My ‘trip’ to Puttaparthi…

Bhagawan at Shirdi would often repeat that, let His man be at any distance, a thousand koss (an Indian unit, measuring distance) away from Him, he will be drawn to Him like a sparrow, with a thread tied to its feet. When He wills, His Will turns into accomplishment… He chooses the right time for the right action. This is all the more true for a fledgling pilgrim who is about to reach Him. How William Hwehu Ansah, Accra, Ghana was drawn to Prasanthi Nilayam and how Bhagawan cleared him out of one last bit of skepticism…?!? …An interesting experience from December 1979 issue of Sanathana Sarathi.

Towards November 1977, our centre invited names of devotees who would like to make a trip to Puttaparthi. It never occurred to me to immediately give my name since I considered it would be presumptuous for a penniless public servant to think of making such an expensive trip.

Soon after this, I started seeing Swami in my dreams. The first night I woke up with a rather vague feeling that I should think of going to Puttaparthi. I discarded the thought immediately. The next dream was more detailed and lengthier. I was in a little village living in rooms with a lot of people some of whom were from my centre and with whom I ate together. Next I saw myself in front of a tall building which had protruding platforms on the first floor. Bhagawan was on the ground floor and I was doing Namaskara. At this time I didn’t know that to dream of Bhagawan was a privilege and not an ordinary occurrence and I again dismissed the dream as my silly imaginings. My third dream was a most peculiar experience. I saw only the face of Bhagawan for an instance or two; whereupon I was forced awake in the middle of the night in a sweat with a clear command that I should go to Puttaparthi!

After giving so much trouble to Swami in my inexperience and innocence, I finally gave my name to the planning committee without an inkling of where the money for the trip was coming from. I need not have worried! Within the next few days I made three times my annual salary simply because a friend of mine, for no compelling reason, decided to sell a huge consignment of imported goods through me and give me a percentage of the profits.

So the stage was set and need I say that all other arrangements and requirements went through without a hitch? Need I also say that those from the centre I travelled with were some of the faces I saw in my dream? So, we got to the village late on the 21st of November. The last thing on my mind was my dreams but a friend decided to take me round and as we made the turn to the back of the bhajan hall, I stopped dead in my tracks. My friend asked what the matter was and I muttered something incomprehensible to him but what had stopped me was the fact that my dream was staring me right in the face in all its details—the two protruding platforms and rather surprisingly, the architecture and colours of the structure which I remembered very well.

My surprise was not too great then when my private interviews were granted in a room on the ground floor and I did my Namaskara exactly where I had dreamt it! (I went to one of the interviews with my fingers shorn of all rings having made the wish that Bhagawan would give me a ring. As the interview progressed, my wish crossed my mind and at that instant Bhagawan interrupted His discourse, turned to me and said “Tomorrow I will give you a talisman!”)

But all these surprises were nothing compared to what I experienced when I was bidding farewell to Bhagawan.

“When are you coming again?” He asked. I was not expecting the question as the thought of being lucky to come again was far from my mind. I was therefore flustered and in my delighted confusion I blustered out that I didn’t know and that this time I came because I had had a dream and…

Bhagawan interrupted in a tone which seemed as if He was irritated. I was recounting something He already knew about.

“I know, I know,” He said shortly and patted my back.

I cracked up emotionally and stumbled out. I had to sit on the short wall to recollect myself. Poor human beings that we are, after all that I had seen and heard, I guess my mind had still entertained a little doubt about the omniscience of Bhagawan or whether indeed He sent those dreams to me. The last evidence shattered me out of that skepticism once and for all!

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II