|Sri Srinivas Srirangarajan |
with Baba at Kodaikanal (1994)
Every devotee would have had some wonderful experience about how Swami drew the devotee closer to Him. This is a very common phenomenon. It could be the curing of a disease or the birth of a child to a childless couple or may be a promotion for someone who has been desperate for it or possibly freedom from certain addictions like drinking or drugs and in some extreme cases could also be resurrection from death. The list could go on and on. In short, all devotees would have experienced some miracle of Bhagavan in their life that drew them closer to the Lord.
|Tata Chemicals Factory at Mithapur|
At this point it would not be out of the way to narrate an experience from my own life, which brought our family into the Divine fold. This incident occurred in the 1970's. My father was employed in Tata Chemicals Ltd., in a small town called Mithapur about twenty kilometres from Dwaraka in Gujarat. Those days, he would often get severe headaches. He was a Civil Engineer by profession and the type of job he was involved in required him to travel for hours in a jeep surveying the salt deposit lakes in villages around the town. Often he would return with a splitting headache. Every cure had been tried but in vain. One night, the headache reached its peak.
|Shri Krishna Temple at Dwaraka in Gujarat|
I was very young then, a fifth class student. We took him to the company hospital. The doctor tested him and thought it was appropriate to administer a special pain killer gel injection directly into the blood stream for quick relief. The doctor instructed the nurse to inject the gel intravenously, but very slowly as it could have an impact on the brain. The nurse went about doing her job. One cannot blame anybody, for when bad times come, everything moves against one's luck.
Destiny unfailingly delivers each individual to his fate. People often become mere instruments in the hands of fate. The nurse, possibly in an unfavourable frame of mind, pricked the needle into my father's vein and injected the gel at one go.
Instantly, my father felt an explosion in his head and he screamed in pain. The nurse chided him for being childish and left the room. Soon, my father fell asleep next morning, when he opened his eyes he felt a strange feeling of numbness in his left leg and hand. The doctor was called and very soon we discovered that his left limbs were totally paralysed. It was a case of cerebral hemorrhage. The reason was obvious but now there was no meaning in brooding over the past. Soon, arrangements were made to send my father to Bombay for immediate treatment and physiotherapy, as in the doctor's opinion, this alone could possibly save my father. He felt that immediate attention from experts and intense physiotherapy may revive the brain cells and my father would hopefully get back some amount of movement in his limbs.
Cerebral haemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the brain. This allows for the movement of blood into the brain tissue, which forms a mass. As bleeding continues, the mass enlarges, pushing aside other tissue. As tissue is pushed and moved, brain function may be affected, leading to a stroke. Later, we gathered from various sources that paralysis, in most cases, is an irreversible disorder. Immediate treatment and physiotherapy could possibly result in partial recovery. Maybe one would be able to have slight movements of the hand and leg and if he were luckier, may be even limp around with a stick or a support. But walking normally was a far-fetched dream.
With a heavy heart, my mother accompanied my father to Bombay where he was admitted in a renowned hospital. My father had a very strong will to recover but he too was aware of the odds. There was a mix of hope and fear in his mind. What would he do with a long life ahead of him, a wife to support along with a young daughter and son who were still school-going children? Man's adversity is God's opportunity. Bhagavan chose this most opportune moment to enter in my father's life. An uncle of my mother, who resided in Bombay brought a book titled, "Sai Baba - Man of Miracles" and gave it to my father. He himself knew nothing much about Baba, but still he got the book and asked only father to read it. With a lot of free time and nothing much to do, owing to his immobility, my father started reading the book. Thanks to our family background, religion and spirituality were very much a part of our life. My father had a strong faith in the presence of God and His powers. Therefore, the book naturally attracted him and as he kept reading it there were tears in his eyes. He knew that there was something very special about this book landing into his hands at this time.
|Shri Darbari Seth|
Chairman, Tata Chemicals
A silent prayer arose in his heart. A ray of light lit his cloudy mind that soon turned into a strong flame. Since the time he started reading the book, there was a perceptible change in his health. Very soon, he was able to move his limbs slightly. In a record period of 40 days, my father was absolutely back to normal. This was just unbelievable! The doctors were surprised! Even the then Chairman of Tata Chemicals Ltd., Mr. Darbari Seth came to see my father and exclaimed that it was only his faith in God that had cured him totally. This was a turning point in our lives. Till today, my father has been walking and moving about, absolutely well with not even a trace of any paralytic attack. This was the miracle that brought our family under the Divine Umbrella. Since then, Bhagavan Baba has become the center of our lives, for which we remain eternally grateful to Him.
Now let us move further. What are these miracles? Is it God's grace showered on us? But is not God's grace always available for us? Is it only at times of crisis or emergency that God's Grace descends on us? No! Bhagavan is always with us, above us, below us and around us. He is always helping us, taking care of us as the eyelids take care of the eyes, possibly even more than that. However all this grace goes unnoticed because God does it so silently. God is a silent worker. It is only when He reveals His presence that we call it a miracle. Rest of the time we term it as mere coincidences. Nothing could be farther away from the truth. Coincidences, as they say, are wonderful loving acts of God where He prefers to remain anonymous.
What is God's greatest miracle? For instance, who is beating the heart within us all the while? Are we putting in any effort to beat our own heart? Just imagine, a small lump of flesh, about the size of a clenched fist, just around three hundred and ten grams in weight, keeps contracting and expanding seventy to eighty times a minute, pumping blood for thousands of miles within our body - and we do even put in the slightest effort for it! Where does all this energy come from? Is this not a miracle of God? Does the heart ever take rest? Who enables the breathing in and breathing out of air, twenty one thousand six hundred times a day in the human body? Does it stop even once? Is this not a miracle of God? We eat food with great delight and relish every bit of it. But who undertakes the task of digesting all that food and passing on the nutrition to the various limbs of the body? Do we have any control over it? Is this not a miracle of God? Who maintains the optimal temperature within our body? Who is the life force within us, within every being in this Universe? The list can go on and on.
|Swami with Prof. Kasturi|
In this context once, when Bhagavan was speaking to late Prof. Kasturiji, Swami asked him, “Kasturi, what is the greatest miracle of God?” Prof. Kasturi, a very accomplished scholar and who had been with Swami for a very long time, was not new to such a question. He smiled and said, “Swami, more than Your creating objects like chains or rings, Your greatest miracle is the transformation of the human heart!” He expected a pat from Bhagavan, but Swami said, "No!" Prof. Kasturi was surprised. Had he not given the right answer? Bhagavan then smiled and told him, “Kasturi, YOU are MY greatest miracle. I have created YOU and YOU are MY greatest miracle.” How true. Only when there is a heart, can we talk of transformation of the heart. Therefore, even before transformation of the heart, comes the creation of heart. Who has created the heart? Who has created this human body? Hence, we human beings are the greatest miracle of Bhagavan - the greatest Chamatkar (Miracle).
|Baba with Sri Srinivas Srirangarajan|
To sum it up, we must realise that miracles are no doubt a manifestation of the Love of God, but they surely hold a Divine purpose. These miracles must strengthen our faith in Him and must prepare us to readily undergo the process of transformation that He subjects us to, to raise us from human to Divine consciousness. The best way to express our gratitude for all these miracles that He sprinkles in our life is to become worthy of them. Having been blessed by His Grace, let us justify His miraculous intervention in our lives by living up to His expectations and being a humble instrument in His Divine Mission. Human life is the greatest miracle. The miracle of human life is His Prasadam (gift) to us, which will find its fulfillment when it reaches Him as our Naivedyam (offering).
- G. Srinivas Srirangarajan
Alumnus (1990-1992), Department of Management Studies
Alumnus (1990-1992), Department of Management Studies
Currently, Controller of Examinations
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning