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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Mr. T. Shankar

Mr. T. Shankar
D-5, Telephone Staff Quarters
V.M. Street, Rayapeta
Chennai – 600 014

Tel: 044-2847 2033

Mr. T. Shankar (47), an employee of the BSNL, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

‘My Accounts Officer is a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai. He was for sometime the service coordinator of Sri Sathya Sai Samithi of our area. He used to press me to attend bhajans and seva activities. At that time, I had no special interest in Baba. My wife, Mrs. Renuka is a devotee. I began to attend bhajans from 1996. In 1997, my Accounts Officer was transferred. Though I was relatively junior, I was appointed as service coordinator in his place, owing to Swami’s grace.

In the same year, they were enlisting volunteers for seva. ‘Who are willing to go to Puttaparthi for seva this October?’ - the Samithi people asked. My wife was the first to rise and give my name without my consent or knowledge. They enlisted me. When I came to know about it I was furious. I rebuked my wife for giving my name. In fact, everyday I was taking her to task for it. She, however, was of the opinion that to go to Puttaparthi for seva was a god-given opportunity, which should not be forgone. Now I think it is Swami’s leela.

I came to Puttaparthi for the first time in October 1997. We went and sat for Darshan. When I saw Swami for the first time, I do not know what happened to me. I was overwhelmed by a joyful emotion. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I felt that I was surcharged by some unknown but powerful energy.

I was allotted seva near South-I Block. At that time, the shopping centre was opposite to Poornachandra Auditorium on the southern side of the Sarvadharma-sthupam. I used to sit on a chair and look at Poornachandra Auditorium where Swami resided. I thought I was lucky to get that place in the very first seva.

Next day our group leader shifted me from that place to the right side of the auditorium. Swami used to come out and walk along the red carpet to the mandir for giving Darshan. I was standing only a few paces away from the path traversed by Swami. I never imagined that I would get such a great fortune in the first seva itself.

On the first day, I stood to attention when Swami passed by me chanting silently in my mind, ‘Sai Ram’ and ‘Lokah Samasthah Sukhinobhavantu!’ On the second day, Swami, while going to mandir, suddenly turned towards me and saw into my eyes straight and steadily for a few seconds. I was looking at Him. Our looks met. On the sixth day, Swami turned towards me and blessed me with both His hands.

When I was about to start for Puttaparthi, my wife was not well. I wanted to cancel my trip but she insisted that I should go. ‘Don’t worry about me’, she said, ‘you will be near Swami. He will take care of all of us’. Owing to Swami’s grace, I received a letter from her that she was all right. After our term of seva was over, we were seated in a line. Swami came along and stood before me. He gave me padanamaskar and materialised vibhuti for me and blessed.

On return from Puttaparthi, there was a perceptible improvement in my affairs. Even though I had no money, I could get housing loan from my Department and buy a flat. The builder is a nice man who sold the flat to me at the ‘old’ rate. When I had no money for performing housewarming, my maternal uncle offered to give me money without my asking for it.

As advised by my wife, I came to Puttaparthi for seva in March 1999 before performing housewarming. Later we could perform housewarming on November 10, 1999 on a grand scale.

When I came for seva in 2003, we were taken to Brindavan for Darshan of Bhagavan as He was there at that time. On our way, the bus in which I was travelling had a serious problem. Everyone in the bus began to chant bhajan. I was doing ‘Sai Ram, Sai Ram’. Some buses went ahead of us. They went for Darshan. Swami asked them ‘where are the others?’ Just at that time we arrived. We did not know how the driver had taken the bus up to Brindavan with broken axle and one back tyre less, as the tyre had come out as the axle had broken. It was only a Sai miracle.

As we were entering, one sevadal stopped us at the idol of Goddess Saraswati and made us sit there itself. We thought there was no chance of having Darshan from close quarters. But Swami came to us. He lifted His robe a little. We could have pada-Darshan. A few minutes earlier I was thinking, ‘we are not allowed padanamaskar. Will we be lucky at least to have His pada-darshan?’ Bhagavan granted the boon on the spot. He raised both His hands and blessed all of us.’

-- Mr. T. Shankar

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 04.05.2005)