Divine Melody and Rhythm

Its been a while since I wrote a blog. My schedule over the last month has been quite hectic though. Around this time last month, I was on my way to a short trip to the UK on an official assignment. While there, I discovered a whole new culture and a very different set of people. But as is the case with all Sai devotees, I felt very much at home when I visited the London Sai Center on a Sunday. One of my classmates from Parthi also happened to be in London on an official trip and it was a Divine Coincidence that we were able to make it to the Sai Center on that Sunday. We had the good fortune of conducting a Bhajan workshop, fairly impromptu, and it brought back a flood of memories of the days in the Bhajan hall with Swami and the importance of Bhajans and music in general in the journey to the Divine.
Over the many decades at Prashanti Nilayam, many things changed. But one constant in the entire Prashanti environment has to be Sai Bhajans. No wonder Swami often sang, "Sai Bhajan…

Why God Created the Universe?

"Swami, the source of all the problem is You. All the problems in the world exist because You created the world in the first place. Why did you create the world Swami?" - these brave words were said by one of the youth brothers who was present in a group interview that Swami was granting to us many years ago.

As all of us waited with bated breath and with our ears perked up to catch the response that was to be the solution to all the problems of the world, Swami coolly replied, "A..B..C..D raani vaadiki words cheppi emi prayojanam. Meeku ardham kaadu." (For the one who does not know the alphabet, what is the use of teaching him words. You will not understand.)

This answer from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, or Swami as we lovingly called Him seemed very simple and the topic ended there as the conversation drifted elsewhere. But, looking back at that piece of interaction today, I feel Swami's words make a lot more sense to me today than they did in that room on t…

The Power of Prayer

Prayer it is said is God’s only weakness and man’s only strength. For some reason, I never liked this saying. More because it attributes a weakness to ‘God’ – a term we use to define Absolute Power.
Sometimes, deep introspection reveals deep truths. So as I sat to ponder upon what this really meant, I couldn’t help but disagree. It is not so much as a ‘weakness’ for God. Perhaps it is a catalytic action to hasten what was due to you as an ‘answer’ to the prayer. Simply put, the very act of prayer is often misconstrued as ‘seeking for something’. As I have mentioned elsewhere, we are so used to pray ‘for’ something that we forget that prayer is not ‘asking’ for something. It is communication. It is an expression of love to your Beloved – the Almighty. When I go home after a long day’s work and the kids at home look forward to talk to me, they don’t expect anything from me. They just want to talk to me. So is the case with God I suppose. He waits for us to talk to Him. That act is ‘prayer…

The Oxymoron called 'Material Existence'

Exciting as it may seem to possess objects that hold material value, it often seems quite a let down when one discovers that those very materials which one attached great value to, may themselves be worthless after all!

There is a wonderful story of Saint Tyagaraja who was once sent riches by the King of Thanjavur. The story goes somewhat like this - Tyagaraja was a south Indian poet saint who sang and composed many kritis or 'songs' in praise of his favourite deity - Lord Rama - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu from the Hindu trinity. His name and fame grew and one day, the king of Thanjavur summoned him to his court. Tyagaraja did not heed his command. So, the king tried to lure Tyagaraja by sending him many gifts of great material value like expensive jewellery, many gold coins and regal clothing. Although his family which was in great poverty was very happy to receive these gifts, Tyagaraja refused to accept them and asked for them to be taken back to the king. Upon being chi…

Humanity - what a pity!

The fallacies of humankind seem so obvious these days. I know you must be wondering why this blog opens with a crib. Well, recently I was in a situation where everyone around me seeemed so 'tolerant' of being adharmic. This set me to wonder if the world has come to accept Adharma or unrighteous conduct as a way of life.

There have been many stories in the past which illustrate a way to stick to Dharma and yet be able to work your way through. Yet, everyone seems to have a threshold limit defined for oneself after which adharma seems acceptable. Let me give an example - There was once a doctor by name Dr.Bose who was treating a case of terminal cancer. The patient was a 14 year old young lad. As a doctor, Dr. Bose knew that Raghu, the patient would not survive for more than a month. Yet, when Raghu asked Dr. Bose, "Doctor, will I recover?", the doctor said, "Oh Raghu, don't worry. You will be perfectly fine."
Consider this example, the doctor obviously h…

The Means or the End

There has always been a raging debate on means versus the ends. Does a just end justify unjust means? Or, should one stick to following the right path even if it leads to a dubious end? Let me clarify what the confusion is all about. We all come across situations in life where there seems to be something wrong with what we do, but we justify what we do in that moment as we feel that it leads to a righteous end. On other occasions, we seem to follow our duty, sometimes knowing fully well that it leads to a disastrous end – rather unrighteous or unjust – but we still justify our act by telling ourselves that we have to abide by our duty or follow a certain discipline or rule.
Many a time I have heard Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – the guiding light for all humanity – talk about this through parables, stories and tales from the epics. It is natural for any human being to seek excellence. But what is this excellence? Is it about the means being an end in itself, or is it to achieve an en…

Limiting The Unlimited One

Oftentimes I have wondered why the human mind tends to limit things to the remit of what one has experienced or seen. Take for example a wild concept of perhaps being able to breathe under water. If one proposes this as a possibility, the others almost definitely dismiss it as a figment of imagination. And yet, it is a fact that each of us has performed this act when in the womb of our mother.
In fact, many of our Puranas and Itihasas today are seen as figments of wild imagination and are termed as ‘Mythology’. The etymological origin of this word itself suggests that it is a ‘myth’ – meaning unreal and imaginary. But when one sees something actually happen, which otherwise is generally dismissed as imaginary, the story doesn’t seem mythological anymore. As a matter of fact, it is all about human imagination which has a deeper connection with an eternal consciousness that is beyond time and is only throwing up something which has either occurred in the past or will occur in future, s…