POWER OF GURU
(From the glorious life of Saint Damaji of Mangalveda as narrated by Mr. Venkatesan)
That the Lord is servant of the devotee and His wages are mere devotion and steadfast meditation on Him alone as the sole Refuge, is well exemplified in the story of the illustrious saint of Mangalveda, is in Maharashtra and Damaji even from his younger days had developed a spirit of surrender to the Lord. His intelligence and popularity attracted the notice of the ruler of the province who appointed him as the Revenue Collector of Mangalveda.
Once a great famine raged over the entire locality. Rains failed and there was a great dearth of food grains. Starvation and disease exacted a heavy toll among the population and people flocked to Damaji for help. Damaji wanted to relieve them of their distress and ordered the entire royal- granaries to be opened and the grains distributed among people.
But envious minds began to chafe at Damaji’s added glory. They sent petitions to the ruler that he had laid bare the entire granaries belonging to the state. Damaji was summoned to the Durbar for an answer. Nothing daunted Damaji and he followed the emissaries. Pandarapur was on the way and Damaji felt that he should have a bath in the sacred Chanrabagha and offer his worship to Lord Vittal. “Oh Lord, it was you who made Damaji distribute the grain among your starving children, and again it is You that is taking me for an explanation at the Durbar. Your ways are indeed mysterious. What need for fear have I, as I know it is You in everyone who is playing this Drama? I have little care for this body for it is Thy and at Thy service.”
In the meantime at the palace of the ruler, there appeared a Talayari and presented his credentials to the ruler as the servant of Damaji, and told him that his master had submitted the value of the grain that he was accused to having misused. The Talayari’s appearance overwhelmed the ruler and he was thrilled. The amount of four lakhs of rupees which was the value of the grain so utilized by Damaji was promptly paid and a regular receipt taken. Immediately orders were passed withdrawing all proceedings against Damaji and he was honorably acquitted.
Here at Pandarapur, Damaji after worship began to read ‘Bhagavadgita’ as usual. On opening the sacred book he found in it a receipt for four lakhs and an order withdrawing the proceedings and a direction that he would be received in the palace with all honor. Damaji could not believe his eyes. The Lord’s ways are certainly inexplicable.
The Ruler fell at Damaji’s feet and begged for forgiveness for the great hardship he had caused him. Damaji discovered that it was the Lord who had thus saved His devotee and decided to spend the reminder of his life devoted to the Lord at Pandarpur.
UNTO HIS FOLD
UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER
By D.S. GOPALA RAO
If I knew you and you knew me, If both of us could clearly see, And with an inner sight divine The meaning of your heart and mine, I’m sure that we would differ less, And clasp our hands in friendliness; Our thoughts would pleasantly agree If I knew you and you knew me.
I was a student of a high school in the early forties. One evening as I was returning from the school and proceeding towards National High School side, someone told me that a film is being shown in the National High School quadrangle. Immediately I ran over there. I saw a number of people present for the film/lecture. It was a magic lantern lecture being conducted by an elderly gentleman. He was inserting slides on Sai Baba and explaining each one. He was none other than Shri Narasimha Swamiji who carried the message of Sai Baba to all nooks and corners of India. I was deeply impressed by his talk. This in fact sowed the seeds of Sai-devotion in me.
Later I had the privilege of coming in contact with H. H. Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji who came to Bangalore in 1953. Sometime in 1953 or 54, I had one more occasion to have ‘darshan’ of Sri Narasimha Swamiji. At that time he camped in Sri S. Narayana Rao’s (retired Inspector – General of Police in Mysore) house on Subbarama Chetty Road. Regular bhajans and ‘satsang’ used to be held by then under the guidance of Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji at the house of Sri M. Subbaramayya near Nagasandra Circle.
Some devotees represented to Sri Narasimha Swamiji that he should visit Tumkur. Swamiji agreed to this provided he should be dropped at Bangalore before dusk. Sri B.S. Krishna Murthy arranged for a car and I had the privilege of accompanying Sri Narasimha Swamiji and Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji on this visit to Tumkur. First we visited a devotee’s house near Railway Station and then proceeded to my brother-in-law, Sri R. Srinivasa Rao’s house. ‘Pada Pooja’ was done by many devotees. When the clock struck ‘FIVE’, Sri Narasimha Swamiji in a firm voice said “I should be back in Bangalore by six”. Accordingly we returned to Bangalore, though many devotees were disappointed. Sri Narasimha Swamiji was a stickler for time and kept up this discipline in his Sai-Prachar.
For me the very thought of this trip to Tumkur along with the perfect Masters purifies the soul and I get the power to draw Sai Baba more and more into my soul. Sai Baba and Swamijis are blessing us forever.
RULES FOR DAILY LIFE
Begin the day with SAI Kneel down to Him in prayer; Lift up thy heart to His abode and seek His love to share. Open SAI SATHCHARITA and read a portion there; that it may hallow all thy thoughts. And sweeten all thy care. Go through the day with SAI What ever thy work may be, What ever thou art, at home, abroad; He still is near to thee. Converse in mind with SAI Thy spirit heavenward raise, Acknowledge every good bestowed, and offer grateful praise. Conclude thy day with SAI Thy sins to Him confess Trust in the Lord’s BLESSINGS and plead His righteousness. Lie down at night with God, Who gives His CHILDREN sleep; and when thou tread’s the vie of death He will thee guard and keep.
Constant Remembrance of God
It is by His grace the devotee gains strength, courage and hope in his march on the divine path. The word Guru has a world of meaning in it. Guru is at once the master, father, mother, and all in all for him. A saint to whom the devotee clings with all his heart, like a creeper on the tree, is such a Guru. Although at first the Guru is a person contacted from outside, he is realized, as the devotee approaches him in the recesses of his own heart, to be the supreme Deity dwelling within himself.
Just as staff is to one who walks up a steep hill, just as fence to a tender plant, just as milk to a hungry babe, so the divine name given by the Guru is to the devotee. It sustains, nourishes, strengthens and in every way envelops the devotee like armor. The power of the name is simply inexpressible. It is sweeter than the sweetest. To taste it is to taste immortality; it is the giver of endless joy and peace. Death has no terror for him who has the Name on his lips. Life becomes a round of bliss when it is permeated with the Name. God is a miracle and wonder, and His name is perhaps a greater miracle and wonder.
So contact of a saint and God’s name on the lips comprise all that is necessary for the devotee to get the vision of God and attain everlasting beatitude. Blessed indeed is he who has dedicated his life to the Beloved and attuned it with Him.
– Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji