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The Transformation of a Heart



by Al Drucker





When I was a little boy I spent some time in a small ghetto town in Poland, studying with an old rabbi. I remember the long side-curls, the funny clothes and wide-brimmed hats of the other boys, the blanched faces from being months without ever seeing the sun. But most of all I remember their joy when they burst out of the classroom at the end of the day and danced about the rabbi, and their spontaneous friendliness and heartfulness towards this German boy who had come as a stranger into their midst.

What a wonderful light shone from their eyes and how their hearts were filled with so much love, it just enveloped everything around them. Would I ever be able to feel my heart? I have thought often about those boys. They all went into the furnaces of Auschwitz; why was I, with this dry heart, saved? Many, many years later, I was asked to address the students at the Sri Sathya Sai College in Brindavan on U. N. Human Rights Day. When I got up to speak I looked out at the boys, and for the first time in 40 years I saw that sparkling light again, coming from the eyes, and that exquisite quality of inner joy showing on the faces. And a stirring in my heart made me wonder if those sweet souls of yesteryear had been reborn again at the feet of the Lord.

I saw that same light again years later when Swami took me in his car. Children were lined up along the road, on tiptoe with anticipation. Then when they got a glimpse of Swami and were bathed by his warm smile and blessings, they became animated with joy; they danced and laughed and that light shone from their eyes. Since then I have seen it many times. If one pays attention to the lines of devotees when Swami gives darshan, one can see a wave of light flash across the faces of the people as Swami goes by, and there, revealed, are the many faces of God. I realize now that that light is the light of the heart, the light of Atma emerging from those faces. The whole long saga of coming home to Swami, is but a journey of discovering that pure light of the heart.

We can measure our progress on the spiritual path, our transformation, by our proximity to the Atma, our very Self. How strange it is that we have somehow become estranged from our own true Self, that we have veiled ourselves with an illusory ego, an illusory mind, an illusory individuality, an ephemeral body, a personality burdened with selfishness and narrow-mindedness and ungratefulness. How far have we come in nailing these onto the cross, and crossing them out forever? Baba has come for this one reason to help us destroy these false selves and find our way home to our true Self, the Atma. That is the transformation of the heart that he is effecting in all of us.


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