Nine Lamps to Light from Now On: An Interpretation

By Susan Iris Fay

On April 28, 2011, only days after His passing, Swami gave us a practical and loving message through Seema Dewan, teaching us nine qualities to foster within as we fare forward. Called Nine Lamps to Light from Now On, the message is extremely helpful for devotees to absorb as we move through these pivotal times, poised on the cusp of Swami’s inauguration of the Golden Age. Even after Swami jump-starts the Sathya Yuga with His Return in the same Form, we will benefit from focusing on these qualities. They will help us manage ourselves and serve others during the turbulent months and years of the transition into the Golden Age.

The Nine Lamps message is therefore custom-made guidance for Baba devotees in our current times, yet it is little known and the original Message itself is slightly elusive to grasp and hold onto. That’s why I summarized and paraphrased the Nine Lamps message, hoping it would help me incorporate its teachings into my daily life. So I’m offering one devotee’s meditative interpretation of Swami’s Nine Lamps...

If my goal of greater concreteness has betrayed Swami’s meaning, I ask for His, Dewan’s, and the reader’s forgiveness.

We are reminded by the title, Nine Lamps to Light from Now On, of the Buddha’s great exhortation: "Be a lamp unto yourself.”** This in turn reminds us of Baba’s oft-heard teaching to have Self-confidence. When we kindle greater and greater illumination from within by developing the nine qualities that Swami describes, we will receive guidance along our path, as if from lamps shining in the night.

Swami’s exact words from the Message can be found on Seema Dewan’s website, The Blessed Lord Speaks at Click here to go directly to the Nine Lamps message. The interpretation follows below. 


From now on, light the lamp of… Self-Confidence

You haven’t lost Me for I have always been and will always be with you, closer than your own breath. It is only Self-confidence that you have lost. Practice the Presence of Sai within. Choose confidence, knowing you are Mine and I am yours.


From now on, light the lamp of… Seeking Sathya Sai In Everything

Seek and perceive My Truth that I have placed in every particle of this created world. Let it envelop and penetrate your being like a cocoon of Sai Ishwara’s Love, like a cocoon of Light. Bathe your being in the Brilliance of My Loving, Shining Truth found in all objects and living things. Centered in the meaning and vibrations of the Sai Gayatri mantra, seek Me in the manifested world.


From now on, light the lamp of… Willingness to Breathe & Serve

Offer Seva to Me and to My Mission. I have left this body for the sake of My expanding Mission, which is building in ways you cannot perceive. You too must be willing to take up selfless tasks, and be willing to serve Me in every breath that rises and falls, in loving surrender to Sai. Let the intention, Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu, ride in tandem with your every breath, consecrating each inhale and exhale to the well-being of all. That way you will be ready to respond to any work  I send your way, until you breathe your last.


From now on, light the lamp of… Trust

Trust that you will find Me in the sacred space that holds every moment. Receive the strength of that field of the Present Moment. That very space is your Baba, your Self. Stay in the present moment without anticipating the future.


From now on, light the lamp of… Embodied Wisdom

Let your life be My Message. Be content for I have given you all of my teachings. Be content also with the completeness of our bond; I belong to you and you belong to Me, heart to Heart. With our closeness as a foundation, internalize and embody My teachings.


From now on, light the lamp of… Inner Silence

Regardless of what goes on in the outer world, always choose to keep peace and silence in your heart. Only from such vibrations of peace and trust in Me can you receive Atmic guidance that will in turn allow you to be strong and help others. Practice constant connectedness to Me. Always look for, and then dwell in, the underlying field of peace that is the very core of your being. Protect this Inner Silence vigilantly.


From now on, light the lamp of… Choosing Strength of Mind

Don’t let your mind deceive you that you don’t have control over it. In all events and circumstances you have the power to compel your mind, with lightning swiftness, to choose strength in Sai and to release immediately any lie of weakness or separateness. Take responsibility for all your past choices; this allows you to access your own will power to radically shift a thought from negative to positive, from weak to strong, once you have become aware of it. Align yourself with goodness, firmness and the Inner Sai when you find yourself at a crossroads of your thoughts, asking, “Shall I let myself continue to be hijacked by this negative attitude, or shall I take the wheel of my own mind?”


From now on, light the lamp of… Surrender

When you long for Me and for My miracles, offer yourself to Me with absolutely no holding back whatsoever, for even a trace of doubt opens the floodgates of fear and carries Love away. Give yourself to Me, surrender and dissolve your petty desires in the Will of your all-powerful yet tender Mother Sai. Feed My Will with your surrender. You shall then feel My Presence, see My never-ending stream of miracles, and open in supple strength to whatever each moment unfolds.


From now on, light the lamp of… Sweet, Simple Selflessness

“Allow Me.” Keep your life and heart simple, sweet, and selfless. The more transparent you become, the more the Atma will shine forth from your center. There is no need to muscle through any arduous austerities or practices. Instead, simply open your heart to Me, lay your mind upon My Lotus Feet, and with simple pure love set your heart into My Hands.

“Allow Me,” and I shall be the One to realize you, to come to you with Hands overflowing with Grace, for you are My dear one.

At the end of His Nine Lamps Message, Swami says in His characteristically joyful way, “THE BEST IS YET TO COME if you light these nine lamps from now…!”

What Swami refers to when He says “the best is yet to come” each reader will have to decide for him- or herself, or simply wait for Baba to reveal it in time. Many of us now, in the period before His Return, may conclude it refers not only to His Return in the same Sathya Sai Form, but also to the higher, more Divinely-attuned energy and vibrations that His Mission in its fullness will have created for our beautiful Earth and in the sacred hearts of humanity.

In the meantime, and even after His Return, one way to “light these nine lamps” as Swami enjoins us, is to read one “lamp” – one quality to cultivate – each morning, with the intention to recall it, meditate upon it, and incorporate it throughout the day. Always, let us pray for deeper and deeper surrender to Swami, constantly re-igniting our own unique devotion to Him and to Self-Realization.  Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu. 


**Incidentally, Swami’s allusion to Buddha’s “Be a lamp unto yourself” quote can be considered another clue to His coming Return. If you consider it together with the mysterious and miraculous fact of His passing on Easter Sunday, in both cases Swami intentionally, but subtly, asks us to think about the endings of the careers of two great Teachers or Avatars, depending on what term you are comfortable with.

In the case of Baba’s reference to Jesus’s Resurrection by the fact of His departing on Easter Sunday, He may be suggesting that we keep the thought of resurrection in our minds, and that a Great Being’s apparent death can be overturned.

In that Swami alluded to Buddha, Buddha offered that famous “Be a lamp” teaching in his last address to his disciples or devotees. He had been terribly sick with an illness that everyone knew was certain to take his life. Buddha’s body was so sick he had not even been able to get up from where he lay or utter a word. But he knew that many of his disciples had travelled to the place and had gathered nearby, and so out of the deepest love for his disciples, Buddha drew upon his spiritual powers and filled himself with new energy so that he could satisfy his devotees’ yearnings for at least a “Farewell” from their beloved Teacher. He rose and took many slow steps to the place outside where they’d gathered. There he gave his final words of guidance and farewell, beginning with “Be a lamp unto yourself.”

How could Baba, four days after His own passing, refer to that teaching of Buddha’s and its context unless He meant it in an uplifting way; He surely would never rub salt in our wounds of grief! Perhaps Swami was suggesting that – if the Revered Teacher Buddha (who embodied divinity but was by no means a Poorna Avatar) could muster the strength out of his love for his followers to give a last farewell – how much more impossible would it be for Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Yuga Poorna Avatara, to leave so abruptly on April 24, 2011, with no explanation and contrary to His declarations, without at least a gracious Goodbye to His devotees…unless there were more to come?!

Again and again our Divine Source comes to Reveal Itself to us through the Stories He/She writes in the acts, words, and deeds of the Divine Incarnations. But THIS one is a Story without equal even among its Majestic Peers, and there are many more chapters to come.

[Images designed by Aravind Jayaraman]


Jim Martineau
Jim Martineau2014-12-06 03:12#
Susan Fay,

For my first time, I just read thoroughly through your nine lamps article.

It is so beautiful. Wow. It really sunk in deeply....every morsel of it. wow. amazing stuff.

I've seldom ever felt so deeply affected by an instructional-type article.

You made it so clear and easy to understand how each of us can live NOW as Divinely Enlightened Beings.....Here and Now.

So sweet. so gentle. Yet so powerful and profound.

Wow......this whole situation is really really inspiring me.

Thank you Susan Fay. Sai Ram to you.
Rama2015-07-19 10:08#
Excellent Interpretation.

Many thanks for the post, your article gave an opportunity to see and pursue things in different way.

Though we know some of the things you mentioned but when we put your post into life perspective it has lot of impact.

Please share more articles and I am sure their are lot of people got benefited by your post directly or indirectly.

Thank you again!
Prema2016-04-25 13:22#
I would like to share with you this video I have made for Swami

Miracles of Love (1st of the series):Satya Sai Baba
Miracles of Love :This is a series of "real miracles" experienced by devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba world over shown as a music video.This video is in...
BRUNO2018-09-09 02:04#

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