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

Ms. Ramadevi,
Resident Tutor, Sri Sathya Sai Women's Hostel,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning,
Anantapur Campus.

Ms. Ramadevi, Resident Tutor, Women's Hostel, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus narrates her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'After completing my B.A., Swami called my grandmother and me for an interview and spoke to us very lovingly. He advised me to pursue M.A. (English Literature) in the P.G. Centre (S.K. University) for there was no M.A. (English) in His College then. Swami, with all His mercy, told me that I could continue to stay in His hostel. When I expressed my diffidence in dealing with a vast syllabus, Swami instilled confidence in me, saying 'you can. I shall help you.' He dismissed my grandmother's worry about me as I would be under His loving care.

All my experiences with Bhagavan reveal His boundless compassion. The Summer Course of 1977 was a lifetime experience for me. For securing the first rank, I was blessed with a precious trophy from the Divine hands. However, difficult days were soon to follow. When we returned from the Summer Course, the Governing Body had decided that the five of us, who stayed in Bhagavan's hostel and studied at the P.G. Centre nearby, had to shift to the P.G. Centre Hostel as they were unable to provide accommodation to many applicants that year. This alarmed my classmates. They rushed to Prasanthi Nilayam to seek Bhagavan's intervention.

However, considering that I tended to worry more than others, they left me blissfully unaware of the difficult situation. But then, soon after they had left, I heard the news from someone else. I was disturbed. That day, in my afternoon nap, I had a dream. I was with my classmates, waiting for Swami's darshan. Swami came and my classmates pleaded with Him to allow us to stay until we completed our course. Swami said that we would have to leave the Hostel as we had to give place to others. He then turned to me and whispered 'anyway, I am coming on the 7th July. I will tell you then'. That evening, my classmates returned and related what had happened at Prasanthi Nilayam. To everyone's astonishment, my dream and the reality coincided, except for the last bit. Hoping to raise their spirits, I told them what He had whispered to me, but they did not take me seriously. With this tension of our impending departure, we studied and started writing our examinations. In those days, Swami often visited the Anantapur Campus on the 7th of every month. And so, in anticipation, we were also preparing for Bhagavan's visit.

On the 6th night, I got another dream. We were all sitting in lines along the corridors of our College. Swami came straight to me, tapped me on the head and said 'how are you?' I said 'I am fine, Swami, but could we stay in the Hostel?' Swami replied 'yes, you can'. The dream repeated itself in reality the next morning when Bhagavan came to our Campus.

When the issue came up before Bhagavan, one of the authorities refuted, 'Swami, five hundred applications are coming for hostel seats.' Swami said 'so what? Thousand applications are coming for the Brindavan Campus. That does not mean that we should send away our students. I shall keep some of My children with Me.' Strength flowed into me. I felt I could lift a mountain. All my classmates were very happy.

In August, when Swami was talking to the staff and students of the College, He commanded that I stay in the Hostel and teach English to the students who need extra coaching. So, here I have been, working for the last 26 years. Bhagavan has taught me many lessons, seen me through difficult times, and consoled me during calamities like deaths in my family.

One pleasant evening, I went for a walk in the Campus with a student. We were both in an exhilarated mood and went up to the top of the terrace of our College building and sat poised precariously on the narrow parapet wall. We talked, laughed and sang happily for an hour, blissfully unaware of the danger we were in. The prayer bell rang and we came back to the Hostel. I was sitting in the prayer hall surrounded by the students. Suddenly, a fear of falling gripped me. It was so real that I bent forward to avoid falling back. But there was no chance of falling anywhere, as I was sitting on plain ground. This happened thrice during the bhajan.

Then Swami spoke inside me 'if I had not protected you, one strong puff of wind would have sent you hurtling down to the ground from the terrace. Don't do it again.' There are two names in the Vishnu Sahasranama, which are appropriate in this context - bhayakrit and bhayanaashanah; the one who creates fear and the one who destroys fear. The compassionate Lord did not have the heart to disturb my pleasant evening, so He kept the fear in abeyance for sometime, and later instilled it into me in order to chide me for my foolishness.

Professor V.K. Gokak was being felicitated on his 75th birthday by Bhagavan. All the staff and students of the Institute had gathered in the Institute Auditorium at Prasanthi Nialyam. For some reason, I felt very sad. I felt I was a 'nobody'. With a sardonic smile, I told myself that I was the only discontented element in the whole gathering. I was disinterested in the proceedings on the stage. At the end of the function, Swami created something, and there was applause. I forgot all my sadness and wanted to know what it was. I asked the person sitting next to me but she was so engrossed in watching Swami that she did not reply. But could the Lord have overlooked my eagerness to know? Above the thunderous applause, I heard Swami's voice 'diamond ring'. After a minute, there was applause once again. This time, too, my neighbour did not answer my query. Again, Swami spoke loud and clear 'diamond earrings' (for Smt. Gokak). I heard Swami's message inside me 'don't be gloomy, don't stand aloof, join in the jubilation.' Tears of gratitude filled my eyes. I clapped loudly and my heart became light.

When I went home for the summer vacation in 1987, I was told that a blind school had been opened in Visakhapatnam, and the Principal's post was vacant. Since I had the necessary qualifications, I was asked to apply for it. I did not want to leave Swami's proximity for all the wealth in the world. Very convincing arguments were put forth and the pressure mounted. At last, I gave in and sent an application but I insisted that I would not go unless Swami permitted me. After the vacation, with a heavy heart, I came to Bhagavan and gave Him a letter saying 'Swami, they are asking me to come and take the post of Principal in the blind school. Please tell me what I should do.' Swami said 'I will tell you later.'

So I decided it was the best to wait. I wrote to my aunt asking her to come to Prasanthi Nilayam, anticipating that Swami would grant us an interview. Even before my letter reached, my aunt got a dream one early morning. She was sitting in the darshan line. Swami pointed to me, sitting with the staff and students, and said 'she had prayed hard and had done much penance to secure a seat in My College. Now she wants to forfeit it?' My aunt said hastily 'Swami, she does not know what to do. If you say no, she will not go.' Swami said 'well, I don't like it,' and disappeared. My aunt immediately wrote to me. Just before she posted her letter, she received my letter, and so in a postscript she added that she would not be coming since Swami had given the answer. When I got the letter I was overjoyed. I myself typed a long letter of thanks and gave it to Bhagavan on the Gurupurnima day.

During the evening darshan, Swami brought a Braille watch to gift it to me. Swami kept the watch open in His palm and asked me to feel it and tell the time. As I was opposite to Swami, I could not understand the position of the hands of the watch. I said 'I can't make out, Swami.' But Bhagavan would not take 'no' for an answer. Swami said 'cheppu (tell).' I was kneeling in front of Bhagavan holding His palm for a full five minutes in confusion. Then bhajan began, and I deduced it must be 6 o' clock, and said so (those days bhajan started at 6:00 p.m.). Swami laughed softly and said that the watch showed 12:50. He set the time on the watch Himself and gave it to me. As I sat clutching the watch, I wondered 'was it a gift for my decision to stick to Him, or was it a warning to watch my Words, Actions and Thoughts in the future?'

-- Ms. Ramadevi,

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