An Unusual Interview…

Tomorrow morning during darshan I will make a sign by moving My hand three times…said Bhagawan interceding in a Russian gentleman’s dream, only to give him a mysterious Visiting Card, convincing His devotee. …an interesting article by Mr Alexander from St. Petersburg, Russia.

In His message to us, our beloved Lord Sathya Sai tells those who have not found Him yet: “Take one step towards Me and I will take ten towards you”. I would like to tell you about exactly such a case which I witnessed during my November trip to Puttaparthi. It was not my first meeting with The Lord. Life in this world, especially business life in the difficult situation that we find ourselves in Russia now, imposes such cares, trials and tribulations that one can be released from them only by physically coming to Bhagawan Sathya Sai and delving into the spiritual environment that one can find only in the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram.

It happened that this time I had to go from St. Petersburg on my own and I thought that at least one of my Moscow friends might like to join me. None of them yet realised the importance of the fact that it was high time to step out on the spiritual path, though all of them heard, mainly from me, about the phenomenal occurrence in the history of humanity -  the embodiment of God on Earth in the form of a man, Whose Name is Sri Sathya Sai Baba. My closest Moscow friend (I’ll call him ‘M’) heard rather much from me about The Lord. Nearly every time returning from India I would visit “M” at his home and tell him of my fresh impressions about the journey, leaving some books in Russian about Sathya Sai Baba. However he would listen politely but do nothing else: he did not show any interest and did not read a single book. I could not understand it knowing that “M” was an educated man with a subtle critical mind. He was a rather well known scientist and achieved nearly all-scientific titles: doctor of technical sciences, professor, inventor emeritus of the State, State Prize-winner. He knew me since we were students and could be sure that I would not say anything that was not true or overstate facts. From my information “M” knew about the fascinating cases demonstrated by Swami especially as I myself was a witness to some of them during three interviews. It was evident that phenomena that cannot be explained from the point of view of this world were taking place in Prasanthi Nilayam. These were not in accordance with the known laws of physics, chemistry etc.

At the present moment my friend has serious life problems: like many scientists in Russia, he lost his permanent job; his health is far from perfect; he has harmful habits; smoking, drinking for several years. All that had a harmful effect on his health and state of mind; he was unusually in a depressed mood; he knew that ahead of him was old age with all its difficulties, illness, deterioration, loss of close friends. That is why I tried so hard to help him to discover for himself Sathya Sai Baba.

We are so lucky we live in the same time as He. Our country has become democratic enough for us to be able to go and see the Lord for ourselves and, if lucky, to have His interview. I thought it would be a great loss for anyone to miss such an opportunity.

Now, before going to India, I rang my Moscow friends, offering them an opportunity to go with me for 2 – 3 weeks; but all of them including my friend “M” politely refused my offer pleading they were too busy etc. I was surprised, but suddenly “M” rang me up saying that after talking it over with his wife he decided to go in spite of his financial difficulties. He told me later he persuaded his wife saying that possibly, after this trip he might stop drinking. His calculations showed that if he gave up drinking for half-a-year this would cover the cost of this trip to India. I had explained to him no one was allowed to drink or smoke, or eat meat or fish in Prasanthi Nilayam. He agreed to obey these rules but would not read books about Sathya Sai.

We were given a room with all conveniences; besides us there were two young men: a Japanese from Osaka and a German from Berlin. On the second day of our stay in the Ashram I gave my friend three of the last editions of the quarterly magazine “Divine Love” my Sai friend Sophia gave me when she learned “M” had not read anything about Sai Baba yet. On the third day before going to bed my friend at last opened one of the quarterlies and started looking through. He would choose only those pages where Swami Himself speaks, and being transfixed, continued reading through the night in the bathroom, so that the rest of us could sleep undisturbed (after 9 o’ clock people in the Ashram are supposed to go to bed).

Next morning at darshan I got the second row and managed to keep a place behind me for my friend. Usually it is not allowed and a Sevadal on duty did not like it but I managed to persuade him. “M” came half-an-hour before darshan when the first ten rows were filled, but seeing me he successfully got through to the third row. At darshan Swami passing us made a sign with His hand three times looking straight at “M” and me. First I thought it was for me and understood it as a blessing. It made me very happy as any look or sign of attention from Swami is very exciting and pleasant for us all. After darshan my friend took me aside and started with great excitement telling me that last night he saw Swami in his dream and spoke with Him. This was a very unusual dream, he could see everything very clearly and remember everything as if it was real. “M” was very agitated and confused; he could not understand whether it was a usual dream cast by what he had read or it was something he could not fully comprehend.

Below is the dialogue between him and Swami as related by “M”. Swami was sitting at the rostrum in an auditorium where “M” usually delivers lectures for students, and he was sitting opposite Swami at a table like a student.

Swami: “You wanted an interview – you will have it now. You always liked double lectures (2 x 45 min without a break): you will now have such a period yourself. You may ask Me questions”.

“M”: “Not everything is clear in religions. They divide.”

Swami: “All religions were written for the time when people were primitive and so they were expounded in the language and concepts of that period. A blind belief and miracles were required. Look at Moses who was taking Jews from Egypt showing miracles. Each time requires its form. Temples were constructed but the real temple must be in one’s soul. You did not want to read books about Me, but you studied mathematics: first 2 x 2, then further, then physics. From the simple to the complex, but all the knowledge is held up by the highest knowledge that is God. Gradually one goes from intellect to spirituality; one needs intellect to live in this world. You started reading about Me for the sake of your friend. Your friend is My channel. He brought you here and did it selflessly. Do not worry about material things -  you have a good intellect. Just imagine that man’s life in a cosmic scale lasts only one hundredth part of a second, so what difference does it make where you live: in a palace or in a hut?”

“M”: “Where can I find strength?”

Swami: “If you have spiritual strength, then physical strength is not important. Your programme was to go swimming in the sea (this is exactly what Alexander and his friend were going to do: to spend 3 days at the coast for swimming). Go or you will be sorry. One must do everything sincerely, nothing should be done under compulsion. You have a good intellect and it’s not necessary for you to stay here long. You have to decide”.

“M”: “How shall I live now? May be I should become a monk or work out an algorithm of my future actions?”

Swami: “If you put bread into the mouth of a hungry man, then he will never learn to earn it himself. One can’t work out algorithm for the whole of one’s future. That is why you are given a choice in your life. I give you a trial and watch what choice you will take. On that depends whether you pass your test or not. If there was no choice, you would be slaves, and I don’t need slaves. You should find a spiritual path by yourself, everything depends on you. You should not expect any gratitude for whatever you give.”

“M”: “What concrete steps should I take to come to spirituality?”

Swami: “Let us take an example of water – it is a substance. One may pour it into a vessel; they may bring it to you in a restaurant in a crystal glass or you may pour it into a gold goblet. But the best of all is to go to the source, the spring and drink it from there. The spring is in your heart. It is forgotten; you must yourself converse with God. What should you do? You must gradually change yourself morally for the better. You have bad habits. Start with getting rid of them. You have already become better; less proud. Pride is making you blind. Alcohol dries up your brain – that is the worst, it’s an obstacle to God. Smoking dries up your body. It hinders your development.”

“M”: “What then?”

Swami: “Act according to the criteria of Truth. One can clean the puss out of the wounds like Mother Teresa or help people, but if you are proud then everything is in vain. If you want you may bring people the knowledge about Me, but do not be a lecturer. Nothing should be done without sincerity, one should not be lazy. Your wife is more spiritual than you, she is more compassionate. Both of you still have an opportunity to come to Me – our life span is not finished yet”.

“M”: “I can’t understand: is it a dream or not? I am waiting with my group for an interview”.

Swami: “The cleverer a man is, the less faith he has. There are no miracles in the world, only a level of knowledge. For you to believe, tomorrow morning at darshan I’ll make a sign by moving My hand three times like that (and Swami showed how He will do it). That’s the end of your double time.”

Next morning during the darshan Swami confirmed that it was not a dream by moving His hand three times. Swami repeatedly said that no one can see Him in a dream without His will. It is truly surprising that for each person Swami finds an individual way of helping him in his spiritual growth at the right moment; and giving this amazing interview, Swami expressed His Love to my friend as He always does.