Baffled by His Unbelievable Love
In the Part 1 of this story, we had the thrilling tale of how Mrs. Devika Gunasena from Sri Lanka was cured of her painful abdominal trauma quite unexpectedly and amazingly. Now, we continue her story where she relates another interesting account – the story of her incredible journey to Swami and the several instances of how she has felt His Love, care, protection and guidance. Miracles, in Mrs. Devika’s life, have happened in the dozens - time and time again.
H2H: Tell us about your journey to Swami?
Mrs. Devika Gunasena (DG): We were on a pilgrimage to see Sai Baba in 1980. We are Buddhists and we believed in astrology. There was this friend of ours who read our horoscopes and said we need to do some pujas and this was our third trip performing all these rituals. We heard of Swami, and we were in a hotel in Bangalore and I told my husband I would like to see Him.
Swami happened to be in Whitefield. So we went there and saw Him. He looked just like a playboy! We didn’t have any faith at all! We were wondering why people were worshipping Him and why was He just walking around as if nothing affected Him!
We happened to give a ride back to Bangalore to this couple who were lawyers from America and we got talking. She asked if we had read anything about Swami and at the time we had not. Then she recommended “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Howard Murphet and we agreed to look it up.
Sai Baba: Man of Unending Miracles
After we returned to Sri Lanka, within a week this book was in my hand! It was such a miracle! My sister-in-law, who happens to be a foreigner, heard that I had been to see Swami. She had this book and she instantly gave it to me. It was truly the turning point; this book was such an eye-opener!
Gradually, we developed faith and the first time we went to see Swami, my son was very small and was asthmatic then; he couldn’t even breathe! And Swami cured him with that first Darshan! He blessed us thrice raising His one hand in blessing! We didn’t even have any faith!
We were standing outside at the gate, and as He went out in the car, He just blessed us! The railway crossing gate there was closed and He had to come back again and He blessed us again! Then He blessed us one more time while going out after a few minutes! So He blessed us three times and that was the last attack of asthma that my son ever had! It was such a miracle!
Then, in the 1990’s I had this Doberman dog that attacked me, and something snapped and my thumb just collapsed. I went to the doctor who said that the tendons have to be stitched to the base and that I will have to be in plaster for six weeks. However, he still couldn’t guarantee that it would work. But he said I have to decide quickly because every passing day would make the operation more difficult. But I wasn’t taking this seriously as I didn’t want any surgery.
It has been my practice to make garlands for Swami every Wednesday, and it was such a strain to hold the flowers with only four fingers and one of those days I almost fainted making the garlands for Him. This was three weeks after the accident. And then I thought to myself: ‘Oh Swami! Why am I going through all this?’ When I went to sleep that night Swami came in my dream but I didn’t see Him, I just heard His voice: “Everything will be alright.” In the morning when I woke up the finger was fixed and it was working perfectly!
I have been keeping all this to myself because I thought it was such a personal thing and I have been sharing this with very few people! After hearing this story, some have developed faith in Swami. Suddenly, last morning (May 20, 2009) I was thinking to myself: ‘This is wrong! I should not keep all this to myself. I should share this; people should know about Swami and His love.’
And then I thought to myself: ‘Oh Swami! Why am I going through all this?’ When I went to sleep that night Swami came in my dream but I didn’t see Him, I just heard His voice: “Everything will be alright.” In the morning when I woke up the finger was fixed and it was working perfectly!
When my son came in the evening, I mentioned this to him and he thought I was crazy! ‘What’s wrong with my mother? Suddenly she has this urge to tell everyone about this!’ And I feel I must tell everybody about Swami, this Divine Doctor of ours to the world; people must know about Him. And in the morning, without my knowing, Dr. Kamala has called you, the Radio Sai Team. It is all Swami’s doing! Stories of Swami’s love and grace are endless. Since I have known Swami, He has made me a better Buddhist because I have become vegetarian.
Needing His Assurance
Once when we were in Whitefield, my daughter came and told us she wanted to marry a foreigner, which was shocking! I knew I had to ask Swami first and get His blessings. So, I wrote a letter to Him, and took it with me to Darshan. Many doubted I would have any success, saying: “Swami never takes letters in the afternoons, He just comes on the stage. He doesn’t walk around in the evenings; there’s no point in taking letters!” But I still took it with me for Darshan. I was sitting not too far, but at the same time not in any corner; maybe just about five people away from the aisle from where Swami usually came.
That afternoon, quite unexpectedly Swami enters from the front entrance and not the stage. Next, He stops next to my row, looks at me and just asks for the letter! I am so shocked! I remember I couldn’t even hold the letter properly or even reach out!
He Himself reaches out and takes the letter from me! And that is the only letter He takes that evening and walks to the stage. And then, keeps this letter on the stool placed beside His chair. Now, I am praying: ‘Oh Swami! What if You forget it! You haven’t even read it! What if You leave it on the stool!’
Meanwhile, my son who is on the men’s side does not see it was me from whom Swami took the letter, and talking to two other guys seated beside him, he says: “Oh my! Who is this lucky person! Swami has taken only one letter!’ He doesn’t know it’s mine! It was fantastic!
This was just the answer that He gave: “Go ahead, You have My blessings for the marriage.” My husband still didn’t believe it; he had his doubts! “Swami hasn’t approved this marriage!” he said and wanted more proof.
So, they get engaged in Sri Lanka and we return to Whitefield. I say, if there is His approval, He will come and bless the rings. So, we are at our first Darshan with the rings in our hands. And Swami comes up to me that day and blesses them! My husband sees it from his side and becomes convinced. At that time, I had six padanamaskarams! That was the last I ever had, in 1999. We had a group interview with Him then. He had called all the Sri Lankan devotees and when I asked Him for a date for the marriage, He just said: “Very happy! Very happy!” and went on.
Passports Delivered from Heaven
Once I had gone to Hong Kong with my children. They were all small then and my husband wasn’t with me on that trip. We got into this hotel and were going to a market, and everyone was saying: “You have to be very careful in that area, because there are pickpockets all over.” I had my handbag with me and we were traveling in a train there. I had all my passports and travelers checks in a case and I used to put my hand inside the handbag very often to check if everything was there.
What could I do? Call out to Swami! Who else but Swami! “Swami! Please help me! What do I do at this stage?” I get back to the hotel and there, on a beautifully made bed, on the center, is my passport case! He has placed it right in the middle – the whole passport case, with the passports, the traveler’s checks, everything – perfectly intact!
After we returned from the market, we went to a restaurant nearby for our dinner. And then, when I opened my handbag to pay, the whole passport case was missing! It was gone! I only had a little money to settle the bill. It was a very difficult situation. Here I was, in a strange country, all alone, without my husband, with these three small children. What could I do? Call out to Swami! Who else but Swami! “Swami! Please help me! What do I do at this stage?” I get back to the hotel and there, on a beautifully made bed, on the center, is my passport case! He has placed it right in the middle – the whole passport case, with the passports, the traveler’s checks, everything – perfectly intact! The way He had laid it on the bed, it was absolutely marvelous! Oh my God! I don’t have words enough to thank Him!
H2H: How often have you been coming to Puttaparthi?
DG: Very often! People must be wondering why we don’t travel the world because whenever we get the chance, it’s only to Swami’s Feet that we come! We take two to three trips a year. We were here till He went to Kodai Kanal, in April 2009, and we returned again now in May.
At the Hour of Need He is There…
Swami had called us for an interview on one occasion. That was a very tragic time for us because my husband’s sister, who was married to my brother, was caught in one of the bombs that went off in Colombo. And that was very devastating for us. I was so worried about my husband because he was just not sleeping for weeks! And then we - he, myself and my youngest son, and my mother - came here to Prasanthi Nilayam. And the Lord just made him sleep!
From the time we came here, he wouldn’t even come for Darshan, he just slept and I too did not force him to come for Darshan! The day before we were to leave Puttaparthi, he went to Darshan with my son, and Swami came to my son and said: “I will see you tomorrow.” He did call us the next day. He actually called my husband and son first and as I saw them getting up, I took my mother along and joined them.
But Swami came to the ladies side and said: “Ceylon (Sri Lankan)! I will see you tomorrow!” It was so embarrassing to go back! But then my husband got up from the other side, went up to Swami and asked, “Swami! Can my wife please come along as well?” And then He taps him on the back and says: “Yes, yes!”
Years earlier, my husband had seen Swami tapping a foreigner on his back exactly in the same manner, and he had thought to himself: ‘I wish Swami would do that to me!’ So it was a play that Swami wanted us to re-enact! That’s why probably He asked us to go back so that He could tap like that to him! It is amazing what He does!
So we were called in and He said: “Forget about the past; past is past! Carry on with your lives.” That was the most crucial time of our lives that He called us in. He knew it was so bad for us. He was like a Mother! He was so close to me! He used to ask everything from me! He materialized a Buddha pendant for my son, and asked, “Buddhist?” He then took him in for a personal interview and came out holding a chain, said: “I have corrected him.” And then He put the chain around him and everyone in the interview room started applauding! I never shared this with anyone because I thought it was so personal! This is the first time I am sharing this.
H2H: How was the experience of being in the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital?
DG: Oh my god! It is such a privilege to be here in this General Hospital! I think even eating that guava was a marvelous, divine play! I think it was going to happen sooner or later, and He wanted it to happen here. The doctors and the care here is amazing!
The First Miracle in Rajiv’s Life
H2H: People say whether one believes in His materializations or not, the miracle that is obvious to everyone is that everyday thousands of patients walk out of His Hospitals, cured in body and elevated in spirit, absolutely free of cost. Rajiv (Mrs. Devika’s son), why don’t you share how your asthma was cured?
Rajiv: Thirty years ago, we didn’t have any faith in Swami. We were in Bangalore and we had two days left and had nothing to do. So we thought: “Let’s go see this magician Sai Baba!” That’s the mentality with which we went to Whitefield. I clearly remember this particular incident where all of us were standing and the rail gates were closed and He just passed us in His old Mercedes and from the rear view mirror, He just raised His hand and blessed us. And I have never had an asthma attack ever since! I never even asked Him to cure me! I didn’t even believe in Him so why would I even ask!
He just passed us in His old Mercedes and from the rear view mirror, He just raised His hand and blessed us. And I have never had an asthma attack ever since! I never even asked Him to cure me! I didn’t even believe in Him so why would I even ask!
Actually, the very night before, I had a very bad attack in the hotel. A doctor was called in and I had great difficulty breathing. But after that day, I do not know what is asthma.
And a week later, the first book on Swami arrived to the house and everything just fell in place! I am a Buddhist but I feel, after coming to Swami, I am a better Buddhist. I didn’t know much about my religion; I actually know more of Swami’s teachings and I like the practicality of His message. After following Swami, personally I have become a better Buddhist, a better human being. And I think this is great!
Overwhelmed by His Love
H2H: What do you like most about Swami’s teachings?
Rajiv: The concept of Universal Love and service. Earlier, we were never told how valuable service is. I mean, service is not gaining something; but just acting out of compassion. That’s the concept and that’s where the selfless part comes in, where you don’t expect anything in return because when that happens, it’s not service. Service is compassion. And the greatest concept in Buddhism is compassion; and behind this is the concept of love.
A year ago (in 2008), we came here during Christmas. My father-in-law had a sore eye; he couldn’t even see properly. We got an appointment with a specialist at the Super Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi. So we went there and the care we received there was unbelievable! That’s the first time I actually experienced that kind of concern.
I remember they did all the tests and the eye specialist, Dr. Prasad was very gentle. He put the eye-patch on and said: “You can go.” I asked: “How much for the medicines?” because I didn’t know how the system worked. Then he turned around and asked: “What do you mean?” I said: “I understand maybe your service is free but what about the medicines? I am sure I have to pay for the medicines.”
And he said: “No. No one pays for the medicines, Baba will take care of that.” So I was amazed; I was surprised because I had learnt it the first time that it is absolutely true that Swami doesn’t take a red cent from anyone!
My in-laws are definitely not Sai devotees, but they were too impressed to see, first hand, the way the ashram is run, and the concept of Universal love in practice! Even in my mother’s case! How wonderful the doctor’s were! I mean, forget the saline, medicines, etc.; they were speaking so kindly! I think that’s what heals people. The love, the attention! You should see how much care the boy who made soup for my mother took in preparing and serving, without we even asking!
Last evening, my mother had her first solid meal. She asked for toast, but the amount of butter he had put on the toast was amazing! I mean, that’s what appeals finally. It’s absolute truth when someone says it’s Swami’s love! I think this is the miracle! If people would actually come and experience this, they would realize this concept of universal and unconditional love.
~ Heart2Heart Team
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