The Sojourns with the Sanatana Sarathi - by K. V. S. Dileep

Dileep receives his Gold Medal from Swami during the
XXV Convocation  (2006)
As the Avatar enters into the 85th year of His eternal mission, a queer feeling engulfs me. Is this the same Avatar who wielded the 'Kodanda' in the 'Treta Yuga', the 'Sudarshana Chakra' in the ‘Dwapara Yuga’ who is now moving amidst us bending down to our level to give us joy? Being His students, His Chosen Ones as we are usually referred to, we bear the same responsibility as the ‘Vanaras’ of the ‘Treta Yuga’ or the ‘Gopalas’ of the ‘Dwapara’. However, in my opinion, in the ‘Kali Yuga’, Swami has put us on a greater pedestal giving enormous amounts of time and energy to shaping our character. The equivalent character to us in the previous Avatar would be the Pandavas and Arjuna in particular. In our life’s sojourn, we see the hand of the Sanatana Sarathi guiding us through the worldly wilderness. 

My life’s sojourn too had the hand of God, but it played its role in an entirely different way. I have always wished to be physically close to Him, and be like the lucky ones who sit at His feet. But He had a completely different plan. He used to wander away from me physically far away so that I am forced to search for Him in the depths of my heart. Once I located Him and conversed with Him, He started giving me physical attention as if to support the fact that the Lord inside is same as the Lord outside. With the Lord in my heart I moved on to face the challenges that lie ahead. 

Swami with the cast of the Convocation drama
'Saa Vidya Yaa Vimuktaye' (2002)
I had always an inner urge to participate in dramas and be a small instrument in propagating the message of the Lord. I remember watching the convocation drama ‘Saa Vidya Yaa Vimuktaye’ as a 12th class student and nourished a fleeting desire to act in such a venture that is blessed by the Lord. The journey to the 1st convocation drama itself was a drama, that was steered through the hills of happiness and valleys of despair by the Sanatana Sarathi to a perfect conclusion. It was during the third year of my undergraduate course; I had stayed back for the vacation expecting a chance to participate in the convocation drama. But the day the cast was supposed to be announced, one of the regular actors returned and he was selected (mostly instead of me). Hence my chance was lost. I felt bad but consoled myself that the Lord would somehow fulfill my wish. The next year due to the inauguration of the international stadium the convocation drama itself was canceled. That was a turning point in my stay here. Till that moment, I was waiting for opportunities. However, I started feeling that one should never wait but create opportunities and grab them with full earnestness.

Swami with the cast of the Convocation Drama (2007)
Taking this as a Lord’s message, I became a member of the core cultural team and started putting up small programmes in front of Swami. These small programmes required a lot of research and in that period I became a voracious reader of the epics and the Puranas, trying to pick up some incidents for portrayal in front of Swami. And in the year 2007, my wish to act in a Convocation Drama bore fruition. But by that time, Swami had given me a greater responsibility – to write the various dramas carrying His message. An important point to take note is that all I wanted was a chance to act or contribute to the drama in some way, but the Lord inspired me to take a step ahead. He wanted me to write for Him the dramas that He shows to everyone. The research that I had done for the small programmes suddenly came handy and I thought I would be able to play the role of a scriptwriter for all the dramas held in His presence. But the lesson was not yet over. An important part was still left to be learnt.

When I was given the responsibility of writing and coordinating one of the Sports Meet Dramas – a grand annual event in the University Calendar, I was more than happy. I felt that this was my opportunity to showcase my talent in front of everyone. To my utter horror, the first draft of the script was rejected outright and the drama was in total shambles. I sat alone and invoked the Lord within and asked where I went wrong. The reply I got was you went wrong because You Did It. “You cannot write My story or drama, only I can. So sit back and be an instrument.” 

I was taken aback and did accordingly. I surrendered totally to Him and to my surprise, the drama started coming into a proper shape. Whenever, even a trace of ego entered me to marvel at a master stroke in the script, the Master would immediately prod from within and gently remind me who the True Master is. And on the final day after a fulfilling performance and an unexpected extra benediction from the Lord, when congratulations and backpats started pouring in, I could not but help glance in the direction of ‘Yajur Mandir’ thanking the true Writer. 

From then on, it has been an amazing journey of self-discovery, where I found many of my dormant abilities suddenly spurting to life by the touch of My Master. A shy speaker in the beginning of my stay at Parthi, I blossomed into a good speaker with an ability to adapt and talk in any situation at a short notice. I also learnt the virtue of detachment, when I felt the joy of giving opportunities, than in taking and thus completely refrained from acting and involved myself only in background activities for such major productions. But the Lord never allowed me to remain in the background. From time to time, He used to shower unexpected grace and blessings upon me. The greatest gift, however, He reserved for the last.

During my second year Post Graduation, I got enormous chances of physical proximity, which included an opportunity to sit at the Lotus feet and explain the innocent queries made by the Lord as He watched the rehearsal of His Story. That day 10 Jan, 2008 is an unforgettable day in my life, for the Lord who had written the entire script through me, looked at everyone around and praised me saying that I had written the dialogues well. On 12 Jan 2008 i. e. the day of the drama, after the performance when a plethora of actors in glittering costumes stood before Him, He remembered this humble writer, sitting somewhere far away. As a bonus, He even gave an opportunity to speak on the valedictory function. After all these great gifts, I thought that I would work relentlessly as His instrument without expecting anything in return. But little did I know then that it was not an easy task.  

When there is little sign of encouragement and lot of pressure from all sides, the zeal to work gradually wanes. The same thing occurred to me as the academic pressure started taking precedence over my dramatics and I decided to quit from my role as a scriptwriter. The convocation drama of 2009 was supposed to be my last venture and I took a decision that I would not participate in the Sports Meet drama thereafter. But a big unexpected surprise and the greatest gift was waiting just round the corner. In the great rush and tension prevailing before the drama, on November 20th, I received a message that I must meet the Registrar. I thought that it must be regarding the drama. When I met him, he gave me the message that Swami had chosen me for the All-Rounder Gold Medal for that year. I was shocked and totally swept off my feet. The greatest gift had arrived and I cursed myself for thinking of letting go an opportunity to serve Him. Academic Knowledge can be obtained outside this University also, but the opportunity to be an instrument and spread His message through such dramas, that too under His direct supervision would probably never come knocking at one’s door again!

The Santana Sarathi
These wonderful years under the tutelage of the Lord have been extraordinary. Why shouldn’t it be?  When an extraordinary personality teaches extraordinary lessons in ways more than ordinary, the feeling of awe will always be more than what the regular language can convey. The grit, the determination and the feeling of surrender, will always guide everyone to safety. When travelling with the Lord, you will always wonder why does the road always have to be bumpy, strewn with obstacles. But the reason is that in the obstacle strewn course of life, you will always find that the journey through the ups and downs makes it an exciting experience. And with the Eternal Charioteer at the helm of affairs, all you have to do is to sit back and enjoy the ride. As I near the completion of my education at the University, I know that my education in the Universe has just begun under the guidance of my Chancellor. Whatever be the time, place or situation whenever I am plunged in doubt, all I have to do is to look back at the Eternal charioteer within for support, succour and advice.

- K.V.S. Dileep
Student (2006-2010), Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, PhD Student at IIT Chennai


9 comments:

  1. Nice captured Dileep. Its beautiful how Swami encouraged and prodded you to walk further and further.

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  2. Sairam,

    We still remember your "Memoirs of a Boatman" from 2011. Unforgettable poem and message. Nice to read your posting here. Thanks. Sairam.

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  3. Dileep, amazing experience and narration...
    Thank you for sharing...

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  4. Hey.. Many thanks for sharing with us this. Wondeful, and may He shower you with divine benevolence always.

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  5. Always knew the 'source' of your 'brilliance', but to read it was like living through what you have experienced....thanks for sharing Dileep :-)

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  6. Always knew the 'source' of your 'brilliance'....but reading it was like living through what you have experienced....thanks a ton for sharing Dileep

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  7. Thanks Dileep for re-enforcing the fact that the ''True Master'' is HIM and all we need to do is surrender and BE PATIENT!

    Wish the best in Life and Career!

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  8. Thanks K.V.S.Dileep for the wonderful article! Took me back to my student days... Remembered the Convo drama 2008!!

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