Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings


 (Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombai Srinivasan

Chapter 15
Advance indication and the rescue

While I was employed in Bombay, I never thought that I would be moving over to Madras to settle down there. I had no relatives or friends there. Yet, Swami had predicted that I might go over to Madras. This indication came to me through a letter received from my eldest son, who was at that time studying in Pre-University course in Swami's college in Whitefield.

He had written that Swami was teasing him, asking, "How is your girl friend at Madras." He could not make anything out of it. The teasing became a regular feature in the days that followed, and he expressed that he was unable to bear it, especially so when Swami was cutting jokes in the presence of other students. We wrote back telling him that he should feel proud to receive swami’s attention and to be engaged in constant conversation with him. He should consider it a Special Grace of Swami.

We did not understand, the implications of Swami's joke, which always carried the message of a fact or development. Sai is Sathya and His words are nothing but Sathya (Truth) In the earlier chapters, I had referred to the developments leading to my shift from Bombay to Madras. My first attempt to do some business there resulted In a total failure and I had to return to Bombay in search of job. But, Swami's Will would seem, to berth me back in Madras to start my own business By the time I was stabilizing myself in the new environment in Madras, my son. Venkatesh completed his post graduation in Chemistry and joined us in Madras Initially he was assisting me in my factory I suggested that he should specialize in some fields, and pursue his further education , while he was with us. He joined the prestigious institution N.I.I.T.,to study Systems Management.

One evening, I was attending a technical seminar with my son, in one of the five star Hotels in the city. While we were having dinner, he was trying to convey me something but was feeling shy to express himself I asked him what was the matter, and if it had anything to do with any romance. He replied in the affirmative and put me wise about it. He had met a girl in the NIIT campus and he liked her very much. Instantly the so-called jokes of Swami, flashed through my mind when He used to tease him about the girl friend in Madras. Swami's jokes came true. I had moved to Madras and my son cultivated a girlfriend in Madras

With kind words, I put my son at ease and asked him to invite the girl and her parents to our house. Soon we received their family members in our house. The father of the girl Mr. Vrudyanathan was an officer in one of the nationalized Banks. We exchanged information about each other and I told him that subject to the acceptability of the alliance, we could go ahead further in the matter. The girl, Sow. Vijaya was just completing her graduation course in one of the local colleges, and was studying in the NIIT evening classes as well. I felt that my son had not settled yet in life and I suggested that while we might agree for and settle the alliance, it would appear advisable to wait for some more time for the actual marriage. It was so agreed. I went to Whitefield with my son, handed over a letter to Swami during the Darshan time, and could have sparshan of the Lotus Feet.

A little later, Mr.Vaidyanathan informed me that his aged father-in-law was suffering from cancer and that the doctors opined that he would not survive long. He pleaded that the marriage be conducted at the earliest, while his father-in-law was still alive. Although I had my own problems, after prolonged deliberations, I had to yield. We informed that we are devotees of Bhagavan Baba and we would adhere to His teachings in all our endeavors. There was no question of any expectations for us from the Bride's side. We undertook that even the Mangala soothra would be made from our side. Accordingly, the date for the marriage and a Marriage hall was fixed. All the arrangements were going on full swing. On an auspicious day, we got the Mangala soothra ready and kept it in the Pooja mandap of our house. All our relations from Bombay had arrived in time for the wedding.

According to our customs, we moved into the Wedding hall the previous day before the marriage, when we were supposed to go through certain religious preliminaries. We were very careful to take with us the "Mangala Soothra" (Thirumangalyam) and kept it in our suitcases, along with other gold ornaments. I had decorated the marriage hall to the best of my ability \with an imposing photograph of Swami and a chair for Him. The members of the Sai Samithi had arranged for Bhajans. My son, Sri.Venkatesh also rendered a couple of songs. We prayed that, with His blessings, everything should go on without any hitch.

In the early hours of the wedding day we all woke up and after taking bath were ready to commence the various rituals before the actual muhurtham (the auspicious time for tying he knot). The muhurtham was to take place by about 7 'O clock in the morning. The priest asked for the "Thirumangalyam” in order to put it through the yellow threads before the ceremonies began. My wife went to our allotted room and opened the suitcase in which the Thirumangalyam had been kept. She was shocked to find the Thirumangalyam missing. A thorough search and Ransacking of all the suitcases, was made. We felt totally lost, since without Thirumangalyam the marriage ceremony could not be conducted. Even emergency arrangements would not be possible since the jeweler shops would not open before 10 AM., for us to buy ready made ones. The muhurtham time, fixed at 7 AM could not be delayed. In panic, I called my eldest bother, who had come from Bombay, and apprised him of the situation. He tried to calm us down and suggested that we should take our in-law Mr.Vaidyanathan into confidence and to find a way out. We did not wish to "publicize" our predicament and tried to hide our feelings within ourselves. Mr. Vridyanathan displayed a cooperative and considerate attitude and told us not to worry. He suggested that the marriage could be conducted by using a simple yellow thread with a piece of turmeric and that Thirumangalyam could be added later on. This suggestion did not find favor with the lady folks. Even we were reluctant to accept such a compromise.

The elders present suggested a way out. Normally, in our practice the Thirumangalyam consists of two golden pendants specially designed. One of such pendants from the mother of the bridegroom (here it was my wife) could be used for the daughter-in- law. Even this solution presented a problem. It relates to an entirely another incident. Long back I had gone on a pilgrimage to Sabari Hills in Kerala to visit the temple of Lord Ayyappa located in the Western Ghats amid thick forests. Due to some communication gap, I did not inform my wife in Bombay about my delayed return. She feared that I was lost to her. Those days, in case somebody did not return within a reasonable period, it was presumed that he had met his end in the forest. My wife was a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna of GURUVAYUR in Kerala and she prayed to Him for my safe return and took a vow to deposit one of the pendants of her Thirumangalyam into the Hundi of the Lord Guruvayurappan. I returned home safe and subsequently we visited Guruvayur together and offered one of the "Thirumangalyam pendants" to the Lord. Hence, at the critical juncture of the wedding of my son, she was left with only one pendant and she refused to part with it. She was too sentimental absolutely normal for our ladies.

My wife hurried back to our residence to make a search there also It could not be located or sighted. The pundits were going on with the rituals connected with the marriage. I did not know what to do under the circumstances. Meanwhile according to our customs, the bridegroom goes
to the temple and there the father of the bride personally confirms the offer of his daughter to him. They come back and after such rituals such as sitting in Joola etc. the Thirumangalyam dharanam (tying of the sacred Thirumangalyam around the neck of the bride) is to be performed in accordance with this custom. At the appropriate time, the bridegroom and the party with the priests had gone out to the temple and would be returning back very soon when I was supposed to provide the main item required for the ceremony. There in the Mandap, Bhagavan Baba's picture beckoned me. I realized only He could rescue us from the predicament and total humiliation. I knelt before His picture and spoke out, " Swami, I do not know why I am in such a situation. I am not capable of doing anything in this situation. Only you can save us, and I am leaving it to you. Please take control of the situation." I meant every word of it, and prayed to Him with all my heart. I thought that only such surrender would impel HIM come to our rescue. I telephoned to my house, and told my wife that she should return to the hall soonest and be present during the auspicious time., leaving everything to Swami.

After the Joola function, the couple were entering the Hall. I was following them mechanically. I noted that my wife had come back. While entering the hall, I felt that somebody was trying to place something into my palms. I halted and looked into my hands. Something, packed in a small piece of paper was thrust into my hands by my sister-in-law. She is the wife of my wife's elder brother who had also come to attend the marriage. She told me that it was a new Thirumangalyam, and requested me to make use of it and go through the marriage. She further informed that it so happened, that she had got it made for a future necessity and the present situation was much more important than her own personal needs. I was instantly in tears. With moist eyes, I opened the pocket. Lord my dear, what did I find! It was a beautiful pair of Thirumangalyam pendants put through in a thick twine made of pure gold. It looked very grand. It was handed over to the priest and other functions including the muhurtham went on well.

I thanked my sister-in-law and prayed to Swami with all my heart for Swami’s profuse blessings on her I further prayed that by the Grace of Swami they should enjoy all prosperity in their life.

Recalling all these events, I did not know why Swami willed in that way. Might be it was to prevent any calamities that were destined to happen later. Swami knows better. But the most important lesson we learnt learn was, that through total saranagathi (surrender unto Him) alone could we draw His Grace. He gave me the courage to withstand the pressure and even made immediate alternate arrangements through our sister-in-law. When once we surrender everything to Him and pray, he then takes complete control of the situation and then His grace envelops us and protect us.

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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