Sunday, November 30, 2014

One cannot hide anything from Swami; Sathya Sai Baba, the Dharmaadhikaari i.e. Great teacher/giver/authority of Dharma (Ethical living)

"Always remember, Swami knows everything. I am always watching - not just from yesterday or day before. From several crores of years; from several past births of yours. Do not think you can cover my eyes and get away with doing whatever you want." - Sri Sathya Sai Baba, from http://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.in/2013/04/i-am-watching-over-you-from-several.html.

I would like to share that, in my slightly over eight years of serving in Prashanti Nilayam campus of SSSIHL (university founded by Bhagawan) when Swami was in physical form (Jan. 2003 to April 2011), and having quite regular darshan of Swami whenever he was in Prashanti Nilayam, there were many occasions when there was eye contact between Swami and me. It took me some time to become sensitive to Swami's facial expression when he looked at me. Over time it became very clear to me that when he looked at me even if it was just for a few seconds, he somehow knew what I was thinking then and what I had done earlier. It was not a face-reading kind of effort - he would just know. If I had done something really good he would smile, he once even showed an Abhaya Hasta specifically to me, and once has told me, 'very happy'. If I did something bad, something he did not like, his expression was dismissive - unmistakably dismissive if one has the sensitivity to understand such facial gestures, and on a rare occasion or two, furious. [I vividly remember Swami's fury and, I will be very honest here, even today I am afraid of Swami's fury though I have not had any dream or other interactions with Swami after his Mahasamadhi. I am very thankful for that fear as it keeps me from doing stupid and bad things.] The facial interaction experience would occur at darshan usually and when I would analyze it, after getting to the peaceful solitude of my room/flat later on, I was almost always able to correlate his expression with something that I had recently done. Later, it reached a point where I simply knew that Swami knows everything about my activities and that I cannot hide anything from him. So if I did something stupid & foolish/bad then the next darshan experience of Swami was not going to be a pleasant one for me. As simple as that and as effective as that - from a spiritual discipline point of view.

Once at Darshan time when I was angry about something with him (quite foolish of me and due to my misunderstanding of his teachings, but I was then in the grip of a deep emotional problem), he accepted the angry thoughts I directed to him (nothing spoken and from a distance of ten to twenty feet perhaps), and gave me a 'caught you'/'got you'/'Aha' kind of facial expression which was quite suitable given the emotional problem I had created myself. To my shock, after he finished the round of Darshan, he gave an unscheduled discourse - mike(s) and translator had to be hastily arranged. It was crystal clear to me that this unscheduled discourse was in response to my angry thoughts at him. You may not believe me - that's fine. It is difficult to believe such experiences one has of Swami. Here's the text of the discourse he gave on that day, 18th May 2010, in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prashanti Nilayam, as given in sssbpt website, http://sssbpt.org/pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/dd18052010.html:

REALISE  THAT  YOU  AND  I  ARE  ONE

Everybody is afraid of Yama, god of death. He goes about in every corner of the world and takes away the life principle of those whose life sojourn on earth comes to an end.

Chastity  Endows  Women  with  Immense  Power
When he took the life of Savitri’s husband Satyavan, Savitri was full of grief and prayed to him to bring her husband back to life. She said, “Either you give back my husband’s life or take my life also. I cannot live without my husband; we are one”. When Yama wanted to go away after taking the life of her husband, Savitri blocked his way and did not allow him to move. Yama had no choice but to listen to her prayer. He asked her, “Mother! What do you want”? “Give my husband back to me because it is not possible for me to live without him,” said Savitri. Ultimately, Yama had to yield to her prayer and revive Satyavan. Yama not only brought Satyavan back to life, but granted many boons also to both Savitri and Satyavan, happy as he was with the chastity and determination of Savitri. It was because of her power of chastity that Savitri could bring her dead husband back to life.

Chandramati was another great woman of the sacred land of Bharat who set a shining example of chastity in the world. When she along with her husband Harischandra and son was crossing a forest, it was suddenly engulfed in wild fire, which threatened their life. Then Chandramati prayed, “If I am truly a chaste woman and have been adhering to Dharma all my life, let this wild fire be extinguished”. And lo and behold, the fire was extinguished in a trice and the entire forest became calm and serene. So great is the power of penance and chastity of a chaste woman! But she was always humble and expressed gratitude to God, saying, “It is by the grace of God that I have been able to uphold the Dharma of a chaste woman”. She always followed her husband and could never bear separation from him even for a moment. That is the hallmark of a chaste woman. Both husband and wife should live together in harmony whole of their life. (Here Bhagavan narrated the story of King Harischandra and his chaste wife Chandramati, who in spite of undergoing untold sufferings upheld the virtues of truth and righteousness and set a shining example of virtuous life.)

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity and Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed.  (Telugu Poem)

Life  Finds  Fulfilment  when  Husband  and  Wife  Live  in  Unity
When Sita was put to fire test, the fire god himself manifested out of it and told Rama, “Sita is a woman of great chastity”. There were many women of chastity in the sacred land of Bharat like Sita, Chandramati, Damayanti and Savitri. People are afraid of Yama, the god of death, but Yama is afraid of the women of chastity. Just as Savitri could bring her dead husband back to life by the power of her chastity, Sita could also come out of blazing fire unscathed by the power of her chastity. All these examples of chaste women of Bharat set the ideal that for a woman her husband is God. These ideals set by such chaste women made India a teacher of the world and leader of all nations. Except in Bharat, in which country of the world do you find examples of women who brought their dead husbands back to life? Even if you search the entire world, you cannot find such chaste women. Such is the sacredness of this land of Bharat. That is why God loves to incarnate in Bharat. Just as women should observe Pativrata Dharma (Dharma for a chaste woman), men should also adhere to Sativrata Dharma (Dharma for an ideal husband). A woman must be a Pativrata (chaste woman), so also her husband, a Sativrata (ideal husband). The wife should never go against the command of her husband, similarly, the husband should conduct himself according to the wishes of his wife and should look after her with great love. But, unfortunately, there are only a few men today who observe Sativrata Dharma though a large number of women adhere to Pativrata Dharma. God is pleased with those women who observe Pativrata Dharma. When there is unity between husband and wife, they can achieve anything and find fulfillment in life. Draupadi had five husbands and she considered them as her five life-breaths. Women today should observe chastity like Sita, Savitri, Draupadi and Damayanti. It is the sacred land of Bharat where you find such a large number of Pativrata women and nowhere else. People who leave such a sacred land and go to other countries waste their life.

You say, my body, my handkerchief, so on and so forth. But who is this ‘my’? That is the Self or I. I means Atma. Without realising the Atma, all spiritual practices like Yajnas and Yaga are of no use. You say, this is mine and that is thine. What is the use of doing any spiritual practice unless you give up the feelings of mine and thine? Get rid of the narrow feelings of mine and thine and realise that you and I are one.

--- end divine discourse text ---

Bhagawan struggled to speak during this discourse. I was completely bowled over by Bhagawan's willingness, despite his many physical body problems then, to teach me, and others, through a discourse about the dharmic way of life, a significant part of which was related to my angry thoughts directed at him. I am very, very deeply grateful to Bhagawan for having been such a dedicated spiritual teacher even to a foolish & angry fellow like me then. To me it was clear that while giving the discourse, Bhagawan was playing the role of the Dharmaadhikaari (the authority, the giver of Dharma i.e. ethical code of living). Whether one wants to accept it or not is a different matter. He did his role of teaching Dharma. After this experience that I had with Bhagawan, I became much more dedicated to him and his mission, even if I was & still am not able to follow all his teachings - but I certainly try. He did not care about his own physical body suffering at 84 years of age - he was far, far more concerned about delivering his teaching about Dharma. What a shining example of a teacher of Dharma! I offer my humble, loving and very respectful obeisance at the feet of my great spiritual master & teacher of Dharma, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

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