A Talk Given by Mrs. Kamaraju at Rochester, New York
April 4, 2009
With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,
The Teacher of teachers, the Master of Masters, the Lord of Lords, Sai Ram! I thank the Rochester Sai Centre for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be here with you.
GOD CAME TO EARTH BECAUSE OF AFFECTION AND COMPASSION FOR HIS CHILDREN
Avatarinchuta Enutalo Ardhamemi
Prajalapai Prema Vatsalya Paratha Thoda
Vaari Stayiki Digivacchu Daivambu
Jeeva Pragnya Tho Patuga Daiva Pragnya.
The descent of the Lord to help mankind is Avatara. God came to this earth because of His affection and compassion for His children. He wants to transform, guide, and help them so that they will be on the right path.
One day, Swami was with His students. He asked a question, “Who is the Master?” One student told Him that the Master is a learned person with a Master’s degree. Swami was not satisfied with that answer. The next boy was asked the same question. Swami was not satisfied with his answer either. Swami asked more questions: what is meant by M. Tech? What is meant by MBA? He went on asking questions like that and, in answer, the students told Him whatever they knew. But Swami was not satisfied. Then He said, “The person who has sense control is the real Master.”
What is the role of the Guru (spiritual guide)? What does He do? How does He transform us? How does Swami select us? How does He protect and inspire us?
Often the word guru is misunderstood. Teachers or instructors are not gurus. The real guru is one who attains union with the Self and returns to earth to help mankind on their journey to the Self. So only he can be a real Master who will direct others to the path of the Self. The term ‘guru’ is always misunderstood.
One day, a group came to Puttaparthi and asked me to speak on the same subject, “The Master and the Guru.” I explained many things about ‘Master’ but forgot to give the meaning of the word ‘guru’. After I came home, Swami said in my meditation, “You told the group everything except for the meaning of guru.”
Gu means ‘darkness’, ru means ‘light’. The person who takes us from darkness to light, the one who dispels darkness, is the real Guru.
SWAMI IS AWARE OF EVERYTHING
A lady came to Puttaparthi, and Swami gave her an interview. As she entered the interview room, Swami asked her, “Are you here for the first time?” She said, “Yes, Swami.” Then Swami said, “No, this is not the first time. You came at the age of three with your parents.” The lady had forgotten, but Swami does not forget anything. He is aware of everything. She was shocked to hear that from Swami.
On another occasion, a foreigner was staying in a Bangalore hotel. Swami appeared in his vision and asked him to come for darshan (the public appearance of Swami). So he came to Whitefield for the darshan. Swami was passing along the lines where he was sitting. Out of excitement, the foreigner called out, “Swami, You came in my vision at 6 o’ clock!” “No, no, I came at 6.30!” was the reply.
Swami corrects all of us whenever we forget anything. That means He is aware of everything, whatever we do, wherever we stay, whatever we say. Now Swami is listening to my speech and He should help me! (Laughter)
WE CANNOT GO TO PARTHI UNLESS SWAMI WILLS IT
Swami guides His devotees. He selects a devotee and it will be a 10-Year Plan, ahead of time. After ten years, He has everything ready . . . those who should come, and those who should serve Him. But we don’t know His Plan; we can only go to Swami when the time is right.
So many people struggle to go to Prashanti Nilayam (Swami’s ashram) at Puttaparthi, but they can’t go. They cannot go to Parthi unless Swami wills it. If it so happens that it is Swami’s will, then that means the time has come, and Swami knows that our presence is needed there.
This lady (that I spoke of earlier) went away after her interview with Swami. She felt unsure as to how she should serve Swami. But inspiration came through His words, and she started doing social service for society. Swami transformed her mind just with an interview! That is how Swami brings about transformation in us.
Many people stay in Parthi for a long time. If you see the same people after ten years, you will see a difference. The narrow-minded will become broad-minded; and they will be interested in doing social service. That is how Swami transforms them.
We are not aware of our transformation, for it takes place naturally. Swami cleanses our hearts; the impure weeds are removed. So when the heart is pure, the thoughts will also be pure and Divine. We will be eager to follow the messages that we hear in Swami’s discourses. That is how Swami transforms us.
SWAMI PROTECTS US
After transforming us, Swami also protects us when we get out of line. Perhaps we deviate from our daily routine of spiritual practice, or are not aware of the mistakes we make.
Here is a story as an example: there are children playing in a house, and they are completely involved in their game (just as we are in the game of life). Their father and mother go out. The children don’t know that and they continue to play. While the parents are away, the house catches fire. Suddenly at the needed hour, the father and mother return—but the house is locked from the inside! They could not do anything!
The father shouts to the children through the window. “Children, come here!” They do not hear as they are so involved in the game. Then the father calls, “Children, please come out, I have some new toys for you.”
The children respond to those words as the father knew they would. So the children quickly unlock the door and run out of the house away from the fire. That is how the father protects the children.
And whenever we commit mistakes, when we are not on track, when we are not doing things properly, our Swami also protects us. He will protect us from accidents and sickness. If Swami thinks that we deserve everything, He will do everything for us. He will respond to our prayers.
WHATEVER WE DO IN LIFE IS ONLY THROUGH SWAMI’S INSPIRATION
After protection comes inspiration. Whatever we do in our life, we do only through Swami’s inspiration. Unless Swami inspires or motivates us, we cannot do anything. We cannot go from one place to another place either. In fact, it is through the inspiration of Swami that we could all meet and have this great function here.
Two or three students are sometimes given the chance to speak from the platform to the people waiting to hear Swami’s discourse. All the talented speakers naturally get fame and name; but the person who does not speak well is given encouragement by Swami. The less fortunate ones or the less talented ones need encouragement. Swami does that and brings out their hidden talent.
He lifts the spirits of any student who is a little discouraged or needs any help. Then the student works on his presentation so that he can speak better the next time. That is how Swami encourages many students and they become good speakers after that. Swami also teaches singing, the music notes (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa) to many singers, and they too come to the USA. Swami helps His students, the singers, the speakers, the dancers, everywhere—all participating in Swami’s activities. That is how He encourages and inspires people.
SWAMI PLANS TEN YEARS AHEAD
Swami also encouraged me to speak. I am a simple housewife and completely involved with the responsibilities of taking care of my parents, in-laws and children. It is the biggest miracle that I am sitting before you and talking to you.
Ten years ago, Swami appeared in my vision and gave me a list of many topics, along with their titles. I wondered why Swami should give me all these topics, as I was not going to speak anywhere. Why should He do this, unnecessarily wasting His time and my time too?
Swami came in my vision at 2 o’ clock at night, telling me all these things. Then I said, “Swami, please go and tell my husband! He is a good speaker and he goes everywhere. Why you are telling me?” (Laughter)
But we don’t know the meaning of Swami’s statements. Ten years after the vision, Swami asked me to speak in USA, when I came over to help my daughter after her delivery.
SWAMI HELPS AND TRANSFORMS US
The people in the Sai Centre asked me for a talk and gave me some topics. They thought I was a scholar; they didn’t know my personality! (Laughs) I wanted to avoid speaking, but they did not agree. So somehow I got the courage to give a talk. But I still didn’t know what the topic should be.
Then I prayed to Swami: ‘Swami, what are You doing? I am not a scholar! Swami, it is because of Your inspiration that they are asking me; and it is because of Your inspiration, that I must speak.’ I prayed to Him to give me a topic.
A week later, Swami gave me three words: “Unity, Purity, and Divinity.” I didn’t know anything about Unity, Purity, and Divinity! In fact, I had only heard those three words because of living in Puttaparthi. (Laughter)
I told Swami, “You gave me Unity, Purity, Divinity, but I don’t know their meaning. How then can I speak on them as a topic?
Then Swami said, “Tell them a story about Unity, Purity and Divinity.” The stories were also mentioned to me by Swami, and I finished my talk.
That is how Swami helps and transforms us. This is the biggest example of transformation! He moulds people, He bends them. He makes them a perfect individual so that they will be of some use to the society.
Then comes inculcation—the inculcation of values. There are many human values, and I don’t think we practise even one or two. We can learn about them from listening to Swami’s discourses, and living in Parthi gives us plenty of opportunity to practise them!
There is a great danger in staying at Puttaparthi. We may start thinking that Swami is an ordinary, normal human being. That is the greatest risk for us who stay there.
For you people here, it is an advantage to go there and worship Swami. As you stay for a short time, you will not lose that feeling of worship. But if you should be there for a long period, Swami will act in such a way that you will be drenched in maya (delusion, illusion).
It takes time to come out of that maya. Our sadhana (spiritual practice) continues, but in between we will be under maya’s influence. That is how it goes there.
We have to be extra careful; only then He will come to us. He will put us through tests and then He rescues us, helping us to come out of maya. Swami has a lot of patience to manage so many different types of people. He protects, transforms, and inspires us, elevating us and inculcating these human values into our lives.
This is the experience I had when I was first in Puttaparthi—I hope everyone has a similar experience. When we come to Puttaparthi, our mind is completely different, and our thoughts and actions are limited to our own family. We don’t think of all the others in society, the poor and needy people. We don’t take them into consideration because we are only concerned about our own families.
But our mind changes so much after coming to Swami. It happens naturally, I don’t know how. Swami never told me anything, yet in the course of time He helped me to undertake many social projects. He helped, inspired and motivated me. He made it all succeed.
We organised 108 marriages, and 108 shashtiabdhapurthis (60th birthday celebrations). My friend and I were part of a team. We went to villages around Hindupur, Kavali, and Nellore, where the marriages were performed. Wherever we went, all the people were very co-operative and helped us. We needed a lot of help, both monetary and practical, for in this kind of project a single person cannot do anything on their own.
The village people are undisciplined and do not come on time. On one occasion, we were waiting to perform the marriages and asked the people to come at 9 o’ clock. One of the village girls went to the beauty parlour and came to us only at 10.30 am. Another pair took the wedding clothes and never returned for the marriage.
Anyway, with Swami’s grace, we could complete all this in one year. He gave us this wonderful opportunity. The joy in His eyes when we do any service to the society is something we cannot forget; we cannot forget those beautiful looks in our lifetime. The small things that we do, make Swami very happy. This is one thing that we must remember.
Swami tests us in many ways, similar to the olden days when gurus used to test their disciples. Here is a story: a small boy came to a guru and wanted to join the ashram. The guru said that the disciple was very small and could not join the ashram. But the boy was very insistent that he must join and learn everything along with the other disciples. So the guru accepted him as his disciple. Because he was very small, he was given the opportunity to take care of the garden. After some time, the guru started to test him.
A test is a test for everybody, whether a small boy, a big boy, an adult, or an old man. With Swami, it also is the same. We must undergo many tests, but it is for our own good.
One day I told Swami, “I cannot bear all these tests. Please don’t test me!”
Swami said, “How can you go to the next class without being tested?” A test is necessary for us.
Similarly, the small boy was also given a test. The guru told him not to take any food throughout the week. He did not eat food, but drank milk. The following week, the guru told the boy not to have any milk. The guru’s wife was wondering why the guru was putting the small boy through such a severe test.
The boy satisfied his hunger by eating the fruit that fell from the trees. The third week, the guru told him not to eat even the fruits.
He could not bear the hunger and went to the garden and plucked some leaves from the JilleeDu (calotropis gigantea or crown flower). Milk sap exudes when the leaves are plucked, and he licked that milk to satisfy his hunger. But the sap is poisonous and he lost his eye-sight.
One day, while walking, the boy fell into a well. Goddess Parvathi and Parameshwara came by and wanted to rescue him. They said, “We can help you. Come out of the well!”
The boy told them he will not do anything unless told so first by his guru. His fellow mates informed the guru what the boy had said. The guru himself then came and asked him to come out of the well. He hugged the boy when he got out and said, “You are the most sincere disciple. From now on, you can stay with me.” That is how this boy could win the grace of the guru and become his main disciple.
Once, a guru was giving a lecture, when a disciple came and asked, “Can I join this ashram?” The guru told him that ashram life is not as easy as he thought. All the limitations, rules and regulations have to be followed.
Then this boy said, “Oh, it is very difficult for me to follow all the rules and regulations. Can I be a guru without following the rules?” (Laughter)
The guru was shocked. He said, “First you must be a disciple, undergo tests, and only then can you become a guru.”
Even with Swami we have to undergo all these tests and challenges. Only then can we advance further in our lives and win the grace of Swami.
SWAMI WILL GIVE THE ANSWER
One day I was cutting the vegetables to make bean curry. Swami came in my vision and told me a poem about bean curry.
Chikkudlu Chekki Chikkumudulu Ippu O Sugathi
Chinta Teerchi Chenta Terchu Chinmaya Murthi
Chaatumaatu Valadhu Yemarupaatu Tagadhu
Chinni Saini Sevimpavamma Danya Jeevi
Chikkudlu Chekki: I am cutting the vegetables. (Swami is referring to me.)
Chikkumudulu Ippu O Sugathi: You are so clever that you can solve all the problems. (That is the certificate Swami gave me that day! (Laughter) But only for that day! Because when Swami praises one day, the next day He is sure to scold us. I have had that experience, too.)
Chinta Teerchi Chenta Terchu Chinmaya Murthi: sometimes we feel that Swami is not looking at us, Swami is not watching us and we can do anything – as if we can have secrets from Him. We feel that He does not know anything.
Chaatumaatu Valadhu Yemarupaatu Tagadhu: be always alert; be aware of Swami’s presence. (That is what He wanted to tell me.)
Chinni Saini Sevimpavamma Danya Jeevi: you are so blessed because you are serving God.
That is the meaning of this poem. Sometimes Swami used to tell me poems like this. I can write all the poems only with Swami’s grace.
Once there was a Telugu pundit (a learned person), who was a college principal. The pundit asked me to write an article about Swami based on: what was my experience in my home place where I used to live, and what was it like after coming to Swami? What was the difference in my life? She gave me a week.
I didn’t know what to write. That time I also prayed to Swami, “All these people are asking me to write, what I shall do?” A week passed by. On the last day, a cat came by while I was cutting vegetables for the cooker on the stove. (Swami will come in any form; we don’t know what form He will take.) I gave the cat milk; it drank and went away. When I returned to cutting up the vegetables, inspiration came to me and tears rolled from my eyes. I wrote the article then and there, all purely due to the grace of Swami.
Swami inspires in different ways. It can be through a book. For instance, whenever I want an answer, it will be on the first page of a book that I am reading.
This happened the first time I went to Milwaukee Centre, where people asked me to speak. I hesitated as to whether I should because the American accent is different from our Indian accent. I didn’t know if we could understand each other. But I told them that I would give a talk next week; yet I was still hesitant.
I was reading a book by Joy Thomas. The first page I was reading went like this: Joy Thomas was a good speaker, touring and giving lectures about Swami everywhere. She went to Swami and He gave her an interview.
When she entered the interview room, Swami stared at her! Then she was very afraid whether she was doing the right thing in speaking about Him. But Swami sweetly said, “You speak nicely, continue the talks.”
That was the answer for me and next week I went and spoke in that centre. Swami gives answers just like that when we pray from the bottom of our heart.
WE CAN SERVE SOCIETY AS SWAMI’S INSTRUMENTS
Swami, with all His grace, inspires me to speak. He showers all His grace on our family. I pray to Swami that everybody should have that experience.
Everybody should have the grace of Swami by doing a little service to our society or to those who are in need. You can do service within your own limits; it may be only a little, but it will please Swami. When you visit Swami next time, remember that, and promise Him that you will do service. Swami will be very happy and He will respond to you. He will respond to your prayers also.
When people are in need or distressed, or in depression, please go to them and provide whatever help they need, psychological, monetary, etc. It is for our own satisfaction, not only to please Swami. Service broadens our minds and is useful to society. If we do or give something, we will get it back multiplied. That is the way of Swami, and I have seen this happening. As Swami’s instruments, we can serve society more and more.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Thank you, Swami. Thank you one and all! Sai Ram! (Applause)
© Copyright Prof. Anil Kumar Kamaraju, Puttaparthi. All rights reserved.