‘Come to Me with Empty Hands, and I shall fill them with Gifts and Grace’
|Sri Sathya Sai with Students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Ooty|
Swami always says that unless God Wills, nothing can happen. It was at the age of seven, when after an entrance exam and an interview; I was selected for the 3rd standard in Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Ootacamund. My parents had neither seen Swami before nor had even heard of Him. It came as a surprise to my parents that though I had appeared for the entrance exam in Puttaparthi, I was selected for the Ooty School. My father was not very comfortable about admitting me to a school in Ooty. But then, He willed it and both of us left for Ooty. Once we reached the school, there was no looking back. My father was very inspired by the school and above all by the School Principal.
Having joined the Ooty School in the 3rd standard, it was a sweet journey all the way. In the year 1990, it was decided to close down the Ooty School and all of us were transferred to Parthi. After completing my 10th standard, though I was interested in the Science group, I could get selected only for the Commerce group. Again there was a debate in the house as they were not very keen on my pursuing the Commerce line. But He willed it, and I went on to complete my B.Com.(Hons) from Brindavan Campus, and then MBA from Parthi.
Having completed my MBA degree in the year 2002, it was going to be my first step into the competitive world. Competition was fierce and fear of unemployment loomed large, but then I knew He was always there with me.
There was only one question that my relatives, neighbours and anyone whom I knew asked me, “Were there no placements in your Institute, or did you not get placed?” My answer was straight and simple “Swami gave me world class education right from K.G. to P.G.; all without charging even a single penny. Having got the best MBA degree from a great Institute, can I not earn a job myself? It is my conviction that any student from this Institute will get the job of his liking within a period of 6 months after completion of the academic programme, and I am sure that I will not be an exception.”
I came out of the Portals of the Institute in June 2002 and exactly 6 months later, I landed up as a Purchase Officer in Asia’s premier Aerospace Industry –Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. My selection was nothing short of a miracle and was all by His Divine Will.
It is a well-known fact that it is not easy to get a good job in a Public Sector. HAL had posted their advertisement in the month of June in all the leading newspapers and even on the Internet. Like any other candidate, I also put in my application. To my disappointment, I did not find my name in the list of short-listed candidates for the entrance exam. I did not take this to heart, but then, it was disturbing that having secured 91% in MFM (Masters in Financial Management), my name did not appear in the list. I tried to think of all possible reasons for the same.
Just a week before the exam, I received my call card through post. This was nothing short of a miracle! It was the most pleasant surprise of my life and my joy knew no bounds. But my preparations for the exam were nil.
I came to Parthi, took Bhagawan’s Blessings and attempted the exam in Bangalore. Later I discovered that at least a thousand candidates had appeared for the exam. I was pretty confident of being called for an interview. Two months went by but there was no response from HAL. In fact, I even forgot about this job and continued my part time lectureship in a degree college that I had taken up in June.
All of a sudden, in September, I got my call for the interview. This was going to be my first interview and I was competing with more than a hundred candidates for just fifteen posts. I went for the interview fully prepared in all areas of Materials Management and Finance. But to my utter surprise, all the members in the interview panel asked me questions only about Swami. All of them were impressed with my answers. Swami was in Bangalore then, and at the end of the interview, they asked me for the Darshan timings and about the best route to reach Brindavan. The rest is History. I was one of the fifteen candidates to be selected.
This job was very important to me because the company in which my father was working had turned sick and all the employees were offered retirement under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. Our joy knew no bounds when both my appointment and my father’s retirement came about on the same day in December 2002.
After a year of training in Bangalore, I was posted in my home town –Hyderabad in January 2004. HAL-Hyderabad consists of around 3000 employees. During the first month of my posting, I was on job rotation in all the departments. In each of these departments, work apart, everyone had something or the other to ask about Swami. By the end of the month, I did not know if I had been able to spread Swami’s message adequately, but I knew that many people had bought applications for admitting their children in Parthi. Later during the year, when I came for Swami’s Darshan to Parthi, I met some of my colleagues who had come to have Swami’s Darshan for the first time.
But as every coin has two sides, there were also a handful of people who criticized Swami. Whenever I came across such people, I did not try to convince them that Swami is God because I knew that it would lead to unnecessary arguments. I only used to tell them, “I am not telling you to believe that He is God or to start worshipping Him daily. I am only trying to tell you about the amount of service that He has been doing to humanity. A world class Hospital for the poor, premier Education from K.G. to P.G., Drinking Water for the villages, etc. Tell me one single person or any government which has atleast started working in this direction. If at the minimum, we try to walk in His footsteps, the world would definitely be a better place to live in.”
Slowly, word spread in the company that a Sai Student had joined HAL-Hyderabad. And now it was our Executive Director himself who called me for an informal discussion about Swami. The following week, the Executive Director visited Shivam (Sai Centre in Hyderabad) and also bought some books on Bhagawan Baba.
We were coming to the end of the financial year 2004-05, and our production seemed nowhere close to the targets set. One night, at around 11.00 p.m., when I was asleep, the Executive Director rang me up and he sounded perturbed. He asked me “Cannot Swami do something? Why don’t you pray?” I replied, “Swami always says ‘Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana’ (Do your action and don’t think about the fruits). Of course, I could not convince him with this reply, but then I satisfied him by saying that I would pray. This material target however, was never in my daily prayers. But then to the utter surprise of the entire division and HAL as a whole, all the materials required for production started pouring in from our suppliers and the employees worked on three shifts, and today HAL–Hyd. has exceeded it’s targets by a significant margin! Anything is possible when He wills it!
- Vipin Prabhakar
Student (2000-2002) Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus