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 Rita Bruce
A prolific Sai author, this book is one of Rita’s books about her own experiences. She has also written very helpful and popular books of self-love and self-healing, such as Love of Conscience, and all of her books have this characteristic quality of openness that makes it very easy to empathize with her and relate to her.
On holy Thursday, I wrote Sai a note saying, “Yesterday you told us of our problems but spoke nothing of a cure, please take this note and give me padnamaskar only if you promise complete removal. He walked directly to me, took the note, gave me a big smile and I kissed His feet. My gratitude was too deep for words.
No matter how sever your problem, or how deep the roots of sankalpa, His power of love will heal the mind and remove the cause. I recounted this because I want everyone to have hope. No need to give up; stick with Sai.
Swami called the ladies into the interview room, and as I approached Him, I thanked Him for the interview. He took my hands and in a gentle but firm manner said, “I’ll see you later.” I was stunned and started to sit back down, but Mataji the lady Seva Dal on duty on the veranda said to me, “Later can mean tomorrow or any time,” and ushered me away from the veranda. I was in shock... His words kept echoing through my mind, “I’ll see you later.”
It was the most difficult walk of my life. I asked Sai within, “What are you trying to tell me?” to get so close to an interview and be turned away with such a deliberate action must have a definite reason. I could feel the crushing blow of Sai’s hammer on my ego. Within moments, I was experiencing the emotional pull of the two opposites, first the joy of going for an interview and then the pain of rejection. How our emotions swing back and forth, like a monkey from tree to tree, chasing after desires. I felt tears beginning to swell in my eyes, and a turbulent storm of emotions brewing within. My eyes darted about, looking for an inconspicuous place to sit. Uncontrolled emotions, displayed publicly are not the ideal way to get Swami’s attention or approval.
As I sat across from the interview room, I used my intellect to calm my stormy feelings. I remembered Sai’s teachings. “In order to become free from the twin pulls of pleasure and pain, one must rid oneself of the body-consciousness, and keep clear of self-centered actions.” I kept repeating, “I am God; not the body. Maintain your equilibrium; do not respond to this action. Be detached.” Such lofty advice was coming from inside the one who felt so human and rejected. It was His miracle that allowed me to stay calm, enough to keep me from bursting into tears. I was grateful and surprised that there was some measure of control.
Sai says, “For the voice of God is to be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled, and the storm is stilled, and the waves are calm.” So I silenced myself inside and again asked, “What have I done wrong... what are you telling me?” and heard His reply, “Two years ago in meditation I told you to write a book, but for the past six months you have stopped. You are spending too much time with your family. I have told you to detach from your husband and have a spiritual marriage. You are eating too much, wasting time and energy, and spending too much money. What has happened to my ceiling on desires program?” I could immediately see how I had failed him.
“Oh, Baba, you are so right.” The pain stuck in my heart. I conversed with Him inside. “Many times I have rejected you by putting husband, family and sense pleasures before you. I have become “spiritually sloppy” these past six months. Oh, Baba, I am sorry for offending you.” I felt so guilty and sad.
“Embodiments of love, do not feel bad because Swami has told you things harshly. In fact, a true guru (great spiritual teacher) is harsh when it is necessary. Beware of the treacherous fellow who tries to deceive by hiding your defects.” I began to realize He had personally given me the priceless gift of learning and growing, through His experience. (pp. 295 – 297)
Five years before, during an hour of silence at our Central Regional Conference, Sai Baba had told me to write a book about my experiences as a devotee. He said to write about His teachings and how they changed my life. The mind started its game of denial. It told me, “It must be a joke. You can’t write. How can you write a book, when you’ve never written? And you haven’t read that much either!” had I imagined this instruction to write I wondered? In this case desire was not the culprit – fear was. Fear and desire weaken our actions, and our capacity to act.
... It was time for me to look at my fear of writing. Fear can run so deep and silent, like a submarine, that it’s hard to recognize from the surface, yet it is there but it can threaten and weaken the security of all our feelings.
I had always felt intellectually insecure from old programming... The first intellectual put-down I can remember was in high school. My literature teacher told me that I would never be good for anything other than marriage. Her remarks torpedoed my intellectual self-image submarine, and it submerged a little. Over the years continual intellectual rejection finally sank that submarine with a hull full of fear. It could no longer float. At this stage of my development it was time to bring up the old wreck with its sunken treasure and free it to float again. Spiritual growth is achieved by cleansing our inner-self from fears, prejudices, desires, and hatred.
...Sai says, “The six enemies of man are eating into his vitals, embedded in his own inner consciousness. They are the demons to be killed. They are lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, and malice.” It takes energy to hold these negative enemies in our subconscious. Once released, the energy is free for use in developing higher consciousness. The more garbage we dump, the lighter we are for spiritual travel.
...The more we practice listening and trusting the voice of God, the more confident we become. He is an excellent teacher and has helped me to cast away some of the shadows and doubts. His message to me is clear. Trust your inner voice and act accordingly. When I learn from my past mistakes and apply the knowledge that He has taught, then my future will bear fruit for God. (pp. 300 - 305)