In 1940, Sathya Sai Baba was barely fourteen years old. Yet, such was the faith of the masses in His Divinity that people flocked, young and old, rich and poor. Included in this crowd of devotees were Maharajahs and members of the landed gentry. Besides, the Press also began take notice. Elder brother Seshama Raju, not yet fully aware of Baba’s Divinity, began to worry about the impact of the attention that his younger brother was receiving. Would this adoration go to the head of young Sathya? Would He fall a victim to various temptations?
Seshama Raju conveyed his anxiety to Baba, who sent a reply on 25th May, 1947. Though the letter was intended for Seshama Raju, it was in fact addressed to ‘all who are devoted to Me’.
That letter is a powerful declaration of the purpose of the Sai Avatar. In that letter, Baba wrote:
My dear One!
I received all the communication that you sent. I found in it the surging floods of your devotion and affection, with the undercurrents of doubts and anxiety. Let Me tell you that it is impossible to plumb the hearts and discover the nature of Jnanis [Wise men], Yogis, ascetics, saints, sages, and the like. People are endowed with a variety of characteristics and mental attitudes; so, each one judges according his own angle, talks and argues in the light of his own nature. But we have to stick to our own path, our own wisdom, and our own resolution, without getting affected by popular appraisal. As the proverb says, it is only the fruit-laden tree that receives the shower of stone from the passersby. The good always provoke the bad into calumny; the bad always provoke the good into doing more good; this is the nature of the world. One must be surprised if such things do not happen.
People too have to be pitied rather than condemned. They do not know. They have no patience to judge right. They are too full of lust, anger, and conceit to see clearly and know fully. So, they write all sorts of things. If only they know, they would refrain from writing or talking like that. We too should not attach any value to such comments and take them to heart, as you seem to do. Truth will certainly triumph some day. Untruth can never win. Untruth might appear to over-power Truth, but its victory would fade away and Truth would establish itself.
It is not the way of the great to swell when people offer worship and shrink when people cool off. As a matter of fact, no sacred text lays down rules to regulate the lives of the great, prescribing habits and attitudes they must adopt. They themselves know the path they must take. Their wisdom regulates and makes their acts holy. Self-reliance and beneficial activity – these two are their special marks. They may also be engaged in the promotion of the welfare of devotees and in giving them the fruits of their actions. Why should you be affected by doubt and worry, so long as I am adhering to these two? After all, praise and blame do not touch the Atma; they can touch only the outer frame.
I have a Task: To foster all mankind, and ensure for all people lives full of Ananda.
I have a Vow: To lead all who stray away from the straight path, again into goodness and save them.
I am attached to a ‘Work’ that I love: To remove the suffering of the poor and grant them what they lack.
I have a ‘reason to be proud’: for, I rescue all who worship and adore me.
I have a definition of ‘devotion’: I expect that those devoted to Me treat joy and grief, gain and loss, with equal fortitude.
I will never give up those who attach themselves to Me. When I am thus engaged in My beneficial task, how can My Name be ever tarnished, as you apprehend? I would advise you not to heed to such absurd talk. Mahatmas do not acquire greatness through someone calling them so; they do not become small just because some calls them small. Only those low ones who revel in opium but claim to be unexcelled Yogis, only those who quote scriptural texts to justify their gourmandry and pride, only those who are dry-as-dust scholars exulting in their argumentative skill, are moved by praise and blame.
You must have read the life-stories of Saints and Divine personages. In those books, you must have read also of horrible falsehood and heinous imputations cast against them. This is the lot of mahatmas, everywhere, and at all times. Why then do you take these things so much to heart? Have you not heard of dogs that howl at the stars? How long can they go on? Authenticity will soon win.
I will not give up My Mission nor My determination. I SHALL carry them out. I treat with equanimity, the honour or dishonour that may result. Internally, I am totally unconcerned. I act, but solely in the outer world. If I talk and move about, it is entirely for the sake of the outer world, and for making the people realise the advent of Divinity. Other than this, I have no concern with anything.
I do not belong to any place. I am not attached to any name. I have no ‘Mine’ or ‘Thine’. I respond to whatever name you might use. I go wherever I am needed or called.
For Me, the world is something afar and apart. I act and move only for the sake of Mankind.
No one can comprehend My Glory, whosoever it may be, whatever be the method of enquiry, and no matter how long the attempt.
You will yourself see the full Glory unfolding in the coming years. Devotees must have patience and forbearance.
I am not concerned, nor am I anxious that these facts should be made known. I have no need to write these words. I wrote them because I felt that you will be pained if I do not reply.
Thus, yours, Baba.
Source: Radio Sai E-Magazine, http://www.radiosai.org/Journals/06NOV15/Message/message.htm