As is the case with every single one of the Sai students, my joining in this hallowed Institution is also purely because of His Grace. My parents were devotees of Swami before I was born. So I grew up seeing Bhagavan’s photo in our Puja altar.
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at Kodaikanal|
After I finished my schooling, I wanted to do engineering. But my parents wanted me to join Swami’s institution. So I applied for B.Sc. (Hons.) course and wrote the entrance examination. I was selected by Swami’s grace and I was placed in the Brindavan campus. Now, this was the first time I was leaving my parents and going very far. I was feeling very bad and came to Brindavan on 31st of May, 2008 to join the Hostel. And there was Swami in Brindavan, welcoming all the new students. That very evening Swami in His discourse announced that He was hosting a feast for all the students the next day. On the next day, a grand feast was arranged for all the students in the Kalyana Mandap which is next to Swami’s Trayee Brindavan. We were seated at the tables that were arranged for us and Swami came, enquiring whether everything was comfortable, whether the food was good. Then Swami also joined us in the feast. Lunch with God! What more can you ask for? And of course, Swami gave us more. He called all the students to Trayee for an interview. I asked a few of my seniors as to how this interview would be. They told me it was called ‘Trayee Session’ and you would see a totally different Swami. I did not understand it. But anyway we all went inside Trayee.
|Sathya Sai with Students and Staff during a Trayee Sessions|
I was part of the drama for the Sports Meet that year and the previous night before our performance in front of Swami we were doing our final rehearsal. After the practice, our teachers told us that once the drama is over generally Swami comes down and stands in between the actors for a group photo. He may call us to the stage for individual photos. Naturally all of us were praying that Swami should call us for individual group photos so that we can go physically close to Him. And the ever gracious Swami indeed called us for group photos. I was blessed to hold Swami’s hand and have a picture. Later in my third year, I was given the chance to give a rose to Swami.
|Saiganesh with Sri Sathya Sai|
Generally, the boy who is supposed to give the rose for the day is made to sit near Vedam block pillar. But to my luck, that day there was a violin programme and so the Bhajan group was sitting in the Vedam block. So I along with one more student who was supposed to give Aarti was made to sit on stage behind Swami. When Aarti was over I was told to go and give the rose to Swami. I went near Swami and gave the rose to Him. He took it from my hand kept it in my pocket and gave me permission to take Padanamaskar. After that I came back and sat along with the other student, behind Swami, just in front of the Ganesha idol which used to be there on the stage. Swami turned and was leaving. He stopped in front of the student next to me and took some Vibhuti packets and gave it to him through the brother who was pushing Swami’s chair. He started moving on. I felt very bad and screamed inside my head “Swami, don’t leave me. Please bless me also with the Prasadam”. I could not believe my eyes. Swami stopped after a few feet and gave a few Vibhuti packets to the brother who was pushing Swami’s chair and told him something. The brother came straight to me and gave me the packets saying Swami has sent this for you. That time I realised, no matter what, if you hold on to Swami He will even grant your smallest desire. Even though Swami is physically not with us right now, we all can still feel His presence, guiding us, guarding us, loving us…
- Saiganesh Balasubramanian
Student (2008-2013), Department of Chemistry
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Currently, Student, European Management School, Germany
Source: Sai Nandana 2015 (90th Birthday Offering)