"Tears of Gratitude and Flowers of Love" - By Shivakumar Nagesh

The relationship between Bhagavan and His students is indeed unique. Love is the silken thread that binds Bhagavan to His students, who have always been the fortunate recipients of His infinite grace. Bhagavan spends most of His time thinking and caring for His students’ welfare. Innumerable personal experiences of students with Bhagavan would reveal how He, as their mother, father, teacher and God comes to their rescue in times of dire necessity by protecting and guiding them along the right path. 

There was a student at the Brindavan hostel of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, suffering from chicken pox. He had been isolated from the other students and was kept in the sick boys ward. This boy had been deprived of Bhagavan’s Darshan for many days due to his illness. In spite of his repeated requests to the Warden, he was told, “We cannot allow you at the risk of other boys contacting the disease”. The boy could no longer endure the mental agony. One afternoon, he quietly slipped out of the hostel just before Darshan, when all other boys and teachers had left. He stood near the Kalyana Mandapam in Brindavan Ashram praying sincerely in his heart for Bhagavan to bless him with His loving grace. When Bhagavan came for Darshan, He saw this boy and went straight to him. He materialized Vibhuti, asked him to eat some and applied the rest on his hands and face, assuring him that he would get cured soon. 

The boy’s eyes were wet with tears. He had no words to express his gratitude for Bhagavan’s spontaneous outburst of motherly love and affection. The person who used to walk behind Bhagavan then, was a medical practitioner. He tried to caution Bhagavan that chicken pox is contagious. To this, Bhagavan replied in His own inimitable way, “Contagious for you, but not contagious for My Love”. This one statement of Bhagavan reveals how much He loves His students. Their well-being and happiness are His sole concern. 

As much as He is a loving mother, He is a caring father too. There were three Postgraduate students whom Bhagavan wanted to send for training to Hyderabad. He therefore took upon Himself the responsibility of arranging for their comfortable stay, good food and ready transport in Hyderabad. He also gave them much needed, valuable guidance regarding their behavior and conduct. On the morning they were to leave for Hyderabad, Bhagavan called them along with the Warden and showered much love on them. He assured them that He would always be with them. When they were about to leave after taking His Padanamaskar, Bhagavan asked them to wait. He went inside and quickly returned with three packets. He gave one each to the three boys. The packets contained money for their pocket expenses. The boys were drenched in the fatherly love showered on them by Bhagavan. Tears of gratitude welled up in their eyes.

Bhagavan declares, “It is the mother who shows the father to the child, the father shows the child his Guru or preceptor and the preceptor makes the child realise God.” Having gained an insight into the motherly love and fatherly care of Bhagavan, let us now see how, He, as the supreme teacher guides His students. 

It was the month of November, 1994. Bhagavan had called the students participating in the play “Surdas” (to be enacted on the 22nd of November), for an interview. Bhagavan was very keen on hearing all the songs in the play, which He said, would attract the attention of all the people. At many places Bhagavan Himself sang and corrected our mistakes. To involve us thoroughly in the drama, Bhagavan told us the story of Surdas and his devotion to Lord Krishna. He also guided us in enacting our roles to perfection. He took personal interest to see that each one of us was confident and would give our best to Him. This was with regard to the drama. But also in His daily interaction with students, He teaches many subtle things of life. Thus Bhagavan is the complete teacher who teaches us perfection in all aspects of life - both mundane and spiritual. 

Bhagavan is the supreme God. How can one describe Him from whom the entire creation has emanated? He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of this universe which is His will. He has suffused it with His energy and submerged it in His love. He has all the power at His command, yet He is the very embodiment of humility. Parents have given us this body, but it is Bhagavan who has given us life. He is present as the spirit of life in all of us. He is the closest to our hearts, for He is the indweller. Teachers can give us only knowledge, but Bhagavan gives us the precious gems of wisdom through His “Avatara Vani”. The world gives only sorrow but Bhagavan gives us hope. Education grants us only a purpose; it is Bhagavan who gives fulfillment. 

His Lotus Feet can be washed with our tears of gratitude springing from the depth of true feelings. This will purify our hearts and take us closer to Him. Then we can worship His lotus feet with the flowers of love manifested through our devotion for Him. Hence Bhagavan declares, “Love is God, live in Love” and “Love All, Serve All.” Once we have cleansed our hearts and filled them with love, we can become His true messengers and spread His message. Thus we would not only be earning a good name for Bhagavan, our parents and ourselves, but also making our birth as human beings fruitful.

Shivakumar Nagesh
Alumnus (1993-1998), Department of English
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Medical Language Specialist at Transcend-Nuance, Mumbai

Source: Sai Nandana 1995 (70th Birthday Issue)


  1. So beautifully written! I was at Puttaparthi during the 1994 birthday celebrations. I was standing outside Poornachandra hall; from my vantage point, I could see the stage and the beautiful halo of Swami's hair as He sat and watched the play. I was going to leave Parthi the following day after spending a few blissful days at Prasanthi Nilayam. At one point, I said to Swami, "Swami, I do not want to leave you and go, please come home with me"....just having a conversation with Swami, all by myself, standing outside Poornachandra. EXACTLY at that moment in the play, Lord Krishna, whom Surdas is also beseeching for 'darshan' says, "I will come home with you....."!! As the words rang out on the loudspeaker, spoken by the Krishna on the stage, I felt it was Sai Krishna, giving me an assurance in return for my plea that He should come home with me. Swami's timing is impeccable, as we all know.
    Thank you for your article and for reminding me of this instance.

  2. Swami alwaya answers our prayers in one way or other. SAIRAM . --- Ramamani Velamuru


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