Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings


 (Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombai Srinivasan

Chapter 14
Back to Madras

I wished to erase from my memory, the yearlong life of agony in Madras as a bad dream. My devoted, dedicated hard work saw me through and up. During the next five years, everything was very smooth without any undue concern. Both my sons were studying well. The eldest one had finished the school finals and by Sai’ Grace, he got admission in Swami’s college at Whitefield campus in the pre-degree course. Due to the hectic building activities at Parthi, Swami used to spend considerable time at Brindavan, Whitefield. During those days my son was something like a radio transmission center conveying Swami’s leelas in some form or other to us. In all his correspondence with us, the main subject/object would be Swami. My son was a natural singer from childhood and in no time, he made his mark in the campus. In addition to Bhajan songs, he participated in many musical programmes also.

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 such thoughts.

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 possible.

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
Bombay Srinivasan


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