|Sri Sathya Sai with Students in the deer garden at the Brindavan Ashram|
“THE ONLY STORY IS HIS GLORY
THE ONLY GLORY IS HIS STORY”
This adage practically sums up the feelings of every individual who has sipped the cup of Sai’s love. It has been and always will be a land of no return. Once this Divine ambrosia touches the lips, the addiction is immediate, the transformation complete. No one has remained the same after this ‘Brush with Divinity’. When Sai’s love has touched our hearts, he chooses to bestow Divine experiences to satisfy the doubting Thomas in us thereby strengthening our faith in Him as our Goal, Guide and Guardian. One common experience which many people are fortunate to receive is the taste of Sai’s Divine Omnipresence. In the following paragraphs I hope to enumerate some such comments.
Having just joined the hostel in June 1978, we were instructed that none should visit the post office which was in the Kadugodi village without due permission. On this particular afternoon, I had to send home a registered letter urgently. But, search as I may, I could not locate any senior member of the hostel. So, I made a ‘wise’ decision of going to the post office and then asking permission after returning. So I set about my job with a kick in my stride and walked towards the post office. Brindavan Ashram has two gates: One through which the devotees come in and the other through which the permanent residents enter their homes. The latter being a short cut, I walked towards it through the Mandir garden. As I reached the end of the Mandir portico, unconsciously my vision turned upwards. My heart missed a beat, for, there was Swami standing on the terrace looking down at me with wide eyes and a face so serious that it could have made even a murderer feel like a small guilty boy. Being completely terror stricken, the only instinctive gesture was to bring my palms together in Namaskar and look up at the Lord.
|The Old Bungalow at Brindavan|
I do not think I have remained long on my feet had not Swami’s face broken into a beautiful mischievous smile and shaken His fore finger at me as if saying, “Don’t you dare try to go out without permission again.” The next move brought down all the barriers between Swami and I making my heart reach out to Him. He pointed His fore and middle fingers at me, imitating a gun in the hand pose! He closed one eye and ‘shot’ at me followed by such a beautiful smile that I fell flat for Him. The ‘bullet’ found its mark, for I could feel the sweetness long after Swami had turned around and gone inside. I subsequently made a brilliant manoeuvre of making a bee line back to the hostel and quietly lying down on my bed. I ruminated about how Swami had known about the wrong (small as it may seem), I was about to do, and how He knew where and when I would exactly pass by and how lovingly He had not only pointed out my mistake and forgiven me but also touched my heart with His Love – all without a word being spoken. I asked some seniors if it was usual for Swami to come out at that time (12:45 in the afternoon). They assured me that Swami would have usually retired to His room long before 12:45. This small but beautiful experience of Sai’s Omnipresence was the very first and it has been safely tucked away in the chest of my treasured memories.
Yet another, perhaps a more significant one, happened in 1980. I had the good fortune of being one among the group of students being at the Mandir at night on security duty. Along with us was as senior lecturer of the college. On this particular day, the lecturer and I began to talk about Swami’s childhood days, his Leelas and Mahimas and so on. A question was raised by me which was something like this. “Sir, if you take into account the past years of Swami’s sojourn on the earth, we find that not a single person has been in Swami’s Sannidhi (proximity) till present. In fact we notice a group of people being very intimate with Him and then after a span of 10 or 15 or 20 years, another group of people are very intimate. Does that mean that we too will leave and another group of people will be intimate with Him..?” To this we both felt that in this brief sojourn of 96 years, our Lord’s Love has to transform more and more people rather than stagnate on a few individuals. With this we called it a day and retired for the night.
|Dr. Mayur Pandya with Baba on that blessed day|
Then next morning after Darshan, Swami called the final year students to pose for individual photographs with Him. Swami stood with the trees as a back drop and one by one, the final year boys posed for the photographs and left. The entire place was full of students (about 300 of them). All of a sudden Swami turned around to me and with a twinkle in His eyes said to me “Ai, Mayur! See boys are coming and boys are going, but Swami is always there, always permanent.” A shiver went down my spine for it only proved that every word I had said the previous night to the senior lecturer was known to Swami and even in that huge crowd of boys, Swami knew where exactly I was standing to be able to directly address me thus.
- Dr. Mayur Pandya
Student and Doctoral Research Scholar (1982-1989), Department of Commerce
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Technical Writer, HSBC Global Transaction Banking, Vancouver, Canada