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The Independence Day 'drama' in Sri Sathya Sai's presence - Part 3 - Problems Solved
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This ongoing, suspense-filled story would be a more enjoyable experience if allowed to blossom and flower from the beginning. Please come to it after reading the earlier parts.
Inspiration is GOD...
Swami often speaks of the five mothers that we have to revere - Dehamata (Physical Mother), Deshamata (Motherland), Bhoomata (Mother Earth), Gomata (the cow), Vedamata (the Vedas). In the interview that followed, we got a glimpse of the importance He placed on the motherland. It showed as His great love for the patriots who had sacrificed for the nation.
Swami started with words of praise for Subash Chandra Bose, the valiant freedom fighter who was instrumental in raising the INA - Indian National Army - which has today developed into a massive army. Swami revealed his daughter was a deeply devoted lady and she even sang good bhajans. We were just listening with open mouths and open hearts. He praised the humility and simplicity of Rajendra Prasad, the first president of independent India. He also spoke about the excellent poetry skills that Sarojini Naidu possessed. He was also full in praise for the trio of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal - popularly called Lal-Bal-Pal.
Even as he told about the trio, He asked us whether they featured in the drama. The warden answered on our behalf and said,
“Swami only certain episodes have been included due to lack of time.”
Swami then told Jagdish who was by my side that their names at least must be mentioned. We promised Him that we would do that.
Then came the most poignant part of the interview. Swami suddenly turned to the warden and the vice-chancellor and said,
“People do not know the true meaning of Swaraj. They think that Swaraj means freedom from foreign rule Swaraj is actually Swaaraaj. Swaa and Raaj.”
I popped up like a jack-in-the-box and in great excitement blurted out,
“Swami, we are mentioning this in the drama!! We are stating that Swaa means SELF and Raaj is RULE. It is only when the SELF, ATMA or CONSCIENCE rules that we can have true freedom. True freedom is liberation from body attachment which comes from the knowledge that everyone are sparks of the Divine. And this can happen only if we follow our conscience.”
Even as I completed saying it, I felt that maybe I had spoken too much. But my excitement was due to the fact that this was the same inspiration which had been the genesis of the drama - the concept of true Swaraj.
Swami was looking at me and He seemed to almost be drinking in every word I said. Then, He turned to the warden and said,
“See! The boys are very good. They quickly grasp whatever is said.”
This was a great revelation for me. Swami had never told anything to us. And yet, He said that we had grasped quickly whatever had been said. The concept of Swaraj had only been an inspired feeling in my heart. This proved that inspiration we feel in the heart is a way in which the Lord communicates with us. It is only a heart that has been touched by the Divine which can feel inspiration.
And to prime this inspiration, we need to enter the depths of silence.
All problems solved in a trice...
As a corollary, ensure that there are things everyday which inspire you because that is the sure way of knowing that you are in touch with the Divine within. Inspiration is divine!
As if adding further weight to this, Swami also began to say,
“People also do not understand what Bharat is. They mistakenly think that Bharat means India...”
Again, I popped up in excitement,
“Swami, we are saying this too!! Bharat is a place where the human values are practiced and there is great love for the Lord. It is not a geographical entity but a value-based one. If one has true love for God and follows the five human values, one becomes a Bharatiya.”
Swami smiled in approval and seemed to enjoy my excitement. Again, an inspired idea had Divine approval because isn’t inspiration in itself divine?
As we were speaking about the drama, we told Swami that there was a scene of Bhagat Singh which had the noose as the backdrop. We also told Him about the shooting scene which had been deemed violent and had been cancelled by the vice-chancellor. He heard us and then said,
“Those are violent of course, but they happened in history. So, if you must portray them do so honestly. However, do not lay emphasis on the violence. Emphasize on the patriotism and love for the country.”
Even as these words dropped from the Divine lips, we were so thrilled! Both our jettisoned scenes were back on board now! And since Swami had stated the same in the presence of the warden and vice-chancellor too, there would be no convincing needed on our part. This encouraged us both and we gently whispered to the warden,
“Sir! About the national anthem...”
Now the warden rose on his knees and said,
“Swami the boys are praying for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem in Your presence. Only they will stand up Swami...only them...”
“Why? Are not the other beings in Kulwant hall also humans? They too have feelings. Let all the people stand and sing together. It will be good.”
We somehow controlled ourselves from jumping up with a “Yippeee”. This was the reason we were seeking out Swami and He had bestowed it on us even without ‘us’ asking!
Unity and Love blossom in everyone
I remembered that the warden had asked for all the actors to be assembled in the bhajan hall. It was almost half an hour since the interview had started. So I asked,
“Swami, it will be nice if you speak to all the other boys of the drama too.”
“I will speak definitely...”
Even as Swami said that, I got up to go out and call all the boys. Swami immediately stopped me and said,
“Not now! Two boys are not there. I shall speak to all of them in the afternoon.”
I returned to my place and the interaction continued. After a while, Swami indicated that it was time for us to leave. We went to Him and prayed that we get a good character. He replied,
“There is no need to make your character good. You already have good character. Ensure that nothing spoils it. Past is past. Forget it. Be good boys.”
It was with great relief, joy and peace that we exited the interview room after takingpadanamaskar. Even as we were exiting, He told us again to convey HIs blessings to all and that He would interact with all the participants.
All the students who were part of the drama were waiting for us to come out and tell all that had happened. In a matter of an hour, Swami had turned us into heroes. We passed the message around that all participants should gather in the Kulwant Hall itself after the morning session. Swami arrived for the bhajan session, received Aarthi and retired for the morning. Soon after that, all of us gathered.
The thrill and amazement was such that even many members of the ‘hostel drama team’ gathered. I was in a very expansive and love-filled mood. In hostel lingo, this is called AIDS (Acquiring Intense Devotion Suddenly)! What else could I feel after such a session with the Lord! Jagadish and myself stood in the center of the circle as everyone gathered around us. We noticed that EXACTLY two actors were missing! They had been practicing late night and so had not been able to get up in the morning. Ah! What does one speak of His omniscience and Love?
We both shared all the wonderful happenings in the interview room. We also conveyed Swami’s promise that He would interact with all of the boys. The touch of the Lord had made us so large-hearted and loving that we said,
“There is nothing like hostel-drama and mandir-drama. It is all ours. We are one. Everyone, irrespective of the drama they are in, is welcome for the session with Swami in the afternoon.”
With that, the floodgates of Love opened up suddenly. The main members of the hostel team came up and said,
“We have made so many beautiful sets. Of what use are they if we cannot offer them to our Lord. Swami has so much expectation of us and is eagerly looking forward for the drama. We shall give all the sets and other things we have made for the mandir. You need not even worry about putting up the decorations and sets. We will do the moving and shifting. We will transport all the sets from hostel to mandir.”
We (the mandir-team till now) made a reciprocal promise,
“We will participate in the hostel drama. Though there is very little time, immediately after the drama in the mandir, we shall sit and improve the plot of the hostel drama. We shall all participate in it for it too is ours!”
We were in tears even as we heard this. On Independence Day, we were experiencing true freedom - freedom from egotism, from rivalry, from hatred, from anger; a freedom that had liberated us into expansive love. We were able to enjoy the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God! And all this had happened with the touch of the Lord!
There were no teams now - it was one unified class. And what joy it was to be united! The way we worked for the next three hours was simply marvellous. Everything fell in place. Everyone had smiles to share with each other. So much love had cropped up. Ah! I needed no further proof - Prem Eashwar Hai, Eashwar Prem Hai (Love is God and God is Love).
By 3pm on the 15th of August 2004, all of us assembled in the bhajan hall of Kulwant Hall. The whole class was here and we were on the verge of creating history - the first ever Independence Day programme in the Divine presence, in Kulwant Hall.
Dear reader, hope that maincourse meal was satisfying. But do not forget - the dessert is yet to come. :)
If you enjoyed this, you will like these too:
1. The Independence Day 'drama' in Sri Sathya Sai's presence - Part 4 - Happily Ever After - THE CONCLUDING PART
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