SH is my batchmate and also my neighbour in the Hostel. One evening after bhajans, she came over to me and asked me to narrate my experience of seeing Swami in the Sai Kulwant Hall. I then narrated the whole thing to her.
Dearest Readers. What I narrated to SH forms the Part 1 of this series. If you haven't read it, please go back and read it in order to appreciate the happenings of this Part 2 better.
And once your are done with that, you may proceed further to know what happened next.
After she heard all that I had to say, she said this , "You know what? I guess you could see Swami because you come from a family that worships Swami as God. I do not have a Sai background. In fact I joined this Institute only because of the free and good quality education given here. I am slowly beginning to pray to Swami. Can such things happen to me also? Can I see Swami too?"
Now what I liked in her was her attitude towards my experience. While there were people who came with the question of "Why you?" all over their faces, here was a girl who came to me with the question of "Why not me?" on her face. In fact, that should be our attitude when we hear of anyone being blessed with an exhilarating experience of the Divine, for such an attitude is free of jealousy and will attract Divine love and grace. Also when the question "Why any XYZ?" is asked, there is no introspection involved. Hence, no corrective measure is taken by an individual who asks such a question, thereby his/her effort is at zero level. When the question "Why not me?" is posed, it is a question to oneself and involves self-introspection. Hence, deviations if any from the right path can be corrected by taking up corrective measures , thereby putting in efforts to seek God.
Getting back to what SH asked me, I replied to her in the affirmative and told her how it did not matter to Swami whether someone came from a Sai background or no. If He has decided to touch her life, then no factor in the Universe could stop Him from doing so and the first step was that she was already in His Institute. I encouraged her to pray harder and asked her to visualize Swami the way she wanted to see Swami.
|The picture of Swami in this photo is the picture referred to in this blog post|
A few days passed and it was 19th July 2014, a Saturday and like every Saturday we were to have bhajans in the Dining Hall after the video show. For that day's video show, we were shown the Convocation Discourse of 2009, at the end of which Swami asks all the students to sing the "I love You" song (Humko Tumse Pyar Kitna) Even as we saw and heard the song being sung, all of us watching the video too sang along. All of us but could not stop ourselves from breaking down as we sang, "We love You, Dearest Sai,We love You"
But then, amidst us was a girl who ran back to her room creating a commotion and Warden Ma'am had to send a few sisters to bring her back.What surprised me even more was that it was SH. What happened to her? Why was she doing what she was doing? She looked so drained of energy crying and didn't have any stamina to even walk. She was made to sit in front of the altar. Almost a few minutes after that she starts speaking to herself (at least that is what we thought looking at her) and cries out telling that Swami's knees were getting burnt and that it was hurting Him. (There is a photo of Swami in the Dining Hall, wherein He is squatting and looking down) And then it was realized that the lamp was kept too close to the photo, so much so that it touched the knee of Swami in the photo. Immediately, the lamp was moved a little away from the photo. At the end of bhajans that day, a video of Swami singing a bhajan was played. Just then, SH again exclaimed that Swami was getting choked and that water had to be brought and kept. Just when some eyes looked at her skeptically, the CD that was playing smoothly all the while, created some problems and Swami's voice began cracking as if He was really choking. Immediately, a glass of water was kept for Swami. It could be coincidence as well, one might say. But aren't coincidences instances when God chooses to be anonymous?
Normally after bhajans, a song and a stotram is sung everyday. Accordingly, we sang O Maa O Maa at the end of which SH whose eyes are still closed, tells that Swami wants us to sing the "I love You" song again. We thus sang it again. It was then time for Mangala Aarthi, during the course of which, SH with her eyes still closed was speaking to Swami in Telugu. The Senior who was seated next to her said how SH kept taking Padanamaskar and kept telling her how Swami was standing right in front of them. She says, "It seems He was standing right in front of me. Sadly, I could not even see Him."
SH was taken to her room and she slept in peace after that. I remember her coming to my room before night prayers at 9:30 pm and narrating all of the above mentioned details. She was so weak (That is how she looked) but she said she did not feel so. So without feeling guilty of grabbing away her time to rest, I went on to ask her how it all began. That is when she said, "When all of us were singing Humko Tumse Pyar Kitna, I looked at the jhoola that was swinging and I saw Swami there. Since I had never seen Swami all my life and I know that He is physically no more, I got scared and ran to my room. However, seniors got me back here and I started crying more when I did not find Him on the jhoola. The rest then followed as all of you saw and heard. You know what Sreenidhi? People are not ready to believe me. But please trust me. It was all true.Swami did speak to me. " She was about to break down. Her tears brought tears in my eyes because I believed her.
SH was otherwise a very bubbly and talkative girl and none could imagine to see the form of SH that all of us saw that day. When she cried telling people thought that she was lying and acting, I got angry. I then quickly realized that it is not easy for everyone to believe in something they haven't seen and when there are some who haven't even heard or seen Swami, it is natural that they find it hard to believe in anything SH said or experienced. However, no amount of realization brought down my anger because SH was in tears and she cried pitiably. I don't know what made me make the statement I made next. I told her, "If you are right and Swami indeed gave you this experience, you needn't prove its validity to anyone. Swami has His ways. If at all He wants to prove. He will do it. Just leave the matter here and don't ruin your bliss. Go and sleep well."
|A mantra to keep oneself humbled about one's experience.|
There were people who asked me how I could believe all the she said. When I asked why not, I was given many adjectives about SH saying she was talkative etc etc. Basically, people had decided that she didn't deserve such an experience. Once again it was "Why her" mentality which made them make such comments.I remember Warden Ma'am tell us in one of our Hindi classes, "Of all kinds of jealousy, spiritual jealousy is the most harmful" Like mentioned before, one should always have the question of "Why not me" in their minds and never "Why some XYZ" It is also equally important to understand and say to oneself, "If God can speak to me, work through me and show Himself before me, He can speak to anyone, work through anyone and show Himself to anyone."
It was the 22nd July and there was an Alumni Meet at Anantapur. The 1992 Batch had arrived. SH was still being viewed by some as an actress, some as a blessed one, some as a saint and some people simply ignored her. She told me that morning how she yearned for a similar Darshan like she had a few days back. In the evening during bhajans in the Prayer Hall and when the batch of 1992 shared their experiences, she again broke down and prayed and prayed. I saw her from a distance and was happy at the change that had come over SH from the first day I had seen her in ATP (Anantapur).After a blissful day of listening about Swami and partaking of yummilicious dinner in the company of the Alumni, I was to get back to my room, when I saw a crowd outside A-17 (That was SH''s room) and A-16 (that's my room). While I checked out what the issue was, I realized A-17 was crowded because there was vibhuti on almost all the photographs of Swami in the altar of their room. Everyone were busy congratulating SH. At 10:30 pm, she same to my room again and told me so happily, "See, you told na that Swami will prove it if He has to? I was worrying and praying for that only today during bhajans and He proved it today. All those who didn't believe me too came to my room to see the vibhuti appear on the photos. What can I say? I am so happy."
So there it is Hence proved anyone can see Swami. Anyone can experience Him. But all that one needs to do is pine for Him for a happening becomes an experience depending on the value one gives to it. Please trust me when I say that everyone sees Swami everyday. Swami happens in every minute and every second of everyone's lives. It is just that pining that makes the happening an experience to cherish. And let us remember these happenings are waiting to be transformed into experiences.
In fact, the feelings that arise when in the process of pining are so beautiful. I used to feel it was like an incomplete love story that gives so much bliss waiting to experience the love.Now, I understand that With Swami, the love story can neither be limited to an experience nor can it be said incomplete when you are still pining for experiencing His love. The love story is complete in its own way, because Swami features it while pining as well as experiencing.
So SEEING Swami alone does not mean everything. There is more to it. Swami taught that too.
Read Part 3 ,the link for which is given below. This speaks about what Swami taught me through this experience. This is also the concluding part of this 3-part series -