Note: A former Sai university alumnus shared this article of his with me and was OK with me putting it up on this PUBLIC blog. [I have made some minor edits in this post which have been okayed by the author (Sai university alumnus).]This writing is not about those who run the "show", this is about those who attend it. This may be read as very rude, disrespectful or even stern by some, while some may feel it necessary. Nevertheless it is still a perspective, maybe, even a perspective only.
When Swami was amongst us, festivals seemed to be the most beautiful in Puttaparthi. It seems to have changed now, isn't it? Was anyone in Parthi responsible for a decision that the Lord Himself decided to take? Was anyone in human form capable to decide for Him not to leave us and go? Was there not one devotee in the whole world whose prayers could hold Him from giving up His beautiful form? Well, if we were responsible, capable or devoted enough for any of it to happen where is that responsibility, capability and devotion gone?
It has gone to a place of more convenience. A place where festivals seems to be divine because "Swami" gives a discourse through someone else, while His own voice when played in Parthi does not seem to satisfy the soul? A place where darshan seems more divine because one gets to offer one's problems in a letter to "Swami" while His "Sannidhi" seems to be a mute symbol? Does it not cross the mind that Swami never gives/gave instructions for a "Athi Rudra Maha Yagna" being conducted elsewhere when He Himself presides over a "Veda Purusha Sapthaha Yagna"? Or it is again a matter of convenience to visualize Him sitting in a place because someone "claims" that He is seated there? Or is it even the blasphemous thought that He possibly does not preside over a yagna that He has conducted for uncountable number of years?
A world youth conference is planned at the same time as the birthday celebrations in Parthi. How many people called it a chance of lifetimes to actually be born in the same time as the yuga avatar, then come/ be born in India, then know about Andhra Pradesh, then come to Parthi and so on..remember those words that got thunderous applause? Today that same holy land that He chose to be born in seems to have less importance than a place that He visited once in a while? Would you want to celebrate your mother's birthday in your home or in some island that may just try to be a replica of your home? If you choose the replica, then you are just choosing convenience! It is never wrong to choose convenience, that is what each one wants but love was never meant to be convenient, devotion was never meant to be comfortable.
When Swami was amongst us, chances to get physically close to Him were the best memories of our life. It seems to have changed now, isn't it? Interview sessions don't happen anymore, sad, but one can't imagine sitting in the same interview room without Him. We are not so lucky today, possibly our quota of luck ran out the day He left us but there were many who were not even as lucky. We still want to feel that same luck? We can't accept that it is over? Why? What we got was not enough maybe? Was that time not enough to keep in the heart and cherish for a lifetime? If today I get an interview, my importance rises in my own eyes is it? Or in others' eyes? Was that time not enough for one to feel important, feel special for Him? Getting to speak to Him or hear Him through someone else makes one feel important today? Maybe lovely anecdotes, beautiful stories, enchanting feelings, divine experiences from the past are not enough that the mind, heart and soul still seeks for more?
That time seems to be a past that is either forgotten or wants to be re-created in the heart. Swami always said live in the present because it is omnipresent, but looks like it has not been allowed to last even a few years. The time for a place where all memories were created, where all experiences were woven, where all emotions were expressed seems to have reduced, seems to have changed priority. Priority for what? For more importance! For more recognition, for more daily joys! A love story with God is written by Him. Krishna narrated the Bhagvad Gita once to Arjuna, it seems to be enough for mankind for eons together now. The number of Bhagvad Gitas Swami gave, is that not enough? Does mankind still need more? Or is it that many want to think that they are the chosen Arjuna(s) of this age? Time for getting importance was bestowed on mankind already, time for proving the importance is now.
When Swami was amongst us, His all knowing nature seemed to make a story of a lifetime. It seems to have changed now, isn't it? How does someone know if He is upset with him for a silly mistake or for a blunder of a lifetime? How does someone know that He is happy with him for a kind act or a devoted offering of love? But did one always get a reaction from Him before 2011? How was the heart satisfied then? Did it seek an acknowledgement that He knew everything about us? Did it seek a confirmation that He was always watching us? Did it ever depend on another person for an assurance that all will be well? Today, the mind searches for a sense of gratification that only another human mind can provide, it is having a thirst for an experience that a talented individual quenches, it is waiting for a magical moment that a magician conceives. Has it already forgotten the sense of fulfillment that only the divine can provide? Forgotten the satisfaction that the divine nectarine voice quenched? Forgotten the magic that only the divine could create? Why is re-creation so appealing to the mind? Why is imitation being so praise worthy? Why is the inexplicable being so easily justified by logic?
World tour was a promise made, yes, but was it not happening even when He was in the physical body? Was His promise of world tour a plan or His will? His will to leave the form earlier than "said" seems to find a completeness in existence elsewhere? A whole lifetime of an avatar was spent in satisfying humans' mind, heart and soul. Now He watches us satisfy His vision and mission that He clearly made, gave to each one. Is the guidance given, not enough? We still need to tell our hearts, through someone else that He wishes for this and that? What more satisfaction does one need to know that He is amidst us already like He was always? An interview? Gifts? Kind words? Even in a human relationship the heart is intricately bound to the one it loves, nothing can satisfy it more than a look of the loved one, words from the dearest one and memories of the special one. Then why today does it find that look in someone else's eyes particularly? Why wait to hear words of appreciation from another mouth? Why create memories with another special one? Our souls have already found its gratification beyond what anyone or anything else can provide, our hearts are already filled with memories that brings tears to the eyes, stop feeding the mind.