The PUSH of the Lord - My first speech in His presence - 2
Achieving a long cherished desire
Read this only after the Part 1 of this episode on the PUSH of the Lord.
I sought another opportunity to speak in His presence so that I could ‘redeem’ myself in the eyes of my peers and ‘friends’. The next year, during Onam, our school would have another chance to put up a programme. I hoped to be a part of that somehow. To my utter disappointment, I came to know that the school had a rotation policy of its own. ONe year the boys would get a chance to do the programme in His presence and the next year would be the turn of the girls. So, I would have to wait another year to fulfill my hope of speaking in His presence.
Very soon, I found out that I could never be ‘redeemed’ in the eyes of my ‘friends’. Those that loved me and respected me, did not need me to redeem myself. Those that wanted to tease me, would tease and taunt me anyway! Thus, I decided within myself that my endeavor would be only to please Swami. There was no need to have any other objective of speaking in His presence.
In order to ensure that I would get that coveted chance the next year, I began to participate wholeheartedly in all the extra-curricular activities - drama, debate, elocution, singing, recitation. Now when I look back, I know that those were very important years of effort for me and Swami had made me do it with a simple speech cancellation!
The year 1997 was a major one for me because I did get selected to deliver a speech - an English one this time - during the Onam celebrations at Puttaparthi (14th of September, 1997 to be precise). I was in X grade and thought that this would be the ideal time to request Swami for admission in the school at Prashanti Nilayam the next year. I prepared with all gusto and awaited, for the second time in my life, for the D-Day when I would deliver the speech.
This time too, I arrived to Puttaparthi a few days before the school. I did not try to get my speech blessed by Swami! This was for two reasons:
1. I felt that He might take it away again.
2. The greater fear was that once He ‘accepted’ the speech, since He ‘knew’ the contents already, He might not give me the chance to speak again!
The Onam day arrived. I was sitting in the same place that I sat two years ago. The boys who taunted and teased me were seated in the audience. They had grown and so had the teasing. I had a burning desire to seek from Swami admission into His school. The teachers had told me to request Swami to come and bless Sri Sailam, the school.
As Swami completed the darshan round and came to the dais, I had deja-vu! I broke into a cold sweat and imagined what would happen if I did not get a chance to speak again. Swami was seated on His chair when He looked to His right. But this time, instead of beckoning to some elder, He beckoned to me! I got up from my seat and walked slowly towards Swami.
I had seen Swami from close quarters before. But today, when I was the only one around Him on a big stage, I felt so overwhelmed. I went to my knees near Him and took padanamaskar (touching the feet). I rose and then decided to offer my prayer. I looked into His eyes and He looked into mine. I said,
In an instant, He was all attention. He prodded me to go on.
I don’t know what happened at that instant. In a flash I recollected all that I had gone through to get to this opportunity. And was I going to waste it by asking for something as less as an admission? I looked at Him and said,
“ Swami, please keep me with you throughout my life...”
He asked me to repeat.
“Swami please keep me with you throughout my life.” I said firmly.
He seemed so happy with my answer. He patted me lovingly on the head and nodded as if to say yes. Then, He told me to go and speak.
Part of me was telling me that I had done the best thing. Another part was telling me that I should have asked for my admission. I thought I would ask about it after my speech.
The speech went off like a breeze. There were two applauses - I don’t remember for what. I was simply overwhelmed. As I concluded and walked to Him, I turned and saw all my classmates and schoolmates cheering for me. When the Lord blesses you, the world simply comes to your side! I was filled with such love and magnanimity. I prayed for all my friends as I walked to Swami. And in that happy mood, instead of asking for admission, I said,
“Swami please come to Sri Sailam.”
Swami blessed me with a pat and a smile but did not reply to me. I took namaskar and returned to my place.
There was Swami’s discourse after that. I did not hear a thing. I was so lost in joy. I had no regrets about not asking for admission. I was simply glad that I had sought the right thing. I thanked Swami for making me seek the correct thing!
To complete this story, I must say what happened three days later. Swami said that He would bless all the students of the school for He was very happy with us. He began to move amidst us, collecting letters and blessing. I thought that this was when I should seek my admission. As Swami came in front of me, I rose on my knees. At the same time, He placed His hand on my head and pushed me down. It was as if He did not want me to seek anything lesser than the highest - and that I had already sought. What happened next is enshrined in my heart...
Swami is about 5 meters away from me when He suddenly stops and asks,
"You spoke yesterday didn't you?"
I nod. Then as He moves ahead, He turns back and asks,
"What are you studying?"
"Swami class X"
"Class XI....after class XII what?" (in Tamil)
"Swami whatever you say."
"No...Medical or Engineering - which do you like"
"Medical! Study Biosciences here and get good marks."
I got my admission next year. I got something far greater too - the chance to be with Him throughout life.
Today, when I look back at that episode, I realize the Love of Swami. If He had given me the chance to speak two years before, I would have sought admission in His school from Him. He wanted me to ask for the highest, Himself, and He was ready to wait for me to grow to that stage. He 'delayed' the chance so that I could benefit the most from it. As I think of it, my heart oozes in love and gratitude to Him.
What I learned that day is so beautifully put by Swami in the thought for the day that I received on 4th of April 2012.
Do not waste your life in making arrangements,
For they have already been made.
Use that time wisely instead to do prayers,
And seeking Me in all, in every living form.
Only have faith in My arrangements,
And know that I am present
At all times everywhere.
All you have to do is to ask for My help.
I require no time to travel.
My presence is certain anywhere,
Where I am sincerely thought of.
In fact, your thought of Me, and My presence
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