Before we proceed further, let us understand what Bhavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba teaches mankind. One close devotee of Swami was Prof. Anil Kumar who often translated Swami’s discourses into English. He also gave many discourses before hundreds of devotees and published a number of books on Swami and His teachings.
An elderly professor came to see Swami because he was suffering from cataracts in the eyes. Swami advised him to go to the hospital and have a checkup. Then Swami looked at Prof. Anil and said, “You also have cataracts.” Anil said, “Swami, I don’t have cataracts”, to which Swami replied, “You have cataracts in both your eyes.” Ani Kumar said “Swami, me?” “Yes, you!” said Swami. “One eye is suffering from the cataract of attachment; the other eye is suffering from the cataract of ego.”
We all have these cataracts: attachments to our “Deha” or physical body, and ego. However, it is natural to all humans except for the fully liberated (Named Arhaths in Buddhism and Jivan Mukthas in Hinduism). There are three paths to end our “cataract” which makes us suffer and remain in “samsara.”. The paths are (i) the path of Wisdom or Gnana Marga which Prince Siddhartha pursued. (ii) Path of Bhakthi or path of devotion, and (iii) Path of selfless service to the living beings. Swami accepts all three paths but He advises us that Path of Bhakthi is the most relevant and productive for the present Kali Yuga. What is Bhakti? Bhakthi is devotion to a Guru and your commitment to adhere to His dictates or advise, dedicate to His Dharma, and never deviate from the prescribed path.
Such a Guru does not have any ego and does not expect anything from the devotee except the welfare of the devotee himself. An ideal example is Lord Buddha who gave up a kingdom, many luxuries, and comforts to give the greatest gift of ending the suffering from repeated rounds of births and deaths. Lord Rama gave up the kingdom and went into exile in the jungles for years.
The average man has Bhakti and devotion to money, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures. But Bhakti and devotion to a true Guru will provide what is best for each of us. A true story:
An American lady was suffering from acute cancer. She came to see Sathya Sai Baba in Puttaparthy. Swami gives “Darshan” to devotees but he never looked at this lady. The first day she felt miserable and thought Swami is not kind. However, a genuine thought occurred to her, “What is cancer, even if Swami cures me now the same cancer can come to in next lives. The true disease is not cancer but the “Bhava Roga.” She resolved deeply; I will not ask Swami to cure my cancer. I will ask for a remedy for “Bhava Roga.” That very day Swami talked to her, “Your cancer is cancelled.”
What can we learn from this short story?
- Sathya Sai Baba knows everything about us, what we are, what we were, and what we will be. This lady had no time to tell Swami about her cancer, He knew what is best for her
- Swami gives the best solutions to our mundane problems and simultaneously elevates our consciousness and bhakthi which will shorten the samsaric journey.
- The key to receiving the Divine Grace is Bhakthi to the name and form, which has to grow into “Ananya Bhakthi” (Mind focusing on a single name and form).
- Swami would have easily cured this lady’s cancer at the first instance. But He allowed the lady to change her perception about the value of the physical body and the more important “Bhava Roga”, and there by shortening her samsara