Saturday, August 18, 2012

A small divine desire - The sacred Thread

Of all the gifts that Swami has graced His children with - chains, rings, watches, bracelets, mangalsutras, even vibhuti, the most precious amongst all is the gift of His Robe. The robe has value as a gift only and only because it is something that was once used by the Divine. There is something very personal about such a gift and so rarely did some fortunate souls receive it.

This one time i was standing inside Trayee,  i saw a group of westerners emerge from the interview room. Their faces had to be seen to be believed. Now almost anyone who emerges from this sacred room is obviously thrilled to say the least, but these devotees were oozing with joy. It was very contagious and overwhelming. Their body language and expressions gave away the fact that what thrilled them thus was a simple white packet which each of them held in their hands. I happened to look at the content of one such packet when one of them removed the sacred object momentarily. It was Swami's robe. As i watched these souls, drenched in bliss, walking by me with the sacred gift in their hands; unknown to me, the seeds of a small divine desire was sown in my heart. i too yearned for such a blessing.

But how does one become worthy of such grace. I have heard stories that a group of devotees who had done some service work which pleased Swami immensely, had boldly requested Swami for this sacred gift. They received grace of all kinds but found the robe elusive. How then could i - a sevadal boy, earn this grace?

This being the background to this story, the following incidents happened.

My Perspective

It was somewhere in the year 2000, Swami was then in Brindavan. It was evening time and we were all waiting for Swami to emerge for the evening darshans. The boys had begun singing the melodious bhajans.  And then, the Trayee doors opened.
Swami on this day seemed to be withdrawn. He did not interact with any VIP standing outside His house, nor any student. Very quietly He floated along, lost within Himself. The warden of the hostel standing by the side of Swami's route noticed something unusual. He went upto Swami requesting Him to stop for a second. The warden then bent down and plucked with his hands a long thread which seemed to be hanging from the back end of Swami's robe. Swami smiled and playfully tapped the warden's head and then resumed His walk towards the door.

As the door opened and Swami went inside the Ramesh hall for darshan, my attention was elsewhere. I was keenly watching the warden. I had noticed he had been playfully winding the thread around his finger. As soon as the door closed behind Swami, i audaciously rushed towards the warden. Now this was against the protocols. As Trayee boys we were expected to strictly adhere to the set rules. But i couldn’t contain my excitement and approached him.

The warden looked at me. I pleaded with him " Sir, can you pleease give me a small portion of this thread?".  Frankly, my mind was resisting me from making this mistake. "Why should he give you such a sacred thing which by Divine grace he has received?", "you will be in trouble for asking him", ' You will be in trouble for breaking the rules".

Unsure of his response, i saw him look straight at me, unwind the thread from his fingers, hand me the thread saying "Why a small piece, you can have the whole thing!

Oh ecstasy! I lost awareness of my whereabouts as i looked unbelievingly at that piece of ochre thread. Now i may not have received a full robe, but to receive a thread plucked 'freshly' from a robe that Swami was wearing, was to me an extraordinary kind of blessing. It was more personal than anything could be. Thrilled beyond belief i did not notice being watched by someone, as i tried to find a safe place for that small piece of thread to keep. I finally put the thread in my identity card. It was a safe place but moreover it would ever rest close to my heart.

Another Perspective

A week or two later as the evening darshans got over and Swami returned into Trayee, the boys from the institute made their way in disciplined lines from the Ramesh hall into the Trayee Hall for the famous trayee session.

The Trayee sessions were fabulous... Golden moments where Swami will sit on a swing amongst students and ask some devotee or teacher or student to speak. Manyatimes Swami Himself would give a short discourse. Often these discourses would be complimented by materialisation of some incredible object - Mother Sita's Chudamani, the Kaustubh jewel, some famed ring from the past etc. Often humorous events would also occur. Swami at such times would interact freely with His children.

On this day we boys quickly rolled the carpets and finished other tasks allotted to us as we then made way to sit at the entrance door area of the Trayee for the session. According to rules, we weren’t suppose to sit there. But no one ever stopped us, we were permitted to attend these sessions as Swami Himself was aware of our presence.

So we sat there that evening. Swami called on the Warden to speak to the boys. The warden after seeking blessings gave a wonderful talk which was primarily focused on urging the students to be more disciplined and appreciate the privilege that was being freely bestowed on them by Bhagawan. In some places the warden even took strong tones to drive home a point.

He mentioned how we could never take any grace, no matter how small it seemed, for granted and that even the smallest of things which is associated with the Lord is worthy of the highest form of reverence. To drive home the point he narrated an incident.

"A few days back, during the evening darshan, as Swami was making His way towards the darshan hall, i noticed a piece of thread hanging out from Swami's robe as Swami walked. So i came forward requesting Swami to wait for a moment. I then plucked the thread from the robe. Swami playfully patted me and then resumed His walk for the darshan. I held the thread in my hand as i saw Swami enter the darshan hall. I wasn’t sure what to do with the thread. Perhaps i should just keep it aside somewhere or discard it as it was only a thread. I didn’t know what to do with it. Then Swami showed me something. A young sevadal boy instantly came before me and pleaded " Sir can i please have a small piece of this thread". As i did not want the thread myself i said " why a small piece, you can have the whole thread!" and gave it to him. Boys you should have seen the joy on His face as he took the thread and with great reverence he placed it safely holding on to it as if it was the most precious gem. I thanked Swami for showing me that even something a small as a piece of thread belonging to the Lord is worthy of reverence. And here we all are sitting everyday at the Divine feet, how privileged we are......"

I was stunned. To be mentioned by Bhagawan's warden, to Bhagawans students, in Bhagawan's residence but most of all in His divine presence.. was unbelievable. I kept looking at Swami to see His reactions. Swami had this distant look in His eyes as if He was being entertained by a galaxy of angels, and Swami moved His hands in that familiar wave as He heard the words from His warden. 

An incident like this can easily boost your ego. But i found myself unable to react. I looked within to understand what i had done, or what had happened that had turned the whole thing into such grace. What i had wanted was, well, a desire, a selfish one.. something for myself. Yet through this incident Swami had not only fulfilled a young boys deep desire, He had also taught a lesson to His close devotee and His students. The beauty is He did all this without interacting with anyone or even uttering a single word.

To this day i find it difficult to relate this experience to anyone, except when i know that i am amongst Swami's own. I share this here only to mention one of His leelas, His love and grace.

The Sacred Thread
However, quiet as i was, i wasn’t the only one aware of all this. My sevadal friends, some of who knew this whole incident, were thrilled that one amongst them was being mentioned in the Divine presence and in utter excitement they kept pointing towards my identity card and towards me, to others. As my brothers looked at the thread and then at me in wonderment, i mentally took refuge at Swami's lotus feet, offering my deepest gratitude to Him for blessing His child with such grace.



  1. Even this moment itself is a blessings out of abundance from Swamy, a freshly plucked orange thread from His Robe is something which stands alone with glory. I often wonder "what made us to eligible for this!" SaiRam Naresh / Love and blessings - Nithya

  2. Such heartfelt sharing. So pure, so raw and honest - thank you for sharing from your heart. It speaks the language that our souls connect through :) - Darshana


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