Grandfather’s First Visit
My maternal grandfather had a keen desire to visit Puttaparthi after he had come to know about Swami. He was working in the Air Force. As it was Swami’s master plan, the commanding officer told my grandfather that he had to go to Bangalore for some temporary duty. The next day they arrived Bangalore and grandfather’s work got over soon leaving some time for a trip to Puttaparthi. He reached Puttaparthi but Swami did not look at him during Darshan. On the day he had to leave he told Swami, “Swami I have to leave”, but Swami asked him to stay. So he decided to stay on but in his mind he thought that it was risky, for if he did not reach in time to board the flight he would be suspended from his job. After three days Swami asked him, “When are you going?” My grandfather replied, “Whenever you say.” Swami said, “Now go,” and my grandfather left immediately. When he reached Bangalore, he saw his friends there. He asked them as to how they were still there. They in turn asked him as to where he was till then. My grandfather replied that he had gone to Sai Baba. Upon this, his friends commented that Sai Baba probably drank all the brake oil of the aircraft. They further elaborated that when they tried to start the plane it did not take off, as there was no brake oil in the plane! It was not available in the aerodrome also. All of them were waiting for brake oil to arrive. As they were talking, a tank loaded with brake oil arrived at the aerodrome and all of them left for Agra.
Bhajans Attracted Them
My father’s family came to know about Swami nearly thirty two years back through a neighbour, Dr. C.N. Babu. In that house, Bhajans used to be conducted every Thursday. My grandfather, being a staunch Arya Samaji, used to criticise idol worship. After a few months, the new neighbours invited my grandmother for family Bhajan. For courtesy sake my grandmother attended Sai Bhajans. She was much pleased with the way Bhajans were conducted. The punctuality, discipline of lead singers and melodious rhythm impressed her. There were offerings to deities, no Prasadam and no tea party after Bhajans. This was a system for my grandmother. It meant that, without spending money anyone could arrange Sai Bhajans. The serenity and peace attained during Bhajans could be felt for a long time. Immediately after the Bhajans all used to quietly leave the place with feelings instilled in their minds. It was some unique feeling of attraction or some kind of bliss that was experienced by the members of the family that let them attend Sai Bhajans regularly. The interest and curiosity to know about Swami. Dr. Babu gave some books on Swami. Deeply impressed by Swami’s life and teachings, and his knowledge in Vedic literature, my grandfather found lot of similarities in both. His attitude towards idol worship changed. Then, in the year 1972 my grandmother had the first Darshan of Swami at Moha, a district of Punjab. The physical form of God immensely touched her.
Rains Obey Swami
Faith and devotion started sprouting in the family with the involvement of the family in Samiti activities. My father being young could motivate his friends to join him in Sai activities. In the year 1973, my father, by then the Samiti president, attended his second summer course on Indian culture and spirituality. This was after he had appeared for premedical examination. There, at Brindavan, he happened to witness many miracles. Bangalore is known for sudden changes in weather. One afternoon, heavy rains looked imminent with dark clouds and over. At that time, students were starting their lunch and as usual Swami was with them. Seeing the dark clouds, Swami came out of the dining hall and pointed His right hand towards the sky. It appeared as if Swami was ordering the clouds to clear. In fact, the next moment, the clouds started disappearing and it seemed as if they were there only to have Swami’s Darshan! That evening very few devotees turned up for Darshan from the city. On enquiry it was found that it rained heavily that day in the rest of the city.
Father Receives Boundless Grace
In the year 1984, my grandmother was granted an interview wherein my father’s marriage was fixed. Swami suggested the dates in the month of October for marriage with a girl who had studied in Swami’s Institute and was working in Swami school. My grandmother expressed her fear that her son had not yet completed his research work and was yet to get a job. But having fixed the dates, Swami said that He would take care of everything. My father had a month’s time to complete his research and get a job. Suddenly an interview for the post of a Microbiologist in the newly formed National Institute at Delhi appeared. By Swami’s grace, my father faced the interview with confidence and was appointed within next five days. So, Swami took care as He had promised well in advance. In fact, my father had to seek extension for joining the job that was duly granted. It was very clear that when Swami decides and fixes the programme, it will materialise, come what may. The marriage function of three days was a treat under Swami’s direct guidance. Swami created so many things and made everyone happy. Miracles kept happening even after the marriage. Swami took my parents to Kodaikanal and took charge for their comfortable stay.
Divine Care From The Beginning
I was told that when I was to be born, Swami most lovingly instructed my father to leave my mother at Puttaparthi under His care. Many unforeseen thing that were known only to Swami were to happen in the house. Out of His flowing grace and blessings, I was given the name and he also performed all the other ceremonies connected with the birth of a child.
At the age of five when I was about to get admission in the primary school at Puttaparthi, at the time of my medical tests, the ECG report showed a problem. The ultrasound test that was done subsequently showed a hole in the heart. That was shocking news for my mother. At that time my father was in Bangalore on some official duty. My mother took me immediately to Whitefield for Swami Darshan. When Swami came near my mother, she showed Him all the reports, Swami consoled my mother, materialised Vibhuti and rubbed it on my chest. Then He asked my mother to take me to the Manipal hospital for check-up. My parents immediately took me to the hospital and to everybody’s surprise the tests showed that there was no hole in the heart! My parents had tremendous faith in Swami’s words and followed His command always. Once when Swami told my father to start a business, though inexperienced and limited by many factors, he wanted to follow the command of the Lord. They started but the venture eventually failed. Will Mother Sai allow any pain to afflict Her devotee? He suggested that we again start the business. This was done and no doubt the business flourished and prosperity returned to the family. Nammaka chedina varu unnaru kani, nammi chedina varu leru, leru, leru. (Without faith, people have failed but nobody having faith ever fails).
The experiences with the Lord have been extremely elevating and pleasant. My father, by the grace of the Lord, was able to grow in his career holding respectable positions and was also awarded ‘The Scientist of the Year’ award from the Government of India in the year 2002.
O Lord! It is Your grace and love that keeps us moving. It is only Your will that protects us and promotes our wellbeing.
- Sai Aditya Batra
Student (2000-2005), Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
Currently, Director, CONO Grace Properties Pvt. Ltd., Madikeri