Last updated on 24th April 2015
From Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's discourse on 11-10-1986, http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume19/sss19-23.pdf:
Here is an example from the Mahabharata: Considering that war should be a great universal
calamity, Dharmaja (the eldest of the Pandavas) appealed to Krishna to go as an ambassador of peace to the Kauravas. Entering the audience hall of Duryodhana, Krishna described at length the disastrous consequences of war. The great Acharyas--Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and Aswathama--- who were present in the court, were intently listening to Krishna's words. But Krishna's appeal was of no use to them. Because of their long association with the wicked Kauravas, they became abettors in the crimes of Duryodhana and others.
Vidura, who was a witness to the evil that was being committed, resolved to oppose it. He
pleaded with the Kauravas in many ways to listen to the wise words of Krishna. His appeal fell on deaf ears. Rather than stay amongst such evil-minded persons, Vidura felt that it was better to go on a pilgrimage, and left the country immediately.
Bhishma, Drona and others, having been beneficiaries of the sustenance provided by the wicked Kauravas, chose to be loyal to them and stayed on. All of them were great preceptors. They knew well the distinction between righteousness and evil. They had enquired into the nature of the eternal and the permanent. Of what avail was all that knowledge? When it came to practising what they knew, all their knowledge was of no use. In the final outcome, all of them met with the same end in the great war as the evil-minded Kauravas.
Krishna looked upon those who, even if they were good in themselves, did not oppose
unrighteousness and injustice committed in their presence when they had the capacity to do so, as actual participants in the crimes. When evil and injustice and violence are being perpetrated, if individuals look on unconcerned, they must be regarded as accomplices in the crimes. In the end they also suffer as much as the criminals. By their passive association, they provide encouragement to the evildoers.
[Ravi: I would like to interpret this in the context of certain unfortunate incidents in the Sathya Sai community/fraternity after Bhagavan's Mahasamadhi, but without getting into too many details. As most people following happenings in the Sathya Sai fraternity after Mahasamadhi would know, some people have associated with a splinter group. That itself is fine, in my considered view. But some of these people, in the traumatic and chaotic period after the Mahasamadhi, continued to be in positions in the official organization but were associating with the splinter group, and sometimes have even been taking instructions/advise from there! That was being unfaithful to the organization that had given them the posts, in my considered opinion.
Now, in the case of one such Sathya Sai official institution which I was associated with then and so know about, there were some who opposed such matters, when they came to know of it, and even had to face consequences of being forced to leave the institution. That was spiritually good for them, I think, as their conscience was clean and they did not associate with Adharma (unrighteousness/unethical behaviour).
But what about those people in positions of influence who were silent witnesses to, or perhaps even supported, what was going on in this institution? They could have chosen to speak up for Dharma (righteousness/ethical behaviour) and opposed the top man who was opposing or ignoring the main organization that had given him the post, and was instead taking instructions/advise from an unauthorized person who claimed to be receiving messages from Swami. That some did not, and instead quietly looked away from the Adharma that was going on, is something that I think, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who was/is Krishna come again, will NOT approve (would NOT have approved).]
[Earlier extract from discourse]
Take, for instance, the example of Krishna. He was not the titular deity of Brahmins. Nor did he belong to the Kshatriyas. He was not the Lord of the Vaisyas. He was an incarnation, who appeared for the protection of the world. To claim that Krishna belonged to one or other group is only an index of petty possessiveness. Because the Yadavas boasted that Krishna belonged to their community, they ultimately destroyed themselves.
The Divine belongs to every one and is not the sole preserve of any one. There is only one God, but He manifests Himself in many forms to please different people. Sadhana alone is not enough to enable one to understand this truth. The spirit of enquiry is also necessary.
[Ravi: I would like to interpret the bold sentences in the extract above, in the context of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. After the Mahasamadhi especially, some of those who have had physical proximity with Bhagavan, are projecting that to indicate that they are special people as compared to others, and using it to boost their popularity and get support for some of their own activities. Unfortunately, some Sai students too have done this. I interpret Swami's statements above to clearly mean that Swami did not belong to Sai students alone or to only those who were physically close to him. Swami took the form of Sathya Sai for the re-establishment of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema all over this world (and perhaps other subtle worlds too). All who want to and sincerely try to follow Swami's teachings (even if they fail sometimes) and have deep faith in Swami, will become spiritually near and dear to Swami. Being a Sai student or having been physically close to Swami but moving away from Swami's teachings and instead running after worldly matters like making more-than-needed money (and the things such money can buy like fancy & flashy houses, fancy & flashy cars, fancy & flashy motorbikes etc. - remember ceiling on desires?), power/control and fame, would be like the behaviour of the Yadavas who boasted that Krishna was theirs but did not pay heed to the teachings and advise of Krishna.
For those persons, including some Sai students, who do not know about or have forgotten Swami's teaching on ceiling on desires, here is an extract having Swami's words on it from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi) website, http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/his_teachings/practical_spirituality.htm:
“What is the meaning of Ceiling on Desires?
Man is deluded by his unlimited desires. He is living in a dream world. He is forgetting the Supreme Consciousness (Para-tattwa). That is why it is important to keep our desires under control, to place a ceiling on them. We are spending too much money. Instead of inordinately spending for our own pleasure, we should be spending for the relief of the poor and needy. This is the real meaning of ‘Ceiling on Desires’. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that giving money is all that is needed while allowing your own desires to continue to multiply. Curtail your desires, as materialistic desires lead to a restless and disastrous life. Desires are a prison. Man can be freed only by limiting his wants. You should have desire only for life's bare necessities,” Baba says.
--- end extract from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust website --- ]