The Power of the Name
I grew up in a very small town in the province of Cordoba in the center of Argentina. When I was in my twenties, my mother, two sisters and I were living a kind of “ashram life” in a simple house with a prayer hall.
We would wake up daily before 6 AM and spend more than two hours chanting Omkar, suprabhatam, meditating, singing bhajans, and practicing yoga asanas. Then, we would meet before lunch for an hour-long session of reading and contemplating upon Swami’s teachings. We would end the day just after sunset with another bhajan session and meditation. The rest of the day was dedicated to working, cooking, and household duties. Personal time was usually less than two hours.
Thus, most of our day was filled with conversations about Swami, listening only to bhajans – especially those in Swami’s golden voice. We would read Swami’s teachings and discourses. We would in essence see Sai, breathe Sai, eat Sai, and live with Sai the entire day.
Several years ago, I had read about Swami’s description about the moment of death. He said that during the moment of death, our last thoughts should be of God alone so we can merge with Him. He also said that this is something that cannot be done by mere wishing. It can happen only if we think of Him constantly throughout our lives. In that sense, our daily routine seemed to be well oriented to purify our lives.
For many years, I prayed for a most cherished experience: to travel to India and have Swami’s darshan in His physical form. That opportunity finally came in 1992, and Swami blessed me with His darshan, sparshan and sambhashan in Prasanthi Nilayam. During that visit, I was also fortunate to meet with the Principal of the secondary school established by Swami. He described to me the daily routine of the students. It was quite similar to our way of life at our home in Argentina. I was very grateful to Swami for guiding us to lead our lives similar to that of Sai students.
One day, I had to repair something in the roof of our house in Argentina. For doing this, I had to climb a wooden structure that supported the roof. I was about four meters above the ground, facing the sky and supported only by my hands and legs. Suddenly, the most unexpected happened. My fingers accidently touched a live electrical wire which was next to the wooden structure. At that moment, I had a stunning experience.
I did not feel my body any longer. I did not see my surroundings, nor was I concerned about hanging from a cable at such a height. All I could see was a bright light and experience a pleasant silence. I was not scared, worried, or wanting to do anything. I was just floating in that non-physical dimension with no worries and no pains related to the body. At times, I felt a smooth vibration that came from nowhere which I realized could have been the electricity that had knocked me out of body consciousness.
After some time, I thought: “This could be my last moment of this life”. Although I thought this way, I was not worried, nor could I do anything about it. I had no control on the situation, let alone over my body. Then, I felt a burst of energy coming from somewhere that was neither inside nor outside me. It ended with a big and loud “Om Sai Ram’’ that resonated in all that illuminated emptiness.
This was repeated, and another powerful burst of energy and “Om Sai Ram” reverberated through me.
Then, for the third time and with more energy the “Om Sai Ram” roared all around me. I heard an explosion and I fell. Below me there was an open door that could have broken my back as my fall would have landed me on top of the edge of the door. Miraculously, as I fell that open door closed by itself. Not only that, but my body which was facing the sky, turned over so that my face and hands were pointing down and I landed on the floor, on my hands and feet. My head also turned so that it touched the soft earth and not the cement floor where I should have normally landed.
At the crucial moment when I received a shock from the electricity, I couldn’t say His name. But His name reverberated through me. I couldn’t control my body, but it was His name that twisted and turned my body so that I did not suffer any injury.
How did it happen? Why did it happen? I do not think I can understand all that. I can only follow His words and practice them as truly as I can. I know He will fulfill all His promises and all His assertions will come true.
Jai Sai Ram
Mr. Pablo Tristan
First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 1, Iss. 2