Sai Baba on rewards

Sai Baba on rewards

When I first heard of Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar Guru, I couldn’t stop inquiring about him.

When I discovered, through my own experience, that he was the same Father in Heaven of my childhood, now walking on the earth in human form, I rushed to Puttaparti to receive the reward of happiness.

I believed that intense face-to-face devotion would help me. More than anything, I wanted to be happy.

At the time, I was extremely unhappy.

The Master of Prasanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Peace, had many surprises for me.

They were not rewards, though.

He said, “Does devotion mean meditation, japa (the rosary), or observing various austerities?

No. Anything done with expectation of reward gets tarnished by the desire for fruits and cannot be deemed devotion.

Devotion has been defined as desireless love for the Lord.

Any prayer to God for fulfillment of a desire cannot be called devotion. God should be loved for His own sake. Love should be fostered for its own sake. True devotion is a combination of selfless service and love.”

Oh, no! I had to go through so many spiritual hoops of fire, so many ego bashings before I understood my love for Swami was not pure.

I wanted things from God – countless things. I prayed for them. I begged for a loving relationship, for a good family life, for exceptional children, for enough money to take care of myself.

Instead, even the shards of my broken life were taken from me. In the end, I gave up asking for rewards. I let go of my life as I had wanted it to be and I let God use me as he wished. My devotion began to be desireless.

Sathya Sai taught, “The Lord is impartial; you punish yourself; you reward yourself….God is impartial; He is like the thermometer that cannot misinterpret, or exaggerate or falsify. Success or failure is your own making; you decide your destiny; the Lord has no share in deciding it.”

In letting go of my old mantra: Baba, I want, I want; Baba, I need, I need, I discovered contentment.

The smallest items made me happy: a mat to sleep on, a towel to dry myself with. The day someone gave me six bars of soap I wept with joy.

By losing everything, I had gained peace of mind.

“The world is an insane asylum,” Swami had said, “and Prasanthi Nilayam is the intensive care unit.” I was put in intensive care – his care!

“God is not involved in either rewards or punishments. He only re-flects, re-sounds, and re-acts! He is the Eternal Unaffected Witness,” our Beloved Lord admonishes.

“You decide your own fate. Do good, be good, you get good in return; be bad, do bad deeds, you reap bad results. Do not thank or blame God. Thank yourself, blame yourself! He does not even will that creation, protection and destruction shall take place. They follow the same law, the innate law of the maya-ridden universe.”