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  Volume 4 - Issue 02
FEBRUARY 2006
 
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EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE - II

A Shivarathri Card for Swami


In the last issue we began a new section called ‘Expressions of Love’ to feature cards from students lovingly offered to Swami during different festivals and holy occasions over the years. [To read the last issue’s story, click here].

 

As we are approaching Shivarathri, the holy night dedicated to Lord Shiva in this sacred month of February, we have now our second beautiful card-story – 'A Shivarathri Card for Swami', presented by the boys almost a decade and a half ago.It is a great inspiring journey going down memory lane for the boys who were involved with the card.Here is the account of one person who was in the thick of things, then as a student, when the card was conceptualized and offered to Bhagavan. Over to OKS Sastry, currently a lecturer in Baba’s college in Brindavan.

"It was the year 1991. I was in the Brindavan campus of the Institute in Bangalore. We students had just taken part in the Sports Meet in Prashanthi Nilayam and Bhagavan so graciously came to Brindavan immediately after the event to see us, to be with us. We were so grateful. He was showering love on all the students and we were literally enjoying every moment of it…shining in His Grace and smiling and sharing His joy.

Soon the month of February approached, and Shivarathri was round the corner. It is a great occasion, a long awaited festival for the devotees; but for us it was bad news. Bhagavan wanted to celebrate the festival in Puttaparthi. Crestfallen, we resorted to the only medium which can melt His heart…prayer. Yes, we prayed fervently to Bhagavan to take us along with Him. We did not want to miss Him even for a day and could not imagine not being part of the glorious festival and losing out on the incredible blessings from Him during this momentous festival.

The prayers were sincere and the result too was overwhelming. Swami had agreed that we could come to Parthi and not only that, we were going to travel just behind Swami’s car! Our joy knew no bounds, to say the least.

So we were in our buses diligently following every turn and bent that Swami’s car took. A few hours and we found ourselves in Muddhanahalli. Swami had stopped there to spend some time with the school children of Muddhanahalli. It was beautiful to see Swami interacting with everyone there – the teachers and the children – in Kannada, the tongue of the region.

And then we had a memorable lunch with Swami. After that Swami told us that now He would go quickly to Parthi in His car and that our bus should follow at a slower pace. He would be ready to receive us there.


 


Now, I was supposed to be writing on the Shivarathri card…why all this narration about the journey and all the drama? Well…I thought it would be fitting to let you know our state of mind…our feeling before we really came up with the idea of the card. With all the blessings that we were receiving from our sweet Lord, our hearts were filled with only one sentiment that ‘we should be with Him forever and bask in His Love’. We did not want to miss Him even for a moment and we wanted to create a card which will commune this emotion…this intense feeling to Bhagavan.

 


So we started wondering… who is so blessed to be with Lord Shiva continuously? Who has the opportunity to gaze at Him at all times everywhere and be with Him? And it occurred to us that it was Nandi. Nandi, the so-called bovine vehicle of Shiva from mythology. He is the holy one who is always facing the Lord. You will find Nandi straight in front of the Shiva Idol in every Shiva Temple , looking at Him with unwavering attention and devotion. The idea seemed apt and was immediately executed.

The card was made with a prayer to our Lord Sai who is the Siva-Sakthi swaroopa, the embodiment of Lord Shiva and Mother Nature, that ‘Let us be blessed like Nandi - at all times focussed on our Lord.’ This prayer was translated into the form of a Telugu poem in the card. The poem also sang praises on the glorious Lord Sai Siva, beseeching Him to bless us by lighting the lamps of love and faith in our hearts.


The card was ready. The Shivarathri morning arrived. The Darshan music started and our hearts started beating fast – with God, you never know…would He come and see the card? Would He like it…? Would He bless it? Something inside said …Why should we be so doubtful, isn’t He the Embodiment of unfathomable Love? Well…all sorts of conversations were going on inside us along with sincere prayers. The much awaited moment arrived. Bhagavan approached us. He saw the card.

 

He was so thrilled! We were thrilled too! But the story did not end there…Bhagawan again came to us after He finished the round of Darshan, seemingly in answer to our ardent prayers. And what more…He smiled sweetly…as if reading and responding to all the stacked up feelings that were bouncing in our hearts to find expression, and then the grand finale! With His beautiful soft hands, He put down on the card…nay, inscribed on our hearts…“With Love, Baba.” He had blessed us with the highest reward…we wanted nothing more. We were full in His love….with His love…by His love.

The memory is so fresh as I write these lines…filling me with so much bliss…I hope, dear reader, it fills your cup of joy too reading these golden moments with Sai.”

Dear Reader, we hope you like these card stories…please let us know if it in anyway helps you or inspires you. We would love to bring you more of such stories in the coming issues.

- Heart2Heart Team


 
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Vol 4 Issue 02 - February 2006
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