My Wonderful Days with Sri Sathya Sai – By P. Sujith Kumar

Sujith Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai at Kodaikanal - May 2003
I feel it a great privilege and honour in sharing a few of my experiences which I have had with our sweet Lord during my stay at His Lotus Feet and which continues till date. I was fortunate to be born to my parents who were devotees of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It was only due to my mother’s prayers and His Will that I got an opportunity to study in Swami’s School right from my childhood. There had been opportunities to come to Prasanthi Nilayam during the Onam festival and the students were given special privilege to be seated in the front for having closer Darshan. It was in my twelfth class that I was appointed as the school leader and the teachers gave my friend and me the opportunity to give a card to Swami during that year’s visit to Prasanthi Nilayam for the Onam festival. On the day of Onam, we were made to sit in the front and were waiting for our beautiful Lord’s Darshan. At sharp 7.00 am, Bhagavan came out in His usual charismatic way, walking amidst devotees, collecting letters, gliding through with His robe touching the hands of the blessed. Our prayers got intensified as Bhagavan came near us but Swami turned aside without giving a glimpse. We were utterly saddened by Swami’s gesture.

We expected a lot but things did not work out. After Darshan, all our teachers pacified us and advised us to pray intensely. All of a sudden one of our teachers told that we could go to the birthplace of our dear Lord and do circumambulation for 108 times. Swami would surely talk to us in the evening. With prayers intensely in our hearts, all of us did as the teacher advised. With heavy hearts and intense prayers, we were waiting for the Lord. Lo and behold! Swami came straight to us and He spoke to us, blessed our card and He remarked, “Your prayers have reached Me; I am very happy”. We were ecstatic and our joy knew no bounds. This incident gave me the strength and belief that Swami is all knowing and what He expects is nothing but pure and unsullied devotion to Him.

After my 12th, I applied for admission into Swami’s College but I could not get through the test. I made up my mind to apply next year and thought I would spend the rest of the time in learning music and doing Prasanthi service. So I got my first opportunity to come to Prasanthi Nilayam as a Seva Dal. After doing Seva for a week, I sat for Padanamaskar with an application form held in my hand for His blessings. As soon as Swami came near, Swami blessed and told that I would be selected the next year and told me not to worry. As told by Swami, I got admission for the B.Sc. course and joined the hallowed Institute in 1998. I was extremely thankful to Swami for giving me an opportunity to study in His College. To be a Swami’s student, it is important that we follow His teachings and practice what He preaches. Singing Bhajans was so dear to me that I wished if I could sing in front of Bhagavan. When I discussed this with a few of my teachers and seniors, they advised me to practice well and told me that at the appropriate time I would get an opportunity to ask Swami. So I started practicing and during one of the occasions Swami beckoned us to Poornachandra Hall for His Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan.

As is the practice, Swami expects music programme to be put up by His students. So my music teacher advised me to practice a few songs and keep them ready. Swami came down from His residence and blissfully walked towards the students. Meanwhile Swami enquired about the programme and asked us to start it. I was given the first opportunity to sing. I chose to sing Shankara Bharanam which starts with an Alaap. As I started to sing the Alaap, Swami who was quite far from me and talking to His students, came near me and sat on the chair. He enjoyed the whole song, immediately got up and started walking around. At the end Swami came near me and asked, “Where do you come from?” I answered, “Swami, I come from Kerala”. After a few seconds, Swami started showing glimpses of His Divinity. He started telling me that I wanted to go for medicine after my twelfth, but I could not go as I wanted to join Swami’s Institute. Then Swami gave me the assurance that Swami would take care of me. Without wasting much time, I asked Swami whether I could sing in Mandir and instantly came the reply, “Yes, you can sing from today onwards”. Ever since, Swami gave me the opportunity to sing, I have had the chance to interact with Him on a number of occasions.

During one Summer Course, Swami gave us an opportunity to stage a programme at the end of the Summer Course. After days of practice, on the penultimate day, I was down with a severe throat infection. A thought arose in my mind that all my days of practice would go in vain. I prayed to Swami intensely to solve this serious issue. In the evening, Swami called us for an interview and I got a chance to tell Swami about my voice. Swami instantly created two white tablets and told me to have one immediately and have the other the next day. As Swami advised, I took them and lo and behold, I was perfectly fine the next day and I could sing for Swami. He never lets one down if he surrenders to Him completely.

I was fortunate to be part of Convocation Drama in my II year B.Sc. I was told to be part of the Burra Katha dance, a folk form of music and dance in Andhra Pradesh. Swami would call us for interview almost every day and see as to how much we have progressed. At one point of time, Swami lifted His robe till His knee and Himself showed us a few dance steps. We were amazed and could not imagine that Lord Himself dancing in front of us.

It was in my final year of post-graduation that Bhagavan selected me for a trip to Kodaikanal with Him. It was after one of the Bhajan session in Kodaikanal; Swami came and asked all the elders about that evening’s Bhajans. All gave a very positive reply. But Swami in His own style started praising some Bhajan singers and reprimanded others. I did not deserve His praise on that particular day because I felt that I did not sing well to my heart’s content. Swami said, “This boy (pointing at me) sang very well. He could reach high notes very effortlessly”. I was amazed after hearing to Swami’s words. He is the one who gives deservedness, He is the one who gives the strength to the weak and above all He is the only one who protects every living being which exists in this world. To that One, I bow down and express my sincere gratitude for having given me this wonderful opportunity to be with Him always.
                                                    
 
-    P. Sujith Kumar
Student (1998-2003) and Currently, Faculty Member
Department of Biosciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus                                                               

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