Sairam friends, having discussed a great deal about the various serious aspects of life and Spirituality, let me today share that aspect of Bhagawan which I consider the greatest of all, and that is being blissful and bringing those around you into the aura of bliss through very healthy humour. But the aspect to be kept in mind is, “Is it mere humour for its sake, or there is a message behind it?” We will dwell into some of these aspects as we go along, but one thing is sure – the Lord’s demeanor is entirely different in various places, circumstances and people. At one extreme is His public darshan where He appears as decorous as one would imagine God to be, and on the other extreme are sessions in interviews and in Kodaikanal, where our cheeks and stomachs start aching with much laughter in a short span of time! today, latter is the focus. Happy reading…
I had joined the MBA class of 1997. MBA students have had a special place in the Institute and we would celebrate MBA day every year in the month of August by putting up a drama and inviting Bhagawan to witness it. In my first year, I was given the role of chanchal, person with a wavering monkey-like mind. During the rehearsals, when I would appear on stage to deliver my dialogues, another boy in the garb of a monkey would gesticulate behind me to prove the point. I would always see the Lord laughing heartily when I would appear on stage. After the drama on the final day, which the Lord had earlier seen thrice, the Lord came to the stage to bless us with a photograph with Him. We had kept a place for Him in the center, and I was standing next to the gap. The Lord came from behind all the boys and just before standing, so stealthily, in a split second, pinched me on my right upper arm. As we posed for photograph, my lips were split between the pain and the joy pulling them in two different directions! From the next one year or so, Swami would call me by the name ‘monkey’ and make fun of me quite openly, giving joy to all, around at my expense!
On another occasion, the exact day being 24th of August, in the year 2000, the Lord organized mass marriages for deserving people in Prasanthi Nilayam. We were sitting in the II Portico and the Lord came to us and said that all arrangements for the mass marriage will have to be done. The Lord then looked at me and said, “Poor fellow! Look, how sad he looks. Don’t worry, I will make arrangement for your marriage also”. All were roaring were laughter and I was wondering why He could not have cracked this joke inside the interview room! The Lord was planning meticulously for all arrangements. Seeing all the expensive items to be gifted away for the marriage, I was overwhelmed and said “Swami, You are the ocean of Love and Mercy” and held His feet. The Lord quipped with a broad smile, “No no…do not take paadnamaskar now – at the time you are tying Mangala Sutra, take Paadnamaskar of your wife”. Needless to say there was again a roar of laughter at my expense. I smiled with my heart full of joy on being with naughty, yet blissful Sai Krishna.
Among the items, one of the important items is what is called in South India as Aarbhatam, a square shaped gold pendant that is tied to the bridegroom’s forehead during the marriage ceremony. As the Lord was showing this to us, He suddenly tied it around my forehead. And now looking at everyone He smiled like naughty Krishna and said, “See, the boy is now ready!” This split everyone into peals of laughter. After all this, we got a chance to massage His Lotus feet. Today, I was not sitting in the second row and was feeling slightly sad to have missed the opportunity. Looking at me, the Lord nodded as if fully aware of what I was feeling. Suddenly He told the boy massaging His feet, “No breakfast? You are pressing with ladies hands. Go back, Deepak you come.” granting me the most sacred opportunity to press His Lotus feet with my hands toughened with many years of sportsmanship. As I massaged the Lotus feet with a sportsman spirit, the Lord appreciated by raising His eyebrows with a twinkle of joy that made my heart to smile and hands to reinforce my efforts to massage the Divine muscle!
In the year 2000, one outlaw had kidnapped a famous actor and the news of negotiation was grabbing the headlines in the dailies. The Lord would come and sat on His throne nearly every other day and chatted with Prof. Anil Kumar, Prof. Radhaswamy and Prof. Ramamoorthy. The conversation would be full of humour and there would be a contest of wits among Swami and Prof. Anil Kumar, where Swami would invariably emerge the winner. As we were doing research and our guide, Prof. M. Radhaswamy would be part of the discussion, we too would sneak close to the circle of conversation. One day the Lord asked Prof. Anil Kumar as to what the news was? He promptly informed Swami that the negotiation efforts were unsuccessful as even the negotiators were now taken captive. The Lord quipped, “what if I send you for negotiations? Are you ready?” the Lord showed the shape of the naxalite’s mustaches and added, “But you don’t even have mustache and this may be an added reason why they may hold you captive too”. All laughed heartily as the Lord smiled and gesticulated beautifully. Prof. Anil Kumar replied in his typical jovial style, “Swami, if you send me today for negotiation, tomorrow the outlaw would be sitting for darshan with folded hands”. There was a burst of laughter and along with Bhagawan, we were soaked by the torrents of joy with the Lord of Bliss amidst us. After a while, controlling His laughter, the Lord said, “You better remain here Anil Kumar, enjoying your Guntur pickles, else your wife will be after my life.” You can imagine the uncontrollable roar of laughter that followed! I was wondering what devotees would have be thinking in silence about us in those moments?
In the same year, I was granted the role of the chairman of a company in the convocation Drama. One day, the Lord was listening to the drama story and the associated songs. There was a song where Tulsidasji is singing “Shri Ram Candra Kripalu Bhajaman…” At that time, Lord Rama and Laxmana come in the garb of little boys to accept sandal paste from Tulsiji. During the course of discussion, as the word Brahmin came in context to Tulsidasji, the Lord asked a boy, are you also Brahmin? Yes Swami, he said. “O ho!” The Lord exclaimed with a naughty twinkle in His eyes, “then you also ..…? “The Lord showed by action the act of eating from a bone! So graphic was the description that all laughed heartily. No Swami, said the boy. “Yes yes, good boy, but in Bengal the Brahmins eat fish, saying it is sea vegetable! They eat stomach full (the Lord showed action of a big stomach and eating fast with both hands) and then massage it with oil.” (He showed the round movement of the hand on the stomach). So excellent was the acting of the Lord that along with others, I started laughing loudly. Suddenly the Lord became serious and looking queerly at me asked, “Kyo inta hasan karta hai?” (Why are you laughing so much?) I was not able to understand as to how to react to this sudden question and looked confused. Seeing my dilemma, after a heavy few seconds of silence, there was a louder roar of laughter where the Lord led us in laughing at His own Divine prank, tears from laughter nearly welling up His eyes, while I joined others after a hesitant start!
The greatest love of Bhagawan is to give. And especially in giving to His students, His joy is multiplied for some reason that is buried in the past and also in the future. After my homecoming as a student, the Lord would take great delight in either informing me about His plans for my marriage and in speaking to me in Telugu. I would make copious notes from His discourses and the subsequent translation to infer the meaning of some Telugu words. Needless to say, I was all wrong as Telugu and English grammar are quite distinct from each other.