Saturday, 27 July 2013

5. What does the Divine seek from us?

Bhagawan often brings home the most powerful and profound lessons in the simplest manner possible, jolting the mind out of its complacency and correcting its waywardness. Our Divine Sadguru often did this with one or two words and stunned everyone by His effortless Divine accents, while we mere mortals tried to impress Him with our elaborate 'stunts' (as He often called the manoeuvres we made)! Simplicity is the hall-mark of Divinity, for hasn't He often remarked, "God alone is simple, everything else is complex !"
As students, I remember at different times we used to try and do different things to gain His approval. Bhagawan always responded to sincere effort in His distinct style, either with a smile or a remark or some words of praise or sometimes in an unexpected manner that however left a deep impact on young minds.
This incident happened in the early 90s when I was a student at Anantapur and we were on one of our fortnightly visits to Bhagawan. We used to pray to the Lord to allow us to come to Prasanthi Nilayam on some pretext or the other, by listening to our prayers and sending word for us (by Divinely 'by-passing' the authorities who were put in charge of our academics and were justifiably extremely strict on that count) ! It was during this sojourn in His Divine University that I learnt how "nothing is beyond the reach of prayer, except that which is beyond the Will of God". Divinity's decrees can reduce and even overturn the dictates of Karma, when His GRACE is showered on the devotee.

Swami during darshan: early 90s

Some students had taken the initiative to prepare a magazine to offer to Bhagawan and had filled it with articles, poems, sketches and other art. All in all it was hand-made, hand-written and looked artistic and elegant.  Those days there were no computers or Powerpoint or Adobe or Internet and so on. So, some of us who had a good handwriting were asked to prepare the manuscript and the artists among us did the art-work. We sat for darshan and some lucky souls (selected by lottery, I think) sat with the magazine to offer it to Swami. They sat next to the warden, to whom invariably Bhagawan would come and speak, whenever we visited Prasanthi Nilayam. I happened to sit behind the warden that day and I was in a good vantage position to see His reaction and maybe (as my expectant heart secretly hoped) get at least an approving glance from the Lord! 
The darshan music started and Swami came towards us from the Prasanthi Mandir that was His residence those days.
He came near us, patiently flipped through the magazine that our warden held out for him to see and giving me a very serious and meaningful look, proclaimed in Telugu, " Acharanamlo Undali ". The translation is, "It should be reflected in BEHAVIOUR / ACTION."
PRACTICE is important !
After this casual thunderbolt aimed onto my heart, Swami glided away nonchalantly, leaving behind an effect that will last beyond life-times.   
Needless to say, not just were all my hopes of winning His approval dashed to the ground; I felt slightly reprimanded by Him. The ego-mind went into a spin "Not fair, Swami. How often have I heard you lavishing praises on 'lesser' efforts by 'other' people and as though they all practised what they wrote anyway. Why do you always scold me ? Why this strictness and sternness, whenever it comes to me . . . " and SO ON and SO FORTH.
When the ego-mind complex had its say and had subsided, I understood the great blessing hidden in Swami's words. It was a Divine directive to put PRACTICE above PRECEPT, for this is what pleases Him the most. This is what truly wins His approval and GRACE.
I still find it difficult to speak of Him or His messages unless at least a fraction of it exists in my thoughts and actions. Also, I have learnt that however lofty a speech might be, the Lord is impressed when the word is translated into deed. "An ounce of practice is better that barrels of precepts." It is only Bhagawan who can truly speak with authority and resolve on anything because Sathya and Dharma are embedded in Him. Speaking on Himself, He has said beautifully:

SATHYA is My Aachaar / TRUTH is in My every act
DHARMA is My Prachaar / RIGHTEOUSNESS is what I preach
SANTHI is My Swarup / PEACE is My form
PREMA is My SWABHAV / LOVE is My Nature

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