Summer Showers At Brindavan 2002
Today we had the second of Swami’s discourses for Summer Course
2002. I had token line 3, so had a nice view of Swami and the
other speakers again this afternoon.
Swami surprised everyone by coming early: 3:50 pm. Most all the
devotees were in the hall, but the security people and seva dals
had to run to get into their places before Bhajans began. The
altar was the same as yesterday except there were no looped
garlands on the roof over Swami’s chair and the Krishna statue had
new flower garlands. Swami’s desk, chair and two podiums were in
place. Today, there were new box speakers on the stage, pointed
toward Swami's desk and the podiums, so they could hear themselves,
if it rained like yesterday.
Swami came across the stage and stood at His chair listening to
the singing for awhile before sitting. When He sat, several men
came in from behind the gold curtain (backdrop behind the Krishna
statue) and sat on the floor behind Swami.
Today there was no rain, but it was cloudy and occasionally, a
nice breeze came through the hall. It looked like it could rain
later. The bhajans stopped and a group of young men in red dhotis
came up to the podium to chant. Swami blessed them from His chair
after they finished.
A fellow, who acted as the MC, came to the podium next and gave us
a rundown of what we could expect this afternoon. He said that two
students would give us a summary of the morning talks (given to
the students in the auditorium), then Vidya Jyoti Das who
graduated with a masters degree from Swami’s school (and is in
charge of the brass band) would speak. Finally, Swami would give
The two students (one male and one female) summarized the morning
talks very nicely. It was like a school assignment. The first
young man spoke about Venkataraman’s talk (he is now in charge of
Swami’s Global Harmony radio broadcasts). Venkataraman's talk was
about his memories of Summer Courses in the past years and He
presented a question to the students: What is the purpose of life?
He gave Swami’s answer: To go back to where you came from. He said
to have a broadminded perspective, which is taught at Swami’s
schools. He said broadmindedness is a part of the culture of
India. He told several stories to illustrate some of his points.
He told the students to follow Swami’s commands implicitly and to
realize how fortunate they are to be in Swami’s school.
The second speaker that was at the morning session was a Mr.
Madhusudan (not sure of the spelling). He spoke about some of his
experiences with Swami that illustrate the mother and teacher side
of His nature. He also gave some stories of Swami as God.
Then a young female student came to the other podium to summarize
the one talk given by a woman—Dr. Parvati Challi (spelling is
unknown) who is a professor at one of Swami’s schools. She gave
the students at wonderful story of her life and her goal of
service to Bhagavan. She told of her prolonged illness and how
that brought her closer to Him; how He appeared to her in the
hospital and gave many examples of service and faith. Swami gave
her faith at the lowest ebb of her life.
After these two summaries of the morning events, Vidya Jyoti Das
came to the podium to speak. He started his talk with the story of
the tree that was cut down by a woodcutter. The tree was crying in
pain, but the woodcutter soon had cut it down. No one would listen
to its cries. Now the tree was a log and was eventually taken to
the sawmill. It could not cry anymore, even though it was now
going to be in even more pain. It bore the pain silently. A small
piece of the tree ended on the workbench of a craftsman. This
craftsman used a sharp chisel to cut into what was left of the
tree. The tree thought there would be no end to the pain.. But, it
became a beautiful violin and made wonderful music. The tree
thought: Could this be me, making such beautiful music? This story
illustrated the theme that Mr. Das spoke about: pairs of
opposities – joys and sadness (suffering). Why is there sorrow? It
is then that people turn to God. Who are we to question the ways
of the Divine? He then told so me stories about Swami.
At 4:25 pm Anil Kumar came to the podium and microphones were
brought for Swami. He stood up and sang His opening remarks, as
usual (so very sweetly!).
This whole world is under God’s control and the noble men who
follow the path of the Divine. For modern society the Ramayana is
essential. Today we don’t have people who are of high character
doing their duty. The Ramayana sets before us the principles for
the whole world to follow. How children should be raised, how
brothers should interact ideally. How husband and wife should be.
But this is not seen today. We find freedom is more and more. In
the present circumstances Ramayana teaches the ideals.
Modern parents need to remember that the home is the first school
of learning – how to speak truth and follow dharma. Schools then
teach respect, how to be with friends. But, no one is bothering
with these aspects of life. The moment a child is admitted to
school, students should know how to behave. We have to clearly
understand the role of discipline in the institution. Once this is
put into practice, students will become ideal.
In ancient times, people would getup early – cleanup and eat
properly (very little), then go to school with humility. If you
follow the proper conduct, you will no doubt have perfect health.
Modern students don’t respect their mothers.
Then Swami told a story from the Ramanyana about the yajna that
Dasaratha was doing for the wealfare of the world. Demons were
interfering, but he could do nothing as he was part of the yajana.
Sage Vaisista suggested that Rama and Lakshmana go with him to the
forest to get rid of the demons and protect the yajana. Dasaratha
was shocked at this suggestion as the boys were so young (thirteen
according to Swami). Then Swami told another story from the
Ramayana – this one about how the four boys were born because of
the sacred pudding being consumed by the 3 queens and how the
pudding of Sumitra’s was stolen by a bird when she was drying her
hair on the balcony (there were no hair dryers in those days
according to Swami! – this brought a laugh).
Swami told how the other 2 queens shared their portion of the
pudding (with permission from the Sage and proper prayers) with
Sumitra. These two queens were ideals. They felt that they were
all one. Swami said we don’t see this kind of sisterly attitude
today. Swami told how the 4 children were born to the queens and
cried all the time until the sage was consulted and had a vision.
He told Sumitra to put Lakshmana with Rama and Satrughna with
Bharatha. She did this and the children stopped crying and played
Swami said that Satrughna’s virtues are not mentioned in the
Ramayana, but that he was very noble. He said that the story of
Kikye asking for the two boons so her son could be king is
incorrect. The truth is that she was a very virtuous woman. She
knew that the only way the demons would be killed was for Rama to
go to the forest and take care of it. This was her plan all along.
So, the boons were asked for this reason. And, eventually Rama did
get rid of the demons including Ravana.
Swami also told of how the pudding taken by the bird from Sumitra
was dropped where Angelidevi was meditating and is responsible for
the birth of Hanuman. Thus Hanuman was intrinsicly tied to Rama
and the other brothers.
Swami used these stories to illustrate a number of ideals, such as
unity, obedience, etc. He said the Ramayana teaches how to be an
ideal mother, father, brother, teacher, etc.
Swami then spoke about the death of Rama and Krishna and what
happened. Unfornately, I was unable to understand exactly what was
said and I don’t want to get it incorrect. (I will ask tomorrow
for clarification from some friends and send the correct
information along later.)
Swami ended by talking about how people think He is old and weak.
Ladies ask why He walks so slowly – is He in pain? Swami said He
is in perfect health and these questions are a sign of ignorance.
He is 77 years old and can see perfectly. He can walk quickly and
strongly, but since He is 77 He plays this role. (Swami was very
forceful throughout the discourse today – showing lots of energy
He said that the reason He walks slowly is because the taylor
makes the robe and slip too long and so He has to be careful not
to step on it! Then He said there are many secrets in the Ramayana
and He would tell us and clear any doubts. (Can’t wait!)
At 5:25 pm, Swami began to sing " Rama Kodanda Rama" and we all
sang along. Anil Kumar sat on the stage floor and keep time to the
song, tapping on one of his books. When Swami finished the song,
He signaled for the arti lamp. Two students came up. One gave
Swami a rose, and the other brought the lamp. Swami took the rose
and put it in the students pocket, then lit the lamp. He turned to
walk out of the hall as we sang. When He was about halfway to the
door, He turned to us and pulled up the bottom of His robe to show
the underslip – gesturing to show how long it was – as He had
mentioned earlier. We all smiled and laughed at this cute moment.
(It was precious!)
Day two of Summer Course 2002 came to an end. It had not rained
during the discourse, but within 10 minutes, it began to pour like
yesterday with thunder and lightening (not as much thunder and
At His Feet – love,