Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mental peace by not being judgemental - a personal lesson from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Part 2

My bold (ad)venture

( The above video and the entire description below will make wonderful sense only if you are coming here after reading the first part of this experience. If you have come here directly, it is strongly recommended that you read part 1 before proceeding. Part 1 is at the link below:

Mental peace by not being judgemental - a personal lesson from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Part 1

The video above is the conversation described in Part 1, that took place on the 25th of September, 2009)

(Part 2 continues from here....)

The first thing that I did was to approach the person who was the master of ceremonies during Dusshera to find out who was giving him the names of the speakers. My question led me to the vice chancellor of the University. I accosted the revered Prof.Vishwanath Pandit as I was walking back to the studio. When I greeted him, in all humility and sincerity, he too folded his hands and greeted me. I was bowled over by the humility of the man who was one among the top economists in India who had taught previously at the Delhi School of Economics. In fact, the Government of India has roped him regularly into the team that advises it on the financial budget for the country and the venerable professor always has valuable points to offer it. Seeing him convinced me that the tree which is ripe with fruits always bends down in humility.

But today, the thought uppermost in my mind was about Swami speaking in the evening. Without prefacing my words with any polite statements, I came directly to the point.
“Sir, all of us want to hear Swami during the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha, the Dusshera evenings.”
“Yes! That would be very nice if Swami speaks.”
“Why then do you take to Him names of speakers? Please do not do so. Tell Him that there is nobody to deliver a speech and He should speak.”
The professor kept looking at me, not saying a word. I, foolishly, got encouraged and continued,
“Is it not a crime to deprive Swami of a chance to speak when He Himself wants to do it?”
A small hint of irritation came on this noble professor’s face. Soon, it was gone and he told me calmly,
“It is best that you stay within your own limits. You do not understand many things...”
I still prodded,
“But sir, Swami wants to speak. What is the problem then?”
He just patted me on my shoulder and walked away shaking his head. I could not understand what that meant. But I was not someone to give up that easily. I decided to approach the other people on whom Swami had bestowed the honour and privilege of dining with Him every night. They would surely be witnesses to this “speaker-fixing” that took place in the evening. I went to Prof. G. Venkataraman (GV as he is affectionately called), the director of Radiosai Global Harmony.

It was while speaking to him that I got to know the reason behind the vice chancellor telling me that I did not understand many things. GV sir revealed to me that every day, without fail, the vice chancellor repeatedly requested Swami to deliver the Divine Discourse. However, Swami always asked for the names of prospective speakers. On one occasion the vice chancellor had boldly said,
“Swami, there are no more speakers.”
Swami had asked him whether he did not have the capacity to find one speaker from a whole University. Swami rued that His little expectations were also being dashed. Having no other option, to ensure that Swami did not “feel bad”, the vice chancellor was forced to mention at least one name to Swami. But, he made it a point to tell Swami that in reality, there was none to speak.

I spoke to several others too - the Registrar of the University, other prominent teachers among which was Prof.Anantaraman (the current Media Co-ordinator for the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust). Satisfied with the multiple discussions, with a feeling that I had done what I had promised to Swami, I slept peacefully that night.


I had no idea that the fifth day of the Yajnam would be one of great revelation for me. In the evening, Swami completed His darshan rounds and came on the dais. Prof. Anil Kumar, the master of ceremonies, gave a summary of the day’s happenings. Then, when it came to introducing speakers, he kept absolutely silent. He told Swami that there were no speakers scheduled! I was thrilled with this.
“Anil Kumar sir knows exactly what has to be done when”, I thought.
The day’s lesson began to unfold at that moment...

Swami sat silently for a while. Then He beckoned to the then Secretary of the Central Trust, Sri. K.Chakravarthi. He told him to get ready with a speech. He also called for Prof. Anantaraman and told him also to speak. Before he went to the lectern, Swami gave him the instruction to speak for at least an hour!
Oh my God! Swami was the sole doer behind this whole drama!

In an instant, I realized my folly. I had got so judgemental, thinking that nobody loved Swami the way I did, that I had been blinded to the Truth. The Truth was (is and will be) that God does everything in the Universe. He is the director behind the drama of life. We are all merely actors doing our roles. Of course we have to do our roles. But, we should not entertain passions, emotions and judgement while we do so. For instance, the ‘villain’ and the ‘hero’ may appear to fight ‘on stage’ but off stage, they are friends right? They entertain no thoughts of hatred or anger. In fact, they do not entertain those feelings even ‘on stage’. They only appear to entertain those feelings because their role in the drama demands that. That is the secret behind being peaceful and seeing God in everyone.

As the magnitude of my ignorance and foolishness hit me, I just sat prayerfully throughout the one and a half hours that the two speakers took to conclude their talks. Gone was my irritation at the “ego” of the speakers. I was just lost in wonder at the perfection with which they were just performing their roles, following Swami’s words to the letter! They were as sincere in their love for Swami like me if not greater.

As the speaker concluded, Swami again started to say that there was none wanting Him to speak! This time, once again, I joined all the students in their vociferous appeal for Him to speak. But there was no irritation within me. Like a member of the audience watching a movie, I was simply enjoying the Divine Drama. It was my role to seek and plead to Swami to speak and I would do it as perfectly as the speakers who had followed His command to speak for the one and a half hours. I sat watching Swami as He said,
“Nobody even places the mikes before me.”

The crowd now joined in, shouting “Jai Bolo Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ji Ki Jai”, to express their desire to hear Swami speak. Swami looked at the audience and in “innocence” asked,
“What is happening?”
I got up and went to the dais.

It was deja vu for me but with a difference! This time, I had realized my folly and spoke to Swami, addressing
Him mentally as the Divine Director of the whole drama!
“Swami, everyone if requesting you to speak. That is what is happening.”
“But what can I do? There is no mike for me to speak...”
I had grown wiser by now. I smiled and told Swami,
“Swami, it is all in your hands. If you decide to speak, nobody can stop you from speaking. If you decide not to speak, nobody can make you speak.”
Mentally I told Him that He was the director of the drama.

After a few moments of silence, I bowed to Him and asked,
“Swami, do you want me to get the mikes?”
He told me to just return to my place. I took padanamaskar and did as I was told. I was happy that I could physically indicate to Swami that I had learnt my lesson. Swami received Aarthi and returned to the Residence.

Leading life without judging others

One profound thought arises in me as I think of this episode. Knowing the Truth that God is in charge, the director of everything that happens in life, is so assuring. It changes my mindset from one of irritation, frustration and anger into one of peace and joy. Can I not extend this lesson to every situation in my life? Instead of finding faults with people, with the situations or with myself, can I not calmly tell myself,
“Everything is going on perfectly as per Swami’s plan. I do not understand the ‘script’ but I have confidence in the ‘Director’. As an ‘actor’, let me do my role to perfection and not get worried or upset.”
In fact, that is the secret which Swami revealed in His dialogue on surrender.

The next day, the 27th of September, 2009, proved that once the message is learnt, the messenger ceases to exist.

Once again, Prof.Anil Kumar, introduced the day and then appealed to Swami for the discourse. Swami, on His part, beckoned to Prof. G.Venkataraman to speak. GV sir spoke for hardly 10 minutes and then, he too, requested Swami for the discourse. Swami, once again, said that He did not have mikes to speak at all! Since He was looking at me as He said so, I went up the stage. By that time however, GV sir had turned back and returned to Swami. Swami asked us, "On what should I speak?"
GV sir then broke into a 2 minute rhetoric on how Swami knew everything. He said,
"Swami there are so many new boys and it would be a gift of Grace if they could hear you."
He moved back to his place after that. I told Swami,
"Swami you know what we need. Please speak anything."
He seemed to nod. I asked for the mikes to be brought and Swami did not seem to protest. The mikes were placed in front of Him and it was a beautiful discourse, a profound one filled with many revelations about creation and Swami’s childhood days. The day ended so beautifully.

I cannot but help thinking on the deep message that the whole experience reveals. The only way to peace and joy is to surrender and not be judgemental. All life’s experiences take on a new light when I am not judgemental. Instead of being attached and emotionally involved, if I can just be a witness in full knowledge of the Truth that God is the director, life becomes smooth and ultra peaceful.

It will be my endeavour to constantly remember this experience and lesson.

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  1. Very nice lesson, Aravind! I loved the video. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  2. Id like to share a similar experience that came to mind when i read this... We experienced something similar during the World Youth Conference in 2007. Swami in his morning discourse told us that he so badly wants to speak to us, but the organizing committee had arranged for all the youth to go to the indoor stadium and watch a basketball match. Swami even said... some people will tell you that i wanted you to watch the basketball match but i want to talk to you all actually. That afternoon, listening to what Swami said we all went to Sai Kulwanth Hall, but were redirected to the stadium .... In that heat as we walked to the stadium I became even more irritated not only because of the heat but the fact that we were missing out on Swamis discourse because some people wanted to play basketball. What was worse we found out that the organizer for the game was this one Datuk Yeoh from Malaysia. ... my friends and i were thinking why is this man doing this... and why was swami listening... Years later I had the privilege of getting to know Datuk Yeoh personally, He was such a devoted person, so full of love like this nice old grandpa... He had build a retreat fr swami in the foothills of Genting Highlands which Swami visits so often and leaves proof of his visits everywhere.I asked Uncle Yeoh ... Uncle why did you do such a thing in 2007... what was the story. Uncle then told us how Swami had forced him to organise the basketball match ... so that his children could enjoy ... and uncle actually said to Swami that we would enjoy HIM more but Swami insisted. Uncle then in his sweet way told me ... " Swami only knows why he does these things..from where we are .. very hard to see just do lah what He says " Really we dont know the script just like u said Bro Aravind Balasubramanya. We should just have the faith and see the Drama unfold ...

  3. Dear Aravind -- is it possible to write a transcript of the conversation between you, Swami and later Prabhakar? The video is precious....seems like a long conversation, and I kind of caught the 'pillalu'...Swami saying He will talk to the children. Will be nice to have a transcript. What language do you talk to Swami in?

    Meanwhile, here is the comment you wanted me to put here as well:

    sailite: -- Roshini... I remember that . It was hot, we walked to the stadium, and sat for the match. We were upset at missing darshan. I remember, Swami actually came to the stadium before the match began!! I was irritated too, because they greeted Him basketball style, announcing His arrival as if a film star had arrived at a festival, instead of God coming to grant darshan . But, He greeted all the players, spent some time and then left. The match began after that. Thanks for bringing back memories. I also remember how He chose b'fast items for us, and handpicked saree designs too. He is such a micro-manager (Thank Him for that! lol), not buying it that He didn't know about the speakers or the match idea, or whatever else :)

    1. The transcript is present in detail in the previous part of the article….A few words, even I did not catch then. But whatever I could capture, I have recorded in the Part 1 f this blog!


    2. aah, you are right! my bad...I thought you had only paraphrased, but you have indeed written out the dialogues! Thank you. [Two day gap between reading parts I and II, and so had forgotten. Apologies].

      I must say, that is quite bold of you to go up to Him and have this conversation!!
      Quite a contrast to an earlier story from Brindavan, where you were chastised by teachers and Swami for standing up (the stage lift episode?) - I think that is one of the earliest blogs of your's that I had read. Is it that you were all grown up now? :) ha ha..... anyways, that is a charming conversation in the video. Swami seems quite indulgent.

  4. wonderful article. this is an eye opener for every one not to be judgemental, but to surrender

  5. Sairam....... like a mischievous child Swami doing a peek a boo from in between the curtains. His naughty smile is so captivating like baby Krishna.
    Its human nature to be judgemental and when it comes to Swami, am sure all of us will cross all frontiers to have Swami for us.
    Now read how I judged a person wrongly with this limited brain I have. I still regret.
    Last week I had gone to Shirdi with my mother and few friends. I met an elderly person who spoke in the gathering about himself. I judged him like this in my mind "Uncle is so elderly and jobless like me". I told the gathering that I am a devotee of both Shirdi and Parthi Baba.
    Later, that elderly uncle came to where four of us were seated and said he is an ardent devotee of Parthi Baba, is a convenor of a Samithi, a Bala Vikas Guru and showed us a photo wherein our Swami has blessed him during his 60th birthday function. He didn't notice Swami in the function but luckily it has been captured in his mobile. The bhajans he sang were from his heart and he looked so humble.
    I learnt a lesson and asked sorry from Swami.
    Sorry Swami and to that uncle also.

    1. I am sure Swami would be saying "Past is past" because that is His reply for repentance always…. :)

      Let our love for Him grow stronger every passing moment….

  6. Swami's timing is so perfect, this beautiful article came out just when, I am doing the same mistake of being judgmental. Thank you Swami and Thank you brother Aravind..The message came to me just in time.. Jai Sairam

  7. Swami's timing is so perfect, Dear Brother Aravind ! This wonderful article came out just in time when, I am being judgmental and experiencing lot of disturbance. This message surely extinguished all the fire in my mind, greatful to Swami and thanks to you..Sairam.

    1. Very pleased to read your comment brother. May the peace grow…

  8. Sairam dear brother Aravind, wonderful video, I really loved watching it. What a precious lesson this is. I feel so blessed that you share this gem, it is indeed divine timing from Swami. I was about to read the first part yesterday, but then it was late and I was so tired from a hectic day and I decided to postpone the reading. This evening I saw the video on youtube and again your wonderful article and I thought "ok Swami, you really want me to read this, I understand".
    I really thank you dear brother. I live in europe, Italy, and here we do not have pictures of Swami all around as in Parthi, but your videos and articles are a nectarine shower of sweetest Sai Love. I was pleading with Swami and He is giving me so many answers through all you share.
    Infinite Sai Love

    1. Glad to know that you are happy and enjoying these. I too enjoy a great extent when I relive and share these incidents. Thank you for your kind comment.


  9. As always another wonderful article. Lesson for me...not to be judgemental..... Thanks Brother.

  10. going through a test and let's just say it is good to recall that there is a Divine Director...

  11. Sairam brother.. its me again... what a great timing... today I was in the same situation of being judgemental and when things went the other way around.. I spoke mentally to Swami as how this got changed... but he gave answers through this...


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