Sprouts of faith

Veerabhadhra Shaasthry described very realistically the childhood pranks of Krishna and explained their significance. That refreshed you, as I can see, for you felt them and experienced them. Rama is the embodiment of truth and virtue (dharma), so there is a sternness about Him. But Krishna is love (prema), and His story confers bliss (ananda) quickly and spontaneously to one and all. The love in the human heart responds to the call of that divine Love; it surges up and overflows.

Krishna came with yogic power (YogaSakthi) as his brother Balarama and the power of illusion (MayaSakthi) as His Sister. That is how Supreme Power (Mahasakthi) gets born. Devaki, the mother, could not take in the splendour of the divine form, with all its inseparable glory, so the child had to be transferred at His own request to Yasoda, who had prayed that she should be favoured with the privilege of being the foster-mother of the Lord! Contact with the Divine is said to confer the boon of liberation from the bonds of karma. So, when the infant Krishna was taken by Vasudeva’s hands, the chain that bound them fell off; the bolts flew from the prison door, the locks opened of themselves. When he moved on toward the river Yamuna, the floods parted in front of him.

Love of the milk maids is beyond physical awareness

In the divine story, you will observe one special fact: no incident is unconnected with the rest, no happening is without significance. For example, Parasurama exterminated the Kshatriya rulers of his time by systematic campaigns directed against each. How then, why then, did Dasaratha and Janaka survive? The truth of the matter is: Parasurama made two exceptions under which his victims could save themselves and survive. This secret was known only to these two survivors. He had resolved within himself that he would not kill a bridegroom or a person engaged in a ceremonial sacrifice. So, whenever Parasurama reached the frontiers of their kingdoms and was on the point of crossing them, Janaka got himself initiated in preparation for a cermonial sacrifice and Dasaratha fitted himself out as a bridegroom about to wed another princess. Of course, this was according to the divine plan, for Dasaratha had to live to get Dasarathi and Janaka had to discover Janaki.

The love of the milk maids (gopis) of Dwaraka, about which so much philosophical speculation and analysis was made before you, is, let Me tell you, the genuine love that is beyond physical awareness (sahaja prema), that is unaffected by praise or blame. It is not like the thin filament of oil floating on water, which comes off on the finger when it is touched. It is like the lotus stalk, which penetrates deep down through all the layers of water into the soil underneath — while the leaf floats above, unaffected by the water, which gives it the essential environment.

People should struggle similarly to rise above the sensory world, which is their inevitable environment. The sensory world tempts you to strive for this triviality and that, but, like the milk maids, you should discard the hankering and fix your eye on the vitally precious fountain of joy. The milk maids had no other goal, no other ideal, no other wish. It was a surrender of the self — completely unquestioned, unwavering.

Sai will not tolerate hatred among devotees

Let me tell you of a devotee, a woman in a small Maharashtra village, who lived in the last century. She went through even the little details of life in this spirit of dedication. Walking was to her a pilgrimage; talking was repetition of God’s name. Even when she threw off a ball of cow dung after applying it over the floor used by her husband to keep his dining plate while eating, she said and felt, “May this be an offering to Krishna! (Krishnaarpanam).” Her penance (tapas) was so sincere that the cow dung reached Krishna and stuck to Krishna’s idol in the village temple every day!

The priest saw the mysterious defilement. He was amazed, he was lost in terror. He cursed himself that he had lived to see that ignominy daily, about noon, the idol being defiled by the same size of cow dung. He hung his head in shame. As he walked along, keeping the disturbing phenomenon all to himself, one day, he heard that particular lady exclaims, “Krishnaarpanam” as she, like many other housewives, threw the tell-tale cow dung ball. He suspected; he noted the timings, the quantity, the material, etc. until he was convinced that she was the culprit for the disfiguration of Krishna, the defilement of that liveliness. Then he beat her so severely that her arm that threw the dung was fractured.

When he returned triumphantly to the temple expecting to be profusely blessed by the Lord for punishing the wicked woman, he was shocked to find Krishna’s right arm fractured and bleeding, exactly like the saint’s arm!

The poor fellow wept in his agony and said, “I beat her only through love of you; she spoilt your charm, Oh Lord.”

Krishna replied, “You must love all whom I love, remember.”

Here too, I want you to behave like that, or at least love yourself, that is to say, love your own better self and “best interests”. I will not tolerate envy or malice or hatred among devotees; nor will I allow you to hate yourselves or think of yourselves as mean or weak.

Disturbing the faith of others is treason

A word to the men who are gathered here: you must live up to the glory of your inner purity and strength. You come from distant places at great expense, but you bring with you all your habits and prejudices, your proclivities and preferences, without making any effort to purify them, to suit the holy place that you have sought. Here too you seek and secure the company to which you are accustomed; namely, the company of the factious, the envious, and the worldly. Come to Me with mean desires, and you will be disappointed! I will not worry if you do not come again. If you destroy or disturb the faith of others or the devotion of others, it is ingratitude, treason; it is like pouring glowing cinders on a heap of flowers.

If the child gives up its mother, how can it grow? Keep attached to God, so that you may grow. Do not clip off the sprouts of faith in your heart or in the hearts of others. It is that faith that gives poignancy to the yearning for God and that wins ready response. Ramamurthy, who is here, called out “Swami,” in that poignant sincerity when his wife’s sari was in flames; she was too frightened to call Me. That call took Me to Aukiripalli and, though only a quarter of the sari was left unburnt, she was saved.

Cheats who trade on the faith of devotees

Talking of faith, I must issue a warning. Many people are collecting money in various places using My Name for various purposes like arranging receptions, building temples, worshiping, etc. That is unauthorised and against My wish and command. Do not yield to such requests and encourage this practice, which I condemn.

Then there is another set of people who trade on your faith. They advertise that I have “possessed” them; that I am “talking” through a medium or a stove (!) or some other thing. Treat all such people and their agents or brokers as you treat cheats; if you do not treat them so, then you are also accomplices in the cheating process.

Others gather groups of followers and admirers and collect money exhibiting some idol or image that has been “given” by Me or advertising some other sign of My Grace. Some of them even declare, “Baba sent me to you to take from you some money,” or “Baba has given me this,” or “Baba blessed me specially thus and thus,” and then ask for your help or your praise or your purse! I ask you to chastise all three types of men and turn them away — whoever they are.