SHREE RAMAJAYAM !
My Pranams to you.
For quite some time now the thought of writing has been in our minds but only today do I begin putting some thoughts and feelings into words. We have been reading the letters on the Internet that other devotees have sent to you. Reading about their experiences is like hearing the echo of our own experiences. While reading these letters, there is comfort in knowing that we are all going through the ups and downs in our lives, under the protective wings of your grace and blessings and guidance.
When I was in college, I read a book called ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach. At the time it was just another fiction book to add to the list of ‘I have read...’ so that I could talk about it with my friends. Now more than 15 years later, I have read the book again. I want to share some lines from the book with everyone.
“ ...what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them? And what if I could meet him in person....? What would he say, what would he be like?”
“ ..There was a Master come unto the Earth....The Master learned of this world in the public schools. But the Master had learnings from other lands and other schools, from other lives that he had lived. He remembered these, and remembering became wise and strong, so that others saw his strength and came to him for counsel.”
“ The Master believed that he had power to help himself and all mankind and as he believed so it was for him, so that others saw his power and came to him to be healed of their troubles and their many diseases.”
Swamiji, what superb meaning these lines have for me now! After we have met our Master (i.e.You) in person, and been blessed with the promise of your guidance for the rest of our lives and beyond!! You walked into our lives like a soft ray of light piercing a dark area. We were ignorant and naive and did not seek you out because we never really thought about the need to follow any Guru. You forgave us for this arrogant thought, you have become such an integral part of our daily life, our thoughts and the focus of our prayers. Today and all the tomorrows ahead, we cannot imagine our life as separate from you in any way.
In the Sai Satcharita there is paragraph about how Shirdi Baba explained why it was necessary to have a Guru. Someone asked “Baba, where do we go?” Baba said “High up” Then the man said “How is the way”? Baba said “There are many ways leading there, there is one way also from here (Shirdi). The way is difficult. There are tigers and wolves in the jungles on the way. Kakasaheb asked “But Baba, what if we take a guide with us?” Baba answered,- “Then there is no difficulty. The guide will take you straight to your destination, avoiding wolves, tigers and ditches on the way. If there be no guide, there is danger of your being lost in the jungles or falling into ditches.” Real Paramartha is possible only as the result of the teachings of the Guru. Even great Avataras like Lord Rama and Lord Krishna had to submit themselves to their Gurus, for attaining self realization and the only virtues necessary for such progress are Faith and Patience.
Devotees have described in detail how you demonstrate the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent divinity within you. Maybe some day we will be able to write about our experiences. My attempt here is to express in words the feelings we have in our hearts for you. And to describe how various situations are a learning process that works towards molding us into better human beings. I am not a good writer so I pray that I find the right words!
Each experience in our life has something to teach us. To quote from ‘Illusions’ again;
“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
Swamiji, you once told me that you are like a sculptor. Your job is to chisel away the rough edges and to smoothen the shape so that there is perfection in the piece you are making. We, your devotees are the rough piece of stone or wood or clay from which the sculptor will create a perfect work of art. The turbulence and traumas (what we call our problems) we go through, is the chiselling action because these experiences help us discard all the negatives in our personalities. The hands that shape the final piece is the guidance and protection you give your devotees as they go through the necessary stages of their karma. I am not wise enough to fully understand the true meaning of this example you gave me. But we have put ourselves in your hands with complete faith that you will mould us the way you want us to be. All the daily situations we go through are a part of this process. We also believe that there is a definite purpose why you are doing this. And when the time is right you will bless us with the wisdom to understand what we need to know.
It has been over four years now that we have known you and been with you. We have been silent spectators to the various types of people who come to you. Some come with curiosity because they just want to see who you are. Some come to you with their hearts in their hands, overcome by their problems. Some come for advice and counselling. Some come to find peace. To all of them you have given what they need at that time. Some people have known you, been blessed by you and yet walked away from you. I felt such a sense of sadness at what they were losing. A part of my prayer is that we always have the strength to hold on and keep the faith.
At this point, the words of Robert Louis Stevenson come to my mind;
“We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend”
Some of our best friends are the people we met through you. Venkatesh and Radha in Kuwait, Daya and Mohan in Dubai, Pravin and Sunita also in Dubai. Some of the truly nice people we know are again your devotees. Computer Ravi, Krishna Kumar, Ramesh and Uma in Sharjah and Ganesh and Siva in Singapore... the list goes on. This has made us believe that there is a timeless bond that brought us all together for a while. Wherever we are in the world and whatever be our individual destinies, we are linked to each other with a bond that is stronger than super glue! You sat on your favourite floor cushion in my house in Dubai one day and described to some of us how all our paths will converge one day to your doorstep.
To quote again from ‘Illusions’
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”
Today when I sit alone in my house in Singapore I hold on to your words
and their meaning. My true family is the one that has you and all your
devotees in it. And I know that I can never really feel alone when I have
you in my heart. “Swami is always with you”. That was one of your first
promises to me. In so many indescribable ways you have shown us the
truth of those words. Every little need is taken care of, every problem
has found a solution and an obstructed path has amazingly cleared. Despite
all this, the human weakness overcomes me at times and I go through all
the negative emotions of despair, anger, frustration. And I feel upset
with myself when I realize that when I do believe in you, I should not
give in to these
emotions. Swamiji, you still have a lot of ‘chiselling’ to do on me, to truly do away with all these irrelevant inconsistencies!!
Others have written about the miracles in their lives after meeting you. I want to write about all the things you have told us that have so far NOT HAPPENED in our lives!
You told us that we will get a Mercedes car. You have taken away the one car that we did have and put us in a place where we cannot afford to have a car. So we have been forced to re-learn how to commute by the trains and the buses and our own two legs. And when we meet now you ask me “Where is your Mercedes car?” And I answer “Swamiji, it is still with you, you haven’t given it to us as yet!!”
You told us that you are sending us to America. This was when we were in Dubai. Three years ago. Devotees who have come to you much afterwards are already there in America and we have moved to Singapore. And when we meet now you ask us “You don’t want to go to America?” And we bow our heads to you and reply “Swamiji, we are ready to go wherever you take us.”
You said I will get a job and it has already been ‘arranged’. This was three years ago as well. There wasn’t a door that I didn’t knock in Dubai but no job clicked for me. Here in S’pore I have sent out so many applications and not one response. And when we meet now you ask me “What happened to your job?” And I laugh and reply that the only job I really want now is to be your driver and take you to wherever you need to go.
You told us that we will get a lot of ‘dollars’. We naturally assumed
that as we are going to America we will get dollars there. Forgive us our
stupidity Swamiji, at the time we had no way of knowing that we were going
to lose all our ‘dirhams’ because of various crisis situations that came
up. You held our hand through the entire turmoil, made us give away all
savings of dirhams, and step by step led us to the day where you announced in Gopi’s house pooja in Dubai “For Sundar and Saraswathi, today after this ‘Harathi’, cent percent of your problem is cleared.” And we will always treasure the way in which Computer Ravi and Krishna Kumar and others shared that moment of joy with us. And after that you have brought us to Singapore where, yes, we are earning the Singapore ‘dollars’!! And you smile now and tell us “That period in Dubai was your testing period, Now Swami is giving you a training period”. We have learned not to even attempt to understand what you mean. It is far above our limited comprehension capacity. Just guide us and give us the strength to go through whatever it is we have to go through and then take us with you to wherever we are supposed to go.
You said we will have not only one but two or three different properties in different places. And when we meet now, you ask us “You don’t want to buy your own house?” Swamiji, we have no savings right now and no courage to take the loans, but we smile and reply “Do you want us to buy a flat here in Singapore or in India first?”!
At various times you have told Sundar that he will read a lot of books like Upanishads etc. and then one day he is going to write in detail for the Maruthi Pramanam. But I find that I am the one who is making this small first attempt at some written expression!!
I wanted to share some of these ‘Not come true yet,..’ prophecies with all your devotees because I want to show them that despite these ‘non-happenings’, our faith in you has only deepened and strengthened. To us, that is the miracle in our lives. The fact that we have you as our Swamiji. Everything will happen, just as you said, at the correct time and in the correct way. In the meantime we are just undergoing the required ‘chiselling’ procedure!
I am always amazed at how every little wish of my son Anirudha is of
prime importance to you. You have changed your plans because he has asked
you to stay in our house and sleep in his room. You have delayed going
to a pooja because he wanted to play cricket with you for some time. And
you have sung his favourite bhajans first at poojas because you knew that
he wouldn’t have the patience to sit through the pooja and would run off
to play. Each time I speak to you on the phone
your first question is “ How is Anirudha?” And I am glad for him and grateful for this blessing.
When I see you travelling to different places, I am really happy to think of the people who will be fortunate to meet you and the many lives that you will bless and touch with your strength. But however far you may go and however busy you may be, I always pray that when I feel a real need to speak with you, Swamiji, let me be able to reach you. This blessing for me means so much more than the Mercedes car and the houses and the dollars....!
Many of your devotees say that you are just like their guru, or Shirdi Baba or Sathya Sai baba or ... Before I met you, I was ignorant about the existence and the lives of all these many divine people. After meeting you and being with you, I started to read about Shirdi Baba or Paramahamsa Yogananda. And the thought flashes across my mind “Oh. They are just like my Swamiji.” When I go to different places where photographs of various Gods and Gurus are put up, I find myself searching for your photograph. If it is not there, I feel restless, but if it is there, then I am at peace.
I have no words of wisdom to share with your devotees. Everything I
am writing here is just feelings straight from my heart. The reader is
welcome to derive whatever joy or wisdom they may find, while reading this
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