An Historic Letter of Baba
Date: Sun Mar 10, 2002 12:40 am
Subject: http://www.srisathyasai.org.in click on Bhagavan Baba and then click on Mission.
Commentary on Swami's Letter
AN HISTORIC LETTER OF BABA
Dr. Vinayak Krishna Gokak M.A., D.Litt.
There are two occasions which may be regarded as landmarks in his early life. One is the day, 20th October 1940, when, as a lad approaching fourteen, he returned, as Sri N.Kasturi says in his biography, sooner than usual from school. .......
http://www.panchangam.com 20 October 1940 is a Sunday, Duh?
Dr.Vinayak Krishna Gokak M.A.,D.Litt did you research,N.Kasturi biography at all....every Sathya Sai Litreature ought to be read carefully-so that one does not get brainwashed into this CULT - and as the cult leader Sathya Sai Baba-has no business to touch boys - at their genitals-inappropriately.
Shame on Indian Goverments-who are tolerating this nonsense-no wonder India is still backward in many ways-unless Truth and Justice reign in that country-it will be cursed.
My prayer is-Shirdi Sai Baba should rise from his Tomb and put an end to this debaucherer.
An Historic Letter of Baba
Dr. Vinayak Krishna Gokak M.A., D.Litt.
There are two occasions which may be regarded as landmarks in his early life. One is the day, 20th October 1940, when, as a lad approaching fourteen, he returned, as Sri N.Kasturi says in his biography, sooner than usual from school. He threw his books outside the door of his brother' s house, and when his sister-in-law came out to discover what the cause of the noise was, she was astonished to hear him say . I do not belong to you. I am leaving. I have full work ahead. Then he stepped down and took the road. Those devoted to me are calling me. The task for which I came is yet unfinished: I am starting now!. Baba then proceeded to a garden in that town, Uravakonda. He sat under a tree with the whole town around him. He taught the first and probably the most moving of his bhajans
" Manasa bhajare gurucharanam,
The Avatar had manifested itself since the moment of birth. Baba formally announced it on 20th October 1940. It was a local announcement. The full-fledged announcement came in Bombay at the time of the first Sathya Sai World Conference in 1968.
Baba told his brother on 20th October 1940 . The illusion has gone I am no more yours. I am Sai Baba, remember . One could interpret this in a simple way, indicating that Baba chose to be with his family till 20th October 1940 and, on that day, he announced the truth which had all along been his that the world was his family. But some devotees have gleaned from those sentences the impression that Baba was under the spell of illusion or maya, i.e., moha till that day and that, on that day, maya left and he saw the truth steadily and whole. This would mean misreading Baba. A reference to him has also made it clear that Baba was not under the spell of illusion at any time.
Devotees gathered around Baba in increasing numbers. They felt that Baba had come to guide and correcting erring men. Wealthy devotees took him to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Madras and so on Baba's elder brother, Sesharaju, taught Telugu in a school at Uravakonda and it was with him that Baba had stayed there. Now that the churning had started and there were, occasionally in the papers, comments for and against the phenomenon that Baba was, the brother wrote to Baba, telling him about the ways of the world, the weaknesses of people and about fame and its attendant evils. Baba replied to this letter on 25th May 1947. 23rd November 1926 was the day of the manifestation. 20th October 1940 was the day on which he declared his identity. On 25th May 1947, the date on which he had wrote this letter, Baba disclosed the mission and the work for which he had come down among men. Though the letter is addressed to the brother, it is clear that it is meant for all who are devoted to me. He had started doing this work almost from the day of his manifestation. Now that the reactions among people to his work had assumed a certain proportion, he had to tell the world precisely what it was and what it was not and train people for responding to it and receiving it the right way.
For this purpose, Baba treats his elder brother as a typical devotee. He has his positive, as well as negative responses: "My dear one! I received the communication you wrote and sent. I found in it the surging floods of your devotion and affection, with the under currents of doubt and anxiety. Because of this dual nature, the letter is a good example of the responses from a typical devotee. Baba recognises the affection of a brother, the devotion of a devotee and his natural anxiety for his Master's name and fame, in the letter.
The brother had written about the ways of the world. In the sentences that follow, Baba shows that he has an absolute hold on reality and that he knows the world to its roots or rock bottom. One cannot and should not shape his actions and modify his views in accordance with the reactions of the world. This should not be done even if it were possible to do so. But it will not be possible because the people are endowed in an infinitely diverse manner and each one has his own individuality . People are endowed with a variety of characteristics and mental attitudes; so, each one judges according to his own angle, talks and argues in the light of his own nature. Who are the people that we wish to be in accordance with, any way They differ from each other in an endless number of ways and one contradicts the other.
The springs of right action, however, lie within oneself. It is our own conscience or inner awareness that tells us what the right path is. But we have to stick to our own right path, our own wisdom, our own resolution without getting affected by popular appraisal. We have to listen to the words of the deity in our own bosom and then act.
What follows in the letter is even more moving and more resolute. Baba tells us that, in the very nature of things, the world is a mingled yarn of good and evil. For the genesis of this mingling, one has to go to the lofty heights of Vedanta and Baba does so elsewhere. It is the stark fact that he dwells on here. Evil men are provoked by the very sight of good, its innocence, for it makes them see how ugly their own life is, through their own evil . Baba throws light on the wicked action of evil men by means of a favourite metaphor of his. As the proverb says, it is only the fruit-laden tree that receives the shower of stones from passers-by. The good always drive the bad ones to the point of calumny (through their own goodness). The bad ones always (and in an instinctive manner) bring the good into derision. This is the way of this world. One must be surprised if such things do not happen.
It is no surprise at all that the evil men in the world are out to inflict affliction on the good men in this world. In fact, the surprise would be the other way round. Without going into high metaphysics, we may briefly explain why this is so. The aggression by evil brings out the best in the good ones. It helps people to see the beauty and greatness of goodness and moves them to pattern their own lives in that light. The bad ones revel in calumniating the virtuous for calumny helps to set right their own psychological imbalance. Theirs is a crab-like progress in consciousness. Their wickedness meets with the penalty imposed by God in due course. Eventually, a new chapter opens for the wicked man through repentance and clear understanding. The Divine also uses the wicked man as a tool promoting progress in the cosmic design.
Baba then proceeds to say in the letter that the wicked should not be hated. They need to be pitied. Referring generally to those who had attacked him in the press, Baba remarks . The people too have to be pitied, rather than condemned. They do not know. They have no patience to judge aright. They are full of lust, anger and conceit to see clearly and know fully. So they write all manner of things. If only they know, they would not talk or write like that . This attitude of sympathy extends even to the sophisticated who, out of a view of science which does not notice its limitations, or through an egoistic urge, criticise Baba in a cheap way.
Baba turns then to the devotee. The devotee should attach no value to such comments. What is more, he should have the firm conviction that great is Truth and it shall prevail . We too, should not attach any value to such comments and take them to heart, as you seem to do. Truth will certainly triumph some day. Untruth can never win. Untruth might appear to overpower Truth, but its victory will fade away and Truth will establish itself.
Then follows a self-revelatory paragraph in the letter. Baba does not mind admitting here that he is one of the great - the jnanis, yogis, ascetics, saints and sages . He also mentions what two of their special characteristics are self-reliance and beneficial activity. Their action springs from their own wisdom and what they do each day is for the benefit of the mankind. How true this is of Baba, anyone who has watched his preoccupations ever for a day can see . It is not the way of the great to swell when people offer worship and shrink when people scoff. As a matter of fact, no sacred text lays down rules to regulate the lives of the great, prescribing the habits and attitudes that they must adopt. They themselves know the path they must tread, their wisdom regulates and makes their acts holy. Self-reliance, beneficial activity - the welfare of devotees and in allotting them the fruits of their actions. Why should you be affected by tangle and worry, so long as I am adhering to these two? After all, the praise and blame of the populace do not touch the Atma, the reality; they can touch only the outer physical frame.
Baba now lifts the curtain a little more and suddenly, most unexpectedly gives us a glimpse of his essential self. He had said, earlier in the letter. They may also be engaged in the promotion of the welfare of devotees and in allotting them the fruits of their action. This sentence itself is enough to make us realise that he is something more than a jnani, yogi, ascetic, saint or sage. But in the sentences that follow here, the Avatar speaks in unequivocal terms. His advent implies the execution of a specific mission, the fulfillment of a vow and the completion of a piece of self-allotted work. What are they? Baba explains them thus. I have a Task. : to foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of Ananda. I have a Vow. : to lead all those who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a work that I love: to remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack. It is easy to see that the vow. and the work are corollaries that spring from the mission, which is to foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of Ananda . The erring ones have to be guided aright and the poor are to be rescued from suffering if the mission is to be fulfilled.
The Statement is comparable to Sri Krishna's in point of its brevity, its absoluteness and stark simplicity. paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkrutam. (for protecting the virtuous and for the annihilation of the wicked). This is the dharmasamsthapana, the establishment of dharma (adherence to the eternal law of Truth) for which says Sri Krishna . I am born from age to age. (sambhavami yuge yuge). Sri Krishna fought many battles and he was the statesman-hero of his times. Destruction of the wicked is not part of Baba's Declaration. But it does not mean that this is not one of his main functions. He does not confront wicked ones in battle as Sri Krishna himself, Baba does not involve himself in diplomatic attacks and victories. He has an occult or spiritual way of handling evil. Whenever he spots out evil anywhere in the world, he quietly takes out one of the arrows kept concealed in the hair of his head and aims it at the evil and destroys it. In other words, he destroys not evil men, but the evil in them.
Baba then tells us what he expects from his devotees . I have my definition of the devotion I expect. Those devoted to me have to treat joy and grief, gain and loss, with equal fortitude. This means that I will never give up those who attach themselves to me. Before saying this he has made a general statement. Along with his mission, his vow and his work, he has a reason to be proud , for I rescue all who worship and adore me aright . What this aright is, he has explained in the sentences quoted above. The expectation is two-fold. The devotee has to have a spontaneous and reverential love for Baba. Further, it has to be constant and lasting, the worship and adoration. indicate that Secondly, if the devotee fervently desires that Baba should never give him up, he has to develop equanimity and treat both joy and grief, those two imposters, just the same. This second requirement is not very often remembered. Devotees go to him for the redressal of every wrong and the cancellation of every sorrow. But suffering comes to us, when it does so, with its own message. It is there to promote maturity and the increase of consciousness in us. We must have the fortitude to receive suffering with dignity and understanding. Baba is not there to give lollipops to his devotees all the time. His prime concern is to make a devotee grow in consciousness.
Baba proceeds to state that the greatness of an individual is measured in the long run, not by the yardstick of ignominy and fame but by his own inherent strength and integrity. When I am thus engaged in my beneficial task, how can my name be ever tarnished, as you apprehend? I would advise you not to heed such absurd talk. Mahatmas do not acquire greatness through some one calling them so; they do not become small, when someone calls them small; why then do you take these things so much to heart? Have you not heard of dogs that howl at the stars? How long can they go on? Integrity will soon win .
This one about the dogs and stars is a metaphor, which Baba uses in such contexts. This has been interpreted by some journalists to mean that Baba loses his temper when hostile critics carry on a vilificatory campaign against him and calls them dogs etc. But this is far from the truth. This is one of the homely images and illustrations for which Baba is so famous, just as he is renowned for fables like the Buddha and Christ. These are images, which come to him naturally because of his rural background and upbringing. The one intention here in his use of the image is to illustrate the ignorance of the critics, and the futility of their attack and the utter unconcern with which the great ones view it.
Baba then speaks of the pretenders who try to pass off as great: Only those low ones who revel in opium and ganja but claim to be unexcelled yogis, only those who quote scriptural texts to justify their gourmandry and pride, only those who are dry-as-dust scholars exulting in their casuitsry argumentative skill, will be moved by praise or blame.
If one has spirituality ingrained in one, one will be known as a genuine seeker or mystic, whether one be a wandering monk, a pundit or shastri or an intellectual. As a genuine seeker, one will be indifferent to praise or blame. But those who are not genuine, the sadhu who has no control over his habits, the pundit who is proud of his learning and the intellectual who is obsessed with his skill and cleverness . these will be greedy for praise and resentful towards any criticism.
There is more moving self-revelation in the paragraphs that follow in the letter. Baba gives there an idea of his habitual attitude to life, of the manner in which he lives his life from day to day and of his basic attitude to the world itself. It would be clear from what he says that he is speaking there, not only for himself but for all avatars and great saints. In the first place, he says, Internally, I am unconcerned ; I am not concerned nor I am anxious that these facts should be made known. I have no need to write these words; I wrote them, because I felt you will be pained, if I do not reply. We are thus face to face with a manifestation that needs neither company nor help and is self-contained. Baba lives secure in his own pure existence, infinite consciousness and endless self-delight. What need does he have of anything? He said, on a certain occasion, that he did not wish to have always thousands of people around him. To have just one devotee would be enough. As the letter says, even that one is not necessary, for he himself is company to himself. He is pure Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
Secondly, he tells us that the world, as such, means nothing to him. He would like to live apart, all by himself. His one concern with it is to announce his advent to the people and to fulfill his mission in the world . I act but in the outer world; I talk and move about, for the sake of the outer world and for announcing my coming to the people; else, I have no concern even with these.
The third glimpse that he gives us of himself is that he is a world citizen and a cosmic visitor. His brother had said that Baba should not allow himself to be taken here and there by people. Baba says, I do not belong to any place; I am not attached to any name. I have no mine or thine . I answer whatever the name you use (writer's comments: because he is the omnipresent Reality, the Atman in each individual). I go, wherever I am taken (All places are his own home to him). That is my very first vow. I have not disclosed this to anyone so far. For me, the world is something afar, apart. I act and move only for the sake of mankind .
Then Baba refers to his mission in this global setting. That is what he has come down for and what he lives for in this world. Every minute of his life, therefore, has to be used for the fulfillment of his mission . I will not give up my mission, nor my determination. I know I will carry them out. (This is not self-confidence but self-awareness, awareness of what he essentially is. Italics are mine . VKG). I treat the honour and dishonour, the fame and blame that may be the consequence with equanimity.
The cosmic visitor then speaks of his transcendence . No one can comprehend My Glory, whoever he is, whatever his method of enquiry, however long his attempt . At this point there is no doubt whatsoever that Baba is an Avatar speaking to men. As Baba himself explained on another occasion, if I had come amongst you as Narayana with four arms, holding the conch, the disc, the mace and the lotus, you would have kept me in a museum and charged fee for those who seek darshan; if I had come as a mere man, you would not have respected my teaching and followed it for your own good. So I have to be in this human form, with superhuman wisdom and powers.
But there is a certain other glory, which all devotees can see and rejoice in. That is the glory of the fulfillment of his mission . I know I will carry them out. Baba has said, concerning his mission and his determination. Baba says at the end of his letter . you can yourself see the full glory in the coming years. Devotees must have patience and forbearance. The letter ends with a few more remarks quoted before . Thus, your Baba.
This letter written on 25th May 1947, when Baba was in his twenty-first year, is a remarkable document by any standards. It is instilled with a wisdom which is more than the wisdom of a life time,- celestial wisdom. It is full of self-awareness, the intensity of which is felt in every fibre of our being, but the expanse of which continues to be a mystery to us. It is also bathed in the superb self-confidence of a seer-will that does what it knows and knows what it does, - the Kavikratuh, as the Rig-Veda calls it. A village lad of twenty-one cannot even write an ordinary letter, much less a letter full of scriptural self-revelation and the highest wisdom concerning life's problems and its enigma.
A new phase began with this letter in Baba's life. He presided over the All India Divine Life Conference at Venkatagiri that year, i.e., 1947. He now stood forth among the people as their Great Teacher.