Monday, 20 April 2015

Crying at the Lord's door - Vijayshree discovers the solace of her life

A single leaf of the mighty banyan

Thousands have been the teens who have had the privilege of studying as students in the educational institutions established by the Avatar on earth. Millions have been the magical moments that they have enjoyed with the Lord in human form. Infinite have been the insights that have been derived from these experiences with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Yet, each new episode is interesting to hear because it is unique in its unfolding. It is any surprise then, that the Lord has been described as Nitya Nootana (ever new)?

Among the billions of pages in the millions of chapters in the book of His-Story there lies hidden the soursweet experience of little Vijayshree. Though the word ‘soursweet’ is defined as ‘being sweet and sour at the same time’, there is a reason why the word ‘sour’ comes first and ‘sweet’ comes next. That is because where God is concerned, things might seem to get sour but they always end on a sweet note. That is precisely what happened with Vijayshree. This is the story of how she became a Sai-student in Swami’s Primary School.

3-year old Vijayshree sitting beside her great-grandmother, Venkamma outside their home in
Puttaparthi. 
Vijayshree happens to be the great-granddaughter of Smt. Venkamma, the ‘elder sister’ of Bhagawan Baba. (The only reason why the relationship is in single quotes is because Swami always identifies with everyone as fellow-sparks of the same Divine Principle.) Venkamma enjoyed the privilege of personally taking food up to Swami’s room, serving Him and waiting upon Him until He finished eating. Vijayshree, barely four years of age then, enjoyed the privilege of occasionally accompanying her great-grandmother on her visits to Swami. It was in the year 1992 or 1993.

The mischief and its result

Though Vijayshree accompanied Venkamma, she never went up to Swami’s room with her. She would wait downstairs, playing by herself on the cement floor under the mighty tree that stood on the west side of the mandir then.

That day, Vijayshree was at her mischievous best and irritable worst. She began to scream and create a ruckus even as Swami was having His lunch upstairs. The shrill voice easily travelled till Swami’s ears. Even as He was about to put a morsel of food into His mouth, He stopped and asked Venkamma,
Venkamma yevvaru anta allari cheastannaru?(Venkamma, who is making so much noise?)”



Rather than name her, Venkamma chose to take her own action to solve the problem. She excused herself from Swami’s presence and went storming down the stairs. She was very upset that her Swami’s meal had been disturbed by Vijayshree. Swearing at the little girl, she commanded Vijayshree to stop the ruckus she was making. When that didn't solve the problem, she went up to her and planted a tight slap on her little cheek. In an instant of shock and disbelief, Vijayshree became mute. Satisfied that the problem had been solved, Venkamma went up the stairs to Swami again.

In the meanwhile, Vijayshree recovered from her shock. Huge blobs of tears formed in her eyes and slid down her cheeks. She let out a loud bawl that shocked the entire premises. The temporary peace that Venkamma had achieved was shattered into shards that pierced her ears upstairs. She got ready for a second descent but Swami motioned her to stay. He summoned Vishnu Bhatt instead and told him to fetch the ‘little girl’ who was the source of the sound, to His room.

“Swami, she will only disturb Your meal even more”, Venkamma offered.
Swami smiled at her indulgently and told her to be calm.

Moments later, Vishnu Bhatt produced Vijayshree at Swami’s door and Swami called her inside. But the hurt and embarrassed girl refused to go in. She stood at the threshold, glaring at her great-grandmother with a tear-stained face, running nose and finger-printed cheek. She was angry and scared at the same time.

Swami looked from the old lady to the little girl and then back from the little girl to the old lady.
Paapam Venkamma,yenduku alla kotinavu? (Poor thing! Venkamma why did you hit her like that?)”
“She deserved it Swami - disturbing you with her mischief and nonsense. It was my mistake that I brought her here.”

Venkamma didn’t realise then that taking anyone to God - in whatever way - is never a mistake!

Swami decided to balm Vijayshree’s wounds of pain and fear with the greatest medicine - His love. He asked for a plate to be brought. He served rice into it and poured a ladle of rasam (South Indian soup) over it. With His sweet voice He beckoned to Vijayshree,
Raa, mee avva miriyala rasam bhaga cheysindi... thinu... (Come... your granny has made very nice rasam... eat...)”

The little girl stubbornly stood her ground and said,
Emi vaddu! Ee avva yepudu chusina naanu thiduthuvuntundi... ( No need of that! This granny keeps scolding me always...)”

Swami turned to Venkamma and said,
Venkamma paapani schoolki pampichu, inka nee degara untey yemmoyemmo nechukuntundi.
(Venkamma, send the little girl to school, else, being with you she will learns all sorts of things (swear words) )”
Then, turning to Vijayshree, He told her to come in and partake the food. Somehow the fear and anger had melted away and the little girl ate from the plate that had been served by Swami.

Vijayshree, as a first grade student, offers a card to Swami before the Sports presentation by
the Primary School. The venue is the Shanti Vedika in the Hill View stadium.
Just a cry away...

Thus it was that the little Vijayshree was carried to the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School. Since she was only four years old, she was not old enough to join first grade. But since Swami had said that she should become a student, she was permitted to join classes. (She joined first grade the next year actually. She spent a year just attending classes without writing exams.)

There was another new entrant on the day she was admitted in the hostel - the prayer hall jhoola (swing) for Swami. The wonderful thing was that, just like Vijayshree, the jhoola too had been sent personally by Swami! Swami visited the hostel that day to inaugurate the new jhoola. But Vijayshree believes that the swing was only an excuse He created to visit the hostel and ensure that she was fine.

Her belief was vindicated when Swami summoned Venkamma the next day and told her,
Baipadadu, paapa baaganey undhi. Nenu chusukuntanu... (Don’t worry,the child is fine. I will take care of her.)”

Things have changed a lot since then. Two decades have passed and that is a lot of time in a person’s life. Venkamma has passed on. Swami has left the Physical. And Vijayshree is now a mother to her own little daughter. But there are some things that will never change. Foremost among them is the truth that Vijayshree is still Swami’s little girl. She happily ‘plays on’ in the world knowing that her Swami is just a cry away. And He continues to soothe and pacify her fears and pains with His eternal Love.

If you enjoyed this, you will also enjoy these stories of the little kids with their Swami:






For all readers:

(If you enjoyed this and wish to subscribe to this blog, please go to the right hand side and choose the last 'box' which says subscribe. Also explore the many 'previous articles' listed month-wise on the top right here, in the web version of the blog. Another blog which I maintain with more than 230 articles on it is at http://aravindb1982.hubpages.com. If you wish to be added to my mailing list, please email me via this page with the subject "ADD ME TO MAILING LIST".)

5 comments:

  1. pl correct the word meeri yallu rasam to miriyala rasam(meaning rasam made out of black pepper)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Swami's caring words for lil vijayahsree is moving... :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. wonderful may GOD BLESS YOU. JAI SAIRAM

    ReplyDelete

Please do take some time to leave your valuable thoughts and feedback here. It will be an enriching read for me. :)