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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Dr. Ms. Kiron Bala Arora

Dr. Ms. Kiron Bala Arora,
Senior Lecturer in Hindi,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Anantapur Campus.

Dr. Ms. Kiron Bala Arora, Senior Lecturer in Hindi in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus narrates her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'The visits of Bhagavan to the Anantapur Campus earlier used to be occasions of joyous festivity, most eagerly awaited by us. Bhagavan used to visit the campus once every 4-5 weeks. Once the interval got prolonged for about eight weeks, and His absence was haunting us. Our hearts withered like creepers without support, and we prayed day and night with the hope that He would relent and come.

At last, the much awaited phone call came with the welcome news that Bhagavan was arriving the next day. The joy it gave us surpasses the intensity of mere words. We received Him with streams of bliss silently flowing, and falling down the path he trod. We knew, and He knew, that the barren wastelands of our hearts had sprung into the lush density of freshness by His mere presence. Oh! The fortune of breathing the same air that He breathed!

As He sat talking with us that evening on the college lawns, we besieged Him for the prolonged delay in coming to us. He promised to compensate it by staying with us for three full days; not even an hour less. (I reconfirmed this specifically.)

But alas! In His eagerness to assuage our sorrow, He had come to Anantapur Campus overlooking an important meeting which was to be convened the next day at Prasanthi Nilayam with some people coming over from as far as Ooty and Madras. Dr. Bhagawantham, with two other members, came the very next noon to secure Swami's presence in the meeting. Swami decided not to change the schedule. He decided to leave.

I was the first one to confront Him after this; He called me closer and confided 'I think I'll have to leave immediately for a meeting which cannot be postponed.' The news spread. We were stunned. His presence was the only element that added life to our existence. As soon as He sat in the car to leave, tears streamed down our cheeks. Swami rolled down the glass beside His seat trying in vain to pacify us. His eyes, too, became 'ardra (moist with sympathy)'.

With a keen desire to pacify our sorrowful hearts, He penned a letter in Telugu to us immediately after reaching Prasanthi Nilayam. It was an extraordinary gesture of His compassion and love for the women students and staff at the Anantapur Campus. I extract hereunder its English translation.



Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Dear girl students,

Receive my blessings. Ten days back, I had asked some important people, from Madras and Ooty, to attend a meeting at Prasanthi Nilayam, in connection with the arrangements to be made for the Summer Course. All of them arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam last night. Therefore, I had to start immediately after my lunch in the sweltering heat, which would melt even the flesh of the body ……

….. Bangaarlu! Study well. I hope that by practising the Sai ideals in your daily life, you will build a new era. Whether it is towards your parents or towards society, our practice of ideals alone should be a significant preaching. This is Sai's desire. You will have to revitalize the old traditions of Bharat. Now I am ending this letter. If I were to write longer, I fear that perspiration might drip even from my face because the current is cut, and it is very hot. I have determined to write this much to soothe you all because of my compassion for you. Sai will always be behind you, with you, and within you, and protect you as the eyelids protect the eye. All of you study well. Obtain high marks and maintain the reputation of the College.

Your Sai.

In 1975, our college had closed for a vacation of ten days for Ugadi. The hostel got vacated in no time as most of the students were from nearby places. The problem came with seven girls who were from distant places and could not travel home and back in such a short period. My sister and I were among those who could not go home.

Bhagavan was at Brindavan at that particular time. Permission was sought from Bhagavan for the seven of us to go over to Brindavan. The scanty accommodation at Brindavan then was a problem, and so we could not go there we were told. Swami asked our warden to leave us at Prasanthi Nilayam near the room of Mr. Kutumba Rao, the then secretary of the Ashram. Leaving us at Prasanthi Nilayam, everybody else left.

It was indeed a very lonely place without the presence of Bhagavan those days. The whole Ashram wore a deserted and dry look. The only activity that we could engage ourselves in was the morning and evening one hour bhajan, in which we became the main singers! We missed Bhagavan acutely. It became a ritual for us to enquire from Mr. Kutumba Rao whether there was any news of Bhagavan's return to Prasanthi Nilayam. The reply was invariably a 'no', which started becoming curt with the passing of days, till one day we were asked not to trouble him with the question any more.

Morning and evening we sat together bemoaning our lot, and crying for hours seeking at least a message from Swami. But that was not to be. A week passed like an age, and yet there was no sign of Swami.

That particular morning, three days before our collage was to reopen, it was 11 a.m., time for the bhajan. All others except me wiped their tears, washed their faces and went for the bhajan. I could not check my sobs, climbed up to the landing room on top, and wrote my first ever poem which ended with a challenge thrown at Him. In my desperation, I had told Him 'Swami if you are our compassionate Divine Mother, You must come to us today; otherwise, decline to be called Mother who carries a thousand mothers' love in Her heart.' The challenge thrown, I felt better. Like several earlier occasions, none of us had any inclination to go for food. We were listless and restless.

Suddenly we heard the horn of a car from the road behind East Prasanthi. It sounded like Swami's Mercedes car horn! I was not the only one to jump at the sound. We looked at one another in disbelief or relief, I cannot say. But with one reflex action we ran towards the stairs from where we could see the road. And what our eyes saw, the head could not believe. We just managed to get a glimpse of a moving car with Swami in. As Swami arrived without notice to Sri Kutumba Rao or anyone at the Ashram, there was no prior arrangement made to receive Swami. Swami's car had already come before the Gopuram gate could be opened. Every one at the Ashram was running to receive Swami at His abode.

Swami's car stopped in front of us, and the Dearest One alighted, smiling. Oh! What a smile! His eyes honed with the joy of seeing loved ones. They lingered on each of us. There was compassion unlimited in the lotus eyes of Swami. It was a very hot summer afternoon.

Not more than fifty people were on the sands for the evening drashan. Bhagavan came near us and asked 'how many girls?' One Telugu speaking girl replied 'yedu (seven) Swami'. 'Yedaa (seven)? Yedavandi (go on weeping).' So saying, Swami glided away.

A little later, after darshan, Swami Karunyananda who had travelled with Bhagavan came to our room. He called us out and started scolding us in Telugu. She tried in vain to explain things. He got even more furious, and left after a while, exasperated. After he left, we surrounded the girl to find out the content of the angry outpouring.

What Swami Karunyananda told us is this. After the morning darshan and bhajan that day at Brindavan, Bhagavan was in the dining room. Suddenly His face lost its joyful countenance, and He fell silent. Even as others wondered at this sudden change, He gently pushed aside His fully - served plate, and get up saying, 'I must go to Puttaparthi just now.' (It was the exact time I had written the poem with the challenge to Bhagavan.) Shocked and silent, others too got up. None could say anything.

As Bhagavan was moving away from the table, Swami Karunyananda fell at His feet pleading 'Swami, please partake of the food already served on the plate at least, and then we can start for Puttaparthi.' Swami's answer was clear. 'What do you know Karunyananda? My children, papam (poor things), have not had proper food for a week now, and you insist on my having food?' Then the perplexed Karunyanada asked 'which children, Swami? Children are all here!' He answered 'no, my Anantapur children have been crying and waiting everyday for me at Prasanthi Nilayam. I must go there at once.'

Bhagavan called the driver, and asked him to get the car ready. Mustering some courage, Swami Karunyananda intervened and tried to plead with Bhagavan saying 'Swami, if we start at this hour of the day, the journey is going to be extremely hot. Can we not wait till 3 or 4 p.m.?' Swami answered 'you do not understand, Karunyananda, how they are craving for me every minute. I cannot delay, I must leave immediately'. Thus Bhagavan had left Brindavan for Prasanthi Nilayam without having food, unmindful of the scorching heat of the mid day.

The Dearest One had asked us to cry, and here we were, now crying out of joy, crying out of gratitude and a sadness that we had caused much physical discomfort to the Lord.'

-- Dr. Ms. Kiron Bala Arora

(As extracted from the souvenir Ananta Prematarangini published by the Anantapur Campus of the SSSIHL on the occasion of the 80th Birthday of Bhagavan)