Taken from “Kodaikanal Trip plus Questions and Answers by Baba”, June 27, 1999
Then on the return, we could get into the flight there in Coimbatore back to Bangalore. Bhagavan presented to the members of the crew beautiful sarees for the lady air hostesses there. Very beautiful sarees as I can estimate. Ladies as they are, anywhere on earth or in the sky, immediately picked up the sarees and they went on checking, standing in front of the mirror, “How matching it is!” Each one started appreciating each other: “This colour suits you.” The other lady naturally said, “This color equally suits you.” Mutual compliments. So they were so happy about it. I was watching the entire scene. Bhagavan also presented three gray-coloured suits for the captain and for the pilot and the co-pilot and also another gentleman over there, gray-colored suits. And I was watching all this.
After landing there at Bangalore, immediately I got a call from Bhagavan asking me to join there at the tea table. It was teatime, around four o’clock.
There I said, “Is it not strange that You distributed sarees and suits to the members of the crew and air staff, which doesn’t happen anywhere, anytime, by anybody. The Prime Minister may travel. The President may travel. They would not distribute sarees and suits like that. It is very strange to watch it, Swami,” I said.
Bhagavan said, “Are you jealous about it? When I distribute them, do you loose anything?” And He did not stop at that. He further said, “Perhaps you are feeling highly jealous because I did not give you one saree to wear!”
Then immediately I answered, “Bhagavan, there’s no chance of wearing a saree this lifetime, I’m sure. But if ever I try to wear the saree, I am more than sure that I would look more beautiful than most of the women around. Perhaps I would pray that this chance might be kept in abeyance, waiting till next life. Perhaps in the next life when I am to be reborn as a woman, you can present me a saree.”
Swami laughed and laughed and said, “Cha! What desire is this? Why do you pray that you should be born as a woman next time? Why don’t you pray that you will not have birth at all? Why don’t you pray for moksha? Moksha means liberation, where you don’t have to be born again, where you’ll cut off the chain, the cycle of birth and death. Why don’t you pray for that immortality, moksha, liberation?”
Then I said, “Swami, I have not met any liberated soul so far. I have not met any person who is enjoying that blissful state of moksha. The moksha or liberation is a state about which all of us imagine. We have not met anybody sharing their experiences. So why should I covet that, why should I pray for that which I do not know? Whereas this I know: singing Your glory, seeing You, watching You, talking to You, listening to Your message. Yes! This reality I know. Given the chance, I want to be born again as the State President of Sathya Sai Organisation in the State of Andhra Pradesh so that I would go around all villages, talking and sharing Your gospel, because this gives me the greatest joy in life which I want to be repeated off and on.”
Bhagavan was so happy about it. “Yes, it is good that you asked for it.” And Bhagavan spoke of earlier people in those times: “Swami Vivekananda never wanted any heaven. He never wanted any liberation. He wanted to be born again and again to serve humanity. So nothing is wrong in desiring like this,” He said.
Like this, days rolled on. But our stay was quite brief - only fifteen days. Including trip travel, it came to eighteen days, that’s all. Though quite brief, still the material we gathered was ample. At this moment I should also draw your attention to another interesting feature:
We had there in Kodaikanal a mountain, which is so high that if you were to make an estimate, it is around 7,500 feet above sea level. 7,500 feet! It’s the highest peak. Right from that mountaintop, you can see only the mist and the clouds. That’s all. And down the hill, valleys are so deep, so deep; the mountains are so sloped, so steep. You don’t find anything except the clouds and the mist and that’s all. Such a beautiful scene I have not seen anywhere. There on the mountaintop, there is a beautiful palace, which was occupied by the British people long ago. The late Birla Company owns it. The Birlas, very rich people, are business magnets of this country. They bought it from the British people. They never lived there. It is so spacious; spread around seventeen acres, worth about a couple of crores. They went around Swami again and again and again and again, a number of times. Bhagavan made them cry nicely to their hearts’ content. Ultimately, finally, He accepted to receive the gift of this plot and the palace located on that mountaintop. Now the Sathya Sai Central Trust owns it.
Bhagavan took all of us there and we had individual photographs taken. Such a beautiful spot, full of mist and clouds everywhere. Such a lovely garden! How am I to draw that how am I to describe that? Very spacious halls, no one has halls like that, with a jhoola (swing) at the center and well-furnished, beautiful- colored carpets on the floor. Better that I don’t describe further because I cannot do it full justice. Then Bhagavan said, “This being so high, it looks like Kailas or the very heaven. Let it be called ‘Sathya Sai Kailas Giri’ from now on.” So it is named as ‘Sathya Sai Kailas Giri’, the highest now. We have ‘Vidya Giri’ here in Prashanthi Nilayam. We have ‘Kailas Giri’ there in Kodaikanal. Everywhere, here and there, we are on the ‘giri’, the mountaintop, both here and there! That’s one of the things that happened this year.
To share with you a little thing that had happened there: As you know, all men here wear white dresses. Well, I don’t want my white dress to be mixed up with others. So that it could be spotted immediately, so that my dress could be collected earlier than others, somehow I took the precaution to write my initials on the back collar here: K.A. Well, that morning the washer-man brought all the clothes and kept it on my cot. I never dreamt that Bhagavan would step into my bedroom. I was not there that day. I went round the lake along with students there in Kodaikanal. Swami went in and saw these clothes and asked somebody, "To whom do they belong?" One lecturer said, "Swami, they belong to Anil Kumar." Then He said, "Anil Kumar should be A.K. It cannot be K.A. How is it that he wrote his initials K.A.? It should be A.K." And that lecturer picked up some courage and said, "Swami, K. is his surname, Kamaraju. A. is Anil Kumar. Kamaraju, Anil Kumar." "Oh, I see."
By the time we returned, this lecturer humbly, silently, and softly whispered into my ear what had transpired in my absence . OK. Please believe me, my friends. After fifteen days, in the public hall, while Bhagavan started giving His discourse, He said, "This country needs men of sacrifice, Tyagaraju! This country needs men of spiritual practice, Yogaraju! This country does not need Kamaraju, the one of desire! This country does not need Bhogaraju, the one of affluence and pleasure." And He then peeped into my eyes. Then I started shivering which some must have noticed also. So, such beautiful things, intimate things which we cannot forget in a lifetime, they do happen there in Kodaikanal. Therefore, Kodaikanal is the playfield of God.
You know what He said? “Samathwa samanathwa. Equality is impossible.” Oh, impossible?! Why? The whole earth is not equal. You find mountains. You find valleys. Up on one side, down the other. The body is not equal: The nose is a projection. The mouth goes back. The neck is there. The body is not like a pillar, a granite stone. It has got its ups and downs. The earth has got ups and downs too. So, Nature is not equal all through. Equality is not possible in society. And Bhagavan gave one simple example:
SIMPLE EXAMPLE GIVEN BY BHAGAVAN ABOUT A KING
It seems a king went around in disguise all over his kingdom and saw people suffering. He thought, "There should be equality in my kingdom." Well, he went to the forest, did deep penance and prayed to God. God appeared and said, "What do you want?" "Oh God, I want to live for a hundred years to establish equality in my kingdom." God said, "Fine. You are blessed. You go.” Seeing the king returning happily, the queen noticed what was the cause of her husband’s happiness, as he wanted to live for a hundred years. And then she said, "Oh king, if you live for a hundred years, people also should live for a hundred years. If they die at the age of fifty, to whom are you going to be a king? Who is it that you are going to rule here? So people should live for a hundred years." So some elders of the kingdom went and prayed to God, "Oh God, is it true that You granted a hundred years to the king?" "Yes." "Please grant us a hundred years also." "Yes, granted, you go." Then the queen went and said, "Oh God, You gave a hundred years to both of them. Do You want me to die sooner than them? Let me also live for a hundred years." "Alright, granted."
Now the king started returning home because his kingdom was granted equality. Everybody was be equal. Everybody was happy. God granted their desire. While he was returning, he saw palaces everywhere. All are equal now. But he could not recognize his own palace! With great difficulty, and only by watching and identifying the queen, he could find his own palace. Till then it was not possible.
He saw the queen and he said, "Oh queen, why is it that the streets are so dirty?" The queen said, "Oh Lord, oh king, there are no sweepers. All are kings today. Understand." "Oh I see. My God! Because I prayed for equality?" And then he said, "Oh Queen, I want to have a bath since a long time. Long time back I had bath. Please get the water ready. Ask the servants to do it." She answered, "No servants, I am sorry, oh Lord. Better help yourself." "Oh I see. Why?" Again she responded, "No servants. All are kings now. Equal." Then king said, "Oh I see." "Well, I want these clothes to be washed. Come on." The queen said, "No dhobi. No washermen. They are all kings now."
Now the king could understand the whole social order was disturbed since there was no functional division. The operation, the management became very difficult. And then he went to the forest again. "Oh God, please bring the old order again."