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TALK BY ANIL KUMAR ON BAKRI-ID DAY (02-04-2004)


Lovingly shared by Raghu Bhat

Afternoon

Excerpts from Prof. Anil Kumar's Talk

Swami came around 3.20 p.m. in the afternoon. Vedam chanting went on for some time. Suddenly, Swami called Prof. Anil Kumar and asked him to speak. What followed was a torrent of beautiful messages, experiences and Telugu poems of Swami. The talk was very inspiring. He went on for around half an hour plus and stopped. There was a loud applause. Swami asked him to continue and we had another half an hour plus.

Excerpts of his talk:

We all may be wondering why Swami has started this practice of Vedam chanting in the Mandir both in the morning and in the evening. This is the very Mission of Swami. The first vow is Dharma Samsthapana ? restoring the practice of Dharma ? not establishment of Dharma. Once when I mentioned reestablishment of Dharma, Swami said ? No wrong. Dharma need not be established. It is always there. Only it's practice has declined. The second vow is Veda Samrakshana. Today all around the world devotees of Swami are learning Vedam chanting and are looking into its meaning. Mere hearing of these chants is also beneficial to all, though we may not be able to chant. Today is a very special day as it is the combination of two festivals. One ?
Bakri Id and the other Bhishma Ekadasi.

Bhishma Ekadasi is the day when Bhishma was lying on the bed of arrows and
Lord Krishna asked the Pandavas to go to him so as to learn from him. Once in Kodaikanal, Swami very beautifully narrated this episode. Bhishma asked Krishna as to why He was sending the Pandavas to him. For the Lord could Himself talk to them. Then Krishna explains how, since He was talking, walking and laughing with them, the Pandavas did not realize His true Divinity and hence would not appreciate what He said so much. Therefore, He wanted Bhishma to act as His instrument. Saying so, Swami made a remark that it is just like Swami asking some people to speak before His
Discourse.

Bhishma chanted the Vishnu Sahasranaama on this day, teaching the Pandavas the Truth about the Lord and inspiring them to rise from the Human level to the Divine level.

On the other hand, today happens to be the Bakri Id festival. What is it about? Ibrahim, the devotee of the Lord is ready to sacrifice even his son for the sake of the Lord. When Ibrahim is about to slaughter his son, an ethereal voice is heard which tells him to stop the act. The Lord declares that this was only a test. Ibrahim need not kill his son. He could sacrifice a sheep instead. From this people have concluded that sheep must be slaughtered on this day. But Swami explains that what needs to be sacrificed is not the animal sheep but the animal qualities within ourselves. Even during Dussera Yajnam, Swami says that true sacrifice is sacrificing the animality in us. Thus Bakri Id helps us to get over this animality.

Hence, Bakri Id on one hand inspires us to move from the Animal level to the Human level, while Bhishma Ekadasi implores us to move further from the Human level to the Divine level.

It is the very same Lord who is with us here today. These days there are many miracles taking place all over the world. Here are two recent happenings:

The first one happened right here in the Mandir just a week back. The grandfather of one Music College student had come to get the wedding card of his daughter blessed by Swami. He contacted me (Prof. Anil Kumar) and asked me whether I could get it blessed by Swami. I said, "I dare not". He then asked whether I could at least get him a seat in the first row. I told him that I myself was not sure of my seat tomorrow, them how could I get him a seat. He was disappointed but went his way. The next day, he sat in the fifteenth row with a cup of Akshatam (yellow rice) and the wedding card in his hands. Swami's car passed by and he stretched out the card as though Swami's hands would stretch out and reach for it. Nothing happened apparently. Swami finished His rounds and went into the Interview room. This man came running to me and said with excitement, "Anil Kumar, you could not get me a seat in the first row, but see, Swami has blessed me". Saying so, he showed a gold Mangal Sutra that had automatically materialized on the bowl of Akshatam as Swami's car went past him. I too was drowned in Bliss and joy.

The other experience is related to a village called Chilukur in Khammam district. The district President himself narrated this to me. The youth of this district went to this abandoned village a month back and did service there. They found the village temple in a dilapidated condition and so got it painted, renovated?. Pooja was performed by the village priest. And they went back home. In the afternoon, Ghee started pouring out from Swami's photo that was kept in the temple. Pure, fragrant Ghee!! Later in the evening, Kumkum started appearing on another photo of Swami. This is Bhagawan's omnipresence. Once, Ramabrahmam, the erstwhile caretaker of Trayee Brindavan told me, "Anil Kumar, when you talk with Swami, be careful. He will laugh, talk and cut jokes with you. But remember always that He is God, He is God, He is God". Swami, please help us so that we do not get deluded. Help us to see you everywhere.

What is true devotion? Is it plucking leaves from plants and offering them to God? No, this will only cause pain to the plants. We must offer the leaf of our body (Deha Patram). Is it plucking the flowers from the plants and offering them as garlands to the Lord? No. No. The flowers will cry out that they look so beautiful on the plants. The moment they come into our company, they get dried up. So, we must offer the flower of our pure mind  (Mano Pushpam). Then is it plucking fruits from the trees and making an offering? If we do so, the parrots will cry that we have taken away their food. Therefore, what we need to offer is the fruits of our action (Karma Phalam). Finally, what water must we offer to God. Is it the water from the Ganges. There is already a shortage of water in the rivers. If we take away  that too, there will be water conflicts. Hence, we must offer the tears of our joy and Bliss to God (Ananda Bhashpamu).

Once in Brindavan, as Swami was sitting inside Trayee, He saw one boy sitting outside plucking the leaves from a plant and scratching them with his nails. Swami asked whose son was it. A VIP came forward. Swami asked him to tell his son not to do that. I went forward and made bold to say,  "Swami, after all he is a young boy". Swami instantly replied, "What do you know of the pain. If I pinch you, then you will come to know. Trees also have life in them and they also feel the pain". This is the concern that Swami has even for plants.

On another occasion, Swami was giving me an individual photograph. I deliberately stood as close to Swami as possible. Swami asked me to move a little far. I asked, "Why Swami?" Swami pointed to a beautiful flower on a plant just behind us and said, "Move a little far. That flower is more  beautiful than you. Let it also come in the photograph". Such is the Love of Swami.

On yet another occasion, Swami was giving individual photographs to students. I was standing far and watching the whole show. He called me closer and asked me as to what I was seeing. I replied that I was watching how each student came one by one and walked away while Swami kept  standing so patiently. Swami replied, "Yes. I am the never changing one. I am eternal. Boys come and go!!" 

Dear Swami, help us to journey from the animal to the human and from the human to the Divine as symbolized by the two festivals today.

Concluded