A frequently asked and answered question here at Nagole talks is that our Parayana (regular reading in a way that 'paraayatha chendadam' occurs, as per Pujya Saimaster) has become a matter of mere routine and we no longer enjoy it the way we did in the beginning.
From my meagre study so far of Pujya Saimaster's books and speeches, I have found that he has himself stated in patient detail, numerous and unique ways in which we in the first place identify whether our readings are working or not, and how to rectify it (refer Sri Sai Prabodhamrutam, Saimaster Pravachanamulu, Dhyana Yoga Sarvasvam etc). However, for the failing student who is unable to hold Master's books (for that matter, any other useful book) in his/her hands for more than a few minutes or worse uses his book as a favoured possession on his showcase, this is no answer.
Since I belong to the above category, I have put down a few of my learnings in the last few years of my stay at Nagole for immediate reference:
1. Babugaru advised me, 'Ask the question (to yourself), 'Why should I read?', not 'Why am I not able to read?.' Do this again and again till you are sure.
2. As per Ammagaru, while reading we should visualize everything. Visualize exact location of each item in Dwarakamayi, Baba sitting there and visitors coming in, Lendi Garden etc. ( Photos and actual visits to Shirdi etc help us in this). Think of Baba's unpredictible and terrible anger, how the devotees used to run away from Dwarakamayi. Only to return, when he calmed down. Why would they come back, if not for His love?
3. Imagine you are each devotee who approaches Baba. Imagine (like an actor) you have that particular problem (you have an incurable disease, in dire need of money etc. what would be your state of mind? When you approach Baba, how would Baba's behaviour or response affect you?
4. Try to understand Baba's state of mind, based on his responses to his devotees, his daily routine, his actions etc. For example, if Baba knew the past, present and future of every devotee, what was His state of mind? If with that state of mind all the time, were He to tell us something almost casually, the way He told his closest devotee Shama, will we make the same mistake as Shama and others did - not take Him seriously and suffer for it? Are we doing the same thing with what Ammagaru tells us?
5. In Sai Baba the Master, Chapter 1, Master has described what went through his mind, before his experience of Samadhi at Shirdi on 9th February, 1963. " The look captured my gaze. "What does his face, especially his look and smile, indicate of his attitude.... (end of para)" .As per Babugaru (EDJ), we can do readings using each line in that paragraph as a basis.
6. Smt. Vedamma garu suggests that when we sit down for parayana, imagine that Baba is before you and listening while you read. Take this further and just imagine, His condition when you postpone your reading everyday to late night when it become unavoidable, and He has to be awake to listen while you nod over your book!!
7. For every problem we face at every stage in life, the solution (i.e. the way we should think and approach the problem) has been given in the leelas and sayings of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. Look out for these when you read. Reflect on how you have approached these same issues and can you do what is suggested?