|Sri Sathya Sai on the first floor of the Prashanti Mandir|
“There’s a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how you will”
As we walk down the corridors of our life, while keeping engagements with time and duty, we are often confronted with situations or incidents that seem to bend and ultimately break all barriers and rules of law and logic wherein we are forced to withdraw ourselves from all shackles of reason and acknowledge the unrecognizable working of a master force - the swift, certain and skillful working of the ‘Unseen Hand’.
The Unseen Hand that performs the most complicated operations with accuracy and precision par excellence stands apart and works better than human hands armed with the most advanced space age gadgetry. Its working transcends time and space.
It had been working unceasingly in the past, it is working even today and it will continue to work for eternity. It only depends on how sensitive we are, to know the subtle work of the Unseen Hand that can only be felt in the depths of the heart.
God is said to have His own Leela or Divine sport, a game of infinity in which He makes and remakes His creation. The Divine Architect, unlike ordinary architects does not reveal His master plan well in advance to His creation. God too plays like the child on the sea beach, His game, with us as His particles of sand. In His own subtle way, He says things and does things for our ultimate good which one tends to take lightly or even ignore. As it is said, “In all actions, it is ultimately His Unseen Hand that does the work and attracts His Divine signature.”
It was year 1973; the Prasanthi Mandir was being restructured. The plain balcony was being systematically demolished to make place for exquisite concrete, sculpture that we find today. The work of demolishing the old balcony, and some projections in the rear portion of the Mandir i.e. ladies’ side was being done by volunteers and my father was fortunate to be one of them. One day, Bhagavan, before leaving for Brindavan, called my father and told him to stay back in Puttaparthi and not go to Hyderabad.
On the next day in the early hours of the morning, Swami left for Brindavan. As usual my father went to work on the first floor of the Mandir. But to his utter surprise, he was stopped by the chief engineer who told him that Bhagavan had specifically instructed him not to allow my father to work upstairs. The reason being, the roof would not be in position to bear his weight, and if it fell with him, it would become a circus scene. Since it was Bhagavan’s instruction, he accepted and started working downstairs (present ladies’ side). At the same time another volunteer was working upstairs (where my father was to work), just above where my father and few others were working. As a safety measure, the volunteer was asked to change his work spot. He stopped working immediately.
For reasons unknown, quite unaware, the same person again went to the same old work spot and resumed his work. My father and some others were breaking huge concrete blocks into pieces, underneath. Suddenly people saw that when my father bent down to hit a stone with a crow bar, blood was oozing from his head and at the same time he uttered, “Sai Ram.” When he touched his forehead it was very soft and blood was flowing out profusely. It was a concrete block that had landed on his head from the terrace wall, and had caused a serious wound. He was taken to the hospital, which was on the hill top at that time. He had the strength in that condition to walk up to the hospital. The doctor who stitched the wound said that he had just then come from the bus stop as he had missed the bus. It appeared as though Swami willed that the doctor should dress the wound. What could have been a fatal wound ultimately was softened by the working of the Unseen Hand.
The story does not end here; in fact it was only the beginning. At that particular time, when the accident took place in Prasanthi Nilayam, Bhagavan had all of a sudden gone into a semi-trance in Brindavan by closing His eyes. When He opened His eyes after sometime, He told some of the devotees who were present there that He had gone to save one of His devotees working in Swami’s Mandir at Puttaparthi. He went on to say that had my father gone to Hyderabad, he would have died on the way in an accident. He further added that Swami had saved him by pushing away the big boulder and reducing the intensity of the impact, so that it would not be a fatal accident.
Knowing it well, Bhagavan had asked him not to go to Hyderabad. He had, in His infinite mercy, reduced the burden of Karma by merely letting him get hurt through the falling of a stone. The Lord gave him a second life. Yes, He is the architect of our destiny and can design and modify our destiny whenever He wills. The word of God should never be taken lightly whether knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, so much was Swami’s concern that he used to enquire about the marks of 10 to 12 stitches my father had received. Surprisingly, not even a single mark is seen today and there is perfect hair growth, which is quite surprising! Bhagavan had not only erased the lines of fate but also the lines of the stitches as well.
|Sri Sathya Sai on the foot steps of Trayee Brindavan|
I am reminded of one more incident that took place when I was a student in Brindavan. A buffalo had died in the Gokulam and some of us were giving it a burial. It was already dark by the time we started digging a pit to bury the buffalo, on the low slope of the road. A barbed wire fence supported by granite stones separated the road from where we were working. The only source of light was the street lamp that stood just in front of one of the granite stones and was overlooking the road. As it was on the opposite side of our work spot, no light fell on the place where we were digging.
One of our boys belonging to the Hostel maintenance department carefully got up the lamp post to turn the direction of the lamp temporarily to our work spot. When he was coming down slowly, without his knowledge he came in contact with a high tension wire. For a moment he did not know what was happening. The next moment he was dangling from the wire, one of his hands and legs caught. We were all aghast, flabbergasted and petrified. We forgot to even go and switch off the mains which were at a distance. We were helplessly witnessing the slow process of his intense suffering. We were astonished to find that he was slowly released by the high tension wire by the grace of Bhagavan even without the mains being switched off. Here too the undercurrent of His love neutralized the effect of the high tension power. He fell just in front of the barbed wire fence, and not on the fence! The Unseen Hand did not allow that to happen. By Swami’s grace, he landed safely on the ground and recovered immediately from the shock. To him it was like a fading dream. Yes, the Lord can turn fatal accidents into simple events.
It has been aptly said, “Every act He watches, with every opportunity He teaches”. It all depends how receptive we are to such revelations. At times we credit them as coincidences. As the saying goes, “Coincidence is a miracle where God opted to remain anonymous.” We keep God incognito thinking it is only a coincidence or maybe He wants to keep Himself incognito and as the saying continues, “Otherwise the Unseen Hand will not remain unseen!”
- Deepak Khialdas
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus