It was in the year 2005, the month of February, when a few senior boys gathered together to put up a Kavi Sammelan programme for Bhagavan. The permission was sought from Swami to put up the programme. All the participants were eager to present their poems to the Master. It was at 2.00 pm in the afternoon that we all had assembled in Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagavan also promptly arrived and, with eagerness, asked all of us if the arrangements had been properly made. We answered that we were ready. The Vedam chanting was going on and Bhagavan insisted on our sitting on the chairs. Some of us ran to the nearby garage, got the chairs and arranged them in a way that all the participants faced Swami. The programme went on very well and Swami was very happy. Later, He called us individually and gave Padanamaskar. At that point of time, I got an opportunity to ask Swami something very profound: “Swami kindly keep me always with You”. Swami was very happy with the prayer and gave an assurance that He would! Later, many events took place in my life where Swami made sure that I continued to be with Him physically and mentally. Once the Lord gives His assurance the rest is taken care of!
I recall a beautiful blessing which Bhagavan bestowed on us through a senior student who had completed three years of education at Puttaparthi. He asked Bhagavan, “Swami, the three years spent at Your Lotus Feet have come to an end and now we are going to the world outside. How can we experience You when we are far from you physically? The moment we see You, we feel happy. But once we go out we lose access to Your physical form”. Then Swami made a revealing statement, “During the stay in Swami’s Institutions, you experience Swami, imbibe insights and you cherish all those experiences. This automatically will make you feel happy and experience My presence”. It is true indeed! That is why Satsang (noble company) gives us great inner strength. Cherishing the experiences and memories spent at His feet keeps us tuned to Him at all times.
|Sri Sathya Sai In Kodaikanal|
Let me recall one incident that happened in Kodaikanal. When the first batch of MBA students accompanied Bhagavan to Kodaikanal, they had blissful sessions with Swami. During one of the sessions Swami was pulling each student’s leg, saying that they did not do well in their examinations; that they did not get good marks in their entrance examination. One student got up courageously and asked Swami, “Swami does one get a seat in Your Institute by dint of merit or Your grace?” Then Swami wonderfully replied, “Even merit is also grace, sir”. Yes, it is very true. Imagine, if a topper’s mind goes blank in his examination, will he be an achiever? We should understand that it is all by the grace of Bhagavan we succeed in life.
My father constructed a new house in 1984. The area where the house was constructed was a little hilly and there were water problems. Every day he had to go one kilometre on the bicycle for fetching water. So he decided later to drill a bore well. All the neighbours had tried to drill but none of them could succeed in getting water. But still my father courageously stuck to the decision of digging a bore well. Even though the drilling was done up to 300 feet, there was no sign of water. Later one of my father’s colleagues advised him to pray to Sai Baba of Shirdi and assured that his prayers would be answered. As advised he prayed to Sai Baba, “Baba, please give us water and I will come to Shirdi to have Your Darshan”. The very next morning, to his utter surprise the water level rose to 150 feet, which was possible with His Grace alone. He then decided to visit Shirdi. My father went to Shirdi and there in Darshan line he met a person who happened to be the Convener of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samiti in our locality. He spoke to my father about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, saying that He is none other than the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. In this way Swami entered our family and sowed the seeds of devotion in our hearts. We used to participate in Bhajans and service activities regularly. My mother saw Vibhuti, Kumkum, etc., coming from Swami’s photos at various places. She prayed to Swami to bless us with such experiences at our home. It was summer vacation and she, being a teacher, was correcting the answer scripts. To our utter astonishment, we observed honey flowing out from Swami’s photo and then my mother revealed to us what she had prayed for. Just think of Swami and you have His response instantaneously. It is a wonderful blessing to have such a magnificent Lord!
Right from my childhood days, I had only one goal; to get into Swami’s institution. Religiously I applied to Swami’s institution right from my first standard to get a seat but in vain. In the summer of 1999, after my board examinations, I got an opportunity to serve at Prasanthi Nilayam as part of the Andhra Pradesh Seva Dal service. After the Seva, we went to Brindavan to take Swami’s blessings, as Swami used to stay there during the summers. We arranged ourselves for Darshan in lines and Swami came to each one of us and blessed us with Padanamaskar and Vibhuti. When my turn came, I asked Swami, “Please grant me an opportunity to study in Your College”. Swami replied, “It is not My College; it is our College, come and study happily”. I applied for the eleventh standard in Puttaparthi but could not get selected. Even though I felt dejected, I applied for B.Sc. (Hons.) course after my 12th standard and got selected to study at Brindavan. Only then did I realise that I had asked Swami for a seat in College and not in school. I learnt my first lesson that we have to be very careful in asking anything to God. He blesses us very lovingly but we have to bear the consequences for what we have asked for. After that I always prayed, “Swami please give me true devotion and strength to accept and obey Your will”.
|Sri Sathya Sai in Trayee Brindavan|
During one of the Trayee sessions in Brindavan, Swami beckoned students to ask questions. One boy asked, “Swami, we have come here due to our past good Karmas. What is the Sadhana we have to do after we come here?” Swami smiled and replied, “For all the students the greatest Sadhana they can do is to follow the Hostel rules and earn Swami’s grace”. Many times in His discourses, Bhagavan explained the need for controlling our senses. At this young age our mind is very fickle and Swami has set this Hostel schedule so meticulously that we do not remain idle. We engage in studies and in various self-reliance activities. Just as we have to follow the rules once we are on the playground to play a game; similarly, we enter a playground when we come to Sai Institutions from far off places to learn Swami’s teachings and imbibe the right way of life. So it is very important to follow the guidelines set by Swami in the Hostel so that we can fare well in the game of life once we enter the world outside.
Swami also talks about the importance of Seva (service). I would like to narrate an incident that had happened in Sai Kulwant Hall in this context. One fine day, Swami asked a few students to take Prasadam and distribute it. Once the distribution was finished, Swami asked the students, “Why do you think I ask you to distribute Prasadam?” Students replied, “We feel that you are giving us a great blessing!” Swami then said, “The important thing you should note is the supreme value of Seva you perform. Whenever you are in distress and call out to Me, I will remember your act of service and rush to your rescue immediately”. What a wonderful Lord He is! He insists on our doing Seva so that He in turn can do Seva to us! Since these opportunities are available in Sri Sathya Sai Institutions and organizations in plenty, let us avail ourselves of them: be it serving in Dining Hall or helping our fellow students in self-reliance departments. The Lord meticulously takes into account every act of our service and showers His Grace accordingly. We see that the students who pass out of our Institute reach great heights for this very reason.
Let me share with you the supreme significance of Swami’s words. I was admitted into the hospital on account of high fever during my second year of post-graduation. I was very upset as the doctor diagnosed it as tuberculosis. Swami said, “Tomorrow morning everything will become normal”. Believe me or not, the next morning my body temperature read 98.4 F. His one word can turn chaos into order! Thus, the grace of God is like an anesthesia that can nullify the suffering. Hence, it is very important to put sincere efforts to earn God’s grace. It was the time when I was supposed to choose my honors subject in my graduation among the subjects – Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. Something within prompted me to take chemistry and I acted accordingly. I finished my under graduation, post-graduation, M.Phil. and also started my Ph.D. in Chemistry. On one occasion in 2009, Swami asked me about my studies and then I promptly replied that I was pursuing my Ph.D. in Chemistry. Swami replied, “Physics would have been tough for you. You opted for the right choice by selecting Chemistry, listening to the voice within”. After listening to Bhagavan, I was confused about what He meant. I went back to the Hostel, opened my diary, and then I remembered about the dilemma I faced and the decision I took by following my inner conscience. Yes! Though Swami is not physically present with us, He always guides us in many unseen ways, for we have to silence our mind and tune to Him.
- Dr. Sunil Adurty
Student and Research Scholar (2001-2013), Department of Chemistry
Currently, Assistant Professor – Research, Department of Chemistry
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning