Sunday, 28 August 2011

On tests

The Lord responds not merely to the sweet voiced Kokil (cuckoo) and its song; He gives ear to the warbles of other birds, too. He gives ear to the wailings of every being. In fact, suffering entitles you more to the Grace of the Lord. When suffering comes in waves, one behind the other, be glad that the shore is near; bear them bravely; do not like cowards throw the blame on some outside power or develop dislike for the Lord.

Welcome the test because thereafter you are awarded the certificate. It is to measure your progress that tests are imposed. So do not flinch in the face of grief. The Lord bestows a favour when He decides to test you, for He is impressed by your achievement and wants to put upon it the seal of His approval. Rise up to the demands of the test; that is the way to please the Lord. 
                                                                        - Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

True devotion

Bhakti (devotion) occupies pride of place in Bharathiya culture. Devotion does not only mean performing rituals, undertaking pilgrimages, or visiting temples. These are actions merely indicative of devotion. 

There is a power which provides the impulse for these actions and that is the love of God. Bhakti means Paripurna Prema(complete love). This love is motiveless; love based on a reason cannot be real love.

As a river seeks to join the ocean by a natural impulse, as a creeper winds itself naturally around a tree to climb upwards, the devotee's love is a spontaneous expression of the yearning to realise God. It is free from worldly desires of any kind.

To experience the presence of the Divine, your love should flow as a pure selfless stream. You should regard the Divine as the One that pervades everything. Practise seeing God in every object in the cosmos and firmly believe that all names and forms are derived from God.

                                         -- Lines from a discourse by Baba on Sep 15th, 1988

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Striking lines from Shirdi Sai Satcharita

I came across these lines today in the English translation of Shirdi Sai Satcharita by Mrs. Indira Kher. I felt they apply to Bhagwan Baba and I drew solace from them.

How can it be said, that Baba was alive only while he was in the physical body and that he is dead because he has taken Samadhi?

He is in fact, beyond life and death and pervades this creation, animate and inanimate.

Once you look to Sai with love and affection, he is in your power, all your life. He wants nothing but single-minded love and devotion and comes running to your help, when you call him.

Neither time nor place can then restrain him; he stands behind you firmly, all the time and for ever. How he will press the spring and where we do not know, for all his doings are inconceivable!

Such is his planning, that innumerable doubts and misconceptions will arise in the mind. But when we concentrate on his feet at such a time, our power of meditation and contemplation grows.

I especially loved the line "Once you look to Sai with love and affection, he is in your power, all your life." So true! Swami wants only one offering from all of us - LOVE! And when we love Him with single-minded devotion, He's willing to shower His blessings on us.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

God answers prayers sometimes in the way we don't expect!

Today, I was praying to Swami to make a flower fall from His picture or from any of the idols in the bhajan hall at the Sai center I go to. I wanted to see the flower fall. I kept waiting during the bhajan session. However, I didn't notice it happen.

But, after the bhajan session ended, I noticed that a small part of the garland had fallen on the floor in front of the Ganesha idol on the dais. When I asked the aunty next to me, she said that it had fallen sometime when we were singing the Arathi song (I had not seen it fall). I felt so happy that Swami had heard my prayer and answered it, though in His own way and not in the way I expected. I felt Swami saying "I heard your prayer! And I fulfilled your wish!" :)

And that was not all! Along with the usual Vibhuti prasad, each of us got a Cadbury Daily Milk Eclairs too. Wow! A double treat for me today! I felt the sweet and the flowers augured well for me, indicating positive things ahead! Thank you, Swami for this wonderful blessing today!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Swami's words of encouragement for me today

I felt greatly encouraged on these lines, which I happened to come across, spoken by Baba in one of His 1973 Summer Showers in Brindavan.

"It is desirable to undertake various practices to win the grace of the Lord at this young age while you have the energy and ability to learn and concentrate. It is quite probable that some of your friends may point out to you that this is the age to make a success of yourself in worldly affairs. They will advise you to earn money and enjoy life. According to their way of thinking, the pursuit of God can be kept in abeyance till the age of retirement from active life. 

But, the fact is that the young age, being impressionable and formative, is the right age to develop sacred ideas and practice spiritual sadhanas. It is common knowledge that if throughout one’s life one pursues Maya, then at the time of death it will not be possible to divert one’s thoughts towards God. Therefore, now is the time for you to lay the foundation for a good future."

Thank you Swami for showing me your presence today!!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

God's love engulfs me - Lovely lines I chanced to read today!

God loves me in this very moment, just as I am. I do not have to change myself or perform some special task in order to earn divine love, for as God's child, I am loved freely and completely.

God's love for me is always present, regardless of circumstances. Therefore, my actions in the past cannot deprive me of God's love.

Through God's infinite love for me, I am continually nourished and encouraged to do better. The past is over, and God upholds me in doing my best right now.

God's love surrounds and enfolds me, uplifting me at all times. I am one with God's love, and it flows through me like a cleansing stream, healing past hurts and carrying me forward with great confidence. Enfolded in God's love, I am at peace.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Realizing God through Intense Love

Lovely lines from one of Baba's Nectarine Discourses

The only easy and sure means for ordinary people to realize God, 
without regard to their caste, nationality, sex or any other qualification,
and without their having to practice various austerities and penances, 
is intense devotion and love for God. 

The Gopikas experienced the continuous presence of God within and without. 
They showed that such sublime love was possible for ordinary persons,
with little knowledge of the scriptures or spiritual disciplines.
They demonstrated the inextricable link between the Divine and the individual.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Feeling God's presence every moment!

I was just stunned today by the many coincidences I came across. I really felt God's love and presence so much!!

I was searching for a suitable quote on the Radio Sai site relating to the keywords "love" and "expansion" and I really liked what I got -- "Expansion of love is life, contraction of love is death." Now, in the evening, when I was looking through the quotes in my Sai diary, I came across exactly the same quote in the page for tomorrow. Amazing!

Later in the evening, just as it crossed my mind that Swami's work is of top priority and that all other work comes only next, including meeting friends, the lines "Putr, pita, bandhu, mitr saathi sabhi koi tere kaam nahi aayenge kabhi, Bas prabhu ke charanon mein ..." came up in the song I was listening to -- "Ek mantra japte raho Shyam Shyam Shyam". I could only smile to myself, acknowledging His presence and thanking Him for the same.

Then, later, I somehow kept praying to Swami to bless me with His darshan at least in dreams. And similar lines came up in the section of "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram" that I was reading - "Poor fellow! When he left, he prayed for My darshan at least in dreams! I must give him the chance!" 

And now, as if to reaffirm that it is indeed He who made these events occur in such a striking and coincidental manner, I see that the chapter's title is "The Constant Presence" for the particular quote from the "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram" book. 

My faith just keeps growing with every passing day!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Nice quote for today

"You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, 
then life will give you some answers." - Lee Brown

Making a commitment means more than saying "I'll try." 
It means saying "I'm all in. I'm totally committed here. 
Even if the going gets rough.
In fact, especially then."

Someone once said, aging puts wrinkles on the body. 
Quitting puts wrinkles on the soul.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Thought for the day

Greatness comes not when things always go good for you. 
But the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes.

Because only if you've been in the deepest valley,
you can know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

God's love is so wonderful!

I received a lovely PPT last evening. I've uploaded it on Google Docs. The link is given below. I felt so blessed and at peace after going through the entire presentation. Felt God's presence so much. Hope you too enjoy the presentation!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A touch of tolerance is better than an apple a day!

Interesting words I received in my email today. I felt God's presence, 'coz I know He chose these words to reach me today. 

If you become ruffled with every comment that you consider a 'slight,' you will never find peace. 

Nor will you find it by always separating yourself from those who ruffle you. 

You can only end so many friendships before you find yourself very much alone. 

You can keep making new friends, of course, but sooner or later they will ruffle you -- and then what?

Perhaps the better course might be to let the ruffle go. People rarely mean it when they do that, and a touch of gentle tolerance and easy forgiveness every day is even better than an apple...