"Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and omniscient" is something I had grown up hearing, ever since I joined Swami's school. In open-mouthed wonder, my little mind (Ms. Priya Mani came under Bhagavan Baba's fold as a young girl of 11 years) would try to fathom these stupendous attributes of God.
I am reminded of a 'sweet' experience, that takes me back to my 10th grade, when I was sitting for darshan in the 1st line with a couple of students. It was a rain-kissed Onam morning and we were seated for special festival blessings. Given the crowds and the program, it seemed highly unlikely that Swami would even come our way.
Each of us must have been praying to Swami; in a moment of desperation, I decided to bribe Him with the lure of a much-loved sweetmeat. "Please, Swami, please," I pleaded, "If You bless us today, I will give up eating Gulabjamuns for ever." As our good fortune would have it, Swami did come our way and did bless us!
2 years sped by. We were in our 12th grade diligently preparing for our approaching Board examinations. It was the dry and dismal month of March with Swami away at Brindavan. One night, Swami appeared in my dream. I saw Swami seated on a chair in our school lobby, and we students were seated on the floor facing Him.
With an ever so slight gesture of the index finger, Swami pointed to one of the students, asking "What is your favorite sweet?" The student replied, "Swami, sohanpapadi." Swami then posed the same question to another student, to which the response came 'Badurshahi'. Swami then asked me, "What is your favorite sweet?" I replied, "Swami, Gulabjamun."
The Lord then remarked to the gentleman seated beside Him, "Do you know how foolish some people are? They try to please me by giving up sweets!!!"
I woke up delighted and thrilled beyond words. Later on, during the day, we were greeted in the dormitory with joyous shouts that Swami had sent prasadam (sweets) for us from Brindavan and that we should go downstairs to collect the same. It was Sohanpapadi! "Wow! What a coincidence. Well, well, all's sweet that ends sweet."
But Swami was in no mood for endings. The next day, He sent prasadam again. This time, it was Badurshahi! This set me thinking. Part 1 and 2 of my dream had found fulfillment. And I was wondering how Bhagavan was going to execute Part 3. Would He dispatch barrelfuls of rosy gulabjamuns to school tomorrow from far-away Brindavan? Inconceivable by all standards of reason!
Yet, I waited in anticipation for the next day. I did not have to wait for too long. For the very next afternoon, as we were plodding away with our books, our Headmistress Aunty walked in with a huge bowl of gulabjamuns she had prepared exclusively for us, the 10th and 12th grade students. She said we had been slogging too hard, so she had decided to sweeten our labors with a savory surprise!
This incident taught me 2 lessons. One, God defies all definitions of possibility and probability. When He decides to do something, he will find the ways and means to do it. Time and space cannot limit Him and His will. It is we who need to keep our minds and hearts open to receive that Will and Grace. Two, Swami does not desire our paltry offerings by way of giving up a much-desired food item.
He doesn't even need them. What can we really give Him that belongs to Him already? We can only offer ourselves to Him, heart and soul.
More importantly, Swami was gently reminding me as ever that He was privy to my every thought, word and deed; that 'Forgetting' was a word that simply did not exist in the Divine Dictionary!
That I would 'get' and 'forget', but He only 'gave' and 'forgave'.
Ms. Priya Mani, an alumna of the Sri Sathya Sai University, Anantapur Campus, joined the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School for her 6th grade. She later went on to complete her graduation and post graduation in English Language and Literature from the Anantapur Campus, securing a Gold medal in both the courses in the years 2002 and 2004 respectively. She currently lives in Dubai and works as a freelance writer. (See photos of Priya with SWAMI)
PS: VIBHUTHI sent to NEW DELHI, DUBAI, SINGAPORE & CALIFORNIA (USA) against latest requests.
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