Sunday, October 18, 2015

My comments on miraculous events related to Sathya Sai Baba in devotee's home

Given below are my comments (edited) on a Facebook post which mentioned some miraculous events related to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba occurring in the home & life of a devotee family, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1207168162643397.

Very interesting! Congratulations!
My personal view is that so long as it is limited to family matters and a small circle of people who enjoy such Leelas, it is quite fine. There was a similar kind of case in the late 90s in my samithi (center) in the state of Maharashtra, India, where in one family's home there were claims of vibhuti manifestation, Swami responses to letters, and Swami being seen in their home by some family member(s). I felt that the devotion of the family members was very deep and that perhaps resulted in those divine/paranormal happenings. But I would not go to the extent of accepting responses given in letters to Bhagavan placed at their altar, as the responses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi who was in physical form then, did not confirm such matters as done by him. As this family managed the divine/paranormal events happening in their home on a small level, welcoming interested devotees to participate in it, it did not create any major friction in the samithi.

When such events get projected to a bigger organizational level including discourses and interviews, then it becomes a serious issue as valid questions crop up about whether the discourses and interviews are being done by the same Bhgavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi or some other phenomenon which appears like him to the intermediary devotee involved. Yad Bhavaam Tad Bhavati [What we feel/desire will happen] is the saying. My humble view is that devotees' intense prayers do lead to manifestations of the Divine. If the devotee's deep prayer is for a manifestation of the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, perhaps the formless absolute Brahman which is at the core reality of each of us (according to Hindu scripture & Bhagavan's teachings), projects that form to the devotee and interacts with the devotee!
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Dear sister [name-snipped]: I entirely agree that Bhagavan can do miracles anywhere, anytime. However, it has to also be noted that along with genuine miracles in homes & lives of sincere devotees of Bhagavan, there have also been, and continue to be, fake miracles used by some people to project their fame as so called 'chosen' spiritual messengers/guides of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, to attract devotees and donors to them. [I am not suggesting even in the remotest way that you, dear sister, are one of them. Like in the case of the late 90s events in my samithi which I had mentioned in my previous comment, I presume that the miracles happening in your home & life are GENUINE.]

It is very sad that there is this mix of genuine and fake miracles that went on while Bhagavan was in physical form, and that continue to happen even after he gave up his physical body. But then that's the reality of spirituality today - c'est la vie. One must have the discrimination to distinguish between the genuine and the fake, with the typical telltale sign of fake miracles using the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, being direct/indirect requests for money, sometimes in the name of social welfare projects, but which money, in part or in full, goes towards materially benefiting the person(s) involved with the fake miracles.

On following teachings of Bhagavan and spiritually transforming ourselves - that, of course, is what I have heard with my own ears and seen with my own eyes, sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi), from Bhagavan, so many times. At times, it would almost seem that like a loving parent, he is even earnestly requesting us to do that. I will never ever forget how Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, always was after us to transform our lives spiritually by following his simple teachings of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti & Prema. So, absolutely yes, that is what Bhagavan wants all of his devotees to do, and Bhagavan, in his spiritual teacher role, will be so immensely happy if his devotees do that, that He will shower them with His Grace, in many ways including manifestation of His wonderful MIRACLES.

And yes, Bhagavan is everywhere, as He is in the innermost part of our heart (the Antaryaami/inner divine spirit). And so wherever we are, whether in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore, Muddenahalli, Wisconsin in USA, Guildford in UK or Puttaparthi, Bhagavan is always there at hand, ready to respond to the sincere and earnest devotee. I say this from my understanding of Bhagavan's public discourses. This blog post of mine, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/10/sathya-sai-baba-to-students-devotees.html, gives a video link of Bhagavan saying:
"There is Direct connection between you and me. No one can break the intimate relation and relationship that we two have. Go anywhere. Here, there, wherever you see, there is only ONE SAI that you love, everywhere.
Go to any village, go anywhere and take up a job, I will be with you, in you. Treasure this feeling alone. Strengthen the thought that Swami is by your side always. Your shadow follows you wherever you go, doesn't it? Therefore, I am your shadow!
Well, shadow? Not shadow. I am demonstrating what is within you. Therefore, I AM YOU AND YOU ARE MINE. Treasure the relation between these two."

So surely one does not have to go to Puttaparthi (come to, I should say, as I live in Puttaparthi :-) ) to get His blessing. That can be attained anywhere in the world by sincere & earnest prayer to Him.

However, Puttaparthi does have DIVINE VIBRATIONS from His physical presence in it for around eight and a half decades. And it does have many people who have benefited from experiencing Him at physical level, and who are willing to share that with others who want to know about that physical level experience. So some people may certainly benefit from those aspects of the HOLY LANDS of Kali Yuga, Shirdi as well as Puttaparthi. [But Puttaparthi also has some money crazy and power crazy people, even among those who have enjoyed physical association with Sathya Sai. One has to spot their money and power craze and keep away from such people if one is interested in spiritual gain rather than material gain smile emoticon .]

Jai Sairam!
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Dear sister [name-snipped]: Well, in this regard, I am bound by the teachings and instructions of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba given in public discourses on multiple occasions which are easily available on the Internet for verification. Bhagavan did instruct us to be wary of FAKE claims. And He gave very strong instructions about turning people away who come asking for money in His name. You may have a different view on the matter - only worrying about purity of heart in donating money and not bothering about how the money is used. You are entitled to your point of view. I respect your view even if I do not agree with it. Thanks. Jai Sairam!
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Sister [name-snipped]: Oh! Of course, we have to (try to) follow Bhagavan's main teachings. Bhagavan's most important teachings are in the lines of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti & Prema values. And I personally do try hard to follow them but am not successful all the time smile emoticon .

About reaching God faster ... Well, in my considered view, Bhagavan very much wanted people who will spread his teachings of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti & Prema in the world, through both instruction and PRACTISE. So, rather than focus on individual reaching God (which is certainly not wrong and is upto the individual's choice), Bhagavan, at least in the last decade of his physical mission, seemed to me to strongly encourage people to participate together with the community to take all towards God. And also gave the assurance that if one does participate in his mission, he will take care of ensuring that they will receive His Grace and reach the ultimate goal (God).

If I recall correctly, he summarised it as I to We to He. Meaning from individual to collective society and then onto God. And for the collective society part, he spent HUGE amount of time, effort, emotion and money, on creating the Sathya Sai organization and other Sai institutions (schools, university, hospitals) giving lots of instructions and advise on how it should conduct its activities. Now everybody may not be comfortable with the orgn. and some may prefer doing things individually - that's fine. But it is the orgn. that is a very powerful platform for collective transformation of society through Bhagavan's teachings and practise of his teachings, and it is this platform that is recognized clearly as the authoritative source of Bhagavan's teachings & instructions.

I repeat that individuals are free to pursue their individual sadhana approach towards Bhagavan (staying free from the orgn.), say to reach God faster. Ultimately it is the choice of the individual. BTW I am a former Sai orgn. member and former teacher of the Sai university but currently am not associated with any Sai orgn. or institution and operate in an individual capacity. Jai Sairam!
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Sister [name-snipped]: I did not mention my Sai orgn. membership and Sai university teacher position in the past to lay some extra claim to be a special Sai devotee. I was just sharing my past background and mentioning my current background of not being associated with either of them. The judge of whether one is a good devotee of Bhagavan or not has to be made by Bhagavan, and not by you or me.

About the other parts of your message: Bhagavan has already laid out very clearly what his teachings are in regard to matters like overcoming human flaws and progressing spiritually. I am well aware of the teachings. And about practise - of course, everybody knows that practise is the key in spirituality.
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Sharing Bhagavan's teachings and fostering practice of those teachings, in whatever way one can, is wonderful, and also very much required in this post-Mahasamadhi phase of Bhagavan's mission. As a blogger/social media writer on Sathya Sai, I try to contribute my little bit in this regard.

2 comments:

  1. Shraddha van Labhathe Gnanam- Bhagavad Gita 4.24 - In Shraddha, there is revealation

    There is a difference between Faith and Shraddha.

    Stories of Faith abound and is known to the masses. Stories of Shraddha are known only to the Divine and His Beloved. No one else knows about the same

    There is an element of honour of the secret of grace poured by the Divine to His Beloved in Shraddha which is missing in Faith.

    Grace is nothing but a revelation and sometimes a manifestation of the innermost and intimate attributes of the Divine Lover, which is normal at the realm of the Lover but appears mystical, paranormal or metaphysical to His Beloved in the physical realm.

    So when we publicise the Grace, a revealation that is supposed to remain intimate, to the masses, it no longer remains Shraddha, it is just faith.

    The more faith expressed as miracles is publicised, the faith gets diluted. The more it is honoured and revered as an intimate revelation of the Divine, it becomes Shraddha. It is Shraddha that begets Grace.

    This clarity will enable an individual to decide what he wants to do with the experience and manifestation of Grace

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