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What should one do to deserve God? - A Divine Deja Vu

What should I do to deserve God?

What should I do to deserve God?

A strange sequence of events

When it comes to penning down experiences of Swami (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) and with Swami, I always do so based on inspiration. Swami had directly indicated to me that an inspiration is indeed His way of communicating and so, I always wait for the same before I write. It was one of those mornings when I was searching my heart for inspiration. I said to my Lord within,
“Swami, I have a strong urge to write about you. But what should I write about? When you have given the urge, will you not give the matter too?”

I guess that single thought triggered a most strange sequence of events that morning. The morning was a busy one and I met at least 3 people at work in the studio. As I prepared to leave for lunch, I noticed that my wallet was missing. I am a bit forgetful and so, I was sure, that I had just misplaced it somewhere in the Prasanthi Digital studios. But 20 minutes later, I was worried. My wallet was nowhere near being found and it seemed to have vanished along with the money, precious credit/debit cards, even more precious driving licence and the most precious vibhuti packets that Swami had personally given me.

I looked around and, to my greatest joy, found the wallet next to a colleague’s computer. I rushed and picked the wallet only to be disappointed that it was not mine, but one which was identical to mine! As I was beginning to despair, a sudden idea struck me. I began to call each one of the visitors to my room and asked them whether they carried wallets. It turned out that one of the visitors - a volunteer working with us at the massive video archives being organized - had indeed pocketed my wallet mistaking it for his.

We both laughed over the episode and I told him that I would drop by at the archives to pick up the wallet. I met him, picked the wallet and was walking out to head home when I was accosted by a stranger. In a few minutes, I understood the reason behind this drama of my ‘misplaced’ wallet!

The answer to my thought

The stranger introduced himself as Mr. Ganeshan Pillay from Mauritius. But even before he did that, what he said won him my ears totally.
“I have been experiencing Swami in such wonderful ways. The editor of Sanatana Sarathi told me to write a book. But, I don’t seem to have the interest to write a book. It is so easier to share by speaking right?”
“Well, that is true. But if you share your experience with me, I may write it down for you.” I was surprised at what I said myself! I do not speak in this manner to anybody because I usually write only my experiences. It was a strong inner prompting that made me promise him so.

Thus, Mr. Ganeshan Pillay shared his experience first and then I took down his details. However, I shall reverse the order in this narrative. I shall introduce him as a tall man in his 30s with a heightened passion and enthusiasm for Swami and His mission. He is a teacher at a Primary School in Mauritius and seeing his ‘josh’ I was sure that he would be doing a lot of good to the kids.

Mr.Ganeshan Pillay’s tryst with Bhagawan Baba

It was in the November of 2007 that he made his annual visit to Prasanthi Nilayam for darshan. He was seated in the Sai Kulwant Hall by 7:55am. It was the 17th of November, 2007 - he remembers the date very precisely. (Who would not after such an experience?) He was in a happy frame of mind because he had found a place in the front between two gentlemen, as if it had been reserved for him. Though there was a huge birthday crowd, he managed to be in the second line as darshan began at 8:00 am.

The darshan got over and bhajans began at 9:00 am. It turned out to be a special day for all the devotees assembled as Swami came for a second round of darshan during the bhajans. Swami came near Ganeshan and what happened next is inexplicable for him to say even today.

“I was suddenly in a state of trance. I felt that my whole body was still. Swami stood near me and my mind was totally empty. I bent down and touched both His feet with both my hands. That is all what I remember and everything else - the surroundings, the sevadal, the crowd - melted into nothingness. The only thing is remember is the bhajan that was going on - Shambho Murare Shankara Murare.

So enthralling was the experience that after a while, Ganeshan had a doubt as to whether it had really happened or whether it was a vision. The cause for this doubt was the fact that when he took namaskar his all-time favorite bhajan seemed to have automatically begun. His attachment to Shambho Murare Shankara Murare had been spontaneous and instantaneous the first time he heard it at a Bal Vikas Guru’s Course in Mauritius. (Bal Vikas is Swami’s special programme for inculcating values in children.) Since that bhajan was not sung in Mauritius, Ganeshan had to sing out the bhajan for himself whenever he felt like experiencing divine joy. He has no idea why that bhajan is so special for him. But when he heard the same bhajan as he touched Swami’s feet, he thought that maybe the whole experience was a hallucination.

His friend in the lines and a frowning Seva Dal volunteer nearby confirmed that he had indeed bent and touched Swami’s feet. Having got that confirmation, Ganeshan was in seventh heaven. Gratitude sped from his heart to Swami who had ensured that his favorite bhajan was sung during his most special moment. And even as Ganeshan narrated this, I was reminded of a similar timing by Swami while giving namaskar to me.

“I had no idea that my experience would meet fulfillment during this trip”, Ganeshan said.

Deja Vu

Deja Vu

Deja Vu or Divine Assurance?

The year 2012 was significant for Ganeshan in ways more than one. It was the first time he was visiting Puttaparthi after Swami had left the physical. And by a strange quirk of fate, he landed in Puttaparthi on exactly the same day and date as he had done so in 2007 - Tuesday, the 13th of November. (The calendars for November 2007 and November 2012 are exactly the same.)

It was the 17th of November, a Saturday exactly 5 years after that most charming and holy Saturday morning. Ganeshan was sitting in the Sai Kulwant Hall and the feeling was the same. However, in his heart, he felt a kind of void. He knew that Swami would not be coming for darshan the way He used to when He was in the physical. He was feeling a little low when suddenly, the memories of the day, 5 years ago came flooding back.

He began to relive that day - how he had found a special place in the hall and how Swami had come and granted him namaskar. He was totally lost in visualizing that beautiful scene. It seemed so real because when the actual episode had occurred it had seemed so unreal! He was lost in the joy of visualization.

A small detour here. Swami has always emphasized on the power of visualization. That is because, whether we believe in it or not, we are all sparks of divinity. Whatever we visualize, we create before our eyes. Thus it is important that we spend all our time and energy in positive, powerful visualizations rather than dwell in negativity and frustration.

Coming back to Ganeshan’s story. I shall conclude that in his own words.
“I was in joy of Swami’s presence. And yet, a voice within me cried for a sign that it was indeed Him. The previous time, my friend and a volunteer had affirmed it for me. This time, I wanted a sign. And suddenly, I remembered my bhajan - Shambho Murare Shankara Murare. The time was 9:25am and the priest had walked out. I knew for sure that it was the last bhajan before Aarthi would be taken. And then, it happened. The harmonium played the initial piece and the bhajan Shambho Murare Shankara Murare filled the air!”

Deja Vu? Divine Assurance? Or both? Whatever it might be, it filled Ganeshan’s being with such peace, love and divinity that he had goosebumps on his skin and tears in his eyes. It hit him like a ton of bricks that his Swami was with him every moment of his life and all he had to do to have Him was to need Him! Hasn’t Swami assured all of us saying,
“If you need me, you deserve me.”

And that is all one has to do to deserve God - to need Him. So loving, compassionate and sweet is our Lord that He asks for no further qualification or effort - only that we need Him.

As I enjoyed the experience, I realized that my wallet had not been 'mis'placed but 'master'placed!

The whole Universe is all about reflection. 'Reflect' on those beautiful feet and they will 'reflect' in your heart as well! That is Divine Deja vu.

The whole Universe is all about reflection. 'Reflect' on those beautiful feet and they will 'reflect' in your heart as well! That is Divine Deja vu.

If you enjoyed reading this, share it. You might also enjoy these:

1. If you look to me, I look to you: A Christian's life-changing experience.

2. Truth is stranger than fiction: The experience of a disciple of Swami Sivananda.

3. The revealing story of Shiv Yogi Maharaj.

4. The Divine drama at Ooty and Chennai.

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© 2012 Aravind Balasubramanya


Sashank Bezawada on June 09, 2020:

Thank you so much for sharing about Baba.

Shaw Lee on June 03, 2015:

Aravind: We feel the closeness of our Beloved Swami in our hearts through your experience. Thanks for sharing, Sairam.

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 26, 2013:

@Nicknet - I guess now all of us are in a level playing field - we have to make that internal connection. As long as the form existed, we could at least entertain the delusion that the one who is near is also dear. Blessed are you that you visualize and relive all your moments with Swami.


Nicknet on August 26, 2013:

Swami never ceases to surprise us. All he wants from us to need Him or love Him genuinely and He is there even when we do not think or visualize Him. But a connection is established when we do. Living far away from His physical form, I too cherish His blessings from my visit to the physical form, such as Him looking into my eyes, His smiles and little words He said when passing by me and His response to my mental talks with Him, sitting in Darshan. When back home, I too visualize all these blessings and Yes! even so far away, here in the USA, we are blessed with same/similar experiences as those of the above mentioned brother. This only proves our Lord's omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience. Thanks for sharing!

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on August 26, 2013:

@Shivakumar - Very happy that you were thrilled with this narrative! :)

What you say is true - the external circumstances seem to be 'mysteriously' realigned when there is pining and longing in the heart. Thank you for sharing that lovely experience at the Chennai ARMY event.


ShivaKumar on August 26, 2013:

Dear Sairam Brother,

I too got goose bumps reading this article, about visualization & Bhajan songs we like. I too visualize about the great Darshan swami gave me when he came to Chennai for Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam outside his abode in Chennai, SUNDARAM. He came all the way out to the street outside Sundaram to give Darshan and stopped right in front of me and looked deeply into my eyes and collected the letter which I was holding in my hand. This happened when there was Mr.Narendra Modi , Mr.Rajnikanth and few more prominent people waiting inside Sundaram to have his Darshan. We were all in tears after this and this moment is ever etched in my memory and remains my visualizing moment. This shows that Swami cares for his devotees first and if we deserve him he will bless us for sure. Moreover , I also have experienced listening to our favourite bhajan songs either in Sundaram or in Prashanti when we pine for him internally.

We thank Swami for providing us a Brother like you who shares not only his experiences but also devotees' experiences which creates BLISS in our hearts in this hectic world. This is truly HIS Master plan.

VENUGOPAL.S on March 09, 2013:

EXCELLENT divine experience by Ganesa pillai , leaves strengthen our trust with Swami.


Padma on December 02, 2012:

Sairam, thanks for sharing such a lovely experince and the beautiful picture. The reflection of Bhagwans feet is divine. The power of visualization, which is mentioned in the article, I have been doing it in all aarathis after the bajans and carried with me positive vibrations. So happy to know Baba used to emphasize that...Jai sai ram

Krishnamu;rthy Narayan on December 01, 2012:

So beautiful indeed is the experience. This is the sort of article that my heart was seeking this morning. Swami is indeed ever full of His grace. Thank you Swami

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on December 01, 2012:

@ Pooja - That is all I keep waiting for - more instances of His work! :)

R.Mahadevan on December 01, 2012:

Sairam brother,

What a beautiful article..it touched me in the most astonishing manner..perfect timing.was undergoing a very challenging experience since yest morn.there was so much pain and I kept wondering why even after leaving everything to swami,the residue of pain remained.i prayed and prayed for an answer because I was scared to trust the inner prompting in such a situation where it could be the ego self and not the higher self.

The moment I read this article I got my answer as it tallied exactly with what came from within.your current Article is actually a déjà vu for another article 'lesson from a fish' for me.both these articles are connected to the Lord's feet and gave much needed solace to me to carry on.

Keep up the fantastic job brother as you are reaching Swami's messages to the hearts of people across the globe.sairam.

Ramamani Velamuru,Hyderabad on December 01, 2012:

Sairam Brother Arvind,

Amazing Experience.When we visited Parthi in Dec 2010,I too had similar experience. After settling in our place,went for Darshan.Bhajan was going on n SWAMI was inside.We didn't go inside as it is time for Aarthi. Waiting outside for a glimpse of Bhagawan. Then comes my fav Bhajan ''Vanamaali Radharamana Giridhari Govindaa''.This happened several times.,when I was student at ATP Campus n there after.


Lakshmi Gopal on December 01, 2012:

Beautiful story. Brings back that lovely , familiar unforgotten feeling. Hope to relive some experiences when I am in parthi next week.

Kamal on December 01, 2012:

Bro Take home lesson for me

“If you need me, you deserve me.”

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on December 01, 2012:

@ Maria - Cannot agree more with you. Complete concentration can emanate only from the depths of the heart.

@ Jahnavi - Hope you deal with the challenges of the day in a most wonderful manner! :) Thank you for the comment.

@ Mark Aspa - How can the experiences about the infinite ever end? They have been happening in the past and present; will surely continue in the future too.

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on December 01, 2012:

@ Mr.Happy - :) Very powerful and loving comment. A vibhuti packet is a small 3inches x 2 inches plastic cover that contains 'holy ash' - grey, fragrant and fluffy. Totally agree with you that faith does incredible things... The whole universe is based on faith. :)

pooja on December 01, 2012:

It is indeed rapturous the way divinity works! Call it coincidence or deja vu,so great is the impact on our lives,that it can give us immeasurable strength and a huge sense of joy

poornimasrinath from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA on December 01, 2012:

I might have mentioned in my earlier comments but I would like to reiterate the fact that your inspirations come as answer to my doubts...I am sure for many other readers too..

Even this post is no exception...

Last year December 6th on my son's birthday I had a similar experience in Prashanthi. I visited Swami's birth place with my parents and the birthday boy. There was only one person who was chanting rudhram and we sat there and felt very peaceful and close to Swami. Before leaving to India I sang "Aananda saagara muralidhara" in our centre here in RSA and everyone in our bhajan group knew how passionate I was about that song. On 6th dec we reached kulwant hall few minutes before close of bhajans. As we were entering we heard "Kali kali" which was very frequently sung in our centre last year. When we just sat on the line started "Aananda saagara" ...just before Aarthi. Both my son and I had goosebumps! I was sure that Swami was showing me that the day indeed was a blessed day for both my son and me.

Mark Aspa on December 01, 2012:

a wonderful account of the inimitable and uniquely Divine way Swami blesses us - have heard so many stories like this and even experienced them myself!

These experiences will never end....

Jahnavi on November 30, 2012:

What a beautiful experience Aravind. Of course it was master placed so we could all rejoice and bask in His Glory. Swami is with Each one of us, every moment, answering each of our heart's call. An amazing experience I get to read on a challenging day ahead.

Thanks very much for sharing.

Sai Ram

Maria on November 30, 2012:

Bravo, what a great lead into this wonderful promise by Swami . I truly feel

that our imagination is the most powerful divine tool we have its fabulous that to have Swami all we have to do is NEED him with full concentration eminating from the very bottom of our hearts- that's all his promise to us and he is TRUTH!

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on November 30, 2012:

Lovely story once again Mr. Aravind.

I would just mention that if You had Objects of Power such as the vibhuti packets (even though I do not know what a vibhuti pack is) missing, know that they will always come back. Your Faith will bring them back and your Faith probably made them take your wallet away in the first place just like You said, so that You can go on the little adventure You did and meet that person. : )

Faith does incredible things!

Thank You for sharing another inspiring article.


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