Fanibunda, Eruch B. [Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba] - Vision of

Schrijver:
Titel: Vision of the Divine
Taal: Engels
Uitgever: E.B. Fanibunda, Bombay
Bijzonderheden: 1976, 120pp, hardcover, in good condition, backcover has some water stains, some discoloring of the cover, photo=book
Prijs: € 99,95 (Excl. verzendkosten)
Meer info:
Some of you must have read the "Vision of the Divine" by Dr Eruch Fanibunda. The first edition appeared in 1976- that is a long time ago. I came across it recently and enjoyed reading it though with difficulty. I cannot claim, however that I understood all that Dr Fanibunda was trying to explain. His tone and approach to Satya Sai Baba's spiritual philosophy and divinity verges on the academic, like a text book on divinity, well researched and ably interpreted. Therein, I suppose, lies the originality, strength and value of the book. I wish I knew Sanskrit, the Vedas and ancient classics. It would have enhanced my comprehension of the subject.

Some of the books recommended to me in the past on Sathya Sai Baba amplified his miracles. They were either based on personal experience or hearsay. There are two types of people who seek God: one seeks recourse for his problems or sufferings and the other, satisfied with his circumstances, wants to draw closer to God. I am still at the periphery of the spiritual domain.

Dr Fanibunda's purpose in writing the book seems clear. He wants to put the teachings of Baba in context and underline his own scared belief in Baba as divine.

Dr Fanibunda devotes a full chapter on Sanathana Dharma (Eternal religion or Truth) and the Religion of Zarathushtra. Dr Fanibunda not only acquaints the reader with Sanathana Dharma as expounded by Baba but also introduces the teachings of Zarathushtra, the Prophet of ancient religion. He shows the unity between the both. Dr Fanibunda himself was subject to ridicule by his own colleagues of Zoroastrian persuasion. They looked with askance at Dr Famibunda's close association with Baba.. Dr Fanibunda attempts with religious zeal to allay the doubts and fears of cynical sceptics.

Of particular interest to me was Baba's mission, his beliefs, his message and his expectations from his devotees. Dr Fabibunda deals with all these and many more complicated issues of mantras and life and death in his usual style that goes deep into the genesis, meaning and significance.

Baba's Mission

What then is Baba's mission? Baba has often said that it is not his miracles that are important but his Message. "The removal of misery and distress is incidental to my mission", he emphasises. He explains that his task is the re-establishment of the Vedas (Ancient Sacred Knoweldge) and Shastras (Sacred Hindu Scriptual Texts) and revealing the knowledge about them to all people- his aim, the establishment of Dharma (Code of Righteousness).

Yet, many who seek His darshan (Sight of a Holy Person) are unable to see His divine pretence. Baba laments that people forget all the other great things in him except to talk about his miracles.

"There is a very scared thing in Me - that is Prema (Love), he assures. "It is immeasurable. It is only those people who have experienced this Prema in Me can realise what I am", he explains.

Baba's Miracles are Divine

When I read Dr John Hislop's "My Baba and I (1984)" for the first time, I felt that I was knowing Baba better. That book is a solemn discourse of Dr Hislop's discovery of the divinity of Baba. Now, I have this other insightful book titled "Vision of the Divine". Like Dr Hislop, Dr Fanibunda was in search of Truth. He found Baba, who was able to "clarify his doubts and dispel his ignorance of God."

Dr Fanibunda, a Zoroastrian, is firstly, a well renowned dental surgeon and secondly, an accomplished magician. He has the research mind and discipline of a scientist and an eagle's eye for psychic phenomena. He concluded that there was no fraud in Baba's miracles- they were not in the realm of magic or illusion. He gives examples of vibhuthi (Sacred Ash) manifesting in the forms of droplets or showers from across picture frames and quotes an incident where Baba in 1971, even revived a dead man (Walter Cowan) about five hours after he was declared dead by the doctors. He concluded there is no scientific or rational explanation for these and other phenomena. It is not magic. There is only one answer to it, it is Divinity.

Baba's Message

I had often asked myself what is that that Baba preaches. Is it a religion of some sort, something anew? I suppose, it must also have struck the fore of some enquiring minds. My first reaction was that it is Hindu- based. This, of course is not true. Dr Fanibunda says that Baba declares that all religions are his. Baba does not extol one religion and decry others. He teaches Sanathana Dharma.

Baba says: "There is no need for you to change from one religion to another. You carry on in your own established modes and practices of worship, and when you do so, you will come nearer and nearer to me." Therein lies the attraction of Baba's teachings- non judgemental and non-proselytising. That appeals to me.

Science and Religion

I grew up imagining that science is boon and religion, chaos. When I looked around me the miseries and mercies, I told myself that the only salvation rests with science. Religion has created doubts, anxieties and turmoil. Indeed, to the uninitiated it may be a truism as of now with the hot-spots in the world. Baba helps to clear these doubts in a non-dogmatic manner. He accepts science and research as necessary and useful in the beginning but he cautions that these should be used intelligently to reach the final destination, the goal of divinity. People talk glibly of discarding or disregarding religion "because they confuse it with social customs and associated ceremonies and superstitions." This is an eye-opener for me. I had myself gone through this phase while growing up. I often questioned the meaningless traditions, stifling rituals and rites that are not of practical value. "Religion is a bond between us and the source from which we come", says Baba. It is basically the product of awareness- of self existence, that is: "I EXIST".

Service in Society

Something that is close to my heart is Baba's teachings on "Service in Society". I have been engaged in social and community service from my days at school through university and they formed an integral part of my life-style in adulthood.

My concept of service to society went through a major metamorphosis on understanding Baba's teachings on the subject. I learnt that service to fellow men is service to God. Since the service is rendered to the omnipresent God, there is no need for pompous show or publicity. God knows. No one else needs to know. "This Service is something which flows from one heart to another, from one Atma (The Real Self) to another Atma.". Baba has said that if one cannot positively help an individual, at least one should not hurt that individual. That is the least service one can perform in society.

Dr Fanibunda in recalling Baba's wisdom on service in society states: "Selfish people have no right to serve the Society. Only when man is able to develop selflessness and selfless service, can he acquire the right to serve the common man.

I was pleasantly surprised to note a discussion on the subject in a dialogue between Arujna and Krishnan in the Gita. It is somewhat long to quote but it appears at page 70 in Dr Fanibunda's book. In short Krishna tells Arujna that that is given or done is not for name or fame. It should have no motive for pomp or publicity. It should be purposeful and useful.

Dialogue between Fanibunda and Baba

One must not miss the chapter on a dialogue between Dr Fanibunda and Baba. Like Dr Hislop, Dr Fanibunda clarifies with Baba questions on the "religion of Baba" and on the basics of living a fuller life. I was struck by the answer Baba gave on "status and position". Baba says, among other things that if "you are thinking of respect being given to individuals on account of their status and position, then as soon as the status disappears, the respect also disappears." They are not permanent. It is the qualities and attributes of a person one should look for and these decide the person's worth and dignity. How true!

Dr Fanibunda's "Vision of Divine" is a must read for the "converted" and the "doubters". There is no harm in reading it. One will enjoy and learn from it as much as I did.

K.V.Veloo
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Fanibunda, Eruch B. [Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba] - Vision of the Divine Fanibunda, Eruch B. [Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba] - Vision of the Divine Fanibunda, Eruch B. [Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba] - Vision of the Divine

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