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Volume 5 - Issue 01 JANUARY 2007
 
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footsteps walking with me...

By Ms. Deepti Bhagia
Former Student of the Anantapur Campus of Swami's Institute


This is the transcription of a talk delivered by Ms. Deepti Bhagia on September 30, 2003 in the divine presence of Bhagavan during the Dasara celebrations in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Footsteps walking with me;
Footsteps I may not see;
But I know they are always with me.

Offering my most humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan; Respected elders, sisters and brothers.

Agony or Ecstasy – Beside There is Always the Almighty

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Deepti Bhagia giving a talk
 

Running as the deep under-current of my life; intricately intertwined with each and every fiber, is the presence of the Almighty. Indeed, God’s touch upon our lives is like that of the cool autumn breeze on a hot flustered cheek – so cool, comforting, caressing and consoling. We have to learn to seek God hidden amidst the myriad facets of creation; through the thick and thin of life. The calm and the storm; the peace and the strife – it is His hand that governs everything!

Once we develop the faith that He is with us, every moment and everywhere; we will see that even the ‘impossible’ becomes Himpossible! God’s Divine leela’s can never be fully described. They can only be experienced to some extent. In this context, I would like to share a few personal instances.

He ‘Reads’ an Unwritten Letter

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It was in the year 1997 – in fact, at the end of the year – I was a student of Class XI, studying in the primary school. The practice sessions for the Annual Sports Meet (held on January 11 every year) were on in full fervor; and students remained on the field late into the night.

On one such evening, I found myself alone in the classroom, unable to concentrate on my books – for my heart was heavy. I had not received a glance from Bhagavan for a very long time. A hundred thoughts flooded my mind – thoughts of introspection, self-reproach and guilt. Unconsciously, I picked up my record sheet and began drawing a few scattered flowers on it. When it was completed, I thought of pouring my feelings onto that sheet, putting it in an envelope and offering it to Bhagavan. But when I picked up the pen, words failed me. With deep anguish, I could write just two sentences: “Bhagavan, I cannot put into the cold realms of speech this heart-felt turmoil. Please read my unwritten letter.” With these words, I closed the letter; put it in an envelope and gave it to my father, requesting him to offer it to Bhagavan as and when he could.

Three days passed – there was no news from my father regarding the fate of that letter. I felt very sad. I thought, perhaps Bhagavan did not give him an opportunity, or maybe in the course of work, father would have forgotten my request.

It was December 31, 1997. Bhagavan sent word for the primary school students to come for Darshan. Dejected and with utter despair, I sat in the front line. Darshan soon ended and Bhagavan went in without even a casual glance in my direction. All hope in my heart died. As time for bhajan approached, I remarked bitterly to a classmate nearby: “See, even this year, 1997, has gone fruitlessly! Bhagavan did not respond to my prayer.”

As the bhajan started, I shut my eyes. At once, there was a tap on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to find Bhagavan in the verandah slowly moving towards where my father was seated. He went up to my father, stretched out His hand and asked for something kept in father’s pocket!

I held my breath! Bhagavan stood, opened the envelope, read it – as if reading something in great detail – replaced that letter into the envelope, walked slowly to me, all the while giving me a benevolent smile. I was taken aback. My response was a flood of tears – for, indeed, He had answered my prayer.

He Registers and Responds, Always

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There comes a point in life, when all of us see that the situations that come to us are controlled by a Power beyond human comprehension. That very Power, that Cosmic Force, that mysterious Power has embodied Itself as our Bhagavan who sits amidst us so silently. The tumultuous times of our life come only to teach us to have unshakeable faith in Him; and once we develop this faith we see that the problems just melt as fog before the rays of the Sun.

Persistent ill-health has been an old companion of mine and it has proved to be a valuable one; for it has brought me much, much closer to the Divine. Once, while seated in class, I began experiencing some breathing difficulties. We were to have a class test in physics. With a sinking feeling, I realized that my strength was failing me – my mind was getting blank. Helpless, I began to pray to Bhagavan – the question required us to derive the first Faraday’s Law of Electrolysis based upon the second. With whatever strength I had, I began to write down all the topics I felt were concerned with the topic. In the end, I submitted an answer not knowing whether I had written a derivation or a confusion of the laws of electrolysis.

Three days later, the teacher entered the class holding up my paper and asked all the students to copy down that answer. She remarked she had not seen such a crisp explanation in any book. When my eyes fell on that paper, I was dazed! Indeed my head was spinning at the speed with which the earth revolves on its own axis. For, I could not recognize any word of that answer! The paper indeed was mine, the handwriting mine, but the answer - I cannot even today remember having read such an answer – anywhere.

Verily, there is nothing that He cannot do; no situation that He cannot alter. Death itself is a puppet playing in His hands. Whatever prayer arises from the depth of our hearts, He listens, He responds, He answers in ways that are His own. No matter how small the thought and how insignificant the appeal may be; it is registered with Him!

Sai’s Spiritual Presence – He is There Everywhere

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Before I enrolled as a student of His Institute, Bhagavan blessed me saying He would be with me - always guiding and guarding me. During my fourth semester of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, I began to find things were getting difficult. Life seemed tough. I could not cope up with the pressures, physical and mental. One gloomy afternoon, I thought: “Bhagavan, this is the time I really need help. But how are You going to help me? Physically, You are so far away from me!”

As I headed to the library to do some reference work, I was lost in such thoughts. Upon entering the library, I went to the central table to write down whatever I required. There, my eyes fell upon an old tattered book lying open. The words on that book were as follows:

“Do you think Me unreal because you cannot see Me?  Do you think Me silent because you do not hear Me? Do you think Me inactive because you do not perceive My work? Do you think Me unloving because you do not feel My affection? I am here. Seek Me as the Spirit and you shall know My presence! For, when I give you My strength, what load can burden you? When I give you My wisdom, what problem will defy you? And when I give you My Spirit, what death can conquer you?”

In a flash, I realized this was the answer to the question arisen in my mind a few minutes ago. The next day I returned to the library with a view to issue that book. But as hard as I searched, I could not locate it anywhere! Puzzled, I went up to the attendant requesting her to help me. Upon coming to know what I was searching for, the attendant advised me to stop wasting my time as she said that no such book existed in the library.

Well, who do you think it was who put that book open with that very page on that table just for me? It was none other than our Bhagavan. The silent, tiny figure of our God, who sits amidst us, is nothing but the Embodiment of the Cosmic force, the Creator, the Controller of our very existence itself! He is willing to do anything for us - just about anything – provided we offer Him our heart in all sincerity with love.

A Remarkable Experience – Illumination in the Dead of Night

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On a cool, dark night of January 1999, I lay on my bed too ill and weak to get up and walk across to my shelf and take the medicines lying therein. It was around 1:00 am! There were nearly hundred ten students around me in the dormitory; each one blissful in the lap of sleep. As I was in this condition wondering what to do, the tube light suddenly came on. Puzzled, I looked in the direction of the switch board. My jaw fell! I could not speak! For there - near that switch board, I saw Bhagavan in flesh and blood smiling at me! Bhagavan slowly moved to my rack; touched the contents of the rack, stood for a few minutes all the while smiling at me and then vanished! The tube light continued to shine. It took me sometime to overcome this shock. Later, I went to the rack, picked up my medicines and slept.

The next morning, I wondered whether the entire episode was a hallucination of my fatigued body and mind. And so, I decided to keep quiet about it. But, by dinner time, I could no longer contain myself. I called aside one of my classmates; took her to the dormitory and narrated the entire incident to her. I ended by saying that if Bhagavan had really come in the night to save me, then I want to have His Darshan here and now!

Amazing Divine Synchronicity

It was a Wednesday, 7:30 pm. Just as I said those words, I felt I was being extremely ridiculous. For how could I expect to have Bhagavan’s Darshan at 7:30 pm on a Wednesday! But as these controversial thoughts were in my mind, another classmate came running up to me saying I was wanted down urgently! I rushed down and saw a crowd of girls near the gate of the school.

Pushing my way through, I came and stood at the main entrance and beheld a beautiful red car standing outside. In a few moments, Bhagavan walked out from the opposite Institute gate, looked at me with deep compassion, raised His hands in Blessing, got into the car and sped away. I was rooted to the spot - numb with shock! Later I was told that Bhagavan had come to the Institute to see a film and was on His return to the Mandir when I had arrived on the scene.

Is there anyone on this planet who can know and satisfy my strangest whim? Is He not indeed the Controller and the Ruler of Time itself? For who else can synchronize and plan events with such mind-staggering precision?

“He Is Ever Present With Me”

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Bhagavan has saved me from death many a time. He has breathed life into this lifeless body more than once. He has showered His love upon me in abundance! Truly, I owe my existence to Him and Him alone! Every breath that I have taken and am yet to take, is because of Bhagavan and for Bhagavan.

I would like to conclude with a small poem:

The Lord is my constant companion; there is no need He cannot fulfill.
Whether He scores for me points to the mountain tops of glorious ecstasy,
Or to the valleys of human suffering;
He is by my side, He is ever present with me.

He is beside me when I tread the dark streets of danger;
And when I flirt with death itself, He will not leave me.

When the pain is severe, He is near to console;
When the burden is heavy, He is there to lean upon.

When depression darkens my soul, He touches me with eternal joy;
And when I feel empty and alone, He fills the aching vacuum with His Power.

My security is in His promise to be with me always,
And in the knowledge that He will never, ever let me go
.

Jai Sai Ram!                   


 
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Vol 5 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2007
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