Swami Stories taken from Sunday Talks by Prof. Anil Kumar
Taken from “Laziness, Ego, Yagnas, Suffering, Science and Spirituality, Personal Family Stories”, July 4th 1999
And second thing that Swami said was that all this is our own making. All this unhappiness is of our own making. He was talking to the boys. One day here He said, "Hey Mister, get up!" There in Kodaikanal He said, "Master, get up!" At that time, there were about six professors there. I got up all of a sudden. He said, "Why do you get up?" "I'm a master," I said. Swami said, "Are you a master?" I answered, "Yes." Swami said, "No, no, no. You are not a master." So I asked, "Then Swami, who am I?" Swami said, “The one who has got control of the senses is a master. The one who has no control of the senses is a mister. You are a mister, Anil Kumar, but you are not Master Anil Kumar." So I said, "Oh, I see. So shall I sit down or get up now?" Or run away from there? Then I said, "Swami, in the way You meant, I am not a master. But by profession, I am a master teaching boys." But God won't leave you there! Then He said, "All right, if you are a teacher, if you are a master by virtue of profession, there are six other professors. They did not get up. Why did you alone get up?" He won't leave you! Then I said apologetically, "I am senior-most, Swami. Therefore I got up." Swami asked, "How?" I explained, "This is the thirty-seventh year of my service. Therefore, I am quite eligible to get up." Then He asked one of the professors, “What is your age?" That man said, “I’ll be fifty-one." Without Him asking me I said, "I'm fifty-seven. I’ll be retiring next year. Therefore I got up." Then He said, “Appa! What a just indication, what a reply you made! Now will you go!" He said.
So the point is, we feel like that in order to realise the desires we have. All of this is of our own making after all - our very own making. He was talking to the boys, "Hey, boy. As a mister, you are very comfortable. As a mister, you are a master of senses. Yes. You are fine now. You are a master, and you are a mister. You are just a bachelor. You are talking to boys. You are a bachelor. It is quite nice. But you must be getting married very soon. You are quite independent now, walking straight with two legs. When once you get married, you will have four legs. You will have to walk horizontally like an animal. With one child, you will have six legs like a scorpion. With one more child, you will have eight legs like a cockroach. As you have more and more legs, your walking will slow down. Whose responsibility is that? Who is responsible for all this bondage? Who has chosen for you this web of bondage? Whom can you blame? It is all your own making." So, for my misery, for my unhappiness, for my sadness, I am responsible; no one else. So, all the desires, all the attachments are of our own making. Let us understand. Let us not blame God for any reason.
Swami Stories Taken From Sunday Talks Given by Anil Kumar
Taken from “Fasting, Truth, Dharma, Secular, Friendship, Science & Spirituality, Work is Worship, Miracles and Healing Stories”, July 18th, 1999
I should also tell you another example. I do not know whether I said it long back. It does not matter. You can repeat it time and again. It was Paduka Festival some time back. Most of you know about Paduka Festival. The silver sandals are worshipped and it is a very big function, a three-day function. People come here with silver sandals and they do a lot of worship for three days. Every year it takes place here.
There was a couple and they lived about eight hundred miles away from this place. (By Indian standards, it is about a 17-hour drive to get there from here! In the meantime, people can reach London, have their breakfast and return!) And so the point is that there lived a couple and the husband suffered from paralysis. He was quite a young man. He could not move after suffering from a severe attack. After that, he was always lying like a vegetable on the bed and demanding service from his young wife. That man could not move anywhere. To serve a person, however dear one might be, for a short period is quite good. But for a long period of time it is a difficult scene. He had been in the hospital. The lady, quite a young lady, was feeling so badly because her husband was always lying on the bed like a vegetable, completely helpless. She was praying to God in various ways, and doing whatever He would tell her.
One day somebody came and said, “We are going to Puttaparthi. You follow us. Bhagavan will help the situation. Swami will cure your husband!” “All right! As a last resort, I should try,” she thought. Some good sense prevailed upon her. (Some people are not fortunate enough. They do not pay heed to these words. Still they have to be paralytic for some more time. We cannot help a paralytic sense or cancerous mind.) So somehow she paid heed to those words.
Now there at her residence, in the bedroom there, this man lay on the bed completely helpless all the twenty-four hours of the day. There was a drawing room where on one side they had a phone. And this lady employed a maidservant to look after her husband during the period of her absence for two days or three days (or whatever it might be) once she arrived here. So the maidservant was simply cleaning the halls, sweeping everything, and attending to that man there on the bed.
The wife came to Puttaparthi with a pair of silver sandals or padukas. But here it was so sad. It was a three-day festival, as you know. First day Swami did not come that side at all. It was her first visit! “What am I to do with these silver sandals if He does not come here? Shall I take them home, or present them to somebody? I cannot present silver sandals! If they were wooden, I could give to somebody. But silver I cannot! And I cannot take them back because I brought them and He did not care nor He did not bother to come this way at all! What am I to do now?” That was her question. To be or not to be. She is very worried about that man.
The second day Swami just smiled and left. "I came with sandals, not for Your smile! I want You to put Your feet here! So then I will take these sandals and pray, keeping these sandals there at the altar and offering service. Why do You smile? I do not want You to smile. I want Your feet which are more important than Your latest smile!”
And on the third day, when she was desperate, when she was helpless, when she was prepared to go, in inordinate despair, frustration, and depression, with the determination not to come again, she cried in her heart, "Oh God, I do not want to come again, OK?” That is what she said to herself within. And she sat. It was 9:30 in the morning and bhajans was over.
Baba was simply going towards the Poornachandra Auditorium, slowly, gently, smiling mischievously, holding the red robe in one hand with a bunch of letters in the other, as if to say, “I have no third hand to pick up one more letter. How can I receive any more? I am helpless!” This is the Divine cosmic dance. But then He notices, here is a challenge, or is it a curse? “If You do not step into my sandals, well then I am not going to come ever again!” (As if Swami is going to lose anything!)
But Bhagavan is both personal and impersonal: Everyone is important! Please be convinced of this! Bhagavan is like the father who always feels the absence of one child: if a father has four children, but there are only three here now, in other words, if the fourth one is missing, the father feels that missing child. So God is personal. He wants every one of us personally. If it were collective, so many would not have been here. Every one of us considers ourselves very important to Swami, very important to Swami, which is true! That is true! Yes!
So Baba comes slowly, smiling mischievously, standing in front of her, looking in the opposite direction! "Swami, You want to look there or look at me! Better You go into Your home because I am not able to decide whether You want me or not! You are standing for the past two days. First day, You did not pass through this line. On the second day, You simply smiled. And now the third day, You stand here and look to the other side! What is to be my conclusion?"
His response, “I am God, you see.” And that is all. A kind of wonder to all of us, but His usual style of functioning! What did He do next? He put both of His feet there on the silver sandals! He had put both His feet there. She was very happy and exclaimed, "Om Sai Ram!" But He was looking in the other direction. She caught both His feet tight now and fell at His feet. Answered our Swami, “Hey, don't sleep! Get up! Get up! Get up! Get up!” She said, “OK, Swami, all right.”
Please believe me, my friends, the addresses, the door numbers and everything can all be seen. I know this because I was in those places for a long time previously and they are really some of my friends of those days. Therefore I come with statistics and data. But what happened next?
She was so happy when Swami put both of His feet into the silver padukas. The next moment she wanted to call her husband. She went there immediately to phone. Someone answered, “Hi! How are you?" Eight hundred miles away. Nine thirty-five in the morning. What a surprise! She finds her husband talking to her, “Hi! How are you?” (Wife:) "What the hell have you done? I kept the phone there in the drawing room. During the period of my absence have you shifted that phone to your bedroom? Why have you done like that? May I know who is talking?”
He said, "Are you mad? I am your husband, you know. Can't you recognise my voice? I’m not talking from the bedroom. No, I am right in the drawing room where the telephone is installed!" She said, "Drawing room? A vegetable just rolling? Is that possible?” He answered, “Yes…no, dear. Please understand me: I could walk the distance!" "You walked?" “Yes!” “You walked from the bedroom to the drawing room and picked up the phone receiver and are talking to me here?” “Why not!” “Oh! Since when?” "Since 9:30!" Believe me!
At 9:30 Baba placed His feet into the silver sandals-padukas here in Puttaparthi. At that same time, eight hundred miles away from here, the husband rises from the bed. That is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! The ISD, the STD. the courier services or fax or e-mail, they are all slow when compared to Sai Baba. Sai’s Will runs faster than all these latest electronic gadgets and Concord Airways because Sai functions instantaneously. Sai responds immediately. May we grow more and more in faith, all in Bhagavan.
I will also share with you one experience of a devotee. A couple had a child who had been dumb all through life. She was speechless. The child could not speak right from the beginning. That had been a constant worry for the parents. However, a greater curse would be more than that you can imagine. She was dumb as well as speechless. Well, someone told the husband, “See, Baba is coming there. He is visiting Punjab. Why don't you go?” And as a last resort that man came.
Swami was on a visit to those parts. Long back this had happened, long back. The man came there with his wife while his daughter was staying at home, a few hundred miles away from there. The parents were very much worried. "Dear Swami, people say You are a man of miracles! People say that Sai Baba makes things possible which are absolutely impossible. Sai Baba relieves quite easily whomsoever is oppressed. Oh, Swami let us try our chance.” So they came all alone while their daughter, who is totally dumb, stayed at home.
Our God naturally tests us when we most need him! They were there but Swami conveniently ignored them on the first day. They were left with no other option other than to cry at the top of their voices. The second day He looked but did not come anywhere near them. So that day they could also only cry at the top of their voices. (He wants us to cry, but He does not want us to cry forever. Unless we cry, He will not come close. When we start crying, He says, "Why do you cry? Why fear when I am here?" This has been the Divine Romance going on for the last 74 years. He wants you to cry, but then He comes close, “Why do you cry? After all, you are not sure what I mean. You cry because you are not sure of My presence.”) So, the parents have been praying ceaselessly, fervently, "Oh God, You save our daughter who is dumb now, completely speechless. She is growing. What are we to do?”
It was afternoon time and Bhagavan was to speak in the evening at 5 o'clock. The couple could not go home because they lived in a far-off place. They were just partaking some lunch at that time. A little boy came, unsolicited and unasked. They thought the boy was a beggar. That boy came asking, “Give me one or two chapattis.” Because they were in difficulties, deeper difficulties, they were more spiritual as we know. (If they were without difficulties, they would have said, “Get out immediately!”) Because these were challenging, troubling times, they were spiritual and quite compassionate, charitable, considerate and kind at that moment. They could understand this boy was very hungry. And just as they were about to give, just when they were about to give, this boy kept his hand there and picked up the chapatti all by himself and started running. Just a little boy! So they started shouting, "Hey, boy! Boy! Boy! Stop! Stop!” But the boy vanished.
Then they wanted to convey to their daughter at home that they would be returning that night after listening to Baba’s discourse. They just wanted to inform her. To their utter surprise, (This is on record, my friends!) to their utter surprise, they listened to the voice of their daughter talking to them on the phone, the girl who had been dumb throughout her life! “It is I who am talking! Oh, Dad, I am your daughter, don't you know!” (Father:) “Ayo! You are talking?” (Daughter:) “Yes! It is your daughter talking, not the devil!” (Father:) “Oh, you talk?” (Daughter:) “Yes! Why not?” (Father:) “Since when?” (Daughter:) “Since right now!” (Father:) “I see!”
Now we can imagine what happened in the situation where here the boy runs and there the daughter talks! Who is that boy now? It was none other than Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba! Through any message, any form, any photograph, anything from anywhere, let us understand, Bhagavan communicates. Bhagavan wants to convey something through these different agencies. So, let us not consider them rather cheap. Let us not dismiss them.
There is another devotee from Japan. I get their magazine regularly from Japan. “Kansailight” is the name of that magazine. There one devotee writes like this. “Everyday in the morning, I find a cat visiting our house. Every morning.” I see. Of course, a cat visits me also, but I have not viewed it that way. Here is the experience of the devotee from Japan. "A cat visits our house every morning." OK. So what! So what! Is it that important? Is a cat an international issue? Well, how does the devotee explain it? There is a place (Anil gives the Japanese name.) very close to Osaka in Japan. What does this devotee say? "That cat from up there comes here daily at an appointed time." Oh ho! I see. And the story does not stop there. "That cat comes close to me now and then, and it touches my skin occasionally. Whenever it touches, whenever it goes round my feet, believe me, my body pains are gone! Believe me, my blood pressure comes down. Believe me, my sugar is always under control.” Oh! I see! The cat controls your sugar? Then doctors are not necessary? Why not! And then he writes, "I believe that Baba comes to me in the form of that cat. I am fully convinced that whenever I feel body pains or the body aches beyond control, unbearably, that that cat comes and touches my body. Every day it does not touch. It just visits, takes its milk and goes off. But when it does come to me, it means something is wrong with me.”