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Love and Light

Be like Children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven

On beautiful Sunday mornings in Prasanthi Nilayam, where devotees usually sat in eager anticipation of the arrival of Bhagawan Baba for His Divine Darshan, the air would be filled with an heightened excitement and fervour. For, there would be sat too, in neat rows of fresh faces and beaming smiles, some with roses in hand and yet others with cards or drawings or poems penned specially to offer their Lord as He came by, the tiny tots from the famous Sathya Sai Primary School. And when the Lord did come by, seeming equally eager for this special meeting, it was a sight to behold the sweet and tender interaction between Him and these joyous little hearts!

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Swami would often ask a boy, ‘Where are you from’, and pat would come the reply, ‘From You, Swami!’. Bhagawan would ask the next boy, ‘Who is your mother’, and the next one ‘Who is your father’, and the next one ‘Who is your teacher’, and yet another ‘Who is your God’. The unflinching answer to all these questions, no matter how many times they were pressed by Bhagawan to give the ‘real’ details, would be a sweet but confident ‘ You, Swami!’.

After one such interaction on a Sunday morning in 1984, during my ‘Student’ days, Bhagawan turned towards us the ‘older’ students and remarked, “ See how confidently they give these answers. If I were to ask you older boys, you will not be able give such answers!”. Instantly a thought flitted across my mind, that said, ‘Swami! Please ask and You will see that I too can give such ‘tutored’ answers. Isn’t what really matters the true awareness of it?’. This random and imperfect thought, for it was just that, disappeared as quickly as it had arrived in me whilst in the Divine Presence, and I soon forgot about it.

That evening, after the Interview session with some fortunate devotees, Bhagawan came to walk amidst us, the older boys, who used to sit on the ‘Mandir Verandah’. He began interacting with various brothers sat near me, engaged in a seemingly ‘casual’ banter. Suddenly He turned to address me and asked, “ Where are you from?”. I was completely, but happily, taken by surprise. I jumped up on my knees and blurted, ‘From Hyderabad, Swami!’. Hardly had these words escaped my lips, I realised the Himalayan blunder I had committed! I was mortified by this folly, and by what I had imagined to be a stray thought that morning. But the Ever Compassionate Lord, stood in front of me with a comforting and loving smile, placed His right hand on my head and with a stretched left hand pointing to some monkeys jumping about on the roofs of the cement arches under construction at the time in the Mandir grounds, said: “Monkey mind…..Monkey mind!”. I reflected and understood by His Grace, that the Lord was identifying for my benefit and learning, the cause of my discomfiture and the state of my mind, both of which needed re-education and transformation.

Bhagawan reminds us that the genuine nature of a human being is Divinity, and that of the human mind is Purity, which we find best reflected in the sweet smile of a baby in the cradle or in its mother’s arms. This spontaneous and unassuming smile disarms us instantly, giving us freedom from the lies and deceits of the world, and filling us with unsullied happiness, at least momentarily. One can only be lost in lament when wondering about how, being ourselves born in this natural state of divinity and purity, we have foolishly allowed our minds to be tarnished as we grew with each passing year! And in doing so, how is it that we have allowed ourselves to drift far away from our innate reality: Divinity.

No wonder then, that Lord Jesus declared, “ If I were to be a child everyday for a while, with full faith in my mother, how happy I would be!” (SS Speaks May 1994).

The theme for this year’s National Christmas Celebrations in UK, ‘Be Like Children To Enter the Kingdom Of Heaven’, Lord Jesus’ Message in the Bible (Matthew 18:3), is an apt reminder of the path and purpose to all seekers on the spiritual journey. In their childlike innocence, simplicity, enthusiasm, confidence and openness, children experience happiness and peace. They scatter joy, love and light to all others in their company freely and unconditionally. Let us all pray together to the Divine Lord, as His Children, on the auspicious occasion of Holy Christmas, to bless us with the untainted joy of our own innate nature.

Dr. Veeru Mudigonda
National Vice-Chairperson,