It’s not easy to talk about something that’s so intensely personal. Something that’s an intrinsic part of who I am today. But talk I must, because the only way I can express my sadness, my strength, my awakening or the way forward is through my words.

If you believe in God, you must also believe that he sends you various signs that He is there, around you, with you and in you! But sometimes, we tend to ignore these signs even if they are staring at us right in the face! And that’s what exactly happened to me.

I must have been 10 years old when Appa’s friend placed a copy of the Sri Sai Satcharitra (the life of Shirdi Sai Baba) in his hands and said, ‘Please read and pray!’ That was the time when my mother was dying and we were swinging between hope and despair; between modern medicine and homeopathy; astrologer demands and family pressures. Amma passed away, Appa never read the book; but it was my hope and succor for the next seven years… my companion through happiness and trying times and never did I pass a day without reading a page from it. When I was 20, the book simply vanished and till now my brothers and I haven’t been able to locate it. Now, looking back, I take it as a sign to mean, ‘Don’t just read. Go out there and do something about what you think you believe in!’

Adolescence saw me as an impetuous and self-righteous young girl, constantly questioning many things. My close friend was an ardent Sai devotee and I used to have fierce arguments with her. Little did I notice those signs, the silent prayer before and after food; the love that emanated from her; the humility that formed a halo making me feel good… But all I could say then was ‘how could you?’

I went to Nagpur and my favourite cousin took me often to the Shirdi Sai Mandir there. I enjoyed the ‘aarti’ and the sights and sounds. There was belief, there was devotion, but there was no push, not yet.

It’s the year 2003 in Muscat. The editor assigns me to cover an event for the SAI Group – the first annual essay-writing and poster-making competition. The topics intrigue me, ‘Love All. Serve All’, ‘Help Ever. Hurt Never’. I go about doing my job, making new friends in the process. The plaque presented to me occupies a place of pride in the living room. And it stops at that.

January 2010. I’ve spent what could possibly be the worst two years of my life with the loss of the only surviving parent that ate into my very being. On my brother’s insistence, I make a week’s trip to India alone and revel in the love of my relatives and friends from my old neighbourhood. And I meet a family friend who later gifts me two books and sends me various email forwards and articles on Sai. At first I must admit I was amused by his insistence, but loads of respect stopped me from arguing. For the first time in life, I admit I did as I was told. And that was indeed the turning point in my life.

And things just fell into place after that. Our close friends here took me to my first-ever Sai bhajan. I was soon enveloped into Love, indescribable, limitless love. I discovered that until then, I had only been religious and for the most part, ritualistic. I had never been spiritual. As I read and read, interacted with the Sai family, and translated it by taking part in whatever activities that were possible, I discovered that I had made that transition that I call Part One of my life. My life had slowly made a change from ‘I’ to ‘Me’, with the changes I wished to see.

What was it that finally changed the course of my life? Love, loads of it, the understanding that God permeates through every being on earth, the selfless service, the firm belief that all religions are one, the discipline, the humility and much more. I went deep into the ‘shlokas’ I had recited all my life by rote and learnt their meanings, related them to life and passed them on to my child. I wandered aimlessly… but have now found a true path!

It’s less than a year now since my heart and mind has joined the Sai fold. I may not have had the fortune of seeing His physical form. But it’s He who has lovingly guided me from ‘I’ to ‘Me’ to ‘We’ to ‘Sai’. My life has come full circle. The scattered signs have now become a spiritual whole. And hopefully, it will make a huge difference to my life and of those around me.

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25 thoughts on “I to Me to We to Sai

  1. rekha… this made me goosepimply. i could so easily sense your predicaments and your calling. i am far from religious, but have always wanted to believe that i am inclined spiritually. well, being the procrastinator that i am, i have done nothing to calm my moods/thoughts. this blog of yours made it feel achievable. thanks

    1. thank you so much suzy… i believe everyone is inclined spiritually, but sometimes you need someone to make you understand what is in you… and only God can do that, because He is in you!

  2. A truly touching post! To me also, religion is an intensely personal thing, I would not like to discuss it with others because I know everyone’s beliefs are different and nobody is right or wrong. But I’ve seen these discussions invariably lead to arguments, more so with people who follow my religion. I hope one day, I too will understand the true intricacies of spiritualism, just like you did. Meanwhile, I am glad you did this post.

    1. thanks nilu. don’t worry about people who argue, some people, as a friend said, find it fashionable to do that… go ahead with what you believe in… there’s nothing more important than that!

  3. More than physical nearness swamy is always for mental closeness. Swami likes dear devotees than near devotees. So you need not worry about physically seeing Swamy. As swamy says ‘My Life is My Message”, we have to live on with the mission of fulfulling HIS MISSION ie LOVE ALL SERVE ALL. And also the 5-principal of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema & Ahimsa.

    Reg Sai Satcharita Parayanam, I can spare you with a copy of the holy book. The transformation of the heart, the tool of Swamy, can be seen in your short but interesting piece of spiritual writing. All the best & Sai Ram.

    1. sairam and thank you umesh. i am glad you liked it. i did not want to post it on the blog, but two of my close friends here, Mrudu who has commented above and another wonderful person Dr. Narayan asked me to go ahead and share my feelings. I do have a copy of the Sri Sai Satcharitra now… and that’s a story in itself. I found a pdf copy on the Net and casually asked a colleague where I ccould get it printed. In a couple of days, I find a brown envelope on my desk with the Sri Sai Satcharitra inside – printouts stapled in a book form. Said colleague is a Muslim. I don’t think I need to say anything more… there’s nothing greater than humanity and love and compassion for your fellow-being!

  4. this is not just intensely personal … it’s intensely touching too. One of your best posts so far. Loads of love rekha!

  5. “there was no push, not yet” – loved this! There is a perfect time for everything, what we may hope to experience today might not be the right time for us. Your time has come Rekha and now that you are here you can only look forward :). Thanks for sharing a part of your soul with us!

  6. Rekha very well written not only with pen, ink and thoughts from right from the bottom of the heart… touched… SAI parivar does a lot of good work (here in Muscat also) and I am sure they will continue to do that … probably every religion says ‘karma’ is very important. As you advised your friend Nilu, keep doing in what you believe in… keep writing such senti, touchy and from the heart pieces, read first thing in the morning and day is made 🙂

  7. Rekha – as i said, you have a knack of opening up my tear ducts, however much i try to keep a brave face. Belief is a strong personal issue & it takes a courageous pen to put it to word. After reading some of the above comments, it just reinforces my opinion that the right time for each individual comes at the designated time, not earlier, not later. Every individual’s relationship with his/her Master/Creator is personal & varies – to some as a guide, a friend, a parent, a troubleshooter, a punching bag for letting out emotions. I too have had my “one on one” with Him since the age of 8 & still continue to talk to Him each day, letting out steam sometimes when I am driving to work. His Life has been His Message & His message has been one of universal love which transcends color, nation, ethnicity, social status………… do not despair as only the physical form has left us, He lives on in spirit in all that we see or do, for that is the true essence of spirituality…. to realize the innate divinity & i would define divinity not as a god principle, but the innate goodness & purity that we are born with, but which gets diluted, clouded, fogged on our journey on earth. The earlier we are able to re-manifest this quality, the earlier we achieve “nirvana in living”… so do not grieve the passing away of your Sai, but as dear Omani friend sent in his message – “His life on this earth should be celebrated by all”…. …..

  8. When the Supreme divine principle chooses to assume a name and a form and walk upon the face of the earth, he is sure to drench all who came in contact with him in the vastness of his supreme unconditional love and that is what happened to me. And I stood transmuted. Where else I could have tasted the nectarine sweetness of such Love other than in the presence of Sathya Sai, for Love is his very form. I wont talk in past tense today for he is not in the category of the coming and the going… HE is the supreme constant in this every changing universe… for beyond the physical frame, he is the essence of every living being. “The wings are with you, the flight is with Me” he says, ” The Way is with you, the goal is with Me, The World is with you, the heaven is with me. So we begin, so we end, You in Me and I in You”. To such a Lord, how I could ever bid goodbye. Rekha, you post is just wonderful..
    Sai Ram.

    Narayanan

    1. What shall I say, Narayanan, except that I am overwhelmed and humbled at the same time by all the love and affection… before and after this post. It’s not me, but His pen and His words… When I look back at the many signs, it does pain me a bit that it took this long, but again it’s He who decides… Soumya told me sometime back, ‘Better late than never!’ And also like Dr. Narayan commented above, the right time for an individual comes at a designated time. I take solace in that. Thanks for your lovely words. Sairam.

  9. We are blessed and more, when we know the blessings…We are surrounded with that. Knowingly and unknowingly. We are born to know the unknown. This is the happiness of knowing the unknown. There are still many to come. Let the lord always make us know his presence, make us never forget him. There are always two sides for a coin. But a time will come when there is only one side or even no side. Let us imerse in his love. We need lots of his blessings….which only he can give us. We need to wait…..he will do it. I don’t know whether my msg is reaching you!!! This subject is so deep and vast that it will imerse you into the ocean.

  10. Hey Rekha…Howdy!!! I loved all what you have written on Sai Charitra and Sai Baba….I am a very strong beliver in him…..I can also feel his presence around us couple of times….Sai Baba listens our cry and gets solutions to our problems tooo……Have you read the Sai Geeta…If you want i can get you one from INDIA in whichever language you prefer……Love Tejas Kapasi

  11. If there is one word that can explain the entire saga of Baba’s life, His Mission and Message, it is Love. And you like so many others have been blessed to be touched by all-conquering Selfless, Pure Love. It made me once again marvel at His enigmatic ways of touching and transforming hearts and also delight at the positive change it has brought in your life. May He continue to hold your hand forever.

    1. Thank you for your comment and your wishes. You are right. It’s His Love and His message of Love that changes people’s lives. Yes, we’re blessed, for we are His children.

  12. Sairam Rekha…. Really a very nice and senti blog… if swami decides to bring someone in his fold.. HE WILL bring us in his fold wherever we go… Having physical darshan of HIM is good but HIS presence in our place in any form for our prayer is great…. Jai Jai Sairam

  13. Jai Jai Sairam Rekha to the wonderful writing. The Message of Love All Serve All and Help Ever Hurt Never is pretty straight forward, simple, easy yet evasive at times. We need to cling and give it our best try – Yet it is HIS Grace which will see us through.

    Jai Jai Sairam ….. Keep Posting

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