During dinner, when Swami saw a young man from Fiji Islands who hailed from a family of three generations of devotees, He asked the man about his grandfather who had come to Swami for the first time in the sixties.
Though from very humble origins and belonging to the pre-independence era, his grandfather left the shores of a British-India for greener pastures to Fiji Islands back in the 1930s, and worked tirelessly to provide for the large family of nine children.
Swami told this boy, “Your grandfather was very hardworking as he had many children to care for, but I have to work much harder because I have many more children to look after.”
That sounded like a passing remark, but something tugged at my heart. Let alone the entire 85 years that Swami worked tirelessly for the sake of others, without any Sundays or holidays, even in the last five years I have been a direct witness to how hard He works, in different time zones in different countries with different people, so that back home, His children are looked after well and are not deprived of health, education or happiness.
Recently when He returned to Muddenahalli from a long trip abroad, He told the students, “I know that all of you have been missing Me, and also have been complaining that Swami has time to go to all the countries but not to come to our schools. But let Me tell you My children, that also is for your sake alone. I am ‘Sai Baba’, the divine mother and father rolled in to one. Just as I have a duty to care for you, visit you and nurture you like a mother, I also have to provide for you and protect you as a father. Since I have to perform this ‘double roll’, I have to work harder.”
Never in my student days did I realise that Swami had worked so hard, incessantly, to see to that the schools, the university, the hostels, the stadium, the hospitals and everything else that we needed were made available to us without any charges. It’s only now that when I work with Him by His side, that I realise what He had done and is doing for all of us!
My heart shed a few silent tears of gratitude for His silent seamless sacrifices, when I heard Him say that to the Fiji youth over dinner.