In 1975, a miracle happened. One night, I (Mr. Siva Rama Krishnaiah Principal of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School) returned from service, and we, my wife and I, were in our room when suddenly, Swami came into our room!
Yes, physically! He tried to wake me up but I wasn't opening my eyes (I came to know of this later). But my wife woke up. Swami, then, sat on the bed! He spoke of a few things and then asked my wife to go to the library and check a particular newspaper. He also told her that in it there was an advertisement. After this, He just disappeared.
Startled, my wife woke me up saying, "Swami came! Swami came!"
"Are you mad?" I asked her.
"Go to the mirror and check yourself!" she replied.
When I looked myself in the mirror, there was Vibhuti on my forehead which Swami had placed. In fact, both of us were having Vibhuti marks on our foreheads! Now, I had to believe this.
So, I went to the library and checked the newspaper Swami had mentioned. In one corner of this daily, I saw the 'Wanted' column, and there I saw an advertisement from a college seeking 3 chemistry teachers. It was from a big and reputed college in Guntur by name 'The Hindu College'. This college had a long tradition; it was started in 1885! I applied for the post.
Within 15-20 days from then, I saw so many changes happening in that college and so fast! The D.E.O (District Education Officer) of the college was transferred and the new person in charge happened to be my father-in-law's friend!
I was called for an interview. I was a little nervous as I was fresh graduate, without any work experience. But when I went into the interview room, I mustered some courage since the interview panel members were already known to me.
They asked me a few questions and I could answer all of them satisfactorily. Though I performed very well, getting selected was not going to be easy. There were 3 teachers who had retired from the college at that moment which had created 3 vacancies. But they had one son each, and all 3 of them had done M. Sc. in Chemistry! Each one of them had applied for the job; hence I was the 4th candidate. Somehow, by God's grace, 1 person among them was overlooked and I was given the job!!!
Swami was guiding us all the time. Even before my marriage, when my in-laws were looking for a boy for their daughter, they were considering 4 or 5 matches for her among which I was also one. When they took all the profiles to Swami, He chose me among them saying, "This boy is very good. I will look after him. You give your daughter to this boy."
Yes! He was guiding me. Swami granted me the job in the Hindu college, only for me to gain a couple of years of experience.
I worked there for 4 years and returned to Swami in 1979. At that time, they were looking for a teacher who could work for the junior college in Puttaparthi. They wanted someone who could teach in Telugu too. I was told later that Swami showed my application to Dr. Bhagavantham and said, "Why don't you call this boy?"
That is how I was called to Puttaparthi. I came and when I sat in Darshan line, Swami came straight to me and said, "How are you? Take the demo class, I will see."
I said, "OK, Swami", and took Namaskar. I actually had never thought Swami would come to me!
I went to take the demo class. 3 other lecturers were seated in that class. I started the lecture in English and then changed to Telugu. While I was lecturing in Telugu, Swami came in and sat in the last bench!
I looked at Him, and He said, "Carry on!"
I started writing chemical equations on the board.
Swami then asked one of the boys, "What would happen if you consume more calcium?" The boy could not answer, and so He passed the question to me. Actually, I could not hear the question properly and communicated to Him the same.
Swami then answered the question Himself saying, "If you take more calcium than needed, you will loose your teeth." Then looking at me, He said, "Good! Write big letters on the board so that they would be visible even to the people sitting at the back" and went away!
I finished my lecture, came out of the class and was standing on the steps. Swami suddenly came there and said, "Oh, you are here! Take Namaskaram. Perform well."
With that, I knew I was in. That was the initiation; that was how I came here and joined the Junior college in 1979!!!
PS: Mr. Siva Rama Krishnaiah went on to become the Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prasanthi Nilayam. In 2003, he was conferred with the "Best Teacher" award by the Central Board of Secondary Education of the Government of India. He has been very fortunate to be an instrument in the divine hands in shaping the school for the last 25 years. (See his photos with SWAMI)
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