Faith and Love – By R.K.V. Nataraj

In April 2002, we were nearing the formal conclusion of our MBA programme. Come June 2002 and we would formally join the ex-students group. We were at Brindavan. With lots of dreams and aspirations about the corporate world, I was waiting for Swami’s approval and direction. I thought I would give a letter to Swami and seek His guidance. I was in a dilemma whether to pray to Swami for a job or join my other brothers who were waiting for an opportunity to stay with Him. With courage in my mind and with the feeling that I was His child and thus have every right to ask what I wanted, I wrote the letter. 

Along with a prayer for a good and respectable job, a strange request was also there in my mind. Whatever the job I would end up in, it should be such that whenever I wished to see Swami, leave for the same should be permitted. I wrote this in the form of a letter and waited to hand it over to Him. However small the desire may be, Swami – the Divine Mother responds to Her child with infinite love and affection. May be these are the ways Swami makes us realise that whether we find ourselves in pain or pleasure, failure or success, He is always there for us. 
Sri Sathya Sai in Trayee Brindavan
To my surprise I found myself in the first row and somehow managed to get a place next to the Jhoola in Trayee Building. After the inspiring talks by the elders and Swami’s enlightening Discourse, I thought that Swami was in a different framework, and felt very guilty for writing a letter for such a petty thing.  

For Swami, the Divine Mother, even a little wish of Her child gains supreme importance. While Swami began walking into the inner room, I knelt down and hesitatingly showed the letter. Though Swami was looking ahead; while crossing me, He turned towards me and giving a loving smile, He accepted the letter. I was dumbstruck by the importance that Swami gave me and my letter with a petty prayer. However, it was a reassurance that once you have faith in Him, there is no VIP greater to Him than you. 

I came back to my hometown and started applying for jobs. I got an offer from a company at Chennai. The job was related to my project but the salary was very less when compared to what my classmates were earning elsewhere. I was wondering why Swami had offered me that job. But then instantaneously the message of Swami came to my mind, ‘Whatever be the job, don’t just see the salary, but consider whether you are worthy enough for getting that salary’. 

Having that in my mind I proceeded for the job. To my surprise whenever I thought about this teaching, I happened to see Swami’s photo either on some vehicle or in some shop. I took this as a reassurance from Swami and continued working and came to Parthi for the Convocation. Since I had asked Swami about a job that would permit me to visit Parthi whenever I wanted; I felt this was the right job He had given me. 

I kept applying for other jobs too. Three months after the convocation, I got an offer from the company where I am currently working. It fetched me twice the salary I was getting in my previous company. Now I realise why Swami had made me secure the previous job. It was just to fulfil my desire of attending the Convocation. The present job is at Jamshedpur and it takes around 38 hours of travel to reach Parthi. How subtly Swami fulfils our desires. The sentiments echoed here may appear simple but the impact it has had on me is very significant. 

After coming to Jamshedpur, I felt very lonely and had a feeling that I was all alone in this entire world. Whenever any kind of doubt or depression troubles one’s mind, surely, a prompt message from Swami begins flashing from within. This is a unique medicine which Swami has provided to all the students. May be we don’t realise this while we are staying at Parthi. 

It was in my first year of the MBA programme. Swami had come to our Hostel and I was given an opportunity to present a Tamil poem in front of Swami in the Kavi Sammelan. Swami smilingly acknowledged my poem wherein I had mentioned that He is my Mother, Father, Friend and Guide. In His discourse too Swami reassured us that “The relation between you and Swami is unique, and wherever you go and whatever job you do, have the feeling that Swami is always in you, with you and around you. Meeku maaku okey bandhamu…” 

In spite of getting this message, my monkey mind began wondering how Swami could be with me always. In Jamshedpur, I could not even see a photo of Swami, leave alone attending Bhajans in the Samithi. This went on for a month. I was cursing myself for asking for a good job, for it had distanced me from my Swami. One Thursday, as I was walking on the street in the evening, something struck me and suddenly I turned towards a house… Oh my!!! I saw a photo of Swami sporting a cute smile. I could not believe my eyes. 

Immediately I went and knocked at the door without even the minimum caution that a stranger should exercise. A middle aged man opened the door and asked me what I wanted. Without even waiting for the next question, I began a one way introductory outpour. Introducing myself as a student of SSSIHL, I enquired the location of the Jamshedpur Sai Samithi. After listening to me he asked me to sit down and offered coffee and gave me the address of the Jamshedpur Samithi. When I looked up, there was Swami, smiling in the photo, making ‘fun’ of my wavering, unsteady mind. 

I began attending Bhajans on Thursdays. Now, the next problem to be resolved was the question of seeing Swami whenever I wanted to. Was that really possible? I have 24 days annual leave, 7 days casual leave. But traveling back and forth from Parthi would itself consume 4 days. So at the best I could come twice a year to Parthi and that too not according to my choice of timing. Here again Swami – the Divine Mother showered Her love and reassured me that Her Will prevails ultimately. After a few days I got transferred to a new plant which was under construction and commissioning. Now I had to work without any time limit. Day and night became immaterial for me, as I worked to get the plant operational within the deadline. There was no question of getting any leave. 

After 2 months the plant became operational. For the days we had worked overtime we were now gifted a compensatory leave hamper of 20 days. What a wonderful gift! Now I had 20 extra days at my disposal. I used this to my full advantage and visited Parthi in 2004 almost four times. This is how Swami satisfies our desires, however small they may be. This is the infinite Love we receive from our Divine Mother. 

When Swami gives His word, He keeps it whatever be the circumstances. These incidents reiterated to me the fact that the relationship between Swami and His children is unique. Again the same message comes into my mind, “The relation between you and Swami is unique, and wherever you go and whatever job you do, have the feeling that Swami is always in you, with you and around you. Meeku Maaku Okey Bandhamu… Adeeye Prema Bandhamu….

- R.K.V. Nataraj
Student (2000-2002), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, General Manager, Linde India Limited
Mumbai


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