An old parable goes thus: When God created this Universe and sent man to dwell on earth, He bestowed on man all His wisdom, virtues and powers. After many years, as man started progressing scientifically using the knowledge given to him by God, his ego started showing its ugly face. He started thinking that he was the most important one in God’s creation. He started using ¬his powers for his selfish purposes. His mind was always swayed by thoughts of hatred, jealousy, envy, destruction and revenge. His heart, once filled with God’s Divine love, lacked the faith in God and the selfless love for his fellow beings and nature. It had only desire for money and power.
God was looking for a true devotee on earth. He called three of His angels, the angel of money, the angel of fame and the angel of love. He instructed them to go down to each and every house on earth and introduce themselves to all the people as the ones sent by God to confer His blessings on them. He laid condition that only one of the three should bless a particular house. The choice which angel should bless their house was left to the householder. The angels did as they were told. The angels of wealth and fame were invited to many houses. Only a poor old lady, immersed in her devotion to God aspired for the blessings of the angel of love. God was overwhelmed by her and directed the other two angels too to go and bless the lady.
Here we see that people with desires and ego did not get happiness people with humility are able to receive God’s love, which He gives to all. It is the same in our case. We have to cut our ego to realise the Divinity of Bhagavan. He has shown us many ways to cut the ego. The name of this sacred place, Puttaparthi, itself signifies the removal of the ego. By splitting up the word, it becomes “Put-Apart-I.” Put apart the ‘I’ (egoistic) feeling. Bhagavan also explains the cross, symbol of Christianity, similarly. He explains, ‘Just cut the ‘I’ in middle and you become Divine.’
Once when Swami was asked during an interview about the way of reducing the ego, He showed a way, which, in my opinion, is the best and the most effective. He told the person, “God created this whole Universe. In Universe, the Milky Way is a small galaxy. Here the Sun is a much smaller star around which revolves the earth, which is a small planet in our solar system this earth, only a quarter part is occupied by land. On this quarter, the continent of Asia is still smaller. In this small part, India is a small country. In India, Andhra Pradesh is a small state in which again Anantapur is a small district. In this district, Puttaparthi is a small village. In this small village, you are sitting in this small room occupying a little space. Now compare yourself with the vastness of the Universe. Immediately your ego will bow down.” Is it not a really effective way of making the ego bows down before you? It is also a way of being humble before God as a small part of His creation.
Whenever we lose faith in God and we are in troubled waters, He blesses us with His miracles to reinforce our faith in Him. Miracles are not tricks of magic. They are but incidents that show how God works, how He cares and how He hears even untold prayers.
This year, in May, I had been to Manali, a hill-station in Himachal Pradesh along with my family. It was raining heavily and we were trekking along the hilly road. Suddenly a stone under my father’s feet gave way and my father was sliding head first into the deep valley. Suddenly, as he was falling a packet of Vibhuti fell out of his pocket. He caught hold of some tender plants and weeds to prevent him from sliding further. The tender plants held the eighty kilograms of my father’s weight till someone could reach him and help him up.
Swami has said, “I know your name, your degrees, your profession, your status, and your history. I know your past, present and future. But you do not know Me. That is why, in order to reveal who I am, I Myself show My visiting card, something you call a miracle.”
Another interesting experience that I recollect happened on one of Bhagavan’s visits to Mumbai in mid-1980’s. Bhagavan was expected to return to Bangalore by flight and had to travel from Dharmakshetra to the airport by road. My father had a rough idea of the route and had told my mother, sister and me to stand on the main road so that we could have a view of Swami’s car and the convoy. It was a hot afternoon and so there were very few people on the road. But the traffic was flowing as usual on the roads in Mumbai. No one was standing around us on the road. We could see Swami’s car coming. Suddenly the signal turned red and Swami’s car came and stopped right in front of us. We went near His car with joined hands. Swami smiled beautifully and blessed us. Yes, He gives the most beautiful of experiences when you least expect them.
Another incident I would like to share happened during my childhood. When Swami visited Mumbai in January 1986, He told a family to perform their son’s marriage the following month in Puttaparthi. The members of that family were our family friends and they invited us for the marriage, which was scheduled for the 20th of February. We were supposed to leave for Puttaparthi on the 14th of February. That day, early in the morning, Shirdi Sai Baba appeared in the dream of an ardent Shirdi Sai devotee living in our colony and told her that He would come to the colony that day to save the life of His devotee.
That morning at 8:30 am my grandfather was sitting on the floor, having his food. I was sitting and playing on a stool nearby. He had a vessel of hot Dal (a liquid food) in front of him. I lost my balance and fell headfirst into the vessel. In trying to save my head, my hands also were burnt. Immediately, I was rushed to a doctor who applied some ointment on my face and hands, which were burning with boils and scars due to the heat. The doctor advised us not to take up the long journey to Puttaparthi. But my father was very keen on going to Prasanthi Nilayam and seeking Swami’s blessings. So we started out on the journey. I did not even utter a single word of pain throughout the journey of twenty hours.
The bus journey from Dharmavaram to Prasanthi Nilayam is usually hot and that day was no exception. But I never felt the heat or any kind of pain throughout that journey too. Swami was protecting me all the way. Further treatment was available at the General Hospital in Prasanthi Nilayam. Every day during Darshan, on seeing me sitting with my mother, Swami would enquire about me. On the twentieth, after the wedding ceremony inside the interview room, Swami told my parents that He had saved me and that they need not worry about me.
Then with a lot of love and compassion, He cut a bit of my hair that was severely damaged in the accident. No doubt, the curing process was much faster after this day. Within a few days, all the boils, scars and marks vanished, my skin colour became normal and my hair reappeared. Most astonishingly, in the accident, there was no damage to my eyes. This incident shows that when Bhagavan assures that He takes care of everything we need not worry about anything else. It really demonstrates Bhagavan’s declaration, “Why fear when I am here!” Through many other incidents, He has, from time to time, strengthened my faith in Him. In gratitude, I offer at His Lotus Feet a small prayer.
“O Lord! You say that Your life is Your message. Guide us so that we can make our lives at least a small fraction of Your message.”
- Kevat Joshi
Student (2002-2005), Department of Biosciences,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning