Such is the glory of the Divine Master, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, that for many, the very first contact, even the very first darshan, has a tremendous impact.
Nadira of Lucknow waxed eloquent over her experience, "Life has taken on a new meaning after having been in the presence of Baba. Mentally I am still under the big tree at Whitefield and the only real life seems to be there. Things which I thought mattered have lost all importance. The greatest miracle that Baba works is the transformation that he brings about in you. I am reminded of Jimmy Carter's favourite hymn:
O, Boundless Grace, how great the Name
That saved a wretch like me,
For I was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see".
Her husband, Mr. M. Butt, a retired Chief Secretary of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, wrote: "My wife is still in a rather dazed state. She has lost all attachment to worldly acquisitions and says her very outlook has been changed. I had occasion to discuss Baba's influence with some very senior army officers here, and one of them, a Sikh, says it is within his personal knowledge that some of his fellow Sikh officers, who had prayed for detachment from wordly goods, etc., had their wishes fulfilled through Baba. So, his spiritual beneficence transcends all barriers, religions, race, etc... Life must go on and my wife attends to her duties around the house as usual. For, she says, "Baba himself admonishes against neglect of duties and responsibilities".
A visitor from South Africa gushed, "He looked at me and I cannot describe the power of his eyes. It seemed to probe right into my innermost thoughts. It was a supreme moment. I felt all the wealth in the world a poor price to pay for such a moment".
If such has been the first impact of the darshant of the Divine Master, it has been much greater on those who have had the opportunity of his sparshant and indelible on those who have had sambashan* with him. His living presence and teachings have influenced and changed many many people round the globe.
The Divine Master has sometimes been seen as a master of miracles. Rings and lockets and innumerable other gifts materialised by him have all had the high purpose of nurturing faith. As George Bernard Shaw says in Saint Joan, "A miracle is an event which creates faith. That is the purpose and nature of miracles. They may seem very wonderful to the people who witness them and very simple to those who perform them. That •does not matter. If they confirm or create faith, they are true miracles... Miracles are not fraud because they are often very simple and innocent contrivances by which the priest fortifies the faith of his flock".
The most astonishing of all miracles I have seen is the total transformation of people by the Divine Master. The chapter "Do Devotees Follow Baba's Teachings?" amply proves this.
At a time when the world lives mainly on the physical plane, and while a good section of humanity is away from God, Sri Baba has been helping people to rise from animality to human levels and from thence to divine levels. For, only really human beings can rise up to form a truly divine society. According to Sri Baba, life acquires significance only when lived for God and in love of God.
God consciousness cannot wait... No time should be wasted, for time is fleeting. Yet, people simply discover newer and newer ways of wasting time, as more and more of material and technological advances become available to them.
More people are just raising families without raising their levels of perception. It is not that the attempt to discover the self hinders family life or that family life hinders the attempt. While carrying on all worldly tasks, God should be thought of at all times and continuously. Rich people who spend all their time making yet more money can use that money for godly purposes. Highly intelligent people can use their time to spread the meaning of life and God's message intelligently.
That is how from a truly human level man can rise to heights of divinity. The Divine Master has indeed come to give the vision of the divine to all humanity and to reduce the distance between man and God.
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