The Festival of Onam and His Love for His Devotees - By K. S. Sree Kumar

We are very fortunate to live at a time when the Avatar has chosen to descend on the earth. This Avatar is Prema Avatar. The love the Lord showers on His devotees is pure and selfless. Swami does not do anything for His own benefit. He does everything for His students and devotees. A few years ago before the festival of Onam, Swami had a fall that fractured His hip. The injury was very painful. The doctors requested Swami to take rest. But Swami did not pay heed to what the doctors said as He did not want to disappoint His devotees. In spite of the excruciating pain, He gave Darshan from the Mandir balcony. On the Onam day, Swami came all the way from the Mandir to the Poornachandra auditorium and gave His divine discourse standing for two long hours. How much pain He would have endured! Even though Swami had a serious fracture He blessed all His devotees and made them all feel very happy. Is this not an act of pure selfless love? This love is the love that comes down in torrents and quenches the thirst of the barren hearts of the devotees. His love is pure and sweet like nectar.

Swami does not take anything from the devotees but He always keeps giving. He gives watches, rings, lockets, etc. to them. They are spontaneous outpourings of His love and joy. Like a huge stream that gives life-sustaining water to a thirsty man, He too gives His love for thirsty souls who crave for it. No trouble is too much for the Lord. The Lord has declared that He is the servant of His devotees. The Lord gets joy only when He sees His devotees immersed happily in the ocean of love. His love is the true love that lives by giving and forgiving and not by getting and forgetting. Once, a group of children had come to Brindavan from United Kingdom to celebrate Christmas. They had brought with them lots of toys and they wanted to get the toys blessed by Swami. The children stayed in a dormitory very near to Mandir. One night they started to make a lot of noise. They started playing and refused to go to bed. It became impossible to control them. Suddenly, the play came to a stop when the little children noticed Swami standing at the door. Swami talked to all the children and played with them and with their toys, till they went to bed.

Swami is a loving mother who cares for each and every one of us. For Swami, His devotees are everything. His loving hand protects them wherever they are. Swami has said, “See Me in yourself as I see Myself in you all. You are My life, My breath and My soul. You are My form. When I love you, I love Myself. When you love Me, you love yourself. You are My own self. I have separated Myself from Myself so that I may love Myself.” Swami loves His students very much. He says that the students are His property.

Once in Brindavan, Swami asked a boy, “How is your heart?” Swami’s question shocked the boy. The boy had a clot in the heart, and none knew about it except his doctor and his parents. Even his teachers and friends did not know about it. The loving Lord then told the boy about the clot he had and materialized a small replica of his heart. Swami showed the blood clot on the replica. Then Swami asked the boy to pour water on the replica and drink it and assured that this would cure him. He is the Prema Swaroopa - the embodiment of love.

It was in Prasanthi Nilayam for the first time that I saw what love is. For the first time in my life, I was seeing somebody so inspiring, so compassionate, so understanding and so sacrificing. Swami has no desires. He has no attachment. He knows no distinction between joy and misery. He is always immersed in Ananda. Yet, He descends to our level so that we can comprehend Him. He has come to save us from the clutches of Maya, to remove the veil which covers our intellect, which prevents us from seeing Him and His true nature. He is the master of the universe. Every act, which we perform in the contemplation of God, will definitely be rewarded. Here is my own experience showing how each and every act which expresses our devotion is rewarded.

Once last year, I was sitting in the Mandir verandah. During a Parayanam session in the hostel we were told that if we sincerely pray to Swami, Swami would surely respond. Sitting in the Mandir verandah I started praying. I hardly prayed for 10 minutes. Suddenly Swami came out from the interview room and started walking amidst the boys. He stopped right in front of me and stood there for 10 minutes. I was all the while holding His Lotus Feet. Even though He did not talk to me, it was a sure sign of encouragement for me to continue with my Sadhana.

Oh Lord, when nature blooms in all its glory, may we see You in it; may we see You in the beautiful smile of an innocent child; may we find You in ourselves. This is our prayer to You.

- K. S. Sree Kumar
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

Source: Sai Nandana 1995 (70th Birthday Offering)

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