Thursday, 13 June 2013

Blessing two 'birds' with one 'stone' - an experience with Sri Sathya Sai

Swami's 'time-management'

When the Lord descends to the earth with a limited human lifespan, it is obvious that He faces a drought of time to do the millions of acts that He has decided to do. I mean, when we find that we do not have enough time to do our little activities, that what to speak of God on earth? I have often wondered how my Lord and Master, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba found time to do so many things in a day and His physical lifetime. No wonder that He slept for only a few hours, reading the thousands of letters He received by the light of the bathroom through the night! But still, that much time is not sufficient right?

It was while thinking on these lines that I arrived at another method by which He ‘saved’ time and ‘accomplished more’ - multitasking! However, when it comes to Swami, ‘multitasking’ assumes a slightly different meaning. Of course, it refers to Him doing several tasks at once. That can be seen in the way He conducts programmes in His presence - Dusshera, Ugadi, Deepavali etc. But multitasking here also refers to a special ability that only God possesses - to achieve multiple ends with a single act at will!

Let me clarify. A single word or action from Swami means different things for different people. Thus, He achieves what can be called “hitting two (more) birds with a single stone.” I use that idiom due to the lack of a better comparison. What I actually mean is that He strikes multiple hearts with the same words or actions! And here, I will recollect one such sweet incident in my life.

Flashback

In order to hide the identity of the other devotee involved in this incident, I shall not quote names, dates and exact events. So, the ambiguity in the article is on purpose! This much I shall say that the event happened after 2005.

So here was this devotee with whom I developed a casual acquaintance. This happened because the devotee was a friend of my parents and when I got introduced, I couldn't help but make the acquaintance. Slowly, the acquaintance grew by repeated meetings. During these meetings, I would share so many experiences with Swami. In fact, Swami would be the only subject of talk during many meetings. It went on well like this for a while.

Then came a terrible misunderstanding!

That resulted in both of us going our ways. I do not blame the devotee for what happened because a misunderstanding is a fault on both sides. However, there was one thing that I did not like. The devotee began to say and propagate that whatever I had spoken during our meetings were all imaginary - stories that I had cooked up!

“He simply speaks as though he is close to Swami. That is all imaginary. He lies.”

That accusation hurt me.
(It hurt my ego rather because nobody can actually ever hurt us unless we allow ourselves to get hurt. Similarly, nobody can make us happy unless we allow ourselves to become happy. It is like Swami’s example of a dog chewing on a dry bone. A piece of the bone broke away and pricked its gums which started bleeding. Tasting the blood, the dog thought that the bone was a source of great joy! The blood, the source of joy, actually was arising from itself! What is true for happiness, is true for sorrow too. The cause is within and not outside.)

Now, this is the story behind the story am about to narrate.

Mixed feelings in the darshan lines

Always fostering the good and discouraging
the bad - with Love!
One day, as I sat in the front lines for darshan in the Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi Nilayam, my eyes rolled over the huge sections of devotees who had been seated for darshan. As I cast this cursory glance, I noticed the devotee (with whom I had a fallout) also seated there, in the first line among the other devotees. With a tray of items on the lap, it was evident that this devotee had procured the first line to seek Swami’s blessings.

Immediately negative thoughts arose in me. I remembered the critical comments and my heart recollected the past pain. However, subduing my animal side, I prayed to Swami,
“Swami, please bless the devotee with all your bounty and grace.”

Immediately after this noble thought, came a mean thought,
“Swami, today, please speak to me! Let that devotee witness me then. That should remove any doubt that you are close to me.”

I suddenly sat up shocked. I could not believe that I had made such a prayer. I realized how ‘cheap’ I was being. Quickly, I made amends,
“Swami! That was a stupid prayer. Forget it. Just bless the devotee. I am sorry I allowed such a thought to come into my head.”

The multitasking Lord

As Baba arrived for darshan, somehow my eyes remained riveted on this devotee only. Swami indeed blessed the devotee profusely and I was happy. Somehow, I felt that Swami would have forgiven me since He had responded to my prayer!

Soon, the darshan round was complete and Swami came on stage. The University students had planned a music programme to be put up that evening in case Swami allowed. Swami indeed inquired,
“What programme today?”
Three main singers got up and went on stage with a rose in hand. The plan was that they would offer the roses to Swami and tell Him about the proposed programme. I noticed that another main singer had been left behind. He has not risen from his seat in time and now, was feeling that since the others were already on stage, it was too late to go. The other students seated around him prodded him to go up. Swami also happened to observe this whole scene. He was watching as to what would be the response of this boy.

The boy was in an embarrassing situation and the whole world seemed to be waiting for his response. deciding that it was better to be late than never, the singer finally rose and walked up to the stage. All the while, Swami was continuously watching the boy. So were all of us!

As he offered the rose to Swami, Swami smiled. He held the rose and, turning to me, said something. I could not catch what He said. Sensing that, Swami again repeated what He said. Again, I did not understand. This happened for a couple more times and I slightly rose on my knees in an attempt to get His words into my hearing range. Swami, with His eyes, encouraged me to move closer to Him. Having got that signal, I just got up and rushed to Him. I can never forget the statement He made that day.

He showed the rose and said,
“Idi show kosamu ra.” (This is for show.)

He looked deep into my eyes, into my innermost being. And then, he just smiled.

"Idi Show Kosamu Ra" - The 'descent' of the Lord is for 'ascent' of man! 
Two birds

In an instant, it flashed in me. Swami was doing this for my “show-off” reasons! I quickly glanced away from Swami and saw that the devotee was seeing me! I looked at Swami and He was smiling. I just nodded to Swami saying that I understood. Swami now looked at the singer, smiled at him and sent him back to his place. Then, He sent me back to mine.

What can I say? I was just overwhelmed at His omniscience and His love. I just sat there, joy bubbling and coursing through my being.

After the evening session, I met the ‘hesitant’ singer. He told me,
“See, I was not wanting to get up and go to Swami in that manner. But peer pressure made me go to Him. That is why Swami took my rose and said that I was doing it all for show! I realize my fault.”

I could not help but feel amazed at how Swami had struck two birds with a single stone! :)

16 comments:

  1. Nice experience and introspection. I would change the ending to...

    "I could not help but feel amazed at how Swami had struck THREE birds with a single stone! :)" to include your devotee friend, IMHO :)

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    1. exactly...was wondering how you missed the third one ...calculation mistake...actualy the story was revolving around him n u :)

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    2. It is indeed amazing to see you string the true incidences like a beautiful fairy tale filled with miracles. I thought reading them I would be happy to have read them, now I realise that the thirst to read more and enjoy and be enthralled seems to be all overpowering.

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    3. Agreed that the "devotee friend" could be the third bird. I had no way of confirming whether the message that Swami conveyed reached the devotee for I have not spoken since... So, to be honest, I cannot say with 100% confirmation that the 'third bird' was hit! :)

      @Shobha - Glad that you are addicted... Swami is like that...isn't He?

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  2. truly amazing..soul touching experience.. many of us are guilty of putting up a show to boost our egos..

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    1. Yessss.... and it is not that I have stopped now... I continue to do so and the Lord continues to lovingly teach... :)

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  3. Superb! Swami has His inimitable ways of teaching us a lesson. Sometimes, even during bhajan sessions, He answers many people's prayers at the same time. I have experienced it many times. Once, I prayed for some thing and saw a flower fall from Swami's photo. I thought of going and requesting one uncle to give it to me. But there was another brother who had also prayed for something and he wanted it 'coz the flower fell while he was singing the bhajan. I immediately smiled and asked that brother to take the flower, for it was surely Swami's way of indicating that He is blessing him.

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  4. I have often witnessed in trayee when a single act of gesture of swami has had effects on 2 totally unrelated people in 2 unique ways, each claiming the gesture of Swami was for his benefit.

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    1. Have you shared any such experience in your blog? I checked out your blog... Interesting. But there is no way to subscribe to it via email. Could you add that option?

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  5. Sairam and thanks for sharing....it made my day.

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  6. Thank you for sharing, Aravind..

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  7. “Idi show kosamu ra.” (This is for show.)... I can't stop laughing....
    Swami is so mischievous.... Sai Krishna Avatar... Such Love .... Loved this article so much ...

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    1. Hehehehehehe.... yes.... It was so beautiful when He said that...

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