Excerpts from The Story Divine (Part 2) By Madhusudan Naidu
- It was in early May 2012 that I visited Gulbarga for the very first time. I was driven to a nearby Government guest house which belonged to the Indian railways. I had gone mentally prepared for a typical small Indian town stay in the underdeveloped North Karnataka region, but the guest house was a surprise to put it mildly. Perhaps living in Bangalore for a few years coupled with traveling around the world had interfered with my ability to adjust anywhere without any complaints. For someone who found it hard to even tolerate a little dust at home, and would wage a war at the very sight of stains, the betel-leaf-spit-stained-reddened walls of the toilets were too much to bear! However, thinking of all the good that I was about to embark upon, I let idealism overpower my personal opinions, and quickly made peace with the surroundings.
- Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital was meant to be – a living symbol of love! As Swami explained, “The shape of the hospital is like that of a symbolic heart, not only because it is meant to mend little hearts, but more importantly because the heart is where God resides. Just as the heart accepts impure blood and purifies it, before sending it out to all the limbs, likewise, people with sorrow and suffering will step into this hospital and, after being unburdened of their sickness and strife, will step out with the newfound hope of a healthy and happy life.”
- Why a car? Swami answered that question Himself during His inaugural visit to the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence on June 19, 2014, when He said: “Why did I come here in the car? I can just appear here even without a car. However, I came in the car to make you understand that I am here. I have created this little drama of coming and going so that you can understand and are encouraged to aspire and experience Swami in this form. Previously, when you were in Muddenahalli and I was granting Darshan in Prasanthi Nilayam, you would run to Prasanthi Nilayam to have My Darshan. When I was travelling from Prasanthi Nilayam to Bangalore, you would go and stand by the roadside, because you knew that Swami’s car was going to pass. This is why I create this drama of coming and going in the car.” “The drama I was enacting in Prasanthi Nilayam previously and the drama that I am enacting here has the same purpose. Nothing has changed. Only the car has changed. The destination is the same.
- A week before the first ever Kodaikanal retreat in the Subtle, He called me into His room in Bangalore and told me very seriously, “Keep your mind pure and calm. The mission is going to accelerate.”“As long as you remain selfless, no one can stop this mission,” He added. That really jolted me out of my reverie, for here was Swami who was telling an ordinary mortal like me to be pure and calm and selfless in order to allow His mission to happen! Who was I after all in front of His Divine infallible Sankalpa, I wondered. “You become My body and I will work through you as your Atma Sarathi (Soul-Charioteer). That way we both can transform the world.
- Swami one day said to me. “Let go of all shame and fear, and be a flawless instrument of Mine.” This book is about truths and myths of those who dare to do things for the Divine.“Will you do anything for Me?” was the question Swami asked me one afternoon in the portals of Sai Kulwant Hall, when I was an MBA student in His college. Without batting an eyelid, I replied, “Yes, Swami, anything that You command.” A promise had been made. This book is about keeping up that promise through testing times.
- I was totally tired and slept instantly, only to be awakened by Swami’s voice, “Get up! It is getting late! Prema Sai will be born soon.” I woke up startled and jumped out of my bed, to look for my watch. It was early in the morning, around 5 a.m., as the timepiece showed. So, I woke up Brother Sriram and the two of us quickly got ready to continue our search in the streets of Mysore. I was kind of clueless and had no idea which way to go, when Swami’s voice rang again in my head and said, “Go right and proceed on the road until you see a nursing home.” He gave us the name of the nursing home and we followed His instructions. A few meters down the same road, to our utter surprise, we found the nursing home Swami had mentioned. Can you believe two young men in white clothes, going from one maternal ward to the other, looking for a mother to be? I feel like laughing at it now but back then it was pretty serious!
- The self-proclaimed atheist visited Puttaparthi on November 27, 2010 at my invitation. Just to give him company, I sat by his side amidst the devotees, foregoing the special seating privileges of alumni. I remember well that it was a long wait that evening, and Swami did not come for Darshan until almost 7 p.m., which made Gowrishankar extremely worried. A while later, I saw him close his eyes in silent contemplation and prayer. Barely a few minutes had passed when the melodious music floated through the hall, heralding the divine Darshan of the Lord. While everyone craned their necks to catch a glimpse of Swami in His wheelchair, Gowrishankar was all tears, sobbing like a baby! He came, he saw and he was conquered! Though he barely had four physical Darshans of Swami, his bond with Swami felt ages old – some past forgotten connection had reoccurred for him as he found his all in Swami. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing yet another lost soul finds the shores at Swami’s feet. Installing Swami in people’s hearts is my favourite Seva!
- Though Anand Kadali had met me several times after Swami left His physical frame, I had not yet revealed to him anything about the happenings with Swami in the Subtle. So, when I mentioned to him that Swami wanted to speak to him this way, though initially surprised, he was all ears. I repeated the divine words as I received from the ether, and Anand listened carefully, even as he drove the car.The very first thing that Swami said was that Anand had been associated with Swami in many previous births. When the Lord incarnated as Sri Rama, Anand had been a Vanara (monkey) who had been injured in the battle with the army of Ravana. Just before he breathed his last, saddened not by the untimely death that awaited him, but by the brevity of the opportunity to serve his Lord Rama, Anand, the dying Vanara, pleaded with Sri Rama to bless him with another birth with a longer lifespan, so that he could serve the Lord a bit longer. Lord Rama had granted his last wish then, which resulted in him being a contemporary of the Kali Yuga Avatar now.
- Srivatsan called me up when I was on my way to his home on Sarjapur Road, to find out whether it would be possible for his cousin, Bhuvana Santhanam, to meet Swami. I was going because Swami wanted to meet Srivatsan, and I had no clue about this request for his cousin, so I dodged it by saying, “Let’s see.” I had never met Sister Bhuvana before, nor had I heard of her before. However, all I could gather from Srivatsan was that she was a hotshot professional, living the high life in Dubai, and an alumna of Anantapur Campus of Swami’s University. So, after Swami finished giving instructions to Srivatsan about the work, Bhuvana was called in. The first sentence Swami spoke was, “Are you not the girl who used to cook and bring food for Me during your student days?” That was it! She was all tears, for she had found her Swami back on the seventh floor of a high rise on Sarjapur Road, whom the world thought of as having lost to the earth beneath the stage in Kulwant Hall.