I am very fortunate to be blessed with dreams of Bhagavan since my childhood. Bhagavan says, “It is only when Sai wills that He appears in dreams” and the dreams related to the Lord are absolutely true. During the early stage after getting into Swami’s fold, I imagined and believed Bhagavan to be one of the incarnations like many people. I took Him as a holy man who descended for the sake of mankind. Little did I know that He in fact is the Lord Himself. During one night, Bhagavan appeared in my dream. He was seated with several devotees around Him and was watching and smiling at me. After a while, the almighty Lord Shiva approached Swami, bent in front of Him and took Padanamaskar. I could not believe what I was witnessing. Lord Shiva who is considered one among the Holy Trinity was in fact taking Swami’s Padanamaskar. After a while both: Swami and Lord Shiva were watching and smiling at me. Then Swami said: “Do you recognize at least now who Sathya Sai is?” The dream ended and on waking up I started contemplating about the vision given by Swami. My view about Bhagavan completely changed from then onwards. The personality, whom I thought was a saint till the other day, was in reality the Lord of Lords. Bhagavan is the master of everyone. All gods wait for a chance to have a glimpse of His Darshan. Bhagavan is the supreme Lord, He is beyond everyone. We are blessed and highly fortunate to have witnessed Lord Sri Sathya Sai with our own eyes.
|Sri Sathya Sai in East Africa - 1968|
Our family has been a recipient of Swami’s abundant grace. I wish to recollect a few instances of His immense grace. My father has been staying in Nairobi, Kenya for the last 10 years. Kenya is the country where Bhagavan put His Divine foot outside India in the year 1969. On one evening while going to Sri Sathya Sai Centre, my father drove to his friend’s apartment in order to pick him up for Bhajans. As the friend was unwell, he started off to the Sai Centre. (Nairobi is known to be one of the most unsafe places where foreign nationals are often targeted for money, ornaments and other valuables).
While he was coming out of the apartment, two Kenyans got into the car from the rear doors which were manually operated. The two robbers got into the car and pushed my father to the rear seat and started driving the car. They started driving the car towards the outskirts of the city. The robbers were armed with a gun and were intoxicated. My father had no chance to escape as he was under the grasp of the robbers. My father knew that his earthly sojourn would come to an end and he started praying to Swami to take care of his children and wife. When all the doors are closed for man, it is Swami who shows the way, no matter what the situation is and how big the problem is. The car which was driven rashly by the robbers, crashed into a road divider and halted all of a sudden.
My father heard a sound, “Get down and run”; this voice was of none other than Swami’s. After hearing the Divine call, he opened the door from the rear and started running on the road. He shouted for help, took a taxi and went straight to the Sai Centre. The experience was chilling; my father had just escaped from the jaws of death and got a new lease of life, all because of Bhagavan Sai. Swami is the only saviour; He is the one who responds no matter where His devotee is. Knowingly or unknowingly we tend to forget our Lord, but our dear Bhagavan never forgets us; He constantly thinks about us and our welfare.
In year 2010, during the month of November Swami appeared again in my dream and gave me a blissful experience: Swami was seen surrounded by devotees; He called for a large vessel and started mixing curd and rice with His own hands. The white colour of the curd and rice was never seen by me before; it was extraordinarily white. Bhagavan’s fist was filled with curd rice and He started calling a few devotees to eat the curd rice. He put His finger into the mouth of the devotees one by one and fed them. When the last mouth was filled with curd rice, He called me and put His finger into my mouth; at that moment I realised that my purpose of life was achieved as Bhagavan Himself had fed me with His own hand. What more can I ask for from Swami! After a while, a car came and was ready to drive Swami in it. I sat in the driver’s seat and Swami sat beside me in the passenger seat. As I was about to ask whether Swami was comfortably seated, Swami said, “Ready!”As soon as I saw ahead, I realised that I was sitting in the passenger seat and Swami was sitting in the driver’s seat and was controlling the steering. Swami then said, “The journey of this life is only known to Me; let Me drive your life”. These words of Swami in the dream instilled immense confidence, love and faith for Swami in my heart. I was convinced that whatever happens in life, is purely because of Swami’s will alone. This memorable experience has given a new dimension to my life. Swami has been guiding me constantly in all situations; He is the one on whom we can rely without any doubt.
|Aditya in the first row of the SSSIHL Convocation Ceremony (extreme right) |
- November 22, 2014
During the fourth week of December in 2013, I was unwell and was down with viral fever. I was feeling very weak and by Swami’s grace I made all the effort to visit the Sai Kulwant Hall on 1st January, 2014. Bhagavan on the previous night had come in the dream and gave me an apple. The very next day in the Sai Kulwant Hall, apples were given as Prasadam. Bhagavan knew that I was down with fever and He made sure that I came to the Sai Kulwant Hall on the first. By the dint of His Grace I had an apple, as we know, ‘An Apple a day keeps doctor away’, Dr. Sri Sathya Sai had given an apple even before it was distributed as Prasadam in the Sai Kulwant Hall.
Bhagavan knows every little thought which enters our mind. We may forget about something in life; but Bhagavan remembers all our innermost feelings. It so happened that the first year post-graduation boys of the Prasanthi Nilayam campus put up a drama in the Sai Kulwant Hall during the second week of August 2013. I was part of the sets department in the drama and after the drama all the boys involved in it got a chance to be photographed along with Swami’s Maha Samadhi. It was for the first time that I was about to be a part of photo next to Swami’s chair. While we were being photographed, I was feeling sad and was saying to myself: “It would have been a great fortune if Swami were physically present here”. With that feeling, I went back to the Hostel. During that very week, Bhagavan appeared in my dream, exactly as He had posed for a photo in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami said: “Let the photo be taken”, I was holding Swami’s feet and the photo was taken. I was overjoyed with the vision of Swami. Bhagavan fulfilled my innermost urge in His own way and He boosted my morale by convincing me that He listens to every prayer, every word and feeling.
|Aditya on his day of convocation in Sai Kulwant Hall (standing next to the chair on the left) - November 22, 2015|
Swami is beyond birth and death. Though He is not physically present, He continues to be present everywhere, every time. How can our Lord go anywhere leaving His devotees? How can the one who has created the entire universe be bound by birth and death? The entire mankind is blessed to experience the Supreme Lord taking birth in the same age as we are in. Bhagavan is “Sarva Devatita Swarupa”. All forms are His; He is the one who transcends everything. He is the one beyond time and space. He is beyond thought, word and deed. Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and several other incarnations have come on earth, but the Lord of everyone “Sri Sathya Sai” has come exactly in the same age as we are in. We must have done great penance for thousands of years in the previous births to wait for the moment when the supreme Lord descended on earth. We were associated with Swami in our previous lives. Due to this connection and the merits acquired in the past that we are able to see the ‘Avatar’ of all ages. There is no greater fortune than this. Is it enough if the Lord descends on earth? It is our absolute duty to follow our Master’s word and carry forward His work. Bhagavan resides in every heart which is pure.
- Aditya Deshpande
Student (2013-15), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Currently, Strategy Consultant (Aerospace and Defence), KPMG, Hyderabad