I thought with SH's experience, everyone would learn the lesson that Swami is not partial and that He pours His grace on everyone equally and just that each of us should keep our hearts and minds open and alert to receive a Divine experience. I thought my faith got strengthened that day.
Who is SH? What was her experience? These were the contents of Did I SEE Swami - Part 2 of which I strongly recommend a read before you go on to read the following so that the message this 3-part article wishes to convey is clear to every reader.
Questions continued to be raised. The "Why SH" attitude made people get depressed, angered some and turned some pessimists. Back to the same old story of telling "I am not blessed" , "Swami has decided to reject me." (As if they could read Swami's mind!) All this ruined my peace (first sign of dwindling faith) I felt bad seeing some turning pessimistic about Swami's grace on them and angry on some for blaming poor Swami for not blessing them. I thought I should go and ask them to define 'blessing'! It was thus that I started praying that Swami blesses the entire ATP Campus with His Darshan! Mega Prayer! Wasn't it? Even I knew it was too much to ask. But that is what I prayed back then. Every day I prayed and prayed, in fact, I was ordering Him. Days passed and there were a couple of experiences that happened in my life (These will form a part of another blogpost) the sweetness of which I completely or partially ignored because I was so lost in Mega Prayers. In fact the months of June and July could aptly be called the "Miracle Season 2014" at ATP.
You see, this is a situation most of us come across in our lives. God's grace is constantly with us and miracles are happening all around us. However, we fail to notice them because they do not come in a manner we expect them to come in. All of us fail to realize this - The Lord who is powerful enough to bless us with miracles, isn't He also powerful enough to decide when and how He should bless us? It is like going to a doctor to get an illness cured and advising him on what medicines to prescribe!
Sadly, in spite of knowing all these also I did not want to give up and leave it to Swami.This was one more instance of me being a 'platform hero' (heroine actually) but a 'practical zero' like Swami says.
I did not want to give up. When in Part 1, I said retracing one's steps is not a sign of true devotee, I didn't mean dictating what, when and how God has to do something. It meant holding on to Him strongly and asking of Him to do that something. While pining is in your hands, dictating means of grace is nowhere close to our business. And I was dictating terms to Swami which was not my business at all. I thus spent the rest of my First Semester and Second Semester at ATP in Mega Prayer. Nothing else mattered to me. But if I was stubborn, Swami was more stubborn. He kept mum. I cannot even adequately describe in words how miserable I felt everyday, though Swami was not ignoring me but my Mega Prayer. I continued to miss out on those sweet incidences He gave me to cherish. Basically I did not live in the PRESENT.
|My desperation to see the my MEGA PRAYER get fulfilled knew no bounds.|
I waited for every trip to Prasanthi Nilayam from Anantapur, every bhajan session in the Prayer Hall and every Auditorium prayer session before College. Nothing happened. I began thinking, "Swami just 2 months in the beginning was all so smooth and nice. You took me to heights of blissfulness. I currently feel like you have dropped me from those heights! What exactly is happening? Have you gone on a 'Sleep' Mode? " Forget about telling others to stop feeling pessimistic, I too started becoming a pessimist. I waited till 15th April 2015! (The day all of us left for our homes for Summer Vacations) A wait from August 2014 to 22nd April 2015. That seems like a long wait, wasn't it? It indeed was. While I sat wondering what happened to Swami, He would have been wondering what was wrong with me!
But wait, why only till 22nd April? Was there something that happened on 23rd April 2015? Let me come to that. Swami was not only sad, He was angry too. In the early hours of 23rd April, Swami appeared in my dream:
The setting was that of the dormitory allotted to the Music Group in the dormitory building (opposite the Gayatri Mandir at Prasanthi Nilayam) the students and staff of Anantapur Campus stay when we come to Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami tells me "Good Night" and falls asleep on a bed. In the dream, the bed was ith place, where we originally keep our altar in the dorm. I too sleep on a mat below His bed. The next morning I wake up to the voice of teachers trying to wake up Swami. Strangely enough, Swami has a mosquito net around His bed and none of the teachers removed the mosquito net to wake Swami. I then gathered courage to remove the mosquito net and gently shook Swami to wake up. Even after 4-5 times of calling out to Him, Swami did not wake up. During the course of the dream itself, I got reminded of how the next day was 24th April which meant that it was the Aradhana Mahotsavam day. I became all the more worried about Swami not waking up.The fear of losing Him gripped me tight and I almost screamed into His ears, breaking into tears, "Swami, please do not leave us go. Please get up. We don't have a life without You. Get up Swami! Get up!" Suddenly, Swami wakes up and glares at me looking deep into me. All my tears dried up instantaneously and I now feared that look of His for I had never seen this face of Swami ever.
With that I woke up to find myself sweating profusely in spite of the air conditioner that was switched on throughout the night. All I knew was that He was angry with me but I did not know why. I therefore went to my altar immediately and sat silently, asking Swami what that dream and that glare meant. It was then I heard words so loud and clear which still ring in my ears, "Don't wake Me up. Instead, you wake up. Remember that I am always there, whether you SEE Me physically or not. Just have FAITH." Swami clarified things further when I narrated the dream to my father without mentioning a word of my conversation with Swami. I then asked him, "Appa, what could that dream be all about? " My father in his usual way of speaking said, "Swami also knows you sleep more than anyone else. That is why He asked you to wake up instead of waking Him up." Though the 'sleep' my father referred to was so trivial compared to the 'sleep' Swami mentioned, both of them told the same and I knew it was Swami who again spoke through my father to calm my monkey mind. The words I had spoken to Swami when in utter desolation hit me hard, "Swami just 2 months in the beginning was all so happy. You took me to heights of blissfulness. I currently feel like you have dropped me from those heights! What exactly is happening? Have you gone on a 'Sleep' Mode? " I understood why He was angry with me. And all the dawning arrived.
All the while He gave me experiences to show that I could 'SEE' (physically) Him and He placed so much hopes on me and went to the next level to teach me to "SEE' Him within and I had so hopelessly ruined His lessons while doing my Mega Prayers.My faith had been fragile all the while. Rather I had failed His tests after nodding my head when the Swami in my Balvikas teachers told me, "Swami is Omnipresent". When Swami was physically present at Prasanthi Nilayam, I had no hesitation in telling my people at Muscat, "Swami is Omnipresent" It was as if Swami was telling, "Now what? Now also Omnipresent?" and instead of telling "Yes, Swami. Omnipresent even now." I began scratching my head and waiting for Him to appear. So what does that imply? I had only nodded but not understood what His Omnipresence really is. The Lord to whom I had promised to be that someone He can depend on, I had ruthlessly, put Him down once again. Hence, He decided that He had to show His love in another form and that He showed in the form of the glare.
|"Will she ever realize the grandeur and richness latent in her?"|
On further introspection, it struck me how the teaching of the lesson began almost one year back on 24th April 2014 when I saw Swami physically on His blue throne in the Sai Kulwant Hall and concluded on the 23rd April 2015 when He appeared in my dream and told me that He is there always and that we should have faith. His lesson plan never ceases to amaze me. Our Swami is such a systematic teacher.
He first taught me that it was possible to SEE Him if we pined and then He went on to teach the way He wanted us to SEE Him. At this juncture, I am reminded of what Swami says, " I have come to give you what you seek so that one day you will seek what I have come to give." Swami is here to give us Himself and we always look up to what Swami has to give us. We ask Swami, "Give me Your Darshan, Give me this. Give me that." Let us stop and think for a point of time when we asked Him, "Swami I want You." This 'You' is not the the body we seek, but Swami in us. It is this way, Swami wants to give Himself to us. When that is the case, why not move to the next level and look for Him within, for it is only the Hridaya Nivasi Sai who is permanent and ever closer to us. Why attach to a form and come down to Level 1. I strongly believe Swami had decided to take us to Level 2 when He decided to give up His form.Remember every body that takes birth has an expiry date. Then why limit yourself to a form when you know another 24th April is inevitable. Then why not simply sit back like good students, cooperate with what our Teacher has to teach us.
In my case, I was so used to seeing Swami (Twice only could I see Swami but that was enough to spoil me. In fact, what attracted me also distracted me, if I may say so), that when after my Mega Prayers started, I never saw Swami. I went mad. Even in visualizations, I visualized Him coming and sitting on His throne in the Prayer hall. However, I had almost stopped listening to voices I heard from within. If not for my habit of diary writing, I would have missed those heart-to-heart conversations with Swami. I kept day dreaming of that day when Swami would give a grand entry into the Prayer hall. I was not wrong but Swami was wanting to give something greater and my prayers were a barrier to it. I was growing dependent when Swami was trying to make me independent. Why depend on a form outside when there is Swami you can reach out to within you, with a little effort? Trying to find a form outside is easy but is not long lasting. However, getting God is not easy. It requires some serious Sadhana. But once you get Him, there is no looking back. He is permanently there to stay. So it is up to us to choose an easy path or a tough path, nay, not up to us. We have to choose the tough path, because Swami is waiting for us there, because He wants us to grow beyond the form, He wants to make us independent. This was always His mission.
Move ahead. Grow up. Realize that Swami is within you. Then there is no need to point out on a an exact date when you actually saw Swami, for every day you will SEE Him.
In conclusion, Yes, I indeed SAW Swami. You too can SEE Swami but that is not a big deal. Do you SEE Swami the way He wants you to see Him, within you? Well, finally, that is all that matters.
|"Hey, you there! Where are you looking? I am right there within you :) "|