|Dr. K. Anil Kumar (extreme left) serving food to Swami at the Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam|
“Yato Vacho Nivartante
Aprapya Manasa Saha.”
“Neither the words nor the mind
Can fathom and describe Him.”
His actions, His words and ways are unfathomable, yet subtly sweet. Every act of His is filled and suffused with delightful sweetness and love. There is nothing this whole universe can offer Him - still, tirelessly He works, motivates, cajoles, enthuses and responds. He is also described as ‘Kala Swaroopa’. Verily so, this is not to say that He will annihilate everything and He will transmute everyone, every creature, everything into Himself, slowly, gradually and with certainty at the proper ‘right’ time. He responds to a prayer, a call, and a yearning heart in the most appropriate manner at the ‘right, ripe moment’. This aspect of Bhagavan has always fascinated me. If we read the experiences of the devotees, or stories of any of the saints, we find this same aspect - response in the most endearing way, a response, which gives never ending joy and grows in the ‘Madhuryam’ with each recollection. This is the reason that the stories of the saints and their experiences with the all-loving almighty God, The Bhagawatam, are ever fresh and lasting till the end of time.
Be it the way Lord Rama responded to Sabari or to the little squirrel or be it Lord Krishna’s response to the Gopikas, the Rishipatnis or to Kuchela, or that of Lord Sainath’s (of Shirdi) response to Nanasaheb’s daughter or to Hemadpant’s prayer, or be it Lord Sathya Sai’s response to His innumerable devotees, we find the same ‘Madhuryam’ and the uncanny knack of choosing the ‘right ripe moment’ to show His ever-existing love and lead us along.
It was the month of April 1984. Preparations were on for the grand inauguration of the ‘Trayee Brindavan’ at Whitefield, Bangalore. I had finished my under-graduate course at Bangalore that year and I had to write the entrance exam of our University for admission into the post-graduate course. I had the option of taking Maths, Physics or Chemistry PG. course. I was fervently praying to Bhagavan to guide me. Bhagavan, in His inimitable playful way, used to make fun, punning with the words M.Sc. (Mrs), rather than condescend to guide. He used to ask everyday whether I had sent the application form. It went on. I did not want to send the application form without Bhagavan’s consent, and moreover I did not know which stream to choose. The penultimate day for sending the application form came. I was desperate. I was praying intensely. Bhagavan came that morning during the work (at Trayee) and enquired about the subject. I asked Bhagavan to guide me. He again made fun of me and walked away. I did not send the form, hoping Bhagavan would definitely tell me the next day. That night, Bhagavan appeared in my dream and asked me to take Chemistry as the first preference. I was thrilled with this experience.
The following morning Darshan time Bhagavan passed by me, but did not say anything. A little doubt was still lingering in my mind whether to go by the dream. I had no option, but to send the application as per Bhagavan’s instructions in the dream. I was not at peace with myself. There was this lurking doubt. I wanted a physical indication. After a few days, one evening Bhagavan had been to the city (Bangalore). Late in the evening Bhagavan returned. The car stopped in front of Trayee, and as Bhagavan was stepping down, He looked at me (by that time almost dejected) most kindly, came up to me and said “I have given you a seat in M.Sc. (Chemistry), I have ‘Myself’ written your name, ask the Registrar.” I was at a loss for words. I am grateful for His kindness in showing me the way and also ensuring me a berth to go along the way.
|Swami interacting with Anil Kumar (bottom right of the photo) |
in Trayee Brindavan lawns
Not only does Bhagavan give the ‘Iihika’ the happiness, He also ensures side by side, our progress in the ‘Amushmika’. In fact, Bhagavan’s response and guidance to our sadhana, is more forthcoming and is all the more filled with Madhuryam. During the earlier days, when the Sai Kulwant Hall was not built and the Mandir was surrounded by sands and trees, Bhagavan used to come to the Ganesha idol, in front of the Mandir, very often. He used to stand there with His hands held back, cupped in each other and majestically sway to the tunes of the Bhajans, with the golden yellow hue due to the sunset, mild breeze, the birds chirruping on the neem trees, melodious Bhajans and Bhagavan at the centre, standing majestically. Ah! It was a sight for the Gods! It used to capture my heart and I used to try endlessly to recreate it in my mind’s eye. One of those days, Bhagavan had told during His casual veranda talk that Bhajans have to be sung with all the feeling and the meaning of every word uttered should be enjoyed. I decided to sincerely follow this direction. Those days, during vacations, we used to sit at considerable distance from each other as there was sufficient space and also so that we might be individually able to attract Bhagavan’s attention, which is the most coveted opportunity. During one of the morning Bhajans, I was sitting in one corner of the veranda, with my eyes shut, sincerely trying to practice what He has told. Fortunately I could visualise Bhagavan in my favourite pose (as described). Suddenly I felt a hush and I opened my eyes to see Bhagavan right in front of me - exactly in the same pose and swaying to and fro. I was thrilled, Bhagavan smiled and said, “Sit straight, inside Bhagavan and outside Bhagavan are one and the same.” Each time I recollect this experience, immense joy fills me; to know that the all-loving almighty God is with us, guiding us and guarding us, loving us and teaching us.
Bhagavan’s ways are inscrutable, but full of that tender love. His apparent distance for a period of time is also a part of the whole experience of joy and sweetness. What can we offer Bhagavan? As Bhagavan Himself has said - “Ye Hrudayamu Nichitivo Sayeesha Naku Mari Danine Arpintu Mahida Moorti.” - “The Hrudayam (heart) that You have bestowed on Me, Sayeesha - I offer the same to You.”
- Dr. K. Anil Kumar
Formerly Faculty Member, Department of Chemistry
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Senior Research Scientist, Tata Chemicals Ltd., Pune
Source: Sai Nandana (2000) 75th Birthday Offering