The 20th of January in 2013 saw a very heartening programme being put up in the Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. . It was a presentation by the grateful staff of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore, on the occasion of their 12th anniversary after successfully completing more than 15,000 cardiac surgeries, 17,000 neuro surgeries and having treated more than 800,000 patients in the cardiac OPD, TOTALLY FREE OF COST! The quantum of service rendered is more than 1,200 crores. Having sung songs of gratitude and having spoken about their experiences, the staff members rededicated themselves to the service of God through service to man.
At the end of the programme, there was Aarthi as always, and after that, the devotees lined up to offer their prostrations and salutations at the white marble Mahasamadhi of Swami. In the serpentine lines on the ladies’ side was Meenakshi, a woman who appeared to be in her late 30s. She had furrows of worry writ large on her forehead and she was craning her neck to see how much longer it would take to reach the hallowed spot. She was on the verge of tears and did not know how to extract herself from the situation that she had inadvertently gotten into. She was convinced that Swami was her only refuge. That feeling had got strengthened even more by the most beautiful song video that had been played at the conclusion of the programme.
The video which was played at the end of the programme...
The story begins
Meenakshi is a Seva Dal volunteer from the Indian state of Kerala. She had come to Puttaparthi to offer her service out of gratitude to Swami, and for all that He had done for her. It had been a difficult decision to make for her this year because her husband had fallen very sick. In spite of that, she decided that her annual pilgrimage and commitment to Swami should not suffer. Praying to Swami and seeking her husband’s permission, she came to Prasanthi to offer her seva.
On Tuesday, 15th January, Meenakshi had been assigned duty in the ladies' section in the South Indian Canteen. She did her job as sincerely as she could. She worked in the vegetables section in the canteen as she had a problem communicating. She was illiterate, and knew to speak only Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala. Within two days of duty, Meenakshi was in for an unexpected shock.
Going about her duties, Meenakshi happened to place her hand on her neck. She discovered, to her horror, that her Mangalasutra ( a sacred thread made of cotton or gold attached with a gold pendant that women in India wear around their neck as a symbol of their marriage) was missing! How could it have fallen off when it was secure around her neck all these years?
She immediately searched the nearby area for the necklace. She notified the other volunteers nearby and all of them joined in the search. They searched for hours but they did not find it. Meenakshi also notified her seva co-ordinator, ‘Radha aunty’. Radha aunty reassured her that the Mangalasutra would be found and she called all the volunteers under her to launch a serious search.
Every nook and corner in the canteen was searched thoroughly, and even the dustbins were not spared. A weeping Meenakshi plunged her hands into the garbage, searching for the holy thread which symbolized her marriage. To understand her concern, one must realize what the Mangalasutra means to an Indian woman. It is considered as a representative of the husband. An Indian woman never takes her Mangalasutra off her neck while her husband is alive, and she never wears it once her husband dies. Having left her sick husband in Kerala, and not knowing how to reach him (the lady did not even have a cell phone), she feared the loss of her Mangalasutra as a sign of some misfortune that had struck her husband!
The search efforts continue
After two days of intense searching, all the volunteers simply gave up. But Meenakshi never gave up. She kept praying and searching. Radha aunty’s heart was so moved that she made enquiries from several security personnel and those at the ‘Lost & Found’ department in the ashram. The answers she got were all disheartening for her and for Meenakshi too.
In fact, the people at the security told her that she should have brought this to their notice on the day it happened itself. They would then be able to go through the CCTV footage and see if there was any attempt of stealing. But now, 2 days after the loss, it seemed to late to do anything. Yet, they promised to see whatever could be done.
Each passing day had made Meenakshi ebb towards despair. She felt that there was nobody other than Swami who could help her. As a last ditch attempt, she decided to seek directly from Swami. On the 20th of January, she completed her duties in the canteen at 5:00pm. She sought permission from Radha aunty to go the mandir for darshan before her next service slot which began at around 6:30pm. Knowing her plight very well, Radha aunty allowed her to go.
The experience at the Mahasamadhi
And now, as she stood in the lines heading towards the Mahasamadhi, she saw the clock. It was nearing 6:30pm and she wondered how would she make it back in time. Just then, something tugged at her hand. She looked down and saw a little girl, maybe 10 years of age, with loose flowing hair and wearing a red dress.
“Did you get prasadam?” the little girl asked her.
“Here, take half from mine”, she said as she offered her half a sweet. Meenakshi took it and ate it.
“You need not go till there. Just fold your hands here itself aunty”, the little girl commanded.
Meenakshi was surprised at the ‘adult’ tones which the little girl was using. And she was speaking flawless Malayalam. But Meenakshi was in no mood to patronize the girl. She continued to crane her neck towards the marble structure. The little girl let go of her hand and told her that her mother was calling. She was soon gone.
Once Meenakshi reached the altar, she fell on her knees. Tears streamed down her closed eyes as she prayed,
“Swami, I can never go back home without my Mangalasutra. I don’t know what will happen but I am going to stay in Puttaparthi till I find it. Even if the duty is complete and the group leaves, I shall stay on. Please let me find my Mangalasutra.”
As she rose, she saw that there was a yellow flower in her hand. She had no idea how it got there. She thought that someone might have dropped it in her hands when she knelt in prayer. Anyway, she took that as a sign of grace and protection from Swami. Feeling better, she rushed back to her dormitory to change her dress and report for duty. As she exited the gate, she received her little sweet pouch from the volunteer who was distributing Prasadam to all the ladies. Since she had already eaten a bit of the Prasadam that the little girl had given her, Meenakshi decided to carry this Prasadam to her dormitory.
Swami is omniscient and omnipotent
Meenakshi saw that there were several other ladies from her state, Kerala, in the dormitory who had not attended the beautiful session in the mandir. So, she asked out aloud,
“Did all of you get Prasadam?”
When the answer was a unanimous ‘No’, she decided to share her sweet with all there.
She opened the sweet packet, put her hand in and pulled out the sweet. And she burst out in tears.
Embedded partially in that sweet was her Mangalasutra!! And it was covered completely with the holy KumKum!!
And as Meenakshi relived her experience of the previous day, she broke down. She was saying,
“Swami saved my Mangalyam. ( the necklace and the marriage).” She just turned to Radha aunty who was standing by her side, embraced her and cried like a child.
“Can you narrate your story in front of a camera in our studios at Radiosai?”, I asked her via a translator.
“I shall share this story anytime, anywhere in the world”, she said amid sobs of gratitude.
Meenakshi sharing her experience
Glimpses of Meenakshi reliving her experience
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N VENKATARAMANI on September 03, 2018:
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on May 12, 2015:
@Sandeep Damodaran - Definitely... Please go aheadand use it. I assume that this is a print version and not an online magazine. :)
Sandeep Damodaran on May 12, 2015:
its nice hear but can we this be used any time for our monthly sai magazine just to share this Story
lalitha on December 24, 2014:
thanks for this .It gives me so much energy and hope that He will take care of us .He is very sweet.
Sarika Jain from India on December 06, 2014:
Beautiful...can't stop my tears from flowing that are rejoicing at the benevolence of our sweet Lord!
Thanks Aravind for sharing this experience!
Esha Narayanan on December 05, 2014:
my aunt had got a non devotee for darshans.. she was visiting for the first time. when that lady's turn came to seek blessings at the mahasamadhi she witnessed something baffling... she clearly saw 2 feet at the samadhi... just the feet.. she couldn't figure out what she was witnessing... she rubbed her eyes and opened them wide.. she swa them still... confused she got up and left. later on she saw the picture of Swami's feet, one bigger than the other. She blurted everything out to my aunt.. She told her how she saw Swami's feet there.. my aunt was shocked...all of us were quite shocked !my aunt had got a non devotee for darshans.. she was visiting for the first time. when that lady's turn came to seek blessings at the mahasamadhi she witnessed something baffling... she clearly saw 2 feet at the samadhi... just the feet.. she couldn't figure out what she was witnessing... she rubbed her eyes and opened them wide.. she swa them still... confused she got up and left. later on she saw the picture of Swami's feet, one bigger than the other. She blurted everything out to my aunt.. She told her how she saw Swami's feet there.. my aunt was shocked...all of us were quite shocked !
Venkatraman Vernekar on August 20, 2013:
Dear sai brother Thank u very much It is true our beloved lord has not gone anywhere He is with us and blessing with us. May sai bless you. for tremodus job . sai ram brother
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on March 25, 2013:
@ Dan Barfield -
I have sent you a detailed email. Hope you received it. :)
Koppole Mohana Rao on March 21, 2013:
Meenakshi realised His Omniscience,Omnipotence and Omnipresence.
Her Devotion and Total Surrender to His Will paved the way to His Divine Intervention into her positive efforts to be in Sai's Way of Life.
--Mohana Rao Koppole, Sathya Sai Study Circle Samithi, Bangalore East District
Karthik S on March 19, 2013:
Wonderful Story, shows that our dear Lord is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on March 19, 2013:
That is really wonderful Sri.Venugopal! May His stories and experiences spread to fill joy and thrill in many hearts...
VENUGOPAL.S on March 19, 2013:
After gone through this , i have narrated this wonderful miracle to my samithi members and to adopted village mahilas also to make them understand to feel that swami is always with us.
Saianand from Mauritius on February 13, 2013:
How blessed sis Meenakshi n u are for having been hand picked for re-kindling the flame of SAI bhakti in our hearts at a time when we feel having been orphaned .Jai sai ram
alphasiddha on February 02, 2013:
swamy we are thanking you ever all the janma for giving miracles to our blind bakthi and awakening to the real gnana atmasairam thanking you
srinivasan on January 28, 2013:
swami you are here and everywhere. please continue to bless us. SAIRAM
nkulanthaivelu on January 26, 2013:
Manjula prasad on January 26, 2013:
i do not know how to sign for an account, but my e mail is Julieprasad@hotmail.co.uk this is wonderful. Tears were dropping while I was reading it. Have you heard of devas unlimited academy. This is run by dr & mrs shivani sinha sola from swami's hospital in white field. It is all in the google. Thank you once more for this beautiful article. Keep me informed if possible. Swami ki jai.
Manmatha Salian on January 25, 2013:
This is so amazing experience of Menakshi.Swami is still concerned about his devotees
annu on January 25, 2013:
meenakshi is truly blessed . thank you Swami for your unconditional and boundless grace and love upon your children
Suvarna on January 24, 2013:
Jai Sai Ram! Extremely wonderful miracle! Very touching leela of Swami!
I am an alumna from Swami's Institution and I just want to share one similar experience that happened with me this Sankranthi on Jan 14th 2013. Swami is showing His Divine Presence in such beautiful ways all around the world! I stay in the U.S and in a temple where I very often go to, my Mangalsutra had broken at the wire, but fortunately somehow I realized it after quite some time (since one of the pieces fell in the car itself before I got off) and got all the pieces intact without losing any. The priest of the temple offered to help me by fixing them to the gold chain with a thick wire. Since it was fixed in the temple itself, I thought of placing it around the small idol of Goddess Lakshmi there before I could wear it. I did so and wanted to put haldi and kumkum on it.
What happened next was very surprising and confusing to me that for about a minute, I was just staring and wondering what just happened. When I took haldi and kumkum and put it on the Mangalsutra, I don't know from where a YELLOW FLOWER fell from my hands onto the Mangalsutra which was around Goddess Lakshmi's idol! I was sure that I had picked up only haldi and kumkum with my finger tips!
Just then, my husband who is also an Alumni from the Institute came there and he was inquiring what happened since I looked puzzled! Then I told him what just happened. I then prayed to Swami and picked up both the Mangalsutra and the yellow flower!
Now, I know for sure what had happened, thanks to this beautiful similar incident which you have narrated here. I thank you so much for sharing this experience with us.
Priya on January 24, 2013:
Swami your glories are beyond our understanding. Just keep looking after us always! I love you.
Thank you auntie and Aravind...Swami bless you both and the song is sublime!
Dan Barfield from Gloucestershire, England, UK on January 24, 2013:
This is fascinating - I look forward to reading more of your work. The teachings of your master are a side of spirituality that I am intrigued by. As a student of the spiritual as well as the scientific and philosophical I am looking for good books in English that explain this belief system. Could you point me in the right direction?
Meenakshi on January 24, 2013:
Thank you verymuch to share this experience with us.rather than a ny word i don't know to tell. Please be contonue this service for the sake of our beloved swami to us.
Sanjeev on January 23, 2013:
Thanq ! May Swami bless you all, always!
shanthiramachandran on January 23, 2013:
marvellous divine grace & love of our supreme LORD,MASTER,GURU.SATHA KOTI PRANAM .
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on January 23, 2013:
It has been a very overwhelming experience for me, listening to the experience of Meenakshi. Today, we even did a video interview with her and her expression remained the same - overwhelmed and overjoyed.
It is with great joy in heart that I read each and every comment posted here and all I can say is that I completely agree with all that has been posted. Feeling Swami fill my heart through so many words and expressions. Thank you.
subarna on January 23, 2013:
Swami always with us. Om sairam
Shahrani on January 23, 2013:
Jai Sai Ram ♥ 'Why fear when I am here'...the deep truth!
Makarand P on January 23, 2013:
Thanks Bhaiya for sharing all your experiences.... somethings can't be expressed in words...... So on such an ocassion I just say SAI RAM.
firstname.lastname@example.org on January 22, 2013:
Sairam, He was in the form of that little girl. Sai Meenakshi appeared before Meenakshi. This is just a continuation of great miracles happening all around the world. Swami is with us always.
Sivakala on January 22, 2013:
Thanks brother Aravid bring us this swami s leela. Every secound swami is doing thousands of thousands miracles all over the world.JAI SAI RAM
Sai Meera on January 22, 2013:
The holy Mangala sutra miracle... !!! earlier Smt. Subhadramma, Smt. Puttamma from Bangalore.. they lost the Mangalasutra and prayed Our Divine Lord. Swami meterialised the same one and granted to them.. NOW our Beloved Lord again showing the same miracle. Thank you SWAMI.
Ramakrishna on January 22, 2013:
Aarthi on January 22, 2013:
Simply amazing bro! Thank you so much for sharing this. Swami responds to our faith in Him! He is always with us, listening to our every prayer. He knows our every thought.
amrit on January 22, 2013:
Thanks and lot of love to Swami , karunaSagari Maa, Sairam
V.SAI SARASWUTHI on January 22, 2013:
Oh Swamy!! You are so loving....Aarthiharaya namaha....bhaktha vathsalaya namaha....bhaktha paraadinayanamaha.....Phalapradayanamaha....
I had goosebumps going through this narative.
Jai bolo bhagawan sri sathya sai babaji ki...JAI.
VIJAIAN C on January 22, 2013:
SWAMI WAS THERE,IS THERE AND WILL BE THERE FOREVER,JAI SAIRAM!!!!!!!!!!
Pumalay Mudliar on January 22, 2013:
Thanks Br. Arvind for this very touching incident. the cry of sister Meenakshi from the depth of her Heart certainly melted the our Sear Swami. we should learn from sister Meenakshi the as a typical true and devoted Indian women like Sati Ansuiya.may Swami Shower lots of blessings on her and her family.
Bhanu Chandar on January 22, 2013:
What an experience Aravind...Unbelievable....Swamis Love & Grace are Unmatchable...Lots & lots of Love to Meenakshi & Koti Koti Pranams At the Lotus Feet...
saisarannaga from Chennai in Tamilnadu, India. on January 22, 2013:
Aravind! You stole our Heart!
Jayanthi on January 22, 2013:
What an experience.Worth the wait.
Meena on January 22, 2013:
What an astonishing story! Joy, Joy, Joy :-)
Shastry on January 21, 2013:
Sairam,brother aravind thanks for been able to share with the world. Jay sairam!!8-)))))
Sundar on January 21, 2013:
My mother had a similar experience 20 years ago...Swami willed that I relive that experience again through this reading..Thanks dear brother Aravind for sharing..I called up my mother just now and shared this with her ..
Deepa Venkitesh on January 21, 2013:
Thanks swamy and thanks Aravind
Chamari on January 21, 2013:
Thank you brother Aravind or sharing the wonderful mirracle of Our Merciful Lord who is always with us...hearing our prayers..He is with us for ever...SWAMI WE ARE WAITING FOR YOUR RETURN ONCE AGAIN..PRAYING INTENCELY FOR THE DAY TO SEE YOU PHYSICALLY ONCE AGAIN IN SAI KULWANT HALL..SITTING WITH US.
Karenleng on January 21, 2013:
Thanks for the wonderful Baba's Leela incident and sharing Bro Aravind. Always assure that Baba is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. No doubt precisely. Have 100% faith that our dearest Baba will always be with us and we just follow His teachings and instal Him in our divine heart 24/7. Jai Sai Ram!
Shruti on January 21, 2013:
Ajesh kumar on January 21, 2013:
Thanks Meenakshi... You were hand picked for a special job... To recharge a lot of devotees who are lost confused in UNIFORM devotion...
Sucharitha on January 21, 2013:
Goosebumps! Thanks a ton Arvind ..:)
sai nandagiri on January 21, 2013:
My day started after reading this very blessed experience jaisairam
manohar on January 21, 2013:
Just to go back in time, maybe it was 2000 or 2001, It was in brindavan you were giving a talk in morning foyer session, and i remember very vividly when you spoke these lines, from Lords photos the flower drops by, and the line probably was, "Miracles of Swami keeps happening day in and day out, probably every moment a new bhagwathan can be scripted"
No wonder even after Swami has left his mortal coil, this evidence clearly shows one who have deep faith in swami shall see him and his miracles happening all around him. I await to read beautiful incidents that you narrate here to feel blissful within.
Suresh on January 21, 2013:
Thanks Aravind for sharing with us the most recent leelas of our beloved Swami.
Perry Naik on January 21, 2013:
Speechless... thanks for bringing this to us Mr. Barru