|Bisweswar Prusty with Sri Sathya Sai at Kodaikanal in April 1999|
“Life is like a game of tennis, he who serves best, seldom loses.” – Anonymous
This happened in 2002. I was in the Super Speciality Hospital in Prasanthi Nilayam being treated for an infection. But for a small temperature rise in the evenings (which did not trouble me much), I was quite fine. One morning, as I began to take a walk in the Hospital corridor, I noticed that I had a neighbour – a boy from the Primary School by name Dikshit. I went into his room. He was wearing the same blue dress as mine (the hospital provides these for every patient). I observed that he was quite lonely and in pain too. His abdomen was troubling him. I decided to spend some time with him and for hours I would converse with him. Later, I gave him all the comics that I had, called him to my room and we saw Tom and Jerry cartoons together, we talked about his school, his interests, his hobbies, etc. I gave as much time as I could to him, just to ensure that his mind was continuously occupied and away from his abdominal pain.
|Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore|
After two days his mother arrived. After she spent a few minutes with her son, I saw her asking the nurses about a ‘blue doctor’ that her son was referring to. Dikshit had apparently told his mother that for the last two days ‘the doctor in blue dress’ had been taking care of him. And that he had been very nice, and took great interest and cared for him every day. After figuring out that the ‘blue doctor’ was actually the blue patient next door, his mother came and thanked me profusely.
Well, there probably is nothing exceptionally significant about this incident. But for me, it was one of those moments in my life, which whenever I recall, I am filled with joy and satisfaction.
Truly, from what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life. And the best portion of a good man’s life, as William Wordsworth put it, is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. Living with Swami, who has touched me with His love, so selfless and genuine, I have learnt that there is no joy comparable to the joy of being useful to somebody in some way. If you have helped somebody today who can never repay you, your day is made. It is very rightly said, ‘You never know what happiness a simple act of kindness can bring.’
A few days back, I met a brother from Kerala, who after completing graduation in our Institute had returned to his hometown for further studies and also was working for a company. During our conversation, he revealed to me how happy he was now, unlike just a few years ago. “After I finished my Post-graduation”, he told me, “I joined a marketing job and for almost five years I never attended any Samiti Bhajans or Seva programme, though my parents were very regular in these matters. There was to be a medical camp on the coming Sunday and my mother suggested that I participate in the same. I was still undecided. That evening I saw on Sanskar TV, a programme on Swami. Bhagavan was smiling and very happy. He was blessing a group of workers after their service and He looked immensely pleased with them. This touched me and I decided to go for the medical camp. On Sunday, I participated in the medical camp and it was such a unique experience. The dissatisfaction of my job, the unpleasant work environment of my office just faded away. I found a kind of happiness that I had not experienced for the last five years. From that day onwards, I became a permanent member of the camp.” This brother is just one of the thousands who have realised and relished the joy of service. Incidentally, that medical camp team took great strides and they serve regularly in the most impoverished and notorious areas around Calicut even today.
|Calicut (now rechristened Kozhikode) in the South Indian state of Kerala|
Many a times I have wondered as to how Swami serves continuously. What inspires Him to shower His Love ceaselessly irrespective of any response from the recipient? And I said to myself that it is His Pure Love for us that makes Him do all this. It is just like a father who would go to any extent to do something for his son because he loves him so dearly. In this, the father never gets tired. In fact, he is more energetic and enthused after doing something which his son has really loved. There are many ordinary people in this world who have become extraordinary by doing just this: loving everyone as their own and serving them with great passion. Selfless service to others paves the way to an eternal spring of joy, energy and satisfaction.
Those who had been to Kodaikanal with Swami in 2005 and had participated in the Easwaramma Day Celebration would know that it was one of the days when Swami was very happy. The principal reason – Boys’ whole hearted participation in the Narayana Seva. The students spent the whole morning preparing the food plates, transferring them forming a human chain and finally serving the poor. Swami was so happy with their service that when they asked for individual photos the next day, He immediately gave His consent. This opportunity had not materialised for the previous 18 days in spite of the boys’ prayers. (Swami used to give one reason or the other – “Not today”, “Light is not good” and so on.) Besides, He blessed all of them with pens and other gifts. And then, after the distribution, with immense concern in His voice, He remarked, “You all must be very tired.” That one word was enough to remove all their exhaustion.
|Sri Sathya Sai on the Jhoola in Trayee Brindavan|
I remember one beautiful Trayee Session in my second year at Brindavan. That evening, sitting on the Jhoola (swing), Swami, the expert story-teller, narrated the story of a king. But even before He started the story, there was a rider, “I will ask a question at the end of the story and whoever answers it right will be rewarded with a gift.” Swami concluded the tale and asked the question. The first few answers were not acceptable to Him. Then Swami looked at one corner on the left of the Jhoola. There was one answer coming from that side. He pointed to a boy over there and said, “Boy, get up. You have told the correct answer!” He called him near, spoke very lovingly, patted him and immediately blessed him with a beautiful ring. Not only this, that boy was also blessed to be one of the fortunate few to travel with Swami to Kodaikanal that year. The fact is that this boy had never answered the question. But he was a very hard working student who would spend ninety percent of his off-Institute hours serving in the Hostel. Be it in Mandir or in the College or in the Hostel, he never missed an opportunity to be of some service. I felt the whole drama that evening, in Trayee was created by Swami to just reward him most wonderfully. Swami not only felicitated that boy, but through that one act of kindness, inspired many others to take up service activities.
Sincerity has always been rewarded by Bhagavan. When Swami so mercifully came for the School Exhibition in 1994, He spent more than five minutes with my model which was just a static wooden structure of a temple and a boy praying. He kept His hand on my shoulder and was in such a jovial mood! He commented on the half-trouser that the boy was wearing, the stance of the boy (as if he was going to run) and so on… Everybody around were in peals of laughter! Actually, there was nothing marvellous about my model, but I was the only boy in the class who had taken the teacher’s instruction very seriously and had made the detachable model during the summer vacation itself. Anything done with a sincere feeling is always appreciated.
In all Swami’s Institutions, the watchwords are sincerity and dedicated service. Helen Keller once said, ‘Life is an exciting business and most exciting when it is lived for others.’ Working for Radio Sai Global Harmony has been a very exciting experience for me. Just a few days ago, there was one devotee who dropped into our office with a bag full of goodies and said, “Please accept these as a token of my gratitude. I listen to the Radio whole day and you do not know how much peace and happiness it has given me. I now think of Swami all the time.”
|Edgar Cayce (1877-1945)|
In the inspirational book, ‘The Gift of Acabar’, the star Acabar says to Tulo, “People who live to make this world a better place, never die. Jesus still lives in the hearts of millions of people. It is not worth living, if a person has not contributed even a little in making this world a better place to live in.” Swami in His wonderful University has taught us just this.
He has taught us that business is not just about making money, but enriching the lives of many. While we learnt Total Quality Management at the Institute, Swami taught us the triple qualities of purity, patience and perseverance. While we figured how to reengineer a business process in the college, Swami was in the process of reengineering our minds slowly but surely so that we get moulded as useful citizens. While we grasped analytical techniques of management in the classes, Swami taught us how to analyse every situation with the touchstone of individual and fundamental discrimination. While we were taught about ‘Self-Awareness and Personality Development’ in the Institute, Swami taught us how to love and respect another man so that we may be loved and respected in turn. While we picked up financial lingo in the college, Swami instilled into us how commerce without morality is not only useless but positively dangerous.
It is said, “There are two ways to make our lives better: To Think and To Thank.” So, I think of the all the beautiful things in life that He has taught me so patiently, and continues to teach even now in His own way; I think of all those moments of adversity in my life when He held me up in His hands (and I never felt the pain); I think of all those wonderful opportunities that He gave me, always at the right time; I think of how my life has changed since I came to His Lotus Feet, and then finally I thank Him with all my heart and all my being for allowing me to be touched by Him.
- Bisweswar Prusty
Student (1998-2000), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Content Manager, Radio Sai Global Harmony