The Answers to All Your Questions

Q. How should the Organisation deal with factions?

Why are we in this Organisation? What is the purpose? You must have the firm belief that the aim of this Organisation is to remove the obstacles that keep man away from God, that separate Manavatwa (humanity) from Madhavatwa (Divinity). There can be no human; it is all Divine. This Organisation must elevate the human into the Divine…

There are certain persons in our Organisation who revel in factions and who dwell on differences; there are others who have no faith in it and its task, others have no enthusiasm for work, they are full of envy or malice… These evil traits should not be found in any one in this Organisation. If you take in as members only those whom you like and keep away anyone who has faith and devotion, you are committing sacrilege against God. This Organisation does not attach value to the likes and dislikes of any office-bearer. It is based on devotion and faith only. Whoever has these and loves the Organisation as his own life, all such have a place in it, have a right to be in it…

People may claim that they are engaged in social service; that they are directing or sharing in Government activities which promote the welfare of the community. But, whatever is done as a job, without inspiration or renunciation and heart-felt Love, cannot be ‘Service’. I have come for Loka Sangraha (promotion of the welfare and happiness of the world) and so, when you spread concord and love, throughout the world by means of this Organisation, your activity will certainly please Me. We can have peace and prosperity in the land if all Units work in love and tolerance and mutually co-operate in service.

- Third All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 20-21, 1970

Q. How can Samiti Members work in Unity?

It is enough if Prema is cultivated, the Prema that knows no distinction between oneself and another, because all are but limbs of God Almighty. Through Love alone can the Embodiment of Love be gained. Here, no scholarship is needed; in fact, scholarship will be an impediment, for it caters to egoism and it breeds doubts and the desire for disputation and laurel of victory over others preening themselves as learned! When this Love is established, no member of the Organisation will compete with another, or look down on another. The bond of Love will knit all into a rare type of family, which knows only one Will and one direction. Malice extraordinary may persuade some low minds to resort to the courts of law, for paying off private scores, but no member of the Organisation will ever do so, in the administration of the units, who values the Dharma Sthana (abode of virtue) that is available in this Form and Name… Devotion must confer peace and joy; do not therefore use the Mandalis and Satsangs of which you are members to disturb your peace or the peace of others. If you remember that the one goal you must place before you is Atma Sakshatkara (Self-realisation), and if you enter upon Sadhana, then, such tendencies will not develop in you. It is because your aims are worldly, your ideals, material success, fame and authority over others, that you breed discord and doubt among the members. Change your attitudes and outlook. Make your lives worthwhile. Render the Units more useful for all.

- Second All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 20-21, 1969

Q. How can Organisation Members handle criticism?

When you live the life of Sadhana, you will meet with opposition from various sources. But, do not attach any importance to such. First, your kith and kin will try to divert you into worldly pursuits. Krishna had his own maternal uncle as his inveterate foe! Rama had a stepmother who sought to exile him into the jungle! Do not be cowed down by cynics or the critics, who may abound in the family. Then there is public opinion, which might decay the spiritual path and subject you to ridicule or worse. Shishupala, Jarasandha and the brood of traducers tried hard to smother the mission of the Lord, when he was here as Krishna. Another obstacle is from the worshippers of Names and Forms different from those which you have adopted as most appealing to you. People who are attached to one particular Name and Form, either through hereditary preference or mere fancy are prone to persecute those who adore other Names and Forms. It is far better to die tracking a tiger than live to boast of shooting a lame jackal!

Some State Presidents and District Presidents have written to Me that they are being misunderstood and maligned and that they receive letters – attacking their bonafides. To be agitated by these letters is a sign of weakness in a Sadhaka. Beware of losing peace by giving ear to such maligning. Give ear to truth, things that give tranquillity. Then, your Sadhana will succeed…

Follow regular Sadhana in order to control the senses and the emotions. Do not pay heed to others who may ridicule you, for your changed way of life. They may point you to others and laugh, “Look at this man! He has become a great Sai Bhakta!” “Look at him with his Japa and Bhajan!” But have your Vision steady and your Will strong. Do not deviate; march straight on.

- Second All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 20-21, 1969

Q. How should difference of opinion with the leaders be resolved?

Do not wag or argue just for the sake of argument. Let your words be few, fair and felicitous. Soft speech adds sweetness to living. Even when you are engaged in discussion amongst yourselves, be short of speech and polite in behaviour. Some amongst you have been selected as leaders and guides; carry out their instructions without demur. If you feel any doubt, regarding the propriety or advisability of those instructions, talk them over with the leaders alone, in a spirit of friendliness. But do not disregard to modify those instructions at any cost. The leader has to pay attention to the overall situation which may not be so clear to you.

- Sixth All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 14-22, 1975

Q. Can Organisation Members have caste and community-based preferences?

Do not infect these Associations of Aspirants for My Grace with the virus of rivalry and factions. Do not inquire into the caste affiliations of anyone and develop partiality or prejudice thereon. Strive to win the gift of My Grace, not the glitter of Presidentship or Secretaryship. Pay attention to your duties and responsibilities. This is no ordinary burden that you have been privileged to carry.

I can see you through and through. Do not carry your head high, and taunt people. Stoop, so that you can pick your burden up and place it on the shoulders. Bend as the branch heavy with fruit bends! Each duty well done is a deposit to your credit in the Bank of God! Fatten that deposit; you can draw on it by means of cheques; you can claim payment as of right.

- Second All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 20-21, 1969

Q. How can members get proper training in leadership and rise above interpersonal problems?

Bharat is the land where the triple Sadhana of Discipline, Devotion and Duty was first laid down, and where it has had the largest number of votaries through the ages. You must maintain the fair name of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. On the one hand you have the call of the motherland and on the other, the command of Sai, who is no less than the Mother Herself. Ganesha is reputed to have two Mothers - Gauri and Ganga. Gauri is the daughter of Himalayas, who is merged in the left half of the body of Shiva. Ganga is another daughter of the Himalayas who has her place in the matted hair which forms the crown of Shiva. You, too, have two Mothers—Bharat Mata and Sai Mata. You must emulate Ganesha not in the quantity of food eaten, but in His aspect as Vinayaka, for to become a Vinayaka, a special type of leader, you must be for long an earnest and enthusiastic servant engaged in selfless, loving service. Service is the best school for training in leadership. You should eliminate in that school all traces of disgust, anger and impatience. Pride and personal prejudices will try to put spokes in the wheel as you go to serve the distressed and the diseased. But you should never give up faith in the right path you have chosen. Remind yourself that you are a Sadhaka and that Seva is the spiritual path that you have ventured upon as the easiest and the best.

When you mix with others who have no deep faith or sweet experience of the value of Seva, you may get caught up in conversation that might shake your conviction. Do not allow their superficial judgement to undermine your steadfastness. Keep away from such persons; let them test their doubts on the touchstone of their own experiences of Seva. Take their disbelief indifferently and allow them time to realise and overcome their doubts by their own will.

- Sixth All India Conference, Prasanthi Nilayam | November 14-22, 1975

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