Wednesday, April 11, 1984 to Sunday, April 15, 1984
|Sri Sathya Sai in the Nilgiris|
Bhagavan visited Nilgiris for 5 days in April 1984. He left Brindavan with a group of devotees in the early morning of the 11th of April 1984 and reached Vidya Vihar, Ooty by 2.30 pm the same day. He blessed the devotees assembled in the school grounds with His Darshan. Bhagavan inaugurated at Vidya Vihar on Tamil New Year Day, the 13th of April 2984, a Ganesha Temple amidst Vedic chants and Nadaswaram music. He materialised a gold ‘Yantra’ to be placed below the Ganesha idol before the ceremonial installation.
Bhagavan blessed the devotees with Darshan every day at Vidya Vihar. He visited on 14th April, some of the villages that were adopted by the Sai Organisation for community development. The village folks entertained Bhagavan with folk songs and dances. The Bal Vikas students presented cultural programmes in some of the villages. Bhagavan visited two temples that had been renovated. At the end of the visit, He distributed dhotis and saris to the poor.
|Sri Sathya Sai at the Melur Hosahatty Village - April 14, 1984|
Bhagavan was impressed with the disciplined behaviour of the villagers in all the places. He was very pleased with the Bhajans organised by the wayside group enroute. He stopped at several places to bless them.
Bhagavan commented, “I am happy with these visits. I would have liked to talk to the villagers. But the programe was so tight.”
During a visit to Ooty in April 1984, Bhagavan related the following story about Sage Narada's encounter with Lord Narayana, to the small group of devotees accompanying him:
"On one occasion Narada went to the Lord. In the course of their conversation, Narayana asked Narada: "You are moving around three worlds, what news have you brought for Me from your wanderings? Have you seen anything great in my creation?" "What is greater than Yourself in the world", said Narada. "I am asking you about my creation and not about myself", said Narayana.
Narada said: "I do not understand the question." "There are the Panchabhutas (five basic elements). Which is the greatest among them?" Narayana asked. Narada said: "The earth is the biggest." Narayana said: "In the earth three-fourths are occupied by water."
|Sriman with Narayana with Narada, Tumburu, Hanuman and Garuda in Vaikuntha|
Narada agreed that water is greater than the earth. But Narayana observed: "All the oceans were drunk by the sage Agastya in one gulp. Therefore, who is greater, water or Agastya?" Narada agreed that Agastya was greater. But Narayana observed that "Agastya is remaining as a star in the sky. In the vast firmament, Agastya is merely twinkling as a small star; is not the firmament greater than the star?" Narada said that the firmament is greater than Agastya. Then Narayana said, In my Avatar as Vamana I covered the entire earth and sky with one foot of mine. So is the firmament greater or my foot? Then Narada said: 'Your Foot'.
Lord's Devotees are greater than the Lord
"If my foot itself is so great, am I not greater than my foot?" Narayana asked. Narada agreed. Then Narayana said: "Although I am great, I am confined in the hearts of my devotees. So the devotees are greater than myself. And therefore, wherever my devotees sing my name I am there".
Hence, everyone must cultivate a broad mind, a large-hearted outlook. Broad mindedness is expansion, narrow-mindedness is contraction. Devotees should also cultivate broad mindedness. It is to broaden the heart that name of the Lord should be chanted. Instead of singing by oneself, when devotees sing in groups, a sense of unity develops. By all people singing in unison and all hands clapping together, all hearts become one. This unity is proclaimed by the Vedas by describing the different organs of the Lord as the source of the power in the different sense organs of a human being.”
On another evening at Ooty, Bhagavan expatiated on how devotional songs should be sung.
|Narada with Sriman Narayana|
“Narada once asked Sriman Narayana what was His permanent address. Narayana replied: "Wherever my Bhakta (devotee) sings my name, I am present there". Then Narada asked: "There are innumerable places in which the devotees sing your name, how can you be present in all those places at the same time?" (Bhagavan explained that it was not any kind of singing that appealed to the Lord). In singing there are some who indulge in gymnastics and do not reveal genuine devotional feeling. When songs are sung in that manner, how can the Lord be present there? (Bhagavan illustrated it by reciting merely the musical notation Sa, Ri, Ga).
Devotional singing which attracts the Lord
Where the singers merely emphasise the Raaga and the Taala (tune and rhythm), He will not be present. It is only when the song is melodious combining Raaga, Taala and Bhaava (the tune, the rhythm and the feeling) only there will He be present. The singing must be full of feeling. The Lord is moved only by the feeling that is expressed, not by musical talent as such. It does not matter if the Raaga is not perfect and the Taala is not perfect. Those appeal only at the worldly level. The Lord loves only the sincerity of feeling.
There was a great musician in Akbar's Court known as Tansen. He used to sing night and day and the music was mellifluous. It was perfect music but there was no deep feeling in his singing. One day Akbar and Tansen were going round the city. Akbar found an old man singing to himself songs in praise of God. Akbar stopped his chariot and went on listening to the song of the devotee and even without his knowing it, tears started flowing from his eyes. His heart was deeply moved. He went some distance and told Tansen: "You have been singing for a long time before me and I have always found your music very sweet to the ears but it has never moved my heart, but the music of this devotee has melted my heart. I wish to know the difference between your singing and the singing of this devotee!" Tansen replied: "Maharaja! I have been singing to please you, but this devotee is singing to please God, that is the difference."
So something which is sung to please a man cannot move the heart. Only that which is addressed to God can have that effect. What pleases the Lord alone can change the mind of man. Both the devotee and the great musician Tansen were singing well, but only the song filled with devotional feeling could appeal to God.”