Swami said that his devotees
are very, very rare. He said that among ten people you can find one
truly good person. And among ten good people you will find one who
has some deep feelings for God. We all know lots of good people, but
how many of them have a love for God? Not just going to church on
Sunday but a real yearning for the transcendental... for going beyond?
And he says that among those who love God one out of ten will yearn
for a direct experience, a deep communion with God. And of ten who
have such a deep yearning, one will be ready to let go totally, to
renounce everything he previously held dear and surrender himself
completely to God, filling himself with God alone. "That is my
devotee, and he is very dear to me," Swami said.
As yet, there are not very many such committed souls,
but Swami will see to it that we all reach that blessed state. One
time, in the Poornachandra auditorium on a festival day, when there
were fifteen to twenty thousand inside, and tens of thousands outside,
Swami looked around and said, "I cannot see even one devotee
here. Not one!"
He told us, "When Swami comes around you all
have your hands folded, looking very sacred. But, this is just like
the lions and tigers and leopards in the circus ring when the ringmaster
comes in with his whip. Then everyone sits on their haunches and displays
their best behavior. But, as soon as the ringmaster leaves, they start
growling and snarling at each other." "I am not interested
in such so-called devotees," he said. "I have not come to
gather in devotees of this Sai Baba form. I want you to be devotees
of Sai's teachings," he said. "Even if out of all these
Sathya Sai educational institutions only a small handful of real devotees
comes forth, I will be able to complete my mission. Just a few genuine
devotees is enough. I'm always interested only in quality, never in
quantity." And then he explained what he meant by a devotee.
devotee is one who sees God wherever he looks. Not just when he turns
towards this Sai Baba form, but wherever the devotee looks he sees
only Sai and fills himself with that omnipresent Sai. That is the
true devotee he is looking for and that is where he will surely take
us, if we follow him implicitly.
Swami has told the story a number of times of Jesus walking with his
disciples on a road in the Galilee. As Jesus and his followers walked
along, Peter was up ahead. He came upon the remains of a dead dog.
It had been lying there on the road for some time, decomposing in
the hot sun. Now even the vultures and crows had left it, and all
that remained was a rotting mass of sinews and bones and decomposed
flesh. Peter went back and tried to guide Jesus' party around it by
taking a detour across a field, so that the master would not have
to see this unpleasant sight. But Jesus went straight to the carcass,
looked down at it and said,"Look at those beautiful white teeth.
How perfect they are. How much love and care this animal must have
received during its life in order to have teeth like that."
So Jesus saw the one thing, in that otherwise revolting
scene, that was beautiful, that was a reflection of love. That is
how we must be, Swami says. There will always be something good and
something beautiful even in the worst situation. Even when there is
a horrible stench, love will waft its subtle fragrance and can be
recognized by those who are attuned to it. Seeing good everywhere
is seeing God everywhere. We must live like that in the world. We
must fill ourselves with that goodness. Then by themselves, the chains
will fall off us and we will be free.