Volume 7 - Issue 10
OCTOBEr 2009
Other Articles

       

HOW MY HEART WAS HUMBLED AND HEALED BY HIM

By Mr. P. V. Krishna Mohan

Mr. P. V. Krishna Mohan is an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University who completed his Master in Business Administration in Prashanti Nilayam in the year 1994. Currently he works as a department head in Tata’s Telco Construction Equipment Company based in Jamshedpur in the state of Bihar, India. An active Sai worker, he is also presently the Sai Youth Coordinator of Jamshedpur.



When people ask me, “What is your qualification?” I always respond saying I am a Sai Student. I strongly believe that this is the only true qualification that I have. I treasure the fact that I am a Sai Student, and cherish every moment of the years spent at Bhagavan’s feet. For, being with Swami was, verily, a rebirth to me.

 
swami and me
 

I was born in Hyderabad but had never known of Sathya Sai Baba until 1992. I had heard of Shivam (Swami’s Mandir at Hyderabad), but had never made an attempt to visit the place.

My first memory of Swami is of a fleeting moment, when I was travelling with my parents. We were in a bus stand near Shivam. In front of us, there was a motorcade passing, and people said - Sathya Sai Baba is going by.

My second remembrance of Bhagavan is seeing a cover story on Him in the Illustrated Weekly of India. I only remember a few things I read about Swami in the article, for instance, His materialization of Vibhuti.

Those were really vague memories as I was a mere schoolboy then.

Becoming a ‘Proud Atheist’

It was during college days when I became alienated from God. My parents were very pious and used to visit temples. But somehow I developed a distorted perception that questioned the very existence of God. “When there is so much suffering, how can there be a God?” I asked myself.

I stopped praying, even thinking about God. I even remember an instance, when I saw an article in the newspaper that announced a provisional change of routes to divert the traffic in lieu of Sathya Sai Baba’s visit. I recollect commenting to my friends – ‘These Babas keep coming and needlessly disturb everybody.’

Swami said, “See, all animals like elephants and tortoise have a very low pulse rate, and they live very long. And people who have a high pulse rate, don’t live long. But you are My student. You will live long.”

Bhagavan then asked me to open my shirt buttons. He put His hand on my heart, rubbed His hand on my chest, and said, “Okay. Nothing will happen to you. You are My student.” And He sent me away.

So here was I, a regular college-going youngster, studying engineering from Hyderabad, scoffing at any form of association with anything godly. I made a visit to Tirupathi along with my parents in my third year of engineering. But it was one of those stand-alone instances for me as well as for my brother, who also like me professed a hearty disbelief in God. In fact, we took a pervert delight in calling ourselves atheists and boasting about it to friends.

 
swami and me
 

I could not have fathomed at that point in time that the mighty wheel of change was heading in my direction. Immediately after engineering, I decided to pursue Masters in Business Administration.

I applied for admission to various institutes, posting my application to any college that put up an advertisement in the newspaper. But it so happened that I would invariably qualify in the written test and the Group Discussion round. But when it came to the final interview, I found myself getting eliminated each time. This happened in almost five cases!

So I took up a job in Hyderabad itself. There, for the first time in the factory premises, I saw an advertisement of the Sathya Sai University (it was the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning then) for the MBA degree, in a small Telugu newspaper. I told my father about the poster, asking him to find out more about the institute. My father learnt that the university was highly reputed for its academics and discipline. We were thrilled.

My father received the application and even filled it out on my behalf and sent it, but as time elapsed, I totally forgot about it. Suddenly, one fine morning, my father informed me that my written test and interview at Puttaparthi were lined up for the forthcoming Sunday and Monday. So I packed my bags and first set foot here (in Prasanthi Nilayam) on a Saturday evening.

The Sublime Attraction of the Abode of Supreme Peace

The moment I had my first glimpse of ‘The Abode of Peace’, I fell in love with the place. The ashram, the university, even the hospital which I first saw while coming from Bangalore, whispered a gentle serenity. My first reaction was to admit to myself, that deep within, this was the sort of a place I had always longed for.

Swami and me
 

We took a room in the ashram. I then purchased a book on Swami, because my father told me that I might be asked some questions on ‘Sai Baba’ in the interview next day. On the flip side, we also happened to interact with a couple of people who told me that I stood no chance of getting in the institute as I was not a devotee of Sai Baba.

Nevertheless, I wrote the written test the next day. I remember one of the questions was, ‘Which of the teachings of Sai Baba have influenced you?’ Here I was, totally unaware of any of Swami’s messages, but then I remembered a sticker pasted in the room where we were put up the previous night, which said ‘Start early, Drive slowly, Reach safely’.

So I simply wrote that down. I did not even know what Swami meant by that saying. Nevertheless, that was a lesson, the first teaching from the Lord. I qualified in the written test and also in the Group Discussion.  

The final interview was scheduled for a day later. My father left as he had to join his office and I stayed on, awaiting my interview.

In the interview, Professor Sampath asked me a question. “The students here in Prashanthi Nilayam will be interacting with Swami on a regular basis. And Swami too interacts often with the students. So how will you take this?” The answer which I gave then sends shivers down my spine when I think of it now. I blatantly told Prof. Sampath – “No, I have come here for my MBA studies and not for Swami!” I said this in my ignorance, not knowing that Swami would hold me unto Him for the rest of my life. This is how my journey to Swami began.

Selected for Sai by Sai

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swami and me
 

I found to my delight that I was selected and was asked to report immediately to Brindavan campus for the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality. When I showed up at the counter, I was allotted a room in the third floor, where all the MBA boys were put up. Even before I could pick up my belongings, two boys came to carry my luggage upstairs. Completely taken aback, I demurred and hesitated. But, to no avail. “No, sir, come,” they gently persuaded. They were actually my seniors; they gladly carried my luggage all the way upstairs to the room and made me comfortable.

That evening I had my first darshan of Bhagavan. It was May 20, 1992. I strongly believe - that day was my date of rebirth. I remember we were all seated on the lawn. And lo! The doors of Trayee Brindavan opened and Bhagavan came out. That evening, Swami distributed diaries and pens for the Summer Course. That was a beautiful moment in my life.

Those two years of my life in Prashanti Nilayam campus were truly wonderful. Though it took me a little while to fall in rhythm with Swami’s teachings, I loved the place and the ambience. The routine didn’t seem daunting either, as I was used to a tougher schedule at home. And deep in my heart, I always felt this was the right place for me, where I always wanted to be.

He Whom the Rain Clouds Obey!

A few students and lecturers were still waiting. Ten minutes elapsed. Swami came for the third time again and said, “See, I have already warned you. I can’t hold the rain back. Now I am calling the rain.” Swami looked at the sky, beckoned it with His hands, and went inside. Swami only took one step inside, and the heavens opened! We broke into a run. By the
time we reached the hostel, we were all thoroughly drenched. This was my
first experience of Swami.

Slowly yet surely, unbeknown to myself, I began to accept Swami. My first encounter with His Divinity materialized in the Summer Course itself. One afternoon around 3:00 p.m., there was heavy rain. We students were all relaxing in the room after the lunch. People said there would be no darshan because of the downpour. All of a sudden, the shower ceased. We all went to Trayee Brindavan waiting for Bhagavan.


Swami came out and said, “I stopped this rain. It is better you go back. All the devotees will get unnecessarily drenched. They will be waiting for Me. If you sit inside, they will all be there. So it will be good if you go and tell them that there would be no darshan today. It is going to rain heavily now. I have just stopped it. Please go now.” And Swami went inside.

In implicit obedience to the Lord’s words, some of the students and lecturers did go away. But the rest of us waited. After ten minutes, Swami came out again and said, “You all are not listening to Me. It is going to rain heavily. I am telling you to go back.” Reluctant to leave His presence, we implored in unison – “No Swami, no Swami.” Bhagavan insisted – “This is Swami telling you. Please go away.” And He went inside.

swami and me  
 

A few students and lecturers were still waiting. Ten minutes elapsed. Swami came for the third time again and said, “See, I have already warned you. I can’t hold the rain back. Now I am calling the rain.” Swami looked at the sky, beckoned it with His hands, and went inside. Swami only took one step inside, and the heavens opened! We broke into a run. By the time we reached the hostel, we were all thoroughly drenched. This was my first experience of Swami.

In Awe of the Lord

After this incident, I took a keener interest in Swami, listening to His glory from several people and reading books on Him. Soon I got hooked onto Swami’s little poems, which He often recited before a discourse. I imbibed more in little doses, as I sincerely relished His Chinna Katha stories, the melodious bhajans, the profound truths He expressed in the simplest of manners, His voice, His discourses, verily, His teachings.  

In the month of August that year, Swami called us – the first and second year MBA students - and spoke to us. He gave a wonderful discourse on production management. The session went on for about an hour or so after which Swami said, “I will bring prasadam for you all” and went inside. My friend and I were almost literally at the end of the room. Swami came up to my friend, and spoke to him in soft words, meant only for his ears. He said, “I know, you smoke. You do it in Delhi. Stop it.” Then Swami went inside as if nothing had happened and distributed prasadam to all of us. Only my friend and I knew what had transpired. It was a gentle but powerful reminder of His omniscience and one could not but feel awed.

Onset of Mysterious Sickness

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swami and me
 

My very special moment with Bhagavan came when I was one among those fortunate to be chosen to go to Kodai Kanal with Him. This was in April 1993. It so happened that I was very sick all through my second semester examination. I still vividly remember; the exams started on March 17, 1993, and I fell sick on the 18th. That illness so weakened me, I couldn’t sleep for days. Worse still, I couldn’t study, and was simply unable to concentrate.

So I went to a teacher Dr. Bhagia and he sent me to the Super Specialty Hospital. They checked me and said that I was perfectly normal, and that any symptoms of ailment were purely because of my examination fear. But I knew that I could pass even without studying; that my sickness was genuine, as was my unusual rate of palpitation in my chest.  

I made up my mind to go back to Hyderabad after the exams, and get a proper medical checkup done. It was with tremendous effort that I sat through the tests. And now I was all set to go home, even having booked my tickets in advance.

Kodai - To Go or Not to Go…

On March 31, on the morning of the last exam, the registrar of the University came to the hostel and called all the boys selected to accompany Bhagavan to Kodai Kanal. I was one among the boys selected! I did not know what to do!

I was not well and I thought to myself that I should not be a problem to Swami in Kodai Kanal with my ill health. I wrote my exam and was walking back to the hostel; we had been instructed to be ready by 11 o’clock as a bus would come to take us to Brindavan soon after lunch. As I was returning, I saw Dr. Bhagia a few feet ahead of me, walking towards the hostel. I approached him and laid my predicament before him. “Sir,” I said, “you know I am not well, and Swami has selected me for the Kodai Kanal trip. So what should I do? Should I drop out?” Bang came the response – “No! What are you thinking? You are going with God. So why have second thoughts? Please go.”

What gratitude can I express to Bhagavan, that Compassionate Resident in the hearts of all beings, who has not just cured me of an ailment of my physical heart, but has so touched my spiritual heart that I can think of no other refuge than Him and Him alone.

His words did the magic. I immediately packed my luggage. Later, Bhagavan called all of us, the Kodai Kanal boys, into the interview room. He asked each one of us how we had done our exams, viva voce and the like. All except me; He did not ask me any questions. I was just sitting there, listening and praying all the while, as I had not done my exams well.

Seeking the Divine Health Assurance

swami and me  
 

Every moment in Kodai Kanal was a precious moment. I had never dreamt that I would be blessed with such a unique opportunity. But then I was not particularly well either through the entire trip.

I was unable to sleep, even in Kodai Kanal. When a couple of days went by in this manner, I wrote a letter to Swami saying – ‘Swami, I am not well and I am unable to get sleep. My palpitations are increasing. Please help me.’

That morning, when Swami came out of His room, I showed the letter to Him. Swami read the letter, tore it into pieces, and put it in my pocket saying, “Bahut sochtha hai tum (You needlessly think a lot)”.

Our routine in Kodai Kanal was such that we would wait for Swami to come out of His room. Once He was out, we used to have breakfast with Swami.

And then he would speak to us for 10-15 minutes, after which He would leave for the morning darshan. In that interval, we students and the lecturers would go for a morning walk.

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swami and me
 

 

That day, April 27, we seated ourselves in front of Swami. I was at a distance. Then, much to my surprise, Swami called me and said in Telugu, “Eh, boy, etla unnavra?” (Boy, how are you?)

I replied, “Bagunnanu, Swami (I am fine, Swami)”. Swami then beckoned me inside and asked, “How is your heart?” “Bagane undi, Swami (It is fine, Swami),” I replied.

 


The Gift of a New Heart


Dr. Alreja was present there as a guest. Swami asked him to check my pulse. So Dr. Alreja held my pulse, took his watch, timed the pulse rate and said, “Swami, 88-87 undi, Swami (It is 88-87)”
Then, Swami Himself checked my pulse and said, “Ha, 86-87 undi (It is 86-87.) See, I don’t have a watch but still I am correct.”

swami and me  
   

And then, Swami said, “See, all animals like elephants and tortoise have a very low pulse rate, and they live very long. And people who have a high pulse rate, don’t live long. But you are My student. You will live long.”

Bhagavan then asked me to open my shirt buttons. He put His hand on my heart, rubbed His hand on my chest, and said, “Okay. Nothing will happen to you. You are My student.” And He sent me away.

This was in the morning, before darshan. Swami then sent us for our morning walk. When we returned and seated ourselves at His feet, Swami called me saying, “Come here, boy. What do you want?” I said, “Swami, naku emu vaddu. Swami, meere kaavala (Swami, I do not want anything. Swami, I want only You).” Pat came the response, “This is all stunts, stunts.” Swami then created a ring, and gave it to me saying, “Wear this. See, Swami is always a perfect fit.” And the next moment, He put the ring on my finger.  

swami and me
swami and me

It was a beautiful heart-shaped ring, but the size was a little big. I nearly lost the ring that afternoon, when we went touring Kodai Kanal with Swami. That whole night, I could not get a wink of sleep, afraid I’d lose the ring for good.

The very next morning, when Swami came for darshan, I said, “Swami, this ring is very loose.” Swami promptly said, “Why did you not tell Me yesterday? You thought that I will take it away? Give Me your ring.” Swami took the ring and blew thrice on it. The ring became smaller, and Swami put it back. The shape on the ring now resembled that of ‘Aum’.

The summum bonum – I never got my heart checked after that incident. Till date, I am perfectly hale and healthy.

What gratitude can I express to Bhagavan, that Compassionate Resident in the hearts of all beings, who has not just cured me of an ailment of my physical heart, but has so touched my spiritual heart that I can think of no other refuge than Him and Him alone.

 

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Would you like more such stories from devotees who have been touched by His Love? Please write to us at [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

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