Do You Watch TV???

A devotee class apart, standing tall, mentoring, inspiring and guiding the student fraternity, Prof. HJ Bhagia from Prasanthi Nilayam has many a tale to tell… of His Classic Touch Of Grace. After leaving his corporate assignments in Mumbai long ago, Prof. Bhagia ‘came into His fold’ never to turn back, pitching in firmly, plunging deep into the Mighty Ocean Of Sri Sathya Sai,  growing in faith, sheer faith with absolute surrender.  A beautiful piece of incident from the revered professor’s life, as chronicled in the souvenir published during the occasion of Cheti Chand, ‘Anmol Yaadgiriun’. (edited to suit the page)

During one of the Trayee sessions in Brindavan, one evening, Swami appeared to be displeased with people watching too many TV shows. He said that television is actually “TELEVISHAM” (visham means poison). Suddenly, He turned towards (I was seated very close to His jhoola (swing) and asked me (the whole conversation took place in Hindi)…

Swami: “Do you watch TV?”

I: “No Swami.”

Swami: “Aye…tell Me the truth.”

I: “No Swami, I don’t watch TV.”

Swami: “Look into My eyes and then tell Me the truth.”

I kept looking into His eyes and kept wondering in my mind that the Lord is omniscient and He knows that I do not watch TV, then why is Swami continuing to ask me this question. At the same time, I knew Swami’s utterances are full of significance, so there must be something He wants to teach me.

In a flash, my memory took me to an incident when I was 7 or 8 years old, when my uncle had taken me to a cinema hall for late night movie show. We returned home well past midnight and my grandfather had to wake up to open the door for us. He was very upset with my uncle and scolded him for being a bad influence on me.

The next evening I accompanied my grandfather for his usual visit to the temple. On our way, he lovingly explained to me that I should not waste any time by going to cinema shows. He said: “See… the whole world is like a ‘NAATAK’, meaning a drama, and is a source of continuous and frivolous entertainment. You, however, need to be careful for you know what is the meaning of NAATAK? It means ‘NAA + ATAK’, ‘Naa’ means ‘NO’ and ‘Atak’ means ‘Get Caught’, that is, you should not get entangled in the world’s drama.” The cobwebs of doubts that were lurking in my mind were now removed or at least that’s what I thought. I refocused my attention to Bhagawan Who was sitting right infront of me… and I resumed the interaction with Him thinking that I was smarter with this new understanding of what He meant by asking me ‘If I watch TV shows”.

I gathered some courage and said: “Yes Swami, I do watch TV?

Swami: (addressing the other members in the hall), “See… now he agrees…”

Swami: (back to me) “What do you watch in TV?”

I: “Swami, whole world is a continous TV show.”

Swami: (raising His voice) “Why do you switch it on?”

I: “It goes on itself Swami… (in my mind I told Him “Dear Lord, the switch is under Your control”)

Swami: “No. When you show an interest in anything, it means you have switched on a particular channel for yourself and you have thereby got yourself entangled into it. Isn’t it?”

I: “Yes Swami… Now I understand what You really mean by this question… “Do you watch TV?”

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II