This particular story takes place a few days after one of the sports meets. I was involved in a project for the university, and was busy writing a program. When I went to the mandir later that day, my friend told me that Sai Baba had already given padanamaskar (to touch the feet of the Lord) to the students and that I missed it.

The devotional singing started, and from a distance I saw Sai Baba swaying to the beautiful singing. I started having a conversation with Him in my mind. I said “Sai, I was doing your work and I missed the padanamaskar. Is that fair?”

A few songs later, Sai Baba got up from his in the hall, walked to the block where I was sitting and stood next to me. I looked up at him and gestured with folded palms if I could have padanamaskar. He nodded, and I kissed the divine feet in joy. Sai Baba then turned and walked back to the hall.

Though we have heard this a million times from thousands of devotees, it is still thrilling to experience Sathya Sai Baba, the chief resident of your heart hearing and responding to your prayer.

There are occasions when we feel that our prayers are not answered. A question may arise on why we don’t feel the presence of God in our lives, or why we feel God is not responding to our prayers. Sai Baba has given an example of an oil lamp that gets covered by soot. This slowly reduces the brightness of the lamp. All that we need to do is to see that the soot is cleansed and the light is very clear and bright. In our own lives, we get bogged down by our daily chores and issues. Thinking about God is just an afterthought or a ritual. God in our heart is covered by our own limitations. It is not that he is not present, it’s just that we don’t feel his presence. As we clean the soot to restore the lamp’s brightness, we need to cleanse our heart of its pollutants to reveal His presence.

How do we do that? A few techniques from Sathya Sai Baba’s discourses are given below:

  • Service at every given opportunity. When you do HIS work selflessly, HIS presence will be felt.
  • Equanimity – Accept everything that happens as HIS will. He will reveal Himself
  • Reduce desires – start focusing on needs rather than wants. Sai Baba gives the example of Sita who went to the forest, leaving all her jewellery behind, and she in turn got the company of Rama. The day she desired the golden deer, she lost the company of Rama.
  • Sathya Sai Baba is most compassionate. He wants us to lead ideal lives so that we can feel HIS presence always.

    -Sridhar Subramonian