It was Vijayadashami day in the year 1992. The sun rose over the momentous day in my life. It was the day on which Swami promised to grant an interview to my mother and me. I sat in the first row, my heart throbbing in anticipation. The orange robed effulgence had not yet emerged from the sanctum and so I allowed my thoughts to wander through various events that had culminated on this day.
The way the Lord had assented to bless us with this interview had been the most humorous. The conversation that had preceded the blessing is worth a mention. I was almost leaning on Him (on my knees) as He stood on the upper portico of the Prasanthi Mandir. I raised my head and whispered into His ear, “Swami, will You grant an interview if I call my mother?” Immediately, He drew back, transfixed me with a glare and said, “Is that a guarantee?” I was taken aback, but, observing a mischievous look in His eyes remarked, “No! Swami! Not at all... I will call her only if You wish!” By now the conversation was loud enough, and all the boys around were silent. He looked at me with His dark fathomless eyes. “Please Swami!” I whispered as a child would. “Very well... Call her. Tell her to be here the day after tomorrow.” He said as He turned away. The twinkle had disappeared and in its place the power of one beyond all, held me in His magical spell. He turned away but not quite so, for in a quick movement. He looked at me again. He was smiling at me.
The same evening I rang up my mother and called her the day after. She came and here I was waiting in anticipation. My thoughts were interrupted by the ‘click’ of the interview room door handle. It opened and Swami glided forth. He said, “Hmm! Call her... Where is she?” I sprang to my feet, my eyes already searching. In a few minutes time, mother, I and a group from the Super Specialty hospital were inside the room, where thousands of devotees crave to be. Inside, His presence was so awe inspiring. He read my life like an open book that left me in a whirl. I was still dazed when we came out. His love was so over powering that I felt nothing else was needed but to just listen and obey Him.
The same evening, I was again seated in a vantage position, with a long letter of gratitude in my folded palms. I knew that Swami was to deliver His Divine message that day and I was also aware that He rarely accepts letters on such occasions. Yet I tried and gave Him my brightest smile as He approached. But with the same charming smile He bade me to be still. It was a wonderful discourse. Once again, He blessed me with a loving glance as He retired for the day.
Next day, during Darshan, He emerged with His majestic smile enchanting one and all. All around me hands stretched out offering prayers and letters to Him. He accepted all of them. He stretched out His hand all the way to the second row towards me and beckoned for my letter. Automatically my hand went to my pocket and to my surprise and dismay it was empty. I had forgotten to bring the letter. Swami held His outstretched hand for a few seconds and moved on. Within, I was cursing myself: “How could I forget the letter? Bhagavan had stretched His hand for it. Oh! What a blunder... I must apologize. I must write an apology and also offer my gratitude.” These thoughts stood foremost in my mind and I could not enjoy Darshan that morning. Bhagavan entered the interview room and the doors closed behind Him. I began to write my letter. It ran for two long pages.
Seated in the Bhajan hall, I awaited the end of the interview. It was almost certain, in those days, that Bhagavan would enter the Bhajan hall on Sundays. As anticipated, Bhagavan came in ever so slowly stopping every two steps speaking to someone. The letter rose in my folded palms. Bhagavan acted as if He was about to take it, then slowly crossed His hands behind His back and benevolently looked at me.
What followed left me all the more convinced that He is God and nothing less. He spoke about the contents of my letter word by word. He spoke out my thoughts, the exact thoughts that had passed through my mind when I had chided myself, the exact feeling of remorse which had taken word on the lips of my heart - everything so perfectly - so true that those few minutes left my eyes misty and brimming with tears.
For a few seconds He looked into my eyes. I was kneeling and staring. He bent slightly and then said, “I see everything, I hear everything, I know everything.” I swallowed hard and whispered, “Yes Swami!” He lovingly patted me on the head, took the letter which was now moist, with tears.
Those words are lamp posts to my path of Sadhana. He is always there and I have the assurance.
The wait is fruitful, if pure,
Tears that adorn the veil of sorrow,
Pain that adds depth to gloom,
All dispelled in just one glance.
One word of Love and Response
Lord my Gratitude to Thee.
For I have Your words to guide me!
- Y. Arvind
Alumnus, Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Formerly, Senior Manager - Public Relations,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore
Currently, Programme Manager, Reliance Foundation, Navi Mumbai
Source: Sai Nandana 1995 (70th Birthday Offering)