Monday, May 14th, 2012
One of the most decorated officers of Indian Civil Services, His Excellency Sri ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, held many important positions including that of the Director of Intelligence Bureau before assuming gubernatorial posts for the states of Chattisgarh, followed by Andhra Pradesh. Delivering Chief Guest’s address during the Sri Sathya Sai Aradhana Mahotsavam held in April, the Governor spoke of His perceptions about Bhagawan. Given below is a sub-edited text of the Govenor’s speech delivered on 24th April 2012, at Sai Kulwant Hall, in Prasanthi Nilayam.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Vaari Aasheessulu Teesukoni…. Naa mundu unde Ee Sai Bhaktha Saamraajyam, Naa Kanulaku Kanipinchakunda Sarva Lokamulandu Unna Sai Bhaktha Saamraajyam… Andaraku Na Vandanaalu.
Bhagawan ni nenu Suryudu Ani Bhaavistaanu. Suryudiki udayam ledu, asthamayam ledu. Adi Nirantaramaina Prakruthi. Atlaane, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba vaariki kooda udayam ledu, asthamayam ledu. Aayanadi nirantharamaina Prakruthi.
Suryudu Oka Samayamlo okachota, Inkoka samayamlo inkokachota kanipistaadu. Sarva Prakrutilo Andariki Samtosham Ichchevadu Suryudu. Atlaane, Ee lokamlo unna sarava janulaku samtoshaanni Ichche Mahaanubhaavudu Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
“Aadithya Hrudayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinaashanam” ani Cheputaaru. Bhagawanto Sambandham pettukunna vaarilo unna satruvulanu naashanam chese shakthi aayanaki unnadi.
Mana Manasulalo unna satruvulu evaru? Kaamam, krodham. Madam, lobham. Ee naalugintini aayana teeyaledu, mana manasulone pettinaaru. Kaani ee negative gunaalani positive ga maarchinaaru.
With the blessings of Bhagawan I convey my salutations to all those who are part of Baba’s empire of devotees, not only this vast gathering in front of my eyes here, but the denizens of this empire of devotees all over the world – my salutations once again. I consider Bhagawan verily as the Sun. There is no rising or setting for the sun; It is eternal. Baba is also an Eternal Being with no arising or setting.
The Sun shines at some time in one part of the world and at some other, at some other time. He confers his benefits and blessings to all at all times. Similarly, for all beings of this world, Sri Sathya Sai Baba confers blessings all the time.
“Aditya Hrudayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinaasanam” is the statement in the Aditya Hrudya strotram. The same powers of destroying enemies are there replete in Baba.
Who are these internal enemies in us? Baba did not destroy them but retained and transformed them from negative tendencies to positive traits, for instance, Kama (desire/passion), Krodha (anger), Madha (pride), Lobha (greed). He changed each of these highly negative traits by reversing the direction and turned them into a passion for service, krodha as anger against one’s self for failing in being service-minded, lobha as prayer to God for more and more opportunities for service of society, etc. In this manner, He taught us to reverse the negative tendencies to positive ones.
Well, Sri Venkataraman was kind enough to prove his devotion to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, when he made the statement that Bhagawan conceived this book, that Bhagawan guided this book, that Bhagawan wrote this book, that Bhagawan published this book but I find fault with Mr.Venkataraman for only one thing, that I would like to say, that Bhagawan released this book today in your midst.
Bhagawan may not be in our physical presence today, you may say so but I don’t agree with you.
Because, Bhagawan is somebody Whom you experience, you don’t see.
You have to experience the presence of Bhagawan and not see it.
Right now sitting here you cannot see the Sun, can you say there is no Sun? You cannot.
You are experiencing the effects of and the impacts of Sun, so also while Bhagawan may not be here with us in our presence here today, probably He is in some other part of the globe giving that Sun and light and illumination to another group of Sai Bhakta Samrajyam.
So that is the importance of Bhagawan.
Though exactly a year back, on this very day, at 7 am, when we got the message in Hyderabad, saying the light has gone out of our lives, my first reaction was, it is a wrong way, light has not gone out of our lives, light has in fact come into our lives.
Because, Bhagawan’s this act (act of shedding His mortal frame) was, I am shedding My form, My physical form, but My Atma, I am putting into everyone of you.
And that is what He did, so I felt that He provided us the light, He provided us the Atma, into everyone of us, and He did not leave us at all.
He only made us stronger by putting in us this determination that we will abide by His direction and by following His teachings to all of us.
What is so unique about Baba that we keep on talking about?
Some call Him Baba, namely Father, some address Him as Swami, a Master or a Guru and some address Him as Bhagawan, that is God.
I would say that Swamiji was Three in One, He was a Baba, He was a Swami, He was Bhagawan. It was all these three put together in One.
As Baba, He would adopt a different approach in every role that He played, as far as little that I know of Swamiji.
As a Baba, that is a Father, when we go to Him, as His children or Pilallu, He would say Bangaram; He would never address you by name, He would always say Banagram.
He saw in you a golden spec as a child; He saw that you are gold, the almighty gold.
And when you looked at Him as a Swami or a Master or a Guru, He would command you to do a job and that job was done.
In fact, last time, during one of the visits, when I was told about the hostel that was being built and asked them what was the time limit, they said, so and so many days.
I asked, will you complete it? and the person said, this is the command of Swami; we have no choice; It will be completed by Him because He has given the command and He will also complete it, we have nothing to do without Him.
And when we look at Him as Bhagawan, of course we called Him as the revered Avatar, we look at Him with reverence.
So, I see Swamiji in all the three avatars, as a Baba, as a Swami and as Bhagawan, all in different times.
Actually we are aware of this concept, MatruDevoBhava, PitruDevoBhava, ArcharyaDevoBhava, AthitiDevoBhava. To me, Swamiji, I think, had all these four filled in Him. Matha, Pitha, of course as I told you, when He meets, looks to us as a child, and called you Bangaram. Guru, when He commands us to do a certain job and Athithi; why do I call Him an Athithi, because Swamiji never waited for you to come to Him, He would come to your doorstep.
Here is a Person Who came to His disciples to tell them that He was there with them, in them, by them, for them.
He never waited for us to come to Prasanthi Nilayam to pay our salutations to Him, so He was an Athithi in that sense, to our place, so I consider Him as, MatruDevoBhava, PitruDevoBhava, ArcharyaDevoBhava, AthitiDevoBhava, all the four manifestations in one single person.
In fact, when you look at the spread of the Sai Bhakta Samrajyam, throughout the world, one can only say, Swamiji was like sahasra shirsha purushaha… sahasrakshas sahasrapat…
He was there everywhere, He was present everywhere.
Sahasraha, in this sense does not mean a thousand, it is infinite, it is what it really means, and that was the true greatness of Baba, and that it is why today we have Swamiji’s disciples, Swamiji’s followers, Swamiji’s devotees all over the world and it is not restricted only to Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi.
That is the uniqueness of this Avatar.
He was One Who did not believe in one particular religion or one particular God.
For Him it was EkamSathVipraBahudaVadanti.
You may call Him Allah, you may call Him Ram, you may call Him Rahim but for Him, everybody was One .
For Him God essentially was service, seva and love.
That was God for Him.
Like the song that goes VaishnavajanathoThenekahhi Ye Jo PeedaParayiJaneRe.
Here when they say Vaishnavajan, Vaishanavajan is one, who is “God’s own person”
He is only God’s own person who recognizes, who realizes the pain and suffering of others, and Swamiji was exactly that.
He was a Man who could see the pain and suffering of people all around Him and run to their rescue and say what can I do for him, with a smile
This was the true greatness of Swamiji.
As put by one of my earlier speakers, He understood the fundamentals of life so well.
In His view, education, healthcare and drinking water or food or means of sustenance was the most critical element for anybody’s life.
If you gave anybody all these three bhakthi would automatically follow.
Of the various forms of yoga, you call it bhakthi yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, but many of us are not capable of many of these things, but Swamiji, of course was a Karma Yogi.
For Him it was Karmanyevadhikaraste, Ma phaleshu… Action is thy duty, fruit is not thy concern.
But every one of us cannot be a karma yogi, it’s an extremely difficult thing, all of us are still human beings.
So there is a certain attachment or a certain expectation, there’s a certain belief in all of us but Swamiji was above all of that, that is why He was being called Bhagawan, He is an Avatar.
And for Him, He thought, by giving all these basic minimum, at least people will get bhakti into them, the devotion into them and that would make them true citizens and their march to mukthi would be much easier.
So, He really promoted Bhakthi yoga in all of us by providing the basics, namely, education, healthcare and the means of sustenance of life.
How crucial it is, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, you may ask, I mean education today?… that I think is the key to life.
If you don’t have proper health there is nothing you can do, if you are going to be lying sick in hospital all the time.
If you don’t have the basic minimum means of sustenance, I may give you great lectures, theoretical postulations, etc. but ultimately, at the end of the day, I want that morsel of food to fill my stomach. I want that drop of water, Sagar Ka Ek Boond Mujhe Chahiye.
Without that morsel of food or drop of water, what is it you are going to do?
That is the greatness of Swamiji, that He recognized these three essential elements and emphasised on this and today, we have institutions which He has built up with such great care.
In fact, I think, I am very unpopular as far as my state is concerned, when I keep on saying this, if one Swamiji could do this, why is it that we as a government are not able to do this?
This is a question that has been agitating me over the last two years; I keep raising this to my friend Raghuveera Reddy, Gita Reddy and others.
How can one person lay down a time-table and build institutions of this world class, top of the shelf culture and why is it that we can’t do that?
What is so great about this one Swamiji who could do this and not all of us put together?
That is because here is a Person Who felt for others, Who said He did not want to do this to have a university named after Him, Sri Sathya Baba Institute of Technology; No, that was not His purpose; His purpose was service to humanity.
So this is the lesson all of us have to learn, from Swamiji.
Whatever we do, let us do with this simple thought in us, that we are doing this to serve humanity.
This will improve the lives of our people and our whole concept of life should be‘how can I help my brother?”
All of us may not be in the same position. For instance, when Rama was crossing and going over to Lanka, near Rameshwaram, where the vanarasena was building the bridge for Him, the vanarasena would hold huge boulders and keep going, there was a small squirrel that was nibbling in the mud. So the vanarasena came and asked: “oh you little squirrel, we are carrying big boulders, what are you doing smearing mud on yourself? Do you think you can carry this thing?”
Rama took the squirrel in His hand and said, however small you are, you can still help me. Every man can help his fellow man, it is not that you need to have a lot of money, you should have the intention to help.
But the very feeling to help, is wealth for me.
I may not be in a position to help many people but if I can feel or have the sense to say that I need to help this gentleman, I think I have done a great job, and that is what Swamiji really taught us.
So, we don’t have to say, I don’t have the money Swamiji ,I don’t have the time Swamiji, I don’t have the capability Swamiji, but if you can spread this thought, around all of us, there will be some people who be able to invest on it, there will be some people who be able to undertake this, but the thought, I think, is something that must pervade all of us.
Swamiji’s message was making every creation of God, into a human being.
His concept of human being was different.
His concept of human being was not just to create a graduate, post graduate, or a doctor or an engineer. That was not His concept.
A human being, is somebody who lives for others.
And that is what Swamiji was very particular about.
And this is a concept we need to really talk about.
I am only saying… people like me probably can only talk about it, but I am happy that I am at least, I am able to talk about it because if I can talk about it to hundred or thousand people here, at least one of them probably can take up the thought and follow it up and I would have achieved my success.
I will rate it as my success if one among the thousand people have taken up this thought and can say we must do something for the people.
As Swami rightly said, it is not only for the poor, it is for humanity as such that we need to do.
We need not think of only the poor, poor, poor…we can do it for all deserving persons.
Anybody who is deprived, anybody who requires it, anybody who is going to feel the need for it, we need to do that and that is what Swamiji really taught us.
When we come to Prasanthi Ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam, here is something I really look forward to, because it gives you both PRASANNATHA (joy, pleasant attitude) and SHANTI, both of which are something which people like me, many others miss in our day-to-day living.
It is these few minutes or few hours that one spends in Prasanti Nilayam, of course, I am not as fortunate as all of you who have had the privilege of being resident of Prasanthi Nilayam, the privilege of listening to Swamiji,, the privilege of having the darshan of Swamiji on a regular basis, but as and when Bhagawan ordains that I should come here to Prasanthi Nilayam, I have felt that great peace and satisfaction and I go back charged with extra energy, with a determination that I must try and do something, in my life, if it is worth a life….that is how I look at it.
Well, passing on to a few personal remarks, not that I am saying this out of a sense of pride or a sense of joy or a sense of achievement, I would only like to share a few of my experiences with Swamiji.
During my first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam when I rang up Mr. Chakravarti and had fixed up a date and scheduled to come to Puttaparthi to pay my obeisance to Swamiji, the previous night Mr. Chakravathi rang up, and said” Sir, Swamiji feels that the visit can be postponed”.
I was really, really upset.
Not because I felt I had been insulted as a Governor, but I said why is this Swamiji denying me a darshan tomorrow, when everything had been fixed.
I do not know why and I asked Mr. Chakravathi, why? Is there anything He is angry about? Why has He refused me this darshan? He said, Sir, I have absolutely no idea; He only told me: Let him wait; I will see.
So what was that intent, that was a signal saying that trust and faith is the most important thing.
I did not lose my faith or trust in Swamiji.
I said, I will meet this Swamiji, I will definitely, come what may… I will definitely have my day…and I will get my darshan of this Swamiji.
I went on and I did get it, next time a month later, Chakravarthi now said: “Swamiji now feels that the Governor should come, he should come.”
And here I was seated in that corner. (between the bhajan hall and the stage).
The Swamiji went around giving darshanam to everybody, bhjajans was over, the arathi was over.
He had met various people and thereafter, He went past me and went into His chambers.
I am sure there was shock wave that went through many of my friends here.
Oh God! what happened, first time this man comes, he is refused an entry to Prasanthi Nilayam; second time he comes, he spends his whole time here through the bhajan, still the Swamiji doesn’t look at him and He goes away.
Then He goes into the chamber, sends for me and my wife.
We go there.
And you will not believe that was my first real encounter or meeting with Bhagawan.
I had only heard of His miracles, I heard of His greatness, I heard of His preachings, but when saw Him, tears filled my eyes, I do not know why.
I have no reason to explain that, I have absolutely no reason to explain this.
And because of the softness of His voice, I went as near as I could to Him, almost putting my ear in His mouth, which I would think, I would say, was the biggest privilege that anybody could get.
I don’t know how many of you could have had this privilege.
But it was there for me and the two words which still strikes me, which acts as a guiding force, for my life…I am not trying to tell you this as a first person, but because this is something I feel out of my heart and I think I have to say it in the presence of Swamiji today.
He said: “Neevu emi thappu pani cheyavu”
(You will never indulge in any wrong doing)
He said “Go ahead, you have My blessings”
And He placed His hands on our heads, both of us.
And you do not know what it meant to me, to me today, that is probably my biggest strength.
I may be doing a lot of wrongs but here is Bhagawan telling me you will never do a wrong, so I probably feel that is how it is destined and that is how it is happening.
So I have almost surrendered my deeds.
Like it is said KayenavachaManasendiya Va …..
So I have surrendered myself and said ok, if I am doing something, it is being ordained by someone else.
It is not in my hands to do this job and I am doing this, and in that sense probably I have turned into a fatalist or somebody who has just accepted in life that is coming through.
I think it was one of the best moments of my life getting that blessing from Swamiji.
On a second occasion when I came to Him, I had come here to seek His blessings for a very close relation of mine who had a serious health problem.
We are all human beings, we come to seek.
We don’t give up, because I am still a human being, a raw human being…so you might understand why is this man talking so much, ultimately he is here to seek and not to give.
But seeking blessings is also something which has to come from your heart.
Because everyone of us has that Aham in us…AHAM BRAHMASMI, is what we all think, but giving up that Aham (ego) and coming to a sage like Him and saying I seek Your blessings, I think in itself, is God’s Own Will.
So all that I came to Him was with folded hands, I said “Swamiji I seek Your blessings, I hope nothing serious will happen.”
He just put His hand on my head and said “NOTHING WILL HAPPEN”
He said Life is secure; you don’t worry about that.
And today that person is alive.
This is something I can hardly believe but I have gone through this.
I am sorry I have become a little emotional but this is a fact.
That it took me a few minutes to come out, because He kept His hand on me and kept saying it.
I know many people were very angry and saying why is this man sitting at His feet and touching His feet and standing like that, but I could not control myself, but here is a Person Who says about the health of the person, who is somewhere else…and here is a man who does not know what it is all about.
I am only seeking His blessings and prayers.
And here He is, saying nothing will happen.
And He gave that life to that individual, I believe.
On the third occasion when I came here, I was out there sitting in the corner doing the bhajan that it was… He was here sitting on His throne.
He told somebody, “Ask him to come forward”
I do not know how He knew, I don’t think He saw me at all but He said, “ask him to come forward.”
So somebody came and said: “Sir, come forward.”
So I then moved into that corner and sat there.
Then again He beckoned, and said, “Ask that man to come and sit next to Me”
So I said Swamiji I can’t sit next to You, I will sit behind You, but next to You I cannot because, I don’t think I am worthy of that, I cannot.
You are on the throne and i am on the floor.
But still I cannot sit next to You and I shall sit behind You.
I said I do not know why He is doing it.
So this same Swamiji Who at one stage felt why I should wait for His darshan, this is the transformation He brought in me, as a great Man.
And that is the faith and belief in Swamiji that I have today.
If I come today, I have not come as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, I have come here as somebody who has adored Him, as somebody who worships Him, as somebody Who has given me a life.
I have great faith.
I have told you in these two personal incidents, I am seeing the impact even today.
And that is what, Faith is built over experiences.
So that is why when I said that Swamiji has to be experienced, He is not to be seen, you have to experience what Swamiji’s presence means and it is there, everywhere.
It may be in your house, it might be in your drawing room, it might be in your office, it might be there, it might be here.
You don’t necessarily need to come here and do it.
Can you imagine any other place where thousands of people would come and sit in such a disciplined fashion.
I have been telling my colleagues in the police force, look at this discipline, there is nobody controlling these crowds, they are going in the queue on their own.
Nobody is pushing, nobody is shoving and all of them are going.
How does this happen?
It is not that Swamiji has told you must not do this.
I don’t know it comes on its own, all of you are there in the line, queues are going over miles, people are walking quietly, many of you may probably not even get a glimpse of Him.
You may probably feel that Swamiji is somewhere around and you go back happily, saying that I have come to Prasnathi Nilayam today, happily saying I had a darshan of the Swamiji, even if you have not had the darshan.
That is the greatness of Swamiji.
The essential expectation of His was Seva.
The concept of selfless seva, seva for the needy, need not necessarily be for poor.
If you can preach even if you can’t do that, I think we would have achieved a great milestone in our lives.
Our lives are not like Bhagawan’s life….Ours is not Ananta Yatra; ours is Anta Yatra.
We have an end in our yatra whereas He’s is an Ananta Yatra, His journey goes on.
So, in that short period that life has been given to us, it will be very useful if only we could follow Swamiji’s teachings.
If only we could convey His teachings to others, for mundane people like me, who cannot probably carry out the task He would like us to do.
Even if we could just convey this to others, we would have done a great job.
To me Swamiji represented the ultimate source from where one can seek, AsathoMaaSadgamaya, ThamasoMaaJyothirGamaya, MrithyorMaaAmrithamGamaya, He is that Goal.
From darkness unto light, from ignorance into knowledge, from death into immortality…that is what Swamiji ultimately represented.
I know that you people are Swami bhakthas.
It gives me great confidence when I attend gatherings like this because it gives me the confidence that we are on the right track.
We will not lose.
A day will come when again, we will win the situation.
It might take some time, but the very fact that if I can see thousands and thousands of Sai devotees here, and all over the world who have such dedication, and who have such discipline, and who have such commitment to do seva and to work and to do, carry out His Will, I think this country, this globe has a great future.
The other day for example, when I was inaugurating the hospital mobile vans of the Sathya Sai Institute in Hyderabad, I was exalted, I was struck, at the sight of the type of equipment that was there, the type of doctors that were willing to do…I said who is going to man these vans, they said, the best of top of the shelf doctors.
Everything is there.
And I just mentioned to Raghuveera Reddy this morning, if these people can run vans in every district, if Swamiji can say I am going to provide drinking water for Chennai city and Swamiji does it, if Swamiji says I am going to provide drinking water for Ananatapur district, why can’t we do it?
We (the government) will do it, is what I am trying to tell this audience.
I, today, tell you, brothers and sisters, that this government will do definitely something for the people as ordained by Swamiji.
We will carry forth Swamiji’s blessings and we will carry out this task.
I would thank Swamiji, for giving me this great opportunity today to be in Your midst once again, and to receive your blessings, once again.
I feel the impact, I experience Your presence.
…And I give you my word, to the best of my ability, I will try to serve society and the people.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II