Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The final Namaskar - the ultimate message of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Prayers galore

The 27th of April 2011 saw poignant scenes - the like of which have never ever been witnessed on the face of this earth. As the Mahasamadhi of an Avatar was witnessed the world over by a number unmatched in human history, tears flowed unbounded. Being in the world at this point in time was such a cleansing experience for the whole atmosphere was washed with tears - pure, selfless, love-filled and grateful. They were sufficient to wipe out all sins committed by all humanity it seemed! A lot has been written about the Mahasamadhi of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and a lot more will be written for this is ‘His’tory! But here is a little thought I thought I would share.

The amount of prayers that have gone on in the world had been tremendous. The name of Sai filled every conceivable space for it had been enshrined in a billion hearts. Bhajans, service activities and spiritual sadhana of unprecedented proportions pulsated on Mother Earth. At the physical level, the best man and the best machines worked tirelessly day and night at the temple of Healing that He Himself had built. His most dear students constantly were by His side and aware of every breath He was taking. The sheer magnitude of the combined effort of every devotee was enough to bring life into an inert stone! And yet, the Lord took Mahasamadhi.

This thought had plagued me when I realized that prayer is not an act of asking God or telling God. It is silent communion with Him. When we either ask or tell God, we make the preposterous and utterly foolish assumption that we know better than Him. Swami often tells us the story of two farmers - one who prayed for rain for his crops, the other who prayed for a dry day so that his daughter’s wedding could go on uninterrupted. Whose prayers should God listen to?

Should He listen to the one who cries more? Or to the one who pines more? Should He give precedence to age or should He give precedence to status and influence?

Of course! He will listen to the one who loves Him truly. And who is that? Naturally, the one who has surrendered to His will. When one has surrendered to His will, is not prayer redundant? Our definition of prayer changes as we realize that the one who is always in sync with the Lord has his prayers answered for he always prays for what the Lord has already willed! This is indeed a very different way of thinking. If my prayer is answered, it is because I was in sync with God; I was in communion with Him. If my prayer has not been answered, I was not in sync with Him; I have to make efforts to be in communion with Him.

It is everyone’s experience that we feel some intuitive urges. And then, these urges just manifest themselves. Let us know that these are instances when we have been in communion with Him. And when these intuitive urges have manifested for me, I have felt the thrill of experiencing Him. I see Him, hear Him and feel Him and He speaks to me! I feel the thrill because I ‘know’ His plan. And I know His plan because I have been able to be in sync with Him for those precious moments.

A part of the greater plan

That is why, when I found some instances in my life where Swami indicated His Mahasamadhi, I felt so relieved. It felt wonderful to ‘know’ that it’s all part of His Masterplan. In the pages of my diary I discovered a dream where months before, He indicated that He would be leaving soon. Just like someone with white hair dyes it, or a person who loses teeth puts dentures, I too covered up my knowledge of the dream and went about my life. And then, Swami gave the most poignant indication!

It happened on the evening of 20th of March. Swami had not been ‘keeping well’ if I may use that term. His darshans were few and spaced between. And yet on this day, He took two darshan rounds. He called all the students who were seated for blessings and poured grains on their head. (About 40 students were blessed that day). He distributed a few sweets and smiled at all present. He even called the tiny tots from Primary school and blessed them. In the words of a very senior singer, “Today Swami seems so hyper active!!” There was rejoicing. And when He received Aarthi, everyone was thrilled with His tapping His hands rhythmically. And then it happened...

As the Samastha Loka chant filled the air, Swami raised His hands. But it was not the familiar Abhayahastha. He had FOLDED HIS PALMS IN SALUTATION!

He seemed to send a beautiful message, “Salute all for God is in all”. The Vedic chant “Sahasra sheersha Purusha” resounded in my heart. ( That hymn says that God has thousand limbs, heads and sense organs symbolic of the fact that God is in all.) In the Bharatiya custom, this is how one takes leave after a visit!

My hairs stand at their end and I have goosebumps when I realize how Swami had indicated the Mahasamadhi. But I did not see! Swami says, “Pashyan Api Na Pashyati Moodho” (You fool! You see and yet do not see!) That was the condition. But I took pictures that day.

And today, just seeing the pictures is so relieving and enthralling for it told me that Swami knows His plans. Even when He was fine and was a week away from being ‘admitted’ to the hospital, Swami had made shown us His decision. And in showing us this decision, He also showed us His expectations. He wants our lives to be His message and one of His final acts of benediction teaches us that we should see Him in all just as He saw Himself in all. We should bow to Him in all just as He bowed to Him in all. we should love all and serve all just as He did.

And in order to share the experience, ins(a)ight and blessings from Swami that day, I post the following five images.  Let us pledge to Him that we will in our lives imbibe His message of pure Love for all. And as a teardrop makes its way down my cheek, a  firm resolve forms in my blood - a resolve to Love Him and see Him in all!

A footnote

As a footnote, I must add that there is a wonderful 'Masterplan' as to how I happened to carry my camera on that day when there was no other camera in sight almost! I will definitely share that story too in due time. It is so marvelous that am in search of a proper occasion to share the same! :)

However, this much I shall say that my intention in clicking the images on that day was to get a 'direct look' blessing photo of Swami. And when Swami did the 'namaskar', my thought was, 
"Oh! Unique images... But no blessing today!"

Even as that thought flashed in my mind, Swami turned to me. He looked deep into my eyes. And soon, a thrill ran down my spine! He gave a 'direct look' blessing pose which got captured. That was direct proof that He knows every single thought that goes on in my mind. My heart rejoiced. He knew that I would be needing that assurance in the days to come. Ah! How loving my Lord is! How He plans everything. God has a plan for us... And that is all we need to know!

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  1. Sairam, whenever I see this pic, I really curse myself. This happened in March 2011. Our Samithi Convenor, requested me so many times to give my name for the Multi State Service in march 2011. Due to some exigencies at work (now I realise there is no exigency than our surrender to God) could not give my name for Service. In the meanwhile, my sis (Sujata Viswesh) on FB gave her name. She was very fortunate to be present on 20th that day at Kulwant Hall to witness this scene. Before this, I got a dream where Swami is giving padnamaskar to my sis and I am just watching, Swami with a frown scolded me in tamil "you're a dumbo". After Service, my sis did get a padnamaskar. So whenever anybody is calling us for Service, it is indeed Swami calling us!! Again on 27th March I got another dream of Swami in a train (which I have already mentioned)

  2. I am eternally grateful to Swami for prompting my mother to say to my father and me in Jan 2011 -- "Why don't we go for March seva this time instead of May? Swami is in Parthi now". We reached Parthi on 21st March 2011. We were blessed with His darshan on the evenings of March 21st, 23rd and 25th. And who knew on March 25th that it would be the last physical darshan that the Lord gave in Sai Kulwant Hall? As I look back, I am filled with gratitude and emotion that the Lord called us to Parthi as a family and conferred upon us this rare blessing and privilege.

  3. thanks for giving such a wonderful experience

  4. Beautiful Pictures and even more beautiful experience to be shared with

  5. Why did not people understand when GOD saluted them that GOD was giving some important message to the GOD in them? Since HE is GOD HE knew when to salute. We mortals do not know nor can anticipate when to salute ! As such the answer for this could be that we always remain in a state of saluting so that we surrender to HIM throughout the life.
    gsbm jagdishwer rao

  6. GIOVANNI CIODARO DE TOLEDO21 August 2014 at 03:11

    ¡¡¡¡¡¡OM SAI RAM¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡SIN PALABRAS¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡OM SAI RAM¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  7. Whenever Swami looked into your camera lens the photo you took was for the rest of us who weren't there. The last photo I look at him and could feel love pouring out of it into me. I am sure many others feel the same. Thank you my Swami for making Aravind take his camera that day. Jai Sai Ram.

  8. That is exactly what prompted me to share this publicly with the whole world... The pictures are not mine... I just got the opportunity to click them...

  9. I also remember Swami explaining that the namaskar posture also means union of jeevatma with paramatma. Might be His indication that He is looking forward for us to unite with Him.

  10. So beautiful gesture, we unite the 5 external indriyas and the 5 internal indriyas and we surrender them to God, it is a reminder that we must surrender our ten indriyas to God almighty and with that surrender to continue His mission of changing the world to spiritual ideals.


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