As learnt at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan

N. Kasturi (1897-1987)

Om Namo Bhagavate Vâsudevâya "


Dear Reader!
"Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya"

"From the Unreal, lead me to the Real
From Darkness, lead me to Light
From Death, lead me to Immortality"
This longing of the human heart, verbalised in this form more than a thousand years ago in the Brihadaranyak Upanishad [and purport], has stirred into agony millions in every continent through the million years of human history. At various stages of human evolution man has grasped in his despair the hand extended by quacks and pretenders, maniacs and morons who have exploited him to the verge of extinction. Luckily for him, in many lands and at frequent intervals, saints and sages, teachers and poets, mystics and masters journeyed into realms beyond the boundaries of 'reason' and gained the awareness of the Real, (which is the Truth of what appears as unreal) the Light (which hides under cover of what appears as darkness) and the Immortality (which wears the mask of continuous death). These messengers of Truth have served as Light beacons for pilgrims, trekking away from themselves, towards the One whose many they are. When they reach the One, they realise that they were always there, at Prashanthi Nilayam, the Home of Supreme Peace. Man is now moonstruck; he is enslaved by monstrous machines; he is fascinated by the prospect of wholesale suicide. His head is swollen with the poisonous vapour of ego, so much that it is about to burst. Love alone can cure the malady. Love alone can still the storm. Love alone can encourage the nations to cease growling at each other.

The All-merciful God has come in human form as Sathya Sai Baba to confer Prashanthi on all hearts by lovingly weeding out the thorny bushes of lust, anger, greed, pride and hatred. He is the Embodiment of Divine Love and can be known and adored through Love alone. I have striven to know and adore Him and gain Prashanthi thereby, during thirty-seven long years. When I was fortunate to approach Him for guidance I had undergone many years of apprenticeship with first-line disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and studentship of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. I must confess that Swami (as we love to refer to Him) is, for me still, a Mystery far beyond comprehension. I can only claim that He is watching me loving Him, and deriving Prashanthi through that love. I am afraid I have not earned the authority to write on how Swami promotes Prashanthi in us, but, I hope these pages will serve as appetiser for welcoming a fuller and more genuine book, from a pen wielded by a more intensive devotee.



The Road to Prashanthi
"Show me the road to Prashanthi"
A pilgrim asked me once.

His tongue was dry, for he had asked thousands more the way,
He had argued long and loud;
For they showed the road that led to ivory towers
And castles in the air,
And higgle-haggling counters that dealt with plots
In Heaven and in Paradise
Or battle fields where brain clashed with barren brain.

They had misled him into many an alley blind,
Thick with tangling arguments
They sent him along dark corridors of hatred and of fear.
Taking their words as true, he had waded through vales of tears
Deafened by conflicting cackles of clamour and of claims
At every crossroad he passed, he said, the canvassers of traffic
Did fill his ears with cynical spite.

His head was free of ego cargo;
His ears tingled, he said, with consecrated song.
He longed to know the road to
He knew it was his journey's end.

There was a glint in his eye
And a thirst in his throat
And a groan, hiding inside the chest
A pang, a pain, a pull,
A chronic homesickness
These made him kindred to me!

"Show me the road to Prashanthi"
I am much in need of rest -

I was happy, for he knew what he could get
Where Swami's Presence is.
There, fear is afraid to show itself
And grief is out of bounds.

"Show me the road to Prashanthi"
They gave me, he said, a map of the route
But, how can a map show me the Truth?

O the agony on his lips,
The question in his eyes!

"Why seek a road," I asked him.
"Your feet are for securing foothold
Not for trudging mile after mile
Behind every shadow show.
Roads take you along many a bed and bump
And, make you follow diversions galore
Through bleak and barren land
With trails of dust suffocating thick.
The road is littered with tolls and jolts,
Segmented into mine and thine"
Show me the road to Prashanthi
The sun is setting, quick, quick," he said.

I told him, "Dear Friend, you are already there!
Wherever you are, 'tis
Listen ... His laughter you can hear!
Open your eyes, His Glory is clear
In starry sky, flowery field, the crimson cloud
The baby prattle, the murmuring stream
Stay. Dont stray; Be still, Dont will.
When you rise and start to walk, stay,
Swami says - That is the word,

You are the Sathya of the Sai,
The I whom Time cannot declare as, was or is;
There is no they or we, no terminus,
No then or now; you're simply IS.

Know this, you have reached Prashanthi
Without moving a single step.

- N. Kasturi -

About Narayana Kasturi