On multiple occasions, in His discourses, Swami sings a poem:

Adugakuve O Manasa!
Adugu Koladi Adi Adugunu Padunani
Adugakunna Pani Vadigaanagunani
Adugani Sabarini Aadarinchade!

Do not ask, O Mind!
The more you ask, it is placed at the bottom.
Without asking, the task proceeds quickly.
Sabari (an ardent devotee of Sri Rama), who never asked, was showered with grace!

If you wish to ask for anything from God, pray to Him thus, “Oh Lord! Let me have You alone.” Once we have secured the Lord, we will get everything we need. That was why Meera sang: “Oh heart, drink the nectar of divine love.”

In His discourse on October 9, 1989, Swami said, “When you can have divine love, to crave for anything else is like asking for coffee powder (a trivial request) from the Kalpataru! (The Wish-fulfilling Tree)”

For many years, this question of asking or not asking, Swami puzzled me. If not Him, whom else could I ask? In a discussion with a Sai brother, I shared this dilemma. He said that when you are in that state of Oneness with Swami–during meditation, in the bliss of bhajans, etc.–experiencing that you and Swami are not different, there is no need to ask. However, when you identify with the body and see Swami as separate from you, you might want to ask Him. I sought the answer from Swami Himself during my meditation. His reply was, “Do not ask Me for anything. I know what is best for your spiritual evolution.” Since then, I resolved to stop asking Swami for anything, worldly or spiritual.

Test is His Taste

My resolve was put to the test when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after an MRI in August 2018. I was due for a biopsy and asked my urologist if it could be postponed till after my visit to Puttaparthi in November 2018. and He gave me permission. Throughout that visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, I would offer my salutations to Swami but never asked Him for a cure.

On my return, the biopsy was done, and it was confirmed that I would need surgery. My urologist recommended robotic surgery instead of regular procedures. This was not available locally in Trinidad and Tobago or at the Super Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi. It was available in the USA, but at an exorbitant cost which my health insurance would not cover!

An idea suddenly came to me to contact an old medical school classmate of mine from New Delhi. Within one week, I had an appointment to have surgery at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Research Centre in New Delhi. When Swami gives an idea, He takes care of its implementation too! Despite a strike by British Airways, my wife and I traveled via London and arrived in Delhi in time for the surgery.

During my first visit to the hospital, the crowds were huge, and I spent the entire day in pre-surgical preparation. At the end of the day, anxiety, jet lag, and exhaustion set in, and I started to have second thoughts about undergoing surgery in a place so far away from my family and home. Swami, in His usual style, stepped in to allay my fears!

“Why Fear When I am Here”

While sitting with the physician in his office as he reviewed the results of my investigations, I received a phone call from one of my former SSE students who was now working in New Delhi. As I finished the call saying Sai Ram, the doctor reviewing my files looked up at me and asked, “Doctor, did you just say Sai Ram on your calI?”

“Yes, I did…”

He then said, “Doctor, I am a Sai devotee, my parents are Sai devotees, and I want to tell you that the surgeon assigned to your case is the best robotic surgeon in Southeast Asia! Have no fear; you are in good hands; Swami is looking after you.”

When he shared this with me, I suddenly realized that our loving Lord was looking after all my needs. I felt at ease all at once!

With His grace, the surgery was completed without complications. As of now, in 2023, I have been cancer free for almost five years!

The story does not end there.

Prasanthi Nilayam is Where and When You Think of Me

This trip to India was the first time after visiting India 10 times that my wife and I did not have a chance to visit Puttaparthi. Thus, we felt very sad. A few days before our return home, my former SSE student invited us to attend a program at the International Sai Centre in New Delhi for the installation of Sai Padukas (holy footwear of Sai).

A large contingent of students from Puttaparthi had joined the program for Veda chanting, bhajans, and Satsang (spiritual discussions) that lasted nearly four hours. We experienced the supreme peace of Prasanthi Nilayam without having to be physically there!

It was now time to return home. After surgery, I would be incontinent for twelve weeks, needing to wear adult diapers, and I viewed with trepidation the 20-hour flight back home. Again, Swami stepped in, and the airline gave us free upgrades to business class without any request. Needless to say, I had a comfortable journey back home! I never asked Him, but our loving Swami still took care of all my needs.

Beloved Baba, we know that You are with us every moment of our lives, loving us, guiding us, supporting us, and encouraging us to have faith in You and faith in ourselves. Please give us the wisdom and faith to understand that whatever happens in our lives is for our own spiritual growth. Sweet Lord, we love You and put our trust in You.

Sai Ram.

Dr. Gautam Tewari  
Trinidad and Tobago  



Dr. Gautam Tewari holds a diploma in Family Medicine. He is a retired physician who practiced family medicine for 41 years. He also served as an Associate Lecturer at the University of the West Indies Medical School. Dr. Tewari came to Swami in 1987 and has served the SSSIO for over three decades. He has held various positions in devotional, educational, and service Wings of the SSSIO West Indies. He is a Central Coordinator of SSSIO Zone 1 for Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.


First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 2, Iss. 10