Sathyam Shivam Sundaram, Vol 1
The Teacher

Devotees have succeeded in persuading Baba to grant them the pleasure of welcoming and worshipping Him in their own towns and homes. On such occasions it is but natural that they should desire more and more people to receive the benefit of His discourses. Baba has often agreed to these requests, and at Chittoor, Trivandrum, Bombay, and other places, many have had the chance of personally paying homage to Him. He has also held public meetings at many towns, thus giving thousands the unique and unforgettable pleasure of listening to His captivating voice and strength-giving words.
Baba has love toward all. He does not make any distinction between a village or a city. He responds readily to requests of seekers to visit remote villages, and is at home in either a governor's palace or a grass covered hut. When He visits devotees in their homes, His party consists of only a few, because He does not like to impose hardship upon the devotees' time, hospitality, and purse. He is very able to look after Himself and can dispense with the aristocratic impediment of an entourage. His kindness and consideration toward those who accompany Him is such that they are apt to feel they are a burden on Baba's attention rather than a help!
Baba has traveled a number of times through Tamilnad, visiting such places as Coimbatore, Trichinopoly, Tanjore, Salem, also Tinnevelly. He has been to Hyderabad many times and traveled through the towns and villages of Telingana. He has visited Ellora and Ajanta to show them to His devotees, for He has no need to go to places in order to see them! He can describe any place anywhere to the minutest detail without actually having been there physically. He has journeyed to Delhi, Rishikesh, Kashmir, Mathura, Brindavan, and Bombay. He has traveled many times along the East Coast road from Madras to the Krishna and Godavari Deltas, stopping at Nellore, Ongole, Guntur, Nuzvid, Chebrole, Rajahmundry, Peddapuram, Samalkot and Masulipatam, meeting devotees and others. He has visited distant places such as Bhadrachalam and Aukiripalli. In Karnataka Baba has been to Bellary, Hospet, Mercara, Mysore, and Mandya, and has spent many weeks in Madras, Kodaikanal, Cotacamund, and Nandanavananm in Whitefield near Bangalore.
A devotee once told Baba, "I heard that your Kerala tour was most pleasant and wonderful. I am sad that I was not destined to join." Baba replied, "Have the confidence and hope that when next such an opportunity arises you may be able to join. Meanwhile listen to the account given by those who joined, and be happy." The devotee was referring to a very dramatic, indeed astonishing, miracle which happened at Kanyakumari. In the evening, when the sky was transformed into a carnival of colors, pinks and purples, and the clouds bedecked themselves with golden fringes, Baba proceeded to the seashore with His party and played in the waves of the three seas that mingle there. Each wave appeared to be more eager than the previous one to touch His lotus Feet, to offer Him its own special homage. Suddenly, as if aware of the yearning of the seas, Baba stood facing the waters and said to those beside Him, "See! The ocean is welcoming Me with a garland."
At that very moment a stately wave a few yards away, advancing majestically toward the shore, swept over Baba's Feet and receded. Imagine the wonder and amazement of everyone when they found around His Feet an exquisite pearl garland swaying and swinging with every surge of the waves! One hundred and eight translucent pearls, each a priceless gem strung on a thread of gold! How charming Baba looked!
Some of the questions answered by Baba on that great day were:
"Is all this creation just illusion?" "No. Taking it as creation is the illusion."
"Are epic poems such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata true?" "True? They only give some part of the Truth; for example, when you speak about Me to others, you are not able to describe Me fully, are you?"
"Why should God come down as man to reinstate morality and spiritual striving? Is not mere will enough?" "Of course, it can be done by mere will; but how are you to get all this bliss if God does not come in human form? When there is a small local disturbance, a police constable is enough to put it down; when the trouble is threatening to develop into sizable proportions, a police inspector is sent; when it grows into a riot, the superintendent of police himself has to quell it; but when as now, all mankind is threatened with moral ruin, the inspector general comes down, that is, the Lord comes down with His army of saintly men and seekers."
"Where does an incarnation take place?" "At the place where spiritual exercises can best be undertaken."
"How can we know that you are Sai Baba of Shirdi?" "It is difficult for you; when I 'went' the other day as an old man to save Venkataraman's child on the road near Bagepalli, he did not recognize Me. He believed that I was a villager named Jodi Adipalli Somappa, when I gave that name!"
"How can we realize the identity between this body and the Shirdi body?" "Those who worship Sai Baba of Shirdi have not understood Him; and you, too, have not understood Me. It is only those who have understood both who can pronounce judgment, is it not so?"
The next day the party reached Courtallam on the way to Surandai. In the evening there was chanting outside the Travancore House. Baba invited questions in answer to which He gave these inspiring words of guidance.
"I am behind every spiritually earnest student. He turns back to see Me, but how can he? I am still at his back. Sometimes in a flash, I give him My Vision out of My own Will."
"God is beginningless, but people have started quarreling because they say, 'God is mine, mine!' In the realm of individuals, there is both good and bad; in the realm of angels, there is only good; in the realm of souls, both are equal; in the realm of the Oversoul, there is neither good nor bad."
"There is no atheist or sinner; all will realize God sooner or later".
"I shall pardon a hundred faults of yours. First examine whether you have followed My advice, and then judge whether My words have come true."
"There are tests held every week and every month and there are quarterly and half yearly examinations in school. But it is only after the final examinations are held and the papers are marked that the results are announced and you are declared 'passed' or 'failed.' Do well in each test and earn the Grace of the Examiner".
"You can either destroy or make your destiny; the attitude which you cultivate can either burn it or breed it. Indians have to learn this from the Westerners. People of this country instill fear even into the minds of young children. 'You will fall; you will hurt yourself,' they are told. Children are not trained to climb trees or swim or do a hundred other useful actions. They are warned about ghosts, thieves, and they grow up in mortal dread. Children must learn self-reliance, courage and enthusiasm".
"There are three stages of spiritual struggle - the ordinary man, the man who strives spiritually, and the man who becomes one with the Lord of all. First there are three entities: World, living-being, and Lord; then they reduce themselves to two: Living-being and Lord. Finally, only Lord remains as all three. All this creation has been made possible with only these two: Matter and consciousness."
"Vidwan Chowdiah, the violinist, plays 400 musical themes - not with a violin of 400 strings, but with a violin having four strings, doesn't he? God and His Power have made this world! Here all are impersonations of the Oversoul; one asks, ten listen; one answers and all are satisfied."
"When the rays of the sun are caught and concentrated on a point by a piece of glass, it produces fire; when the rays of the Lord's Grace are thus concentrated, it will light up the Higher Mind."
"The Lord has ordained sorrow, for without sorrow, man will not cling to God; it is something like dietary and other restrictions which the doctor prescribes in order to supplement the effect of his drug."
"Faith will come only if you develop hunger for God; a man who does not feel hunger will not relish a feast."
"For concentration and meditation, there are certain steps and stages which have to be followed; random pursuit of spiritual ideals is no good."
"If you ask Me which is more useful, recitation of the Name or contemplation of the Form, I will say, 'that which induces steadier faith in you."
"In the meditation the lips and the tongue should not move; meditation has to be mental. If you adhere to the path of truth, failure will not appear as failure; misery will not appear miserable."
Wherever Baba stays, He grants personal interviews following the same procedure as at Prasanthi Nilayam. He confers the boons of consolation, courage and faith on all who seek them. He encourages people to arrange for the singing in chorus of the Name of the Lord. Very often He trains them in the singing of songs. Thus Baba moves from place to place, making all hearts bloom in joy, showering His Blessings on all who are afflicted or who seek comfort, proving by miracles every moment that He has assumed the human form for the upliftment of mankind.
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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