"He is my swami"
RP: Ah yes, it is easier to bend it then.
PK: Yes. Then He would split it; take out the strands and then He used to weave it!
RP: In different shapes.
Swami’s Letters of Help in Family Matters
PK: Since I was married very young, there was some kind of a misunderstanding between me and my husband. So to solve that, sometimes Swami used to call us for an interview to make us clear about the problems. But somehow it was not getting solved so easily - we couldn’t understand each other very well.
So to convince me, and advise me, and guide me as to how I should lead the life in the family, Swami used to often write letters to me. I will read some of the extracts from the letters. I will read it in the language in which Swami has written. Can you translate it?
RP: “Whatever be the problems, whether in joy or sorrow, there should be adjustment between you both. You have got to express yourselves to each other. Whatever maybe the situation, you should be united, happy and live without misunderstandings and doubts. You must always be in bliss. That alone gives Me happiness. What more do I need than that? Whatever be the vicissitudes of life, your Swami is the resident of your heart and will take care of you. Like the water bubble that emerges from water, and merges back in water, Swami will stay in your heart and stroll in your mental bliss. He will always shower happiness, comfort and contentment on you. For the sake of this, whatever be the difficulties, be happy; don’t give room to depression. Namasmarana or repetition of God’s name will resolve everything.”
PK: Another letter.
PK: First He will write: ‘Padmamma, accept My blessings.’
RP: And how would He sign off the letter?
PK: ‘Yours, Baba.’
RP: Next letter:
RP:“In human life there are many ups and downs; and mistakes too. You have got to control these. You both should be happy; without doubting each other, you should live happily. That is the characteristic of worldly life or samsara.”
Earlier, in the previous letter, He has defined samsara as a mixture of truth and untruth. So I think He was trying to say that the characteristic of life is to swim through these difficulties without drowning yourself in the ocean of worldly existence – which is samsara.
PK: Then after that, the problems increased – my husband lost his job and my father-in-law had an enlargement of heart, so he had to retire – he had no job. So there were financial and psychological problems going on in the house.
PK: And since I had three children; it was really a big problem and I didn’t know what to do?
RP: Trouble usually comes in battalions!
The Lord’s Kindness Knows No Bounds
PK: I would like to narrate an incident related to this situation where you will understand Swami’s care and His Compassion. You see, when I was going through this very difficult financial time and having three children, one day, my youngest son Rajaram who was born here, he was three years old; he had the habit of having a biscuit before he had his milk. That day, there was no biscuit and I couldn’t afford to buy it either – because the situation was so bad! He started to cry and throw a tantrum and it was very difficult to convince him.
PK: Yes, I was in Bangalore. So he searched and he got somebody and he told Swami: “Swami there are some people who want to go to Bangalore tomorrow urgently.”
RP: But you wrote that letter to Puttaparthi! And Swami was just getting down from the car and asking your father! Which means that maybe the letter didn’t reach Him physically, but He heard your agony?
PK: Yes. Immediately after getting down from the car, when He came from the tour, He asked for this. Then He asked my father to put them in the front for the interview - where they used to sit in the veranda for the interview. Swami told them: “Please give Padma’s address to them.” My father was wondering what is all this that Swami is asking - if someone is going to Bangalore and giving them his daughter’s address.
RP: He didn’t know anything! Swami didn’t tell him anything?
PK: No. He called those people for the interview and gave them a big cardboard box and said: “Take this address and go to that house and give it to her.” Same day, in the evening they came and they gave me the box which had dry fruits from Delhi. I couldn’t express my gratitude!
RP: That is Swami!
PK: My Swami!
RP: You were right when you said you can’t describe this Swami! That is just Swami!
RP: Swami wrote a letter to you!
PK: Yes, and in that He gave me the permission and the courage to go and stay in Bangalore.
RP: Yes. This is for all mothers I am sure.
“Perform your duties happily.” - Baba
“Right now, instead of being pre-occupied with other things, busy yourself with the taking care of the progress of your children, dear one. Make them virtuous and proficient in sath vidya – knowledge of the Truth. Is this not the responsibility of the mother? You may be wondering about how long this is going to go on; but don’t wait for time. Do your duty then time will disappear in it. In such matters, karma or action is more important than kala or time. Even if the time is not good, if the action is pure and good, it will transform or purify time too. The good and bad time is the result of actions, isn’t it? So follow Swami’s commands and perform your duties happily and in a righteous manner.
Don’t shed tears for the kashta and the nashta; the difficulties and the losses; shed tears instead for the karuna or the mercy of God. There is no one in this world who is without problems but there are many who are without Grace. So you have to acquire what you don’t have and not exalt over what you already have. Don’t keep on thinking about the past; past is past. Stale food cannot be made fresh again, can it? First think of life’s support and bliss. That is very important for us; it is also our support. Use your life time in getting your children educated and making them good and virtuous individuals.”
PK: So, by going through these problems, I came to understand what Swami once told me in an interview - Swami is the only real, true relative and the others are veer bandham – compulsory attachments.
RP: The relation with Swami is Eternal.
PK: And True.
RP: It is before birth and it will always continue.
PK: Yes. So He made me realize this and now I think it was worth going through these problems so I could come to the conclusion and the realization. There is one more letter I would like to read.
The Strength to Overcome Suffering
RP: One minute! I just have one small doubt which I think I would like your opinion on. And I am sure there are others who have similar doubts; so maybe you are the best person who should answer this.
You would think that life in general would be much more smooth and less difficult when Swami is physically close to you. You were one of the inner circles. So what do you think? Is there an inner significance in the fact that despite the Divine physical presence, many of Swami’s devotees, who were ‘in’ so to say, experienced some of the most trying situations?
Many of us – I am not talking about just you – what I feel is that there is probably some significance. Is Swami putting us through these difficulties in His physical presence to teach us something? Because generally outside people would think; if you have God – you know what happened to the Pandavas - if you have God, you should have no difficulty. But many who are in the inner circle, in the Grace and the presence of Bhagavan, experience some of the most difficult situations. Could you give us an insight into this, based on your own perception of it?
PK: You see, we usually write letters and give it to Swami, but sometimes we are not able to give it to Him, and then we feel very sorry that we were not able to.
RP: We feel disappointed that He didn’t take it, or we couldn’t give it to Him.
PK: Yes. But it doesn’t matter, because as we write, He knows the essence of the letters.
RP: He already knows?
PK: Yes. I have got one proof for that!
RP: Okay, please tell us.
PK: Just to give you the background of this letter before I wrote. Before his retirement, Swami had asked my father to take his mother for a teertha yatra – like Kashi, Mathura, Brindavan; and Swami told him: “Buy three tickets, and four of us will travel.” Because Swami said: “I am a ticketless traveler!” They had been to Delhi and Kashi and all those places. During that time, my husband had a typhoid attack. He had high fever and I was very worried. I didn’t have anybody and since my parents were not there, I felt like I should write a letter to Swami!
So I wrote a letter to Swami and mailed it to Puttaparthi. But unfortunately, I didn’t know that Swami was in Kodaikanal.
RP: You didn’t know the Kodai address either!
PK: I didn’t even know that He was in Kodai! I thought He was in Puttaparthi. After a week or ten days, my husband got better and my parents came back from their trip. My father had also written a letter to Swami about his pilgrimage – it seems he had Swami’s Darshan in Kashi, Mathura and Brindavan too!
RP: Wherever he went!
PK: Yes! So he wrote a letter to Swami about all that; he was so happy!
RP: Like Shyama in Shirdi Sai Charitra. So he had the Darshan of Swami in all those places?
PK: Yes! And in reply to that, Swami wrote a letter to my father. And in it, He has also mentioned about the letter that I wrote to Him too. In other letters, Swami used not to write dates, but in this letter He did! This letter was written on 26th May, 1955; it is in Kannada.
“When Swami is with you, what more is needed?” - Baba
“Kasturi, the letter you wrote, reached Me in Kodai. Since I was leaving Kodai the same day, I didn’t have time to reply! I reached Madras on 25th night, 12 o’clock. Kasturi, I am very happy that your pilgrimage with your mother passed off well.
When Swami is with you, what more is needed? Name is not different from Form; the Name points to the Form. When you see the Form, you remember the Name. When that is the case, that My Name is always dancing in your heart, naturally, you could see the Form! You could say that it is all Swami’s sankalpa or Will. No! Sadhana first; then sankalpa. That is, human effort first, then the Divine Will takes shape. Divine Will is always in proportion to the power of the devotees’ sadhana. Therefore, the power of sadhana is important. The master or the teacher gives marks according to the answers written by the student. Likewise, the Divine Will manifests based on the sadhana. But for this also, anugraha or the Grace of God is required.
Poor Padma is in great difficulty. Chandran’s health is not a problem. When Swami’s daya or compassion is present in full measure, where is the room for fear? I came and saw that night Padma was writing a letter to Parthi to Me. The letter has not yet reached, but the contents, the feelings have reached Me.”
PK: Beautiful letter! So these are all the mementos I have.
RP: Did you ever think of putting all this together in the form of a book?
PK: Yes, I am thinking; I have already written
one book in my language – Kannada.
PK: I have not yet decided.
RP: Alright. I think that’s it for now. Thank you very much. As I said last time, talking to you is like unraveling secrets. It was a great pleasure for me to converse with you and I am sure the listeners of Radio Sai Global Harmony will be extremely grateful to you for sharing with them all these very rare and beautiful experiences that you had with Swami.
PK: Thank you Rajeshwari and Radio Sai for
having given me this opportunity to share all my experiences with Bhagavan
with all the listeners. And in a very extreme form of tribute to Swami,
that I have been able to say it. Sairam.
(To be continued...)