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Experience by Devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  My first experience with Swami

Aum Sri Sai Ram

This article you are about to read is actually quite personal but I would like to share it with all of you hoping that it might open some minds or in some way spread the divine messages of our Lord and Savior Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Well, it all started around the first week of September 1997, just before my first year of University was about to start.......

Life as a teenager was always confusing to me trying to find my identity and what I really wanted to do in life. Well, before University started I went through a very confusing time in my life.  I wasn't totally sure if I wanted to do Computer Science for the rest of my life or pursue a different profession.  That wasn't the only thing that was confusing in my life, I had been going through a lot of changes both with my personal life and at home.

The only constant always seemed to be Swami. Well during the early part of my first year, I was somehow surrounded by darkness, it was unexplainable I had this hole with in myself that had to be filled before it grew any larger.

The solution finally hit me, go see Swami, go help people around the world.  I recall the weeks leading to my departure Swami often made me aware of His presence by dropping flowers from His picture in our puja room where I slept.

During a bhajan session at the centre, I was praying to Baba to show me a sign when a flower from Shirdi Sai's photo fell.  Now with the knowledge that Swami approved the trip, I broke the news to my parents about my pilgrimage. They weren't too thrilled about the idea, they actually thought I was a little insane, stopping my studies, and going to visit Sai Baba at this stage in my life.  With many of their questions unanswered, they still helped me and before I knew it I was on my way to see the lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and indulge in experiences that I will cherish for a lifetime.

My intention was to stay in Bangalore for a while and take in the culture since this was my first exposure to the Indian way of life. But Swami gave me many signs to come to Him immediately.  I shaved my head signifying a new beginning in my life, before leaving for Prashaanthi.

Well, when I arrived there, I was greeted by Sai Baba's friendly voice echoing over the PA systems of Prashaanthi, he was giving a speech on the Water project.  Tired from my trip I located a family friend, who worked for Swami. He helped me get settled and during the course of my stay he taught me a lot about Swami and his teachings.

The next day I went to sit for my first Darshan.  According to the journal I kept the first sight of Baba on Oct. 12 was from far…He appeared like a supernatural being with a halo of hair around His head.  As He approached me, I noticed how fragile and small-built He was.  He seemed to glide over the floor as if he were floating on it…the divine energy that emanated from him had numbed my senses there upon and I therefore could not remember much else.

Two weeks later I was blessed to be seated in the front row and as Baba walked in front of me, I saw my chance and went straight for His feet just as the hem of His orange robe elevated from the floor leaving His Lotus Feet bare and visible.  My first padnamaskar left me experiencing a feeling I had never known before.  It was the purest form of inner joy and happiness, which was so sublime and sweet that I can only describe it as divine bliss.

On another occasion, I found myself sitting in the first row again, I decided to write a letter to Baba saying: "To Swami: I love you."  The only immaterial thing I could give (my love). When Swami came to my spot he stood in front of me and took letters from others around me then His hand swooped by my hand and took the letter ever so gently, leaving me feeling accepted and ecstatic.  To my amazement I even found seven pictures of this blessed moment.  Swami had fulfilled yet another wish of mine.

During my stay I was able to volunteer for the annual overseas medical camp held around Swami's birthday.  I was able to meet and work with a lot of dedicated devotees from around the world.  All the events surrounding the camp were imprinted with Swami's grace.  For instance, at the end of each day, the count of patients would always add up to the number NINE and on Swami's birthday the count was exactly 999.  Many miraculous events occurred during the camp, but I am unable to share these with you due to insufficient space.

At the end of the medical camp all the volunteers sat for padnamaskar.  I remember when Swami made his way to the row I was sitting in, I extended by hand that had His famous Lingam photo.  But, when Swami went to bless the  photo he somehow missed and touched my palm, Swami then moved his hand towards the photo and blessed it.  As Swami walked away I decided to be brave, and held out my hand again this time for vibuthi, as Swami walked by he noticed my hand and put his hand on my hand while talking to another volunteer who asked him a question.  Swami kept his hand there until the duration of the conversation, then turned around smiled at me then walked away.  I don't think I will ever forget that day.  I felt so blessed and loved by Swami.  All the volunteers were given packets of interview vibuthi and a picture of Swami.

Three days prior to my departure, I wrote another letter to Swami which I held out for Him along with a letter my sister had written to Him.  Since He was speaking to someone on the opposite side, I thought He wasn't going to take my letters and put them back in my lap.  Just then Swami turned around and came towards me with His hand extended, asking for the letters.

During my return, I stayed in England where I was blessed again when Swami granted me an interview in my dreams. He gave me something to drink which made me feel sick for a while.  I think the purpose of this was to burn my karma. Then I heard a voice say "that's enough" and Swami produced sweet vibhuti which dissipated the sick feeling I felt.  Then I asked Swami if I should pursue Computer Science or Pediatrics. Pediatrics is something I have always liked because I get along with children very well. He replied "doesn't matter".  I then told Swami that Pediatrics is hard to get into.  He insistently said, "doesn't matter".  I then sat besides Swami and held His hand and said, "I am really happy to see you Swami".

Upon waking up I discussed my dream with my friend from Prashaanti.  He explained to me that to Swami a Computer Scientist and a Pediatrician provide equal benefits to society.  He went on to say that Swami believes all beings are the same as long as they serve others selflessly.  After the interview I decided to stay in Computer Science, since changing the field would be a hassle and knowing Swami will guide me someday to a job involving children.

With all my questions answered and my faith in Sri Sathya Sai Baba confirmed beyond any doubts, I returned home.  Ever since my return, I experience regular visits and darshans of Swami in my dreams.  I finally filled the void I had and now my life is on the Sai track and I feel guided and blessed every moment by our beloved Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sai Youth


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