Volume 12 - Issue 02
February 2014
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Posted on: Feb 08, 2014

'If you are God, Give Me Peace'

- An Oncologist's Spiritual Nip and Tuck


Dr. Rajnish Talwar, MS, Surgery, is an Oncologist and Colonel in the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services (already approved for the brigadiers rank). Having done fellowship in onco-surgery from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, he presently heads the Department of Onco-Surgery at the prestigious Research and Referral Hospital of the Indian Armed Forces in New Delhi, the flagship of armed forces medical services in India.

Dr. Talwar's surgeries and surgical precision is widely followed by surgeons around the world. On 8th October, 2013, Radio Sai's Karuna Munshi (KSM) caught up with him (RT) during his family's visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, to learn about his inner surgery — the spiritual nip and tuck that has brought him where he is today, to a state of perpetual inspiration.

Reproduced below are edited excerpts of the interview.

Listen to the Interview
Tryst with Divinity - Dr. Rajnish Talwar


First Brush With Divinity

KSM: Dr. Talwar, you first heard of Bhagawan Baba in 1978 in Jalandhar, Punjab, after some vibhuti manifested in your uncle's house. But that didn't do much for you, did it?

RT: No it didn't. That was 1978 and I had just entered Medical College. We had the information and I also witnessed the spray of vibhuti (sacred ash) in my very dear uncle's house. But my father himself was an agnostic. Though my mother was a bhakta (devotee), we were always told to be cautious about these phenomena, as she said there is magic and tricks about them. My mother always guided us that physical gurus are to be kept a distance from. So partly as an agnostic and partly as a critic and a questioner, I could never believe that this could be true. It did make a place in the heart, yet never manifested really for a few years.

  Dr Rajnish Talwar, MS, Surgery, Fellow, Onco-Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
  Dr. Rajnish Talwar

KSM:But in 1991 when you were in the mountains of Uttaranchal as a young captain and an army surgeon at Pithoragarh, a picture of Baba did come into your life.

RT: Oh yes! There was a very revered senior officer, a Brigadier by rank — Brigadier Tur. He was my mentor in tennis. He used to teach me tennis and I really appreciated his confidence and his persona. He was a very wonderful human being. He would always raise his hand and bless people and say, “Baba sab theek karenge.” (‘Baba will take care of everything’) He was a Sardarji and so I thought he was talking about Nanak Baba. He never discussed this matter with me.

Once I really needed some miracle to happen. I wanted some administrative favour from the Army Headquarters. When I reached the Army Headquarters, I found that it was impossible to get through and introduce myself and reach the senior consultant whom I intended to see. So I went over to Brigadier Tur. He also didn't have a practical answer. But he took a photograph of Baba out of his wallet and put it in my front pocket. He said, “Keep this photograph in your pocket. If it helps you do all that you need, keep it with you; otherwise tear it off and throw it.”

I liked the confidence and the magic about the words he uttered. As a sensible senior educated Army soldier, he was believing so much in a photograph. I had also heard in 1978 that there were vibhuti manifestations and other things. So I did put it in my pocket and wonder of wonders, everything happened in a way I could not have even dreamt. So this photograph stayed with me, not that it made any significant change in my thinking or my lifestyle or my faith; the photograph just stayed with me as a miracle photograph. Whatever I wanted really happened!

KSM: Your little genie in a magic lamp.

RT: Absolutely!

Chennai Connections — Bringing Him Closer to The Lord

KSM: I am sure your Army career involved a lot of transfers from place to place.

RT: Yes. From Pithoragarh I was posted to Chennai which later on I realised was Swami's way of getting me closer to Him.

KSM: In Chennai you met another eminent Sai devotee.

RT: Oh yes! In Chennai I met at that time Colonel Verma. Presently he is looking after the General Hospital here in Puttaparthi. He is Air Vice-Marshal Dr. Verma.

KSM: And now our very own Superintendent of the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam.

  sathya sai baba visit chennai

RT: This was another revered gentleman who also impressed me by his persona. I found it intriguing that this photograph of Swami was decorated on his office table.

KSM: Why? People can have icons of their liking in their office space!

RT: Yes. But as a young man, my grooming was scientific, agnostic and critical. So in my heart I felt it objectionable — why should there be a photograph of another human on the office table of my commanding officer. So I did question him, “What is this, who is this and why here?” He said, “He is my Guru.” I was about 30 at that time, maybe not even 30. So I couldn't hide the objection welling up in my heart.

I said, “Why do you need a Guru?” He said, “That's very personal.”

He is a man of few words. You may have interacted with him. Anyway I questioned him, “Who is he? Would you tell me?” He found it unnecessary at that time. It may have seemed like a young officer was trying to gain proximity and the photograph was becoming a medium. So he brushed it aside and kept the relationship of a professional COO with a young officer.

He appreciated me as a surgeon. I was always appreciated as a surgeon. My clientele and my seniors were always very happy with my surgeries. That was our relationship but I continued to pester him. After every few weeks whenever I'd go to his office, I'd ask, “Sir, would you not tell me about your Guru?” He wouldn't. It was after six or seven months of my repeated pestering that he gave me a book. This was Dr. Fanibunda's book ‘Vision of the Divine’ and that is what perhaps did the magic. I read the book and initially it created within me an uproar, a feeling as if there was something abnormal about this gentleman.

KSM: Why? What did you think was abnormal about Swami?

RT: I had no nearness to and I had not even heard about Vedanta. If we are students of Vedanta, we can comprehend that the truest or the highest Advaita is to know that we are God and everything around is God. But that was not my case. I had no such information, no such grooming, and no such knowledge of the concept of ‘I am God’. So when I read that Swami is God, the creator, and He says it from childhood, I felt there was something wrong and thought he may be a schizophrenic to talk about himself like that. That was my initial reaction.

KSM: Multiple personalities or something.

RT: Oh yes. But all the same I was fortunate to develop a feeling of going over and having a look at this abnormal phenomenon rather than just brushing it away.

KSM: Did it help that Dr. Fanibunda was a man of medicine or science? He was a dentist.

RT: No. I think you might agree with me that as a scientist or as a growing young man, we all feel “I am the only normal chap and everybody else seems to be a fool.” There are millions of people following Swami and I thought they were all a bunch of fools.

KSM: People - sheeple, mob psychology....

RT: Absolutely!

First Visit to Puttaparthi – ‘Hypnotised’ by the Supreme Master

KSM: So how did the first visit to Puttaparthi happen and what was it like?

RT: I soon requested my mother to come along and we both visited Puttaparthi from Chennai in December 1992.

We took the night bus. When we reached, I was amidst five or ten thousand people sitting here. In those days, the Kulwant Hall had not come up.


We sat down on the sands and there was an elderly gentleman by my side, an Englishman who observed that I seemed to be a first-time visitor because I was not even keeping my hands folded when Swami came in. So he nudged me a message — “He is God, you know; fold your hands”.

So out of courtesy I also did that. I conversed with him and asked, “What is this that people are extending letters to Swami?” He said, “You also write anything and if Swami takes it or blesses you, your wish will be granted.” I considered this to be some sort of a fairy tale going on with people like a herd of sheep hypnotised into believing him to be God. Anyway, since I was here I thought “Let me also play the game as everyone else is doing.” They seemed to be doing out of some abnormal belief but I was curious and inquisitive.

He tore and gave a piece of paper. I looked at him as if it didn't look to be alright but he said, “He is God. So don't get formal.” I thought I will write something and ask Swami if he is God. So my first line in the letter was “If you are God...” I was thinking what I should ask for. I can't ask for an endless list. I have to ask for something most prominent in my mind. He had already started walking down the aisle and I knew that He would reach me in one to three minutes. So I had to quickly decide what to write — should I ask for a Mercedes or BMW? Should I ask for a big house or a super-speciality?

I was in those days a surgeon and a super-speciality was very high on my mind. Should I ask for oncology or GI surgery? But I had to quickly decide. Without my knowing the reason for it I wrote down, “If you are God (which I'd already written), please give me peace.”

KSM: The Mercedes and the BMW fell by the wayside.

  satya sai baba giving darshan in puttaparthi radiosai

RT: Yes. Not that I was obviously lacking any peace and not that I had ever thought about this concept of peace, but I wrote down, “If you are God, give me peace.” Swami was quite away from me because I was deep down in the crowd. There was no way I could have handed him the chit. But he looked at me for a second or so and blessed me by raising His hand. I felt He conveyed to me that there's no greater gift that He has within His treasure chest. He gave me a knowing smile as if saying, “There couldn't have been anything greater that you could have asked for in the first visit.”

And the letter remained with me. Anyway I brushed that aside and I thought this was all a hypnotism game going on and He was trying to hypnotise me also. I didn't want to be hypnotised. I put the letter in my pocket and then threw it away. That's what the first visit was, really, but the magic happened. From that moment I felt as if I was floating in the air — my feet wouldn't touch the ground.

KSM: Some inner happiness? You grew wings?

RT: It was like I grew wings and that was not momentary. That lasted for a fortnight even after reaching Chennai to the extent that even my friends and colleagues started pointing out, “Something has happened to you. You are not the same person. You are not the same surgeon.” My operating room assistants and even the nursing officers pointed out, “You don't shout and you don't throw away instruments in anger. You are not the same person.”

I also felt that my feet were not touching the ground, I didn't need my drinks, my smoking, and the things I was so heavily into. I felt light and was enjoying myself. That was the feeling which stayed with me for a fortnight. Within that fortnight with a lot of introspection that He's hypnotised me came the very beatifying, very blessed thought that it is a welcome hypnotism. Let me call it hypnotism for want of a better word because I don't know another word. Let me say it is hypnotism. But don't I want to be hypnotised?

KSM: You loved being under the spell.

RT: I wanted that.

KSM: What a welcome spell!

Spiritual Intoxication and Energising ‘High’

RT: I was trying to get this from all the drinks I was immersed in. We started drinking right from college days; that's the society many of us are brought up in. The drinks were always falling short and one could never feel that high; even at the end of half a bottle of whiskey, I never felt that high. Even with cigarettes and all the other things medical graduates get into (without naming them), I never felt that happy. I started craving for that hypnotism. That is the word I knew at that time — mesmerism, hypnotism. People had always been cautioning saying, “Stay away from these men as they can hypnotise you.”

I felt that He had hypnotised me but I wanted to get more and more hypnotised. In a fortnight's time I went to Colonel Verma and said, “Sir I want some leave and I want to go to Puttaparthi again.” He asked me, “Last fortnight you have been there.” I said, “I had been there as an enquirer and out of curiosity. But now something seems to be happening within me and I want to go and taste it better all over again.” He said, “Very fine. You have your entitled leave and you can take as many days as you want.” That's when I took about a week's leave and I was in Puttaparthi back again in a fortnight's time. I was alone. I really wanted to taste it now.

KSM: How did that go?

RT: Oh that was fantastic, wonderful! The first day Swami blessed me and talked to me from a distance — aerial, spirit to spirit, heart to heart. He told me, “Don't begin on an exercise of exploring Me. I don't want you to advertise Me. I can be the least affected if you call Me a magician or a human. It doesn't affect Me at all. What matters to Me and to you is what you know about yourself and whether it enhances you or not. If you know yourself, rest assured that you will start having glimpses of Me also. But even to have glimpses of Me is not important. To have glimpses of yourself is more important because that is going to elevate you. And yes, the second thing is I have put you on Mount Everest.”


KSM: Meaning what?

RT: Meaning, “I did raise your consciousness for these 15 days, call it hypnotism, mesmerism or whatever. I have definitely raised you to the level of Mount Everest. Now what have you come here for? You have come here to ask Me to keep you there. Let Me tell you that I will not keep you there. You will keep yourself there. It is your effort.”

The True Guru Communicates from Within and the Student Begins Learning

KSM: How did you receive this message?

RT: All this was happening heart to heart. I was just sitting in the darshan and He was sitting in the front.

KSM: And you were hearing from within.

RT: There was no talk going on and no physical contact. I could see Him and I could feel all that happening within me. He said, “Take Me as a teacher and a teacher is a must for you. To be a surgeon also you require a teacher. To know how to live you require a teacher. I am that teacher and this is what is called a Guru. I will teach you how to live, how to think, how to perceive, how to talk, how to relate yourself with others and how to relate yourself with yourself. And that will evolve you.”

I said, “How do I learn all that?”

He said, “I have not come to teach anything new. It's absolutely nothing new. It's just that you never tried to understand Vedanta, Quran, Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana. Even if you did try, you would require a teacher. I am that teacher who will make you understand your own religion and scriptures and that will keep you at the level you're presently in.”

Then I became a serious student of Swami. As an army officer we get two months annual leave and about 20 days of casual leave. I became such a serious student that all my annual leave and casual leave were spent in Puttaparthi, so much so that people here identified me as Swami's student because I looked like that and I was often here. They asked me, “Are you Swami's student?” I also started saying from the heart, “Yes, I am Swami's student” because I was actually a student and I was learning.

what satya sai baba has come to teach

KSM: Very interesting. So thus began your journey of self-enquiry. To know thyself — ‘Who am I?’

RT: I got obsessed about it. I read everything, be it Vedanta or Bhagavad Gita or Swami's Vahinis. I always used to call all the books available in the book stores as magazines of Swami — the books written by us devotees on Swami. But if one really wants to read what Swami Himself says, then it has to be Vahinis and the Sathya Sai Speaks. Lot of people go for the entertainment and the experiences but if you really want to be a true student, you have to go back to the source. That is the most organic nourishment for your soul.

I immersed myself into the Vahinis. The most interesting thing was that the right book used to be in my hands. In the initial days you can't understand very heavy text. So very easy books used to come into my hands in those days. As I grew better and better, deeper and deeper texts used to come into my hands.

Seeking the Divine Culminates in a Paranormal Experience

KSM: Shortly after this you were at The Tata Memorial Hospital studying oncology.

RT: Yes, I was doing fellowship in onco-surgery in Tata Hospital, Bombay (now Mumbai) from 1996 to 1998.

KSM: And there was quite a turning point again in your life there.

RT: Oh yes because I had become abnormally obsessed about this seeking, under the umbrella of Swami. It appeared that Swami had made me abnormal although it was the self-seeking which had made me look abnormal for people. People identified me as someone with something gone wrong inside.

KSM: Why? Was your behaviour any odd?

 
Dr. Talwar is well known in the medical circle for his dexterity in surgery. A lot of surgeons view and learn from the videos of him performing surgical procedures  

RT: Yes, I became too much of an introvert and I would interact much lesser because I was immersed in studies. When I was doing MS, there were beautiful flowers along the aisle from my room to my mother's room. I had never noticed the flowers till the day I passed MS. I said, “Oh, what beautiful Dahlias and pansies and beautiful flowers are growing on this side.” She said, “They were there for the last two years. You never noticed?”

The mind is very peculiar as Swami tells us — it can focus on one thing at a time and not on a million things. I was concentrating on this self-seeking — on Swami's teachings and of course on Swami. The quest had become so obsessive that I needed nothing else but reaching the goal.

KSM: So you were longing and pining.

RT: Yes. It reached a pinnacle one fine day. We were three doctors sharing a dormitory. Since meeting Swami, I started getting up at five in the morning and doing some meditation in whatever way I comprehended at that time or reading a Vahini. This time became earlier and earlier and earlier; it came down to 3 or even 2.30 in the morning. I'd sleep early because I wanted to get up early.

KSM: But as a surgeon didn't you have night duties?

RT: The work never got in the way because I was getting better and better. It is logical and scientific. When there is inner peace, efficiency always keeps rising. If I am dying to do a work better and better, I may not be able to do it as well. But if there is inner quiet, the work itself gets better. And it's particularly so in a subject like surgery where your stability of mind and hands is paramount. Without my wanting it, it started happening in a magical way. The hands started moving like a magician. Without my wanting to train them, they started moving beautifully. Everybody started commenting about what happened. There was something uncanny about the hand movements. My surgical videos on the net invite a lot of correspondence and people do ask me about the trick behind the hand movements.

KSM: What do you tell them?

RT: I tell them it is from the right hemisphere and not from the left hemisphere. Some people do understand but some find it a bit esoteric. The left hemisphere believes in logic and intellect while the right hemisphere of our brains is about emotions and inner peace. If you reach a state of inner peace then things start working like magic. In fact, everything in life, not just surgery but your relationships, profession, anything and everything starts working amazingly and beautifully if you reach that state of inner peace.

So during the Tata Memorial days, I had reached a state where the pining had reached its crescendo. It was 2 July 1996; I can never forget that date. At 4 o'clock in the morning I was in a state of pining because I couldn't sleep as those days the pining was so much. I felt that Swami had appeared before me in body because I could feel His robe, I could feel His hand on my head, and I could hold Him in my arms.

KSM: Were your eyes open or closed?

RT: My eyes were very much open. Yet others could not see Him. Others were sleeping but if they had been awake they wouldn't have felt Him because He was more real than body, yet I would say He was not the body. He was not really physically there. Of course, the date could not be forgotten because it changed my life, my outlook and everything about me from that day.

KSM: Did you communicate?

RT: I did talk to Swami because He was there. I could talk to Him and relate with Him. He also talked with me. He asked me, “What do you want?”

KSM: In what language?

 

RT: If you ask me, I would not be able to say it was in Hindi or English. But it was in the language I was thinking in. His language is not only spoken.

KSM: Yes, it is from the heart.

RT: It is thought also. We never think without a language. So I was thinking in that language — generally it is in English. He said, “What do you want?” I said, “Swami You have never prepared me for asking for anything. I have always asked for You only and You have come. So what can I ask You for?”

He blessed me. He also said that now that He'd appeared, which I wanted, I should take something from Him. When I continued to persevere that I didn't really know what to ask for, He said, “What do you want?” I said, “I want only God. I only want You and You are God. You appeared before me.” He said, “If you want only me then you would be finished.”

For a while I didn't understand what it meant. But He elaborated on it and said “Professionally, socially, financially — the three aspects which matter to a man — you will be finished. There will be nothing left about you.” I said, “Swami let that be. You seem to have prepared me to say yes, not that I can say it on my own. You seem to have given me the strength also to accept that. So let me be through and over with it. But You please be with me and keep holding me like this.”

He said, “So be it.” In fact, He looked serious and He indeed demonstrated to me in the next two-three years from 1996 to 1999 that everything that's visible to the world and to me as the physical self went out of my hands. But all along I was floating in the air because Swami was holding me. Not just holding me, it appeared as if I was in His arms.

KSM: This experience when you interacted with Him in the dormitory, how did it conclude?

RT: It concluded very beautifully. When He said, “Ok, let that be”, He said, “I can't fly out of the window. I can't disappear into nothingness. I will merge into you and I will take care of you.” Then He kind of became vapours which went into my body. This was a very beautiful experience. These are spiritual experiences and it looked like I had become schizophrenic, which I had been calling Him all along. It was that kind of an abnormal or super-normal feeling. What people call abnormal, I call super-normal. But let's not call it either ‘ab-’ or ‘super-’, let us call it ‘paranormal’. These experiences are not comprehensible to the normal existence.

The Three Zeroes — The Ultimate Test for a Devotee

KSM: When Swami spoke to you about the three zeroes we often hear of, He said that you would lose everything financially, socially, and professionally. What happened?

RT: Really for those three years it was like a ‘Vanvaas’. Everything was flying out of my hands. Socially, financially, professionally, I became so to say a non-entity. It was as if I did not exist.

KSM: Did you suffer a series of setbacks?

RT: Setbacks as per my mother's terminology. She was very worried about what was happening. She would go to pundits and jyotishas to get some solutions about the bad period in her son's life.

KSM: You went through a series?

RT: A series of everything seemingly going against me. I would again and again say ‘seemingly’ because within my heart I was so very happy; nothing was happening to me. It went to the extent that there were sometimes tears rolling down in streams down the cheeks and tears of such pain that I would pick some tears on my finger and see whether they were red or white — blood or actual tears? I mean the tears of that kind of a pain.

KSM: But was this the pain for your disappointments?

RT: Not really. I was still very very happy. It was an abnormal state.

KSM: What were you aching for? The agony was for Baba?

RT: No there was no agony. Baba was with me.

KSM: Why were you crying then?

 

RT: When everything was going topsy-turvy — in my family life, professional life, and financial aspects, sometimes there were situations of unbearable pain but in that pain also I was extremely happy and I was enjoying it. As they say, “Suffering is optional, pain is inevitable in life.” That means pain and suffering are two different dimensions. Pain can come but to suffer or not to suffer is in your hands. When God is with you, you can't suffer. I was never suffering. But yes, there were moments when I was actually in pain — physical, mental, deep pain in the heart when things were going out of my hands and I wished this wasn't happening to me. I was in pain, yet I was never suffering.

In a lighter mood I would share with you that once I had a catch in the back when the disc kind of nudges on the nerves. I was riveted to the ground and I couldn't move an inch. My mother was worrying by my bedside. She was trying to hold my hand and comfort me. I was trying to tell her that I was enjoying myself and that I was very happy.

She said, “If you are so happy then show me a movement.” I said, “I can't move but I am very happy.” She wouldn't understand and she said, “What is this happiness? You can't move an inch and you say ‘I am very happy.’” I said, “I can't make you understand but I am very happy.” That happiness comes in a state of spiritual elevation, enlightenment, or realization — call it whatever. With Swami having merged molecule to molecule within, it kept me in a high state. The feet won't touch the ground and my body levitated. I have always been living like that for about 17-odd years since 1996.

KSM: And obviously you came out of that difficult situation.

RT: Oh yes. He gave me visions and told me about the future. In 1999, He told me “Now that you have withstood the tests and you want only Me, wherever I live — the Creator of this Universe, how can there be any deficiency? Everything is going to come to you. Be it financial, professional, or social, you will be fulfilled.” I found that everything started changing. I became again a sought-after onco-surgeon, my family life became straightened, financially everything started pouring in and I became visibly full and filled. Earlier I was full and filled from within only but since 1999 everything externally too changed.

KSM: It is incredibly interesting to know. I understand all the deep communication that you experience with Bhagawan has nothing to do with His physical form.

RT: Not really. Physically Swami has allowed me to touch Him only a counted few times. I have had the good fortune of being physically at His feet for more than a minute once and few seconds a couple of times; indeed I have. I have received some vibhuti from Him thrice. They have all been evidences of “Yes, I am with you”.

Not that it was only that vision in my Tata Memorial room, He proved it also in Puttaparthi. While He was merging back into me at my room in Tata Memorial, He told me, “In a month's time you will come to Puttaparthi and I will give you proof that I had come to your room.” On 30 July I happened to be here and Swami proved that He had come to my room.

What is Total Surrender?

KSM: Sir, today as you head a very significant section of medical care — the oncology surgeries, how does Swami play a role in what you do and how you do it?

RT: As a person Swami has trained me and brought me up as a son and I should be absolutely, truly, completely surrendered to Him and His will. I am 100 percent surrendered to Him by His grace. As a manifestation of that surrender, I see miracles every moment. Not that I want everything to go tickety-boo but I may confess that everything is going wonderfully and beautifully — be it my surgeries or my running the department or as an officer in the Indian Army.

 

However, there is one thing which keeps irking me — my inability to socialize in the party life, which is a necessary part of Army life. Amazingly, people have been forgiving me for that. I am unable to hold a glass and socialize in parties the way it is expected.

KSM: Yes, it is such a part of the Army culture.

RT: I don't drink and I avoid too much of talking. I stay in the bliss which Swami keeps me in. I involve myself with the efficiency of the department and that's about it. Otherwise I am in social relationships which deal with helping anyone I can, as Swami teaches us. But I am unable to socialize the way the Army parties expect us to do. That's the only thing I'd say is amiss and not going with the stream; otherwise I'm just like anybody else.

KSM: Does it affect your relationship with your peers? Does it bother you how they evaluate you because you are socially out of place in that culture?

RT: Not that it bothers me ever because the way Swami stays with me He's blessed me with a special blessing — “I permit you to stay the way you are. You don't have to change or bend rules of your own conscience. You live the way you are. I will take care of you”. He gives me such unmistakable signs. I am like I am and all my seniors and colleagues and peers accept me as I am.

KSM: You spoke of being in a state of surrender. Would you care to explain what that means for a person who has to make so many conscious decisions as a head of a department and as someone who is dealing with life-and-death situations moment to moment?

RT: It is quite logical or I would say scientific to say that I must focus on what is in my hands and do it effectively and efficiently and sincerely and whatever be the result consider it to be holy and His will. Isn't it logical and scientific and perhaps a wiser way of living, even if one uses common sense and nothing about spirituality? This is what surrender is about.

Work well, efficiently, happily, with love and sincerity and whatever be the result know it to be success rather than evaluating it and saying that it is a failure this time and a success next time. Whatever happens, I consider it to be a success. Now if you ask me about the results of the surgery, I would say 99 percent in the physical sense also they are amazingly successful or wonderful. But we have already accepted that whatever be the result we will call it success in a spiritual or wise way. If I were to come to Puttaparthi and I was told there are not going to be lights and water, that is Swami's will and so it is wonderful. We are enjoying it rather than saying, “Why is there no light? Why is there no water? How would we live?”[Referring to the temporary power outage that the entire state had experienced in October 2013 due to a political agitation in Andhra Pradesh at that time - Editor] I attribute that to my wife; she is equally as much with me. From her heart I know she's also not resenting that we appear to be uncomfortable. The children tell us there is no light and they are uncomfortable. They also beautifully don't air it. They may be having it in their heart but they are also enjoying themselves. So surrender means whatever is happening is wonderfully and amazingly good.

A ‘Cell’ that ‘Mutates’ into a State of Bliss to Effect Positive Change in Society

KSM: Your life's journey is very interesting. You come from a background of science and agnosticism. Then you went through this process of what may be described as breaking everything apart and starting from bottom up all the way. We have read such stories in the biographies of saints and sages of the past. You are a professional living in 21st Century in India's national capital, New Delhi. You see lots of political drama happening around you in a country where there are serious law and order issues. Where do you see everything going from the place that you are in?

You seem to be in a totally different sphere where everything is God-driven, God-led, God-determined, and God-surrendered. There is parallel narrative going on alongside where there is so much of disparity, corruption, lawlessness, and dishonesty. You don't live in isolation in your own bubble within your head. Obviously you are experiencing this continuous communication with Swami as you say but around you things are not similar. The temperature and the climate around you are very different. How do you reconcile these two narratives?

 

RT: You are very right. But as we learn from the science called spirituality and as we evolve as human beings within the sphere of science, we realize that the mind can only focus on one thing. If the mind is obsessed and focussed about love, efficiency, bliss, and sincerity, it can't focus on all that is seemingly happening around the world. To me it appears that my job is to stay focussed on what I should be doing.

KSM: But you can't live in isolation — you are part of the society.

RT: If I can mind my own business, everything falls into shape. If all of us start minding our own business then there will be peace and tranquillity all around. If I can sort out my sphere where I have a control over, I think that is what concerns me. I concern myself with looking after whatever is within my hands and not extending my influence to national and international subjects and aspects of life which I have no control over.

I don't think about what our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji should be doing because I think it is wastage of my time. He should be thinking of what he should be doing. If it is God's will that I ever happen to be on the other side of the table, at that time I should be thinking of what I can do rather than presently thinking of it. If I think about what my Director General should be doing, that is also wasting my time. I should focus my attention on what I should do to a particular patient whom I am going to handle tomorrow or what I should be doing as the head of the department. That is what I really concern myself with.

KSM: As a society, are we not a large organism and if one cell is ailing or one cell decides to mutate, can it not affect a larger group of cells?

RT: Indeed. And if one cell mutates into a blissful state of being then too I can have a huge impact on my surroundings. That is what I think and I am being utilized as a tool in Swami's hands. If I keep myself happy, comfortable, and cheerful, that definitely has an impact on my family, my neighbours, my workplace and wherever I move around.

KSM: Very nice perspective Doc! Now from where you are — the space that you are at as a person in your own evolution, where do you see the future of humanity?

RT: I think there was no profound a scientist as Darwin was. He was such a firm believer of evolution. I think everyone of us is evolving. All this corruption and suffering is part of our evolution. All of us are evolving into blissful, beneficent, peaceful, sincere human beings. It is only a matter of time. If I could evolve into what I am presently, I consider it to be evolution. We are persistently and constantly evolving. I am evolving and you are also evolving.

What do I mean by evolution? It is being ever at peace with myself and my surroundings. If I can be at peace, everyone can be and I am sure everyone is going to be in time, not that everything happens at one time. But in each individual's life, it will definitely come about.

KSM: It is a personal process for everyone.

RT: Yes. Everybody is suffering because we don't want to finally suffer. It is just happening temporarily. Tomorrow it should not happen if we are consciously living.

The Golden Age — Each Person Should Create it for Oneself

KSM: What is your take on The Golden Age? People talk of this shift happening in the consciousness.

RT: I don't want to make a statement but I think it is happening for everybody. When the Golden Age happens within me, I find everything golden. I don't see us living in Kali Yuga. I think we are living in a Sat Yuga because I live in a Sat Yuga. It is imperative for every individual to create a Sat Yuga for himself and then everything will be fine with him and around him. Nobody will come and fight with him. When I am at peace, nobody really fights with me.

KSM: Don't you have disagreements with your wife?

 
  Swami told him, "Now that you have passed my test, you will be fulfilled." And as promised Dr. Talwar leads a life of fulfilment, be it at home or profession - Dr. Talwar and family

RT: Between me and my wife, we never even have a discussion which is loud.

KSM: Well if you speak as softly as you do, it is very unlikely to happen!

RT: It never happens! Whatever she thinks in her heart, I perceive it and do it. And whatever I think in my heart she does it. We never have an argument and so is the state between me and my children. Not that my wife and children don't fight with each other; they do. But with me nobody fights. In my workplace, in my house, between me and my neighbours there is never a fight.

KSM: Let us say your superiors decide on a policy matter you don't agree with. You don't see the worth of it and you feel that a different policy might be more beneficial to the work that you do. How would you resolve that?

RT: In the Army life, I would share with you, if an order is given to me, it is a lawful order and I must say “Yes Sir, it will be done.”

KSM: No insubordination; there is no room for that.

RT: Never! But then there is the conscience also — whom we call God or Swami. The conscience within me tells me that it is not supposed to be done like this. I will give it its time and then go and apologize saying, “I am very sorry. It wasn't possible for me to do this. Please excuse me if you can. If you think I have failed in carrying out your instructions then of course you should punish me the way you feel best. I am ready for that.” So I finally get down to doing whatever my conscience permits me to do. But I never outright say a ‘No’ to anything which as a man of the society I am supposed to be doing.

KSM: Have you got yourself into trouble for that?

RT: Never.

KSM: How do your superiors respond? They see your point of view?

RT: They seem to see through my paranormal existence. They like me and appreciate me. So far I've always been appreciated wherever I've been. From my heart I attribute it to Swami's blessings. The mind and the body can never adequately express this but every moment and every breath of mine is Swami's blessings.

Desire Only God and He Truly Becomes Ours

KSM: They are for all of us but I guess you are in a state of awareness.

RT: I once asked Swami — “You are supposed to be an impartial God. How is it that You're always with me and not with everybody else?” He says “It is because you need Me and others don't need Me. For anybody who needs Me, I will be with him as much.”

As He says, “You don't have to deserve Me, you have to desire Me.” None of us can deserve God but we can all desire God. In each of our lives, a time comes when we say, “I desire God and nothing more and nothing else”. The day we say “I desire God and not the toys from His hands”, then He becomes ours, really, and that's a very beautiful, scientific or metaphysical happening. It can happen in anybody's life if we truly come to a point when we say, “I just need You Swami and nothing else.” I look at Swami as one form of God who has come to us as Krishna or Jesus or Rama.

desire Me


KSM: Dr. Talwar, it has been amazing conversing with you. Your life sounds like a Big Bliss experiment and I've had a lot of learning just listening to you. Thank you so very much. Sai Ram.

RT: Thank you very much. Sai Ram.

 

You might also like to read this poem that was shared by Dr. Rajnish Talwar and earlier posted on our website in Feb 2013:

'Yes, I Often Tell You...'

 

- Team Radio Sai


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