Note: These quotations are taken from the Sai Dictionary of Quotations, a collaborative work of 36 Sainet devotees.
SWAMI’S ANSWERS AND DECLARATIONS
Q: Swami, why was I born?
Sai: For what purpose were you born? Man has been sent into the world ... to realise the truth that he is not man, but God. The wave dances with the wind, basks in the sun, frisks in the rain, imagining it is playing on the breast of the sea; it does not know that it is the sea itself. Until it realizes the truth, it will be tossed up and down; when it knows it, it can lie calm and collected, at peace with itself.
Q: How am I God, Swami? I am a human being with a human body
Sai: You are in this body, in this receptacle ... to realize the God you really are. This body is the cocoon that you have spun round, by means of your impulses and desires. Use it to grow wings so that you can escape from it!
Q: Do I have to reach God?
Sai: All creatures have to reach God. It is the destiny of man to journey from human-ness to divinity, as he has already journeyed from animal-ness. Some may ascend a plane, others may travel by car or board a bus, some may prefer a train journey, others may like to trudge along -- but all must reach the goal, some day or other.
Q: But, Swami, where will I find Him?
Sai: Divine Principle is the very core of man. ... It is the source of strength which is unfailing and irresistible. ...The Divine is here before you, behind you, inside you, outside you; the Intelligence through which you can recognize.
Q: I'm sure I could find God if I lived here at Prashanthi Nilayam, with You.
Sai: The community in which you find yourself is the arena where you can win the victory, the gymnasium where you develop the skill to win.
Q: But why must I stay in such an unhappy world, where I too am unhappy?
Sai: You learn by the experience of the buffetings of the World. The World is a very essential part of the curriculum of man. The ... world is like a hotel to which we have come to experience the consequences of our actions in the past. The body is a room in the hotel in which we have to undergo the Karmic consequences.
Q: When I am home, many things distract me. I don't often think of finding God.
Sai: Without trying to discover the Divinity that is in the human form, people are wasting their lives. If you examine the great scriptures of the world, you will find that they all emphasize the supreme preciousness of being able to discover one's Divine nature, without which one cannot achieve real bliss. Man seeks worldly pleasures and prosperity but does not seek that inner Divinity which will give him permanent happiness.
Q: But, Swami, isn't it a long way?
Sai: You have got to go a long way. But do not be down-hearted. I have come to guide you. I am ...ready to help you from the first lesson to the last.
Q: Swami, the Golden Age that You have spoken about, when will it begin?
Sai: The day when the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God will shine bright and beautiful is dawning and drawing near.
Q: What will this time be like?
Sai: This age will be a Golden Age for the seekers of God, for earning and learning Viveka. In it falsehood will fail, truth will triumph, and virtue will reign. Character will confer power then, not knowledge or inventive skill or wealth. Wisdom will be enthroned in the Councils of Nations.
Q: What sign will You give that the Golden Age is beginning?
Sai: The glory of Sai will spread to every part of the world. It will increase a thousand fold. You will see thousands pressing along this road, hundreds on every rock on these hills.
Q: How crowded it will be!
Sai: That day when millions will gather to benefit from the Avatar is fast coming; I am advising you to garner and treasure all the Grace and all the Bliss you can, while you may, so that you can sustain yourselves ruminating on the sweetness of the memories and the experience.
Q: If millions come, where will we gather?
Sai: The time will soon come when this huge building or even vaster ones will be too small for the gatherings of those who are called to this place. The sky itself will have to be the roof of the Auditorium of the future; I will have to forego the car and even the airplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes, that too will happen, believe Me.
Q: Walk across the sky, Swami. How exciting that will be! How else will the world know You are the Lord?
Sai: Formerly, when the Govardhanagiri Mountain was raised aloft by the little boy, the Gopis and Gopalas realised that Krishna was the Lord. Now, it is not one Govardhanagiri, a whole range will be lifted. You will see! Have patience, have faith.
Q: It is difficult for me to imagine such a miracle!
Sai: Do not be misled. It is not my purpose to strike men dumb by the display of miraculous might! I have come to confer the boon of blessedness and the benediction of bliss as the reward for genuine spiritual endeavor and to lead mankind into Liberty, Light and Love.
Q: How very fortunate I am to be alive this day.
Sai: Your good fortune ... is greater than that available for anchorites, monks, sages, saints and even personalities embodying facets of Divine Glory! The fact that you are alive this day is a blessing.
Q: Swami, why have you waited so long to declare Yourself publicly? Why do You not declare the Golden Age now?
Sai: Prior to that I have to bring such persons near me, who, in their previous lives, have been incessantly and untiringly trying to get access to me through their severe Sadhana. A time will come when the world will know about the Avatar through public declaration.
Q: Who will declare You to the world, Swami?
Sai: Devotees of world stature, able to speak of Sai, will be present when the time is correct for them. The Mahapurushas, the Mahatmas, the Jnanis, the Yogis... will all be co-operating in the task of re-establishing righteousness and clearing the path for the World-attaining Shanthi.
Q: What will the world be like when You have finished Your work?
Sai: The world will be peaceful. ... All will be love -- love, love, love everywhere.
Q: Oh, Swami, what can I do to be ready for the Golden Age?
Sai: Adhere firmly to the truth of your convictions. Be prepared to meet any challenges. ... Be ready to face any situation. ... Strengthen your faith in God. Prepare for shouldering the task assigned to you -- to be instruments dedicated to the mission on which the Divine has come.
Q: Swami, You must get hungry, and yet I have never seen you eat.
Sai: For Me, your Ananda [Bliss] is My Food. I need no other food than that. I am Anandaswarupa. My nature is Ananda.
Q: Do you ever sleep then, Lord?
Sai: If I needed rest I would not have incarnated. I do not sleep at night; I remember ... the events of my past appearances, and I laugh within myself as memories pass across. In the middle of the night, I turn off the light and rest in bed, because if the light is on, devotees' gather.... People think that Baba rests in the afternoon until 4 p.m. But He never rests. He is never tired. He is always working.
Q: Don't you wish sometimes to travel somewhere else, just to get away from all this?
Sai: I have no need to see places. I am everywhere, always! I am not moved by the craving for a change, or for recreation, or travel.
Q: Do you ever worry that, with all these people here, You won't be able to complete Your work?
Sai: Worry is totally alien to me. I am not aware of any difficulties, disparagement or pressures caused by others.... Nothing can hold Me up or agitate Me or cast a shadow on Me in this Human Form.... My Will must prevail; My task must be accomplished. My Mission will succeed. I may sometimes wait until I can achieve ten things at one stroke.... But My Word will never fail.
Q: You are always at work and yet You seem so calm.
Sai: I do not have a time schedule to adhere to nor can any law bind me. I am the ultimate from whom everything originated, in whom it is preserved and in whom it will be destroyed.
Q: How can I know that side of You?
Sai: Stay at Prashanthi Nilayam; move with Me and experience My company and conversation. Listen to Me and watch Me and then form your conclusions; get in and know the depth; eat and know the taste. The way in which the Avatar has to be used for one's liberation ... is: watch His every step, observe His actions and activities, and follow the guiding principle of which His life is an elaboration. Mark His Love, His Compassion, His Wisdom, try to bring them into your own life.
Q: I should not only watch You. I should also listen carefully to Your advice, should I not?
Sai: You can get Ananda only by following the advice I give you and that is why I am particular that you should listen carefully and take to heart all that I say. Trust in My wisdom: I do not make mistakes. Love My uncertainty! For it is not a mistake. It is My Intent and Will. Remember, nothing happens without My Will. Be still. Do not want to understand; do not ask to understand. Relinquish understanding. Relinquish the imperative that demands understanding.
Q: What is the goal of human life?
Sai Baba: What is the goal of human life? What is the objective that man must realise? Is it just eating, drinking, sleeping, tasting a little joy and grief and finally dying, like any bird or beast? No, certainly not. A little thought will reveal that it is ... Brahma-Sakshathkara, the realisation of the Absolute, of Brahman! You have come from the Divine and you have to go back to the Divine.
That Divine Principle is the very core of man. Becoming aware of this Truth is the goal of life; it is the source of strength which is unfailing and irresistible....The Divine is here before you, behind you, inside you, outside you; the Intelligence through which you can recognize. It is also with you, but you are either blind or diseased with defective vision or, worse still, willfully inclined to close your eyes!
Q: What is the aim of all spiritual practices?
Sai Baba: All spiritual practices are aimed at [the complete] purification [of the heart]. (4) Love has an electronic effect on human beings. It purifies the human heart. Through love alone -- love acquired through Sadhana, and shared with all as Sadhana -- can peace be attained, by the individual as well as by the nation.
God is the very Embodiment of Love. ... God, who is Love, can be realised only through Love. Unless you cleanse the mind with Love, the Full Moon of Spiritual Wisdom cannot shine therein. The recital of the Name, the observance of vows and vigils, of fasts and festivals, may scintillate on the Inner Sky of the mind, as stars stud the sky, but, until the Lamp of Love is lit, the darkness will not vanish.
Q: Why must I work? Why can I not simply sit under this tree and read about God?
Sai Baba: As long as you are in this world, you must be engaged in work. Work is very important for human beings. It is through your work and activities that you learn to harmonize thoughts, words and deeds. Perfect freedom is not given to any man on earth because the very meaning of mortal life is relationship with and dependence on another.
The true Guru is not a human preceptor [teacher]. It is the Cosmos Itself, Prakriti, Creation, the World around us. You learn by the experience of the buffetings of the World. The World is a very essential part of the curriculum of man. The community in which you find yourself is the arena where you can win the victory, the gymnasium where you develop the skill to win. The spiritual journey lies through compassion, sympathy, mutual help, and service, and these are fostered by society and are to be used for society.
Q: Are we alone in the universe? What are other beings like?
Sai Baba: The universe is without beginning and in it dwell an infinitude of 'jivas' (living beings). Among these jivas, man is the most exalted being. In all the universe there is no other planet that has human life, or a similar life form. ... There is life throughout the universe. [But] the expression of life on Earth is upward through the human to the Divine. By virtue of human birth, the next step is the full realization of the Divine. Human life is sacred and must be appreciated as having the highest value.
The question about life in the universe arises because you project your own particular circumstances. You feel that other ways of life would be intolerable because such ways would be intolerable for you. In the hot, blazing Sun, for instance, beings are living. This life exists in circumstances considered to be intolerable by you. Elsewhere in the universe, life feels it is Divinity, is one with Divinity, and is quite happy, and feeling all is right.
Q: Are there other "gods" besides God? What do they do?
Sai Baba: Just as the ruler of a petty earthly domain has certain norms to go by in carrying out his duty, the Supreme Ruler of the world, the Almighty, too, [has] such regulations in the matter of the governance of the universe. It is puerile to say that God would do everything by Himself simply because He is omnipotent. ... Even as there is a delegation of authority in the administration of a terrestrial kingdom by a ruler by which various functions are performed by several ministers who are assigned the charge of certain departments and portfolios, in running the affairs of the Cosmos, the Almighty God too assigns certain functions to certain gods like Indra, Varuna, and Rudra. Just as all earthly matters are not taken directly to a king, but are presented to the concerned ministers for action, all prayers of man do not reach God Himself - they are attended to by His 'ministers' -- Indra, Varuna and others..
The Lord will not interfere in the functions of the different deities. He lets Brahma, Vishnu, and Easwara carry out their respective functions according to the cosmic laws. (18)Prayers for worldly ends do not reach God. They will reach only those deities who deal with such restricted spheres. But all prayers arising from pure love, unselfish eagerness to render service and from hearts that are all inclusive will reach God.
Q: Why do I feel happy when I see someone happy? Why do I not feel sad instead?
Sai Baba: We are not troubled when something is good, only when it is bad. This is because goodness is natural and evil is an aberration. We are worried and alarmed when someone slides into wrong or is in pain or in sorrow. This is because nature plans us to be right, to be happy and ever in joy. It is a pity that man has lost his understanding of this Truth.
Q: I always feel this yearning, no matter what I do. What is it?
Sai Baba: Man has an inborn thirst for God, an in-built yearning for the Ananda of the highest order which will never fail or falter. The Lord has so shaped man that he is inclined towards God and delighted at the expansion of his vision and happy when he is moral and virtuous. So man must serve his best interests by adhering to his basic nature, by concentration on Brahma, by the cultivation of Sathya and the practice of Dharma.
The deepest yearning of man is to experience the One, the Basis, the Being that has become. It is only by drinking God that [this] thirst can be quenched; not by substitutes or palliatives. Man can obtain Shanthi only by returning to his native home, viz., God. Until then, homesickness will haunt him.
Q: What sets human beings apart from animals?
Sai Baba: Discrimination ... sets [human beings] apart from the rest of the animals. The divine power is present everywhere in creation. Only man has the capacity to recognise this power. No other living being than man has been endowed with intelligence and [a] discriminative faculty, heightened to this degree, in order to enable it to visualise the Atma. This is the reason why man is acclaimed as the crown of creation, and why the Sasthras proclaim that the chance of being born as man is a very rare piece of good fortune. Man has the qualifications needed to seek the cause of Creation; he has in him the urge and the capacity.
Man alone can rise through effort to higher stages of spiritual evolution. No other animal can do so. Animal tamers of the circus can train a tiger to perform various tricks, but they cannot change his nature. They cannot make it live on grass and completely deprive it of meat. But man is different. His nature can be changed by means of his own disciplined effort. He can control, by his will, the evil thoughts and ideas that arise in his mind. This is why birth as a human being is considered a rare gift.
The special instrument that God has allotted man, namely, Buddhi or the Intellect, has to be used by man to become masters of these down-dragging senses. The Intellect has to be used to judge and decide the means for the upliftment of the human to the Divine. It has to help man to realize God. In a world replete with ... opposites, man has to make constantly the choice between what is right and proper and what is wrong or undesirable. A man who has no such discriminating faculty is an animal. Man should not let himself be guided by the mind. He should follow the directions of his intelligence (Buddhi). As long as you follow the mind, you cannot obtain Madhava (Divinity).
Q: When I do something, do I do it or does God?
Sai Baba: You have to realise that little depends on your efforts alone. You can have proof of this in your own body. For instance, what efforts are you making to see that your heart beats regularly? How far are you responsible for the breathing process that goes on continually? What is your contribution to the digestive process that goes on within you? Are these the results of human efforts? Can you continue to live merely by wishing that you should go on living? Are you able to end your life when you wish it? Are you responsible for your birth? Not at all. When you inquire into this problem, you will realise that it is your sense of doership and enjoyership which is causing all difficulties.
When [a person] performs actions, regarding himself as the doer, the actions become fetters that bind him. All actions which are performed with the feeling that they are intended as offerings to please the Divine do not lead to bondage. They become "desireless" (Anapeksha) actions. One has to recognise that it is the Divine principle in all beings which is getting actions done through human beings as instruments. As long as man regards himself as the doer (kartrutva) and enjoyer (bhoktrutva) he cannot escape from the consequences of his actions.
Q: What should I do if I see a crime?
Sai Baba: Today many are indulging in actions opposed to Dharma and Truth and, on the basis of their caste or community, are promoting strife and conflict in the country. Elders in the nation are remaining mere spectators of all the unrighteous and violent actions that are being done by the evil elements. Even the scholars and intellectuals are remaining silent. Persons holding high office are merely watching what goes on. No one, however, is making any effort to stop this menace. They are not resisting the evil elements. It appears as if all their knowledge, position and influence have been reduced to nothing. Such persons, though they may not be indulging in unrighteous acts, are giving encouragement to them.
When evil and injustice and violence are being perpetrated, if individuals look on unconcerned, they must be regarded as accomplices in the crimes. In the end, they also suffer as much as the criminals. By their passive association, they provide encouragement to the evil-doers.
When the good are associated with the wicked and do not oppose them, they share responsibility for the deeds of the evil doers. The Divine destroys even those who either do not oppose or remain passive while injustice and wrong-doing are perpetrated. The Divine will not consider whether they are learned or ignorant, wise or unwise. If they are learned or wise, why did they not stand up for truth and justice? Why did they remain silent? It means they are tainted by the same guilt. The failure to resist evil is their offence. It is only when we resist acts of unrighteousness and injustice and try to put down malpractices in society that we can claim to be assisting in the task of restoring Dharma. ...
Whoever may commit an offence, whether a son, a relation or a close associate, one will be free from the taint of being accessory to the crime only if he opposes the wrong action and tries to correct the offender? If, on the contrary, he allows it or encourages it to be done, he will be guilty of abetment.
Q: Swami, is there nothing in the universe that God did not create?
Sai: Everything in the world is derived from God. Nothing is uncaused.... Every being, object, incident has been caused by the Primal Cause and its direction or guidance.
Q: What motivated God to create the world?
Sai: God has willed the world as His Sport. Prakriti [the world] is just the Leela of the Lord, set before you so that you may become aware of His Glory, His Splendour.
Q: I have heard it said that God inhabits everything. Is this so?
Sai: The Divine dwells in the entire Universe, from the minute atom to the vastest star. No place exists where he is not.
Q: But, Swami, we often say that Nature is different from God. We say, "Not this. Not this." Does God dwell in Nature too?
Sai: You have to pour into the flames that rise up to destroy (for they are the flames of revelation, purification, discrimination) the limited vision that sees Nature as different from the Divine. The Divine created all this through the Divine and with the Divine substance.
Q: Then what is the key to understanding the mystery of Nature and God?
Sai: The basic truth of Nature is the One in the many; that is the key to its understanding. The easiest way of grasping the basic reality is to see the Lord in every creature; the Lord sporting in all this multiplicity, as the underlying reality of all.
Q: Swami, I find these mysteries hard to understand.
Sai: The Divine mystery is incredibly marvelous. It is not easy for ordinary mortals to comprehend these mysteries.
Q: What prevents me from understanding them, from comprehending the formless God?
Sai: The Unmanifested, Nirguna Brahman [Formless God] cognised at the climax of the Jnanamarga [wisdom path] cannot be grasped by the sense-centered individual without great travail and trouble. This is the reason why the Puranas dwell so much more on the Saguna aspect [the aspect of God with form] than on the Nirguna aspect of Godhead, First, the aspirant has to practice the Sadhana related to the Saguna aspect of God; this will endow him with concentration and later, according to the law of procedure from the gross to the subtle, he can merge his mind in the Nirguna Brahman.
Q: How could I move from being sense-centered to being God-centered in order to be able to know this mystery of God?
Sai: Ponder over the ameliorative and curative advice I have given you out of the fullness of My Love; try to cleanse your minds through repentance of wrongs committed or contemplated; resolve with unshakeable firmness to shape your lives anew, rid it of deep-rooted deleterious habits of speech, thought and action, and lead it in conformity with the Divine Plan, by which each of you will blossom into the fully Divine. (12)
Q: Swami, You said that everyone is here for a purpose. Why are -You_ here?
Sai: I have come to inscribe a golden chapter in the history of humanity.
Q: What do You mean, Lord?
Sai: Sai has come ... to achieve the supreme task of uplifting the entire mankind, as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illumining the Atmic Reality of each being in order to reveal the Divine which is the Basis on which the entire Cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man so that man can rid himself of the animal, and rise to the Divine, which is his goal. I want to build one humanity without any religious, caste or other barriers in a universal empire of love which would enable my devotees to feel the whole world as their family.
Q: How can just one being change the whole world?
Sai: The power of Sai is limitless; It manifests for ever. All forms of 'power' are resident in this Sai palm. My Body, like all other bodies, is a temporary habitation but My Power is eternal, all-pervasive, ever-dominant.
Q: Does that mean that You can simply snap Your fingers and cure everything in the world?
Sai: If I cure everything instantly, leaving the people at their present level of consciousness, they would soon mess up things and be at one another's throats again with the result that the same chaotic situation would develop in the world. Instead I have to work through [people], rouse the in-dwelling God in them and evolve them to a higher reality in order to enable them to master the natural laws and forces. I will lead] the people ... to a higher level of consciousness to enable them to understand the truth of spiritual laws so that they may turn towards righteousness and steadfastly work for better conditions.
Q: Why did the Lord Himself come?
Sai: When there is a small 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.
Q: If You are the Inspector General, will You protect us from nuclear war?
Sai: Evil is so widespread that humanity itself would be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust.... It is to prevent such a catastrophe that this present Avatar has come to raise human consciousness above the existing syndrome of anger, hate, violence and war and save the world from disaster. My mission is to pre-empt the fires [of thermonuclear conflagration] by re-establishing dharma and the spiritual law of one God, one religion, one [heart] language embracing one humanity.
Q: Swami, why has the United Nations been unable to keep the world from war?
Sai: Only the power of the Divine can save the world [today]. I have to deal with a crisis which is world-wide and world-shaking. ... Immorality has put on the garb of morality and is enticing man into the morass of sin. Truth is condemned as a trap; justice is jeered at; saints are tortured as social enemies. Hence this Incarnation has come, to uphold the True and suppress the False. (13)
Q: Will you destroy the wicked as you did in your Rama and Krishna Incarnations?
Sai: In this Avatar, the wicked will not be destroyed; they will be corrected and reformed and educated and led back to the path from which they have strayed. That is why this Avatar has come unarmed; it has come with the message of Love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is ... Love.
Q: There seems no question in Your mind that You will succeed.
Sai: Even if the heavens fall, Sai's resolve will not alter. Nothing can impede or halt My work. (17) The Will of God cannot be stopped. The events God ordains must take place. The splendor of this Avatar will go on increasing, day by day.
Q: I believe You, Lord. But I fear that many will not.
Sai: Many hesitate to believe that things will improve, that life will be happy for all and full of joy, and that the Golden Age will recur. But let me assure you that this dharmaswarupa, this divine body, has not come in vain. It will succeed in averting the crisis that has come upon humanity.
Q: Swami, sometimes, when I am home, I feel afraid and lonely without You near me.
Sai: When in fear and doubt, pray to Me. Tune in to My Mighty Power, which, compared to the power of the sun which I have placed in the heavens, is what a baby's breathing is to a typhoon.
Q: But when I leave Prashanthi, surely You will be busy and forget about me.
Sai: No matter where you go, always know that I will be there, inside you, guiding every step of the way. ... You are my very own, dearer than dear to me. I will protect you as the eyelids protect the eyes.
Q: How will You know I need You, Swami?
Sai: Call on Me in your distress; it is your right to invoke My Grace. If you call upon Me, I shall be at your side.
Q: But, Swami, surely You save only the pure. I have been very bad recently.
Sai: To say that you have to be pure in order to win My grace is as foolish as to say that you have to be healthy to receive the ministrations of a doctor! The pure do not need a Master! The tough do not need a doctor! Why fear when I am here? Put all your faith in Me. I shall guide and guard you.
Q: But I cannot see You when I am home.
Sai: I see you and I am with you, wherever you may be.
Q: How can You help me thousands of miles away?
Sai: Wherever you are, you are near Me. You cannot go beyond My reach.
Q: Swami, what happens if You do not come?
Sai: I will not forsake you. I have come to help, to accompany, and to carry you. I can never forsake you. I will never fail in My duty to My children. Nothing will harm him who turns his attention toward Me. Sai Krishna will install Himself in the lotus of your heart. He will be ever with you, as guard and guide, and will shower Grace on you. He will be the Mother, Father and Preceptor, the Nearest Kinsman; He will be your All.
Q: Even when I have been bad?
Sai: However you are, you are Mine. I will not give you up.
Q: Even if I forget You for a while?
Sai: Those who stray away will come again to me, do not doubt this. I shall beckon them back to me.
Oh, Swami, You are the best friend anyone ever had!
Compiled from various Sai Literatures
Sent by Saidevotees_worldnet