justice m. b. rege
(Originally given under the name Chinna Kistna Rajasaheb Bahadur B.A., LL.B.)


Saraswath, aged about 50, Interior of India 11th June, 1936.

As for religious exercise, Ayi was an excellent singer with a divinely charming voice and a good knowledge of music. She could play on the Sitar also. I had a good ear for music and I easily attained manolaya. I was rapt in the music when I listened to it. But as we went on, one day we talked about what form our religious exercise should take. Songs and hymns were good in their way, but they attracted attention of the outside public too much, and were not in any case sufficient for our onward course. Then we agreed that Japa was the proper step for us. What particular name should be used by us for Japa was the important question. She said that many used the name of Vittal, Ram, etc., but that so far as she was concerned, "Sai" was her God and that name was sufficient for her, while I might go on with the name of Vittal, etc., if I choose. I replied that I had not seen Vittal; and what was good for her was good for me, and that I also should go on taking Sai's name. So we sat on, facing each other and repeating to ourselves our chosen (guru God's) name - for about an hour. Later in the day, Sai Baba sent for me and asked me what I had been doing in the morning "Japa". I said, "Of what name?" he asked. "Of my God", I replied. "What is your God?" was Sai Baba's next query. I simply replied, "You know it," and he smiled and said, "That is right". Thus this Japa was really the Japa that he expressly approved and had perhaps silently started through Ayi - unperceived by either Ayi or myself. Japa being the Sadhana approved of (in my case), the question may be put - what is the Sadhya or goal that Sai Baba approved of - as the goal of life? What should a man aim at and reach at the end of his life? Just as the Sadhana was indirectly started by Baba, the Sadhya or goal, also was indirectly revealed; it was patent from all he said and did. It was, through love, to reach God, (in any form, especially in the beloved form of the loving Guru) and intensely, nay passionately, to love him. This is what we did and what he made us to do, i.e., what he enabled or drew us to do by his own intense and wonderful love for us.

Some may set a great store by Sakshatkara or revelation in physical form of the object or worship, as the be-all and end-all of all religion. But I do not. As I intently meditated on Baba, I had Baba's vision at the meditation. I, however, treated that appearance as a matter of secondary or minor importance. I did not want Baba to be outside of me. I said to Baba that I wanted him to come in and be me. What I mean by "me" is this. The self (i.e., "I") is compounded of two substances - one the gross body and the other, the finer or subtler. In the finer, we have the baser element or part, and the nobler or higher. Our self, God Vittal and other entities are all the reflections of the Real; and so I should rise up to be Vittal or Sai; Vittal or Sai should come into me and take the place of my higher part. That is what I wanted to arrive at - and so was not satisfied with seeing Sai Baba as external to me in my meditation or contemplation.

I have not regularly studied even Gita up to this time. I did not care for spiritual study in my earlier days either; and so I do not go into much detail on the question of the exact description of the further stages or final stage of meditation.

One Guru-poornima day, numerous devotees came to Sai Baba, and as usual, placed a book before him so that he might return it with his Asirvada or blessing for them to study it with profit and benefit. Sai Baba, however, took up a book brought by one man and gave it to another, as he often does. On that occasion every one had a book in hand, except myself. Baba then looked at me and said pointing to the books:- "In these books, they want to find God, Brahma. There is however, Bhrama, i.e. whirl, confusion or delusion in these books. You are alright. Do not read books - but keep me in your heart. If you unify (or harmonise) head and heart, that is enough." So I have not been indulging in any regular study of religious books. I content myself with what has led me so far ( and with what has been achieved). Some of my experiences bear upon the question what I should do. Though I have been intensely loving Sri Sai, I have not been able at times to do as good service to Baba as others do.