Dwarakanath KNVSD was a student at the Sri Sathya Sai institute of Higher Learning Prasanthi Nilayam Campus from 2008-2015 in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences. Currently, he is a software analyst at nuVizz inc. in Bangalore.
Shirdi Baba declares, “Let My man (devotee) be at any distance, a thousand kilometers from Me, he will be drawn to Shirdi like a sparrow with a thread tied to his feet”. I was no exception to this, for I was drawn with the thread called ‘education’ tied to my feet. I was drawn like this to Sri Sathya Sai, the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba.
It was a divine saga that started with my entrance examinations into the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School in my 11th standard at Prasanthi Nilayam. It was only His will and the blessings of my parents and Bal Vikas [spiritual education] teachers that secured for me a seat in Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School. I wish to share some of the lessons that I learnt at the feet of Sai, the Divine mother.
It is difficult to fathom the incomparable and unsullied love of the physical mother. Then how can I speak of the love of a thousand mothers? Being new to the system, it took some time for me to get accustomed to the schedule in the hostel. On one such day, I was feeling lonely and sad because I was diagnosed with a problem known as ‘multiple lymphoma’, a disease in which small tumors multiply throughout the body. I was very worried and afraid. I felt that if I were with my physical mother, she would definitely take care of me and relieve me of the pain. I was praying to Swami, asking Him to shower His bountiful blessings on me.
One day, with God’s grace I was given the first line to sit in the third block of the mandir [temple]. That is one of the most sought after places for every Sai student. As I was waiting for Swami’s arrival, the Vedam [sacred text] chanting began and I started praying more intensely to Swami so that He would call me and I could tell Him about my problem. Swami came to the portico and I was eagerly waiting for His call. Like a loving mother He beckoned me and like a small child I rushed to my beloved Divine mother.
Then Swami asked me about my tumors and I showed Him my right hand. Like a very caring mother, He lovingly glanced at me, and as I had wished He caressed me, cajoled me, and massaged the place where the tumors were present. He also explained about the tumors, but His voice was so low that I could not hear or decipher anything. Then, Swami asked me to take padanamaskar [touching of the feet]. I took padanamaskar and was going back when Swami beckoned me and asked, “Noppi Vasthonda Bangaru?” (Are you getting pain, My dear child?) I replied, “No Swami, but they are multiplying very quickly.” Then like a loving mother, He said, “Do not worry, I will take care,” and patted my cheeks, a memory that I would cherish throughout my life. On that day, Swami made me realize that He had been my mother during the many births I had taken till now and would ever remain as my mother with me, showering His grace, love, and blessings.
God’s delays are not His denials. Every student of Swami wishes to obtain the most coveted opportunity of doing pada seva (pressing the feet of the Lord as a mark of service). I also nourished a similar desire. I was praying to my beloved mother Sai to grant me an opportunity of performing pada seva. I passed my 11th class, but could not secure the opportunity. I was praying with more zeal so that I would be blessed with that opportunity.
The 12th standard Central Board of Secondary Education examinations were fast approaching and Swami kept on postponing our ‘Gratitude Program’ that we wanted to offer at His lotus feet. At last Swami listened to our fervent prayers. On the intervention of one of our teachers, we were given permission to offer the gratitude program just two days before our Board examinations. . We were waiting for Swami in the morning for the program, and Swami arrived in the mandir at 11.00 am. We were ready with all the setup that included musical instruments, cards, pens, and vibhuti [holy ash] for blessings. Swami beckoned us to sit in the portico. We all ran and sat in the portico.
First He went toward the Primary School girls (10th and 12th classes) and blessed them. Then Swami came straight toward me, stopped, and we all formed a circle around Swami. I was sitting right in front of Swami with His lotus feet touching my body.
Swami asked us to commence the program, and meanwhile, our principal came to Swami and began pressing one of Swami’s feet. I thought this was an opportunity given by Swami and I started pressing the other foot. Swami did not stop me from doing so. Tears started rolling down my cheeks for I, who was one among His myriad creations, was given the rare opportunity to perform pada seva. The program went on very well, and I was blessed to do pada seva for the whole program that lasted for one hour and 15 minutes. I was humbled that day because the Divine Director had enacted a play to grant me this opportunity.
It is a general tendency that human beings face dilemmas quite often. I joined the Brindavan Campus in Bangalore for my Under Graduation (B.Sc. M.P.C.). When I was in my II Year B.Sc. I was supposed to give my choice for the major subject for specialization in my third year. All my friends made their respective choices (some asked Swami and some made their own decisions); I was scared of asking Swami for I feared that Swami would ask me to take the subject that was the toughest for me. I was mentally determined that I would take physics as my elective. But it is said that ‘Man proposes, but God disposes’. We came to Prasanthi Nilayam from Brindavan for Bhagavan’s birthday celebrations.
One day out of the blue, Swami called me and asked, “What is your name?” I replied “Swami, Dwarakanath.” Then Swami asked, “What are you studying?” I replied, “Swami, I am doing my II Year B.Sc. M.P.C.” Then came the next question, “Next year, what major?” I was shocked. After regaining my senses I answered, “Swami, Physics.” Swami continued, “Physics is very tough for you Bangaru (dear child).” I said, “Swami at least Chemistry.” Swami replied, “Chhee! Take Maths. It will be easy for you.” This was a rude shock to me as mathematics was the subject that I dreaded most. I was just waiting to complete my last semester in mathematics and switch over to physics. But my decision (which I perceived was right at that time) was overruled by His decision of me choosing mathematics as the major subject in my final year.
All the above things were possible only because of Swami’s blessings and His grace.
I fall short of words to describe all that my beloved mother Sai has done for me. What can we give Her when everything is Hers! Gratitude is the greatest quality that we should nourish and offer as a gift to mother Sai. It is said:
“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
To enact gratitude is generous and noble,
But to have gratitude is to touch heaven.”
For all that our beloved mother Sai has done, is doing, and will do, let us all remember the least that we can do is to show our gratitude, take part in His mission, and spread His love and message to the whole humanity. I pray to our beloved mother Sai to bless us with enough strength and courage to take part in His mission. I further pray to Swami to endow us with a strong and unwavering mind so that we can recapitulate all the experiences and memories that He has most lovingly granted, and so that we cling to Swami and become worthy instruments in His mission.
Source: Sai Nandana 2015 (90th Birthday Offering)
Sathya Sai with Students