My Experience of meeting Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba 2004

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Submitted: July 18, 2018

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Submitted: July 18, 2018

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My Experience of meeting Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba 2004:

This is my memoir of when I met Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in 2004. He was also known by his beloved devotees as “Swami”, “Baba”, or “Bhagawan”. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born on Monday the 23rd of November 1926, in India, Puttaparthi (which is in a town in Anantapur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh). Swami’s birth was very auspicious as it was on the holy month of Kaarthik (Kaarthik Somavaa) of the year Akshaya in the ascendance star “Aartha”. Swami was born to Easwaramma and Pedda Venkappa Raju. Bhagawan’s birth was similar to Jesus Christ’s birth. Just like Mary Easwaramma didn’t receive Swami through conception. Instead they both received their children by a ray of light that could have similarly represented the Holy Spirit by entering their wombs. Swami was named Sathya Narayana Raju, but everyone called him Sathya.
Throughout Baba’s childhood he did so many selfless deeds to others. For example, giving away blankets and rugs to his classmates during the cold weather months, and fed anybody who was hungry and brought them to his house and gave them food such as cookies and curd (milk). Also growing up his family noticed a lot of strange changes in him. As when he started elementary school at the age of seven at Bukkapatnam , which was three miles away from where he lived. Whilst in class, his teacher Kondappa was dictating notes which everyone in the class had to copy into their exercise books, he found that Sathya was the only student not copying the notes. Kondappa felt very insulted and questioned Sathya why he was not doing what the rest of his peers in the class were being instructed to do. Sathya’s reply to his teacher was he didn’t feel it was necessary, and he could answer questions on the topic to which the notes were related! So he didn’t teach his class but amazingly the teachers who ventured to teach him. After Sathya’s teacher told his family about what had occurred in the classroom. Easwaramma and the Ratnakaaram (the family which Easwaramma was born into) were very disturbed.
Everyone in the village thought that Baba was possessed by an evil spirit and as a result of this he was taken to see an exorcist. Along with his father, his mother, and sisters also accompanied them. The exorcist tried several methods to get of Swami’s “evil spirit”. He lashed the spirit out of him by shaving his head and cut his scalp, squeezed lemon juice on his wounds, poured pots of chilled water over his head, and applied a paste to his eyes. After doing all of these rituals Easwaramma and Sathya’s sisters were horrified and couldn’t bear it any longer and pleading Sathya was taken away from the exorcists’ clutches and they went home.
When Baba reached the age of fourteen he announced to his parents that he could no longer stay at home as the people of village were now his devotees and needed him. Pedda Venkappa Raju wanted to teach his son a lesson and put an end to Swami’s hysterical and strange behaviour that he had been displaying, and armed himself with a stick and shouted at him. “Are you god? A ghost or a madcap?” Swami simply answered “I am Sai Baba. I belong to the Appasthamba Suthra. I am of Bhaaradhvaja Gortha Suthra or lineage. I have come to ward off your troubles. Your ancestor Venkaavadhuutha prayed that I should be born into your family. So I have come!”
He threw a handful of jasmine flowers on the floor and to utter amazement of his family, the flowers had rearranged themselves which read “Sai Baba” in Telugu (which was Swami’s mother tongue).
He then began teaching the villagers bhajans (devotional songs), and discourses about the five human values which were non- violence (Ahimsa), right conduct (Dharma), love (Prema), peace (Shanti), and truth (Sathya). Also he taught them that they should love each other, and serve one another in doing seva activities (voluntary work where you do not expect anything in return, and always help each other and never hurt anyone by their words, thoughts, or deeds.
Before his mother passed away she requested her son to stay in Puttaparthi (which was later known as Prashanti Nilayam). His mothers’ other requests were to build wells so that all of the villagers had fresh clean water, to build schools and universities where children are educated on Swami’s teachings, and to build hospitals where all the treatments were free of charge. After Easwaramma’s death on the 6th of May 1977, Swami kept all his promises that were asked by his mother. He stayed in Prashanti Nilayam until he left his physical body on Sunday 24th of April 2011 at the age of eighty five. On the day that Bhagawan left his physical body, it was a holy day in the Christian calendar which was Easter Sunday when Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
During his life span of eighty five years, Bhagawan told his devotees the following on a discourse that he did on the 4th of July 1968.
“I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect, or creed, or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle of this path of love, this virtue of love, this duty of love, this obligation of love.”
Swami’s message about the religion of love spread across India and soon the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation and the Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation were formed in the 1960s.
The purposes of these Sai Organisations was meant to be a training ground for devotees to make themselves deserve divine grace through love and service to all and to spread Bhagavan’s message of the religion of love and the five human values. Truth (Sathya), righteousness (Dharma), peace (Shanti), love (Prema), and non-violence (Ahimsa).  There are one hundred and twenty Sai organisations and two hundred Sai centres around the world. Every Sai organisation around the world had to follow Bhagavan’s nine point code of conduct which is as follows:

  1. Everyday meditation.

  2. Bhajans (devotional singing) with all members of the family once a week.

  3. Participation of Balvikas (classes based on Bhagavan’s teachings), programme by the children of the family.

  4. Participation in community work and other programmes of the organisation.

  5. Attend at least once a month bhajan (devotional singing) or Nagar Sankirtan (congregational singing bhajans which is the best form of bhajan which is organised by the organisation.

  6. Regular study of Sai Literature.

  7. To speak softly to everyone.

  8. Not to indulge in talking ill of others especially in their absence.

  9. Narayana Seva- Some food to be kept separate every day to feed the needy and to form a habit of not wasting food.

Also Bhagawan set out a twenty seven point code for bhajans and how they should and shouldn’t be run. (These twenty seven rules can be found at the front of every bhajan book).
The place of worship for Sai devotees are Sai centres. In these Sai centres there are committees consisting of a Centre Chair, Vice Chair along with the following convenors. Sai ladies, Seva (service), spiritual, SSE (Sathya Sai Education), youth, and a secretary to look after the admin and public relations side fir the centre. Every member of the committee has specific roles to play. For example, the spiritual convenor would organise the monthly or weekly bhajan practices and study circles. (This would depend on the size of the centre/group. Every Sai organisation around the world has a centre, regional, and national committee. However, each member of the committee whether centre, regional, or national they have a maximum of four years then they have to step down and allow another person to take over. Bhagawan has told this to all of the one hundred and twenty Sai organisations and two hundred Sai centres around the globe this is because as the committee member who is still in the role may feel that they’re the best candidate for role, and the person who is replacing them may not be good at the role that they’ll be doing. As a result of this the devotee becomes egoistic and gets attached to the committee member role that they’ve been doing for the past four years!
in the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation of the UK there are eight regions which are as follows:
Region One: South East and South West London
Region Two: North and West London
Region Three: East and Central London
Region Four: Midlands
Region Five: Northern England and Northern Ireland
Region Six: South London
Region Seven: South West counties of England and Wales
Region Eight: Scotland
The programme of every centre would consist of silent sitting/meditation before the bhajans starts. Afterwards there would be three aumkars, chanting of Vedic mantras and multi-faith prayers. Then there would be bhajans. (Every first week of the month would be children’s bhajans and the rest of the month would be youth and adult bhajan). This would then be followed by silent sitting/meditation and aarthi. This is a Hindu worship, a part of a puja (prayer). Also aarthis refer to the songs in praise of the deity when lamps are lit and are being offered. Next is the distribution of vibhuti. Vibhuti is holy ash that represents what will happen to us when we die. Then there is a thought and talk read out by a member of the congregation. The session is then completed by the centre announcements of the goings on at the centre i.e. the venue for the next bhajan practice and what time it’ll take place. Some centres have their own website where the members of that Sai Centre can find information such as who the committee members are. However, some centres/groups email the devotees the announcements which are usually done by the centre chair or vice chair of the centre.
Also the centres try to celebrate festivals of other faiths. For example, Buddha Purnima (Buddhism), Easter (Christianity), Navarati (Hinduism), Eid (Islam), Mahavira Jayanti (birthday) (Jainism), Yom Kippur (Judaism), Gurupurbs (Sikhism), and Khordad Sal (Zoroastrianism). The reason all centres do this is because on the 22nd November 1975 Bhagawan inaugurated the Sarva Dharma Stupa (a pillar in the shape of a lotus bud, on which the symbols of the major religions of the world have been inscribed). Bhagawan has explained the significance of these sacred symbols so that everyone can understand the truth the leads man on the path of god.
Hinduism:
“Listen to the primeval Prana ‘Aum’ resounding in your heart as well in the heart of the universe.”
Buddhism:
“Remember the wheel of cause and consequence of deed and the wheel of Dharma (righteousness) that guides them all.”


Christianity:
“Cut the ‘I’ feeling clean and across and let your ego die on the cross to endow on you eternity.”
Islam:
“Be like the star which never wavers from the crescent, but is fixed in steady faith.”
Zoroastrianism:
“Offer all bitterness in the sacred fire and emerge grand, great, and godly.”
Also all religions give immense help in fostering the integral development of the human personality. It underlines the unity in diversity. True religion is the attainment of the purity of the heart and mind. Every religion has its own precepts and principles. But no religion preaches hatred, unrighteousness, or untruth. ‘Speak the truth.’ ‘Practice righteousness enjoy the Upanishads (Indian ancient scriptures).’ Similar sacred injunctions to be found in all other religions.
There are some sacred quotes from world religions about love for god and humanity, which also backs up Swami’s teachings about the unitary faith and the religion of love and many other of his teachings.
Jesus Christ:
“Honour your mother and father and love your neighbour as yourself.”
Prophet Muhammad:
“You will not enter paradise until you have faith, and you will not complete your faith till you love one another.”
Guru Nanak:
“Those people who love and sow in their hearts the seed of his name, are liberated from birth again and again, and get salvation forever without pain.”
Swami Vivekananda:
“Where should you go to seek god? Are not the poor, miserable, the weak gods? Why not worship them first? Let these people be your god, think of them, and work for them incessantly. The Lord will show you the way.”
All the religions around the world emphasize the human values and serve as beacons for the uplift of mankind. They all facilitate the manifestation of the divinity, inherent in man.
Bhagawan has said:
“The truth proclaimed all religions is one and the same. All have a common ultimate goal. All religions aim at promoting righteous conduct by transforming the attitude of man, thereby bringing about harmony. The foundation of all religions is morality. Morality is equated with selfless love. Religions were thus instituted to foster the welfare of society through the promotion of love for all beings.”
From time to time the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation conducts public meetings by inviting guest speakers from all local churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship. The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation listens and actively fosters harmony, love, and peace between the different faiths. An example of one of these is at the global akhanda bhajan. This meeting takes places on the week closest to Remembrance Sunday in November. This meeting happens globally. The programme begins on Saturday at 6pm and concludes on Sunday at 6pm. There are bhajans, speeches from important members of different faiths such as Hindu priest, Buddhist monk, church reverend, and an imam from a mosque. Multi-faith prayers are said. This programme happens every year to try and promote world peace.
My story of meeting Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba all started with my dad’s dream in 2004. He woke up and explained to my mum about what happened. He said that Swami had told him to bring me to him and for my dad not to come as he would waste it! After hearing my dad’s dream there was no way that my um would leave my dad behind, and unfortunately for him he was going to India whether he liked it or not. Even though Baba had told him not come and to just bring me.
After my mum had discovered that there was a group of Sai devotees preparing a play to go and perform in front of Swami, my mum soon met the organisers which were known as the Sai Mahima team, my mum had now got me involved in the Sai Mahima play. The Sai Mahima play was an offering to our beloved Bhagawan, where we would get his divine grace by performing this play without having any expectations in return.
My part in the play was a minister who was explaining to another minister that there was a small boy crying, and was going to be king. My part in the play was less than a minute. But I was still asked to come to play practices which were being held at the Wimbledon Vinayaka Temple in Merton, London. We were told by the organisers of the Sai Mahima that the rehearsals were at 5pm but they were really around 7:30pm/8pm and I didn’t leave until 10pm. This really annoyed my dad as he had been at work all day and after getting home and having some food , we had to make our way to the rehearsal by car, and if my didn’t take me my mum and second eldest sister had to go by train from South Woodford station to Collingwood Gardens station.
I found these play rehearsals really exhausting because every day was a late night and I had school the next day. However, as my part was so minor and I was sometimes not needed which was a relief for me! When we were in the hall rehearsing the bharatanatyam(which is a style of Indian dance). The bharatanatyam teacher use to shout at us nearly all the time, as some performers were coming in too early or too late, or doing their steps wrong etc.
I would be glad when the whole thing was over and done with. Thankfully my mum use to help me with the steps as I had a paralysis on the left hand side of my body and got me to practice my steps by holding onto the kitchen sink drainer then trying without it.
There was a Sai Mahima meeting for the children who were performing in the play along with their parents, the Sai Mahima leaders, and the musicians. The parents were informed by the bharatanatyam teacher or their child’s group leader of what they would be wearing in the play. My costume consisted of an orange sari with trousers (which I wasn’t very fond with as it was bright orange and orange wasn’t really my colour and I didn’t like it). But there was a beautiful gold boarder and embroidery which looked nice so it wasn’t all that bad. The other items that I would be wearing were jewellery, a gold belt, a wig, and a crown as I was playing a part of an important person. Then we had a dress rehearsal the following weekend, just to check if we were comfortable in our costumes and if they needed any adjustments. All we had to do now was to go to Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi in India and perform our play in front of Bhagawan.
The day we were due to travel to India dawned upon us and we went there. Everything from the flight from London to Bangalore (known as Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka) went smoothly but the travelling from Bangalore Airport to Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi was not! As the coaches were very hot and stuffy and had no air conditioning. So therefore the coaches had to stop halfway to allow some of the group to get off the coach as they had travel sickness one of the members was my eldest sister! Once those group members had overcome their travel sickness they got back on the coach and we resumed our journey to Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi.
We arrived at Prashanti Nilayam,
Puttaparthi in the early hours of the morning. However, when the group leaders and the bharatanatyam teacher arrived, they were fresh as daisies as they had probably had an air conditioned mode of transport and therefore had a comfortable journey to Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi. Whereas the rest of the group had to deal with those hot stuffy coaches and suffer!
After everyone had vacated from the coaches that had brought us to Prashanti, they all went off to the accommodation office including my parents to find out where we would be staying during our stay in Prashanti. While my parents went off to the accommodation office I stayed and looked after our luggage. My parents discovered that we had a triple room in North Block 7 (or N7 for short), and my sisters had been placed somewhere else. It wasn’t like we could spend time together as a family because men and women were spilt up for darshan (which was when devotees had the chance to see Baba), there was one in the morning and there was another in the afternoon. Men and women were also spilt for mealtimes, and shopping. So as a result of this there was no chance we could spend time together due to these restrictions.
There was one problem that we were faced with. How were we going to get our luggage up to our room? Luckily, there was a solution to this problem, and that was the service porters. These were men with towels wrapped around their heads and they began helping us by carrying our luggage on the top of their heads. Our luggage was finally delivered up to our room mum paid the service porters some rupees for their hard work and they then left.
When mum had opened the room there were three single beds, a kettle and three mugs. To my absolute horror there was no television! The room was like this because Swami wanted his devotees to be detached from their desires of TV, PlayStation, mobile phones, audio gadgets e.g. MP3 and instead do some seva activities or meditation so not to be attached by these desirable objects. There would be no time for me to watch any TV as I would be too busy with the Sai Mahima play as well as the morning and afternoon darshans that were done on a daily basis. We were able to get some rest before going to afternoon darshan. At 3:45pm we went to North Block 4 where we met the rest of the Sai Mahima group, they were all lining up and wearing blue, red, and white scarves with the five human values symbols in a circle with the UK printed in the middle of the circle. As well as that they all had badges pinned to their scarves with 9 different colours which were pink, light and dark green, orange, yellow, red, light and dark blue, and white and labelled Group 1-9. I was in Group 3 and wore an orange badge. The different colours indicated what group each group member belonged to.
Then we made our way to the Sai Kulvant Hall, in silence. If any of us spoke we were shushedby our group leaders to be quiet and began chanting the Gayatri mantra (a universal prayer from the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures) so that we didn’t talk.
We finally arrived at the Sai Kulvant Hall; we took off our footwear and went to queue up into the hall. Whilst we waited to go in, I noticed a board of objects that were prohibited to be taken into the hall. Some of the objects included books, pens, pencils, water bottles, knives, cigarette lighters, cameras and many other things. Even though the objects were on the board a Seva Dal (a devotee who is doing voluntary work at the ashram) had to follow these mottos:
“ Service to man, is service to god.”
The hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray.”
“Duty is god; work is worship”
They would call out the prohibited items to remind the devotees. However, mum had come to Prashanti on many occasions when my second eldest sister was in the previous Sai Mahima play group as well as the 2001 Christmas programme. She had told me and my dad that notebooks, pens and pencils use to be allowed so the children could write “Aum Sri Sai Ram” one hundred and eight times and therefore this would stop them chatting and focus their minds on Swami. The reason why there were objects that were prohibited in the hall was only for Swami’s protection.
We slowly walked into the hall and there were two Seva Dals patting us down to check if we had any of the prohibited items on us. It felt like I was back in Heathrow Airport security as they did this too as well as checking our hand luggage. It felt very uncomfortable for me. We were soon allowed to go and sit down with the rest of the Sai Mahima group.
The priests soon began chanting the Vedic mantras and soon a silver car appeared with a man inside with a black afro without a trace of any grey or white hairs on his afro. This man was none other than
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. There was a security guard walking behind the car for Bhagawan’s safety and protection. Swami began smiling at all of us as well as blessing us. Whilst the car made a circle of the hall, the security guard began taking letters from the devotees who were all addressed to Swami.
After doing around of the hall the car pulled up to a set of golden steps where two of Swami’s beloved students assisted him out of the car and up the steps. Swami then gave us a final blessing before disappearing into his interview room. Then came back out again and gave his students the signal so that bhajans could commence. After doing six bhajans the priest did aarthi and Baba got into his car and left. I then went and met dad and we went into the Northern Indian canteen for dinner. After we had finished our meal we washed our stainless steel crockery and waited outside for mum and made our way back to our room.
I was woken up around about 4:30am and had a freezing cold shower which I absolutely hated as I never liked showering in freezing cold water, I then got dressed into mu white kulta and once we were all ready we went and met the group at the same place we had done the previous afternoon. I had never woken up at this hour and felt half dead but the cold shower had done the trick and had kept me awake!
We then made our way to the Sai Kulvant Hall, removed our footwear and sat on the ground in lines with the local people of Prashanti to be escorted into the hall. But this darshan was different as went through the first set of gates instead of the set of gates at the far end of the hall where we went yesterday!
We were escorted into a small room the size of a small/medium box bedroom and were packed in like a tin of sardines. I was very squashed and uncomfortable but I was in the 5th row near the front and noticed two pictures on either side of the altar. I recognised both of the people in each picture straight away one was a picture of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba and the other one was Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The ladies at the front began chanting the Bhagawan
Sri Sathya Sai Suprabhatam. This was prayer in order to wake up Swami.
After the prayer was completed we waited to go back into the hall at around 7:30am for the morning darshan and we went through the same routine we had done for the afternoon darshan yesterday. Before the bhajans started me and my dad went to have breakfast at the Western canteen and went back for the bhajans.
After morning darshan was over we went back to our room when we spotted a woman with a blanket on the ground with clothes in a pile to be washed, and another pile of clothes that had been washed and were folded nice and neatly. This woman was known as a “daubi” (washer woman) who washed clothes of the devotees staying in the ashram. Not wanting to waste this opportunity mum went to the room and got our dirty laundry and gave them to the daubi and my mum paid her and the daubi told my mum that the clothes should be ready by tomorrow.
We then rested and had some lunch before going to afternoon darshan. After afternoon darshan our group leaders explained to us that the Sai Mahima play rehearsals would begin from tomorrow after morning darshan. I couldn’t believe it; I knew it wasn’t going to be easy including morning and afternoon darshan into the routine. By the end of this I would be like a zombie or die of exhaustion.
The next day at the morning darshan was unique and different from all the other morning darshans that I had attended so far. Swami was giving a discourse on the human values and was talking in Telugu with Anil Kumar translating in English so that we could understand what
Bhagawan was saying. Sometimes we applauded Swami which I didn’t understand why and just went with flow like everyone else and still doesn’t understand it till this very day!
 Bhagawan then sang a bhajans which was “Prema Mudita Mana Sey Kaho” which was a devotional song in praise of Lord Rama and everyone in the hall sung along with Swami. Me along with other children that were in the Sai Mahima play went and had breakfast as I knew I would need it as I had a busy day ahead of me with these rehearsals. Sadly by doing this we missed the beginning of the bhajans but we were just in time of the start of the next bhajans that was going to be sung.  When morning darshan had finished we were escorted to the venue of where we would be doing the play rehearsals. It was a cow shed and play rehearsal soon got under way. We had time for lunch and a small rest before the afternoon darshan. Then straight after the afternoon darshan it was back to the play rehearsals we had dinner and didn’t finish until very late. After the rehearsal we made our way back to our rooms absolutely shattered! I knocked on the door of the room mum answered the door and I went straight to bed!
But when I was woken up for morning darshan I was not a happy bunny at all due to the late night rehearsal, but I still had to go to morning darshan as I couldn’t get out of it even if I tried to ask them not to go it wouldn’t have worked in the slightest. I felt like this routine cycle of morning darshan, play rehearsal, lunch, afternoon darshan, play rehearsal, dinner, and bed would never end!
On the day of when we were going to perform the play to Swami, my dad fell ill with dehydration and mum had to take him to Swami’s super speciality hospital via rickshaw car. While mum was doing this, me and other children that were in the Sai Mahima play were doing our final rehearsals before performing the play to Swami in the afternoon at the Poornachandra Auditorium. I was talking and having a laugh with some of the boys in my group who had finished their parts in the play. One of the group leaders yelled at me and ordered me to sit in a corner on my own. It felt like being at nursery school and being told to sit on the naughty step! I then lost it big time as I was so stressed due to my dad become unwell, and not forgetting the stress that I was going to be faced with which was getting for the play and having something to eat before the performance as well. Then I began shouting at the group leader who had scolded me and telling that my dad was unwell and that there would be nobody to get me ready for the performance! The group leader tried calming me down. It was very embarrassing with the other children that were in the Sai Mahima play watching me as if they were watching a Soap Opera! The group leader told me that he would help me get ready for the play. But there was no needs for that as my mum gave me some food and drink to have and helped me get for the performance. It was very stressful for her as I wasn’t listening to her instructions by not to fidget as she did my sari and put the other components of my costume on. I was now ready and went to the coach with mum and was met there by my eldest sister. As I got on the coach I noticed the bharatanatyam teacher  became rather stressed as the performers were being very slow and looked as if they were on the red carpet posing for pictures  and chattering away with their mates. Soon the other performers arrived onto the coach and we were driven to the Poornachandra Auditorium, where we met Swami and we did Pada Namaskar to him (as it is a sign of respect to touch the Feet and have the sparshan of the Lord) and in return he blessed us. He began talking to one of the Sai Mahima play organisers in Telugu what some of the characters the children were playing in the play and he answered Swami’s question.
Then around about 3:30 to 4pm the curtains were drawn back and they play began. It was soon time for me to go on stage, when I was about  walk  out on stage I nearly had a costume malfunction by me tripping over one of my sari pleats  thankfully I didn’t fall over. When I was doing my actions I was in floods of tears after completing my scene I exited off the stage. Once the final scene was finished we had already been arranged into our lines for the finale of the play. I was in the 3rd row near the back. We came back on stage starting from the back row coming out first all the way to the front row our hands clasped together we were all smiling, once the finale was over the audience erupted into an applause. Swami then came on stage and began blessing us row by row none of us could hold back our emotions and we all bursted into tears of joy, whereas for me I was in floods of tears as dad was nowhere to be seen in the audience and was heartbroken that he didn’t have the chance to see me perform as he was ill in hospital. I then suddenly realized why because dad was told by Swami not to come as he had become ill because he had not obeyed Swami’s instructions and was now facing the consequences of his actions!
Afterwards I went back to the room and changed out of my costume gear into something a bit more comfortable and went to see dad at Swami’s super speciality hospital. By Swami’s grace dad was given the all clear and was discharged three days later after he was admitted.
A few days after the performance during morning darshan the group had been called by Swami to have an interview. We were ushered into the interview room by some Seva Dals.
We walked into the interview and sat down in front of Swami , he smiled at the children then pointed at all of us and said:
“White boy!”
The entire group were very puzzled by Swami’s comment. Then a boy called Aniruthan who went to Walthamstow Sai centre (the same centre we went to as well), thought that Swami was pointing to him as he was the only person in the centre apart from me, my dad, as well as Aniruthan’s mother Gauri. Also he was sometimes referred to as “White boy!”
He clasped his hands as this was a sign of respect in the Sai tradition and told Baba his name. Baba shook his head and gestured him to be seated. He then said “White boy!” again there was no way I could get out of this now as I knew very well that Swami was referring to me as I was the only other white boy in the room. All the other boy’s in the group were now looking at me “Oh my god! This is so embarrassing!  Not forgetting racist as out of the four people who were white the other members in the group were Indian, Asian!” I thought to myself. It then became much more embarrassing for me when the other boys were telling me to stand up! I slowly got up and did the same gesture that Aniruthan had done earlier, I was shaking with nervousness as our beloved spiritual teacher had wanted to speak to me! I mumbled my name but Swami couldn’t hear me, and asked me again. In the end Raj a Sai Mahima group organiser told Swami my name and that I would soon be starting secondary school .
Swami then gestured me to come to him and did as my told immediately. Swami embraced me into a hug, and then asked me where my parents were and I pointed them out to him. He looked at my right hand and said:
“This hand is strong!”
I nodded then Swami rubbed my left arm and leg. Also I got a gentle slap from Swami when I told him that I wasn’t doing well in my studies which made the entire group laugh and Swami told me sternly but in a sweet soft voice:
“You must do well in your studies!”
I instantly nodded in response.
As I was about to do  
Pada Namaskar to Swami Raj ordered me to sit down. Swami then materalised a gold necklace for a baby boy, and when Swami asked who his mother was, mum stood up by mistake as she was very emotional.
After the interview something strange began to happen, I could now move my left arm over and make my left hand into a fist and then opened it which made dad very emotional as he knew that I couldn’t move it at all and it was stiff as an old tap that hadn’t been used for ages, and before it was more of a stump than hand. My left hand had been like that from the time I was born.
On the way back to our room, I fell down flat on my face with my hands outstretched. Two devotees soon came to my aid and helped me up. One of them said to me that Baba had blessed me dad thanked them and they left.
When we arrived back in the UK we were able to perform the play again. But unfortunately we had long days of rehearsing like we did before when we went to Prashanti to perform there. Luckily dad got help from members of Walthamstow Sai Centre with the transportation. After the tedious cycle of rehearsals  we discovered that we would be performing the play at a theatre in Croydon. On the day of the play we got to the venue early so that we could have lunch as we were  doing not one but two performances. Thankfully mum’s brother in law was there and he assisted mum with my costume. I was happy as dad would now be able to watch me perform as to me it didn’t feel right as he should have been at the Poornachandra Auditorium not in Swami’s super speciality hospital! But at the end of the day dad was destined not to see the performance in Prashanti  but it didn’t matter. My mum’s eldest sister and brother in law saw my performance as well. At the end of the play during the finale, there was a video which showed Swami walking among us and reminding us of the day when Swami watched us perform.
Also during one of the Sundays at Walthamstow Sai Centre we had been told to talk about our experience with Swami, sadly I hadn’t memorized my experience and had my black notebook in front of my face, but it didn’t matter as everyone was very interested by all the experiences that they had heard.
Then twelve years later on Thursday the 21st of April 2016, when I was in Mauritius with my parents. We met a man called Raj Merchant who was a doctor who specialized in leaf therapy; We listened to him when we were attending bhajans at the Sai Nivas  Senior Citizens Wing Centre in Quatre Bornes where we were members at the centre.
 Raj Merchant explained about curry leaves, tulsi, drumstick ( a vegetable used in Sri Lankan cooking), and many other types of leaves and how they can treat certain illnesses. Me and dad  was able to get the privilege of being treated by Dr. Merchant
and his leaf medicines actually worked as my left hand had become much stronger than it had ever been and dad could now bend as his had arthritis in his back for years and found it hard to bend. The talk was recorded and I told the group that Swami had healed me but I had become lazy and had not done any of my hand exercises. He also gave advice to mum and we were lucky enough to get one of his business cards.
Taking the experience of Swami and the inspirational talk by Dr. Merchant I hope to get my left hand working again and use it more and not just being lazy. Also I will never my experience with Swami and it will be remembered as one of the best days of my life as the experience was blissful and I’m one in million as loads of people wish to speak to Swami and there’s only a lucky bunch who get the chance of a lifetime , and one of those lucky people was me!

 


 


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