Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba left His physical frame on the 24th of April 2011. When that happened, there was widespread disbelief among the devotees. According to various public instances and references, Baba had said that He would be in His physical frame till 92, 94 or 96 years of age with the ‘96-years’ concept being the most popular version. How then, could He leave at 85? Thus, came the ‘theories’ of a second coming, a return to the physical of Bhagawan Baba. Then came the compilation - Sai, Thy Kingdom Come - by S.Narayan which brought together all the different things Bhagawan had said about the ‘length’ of His life. It presented evidence from the various scriptures, Nadis and the like while proposing a second coming. It also presented dreams and visions of different devotees that suggested Swami's second appearance as evidence. I must say, it felt really wonderful reading the same.
However, whenever I read, heard or came to know about different accounts regarding His second coming, a voice from within kept persistently throwing up a single statement which Bhagawan often made - a statement so poignant and profound that one could meditate for long just on it. This was the statement of Baba that my heart kept showing me,
“When you cannot understand my silence, how will you understand my words?”
The Mahasamadhi was a black swan event and it was chosen by the Avatar of the Age definitely to communicate several messages of wisdom to mankind. One of those, I firmly believe, is to prod us to start listening to and understanding His silence. Instead of doing that, if we start discussions and debates on when and how He will start 'talking' again, aren't we missing the whole point?
The Divine Word is the Veda Vakya
God’s words are always the TRUTH. In fact, a Vedic scholar was once asked,
“Swami keeps telling various things about what is in the Vedas. Are those things really present in the Vedic texts?”
The scholar, Sri Kamavadhani, replied emphatically,
“Fool, Swami’s Word itself is the Veda!”
According to him, Swami’s word defined the Vedic word and not the other way around. It was not the case of checking whether what Swami spoke was the truth or not for His speech defined the Truth. His first name, Sathya, means Truth and the Universe realigns itself to follow His every utterance.
The debate here is not about what Bhagawan said, but of our understanding of what He said.
Bhagawan's startling declaration in the interview room
The drama ‘Daivam Manusha Roopena’ (presented by the 11th grade students on March 29, 2007) was on the life of Shirdi Baba. When the scene of Shirdi Baba leaving the body for three days came, Swami went into the interview room. There, He made a revelation that literally left the students, Divij Desai and Harish Krishan. dumbstruck.
“A time will come when I too will leave like Shirdi Baba but unlike Him, I will not come back. My tomb will be in the place where I currently sit and I too will speak from the Tomb like Shirdi Baba.”
The boys immediately responded saying that the Poornaavatar should be with us for at least a 100 years and He should not 'utter inauspicious things'. Swami seemed pleased with the response but gave no assurance of the same.
In the same vein, though not directly related to the current story, Swami revealed to the same Harish something profound in early 2011, weeks before He left the physical. Swami expressed a deep sense of anxiety that His students (especially) would leave Prasanthi Nilayam when He sheds His body.
Stating that, Swami got very upset and apparently agitated. It didn’t seem to be a cause of such agitation back in 2011 but there is a reason behind every single act of Bhagawan. Today, we see people coming to Prasanthi Nilayam in droves but we also witness devotees leaving, deluded by the thinking that ‘Swami is not here’ or ‘Swami is now in X place or Y place’. Hasn’t Bhagawan has said that though God is present everywhere, you find Him installed where His glory is sung? No where has it been sung and with such emotion as in Prasanthi Nilayam and in His Divine Presence! Every brick in the mandir is filled with His Love. He has built everything Himself shedding His sweat. Physical presence or not, Prasanthi Nilayam is definitely effused with THE PRESENCE.
The phenomenon of 'Understanding-after-the-Event'- two dreams
On the 11th of February 2010, I had a dream in which, among the other things, I saw Swami on an operating table with a doctor explaining some things to Him. My experiences have shown me that dreams of Swami are true. Swami Himself has said on many occasions that it is solely His will when He appears in a person’s dream.
In the dream, I grasped a few things that the doctor was telling Swami. It was about cutting and slicing something out from His body, doing something to support His back and planting an ‘inflatable’ object within Him. Though the dream was very clear, I did not understand what it meant.
That is, till Swami was actually implanted with an ‘inflatable’ thing an year later and something was done to support His back - continuous dialysis (the kidneys are located at the back).
Though Swami had indicated what was to happen more than a year in advance, I understood its import only when the right time came. I could neither interpret what was going to happen, nor take precautionary steps in any way to prevent that from happening in the February of 2010.
This ‘understanding-after-the-event’ is a commonality that I have seen in all the future-predicting texts - be it the Nadi scripts or the Nostradamus prophesies. What they predict is always understood after the event. The predictions are of no use in understanding or influencing what is going to happen in any way! It is always a retrospective view. Take the case of the prediction of the Advent itself. If people accepted what the Nadi said or what Mehdi Moud said or Nostradamus prophesies revealed about the advent of Baba on earth, why did they not believe in Him till He Himself established His divinity beyond doubt? It was only after being convinced of His divinity that people understood and accepted what the scriptures said. It was more a case of Swami lending credibility to the Nadi and other scriptures rather than the other way around!
I have recorded an instance where Swami made certain revelations in my dream which manifested a year later. But it was only after they had manifested that I understood what the dream meant. I would like to share another dream to illustrate another variant of this phenomenon of 'understanding-after-the-event'. It also shows us that though we clearly understand the meaning of things that are revealed, we truly understand them ONLY at the right time. This is the dream I had it on the 17th of January, 2011.
As I knelt beside Swami (in my dream), Swami said that He would leave and go up which I understood as He would give up the body. He seemed quite sad and so I told Him that He should not feel so bad or sad. Then Swami asked,
“But who will give ______ to me?”
I am unable to remember what He asked for. This much I am able to remember that it was something which I did not have a lot of and I wondered how the little I had would help Swami. But I told Him,
“Swami don’t worry. I will give. It’s not about the future, even now I shall give. All that is mine is yours. You know that.”
Swami knew that I was speaking very honestly, and He seemed slightly better. Then He said,
“But still....the time is coming. I have to go.”
Then I said,
“Swami truly speaking, I too feel very bad when I think that You are going. But since You are feeling bad, I am not showing my emotions. It is not good for two people to feel sad simultaneously”
At this point, Swami sat closing His eyes. I thought of asking Him a strange thing,
“Swami even after You are gone, I will be in touch with You right?”
So I cleared my throat and dared to disturb His trance,
But Swami was lost and I was not able to elicit anything from Him.
I woke up next morning and though I noted down the dream because it was very vivid and real, I convinced myself that it was an ‘indigestion dream’ because I didn't want to accept it though I understood it! And so, once again, though the Truth was revealed, it was not understood before the right time - the 24th of April 2011 in this case.
What I am trying to say is that though there is no doubt that Swami's Word is the Truth, I cannot understand what He says till the right time for that comes. The same holds true for the second coming as well.
A dream about the second coming
Regarding the second coming, I too had a significant dream. But frankly, I feel its complete meaning will unfold only when the right time comes. Here is the dream anyway. This was on the 4th of March, 2012.
I had been called for an interview along with another lad. We were waiting for Swami to call us into the interview room. We stood at the the ladies side end of the mandir where the ladies would usually wait for interviews. A large mirror had been placed at the backside of the Ganesha statue and in it, I could see the reflection of the interview room door. Swami was bustling with activity, going in and out of the interview room. I wondered and said to my partner,
“I just hope that He remembers our interview due!”
Even as I said that, Swami looked straight at me through the mirror. He beckoned to us. I went and as I turned towards the interview room, I saw that a cot had been placed next to the door. Swami was now lying on it and a student was holding Swami’s right elbow with his right hand and his left hand was behind Swami’s back. Swami asked for one more person to support Him similarly on His left. My partner felt overwhelmed with this asking and just sat down in the portico. I went ahead thinking that if Swami wants anything done, He would also give the strength to complete the same. I eagerly told Swami that I would help.
I sat next to Swami and held Him the same way as the other student. Then, we were making Swami do sit-ups! Even as that was on, I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Swami looked at me and asked me the reason for the expression. I said,
“Swami when you did so many miracles, some people believed you while others found faults in the miracles. But now, the whole world saw your burial on national television. And after that, you are sitting here! What greater miracle could one ask for...”
Swami too had a tear in His eye.
I know that my Lord has not left me. He is always there. I know that He is working a miracle in manner in which none of us can even imagine, let alone trying to understand. My job is to simply wait - give Him the Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (perseverance) that He asked for in the Shirdi form. Except for me missing the physical form now and then, nothing has changed. He still guides, counsels, jokes and speaks to me in ways that I never thought possible. I shall possibly record just one example of this here.
Something had upset my wife, Pooja. Naturally, it affected me too. We decided to offer everything to Him. Thus it was, that we decided to read the Prayer of Surrender. This prayer, written by Swami in a letter to a devotee makes us achieve a state of surrender by simply reading it with a calm mind! (To see that original letter, head over to the dialogue on surrender.) But it is so comforting and powerful that I have framed it in my altar and I read it frequently. Here is what happened. I pulled out this framed ‘prayer of surrender’ from the altar and began to read it out to my wife. At the same time, my father entered the room with silver lamps to be kept in the altar. It was hardly 25-35 seconds when he called out to me. When I turned back to face the altar, there was bright red kumkum (sindhoor actually) in exactly the same spot where the ‘prayer of surrender’ had been plucked out from!
Yes! Swami is with us always. I was reading the story of Jesus Christ and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. You know something startling?
|'Seeing' Christ is matter of faith unlike the times when he was present on Earth in the physical.|
“Thy Will Be Done”
In our eagerness to focus on 'Thy Kingdom Come' may we not forget the 'Thy Will Be Done'. By trying to pin down Swami to references of Him 'living' till 96, we are possibly missing the bigger picture. That is why, I shall not try to understand. I shall only strengthen my faith and wait...for when the right time comes, everything will become crystal clear. In the meanwhile, I might as well enjoy His divine drama as I wait! :)
A note of caution from Swami
After Bhagawan left the physical, there have been several claims from different people that Swami speaks through them, acts through them and even "possesses" them. Such things used to happen even when He was in the physical but, understandably, they are on the rise after the 'Mahasamadhi'. People often wonder about the veracity and authenticity of such claims.
Are these 'blessed' people really in touch with Swami? If 'Swami' communicates to me through them, what should I do? This is such a sensitive matter that I feel it best to simply allow Swami Himself to answer. Below is a clip from a discourse that He delivered on the 22nd of July, 2002, during the international Seva Conference at Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami expresses His immense pain and disappointment that some people in the garb of devotees are misusing Swami's name and soliciting money. Swami categorically says that He does not approve fundraising of any kind, and it is completely against His nature to seek from others, and those who claim to represent Him too must not indulge in or support any such activities.See it for yourselves and realize how important it is for each one to develop a direct, heart-to-heart connection with Him and not via any medium!