Sweetness can only be Experienced, not Explained!
As I was sipping coffee in my office today, one of my colleagues asked me, "Do you have coffee with or without sugar?" My instant reply was, "Of course, with sugar! Otherwise, coffee wouldn't be sweet." My colleague immediately said, "How sweet is sweet? Do you have 2 sugar cubes or one?"
This set me thinking. "How sweet is sweet?" I wondered too.
Come to think of it, how could I describe sweetness? Because we can only say sweet or very sweet. But the amount of sweetness is only to be experienced and not explained. I was reminded of the sweet and wonderful times I had with the Lord. It is not something that can be explained. Every moment of my life is drenched with the sweetness of His love. The beauty of Swami's love was that it did not need a physical contact or recognition. You could see it in His eyes, in His look - it was so filled with Love that it would stir the deepest feelings in the hardest hearts. People may say whatever they want to but only someone who experiences His love will know what it is. Again - how sweet is sweet - I can't tell you. You need to taste it!
There are many instances of the experience of that Divine Love. But one incident that I would like to share happened when I was studying my 2nd Year MBA in 2003-04. Swami had just returned after a fall in Brindavan where He sustained a hip bone fracture. He had returned to Puttaparthi from Bangalore that is. Swami did not come out for Darshan for a few days and all of us were worried. The boys were praying in the hostel - doing bhajans, nagarsankeertan, vedam chanting and whatever else we thought would please Swami. Then there was an announcement in the hostel. 'Swami will come out for Darshan this evening. All boys are to be seated in the Mandir by 3PM.' This was the moment all of us were anxiously waiting for. What we saw in the Mandir was a very different Darshan from what we were used to. For the first time I saw Swami coming out - not walking - but on a golf cart. He was standing and holding the railing in front of Him for support. It tore our hearts to see Him that way. Yet, there was a beautiful radiant smile dancing on His lips. His countenance showed no sign of pain or discomfort. He seemed filled with joy to see His devotees. I could only pray silently as He cast a cursory glance at me and conveyed through the silence that He was fine. But then came the moment which I felt was truly amazing. There was a boy sitting on a chair because he had suffered a hairline fracture. As the golf car passed by him, Swami gently enquired 'How are you? Is your foot alright now?' I felt it was a very sweet moment. But how sweet is sweet? It wasn't until Swami went back to His residence that one of my classmates remarked, 'Did you notice that?'. 'Notice what' I asked. He said, 'Did you notice that Swami Himself has suffered a hip fracture, is in so much distress that He can't walk and yet He enquired about that boy. How many of us would think of another's pain when we have a problem like that?' That was when it hit me that here was Swami who was the embodiment of selfless love, and what a lesson He taught all of us. How does one describe such Love?
|What did they serve for lunch.........Parrot!|
On one occasion in my first year MBA, I had to skip lunch in order to finish an assignment. Our routine in college was that we had to walk down to the hostel for lunch during the lunch break, finish our lunch and get back to the college for the post lunch session. However, on that particular day, I was to finish an assignment before the class in the afternoon. And I hadn't completed it yet. So, I skipped lunch and completed the assignment. As the lunch break was coming to an end, I heard one of my classmates remark, 'Ahh! Again they served carrot. I don't like it!' I smiled as I picked up my books and started off towards the college. As per the routine, after college, we had our tea in the hostel and then headed towards the Mandir where we would have Darshan. That day, as I reached Mandir, Swami came out for Darshan and when He came close to me, He looked at me and asked, 'What did they serve for lunch today?' I was flabbergasted! What a day for Him to ask me this - exactly when I skipped lunch. However, I remembered the conversation in the hostel that one of my roommates had about the curry that was served and said to Swami, 'Swami, they served carrot.' Immediately Swami said, 'What? Parrot? That is not good. They should serve only vegetarian food in the hostel.' Then He walked to the Interview room - the room that Swami would grant interviews to devotees in. As I was wondering what just happened, it slowly dawned on me that Swami was probably meaning to say that I was only repeating what someone else said like a parrot. I thought, 'Aha - Swami caught me since I skipped lunch.'
No sooner that I thought this way, the Interview room door opened. Swami walked out and came straight to me again after speaking a few words to someone in the verandah. This time He said, 'Do you know I did not have lunch today. Next time don't skip lunch. Otherwise I will have to go hungry.' He then gave a most enchanting smile that will always remain etched in my memory. How does one describe the sweetness of this incident? Should I be awestruck by His omniscience or should I be amazed by His compassion and love? Should I be blown away by His care and concern or should I pay attention to the deep spiritual lesson that He was driving into me - reminding me that He is the indweller? That day I understood - at least momentarily - the true import of what it means when Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita -
|Know that I am the Indweller who digests the food you partake!|
Aham Vaishwanaro Bhutvaa,
'Know that I am the Vaishwanara - the digestive fire in you that stays within the body of each living being. It is I who keep the balance between the vital airs that come into and go out of the body. It is I who digest the 4 types of food.'
As always Bhagawan taught the deepest lessons with love, concern, compassion and patience! How does one explain a moment like this. The only way to perhaps express our gratitude is to share such love and compassion and radiate it. Even if we manage to radiate a miniscule part of it, I think it will be a great service - to ourselves and to others. Like I said, sweetness is an experience, not an intellectual, logical conclusion to be arrived at!
'Sarve Janaah Sukhino Bhavantu'