|Dr. Deepak Anand with Sri Sathya Sai|
After the project, which gave us many chances to serve and interact with Him, we were overwhelmed with a great sense of love and gratitude. Hence we decided to offer Him something with love. After discussing various options, we decided to get a robe made for Bhagavan with a prayer that He wears it on the Christmas or the Sports Meet day when He usually puts on a white velvet robe. After some effort, the white robe made of velvet became ready. I was designated to go to His residence in Poornachandra and offer the same at His Lotus Feet. I stood there with the box in my hand and a prayer in my heart. And lo! The Lord called me inside! I showed to Him the offering of our love, which He gladly accepted. As I started sitting on the floor at His Lotus Feet, He insisted on my sitting on the sofa, along with some other officials who were in His presence at that time. He spoke to everyone for a while and then started reading letters from a big basket present in front of Him. Now I witnessed the different treatments that the Lord meted out to various letters present in front of Him. I saw that some letters were not even read, some others were read only up to the covering envelope, some others opened and read in two seconds, while some were read and some others read and re-read again and again, occupying the prime space of His Divine lap.
I was amazed by this phenomenon and was wondering what could be the reason for such a varied treatment of these letters. The Omniscient Lord looked towards me and just said, “Different feelings”. I understood that the Lord was responding to each letter depending on the feelings with which they were written. When I narrated this to Bhagavan’s driver, he said that he also was amazed at the phenomenon and had asked Bhagavan the reasons behind the differential treatment meted out to different letters. Bhagavan had explained, “See, some letters are written with a distant faith that anyway Swami would not read, so I also will not read. Some others are written with a distant feeling that I may read, so I also read them from a distance; there are some other letters that are written with the faith that I will read them and I respond accordingly. But there are a few letters that a devotee writes and re-writes as a Sadhana, with the faith that I will certainly read and I also read and re-read those letters, keeping them on My lap”.
The lesson that I have learnt from this episode is that every action can become a Sadhana if it is done with faith that it is an offering to Bhagavan. Hence we can never complain of lack of time as an excuse in this respect. In fact I would like to narrate a beautiful experience in this regard. Once, I was listening to an experience of a student of the MBA class of the University who said, “Swami, the schedule of the Hostel and the College is such that we do not get any time to think of God or to be able to meditate on God. Then how are we to reach the Spiritual goal of life?” The Lord smiled and said, “After all the engagements in pursuing your worldly responsibilities, you still have twenty four hours left for your spiritual practices”. The boy was obviously surprised. The Lord continued, “When you get up in the morning, offer the day ahead to Me, just think of Me for a second. When you go to bathe, think you are cleansing the temple of God and offer the act of bathing to Me. When you go for meals feel that you are feeding My mouth, not yours and thence you think of Me; when you study, feel that I have come as your teacher to the class and you study for Me, when you go to play, play with love and fairness as you would play from Swami’s team and thence you offer your sports to Me, and at the end of the day, when you go to bed, think that you are now laying your head on My lap and that I am putting you to sleep. Thence you offer the twenty four hours of your day to Me, instead of saying that I am busy, and come to Me”.
There are innumerable experiences and instances which prove that the Lord is Bhava Priya (lover of the feelings more than anything else). I am reminded of another instance that reinforces this faith. It was the year 1998 and at that time I was pursuing my MBA. Being a former national player in Table Tennis, I had the opportunity to take a card for blessings before starting the Table Tennis Inter-House matches as part of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet. In fact, there were seven captains for various other events, who were given the opportunity to sit in the front row and seek the blessings of the Lord. As the Lord came, He looked towards us with a broad smile. The Lord, with hands full of letters, stopped and enquired why such a crowd had accumulated. Before we had even finished replying, the demand of Padanamaskar arose in the background, much to my annoyance. The Lord accepted immediately. Oh God! The excited sports captains were too impatient and started using their athletic skills to goal or net a Padanamaskar, much to my dismay.
Sitting in the first line, my only thought while taking Padanamaskar from Bhagavan was to kiss His Lotus Feet and get out of the way, lest I should be crushed. As I took the Namaskar and looked up to His face, I saw a dissatisfaction writ large and the Lord said, “No feelings, no use”. A lesson was driven home that very moment – whatever be the circumstances, if an action is done without the feeling of love and devotion, it is actually of no use in our spiritual progress and is not acceptable to the Lord, and even mundane actions done with love and devotion have a great use for our spiritual progress towards The Lord.
- Dr. Deepak Anand
Student and Research Scholar (1997-2004);
Currently, Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus