Birthday Gift - Friendship with the Lord
Sri Sathya Sai Baba narrates stories from His childhood on friendship. Fortunate were the young boys who were contemporaries of the youthful Sathya. He led them in adventures displaying His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence in miraculous leelas that bound the boys by His Love and gentle insistence on right conduct. From singing bhajans, to joining the Scout troop, to plucking varieties of fruits from the same tree, the boys were His faithful compatriots. Most fortunate were two boys, Suresh and Ramesh, who sat with Sathya on the same bench in class. Let us enjoy the divine sport (leela) of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s narration only to help us develop this divine friendship with Him on this auspicious day of His birthday.
I will give you an example from my life. When this body was in Uravakonda, studying 6th class, there used to be the E.S.L.C. exams. We three students, Suresh and Ramesh on either side and Myself in the middle used to sit on the same bench. They were dullards. At the time of the examinations, they approached Me for help. They said, "Sathya, we cannot study without you. Some way or the other, you should help us in the examinations." I will never say No to anyone. I said, “I will certainly help.” I told them the questions that would appear in the next day’s examination and taught them the answers, too. E.S.L.C. was a public examination. My examination Register No. was 6, whereas the numbers of Suresh and Ramesh were 60 and 600. You can imagine how far our chairs were placed from each other. It was not possible for them to copy. They said that they would not take the exam. Then I told them, "Having studied the entire year, it is not proper on your part to skip the exam. You must appear for the examination, whatever may be the outcome. Have unflinching faith in me; I shall take care." Though it is not supposed to be done, there is nothing wrong when you are doing it for a good cause. The duration of the examination was 2 hours. The stationery was supplied by the teachers. I completed My answer paper in just 5 minutes. Then, I took some more papers from the invigilator and wrote the answers in Ramesh’s handwriting. After completing it, I took another set of papers and wrote the answers in Suresh’s handwriting. I also wrote their names on the answer sheets and kept them with Me. I had already told them not to get up before I got up from My chair. At the end of two hours, when the final bell was given, the examiners started asking the students to surrender the answer sheets. All the students got up, and I silently went and placed all three answer papers on the table. All of us came out of the examination hall. Nobody raised any objection. After 10 days, when the results were announced, only three of us got first class.
The teachers were surprised as to how Ramesh and Suresh also got first class. The mathematics teacher Thirumal Rao called the three of us. He asked Ramesh and Suresh whether they had written the answers on their own. Prior to this, I had cautioned Ramesh and Suresh not to reveal the truth under any circumstances. I told them, "If they ask you any question, tell them that you remembered the answers then and now have forgotten. If you follow My command, I am yours, and you are Mine." They obeyed My command and told Thirumal Rao that they had written the answers on their own. There was no scope for any doubt. They could not have copied from Me since we were seated far from each other. Their answer sheets were in their own handwriting. The local people were overjoyed. They took out a grand procession carrying us on their shoulders.
There are none who got ruined with faith in God. There was no scope for any doubt. They could not have copied from Me since we were seated far from each other. All three answer papers were in our own handwriting. Then, where was the scope for doubt? I told them, “I never let down those who have reposed their full faith in Me.” There are a number of people who ruined themselves for want of faith. But there are none who got ruined with faith in God. There may be ups and downs in between, but finally, they emerge victorious.
All the children in the school were very fond of Me. I, too, loved them dearly. Whenever there were any special preparations at home, like Vadas and Pakodas, I used to take them to school and distribute them to other children. I was friendly with all. I had no enmity towards anyone. Seeing My noble deeds, Ramesh and Suresh developed great attachment towards Me and ultimately offered their lives to Me. Because of their love and devotion, I helped them in their examinations. After that, I never involved Myself in matters related to examinations. Once, a government official asked Me, "Swami, how could You write exams on their behalf?" I replied, "Why not, Ramesh and Suresh are also My names." In this manner, I can go on narrating various incidents in My life story. There is no end to it. In fact, words are inadequate to describe My story.
Ramesh and Suresh had very noble feelings. One day, in school, the drill master said that all the boys should join the Scouts. I am telling you the Truth. I did not have even a single paisa with me. That was the position then. I could not ask for money at home since their condition was also poor. If one has 10 rupees, one was considered very rich in those days. If one had 100 rupees, he was equal to a millionaire! The drill teacher said that we should get a khaki shirt, khaki knickers (shorts), a belt, a whistle, and a pair of boots. How could I get this? I was in Kamalapuram at that time. Knowing that I did not have money with Me, Ramesh asked his father to get him two pairs of khaki dress stitched. We were all the same height then. He packed a pair of knickers, a shirt, and a pair of socks and wrote on it, “Raju, if you don't accept it, I will commit suicide. You are My life. You must accept this. Our friendship must develop this way.” I removed that paper and put another, and wrote on it, “If our friendship is to develop, there should be no giving and taking. We should give and take only Love. There should be no material transaction. So, I will not accept this.” The boy felt very sad.
I used to compose excellent poetry in those days. I speak in simple language to make the translator’s job easy. Otherwise, I can speak in a lofty style. There was a businessman by the name Kotte Subbanna. He had brought a new medicine, by the name Balabhaskara for sale. He requested Me to compose a song on the efficacy of that medicine, which, he said, would serve as a good advertisement, so that it would sell well. I composed a beautiful song. Hearing that song, he lost himself in ecstasy and got some sweets prepared at home and brought them for Me. The medicine was sold in large quantities because of the advertisement. He was overjoyed and bought two shirts and two knickers for Me. I said to him, “Are you paying the price for the song I composed? I will not accept this.” He cried and said that he would not take them home. Then I told him that he could as well give them to some beggars on the street. Right from that tender age, I never received anything from others. I only give and give and give; I never receive. But only for one thing, I stretch My hand and that is pure Love. Love is also not your property. Love is God’s property. So, I am asking you for My own property. You are misusing the Love given to you; therefore, you are suffering. You have to surrender your Love to God in order to be happy. Thus, as a student, I always helped others and made everybody happy. Being Sai students, you should also make others happy. Never make anybody suffer. Help Ever, Hurt Never. Develop this quality.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 11 September 1988
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 21 October 2003