When it rained heavily prior to Ganesha Immersion Day - By D. Sai Vamshi Krishna

Everyone has somebody to whom he owes gratitude. In my case I owe my thankfulness and gratitude to someone very special in my life: Mr. Mango. Yes, I know that you would wonder if I have gone crazy. Well, to understand this let me take you back to the year 2002. My mother was a staunch devotee of Bhagavan but that could not be said of others in my family. So my mother never asked Swami to admit me in His school at Prasanthi Nilayam. We were sitting in the Mandir and Swami was distributing ripe juicy mangoes to all the children of the Primary School. I liked mangoes very much and also wanted one. Therefore, I asked my mother. She did not know how to say that Swami was giving mangoes only to some ‘selected’ ones. 

She just closed her eyes and thought, “Swami, even my son is Your child. He also wants a mango. Can You not give him one?” It was just a thought. 

We went back to Hyderabad and a few months later my mother came home to find a fully filled application form to Primary School missing only her signature. On enquiry, she came to know that a devotee couple had left it in the house. My father who was not interested and had never visited Puttaparthi had already filled all the details in the application. My mother signed it and posted. It was under such mysterious circumstances that I got a call letter and was ‘chosen’. Well, the story does not end here. When my mother had come to Puttaparthi on the first Sunday in the morning, Swami stopped near her, smiled at her and went back to His residence. She did not understand. Later when she came to school for parents’ meeting, I ran out to her holding a big, fat, ripe and juicy mango in my hand, saying that Swami had given it to me. And it is for this very reason I would like to thank Mr. Mango. 
At first, I used to think nothing miraculous ever happened to me until one day a senior brother told us to try to believe that everything is a miraculous act of God. 

Recently, I was thinking and talking to one of my classmates in Mandir about these experiences. I suddenly felt that I had been experiencing these miraculous acts of grace even after Maha Samadhi of Bhagavan. I would like to share some of these with you. 

On the day when the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield had celebrated the 12th anniversary of their Hospital, I had ‘AIDS’, i.e. Acquired Intense Devotion Suddenly! It was just a mere thought that how nice it would be if my batch as a whole could serve Swami in His hospital as doctors specialized in various fields? But now after we all complete our final board examinations we would not know where each of us would be going and the only chance to meet would be on Swami’s birthday, when we all would come to Puttaparthi and do a bit of service. To this thought, Swami gave an unexpected reply through a song that was being sung as a part of the hospital anniversary celebrations, “Aaj Se Har Din, Har Pal, Har Kshan, Sai Ka Janam Din Hai!” (From today every day and every moment is Swami’s Birthday). At that moment I felt completely overwhelmed, as if Bhagavan was sitting on the dais and looking at me, answering each of my questions.

Let me, at this point, dwell upon a subject. Many people say that Swami has now taken a back seat and we are in the driver’s seat now. So it is we who have to take His mission forward. Well if you ask me, I totally disagree. To put in simple terms, it is like this: before we were travelling in a car and Swami was the driver. Now we are in a train and Bhagavan is the driver. More people are boarding the train. Just because we cannot see the driver, does it mean that there is no driver? In the car if you have a problem you tell the driver directly. It is slightly different here. There is a red chain which, when you pull, stops the train and the driver comes to check. He does not see whether that person is from A/C coach or from sleeper or from general compartment. It is the same with God. The prayer is like the chain. It does not matter who you are. As long as your prayer is sincere, He listens and responds. He answers each and every prayer. 

It was the night before the immersion during the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. It was raining heavily, and added to it, the chariot-making-spot for the eleventh standard students was far away from the Hostel. The entire road was flooded and a lot of work had to be completed. The electricity supply also did not co-operate with us. Everyone was already tensed since so much work was pending. They were thinking how they would be able to paint the chariot in such adverse conditions. And all became furious with Lord Indra – the God of rain. Back in the Hostel we were discussing the next day’s work. When one of our classmates told us that we should not blame the rain as it might be a blessing in disguise. The time was almost 1.30 am. Since I had to go for painting along with two of my classmates I decided to stay awake till three o’clock in the morning. All the time I was thinking how the downpour could be a blessing in disguise! 
Students from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prasanthi Nilayam leave with their Ganesha Chariot for the Immersion
The next morning it did not rain and everything was just fine except for the fact that I was getting a little late for Darshan. I noticed a teacher arranging snacks for our Primary School brothers. No one was there. As he was doing all the work on his own I decided to help him. While we were arranging things the elderly person in-charge of the kitchen came there and started talking to this teacher in Telugu. And what I heard was really astonishing: “How compassionate is our Lord! Every year boys have to immerse the Ganesh idols in some far away tanks. But this year Swami sent so much rain that we can immerse them in Chitravati river itself!” I was spell bound by the way God blesses in disguise. This shows that He is not only present but is also watching us and answering all our prayers. Well then, if He is continuously watching us, does our behaviour measure up to His expectations? Swami once told some student, “Just because you are a student of the Institution, does not necessarily mean that you are a Sai student. A Sai Student is one who follows the ideals of Sai, and not merely the one studying in Sai Institutions”.

Once during the summer visit to Kodaikanal, Swami was very upset with the students and was not speaking to anyone. The only words that He uttered were, “I want to leave this body”. That was enough to make everyone cry. Then a senior teacher approached Bhagavan and said, “Swami what mistake have we committed? Please tell us. We are ready to give up our lives for You”. Swami did not reply then. But that evening during Darshan Bhagavan asked for the microphone to be brought and started speaking. He said, “Why do you want to give up your lives? I do not want you to give up your lives. I do not want you to die. What I want you all to live the way I want you to live. From the time I get up in the morning till the time I go to bed I think constantly about you. When you are with Me, you are all very well-mannered and disciplined. But the moment you leave My physical presence, you all get into bad ways! It is like the pot of water which is immersed in water. It is full as long as it is fully immersed. But the moment it is taken out, the water starts evaporating. I don’t have any desires. Nenu Nishkamadanu (I am the one devoid of desires). My only worry is about you all. I want you all to be ideal Sai students. Since morning I have not been talking to you all and some boys asked Me the reason for that and said that they were even ready to give up their lives for Me. Whose life is it that you want to give up? Do not die for Me! Live for Me”. 

Are we living the way Bhagavan wants us to live? This is a question which each one of us has to answer for ourselves. Are we following the discipline that Swami wants us to follow? From now on, let us make it a point to follow at least the small things taught by Him, because we know that it is small drops of water that make the mighty ocean. Let us strive to put in our efforts not just becoming students of the Sai Institutions, but ‘the Students of Sai’!

D. Sai Vamshi Krishna
Student, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School
Prasanthi Nilayam

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