Swami: Oh! You have come! I was watching for long whether you have come or not. I knew you are a person who comes punctually. Glad to see you.
Bhakta: Whatever else I may disregard, will I disregard Your command, Swami? In fact, I am eagerly looking forward to the sixteenth of every month to meet you. What greater happiness can I get? What better food can I have?
Swami: Very good! Such shraddha [faith] and bhakti [devotion] are great helps in man’s true path. Better than losing sleep and rejecting food in the fruitless pursuit of evanescent worldly pursuits, how much more joyful it is to attain the true, the meaningful, and the holy goal! Leave that aside now. What do you want now? Speak, let me see.
Bhakta: Swami, last month You said something about ‘chitta [consciousness]’ and You were pleased to say that You will explain more about it this month. Since then, I have been counting the passing days in order that I may know about it from You. The day has come at last. Please tell me about it.
Swami: Have you understood what has been told so far? Understanding does not mean mere mugging up. By practice and experience, have you realized in thought, word, and deed, and with full equanimity, the true nature of the World, that the World is unreal?
Bhakta: It is only by understanding that, isn’t it, Swami, that one can ever be immersed in thoughts of Sai, the Lord, giving up all other activities and duties? Had I not understood that much, I would have wasted this precious time.
Swami: Good, my dear boy! How sad will the ryot [tenant farmer] be, if the seeds he has planted do not sprout and yield harvest! So, too, if the seeds of true wisdom that I sow do not come up as good saplings and give good harvest, I too am affected. On the other hand, if they grow well and fructify into a harvest of ananda [joy], how happy I would be—that is My food. This is the seva [service] you should do to me. There is nothing higher than this. Without flinging away the good words and true, spoken for your sake, if you practice them and derive joy therefrom, the essence of that joy is my food. If you thus act according to My words and put them into practice. I will gladly tell you more, whatever may be the dumb things you ask. When what is said is allowed to deteriorate without being put to use, if people come and ask me to speak and speak again, what is to be said? If all start practicing, as you are doing, the World will not have any troubles; Untruth will not manifest itself.
Bhakta: Swami, to practice the Divine words, the Lord’s grace is the basic need just as for everything else. Without that, nothing can happen. It is ever-present, as You said. Just as the Sun is hidden by fog, grace can be obstructed by the darkness of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ But these can be overcome by practice and discipline. That is why if we understand well the meaning of what we hear and follow, it is so easy. This is my experience; I do not know of others.
Swami: True. True. What you say is correct. You have understood it well. Without grasping the meaning, if various interpretations are given, that distorts reality. And if a wrong sense is imputed, it falsifies reality. But, if it is clearly understood, practice becomes easy. Now consider this. Are all born at the same time? Do all die at the same time? Similarly, the highest wisdom will dawn, in this person or that, at different times. If you go on singing, song after song, you learn music. So, also, if I speak and continue speaking, all will understand the reality. It is not my mission to keep silent because people do not understand. To such [people], it must be communicated once, twice and more times it necessary.
Bhakta: Swami, we are like lumps of iron; the Lord is like the magnet. Both are related to each other. But if that lump of iron has to be changed into an article of use in God’s hands, it has to be heated in the fire of anxiety and beaten by the hammer of pain, so that it may obey and respond. So, in order to shape lumps of iron like us into instruments, You have to take so much trouble. You have said that this is Your mission.
Source: Sandeha Nivarini