Down the Memory Lane
Sri. Nanjundiah M
Former Controller of Examinations, SSSIHL
Here is the video and the script of the talk from Sri. Nanjundiah M on the 21st of Aug 2011 at Samarpan in Sai Ramesh Hall at Brindavan:
I already offered, again I offer my loving pranams at the lotus feet of divine mother Sai. Respected elders and dear brothers and sisters. Just now we heard heart filling and sound thrilling bhajans. It was fantastic. I recall, in 1974, summer course, Swami sang one bhajan. It explains what role swami has given for bhajans in his scheme of things. ‘Narayan Bhajo Narayan’ that is how it commences and the last stanza, ‘bhajan se maan ko sajan banakar bhakti maarg sikhla diya’ (repeats twice), ‘sai bhajan se bhawa sagar ko foreign bhi sikhla diya’ (repeats twice). Look at the importance, ‘sai bhajan se bhawa sagar ko foreign bhi sikhla diya’. ‘Pathito dari, Parthi vihari sai murari narayan ‘. That is the role given for bhajans. But, one important thing is, we should concentrate, no other meaning, sing from the heart; directly it reaches swami. I recall in those days of 70’s or even 80’s, whenever was not very happy or not very pleased with the boys, they used singing bhajans as an instrument to please swami. They would plan it in such a way, ‘today we will sing bhajans, swami will be happy’. Really swami used to become happy, for mere bhajans. That is the kind of role given. But while singing there must be concentration. Once I was sitting for bhajans in Sai Kulwant hall. Swami was not talking to me, I was praying to swami and chanting his name, ‘Sai, Sai, Sai…..’ and so on. Dr. Alreja came from the interview room, straight walked to me and said; ‘ Swami wanted me to convey to you that when you chant his name, you should chant concentrating on the name and with love. If you do it mechanically, then it is of no use’. I was shocked. Such is swami’s concern, omnipresence, omniscience, and love for the devotees. We are fortunate that we have come to swami and we have entered into swami’s orbit. He has written in one letter to me, ‘ Trigunat maka maina manattyamanaku daiwatyam mankanthe nunchina pennidhi sai sannidhi e’ greater than the treasure of the whole world or even divinity itself , is the good fortune to come into sai sannidhi. Sai’s area of attention, protection, guidance. How lucky we are, we have been able to, just like that walk into it. One uniqueness about people who participate in swami’s mission is, that people who participates and concentrates, are doing the work. Their everything is being taken care of, by swami. Swami takes care of them. There is no question of suffering for people who come to swami. There is only joy, immediate and later on. We may be knowing it but it comes to the surface of our mind and translate itself into action. So, no one suffers having come to swami. It’s your experience and my experience. 1973, I came to swami and then onwards, as Hariharan was telling, in introductory statements, that I have been with swami. There are so many lessons, so many things, that I have learnt from swami. NO saying of his, no action of his, is casual or not having meaning. There is meaning in whatever he says and whatever he does. Once I told him in interview room in Puttaparthi, ‘Swami, meeru yemi cheppina mantaruentida? (Swami, whatever you say is like manta?)’. Swami said, ‘ you are wrong. Not like mantra, mantra itself. Swami’s words are like mantra, not like mantra. Such is the power invested in what swami says, what swami speaks. There are innumerable things. There is meaning in whatever he says, whatever he does . Every gesture of his is packed with meaning and a message. But by his own grace, we should be able to get benefit out of it. There are quite few incidents which convey meaning, message of swami. One thing which swami wants is, swami wants us to practice things. Don’t merely listen to it. I doesn’t need your appreciation. You don’t have to say, ‘Swami, your speech was wonderful’. No, that is not what is required. It is meant for you. Practise it.
In a message given to me, in english he wrote it, ‘the best method of spreading Vedanta philosophy is to live it. There is no other royal road’. Very clear, ‘the best method of spreading Vedanta philosophy is you live it, you practice it. You will convey more effectively that giving a thundering speech. No one will believe it. They may appreciate you, but they forget you forget and everything is gone. But practice it. That’s what happens when you sing bhajans. We are lifted into a new world altogether. Every bhajan is almost like an Upanishad. So fragnant with meaning, bringing before our mind’s eye, swami, his love..his compassion…his grace.
I wish to spend a few minutes in recalling some of the incidents from my experience and my stay.
One incident was, all devotee should have only one kind of relationship with his chosen god. Today I should not say, ‘o you are my father’. Tomorrow you should not say, ‘you are my preceptor’. Third day you should not say, ‘you are Krishna to me, I love you swami’. There are different kinds of devotion but what swami wants is, have only one approach. I used to write letters to swami, conveying sometimes the problems, sometimes my appreciation my love for swami, after swami’s discourses and after certain functions and some incidents. I used to address him differently. During dussera time, if I write a letter, he will be my mother, ‘divine mother’. Krishna astami, he was my more than a friend, a lover. And father, guru and all that. Once he took my letter into his hand. He was reading my letter, he called me and told, ‘you should have one kind of approach towards me’. Its not like reading from books. It has a different impact on our hearts. From that day onwards, I told him also, ‘Swami, you are my dear mother. I am your child.’ Have it, have that relationship. I used to follow that particular thing. ‘Paraprema murthy Sarva devata swaroopini Sai maa’, the way I would address swami in my letters. Swami used to reply some letters. He has written quite a number of letters, I have them with me. All of them in telugu, except one in which he has given me a message on 24th April, 1974, when he visited our house in Bangalore. That is in English. So, when I used to write letters to him, I used to quote things from swami’s letters. In one letter, Swami wrote, ‘Etlu, ne Sai, tai. Thus your sai mother.’ Acknowlegment from swami, swami is my mother and you would have heard what swami would had told to show his kindness towards me. On Gurupoornima day 2009, I was taken aback, I didn’t know that there will be a kind of function. In fact, that morning, there was a function. After noon, I sent away my son-in-law, my daughter because the function was over, the celebration was over, and we were blessed. Evening he comes and tells ‘what you have not done anything at all. Come one, put chairs’. We were asked to occupy and Gurupoornima discourse was given in which it he make such kind references which only a divine mother can make. Very honestly, I must confess to you I don’t deserve that much of love. It will be sufficient for me, once, in 2006, before the function, there were celebrations. Swami gave me Kariaam and all that. Swami told me, we are going to have celebrations, special blessings for you. I told the jewelers that they have to put 6 souvenirs and make a Kariaam for you’. I told swami, Swami why that all that for us? It will be sufficeient if we get a little place at your lotus feet. Why all these?. Swami said, ‘ Aadi nistam kaadu…naa iccha’ (Its not your wish, my will)’. I said swami, its ok. Why I am mentioning this is, such is his love. So, then onwards, I knew that I had to have only one kind of relationship with swami. This is one incident. Another incident was, in 1974, in Bangalore city, there were some people who were not talking right things about swami. Some false things, their own imagination,, own interpretation. But all the same, accusing or insulting swami. I was here, 1973 I joined and I used to sway here (Bangalore). Day and night, I have seen how swami showers his love for all people, no discrimination at all, for showering his love but the only thing is they should be able to take it. How much ever benefit one gets depends on one own capacity that what swami gives. In newspapers alos, there were certain references, which were not facts. They were all false. I wrote to swami, swami you should allow such people to publish such false about you swami. This is wrong. They should be prevented from doing such thing swami. You are god, you are all powerful. See that they don’t do it swami. Its very hurting.’ I wrote that. That very evening, swami was going to city. We were there to say sairam and byr to swami when he was going to the city. Swami asked me, ‘ Get into the car’. I got into the care. On the way, near ballota brothers or somewhere around there, on the white field road, he asked me, ‘emmi letter ask navilu’ ( what you have written a letter?). Yes, swami. It svery difficult to tolerate such things swami. It hurts us because they are not facts. Swami said, ‘ ohoo…ok…what you said may be a fact. But you don’t have any right to pray to swami to take away the freedom given to them. If you have have the freedom to worship me, adore me, they have the freedom to critise me and to accuse me . Freedom is misused, freedom is being used. There will be consequences. But I as god cannot that away the freedom given to them.’ Look at swami’s love. It was fantastic. Then I asked swami, ‘ Swami, can I ask you sumthing?’, ‘Yes’. Swami, such criticism, such things should not come to my notice swami. ‘ That prayer you can pray. Pray to me that they should not come to your notice but don’t pray that they don’t have the right to do that. There will be consequences. Truth will triumph. Satya meva Jayate and nothing will happen to swami. Swami’s name is such that if any one takes that name, even if a sinner takes my name, ‘sai..sai’, he will be saved. When such is the power of my name, how can they tarnish my name? They can’t do anything. You don’t be worried about anything. Let them do.’ That was a wonderful experience for that and when sometimes the media or well informed or ignorant people…people who have such bad tendencies in them..thay may talk anything, we should not pay attention to that. That should not touch our heart. We should be steady. On another occasion, swami told me, ‘ I am ocean, Nanjundiah. I am always full. People coming to me or people going away from me will not affect me. What is required is, during summer season the rivers flow..the ice melts…I am full. During rainy season…rain falls…I am full. One person going or coming doesn’t matter at all. I do my job, it is on them to do whatever they want to do. I don’t interfere…I don’t expect. Once a do a particular thing I forget.’ But what he said is important. You should be steady. Yo should not waver. As a devotee, you should be steady. So when you listen to such things, ill-informed or ignorant people, you should ignore it. We should not be affected at the least. We should not even critise. Criticism is also indulgence. Let those people suffer for their deeds. Swami never encouraged any kind of confrontation with such people. Of their own, they will go. Another incident was, swami, one day when he was going in darshan lines, he goes and talks to a person something, goes, passes 3 or 4 people and suddenly he turns back and comes to the person whom he spoke. He creates vibhuti (holy ash) and gives it to him. This created some problem for me and I had a loving mother who had given full freedom to ask him any question. Otherwise, its difficult to ask. Firstly, you do not get a chance and secondly, you do not know what swami’s reaction would be. That time. I asked, “Swami, can I ask you one question?”. “Ask…ask”…”..’Swami, meeku, yelapudu anni telsa nekapothe yipudu kawalakunte yipudutelsa kunte’ (Swami, do you know all the things always? Or whenever you call back, the information comes to you and you respond’. What made me to ask that question was , he goes a few steps and comes back and created the vibuthi; couldn’t he had created it then itself?. He told me, ‘No, you are wrong. I know all things always..’Naku ye pudu telesu eitheke inlo nataka artha untaru’. Swami told in brindavan, ‘I will be playing many roles. You don’t be mislead by that. Have firm faith in my omniscience. I may act as if I do not know and I have no need to talk. But, you should not fall into the trap of moha maya. Have firm faith. I know all the thing all the time. I do what is appropriate. I don’t have to read books to find out what is appropriate. There is natural and spontaneous answer with me which makes me do just the right thing.’ So, I was thrilled. O my God…Sairam. Swami is parabrahma swaroopa, not at a particular time and another time. This is one trap. When a avatar plays a human role, we should know that he is playing the role but he is god. We shouldn’t have such a thing. Now suppose you say, there was a time when you could had played all that role, but now swami has left the body. He says, ‘ I am present always. I put on a body and come, complete my task then throw away the body and go. But remember, who have trusted me, loved me and have faith in me, I am always with them. What is the proof? The proof is the experience of such people.’ Swami has not left us, he hasn’t made us anathas. Swami has become closer to us. I know how difficult it is to bear the loss of that beautiful, lovely graceful form and I remember Trayee session. Swami would speak on certain topics and our student’s will get mother’s love or even much more than that. They love swami and swami loves them. Others can’t understand. Out of ignorance, we may question them., why all these fellows are giving so much of trouble to swami?…But, swami is swami. They would go, run…not caring whether they fall and break their heads, and find a place in the front, close to swami. Swami, gets up and speaks ( I am telling about Trayee sessions) and he used to speak. And one fellow would be doing Padaseva while he is speaking and swami tolerates it. Another fellow takes his handkerchief and put it up like this (shows with action). Swami allows it for sometime. After sometimes, he takes, wipes and throws it. Again it comes up. Is he not disturbing?. Is he a human being? Can he cause inconvenience to swami when he is speaking? There is no such thing with swami. Swami loves, loves and loves. That is why we say, swami’s love is more than thousand mother’s love. Only the experienced horse know it. For others, these are all learners. So, swami knows whom to reward, whom to give when and what. But he knows everythin. We should have firm faith in swami. In another two incidents, in 1979 summer, during that time. By then there were few people who studied with us, did their degree, post graduate. Some of them were doing phd. And they became lecturers. They were senior students, a batch of about 78 students on whom swami had invested a lot of time. He treated them as his own friends, give weightage for whatever they say. He filled them with love. When he gives so much of love, he will sometimes tests us. Have they digested it?..Has it helped them to grow? Or has it fed their ego and ruining themselves? If such a thing happens, he wants to correct. So that was the context. He suddenly stopped speaking to those people, all of them and said, ‘I know you all want to go away, to your places. Go away. Why do you stay here with me?’ They had never thought of it. May be in their hearts, in seed form, it would had been there. I don’t know. But as far as I could see, there was nothing like that. But swami said, ‘Stop talking’. Probably, it was a test. This went on. Before swami would go for darshan, swami would come and sit in a room. Quite a few students, few VIPs and few teachers will be there that room. During this time, all 7 or 8 will be there in that room, there will be a tense atmosphere in that room. Swami won’t speak anything to them and they won’t speak anything. And no one dare disturb, unless its very urgent and which doesn’t hurt swami. This went on for almost one week. One of them, after the 7 days of this kind of situation, got bold and with lot of love, lot of respect, he told swami, ‘Swami…’…’ aa Yemi yemi??…’ Swami, yela tunda chala …..(29.27) (Swami, we are giving you lot of trouble. You are not at all happy and if you feel swami that if we go away to our places you will be happy, we will go away. It is difficult for us swami but we don’t mind. We want swami to be happy’. ‘ ahhaaa…ooohhooo…such a great prayer’, swami said. ‘ Is that all that you have understood of swami I say? For how long have you stayed? Where will you go? You will go to your places where swami is not there?…do you mean to say that? Is swami not there in your place?.. Is swami not omnipresent? How dare you say that you go to a place where I am not there..I am everywhere. That you should know first. Secondly, will swami be happy if you go away from me? Is it for that purpose that I have trained you and given you so much of love to drive away to your places?..NO..I will be happy when you satisfy me with your beahviour, conduct, growth and evolution. I want you to be good…good leaders, ideal ones. That what I want rather than you go away to your places.’ After swami’s talk, there was stunned silence. Everyone felt, the divinity was revealing himself. Once he came in the morning. He sat down in his sofa and suddenly made a statement which confused us. ‘Dr. Rajeshwar amma…hari…hari…hari ani pulistundi (Dr. Rajeswar amma calls Hari, Hari, Hari.).Mrs Ratanlal calls out Vishnu…vishnu. I am the true hari and Vishnu. There is Dr. Hari in the hospital. Dr Rajeswar amma was the medical superintendent. He was a youngstar and invariably she would be calling, ‘a Hari, ikkadaa ra ra’ (meaning come here Hari.). And there was a Vishnu, who was a cook, who was cooking food and helping madam, Mrs Ratanlal. She would naturally be calling, ‘a Vishnu, ikkada ra ra’. Swami comes and tells,(one person calls me hari and one calls Vishnu, the real Vishnu, I am here and there is There is no one to call me’‘, and it became a big joke. Quite a few people enjoyed and also realized the truth behind it. After this, swami said, ‘you be here. I will go for darshan and come back’. He went out, gave darshan and came back and sat down in the sofa and said, ‘What are the weapons or insignia of Vishnu I say?’. Some elderly person or a student said, ‘ Swami… shanku (Conch), chakra (Wheel), gadha (Mace) and Padma(Lotus)’. Swami told, ‘Ohoo…correct. What is the meaning or significance of those things?’. Some elderly person said, ‘ Swami, the conch stands for sound, omkaram and representing creation, that lord Vishnu can create. Vishnu is a master of time. Wheel is the wheel of time. Vishnu is all powerful with the mace and he is pure with the lotuses. Swami said, ‘First 3 are all right but fourth you are wrong. The lotus stands for your hearts. They are in my hand. I can do whatever I want. I can make you think in a particular way.’ Can anyone make one think in a particular way? Its impossible but its possible with swami. Then someone from the boys said, ‘ then swami, why don’t you make us think always good things swami? ‘ I can make you think ra. But for that you have to give your mind to me. Surrender to me and I can make you think as I want.’ Very casual. One day he would just come and say, ‘what is the meaning of Radha? It is not Maharani College student. Radha is a devotee who make aaradhana as adhara and continuesly worhips. Dara-adha-adhar’. And what powerful messages swami used to convey. So this was what happened in case of that boy, he was stunned and he kept quite. One another boy, among these 7. There were all my students. The science students were not mine but the commerce students were my students. I have given them love and they have given me love. I was coming from hostel to mandir (Trayee Brindavan) and he was going in the opposite direction as of mine. Still swami was in his room, on that day. And I just happened to see him and asked, ‘How are you, Nityanand?’ and he said, ‘ Sir, what is there for us sir? You know our entire life is swami. We have dedicated ourselves to swami. We love swami. Even if we are thrown in Sahara desert, we have to take his name and live on and swami is not talking to us. What is there in our lives sir?’. I was moved to tears. Young fellow, having a lot of potential, a ranker, he can get a job wherever he likes, he has totally dedicated himself and he tell even if we are thrown in Sahara desert, we have to live by his name. I could not say anything more. Just said, ‘Let us pray to swami’ and then went. When I went into the room, swami was seating. ‘Emi? Haa…now you were coming no..what happened on the way?’, he said. I said, ‘Swami, I met Nityanand’. ‘What did your shrisya(student) say?’ ‘Swami, pappam swami..leaving swami what else is there. We don’t have any life at all. Even if we are thrown in Sahara desert, we have to live by his name. He didn’t know what to do he said, swami. Pappam swami.’ And swami’s response you should see. ‘Look here Nanjundiah’ I was putting myself as a sympathizer in front of god, who is the greatest sympathizer and what right do I have to say pappam swami. Swami said, ‘Look here Nanjundiah. I am butter. I am in their hearts. Slightest heat or warmth means I will melt. It has not touched me but wrongly it has touched you.’ I didn’t know what to say. I felt ashamed for saying pappam swami. But the fact has to noted. The message has to taken that swami is in our hearts. This is not any kind of imagination or exasperation or something out of the world, not like that. But this is a fact. He is within us. He is within our hearts and he is so prasanna, especially sai. You don’t know, dhrama sangsthapana e yuge yuge. God comes down to establish dharma but this god that is incidental. That is not at all the mail thing. For him, transforming devotees. Giving them freedom, taking them out of that viscious circle of Karma. He said I am in their hearts. I said, ‘ swami, tappaindi swami’ and I realized I was so thrilled at those statements of swami. Another very interesting incident. It was during Gokulastami time (next day may be gokulastami) in 1974 or 1976, don’t know. Chitravati river was full. Buses were not going from that route. You have to via Kadiri to Puttaparthi. For Gokulaastami function, I and my collegue went and by the time we reached, the Gokulastami function was over. We went to the Veranda and one person was there whom I asked, ‘Can I meet swami?’. He told swami might sitting there (showing a particular place) and whether he should mention anything specific to swami. ‘Just mention I have come, Nanjundiah has come’, I said. He went and told swami, told him to call me up and I went up. There was swami Karunyananda who was doing padaseva, only one person. Then swami told, ‘ahhh…I just now told Karunyananda that Nunjundiah will be coming with a red basket, flowers and fruits in it. Ask him..ask him’. I need not ask, he need not tell. It gave me great joy. Then, Swami Karunyananda, bending down was muttering to himself, ‘ ahhaaa…he was telling that you will be coming and getting all these things’. I just asked swami, ‘ Swami, can I garland?’. With lots of enthusiasm swami told, ‘Do it..do it’. I garlanded swami. ‘Swami, there are fruits, can I keep them at your lotus feet?’ ‘Keep them’, he said. I kept the fruits at the lotus feet. It gave me lots of joy, thrilled by keeping the fruits at the lotus feet. Swami had already lifted me. I was in the 7th circle, sumwhere. By then, swami had sufficiently trained me. I had gone through several ups and downs. Swami had taught me quite a few things and that was the time when shaken me and promoted to another class. I bent down and asked swami, ‘swami, bhakti wokat unte chala ?’ (If we have devotion, will it be sufficient?) I thought, yes it will be suffiecient, If you have devotion, everything else will be taken care. All that was my imagination. ‘bhakti wokat unte chala ?’. Swami suddenly changed his face. ‘Ha..ha…itla bhakti unte? ‘. What bhakti?..garlanding swami. Keeping fruits. Feeling very happy. ‘Itla bhakti unte, naku tala bhara neeku tweelebhara’ . Look at the words. His chosen words. 100 per cent truth. Spiritual truths. He says even if you are burden to me I will carry you. He doesn’t say I won’t carry you. But this kind of devotion is not useful to you. I just saw after so unique qualities are given and all that. It was not that swami was angry with me. Its just that swami says the truth, which is apt for each one. What he tells me, may not tell you. What he tells you, may not tell me. Wait for the time, have enough patience. For swami, the concept of time is infinite. But you should have sincerity. Manasyekam vachasyekam karmanyekam as far as possible should be there. For hypocrisy, there is no place with swami. One it so happened that some of the people who wanted to go away, had a meeting at Puttaparthi. They decide to move away in 1981. One of them came. Swami was relaxing on a sofa. He came almost half bent (shows with gesture) saying swami..swami. Swami suddenly sat straight on the sofa and told, ‘Kab aya..kab aya?’ (when did you come?) come come come. I was shocked. Why swami was giving so much of attention to this fellow who is willing to go away. He was pretending. He was hypocritical. Swami held a mirror. Swami makes him belief that swami also loves you. If you don’t love swami, then swami also doesn’t loves you. That is not required. But, if you have sincerity, swami definitely responds. When Sai is in your heart, why should you feel bad that swami is in Parthi. That is maya, Sai is Maya, Sai is the happiness. I wrote to swami,’ swami you are not there in Brindavan swami. We want to see you swami.’ Swami says, ‘have you made sure that swami is the resident of your heart? If so teart, then whyhen why do you feel so much pain that I am in Parthi? That is maya..that is illusion. And Sai us mother (Sai mai). If we feeling like crying because we couldn’t see the beautiful face of swami, then we should cry but never say swami is not with us. He is there with us,in our company, he is there in our homes, in our minds, he is there. Kanta (vision), winta ( at home), venta (with you), janta (together). He is there with us, above us below us. So we should have firm faith that’s what these two incidents of Anup Jalani and Nityananda swami tells us. Then I was telling about bhakti, is it sufficient?. He said, ‘ Yes it is sufficient’. ‘Bhakt ni kanna gopad venu’ means there is no person greater than a bhakta. Nothing greater than devotion but you should have devotion. You should remember one thing one need not aspire to have all the 36 qualities. That’s why swami had said, ‘ aarthi aarthati jignasu gyani’. Swami told one of the lecturers, ‘ why do you worry about all those things. You are teaching in the college no. Do your job, I will take care of your children’. He has taken care like that. There was another instance in 1976. On that day I wore a suit with a tie. I went up. There were some senior students. Swami held up and looked at me, held my collar and said, ‘what ma? You seem to be wearing a new saree. I was wearing the suit and then he turned to the boy, ‘emmi ra? Najundaiah ki miru bayapadutharemo, nenu kanu. You boys may be scared of Nanjudiah, not me. I used to be a little more serious and strict in the classes so they must had told swami. Just then I had joined (in 1973) and I didn’t have any fear or so. They also had a smile and I too had a smile and swami, more out of love he made that statement. Then he asked me what do I want. I didn’t know the background of why he is asking me. I told nothing swami. He told, ‘ ahaa…not that way. Tell me what do you want’. I told really swami I don’t want anything. He told, ‘When I ask you what do you want, you should give me a reply. You can’t say I don’t want anything. I said, Swami, I want swami. Swami said, Nannu nenu etchukunnanau inkemaina adugu. I gave myself already, ask something else. My god!! Swami had given me such advice. If I am not aware of it, If I don’t use, If I don’t conduct and respond myself, its my mistake. But swami said he gave himself to me. There are some background for that. Then he said, ‘Ask something material, not me’. I Didn’t know what to say. I never thought about such a thing. I was a teacher, so I told swami to give me a pen. He had a big smile at my silly, asking for a pen to swami and ok he said and there ended the talk. But there was a function following that. In that function, very elaborately made, there was a hall here in that old college (Old Brindavan). That was very big function. I went there and I was shocked, seeing and thinking what is all this. Of course, for there years of good results and grants had come and our commerce college was considered as one of the best colleges under Bangalore University where there are several colleges. Then swami wanted to bless me. I used to spend nights and days here. My family was graciously cooperating with me. Infact, people doubted whether I had some misunderstanding with my family, as I used to spend nights and days here because I was around 34 or 36 years at that time. Mr Kasturi in fact had asked me, ‘emappa e vairagyam (what is this Vairagya, Nanjundiaha? You are not going home, you are staying here only). Such was that great opportunity for me. So, function was arranged and swami made Dr. Bhagwantam speak and then he gave me a silver plate with fruits in it and gave it to me and while giving, with a mother’s smile he said, ‘rojhu itlu baunchi’ (take your food in this plate everyday). I didn’t know how to take these things. But that is the nature of swami. He gives. No should take that particular thing as something special of him. We are all ordinary. He chooses, today he way choose X tomorrow he may choose Y. That is up to him but once he choose us, he makes him capable of handling the situation. John Hislop asked a question to swami,’ Swami, make me a worthy instrument’. Swami said, ‘ Once I choose something as my instrument, there is no question of worthy or unworthy. One automatically becomes worthy.’ So that is how swami showers love. Two more incidents. We were framing syllabus for M.Com (Bangalore University) with the help of Mr. Shanmugam from IIM, Dr. Krishnaswami from Bangalore and myself. We had completed framing the syllabus. In 1981, the university came (Satya Sai University) and by then we had already finished framing the syllabus. On the last day. Swami called all three of us inside the interview room and when we entered the interview room, of course he asked how is the syllabus, are you happy?, have you included some subjects from management also so that the course can be a substitute for MBA also and all that he asked. Have you taken care to see because there was a professor from Bangalore University also, Mr. Krishnaswami, who was a professor for M.Com for a very long time in Bangalore University. He was a very senior professor and after all these interaction was over, he called me. I went there. When I went there, swami looked at my hands. I had a ring with 3 stones. He asked me to give it. I took it off and gave it. He asked, do you want this same one or something else. If you say you want the same one, it is a mistake. If you say you want something else, it is a mistake. I said, whatever swami gives is fine for me. As if, if he gives something else I would be happy. I told anything is ok. ‘ No..no..no’, swami said. Look at his omniscience, ’ This ring was given by your in-laws at the time of your sister’s marriage. Suppose if they that ring is very precious and have you done. I said swami no one will say anything whatever swami says. He took the ring and held it close to his mouth and blew twice (shows with action) and the whole ring changed, openly and there were two diamonds, cross not straight. ‘yen manukulna’. Like mothers tell to children. Then he said, ‘ When you go home put your hand on your forehead (showing with action) and show your wife your hand while rubbing your forehead and she will ask you what is that. Tell that swami has given you this ring. Then, tell her that one diamond is swami and the other diamond is you (himself). This is our relationship’. (Everyone clapping) I just didn’t know how to just say him anything. Next day, swami me inside another room inside the interview room and said, ‘ suppose your wife asks what to my ring which my brother gave, what will you say?’. No swami, she will not ask swami. ‘No no..you give that ring’. I opened and gave it. He took it in his fist and blew on it twice then he shook it. There was a sound inside his fist. There were two rings, one was the three stone old ring and the other one was the diamond ring. He put the old ring in my pocket and tapped on the pocket and said, ‘keep it safe..keep it’ and the other ring he put it in my finger. When I went back, she did ask after I had told her everything. One thing with swami is, there is nothing casual with swami. One must literally do what swami says. She was happy and we were happy. Another incident is, I was to join swami’s university as the controller. Swami called me and asked me,’controller ga ravadaniki ishtamunda?’, are you interested in becoming controller?’. Only he and I were there upstairs. I replied, ‘Swami em chepte adhi chesthanu( Whatever Swami tells I will do). ‘Dr. Gokak and Chakravarty had suggested your name that you could become the controller here. Are you willing?’. Swami where is the question of willing, whatever swami will say I will do. ‘Not that I say. Will you be happy? Do you want it?’. I said swami let me tell you the fact. I have no such thing to become Controller. If swami wants me to come, I will come. Swami in a way was cornered because I had no such thing to become Controller or anything. Then swami said, ‘You come, I will tell you time. But don’t tell this to anyone. While coming, get little saman (luggage).Don’t get everything. Keep that other house also there. But you come and join as a deputy controller’. I said ok swami. Then I came. I didn’t tel even my wife, swami’s word, swami’s word is like law for me. Then I came to college. There, a lot of my colleagues, Mr. Narhari and all will know them, I was working with Mr. Narendra with lots of understanding. So I thought I should tel the principle that I need to go to Prashanthi Nilayam as the Controller and that shouldn’t cause any inconvenience to the college. I told him that swami has asked me to join the university as the controller that when swami tells he shouldn’t be surprised. In a few days, swami came to Brindavan and one of those days he spoke to Principle Narendra, very innocently. He told swami, it seems you want Nanjundiah there so need to take another lecturer here or something like that he told. Swami told ok ok, who told you? Nanjundiah himself told me swami (Audience laughs). Then swami sent word for me, I went. ‘emi Narendra tho cheppinava’. Did you tell Narendar. Yes swami I told. I think it is my duty swami. We are working together. Our college, suppose some inconvenience is cause that’s why I told. I didn’t tel to my wife also swami. But this is because its college so I told. Swami angrily told, ‘You have violated my orders. Go’. He was angry but didn’t let out at me. His words you cannot take lightly. He wrote quite a few letters to me. In one letter he wrote. This is true for most of us. ‘Ni chitthamu Parishubramaindhi, adhi sai hrudayamuku athukonipoyinadhi, inthakante manchidhi ekkada dorakadhu’. Your heart is Pure, and it is attached to sai, there is nothing good than this. In another letter he says,’Nimishamaina avakashamu leni e Panula chey e kammaku intha alsyaminadhi, oka kshanamina viramumu leni APnulalo undiyu, e kammaku pamuchunanna ni pai daya premala prathipalamye’. Because of all the work at hand, this letter is delayed, actually I hardly have a second to spare, but still Iam taking time to write this letter, only because of my love and affection for you. How much of divine love. Honestly, again I confess to you, I don’t deserve all these. It’s his nature to give so he gives. He writes to me telling why there was a delay in writing to me because he was so busy that he doesn’t have time at all. Inspite of such shortage of time if I am writing to you its my expression of love for you and he says, of course I faced a lot of critism from my neighbors etc. but I never cared for any of those, ‘Ni chittamu Parishubramainadhi’, Your heart is pure. (world will be seen by people based on the colour of glass they wear. Why do you need to bother about the critism of the people? You make sure that your thinking is all right. Don’t care for such opinions.’ In the same letter, towards the end, he writes, Give your mind to me and discharge your duties). It is almost like guidance for people. You don’t give up your family. Swami doesn’t like all those hypocrisy’s or stunts. Do your job. That doesn’t prevent you have love for me, giving your mind to me. That is what he wrote. Last instance. In Shivam (Hyderabad) 1974, swami took us in his aeroplane to Hyderabad. We went to Shivam. We were asked to stay in Satya Murthy’s house, which is the neighbouring house and swami stayed in Shivam. After we went, we were sitting. Swami was taking bath. Kamodharen, another vedic scholar, was chanting rudhram while swami was taking bath. I was thrilled. I was thinking how lucky these people are to chant rudhram when god himself is taking bath. Such meritorious deed they are doing. I also remember, in the plane, the so called big people, the celebrities, were trying to get a word from swami or touch his feet or make swami look at them and all that. He was not giving so much of attention but he was not hurting. When we went there, after his bath was over, he took us to show all the rooms. A few of the lecturers from swami’s college and probably few of the VIPs. I don’t remember the VIPs but lecturers were there. He was showing us the rooms and it stunned me. What is this? How to understand swami? We are mere lecturers, getting paid for what work to do and swami is paying so much attention to them explaining what is there in every room in his house whereas the so called big people, rich people, scholars couldn’t get these. This was there in my mind. I had the freedom by then. Swami finished showing and came out. I told, ‘Swami, swamini etla ardham chesukoval theliyadu’. I do not know how to understand swami. Swami said, ‘Nannu ardham chesukovadaniki prayatnichaku, kevalam anubhavinchu, anandinchu (Don’t try to understand me. Just experience me). How much of benefit I have got from u this mantra. Otherwise i don’t have the intellectual power of the purity of the heart to understand divinity in the correct sense. We are misled, we misunderstand, we are misinterpreting. However, monkey minds ask a number of question like why should swami do this? Why did swami speak to him, he doesn’t attend Suprabhatam (Morning Prayer) but I attend. He talks to him not to me, swami gave him interview. Particularly among the boys I am telling. Never ever do such a thing. Your intellect, your mind can’t understand such a thing. What you should have is love for swami. Don’t try to measure or comprehend swami. Your intellect is very small to understand a divine, cosmic phenomenon. So the moral was don’t try to understand me. That was another incident. Enjoy and experience. Enjoy, have love for swami. Love is all that you should have in your heart. Have a receptive heart. 50th Birthday time there was a poet’s conference. They were describing swami in beautiful words. We came back to swami’s room I told swami, swami there writing fantastic poetry swami. Swami was sarcastically lauging that them. Why swami?. ‘Look Nanjundiah, I am in their hearts. They were describing me and praising me from their heads. They don’t have any experience with me but they were using their intellect to praise me. It never touches me.’ Swami, I enjoyed the programme. ‘ You have it. You are enjoying so enjoy but I can’t enjoy just because you are enjoying. When our boys write poem, I enjoy. They may not be great but they are innocent. They are pure, they love me. Therefore I enjoy. I have a message by swami. Its in English. I will just quickly go through and then I will close it. ‘ Dear Nanjundiah, accept my blessings. The best method of spreading Vedanta philosophy is to spread it. There is no other royal road. Live in god, all is right. Make others live in god, all should be even. Live this truth, you will be saved. If if want to be safe, live in god. In the lowest worm and the highest animal, the same divinity is present. Worm is a lower form in which divinity has been more overshadowed by Maya and that is the highest form in which it has least over shadowed. Behind everything the same divinity is existing. Out of this comes the basis of morality’. Then he says,’ utter the truth, fling it into utter oblivion.. the little bird, it finds itself the whole ocean. You are the whole, the infinite, pure. You are divinity itself, the holy of holies. The world is no world. You are the all in all. You are the supreme power that no words can describe, no body or mind. You are the pure. I am that you are. Heaven is within you, seek happiness. Not in the object of senses but realise that happiness lies within yourself. With blessings, Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba’. So swami has given so much love and it is with great difficulty that I thought these few incidents but only two minutes, if we could sing those songs.
I after hearing such beautiful songs, swami has written them. Only by his kindness we can sanctify our lives not by our efforts. Even if you go to Puttaparthi, by his kindness and compassion, we can save our lives. I close my talk with a prayer to swami, ‘Swami, only by thy kindness we can be saved. We pray to you shower kindness on us. We are telling you swami. We are yours swami. Please take care of us. Take us all at your lotus feet. Make us work till the last breath in whatever way it is possible. You know that way, we need not give up our jobs but in whatever way its possible let us work. Let us faith, love in swami, intensity of love in swami. Let us earn swami’s grace and love.
I thank the organisers who have given me this opportunity. This is like my home. Here I have spent 9 years. I come back home and shared some of my thought and experiences with my brother and sisters. I thank swami to give me this opportunity to express my gratitude to swami, to talk to you, whatever I felt or understood of swami.
Thank you. Sai ram.