In this feature we are showcasing the work of women authors who are Sai devotees. Some of these books are old friends and some newer, but all are well worth a read. Look for additions to our showcase over the next few months!
by Shalini Dias
A devotee from her childhood in the 1960’s, Shalini Dias tells wonderful stories of a young Swami in an era long past.
When Baba’s 60th Birthday celebrations were approaching I was living in Madras (now Chennai) with my uncle. He was a doctor, carrying out research into cancer treatment. . . I heard that the Birthday celebrations were to be broadcast on Madras TV. My uncle had arrived only a few days before. . . and since he did not own a television, I asked if we could go to my aunt’s house about 50 Km. away to view the celebration. My uncle replied that . . . we could only go into Madras should a patient summon him to the city for treatment.
That night I prayed to Swami to somehow clear the way so we could go to my aunt’s home. I wanted so much to see His birthday celebrations. I was amazed when Bhagawan approached me in a dream, blessing me among the millions of people who were milling around Him.
Next morning. . . when I opened the front door, there was a man standing there. He handed me a note, asking that I deliver it to my uncle. . . I gave the letter to my uncle. He informed me that a Minister from Andhra Pradesh was coming to Madras with his wife and wished to consult him about his wife, who had a brain tumor.
Here was our reason to visit the city! I learned from my aunt that a cousin was leaving that night to attend the Birthday celebrations. How lucky was she? I was telling my aunt this when my cousin walked in. she overheard me and asked why I thought she was lucky, because I could also be lucky if I accompanied her to Prasanthi. If I decided to go with her, she would pay all the expenses!
When my uncle returned from his consultation, he remarked how nice the minister and his wife had been to him. Near the wife’s bed was a very large photograph of Bhagawan Baba. The minister made a further appointment for ten days’ time...
On the Birthday itself, I had the good fortune to stand in the front and so was able to see Bhagawan coming, riding in a chariot to give Darshan. I had a good opportunity to receive His Divine blessing – as I had seen in my dream. That evening, when giving His Divine Discourse, He mentioned that He had brought all His old devotees together, leaving none behind to witness His 60th Birthday. When I heard these words I was overwhelmed...
After a week at Prasanthi, we returned to Madras. My uncle picked me up from my aunt’s house. He told us that when he had returned to visit the minister and his wife for a second consultation, he was surprised to find the house locked. He waited for a while and then went to see a neighbor. He was informed that no one lived there and had not done so for a very long time. pp. 47-48