Sweet Memories with Sri Sathya Sai – By Adarsh Saraf

Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prasanthi Nilayam
It was in the month of December of the year 2007 that I first came to know about the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. My father visited Prashanti Nilayam to see the school. He was very much impressed by the school and immediately took an admission form. The submission of the admission form marked the beginning of a new period in my life, a period which I never knew would change me to such an extent that every single person who knew me, would refuse to believe that it was me. 

I came to Prashanti Nilayam to write the admission test. I was captivated by the beauty of Prashanti Nilayam which is really the paradise on earth. But, I was not so attracted by Bhagavan then. The questions which were asked in the written test puzzled me. I had not prepared even a little for the test and most of the questions seemed to be unfamiliar. I never believed that I would be able to pass the test. After finishing the test, I did not know what to tell my father. I avoided any discussion on it. But Bhagavan had already decided something for me. Later, when we saw the results in the evening, I saw my name in the list of the candidates who had been selected! It was really a great moment for me, not because I had climbed the first step to Swami, but because I would not have to face the shame of being rejected in the entrance test. 

The interview was conducted after two days and I was as usual doubtful if I would be selected. But, by this time, I had already developed a lot of fascination for the place and I just did not want to miss the million dollar opportunity of studying in the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. I prayed that I get selected and as destiny would have it, rather, as Swami’s Will would have it, I was selected. 

Just as the dark Earth is illumined by the rising Sun, I felt rays of light enter my dark life after I joined the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. I discovered that there were many beautiful things which I had missed in my life the melodious Bhajans, the sweetness of devotion, the satisfaction of having helped someone, the joy of sharing, and the beauty of the Lord. The beautiful Darshan sessions were slowly drawing me towards the Lord and I could not really help it for the beauty of the Lord was something which no one can ever resist. And then, Swami began transforming me and I just became a witness to all that Swami was doing to me. 

It was one of the Darshan sessions. I was sitting in the leftmost corner of the Students’ block, waiting for Swami’s arrival. I saw Him coming towards me. At once, I got an urge to have His Padanamaskar. I just wanted to have it, be it for a moment. He was approaching me and my urge was becoming stronger. I saw Him come right in front of me and He asked me to clear the way for Him. I was overjoyed. I was the closest to Swami and without a second thought I bent down and placed my forehead on His Lotus Feet. When I got up, I just did not know where I was! It was as though I belonged to a different world altogether, the world where only Sai and I existed. If nectar is the sweetest thing that anyone could ever taste in life, then, I had tasted the nectar. 

Bhagavan has not only given me such beautiful moments spent in His proximity but has also helped me in various situations. It was when I was writing my Second Unit Test. The exam was Mathematics and I had completed my preparation for it. I got up as usual and attended Suprabhatam. After coming from Suprabhatam, I just opened my Mathematics textbook to go through few problems just for the sake of making use of the available time. As soon as I opened the book I was attracted by a problem. I started solving it. But, I was unable to do so. I did not bother about it and just saw the solution and went on. Later when I saw the questions in the examination hall, I was surprised to see the same problem in the paper which, had Bhagavan not shown me in the morning, I would not have been able to solve it. And this was not in this test alone, it was a common occurence in many of the ensuing exams. 

When I was in my fifth standard, I had once gone to attend my aunt’s marriage.  My cousins and I were given the task of throwing flowers on the guests. We had collected the flowers and hidden it from each other so that one couldn’t take the others’ flowers. I had also hidden my flowers in a nice place. But, in the afternoon, when I went to the place to see if the flowers were there, I found them missing. I got very angry and thought that my cousins might have stolen them. I went, along with one of my cousins, on the terrace to search for them. In the terrace, in the centre, there was a metal roofing of around my height which had sharp edges. We were passing by the roof and I was talking to my cousin. Without seeing that I was beside the sharp edges, I just turned my head, and got a bad cut. The cut was a very deep one. But the place where Bhagavan worked His wonder is that the cut was above the left eye, on the nose and below the right eye and, my eyes were saved just by a few millimeters of distance! Had Bhagavan not saved me that day I do not know what would have happened that day. But, “Jako Rakhe Saiyaan Maar Sake Na Koi”, which means “No one can harm the one who is protected by Sai.”

Another recent incident was in the month of August of 2008. Army personnel had come to train us for the march-past for the Annual Sports Meet, 2008-2009. During the second practice session, he asked us to run to a wall and come back as fast as we could. I ran my fastest so that I could become the first one to come back. During the run, I got a slight push from a friend which, coupled with my fast speed, resulted in a big fall. My knee was badly hurt and I was unable to even walk. That evening, I struggled to walk up to the Mandir. Just to help me, a friend accompanied me all the way to Mandir. And as we were walking, there was a sudden outburst of rain. I asked my friend to leave me and go ahead but he refused to. I felt guilty. I just wished I could run and started making attempts to run. All of a sudden, I found myself being able to run. This filled me with joy and I ran faster and faster to the Mandir. As soon as I reached the Mandir, I slowed down and after entering the Mandir I found myself limping once more. It was then that I realized that it was Bhagavan who had just granted my wish.

These are just a few of the many situations in which Bhagavan has helped me and guided me. When I think of these incidents there is only a feeling of joy in my heart. I am ever grateful to Bhagavan for all that He has done for me and for having given me such sweet memories. 

- Adarsh Saraf
Student (2013-15), Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

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