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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Ms. Rama Keerthi

Ms. Rama Keerthi, II M.Sc.,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Anantapur Campus.

Ms. Rama Keerthi, a student of the second year M.Sc. of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus narrates her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'Like every other day, on that day too, I came back from pre-school crying because of severe pain in my ear. My mother gave me some home remedy to mitigate the pain. My parents took me to many doctors but none could help me. I suffered from ear pain now and then. But it worsened as I grew. At the age of 13, I had a severe attack. As usual, my mother put some drops into my ear. It worsened my pain. I writhed in agony. Alarmed, my parents called the doctor, only to find that he was out of station. In that helpless situation, my parents prayed to the Lord. I wanted them to be by my side at all times I had the pain. My eyes were swollen and my face was red owing to excessive crying. I was physically tired and could cry no longer. But, even after four long hours, the ear pain did not subside. Instead, it worsened and became unbearable.

My mother kept my head on her lap, and lovingly caressed me saying 'God does not give pain beyond our capacity to bear. You have to bear this. Whenever you have any trouble, call out to Lord Rama. He will help you. You see, in spite of being your mother, am I able to share your pain? No. Similarly your father, too, cannot reduce your suffering. We can only feel for you. If there is any one who can do anything about it, it is only God. Pray to Him. He will surely respond to you. Pray as I do.' So saying, my mother started chanting:

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare,
     Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

Lulled by the chant, I sank into deep sleep. Next morning, an auspicious Karthika Somavaram, at 3 a.m., my mother went to have a holy dip in the river nearby, and then proceeded to Lord Shiva's temple. When she returned from the temple around 6 a.m., she applied vibhuti on my forehead and my ear. This disturbed my sleep. I woke up feeling strangely refreshed. That dawn seemed particularly pleasant. I asked my mother innocently, 'how did I sleep last night?' My mother explained to me what had happened the night before. I was bewildered. The medicine given by well-qualified doctors could not help me. How could a simple medicine, the Rama nama given by my illiterate mother, help me so much? This incident planted the seed of faith in me.

Thereafter an invisible hand watered the seed as I grew up. And a time came when the Invisible Presence revealed itself to me. As I was going to finish the Senior Intermediate course, my father gave me an application form for admission to the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. I didn't know anything about Swami or the Institute. I agreed to apply for a seat only to please my father. I completed the Intermediate examinations, and prepared for the entrance test without much interest. The date of the examination made me even very unhappy as it was on the day after my birthday. Finally, I reached Puttaparthi on my birthday. It was almost midday. We were allotted accommodation in one of the rooms inside the Ashram. As we were walking to the room, I told my father 'I cannot forget this day as I have never celebrated any of my birthdays away from my mother. I miss my mother, her blessings and her sweet payasam.' I thought to myself, 'Amma says that Lord Rama will look after everyone who calls out to Him. Rama, if you are my Lord (ishtadaivam), I should at least get your blessings. I have come here to write the entrance test and I don't even know anything about this Institute or Swami. Please help me in this predicament.' Thinking so, I entered the room in which we were going to stay. As I turned to close the door, to my surprise, I noticed a small altar arranged in the corner. This gladdened my heart. There was only one big photograph. It showed Lord Rama, Shirdi Baba and Swami, one superimposed over the other. One glance at this photograph gave me the answer to my question. I, then, understood the oneness of Sai and Rama. There was one incense stick, a little oil and a single match stick for me to light the lamp - all arranged by an invisible hand. I collected a little yellow rice from the altar, and asked my father to bless me. This gave me some satisfaction.

Then, there was another dilemma. I thought I would have to abandon my love for Lord Rama to worship Sai. I knew that this shift would not be easy for me. I finished the entrance test and left for Whitefield to have my first darshan of Bhagavan. As I sat for darshan, a lady sitting next to me gave a book on Swami. As I opened the book, the following words of Bhagavan caught my attention:

'I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each one in his own faith so that the Christian becomes a better Christian; the Muslim becomes a better Muslim; and the Hindu becomes a better Hindu.'

I realized that Rama and Sai are one. In my mind I gave the form of Sai to my formless Rama and happily solved my dilemma. This incident enabled the sapling of faith to take a stronger root. The Invisible Hand carefully shifted this sapling into His garden by giving me a seat in His Institute.'

-- Ms. Rama Keerthi

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