This morning children woke with the anticipation and excitement of marketing in Kodai, something that Swami had revealed to them the previous evening. Also Swami had advised them not to bargain too much with the Tibetan vendors who have been uprooted from their native land and have found refuge here. He warned especially the ladies not to haggle around, something thats in-built in ladies, He joked!
Vehicles were all ready to transport us to the shopping area around the lake where the tiny shops of the tibetans sold woolen wear, jackets, shawls and other articles. Swami always had a very compassionate corner for them and had always insisted that students go to their shops first and buy something from them.
Cash in envelopes were packed neatly for 300 odd, students, staff and guests. Swami came down to the hall after granting an interview, the excitement was palpable both in the devotees and their lord, for isn’t He just reflection, reaction and resound!
Swami permitted a few Bhajans to be sung, just as He sat, a tiny tot all of 6 years, prayed that he too be given an opportunity to sing a song. The mother Sai, melted and granted him his wish. The boy sang a hindi song and thereafter a Bhajan on hanuman in a pitch so bold and loud, that it sent ‘tremors’ around the hall as Swami put it lovingly! Thereafter Swami gave opportunity to Brother Sumeet Tappoo from Fiji to render a few devotional songs, one of them being the innocent conversation between the boatman and Lord Rama, when Sri Rama requested his services for crossing the river Ganges during his exile. The boatman, quoting the case of a stone turning in to the lady Ahilya by mere touch of Lord’s feet, did not permit the Lord to enter the boat until he washed Rama’s feet and drank the water to check if any thing would happen to him. Only after being satisfied thus, that his boat would not turn in to a woman, he allowed the Lord a ride across the river. The next stanza was even sweeter that narrated the arguments of the boatman for not accepting any charges for his services, from Rama as both belonged to the same profession! The boatman said that Rama too is the boatman who takes people across the ocean of samsarsa ( worldly life), therefore when the time comes Rama can pay for his services in full by taking him across the ocean of life and death!
At this point Swami narrated to Mrs Mallika who was sitting right at the lotus feet, what happened in the same place a few years ago when Swami was physically unable to walk and was held by Sri Venu Srinivasan, her husband who helped Swami walk up to His seat. When Swami asked Mr Venu as to what did he want from Him for this service, Sri Venu asked for the same boon as the boatman by praying, ” Swami! Just as today I held your hand and walked you up to your chair, when I come to you during my last moments, you must also hold my hand and take me unto you”. A Beautiful prayer indeed!
Swami then asked for the envelopes with cash, but before distributing, He reiterated again that all must buy at the tibetan shops and should not be miserly. They must spend all the money to the last rupee to buy gifts for their parents, siblings and loved ones. Swami personally handed over the envelopes to each staff and guest, while students distributed the rest amongst themselves. Soon all boarded their vehicles, Swami lead them all the way to the tibetan shops, stopped His car at a particular shop lowered the window and asked for an old tibetan lady who used to be there. Unfortunately she was no more, yet Swami remembered her compassionately and purchased 4 shawls from one of the shops, telling them that His students are coming behind and they will buy more. The joy of the tibetans knew no bounds as they chanted ” Sairam!Sairam! we have the grace of Sairam!”. Swami literally walked the talk! Well, He always does!!
Swami thereafter returned to the Bungalow, where many volunteers, youth and alumni, were serving. Looking at them all He enquired lovingly about their whereabouts and then called them all in for a little conversation. Swami said that Love and Service are the two sides of the same coin without which there is no value to the coin or currency. He read out the slogan on their scarfs which read, ” Paropakaarartham idam Sareeram” ( This body is meant to help others). Para- Upa- Kara ( God-Near- To do) means that which makes us nearer to God. If we become dearer to God we will be nearer to Him, we can be dearer by serving God in all”, Swami said. He talked about “SERVANT LEADERSHIP” wherein one must serve to lead and one must follow to be followed. Giving them the leadership mantra of ” TO BE- TO DO- TO SEE- TO TELL”, Swami said that one must be that which one expects others to be. He must do what he wants others to do. Only then he can see others and tell them, else not”. “All are servants ( Sevakas) and GOD alone is the Master ( Nayaka)'”, Swami said.
Swami gave them all namaskar, gifts and returned to His room, where He granted a few interviews before having His lunch.
Bhagawan entered the bhajan hall amidst soulful bhajans at around 4:45pm. As He sat on His chair, He beckoned a young boy of six years yet again to sing a bhajan. And the child sang yet again, fearlessly and flawlessly, Bhagawan’s own bhajan ‘Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma’.
A sixth generation musician Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh who has been captivating audiences around the world for 30 years now,and one of the leading Veena artistes today, performed at the Lotus Feet. Dr Jayanthi, niece of Violin Legend Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman, is also one of the very few ‘Saraswati Veena’ players. The ‘Saraswati Veena’ gets its name from Goddess Saraswati. Dr Jayanthi was accompanied by two very talented musicians on the mridangam and ghatam. After a scintillating performance which left everyone spellbound, Swami blessed her profusely and said, “If she is playing like this, imagine how Saraswati plays!” Swami also blessed that in years to come, she will bring much glory to her family of musicians, as well as to her motherland, and eventually be honoured with the highest civilian honour of India, provided her hair turns grey as that too is one of the criteria for eligibility! Brother Madhusudan later revealed that Swami said with a wink!
Swami then commanded Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to talk. He commended Dr Jayanthi for the performance. That apart,he narrated the five most important qualities of a Sai Student namely:
1) Sai being the most important of their lives
4) Reverence for all life, as divine
5) Social Responsibility, arising out of love and compassion
He narrated the tale of transformation of a student to a sai student, from a non- believer to the closest servant of Swami. The divine play of transforming a Tulasi leaf in to a gold coin with the boy’s date of birth embossed on it, seized his heart. The boy was bewildered at the divine power and became a devout servant, transformed totally, something that his own father and warden could not achieve. But Swami did so effortlessly!
Swami began His discourse with a Telugu poem, “What we think exists, does not exist. What we think does not exist, that is the only thing that exists. Only God exists. This world that all of us see really does not exist.”
Swami said that all of us believe this world exists, but it really does not. “What we can see with our eyes, we think that is the true thing and base all our life on those things; but that is all absolutely untruth.
When one is in deep sleep state, he wouldn’t know that he is in deep sleep state. Only as long as we have the mind, we think all this world exists. Even in the wakeful state, there is a mind. Just now all of you have heard such beautiful music on veena from this lady. When you have only external look, you think that she is able to play this music through her body, through her hands. Not at all! In fact, the music which is inside is expressing itself through the hands. When a car is moving, it is driver who is driving it, car cannot move on its own. Therefore, if a car is moving on the road, we will easily understand there is a driver driving it. Whether we see him or not, we can infer that driver is there. All the actions that flow through our body they are emerging from the mind not from the body. Only as long as you have the mind, you think all this exists. In the deep sleep state, the mind merges back. Then you cannot know who you are, where you are, you cannot know. That is why even when you wake up for a moment, you think for yourself where am I. If you enquire into the truth of things, you know that it is because of the mind, the world exists for you. This world is based on the activity of the mind. Depending on our mind, that is the way we see the whole of Creation. If you have a sacred and pure mind, the whole world will appear to be sacred and pure. When you have an impure mind, you will think that everybody is impure.”