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Love and Light

Sri Rathnakar in London

After a long weekend National Sai Retreat event in Llandudno, Wales, Tuesday the 3rd of Sept at London was the finale of Sri Rathnakar’s visit and talks to devotees in UK. Over 300 devotees participated in the London event. After a brief introduction by our National Chair Dr. Kiran Patel, Sri Rathnakar delivered an inspiring talk for approximately an hour. The Key messages from his talk are given below.

God comes looking for us when we are in trouble

He narrated an incident which took place during one of the Bhagawan’s Divine Visits to Ooty, a hill station in Tamil Nadu South India. Swami had instructed about 10-15 students to be ready to leave in the morning at 3 am in two cars and a van. But as the boys forgot to inform the drivers about this early start, Swami and the group could leave Brindavan only about 4 am! Swami chided the boys gently and said that laziness is not good for youngsters! En route, one of the luggage pieces fell off the van, as it wasn’t properly secured due to all the haste in the morning. So the van and the car in which the boys were travelling stopped, and having noticed this, Swami’s car stopped too. And Swami alighted from the car and came enquiring out of concern! Once informed, Swami again chided the boys for their negligence. After another hour or so, whilst near Mysore, the van developed a technical snag and the journey had to stalled again. This time it was decided to leave the van behind along with some students to get it repaired, and for Swami’s entourage to proceed in the two cars.

Unfortunately, after another hour or so, the ca in which Sri Rathnakar and 2 other boys were travelling behind Swami, started making rattling noises. Although the driver was anxious to inspect, Sri Rathnakar forbade him so as not to draw Swami’s attention and disturb the journey again. But as the rattling increased and the driver became more restless, they decided to stop at a place where the road took a curve, in the hope that they wouldn’t be noticed by Swami’s car that had gone past the curve already. They took only a minute or so to inspect the problem, which thankfully was only a minor one, and quickly resumed their journey. To their astonishment, they now saw Swami’s car approaching them in the opposite direction! Sri Rathnakar was frightened and worried lest they irritated Swami who perhaps decided to abandon the trip and return to Brindavan. However, much to his relief, Swami’s car turned back about 50 metres from them and finally they reached Ooty. Sri Rathnakar tried to keep a low profile, and a little away, out of fear of admonishment or ‘fireworks’ as he put it.

But Swami sent word for him! He went into Bhagawan’s Presence with a tremble and a shiver, but Swami was aware of Rathnakar’s fear and allayed it immediately by such gentle words. Swami enquired about what happened to his car, and said most tenderly that He was coming back only out of worry for his safety and to see if they needed help!

Rathnakar said that God comes back again and again, whenever we are troubled, so as to take us to the abode of safety and higher peace. He leaves behind all His Comforts and Troubles instantly, and comes to rescue all of us, His children, he added.

Bhagawan is with us

He also said that many people ask him various questions about the Advent of Prema Sai. I do not know the answer he said. However, we are sure that Swami has left the physical body in order to be with each of us, and he assured that He has not left us at all! Some of us had the good fortune of Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan with Bhagawan. Many people hear about Swami now, and many newcomers are visiting Prashanthi Nilayam in ever increasing numbers. This he said cannot be due to any human effort, and is proof that Bhagawan is ever present amongst us, continuing to inspire and guide millions around the world along the Sai Path.

God is there to lighten our load, not to increase it

He narrated another anecdote between Lord Sri Krishna and the Gopikas. The Gopikas used to carry heavy pots of water on their heads, and would request the Lord to give a helping hand in lifting the pots on to their heads. But Bhagawan Krishna used to ignore their requests. However, when the gopikas reached home and were about to off load the pots, he would go unasked and running to help them. When the perplexed gopikas asked why he didn’t help them earlier, the Lord simply replied that it was not in his nature to burden his devotees with any load. His Nature allowed him only to lighten the burdens of His devotees!

Bhagawan knows everything and is the Master of Time

He narrated a personal life incident, when his father Late Sri. Janakiramaiah suddenly fell ill in 2003. Sri Rathnakar who was at home in Puttaparthi rushed him to the Superspeciality Hospital at 3 am in the morning, where he was diagnosed as suffering from a heart attack. As the doctors resuscitated and stabilised him, Rathnakar went to the Prasanthi Mandir to report to Swami at 8.30am. Bhagawan had received the news by then, and as he enquired from Rathnakar, said ‘Your father’s lungs are tired!’. Although doctors gave a good prognosis, this statement of Bhagawan sounded prophetic to Rathnakar. Over the next fortnight, Bhagawan visited his father in the hospital many times and spent much time with his family regularly. His father seemed to recover well and the medical staff in attendance felt encouraged to discharge him soon. Bhagawan again instructed Rathnakar to inform Him a day or two prior to discharge, so He can send a ‘big vehicle in which he can come sleeping’. Rathnakar felt that Swami was indicating that his father would not survive, and had been preparing and counselling him and his family over the past 2 weeks. As it turned out, his father passed away that week and Swami had sent a big ambulance for his final rituals.

A similar incident took place during Sri Kasturi’s lifetime too, which brother Rathnakar narrated in detail. During their very first meeting, Swami had stated ‘If there is no birth and death, how will I spend my time Kasturi?’. On another occasion, whilst interacting with a group of students who put up a Shiva Tandavam dance show, He noticed a wrist watch on the boy who played the character of Lord Shiva. Bhagawan humorously commented, “How can Shiva, being the Lord of Time, wear a watch?”. Then, pulling up the sleeve of His Robe and pointing to His Wrist said, “See! Shiva doesn’t wear a watch!”

These incidents, Sri Rathnakar said, reveal how the Divine Lord whilst reminding us of His Supreme Divinity, interacted with us at human level and behaved in a human way so as to make us realise that we are no different and not separate from Him. Yet we lose our way, despite having had the blessing of Darshan (seeing), Sparshan (touching) and Sambhashan (talking) with Him. The only way to stay connected at all times, he said, was to contemplate and pratise His Teachings which are only simple.

Bhagawan has always given each of us the comfort and security in our life. It is our duty to be part of the Sai Mission, and that is the only tribute we can offer to the lotus feet of our beloved Bhagawan. Sri Rathnakar ended his speech by praying and seeking Bhagawan blessing for each, and everyone gathered there and their families.

May Bhagawan bless us all

Sam Sambanthan
Region 3 Chair Person