The Vedas declared centuries ago that God is beyond the reach of words, beyond the reach of the mind and that he, who says has known Him, does not know even his own self! Bhagavan says, “Even if humanity endeavours for thousands of years to unravel His Mystery, they will still not succeed”. It is also true that the Sun needs no fan-fare that it energizes. How can birds keep silent? They articulate their joy of Divine Grace with their twitters and chirrups! Thus, I can’t restrain my little self from sharing a few of my very personal experiences with our most Beloved Divine Mother – Sai. His Grace thus encourages me to pen down the following few lines about my perceptions gathered from the pages of my personal experiences.
After completing my degree in Law at Chandigarh, I developed a yearning to join the Sri Sathya Sai Institute, and Bhagavan ‘created’ a way for me by starting the MBA programme. Needless to say, a lot of Sadhana was required to get admission into Sai’s University.
With His Grace, I joined the Institute in 1986. The ‘legal’ background initially proved to be a hurdle in the way of my completely understanding the Mission and Teachings of Bhagavan. I did not easily understand that ‘faith’ and ‘logic’ are poles apart, like Customary Law based upon practices and beliefs and Coded Law enacted by Legislature. ‘Faith’ necessarily has ‘experience’ and ‘understanding’ as its wheels, while ‘logic’ stems from or results in ‘doubt’.
The few appealing things during my initial days at Sai Institute were so superficial that my narrow mind accepted the ‘finer and deeper aspects’ of Sri Sathya Sai Education, only at a face value. The aspects like free education facility, perfect discipline, harmony and co-operation among students and staff, the integrated personality development approach at the Sai University, appeared extremely attractive and even unparalleled! Added to this was the aspect of unique communal-amity and national integration at the campus.
But, it was not very late when I began to notice the ‘Hidden Thread’ behind all the deeper things existent at the campus. Slowly, I was undergoing an experience that Sai had started this unique educational programme not merely to bestow a decent living upon the pupils, but to bestow upon them a wonderful gift of ‘Life’ itself.
One of my seniors at the Hostel once told me that I would be merely wasting my time, if I did not make genuine efforts to build an internal kingdom of Love with Sai. It was from then onwards that Bhagavan, in all His mercy and Love, started drawing me internally towards Him. He wanted us to be careful and caring in life, because according to Him, ‘Action is Perfection’. The more systematically we act in life, the more are we attuned to ourselves – the closer we get to our real Self. His only desire is to transform us from ‘street dogs to street lamps’.
Once, a very senior Air Force Officer was sitting by His side. Bhagavan asked the students, if they could do anything at His Command. All, including the Officer, raised their hands enthusiastically. Bhagavan looked quizzically into the eyes of the Officer and asked Him, “Resign from Air Force, now!” The Officer immediately borrowed a paper from one of the students and addressed a resignation letter to the President of India. Bhagavan accepted the letter and said, “Your resignation has been accepted. Now onwards, you will work in Air Force as an Instrument of the Lord!” Bhagavan then asked the officer, “Have you ever thought the work in Air Force to be God’s work?” The Officer’s answer was in the negative as he treated only service to humanity, as God’s work, till that day. “Spirituality is not a uniform to be worn on certain days and occasions. Rather, every task should be done on behalf of the Lord and offered unto Him,” was the command of Bhagavan. We cannot allow our memory to forget such loving words of Lord Sai, at any point of time, because He is our very existence, nay our very breath.
There are endless tales to demonstrate that He is with us at all times, provided we allow the echo of His words to ring in our ears.
After passing out from the Institute, I applied for a job in the corporate sector at Chandigarh. I, as a fresher, was pitted against about 40 well-experienced candidates for the post. The interview went on quite well for a good 35 minutes, and all the time the Managing Director (MD) asked me details about the teaching pattern of the Sathya Sai University. Thereafter, arrived a bombshell. The MD passed a curt remark at me, when he said that my learning at the Sai University might be ideally suited for a life to be spent in temples, forests or monasteries, but not for the corporate sector, because there was no place for ‘values’ in business dealings. I was totally shaken by his observation, and I prayed to Sai, to help me. Bhagavan took over at that very instant. I began my counter-offensive with a question posed to the MD, “Sir, if you were a manufacturer of tyres, where would you test the roadworthiness of the product? On smooth roads or on bumpy roads, which are full of potholes?” The MD replied, “On bumpy roads of course”. I immediately told him, that he had himself answered his query put to me and that we were also Bhagavan’s tyres, and were to be tested in the tough situations of the corporate sector and not in the calmness of monasteries and temples.
After I had completed my MBA programme, Bhagavan blessed me to work in rural areas for setting up a hospital, vocational training centre, and school, etc. As per Divine Guidance I began working. But the progress was quite slow. Once, I came to Bhagavan and informed Him that until we could acquire some land, we would not be in a position to commence the Project and that acquiring land was very expensive in North India. Bhagavan however told me that it was not the land which would help us but, ‘His Hand!’ As I was returning to Chandigarh, few devotees told me that a piece of land could be arranged in a village in Yamuna Nagar town. Within the next few days, the villagers donated a 27 acre piece of land for this project, and the day happened to be Guru Pournima! The name of the village where the land was donated was Darwa. This word has the same meaning, as the word Puttaparthi; a place which is infested with Darrars (snake holes)! Likewise, He also arranged a doctor couple, who had returned from U.K., to manage the hospital wing. Slowly but steadily, a school, hospital and a vocational wing have sprung up in a remote village in Haryana, on the lines of Bhagavan’s teachings.
Once on January 1, 1997, the doctor-in-charge of the hospital came to me at Chandigarh and said that the patients visiting our hospital wanted Vibhuti, instead of medicine. The stocks of Vibhuti were virtually over. He asked me to procure about 100 packets weighing 200 grams each. I told him that such a large quantity of Vibhuti could be arranged only from Parthi, and that we would request someone going to Parthi to fetch the Vibhuti for us. Thereafter, I left for the court. As I was parking my car outside the court complex, I noticed some mustard yellow paper packets – appearing like Vibhuti packets, spread beside the road. However, I felt that as I had been thinking of Vibhuti since morning, every mustard colour paper was appearing to be a Vibhuti packet.
I parked my car and was walking to the court in uniform, when abruptly I looked back again. The mustard colour papers were looking exactly like Vibhuti packets. I quickly went back to verify and was wonderstruck to notice that Vibhuti packs weighing 200 grams, were spread over the turf in large quantities. One of the packets was open. I tasted its contents. It was Vibhuti! I now began collecting the Vibhuti packets in full public gaze – a lawyer, picking up something from the ground. The packets were exactly one hundred, but one had been opened, just to strengthen my faith further. I quickly drove back home, rang up the Doctor-in-charge and handed over the Vibhuti packets to him. Of course, I retained a few of them as Divine Prasadam.
The appearance of these Vibhuti packets remained a mystery that took quite some days to unravel. An ardent devotee of Bhagavan had been returning from Parthi and was on his way to Shimla. Enroute to Shimla, he changed his bus at Chandigarh. He was carrying a carton containing 100 Vibhuti packets for his Samiti. According to him, someone had ‘stolen’ the carton. But this ‘thief’, not merely had opened the carton box after stealing it; but had even spread the 100 packets outside the court complex, at just the same spot where I was to park my car! Who else could the ‘miscreant’ possibly be? Undoubtedly, He was Bhagavan, who answered the prayers of the poor villagers, by providing them His Vibhuti.
Sai is the most wonderful experience that could ever dawn in our lives. Bhagavan has been demonstrating for the past 80 years that, “His life is His Message”. But the time is now ripe, when we should respond to the call of our beloved Divine Master and make our lives His Message! Only then, can we be true Sai Students.
- Amar Vivek
Student (1986-1988), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Advocate, High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh