December 3, 2009 – Mr. Ratan Tata Visits Prasanthi Nilayam


It was at 11:10 in the afternoon that Mr. Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons landed at the Sri Sathya Sai Airport at Puttaparthi.

Extending a warm welcome to this special guest of honour, arrangements had been made to give him a quick tour of various institutions in the Ashram - the Super Speciality Hospital, The University Administrative Block, the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, the Indoor Stadium and the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum, explaining to him in detail the lofty mission set in motion by Bhagavan.


For the evening, the students of the University had prepared a drama to be presented before their beloved Swami. Bhagavan made a last minute change of venue from the Sai Kulwant Hall to the Institute auditorium.

In the evening, Swami sent word that all the students along with Mr. Tata be seated in the college auditorium itself and that He would arrive directly there.

All awaited Swami's arrival in the auditorium. Soon enough, Swami arrived and He was welcomed in. Mr. Tata offered his respects to Swami and as soon as Bhagavan sat in His place He asked for the drama to begin.

This flummoxed the acting crew as some of the actors were not yet ready in their makeup! When Swami asked once again for the drama to begin, the predicament was informed to Him and the ever calm Swami asked for bhajans and soon the notes of "Prem Eashwar Hai" filled the air.

After that bhajan, the lead actors came down the stage to offer a card and flowers to Swami. Seeking His blessings, they began the drama.

The play starts with a young man expressing his joy to his grandfather on being placed in a top university abroad with a complete scholarship.

Even as his grandfather congratulates him, he adds that he has also got an offer to join a good company after education. His grandfather expresses his disappointment with the decision and expresses his wish that he serve Bharath.

The protagonist is now in a dilemma and wishes to see the heaven of freedom which Rabindranth Tagore sings about in his epic poem.

Guiding him from the dilemma, the spirit of Bharath personifies into a radiant being and tells him about the various young children of the glorious nation who have earned good name unto her. He then narrates instances from the lives of Swami Vivekananda, Yudhishtira, Adi Sankaracharya and the Gopikas of Vrindavan who epitomised the great values of Satya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema.

Swami Vivekananda, had many financial problems but every time Mother Kali appeared before him and asked him what he wanted, He asked only for spiritual gifts. "How can I ask for anything other than bhakti (devotion) and faith from the Mother?" is his answer when his guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa asks him why he did not seek food, shelter and wealth! Yudhisthra was the epitome of Dharma as he chose the life of Nakula above his other brothers who were more talented and valorous with the sole intention that a son of the other mother, Madiri, also be alive!

Adi Shankara, embodied the concept of Advaitha but he too fell prey to maya (illusion) when he asked an "outcaste" to move out of his way. The "outcaste", actually Lord Shiva in disguise, enlightens Shankara and gets him back on track. Finally, the simple cowherd girls at Brindavan show how the Lord can be won over only by Love. The spirit of Bharat finally ascertains that Educare is in essence the Love of God stating:

Love in Thought is Truth
Love in Action is Right-Conduct
Love in Understanding is Peace

Swami was very moved during every episode depicted in the drama. Though it was dark, one could see that even Mr. Tata was moved and very inspired by the presentation. As the drama concluded, Swami moved up the stage to pose with the students.

As the pictures were taken, Swami started to speak to Mr. Tata from the stage itself. He told him via a student, "These students are doing Ph. D here. They are post graduates doing M. Tech, M. Sc. and MBA." When it became evident that Swami and Tata had much more to communicate with each other, Swami called him also onto the stage.

A chair was placed for Mr. Tata beside Swami and it really speaks of the wonderful life that Mr. Ratan Tata has lead that he got blessed with such a blessing from Swami. Bhagavan began to introduce various members of the cast to him. He was visibly impressed at the versatility of the students who were doing various courses.

From the front lines Swami called Mr. Issac Tigrett of the Hard Rock Cafe fame to come up. He asked him, "How many hotels?" Mr. Tigrett replied, "Swami, more than 148 Hard Rock Cafes. But all that is nothing in front of my Master! Master is everything." Swami then said, "His daughter also wants to come here and settle down. The problem in this country today is that the youth are misguided. In foreign countries even the parents are not on the right track."

Then, out of the blue, He made a declaration, "Everything is polluted. My students will go everywhere and clean up everything. That is their service to Me". Swami continued to interact with everyone on the stage. He asked one boy as to what his Ph. D was about and hearing that it was about prevention of cardiac problems, said, "Heart problems are all because of eating habits - bad habits, bad thoughts and the polluted environment cause heart disease."

Speaking about singing, Swami said that the harmony of feelings, rhythm and melody are most important. "Bhava, Raaga and Tala - these constitute Bharatha (India). Bhava or feelings are most important. The boys here have lot of feelings. They go to the villages and serve the poor people there." At this Mr. Tata replied, "I have seen the glow in their eyes and faces. They have a lot of devotion for you." Swami said, "If everyone had such devotion, the world would immediately improve." Swami then asked the boy who acted as Krishna, "Who is your wife?" He replied, "Swami, in the drama she was Satyabhama." Swami quipped, "I asked drama only! Everything is a drama. This is also a drama."

Everyone chorused, "And you are the Divine Director Swami!" Swami distributed watches to all the participants of the drama. He gave padanamaskar and asked the boys what they wanted. All said that they wanted Swami and Swami alone. Swami called the warden and said, "He is our student. Now he takes care of physics and is also the warden. Tell what your subject in Ph. D is..." Warden replied, "Swami has given everything. He knows everything. We have not done anything."

Swami called out for the singers and pointing to Brother Ravi Kumar, He said, "This boy has studied here from primary school. What work are you doing?" He replied that he was a manager in the SSSIHMS. Swami said that he had been working there for 16 years now. The other singers were also introduced and Swami made each of them sing portions of some songs and bhajans. It was a wonderful session on the stage. Swami confirmed whether all the "ladies" of the drama had received the gifts. Ensuring that all were happy, Swami moved out at 6:45 p.m. Mr. Tata got the privilege of sharing Swami's car as Swami called him in.

Arriving at the Mandir, Swami moved into the Bhajan Hall and called Mr. Tata there. A beautiful private session ensued where Swami revealed, "He is a very good man. He has no wife and children and so he considers everyone as his own children. He does lot of service to society." Aarthi was taken in the Bhajan Hall itself and both - the student and the elder whose chance it was to offer rose to Swami that day - were more than profusely blessed with sparshan and sambhashan (the blessing of touching Him and speaking to Him) with Him. Promising Mr. Tata that He would grant him an interview the next day, Swami retired for the evening.

In the night, Mr. Tata viewed the videos of the projects taken up by Swami - the water project in particular. He was very impressed and expressed, "I would have loved to be part of the water project. This is a project where all the benefit has reached where it is actually needed - the poor man! I wish I was there to see Swami plan and execute the whole project!" Mr. Tata is indeed another among the millions who say, "I came, I saw and I was conquered (by His love)."

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