- Published on 23 July 2013
Some devotees have asked the question "Should we pray for Swami’s Return?". Even though I am not qualified to answer this, I feel there is no harm in expressing my humble views.
In my belief, there is nothing we can do “specially” to bring Him back. This scenario can be compared to Swami's occasional visits to Whitefield from Puttaparthi. Even though everyone knows that He would be back to Puttaparthi some time, no one can do anything to bring Him back earlier or make Him stay in Whitefield longer than He decides.
Swami once said that Devotees seldom know what to pray for.
The advent itself was according to My Sankalpa (Resolve); every step in this Avatar is due to My own Sankalpa; not due to the prayer or petition of devotees. The devotees seldom know what is good for them. (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 3, Ch 29)
As Swami conveys in the above words, whatever the Sai Avatar does is through His own Sankalpa or Divine Will. We would not know what His Divine Will is, except when He has expressed that through His words. His words represent His Divine Will to make those things happen. My belief in His Reappearance stems from my faith in those words. But when and how it will happen, He alone knows!
Coming back to the question of whether or not we should pray for His Return, it would be interesting to consider two relevant statements from the Lord.
1. The Lord comes as Avatar when He is anxiously awaited by saints and sages. Sadhus prayed, and I have come. (Divine Discourse, January 25, 1963)
2. This body has come through the Lord's resolve to come. That resolve is intended to uphold the Truth. Divine resolve is always true resolve. (Divine Discourse, November 23, 1968)
At the first glance these two statements may appear contradictory. On one hand Swami says that He came because of the prayers of the Sages. On the other hand He mentions that the Sai Advent was due to His own resolve. When we delve into it a little deeper, we can come to a conclusion that He answered the prayers of the Sages as a “Divine excuse” or "pretext" to descend down to this earth. So, in my humble opinion, it is from that perspective we should pray for His Return. Even though Swami has already decided what all will happen, we can still pray so that we feel we are doing something to be a part of this Divine Drama. Collective intensity also leads to a critical mass and nothing pleases our dear Lord than when devotees unitedly come together and engage in the Divine thoughts of Him.
More importantly, we can engage in intense Namasmarana and Samastha Loka prayer for this world, which will make Him happy and also facilitate the cleansing process and spiritual transformation within ourselves. As much as I believe that all His words about the future will come true, I must also abide by His words on spiritual transformation and apply those to my life. Without that, I know I wouldn't be eligible to step foot in His Sai Kingdom that is fast approaching!
This hiatus, this pause is a time to intensify our efforts and spiritual practices. It is an interlude for in-depth individual and collective sadhana (spiritual endeavor) to complete our homework, to work upon ourselves in order to graduate. So also, this is the phase, to ruminate, to pledge, to rededicate, to affirm and reaffirm our willingness to serve Him in all of creation. And, with the intensity of collective thought process, gather a "Critical Mass" seeking the cherished return of Beloved Bhagawan. (Jullie Chaudhuri, Foreword to STKC)