Long ago, a little boy, a resident of Mumbai, was fascinated when his father sang for him a new bhajan “Gangajataadhara Gauri Shankara Girija Manaramana”. A few months later, Sathya Sai Baba went to Mumbai and the little boy, before going for Divine Darshan, stood before the altar in the Puja room and prayed: “Swami, please sing Gangajatadhara bhajan today.” Imagine how thrilled and overjoyed the boy was when Swami, out of His vast repertoire of bhajans, sang this very bhajan that day. The love conveyed by Swami in granting his small prayer gripped the boy’s heart, so much so that this very same love subsequently drew him to Puttaparthi to join Swami’s school.
I too have experienced this sweet, captivating love of Swami. Indeed, Swami’s love is so pure and sublime that no words can describe its tenderness and charm. Not that it is so abstract. In fact, Swami’s love is concretised in every act of His, every smile of His, every pat of His, and every glance of His.
Speaking of my own experience, I must say that a subtle perception is necessary to experience Swami’s love in all that He does for us or even what He speaks to us, individually or in groups. For instance, one evening, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was passing through a rice-field when he saw the sunset on the horizon brightly lit by multicolored clouds. This sight appeared so divine to him that his joy and ecstasy sent him into bhava samadhi. How many of us can experience the same ecstatic joy on seeing a sunset? As in the case of beauty, a divine experience too lies in the vision, perception and sight of the observer.
At Prasanthi Nilayam, we are blessed with Darshan by Swami every day. What greater sight than this one of Sathyam, Sivam and Sundaram walking before us can there be on earth?
Swami’s love answers every good prayer from pure and sincere hearts. For instance, some time back, in U. P., a lady was busily engaged in the inauguration of a Sai Bhajan hall. But her little son was pestering her for a lollipop. Being busy, in exasperation, she pointed to a photograph of Swami kept nearby and said, “If you so badly want a lollipop, ask your Baba for it.” The little boy meekly moved away. But when she looked up after a while, she was surprised to see her son sucking blissfully a lollipop. When she asked him from where he got it, the little innocent boy smiled and, pointing his tiny finger at the photograph, said, “Mother, as you told me, I asked my Baba and He gave me this lollipop.” Obviously, Swami’s love is present everywhere at all times for those who are pure in heart. That is how, though we, Swami’s devotees, gather around Him in thousands, each one of us gets His personal attention. For instance, two years back, I had a hole in my left ear drum and pus used to ooze out from it. Every 60 seconds, I had to clean my ear with a swab of cotton. This went on for an entire year. None of the best doctors in Bombay could do anything to cure it. But last year, when I came to Parthi, just a few words: “Swami, ear trouble” were all that were needed to cure the ear completely.
Indeed, Swami’s love has transformed even wicked and sinful hearts. Some years back a murderer, Kalpagiri, while fleeing from the police, happened to land in Parthi, without any feelings for this holy place or for Swami. However, Swami showered so much love on him that the seeds of that love sprouted into sincere repentance for his evil deeds. His stony heart was so much transformed by Baba’s love that he surrendered himself to the police, prepared to atone for his sins.
When such is the love of Sai, what should we do in reciprocation? We can only follow His footsteps and try to practise love in our own life for others. That, surely, will make Swami very happy. It is not enough that we say “I have God in my heart,” but we should be able to say, “I have Swami’s love in my heart and I am in the heart of Swami—our God.”
(Extracted from a speech delivered by a student in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the year 1989)
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