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Thus Spake Lord Sai - 2 (during the visit of Education officials from Himachal)
How many times we have sat at a distance seeing Swami interact with people and wondered what goes on there? A peep into the conversations that took place reveals a wonderful world of spiritual lessons. EVery word of Swami means something special for someone - even when said in a joke. Here is a trip down memory lane to relive two days in August 1992. It was a time when some people from the ministry of education, Himachal Pradesh, had come to see the school and Institute at Puttaparthi. The following conversations took place on the portico, just outside the interview room.
18th August 1992
This Morning Bhagawan was speaking to a group of high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Education, Himachal Pradesh.
Swami: All parties have their eyes only on votes but are not genuinely concerned about the welfare of the nation. Everybody wants to be a leader today, but no one wants to accept responsibilities. A leader must lead, not push. But, today’s leaders push from the back.
Official 1: Bhagawan, you must be knowing where the Rama Janma Bhoomi (place of birth)
really is, don’t you?
( He was trying to change the topic. This was also the time when there were serious differences between Hindus and Muslims over land which was considered holy by both of them - Ayodhya. The Muslims claimed it as theirs since it had the babri masjid and the Hindus claimed it as theirs since it was the birthplace of Lord Rama)
Swami: Why, yes! I do.
Official 1: Please tell us then- where is the Rama Janma Bhoomi.
Swami: Where else- it is the womb of Kausalya (Rama’s mother)!
(The entire portico burst into a resounding laughter!)
Swami: We must be more interested to seek the ‘Atma Rama’- the Rama within
our own selves. That is the real residing place of Rama.
(The officials received the answer with great reverence.)
Official 2: Bhagawan, what is the cause of rebirth? Why do we keep taking birth?
Swami: When some unfinished or unrealized ‘Sankalpa’ persists at the end of one birth-cycle, it materializes as another birth to get itself fulfilled. When rice is planted with husk, it grows again is paddy. But if the husk is removed and the grain alone planted, there can be no more growth of paddy. Instead, it can be cooked and eaten. The Sankalpa is like the husk. As long as it exists, a rebirth cannot be escaped. But, if it is removed, there ends the cycle of birth and death.
(The talk then turned to the school at Puttaparthi.)
Official 3: Bhagawan, your schools are the best in the country.
Swami: Don’t say the best. But yes, they are good. Do you know why? Here, it is not the vice-Chancellor or the Registrar who control the organization. I control it. That is why it is so good. You must not compare it to outside schools. The standards are totally different. Even those schools are slowly coming up now and will take time.
(To the Director of the hospital) Is the nurse training school ready? When will it begin?
(To the Education Minister) We are now beginning a Nurses training school here at our hospital itself. Good nurses are as essential to the hospital as good are good doctors. But, what to do? Today in our country all the trained nurses and compounders are flying off to Dubai, Kuwait, etc. We don’t want that problem here. So, we are going to open our own Nurses training school shortly.
(Then as he turned to go inside, one of the birthday boys showed a life size photograph of Swami to be autographed. )
Swami: Boy! Why did you spend so much money? You can worship a photo as God, but not God as a photo.
(So Saying, Swami went in.)
19th August 1992
(Today, all the boys moved front because it had started raining heavily. Bhagawan came out after the interview went into the Bhajan Hall and came up to the rear end of the portico. After spending some time there, He came through the lines to the front. One of the students, whose grandfather had passed away, knelt down.)
Swami: I know! I know! Your grandfather? (The student nodded) Why fear? Where there is birth, there is always death. The body is like a water bubble. It has taken birth, but it will perish some day. So, do you want to go?
Student: No, Swami. I want to be with You!
Swami: Why fear when I am here and near? (Looking at a student holding a letter) House warming ceremony? (The student nodded) I know, I know.
To a student from Delhi
Swami: Shall I materialize two bottles, glass and even cigarettes for you?
(Smiles at that joke. Then, in a serious tone to an educationalist from Himachal Pradesh)
Which is the worst quality?
(The person was silent.)
Some boys and girls drink and smoke. They are given too much freedom. It is the mistake of the parents. They don’t hold their children in control. The end of wisdom is freedom. It is the freedom of spirit, not this kind of animal freedom.
(To another student)
You also go- they are all waiting!
Student: No, Swami!
Swami: What do you want?
Student: I want only You. I want to live with You.
Swami: What is your name? (The student told Swami his name - Murali.) Do you know that it means flute? Where is your flute?
Student: Swami, you must keep me with You.
Swami: Yes, the body is the flute. It has nine openings, like the flute. If you keep your hollow, like the flute, I will keep you with me.
Student: Swami, how to keep it like that?
Swami: You must make your body free from all vices like hatred, jealousy, ego, pride, vanity, etc. Then your body becomes ‘hollow’ and pure. I will then accept it. Boys do not understand the purity and Divinity of the atmosphere here. They want the outside atmosphere. See the devotees seated there - from Iran, Argentina, Italy and all other countries. They are crying out of joy being here with Swami. But you all want to go. You don’t want this purity and divinity. Swami is always giving, giving, and giving. See how happy the devotees are! But boys want giving and taking also! Always selfish, selfish, selfish, it is not business!
(Swami then went into the interview room and came out with a book.)
Swami: (to an official) See, what is this?
(The book had a hardbound cover of Sanathana Sarathi but also had something written in Persian. The official pointed this out. Swami showed the book to the Director of the Hospital, Dr. Safaya, who knew Persian. But before he could read, Swami himself announced, )
Swami: This is the Iranian issue of Sanarthana Sarathi. In Iran, Sanathana Sarathi is printed and circulated in Persian language. See! Even in Russia and many other parts of the world, Sanathana Sarathi is circulated.
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya