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Does God exist? How to seek God?

Updated on September 7, 2014

The Barber and Baba

In the Hindu religious practices, there is a ceremony where the locks of a child are cut for the first time in its life. It is considered an important ritual and is also called the Mundan ceremony. And thus it was that a couple once pleaded to Swami (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba),

“Swami, please cut the first locks of our child. It would be the greatest blessing to have this done by You.”
To this, Swami smiled sweetly and replied,

“I am Baba and not barber!”

That being said, there is an interesting story of a doubting barber that I read somewhere. Having read that, I read another episode narrated by the former Controller of Examinations of the Sri Sathya Sai University, Prof.M.Nanjundiah. Both these narratives together made a beautiful lesson.

The story of the doubting barber

The story was of a person who goes to the barber for a haircut. As is the common practice the barber engaged the person in a conversation which steered towards God. Now the barber said,
“Look here! I do not believe that God exists.”
“But why are you saying that, my dear fellow?”, asked the client.
"Well, it's so easy. You just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Tell me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people on earth? Would there be abandoned children and old people? If God exists, there should be no suffering nor pain."
The man gave no response and the conversation ended there.

After the haircut, the man got up and started walking out of the shop. The barber stopped him, “Hey! You cannot leave without paying!”
“Pay? Whom should I pay?”
“Pay me of course! For the haircut.”
“But, there are no barbers in the world! Whom do I pay?”
“What do you mean?! Don’t be ridiculous. Did you not feel your hair snip as you sat in the chair. Were you not subject to the experience of a haircut? How can you say that barbers don’t exist?”

"Well, it's so easy. You just have to go out in the street to realize that barbers do not exist. Tell me, if barbers existed, would there be so people with unkempt hair and long beards on earth? Would there be children and old people who have not known the touch of a snipping scissors or a shaving blade? If barbers exist, there should be no person with overgrown hair!"

“If they choose not to go to the barber, is it the barber’s fault?” The client just smiled, paid the barber and walked out.

The experience of God is as personal as a haircut!

Seeking God - His departments

It was here that I was wondering on what it meant to seek God. Thinking of Swami always is possible but what if I seek Him for wealth, for a career, for health etc. Is that also seeking God? Swami has no problem with that. He says, “I give you what you ask for so that one day you will ask for what I have come to give.” But what does seeking Swami exactly mean?

The 85th Birthday commemorative issue of the Sanathana Sarathi magazine has an article by Prof. M Nanjundiah. And he writes about what Swami once told him. That answered my question completely.

“Just like the cabinet that the Prime Minister has, Swami too has His own cabinet. I have entrusted different tasks to the different ministers. I do not interfere with their work. If I get a prayer in a letter, “Swami we want rains,” I will redirect the letter to Varuna, the Lord of water. He will deal with it appropriately.

Only three departments come directly under me: Love, Selfless Service and Spiritual Sadhana. Whoever loves me, I too love them. I do not look into the other qualities or eligibility. Whoever performs service without expecting rewards, I shall take care of them. Whoever or whenever any person pursues spiritual sadhana, he/she will will come under my protective umbrella. Other departments are all looked after by My other Ministers.”

And so, if you want to seek God, seek Love; if you want to seek God, seek selfless service; if you want to seek God, seek Sadhana!

What a revelation!

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© 2011 Aravind Balasubramanya


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    • profile image

      Prithwis Kumar Goswami 4 years ago

      Baba's teachings are always very interesting.Sai Ram

    • profile image

      vijaya lakshmi 4 years ago

      Sai Ram Aravind. barber story is great...Thank You

    • profile image

      Kokila Vaidyanathan 5 years ago

      Great story about the barber...lovely article. Thank you Sairam

    • profile image

      padma 5 years ago

      loving Article..Seems as though Swami is lovingly giving advice-love,service,Sadhana.thanks Again.

    • profile image

      Prakash Chittaranjan 5 years ago

      If I may my case, I wish to clarify that my path is exclusively Self Inquiry (you may wish to put that into Sadhana category if you wish) and I know how Swami has got me closer to this thru Self Inquiry !!

    • profile image

      anju dhingra 5 years ago

      Awesome message for all of can seek God through Love, Selfless service & Sadhna. Beautiful article as always....simple & meaningful.

      Just loved it. Thanks a lot !!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      An Impressed Reader 5 years ago

      Really liked the analogy of Swami's cabinet .. It is a very powerful one and makes us realise such a profound truth .. That God can be won only through love, selfless service and persistent Sadhana ..

    • profile image 5 years ago

      This type of nice presentation can generate from His products only. Keep continuing your articles..

    • profile image

      Kyle Quandel 6 years ago

      Great piece - thank you again! Kudos! - Kyle Quandel

    • profile image

      Sreenidhi 6 years ago

      What a beautiful analogy! You have oncne again helped me out to answer a few of my friends and people around me.....this was Swami's way of teaching and helping me.....jaisairam

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Moodle - Thank you :)

    • moodle profile image

      moodle 6 years ago

      Great story about the barber - beautiful.

    • poornimasrinath profile image

      poornimasrinath 6 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

      Beautiful colation of apt story and Swami's words for the topic chosen! well done again :)

    • profile image

      omshidhar 6 years ago

      Thank you aravind. The best way to start my day.

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Sainath and Arpita - Swami's love makes everything happen!

      @ Kyle Quandel - Thank you for the appreciation...My pleasure to share

    • Kyle Quandel profile image

      Kyle Quandel 6 years ago from NYC

      what a great piece! thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image

      Arpita Mallajosyula 6 years ago

      one of the best examples ever..!!! again a very simple daily life example yet so profound....i will remember this lifelong..!!! :) this cabinet ministers example has touched me so much....!!! thnx ana..!! :)

    • profile image

      Sainath 6 years ago

      Beautiful Message - Once again reiterating that Love or Prema is the only thing we need to cultivate to all

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Shruti, Deepa and Spirit Whisperer - Thank you. Swami is the one who inspires everything.

      @ Samir - Thank you. I shall convey the same to all here! Will be good to see you next year.

    • profile image

      Samir 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot brother! All you in SAI radio are very vivid in my memories and make SAI still embodiment of Love in Prashanti!!! He left Swami's Boys when he left His body! Hope to have your Darshan next year :))) love for all

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      A beautiful hub. Thank you.

    • profile image

      deepa venkitesh 6 years ago

      wow! a great hub, thanks for sharing. you helped bless us too.

    • profile image

      Shruti 6 years ago

      How true!…. All that He asks from us Love to God…!

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Saisarannaga - Thank you. :) It is entirely HIS grace.

      @ Aarthi - "Do not bother either about the past or the future. When needed, they will reveal themselves. Just continue to love." That has been His message always.

    • profile image

      Aarthi 6 years ago

      Very nice article! "Whoever loves me, I too love them. I do not look into the other qualities or eligibility." - Simple yet profound! Swami does not consider any other factor of eligibility except love. What more assurance do we need? Thanks, bro!

    • profile image

      saisarannaga 6 years ago from Chennai in Tamilnadu, India.

      What else can I expect from the students of Swami's Institute? Both the above experiences clearly points out Swami's way of teaching great Truths. Let us try to come under Swami's umbrella by opting any of the three paths. Thank you for the nice presentation.


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