It is something that only God can describe and design.
The love story between my Mother Sai and myself began five years back when I lost my mother. Swami gave me the love of a thousand mothers. This Love can only be experienced and cannot be put in words. I would like to share some of the experiences with you all.
Like all mothers who cover up their children’s mistakes, in the same way, my Mother Sai covered up my mistake when I tried to run away from Primary School due to homesickness and the news reached Swami. They (Primary School teachers) told Swami, “Swami, this boy ran away from the school.” Swami then told, “Who told you so? He came to see Me.” He covered it up like a beautiful mother.
I used to suffer from an inexplicable fear of ghosts. When he got an opportunity, my father once told Swami about my fear. Swami then called us inside, created a sugar candy and told us, “You will never get scared again.” Truly, I never got scared again.
Once, a teacher asked her first grade students to draw a picture of something that they were really grateful for. She expected them to draw the picture of an ostrich or a plate of food on the table. But she was surprised when saw the picture that John drew - he drew a hand. The whole class was also surprised seeing the picture. The teacher asked John to explain about the hand. He I said, “It’s your hand in the picture.” She said, “Why is it, John?” John was a shabby and a timid child. This teacher used to hold him by his hand and take him to recess. He said, “Your hand meant so much to me.” This is not only a thanksgiving hand, not only for the opportunities given to us but also for the chances given to us by our beloved Mother Sai.
Even before I saw the bright shinning moon,
I saw her smile;
Even before I could feel the warmth the early morning sun gave,
I felt her hug;
Even before I could see the twinkling stars,
I saw her eyes;
Even before I could feel the breeze brush through my hair,
I felt her had brushing through it;
Even before I felt the softness in touch of the lotus,
I felt her patting me on the cheeks;
Even before I saw GOD in this form I saw MOTHER
It is said that a mother is one who does the following:
M - Monitors the child
O - Observes the child
T - Teaches the child
H - Helps the child
E - Encourages the child
R - Rewards the child
I am sure that if I were to go round the whole world and search for a mother who befitted this definition, I would finally land up here at Puttaparthi and find one. There are various occasions in our lives here that we feel Her motherly love.
|Swami blessing students as they leave for Grama Seva|
I would like to highlight just two such instances, the first one being the Grama Seva. It was She who monitored the whole project by calling the teachers inside and discussing with them in detail how the Grama Seva should be conducted. Then She observed how Her children went for work and the manner in which they did it. Whenever we travelled by trucks, sometimes sitting on the edges of the trucks, She cautioned us. Throughout the Grama Seva, there was not a day when the sun shone brightly. It was always cloudy with a steady breeze blowing all the time. When Her children came back from Grama Seva, She stood there ready with juicy apples to encourage the children. When the Grama Seva was coming to an end, She rewarded all Her children by giving them a pair of clothes.
|Sathya Sai with Students - Convocation Drama 2008|
Another occasion in our lives is Convocation Drama. It is She who monitors the whole drama right from the time the story is made till the last scene is enacted. She even observes Her children who are acting in it during rehearsals and when She finds a mistake, She calls that child and personally teaches him how it should be done. She then helps the child again and again until he finally performs to Her satisfaction. During these rehearsals if at all anytime Her child seems to have made a mistake for which he thinks he is going to be scolded by the warden or the higher authorities, She goes up to him and says, “Chala Manchidi. Chala Santosham” (“Very good, Very happy”). On the 22nd of November, after all the thousands of devotees who come here to celebrate birthday have witnessed the whole drama, She goes up to the stage as if She was never concerned with it and rewards Her children with gifts.
It is said that when you are a baby, she is a care taker; when you grow up, she becomes a teacher; when you are a grown-up adult she becomes a friend; when you finally become a man, she becomes an observer and thus throughout our life she remains God.
For those of us who have been studying here from the first standard, I would like to take you back to those cherished moments of our lives. When we were in the first class, we only knew that this person in the orange robe as One who used to give us sweets on every Thursday and Sunday. As we grew up to be boys, we saw Her in the role of a teacher. When there used to be too much noise, She would come out of the interview room and stand in front of us with a finger on Her lips telling us to keep quiet. When She saw that some of Her children were not sitting straight, She would hold up Her forefinger straight and say, “Sit like this”. And as we grow up and become adults, we find Her playing the role of a friend. Teaching some lessons silently and some aloud, acting and at the same time cracking jokes with us. At times when we are depressed and feel that there is no one to look up to, she calls us out saying, “Dear child! Fear not, for I walk in when the world walks out.”
|Sai Shyam with his beloved Mother Sai at Kodaikanal in 2009|
When we come to the stage of a man, She becomes a silent observer, an observer whose presence is constantly felt and throughout our life she remains God.
Well! That’s my Mother, my Divine Mother…
Mother Sai, please give us
So much strength that we should ask only for
Love, love and love from You,
Instead of anything else.
- Sai Shyam Sharma
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institue of Higher Learning
Currently, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus