“No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you. You hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasures, and you weep, like the kite that is pursued by the crows so long as it carries the fish in its beak. Once the kite drops the fish, immediately, it is free. Similarly, you should give up attachment to the senses; sorrow and anxiety can harass you no more, and you can be happy”

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, March, 1965

In 1978, my husband Robert was called for an interview along with twelve Western men. It is customary that when one spouse is called for an interview by Swami, the other is also allowed. On this occasion, however, at the last moment before entering the interview room, Swami, perhaps wanting to spare the wives the emotional ordeal that was to come, sent the ladies back.

In the interview room, Swami directed His attention to a young, nineteen-year-old Westerner whose face showed severe agitation and restraint of tears. The young man cried out, “How do I get Self-realization? If I can’t get it, I’m going to kill myself!”

Swami materialized a crystal japamala (necklace of prayer beads). Before He offered it to anyone, though, the man cried out in anguish, “I don’t want rings. I don’t want japamalas. All I want is liberation. If you don’t give it to me now, I’m going to cut my wrists right here!” Rarely does one witness such an emotional outburst in Swami’s presence. As a rule, people are restrained and self-controlled, as Swami’s presence commands the utmost respect. Swami undoubtedly had His reasons to allow such an outburst, and perhaps Swami’s lengthy reply will benefit others in a similar rush for realization. Swami calmly responded:

“Realization is not an article that you can purchase in a store. The desire for liberation is good, but the display of emotions is not correct. Self-realization is the result of steady and continuous sadhana. The desire for immediate realization is brought on by the urges of the lower self, anxiety, and haste. Haste is emotionalism. Haste makes waste. Start early, go slowly, and arrive safely. Make your desire for divine union permanent, constant, and all-important, and I will give. I love all of you. Know that what I give is best for you. There is no selfish interest in Swami.

Many come and seek an interview. They go away disappointed. Their hunger is insufficient. They are like a man who, with a plate of chapatis (flatbread) and potatoes in front of him, repeats over and over, “chapati, potato, chapati, potato.” There is not enough hunger, not enough effort commensurate with hunger, to bring the food to the mouth. These people want only a taste, but a mere taste is a waste. They come for a few days or months and go away. If you feed a dog every day at 10:00 AM, the dog will come exactly at 10:00 AM by the tenth day. The dog is ignorance (avidya). You must be like God, knowledge (vidya), which comes from the opposite direction.

Be steady in your spiritual practice, and I, your higher consciousness, will come to you. Your Guru is your Self, your higher consciousness. Have faith and trust in your higher consciousness, your highest inner-Self.

You say you want Self-realization. But what is that Self? You say, “You and I are one,” or, “I am He.” But each adds up to two. You and I are we. We is one, not two. We and we is one, not two. You must reach the consciousness that “you” are “we.”

Let there be no separation in your life. Follow the four stages: work, worship, wisdom, and realization. Do all work as worship of God. Do not divide your efforts into your work and His work.”

In response, another devotee asked Swami, “It appears as though there are many separate people in this room. What causes me to see diversity when you say there is only unity?” Swami replied, “There is only one moon in the sky, but the light of the moon is reflected in the water contained in one hundred pots.” “Why does this illusion exist?” the devotee asked. “Without illusion, there is no desire for liberation. Why illusion? That is life! Without darkness, there is no appreciation of light,” Swami explained. “Why did God create the Universe?” was the devotee’s final question. Swami replied, “First, understand your Self before you try to understand the purpose behind the creation of the Universe. Now, you are at a stage where you will not be able to understand the purpose of this creation. Seek not information; seek transformation. That is the real growth of the inner-self that Swami offers.”

After Swami gave this enlightening explanation, the young man was soothed and calmed down.

Ms. Diana Baskin  



Excerpt from the book “Divine Lessons from Sathya Sai Baba” (2009)

“When you know that thieves have broken into your neighbor’s house, you become extra cautious, and every night, before you retire, you examine every lock and bolt in the house. When you know that death has carried away a victim from the house next door, why do you not examine yourselves, whether you are equipped to meet it when it comes for you? Why do you immerse yourselves in distractions like building houses, piling bank balances, celebrating picnics, and contesting elections? Engage yourselves rather in things that will make you immortal and serve your best interests by service to the world. Seek your own reality. That is what a wise person should do.”

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, March, 1965

Ms. Diana Baskin, an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for more than four decades, has authored two very inspirational books relating to her remarkable experiences and life transforming lessons learnt during her many close interactions with Baba. Her books titled ‘Divine Memories of Sathya Sai Baba’ and ‘Divine Lessons from Sathya Sai Baba’ have inspired many devotees around the world in their spiritual quest. In the words of Dr. John Hislop, well known and exemplary devotee of Baba, her compelling story and experiences are matchless and priceless in inspiring readers, for centuries to come.


First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 2, Iss. 12