Weekly Food For Thought

Which Water Bag is Cleaner?
Because your eyes are directed outward, you will be able to find the faults in others only, but you will not be able to find the fault in your own nature. Here is a small story.

During the summer season, in places round about Nagpur, water will be very scarce. Things might have improved now, but in old days things were very bad. An orthodox old brahmin lady set out on a pilgrimage. She was so orthodox that she did not touch anything or anyone and she did not permit anyone to touch her. She started on a pilgrimage with such an orthodox mentality.

By the time she reached Nagpur, she felt that the weather was very hot. She turned on the water taps but not a drop of water came out of them. Her thirst increased. The Government made some arrangement in that station for supply of water. The skin of an animal was used to make a bag. They filled water in such bags and supplied that water to the thirsty people. When several people were drinking the water that was served from that bag 0f leather, this lady, though she was thirsty, was hesitating in her mind whether the man who was serving the water may belong to a low caste; the bag may not be pure and may not have been cleaned well and so on. She was hesitating to take water. After much hesitation, the lady who could not suppress her thirst, went forward.

She questioned the man who was serving the water. "My dear Sir, is this bag pure? Is it clear?" The man who was serving the water was clever. He said, "The bag of leather from which water is being served, is cleaner than the bag into which that water will be poured after service, namely, your body. This bag is cleaner than your interior."

Today we are cultivating this undesirable tendency of looking at the impurity of the bag but not caring to remove the impurity from within our own body.

Weekly Food For Thought

Subbamma, the Chosen Foster Mother.

Trail blazer; A most admirable devotee,

By name Subbamma of Puttaparthi.

Very well to do, but with no off-springs.

Gave in charity to one and all, with feelings:

 “I am only sharing my riches, God-given.

 With my fellow human beings.”-She said.

 Led a pious, sacred and noble life,

Serene, equanimous, most upright.

 To Sai Krishna, she was foster Mother Yashoda.

Doted on young Baba with all her soul.

Baba’s visitors and devotees, most copious,

Were fed daily, in a manner most sumptuous!

 Her grinding stone worked full time, unceasing!

Preparing idlis, dosas, wadas, chutneys.

All must partake dainty dishes, savories cooked by her.

Many a time also coaxing Baba to eat some more!

She implored Baba with her one desire, ‘yearn’:

 “At time of my exit from earthly sojourn,

Pour into my mouth a few water droplets

With Your Divine hands, and ensure my Deliverance!”

Baba promised that he would do so!

Six years later, Baba was in Madras.

 That was the time of Second World War.

Frequent air-raid sirens, made streets bare!

 Baba visited his devotees for 3 days whole.

 Took Bukkapatnam return route by road.

While Subbamma, now seriously indisposed.

Was taken to Bukkapatnam, her parental home.

 Alas! There she passes away! Relatives are bitter:

 “Baba gave word that he would pour water,

 Into her parched mouth in her last hour!

 Oh! Why does He not show up?” -They inquire.

Subbamma’s brothers, cousins and relations

 Make plans to take her for cremation.

 Passing by the residence of Subbamma,

Baba notices, there is a crowd in mourning!

“Who is being taken for cremation?” He asks.

Washer-man Subanna who is present, replies:

“Lord! Subbamma is dead.” Baba wants elucidation:

”When did she die?” – “3 days ago!” replies Subanna.

Baba enters the house where the body is kept.

Her relatives, neighbours gather, collect,

 And are about to move the body out-doors.

 Her sister seeing Baba, wails and mourns:

“Baba, she pined for you so! Awaited Your presence,

To pour sanctified water to her lips,

 Before she would take her final breath!

Swami! She died longing for her wish fulfillment!”

 Baba tells her: “Amma, such an eventuality is not possible!”

 Tells her to fetch some water in a tumbler.

Baba puts a basil leaf in the water.

Removes cloth that covers her dead features.

Ants are crawling all over her frame!

 “Subbamma! He gently calls her by name!”

Wonder of Wonders! She opens her eyes, to see Baba!

Holding Baba’s hands, she asks: “Swami when did you come?”

Baba replies: “I have just entered.”

 He wipes her tears gently and commands:

“Subbamma! Look here.” He pours a few drops

 Of the sacred tulsi water into her mouth. 

“Now close your eyes and be at rest!” He proclaims.

 Subbamma quaffs the water drops from Baba’s palms!

And breathes her last! Swami keeps His Promise!

All gape in wonder at the miracle! They are in Bliss!

With eyes gleaming: “Unimaginable!” They exclaim loudly:

“Subbamma dead for 3 days! With no breath in her body!

 How could she open her eyes and speak to Swami?

 Swami is Divine! No mortal can explain Him!”-They proclaim!

Numerous are the ways in which God manifests His Leelas!

 Goes to any extent to fulfill his pledged Promise!

Whatever religion one may profess to claim allegiance to,

The promised word must be honoured! Must be kept!

Jai Sairam!