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A LIFETIME OF LOVE

By Mrs. Padmini Hundy


Mrs. Padmini Hundy is a former student of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Puttaparthi where she attended Grade 11 and 12, completing her high school. Currently in Texas, USA, her family has been associated with Bhagavan for the last fifteen years.

Mee Kanta, Inta, Venta Janta eppudu vuntanu – “In your eyes, in your home, I will be there along with you …Forever.” Those are the Divine Blessings we received time and again during our many interactions with our Beloved Swami – and true to His words, He has been the Cosmic force that has changed the lives, future and destiny of our entire family. People often ask me how Swami has influenced my life. I cannot describe in words, what Swami's presence in my life means to me. He has been the anchor of my life, and I can very humbly say that what our family has become to this day is because we have had Him to guide us, to teach us and to love us!

My first darshan of Swami was way back when I was in high school. I was visiting Puttaparthi along with my mother and grandmother, as a part of a group of Sai devotees. My knowledge and awareness of Swami was at bare minimum. To my utter surprise my family was called in for an interview. I did not even realize then that it was such a great blessing. In fact, all through the interview, naïve and foolish that I was, I kept thinking how my other friends in the group must feel at being left out of this interview. When Swami asked my name I said: "Please call my other friends also" Swami just smiled and said “I will talk to them” …and today I know that when our time comes, Swami will find a way to come into our life and stay there.

Soon after that my brother joined Swami’s University to pursue his MBA, so our visits to Puttaparthi became more frequent. My parents were blessed to have continuous and frequent interactions and audiences with Swami. Even before we realized it, He had become a part of our everyday life and for the smallest of things and decisions we looked to Swami to guide us and He always did. Life was great.

 

Only He is Our True Father!

Then in 1992, tragedy struck our family. We lost our father unexpectedly due to kidney failure. Swami sent for my brother and asked him to bring us all back after the ceremonies. When we reached Puttaparthi, He immediately called us for an interview. The moment Swami closed the interview door I started crying and asked him why this had happened? How could He take away my father when I was just barely 15 years old and who would take care of us?

The compassionate and patient Lord asked me to be calm and listen. He then narrated an incident that had happened earlier that year. He reminded me of how my parents, my sister and I had gone to the sacred Kedarnath shrine, located amidst the mountains in North India. My brother had not joined us on this pilgrimage as he was training for his job at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences then. When we reached the foot of the mountains, my mother stayed back as she felt unwell and my dad went up the mountains on a pony while my sister and I trekked half way up, and then took a pony for the rest of the climb. My dad was already there when we reached our destination and the moment we met, he told us that something very strange had happened on his journey up.

 
The peaks of Kedarnath are sylvan and pristine.....
...but the path can be perilous

The ponies there are trained to trek the narrow, slippery and steep path in the mountains; most of the time their guides don't even have to handle them. It's a slim winding trail carved along the circumference of the mountain and on its other side is the deep valley …almost bottomless with a sheer drop of 8000 feet. The pony on which my Dad was riding was close to the edge and then in an unguarded moment, the pony lost its balance and slipped and it was all set to fall in the deep valley with my Dad on it. At that very moment, Dad felt as if somebody physically pushed him and the pony back on the road. When my sister and I heard the account, we were relieved that a possible disaster had been averted and then we completely forgot about it …till Swami narrated this incident vividly in the interview room. You can imagine our shock and surprise, and my mother had not even known about it till then!

 

Swami then took my hand and said, "That was the day your father’s life was to be over. Had he fallen in the valley, what would you two girls do? How would you manage? That's why Swami pushed him back and extended his life.

But now he has work to do with me. Does that answer your why? And you ask me who will take care of you. Then I promise you that I will always take care of you.” He turned to my mother and said, “I will take care of everything. Your son is with me; don't worry about him. I will perform both your girls’ weddings…you will never feel his absence."

With those precious, comforting and consoling words, He explained to us the harsh reality of our life and the finality of the death that had left us devastated. Every birth is subject to death, we realized and that we should not only be prepared for this ultimate truth, but face it with courage, as God is our true Father. Even in our moment of loss, what profound life lessons we received from Him!

His Word and Will are Unalterable!

Swami also very graciously gave me permission to join the school at Puttaparthi for my 11th grade. Accordingly, I sat for the entrance exam. However, to my disappointment, the combination of subjects I wanted to pursue was not available in the girls’ school and I was offered another course combination. Since I first hesitated and then finally decided to accept what was offered, my admission was not assured. Upset at the unexpected turn of events, I spent a restless night, angry with my brother for having put me through this ordeal and expressed my intention to go back to Hyderabad.

The only advice that my brother gave me was to wait for one more day and trust Swami. My brother's conviction and trust in Swami made me stay back that day. I am glad I did as I learnt the most powerful lesson that Swami’s Word and Will are unalterable and He always stands by His Word no matter what the circumstances are.

Next day in Darshan Swami came out of the mandir and went straight to my brother and the following exchange took place:

Swami to my brother: "Seat mil gaya ?" (Did she get accepted?)

My brother: "No Swami".

Swami to Headmistress aunty: "Why Srinivas's sister didn't get a seat?"

Aunty: "We gave her the seat, but she refused it.”

Swami back to my brother: "Why did she refuse the seat?”

My brother: "Swami she wanted Math and they gave Commerce, and then she said she will take anything but they asked her to go."

 

Swami to Headmistress aunty: "Give her what she wants".

After the Lord of the Universe had settled the matter personally, He went about His regular Darshan round that morning. Witnessing His concern for my petty stubbornness, I was moved to tears. I saw Him go from my brother to Headmistress aunty, back and forth trying to sort my situation … just because I cried the previous night and asked Him to do something for me in the morning or I was never coming back there. I was so dumbfounded and humbled by His immediate intervention and response to my prayer. Even Headmistress aunty said how lucky I was that Swami thought about me and my small problem and paid such detailed attention to my wishes. By the way, I got my preferred subject group which until then was available only at the boys’ school!

Truly a Dream Wedding!

From then on, He has showered so much love on our family and answered our every prayer, including my mother's ardent wish that He perform both her daughters’ weddings. He personally supervised and arranged my sister’s wedding in Puttaparthi, looking after every aspect from the date and venue of the marriage to the minutest details about the traditional nadaswaram music, the menu and so on. He even sent one of His cars, decorated with roses, to transport the bride and groom to the marriage hall. The day before the designated date, He personally performed their wedding in a private ceremony, chanting the mantras while my brother-in-law tied the necklace that Swami materialized, to solemnize their wedding, and said, "This is your true marriage; tomorrow you marry for the world". He has also fulfilled my sister's wish that Swami provide her with her mangalasutra, the necklace worn as a symbol of marriage in Hindu culture. It was truly a dream wedding.

“See! I Always keep My promises!”

A couple of months before my wedding, He granted mother and me an interview. My mother expressed her concern about my fiancé Partha and I having frequent disagreements and asked Swami to take care of us and grant us more patience and restraint. Swami just smiled and told my Mom one incident, confirming His omniscience beyond belief.

One day, Partha and I had had a disagreement. I went to sleep very upset and disheartened. As soon as I fell asleep, Swami came in my dream. He took me in His arms and cradled me like a mother. He held me as a mother holds a child all night and didn't say a word. Next morning I woke up feeling overwhelmed by His love. However I didn't say anything to my mother as I did not want her to know the background and be concerned. I mentioned it only to Partha and we were both sorry about the fight and so touched by Swami’s concern.

 

After all these months, in the interview, Swami narrated this entire dream to Mom and said, "You need not tell me to take care. I know more than you know about what is happening with her and I will always be there, just like I was there for her that night. They will be fine; you don't worry." Needless to say we were overjoyed at Swami’s love for us and awed by His all-knowing nature.

My wedding was also held in Puttaparthi. However, Swami was away at Bangalore at that time. He had earlier presented us both with wedding clothes. After the wedding, we went to Whitefield and He blessed us with padanamaskar. Subsequently, we made many visits to Puttaparthi but never got an interview. Somewhere at the back of our minds it was troubling both my husband and I that Swami had not spoken to us as a couple yet. Finally after a year or so one day, I held His photograph and cried and told Him that I can't take His silence any longer and He should show me in some way that He is not angry with me.

In less than a week my brother called up with some great news. My mother had just then returned from the USA and had gone straight to Puttaparthi to have Swami’s Darshan and spend some time with my brother. I was to go and get her back to Hyderabad in a week. That day in Darshan Swami spoke to my mother and asked her if I was coming to Puttaparthi to take her. My mom said yes and Swami said "Good, ask her to come". I was thrilled with the news and after that day Swami asked my mother the same question for rest of the week! My Mom would call and say everybody is so astonished, because He keeps asking, "Is she coming, is she coming?" I couldn't wait to go to Puttaparthi. My husband was planning to visit his parents, so he was leaving for Orissa the same day as I was to depart for Puttaparthi. A day prior, Swami asked my brother if Partha was coming with me. My brother replied in the negative. When he told me so, I took it as a hint. It took some convincing to bring my husband to Puttaparthi as he was eagerly looking forward to seeing his parents. But finally, with Swami’s Grace we both came to Puttaparthi and to this day we count it as the luckiest day of our lives.

Swami called us for an interview and He showered so much love on Partha, gave him so many gifts… it felt to me that He was trying to put to rest all my doubts about Him being upset with us. He made us feel so loved and accepted in a way that only He can. He created a beautiful chain for me and asked Partha to tie it around my neck. And then Swami pronounced our wedding vows. A year into our marriage, we were married yet again and my dream of a perfect wedding, the way I saw it happen for my sister….was coming true for me.

He then told my mother "See! I always keep My promises. Now I saw to the wedding of both your girls. You don't worry about anything I will always be with you all."

 
   
Swami with Mrs. Padmini Hundy (sitting down) and her family

What more could anyone ask for…..He has given us a lifetime of love and all He wants in return, and I quote His own words to me: "Swami does not want anything from you bangaru. Just be a perfect daughter, a perfect daughter-in-law, let your in-laws always be proud about getting Swami’s child as a daughter-in-law. Be a good wife and be a good mother."

And that my dear friends is all that Swami ever asks from each of us…To be the best we can be, to do the best we can do. For everything else, He is there to take care.


Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Would you like to share you feelings with us? If so please contact us at [email protected] mentioning your name and country.  Thank you for your time.


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Vol 5 Issue 07 - JULY 2007
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