In 'Drops on a Lotus Leaf ‘ written by Sri Ramalu, also known as Sri Ram of Andhra Pradesh. This book was a collection of letters from seekers to Sri Ram and their replies by him. The letters as well as the replies were full of depth, the latter more so. This created a wish in me to meet him. The above mentioned book was published by my own book’s publisher and so I could get his details from him.
The opportunity to meet Sri Ramalu came soon in early 1998 when I was appointed as an observer for the parliamentary elections in Andhra Pradesh. Sri Ramalu was then working in a polytechnic at Adilabad, a town nearly 200 kilometres from Hyderabad. He was a lecturer in the department of English. An IPS friend of mine arranged my visit to Adilabad and I got an opportunity of spending a few hours with Sri Ramalu. It was a very sublime meeting and we both liked the company of each other. I also noticed that Sri Ramalu was treated almost as a living God by those who knew him closely.
Soon after this, I received a letter from Sri Ramalu and apart from mentioning our meeting, he gave a very deep message through that letter which I am sharing here. In one of the paragraphs of the letter Sri Ramalu raised a question about ‘faith’. Normally, all those who have faith in God believe that everything will be all right in their lives. While apparently there is nothing wrong with this definition of ‘faith’, Sri Ramalu said that it was not faith but the lack of it. He explained further that when we say that the future is going to be all right, indirectly it implies that perhaps, the present is not all right. Since we live only in the present, according to this definition of faith the feeling of being all right becomes only an imagination of future, which soon becomes the present. Thus, it becomes a chasing game that goes on throughout our life.
He further explained that the correct definition of faith is, ‘everything is all right’. As a matter of fact both definitions are the same; the difference is in the way of looking at them. What is future today becomes the present in due course. So if we shift our focus a little backwards, we can always believe that the present is the best possible as of now. Our endeavour would then become to make the future better by working for it today.
Viewed from a different perspective, there can be no denial of the fact that the present could not have been better than what it is. It could be, had we thought of it yesterday and tomorrow could be better if we think of it today. But the present remains as it is and no purpose is served by complaining about it, even if there is reason to complain about it. Therefore, a person of true faith never laments about the present, never regrets the past and never worries for the future. He has complete faith in the laws of Nature and does his best in all circumstances. For him, everything is all right at all times and he lives in perfect harmony with Nature. Accordingly, for Sri Ramalu, this is what true faith is.