have
benefited to receive many poems where God expresses the divine
relationship between a soul and the Supreme Soul. Many of these
poems are very touching as they throw a light on what will be
expressed in the next chapter. Two such poems are given below:
I firmly believe there is none kinder than You,
To shower Grace on me.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I am at Your Lotus Feet?
I firmly believe You will respond quick
When I do pray and plead.
Tell me, is this not the reason why
I am crying aloud for You?
I firmly believe You are ever beside me
To guide my footsteps aright.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I am Yours through day and night
I firmly believe You can never say "No"
Whatever I ask from You.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I long for a glance from You.
What have You designed for me this time?
Why this dire delay to offer boons?
However long You'll make me wail and weep
I will not leave; I'll be standing still. (15)
Unlike the first poem that expresses a firm faith
in the Giver the second one has verses to show a devotee's hopes
Hoping You'll guide me,
This day or the day after
I wait for Your call from day to day.
Hoping You'll give Darshan,
But afraid You may not
I'm alert from hour to hour.
Hoping You'll come straight
This very instant,
I'm watching and praying anon.
Hoping You'll smile at me
At last, though not the first,
I am longingly gazing with thirsty eyes.
I shall stand and stay in deep distress,
Until my day of bliss does dawn;
I am Yours, Your own, though exile far.
Dear Father mine! Do heal Your child. (16)
The last three lines in the last stanza drop the
veil of alienation, and assume a relation-ship that is considered
most intimate, Father and son or daughter. It also reminds one of
the ties that Lord Christ has referred to and the Quran speaks of
in the myth of Adam as an exile from the Presence of God.
Kasturiji also tells us that it is not easy to say, "I love you,
God" and then pass on. God trims and prunes and teaches how to
love Him, for, He is the Self that we are(17). The two O'Brien
sisters also speak in the same tone. Though placed far from in
time and space they share many qualities of an ideal devotee. One
such dimension is their steadiness of devotion. It is reflected in
their lives. The O'Brien sisters, popularly known as the "Pink
Twin," make an annual trip from Australia to India which demands a
long and difficult journey. Yet they undertake it as a Muslim may
consider a pilgrimage of K'aba. Like Kasturiji they too can say,
"God is Beauty and whenever you touch beauty of a rose or sunset
you are touching God." (18). They can claim that though they
live far from the physical Presence but "Baba has lighted a
lamp within their hearts that has never been dimmed." (19)
Each morning they send their love to everyone
whether they are in Australia or at Prasanthi Nilayam. Moyia O'Brien
describes a sight that she has seen it when in Baba's presence:
Some times she sees a pink cloud of vapor in her
mind and it spreads over everybody. When Baba comes out His light
mixes with it and it goes around the hall,and then falls back on
Thus pure love plays for God alone an important
role in each devotee's life, be he lives far or near, belongs to
any region or time. There is a beautiful relationship that binds
the Creator with his Creation:
Seen through the eyes of love, all beings are
beautiful, all deeds are dedicated, all thoughts are innocent, the
world is one vast kin. (21)
2. As a teacher Baba refers to devotion as "crop".
But in a discourse to the Institute's students he has taken a
father's approach by calling them "his property" and addresses
them as "Stars" in a sky and "flowers" in a garden.
Illustration of a Mythic Triangle:
3. Essence of Devotion = Please refer to Baba's
4. Zun Noon's story, Please refer to
Tazkara-tui- Awaliya (Urdu edition)
5. Corbin, H. Creative Imagination In the
Sufism of Ibn-ul-Arbi (New Jersey: Princi-Ton University
6. Ibid, pp.237-245
7. Ibid, p.244 (Affirms what Shastras said of
8. Divine Discourse (Published by Sri Sathya Sai
Books and Publications, 23-11-1999) p.2
9. Kustari, N. Loving God (Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri
Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 1982) All references in this
chapter will be from the same edition.
10. O'Brien, Moyia and Dorothy The Touch of the
Lord (Australia: Divine Print Publishers, 1999) All references
in this chapter will be from this Edition.
11. Kasturi, N. Loving God p.388.
12. Ibid, p.4
13. Ibid, pp.6-7
14. Ibid, p. 73
15. Ibid, p.82
17. Ibid, p.84
18. O'Brien M. and D. The Touch of Baba p. 154
19. Ibid, pp. 165-166
20. Ibid, p. 169
21. Ibid, p. 174
LOVE AND ITS FORMS
Much has been written on divine and human forms of
love. In the mystic terminology it is named as the lover and the
Beloved. If one looks at it from the human angle it is full of
sorrow and grief. That is the reason why Irina Twidee's teacher,
Bhai Sahib has said that the entire world is populated only with
two: soul and the Over-soul.1
From the Quran one can select two myths to confirm the points made
above. The first one is the story of Yusuf and Zulekha and the
second is about the trials of Prophet Abraham2.
Yusuf was the son of another Prophet, Jacob by name, He was thrown
into a well by the jealous stepbrothers and later sold in Egypt as
a slave. Zulekha whose husband has been the prime minister of
Egypt buys Yusuf. Looking at the unearthly beauty of Yusuf the
Princess falls in love with him. Yet Yusuf stands firm in his vows
to God and pays no heed to Zulekha's tricks. Time passes and Yusuf
has to spend seven years in prison. Yet Zulekha still pursues him.
Then comes a day when Zulekha loses all her wealth and her charms
and the same Yusuf due to his purity and sincerity becomes the
minister of the King. Zulekha now realizes her mistake and
approaching Yusuf demands from his God her lost beauty and youth.
Her prayer is granted and finally Yusuf and Zulekha are married3.
This story represents secular and divine love and steadfast-faith
in God. The narrative of Abraham speaks of how a man of God is
made to undergo tests in the world, very often by God Himself. Two
episodes, both from the Quran reveal this aspect. We are told how
once for constantly asking King Nimrod to believe he is thrown in
a blazing fire. A manifestation then saves Abraham and he sits in
a garden though still surrounded by fire. Symbolically, in a myth,
a garden indicates the heart and fire suggests jealousy of man.
This also reminds us of how Prahalad has been also saved from
boiling oil. Abraham again is tested for the attachment to his
young son, Ishmael, He is asked to sacrifice his son at God's
altar. Abraham blind-folds himself at that hour so that his mind
may not waver from obedience to God. Another manifestation
prevents his son to be sacrificed, and a goat is killed. Even to
this day pilgrims to Mecca relive this in the form of a ritual. In
fact the fifth principle of Islam enjoins man to give up his
worldly attachments. The love of God constantly calls for a hard
life of self-sacrifice. It has been named as Allah's grace/mercy,
for, often a Muslim is reminded of the fact that "Allah is most
Merciful, kind. "This way it is His Mercy that saves his devotees
by falling into many errors that an ordinary man may make. Thus
one may consider His mercy / grace as a cementing factor that
joins the Visible and the Invisible worlds together.
In Bhagavath Vahini we hear of simple cowherd boys
and girls, the gopas and the Gopis, loving Lord Krishna with a
pure heart. In seeing Lord Krishna's image one gopi so forgets her
body consciousness that she does not see that her hand has been
burnt in the flame4. She is
dragged off the flame of the lamp. One is reminded of a of a
similar metaphor from Hallaj, a Muslim mystic, who has compared
the lovers of God to moths .The moth not caring for its body
merges with the flame and is heard no more. Suka explaining this
attitude to King Parikshit says that this is the last stage of
The awareness of the Gopis has become one with
Consciousness of Krishna; so they noticed none else.
Every stone ; every tree they saw appeared as Krishna to
Them; and they held on to it calling out 5.
One may observe analysis of this love theme in Sri
Naradaji's text on the Gospel of Divine Love. He divides
the topic from the human point of view into eleven forms. Like Sri
Ramakrishna Narada also believes that the foremost duty of a human
being is to realize the Divine Truth first and then enter upon the
In 84 sutras Naradaji analyzes man's love
for God. He further divides this love into a premature state,
Aparabhakti, and a more mature form, Parabhakti. These stages
are as follows: 6
1. God is a devotee's own view of the Divine Truth
from the level of his special development and his view may be
different from another person's.(sutra:51.2p)
2. Self Realization and its concept.(sutra:3.p.6)
3. All men are eligible for self-realization. (s.4-p.65.)
4. Perfect Man, its concept and divine
intoxication, (s. 6-p.89)
5. Philosophical idea of Reality.(s.8 -p.97-101)
Dedication of the individual soul to the Divine Reality means its
self-surrender. In all rituals and religious functions as well as
academic circles one comes to the same conclusions about the
Divine Reality. For instance, a psychologist may name it psychic
energy and a scientist calls the same as Biotic energy. As a
creative effort it is known in Goethe, as an inherent growth or
life force in Bernard Shaw. Mr. E. W. Boide, professor of Zoology,
in London explains it as something that controls the growth of
matter in plants. Henry Bergson calls it elan vital (mind
energy). Philosophers use the term Cosmic Intelligence for it. The
same is designated in the Upanishads as Prema or
Hiranyagarbha. In Spencer it is referred to as "The Unknowable"
and the "Over Soul" in Emerson. With the theists it is named
variously such as God, Perfect Beauty, (St. Augustan)
Divine Wilderness (Ekhart) and Heart of the Universe
(Jacob Boehme). The ancient Greeks have termed it as Zeus,
the Romans Jupiter, The Jews Jehovah, and the
Muslims Allah. It is this one Truth that the devotee
realizes and serves. Herbert Spencer in Principles of
Sociology observes thus:
(this) one Truth must grow ever clear
everywhere it is manifested (and men of science cannot)
conceives either its beginning or end.
About self-surrender the Hindu mythology talks of
the word "Naysa" of dedication of all acts. Naradaji says that it
is the only direction of human activities. It shows the love of
man for the Cosmic Spirit. And it lies at the root of the
evolutionary progress. Therefore it is the cause of
self-realization .commonly named as union of the part with the
whole, This union has many dimensions, as explained in Sutra: 9.
6. In the next verse Naradaji explains about the
Man of Realization Every age has its own man of realization
who explains scriptures in the light of his spiritual experience.
Realization once gained and fully established can never be lost. A
man of realization considers his body belonging to God and to the
society. Verses 15-25 contain the sacred names of some writers who
have preceded Naradaji. Next few verses tell the truth that the
whole world likes to speak of the Beloved and this love is
expressed in various forms such as prayer, japa (Baba's term is
Namasmaranam while the Sufis call it Zikr), Harikatha, very often
it is in the form of an epic. The Alvars, Mirabai, and Kabir
inspire. The Gopikas exemplify the activities that come under the
name of love of God. The condition is similar to the one described
With their minds fixed on Me, through Love.
They knew neither their kinsmen, nor their bodies; nor things far
and near as sages in Their super conscious state know, no name or
form like the rivers merging in waters of the ocean. Not knowing
My real nature, the gopis, who were ignorant women, desired Me, as
their Beloved and they attained Me ,the Supreme Brahman by
hundreds through the Power of holy association. (XI 12-13)
This, then, is called the path of constant
remembrance of the Lord. It must be noted that spirituality has
nothing to do with the mind power and the yogas (sadhana) are
considered to be inferior to this highest stage of Divine Love.
For the soul especially during the last stages of the quest is
only concerned with the Lord, and it is named as "the flight of
the alone to the Alone".
8. In the verse 30 Naradaji explains the nature of
the Self in man. The nature of the Self in man awaits "grace" That
is in the form of inflow of Divine Energy, and it is a response of
God for human effort.
9. The remaining verses (34-80) form the second
part of the Gospel of Divine Love and convey the disciplines about
the spiritual realization.
10. Of these, as Baba has pointed out, japa /
Namasmaran or Zikr is most important. Sri Ramakrishna has divided
them into three categories: a) loud, b) Muttering to oneself, c)
Repetition in thought. (Sutras: 37 p.156) It is important. In
Buddhism, Christianity and Islam such repetition is considered to
be highly effectual.
11 and 12. Divine Grace is described in verse
38.One is told to avoid evil things. Vigilance and zeal are to be
given priority in self-mastery. (Verse 43-45)
13. Steps to realization are talked of in verse
14. God sees to the devotee's needs (sutra: 47-48)
15. Supreme Love is considered to be indescribable
16. A devotee's entire life is said to be a
Yajna (Sutra: 55, page: 203)
17. Divine Love is contrasted ,and lust and greed
are considered as main obstacles (Sutra63-p.211). Passion and
impulses must be conquered (Sutra: 65-p.215).
18. Sutra 69 relates again to the holiness of the
19. Perpetual moral sense and effort is advocated
in verse 78 (page: 233).
20. Compassion is stressed and faith is known as
the essence of all faiths. Freedom is at the centre of Compassion.
One must have noted that in Naradaji's Gospel of
Divine Love there are many points that are common to all
scriptures. Perhaps most significant is the idea that freedom from
bondage is realizing one's own Truth. It is gifted to man,
especially as the Self / Jivatma (as Baba calls it). It is
differently named by various Masters .It is also an accepted fact
that all human being especially, and all created objects can
realize this Reality.
This aspect grants a dynamic role to Self in life,
and the Universe moves in a planned direction as thought of by the
Divine. We are now in a position to observes two views of Love.
One aspect relates to what Baba calls Divine love. The
other refers to the view of the Sufis, and what they mean when
they use the phrase "unity in love".
BABA: ON DIVINE LOVE AND ITS FORMS
Love being a vast topic, each generation has
viewed it differently, and narrowed its definition. Today is has
been only taken in terms of sensual love. This, however, is a
changing dimension. Baba looks at it from the divine the permanent
angle. If we check His last two years' discourses (1998-1999) one
comes across many references of the divine love. Listed are a few
1. (One) should be full of love should love
everybody for devotion to grow and yield fruit you have to water
it with love (25-8-'98, p.4-5)
2. The Principle of love is most important of all.
Love is Atma. Love is wisdom, Love is Truth, Love is
Righteousness, Love is Peace, Love is non-violence. (five Human
3. What I want is your Love pure, steady and
selfless love the relation between devotee and God is only heart
to Heart and. love to Love. Let love be The underlying principle
in whatever you do. (11-10-'98,p.10-11)
4. Offering total Love is devotion. (11-10-'98,p.8)
5. Only love brings Unity (of mankind) I am
teaching you all these prompted by Love so that you may develop
6. Out of Love has emerged creation, (check
Prophet Mohammed's saying where God indicates that "He was a
hidden treasure He wanted to be known so He created the cosmos.")
Only when Love is manifested one attains self-realization
7. O man how do you expect to attain divinity
Without understanding and experiencing the Principle of Love which
is the-very form of God (Oct.l9th,
8. Worldly love is tainted by selfishness, but
divine love is absolutely selfless (19th
9. Love exists as your right from the time of
birth. Enjoy this bliss of love, share it with others. Absence of
Love is root cause of unrest in the World. Develop love and uphold
10. When love is in human beings and is unified it
becomes cosmic love.
11. Love is the goal of human life(A true Hindu,
Christian or Muslim can only be called such if He reaps the
harvest of love.
12. GOD IS LOVE (1998-1999) (7)
A South Indian Myth may bring home the idea of
what Baba points out in each discourse. In the ritual named
Varalakshmi Puia the married women, worship the goddess of
marriage in South India. It focuses the mind on the idea of
marriage between Lord Shiva and Shakti. Its symbols stand for
bringing the secular and divine aspects together, which is another
name for divine Love It opens three incalculable vistas for the
human mind. These happen to be:
a) Unity of God and man.
b) Love as a sign of God.
c) Love as the only process open for man to
understand and follow his innate divinity, leading to vast areas
of mental activity.
ALONE WITH THE ALONE
This is one topic wherein there is hidden great
potentialities for Man. The way has been explored before him by
quite a few mystics, especially those who have crossed the
threshold of Aparabhakti. For a Sufi belonging to this
group The Quran itself becomes a symbolic story of the Beloved,
which the lover can read, as he alone understands the dialogues in
it. It is for such men that the Quranic verse says:
"Have Me present to your heart I shall have you
present to Myself."(II: 147)
So also such a soul is supposed to be well pleased
and well pleasing, reserved to be alone with Him in His paradise.
Even the traditional prayer becomes a conversation with Him. Such
a prayer has three successive movements:
a) The faithful places himself in the company of
his God and converses with Him,
b) He imagines that God is facing him.
c) The intuitive vision activates the Devotee's
heart, so that his heart sees and hears. He is lost to the world.
Ibnul-Arabi, as an example of such a prayer, quotes the opening
verse of the Quran, explaining in detail the full process. It is
like the Song of Song among the Christians, and constitutes a "shared
divine service" accomplishing an essential Unity between the
Creator and the creature. (8)
Ibnul-Arabi details this passage. (9)
Henry Corbin further elaborates this point in the
The creative meaning of the prayer (is) that it
accomplishes its share of the Divine being's desire To create the
universe and reveal Himself in them, In order to be known to
It is said by Corbin that these configuration of
Sufism are same as those found by the Ancient Indian Rishis.
Whether one believes it or not this is suggested in the following
two Quranic verses:
1) Each being knows his/her prayer and his/her
form of glorification (XXIV: 41)
2) There is no being that does not glorify God. (XVII:
According to Sufis a prayer in essence unites the
Divine with the human. Furthermore, Ibnul-Arabi has left for the
believers the following verses:
I know the Lord without doubt or wavering My
essence is His Essence in Truth, without default or flaw. There is
no becoming between the two, and My soul it is which manifests the
secret. And since I know myself without blending or mixture, I
obtained the gift of the Lord of Affluence Without upbraiding and
without recrimination, I did not lose to Him my soul, nor does it
remain to the Lord of discrimination. (12)
However not many may believe what Ibnul-Arabi says.
This is revealed in the sad story of Sarmad, a Mystic who lived at
the time of Aurangzeb, in Delhi, India, beheaded by the orders of
the Emperor. It is recorded that after the execution Sarmad dipped
his Finger in the own blood and kept on writing Allah's Name. His
Guru ordered him not to expose this secret, Only then the headless
body fell as a corpse on the earth. This myth confirms the fact
that beyond body, emotions and mind there is a world of Atma that
never perishes. This is also confirmed in the Quran. In the Verse
God is the Light of heaven and earth.
The parable of His Light is
As if there were a niche,
And within it a Lamp.
The Lamp enclosed in glass, the glass
As if it were A brilliant star,
Lit from a blessed Tree,
An olive neither of the East nor of the West,
Whose oil is well nigh luminous,
Though fire scarce touched it.
Light upon Light.
God doth guide to whom He wills
To His Light. (13)
It sums up what Ibnul Arabi has earlier suggested
as well as what Naradaji speaks of in The Gospel of Divine Love.
It is in the Gita, and Baba tries to point out to humanity:
"There is a Cosmic Unity that binds all as ONE"
1. Irina Tweedie, Daughter of Fire. Nevada
City: Blue Dolphin Publishing House, 1986.
2. The Quran ii. 124
3. The Quran, xii. 4-101. Marriage in Sufi
terminology means merging in God
4. Sri Sathya Sai Baba Bhagavat Vahini. Sri
Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1978, page243.
5. Ibid, page 242
6. Swami Tayagananda (Trans) Divine Gospel of
Love. Madras: Ramakrishna Math, 1978. Page, 23.
7. Sathya Sai Baba Discourses 1978-99 Prasanthi
Nilayam: S.S.S. Books and Publications.
8. Henry Corbin Creative Imagination in Sufism
of Ibinul-Arabi Jew Jersey: Methos Publication, 1998,pp.
9. Ibid, p. 252
10. Ibid, p. 257
11. Bid, p. 260
12. Ibnul Arabi Whoso Knoweth Himself...
Oxford: Bashera Publication, 1988,p25.
13. The Quran. XXIV: 35.
UNITY THE SELF WITH THE SELF
Unity of the divine and the secular worlds, the
Infinite with the Finite, is very often described through images
such as water and wave, sun and its rays. The duality is not
perceived in the spiritual realm. There is no division, and all is
conceived as ONE. This is one reason of the mystic saying: "I
communicate with Myself".
Many, however, eagerly ask: "Why man has to suffer
so much at the physical, emotional and mental levels." The answer
usually given to him is as follows: "Man suffers because of his
otherness (Ego)". As an example the Quranic myth of Satan is told.
Satan falls because of his pride, and the worst punishment is that
for eternity he has been denied to look at the Face that he has
loved so much.
Perfection, therefore, is not possible without the
Grace of God. It must be noted that perfection is synonymous with
Unity. Though, Naradaji has claimed that every age has its perfect
man, it must be acknowledged that in this "plastic age" it is very
difficult to achieve this unity. The myths are far too numerous
that portray an image of darkness of a Whale's belly or a blind
well or a blazing fire, a storm, a famine, an earthquake. But not
that often one listens to the description of blissful life in a
garden. Beauty that constitutes a flower, light from a star or
peace that surpasses understanding. May be we as human race, have
not reached that level. Here and there one comes across an example
of how an awareness unites with the Cosmic Self but these are only
glimpses. Here is an example of such an experience:
To see a Face, eternal, ageless, in the shadow
of abundant yogic curls that very often hide the Divine features.
Later on, one only remembers that Face with its enigmatic smile
and unfathomable eyes, and searches for it among the crowds of men.
But alas (Anonymous)
This experience, like many similar ones, speaks of
a unity that is unearthly yet, conveys a glimpse of what we have
to discuss in this conclusive study as "the self with the SELF".
Let us therefore formulate our survey on material that is readily
intelligible and easily mastered.
THE MYSTIC DANCE: A HUMAN ANGLE
A Muslim Myth tells us the story of how the "blanket
wearers" have gone to Prophet Mohammed whose glance teaches them
how to love God. Enamored by his glance they feel so satisfied
that they decide to stay and initiate the Sufi Movement. (1) This
myth indicates two ways that have been popular in Islamic world.
Both of them initiate a way to connect one's self to the Supreme
Self. The first one is called the Remembrance: The repetition of
His name speaks of the potency of words as a remembrance His
name gradually pervades our whole being until every cell in our
body knows whom it belongs to. From duality we turn towards
oneness as we remember Him. (2) The Quran suggests the second
method of recognizing Him. It is also method of Baba when He calls
human beings as Atmaswaroopa or Premaswarupa Lara. The Quran calls
them signs or manifestations and says: "And we will show them our
signs in the horizons and in themselves." (41-53). Hence the
seeker who takes the part in the affairs of the world sees all
activities as divine as His Signs.
For the weaker beings like us Baba has suggested
the practice of Remembrance. It is true that these two ways need a
century, and often we make mistakes but one should believe in the
Supreme Selfs Mercy and not his Justice. God's Mercy is greater
than his Justice. Here too one can disregard time as essentially a
creation of our imagination not God's. In the Eastern myths also
this idea is expressed. For instance the symbolism of Shiva and
Parvathi's union we can see the sacred unity of two-in-one. Also
in Lord Vishnu and the cosmic ocean, in Shri Yantra, in Cosmic
Lotus figure from Tibet, in Buddhist Stupas, in the sculptured
caves of Ajanta, we are reminded of the same idea. This is the
dance of Self with Self and the following passage beautifully
describes it: "(this is) the very Absolute, but under its dynamic
aspect the relentless energy, (this is) our life (that) has
become transformed into us and the effects our bewildered thoughts
and deeds We are no further from the divine than are the yogis
We are the Absolute in as much as we are the children of the world
We misdirect our effort unnecessarily to concerns
of the material (visual) aspect only. Thus far and no further the
mind can go. One may conclude that each peak of Human civilization
be it a book or art form or scientific theory is a gift from the
Divine and therefore a pointer in the same direction i.e. All
manifestation are His signs. In this light, therefore,
browse over some of Baba's sayings
ON UNITY: BABA
1. a) There is no place where there is no God. All
names and forms are His (11-10-'98) p.4.
b) From the physical point of view you may
consider yourself different from God. In the mental realm you
should feel that you are a spark of the Divine. But from the Atmic
point of view, you should realize that you are not different from
God. (11-10-'98) p. 6.
c) Your Heart is My chariot. (11-10-'98) p.10.
2. a) Unity is most essential for man. Unity leads
to purity which in turn leads to divinity brotherhood of man and
fatherhood of God. (20-11-98) p.3.
b) Lack of unity leads to fragmentation of the
country. (20-11-98) p.4.
c) Let us grow together, enjoy together. Let us
perform heroic deeds by working together (20-11-98) p.8
3.a) You are in Brahman and Brahman is in you. In
fact you and Brahman are one. (23-11-98) p. 2.
b) God is not separate from you (23-11-98)p.4
c) Cultivate the sense of unity that I and you are
one (23-11-98) p.5.
d) God is immanent in every inch and every hair of
your body (23-11-98) p.8.
4. We need not search for God outside. He is
within us (17th Oct. 1999) p.3.
5. Jnana refers to experience of oneness
(17 Oct.1999) p.2.
6.a) When you are one with the Self there is no
scope for birth and death. (24-11-1998) p.6.
b) What is essential is recognizing unity in
Divinity. (24-11-1998) p. 9
c) Happiness lies in union with God. (24-11-1998)
The Quran in the verse on faith asserts the same
Say He is God;
The One and only.
God the Eternal, the Absolute,
He begets not, nor is He begotten,
And there is none like unto Him. (CXII 1-4)
1. V. Lee Paradoxes of Love (California: Golden Sufi Center,
1996) page 146.
2. Ibid p. 147.
3. V.Lee Travelling the Path of Love (California: Golden Sufi
Center, 1995) adapted from The Secret of God's Oneness (trans.)
John O. Kanep.379.
4. H.Zimmer The Myths and Symbols In India Art and
Civilization (New Jersey: Mythos Books, 1974) p.208.
5. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Discourses 1998-1999 and
2000 (Pransanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and
In points: Baba's Summer Discourses, 2000
1. Education and culture are like the negative and
positive poles. Education caters to providing information. Culture
leads to transformation. E. without C. is like field without
2. Educare is related to the heart. Education is
related to the head.
3. Man is afraid of the five elements but not
4. The lack of compassion and love in his actions
has caused the five elements to fear man, and keep away (from him).
5. Realize that nature is very powerful, and has
no faults associated with it. The fault is not in srishti
but with drishti (vision).
6. A true Sadhaka must investigate and discover
where the bad qualities had made entry into his life, and
influenced him. Example: Ointment is meant for application to the
spot of injury. Efforts must be to strike at this spot (for the
application of the ointment.).
7. Thoughts are controlled by the kind of food we
8. The elements are dependent on Divine Power, and
Divine Power takes care of everything.
9. In everything there is reaction, resound and
10. Repeat God's name. The sound waves of God's
Name remove all pollution.
11. All mistakes can be taken out if feeling is
good. Develop good feelings, the problems will be solved.
12. Remember if you suffer. Tell yourself: "This
is also good for me." Be equalminded.
13. Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara are not physical
bodies. They represent attributes. They move in the human body
from top to toe. The body is the living place of them. Brahma is
the faculty of speech; Vishnu represents the mind; Ishwara the
14. What is the form of the spirit? It is in the
form of consciousness, Ishwara represents consciousness. Out of
consciousness comes the conscience (mind).Out of the mind is born
the speech faculty. All these three are interrelated. These three
stand for Brhama, Vishnu, and Maheshwara.
a) The one you think you are.
b) The one others think you are Maheshwara.
c) The one really you are.
15. Every word uttered represents Brhama. Do not
misuse words. Excessive words lead to lies.
16. Too much talk hurts others. Too much talk
leads to misdeeds and agitations. Therefore sages have said follow
the silence. Silence is not with lips, but with thoughts. If that
is scared the results are sacred too.
17. Realize the principle of the Trinity of Brhama,
Vishnu and Maheshwara by sanctifying your words, mind and heart.
18. God is time. He transcends and controls time.
19. Human life is the rarest of all. To have
experiences body is essential. Even a simple task cannot be
experienced without the body. Example : Ripened fruit once fallen
cannot be reattached. The Ganges once when it falls in the ocean
cannot return. Once the human body drops it cannot be regained.
20. Body is an iron safe that has no value. The
iron safe becomes valuable as divinity. Human life has got value
because of virtues. Body is gifted by God to render service, but
man is using it for selfish purposes.
21. The ancient sages taught that all you see
around you is inside each one of you.
22. Body is given to follow two principles, a)
Sathyam vada = Speak Truth.
b) Dharmam chara = Follow Righteousness
23. That which is imperishable we take as Truth.
That which is eternal, we do not take as untruth.
24. Real beauty is character.
25. Students, never give up your mission. Always
have a goal and go ahead. Bank on and draw from your inner
26. Determination is very important. Hold on till
successful. Do not turn back till your desire is fulfilled.
27. Just as garland painted in a picture cannot be
shaken, so too Divinity imprinted in the heart cannot be shaken
under any circumstances. Heart should be steady and mind should be
28. Human body is like a bamboo. A bamboo is bent
in many places. The bends denote the weakness of man (anger,
29. Human body in human life is called
Thungabadra. Badra = auspiciousness, Tunga = Infinite.
Hence Tungabadra means human body is gifted with Infinite grace.
30. Each one must question oneself: how we are
using this sacred divine, auspicious human body.
31. Nara, Narayana, Narada = same meaning. Nara =
No death (imperishable), Na = no. Narada shows Narayana to Nara.
32. Individual is God himself. The good one
watches, Divinity in human beings. The bad one watches humanness
in the divine, (e.g. Ravana). Narada saw Narayana in Nara.
33. In humanity lies happiness. The four brothers:
Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Satrughna, were happy. Two brothers:
Surya and Ball, no unity, and therefore no happiness. They
suffered all the time.
34. You do not have to decorate God with jewels.
Bliss alone is the jewel that God likes to be adorned with.
35. Sai is patience, purity, perseverance.
36. Make your parents happy. Respect them ;take
care of them and serve them.
37. Devotion does not mean penance or meditation.
Devotion means intense love for God.
38. Best example of one pointed devotion is
Dharmaraja. In spite of hardships, humiliation of Darupati, loss
of sons of his own brother, loss of kingdom,at every moment he
thought of God.
39. Once you follow the command of God you will
40. As the devotion is offered to God, so is God's
love for devotee. As you repeat God's name again and again, so He
repeats your name. No one can stand between God and his devotee.
This is a sacred principle.
41. The chief aim of God is to protect his devotee
his devotion. As the sound is so resound. The pining of the
devotee is the yearning of God.
42. There is an intimate relationship between
Bhagawan and his devotees. Bhagawan's life is devotee's life and
devotee's life is Bhagawan's life. With this feeling that Bhagawan
will protect you, and the devotees will never suffer or face
problems one should spend one's life. But the heart should be
43. We should be firm as a boulder in the sea. No
matter how many waves come and hit against us. Heart = boulder,
Waves = suffering. That is the true Bhakta (devotee).
44. You can give up anything but never give up God.
45. The man of wisdom is he who understands the
unity between the individual and the divine.
46. Man is gifted to know:
a) The Divinity within.
b) The individual soul is the spirit.
c) The spirit is divine.
47. Man can change attachment to liberation.
48. If there is no reality there can be no
reflection. Reflection is outside; Reality is inside. Action is
inside, reaction is outside. Object and reflection speak of
49. In ancient time, the inner desire to know the
divine was 75%. Today in the percentage it is not even 20% but
they all desire to get liberation.
50. Modern education is no liberation, (it is)
only bondage. In earlier days they sacrificed attachment, and
gratitude was of prime importance.
51. Educated people are full of doubts. They grow
in intelligence but have no trace of virtue.
52. Only support must be God's or else we become
53. Welfare of the community depends on the
character of citizens.
54. Whatever happens, good or bad, we have to take
it in the spirit that" this is good for me."Example: the doctor
operates to relieve pain. God also puts tests to' strengthen us
55. When one becomes the servant of the servants
of God, the whole world will serve you.
56. Secular knowledge is for living, Spiritual
knowledge is for liberation.
57. Right hand is for spiritual knowledge; left is
for secular knowledge .Catch only right. Left side is weak. Our
aim should be only right side only.
58. As you grind sandalwood more, the fragrance
increases. As you chew sugarcane more you will get more experience
of its sweetness. Similarly, as a human being loves his fellow
beings more he will experience more bliss.
59. When thoughts are weak, body is weak. While
you have a physical body be concerned of divinity.
60. What is liberation? When we have total love
for all our fellow beings and we make utmost effort to share that
love; it is liberation.
61. Practical experience in everything is
necessary. Else, one become a hero on platform but a zero in
62. The teaching of Lord Buddha was all sacred and
good. Make your sight, thought, and actions all sacred.
63. Parents give us our names. When we meet people
we give our visiting -cards. To God, give only our love,
unconditional and selfless.
64. Body is a gift given by the Will of God.
Treasure it and make a proper use of it.
65. Sacrifice the spirit of ego. Accept the sacred
things and reject the unsacred.
66. We pay heed to the words of everyone around us,
but we have forgotten the God within us .We pay no attention to
the inner voice, though we breathe 21,000 times Soham I
am God, daily.
67. Preyosakthi = To help you acquire
worldly goals and happiness and_to get strength from the senses
limited and temporary joy. Shreyesakthi = The strength that
comes from the inner spirit, like love, compassion, tolerance and
sacrifice. You can bridge the two forms of Divine energies by
performing all the worldly tasks with the Divine name.
68. God is always blissful for He has no desires
69. Vyashti = Individual
Samathi = society
Paramesthi = divine
If the individual has to reach the divine, he has
to connect himself to the society. He Has to serve the society.
70. How does one experience divinity in the real
life? Give service and receive service.
71. You must take it in the spirit that God has
given everything. He takes it back whenever he wishes. Example: On
railway wagons there is stamp on the goods as "Return by date".
Everything in creation has such a date stamped on it, at the time
72. Love has no hatred. It can transform an animal
73. Forbearance is the main offshoot of love. It
cannot be got from books. Problems, grief, loss, help to develop
this noble quality.
74. Once you accept your mistake, the situation
can be found. Go ahead in life with this in mind, and with the
determination that you will not repeat this mistake and you will
prosper. Never blame others for your failures. Develop forbearance
from these situations.
75. A photographer will alert you before taking a
picture; but the Divine photographer can click any time. Always be
76. A life without an aim is a wayward life,
leading to total confusion and ultimately a failed life.
77. In Krita age meditation was for months and
years prescribed. In Treta age ritual was prescribed. In Dwapara
age worship was in practice. In Kali age Namasmaran is prescribed.
78. A man of position must have a pure heart.
Every one wants the position but not the progress of the country.
79. Do not cheat or betray your country The
feeling must be that all are brothers and sisters. For example
Vivekananda in America said "Brothers and Sisters of America".
Today we are ashamed to address in this manner.
80. Culture polishes and refines you. What is
refinement? Give up bad and do good.
81. Manava = mind (burn the desires of the mind).
Manava = Ma + nava = not ancient.
82. What is Sadhana? Convert bad into good.
83. Ancient education emphasized on obedience and
84. Wherever you go you will be judged on the
basis of your conduct (Sai Devotees).
85. Sai culture is eternal, pure unsullied and
86. Whole universe rests on the mind. First
correct the mind then the country will be automatically good.
87. Sita lost dear because of deer. If you can
conquer your senses, then you are a warrior.
88. Everyone is happy to listen to Bhagawan. What
one has listened here it is very important to practice. To listen
and recapitulate what have you heard in your heart.
89. Scholarships are easy to attain; to fight in
the battlefield is very easy, but to the mind inward and uphold
human values is very difficult.
90. Today the world needs men and women of
character. The progress depends on them. This is true culture of
91. Dust of Bharat = Principle of Truth. Sand of
Bharat = Compassion. The flowing Gangese = Love. Sacrifice is the
divine strength and power. Dharma is noblest.
92. In ancient times education was sacred. In
ancient times prayers were for the welfare of the world, and they
were always virtuous prayers.
93. Never go by others words. Follow your own
94. Always question yourself. Is this right or
wrong. Remove the wrong and do the right thing.
95. Act in a righteous way. Always question
yourself: What is Dharma (righteous way) and what is not. The
moment you think of God it leads to Dharma.
96. Baba wants our behaviour to be sacred. Have
smiling faces, words should be sacred. That is the true sign of a
student of Sathya Sai. Swami belongs to you arid you belong to Him.
97. Our true wealth is love for God.
98. Bring a good name to Sathya Sai Institue. That
is what Bhagawan wants. Baba will give you what you want, just
earn a good name.
99. Outer dress is not so important as inner
100. Always remember the self in others. It is the
same Self as in me.
101. Watch yourself inside all the time. (Art is
outside, heart inside)
102. SAI = See always inside.
103. Be clear and success will follow.
104. Stop not till the goal is achieved.
105. Success is a journey not destination.
106. Reality inside every man reflects as external
107. The spiritual heart is the seat of Ishwara.
It is unfortunate that every man has a heart But is heartless in
108. Do not let problems and obstacles hamper your
progress to God. Take Him as the basis of your life. That will
protect you at all times.
"EXISTENCE, KNOWLEDGE, BLISS"
(Sat, Chit, Ananda)
POEMS : UNITY
1. Existence .Knowledge, Bliss
Are divine, everlasting properties.
The dream-bound cosmos like a pigeon
Flies in the blue sky,
Then disappears from the sight.
Merging, in the cerulean infinity.
2. Faith in the One has no sect, no formality,
When the heart is full, it overflows
And recite: "La-Illaha-Illa-Allah"*
The reply then resounds:
"Mohammed rasul Allah".
Veiled from the envious eyes the heart pours
Into the Heart: The river and the Ocean become ONE.
*In line three the words in quotes form the first
half of the first Principle of Islam; there mean "God alone Is".
In the next line the words are from the second half of the first
Principle of Islam. Here they convey the meaning: one who
proclaims the first half of the words is to be glorified. (They
refer not to the historical Mohammed: the Prophet of Islam.)
There are no two, though garments differ
In colour and shape the cloth is one.
Existence also is One: like rainwater
Drop by drop it forms a puddle or a stream
That moves or may not move. Its goal
Is from nowhere to nowhere.
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16. Osbon Companion to Joseph Campbell.
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Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math. 1978
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My heart-felt gratitude to all the rishis and the
saints who have helped me to complete this manuscript. I feel
their unseen, yet sacred assistance. Also my many thanks to the
Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar and the Principal of Prasanthi
Nilayam Campus of the Institute for allowing me to complete the
Many, many thanks to the four children of this
body and their families, without their strength this book could
have never seen the light of the day. To Ms. Raghubir Kaur my
humble pranams for providing the appendix.
Prof. (Dr.) ZEBA BASHIRUDDIN
Prasanthi Nilayam College
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.
The above-stated text
is intended only for fact-finding reading.
No reproduction of this book in any form is authorized for