His Path and His Hand - By Jitendra Panjabi

It is almost two years since I have come into His fold. Today, as I sit cross-legged in the Mandir, faint music fills the air... crowds are gathering, eagerly awaiting the Divine Darshan, and I realise that this would be one more evening that would soon (Alas, very soon) become a treasured memory in my heart. My mind races back to the past, and I wonder how my life style, my ideas. my ambitions have undergone a complete change. Two years ago, He had called me and I had responded little realising that it would be the turning point in my life. I had completed my Computer Engineering in Bombay and was set to pursue higher (higher?!) in the U.S.A., when Bhagavan commanded me in an interview, that I should join His Institute for the M.B.A. course. Though I had planned to go for higher studies, and lo and behold, I landed up in Bhagavan's Institute of 'higher' learning I can still recall, how at that time I had hesitated initially; lost in the delusion of 'living', I found the Divine call was holding promises that were totally alien to me! Nevertheless, I could not resist His sweet call, and I made the decision to join His Institute, and today, I realise how lucky I am. 

There is a sudden hush among the students around me and I look up to see the Divine Lord gently stepping out of His room, to give Darshan to the thousands assembled at His Lotus feet. As I see Him gently floating along in divine ecstasy, to grant joy to devotees, I realise the worth of my decision; The words of Robert Frost come to my mind... 

"Once upon a time in the woods
Two roads parted, and I
Took the one less tread upon
And that has made all the difference"

Bhagavan finishes His Darshan and steps in between the boys, on His way back to the interview chamber. A loving word here, a pat on the back there, a Namaskar to somebody... If love can walk on two feet, It is here! And as He goes back into His chamber, I find that He has -left behind Him, a trail of love with footprints of sublime peace Embedded in every heart; I whisper a small line to myself: 
"Lord, your love has touched our lives so gently,
so warmly, so unforgettably that our lives shall
never he the same again….”

I remember how it was during the first few weeks of my life in the hostel. When I joined, I found that the simple lifestyle that one was expected to follow had been non-existent to me earlier. However, like everyone (without any exception!) I too had to go through the purification process — the purging of the dross…

New to the environment, I contracted insect bites on both my feet. They slowly began to spread all over my feet, and eventually got infected. Puss and blood kept oozing out of the wounds, making it very painful. Medication did not work (when it is a prelude to a divine experience, it just doesn't work) and I found that I could not even walk.

Unaccustomed to the training grounds that Bhagavan sets up for His chosen ones, I lay frustrated on the bed. Here was I, coming to the place with high hopes, with dreams of constant attention from Bhagavan and daily interviews, and instead finding myself lying sick, totally neglected and depressed. On the verge of giving up, I started feeling and saying to myself "If I were back home, my mother would have arranged at least one doctor to take care of me….at least one!" Little did I comprehend (I still fail to) the love of the Divine Mother... for at that very time, Bhagavan was making arrangements to send not one but two doctors to see me. Later on I was informed that Bhagavan was very much worried about my health, and so had arranged to send these two doctors in His own car... 

“No one can forever be banned
Eternally bereft
He who falls from God's right hand
Is caught unto His left….”

I suddenly wake up from my reverie, and bring myself together, once again, to start writing the article for the Homage volume... I stare at the white page (still blank) in front of me wondering what to write and how to begin, when a black insect suddenly lands spot in the middle. A black insect! That reminds me of something. 

One night as I lay on my bed, thinking of Bhagavan, an insect (I suspect the same black one) landed on my face and stung me right in the eye! I did not pay much attention to it, but slowly as the hours ticked by the eye became very painful and began swelling! Next morning, following a sleepless night, I found to my horror that the eye was almost the size of a golf ball. I could barely open it or see anything! More horrors awaited me in the hospital, when the eye doctor upon examining me, said that she was afraid it could be a permanent damage. Nevertheless, the best possible medicine was administered, but it only ended up in increasing the pain in its intensity. 

Patience, tolerance and my then latest newfound virtue of unquestioning faith in Bhagavan found themselves slowly dwindling as I sat that evening for Darshan. Mentally, I made plans to pray to Bhagavan about the problem, the pain I was undergoing etc. But what turned out was completely different... Bhagavan came out to give Darshan; He came up to me and lovingly smiled...  I found myself dumbfounded! No words came to my mind, no prayers for Vibhuti or cure prompted my heart, no feelings of pain forced me to speak. All I remember to this day, was that He looked at me... into my eyes. And that was it! It was only in the hostel, when I looked into the mirror later that evening, I believed what my friends said — the eye became perfectly normal with no trace of swelling or pain. 
Reach out your faith — Touch Him
He will not ask, who touched me?
He will know...

We the children of the Divine Mother, have the greatest good fortune of being trained in the Divine presence, and given the privileged opportunity to become instruments in His Divine Mission. Here we are at the Feet of the Lord, in the radiating effulgence of His euphoric presence, only to be considered by Him — 'as my property'. Today, there is nothing to lose in this world except Him, we walk by His side and He is leading us by the Hand through the path that is His, and to the goal that is Him!

- Jitendra Panjabi
Student (1989-1991), Faculty of Business Management
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Macro Strategist, Capital Group, Mumbai

Source: Sai Vandana 1990

1 comment:

  1. Sairam, enjoyed reading your beautiful experience articulated so well!


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