Volume 5 - Issue 02 FEBRUARY 2007
He Takes Care of Everything…Welfare and Farewell
By Dr T. Ravi Kumar
Prayerful Pranams at Bhagavan’s Lotus Feet. Most Beloved and Dearest Bhagavan, Respected Elders, Brothers and Sisters.
Faith is Trust Without Reservations
A couple of days back, Bhagavan was speaking about Education and Educare. He said: “Educare is drawing out from within. There is a well within which contains the water of Bhakti (devotion). Draw out these life-giving waters of Bhakti with a container. For this, you need a rope. This rope is Faith.”
What is faith? Faith is not belief without proof; it is Trust without reservations. Many people say that God should give us experience; then we will get faith. But Swami says: “You have faith; I will give you experience!”
How is it? He says: “You say, ‘I want to learn swimming first’ and then jump into water. But I say, ‘Jump into water and I will teach you swimming.’ Bhagavan tells us the importance of having faith. Faith is to believe that there is God; and that God cares for each and every one of us.
Rather than speak to you about just these philosophical truths in abstract terms, let me illustrate it with incidents which I have had the privilege of seeing – as a ringside observer.
The Sorry Tale of the Scalpel
In the year 1966, my father had a very serious illness and he went to the doctor. After examining him, the doctor found that he had cancer. So he said, “You must get this operated.” The doctor was an FRCS; and a great surgeon – besides being a costly one too! He said, “You get this operated and it will all be fine.”
So my father got admitted in a hospital in Bangalore and the first surgery was done. After this, it looked like everything was okay for a month. But when he went for getting himself checked up, he found that the cancer had not stopped and it was continuing. The doctor with the same air of confidence said, “No problem! One more surgery.” So, one more surgery was done. And after that again it was the same story.
This continued not once; not twice; not thrice; not five times; not ten times; but twenty five times! After twenty five times this famous surgeon lifted up his hands in defeat and called my sister – who was then in the final year of her MBBS – and said, “Look here, as a professional to a fellow professional, let me confess – the knife has failed! It cannot cure cancer! I have done all that I can do. And medical science as it is practiced today knows only this.”
My sister was in the final year and the doctor said, “Take your father home. In matter of few days, he is going to pass away. So there’s no point in keeping him here in this atmosphere of phenyl. Take him home; let him die peacefully amidst you.”
My sister was heartbroken because we had already lost our mother when we were very young. I was only four and a half years old when my mother passed away. And when this happened, I was barely nine years old. That afternoon after getting my father discharged and bringing him home, my sister went to the college, and she was naturally very gloomy. It was then that the sun rays of God entered our lives.
‘No new God is going to save me.’
There was a classmate of my sister who was a devotee of Bhagavan who asked her, “Why are you so gloomy today?” And when she told this, she said, “Come, let’s go to Whitefield – Bhagavan is there; He is God and He will save your father.” So my sister went with her to Whitefield; she had Swami’s Darshan and returned.
In those days, there used to be just one bus going to Whitefield (from the Bangalore city) – it was the number 99. It used to come only once in a while; so when she arrived home it was quite late. Then my father asked her, “Why are you so late?” My sister said, “Father, I have seen God. Today I went to Whitefield and I saw Bhagavan. He will cure you. Come, we will go to Whitefield. But my father said, “All along my life, I have been very sincere; I have been worshipping God and if that God is not going to save me – no new God is going to save me.”
A couple of days later there was a phone call from the office (where my father worked) saying, “Please report to the office because you have not come for six months and we don’t know whether you are alive!”
So father went to the office. The director asked him, “How are you?” And after speaking to him for some time he said, “Thyagaraj, there’s a gentleman who has come from abroad who wants to see someone called Sai Baba. I don’t know anything about the place where He stays. Since you know Bangalore well, why don’t you take him with you? The office car can drop you at home on the way back.”
Because it was his boss’ request my father was compelled to go. They didn’t know anything about Darshan timings. They just went to Brindavan. When they were entering the outer gates, Swami had finished His Darshan and was entering the inner gates of Brindavan. My father felt terribly devastated – whatever little hope he had was shattered! He said, “Even God has turned His back on me.”
But anyway, the other gentleman said, “It is so peaceful here; let us stay for some time and then go.” And so they sat under a tree. A few minutes later, the inner gates opened or should I say, ‘The gates of heaven opened!’
‘Your cancer is cancelled!’
Swami came out and He walked briskly towards where my father was sitting and He started speaking something. My father thought it was for the other gentleman; ‘I am not a devotee’, he said to himself. We have such distinctions; Bhagavan has no distinctions like this. But Swami was speaking in Kannada so my father heard it. Swami said, “Why did you have twenty-five operations?” My father sat up! Swami said, “The doctor is saying that you will die; he has given you only few days. You will not die! Your cancer is cancelled!”
This was in the year 1968 and my father was alive for thirty eight long years! He died a couple of months back when he was touching 89 years - out of old age.
I am telling you this incident because Swami is so kind. He says: “I will give you what you need to have Faith in Me; have sincerity”. And He gives us the experience. After this, my father came to Swami and he was at Swami’s feet serving in Prashanti Nilayam – in Brindavan first, and then in Prashanti Nilayam.
Father’s Stirring Faith
A couple of incidents which showed me what kind of faith Swami expects. It was one Dasara day like this; I had just joined Brindavan College as a student of the pre-University class in the year 1974. One day before the Narayana Seva, normally the students know - we take out the bundles of dhotis which come in pairs and we cut them and pack them in bundles of twenty five or so.
A few of us were doing this upstairs in the Mandir here. Swami was walking around and talking to us. He came to me and asked, “Has your father come?”
I said, “No Swami.”
He then asked, “Is your father coming?”
I said, “No Swami.”
He said, “Ah! How can you say that?”
I said, “Swami, he is scheduled to have an operation today in the morning; so I am sure he won’t come.” Swami said, “No, No. He is coming! And when he comes, ask him to stay with you in the hostel.”
I am talking of the time when there were hardly any buildings; there was only one row of buildings here. When the work upstairs got done I came down. When I came he had reached Prashanti – my father was walking in with his luggage! I was stunned. I asked him, “How is it that you are here? What about your operation? Did you not have your operation?”
He said, “No, No. I had my operation today in the morning!” I asked, “Then how is it that you are here?” He said, “I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have Swami’s Darshan, so I got discharged and came straight from the hospital.”
I was stunned and asked him, “Father, there is no accommodation here. Don’t you think you will get infection?” He said, “Infection? Swami’s Darshan will take care of everything! He will provide me accommodation.” Then I remembered and I said, “Yes! He has provided you accommodation. He has told me that you were coming and He has told me to take you with me and make you stay in the hostel.” When we have Faith in the Lord; the Lord is the most faithful. He takes care of us so much.
There was another instance which I remember – this happened in the year 1971 – even before I joined here. I was in the bal-vikas of a Samithi (centre) called Ulsoor Samithi and they wanted to have a drama in Swami’s presence. So they had asked me to be a part of it and I was getting trained. One week before Dasara, when our half-yearly exams exams were announced, I noticed that all the exams were exactly during the Dasara time. So I told the Bal Vikas teachers, “I will not be able to come for the drama.”
Making the Right Choice
They were very shocked! When I went home and told this to my father, he said, “No! You are going for the drama!” I said, “Father! I have exams!” “Exams don’t matter – they keep coming every year,” my father said and continued, “But this chance to go near Swami comes rarely. Don’t miss it – go ahead! This is the most important thing; have faith in Swami and do what He tells you.”
We are a joint family and nobody else knew much about Swami at that time – many of them were teachers and they told my father, “No! You are spoiling his education.” My father said, “No! This is the true education! The more closer you go to God; that is true education. I want him to go closer to God.”
So we came to Prasanthi Nilayam. I would just like to tell you one instance of how things were in those halcyon days. When we landed at 2:30 pm in what was called the ‘pata-shala’ block at that time, the bal-vikas teacher called me after a few minutes and said, “Go to the Mandir and find out what time is the Darshan.”
When I opened the door; Swami was standing outside! Swami had come to see whether all the bal-vikas children were housed properly. I was so stunned! Swami came inside and sat and spoke to us for forty five minutes! So we finished our drama in Prashanti Nilayam; and Swami blessed us and sent us back.
When we returned home after Dasara, I went to one of my classmates and said, “Please tell me what exam we have today so that I can read and come.” He said, “What do you mean exams? All exams have been cancelled! The government has sent an order that they want to have some Dasara sports – so all exams have been cancelled.” – Not even postponed!
So this is the way God takes care of you. And when He takes care of you; He takes care of your welfare – and as Mr. Popat said - your farewell! How does Swami take care of you?
God's Arrangements – Always in Perfect Alignment
Brothers and Sisters, let me narrate to you how kind Swami is. When you have God with you; when you reach out to God; you get all the happiness in the world. When you get God; you get everything. Like the person who climbs the real coconut tree; gets the real fruits and the shadow fruits; when you reach God, when you go to God, you get everything.
During my visit to Parthi at Guru Poornima, events so arranged themselves that I had to stay back for a few days. This was the only time – in all the thirty two years that I have been in Brindavan – that I stayed back even after all the students had left. Swami had created a circumstance by which I stayed for one week after all the students left - looking after my father; meaning, I cooked for him. I knew very little of cooking but he insisted I cook everyday and he would say I cooked very nicely!
I was leaving – it was a Sunday. He came to me and said, “ Ravi, I want to get you a pair of clothes.” I said, “Why?” He said, “You looked after me so well!” I said, “It’s my duty! Swami has given me true education and this is the basis of that – Matro Devo Bhava; Pitro Devo Bhava (Mother and Father are embodiments of God) – so I have to do this.” He said, “Let me at least pay for the taxi.” I said, “No Father! This is also my duty. Serving you has given me so much of joy – that is enough for me.”
And then I left for Brindavan. This was on Sunday evening – on Tuesday morning my father had his bath at 4:30 in the morning; came for Suprabhatam and came for Vedam. After Vedam, he went back to the room and had his breakfast. He told my sister, “I am going for Darshan.” He was staying on the second floor and as he was coming down; he met somebody on the first floor. He told him the same thing, “I am going for Darshan.”
He came to the ground floor, turned towards the Mandir, prostrated looking at Swami’s Residence and said “Sai Ram!’. There can be no greater death than this!
Somebody came and told my sister, “Your father has fallen!” She took a glass of water and went thinking that he had fainted. But when she sprinkled there was no reaction. Sister was dazed! And when she looked up she saw two people carrying a stretcher and coming – she had not even asked for it! And while they were coming, an ambulance had just come to park in front of our house!
God’s arrangements are always like that. Perfect! When Swami takes care of you; He takes care of your welfare; and your farewell too!
Swami, you have given me so much in life that one life is not enough to serve Your Lotus Feet. How many ever lives I have; let it be spent second by second in Your service - till the last breath!
Jai Sai Ram!
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Vol 5 Issue 02 - FEBRAURY 2007
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