Photos source: http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/Discourse_Photos.htm
From: a sai devotee
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 21:30:53 -0700 (PDT)
HERE ARE DETAILS OF ASHARAMJI BAPU'S VISIT TO PRASHANTI NILAYAM. CAN SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.
Monday and Tuesday were filled with calm and silence. Swami was inside the interview room throughout the evening. On Monday it was a group of devotees. On Tuesday, the famous saint speaker Sri Asharam Bapu from Gujarat visited Parthi. Swami took him inside for an interview that went on till Bhajan time.
On 15th evening again Swami gave an interview to Sant Asharam Bapu and his team. It was about 5.45 p.m. and all of us were getting ready for Bhajans. Then came the surprise. Prasanthinilayam is full of surprises. When we are with Swami what appeals to us most is His uncertainty! You never know what comes next. But I think it is this very suspense that adds spice to our otherwise monotonous life!!
At 5.45 p.m. suddenly there was some commotion. Brother Nitin came out onto the stage and arranged a white bucket type chair with a cushion. We guessed correctly that Swami may ask Sant Asharam Bapu to come and sit over there. Subsequently a mike was also arranged in front of the chair. It was clear that Bhagawan wanted him to talk to the students and devotees. Meanwhile the son of Sant Asharam Bapu came forward and checked all the arrangements. Later Sant Asharam Bapu himself came and stood near the chair waiting for Bhagawan.
A few minutes later Swami came out of the interview room. He sent word for one student – a good Hindi speaker – Jagadish Chandra of the II M.Sc.(C) class. Obviously we understood that Swami wanted him to give a talk in Hindi. Bhagawan came onto the dais and proceeded towards the sofa. He asked Asharam Bapu to sit down. But Asharam Bapu waited for Swami to sit on the sofa and then sat down on his chair. Swami asked the Vice-Chancellor to introduce the speakers. There were two speakers preceding Asharam Bapu’s talk. The first one was Sri Sanjay Mahalingam, a research scholar in the School of Business Management who spoke in English followed by Jagadish Chandra in Hindi. Both of them spoke for about five minutes each – mostly about Bhagawan’s infinite Love.
After that Swami again asked the Vice-Chancellor to request the guest to speak to the gathering. The mike was arranged in front of the chair and Sant Asharam Bapu began his talk in Hindi as he usually does. His voice was very soft. Swami signaled for the mike to be adjusted properly. That was done. But still one had to strain to hear his voice. Slowly it became more audible.
Sant Asharam Bapu was blissfully sharing his thoughts with all of us. We could see him smiling and laughing to himself at times. Let me share with you the highlights of his talk.
He started by reminding all of us how fortunate we were to be in the presence of Baba. He said that whereas devotees from far off lands come here to just have a glimpse of Baba we students keep having His glimpses every now and then! How lucky we are.
He then moved on to explain about how Lord Krishna went to Mathura and met the woman named Kubja who had a bent back. She was the woman who carried perfumes for His Highness – King Kamsa. Lord Krishna called her Sundari. She wondered whom Krishna was referring to. But the Lord was referring to her only. For the Lord everything is beautiful. He sees the inner beauty and not outer beauty!! Krishna wishes to bless her. God, before giving His Blessings apparently takes something from His devotee, something as a token, however small it may be – possibly even a Namaskaar. In this case, Lord Krishna asks her to give Him some perfume and then placing His foot on her foot He pulls her chin straight up. With this her hump vanishes and she becomes a normal woman!!
Thus Lord Krishna went among the Gopalas in Brindavan and gave them so much joy. Students, He comes amidst all of you too and gives you so much joy. You all know that!! India is such a great land. In the ancient years Vasco-de-Gama came here and took away so many of our riches. Indians gave away shiploads of gold and silver vessels. Later even brass and copper treasures were given away. Today we are in a situation that we are ready to give away even plastic items and waste papers. But there is one thing that India can never lose, which will always remain with us and that is the treasure of the heart. This treasure of the heart is ever available with we Indians for the whole world to receive!
The Mothers of India were so great! Take for example the mother of Vinobha Bhave. She used to feed him with some chapatti and food but whenever any classmate of Vinobha Bhave came to their house, she would feed the classmate with hot hot chapattis. This would happen always. Looking at this Vinobha Bhave asked her, “Mother, you say that the same God exists in all. We must treat all in the same manner. Then how is it that you give me cold, left over food but you treat my classmates so well serving them hot and fresh chapattis.” To this, Vinobha’s mother replied, “Child, what you say is true. I see God in all and therefore I treat them so nicely. Your classmate who has come to our house is our guest. I see God in him. Athiti Devo Bhava. Therefore I treat him with so much respect. But for me, you are my son. My motherly love for you attaches me to you and hence I am unable to see God in you. The day I see God in you, I will treat you also in the same way!” Such were the noble mothers of Bharath.
Students, there is a very nice exercise that you all must practice. Every morning when you get up, visualize Baba’s hand in your hand. Hold His hand tightly and pray, “Baba, Baba please let my whole day go on very well with Your Grace. Baba Bless me.” Try doing this and see what happens throughout the day. Then at night, pray to Him and beg pardon for whatever mistakes you make. Whatever good happens is on account of His Grace and mistakes occur because of our Vasanas.
The greatest repentance for mistakes is not doing it again. Once you commit a mistake and you want to repent for it truly, make sure that you do not repeat the mistake again. This is the greatest Prayschitartham.
Students one last message for you all. Whatever you do not want others to do unto you, do not do that unto others. You do not want others to hurt you or cause any suffering to you. Then you too should not hurt others or cause suffering to others.
Sant Asharam Bapu ended his talk with Sahana Vavatu and Om Shanti Shanti. He then looked towards Swami but Swami was closing His eyes. Therefore, Sant Asharam Bapu called out to Bhagawan to bless us with His Discourse. His plea could not be heard. Then he asked one of the students sitting near Swami's chair to request Swami. The student gathered courage and did so. Bhagawan smiled and nodded His approval. The Vice-Chancellor went over to the podium and prayed to Bhagawan to deliver His Divine Message.
It was 5.50 p.m. when Bhagawan stood up and took His position behind the mike. What followed in the next twenty minutes was a flow of Love and Wisdom. The main points in Bhagawan’s Discourse were as follows:
Nata Pamsi Na Theertanam ………
There are many noble souls who perform penance, study sacred texts, perform Japa and Dhyana and go to pilgrim centers. But none of them were able to attain the Lord without serving noble souls.
Today our students are very fortunate as they have had the opportunity of Darshan and Sambhashan of such a noble man. There are many Bharatiyas who could redeem their lives by the Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan of great and holy men. He (Sant Asharam Bapu) has come all the way from Gujarat and has shared his message with the students. His message is very essential for the students. He has a cool heart! In this Kali age when devotion and sincerity are disappearing and atheism and perversion are becoming order of the day, his teachings are very relevant and important.
However, merely by Darshan or Sparshan or Sambhashan, our needs cannot be fructified, our desires cannot be fulfilled. All the three put together can pacify our hearts.
There are nine paths of devotion laid down for mankind. Sravanam, Keertanam, Vishnu Smaranam, Pada Sevanam, Vandanam, Archanam, Daasyam, Sneham and Atma Nivedanam.
Modern generation students are highly intelligent. If they use this intelligence properly, they can redeem their lives. For this life, spirituality is most important. However, today students take to the wrong path and indulge in unnecessary arguments.
Divine Grace flows only through true Love. Love is God’s gift to mankind and is the royal pathway to reach God! Students should have faith to tread on this royal roadway and get liberated. Students, bookish knowledge alone is not enough. It gives only information. To acquire Divine Grace, textual knowledge must be converted to practical knowledge. Prema is very important. Man has achieved so much through Love. He has been able to win over Mind and Nature through Love. The mind can never be controlled through bad practices and bad company. Love grows through spiritual practices. It never diminishes. What I am referring to is not worldly love but spiritual Love. Love God as your own Mother and Father. This Love is ever new and spiritual.
Develop such Love from dawn to dusk. Consider everyone as yours. The whole world can become One only by Love. Love is the only way!
Students, you all are struggling hard to acquire mere secular knowledge. But all this is negative. What we need most, is positive! Divine Love, Peace, Compassion, Forbearance, etc. are imminent in us. We must foster them by constant practice. Love alone can transform the mind of man. You all know the nature of mind. It is so strong and powerful. However, it can be controlled or conditioned through Love. Students, direct your Love towards the Divine. So many direct their love towards information and mere secular knowledge. Can they attain the Lord? God submits to Love alone, not to anything else. There is no power higher than Love.
The world is full of worry. Birth, death, life, childhood, family life, old age, difficult times, action,…. everything is full of worry. All these worries can be done away with, by thinking of God. Today we are not fostering this Love for God. You may acquire secular knowledge but true education lies in acquiring that which is eternal.
Many such elderly, mighty and powerful people have gone around the world and spread the message of spirituality. All people should follow their advice that is sourced from the Sastras and the Upanishads. Their advice and words of wisdom should be taken as a benchmark.
You may feel proud of your English language and your communication skills, but all that is useless if there is no Love. Pride is ruining man today. It is only Love that can take man to greater heights. Keep this Love as your true goal. Love may appear to be simple but there is no power greater than this Love!!
Bhagawan concluded His Divine Discourse with the Bhajan ‘Prema Mudita Mana Se Kaho.’ It was 6.10 p.m. Swami signaled for Bhajans. Boys started singing Bhajans. The first one was ‘Eswara Allah Eka Tumhi Ho….’. Sant Asharam Bapu was enjoying the Bhajans and he too was singing. Looking at him seated beside Bhagawan, we felt a strange experience. The Lord Himself and His powerful instrument next to Him. Sant Asharam Bapu was smiling and was having a Blissful face and next to him was the very source of this Bliss!! It indeed was a very lucky day for all of us.
We always have Bhagawan – the Ultimate with us, but when we see His message being practiced and preached by one among us, it makes us feel very nice and pumps us with hope that we too can rise to higher levels!
Prasadam was distributed to all. Bhagawan got up and moved towards the Golf Cart and as He went along, He enquired Asharam Bapu about his return journey. Swami got into the golf cart and glided away towards the Poornachandra Hall. The sun set on yet another holy day at the Temple of Peace.