With Sri Sathya Sai in Trayee Sessions: Part 2 - By Dr. T. Ravi Kumar

Sri Sathya Sai in Trayee Brindavan
One evening Chief Justice P N Bhagwati addressed the students. He narrated experiences from his recent visit to the USA and spoke about the tremendous devotion of the devotees there. He concluded his speech by saying," Let us not be under the illusion that Swami is seated only in this jhoola here. His Presence all over the world is as much real as it is here. This is what my experience has convinced me". As he bowed to Swami reverentially, Swami asked him, "Bhagwati, where is the ring that I had given you?" noticing it was missing from his finger. "Swami it fell down in the bathroom in a hotel in USA," he said, his voice tinged with sadness. "Yes, I know…" Swami waved His hand and materialized a ring. The Chief Justice was overjoyed as Swami placed it on his finger and voiced the question in everyone's mind, "Is it the same ring?" The recipient's joy is multiplied as he answers, "Oh yes Swami it is." "Bhagwati does not the Gita declare 'Sarvatah Paani Paadam Tat Sarvatoksi Siromukham Sarvatah Srutimal Loke Sarvamavritya Tisthati' (My hand and feet are everywhere; so too my eyes and ears.) There cannot be a more emphatic demonstration of omnipresence than this! The authenticity of the word of the scriptures is upheld too!
Former Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati with Sri Sathya Sai
(The ring seen in his left hand)
When Swami is amidst the students there is plenty of laughter around. One boy was giving a letter everyday to Swami. While taking the letter one day Swami said, ‘Same news every day,’ and went on to read it aloud: “My wife is dying. Please save her.” The whole room burst into laughter.

One particular student, a member of the Bhajan group, was being operated for tonsils. He was asking for Swami’s Prasadam. “How long will it take to heal?” Swami asked in a concerned voice. “The doctors are saying, it will take about a week Swami,” said the boy. There was a playful smile on Swami’s lips as He said “What relief! My ears will now get rest for a week.” During the summer months the MBA students come for their industrial tour and they stay at Brindavan. At that time the Trayee sessions often turn into management classes. Swami inquires of them details regarding their visits to the industries and sometimes gives discourses on topics of interest to them. I recall a discourse He gave on Marketing Management on one such evening. Swami brought out a new perspective of the concept of marketing. He said marketing should not be seen merely as a combination of advertising and hard selling leading to profiteering. Market is a place where all the needs of a person are taken care of. A place of self-sufficiency and efficiency. Marketing, He said, is best understood when one takes the functioning of the human body as an example. The various limbs and organs of the body function in perfect co-ordination and internal communication. Communication is proper understanding. Total Understanding is Awareness. Thus marketing is the art of sincerely providing for the needs of the man through well channeled networks of communication and coordinated activity from the stage of procurement of raw materials till the final stage where the product reaches the user. 

On some evenings, Swami turns into a quiz master and the questions fly like sparks. ‘Who suggested the concept of black holes first? What is the time that light from the sun takes to reach the earth? What is the speed with which the earth revolves? What was the population of England and India when Britain took over India? What is Re-engineering?” All the students were eager to answer each question as it was sure to earn a glance from Swami. If the answer was perfect, it could please the quiz master and earn an instantly materialized prize. I remember one such session when the answer from a student pleased Swami immensely. Swami created a ring for him and also opened that year’s Kodai list with that boy’s name!
Sri Sathya Sai interacting with Primary School Students in Trayee Brindavan
When primary school boys are present, as happens during the summer vacation, when some of them do attend, there are interesting conversations and lessons driven home ‘from the mouth of babes’. Swami asks them to chant Vedas, Sanskrit slokas, give speeches and converse in Sanskrit. The proud mother sits there scanning the faces of the audience and encouraging the young ones. The confidence with which they give speeches and the sublime thoughts they express puts all of us to shame.

As students were running to Trayee one evening, Swami noticed one boy limping with the help of crutches. That boy had had a knee operation a fortnight ago and was still afraid to place his body weight on his leg. “That boy has been on crutches for too long,” Swami said to the teachers in the vicinity. He, the support system for the entire world, had decided to ‘de-crutch’ him that instant. Calling him to the front, he enquired about his leg. The boy said that it was a fortnight since the operation but confided that he was scared to put his feet on the floor without support. Swami asked the boy to get up and asked him to slowly place his feet on the floor and after holding his hand and making him walk a couple of steps, made the boy walk forward unaided. “See, you can do it, Bangaroo!” said Swami in His tender voice. Then He waved His hand and produced a ring for him. “This is for your protection. You can walk normally from now onwards….” From that day the boy  started walking without any crutch. But the story does not end there. At the end of the year he took part in the 1500 meters race and completed it. His face glowed with a smile as he said, ‘This I dedicate to my beloved Sai Maa.’
Sri Sathya Sai playing the cymbals in Trayee Brindavan
Often the Trayee sessions remind us that we are with the Supreme Lord though He may be sporting with us so innocently. One evening in 1986, as Bhajans were going on in His presence in Trayee, Swami delighted us by keeping time with a pair of cymbals. A few minutes later, the expression on His face changed. He seemed to be far away though He was physically present amidst us and the cymbals fell from His hands. He appeared to be totally oblivious of the bhajans being sung by the boys. After sometime, Swami got up, accepted arathi and retired for the night. It was during the Trayee session next day that Swami revealed to us that the previous evening, even as Bhajans were going on, Ajit Dutt, the General Manager of Indian Telephone Industries was on the verge of death. “He was praying to Me for Darshan and I had to rush to grant him Darshan during his last moments.” A powerful reminder that we are with the Supreme Lord who presides over the destiny of man.
Sri Sathya Sai with the Envelope
One evening, as we sat before Swami, during a Trayee session, He selected an envelope from the bundle that had come by post. Opening it He saw that the contents were one rupee coins which were black. He distributed them among the boys in front of him. One particular boy got four of these coins and was very delighted. He was showing me these coins as we were coming out of Trayee. His cup of happiness was full when someone brought the news that his parents had dropped in, unexpectedly, to see him. They had come from their native place where they had performed a Ganapathi Homam. “I was immensely satisfied with the homam and felt Swami’s presence throughout,” his mother said. When the boy showed her the coins Swami had given him she burst into tears. It was then that the boy realized why Swami had given him the blackened coins. These were offerings made in the Homa Kundam (sacrificial pit)!

Trayee sessions are also time capsules in which Swami transports us to different times so that we get to peep into the past and peer into the future. One evening as the session was in progress, Dr. John Hislop arrived from the US. Swami called him to the front and made affectionate enquiries about his welfare. Then noticing a bulge in his shirt near his chest asked him what that was. Swami had given Dr. Hislop a ring with an enamel portrait of Himself earlier. As the enamel had chipped off, the image had got disfigured and he was wearing it not on his finger but hanging from a chain round his neck. “Take it off,” Swami said and placing it between His index finger and thumb blew on it. It instantly changed into a silver ring with an image of Shirdi Baba. He presented it to Dr. Hislop. 

The next morning the following conversation ensued.
Swami : Hislop, how is the ring?
Hislop : It is very nice Swami.
Swami : Do you want the old man (Shirdi Baba) or the young man (pointing to Himself). 
Hislop was at his diplomatic best: “Whatever you want Swami.”
Swami : You have seen the earlier form and the present one… (Swami blows on the ring and the side profile of a figure appears on the ring) ‘This is Prema Sai Baba, Hislop.’

A few years later, Dr. Hislop came to the Brindavan campus to address the students during a moral class. Later during a conversation I mentioned about this incident and said I had been present when it happened. He showed me the ring. The face had turned about 15 degrees above the plane of the ring.

As each session ends, Swami personally hands over to a couple of students trays of prasadam for distribution among all. As the prasadam sweetens our tongue the wonderful experience of having seen God close at hand at the Trayee session thrills us and fills us with Bliss and makes us resolve to be more and more like Him - Saaroopyam that one fine day we will merge in Him - Saayujyam.

Dr. Ravi Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai
in Trayee Brindavan
When the Walter Cowan block of the hostel was being inaugurated the residents of the hostel brought out a souvenir which Swami christened ‘Hridaya Brindavan’. He had said on that occasion “This Brindavan in which you are currently staying will give you company for the few years you are a student here. But peep into your heart anytime in your later life and you will find the bower-filled Brindavan inviting you to relax in its cool shade and sip from its nectarine pristine waters - ever cooling, life-giving and nourishing.” For every student who has attended the Trayee session when He peeps into his heart he will be enchanted by the Sai Krishna in intimate conversation with him with that sweet smile playing on His lips. No words can convey the ecstasy of that Presence….

- Dr. T. Ravi Kumar
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield
Currently, Warden, Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Brindavan Campus


Source: Vidyagiri: Divine Vision (2006)

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