My Experience of the Sai System of Learning – By Natarajan Anand

Among the various quotes of Swami, the one mentioned above appeals the most to me. The reasons are not very difficult to seek as we are like the river not knowing our origin and destination, until we came into His fold. Having known this, we move through the valleys, cliffs and marshes with an innate hope to realise the Divine within us one day.

To study in an Institution that was admired by my parents, and also saving them the money for tuitions, were the twin objectives met by my decision to join the Institute. But when I joined the Institute, the charm of the above mentioned objective did not hold for long. This was due to the immediate impact of people whom I met in the first few days, at the College and also in the Hostel.

I vividly recall that on our first day in the Institute there was an introductory session wherein, in answering to a question as to why we had chosen to join this Institute, I replied, “I have confidence and faith that by pursuing the MBA programme from this Institute, one can aspire to undertake Business with Ethics.” What impressed me however, was the reply from almost every other classmate of mine – that they had joined the Institute to Love Swami. Love for Swami – I was to realise later was of paramount importance.

My first vacation made me feel little uncomfortable because of the high expectations of the world outside from me, even in my day to day interactions with my family, friends and relatives. Such high expectations and hopes make a person conscious of his shortcomings and impel him to correct the same. Quite unconsciously the self-corrective mechanism is in place and starts working within all of us.

Sri Sathya Sai with His students and staff
However my appreciation of the Sai System of learning was strengthened when I witnessed the preparation at the Institute for Swami’s visit, during the beginning of the academic year. Groups of students took up various responsibilities in preparation for Swami’s visit. I was amazed to notice that no motivational talks, directions to perform or follow-ups were required. The students, shedding their individual preferences and differences, were ready to deliver what was required. Their sole aim was to please Swami with their work and nothing else seemed to matter. The very experience that devotion and dedication can achieve what the best of training on ownership culture and team skills cannot, made me feel that I am not part of an ordinary Institution imparting professional education, but something far more than that.

What followed then was an independent journey of thoughts, experiences and feelings during my constant conversations with Swami. I would keep in touch with Him through my hotline – the heart – and this has actually become a part of my lifestyle today.

As we step into the world of cut throat competition, delivery, expectations scaling beyond revenues, incomes, performances, outputs, etc., we are baffled as to how we should balance the best of both the worlds in testing times. These situations remind us of the specific tenets, which we have often heard from Swami:

1.    Help Ever, Hurt Never
2.    Love All, Serve All
3.    You can’t always Oblige, but you can always speak Obligingly
4.    Why Fear when I am Here.
5.    Follow the Master, Face the Devil, Fight till the End, Finish the Game
6.    Unity of Thought, Word and Deed
7.    Universality of the Atma
8.    Equanimity of the Mind

The above guidelines of Swami are the real ammunition in our arsenal.

Starting with the expectations from the immediate environment – family, friends, relatives and now from the external environment viz., our respective profession, we have no other option but to look within. Swami’s expectation from each one of us is that we realise Him within us. This has to be the ultimate objective of our life and we must be ready to achieve it. 

We are the cars in the racing circuit and stints at Parthi and our association with Swami are like pit stops in our journey. As we keep going around the circuit of life we constantly receive vital inputs, directions and most importantly rest and recharge when we return to His Lotus Feet at Parthi. And, like the river that flows through the valley, cliff and marshes, I finally hope to merge in Him with His Divine Grace. 

-          Natarajan Anand
Student (1997-1999), Department of Management Commerce
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Currently, SAP HR Consultant at TransAlta, Canada

Source: Fragrance 2005

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