Attending Sai World Youth Meet 2016 in Muddenhalli

Strange are the ways of the Lord; stranger are His miracles

This is what would sum up whatever experience I had in the recent past. Like everybody, I can write a volume about my feelings, experiences, and the connection that I feel I have with Sri Sathya Sai Baba; however, it would be sane to just focus on this one particular event and what conspired before, in between, and after it.

How it all began

I came to know about Swami’s light form through my friend Anandra. She was fortunate enough to be called there a couple of years ago, and experience the joy and bliss that all of us have experienced while Swami was in His physical form in Puttaparti.

We talked about her experience and how blissful she felt on many occasions, and later on she also shared a couple of books with me. Reading those books, I immediately felt deep in my heart that this couldn’t be anybody else but Swami. I have no proof to show but this is how I felt. An immediate urge to go to Muddenhalli sprung up in my heart but I didn’t make a conscious effort to make it realize. I talked about it with my wife on few instances but nothing concrete came out.

Then, one blessed day, I got up from my bed with a very sweet and palpable dream of Swami. He was granting Darshan and I felt bathed in that experience. The moment I switched on my computer, I received this mail from Anandra–she was asking me to attend Sai World Youth Meet and willing to pay for my travel. I could not ask for anything more–I jumped on to say ‘yes’, and started wondering what it would be like.

The days preceding the Meet

Almost two months prior to the Youth Meet, I had confirmed my flight. My heart felt various kinds of emotions during this period–introspection and speculation were the major two. I felt falling short of expectations of Swami on many fronts. I wondered whether I should even attend the Meet because I was not doing anything special to connect to Him or move closer to Him in the spiritual sense of the term.

By the time I approached my flight date, I almost had this feeling in my mind that I should cancel somehow–I won’t be able to stay there for 10 days. It will be very difficult because I was now too much used to the comforts of my home. Well, Chanakya’s words added to my agony more–he says that there’s no bigger punishment than to stay away from home.

I was wrong. I had the best stay possible and Swami didn’t let me complain even for a tiny thing–He even asked in one of His discourses whether we are provided with enough. I could not but shed some tears and exclaim in joy that we had more than we deserved.

My Stay in Muddenhalli

I boarded my flight from Chandigarh and landed in Bangaluru. I had a heavy luggage, clearly more than what I needed, but my friend had arranged for a taxi, and therefore, I didn’t have any problem in reaching the Ashram. Muddenhalli in November was expected to be experiencing low temperatures; however, this year, it was relatively hot. I had woolens with me but I seldom needed them. Last year, they said, it rained heavily. It was wet and cold. However, this year, it was relatively better.

I settled in the dormitory type accommodations that were offered, and to my surprise unlike Puttaparti, we had hot running water to bathe–this was one major concern that I had before starting.

As the days passed, I kind of opened up to the wonder and amazement that Muddenhalli had to offer. I felt like being in Puttaparti barring the crowd that it receives. The educational campuses are within the premise of the Ashram. A lot of construction is going on, but overall, a great place to be.

I work as a freelancer and needed internet. I had Idea phone with me but sadly it didn’t work. I came to know that almost no network worked inside the Ashram and I should not expect much in terms of internet connection. However, I needed it because my whole work depends upon it. Luckily, again through Anandra, I made a friend, Hemant, who had Reliance Jio, which to my great surprise, received full connectivity. No wonder. Swami took care of my second big concern too!

Experiencing Swami’s light form

I was totally in uncharted waters here–I had no prior experience of it. I, like many others, have grown up seeing Swami’s physical form in Puttaparti and various other places. I have heard and witnessed many miracles of His manifestations, but this is beyond our usual experience. This light form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba is not seen through the naked eye–you have to experience Him. Something every spiritual text or master stresses upon–see God through your inner eyes. Once you see Him, you can see Him in everything!

I will say I felt Him–I felt the same love inside me, and that’s the proof. I don’t need to see Him to believe Him.

Participating in the Grama Seva

Almost a decade ago, I had wished and dreamed of participating in Grama Seva that Swami so spiritedly propagated to and through His students. I remember watching videos created by Radio Sai, and wondering if I would ever get the chance to be there.

My chance came this year–Swami blessed the delegates of the Meet to attend this Seva–an opportunity so rare that only Swami’s blessings could make it happen for you.

I participated with all my heart, I would say, and tried to be of some use. Right from preparation of food, unloading and uploading the cartons in trucks, it was all done with spirit and fervor. We went to the villages in the trucks and distributed Swami’s Prasadam to the villagers. It was a touching experience, and also the direct realization of what one could do wherever he/she lives–to reach out and connect in whatever form possible.

Over the next few days, we enjoyed discourses of visiting dignitaries and also of Swami who deigned almost daily and delivered His words. A few participants, students, and Seva Dal members also shared their experiences.

The concluding couple of days were more musical and enjoying as we were approaching Swami’s birthday. I enjoyed the biggest musical extravaganza of my life–plethora of musicians, artists and performers have come to perform in front of Swami’s light form. I smiled, laughed, wondered and often cried during those performances. It was indeed a lifetime opportunity and Swami left no stone unturned to make it an unforgettable one for me, and hopefully for everybody.

The message that I came back with

The message for the youth was clear and concise–connect and serve.

Swami is emphasizing extensively on the service part of His teachings in His light form. He says a lot has been said and heard–it is time to act!

Youth and everybody else is encouraged to engage in some sort of service in his/her area, and also, if possible, participate in national level service programs being launched by Swami. This includes schools, hospital, clean water projects, and various other service programs.

My experience

It was a miraculous time for me–I can’t imagine being taken care of financially, and in all other matters so neatly by any other than Swami Himself. He takes care of everything.

Simply putting, I felt His love and grace throughout my stay in Muddenhalli. I can’t wait to go back and bask in His presence more and more.

To those who doubt

I know a lot of people doubt and deny this phenomenon. They are right in every way; however, I can’t let this chance go by on my own conviction–I had been proven wrong on numerous occasions. What if I am wrong to say that this can’t happen? Even if there’s an iota of chance, I will grab it, for, being in Swami’s presence is so big a chance that I can’t afford to miss it on any account.

So, brothers and sisters, I say this to you–you are right, but what if you are wrong? Are you prepared to miss being with Swami at any cost? Haven’t Swami astonished you with His ways and miracles in the past? Give it a try and you will be exhilarated.

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