I AM A NATIVE OF KERALA, INDIA AND GREW UP IN HYDERABAD. Even though my father was a staunch follower of Lord Ayyappa (a Hindu deity), I was fascinated and attracted to Lord Venkateshwara (a form of Vishnu) in the renowned pilgrimage place of Tirupati, India. That is why upon relocating to Sydney in 2004, I searched and found a Venkateshwara temple at Helensburgh which became my Tirupati in Australia. Though I had lived much of my life in Hyderabad, I never knew much about Swami.

Phase of Ignorance

I married into a family of Sai devotees. I got a little exposure to Swami but never really understood what He meant. For instance, soon after we got engaged, my fiancé (who was in India then) called me excitedly. She told me how delighted she was that Swami had ‘accepted’ our wedding card from her brother, who was in Puttaparthi for a medical camp. Apparently, Swami had stopped the car during darshan and had sent a sevadal (volunteer) to collect the wedding card from my brother-in-law. Swami had also opened and read it before the car moved on. I didn’t understand her excitement. My mind was asking, “so what?”

My wife’s family offered Arati to Swami’s photo during our wedding. We all sat clueless about what was happening. Then, when my wife came to Sydney, she brought a picture of Swami and put it on the altar. I was shocked because I had a magnificent picture of Lord Venkateshwara, and now she put a picture of a man beside it! But then, I thought it was her faith, and I must respect it.

In 2011, we received news of Swami leaving His body. My wife and her family were devastated by the news. I continued to be puzzled by their extreme devotion and attachment to Swami.

Phase of Seeking

My relationship with God–Lord Venkateshwara–was mainly about praying and asking for things, which He granted me most of the time. But each time, I was left feeling unfulfilled and empty, and I would go again seeking something else. Despite all my wishes being granted, I did not feel content. I felt nothing gave me lasting happiness, and I would return to square one again. This went on and on in my life.

Then, there was a phase of contemplation in my life, when I started asking deep questions. What is it that really makes me happy? What will stop me from going into this state of feeling unfulfilled and empty and again seeking something else?

Then I prayed, and again I asked for something from God. But, this time, it was different: “Lord, give me something beyond which there is nothing more left to seek.” I believe that was the turning point in my life, and my Lord gave me that beyond which there was no more seeking–Swami! Looking back at this today, I feel this perfectly aligns with two quotes from Swami.

  1. "I give you what you want so that one day you may want what I have come to give you."

  2. "Seek that, seeking which you will never have to seek again. So, seek Me and Me alone. True happiness lies in Union with God alone and in nothing else."

Power of Reading Swami’s Stories

Let me share how I met Swami. In 2012, my in-laws came to Sydney for a vacation and brought some books. One day when I was leaving for work, my father-in-law asked me if I wanted to read any of his books. To please him, I said, “Okay, give me. I will read on the train.”

He gave me a special edition of the India Today magazine titled, ‘Divine Grace,’ fully dedicated to Swami. After reading it for some time, I felt something special. Later I borrowed another book from my father-in-law– A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba. Again, it was an enlightening and inspiring book to read.

While taking my in-laws to the nearby temples, I found a Sai Center just 500 meters from my home! I took them there once, and soon it became a weekly affair! I became fascinated by the beautiful bhajans. I also felt that the people at the Center were genuine and unique–very different from others.

After some time, my in-laws returned to India, but we continued to go to the Center. Some days, when my wife was sick, I even went alone to the Sai Center!

Tryst with Divinity

Early in the morning, on the 13th of June 2012, Swami appeared in my dream for the first time. It was such a clear and vivid dream, the likes of which I had never experienced before. The dream had four parts.

Part 1: I was in Puttaparthi with a backpack. I saw Swami there with an old lady. She asked me why I was there, and I said that I was there to work for someone. Swami nodded as if He knew. His look was stern, but my heart said He cared for me.

Part 2: I went into a vast hall, where Swami approached me and asked, “Did I say I will give you something?” I said, “No, Swami.” He said, “Okay, I will give you,” and He walked away.

Part 3: There was a big basket or a bin. I saw Swami and others standing around it and watching me. I put my hand in my backpack and found rotten fruits! Swami looked at me as if asking me what I wanted to do with them. I put the rotten fruits in the basket. Swami and others nodded in agreement with what I was doing. (My experiences later indicated that the rotten fruits represented vasanas, or tendencies, I had experienced from my past life.)

Part 4: Swami sat on a wall where I conversed with Him. In the end, I took padanamaskar (prostrating at His feet). While taking padanamaskar, I could hear people say that, although I was there for the first time, I knew what to do!

Then I woke up, and it was 4 am. I could not believe what had just happened. In a half-sleepy state, I told Swami, “People say that when You appear in a dream, it is only by Your will. Now I need some proof that you really came into my dream. Maybe a fragrance would be a good indicator.” As soon as I said that, I went back to sleep, only to wake up again with the fragrance of thousands of flowers around me! Then I said, “Oh, Swami, You actually came to me!”

Miracle of Sai

Swami says, “Come just one step forward; I shall take a hundred towards you. Shed one tear; I shall wipe a hundred from your eyes.” My willingness to read and know about Him was my one step toward Him. Since then, each day has been a miracle. He has taken not just a hundred steps but thousands of steps toward me.

If you ask me what the biggest Sai miracle in my life is, I will say it is the inner transformation He has brought. Swami says, “When you said “Yes” to Me, you gave up the right to be like everyone else. Then you will have experiences that help to purify you.”

That is how He works, and that is how He transforms.

I don’t know what good deeds I have done in past lives that brought me to Him. I experience His love all the time; I am never alone. I always talk to Him, and He responds in His inimitable ways. He has become my true friend, guide, guru, God, and everything. In fact, He has become the sole aim and the soul-purpose of my life!




Mr. Srinath Nair is a finance professional working in Sydney, Australia. Currently, he serves as the SSSIO Regional President for New South Wales in Australia. He has held roles as an Education Coordinator and SSE teacher. He came to Swami’s fold in the year 2012. Though he has never seen Swami physically, he feels a strong inner connection with Him.




First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 2, Iss. 7