Once I heard a beautiful story. It went like this:
There was a monk who had a disciple and both of them were celibates. One day as they were walking along, they came across a river. A beautiful, charming young lady stood at the river bank and said, "O good people, I am wearing a costly dress which will get wet and spoiled if I wade through this river. Can you please help me get to the other side without me having to wet my dress?"
The monk stepped forward and without a word, picked her up. He carried her on his arms as he waded through the river and put her safely on the other bank of the river. She offered her thankful salutations and went her way. The disciple who was observing this all along had all sorts of doubts troubling him. He thought, "Here is my master who professes to have taken the vow of celibacy and yet, at the slightest opportunity, he picked the woman up without any hesitation. Should I continue to follow him? Is he the right teacher?"
As the two of them walked many miles to the next town, it was almost sunset when they decided to rest. The monk noticed that his young disciple was very troubled and agitated. He asked him what the matter was. The young disciple expressed his thoughts to which the monk laughed and replied, "Oh! I left that woman at the river bank. But I see that you have been carrying her all along the whole day. You must be tired having to carry so much luggage. Now, put her aside and go to sleep."
The moral of the story is, it is not so much in the act as it is in what the act does to your mind. The monk had absolute control over himself and therefore wasnt affected by touching the lady. The young disciple on the other hand didnt even touch the lady but seemed so affected by witnessing the act. Train the mind to leave things as they are without getting entangled and it will be in peace. That is the object of all sadhana.
Swami often tells the story of the courtesan and the brahmin who were neighbors living opposite each other and how the courtesan went to heaven and the brahmin went to hell after death since each was thinking of the acts of the other.
In fact, today I heard a discourse given by Swami for Guru Purnima '87. There was a beautiful punchline by Swami - "There should be renunciation in action, not renunciation from action."
The mind absorbed in Bliss
Karma sanyasa talks of not letting the mind delve on the fruits of the action, not of not doing any action at all.
Memories flood me as I pen down - or rather - type down a few words in fond remembrance of my Guru and God (GURU DEV) - Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. How Sai has entered my life and filled it with meaning and purpose is known only to me. I am certain this is the story of many youngsters out there who were lost, forlorn, despondent and directionless. It is the artist who can see the idol embedded within a stone. He only chips away the extra adages and the beautiful idol emerges. It is the painter who sees the painting before he even starts. He only fills in the colours and the painting emerges. It is the Lord who sees the Divinity in each of us. He patiently weeds out the 'not so Divine' qualities and shows us our true nature. Many memories flood me as I reminisce over the Divine Love that Swami poured out by giving His quality time and working at chiselling my character. However, I would like to share two stories of His love and how He shaped my life by becoming my Sadguru.
"Describe Spirituality in one line Swami", said one of the boys during a group interview with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - my Guru and God.
Swami coolly replied, "Love All, Serve All". Ah! What a disappointment we felt. This was the oft repeated quote of Bhagawan and then we just continued with our conversation. However, this definition of spirituality by Swami often made me think whether it is so simple. To be honest, it pretty much throws out of the window all the ritualistic approach and devotional mayhem that people tend to create in different religions cloaking them under the garb of 'Spirituality' when actually the term has nothing to do with lighting the lamp, waving camphor, controlling the breath or attending sermons and visits to the mosques, churches or temples.
Wow! If all that isn't about being spiritual, what is? - Love All, Serve All?
Recently, I visited Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi for Gurupoornima, where the Mahasamadhi of Bhagawan …
"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…