My master He is, and a friend in need.
He is everything to me, the most kind
And humble among those, known and unknown”
One day, while I was on my way to the school in the morning, I saw a crowd on the way. Curious as I was, I soon found myself a part of the crowd. The message reached my parents that I had not gone to the school that day, and was instead standing with the crowd. On the receipt of the message, my parents arrived at the spot.
They spotted me in the crowd. They questioned me as to what I was doing there. I replied that some V. I. P. was about to arrive and I was waiting for His arrival. On enquiry, they came to know that the V. I. P. was none other than Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Then, instead of scolding me, they too joined the crowd!
We awaited the arrival of the V.I.P. There was a hushing sound as the car passed by. My mother then asked me, “Did you see Sai Baba?” I replied in the affirmative. The car having passed by, the crowd slowly began to disperse.
I insisted that we go into the hall where Bhagavan had gone, or, wait till Sai Baba returned. After a while, the person at the gate was kind enough to leave us into the hall. Because of the crowd which had gathered there for function, we were able to secure a place only in the basement of the hall.
As we settled down, Swami appeared on the stage. He began to deliver His Divine Discourse. I was too young to grasp the import of the discourse. The only thing which attracted me was Swami’s dress, and His hair style. The incident left a strong impression in my mind. After the function we proceeded to my aunt’s place. My aunt was happy to note that we had Swami’s Darshan. She gave me a framed photograph of Swami, which I have treasured till today.
After this introduction to Swami, I bought a small ‘Bhajanavali’ book and a pocket photograph of Swami. I shared my success and failures, anguish and happiness with Swami’s photo. A day came when I had a drawing exam. The topic for the drawing was ‘A woman worshiping God’. Along with others I got down to work. I sketched a woman praying to Swami. I thought that the teacher would like it, as it was a unique one, and other students had sketched Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva etc. To my surprise, the teacher was very angry. She was a non-believer and she felt offended, “Of all, you had to draw only this man”. My castle was shattered. I almost broke into tears. She threw away the drawing. With care, I picked up the sheet and cried looking at the sketch. I failed in the drawing exam.
I went crying to my aunt and narrated the incident to her. She wiped my tears and consoled me. She asked, “If you have a close friend and if someone criticizes him will you desert him for that?” I replied, “No.” She continued, “Just because someone has criticized Swami, you should not react like this. She (the teacher) can fail you in the exam, but don’t fail in your faith.”
The next time I saw Swami was in 1990, when Swami visited Bombay. I could appreciate Swami’s discourses then and began to see Him as a Divine friend. There were occasions when I relished the close Darshan of Swami. My heart submitted to Him when He sang, “Bhagavan Bina Koi Apna Nahin”. Later to follow was the inexplicable experience of the invisible Divine hand at work.
I was in my third semester of my B.Sc. (Tech). The students were frustrated with the management of the institute, and a strike was declared. The authorities were insensitive to the problems of the students. This happened on April 2, 1991. A devotee was going to Prasanthi Nilayam for Swami’s Darshan. My friend and I wrote a letter to be handed over personally to Swami. I prayed for the well-being of all the students and proper guidance. This letter was accepted by Swami from the devotee’s hand on the 21st, and the strike ended on the 22nd. This may appear as a coincidence, but with God everything is a blessing. Isn’t it a blessing that God chose man of all the 84 lakh species, to gift him with the power to realise God?
Completing my graduation at Bombay and becoming a student of Swami has been a long way. During this period my sister’s marriage was performed. It is no secret that Swami has helped in the performance of several marriages. In South India, arranging a marriage is a long drawn process. But this marriage took place within a couple of months of my visit to Puttaparthi, in 1993. None of the relatives thought it would happen so soon. But when He wills, it has to happen. His will is supreme and nothing can bar His way.
In front of me, is a curtain of illusion,
Sai! Remove it, and grant me the vision,
Lest I become a part of history.
Oh! Lord, let me enjoy Thy glory,
As You bring about global fusion,
Pray, make me a part of Thy mission.
- G. S. Krishnan
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Source: Sai Nandana 1995 (70th Birthday Issue)