Where to start and what to write? The heart, which actually enjoyed His love, remains in its silent reminiscences. The mind speaks a lot. But it knows very less of the heart’s experiences. However let me attempt to explain this phenomenon called ‘God’s Love’ in my life.
|Satish Babu with Sri Sathya Sai in the Prasanthi Nilayam Interview Room|
“I am with you, in you, around you...” He once told me in the interview room. How true it is! “God is your servant, always waiting for your command...” He declared in a public discourse. Isn’t it great? We have got the Lord of the Universe to listen to our prayers and fulfil our cherished reams. Let me share with you an incident in this regard.
There was a function in the Mandir and by Bhagavan’s grace we were permitted to witness it. All the students got up very early in the morning and were getting ready for Darshan. I too was busy with different kinds of works. Meanwhile a student came up to me and informed that one of his roommates was suffering from severe headache. I told him that I would see the boy before I left for Darshan and do the needful. But as it was getting late for the Darshan, I left hurriedly for the Mandir without even having breakfast. It was only after I sat comfortably for the Darshan that I remembered about that particular boy. I started feeling guilty for not discharging my duty. I was in a dilemma. I had to choose between the Darshan of the Lord and the duty given by the Lord. Darshan was more tempting for me. At the same time I could not sit peacefully. Finally I looked within for the Lord’s help. I prayed to Him, “Dearest Bhagavan, I want to see Your beautiful Form. I cannot go to the Hostel now. Please forgive me for not discharging my duties sincerely.” Ignorance is bliss, they say. With my stupidity I continued to pray, rather I suggested to Bhagavan most ignorantly, “Bhagavan, please go to the Hostel and discharge my duties. Give him (that brother of mine) some medicine and cure him of that problem.”
Once I presented the problem to Bhagavan, the so-called ‘guilt-feeling’ vanished from my mind, so much so that I even forgot about this inner struggle completely. I had Darshan and I had enjoyed the function too. Later, in the Hostel, that boy came up to me, thanked me for the medicine and informed that he was completely all right. I did not understand what medicine he was referring to. I enquired about it repeatedly and the boy was a bit puzzled. He thought that I was making fun of him. When I asked him to explain, he narrated it this way. “Sir, I was suffering from severe headache. I had sent word for you. After all the boys had left for Darshan I lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. Then you came to my room and enquired how I was feeling. You placed some medicine in my mouth and I slept peacefully. When I got up, I was completely alright.” I was astonished! I asked him once again whether it really resembled my voice. He confirmed that it was mine and told me that for some unknown reason he could not open his eyes and see me. How lucky he was to be visited by the Loving Lord and receive His grace and how much more compassionate that He listened to a simple prayer of my heart and ‘did the needful’.
I look upon Him as my Mother. One day I was sitting by Bhagavan’s path. Bhagavan went that way for giving Darshan, and returned the same way. I wanted to touch His Lotus Feet. But both times when He was passing by I could not get the opportunity to do so. I felt very bad. There was no chance of Bhagavan coming again that way for the third time. So I started praying hard, “Mother Sai, please bless me, and come this way again so that I can touch Your Lotus Feet.” It went on like that for some time. To my amazement, I saw Him coming towards me on the same path! I was overwhelmed, and every fibre in my body tingled with expectation. Bhagavan came along, stood before me, and asked me in Telugu, “Aa Ammayi Vacchinda?” (“Did that girl come?”). I did not understand properly, and whispered “No, Bhagavan.” I was busy caressing those lovely Feet. Then He said, “Ayyo Paapam.” While gently walking away He repeated thrice “She has come, she has come, she has come,” of course in Telugu. I was confused. What does this mean? Which girl was He talking about! Then suddenly a light flashed and understanding dawned on me! In Telugu ‘Ammayi’ means a girl. But when the word is split in two, (Amma + Ayi). Both words mean Mother (in Telugu and Marathi respectively). So together the word means Mother of Mothers! And who else was He referring to, but Himself! He came and stood in front of me, this ‘Ammayi’, the Mother of all mothers! I did not have enough tears to express my gratitude. How full of understanding, how full of Love, this Mother is!
His Love knows no bounds. Very promptly, He fulfils our petty desires so that one day we will aspire for the great spiritual wealth that He wants to confer upon us. His ways are mysterious. He does the most surprising things in the quietest manner. I always like to do service in the Hostel as a student inmate; particularly service in the dining hall. One day I kep¬t my plate and tumbler aside, and started serving lunch to boys. I was serving curd to each. Looking at the various sizes of tumblers boys brought, I had a fleeting thought, “Bhagavan, I have a small tumbler. I cannot take much in it. But this curd looks lovely.” Then I forgot about it. After finishing serving when I brought my plate and tumbler, and sat down to eat, I noticed something very strange about my tumbler. It had grown much bigger! On its side had been inscribed S.S.S.B.! How sweet, how considerate, how compassionate are His actions! Can you do anything else than falling in love with Him completely!
Sometimes I look back on how Bhagavan brought me here, and I feel like keeping my head permanently on His Lotus Feet, and never getting up. I used to come to Bhagavan as a devotee quite often. And every time I see the white-clad students in the sunshine of the Divine Love, I felt a yearning to come here as a student. After waiting for about half a dozen years after my twelfth class, I applied to the Institute. But I studied in Telugu medium schools, and was obviously weak in English. I could not speak in English properly. In the entrance test I couldn’t understand some questions and I answered the multiple-choice questions as I felt! And I was sure I wasn’t going to be selected. My dreams of coming physically to the Lotus Feet almost shattered. That year there was a gap of a few days between the entrance test and the interview. I was staying in a room in the Ashram. One day before the interview, I saw Bhagavan in a dream. He came with some dignitaries, and pointing out to me, told them, “This boy is selected.” That put a lot of hope and courage in me. Before the interview, this same dream was repeated once again. With the courage He had put in me I managed to clear the interview. After that, Bhagavan again came in my dream, and indicated that I have been selected to the Brindavan Campus. I wanted to come and stay with Bhagavan. But now I had to go to some far off place, away from Bhagavan! I did not know anything about the Brindavan Campus. I started crying and pleading with Him to keep me in Parthi. Next day night Bhagavan came again in my dream and agreed to let me stay at Parthi. In the dream I kissed His Lotus Feet. Then the list was published, and though I was selected I had been assigned the Brindavan Campus. I had made a mistake in filling up my application form. I had mentioned English as my second language, instead of Telugu. All boys opting for English had to go to Brindavan, the Registrar told us. Next day we were to board the bus to Brindavan. Though Bhagavan fulfilled the first assurance, the second remained unfulfilled. So I went on praying and crying. That evening for Darshan I got the first line, and I made bold to get up and tell Bhagavan that I wanted to stay in Parthi. Bhagavan asked me to sit down! That night we were asked to attend a freshers’ function. I was happy that now I was one among Bhagavan’s students, but sad that I was going away from Bhagavan. I personally was afraid to speak to the Registrar, for I was afraid he would immediately know my lack of proficiency in English and cancel the admission! Better something than nothing at all, I told myself. So I tried to reconcile myself going to Brindavan.
|Sri Sathya Sai in the Portico|
Next morning, we were allowed to sit under the Mandir portico. As I stepped on to the mosaic floor of the Mandir veranda I was exhilarated; a long dream had been fulfilled! When Bhagavan came out, some students pleaded with Bhagavan to be allowed to stay in Parthi. Bhagavan did not agree, and took the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar and the Controller in. We all waited with bated breath. After fifteen minutes He came out, and told us, “Boys, you can stay here. No need to go to Brindavan.” Oh, what joy! All boys surrounded Bhagavan in their joy. Since I was new and did not know what I should do I did not join them. But the temptation was difficult to resist. I saw them very close to Bhagavan, almost rubbing with His dress, catching His hands, His feet, and expressing their gratefulness. I also slowly made my way through them to come nearer to my lovely Lord. I did not want to lose this golden opportunity. I caught His hand, His soft, fragrant, delicate hand and kissed it. I held on to Him, filled with unspeakable joy. My life seemed to be full, over and over.
Later I changed my second language from English to Telugu. When in the second semester, all these boys were transferred to Brindavan Campus, I alone stayed in Parthi, for I had Telugu, and there was no Telugu teacher there. Finally all the assurances of Bhagavan were conclusively fulfilled.
One can keep narrating endlessly the great story of Sai. It is a story of compassion, of selfless love. In the name of secular education He has drawn us here to fill us with love and wisdom, which are essential for our souls to grow and reach Him. He makes our lives purposeful. He gives meaning to the business of living, and stands there in front of us as the true meaning. Though He has everything in His hands, He asks for selfless love from us. He gives us His selfless love, and then expects us to do the same. God is no more of an idea for us. God is an experience. And I am eternally grateful to Him for all that He has done for me.
- G. Satish Babu
Student (1987-1992), Department of Biosciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Faculty Member, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School