The Miracle of Man-Making at Prasanthi Nilayam – By Krishna Kumar Jawandhia

A teacher asked the sixth grade students, to identify the wonders of the world. One student wrote, ‘The greatest wonders of the world are To See, To Hear, To Touch, To Smell, To Feel and above all To Love’. 

I always wonder what has been Swami’s greatest and biggest miracle. Is it the Super Specialty Hospitals, is it the massive Water Project, is it the Value-Based Education system or is it the Global Sai Movement? Each one of them is a miracle in its own realm. But what has inspired me the most is Swami’s wonderful miracle of ‘Man Making’. This cuts across or rather assimilates all the facets of Swami’s activities. Whether it is the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi spread across the world or the Sathya Sai University where students from across the world come to learn, or for that matter the Hospital or the Water Project – each of these wonders are directed to help each one of us who get associated with, to explore, to discover and to recreate our own self into a better human being. 

The Unique Sathya Sai Social Welfare Projects
While I write, my thoughts take me to the year 1994, when I first landed in Prasanthi Nilayam to appear for the MBA entrance examination. Although I could not make it that time, I reappeared for the selection process in 1995, and this time I was Blessed with an admission. Darshan time, rigorous academic schedules, totally packed Hostel routine, supportive teachers, amazing colleagues and above all the ever loving Mother Sai – all of these now appear to be a beautiful dream. These are the most treasured moments of my life.

While our respected teachers taught us the principles of Management, our beloved Mother Sai enlightened us with the principles of life and living. ‘Be a good child to your parents, be a productive member in the organisation where you work, be a responsible member of the society.’

Many a times, I am asked by people, what is it that I have learnt from my two year stay at Prasanthi Nilayam, as part of the academic programme? It’s very difficult for me to pick up any one aspect, as the learning process was an integrated one. But then, one distinct change that took place while being a student at Prasanthi Nilayam has been my silent initiation by Mother Sai into the path of self-development. Am I evolving into a better family member, a productive member for my company, a responsible citizen of my country and above all am I a worthy son of my beloved Mother Sai?

The process is indeed not that easy as it sounds. As an ever loving mother who is concerned about the welfare of Her child, Swami extends His hand at the hour of need and guides us when the chips are down. The most beautiful part is that He helps us in such a manner that we feel strengthened after the event.

Once, a student at the Prasanthi Nilayam Hostel, a good long jumper, injured his foot during a sports event. A cast was put on his leg and he could not come for Darshan as he was unable to walk. A few days passed by and Bhagawan noticed the student’s absence. He enquired about the student from the Warden. Few minutes later, the students in the Mandir saw Swami boarding His car. They were surprised at this sudden development. Swami went straight to the Hostel. A few students, who were yet in the Hostel, were pleasantly surprised at Swami’s visit. However the injured student was blissfully asleep in his room unaware of Swami’s arrival. Swami went to his room, sat on a chair and woke him up. The student could not believe his eyes. Swami asked the student to touch and feel Him, so as to convince him that he was not hallucinating. The student was dumbfounded!  Swami Blessed him and left the room. Needless to say, the student was cured in a few days.

Bhagawan’s Divine touch is truly transformational. It can be as soft as a rose, or as hard as a rod. There is a wonderful story narrated by Prof. Kasturi. There was an attender working in a college in Mysore, where Prof. Kasturi was employed. This attender was a chronic drunkard. He used to beat his wife every day and inflict untold misery on his family members. Unable to bear this suffering, the wife came to Puttaparthi along with her husband and pleaded with Swami to help her. Swami assured her protection and said that He would transform her husband very soon. He Blessed the husband and told him not to harm his wife. However, the husband did not bother about this advice.

During the return journey by train, the husband made his wife travel by the unreserved class, while he got into the reserved class. The compartment was empty, and there was only one other passenger. To his utter astonishment, the other passenger was Swami Himself. But this time, Swami did not appear to be soft and tender. Swami chided the husband, commanding him to behave properly with his wife. When he appeared to take the advice lightly, Swami became ferocious and started beating him. The husband was terrified and decided to change for the better!

Swami remarks that true leadership is transformational leadership. Transformational leadership involves inspiring people, and motivating them for a higher purpose. This can take place only through personal example. Swami says that the first three letters of the word ‘Manager’ is ‘Man’. Therefore a good manager should in the first place, be a good man. Swami wants all of us to aspire to be ‘good’ rather than ‘great’. Character is more important than knowledge. A great person may be educated, but a good person is also disciplined, which stands with him throughout his life.

The greatest of all joys is the joy of exploring, knowing and developing oneself into a better human being so as to make a powerful, purposeful and self-satisfying contribution in the life of others and in one’s own life. 

    -    Krishna Kumar Jawandhia
Student (1995-1997), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Founder and CEO, GoMo Tech, Mumbai

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