“I wanted to show you that I know everything...” – By Shirish Patel

As I begin to pen my experiences with Bhagawan Baba and His unseen hand in my life, I recollect the interview which was granted to my class in the year 1996 (MBA Batch 1996-98). Bhagawan had commanded us to pose any question to him. I prayed to Baba saying “Please help us in our lives on a day to day basis.” Bhagawan Baba, apparently angry, looked at me and asked “Do you know when I help you?” After a pause He answered His question Himself “You do not know”. Thus, at times we feel that it is solely our effort due to which we have achieved success in our endeavours, forgetting that it is actually Bhagawan who is helping us at each and every moment.

My mother used to frequently tell me that I should pray to Bhagawan every day. I would always reply to her, “I will do that only when Bhagawan Baba Himself tells me to pray” During my MBA, I was called by Bhagawan Baba for an interview along with my parents. Swami, after speaking to my parents, turned towards me and said “I want to help you, but you do not pray to me, so pray to me!!”

From the above two incidents, Bhagawan Baba made it clear that offering one’s daily prayers to God, by chanting His name, enables God to help you.

In all the prayer sessions during my stay in the Hostel at Puttaparthi, I used to be present physically, but not mentally, in spite of Swami’s command that I should sincerely pray to Him. During the initial stages of my professional life, I began to pray rather irregularly. Some days I used to pray and on some other days I would not. I experienced that, the day that is begun with prayer turns out to be sweet and the day I forget to pray turns out to be sour.  But it took me almost two years to notice this phenomenon. I was reminded of Bhagawan Baba’s words that I should pray to him. Subsequently I began to chant the 108 names of Swami and Hanuman Chalisa every day in the morning, with total concentration. It took me 10 minutes every day to do so. I have been experiencing that prayer creates an invisible shield around me, protecting me daily in every activity that I perform. My day goes on smoothly; I realise that my revenue targets are achieved by Swami Himself. All problems, domestic and professional, are solved automatically. In fact, He becomes the doer of my job! I have been experiencing this for the last 4 years and I am grateful to Bhagawan for His Grace.

During my second year of MBA (1997-98), all of us had decided to offer our MBA project work at the Lotus feet of Bhagawan. During the evening Darshan, we kept all the projects piled up for Swami’s Blessings. My project work (Analysis of the Indian Petrochemicals Industry) happened to be the bulkiest and when Swami asked “Whose work is this?” I raised my hand. Bhagawan Baba asked me to hand over the project work to Him. As He went through the project, I knelt by His side (He stood between the two lions in the marble portico). He then said “You have made a mention of Rakesh Mohan Committee in your analysis,” and before I could react, He turned the pages (about 150 pages) and went straight to that particular page and said, “See I told you!” He then asked, “Why should I have interest in what is written in your project work? I wanted to show you that I know everything!” I took Padnamaskar and He then created Vibhuti for me. Thus every interaction with Bhagawan has its own significance. Everything He does or says is always for our own good, though we may not realise it immediately.

During one of the interviews, for which my grandparents had been called for, Bhagawan Baba told my grandmother that He would be there with her at the time of her death. This was many years ago (in the1980’s). In the year 2003, my grandmother, a diabetic, had been admitted to a reputed hospital in Mumbai for kidney malfunction. During the diagnosis, her condition deteriorated and all her vital organs began to fail. Subsequently she was put on life support equipment and was being artificially kept alive. The doctors had given up all hope. She lay in this state for a week’s time. On Thursday 27th Feb 2003, early morning (post 12 a.m.), the hospital room and corridors were filled with the fragrance of Vibhuti. My family members who were asked by the doctors to wait in the hospital, were a witness to this phenomenon. My grandmother was declared dead at 2.30 a.m. Bhagawan Baba had kept up His word of visiting my grandmother during her last moments.

Similarly, during the last physical interaction with my grandfather in the year 2004, Bhagawan had told him “The next time you come to Puttaparthi, do come with a smile!” My grandfather had been critically ill, suffering from blood cancer. Subsequently, in Feb 2004, my grandfather was admitted to the same hospital as that of my grandmother. He was admitted due to repeated water formation in the brain and after the operation was done to remove the accumulated water, there was a multiorgan failure. He was subsequently put on life support system for 15 days. He passed away on Thursday 26th Feb 2004. After the doctors handed over the body to us, we noticed that there was a smile on his face. We are convinced that Bhagawan Baba was there to receive my grandfather in the other world.

Before I conclude this article, I would like to express my gratitude to Swami who has helped me out of the most severe crises during my childhood days, ensured that I completed my primary education in His School at Puttaparthi (for reasons, I am now able to understand), helped me in completing my Engineering, ensured that I completed my MBA from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam, took interest in my marriage and decided as to whom I should marry, helped me in my professional life and ensured that in the absence of my father, we had adequate sources of income to sustain ourselves.

How can I ever count His Blessings on me? 

- Student (1996-1998), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

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