Attention - World at Prayer

"Engage in Karma, under the shade of Dharma; 
practice Dharma with the awareness of Brahma.
March along the path of Karma and 
reach Dharmakshetra where Brahma-realization awaits."

On 12th May, 1968, the 'Dharmakshetra,' an architectural jewel built on an elevated spot commanding a panoramic view of the environs of Bombay as the International Center of the Sai Family, was inaugurated by Him. This Palace of God is also intended to serve as the residence of Bhagavan while at Bombay.

'Dharmakshetra' is the first word in the first Sloka of the Bhagavad Gita [see: Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order and Gîtâ Vahini, Chapter 1]; it is used there as an adjective to describe the battlefield where the Kaurava might was pulverized by the Lord and His Grace showered on the Pandava 'righteousness'. The field was known as Kurukshetra, but, the intervention of God to succor the cause of Truth, Justice, Peace and Love transmuted it into Dharmakshetra. The word summaries the history of the two clans who were in mortal combat on that field: it symbolizes the beginningless conflict between good and bad in the human heart, a conflict that ends in the triumph of the good when, as the Pandava did, we accept and install in our heart God as the charioteer; and, now, it elaborates the role of Baba in human history one step further, for, He had already declared Himself as Sanathana Sarathi, the Person at the Wheel of Life (since Time began and Space rolled out) for every Being that Became!

 

We see before our mind's eye Sri Krishna holding the reins, while Arjuna listens and learns. We see the Lord, as Baba is seen by us today, guiding and guarding, assuaging and asserting, reminding and reprimanding, revealing and reviving the wayward and the wavering! Dharmakshetra evokes in our memories a surging gratitude for all those who discovered and delved into the pellucid streams of Dharma, for all who adored Dharma by living it and demonstrating how it can confer joy and peace, and for all those who sacrificed their all for it in all lands, in all ages.

Baba named that building so, not just arbitrarily; He declares that no word of His is devoid of spiritual potency; it is a call, an intimate invitation to you, to give ear to the Gita; He whispers from your own heart to cure you of your brand of delusion, to sublimate your inner battlefield into a playground of spiritual endeavor; it is a spell, a benediction, a blessing; it is an Announcement that the Lord has come, that His mission has begun. His charioteering is available for all who seek, now and here, on this sad stupid struggling earth which He has adopted as His Dharmakshetra, for, this is the place where Dharma can be learned, and practiced and harvested. "Engage in Karma as regulated by Dharma. Practice Dharma with the awareness that all is Brahman. March along the path of Karma to Dharmakshetra, where Brahman-realization awaits," Baba says.

Thousands from all parts of India and even overseas witnessed the Inauguration. From far-flung lands they came, wafted by winds of grace. More than fifty thousand eager souls gathered that evening at the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan Campus at Versova, Bombay, to express their joy at the momentous occasion. The magnificent structure was completed in 108 days after the first trowel of concrete was laid, the number 9 being the theme of the holy structure, of the 18 petals of the lotus which encloses the apartments where Bhagavan would stay, of the pillars, steps and trellis squares, all in multiples of 9, the Brahman Number.

 


'Dharmakshetra' - Bombay

Sri P. K. Sawant reminded the audience that Baba blessed Maharashtra while in His previous body at Shirdi and it is Maharashtra's good fortune again that His Dharmakshetra is established here itself. Baba said that everyone is living, moving, acting and accumulating merit or demerit as a consequence, in Kurukshetra, for, 'Kuru' means 'to do'. In this process, if the current of Dharma illumines every moment of life, then the Kurukshetra becomes Dharmakshetra. This, He said, is the lesson that Dharmakshetra will radiate round the world.

Baba took up residence at Sathya Deep, the big rotunda with the lotus and a moat filled with water all around; the place immediately became a hive of spiritual activity, a prolific purveyor of sweetness and light. There, children brought together in Sathya Sai Bala Vihars, boys and girls of the Seva Dal, adult workers in the Bhajan Mandalis and Seva Samithis, all receive Love and learn reverence. Baba speaks to seekers and social workers who gather in the Prayer Hall; and they return with a deeper understanding and a wider outlook.

Meanwhile, scores of omnibuses spilling over with the Sai devotees sped into Bombay from distant towns, the occupants singing Bhajans at the top of their voices, making the pedestrians believe that Prasanthi Nilayam was passing by! Every train that drew up at the Victoria Terminus, Bombay Central or Dadar brought special coaches from Madras, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Nagpur, Navasari, Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow and Dehra Dun and the villages around, coaches packed with men, women and children happy beyond measure, racing against time to have Darshan of the Bhagavan they adore. The journey was strenuous and irksome, but the tedium vanished as the vitamin 'G' released by the Bhajans acted fast on both body and mind. And not just by land! The sea and air too helped in transporting the joyous lot who came into Bombay by ship and plane from Ceylon, Singapore, Djakarta, Manila, Kuwait, Dubai, Casablanca, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kampala, Arusha and Malta, from Hongkong, Fiji, Teheran and Tokyo, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of America, the islands of the West Indies, Peru and Brazil.

For, the First World Conference of those who chose to accept Baba as their Master and Preceptor was to be inaugurated on 16th May, at Bombay, in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Campus. Baba declared that this was the first time in the history of the world that a World Conference of the devotees of an Avatar was being held, in the immediate physical presence and under the direct supervision and observation of the Avatar Himself! No wonder they flew India-wards in flocks, like birds on the ocean's open roof, winging towards the sheltering mast!

 


 Lord Caitanya in Sankirtana with His Associates 
S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshtaka
Text

As the delegates streamed into the Hall that day at sunrise, they found a friendly fragrance beyond all memory, a warmth of welcome seldom known before. Behind the dais, on the wall, were two murals, one depicting Chaitanya lost in the ecstasy of Sankirtan, and the other, Thyagaraja, the saint who sang from the depth of his heart of the Compassion, the Majesty and the Might of the Rama Form of God he had ever before his eyes! Behind the chair that Baba was to grace was a mural of the Lamp: the Flame of Light and Love, straight and bright, which no wind could shake or dim! At 9 a.m. Baba came in, showering the fresh petals of His gracious smile on all present. The sight of Him emitting Light and Love thrilled and delighted every one of them. Soon, the heavenly echoes of Vedic chants tingled in the ear; then, after certain preliminaries, Baba called upon the delegates from each State to speak on the organizational aspect of Sadhana in their respective regions. In response, judges, vice-chancellors, scientists, doctors, poets, administrators and businessmen rose and presented reports of the activities of the Seva Samithis, Study Circles and Bhajan Groups engaged in Sadhana prompted by devotion in their States.

Howard Murphet from Australia said, "Australia needs Your Love, Your Light." Tideman Johanessan from Norway confessed, "Your Teachings, Your guidance are urgently needed in Scandinavia, where dogma has very nearly suppressed genuine spiritual yearning." Dr. Nallainathan from Ceylon pleaded, "We are children groping in the dark. Make us see!" Dr. C.G. Patel from Kampala prayed, "Africa needs You most." Indira Devi from Tecate, Mexico, said, "When I speak about Bhagavan to the students of Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Chicago, and other Colleges, they refuse to disperse after the talk unless I promise that I would bring Baba to America; they are hungry for Him." Charles Penn from Los Angeles asserted, "We look to India for spiritual guidance; we pray that Baba will come to us. When He is with us, He will be with everyone else too!"

The Public Meeting at the Campus held later in the evening was attended by over a hundred thousand, and Sai could be seen seated firmly in the hearts of every one of them. The Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sri Morarji Desai, the most puritan of the lieutenants of Mahatma Gandhi, presided over the meeting. He had earlier met Baba at Dharmakshetra and sensed His Divine Compassion for world struggling in the deepening bog of hate and greed. He was visibly moved when he saw before him, squares upon squares of thickly packed aspirants, women on the right and men on the left, silent, expectant, full of ardour and adoration, from all over the world, from the steps of the temple, the mosque and the church, the Gurudwaras and other shrines, feasting their eyes on the charming face of Baba. Sri Morarji Desai said that the best teacher of man was the Gita, since it exhorted him to work for the betterment of the world to his utmost capacity, and at the same time to be unconcerned with success or failure, for God, to whom all work is dedicated, knows best how it should be rewarded. (See: Bhagavad Gita

 


Kasturi translating...

Baba began His address in Sanskrit! He had directed me to translate His speech into English and I stood behind a mike at the other end of the dais. But, as 'the language of the Gods' flowed so mellifluously from those Divine Lips, I was almost struck dumb with admiration and apprehension. How, I wondered, am I to canalize this surging Ganga into the Thames? Soon, Baba continued in Telugu: "The body is the shrine in which the 'I' is installed; the country is the temple of the 'We,' the collective will; the world is the temple of the 'He,' the sum total of the 'I' and 'We'.

"This is a gathering of people of all faiths and so it is fitting that I assert here that every faith is but an endeavor to cleanse the impulses and emotions, as part of the process of discovering the Truth, both seen and unseen. The search is for the same Treasure; The Summit is one; only, the tracks are many. The guides too are many, clamoring and competing for pelf and prestige," Baba said.

"Even those who swear that they did not find any trace of God in the depths of space, or who aver that God is dead, or that even if alive, He has outlived His use for man, that He has ever been a handicap and a costly nuisance for man, these too have to admit that there is something inscrutable beyond the reach of reason, something which pervades the world and reveals itself in Love, Renunciation and Service. That something is God," Baba declared, in the course of a rousing discourse on the Divinity inherent in the Universe.

Appreciating the efforts of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to resuscitate the ideals and practices of Sanathana Dharma, Baba said, "This Conference is the Confluence of three holy streams - the Atmavidya which the delegates and visitors held primal for successful living, the Satsang provided by the aspirants from all races and religions, and the basic principles of Bharathiya Culture which the Bhavan helped them to remember."

Seven Subcommittees, which were discussing the topics allotted to them, presented their recommendations and suggestions to the Open Conference at noon on the 17th. They dealt with:

1. Bhajan, Namasmaran and Nagarasankirthana, [see also: Purify the world by Sankirthana
2. Vedic and Sanskrit Education,
3. Moral Instruction in Schools and Colleges,
4. Enrollment and Training in Seva Dals,
5. Establishment and Working of Mahila Vibhags,
6. Coordination of the Units of the Organizations at all levels, and
7. Relations between the Indian and Overseas units of the Sathya Sai Organization.

Dr. V. K. Gokak [see also: Cities Aflame, for a song by Dr. Gokak and Facets of Truth] then addressed the gathering on the Avatarhood of Baba. "We have met here with the common purpose of affirming the supremacy of consciousness over matter, subject over object, seer over the seen, charioteer over the chariot, and the transcendental over the trivial; so, we will not be baffled, as others are bound to be, by the phenomenon of the Human Form which the Formless Absolute has donned," he explained.

As He Himself announced the previous evening, Baba spoke on the grandeur and glory of the Name of God, be it any name, and the steady influence for good its repetition generates in the individual. 

"In this age of materialism," Baba said, "the constant repetition of the name of God is the one hope which man has, to rise up to him or to bring Him near. Repeating the Name brings down Grace; Meera quaffed the cup of poison with the name on her tongue; it turned into nectar. Sanctify every minute of your day and night with the unbroken recollection of the Name. I do not want you to think that I desire this Name and this Form to be publicized. I have not come to set afoot a new cult. Know that this Sai Form is the Form of all the various Names that man has used, and uses now, to identify and adore the One Divine. So, I teach that no distinction should be made between the Name - Rama, Krishna, Iswara, Sai - for, they are, all of them, My Names. Of what avail is it if you worship My Name and Form without attempting to cultivate My Samathva (Equal love for all), My Santhi (Unruffled equanimity), My Prema (Love), My Sahana (Forbearance), and My Ananda (Perpetual state of supreme bliss)? Many of you plead for a Message from Me! Well, My Life is My Message. You will be adhering to My Message if you so live that your lives become evidences of dispassion, courage and confidence, revealing eagerness to serve those who are in distress."

As Bhagavan cast His Grace-filled eyes on the thirsty faces before Him eager to drink in the Truth He was vouchsafing to pour into their hearts, suddenly His eyes softened in compassion. His voice rose, the speed of His words doubled and trebled. Everyone present sensed, almost, instinctively, that a great moment in their life had come; in ecstatic thrill they prepared themselves to listen to a great Revelation, to a Benediction that the world can hope to receive but rarely in its history. He said, 

"Gathered here today are people who have devotion, people from all sections of society; I must tell you about My Reality because ninety nine out of every hundred among you do not know. You have come here drawn by diverse needs or interests, by a taste for spiritual matters, by eagerness to develop the institution to which you are attached, by admiration or affection, by love or reverence or loyalty, or just in a spurt of enthusiasm to join others in their exultation or to share with them your own."

"In truth, you cannot understand the nature of My Reality, either today or even after thousands of years of steady austerity or ardent inquiry, even if all mankind were to join in that effort. But, shortly, you will become cognizant of the Bliss showered by the Divine Principle which has taken upon itself this sacred Body and this sacred Name. Your good fortune in having this chance is greater than what was available to the anchorites, monks, sages, and saints and even to personalities, that embodied facets of the Divine Glory!"

"Since I move with you, eat like you, and talk to you, you are deluded into the belief that this is but a human phenomenon. Be warned against this mistake. I am also deluding you by singing and playing with you and engaging Myself in activities with you. But, any moment My Divinity may be revealed to you; you have to be ready, prepared for that moment. Since Divinity is enveloped by humanness, you must endeavor to overcome the Maya (delusion) that hides it from your eyes."

"This Human Form is one in which every Divine Entity, every Divine Principle, that is to say, all the Names and Forms ascribed by man to God, are manifest. (The statement in Telugu was: Sarvadaivathwaswaroopalanu Dharinchina Manavaakarame Ee Aakaramu. Do not allow doubt to distract you. If you only install in the altar of your heart steady faith in My Divinity, you can win a vision of My Reality. Instead, if you swing like the pendulum of a clock, one moment of faith, another of doubt, you can never succeed in comprehending My Truth and win that Bliss. Fortunate are you, that now, in this very life, you have a chance to experience the Bliss of the Sarvadaivathwa Swaroopam (the Form of God in all Forms)."

"Let me also draw your attention to another fact. In the past, on the occasions when God incarnated on earth, the Bliss of recognizing Him in the Incarnation was vouchsafed only after the physical embodiment had left the world, despite plenteous evidences of His Grace. Moreover, the loyalty and devotion which those Incarnations commanded while in the physical embodiment, arose through fear or awe at their superhuman powers and skills or at their imperial and penal authority. But ponder for a moment on this Sathya Sai Manifestation. In this age of rampant materialism, aggressive disbelief and irreverence, what is it that brings to It the adoration of millions from all over the world? You will be convinced that the basic reason for this is the fact that this is Divinity in Human Form."

"Again, how fortunate you are that you can witness all the countries of the world paying homage to Bharat; that you can hear, even while this body is existing, adoration to the Name of Sathya Sai reverberating from even the nooks and corners of the world, when this Form is amidst you, with you, before you!"


Vishnu, the transcendental form of Lord Krishna
 with four arms holding the conch, cakra (Sudars'ana), lotus and shell.

This thrilling declaration stunned the delegates; and as they left the hall and reached their rooms, each one found inches added to his height, for each felt blessed with a Unique Vision. Often had Baba spoken of His being the Incarnation of God, of being God Himself in human form, but this time, He had emphatically identified Himself with all Names and all Forms of God that man ever moulded in his mind in the course of his history on earth!

The next day, in the morning hours, the reports of the subcommittees were considered by a meeting of all the delegates, and a few more delegates addressed the gathering. Baba summarized the conclusions, and spoke on the basic approach to service through the Sai Organization. In these days when the world is safe only for hypocrisy, Baba's directives had to be straight and sharp. 

"It is wrong," He clarified, "to believe that all have equal rights and duties and obligations and responsibilities. You cannot say that all cows are equal and purchase them by the dozen. Some may be dry, some may clamor for more feed, some yield less milk, some are young, some decrepit, some tame and some wild. Nor are all men equal. The code of conduct, for each and towards each, is decided by changing factors, like age, profession, status, authority, scholarship and sex, and considerations as to whether the person is a teacher or pupil, master or servant, father or son, sick or healthy, etc. As far as I am concerned, there is only one rule that binds Me: Love. That Love will quieten you, it will comfort you, it will inspire you to merge with Me."

When the Conference met for the evening session, speeches in Sanskrit were delivered by four Pundits of the All India Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha founded by Baba. Mrs. Osborne addressed the gathering in English. She was introduced as the wife of the author of the book 'Incredible Sai Baba' written about the previous incarnation of the Inexplicable Sai Baba now with us!

Baba offered to sum up the suggestions for spiritual uplift that emerged from the deliberations among the delegates, as also the gist of His talks with representatives from the various States. He spoke about Bhajans, Dhyana Sittings, Study Circles, and particularly about Nagarsankirtan which received attention as a very important activity of the Units. "This was how", Baba said, "Jeyadeva, Gouranga, Tukaram, Kabir and Purandara Das led God into every heart. Gather together in the hours before dawn, and walk slowly along the streets, singing Bhajans glorifying God. Carry the Name to every doorstep. Wake up the sleeping. Purify the air polluted by day-long angry shouts of hate and greed, faction and fear. What greater service can you render than this - beginning the day with the Name of God and helping others to remember Him?"

The Valedictory Meeting of the Conference was held at 10 a.m. on the 19th. Baba wanted that all those who had come from far and near be informed of the major decisions of the Conference, which were rare directives aimed at the spiritual upliftment of the common man. Dr. Gokak in his address found himself saying, "Sai is the gateway to all the greatness, all the effulgence of the spirit," for, he was too overwhelmed to be silent. "Sai is no blinding word; Sai is no binding word; Sai is no limiting word," he said. "It is a word that contains the meaning of every other word. In the beginning was the Word! That word is He." Mr. Bharde, Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly said that Baba was fast transforming Bombay from a Bhoganagari into a Yoganagari (from the City Sensuous, to the City Divine). It could well be said that this process of transmutation is on, not just in Bombay, but the world over! Baba too spoke of the urgent need for man to be aware of his immortality and to draw courage there from as Arjuna (*) did, when overcome by despondency.

Dharmakshetra, where Baba stayed during the Conference, was the venue every day, for a number of gatherings where Baba was busy explaining, elaborating, elucidating and emphasizing the fundamentals of spiritual discipline and wisdom, regardless of time and unmindful of the exhaustion His physical body was likely to get. Besides this, Baba was guiding there a Prasanthi Youth Camp of over 65 University alumni. There was held a special gathering of the Lions of Bombay City who sought from Him guidance regarding the basic attitudes that will help their activities and the philosophy that can sustain them. It was noticed that Baba granted audience to the overseas delegates more often. It was because they had fewer chances of personal contact with Him, and they were eager to be as near Him for as long as He permitted.

Among those whom Baba drew to Himself during the Conference was the veteran Gandhian, the scholarly statesman, the patriotic writer, the practical administrator, the devoted student of Bharathiya Culture, Kulapathi Dr. K.M. Munshi. He had realized, more than most of the doughty warriors led by Gandhiji in the struggle for Swaraj, that India had to be independent so that she can gain self-respect and adore her own culture and thereby make her invaluable contribution to the progress of humanity through her adherence to the ideals embedded in that culture. The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is the institution through which Munshi sought to achieve the revival of Indian culture, and so implant in the hearts of the Indian Youth a genuine appetite for living their lives as true sons of Bharatha Mata, as legitimate inheritors of the peerless wisdom gathered by the sages of this land. Baba agreed to have the Conference in the Bhavan Campus, a fertile field wherefrom a rich harvest of Vedic and Upanishadic culture was to be reaped in the near future. This fact Baba mentioned with appreciation. So Dr. Munshi visited Dharmakshetra as well as the Conference Hall, and he said, "All my life I have taken a keen interest in personalities to whom supernatural powers are attributed; I have tried to understand their ways how they project their personality and release streams of faith and transform their followers into dedicated persons."

When Dr. Munshi met Baba for the first time in Dharmakshetra, hope met fulfilment; aspiration met achievement and prayer met the boon desired; for, Baba has come. Come, He has, to install Bharathiya Vidya, that is to say, Atma Vidya, on the throne of Science, to reinstate India as the Guru of humanity, to help Indians to win the fruits of India's independence, teaching them the way to master the self, and through Indians, the rest of the world.

Baba observed that Dr. Munshi's right hand was trembling slightly on account of chronic Parkinson's disease. Then, in Dr. Munshi's words, "Baba rose from His seat, took my fingers and covered them with His own, and rubbed them with sacred ashes which came out of His hand. Then He waved with a sweeping gesture and caught a ring He had materialized; He slipped it on the little finger of my right hand. I immediately perceived the stiffness of my fingers almost gone; so had the trembling in the right arm and leg." It needs to be mentioned here that the cure was permanent and not a passing phase, for as the science of medicine says, Parkinson's disease (Paralysis Agitans) is one of the least tractable of maladies, even as regards the relief from its symptoms!

More than this miraculous relief from a physical handicap which he was stoically tolerating, Baba removed the handicaps which stood in the way of the septuagenarian savant accepting Baba as the Guru he was seeking. Baba visited Munshi's home, and all the members of the family found themselves confiding in Him. He assured them that He was with them through all the turbid years of torture and sacrifice, martyrdom and power, disillusionment and determination, revival and recuperation. He told Munshi's son that He was with him, years ago, when he had to take refuge with a wayside station master while traveling by train! He took upon Himself the burden of bringing health and happiness upon his kith and kin, for, none is there beyond the pale of His Love. Dr. Munshi writes, "He has the capacity to plant seeds of faith in men - seeds, which, when they sprout, will liberate them from greed, hate and fear."

No wonder, then, that all the mental reservations, with which Munshi approached Baba, whom he had taken to be just another in the array of Babas he had encountered during his chequered career, disappeared the moment he recognized the Reality, and he did not hesitate to declare this in the pages of the Bhavan's Journal, one of the leading Indian Periodicals commanding a circulation of 50.000 copies. Describing his campaign in Britain, Julius Caesar said in a historic phrase, "Veni Vedi Vici," "I came, I saw, I conquered"; here, "I went, I saw, I was conquered!" This is the experience not only of Dr. Munshi. Every one who goes to Baba and sees Him through eyes that are clear and keen, wins the same experience.

On the 18th, at the special request of Indra Devi who had planned a "Crusade for Light in Darkness" aimed at illumining the hate-ridden hell within the human heart, Baba lit a Perpetual Lamp at Dharmakshetra. That Lamp and other lamps lit from that scared flame, will serve to shed the Light of Love on all who meditate on them.

The rising of the Sai Sun made certain vested interests feel ill at ease. Bewildered at the millions milling towards wherever Baba was, calculating practitioners who traded in religion feared that the traditional tithes and offerings would soon dry up, threatening their very sustenance. Little did they know that Baba has come to water every plant in the Garden of Faith, that He was no sower of schism but the Great Harmonizer, the Mountain Peak that appeared to some as Siva, to some others as Vishnu, to some as Christ, to some others as Allah, or as Buddha, according to the angle from which they viewed. The yellow section of the Press yielded to the temptation of blasphemy and scandal mongering; the more responsible periodicals tried to probe and understand. They requested that their representatives meet Baba and try to measure the depth of the rare Phenomenon in their midst. About 30 special correspondents representing leading English and Indian Language Newspapers came to Dharmakshetra on 21st May. The questions they asked were naturally prompted by curiosity; they wanted to know the purpose and modus operandi of the "miracles" performed by Baba. In reply Baba declared that these were evidences rather than demonstrations of the Divine. "It is Love that prompts Me to give and when I want to give, the thing is ready," He said. "I can, by My Sankalpa, change the earth into sky and the sky into earth, but that is not the only sign of Divine Might. It is the Love, the Compassion, the supreme Patience to deal with all this frailty and fanaticism, it is the Resolve to cure them all - that is the Unique Sign," Baba explained.

Those who came to probe were prompted to sit and learn. He advised the newspapers to stress the unity of Indian culture, to emphasize the values of the Indian way of Life, instead of playing up the differences and defects. He wanted them to indulge neither in flattery nor in mudslinging; He asked them not to inflame or burn incense, but portray and highlight all examples of service and sacrifice.

On the 24th, Baba left by car towards Gujarat, where a large number of Study Circles and Bhajan Mandalis, and the miracles emanating from His will, had soaked the people in Sai Devotion. He visited Navasari and Surat on His way to Baroda where he spent a day, meeting devotees from the area around, like Nadiad, etc. Baba then returned to Bombay and left for Poona. The Andhra Association of Poona welcomed Baba at the premises of their Association (but it was not owing to any linguistic or regional label, for, which geographic region can claim to contain Him more than another? He belongs to all humanity). Baba spoke of the problems that afflict mankind, and of the valid and valuable solutions thereto, discovered by sages millennia ago. The people of Poona felt blessed at the chance to have the Darshan and imbibe the nectar of His Discourse. On His way to Hyderabad, Baba halted at Sholapur, where He urged the people to investigate into their own inner resources and learn to develop them. "Develop unshakeable faith in yourself, in your capacity to live well and long, in your capability to be of use to others," He exhorted. At Hyderabad, too, His message was a tonic to the wayward and the vacillating: 

"Be cheerful and sprightly. Cultivate faith in God, keep virtuous company, nourish discipline and cherish lofty ideals of service. Control the senses; avoid seeing evil, hearing evil, relishing evil thoughts and sights, words and news. Go straight, not along a crooked path. Do not read trash, or see foul films. Discipline the wavering mind by means of Bhajan, Nagarasankirtana and Namasmarana," Baba directed. 

On the 10th of June, Baba returned to Prasanthi Nilayam.

This chapter may well be closed with an extract from a letter from Charles Penn, on his return to America, after being exhilarated by his first physical Darshan of Baba, having his faith and devotion enriched by the experiences at Dharmakshetra and the World Conference at Bombay - especially Baba's Revelation of His being the One Divine Principle come in Human Form.

Baba appeared before him at his US residence and said, 

"You, Charles, saw at Bombay the tens of thousands of seekers of Liberation, striving to catch at least a glimpse of Me. These numbers are but a drop in the ocean, compared to the countless unseen souls who try to reach Me from beyond mortal bounds. To all I give My Light and Love, and help each forward, towards Liberation."

 

 

"All who come to me in their concrete form have fortunately reached the stage when they are beginning to 'see' the reality. Those who cry for the chance to see Me in the concrete form have their prayers answered; to each I give every opportunity for Darshan, for they deserve and receive My Love."

"Then, Charles, there are those who may never see Me in the concrete form. They have, all the same, reached Me through a friend, a book or a photograph. To each of these, if they yearn deeply, I give My Darshan inwardly. These too I love as deeply for they have begun to see themselves, as being beyond their body, as Divine Souls. This is true advancement towards self-realization. Liberation and Peace can be theirs through loving the Lord in meditation. All who meditate upon Me as the One with many Names and Forms will have Santhi."

(*) See for example the Gita, Chapter 2. 

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Written by N. Kasturi M.A., B.L.