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Sri Rathnakars Talks at the Retreat: Inaugural Address

National Retreat: Divine Bliss – Echoes of Eternal Harmony
Address by Sri R J Rathnakar (31st August 2013)
‘Divine Bliss – Being in the Divine Presence’

Sri Rathnakar began his address with prayers and gratitude to our dear Lord Bhagawan Baba. In this address, he brought out wonderful facets of Swami’s Divine personality through his personal experiences.

He began his talk by sharing how he always kept in focus the truth that Swami is God Incarnate, the Supreme Divine Master, rather than feeling that Swami was his uncle! He recalled that there wasn’t a single moment when he didn’t have the awareness in Swami’s Presence that He is God! If there were any momentary lapses at all, then Swami would restore this immediately in a very loving, casual, simple and humble way.

Sri Rathnakar recollected an incident where even a raging wild animal was able to recognise Swami’s Divine Presence and calmed down immediately. Swami had decided to take a small group of students to Ooty, a hill station in Tamilnadu, which could only be accessed via a dense forest called Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Whilst travelling through the forest, they encountered a traffic jam involving around 200 vehicles. On further enquiry, they found that a big male elephant, trumpeting ferociously, was standing in the middle of the highway and wasn’t prepared to move. Swami asked for the car to be driven forward so that He could see this elephant. As He approached, Swami lowered His window and looked at the elephant for a minute or so. It seemed to those nearby that the elephant also did the same! Most amazingly and immediately, the elephant slowly moved away and made way for Swami’s entourage. However soon afterwards, it was learnt later, the tusker resumed it’s tantrums, blocking the highway.

On another occasion, Sri Rathnakar and others were sitting at Swami’s Lotus Feet and doing ‘padaseva’ (gently pressing Swami’s feet). Swami asked one of the devotees what he wanted from Him? The devotee replied that he did not want anything, and that he considered being in Swami’s Divine Presence in itself as a unique boon. Swami brushed this aside firmly, and the devotee with tears in his eyes prayed and said that he considered Swami as his mother and father! Then Swami explained gently that every child inherits the characteristics and traits from its parents; only when a devotee practises Swami’s teachings in daily life, and reflects Swami’s divine characteristics, would he or she be accepted as His child! So Swami used to reveal such profound truths lovingly, but at the same time could be a hard task master!

Sri Rathnakar shared one mind-blowing experience that gives a glimpse Swami’s silent Omniscience and Omnipotence. This happened on another blessed occasion when he was chosen to accompany Swami to Kodaikanal with a group of students. Devotees were seated for the morning darshan, and inside Swami’s Residence he was standing near a window, waiting for Swami. Swami soon came near him and enquired if all the devotees were settled and seated for His Darshan. Innocently brother Rathnakar opened the curtain and looked out to ascertain this, when Swami quickly stopped him and remarked, “Aye, what are you doing? Do you want to give the first Darshan?”. Swami had a fantastic sense of humour! Swami said that to peep all one needed was a very small gap in the curtain, just enough to accommodate one’s eye! So, as he followed Swami’s advice and peeped out, he noticed a lady in one of the front rows sobbing openly. He informed Swami that this poor lady was crying. Swami looked at brother Rathnakar and commented, ”Oh! You are very kind hearted. Why don’t you call her for an interview and find out what is the problem.”

He then went out to give darshan and picked a few devotees for interview, including the lady who was sobbing. After the interview, brother Rathnakar noticed that this lady was gleaming in joy and was himself happy for Swami’s blessing on her. Later, as the group of students were returning from a walk around the lake as per Swami’s instructions, he came across this same lady! His curiosity overtook him, and so he introduced himself and gently enquired if she wouldn’t mind sharing her interaction with Swami in the Interview Room. She said that her husband was working in a European Ordinance factory where he was a marketing director. He was caught out in some serious trouble and was in custody in a European country. Swami said to her that her husband was innocent. He assured her not to worry and that He would protect him. Swami also told her that He would need one year to take him out! After 9 months, this lady bumped into brother Rathnakar by chance, outside the Ganesh Gate in Prasanthi Nilayam. And, recognising him, introduced her husband who was alongside her! True to Swami’s words, the husband was released unharmed in less than a year!

Another incident that Sri Rathnakar narrated was in relation to His Excellency, Late Sri Shankar Dayal Sharma, who was the President of India and a very ardent devotee of Swami. Many months prior to occupying this exalted position, when he was the Governor of the State of Andhra Pradesh, Swami had told him that He would give him a bigger job in Delhi. And so, he went onto become the President of India. It is beyond anyone’s comprehension how Swami operates!

Once brother Rathnakar was sitting at Swami’s Feet. Swami enquired if there was anything he wanted to ask. Since Swami persisted in this enquiry, he asked, “ Swami, how do we know we have your Grace?” Initially Swami said, “When you have lots of money!” Of course, brother Rathnakar knew that Swami was testing him, and so he kept quiet, prayerfully looking at Swami. Then Swami said, “When you have a high status and position of authority in society!” Again, he kept quiet. Swami continued in this vein for a little while, and Sri Rathnakar continued with his silent prayer waiting for the Divine Answer. Finally Swami said, “All these can be gained and lost. Why will I give such things that can be lost?” Then He revealed, ”Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, without your own effort, if My Thoughts are flowing in your mind and flooding it, that is the time I have decided to come to you. That is the sign of My Grace!”.

Sri Rathnakar concluded this talk exhorting everyone to remain focussed on Swami and His teachings which are the essence of all the scriptures, and to thus strengthen our inner connect, our inner bond with Swami. This he shared always keeps him happy and blissful.