"Why do you worry when I am there?" - By Dr. M. Sainath

Dr. M. Sainath speaking before Sri Sathya Sai at Brindavan
Bhagavan has often said, “Life is a challenge. Meet it.” At several points in our sojourn of life we feel defeated, crushed and in need of support and succour. We desperately seek somebody who we can lean on - someone who could, if not solve our problem, at least give us courage and hope, someone who can make us believe in our own capacity and the grace of God. Here is where we pause and ask ourselves what we are experiencing today. There can be no doubt about the fact that what we are experiencing is something unique and quite inexplicable in its entirety. For, Bhagavan is an Avatar Who cannot be spoken about, written about or grasped by logic. He is an experience than can best be felt by the heart. 

It has been said that life is a chain of events while living is a chain of experiences. Experience is not what happens to man. It is what he does with what happens to him. Bhagavan has often cautioned us about the futility of spending years at His Lotus Feet, without seriously attempting to practice at least one of the principles that He relentlessly teaches us. And yet, we are so caught up in our daily grind that we have burdened rather than lightened ourselves. It is one of Bhagavan’s small mercies that He patiently continues to monitor our lives, guard and guide us. 

Bhagavan has explicitly stated that His mission is to alleviate the suffering of the poor; to put back on track those who have taken to the wrong paths, and to confer the fruits of merit on those who deserve it. Innumerable are the occasions where He has appeared to be negligent towards our plight. But, at the end, when He stoops to pick us up, we find that the suffering has only made us savour this moment with greater understanding and joy. Invariably, these acts of mercy seem to descend upon us totally unexpected and that is what makes them so blissful to experience. 

I recollect the occasion once, when a young man came to Brindavan to have Bhagavan’s Darshan. He missed the last bus that would take him back to the city and was hence forced to manage the night somehow at Whitefield itself. The next morning found an extremely worried mother at Brindavan, anxiously waiting for Bhagavan. It was the young man’s mother. Finding that her son had not returned last night and had not even sent any message about his whereabouts, she rushed to Bhagavan. 

Soon, the Lord came and during Darshan, paused before the distraught mother. He looked at her and calmly said: “Your son is safe. He spent the full night under a tree, caught the first bus and has just reached home. Why do you worry when I am there?” The father, who had narrated this experience, later said that the family was strengthened in their faith and courage, because they were now convinced that the Lord was there, watching and guiding them all the time.

Bhagavan’s silence can be easily misinterpreted as an attitude of aloofness. Henry Ford once said, “Don’t find faults. Find the remedy.” It is very easy to blame someone for our state of misfortune.

But we seldom realise that this attitude of ours only takes us to further ruin. I recollect an occasion when Bhagavan was talking to us and said: “I know everything. I see and hear everything. But I keep silent because there is a time for everything. There is a way to do everything. You don’t know about it. I do.” 
Lord Krishna and the Pandavas
The story of the Pandavas and Kauravas highlights this point. The Pandavas gave up everything to Krishna. Consequently, they could successfully face all the problems, of which they had quite a lot. The Kauravas were relatively better placed in life than their cousins and yet looked upon Krishna with suspicion. They met only ruin at the end. Krishna tells Gandhari that it was their son’s own actions that led them to their ruin and that He had nothing to do with it. It is hence very important that we consider ourselves to be the Lord’s own ones, and conduct ourselves accordingly. 

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65)
I recollect here the story told about President Abraham Lincoln. A friend was once consoling him during some crisis and said, “I hope the Lord is on our side to help us out!” Lincoln replied, “I am not concerned about that, for we know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that this nation and I should be on the Lord’s side.” 

Is it then to say that Bhagavan would not interfere with our lives? That He would not lend us a hand in times of crisis? Far from truth! All one has to do is to speak and listen to innumerable experiences that people have to share about how much Bhagavan has meant to them and their lives. Bhagavan is an experience of a lifetime of merits accumulated and burst forth in a shower of grace. But it would be better to comprehend Him as an omnipresent presence that is always there, watching and waiting to gather us into His arms. 
Sri Sathya Sai in the hills of Kodai and Ooty
An incident remains deeply imprinted in my heart. During the summer of 1989, we were spending a couple of days at Ooty, en route to Kodaikanal. It was well past midnight and all of us were in blissful slumber, except one. Sleep somehow evaded him and as he tossed and turned, he heard a creaking sound. A chill went up his spine - we have heard quite a few stories about spirits haunting old buildings! He slowly slipped beneath his blanket, keeping a wary eye on the source of the sound. He was pleasantly surprised for, there on the corridor, stood Bhagavan, fresh as ever, at such a seemingly unearthly hour. The brother was about to get up, when Bhagavan waved him down and then stood there, hands clasped at the back, gently swaying and a heavenly smile perched on His lips. After giving a smile to the boy, He went back. The boy thought he was dreaming but the next morning, Bhagavan chastised him for keeping awake till so late in the night! 

In retrospect, Bhagavan only did what He has always done. His Creation is His concern. We may feel insecure, but we are always in His grasp - never outside it. His is a benign presence that is always there to look after us. Our living in His presence is to experience this over powering Love and enjoy its sublimity.  

- Dr. M. Sainath
Student and Research Scholar (1985 – 1994), Department of Physics
Faculty Member (1995-2008), Department of Physics
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Director – Campus, Bearys Institute of Technology, Mangalore

Source: Sai Nandana 2000 (75th Birthday Issue)

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