of Sri Sai often ask me a question, “why is it that even if I have
surrendered to Baba, my condition financial, physical, social, and
official or even spiritual does not improve?” Or that “I prayed to
Baba for the last one week for the cure of my son, why is he not
being cured?” There are hundreds/thousands who ask the same
questions. Most people want to have the desired results to their
problems within the desired time, with the desired method and to the
desired extent. Some people even say that they would visit Shirdi or
temple of Baba if their wishes are fulfilled.
The main problem is
the conviction of people about their faith/surrender to Baba. The
qualities, sacrifice and time needed for establishing closer contact
with a Sadguru cannot be done in the way we do in our ordinary life
with people around. In a social relationship people generally have a
limited approach pre-calculating mutual benefit. Any deviation or
non-fulfillments of anticipated reaction from the other side
spoils/stops such a relationship easily. Today, even in a family
setup relations are in a large number of cases built on such
considerations. These norms are changeable from society and from
time to time. But when these norms are applied in relation to the
spiritual world or in relation to a Sadguru, it becomes a
non-starter from the beginning.
Bhakti Marg at its highest point leads to ‘surrender’. Surrender
means giving-away our mind, body and soul to the deity or Sadguru.
Having given so, the devotee is to realize that what ever happens to
his body, mind and soul is done by the Sadguru. Also, he has to use
these three for the work of the Sadguru. Since any thing and every
thing happening to him is done by the Sadguru, he has nothing to be
happy about, nothing to be sorry about, nothing to complain against
and nothing to desire - not materially or mentally but also
This state of actual surrender can be achieved by a few only in a
million of spiritual aspirants over a few lives and that too, with
the help and kindness of Guru.
How many of the people, who say that they have surrendered to
Baba fall in this category? Baba was once sitting in Dwarakamayi
Masjid, and was telling about His relationship with His Guru who had
given Him severe tests. Once Baba was tied by His legs and hanged in
a wall for a few hours. When the Guru on return asked Him as to how
He felt, Baba said that it was nice. He had nothing at all to
complain and was happy about what the Guru had done. In this context
Baba asked the devotees sitting around Him as to how many of them
can be His disciple the way in which He was a disciple of His Guru.
None had the courage to come up to that expectation.
Therefore, simply to say, feel or show that one is surrendered is
not correct because a surrendered man will have no desires and no
complaints. He would only follow the path laid down by Baba and
expressed in two words i.e. shraddha (faith) and saburi (patience):
- means devotional faith
- faith that Baba is the Almighty and Protector;
- that both good and bad happenings of the devotee’s life are
controlled by Him,
- to happily acknowledge and patiently tolerate all
vicissitudes of life with equanimity.
- to realize that Baba is always with him, around him,
- to be able to sacrifice any thing and every thing for the
cause of the Master in the manner prescribed by Him.
- to follow His dictates in letter and spirit, what‐ever be
- to hold on to Baba exclusively and not to run to different
deities/temples for different purposes.
- i.e. patience means taking actions as mentioned before
without complaint, either external or mental, and go on living
normally keeping faith in Baba.
How many people can really do so? If not, one should think on the
word ‘surrender' continuously before considering himself to be a
great devotee. It is wiser to think of what we can do for Baba’s
work than think what Baba can do for us.
To get perfect association with a Perfect Master, the person
concerned must be a perfect devotee. Baba used to say that a devotee
will experience Him as per his bhava (means inner thought process).
Imperfect mind will reflect imperfect image of the Sadguru and the
person will get imperfect results. It is not easy to achieve this
state of mind and it is also not correct to use the word
‘surrendered’ so easily without understanding its full implications.
The better path would be to develop the qualities prescribed by the
Sadguru gradually living in the world like an ordinary man enjoying
and suffering happiness and unhappiness with the Guru in heart.