Sri Sathya Sai: The Heart of Sai Students - By M. Ranjith

Sathya Sai with Students

Being Bhagavan’s Student, I feel that I must share the joy of living with Him. Ours is a bond of love. You can give it any dimension. Call it a father-son relation, a mother-son relation, a master-slave relation or a Guru-disciple relation - you are correct. We students love to be His most obedient sons, slaves or disciples. We live by His looks. His teachings are the Vedas for us. His plea for love is an order. What else? Every activity of ours must be Sai-Centred. Without His Love we are fish thrown out of water, struggling to breathe. With Him, we are anything and everything. Otherwise, we are just human. 

Bhagavan says, “I live for you. I live in you. I live through you.” He asks only for love, unconditional and pure, from us. And to give it with utmost humility becomes a student’s duty. Our hearts are filled with His love and we keep praying to Him to accept our love and  bless us. Still to show that we love Him, we prepare excellent models of art from thermocol, greeting cards of exquisite shades. The ultimate goal of our life is to make Him shower His grace on us. 

We are the recipients of unique grace. We believe so not out of ego but out of thought and reflection upon it. We are fortunate because we are born as humans in India, which according to Bhagavan is Tyagabhoomi and Punyabhoomi. We are most fortunate because we have come to Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Supreme Peace. Bhagavan in His infinite compassion said, “Students are My property.” Let me mention a few instances of Bhagavan’s love for students. 

Once, Bhagavan came to the Institute Auditorium in Prasanthi Nilayam to give a discourse. Bhagavan had taken over someone’s disease and was not able to speak properly. When Bhagavan rose to speak and uttered the first word with great difficulty, we couldn’t contain ourselves. Many of us cried. Bhagavan stopped, drank a little water and then out came His beautiful voice with the Divine message! Bhagavan mentioned during the course of His discourse that the love of the students enabled Him to speak. Our bond of love made it possible! 

A student had a stomach problem. He did not tell Bhagavan about his problem. Bhagavan came and asked about his problem, gave him Vibhuti and told him to come next day. The next day the boy’s pain had not decreased. Bhagavan created two capsules for him! These are all small instances to show Bhagavan’s love. But actually can anyone tell how much love Bhagavan has in Him? No, because everything is love. Beyond that also it is Love. 

One may think that we are a lot disconnected from the outside world. It is true to a certain extent. But we understand that it is for our own good. And that is why we absorb much of the spiritual knowledge poured on us by Bhagavan and our teachers. So, we live in a perfect, positive world guided by Bhagavan. 

Bhagavan lays great emphasis on developing leadership qualities. Here anybody anybody. Young or old, we correct each other politely and lead them on to the right path. That is what Bhagavan expects from us. 

Music is a part and parcel of our life. We wake up hearing music. Our day is full of music and we end our day with music. Bhagavan has Himself proclaimed, “Eswaro Sangeeta Priyah.” God loves music. All our prayers are set to music. 

Mahatma Gandhi
When Mahatma Gandhi was once asked, “How did you become so great and truthful?” He answered, “Every night before sleeping, I think about the deeds, which I did that day. I ask myself whether it was correct or wrong. If I feel it was wrong, I resolve never to do it again.” Bhagavan also advises us to do the same. So, we do our night prayer remembering all our deeds of the day, good or bad and undergo a process of self - assessment. 

When we come to the educational part of the system, I feel it is the best in the world since it gives us physical, mental and spiritual excellence. At the top we have our Divine Guru who leads us always from the darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom and love. Every gesture of His is a packet of knowledge. He is the perfect teacher. 

In one of our Satsangs our teacher narrated to us the following experience: 

One day Bhagavan called him for an interview. After the interview, the teacher, who was then a student, was immersed in some thought. Bhagavan got up to distribute the Vibhuti packets from a bag.  A foreigner, with presence of mind, sprang up, took the bag, which Bhagavan was holding. Bhagavan looked at the boy and told, “See, and learn from him.” The next day again the same teacher had another interview. That day he thought, “I shall do my duty today.” After the interview, before even Bhagavan could get up, the teacher took the bag. Bhagavan was very pleased and this time, He told the other people and students over there, “See, learn from him.” That is the perfection in His teaching. Once taught in His special way, you will never forget it. 

Then we have our faculty of teachers who are highly knowledgeable. They are a 24-hours service agency. We are really grateful to them for giving us guidance in academics and in other avenues of life.

In one of the speeches made by a well-known educationist, he referred to us as students studying not for themselves but for God and for their parents’ happiness. Bhagavan tells us, “With what reverence you see your parents, the same reaches Me, but if you don’t revere your parents, it is equal to killing Me.” 

“Education is for life, not for a living,” is what Bhagavan proclaims. We cultivate that here. We are trained how to lead a successful life with God as the centre and others next and self last. As a result, we come out to face the world with a lot of self - confidence and ultimately, we are the winners by Bhagavan’s grace. Each one’s talent emerges from its hiding place and there is a change in everybody for the better, ensuring overall development for all. 

There is an element of humour also in Bhagavan. Laughter is the best medicine and so, Bhagavan makes everybody laugh through His jokes. One day, in the Bhajan hall, a lady was asked to sing. After some time, when she was still singing, the clock struck. Bhagavan said, “Oh! The clock is also very happy when you sing. Is that why it is clapping?” 

Our hearts are filled with love for Bhagavan. His love nourishes us like mother’s milk. Any small desire in us, if good for yourselves, is granted. Let me relate two small incidents that happened to me this year. 

One day, while in Mandir, I felt hungry. I thought of going back to the hostel but I knew nothing would be left after evening snacks. So the only way left was Bhagavan. So I prayed, “Bhagavan, I am feeling hungry. Please give some Prasadam. I think laddus would be okay.” Lo and behold, Bhagavan came out of the interview room and called some boys for distributing Prasadam. They all came out with basins full of big laddus. Bhagavan then looked at me and smiled. 

During Darshan one day, I had kept a handkerchief with me to get it blessed by Bhagavan. But to my surprise almost ten other boys also got kerchiefs for the same purpose. Although I had very less chance, I did not lose hope and I kept it. When Bhagavan came near us, He started picking up the kerchiefs from each boy’s hand and threw them gently on their faces. Unmindfully, I kept my kerchief a bit down. Bhagavan stopped in front of me, bent a little to pick up my kerchief and threw it at me with a smile. I was just pumped into ecstasy. That evening, I was doing Bhajans with full concentration. I knew no time and surroundings until Bhagavan looked at the clock. It was time for the Bhajans to conclude. I prayed, “Bhagavan, please let me enjoy this. Give me one more Bhajan.” And yes, my wish was granted! 

To put in a nutshell, His love fosters life, energy, qualities, discipline, perfection, and maturity of thought, word, deed and actions in us. Finally, I would like to pray, for every moment of life should be a prayer: 

Bhagavan, we do not know how big Your heart is, but we know we have a warm place inside. We rejoice in the pure love of Yours, we cry for You. We bow in profound gratitude towards You, for You say, “Students are My property”. Please make us worthy to be a part of Your Divine Mission. We are one with Thee. 

- M. Ranjith
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

Source: Sai Nandana, 75th Birthday

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