IT WAS A DAY LIKE ANY OTHER AT PRASANTHI NILAYAM. Thousands had arrived from the northern states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh in India. It had, by now, become routine for devotees from different places to arrive in such a way that their pilgrimage dates did not overlap. Thus, all were assured of the precious proximity to Swami. Any group that was visiting Prasanthi Nilayam would come prepared with a program and seek Swami’s approval to offer it. At times, it would be late in the afternoon when the group would know that they would have to present their program in the evening of the same day.
This fact put me on a high alert. Being a photographer, I would have to be ready for programs on any day, at any time. Once, I returned to the studio after a heavy lunch and was feeling very drowsy. I do not even remember when I dozed off. As I slept, I had a dream. I am sharing the diary entry for the dream that day.
“When I slept at 2:50 pm, I had a dream. Swami was seated on a sofa and He seemed to be very pleased with two people who had performed well in a drama. He was calling them, speaking over my head, and I saw that He was about to materialize something. I had my camera with me but I decided that I would watch the creation of the gift and keenly observe the process. So I kept the camera aside. I felt that Swami was going to create two chains at the same time. I was watching when I was suddenly woken up. The time was 3:10 pm.”
During the 20 minutes I had slept, I had Swami’s dream, before being woken up by a phone call. It was my colleague who was on his way to the Radio Sai studio. He told me that he saw a backdrop being shifted into the Sai Kulwant hall and guessed that a program might be presented soon. I got up and got my camera and equipment ready for the evening’s program.
My Dream Comes True
The drama was presented by devotees from Uttaranchal and Uttarakhand and was based on the secret behind the Sai Avatars.
As the drama was being staged, I felt that it was not a good presentation. I fell victim to the weakness of judging! Most of the audience seemed to be laughing quietly at what seemed like a below-average program. But Swami was engrossed in the presentation. That fact alone was enough to show that the presentation was very special. Who am I to judge? At that moment of repentance, something flashed in my mind - the dream that I had a few hours ago!
I turned to my right and saw my physics teacher sitting there. I said, “Sir, though people are laughing at the drama, Swami seems very happy with it. In fact, after the program, He will manifest two gold chains for the participants!” My teacher looked at me with disbelief and I wondered what made me blurt out such a statement!
Soon, the drama concluded, and Swami asked sweetly, "Drama over?" He makes a perfect audience, as He always asks, "Is it over already?" because He is so engrossed in it.
His Divine Love
Swami is always engrossed in the presentation because He sees the sincerity and effort behind it – that is the vital difference between God and man. God sees only the effort and whether it is a fantastic performance or an average one, they are all the same for Him, as long as the effort has been made! Love overcomes all. It is like the parents admiring their children’s performance despite their shortcomings, and He is the divine parent who has unconditional love.
And then, it Happened
Swami called over the dancers and began a circling motion with His right palm. In a flash, there were two gold chains! I exchanged glances with my teacher and began to get goosebumps! This was exactly as per my dream (which I was about to witness had the call not woken me up!) I remembered that in the dream I put down my camera to witness the creation. I was wondering whether that was what I was supposed to do. I had not even completed my thought when Swami called me. I went to Him and He said, “Take pictures! I shall also come down with the children there and pose with them. Take pictures of that also.”
I actually had a video camera in my hand. But I was totally lost in the magic of that moment. He not only showed me the whole sequence of events in my dream, but He was also confirming it by advising me not to stop taking pictures (as I had done in my dream).
It was a very poignant incident and an important day for me. I learned two important lessons.
1. Swami’s dreams do not happen without His will. His dreams are as true as reality.
2. Never judge. It is very hard not to judge but abstaining from judging others helps us take baby steps towards realizing our divinity.
About the Author:
Mr. Aravind Balasubramanya comes from a family that has been devoted to Swami for nearly half a century. Aravind graduated from the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and completed his Bachelor of Science from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL), receiving a gold medal. He also holds an M.S. (Chemistry) and an MBA from the SSSIHL.He worked for Radio Sai from 2007 to 2021. Aravind has authored four books about his experiences with Swami. He was Swami’s photographer for nearly five years. Aravind has dedicated his life to serving Swami and sharing His teachings with one and all through various media channels.
First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 1, Iss. 7