I am prompted today to recall a truly funny prank that Sri Sathya Sai Baba pulled on some of his students some years ago at his mountain ashram in Kodai Kanal. Swami enjoyed the cooler climate at Kodai and would normally visit late March/early April time.
It is well known that Baba would often use humour in demonstrating spiritual lessons, and on this particular occasion, he had decided that his students at Kodai had been slacking and needed a wake up call. I am not exactly sure why, but I believe that Baba felt that the students were concentrating too much on his physical form and not on his teachings. If any reader has heard this story before and has more accurate detail then I would ask you to leave a comment so that I can update the post.
The students were very, very excited, as always, at the prospect of Baba’s visit. But they were left completely and utterly baffled by Swami’s attitude and manner towards them on his arrival as March was nearing its end. Instead of greeting them in his usual way with loving smiles and words he completely ignored them; there was not so much as even a glance. The students couldn’t understand this and were extremely upset; they simply couldn’t understand why their Swami, whom they loved so much, would neither speak to them nor look at them.
The students became more and more distraught as the days went by and their beloved Swami continued to ignore them. When he passed them on campus he simply looked towards the ground and walked by without a word, a glance or a smile. It got to the point where the students started to argue amongst themselves as they sought an explanation of Baba’s apparently strange behaviour. Fingers were pointed and accusations flew around as emotions became more and more fraught. I believe that this went on for around ten days until finally, as March bade its farewell and April descended, the students could take no more and decided to confront Baba. This was unheard of but they were so desperately distraught that they waited until Swami was walking in the grounds and confronted him. As they did so Baba, still keeping his head down, raised his eyes in their direction, and with a cheeky grin on his face said ”April fool” and walked off.