Divine Grace

Ecstasy cannot find an expression in any language. Ecstasy of being in His presence on the auspicious Sivarathri occasion is something unique, that has to be experienced. When yet another Sivarathri approaches, Prasanthi Nilayam becomes the magnet that pulls the world unto her, unto the very physical presence of Lord Shiva. Read on for an account from B. Rajaram, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University, sharing the thrills of the festivity in His immediate presence, as published in “Fragrance”, the MBA alumni magazine.

All of us have basked under the benign Grace of our dear Lord. I have this wonderful incident to narrate which points to the tip of the iceberg that Bhagawan’s Love really is.

As I travel back to my yester years – the years of my college life in Coimbatore at Amrita Institute of Technology, I am reminded of my trips to Prasanthi Nilayam with my mother. By Bhagawan’s Grace we had lot of opportunities to have His Darshan and do a little bit of service too. During March 2000, unexpectedly, we were blessed to go to Prasanthi Nilayam during Sivaratri. How lucky we were to see the Lord of the Lords on the most auspicious Sivaratri day. We were seated at the rear, amidst thousands of devotees. Suddenly a thought came to my mind. If I were a student of Swami, I could certainly have had very close Darshan of the Lord. These thoughts slowly developed into a sincere yearning for the Lord……Swami listened to my intense prayers and my desire materialised when I got admitted into the MBA programme at Swami’s Institute, the next year, in 2001.

Every day in His Presence was a learning experience for me. Every Darshan reaffirmed that He always takes care of us. Every action of Swami is completely natural for Him, but miraculous for us. I have seen Him creating rings and curing so many people. I have seen the Lord act like a mother to His devotees and also as a friend at times.

But I experienced something more than all this on the Sivaratri Day in 2004. We started for Darshan from the Hostel quite early – around 12:00 p.m. and were seated in the Mandir. There was a mad rush with each one trying to catch a vantage point, from where the Lingodbhavam could be seen clearly. Bhagawan came at around 3:30 p.m. A few students and staff spoke in the Divine Presence sharing their experiences and then, the Lord showered us with His nectarine words. He declared, “My students are My Property. I will protect them and guide them wherever they go. They need not worry at all. They are My very life.” All of us were overwhelmed to hear such loving words from Swami and tears welled up in my eyes.

When His Discourse was coming to an end, He asked us to have dinner and then return to the Mandir to continue with the Akhanda Bhajans throughout the night. He gave us a promise that He would come at night to give us Darshan again. We did as instructed by Swami. Minutes ticked by, hours ticked by and exactly at 01:35 a.m., Swami, as He had promised, arrived in the Sai Kulwant Hall. This was amazing, for Bhagawan had never come out for Darshan at such an ‘unearthly’ hour. Rendering of Bhajans was at its peak. Swami entered the Mandir Portico and stood near the brass railings. I was watching Him from the time He got down from the car. No words were spoken but so much was being communicated in silence. He smiled at all the boys seated over there and I was right in the front line. I could not believe my eyes. As promised, Swami had come and He, the Shiva-Shakti Swaroopa, was just in front of me. It was an unforgettable experience!

On Sivaratri night, millions of people around the world chant prayers to the Lord in temples …..Billions crave for a sight of the Lord….. I thought for a while about my uncle, who on Sivaratri, goes to Shiva temples at midnight to have the Darshan of Lord Shiva in an idol. Here, the same Lord Shiva in Physical Form stood in front of me! There was a quiver in my heart. I was dumbstruck! I sat with my hands folded and my eyes filled with tears of extreme joy. Ecstasy cannot find an expression in any language. We see the Lord everyday at Prasanthi Nilayam, but this was certainly a different experience.

I am grateful to Bhagawan for educating me not only in His Institute, but in the University of Life itself. Let us all pledge to play our humble roles in the Divine Mission of Bhagawan.

"Do not grieve that the Lord is testing you and putting you to the ordeal of undergoing them. For, it is only when you are tested that you can assure yourself of success or become aware of your limitations. You can then concentrate on the subjects in which you are deficient and pay more intensive attention, so that you can pass in them too, when you are tested again. You should not study for the examination at the last moment; study well in advance and be ready with the needed knowledge and the courage and confidence born out of that knowledge and skill. What you have studied well in advance must be rolled over and over in the mind, just previous to the examination; that is all that should be done, then. This is the pathway to victory." - Bhagawan Baba (Sanathana Sarathi, March 1963)