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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | A German National

A German National,
State Bank of India Road,
Puttaparthi - 515134.

A German National(47), presently resident of Prasanthi Nilayam, a qualified mechanic and social scientist from Germany, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'It is in 1989 that I saw the photograph of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Frankfurt, Germany in the house of a physically handicapped person. She has a daughter who suffered from Down-syndrome that gave her Mongolian look. When I visited the house a second time I asked her, 'whose picture is this?'

'He is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba', she told me. That is the first time I heard about Baba.

'One day, I decided to go to Prasanthi Nilayam and have darshan of Bhagavan', she told me. 'When I mentioned this to my daughter, she said, 'yes! He has been waiting for us for a long time'. My daughter is very reticent. She hardly spoke a word. When she remarked like this, I was surprised.

We went to Prasanthi Nilayam and had darshan of Bhagavan. He called us for an interview. I experienced in His presence so much love, so much love...' she concluded.

In the same year, Swami came in my dream. In Germany, gurus are feared generally as some of them are notorious for indulging in black magic. So I, too, had some reservations regarding Bhagavan. But I decided to go and se Him.

In January 1990, I arrived at Bangalore by air. I asked the counter stewardess at the airport about Bhagavan. She shrugged her shoulders. Then a person standing by my side showed me a news paper in which some article had appeared on Bhagavan.

'Bhagavan is now in Madras', he told me.

I felt disappointed on hearing that. I took a bus to the town to find accommodation and halt for the night. I don't know what happened to me, but I began literally to cry in the bus. I am not a person used to crying. I was so disappointed that I had broken down in the bus and wept. Next morning I was taking my breakfast in a restaurant when some music from the juke box was heard. It was a song. That song made me sit up. 'Before you cry a second time, I will be there', was its import. Was it a message for me?

I made enquiries about Swami. Someone directed me to Brindavan Ashram. I went there. They said, 'Swami is coming in three days'. I was happy and stayed on near the Ashram.

Swami arrived in Brindavan after three days. When He was coming out of Trayi for giving darshan, I reflected, 'He is here. There is no need for me to cry a second time'. As Swami was walking towards waiting devotees, I was watching Him in amazement. That is the first time I had physical darshan of Bhagavan. As He was walking towards us, I began to hear music. There was no music outside, but I was hearing it in my head. Though it was emanating in my mind, I was hearing it as if it was being played outside.

The Sai Ramesh Hall was not there at that time. There was an idol of Krishna and also a big tree. We were all sitting around the tree. The moment I saw Bhagavan, I heard a voice in my head say in German, 'this is the one you are always looking for in your whole life'. I thought it strange, but it was true. I was happy; happy 100%, for I found what I was searching for.

Next morning I came for darshan again. We all sat around the tree. Swami went and sat in His chair. His back was towards me. 'Don't turn your back on me' - thus a thought crossed my mind. Exactly at the very moment I had that thought, Swami stood up and turned towards me. I could see His face. Was it a promise that He would never turn His back on me? I don't know. I pledged that I would not leave Him. All my life I had what people long for - a house, car, money, girlfriends and what not. But I was always having a feeling that I missed something. After having darshan of Bhagavan, that feeling left me. I realized that 'the cup of my life is now full'.

I saw on television, while I was in Brindavan, a plane crash-landing on a house near Bangalore airport. The scene was ghastly with many persons crushed to death and several others injured. Bhagavan left for Prasanthi Nilayam after a few days, and I too came to Prasanthi Nilayam. Two persons came to Prasanthi Nilayam. They were in the flight that had crash-landed. One of them was a lady. She was a devotee of Bhagavan. The other was her friend. 'Baba! Save me', she prayed to Bhagavan as the plane was crash-landing at Bangalore. She was saved miraculously without even a scratch on her body. Her friend was injured and shifted to a hospital. She came to Prasanthi Nilayam and had darshan thankfully of Bhagavan.

She was called for an interview by Bhagavan. 'I want to go to Bangalore and see my friend convalescing in the hospital there', she told Bhagavan.

'No need', Bhagavan told her, 'he is coming here'.

Next day her friend came with a small bandage on the scratches he had in the crash.

I wrote a letter to Swami listing out my problems. I sat in the darshan line. Swami took letters from some devotees, but not mine. This happened for three or four days. I then wrote a new letter. Swami came along. I called in a loud voice, 'Swami! Please', holding up my letter. As I was pleading vehemently, a thought crossed my mind. 'Why should I go on my knees begging before Him like this? It is not correct'. Later, I realised that it was inappropriate. I should not be proud before God. I went to the canteen and began to reflect on what had happened. I prayed to God thanking Him for food He was giving me. This habit of thanking God before eating has not been there in our house as I hail from a family known for its atheist views. I decided that I should be humble, not proud. I went for darshan again. In those days, Swami used to come out often. There were not many devotees when I went there. The door of Swami's room opened suddenly. Swami emerged. I was there with my letter. Usually, Swami used to go here and there and then come to the side where I was sitting. But, that day, Swami came straight to me without going on His usual path, and took my letter.

'Where did you come from?' He asked me.

I could not hear Him. He repeated the question.

'Germany', I replied. I was feeling agitated still. Swami moved on. I could not concentrate. My mind was wavering. I saw Swami behind a pillar. He was coming this side and then to the other side. I could see His figure oscillate and swing this side and that side behind the pillar and then stopped in the middle steadily. Was He telling me to keep my mind steady without oscillation? I thought that what all Swami would do was pregnant with hidden meanings. There appeared to be more to it than met the eye. 'Yes', I thought, 'here is a message for me'.

I wanted to hire a taxi to Bangalore for my return trip and looked for some one to share. The taxi fellow said, 'there is a French lady who is looking for some one to share'. So it was fixed up. 'In fact, I prayed to Bhagavan to send me someone to share the taxi. He brought me a lady to share the fare', she confided in me, and 'somehow I did not like the way she behaved nervously. I thought it better to have a cool and collected person like you. Then he brought you as an answer to my prayer'.

So we travelled together up to Bombay where we parted ways. Had she not bothered about the nervousness of the lady I would not have got her to share the taxi fare. Thus ended my first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam.

After half-a-year in 1990, I wanted to come again to Prasanthi Nilayam, but had no money. One day I was driving my car when some car hit mine from behind. My car was damaged. As a mechanic I could repair my car myself. Meanwhile, unexpectedly I received compensation for the damage of my car from the Insurance Company. I thought that Swami had arranged money that way. I got my ticket but was placed on waitlist. When I went to the airport on the day of departure, I met some devotees who belonged to our bhajan group there. All of us booked our tickets independently to Bombay without telling the other. It was as if Swami had wanted us all to travel in a group even though we did not plan it. My ticket was also confirmed in the last minute and I could join them. 'As we are all going in a group, Swami may call us for group interview', we all talked among ourselves whimsically.

On arrival, we all sat in darshan line. Swami called us for interview as a group. During the interview, He materialised a ring with a cross for someone in the interview. He was a Christian. That was my first interview.

In those days, I used to keep long hair and also wore ear-studs. While I was in the darshan line, Swami came to me and asked me, touching His ear-lobe, 'what is this?' He did not like obviously my wearing the ear-studs. I kept quiet.

During the interview, later, Swami again asked me showing His ear-lobe, 'what is this?' This time I was ready with an answer, 'just for fun, Swami!'

'For fun?' Swami observed, 'fun is for animals. You are human'.

My whole lifestyle was then based on doing things for fun. Swami struck at its very roots. So I was shocked. I could not pay attention to what followed next in the interview.

Earlier, during darshan, Swami stood before me and said something which I couldn't hear. On hearing Swami's words, all others laughed. After darshan, I asked one of them, 'what was Swami saying?' He replied, 'He pointed out to a young Indian boy sitting by your side and asked you, 'is he your son-in-law?' So we all laughed'.

What did swami mean by that? Some Indian boys were coming and making noise near my room while I was in meditation. This happened frequently. I used to fly off into a rage. I developed contempt for those boys. We may not like the ways of our son-in-law and we may not love him in our heart as we love our own son. But we cannot afford to be cross at him. So Swami wanted me to treat those boys who were disturbing me while I was in meditation with tolerance and love even if I disliked their behaviour. This was, what I surmised, the message of Swami to me in that remark.

That day, I went out, had a haircut and also removed my ear-studs.

During the interview, Swami asked a lady, 'how long do you stay?' Immediately I prepared myself to answer Him if He asked me the same question. I wanted to say three months. But Ashram rules do not permit our stay that long at a time. He asked the same question everybody in the interview except me.

After four weeks, two ladies from our group left Prasanthi Nilayam for their places. One day, Swami came during darshan to a member of our group and asked, 'how many?' 'Four, Swami!' he answered. So Swami called us for interview. That was my second interview. During the interview, he took the ring from one of the persons called for the interview and blew on it. The colour of the stone in the ring changed at once. Then Swami sent the ring round for all of us to see. Then He gave me a private audition and asked me, 'where is your wife?' I was not married. But I had a girlfriend whom I wanted to marry if she agreed. But I did not know where she was. A couple of days back, I had a dream in which I saw her in Berlin.

'I hope she is in Berlin, Swami!' I replied presuming that Swami was asking me about that girlfriend.

'He hopes, he hopes…..' Swami said aloud laughing heartily. Then He turned to me and said, 'it is all imagination'.

What did Swami mean? Was He remarking that all this worldly life is only one's own imagination and not real? He was teaching me Jnaanayoga I thought.

Afterwards, I returned to Germany. I came to Prasanthi Nilayam again in 1993. One day, while I was going for darshan, a person known to me well met me. We both went and sat separately in the darshan. Swami came to him during darshan and asked, 'how many?' In fact, he was alone. But he did not know English and needed an interpreter. So he said, 'two, Swami!' Swami signalled him to go into the interview room. To my surprise, he called me to accompany him to the interview room as the interpreter. Thus I got the good fortune of having an interview for the third time. While going in, I prayed to Swami mentally, 'pray talk to me not in languages, but in the language of heart to heart'. During the interview, Swami talked to all present except me.

I was sitting near the door of the private interview room. Swami looked at me and said, 'go back'. So I moved back. Swami came and stood in the place where I sat earlier and talked to others in the interview. What did He mean by 'go back', I reflected. Those were the only words He spoke to me during the entire interview. We all came from God and sooner or later we all have to return to God. Bhagavan suggested to me by those two words that I should always think of returning to the place from where I came.

When Swami was in Kodaicanal, I went there. Mrs. Joy Thomas, an overseas devotee, was brought there for darshan on a wheelchair. Swami called her for interview. Two sevadal people came to take her in the wheelchair to the interview room. Something might have obstructed the wheels for they could not push the wheelchair however hard they tried. Of course, she was bulky also. Swami then came near her wheelchair, tapped on her knees and asked her to get up. She got up. 'Walk into the room', Swami told her. She walked into the interview room normally. We all witnessed this miracle with amazement from darshan lines.

Once I saw Swami materialising vibhuti. I was watching it from very close quarters. I saw vibhuti actually emanating from His thumb and falling down into the hand of the devotee, a rare sight, indeed.

I finally shifted to Puttaparthi in 1997 in a spirit of total surrender.'

-- The German National

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 13.07.2005)