All Vahini Books...
Introduction – The Avatar’s Pen
Baba speaks of Himself as the mother yearning to feed an unruly child who, in its ignorance, refuses to eat what will cure its hunger. The child has to be coddled and coaxed, wheeled and petted, even caught unawares sometimes by means of a story or a song, to induce it to accept the food it needs. Baba’s immeasurable Love, persuades Him to pack a medicinal dose in a sweet smile, a panacea in a palatable parable or a profound thought in a syrupy joke. Let us dip into the books Baba has given Mankind in order to draw it to the feast that He has prepared for its hunger. His books are an invitation to His presence, fresh and fascinating as they are.
Baba writes in simple and elegant, colloquial Telugu or English prose. The message is always extempore, His ideas receiving expression as mellifluous poems and songs, showering exquisite delight. Poetry and melody shine through each sentence and behind each phrase and clause lays a form that is apparently human, but is suffused with Divine Wisdom.
All the immortal pieces flowed from Baba’s pen as articles for the Ashram magazine ‘Sanathana Sarathi’ (The Eternal Charioteer) during its early years. Prof. Kasturi, the first editor of Sanathana Sarathi, who used to collect material from Bhagawan every month for the magazine, narrates the following remarkable experience regarding Bhagawan’s Omniscience and the innate simplicity with which Bhagawan wrote the Vahinis.
Grandeur of the Omniscient Teacher
Prof. N Kasturi writes “Baba decided on a small book on the Upanishads, the Upanishad Vahini, in order to rivet the world to the efficacy of Vedanta. As editor of the magazine, which published serially the chapters of this book, I had an amazing experience, every month. After dispatching the magazine on the 16th of every month, I would go to him for the next part of the series. Announcing the name of the Upanishad Himself, He would ask me to wait for a while in His room and proceed along the verandah with a notebook and pen, towards the room where they stood a table with a chair by its side and nothing else besides.
Once, it was the turn of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, to be summarized and simplified. It is the biggest and the profoundest of the ten. I am certain that Baba had never read it or consulted others who could talk on it. And there was no copy available anywhere within miles. But forty minutes after he moved out with a pen and the notebook as His sole possessions, I could descend the eighteen steps from His room with a ten-page dissertation on the truths this Upanishad enshrined! I peeped into the script as I walked towards the Press and my eyes fell on the Telugu words, which said, ‘the grandeur of the intellect of Sage Yajnavalkya is impressively evident in this Upanishad’. I told myself, the grandeur of the Omniscient teacher that Baba is, is now impressively evident to me.”
It was Prof. Kasturi who collated all the articles that Baba had written for the ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, the Ashram Periodical, and brought out in a book form as the “Vahini Series” as Baba used to title all His articles as Vahinis. Vahini meaning flow or stream.
There are 15 vahinis in all, written in Telugu by Baba and translated into English by Prof. Kasturi. The Vahinis like ‘Prema Vahini’ and ‘Dhyana Vahini’ are little gems, classics of the spiritual life from the moment that Baba wrote them. Their simplicity, which, at the same time, contains such a depth of meaning, is unique. They speak of Peace, Meditation, Love and Wisdom. They seek to acquaint the reader with the Upanishads and the Gita. In a class by itself stands ‘Sandeha Nivarini’, the Doubt Dispeller. It raises various metaphysical problems and answers them.
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