In friendship there should be good feelings in the heart. This is possible only for God. There will be an element of selfishness and self-interest in the love between parents and children, between brothers and sisters and among friends. Only God can be a true friend. He never asks for anything, only keeps on giving. How then do you reach such a God? Only through good conduct and behaviour built up assiduously.
|(Divine Discourse, June 27, 1996)
Baba is a continuous presence, says the author while narrating his own version of experiencing Bhagawan’s omnipresent Divinity. The writer feels that with our limited understanding of the physical phenomena, we are unable to explain His Divinity and at times reject the presence in our ignorance. Read on...
I had only read of Sathya Sai Baba, when a few years ago a few of my friends who were devotees of Sai Baba encouraged me to visit Prasanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi. I went along with a lawyer friend of mine, a distinguished lawyer in Colombo, a lady who was a relation of my wife and my elder son who had come for a holiday to Sri Lanka from France. My son is of a rather disbelieving nature.
On that occasion, I took a letter of introduction to the trust secretary and proceeded through Trivandrum by air and then by car to Bangalore from whence we set out to Puttaparthi.
I carried with me the letter of introduction, which strangely enough, on the first day of my stay at Trivandrum, I took out while unpacking the luggage. My friend asked me why I did this. "The letter would have great value when we go to Puttaparthi." I laughed and put the letter back. The next day strangely enough the letter was missing. We searched the suitcase, but we could not find that letter. On the third day, I opened the suitcase to find the letter on top of the suitcase. I was happy I had rediscovered it, and I kept it back in the suitcase and we went out to town. When I came back again, very strangely the letter was missing. The next day, the letter was found in the bag. We set out and stopped at a bungalow belonging to the Indian Government. During lunch, I showed my friends the letter. Before we got to Puttaparthi, we stopped at another place. Again, the letter was strangely missing. It was discovered at the Circuit Bungalow and sent to me by the Indian police.
At Puttaparthi, when we arrived, it was early in the afternoon when everyone was resting. The party with which I came had wanted to get back to Bangalore soon, and had wanted me to use my influence with the officials at Prasanthi Nilayam. I thought it highly improper and disrespectful to a person of high religious stature.
An hour later a person came from inside and asked, "Are there any people here from Sri Lanka?” When we admitted to it, we were told that Baba had wanted us to be lodged in an apartment and given some food. Then we were conducted to a large hall and asked to stand in the verandah of that hall.
Suddenly a door opened and Baba summoned us and we went into the room. He laughed and asked, "Have you found the letter to me?" This appeared most unusual, because only we were aware of it. My son, in a moment of disbelief had said, "I don't believe in Him nor do I believe He has any powers and I will not personally take any notice of Him unless He speaks with me." My son was seated when Sathya Sai Baba called him to His side and said, "Now will you believe in me because I spoke to you. You had said you would not care the slightest for Me, but listen, I know what you said and I shall bless you, and you will be happy in the future."
The day prior to going to Puttaparthi from Bangalore, a telex had reached us informing one of the ladies in the party that her cousin sister had passed away. We had made enquiries at Bangalore and we were told there was no chance of her returning to our country in time for the funeral and much against her own wishes she joined us in this trip to Puttaparthi. When addressing her, Sathya Sai Baba said, "Yesterday, your sister died. You wanted to go back but could not; you have come here and joined in prayer at this place. Extend the benefit to the person who has passed away from this world."
That evening, we were summoned by Sathya Sai Baba who exhorted us to wait the night. Unfortunately, we had a programme that could not be avoided. On the journey back a strange occurrence took place. We missed the road. We suddenly came across what we thought was a pool of water. We halted. The driver reversed the car and we were waiting not knowing what to do. Just then a lorry arrived nearby apparently going to a farm. The lorry driver said, "Go back to where you have just turned.” We told him there was a pool of water. He replied, "I don't think so. Why don't you try again?" The driver drove back for five minutes. There was no pool of water, and we went right through. These different incidents convinced me that Baba is a continuous Presence, which we with our limited understanding of physical phenomena are not able to explain and which we sometimes reject in our ignorance.
—From an address given by Justice Nissanka Wijeyeratne of the Ministry of Justice, Colombo, Sri Lanka, to the Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Hong Kong on Full Moon Day...from Sanathana Sarathi, September 1984.