“Though shalt not be afraid for the terror by night
Nor by the ………….. That flieth by the day…
Though a thousand at thy right hand,
They shall not come nigh thee…
For I shall cover thee with
My feathers and under my
Wings shalt thou rest.”
Let me narrate one small incident, which would speak volumes of His love. Perhaps on reading it, you would realize that if there is one thing on earth that cannot be comprehended, it is the power of Sai’s love.
Going beyond one’s limits is the power and pride of Mother Nature (with all due apologies to Her). At least this is what I learnt when two months back the river Godavari was in full rage, encroaching on all the living places and crossing its limited boundaries. The pages of our forefather’s diaries and the popular folk-tales (which are a pride possession of our tradition) have eternally believed that the cause for such wrath on the part of the ‘River Goddess’ has mainly been due to the wicked actions of wicked men!
7th September, 1986 - the headlines of the newspaper caught my attention and as I went through I realized that my home town Bhimavaram was submerged under water. Bhimavaram as you all know is in the centre of the west Godavari district. With a population of nearly 10 lakhs, this town is essentially rooted in agriculture, though small scale and medium industries are steadily becoming the centres of attraction. Tradition goes to prove that this was the place ‘Bhima’ received his ‘Varam’ (boon) from Hanuman.
To come back to the point, my parents were staying here and when they heard that floods were entering the town like everybody else they too were frightened. The very nature of floods is devastating. Both my father and mother were aware of the consequences. It would perhaps mean the loss on one’s house, property and such hard earned possessions earned by the sweat of one’s brow. Of course, all three gain importance if only they would come out alive.
Thinking that the floods would not reach the area in which they were residing, my father decided to go to the office. Before going he told mother not to worry and advised her that if anything should go wrong, she should chant the name of ‘Sai Ram’. On that day everything did go wrong! For, in few hours after my father left, in came the river, in all its fury covering the entire area. By evening the whole town was fully submerged under 10 feet depth of water. My father had realized his folly of leaving my mother alone. Try as he may to return, he found that to get back was a herculean task. But nevertheless, with a prayer on his lips, my father wended his way through the waters seeking all the help possible. It was two days later that he reached the street where my house was situated. And what did he find?
It was something akin to the story of Sudama, where the latter was astonished to find a palace instead of his hut! Of course there was no palace that had materialized itself in our street, but a sight perhaps more welcome… for, in the whole of Bhimavaram, ours was the only street that had water barely one foot.
Topographically speaking, such a phenomenon somehow cannot be explained in the rational terms. Our street was in no way at a higher level from the other streets, nor did it have any contraption which could have possibly stopped the flow of the torrential waters. However, investigations and enquires about this inexplicable occurrence are being carried on….
Thus totally aghast, my father entered the street and as he walked to our house, he found my mother waiting for him with a smile. And to all his questions she had only one innocent answer - “You had told me to chant the name of Sai Ram which I prayed like never before.”
Every time I think of this incident, I cannot help remembering the words of Christ:
“If ye have faith as a grain mustard seed
Ye shall say unto the mountain
Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove;
And nothing shall be impossible unto ye.”
Thus dear brothers let our faith reach out to Him, touch Him. He will not ask, “Who touched me?” for He will have known.
- Prasad Rao
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Source: Sai Nandana 1985 (60th Birthday Offering)