St. Louis, MO, May 24th 1998
AL (SERAL) RAHM:: [Ref #1] Dearest Swami, let us recognize consciously your presence here today. As you have said you are in us, with us and around us, always. And inspire and direct every thought, word and deed that we may come to the awakening of our true self and the fulfillment of our heart merging in your divine love. Sai Ram. [Relevance: Al Rahm eulogizes SSB as being "Divine Love".]
Well, we had a long rap session with the young adults last night. There were some young adults there that looked like they might have been 50 or 60. It was beautiful. Well, when we were in Puttaparthi this last summer we had been up to the...it was the first time we had ever traveled in India. Every other time we went directly to see Sai Baba and so we were never able to travel anywhere. Because once you go see Sai Baba its impossible to leave. So this time we decided we would travel first. And we had gone to the Himalayas and hiked to the source of the Ganges up at Gomuk at the glacier. We had planned a lot of other travel but after taking a bath in the ice cold water at the glacier we all felt like going to see Swami, our pull was very strong. I don't know if we just had enough cold water or what but we went to see Swami directly and cancelled the rest of our travels.
And it was a couple of days after we were there that he first called us in. Swami doesn't waste any time at all, so in those first couple of interviews he immediately began all of the corrective measures with us. You know, one of the things that happened on that trip is that we were being called in so many times that there was a lot of, many people were wondering well why were we getting called in so much and Swami was always instructing us to be very careful not to cause jealousy in others. Because he said you know, don't talk too much and be careful not to cause jealousy because everyone doesn't understand why. And I have to say that for each and every one of us that none of us is closer to Swami or more special to Swami. Perhaps we just needed a lot more work than everybody else did at that time. And the other thing is that, like we said the other day, we don't know ever Swami's timing with anything. Isaac Tigrett went to India for 16 years and Swami didn't look at him. And it just is all his agenda and I think more than anything what I learned from that trip is that its all Swami's time, Swami's timing and Swami's agenda. And I think perhaps the other reason is that he knows that we travel a lot and that we can't shut up and so he knew that we would share with everybody. [Ref #2] And he told us to share it and to be discreet about how we share it so that we are careful to inspire and that's what we would like to share today, is the inspiration and the love and the grace that we have come to know in Swami. And that grace and that love is for all of us at all times in every step of our life. [Relevance: Al Rahm eulogizes SSB's "inspiration, love and grace".]
The first day that he called us in, he started right away asking us, a couple of us "What do you want? Are you happy?" and of course, at that time, we tend to be carrying a little bit of stuff maybe what we brought with us from the states or in your mind or whatever and a couple of times he would say "Are you happy?" and we'd say "Yes Swami" and he would just roll his eyes, says, "No, no, not happy." Or he would say to Alaya "How is your girlfriend?"
ALAYA RAHM: I didn't have a girlfriend. [Crowd laughing]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Swami said "Yes I know" What did he...he started naming names didn't he?
MARISA RAHM: He tried to, at least he named two girls.
ALAYA RAHM: I don't remember which girls. But I tried to get out of it "Swami I don't have a girlfriend." He's like "Oh, but what about that one girl." I said "Swami she's not a girlfriend." So, we just couldn't hide it from him.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: He at one point...I learned a lot and I've also learned that a family is anywhere from a family of one to whatever. But I learned a lot about what He expect from me to be in the role of quote unquote father. At one point he said to me...It was very interesting because Swami had come to me many times in night vision dreams and he said "don't think about money." I'd say, "o.k. Swami." Then he would show up again. He'd say, "Don't think about money." Well, that's like saying don't think about a green elephant. That's all you can think about. So I really worked very strongly on anytime there would be any thought or concern about finances or anything like that that I would just silently say "No, Swami I think only about you and I'm not going to be concerned about money." Because what I realized was that most of the time when you're thinking about money it's usually when your thinking about the lack of it. If you have plenty of it you don't tend to think a whole lot about it. And I realized with Swami, an interesting thing happened is that when I stoped thinking about it and stopped worrying about it, it seemed that there was more of it. And Swami was teaching me that when you worry and you have these limited thoughts and you have these ideas and visions in your mind, what you actually do is you magnetize the condition, you create it. That's what the mind does.
When Swami asked me in 1974 if I wanted to know how to materialize. He did. He said "you want to know how to materialize?" and I said, I thought he was kidding me and he said "No I'll teach you." And he went through the entire, he said, "Picture the object, size, shape, weight, color, density." Density right! "Every detail". He said, "Every detail, hold the image in your mind and focus your will power into it." And then he demonstrated. And he said, "Its easy, you can do it. All you have to do is control the mind." There's the catch. But what are we doing. any image that we are holding in our mind we're creating it. We're manifesting it. That's why Swami says, "Be happy, be happy". He says "Being is lost in becoming" I've never heard him say, "get happy, become happy", it's "be happy." Because it's whatever image we hold and he told us this on this trip, that if your present is good, your future will also be good. So anyway we get in there and he looks at me after years of coming to me and talking about "Don't think about money." He looks at me and he says, "What are you doing?" [Ref #3] And I showed Him, I had some documents, some photographs of some of the community we'd been working on and I showed Him. "Yes, very good" He said "But no money." And then He said "What else?" And I said, "Well Swami, I'm building custom homes." And he says "Yes, I know", he says, "but not enough money." "What else?" And I said, "Swami I'm traveling and speaking at Sai retreats and we're singing." And he says, "Yes, very good, but no money." And I said, "Swami you told me not to think about money." He said "But you have to think about money, you have to take care of your family." And I said , "Swami you told me you would take care of the family. You told me you would provide everything that was needed." Then he got this beautiful smile and said, "Yes, I will help." [Relevance: SSB suggests that he will help the Rahms financially.] But he tested me. Who is the doer here. So then he went on about then he turned and he says "Sometimes, she's hiding money". He says "And you don't know it."
MARISA RAHM: And he said, "Isn't that right?" I said "Yes Swami, but I always give it back to the family."
AL (SERAL) RAHM: And then he turned to me and said, "She's very good, very good. Yes I know giving it back, giving it back." And then he told me I was too tight with money. He said, "You're not giving her enough money." He says, ""Sometimes she's going with the young daughter to the store and not enough money, not good." He reprimanded me that I wasn't making their life as free and peaceful as I could. That there was any concern, again he told me don't think about money. He meant, don't worry about it. Don't think small don't be restricted in your being. [Ref #4] Remember where does it come from and Swami told us "I am the world bank." And so I began right away realizing, He looked at me and said "I'm going to send lots of money." [Relevance: SSB again suggests that he will help the Rahms financially.] And I said "o.k. Swami, what do you want me to do with it? How do you want me to use it to serve you?" "No", he said "first take care of the house, family, make them happy, peaceful." He says and then, he went like that (made gesture). And I began to realize immediately that he wants. My role is to do everything that I can, realizing of course that with detachment its Swami doing it. But that he wants my role as a father or as a husband in the family wants me to do everything that I can to create an atmosphere of harmony and peace, gentleness and generosity so that there is no worry and thought.
MARISA RAHM: So we don't get off the topic before I say. He also, I guess reprimanded, but very sweetly reminded us that we weren't to discuss money problems in front of the children. Which was a very, you know, unconscious thing that I know that we've done in the past, you know as we work out this bill or that bill. He said "No, don't think about it, don't clutter their mind with that."
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Yeah, he said "don't trouble their pure minds." He pointed to Shanti because she was the youngest, cause he knew his mind...
ALAYA RAHM: already was impure.
MARISA RAHM: Cause I've been in situations, you know I've been in situations where we might of worked out a bill a long time ago and one of the kids would say, "You can have my allowance." So you know it really does clutter their minds, it really does make them be concerned.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: And then at one point he turned to her and he said, "Sometimes he's using strong words with you." And she said, "No, Swami he's very good." And he said "I know!" Swami cuts through the clutter. He knows everything and if you ever thought. I don't know, maybe we're the only ones here, but we used to hear Swami's direction for the Indian students at the University and the families and so forth. And it sounded really strict. And we thought, oh, he doesn't mean that for the people in the United States, he means that for the students and people in India. You know, we're a whole different culture and how could we live we ever live that way and so forth. Well, guess again. If you thought you were swimming up stream before you better get some flippers on your feet. You want to say something.
ALAYA RAHM: He doesn't write two guidelines you know, I don't think one for a westernized culture and one for Indian cultures. That's one thing I learned a lot about is. When I was there at the Young Adult, I was there for the Young Adult Conference that was there and we had to read the Dharma Vahini for an assignment. And we would get together for little sessions and we would talk about what Swami was saying and asking of us and what women's roles were, of course there was a lot of talk about that. And everybody was always coming down to saying, well in the United States we can't really follow these strict teachings because the culture is different, and its not like that at all. It took a while for everybody to finally realize that, you know, if Baba thought it was like that, he would have wrote a western version of it, you know. But they had to realize and I had to realize that its, you know, he wants us to follow pretty strict guidelines and they are tough and one for me especially that's tough is just socialization. And girls, its kinda tough sometimes. [Relevance: Alaya talking about the difficulty in not socializing or talking to girls.] Just because, especially because I didn't start at an earlier age. My interest in Swami wasn't as strong when I was younger as it is now so it didn't make as much impact on me what Swami was saying. I really didn't care so much until I got more of a personal connection. Now I realize and I wish I would have been training myself earlier on because it wouldn't be so hard now. I'm glad I'm doing it now so it wouldn't be so hard later. But, it was good for me to read that book actually, to see how strict it is and how far off I am. [Relevance: Alaya clearly said that he did not have an interest in SSB until he had his personal connection in 1997. Consequently, Alaya was not a firm believer in SSB's divinity or Godhood, as Al Rahm tried to say. Alaya is whole-heartedly eulogizing SSB's discipline and is praising SSB's words and advice.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: One day Swami had taken Alaya into the private interview room and Marisa and I were sitting outside. And I always tended to be more strict with the children than Marisa. As a matter of fact we had numerous calm conversations to that regard. But what I had to learn was how to be strict with love because that's the way that Swami transforms and teaches these children. We have a friend in Greece whose young boy is going to Swami's elementary school and he said that when he first, before his son when to that school he couldn't get him interested in getting up or doing anything with him, he wouldn't behave well and so forth. But after six months at that school he came over to visit his son and to stay for a while and his son came to stay in the room with him. And he said, he was amazed, one morning he had to go do something and when he came back to the room this young boy, he had cleaned the entire room and was preparing something for him and his father to eat. And he said it was an amazing transformation. I discussed that with him and I said "What is it, what do they do?" And he said they are extremely strict, very strict. And they have a full program beginning each day in the morning with bhajans and meditation and then throughout the whole day in service and they are very strict, but with love.
So swami had come out of this, came out through the door after being with Alaya in this private interview and He looked over at Marissa and he said to Marisa, "Be strict!" Then he looked over at me and he looked back at Marisa and he said "Very strict!" And he told us, Swami kept turning to me and saying "I keep telling him but he doesn't understand." And I would say "Swami what can I do, what do you want me to do?" He says, "No, you have to tell him." Because you know often times as a parent you just get tired of it. I see all these people going (gesture). And you just, would you just move out already, you know, something. Swami said "No, you have to tell him." He turned to Marisa and said "You have to tell him." And he turned back to me and said "You have to tell him." And Marisa said, "But Swami sometimes we tell him and he doesn't listen." And Swami said "Never mind that, just tell him and then let go. "Your duty is to tell him, then after that its not your business." And I said, "Well Swami, what can I do?" and Swami said, "What can you do, you can't do anything." He says, "Even I can't do anything." [Relevance: This paragraph shows that Alaya didn't always listen to his parents.]
ALAYA RAHM:; He said "I've been telling him for days and days and he's still not listening to me." And Al said, "Well, Swami who can we ask?" He said, "Don't ask me?" He said, "Ask him." And I looked up and I'm like who? Who are we sitting with here?
AL (SERAL) RAHM: And I said, "Swami, if you can't do anything, who can do something?" But I'll tell you what I've seen. This relationship, it transformed, its not just about the children getting it straight, its about the parents getting it straight. Swami told us, "Too much freedom is parents fault." And,,,go ahead...
ALAYA RAHM: I'm glad something is not my fault.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: "Too much freedom is parents fault." He said. O.K. what's happening here, well basically for us, he is restructuring the way in which we live with each other on this planet in this yuga. And why, because we tend to lose sight of what's important. Why are we here? Why are we here at this retreat? Why are we here in this body? Why are we here on this planet? It's obviously not because we think we're going to have 300 years of playing around because we're not going that far. These bodies don't go that far. It's a blip. Swami told us, "All passing clouds."
Even about marriage because we has asked him, we had a photograph of some friends who wanted his blessing to get married and I said, "Swami they would like your blessing to get married." He says "Yes now they are friends, yes he likes, she likes, o.k. let them." And he says, "Marriage, husband and wife, marriage is all passing clouds." He says, "Your work is inside, with God. Everything else is passing clouds." So what are we here for? That's the thing we have to keep in line, keep is sight.
So when we say oh, my children, they have to have friends, they have to have this social interaction so forth. Remember the stories we hear of the ancient times in India when the children at a young age would go off to be with a preceptor or a guru. I feel that Swami is bringing that back. Just my feeling. [Ref #5] He's saying, "No". He was telling Alaya, "Go to school, study, get good grades, be my exemplary boy." [Relevance: SSB tells Alaya to be his "exemplary boy". Al Rahm said thta SSB kept calling Alaya his "exemplary boy", and tied this in with alleged sexual abuse allegations. However, here we have the original context and reference.] He said, "When you're not at school, go home, work with your father, that is also a teaching." He said. "Be with your mother, first education." So it was like look, you're either in school or you're with your family. And so this whole things about what will I do, what will I do? Well, do service, take out the trash, clean your room, cut the grass, help out with the dishes. What is he saying? Remember why we're here, love all serve all. Remember who we are, that's what its about. I mean, we're going to get enough social interaction in our life and if I look at…[Relevance: SSB tells Alaya to be at either school or at home with family.]
Swami was very specific with their educations. Shanti was going to a public school at the time and Athena has been in a public school and we weren't happy with the kind of influences and the struggles that they were going though and the pressures that they were going through inside trying to live, really live Swami's teachings and we wondered if this was the right thing for them to do and we asked Swami. Marisa said, "Swami should we continue to send them to public school or should we home school?" And Swami looked at us and said, "No, public school is not good, home school." And he told us to home school Shanti and then he instructed us after some conversation that Athena should go to a private school in California at the Ananda community because the criteria in that school is that three things are necessary for a person to be accepted there. They have to be interested in self- discovery, service and adventure. That's the main emphasis up front. And its very strict. They live with the teachers its just seven girls, they live with the teachers, they prepare meals there with them, they're right on top of them with their studies. And Athena went from struggling to pass to straight A's and her self-esteem shot right up. Why? Because she's not struggling in that identity. She's not struggling at home saying well this is what my parents say then I go to school and all my friends are all interested in how they can attract boys and all this and so she was between those two worlds.
And that may not always be possible for all of us. But what it brings to mind for me is that it becomes even more necessary that the family bond together and that children and parents form a partnership of transformation. And that we have daily…One of the things we do now, Swami told us that its not healthy its not good to sleep too much. And that we should all get up early. And one asked "everybody?" and he said "everybody." And he pointed to Shanti and said, "Even she was up at 4 o'clock this morning." And so one of the things that we do is we get up every morning early and we meet in the meditation room and we meditate for a few moments. Not a long drawn out thing, something simple and short enough so that it can be done every day. But we meet in the meditation room, we sing a few bhajans and then have a short reading a short study group and then go on with our day. And it helps to keep it there.
ALAYA RAHM: [Ref #6] Guys, he knows everything. He knows how you sleep in your bed. When he was talking to us about get up early in the morning, he looked at me and he pointed at me and he said, "He is not getting up early. He is laying in bed covers like this. Father comes in, wake up wake up, o.k. he's awake, he's awake. As soon as the door closes and they leave, back under the covers, rolls the other side." Perfectly demonstrating how I go. He says, "Second time mother comes in, wake up wake up, o.k.,o.k. I'm awake. Mother leaves, rolls back over the other way." [Relevance: Alaya eulogizing SSB's omniscience.]
[Ref #7] One thing I would like to mention about what they were talking about earlier is as soon as I started working towards what Swami asked me to work towards with less socialization and more parent relationship. Its amazing what good friends you become with your parents. I mean they are the best friends I could ever have. Swami said mother is God, father is God. They are God and when your working is the same direction like we were talking with the young adults. I was saying that the only time you ever get frustrated with your parents is when they don't want you to do what you want to do. But when you both are working in the same direction there is no conflict and you really keep each other in line. There is a lot of times when we have heart to heart discussions where I'm not always the one they are telling what to do. You know, sometimes I'm saying, "Look I feel maybe you could work in some areas." And we help each other and I know I need the help and when we work together it's a lot easier. And you're not so afraid to tell them what you're doing or where you're going because if your not ashamed of it and you're working together then there is nothing to hide. So I have two really great friends, well one but he's everywhere so….but I have a lot more confidence because I have two people backing me all the time now. [Relevance: Alaya praises his intimate, open and heart-to-heart relationship with his parents. Alaya describes his parents as his "best friends". Alaya said he could tell his parents anything because he had nothing to hide from them!]
MARISA RAHM: I also wanted to share a little bit, touching on what Alaya has said. Being…when I went on this trip with Alaya and Al and Shanti and Athena this summer, they in a sense...so I know Alaya was thinking he's 18, he's on his way possibly out into the world, and I was sort of settling into this idea too that the children were getting older now and what will I do I had more time on my hands. And so this trip for me last summer was to ask Swami, well what is my purpose now that, you know, the kids are getting bigger, what's my real job, I'm ready for it you know, I'm ready to jump into service. And it was really profound that what I discovered that summer is that my job was possibly just beginning as a mother. And that I needed to go home with more dedication and a deeper understanding of what my role was in the home as a mother is now because these children were going to go back and work very diligently and very much from the spirit to follow Swami's teachings. So I found that I had a whole new role as mother to go back. I wasn't sure because Swami took my one job away from me that I thought I was doing so well for all these years and that was to worry. I felt that in a way that was a mothers first role. Are there any other mothers here that share that? That worry is a really big part of being a mother because I did that a lot. And Swami addressed that very strongly that it was not my job to worry. And he tested me on it and he even showed me very firmly how he would take care of things that were very important to mothers, like when their children get sick. He would be there. He would really be there. So I didn't have to worry. So when I came home wanting to really fulfill my position I was sort of stuck because I wanted to fall back into this grove of o.k., well, now I'm going to worry them into being transformed and being god-beings. [Ref #8] So I tried that for a while. And I remember seeing Alaya and when Alaya didn't look or Shanti didn't look like they were really following Swami's teachings. I'm sure I looked very stressed in the face when I would see Alaya that I was sending him these messages, you're not following Swami's teachings. And finally Alaya and I had a long discussion and I said, "Alaya when I look at you I don't feel that you're very happy when you look at me. That really troubles me at a deep level because we're suppose to be friends, remember, really close." And he said, "Well, Marisa, when I look at you, you look so troubled. You look like when I look in your eyes I feel like you're saying: You're not following Swami's teachings. And so I'm not happy looking in your eyes because you look worried." [Relevance: Here, Marisa talks about seeing Alaya looking unhappy. The reason, however, was due to Marisa's body language, insisting that Alaya should be following SSB's teachings! Al Rahm talked about how he and Marisa began detecting an uneasiness in Alaya in mid 1998. This paragraph shows that Alaya was uneasy and unhappy due to the insistence of the discipline they felt he must follow.]
And I really took that into heart and I prayed a long time, well what is the message I want to send forward in this household, as I work with this job. And I got very clearly back that Swami said, mother is God, father is God. And I needed to start filling my role as the Goddess of the home. I'd read about it, Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of the home but what is the Goddess' role but to bless to send forth their own God self which is pure, in touch with God, into the house. So I realized the best way that I could fulfill my role as being a homemaker in the home, preparing food that the children and family would eat, cleaning the home that they would enter would be to diligently think of Swami as my first and only role in the house. Not think of them, not worry about them but to be very, very clear as my relationship with Swami. He said, "Work is with God, everything else is passing clouds." So, I've been really working on this new attitude at home. I find the Gayatri mantra is my saving, it's the thing that frees me in every moment. So I'm really working on the Gayatri. When I'm cooking the food ,I'm just charging the food with this Gayatri mantra. And I act like Goddess Lakshmi, I just sit there and I just beam it. And I dress more colorfully in the home. And my friend even said and stick the Gayatri mantra tape in Alaya's room when he's at school, let it play and blast his room you know. And really I found that my role is far more powerful now. I'm sitting here chanting the Gayatri. Why? Because I'm getting the blessings, I'm freer now I'm not worrying. Swami is taking care of everything. All I need to do is do whatever I can do to stay in His grace. Beam it out and now when the family comes in hopefully I'm blasting them with this light that I've become and they look at me and they're reflecting, "ah, yeah, happy, happy, happy." That's the role so I really felt that I wanted to share that with the women anyway. That I feel so much more like a Goddess in the home now directly the flow of energy with this love.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: A little bit on worry. It was a cute experience that I had with Swami. Because one of the things that happened last summer was that Shanti had gotten very sick on the trip to the Himalayas, very sick that we had to stay in Delhi for a week and they wanted to hospitalize her and feed her intravenously because she was very seriously dehydrated. But we ended up not doing that and we managed to go to Puttaparthi. And I won't get into that whole story but what it comes down to is that Swami took that on personally. He made her vibhuti on several occasions, some of which was extremely potent. It smelled like penicillin and turned her condition around dramatically. She went from laying in bed, not being able to get up, almost couldn't lift her head, to running around and going to get something to eat at the canteen within half an hour after she took it. He materialized this and said she should take half in water now and half again in the evening.
And then through a long process he would check on her every day. He would come and ask about her and he made vibhuti for her on several occasion. Even sent his car and a driver to our room and had us take her over to the Super Specialty Hospital and had pictures taken of her whole body and then gave a report, and it was just beautiful, beautiful to watch.
And the interesting thing was that he would always come to Alaya and say, "How is your sister?" and Alaya would say "I don't know." [Relevance: Indicates Alaya did not spend much time with his family at that time.] And Swami would look at me and but he would always come, he would give Alaya the vibhuti for her and so forth. He was always demonstrating to him how much he wanted him to know about the condition of his sister and how much he wanted him to care about his sister. And Swami is the perfect example of that kind of care and attention and sweetness. I kept feeling that whole trip, I would just watch him and I would see his incredible sweetness. Even when he scolds us, its so beautiful. I remember saying I want, have you ever heard those commercials, "I want to be like Mike?" You know those, I would say, "I want to be like Swami." That's all I could think, I want to be that sweet and that kind all the time. [Relevance: Al praises SSB as being "sweet" and "kind".]
And so anyway, on one particular occasion, Swami came up, walked up to me outside and he had asked about Shanti and he had decided that after everything, here is what we're going to do. He says, "We're going to use diet to heal, no more medicine." He says, "mistake was in Delhi, too strong of medication that was given to her and we're going to use food to heal, no butter, no milk, no cheese, no dairy, no sweets, only my vibhuti," He says, also he says, "She's a girl, girls have too much psychological imagination."
ALAYA RAHM: Something we already knew. [Crowd laughing]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: He can get away with that, he's not married yet. So, and then he said," this problem is not just from here, its from five years back." And we knew that Shanti had had problems with the digestion for a long time. And Swami said, "No more problems, I'm taking care." And he says, "Also mother is very worried." And I tried to cover for her because I knew Swami said she shouldn't worry and I said, "No, Swami just a little bit." He says, "No even from five years back, so much worry." And I said, "Well, yes Swami, she has." He says, "She's also a girl." So, when we came back to the room and I told Shanti that she couldn't...Oh, I must say this. How many of you have heard stories or rumors about "Oh, I heard somebody says, oh, I heard Swami said this to so and so and then that person says he said this to so and so." If you ever hear anything like that don't repeat it. Just stop it right there where it hits you, because I tell you this story is very interesting. After this conversation with Swami where he's telling me stop all dairy, stop all sweets, something like that you know, and after Swami leaves this man comes up to me, he says, "What did Swami tell you to stop all of your illegal businesses?" And I said, "No, he didn't say anything about any businesses at all." He says, "Oh, he didn't?" I said, "No, he didn't. He told me that my daughter should stop eating dairy and taking sweets." He goes, "Oh, I have to go and tell that man that I told." Well by this time there were several people who had heard that Swami had told me to stop all my illegal businesses! Just be careful, so much of what you hear, you know the game of telephone, it changes each time somebody tells it to somebody else, the next thing you know I've just gotten out of jail for having illegal business. Anyway so, it was, so I went back to the room and I said Shanti Swami said you're not to have any dairy.
MARISA RAHM: Which by the way she asked the doctor to ask Baba what food she could have because we told her no sweets and no this, so this is a direct question from Shanti to Baba.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Yeah, and so, and Shanti loves dairy and she loves sweets. So I said no dairy and no sweets. Well, Shanti just started crying, "Oh, I can't believe it, I'm not eating any sweets, why would Baba do this to me." About that time there was a knock at the door and there's a doctor. He goes, "Hi, I'm Swami's doctor and Swami sent me over here to say that Shanti can have sweets." [Crowd laughing] So you know every once in a while, I guess it does work to pout, beg Swami for a few things. But you know he doesn't want any worry. I tell you one thing that Swami, we were recently in Kodaikanal, and Swami said something that I thought was very interesting and I have an experience that I want to share with you that backs it up. And it's all about having faith that God will take care of you no matter where you are. Swami gave a discourse, it was the Tamil Nadu new years day in Kodaikanal. Did I get that right? Yeah, and Swami gave a discourse and in that discourse he said no matter where you are, if you are my devotee, if you call of God no matter where you are in the bottom of the ocean or on the top of a mountain, I will protect you.
[Ref #9] In 1980 I went of a gold mining expedition in the jungles of Peru, and that expedition met with incredible physical disasters. There were tremendous floods and all the equipment and boats got washed away and the radio that was supposed to be used to get out, was destroyed. And a group of several, quite a few people, some who were not in very good physical condition and could never have walked out of there, were stranded. The rains had come early.
So we were at about a two thousand foot elevation in the jungle. And the only way out was a 60 mile walk over the fifteen thousand foot peaks of the Andes mountains to a small town called Kuwasa that was up in the Andes where we could catch a truck, a grain truck, for a day, and then train to Kusko and then fly back and get back to Lima and then somehow try to arrange a rescue. So myself and one other person decided, we agreed that we would walk, attempt to get out, and arrange a rescue for the rest of the people. Well, up in the Andes there's a trail, at first through the jungle there is a little bit of a trail to follow that the natives who are in that area will follow. But soon when you get up into the mountain you're on rock and there is no way to follow a trail half the time. It disappears, or it will come to a watering hole and it will split in five directions and you don't know which way to go. And you can't use a compass because sometimes in order to go that direction you first have to go that direction because you have to find these passes. You can't go over these things. Well, we came to this water hole and the path went in five directions. At this point you're at about 10 thousand feet and you have a pack on you back and it's everything you can do. There was no water before that point, so you are extremely exhausted, and it's everything you can do to walk ten feet. We would take ten steps climbing, then we would stop and rest and take ten more steps. And so, when you become lost you don't just start running around in every direction trying to find the trail. Cause every step is all you can do,you just get one step to follow the next.
So when we got lost we realized we were absolutely helpless against anything that we could do ourselves. And so we just sat down, back to back and closed our eyes and we asked Swami to come and get us. We asked him to please show us the way how to get out of there. And I think we sat for about an hour knowing that without some guidance, some divine guidance we were likely to go try to find our way, we would just end up dying out there because we didn't have enough food we didn't have any water. And after about an hour this strong wind came rushing down off the side of the mountain and I opened my eyes and saw this large bird, large hawk soaring down the side of the mountain and it came, it flew and it hovered about ten feet above my head. I could look into it's eyes and I sensed something very unusual about this bird. And there I sat and watched it hover over my head and I could watch every feather on the bottom of its body ruffle in the wind. And it just took off, caught a thermal and started to rise higher and higher above us and then tipped and went off over a certain peak. And I tapped Jorge, the person I was walking with, and said, "That's Swami. Lets follow that hawk." And that's how we found our way out of there, that hawk led us to the trail. So, he will never, ever, whether it's in Los Angeles or St. Louis or the bottom of the ocean or the top of a mountain, if you have faith, if you call on Swami, he will be there, I know it, no matter what. [Relevance: Al Rahm relates a first-hand account of a miraculous experience he attributed to SSB.]
ALAYA RAHM: One thing that my mom wanted me to tell something today was about Swami's omniscience a little bit. One particular incident that happened was Swami materialized a ring for me. It was at Christmas time...no, it was in the summer. And it was a big diamond ring, I don't know 8 carat diamond ring or something. It was really loud and he told me not to wear it to school because it was so big and it caused a lot of attention and he told me not to, you know just to wear it home, and so I took it off when I went to school. And a few times I would forget to take it off and a few people would see it and they would just, it attracted so much attention that I would end up taking it off and putting it in my pocket.
Well there came up one weekend that this guy of the basketball team wanted me to come down to Oklahoma City and try out for a scholarship at a school and he wanted me to come down with him and we could try out together. The guy wasn't very good company, you know. His language wasn't good. He's one of those people that you could just sense Swami wouldn't really want you to hanging out with him. But I did anyway for that particular time. And I called up my parents and I said, "Well, you know, so and so wants me to come down to Oklahoma City and try out for a scholarship with him." And immediately they said, "Well, I don't really think it's a good idea." And of course I knew that that was going to be the response and I said, "Well, I do." And they said "I know you think it's a good idea, but we really don't think it's a good idea, but you can do what you want." So I said "o.k. I'm going to do it." You know one thing that I've learned now is, I'm still learning because I don't do it all the time, but I'm trying to do it more often, is to take my parent's 40 years of experience over my 18 or 19 cause they probably have learned a few things. [Relevance: Alaya trying out for a basketball scholarship. Alaya was going to try out for this very same scholarship just prior to the first 1997 family trip to see SSB.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: It's amazing how much we've learned in the last 10 years.
ALAYA RAHM: Yeah, last year I didn't think they knew anything. A lot of times I change my mind and say o.k. I'll take your word for it. This time I didn't and it was all for the best I suppose. So, I went home with this guy and I grabbed my sleeping bag and a few pairs of clothes and my parents met him and they automatically thought well, this wasn't very sathwic company but they didn't intrude, they said fine make your own decision. I said, o.k. and hopped in the car and left. I went down there and it just didn't turn out at all like I expected it. We didn't end up getting the try out. You could just tell that the weekend fell apart. And the whole time in the back of my mind I knew that my parents were right, geeze I shouldn't of come down here this is a waste of time money, gas money and everything. The whole time I was wearing this ring and for that weekend it was like all encapsulated in this one time where it just totally went against everything I wanted to be doing at that time. And when I came back I really felt bad about the whole weekend and I really felt bad about not getting to try out, coming home and saying, "Well, you were right guys, it was a bad thing to do." And that's what I hate doing, "You guys were right." And to top it off, when I dropped him off at his house he, of course had noticed this ring on my finger a lot and had asked a lot of questions about it. And I told him that a good friend of mine, a really close family friend had given it to me. He wasn't the type of person that was interested enough to really know about Sai Baba, so I didn't get into the whole scenario. Some people you can tell whether they really are interested or whether just asking out of politeness. And he was the kind of guy that says well take me to this guy maybe I can get a ring too, big diamond ring. So, when I got home I noticed that, when we were in Oklahoma we went to a mall so I took the ring off and I put it in my glove compartment. When I got home I looked in the glove compartment, it was gone. And you know I just sat there, and I wasn't upset, and all of a sudden I remembered that guy saying, "I'm going to go grab my CD's out of your glove compartment that I left in there." And I didn't even think anything about it at that time, I said, "All right, go ahead." And after that, that's when I noticed the ring was gone. And I asked him, next day, "Did you happen to see my ring in there?" He said "No, no I didn't see it." Right across his face it says "I took it". But it was like instant karma. I just sat there, you know its my fault, there's nothing I can do about it now. Except getting upset about it is not going to do anything. I was upset with myself for making a bad decision.
[Ref #10] We went to India then at Christmas, and again, second time I was returning without a ring that he had given me. The first time I lost it somehow too. And in an interview he looked at my finger and said, "Where is your ring?" and I said, "Swami I don't know." And he said, "Hey, where is your ring?" I said, "Swami I don't know. I don't know." He said, "That boy has taken it!" He said, "Yes, that boy took it?" I said, "I think so Swami." He said "Yes!" I was really ashamed. He said, "Yes, he took it. Bad company!" He said, "That is why I have taken it back." And I knew it when I was doing it and I didn't stop and now I look twice and I say is this where he wants me to be. Cause even if I chain my jewelry on, it's still going to disappear, you know. It showed me that you are never getting away with anything because if you're not doing what he wants you to be doing you're just working against yourself. So you guys wanted to add anything? [Relevance: Alaya relates a first-hand account of SSB's omniscience.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Yeah we have about 20 minutes and we want to welcome questions but I want to share with you all a short story about, a conversation I had with Swami about anger. Cause he brought up, he told Marisa "Sometimes he is using strong words with you." And I said, "Swami what is it that causes this anger. Is it just too much ego?" and Swami said, "No, where is ego? In this universe this is a vast ocean this universe, vast ocean. In this universe the planet earth is very small and on this planet earth the country of India is very small and in the country of India Andhra Pradesh is very small and in Andhra Pradesh, Prasanthi Nilayam is very small and in Prasanthi Nilayam one house is very small and in that house you are very small." And He said, "where is ego, what is ego? No, not ego, ignorance, ignorance." And I said "Swami what is the best way to go beyond ignorance?" And He said "Past is past, future is uncertain, be in the present, not ordinary present, omnipresent." He said, and this one I think is very important, he said, "If the present is good the future is also good."
And so though I knew all that intellectually and I'd heard it before when Swami went though it with me when he told it to me something deep clicked. All of our problems, all of our angers, all of our attachments, they are either rooted in the past or the future. Neither of which exist because in order to be in the omnipresent, your mind is quiet, you're just here totally mindful, the Buddhist call it mindful of this moment. And important is that he said if the present is good the future is good. Think about that. If we're worried, Swami says the only thing you can do about your future is right now cause the future is uncertain. So, if we're worried, if we're angry, if we're concerned, if we're in any state of disharmony at this time, those are the seeds of our future, those are the seeds we're planting for our future. What kind of a plant do we hope to get from them?
But, if in this present moment, if we keep our heart focused on love and the values that Swami teaches us and imparts to us and we make the choice, and I say choice because happiness is a choice, it is not a condition, it's a choice that we make. And if we make the choice to be happy then those are the seeds of our future. That love and that sweetness and that kindness and that happiness, those are the seeds that we're planting for our future. Of course we'll have a good future. Or of course our future will be determined by those seeds we may still have. I don't know the laws of karma, we may still have things that will come up that we have to go through, but it certainly can't be any worse. And this was very significant to me.
And in the days following, when Swami would walk out, I was able to see the mind better than I had before. It's so fast, it moves so quickly, we'll be sitting there and just like that it will be off here or there. And every time we catch it, I was reminded what Swami said, "Past is past." It doesn't just mean the distant past, things that happened years ago. It could be something that happened ten seconds ago. If you catch your mind dwelling on the past or concern about the past, remind it, you can't do anything about it, it's gone. So drop it. If Swami would walk out, if I had just finished judging somebody and Swami would walk out, and I went "Oh my gosh, where am I?" I would say, "o.k., past is past, now drop it." And I would feel that, the forgiveness of God is as quick as the forgiveness of yourself in your own heart. There is no time, you let go of it, it's gone.
If you're in the omnipresent moment, you're in the omnipresent moment and Swami is always ready. A quick example of that was that one time he was telling us how he wanted us to fly home and he called me up on the veranda and he said, "So when are you leaving?" And I told him on the 13th or 16th but we don't have tickets yet." And he had told Alaya when he wanted us to go and he started getting upset, he said, "Bad boy! I told him fly out of Puttapathi" and this and that and he started to get into that and I just said "Swami, I'm asking you right now, what do you want us to do?" And as soon as I said that, he dropped everything. He said "o.k. here is what I want you to do." He is completely and totally in the moment. So, that's that. Are you going to share this poem? It would be cute to read through it.
ALAYA RAHM: [Ref #11] This is a poem that I wrote in darshan line and I was hoping that if I got a chance to show it to Swami that He could read it and I didn't get a chance to write it on nice paper for Him or anything but I had it it's actually my sketch pad. [Relevance: Alaya wrote a love poem to SSB! Remember, Alaya claimed that he was being sexually abused on the last 2 trips he made to see SSB. Alaya was still praising SSB just 6 months prior to stopping his contact with SSB!] And we were all sitting in the personal interview room and I had it there and there was a moment when I just slipped it onto his lap and he looks at it and he says, "What is this?" And I said, "Swami, it's a poem I wrote." And he turned it around and he looked at it. He sat there and he read the first line and he said, "I will never love another." He went "Bah!" He said, "You don't even love me, you love girls, love another, you don't love me to start." [Relevance: Alaya telling Baba that he will "never love another"!] Then he reads the next line, "My mother I come from you." Nods his head. [Relevance: Alaya calls SSB his "mother"!] He says "Your words echo through mine". He says "Bah,bah,bah,bah! You don't think of my words one bit." He said, then he looks, he goes "To them I will stay true." "Bah, bah, bah, bah!" I just finally sat there.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Because you would expect, normally if you hand somebody a poem, "Oh, look at this poem I wrote." And they read it and say, "Oh, that's very nice." Swami is not like that, he says is this real or isn't it.
ALAYA RAHM: He wasn't interested in what I wrote. He just looked at me and said this isn't true. And I was just crushed but you couldn't help but just roll laughing. Then he just looks and says, "Love and grace is your hook" and he goes, "Swami is not a hook, this is not good." He said guiding us to have an inner look. A few lines I guess met his approval because he didn't say anything. And then he goes, "Sai you are so sweet, the beauty of your tender feet" and He goes, he...he... "Sai you are so sweet, the love you spread across the world. Sai you are so sweet, glancing patiently with loving eyes. Sai you are everything to me." "Ah! Bah! Bah, bah!" [Relevance: Alaya eulogizing SSB and talking about his "sweetness", the "beauty of his lotus feet" and how SSB means "everything" to him!]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Swami would look at us like "do you believe he's writing this to me."
ALAYA RAHM: And the next line he wouldn't even bother to read it. He would just go "Me, me, me, me." He like get on to me about girls for some reason he'd say "Girls are your only love. Swami's not your love. This girl and that girl and other girl." Then he says "Your pleasure is my goal." And He just rolled his eye up like another line, "geez". "In your bright fire I'm a simple coal." And I don't remember, I think about after every line of this poem was the same response He just "Bah, bah,bah." [Relevance: Alaya says that SSB's "pleasure" is his only goal! Alaya eulogizing SSB.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Swami had told Alaya and us that he already had his wife picked out and he didn't want him thinking about a girl, thinking about a wife. Just do your school, get your education. He says, "I already have her picked out you don't need to think about anything."
ALAYA RAHM: [Ref #12] I would tell him "o.k." and he would say, "Do you want Swami's wife that I have for you?" and I'd say, "Yes, Swami." He says, "You don't want Swami?" and I would say "Yes Swami, I want you." He says, "o.k. you want wife?" and I said, "Yes, Swami." He says "You don't want Swami?" And he said, "You want to merge with Swami?" I said, "Yes Swami." He says, "You want marriage with girl?" He says, "You don't want Swami?" It's like 5 catch-22's in a row, you know. [Relevance: Alaya said that the he wanted the wife SSB picked out for him. Later on, Alaya changed his mind and said that SSB was forcing him to marry the Craxi girl.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Could you all hear that? He said that Swami told each of the young adults when he was there that he already had all of their wives and spouses picked out and they didn't have to date to find them. That when that person would come they would know through a dream or something, that he had them all picked out for them.
ALAYA RAHM: It's like when my dad just said its like when someone says "Don't think of pink elephants" you know, or he said "green elephants". Baba is like a playback tape recorder, so many things he says to so many people over and over, because they're words of truth. The same jokes, over and over, are just as funny the 5th and 6th time . So one day He walks in the interview room and he looks at me and he gets this little glint in his eyes and he says, "I found your wife." And I said, "What?" And he said, "Out there in the crowd, I saw her." And then he said, "Don't think about it, don't think about it." And I went "Don't think about it! How?" For two days straight that's all I did. Every girl that walked by, is that her? I'm like, I hope not or I hope so! I swear, two days that's all I could think about, I'm sitting in the canteen line and I'm tall, and the canteen there's a wall like 5'11' in between the girls and guys side, like I can't see over there. I'm like having to, is that maybe her over there? Two days after that I get an interview, Baba looks at me he says, "I told you not to think. For two days you're thinking only." I said, "Swami, what am I suppose to do?" He says, "Don't worry, she is beautiful!" And then I leave the interview room and I talk to actually Tat, Krida's son and he said "Yeah, Swami's done the same thing to me and the other Young Adults. Baba came in and said, I found her in the crowd." And I said "Why does he do this, you know, don't think about it then he just says, she's pretty how do you like that? I saw her right in the crowd, there is only fifty thousand people here, you can find her today or tomorrow."
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Are there any questions that anyone would like to ask?
Question: This is a question from a parent of a young child to Swami. You just said that the parents must be strict, lovingly strict, how strict is strict enough and what is the limit to that strictness. Of course, in course of being strict maybe we forget that we should be more loving and when we recognize that, how do we correct ourselves at the same time we should get our point across to a child.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Did everybody hear the question, how strict? Well, I can only quote Swami when He came out and he said to Marisa "be strict" and then he looked over and He looked back and he said, "very strict!" And now very strict, I think it comes down to your experimentation. You know sometimes my idea of very strict is different than Marisa's idea of very strict. And so we must talk about it and pray about it and meditate and each situation may be unique. We tell the children often, in the first place you didn't come with a manual o.k. And we're still trying to figure out how to do this. It's experimentation. We don't have the answers, we don't have all the answers. Part of our self inquiry and part of our journey here is that we're looking for them and we're growing along with you and we're discovering. And I think, and Marisa may have something to offer, but I think that it may be different in different situations. But one thing that I know that I'm getting in tune with much more strongly than before, is that you must get in touch with your intuition and you conscience and you must have the courage. There are times when Alaya will come and he'll say, "Hey, I want to go play ball tonight or I want to do this or that." And it seems like a simple enough thing, but inside I ask Swami and I don't get a clear feeling, it just feels like a "no", but I can't even, if I say "no" he says "why?", I just have to look at him and say, "I don't know why, all I'm telling you is that's what I feel." [Relevance: Gives an insight to the strictness implemented by the Rahms with Alaya.]
ALAYA RAHM: I don't even bother to ask anymore if I can go out. I mean, I've got a tape recorder, I can record my own voice saying "no" and then just play it, play it for myself. But I mean what am I going to do. I know that it's right. I know that I shouldn't go out. Its just I'm hoping for that chance, maybe they think it's all right and I can go out. [Relevance: Alaya expressing his want to go out and how his parents, many times, refused to let him go out.]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Then it would be our fault.
Question: She asked when she repeats the Gayatri is she saying it out loud or in her mind.
MARISA RAHM: And sometimes its very, you know, jut whispering it under my breath as I'm cleaning, because I can follow the melody a little clearly if I'm saying just at a whisper. And sometimes I'm saying it really loud depending upon if I feel like I'm battling some current of old habits of thinking. You know, like my mind will start wanting to go off somewhere and I feel that I'm going to go with it, I'll just really pull on that mantra and I'll really pour that light in and sometimes. And the beautiful part is now that I'm really, as a daily work for myself. Because Swami once came to me in a dream and He said to me, "there are going to be some world changes. The rivers are going to get very dirty and it's your job to clean them." And I said, "Swami, how can I do that?" He said "Think them clean." And I've taken that to mean very personally when the rivers of energy get dirty in our house and I feel the clutter of my own mind and the fogginess of the children I know that this Gayatri mantra and pouring this light through is thinking the vibrations clean in the house. I believe this now with my whole heart, I know that that power is there. So, sometimes when I forget to say it and I'm off thinking the Gayatri comes to get me because it's going on in my subconscious and it brings me back.
Question: I have a more selfish question to ask. You call yourself the bhakti group and its no surprise that music is your passion. What did Swami convey to you directly or indirectly or teach you in person or in experience that you could share with us linking the two, the bhakti and the music?
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Other than the fact that he graced us with the opportunity to sing for him, he didn't, we didn't talk to him a lot about music or anything like that. I did ask, at one point, because we were considering changing the name of the group or something and I asked him, "Swami should we keep this name, or that name?" and He said, "Name is not important." But He has told us to sing, so we sing, with devotion hopefully.
MARISA RAHM: But He did give you a dream a long time ago that for you music was…
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Yeah, one time I had a dream where he invited me, he told us to build a recording studio, which we did. He had invited me to a party at his house and when I arrived at the party I didn't have an invitation and they weren't going to let me in and Swami came to the door and said, "No, no I invited him." When I went in, it was like a regular party, people were standing around with drinks in their hands and chatting and Swami was sitting there at the piano playing and He was incredible. If you've ever seen these Charlie Brown cartoons where one guy hunches over the piano and he just merges with it and Swami was like that just going and I thought, "My goodness does He practice?" And so Swami when he stopped playing I said, "Swami should I practice?" Because I was at a place at that time where I was just kind of, well any musician knows you go through these times when you're doing it and then you're not doing it and you get a little tired of it and then you feel stale and you need to break through to a new level. And I was at a place where I was just ready to say, "Why do I need to do music, I'll just focus on God and that's everything." And I asked Swami, "Should I practice?" and He said, "Yes practice." And I said, "But why Swami, shouldn't I just pursue God and then that's everything, why bother with music?" And Swami looked like he was thinking about this question and he got up and he started to walk away around the room and there's people there drinking, looked like glasses of orange juice and he stopped across the room and he looked back and he said, "But God is in everything, and for you He's in music." And so what we do is just a vehicle. God is everything but we pursue God inside, but on the outside there are different things that flow for each of us.
Question: When you say the cause of anger is ignorance and then you describe the minds appropriate interpretation of time it still doesn't help me to understand what ignorance, how it works. Is it ignorance of the reality we're in or ignorance of something else. I mean forgiveness is not always instantaneous so that past is past and then anger continues to happen for everyone constantly. Something makes us angry all the time, even if you do come to an understanding of how things are supposed to work. Did he go on about that at all?
AL (SERAL) RAHM:Yeah, as a matter of fact there is a point that he made that I forgot to tell you. I asked him what was the best way to go beyond anger and He said, "When it comes up, break it." So what that meant to me, was see I mean, over the years if anger would come up, Marisa and I would get angry with each other. Well I would justify my anger and she would justify hers. I was justifiable in my anger but she wasn't. Well she was justifiable in hers but I wasn't, o.k. But, what Swami was telling me was when it comes up, break it. What does that mean, don't justify it. Anger is anger, it doesn't matter how righteous you think you are, anger and when he says to me ignorance, what that means to me is ignorance of the reality of our true self. Who am I angry with? Myself.
This becomes very obvious in Puttaparthi right, because if we get angry with each other in the room and we know, there was one night, I have to tell you, Swami had come out and he came up to me and he said, "Tomorrow, be ready." So we knew we were being called in the next day. Well, what does it mean to be ready? We went over that, well, we got into an argument that night, big and I realized, oh, my God we're going in for an interview tomorrow morning he's going to lay me out. So what did we do, well we got to a place of love, we got to a place of the heart we got our egos aside, we came to a level of peace, harmony and love. Well, in Puttaparthi that's painfully obvious that you better work on it quick. But when we're here we think well, you know, we're not having an interview tomorrow morning. No, that's not true. What I realized is that I am always dealing with myself, I am always dealing with Swami.
Krishna tells Arjuna that anger is always rooted in desire so it can always be traced back to some unfulfilled desire, some concept, some perception that we're attached to, that we think is justifiable. Well, remember we're all looking through a different color window pane here. That tree outside may look orange to me but it may look blue to you. For me, when He says that ignorance is causing it and the best way to go beyond ignorance, what, past is past, future is uncertain, be in the omnipresent. What that is, is controlling the mind that's getting rid of those concepts, those attachments and those justifications in our own mind, getting quiet. The mind is the source of all these problems. Control the mind you can materialize. Control the mind you're happy. And so that's what it means to me. Get beyond the ignorance that you are the body and that you are separate and that what you do to someone else you're not. Swami is in each person, you are in each person.
ALAYA RAHM: One thing that I've been working on with Marisa is I have this little sister whom you all have probably have met, named Shanti, and she's kinda hard to deal with sometimes. And sometimes she'll come up to me and maybe not in a really loving tone of voice say "Oh, could you do this?" and I'll just shrug her off and say "No." And she'll walk off , "Fine then". And Marisa will say, "Alaya, Swami just came up to you and asked you if you would do something and you told Him no." And I sit there and I'm like, ah, it sure didn't look like Swami. No but and then I do realize yes that's right and I go back and I say "Shanti I'm sorry, I'll do it for you." And it's amazing, the change in attitude that she has, she says, "Oh, I'll help you do it too." For me catching it, the one thing I'm good at is apologizing after I've already gotten angry. Which is something that I'm really trying to work towards, catching it right at that moment and deciding, o.k., this is Swami and he's testing me in some way. I'm not going to get angry, I'm going to be loving. And sometimes I try to picture this person however they might look with a big Afro and say, "this is Swami" and I'm going to treat them like Swami. And it's difficult and its ego crushing to try to realize that you're wrong at that moment and catch it and be humble about it and be serviceable at that moment. But its one thing to work forward to.
Question: As your mom said that you take her as Swami, then isn't there any other method that you know you say, yes I'll do it for you, but I would prefer you talk to me in a better manner.
MARISA RAHM: We go through that all the time.
ALAYA RAHM: A lot of the time, she'll say treat her with love treat her like Swami and I'll say, but she didn't treat me like that so why should I treat her like that . I've got to be the one, somebody has got to be the one to take the initiative, somebody's got to show maturity, not that I show maturity but I've got to at least try. Cause if I don't try she's not going to try because she's younger and a little less mature.
Question: Yeah, but if you don't tell her that she made a mistake she will always talk to you in a rude manner and that will never end you know. That's what I feel it's not only saying that you're Swami and you're doing everything and somebody just comes and tell you.
AL (SERAL) RAHM: But we tell her the same thing.
ALAYA RAHM: I don't believe that if you treat someone with utmost love that they are going to be rude to you the rest of you life. Nobody is rude to Baba, that I know, and he treats everybody with love. He never gets angry with anybody. [Relevance: Alaya, based on his numerous interview, says that SSB treats everyone with love and never gets angry with anybody!]
AL (SERAL) RAHM: Well, sometimes he looks like he's angry. But if you look closely he's never really angry. But, your point is a good one but the thing is that we tell her the same thing. So the idea is that if you can get it to the point where its coming from all angles then you have a harmonious situation where each person is reflecting on their own. Swami said, "Your work is inside with God." One of the things that we used to talk about is that working on this relationship, how many times have you heard that well let's work on this relationship. Well, the best way I know of to work on a relationship is purifying your own heart. And I think that's what Swami was telling us, your work is inside with God.
ALAYA RAHM: We were talking yesterday with the Young Adults and saying if your going to find a fault with somebody and you're going to tell them about it, you better be willing to find at least the same fault or more faults in you and express them to them, and tell them your willing to work on them also. Because pointing the finger how many have you got pointing back at you, so be willing to see it within yourself.
MARISA RAHM: They said I could share one more story. I think this is a valuable story because its something that I'm having a chance to work on over and over every day since it occurred in India. And in one interview Swami took another group into the inner room and he came back into the room where we were sitting with our family and he sat back down in his chair very relaxed and it was just very quiet. And we were all huddled around his chair, just our family and something very spontaneous happened that I didn't expect but it happened like this: I knelt up very close to Swami and I just clutched my hands in front of my heart, we were about this distance away and I said, "Swami, I love you" and He went…and I went, "Do you love me?" And He went, "Yes I love you." And that was the interaction that happened, this simple thing. And I could not get comfortable with what had happened and I reflected over it and reflected over it. And when we left the interview I said to Al, we were walking back to our room, I said, "Did you hear that what I said, do you love me?" He said, "Yeah, I heard it, don't you know Swami loves you?" And I went "Well, of course."
And then I realized for that evening as this message played bigger and bigger in my mind, "I love you, do you love me?" That this is something for over the years that I had either knelt at my altar and said, "Do you love me Swami, do you love me?" and didn't find that answer and felt insecure and felt frightened and unsure since I couldn't hear the answer, "I love you." And here he had just allowed me to play this out physically. He allowed me to play this out physically in his presence, ask this. But two things that happened I was very uncomfortable that he didn't just grab me in his arms and say, "Yes I love you, you good little devotee, you're doing good, I love you, go out there." He just was very untouched by it, "Yes, I love you." And so I searched my soul with this uncomfortable feeling, "Swami what is it that's hurting right now, what is it you want me to see?"
And by the next morning this issue was immediately back at me and I said, "Swami please, surely you don't want me to feel miserable when I tell you I love you and you even tell me you love me but what is it?" And then I heard it inside. He said to me, "This miserable little prison of an ego must die." And I realized that this part of me that starves for love from Swami, this part can never be filled with the love of Swami. It can never be filled from the love of anybody, this "I love you" to somebody. And then a few days later, "I wonder if they love me like I love them. I wonder if they're doing as much for me as I'm doing for them." This is that miserable little prison that keeps us from expanding into knowing what Swami's love really is. Swami's love does not come from words. So I had to learn that and He gave me this expression to work with daily as I do these so called services and duties in the house. I'll make some lunch for Al and Alaya bring it to the table and I'll be chanting these wonderful Gayatries like I say. They will sit down, take one bite barely swallowing it and go, "Do you love it." And I realized how this beautiful lesson is for every detail that we do in our lives. If we truly give something then we're not waiting for anything in return. So I wanted to share that.