As my parents were not devotees of Sri Satya Sai, I had no opportunity to meet him when I was young.
After I started to work as a journalist, I accompanied a friend of mine to the Sundaram centre in Chennai when Satya Sai was in the City.
The devotees were seated in an orderly manner in the courtyard of the premises and I too sat with them taking part in the bhajan that was going on.
Sri Satya Sai was seated in a throne-like chair and sometimes graciously strode between the rows of seated devotees. Sometimes he received written prayers from devotees.
Many years passed. I chanced to meet a retired official, a friend of my father in law, who did a lot of social work in the name of Satya Sai. He used to collect medicines from doctors and get them distributed to poor people. He had been doing this seva for decades at great personal effort and some expense.
There was another man who brought diaries and calendars of Baba. My wife hung the pictures along with other Mahatmas our family had come to revere.
In 2010, some friends who were aware of my work as a writer invited me to be the chief guest at a function held by some Satyasai organizations in Chennai. I was asked to say some words at the Balvikas children’s cultural programmes and distribute prizes to students.
While interacting with the kids in the course of distributing the prizes, I felt great joy. I also felt that Sri Satya Sai was using me as an extension of his grace to reach out to the students. From Puttaparthi, he was using me in Chennai to embrace these young kids with affection.
A few days back I chanced to meet a seeker like me on the road. We both spent hours together at various road corners speaking about spiritual things.
He narrated the story of one of his grand uncles. The man had four daughters to give in marriage and scarcely any money. Some time in mid 1950s he heard that Satya Sai was in Perambur and went to met him. He surrendered at Baba’s feet and Baba took him in his fold. All four daughters were married without much effort. This was a real life story.
My friend also narrated the story of another Baba devotee. As a pre university student he had met Baba. He wanted to know what subject to graduate in. Baba asked him the subject he had got the lowest marks in his PUC. It was chemistry. ‘Then graduate in chemistry’, said Baba. Peculiar logic, this! But taking chemistry, the student not only completed his graduation with distinction, but also did his masters and got a doctorate to boot! He is now a professor of chemistry.
Once when I was visiting M.S.Subbulakshmi with my wife, Sadasivam had some time for us and went into autobiographical mode.
Sadasivam who had given away millions of rupees in donations from the proceeds of his famous wife’s programmes was then living in Kotturpuram in a small bungalow that Satya Sai had put at his disposal.
Sitting in the bedroom, Sadasivam told me, ”Baba sat there. He walked to this side and blessed me”. I could see the depth of his feeling for Baba.