Temple of Healing
VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 6, NOVEMBER-DECEMBER, 2018
Sri. M.N. Sai Sankar, Senior Manager Academics, SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram
Swami with Brother Sai Sankar during special Darshan to Swami's students in the Bhajan hall.
I have been lucky and have had the good fortune to be born in a house that worshiped Swami as GOD. From my childhood my parents told me that whatever I want, only Swami can give, and that I should unhesitatingly ask for, only from Him. Having taken their advice seriously, as a child I would ask Swami anything and everything without thinking, as he was more than a parent to me, and Swami used to reflect my faith and answer my prayers. This relationship with Swami has continued till this day. I would like to share a few experiences my family had with our sweet Lord
As a young family, we used to stay in the city of Bangalore while my father had the privilege of staying with Swami at the Brindavan ashram, of course, as part of discharging his duties towards Swami’s students. At the same time, Swami had given the privilege of cooking a Sunday breakfast for Swami, to my mother. She used to do this diligently by waking up as early as 1:30 am, in order to reach Brindavan by 7:00 am, along with 3 small kids! Swami never lets such devotion and dedication go unnoticed. It so happened that once she wanted to prepare coconut chutney for Swami. She broke the only coconut at home and to her dismay it was spoilt. But she would not accept a compromised breakfast for Swami. So, filled with devotion and no fear of anything else, at 2:15 or 2:30, in the dark of the night, she locked the three kids at home and went to the house of a shopkeeper, woke them up and ensured she got a good coconut and made the chutney for Swami, packed and delivered the breakfast as usual to my father to take it to Swami. That day, during breakfast, Swami not only had the chutney made by her but also made quite an undue mention of it. He was full of praise for the taste of the chutney. In fact, he called His cook as well and asked to learn how to make this chutney!! I am sure those who had breakfast with Swami, including my father, wondered what was so special about. However, only when my father came out and expressed Swami’s love for her chutney, did he realize the reason behind it. It was indeed touching to see that Swami watches and acknowledges every act of devotion to Him. It was a day when we experienced that a devotee’s love is indeed His food.
On another occasion, my father was blessed to be part of the entourage that accompanied Swami by a plane for the anniversary celebrations at Shivam, Hyderabad. Swami was spending a lot of His personal time and effort to make the students and teachers who had accompanied Him, comfortable. At that time, my father who was still a young teacher in Swami’s college felt quite surprised that while many dignitaries and very well-off people were jostling in the plane to just get a moment with Swami, here Swami was spending hours with people like him and showering so much love. How did they deserve this? Thinking so, he made bold to tell Swami, “Swami, it is very difficult to understand you.” Pat came the reply, “Nannu artham chesukodaaniki prayathninchaddu. Anubhavinchu. Aanandinchu” (meaning: ‘Do not try to understand me. Experience. Enjoy’). Indeed true. And a very important lesson for anyone who tries to measure or understand the vastness of Swami. How can we with all our limitations ever imagine understanding the limitless!! But out of His infinite love, He took the trouble to teach us these truths.
On yet another occasion, as a very young kid, I met with an accident right outside the Brindavan ashram, on a rainy day. It was quite a gory situation where a cyclist hit me, both had fallen on the road and a bus was close to running over me, leading to unthinkable consequences. I was badly hurt with a few fractures and the Brindavan sevadal rushed me to the General Hospital at Whitefield. On hearing about my accident, my father rushed to Swami and informed. Swami immediately said, ‘I know. I saved him today as he is your only son and you could not have borne it!!” What compassion!! and how simple it is for Him!! Yes, life and death are in His hands and He will do anything for His devotees. How can any expression of gratitude be sufficient to such a dear Lord?
In our early days with Swami, once He had called us for an interview. During the course of the interview, my elder sister who was all of 6 years requested Swami to visit our house on her birthday. Swami sweetly asked her, “When is your birthday?” to which she responded with the date. Swami very sweetly assured her that He would come. Two days before her birthday, He himself reminded my father that He would be coming. Needless to say, all of us were overjoyed. The day came, and He came all the way to our small locality in Malleswaram! As soon as He came, my sister was welcoming Him with an arati plate and with His hands behind, He bent down to her height and said, “Nenu Chappinattu Vachaana ma?” (Have I kept my promise and come?) How sweet! How indescribable the joy is!! The Almighty seeking the approval of a tiny kid! No one is too small for Him. Every soul matters and He does what it takes to draw them to Him!!
I would like to share one final experience. It was time for my sister to start her schooling. Usually, as per tradition, we have to initiate a child into writing through a ceremony and also pierce the ears before formal education starts. My parents were keen that Swami does this rather than going as per traditions. So, my mother used to constantly remind my father to request Swami but he promptly kept forgetting. He used to get daily audience with Swami in the upper room of Swami’s Mandir but would fail to ask. So, one day, Swami took it upon Himself to remind my father. Swami asked him, “Emi Samaacharamu?” (What news?). Father said nothing specific is there. Swami again asked, two more times. That’s when father got alert and realized he had to ask about my sister. When he mildly put forth the request to Swami to do ‘Akshara Abhyasam’ and ear piercing, Swami instantly agreed and said, “Get her, I will do it”. Father felt apologetic to bother Swami with these small family affairs when He had so many things to do. So, he said, “Swami, I see you are so busy with so many things all through the day and I feel sorry to trouble you with these small things…”. Can you guess what His response was? He said, “Why do you say so, Nanjundaiah? I have come only to serve my devotees. What better work do I have?” “See, can you see my broad neck for this small stature of a body?” He raised his hair around the neck and showed and continued, “This is to carry the burden of my devotees. So, no problem at all. Get her. We can do it”. Made it look so simple but conveyed such a touching truth. Do you call Him Bhakta Priya or Prema Pradaatha or Ananda daayaka? What or how many names will suffice to describe Him, our dear Lord??
He has always been my love, goal and inspiration in my life and I continue to pray and work with the single pointed goal of making Him proud and happy.
Jai Sai Ram