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
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
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
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
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.