SSSIHL student vs Swami's student
When I as searching the category into which this hub should be placed, I chose, "Views of God." That choice of category is true, but in a slightly different perception. Contrary to the intepretation that it means - what a human thinks of God - for me "Views of God" means God's views! :)
Being a student of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher learning, I have always called myself a Sai student. I have some expectations of a Sai Student. I know what the society expects of a Sai Student. But what does Swami expect of a Sai Student? Who is a Sai Student?
Once, Swami had told a student, "Remember, just because you are a student of the Institute does not automatically imply that you are a Sai Student!"
And here is what I learnt on what Swami's views are on what His student is... This was shared to me by a Sai brother, SVBS Sai Krishna, who has been blessed by His grace to travel with Him to Kodaikanal.
Sai Krishna's Narration
It was a pleasant morning in Kodaikanal in 2006. We all sang bhajans as Swami went around giving darshan and filling devotees seated there with bliss. After the bhajans we all rushed to the drawing room for the "pre-lunch" session of interaction with Swami. Swami was visibly very upset with something! He was not talking to anyone.
And the few words He spoke were shocking,
" I want to leave this body".
The most touching and startling revelation...
Every one of us were taken aback and were crying. A teacher there asked Swami,"Swami, please tell us what is it that is bothering you so much? What mistake have we comitted that it is paining you so much? What is it that made you utter these words?
Swami did not say a word. He kept silent. That day, we all were sent for shopping. But none of us had any interest in shopping. Still, since they were the instructions we obeyed them. Generally, Swami used to ask all the boys as to what they bought and that in itself would be a lovely interactive session. But that day the entire atmosphere was different, we also strictly decided not to bring any of our purchases downstairs.
Even during the snacks time Swami did not speak anything. We all went for bhajans (devotional singing) in the evening. During the bhajans Swami suddenly asked for the mikes to be brought. The first few sentences He spoke were these and they remain etched in my memory.
"Who are you to give up your lives? I do not want you to die! What I want you all to do is to LIVE THE WAY I WANT YOU TO LIVE. From the time I get up in the morning till the time I go to bed I think constantly about you only. When you are with Me you are all very sweet and behave very well. But the moment you leave my physical presence, you get into the bad ways.
It is like the pot of water which is kept in the water. It is full only as long as it is immersed in the water. But the moment it is taken out of the water, the water in the pot starts evaporating. I dont have any desire. NENU NISHKAAMUDANU - I am the one without desire.
My only worry is about you all. I want you to be good and be ideals to be emulated. From the morning, I have not been talking and have seemingly been upset. Some of the boys around me asked the reason and some even said that they are ready to give up their lives for me. Whose life is it that you want to give it up? Do not die for me, live for me."
All of us were in tears and Swami too was shedding tears.
Sai Krishna ended his narrative there. What more can be said?
Devotion lies not in dying for God, but living for God - in the spirit of Love and Service. I understood the difference between a Sathya Sai university Student and a Sai Student. Only a few get a chance to be the former; only a few take the chance to be the latter! Being a student of the University alone does not make one a Sai Student. A Sai Student is one who is a true student of Sai's teachings!
If only all of us can truly become His students...................
Indu Swaroopa on August 24, 2015:
I was just googling on Swami's students and happened to see this.And when I read this...Oh my Goddd!!!Bhayya,this is just overwhelming!!!I wanna say a lot many things to you but because I am totally in an overwhelming state I am unable to.
Bhayya,you know,on having read so many things on cruelty done by men on women,I always had a bad opinion on men and boys.But in 2006,when I went to Kodaikanal,I was shocked when I saw Swami's students.I was amazed thinking,"Could boys be so disciplined???".I was so mesmerized that I considered Swami's students as my ideals in my life then onwards.
Swami's students means they are not like other boys for us.Because of that only they have got great responsibility towards themselves and Swami.Each of Swami's students should realize that we ordinary youngsters look at you guys with so much awe,wonder and hope.We expect a lot from you guys.So it is your responsibility to rise beyond what we expect from a Sai student or rather to rise to the level of what Swami expects from you.
Bhayya,as you said,it is the prefix 'Swami's' that makes the students special.
As a young girl,I wish to say to the whole world that it is not so easy to become Swami's student.I am just reminded of what Swami said,"
I am the Dance Master. I am Nataraj, Prince of Dancers. You are my pupils. I alone know the agony of teaching you each step to the dance."
Could we dance according to his step?......
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on May 19, 2015:
@Subhakv - Yes. Exceptions don't change the rules. However, when the exception is being spoken about, it has to be completely described, lest there is a danger of the exception being totally forgotten! :)
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on May 19, 2015:
@Prachi - Swami compares staying in the hostel and the Institute as to a pot immersed in water. Since there is water everywhere, the pot is always full. Going home is like removing the pot from water. Though full in the beginning, the pot begins to lose water by evaporation and, mainly, by percolation through the mud of the pot.
The solution to this is two-fold:
1. Regularly keep returning to Prasanthi for recharging.
2. Do sadhana which is akin to baking the pot so that it becomes impervious to water. Then, the water will remain inside even when the pot is taken out of the water.
subhakv on May 19, 2015:
Brother...I have a positive bias towards SSSIHL. I can not imagine a sai brother or sister moving away from HiS path. In my daily life I have come across nearly hundreds of sai university students who are really sai students. swami has told that my girls are gopikas during dwapar yug and boys are vaanaras in Treata yug. I have heard one of the ATP lecturer quoting swami that a person can study in the institute only if he completes 100 Janmas of Tapas. Of course every rule has an exception but exceptions cannot change the rules.
Prachi bulbul on May 19, 2015:
sairam brother, let me share with you something personal. since the day i have landed home, i am in turmoil. the one thing that bothers me as to how to conduct as HIS students, especially in his physical absence. I try every time I try to regulate my thoughts, speech and actions but there are times I go wayward. Though i m fine in the institute and hostel but returning home during vacations is.......Each time I question myself as to what did I gain from all his darshans, sparshans and sambhashans, 9 years as a balvikas student and guru and presently as a student of SSSIHL????
Vardhini S on May 19, 2015:
sai ram anna,
Thank you so much for sharing this message. A powerful message for everyone in our Sai family.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on May 18, 2015:
@Chandrahaas - Welcome to one of the most beautiful educational systems in the world that will help you become a Sai Student... :)
@Brother Fize - Yes! Sai is the only Hero...All others are zeroes that gain value because of Him. Isn't "Sai" that gives value to "student"?
Brother Fize on May 18, 2015:
In all my years as a young adult I have watched and observed and have been inspired by the Sai students. I prayed to become like them in my thoughts and actions. Now I am ever reminded by this story that all can be called his students when we Live For Him and him alone.Jai Sai Ram.
Chandrahaas on May 18, 2015:
Sairam brother. I am about to join Swami's institution this month and I see this article. Felt like it's tailor made for me. Thank you so much! Sairam :)
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on May 14, 2013:
@ Swami's daughter -
That is why Swami makes the distinction between a "Sai Student" and a "student of the university." Anybody can be Swami's student if he/she follows His teachings.
Swami's daughter on May 14, 2013:
i got married to a swami student....not all swami students are same. after they leave the university most of them forget HIS teachings. i can not explain anyone how much of pain my heart takes. im maintaing silence bcos i know swami will take care of it.
Sri on March 23, 2013:
Sairam dear brother. I am inspired by your writing and get often motivated reading.
I would like to bring a point of describing what it makes to be Swami's Student. In our center we come across Swami's students and others like us, who are not. One of the sincere Sai brothers, who came to know of Swami just past six years, very regular, punctual, and humble, once told me, while doing service, "Don't you think we are all Swami's students? I see so many Swami's students who do not come to center even or take part in service regularly. Do they consider this as low activity, did Swami not insist on humility, regularity and teach them to set themselves as examples in promoting Sai culture?"
One who is sincere and dedicated to Swami in service and love, to me is the real Swami's student I feel, irrespective of the proximity he/she had, or the years of knowing Swami. The institution is a framework for spreading fragrance that Swami built to show to the world, but as Phyllis Crystal says in her book, "Everyone you come across in Prashanti Nilayam or Swami's abodes is another seeker trudging along in the spiritual path. Do not assume that having come across someone close to Swami or having known or brought up with Him, is already a fully transformed person."
This goes with all, whether we were directly brought up in the vicinity or proximity of Swami. In fact, I know of incidents where Swami sent gifts to twin
In short, do not mistake me stating this, those are fortunate and had their good karmas fulfilled by being closer to Swami physically. Does not mean that Swami's direct students everyone of them is a shining gem in what I have seen and come across. One sheds the bad qualities of arrogance, envy, hatred and pomp that they got out of being known or brought up in the presence of Swami, or having experienced his miracles and always expresses humility and fragrance of Love like him, is a true Sai Student.
However, there is certainly an expectation set forth for those who are brought up through Swami's institution on the behavior and Sai culture. It is equivalent to the expectation one sets for those who are educated in Harvard or Stanford, that they are by standards, advanced in studies and by nature expected to perform well.
MA on November 25, 2012:
I remember in year 2000 or 2001 when Swami gave a discourse in Whitefield and he said, "This body will live to 96 years of age. But Swami may leave [this body] sooner. You should not be confused about this". He explained that the avatar leaves when a particular task is finished. He don't stay beyond that. If he told students already in 2006 that he wanted to go -- he clearly gave them time to adjust and acclimate to separation.
I knew then that he would not live to 96 years the way we know it. And indeed, Swami became 96 'moon years' but according to the modern calendar.
kavita Dantala on July 25, 2012:
Swami students means they r stars wherever they go they r shining.
sai mona on May 21, 2012:
thank u brother!its swami who brought us to his institution its our responsibility to fulfill his wishes.now i realize, only person lives for us is swami y we should not live for him.i take an oath to live for him by following his path love all,serve all
shruti on May 19, 2012:
New as before...and fresh as ever..... I think I must read this blog on daily basis just to remind us who we are and what is expected from us!
Himanshu on May 19, 2012:
Swamy said the same in world youth conference ,2007
Satya Sai University student is for few years and Swami's student is for lifetime
Athe on May 19, 2012:
Amazing brother!thankyou so much.
sgteve olffers on February 06, 2012:
be happy, Gott Sai Baba is with you,
steve olffers holland
udhayarockz from India on October 04, 2011:
Gopal . on October 03, 2011:
Thought provoking account Aravind. I liked this the most. Sai student is one step above a satya sai university student. I would like to share an incident which happened some years ago. A family was lucky to have been called for an interview with Swami. At that time final interniews were going on at the institute. This student was happy as the paper went easy and Swami had called them. In the interview room, He enquired about wellbeing and at last looking at the student He said ' Just because you got the admission, you cannot become my student!' Saying this, He left from the room and asked them to move. Here what we understand is that one has to join Satya sai University to learn to become sai student or let me put it this way... whereone one studies or works has to convert that place in to Swami's by following His principles so that eventually he becomes sai student.
Satya Sai student - only on physical appearance
Sai student - from within - a true student - a true sevak.
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on August 29, 2011:
Thank you Mr. Aravind.
Love & Peace.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 28, 2011:
@ Mr.Happy - Your comment provoked me to think and feel a lot. Wrote a hub on that exact question.....Thank you for asking that question.......It was a real path to self discovery for me. As they say, a wise man does not give correct answers but asks the correct questions!
@ Hema B - Mom! Am eternally grateful to you for having put me in touch with HIM! Love you
Hema B on August 27, 2011:
The amount of pain HE takes to teach, the simplicity of it, yet profound. All of us love Him so much.So we are on THE PATH. Good reminder
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on August 27, 2011:
A great blog indeed! The question remains: "Why do we not do the good when we know the good?"
Thank you for writing this. I have no answer for this question.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 27, 2011:
@ Aarthi and Shruti - Feeling for Him is a big step towards that! Its so beautiful - this devotion...
@Linda - I feel sharing is the least I could do for all that He has given me - Am grateful for your love and goodwishes...
@ Dileep - I remember Sahni sir telling that to me too....When He praises us, it just shows us where we ought to be....
@ Denialisjustice - At the level at which you speak, any discussion or interaction becomes redundant - for there exists only one - profound lines to think about - thanks
@ SaiVandana - your determination and resolve inspires me.....Pray for me sister....
@ Spirit whisperer - You are very generous in your love and praise....I pray that He always 'whispers' His spirit into me.......Felt very warm with your comment......Grateful to you...
@ Simi - Wow! That is a lovely new insight or in'sai'ght if I may call it. .... We are what we are when we are in solitude.......No wonder Swami had said, "When with a man, I am a man, a woman with a woman, a child with a child - when am alone, I am God!"
simi on August 27, 2011:
Last Summer I had asked Swami a question this was His response ~ I cannot guarantee the Character of all of my Students. I have taught them Education in Human Values but after they leave what are they doing when they are home alone? are they practicing what I taught? Human Values is not just a correct Social Behavior it is matters most at the times when they are alone. God's Statements have so much depth ~ in His omnipresence. Know there is a need for change... if you call Him yours and truly want to be His. He lovingly explains.
Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on August 27, 2011:
Another very powerful hub and the energy that emanates is unmistakably coming from the Sai Baba within.
I was not blessed with the opportunity to study at a Sai School but I did teach for a while at The Sai EHV School in Thailand. It was a wonderful experience.
Keep writing these beautiful stories and touching the hearts of so many. I have never found someone who writes as if Baba himself is speaking to me through your words. You are an example of the water which is always fully immersed in the ocean of the divine.
saivandana on August 27, 2011:
sairam brother..although i have never studied in Bhagavan's university, I count myself blessed to have had a lifetime of many close personal experiences with Baba. I have always taken His word to be etched in stone and tried to practice whatever He used to tell me and my family. I consider that we are all Sai Students by virtue of being His children and it is our duty and PRIVILEGE to uphold His name and justify His upbringing of us by our conduct. He has always showered His love on us all, and continues to do so...hence, we need to be aware of our actions even more so now than ever before, particularly because He has hastened the rise of levels of collective consciousness. May Sai Love flow in our lives and make them Pristine for our Lord..
Ajith Padyana on August 27, 2011:
Beautiful !! let us be his worthy students ... :-)
Denialisjustice on August 27, 2011:
Even these words are part of his maya. Bad a Good are both his creation. If it is in somebody's plan to do bad so that creation can allow for good, then where is the question of being bad at all? Beware of Swami's words...he sometimes weaves his vast threads of maya just to drag you into your own beliefs that you willingly bind yourself in. Why? because only you can free yourselves from them. No..not by following any teaching etc, but by understanding who you are by yourself!
Shruti on August 27, 2011:
How true.... I know He is always with me and will never never leave me.... but sometimes its like then end of my world without Him.... yesterday while I was attending the bhajans, it just hit me hard....as to how privileged I was to have learnt so many things from Him directly... it made me sob during the remaining bhajans.... but i guess more than missing Him or crying Him.... we have to mould our lives as He wanted us to....(live for Me)!
Balasubramanya Subbarao on August 26, 2011:
What an inspiring message!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gautham Narendran on August 26, 2011:
Thank you anna, for sharing this. It was time for a recharge !
KVS Dileep on August 26, 2011:
Very inspiring message... a faint memory trickles of an awareness class in Brindavan where Sahni sir was telling us that Swami often referred to Brindavan students as Bangalore Boys and not My boys-- the day he refers to us as My Boys - Mission Complete... When He praised us in front of so many guests, He was actually setting benchmarks for what he wants us to be.
Linda M on August 26, 2011:
Once again a Divine simple story, with a profound teaching that drips like Amrit into my being. Words are inadequate to say or measure the gratitude for the work you share in His Name. Your life is His Message. The greatest joy is to see there is another post from you. Thankyou for drinking from His Ocean of Love and sharing the bliss.
firstname.lastname@example.org on August 26, 2011:
Sairam ,felt very happy to hear such nice things from our students.God Bless All of you.May you walk towards the Right living and Find your Dearest Swami walking along with you.i feel very proud of god's creation.Jay Ho!
Siva on August 26, 2011:
You have brilliantly summarized in the last para..
Aarthi on August 26, 2011:
This is a very interesting article on who really is a Sai student. I personally feel that anybody who's able to follow Swami's principles in life earns the tag 'Sai student'! :)
I may not have studied in Swami's school or college but it's Swami's grace that a few people have asked me if I am His student. :) I smile and tell them, "Well, I have not studied in His school. In that sense, I am not His student. But if you feel I am a 'Sai student', the credit goes to Swami, because what I am today is what He has made me. Every little talent I have is His gift to me and I am simply doing my best to offer it back to Him."
Anybody who sincerely takes efforts to practice right living would certainly make Swami happy and I bet He'll proudly call such people as 'Sai students'. May we all strive to become true Sai students and make our Chancellor proud of us! I'm sure He'll bless every sincere effort from our side. He just wants us to take the first step. He'll then take 100 steps towards us.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 26, 2011:
@ Arpita - God is equal to all and so how can He not give everyone the opportunity to be His students? Just keep your love, enthusiasm and inspiration going...
Arpita Mallajosyula on August 26, 2011:
i do not know how to thank u for this particular post....der were 'n' no.of days i wept dat Swami hadn't given me the fortune of being a student of HIS university...but still i wanted 2 be 'SAI STUDENT'....and dat is precisely wht im doing in my life...putting all my effort 2wards it...
it was such a rite timing dat i got dis mail...i was thinking 2day on similar lines as to who is a Sai Student...i got my answer...thank u so much anna....
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 26, 2011:
Very much agree with you Dr.Santosh Maurya. Swami is always with us. We must make efforts to be with Him always...
dr.santosh maurya on August 26, 2011:
thanks for this message brother arvind.i got my answer which i was asking to my self always ,to take my body,i want to die,but knw after ur lovely message which has been narrated by swami .i will not think of death and i will try to follow his teaching.sai ram.
one more think i wanted to narrate is that swami is with us always though, he is not physically present, but we can feel n he(swami)shows his presence.whenever we call him for rescue.