June 23rd, 2005
Bhagawan was out in the evening at 4.00 p.m. He took a full round, got down near the interview room, and proceeded towards the center of the dais. The freshers among the I Year Post Graduate students were ready with a presentation this evening entitled 'Sevanjali'. However, Swami had other plans. He came and sat outside. The Vedam chanting was stopped at 4.05 p.m. Bhagawan commanded Prof. Anil Gokak - the current Vice Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute to speak a few words.
Prof. Gokak stated his talk by recalling the early part of his father's life - how his father had developed the first streaks of faith when in Edinburgh, the Oxford University had given him exemption from the oral test keeping in view his ill health and on account of his excellent performance in the written test. He went down memory lane and stated that Bhagawan had extended his mother's life by 18 years and his father's life by 5 years. It was in 1965 that Swami had first visited their house, but then Prof. Anil Gokak had not developed strong faith in Swami.
It was only in 1969, when Prof. Anil Gokak went along with his wife to Swami and Bhagawan materialized a necklace and an apple for his wife, that he slowly started developing faith in Bhagawan. Initially he was focused on Swami's miracles but later being an administrator himself, he started taking interest in Swami's social activities. He aptly referred to Bhagawan as a 'Vedantic Socialist'.
Prof. Gokak said that he was very much moved by the book 'A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba'. In 2002 Prof. Gokak delivered a talk in the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality. By now he was convinced that Bhagawan alone is the saviour of this world. He said that Swami always laid less emphasis on mere rituals and directed all to go towards the core. He stated that Bhagawan was not a Vyaktinath but a Lokanath.
He concluded his talk by drawing an analogy between an Avataar and a pilot who temporarily brings down his plane to the ground to take a few passengers and then fly back to the skies!
It was 4.30 p.m. and Swami now commanded Sri S.V. Giri, the former Vice-Chancellor, to share his thoughts with the audience. Sri S.V. Giri also struck a personal note talking about the heart surgery that he had for the first time in 1989. Within 3 years, 4 of the 5 bypasses had been blocked. On praying to Swami, Bhagawan had said there was no need for any further surgery. Though the doctors said that there was no way out other than a surgery, Sri S.V. Giri has been continuing since then, discharging all his responsibilities - purely on account of Bhagawan's Grace! He expressed his immense gratitude to swami for this benediction.
He then shared how Swami had facilitated his smooth exit from the post of the CVC (Central Vigilance Commissioner) - Government of India. Swami had made sure that his resignation was accepted without any complications. Sri Giri stressed on the three most important facets of this Institute - Service, Society and Faith.
He concluded his talk by stressing on the Truth elucidated by our scriptures that all is one. Man and even the fruit fly are equally Divine, but man has evolved to great heights. Man's hands, unlike his ancestral species are free and this is because he is expected to serve others with these hands. He has been given a bigger brain so that he can think of practical solutions for the burning problems facing the society today. He has been bestowed with the rare gift of speech (unique only to the species of human beings) so as to express himself and speak obligingly!
It was 4.50 p.m. and suddenly to our surprise and delight Swami started giving His Divine Message. Mikes were soon kept in place. Bhagawan spoke until 5.45 p.m. and elaborately sketched the life story of Prof. Vinayak Gokak - the father of the current Vice-Chancellor and the first Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. The highlights of Bhagawan's Discourse are as follows (This is based on notes taken during the Discourse and may not cover all the points).
Vyashti and Samashti and the link between them are very important. Transcending both these is Parameshti. Samatvam (equality) is the link between individual (Vyashti) and society (Samashti). What is the role of an individual in society? No one is able to totally understand the spirit of society. As one enquires deeply, Samashti too fades away and gives way to the transcending factor of Parameshti.
We find it very difficult to understand this transcendental picture. This was the position of Prof. Vinayak Gokak in the beginning. (So saying Swami went on to describe the life of Prof. Vinayak Gokak in very elaborate terms giving details of his spiritual journey to Swami).
He read a number of books but could not understand the principle of Satyam and Nityam. He was not able to differentiate between Atma and Anatma. However, there is nothing like Anatma. There is only Atma. Later, Prof. Gokak realized the Truth in depth. I gave him a lot of support then. Sometimes continued help may lead to confusion. But a true devotee will be highly benefited by the support extended to him. Help is not the one that is temporary or momentary, but it must be everlasting.
Gradually, Prof. Gokak got rid of all doubts and held on to the Eternal Truth. It is not easy for everybody to understand this Divine Principle. Those who depend on Truth remain changeless. The rest keep changing. One must necessarily face the consequences of whatever they do. It is only in the doubtless state that we can understand the principle of oneness. Mere superficial enquiry will land you in confusion. Truth represents doubtlessness. Such Truth is the royal path to Mukti (liberation).
Moksha means Moha + Kshaya. So long as there is Moha one cannot attain Moksha. Once Prof. Gokak came to Me and asked a question. "Am I the knower or is the conscience the knower?" Maya is the one that comes in between the Conscious and the Conscience. It is the main cause for delusion. Keep Maya (delusion) away and allow the Truth to come forth. Truth cannot be seen or heard. Beyond Conscious and Conscience, there is Consciousness. Truth is closest to Consciousness.
Thus his doubts got cleared. But then, once again he had another fundamental doubt. He asked, "Swami, all my doubts have been cleared but where from did these doubts come?" He kept enquiring deeply in this way.
When individual reaches out to society, the society also reaches out to the individual. Finally, Prof. Gokak was able to understand the principle of Satyam and Nityam through Aurobindo's Savitri. The question may arise, "Is Savitri feminine or masculine?" Savitri is beyond gender. Gokak became a scholar on Savitri. He investigated his inner most thoughts and realized the Truth.
(Swami continued His Discourse on the same lines, describing several instances where Swami had Blessed Prof. Gokak by touching his head and once even placing His finger on the Brumadhya Sthanam - point in the middle of the brows).
Since then, Prof. Gokak was in Bliss and his interaction with Swami reduced. All his doubts vanished and finally he said, "Swami, I am One! God is One! I do not need anything." Ultimately, he visualized Savitri. As we proceed along the path of Sadhana, we will acquire certain spiritual powers. But do not allow the mind to waver. Hold on to the fundamental principle. Truth is One, not two!
Bhagawan concluded His Message at 5.45 p.m. Bhajans began and at 5.55 p.m. He took Aarti and retired to the Poornachandra Auditorium.
June 22nd, 2005
This morning was a Darshan Bonanza. Swami came out at 7.45 a.m. He sat in the center of the stage and Vedam chanting went on. At around 8 o'clock, He asked for the Vedam chanting to stop, and told the teachers in the Vedam group to go for their classes. Swami sat there till bhajans began at 9 o'clock, in Divine silence. In fact, He continued to sit there till 9.35 a.m. Then He came in, took Aarti and went inside the interview room. People had a wonderful Darshan this morning!
In the evening, Swami was out by 3.30 p.m. Swami sat down at the center of the dais. He received letters from some students, spoke to quite a few students, and then even took some for an interview. He Blessed the Birthday boys too! At 4.30 p.m., Swami suddenly called one of the Vedam coordinators and asked then to chant the Purusha Suktam. At 4.40 p.m., He went inside the interview room with some students. Bhajans started at 5.00 p.m. and this evening we were all privileged to hear brother Ravi Kumar singing at Swami's command, the Quawalli - Sai Bin Raha Na Jaye....
Bhagawan took Aarti at 5.25 p.m. and retired for the day.
June 21st, 2005
This morning, Bhagawan came out for Darshan at 8.30 a.m. and sat through the Bhajans until 9.30 a.m. when Aarti was given.
In the evening, Swami came out at 3.20 p.m. There was a huge backdrop at the rear end of the Sai Kulwant Hall made by devotees from Chhattisgarh. There was going to be a cultural programme by devotees from the Durg District of Chhattisgarh. Swami came and sat down on the stage. Vedam stopped at 3.30 p.m. Two members from the coordinating group came forward to Bhagawan. One offered a rose while the other unfolded a scroll containing the programme for the evening. Swami very keenly went through the contents of the scroll and then made a few queries about the same.
The programme was a tribal dance performed by a tribe called the Satnami residing in the heart of Chhattisgarh. The dance master named Devdas Banjare from the village Dhanora, around 13 kms. from Bhilai, is an internationally reputed artist who has won the President's Award and has visited more than 64 countries in the last few years. Being a devotee of Bhagawan, his intense desire was to perform in the Divine Presence. The dance was a rigorous, vibrant dance with loud drum beats and cymbals being played by the dancers themselves. All the postures of the dance represented forms of worship to the saint - Sant Ghasi Das. This dance form is known as Panthi Nritya.
The dance went on non-stop for around 20 minutes and included a number of formations, pyramids, etc. At 3.50 p.m. the dancers moved out of the performing area amidst loud claps. Subsequently, Swami spoke to the event coordinator Mr. Srinivas for a long time. He showed Swami an album containing photographs of the different types of Seva that they were performing in the villages in Chhattisgarh. It included Narayana Seva, Medical Camps, Donating Sewing Machines, Performing Group Marriages, etc. Swami was very pleased with all the service activities and He kept on enquiring with Mr. Srinivas about all the details.
In fact, 186 people from all these villages had come for this programme, from Chhattisgarh. These people had performed a number of spiritual activities before coming and we could see Swami literally responding to their prayers. Swami asked the coordinator how they were able to get funds for all these service activities. Swami then asked him to build a community hall in the village for performing marriages and other functions. Bhagawan said that the Central Trust would sponsor this project. Bhagawan called Mr. Chakravarthi, the Vice-Chancellor Sri Gokak and Sri S.V. Giri and asked them to look into the details of all the activities performed by them in Chhattisgarh and provide all the necessary support!
The interaction with Mr. Srinivas went on till 4.10 p.m. Bhajans were sung by the devotees from Chhattisgarh. At 4.30 p.m., Aarti was performed and Swami received the rose offered by one student and tucked it into the hands of Mr. Srinivas! Bhagawan went into the interview room and later retired to the Poornachandra.