A dialogue on Surrender with Swami
The Guru clarifies
It was a time when we were all having a discussion on surrender. The discussion had been sparked by a poem in the same name written by a brother. In the course of the sharing, one of my classmates recounted an amazing experience of his which brought finality to the discussion. This was during the Athi Rudra Mahayagnam at Chennai in January 2007, which Swami had Graced with His physical presence. This friend of mine was also in Swami's retinue, chosen as a speaker. I leave the rest of the narration to him:
Over to Jagadish Chandra now -
It was during the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna at Chennai and I was to give a talk the next afternoon at Thiruvanmiyur . The previous evening as we were having dinner with Bhagwan, Swami enquired as to who would be speaking. Since Swami had decided the order of the speakers beforehand, I knew it was my turn and presented myself accordingly:
Swami: Yemi maatladutavu ? (What will you speak ?)
JC : Swami I would speak on, ''Swami as our Guru............''
Swami: What is the meaning of Guru?
JC : In the sacred texts it is stated that in the word GURU, 'Gu' stands for Gunateeta (beyond attributes) and 'Ru' stands for Roopavarjita (beyond form).
Swami: Alanti vallani yavarinena choosava ? ( Did you ever come across such a Guru ?)
JC : (In astonishment and awe I pointed my folded hands towards Swami) Swami meeru! (You Swami !!)
Swami: Kani naaku roopam unde !! (But I have a form !!), ( and thus contradicting Roopavarjita!)
JC : Swami roopam undina lekapoyina, meere na Guru. (With or without form, I know only you to be my Guru !!)
The car gears and surrender
And then Swami asked the details of my talk. At the end surprisingly Swami said to all of us around :
Naku telusu, me andara manusulu lo chaala 'doubts' unnayee !! E rozu annee 'clear' chestanu !! Adagandi !! (I know, you all have a lot of doubts in your mind, I will clear those doubts today. Ask !)
It was not merely the manna from the heaven but verily the heaven itself !! Each one chose to ask that which was innermost in their hearts and for me it was, 'What is SURRENDER ?' When my chance came:
JC : Swami, Sharanaagati ante yemi? (Swami, what is the meaning of Surrender ?)
Swami: Sharanagati ante neeku yemi ardhamu ayyinndo, mundu adi cheppu. (First you tell me what you have understood of it !)
JC : Swami, of what little I have read and heard from elders, offering my everything to God is Surrender !!
Swami : GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU SIR !! At every point in time if you remind yourself that, "Whatever is happening is good for me" then you have surrendered to me.
Do you know how to drive a car ?
JC: Yes Swami
How many gears are there in the car ?
JC: Swami 4 !!
Swami: Yes ! First, second, third and the top gear and also a reverse gear. Tell me, is there any problem when the car runs in the first gear ?
LK: No Swami !
Swami : In the second or third or the fourth ?
JC: (I was not able to understand, but our Lord was preparing for a Master answer !! ) No Swami!
Swami: Then where is the problem ?
JC: (I shrugged in ignorance !)
Swami: The problem comes when there is a change of gears !!! So what do you do when you change gears in a car ?
JC: Swami, we use a clutch !
Swami: Correct ! When you use the clutch, the change of gears is smooth !! Similarly in life, there are 4 gears: HAPPINESS, SORROW, HAPPINESS, SORROW. Just as in car, our lives too continue whether we are in happiness or in sorrow but the problem arises only when there is change or transition from happiness to sorrow and vice versa. Thus for life too there is a clutch !! The clutch for life is the thought that, "Whatever happens is good for me !" This is what Krishna told Arjuna in the Kurukshetra battlefield. Do you know what he said ?
JC : (Nodded pleading ignorance)
Swami: Sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau........
(The one who is eqanimous in happiness-sorrow, profit-loss, victory-defeat, is the one who has truly surrendered !! )
"Whosoever, follows this, I assure him complete feeling of surrender towards me !!"
( Now that was the lesson taught. But Swami not only teaches the theory, He also gives a practical experience. And my lesson was coming very soon....)
The next day's proceedings turned out to be catastrophic as there was a problem with the PA system at Thiruvammiyur ! Swami was apparently upset as things could not be heard and I too had my share of the "scoldings" !!
When we came back to Sundaram, Swami looked at me angrily and said, "Yemi baaga maatalad ledu !!" (You didn't speak well at all !!)
My heart sank ! I was not having the strength to face Swami, that too during the entire dinner session ! With a sinking heart as I sat for dinner (closest to Swami ironically), he looked at me with a frown and asked one of the senior devotees (pointing at me),
" E abbayi yela matladedu ?" (How did this boy speak !!) .
Oblivious of what had happened until then, the devotee started heaping praises on me ! Every word was like a scratch on my bleeding heart and I was not able to lift my head !!
Swami: (Ignoring the words of the devotee) Yemi baaga maataladledu !! (Didn't speak well at all !!)
(Then came the biggest jolt !!) "Sharanaagati gurinchi okka mukka kuda mataladaledu!" (You didn't even speak a word about Surrender).
He was referring to the conversation that took place the previous day !!
In spite of all the dejection, my mind revolted. I was screaming within, "Swami this is unfair! I was not supposed to speak on that topic. My topic was GURU ! Why are you doing this to me?"
Immediately Swami said, "Yemi Raa Nee Sharanagathi ??" (What is your Surrender ?? ).
All the noise in the head was silenced.And I suddenly understood everything. And even as I understood, a smile seemed to blossom on His face. There was so much love.
I clearly felt that I had not surrendered and was unable to say to myself that ," Whatever is happening is good for me " in spite of it coming from God himself!
I was in tears ! I went to Swami and said, "Tappu ayyipoyindi Swami, kshaminchandi !" (Please forgive me for my mistake Swami !)
Immediately, Swami's smile flowered and was so broad...........that said it all !!
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