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'Animal Matters' (May 2013):

 ON BEHALF OF ANIMAL ANGELS...

“Animals are spiritual beings in modified bodies” - Hippocrates.

Sathya Sai Baba tells us: “You have earned this human body by the accumulated merit of many lives as animals, birds, beasts, reptiles etc..."

Have you ever wondered what these deeds of merit could be? First of all, you could spare a thought for the thousands of working horses, donkeys and mules working in poor countries around the world without whom their owners might die for they are vital in helping them to earn their livelihood. These patient creatures are often neglected, starved, beaten and labour in great pain. They are also most often worked to death and unable to go one step further due to exhaustion and weakness, they just fall down on the road to die, still carrying their enormous, heavy loads. Then there are the dogs who lovingly and conscientiously look after the disabled, the deaf and the blind as well as cats who do their own kind of  quiet healing work in different venues and dolphins who have saved humans from drowning and cured them of depression with their unconditional love, to name just a few examples!

“Why should you argue that animals, beasts and birds are bad? Each is treading its own dharma. It does not overstep or undermine. They have greater cooperation and mutual love than even men. Each has to be judged from the point of view of the equipment and the opportunity. Man can live better if he learns from animals. He is degrading himself even lower. When the Lord incarnates, He has as one of His tasks the protection of sadhus, or beings with quiet innocent natures. Among animals are countless sadhus, remember”.  (From Questions and Answers:  Sai Baba and John Hislop – In Peggy Mason’s magazine, Summer 1996)

There are literally hundreds of amazing true stories coming to light now which demonstrate such deeds of merit, including loving and often life-saving services carried out by our apparently younger brothers and sisters in animal form. They show us what animals do to serve not only us but also members of their own and other species. In so doing, they demonstrate a much higher degree of consciousness, love and feeling than they have been credited with over the ages. Even now, many human beings sadly have no understanding or recognition of this. However, as our own awareness of the world we live in is growing, so too is our acknowledgement of the fact that animals are most sentient beings and not automatons with no feeling to be cruelly exploited for our own ends, although this still happens on a huge scale. For this reason as much as any other, they deserve our loving kindness and protection on their evolutionary journey upwards. Sathya Sai Baba has said that when we love and look after an animal, we help to raise the whole of creation and if we can’t care for an animal, then we should try and feed the birds and wild creatures. Our loving interaction with them quickens their evolutionary progress, just as an Avatar does ours. Even wild animals respond to love and Sathya Sai Baba tells us:

“There is no human being without Love. Even beasts, birds, animals and insects have Love. This Love is experienced in even the smallest of creatures. We should have deep conviction that God is present in every being in the form of the Atma...” (Sathya Sai Baba: Divine Discourse 29th October 2009)

The following true stories demonstrate a little of what souls in animal form are capable of. One is about one of man’s least favourite creatures: Rats! Even though rats are generally not popular, they do have their share of fans. This is because those who have kept rats as pets have found that they can be very personable, sociable and affectionate creatures. Highly intelligent and responsive, they have even been found to ‘chuckle’ and come back for more when tickled by scientists studying animal behaviour. What is more, they are actually capable of altruism and people have observed sighted rats leading blind rats along with the use of a straw, a twig or a tail as the following story shows:

“Eric Simms, an eminent naturalist, ornithologist and broadcaster, once recounted his own sighting of this phenomenon. For some time he and a companion watched two rats, one of which was holding on to the tail of the other. The men then discovered on examination that the second rat was totally blind in both eyes”. (From Look and Learn, issue 968 27/9/1980)

An even more poignant version of this story was reported in which a man saw two rats crossing a road in front of him, the first one leading the second one by a straw. He threw a stick at the first one which killed it. The second one did not move but just stood still, as if waiting for something. On approaching it, he saw that it was completely blind and without its helper, was now totally stranded.

The next story is taken from the UK Daily Mail (June 20 2002). It relates to how a seal saved an unknown dog from drowning in the River Tees. A certain Mr Hinds and his sons were walking by the river when they spotted an Alsation/Labrador cross on the side of the river. It was bleeding from its head and leg and whimpering. When Mr Hinds approached it to help it, it panicked and jumped into the river. The currents were so strong that it struggled to keep afloat and was in danger of drowning when, out of  nowhere, lifesaving help came in the form of a seal! The seal charged up to it, circled it and then, with its nose, pushed it firmly towards the shore and safely back on the river bank. Then it swam back into the middle of the river and waited for Mr Hinds to reach the dog before swimming away, an unsung hero and lifeguard!

Another story is told in the same article of a woman, Charlene Camburn, who got into difficulty while out swimming off the coast of Lincolnshire in 1999. Seven seals appeared and surrounded her for two and a half hours until she reached the shore, gently nudging her to the surface each time she slipped under the water.

Sathya Sai Baba has advised us to pray for our animal brothers and sisters for apart
from the loved pets that we own, many, many others are treated with unbelievable cruelty in so many situations. They have no voice and are powerless against us. As He told one devotee involved in animal rights, “Animals cannot talk...You must speak up for them!”

“Your happiness lies in the welfare of all; your wellbeing lies in the wellbeing of all. You cannot be happy when others are not happy. Therefore you should pray for the welfare of all, including small creatures and insects. This is the real meaning of unity. Only the heart that desires the wellbeing of all is dear to God.” (From Sai Baba’s Divine Discourse 31 December 2008)

“Dear Father, hear and bless thy beasts and singing birds. And guard with tenderness small things that have no words”. (Anon)

(Article written by Mercini Sherratt for Vedanta Empire's charity incentive)

Vedanta Empire is dedicated to raising money for charity: A portion of profits raised from each commercial and business booking is given away; to feed, aid and protect neglected animals. When a charitable or spiritual event has been booked; Vedanta Empire shall give away all of the profits raised from the booking, towards this very same cause of supporting animals...

Furthermore, to help raise money for feeding and protecting neglected animals: Music can be purchased from Vedanta Empire. - All profits go towards this charitable cause. Please feel free to make contact ([email protected]) for purchasing the music or asking for further information. - A preview of the music can be heard here:

www.vedantaempire.com/charitymusic.htm

Thank you!