We are at home today due to the snow. In fact we have been ‘at home’ for days now as the snow continues to fall and the temperatures drop below zero. brrrr! This family, being snowed in, decided to look through our old computer files. Why Not! 🙂 We always find old forgotten gems on the ancient WordStar files. These were written years ago and put in our computer ‘attic’, and had it not been for the snow, we probably would not have found them. Here’s the first of the forgotten stories. enjoy!!
Here we offer more of our memories from years ago
The End of Walking Darshans
It came so suddenly that it took us all by surprise. Swami had given long and loving darshans all through 2002, although he had not visited the men’s side during the afternoons in the Sai Kulwant Hall. What I remember most was the vibrations being exceedingly high on most days. In the afternoons when he sat outside in his chair, there had been such a feeling of peace that it permeated every inch of the hall.
I wasn’t there for the Siva Festival in 2003 but I was told he had appeared weak afterwards. On my return to Brindavan in April 2003, there was a marked change in Swami. He appeared frail and walked increasingly with a limp. Sai Ramesh Hall had been furnished with special lifts, which Swami used instead of the stairs. Although things were not quite as they use to be and there were fears that his leg was giving him pain, none of us saw it as the end of the old darshans.
There had been warning signs all along. There had been a gradual withdrawal from the general public since 1997. Swami had walked less through the blocks of women at Brindavan, less altogether through the general public sections. He had concentrated his physical attention on those seated in the V.I.P.’s and on the men’s side. The darshans had been long and especially sweet but getting anywhere near him to offer a letter was severely restricted by 2000.
I’d noticed a huge drop of International devotees at Brindavan during the period 1999 – 2003. There was, at one time, 50 percent from overseas and 50 percent local people gathered for darshan in the Sai Ramesh Hall, now there were less than 10 percent Internationals. Where there had been photographs of devotees at darshan and at festival times, there were now very few, other than those people seated in the front. I remember thinking how sad it was that many of us who had travelled so far to see Swami, were very much seated toward the back and away from him. He had seemed so universal at one time, there for all of us but now there was a notable exclusion of those seated in the general public, which probably served as a deterrent to most followers from afar.
The charm had all but disappeared but the healing vibrations had not. There was still that healing and loving atmosphere that had drawn us so close to Swami in the beginning. Devotees still came away from darshan with a glow in their eyes and a lightness which had been such an important part of darshans from the beginning. We all believe that closeness to Swami is the key to good darshan and it is – in as much as it does wonders for our egos, but true darshan has to be that which touches our hearts. I will always remember a very good saying of Swami’s that said it all in a few words.
“You can have a very good seat but you can’t have me.”
What he meant by this saying is ‘ okay go ahead and ‘grasp ‘ but when it comes to your heart it can neither see me or touch me, – but it can feel the good vibration that is sent and received by every sincere heart gathered here.’
A further meaning:
‘that the more we give of ourselves to others, the more our hearts open to receive his darshan. It’s a lesson that is hard to learn when the ego is intent on the physical form.’
In 2003, there were many magical moments with Swami on an inner level. Many times I felt closer to him inside when often I was seated way down the hall.
During my stay in 2003 at Brindavan, I did not attend many morning darshans. I decided that time had passed. I was no longer good at sitting for a long time in cramped conditions and for the ladies it was impossible to sit outside, a privilege the men had always enjoyed at Brindavan.
The afternoons were different. Although they were hot, I lined up for bhajans most afternoons. It was very special for me, at least, to be able to concentrate on Swami as he sat in his chair. I had always enjoyed bhajans at Brindavan and 2003 was no different.
Thank you Swami from the bottom of my heart for those delightful, enchanting and magical times with you during the early days. I miss them. I never had an interest in interviews or miracles, I only wanted the peace of darshan and so it goes, never to be forgotten.