The shock of the morning
(Before we dive into the story, if you have landed here directly, I would request you to please come back after reading
After all, which story is fun without reading from the beginning? :)
If you have finished reading the first part, please read on! )
Having decided that I would be going to the hospital the next day to get my cast removed, I had dinner and returned to my room to rest for the night. I got up a bit late the next morning. I looked at my watch and it was nearly 7am. I had to be ready by 8am so that I could eat a hearty breakfast and then go to the hospital.
The bath was a tedious procedure. I had to wrap up the cast on my leg in plastic to ensure that it does not get wet. And then, I had to sit on a metal chair, placing my leg on the closed commode and have my bath. Going through it in my mind itself made me feel like skipping the bath.
“Not any more”, I thought, “today will be the last bath like this!”
Before I got out of bed, I wished my Swami a good morning. And then, with my right hand, I held the gold chain with His pendant that hung around my neck. He had materialized this for me from thin air during the most memorable experience of my life. I held the chain and said to Him,
“Swami, when you are there with me, protecting and guarding me, what evil eye can ever affect me?”
With that, I closed my eyes in gratitude, remembering the memorable way in which He had placed the chain around my neck. Then, I got up to go for a bath.
As I was standing up, I heard a sudden snap and felt something slithering on my chest. I was startled and felt that some snake had got in. I plunged my hand into my vest and it was pure horror! Let me say that I would have been happy if it was a snake!
It wasn’t. It was my gold chain and it had snapped and broken. Oh my God! Was I shell-shocked! I had tears in my eyes instantly and I suddenly got very scared too. Just a minute ago I had told Swami that He (through the chain) would protect me from the evil eye. And now, it was as if that drishti had overpowered His protection and snapped the chain!
I was in a really frenzied mood. I called up one of my colleagues who knew a very good jeweler. I asked him whether I could get my chain mended as it had snapped without any reason. He told me to calm down and said that we could go the the jeweler after the bhajans in the morning.
The morning darshan session
At this point, let me tell the readers that Swami would rarely come for morning darshans. He used to come out maybe once or twice a week. So, at 9am, bhajans would begin and Aarthi would be offered to Swami’s chair at 9:30am. (Today, when I look back, I feel He was training all of us for what was to come!)
I cancelled the idea of going to the hospital. I decided to finish my bath and wait in the room for bhajans to conclude. Even as I waited, I called another senior of mine. He had the chance of staying with Swami and serving Him for almost 5-6 years and I just felt like calling him. His advice was straightforward
“Swami gave you that chain. Ask Swami what should be done about it before taking it to a jeweler.”
Even as he said that, the loudspeakers in the ashram came alive- loud and clear. It meant only one thing - Swami was about to come for darshan in the hall.
From then on, my brain and mind ceased to work. I was on auto-pilot. I was so fearful and nervous that I simply felt like running to Swami and seeking solace from Him. But well, it was not that easy. Hoping against hope that Swami would somehow speak to me, I got myself dropped at the mandir. It was a sheer intuitive urge that made me go and sit in the bhajan hall instead of the mandir outside.
And to my great good fortune, as Swami was moving into the interview room after the darshan, He decided to make a sudden visit to the bhajan hall. Even as He entered, He saw me and the cast! I had forgotten about the dream but I just did not care. Since He was looking at me, I went straight to Him. He looked at me lovingly and asked me,
“What happened to your leg?”
My answer was outrageous.
“Leave that Swami! Tell me what happened to my chain?”
He did not seem to hear me. He asked again,
“What happened to your leg?”
“Swami, I was playing in the shuttle court and I had a sprain. That will heal Swami. But what about my chain?”
“What about your chain?”
“Swami, today morning, without any reason it snapped and broke...”
I almost had tears in my eyes now. Swami parted my shirt collar to have a look at the chain.
“It is not there anymore Swami! It broke and it is in my pocket. Would you like to have a look?”
When He nodded, I took the chain out of my pocket and showed it to Him. He had a careful look.
The whole chain had been built in a modular fashion with golden cubes. each cube had four holes on one side and four flaps on the other. The four flaps were locked into the four holes of the next cube and so on to make the chain. At the joint, the four holes had been crushed inside and the four petals had been terribly crumpled. It was as if someone had torn the chain apart and had bashed up both ends to make them not fit any more!
He put the chain back into my pocket and said,
“Let it stay there! Don’t worry.”
This was what I feared - it was as if the purpose of the chain was over and so it was no longer necessary to be worn. But I was very attached to the chain - a fallacy that I often commit, getting attached to the creation instead of the creator!I wanted to wear it all my life! So I thought I would ask Him whether it could be mended. Even before I could express anything, Swami said,
“I will give you another strong chain. Don’t worry.”
He now began to speak to another boy about his trip to Assam. Different thoughts were running in my head. I knew of a classmate for whom Swami materialized a chain and said,
“I shall give you a pendant tomorrow.”
Even after 5 years, that ‘tomorrow’ had not come. Time-frames are very subjective with the Lord! Now my thoughts were,
“Maybe I’ll ask Him whether I can get the chain repaired and wear it till He gives me a new one...”
When I got up on my knees to ask this, He stopped talking to the other boy and looked me straight in the eye. All my worries instantly seemed to melt. I suddenly felt that nothing in the Universe could ever harm me. Whatever was happening to me was just what my loving Lord had planned for me, for my good - that's all. One look and all the turbulence in me subsided.
But well, our Lord’s ways are so uncertain. He calmed the turbulence in a single look only to restart it on a greater scale in a single act! He smiled, quickly waved His palm and materialized a new gold chain in an instant! Then, He beckoned me to come closer to Him.
I was stunned. My jaw dropped. I was stuck in my place and the boy who was pushing Swami’s wheelchair tapped me on my shoulder to go closer to Swami for He was calling. I moved close to Him and He placed the new chain around my neck. He then patted me on my cheeks and said the same thing He had told me when He had given me the previous chain,
“Only Love, Love, Love, Love!”
I just took His right hand, kissed it and fell at His feet. Swami looked at me once more- that same loving look. Once again, the trembling I felt, the tingling all over my body subsided and I was at peace. He turned and moved into the interview room.
Parting thoughts and Epilogue
I returned to my place and then, it struck me. Why was I worrying about Drishti when His Drishti (vision) was always on me. When the Supreme Lord’s eye is on me, what can the evil eye do to me? Was it not foolish to have got scared? But then, my first chain had indeed snapped. And my leg too was in a cast. So, how can one not care about the evil eye?
The answer too came along with these questions. And am grateful to Swami for the answer and understanding that He provided from within. People ‘eye’ (Nazar or Drishti) or the planets and stars (Grahas) have no conscious benevolence or animosity. They merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these radiations do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each person has set into motion in the past.
These radiations are not meant to emphasize fate - result of past good and evil - but to arouse man's will to escape from this universal thralldom or spiritual slavery. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to anybody’s evil eye or planetary pressures.
The concept of the evil eye (or even that of Karma)is to remind every person that as long as he believes that he is the body, he is subject to all these influences. Once he realizes that he is the spirit within everything in the Universe, the immortal Atma, then none of these forces affect because who is there to be affected and who is there to cause the affectation? Everything becomes ONE! In order to show man his own strength and thus, his true divine identity, the chains of ‘evil-eye’ or ‘planetary influences’ are used to shackle him. If not for these, man would never get pushed on to the spiritual path which actually leads him to what he is searching in life - true, everlasting peace and happiness.
Even as these insights occurred in me, I thanked Swami with all my heart for everything - the experience, the gold chain and most importantly, the insights. These were indeed insaights!
I then saw the pendant on my chain. It was a standing Ganesha! I came to know that a standing Ganesha is often called the “Drishti Ganesha”!
Finally, as always, Swami emphasized only on Love, Love and Love! That sums up everything. The only way to battle all the forces of negativity and evil is through love. That transform the negative into something very beautiful and uplifting just as Swami's love had transmuted my experience from something painful into something unforgettably joyous! We just have to step up our positivity and love to counter the negativity. Send out love, see love, feel love and hear love and love alone is what will come back to you!
And Oops! I forgot to mention. That afternoon, I went to the hospital and had my cast removed. I told the doctor that Swami said He would take care. My leg was out of the cast 20 days before its scheduled date and I could cover the whole event from 18th June to 20th June 2009 (by Godavari district devotees)! My leg is fine ever since and I continue to play shuttle badminton to this day! :)
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya
suraj punjabi from jakarta on August 02, 2015:
I am not sure about this Drishti, although my wife and her family are a firm belief and I allow her to practice the rituals needed to avoid it, just so she can stay calm. My thoughts are everything tht happens, happens for a reason. We may not know what it is yet, or we probably never will. What is most important is that we accept our circumstances and make peace with it. This is the most important foundation you need to have in order to launch into action mode. Always accept what is and then take the necessary actions.
Esha Narayanan on June 12, 2014:
this "drishti" phenomena has happened to me several times, even though in the end i declare it as "nothing absolutely" .. i'll be doing very well and suddenly all my activities will stop and i will not be productive for a long time... i fall very ill or i loose interest in what im doing just like that. i personally believe i have earned these circumstances due to my past karmas and trying to strengthen myself with faith and not pay any heed to such negativity. You are so lucky. im sure you were at His service in your many previous lives that finally placed you at His feet in His best ever Avatar as well... In my dream yesterday i kept asking for padmanamaskar and Baba playfully refused and kept walking... it was kind of sad :( but the good part is that he appeared in the dream.
Nitin on August 07, 2013:
What a Beautiful insight!! I always have had this thought of "Drishti" in my mind when something Undesirable happens to me. Then i think.. When Swami is there by our side there can be no other evil force acting on us. As Swami says, "only Love Love Love can change negativity and jealousy to Love TEN fold or maybe even Hundred fold!!
Jaijaisairam.. Excellent article!
Maria on August 06, 2013:
wow Aravind I wish we could talk & have time for it not halfway across the world -
while you have found a way to explain a belief in the evil eye so called - I learned about the removal of such possessors amidst the procedures I was part of for 5 yrs being in the rpesence as entities removed those obessor spirits from patients auric fields. I would like to discuss this in depth..While its your explanation and I certainly honor the very special place Sai Baba accorded you in his presence and his education and service plus the power of your word in writing . I have first hand experience witnessing de possesions after lenghty negotiation to get such a discarnate earthbound spirit to agree to go to the light and then he gets transported through the body of a transport medium, the toughest kind of seva in mediumship, I had my own share as energy medium to contend with. Its an ability I believe one is born with , as every soul is different and on a special path .,like those 120 billion finger and toe prints on the planet now, God's identifying stamp on each one of us -God never makes duplications!
I need a ghostwriter- that's another subject. Baba asked me to write about this very thing!
Neeta on August 06, 2013:
What a blessing! The world is our mirror. When we give love, we get back love. Thank you for sharing your precious Sai Experiences with us.
Kokila Vaidyanathan on March 27, 2013:
Wowwww..what a beautiful experience. Through your description I could create the entire scene in front of me. Absolutely fantastic. When we have His loving Drishti on why worry about anything that we don't know of. Love you Swami. Bro Aravind, thanks a ton for sharing your experiences and answering my doubts. How is the shuttle playing going? ??
Bhanu Chandar on January 01, 2013:
An Impressed Reader on November 06, 2012:
Wonderful experience !! And so many lessons at one go ..
Reminded me of a speech that I heard sometime back .. The speaker said beautifully in Tamil 'Anugraham irukara edathula navagraham enna panna mudiyum!!' .. Which is so true .. We are so lucky to be having Swami's drishthi on us .. It was so energizing to read this .. Thanks brother .. May we all give and receive Love, Love and Love only ..
poornimasrinath from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA on November 05, 2012:
Beautiful lesson from Swami. We make mistake by not being a person of love hence obtain in return the unwanted energies...We need to change rather than blaming nazar.
Sudha Ram on November 03, 2012:
Sai Ram Bro.A
I was @ Parthi that entire June 2009. I prayed to Swami to get you on back on toes when I noticed a cast on your ankle & now, am happy to hear the background & the knowledge that was brought out of this divine leela.. You were, are & always radiating love & humility Bro... Swami used you as an instrument to drive home HIS love-remedy for durdhrishti....
Thx & May Our Loving Swami Bless you always abundantly.
Madhavi Alapaty on November 02, 2012:
Thank You Aravind for confirming my intuition about the Evil Eye theory !! It is LOVE, LOVE that will cast off the Evil Eye...if there ever is one.::-)
Ramamani Velamuri on November 02, 2012:
Very interesting story.Thank u .
HIMANSHU on November 02, 2012:
Gr8 one ,SAIRAM
lrao on November 02, 2012:
Thanks for adding that in :). Gives more power to the piece in terms of practice.
"The only way to battle all the forces of negativity and evil is through love. "
So, in effect, we are 'battling' the negativity or evil within ourselves, to counter the negativity 'outside'. Because, there is no 'outside' is there? Inside and outside are all the same. Reflection...
As always thanks for using your experiences with Swami to reflect on lessons learned and pointers for practice....
Mark Aspa on November 02, 2012:
that was a truly (spiritually) exciting read!
there is so much in those 2 parts to take in digest and contemplate on.
Shruti on November 01, 2012:
All I can say is Love Love and LOTS of Love!….. Really beautiful!
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on November 01, 2012:
@ lrao - :)
Thank you so much.... I don't know how I missed typing it.... my mind was a whirlpool of positive thoughts and I wrote in a slight hurry to complete it too!! :)
I have added that most important point! :)
lrao on November 01, 2012:
Thanks for posting part II. Swami's actions were beautiful of course, but I felt that you left out a big part of it in the epilogue (pardon me if I am wrong) -- “Only Love, Love, Love, Love!” That is what Swami said. Everything is a 'reaction, reflection, resound', isn't it? If one feels that someone else is directing negative energy or 'drishti', what is it within oneself that is being reflected in the other's actions, or their reaction? If only we saw and felt only Love, Love, Love, then that very same love would be the reaction, reflected back at us. So, to me, Swami's comment of "Love, Love, Love" is the most important direction in this Drishti piece -- feel only love, send only love, and love is what will come back to you.