A ray of hope - Malayalam cine actor N.Jayakrishnan's experience
From the Sai Pooja magazine
It was a beautiful and relaxed Sunday morning and my eyes fell on a magazine lying on our living room table. Named, SAI POOJA, the magazine had been brought by Amey, (a close friend about whose early experience with Baba I have already written about), the previous night. I glanced through its pages and it had articles by some real interesting people. My interest was piqued by an article entitled, “A dream that changed my life”. It was an autobiographical account of the Malayalam cine actor Jayakrishnan.N. I shall share a few of my thoughts after I present the actor’s autobiographical account. Over to Jayakrishnan.N now.
Mysterious are the ways of God. He comes to us even when we don’t call out to Him. Talking about Sai Baba, it is the same case with me. I didn’t accept Swami - it was He who got me to Him.
When I was 22 years old, I was trying to establish myself in the film field by taking up small jobs with the television channels. I was in the prime of my youth and was caught up in the worldly attractions around. During my first serial with Sunny Joseph, a famous cinematographer in the Malayalam movie industry, I was introduced to a girl. This introduction grew into a friendship and soon, turned into love. But the story of my life was to be scripted differently.
Due to some reasons, personal in nature, we got separated. This struck me really hard and I found that the situation was very tough for me to handle as I was very much attached to her. I was crestfallen. It was not long since my mother had passed away. At this point in time, I missed the comforting words of a mother very dearly. I felt that life had been unfair to me as everything that I considered precious to me was moving away from me. All sorts of feelings started to grip me.
I started to feel ashamed of myself and became a victim of of guilty consciousness and inferiority complex. The feeling of despair started to grow even more with passing days. And then, all of a sudden, a solution to my problems seemed to flash across my mind.
I felt that was the only way out of all my problems. Thereafter, when I saw any place, I started to think whether it was an appropriate place to commit suicide. All my thoughts were only about this. I went even further - looking into different ways of committing suicide also. These suicidal tendencies began to consume me. I did not even have proper sleep as these thoughts kept haunting me day and night.
The ray of hope grows into the sunshine of life...
It was at this time that I began to get some thoughts which I had never paid attention to previously.
“Maybe God can save me...”
With this thought, I began searching for a ray of hope. I started to visit many temples, chant Gayatri mantra and sing the Vishnu Sahasranamam on a daily basis. Still, I didn’t find the peace of mind which I wanted. However, all these definitely helped me move away from thoughts of suicide.
I thought that I should go on a pilgrimage to various holy places in India. I said to one of my closest friends that I was leaving. I did not know where I would be going to and I was not sure whether I would be returning back at all. I wanted to travel all over India, visit all temples and thereby complete my life in this manner. With these thoughts in mind, I dropped to sleep.
In my sleep, I had a dream. Today, I call it a darshan.
I was standing in the playground of my alma mater, the school where I had studied. The ground was crowded with people who seemed to be waiting for some great person to arrive. I felt that I too should wait for him and meet him. Finally the person arrives and it was Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He came straight to me and putting His arms around my shoulder, asked,
“What is your problem?”
I told Him my entire problem and then I started to cry like a child. After listening to my entire story, He patted me on my back and said,
“Is this small problem hurting you so much? You should become stronger in your heart. You have so much more to live and there are much bigger problems which one will come across in life. Be strong and courageous.”
Consoling me with these motherly words, He patted me again and I woke up. I found that instantly, all my worries seemed to have vanished. I felt as though I had never faced any problem at all. My mind was filled with the darshan and sambhashan of Swami. Yes, that night He gifted me a second life.
After this episode, I suddenly started to get many offers from the Tamil and Malayalam movie industry in India. Life turned into a much greener one for me. Since my childhood I have seen a photo of Sai Baba kept at our home. I had never cared for it as I didn’t know who He was. Now I know that He is everything for me.
14 years later, on the 26th of March 2010, I visited Puttaparthi for the first time. I don’t know why it took me so long to come to Parthi. It was in 2010 that I saw my Sai Maatha (Mother Sai) for the first time. While passing in front of me, He looked into my eyes and gave a mischievous, all-knowing smile. From that day till my last darshan on 20th of March 2011, I had many darshans of Swami in His physical form.
When we are left with no hope in life, He gives us the ray of hope and shows us the way ahead. When we tread the wrong path, He puts us on the right path. To ‘He’ who is present in all beings I offer my humble salutations.
As I read this article several points struck me. The first and foremost was that when one is in deep trouble, one need not go out looking for God. If efforts are just made to call out to Him, He Himself will come rushing to one’s aid.
The second was a reiteration of what Swami has assured - that Him coming in one's dream is an act of His will. Dreams of Swami are true indeed.
The third was that God does not come and clear away one’s problems with a magical wave of the hand. Instead, He grants the strength, wisdom, fortitude and encouragement to face any ‘problem’. Such is the support that instead of turning to God and crying,
“Oh God! I have a problem.”
the person turns towards the problem and says confidently,
“Oh Problem! I have a God.”
The fourth point that struck me was that relationships going bad seem to appear as the most painful life episodes. But apparently, they are not. Whenever one cries over relationship problems, it will do good to remember what Swami told Jayakrishnan,
“Is this small problem hurting you so much? You should become stronger in your heart.”
That will happen if we are able to understand the difference between infatuation and love.
Finally, the episode also indicates that Swami responds to us in the manner in which we look to Him. He thus becomes a mother, a father, a friend, a guide, a teacher or a God based on how one seeks Him.
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya