It was the 24th of December 1994. I came back to hostel for lunch at ten minutes past noon. As soon as I came, our warden asked me to get ready. Bhagavan had asked for two costume pieces, one for Shiva and another for Rama. We had to take them to the Poornachandra auditorium. They were needed for the play to be staged that evening. I immediately got prepared and went to our costume room to get the things ready. I followed the warden and two other teachers who accompanied him.
Bhagavan called us inside the Poornachandra auditorium. I was the last one to enter the room where Bhagavan was sitting. He immediately asked, “Who is this boy?” Our warden answered, “He does make-up for the actors”. Swami told us to sit down. He asked me my name, where I came from, and what I was studying. After each answer Swami said, “I know. I know”. He then asked us to show the costumes which we had brought. He chided us for not taking proper care of things given by Him. A message was brought in informing that the two boys who were to act as Rama and Shiva were waiting outside. Swami said, “Yes, tell them to come here” A moment later He added, “No, no, we will go there.” We all went to Poornachandra auditorium stage, where those two boys were waiting. Swami ordered us to dress them up. Bhagavan was gracious to correct us and sometimes He Himself made adjustments to the attire. Swami asked those boys lovingly, if they had taken food. When they answered “No”, Swami in a flash, just like a mother would, told them to go and have their food.
The play organizers asked Swami when they should start the play. He answered “By 6.30 p.m.” They asked, “When should we start the make-up?” Almost immediately Swami answered “Make-up? My boys will do.” I was dumb-founded. It was for the first time I heard from the Divine lips “My boys ...”
We came to the hostel to collect the makeup material and returned to the Poornachandra auditorium before Swami went out to give Darshan. Swami approved the blue base color which was to be used for makeup.
By 5:30 p.m., just as we were giving the final touches, Swami came and saw the makeup. By this time, the other brothers of our team had made a beautiful bow for Rama. Swami appreciated this very much. He even showed us and the guests present there, how Lord Rama used to hold the bow.
After the play, Swami expressed His satisfaction and happiness. He blessed us with ‘Padanamaskar’. Thus ended the most wonderful Christmas Eve that one could ever have.
Here I would like to add that the make-up persons, whom the coordinators had arranged for, were professionals. But still out of abundant love and grace for us (all students), Swami gave us a chance to serve Him. This is one of the innumerable experiences when Bhagavan gave us a chance out of His infinite compassion even though we were no equals to professionals.
- Prabhu Ramachandran
Student (1992-1997), Department of Chemistry
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Managing Director, Stiriti Ayur Therapies Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad