The power of a Guru's feet - Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam
The first message that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave mankind was "Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam Dusthara Bhava Saagara Tharanam" meaning,
"Meditate in thy mind on the Feet of the Guru. This can take you across the difficult sea of existence in birth after birth."
He sang this as a boy of 14 and thus declared His mission of leading Humanity back to its connection with the cosmic creator. He had returned home from school and He threw away His books saying,
"Illusion has left me. I am no longer yours. My devotees are waiting for me."
Thus began His endeavor of making a Hindu - a better Hindu, a Muslim - a better Muslim, a Christian- a better Christian, a Sikh - a better Sikh and a Parsi - a better Parsi.
Taking refuge at the feet of a Master is not anything new among those who are familiar to spirituality. In fact, there is a sweet story of a fish taking refuge at the feet of the 'Master'!
Speaking to some of the students in a private session, Swami had said,
"People today learn Baa Baa Black Sheep! This Baba is a 'white ship'! A ship to take you across the troubled waters of Samsara (worldly existence).
Coming to the subject of this article, there is a story from the life of Shirdi Baba. I was reading Swami's discourse during Guru Poornima on the 24th of July, 1964! There was this anecdote of the Shirdi Avatar that He narrated. Along with that anecdote came a great assurance. I felt like dramatizing that anecdote into a play. All facts are as narrated by Swami though the style is mine. Hope you enjoy this little play....
(Shyama is serving Baba – massaging His feet and seems to be worried…)
Baba What bothers you so much Shyama?
Shyama Baba! I am at your feet here. What worry could I possibly have?
Baba Ah! The classic case of a conflict between what one is actually feeling and what one wants everyone to think he is feeling! (gentle laughter)
Shyama Baba, forgive me. You know everything and yet you ask? Don’t you know the innermost recesses of my heart?
Baba Shyama! If I were to ask only out of ignorance, there would be no possibility of any dialogue between God and devotee. So, tell me. . . what is bothering you?
Shyama Baba you are aware of Radhabai. She serves you in all love and diligence.
Baba What about her Shyama?
Shyama She has been seeking a mantra from you for so long. Her need is spiritual and yet you have been keeping her at a distance. Help her Baba.
Baba So a day has come when your love for her is greater than mine!
Shyama Baba please do not speak so. She is so bent upon getting the mantra that she has refused to take food till she gets one. And it has been three days now. She has grown so weak and if this continues…… she may….
Baba …die? Hahaha Shyama! Having determined to get something, one should either achieve it, or collapse from that effort.
Shyama Baba! Please do not take it to the extreme. If she dies then….er….what will people speak about you? I am worried about your name Baba. People have vicious tongues.
Baba Sai cares neither for the praise nor the blame heaped upon him. Sai cares only for the welfare of his devotees. And sometimes, welfare comes along with a struggle or pain.
Shyama I plead to you Baba. Please do something.
Baba You are a madcap Shyama but still you please me. When I am here to give temporal and spiritual relief, why do you worry so much? Summon Radhabai and I shall give her what she truly needs.
( Shyama arrives to Baba's presence with Radhabai)
Radha - Baba….Baba…..
Baba - Radhabai! There is a fine line between stubbornness and determination and you do not understand it.
Radha - Baba I am just seeking a mantra for Spiritual redemption….
Baba -Why do you ask me? Go and seek your mantra from your Guru…
Radha - Baba you are my Guru! I know no other…
Baba -Hmmm. Easy words Radhabai. . . Do you know what a Guru is?
Radha - Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Guru Devo Maheswaraha. Guru Sakshath Parabrahma Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha.
Baba Tell me Radhabai……when the Guru is everything – Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara (the trinity of gods) – the ultimate too – then why not take His name as mantra? Why demand another name from the Guru? If the Guru is God, obeying His orders, walking in the path He has shown, these are as effective as the repetition of the name.
(Baba now gets up and walks to Shyama)
Baba Shyama get some food and drink for Radhabai. Take care of your body Radhabai and I shall nourish your soul.
Radha I will do as you say Baba..
Baba (to Shyama and Radha) Once you have secured a Guru, leave everything to him, even the desire to achieve liberation. He knows you more than you yourself ever can. He will direct you as much as is good for you. Your duty is only to obey and to smother the tendency to drift away from Him. You may ask, how are we to earn our food, if we attach ourselves to a Guru like this? Be convinced that the Lord will not let you starve; He will give you not merely money but even Amirtha, not only food but the nectar of immortality
How often we commit this mistake of telling our master what is good for us? We call out to Him as the Omnipresent, Omniscient one but then, we feel that we know better than Him what is good for us. Our prayers reflect this ignorance,
"Dear Lord! Please let XYZ happen. Let me get ABC."
It is almost like telling the Master, "You know what is good for the Universe but are no good at knowing what is good for me!"
And that is why surrendering to one's Guru is the easiest path to salvation. No wonder that the first bhajan Swami taught us was, "Manasa Bhajore Guru Charanam" meaning, "Oh mind! Contemplate incessantly on the feet of your Guru and be redeemed across this ocean of worldly existence. "
But then, do we understand what this 'Surrender' means? Those with time should click on the highlighted link on surrendering to one's Guru. :)
Bow down to Shri Sai; Peace be to all
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