For this Sunday, we have an article from a current student of Swami’s Institute, Sri Vijay S Prasad.
There was a great buzz among the students. Swami had just posed a question and many among them wanted to take a shot. The question asked: “What is Spirituality?”
Never had three words sheltered in a sentence caused greater ruckus. Answers came in a fusillade –
“It is the essence of life.”
“Prayer, worship and rituals.”
“A friendly disposition towards all.”
“Devotion and penance.”
“Donning ochre robes and being a renunciant.”
“Control over the six vices.”
“Unity of thought, word and deed.”
The still probing gaze of Swami meant that these shots seemed to be way off-the-mark. Finally, the answers seemed to fade as the mist surrenders to the morning sun. Silence reigned supreme until there was the most welcome of interruptions, Swami’s mellifluous voice-“Bangaru, there is nothing that is not spiritual. Spirituality is in everything. In fact IT IS EVERYTHING. Anything or anyone treated with pure Love is the genuine acknowledgement of that entity’s or being’s true Spirituality.”
Ever since that wonderful episode I have come to keep my senses highly receptive. The Cosmos is but the playground of the Gods. Each event, however banal its attire, is, but an instance of a God thirsting to communicate. To read the stimuli right, we need to be in “Constant Integrated Awareness” as Swami so beautifully puts it. And so it was that I happened to watch an animation movie on the seemingly most innocuous insect…. the ant. There was this one extremely sweet moment where the protagonist, a garrulous Mr. Ant is making his first bold steps in professing his love to his inamorata, a highly charming Miss Ant. The setting is aptly romantic. However even before Mr. Ant is able to complete his disclosure of true love, he is interrupted by an agent of the royal commander of the ant army. Mr. Ant’s presence is urgently sought at the army headquarters. Love has to wait before duty, it seems. Anyway, Mr. Ant just before leaving the premises, gently whispers into Miss. Ant’s ears-
“Preserve the thought (that I love you & you love me). I will be right back.”
The message was brimming with Spirituality to me. Even as I watched, the memory of Swami’s revelation about Spirituality paid me a visit. A little examination of this phrase-“preserve the thought” from a slightly different angle sets the record straight. What if instead of Mr. Ant, it was Miss Ant that made the above declaration?
Saint Thyagaraja once in a state of extreme bliss rapturously sang – “Cheemalo Brahmalo” (even the ant is Divine). A little bit of parallel processing here would be helpful. The setting - the heavens above. The protagonists, Swami, our Divine Mother & we, His Beloved Children. The situation – according to the great and mysterious Maternal script, we, His children are to leave for our earthly sojourns, our souls captive to a mortal embrace. So as a loving mother would do, Swami gently gathers us all and says-“Little Ones, the moment of mortality has arrived. Discharge your mortal roles perfectly. But preserve the thought that you all are truly the children of immortality. That will get you right back here.”
Somewhere down the line, we, as mankind have forgotten to preserve that thought. We have banished it into an exile under the orders of an ever enticing ephemeral existence. So what does the Divine Mother do? A disguise in mortal garbs is on the cards. Just as a flower in bloom may seek anonymity under night’s cover, so does God in mortality. But just as the flower, God too ‘fumbles’ in that little endeavor. A flower can hide itself at night, but can it hide its fragrance? God too can pretend to be mortal, but can He make pretence of His Love? Sooner than later, just as the bees revel in the sweetness of the flower’s honey, humanity will bask in the bliss of the Avatar’s nectarine Love. There can be nothing farther from the truth.
Recently, Swami during the course of one of the evening darshans paid a visit to the Indoor stadium that was nearing completion. All the workers involved in its construction were blessed by Bhagawan with Prasad, clothes, watches and money too. Well sometimes the dessert scores over the treat itself and so it was in this case. After Swami had left the premises, there were groups of students who were involved in the winding up operations. They were busy loading empty containers onto the tractors.
“Excuse me, where can I get to donate these eyes?”
A pair of students assisting in these loading operations heard this earnest plea and stood frozen. A worker, whose hands held his yellow construction helmet containing the bounty that Swami had conferred, was making this earnest plea. In a voice choked with emotion he repeated –“where can I get to donate my eyes, immediately?” How would the two boys react? One of them regained composure and gently explained to him the procedure of when and how to make the donation. When the fact was emphasized that the donation could occur only at the time of his death, the worker cursed his misfortune. The students’ inquisitiveness was tickled. They decided to get to the bottom of the matter. One of them soothingly enquired –“but why this urgency?” The worker stared at them, looked heavenwards, took a deep breath that emphasized extreme self-restraint and said in a measured baritone –“Today I’ve seen God. I want to help as many blind people as possible to see Him. That’s why.”
Today as inquietude reigns supreme among men and imbecility within them, peace has come to be a most coveted possession. Patriotism has come to be mortgaged, humanism auctioned and morality has pledged allegiance to the chameleon. Human values have been forced to subscribe to the league of the endangered. The melody of life is lost to the cacophony of eking out a living. The only good escape from this quagmire is to preserve the thought that we are capable of love and that we are love itself. That way, we will make the grade from human beings destined for damnation to spiritual beings destined for Divinity.
Jai Sai Ram.