Selflessness – The Key to attain Him
by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy.
Offering my loving salutations at the Lotus Feet of our most beloved Bhagawan.
A few years back, it was our prayer to Swami that He should live in a more beautiful and comfortable place. What we had built then – “The Prashanti Towers” – before Swami decided to come here on 15th July 2011 was a very basic building. The interiors were very simple. Of course, for Swami, who is omnipresent, it didn’t matter. But for us it mattered. Let us think of it – how did Swami embellish Sai Kulwant Hall or Sai Ramesh hall? More than the place where He lived, He ensured that His devotees sat and had His Darshan in a pristine environment. So, we felt that we had to build a similar temple near where He resided.
In response to our prayers, Swami accepted to move to Prem Deep for two months and entrusted the job of embellishing Sai Anandam, both His living quarters upstairs and the hall to Sri Umesh Rao and family. But here’s a short backstory to this episode.
A few years back in Kodaikanal, Swami had asked Sri Umesh Rao to speak. And Umesh Rao spoke about their long association with Swami. They had come from a very renowned family. His father was Dr. M. V. Sundar Rao, a renowned ophthalmologist and a great devotee of Swami. They had wonderful experiences with Swami for more than 45 years. And when he concluded his talk, Swami called him and remarked,” You have not said one thing.” Then, Swami reminded him that way back in 1970, in an interview granted to their family, Swami had told them that the last ten years of his life on Earth, He was going to live on a hill top. Sri Umesh Rao, with great ecstasy, announced what Swami had told long back and this hill top residence was the Sri Sathya Sai Anandam at Sri Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli.
Swami has planned every moment of His life, not every day of His life!
If we think about it, Swami’s mission has got only one motivation. And that’s love and compassion. What is His mission? He wants the entire mankind to realise and experience its oneness with divinity – “Adwaita Darshanam Gyanam”. Therefore, the purpose of the mission is transformation of the human heart. Many a times, Swami has publicly questioned why He was establishing so many Institutions. “When I was in the physical body, I did establish quite a number of healthcare and educational institutions and took up massive drinking water projects. Even now, in the last ten years before Sathya Sai Avatar completes 96 years, I am establishing so many institutions. Why? It is not to add to the number of institutions, but because every institution will shelter many human souls and grant them an opportunity to transform themselves.”
What is transformation? Swami very succinctly says, “Transformation is from selfishness to selflessness.” That’s all. Nothing more than that. From body identification to God realisation – from Deha Bhava to Atma Bhava.”
He also reminds us often that “No scholarship will help you to move, take a step towards Me. You need not be great artists or scholars to progress on the spiritual path, just practice one selfless act a day.”
As Upanishads say, “Na Karmanaa, Na Prajayaa Dhaneena, Tyaage na eka Amritatva Maanasu”, meaning, it is not wealth or actions or progeny that confer immortality. It is selflessness that confers immortality. Do something for others, do something for Swami’s mission without expecting anything for yourself, He has told us many times.
I would like to recollect what Swami said in a discourse in Prem Deep sometime back. After granting interviews to families of our old students on two weekends, Swami was saying, “I am very happy that I met so many of our alumni with their families. But there was one expectation, which remained in my heart, unfulfilled. Everybody asked for some material benefit. Everybody asked about their families. But no one asked what can I do for You Swami? How can I get closer to You? How can I realise God?”
Let us always remember to offer our gratitude to Swami. We really do not know who Swami is. We may just say that He is God, He is divine. But, they are all just words. We try to put Him in a framework of our limited thinking. That is where we go wrong. He is, Swami is much bigger, greater and more mysterious than what the whole mankind can conceive of.
“Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe Apraapya Manasa Saha” – He is beyond what words can describe.
The only thing we can do is to understand our limitations. Develop more humility to just do what He asks us to and nothing beyond that. We are not capable of knowing what He has in His mind. The words He utters, should become our life’s goal and we should achieve it.
Jai Sai Ram.
Sri. B N Narasimha Murthy, fondly called as Murthy Anna, has been one among those blessed with the fortune of serving Bhagawan and His mission for many years. He hails from Loka Seva Vrinda, an order of committed youngsters founded by Sri Madiyal Narayana Bhatt, an eminent educationist of Karnataka in India. The Loka Seva Vrinda established two schools at Alike and Muddenahalli in the 1960s, both of which were run under the direct guidance of Bhagawan Baba.
Sri Narasimha Murthy was chosen by Bhagawan to serve as the Warden of Sathya Sai Hostel in Brindavan Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Whitefield, near Bangalore in India. In his four-decade service stint as Warden, he moulded many thousands of students on to the path of educare, while nurturing their character. Bhagawan also gave him the rare opportunity to continue "Sathyam Sivam Sundaram", His official biography, which was earlier authored by Prof. N Kasthuri. Sri Murthy has also authored the book "Sri Sathya Sai Divya Kripashraya”, an autobiographical account of his formative years and the development of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva institutions.
He continues to play a seminal role in Baba’s mission, and currently serves as the Chief Mentor of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions.
These articles are based on his various speeches made in the Divine presence.
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