On Saturday 30 May at 8 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, the Pre-World Conference Webinar 2 was delivered by the International Young Adults Coordinator Mr. Deviesh Tankaria. The inspirational talk covered Mr. Tankaria’s personal journey with Swami and his learnings from Swami’s teachings.
Mr. Tankaria opened his talk with a story, set in Brindavan, which outlined how fortunate Sai devotees are to know about Swami and His teachings. While Swami was giving darshan in Brindavan one day a leaf from a tree fell on His head and Swami picked up the leaf and carried it with him for the entire darshan session. Watching this a couple of students thought to themselves how lucky the leaf was that it was being carried by Swami for the session. As this thought crossed their minds, Swami approached them where they were sitting for darshan handed them the leaf and told them “ The leaf is not the lucky one, you are the lucky one”.
Mr. Tankaria went on to note how fortunate a person is to be able to take up an office bearer position in the Sathya Sai Organisation and he reflected Swami’s statement that an opportunity to take up an Office Bearer position is a reminder that we are under Swami’s direction.
Mr. Tankaria then shared his personal learnings on topics of Unity and Purity, which are the theme for the upcoming World Conference in 2021. He stated that in his experience there were four important steps in this journey towards unity and purity:
- Have complete unflinching faith in Bhagwan.
- Contemplate and practise His divine teachings.
- Contribute to the welfare of society.
- Practice the path of Love.
In relation to having unflinching faith in Swami Mr. Tankaria recalled an interaction he had with Swami where he was asked by Swami “What do you want” to which he promptly replied, “You Swami”. Mr. Tankaria was happy that he gave the answer that Swami was looking for, but the true test of his conviction came during another interaction when Swami approached him in Darshan and asked him “How many?”. Mr. Tankaria replied that he and His mother were the only ones in the group and Swami signalled him to the interview room with his mother. As he was about to go to the interview room Swami asked him “Who is your mother?” to which Mr. Tankaria replied pointing to his mother “She is my mother Swami”. Swami accepted the answer however during the interview Swami asked him two more times “Who is your mother?” to which Mr. Tankaria gave the same reply both times, pointing to his mother. It was only later that Mr. Tankaria reflected that the answer Swami was looking for was for him to point to Swami as his Divine mother. This incident helped him strengthen his resolve to have more conviction that Swami is the foundation for everything.
With respect to contemplating and practising His divine teachings Mr. Tankaria outlined the important role the Sai Organisation play in providing an opportunity for devotees. Mr. Tankaria gave an overview of the International Young Adults Wing and the range of activities that it runs including Serve the Planet, Ocean of Music, Leadership Programme, Sadhana of Love, Data team, Insaights and the Young Adults International Engagement
Mr. Tankaria then reflected on another interaction with Swami as he was just about to enter the university. During an interview with Swami he asked him what course he was going to study at university. Mr. Tankaria replied “Computer Science Swami. That’s ok, right?”. Somewhat to his surprise Swami responded saying “Don’t do it”. Mr. Tankaria explained to Swami that it is very late for him to change his course and that he doesn’t have any option but to continue with the course. Swami seemed to look surprised at Mr. Tankaria’s response but then replied saying “Ok fine, do it” and then added “I will make your mind like a computer”. This interaction reinforced in him the boundless love of Swami and that his grace was always abundant on his devotees.
Mr. Tankaria spoke about the challenges of connecting with Swami now that He is not in his physical form however he shared his daily practice in order to ensure he stays connected with Swami. Mr. Tankaria said that he spends one silent minute each morning to connect with Swami and to offer his actions to him. Then, at the end of the day before he goes to bed he spends 5 minutes at the end of the day going through all of the day’s actions with Swami and offering it to Him. He further narrated an experience where in four different incidents random strangers came up to him and said “Sai Ram” for no obvious reasons to him during his travels, which he took as Swami’s indication that he is with him.
Mr. Tankaria spoke about the challenges and opportunities of practising Swami’s teachings in a secular and diverse work environment and shared his own experiences in doing this. Mr. Tankaria noted that it was important to see all work as Swami’s work and to show the same level of dedication to secular work as you would if you were doing the work for Swami. He stated that as Sai devotees we natural radiate Swami’s love and that will be recognised by people without us needing to shout the message in a loud or extravagant manner.
Mr. Tankaria concluded the talk recalling one of the interview’s he had with Swami where Mr. Tankaria had seated himself close to Swami’s foot stool so that he could get the best possible darshan of him. When Swami entered the interview room he looked at Mr. Tankaria and said “Why are you sitting there, move back”. Mr. Tankaria accordingly moved away from the foot stool to allow Swami to easier access to his seat. After sitting down for awhile Swami then looked at Mr. Tankaria and said “Why have you sat so far? Come closer”. Mr. Tankaria concluded noting that this was a beautiful example of Swami’s limitless love and compassion for all.