The will of God never takes you where the grace of God cannot keep you - Part 3
I was in a whirlwind of confusion. My director was so disappointed that I had laid to waste his best laid plans. He was also hurt that I had not even told him about approaching Swami. He was angry as my cancellation meant nobody else could take my place as I did not have an identical twin brother! In short, he dismissed me from his office saying that he did not want to see my face.
I was sympathetic towards him. He had done so much and invested so much time and energy in this project. I had let him down big time. I remembered Swami’s words to me again,
“If you want to make Swami happy, make Venkatraman happy.”
I was convinced that Swami too would not be happy now. And that was not only because my director was unhappy, but also because of the fact that He had told me, “Your wish!”
In this state, I went to my senior-most colleague at office. He is like an elder brother to me and a true well-wisher. I told him my predicament. This was a kind of moral dilemma - if I went ahead with the trip I felt that Swami would be unhappy and even if I cancelled the trip, Swami, through my director’s disappointment, would be unhappy. Added to this, my train was due in another 6 hours. I was not sure I would get the chance to have another darshan. What was I to do?
First he consoled me. He told me that there is nothing like an impossibility for Swami. Things seem impossible only because our knowledge and awareness are limited. Swami’s love is infinite and so the possibilities of His love are also infinite. And then he made a statement which I treasure even now,
“If Swami wills, everything will be set right in a minute. So just pray.”
After a while, he came to me with another idea - giving a letter at The Residence.
For the staff working in the Sathya Sai Institutions, there was one great ‘perk’ if I may call it so. In case of an emergency - a sick parent, a mishap, an important decision to be made, an important event - the staff member could go to Swami’s residence and hand over a letter. The letter would be taken by one of the students who would stay with Swami and offered to Swami. If Swami chose, He would read it and respond to it. At times, He might choose to simply ignore it. At other times, He might not even give a chance for the letter to be presented. But nevertheless, it was a great ‘perk’ and chance for the staff members.
I was like a drowning man reaching out for floating straws and could simply not let go of this magnificent opportunity. I thought that it would be a good idea to write a letter and hope that Swami reads it before retiring to His personal room. But what should I write? Again, my senior colleague gave me an idea. Accordingly, I charted out the planned itinerary. It was detailed day-wise and I prayed to Swami on whether I should proceed accordingly or not.
With great anticipation and some trepidation I moved towards Yajur Mandir - The Residence. The brother there took the letter from my hand to take it to Swami. Seeing his kind face, I stopped him. I narrated to him all that I had been through and he very patiently and lovingly lent me an ear. Then I told him,
“If Swami sees this, you will definitely be able to make out whether He is happy with this or not. If possible, please sms to me 'yes’ or ‘no’ based on His reaction...”
He just smiled at me and said,
“Let us see what happens.”
Then he went in and I waited there for a few minutes. When nothing happened, I returned to my workplace. It was about 1:00 pm. It was lunchtime but I was in no mood to eat.
The phone buzzed and I saw it was the brother from The Residence. I picked the call very eagerly.
“Sairam Aravind. Swami saw the itinerary you sent. He said that you did not tell Him everything in detail. He seemed happy with the whole thing.”
“So, shall I leave by the train today evening then?” was my question.
“Of course. If you wish, you can hand over another letter before you leave.”
“Thank you so much brother. We shall do that.”
“Swami comes down from His room before going for darshan in the evening. That would be a good time to get your letter. Hmm.. around 3:30pm.”
The call was complete and so was my joy. I realized that actually I had not spoken to Swami about the Godavari trip at all. I had also not told Him about what we would be doing there. The message was so clear -
If you seek Swami’s blessings ‘physically’ then be true to it and share everything. Do not assume, “Swami is Divine. He knows this part anyway!” If you want to surrender it to His ‘Divine’ blessings, then go ahead with the good intentions in your heart. He knows everything and will take care perfectly. We do this error of shifting between the ‘physical’ and ‘divine’ based on our conveniences! When it comes to talking about our good or achievements, we do it as if Swami needs to be told everything. When it comes to accepting mistakes and apologising, we keep quiet thinking that Swami knows everything anyway!
There was another lesson for me also - When Swami gives an instruction, it holds good for all time. He had told me to make my director happy. With that in heart, had I simply obeyed, all would definitely be well.
That phone call made me feel relieved. It was as if the tornado that had built up for the past few days was dissolving into nothing at a very fast rate!
Suddenly, I began to feel hungry. It is strange but true that when a pressing situation seems to get solved, you get better appetite, better rest and better sleep. The canteens were all closed and so I went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Having enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, I began to write a letter of gratitude and love to Swami. I also told my GTBFT (going-to-be-fellow-traveller) to do the same. He was also very happy to get this chance to offer a letter to Swami before embarking on the journey. I thought that I would tell about this to my director after the second letter was offered. It made me so happy thinking that before going to bed, my director would be a happy man!
It soon became 3:30pm and we both found ourselves at the back entrance of the Yajur Mandir. Soon, the brother came out and accepted our letters to be given to Swami. Once he went in, both of us thought that we should wait for a while outside in case Swami sends a message or some token of blessing for us.
Then, the unexpected happened!
The brother came out and told us,
“Swami is calling you inside.”
Oh My God! Oh My Swami!
We both rushed in and Swami was sitting there in the hall. As soon as we went in, I was beaming a smile and so too was Swami. As we reached Him, He began telling,
“Do not jump about or get into the water. The water will appear shallow and nice but suddenly, it gets deep and you may get sucked in. Move only in the boats. Do not climb trees. Do not get on top of the buildings where the rods are protruding out.”
Even as I heard these, I was so moved. I knelt at His feet and placed my hands on His knees. Seeing Him from so close brought tears in my eyes. I responded with nothing but a deep look into His eyes. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. He once again began to repeat all His instructions. What else could I do but listen to Him. I again nodded and promised Him, “We will not get into the water at all Swami.” Swami said, “Get into the water only by boats”.
I told Swami,
“Swami, you shower so much love without even our asking. I don’t know what to say.”
He pulled my cheeks and said,
“Be happy always.”
Then I told Him,
“Swami we will go with great joy and comfort and return soon.”
Not only had the tornado ended but it was as if life-giving clouds had arrived with welcome showers. Swami handed to us a packet of savouries. It was a large packet and Swami said,
“Eat them along your journey!”
He also handed over a box of assorted sweets. And the best thing He gave us was a smile andpadanamaskar.
He enquired about the expenses for the trip. We replied that all the expenses had been taken care of by the office. He was happy. He blessed us and said,
“Go happily and return safely, without injuries.”
He then told us to hurry and be in time to catch the train. With overwhelming joy, we bowed down to Him again and then moved out of the Residence. Even as we reached the gate, the brother from inside the Residence came out. He handed over Rs.1000 to us and said,
“Swami said that since you are going to a new place, you may feel the desire to buy something there. The office will not pay those expenses. You should use this money to buy anything you desire!”
As he left, I just broke down. It was almost 4:15 pm and we had to go to the railway station, about 10 kilometers away. I did my packing real quick and also informed my director about my changed status. He was pleasantly shocked and gave his blessings and good wishes too.
Ah! How Swami had ensured that I make my director happy too! He gives the command and also gives the ability and opportunity to fulfill the command!
I know I have spoken about the lessons I learned through this episode. The most powerful lesson was this - Whatever mistakes or errors we make, if our intention while doing them was pure, that intention itself is enough to protect us. God knows everything and He sees our love, sincerity and purity. If these qualities are present, nothing else matters. And if we inculcate these qualities Swami will be by us, protecting and guiding us beyond measure.
My heart simply wells with Gratitude.
Seeking some feedback please...
When it comes to Swami's stories, what kind do you like best?
- 49% "Suspense" types with parts
- 24% "Funny" types
- 27% "Philosophy" types
This poll is now closed to voting.
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya