Chennai Visit – Day 3 (Evening) – December 20, 2015
Music is a kind of spiritual sadhana, which uplifts the soul, transporting the listener to a completely different realm! After a brief rest, the entourage accompanied Bhagawan to the residence of noted musician Sri Mandolin U Rajesh and family, to savour this experience. His brother Padmashri U Srinivas was a child prodigy-turned mandolin maestro. The devout family were eagerly waiting to receive the Lord with much devotion and adoration.
The family along with a group of invitees welcomed Bhagawan, who made His way into the house and headed straight to Sri Srinivas’s room. He spent some precious moments with the family, after which Bhagawan was led to the music room, where Sri U Rajesh rendered some soulful songs at the Lotus Feet. After a blissful 20 minutes, Bhagawan blessed him and his sisters profusely. He then narrated a story of Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Akbar, his court musician Tansen, and their encounter with Swami Haridas. “Once when Emperor Akbar was walking through a forest, along with Tansen, he heard a very melodious music. He thought, ‘I do have great musicians, who have attained great name & fame in my court. But, never have I heard such a soul stirring melodious voice.’ Emperor Akbar wanted to know the source of this music, and hence went in search of it along with Tansen. They reached a small hut, from where the music emanated, and found a great saintly person, who was singing with his eyes closed. He was experiencing a kind of spiritual communion with God! The Emperor lost his body consciousness, continued listening to the music, and was himself immersed in divine bliss.
At the end of the song, he fell at the feet of the great singer & asked who he was. The singer replied he was Haridas, the servant of God. Emperor Akbar said, ‘You have been signing so melodiously. Tansen is one of the nine jewels from my court, but I have not heard such mellifluous music, even by him!’ He then called Tansen and told, ‘You do have a master like Haridas. How is it that you have not inherited this kind of melody and sweetness in your singing?’ Tansen replied, ‘Between Guru Haridas and me there is a vast difference. I look at the face of my King while singing, while he sings for God! He is a musician of a much higher court, hence the sweetness in his singing.’
Music is very dear to God, and the quality of music depends on the feelings. In the same way Emperor Akbar travelled in search of the origin of the sweet music, I have gone all around Chennai and finally arrived here! I have come here not because he (Sri U Rajesh) is a great musician, but because he plays his instrument with a lot of devotion. Both he and his elder brother always thought of Swami, and offered the music to Swami every time they performed. They never played with the feeling of ego, that they were the doer. Only when we get rid of this ego, Goddess Saraswati.\ will shower her grace upon us. One may attain scholarship in music, but without devotion to God, everything is a waste of time!
Therefore, devotion which is the essence of all spiritual learning should be cultivated! Only then, will we find fulfilment in our lives. Those who have true devotion to God, will have complete equanimity in failure and success. Whether it is pain or gain, sorrow or happiness, we should consider everything as gifts from God.
As we walk on the road, due to thorns and stones, we may encounter difficulty. But when we walk with sandals, inspite of the thorns or stones, we will not have any pain. Before a doctor performs a surgery, he administers anesthesia, and the patient does not experience any pain. Therefore, one feels all the pain in this world, which is filled with duality. But when we have the anesthesia or sandals of devotion or Bhakti, we will not experience any pain or adversities. We will have equanimity of the mind, and we can set an example to others.”
Swami went on to narrate a story from the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Once Gandhi ji was walking through the forest with his followers. Night was fast approaching and the followers were tired. Gandhi ji thought it was better to cross the forest, as he knew it was not safe. But since his followers were tired, they were ready to take a break. Gandhi ji asked a person who came from the opposite side for directions to the next village. He said it was within a mile, and everyone thought since it was just a mile away, they should go ahead.
Failing to see the village, they asked another person for directions, and he gave the same answer, saying the next village was after a mile. They met another person after a mile on the way, who gave the same answer, yet again! When they finally reached the village, one of the followers asked Gandhi ji as to why the people who gave directions on the way spoke untruth, while he always encourage everyone to speak the truth. Gandhi ji lovingly replied, ‘If they would have said it was three miles away, no one would have gone forward. They also knew staying back at night in the forest was unsafe. That is why they wanted to encourage us to walk. Look dear, if they would have told you the actual distance of three miles, you would have sat down in the forest, not wanting to move ahead. This is not untruth, but greater than truth. It is out of love for us they spoke that way.’
Similarly, God also says many things, sometimes to encourage you. He knows how far you have to go, but he will encourage you to walk further, so you can reach your goal. Finally, if we want to reach our destination, we need to walk the journey of life, with the sandals of devotion, and must have complete faith. However dark the path may be at night, if you have a torch light, it will be of great help. If we have the torch light of the name of God, that name will show you the path. Thus, keeping the name of Lord Rama in our heart, and by entering into the activities and service of Lord Rama, we can reach our destination.
God tells you, as much as you can bear. He already knows when and how you will reach your destination! So, we should have complete faith and devotion to God. One does not question God, during good times, but tend to question Him during their times of adversities. But I am only reflection, reaction and resound. Everything happens for our own good. We may not understand now, but we will, at a later point. When a baby is given a tetanus injection, the child may cry. But, the mother knows well that it is done for the benefit of the child. Similarly, don’t think I do not know your pain, when you cry. I also know that this pain is temporary, just like the pain caused due to the injection. Gradually, everything will fall into the right place, and will be fine. If you have the anesthesia of devotion to God, you will not experience any pain and sorrow. Therefore, all of you develop firm faith and steady devotion. With true devotion to God, you will not be deterred by any difficulties. This samsara, life in the world, is like a dream. You should know that anything, good or bad is a dream. A poor man may dream he is a Prince, but realises he is still a pauper when he is awake. Similarly, a King may dream that he has lost everything and is a pauper, but does realise he is still the king, on waking. This morning also I said, that if you want to attain immortality, it can be done only through the actions that we perform!
Satyam Kirti Dwayam Sthiram. Only truth and good name are permanent. This world will come and go. All the good activities that we do, will remain permanent.”
After a delectable spread of dinner, the entourage along with Bhagawan returned to Tambaram. Upon arrival at SB Mahal Kalyana Mantapam, Bhagawan blessed the owner along with his family, and Sri Kalyanaraman and his family profusely. Arathi was given to Bhagawan, as He bid farewell and assured everyone of His return very soon to Chennai!