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God sees the Truth but waits... Part 1
The amazing Krishna Janmashtami Experience...
In a collection of short stories by the greatest writers in the world, I came across a story by Leo Tolstoy with the title, “God sees the Truth but waits...”. It was a very powerful read and it showed how God allows seemingly ‘bad’ things to happen so that ultimately, the individual benefits the maximum. The story depicted the difference between worldly love and divine love.
Worldly love cares only about the joys of the body and the mind. Divine love is ready to sacrifice the body and the mind at the altar of the soul!
The story is a reminder that whatever happens in life is always good for us. And that is the true meaning of surrender as Swami revealed so beautifully to a student. It brings to my mind Swami’s saying, “What you meet in life is destiny, how you meet it is self effort.” It also brings to my mind an episode and an event that reassured me about Swami’s all-knowing nature. He sees everything. He knows everything. And yet, He waits...
Let me take you back to the year 2004. I was studying my 2nd year Post Graduate in Chemistry at the Swami's Institute. It was that golden period of my student days when Swami took a lot of interest in student programmes. He encouraged us to put up programmes in His Divine presence. In fact, on one occasion, when the warden requested Swami to come and sit outside between the darshan and bhajan sessions, Swami said,
“Why should I? There is no programme today!”
We had no idea then that this kind of ‘programming’ would become the precursor to a plethora of programmes by the different State and International Sathya Sai Organizations later. However, we were happy to be part of Swami’s plan. In fact, seeing so many programmes being demanded by Swami of the students, the seniors in the organization thought of providing ‘relief’ by passing a resolution that different groups would that visited Prashanti should also have a cultural programme ready for presentation. Today, when I look back to those days, I get goosebumps realizing how Swami was preparing a new mode to chances for devotees from the world over - through songs, dramas and other programmes in His presence.
The 'programmer's dilemma'...
Getting back to the story, it was the first day in the month of September, 2004. September 6th was Krishna Janmashtami and I got an idea that we should put up a programme in Swami’s presence for that occasion. We were the senior most class in the hostel and we had been given the privilege of proposing programmes at short notice. However, the idea was not given an enthusiastic reception. Though there were a few who backed the idea and were enthusiastic like me, most of the ‘necessary individuals’ did not warm up to the idea. Their reasons were:
1. We had already put up three programmes in the past month and there was a kind of ‘saturation’!
2. Just because Swami was giving us chances, it did not mean that we should put up programmes in such a hurry.
3. The monthly tests were round the corner and all had to get busy studying.
I could see meaning in the reasoning, but somehow, my reasoning did not make sense to them. My reasoning was:
1. Swami is giving chances and we should grab them with both hands.
2. If we take care of our intention and keep prayers going, Swami will take care of the programme.
However, there were about 4-5 good speakers in the class who agreed with my idea and we decided that we would go ahead with the programme. We decided that the format would be two comperes hosting the programme with a few songs and dances interspersed in between. Since there were six of us, we divided ourselves into 3 compere-pairs. We requested the students from the higher secondary school to prepare a couple of dances. We requested the bhajan group to prepare some songs.
There is a reason why am narrating all these details and I request the reader’s indulgence for a while more. :)
The six of us met up to decide what should be the theme of the programme and it was a combined inspiration that we should relive the story of lord Krishna in a different perspective. For instance, there is the episode of Vasudeva’s chains dropping away when baby Krishna was born. The prison doors opened and the father got the chance to take the child safely away to Gokul, away from the wrath of the demon Kamsa. On his return to the prisons, the gates locked again and his shackles bound him. We interpreted this as once you ‘pick’ up God, you are ‘set free’ and when you ‘put down’ God, you are ‘bound and shackled.” The entire programme was a creative interpretation like this.
We had to ensure the programme quality with our content for we had nothing on the ‘presentation’ front with all our ‘class’ performers backing out of the programme. In fact, I remember calling one of my friends, Raju, on the intercom phone from my room and shedding tears,
“Why are we not getting any support for this program? Swami definitely sees what the ‘anti-programmers’ are feeling. But does He not see what our intentions and feelings are?”
Raju reassured me,
“Don’t worry. Our motives and feelings are pure. Swami will support us. Let us go and read all of Swami’s discourses on Krishnashtami and we will get more ideas on the content.”
We approached the warden and told him that we would be ready with a programme for Krishnashtami. He was happy (and was unaware of all that we were going through) and himself told a wonderful experience.
When he was a student, Swami had visited the hostel on a Krishna Janmashtami day. He spoke only about the Krishna avatar. While narrating how Lord Krishna would go with his cowherd friends, the gopalas, for grazing cows, Swami said,
“Krishna would tie a cloth around his head when he was with the cows.”
Swami then asked for a piece of cloth. The warden, a student then, ran to his room and fetched his towel. Swami took it from him and to the great joy and wonder of all the students present there, tied it around His head, the way Krishna would!
Ah! That was pure delight and Swami too was beaming a smile.
Listening to warden’s narrative made us feel better and we slept well that night.
The next day, we headed off to the library, not for studies but to research all of Swami’s Krishnashtami discourses. I randomly picked a volume of Sathya Sai Speaks and searched for the Krishnashtami discourse. Immediately, goosebumps erupted on my skin.
The discourse was dated September 6th, 1977, the same day when Krishnashtami was on this year too. (The exact day of Krishnashtami varies from year to year since it is decided according to the lunar calendar.) The goosebumps only grew in size when I read the contents of that discourse. Swami had spoken about the significance of the Krishna avatar and had given the exact same interpretation for the chains falling off as we had thought of the previous day! We hungrily devoured that discourse and gathered more of the content. Even the statement that we would browse through His discourses which Raju had offered reassuringly to me seemed part of His Masterplan.
Imagine the thrill we felt when we also discovered that fact that it was during that same discourse in the Brindavan hostel that Swami had tied warden’s towel to His head!
We were sure that this was Swami’s way of telling us that He backed us. The six of us prepared with great enthusiasm and joy.
But the question still remained - how were we to make a good presentation or programme only with six speakers. There had to be good dances, songs, skits and other such depictions too for a complete programme. We left that worry completely to Swami, who, we were sure by now, was watching over us.
The next couple of days saw us prepare in all thoroughness, but at the end of it, the only programme we had ready were 6 excellent speeches based on what Swami had said. We also came to know that Swami would be delivering His divine discourse on the Krishnashtami morning, i.e. the 6th of September, 2004 morning.
Suddenly, our programme seemed to make no meaning at all! If BHagawan was to deliver His discourse, it naturally meant that there would be no other programme that morning. We went to the warden for his opinion. He told us to be prepared and dressed in our colorful costumes all the same. He said that Swami’s will would prevail and that was something we already knew!
And so, at the break of dawn on 6th September, I dressed up in a golden-chrome kurta. The others too wore their grand dresses. With a prayer on our lips, we set out to the mandir. What happened that morning, simply took our breath away and I realized how God always sees the Truth, though He waits!
If you liked this, you should also read Part 2 and some other similar articles too:
1. God sees the Truth but waits... Part 2. (The second part of the above article).
2. Seek God and the rest will be conferred upon thee - The Dharma programme story.
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