Sai is a Great Reformer
Sai is a great reformer. His one look, a word or a smile can bring tremendous change in a person. It is of such remarkable and lasting effect that the recipient of such a treat sheds one of his acquired bad qualities instantly paving way for cleansing himself further. A very senior army officer could not do away with his habit of drinking and eating meat in spite of his best efforts even after retirement. His wife was terribly upset over this as it posed a grave threat to his health, considering his age though he looked stout and healthy. Once he met with an accident fracturing his leg. He was in traction in the hospital. But this did not deter him from drinking like a fish with a good load of meat soon after dusk-fall. To those who visited he unhesitatingly lamented over his own bad habit which he could not get rid of. He loved to hear the stories of Baba, but could not resist the habit just after that. This went on for a few weeks even after discharge from the hospital.
One morning, surprisingly, he phoned to a friend devotee to say that he and his wife were leaving for Bangalore for Darshan. Though his friend couldnot believe, he expressed happiness. They reached Whitefield and got some meagre accommodation outside Brindavan campus (Baba's residence). The facilities were poor and nights were sleepless owing to the swarming mosquitoes. However they had darshan of Swami for two consecutive days. Because of inconveniences caused due to an uncomfortable stay and the bleak chances of an interview they decided to return. So they came back to the Bangalore city railway station, deposited the luggage in the cloakroom and went to the bazaar to purchase a few saris and other items, keeping aside a minimum amount for return journey. But when they came back, to their utter disappointment, they saw a board at the station that 'all trains are cancelled' owing to some disturbance enroute. The question before them was where to stay? They moved to a hotel about 150 yards away from the station for the next 3 or 4 days' stay. The next morning, being free, they decided to go to Whitefield for Baba's Darshan. Baba just passed by his side and Brigadier Khanna asked for an interview so that he could seek the blessings of Baba for (1) expanding his business which he had organised after his retirement (2) for giving up the habit of drinking and (3) for good health. Baba smiled at him, patted thrice on his back saying 'Santosham, Santosham, Santosham'. After moving a few steps to one side Baba again walked towards the Brigadier. Without missing the chance he asked: 'Baba, shall we leave?' Baba just looked and smiled at him as if to say 'you were leaving the other day also, what happened?'
So the Brigadier stayed for another four days, everyday going to Whitefield for Darshan in the morning and returning to the Hotel at Bangalore in the evening. On the last day he again asked Baba for permission to go and Baba said 'yes'. When Baba went to the ladies side He was just before Mrs. Khanna but she could not say anything. Baba again came and stood just before her, but she forgot to touch His feet, as she was overjoyed at His very presence.
Meanwhile Brigadier Khanna had another personal problem to solve. Having spent the extra money he had had with him his purse was getting exhausted with the prolonged stay. Sitting at the Darshan line he was just pondering as to what to do. Someone just pulled him from behind. He was Lt. Col. Krishnaswamy, ENT Specialist and an old friend. 'Do you remember me?' he asked. The Brigadier scratched his head to recollect him after 27 years. Presenting his current problem the Brigadier asked for the telephone numbers of two of his old friends for encashing a cheque. The Col. immediately gave the numbers and the Brig. promptly noted them in his diary. He turned to put back the diary in his pocket and thank him for the help, but the man was not traceable. He sent his eyes up to the gate, but there was none in that direction. With the telephone numbers in hand he rang up Brigadier Naik, Commandant of Land Army who sent a jeep to take him to his office. He collected sufficient money for his next three days stay and return journey.
On the 4th day they boarded a train for Hyderabad where they stayed for the night. The last problem was accommodation in the train for Bhopal. A porter approached him and asked whether he needed accommodation in the train. He straightaway took him and Mrs. Khanna to the TTE and got him two berths - 32 and 33. The porter accompanied them to the bogie to show the seats, but declined to accept the money offered. Brigadier Khanna could only gratefully thank Baba for all the arrangements done for him unasked. But a much greater surprise was in store for him. The chicken and drinks he had had before going to Bangalore were the last, for he never felt the urge anymore.
Baba often helps his devotees with love to reduce their ego and pride to a portable size even in the first encounter. A District and Sessions Judge of one of the districts in Kerala narrated his own personal experiences in 1972. He never objected to his wife being a devotee of Bhagawan Baba or for her occasional visits to Puttaparthi. But he had always warned her against inviting him to accompany her. This went on for quite some time. She has all the time been praying ardently to the Lord to bring him on the track so that the blessings showered by Him could be full and complete.
Once she decided to request him to drive her to Puttaparthi in their car. After initial protests he agreed to go with her on the condition that she would not, under any circumstances, ask him to go inside for meeting Baba. She readily agreed. The car went upto the gate, the wife entered the campus, but the judge remained inside the car. He sat like that for quite some time observing hundreds of people going in but none coming out. After a long wait he felt an insatiable urge to peep in. But then he cautioned himself and remained in his seat. But the prompting from inside was so powerful that he walked towards the gate and, peeping inside, was surprised to see a big crowd of a few thousands sitting and waiting for Baba silently. The perfect silence which is very unusual in such vast gatherings surprised him most. Though he wanted to withdraw, he could not as he was virtually glued to the ground. Suddenly there was a mild hustle and Baba emerged in red robe from a distance. The Judge became curious. And as Baba slowly walked among the crowd, wading across, he suddenly noticed that He was advancing in his direction. A thought flashed across his mind ' if Baba were to come near me, I shall have to bend to look at him downward as Baba was too short for a six foot tall man like me'. In the meantime Baba reached near the spot. And placing both his hands on the judge's shoulders Baba smiled at him. The judge says, "I had to look up to see Baba's face as He appeared to be quite tall, and his slender looking hands were so heavy that my shoulders were being crushed under their weight. I fell at his feet".
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