Baba As I Saw Him

Swami said, “You are Mine and I Am yours. You belong to this place. You are not from the U.K. You are from Me. God is not working for you, He is working with you.” He then said, “die the mind!” and with a wave of His hand, materialised a diamond watch for me. As He put it on my wrist, He said, “Every time you see this watch, remember, I Am the Time Master.” Read on as Ajit Popat reminisces precious, priceless moments with His Lord! …from Sanathana Sarathi, June 2013.

If you wish to see Me, come to Me.” This was the divine call I received in a dream one fine morning in August 1983. I could not resist the call and made my way, for the first time, to Prasanthi Nilayam the very next day.

Love at First Sight

That first Darshan, I fell in love with Him. I came, I saw and was conquered by Him. I have lost count of the number of visits I have made to this divine place in the last 30 years. I went whenever I felt the divine pull which was so loving and yet so insistent. Each time I returned, the experience was unique and intimate.

I stayed in Puttaparthi for three days on that occasion and before returning to London, I had the privilege of meeting Prof. Kasturi at his residence. I still remember what he said to me that day: “Swami is the Master of time. Remember this, throughout your life.”

I have remembered those words and I have continued to come to the Lotus Feet whenever He willed. I love Him. I have no other way of expressing my feelings for Him. I cannot put it more simply or plainly. I love Him with all my heart.

Become Like Me

In December 1989, a young Englishman decided to take a group of U.K. devotees to Prasanthi Nilayam. I joined the group with my wife and daughter. Christmas at Prasanthi Nilayam, then as is now, was colourful, exciting and full of divine joy. During darshan on the morning of 21st December, Swami said the magic word ‘go’ which we all had been longing to hear. This was the indication for us to go into the interview room. Inside the room, He encouraged us to ask spiritual questions. I could not resist, and asked, “You are always in supreme bliss. You have no concept of pain. How then can You experience my pain?” He simply smiled and asked, “Do you really want Me to experience your pain?” I responded, “yes!” “Then become like Me, pure and selfless. Oil will not mix with water; water will mix with water,” He said.

You are Mine; I Am yours

In December 1990, He willed that I should come to the Lotus Feet as the leader of a U.K. group. After the Christmas celebrations, He lovingly called us for a group interview. During the interview, He looked into my eyes very intently and said, “Do My work.” I said, “I will.” That’s it. I found a new meaning to my life. I got the first real job of my life, and all these years later, I am still doing it. No retirement for me!

I was over the moon with my new-found love and new job. Swami said, “You are Mine and I Am yours. You belong to this place. You are not from the U.K. You are from Me. God is not working for you, He is working with you.” He then said, “die the mind!” and with a wave of His hand, materialised a diamond watch for me. As He put it on my wrist, He said, “Every time you see this watch, remember, I Am the time master.”

Another time, He materialised for me a ring with two heart-shaped diamonds, saying, “Our relationship is Heart to heart. That’s the Truth.”

The divine romance continues to this day. Very lovingly, He made me realise that working with and for God is not easy and yet it is so simple. Become selfless, and serving God is the easiest thing in the world.

First Charter Flight – 70th Birthday of Bhagawan

In 1994, in a group interview, I prayed for permission to bring the first charter flight of devotees from the U.K. for His 70th Birthday. He simply smiled and said, “You come. I will bring them.”

In those days, there were no mobile telephones and no internet and I had no idea where to start to organise the charter flight. “I will bring them.” That is what He had said and that is what He did. He took complete charge as events manager and travel agent (!). He blessed various devotees in the U.K. in dreams, asking them to come. He ensured the flight was full and that all arrangements were taken care of. He granted permission for the flight to land at Sri Sathya Sai Airport. Our Beloved Bhagawan arranged everything for the group in the midst of all that was happening, with all the VVIPS and hundreds of thousands devotees around. He allowed us to sing Bhajans in the Mandir, and on His Birthday, He cut the birthday cake we had brought from the U.K. On 24th November, He blessed the group with Padanamaskar.

On the day of our departure, He asked, “Are you happy?” I said, “Yes, Swami, very happy!” Later, He explained the inner meaning of the word ‘happy’.

“H – be holy; A – be aware; P – be patient; P – be peaceful; Y – be a yogi. Then you will be always happy. I Am your mother, always ready to teach you.”

The divine adventure of charter flights still continues. The last one was in October 2011. Every trip helps me learn new lessons. As long as you live, you learn, and as long as you learn, you live.

Ceiling on Desires

Once He asked me to shut the inner interview room door. I stretched myself, applied full force and shut the door. He at once reacted and said, “Puppet, why so much force? Excessive force is violence. Do not treat this as a door; it is nothing but consciousness. Remember, energy, food, money and time are God. You must learn to respect them.”

He never missed a chance to teach and guide me. Talking about ceiling on desires, He once said, “When you see a thing with a view to buy it, ask yourself, ‘Do I need it?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ ask again, ‘Can I afford it?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ ask again, ‘Can I live without it?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ do not buy it.”

Do you Love all?

Once, during an interview, He asked me, “What is the way to God?” Remembering His own quotation, I promptly replied, “Love All, Serve All.” He smiled and said, “Do you love all? Do you serve all?” Before I could say a word, He said, “You love only those whom you like. Your love is conditional, whereas My love is unconditional.”

Where is God?

On another occasion in a group interview, He asked me, “Puppet, where is God?” I said, “He is everywhere.” “How do you know?” I replied, “I know it.”

My Beloved Lord at once said, “No no; first feel it, then know it. Experience it and then realise it. Simply knowing is not enough.”

See God in Action

One afternoon, Swami came to me during Darshan and asked, “Do you want to see God in action?” I replied in the affirmative. “Tomorrow morning, Grama Seva will commence; go with the boys, you will see God in action.” That was the very first Grama Seva. Out of love and immense grace, He has allowed me to participate in it every year ever since.

Puppet Shows

The divine romance took a very meaningful turn when once in Trayee Brindavan, He asked me to speak on Sai Kutir (Swami’s abode in the U.K.).

“You simply stand and see that you do not fall. The rest I will do.” He not only did everything at all times but also ensured that I did not fall. “Allow Me to hold you and you will not fall. Those who walk with God always reach their destination,” He said emphatically.

Do not Give them too much Time

Blessing me to be at His Lotus Feet, once when I had come with a group of 430 people, He said, “Keep them busy; do not give too much time. You are here for Sadhana. Every moment is golden. Live fully and enjoy the divine play. Be a good example. Be simple. Do not leave this room with doubts. If at all, you need to doubt, doubt the doubt.”

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Once, directly looking into my eyes, He said, “Do not use Me as a paper weight. Here is a multi-million facet diamond. Do not seek things from Me which the world can give. Seek only those things which the world cannot give. And what are those things? Peace and Supreme Bliss.”

Last Interview – 15th January 2011

Despite being unwell physically, after evening Arati, He blessed me to be at His Divine Lotus Feet in Yajur Mandir. He showered immense love on me which only He can do because He is the purest of pure and totally selfless.

Taking liberty, I said, “All Your grace, all Your divine blessings, and the most wonderful time that I have experienced at Your Lotus Feet has become part of me.” My Beloved Lord at once corrected me and said, “It has not become part of you; it has become you!” Rubbing my hand, He said, “Puppet, what has to happen, will happen. What needs to be done, must be done.” It was as though He was giving me a hint about what was to come to pass on 24th April 2011. By His grace, He made me realise on 24th April 2011 that what had to happen had happened, as a result of His Divine Will. Now, it is up to me to do what needs to be done. The million dollar question is: What needs to be done? I pondered the question for a long time and at last found the answer. Did He not tell me on 21st December 1989 in the very first interview? “Become like Me – pure, selfless and full of unconditional love.”

Well, that needs to be done. It has to be done before what is to happen will happen, one day by His Will, when this puppet will meet his loving Puppeteer.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II