As the soulful Bhajans by Swami’s students filled the silent Prayer Hall with its Divine rhythm, connecting every heart, an overwhelming feeling of yearning to see the Lord overcame all who had gathered to receive His Darshan. He walked around blessing, receiving letters from many students and devotees, answering every query of theirs, while He subtly anchored every heart in pure bliss. What a sight!
Upon majestically taking His seat on His beautifully carved throne, our dear Swami nodded and smiled gently acknowledging His children seated all around Him. Swami then asked the Music Students to sing one of His favourite Panduranga Abhang. After the divine and soothing Bhajans, Swami, the Bholeshankara (the compassionate and innocent One), spoke about how man should understand the Almighty God.
He said that He is the One who makes His devotee cry and He is the One who wipes His devotee’s tears; He is the One who churns our life and He is the One who comforts us; He is the One who makes us neither go forward, neither go backwards.
Once we catch hold of God’s Feet we should never let go of Him, and we should not give up until we get what we set out to achieve. Swami said that He would never leave such a devotee regardless of anything, and He would always guide and guard them. Whatever situation comes forth in the life of a devotee, He must always remember the love of Swami and never leave His feet; if His devotee catches His feet, Swami will hold his hand forever.
Swami spoke about Lord Dattatreya and described Him as a tricky Master because He cannot be got easily. By worshipping His idol, we cannot find Him. He narrated a story about a mother who sent her son to Lord Dattatreya, telling him that He would give him Brahma Jnana and warning him not to fall for the Lord’s tricks. When the son reached the Ashram of Dattatreya, he saw many people engaged in worldly things and thought it was strange behaviour for a place such as an Ashram; but then, he remembered his mother’s advice, that the Master plays tricks, so he ran and fell at the Master’s Feet.
Lord Dattatreya questioned him about who he was and why he had come. The boy answered firmly that his mother had sent him to get Brahma Jnana. The Master refused to grant him Jnana and kicked him with His left leg. The boy immediately caught hold of the Master’s Right Leg. Then Dattatreya kicked him with His Right Leg, so the boy held onto the Left Leg. This went on for a while – the master kept on kicking him but the boy never let go of Him. The Lord understood that he was fit for Brahma Jnana and thus blessed him, and he became a Jeevan Muktha.
After narrating the story, Swami said that we must cultivate the same faith in God. The boy gained Brahma Jnana only through his total faith and single-pointed devotion towards the Lord, and not through any Sadhana or penance. Once we get hold of Sai, we must hold on to Him, for if we loose the proximity of the Lord, there is no second chance. We should not look here and there, but only look at Swami. We must have the single goal of reaching God, and not fall into Maya. Swami said one should become like Nandi, who only looks at Shiva, who always thinks of Shiva and understands what his Lord wants.
He also explained the significance of Rudram. If a person chants Namakam ten times and Chamakam one time, all his desires will be fulfilled. The first stanza of Namakam is to cool Shiva, then the rest of the stanza’s are to praise Shiva. Chamakam is chanted to request the fulfilment of our desires. Everything has a significance. Though God scolds, slaps and praises, we should treat them equally and remain with God.
Saying thus, He blessed all the students and sang the Bhajan ‘Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma’ to everyone’s delight. Mangala Arati was performed and Swami blessed everyone. He retired to His residence leaving all to reflect on His words.