Experience of a Divine Kind

Srinivas Nyapathy writes ( Written a day after Baba left us )

Though I realised its only the End of an Avatar yesterday, when the news brokeout , I could not hold back my sorrow, seeing Sai baba’s visuals from Sai Kulwanth Hall today.

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I have full belief in his presence, even after he has left us physically, I just burst into tears. My wife, next to me, tried to console me, in vain.

I realised while seeing Sachin Tendulkar weeping like a kid, by Baba’s side, while he lay there in state, that I lost my most revered guiding light, just like he did.

Incidents in my life, one by one, scanned through my mind, where I felt Sai Baba’s presence, his support,  his guidance. How I took decisions in tough situations with complete confidence that Satya Sai Baba is there to take care of me.

I took decisions in irksome situations thinking of Sai Baba’s teachings and abiding by them. Even though some laughed at my decisions then, I knew, as I followed Baba’s teachings, I will win at the end. And that’s exactly what used to happen.

I remembered how difficult situations just eased for me, the  Medical miracles that saved my close family, how the sheer thoughts of Baba, kept me away from unwanted distractions in my younger days.

Yes, he has given us the directions. SATYA, DHARMA, SHANTI , PREMA. Its just that we have to follow them, to have HIM still showering his blessings on us.

Truth, righteousness, peace and love — these are the four pillars on which the mansion of happiness is built  http://www.saibaba.ws/quotes/humanvalues.htm :- From the discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

As I write this, My mind goes back to times when I was about 6 and we visited Puttaparthi along with my parents, uncle and cousins. Puttaparthi was a small village. It had no facilities like it has today, but of course, for us Sai Baba devotees, it had something which no metro in the world had, GOD !

Satya Sai Baba’s Darshan was very awe inspiring. Just one Darshan of Satya Sai Baba is enough to make you feel like coming back for more, every Darshan is a different experience, an experience that will stay with you a lifetime. Even for such a kid of about 6 years, the Hair style, the striking Orange robe, the whole experience associated with Prashanti Nilayam ( even though it dint have the structural granduer or the colourful look as it does today ) used to make me sit there listening to the Bhajans, in rapt attention.

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At that age though, I could not understand why devotees used to cry seeing Baba, Later on in life, Seeing the Orange robe emerging for Darshan from HIS residence, the soothing Mantras and Bhajans at the early morning Darshans while Sai Baba used to walk,( should I say, gracefully glide) past the seated devotees, blessing with a wave of his hand, brought tears to me as well. Then I realised they were tears of Joy gushing through the eyes, suddenly out of nowhere.

That smile and the all knowing look, right into my eyes,and the way his eyes found me wherever I sat for Darshan, is thrilling. Its divine, when you hear everyone in the darshan hall feel, Baba’s eyes met theirs and he smiled at them.

Another opportunity of seeing  Satya Sai Baba very closely was in the late 70’s, When a Satya Sai World Conference was held at Rajahmundry, my native place. Thousands  thronged the Gurukulam High School, for Satya Sai Baba Darshan.  I used to tag along with  my father during  the World Conference, and as he had a 8 MM movie camera,     ( rarity in those days ) he was allowed to go near Sai Baba.

My father had the opportunity of screening these films in villages of Coastal Andhra, parts of Konaseema. Places like, Amalapuram, Nuzvidu, Tanuku, Ambazipeta, Mandapeta, Seetha Nagaram,  which were remote villages then. I also used to go, tag along you can say , to asssit  him. It was nice to see the happiness on the faces of the devotees after the screening. They used to bless my father wholeheartedly. Its these blessings that saved him from a deadly electrical shock at home in Rajahmundry.

The jolt of the shock threw him far away, enough, to dislocate his arm and leave a scar on his forearm for life. Later on, we came to know through a close aide of Sai Baba who called on my father to enquire if its true that he had an electric shock and also said  that Baba had told him that “ I saved your friend from an electric shock , shoulders are paining as I was carrying him on my shoulders “, We were thrilled that it was Baba who gave a new lease of life to my father.

During these years we used to have regular Bhajans taking place on Thursdays at our home in Rajahmundry. Annadaanam on Sundays, periodically, in Satya Sai Baba’s name. Poor people used to Queue up in front of our house , for free food, daring the hot sun.

These were eye openers for me during the “formative” years that have made me a better person today. Things we pick up and lessons we learn from such events, keep us level headed and on the right path. Things which stay in the mind sub-conciously and help us later on in life.

At that age the Annadanam experience  showed me how grateful I should be for God has given me a life, where I dont have to worry about food and other basic things, The joy you bring to people by caring about them.

My mother used to ask me to distribute Vibhuti after every Bhajan, As the process should start immediately after the last Bhajan, it used to keep me tuned to the Bhajans, It was my responsibility to see no one leaves without the Sai Vibhuti.

“Paramam Pavithram Baba Vibhuthim, Paramam Vichitram Leela Vibhuthim, Paramartha Ishtartha Moksha Pradhanam, Baba Vibhuthim Idam Asrayami “

( Which means: “I take refuge in the supremely sacred vibhuti of the Lord, the wonderful vibhuti which bestows liberation, the sacred state which I desire to attain.” )was chanted as the Vibhuti was distributed by yours truly.

I would like to mention Shri Padala Narayana Rao Garu here, he used to sing with so much energy and devotion. He used to literally make us feel Shri Sai Baba was sitting right there, infront of him.

Now, After Sai Baba’s demise, an ordinary person may feel that Puttaparthi may lose its glory but I, like other devotees, firmly believe that the town will maintain its position on the international map as a holy place, intact.

Now, November 23 (Baba’s birthday) and April 24 (the day of his demise) will be the most important days in Puttaparthi’s calendar.
Though it remains a  regret that we had to see him leave us physically, It’s a blessing in itself , that we all lived along with HIM. We have been fortunate enough to have seen him, in our lifetime.

“Om Sai Ram”

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