Ooty which never received rains for a long time and was parched, found fulfillment when it welcomed the Lord, and this brought delight to one and all. Truly, it wasn’t the rain, but the love of Swami that poured on the people and the place. The evening Satsang was held in a small hall in the Palace, which was converted in to a Bhajan mandir by the students. Amidst soulful Bhajans, Swami walked in to the hall where students, staff, and a handful of devotees had gathered to partake the nectar of His Divine presence. After a few Bhajans, Swami indicated Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to speak. He spoke about a trip with Swami way back in the eighties, when there were no security cars and no pilot jeep. It was just Swami in His car, and an army jeep with a Captain which led the matador van, in which around ten students along with Sri Narasimha Murthy travelled to Ooty. Due to some mechanical issue, the matador got delayed, so Swami waited for them at the Mudumalai Hill Top Forest Rest House for lunch. After everyone had reached, Swami personally served each of them several fills of Puliogare (tamarind rice) and curd rice like a mother.
Sri Narasimha Murthy also recollected that it was during that time, he translated Swami’s discourse for the first time in to English. Swami mentioned that all the boys got excited seeing the deer and the elephant in the forest. “The students get to see deer in Brindavan, Sai Geetha in Puttaparthi everyday, but do not get excited. It is natural because they have sighted these animals in their habitat, whereas in Brindavan or Prasanthi Nilayam, the same animals are kept in artificial environs. Same is the case with man”, he said. It is natural for man to be with God and artificial for man to be in the world. Therefore, the true happiness is when man is in the natural surroundings, which is in the presence of God. That was a lesson driven straight home!
Thereafter, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy continued on the topic of Ashtanga Yoga on which he had spoken the previous day. He recollected the five aspects of Yamah and then continued to explain the five principles of Niyamah, the principles of internal discipline which are namely Soucha – outer and inner cleanliness, Santhosha – contentment born out of faith in God, Tapas – burning desire to be with God, Swadhyaya – regular study of spiritual scriptures and Ishwar Pranidhana – surrender to the will of God. He explained the incidents with very apt examples of his own life, and from the lives of other holy men. He finally concluded by saying, “It is the great good fortune of these students to get such guidance at this early age, which I wasn’t fortunate enough to get. It is up to the students now to make good use of this opportunity bestowed upon them by Swami so lovingly, and achieve spiritual success.” He prayed to Swami for His guidance thereafter.
Since it was getting late for dinner, Swami spoke only for a short while, where He emphasised on the triple blessing which each one of us have received, namely Manushyatvam – human birth, Mumukshatwam – desire to know the innerself, and Mahapurusha Samshrayah – company and guidance of great holy men. Swami said, “One must realise having received this blessing after many many births of merits, and it should not be squandered away. If only we remember all the hardships we have undergone to earn this opportunity to be in His proximity, we would not waste a single minute, but put all efforts to gain in the spiritual path.”
Swami quoted two small stories to mention how only when we know the efforts that we have put to earn something, would we realise the value of it. Finally, Swami reiterated that without Yamah and Niyamah which are the foundations of the spiritual path, the rest of the building, even if it is built, would collapse with a small shake. Therefore, it is important for the students to fortify and strengthen the foundations of Yamah and Niyamah, before they venture out on further spiritual practices. Blessing all, that they would use this opportunity well, Swami concluded His talk.
After Arati, Swami sent everyone for dinner, while Swami’s dinner was served lovingly in His own room which was prepared by the devotees. Thereafter, Swami retired for the day.