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Posted on: Dec 09, 2014
Love heals all trauma
- an inscrutable story of Sathya Sai and Dr. Chye
“No future birth for him”
It was a beautiful morning at Brindavan in the erstwhile Bangalore. The birds chirped merrily with the gentle breeze that made all the trees in Trayee Brindavan sway to its tunes. The flowers were in full bloom and bees seemed to be buzzing in great industry and joy. There was an eager anticipation all around as this was the time when the Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, would make His appearance for darshan. The carpeted path in front of Trayee Brindavan was lined by several blessed devotees who were waiting in silence for Swami.
In the meanwhile, Ananthaprakash, an undergraduate student at the Whitefield campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Dr. Chye (pronounced Chaai) came walking along the path that encircles Trayee Brindavan. Dr. Chye had been given accommodation by Swami in one of the cottages across the wall, to the south of the Divine Residence. It was evident that Ananthaprakash was accompanying Dr. Chye for darshan. That was when something unexpected happened.
As the duo reached near narrow corridor-bridge that connects the interview room with peripheral path, the interview room door opened suddenly. Out walked the beautiful, orange-robed figure. Swami smiled at the duo who seemed to stand still in their tracks. It was an unexpected bounty. At that moment, Dr. Chye began to take giant steps and walk straight towards Swami. Before Anantha could realize it, the doc was face to face with Swami. Anantha was nervous, almost scared. He wanted to rush to restrain the doc. But Swami smiled and indicated with His hand to Anantha to stay put. Then, He waved it in circles materializing vibhuti on the spot. He told Dr. Chye to stretch out his palm and poured the grey, fluffy ash into it.
Anantha relaxed a bit. Swami seemed to have changed an awkward situation into one of bountiful grace. He slowly had walked and reached the doc.
“Take him to his room now...”, Swami told Anantha.
|Sai, Chye and Sai's Chye-boys!|
The boy nodded and held the doc’s left hand to lead him away from Swami. He also took out a piece of clean paper from his pocket to pack the materialized ash in it. But to his horror, Dr. Chye simply upturned his palm and poured all the vibhuti to the ground. He dusted his hands and simply walked away.
Anantha turned and looked at Swami. Swami only smiled and said,
“Last birth for him... Very good man... very good man... Don’t worry.”
Then, He moved ahead for darshan.
Dr. Koh Chye Seng was not an actual doctor though he loved being addressed as one. All the male students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning knew him as 'Chaai', incidentally, also the Hindi term for tea. Chye was a 'mad person' and Swami had adopted him. A group of students called the ‘Chye boys’ would be personally approved and selected by Swami to take care of Chye who lived in a little cottage behind Swami’s residence, Trayee Brindavan.
How this 'mad person' came to stay with Swami and what gifted him the privilege of staying with the Lord till his ultimate death is a magnificent story in itself. This much can be said as an opening remark that though Chye was 'mad', he was very wise. And that wisdom was not seen so easily.
For instance, like Anantha, any of us would have been shocked by Chye’s negligent treatment of vibhuti. But if we go a bit deeper, a new perspective opens up. In His Divine Discourse on the 11th of July 1987, Bhagawan Baba says,
“Swami often gives to devotees Vibhuti or Bhasma (the sacred ash). Many people smear their foreheads with this ash. What is the inner significance of this ash? When any object that has a name and form is completely burnt, it is reduced to ashes. The name and form are gone. All things are one and the same in the final state as ashes. When Vibhuti is given, Swami wants the recipient to understand this Advaitam (basic oneness).”
Vibhuti is gifted to a devotee to make him/her realize the evanescence of everything worldly. Was it possibly that very realisation that made Chye discard the vibhuti just as one would discard dust without attaching any special importance? One can only imagine and postulate but there is no denying the fact that Swami smiled and confirmed that Chye had no future births to take.
Tragedy, trauma and terror
The actual details of Chye’s childhood are not very clear. This much can be said that while he was studying to be a doctor (some say a chemical engineer), he underwent tragedy, trauma and terror. His brother had been kidnapped and a huge ransom demanded for his release. When the father refused to buckle under pressure of blackmail, Chye was also kidnapped. Then came the terrible tragedy where Chye witnessed the brutal murder of his own brother who was hacked to pieces! Such was the intense emotional trauma that something snapped in Chye. He seemed to have ‘lost it’ in the eyes of the world and had to be admitted to a mental asylum in Madras (Chennai today). The treatment included electric shocks which added terror to the tragically traumatized soul.
In great fear and shock, Chye trusted no one. He became very violent and unpredictable. That only resulted in harsher and more cruel treatment from the workers at the asylum who seemed to see no difference between Chye and an angry rabid dog. Chye hated the world and everything associated with it. It had given him nothing but pain, grief, neglect and embarrassment. He would often gnash his teeth and lash out his limbs at anyone who came in his ambit.
It was at this time that his father could bear it no more. He took his son out of the asylum not having the slightest idea of what he could do for him. He felt absolutely helpless and was convinced that only God could help him.
If you need me, you deserve me
It was indeed God who actually came to his and Chye’s rescue. In a spontaneous gesture of love and assurance Swami told Chye’s father to leave his ward in His custody.
“Don’t worry. I will take care of him.” He promised the desperate father at Brindavan, Bangalore.
|Sometimes Chye would accompany the students to Prasanthi Nilayam too. Swami blessing him on his birthday in the mandir portico.|
Chye had come to Sai. In fact, Sai had taken over Chye and had assured his father that all the storms in Chye’s life would now be restricted to a tea cup! What Swami did after taking Chye under His care was to entrust him to those whom He considered as His only property in the world - His students.
Swami personally selected students who would nurse Chye and take good care of him. He interacted regularly with these students and taught them how to love and care for a person who had been starved of them. Thus was born the term ‘Chye boys’ to indicate all those blessed students who had been entrusted the task of caring for Chye. Mr. Nandagopal, currently the librarian at the Brindavan campus of the University, recalls the basis on which the Chye boys were selected.
“Chye had a very volatile and fragile personality (with due respect to the nature of trauma he had undergone). It would not be an easy task to deal with him. Very often, plates, tumblers, ketchup bottles and other vessels would be flying about in his room. He could attack and fling objects with great force at anyone coming near him. So, one of the qualifications necessary for becoming a Chye boy was the knowledge of kung-fu, karate, judo or some other martial arts. Then the student would be able to defend himself from Chye in dire situations. Apart from that, Swami also picked students who had a good build so that they had the physical strength to hold Chye.”
It was a tough ask for the boys. But they were ready to do it because their Lord, their Swami wanted them to do so. There was an added incentive because Chye’s cottage was situated right next to Swami’s Residence and Swami would often drop into Chye’s room unannounced! Swami also got Dr. Rajeshwari (the senior doctor at Swami's general hospital in Whitefield, Bengaluru) to attend on Chye. She had prescribed a powerful medication which would keep Chye under check. She would personally hand over the tablet for Chye to consume every day.
Thus it was sometime in 1979 that Chayee Koh Seng came under the umbrella of protection and grace of Sai. Nobody had the slightest idea of what Swami wished to do with Chye. One wonders whether even Swami pondered about it because when it comes to a devotee (read as ‘anyone’) needing help, God does not seem to think any further. If anyone needs His help, he/she deserves His help. But the way Swami chooses to help each one in need can be quite unique. One could certainly say that in this case. The students chosen to take care of him would cook for him, serve him, maintain his things, give him a shave, cut his nails, take him for walks and do whatever it takes to make him feel comfortable. And these were university students who were being given an opportunity by their Master to serve Him, through this special devotee. What gave Chye this special blessing, we cannot fathom, but it was a very special blessing indeed!
Sai knows Chye’s innermost secrets (and everyone else’s too)
Mr. S. N. Sairam was selected to be one of the Chye boys when he enrolled in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of higher Learning in 1989. By then, Chye had mellowed down a slight bit and so, though Sairam had no training in martial arts, his tall and gaunt frame qualified him to be a Chye boy. Nearly a decade after coming under Swami’s umbrella, Chye’s medication had been gradually reduced. Instead of one tablet a day, he was now taking only about a quarter a pill daily. But that still did not make him an easy person to handle. As Sairam recollects,
“I was so scared when I first saw Chye. He had the ability to break glass and bottles with his bare hands. One of my seniors, Katta Bhaskar had once been badly hit on his head by Chye. That served as a warning to me about what could happen.”
When Sairam became a Chye boy, there was an added fear for him - Chye had contracted tuberculosis, a deadly and contagious disease! Sairam had to walk in to Chye’s solitary confinement room, give food to him and walk out of the room, locking it after him. This was to ensure that Chye would not walk out and wander away on his own. Chye had created quite some nuisance before when he had walked out of the cottage - like pulling and throwing all clothes that had been placed on clotheslines for drying or digging across the well-kept lawns. Since he was also suffering from TB, it was all the more essential to keep him isolated.
|Swami in Chye's room in the Brindavan Ashram. Mr. Sairam can be seen kneeling, first from left.|
As Sairam walked back to the hostel, the fear of contracting TB himself began to nag him. Try as hard as he might, Sairam was not able to drive away this fear. He consoled himself saying that he was not alone in this. There were other Chye boys too. He went to them and shared his fears,
“Don’t you think that you are being foolhardy in interacting with a TB-ridden person?”
“Ah TB? Yes! Keep your distance from Chye...”
“But you people are also interacting with him on a daily basis...”
“See, once Swami had patted both of us on our heads and said that nothing would happen. So we have been TB-proofed by the Lord! You take care...”
This piece of information shook Sairam. He did not know whom to share this fear with because Swami was at Puttaparthi while he was at Brindavan.
During Guru Poornima, Sairam travelled to Puttaparthi along with all the other Brindavan students. He was seated at the back door of the bhajan hall during a bhajan session. His thoughts were occupied completely by his fears and he thought of writing a letter about the same to Swami. Even as he was contemplating that, Swami came out and began to walk towards him. Nearing him, Swami smiled. He then patted Sairam thrice on his head. As Sairam looked up in joy, Swami said,
“Nothing will happen.”
|Dr. Chye's room was just beside Trayee Brindavan compound and Swami has made innumerable visits to his room,
to bless him and the boys that took care of him.
He then walked away. That was Sairam’s first experience of Swami’s omniscience and it happened with connection to Dr. Chayee! The second experience of omniscience was also linked to Chye.
Since Chye was a TB patient for quite a while and he was not capable of taking a bath on his own, he would be given a bath once in a month. Though he would be made to change his shirts and pants, his underwear was rarely changed. (Though mentally unwell, Chye exhibited immaculate gentlemanliness during the times he was not violent. So he would strictly maintain his personal space.) Sairam noticed that they had become very dirty and his heart went out to Chye. He felt that the underwear was so dirty that nobody could even wash it. He had to get new ones for Chye and also ensure that he didn’t suffer such dirtiness again.
The next day, Swami called the Chye boys in for an interview! Along with them were the elders of the Organization with whom Swami discussed organizational matters. It seemed as if the Chye boys had been called in only to enjoy darshan and sparshan as a reward for their selfless work. It was at the end that Swami called the boys and told them,
“Chye’s underwear is all dirty. Get new ones for him. I have already made the purchase and left instructions for them to be delivered.”
Sairam was stunned. He learned another important lesson that day - when our heart is moved by someone’s plight, God’s heart too has been moved. That is why we need to be sensitive at heart.
Relation between Swami and Chye
|With time his innate gentlemanliness began surfacing. He would give Chye-boys tips on how to dress, knot a tie or even on table manners.|
Though God expresses Himself through His instruments, it was not as if Swami did not interact directly with Chye. On many occasions, Swami visited him in his own room. With eyes open wide in wonder and with His thumb standing straight from His closed fist, Swami would ask him,
“How are you Chye?” (The word Chye would be pronounced in a prolonged manner - Chaaaiii.)
In response, Chye would raise both his hands with a thumbs up indicating that all was well. This was his classic reaction to Swami irrespective of how his condition was. He possibly recognised the truth that happiness lay only in union with God and, with Swami, he was always fine.
On days when Chye was not brought for darshan, Swami would often look at the Chye boys and ask,
“Where is Mama (uncle in Indian languages)?”
And on the days when he was there, it would show even on the Lord's face. Prem, another 'Chye boy' recollects vividly, “Most of the days when Swami would return to Trayee Brindavan after the darshan and bhajan session, He would walk back looking at the ground, lost in Himself. One day, we were standing along with Chye. Swami came walking in His usual manner. As He neared Chye, He raised His head. The expression that came over His face was priceless. In a moment, Swami's face blossomed like a flower and seemed to light up. Anybody could tell that Chye had brought great joy to the one who brings great joy to everyone in the world!”
Swami would make it a point to speak with him irrespective of who were the dignitaries or ‘big shots’ waiting for an audience with Him. On many occasions, Swami Himself asked for a chair to be placed for Chye to sit on during darshans. But it was not as if the omniscient Lord had to ‘see’ Chye to remember him.
On one occasion, probably in the early 2000, Vivekananda Sahoo, a Chye boy was walking from Chye’s room to the hostel via Trayee Brindavan. Vivekananda was not well-built nor was he well-versed in any martial arts. The fact was that Chye had mellowed down so much over the years that ‘normal’ students could become Chye boys. Chye had come to Swami as a very angry and traumatised person. Swami’s love which poured on him directly and via the dozens of students, who attended on him, first quietened him and later transformed him totally.
As Vivekananda was walking past the main door of Trayee Brindavan, it opened and out walked the Lord. It was a majestic sight and he was transfixed in his spot at the beauty and grandeur of a private morning darshan, early in the morning. Swami called Vivekananda and this made his heart leap harder than his body did to go towards Swami.
“What are you doing here?”
“Swami, we came to serve breakfast for Chye...”
“Kya Diya (What did you give him)?”
“Nahi Nahi, Fish Dia (No, no. You gave him fish).”
“Swami, he is a vegetarian and so we don’t cook or serve any non-vegetarian food for him.”
“But today you gave him fish...”
Swami smiled and allowed Vivekananda to enjoy a padanamaskar before going back into Trayee Brindavan.
Vivekananda was unable to comprehend what Swami meant. Chye used to consume non-vegetarian food when he first arrived to Swami. But over the years, he had slowly given it up completely. In fact, Chye was now repulsed by meat. There were many times his sister (who would visit him once a year or so from Singapore) would try to feed him meat citing that he needed that nourishment. Chye would simply refuse anything with meat in it.
As Vivekananda reached the hostel, he walked straight into the kitchen where he had cooked the noodles for Chye. He remembered that Chye’s sister had brought that packet of noodles from Singapore. He quickly rummaged through the dustbin and pulled out the wrapper of the noodles. He studied it closely and to his amazement, found that there was 2% fish powder listed in the ingredients! Ah! How could Swami ever be wrong? He is watching over all the time, whether we believe it or not!
It was also not as if Chye did not recognise the Truth that Swami cared for him at levels beyond the physical. When he was walking around the college library, the librarian Mr. M. G. Nandagopal pointed to Swami’s picture on the wall and asked Chye,
“Doc! Could you tell me who that is?”
“Oh That! He (is) Prime Spirit, you know!”
That answer totally stunned the librarian as Chye gently bowed before the picture. Spiritual progress does not depend on one's physical and mental condition because spirituality is beyond the body and mind. In all probability, a person with reduced physical or mental abilities is possibly more amenable to spiritual growth!
This spiritual growth is characterised by pure love and nothing else. All other ‘characteristics’ are just because of our own perceptions of what a spiritually evolved person is. For instance, we would feel that a spiritual person craves and pines to be close to Swami (God) always. While that might not be very wrong, assuming that person to express that craving in the same way like us would be a mistake.
It was during the Diwali festival in the 1990s that Ananthaprakash got a glimpse of the relationship between Chye and Sai.
On that day, Swami was seated on a chair outside Poornachandra Auditorium, watching the students light up the skies with fireworks. Anantha, a Chye boy, was accompanying Chye and taking him to enjoy this divine spectacle. As he neared the area of activity, Chye got very excited. He wanted to rush near the Sarvadharma Stoopa where all the boys were bursting crackers. Anantha found it tough to restrain him.
“Look at Swami Chye... Look at Him. He is sitting there. Let us go to Him.”
Chye was not interested even a bit. He wanted to be in the middle of the action.
“Doc, if you come with me to Swami, I will get you crackers... Otherwise, we have to go back to the room...”
Again, Chye hardly felt threatened. His heart was set upon the fireworks and he just wanted to go there. That was when Anantha realized that all the students there were looking at them and someone was tugging at his shirt from behind. He looked up and saw that, from a distance, Swami was looking at them.
“Hello Chye!! How are you?” Swami called from the distance. Seeing the excitement on his face, Swami continued, “Do you want to burst crackers?”
Chye nodded with great joy and turned around. He made faces towards Anantha, as if telling him that he was a snob for not allowing him to go to the firecrackers! After that, he became an instant gentleman. He offered his hand for a shake to Swami and then stood respectfully by His side. Swami asked for a chair to be brought and requested Chye to sit on it. Swami made enquiries about his health. He called Anantha and asked him how Chye came and what his age was. Swami also recollected Chye’s birthday, something that even Anantha did not know. But what he did know was the special relationship between Sai and Chye - each had the ability to light up the other’s face and that is precisely what had happened on that Diwali day.
|The students in the Brindavan campus would often take him to the hostel and involve him in their celebrations. The effect of that love over the years,
was quite perceivable
The soft heart inside the hard shell
One afternoon, during a walk, Chye found a little girl in the ashram. He told the boy, who was accompanying him,
“Go get an ice-cream for the girl.”
The boy hesitated because he didn’t want to leave Chye alone with a small girl. But Chye insisted so strongly that he decided to run and fetch two ice creams. Chye stood by the little girl like her father would. He smiled at her and she too smiled back. Taking the ice cream that the boy brought, he offered it to the girl who hesitatingly took it. Chye watched her relish it and then offered his own ice cream also to her! He found greater joy in her relishing the ice cream rather than he himself eating the cool, creamy delight.
Love had proved to be the most powerful force in the Universe. The later Chye boys would hear stories of Chye’s aggression and volatility and they would find it hard to believe that the impeccably dressed gentleman in front of them would be capable of such things. The pill recommended by Dr. Rajeshwari had been completely discontinued after a while. Chye had also started doing many things on his own. The only time when he needed help for his activities was when he received a severe injury to his head.
Sairam discovered the wound on Chye’s head and realized that it was this painful injury that had prevented Chye from taking regular bath. Swami was informed and He said that Chye was in need of very good care. The Chye boys realized what He meant only later in the day. Chye was lying on his bed, apparently lifeless! There was a pulse and a heartbeat but it seemed as though he was paralysed. He had wet the bed and passed motions on it. The Chye boys spent time from six in the evening till about ten at night, cleaning Chye and his environs. They fed him too. This became the new schedule for several weeks after that. Sairam and his junior Chye boys were now spending nearly 5 hours everyday with a barely-active Chye!
A month passed this way and Swami suddenly sent instructions that Chye should be admitted to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences or NIMHANS (Bangalore) because it would not be possible for the boys to care for him. Just before he was taken to the hospital, Sairam decided to give him a bath. He scrubbed and cleaned him completely and prayed for his quick recovery. As Sairam dressed him up, Chye seemed to have a tear in his eye. This was something totally unexpected and Sairam looked at Chye in his eye. Chye said weakly,
“Thank you so much...”
“Er... For what?” asked Sairam.
“Nobody will help the way you have done.”
Now there were tears in Sairam’s eyes. He just didn’t feel like letting go of Chye. That was the power of love that both experienced.
|Swami had Himself revealed the birthday of Chye to the boys. One more reason and day on which he could be specially cheered up.|
A few weeks later, Swami told the Chye boys to go to the hospital in Bangalore and meet Chye. He wanted to know how Chye was holding up. Sairam can never forget the reception he had.
“Chye had such joy on his face. It was as if his family had come for him. He embraced us.”
Sairam also noticed that apart from a bandage on the head, Chye sported two on his hands too, like some boxer. Further enquiry revealed that Chye had opened up all the stitches on his head on the day of the surgery and had to be rushed in for another operation immediately. The doctors felt that his hands had to be bandaged for the safety of his head!
Soon, Chye was back to the place where he felt safest - in Brindavan, cared for by Swami’s boys. He would also express his care and concern for the boys. He would prescribe medicines and the boys would humour him by addressing him as doctor. Though the medicines he prescribed would be taken lightly, the advice that he would dole out made deep impact on several students. As Vivekananda confessed,
“When I would be faced with the toughest situations, I would seek advice from Chye. Believe me, in situations when Swami was not speaking to me, Chye’s advice would be exactly like Swami’s! There have been innumerable occasions where I have been able to feel Sai in Chye!”
Chye felt a lot for the poor and suffering people. He would always ensure that some help was rendered to these people in his presence. He would lecture the Chye boys on how a country should be efficiently governed. He had big ideas on getting an economy based only on love and compassion. On some occasions, he would relive the horror he faced in different asylums and stress that hospitals needed to be centres of compassion more than anything else.
“I will tell all this to Him when I have my meeting”, he would say pointing to a photograph of Swami. Even as everyone around laughed, he would be serious, “I have many business meetings with Him. In fact, I want to have one now...”
And he would head towards Swami’s residence. The Chye boys would change subject to divert him. But they often wondered whether Chye was really ‘mad’. How could he speak so intelligently on so many topics?
A dramatic episode
It was during a Trayee session in 1992 that Swami made a revelation out of the blue. He prefaced it by saying,
“Chye’s sister is coming.”
Everyone sitting around nodded in agreement and Swami continued,
“No! Not the actual sister - a different sister. You know why she is coming?”
Nobody had the slightest idea about why a ‘different’ sister was coming.
“She is coming because she wants to kill Chye!”
“But Swami,” interrupted the warden, “why does she want to kill him?”
“She wants to take him to Mysore on the pretext of admitting him into an asylum. But she wants to finish him off and take all his property!”
Swami then switched the topic and the Trayee session went along other lines.
Quite some time passed. Bhagawan left Brindavan for Parthi and then returned. Staying for a while at Brindavan, He left for Hyderabad for what would turn out to be the last ever physical visit to this metropolis. It was when Swami was in Hyderabad that the warden called Sairam one day and told him,
“Chye’s sister has come. She wants to take Chye out for a day to Bangalore. I told her it was okay as long as you accompany too.”
Sairam nodded and went about his daily routine. As he was cooling the milk for Chye to drink before going to bed at 10pm, Sairam had a flashback! He remembered Swami’ warning in Trayee Brindavan a few months before. He rushed to the warden to share his concern.
“What should we do? I forgot about it completely and permitted her to pick him up tomorrow morning...”
“Sir! I am scared to go with them!”
“No! Both of you should not go. Make up some excuse so that Chye will not have to accompany them.”
Sairam decided to go back to Chye and make him take two tablets used for treating constipation. The idea was to make Chye suffer from diarrhoea the next day which would prevent him from going out!
|Chy'e's (true) sister would visit him from Singapore once every year. And every visit, she would breakdown with gratitude recalling his past and how Swami had transformed it through His boys|
The pills were fed to him but they seemed to have no impact on him. Instead, they seemed to have spurred him into activity because the next day, Sairam found that Chye walked out of his cottage and into the hostel, dressed up in a neat shirt, tie and polished shoes! Immediately, Sairam rushed him into one of the rooms and told the students there to keep him in at any cost. That was exactly when the ‘sister’ arrived. She was having a conversation at the reception of the hostel and it was evident that she was seeking out Chye.
Sairam rushed out towards the main gate of the campus. He noticed two Contessa taxis waiting there. Along with each taxi was a man of Chinese origin with a Shaolin-style ponytail. Sairam went to the taxi driver casually and asked what he was waiting for. His reply shocked him.
“We are waiting for that woman who has gone in. She has hired two taxis to Mysore.”
Sairam needed no further confirmation. He ran back to the hostel and, to his great disappointment, saw that Chye and the ‘sister’ were having some conversation in the Chinese tongue. He told the boys there not to let Chye out of their sight as he updated the warden about what he had found out. The warden sprang into action. He had Chye taken to the safety of some room and had the ‘sister’ evicted at the earliest. She went away cursing all the hostel inmates in anger.
Swami returned a few days later and the first thing he asked the warden was,
“Did Chye’s sister come?”
“Yes Swami.... And she wanted to...”
Swami interrupted the statement and said,
“It is good that you did not send him!”
Swami had granted Chye a new lease of life, yet again.
Chye’s Demise - an end to be envious of
Chye was extremely fit. Even in his late sixties, he would easily accomplish about 15-20 push-ups. He would often play lawn tennis and give the ball a decent thump! He surprised the students with sudden bursts of strengths where he would pick and throw a metal chair, a few meters away. Anantha once asked him,
|Swami posing with Dr. Chye in front of Trayee Brindavan (2001), few months before Chye
concluded his earthly sojourn.
“Doc! How do you manage to carry and throw such a heavy chair?”
“It is a trick you know...”
“Please teach me that trick too...”
“Ay! Bad boy! Don’t throw chairs...” Chye patted him on his head and walked on. He was a master at changing the subject when he did not want to speak about something.
Nearing his seventies, Chye had become very docile. The Chye boys were no longer sturdy or even well-built. Some of the ‘cutest’ students of the hostel were Chye boys now because Chye had become a fatherly/grandfatherly figure and he was fond of children. He would express all his love for Swami on to Swami’s boys. He would turn up regularly in the hostel, speaking to the boys, prescribing medicines for them, enjoying a light-hearted session of music and dance, and even serving them food during the dining sessions. And every occasion Chye would walk into any of the rooms in the hostel he would be a completely different person. They seemed to be his happiest moments.
It was during a dining session on the 9th of December, 2001. Chye was serving buttermilk in the dining hall. As Dr. Umesh, one of the physics lecturers staying in the hostel, came to him with his glass, Chye seemed to share a joke with him. He laughed aloud and just laid his head on the lecturer’s shoulders. Thinking that Chye was playing his sweet pranks, Umesh sir tried to talk to him. But Chye would not rise back. His body went limp and he collapsed. The bird had freed itself from the cage in which it had been trapped for nearly seven decades. And what a perfect death it was – while serving, while having a hearty laugh, surrounded by those who loved him and those whom he loved, and in the sacred dining hall where Swami Himself has dined, discoursed and moved about countless number of times – a distant destiny from what he would have had if not for his contact with Swami and the touch of His love.
Swami, who was in Parthi then, was informed and He instructed them to go ahead and perform the final rites of this special devotee. A number of teachers and many Chye-boys attended the final rites at a crematorium in Bangalore. Chye’s body was consigned to flames but his spirit lives on vibrantly in the heart of every Chye boy. Nay, it lives in the heart of every student he interacted with because, through his love and unique manner of interaction, Chye made every boy into a Chye-boy - a boy touched by Chye!
The world is filled with mad people - it is important that we get our madness right. Instead of craving and pining for the world, if we could become mad for God, we would end up being ‘made’ for God. That was what Chye’s life was all about. He was ‘mad’ for the world but ‘made’ for God.
- Aravind Balasubramanya
We fondly remember Dr. Chye today, 9 December, the day he concluded his traumatic yet wonderful life. We also offer gratitude to Bhagawan for teaching us through Dr. Chye, that love can heal and its impact is truly unfailing. - Team Radio Sai
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