When God Re-engineers you!

As I begin to pen down a few words in fond remembrance of the wonderful times I spent at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Divine Master, I am reminded of a famous quote from the Vedas which Bhagawan would often mention in His discourses.

“Yatho Vaacho Nivartante, Apraapya Manasa Saha…”

It means “That which words cannot describe and the mind cannot fathom” – how true it is when we reminisce of our Lord’s love for us. Although it is a difficult task indeed, I decided to write a few words about myself – for what am I but for what the Lord has shaped me into.

I consider myself doubly lucky since I have the dubious distinction of being both a Sai Youth as well as a Sai Student. Before joining the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, I was part of the Hyderabad Sai Youth – the Youth wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Hyderabad. I was fortunate to have got many opportunities of Divine proximity with the Lord. It was during one such group interview when I was in my second year of engineering and I asked Swami what I should do after engineering. Swami very lovingly replied, “Engineering taruvaata MBA cheyi. Engineering, MBA chaala manchi combination. Naa deggara cheyi. Nenu seat istaanu.”(Do MBA after engineering. Engineering and MBA is a good combination. Do it here. I will give you a seat.) Those two lines cleared all the confusion I had in my mind and it became clear to me that it was my destiny to be a Sai student.

Indeed, living with God is true education and my ‘education’ started not just when I joined the portals of the institute, but much before that. I was all that a young adolescent generally is and shouldn’t be – arrogant, irritable, directionless, disrespectful…the list can go on. It was when I was 17 years old and very depressed having made unsuccessful attempts at the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) entrance exams, that Swami decided to step in and show me the meaning of life. I was a total skeptic and would not believe in all the ‘miracles’ that were attributed to Swami even though my parents were devotees. I would often argue with my father saying that it was no miracle if the flower fell from Swami’s photo during bhajans. It would rather be a miracle if the flower would jump up onto the photo against gravity.

But, Swami knew how to make His way into a young man’s heart. It was around this time that I got introduced to the Hyderabad youth team. Their dedication to seva and love for Swami made a deep impression on me. I started to think of Swami as a great person who has inspired so many youngsters to take up selfless service. Slowly but surely, my outlook towards Swami started to change. I started reading Sai literature and His messages to young students. I was impressed with Swami’s message to the youth. I realized that depression was not the solution to anything, that there was a deeper purpose to life and that we are given the body to serve others. Subsequently, along with the team, I had many opportunities of being part of the group when Swami would call us for interviews. During one such occasion, I had come to Parthi with the team. There was this incident where my brother had bought a flat in Bangalore and my father was expecting me to attend the Gruha Pravesham. However, Swami had told us the previous day that He would call us for an interview the next day. I decided to skip the Gruha Pravesham (house warming) ceremony since an interview with the Lord was a lifetime opportunity. The next day, during the interview, Swami mentioned about my father and how furious he would be when I reach Bangalore. He told me not to open my mouth and to let him scold me to his heart’s content. Exactly as predicted by Swami, my father was angry with me. However, he was surprised that I was at peace with myself and was not reacting. It was only after all his steam was let out that I told him about the interview and about how Swami had foretold about this conversation. My parents were delighted and the whole mood at home changed. During the interview, Swami had chided me for not telling my parents about the various activities we do. He said that I should take my father along to one of the village activities so that he can see first hand what work we were doing there. That, He said, would ensure that there would never be any resistance from home if I wanted to participate in village service. I did precisely that on our next village camp. My father was delighted. After returning home, he said that he never knew that we were doing so much good work and has always cooperated ever since. Swami’s solutions always work like a charm.

The Engineering boys interview with Swami when Swami
had stopped the chiming clock by raising His hand
The sweet and sublime experience of being with Swami would make me clamour for more. I felt the only way I could get more of His love was by following His teachings. My personality started to change. I lost interest in movies, gave up my friends’ circle and began to get more involved in Seva. Once I took along with me a batch of engineering students to Puttaparthi. Almost all of them had come there for the first time. Swami graciously called the group of 18 boys for an interview. During the interview, Swami was telling us how young men should behave as ideal citizens. Suddenly, the clock in the interview room struck 4pm and some music started off. Swami did not like the interruption and he just lifted His hand in the air as if to indicate ‘Stop’. The music stopped immediately and Swami continued to speak as if nothing had happened. Imagine the kind of impact this made on all the young engineering students who came to Puttaparthi for the first time. After the interview, some of them quit smoking, some quit movies and others gave up their habit of going around with girls. The transformation Swami brings is truly amazing.

During the summer of 2002, I was fortunate to join the MBA programme of the Institute. During the course, I was not really scoring good marks. One day, Swami was sitting outside in the Mandir portico and He suddenly called me. I went up to Him and Swami asked me how many marks I got. I was silent. He chided me for not studying sincerely and said “Your parents will be happy if you do well and get good marks. Is it not? I am your Divine parent. How much more happy will I be if you get good marks. Study well. Don’t study like how you were studying in Engineering. Study to make Swami happy. Then even that act will become Karma Yoga.” That day I learnt the important lesson of transforming Karma into Karma yoga by dedicating whatever you do to Him. There are numerous such lessons learnt at His lotus feet by all His students and devotees. Before I wrap up, I would like to share another beautiful conversation I had with Swami. During one interview, I mustered some courage and asked Swami, “ How is it that You are able to love all?”

Swami smiled and asked me, “Does your father love you?”

I replied, “ I think so Swami.”

Swami said, “Your father loves you because he ‘thinks’ that you are born from him. Your father ‘thinks’ that way. But I ‘KNOW’ that you are all born from Me. How much more should I love you? It is natural for me. The day you know the Truth, it will be natural for you too.”

What a fantastic revelation it is. Let us all express our gratitude to Him who is our everything by making our lives His message.


CS.Bala said…
grate account of divine memories... keep writing and infusing love in to souls, bodies, minds and hearts across the world... sairam

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