TIME FLIES, DOESN’T IT?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

It is difficult to believe that one year has passed since we started the SAI INSPIRES service, almost on an impulse. In the early days, we used to eagerly check every morning to see how many people had signed up subscription. And as the number of subscribers slowly crept up to a thousand, we were simply thrilled. “Oh my God,” we told each other, “imagine that, a thousand people have singed up for a daily Picture Postcard with Swami’s photo and saying!”

Little did we realise then how much this SAI INSPIRES service would grow! Do you know that today, nearly 13,000 people see a personal Message from Swami when they open their mailbox every morning? It is not just that. We receive so many mails saying: “You know what? I had a tough problem and I was desperately looking for a solution. Then came today’s SAI INSPIRES, and it had precisely the solution I was looking for.” When we started the service, we thought it would merely inspire; but looks it is also a problem-solving service!

A few months after starting the daily Divine Picture Postcard service, we tested the waters a little further by attaching what we call the Sunday Special. We were not sure how it would be received, and have been pleasantly surprised to see that it has had a very good reception. Every Sunday Special brings us a crop of mail with comments and reactions, and questions too. We like the mails no doubt, but answering mails takes time! Yet, we feel so overwhelmed by your Love and appreciation of what we are trying to do, we put aside even urgent and pressing work to respond to letters. Many years ago when we first got started, Swami told us that if devotees write, we should take time off to respond. So, deadline or no deadline, we always try and respond as best as we can.

A word now about what exactly we are trying to do in our so-called Sunday Specials. Basically, we are trying to draw attention to the fact that almost all the problems that humanity faces today, do have a solution rooted in Swami’s teachings. To make our point, we quote from the SAI INSPIRES message that came to you very recently on 8 th June, 2006 . There, Swami answers the question: “What is Spirituality?” He says:

What is spirituality? It is the resolute pursuit of cosmic consciousness. Spirituality aims at enabling a person to manifest in all its fullness the divine cosmic consciousness (Chaitanya) that is present both within and outside oneself. It means getting rid of one’s animal nature and developing the divine tendencies within one. It means breaking down the barriers between God and Nature and establishing their essential oneness. Today, people think that spirituality has no relation to mundane life, and vice versa. This is a big mistake. True divinity is a combination of spirituality and social obligations. National unity and social harmony are founded upon spirituality. It is the Divine that links spirituality and social existence.

This Message of Swami has been, in one form or the other, the basis for our Sunday Specials.

If we examine carefully, most of the problems of today are caused by people failing to see God in Society and in Nature. How can we see God in others when we fail to see God within us? Jesus once said, “When you cannot love your brother whom you see, how can you love God whom you have not seen?”

This pungent statement calls attention to the fact that absence of Love is at the root of most problems. A son drives his elderly parents out; they languish and beg. Why? Because the son does not have love for his parents. This is not a concocted incident. The abuse of elders is so widespread that recently a day was observed to call attention to the trauma experienced by the aged and the abandoned. Child labour, female infanticide, trafficking in humans, exploitation, violence, cruelty, etc., etc., all these arise when love is absent.

Swami often says that life without love is impossible. Few realise how profound this statement is. Let us take a new-born human baby. Unless the mother cares for the baby, the baby would be in deep trouble. It has to be fed at regular intervals, cleaned and so forth. A new-born calf can get up and start drinking milk, but in the case of a human baby, unless the mother makes a special effort to feed, the child cannot drink mother’s milk just like that. And Swami says that milk forms in the mother because God has built Love into the mother.

So you see, Love is very essential for every human being for survival, at least at the start. Life without Love can be gruesome, as it often is these days. Take a teacher. If the teacher Loves the students, he teaches with special interest, keeping the welfare of students at heart. In turn, students show their love for their teacher with suitable expressions of gratitude. But you know what? Recently, a prominent newspaper carried an article about how students in one western European country harass and taunt their teachers, to the point that many are dropping out of the teaching profession! We are not exactly blaming the teachers there but merely wish to point out if selfishness rules Society and love is edged out, then there can be all kinds of trouble.

We are all born with Divine Love embedded deep within us. It is to remind us of that that Swami invariably commences His Divine Discourses with the words: PREMASWAROOPALARA! Meaning, Embodiments of Love! In that case, why is there so much violence, and so much killing? That is because the Divine Love within is not allowed to express itself. In the case of a person to whom this applies, we say that Love has dried up.

How exactly does this drying up take place? When does Love start absenting itself? The answer is simple. Absence of Love starts with the development of desires and attachment. When desires grip a person and when attachments begin to dominate, selfishness takes hold. And when selfishness seizes a person, the latent Divinity becomes dormant; Pure Love gets eclipsed as a result, and disaster follows.

Let us take a quick look at the amount of ruthless violence present in today’s world. It is not just violence connected with crime on the streets or domestic violence, etc. They are all terrible in their own way no doubt, and given the magnitude, they do need serious attention. But even more worrisome is the large-scale violence associated with war, and various regional conflicts. We all thought genocide disappeared after World War II. It appears not. There was genocide in the nineties, and looks like there is genocide right now!

If we analyse carefully, a lot of this genocide is promoted either consciously or unconsciously by the small-arms industry. Most of us do not realise that the small-arms industry is a billion dollars plus industry. Why on earth should people make money by selling guns in HUGE numbers to gangsters, terrorists and the like, especially when guns serve only to kill people? They do this because of the enormous profits they are able to rake in. By the way, as far back as 1958, President Eisenhower, a much-decorated soldier of World War II, prophetically warned that the world was in the danger of being swallowed up the Military Industrial Complex. Sometimes it appears that this has indeed happened.

Getting back to genocide small arms and all that, we have the question: Is this the way to make money, by being merchants of death? Is this why God gave us the human form? What is the purpose of life? Is it to make money at all costs?

From 20 th October, 1940 , Swami has been telling us practically non-stop what the real purpose of life is, how we must sanctify our lives, why spirituality is vital for today’s world, how we serve God best when we serve Society, and so on. Selecting appropriate passages from Swami’s numerous sayings, SAI INSPIRES seeks to take a couple of minutes of your time as you start your day, so that at the background, Swami’s message would quietly reverberate and steer you along the right path during the course of the day. Right path means seeing God in others. It also means seeing God in Society and in Nature.

People think spirituality is something hairy fairy and has nothing to do with daily life. On the contrary, spirituality simply means being full of love. It is all about acting without selfishness, about trying to bring some joy into the life of others with at least a nice smile, about being of assistance, about being honest, etc. A couple of days ago, we received a mail as below:

I have a question that I hope you will answer. Please tell me how to balance worldly life which is full of pleasure and pain, with godly life. I want this not as a reply but as a practical solution to me and to everyone else.

We appreciate the question but in a sense that exactly is what we are trying to do all the time, with suitable quotes of Swami and our occasional Sunday Specials. Looks like we have not done enough and that there is much more we have to do! And be assured we would do just that. Meanwhile, we thank you for helping us to celebrate our first anniversary, and look forward to offering this service with greater intensity and innovation in the future. We have benefited a lot; and if in that process we have also brought you some joy, that is icing on the cake.

Thanks again and please do keep writing to us. That is the best way of keeping us on our toes!

Jai Sai Ram. H2H Team.


With Love and Regards,
"Heart2Heart" Team.

 

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