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How Swami became my God - My childhood experiences with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The enigmatic Master entered my life and won my  heart slowly but surely...

The enigmatic Master entered my life and won my heart slowly but surely...

'Unanswerable' questions...

There are some things in life for which we can never find an answer. And experiencing the Love and Grace of Swami (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), I have discovered many such questions for which nobody can ever provide a satisfactory answer. Some of these are,
“All are equal in the eyes of God. Why then do some people seem ‘blessed’ while others seem ‘less-blessed’?”
“At what point in time does the Lord enters one’s life?”
“Why does Swami do the things that He does?”

This article is not any attempt to delve into those questions. For now, it is best to leave these questions unanswered. However, one would have to admit, when Swami does enter one’s life or confers an experience, you just cannot miss it. Swami comes into your life with all the Love, Grandeur, Majesty, Grace and Omnipresence that you are simply awe-struck. I remember my father telling me once,
“People get possessed by Ghosts. It is our good fortune that we have been possessed by God. Our lives are sanctified for He will never leave us. If a mere ‘ghost’ has so much powers of possession, imagine how powerfully the Lord will be able to do the same!”

The narration that follows is to relive some interesting episodes through which Swami entered my life, became the center of my life and convinced me of His divinity. There are three distinct episodes from my childhood that I remember very clearly. The back -ground to these, as I have already mention in “My first memorable interaction with Sathya Sai as His student”, is that Swami had got me as a free-devotee i.e. to say, when my father told me Swami was God, I had simply accpted it - no questioning. Thus, I had missed what we can call as my ‘introduction-miracle’! :)

Episode 1 - Pre-emptive Divine action in dream

I was introduced to Swami when we was staying in Bangalore. And then, we moved to Mumbai. I had a few Darshans of Swami by then and those were enough to instill in me, love and devotion for Him. I had made a small altar for Him on the pelmet above a window in my room. I used to climb onto a table using a stool and then place flowers in worship on His photograph.

On night, I had a dream. It was the first ever dream of Swami that I remember.

In the dream, Swami was walking with my mother on a road when I caught up with them. Swami turned suddenly and held my right wrist. He held it very tight but did not speak anything. After a while, He let go of my wrist and told me to go back. I returned and He continued to walk along with my mother.

I woke up. This was the first time I was having a dream about Swami. I felt that somehow it had some inner meaning. Today I know that all dreams of Swami are true. I didn't then! So, I went and narrated the dream to my parents. They too must have been surprised because such things had not happened in our family thus far. We were only “a couple of months old” in ‘Sai’s fold’ as it is called. But both of them were very happy that I had the dream.

The photo that adorned my altar...

The photo that adorned my altar...

In the morning, as I finished my bath, according to my daily schedule, I climbed up the table to place flowers to Swami. Even as I was placing flowers, unknown to me, my sister came and took the stool away. She wanted to clean a ceiling fan, standing on the stool.

Out of sheer force of habit, I simply stepped back from the table to land on the stool. The stool was not there! And I had a fall. I fell straight on my right hand and my right wrist was in severe pain. My parents thought that I had broken my wrist. I was hurried to a doctor who said,
“You are lucky young fella! You did not suffer any fracture. Just rest your wrist for a day and it should be fine.”

On the way back home, all of us were discussing my dream that morning with great joy and excitement. That was the first time I closed my eyes and thanked Swami. My love for Him grew and my faith in Him was strengthened. His love for me was like that of a mother - no wonder He was with my mother in that dream!

Episode 2 - God is always watching

The cable TV in general and the Star TV network in particular were the ‘happening’ things in India. (1991-92) It was the beginning of the age of “addictive television” which Swami refers to as Tele Visham (poison transmitted through the telly). I had acquired a craze for watching WWF - freestyle wrestling - from my friends. WWF (now changed to WWE when the World Wildlife Fund for nature protested against using the same letters and misleading people) was what they discussed during the recess in school. There were hundreds of WWF card games and board games. Each of us had our ‘heroes’ whom we would want to watch.

My mother was not at all happy with this (and rightly so). She told me that I should stop watching such violent stuff. I pleaded to her to let me watch for about half an hour everyday but it was to no avail. One day, I got a superb opportunity.

My mother had slept in the afternoon. My father had gone to office and sister was in school. The time was 2:30pm - WWF would be starting on Star Sports any moment now. I got tempted. I slowly closed my mother’s bedroom door. Then, I went to the television and brought the volume slider (it was a manual slider in TVs of that age) to zero. I then went to flick the main switch on. Little did I know that Swami knows the thoughts even as they arise.

When my finger touched the switch to put it on, something hit me on my hand. I was shocked and instinctively withdrew my hand. I was wondering what was it that had hit me. When I saw, it was a huge marigold flower that had been placed on Swami’s photograph which was also on the same wall as the switch. The photo featured Swami looking directly with an all-knowing smile. I got very scared. I felt Swami was telling me,
“I am watching always.”

The picture on the wall near the television switch from which He was watching...

The picture on the wall near the television switch from which He was watching...

I did not switch on the television - nor did I watch WWF after that. As soon as my mother woke up, I went to her, hugged her and narrated the whole episode. She simply smiled and hugged me back. That day, I realized that God was not just Mother Love but also Father Discipline.

Episode 3 - Swami takes care even before we pray for His intervention

This was another dream experience that followed close in heels to the above two. By now, we were convinced as a family that Swami was the all-powerful and all-loving Lord, taking care of us always. At this point in time, I had a dream. In that dream, Swami advised me not to go to school the next day.

When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was to tell my parents that I would not be going to school. I then told them that Swami had told me not to go to school. My mother was in a doubt.

Here was a perfectly normal and healthy boy telling that he would not go to school. But he was also saying that Swami said so. Is he ‘using’ Swami to his advantage because he has some other plans for today?

She asked me,
“Did Swami really tell you not to go to school?”
That was a tone and look to which I could never lie in my life! But I had no need to lie now!
“Yes! He told me not to go to school”, I replied very confidently.
That was enough to convince my mother and make my sister feel very jealous!

The same day, within a few hours of having breakfast, I developed a fever. The temperature rose higher and by the afternoon, I had been diagnosed with chickenpox! Once more, we just offered our gratitude to Him.

Returning to the questions asked in the beginning of the article, I am now convinced that I need not know every answer. And that is because there are no ‘right answers’ - only ‘right questions’! The answer for my heart is that everything that happens is for the Good alone. And with that answer, I have lived so far - I am sure I’ll live happily ever after too because Swami has said that it is such acceptance of everything as good for one which constitutes true surrender.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

1. Take one step towards me and I will take ten towards you - a child's first experience with Sathya Sai.

2. There is someone above to love me - a child's experience with Sri Sathya Sai

3. "The God Possessed" : An article on Sri Sathya Sai Baba from the 1969 edition of Newsweek.

4. "With God on my side" - A primary schoolgirl's sweet experiences with her God - Part 1

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Padma on May 15, 2013:

Perfect blessing in the form of this article on start of thursday ..

Thanks Sairam

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Kokila Vaidyanathan on May 15, 2013:

Sairam - Such beautiful experiences - these experiences re-iterates that HE is always with us watching over us caring us and Loving us forever.

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on November 13, 2012:

@Madhavi Alapaty - thank you for sharing your dream. It has many aspects of our Bharatiya culture and insights into how the Lord protects us.

@ Shruti - :)

Shruti on October 24, 2012:

I don't remember any of these incidents except the WWF one....

It felt great to read it!.... Apart from feeling nostalgic, I also realised how He had become so integral part of our life so early!

Lakshmi on October 24, 2012:

Interesting, especially the third episode. Recently I had a dream of swami on 16 th of oct where swami was playing with me in the kitchen. He was performing some miracle like changing an object to something else and I was laughing and enjoying. Then swami walked into our living room and the entrance door was open. There was this courier guy standing at the door and swami took the form of my mother and signed the paper. After the guy left, swami took His form & sat on the sofa. He allowed me to take padanamaskar. While I touched His feet, swami stamped my palm with His foot. I said " Swami it hurts" the dream ends there. Not sure what the dream meant . I had several dreams and all turned out true . usually He says something in all my other dreans but in this dream He didn't say a word ...

Madhavi Alapaty on September 06, 2012:

Thank you for sharing beautiful memories about SWAMI. I get so many answers (my mind is full of questions and doubts about my thoughts) by reading your articles. I always look forward to read your articles about SWAMI. I would like to share a powerful dream i got in year 2004 about how SWAMI saved my husband and the indication he gave me in a dream which i didn’t understand at that time.

In my dream that day, SWAMI was giving a discourse and so many people are listening to it. There was a picture of Lalitha Devi on the wall and the picture is adorned with a bright red flower(looks like hibiscus). Instead of listening to SWAMI I was praying to SWAMI to give me that flower. It was that beautiful. After sometime, SWAMI finished the discourse and HE gave prasadam to each and everyone who was seated in the auditoriam..My mind was still on the flower and praying to SWAMI. When my turn came to receive the prasadam from him, I simply moved forward to get the prasadam and moved away after receiving it from HIM. I moved 4 steps away from HIM, to give the opportunity to the one next in line to receive the prasadam. But my monkey mind was on the flower and thinking that ..ayyoo..SWAMI didn’t give me the flower so may be in am not destined to get it and started moving away..Then lo and behold..SWAMI called me back and asked me ‘why are you leaving without getting the flower from me? I know that your mind is on that flower since you have laid your eyes on it and HE smiled, and then HE took the flower from the picture and gave it to me in my both palms..I just woke up at that time and was in a blissful state that morning. Excitedly, then I called my parents and narrated the whole incident to them and to my husband..That was the time, I was experiencing all HIS leelas but don’t understand the meaning of them. So my mom told me,’I don’t have the meaning of this incident now, but I am sure there must be some meaning and it will reveal to you in time’ and we hung up the phone. After couple of months we had a big pressure cooker accident in our kitchen and because of SWAMI’s grace my husband (who was in the kitchen when it started exploding and he just moved away (5 feet)from it in time)was saved without a single scratch to his body. We cleaned and we were just thanking SWAMI that he saved us and narrated this incident to my parents again. Then out of the blue, she started saying to me ‘ do you remember your dream where SWAMI gave you a flower? That was the indication from HIM that HE is going to save your husband’ (in our culture…sumangali means : with kumkuma, haldi and flowers). So HE indicated to me in my dream that HE is going to save my husband and HE gave me prasadam on that day..From then onwards, I started listening to my inner voice and tried to see SWAMI everywhere and in each conversation or thought I have..Sairam.

Mayur Hassija from Madurai, India on September 03, 2012:

How excellent is thy Loving Kindness, Oh Lord! (PS36:7). Thanks for sharing these precious experiences, God is our sovereign savior. How fortunate are we to experience the love of a million mothers.

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on September 03, 2012:

Thank you Poornima for sharing that lovely experience. No wonder that it is said, "Swapn Darshan is Sai Darshan". It is His love that He chooses to guide us this way.

@ An Impressed Reader - Very right. And when we understand what that means, we realize that we only have to 'be' in life and 'do' nothing! :)

An Impressed Reader on September 02, 2012:

Very nice write up ..

It is by his grace alone that we get the urge to worship him and accept him in life .. Complete faith in Swami is the biggest gift that he himself has endowed us with .. Am very very grateful for that ..

I often wonder what I could have possibly done to deserve to be constantly drenched in the downpour of his unsullied love and surrounded all the time by his protective grace ..

poornimasrinath from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA on September 02, 2012:

Interesting! I have always wondered how beautifully swami shows his motherly and fatherly nature until today. I am sure you would have had more dreams and restricted your article to three chosen ones. The third one is the most important one as it would teach quite a lot of life lessons. It has happened many a times in my life and through such interventions Swami had showed his motherly, fatherly and friendly nature. During 2010 July Aadithya had some rash around his mouth. We thought it could be due to winter dryness and we tried some creams. The intensity was increasing and we decided to take him to paediatrician. On that day Swami came in my dream . I was sitting in a bhajan session. Suddenly Swami took arthi around His mouth. I completely had no clue about what Swami was indicating as I woke up immediately after that dream. After Aadithya woke up I understood what Swami indicated. To our utter surprise we saw the rash had gone 97% and within a day or two the skin became absolutely normal. I did not even had a thought of sharing this problem with Swami . Through this He strongly reminded me that He is more caring than the earthly mom and dad. My life had taken a 360 degree change because of another such intervention which brought my better half to involve seriously into Sai activities. Swami still shows that care and our personification of love will show that care to everyone for ever!

John on September 01, 2012:

Very interesting and knowledgeable article.

V.Sai Saraswuthi on September 01, 2012:

All three episodes show HIS love towards your well being while teaching you and guiding you from such a young age. Afterall he has to prepare his INSTRUMENT right?

very useful and beautiful rendition.Thanks once again.Sairam.

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