Having been born as a human being contemporary to the Avatar in human form life with Bhagavan is the biggest blessing. Living in His proximity, every word, every action, the benevolent look, even His gentle avoidance is a lesson of its own kind. Everyone who calls himself a devotee should experiment and fully experience and that alone gives meaning to our existence.
The wide acceptance of Bhagavan cuts across all sections of the society, people of different faiths and different countries. They seamlessly merge under His divine guidance. A spiritual renaissance of humanity, a (spiritual) nuclear fission in the minds of millions, unnoticed by the nuclear regulatory authorities, greening of the human minds unplanned by the United Nations- all this happens, steadily and unendingly.
|Professor Anil Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai on board flight to Chennai - January 2007|
As the State President of Andhra Pradesh wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Baba had given me the most enviable opportunity of meeting a wide cross-section of people from both within the country and outside. I cherish the colloquy, the spiritual discussions which I have had with them. In such conversations, invariably everyone has expressed that they have had the most personal communication and guidance from Bhagavan; the modes of communication range from physical interaction through His most coveted personal audience, pointed reference to incidents in the most casual way, materialization of Vibhuti and various kinds of talismans, or through dreams: not only to cure physical and mental illness, but mainly to instil faith in their minds. Innumerable phenomena have been narrated by the devotees as we find in the ocean of Sai literature today.
To be seated in Mandir, silently waiting for Swami is a silent sitting. To pray for His divine Darshan and being occupied with His thoughts is meditation. At the end of that waiting, to have Bhagavan’s Darshan is the fulfilment of the heart’s desire. Outside the Mandir, discussing with people who have assembled and people who like to listen to the glory of Bhagavan as to what He said, what He did; all this is Satsang. Where else on this earth, this opportunity to spend the day in complete contemplation of God is available? It is right here at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan, I got this blessing to convert my daily life to a spiritual Sadhana.
|Prof. Anil Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai in the Brindavan Campus Auditorium - 1990s|
I was asked by Bhagavan to take up assignment as the Principal of the Whitefield College, affiliated to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Working with Swami is like working with fire. One needs perfection of the highest order to live with the epitome of perfection. I was nowhere near that standard. I know of people who had lived with Him and were burnt, due to their inability to cope with His expectations. I hesitated a lot to take up the job. I was in no doubt that I lacked that kind of devotion to be in Swami’s divine presence. But Swami had commanded that I join. I am sure that Swami knew my predicament. I had enjoyed considerable happiness in serving the mission of Bhagavan as the State President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations. That afternoon, I had my lunch and was unable to sleep even for a little while. I was rolling from side to side, unable to come to a final answer to Swami’s call. That evening, Swami, in His conversations to the chosen few at Kodai, narrated some incidents from the sacred epic Ramayana. He asked me to translate the same.
He started recounting the conversation between Lord Rama and the vanara kings and the soldiers when Rama and Lakshmana were in search of Mother Sita. Rama was asking the vanara kings as to who was ready to accept the assignment of crossing the ocean to go to Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana and find out the whereabouts of Mother Sita.
|Hanuman taking the blessings of Lord Rama|
When Lord asked Hanuman, he alone, of all the warriors there, immediately agreed to undertake the task. Then Rama asked Hanuman, “Do you have the experience of crossing the ocean? Have you seen Sita before?” Hanuman replied in the negative for both the questions. When Rama asked how he had agreed to do the job, Hanuman replied, “Lord! I have not crossed any ocean nor do I have any knowledge of Mother Sita. But I am confident that when you assign to me the task of searching Mother Sita, you would give me the strength to cross and the knowledge to find her out. Why should I have any doubt about doing the work?” As Swami was narrating this story, He looked at me with a mischievous smile. Swami’s message to me was straight and unambiguous. I accepted the Divine Mission.
Bhagavan encourages students of the schools and colleges to develop their innate talents. He lets the students know and realize that He sees Himself in each one of them. You would have noticed that He addresses everyone as Divyatma Swaroopas. This gives the students immense self-confidence to bring forth the best in them, for the pure love of Swami. Boys who would not have had prior exposure, give enthralling solo performances in front of thousands of people, singing to their Lord. Some by their eloquent speeches praise the glory of their Lord. Actors, singers, instrumentalists, each one of them displays their best in front of Swami; all this becomes possible due to the love that they have for Swami. Everyone who watches these programs would know that all these are done to please Swami and Swami alone and not to get name and fame or get some favours political, financial or otherwise.
|Sri Sathya Sai with Students during a Kavi Sammelan Programme in the Poornachandra Auditorium|
In the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami interacts with His students in several ways. He makes pointed references to their health, their study and their progress in both academic and spiritual matters. He makes the students realize that He is watching every act of theirs and listening to every thought and every word that originate from them.
Once, one of the boys was looking sick and tense. Baba asked the boy, “What’s wrong with you?” The boy replied, “I had asthmatic attack. Doctors have advised me to take treatment.” Baba in reply said, “No, it’s not asthma, only eosinophilia. Go and get it confirmed.” On examination, it was found to be eosinophilia as Bhagavan had said and not asthma. Swami is the doctor of doctors; tests and medical examinations can fail, but His diagnosis would not fail.
Once, one of the boys was sitting with a serious look. Baba asked him what the matter was. Getting no reply from the boy Swami Himself said, “You wrote a letter to your father asking for money. You have not received the money order yet. I know.” So saying, He asked the boy to pick up any envelope from the bunch of letters He had taken from the devotees. He then asked the boy to open the same. The boy was hesitant. Swami jokingly said, “even if there is a snake inside don’t worry, open it”. Then He added, “Will I allow the snake to harm you?” When the boy opened the envelope, he found a new 500 rupees note. Swami said, “Take it. It’s for you. You asked for only five hundred. If you had asked for more I would have given more.” The boy was dumbfounded. Not just that: He knows what one wants, and gives that at the most appropriate time, thus rescuing us from a difficult situation.
Once, a student from Kerala was sitting in front of Swami with a long face. He was absorbed in deep thought, with his attention focused on Swami. Swami turned to him and asked, ‘Why are you sitting with a castor oil face? Why are you so serious?’ So saying, Swami materialized a pair of ear rings and gave him. Even as everyone around him was wondering, why Swami had presented earrings to a boy, Swami materialized another pair of ear rings and gave those also to the same boy. Inquisitive as I was, I exclaimed, ‘Swami! Why ear rings, and that too, two sets to a boy. I have three daughters; if you had given me this gift, it would have been useful’. Even as doubts ran in the minds of everyone around, Swami chided me saying, ‘I know whom to give what, where and when. The boy’s mother had died leaving behind her two daughters. She had desired to make earrings for both and her wish could not be fulfilled. Hence, as a Mother, I had to fulfil the wishes of that mother’. Through the gift of earrings, Swami had demonstrated that ‘truth expressed in the form of action is Love.’ The doubts of those around were dissolved through tears in their eyes at the loving gesture of benevolent Mother Sai.
Once in Darshan, Baba suddenly asked a boy, ‘Are you ready to become a doctor?’ The boy was just an intermediate student. The boy was puzzled at Swami’s question. He had not even written his Inter examinations, nor had he applied for the entrance examinations to join the medicine program. Later, when Swami was in Bangalore, He arranged admission for the boy in one of the private medical colleges, paying a huge sum as capitation fees, which even the members of the family could not have thought of. I asked Swami, ‘why did you pay such a big sum for admitting him in medicine? Could you not have made him study in the best of courses in your University itself?’ Swami replied, ‘Making the boy a doctor was the last wish of his mother. Unable to fulfil this wish of the mother, the father was about to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff. At that time, he heard a voice, calling out to him, “Don’t jump! Don’t jump!” I saved him from that undesirable end and I brought him here. I then reassured him that I will take care of them and make his son a doctor. That is the reason why I admitted him to a medical college.’ This boy is today a specialist with an excellent practice.
To be continued with experiences in Kodaikanal…
Source: Vidyagiri: Divine Vision (2006)