One unforgettably profound Trayee session with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The Lotus shaped Trayee Brindavan building
The Lotus shaped Trayee Brindavan building | Source

What is a Trayee session? It is easy to be factual and prosaic in answer. It is a special session that Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, used to grant for His students at His Bangalore residence, Brindavan (Whitefield). But to narrate the feelings and joy that coursed through one’s being during such sessions is something that is very difficult for the abilities of speech fail in completely capturing the experiences of the heart. Maybe the closest one can come to reliving such a session is through videos.

A sample of a memorable Trayee session...

Writing about a session like that is a nearly impossible task. And yet, it is that very same foolish venture that I attempt here. There is a reason for this. During the session on 5th of May 2006, I was blessed to observe the subtle way in which the Lord teaches, prods and encourages. I shall just narrate all that happened and the thoughts that arose in me. I make no attempt to filter or cast away any detail except for the names of the people involved which are not important anyway. The emphasis is on the experience rather than the experiencers!

It started off with everyone waiting in bated breath for Swami to arrive. It was past 6pm and the fact that we were having a Trayee session that day was a blessing in itself. The governor of Karnataka, Sri T.N.Chaturvedi had been granted a long interview because of which we thought that Swami would not call us in. But the call did come at 6:05pm and we had stormed into the divine residence.

The Trayee building is shaped like a lotus from outside. Inside, it consists of a central circular hall with rooms along one half of the circumference and a single, crescent-shaped hall along the other half. This crescent-shaped hall is the famous Jhoola room (swing room) where Swami granted the immortal sessions. It was in this same Trayee hall and co-incidentally, in the same session on 5th May, that the unforgettable dialogue between Swami and a kid happened. Reading that will surely prepare the reader better for this session for I shall not go into that episode here!

Swami was seated on the swing and all the boys and teachers sat around His feet. The ones closest to Him were pressing His feet. Some sat behind the swing and gently pushed it for Him to enjoy. Swami called out for a research scholar and asked him
“What is 3-1?”
“Swami, 2” was the prompts reply.
“Wrong answer”, Swami said.

Of course there is the famous Greek language and logic solution that shows 1 + 1 = 3. However, Swami has also given a beautiful explanation. The world, He says, is a mirror which reflects the being. Let me quote Him here in His own words from a discourse in Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume-31.

“If we analyze carefully in the spiritual sense, you have a person, mirror, and reflection. When you remove the mirror, the reflection is automatically gone. So, you find three minus one becomes one only. It is the person only that remains. Similarly, prakriti (world) is the mirror, and jeeva (individual) is the reflection of the Divine. When prakriti, the mirror, is removed, what remains is only one, that is, the Divine. The individual is only a reflection. When your vision is
towards prakriti (world), you have duality. When your vision is turned inward; you are One, that is, God and nothing else.”

These were the thoughts that were going on in my mind and, I am sure, in many other minds too. And so, when Swami looked at the principal of the Brindavan campus and said,
“You tell...”, he almost began the explanation.
“...what is 2-1?” Swami completed
Now, he seemed ready for 3-1 but 2-1 had simply bowled him! He replied weakly,
“Swami....1?”
Swami did not answer that. Instead, He asked,
“How is wife in Delhi?”
The Principal was mute.
“Ay, yesterday you got a phone call from Delhi...” Swami continued.
“Yes Swami” was the answer.
“Not wife! Sister called. She asked a lot about Swami right? She wanted to know what Swami is saying about her...”
A smile blossomed on the principal’s face and with joy he nodded, “Yes Swami.”

Swami then was smiling at the boy who was sitting at His feet. There were about four boys who had surrounded Swami’s feet and were pressing it in Padaseva. This particular boy, looking up at Swami, seemed to be searching for His feet below the elaborate robe! Swami said,
“I have only two feet and you are not able to find them?”
Everyone around laughed heartily. And then, Swami delivered a stunning verbal punch
“If you think of only two feet, you will keep searching. If you believe that all feet are His, wherever you put your hand, you will get feet!”
The closely packed hall seemed to amplify the subtle yet magnificent Truth latent in that statement.

He looked at one of the bhajan singers and asked him what was there at his nose tip. The boy answered, “It is only a pimple Swami.”
Swami said that only people with anger get things growing on their nose tips! Again, everyone enjoyed it. Looking up, Swami saw another research scholar sitting a few lines away from Him. He called him to come near Him. This student got up and traversed about 3 meters, stepping carefully over people packed in the hall. He sat down in the third line. Swami then said,
“You crossed over so many people and came so close. Do not give up at the end. A few more steps and you can reach me!”
He immediately got up and planted himself right at Swami’s feet. The message meanwhile implanted itself firmly in our hearts.

Swami now called another student who was working in the hospital and asked him,
“When is brother’s marriage?”
“In a few days Swami....on Sunday.”
“When is sister’s marriage?”
There was no response.
Swami continued, “She does not listen to you and does not want to get married. She wants to spend this life only working for Swami. Correct? Does she listen to you?”
“No Swami”
“Tell her that Swami said she should get married. It is good for her... Tell me, what is the medicine for diabetes?”
“Swami...insulin.”
“Insulin is given only if the natural insulin in the body is less. It is not applicable for all diabetes.”
Swami continued to speak, referring to the student who was working in the hospital,
“He is a very good boy. Even when he goes to sleep at night, he keeps thinking that Swami is by him. Last month, he put in lots of effort in his sadhana. “
That was some revelation and made me realize that nothing is ever hidden from Him. No wonder they say that the efforts please the Lord irrespective of the result.

The central hall in Trayee Brindavan which would also be filled to capacity during a Trayee session
The central hall in Trayee Brindavan which would also be filled to capacity during a Trayee session | Source

Swami now narrated the episode of a wealthy businessman, Mr.XYZ, who had settled in India, arriving from Pakistan in the days gone by. Swami had advised him that for his own good, the company and inheritance he owned should not be passed on to his son.
“But attachment is very strong. In spite of knowing that he was doing wrong, he passed on the inheritance to his son who squandered it and both, father and son, had been reduced to nothing. Swami had helped him recover. That is what happens when you don’t listen to what is said.”

Swami also narrated another episode from the days of the mandir construction. The top supporting beam had a fault and a bend of about 4 inches. Hanumantha Rao, a devotee, brought this to Swami’s notice but Swami said,
“Do not worry. Nothing will happen.”
The construction went ahead and the structure stands tall and firm to this day. When Mr. Rao was asked about it, he replied,
“Swami’s word is supporting this structure.”
A student asked Swami at this juncture,
“How does one get such faith Swami?”
“It is so easy and natural isn’t it? Whatever God says has to be true!”

Swami asked the then warden, Sri Narasimhamoorthy to narrate how the holy occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi used to be celebrated in the olden times. He narrated in great detail what biographer Sri Kasturi has done in the second part of Satyam Shivam Sundaram. This part is present in bold blue in Prashanti Diary. As the warden took all of us down memory lane, Swami began to recollect some of the devotees who had served Him till their last breath. He recalled the great Kamavadhani Garu, a vedic scholar of great repute.

“Those days there were no students. Only the Veda Patasala (school to teach Vedas in the ancient style) existed. Kamavadhani taught there. He needed no texts as he knew the Vedas by heart. He also needed no mics or speakers - so loud was his voice. He entered an aircraft for the first time when I took him with me. He exclaimed, “I am going to heaven! Up into the skies to heaven!” So simple was he.

He neither met his children nor went for his property for the 30 years that he stayed with me. Even when I told him to visit home, he said that he had no house and Swami was his everything. One day, he did the Sita Kalyanam worship. (The ritual where the wedding of Mother Sita with Lord Rama is performed). He had his bath, chanted the incantations and came to me. I told him to dine with me after which he slept and peacefully gave up his body. He lived till 100. The first priest of the mandir and the first superintendent of the general hospital, Dr. Sitaramiah lived healthy and happy till ripe old ages.

When you see Kasturi, he was admitted to the hospital when he got sick. He was able to sense that his last moments had arrived. I visited him in the hospital. I patted him, created vibhuti and rubbed him on the left side of his chest. With joy on his face, he breathed his last. Before that he said, “Swami, having stayed at your feet, I want nothing else in life. Let this be my last birth.” Whomsoever leads their life for Swami, I shall make it POORNAM. (complete and fulfilled).”

And Swami stopped speaking. There was pin drop silence in the hall as all of us sat absorbing the enormity of the Divine promise. Swami looked up at the clock and broke into a smile. He said, “It is past 7 now. You all are hungry. Go have dinner!” That brought us all back to our mundane existence as another beautiful session in the Divine presence concluded.

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Comments 11 comments

Chandrashekar 20 months ago

sairam brother Arvind.How I wish I was a part of all these sessions. You are indeed a blessed soul. Thanks for bringing all this to us through your expressive and beautiful articles. Every single article of yours has been inspiring me like never before. Please continue to share your experiences.They are like a support system to my life. Thank-You so much once again. Sairam


Mark Aspa 3 years ago

pretty amazing and thanks for sharing. there are many many private videos of Swami in Kodai and in Whitefield that i hope will become more available as time goes on.


Perry N 3 years ago

Great memories! Takes me back to my own memories during the golden years in the late 70s... evening or day long sessions sometimes in the old Brindavan bungalow... Wish someone had a nice videocamera then.


Rahul 3 years ago

This is indeed one of your most beautiful blogs anna! Especially, in the second video, where Swami imitates the boy drowsy(in the beginning) - His laugh - priceless! Sairam anna. Thank you very much for sharing all these.


Smita Kadam 3 years ago

Enjoyed every word. Such profound words with such profound meaning!!!!!!!


Bhavana 4 years ago

such divine moments. choosen ones can only enjoy !!!!!!


S.Sridhar 4 years ago

Really Arvind please feed us similar continuously. No other thoughts are required. Let me spend at least half-an-hour followed by an hour of bliss full - tear shedding moments.


priti 4 years ago

...this is simply awesome..lucky you sir.. wonderful intimate moments with our Swami are to truly treasured!:)


shruti 4 years ago

Miss those days


hema b 4 years ago

enjoyed every bit of it


Aarthi 4 years ago

So beautiful! Every word that Swami uttered had such a deeper meaning too. :)

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