by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy
In my last blog, I had the joy of sharing with you the way in which Swami responded to two small children who played their part in the larger story of Sai Annapoorna. Pretty much like the two little squirrels that helped Rama in building the bridge. (To read the earlier blog , kindly click here bliss-is-his-food ) At the end of that lovely episode, Swami spoke about how selfless service benefits people at three levels. He then spoke at length about achievements and achievers, which is the central theme of my current blog.
Talking about achievers, we have one of our Sai Brothers, Sri Isaac Tigrett, who is no stranger to accomplishments. He had achieved great things in the material world, as the Founder of Hard Rock Cafe and the House of Blues. Notwithstanding the worldly achievements, he probed inside to search for the Swami within. Swami once asked him to write his autobiography. When he asked Swami as to what could be the name of the book, Swami said, “Within and Without.” If one were to ask Tigrett, “What is the secret of your success?” he would say, “The secret of my success is the divine grace and love of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”.
We all know about Sachin Tendulkar, the great Indian cricketer. His birthday falls on 24th of April, and since 2011 he stopped celebrating his birthday, as that was also the day Swami shed His mortal coil. Once, I had the opportunity to talk to Sachin in one of the hotels in Bangalore when he had come there to play a test match. What I saw in his room, left me moved and inspired. In the centre of his room, was a table with a shawl spread over it. On that, was a beautiful photograph of our beloved Swami. I looked at him in surprise and guessing my confusion, he explained, “Sir, this is one photo, which is an indispensable part of my cricket kit. Wherever I go – whether it is Australia or West Indies or Pakistan or New Zealand or England – I carry this photograph. The first thing I do in my hotel room is to move the table to the centre of my room, spread a shawl on it, and put this photograph on it. I salute the photograph every day”. While we all adore Sachin Tendulkar for his batting prowess, he attributes his success to the divine grace of Swami!
During the course of my research for the Sathyam Shivam Sundaram Part 5, I had an opportunity to interview another talented sportsman, Sri Sunil Gavaskar in Bangalore. When I asked him, “Can you tell me in one sentence what the secret of your success is?” he said, “I need not have to speak a word, this is the secret of my success,” and he pulled out Swami’s photograph from his pocket and showed it to me. Therefore, even while Swami wants us to achieve greater heights in spiritual practices, we should understand that even in a material world, the first and the foremost thing that one has to do is to cultivate a strong heart-to-heart relationship with Swami. That is what I would tell the younger generation today. Start early, drive slowly and reach safely.
On one occasion, when Swami was addressing a group of devotees, I was fortunate to be a part of that session. Swami said, “Do you think that I am always only in Anandam or Muddenahalli? After I left My physical body, I am in a different loka, which is the highest loka in the cosmos i.e. Satya Loka. Most evolved souls such as the Saptarishis are always surrounding Me there in the Satya Loka. But now for the sake of My Mission, most of the time I am staying in Muddenahalli.”
What a profound declaration! Being humans, we may not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the wonderful grace that is being bestowed upon us by Swami. But just as how the sugar is always sweet, whether we are aware of its sweetness or not, Swami is full of love, whether we understand Him or not.