Glorious Moments with God
Sri. Dora H J
Here is the video and transcript of the Samarpan talk given by Sri. Dora H J at Brindavan on the 15th of December, 2013.
Om Sri Sai Ram. My humble pranams at the lotus feet of Swami. Fellow devotees, Sairam.
As I stand here there are so many memories coming into my mind as Swami gave me so many opportunities to be with him in this holy place. Brindavan is soaked with Swami’s love and innumerable souls have evolved into great human beings in this holy atmosphere. I don’t know how many of you have been to the brindavan in U.P. where Krishna played before he started his divine mission. A lot of those holy places are shown to us even today. Chaithanya mahaprabhu whom Swami has also mentioned in his speeches comes to this place after about 5000 yrs after Krishna. When he goes around vrindavan he hugs the rocks and stones that are there near the govardhan and weeps, “Oh what fortunate stones you are! Maybe Krishna must have sat on you. Maybe he lifted you as govardhan and you saved him!” He wept and wept saying those things. So when I see this brindavan now I get the same feeling. Generations of people and devotees to come will do the same thing as Chaithanya mahaprabhu. They will kiss the ground where Swami’s feet were moving. They will hug these pillars, do pranams to the gates which opened to allow Swami to come out.
The type of devotion and adoration which Swami got, I don’t think any human being in recorded history would have received. That’s for sure. This morning I went to the super speciality hospital here and felt so happy to spend the day in such a holy place. Swami has built such a great institution that no human has ever done so far nor can they ever do.
I will now confine myself and truthfully communicate to you what I experienced with Swami, how his life is so unique, in the sense that there is no second one like that. I was with Swami for the last 46 yrs since 1966. Before I got married I came here with the invitation for blessings . At that time his old house was here with the gate and nothing else. Devotees were only about 100 or 150 . Whitefield meant it was only fields everywhere and only a few bungalows here and there. Swami took the invitation and I’ve been coming since then.
I am able to see the slow transformation in this place. Earlier there used time to be a tree here and Swami would sit on a platform here with ladies on one side, gents on the other. Later Swami put a shelter over that . And only several years maybe about 20 yrs later, as the numbers started growing Swami constructed this Sai Ramesh hall. As the college and hostel came up we saw more number of people, more students, teachers etc. For a few of us who had access to go inside, the evenings with Swami was a great experience. All the students would rush in thorough the gate like a reservoir being opened. Once when I was walking in the line Swami told me, “move move! If you are in the way you will be smashed.” That was the speed with which students used to go. That love and bonding cannot be seen anywhere else. Swami would sit on the jhoola with all students around, and there would be some discussions on adhyatmic issues with Swami asking questions around. Those evenings were very precious. The other important thing was the summer courses that were conducted here. It was attended by all the elite people of Bangalore like General Cariappa., etc. They were all so impacted that many of them were transformed, many people’s attitude changed. Such is the power of an avatar.
Every evening he would bless us with a lecture and Swami would with great authority speak on scriptures, Vedas and Geetha. For people like us with modern education he used to explain in such simple language the essence of Vedas. Even though it was all going into the heart, for a long time I didn’t realise the importance of it all. One remarkable thing that Swami used to say was that when you know it is the truth you have to follow it. And we all knew that it was the truth.
Later on, in puttaparthi during dasara, the havan used to take place and we had an opportunity to sit with different people . I had the opportunity to talk to very great scholars in Telugu and Sanskrit and they were telling me the significance of what Swami was telling us. I assumed that these were the normal truths that all of us should know. But they explained that no this was the essence of the Vedanta. Over a period of time, after listening to so many of Swami’s talks, and If you go to any other spiritual speaker, I used to realise that there was nothing new in their speeches. Everything that they were saying I already knew. I understood that when precious things are given easily we don’t understand the value and this happens to many of us. When our parents struggle and give us so many things we don’t understand the value . Only when we see somebody who does not have the same opportunity do we realise how fortunate we are.
To those of us who have seen Swami what impressed us is the utter simplicity of Swami. He was so simple and accessible to everybody. I did not work in the organisation. I was only coming and going as a devotee. But as Subhash said I have written a book and I’m able to talk now only because Swami was accessible to all of us. No other religious head is like that today. He never had the feeling that he was worshipped by so many people.
For any organising work say summer course, Swami would work out every small detail. He would go to the stores, inspect the cooking places, vessels, check how many plates and glasses were there. He would give every small instruction regarding the guests, who were coming, where they would stay, etc. Whether it was here or at puttaparthi, without any change in the timings, he would come out for darshan, go around all the devotees, collect letters, give vibhuthi, talk to people. He would select some people for interviews, open the door, take them inside, make them sit comfortably, switch on the fan and only then he would sit. No other guru will do this. You might feel a great privilege to be ushered into their presence. But Swami never made us feel that way.
The unique quality of Swami was that, no matter how big or small you are, He was accessible to everybody. I used to see important judicial persons, government servants, political leaders here. They would come, sit in the verandah and just go away. Swami may not even look at them. Then somebody like Swami’s brother Janaki ram or Chakravarthy would be at a great loss. Sometimes to save them of that predicament he might say few words. That’s it. And I have seen all this. What I’m trying to say is that although he is love personifies no doubt, but he is not moved by position or wealth. I have seen Swami ignoring some of the richest people but He would spend 1/2hr to 45 min with some old devotee whom you and I would presume are not very great. This was the way of Swami.
Only devotion matters nothing else. With Swami everything was open and transparent . He would discuss important matters with the trust members in the verandah itself. Once when we were all standing here Swami asked, “would you like to become secretary to Swami?” Then we all said yes Swami yes Swami! Then do you know what Swami so beautifully said? “No Swami does not need a secretary because there is no secret for me”. His life was absolutely transparent. He would discuss what his plans were, what he’s going to do with hospital, etc in the verandah itself.
If Swami asked me to do some work in Hyderabad, and I completed it and came here, He would acknowledge it in the midst of so many people. I would feel a bit shy but Swami would be so grateful. These are the qualities that you learn from Swami. When He who is worshipped by billions of people is able to be so simple, so utterly human, loving and caring, then what right do you and I have to be proud or to show off? We are not even one millionth of what Swami is. Sometimes even during akhanda bhajan when the whole world was remebering Swami for 12 or 24hrs, His routine is normal. He would pick up some elderly devotee, and if they are not able to walk, He would make them walk into the interview room. He did these things even though there was no need for Him to do so, somebody else could have done it for Him. And if you are His guest then finished He will look after you like anything. These are the lessons we have to draw from Swami’s life that when Swami is like this even we should be more humble, more simple, try and do more service and serve others. This will transform your life and your attitudes. He did not own any properties. Swami used to say, “the only asset I have in plenty is love and it is for this love alone that everybody comes to puttaparthi. People come from abroad, ready to be put up here, ready to eat this food only to partake of my love and I can give this love in abundance.” Since there are no physical comforts there, people undergo a lot of hardships only because of His showering of love.
I have seen people who would criticise Swami melt and become devotees, people who would talk tall I would see them crying when Swami approaches. Something melts your heart. Love is such a powerful weapon, it binds you, melts you and you become like clay so that Swami can do what He wants with it.
When the American gentleman says that the aura of Swami enters you, we have seen problems and physical ailments disappear. It is only because of Swami who is love incarnate. I have not seen another human being with such abundant love. It is absolutely universal, without any distinction. People from every country, of every religion, woshipping every God has come to Swami and saw their own God in Swami whether a Chinese or Buddhist or whoever. This universal love that Swami exhibited consistently everyday in His life is so unique and enough to say that only an Avatar or god incarnate can do that. All that we heard about Krishna must be true when we see Swami.
Another aspect that I have observed is that when Swami spends time talking to somebody, there is nothing else on his mind other than that person. If he has to go to the stadium and whether the Prime Minister or president is waiting there, but His focus is entirely on the person he’s talking to. One has to see and experience for themselves such a big love.
Even though Swami in his lifetime did not go to other countries, his message spreads and people came as far as America, Japan . Nobody from the organisation went there to spread Swami’s message,but miracles happen all the time and Swami’s presence is felt. Otherwise why will they spend so much money and come all the way? Some astounding miracles have taken place in their lives and so they come. Swami always says love gives and forgives. The amount of things that Swami used to give clothes, silver articles to artists etc; seated in through verandah we could see loads and loads of sarees coming from that small room. And He would distribute to devotees, students and on and on. I don’t think any emperor in the world or any rich man would have distributed so many clothes on one day in their own lifetime. Wherever Swami is, there is no dearth of anything. There is fullness, joy, harmony.
What I’m trying to say is, that this enormous love alone transforms people. The sevadal that Swami has built, what a great institution it is. Millions of people, offer voluntary service without even asking for anything. Sometimes during the world conferences there would be various groups coming and doing various service activities in the ashram. They would not even have the time to have darshan sometimes for 3-4days together without minding. Who transformed all these people to do such selfless service? Would any other individual or organisation do? Swami has impacted and transformed the liveable of people across the world inspiring to undertake activities like distribution of food, clothes, monthly rations doctors giving medicines. You can imagine hoe much a person has to influence to do such work. Even though Swami has given up his physical form there is no change in the attitudes of the devotees. Not only is all the work going on but it is also being strengthened. Even the crowd who came to Parthi for the birthday celebrations was better than last year. Swami did not say I’m going to change these people, nothing of that sort. He has brought about such powerful changes in the personality in a very very subtle manner. He didn’t even ask you to do this. But seeing Swami you feel that what he’s saying is true and you should do it.
So my request to the children here is that what you know is the truth so please follow it. When you leave the portals of this institution and go into everyday life try and be true sons of Bharath. This is my advice to all young friends here. Many of you may be under the delusion that, it is easy to practise in the campus, but these principles may not work when you go to the outside world. That truthfulness may not work or some of you may have the idea that you have to be a little bit of a crook to manage other crooks. But I’ll say this with authority because I have been there, that you don’t have to do that. You be truthful, be good, serve others and pray to Swami. Be a proper devotee and everything else is taken care of. Your devotion must be such that Swami must call you a devotee. My own life is like that. By Swami’s grace I gained enormous name and. Goodwill without taking any shortcuts. Infact being a Swami’s devotee is my only qualification. Whenever some work was given to an officer his response would be so quick, saying “oh Sathya Sai Baba wants this? we will surely do it. Please offer our pranams to him.” That is the amount of respect that Swami commanded. As a devotee you will gain respect of your fellow human beings as it happened to me.
Please don’t think that you have to learn tricks of the trade, that if you are truthful or good you will not be successful. You be truthful to Swami and to yourself, you will succeed in life. Dont be under the impression that you have to go some other route to be successful. Thats not necessary. Be bold and courageous.Follow Swami’s principles, take care of your parents, respect your teachers, be grateful to people who have helped you to pursue your studies, and Swami will take care of everything.
I did the most successful jobs any human being could have done in the police department. When I took over as the DIG of state, my state was in a mess. We had the Maoist movement in huge proportions . They were attacking police stations, killing policemen. I took over in such a difficult situation and in 2yrs there was complete change, and in another 2yrs was the only state in india with complete eradication. Naturally a number of attempts were made to eliminate me, some which I was not even aware of till after a year or so . But Swami was blessing me, he would tell my wife “you do not to worry about him and spoil her health. I am taking care of him.” And that’s why I came out unscathed. If I had any problem it would be of a great concern for Swami. That is the love and concern that God has for all of us. Even now we only have to pray and He will answer to all of us. He brought me out of so many dangers that I was not even aware of.
Swami never liked people keeping long, dull faces. He would ask, “enti castor oil taageva? Why are you putting your face like that?” He would crack jokes, make people laugh, and when people came out of the interview room, everybody would be bubbling with love and joy. These are very unique experiences that you cannot have with any other religious guru or peetadhipathi. We would see such wonderful miracles in every interview. He would ask people sitting in the wheelchair to start walking. This happened in kodaikanal when I was there and it was even caught on camera. There was a bulky foreigner sitting on the wheelchair, Swami just tapped his knees, asked him to stand up and follow him to the interview room. Only once he came out did he tell us that he was walking after 20yrs. I have seen one or two people going in with crutches and came out walking normally.
Another thing we observed is the transformation in all the students whether here or at Prashanthi Nilayam. Swami used to spend quality time, Infact the best part with students, moving amongst them, talking to them, enquiring where they came from, about their parents etc. The way he moulded the students’ character and brought about changes slowly was something we observed every year batch after batch.
I would like to share another unique feature here. I spoke to a lot of the old devotees in the 50s and 60s like Dr Reddy from nellore, Raja of Venkatagiri etc. Swami at that time itself had a road map of his life and tell what he would do when. Nobody else can say such a thing. I know some very important industrialists and other successful people. Even though they were all very enterprising people, they would all very humbly say that we started like this, then somebody gave us this idea. Fortunately at that time the govt’s policy was like that and so I prospered in this field. Since I passes the IPS I would have gotten into AP cadre or someday I might become the DIG. But I cannot say that I’ll become tgev commissioner of police or the DG. I might have or might not have also become like so many other people. But Swami in those days, even as a boy in the village of puttaparthi made these proclamations. Then there was no access to puttaparthi directly; Venkatagiri Raja used to leave his car in bukkapatnam keeping a watchman and paying him 1re per day for 10 days, he used to cross the chithravathi in bullock carts and then come carrying all provisions also along with them.
In those days Swami would say that puttaparthi will become an international centre and people would come from all parts of the world. Not only did they not believe but they used to even joke about it to Swami. Since Swami was very young about 15 or so, he used to always move about with them. Venkatagiri Raja used to tell me,” appudu swamiki emi samsramu emi ledu kada, ippude college, pillalu unnarau.”(at that time Swami did not have any institutions like college, students, etc..which came about only now). He was all the time with the devotees who were only 20 or 30 people at that time. He would ask them to take Padanamsakar every night and they would say “Swami we have already taken 2-3 times throughout the day, why again?” He would reply, “Aye, chustundu chustundu, naa padalu neeku dorakavu. After some time you will not be able to see these feet even from a distance. And even if you want to touch them you won’t be able to.” Now who would believe that? They would joke to Swami saying, “who will come to puttaparthi Swami? We are all attached to you so that’s okay.” There was an article that I read by a devotee, in 1943 Swami had gone to Subamma’s house and said, “you see that hillock there, I am going to construct a spiritual centre there in no time. People from all over the world will come here” . They somehow could not understand this concept because none of you here atleast can imagine how a village would have been in the 40s and 50s. I come from a village and so I can understand to a great extent. There was no water, no electricity. In that small place where Swami was depending on different people to get things done, with no resources He would declare that all those things would be done. So Swami had a very clear road map.
He said that he will revive Vedanta. That is one of the tasks he has come for. He didn’t mean that all scholars would come. Instead students will recite . The Vedam book that has been brought out is read by even foreigners of all countries as far as Argentina. Is this not the revival of tgev Vedas?He wanted to bring back the old Bharathiya culture because He said that it is full of meaning . It is the eternal spring which is necessary in all our lives.
The Prashanthi Nilayam hall which looks small today, looked very big when it was being constructed. So,many people asked Swami why such a big hall? Can’t we make it smaller and not waste resources? Swami used to laugh and say that it will nth be able to hold even quarter of the number of people who would come. They couldn’t understand what Swami was talking about.
You ask the richest man how he got there, he would have never imagined so. Be it the most powerful govt servant, even the prime minister Manmohan Singh would not have thought of becoming the PM, I can tell you for sure. He was an administrator, secretary of finance, governor of RBI, but he definitely did not think of becoming the PM of India. But only Swami had a clear road map.
What I learnt from Swami is that if he decides to do something, it will definitely be achieved. And if he assigns a task to somebody say A, B or C he will also give them the strength to complete the task. When you are carrying out the work you are unaware of it but it becomes obvious slowly.
Today I went and saw the magnificent hospital here, such a huge building, still functioning so beautifully. I remember the day it was concluded and on the day of inauguration, when all the central committee members were heaving a sigh of relief that this big venture is over, Swami announced that He would provide water to the city of Chennai. The government looks after only some people who are rich but the poor people in slums do not get quality potable drinking water. He made this statement not in private but to the public audience there where even the then Prime minister Vajpayee was present. I even made a note of it in my book. Col Joga Rao and others were aghast. Till then they were all so happy that just then such a big project was over and Swami announces this. And what a water project it is. People in so many villages, tirupathi and Chennai benefit from it. What he has built is a model for the entire country.
Another unique aspect of Swami was that he was not obliged to anybody. In an organisational structure when you are depending on certain people for a number of things, somebody might have proximity or familiarity to the head. But from day 1 Swami dis not give scope to anybody at any time to feel that they had access to Swami, or could make him talk to somebody. Be it Tigret or anybody who had donated a lot, nobody was sure as to how Swami would receive and treat them when they came the next time. They would be treated as any other devotees . But even a man like Prof Kasturi who stayed in the ashram, doing a lot of service, had that type of control. They could not assume that they would get this and that done by Swami.He was independent of everybody. As I told you very big people would come and if Swami does not give them interview, they would ask somebody like Janaki ramaiyya to put in a word. That person would say yes I will do but ultimately Swami has to call you. Even his mother or sisters would all only request, pray and after that leave it to Swami.
Another aspect of Swami was that he never felt any ownership of anything. When the hospital was coming up we would go, see and tell Swami, “mee hospital chala bagundi”(your hospital is very nice). And He would immediately say, “eh naa hospital kaadu mee hospital”(not mine your hospital). Riches never swayed Him. In those days when cars were very difficult to get, very rich people would bring cars to Swami. But He would just ask them to take it back. Once his car did not start. One Mr Craxi from Italy had brought a beautiful Mercedes car and would beg Swami to accept it instead of the old car. But Swami replied saying, “Craxi, old is gold, it’s not necessary, so please send it back “.
Swami used to live a very simple life and He would say, “I don’t spend money from the trust “. Who can say such a thing? And He would ensure that every rupee that devotees are giving would be properly used.
Ultimately we will all realise how fortunate we are to have Swami early in our lives. But so many other colleagues who did not do so are ultimately coming to the same goal after so many years, after the best part of their life is wasted. He revived all the precious gems that are available in our culture in a modern way
He told me once, “Vidya, vaidyam konokune vallam kadu manam”. People in Bharat used to never buy education or medicine. Teachers used to be there to teach, and their family’s requirement and welfare would be taken care of by the society. Similar was the case with a medical person.
Most important is how Swami transformed all of us. If we have not come upto His expectations, it is because of us. Infact how many people has Swami in his lifetime directly impacted all over the world. We as contemporaries cannot estimate the glory of His Avatar. We cannot fully assess the things He has done for mankind. So such a great person, such an Avatar lived here, walked here amongst us giving His enormous love to each of us. Every stone here Ian saturated with Swami’s love and divine presence.
I’m fortunate and particularly grateful to the Brindavan authorities who invited me to come here inspite of all my shortcomings. I try to be a devotee of Bhagawan all the time and that’s what we should do. I pray that he blesses us always. Jai Sai Ram.