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  Volume 3 - Issue 10
OCTOBER 2005

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IN MEMORIAM - SRI AJIT HAKSAR
– An Exceptional Devotee

Sri Ajit Haksar’s Attainments


Sri Ajit Haksar was a giant in the arena of Indian industry, prolific in his attainments in the business world. He was the President of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries; President of the Associate Chamber of Commerce and Industries for India; Chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology; member of the board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India; member of the board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management and ten other such prestigious positions.

But more importantly, Sri Ajit Haksar was a longtime devotee of Bhagwan Baba, highly respected and appreciated in the Sai family.

It was at Imperial Tobacco Company where he made his lasting mark in the business world, serving as Chairman there for 14 years, transforming that company into 'ITC', a world class enterprise, synonymous with a multitude of commodities. He was also prominent in facilitating the entrance of the Suzuki car manufacturer into the Indian market, under the Maruti label.

 

His Journey to Sai

Truly, Sri Haksar was a professional par excellence in his field. But when did he first come to Swami? How did that happen?

We tell you the story of his journey to Swami in His own words from his book “Sai Baba - Manager Divine”. He says,

“On the suggestion of my sister-in-law, we went on a pilgrimage in January 1973 to Shirdi, as a thanksgiving following our daughter's wedding. On returning from our visit to the shrine of Shirdi Sai Baba, I opened my book to read on the flight from Bombay to Delhi, to find an inland aerogramme typed letter signed (if my memory serves me right) by a "well-wisher", thanking us for the visit and with a prayer that we receive the blessings of Shirdi Baba. The source and reason of the letter were puzzling but it was soon forgotten.

 In June 1973, while we were in Bombay again, my wife suddenly took ill, in her weakened condition had a bad fall, suffered serious injuries and was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital where she stayed for over three weeks. While she was at the hospital, somebody she did not know, whose name she still does not know or recall, came to her room to inquire how she was and gave her a copy of Howard Murphet's 'Sai Baba—Man of Miracles', saying she should read it as it would give her comfort.”

The Divine Effect

Over the next few years through books and meeting Sai devotees the impulse to see Swami grew. This was realized in 1981, when he and his wife were blessed with an interview,

“The exhilaration of being with Sai Baba and feeling His aura is indescribable” he recalls. “Since 1981, at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Baba, I have had more to witness and learn than in the three previous decades as a manager—learning with deeper understanding about life, living, working, and people seen alike as human beings.

Had I had the good fortune earlier than I did to sit at His Lotus Feet, there is much in my working life that I would have done differently. It would have been more self-fulfilling and satisfying. Sai Baba, pointing out that God has given human beings a mind, unlike animals, lays great stress on having an enquiring mind and asking questions as the best way of self-learning and developing a sense of discrimination.”

 In Service of the Lord

Moving on, Swami invited him in 1986 to help in the setting up of the Institute MBA Programme which began that year and he served on the MBA Board of Studies where his business acumen was greatly prized. Often Swami would ask him to deliver lectures at the Summer Course for students and one of those fortunate to be present remembers how Sri Haksar captured all those assembled in admiration of his charismatic personality and powerful presence.

Eulogy from Colleagues

Later, Bhagavan appointed him to the committee overseeing the Sai International Centre in Delhi. In their tribute to him when he passed away recently, the other committee members said,

“His contribution in the Seva, spiritual and educational activities of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's movement has been of an exceptional order. His role in the Committee appointed by Sai Baba to develop the Sai International Centre as a global centre for Human Values will stay as the crown jewel in his long and brilliant career.

 As a colleague, he was a pillar of strength with unflinching adherence to our heritage 'Satyam Vada Dharmam Chara'. We,the Committee avoided taking any major decision without his presence in our midst because his inputs were always based on the highest moral values. We will miss his wisdom, his clarity of mind and above all his insistence that all our actions must be worthy of our great heritage. His near and dear ones, friends and colleagues would do well to cherish Ajit as their role model, be it at work or at play.”

 

His Personal Feelings

Let's listen to Sri Haksar describing his feelings for Swami so beautifully in his
book where he says:

 “We have been beneficiaries of His healing touch. We have been recipients of His kindness. We have been witnesses of His miracles. But, none of these compare with the power, wonder and the glory of His love. Every visit to Brindavan and Prashanti Nilayam recharges our batteries, with a yearning to receive Baba's Darshan if the gap between one visit and another gets prolonged. The first sight of Baba, as He comes out of the mandir to give Darshan, instantly raises the spirit, fills the being with joy and creates a sense of euphoria.

Seeing Him move with the tune and play the cymbals with perfection when Bhajans are being sung is pure enchantment; to hear Him lead and sing Bhajans is to be transported into ecstasy by the resounding vibrations that bring tears to the eyes and goose-pimples on the skin. The slight touch of His hand over the head to bless is like a spark of bliss going through one's whole body. The degree of the majesty of all this is indescribable, and what is indescribable, has to be personally experienced. Baba says: ‘Come, see, feel, experience.’”

 Let the memory of this great soul inspire us to improve ourselves to be an effective instrument in His hands.

- The Heart2Heart Team.




 
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Vol 3 Issue 10 - October 2005
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