That Independence Day Drama… - By Shiva Singh

The Atharvana Veda states, “I shall make you united in hearts and be one minded free from hate. Love one another as the cow loves its new-born calf. Let the son follow His father in His noble endeavour. Let the wife speak beneficial words to her husband. Let not brother hate brother, sister hate sister; be united and speak words with friendliness. May your water store be common and common be your share of food”.

Let me take you back to 2002, when it was my first visit to the heaven on Earth, Prasanthi Nilayam. The little five-year-old boy did not know at that time that Prasanthi Nilayam is the place where he was going to spend a quarter of His life. It was then that I had come for the entrance examination of my sister in the Primary School. We had Darshan of Swami. My sister wrote the examination but could not secure a seat in His sacred school. But in Bal Vikas classes, some people told me that if I joined Swami’s school I could see God in human form. So, I wrote the examination solely with the intention that I should join the school and see God. When the results were announced I was very happy as my effort of studying for one month bore fruit as I secured fourth rank among all the children who had written the examination.

Swami willed my admission. He selected me out of the fourteen children who had written the same entrance examination. When a child has no father to support, he wanders in the world looking for help. Yes, that was the time when He entered my life like the unseen air, which is always present around us. It is said that in life when God closes one window He opens another. But in my case, He closed one window as I lost my father and opened a door for us. He entered my life as a God Father. I proudly say that what I am today is only because of His love and support. Yes, I came to Him with nothing and He gave me everything that I needed in my life at every step.

Some people say that He is not God. To them I have just one question to ask, “If not for God in human form who else can provide free Educare, healthcare, aquacare and food to the people, in this expensive world of today?” Yes, no one can if not for that God on Earth. In the world of today when even education has become a business and people find it tough to educate their own one or two children, He is providing free education to thousands of children. Quality education is being provided to all, totally free of cost, from KG to PG without even a penny. I am able to say this today as I am a direct beneficiary of that gift of Educare from Bhagavan Himself. He called educational institutions as ‘Temples of Learning.’

In today’s world where even poison is not free and to see a doctor you have to pay a fee, He provided medical care to all, totally free of cost. He did not call them hospitals; he called them ‘Temples of Healing’. In the world today when even water costs, He provided not just water, but purified drinking water totally free for all. Whichever activity was undertaken; all were creamed with His Divine factor of ‘Love’. It is not just providing free that matters, it is love that makes the difference. It is that love which made the difference in the lives of people all over the world. He touched and transformed with Love. He practiced and preached Love and just Love! He taught that helping by itself is not service, helping with love is service. His golden words are: “Love All, Serve All”.

Yes, He did it from His end; it is our duty to hold on to Him from our end with full trust and faith. Swami wrote to the students to have steady faith in Him just like the faith of the star that never wavers from the crescent. He gives us the rope; it is our choice whether to hold or to leave it. This is beautifully depicted in a song, which goes like this, “Say His Name, See His Form, Hold on, Hold on Sai Ram”. Chant the Lord’s name, visualize His form and hold on. What a truth in such simple lines! He came into my life when I needed Him. Educated me like a loving father. He taught me profound lessons of life in very simple lines. He gave me everything I needed and made me feel so special whenever I faded. For me a path He indicated, so tough I felt, and again there He was by my side to take me along the indicated path. Whenever I fell He picked me up, whenever I cried He wiped the tear. He was the source of inspiration all through my life. He inspired all to serve through His example of service. He lived as an example to others. He said, “My Life is My Message”. We have to live up to His expectations.

In the year 2003, I got admission for the first standard in Sri Sathya Sai Primary School. It is only because of the love and grace showered by Him, I joined His institution. The Primary School was a pleasant place to live in. Even though we were away from our parents, the chosen teachers of the Lord played their role to perfection. Swami used to enquire frequently about us and especially on Sundays His most frequent question would be about the breakfast. Those were the days when we basked in the glory of His presence. I express my deep gratitude to Bhagavan for bestowing upon me His Grace. I would like to recall here the motherly love of Bhagavan. One day we went for Darshan. He came past us and entered the Interview Room. After five to ten minutes He emerged from the room and blessed the trays of Prasadam. As the Prasadam distribution was going on, He came down the veranda, looked at me and asked me, “Have you got the Prasadam?” I showed Him the packet and He told me, “Eat it”. When He finished talking to me, I took Padanamaskar and went back to eat my Prasadam. 

After finishing my studies in the Primary School, I entered the portals of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. My stay in Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and Hostel was most crucial in shaping my personality. I experienced the loving care of Bhagavan as His student in Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. I experienced it even after the Maha Samadhi of Bhagavan. The following experience of mine bears testimony to this. The date was 15th August, 2014, well known among us as the Independence Day. An event was organized as usual which included a skit to celebrate this day in our school. I was chosen as the main character in the skit.

This was a challenging task, for it required not only an immense amount of practice, effort, patience and control as I was to be present on the stage for the entire duration of the act. The practice was in full swing with the teacher coordinator devoting his full time and effort towards the success of the skit. We were a team of just four boys enacting an act that covered around an hour. We also put in our hard work and effort. The days stretched long and nights seemed short with our practice sessions. The big event was fast approaching but as fate willed, I fell sick on the 14th of August with just one day for the performance. I was bedridden with high fever, unbearable body pains, with a doubt of dengue fever plaguing me, shattered all my hopes. The condition was so bad that I needed help even to walk. At that moment with tears in my eyes and confusion in my heart, I felt guilty, as I would be the sole cause for frustrating others. I decided to surrender myself to our beloved Bhagavan – the sole refuge for all, the source of true energy, and my only saviour. I could not participate in the last practice session and all of us turned to Bhagavan for His help.

My condition was the same even on 15th morning, when only an hour was left for the final performance on the stage. I prayed with all my heart and soul and decided to perform on the stage, come what may! Lo and behold, as I was performing I felt as though some Divine power took charge of me. As I delivered my last dialogue at 11.45 am on 15th morning, I received a standing ovation. Back in my room, I was in tears again but this time they were tears of joy and gratitude as I knew He had done everything. I was just a mere instrument in His hands. Thank You Swami! 

- Shiva Singh
Student (2003-2015), Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
Prasanthi Nilayam

Source: Sai Nandana 2015 (90th Birthday Offering)

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