The Overpowering Divine
Nooshin Mehrabani was born in Iran and worked as a
reporter for Iranian National Radio and Television.
She continued her career with an Iranian TV station
after moving to Los Angeles, USA. Since 1991, when
she first heard about Sai Baba, she has made many
trips to India and has been blessed with several
chances of interaction with Bhagavan. She now lives
The afternoon darshan
on the day after the Akhanda Bhajan, on
November 10, 2008, brought joy to the hearts of
thousands of devotees, especially the ladies from
overseas countries who were present in Prasanthi Nilayam.
It was the first day of the Sapthaham of the
Srimad Bhagavatam, the
week-long reading of the great epic tale of the life of
Lord Sri Krishna.
Swami Fulfils Heaps of Dreams
afternoon began like any other day in the Divine Valley
of Prasanthi Nilayam, with Swami coming out for
darshan in His chair, crossing over to the gents
side and then moving up to the verandah of the Sai
Kulwant Hall. But that day He didn't stay there for
long. Soon, Swami was again on the ladies side and it
appeared as if He would just return to His residence.
But what actually happened was something unusual. Swami
did not turn towards His residence, instead He moved to
His right, and now the second round of darshan
had begun! Swami now stopped at one place and selected
three foreign ladies, and asked them to "Go". He then
spun around and headed back into the hall, and on the
way began to call more ladies from overseas. Everyone
was amazed and delighted to see Swami selecting ladies
from even the seventh and eighth rows! They gathered in
a group and were led to the verandah by the head of
happiness lined up in rows...
devotees on the ladies' side had another chance to see
Swami as He walked up to the verandah again, giving
instructions to the ladies to assemble in the Bhajan
Hall. Then, the Divine Drama really began.
Soon, the security girls were seen going back and forth,
selecting more foreign ladies and leading them into the
m andir. Meanwhile, Swami began to talk to some of the
ladies in the Bhajan Hall, and allowed them to touch His
feet and personally gave each of them a beautiful maroon
silk saree! A gift from the Lord Himself!
It definitely became a special occasion to be cherished!
As He moved up and down the aisle, more ladies flooded
the hall, making it a huge challenge for the security
team to actually maintain discipline with the increasing
Pining for His Darshan
What joy to
touch His Beloved Lotus Feet!
spread throughout the ashram quickly as a
result of which women ran to join the stretching queue
on the ladies side of the Sai Kulwant Hall. All of them
were eager to have this unexpected chance of closeness
with the Lord.
I entered the hall
quite late that day and joined the queue where I was
able to watch the women stepping out of the m andir.
They were crying with joy holding tightly their
precious gifts from Swami. It
was such a personal moment of joy for them! Most of
them had the fortune to touch His feet as well,
converse with Him, and offer their salutations. It
was more than a dream that saw the light of day!
Like it was with many other ladies, for me
too, the saree was not as important as being able to
touch His feet.
Soul Searching Begins?
Swami let the ladies
inside the Mandir revel in His glorious company for
nearly an hour. He made sure that every heart sitting
there had an experience of Divine Love. It was already 6
p.m. when Swami came onto the stage to the delight of
the devotees, waiting in eagerness, in the Sai Kulwant
Hall. There was an important programme scheduled for the
After a few minutes of silence, a
soothing thought dawned on me. If we identify
ourselves on the basis of our physical form, we
see others as well as God as entities separate
from ourselves. This is why we find it hard to
appreciate another's joy or feel another's
sorrow. I strongly felt Swami saying to me , "If
you are not envious or jealous, you should be
able to enjoy the happiness that others
experience around you. You should be able to
sense the pain of those who consider themselves
unfortunate and hope for them and for yourself
that I will bless you when it is the right time
Now, some of us who were
still in the queue and could not get the opportunity to
even go inside Bhajan Hall were devastated when we were
asked to return to our seats. Obviously, it was
heartbreaking, and some of us began to break into sobs.
At first, I did not know what to feel. "Should I feel
rejected?" No, that was not the truth, since God never
rejects anyone. "Should I feel ignored?" That wasn't the
reality either because I have sat at His Lotus feet
daily, morning and afternoon, fully aware that He wanted
me to be there. I started to pray to Swami, asking Him
to help me understand the lesson I was to learn from
After a few minutes of
silence, a soothing thought dawned on me. If we identify
ourselves on the basis of our physical form, we see
others as well as God as entities separate from
ourselves. This is why we find it hard to appreciate
another's joy or feel another's sorrow. I strongly felt
Swami saying to me , "If you are not envious or jealous,
you should be able to enjoy the happiness that others
experience around you. You should be able to sense the
pain of those who consider themselves unfortunate and
hope for them and for yourself that I will bless you
when it is the right time for you."
Feeling the Joy of Others
just opened up like never before.....
While my eyes were still
closed, I felt my heart filling with happiness and joy
for those who were blessed in that one precious hour. I
was as much a part of this event as the women who had
received padanamaskar and a saree. I felt as if
Swami had given this gift to me, too. The mind is the
obstacle that creates separation when, in reality,
nothing of this sort exists. It is only at the physical
level that we experience duality. T he lesson I learned
that day was one of unity.
There are many times when
Swami has given interviews to some, or gifts to others.
If we feel disappointed, then where is the spiritual
practice of love and oneness? I am sure people were
crying not over the saree; everything we have has been
given to us by God. People were dejected because they
felt they might never have this opportunity of closeness
with the Divine again. But Swami is our c ompassionate
God. We should always believe that we are worthy of His
Love and Grace.
We should always be
hopeful that He will find the perfect way to shower His
Grace at the most opportune time. This is why He has
called us to His perfect world of bliss. We are not any
less special to Swami because we didn't get this chance.
We have our own special moments with Him.
always be hopeful that He will find the perfect
way to shower His Grace at the most opportune
time. This is why He has called us to His
perfect world of bliss. We are not any less
special to Swami because we didn't get this
chance. We have our own special moments with
Unexpected Gift from a Sai Friend
As I reflected on this
divinely-inspired awareness, I felt very grateful to
Swami. But the Lord had something more beautiful in
store for me that afternoon.
I left Sai Kulwant Hall that evening, Swami actually
gave me a precious gift. I saw an Iranian friend who
introduced me to a woman who had just arrived from Iran
the day before. The lady seemed a bit familiar to me,
but I could not place her as I had not lived in Iran for
quite some time. When I mentioned my name to her, she
said, "I know someone by the same name who lives in
Canada." I asked her that "someone's" last name. She
uttered my last name. "That person, you know, is me!" I
told her. With tears in her eyes, she began to hug me,
asking me if I remembered her. I felt a bit odd to tell
her that I still c ould not recollect having met her or
known her in any special way.
Iranian stranger began to tell me her story. Eight years
ago, when I traveled to Iran from India, this stranger
had sat next to me on the plane. As usual, my
conversation was all about Swami. This lady had been in
India at the time not for any spiritual reason, but for
business, and it was her first time to hear Sai Baba's
name. I had shared some of my experiences with her for
close to an hour. I left her with telephone numbers of
some Sai devotees in Iran and never heard from her
again. Little did I know that during the years since I
had not seen her, she had become a devotee of Baba and
made several visits to Prasanthi Nilayam.
In this particular
trip, she had even brought her brother along; his
first visit to India. She told me how her life had
dramatically changed for the best since she came to
Swami. What moved me the most was when she narrated
about the altar she had made for Swami in her home.
"When I go there to pray, I remember how you
introduced me to Swami and I always pray for you."
Now, this was too overwhelming for me. By this time,
as you can imagine, we were both crying! I told her
I was just an instrument Swami had picked to bring
her to God, and it is our constant prayers that make
us worthy to be at His Lotus Feet.
I returned that evening to
my home on a joyous note. Swami did not give me the same
gift that so many had received that day, but He did give
me what He knew was the best present for me. He is God,
and He knows what we need and just when. Swami had shown
me when I hadn't expected in the slightest that He had
not forgotten me in that big gathering! His ways of
comforting us are subtle, which makes it even more
overwhelming. If we are able to trust His judgement, and
humbly surrender to Him, and accept His will for us, we
can be happy in every moment regardless of what comes
our way or doesn't! And that is truly His greatest