|Sri Sathya Sai at Brindavan in the olden days|
It is near to seventeen years since I woke up to the presence of the Lord on this earth and more than thirteen years since I entered the sacred precincts of Brindavan. As I pause in the course of my life and glance at the past, I compare my life which has been these many years with what it would have been. As I look at myself. I notice the changes effected in me — my personality, thinking, habits, ambitions... And, taking stock, I consider myself thrice blessed to have been student in Bhagavan’s College, to be a resident of Brindavan and to have become a follower of Bhagavan.
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan with the Brindavan Hostel in the background|
Living in the Hostel in Brindavan is a unique experience. One must lead here a disciplined and holy life punctuated with religious and moral learning. The Hostel is isolated from the disturbances and pressures of the world. Here one meets a wide variety of people, young and elderly from various sections of life, possessing a high degree of maturity and understanding of the world, and filled with love for God. The serene, holy and austere atmosphere breeds a healthy mind possessed with calmness and clarity of thought this brings about a gradual but permanent change in one’s personality and a new attitude towards life.
Crowning all these is the opportunity of being in the proximity of Bhagavan, when He is in Brindavan. The morning and evening sessions in the Mandir are the most cherished periods of time during one’s stay in the hostel. It is during these periods that Bhagavan bends down to our human level and through humor, playfulness, concern and even through silence fills one with joy, peace and spiritual elevation.
Any evening session in Brindavan finds one and all eager to be nearest to the Divine Chair, jostling for space. When Bhagavan has seated Himself, everyone sits in rapt attention drinking in His benign smile, the loveliness of His form and nectarine sweetness of His child-like sport. And this way the face is relieved of tension and fear and the heart is cleared of worry and sorrow and is filled with happiness and delight through light talk, conversations and discourses, He impresses upon the students the need to become disciplined and morally upright He not merely preaches but also practices. He does not impress or overawe the students by a display of His formidable powers or by philosophic complexities.
|Sri Sathya Sai on the Trayee Brindavan Jhula|
He leads a life of openness and continuous activity. Depending the least on others, He performs His personal tasks with cheerfulness and efficiency. His life is one of continuous sacrifice and great austerity. A master in time management and planning, He achieves varied momentous tasks, within the framework of a tight and unvaried momentous tasks, within the framework of a tight and unvaried routine. He is a perfectionist in tasks spiritual or most mundane. Come the Veda Purusha Yajna during Dasera, He expects a strict adherence to prescribed Vedic injections and a perfect recital of the Mantras. Come the Annual Convocation of the Institute, He issues instructions, to the minutest detail for taking care of the guests, for stage arrangements etc. It is in the light of these qualities — perfection in action, purity, dedication to a task, disciplined living, self-sacrificing, modesty, total goodness, to name but a few — observed in Bhagavan that a student sees in Him a perfect human being, a Master, an Inspirer. Through no prompting, a student resolves to acquire at least a fraction of these qualities for himself.
|Sri Sathya Sai with Students at the entrance of the Brindavan Campus Hostel|
There is none to equal Bhagavan in the handling of adolescent students. It is a most wondrous sight to see students filled with restless energy and great dynamism being held spellbound and captive by His mere Presence, alert at His slightest gesture and eager to fulfil His smallest wish. The power that Bhagavan wields over the students is that of love and understanding. He exhibits infinite tolerance for their shortcomings and exercises great patience in the face of their waywardness and vacillation. Though He deals firmly with any deliberate mischief, His actions are seen permeated with love. Love I that is the magic wand Bhagavan uses to control the students and bind them to Himself. It is this bond of Love that prepares a student to accept Bhagavan’s teachings arid His mode of education.
Through His teachings that are simple but effectively worded, often couched in attractive terms and beautiful phrases, He sows the seed of transformation in every student. He allows enough time for the seed to sprout. Flower and fruition. No student, who has passed ‘through the portals of His college, can remain unmoved, unshaken.
The most important change that has been wrought in me by Bhagavan. As I see it, is the development of a strong faith in God; more, a love for God and matters spiritual. Faith in God is acquired in many ways. I, among the many fortunate ones, could develop this love for God by living near Him, observe His actions with one’s physical eyes, experience Him and witness manifestations of His power and glory.
Bhagavan’s words and teachings touch one’s heart. They stir up in one’s heart a longing for something not found in this world. When one sees Him and comes close to Him, one realizes that there is no need to search anywhere to fulfill this longing. When I see Him, I remember, the words of Lord Jesus: I am the way, the truth and the life.
|R. Subramanian on the extreme right, with Sri Sathya Sai at the inauguration of the Computer Center|
He has taught that I must feel His presence in myself. A life lived for the service of the Lord becomes devotion in itself. Work, when performed the right way with the right spirit has a liberating effect He has taught and God is for those, who are not for themselves demonstrated how one can perform all the allotted duties cheerfully and remain detached from the results. When God is the focus of one’s life, the vision is clear and penetrating. Through His words, He has given a proper understanding of religion and spirituality and the need for God in one’s life.
- R. Subramanian
Student (1977-1980), Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield
Currently, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Source: Sai Nandana 1990 (65th Birthday Offering)