- Religion and Philosophy
Evil Eye, Duradrishti or Nazar - a perspective based on an experience with Sri Sathya Sai Baba Part 2
The shock of the morning
(Before we dive into the story, if you have landed here directly, I would request you to please come back after reading
After all, which story is fun without reading from the beginning? :)
If you have finished reading the first part, please read on! )
Having decided that I would be going to the hospital the next day to get my cast removed, I had dinner and returned to my room to rest for the night. I got up a bit late the next morning. I looked at my watch and it was nearly 7am. I had to be ready by 8am so that I could eat a hearty breakfast and then go to the hospital.
The bath was a tedious procedure. I had to wrap up the cast on my leg in plastic to ensure that it does not get wet. And then, I had to sit on a metal chair, placing my leg on the closed commode and have my bath. Going through it in my mind itself made me feel like skipping the bath.
“Not any more”, I thought, “today will be the last bath like this!”
Before I got out of bed, I wished my Swami a good morning. And then, with my right hand, I held the gold chain with His pendant that hung around my neck. He had materialized this for me from thin air during the most memorable experience of my life. I held the chain and said to Him,
“Swami, when you are there with me, protecting and guarding me, what evil eye can ever affect me?”
With that, I closed my eyes in gratitude, remembering the memorable way in which He had placed the chain around my neck. Then, I got up to go for a bath.
As I was standing up, I heard a sudden snap and felt something slithering on my chest. I was startled and felt that some snake had got in. I plunged my hand into my vest and it was pure horror! Let me say that I would have been happy if it was a snake!
It wasn’t. It was my gold chain and it had snapped and broken. Oh my God! Was I shell-shocked! I had tears in my eyes instantly and I suddenly got very scared too. Just a minute ago I had told Swami that He (through the chain) would protect me from the evil eye. And now, it was as if that drishti had overpowered His protection and snapped the chain!
I was in a really frenzied mood. I called up one of my colleagues who knew a very good jeweler. I asked him whether I could get my chain mended as it had snapped without any reason. He told me to calm down and said that we could go the the jeweler after the bhajans in the morning.
The morning darshan session
At this point, let me tell the readers that Swami would rarely come for morning darshans. He used to come out maybe once or twice a week. So, at 9am, bhajans would begin and Aarthi would be offered to Swami’s chair at 9:30am. (Today, when I look back, I feel He was training all of us for what was to come!)
I cancelled the idea of going to the hospital. I decided to finish my bath and wait in the room for bhajans to conclude. Even as I waited, I called another senior of mine. He had the chance of staying with Swami and serving Him for almost 5-6 years and I just felt like calling him. His advice was straightforward
“Swami gave you that chain. Ask Swami what should be done about it before taking it to a jeweler.”
Even as he said that, the loudspeakers in the ashram came alive- loud and clear. It meant only one thing - Swami was about to come for darshan in the hall.
From then on, my brain and mind ceased to work. I was on auto-pilot. I was so fearful and nervous that I simply felt like running to Swami and seeking solace from Him. But well, it was not that easy. Hoping against hope that Swami would somehow speak to me, I got myself dropped at the mandir. It was a sheer intuitive urge that made me go and sit in the bhajan hall instead of the mandir outside.
And to my great good fortune, as Swami was moving into the interview room after the darshan, He decided to make a sudden visit to the bhajan hall. Even as He entered, He saw me and the cast! I had forgotten about the dream but I just did not care. Since He was looking at me, I went straight to Him. He looked at me lovingly and asked me,
“What happened to your leg?”
My answer was outrageous.
“Leave that Swami! Tell me what happened to my chain?”
He did not seem to hear me. He asked again,
“What happened to your leg?”
“Swami, I was playing in the shuttle court and I had a sprain. That will heal Swami. But what about my chain?”
“What about your chain?”
“Swami, today morning, without any reason it snapped and broke...”
I almost had tears in my eyes now. Swami parted my shirt collar to have a look at the chain.
“It is not there anymore Swami! It broke and it is in my pocket. Would you like to have a look?”
When He nodded, I took the chain out of my pocket and showed it to Him. He had a careful look.
The whole chain had been built in a modular fashion with golden cubes. each cube had four holes on one side and four flaps on the other. The four flaps were locked into the four holes of the next cube and so on to make the chain. At the joint, the four holes had been crushed inside and the four petals had been terribly crumpled. It was as if someone had torn the chain apart and had bashed up both ends to make them not fit any more!
He put the chain back into my pocket and said,
“Let it stay there! Don’t worry.”
This was what I feared - it was as if the purpose of the chain was over and so it was no longer necessary to be worn. But I was very attached to the chain - a fallacy that I often commit, getting attached to the creation instead of the creator!I wanted to wear it all my life! So I thought I would ask Him whether it could be mended. Even before I could express anything, Swami said,
“I will give you another strong chain. Don’t worry.”
He now began to speak to another boy about his trip to Assam. Different thoughts were running in my head. I knew of a classmate for whom Swami materialized a chain and said,
“I shall give you a pendant tomorrow.”
Even after 5 years, that ‘tomorrow’ had not come. Time-frames are very subjective with the Lord! Now my thoughts were,
“Maybe I’ll ask Him whether I can get the chain repaired and wear it till He gives me a new one...”
When I got up on my knees to ask this, He stopped talking to the other boy and looked me straight in the eye. All my worries instantly seemed to melt. I suddenly felt that nothing in the Universe could ever harm me. Whatever was happening to me was just what my loving Lord had planned for me, for my good - that's all. One look and all the turbulence in me subsided.
But well, our Lord’s ways are so uncertain. He calmed the turbulence in a single look only to restart it on a greater scale in a single act! He smiled, quickly waved His palm and materialized a new gold chain in an instant! Then, He beckoned me to come closer to Him.
I was stunned. My jaw dropped. I was stuck in my place and the boy who was pushing Swami’s wheelchair tapped me on my shoulder to go closer to Swami for He was calling. I moved close to Him and He placed the new chain around my neck. He then patted me on my cheeks and said the same thing He had told me when He had given me the previous chain,
“Only Love, Love, Love, Love!”
I just took His right hand, kissed it and fell at His feet. Swami looked at me once more- that same loving look. Once again, the trembling I felt, the tingling all over my body subsided and I was at peace. He turned and moved into the interview room.
Parting thoughts and Epilogue
I returned to my place and then, it struck me. Why was I worrying about Drishti when His Drishti (vision) was always on me. When the Supreme Lord’s eye is on me, what can the evil eye do to me? Was it not foolish to have got scared? But then, my first chain had indeed snapped. And my leg too was in a cast. So, how can one not care about the evil eye?
The answer too came along with these questions. And am grateful to Swami for the answer and understanding that He provided from within. People ‘eye’ (Nazar or Drishti) or the planets and stars (Grahas) have no conscious benevolence or animosity. They merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these radiations do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each person has set into motion in the past.
These radiations are not meant to emphasize fate - result of past good and evil - but to arouse man's will to escape from this universal thralldom or spiritual slavery. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to anybody’s evil eye or planetary pressures.
The concept of the evil eye (or even that of Karma)is to remind every person that as long as he believes that he is the body, he is subject to all these influences. Once he realizes that he is the spirit within everything in the Universe, the immortal Atma, then none of these forces affect because who is there to be affected and who is there to cause the affectation? Everything becomes ONE! In order to show man his own strength and thus, his true divine identity, the chains of ‘evil-eye’ or ‘planetary influences’ are used to shackle him. If not for these, man would never get pushed on to the spiritual path which actually leads him to what he is searching in life - true, everlasting peace and happiness.
Even as these insights occurred in me, I thanked Swami with all my heart for everything - the experience, the gold chain and most importantly, the insights. These were indeed insaights!
I then saw the pendant on my chain. It was a standing Ganesha! I came to know that a standing Ganesha is often called the “Drishti Ganesha”!
Finally, as always, Swami emphasized only on Love, Love and Love! That sums up everything. The only way to battle all the forces of negativity and evil is through love. That transform the negative into something very beautiful and uplifting just as Swami's love had transmuted my experience from something painful into something unforgettably joyous! We just have to step up our positivity and love to counter the negativity. Send out love, see love, feel love and hear love and love alone is what will come back to you!
And Oops! I forgot to mention. That afternoon, I went to the hospital and had my cast removed. I told the doctor that Swami said He would take care. My leg was out of the cast 20 days before its scheduled date and I could cover the whole event from 18th June to 20th June 2009 (by Godavari district devotees)! My leg is fine ever since and I continue to play shuttle badminton to this day! :)
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya