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Then & Now
A day in Ashram


Bhagawan blessed the city of Chennai with His epoch making Divine visit that lasted for 11 days. How best the buzzing city welcomed the Lord, whose greater magnanimity blessed her with benevolence after more than a decade? Here is a chapter from a devotee's account about the glorious Chennai saga... Read on...

Amazing Grace and the horizons turned orange to greet the Lord…

Every devotee of Bhagawan waited tremulously on the 19th of January 2007 at Chennai. Some seemed to know as to when Bhagawan would arrive and some who were caught up in the day-to-day grind waited for some information. I got to know of Bhagawan’s beautiful darshan from the Lotus at Sundaram from another devotee who was there to welcome Bhagawan. Quite dejected that I should have gone, I carried on with what I was doing and decided to go to Sundaram in the evening after work to get to know as to what the schedule would be. And lo once again I seemed to have missed a glimpse. Bhagawan had been out in the evening and bhajans had taken place for about half an hour. Devotees were unaware as to whether Bhagawan would give darshan or not. So with heavy hearts we all trudged back home in the eternal hope that perhaps the next day we would be blessed with the Divine darshan. The next morning there was Darshan once again and many devotees could get to see Bhagawan up close as He drove past to the Yajna venue in the car. Many devotees gathered at the Yajna venue in Thiruvanmiyur. Some like me decided to go to Sundaram to catch a glimpse of Bhagawan as He drove out. When we got to Sundaram there was very little crowd. At about 4.30 pm Bhagawan emerged and with a beautiful smile He gave us darshan as He drove past ever so slowly in the car.

Our day was made….

What followed this is a series of beautiful darshans at Sundaram morning and evening. The fortunate got to go to the Yajnashala on some days while the others got to see the Lord in His abode. Through Bhagawan’s visit every day promised something splendorous. Standing for hours did not seem to matter. Devotees were pouring in from various parts of the world and the rest of India. One family had come all the way from Hyderabad to participate and see Bhagawan. They were on top of the world to see Bhagawan at such close quarters. With great love Bhagawan would drive rather slowly through the devotee lined road; looking at each one as He moved on. Like some one said – “It is okay if Swami does not look at me – I got to see Swami so close – that itself is so much Grace!”

It has been 10 long years of vanavasa for Chennai. To some of us it was a chance of seeing some old and familiar faces in the crowd. But truly nothing mattered more than a darshan.

In the next couple of days some kind of pattern emerged as to when Bhagawan would go to the Yajnashala and when He would return morning and evening. As some of us waited for His return – devotees would come by and ask – when would Baba come?  There was no answer we could give. How can we predict this Leelavatar’s coming and going and who were we to do that too? A good many people found the non-committal answers rather unnerving but there was little that we too could do and neither could the Sevadals on duty.

What was really a revelation was the tireless vigil of the policemen and women on duty. If there was yet another face that devotees could see of them it was here! They were polite and as anxious to see Bhagawan, as were the devotees even though to many of them it was the first time.

Each day after Bhagawan had gone past the darshan line – the joy of seeing the beaming faces of devotees was something else; smiles on every face and a spring in the step to meet the travails of the everyday world. Each person empowered by Divine grace of the Lord.

The net savvy got to see each day’s Yajna on the Internet, which was the best blessing, bestowed by Bhagawan; and listening to Bhagawan too.

Everyday there were anecdotes of the people who came to see Bhagawan – film stars, politicians, cricketers…just about everybody seemed to be wanting to spend some moments in the Divine presence.

Enthralling moments were aplenty. No one sitting there on the road in the morning would have ever imagined that Bhagawan would come on to the road to give darshan to the devotees sitting there for hours. And what a glorious sight that was! With an umbrella held to keep the sun away from the very Sun’s eyes! How demonstrative is Bhagawan’s concern for the well being of the devotees! Somewhere on the 3rd or the 4th day the open space in Sundaram was covered with shamiana - most certainly under Bhgawan’s instructions so as to keep the sharp sun away from the devotees. Words cannot replicate the deep love of the Lord for us mortals.  

A devotee who saw Bhagawan for the first time said – “It was so thrilling!” There was the print media still carrying news about Bhagawan’s visit and about the celebrities who came to catch a glimpse of that adorable countenance, under the curly mop. The celebrities came to see the biggest SAILIBRITY in the universe.

Today Chennai seems to be basking under the comfortable cloak of SAILENCE. And the amazing grace showered in abundance over the ten days of His Divine visit.