Swami's delays are not His denials
- We gratefully acknowledge the writer Aravind B
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This is a famous quote that I have heard a million times. Well, not a million times, but it feels like that! It is one of the all-time favorite phrases to be used while consoling someone who is in despair. Even I have made use of it on many occasions -
“Hey! Don’t worry. Things will sort out. God is there to help. Remember... his delays are not his denials.”
When things are sunny and fine, it is easy to state the quote. When things go bad however, we desperately grab on to the same quote and secretly hope in our hearts that this is only a delay and not a denial. Traveling down memory lane, I come across a singular episode that has convinced me beyond doubt that God’s delays are definitely not His denials.
Just like a single story of the charming Lord Krishna gets linked to so many other stories which reveal His divine facets, ( in fact, deviating from the main story into relevant sub stories has been termed as ‘Hari-Katha’ in India which literally translates as ‘Story of Krishna’!), this story too shall have its sub-stories. But as always, the sub-stories add flavour and spice to the main story. Without any more ado, let us launch into the story.
It was the Marchof the year 2000. I was in my 12th standard and was one among a hundred or so preparing furiously for the countrywide Board Examinations. The 12th standard is a transition from high school to University in India and the examinations conducted by the CBSE (Central Board for Secondary Examination) are given paramount importance. For a student in Swami’s school, it was a time of a probable, terrible transition. Since Swami had not started any medical or engineering colleges and courses for chartered accountancy, those wishing to pursue these lucrative and attractive careers had to leave Swami’s physical proximity. And having experienced moments of intense omniscience, one does not want to leave His physical proximity.
Further studies available in the University involved the pursuit of pure sciences and a Bachelors degree in commerce which are considered pretty ‘mediocre’ in India. ( This is fast changing and the impressive record of the Sathya Sai University has also contributed to it.) Thus it was that a talk given to us by the ‘class’ teacher, Mr. Sailesh Srivastava became very important and enlightening for all of us students. The talk lasted two hours and was delivered to all of us in the hill-view stadium, one fine evening. It was on the eve of our departure to Brindavan ( Whitefield in Bangalore), where Swami had gone to. We wanted to seek His blessings as the outgoing batch.
The talk that Sailesh sir gave us was inspirational and full of the divine stories of Swami. One point that he made struck me and it remains enshrined in my heart to this day.
He said, “Whether we stay with Swami or not is not in our hands. If we are supposed to be away from Swami, even if we complete somersaults to stay on here, it will not be possible. If we are supposed to be here, however hard you try to get away from this place, it will not be possible. So, that is not in our hands. But we can decide what we feel and desire. We can have the intense longing to be with Swami always, irrespective of where life takes us. Take care of your feelings and desires, life will take care of itself. “
At the end of that talk, everyone was wanting to be with
Swami, irrespective of what they had originally desired or
what their parents had planned. If fate/destiny would take
them away, so be it.
With great joy, anticipation and excitement we wended our way into the Trayee compound and entered the hallowed precincts of the building. The Jhoola or swing welcomed us and we sat around it. In a few moments, Swami arrived. As soon as He came into the room, He asked
“How many doctors here?”
Nobody raised their hands. The speech on the previous evening was obviously showing its effects. Everyone in their hearts was saying, “Swami, we want to be with you.”
“How many engineers here?”, was the next question.
Again, nobody raised their hands. Swami put on a surprised expression. Then He broke into a smile and said, “Antha Gas” ( All gas - meaning lying).
All of us shouted loud in unison,
“No Swami! We want to stay with you!”
He seemed pleased by that and then He sat on the
Jhoola. The session began by us singing songs for Him
and He listened to three of them. Swami then began to speak
to us. The warden of the Brindavan campus, Sri.
B.N.Narasimhamoorthy, came in to translate. Swami told him
that he would not be needed and we were all surprised. We
wondered who would be translating then? Swami then told
Sailesh sir to translate what He was saying. It was the most
amazing 40 minutes as Sailesh sir, a Delhiite by birth,
translated Swami’s discourse into English for all of us!
“Swami, there is something lodged in your hair.”
“Is it? Will you remove it then?”
The boy moved further up and tenderly took those two
small shavings from Swami’s hair. There were smiles all
around and the boy treasured them in his pocket. Swami
looked into his eyes and smiled.
After the Board exams and completion of school, a few boys from our batch did go out for pursuing careers in medicine, engineering and other areas. But the majority applied for Bachelor courses in the Sathya Sai University itself. The entrance exams, group discussions and interviews concluded early in May 2000 itself. They had been completed soon because Swami had announced that there would be a Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality for all the students.
When the results were announced, we found out that about 7-8 students had not made it and thus had been denied seats. So, while most of us reported to and joined the hostel at Brindavan, these unfortunate boys felt horribly left out. They went at once to Sailesh sir and said.
“Sir! We wanted to be with Swami but we have not got seats. Should we take this as our destiny and go home and try for further education elsewhere?”
Sir’s reply was, “In normal circumstances, you could have done so. But Swami was happy and He said that all must be taken in. So, hold on. Remember, God’s delays are not His denials.”
Ah! There appeared the famous phrase!
Taking heart from what Sailesh sir had said, the boys waited on. They were no longer recognised as students - they were alumni now. Hence, their preferential seating was also gone and they were sitting with the alumni for daily darshan. In the meanwhile, all of us began to attend the auditorium sessions, dining sessions and discourse sessions with Swami daily. When we would meet these ‘rejected’ and ‘dejected’ boys, we would not know what to say. Somehow, your fortune appears very mean and bad when presented in front of those from whom that very fortune has been snatched away.
After about 4 days, 2-3 members from the ‘unfortunate’ group lost heart and said that they were leaving. If they waited any longer, then their chances of getting a seat into any other university too would be lowered. The others however, held on to the ‘ Delays are not denials’ tagline and prayed. The group, reduced from 8 members to 5, arrived for morning darshan on day 6. That day, as Swami was moving around during darshan, He ‘saw’ these boys and asked
“How come young students are sitting in the alumni block?”
The boys hurriedly told their predicament to Him. Swami turned around and called the vice chancellor. He told him
“These boys must study. They are young to be wasting away like this in the alumni block."
The vice chancellor just nodded his head. Swami continued,
“Interview them and give them seats in our college. Young boys must study!”
Two hours later, the group was with us in the hostel shedding tears of joy. They told all of us, “God’s delays are not His denials”.
How many times has Swami said that His word, once given, will always be upheld? In fact, when the Super Speciality Hospital was being constructed at Bangalore, there was a shortage of funds. Swami was apparently very ‘tensed’ and ‘apprehensive’. He asked a senior,
“What should we do? There are no funds.”
In an attempt to comfort Swami, the elder said,
“Swami! You have promised the world this hospital in one
year. The last time you promised, you made the hospital at
Puttaparthi and it has been running fine for 10 years now.
Just announce that the opening of this hospital will be
postponed by a year. People will understand...”
“Is this all that you have understood of Swami? I have already said that the hospital will come up. So, now I am helpless. It has no choice but to come up.”
The hospital was inaugurated as per schedule.
Those students who were admitted into the undergraduate courses, completed even their Masters course from the same Sri Sathya Sai Institute with flying colors! They did not let Him down...
Enjoy a sample Trayee session video...
More by Sai student Arvind
Text & photo source - copyrights: Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust - sssbpt.org - Radiosai.org Prasanthi Diary - Sri Sathya Sai Media Foundation - h2hsai.org . | Web layout - Photo graphic design : saibabaofindia.com "SBOI" | - We gratefully acknowledge the publishers Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust & Sri Sathya Sai Media Foundation