Thursday, January 29, 2009


This happened many years ago in Trayee Brindavan, it was evening, and the post Bhajan period when the boys gather around Swami's jhoola (swing) inside Trayee, waiting for yet another of those memorable sessions to start. As usual, after Swami entered and was seated, there was small talk for sometime, after which Swami said, "Narasimhan, say something to the boys." The remark was addressed to late Mr. V. K. Narasimhan, a distinguished journalist and for long the editor of Sanathana Sarathi, after Kasturi.

Narasimhan, who was widely read and could speak on practically anything, replied, "Swami, when you are there, what business do I have to speak? It is you who know everything and it is you who should speak. In any case, the boys are waiting for You to speak, not me!"

Swami smiled and said, "No Narasimhan, you go ahead and speak." When Narasimhan persisted with his prayer adding that it is God who should speak to man and give advice, not man to man, Swami said, "Narsimhan, you know, sometimes man listens better to man than to God!"

Narasimhan was shocked and said, "Swami, how can that ever be?" Swami then said, "Narasimhan, don't you remember? When Bhishma told Krishna that He should advise Yudhishtra, Krishna insisted that it was Bhishma who should speak and not He! And it worked, did it not?"

It was on the advice of Bhishma that Yudhishtra assumed the rulership of Hastinapura and ruled for many years as a wise king who never deviated from the path of Dharma.

Narasimhan smiled and accepted that he had been vanquished in argument and went on to give yet another scintillating talk! God uses man as His instrument, even though He could do it all Himself!

The story of the Pandavas is an inspiring saga of courage and determination. It also illustrates that having the Lord on one's side does not automatically provide exemption from troubles or difficulties. However, the Lord does help in bearing the difficulties with courage and fortitude.

In the course of the dialogue, Yudhishtra asks, "Which is the best dharma of all?" To which Bhishma replies that the best one is the ceaseless contemplation and worship of Lord Narayana. Having said this, Bhishma composed on the spot a flowery hymn in praise of Narayana, containing over a thousand different descriptions of the Lord - this is the famous Vishnu Sahasranamam (which Shirdi Baba asked many to recite daily). The incredible aspect of it is that the first time it was recited was in the physical presence of Narayana Himself!

Karna is perhaps the most tragic of all the characters that appear in the Mahabharata. On occasions, Swami has praised Karna but has also pointed out that for all his noble qualities, Karna committed one fatal blunder. He surrendered himself totally to Duryodhana because he felt that Duryodhana saved his honour in an hour of crisis. It was this loyalty that compelled Karna to refuse even his mother's request to desist from fighting. Swami says that total surrender must only be to God and not to man, whoever that may be!!!

Moving on, Swami has also made a few other remarkable revelations concerning the Kurukshetra War. First is the fact that the war was fought in 3141 BC, when Krishna was 86 years old (Krishna, Swami says, was born on July 20, 3227 BC).

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