In this feature we are showcasing the work of women authors who are Sai devotees. Some of these books are old friends and some newer, but all are well worth a read. Look for additions to our showcase over the next few months!
by Karunamba Ramamurthy
This author and her family were with Swami from the 1940’s, and had myriad contacts with Him. Kannamma, as she is called, noted down Swami’s teachings in all these interviews and interactions, and has preserved them for us in this wonderful book.
Once my mother went inside the mandir to drink buttermilk. Holding the cup in the hand, she was bemoaning in her mind that Swami had not given her any lessons in sadhana despite staying there for so many days. It was time to leave for Mysore [home]. Suddenly she heard Swami telling her, “Ammayi, don’t cry. For everything, the proper time has to come. Aspiring for salvation is also a type of desire. So, without aspiring for anything, always contemplate on Me. You will then be liberated.” Mother turned round and saw a tear sparkling in Swami’s eyes! pp. 74-75
Once when my mother was in Puttaparthi, a woman was brought to the mandir. Both her legs were paralyzed. In those days Swami would ask everyone to sing bhajans and listen to them. Swami asked this woman also to sing a bhajan. Her voice was so shrill that the devotees could not bear to listen to her bhajans. But Swami sat listening to her.
A devotee wanted to know more about this lady and one day asked Swami about her. Swami said that in her previous life she was performing black magic to paralyze the legs of her enemies. Because of those bad deeds, her legs were paralyzed in this birth. But, after performing the black magic she would pray God that the legs of her victims should be paralyzed before they wake up from their sleep. Her prayer to God, even though for a bad purpose, had resulted in getting the darshan of Swami. In His infinite compassion, Swami had forgiven even such sinners and had given His darshan. Swami would often tell us, “Protection according to devotion. Punishment according to sin.” p. 88
Swami told us, “One woman of the village offered Me vadas which were poisoned. I ate them, came back to the mandir and vomited everything.” I asked, “Swami, why do You allow such people to come to the mandir? You have also sent the big vessels of the mandir to her house for preparing food for the function.”
Swami said, “Ammayi, this mandir [Himself] will give nectar in return for poison. I will not stop anyone who wants to come here. I do not discriminate between people who are good and who are bad. For Me all are one and the same.” p, 89
In one of the first interviews with Swami, I asked Him to teach me meditation. Swami said, “Not now. How can you do meditation and japa when you have such small children? After they grow up, you can do these things.” I asked what would happen if I started now itself. Swami answered, “Now you have to bring up your children. You will have to cope with their pranks. You will get angry. Anger will destroy the merits accumulated by performing meditation.” I asked, “Swami, up to which stage is our duty?” Swami replied, “You should bring them up as healthy children, give them education, equip them for employment, then marry them to suitable persons. Your duty towards them comes to an end at that stage.” p. 90
Once Swami said, “Good persons in bad company become bad with time. When oil and water are put together un a vessel, they do not mix, but remain separately. However, after some days, when the vessel is examined, it smells bad. So, give up bad company.” p. 92
Once Swami told me in the courtyard of the mandir, “Ammayi, do you know what is beneath this sheath of body? Only brilliant jyoti [flame].” p. 93
Swami once said, “When a brilliant ball of light is covered by a perforated pot, light emerging from the holes appear to be different from each other and also the source. But, all of them emanate from the same source. So also, paramatma [Oversoul] and jivatma [individual soul] are one and the same.” p. 93
You often say, “You have forgotten us, Swami.” If it were true, you would not be sitting here before Me complaining like this. It is My Prema which has brought you here. I want to tell you one more thing. Daily I give you the privilege of merging with Paramatma (Me) for a length of time in the night equal to the time you spend contemplating on Me during the day. The proof of merger is that after waking up, mind does not turn towards worldly matters, but thinks of God and body feels light without pains, etc.” p. 264
Swami told us during an interview, “Japa, meditation and Namasmarana done during sattvika kala [good hours] are meant for spiritual progress. I receive it and keep it safely with Me as in a recurring deposit account of a bank. Japa, meditation and namasmarana done during the rest of the day is like the accumulation in a savings bank account. Pressed by the worldly burdens when you pray to Me, I release this punya [merit] bit by bit to solve your worldly problems. But the earnings from the early morning sadhana are meant for adhyatmic spiritual purpose and will be utilized only for that.” p. 264