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There is someone above to love me - a child's experience with Sri Sathya Sai
One of the most beautiful aspects of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has been the way He connects with men and women; children and adults. The children from the Primary School especially have evoked the child in Him on many occasions. One that I remember very well is the episode of the hot-water tap which has become a sort of legend among the students. Those were the days when Swami would find the slightest reasons to visit the hostel. One such visit was to inaugurate the new ‘hot-water tap’ in the Primary School hostel.
Swami was to open the tap which would then allow the flow of hot water for the first time. Swami arrived at the hostel much to the delight of all the children and teachers. But as He opened the tap, something went terribly wrong! The top of the valve flew off and the hot water sprayed all over Swami. Everyone stood in shocked silence while someone rushed to fetch a towel maybe. Swami immediately dissolved the tension with a gleeful smile saying,
“I inaugurated the new tap by having the first bath!”
On other occasions, Swami has shown that He completely understands a child’s heart - its hopes and aspirations; its fears and worries. And the story that am about to narrate is one such sweet episode. It was told to me by Sri Krishna Rao who is the protagonist of the story (second to Swami of course) and who was a mischievous 6-year old in 1986 when the incident happened.
The pen which did not write
This little boy had received special attention from everyone because, on the very first day when he had joined first grade in Primary School, he had gone out of the hostel, jumping over the compound wall! Swami had been informed of this act and He had told the warden and headmistress of the school to keep a special eye on the boy. Thus, even during the darshan sessions in the mandir Krishna Rao would be seated near where the headmistress would be seated.
One day, in the mandir, Swami distributed pens to all the children from Primary School. As soon as our little Krishna got his pen, he began to scribble with it on a piece of paper and to his dismay, he saw that it was not working! And so, what did he do? He simply decided to bring the matter to Swami’s notice!
Getting up from his place, the little boy began to walk up to Swami to lodge his complaint. Swami was on His way to complete the darshan rounds. In the perfectly disciplined darshan grounds, the sight of a little boy walking up like this towards Swami horrified the Primary School teachers. One of the teachers got up and rushed to restrain the boy. However, before she could catch up with him, he had crossed over from the ladies’ side (where the kids sit) to the gents’ side. The teacher froze in her tracks for there was no way she would be going to the gents’ side. The little boy proceeded on his ‘journey to God’!
The Divine Response
Having reached Swami, the little boy cooly tugged at Swami arm! Swami stopped in His tracks and looked at this boy who told Him,
“Swami, my pen is not writing. Can I get another one?”
There was a person, ‘Khyaldas uncle’, as he was called, walking behind Swami assisting Him by holding the letters He collected during darshan rounds. Swami told Khyaldas uncle to hold the hand of this little boy and ensure that he does not ‘escape’. Thus it was that the little Krishna also walked the entire darshan rounds with Swami! Having completed that, Swami moved into the interview room and called the little boy inside. With a broad smile, Swami took a bunch of pens, a dozen or so, and put them into Krishna’s pocket. He then told him,
“All of these work well. You take them and keep them.”
Patting him on his cheek, He told him to go back to his place. A smiling Krishna walked out of the interview room. He was happy! He now had a dozen good pens in place of the one that wasn’t working. However, as he turned to go back to his place among the boys of the Primary School, the smile on his face faded. He realized what awaited him.
He could see the stern look on the face of the headmistress. Among his many mischievous acts this would certainly rate high. It was also an act of indiscipline which could inspire others too to do the same! No wonder that the headmistress who has to look after nearly a thousand children had that upset look on her face.
As he neared his place, the headmistress caught hold of him by his ear. She twisted the ear and told him,
“You naughty boy! You sit right next to me. You keep running about too much and do not understand even the basics of discipline.”
The ultimate succour
A child has a wild and vivid imagination at times. In this case, Krishna worried about the worst. He had noted the seriousness in the headmistress’ voice but he had missed the relief too that was present in the same voice. And the relief in the voice was because things had ended well in this episode of ‘indiscipline’. On many previous occasions, Swami had often taken the teachers to task for not imparting discipline among the children!
Even as Krishna began to imagine all the punishment that might possibly be meted out on him - no games for days, staying with the headmistress, being made to sit amidst the girls for dining sessions - he began to get scared. Gone was the joy of the Divine encounter that had occurred just a few minutes back.
Suddenly, a hush fell over the place. Swami, in between the interviews, had actually walked up to the first floor of the building and had made a surprise appearance in the balcony area! And from there, He was looking down straight at little Krishna. The minute Krishna saw this, he smiled at Swami. Swami then signalled to the headmistress and indicated to her to forgive the little child and not punish him. A broad smile now blossomed on the headmistress’ face too. Swami went back.
A succour for life
Today the little Krishna has grown into Krishna Rao, a vital member of team Nevvee, a company of freelance design professionals which undertakes projects in graphic design, web and TV commercials. In the world which is not the ‘protective cocoon’ that his Primary School provided, there have been many instances where his heart has felt low, fearful and worried. But all those times, this episode comes flashing in his mind.
“I know that when dark clouds seem to fill the skies hiding the sunshine from my eyes, I just need to look up to my Swami. And He is there smiling and blessing!”
Hearing Krishna Rao travel down memory lane in nostalgia, the refrain of a song which all the children here have learnt, comes to my mind.
There is someone above to guide me,
There is someone above to hold my hand,
There is someone above to love me,
There is someone above to care.
And its love, love all the way,
It is sunshine on a rainy day.
No clouds can hide my happiness,
With everlasting joy He blessed!
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My other blog is at aravindb1982.blogspot.in.