Author Topic: Need guidance - should I reply. If I should, what should it be?  (Read 992 times)

bkdileep

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Need guidance - should I reply. If I should, what should it be?
« on: January 02, 2014, 11:43:09 AM »
SaiRam to all devotees
I am living in KPHB Hyderabad. There is a Sai Baba temple near to my home. This being Thursday, there will be AnnaDaanam in the temple. The temple has a separate Hundi for rice and Dal. Generally people will put their offering of rice and Dal in the Hundi and the same will be taken for cooking for Thursday.
Today I wanted to give vegetables or rice for cooking and since there are no fresh vegetables at home I took rice and went to the temple where they are cooking. I asked the person who is supervising the process (the same person is కార్యనిర్వాహణాధికారి).
'Sir Can you please take this rice and...'
before I could even complete he said
'It is over for today. We can not accept for todays cooking. keep it in Hundi'
'Okay I will do so. But what time should I bring next week if I want it to be used on same day...'
I did not even complete half the sentence he cut me down saying
'Can not you understand if I say once. Why are you disturbing when people here are working. Can not you see. You have to understand once I say. Go and offer in Hundi'

I was taken aback. I thought of saying. 'You are doing this as Seva to sai. This is not the right way of speaking'. But his anger and expressions showed that he is not willing to listen. More over I can not handle verbal or any kind of arguments or fights. So I was sure that my intention will never be met and I would end up spoiling my day and mood. Though it hurt me initially. During the drive to office I was thinking about Baba saying ఎవరైతే దూషణలు సహిస్తారో వారు నాకు ప్రీతి  కలిగిస్తారు.మాటకు మాట తీయవద్దు. ఒకటి రెండు మంచి మాటలు చెప్పి అక్కడ నుంచి తొలగిపో. So I considered this as a test for me.

But I wanted to say few things. Should I say or not. These are my observations:

1. I have seen this కార్యనిర్వాహణాధికారి I have mentioned most of the times speaking very roughly with devotees.
2. While the servants are cooking food, this supervisor, in order to check if it is done or not, takes it into his hands and tastes it. Whenever I see that I feel little bad because it is supposed to be prasadam to be offered to Sai first. It is like we are doing ఎంగిలి by tasting it before Him
3. I have seen him discussing worldly matters such as politics etc.., I feel that only things to be discussed in the temple premises should only be భగవత్ విషయం or భాగవత విషయం. Temples should aid the devotees in achieving what Baba wants His devotees to achieve.
4. I am not sure if this is the right way  or not. I am not sure mentioning this may be sin or not. Inside the temple another కార్యనిర్వాహణాధికారి  (may be related to this person) along with other people do Bhajanas, Nama Japa on Thursdays and important occasions. He chooses the tune of film songs to do that. And I get a feeling that whenever a devotees like me, who has not conquered his mind and whose devotion is not complete, listens to them, he may connect to the film songs than the Nama Japa. Also I feel Nama Japa should be done with మంద్ర స్వర. Doing it with unusually high voice might create గాభరా in devotees and mind might not focused on Japa. But as we have read in Baba Chairta, Baba did not approved such thing as per the Charita ( రోహిలా కథ).

5. I also want to stress more on treating devotees properly. Like talking to them normally without అరవడం విసుక్కోవడం చిరాకుగా మాట్లాడడం. I have seen people who are like trustees of the temple do this.

Am I correct in feeling like this?
I generally prefer going to Sai temple and always think Shirdi Sai Temple (main temple) as role model among many other temples because it does not discriminate between devotees. It does not narrow down the devotees to rich and popular by fixing rate for everything like Suprabhaatam abhishekam etc.., (I am not trying to target any temple. Those temples might have some logistic limitations in allowing all the devotees)
Particularly Sai Baba temples should try  to spread His teachings of Patience Love equality and Shraddha. They should be used to clean devotees and recharge them.
I am thinking to put these points in a letter and hand it over to the temple authorities.

Will it be right thing to do? I just felt that though aim of the trustees of the temple is to spread devotion of Sai Baba, it is not going in right direction. May be they can do it better by showing more love, by conduction Sai Baba chairta parayana, making saatvika bhajana and nama japa, provide all devotees equal opportunity to do seva. Though they are trustees I think they should make people feel that
' it is our temple and let us all serve  baba'.


Sorry for such long mail. your opinion is too valuable for me. There are great Sai devotees and Sai Master followers in this group. I will go ahead with your suggestions. What ever I wrote above are mostly my interpretations from reading Sai Master's books. Please correct if there are misinterpretations.

Sai Ram

Dwarakanath

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Re: Need guidance - should I reply. If I should, what should it be?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 11:54:40 PM »
Jai Sai Master!

What you said is quite correct. That is one of the biggest problems in working for/setting up a temple or a trust. It is very very difficult to keep up the responsibilities of the role given.

Most people who are trustees, or volunteers, etc., are just human, like you and me. It is quite difficult, when one is not perfect, to keep being ideal, for a normal person. Trying out a temple like scenario at home would point that out amply. Particularly if we do not set our own limits. Therefore it is highly advised that one should not get into management of such things unless absolutely necessary. (irukko koodadu).

However, most people get into it unknowingly the difficulties involved, particularly if one wants to maintain one's spiritual sadhana. There needs to be rigorous training for people who want to get into such professions. Such training must necessarily involve psychological evaluation of the person's tendencies, preferences, tastes, habits and so on, as well as physical and social training. Along with this a deep sense of spirituality must be cultivated to be able to perform in such roles.

On the other side, the systems have to be set up in such a way that such pressure does not build up. A small plant cannot with stand large stresses.  Similarly, most people cannot handle the burden. It has to be properly distributed, and it has to be get into slowly.

For instance, there are many people like us who wish to donate to anna-daanam, but very few who would talk to others, motivate them to do some service and help, get into it ourselves, etc. This is a typical problem faced by any such trusts or organizations, including non-spiritual organizations like ngos. That leads to a lot of stress of performance on the few who are 'hired' or 'selected' to do the necessary. In such cases, I say, let off the work. Stop putting additional work like 'annadaanam', etc. But usually, the management is not aware of these ideal and performance difficulties and think 'oh.. one person can cook, five can serve' etc.

That is why, in these days, people have to realize that such systems have to work on a social level, not on an organizational level, since most people cannot keep the high ideals required. Ofcourse it is a great Sadhana if some one can handle such stuff. Otherwise, it is pretty difficult.

I personally sympathize with the trustee you talked about. I can understand his situation since I find myself and friends in similar situations quite regularly. It is very very difficult. There comes a clash between personal capability and ideal, a clash between the mood in the day (every one has his or her own life, with all its frustrations, etc.) and the mood that needs to be kept in performance. Then there is the clash between several things that are demanded. Is one to take time to cook with shraddha or is one to keep time since the devotees are to be served on time as forms of Baba? Questions like that keep popping up. And there are many 'ideal' ways of looking at the same service. One looks at it from a shraddha angle in terms of 'naamam' uttered or the mood in which it is done. Another looks at it from a punctuality point of view, etc. Then out of the several people doing that service, each will have his or her own ideal way of looking at it.

All those things, and many more, take toll.  I always think ' will I do it every day for the pay that is being offered?' 'how will I do it?' etc. when looking at such people. It is one thing to look at it as an outsider, it is another to actually see whether we would do it. It is yet another to actually do it and handle it.

Ideally, it has to be done ideally. And that ideal has to be kept up by every one, the trustees, the workers as well as the devotees. Since there is none like that, it is a matter of a work in progress, a ladder to be climbed together.

I truly feel sorry for that trustee, and quite honestly, i did not feel too bad that he spoke harshly to you. It happens quite a lot here with me and my friends too. We are bound to speak harshly sometimes, otherwise, it is simply too hard to keep it running. I understand that it is not correct, and yet, I do understand that it is not correct to expect absolute correctness from children like us (most of the humanity) all the time!

The problem is in the organization itself. The problem is in lack of training. The problem is in the devotees too. If I were you, I would find another day to go and ask him again, and I am sure he would be more polite when he is not under pressure. He is sticking to doing that service and that itself shows a commitment which is too lacking in the society. Everyone wants themselves and their kids in top corporate jobs, and very few people actually practically think about doing such service (whether paid or not). Yeah, some people might feel emotionally that they would love doing that service, but their lifestyles and attitudes show that they are not strong enough to handle it.

So, it is not as simple as 'trustees should be good'. It is more of a case of either they not being able to handle it or too ignorant to know that they should do it properly. And it is more often a case of they already doing their best but their counter-parts, the devotees, as well as the workers and family members, not keeping up to the mark and thus making it a difficult job, and a thankless job at that.

The devotees should look at Baba rather than trustees for an ideal. Trustees and voluteers are just like us, humans with frailties, trying to become better. We have to excuse their mistakes, and create more conducive conditions so that they can do their service/sadhana better.

The trustees should start to practice Baba's teachings themselves, trying to see Baba in all. It has to go hand in hand. Otherwise it will not work.

Jai Sai Master!!

Dwarakanath

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Re: Need guidance - should I reply. If I should, what should it be?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 12:01:37 AM »
Jai Sai Master!
Quote
Inside the temple another కార్యనిర్వాహణాధికారి  (may be related to this person) along with other people do Bhajanas, Nama Japa on Thursdays and important occasions. He chooses the tune of film songs to do that. And I get a feeling that whenever a devotees like me, who has not conquered his mind and whose devotion is not complete, listens to them, he may connect to the film songs than the Nama Japa

That is quite true. Master absolutely condemned such singing for the reasons you mentioned. It is in Pariprasna book.

Jai Sai Master!!

bkdileep

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Re: Need guidance - should I reply. If I should, what should it be?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 03:44:33 PM »
Sai Ram Dwaraka Nath Garu
Your reply is quite rational as it is always. I agree it is a challenge to keep up responsibilities since it deals with people.
My concern is for them. Baba told 'if you accept a job, do it thoroughly or do not accept to it'. And there are many instances when Baba showed His displeasure towards devotees who spoke harshly. I can recall couple of instances where once He did not respond to Nana for rebuking the beggar in front of his house for not leaving. (I am not saying that I am following all His principles)
But when one sets up an organization like this they have more responsibility than others. People will look up to them for example. As Baba said 'you should take what we can digest'. Earlier I got job as a lead in one company. I joined and sooner I realized that I do not have yet the real leader ship capabilities. I do not have what it takes to be team leader (doing micro management, wooing some, being tough with some etc..,) and I realized that I enjoyed technical work. So I shifted my career to technical job. If I continued to be a manager and if I show that frustration of not doing technical work on other colleagues it will be my mistake.
Sai Satcharitra and Leelamrtam mentions a lot about how anna daanam is being done during Baba period and how Shama and Nimonkar used to do it. As you rightly said whoever starts it, they start with right intention and they may also do it right but slowly when it gets passed to their sons or next gen, the purpose gets diluted. They keep showing preferential treatment, etc.., which makes Baba temple in many ways similar to other temples.
//
I truly feel sorry for that trustee, and quite honestly, i did not feel too bad that he spoke harshly to you. It happens quite a lot here with me and my friends too. We are bound to speak harshly sometimes, otherwise, it is simply too hard to keep it running. I understand that it is not correct, and yet, I do understand that it is not correct to expect absolute correctness from children like us (most of the humanity) all the time!
//

I too feel sorry but the thing is - I am just normal devotee. Perhaps can not even be called a devotee. Imagine a person who is real sadhaka or Bhagavata (real devotee/servant of God, some one like Sri Ranganna Babu garu or Sri Sai Master ( I apologize to them for taking their name). ) approaches such trustee and was spoken harsh. The trustee would not know that he was a great devotee. The real devotee also would not feel bad. But Baba (God) will not be happy with such things. And this might accumulate karma to them. And bhagavata apacharam is many times severe than normal apacharam. If the devotee feels bad for the behavior that might bind as karma to the person who did.

I am not asking for ideal world though.

//The devotees should look at Baba rather than trustees for an ideal. //
is true statement.
I am surprised to see these days in some Sai temples they are doing rituals like archana etc, with predetermined price to it.
I used to be a regular visitor to Baba temple in Bangalore BTM Area. The trustee there is actually a role model to many devotees. His calm composed humble nature used to impress many. He used to refer to Sai Baba charitra, Sai Master many times. I have not seen him speaking ill of anyone in the temple nor did I see  him speaking to any devotee in that manner. I have not seen him discussing worldly matter (daily news politics in temple)
There may be other politics which I might not know but for a normal devotee he used to be very calm person. In fact I came to know that he is trustee after long time because I just used to think of him as normal devotee -because sitting in between devotees during arati, standing in queue etc..,
As you said he did not take additional responsibilities like annandam every week (except on days like Guru poornima)
He used to take other initiatives like samoohika paarayana for well being of devotees, nama japa, ekaaham, saptaaham satsangam.


/And it is more often a case of they already doing their best but their counter-parts, the devotees, as well as the workers and family members, not keeping up to the mark and thus making it a difficult job, and a thankless job at that./
I could not agree more with this. "thankless job" - many 'devotees' like to just blame the management for almost everything without recognizing the good. the seeds of bhakti the management is sowing are going to be invaluable. But for few things I mentioned above, these kind of organizations are doing best for the well being of society.

This is the reason I did not reply to him neither verbally nor in written form. He is doing whatever possible to feed few stomachs during Thursday (which I am not doing at all). For people like me it is easy to complain and identify flaws in the system but the person out there knows the real pain. Well, I just hope he just softens his attitude and continues the work.