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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Ms. Jayanti Srikala

Ms. Jayanti Srikala, III B.Sc.,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Anantapur Campus.

Ms. Jayanti Srikala, a student of the third year B.Sc. of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus narrates her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'I had my primary education in a Christian Missionary School where the motto is 'Love is Service'. This concept had got imprinted in my mind unconsciously, yet strongly, that I never doubted it. God, Worship, Devotion - these were alien concepts to me. If my family went to a temple, it seemed like a picnic spot to me. Therefore, I took time to be initiated into the concept of God.

In June 1994, when I was in my fourth standard, we made our first trip to see Swami. After our first darshan of Swami, my mother was very impressed, and asked me whether I would like to study in His School. I was shocked. Fear of being away from home gripped me. I refused the proposal outright, and was furious with my mother. In a few days, my grandmother also was trying to persuade me to join Baba's Institution. She even read out relevant quotations from the Sanathana Sarathi to coax me. She advised me to speak softly and politely to elders. In due course, she taught me bhajans, and expected me to sing them daily before her. Gradually, I began to accompany her to the Sai Samithi.

The pages in the calendar turned quickly. I joined the Intermediate course. In due course, I noticed myself becoming stressed, depressed and dejected. I felt very lonely and had no one around to share my thoughts with. One night at 8:30 p.m., I was returning from the tuition classes. I stopped by the Samithi, where the bhajan had just been over. I went inside and sat in front of Bhagavan's life size portrait. I immediately felt a strange calmness within me. This went on for a few days. Slowly, I began to share my problems with Bhagavan, who now became my true friend, mother, father, teacher, in fact, my 'everything'. My life took a new turn. I suddenly found a deeper meaning to life. The faith that Bhagavan would be with me in every moment of my life, through its ups and downs, slowly developed, and grew stronger day by day. The truth that 'life with Sai is an endless hope, and life without Sai is a hopeless end,' slowly dawned on me.

As soon as I completed my XII Standard, my father had only to ask me once, and there I was, springing to life at the thought of studying under God's direct guidance and protection. I appeared for the exams in the Bhagavan's college for the B.Sc. Course with full faith in Him. His grace enabled me to be a recipient of His love.

Once, my mother gave me some left over rice to feed some stray cows. As I was walking on the street, I came across a wanderer. I asked him whether he would take some food, and he immediately agreed. I called him home, and served him food on a leaf. He looked as though he hadn't eaten for many days. When he had finished, he blessed me raising his right hand. His face seemed to glow with a divine charm. For a moment I wondered whether he was really a beggar. I forgot this incident, but in due course of time, when I first stepped into the Samithi and saw Shirdi Baba's photograph, the face of the wanderer flashed across my mind. Both were one and the same. I concluded that it must have been Shirdi Baba who had come in that guise to bless me.

It was in my XI standard. Our family priest had advised my mother to perform lingabhishekam, every Monday, with milk and coconut water, for good health. I overheard this, and wanted to help in my own way. So, I started accompanying her to the temple. Gradually, I gained so much of happiness and satisfaction going to the temple, that it became difficult to begin a day without it. However, after joining the Bhagavan's college, I stopped doing this.

Once Swami came in my dream and asked me in a disappointed tone as to why I had stopped going to the temple. Then I told him 'Baba, there is no lingam for me to worship.' Then He again asked, 'why? Am I not the essence of the lingam?' Immediately His form changed into that of a lingam. Again I objected saying 'Baba, but I have no milk and coconut water to offer You.' He gave a mischievous smile, took a tumbler of water, and as He poured it out, it changed into milk and coconut water. I understood what he wanted to teach me - all forms are His manifestations; the materials with which we worship Him don't matter; only devotion and faith matter. He made me see this truth behind rituals and traditions.

Having become Bhagavan's student, the once alien concepts like God, Worship and Devotion have now become a way of life.'

-- Ms. Jayanti Srikala

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