Bharani Prasad is an alumnus of Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. He graduated in the year 2012, with an MBA Degree and is presently working with a premium chocolatier and is based out of Delhi.
I had my first ‘Subtle Experience’ in Oct 2014. I was so enamoured by Swami’s “subtleness” that I made trips to Muddenahalli in November and again in December. During our interaction on 5th Dec, Swami made it very clear that there was no point going to Prasanthi Nilayam or Muddenahalli repeatedly, if we do not make efforts to experience Him in our own hearts. Our visits to holy places are to recharge our batteries so that we experience Him wherever we are and in whatever we do. In short, realize that He is always with us and within us.
When I asked Swami, as to how we could experience Him from Delhi, He said “Go to Delhi; Have good company; Involve yourself in selfless seva; Do bhajans and spread the fragrance of love to everyone around”. I was charged up to experience him in my heart and promised to myself that I would not go back to Parthi or Muddenahalli until I feel his presence in my heart.
I was back to Delhi and made conscious efforts to attend bhajans whenever possible and also participated in blanket distribution for the poor. There was absolute joy in sharing our love with those who had nothing but sky as their roofs. I was thrilled and wanted to get involved in more seva activities. However, I got busy with work and had very little time to devote for Seva. I was feeling bad that I was not getting enough time for Seva.
Exactly about a year ago I had met a spiritual master in Vrindavan who told us that Swami would be very happy if we can convert our daily works into worship. The words “When duty becomes God, work becomes worship” somehow stuck a deep chord in me. Around the same time, I also heard a discourse where Swami was mentioning that we should never differentiate between ‘our work’ and ‘God’s work’. He was saying that everything was indeed God’s work and the attitude towards work was more important. Now that I was not getting an opportunity to do ‘seva’, I thought I should try and convert my work into worship.
Coincidentally at the same time, I was moved out of the head office and was placed in one of our cafes for a project. (I work for a chocolate company and we have our own cafes where we sell chocolates, beverages and food). My work predominantly involved market analysis, understanding our customers and finding ways to delight our customers. I thought this was a great opportunity to share my love and very soon I got involved in the store operations, though it was not my main responsibility. I started making coffee, attending to the guests on table, greeting them, understanding their needs, etc. I imagined that Swami is coming in different forms as customers and it was important to attend to each customer just the way we would attend to Swami.
My work became easier and blissful. I smiled at them wholeheartedly, served the food to customers as Swami’s prasadam and I had no qualms in cleaning the tables, lifting the used plates, etc. I did this for one whole month and every day I used to be very satisfied and contented. Before going to sleep I would think of how customers would smile back at us when we smiled at them wholeheartedly. Those happy smiles were my daily rewards and my heart danced every time I recapitulated those smiles. I realized that I could attend to our customers easily as I viewed them to be embodiments of Swami and obviously there were no judgments/opinions about their looks, dress, accent, etc. I just loved and all I got was love in return.
I applied the same logic to my personal life as well. Very soon I made new friends who were very different from me but with whom, I could connect easily. My relationship with everyone got better as I was being less judgmental and more accepting. Every time my friends or customers would compliment me, I would say “Thank you Swami, I hope I have made You proud”.
I made a presentation of the project findings to the management and they all appreciated the efforts and the work done. By Swami’s grace I also got a new job responsibility and was rewarded with a pay hike. I just didn’t know how to thank Swami. The love that I was receiving from everyone- my colleagues/roommate/friends/family was so immense that I used to be filled with tears at this very thought. I was then sure that these tears of joy were proof that I was experiencing Him from within.
Soon I was travelling to Bangalore to spend time with family and I thought I should visit Muddenahalli and thank Him for all the beautiful lessons that He made me learn in those four months. I also felt that I was entitled to go there as I had experienced Him in my own heart. During my student days in Prasanthi Nilayam, I used to write a lot of letters to Swami. In fact every darshan I used to hold a letter, the same thing continued in Muddenahalli as well. Looking back, these letters had only mundane personal pleas. This time I thought I shouldn’t ask Swami for anything personal. After all He had given me so much without asking.
As Bhajans started I was transported to a different world and was sobbing like a child. I experienced Bliss sitting in Anandam and my heart had only one prayer- “Swami let the love that You have placed in our hearts grow even more and touch more and more lives”. I thought of all the wonderful moments in the past 4 months where I could feel HIS presence. Swami gave His discourse and His message was as old as the hills behind Anandam-“Practice selfless love to experience God”. He went on to say “I came down as an avatar to instill hope and faith in people that God existed. Now I am making you realize that God exists in your own hearts. Prema Sai will make you realize that you are all Gods”. Just imagine the thrill when you experience Him in your own heart and He reiterated that He lives in our hearts.
The discourse ended and Swami started walking towards the devotees. As He was walking I told myself that I won’t ask anything personal to Swami. He looked at me and said “You have come, Very happy”. I asked him about the Summer Course and sought His blessings to get Delhi Youth. He didn’t speak much. Somehow I felt that He should have given more instructions. On the way back I was expecting him to talk on Summer Course but He said “Hey, you come to Kodaikanal this time”. My heart skipped a beat and I just could not control my tears of joy. I quickly went out to a lonely place and thanked Him.
Just a few months back, sitting in my home, I had prayed earnestly to Swami to make me part of the Kodai trip in May. But later, I was in a fix as we had Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality for Indian Youth in the same month and due to office work I could be part of only one trip and I decided to be part of Summer Course( As a Kodai trip would only benefit me, whereas through summer course I could help so many other youth to experience Swami). But our Lord is so compassionate and sweet. When I was thinking of receiving instructions on getting Delhi youth, here He was fulfilling the small but intense desire that I had. It was a clear example of how He takes care of all our needs when we become selfless and when we genuinely want to share love with others.
P.S: One might say that Swami has been insisting right from the beginning that we are divine too. But the difference now is that, He is actually making us realize that God is in our own hearts and that we are God too.