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  Volume 4 - Issue 08 AUGUST 2006
 
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UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS WITH SAI

RECOLLECTIONS OF MR. CHIDAMBARAM KRISHAN, PART 6


We continue with our presentation of the wonderful recollections of Mr. Chidambaram Krishnan, a long-time devotee of Bhagavan Baba who came to the Lord under somewhat unusual circumstances. In the last Instalment [05], we broke off at the point where Mr. Krishnan’s eldest brother has a dramatic change of heart. In this the sixth instalment, we now have Mr. Krishnan telling us about his marriage in Puttaparthi and what happened after that. Read on.

All Other Parts of the Series

Grand Marriage Festivities

The day came and our marriage party left our hometown for Puttaparthi in a big convoy of cars and buses. After travelling for a long time, we finally came near the troublesome stream near Locherla, and we had a tough time crossing it. The father of the bride then said to me, “Look, we have so many Swamijis near our place. If you wanted a Swamiji to perform your marriage, we need not have come this far, facing so much trouble too.” I was certainly not happy with the comment nor was this time for a long argument. I simply said, “Sir, Sai Baba is no run of the mill Swamiji. He is truly Divine. Presently, you do not know anything about Him. I therefore request you to kindly hold back your opinions till you actually see Him."

 

My father-in-law to be was not happy with my response but he did not argue further. He only said, “Remember, after the wedding, we all are going to Tirupathi to worship Lord Venkateswara there. We are not returning to our native place without first worshipping the Lord of Tirupathi.” I should mention that right from the time we started on the journey to Puttaparthi for the marriage, the father of the bride was constantly talking about the trip to Tirupathi.

Puttaparthi was much closer to Tirupathi than our native place, and having come thus far, this gentleman was keen to make the pilgrimage to that holy town. He was a great devotee of Lord Venkateswara and there was a vow he had to fulfil; hence the constant reminder. I tried to make him comfortable by saying, “Have no worry; you will certainly have the Darshan of Lord Venkateswara."

Lord Venkateswara
   

Tirupathi Comes to Puttaparthi

At last, after a tiring journey, we arrived in Puttaparthi. Swami was most gracious, and He took care of everything, I mean literally everything, attending to all details like a most loving father would. The marriage function started, and as the crucial moment approached, Swami materialised a Mangal Sutra for the bride. Holding it in His hand, Swami turned to me and asked, “Yesterday, as you were coming here, what was it that the father of the bride told you?” I recalled the unpleasant remarks about Swamijis being available in plenty near our hometown and all that. Hesitantly I replied, “Swami, this gentleman does not know anything about You. So please ignore the remarks he made about You.” Swami smiled and replied, “No, no, I am not referring to that. He told you something else about going somewhere, did he not? What was that? Did he not say he wanted the Darshan of Lord Venkateswara? Now look and see what is on this Mangal Sutram. What you see here is an exact replica of the idol in Tirupathi!”

I saw and was absolutely amazed. I mean there we were, travelling to Puttaparthi and having a conversation as were trying to negotiate a difficult stream near Locherla. How on earth did Swami who was here in Puttaparthi know about it? Those were still early days for me, when I had not fully appreciated the totally Divine nature of Swami.

After the marriage ceremony was over, Swami said to my father-in-law, “When you were coming here, you were talking to the bridegroom and mentioned something about going to some place after the marriage, did you not?” My father-in-law became very scared because he had then said some uncomplimentary things about Swami. So he started to be apologetic and said, “Baba, I was rambling about all kinds of things. Please do not take notice of them.” Swami smiled and replied, “I am talking about a place you wanted to visit after the marriage. What was that place?” My father-in-law said, “That was Tirupathi."

Swami then said, “Look at the mangalyam on your daughter’s neck. You will find the Lord of Tirupathi right there. Knowing your desire, I have brought Him to you right here!” I was present when Swami spoke those words to my father-in-law but neither of us realised then that those words had a much deeper meaning. We came to know about that only later.

 

Miraculous Meals Multiplication

After the grand marriage ceremony, it was time for lunch. Remember I earlier mentioned when lunch arrangements were first discussed Suraiya had flatly refused to accept that people from the neighbouring villages would show up for lunch? What actually happened was when the villagers saw a huge convoy of about seventy vehicles consisting of many cars and some big buses coming to Puttaparthi for the marriage, they began to think, “This looks like a big marriage that is about to take place. Surely the wedding feast would be grand.”

You see, these villagers were all very poor and accustomed to eating coarse grains as their staple diet. Here was a chance to have a royal meal. Why miss it? That was now their line of thinking. Suddenly they all forgot their hostility to Swami and eagerly showed up for lunch. Swami had anticipated this long ago and that was why He instructed Suraiya to prepare lunch for over fifteen hundred people. Suraiya, however, did his own calculations and did not pay any heed to Swami’s words. But now there was a crisis because about fifteen hundred people showed up from the village and there were about three hundred and fifty in our party.

Meanwhile, Swami walked casually into the kitchen to make sure everything was ready. And He saw that Suraiya had cooked for a much smaller number than what he had been instructed to do. So Swami turned to Suraiya and said, “Suriaya! What have you done? Did I not tell you repeatedly to prepare lunch for fifteen hundred people? And now, you have cooked for a much smaller number!” Turning to my brother-in-law Kailasam, Swami said, “You, you there, at least you could have told this Suraiya to follow My instructions. If you had done so, provisions could have been bought in an appropriate manner and we would not have been in this mess!”

Kailasam almost broke down. In a choking voice he replied, “Swami I repeatedly advised Suriaya to follow your instructions to the letter and make purchases accordingly but he did not listen.” Suraiya of course became panic stricken and was silent, wringing his hands all the time.

Something had to be done but nobody knew what. Meanwhile, people were already seated for lunch, and eagerly awaiting it. Swami then said, “Look, we cannot keep people waiting. Just go ahead and start serving. Let us see afterwards.”

 

The serving commenced. And you know what happened? Although Suriaya had prepared food only for about three hundred and fifty or so, that is just enough for our marriage party, lunch could actually be served for over eighteen hundred people. And, believe it or not, after all that serving, there was enough food left for evening dinner for our party!”

After the marriage, Swami asked our party to stay for five or six days, during which period He gave interviews to everyone. They were all very happy. Our party was really big and consisted not only of members from my family and that of the bride, but also the local Tasildar, the Sub Inspector, the Constable, all sorts of village officials and so on. For all of them, this was an incredible experience.

Five days after my marriage, Swami told me, “Let’s all go to Bangalore. I will come in your car.” That was the first time I had a chance to travel in the same car as Swami. Seated in the back were Swami, Kasturi and Raja Reddy. I was driving and my wife was in the front by my ide. When we reached Bangalore Swami said to me, “All of you take rest. Tomorrow you go with your family to Mysore. And see the Brindavan gardens there. Before you leave in the morning, come to Me and take Padanamaskar.”

We left Swami in the Ashram, drove to the city and checked into the Woodlands Hotel. There we got a message that the son of my father-in-law’s younger brother had died suddenly. So my father-in-law, along with his younger brother has to rush back home. That meant he could not go to Tirupathi, which made him sadder. I consoled him saying, “Swami knew in advance that you would face this difficulty. That was why He brought the Lord of Tirupathi to you via the mangalsutram of your daughter. Take that as a sign of His Grace. Now please go back home to arrange for the funeral rites and obsequies.”

Having done all this, I went the following morning to Swami’s Ashram in Brindavan, did namaskar and sought permission to go to Mysore. Swami graciously gave that and said, “Before returning to your hometown, you go to Tirupathi now on behalf of your father-in-law.”

 

I said yes and left. As instructed by Swami, from Mysore I went to Tirupathi, worshipped the Lord there and returned home. And when I did, my eldest brother who at one time was so much opposed to my marriage, gave me a hearty welcome and showered me with love. It was a sign of Swami’s Grace.

Preserve Harmony at Home!’

I will now narrate another incident where the person transformed was myself. One of my sons married against my wish. As I result, I broke off relationship with him and stopped talking to him. This went on for about two years.

One day, I went to Brindavan for Swami’s Darshan. Those were the days of the Sai Ram Shed. I was seated there awaiting the arrival of Swami for Darshan, when my son also came for Darshan along with his wife. Someone came and gave me this information. I simply told the person who told me about my son’s arrival that I was not on talking terms with my son.

Meanwhile, Swami came and Bhajans started. And then, something very strange happened. Swami stopped the Bhajans, got hold of microphone and started talking. He said, “People claim to be devotees of Mine. However, they also imagine that I do not know many things. They do not seem to understand that in fact, I know everything. These devotees do not know how to get along with their children and maintain peace at home. They have absolutely no capacity for adjustment.”

When I heard this, I was knocked out; I mean, imagine that! Swami suddenly stopping Bhajans and saying something that applied hundred percent to me. It was like a whiplash for me. Meanwhile, Swami continued, “Things happen in life according to the Law of Karma. No one has the right to decide what is right and what is wrong. A true devotee must do his best to preserve harmony at home.” After saying that, Swami walked away!

I was in a state of shock. I knew pretty well for whom that message was intended. It did not end with just this. Swami then sent for me and commanded me to resume talking to my son.

It is all very exciting, is it not? Want to know more? Well, wait for the next issue to know what happened next.

(To be continued...)

Heart2Heart Team

 
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Vol 4 Issue 08 - AUGUST 2006
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