Once I was with Bhagavan when He spoke to a small group about changes happening in the world and in the minds of men. He said that there was a revolution afoot more vast and extensive than anything ever known to man. Man was in the midst of a major transformation of consciousness and that changes would be so vast and grand that no-one could begin to grasp them.
So many of us are aware of the major and dramatic events happening in eastern Europe and in Russia — a revolution so great that it exceeds our understanding. Yet, we know our Bhagavan is guiding and protecting, directing and safeguarding the proper unfolding of these events. How could it be otherwise? He is everywhere at all times, now with us assuring that the vast transformation taking place is directly supervised and personally handled by Him. It is hard, however, for mere mortal man to understand the care and love with which Bhagavan is handling such worldwide events. It may be easier to grasp His gentle, loving, compassionate ways when He deals individually with us.
A few years ago, while visiting Prasanthi Nilayam with my wife, Bhagavan called us for a personal interview. Quite unexpectedly, He materialized a beautiful crystal japamala for my wife. She was overcome with joy. Tears filled her eyes and she fell at Bhagavan's Lotus feet with great love. Bhagavan then brought us into an inner interview room and spoke sweetly and lovingly to us. "Baba", my wife said, "The schools in the U.S. are now so chaotic and unhealthy for children. Shall we take our children out of the public school and find a private school? " With deep understanding and love, Bhagavan said, "No, it is the same everywhere. All schools are the same now. I will protect them." My wife then said, "Baba, if it weren't for you, all would be lost." Bhagavan then looked directly at both of us in a very serious manner, and with a certain strong emphasis, said, "Yes, if it were not for me, everything would be lost."
The words are chilling and struck to the core. We all know how disturbed this world is now. A polluted environment, people suffering, selfishness, violence, lust, and greed seem to flourish unchecked. If we understood the full extent of it, we would die from fright. But our loving protective Bhagavan firmly reassures, "Yes, if it were not for me, all would be lost." He has told us this before, that it is for our protection and for the establishment of righteousness that He has come. But, to hear it directly from Bhagavan, and with such a serious tone — this was moving beyond description. Yes, He has come to protect us and to make our family right. He has come to give us confidence and to assure us that love, understanding, respect and faithfulness rule, and that Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa will guide the way. We are grateful to Bhagavan that He has come and given us protection in our individual families and that He is in charge of the great changes now at play in our world family.
And so, I would now like to mention about my previous trip to Prasanthi Nilayam along with my family in August 1989. As I know that it reflects the sweet care and attention that Bhagavan is giving to the world events as well. For I know, Bhagavan handles all the events of all the worlds as sweetly, intimately, and personally as He did to my family in August.
My four daughters are now young ladies, ages 18, 29 and twins, 23. At this age, young people think for themselves. They sometimes break away from blindly following the beliefs of their parents, and begin to inquire about the whys and wherefores of life on their own. Many of us know how adolescents and young adults rebel and struggle with parental authority, and so how lucky we were when I recently asked the young ladies if they wanted to visit Bhagavan. Without hesitation, all of them shouted with delight and in unison, "Yes."
This would not be the first time they visited Bhagavan. The twins had already been to see Bhagavan twice, and the younger two once, during the 60th birthday celebration. At that time, Bhagavan said that He would see us as a family. However, during the 60th birthday, we never got the family interview, and so there has always been that yearning in the minds of the children "One day will Swami see us personally?"
On the third day of our visit, Bhagavan called the family for an interview. He had previously talked to me about the marriage of my twin daughters, and for the past few years has told me, "Less luggage, more comfort." He said that I must search for good young men and that He would provide the right mates. When I asked Him if there were any good men left on earth, He assured me that there were. He had told me that the best age for marriage of young women in our culture is between the ages of 22 and 25. They should be married early now because-the influence of - the society is not good. The best age for men is between the ages of 25 and 29.
My children entered the interview room hesitantly. They sat close to the wall for support and wondered what would happen. In came Bhagavan with smiles and laughter that warmed everybody's heart. He materialized vibhuti for the ladies and met everyone with a sweet and loving smile. Worry dissolved. He then materialized a diamond ring for one of the gentlemen, and then sat in His chair and began to speak He looked at a Danish businessman who was in the interview with his wife, and two sons, aged 25 and 29. He said some kind words, and then materialized a beautiful gold medal on a gold stand, and gave it to him. Bhagavan looked at my twin daughters and asked, "How are you?" They said, "Happy, Swami". Bhagavan then moved His hand in that beautiful creative circle, and brought out two of the most beautiful earrings I have ever seen. They were large pearl and emerald earrings in a gold setting with diamonds sprinkled all over. The earrings were approximately an inch and a half long, and very substantial. He took one earring and, in front of our eyes, tore it in half, into its twin, both being the size of the original, and then said, "Twins for the twins - wedding earrings." He finished the task by tearing the other one in half the same way, creating two pairs of the most marvelous pearl, emerald, and diamond earrings out of one by simply splitting matter into its double. He then brought my daughters to Him and, with eyes a twinkle, put one earring on His ear and wiggled His head back and forth. "See how attractive?". He said. Merriment reigned. He then gave each one their precious gift and my daughters ears and hearts were attached to Bhagavan forever.
Bhagavan, the Father of the Universe, began talking about the rules that govern the universe. He started with education and asked us why we should have an education. He said that education was to focus the mind. He then asked, "Why study?" We all tried to give an answer, and then Bhagavan helped. "Study is to make you steady." He then sweetly asserted, "Politics without principles — science without humanity-commerce without morality - and education without character are not only useless, but dangerous." He then told us that there are five kinds of knowledge, book knowledge, superficial knowledge, general knowledge, discriminatory knowledge, and the most important — practical knowledge. And so Bhagavan was laying the foundations of a good life - values, precious human values — God's greatest gift of love to man. Right from the start of our marvelous contact with Him and without let-up, Bhagavan emphasized the importance of values. He was laying a strong foundation, making it sturdy, showering it up with love, and inviting us to protect and promote these values as His very own instruments.
My daughters wanted to see a miracle. They said so prior to the interview and, of course, Bhagavan knew their minds. He materialized a beautiful diamond ring, and asked everybody what it was. When we all agreed that it was a diamond, He then blew on it and turned it into an emerald. Everybody smiled with delight, seeing Bhagavan showing His great power in such a playful manner.
Bhagavan then invited us into a small inner room, for a private family interview. The girls were still a bit hesitant and sat distant from His chair. He came into the room, made a gesture mimicking their fear, but with great teasing play in His smile, and they all burst into laughter. They all drew close to the chair and Bhagavan began talking to us, the Father of our family. He talked about marriage. He looked at me and again said, "Less luggage, more comfort." He told the young ladies that they would be getting married and He told me to get ready. Our family is very close, and my daughters asked, "But Baba, will we always be together in spirit?" Bhagavan assured, "Yes, yes, always in spirit, always together." He then turned His attention to the younger daughters and indicated that they had thoughts about marriage. They giggled and Bhagavan said that it was natural. He was with us for over half an hour, and by the time we left, all hearts were melted. My children were His forever. How wonderful for parents to see their children's spiritual lives being given such guidance.
Our family had another wonderful interview with Bhagavan and many lovely and precious moments with Him. By the time we were to leave, we were heartbroken at the thought of parting from Him. At our last Bhajan, I cried. Sometimes with Bhagavan, there are tears which have no name and come from a place that seems to have no location. Just a vast recognition of His greatness and His love — A feeling of holiness and a recognition that the Lord has come. As we were preparing to depart, however, these tears had a name. I was crying because we were leaving our sweet Mother Sai who had brought us close and given us an intimate experience of her compassionate boundless love. Later, I was to find that all of us, although sitting separately, were crying the same tears with the same name and form. We were so sad to be leaving our sweet Mother, our gentle, innocent, profound, compassionate, sweet Mother Sai.
Bhagavan tells us that we are never apart from Him - that He is always with us, around us, above us, below us, beside us and within us, guiding, protecting, loving. And, He tells us to experience this love and to express it in the form of precious values entrusted to us by Him, for the protection, benefit and welfare of the world family. And so, cry yes, because we will miss the physical presence of our Sweet Mother Sai - but also, get down to business and do our duty.
Through Bhagavan's grace, an unusual situation has developed in my professional life. The American Psychiatric Association has an annual meeting in which approximately, 15,000 psychiatrists attend. There are a few hundred meetings spread over 7 to 8 days. Three years ago, I proposed to present a workshop on the Spiritual Dimension of Psychotherapy. I was quite surprised to see the proposal accepted, and that the meeting, in Montreal, was a resounding success. The room allotted to us was filled to capacity. Then, last year, I proposed the same program, and again it was accepted. We had double the space, and again it was full to capacity and a resounding success. For this year's May 1990 meeting held in New York, I have written proposals for two meetings, and both were accepted. One will be a three-hour paper symposium on Psychiatry and Spirituality in which six psychiatrists will read and discuss papers.
As we are aware, psychiatry has some resistance to spirituality, and that this kind of meeting is taking place at a large psychiatric Convention is unusual in and of itself. As Chairperson of this paper symposium, I will give the lead-off paper. What I will be emphasizing is that God is real, and we must not avoid talking about Him in psychotherapy. Man's yearning to establish a relationship with Him must be seen as an essential, vital and profound part of life. This relationship is established through the process of devotion and by practicing the precious human values given to us by God. Values must not be considered a peripheral issue in psychiatry, and we, as professional healers, must recognize that the establishment of basic human values is our primary goal. Values are an expression of God's love, and it is through living these precious values that we find our greatest purpose and meaning of life. They bring us peace and lead to eternal joy and boundless love.
Bhagavan gave me and my family boundless love, and I now have the chance to reflect this love into the world by protecting and promoting divine blessed values. In this way, Bhagavan expresses His love through our thoughts, words, and deeds, so that the whole world, which is His family is permeated with His Love.
Dr. Samuel H. Sandweiss received his M.D. from the University of Michigan, U.S.A. in 1962. He is currently Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and practices psychiatry in San Diego, California. Dr. Sandweiss first met Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in May, 1972 and is currently a member of the Council of Sathya Sai Baba Organization of the USA He has authored "Sai Baba — The Holy Man and Psychiatrist", "Spirit and Mind" and "With Love Man is God". He was blessed to be the Chief Guest at the Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in November 2009.
Source: Sai Vandana 1990 (65th Birthday Offering)