|16th Feb. 2009
Hungarian music & songs programme
Also read: about new
program from February 20, 2009
|Source: radiosai.org - layout design:
Prashanti Nilayam is a potpourri of people from various countries of the world. From the past few days a group of nearly 50-100 devotees from the mid-European nation of Hungary have been awaiting eagerly for a chance to sing in the Divine presence. Puttaparthi is not a totally new place for these devotees. They had come here earlier too, in December 2007, prepared with a music programme for their dear Lord. Each member of the group burned with intense love for Swami and the Heart2Heart team had a chance to speak with them and get their awe-inspiring stories of love and devotion. One of the members was on the verge of suicide after his problems and frustrations got compounded with deafness in both his ears. His ears returned to sound health in a matter of hours with Swami's grace at Puttaparthi! It is strongly suggested that one reads these stories of amazing devotion and profound Grace before continuing to read about what happened today 16th Feb 2007. These are available here click on the links below
That trip turned a little disappointing for some of the members as they could not put up the programme they had prepared for Him. The "senior" devotees consoled and assured everyone else of their group that disappointment is a sure sign to Hisappointment and that His delays are not His denials. Whatever the situation was, these people never let despair get a hold on them. They continued with their daily routine with the same enthusiasm and joy. They would pray and sing in devotion and move about in the ashram in neat lines, chanting the name of the Lord. True to their faith and conviction, the 15th of February saw "Hisappointment" being arranged! As the bhajans concluded that evening, Swami called the secretary of the Central Trust, Mr. Chakravarthy on stage. As per His command, Mr. Chakravarthy, a man of few words, announced, "There will be a programme by the disciplined group of devotees from Hungary tomorrow evening at Kulwant hall." The adjective, 'disciplined', had been added at the insistence of the all-knowing Swami. Prof. Anil Kumar happened to be sitting next to Swami and He told him to make the same announcement in Telugu too! He did it in his own imitable style. How the professor happened to be sitting next to Swami is an interesting thing in itself. A student had made a sketch of Anil Kumar and Swami noticed it. He called the student and on closer scrutiny, He felt that the sketch was a very good likeness of the professor. So He called him and presented the sketch to him. The student was overjoyed at this unexpected recognition from Swami and the professor was delighted at this sudden gift of Grace. And then, talking to Swami and cracking a few funny lines that brought a smile to the Divine face, the professor settled beside Swami and thats how he happened to be there as the announcement of the Hungarian programme was made. The 16th saw all the Hungarian devotees seated in neat rows in the marbled blocks of Sai Kulwant hall. Swami arrived at 4:30pm for darshan and taking a complete round, arrived onstage. Swami took a mini round around the children from the Primary school and needless to say, their Vedic chanting reached boisterous levels. Then He moved via the veranda to the gents side of the stage where about 30 sadhus from the Nilgiris, who had arrived in the morning, were seated. There was great awe and respect on the faces of these sadhus as Swami neared them. All of them got onto their knees and bowed down to Swami. A list of all the sadhus who had arrived was presented to Him and Swami blessed it. A request for a programme by the residents of the hills of the Niligiris was also made to Swami and Swami seemed to consent for it. He blessed all the sadhus and the joy was writ large on their faces. Then, Swami moved to the centre stage and asked for the programme to begin.
|Two ladies came forward and presented Swami with the programme card and a rose. They were so filled with joy and smiles abounded as Swami blessed them They were followed by two members of the gents presenting roses to Swami. After a short speech thanking Swami with all their hearts for the most coveted opportunity to sing in His presence, they started with Aumkaram and chants from the Sanathana Dharma scriptures! The songs then began - and ah! How melodious they were! The accompaniments were the keyboard, guitars, violins, a flute and beaming smiles! The conductor's movement was all grace and beauty as she carried the group forward through the highs and lows of the melodies. The songs were in a foreign tongue no doubt, but the expressions on the faces and the feelings in the air would have been understood by anyone conversant in the language of the heart! The Sadhus and Sadhinis sitting in the hall too seemed engrossed in this for devotion has no barriers of language or religion. It is Love in its purest form towards the Lord who is one. As each song concluded, the worshippers (performers would be a very wrong word to use here) would bow down to Swami and then begin the next. Hearts, throats and mouths opened wide as notes from Hungary filled the air. It was very evident that these people were 'hunger'ing for Divine Love and had decided to partke in the feast that He had so lovingly served. The music was so full of life and energy and yet meditative in its effect. 12 songs were sung in no time and Swami asked, "Any more songs?"|
|They were simply thrilled. The conductor and the leader came up to Swami and receiving those words of Love from Him, began the second innings. One more song later, Swami's hand was going round, materializing a beautiful gold chain for the conductor! Calling her closer, Swami put it around her neck. She just smiled ever so broadly and no words seemed to issue forth from her. Swami then gifted every lady with a beautiful, parrot green sari and every gent with white safari cloth. Prasadam was also blessed for distribution and as this went on, two ladies presented to Swami white hand kerchiefs that they had made for Him. The Hungarian experience proved that the Lord hungers for those who hunger for Him as He opened the ribbon that held the kerchiefs then and there. Taking one of them, Swami immediately wiped His face and the worshippers and the audience clapped in joy. Another man presented Swami with a lamination of mother Mary with infant Jesus and Swami blessed it for him.|
Swami accepted all the letters that were given and the way these people moved and conducted themselves made it very clear as to why Swami had added the adjective, "disciplined" for them the previous day. Swami told them to sing bhajans and they sang two bhajans very well. That was followed by a few bhajans by the students. The bhajans concluded and Aarthi was taken. Swami retired to Yajur Mandir after that.
Behind Every Cloud There is a Silver Lining…
I was the only child with no siblings. But, at the same time, I was also an unwanted child. Right from the beginning I was the cause of much conflict at home. No day passed without some haggling between me and my parents. I used to run away from home trying to find space to hide. My father was an aggressive person and would not mind even hurting me physically.
As a youngster, I had feelings for God, but never understood why my parents were not interested in Him; it was difficult for me to reconcile these mental conflicts. However, my mother did love me very much, and always tried to protect me. [In fact, she is now here in Prasanthi Nilayam (December 2007) and we both would really like to live here permanently!]
When I was 30 years old, I had a serious accident. I had lived my life like most anywhere do – following my desires and looking for happiness outside. But later, I fell sick with a strange kind of illness and I realised that my hearing was deteriorating every passing day.
I underwent many surgeries. During one of the operations, the doctor made a mistake, and cut the nerves to both the hearing organs. I became completely deaf. This was in 1991. I was so depressed and mad with myself that I wanted to commit suicide. I lost all my friends. Nothing interested me in life, and I felt I was useless. I became very aggressive and disrupted whatever little harmony prevailed at home.
I later married and we adopted an eight year old boy. I did my small job, but always kept away from people; I never sought anyone’s help. It was my wife and son who always stood by my side. Three years ago (2004), I was in a big financial crisis with many debts to pay; I almost lost the apartment I owned with my mother. I had no friends whom I could go to for help. It was a moment of great trial and frustration, and I thought there has to be some meaning to what I was going through. I wanted to know why my destiny was so cruel, and started to question everything about my life.
I went to a counsellor who said that it is important for me to identify the root of the problem, and also suggested I go to a Sathya Sai Baba centre. After visiting the Sai Centre, I took a basic course in Human Values, as well as a Self-Awareness course. I learnt a lot about Sai Baba and His Teachings. I also heard that a group from Hungary had gone on pilgrimage to see Sai Baba, and that their lives improved considerably after receiving His Blessings.
There was another group that was preparing to go to Prasanthi on January 3, 2006. Somehow, I managed to find a job which gave me enough money to pay for the ticket, and so I joined that group. This was how I came to see Baba for the first time. When I alighted from the plane in Bangalore, I felt it was a special place, and when I stepped inside Puttaparthi, I was in a joyful, dreamlike state.
I phoned my family in Hungary to share my happiness, but they didn’t seem to understand why just being in Prasanthi Nilayam filled me with so much joy. I read a book called ‘Unity is Divinity’ and understood who God is. I knew it was possible for me to feel His Presence.
Ah! His Magical Gift!
During that trip, the Hungarian group of 168 people had an interview with Swami in the Bhajan Hall, and I had the blessed chance to sit in the front row, almost beside Him. Swami asked me my name and I told Him; then He held my hand and created Vibhuti. After pouring the sacred creation into my hand, he communicated to me that I should put the Vibhuti in each of my ears for a few days, and that everything would be alright.
He was speaking with me through a translator (who spoke loudly). I could not hear Sai Baba’s voice due to my deafness, but as the translation went on, I could feel what Swami was saying.
And after that night, something incredible happened. The next morning, I woke up and cleaned out the Vibhuti in my ears to put in the hearing aids, which I used to wear even though they did not help me much, except making few noises audible. I turned them on and placed them in my ears, and then immediately I had to take them off! The sounds were too loud! I then turned down the volume, but later I took them out, and to my amazement I could hear everything clearly!
I ran to call my mother, and told her I could hear. I could talk with her and hear everything clearly. I was ecstatic. After so many years, I could hear my mother’s voice. It was like I received a new life. From then on, I realised that I had to change my life completely. I had to improve my relationships with people. I wanted to understand Sai Baba’s Teachings more and understand the true meaning of life.
After that blessed interview, I was sitting in the Mandir, and I suddenly found beautiful thoughts filling my mind in the form of a poem. I did not know where those words were coming from, but I was so thrilled; I ran out and grabbed a pen and paper to write them down. Later, the Sai Organisation of Hungary published them in their official magazine.
The Inevitable Transformation
After I returned home that year, my life took a U-turn. Everything around me became better, be it my family life, relationships with people or my financial position. My whole experience of my life was enhanced.
The doctors, who performed the failed operation, had told me I could not possibly hear again, as the damage was too much to repair. I had gone to a university hospital for a second opinion, and they too had said: “Only the good Lord can give you back your hearing.”
When people asked me how I got my hearing back, I tell them God gave it back, and narrate my experience with Sai Baba. My first doctor believes me, but as a professor of medicine, he is unable to understand or explain the incident. Some doctors have even questioned about the Vibhuti - they wanted to examine and investigate if it was a new medicinal cure!
“Wherever you are, you are Mine…” – Baba
That year, after I returned from Sai Baba, a second miracle happened. One day, my neighbour was very drunk and attacked me with a big crowbar. Before the iron bar hit me, the man suddenly fell down – he could not hit me for some strange reason. I believe it was because of the positive energy around me. At that moment, in spite of what he was doing, I only had love for him in my heart and I showed it to him spontaneously. I think this is what changed the situation and saved me.
Later, we had a tragedy in our family. I was driving to see my parents, and suddenly I saw a coffin, which caught my attention. When I arrived, I saw my father lying on the bed; he said he was sick maybe because of what he had eaten a few hours ago, and that he would be fine soon. But I felt his condition was more serious than that.
I wanted to help him stand up, but he kept falling onto the bed. I realised the situation was critical and called for an ambulance. As we were driving to the hospital, the medics kept checking his parameters, and they found that there was something wrong happening in his brain, and soon one half of his body was paralyzed.
After a few hours, my father passed away in the hospital, I learnt later that it was more because of an overdose of drugs than anything else. But I consoled myself as I know my father would never have wanted to live in that debilitating condition. I did not harbour any hatred or anger toward the doctors as I realised they were simply instruments of God, just as the doctor who made the mistake with my ears, without which I would have never come to Swami and seen so many beautiful changes in my life.
I pray to Swami every day and always express my gratitude to Him for what He has done for me.
If that was the life-altering experience of Mr. Laszlo Daloki, here is another revealing account from a senior lady, Clara, who had come to see Swami for the first time in December 2007. Though the journey and stay were not easy for her, given her advanced age, Clara narrates how the trip left her stronger than ever – physically and spiritually.
The Might of the Spirit
This is my first time here, and it has been hard due to my age, but at the same time, I am very happy to be here. My experience did not start here, in Prasanthi Nilayam, but in my heart, in my home town in Hungary. I had been preparing for a month for this trip, and when I arrived, I felt I had come home. I have known about Swami for some years now, and decided that finally it was time for me to come here. I know the body lasts only for a short period, but the soul is eternal.
There have been some hardships here such as sitting for long periods, twisting my ankle, etc., but it also enabled me to let go of my resistance to ask for help. I knew it was only my ego being proud; this is one of things I had to overcome. When I sat quietly before Darshan, thought of Swami and visualised Him, my spirits rose beyond the physical inconvenience.
I became part of the choir to be close to Him. During the practice sessions, I was thinking of Swami so much that my whole attitude changed and my spirits lifted. Being in the group, brought me closer to Him. I had many feelings of devotion for Swami before I came here, but when I saw Him for the first time, this feeling of love for Him became more elevated and stronger than ever.
If I could express how much Swami means to me, I would answer with a song which means “Deep within my heart and soul, I find the Being without form” - which is a description of Swami. I feel this so deeply that I cannot express it in words. There is a happy end to this story. I was walking to my room feeling the pain in my ankle, accompanying another lady who had poor eye sight. As we helped each other along, we were talking about Swami, and suddenly the pain disappeared.
The third Hungarian we spoke too, was a young man, Imre, who also saw Swami for the first time in December 2007. What impact did Swami’s Darshan have on him? Imre narrates:
I came to know of Swami three years ago, and later heard of this group pilgrimage to Prasanthi. Luckily, there was a place for me to travel and the journey to Puttaparthi was quite beautiful.
My first days here were tough as I was quite sick. I also found my back aching sitting in the Darshan Hall for long hours. But when I first saw Swami and experienced His Endless Love, I knew my decision to visit Prasanthi was right. During our second Darshan, Swami took all our letters, and I was crying like a baby for 15-20 minutes. I could feel His Unceasing Love and Grace for me.
His Mesmerizing Presence
Often, during Darshan, I could smell this beautiful fragrance which I cannot describe. I felt as though someone was embracing me. I felt as if I was being purified.
In the beginning, I did everything by myself and did not want to be a part of the group. I am a self-made man; I have always done things the way I wanted to do, I have earned enough and have been quite successful. But during the practice sessions of group songs, I realised I should be part of the group, and felt the power of the unity of the group. Though I normally do things my way, here, in the group I felt the call of service.
I love Baba. And when I see the eyes of many people here, I see the reflection of His Endless Love; my objective is to keep this feeling alive in myself. If I had the opportunity, I would have stayed longer here, nevertheless, I return happier, rich with all these beautiful experiences I have had here. I am also regretful as I have to leave.
And here is another moving personal experience from Cecilia, a young lady, who too had come to see Bhagavan for the first time in 2007. But Cecilia had seen Swami and experienced His Presence even before physically seeing Him. So, how did she feel when she saw Swami in Prasanthi? Here is her account:
“Yes! I am home, I am here!” – Cecilia
This is my first visit here (December 2007), but when I was planning to come here I felt I was coming home. When I got here I said to myself, “Yes! I am home, I am here!” In my heart, in my life and in my soul I feel this wonderful feeling. I first heard about Swami ten years ago. At that time, I felt I was not ready and did not take any further interest in Him.
Since I was a little girl, I have had Jesus Christ in my heart, but a few years ago I went to an esoteric school and started to know more about Sai Baba and His Teachings.
About one year ago, a big group returned from Prasanthi Nilayam. They were blessed with an interview and they shared beautiful experiences they had with Swami. After I heard their sacred stories, I realised that I too need to come closer to Swami.
Not long after this, I was on my balcony, and felt Swami appeared to me and entered my heart. I saw Swami’s Form clearly and He looked deep into my eyes. I even felt His Hair as if He was really there - it was such a real experience.
When I had my first Darshan, I saw Swami from a distance and was a little disappointed as I could not feel that strong Presence I had felt in my vision and experience on my balcony. The next day, however, I went inside the Bhajan Hall, and while waiting for Swami before the bhajans started, I felt His strong Presence even before Swami arrived; it is a feeling I cannot explain.
“For me, Swami is God – no question about it!” - Cecilia
I have no conflict at all being a follower of Jesus and coming to see Sai Baba. I feel, in my heart, it is all One - only God exists.
Swami has helped to end my six years of unemployment, and now I work in a pharmacy where I also speak about Swami to anyone who is interested. Also, I wanted to have a husband, and after getting to know about Swami, reading His discourses and thinking about Him, I met my partner; I am very happy.
Since I have become more aware of Swami and His Teachings, I have started to have more self-esteem; I am more sure about myself, and I am able to stand up for myself and my beliefs, and also for others who need help. For me, Swami is God – no question about it!
Dear reader, what we have offered you in
this small compilation is only a glimpse of how the Lord is changing lives of
millions in His own myriad ways. Out of the about 180 Hungarians who were in
Prasanthi, we have here the stories of only four, whom we spoke to randomly. In the
inner recesses of every devotee, there is a tale that can touch the lives of a
thousand others, for; such is the inscrutable Glory of Sai!
By Mrs. Szilvia Szaraz, Hungary
When I was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1976, the communist rule was on. As a result, life was pretty simple as we did not have many things to buy. In a way, it was healthy for family life, because we were protected from many desires and temptations that the West is flooded with.
Growing Up in a Testing Time
In my family, I had my brother who is older than me, and we grew up with no great problems; we enjoyed a good relationship with our parents. But when I reached 14 - an age when teenagers change a lot, especially in the West - I felt a little strange because I discovered that I had a different way of thinking. I did not find society’s ways fulfilling and I wanted to find my own way to be happy. I felt something was missing. At just that time, Communism in Hungary was nearing its end; life, in the whole country, was undergoing a sea change, and I was changing too. After 40 years of communism, everybody was searching for something new, and as a teenager, I too could feel this excitement and turmoil.
In my school the teachers wanted every student to obey them unquestioningly. But I was a bit rebellious and this did not go well with them. Though I was a talented kid, I did not feel comfortable in that educational system, as I felt so deeply that something was lacking. Now, of course, I know that we had ignored our inner human values. But at that time, I could not figure out what could fill my emptiness. My life was in complete disharmony, be it in the school, with friends or anywhere.
Finding the Path to Self Enquiry
But there was one saving Grace. I had a teacher, a kind lady who taught us like Plato and Socrates, always asking us questions and encouraging interaction. I really enjoyed her classes in literature. Now, when I look back, I think this was the basis of my later inner searching. She always made us question and probe, and that was very good for me, because I then started to enquire into myself ‘”Why do I do certain things?”, “Why do I act like this?” That was the beginning of my search, and the journey inside. It helped me to understand people, and more importantly, myself. I did not know then that she was a very spiritual lady. Today, I am extremely grateful to her because what she did then is what every teacher should be doing with their students.
The ‘Pleasures’ of Freedom
When the country opened up too quickly, society started to get westernised vigorously. Gone were the days of less choices and limited freedom, now everyone thought they would be the happiest in the planet because they had so many things to buy. Everyone was trying out new things and I was no exception. I went out with friends and ventured into discotheques, took to alcohol, tried drugs, etc. - I did not want to miss out on anything that was ‘fun’. Different kinds of things were coming into Hungary – all at once, and for a few years, I thought it was all good excitement.
But when I reached 20, there was still something missing! I felt a deep emptiness within. I had started working when I was 17, refusing university as I thought it would be too restrictive. So, I went into media and learned how to sell advertising for newspapers and was quite proficient at my job. I had to call different companies and advise them about the best ways to sell their products.
At that time, this was a new concept and big companies had no advertising agency, so they listened to my advice on where they should spend their money. I earned a good amount and with it came freedom. I wanted to be independent from my family; so I saved money and bought my own flat. I travelled a lot too to different countries, as I was searching for something that could quieten my inner disharmony. For the next five years I explored a lot outside, as that was where I believed my happiness lay.
Captivated by Pure Love
When I was 21, I read a well-known book The Celestine Prophesy, written by an American James Redfield. That touched my heart; it taught me to look inside. That was the first step, and after that I read many spiritual books. And intuitively I felt ‘at home’ with the ideas and philosophies some of these books were talking about. I got more interested in this line of thought and joined a metaphysical school when I was 22.
This will give me in depth knowledge, I surmised. The teacher of the school happened to be a Sai devotee and one day, he showed us a video about Sathya Sai Baba, it was called Pure Love. When I saw that video, I do not know why, I cried a lot. Baba instantaneously touched my heart. As He walked slowly with the beautiful music playing in the background, my whole being was overhauled. I asked my teacher, “Who is this person? I want to see Him.” He said, “We are going to India shortly, you can join us.”
So, late in that year, 1999, I was in Puttaparthi and my first Darshan was from about 50 meters away. The moment I had a glimpse of Him in the car, I began to cry! It was as if my heart was just pouring out. “I’ve arrived home,” I knew, very strongly. I was simply ecstatic to be in Puttaparthi; He touched my heart so deeply.
I realised I had found what I was searching for so many years outside. It was a moment of great revelation because that which I had journeyed from country to country seeking, was here in Puttaparthi! I started to study His teachings and feel the Love that He is. Imagine a kid who had lost her parents in a big shopping mall, pitiably crying and frantically searching, when all of a sudden, she finds her mother! That was how ecstatic I was when I came to Puttaparthi and saw Baba. And as I read His books more, I realized I had to change many things in my life - how I act, look, think, everything had to go through the Sai workshop. My life took a complete U-turn. I changed comprehensively.
Learning at the Sai School
I stayed for five weeks on that first trip to His Lotus Feet and had to spend a lot of time in introspection. It was a painful and profound moment in my life when I had to finally leave, painful because I did not want to return to my old environment which did not give me happiness, and at the same time profound as now I had found my life’s purpose. I had always felt that my life had a unique objective, a great task was awaiting me, but I could never understand what it really was, though at times I sensed that maybe something nice will happen to me. But when I met Sai Baba I understood what I needed to do - that is, to work with people. When I was a kid and somebody asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I would say, “I want to work with people.” I didn’t really understand much of what I said then, but everything became clear in that first visit to Puttaparthi.
When I met Him, I realized I have to live His way. He was truly what I was looking for. He found me and gave me meaning in my life. I have not had much physical interaction or interviews with Swami, but I have had many “inner-views”. I feel Him inside, around me, and in my house. I know He is with me and helping me in my work and every situation.
When we started to build a house in 2000, He came in my dream and said, “I’m very happy that you’re building. Build.” The word “build” has two meanings in Hungarian. It also means to ‘build’ or improve oneself. Therefore, when He said, “I’m very happy that you’re building”, I woke up and was filled with joy.
Sometimes I feel God is prompting me to act in ways I could not do by myself. Once I was sitting in a crowded Metro train in Budapest. There was a man standing in front of me and next to him, very close, was a lady. I realized that the lady was actually a pick-pocket. I was not a very courageous or confronting person at that time, but at that moment I instantaneously hit the lady’s hand hard when she tried to steal the purse – that was surely not ‘me’ acting as I did not think about it. The thief was shocked and immediately took to her heels.
On another occasion, we were on a trailer carrying some fencing posts and wire, with my father on the driving seat. It was a heavy load and suddenly, one of the wheels just gave away. And the car went totally out of control. We were swinging directionless from one side of the road to the other. And at this time, we saw another vehicle approaching us from the front. My father was panic-stricken. I just prayed, “Oh, my God, please, help me! Help me!” And the next moment, you may not believe, the car suddenly stopped! It was as if the car reacted on its volition. The accident was timely averted. And the next best thing that happened was that the people in the cars behind us, who could not go forward because of the posts that had fallen on the road, came out and wholeheartedly helped us in clearing the road. There were so many willing to help! I was overwhelmed and thanked the Lord immensely.
Pilgrimage of Grace
I have felt His Love in so many situations. The story of how I made it to Puttaparthi this year (December 2007) is also amazing. My husband and I wanted to join the Hungarian group, but we were not in a position to afford it, so we gave up the idea. When there were two weeks left for the group to leave Hungary, I received a phone call from one of the office bearers in Budapest. She said that some of the group members had collected enough money for me to travel as they felt, being a national coordinator, I must be part of the group. But they had only enough to pay for mine and our little son’s ticket. They could not arrange resources for my husband.
On one hand, I was touched at this gift from Sai Baba through others. I felt His presence - that He’s calling me to Puttaparthi with the group. I had a glimpse of Baba touching my heart. But on the other hand, it was a very difficult situation too. I was sad that Baba had apparently called only me and my son, and not my husband. He was concerned as my son is only 15 months old. He slowly reconciled to this fact and said to himself, “If Baba is calling them, I should let them go” and started practicing detachment from me and our child.
Our journey was just seven days away and now I get another phone call from one of the centre leaders who were responsible for organising the journey to India. She tells me that a lady had cancelled her trip to India and is offering her ticket to my husband! Moreover, after we return, we could pay in instalments. And later, when the lady learnt that my husband is a graphic designer, she said, “Oh, very good, then he can do some work for me, he doesn’t have to pay anything at all”. So the whole trip was a gift from Sai! He shows us His love in so many ways, through so many people.
I had another experience a few years ago during an earlier visit to Puttaparthi. I had seen many times that whenever Swami creates Vibhuti, after distributing it to the blessed recipient, He would accept a handkerchief from the sevadal lady sitting near by to wipe His Hand. I developed a strong desire to have such a kerchief.
There was a lady doing security duty, with whom we had some contact, and one day as we were talking to her about our Baba experiences, she invited us to her home. During our conversation at her place, she said, “You know what happened? I was sitting working in the Mandir and Sai Baba materialized vibhuti quite some distance away. But He called me over to give Him the handkerchief. And this was unusual, because He always asks for the handkerchief from the person closest to Him.” And then she showed us the handkerchief touched by the Lord, and said, “You know, I would like to give this to you.” I was thrilled. Sai Baba had fulfilled my innermost wish! Today if we have any illness, we put this sacred cloth touched by Sai on that part of our body. He cares for us in many different ways.
Today, when I look back and see the last eight years of my life, that is after I had my first darshan in 1999, I notice a tremendous change in my personality. I have become calmer and friendlier. I am no more arrogant or aloof. I have realised that I’m not different from others and all I need to do is to be humble. And most importantly, if I have any talents, I have to use it to help others, and not for my own ambitions and desires.
A Sign of Responsibility
How I became the National Coordinator of Hungary is also an interesting story. When I returned to my country after the first trip, I joined the Sai Organization and started to work hard in translating many English books into Hungarian.
The founder of the Organization was a lady who served as the National Coordinator for thirteen years. Earlier, she had been living in Australia for many years, but after seeing Bhagavan she felt that she must bring His message back home, and therefore, returned to Hungary and started the Sai Organization.
After being in charge for such a long period, she felt it was time to move on but couldn’t find anyone who could speak English, work hard and also had other exemplary qualities. But after knowing me for some time, she thought I was the right person, but it took a few years before I could fill the position. (I needed a minimum of two years experiences as a center leader too.)
Before taking the responsibility, I came to Puttaparthi with my husband in 2005, and I was asking myself, “Am I the right person for the job?” I wanted Swami’s opinion, and was looking for any confirmatory divine sign. One day, in the Mandir, the National Coordinator of Belgium saw me sitting in the public area and called me to the coordinator‘s place where she was, and said, “Why are you sitting there, Szilvia?” At that time I was a Deputy National Coordinator. “Your place is here as the Coordinator, why do not you come and sit in front with us?” she continued. For me, it was a sign from Swami that I should take the new role. And the founder lady said, “You are the right person. Be courageous. Don’t be afraid.” So I went and asked permission to sit with the national coordinators and as time went by Swami helped me to be more self-confident and hear His voice inside.
Listening to the True Self
I underwent a process of coming to trust my inner voice and conscience. One day I was sitting in the first row and saw a Brazilian lady who always came late and sat at the back for darshan. I felt I should give her my place because I thought maybe she has a genuine reason for being late. I was still a little confused and asked Sai Baba inside, “Please Sai Baba, show me if I am doing the right thing in giving her a place. Please open your window during Darshan and look at me if this is right.”
And when Baba came out after few minutes, He turned down the glass of the window and looked straight into my eyes ! I instantly realized what I felt inside was right. Later, I met that lady and learnt that she was a doctor and was very busy with the patients in the General Hospital. I was then completely convinced that I must always be self-confident and follow my heart.
There was another situation which happened after a couple of weeks, concerning a lady who was leaving Puttaparthi shortly. I was in the first row again and had a feeling that I should give her my place. But another lady told me to give up the idea and so persuaded by her, I did not move. When Swami came near where I was sitting, He just turned His face suddenly to the other side and after He passed me returned His looks again to my side. That was a definite sign for me that I didn’t do the right thing. I learnt again to listen to what He tells me from within – my conscience. I should not listen to others; He is inside me, leading me and teaching me. I feel He is directing me every moment. This self-confidence has helped me to carry out my role as National Coordinator more self-assuredly. I enjoyed giving presentations during our youth meeting the previous year (2006), we had lectures on “spirituality in marriage” and how Sai Baba guides us in our lives to progress together on the spiritual path.
In Budapest, we have been able to undertake many service activities. One we worked on last year was to build a house for a poor lady in the countryside. We toiled together and did it all by our selves.
We also give food to the homeless and visit the old, talk to them, stage a program to give them joy and gift them with articles they need. In other cities we are working with orphans by providing them with a sports program and craft activities, and poor families are offered means to earn their livelihood, not just food.
Swami continues to test and teach us in many ways. On this (Dec 2007) pilgrimage we came with an extensive programme of singing to Him. We practiced a lot but for some reason He knows best, we never got an opportunity to perform before Him.
But we accepted this to be His will. Moreover, more than songs, what this music program did to us was great because for so many days we were together, singing, practising and working hard. This has created a wonderful team spirit within us. And this certainly is a big plus for the Organisation. Now, all I want is to be a good instrument in His Hands and find God in myself.
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Also read: about new program from February 20, 2009
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