I FIRST SAW SWAMI, BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA, IN 1996 when I visited the Brindavan ashram with my cousin’s wedding party. The man she married was a Sai devotee who insisted on getting Swami’s blessings first after the marriage. Swami came and stood in front of me, and the person beside me prompted me into taking my first padanamaskar. It felt very good. I also felt an irresistible attraction for Sai bhajans, inspiring me to spend more time with Swami and the Sai Organization back home. Within a couple of years, I found myself spending all my spare time in the Sai Centers in Colombo. I literally grew up there and had little time to socialize with my school or college friends.

The Heart is the Seat of God

Professionally, my heart led me toward the media field, though everyone thought I should become an IT engineer. Everyone discouraged me from pursuing the media field because, in Sri Lanka, the term ‘media’ was generally associated with video professionals chasing ‘wedding coverage.’ But I followed my heart. At that critical juncture, Swami appeared in my dream. In the dream, I was doing padaseva to Him, telling Him that I liked the media field despite all the discouragement from my well-wishers. He smiled and replied (in Tamil), “It is a beautiful field you have selected. You will go to Australia and study for two years. My blessings are with you…

I woke up with joy and clarity of purpose. However, despite my best efforts to study in Australia, my visa application for Australia was rejected every time. This was a time of severe ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and my background probably matched that of a potential asylum-seeker, not a student! I was disheartened and started complaining to Swami in my heart, “You said I would be going to Australia. That is just not happening.” I started working in media in Sri Lanka as per Swami’s directive. In 2007, I got the opportunity to serve Swami with my media skills during the World Youth Conference held in Prasanthi Nilayam. I felt fulfilled.

I got married in 2009. By Swami’s grace, my wife Vasuki also gave priority to Swami. I felt blessed to have a partner on my journey to God.

Experiences in the ‘Beautiful Field’

I served as a video editor for a famous movie director in Sri Lanka. In September 2010, I joined the youth of Sri Lanka to perform a drama in Swami’s divine presence. I sought leave from work from the director. To my surprise, after confirming the dates with me, he immediately called his travel agent to book two tickets! He told me that he would accompany me to Puttaparthi!

Swami blessing the author during his role as Angulimala's mother in a drama.

After the first darshan, he held my hand and said, “Sanjeevan, I have so many challenges in life, and that is why I came along with you. Now I understand why you keep visiting Swami. Just seeing Him made me feel so good and relaxed! There is something in His eyes. Once your eyes fall on Him and His eyes fall on you, you are redeemed–you need nothing else in life!”

This struck a deep chord within me–even those at the pinnacle of professional excellence would give up everything for the ‘Swami experience!’

Every visit to Puttaparthi made me envy the special band of talented and dedicated youth, known as ‘Swami’s boys,’ working in the erstwhile Radiosai under Prof. G. Venkatraman. I wished I could use my passion for media and my acquired skills to serve Swami like these boys. The Omniscient Lord gave me the opportunity to do just that for ten days during the 85th Birthday celebrations in November 2010! The icing on the cake came most unexpectedly.

I felt sick just before 23rd November and could not even get out of bed. The kind brothers at Radiosai told me to rest and said they would pick me up in a vehicle the next morning. At 7 a.m. the next morning, I was in the Sri Sathya Sai Vidyagiri Stadium, the program venue, though I did not know exactly where. Brother Sai Prakash asked me, “Sanjeevan, can you please do a quick edit of the live program to be given to media persons immediately after the morning program?”

Swami fulfilled the author's desire to be His cameraman

I agreed. I noticed many senior and well-known devotees and important guests walking past me. Only when Swami arrived did I realize I was in Shanti Vedika, sharing the stage with Swami! As I enjoyed a wonderful darshan with tears welling up in my eyes, Swami smiled at me as if to say, “I told you! Media is a beautiful field. It is beautiful because it will bring you close to Me.”

Surely there are a million photographers, camerapeople, and video editors in the world better than me. But Swami’s love had brought me from far away to His lotus feet on what was to be the Avatar’s last Birthday in His physical form! I am still overwhelmed when I think of His blessing.

The Lord’s Timing is Perfect

In December 2010, Vasuki got a ‘Skill-migration’ visa to Australia. As her spouse, I too got mine! She told me that since Swami had indicated in my dream that I would do a course for two years, I should enroll in one. I suddenly realized that had my earlier attempts to get an Australian visa succeeded, I would have been paying higher fees as an international student. Now, as a permanent resident I did not have to pay the higher fees!

The University I applied to called me for an interview with the Dean, asking me to submit a portfolio of my media projects for evaluation. I had nothing with me besides a documentary video on a cancer hospice in Sri Lanka that the SSSIO supported. I submitted it and went for the interview with the Dean. It went as usual until he learned that I was the candidate who had submitted just a single video in place of a portfolio!

“Wonderful! I was waiting and looking out for you. I am very impressed with the work and the service there,” he said. Then, he enquired about me, my passions, and my convictions. “This is a two-year program, but if you are ready to work hard and follow my advice, you can finish it in a year. What do you say?” As a married man who could not afford to be out of work for long, this was music to my ears! I agreed immediately. The Dean was so happy that he planned, customized, and personalized the curriculum to suit my needs. Thus, after a year, I was a working professional in the media field in Australia. Within 75 days after starting work, I got promoted and was given even a company vehicle! Swami’s grace is boundless.

When Dreams Turn Into Nightmares

In 2014, when everything was going smoothly along professional and personal fronts, Swami came into my dream and told me to return to Sri Lanka! This was a bolt out of the blue. I shared the dream with my wife and other members of my family. Everyone told me to stay put in Australia and not be foolish in pursuing a ‘dream’ that could end up a ‘nightmare.’ I kept thinking about what to do until I suffered ‘analysis paralysis’ and continued the status quo.

“Holding Swami’s picture, I lamented, “Swami, I have done as You told me. Why are You troubling us like this now? Where have I failed You that You are failing me?”

Then, in March 2017, Swami appeared in my dream again. This time, He seemed very upset and had a stern look. “Come back right now to Sri Lanka,” He said sternly. This time, I didn’t ask anyone. I told Vasuki we would be moving back to Sri Lanka at any cost. Since Swami is her priority too, she readily agreed. We packed up everything, abandoning our plans to purchase a home in Australia, and moved back to Sri Lanka within two months!

We were both jobless, and our two sons needed to attend school. Everyone in the family was convinced that I had gone mad. I was accused of being extremely selfish, for I had just thrown away a good life to fulfill a ‘crazy dream!’ We had to start from ground zero now. We rented a house and found an affordable school for the children. But for nine months, every effort to find a job turned hopeless for me. I was heartbroken, frustrated, and angry.

Holding Swami’s picture, I lamented, “Swami, I have done as You told me. Why are You troubling us like this now? Where have I failed You that You are failing me?” In my anger, I threw His picture on the ground but my son came and picked it up quickly. I realized that I had indeed turned mad in bitterness. But I felt so helpless and angry that my Swami had abandoned me.

The Promised ‘Dream’ Job

The very next day, I was contacted by some of my Sai brothers to do video editing for the SSSIO. In my heart, I said, “Swami, I want work that pays.” I didn’t realize that His master plan was just about to unfold.

I was dumbstruck when the SSSIO asked me whether I would be available to do video editing work as a full-time professional!

I realized how the ‘Divine Master Puppeteer’ had perfectly pulled the strings, fulfilling all my dreams–working in media, getting a professional degree from Australia, and working ONLY for Swami.

Today, I understand the reason for the ‘crazy’ steps my heart told me to take, for each step led me closer to the sacred goal, Swami!

Mr. Sanjeevan Maheswaran  
Sri Lanka  



Mr. Sanjeevan Maheswaran came into Swami’s fold in 1996 and has been involved in the SSSIO and Sai Center activities since then. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Film and Television from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. After working under a professional media director in Australia, Sanjeevan returned to Sri Lanka to serve Swami. He is the secretary of the SSSIO of Sri Lanka and a member of the SSSIO’s international media team. He has participated in cultural programs in the divine presence of Swami in Brindavan and Puttaparthi.


First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 2, Iss. 11