It was on a Christmas Eve, about four years ago, an eighth class boy was hurrying from Mandir back to the Hostel. It was getting late and he did not want to get into trouble with the Hostel authorities. As he was rushing down the General Hospital slope, his physics teacher, who was on the other side of the road on his scooter, spotted him and signalled him to cross the road and get onto his scooter for a ride back to the hostel. The boy, in all his excitement, dashed across the narrow road, without looking on either side of the road. Halfway across the road, from the corner of his eye, the boy realized that a speeding car was fast approaching him. But, it was too late. The boy was in the direct path of the car. It was inevitable that the car would crush the boy. The teacher too noticed it, but it was too late as already mentioned. A fraction of a second later, the car went through the boy, but, not a scratch on the boy, not a strand of hair harmed! And then the boy and the teacher knew that they had just been witnesses to one of the many millions of ways that the Lord had touched people’s lives. Moreover, if that merciful Lord had not touched that boy’s life, I would not have survived to recollect this vivid account.
Till last year, I used to think that as a Sai student, I had done lots of service by going for Gram Seva and other such activities. In fact, I used to be proud of it. But, all this disappeared when I heard the story of a group of Sai Youth from my place that had gone to a mental asylum in a neighboring country. This mental asylum had members from the age of four to twenty five. They had absolutely no one to care for them. They had neither family nor any relatives. All they had were 2 pairs of clothes and a common room with metallic chairs to which they were chained. As they were mentally retarded, they had absolutely no sense of personal hygiene and cleanliness. There was fecal matter strewn all over the place, on their beds and even on themselves. Only God knew when the last time that they had had a bath was. And now comes the part that would sweep you off your feet. This group of Sai Youth visited that very asylum and decided to clean up the place. They cleaned all the cots, cleaned up the floor, had the hall disinfected and finally gave each one of those inmates a proper bath. The Sai hand reaches where no other hand can. This is real service. I learnt a very valuable lesson the day I heard this.
We would always have to face the reality, the reality that there are some people who don’t believe in Bhagavan and some who do not know about Him at all. And a similar thing too had happened for me when I had gone home during the vacation. One day, someone asked me, “Shreyas, how do you know that your Baba is God?” And believe me, I had absolutely no clue about what I replied to him, and I am at least a hundred percent sure that those words were not mine. I asked him what his definition of God was. And after a few minutes of discussion we agreed on the meaning of God as someone who could do things that an ordinary human could not do. And then I told him, let’s choose to forget the fact that Swami can materialize things, read the minds of people, and let’s forget that He is omniscient and omnipresent. With this as a background, I asked him if he knew anyone who was running two Super Specialty Hospitals that had departments ranging from Neurology to Nephrology, having the best of the doctors that treated anybody and everybody, regardless of caste, creed and colour; regardless of whether he was rich or poor, without taking a single rupee from anyone. I asked him if he knew anyone who ran educational institutions that offered education right from class one till PhD courses free of cost. I asked him if he knew of anyone who had started a drinking water supply that poured water down the taps of thousands of homes for free. And then I asked him if he knew of any charitable organization that never asked any of its members for a single cent of donation. I could see that his head was swirling. And then I asked him, “If this man is not God, who is He?”
After all this, I myself was shocked at the way I had spoken. I was dead sure that these were not my words. It is said that: Mookam Karoti Vachalam, Pangum Langhayate Girim, Yat Kripa Tamaham Vande, Paramananda Madhavam
In this context, I would like to narrate an incident that happened to my mother a few years ago. My mother was having some pain in her abdomen for quite some time due to which she had difficulty in moving about. Upon examination by doctors in Singapore, she was found to be having a fibroid in her uterus. Fibroids are growths that can cause harm internally. She was then advised to undergo surgery. She decided that she would undergo the surgery only after visiting Swami in Puttaparthi. So, she arrived at Puttaparthi, stayed for a few days and then went to Bangalore. At Bangalore, they decided to take a second opinion at the Super Specialty Hospital there. They did a few minor tests and confirmed the presence of not one but two to three fibroids. They suggested her to come the next day for a complete check-up. But my parents were leaving on the next day. Somehow my mother felt that she had to go for the complete check-up. Believe it or not, after the check-up, the doctors told my mother that there were no signs of any fibroids and there was absolutely no need for surgery.
That is what God is! When you tell Him that you have faith, He tests you and you must stand up to the tests. God always puts us in trials and tribulations, not because He loves to test us, but it is because He loves us. We shall be like the phoenix that is burnt into ashes, but from that very ash shall raise another phoenix, more effulgent, stronger and tougher. And that is what all of us are going to become.
- Sai Shreyas
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
Source: Sai Chandana 2010 (85th Birthday Offering)