As we woke up in the morning, to the cold weather, the trees and hills outside were drenched in the drizzle, just as we were soaked in Swami’s Love.
Swami came down around 9.15 am, to the hall downstairs, where all the devotees were gathered. As Bhajans were in progress, Swami glided to the devotees sitting outside in the corridors, said , “Papam, its very cold today, go and sit on the red carpet” (the walking path for Swami). Looking at some singers, young ladies and men, outside, He told them lovingly, “Go inside, else you will complain that your throats are bad due to cold and blame it for your bad singing, though the real reason is lack of practise”. Then Swami ambled back to the hall, talked to a few and made His way to the chair. After the melodious bhajans that sweetened the morning, two students enlivened it with their dance performances of Bharath Natayam and Kuchipudi. The boy who performed Kuchipudi on a song dedicated to little Krishna, was dressed like a lady and could not be told from a boy. Swami joked, “Hey, you must dance on the ladies side”.
Swami said, “After the two dancers, its time for Singapore devotees to dance”. Though actually they were to sing a few songs, during which they swayed and clapped to the tunes, which Swami jokingly calls as dancing. They sang their hearts out and all others joined in with candles, swaying to the songs. A divine sight indeed.
All of them were singing and dancing like children in front of their beloved Lord, which did not go unnoticed by Swami. He was very happy with their songs and asked each of them to stand up and introduce themselves to the audience, which they did hesitatingly. There were CFOs, Businessmen, Surgeons, Lawyers, and Presidents of companies, who simply became little children in the presence of their divine parent. To the students He said, “It is for you all to learn from them that I have brought you here so that you know what kind of devotees Swami has. Soon I will take some of you to Malaysia for a youth meet so that you do not remain ignorant like the frogs in the well, but become bees like them, who come from far to taste the nectarine sweetness of Swami’s love and share it with others too”.
Swami them mentioned that Bhagawad Gita says, “Where there is Yogeeshwara Krishna and the bow wielding Arjuna, you find – Prosperity, Success and fame. I and you together can achieve anything. I am like the current that passes through the electric bulbs, the light that shines depends on the wattage of the bulb. Similarly my grace is equal for all, but how you benefit from it depends on how you are. The purer you become, the brighter you would shine. My limitation is only you”.
Swami then blessed brother Tigrett to speak to all about the transient world and permanent Love. He said that Swami has given us all a Mantra “I AM GOD”, but rarely do we repeat it due to lack of faith and continue to live in Maya that envelopes us like gas. He mentioned about the discourse given by Swami to the 100 odd translators from around the world (who work round the clock to translate the discourses into many languages, the booklets of such translations during Swami’s travel to many countries have been compiled and are available to all on www.divinebooklets.tk). During the discourse Swami said that the first ever communication from God to man was through silence. The thoughts were transmitted from the Divine to the human mind and vedas were revealed. But with deterioration of human consciousness, the communication needed the support of words, and written texts as books. He lamented at the state of the current youth who are clueless about their divine self. He mused about how the smart phones and gadgets of modern communication have made people, especially youngsters, become deeply entrenched in Maya, the illusory identity of oneself as mere body mind complex, through social networks. Children are losing their understanding of reality and are only craving for self-importance in social circles. He mentioned about how in Whitefield, Bangalore, thousands of busy young and old professionals pass by the edifice of sacrifice, Swami’s super specialty hospital, located right across the road, but they fail to even notice it let alone knowing what is going on inside its portals.
Brother Tigrett, spoke about his life of hard struggle, a loveless childhood and his lack of self-confidence till he moved to London from USA and found his true self after starting the HARD ROCK Cafe, which made him ‘somebody’ from nobody, a ‘non-event’. Therefore Swami often tells him that he was born in London! During this phase of his career right from the age of 22, he met many inspired youth and interacted with them. He mentioned that perhaps it was for this reason that Swami has asked him to write a book about his life’s learnings both physical and metaphysical, and named it as, “Within and Without”, for the youth aged 15-25 years. These are the golden years when the youth are inspired and are untainted by the worldly ways and can therefore be channelised with a little guidance. Swami is bringing his young students to train them so that even if a few become like Him, it would make a big difference to this world. He concluded by talking about his experience of witnessing Swami clad in a white silk robe swinging in a silver jhoola, in his heart all the time and is available to him all the time, though it is he who fails to contact Him at times. It is possible for us all to take a moment and look through the bodies, into the souls, of the people approaching us and feel the divinity approaching. Urging all to utilize this second chance of being with Swami well, he concluded his speech.
Swami then spoke about Mr Tigrett. How he would come week after week for 17 years to have Swami’s darshan, all the way from London, even though Swami would not even speak to him. Students here sit and complain that Swami is not looking at them or talking to them, without realising that they have got this opportunity to be in Kodai, in Swami’s presence, which wasn’t available to Mr Tigrett for years. Yet after all those years, on Swam’s first command, he sold his business and offered the proceeds to Swami to build the first super specialty hospital at Puttaparthy. Swami said that people only look at what business Mr Tigrett operated but fail to see how he ran it on moral principles and more importantly as a servant of Swami. “Swami sees the inside of Tigrett and not the outer shell which is why He loves him so much. Those who speak, barely do; those who do, rarely speak”, Swami said.
Since there was still some time before the lunch could get ready, Swami narrated the story of the door keepers of Lord Vishnu, Jaya-Vijaya who on denying permission to the angry sage Durvasa, were cursed to be away from the Lord’s proximity. Upon intervention by the Lord, the sage relented and gave a choice to the servants between 7 noble births or 3 evil incarnations as a punishment. The duo chose 3 evil births so that they could come back early to their Lord, first in Krita Yuga as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, then in Treta Yuga as Ravana and Kumbhakarana, and finally in Dwapara Yuga as Kamsa and Shishupala. They had to suffer so much to be with the Lord whereas the students have got it so easily and must realize and use this opportunity well.
Thereafter Swami blessed the chocolates brought by Singapore devotees and pens that were to be given to all, He took Arathi and proceeded to His room upstair. Looking at Brother Vijay Sai who was standing near the staircase, Swami threw a pen to him and said, “Think its a laddoo (a sweet) and catch it”. Then Swami joked that if Vijay Sai thought it was a pen he would have surely dropped it, but he would not lose a laddoo as he would concentrate and catch it well. Just like Bheema who taught concentration to Arjuna by demonstrating to him that he could eat even in the dark without spilling the food, due to his interest and concentration on food, Arjuna thought to himself, “If Bheema could put the food from the plate into his mouth in the dark why cant I shoot a target in the day light”, Swami taught a lesson in such simple terms. Living with God is true education!
Thereafter Swami granted a few interviews before his lunch and retired for a brief rest.
Swami granted a few interviews to devotees before coming down around 5 pm.
The bhajans were on, as Swami walked around. It was still raining and the weather was a bit cold especially outside. So He once again asked those who were sitting outside to come and sit inside on the carpets and where ever they could find some place.
The highlight of this evening’s program was a musical performance by the Band SIRAHA, which is an acronym for the three musicians, SIvamani- the percussionist, RAjesh – The Mandolin maestro and HArmeet – the keyboard player: they were joined by our brother Dimitris- who can play on 20 instruments.
The Carnatic classical songs set to the rhythm of westerns beats was a delightful fusion of East and West.
As Swami watched brother Sivamani perform on various instruments and objects like pads, drums, tabla etc., including a steel bucket with water that produced surprising sounds as objects were immersed in water while being played upon, Swami laughed and said, “Oh! Stunts. You will go away but our children who are now inspired by you, will pick up the buckets and mugs, spoons and tumblers and start playing like you! ” (there were peals of laughter all around).
However Sivamani Ji was so humble that he simply smiled and said, “Swami it’s all your blessings” (that made them laugh more).
The program was exhilarating, each at his best! Truly an eye opener to many about the innovative ways once could present music.
Swami called and blessed Sri Sivamani profusely and asked him to speak about his father who was his guru as well. Sivamani ji spoke for a little while about his father, his musical journey and encounters with Baba. He prayed for more opportunities to play for Baba and also travel around the world carrying the message through music. Swami immediately blessed him to come and play during coming birthday, in fact He asked all to come. He also blessed the band that they may travel around the world spreading the message of Love and peace through their music.
As a first blessing, Swami instructed the Singapore devotees to make arrangements for them to come to Malaysia during the youth retreat in August. Our master walks the talk, that too instantly!
Swami spoke briefly about music and God. He said, “Music comes from God for it is the language of Gods. The sound is considered Brahman (Nada Brahma). It is from God that space (Akasha) emerged, which is the basis for sound, as the vibrations in Akasha produces sound and is the basic principle of all musical instruments and vocals. From space came air, from air came fire, from fire came water, from water the earth, from Earth came food which gave rise to Man, thus describe our Vedas, the process of evolution. Since space is the substratum for all to originate from, there is space in everything so there is sound in everything. The rhythm of our breath, the ‘lub-dub’ beats of our hearts, has music in it. Nature is full of music, the sound of breeze as it blows, the crackling of wood in the fire, the gurgling brook, the stomping of feet on earth, each is a sound of music. Since we are made of all the five elements therefore we have music in us, the music of nature, it is truly nature that inspires music!” Swami continued, “But we must remain humble as mere instruments in God’s hands. Ego is the cause of one’s downfall, which comes from the sense of doership. If the hollow instrument starts thinking that it’s the reason for the music that it plays, it would be foolish, as music is because of the musician who plays it. Else it is just a dead piece of wood. Likewise, it is God’s energy or Prana that keeps our hearts beating, our breath flowing, our blood circulating and our food digesting, this helps us do whatever we do in our lives. Without God flowing through us as Prana, we would be dead bodies. Think for a moment that you might be great musician but did you create the sound and the swaras? You might be a painter but did you create the colours? You might be a cardiac surgeon or a doctor but did you create the body or heart that you operate upon? You might be a farmer but did you create the seed? You might be an engineer but did you create the elements using which you build. If you think for a moment like this, you will know the truth that you are nothing. It is God who gave everything, using which you are what you are. Be an instrument and do not be an obstacle. When the artist tunes you by tightening you, for it is only then that the perfect music can be played for the joy of all. Don’t object but surrender to God, who can perfectly tune you and make you the best instrument. Else what choice does a musician have but to discard the instrument that disobeys and pick up another one that has surrendered, lest the music should be ruined”. Profound truths were truly music to our ears!
Swami then asked Sri Narasimhamurthy to speak, who mentioned that God is called Nada Lola and not Gana Lola because Gana (Song) has come from Nada (Sound) which he has understood today by Swami’s message. He said that the music of Swami’s oratory surpassed the music rendered by the four Gandharvas today. He was overwhelmed and said that he wanted to invite them for Swami’s birthday but in the meantime Swami himself has invited them and we are very happy to welcome them soon. Swami joked, “Hey Narasimhamurthy, If you want, you invite them for your birthday, I will invite them to mine” (all smiles)!
The evening session ended with arathi, after which Swami granted interviews to devotees and the batch of volunteers from Hyderabad who were finishing their seva and were due to return next morning. Swami retired around 9 pm after dinner.