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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Dr. N. Srividya

Dr. N. Srividya,
Lecturer in Home Science,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Anantapur Campus.

Dr. N. Srividya, Lecturer in Home Science in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus narrates her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'As a result of my mother's endeavour and Swami's grace, I stepped into the portals of Swami's Institution in the year 1989. In my second year degree, I suffered from a severe attack of asthma. During the Sports Meet at Prasanthi Nilayam, the problem got aggravated, making it difficult for me to participate in the activities. I felt the absence of my mother by my side, for she used to take great care of me at such times. I prayed to our Divine Mother not to ignore my condition. The next evening, I happened to be in the first line for darshan. Swami came close and materialized vibhuti for a student next to me, for her sick mother. Although I had forgotten my prayer, the Divine Mother remembered it. With a meaningful glance, He extended the vibhuti prasadam to me also. I was moved by the Divine compassion, and felt reassured of the Divine grace.

In my final year, during one of our tips to Prasanthi Nilayam, Swami distributed His own used robes to all the students. Swami had not spoken to me, although I had been near Him for almost three years. As I was awaiting my chance to receive the robe, this thought saddened me a little. The Omniscient Lord read my mind! He came in front of me and stopped suddenly. Swami was setting the scene to cheer me up. He asked the teacher handing over the robes to Him, if she had given Him one or two. Before she could reply, Swami Himself opened the robe to check, and looking at me said 'okkate (one only)'. As I was receiving the sacred silken robe from His Hands, He playfully added that I should wear it!

Bhagavan's loving grace does not always wait for our prayers. It comes to our succour even when we are unaware of an impending danger or trouble. On my father's sixtieth birthday, Swami blessed him with vibhuti prasadam. A few weeks later, one late night, he had a paralytic stroke and became speechless. By Swami's grace, his brain was unaffected, and so he was conscious. The doctors wondered how the patient had not gone into coma although considerable time had elapsed. He had been diabetic, and it was a case of severe low sugar. My father later explained that he had literally gone through hell. We realized that he had miraculously escaped owing to Swami's divine foresight and grace.

Swami has His own ways of encouraging good thoughts and actions. My mother was a great advocate of 'poor feeding'. Hence, narayanaseva became her daily mantra. Whoever came to our doorstep never returned empty handed - not just people, even animals like cows, stray dogs, cats, crows and sparrows. One summer, she was at Swami's ashram in Brindavan for a few days. At Brindavan, narayanaseva is organized regularly. During my mother's stay there, on three consecutive days, she had the opportunity to witness, at close quarters, Bhagavan as Mother Annapurna serving food with His own hands to the poor. These darshans, she felt, were a small reward for her humble efforts back home. This served as an inspiration to her to continue 'poor feeding' with greater zeal. And, indeed, she did it till her last breath.

Swami never leaves any good deed unappreciated. On one festival day, one of my sisters was very ill. Attending to her, I got late for darshan. By the time I arrived, Swami had already gone into the interview room. I was a little disappointed. Suddenly, Swami came out to oversee the prasadam distribution. This was a bit unusual because prasadam is normally distributed only after any programme or discourse. Even as I was trying to make sense of the situation, Swami beckoned to me and instructed me to pass on the prasadam with the help of two girls. He keenly watched me as I carried out His instruction. I felt amply compensated for the darshan I had missed earlier. The gift of His special darshan and sambhashan, I felt, was a token of appreciation for the small, yet loving, deed of taking care of my sick sister.

It was 1998. An imposing golden chariot was offered to Bhagavan by some devotees. On an auspicious day, Bhagavan conceded to go around the mandir in that chariot to grant joy to the many who had gathered just to witness that heavenly spectacle. As the regal chariot entered the Darshan hall, the devotees squatting on the ground could hardly see Bhagavan seated at such a great height. In desperation, a few of the women devotees beseeched Bhagavan saying 'Swami, leyandi (Swami, please get up)'. In a few moments, the Lord was up and standing … until He got off the chariot. This simple but significant response of Bhagavan revealed to me the beauty of the innocent love of the simple folks, and the immense love of the selfless God.'

-- Dr. N. Srividya

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