Although I was well settled in Bombay, I
could not write off Madras from my mind. The devotees were so
lovable, as confirmed later by Swami in my dream. Many long-term
devotees of Swami, devotees who were with Swami during His
boyhood, and who had intimate experiences with our Lord, were
living in Madras. We had opportunities to spend time with them and
talk to them about Sai, either in private or in public while
giving talks on important functions.
I felt very happy to be in their
association. More ever, I also found ample opportunities to
participate in Sai Seva activities since there were integrated
efforts in the organization to pool all available resources and
man power to bring out the best outputs there from. The leaders of
the organization enforced total discipline. Major General
S.P.Mahadevan who was the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva
Organizations in Tamil Nadu State, used to express that Sai
Discipline is much stricter than Military discipline, and that we
should subject ourselves to it while participating in Seva
activities. In fact he used to emphasize repeatedly in all his
public speeches the importance of Sai’s dictum of 3-Ds;
Discipline, Devotion, and Dedication. They were staunch devotees
of Swami in every bit. It was so enjoyable to participate in Seva
with their guidance and in their company.
No wonder, I longed to go back to Madras.
However, it should not be and could not be on any hope of finding
a job. That situation was really frightening. Thoughts started
firming up, to go and start some business on my own in Madras.
Instead of myself looking for a job, why not I provide jobs for a
few people within my limitations! Sai could only have prompted
Swami in His own subtle ways set the path for
me. I was provided with the opportunities to visit Madras again a
couple of times for selling products of my company, where I was
employed. I could succeed in securing considerable orders too.
This process helped me to build a close rapport with some of the
clients in Madras. They gradually took me into confidence and
suggested that instead of transporting materials all the way from
Bombay incurring heavy transport charges, I could think of putting
up a plant in Madras and manufacture them for local requirements.
The clients assured me of all possible assistance and
encouragement. The seed thought was planted in my mind and it
started sprouting out. With Lord on our side, anything could be
I took some initial steps in this direction
during 1982. I needed a factory shed. During my next official
visit to Madras, I approached the Tamil Nadu Industries
Development Corporation to know the possibility of getting a
work-shed. I learnt that new constructions were coming up in the
Ambattur Industrial Estate near Madras. I submitted my application
in the prescribed form before returning to Bombay. There were two
other colleagues of mine who promised to become my partners in
business. With their assistance, necessary advances were paid to
purchase Machineries. During my next trip to Madras, a loan
application was also submitted to finance the capital cost.
Everything was moving as per schedule.
Without any recommendations or back up, I
received the allotment of work shed in the normal course, though
there were several contenders for the same. The allotment was
subject a condition that 25% of cost of shed has to be paid within
15 days. Though the allotment of a shed was an encouraging and
positive development, I could not raise such a big amount during
the next 30 days. I received notice that in case payment was not
made within the next 2 days, the shed allotment would be cancelled
and the shed re-allotted to somebody who are in the waiting list.
I could not find any sources for money. I placed this letter as
usual before the picture of Swami. I gave up hope but Swami did
not give me up.
Unexpectedly I received yet another
communication from the Small Industries Development Corporation,
enclosing an official stamped receipt, acknowledging receipt of
initial payment. I was dumb founded. I did not send any money. It
was impossible. I did not have that much money.. Then how did it
happen? It remains a mystery for those who do not know about
Swami. But I felt sure that it was apparently Swami’s
intervention, which had made this possible!
How do we thank Swami? He does not expect
anything from us not even thanks. The mere pronouncement of the
word and thoughts carry no meaning in Sai’s dictionary. We have to
practice and demonstrate our thought and words in our action and
devotion. It is in the living on His teachings, in our daily
conduct that would make Him happy. He is happy if we can bring
happiness to others. If we do Seva to the needy, He acknowledges
as our Seva offered to Him. The more we love Him, the more we can
experience His closeness with us. He urges His devotees to reduce
their own desires and divert the savings to the needy and the poor
people. Seva offered to the needy, with devotion becomes worship.
And I participated in all Seva activities with more vigor and
devotion than before.
After I had settled in Madras in my new
endeavour, I got an immediate opportunity to visit Parthi as a
Seva dal. There was an All India Conference of Sai Organizations
at Prashanthi Nilayam.15 Seva Dals were selected for this purpose,
being the cream of talents from the large Seva dal force available
in Madras. I was fortunate to be a member in this team. We were
allotted the task of registering the delegates arriving at
Prashanthi Nilayam from various states, and guide them to their
allotted accommodations and other related jobs. With the blessings
of Bhagavan Baba, we thought, that we did our best in discharging
the allotted duties without any complaints from any quarter.
On completion of the conference, when we were
about to take leave from Prashanthi Nilayam, we were directed to
be present inside the Mandir for we were likely to be offered a
chance for having Pada Namaskar. Very eagerly all the 15 Seva
Dals, including me, gathered in the Mandir. The office bearers of
the World Council and State Presidents of the Sai Organizations in
India were also present. We realized that it was Swami’s mercy,
because of which we the 15 Seva Dals also got included in the
chosen beneficiaries of this rare opportunity.
I had earlier mentioned in the first chapter
about my first encounter with Swami when I caught hold of His
Divine Hands. I had then learnt the lesson that I should wait for
my chance to have a ‘Sparshan” of His ‘Charan” (Pada
Namaskar). Such a chance could only happen with Swami’s blessings.
After waiting for 16 years, the chance has come now. Swami’s knows
well, when, where, and how to create a situation to bestow His
Grace. We have to simply wait for such a chance.
Swami entered the Mandir and quietly closed
the doors behind Him. Holding a basketful of Vibhuthi pockets,
Swami moved along the rows, blessing each one of us individually,
and offering a chance to touch His Divine Feet. I became emotional
as Swami was nearing me. And when he stood before me, I got up on
my knees and prayed to Him to perform the sacred thread ceremony
for my son, S.Venkatesh Iyer who was then studying In Swami’s
Whitefield College. Swami patted me on my back, offered Vibhuthi
pockets and whispered that He would do so.
Before I could realize what had happened,
Swami had moved away from me, and I missed the chance of touching
His Lotus Feet! I regretted that I missed the chance for which I
had been longing for the last 16 long years! I felt like crying
out to Swami. Yes, there is the rule of discipline. Swami always
advises to control emotion. I could only feel sorry for myself.
But who could know Swami’s intention? After finishing the line in
which I was seated, Swami was gliding through the middle of the
next row just behind me. I looked back. I could not believe
myself. The seat just behind me was vacant and immediately I
turned back and occupied the vacant seat. When Swami was again
near me in the next row, I kept my head on His Lotus Feet! When I
looked up, Swami was looking at me with a smile, perhaps to convey
me that he understood the situation. I felt fulfilled. The
captivating Divine smile was lingering on my mind for many days.
My application to Swami to perform the thread
ceremony for my son was answered shortly. The very next year
Swami arranged a mass sacred thread ceremony for a group of boys
studying in his college, and my son was also selected. What was
more, Swami gave us a double benefit. We went to Prashanthi
Nilayam with our second son who was at that time only 8 years old
to participate in the function. Swami called my second son, S.
Ramesh, nearer to Him and offered him also the yellow dhoti,
indicating that Ramesh was also included for the thread ceremony.
Yes, Swami performed sacred thread ceremony and also Gayathri
Mantra Upadesh for both my sons, on that day!
Author's statement in:
Many of you may
be aware that I had authored a book with the title "Sri Sathya Sai
Hrudaya Nivasi (Indweller of Hearts). This book had seen the third
reprint, and is being sold in Bhagavan's Bookstall at Prashanthi
Nilayam. Many of you would have purchased and many would not have
got chance to go to Parthi and get the book. After the third
edition, this may not go to print again. As such I wish to bring
the contents of this book to each and every one of you.
Starting from today I shall post one chapter every week or if
possible twice a week, depending upon the response I get from you
all. I would request you to kindly read it and then re-circulate
it to your other friends in the Sai Family.
The text could be transferred to your hard disk, and if possible
print outs taken out.
Utilize the contents, as much as you like.
With Lots of Love and regards