The Fruits of Action - 2
(Read this after the Part 1)
I had fallen asleep and the time flew by quickly. It was lunchtime. I had no appetite but still ate thinking that if it was to be my last meal in the hostel, it might as well be a good one! Soon, it was 3pm and I did not even want to go near the Trayee Brindavan (Swami’s residence) area. All my life I had been seeking His physical attention and now, when I was getting it, I seemed to be shrinking away! I decided that I would not go near the residence in any way. I would seat myself in the hall, as inconspicuously as possible. And yes! I prayed.
In the evening, after the darshan and bhajan session was complete, I wended my way back to the hostel - happy that no summons had come till then; scared that the summons could come anytime now. The warden came to the hostel and sent for me first thing. He had a nice smile on his face and he told me,
“Your prayers seem to have worked. Swami did not ask for you! Congratulations...”
I was also relived and was about to celebrate when the warden continued, “However, we should not take any chances. Do not be seen by Him anytime, anywhere. Do you agree?”
As if i had any choice!
“If you want to be sure that you don’t get thrown out, listen to me. Be last in every line. Never bring yourself into Swami’s sight.”
This is the worst torture that any student could be punished with - to make efforts to stay away from Swami! But I seemed to be in a really tight spot. If I did not obey and comply, I might have to leave Swami forever. Thus, I agreed and special instructions were given to the ‘line leaders’ to make sure I was the last student in the last line that moved for darshan and bhajan.
During the summer course, as I mentioned earlier, there are students from all the campuses. So I was the last, not among the usual 300, but among about 800 students! I lost the motivation and energy to get ready quickly and wait for darshan - I would anyway be the last. The loss of motivation soon turned into a kind of deep sorrow bordering on depression.
As I said, the Summer Course was on. The students would have darshan twice a day instead of the normal once a day. Salt would be rubbed into my wounds twice a day. I felt Swami was so distant from me. He would even visit the auditorium where the talks were being delivered. Since the auditorium had a limited seating capacity, there would so some students sitting out and I would be a regular. Imagine my plight when Swami went into the auditorium and in between the boys and all I could get was only momentary glances of Him!
And every evening, there would be discourses. That was something that everyone looked forward too. I also enjoyed the discourses because that was the only time when physical proximity did not seem to matter. Two days passed this way and I felt like it was almost a week!
It was the morning of the 29th of May. I was sitting very back and as Swami came for darshan, I got my tears again. In between the tears, I felt that He was looking at me though He was very far. I wiped my tears and concentrated on Him. I thought that I saw a beautiful smile. That made me so happy. Immediately after the session, I ran to the warden’s office. He was again with some ‘big’ people and this time, I did not get the VIP treatment! I waited for everyone to leave and then entered his office.
“Sir! Everything is fine!”
“What do you mean by that boy?”
“Sir! Swami will not throw me out. He is happy with me. He smiled at me...”
“ Are you sure He smiled at you? He could have smiled at anyone else also?”
I was in a doubt now.
“If you are simply imagining this, then it could end up as disaster for you. You sit in front and show your face and that might be your last darshan as a student.”
I was not ready to take the risk. I again sought his ‘protection’ and decided to sit back and cool off.
That was not an easy decision. The pressure of sorrow in my heart would never get released by any amount of tears. And so, in the evening too, I was seated somewhere at the back for Swami’s discourse. During the course of the discourse, Swami made some statements that almost wrenched my heart. Here is the gist of what He said.
“ God does not know the meaning of anger. Can you tell me what anger is? See the rain - it comes as drops of water. At times however, we have hailstones. These cause pain when they strike you but remember that hailstones too are basically water. In the same way, God’s anger is also God’s love that is packaged in a different manner. God never gets angry.”
I have the habit of writing down Swami’s discourses even as He speaks. But today, I stopped writing. I was crying within saying, “Swami, you got so angry on me! You say that is your love? Then, I am seeking to get back to you, but I lack courage. I am scared to get thrown out from here and warden has told me specifically to sit back.”
The discourse complete, we all moved back to the hostel for dinner and study hours. Soon, it was time to sleep. In the early morning, it was my duty to play music in the PA system of the hostel as everyone finished ablutions and got ready for the day. On the 30th morning, when I played the cassette, the song that played was a composition of Surdas. A brief description of the song is in order here.
Sung by the inimitable Anup Jalota, it begins with an introduction:
“Baah Chudaye Jaat Ho, Nibal Jaan Ke Mohe.
Hriday se Jab Javo Tho, Sabal Mein Jaanu Tohe”
The saint Surdas was blind from birth. He was always lost in the name of Lord Krishna. One day, he falls into a well and calls out to Krishna. A little boy comes up to the well and helps the saint out of the well. Then, as the two are walking together, the saint treats the little boy like a child not knowing that it is his own dear Krishna. And the minute he realizes that it is indeed His Lord, Krishna lets go of the hand and runs away. The anguished saint bursts forth into a song.
“Oh Lord! You are thinking me as weak and thus you succeed in freeing yourself from my clasp. But if I am to consider you as really strong, try to leave my heart where I have bound you.”
Then he goes on to sing the complete song which praises Krishna. Set in the raag Darbari, it is such a beautiful experience to hear the song. Though the version here misses the most important opening stanza, it is worth hearing once.
The classic song from the movie on Surdas
As I heard the song, my heart began to resonate with it. I cried out loud and long to Swami. I said that I was being kept away from Him and that was such a big torture. I also told Him, “You just try as much as you want, you cannot escape from my heart! I hold you dearly there and shall forever hold you that way!” And I cried even more. I was weeping continuously, alone in the audio room. I drifted off into sleep and then Swami came. He came to me in a dream that gave me a hint and a solution to the situation I was in.
Proceed to Part 3.
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