Twameva Mata Cha Pita Twameva
Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva
Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva
Twameva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva…Sri Sai Deva.
Swami says, “Nee Inta Ne, Jante Ne, Venta Ne, Kante Ne Vuntaanu”. He assures everyone that He will always be with them, guiding them in their lives. I am sure that every student of Bhagawan would have some story to tell or an experience to narrate about our Lord. Apparently, to many who see the day-to-day happenings, Swami would not have spoken to many students. But still everyone would have an experience to narrate. And this is true even after the student completes his education and enters the outside world. If only one spends a few minutes thinking a little deeper, will he perceive His Unseen Hand guiding him all through.
I had joined Swami’s Institute in 1992, and I completed my M.Sc (Physics) and MBA by 2000. Swami then gave me an opportunity to work in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. After being in Swami’s Institutions for about a decade, I had to go back to my parents in Chennai as they needed me there. It was not an easy decision for me to leave Swami’s physical presence and move out. But, in everything that happens, there is an underlying reason. Swami sees to it that whatever happens is for our good.
In May 2002, everybody at home had planned a trip to Kerala. This was just a week after my returning to my parents in Chennai. We all started in our car to Kerala and near Trivandrum, a truck rammed into our car. It was a head-on collision. The car in which we were travelling swirled and turned 180 degrees towards Chennai on account of the impact. Everything happened in a fraction of a second. I was sitting next to the driver in the front. I closed my eyes when I realised that the truck was about to crash into us. When I opened my eyes after the impact, the driver was lying with his head on the steering wheel in a pool of blood. My parents and my brother were all lying there, badly hurt. I did not know if anyone was alive or not. I was also badly hurt. All the glass pieces had pierced into the skin on my face, a deep cut on my forehead, a dislocated hip. But then I heard someone, possibly someone in the crowd of onlookers or from other vehicles on the road, shouting “Sairam, Sairam”. I knew that He would take care. I knew He was there and if not for Him, the impact would have been still worse. Yes, His Unseen Hands were there to protect all of us.
I was in excruciating pain because of the dislocated hip. If it were a fracture, may be I could have borne the pain. But the disjointed bone was putting pressure on a nerve and the pain was unbearable. I had to bear the pain for almost four hours before I was taken to a hospital and operated upon. The only thing that helped me then was the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. My sister and brother-in-law in Chennai when contacted, made arrangements in a hospital at Chennai and got all of us admitted there. Even now they tell me that it is only by Swami’s Grace that we are all alive today. If I was not there in that trip, then may be I would have lost others in my family. And if I had not left my decade long stay in His physical presence and come over to Chennai, our stories could have possibly been different. He knows what happened, what is happening and what would happen. He guides us all along.
As I have said before, when we spend a few minutes thinking a little deeper into the happenings, we would be able to see His invisible guiding Hand. When I was lying on the bed in the hospital with my right leg in a cast, I remembered an incident which happened during the Dasera celebrations of 1993. I was in my II U.G. class then. That year we got the golden opportunity of chanting Vedam inside the Mandir, where Swami stays. We were all sitting in the Bhajan Hall and chanting Vedam. I was in the first line, very close to the steps on which Swami’s throne is placed. Swami came into the Bhajan Hall and was listening to our chanting and after some time we could see Swami’s lips also softly chanting along with us. God Himself chanting the Suktas which praise Him! A rare experience indeed! After some time, Swami came towards the front to leave the Bhajan Hall from the front door. He came to the place where I sat and stopped for a moment. He then raised His Divine Feet and placed it on my right thigh, but immediately removed it and went past me as if nothing had happened. I did not understand the significance then. When I lay on the hospital bed, after almost nine years, I realised its significance. Every interaction and incident that we have with Swami, has a deeper significance and it is for us to realise it.
When thinking about the above mentioned episode, another sweet incident comes to my mind. During the Dasera celebrations in the same year, Swami was distributing dhotis to all the Vedam boys in the Bhajan Hall, in a random fashion. The Vedam boys sat with outstretched hands. Once a boy got a dhoti, he would move back, making way for the others. Swami would see the dhoti, the boy with his outstretched hand, and then would give it away to him. When a pink dhoti came into His hands, He would put it back and give a red or saffron coloured one. After some time I was in a position to stretch my hand and receive a dhoti from Swami. Incidentally the dhoti turned out to be a pink coloured one. Swami looked into my eyes, and instead of putting it back as He had done earlier, He put it into my hands and smiled. Swami had seen me in a dress with the same colour as the dhoti. It was during our Sports Meet in January 1993. I was in my I U.G. class then. There were different scenes and I was acting in an Indian village scene, as a lady fetching water from a pond, and also performing a dance which the villagers perform during Sankranti. In that scene, I had worn a pink coloured sari. There is a reason in everything that He does. We cannot understand and try to reason out all that He does. It’s beyond human comprehension and understanding.
|Sri Sathya Sai in the Bhajan Hall|
|Sri Sathya Sai distributing robes in the Sai Kulwant Hall|
Now I had to look for a career to earn my livelihood. I went to a training Institute and learnt all about the IBM mainframes. I chose this line as I learnt that it had a good scope in the future. But the company had its own way of choosing the employees. They considered the number of years of experience after the last degree, and experience in I.T. was mandatory. I did not have any such experience. The first two years after getting an MBA, I was in Swami’s Hospital in Whitefield and then for a year and a half I was nursing my injury.
Swami says, ‘Satyam Bruyaat, Priyam Bruyaat, Na Bruyaat Satyam Apriyam’. Being Swami’s student I resolved that, come what may, I was not going to utter any lie. Many called me a fool, but I ignored them. I joined a consultancy firm temporarily. For almost a year, I was in that consultancy firm waiting for some opportunity, undergoing some training and honing my skills. Then an opportunity knocked at my doors. A company by name iNautix India Pvt. Ltd., came in for recruitment. They conducted written tests, technical interviews and H.R. interviews. Only two among hundred who appeared got selected. By Swami’s Grace, I was one among them. Even now, my colleagues in the consultancy firm are surprised as to how I was hired. Not only did I have zero I.T. experience but also had a gap of almost five years after completing my college education. His unseen Hands were there to guide me and to help me tread the path He had Willed.
Swami says, “Take one step towards me and I will take a hundred steps towards you”. When we, His beloved students follow at least one of His teachings, we would have made Swami happy. Swami does not need anything from anybody. But as Swami’s students, all that we can do for Him in return for all that He has done for us, is doing for us and will do for us; is to get a very good name to our Institute, by following His advice and conducting ourselves as begets a Sai Student. I’m sure that all the students of Swami in the have a similar story to share and a similar experience to narrate.
Anyatha Sharanam Naasthi
Twameva Sharanam Mama
Tasmaath Karunya Bhavena
Raksha Raksha Hrudayeshwara.
- Sathyanarayana Kumar Chavali
Student (1998-2000), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Project Manager at iNautix Technologies, Chennai