TRAYEE: THE GIFT OF DIVINE INTIMACY
Few realise to what extent Swami goes out of the way to
confer favours upon the students. One of the incomparable
gifts of Divine intimacy that He confers is the famous 'Trayee
Sessions' that take place while Swami is in Brindavan.
Trayee Brindavan or Trayee as it is more
popularly known, is the Mandir of Bhagavan's Ashram
in Brindavan [in Whitefield, Bangalore]. It is Swami's residence
when He is in Whitefield.
circular building called Trayee came into existence in 1984,
replacing an earlier building [known as Bungalow] of more
conventional design. The centre of Trayee is a circular hall
with a high ceiling. On the periphery of this hall are several
rooms, some of which are set apart for Interviews. There are
similar rooms on the first floor too, and Bhagavan occupies
one of these. Right behind the main entrance is a large, curving,
'veranda' that can seat about two hundred or so. At one end
of this veranda is a sofa and at the other end is a small
swing or jhoola. During the famous 'Trayee sessions', Swami
is seated on the jhoola while the boys crowd all over, spilling
into the adjoining circular hall. In front of the building
are lawns and flowerbeds.
The Trayee sessions take place in the evenings,
after Darshan and Bhajan are over. Typically, this is what
happens: Swami first returns to Trayee while boys wait in
the Sai Ramesh Hall [where Darshan is given], eagerly looking
forward to the signal to go in. They then rush into the veranda
of Trayee and take vantage seats. The teachers and a few elders
also are permitted to attend these sessions but basically
they are meant for the boys.
are the variations to the Trayee session, and countless are
the lessons and experiences they provide to those lucky to
be present. Typically, the session would commence with Baba
signalling to someone in the audience to speak. After the
preliminary warm-up speeches are over, Swami slowly rises
to speak to the boys. His 'speech' is a Discourse of course,
often linked to one of the points made by those who spoke
earlier. Sometimes, He speaks sitting down in the jhoola.
The Trayee Discourses have a unique character of their own,
and are quite different from the public Discourses that one
is generally used to. Swami's voice is soft, gentle, loving,
and most affectionate. It is very much like a mother talking
to her children; indeed, it is nothing but that. When Swami
speaks to students in Trayee, there is only one purpose -
to mould their character. He does this in innumerable ways,
illustrating His points with appropriate stories and historical
are days when Swami takes it easy, leaving the proceedings
entirely to teachers, students, and the elders present. Some
evenings it is all music, with the boys displaying their skills
in both singing and in playing various musical instruments.
Occasionally, it is all jokes, with even Swami narrating a
few amusing ones of His own! At times, Swami just sits in
the jhoola and asks the boys to chant the Vedas in unison.
And while they chant, He is in Pure Bliss. Occasionally, He
chants along with the boys, though very softly.
In May, it is vacation for the boys, and
most of them go home to be with their parents. Some, however,
stay on. When the number of students is small, Swami permits
ladies and parents of students also to be present in Trayee.
The sessions now acquire yet another complexion.
such day in the month of May, Swami spotted a small boy about
seven years old seated near Him, and started teasing the boy
in various ways. He then said, "Listen, get married".
The boy said, "No Swami". "I have selected
a nice girl for you". "No Swami". "Why
are you saying 'No Swami'? The girl I have selected is very
good looking and an ideal match". Again, "No Swami".
"Why 'No Swami'"? Without a moment of hesitation
the boy replied, "Too much problem Swami!" Everyone
burst into laughter, including the mother of the boy, who
was present. Joining the laughter, Baba said with a twinkle
in His eyes, "See? He already knows!" More laughter!
After some moments He added, "That is what the boy is
saying now but wait till he grows up to twenty two or so;
then he will change his mind." A small lesson there.
One year during the vacation period, Swami
asked a Greek lady to address the gathering. This lady happens
to be a doctor, actively involved in Sai service. One of her
service campaigns was in Croatia, then torn by war and conflict.
She organised a volunteer group and took it to Croatia for
rendering assistance to the war victims. The members of the
group distributed packets containing food, medicines, clothing,
and along with these, a small photo of Swami. Recalling the
service experience, the doctor said, "The people were
very happy that we had come to help them. One of the people
there held up Baba's photo and said, 'We know this person'.
I was very surprised and asked, 'How do you know Him? Have
you heard about Him?' They replied, 'No, we have actually
seen Him here.' I was astounded and asked, 'Seen Him? Here
in Croatia? And what was He doing here?' They said 'Just what
you are doing; distributing food, blankets, and medicines.'
I was stunned."
After the electrifying narration was over, one of the devotees
present remarked, "Swami this is absolutely extra-ordinary!"
Swami replied, "For you it is extra-ordinary but for
Me, this quite ordinary and routine." A hush descended
on the audience - naturally.
are dramatic moments too. Once, after sitting down on the
jhoola, Swami asked, "Where is the person from America?"
The gentleman concerned was spotted and he rose to come forward.
Swami asked the devotee to come near Him and while the devotee
was doing so, with a wave of His hand Swami materialised a
bottle. He held the bottle up so that everyone could see it.
He then said, "This devotee has an eye problem, and has
come all the way from America to seek Swami's advice. This
bottle contains eye-drops." Meanwhile, the devotee, Dr.
Ram Setty, had come close to Swami and knelt before Him. With
much Love and Compassion, Swami poured a few drops of the
liquid into the eyes of the devotee and then handed the bottle
over to him with instructions about further doses. The event
was not only etched permanently in the hearts of all those
present but also touched everyone. The devotee had not even
'met' Swami after arrival and placed his problem before Bhagavan;
but He was ready with the treatment, nonetheless. Swami was
indirectly telling everyone present, "If you think of
Me, I too shall think of you!"
The story does not quite end with Swami giving Dr. Ram Setty
the bottle of eye-drops. A couple of days after this incident,
Dr. Setty was called for an Interview. A few boys also were
present. Baba asked the boys, "Do you remember this person?"
"Yes, Swami; You blessed him with eye-drops the other
day." Swami then continued, "You have no idea how
bad his condition was then". He then asked Dr. Setty
to describe the condition of the eyes before Swami gave him
medicine. Swami then added it was very red, red like this;
so saying, He waved His hand and there appeared two strawberries!
To the stunned audience He asked, "What are these?"
Dazed, one of them replied, "Swami, strawberries."
Swami said, "Not just strawberries but California strawberries!
Dr. Setty lives in California!" Turning to Dr. Setty,
Baba asked, "Are these not the type you get in your part
of the world?" The astonished doctor nodded his head.
Swami gave him the strawberries and said with a smile, "Eat
are tender moments too. Once, a casual conversation was in
progress at the beginning of a Trayee session when a boy seated
in the front offered some peanuts to Baba in a small bowl.
Swami brushed it aside and continued the conversation. After
a few minutes the boy tried again and once more Swami refused.
A third try and a third refusal. The fourth time the boy was
successful. Swami took the bowl from the boy's hands and after
popping a couple of nuts into His mouth began distributing
it to the boys nearby. Eagerly, boys thrust their hands forward.
Swami dropped a few nuts into each palm stretched out to Him.
He then asked the boy who originally gave the nuts to stretch
out his hand; the boy did. Swami dipped into the bowl, picked
a few nuts, and then made a gesture like dropping the nuts
into the out-stretched palm. What fell into the palm were
not peanuts but a shining diamond ring! The boy was stunned.
Swami took the ring and slipped it on to one of the fingers.
The boy now began to cry; he was too overwhelmed to utter
any words. Baba then said, "This boy loves Swami very
much. He did not want to come empty handed here. He did not
do anything great. He just took a small bowl, went to the
Hostel store, filled it with shelled peanuts and brought it
here - that is all. Swami is not bothered about what you offer
but the feelings that accompany the offering. Any day, a teaspoon
of cow's milk is better than a barrel of donkey's milk!"
For Swami's boys Trayee is a magic word that recreates scenes
not witnessed since the boyhood-days of Krishna. In a manner
of speaking, what happens is similar, though the settings
and the time period are different. One of the Actors in the
Drama is also the same; about the others, only He can say!
the summer of 1995, Swami permanently cured
a terrible eye infection I had been battling
for a few years. I suffered from conjunctival
haemorrhage [bruises under the eye membrane],
that bled at least two or three times a
year. During the Summer Course which I attended
by His Grace, I had the worst eye-bleed.
I could not even look at myself in the mirror.
During a Trayee Session, I did not want
to be seen; so I sat inconspicuously in
a corner of the room. In spite of this,
Swami saw my suffering and materialised
eye drops that were cool, refreshing, and
soothing. I was completely cured, and the
problem has not recurred since. What a compassionate
and loving God!