I had the great good fortune of studying in Bhagawan’s Institutions from 1983 to 1990. I had the privilege of doing my schooling at the Higher Secondary School, B.Com. in Brindavan and MBA in Prasanthi Nilayam.
I had been to Puttaparthi in the month of July 1990 with my parents to seek Swami’s guidance about my future plans after MBA. I recollect that Swami told me to go over to Chennai, start applying for jobs and stay with my parents. He told me to remain confident, and remarked that He was always there with me. These are the words which still reverberate in my ears, and have helped me get along with my life. This, I feel, is the most emotional and classic farewell that the revered Chancellor could ever gift His students with. This has been my constant guiding factor.
I served in a small company as an accounts officer for about 6 months. This was followed by a call for an interview from one of the Multinational Banks in Chennai. The head of the Credit Cards Division had interviewed me and the final question posed to me was about my adaptability to the environment in the bank. I countered it by mentioning that the education provided at Swami's Institutions prepared a student by providing integral education that included not just spiritual knowledge but also academics, sports and cultural activities. I also mentioned that the education imparted there not only catered to the academic needs of an individual, but also assisted in the all-round personality development.
Personally, my experiences with Swami and adherence to His teachings have helped me immensely, to balance personal life and corporate life and also manage stress during difficult situations. In fact, I was the first Sai Student to join this Bank and subsequently a dozen followed suit. Perhaps, simplicity and dedication are the hallmark of Swami's Education System.
Swami says Management is nothing but Man Management which clearly matches the definition given by Management experts – The art of getting things done by people. This encompasses the qualities of a manager namely – leadership, motivation, strategic thinking, innovation etc. This is very evident in real life because we need to work in teams wherein we get a chance to imbibe and learn these managerial qualities. They enable us to serve the organisation better and in the process also helps in our personal development. A manager needs to act as a role model, which means, inculcating the values that are dear to Swami – Truth, Love and Sincerity. Keeping people involved in decision making, regardless of how ‘small’ their position might be, makes a lot of difference in the workplace. It harnesses co-operation and speeds up processes and activities. In my experience, it is very essential for a manager to sit down with the employees, understand all the nuances and have an eye for detail in any job. This will make a significant impact at the workplace.
In one of the Personnel Management classes that Swami had conducted, I happened to be seated at the Lotus Feet since it was my birthday. Swami had materialised a Japanese soap and allowed it to be passed around, so that everybody could have a better look at it. Finally, Swami enquired as to who would like to have it. All my brothers responded saying that the birthday boy should be given the soap. Swami looked at me and said that He would grant me something much bigger than the petty soap. This experience is very special for me as I consider this life that He has given to me as the big boon mentioned by Bhagawan. Nothing can match the sweetness of the moments I have spent in Bhagawan’s Presence.
With Swami’s Blessings, I recently got a good job in an Islamic Bank in an orthodox and conservative Islamic country. I was delighted to find a group of devotees who met regularly and I was happy to be a part of the Sai Satsang. Swami’s ‘Visiting Cards’ of Vibuthi manifestations on the portraits of the various deities, have blessed even this remote place.
In July 2000, I lost my father and on the fifth day following his death, we had a major theft in our house in Chennai. We lost about 150 sovereigns of gold. One can imagine the impact of this double tragedy. Sleepless nights ensued and we kept our prayers going and had confidence that Bhagawan would take care of everything. We were continuously in touch with all the senior police officials in Chennai so that the case remained alive and was not closed as non traceable.
On March 18, 2005, we had a Laksharchanam at our house and on the same night, a robber in one of the police stations in Chennai confessed that he had committed the crime. The next morning, at about 5.30 a.m., five cops landed at my house. They entered our house and enquired whether there had been any major robbery in the house. My mother was amazed and showed all the documentary evidence to them. We were informed that they have recovered all the lost jewels that would shortly be handed over to us. This is nothing but the reflection of Swami's Love and Blessings.
Swami is the greatest Manager and Leader and has been a guiding force to all of us. It is imperative that all the students observe Him and try to adhere to at least some of His teachings. This will make one’s life more meaningful and would help us evolve, both materially and spiritually.
True management starts with self-knowledge and managing oneself. All the other worldly knowledge comes later. This has been my guiding principle and I am deeply indebted to Bhagawan for this ultimate secret of success and happiness.
I recommend to all my fellow alumni to keep this important teaching of Swami in their hearts while pursuing their careers and leave the rest to Him.
- V. Vasudevan
Student (1988-1990), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Executive Vice President (Retail Operations), HDFC Bank Ltd., Chennai