It was a cool day with a mild sunshine. The young lad of about sixteen was sitting alone in front of the cottage in Lidderwart near the Kolahoi Glacier in the Valley of Kashmir. He was doing just nothing. His wandering eyes stopped near the peak of jagged rocky face just behind the cottage, which was the mountain. On the way he crossed the fast but shallow river. On reaching the base of the mountain he checked his climbing gear and started the climb. The climb was uneventful and after a few hours he was near the peak when his attention was caught by a small cave. He slowly neared the cave. He found the cave to be one of the most beautiful and serene one he had ever come across.
The entire floor of the cave was covered with a thick layer of green moss-a natural carpet. In one corner was a small spring with a continuous supply of crystal clear water which was flowing in a small groove on the side of the cave. In other words, the cave had everything necessary for survival. But there was no sign of any being. The boy felt a strange aroma permeating the cave.
After the strenuous climb he was too tired to think anything, so he sat down cross-legged. And then it all started. The moment he closed his eyes, there was total darkness and then an image started focusing like the zooming-in of a camera lens. He saw a large lake with blue water merging in the distant azure sky. On either side there was bush green vegetation and strangely the lake had golden yellow sand around it. The scene was coming closer and closer. There was a large crowd on the sands. Mostly they were all youngsters and then there were plenty of cows and calves charging around. It appeared that the center of attraction of the entire gathering was a young lad of curious complexion. He was very young and attractive. Many games were going on but all were around the young boy. Now he was here, now there and everywhere.
The only drawback about this picture was that there was no sound. The young lad made all the cowherds tired and finally signaled them to sit in a large circle. Everybody opened his lunch and the boy went round inspecting each and every item. He then spread a sheet on every item of food which was placed there and with his small hands he started mixing everything.
This tasty mixture was doled out to everybody by the small one. After the meal, most of the cowherds were looking expectantly at the young boy who was busy in his own childish pranks. Suddenly he became serious and started collecting the sand around him into the form of a mound. He flattened the top of the mound and made it smooth. Slowly he put his right hand inside the mound and with his left gesticulated at the youngsters as if asking them to guess what was in the mound, but none could. Finally, with a mischievous smile on his bluish face, the boy took out his hand with a large shining object.
The young blue boy raised the shiny object, which turned out to be a statue and showed it to everybody around, but they were not surprised. The boy in the cave who was seeing this drama with his closed eyes, was awestruck because the golden statue was that of his Lord Sai. The young blue boy sat down with the statue in his lap. He pointed a finger at himself, then at the statue and told something to those gathered around him, but all this was inaudible to the boy in the cave. What he could guess was that the blue boy, now who he was sure and none other than Krishna, was trying to tell the cowherds around him that he will incarnate later and the form of that future incarnation was the golden statue. At this juncture, the entire silent picture started fading and shortly the boy in the cave found himself alone, but strangely relaxed.
This incident left an indelible impression on the mind of the young boy who since his childhood was fascinated by the tales of Sri Krishna. Years rolled by, and by the grace of Lord Sai he joined Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning at Prasanthi Nilayam. He completed his graduation and while doing his post-graduate course once he had the opportunity by the Divine grace to be close to Lord Sai. He had a sudden urge and he asked something which he had never even dreamt of asking. He asked Lord for a Mantra, strange, which would always help him. He repeated his prayer. And then with a beaming smile, the Lord said, chant ‘Sai Krishna’. The boy was struck as if by a bolt. Was this not the name he had given to his Lord? The Lord only confirmed it and also the experience he had in that lonely cave. And now the same boy, who has completed his education, has the unique privilege to offer this flower at the Lotus Feet of his Lord on His 65th year of Advent.
- Dr. Prabal Mall
Student and Research Scholar (1979-1987),
Department of Biosciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Learning Mentor, Chennai
Source: Sai Vandana 1990 (65th Birthday Offering)