13th August, 2001. Swami summoned eleven boys from Hyderabad
into the interview room. I was fortunate to be one amongst
them. In the interview that lasted for one and a half hours
Swami spoke on various topics. This was my cherished chance
with Swami. I had the opportunity to put forward my queries
to Swami. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Filled with patriotic fervor, bolstered by Swami
Vivekananda’s teachings, I asked a few questions. Swami’s
responses to them were inspiring indeed.
Me: Swami, what
fortune does the soil of Bharat possess that You (the
Divine) bless it by incarnating here time and again?
Swami: I would
incarnate here time and again because this land has pure
yearning for the divine.
Me: Swami, will
we ever have a chance to witness the past glory of Bharat?
Swami: Definitely you all will witness it. (after
a little pause)…… All of you may think that India is
surviving because of Presidents and Prime ministers, but it
is surviving only because of My grace and the divine
vibrations sent by the great sages and yogis.
One of the brothers was about to talk to Swami regarding
some project and during the process he used the word
‘kashtam’ meaning ‘difficulty’. Immediately Swami responded
elaborating on the attitude one requires to render service
Swami: “Seva eppudu
kashtapadi cheya vaddu, ishtapadi cheyali”, meaning ‘Never
render service as an exertion, but do it with liking.' Then
He narrated the following anecdote.
Once four youth were watching a small calf stuck in the
slushy lake bed. They were eager to see how it would manage
to get out. As the calf tried to lift one leg, the other
three legs went deeper into the mud. The youths enjoyed the
show. Meanwhile a sanyasi came that way. He spotted the calf
struggling. Immediately he rushed towards the calf and
lifted the calf onto his shoulders and walked back to the
bank. The four young men greeted the sanyasi and told him
that they had been enjoying the drama and he had come and
spoilt the fun. They asked him what had made him do this.
The sanyasi said, “Brothers, I didn’t do it out of pity for
the calf. Looking at the calf struggle I felt the pain
myself and I felt extremely agitated; in order to find
relief for myself I ran towards the calf and lifted it onto
Swami concluded by saying that seva should be done with a
feeling of empathy towards the oppressed and the destitute;
it is not just displaying superficial pity.
One of the senior brothers was about to mention to Swami his
future plans. Swami immediately said, “Do not talk about
things that would possibly be taken up in the future, talk
only about that which you have completed. Just follow Me, I
told the world about the water project and the Super
Speciality Hospital at Bangalore only after completing the
projects.” He went on to add, “Always live in the present,
past is the tree, present is the seed and future is the
tree. The Present is very important and hence it is called
Some brothers mentioned a new software which they had
developed for the organization. Swami responded immediately
“Nowadays, every one needs the support of technology for
every small thing; even women going into the garment shop
for purchasing a small blouse piece need calculator
support.” He talked about the redundant specialisms doctors
were taking up these days and said, “There are separate
specializations in dentistry for upper teeth and lower
teeth; a cardiac specialist cannot treat a fever.”
One of the senior brothers wanted to ask Swami about matters
like meditation. He just started to say, “Swami, japam,
dhyanam...” Swami stopped him short and said. “No japam, no
dhyanam, as long as you have strong muscles, keep serving
Experience in Bangalore
Two years later I went to Bangalore for higher studies. By
Swami’s grace ten of us, friends, formed an enthusiastic
group and regularly conducted Narayana seva and distributed
old clothes. One fine day, on our way back home, a friend
and I, on the spur of the moment, visited an orphanage,
Nirmala Sishu Sadan, on Bull Temple Road. That evening we
played with the kids and came to sense their longing for
affection. From that day onwards for the next one and a half
months we visited this place every evening. Then we decided
that we should organize a cultural program for the kids. We
decided Feb 29th (a leap year day) for the function.
‘Creation of the Universe’ as explained by Bhagavan, was the
theme of the programme. By then we had spent whatever little
money we had to purchase a few satchels for some kids and to
prepare props for the presentation.
On Feb 24th afternoon, I was thinking that the rest of the
kids should also be given some thing. My restlessness grew;
I prayed to Swami and then slipped into sleep. Then I had a
dream. Swami was standing right in front of me pointing His
right index finger at a wooden cupboard that was next to me.
The cupboard turned transparent; and the contents turned
into golden blocks. I woke up.
The vision was vividly etched on my mind. I thought that it
was a good omen. Within forty minutes of this vision, I got
a call from a friend’s sister. Long back we had just
casually told her about this program. She now told me that
she was prompted to mention this program to her colleagues.
Immediately they decided to support the program. On the spot
about ten thousand rupees was collected. When I heard this,
my joy knew no bounds. I now just waited to see the smiles
on the children’s faces.
Well, the Lord never gives anything easily. My friend spent
almost three sleepless nights in preparing the props for the
program. The presentation on ‘Creation’, especially, needed
uninterrupted power-supply and an audio system. On February
27th, we read in the papers that there would be a power cut
in the entire state on 29th of Feb due to a grid problem.
This was a shock to us. We tried out all alternatives,
calling friends for help.
We also wanted to hire a generator but it would cost us two
thousand five hundred rupees for five hours. We couldn’t
afford this at all. We sat in front of Swami’s portrait on
the altar and resolved to take up the program at any cost.
Within a few minutes, the same sister called up and told us
that when she had explained the situation to the electrical
supervisor in her company, he appreciated the objective of
the program and agreed to provide us with a generator free
of cost! We jumped around holding Swami’s portrait unable to
contain our joy.
Finally the day came and as announced, there was no power.
We all moved to the orphanage for arranging the sets. Around
4.30 pm the program started. We assigned the job of running
the generator to one of our brothers. The program went on
smoothly and ‘brilliantly’ much to the delight of the
When it was all over the brother who was given the charge of
running the generator came up and told me that there had
been no power-cut at all; he had had no need to run the
generator. Not just this: the moment we stepped out of the
ashram the power cut resumed!
had only one thought in my mind: He indeed is the true
Jai Sai Ram!