A Tryst in the Forest with Sri Sathya Sai - By S. Ravi Kumar

Ravi Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai at Kodaikanal

It was studying in Class II in Mercara (Karnataka) when my father heard of Bhagavan’s school in Ooty. My father had an urge to send me to that school and I did not mind it, but it was my mother who was not very glad of my going away from her. Anyway, we got the prospectus, and got ready to leave. We left in our car for Ooty. After an overnight stay at Bangalore we proceeded to our destination. We started singing Bhajans and when we were near Bandipur forest, a white Mercedes Benz overtook us. Immediately, another white car passed by us. The curtain at the window was half open and through it we saw that the great halo of hair and orange colour. We recognised Him and sang Bhajans more vigorously, instructing the driver to go faster after the car. He did. Swami stopped His car at the Mudumalai rest house for lunch. We also stopped there. Swami in His infinite compassion sent us lunch through some Brindavan boys who were with Him. We enjoyed it.

Swami, before this lunch, had come over to my parents and talked to them in Kannada. He asked my mother, “Where are you going?” my mother hesitantly replied, “Swami to admit my son (me) in your school in Ooty.” He said, “Very good”, and went in. My father then told my mother, “Swami is omnipresent and knows everything. He knows very well that we talk in Tamil at home, and still why did He talked to us in Kannada?” as a reply Swami after His lunch came and asked us “Saptaccha” In Tamil (Have you finished eating?) my parents were shocked, but happy too.... for Swami had shown us His infinite Glory. My father said, “Yes Swami.”

Soon we started off from there. We reached Ooty and I had my entrance exam and other tests two days later. Then the list of the selected children was put up. There were about 25 names in all. We began going through the list, and I became more and more nervous not seeing my name in the list. There!! My name was the last in the order and I was selected. After admitting me in the hostel, my mother was sitting in the Darshan line, sadness writ large on her face. When Swami came and consoled her saying, “Don’t worry. I will look after him.” Thus my parents left me in the total care of Swami when I was 7 years old.

Now, I am here, all due to Swami’s grace.

Ravi Kumar with Sri Sathya Sai at Prasanthi Nilayam - November 2010

-         S. Ravi Kumar
Student (1991-1993), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently working at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Prasanthi Gram
Lead Singer, Prasanthi Mandir Group


  1. A drop of Infinite Love such a this story contains an ocean of Love. It feels so inspiring to read these precious stories.

  2. Lovely experiences, please do share more of how Swami guided you in becoming a singer. All of us do listen to the wonderful bhajans through your voice almost every day.

  3. ... Contd.

    After a week of sublime stay in Ooty, we were returning back to Brindavan. In Mudumalai forest, an old lady was gathering fire wood, quite far away from the road. The all knowing Lord noticed her. His heart melted at her poor condition. Immediately He asked Brother Radhakrishna to stop the car. Without uttering a word He got down from the car and walked deep in to the woods. We all wondered where Swami was going, and followed Him at a respectable distance. Swami went straight to that lady. The old lady looked bewildered not knowing the stranger standing near her, shining like an angel with compassion. Our kind lord to make her realise the good fortune that had befallen her in such an unexpected way gently asked her in Tamil, “Do you know me?” “Don’t know sir”, was the meek reply. With a twinkle in His eyes asked her again. “Have you heard of Puttaparthi Sai Baba? “Yes sir, but not seen Him”. “That is me!” Swami answered with a beautiful smile. The old lady touched His Feet with great reverence. Swami gave her some money and told her to buy new clothes for herself and for her grandson who was playing on the nearby ground listlessly all alone.

    Our Swami’s compassion did not stop there, He returned back to the car and peeped inside the car. Noticing a bottle of mango pickle asked one of the students to bring it out. Swami carried the bottle to that old lady and explained to her what it is and how it should be used. After blessing that lady, Swami came back to the car and said, “Within few hours we will reach Brindavan, there we have a lot of pickles. Any way we won’t use that one bottle now and it will be useful to that old lady for a long time.” Swami might have noticed some boys feeling bad at the loss of a pickle bottle! (As pickles are very dear to people from Andhra Pradesh) We all wondered at the way Swami told us in a consoling way, as if we were so important for Him! But, we realized that for Swami all are important. He never liked to see anybody feeling hurt. One can never forget such acts of grace. Thus with full of joy we all reached Brindavan.

    - Ramakrishna Reddy
    Faculty, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
    Prasanthi Nilayam

    1. Sairam Sir,
      So nice to hear experiences from you after such a long time...more than 8 years.

      Padmanabhan TM

  4. Sai Ram!

    While reading the article “A Tryst in the Forest” by dear Sri Ravi Kumar, my mind raced back to the visit of Swami to Ooty in 1975. In 1970’s Swami visited Ooty every year. Some years even twice! But until Kodaikanal trips very few boys accompanied Swami. Apart from Swami’s car, there was just another car to accommodate students. For some students in Brindavan, it was a long cherished dream come true.

    The travel with Swami to Ooty through Mudumalai & Bandipur forests was exhilarating and ethereal. Swami exhibited the care of a mother and enthusiasm of a child. Though there were various eatables kept in the cars still Swami sometimes stopped the car so that we could have a tender coconut from a way side vendor. We were wonder stuck at the speed at which the vendor chopped the coconuts for us to drink, while cutting the coconuts he remembered how benevolent Bhagavan is and on various occasions how he was blessed by Swami. While cutting the coconuts his looks were on the sweet form of Swami sitting in the car.

    As an enthusiastic child to the boys sitting in the car behind, He would show a longoor or such an animal sitting on a tree branch, by pointing His finger at that. Sometimes it would be a herd of deer grazing close by or a herd of elephants moving shaking their bodies, trunks vigorously.

    Students in the second car always sat on the edge of their seats stretching their neck expecting an indication or sign of grace from Swami, sometimes Swami stopped the car and chided the boys who were putting their heads out through the car window to watch Swami’s car.

    When Swami stopped His car and got down to take a stroll on the road, which was not possible in Parthi or Brindavan, within minutes people travelling along the road would notice Him and jump down from their vehicles, wondering at the piece of luck coming their way. They would rush towards Swami with gasping breath and merriment. Within minutes there would be hundreds of them. Invariably Swami responded to their pleas and prayers by waving His hands in blessings, smiling and enquiring some people where they were going. While travelling, His searching eyes never missed a needy person. A person need of money, need of his comforting words or a divine touch. The touch that cures all ailments and elevates anyone to that higher level of bliss.


    Ramakrishna Reddy
    Faculty, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
    Prasanthi Nilayam

  5. Great Posts! Amaizing to see how our Swami is so caring, none can equal this.thx for the posts.

    Sai Ram

    Shekar( Mauritius)

  6. Sai Ram! Thank you for the precious gems that you have shared. Please continue to do so!



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