I was in a whirlwind of confusion. My director was so disappointed that I had laid to waste his best laid plans. He was also hurt that I had not even told him about approaching Swami. He was angry as my cancellation meant nobody else could take my place as I did not have an identical twin brother! In short, he dismissed me from his office saying that he did not want to see my face.
I was sympathetic towards him. He had done so much and invested so much time and energy in this project. I had let him down big time. I remembered Swami’s words to me again,
“If you want to make Swami happy, make Venkatraman happy.”
I was convinced that Swami too would not be happy now. And that was not only because my director was unhappy, but also because of the fact that He had told me, “Your wish!”
In this state, I went to my senior-most colleague at office. He is like an elder brother to me and a true well-wisher. I told him my predicament. This was a kind of moral dilemma - if I went ahead with the trip I felt that Swami would be unhappy and even if I cancelled the trip, Swami, through my director’s disappointment, would be unhappy. Added to this, my train was due in another 6 hours. I was not sure I would get the chance to have another darshan. What was I to do?
First he consoled me. He told me that there is nothing like an impossibility for Swami. Things seem impossible only because our knowledge and awareness are limited. Swami’s love is infinite and so the possibilities of His love are also infinite. And then he made a statement which I treasure even now,
“If Swami wills, everything will be set right in a minute. So just pray.”
After a while, he came to me with another idea - giving a letter at The Residence.
For the staff working in the Sathya Sai Institutions, there was one great ‘perk’ if I may call it so. In case of an emergency - a sick parent, a mishap, an important decision to be made, an important event - the staff member could go to Swami’s residence and hand over a letter. The letter would be taken by one of the students who would stay with Swami and offered to Swami. If Swami chose, He would read it and respond to it. At times, He might choose to simply ignore it. At other times, He might not even give a chance for the letter to be presented. But nevertheless, it was a great ‘perk’ and chance for the staff members.
I was like a drowning man reaching out for floating straws and could simply not let go of this magnificent opportunity. I thought that it would be a good idea to write a letter and hope that Swami reads it before retiring to His personal room. But what should I write? Again, my senior colleague gave me an idea. Accordingly, I charted out the planned itinerary. It was detailed day-wise and I prayed to Swami on whether I should proceed accordingly or not.
With great anticipation and some trepidation I moved towards Yajur Mandir - The Residence. The brother there took the letter from my hand to take it to Swami. Seeing his kind face, I stopped him. I narrated to him all that I had been through and he very patiently and lovingly lent me an ear. Then I told him,
“If Swami sees this, you will definitely be able to make out whether He is happy with this or not. If possible, please sms to me 'yes’ or ‘no’ based on His reaction...”
He just smiled at me and said,
“Let us see what happens.”
Then he went in and I waited there for a few minutes. When nothing happened, I returned to my workplace. It was about 1:00 pm. It was lunchtime but I was in no mood to eat.
The phone buzzed and I saw it was the brother from The Residence. I picked the call very eagerly.
“Sairam Aravind. Swami saw the itinerary you sent. He said that you did not tell Him everything in detail. He seemed happy with the whole thing.”
“So, shall I leave by the train today evening then?” was my question.
“Of course. If you wish, you can hand over another letter before you leave.”
“Thank you so much brother. We shall do that.”
“Swami comes down from His room before going for darshan in the evening. That would be a good time to get your letter. Hmm.. around 3:30pm.”
The call was complete and so was my joy. I realized that actually I had not spoken to Swami about the Godavari trip at all. I had also not told Him about what we would be doing there. The message was so clear -
If you seek Swami’s blessings ‘physically’ then be true to it and share everything. Do not assume, “Swami is Divine. He knows this part anyway!” If you want to surrender it to His ‘Divine’ blessings, then go ahead with the good intentions in your heart. He knows everything and will take care perfectly. We do this error of shifting between the ‘physical’ and ‘divine’ based on our conveniences! When it comes to talking about our good or achievements, we do it as if Swami needs to be told everything. When it comes to accepting mistakes and apologising, we keep quiet thinking that Swami knows everything anyway!
There was another lesson for me also - When Swami gives an instruction, it holds good for all time. He had told me to make my director happy. With that in heart, had I simply obeyed, all would definitely be well.
That phone call made me feel relieved. It was as if the tornado that had built up for the past few days was dissolving into nothing at a very fast rate!
Suddenly, I began to feel hungry. It is strange but true that when a pressing situation seems to get solved, you get better appetite, better rest and better sleep. The canteens were all closed and so I went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Having enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, I began to write a letter of gratitude and love to Swami. I also told my GTBFT (going-to-be-fellow-traveller) to do the same. He was also very happy to get this chance to offer a letter to Swami before embarking on the journey. I thought that I would tell about this to my director after the second letter was offered. It made me so happy thinking that before going to bed, my director would be a happy man!
It soon became 3:30pm and we both found ourselves at the back entrance of the Yajur Mandir. Soon, the brother came out and accepted our letters to be given to Swami. Once he went in, both of us thought that we should wait for a while outside in case Swami sends a message or some token of blessing for us.
Then, the unexpected happened!
The brother came out and told us,
“Swami is calling you inside.”
Oh My God! Oh My Swami!
We both rushed in and Swami was sitting there in the hall. As soon as we went in, I was beaming a smile and so too was Swami. As we reached Him, He began telling,
“Do not jump about or get into the water. The water will appear shallow and nice but suddenly, it gets deep and you may get sucked in. Move only in the boats. Do not climb trees. Do not get on top of the buildings where the rods are protruding out.”
Even as I heard these, I was so moved. I knelt at His feet and placed my hands on His knees. Seeing Him from so close brought tears in my eyes. I responded with nothing but a deep look into His eyes. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. He once again began to repeat all His instructions. What else could I do but listen to Him. I again nodded and promised Him, “We will not get into the water at all Swami.” Swami said, “Get into the water only by boats”.
I told Swami,
“Swami, you shower so much love without even our asking. I don’t know what to say.”
He pulled my cheeks and said,
“Be happy always.”
Then I told Him,
“Swami we will go with great joy and comfort and return soon.”
Not only had the tornado ended but it was as if life-giving clouds had arrived with welcome showers. Swami handed to us a packet of savouries. It was a large packet and Swami said,
“Eat them along your journey!”
He also handed over a box of assorted sweets. And the best thing He gave us was a smile andpadanamaskar.
He enquired about the expenses for the trip. We replied that all the expenses had been taken care of by the office. He was happy. He blessed us and said,
“Go happily and return safely, without injuries.”
He then told us to hurry and be in time to catch the train. With overwhelming joy, we bowed down to Him again and then moved out of the Residence. Even as we reached the gate, the brother from inside the Residence came out. He handed over Rs.1000 to us and said,
“Swami said that since you are going to a new place, you may feel the desire to buy something there. The office will not pay those expenses. You should use this money to buy anything you desire!”
As he left, I just broke down. It was almost 4:15 pm and we had to go to the railway station, about 10 kilometers away. I did my packing real quick and also informed my director about my changed status. He was pleasantly shocked and gave his blessings and good wishes too.
Ah! How Swami had ensured that I make my director happy too! He gives the command and also gives the ability and opportunity to fulfill the command!
I know I have spoken about the lessons I learned through this episode. The most powerful lesson was this - Whatever mistakes or errors we make, if our intention while doing them was pure, that intention itself is enough to protect us. God knows everything and He sees our love, sincerity and purity. If these qualities are present, nothing else matters. And if we inculcate these qualities Swami will be by us, protecting and guiding us beyond measure.
My heart simply wells with Gratitude.
Seeking some feedback please...
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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on September 16, 2016:
From what I have made out, it looks like Swami was referring to the fact that in a matter of few days, the very people whom I was going to meet (the engineers of the Odisha project and Mr. V Srinivasan) were coming to Puttaparthi.
In retrospect, I feel that He could also have been referring to the fact that the Odisha beneficiaries were themselves going to come to him (in future of course... I had no idea about it at that time.)
In fact, when we asked the beneficiaries what else they wanted, they had only one request, "We want to meet Thakur (God) who has done this for us!" A few months later (in the month of April, during Ramanavami), a special train was booked for these people to travel to Puttaparthi and fulfill their wish of seeing their Thakur.
Pooja on September 16, 2016:
I'm reading all your blog entries again and again because they are a medium of communication for me with Swami and also vice versa. I know you had once given a talk that one should have direct communication with Swami and not through some other medium but honestly right now I'm probably an oscillating pendulum when it comes to direct communication - sometimes good, sometimes not. Still in learning stage :P ;)
Anyways, a small doubt here. Those moments when Swami said "they are coming, those people are coming".
Did you get to know why He said that? Just a lingering curiosity..
Thank you for sharing all your Divine wonderful incidents. Sairam.
K.Vijaya Lakshmi on June 13, 2014:
Sai Ram Aravind............sooooooo great. You are really a blessed child of Sai and may you be in constant touch with our beloved Swami for ever and ever and in your future janmas....... Swamy is blessing people like me too through your articles........ my eyes too are welled up after reading such an endearing experience and have no words to express my gratitude. Your narration is too brilliant wherein I felt it was me who was experiencing all that instead of you...........Thank you dear.........Sai Ram
Sunita Menon on February 21, 2014:
This was such a touching article. I have been hearing Swami's love for one and all from Prof Anil Kumar , on 19th, 20th and 21st of Feb. This incident was an icing on the cake, reflecting Sai as Sai Maa.
It gives such an insight to people like us, who have never experienced this kind of proximity. Thank you Arvind for detailing all the incidnets so beautifully. May Swami's Grace be on you always.
Ashwini S on December 13, 2013:
Sairam Brother Arvind,
This is the best experience I have ever heard. Its amazing the way swami showers his love on his children, the way he fulfills our desires. You are truly blessed to have been in such close proximity to the divine. When his grace is with us, he can give us the mental strength to face every worst situation in the most easiest way. He has his own ways of solving the problems at the best time and the best moment.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with the Lord. :)
Venu on March 01, 2013:
Barru... Amazing article. I knew u guys had covered Orissa but didn't know Swami blessed you and the whole story is so touching.
Kokila Vaidyanathan on February 20, 2013:
Sairam Brother...I am now going through the articles in your hub. What an amazing way to express the tornado feeling. Your experiences with Swami brings an eternal smile...while reading I can actually feel those experiences. Can imagine Swami's looks, padanamaskar and the sambhashan. Truly amazing. I am grateful to Swami to have made me find you here to read His divine plays. He is working through you to inspire us from various parts of the world.
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on October 13, 2012:
@ Shobha M and Parmila Singh - Thank you for the loving comments... Truly speaking, all the credit goes to Swami - His love and grace.
@SR - Thank you. I feel so happy that am able to be an instrument in His hands. Glad that you enjoyed it. You can bookmark aravindb1982.hubpages.com and get to read other such articles too...
SR on October 13, 2012:
sairam brother! your articles are so touching! i experienced some whirlwinds in recent days and drew a new learning experience out of it... and now when i read this i felt how amazing are the miracles of swami.. i am now sure that swami is with me all the time... i may choose to ignore him but he will never ignore me! And i must say... no one can ever put such a wonderful incident in such sweet words other than true devote... u truly are blessed brother! And i am blessed to be able to read this article!! thank you!! jai sai ram!
Balajee Venna on August 19, 2012:
Sairam brother. Please please keep sharing these
shobha m on July 14, 2012:
Aravind, this was an amazing story, a test given to you by the lord, which you passed with flying colours. And the ending showed the happiness and the joy that the lord himself has when you pass with flying colours because is what He truly wants. And needless you say , you became nearer and dearer to Him. God bless you always. Thank you once again for sharing these wonderful intimate moments with Swami, fills our heart with joy. Did not vote for your question, because every story of Swami is as enjoyable and as soul stirring, maybe you should have had another option, all of above. Sai love and Sairam
Parmila Singh on July 11, 2012:
Arvind you truly are blessed child and swami is everything, he takes care of little needs and details which is beyond our grasp.there is no one like swami and your story is so powerful and live and helps do more and more service for what we have learnt
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on July 11, 2012:
@ Pratim - Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings... Swami had told me - The more you share your experiences, the more I am happy and will give you such experiences...
I am grateful to Swami for all these experiences and reading the kind of impact He is making through them, I feel so humbled and delighted...
Thank you everyone for your love and joy-sharing...
Pratim on July 11, 2012:
Thanks a lot Aravind bro for sharing this, such a touching episode...after spending 9 years in Parthi, and today sitting in an office was kind of killing me with 'homesickness' (for parthi - our home away from home)...decided to read, and felt as if I was the person with whom all this was happening....felt with Swami in Parthi!!! Thanks a ton!!!
jayashri amar on July 10, 2012:
Sairam..amazing experience..so typical of our Dear Swami..will test us but never let us down..and you are truly blessed for this close interaction with Swami..
L Rao on July 10, 2012:
This part - the end of the tornado (or the calm thereafter?) is incredible. There cannot be an adequate description to Swami's Love, it's sweetness, and its extent (limitless.....).
poornimasrinath from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA on July 10, 2012:
This is so touching..one stroke I finished reading all..Many mothers love to make their children cry so that they get to show their love in abundance by means of consoling..This incidence seems one such! lucky you ;')
Sudha Ram on July 09, 2012:
Don't go to buildings where iron rods are protruding.... he he he.. Ever loving, ever caring Mother...
Had to cover my watering eyes... Thank you Mother Sai
With you by our side...
Every teardrop that slips
Is that of joy, joy & joy...
Thanks Arvind for cleansing our outer eye & inner - I...
Sudharshan on July 09, 2012:
He is all LOVE!
Madhavi Alapaty on July 09, 2012:
You are very blessed Aravind ! Your earning for SWAMI makes you feel the way you feel and it flows through your writings. I really felt good reading this article and especially the last two paragraphs of day 3. When i read your interpretations of SWAMI..it truly gives me warmth and confirms my faith in HIM absolutely. SWAMI is pure love and joy and I am very fortunate to know about HIM in your articles.
Also i like all three choices and was difficult to vote on one choice:-)
Jahnavi on July 09, 2012:
Absolutely speechless with tears in my eyes.
Overwhelmed with Swami's pure love. Oh how compassionate is our mother to say don't get into water, don't climb trees, come back safe and gives you money to please your desire!!
No words to describe this feeling..
I really liked the lessons you have drawn out of this experience. Especially when you say how we swing between the physical and divine sense as per our conveniences..
Very beautifully written Aravind, Thank you very much for sharing..
Vardharajan AV on July 09, 2012:
I was interested to know how GV sir handled it. He was right in getting upset as he was not consulted before approaching Swami. I liked the gift of Rs.1000 for personal expenses!!! Superb & pure Love of Swami. Mixing the divine with physical, almost everyone commits this error and lucky people happen realise it sooner.
An Impressed Reader on July 08, 2012:
Am stunned and rendered speechless brother .. Tears in my eyes ..
Yes there were a lot of profound messages to take in this episode .. But the kind of love that Swami showered has over shadowed everything and has simply left me dumbfounded ..
The tornado has culminated in a torrential downpour of unsullied and pure love that He alone is capable of showering ..
Maybe I'd like to say more when I return to my senses ..
Anonymous on July 08, 2012:
A beautiful article. Such a blessed person you are sir :)
sai sister on July 08, 2012:
What thanks can we render Sai...mother sai gives the love of thousand mothers...........
Mark Aspa from Berlin, Germany on July 08, 2012:
superbly recounted in a way that had me in great suspense...
Mani on July 08, 2012:
Pure Love, So loving, lovely... what else to say. i am choked with emotions. Make us worthy of your love, Swami. And teach us to Love you.
Perry Naik on July 08, 2012:
Beautiful narration... you should publish this in SS so that millions will imbibe the essence of this interaction and be inspired in their lives...
p s (from shimla) on July 08, 2012:
Heart touching and moving narration.
my eyes moistened and heart was overwhelmed on reading about extreme love that Swami showers on you.
really our 'bhava priya' Swami is ocean of MERCY and unconditional LOVE.
Aarthi on July 08, 2012:
My God! Barru, this is awesome! :) The smile on ur face in that photo says it all. I'm sure u have accumulated a good credit balance of Punya in several lakhs of ur previous births to get these rare chances to interact with Swami, too going into His residence. Also, He pulled ur cheek and said "Be happy!" So sweet. :) U r truly lucky and blessed. Thanks for sharing this with all of us so that we too can relive those moments.