Saturday, Sep 22 2018
BHAGAWAN BABA - LOVE OF A THOUSAND MOTHERS
It was my birthday, 3 rd of February 2000. My wife, my mother-in-law and myself sat in deep silence, our hearts filled to the brim, our minds reduced to a vacuum in a room of the Northern Block 4 of Prashanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Peace, the dwelling place of my Beloved Master, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. We had just returned to the room after a 'family interview' specially given to the three of us by Bhagawan earlier in the afternoon.
The usual group interviews were over and bhajans were about to start. Swami came out of His room and came straight to me and touched my shoulder. Before I could realise what was happening, He started waiving His right hand in graceful circles and materialised a diamond ring. Bhagawan in His infinite grace held my right hand and put it on to my ring finger - an exact fit! I was in a daze. And then came the sweet voice "Go inside!" It all happened as though in a dream. I signalled to my wife who brought along her aged mother to the little room. Time stood still. The mind became numb. Our hearts were flooded with His Love which Bhagawan showered in profusion. I had lost my physical mother when l was nine and here was Bhagawan giving me the Love of a Thousand mothers!
Someone started humming a bhajan in the next room which brought me back to the present. As my eyes met my wife's, we both broke down. Tears flowed down my cheeks. In other situations I would have felt ashamed. How could I cry like this! I was no more myself. The personal ego of the seeker had been subdued and taken over by the higher power. It is rightly said, those ' who weep in their spiritual exile do not weep in vain'. These tears are His blessing! Sign of His Grace! Until the sun set in the western horizon, the three of us shared this lofty experience in perfect calm and silence.
Recapitulation of the exalted experiences is a Spiritual Sadhana by itself. Once touched by the Divine Experience, the seeker can get into the same exalted state of mind (or state of 'no-mind'), at one's own will. During those moments one is in a state of atonement (at-one-ment) with the Supreme Consciousness. To me retaining and remaining in this experience is meditation which gives me great peace of mind ever since I had surrendered myself to Him.
Bhagawan has said " No matter where you go, always know that I will be there beside you, inside you, guiding you at every step on the way. You are my very own, dearer than dear to Me, I will protect you as the eyelid protects the eye" . True to His words, He is taking care of every aspect of my life - the personal, professional, family , social and spiritual. He knows best! He is All! Why should I fear when Swami is here?
Turning to the past, I have always felt that the transformation of my life was indeed Bhagawan Baba's miracle! Born and brought up in a small estate in Malaysia , I did not have much of a religious background although we used to observe the Hindu festivals in a mechanical way. Coming from a humble background, I considered it a great honor to obtain a medical degree and a great achievement to be qualified as a Specialist ENT Surgeon with a Fellowship from Edinburgh in 1976. I took interest in getting into the affluent society and getting involved in social activities which would bring me into the limelight.
It was at the insistence of my wife that I reluctantly agreed to attend functions in some spiritual organisations. One after the other she tried taking me for talks, prayer sessions, study classes and special Poojas conducted by the several spiritual groups in Malaysia . But I was not attracted to any of them and by early 1978 I had decided not to attend these functions any more. Therefore, in October 1978 when my wife came up with the idea of joining the Sai Baba Bhajan group in Johor Bahru, I literally created a revolution at home which lasted for several weeks. But this time, unlike on previous occasions, my wife would not relent. When I heard about various miracles performed by Sai Baba and the miracles happening in the homes of devotees in Malaysia , I could not help but scoff at them. But my wife's request was only to "come and see" just once! Yes, finally I went there to see and scoff at her foolishness but there was something there that made me silent. The bright eyes of the Afro haired 'Guru' pierced through my hard shell and touched the soft kernel of my heavy head. The bhajans I heard there haunted me. They kept repeating in the depth of my consciousness. Little did I know on that day that it was Love at first sight! Not that I fell in Love but Bhagawan in His Grace had lifted me to His bosom, His Kingdom of Love. There was no turning back. Something in me told me that I am headed in the right direction towards Home!
I did not have the subtlety of the heart at that time to perceive what was happening to me. All that I knew was that I was helplessly attracted towards the personality of Baba. Reading about Him became a craze. I spent long hours every night reading about His life and teachings. The universality of His outlook on spirituality appealed to me greatly thanks to my unorthodox upbringing. Bhajans became an addiction and slowly and gradually, I could overcome my inhibitions about singing. I could not believe myself when one day within two months of my first encounter with Sai bhajans, I found myself leading bhajans at the Sai centre
But, I had a great barrier to overcome. That was my 'allergy' towards miracles. Every time I heard or witnessed a 'miracle', I suspected that someone with an ulterior motive had done it. I saw the Vibhuthi manifestation on the photo of Baba in a devotee's house and that day I tried throwing Vibhuthi onto the mirror to see whether it got stuck! My scientific mind could not accept the fact that sitting hundreds of miles away, Baba could produce Vibhuthi deposits on the photos kept in a small dark room of the house in Malaysia .
In November 1979, I visited Puttaparthi with my family and saw Bhagawan Baba in physical form. From nowhere, He called me and my wife for an interview along with a group of devotees from Singapore . Sitting in His physical presence for the first time, I witnessed Him materialising Vibhuthi and a Japamala. Bhagawan showered His Love on one and all, and told the mother of the handicapped child how she was chosen to look after the child who had to expend his Karma. Bhagawan was, without my knowledge, letting me see the other side of things! On returning to Malaysia with renewed vigour, Sai service and educational activities were intensified.
Still I had not got over my suspicion especially regarding the miracles in devotees' homes. Bhagawan would have thought that this skeptic needs to be taught the lesson properly. Before long, my house became the stage for several miracles, Initially Vibhuthi started appearing on His pictures. As though to convince me that the rest of the family members had not done it, Vibhuthi dots would appear right in front of my eyes, grow and fall off. On another occasion a streak of honey appeared on the same picture. The honey had the most extraordinary taste and fragrance! My scientific convictions were slowly being shaken.
Previously my curiosity was to know whether miracles were genuine and how they happened. I realised that they were genuine and that a rational mind could not come up with an explanation as to how they happened. Therefore my curiosity turned towards why such things should happen. I intensified my search, my reading, my prayers, and my inner journey. I learnt from Baba's teachings that beyond the conscious and subconscious minds that psychology and psychiatry deal with, there is another entity called super conscious mind, the Bliss Sheath in which lie dormant the seeds of Samskaras or inherent tendencies. It took a great deal of effort on my part to understand Bhagawan Baba's words - "The wonders that I manifest are given the names that do not connote the purpose. These can be called Chamatkaras (miracles) that lead to the stirring of Samskaras, which in turn urges one on towards Paropakara (selfless service) and finally result in Sakshatkara (self-realisation)."
Yes, Bhagawan showered our home with miracles - hundreds of them - thus shaking the very foundation of my preconceived ideas, dealing a death blow to my ego, opening up and laying bare in front of my every own eyes the Truth that Divine is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. On our wedding anniversaries He gave us Kumkum, on our birthdays He gave us honey, on a daily basis He gave us fresh fragrant Vibhuthi. We shared His blessings with the Sai family around us. Our family grew beyond our blood relations and friends.
However, one should always remember that spiritual path is sharper than the razor's edge. We had an equal share of trials and tribulations. But true to His assurance, He took care of us at every step on the life's journey. My home became the Bhajan Centre in February 1980 and the devotees witnessed more miracles. Bhagawan was working His way through to the hearts of His chosen devotees. Half way through one bhajan session, right in front of everyone's eyes three streaks of honey flowed down His big picture - sufficient for all to take part. On another occasion, honey flowed down the pictures of Bhagawan in three different rooms simultaneously. A small statue of Buddha would dance around in the altar every Thursday during the bhajan and stop moving when the bhajans stopped. On the occasion of Krishna Jayanthi in 1980, a strong stream of honey started flowing from the region of the heart of a Krishna statue and continued flowing for twenty-one days, literally making the centre a place of pilgrimage until we could not cope with the flow of devotees. Finally Bhagawan in His infinite grace stopped the manifestation of the honey. Bhagawan knows what to do and when. These miracles were the turning point in the lives of many devotees in Malaysia .
The era of miracles was followed by an era of intense service and educational activities at the centre level and personal sadhana at the individual and family level. Swami has, so to say, weaned us out of the desire for miracles now. Bhagawan knows that we feel His presence even without the miracles. Transformation of the heart is the greatest miracle of Bhagawan. Every moment of my life I am fully aware of the fact that He has taken over the responsibility of guiding me and guarding me. I accept what so ever He gives me for He knows what is best. I pray to Him to keep me at His Lotus Feet, in His service till the end of this journey.
Om Sai Ram