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Experiences by Devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  Pilgrimage to Parthi and Divine Interview with Sarva Dharma Service Center Members, on August 7, 2004

Bhagavan Baba in Prashanti Nilayam on 14th August, 2004

Pilgrimage to Parthi
After extensive planning since February 2004, a group of Sarva Dharma Service Center members reached Prasanthi Nilayam on July 27, 2004 to present the progress report of the building project, to seek Bhagawan's blessings and guidance on the project and to spend the time blissfully in His proximity. Few days after arrival, the group was blessed with an opportunity to serve in the Western Canteen and at the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum. It was a daily routine to wake up in the morning at 3 AM. While men assembled by 4.30 AM to walk to darshan lines, women would go to the kitchen for seva by 4 AM. At around 7:15 AM Bhagawan would sit on the golf cart and start giving darshan as the Veda chanting begins. As the cart moves gently amongst the devotees He would instruct the students walking on either side of the cart to pick up letters from specific individuals by saying “Theesuko” (take it) looking into the devotees’ eyes. Bhagawan showered lot of grace on our group and picked up letters from us many times during our stay. Right after morning darshan men would go to Chaitanya Jyothi Museum for seva. Every night the group used to meet at 8 PM for satsangh. During these meetings members shared their experiences of the day and planned for next day activities. Also, during two such nights, we had wonderful Q&A sessions with Prof. Anil Kumar and Dr. Pavan. The days passed quickly and the prayers were getting stronger for Svaami to bless us with an interview. It was August 7th, the last day of our trip and some members were scheduled to leave soon after morning darshan. As the morning sun rose, our beloved Lord started giving His divine darshan. He passed our group with no looks and gave three interviews to other devotees! Chances appeared slim for a morning interview. All of us were sitting still, praying, our eyes locked on the veranda and for some of us tears started flowing.
Lo! All of a sudden Svaami opens the door and calls our president. Our president joyously goes over to Svaami and askes for His permission to call everyone. Svaami blesses him and said that he would see all of us in the afternoon at 3 PM.

!!! An appointment with the Avatar !!!
After morning darshan everyone’s heart was filled with a lot of joy and a bit of anxiety. Some of us scrambled to make travel re-arrangements in order to not miss the divine appointment. The taxis started arriving in the afternoon to load the luggage. Everyone was ready by 2:00 PM with the best attire. Men and women congregated as groups and sat in the Sai Kulwant hall by 2:30 PM. As the clock started ticking, everything around us was happening as a routine with the expectation that Svaami would start His darshan after 3 PM. At 2:50 PM, Svaami suddenly came out of His residence, sat on the golf cart and started giving darshan!

Students, teachers, seva dal and Veda chanting group, all were caught by surprise. We, on the other hand, weren’t surprised; instead we were directly experienced how God keeps His appointment. Bhagawan skipped darshan on the men’s side and the cart rolled onto the veranda at 2:56 PM. Soon after our president gave us a signal to come, we all calmly walked in a single line into the veranda and sat there. It was 2:59 PM when Svaami opened the interview room door from inside and called us in. He did it all with so much perfection and attention to time that we were all humbled by His way of “Leading By Example”. The next one hour and twenty minutes was heavenly.
Divine Interview with Sarva Dharma Service Center Members
For more details of the interview, see:
Saturday, August 7, 2004

The following is a transcript of the divine interview granted by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to 28 members of Sarva Dharma Service Center. The conversions written here are regarding Sarva Dharma Service Center and few other general topics. They were written down in the hours following the interview. There may be minor distortions in the exact word to word translations and the sequence of these conversations. Some of the words commonly used by Bhagavan are written here as is. The glossary with English meanings for these words are presented at the end of this transcript.
After all the members calmly assembled in the interview room, Bhagavan closed the door and looked at all of us. One of the members got up and helped Bhagavan to walk to His chair and help Him sit on it.

Our President: Svaami, how are doing Svaami?

Bhagavan: I am absolutely fine. No pain at all. The accident happened while one of the boys was working near the door. When I suddenly opened the door from behind, he was caught by surprise and fell on me and so did the chair. You see, the boy is okay, the chair is okay, this happened to me. My hip joint was crushed. But, I have no pain and I am always happy.

Our Center President presented the SDSC building plans to Bhagavan. Bhagavan passed the first few pages (which included letter to Bhagavan and financial statement), and went straight to the drawings. He saw every single page of the drawings and asked some questions. In order to save time, our President tried to march forward by flipping few pages. But Bhagavan held tight and flipped each page and looked at all the pages of drawings (about 40 of them).

Our President: Svaami, these are our finalized building plans. We need your blessings.

Bhagavan saw the SDSC packet in detail.

Bhagavan: "Can I give you some advice, if you don't mind? You don't know who will take care of it {SDSC} in the future, so, be careful in spending money".

Our President: Okay, Svaami, like you instructed earlier we will finish it within $1.5 million.

Bhagavan flipped the pages...

Our President: Svaami, some people are saying that if donors come up with substantial donation, we should name parts of the building after them? What should we do?

Bhagavan: If you go on putting names, the building will be full of names. Don't do that. But on the day of inauguration, you can announce the names of major donors.

Bhagavan continued to flip the pages...

Bhagavan: What is this? (pointing to the mesh in the top view of phase 2 section of the building)

Our President: It is some frame....

Member: I think it is a structural frame Svaami.

President: Yes it is a structural frame Svaami.

Bhagavan continued to flip the pages...

President: Bhagavan, this is your room (pointing at one of the rooms in the drawing).

Bhagavan: My room is not there, it is here (pointing at President's heart).
Everyone laughed...

President: Svaami, can you please sign our building plans?

Bhagavan: I know, I know, I am looking for an appropriate page to sign.
Bhagavan flipped the pages back this time, and stopped at one page... and signed it !!!

"With Love and Blessings,
    Sri Sathya Sai."

Member: Svaami, when can we start the construction?

President repeated this question to Bhagavan in Telugu.

Bhagavan: Start it during Dasara.

Svaami counted on His fingers ...

Bhagavan: On Vijayadasami day.

Our President (presenting the album to Bhagavan): Svaami, these are the pictures taken during the Bhoomi Pooja performed at the SDSC site.
Bhagavan looked at every picture until the end and even flipped the blank sleeves to make sure there was no picture left unseen.

Bhagavan: Santosham.

Member: The world is so beautiful. How to live without being attached to it?

Bhagavan: You are 100% spiritual many times, but some times your mind wanders. You have to live in this world being spiritual but not attached to it.
Member: Please stop the war going on in the world.

Bhagavan: There is war in every family. First establish peace within the family.

Bhagavan: What do you do? (looking at one of the members)

Member: I am a teacher.

Bhagavan: How many types of teachers are there?

Svaami answers: "Three types. 1. The ones who teach for their own sake (selfish), 2. The ones who are totally selfless (even this is not good). They work very hard and think about the future of the children. 3. Those who teach for the benefit of both. These are the ones who teach about spirituality. So there are three types: the one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you really are. There are three types of MBAs. 1. Finance, 2. Management, 3. General MBA."

After speaking to many of the doctors in the group, Swami praised the role of a doctor saying that it is a very noble profession because you can help others and you can serve others through this profession.

President: Svaami, Can we take some pictures?

Bhagavan: Yes.

Our President gave the camera to a member who then went to the corner, got on a chair and took the pictures.

Member: Svaami, what can we do for the Sai mission?

Bhagavan: Yevvi cheyyakharledu. Prema tho undandi, andarani preminchandi, anandamga undandi. (You don't have to do anything. Just love, give love to everyone, be happy.)

More than once during the interview, Svaami recited a Telugu poem which explained that anger destroys you from inside, makes a fool of you in front of others and finally anger destroys the whole community. He also recited another Telugu poem few times which explained that unity is very important and work done hand in hand springs joy and happiness among people.
Bhagavan answered many personal questions and offered guidance to the members. He then took help from some of the members to stand up. He pointed at the basket containing Vibhuthi packets.
Svaami then distributed the Vibhuthi packets to everyone. Bhagavan then walked slowly towards the door with the help of some members. Someone at the door tried to open it for Bhagavan.

Bhagavan says, "No don't open the door. That is my job". He then walked up to the door, opened it and stepped out of the room.

We all walked out of the room silently.


Glossary of Telugu words and their meanings:
Santoosham: Happy.
Thappaka: Certainly

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