“Is Swami and Mother Different?” – By Venkatesh Prasad

The greatest challenge for any Sai Student is to reconcile between the physical form of Swami and the Omnipresence of Swami. While there exists no difference between the two, it is a result of our own narrow mental definitions. There comes a stage in every student’s life when they need to go beyond these definitions and experience Swami’s Presence in each and every moment of their life. 



While I was a student at our Institute, Swami had blessed our family with a lot of personal attention and Love. Swami had visited our home and had lunch there on His way back from Kodaikanal to Ooty. My mother wanted me to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Swami for all the Grace that He had showered on our family.  Accordingly, when I got an opportunity, I made bold to mention to Swami – “My mother would like me to express our gratitude for all that Swami is doing for our family”. Swami replied looking deep into my eyes “When you go home for holidays and your mother makes various delicacies do you say thanks to your mother?” My reply was “No Swami”. Swami asked “Is Swami and Mother different?” I quickly responded, “No Swami.” Thereafter Swami asked me to take Padnamaskar. One of the most beautiful truths learnt at the Lotus Feet: “Swami is our Mother”.

On another occasion, during evening Darshan, Swami asked me “How can you make everybody happy?” Swami continued “When we have numerous taps in the house, individual connections are not given to each tap. The overhead tank is filled and when the taps are opened – either in the kitchen, wash basin or anywhere else, the water flows out automatically. Similarly, if we make Swami happy, everybody else will be happy. So focus and put in your efforts to make Swami happy.” 


Sathya Sai with Students - Students of MBA Batch of 1990-1992

Swami had once agreed to Bless us all with individual photographs in Brindavan. Swami had given us a day’s notice and on the said day the students stood on either side of the Trayee Brindavan lawns. Swami chose an appropriate spot and got ready for the photograph session. The boys were standing in a line and they filed in one after another to ensure that no time was wasted while taking the individual snaps. At this point when there was a short break in the process due to changing of the camera roll, Swami remarked “You keep coming and going, but I am Permanent”- a statement that has been etched in my heart forever. 

One of the defining moments in my life took place when I was working in an Organisation almost 10 years back.  I was given independent charge of a loss-making unit in the group and was assigned the task of reviving the unit. I was also given a free hand to change any of the staff so as to achieve the stated objective of attaining profitability. The impression from the state of affairs as it existed then was that some of the staff might have colluded with the previous head. I was a bit anxious about the assignment but nevertheless with a firm prayer to Swami started my work. 

My involvement with the unit lasted for little more than 21/2 years but by then we had turned profitable, repaid all the outstanding loans to banks and had declared a dividend for the first time in two decades. To cap it all we had a very healthy bank balance. Throughout this phase, I did not change any of the staff or the workers. In fact, I placed all my faith in them and implemented all their suggestions. 

One of the key personnel I was involved with was an accountant who was more than 60 years old then. He had retired from service but I had asked him to continue in order to help me tide over the crisis. Also, while trying to retain him I just followed the principle of giving dignity and value for his experience. From the organisational point of view, I ensured that a second line was in place and also that his presence did not discourage the youngsters. Most importantly, the company did not lose out in any way by this arrangement. The end result was that this gentleman was seated in my desk one evening and made a statement that was most stunning, “Sir, Thank you very much. You have behaved in this way because you are a Baba Student”. In all those years I had never mentioned to any of the staff in the unit about my academic background or about Swami. I was dumbstruck and did not know how to respond .After his departure I closed my eyes and prayed to Swami and offered the words uttered by this elderly gentleman at His Lotus Feet. Swami’s words came to my mind, “Thousand eyes are watching you; Thousand ears are hearing your words”. 

I express my gratitude to Swami for having given me an opportunity to study in His Institute. I also pray to Swami to bless and guide me always and enable me to be a worthy instrument in His Divine Mission. 

I would like to end by quoting Swami’s words… 

The Greatest Adventure in Life is to Seek God
The Greatest Romance in life is to Love God
The Greatest Achievement in life is to Realise God.

- Venkatesh Prasad
Department (1990-1992), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Independent Financial Services Professional, Bengaluru


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