Summer Showers At Brindavan 2002
16 May 02
6:45 Thursday Brindavan
Well Summer Course began with a bang! I?ll explain what I mean in
After this morning, I decided to leave a bit early for afternoon
bhajan token lines. I had arrived this morning at my usual time
and was in the late lines. My efforts were rewarded, as I got line
1 and a wonderful seat on the main aisle in block 4. The second
and third blocks were filled with students and teachers.
The altar had been decorated for this afternoon with some unusual
floral arrangements. Coming from behind the Krishna statue in a
fan shape were several palm fronds. In front of these were
handmade multi-colored foil hearts and moons pasted on long sticks,
also fanned out. The Krishna statue was draped in several flower
garlands of orange, white, green and yellow with some red roses
for accent. Along the edge of the small roof over the altar hung
double loops of orange and white flower garlands. Behind the
statue was a gold drape as a backdrop. On either side of the altar
were two unusual flower arrangements. In the shape of an S on it?s
side, were greens and flowers attached to a wide bamboo pole
painted gold (I know it sounds unusual ? it was!). At the point
where the arrangement attached to the pole, was a large handmade
butterfly. Swami?s chair and desk were in front of the statue
along with two podiums, one on either side.
As we devotees sat waiting for Swami , it was hot and humid, but a
cloud cover and occasional breeze made it reasonable. At 4 pm
Swami came from the lotus house and bhajans began simultaneously.
Swami came through the back stage door and across to His chair. He
sat and listened to two bhajans. Then students in red dhotis and
white shawls came on stage to chant. They were very good (and loud!).
They bowed to Swami and He blessed them from His chair with His
There were two speakers before Swami?s discourse. But, it was
difficult to understand what they were saying. The first spoke
about what Swami had said in the mornings inaugural discourse
about Rama. How, when Rama was born, it was a cloudy day, so the
Sun missed out on the blessing. When Krishna was born it was
night, so the moon was blessed. He said these tidbits were never
revealed before and we are very blessed to get such first hand
information. He asked if Swami would talk about the Ramayana
during Summer Course fortnight.
The next speaker was named Deepak Anan. He told several stories to
illustrate the greatness of Swami and taled about all of Swami?s
projects. As Sri Deepak Anan spoke, it started to rain a little.
At 4:30 pm Sri Deepak Anan finished and Anil Kumar came to the
second podium. Microphones were brought for Swami. It began to
rain a bit more and distant thunder. A cool breeze came into the
hall as Swami stood and began to sing His opening remarks.
We may loose our friends, our property, our wife, but all can be
replaced again, but once the body is gone, you cannot get it back.
So, we should make every attempt to experience a state of bliss
and happiness in this life. Since the body is not everlasting, we
should try to acquire bliss in this life.
Bharat (India) is the birth place of many great things. Many noble
people have come from Bharat. Swami sang again. But modern man
wants to acquire things from abroad not realizing he can get them
here. (Now the rain has become very hard an there is thunder and
lightening. It's as if the rain is trying to be louder than Swami!
The thunder sounds like gunfire.) Anil Kumar and Swami speak
louder, but we are having difficulty hearing them.
A clap of thunder and a flash of lightening come right on top of
Sai Ramesh Hall. It is so loud and the concussion so big, that all
of us are taken by surprise and jump out of our seats
involuntarily. Even Swami and Anil Kumar are affected. Swami stops
for a moment, then continues. The rain is so hard, I can't tell
what Swami or Anil Kumar are saying.
There are devotees outside the hall and they scramble for cover.
Those of us on the main aisle move over further toward the middle
(right on the edge of the carpet runner). Everyone slides over and
that makes room for more devotees on the outside to get inside. I
now have an even better view of Swami. The rain continues to pound
and come down in buckets.
Swami has Anil Kumar ask if we can hear Him. Everyone raises their
hands to say yes (even if they can?t hear, they don?t want Swami
to leave!). So, Swami continues. ( So does the rain.)
It is in this land of Bharat that God has taken human form. (Several
times Anil Kumar cannot hear what Swami says and has to repeat.
This causes some laughter.) I can barely make out that Swami is
talking about Saraswati, then about knowledge. Man can be blissful
by chanting the glory of God. Without God?s grace we cannot even
move forward one step. We are full of desires. God is not in a
foreign land, He is present in you. He is within you, around you,
below you. All our suffering can banish in a moments time by
singing God?s name. (I can hear a bit better as the rain is
None can comprehend the power of the name of God. You are
essentially divine. God is not separate from you. Students have
forgotten the glory and power of Bharat ? mistakenly thinking to
find it in foreign countries. Everything needed is here (India).
Bharat is the center ? it is the sacred land.
Then Swami tells some stories about His childhood, that I could
not understand. He sings several bhajans that He composed as a
child. Devotees around me that understand Telegu laugh several
times. Swami has a sweet smile on His face as He narrates these
stories. By 5:20 pm the rain has almost stopped. Swami said He
will talk about the Ramayana in the following days as requested.
He ends the discourse by singing the main verses to "Rama Rama
Rama Sita" and we sing the refrain. It is very beautiful. After
finishing the song, Swami signals for the arti lamp and we begin
to sing as He lights one lamp and takes a rose from one of the
students. As we sing, prasad in big silver buckets and cardboard
boxes are brought into the hall. Swami watches for a few minutes,
as it is distributed. It is 5:35 pm.
Swami makes His way over toward the exit door. He walks past one
of the floral arrangements on the bamboo pole and looks at it for
a moment, before leaving. As we finish singing arti, He turns to
us and gives several double handed blessings. It is so filled with
love, my heart is bursting. The door opens and we see a car
waiting to take Him to the house. He dismisses it with a wave of
His hand and walks past it. Devotees cheer. The door closes and we
wait to receive our prasad. The prasad is a sweet in a celephane
bag. The rain has stopped and we can leave. Day one of Summer
Course comes to an end.
At His Feet - love, April