God knows our thoughts even as they arise...
Statement of situation
The way in which Swami approved a wedding-match for my sister was very convincing. But a secret story hidden got revealed only months later. And when that revelation came, my jaw just dropped to the ground in absolute wonder at the way our Lord works!
There is a saying in India which states that if you have to become a man, you should construct a house and perform a marriage. Both these projects demand so much in terms of energy, thoughts, discussions and decisions that anyone who has successfully completed them is considered man enough to face anything in life! In this light, I can say this much that when it came to getting my sister married, it was a tough situation for both me and my father - we were getting a flat constructed in Puttaparthi at the same time.
Match-fixing is something that is seen in a negative light when it comes to sports. However, when it comes to matching alliances and agreeing upon marriages in India, it is an integral and important activity. This is because, the tradition is such here that a marriage happens not between two individuals but between two families. Thus, I wanted the consent and blessings of Swami (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) before finalizing on the boy.
The unfolding of the story
There had been quite some activity going on along the ‘groom-search’ front. My parents were convinced that Swami was at work when a prospective candidate turned up. The prospect materialized as a result of ‘Swami talk’ in the darshan lines between my mother and a lady who is today my sister’s mother-in-law.
My mother was happy and interested in this prospective son-in-law and her thoughts found resonance with my father and sister. Moreover, this family had been devotees for decades and the boy had been a Bal Vikas student. The horoscopes and stars also seemed to favour the couple. Thus, my parents and sister decided to travel from Mumbai (where they were staying) to Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and take the talks further. But before anything could be finalized, I put forth my condition,
“All of you see the boy. Interact with him and his family. If you are satisfied and happy, take a picture of the boy and send it over to me. I shall show it to Swami. Only if Swami agrees, shall we go ahead.”
Everyone, including the boy’s parents seemed to agree with this condition. I was happy.
The Bangalore visit was done and my father sent me a photograph of the boy who was to soon become my brother-in-law. I had a picture of my sister dressed in a magnificent yellow saree. My idea was to show both these pictures to Swami and ask,
“Are they a good match Swami?”
I saw the picture of a boy and was shocked!
Here was a guy who had a stubble and long hair. He was dressed in a shirt and jeans pant! Why was he not in whites? And why was the vibhuti dot missing on the forehead?
“Oh my God! What will Swami think?”
These were my thoughts. I decided to take the pictures to Him nevertheless. 2 hours before the evening darshan, I got a phone call. It was my sister.
“Hello Aravind... I have something important to ask you...”
“Hey sis! Yes.. Go ahead...”
“Today, when you take the pictures to Swami, what are you planning to tell Him?”
“I will tell Him that this is the pair. I will ask Him whether we should proceed.”
And now came the surprising request,
“Don’t ask Him anything. Just tell Him that this is the couple and He should bless the marriage...”
“Hey Shruti! Don’t jump the gun... Remember, we decided that we will do anything only after asking Swami? How can you tell me to do otherwise? Instead of seeking His opinion you want me to only ‘inform’ Him? This is not nice... Give the phone to mother...”
“She is not here...”
“Okay then, give it to father...”
“He is not here...”
“Where have they gone?”
“They are at home...”
“At home??? Where are you then?”
I was totally confounded. Nandi Hills is about 55 kilometers from Bangalore and I was wondering what she was doing there.
“With whom have you gone to Nandi Hills?”
“Mahadevan... that’s the boy remember? We have just come on a long drive and are going back home now. ”
I was so upset. Why could she not have waited till I asked Swami? What was she doing? What if Swami did not approve the match? I just cut the call there and resigned to fate. I was feeling quite upset and worried.
The anti-climax builds
I sat in the darshan lines, waiting nervously for Swami to come. I was unsure as to how things would go. Soon, the darshan began and within 10 minutes, Swami was nearing me. As a last minute modification of plans, I placed my sister’s picture over the boy’s picture. I got up on my knees and showed them to Swami. I said,
“Swami, sister’s marriage... “
Swami immediately moved my sister’s picture and began to look at the picture of my going-to-be brother-in-law. He kept looking at the picture. I added advertising from my side,
“Swami, he is a Bal Vikas student. . . Swami, his mother is a singer in the bhajan group at Brindavan for many years now... “
Swami did not seem to want any sort of advertising. After a few moments, He asked me,
“What did the boy tell the girl?”
“What did the boy tell the girl?”
I had no idea...I stared blankly at Him.
Making it easier for me, He asked,
“Did the boy say ‘Yes’?”
“Swami, I think the boy is happy with the proposal. If You bless the match then we will go ahead.”
A smile came on His face. Holding the photo in His left hand, He patted it thrice with His right hand,
“Definitely, Definitely, Definitely! My blessings are there.”
And He moved on. It was the 19th of July 2009.
On the 3rd of September, 2009, my sister, Shruti got engaged to Mahadevan. I had a mini video camera with me and I was taking some shots to make a ‘funny video’ as it is called. I was interviewing my sister and brother-in-law about the past 1-2 months. It was then that the startling revelation came.
To the question, “Did he propose or did you propose”, my sister replied,
“Awww! It was so sweet. When we had gone for a drive to Nandi Hills, he pulled out a rose and proposed to me. Oh! How wonderful I felt. In my heart, I knew this was the man for me. I accepted. And that is why I called you that day. I thought that it would not be nice to ‘ask’ Swami after I had already given my word. So I requested you to seek His blessings..."
I stopped the camera after that. I was in a sort of grateful daze. I remembered Swami’s question to me on the 19th of July,
“What did the boy tell the girl?”
Had I been omnipresent like Him, the answer would have been,
“Swami the boy proposed to the girl saying that she was the perfect woman for him.”
And there would have been no need for Him to ask me that modified second question,
“Did the boy say ‘Yes’?”
Is there anything that He does not know? Is there anything that He does not do for our good?
God knows our thoughts even as they arise in our mind and heart. And so, when it comes to prayer, I have always had one feeling,
“Why should I pray? Does not the Lord know everything? Then, why?”
After experiences such as the one above, these thoughts are totally justified right?
Swami has given an answer,
“I know everything. But in order to give you an opportunity of interaction, I ask things from you.”
Truly, if information flow was the cause for divine communication, then there would have been no dialogue with God at all!
It was a few days ago, while listening to a divine discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, that I got another answer from Swami. Swami was narrating the story of Dhruva, the child who went to the deep forests to seek the Lord.
Lord Narayan appears before him and asks,
“What is it that you want my child?”
“Lord, you knew exactly where I am in this dense forest. You know everything. Don’t you know what is it that I want?”
To this Lord Narayana says (this was Swami’s beautiful and unique answer which is not there in the original Dhruva story)
“Child, I know everything. It is said, Manas Ekam Vachas Ekam Karmanyam Ekam Mahatmanam (meaning a great one is that who had unity in thought, word and deed.). You have had the thought to attain God and you did the actions to attain God. It is time now to even state the intent in words and make it complete!”
Prayer is not for the Lord to get information from us. It is needed for us to connect with God! It has to be done in thought, word and deed indeed!!
And what would be the best prayer to offer the Lord? That is a subject for another discussion by itself.
Want to post this article somewhere?
Since HubPages is very strict about plagiarism, if you use this article, or its part thereof, anywhere on any site, please also post the source link along. Thank you. :)
My other blog is at aravindb1982.blogspot.in.
© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya
More by this Author
This is an autobiographical account of Malayalam (and Tamil) cine actor, Jayakrishnan.N. When he was 22 and trying to be successful in his career as an actor, he was struck by what he considered as the most painful...
I decided to go to a Suka Nadi reader to know my future in spite of having an omnipresent and omniscient Master. Here is how Sri Sathya Sai taught me to leave all to God and not worry about the future...
Proximity to God points to the ability to feel Him everywhere, at all times. Here are a few experiences of a Sai student that reveal the true meaning of proximity to God - Nearness and Dearness!