‘Artificial’ or ‘Heartificial’

How often Bhagawan stresses on the importance of harmony in Thought, Word and Deed, Trikaranasuddhi?!? What you think you must speak and what you speak, you must do. Read on a couple of such beautiful learning lessons at His Lotus Feet, penned by a former student at Bhagawan’s educational institutions, Sri K. Ajay, extracted from the 95th Birthday Souvenir of Sri Prasanthi Society, Hyderabad, ‘SRI SATHYA SAI – THE DIVINE COMPANION’.

Let me start with a story that happened when I was a 11th grade student in Swami’s higher secondary school. It was summer vacation time and Swami was in Brindavan. Many may already know that the lotus shaped building that Swami stayed in is called ‘Trayee’. Most afternoons, after bhajans, Swami would spend time with the boys in what were aptly named, Trayee sessions. In one such session, Swami posed a question that still gives me goose bumps when I think of it: ‘Who Am I?” He asked, lovingly challenging us on an unknowable question!

The boys started providing various answers. “You are Love walking on two legs”, said one. Another added, “You are the love of a 100 mothers.” Not to be outdone – and focusing the power of zeroes, another brother piped in, ‘You are the love of a 1000 mothers!” Swami kept shaking His head saying ‘no’.

“You do not understand the love of one mother, how can you ever comprehend the love of a 1000! Dunapota” said Swami – The Eternal Mother.

I had stayed quite through all this. Presumably the youngest in the room, I was quite intimidated by the occasion and the difficult question. But wait a minute! Something suddenly struck me and I blurted out, “Swami, you are our conscience!” In response, I got the most dazzling smile – one that could melt Mt. Everest. I will translate what He said next.

“See, it has taken a young, innocent boy to finally figure it out.” I looked around me to see who He was referring to as I hardly considered myself innocent. But He carried on to pump my inner balloon of ego a bit more with more praises and I would not dare repeat. In any case, I was by then in cloud nine and extremely full of myself. But the Divine Teacher wanted to teach us something and I was merely the sacrificial lamb at the altar of profound truth. The balloon was completely burst when He used words that I try and remind myself of everyday. “If you really believe that I Am your conscience, why then do you behave so naughty?”

My dear sisters, brothers, elders and children – these are immortal words of high wisdom from Bhagawan. We may or may not remember this message, but it is a fundamental truth. To only speak of myself, I fail so much in this tenet on a daily basis.

Let me illustrate this with another story. When I was a student at Parthi, I had the habit of writing poems almost on a daily basis. On one beautiful autumn afternoon in Sai Kulwant Hall, I was in full flow and words were flowing out of me in beautiful alliterations, if I can say so myself. As I was putting finishing touches on this perceived masterpiece, Swami walked out of the interview room. He walked towards what we called the old students’ block, lovingly speaking with several people. I was seated right by one of the entrances to the bhajan hall. Suddenly I felt the urge to give the poem to Swami. After all, it was for Him.

He came up to me and saw the sheet of folded paper in my hand and asked (in Telugu) “What is this?” . “Swami, it is a poem,” I replied handing it over to Him. “Aa? Love letter?” He asked questioningly while taking, and unfolding the paper. “No Swami, it is a poem,” I repeated lamely while He read on. After a few seconds, He looked up and said, “See, I told you; it is a love letter; you used the word love at least six times.” Amused, I kept my mouth shut. How can He ever be wrong? Swami then folded up the paper and putting it into my shirt pocket. He gently tapped on my chest and said, “Pretty words, but it has to come from inside; else, they are just empty words!”

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II