Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's historic 1976 Ooty discourse - the medallion discourse

A surprise gift
Baba at a devotee's home in Cantonment, Bangalore in
1968. The photo gives an idea of how Swami looked
a few years before this episode occurred.
 Photo credit: S.Balasubramanya

I received an email with the subject line - “Swami’s revelations for the future”. With eagerness, I opened it to find an audio file. I heard it and felt a surge of joy and love welling in my heart. That audio clip had been constituted from 2 different discourses delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The first part was from a landmark discourse that Swami delivered in Ooty, during the summer course there in 1976. The second part was from a discourse delivered a few months later. As I searched via Google, I found the same audio clip on a few blogs. While they presented the clip, the details provided along with the same were almost sketchy. Moreover, some ‘anti-Sai’ sites made efforts to provide the ‘history’ of this significant discourse in 1976. I was pained to see how they had totally misrepresented the context of Swami’s words, quoting as proof ‘people’ who never exist!


That was when I enlisted the help of Dr. T.Ravikumar, currently the warden at the Brindavan campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He had been physically present when both the discourses had been delivered and provided the details. They are thrilling and, as is the case with Swami always, are pregnant with meaning at different levels and planes. Hearing the audio clips, one is just lost in wonder, awe, love and gratitude for Swami. Without further ado, let me present the details.


The Ootacamund summer course of 1976
The summer course in Indian Culture and Spirituality had been shifted from its traditional Bangalore venue at Brindavan to the hill-station at Ootacamund (Ooty) in the state of Tamil Nadu because the boys hostel was being built at Brindavan. For those that are unaware of what a Summer Course with Bhagawan Baba is, here is a brief description. It had started off as a study of the Indian scriptures and value systems for a time period ranging from a fortnight to a month for the youth from various parts of India and the world. Swami would take active interest in it and would address the students on a daily basis. The students were also blessed to hear different scholars and erudite speakers. As years passed by, attending a Summer Course was made a special privilege of only the students studying in the various educational institutions started by Swami. The format and schedule remained the same.


It was in a private session with the students, Dr.Bhagawantham and Al Drukker. Al Drukker has recorded his memories of the session in his book. However, the details are not elaborate as his understanding of Telugu was minimal, if not nothing! As Swami gathered the students around him one day, He revealed.


I will now announce what I am going to do in future for this country, India— and for the rest of the world. It will now be shown to you on what I am going to materialize.


(It was at this point that Swami materialized a medallion and showed it to the gathering. The medallion was round with a black onyx base. It had a silver map of India with 18 jewels embedded in it. The map had a 100 Sanskrit verses inscribed on it and Swami said that it had all information about the Avatar. He continued to speak after that.)


Photo credit: www.radiosai.org

What I have materialized contains a map with all the eighteen different components in India. The map also shows where the memorial stupas (pillars) will be which represent the work that is going to be done by Me in pictorial form on this medallion which I have just now materialized. On the medallion the work and the future tasks which I am going to fulfill  is inscribed in Sanskrit.


This Body in which I have come is going to be present for another forty-six years and in those forty-six years, whatever dharmasthapana, whatever work will be done by Me in the country is all written now on the medallion in complete detail. Not only this, but which boy is to be entrusted with the task in which of the states, (his name) is also written on this medallion. If there is anyone who reads this Sanskrit script very well, he can read what is written on this.


At this point, all the students requested Swami Himself to reveal what is on the medallion. As the requests grew louder, Swami said, - “I shall not reveal the future - if you wish, you can read for yourself.” One of the boys took the medallion, and as Dr. Ravikumar revealed, tried to read what was on it. The text was very tiny. He borrowed the spectacles of a friend and tried to read it under the magnification. But all that he could make out was that the lettering was in the Devanagiri script or Sanskrit. Swami continued to speak. As you can hear in the audio file, Swami speaks continuously for several minutes before allowing the translator, Dr. Bhagawantham, to step in. So, the translation given below is not exact sentence by sentence, but the gist.


All the things that are going to happen in time, in the future is present on this.  I shall prepare individuals capable of spreading the Bharatiya culture and spirituality to the whole world. In the case of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, he had to use only one or two persons (for the fulfilment of Ramakrishna’s mission), Vivekananada and Brahmananda, who were sannyasis (renunciants). You don’t need to become sannyasis. In this particular task of Mine, I am going to use you young people in a large measure, as you are, putting you on the right path. I will use you as My instruments for doing all that is intended to be done. Where the instruments will be and what will be their qualities - all that is described here on this materialized item.


In order to show all of you children who have gathered here that you should be good in upholding the ideals of Swami, I have done this. Gradually, I shall tell you everything in a way you understand. You need not worry.


(And then came the most beautiful statements. One can hear Swami pouring out His love and compassion.)


A close up of the materialized medallion
Why do you hanker after this thing (medallion)? Why, when the Person who has produced this is here and He belongs to you and is in your grasp, why do you want to look at what has been produced?  I am here before you - I who have produced this. I belong to you. I will look after you. I will tell you what to do.The way you have to be taken to your goal, transformed and built is all with Swami. Go slowly, don’t be in a haste. What has been described here, what I intend to do…all in the next forty-six years; who I am going to use, and how I am going to use them; how you will all put on the right path, this will all be described by Me to you, item by item, in due course. Don’t be in a haste. Only remember that you should take the determination to do it and you should appreciate the task you are called upon to do. You should determine to take the right path, to follow Me and My task. This is all you have to do.


Swami Himself will do and secure the future of Bharat with Dharma that is more progressed and advanced than the glorious 'olden' days. Whatever happened in the past (regarding Dharma) happened without people properly understanding. But now, you will see it’s glory clearly, the way you see yourself in the mirror. You will get opportunities to see Swami in many forms. Make efforts to protect and preserve this experience. That much is enough.


The rest will be looked after by Me. I belong to you, and I am with you. Why do you think (only) of what I have produced (materialised)?Moreover, in future you will see Me in many different forms which are manifestations of Myself.


Swami had, right from the beginning, the plan to implant His Divinity and Divine Power all over the world. For the sake of this, Swami has established educational institutions all over the world. In the name of education I brought all the students here. I will tell you how this Divine power, how these sound waves and electric waves and jyothi (Divine light) power --will function in the future. When Swami is talking in the auditorium, Swami may be seen in mandir. When Swami is seen in the auditorium, He will been seen in the classrooms - that too, when Swami is receiving Aarthi in the temple - actually through this jyothi power. Even in My discourses, when Bharathiya (ancient Indian) culture is being explained, Swami will be just giving you these experiences through experiments.


It is easy to tell. What is essential is that you should experience it. You will all experience this. You will all experience this. You will all enjoy it. You will also distribute it and you will expand your heart. This is the primary goal of our Institute and aim of our Institute.
Stay with that faith, devotion and conviction - Shraddhavan Labhate Jnanam.


The Actual Audio of the discourse with subtitles...


"Everything is in the palm of the hand of the all-knowing
one." Photo credit: S.Balasubramanya


The second part of the discourse on the audio clip
As I stated in the beginning, the audio file has two clips. It should not be mistaken as the same discourse. The second discourse is being translated by Sri. Sudarshan. My guess is that the similarity of themes inspired the compiler to stitch the two clips together. The contents of the second clip are also very inspiring as you can read for yourself here. (At the end of it, there is a link to download the audio file)


I have also resolved that very soon I will be launching on a massive programme of revitalising our ancient customs, our ancient treasures, our ancient traditions, and all the scriptural truths—about all people and in all lands. You need have no doubt whatsoever that we will be successful. Victory is bound to be ours. We will surely experience the trumpet of victory.  Don’t give yourself to doubt or distress. Don’t get hassled by doubts. We shall be very soon blowing the conch of victory all around. This is a certainty. This is a certainty.


Embodiments of Love!


What the future holds is beyond your sight, beyond your understanding. But I can see what the future is going to be like. A time will come when the whole world will be at My Feet. A time will come when the whole world will rejoice, in having understood My true Divinity, My true Nature. It is a great effort that I am making thereby. At present I am confining Myself; I am not letting not letting My glory spread all over, all of a sudden because the world cannot possibly put up with it (now). But certainly a day will come, when the peoples of the world would recognise what Swami is; His Majesty, His grandeur.


The world will very soon become a big Prashanti Nilayam by itself. They will all come flocking in their lakhs and their millions. Even those who have the golden opportunity of sitting so close to Me understand this truth now. Make the best of the opportunities that are coming your way. Listen to Swami’s words. Live in His love. Experience His bliss which is very much your own. Do not fritter away this golden opportunity for you will not get this later.

The audio file of the above two clips is presented in the link below. Please use any ONE of the links below to download the file.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B51YrGHFxchFQkpfaTROVUw3cVk/edit?usp=sharing

OR 

https://soundcloud.com/user554603133/swamis-revelations-ooty-1976-medallion-discourse

Share the file along! :) God bless us all with love divine. 


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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wherever my devotee sings my name, I install myself there.



Always pining to get close to Swami. The rest got conferred.
 Inspirational story

In most of the inspirational movies based on the hard-work and focused efforts of an individual, the scenes of the actual working are shown very briefly. Let me elaborate. The flow of any inspiring individual’s story if presented like this -


  • The failures and problems of the individual are shown in great depth and detail. This is done to ensure that the audience begin to completely identify with the protagonist.
  • The ‘inspiration’ which triggers the protagonist - a statement, a sight, a person etc - is also shown in great detail.
  • The hard-work that the protagonist puts in achieving the goal is usually shown very briefly and fast. A song or music sequence follows at the end of which the protagonist has translated his/her inspiration into concrete reality.
  • The culmination again is shown in great detail so that the audience experience the joys and highs of the protagonist with whom it had sympathized with in the beginning.

That shall be the format in this narrative too. While Aravind Sai’s inability in singing was presented as a complete article so that the readers can feel his pain and longing, the hard-work that he put in over the years will be summarized in a few statements! (If you have not read that part, it is highly recommended that you read the article entitled - Talent-Search : The experience of a student who achieved talent by loving God). Though it does not do real justice to the effort he made, this much will suffice to say that Aravind Sai put in a lot of hard work for the next 3-4 years! And the motivation behind those efforts was not for becoming an excellent singer, but for being Swami’s singer!

The Easwaramma Burrakatha

Every year, the trio got an opportunity to put up a Burrakatha  in Swami’s presence - in 2004, 2005 and 2006. As the academic year for 2006-2007 came to an end, Aravind Sai felt that this being his last year as an undergraduate student, he should put in all his efforts for a final grand Burrakatha. And so it was that the trio prepared for a Burrakatha on the divine Mother, Easwaramma.

The month of March dawned. Known for the famous ‘ides of March’, it brought along trepidation in Aravind Sai’s heart. Will they get a chance this year to perform for Swami? Far from his desire of singing on a daily basis, his annual singing for his Lord too seemed in danger as the final day of the academic year drew close. He even went around the idol of Mother Easwaramma at the Smt. Easwaramma School, praying to her to tell her ‘son’ to bless them with an opportunity. His heart almost cried with great pining for that opportunity.

The Mother worked a miracle overnight it seemed! The next day, the 18th of March, 2007, Swami asked for the trio out of the blue! Aravind Sai joined the other two boys in getting dressed and soon, found himself on stage with Swami by the side. It was such a heart-rending experience for Aravind Sai. He was so lost in singing the stories of Easwaramma and Karnam Subbamma (another lady in the village of Puttaparthi who cared for Swami as His own mother). The trio related many well-known and little-known stories about these two mothers and it was a treat for those that understood Telugu. For those that couldn’t, the music itself was enthralling. 

Before one of the Burrakatha sessions in the bhajan hall. Swami checks the costumes.


Sitting in the audience that day, I felt that Swami would shower these boys with blessings and grace galore. However, as the Burrakatha ended, I was almost shocked. Swami simply turned and went into the interview room. He did not even look at the trio, forget blessing them with namaskar or a chance to speak to Him. Aravind Sai was deeply disappointed. He felt that his efforts had not been good enough and cried. The accolades that poured in from all his teachers and classmates were of no use at all. His ears were deaf to them. His heart ached for his Swami had not seemed happy.

Little did he realize then that many times a pin-drop silence is greater appreciation that a thunderous applause. 



Two days after that day was the beginning of the New Year according to the Indian calendar. It was the Ugadi day on the 20th of March. As always, Baba delivered His divine benediction via a discourse on that day. The coming new year was the year of Sarvajith. (Incidentally, Swami named the child of champion Indian cricketer, V.V.S Laxman as Sarvajith in this year. The cricketer’s experiences are also an amazing read.)

That day, the discourse almost seemed centered on Swami’s life- His childhood mainly. Aravind Sai was seated in the audience. He had goosebumps and multiple chills running down his spine as Swami began to almost repeat entire dialogues from their Burrakatha, two days ago! Swami relived the stories of Easwaramma and Subamma! Once again, Aravind Sai had tears in his eyes. How he had misunderstood his Swami! What a blessing and tribute it was for the Burrakatha that Swami was almost repeating it from memory. He was thrilled that their performance seemed etched in Swami’s heart! You can read that entire discourse by clicking on this link - Ugadi discourse on 20th of March, 2007.

The ultimate gift from Sai to Aravind Sai (and the other two boys also) came as the final few sentences of the discourse. Swami said,

“Yesterday, three boys sang a nice Burra Katha about Easwaramma. They rendered it well. There was a wonderful description about Subbamma too in that Burra Katha. I am very happy about it. In fact, it was such a unique story. No one has written such a story so far. “

After that, He called out for the three boys and honored them publicly in front of a capacity crowd in Sai Kulwant Hall. Then, He gifted them with white safari cloth pieces and blessed them with padanamaskar. The only language the boys spoke that day was that of love and they spoke it through the medium of their tears. Definitely, God’s delays are not His denials and His timing is the best ever!

The start of a new chapter

From that day onwards, it was a kind of upward spiral for Aravind Sai. His singing abilities seemed to have jumped up notches and he began to get chances to sing bhajans in the divine presence of Baba. After his undergraduate studies, he joined the Sathya Sai Institute for his post-graduation in Masters of Art (Economics). Two years, two Burrakathas and several bhajans later, it was once again the end of his final academic year.

For those that love God and pine for Him, there is nothing like the ‘End’, it is forever one ‘beginning’ after another! Aravind Sai was blessed by Swami to enrol for the MBA course in the Institute! So, even in 2009, he continued to be a student. 2009 happened to be a landmark year. As the trio prepared for their ‘annual’ Burrakatha, Swami called and spoke to them. In a jovial manner, He told them,
“There are so many people sitting in the hall. When you sing ensure that their ears do not bleed. Sing well to bring joy to all the devotees. The person sitting in the first row and the one sitting in the last row must experience bliss equally with your performance. The joy in the devotees’ heart is what will reflect on my face!”

That was a revelation - the way to please God is to make others happy; the way to love God is to love all and serve all!

“Swami, you are the one who does everything...”, the lads replied.
“That is true. But you are the instruments right? Your efforts too count.”
Swami blessed the trio and that evening was another wonderful performance. The smile on Swami’s face told them that everyone in the hall had indeed been filled with joy to the brim of their hearts.

That was also the year when Swami took him along with the other two lads, Prabhakar and Raghuram, to Kodaikanal. In Kodaikanal, Aravind Sai got the bounty of his life as Swami asked the trio to perform different Burrakathas, one after another, on successive days! And Swami was full of praises for them. He almost sang their praises making them realize that they definitely did not deserve all this.

And that is God. At times, one feels that He does not give what one deserves. But there are also times when one is convinced that He showers much more than one ever thought one deserved. He who showers without reason is allowed to withhold without reason too. It is best that we realize this and trust in His wisdom for, as Aravind Sai said,
“Swami’s timing is amazing. Today, when I look back at my life, I realize that everything happened at the perfect time and circumstances. It just could not have been planned better. I know that though I pined for Him, He didn’t give me what I desired when I wanted it. But I also know that He gave me what I desired, when I most needed it!”

Always giving what one needs...


After one Burrakatha in Kodaikanal, the overwhelmed trio broke down,
Swami, intha prema pondhataaniki memu arhulamo kaado koodaa maaku teliyadu" (Swami we don't know whether we deserve this much love which you are showering on us).
Swami replied (and this is a statement for all of us to keep in mind)
Icchinappudu teesukondi, lenappudu icchinavanni choosi anandinchandi!" (When I am giving, receive it. When it is not there, remember and cherish all that has been given and be blissful.)
 


HERE IS THE CATCH.


When Swami said , “lenappudu icchinavanni choosi anandinchandi”, it also translates as “When I am not there, remember and cherish all that has been given and be blissful.”
It is only Swami who can strike two birds in a single stone!

“And that is why I am sharing this brother”, Aravind Sai said, “because I realize today the greater import of His statement. We should all live this way, constantly sharing His stories and experiences. I am sure that they number into millions and billions! Swami’s instructions are that we relive those memories/experiences and feel blissful.

Aravind Sai’s dream achieved

It started off as a journey to become Swami’s singer but Aravind Sai has realized today that singing is just a medium. The ultimate journey is to achieve Swami/God Himself. For that, singing is a means but so is playing, dancing, studying, sweeping, serving food and any of the millions of activities and actions. The most important point to be kept in mind is to simply love God while constantly putting in efforts because God confers everything. God’s grace is such that once obtained, it makes one lose interest and taste for anything else.

“As long as I strived to sing, I seemed to be struggling. Once Swami was pleased and He blessed me, I just wanted His love and grace. I no longer strived to sing but got so many opportunities to sing! Is it not paradoxical - the minute I stopped trying to be His singer and chose Him, I became His singer!”

Gone were his difficulties to sing on pitch. Chances to sing in the divine presence were showered on a daily basis. In fact, for several years till Swami’s Mahasamadhi, Aravind Sai sat in the first row, singing bhajans for Swami on a daily basis. 

Even to this day, the trio comes together once a year and does a Burrakatha in His presence.
 
A final message


One thing that amazes me about Aravind Sai is that even to this day he continues to sing with the same enthusiasm and energy, even in Swami’s physical absence. In fact, the trio, even to this day, sing their annual Burrakatha in Sai Kulwant hall. I asked him what was the secret behind this enthusiasm. He replied with a sweet experience.

In 2009, Swami asked Aravind Sai to get his dental clips removed.
Aaa mulla kanchani eppudu teesthaavu, adhi teesthe chaala baaguntaavu “ (Remove those fences and then you will look nice!”)
And so, he had to get an appointment in Anantapur (a nearby town) to visit the dentist. The day he had to go, he told Swami,
“Swami, I am sad...”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because today I will not be able to sing for you Swami.”
“What time will you be returning?”
“By 5:30 Swami...”
“And when is the bhajan session?”
“Swami, that is at 5:00pm.”
Swami smiled at him and then told him.
“Wherever you are at 5:00pm, close your eyes, think of me and sing. I promise you that I will be sitting there and listening to you.”

That is what Lord Narayana promised Narada too,
Mad bhaktha yatra gayanti, tatra tishtami” (I am present wherever my devotee sings my name.)

Swami has modified the same,
Mad Bhakta Yatra gayanti, tatra sthapayami” ( Wherever my devotee sings my name, I install myself there.)

“And so, everytime I sing, I know that He is listening. How can I not give my best and have enthusiasm?” Aravind Sai concludes. 


For all readers:
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