Thursday, 24 September 2015

Delhi-Simla Memories- Part 4 - Drama at Dwarka

Sathya Sai is a silent worker - whether we realize it or not!
A revelation during tiffin

Swami was already at His table as we made our entry into the dining hall. On seeing us, He told us to enter. Even before we reached our chairs, He asked us what we saw during the outing. Jagdish Kanadia answered Swami on our behalf with one word - Qutub Minar. 
“What is that?”
That query was an opportunity for many to enjoy the bliss of Sambhashanam with Swami.
“A long Stambham (pillar) Swami!                                  “
“It’s a tall structure.”
“... a historical building with many intricate carvings...”
As the explanations went on Satyajit stepped in and summarised our outing.
“Swami they went to Qutub Minar, India Gate and the Rashtrapati bhavan.”
Sai Krishna added, “We saw the parliament house too.”
“You went into the parliament?” Swami seemed amazed.
“No Swami, we saw it from outside only.”
Swami then asked CG and Prabhakar as to what they saw. Prabhakar thought Swami was asking him where he came from and so, said, “Hyderabad.”
Swami smiled.
“You saw Hyderabad and came?”
All of us smiled too. Even the slightest of Swami’s smiles become a source of mirth for everyone. That, I felt, is the capability of the divine. Since it is absolutely selfless and giving, even it’s smile spreads so spontaneously top everyone.  

The tiffin session then began with the usual Brahmaarpanam. As we ate, Swami gently prodded Sai Krishna to induced Him into chatting with us. It began with Swami asking him as to where he had been. He said the same answer. When Swami asked  Devasenapati’s father as to where he went, Sai Krishna answered on his behalf,
“Swami he too came with us. We all were together.”

Sai Krishna then continued,
“Swami when you visited North India in 1973, You went to Delhi, Mogha and Shimla. In the films shot during those times, Swami is seen walking so fast amidst all the devotees.”
I realized that Sai Krishna was using the first few lines of his Telugu commentary in the Sai Blossom DVD titled, Love Flows North. For those who did not know this, his words came like a spontaneous flow of beautiful Telugu!

Swami began His elaborate response,
“Yes! At that time, the visit was for ten days. I had stayed at the place of the Gwalior Rani(queen) also. Many people had come to see me. On one side, it was all turbans (the headgear of the people of Punjab and Haryana) and on the other side, it was all burkhas (the dress worn traditionally by Muslim women). Indulal Shah and Sarla Shah were there.”  

We all nodded in agreement. People of all faiths and religions have always found a place at His lotus feet and, from Swami’s own description, it was evident that this held true even for the 1973 visit. GV Sir (Prof. Venkataraman, director of Radiosai) entered the conversation saying,
“Swami we have the original films of that visit in our archives! We also have the films of Swami’s trip to Kashmir.”

On His way out to grant darshan in the International Centre. Living each day on the inside was such a revealing
experience. I am grateful to Swami forever. 
Swami continued to speak about our outing. He asked,
“What did you buy there?”
Sai Krishna was quick to respond,
“Swami we did not buy anything. We only saw everything and we took some good photos.”
Swami nodded and said,
“Though you did not buy, seeing  some things the desire to buy arose in you.”
Again, there were smiles all around. We looked at each other and understood that we could not deny what Swami had said.

{This is the 4th part of an ongoing series. You can read the previous part at this link:
Or you can read from the beginning. The link to Part 1 is here:

The tiffin session continued. After a few minutes of silence, Swami looked up and said in a matter-of-fact manner,
“When you went to see all that, Satyajit and I went in flight to Puttaparthi. There I gave prasadam to all the sick and ailing people and we returned.”

The Pav in my hand dropped to the plate! I stopped chewing too. This was an amazing revelation and Swami had made it so casually without any ado. The impact of the revelation seemed to slowly hit the others too and they also looked at Swami in awe. Even as we were beginning to glimpe at Swami, the Supreme UNiversal Lord who can never be totally understood, Swami, the sweet friend came to the forefront.

The International Centre had slightly lesser crowds as most of the devotees had gathered at the Dwarka grounds.
Those that stayed back, enjoyed a beautiful, close darshan.
Evening plans unfold

“What is that?” He asked pointing to the Pav Bhaji that we were eating.
The awe-filled reverie broke and we chorused,
“Swami, Pav Bhaji.”
Swami seemed more confused than enlightened. GV Sir came up with some facts that none of us had even the slightest idea about,
“Swami in Portuguese, Pav or Pao means bread. They were the first ones to colonise Bombay and since then, in Bombay and Maharashtra, this Pav Bhaji is famous dish.”
All of us were amazed at the extent of his knowledge.

A mesmerising pose during the bhajans.
Swami continued to speak a few sentences which I could not hear. Swami spoke so softly and I am sure many would not be able to hear. However, everyone would nod when those who were seated in the front nodded. Swami noticed this and looking at Jagdish Chandra, sitting a distance away, asked, “Are you able to hear what I am saying?”
Those in the front nodded. Taking cue, Jagdish also nodded. Swami now asked him a little loudly, “What did I say now?”. Jagdish was blank and Swami smiled saying,
“Then don’t say that you could hear!”

By now, we had nearly finished tiffin. Swami asked Cheema,
“Cheema! Kya Samachar?” (What news?)
Cheema told Swami that devotees awaited Him at the Dwarka grounds.
“Is the car ready?”
“Yes Swami.”
“Then let’s go.”
Swami exited the dining hall.

We quickly followed Him. Swami descended through the lift and via a ramp, moved to the congregation area where the bhajans were on. As Swami arrived on the stage, the two powerful air-coolers placed there blew away at His hair. They were quickly decommissioned and then recommissioned at a much lower speed! Swami sat enjoying the bhajans. His hands moved up and down with the lively pace of the two bhajans after which He took Aarthi. Blessing everyone with Abhayahastha He turned and said,
“Let us go!”

Retracing the route He had arrived by, Swami got into the car and all of us  boarded our bus which was parked on the road outside. Though the bus started before Swami, we were soon overtaken by the Divine convoy of cars. The convoy, with its VIP clearance soon left us trailing behind by more than twenty minutes. I felt bad being left behind and began complaining about the same. After a few minutes however, I resigned to fate, settled comfortably in my seat and dozed off.

It was absolutely silent when we reached the stadium nearly an hour later! I wondered whether we had come to a wrong venue. As we were led by a couple of volunteers, it became evident that we were entering through the back of the main dais. Coming on to the stage, we realized that it was a huge one! It was amazingly large – about three times the size of Shanti Vedika (the stage in the Vidyagiri stadium at Puttaparthi)! Adding to the immensity as another similar sized stage at a slightly lower level! It was magnificent and there were lights all around.

There was an upper stage and a lower stage. Both were very huge. The devotees were very far away and Swami's
heart went out for them.
I felt sorry for the devotees - there were thousands and thousands of them - who were all seated very far from the stage. The person in the first line was a good fifty metres away from Swami! I imagined them seeing Swami as a ‘Nataraj pencil’ - a red body with a black head!  By the time we reached on stage, there were children singing from the lower stage. Swami was seated on the upper stage where the lights had been focused on Him. Since we were late, we heard only the conclusion of the final song after which there was Veda chanting by a huge delegation of Balvikas children on the main stage.

Swami turned His chair to face the children. He swayed His hands in rhythm to the chants. After the chanting, Swami was told that there was a drama scheduled on the upper stage. Swami blessed it and He moved down via a long ramp to the lower stage. Before that happened, two kids came to Swami with a card detailing the theme of the drama and some floral offerings. A card was shown to Him and then Swami blessed them to begin.

A panorama of the devotees who had gathered at the Dwarka grounds.
A drama on stage

One of the corners on the lower stage had been specially carpeted for Swami. All of us followed Him to that corner. I saw that even the lower stage was about six feet in height and people below were straining and struggling to catch a glimpse of Swami.  Swami didn’t seem happy with this at all. He seemed to be saying that He has been kept so far away from the devotees and the performing children. I understood that the Lord does not like exclusivity. He is happiest in inclusivity!

Swami saw all of us around Him and said, “Take mikes and begin singing.” This seemed like a sudden change in plans. However, we hurried to get mikes as per the Divine command. Before we succeeded, Cheema sought Swami’s permission to begin the drama. Swami agreed and that’s what happened.

The drama had a simple plot. It depicted the life of a child who had ingrained in him the human values most essential in society today. It began with a teacher inspiring all the students to get prepared for the Republic day celebrations that were due in a week. In the meanwhile, the story and inspiring ideals of the protagonist were depicted. While all the other children splurge on toys and gifts, he buys a walking stick for his grandmother! He also teaches them ideals and inspires them always. He had a mop of curly hair and he wore an orange T-shirt. It was not difficult to make out whom he was alluding to. He was a good representation of the 1930s Sathya in the 21st century.

Sathya Sai Padambujam Bhajare Manasa Nirantaram
CG and I had positioned ourselves a little away to take shots of the drama in progress. My attention however, was drawn to a mini-drama that was in progress at Swami’s corner of the stage.  There were at least half a dozen flies that were buzzing around Swami’s feet. Dwarka, being an open ground, would be hosting an abundance of insects and it would be no mean task to control them. Still, I found it interesting that the flies were all hovering only around His feet. Even the lowest on the evolutionary ladder seemed to know where their evolution lay!

While my spiritual side rejoiced at this, my physical side was repulsed by this sight. I borrowed a hand fan and thought of fanning His feet. But then, what about photography? I moved over to Satyajit and indicated the problem to him. His response was both simple and brilliant.  He pulled out a white handkerchief and gently covered His feet completely! It was an elegant solution and the flies no longer seemed to bother Swami! I was happy.

Both the dramas in progress - one on each stage! Swami's feet have been delicately wrapped in the white handkerchief! 
The drama progressed slowly and when it was almost 6:50pm, Swami told Satyajit,
“Come let us leave now.”
When Satyajit told Swami that it would take a little more time, Swami said,
“ It is already late and we have to travel back a long!”
Swami too was aware of the long journey to be made! But then again, Cheema stepped in and requested Swami to stay on for another ten minutes.

After a while, Swami again looked at us and asked, “Aayipoyinda? (Is the programme over?)"
None of us had the slightest idea. As if signalling the end of the programme, Swami gently kicked away the handkerchief that had covered His feet. Nishikant sir saw that (the act and not the intent) and so he came forward and gently placed the kerchief back. Wanting to ensure that the intention is noticed, Swami kicked away the kerchief, harder this time, and kept moving both His feet, to and fro after toppling the pillows that acted as a foot rest! Once Satyajit noticed this, he quickly put the kerchief into His pocket and decided to leave. 'Coincidentally', the drama too concluded exactly at that time and as Swami moved up the stage, the children got ready for group photographs. Well, the Lord knows the drama even before it is performed in His presence!

The whole programme had been elaborately covered. Live telecasts were on. Nine channels were broadcasting the events that were on. More channels were pining for a chance to cover Swami. That’s the way God is! Everyone wants a part of Him! There were also giant screens that had been arranged so that the people could see Him from far away also. Swami said that it was time to leave. He moved along the edges of the stage so that all the assembled thousands could have darshan. They were all so far away and one’s heart really went out for them. Then, He moved up to the main stage and moved amidst the ‘more than hundred’ kids who had assembled. At the corner of the stage, He saw the ladies seated from the corner of His eye. Immediately, His hand went up in the abhayahastha pose. They were so happy and their wait from 2:00 pm seemed fruitful!

Find Swami contest at the end of the presentation.
Swami moved to the centre and all the kids now rushed to Him like bees to a sweet lotus. And rightly, they were all diving at His lotus feet! Satyajit was going on saying,
“You want pictures right? Turn that side….turn that side.”
Cheema stepped into the fray to bring some order and I was also constantly telling the kids to turn and look towards me. I saw the power of God’s magnetism here.

Three strong men - including me -  were shouting orders to these little kids and even physically turning them around to face the camera. But these innocent ones were just turning back to Swami, again and again! The attraction towards God is natural among children and it is no wonder that our culture exhorts on introducing God early in life to the children.

Swami posed with them and as I was moving back to take pictures, I almost fell off the ramp! But I was subconsciously conscious of the “fall” that was to come and so I landed neatly on me feet! After the photo session, Swami moved backstage and to His car. I was there taking photos and Jagdish Kanadia stood opposite to me. Swami told both of us to go to the bus immediately and we instantly followed His command.

Swami blessed all the participants backstage before leaving the Dwarka grounds.

Thus began the long journey back to the International Centre. It was a night drive and I was seeing Delhi in its nightly costume for the first time in my life. I realized how special Swami had made it for me. I never thought that my first Delhi visit would be with my dearest Lord! When we reached the centre, we were told to hurry to the dining area as Swami was waiting for us. Ah! That was such a sweet divine gesture. Swami would always ask as to where we were. He never liked to eat without us! As always, that dining session too turned out to be a memorable one.

to be continued in Part 5 at the link below:

Delhi-Simla Memories- Part 5 - The Divine Child at Dinner and Dessert

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  1. I enjoy reading ur blogposts and thank u for sharing. A query...what did Bhagwan mean "...Satyajit and I went in flight to Puttaparthi....and we returned.”

    1. Ah! Those are instances, I feel, where one can never totally understand God. Yet, pondering on the possibilities itself makes one sit up in wonder and awe. That is all I have done... I really don't know what it exactly means... :)

  2. So beautiful. Thanks for bringing to mind memories of Bhagwan. Sairam.

  3. Sairam Aravind. Wonderful description in 4 parts of that Delhi trip from your pen, dictated by SWAMI. Enjoyed every word of it. You are blessed to be HIS tool to tell HIS story. Looking forward to more! Best wishes, blessings and Love.......Madhusudanvithal Nori

    1. Thank you uncle... Please keep me in your prayers as always...

  4. Yeah, whatever technology is used to read about GOD in human form, GOD is GOD..thanks for the posts..and I am sure all including this blogs has a reason and role to play in his mission and big picture. For sure, it brought the feeling that I was also in that trip...that's good.

    1. Ah! That is wonderful for that is the intention - that the experience is spread to as many hearts as possible. Thank you.

  5. That incidents of swamy asking last seated boy if he can hear him and a quick flight to parhi to fulfil a pending activity matches with the title of the picture which says Swami is the silent worker.


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