I AM THERE FOR YOU!
Sri. Vinay Kumar
Om Sri Sai Ram. With utmost humility and love, I offer myself at the Lotus Feet of our most Beloved Swami. And I am extremely grateful to Him for having given me this opportunity to share His glory with all of you. My loving sairams to all of you here. The rather thin crowd probably is due to, not a so friendly budget and then the pounding that the Indian bowlers are getting at the hands of the friendly neighbourhood batsmen. Nevertheless, a Sai Satsang is a great experience. It’s a great moment ,it’s a great Blessing. We are coming to the close of the Srikaara naama Samvatsara and very soon will be getting into the Nandana Naama Samvatsara. The last one year has been quite painful for most of us. These were trying and turbulent times. This was the time when the One who is much dear to each one of us than ourselves, chose to leave the mortal coil. In the midst of all this that happened in the last one year, there was I think one Silver Lining and that Silver Lining is this event called Samarpan, which was taken up as an initiative by the students. Samarpan as it means is an offering, an offering of our moments, spent with the Lord. I feel extremely humbled and privileged to be standing here in front of all of you, especially when Bro.Vijay Sai, who is not here I think today, he called me last week and said, Will you talk on the 18’th and the first thought which struck me was ‘why me’ ? Looking at the speaker list that spoke from this hallowed land over the last ten months, I, am but a small fry. Nevertheless this is truly a blessing of the Lord.
I remember the last time, I spoke in this hall was on the 27’th of May 2006 and that was right here. When Swami was seated on His Throne, and I clearly remember, just before I started the talk I went to Swami and said, Can I intersperse inbetween in Kannada also? Is that Ok? Is that fine? I said Swami, ‘Yenaadre Tappaadre Kshamasbidi. Maataaduvaagha yenaadre tappaadre Kshamsbidi’ Please forgive me if there is a mistake that I make during my talk and Swami instantly said, “Yenu tappaghodilla. Naanu Maathaaduthini”. And then the talk started and it went on and at the end of it, when I again went back to thank Swami , He said ‘Yenu Saar yaaru maathaadithru naana neena. And during the talk I had to mention a particular incident where, I said after my parents left me in this large, beautiful, wonderful yet harsh world, Swami stepped in, and took control of my life, and I was narrating a number of incidents. And when Swami was retiring back behind when He was getting into the chair into the car, the chair was getting into the car, He had tears in His eyes and He said ‘why do you say there is no one for you, when I am there for you. I have told this to you so many times that I am there for you. Why do you always feel there is no one for you? Yen thanthe thaayi illaandre yen aayiththu, naan illva? This, these words which came from Him on that day on the evening of that 27’th of May 2006, was not the first time it happened. This is something which He has been reminding me time and again, time and again, time and again. And I am probably just a figurative in this whole conversation. I think this assurance, is something which goes out to the whole world, that I am there for all of you.
Taking a cue from this sentence ‘I am there for you’ which is the topic that has been given to me today, I would like to take you all back in this beautiful Divine Saga, this Divine romance that has been shared with the Lord of our times, we need to go back in time to I think 1980-81 when I was in the 6’th or 7th standard and that was my first real, physical, encounter in this life with Swami. I used to enjoy playing cricket, anything to skip a class and go away to play cricket. And my mother was trying her best to ensure that I study. She was ardently devoted to Bhagavan. There was a very unique blessing that she had. Wherever she would be, I know this for the fact Swami would come and talk to her, something He would do with her every single Darshan. She could be in the 10’th row, she could be in the 20’th row, she could be standing far away, He will somehow spot her and go to her. And she was crazily devoted to Him. She was the only person from the family who used to go again and again to have His Darshan, sometimes even tell a lie at home, I am going out, and the fact was she would have gone and quickly had a Darshan of Bhagavan and come back. And one fine morning she tells me, today I will take you to see God. And she also promised and said, you then no need to attend school in the afternoon. You can come away after lunch. The, to be honest to all of you, the assurance of being able to see God was not as attractive as the chance to skip school for that half a day. So promptly I returned back from school and that afternoon, we went to this devotee’s house who was I think a member of the Central Trust that time, Mr. K. R. Prasad. My parents had been invited to his home. Bhagavan was visiting their house that day .It was in Palace Orchards if I remember. And we reached a little late, so we were not able to get in and just as we reached Bhagavan had finished His Darshan and His, the bhajans in the home in the house, and I think He was ready to accept Aarthi. So we were asked to stand right at the entrance door. The moment Aarthi got over Swami came out, and I got to know that we had come to see Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba because there is a small background to this. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, had warned me that if your mother ever takes you to see Sai Baba, don’t go and look into His eyes, He will mesmerize you and He will hyptonise you. Don’t ever look into His eyes. And she had literally scared me on this. Imagine, later on times came, where to get a glimpse of that beautiful drishti we would go any distance. And so when I reached there I realized that it was Swami that we had come to see, the immediate thought that went to mind was I should not look into His eyes. In fact I should do everything possible to ensure that I don’t have a direct encounter with Him. So I went and hid behind my mother. And Swami, the moment He spotted my mother He came straight to her “Yenu Saamachaara Ma, started off. And she immediately pulled me to the front and she started off ‘Ivaru Oddarthe illa, he doesn’t study at all. He’s always playing cricket, this that went on and on and on. And Swami in a whiff He materialized a lot of vibhuthi, He put it in my head and He rubbed it and He said you don’t worry about him ,I will take care of him. This was an assurance He gave my mother. He has lived upto His word. I can vouch for it. I probably did’nt realize the huge, the massive significance of what He had done. It was an encounter with divinity. It was a moment were the Lord shows to touch His creation. It was a moment which was defining in my life, but I did’nt realize it then. I actually shrugged off. Even as He was rubbing the vibhuthi, I remember I shrugged off. I came back home,I had a fight with my mother, I said ‘Why did you have to take me there? Grandmother kept saying don’t go to see Sai Baba. You never told me the truth’. And it went on and on and on. The next few years, in my life went on the lap of all the love and care an earthly mother could give her child. Time went by, time was well spent.
I remember, I completing my 10’th standard and then Graduation, finished my college and then tragedy struck when suddenly out the blue, my mother passed away. I just finished my Graduation and she passed away. And after she passed away, there was a lot of sadness within. At the same time there was a lot of anger. The anger was actually directed at our loving Lord. I always felt when she was so devoted to You, when she was so attached to You, why did You have to take her away so soon? And this feeling kept increasing within me. When one day my sister, she said, let us go to see Sai Baba, He has come to Whitefield, let’s have His Darshan. She would frequent the Shirdi Sai Baba temple which is in Cambridge Layout on the eastern side of Bangalore. There were, there was a devotee lady there who I think is the sister of our warden. The lady wanted to come to have Darshan of Bhagavan here, and my sister had promised her that ‘we will take you’ and she told me ‘you can come’ and the incentive she gave me was ‘you can drive the car’. Because I just got a driving license, so that incentive really worked. I said Ok I get a chance to drive the car, so let me use this opportunity and go. So I brought them all to Brindavan and the Sai Ram shed was there. This hall was not there. We had parked the car outside and these three ladies got down from the car and walked in for Darshan. I chose to be seated in the car because I said I will not go in to have His Darshan. He took away my mother from me I will not go, so I continued to sit in the car and then suddenly I looked back and found there was a purse or some bag which was left behind. I thought one of the ladies must have left it and probably they need it inside. So I took that bag and came into the Ashram to hand it over to the lady. And the moment I came in, a sevadal ushered me and said come on, come on, come on, sairam, sairam, you cannot go and sit on the ladies side, you cannot go that side, you sit down and took me and made me sit. And that happened to be at the far end where the sand was at that time, the shed was on that corner, and Swami would come walking from here, so it was all open area, and towards the end of were the last lines ended he made me sit there under the Sun. And we were waiting for Bhagavan to come out. And from within there was anger, there were mixed feelings, and said ‘Why did you have to take my mother away’? Why? Anyway now You are coming out I will have it out with you.
And Swami so beautifully and gracefully glided Himself towards the Sai Ram shed. And as He came very close to me, I suddenly got up, went on my knees, and I said ‘my mother died’, and Swami instantly said “but I am there for you”. And the, the timing of His saying that was as if He expected that statement from me. The moment I said my mother died, He said “but I am there for you”. It happened as if it was all preplanned. And He goes across and there was a lady sitting with some rose petals, flowers to be offered, takes a handful of that, He comes and puts it on me. And then He walks away as if nothing happened. He went sat for His bhajan and he returned back. This brothers and sisters was the big change. I don’t know what has happened to me after that particular conversation, after that particular incident with Bhagavan. Life changed instantly from that very moment. I fell, so to speak, crazily in love with Him. I became mad about Him. I got obsessed. For me the whole life, the world, was just Swami, Swami and Swami alone. There was nothing else at all. Everything changed after that one single incident,it was only Him. After that Darshan a few incidents happened through which He established Himself in my life. I remember soon after this I got introduced to a samithi which is in Indiranagar. This is called Sai Darshan and I was told that Swami would visit this place every year whenever He came to Brindavan. And that year Swami was supposed to visit us in the month of June. I was given the job of taking care of the garden and ensuring the flower pots are kept right outside Bhagavan’s room on the first floor. Swami came and then He went upstairs, He was inside His room and at that time one of the ladies said, the flower pot needs to be kept outside why have you not done it. Since they said Swami is inside the room, you can now go and keep it outside. So I carried the pot, went up and just when I was about to keep it right there, the door opens, and guess who comes out, the Lord Himself. He comes out, He looks at me and says,“Yeh what is your name”? So I went and told Him my name and then immediately He took His hand and three times He did [Sir shows how Swami moved His palms on his back] on the back. Three times. And this was another incident which created a big change. It was like three clear assurances “I am there, I am there, I am there”. It ended with that. I went down. Swami finished His visit in the Mandir, He carried on. The next few days I kept coming for darshan here, beautiful days. This hall incidently has given humanity a chance to feast on that form. It gave us all an opportunity to touch that form, it gave us an opportunity to talk to that form, His Drishti, His Darshan, Sparshan and Sambashan happened in this very place. Those were beautiful days. I spent my time coming here, enjoying His Darshan and going back. And one fine day, He chose to again surprise me with a beautiful presence. A beautiful incident when He again took the level of His involvement in my life to the next level, next stage. I used to go to a friend of mine near C V Raman Nagar, to learn Mathematics. Being a commerce and accounting guy I was not really exposed to Maths and we needed to be sharp in Arithmetical skills even for Chartered Accountancy. So I would go to a certain devotee who is a close friend, to learn Maths.
And one fine evening when I was driving to his home it was I think about 8 ‘o’ clock, BEML is the renowned factory, right behind the BEML gate, there is a small cement road here in Eastern Bangalore. And there is a bench, and little further away from there is the railway crossing. 8’o’ clock in the evening I am driving on my bike and I am going on that road towards this friend’s house. Just before the Railway crossing I think about 200 metres before the crossing, I suddenly hear a clear voice Shh, Shh as if to say ‘listen’, and I turn around and to my utter surprise I see Bhagavan, in His full pristine form sitting on a bench, happily sitting on that bench and He is swinging His legs because His feet were not touching the ground. Had the full Darshan of Swami on the chair and I rubbed my eyes and said ‘is this real’? and I threw the bike and went near and I actually clasped the feet. And it was real. It was real Swami sitting on that bench. And then Swami immediately gets into a conversation as if nothing happened. He says ‘look at the moon’, I said ‘Yes Swami’, I was shivering, I don’t know there’s was absolutely no control over myself. He says ‘look at the moon. Now there is the Moon, tomorrow morning there will be the Sun, the Sun will come the Moon will come, the Sun will come the Moon will come. Life is also like this. Good times, bad times, good times, bad times, it will go on changing, “but I am with you”. And He was swinging His feet and His Hands were on His lap as if nothing happened, calmly seated. And I was perspiring . Looking back I wonder why that kind of an emotion came. It was the most fascinating experience, to see the Lord Himself out of the blue, seated on an obscure bench, off a cement road behind BEML factory in the Eastern side of Bangalore, on one insignificant night. He chose to come, sit there, to give Darshan and to give an assurance that I am there. And after that Swami gets up and He walks towards the railway crossing and I watch Him walk, walk, walk, walk, walk and as He comes till the railway crossing, just disappears. And I rub my eyes. This sounded like something in Amar Chitra Katha or one of those movies, I rub my eyes and said My God! Was this real? What was this that happened? And I took the bike, I must have driven like a madman back to my house. I threw the bike outside, I go up to my room and on all the pictures of Swami there was vibhuthi, every single picture was full of vibhuthi. And the next day itself, and that night I developed high fever, and I was not in control of myself at all. The next day Swami sends Mr.K.R.Prasad home and he comes to tell my father, ‘Swami said He gave a vision to your son, but ask him not to get worried’. Where is he now and I was outside. My father called me in and I was shivering and Mr.Prasad says Swami has told us about the vision He gave you, but you need not worry. Just remain calm. I was speechless and I did’nt even know what to say. After two days I come for Darshan, ‘Yeh Giththu’, I didn’t know what to answer. I was dumb, I didn’t even know those days how to respond, what to say, I just kept quiet, I clasped His feet and kept crying. This incident He did I think to just prove a point that this was divinity that you are encountering. This is God Himself, and I will go to any extent to tell you that I am there with you. This incident gave me a feeling of intense joy from within, it gave me a feeling of belongingness, it made me realize that the earthly mother is not there anymore but I don’t need to worry because I’m having for me completely.
Soon after that in January ’92 Swami, again we were sitting here, He comes in His Darshan and He says “Bombay”. So I said, I did’nt understand what did Bombay mean. I just kept seated. He was going around, came back, “tomorrow morning Bombay”, So I did’nt realise what this was all about and I kept quiet. After Darshan was over I went into Trayee to the other side, I remember Mr.Joga Rao and Mr. Srinivas others were sitting there. I said Sir, Swami said Bombay, what does this mean? So they said Swami is leaving for Mumbai tomorrow morning, That is all that we can tell you now, We can’t tell you anything beyond this. And I felt Swami must probably have meant you also came to Bombay. Just look at the kind of audacity in the expectation. A small fry, how could I have even imagined that the Lord will want me to travel with Him to Mumbai. So I said I don’t think this is the right thought but I said let me still go to the airport. I’ll pack my bags, I’ll get ready to travel with Swami to Mumbai. And fortunately at that time I was in the closing stages of my chartered accountancy course and I use to file Income Tax returns for all the Indian Airlines employees. So these chaps were very good pals with me, so at a short notice I could get a seat. I could also manage to tell them that I want something which is ,a seat which is located very close to were Swami was seated. Swami was in 7A, seat number 7A. 7B was Mr.Radhakrishna, 7C was Mr.Joga Rao. I somehow muscled myself and got 7D. And the next morning, I land up at the airport, and because I am pals with all these people I get to go near the aircraft, and am standing there right at the foot of the flight of stairs. And Swami comes, the car door opens, He looks at me and says “Oh you have come”, as if He did’nt know at all. He had created all this and then He makes you feel as if this was all incidental.” Oh you have come” and then He came straight, and I said Swami ‘I’m also coming with You to Bombay’,”Come, come, come” He held the hand and the entire flight of steps He took me with Him up, right upto the top, and then He goes in, where is your seat? So I said Swami that seat 7D. “Haan Koothko” and sat down. And then the flight started, it was a phenomenal journey, from Bangalore to Mumbai. I just could’nt believe myself that I was actually travelling with the Lord, in the same aircraft, and sitting on the same row as He was and every time I would turn and look what is He doing, now what is He doing, now what is He doing. And inbetween He was opening the Hindu newspaper and showing everybody, the big advertisements put up there about the welcome Mumbai was giving to Swami. He passed on the paper to everybody, and then He had some fruit which He had got, He was cutting it and passing it on. Then the crew of the flight came, He posed for photographs with them and then a lot of people started getting up wanting to get pictures autographed by Swami and Swami told me “Yeh get up crowd control maadu”. So I was standing between Him and the rest and I must confess here that there was a lot of ego which came in, suddenly. Because ego, like Swami said, I never gave ego to you, you people got it on the way. So, on the journey from home to the airport and the flight of stairs up with him, I brought the sufficient quantity of ego with me. I was standing there and each person would come and try to get the picture, and I would take it ,give it get it signed, give it back all that you know, the ego was pouring all out. And Swami kept looking and said “go koothko”.Because immediately He has to kill it. That is the mercy of this Lord, the moment you falter, the moment you start deviating He will correct you instantly. There was no delay in it at all. “Koothko”. I immediately went and sat down. Then as the flight was about to land in Mumbai, I went up to Swami, Swami had mercifully given me ten minutes time to talk about my mother’s last days and He said where she was now. It was a very touching conversation with Him. Towards the end I said Swami, I’m coming to Mumbai with you but I have no place to stay in Bombay, so I will also be coming and staying with you only isn’t it in Dharmakshetra. He said “Illa, Illa”. And He turned away. And I was taken aback I said ‘My God where will I go now’. Because I had some 180 rupees or something in my pocket and all the feeling in me was travelling with the Lord, obviously the Lord must have made all arrangements, to stay with Him and here He very coolly says ‘No,no’. Then I said so where will I stay Swami. He says “you go to Shirdi. You don’t stay in Mumbai you go immediately to Shirdi. Ella arrangementsu naan maadithini”. So I said how could You do arrangements, You never told me about Shirdi, this is the first time You are telling me. Then He said in the airport your uncle and aunt will come. I said but I have not told anybody that I’m coming. No, no they are coming. Go and sit down. So you are left, because these are all tests to elevate a soul spiritually. The moment the Lord gives you a glimpse of divinity and then takes His feet back, then takes one step backward, the craving gets intensified. When the craving gets intensified, the prayer gets intensified. That few moments before the flight landed, I must have prayed like mad. I must have prayed what is happening, how do I go, what are the next few moments, I have been told Mumbai is a mad city, big city, people have absolutely no emotions , I am sorry if there are anybody from Mumbai here. But I had all kinds of thoughts about Bombay and I said where do I go in that big world. So I just sat down and flight landed, the car comes, Swami gets into the car, and zips off. And I am watching, Oh He’s gone and now what. Then I walk into the airport and surprise of surprises, my uncle and aunt are standing there. I went to them and said how come you people are here, I never called you all. They said no a friend of ours is coming from Ahmedabad, we have come to receive him, and how come you are here. So they were there and I heaved a sigh of relief that there was someone known to me inside, in that big city, went there and then I told my aunt I have to go to Shirdi, and she immediately arranged a bus ticket for me the same night. I went to Shirdi, the moment I landed, it was I think 3 or 3.30 in the morning I reached there, a small boy comes and he takes complete control, I had no, I had not to do anything at all after I reached Shirdi. He comes, he says there is a room arranged for you, he takes me to one room, then he gets a Puja thaali organized, then he says you come with me, those days directly we could go to the Samadhi Mandir, he takes me there, he takes me to all the places, next day in the afternoon till I left Shirdi, he was my guardian, my everything, a small boy. And at the end of it I had a fantastic time in Shirdi, and had blissful Darshan, came back to Mumbai, and the heart was craving for Swami.
I wanted to see Him. I wanted to go to Dharmakshetra to know what is happening and there was no news at all. People said, huge crowds, there is barricade put everywhere. My aunt said ‘I will try my best to get you in but it’s very difficult’ and things went on like this for two days, no darshan of Swami, only hearing about Him from people, reading about it in the newspaper, I chose to remain contented in my aunt’s place. Third day, I decided, I got to know that Swami was returning back to Bangalore. I think it was the 24’th of Jan ’92 if I am not mistaken, when He was planning to come back or the 30’th something like that. 24’th is when we travelled and I think, 30’th He was returning something like that. When I got to know that He is returning back, my immediate thought was let me try and see if I can get a seat next to Him again on the way back. Atleast let me try to use something to get a seat again on the same row, somewhere close to Him. So Mumbai of course I did’nt know the people in the airlines. I went there, and they had booked seats in different computers. Nobody was willing to tell me which particular flight Bhagavan was taking back to Bangalore for security reasons. And the seats were also booked in different names. It was not Joga Rao it was Rao Joga, it was not Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba it was Baba Sri Sathya Sai. It was something else for someone else. So when I was giving them a name they said this name is not figuring in the system at all. So I got frustrated and suddenly one person says He is leaving tomorrow morning by so and so flight. And I told him I must have a seat on that flight. With Swami’s Grace I got a seat on the flight were return journey also. Next morning I reach the airport in Mumbai, and due to some reasons on the way, I got delayed. By the time I have reached the airport, the check in had already started. So I could’nt get an opportunity to get a seat of my choice, so I was standing in the queue. 7A was Swami again,7B,7C,7D,7E,7F,7G,all those seats were booked for Him for the whole troupe. So the man in front of me got 7E and I was pouring over his shoulder to see what is on his boarding card and I saw 7E. And the next was my turn. That man gave me 11. So I looked at it and I said, but I want something in that row 7, and this previous passenger was hearing. He had a horrific flight from Bangalore to Mumbai, because he was on the same row while going. He is a non devotee. Because of the crowd and the rush that was going to Swami, he did’nt want to be on the same row were Swami was. So he said ‘Is Sai Baba travelling again on this flight’? The person at the counter said ‘Yes’. Then I don’t want anything in row number 7, you give something in the back, so I again got 7E and I was seated and Swami came it was I think 6.45 in the morning, then we departed from Bangalo, from Mumbai. Swami entered the flight, Swami He called, and he said Why did you go to the mandir first, you should have gone to Dwarakamayi. I said My God. That means, He was actually keeping track and following every single movement in Shirdi. I told you that you should have gone to Dwarakamayi. I said Swami You never told. I told you. I said Swami You only asked me to go to Shirdi, this is my first visit to Shirdi. How will I know where to go. Then I realized, the boy who was there, kept telling me again and again, first lets go to Dwarakamayi, first let’s go to Dwarakamayi, and I was pushing him and telling him no first the mandir, because when you come to a holy place, you must first go the mandir, so I dragged this boy and took him the Samadhi mandir. And this chap was adamant, no Dwarakamayi, Dwarakamayi.Swami said how many times I told you did’nt listen. Then I realized that the lord had chosen one more occasion to travel a distance to actually be there and to show us the right path. He said all arrangements I’ve made. He lived upto His word. He was there to receive at the bus-stand, take me through everything, get the room booked, get the darshan organized, everything He did. We in our ignorance did’nt follow the directions of the Lord.
Unless we submit ourselves and surrender ourselves completely to the will of the Lord, it becomes very difficult for the Lord also to sometimes work through our obstinacy. We must understand that every act, every word that has come from Him, is bound to happen. I said sorry Swami I’m very sorry, then He said, here, Dharmakshetra prasadam. He gave laddu, then He gave some fruit, then He gave something. You know with Swami it is not one or two, it will keep coming, once He starts, He‘ll keep on. And He said “Thinnu”. It was 6.45 in the morning and laddu was there and something was there, a fruit was there, probably He knew this guy will have a fantastic appetite. So I started eating everything, finished and the the journey back ended to Bangalore. There was nothing really unique or significant which happened during the journey between Swami and me at the physical level. But one thing that happened during this trip was, I suddenly felt that He was time and again, trying to choose occasions, trying to create a feeling clearly, that you are mine. Somewhere I started feeling this love of His was engulfing me so intensely, steadily that I started feeling a sense of belonging to Him. I felt this body, this being, this life is only for Him and for nothing else and for no one else. This feeling was very steadily building up and this trip was one other reminder,that God will go to any extent to do anything for you. The Shirdi trip ended. We came back, lot of ego. I came back to our Samithi. You know I went to Bombay with Swami, you know I travelled with Swami. I meet anybody there, ya, ya, recently Swami went to Bombay and He took me with Him. Shirdi, He actually asked me to go to Shirdi. You don’t know, my first trip to Shirdi, actually Swami Himself sent me. Ego, wherever I go, it was built up, it was coming all over. Swami decided to cut this. The next two years just cut off.
He was reforming from within. There was no physical interaction at all. He would ignore, He would avoid completely. He was in a divine way present. At the physical level He made clear. In fact there were occasions where I remember if I am seated at a particular place, He will ignore that entire line. He used to ignore the whole bunch of people near me. And if so people did’nt want to have Darshan, they could have chosen to sit next to me. It was that bad. It went on and on and I used to cry, I used to wonder what mistake have I done to be treated like this. And the moment He spots me He will turn the face. But little did I realize, that all this was again done out His infinite love. See the mercy in the Lord is so great every act that He did, does and will continue to do will only be for our upliftment. I don’t think a physical level ignorance, physically ignoring a devotee means that He is shrugging off a devotee or keeping him aside. I don’t think that is the way to interpret it at all. Everything that He did was elevating us spiritually all the while. So the next 1 ½ -2 years went in this intense craving, intense craving for Him. There was a room at home which I had made as ‘my room with My Lord’. And I had put Swami’s pictures all over in that room, and there was a table, which was my study table, and I had my cot in the same room, and I used to spend all my time either doing my ‘articleship’, or studying there or doing my prayer, everything was in that room. And the way He would show his presence, vibhuthi would get covered in all the pictures. And so appropriately, on every examination day there used to be a huge outburst of vibhuthi from the photos. And it was like a ready prasadam available . So you go take vibhuthi and then go to write the exam. And I know looking back, the only reason, I can assure you this, for having done whatever little I did in my Chartered Accountancy and other professional exams was only due to the grace through that vibhuthi. And Swami in fact mentioned this in 2007. One day he was on a trip, whomever He was introducing me to, He said Vinay Kumar, Chartered Accountant. He called somebody into the interview room, He said “Vaalu evaru telesa” Chartered Accountant. I said this is becoming too much so I said Swami I’m nothing You know what I am” Ellarathra Nu hogi You are saying Chartered Accountant, Chartered accountant”, what is this. “Haan Aavaththe vibhuthi kotte, Aavaththe prasadam kottidini adhu thogonduke exams pass maadithe” He said. I said when your prasadam was the reason for my passing how can you go on introducing me like this. In fact that room became so special.
In 2010 December, I remember Swami had asked us to get a album made of the house, and He was He called one of our Senior Trustees in Karnataka Trust Sri.Gangadhar Shetty Garu . He asked him to hold the album, and He asked me to turn the leaves, the pages, He was seeing every room of the house, and when it came to this particular room, Swami says “Yee room gothalla, yee roomalla naanu vibhuthi ella kottidhu, yee roomu interview room” He said. So I said Swami what is this, He said all the furniture you remove from that room, that room should become the interview room. Whenever I come I’ll grant interview in that room. So everything was connected, everything had a purpose, everything does’nt happen just due to coincidence. It is a beautiful, deliberate, divine design. It has all got a purpose behind it. These incidents were he, after my mother passed away, steadily to start doing this, and drawing me closer and closer and closer and closer and giving this reassurance time and again, time and again, I am there, I am there, reminding me through action, through words, gave me the feeling that I am His and He is mine. There is no doubt about this. That got very firmly entrenched within.
The years that followed after that had a few ups, few downs. There were so many things that happened, for lack of time, I probably will not be able to go through all that, but I will share with you all, a few beautiful incidents of His immense love, that pure pristine love of the Lord, which only He could have given and nobody else would have given. I want to share a few of those incidents. There was one particular incident, Swami had granted us an interview on one afternoon and towards the end of the interview, “haan aayithu aayithu ivaga hogi hordi vibhuthi” the typical Swami at the end of the interview would signal you to get the vibhuthi tray and once He gives you the vibhuthi packets, you are supposed to take namaskar and leave the room. “Vibhuthi kodu”, He held the tray He gave vibhuthi, and we got up and we said we will be leaving for Bangalore now, “Haan hogu bittu ba”, got up, came out, went to the room. Swami went into the bhajan mandir. He was seated on the throne for the bhajans, evening bhajans. And we instead of sitting there have gone back to the room. We have started unpacking everything, dressed into my coloured clothes and getting ready to start for Bangalore. And suddenly a boy comes to the room and knocks and says Sir Swami is calling you back. I said for what, just now we took His permission, have I done any mistake, and I was shivering and said has anything gone wrong unknowingly, have I done something wrong I don’t know, so I just in those coloured clothes I just rushed back to the Mandir. And the last bhajan I think was going on and it was around 5.30 – 5.35 in the evening. Aarthi was about to be offered, Swami was on the throne, the registrar, our earlier Registrar said ‘where did you go’? Swami was asking, come, sit. So they made me sit. That was probably one of the few occasions when you did’nt want to be under the direct sight of the Lord, because I was full of fear I did’nt know what mistake I had done and they were pushing me closer and closer and closer towards the bhajan door and I was right there and He was on the chair and He could see me clearly. He was immersed in the bhajans totally immersed full of that bliss. And I was hoping that when He opens His eyes He is in a good mood. And when He opens His eyes I don’t become ash or something like that. And the bhajan ended. Aarthi ends, Swami slowly opened His eyes He looked and He gave a smile. And then I knew Oh there is nothing wrong that happened, nothing so drastically wrong that must have happened. If He has given that smile then everything should be fine. But I still did’nt understand why did He call us back from that room, when just one hour ago we were with Him for almost forty minutes. Swami accepts Aarthi, gets off the throne, comes till the bhajan mandir door, calls me and says “Paada namaskara thogo”. So I take namaskar. He says,” namaskara thoguldene hogutha idilla, adhukke karuththu namaskara kodake karadhe” You are leaving Puttaparthi without taking My namaskar. I called you back so that I can give you namaskar and send you. This much love I don’t think you can get from anybody. It’s impossible, why should the Lord do it. Just imagine we are, atleast I know what I am, for a measly creature like that, to call him all the way back and tell him, I have called you to give you namaskar. This only Swami could do, I don’t think anybody, no other Avatar can do this. Only He could do this.
There was another incident which touched me so much, it was one afternoon It was during the days that the Athi Rudra Maha Yagna was going on in Prashanthi nilayam. I remember one afternoon we were running around , there’s lot of work to be completed, I had not had my breakfast, I had not had lunch, lot of work was pending for the afternoon session, and suddenly Swami sent word around 12.45 said, ask him to come. I went home, I entered the dining hall , Swami was seated there. The Secretary of our Trust, the former secretary was standing there. And Swami says “oota maadillva” said “Illa Swami” “Koothko” said, how can I sit on the same table were You have Your food, I’ll sit down I was hungry believe me, I was very hungry and when somebody offers you food and when somebody offers you with so much love, how can you refuse. I said Swami, I’ll sit down and I’ll eat.” Melle koothko” and He made me sit. And then He fills up the plate with everything and He says “ivaththu yavu divasa”. And He said “Ivaththu Krishna Janmashtami” It was Janmashtami on that day. “Oh ho, so naanu oota kodubeku” . He takes His chair close “papa thaayi thanthe iddudre, uuta kodutha iduru , yaaru illa, naane kodubeku. So He takes every Hand and feeds. And from that chair because He had to really strain and put His Hands into my mouth and give those few mouthfuls of food. I did not know what to do. I actually said Swami at this moment please take away my prana. Because I don’t think I can ever have so much love again in my life. This is too much, this much of love, I don’t think anybody can give to anyone. Why should He call , Why should He call and give food and feed me. He says “Illa bangaru thago” He goes on, goes on. I said Swami, Your fingers they are into my mouth, why? So take away my prana now Swami, it’s enough. He says “Prana thogundu bittare naanu kelsa yaaru maaduthaare”, “hogu, hogu arrangements maadu” as if nothing happened. He takes you into the depths of the divine love, He soaks you, bathes you, immerses you in that love and then the disciplinarian in Him, the mother in Him, the merciful Lord in Him, to put you on the path, to teach you non attachment, go, go and do your work. So He sent me back. And work went on .
This incident was again so touching that later on, in fact once when He called home for lunch He was feeding us with so many things. Finally at one stage, there was some baigan masala or something which was served and I was not touching it and Swami kept on watching. Then He said “yeh thinnu” I was trying to be too smart. I said “Swami idu ella tamasic”. He said “nan jothe yen thogundro adhu Satwic aagaththe, thinnu” So He made me eat that. Of course my hand was itching to have it, but you know, you have to prove your extra smartness. Then He gave chocolate icecream, vanilla icecream, butterscotch. They came in one ready sequence and they went through the gullet, smoothly, steadily, as fast as it could. And after that He says “Umm last icecream yavadhu”, said chocolate, “chocolate thinle baardhu”. You must not have chocolate icecream only. Now anyway they have made a mistake, I’ll give you fruits now. So then fruits come, variety of fruits keep coming and after the fruits are taken finally when we were all coming to Swami to take His namaskar before leaving, He says “bangaru, oota, sariaaga aagilla’, after all this haan. He says next time “naane ready maadi koduthini”. So this kind of love on and off, on and off was a little too much to fathom, it was not too much to understand , but it was too much to fathom because only God can give this kind of love.
There was another beautiful incident, we have time? Every time we would go to Parthi, I would take some naivedhyam for Swami prepared at home. On one such occasion we had taken Kara Boondhi for Him and that afternoon He called us inside and during the interview He said “haan Inu Yenu Samachaara” I said Swami nothing. Nangu yenu thogundu bandiidiya what have you got for me? I said nothing Swami, you see the ignorant mind I could’nt even think of of removing my bag and removing the vessel. He said “Inu yenu samchaara” he wanted it to come out and I am not telling, I am not remembering it. Again “Bangaloreindha bhaariya yeno maadi kelusudu bekalla” Your wife must have prepared something and sent. Then I realized Oh she gave me one bowl full of kara boondhi, I said “aavudhu Swami aavudhu Swami”. “Kara boondhi Idhe”, “kodu”, so the boondhi is removed and I place it at His Lotus Feet. He says “solpa kodu”. So that spoon, the grace, the finesse, that this avatar has is something so unique , His hand movements, the way he would look at you, the way he would brush that hair aside, the way He would shrug off a mosquito if it was sitting on His robe, the way He would glance at you suddenly, the way He would put food into His mouth. Everything was so perfect. The way He took the spoon, took boondhi in that like this[Sir shows how Swami did] [54:23]. And one boondhi fell down. And it rolled on that carpet in the interview room. And my eyes immediately shifted to that one boondhi and I decided somehow I should hold this and put it into my pocket, because how can that boondhi be there. And Swami was talking, He was saying all kinds of things but look at man instead of focusing on the divine wisdom which the Lord was trying to shower I was more concerned about that one small kara boondhi which was rolling somewhere on the carpet. Suddenly Swami said “Yeh adhu kodu”. I said Swami how can I give this to you. This fell down and on the same carpet we have all been walking. How can I give it to you Swami it is not possible, I cannot give this to you, I cannot even offer it to you. He said whatever is offered to me with love, I will accept. Give it. So instantly I gave it and instantly He took it. And He said “Thumba Santosha”. And I was feeling guilty, I said how could I have even offered something which had fallen down, But the Lord chose to give it a totally different interpretation. He said anything that is offered to me with love I will accept. This was the extent of his love, this was the extent of His compassion. He was not worried about the quantity, He was worried only about the quality. His love I think immeasurable I remember two other incidents suddenly it comes to my mind.
During the Athi Rudram, I remember on the first day of the yajna it was supposed to have started in the evening of the 9’th of August functions, and that afternoon you know how much of built up had happened, build up had happened for this yajna and Swami was talking about it to everybody. And believe me I want to say this in front of Swami today again, I mentioned this in front of Him in Kulwant Hall during those yajna days. Yet again in this Ramesh Hall I want to tell you all . This Yajna entire thing was conceived, thought, executed, entirely by Him. People very often make this mistake and associate us with it. We are in no way connected to it, entirely conceived by Him, executed by Him .Every small thing He did, everything He did, connected to the yajna. There was nothing, He even got the ghee organized from Punjab. He got all the Aahuthis organized. He got the firewood organized. He got the Homa Kundas organized. He got the Rangoli to be put around the, everything was done by Him. So I remember, that morning, was still lot of work to be done . And Swami suddenly calls me at about 12 ‘o’ clock home, and when I enter, He says “nodu bangaru, if your parents had been there, all arrangements they would have taken care . Now your parents are not there, so you don’t get tensed and worried at all, you go now and sleep, you go to your room and sleep, you have good rest, get up, have a good bath and straight you come to the hall. I will take care of all the arrangements. I said Swami there is so much work still pending, allow me to finish that little work. I will go to the room at 3 ‘o’ clock, I’ll have my bath and come. “Beda,beda beda, you should not go through, if your parents had been there, I would not have called you, since your parents are not there, I’m telling you, go to your room and sleep. And I had to obey Him because whatever the Lord says should be obeyed, there are no two ways about it Somethings which he says might seem very basic on the face of it, but there would be a great significance beyond what He said. So I religiously went to the room and I took my good nap. On the day of the Yajna believe me, that day we are starting, and the whole world might have thought this guy must be very busy, actually I was resting in the room and Swami was busy getting all arrangements made. Then I got up had a bath and right royally came, and at 2.45 some knock on the door and that man says Swami has sent flask with coffee. I said what is this. What is the great thing that we are doing, for the Lord to actually take care and send some coffee. This is love. This kind of care that motherly care, you know the words that He said, if your parents had been there it was different, now that your parents are not there I have to take care. Even the first morning when the Pranaprathishta had to be done, with due respects to all the elders in the Organization and in the Trust, many of them said Swami “why should you do the Pranaprathistha early in the morning at 6 ‘o’ clock Please take rest, let us do it after 9 ’o’ clock”. And Swami called each one of them. I remember that incident where He called each one of the elders to the interview room and I was seated there and He would ask each one of them, this Yajna, he is telling is is it all Ok? Then everybody gave Swami their own interpretations. They said Swami so early in the morning there is no need, let us do it at 9 ‘o’ clock. And Swami finally heard them all out and sent them and Swami said You don’t worry what anybody is saying, I will come, I will come at 6 in the morning and I will do the Pranaprathishta. And then I said Swami but at the physical level You should not take the strain. I will come because if your parents had been there again and again, again and again the same thing. If your parents had been there they would have taken care, they would have been there. Since they are not there, I have to come. So I said Swami so much You have done, everything is done by You why should You take, “No I will come” And promptly that morning at 6 am He comes, He does the Pranaprathishta, when He is leaving in the car,”naan helithnalla barththinantha nodu bandhe”I told you I will come I have come. So this kind of concern, this kind of care, this kind of a feeling that he kept giving me that “I am there”, you don’t have to worry that you have nobody else “I am there”. This is not a feeling that is just given to me, this is a feeling that is applicable to the entire humanity, that God in that form is available to all of us and is there to take care of us.
In 2007 March, my wife and I unfortunately we had a very bad road accident, on our way back from Prashanthi Nilayam. One morning, it was a Thursday that morning, when I took permission to leave to Bangalore, the first thing Swami asked was “Wife barthaidara vaapassu” I wondered why was He asking that because it’s a normal thing everytime we would go together and return together. I said “haavudhu Swami””Haan haan”, very disgruntedly He gave permission. So we sat down and afterwards we left at about 1 ‘o’ clock, 12.30 I think. Somewhere near this, after the highway was crossed and we were coming towards Chikballapur, the Devanahalli Cross, we had a terrible road accident It was a Volvo bus hitting our car head on. I was not driving very fast but the bus, the road was wrongly structured there He came and hit head on and the car was smashed completely. She collapsed immediately, lot of blood, almost a litre of blood was out, head injury, she just became unconscious and I was sitting and I had blood all over me, injuries all over me, I did’nt know what to do, we were not even able to remove her out of the car. She was caught and we went through a lot of trauma, I mean it is a very long story and if I keep talking about it will go on for the next two hours I think. A good Samaritan came, he took us to the Devanahalli Government Hospital. At a particular point the hospital Head said she is no longer there. You have to understand that she is not there anymore. She has gone cold, everything has ended, we cannot revive her now, so now we will arrange an ambulance for you to take the body back, the body back to Bangalore. And I said I cannot believe this. How can this happen. And the first thought was Swami And I called one of our Seniors in Puttaparthi who went straight to Swami and reported . Swami “haan naan goththu” You tell him nothing is wrong, tell him to tell the doctors to give her an injection. And he calls me back and he says Swami has instructed, that you should tell the doctor to give her an injection. I, I go to the doctor and tell him, and that man shouts at me, he says what are you talking, she is not there anymore. We have already covered the body and kept, how do you expect us to give her an injection. Have you gone mad? I said Sai Baba has send this message. He says I don’t know how to respond. You go and tell Sai Baba that she is already gone. I said but since He has said it, you please do it. So he instructs the nurse and that lady just takes an injection and gives, like that[Sir shows the way the nurse gave the injection to his wife] And the moment the injection was given “Aah” she said. So I said how can, she is alive, how can you say she is gone. Then he says this is unimaginable and the doctors all started fretting and they could’nt imagine what was happening in front of their eyes. And finally they thought something had gone wrong with us, something was wrong at a different plane, I hope you understand. They got scared that somebody whom they had declared as dead was actually making a noise and coming back, they thought that something was drastically wrong but they could’nt appreciate the fact that this was the great Leela of the Lord. And we then put her on an ambulance, It was again a lot of miracle that an ambulance got arranged, brand new ambulance comes there with the driver, crisp, clean uniform. First time the ambulance is driven by him, he takes us and on the way continuously Chakravarthi Sir is giving information. Swami has said go to Nimhans, don’t worry there is so and so doctor, go take care. So we go, the doctor is waiting there. Incidently this doctor Sathya Prabha is the daughter of a doctor who used to come to Swami, I think it was Narasappa. Narsappa’s daughter is this doctor Sathya Prabha. We went to Nimhans and everything was ready. And I was soaked in blood. Injuries everywhere, I don’t know how I was moving around. There were some all kind of injuries. She was still in almost very delirious unconscious state. We reached the hospital, The doctor takes her in they do all kinds of tests. They say the thin layer of the brain got saved by a few millimetres or inches or something like that. It was a miraculous escape. They said she needs to be there for a few weeks and believe me in two day’s time, with Swami’s divine intervention she got discharged. She came back home. I am cutting this story short, because we don’t have time. Miraculously He intervened and He got her out the hospital. That night, the night when I admitted her in the hospital, I went back home, I came home to get change clothes for her and when I entered the house, the entire kitchen was full of glass pieces. The entire kitchen was flooded with glass pieces and I did’nt realize what was this how could glass pieces be there in the kitchen. Anyway I asked the lady in the house, what is this and she was also shocked, went back to the hospital, we went through the treatment. Everyday, the next 15 days, every day in the evening Swami would enquire, he would make somebody or the other call, ask them how are they, ask them what is happening. Today how is she, today how is she and on the second day after the accident happened, Swami in fact got into the car and said take Me to his house, I want to go now. And somebody said Swami they are still in Nimhans, So He said ask them to take rest. Every evening 6, 6.30, 6, 6.30, a call would come, how are they, how are they, how are they. After 15 days, He sent a message, ask them to come to Parthi. So we both went to Puttaparthi. That afternoon we were seated, Swami comes at 3.45 and He takes the, in student’s terminology it’s the square cut, the first cut on the side, the moment He comes into the hall, the first cut He took, and He comes around the moment He is entering the verandah He says, “Punar janma kottudini, Punar janma kottudini”, so I said, I went to Him, I said Swami everything was gone and You did something which nobody can do. I did’nt know how to express, what will you tell the Lord who has given life back, call her inside. So I asked her to come. As we were entering the interview room, Swami says “Punar Janma, Punar Janma”He says hovudhujanmadalli yeneno maadithaidiree, yee janma saikaagi maathra”you did all kinds of things in earlier births, this birth is only for Sai. And then He narrated the entire incident, He said how it happened, He said “I was standing on the road divider and you were crying”. He said “you keep telling, you have lot of faith in me but when you saw your wife was collapsing and dying you were crying. You did’nt even once call out to me. What is this faith that you have and I was standing there and then I was laughing at you”. I said “why did you laugh”. I said Swami how can you laugh. He said you had no faith in me you were continuously crying You should have called out to me, you should have cried out to me, you did’nt call out to me. But I did’nt let you go. I did everything that was required. When the injection was put in, I put the prana inside, He said. In fact after saying this, I actually started off telling you all , I told Swami I want to narrate this incident in Kulwant hall in front of everybody Swami, you have to give me the permission and He said “idhuke inna samaya bandilla , samaya bandhaga nee hellu. ivaga beda, samaya bandhaga hellu” and I asked Him many times after that, Swami permit me to tell this, permit me to tell this. And this morning when I was sitting in my puja and I said Swami atleast today allow me to share this incident in that hall, the garland just cut and so I decided that I must share this experience with all of you today. And after that, after this what He said was I’m telling you, I’m not able to even now believe what He said. He said those 15 days Swami said every time I used to take food and take it near My mouth I could not eat because I was thinking about you all. He said I have not eaten properly for 15 days. So much of love. I’ll tell you, I don’t think I deserve it, I don’t think we all deserve it. So much He did, So much He is doing. We have not risen up to what He wanted us to do. We are not rising up. We are still caught in our mundane issues only. This was absolute true divinity. This was divinity in it’s fullest form. Can you imagine the Lord saying I could not eat because I was thinking about you. 15 days He said “Naan oota maadilla bangaaru”. And I held His hand and said Swami why, for us why, Swami we are not worth it. We are not worth all this love. This much love you should not give Swami, we will not be able to take it. And somehow ended. He gave us so much love after that. In the next few days He kept us in Prashanthi nilayam, He took care, every time enquiring ,every time asking, so much care, so much love, so much, when He was sending us back in that visit, when we were returning back to Bangalore He said “Inmeleindha naan gaadi hinde back seatalli naan koothkolthini”. I said Swami He said “Neenu yavagella fast hogthiyo naan control maadithini”. “Yenu chinte maadu beda.naanu back seatalli naan koothkolthini” “Frontelli neevu backalli naanu” And after that there was a very mundane thought, I want to just add this incident, because there was a very mundane need. The car that I had was a Wagon R, white colour, which met with the accident. A Volvo bus hits a Wagon R you can imagine. And incidently in the interview asked Swami about the glass pieces and He said when the bus hit the car all the glass pieces and the steering should have come and hit your face. I turned the steering and put it the other way and all those glass pieces I put it off in your kitchen. That is why all those glass pieces were in the kitchen. So He can go to any extent brothers and sisters. There is absolutely no limit. He is here now. I know He is here. I can feel it very much here. It’s unfortunate we are not able to see with these eyes. We need to elevate ourselves, to uplift ourselves to an extent we can see Him continuously . But He is here. It’s so clearly, evidently, He is here.
After this incident was over, there was a mundane requirement at a very human, earthly level. I had to get a new car obviously because the car was all smashed. There was no way it could have In fact people who were driving back from Prashanthi Nilayam to Bangalore on that day and they saw the car they said this chap is gone. He has merged. So there were lot of rumours going on that he is already gone. Because the car was completely shattered, I then asked Swami after a few weeks, He had stopped me from driving the car for two months. Then He said “Hosa car thoga beka”? I said “Yes Swami”. Then I had a craving ,I’m telling you to the extent the Lord can go even to satisfy your mundane desires, small, petty, earthly worldly desire. I wanted to have a big car. So I said Swami “eeselli doddu car thoga beku” So He says haan, “Cardhu papers ella koduthaare vere, vere, vere, caru adhella thogundu ba naane select maadithini”. So we even went down to the extent of converting the Lord to a car dealer. I got number of brochures, and I wanted to buy a Honda city. It was in my inner most desire, mundane , petty desire like I said, I wanted to buy the Honda city. I wanted to have a grey colour car just because I said the colour should be the colour of Swami’s car. So I get all the brochures and Swami patiently in the interview room goes through every brochure. He asks the background of the companies. I mean those companies and those products were so blessed that His drishti fell on all their products and their companies. But He went through all that and finally He says “Beda bangaru, chikku gaadi itkondre saaku,doddu car beda bangaru”. But I was arguing “Illa Swami doddu car beku Swami”. Please allow me to buy this car. And then He says “Beda bangaru” then He tells my wife, He comes through the other route. He tells her, You should tell him it’s not correct to have a big car, very difficult, nowadays lot of traffic is there, Ashram people are moving around, I said Swami, 24 hours I am not in the Ashram. I have to travel from Bangalore to come. And in Banagalore also I need the car.” Illa illa chikku gaadi saaku. Naane koduthini””Chikku gaadi thoguldhu barthini. Nannathra cars idhe. Small, small, cars idhe, naane koduthini” I said Swami I want to buy this car only. You know hataa, adamance. Then He says “aayithu ituko”. So I go ahead and I buy the Honda city car,am proud owner of the car and I drive it to Parthi and come, and I get the keys and I keep it for Swami to come and bless. When He is blessing it you know “Channagilla gaadi”. I said Swami “thumba holle car Swami smoothaaghide” “chacha channaagilla”. Then He is not touching the key only, He is touching the rose on the plate, He is touching the edge of the plate, He is touching everything else, but the key He is avoiding and I am trying to push the key near His hand somehow, and He is you know master craftsman, I mean how can you play games with the Lord. Everything is known. He had decided it was just a temporary accommodation to satisfy the mundane desire of a devotee. The devotee wants a car Ok let him have the joy of owning the car. Ultimately I’ll show him the right path. So He avoided touching the key. And something within me felt, that key He did’nt touch know, that key He did’nt touch know, something is wrong with this car, you know that feeling started. And you will not believe me brothers and sisters, you can ask anybody, Honda city is supposed to be a smooth drive. Right from that day, this was I think the second day after we bought the car, this car was giving me a rough ride. Each time I sit and I try to drive, I am getting a rough feeling, I am not getting even one hundredth of the smoothness of the Maruthi Wagon R. And Swami purposely everytime “hosa gaadi enghide”and He will be passing and suddenly “New car, new car”[Sir beautifully imitates the way Swami shows His Hand]. So one day I said Swami “aa caaru thumba rough aaghide”,”kothbidu” I just tried to see if He will say I’ll make it Ok or something” kothbidu” instantly and in a matter of a few months it was a terrible experience driving that car I almost started hating it. And then I one day went to Swami and said, I made a big mistake Swami, I don’t want that , I want to give it off. “Kothbidu”, He said. And I got a buyer and sold the car and then Swami says buy the same type of car in which you had the accident. I said Swami psychologically it will create nightmares for us if we have the same car.”Illa adhe car thogu”. So I said You wanted us to have a small car I’ll get you brochures of many small cars. Once again Bhagavan Baba becomes a car dealer. Again I take brochures and this time it is you know the i10, and all those Skoda, the small car you know this Dezire, the Maruthi’s other one, all kinds of small cars I took. And Swami immediately picked out the WagonR and said, this is not some kind of publicity for WagonR, incidently, I mean I am not marketing for WagonR or I am not part of Maruthi Suzuki in any sense. But He instantly picked it out and He said “ee caare thogu aa caar colouru whiteu kala, white ye thogu” And He made us buy the same white colour WagonR. And He said go, get the car, bring the keys. So much of you know because He knew that was right. He knew it was important for us to not have a big profile. He was teaching a lesson in contentment. He was teaching a lesson in keeping a low profile. He was teaching a lesson to show the devotee that lead a life which is not necessarily ostentatious. Those were the messages that were coming forth. Not that He did’nt want a person to have a big car or a small car. The moment I take the keys, I had kept it inside a pouch, and the pouch was in my pocket. And that day happened to be some function in Prashanthi Nilayam. Some, one of the Districts had come and they were putting up a drama or something like that and Swami was there. He had come and He was already witnessing. I reached Kulwant hall late, so I was seated there in the verandah. I was hoping that after Aarthi Swami would probably you know look at me atleast and then I get a chance to go and tell Him that the car has been bought. And you will not believe even as the program was going on, even as the drama was going on Swami comes back stage He comes straight there “car thogundiya” I said “yes” “key kodu” and I got the key and Swami blessed it. So this is an incident to make us feel, that mundane desires, mundane thoughts also He will satisfy. Everything He will satisfy. He is there. For us whatever He does is in our interest. Nothing that He did , or does, or will continue to do will ever be against our interest. We need to be available to Him, we have to be available for Him to shower that mercy on us, that is all is required, the timing is important.
There were a few, we have time, how much time, 10 minutes Ok, Are you all getting bored? [the audience says no Sir] Ok. I’ll take two more very, one of them is quite a funny incident, but these come to mind immediately. Two more incidents were, He sort of was trying to convey a message. And the Lord chooses His own style to convey a message, His style is different you know. One day was sitting in the interview room, suddenly I incidently don’t know how to sing Bhajans, I incidently don’t know anything much about Vedam. Total moorkha. God will accept people in spite of all defiencies. Because that is His mercy. One afternoon I was sitting at His feet, suddenly He says “Yeh how do I look to you”? Swami I said, yeh kanusthini and like this you know like this you know[Sir shows how Swami did] and really I have taken permission to narrate this from Swami directly and I’m sure He will not be angry with me for this because there was a much greater message which He conveyed through this. And then I said Swami You are the suddenly I felt I should now praise the Lord to the skies. This is the only opportunity. I said Swami You are Parabrahma Swarupa, You are the greatest, You are the most beautiful, there is nothing that is beyond You.”Yeh cha cha naanu hegini ? nodduke engudini” [1:22:49] How do I look to You? “Thumba Sundaravaaghidaare Swami” I said. Then I said Swami if You permit, I want to sing one small bhajan, look at the audacity somebody who cannot sing bhajans is having the audacity to tell the Lord Himself who is Saraswathi Sakshat that I will sing a bhajan for you. Just look at the audacity in me, I had the guts to tell Him that I will sing a bhajan for you. “haan hellu”, He knew it this is an absolute sangeetha shunya but the mercy in Him gave that opportunity. So I said, I started singing that bhajan ‘Sai sundara ’I actually don’t have the guts to even sing it now because there is still lot of that ego, but I’ll venture into it. I said Sai sundara sundara “cha,cha,cha stop maadu” He said, And I said what is this I’m trying to put in my best and say that I can sing and He just admonishes you like that. I did’nt leave I continued ‘vyagram’ “cha, cha stop maadu” He said. Then I held His hand and I said Swami, “Raaga, thaala illdhere beku,bhava idhe.kelule beku” I said. And you will not believe like a small kid “aayaththu bangaru hellu”. And then with rapt attention Swami heard the entire song, His eyes are closed, He is in total bliss, total bliss. And there were portions of that song as you proceed further, where I was also crying ,He was also crying and I was looking at His face, it was becoming even more and more and more beautiful. It was, the whole face was glowing like that and then suddenly he opens His “aayiththa”,He said Swami” yeshtu dodda avakaasham kodi” Then He says “bhava idhre naan avakasham koduthini” If the feeling is there which is pure I’ll give you an opportunity. Bhava is the key. Not anything else. That feeling should be there. It was a very great message. I’m telling you He chooses something to pass on some other great message to you. Similarly Ashadi Ekadashi Day was being observed in Prashanthi Nilayam. And I think the Mumbai Organisation which takes care of this they had arranged for a very great musician to sing that evening. I will not take the Artist’s name for obvious reasons. But after the entire programme got over Swami came into the interview room and called me inside This was after Aarthi in the evening. and Swami says “Yeh aa songs hegiththu” I thought you are supposed to praise the artist know because He had sat through that for one hour, and at the end of it He created some chain and also, for that lady. So I said Swami “yenu aadidru Swami, yeshtu channaagidhu Swami, Meera bhajansu yen bhaava”. “Cha cha adhu kutcheri, He said,bhava ne irulilla . naan aaduthini nodu”, And then He sang ‘payoji maine’ and I’m telling you brothers and sisters, the beauty, I should use the word the devotion, God showing devotion in His song, Meerabhai was sakshat there. He was singing a few verses, He would stop, then cry, talking about Meerabhai. This went on for forty minutes. He narrated the troubles Meerabhai went through. And He said inspite of those troubles, she was crying out to Krishna. That Bhava has to come out when you sing “aa bhaava bandhre inikka santosha aagaththe”.And He sang Payoji maine the whole song He sang. And after that I said”Swami yeshtu channagidhe”. “Neenu aa artist channagidhe helludhe, aa artist channagidhara, naanu channgidhina, yaaru betteru. Then I said Swami obviously it is You only. The artist is after all your creation. Whatever You did now was to convey another message only. So he wanted bhava. It was that inner feeling, that sincerity, that feeling of oneness with the Lord once it gets transmitted to actions in word, deed and action, then obviously, the Lord’s grace will flow. That mellifluous grace will incessantly flow. There was another very funny incident, where Swami you know, He wanted to teach another lesson. And He took a lot of pain for this. I used to take papers to Puttaparthi, whenever we had to you know, submit something to Swami or discuss about a project. I used to take them in a loose form, loose leaf, all in a folder like that. And Swami watched once, twice, thrice, four times, one week, two weeks, three weeks, He kept watching. Then suddenly one day He said You should not bring papers like this, you should carry it in a bag, proper bag. So I said “aayithu Swami I’ll get a bag”. Next day itself, Swami comes with a bag, and Swami calls inside and says “nodu naanu ninagagidhe bag thogundubandhini”. And it was a beautiful, tanned colour semi, you know beautiful like a hand brief case, nice bag, executive bag, He brings and He says “olaga nadi”. So He takes me inside, and He says ee bag itko, inmelendha papers yella thogundubarbaka yee bagelli haako thogundu ba. I was so greatful to Him he gave the bag, and I came out. After that, I was feeling very conscious that I’m carrying, going to Bhagavan, carrying a brief case kind of a thing. You know you will feel very awkward when you are going to Swami with a bag and all that you know, it’s like you are going to office. So what I’ll do is I’ll hold the bag like this[Sir shows how he was holds the bag] and walk. And Swami saw, one day and then the second day, and I think it was coming up something was about to burst, it was waiting to come out, third, fourth day, that grim face he said “go in” I went in and I was shivering. He says,“Budhi illa ninage”, I said “yen aayuthu Swami”.”Marriage brokerthara barthaidiya yen idhu bag hingu itkondu marriage brokerthara barthaidiya”.You know Swami had a typical way of doing this [Sir shows how Swami moved His Hands] “marriage brokerthara barthaidiya.budhi illa ninage” He said.”koothko” and He was vigorously wiping His mouth and then He said “Bag kayil itko, haththu seli ilu nadi bag itkondu” I said what is this. So I held the bag, and I’m so conscious because I didn’t want to hold it like this, He will use some other term, I did’nt want to hold it properly, because I did’nt know whether that is correct, I did’nt know whether I should keep the bag on my head, what should I do. I somehow was shaking and walking, “straightaaga nadi”,and He is all the while calmly reading letters. He is sitting on the chair and reading letters and occassionally He will say“nadi,nadi”.and again He is reading. and this is going on for about 5 minutes, I am going up and down the interview room , up and down, up and down,” haan stop maadu”. “Illi ba” because He has finished reading the letters He calls. Then He says “nodu bangaru bag itkondu vaaga, dhairya vaagi, boldaagi, chest horagitkondu, head high aagitkondu, nadi beku”.”ingitkondu nadi beku” “nadi”. Yes Swami and I walk. Then He says how should you use the bag, So He opened the compartments, says, this compartment keep all these kind of papers. This compartment this kind of papers, and if you have money put it inside the zip, then there was a small key. So He says you should lock the bag. Everytime lock the bag, keep the key, you can’t believe anybody here, So lock the bag and keep the key with you “Yee thara itko beku bagu ”. He spent so much time, in guiding how you should walk with a bag, and after that I don’t know many of you must have probably seen me going to Puttaparthi with that bag. It was a tanned colour, meroonish colour bag and everytime Swami After that the next two, three times you know, He will call “haan bag itkondu nadi firstu”. So once you get into the interview room the first exercise was to walk with the bag. And people would think, this guy is carrying some massive stuff in the bag. The fact was those naivedyams which we used to take to Swami and the papers and actually the bag was being carried because there was a drill going on inside. And after one month He said “Haan yeega sariyaaga naditha illa inmelendhu neenu bagu thogundu aaramaaga nadi” So He spent all those sessions just to teach how to move around with a bag. To this extent the Lord can go driving perfection. Because he had this penchant for perfection. For him everything had to be immaculately done. Everything had to be done precisely. Everything had to be done in a certain manner. There was no letting up, there was no compromise at all. Everything had to be done upto a certain level of perfection. Once He got convinced that the way of holding the bag was right, He gave up. You can go on and on and on and on like this. There were innumerable occasions which He took I mean to drive home points which you felt was so simple but the Lord spends so much time to guide you on this. I must tell you that towards the last few months when Swami was in that mortal coil, ignorance I think it was within us . He time and again said “bega,bega,bega kelsa ella maaduko Swami heluthe iduru nee kelsa maadko beku” I said Swami where are You going . You will always be there for us. In fact our prayer is we should go away and leave this body even when you are still with us. “illa,illa,illa Swami yenu saashwathaawagi iruthara you must understand to lead a life based on Swami’s principles. He was giving a lot of indications He was giving a lot of rapid instructions. I remember towards the end, one very touching incident it happened I think somewhere after the sports day of 2011. Suddenly Swami one day said, where is your house, I said it is in Bangalore. Then He said Mysoreilliva mane? I said “illa” Swami. “Mysoreilli mane maadu” I said why should I have a house in Mysore. There is no need. Then He takes the trouble of identifying a land in Mysore, pushes us to buy the land in Mysore and He says “Swami ivaga mothe mothe mothe idhe thara maathaduirutha kaagalla nenu instructions koduthaidinu bega bega mudisubedu” I said what is the hurry, why are we in this mad rush for what, little did we realize that the Lord was trying to usher in a certain kind of life for all of us. He was trying to tell us clearly. We did’nt understand. That He is there always for us, but we will be bereft of the physical guidance probably. I feel I have had a few heart to heart conversations with Swami about the students and their role and I sincerely feel everytime we talk about students tears and the sense of pride and the sense of ?[1:35:54] mind I feel the world is actually looking up to the students of Sathya Sai. There is a great onorous responsibility on the students to lay the road ahead, to show the path which is already been carved out by Swami. They, I think have to get hugely involved in the mission from now. And I, always will consider myself to be unfortunate for not have been a student of Bhagavan’s University. But I feel I want to look up and follow the path that is going to be laid by the students . His students are the only hope for mankind. There is no other hope for mankind today other than the roll which the students will play. A big initiative in this direction is already underway through Vidya Vahini programme, but I am sure in the days , months and years to come, His students will rule the world. They will show the direction. Everybody will tame themselves and follow the students. There is a tremendous responsibility on the students. The feeling because He has touched them. He is a part of them directly .I don’t think Swami ever spoke about My properties.The only property were His students. Finally getting back to the topic which Vidyadhar and other senior alumni gave me “I am there for you” is what He said. It is very painful, I keep asking Swami where are you , now where are you, I want to see that form, I want to touch that form, I want to feel that form, I want to talk to that form. It’s Ok let people say you are physically getting attached to Him. Does’nt matter. After all such a beautiful Avatar will not come again. It happened once that will be the grandest, the most beautiful Avatar that humanity has ever witnessed in any yuga. We miss Him. Each one of us here misses Him a lot and the question comes where are You Swami now. Why is it I am not able to see you, but I’m steadily getting reconciled to a fact that if there is this intense craving from within, if there is that heart to heart sort of a prayer instantly He manifests Himself. He does’nt just as He would do when He was in that mortal coil, instantly He is there. In fact I feel we should put our hands on our chest and say not Swami saying I am there for you I think we need to ask ourselves Are we there for Him? We need to be there for Him to work through us. Our lives becomes His message. I think we need to raise up because, so much love, so much care, so much of guidance, I don’t think any Avatar ever gave. It is time for us to pullup our socks become one, all should be one. It should all be a united effort and we should all have one common agenda to take forward Swami’s love, Swami’s message on Service,on love, on compassion to the whole of humanity and make the whole of humanity into one large big Sai family. Jai Sai Rams.