Om Sri Sairam
On reading Mrs Geetha Mohanram’s thrilling accounts of Swami, a
floodgate of memories tumble out and fill my heart with emotion.
I was a child of 5 years when Swami came into my family’s life. We
remember the golden days when Puttaparthi was so starkly beautiful, when
Whitefields had so many trees and devotees were not such an astounding number as
In the 1960’s Swami was so accessible and darshan was at such close
quarters. He has called us for several interviews and visited our home
at Bangalore. Our first meeting was in 1967. But more of that later. He
has taught us so much and has always been there for us.
I think Swami would like me to first share one story with you that
taught us to value the family and home. With His divine blessings, please let me
We were based in Bangalore in those years. My father initially never
believed in Swami and was very worried at my mother’s “hysteria” and
her strenuous trips to Whitefields. They used to quarrel, because after
packing us four young siblings off to school, she used to recklessly rush off
to Whitefields by crowded buses or train.
At Whitefields, Swami never gave her an easy time. The first time, He
glared at her and chided her in Tamil, “Sanndey poddunum, purushen kittai!”
(“You want to fight with your husband!”). Her embarrassment knew no bounds as
all the devotees around stared at her in puzzlement!
Mother’s bhakti clouded out every thing. After a week’s wait, she was
once more filled with the urge to see Swami. Again, after another
confrontation with my father, she left for Whitefield. This time Swami looked
visibly annoyed at her and He ticked her off in Hindi, “Fight, fight, ghar mei
fight hai.” (“Fight, fight - There are fights going on at home.”) My mother
was extremely hurt and wept at home. She never breathed a word about it to
my father or to any of us.
Heartbroken, she decided not to go to see Swami and remained at home.
Then my surprised father himself asked her why she wasn’t going to see Swami
at all. She quietly said that it was because he (my father) was getting
upset and didn’t seem to like her going. Immediately my father assured her
that it wasn’t anything like that but a worry at the risks she took travelling
to Whitefields alone. He suggested she go by car with a friend instead and
he wouldn’t mind. Promptly, my mother called her best friend who was also
an ardent devotee and joined her car trip to Whitefields. Upon seeing her
in the darshan lines that morning, Swami stopped in front of her, smiled
lovingly and enquired again in Tamil “Vantheingala? Manchenu!” (“Oh you
have come! Blessings!”)
Soon after, Swami visited us at our home and mother grumbled to Swami
about my father preventing her from coming to see Him. He smiled at her and
said in Tamil, “Mahila Samaj - When three ladies get together, the heavens
fall down! This (pointing at my father) is your “kadduval” (god), this
(pointing to our home) is your “kovvil” (temple). Swami is always here. Keep him
(my father) happy. Keep the home happy. Swami is always happy!”
Today, they have come full circle. My father is in his 80’s and my
mother in her 70’s. Sai is their constant companion. They joyously visit the
Coimbatore Sai Mandir together, twice a week. She sings her praises of
the Lord in the bhajan group while my father listens in rapt attention.
Sai’s lesson has been well taught and well learnt. The home and the
family be ever blessed. Om Sri Sai Ram!
With Pranaams at His Lotus Feet.
Indira Jayakrishnan - submitted to SBOI
Inspire Me - index page