Author's note on April 20, 2014
Sairam. Happy Easter to all.
By Swami's Grace, on this holy occasion, I am so happy to dedicate the Italian translation of Sai, Thy Kingdom Come (SAI, VENGA IL SUO REGNO) at His Divine Lotus Feet.
STKC first edition was published on the Easter day of 2012 (April 8, 2012) to commemorate the significance of Swami choosing the "day of Jesus' Resurrection" for His disappearance and in anticipation of His imminent return. So, in a way, today is also the second anniversary of STKC. It is purely Swami's Grace alone that has brought forth the translations in no fewer than 14 languages in such a short period of time.
The Italian translation was done by Dr.Jaya Murthy and Sri Riccardo Schiraldi. I have no words to describe their hard work and dedication to bring out the Italian translation in a timely manner. Swami's blessing was quite evident before and during the translation. Sister Jaya initially had a wish to translate this book. She was contemplating on whether to take up the translation work or not and prayed to Bhagawan for a confirmation. Swami came in her dream that night and blessed her, providing the much needed confirmation. Around that time Brother Riccardo also contacted me for the translation. It was Swami's design that both of them worked on it together. Riccardo too mentions that "The presence of Swami during this adventure was very strong" in the form of "Sai"ncidences. I am grateful to Bhagawan for bringing me in contact with two wonderful devotees, very sincere and exceptionally capable hands too. Riccardo had the good fortune of translating Sathya Sai Speaks volumes to Italian and Sister Jaya has translated Sai Satcharitra, which are no small feats. Their experiences with the STKC translation are beautifully detailed in "SAI, VENGA IL SUO REGNO".
The Joy of Finding Divine Love - By Riccardo Schiraldi
The way Westerners address Spiritual masters and Gurus is quite different from that of Easterners. Here we use the second person singular, tu, neenu, nuvvu, nee, tum which correspond to Indian languages. This is just to have Gurus and Masters very close to us and make us feel close friendly relationship with them. Whereas Easterners address holy people, Sages, Masters with Italian ‘Lei’, which is equivalent to aap, neevu, neengal, meeru of Indian languages. But Indians also use ‘tu’ to address God, that is to be very close to the Almighty.
My relationship with Swami goes back to eighties when I was just 17 or 18 years old. That I landed in Puttaparthi alone at that tender age looking for Swami, itself is a great miracle. Let me recollect those wonderful days. We would not only feel Swami’s presence continuously but also lived with Him during the day. Swami used to come out during His free time to mingle with people. All of a sudden we could see Swami in some corner walking with His staff to inspect the Ashram and giving suggestions to bring new changes. It was just not possible to imagine the crowded Puttaparthi of today. It all began from 1985 onwards. Those days there was no need to wait for interviews to talk to Swami. Often He would talk, chat or solve devotees problems then and there. We could see only 4 or 5 rows of people sitting for His Darshan. We all sat silently in a very disciplined manner, leaving space from one row to the other in the middle for Swami to walk freely and talk to people.
Times changed, those feelings and emotions of having Swami’s presence constantly to lead a perfect spiritual life are in a far off horizon. As years rolled by, the number of visitors increased tremendously. One had to struggle hard to find a place in the Darshan rows. Sometimes we had to manage to find a place in privileged rows to have Swami’s close Darshan. Every day was a challenge or playing with our destiny mathematically calculating auspicious time, to find a good place etc. Frankly speaking it was nothing but Swami’s Will to give Darshan to fortunate people; we were just actors in that puppet show.
The purpose behind to be cautious in having Swami’s constant attention focused on me was just to overcome the obstacle of wavering mind to reach the final goal of human life, that is salvation. Another reason could be, since I had travelled a long distance to come to Swami, I expected Swami’s constant attention should be only to me!.
Those days modern facilities were not available for the pilgrims to live in ashram. There were some problems to face regarding daily routines. I am really grateful to Swami for bringing out some projects to provide residences and comforts to pilgrims as far as possible and that I could collaborate with these projects. This was another excuse to have Swami’s constant contact. Needless to say, it was a source of immense joy. In a way my plans and projects helped me to have not only Swami’s close relationship but also an association with Swami’s very close people. I was really lucky to be with them and enjoy their company. It was a joy to obey them. I still remember very well, Sri Kasturi always wanted me to accompany him to his house after Swami’s daily Darshan. He would offer me a glass of lemon soda to keep me with him for some time to talk with me. I am really lucky to know such great persons like Prof.Kasturi who was an extremely intelligent, pure heart, humble, very strong and healthy at that age.
The experience of translating Sai Thy Kingdom Come, takes me back to recollect my nineties experiences at Whitefield during summer courses. I remember very well those days Swami was not only dedicating His time to teach His messages to students and public during Darshan time, but He also used to organize special sessions for devotees who were coming from all over the world. The number of Italian devotees who came for His Darshan kept on increasing over the years. Italians never spoke or understood Kannada or Telugu (local languages of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh). I can’t even imagine them speaking English. But what made them stay there is nothing but the feeling of Swami’s presence, which was more than enough. While it was surprising to see their presence in each and every lecture sessions, in some sense it was also pathetic to see their incapability of understanding Swami’s lectures. At this point I got an idea to help them by translating Swami’s messages into Italian. It had to be done as quickly as possible in two following ways. The first one was to translate them then and there in order to help them follow the lectures without any misinterpretations. The second was to provide the Italian printed versions to the devotees who were there for short visits, the groups were coming and going continuously. Either way, we had to be quick enough to provide them with the translated messages to be taken home with them. In order to facilitate and be precise with our work we had formed small groups to carry on the work in the best way. There were still minor problems. The translators of Swami’s lectures, Prof.N.Kasturi and later Prof.Anil Kumar were very fast and sometimes were difficult to follow. But each problem has a solution! Thanks to my Olivetti computer which had digital recorder, I was recording the lectures, which made it easy for us to listen once again in order to bring out the perfect translation. How many times I would repeat Swami’s words! Still Swami’s voice echoes in my ears! Am I not fortunate in this world to have the presence of that voice constantly? Let me say ‘yes’.
What a great coincidence to have this opportunity after long 20 years! Frankly speaking I never expected that I would get another opportunity to contribute my Seva to Sai devotees. That is the reason why I immediately decided to take up this translation work. The purpose of accepting this work, needless to say was the same as 20 years before, that is to satisfy my Divine Guru with my small help to my people. Another reason which drove me to accept this project was my thoughts and feelings which coincided very well with the author’s views, that is expressed in this precious book with its rich contents. I would like to apologize to the Italian readers; you may find incorrect grammatical sentences and improper vocabulary in the translated version. This is because we had to finish the work in a short period, as it was to be published in a short period of time. We hope that this book will be printed in the regular book form, when time comes, we will certainly revise the whole text and do the needful corrections.
My heartfelt thanks go to the author of this book, Sreejith Narayan and also to Jaya Murthy who collaborated with me with lots of patience and love as if my own sister coming from far off sacred land India. It is also surprising to know that her mother tongue is Telugu and well versed in Kannada (since she is originally from Karnataka). I am proud to say that I tried to learn that language when I was in Bangalore. I am really grateful to both of them for giving this opportunity to take part with this translation work. I consider this a small ‘Seva’ to our Divine Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I would like to express my personal opinion regarding Sreejith’s experience while writing the book. He says that Swami guided him personally to bring out this book. I completely agree with this and I am sure all of us have undergone the same experience during our translation of this wonderful book. I too felt Swami’s constant presence and there were also some strange coincidences during translation. I highly appreciate author’s effort in expressing his enthusiasm and devotion to Swami, and his guidelines to all devotees in the world on maintaining the same. Let us pray to Swami to return to us.
Baba’s greatest desire is all of us have to obtain a pure soul and a sensible heart. Swami expects us to become reflections of His light in this world. He also wishes that we all should become a small lighted match stick in a deep forest, where we come across frightened fearful creatures running here and there, finding no way and getting lost in the dark forest where no light can penetrate owing to gigantic trees. We should enter there with the lighted match stick to help them to find their way and to make them hope for a better future which they think have already lost forever. Let us warm up their tender hearts and console their suffering souls. In other words we should act like a lighted matchstick.
We are all aware that man’s fear is not for death, but without our knowledge, it remains like a black empty hole consuming our soul day by day. Isn’t there a remedy for this hidden disease? Yes, the only remedy id Faith, there aren’t any other remedies. We must fill this empty space with the presence of God. In other words with ‘namasmarana’. The moment we understand the importance of His presence and name, our hearts will not only fill with divine light but will also radiate it to the whole world. As the ocean is formed by small drops of water, the fire generated by small lighted match sticks are capable of giving light and warmth not only to the world but also to the entire universe created by God, causing immense happiness and changing the fate of all creatures of this entire planet.
I am sure Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s wish is (what I said above) that each one of us has to work hard to improve this world. I strongly believe that Swami expects us to be ready to welcome Him when He returns, with our pure heart and soul, I also feel, all of us must help Swami in His mission. Otherwise what is the use of following Swami’s teachings ever since we came close to Swami? Let us not be passive, thinking that it is the good results of our past incarnations to be with Swami. I don’t think that Swami will be happy with this passive idea. Swami chose us to be His devotees to take part in His Divine project. In a sense, we should be grateful to Swami for assigning us roles to play in this divine drama. Isn’t it marvelous?! Let us take the responsibility to go ahead and spread Swami’s message to the mankind.
We all know the purpose of Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai is nothing but to establish Dharma in this world. In order to spread message of Dharma, Swami has chosen us in the west, and have sent His Indian devotees abroad to fulfil His mission. We are all His personal jewels, He kept us in His own hands and with great care. He cleaned and removed impurities of these jewels. I feel Prashanthi was established for this reason, mainly to purify our souls, removing covered dust to prepare us to install Divine Law in this world. I proudly say who else can take part in this project if not us? We all should become a bright torch and be ready with this light to help Him the moment He returns in this world.
The moment we allow God to occupy our heart (means of devotion) the empty space will be instantly filled with His presence. The wall of illusion that God is separate from us will be collapsed. The vision of duality will disappear within a fraction of a second. His immense love like a flash will enter into our body, mind and soul. I think at this point we have to offer all our emotions, feelings, unfulfilled desires, anger, dreams, happiness, sufferings, disappointments to Him because nothing happens without His Will. We all belong to Him. We must respect His decisions. He will certainly come back to us to play His divine role on this stage of human history. My humble request to all of you is be generous towards mankind, help needy people and spread His message. The moment you start following the above advice, you will be aware of some sudden change. You would start feeling Swami’s constant presence and He will be with you until your last breath. He is the one who helps us to achieve the final goal of life - ‘moksha’. Your devotion to God is the best means to liberate yourself from the chain of Karma.
Swami always says,“The hands that work are holier than the lips that pray”. Silent meditation is not enough, working for helping others is a must in order to show our respect to Swami.
We should become a group of pure, white angels and be ready to receive Swami when He reappears. Each of us should aim to become one of these angels!
Now I would like to leave you all to read this wonderful book Sai, Thy Kingdom Come, (Italian title ‘Sai Venga Il Suo Regno’). This is just not an ordinary book; its content is research done by Sreejith Narayan regarding Swami’s return. It is a valuable gift to all Sai devotees. Above all, it is a humble offering to Swami’s Divine Lotus Feet.
OM SRI SAI RAM, OM SRI PREMA SAI RAM
(Translated into English from Italian by Dr.Jaya Murthy)