Swami Stories Taken From Sunday Talks Given by
There was an occasion when boys spoke on the Holy Bible, Moses, and the Ten Commandments. They thought that they had done nicely.
Then, in the evening Swami came to that side and said, "Who are the boys who spoke this morning?" Three boys got up. "What are the Ten Commandments?" He asked.
The fellows couldn’t open their mouths. They mumbled something. Then He came over to me and said, "You are from the Christian College. Tell me the Ten Commandments!"
I got 50% marks. Out of ten, I could say five. Not a total insult. Then He went to another teacher who directed the whole play, who was the director. "Tell Me the Ten Commandments!"
He said a few things that were not any commandment. Swami said, "Don’t speak like that." So everyone laughed.
Then Bhagavan said, "Sanathana Dharma, ancient Dharma, is the bottom, the bedrock, the parent. Out of this parental stock came various religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism. These religions have come into existence only three thousand years ago. But this Sanathana Dharma, nobody can say its beginning. We can tell the date of every religion’s birth. But when Sanathana Dharma was born, no one can say, as it had no beginning."
Then I thought that it was time for me to say something. I said, "Now Swami, I understand that Sanathana Dharma is the main thing and that all the other religions are its shadows." I thought it was quite intelligent!
He passed two steps ahead and turned round, "Repeat what you said!"
"Swami, Sanathana Dharma is the main object and all other religions are its shadows."
"No, No, No! They are not shadows! All religions are reflections, not shadows. Shadows are of inferior quality, whereas reflections are as much as the very object itself! Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, all religions are as great, as perfect, as the object, Sanathana Dharma. Therefore they are reflections, not the shadows. Correct yourself!" He said.
And then He looked at these boys and said, "What else did you speak?" They had heard all this talk, so they kept quiet.
Then Bhagavan said, "While speaking, you should tell the ultimate. You develop your topic. At the end, you should tell the ultimate Truth. You cannot stop in the middle. And this is a hint for all speakers because some speakers begin somewhere and stop nowhere. The audience forgets the very topic on which he wanted to speak. And at the end, the speaker may not tell on what he spoke. This sort of speakers we have."
But Bhagavan gave a clue to the prospective speakers. Establish the speakers by giving a good example. What did He say? "Here you have milk. You curdle it, make it curd. You churn it, and bring out the butter. You heat it and get the ghee. You heat the ghee, it continues to be ghee. The ghee is the ultimate. Milk is the beginning and it ends in the state of ghee. Similarly, talks should begin at the stage of milk and end up at the stage of ghee, the ultimate. You can never drop in the middle."
I gave a talk in the college auditorium to the boys on Adi Shankara. Swami was passing by that evening. My voice was fumbling because He might ask me a question for which I had no answer. And I might also give some details, to which Swami might say, "You are utterly wrong."
I was very, very hesitant. I said, "Yes, Swami, by Your grace." Because grace is unquestionable, non-controversial.
Swami went in. After an interview He came out and said, "What did you say?" I said a few points.
He said, "OK, OK, right, right, right." But I got stuck up at some place for which the Divine Player was waiting. I said, "Bhagavan, Swami, God is the eternal truth, which is changeless. Creator is eternal, but creation is momentary. God is changeless, while creation is changeable. God is permanent, but creation is temporary." I thought that I was explaining nicely. He gave me a long rope to hang myself!
At the end He said, "You are wrong."
"How, Swami, how?" He said, "God, Creator, is eternal. Creation is also eternal."
"How can there be two eternal things?" I know paternal and maternal, but not two eternal, existing things. How can they be? "Swami, one is changeable; one is changeless. How can they both be eternal?"
Then He said, "Human being may die, but not humanness or human quality. Cow may die, but not the nature of the cow. Creation may change from time to time, but its nature remains the same."
Then I got thoroughly confused. Sometimes, we teachers do that in the classroom. When a boy is putting questions, we try to confuse him more, so that the bell will ring and everyone will go for a break!
Now I said, "Swami, the philosophy of Adi Shankara is the existence of the One-without-a-second. Only one reality exists. Everything else is illusion, delusion or maya. This is what I read. But You say that the Creator and the creation are both eternal. Now You are speaking of two. I say there is only one. What is it that is common between the two? One changes, while the other does not change. Well, what is there which is common?"
Swami then said, "Creator is eternal, creation is eternal. This eternity is common."
I don’t know what an answer it is! Eternity common between the Creator and creation! Then I could understand that it was time for me to remain silent.
That night I was preparing for my class on Bhagavad Gita to teach postgraduate students in the college. I was teaching the thirteenth chapter. Please believe me when I was reading the text, the twentieth verse says, "Creator and creation both are eternal."
That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Whatever He speaks has got a basis, approved by the sacred texts. It is not for an argument that He speaks. He does not mean to convince you. It is based on the ancient Vedanta philosophy.
Swami looked at a boy who was doing his postgraduate year and said, "What do you want to do after this?" The fellow was puzzled, and had no immediate answer.
Swami said, "Do MRS!" He didn’t understand.
Swami said, "Do MRS - Get married!" That’s what He meant!
The boy got up and said softly to Him, "It is enough if I make You happy."
Now Swami said, "I am always happy. I don’t wait until you make Me happy."
Swami said, "Don’t eat all the roots that are grown underground: potato, beetroot, and carrot. All these underground roots will add to your weight. Also don’t use too much oil. You should eat greens.
Believe Me or not, I don’t know what sleep is. I don’t know what appetite is. I am 75. All these years I am never hungry. All these years I have never slept."
Softly and delicately I asked Him, "Why do You switch off the light at night if You don’t sleep?"
He said, "If I didn’t switch off the light, many people would be here and they wouldn’t go. They wouldn’t sleep."
So I asked, "Then why do You have a dining room and table?"
Baba responded, "Several people join Me at times. To make them eat, I also pretend to eat." He has transcended food and sleep.
There was one boy, a new boy. Swami said, "Come on. First year undergraduate course."
The fellow said, "Swami, I have a lot of fear for everything. Because of fear, I cannot sleep at night." Sleep is important for life.
Swami said, "Why fear when I am here? Why fear? Man doesn’t know his capacity. Man has greatest strength. (This includes women.) Man is so weak because he doesn’t know his strength. He has got the strength even to make God come down to him."
My nature is never to keep quiet. I get into trouble like this. A bitter gourd cannot change its taste! "Swami, why, if I don’t know whether I have strength or not, what does it matter? What is the use of such unknown strength?"
Baba said, "Here is the sugar cane. The sweetness of the sugar is not known to the sugar cane. Similarly, man does not know his own capacity."
Then I asked, "What is the benefit? Who will know that, if we don’t know? Ants know the sweetness of the sugar, but not the sugar cane. Diamond cuts a diamond. Where are the ants? Where is the sugar cane? How am I to understand?"
Baba said, "You are the sugar cane. Your friends and relations are the ants. They come to you because of the sweetness in you. That sweetness may be in your personality, knowledge and education."
I continued, "When ants know, and the sugar cane doesn’t know, what is to be done now?"
Swami said, "Do you think I cannot answer you?"
"No, no, no. I want to know."
"Everyone should think, ‘Am I worse than an ant? Even the ant knows the sweetness of the sugar cane, and I don’t know. What a low creature am I! By that way, you can know your strength."