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When Sathya Sai showed me that He is the Doer...
The secret behind inspirational 'speakers'
What is it that makes an inspirational speaker or inspirational writer ‘inspirational? It is very important to ask this question because it helps both, the speaker (output agent) and listener (input agent), to keep a perspective of things.
It was during one of the Ashadi Ekadasi programmes put up by the Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa, that an interesting and profound observation was made. Based on the Bharatiya system of Karma Yoga, man is rewarded or punished according to the actions performed. God is simply a witness. However, the programme presented in the presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, (or Swami as He is lovingly known,) presented an interesting perspective. It said,
“God is the doer for everything. Man is simply a witness.”
That got me thinking because there is no perspective as a ‘wrong perspective’! A perspective is a perspective - that’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. And as I thought more about this - whether God was a silent witness or the only actor - I remembered a student’s experience. When he was feeling very diffident about giving a speech, Swami gently walked up to him during a bhajan session. He asked him,
“Where is the bhajan being heard from?”
“... from the speaker Swami...”
“But where is the song being sung?”
The student pointed to the bhajan hall and said, “Swami, from inside.”
Swami smiled and walked away.
What the student realized was that Swami was reassuring him,
“Though you are being told to speak, remember the ‘song’ is actually being sung ‘inside’. It is only the speaker that is outside!”
And that, I feel, is the inspiration behind inspirational speakers or inspirational writers. They are actually only ‘speakers’ but the ‘sound’ comes from ‘inside’ - from God/Spirit/Divinity/Energy/Consciousness.
When praise got me carried away
There is a reason why I write this way. Often, I have considered myself as an inspirational writer and inspirational speaker. But on some occasions, I have definitely forgotten the truth that I could at best be a ‘speaker’! It is of one such occasion that I wish to write about. And I write about it with gratitude to Swami for reminding me gently but in a convincing manner that the ‘song comes from within’.
It was the January of 2012. Ever since Swami left His mortal frame on the 24th of April, 2011, I had decided to write about Him on a regular basis. It would be my way of expressing my love and gratitude for Him I thought. The articles picked up in number and in the number of people it inspired. I began to get feedback mails on a regular basis and my Facebook account received numerous ‘friendship requests’. I constantly told myself that it wasn’t me that people were seeking but Swami through the writings which He was inspiring. However, it is difficult to keep pride out of the mind. More than that, it is difficult to differentiate between the genuine joy arising out of fulfillment in writing about my master and the pride-based joy arising from the false sense of me being great!
I remember that day in January 2012, the 11th day of the month when I was writing an article. Out of the blue, I got an inspired idea. It was totally different from what I was writing. So, I stopped writing midway and began composing a new article. At the end of a couple of hours, a satisfied smile was on my face. The article seemed to have developed well and I was happy.
That was a day I could not help but feel very good about myself. I relived how that inspiration had come and manifested and felt proud of being an inspirational writer! Little did I know that a beautiful lesson had been planned for me by Swami, to teach me that I was only an inspirational ‘speaker’! :)
The lesson plan develops
A day later, I received a ‘friend request’ on Facebook from a certain SG from Bangalore. (name withheld on request.) By this time, I was nearing the 5000 friends limit on the social networking site and so, as was my practice, requested this person to subscribe to my page since it was Swami’s articles that she was seeking. She wrote back to me describing her experience. And I post the gist of what she wrote. The message was dated 14th January
Brother, Swami always speaks to me through dreams. Every single instruction in my life, He gives in dreams. Yesterday was one of those days when I was missing Him a lot and,so, was questioning some recent dreams and visions that I have been getting. I was a bit disturbed and I wondered whether these dreams were real as Swami says or whether they were simply my imagination getting the better of me. I know that Swami has said that His dreams do not occur without His will, but I seemed to have doubts. I suddenly could sense Swami moving restlessly in my house and I even got Swami's fragrance. Then I slept at around 2 pm. I had another dream.
I dreamt that Swami was sitting on a chair and I was kneeling down and admiring Him. Swami looked at me, pointed His right hand index finger, nodded His head and said,
"Read Aravind Balasubramanya's Facebook posts!"
Then Swami vanished and I was wondering as to why Swami said this ? Then I saw you (Aravind) and many other whom I didn’t know. You took me to a room with lots of books - there was a file stack where all the hand-written paper copies were there of all your articles. You were personally showing me those writings and telling me ,
"Please read this and this and this. I think Swami wants you to read all of these that have been posted in FB. If you need anything more, I will be glad to help".
After that you also vanished and i was reading those hand written papers on my own till I woke up. Immediately, I went to Facebook, searched for your profile and saw the article you had posted. Immediately, I got my answers because the article was...
The ‘song’ indeed is from within
I had goosebumps even as I finished reading the message. The title of the article which SG had come across as the first post in my profile was this -
DREAMS OF SWAMI ARE TRUE.
No wonder she had been thrilled! It was a perfect example to clear her doubts. I too was thrilled. My mind flashed back to the day I was inspired to give up what I was writing so that I could write this article on an entirely new topic. At that time, I had felt good about myself. I had thought that I was able to spring forth an article in a single burst of inspiration.
I realized that I had been a mere puppet of the Divine Will. In a single ‘master-stroke’ the Master had cleared the doubts of two people separated in time and space. He had made one of them write something and the other read the same thing in such a manner that both realized His omnipresence and omnipotence!
I thanked SG for sharing her dream and experience with me and sought her permission to share the same with the world. She was grateful that I had cleared her doubts and promised to read all the articles I posted. And while we exchanged these messages, both of us could visualize Swami, smiling at us and applauding our efforts and understanding!
I will not get carried away this time. I know that I am only a witness to the unfolding of the divine Masterplan.
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© 2013 Aravind Balasubramanya