Of (A Drive by) Darshan
had just finished giving the Bliss of His Darshan
to the thousands who had assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall that
afternoon. He then sat down in His chair on the verandah and
listened blissfully to the Veda
Chanting by the Institute boys. But something was amiss. There
was a certain Divine restlessness and suddenly He got up and
signaled to the boys, “ I will go out and return”.
Swami goes out often in His car into Puttaparthi
village, ostensibly for a drive. But the
Avatar is really beyond the vagaries
of the mind, in that He does not become bored and “needs”
to go out for a drive to relax. In reality, it is His deep
and unlimited Compassion and Love, that motivates Him to “go
out for a drive”, so that He can give the Bliss of His
Darshan to the hundreds of poor
people of Puttaparthi, who are unable to come to Sai Kulwant
Hall, engrossed as they are in their own day to day chores
and engaged in the task of earning a livelihood. It is also
the plight of the sick, the old, the infirm, and not so able,
who are unable to brave the crowds and come to Sai Kulwant
Hall for His darshan, that perhaps prompts Him to go out Himself
and bring ananda to all.
a sense it is reminiscent of His Krishna Avatar
days during the Dwaraka Yuga.
Only then, it was the melodious sound of His flute, wafting
gently through the village that would draw all the gopikas
The setting is the same, but the props in
Kali Yuga are more contemporary. Now it is
the strident high pitch tone of the police escort vehicle
that acts as the clarion call and gives an advance warning
of the imminent arrival of the Avatar.
Housewives quickly shut off their stoves, have a quick peek
in the mirror to make sure they are presentable and rush out.
Teachers and village kids abandon their class-rooms; roadside
barbers and their clients rush to the street; patrons of tea-stalls,
curious passersby, passengers in public transport vehicles,
farmers in the fields, almost everyone who has heard the siren,
stop whatever they are doing and line up on both sides of
the road, hands folded in supplication, anticipating eagerly
the brief but glorious glimpse of the Avatar.
the small red Maruti car comes into view. Cries of “Jai”
(Victory) rent the air. Roadside flower girls do a roaring
business, as many villagers buy flower garlands to toss onto
His passing car. A few devout ones even break coconuts in
front of His slow moving vehicle, as a mark of auspiciousness.
And Swami. He is calmness itself. The embodiment of Bliss
providing bliss to one and all. His eyes dart quickly to all
sides viewing everything and blessing everyone by His benevolent
gaze. Occasionally, He raises His Hand, in the time-honored
way, to bless a bystander. And slowly the caravan wends its
way, right up to Brahmanapalli village, just past the Music
College and Gokulam. At the end of the road, at a convenient
point, He directs the car to make a U-turn to return.
and latecomers who did not come out in a timely manner the
first time around, have now joined the crowd to at least get
His darshan on the return trip.
Usually the return trip is much slower due to the augmented
crowd size. As the car approaches the Ganesh gate, there is
now a crush of people waiting to catch His glimpse. Security
is tight and the police have a tough time keeping the crowd
away from the road. And soon He enters Sai Kulwant Hall. The
car is covered with flowers and His face is wreathed in a
big smile. He is now happy, as He has brought happiness to
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