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October 1st, 2007

Today evening turned out to be one of those longer ones. In the morning Swami had not granted darshan. In the evening too, the clock struck five and the singers struck the harmonious note of the Pranava Om. There was no sign of Swami. A huge crowd of devotees from the western state of Gujarat had arrived. The thirst for darshan could be felt even on the cool floors of Kulwant hall.

There was an audible gasp of joy and relief as Swami came out at about 5:05pm. But Swami was in the car and the windows too were raised! They say that a drowning man grasps at even a straw floating on the water. Everyone craned their necks and stretched themselves to catch a glimpse of Swami. It is true that many times familiarity breeds neglect if not contempt. When Swami used to come out daily in the wheel sofa, many of us would have tended to relax our vigil during the darshans. Days like today better be remembered at such times. Each time we see Him, a mere awareness at what we are beholding will raise goose bumps on the skin. As He has said, "My moving amidst you is a boon that the Gods of the highest heavens crave for."

However, Swami took a detour after the ladies side and headed towards the interview room. There was an applause as Swami descended from the car. He chose to come out and there were smiles and even a kind of joyful laughter. Water seemed to sprinkle on the parched hearts and people in their excitement to receive the showers of grace, got up in their places. Bhajans went on as Swami came and occupied the centrestage. Swami sat there granting all their hearts' fill of darshan as bhajans continued. Four, five, six, seven bhajans went on. Swami suddenly turned and said something. Everyone thought that He was going into the bhajan hall. But He moved in the opposite direction. Moving along the teachers' block, He descended the slope towards the old-students' region. He moved slowly amidst the crowds.

And then, the Ganges seemed to gush and flood the moistened hearts of all the devotees. There was such joy that discipline took a backseat as it allowed devotion to become the driver. Especially the devotees from Gujarat almost formed a wall so that all could see Swami and Swami could see all. Swami went along the lines collecting letters, speaking and granting padanamskar. He then moved amidst the students. He took a turn around the marble block where the students were seated and went around satisfying all as He passed by. He blessed a new CD that the vedam group had released. He blessed the birthday boys and many took the opportunity to touch His feet. Swami then went into the bhajan hall from the back door! He granted close darshan to all assembled ion the bhajan hall also. Aarthi was taken at 6:05pm and Swami retired after that.