Jai Sri Krishna- Sai Ram All,
By Swami's immense Grace, i was in His physical presence from 30th April -
8th May. Below are some of my joyous experiences, which i want to share
with all of you in the hope that i can bring a small part of Kodai to all
of you here in this e-group.
From my 1st day in Kodai, i was amazed at how much hair Swami has and how
He was always brushing it aside due to the wind or gentle breeze blowing
against His face. Swami looked really cute with His chubby cheeks and all
that mass of hair on His head. At every darshan, Swami made it a point to
brush aside His hair and since He very often did it while He was on the
balcony, we were always delighted and it never ceased to bring a broad
smile onto our faces. Daily, i would think, Swami could do with an orange
hair band or a pair of orange hair clips!
One of the days, Swami had given money to His students and instructed them
to go buy warm clothings for themselves from the Tibetan stallholders in
Kodai. Swami strictly instructed His students to pay the said price and
not bargain with the Tibetans over the price of the clothings. Swami told
His students that the Tibetan stallholders were struggling to survive in
Kodai and that they were honest people. He thinks of everyone!
On 30 April, in the afternoon, Ajit Popat of UK gave a speech in the
mandir. Swami made fun of Popat by saying that he speaks so quickly and
passionately that nobody in the audience understands what Popat is saying.
Later, Swami gave His Divine Discourse where he spoke about Rama, Sumithra
and the Ramayana.
On 1st May, Swami came out for darshan at 10am (12.30pm - S'pore time).
Swami was unusually late! It was noted that the Paduka Puja was going on
in S'pore from early morning till 12.30pm, when bhajans ended and arathi
commenced. i felt that Swami waited till the paduka puja, bhajans and
arathi was over in S'pore, before he came out to give us His Darshan in
Kodai. Swami then granted interview to an Italian group.
In the afternoon, in the mandir, Swami's student - Deepak gave a speech.
He started off by speaking about the greatness of Swami's lotus feet and
the glory of Sai Rama padukas. How appropriate! He then narrated his and
his parents' experiences with Swami. Deepak's family have always been
Krishna devotees. When his mum met Swami, she was not sure if Swami was
her Krishna. Swami very compassionately came in her dream and convinced
her that He is Sai Krishna. How sweet!
Swami had saved Deepak's father from likely death. When Deepak's father
was in Parthi, he had a dream of Swami in the afternoon, whereby Swami had
told him to go early for darshan. He left for darshan at 2pm - Swami did
not acknowledge him at darshan. He didn't know why he was instructed to go
early for darshan. Later, that night Deepak had a dream where Deepak was
in front of Swami and Hanuman, and Swami told Hanuman to make sure that
2.30pm never came for the father. Hanuman then flew into the sky and moved
the sun by half an hour.
On another occasion, Deepak was studying in Parthi and he had made a vow
to Hanuman at Hillview stadium that he would do pradakshana of Hanuman 3
times in the morning for 7 days. On the last morning, after he completed
his pradakshana of Hanuman, Deepak was wondering who received his
pradakshana - Hanuman or Swami? He then was thinking of this question and
was walking down Hillview stadium, when he suddenly spotted Swami's car
coming up the hill. He panicked as he knew Swami would scold him for being
there when he was supposed to be at school. He tried to hide, but Swami's
car was coming towards him. As per his fear, the car stopped next to him
and Swami asked him what he was doing there. He told Swami about going
round Hanuman. Then Swami, told him to go back to school and then Swami's
car funnily went round Deepak once and went down the hill. That afternoon
at Darshan, Swami called the warden of the
campus and told him what Deepak was doing at hillview stadium that
morning. Deepak knew he was in for trouble! However, Swami called Deepak
to the verandah and asked him "you love Hanuman?" Deepak replied in the
affirmative and Swami very lovingly materialised a chain with a Hanuman
pendant for him and lovingly placed it round his neck. Deepak got his
answer - his pradakshana was lovingly received by the Lord of Lords -
That afternoon, we received almond and chocolate burfi as prasad.
On 2 May morning, Swami whilst was returning in his golf cart up the slope
towards Sai Sruthi, materialised a chain for a lady and later a silver
ring with 9 red rubys for another lady. That morning, we received 2
prasadam - burfis from Swami. The sevedals informed us that Swami strictly
gave instructions that each devoteee is to receive 2 prasadams.
On 3 May, 13 students from Swami's Institute arrived in Kodai. That
afternoon bhajans were simply beautiful and soulful. They also sang
kirtans in praise of Jaganath and Krishna composed by the great Jayadeva
who composed the Gita Govinda. We felt like we were gopees in Brindavan in
the company of our Lord Krishna.
On 4 May morning, Swami made us wait in Sai Sruthi till 11am and then it
was announced that there would be no darshan. In the morning, Swami had
given His students a talk in the hall and by the time He finished it was
quite late. We were sad and disappointed that we had waited for nearly 5
hours and had to return without seeing Him. There were also rumours flying
of Swami going to Whitefield the next morning and at the same time rumours
of Him celebrating Easwaramma Day in Kodai. We were very confused and were
ready to pack should He leave.
That afternoon, it was confirmed by the Madurai female sevadals that Swami
was celebrating Easwaramma Day in Kodai and that He was leaving for
Whitefield on 7th May morning. We were just thrilled!
5th May morning, Swami gave interview to an Iranian family and a Swiss
man. The Iranian couple had no children for 12 years and with Swami's
Grace they now have 2 sons - Sathya and Rama. Swami named the 1st son
Himself. The 1st son, Sathya is about 7 years old and he can recite the
Vedas very well. Swami materialied vibuthi for the family and i was
blessed to receive a pinch of this Divine vibuthi from them. Swami
materialied 1 pendant each for Sathya and Rama and a chain for one of the
ladies. There are no words to describe Swami's infinite love for His
6th May morning - Easwaramma Day. Bal Vikas children as young as 4 years
old to 12 years old from Chennai, Madurai and Trichy had arrived early
that morning and were given special seats for darshan. They were all
immaculately dressed in white and were in their best behaviour. They were
all seated along the path where the gold cart would travel. We started
lining up for darshan at 5am and were allowed into Sai Sruthi around 8am.
Swami came out around 8.45am in His orange robe. He came out from the
mandir. He looked so radiant and beautiful. He was a sight to behold!
Swami was blessing the prasadam for distribution to all. Immediately
sevadals, VIPs and His relatives rushed to the mandir to help in serving
the prasadam - sambar rice, sweet pongal rice and a sweetmeat to the
devotees. It was beautifylly served on leaf plates. Swami was very
particular that every single devotee got a plate of prasadam that he kept
pointing here and there to the sevadals and his students. Swami also very
lovingly asked His students to distribute cello brand coloured writing
pens to all the Bal Bikas students who were there. You should have seen
the joy on those kids faces. They were thrilled and held on to the pen box
so tightly. Swami also distributed sarees to some ladies and blessed some
sarees that a few ladies were holding in their hands. Swami then
graciously ascended the gold cart and gave us His darshan. It was such
close darshan. We can always see Swami's lovely lotus soft fair feet on a
light blue fur carpet placed for His feet in the gold cart. Swami took
nearly all the letters held up for Him - even those 4 - 5 rows away from
Him. He was such a Krishna that morning.
Later, Swami went up to the balcony and noticed that the Bal Vikas kids
had not got their prasadam yet and He instructed the sevadals to serve the
kids first before serving the other devotees. The kids were thrilled and
so were we. The kids had their hands in the prasadam and were digging in.
They must have been starving. How compassionate can our Sai Maa be! He
just thinks of everything and everyone. Swami then stood at the balcony
till all of us got prasadam. Swami later distributed a photo of Mother
Easwaramma to the devotees. Before Swami left for His residence, He took a
sweetmeat and threw it at 1 of the kids seated in front of me. We all
laughed. By the time we left Sai Sruthi, it was 11.45am. What a memorable
In the afternoon around 3+pm, Swami, His students, His relatives and some
VIPs went in their cars for a tour of Kodai hills. They returned around
4+pm and later Swami delivered His Divine Discourse which lasted an hour.
Swami spoke about Mother Easwaramma and her great compassion and love for
her fellow man. Swami spoke about the greatness of mothers and motherhood.
He said that Ramakrishna and Vivekananda are great because of their
mothers. Funnily, Swami also spoke about keeping our mouth clean and to
brush our teeth before having breakfast and that we should always keep our
mouth clean so that there will not be infection. It's hilarious that GOD
comes down to earth to teach man about love and also to keep our mouth,
teeth and tongue clean! What a funny Avatar! That night after His
discourse, there was a drama put up by the Chennai Bal Vikas students on
Nachiketas of 2005 - a drama about a 7-year old Bal Vikas student who has
great faith in Swami and the 5 human values. He visits Yama in Yama loka
as a result of a challenge posed to him by his father who is digging a
drain to get rid of their dirty water and depositing it in the neighbour's
well. The boy is opposed to the father's plan and goes to Yama loka to
speak to Yama on Dharma. Swami enjoyed the play very much and patted the
boy who played Nachiketas. That night the program ended at 7pm and Swami
very lovingly distributed Washington red ruby apples as prasad to all of
us. What a feast we had the whole day!
On 7th May, we arrived at Sai Sruthi at 6.10pm and were waiting to have
car darshan of Swami. There were barely 50 people outside, as most left
for Bangalore by the 6th night bus. At 7.30pm, Swami despite His leg pain
and aches climbed 3 floors to the rooftop and gave us rooftop darshan and
saw us. We were so thrilled and we madly waved back at Swami. He
acknowledged us. Then all of Swami's students gathered around him and
Swami sat on His sofa and one by one each student took a photo with Swami
with the lake in the background. Later Swami stood up and each boy had his
arm round Swami's back and photos were taken. How sweet! This took half an
hour. Later, they all wenr down for breakfast. The boys then got into
their buses. At 8.30am, Swami's silver E500 Mercedez Benz emerged from Sai
Sruthi and we all waved at Swami and threw flowers on his car. Swami
blessed us and we scramped for our cars to be behind Swami's car. Our car
was the 9th car behind him. We sped like crazy down Kodai hills. Somehow,
we weren't frightened but it was kind of fun and an added adrenaline rush
to be chasing the Lord of Lords at such fast speed in such a small car.
At 11.30am in Madurai, Swami's car and the police jeep along with the
entourage of cars took a u-turn, as the Police jeep had taken a wrong
turn. just as our car was about to make the u-turn, our car engine broke
down, got stuck in a ditch and would not start. Other then the driver,
there were 2 females and a male in the car. Myself and an Uncle tried to
push the car without any luck. Just then, Swami passed by our car and His
car stopped and He very compassionately gave us Abhaya Hasta and gave us
the most beautiful smile. i was just awe struck. Within seconds, we were
the only people and car on that road. Suddenly, out of nowhere a mini-bus
passed by and a few men with lunghis (sarong) got off and helped us push
the car and miraculously the car started. The men then without even
waiting for us to thank them, got into their bus and left within seconds.
Our car then sped off at super speed to catch up with Swami, and with His
grace we caught up with Him. At 11.45am, Swami alighted at Madurai Ananda
Nilayam (the late Subramaniar Chettiar's Paduka Temple). Sreenivasa
Chettiar welcomed Swami with the Poorna Kumbham. We were just delighted as
we were right behind Swami and could see Him clearly and all the
formalities being observed.
Swami very graciously went into the bhajan hall, where melodious Tamil
bhajans were being sung. Swami with the help of Sathyajit sat on the Chair
in the hall for 15 mins. He then materialised a chain and pendant for
Sreenivasa Chettiar and a ring for another gentleman. i had the blessed
opportunity of seeing and touching the materialised chain and pendant - it
was a gold pendant (20 cent coin size) with a carved engraving of the face
of Sathya Sai Baba. Prasadam was served to all and Swami and His
relatives, students and VIPs had lunch and Swami left at 1.20pm. This time
Swami was sitting on the right hand side at the back seat of the car. We
were all lined up on both sides of the road and had excellent close-up
darshan of Sai. He also blessed all with His abhaya hastha. Swami then
left for Madurai airport and flew to Bangalore where He had tiffin and
afternoon tea before He proceeded for Whitefield and reached there at 8pm.
On 8th May, Swami came out for darshan at 8+am and He very graciously
walked into the Sai Ramesh Hall before proceeding onto stage to listen to
the Sun bhajans by the Bangalore group. The 1st song was a Swaagatham
(welcome) composition. A few more bhajans were sung and at the end of
Govinda Hare Gopala Hare Hey Goppe Gopa Baala, Swami got off His chair and
proceeded to His residence. Then prasadam, laddu was distributed to all
devotees, as per Swami's instrictions.
In the afternoon around 4pm, Swami arrived in the hall walking. He sat and
listened to bhajans for half an hour before arathi was shown to Swami by
Uncle Dr Padmanabhan.
Somehow, after having such close darshan in Kodai, Swami seems miles away
in Whitefield. i guess we have to get closer to Him in our hearts!
in Krishna always,