Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sai Diary - 24th - 26th April

I was attending a very sacred ceremony in Mumbai when i first heard news of Swami leaving His form. My whole being rejected the news. I put some calls through to Bangalore and everyone I spoke with, confirmed the news.

An 18 hour bus ride followed, the only mode of transport available, to reach Bangalore and then Parthi, not to participate in any funeral, but to witness, what i was convinced was His Leela. Swami was not 96 yet, He had yet to do many things He had consistently promised He would do; besides some personal promises He had Himself made to me.

I kept looking at the elements around me. The sun, the sky, the earth, the flora n fauna ; none seemed to behave in a way so as to show that Mother Earth had been deprived of Her Lord and Master. I closed my eyes and asked my mind to be honest... Was i in denial?.. was i protecting myself from sorrow and anguish by rejecting this news? No, was the reply. I could overwhelmingly sense His presence all around me. The Swami i saw in my mental picture was smiling mischievously at me, enjoying my state of confusion.  This has to be His leela, and a great One!!

By Monday night i reached Parthi. The ques had reached a length of 5-6 kilometers. It was 36 hours since i had learned about Swami leaving His form. Most devotees felt just like me, convinced that Swami would arise by the third day. Rumors of all sorts were floating around.

In Parthi a local guardian, updated us within the hour about the current status in Parthi. He also mentioned  from his personal knowledge of how Swami in the last few interviews had clearly hinted that something extraordinary was to soon take place. Swami had said something to the effect that "the real drama now begins."  Within a month He was in the ICU.

We were told that the military and police were in charge of managing darshans, not the sevadals. The entry-exit points had been fixed and students and devotees alike had to come in ques. We would have to join the lines, waiting 3-4 hrs and then have darshans. I wasn't keen on seeing Swami's physical form. I was fine with His presence all around. But since He was to me the elder member of my family, i felt duty bound to participate in His leela and do the formalities.

I prayed to Swami, like i always do during big festivals, to see me through the chaos. Each time He ensures i have "front seats" to the party. As we began to proceed to the ques, a thought entered my mind, encouraging me to ask the military guy to let us in from the  Exit/Ganesh gate. I followed my inner prompting and approached the guard, very sure that i would be sternly shown my way back. The guard looked at the 3 of us in whites and kindly said "Wait here, let the crowd reduce". Once the numbers exiting decreased, he immediately shifted the barricade and let us in. We found a small entrance to the kulwant hall, still opened for the students. In 7 minutes we were inside the kulwant hall.

Bhajans were in progress. Swami's form was lying surrounded by a ring of students who were taking turns to sit around His Divine form preventing anyone from getting too close. Devotees were coming in systematically and taking darshans from a distance. Some veranda devotees were taking a parikrama around the Divine form. I sat at a distance and immediately looked up, to be more in tune with Swami's omnipresence. The energy in the hall was incredible. When i closed my eyes it seemed like it was Mahashivratri night and the students were singing bhajans. Swami's strength and joy filled me. There was no trace of sorrow despite seeing His dear form. It seemed as if His light was protecting me.

It was heartening to see students nobly carrying on all duty's alloted to them, some even smiled. The sevadals were kindly helping the devotees get darshans smoothly and quickly. Some boys i knew were busy changing garlands and floral decorations around the hall. Devotees sitting were singing bhajans with gusto. I sat in the veranda with a group of boys, singing bhajans and beholding the Divine form. In some time the boys sitting around Swami got up and the veranda boys went forward to take their places around Swami. I followed and received a seat close to Swami's feet. A large picture of Swami was placed towards the head of the Divine form. There was something about it; Swami looking directly at you. There was a mischievous smile on His lips - He seemed to be enjoying the drama that He created. Waves of energy seemed to be flowing from the Divine form. It could be tangibly felt. I closed my eyes to absorb it. An inner message flashed:

"Know, that the Divine form you see before you was part of my drama. It was a vehicle that I used, made from my sacred 5 elements.

Swami, now if we want to see you, meet you, where do we go?

Look within, you will find Me. And look without with loving eyes. I am in all your brothers, I am in everything around you now. You have seen Me walk amongst you and love you all. Now you must love each other just as i have loved you all."

The last message kept resonanting within me.

Sensing the incredible energies i was inspired to accept it on behalf of all my near and dear ones and all those devotees from around the world who would have wanted to be there but for various reasons couldnt make it. I sent a prayer for all such devotees that they get strength and peace of mind. I sat there all night singing and sitting with dear acqauintances , sharing sweet memories from the past.

Suddenly the hall went quite. It was 5:20 in the morning. A melodious familiar voice wafted through the air. Suprabhatam time!

"Eashwaramba Suta shriman purva sandhya pravartate.......... Sri..... Sathya  Sai Bhagawan... Tava Suprabhatam!!"

A loving call to the Lord, early in the morning, pleading Him to awaken and bless His devotees who were waiting for His darshans..

This time i broke down!

(.. to be cont)

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