The Spring Garden - By Shravan Doshi

Shravan Doshi with Sri Sathya Sai in Kodaikanal (2005)

Early Sunday morning when nature seemed to be singing a romantic tune, I had decided to do something for which I would have won the wrath of all the Gods in heaven, for even they crave for a golden opportunity to be student of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Feeling totally out of place and extremely homesick, I wished to tell Swami that I was going back that day to Bombay, my hometown, where I thought was the ultimate happiness.
Hardly had I stayed in Brindavan for long. It was the middle of the Summer Course and I was waiting for Swami very eagerly so that I could vent out my feelings of so called ‘sorrow’ to Him.
The enchanting Darshan music began at 7:30 am and so too did the - trepidation in my heart. Swami was almost completing His usual round and coming towards the students’ block. With every step that He was now taking my heart was beating faster and faster. But the further events made me feel that my heart had just suddenly stopped beating. Swami came close to me and smiled as if I had done Him the biggest favour anyone ever has.
“Where did you come from?”
“Swami, Bombay.”
“Hey Bombay boy dont go back to Bombay. Stay with Me.”
Moreover, to this I nodded agreeably as if that was what I always wanted to do. With one smile and one sentence the needful was done. All that hostility for life in Brindavan was gone in a flash and it suddenly seemed to be a spring garden where I wanted to come from so many lives.
Rightly it is often quoted: “Man proposes and God disposes.” Though this quote gives a very pessimistic picture of God, God actually does everything only in the best interests of the epitome of His creation. What man fails to understand – is that God is his only true friend and will always wish for his good.
Because Swami disposed my proposed ignorance this incident was the prime turning point in my life and was the precursor of my growing faith and devotion to Swami. My faith in Swami was actually planted during the days when I was studying in His primary school. I had been a student for a period of two years. During that period we considered Swami more like a good friend whom we could visit every Thursday and Sunday morning and He would invariably give us sweets and chocolates, our only source of joy in those days.
Swami with His pet dogs - Jack and Jill
I clearly remember the bright Sunday morning. It was my eleventh birthday and I had desired to get a photo of Swami with His pets Jack & Jill autographed by Him. So with all the paraphernalia I was eagerly waiting for Him to come to my side. Swami however seemed to be too busy giving interviews. Tears welled up in my eyes. What wrong had I done? Why was Swami ignoring me? I was suddenly reminded of a quote written on the blackboard the previous day in the classroom. It read: “Faith can move mountains.”
I thought to myself, “I have faith that Swami will sign the photo. Let’s see if my faith can move Him.” Immediately the interview room door opened, Swami walked up straight to me, took the photo, signed it and looking deep into my eye as if seeing every tear of joy in it said, “Your faith can move mountains.”
Swami has rekindled my faith and devotion in Him from time to time. As He says, He plants the seed for me to water and nurture so that later it grows into a big tree and provides shade to my entire life.
Swami with students in Sai Ramesh Hall,
Brindavan, during Darshan
One morning, during my under graduation in Brindavan, I noticed Swami accepting the letters of all foreign devotees sitting in the first line of a particular block. In that very block, in the third line or so was seated a poor Indian peasant in tattered clothes who was trying his best to give his letter too, but Swami totally ignored him. I saw this and thought to myself, “Swami how happy You would have made that poor little farmer if You had accepted his letter.” I had not ever completed the thought and I observed Swami retracing His steps, going back to that block, calling out to the peasant particularly and asking for his letter. I was so satisfied with the course of events that Swami had acknowledged a good thought of mine but He wished to sign off this incident in style. Swami literally hunted for me in the block of students, walked straight up to me, removed a particular brown envelope from the bunch of letters He was holding, and showing me the letter asked, “Happy?” What could I answer to such a loving God who knew me in and out and did things just to please me.
Whenever I think as to what mean to Swami I am reminded of the story of the fruit and the flower. On a sunny morning a fruit asks a flower,
“Tell me flower, how dear am I to you?” to which the flower in all its humility and innocence replies, “My dear fruit, how do I let you know that you always reside my heart.”
That is exactly what Swami is driving home to us. We are His chosen instruments and will always reside in His heart, for we are just little fruits in the spring garden of Love where He is the Divine Gardener. The onus is now upon us to spread this sweetness that He has filled in us to the less fortunate and the needy so that the world becomes His kingdom in the true sense of the word.

- Shravan Doshi
Student (2003-2005) Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Head, Finance and Operations, Insta Group Inc. USA



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