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It is not Emptiness but a Super Cosmic Fullness

 - By Prof.G.Venkataraman
"Swami has not gone. He is very much here, there, above, below, around, etc., indeed everywhere..."



At the outset, I offer my loving Pranaams at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Lord Sai.

Dear Listener. This is a talk that I never thought or dreamt I would ever have to give. In a sense, the events of the last one month or so have gone by like a surrealistic experience, and suddenly I feel bewildered. More explicitly I am wondering, as perhaps many listeners are, whether the world as it existed before 28th March was real, or the world as it appears today without that Beautiful Form is real, the earlier experience being just a dream. Inevitably, this reminds me of a story that Swami used to narrate occasionally, back in the old days.

The story goes like this. One evening, after a rather tiring day at the royal court, Emperor Janaka returns late to his chamber. Welcoming the monarch, his Queen asks him to freshen up and get ready for dinner. Janaka nods as if to say yes but, overcome by exhaustion, slumps into a chair and dozes off. During his nap, he has a disturbing dream from which he later wakes up with a start. As he looks around, the scene is very different from what he was seeing just moments ago–no forest, no tiger chasing him, etc. Puzzled, Janaka begins to mutter, “Was that real, or is this real?” The Queen keeps on reminding the Emperor about dinner but the latter continues to remain in a stupor, constantly repeating the same question. Palace medics are summoned but they are unable to help. Ultimately, the assistance of Sage Vasishta is sought and when he arrives, Janaka is still asking the same question. With a smile on his face the Sage places his hand on Janaka’s shoulder and gently observes, “O king, neither is real; you alone are!” Vasishta was of course referring to the Atma within, dismissing what is experienced both in the waking as well as in the dream state as illusory. In other words, Vasishta was telling Janaka that what is Real lies beyond the experience of the senses and the thoughts of the Mind, both of which are transient.

Alas, we have no Sage Vasishta to guide us out of our confusion but luckily, anticipating precisely the situation we face today, Swami has prepared us through innumerable Discourses in the past. Inevitably, I have to make references to them; however, all that would have to wait for the future; right now, I have just enough time for some reflections on recent events.

For me personally, this is the way it all started. Every evening evening during February and a good part of March of this year, I along with a couple of others would go for Darshan a little after 6 PM or so, since almost invariably Swami came out rather late. His arrival could be anywhere from 7 O’clock to as late as 8.15 PM and occasionally even later. Devotees waited patiently, while the boys sang Bhajans vigorously. By the way, Bhajans would commence punctually at 5.30 PM; however, when Swami came out the tempo of singing would become really charged. For His part, Swami would just sit there quietly enjoying the Bhajans, making everyone in the vast Sai Kulwant Hal forget about time. Bhagavan did have the magical power to make time disappear or lose meaning in His presence.

The Sai Kulwant Hall would always be packed to capacity, and not a soul moved when Swami gave Darshan, including the children from the local schools who came taking turns. Finally, around maybe 9 PM, sometimes even later, Swami would take aarathi, linger for a while, raise both His hands in loving benediction, and slowly leave. For over a year, it used to be that Bhagavan would come in a mobile chair (popularly referred to as car-chair) and leave the same way. However, the routine began to change, almost imperceptibly. He would still come using the chair but return using the Porte chair-car. Still later, He started coming by car and returning the same way. Towards the end on some days, the car would come to the porch and halt, after which aarthi would be offered almost immediately, without Swami even coming out of the car – all this on days He came out. There were also days on which Swami did not come out all, and I shall now briefly refer to that.

Basically, if Swami was rather tired, He would give an indication whereupon there would be a signal from Yajur Mandir and aarthi would be given to the Chair. Initially, it was the morning Darshans that Swami started skipping but not very often. When that happened, I inevitably recalled the days when we used to rush around 6.15 AM for morning Darshan. In winter particularly, it would be still dark and yet, all the devotees would be there in Sai Kulwant Hall, waiting for Swami to come out. And He always did, gliding out of the Poorna Chandra Hall, even as the Sun came out in the East to herald a new day. By 7.30 AM or Swami would have taken the first batch of devotees selected for Interview into the famous Interview Room, and all of us with work to do would rush back to our rooms to grab a bite of breakfast and go to college, office or whatever; that would be the case on week days. On Sundays, we would rush for breakfast while Swami was in the Interview Room, and be back in our seats by the time the Interview ended.

Bhajans would start on the dot at 9 AM and around 9.20, it would aarathi! Swami would then go into the Interview Room and from there into the adjacent Dining Room, followed by the Trustees and have lunch with them. Swami would come out in about seven minutes, leaving His guests struggling to finish, wash their hands and come behind Him. Bhagavan would then take His leisurely walk back to the Poorna Chandra Hall making His way through the ladies section, picking up letters and chatting with various people on the way. By 9.35 AM or so, Swami would have entered the PC Hall as we refer to it here, and one more morning Darshan would have passed into history.

I am recalling all this just to drive home the point how the scene never remained the same with Swami; He always kept changing the script. Getting back to late February-early March period of this year, on many evenings, Swami was rather tired to come out, and the signal would come to give aarathi usually around 6.15 PM or so.

Let me now cut to Saturday, March 27, 2011, the day before Swami was admitted to the hospital. That evening aarthai was given early, after which the current Vice Chancellor Prof. Prasad, former Vice Chancellor Prof. Pandit and I went to Swami’s residence, as we often did. We were told Swami was not well, that two doctors whom Swami lately permitted to attend on Him were upstairs with Swami and that some monitoring equipment was being brought to keep a watch on His health condition. At that time, no one had the slightest indication whatsoever that a crisis was fast approaching.

Night passed and when I checked next morning, I was told that Swami had rested and spent an uneventful night. Around 3 O’clock or so in the afternoon, Prof. Pandit called me to say that an ambulance had come to Swami’s residence Yajur Mandir and there was some activity around there. It seemed as if Swami was being taken to the hospital, and so we both rushed there. It so happened that though we left a bit later, our car almost caught up with the Ambulence, not only because we took a short cut but also for the reason that the ambulance was being driven slowly. Anyway, to get on with the narration, both of us managed to be there when Swami was helped out of the ambulance at the entrance to the hospital. Although Swami went by an ambulance, He was actually on a wheel chair and not on a stretcher as I had imagined. Prof. Pandit who was by my side all the time tells me that Swami gave him a gentle smile. Little did he know that that smile was going to become his most treasured memory. ...



|| Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu ||  
|| Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu || 


Sri Sathya Sai Baba Samadhi Darshan - Prasanthi Nilayam





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