The part numbers indicate the order of writing and does not correlate with the chronological order of events and experiences.
It was the second year of engineering, and in our college, we had to change our hostel rooms at the end of every year. Every room of a building had a unique address. After I moved into the new room, I started receiving some spiritual periodicals. The senior students who had lived there before me had probably subscribed to them and I thought they would update their address and I would stop receiving them soon. Or they would come to the room asking for their magazines. However, neither did anyone update the address nor did anyone come to ask for the magazines. I preserved all the received editions of the magazines and set out to ask everyone which branch the folks belonged to whom the magazines were addressed.
Despite my best efforts, I could not find out who they were. I tried finding who they were for a few weeks and then gave up.
I would read the magazines and used to like them. One magazine was based on Christian philosophy and the other was published by Sathya Sai baba ashram. For me, both appeared the same since I was interested in spiritual essence only.
The second-year got over, I moved to another room in a different building the next year. I did not get the magazines any further. I did not miss them either. The second semester of the third year and one night I had a strange dream; in the dream I found myself walking alone on a road and was not too sure where was I heading. There came a cross-road and I met Sathya Sai Baba in the middle of the junction; behind him were thousands of people. I cannot recall much of the details from the dream except the fact that when Sai Baba met me he asked my name and I told him some name. To my disappointment, I do not remember if I told him my name or something else.
He looked at me and said that it was not my name and that my name was different. I looked at him with just one question and the question was what did he mean by that. However, he did not stop to answer me. He moved along. I tried to decipher the meaning of the dream and could not really fathom depths of its meaning.
My earliest exposure to Sathya Sai Baba was reading a book containing quotes based on his teachings when I was in high school. The book was given to me by my mathematics teacher; he had introduced me to Osho also. The teacher often used to give me various books on spiritual & philosophical matters to read. My introduction with the teacher did not really happen in the best of the ways; in the first-ever class when he took for us, he wrote few mathematics formulas on the blackboard and asked everyone to jot them down. I did not do that. When he asked me why, I told him that there was no need to do that since the formulas were already there in the textbook. The teacher got offended.
After the class, I apologized to him saying that I did not want to waste time jotting down obvious stuff and was really interested in knowing more about the formulas. The teacher & I instantly hit off.
Coming back to the book which my mathematics teacher gave me. I read the book of quotes, what I still remember is the colour theme of the book. The book contained several images of buildings of ashram which I happened to visit almost a decade later. The buildings were primarily pink in colour and all his quotes were on love, compassion, service etc. Every page had pink outlines and the book had very glossy pages. Everything about the book was very impressive and they all looked in a perfect combination. Pink colour symbolizes compassion; the ultimate state of love. And I remember feeling an immense sense of peace and calmness when I went through the book.
Once I started working in Bangalore after graduating from college, I bought more books of Sathya Sai Baba and started going through them. Reading about paranormal experiences of devotees kind of scared me early on. I felt if I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night, I would surely see Sai Baba standing in front of me. And if that would really happen, I would totally freak out. One of the books was written by two American scientists who came to study Sathya Sai Baba. They went open-minded and were really impressed with the powers which Baba exercised.
A few months later, I decided to visit Sathya Sai Baba ashram. I tagged a friend with me and we went there. I kind of liked what I saw, bought more books, and returned. Over the next several years, I continued to visit while my friend of first journey never joined me again. We never know a soul’s true inclination. Everyone’s journey is different. We may share a portion of that; yet each one of us has to take a customized route. We can be thankful to each other for the portion which we share.
Moving on to several years further; I started having dreams of my ancestral home and would often find myself being all alone in the dream. Almost all the times, I would see a pitch dark image floating up and coming towards me and I would scream and get up. Such nightmares became very frequent. Sometimes in my dreams, I would remember God and I would somehow be able to manage my fears in the dream. During one of such dreams, I called out to Sathya Sai Baba to help me. I witnessed that Shirdi Sai Baba appeared from nowhere and he continued to grow in size until he was big enough like a mountain and the dark image was like an ant before him. He crushed the image below his foot. I was not at all surprised why Shirdi Sai Baba came when I did not even call him.
I never doubted that both of them were one and the same energy. Many people would not believe this and this is perfectly fine with me. The frequency of nightmares reduced considerably. They never went away totally, but the frequency reduced from few times in a month to a few times in a year. And of course their intensity and impact upon me reduced over time. I don’t know the real reason behind the dreams and I don’t have the real curiosity to know either.
……. to be continued