The Master of my Destiny
The experiences of a student
“Manchidi Bangaru.... ekkadikayna vellu….kani service cheyyi..!! (Go wherever you want to go – but do service)”.These were the words which kept ringing in my ears…when I was in my maiden trans-atlantic flight to the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. These were the words which Swami blessed me with, when I asked for His consent for me to leave India for higher studies abroad.
I never imagined that at that moment of my life that I would be traveling to Trinidad and it was once again Swami’s Divine play that I landed up at Trinidad Embassy seeking a visa to go to Trinidad. While I was waiting to meet the High Commissioner of Trinidad in India, I casually opened a newspaper from Trinidad and what I saw in the newspaper left me awestruck. In the newspaper was a smiling picture of Swami and an article written on Him. I was convinced beyond doubt that…Swami was going to be with me.
While the flight was landing, I wondered, looking at the tiny island of the Trinidad, “What is that Swami expects of me in this beautiful island. I had no clue whatsoever and my first few days in the country were of sheer misery-having left parents, family and motherland, I was in a dilemma…I wondered if that was a correct decision in my life ? But, the only consolation was the fact that I had asked Bhagawan personally about it.
While contemplating upon Swami’s words, I kept trying to get in touch with Sathya Sai Organization in Trinidad… I also wondered, if this small island did have any organization, in the first place. My only solace was the fact that I had seen Swami’s picture in the newspaper and I had a ray of hope regarding finding the organization.
With Swami’s grace I had my work permit papers processed by my hospital within a months time ( usually it takes 4-6 months time ) and I went to the local transport office for my car license exam .While I was taking a photograph for the license , a young lady turned up to me and asked me very politely.. “Are you a devotee of Sai Baba ? “ For a moment I did not know what to answer and before I could reply, she said “I remember seeing you at the Sai centre here !” I managed to get my composure back and replied that this is my first trip outside my hospital campus and that I was, in fact, looking forward to get in touch with Sai centre. She was surprised to know that I had moved into Trinidad recently and was kind enough to give me the number of her brother-in-law, Mr. Rajendra Bansi, who happened to be the convener of north zone of Sri Sathya Sai Organization.
I started attending satsangs regularly at the centre and 3 – monthly medical camps…and the people in the Sai organization showered me with so much love, which I cannot emphatically describe in words. Once they came to know I was a Sai Student – they asked me to share my experiences with Bhagwan and it went to the extent of me giving a radio programme on one of the FM stations..where they interviewed me about my stay at Puttaparthi.
While I have realized the importance of being a Sai student , it also concerned me, that the expectations of the Sai devotees regarding Sai students are also very high. I always remember Swami’s words during my 12th standard, wherein he clearly stated “It is not a problem for me, if you don’t get marks…but never get remarks!”…and also..when he said “When you leave the institute, if you cannot bring good name to your institute…at least don’t get a bad name !! “
But with Swami’s grace my stay had been a wonderful one in Trinidad and the Sai family was like my own family and I had become much closer to Swami during my two years stay there. Now, having come to UK and working in one of the prestigious hospitals in London, I often recollect Swami’s words, which he once said in an interview “The whole world is in my hand…all that you have to do is hold on to the other hand and I shall give you whatever you deserve”
Just to emphasize this with my own experience : I was one of those city-bred public school brats during my school days, whose main interest in life was to miss school and play cricket as much as possible. It was primarily due to the devotion of my parents that I did manage to go to Parthi during my 8th standard when Swami blessed us with an interview. During the interview Swami asked me what I wanted to become in life. The brat I was…I answered most haughtily that I wanted to become an engineer ! I clearly remember even to this day that Swami laughed most heartily to my reply and hugged me but at the same time gave some nice pats on my back. Maybe for all the mischievous deeds I have done in my life ! He told me clearly that I was weak in mathematics and that I needed to concentrate on my studies and always listen to my parents.
I never ever imagined that my life would change so much in years to come after the interview. I started to work hard at my studies but only to the extent that I just managed to pass my pre-finals of my 10th standard exams ! I applied for both mathematics/biology groups and managed to get short-lsited for written exam in biological sciences. I wrote my entrance exam and with Swami’s divine grace I managed to secure a seat in higher secondary school at Puttaparthy.
If there is any example of how Swami’s institute can transform an individual and prove that Swami’s educational system…based upon human values is the best in the world, I am a living testimony of that fact. Is it possible for a person who just managed to pass his pre-finals in 10th standard to score a high percentage of 90.4% in 12th standard? Is it possible for him to be a doctor? I have no qualms saying that I owe what ever I am today to His mercy and abundant love.
Many people ask me what did Swami give you ? Any rings, medallions? My only reply to them is that HIS greatest gift to me is His LOVE and the transformation it has bought about in my life. I wonder, if I am worthy of so much love and ask myself the question – “Is my life a gift to HIM?”
I would like to end with a very personal experience of mine. My mother once dreamt that she was attacked by a bandit (covered in a black blanket) and who was pulling her mangalsutra (a thread worn around the neck that is most sacred for married Indian women; probably more important than life itself!)! She was crying desperately to Swami to rescue her. Then Swami appeared and seeing Him, the bandit left her mangalsutra and escaped. She woke up totally shaken up by the dream and praying Swami for His grace. Few weeks after this incident, my father happened to visit Puttaparthi for Swami’s darshan and while returning from Puttaparthi , the car he was traveling accidentally skidded off the road and toppled 3 times over and fell into a ditch off the road. The local villagers were even scared to approach the vehicle expecting the inevitable. While the car was skidding off the road, all that my father remembers was saying “Sairam!” . The car was in a total wreck, but there wasn’t even a scratch on my father or the driver of the car. This is our Swami, who can do anything and everything for us, HIS children.
I have no other words to say ….but…
“ Jeevan daatha ..Bhagya vidhaatha….Yuga Yuga Vandan Sai….Yuga Yuga Vandan Sai”
“O Bestower of Life! O Master of my Destiny! I bow down to You!”