The Swami In Our Hearts…

The family of Indian Chess Grandmaster and reigning World Champion Vishwanathan Anand has been the recipient of Bhagawan’s subtle grace, that He works through His Unseen Hands. Ranked among the best chess players in the world, recipient of the Chess Oscars and Padma Vibhushan, Vishwanathan Anand speaks about the family’s entry into the world of Sai and how Bhagawan has become the Inner Voice of their hearts. Last week, Anand successfully defended his World Championship title beating challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in a tense rapid tie-breaker crowing the title for the fifth time and fourth in a row. Extracted from Divine Grace, India Today Publication.


In 2007, we moved into our new home. We were told that the closest landmark from our home was Sai Sundaram. Curious to see what Sai Sundaram was, we would take walks to the temple or listen to the Bhajans from our veranda.

In 2009, my father-in-law was very critical in hospital and had taken a turn for the worse. On that appointed day a relative came to our home with Vibhuti that had been distributed after the Bhajan. Within minutes we got a call from the hospital asking us to rush as the situation had become critical. My wife, Aruna during those ten days would visit Sundaram every day. I was travelling abroad.

One day during Bhajans she had tears in her eyes and a member who volunteered over there called her and gave some Vibhuti and a special photo. Every day she would take the photo to the ICU and keep it near her father. My father-in-law recovered and had a long journey to becoming completely alright. As a thanksgiving the family went to Puttaparthi.

Aruna said when she saw Sai Baba, she had just tears in her eyes, she didn’t feel the need to ask Him for anything or give a letter, she felt Sai Baba had seen her and spoken to her.

A year later, I was to defend my world championship title in Sofia. Very strangely, the volcanic ash made it difficult to travel and put my participation in jeopardy. Aruna would remain calm and managed to see that we travelled with as much ease as possible.

Every morning she would listen to the Arathi song and Paramam Pavitram Baba Vibhutim on her iPod. The match itself was very tense and it came down to the last game. Strangely, before the last game, a few minutes before we left, a fan came on internet ‘chat’ and told Aruna, thinking it was me, “Sai Ram, you will win”. Aruna silently thought this was a sign but never mentioned it to me. After the match she said we have to go to Parthi and thank Baba. He gave us the courage to go through this whole experience.

We used to visit Sundaram often and listen to the Bhajans. This, I found, most relaxing. The most impressive thing for me was the dedication, discipline and commitment the volunteers show. Just love can make people do such wonderful things. We visited Puttaparthi on July 27, 2010. We were keen to experience Puttaparthi rather than try and see how close we could get to Baba. In fact, when someone asked if they could help, we simply said Baba knows we are there.

The evening Bhajans was magical and Baba’s presence was indeed special. We witnessed Him giving a necklace to a group of singers. I was amazed at the discipline during the Bhajans and the simplicity and cleanliness in Puttaparthi.

We visited the hospital and I was awestruck at the highly advanced technology that was used to reach out to the most needy. Again the volunteers did a magnificent job ensuring very high standards are maintained. The attention to patients and the care given would exceed even the swankiest corporate hospitals. All this without accepting a single rupee in return! Their devotion to service, I am sure, will not be depleted without the physical presence of Swami.

We returned from Puttaparthi and within a week we realized that we were going to be parents. Strangely, we had never prayed or given it a thought. Similarly, just before Aruna was to deliver, Baba was admitted to the hospital. Four days before Aruna gave birth we were told that Vibhuti was coming from the Baba pictures at Sundaram. It was quite late at night and Aruna was due for her delivery any moment. We stood in the presence and returned home. Aruna mentioned that the child whatever it is, would be Sai something.

That night Aruna dreamt of a baby boy. In a few days we had Sai Akhil. We took Akhil to Sundaram first, when he could be taken out. People have seen great miracles from Baba, spoken to Him. Some refer to Him as a friend or family member. For us Baba is in our hearts; He is the Inner Voice that does not need to speak, but can be heard when we seek for it.

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II