Swami…My Best Friend

How often we talk about absolute surrender, and how seldom we come across such noble souls who live the life of complete surrender, knowing and experiencing Him to be the ‘Be All n’ End All’ of everything?!? Ms Rani Java, daughter of Mr C.L. Java, founder of the famed ‘Joy Ice Cream’, is such a living example of ‘absolute surrender’ that, every moment she lives her life in complete dedication to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. The following story has its root in an article published in Sanathana Sarathi, by Ms Rani Java. 

Ms Rani Java was born as a perfectly healthy child, having a wonderful time until the age of four, when, as destiny would have it, the monster called polio paralysed her on the right side, leaving the child almost immovable. Bhagawan had visited Mumbai in 1960, and the little one had her first-ever darshan of ‘Baba’ in her uncle’s house, during the same trip. As a child, she felt a magical, magnetic pull towards Him. She was seated in the corner of a hall, almost immovable, but Bhagawan found His way unto her, amusing the little one with His bounty of love. He spared His priceless time with her, engaging the child with His natural affection.

Having paralysed completely, her father wanted her to get operated. Her father, Mr Java was more of a British style person, wealthy and influential and thus arranged a specialised doctor from Switzerland for the specified task. But, the little girl was firm and resolute, and never wanted to ‘go under the knife’, instead, she longed to meet her ‘Baba.’ She would lovingly address Him as ‘Baba’ those days. The father remained reluctant, but her mother stood by her, firm and resolute, finally bringing her to Prasanthi Nilayam.

Talking about her entry into Swami’s Feet in Prasanthi Nilayam, Rani Java says: “I am very grateful to my servant, who was such a great soul. We met Swami at Chitravathi, and…” Yes, this great soul literally’ threw this little girl at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet! The little one started crying. That was the cry of the little soul in Presence Of The Supreme Soul!!! Cosmic Love He Is With The Love Of Infinite Mothers, Bhagawan instantly grabbed her from His Lotus Feet, materialised some magical sweets, and appeased the agonising child in His own inimitable style.

He then turned towards the servant and asked him: “Why did you throw her on My Feet?” His reply was straight from his heart: “Swami, she is ‘absolutely’ lifeless; it is better if she gives up her life at Your Divine Feet. She is disabled. What will she do? She is a burden on society, on family, on everyone.” Speaking about this incident, Rani Java opens up, expressing her immense gratitude to this noble soul. ‘I am thankful to him as this brought me to Swami’s love and care. I was indeed lifeless; even to go to the washroom, the doctor had to come; I could do nothing because the right side was completely paralysed.’

Bhagawan’s response was something unique: “No, No…” saying so, He instantly patted the little one with great affection. Later, when her mother sought out Bhagwan’s blessing for the operation, Swami was firm, saying, “No, she can’t be operated; today they will cut her leg; tomorrow her right hand, then her left hand and her left leg, and then she will be living only with a limb. Don’t worry, don’t do the operation.”

Saying so, Bhagawan asked the mother to call up Mr Java (in those days, telephone service was an exclusive post office facility) informing that they would not be travelling to Bombay (Mumbai) for the operation. Upon hearing this update, Mr Java was upset and thus furious, as the doctor from Switzerland had already arrived in Mumbai, waiting. Till the time the doctor did not leave the Indian soil, Bhagawan made sure that the mother and daughter were ‘safe’ in ‘His custody.’ Once the doctor left, Swami permitted them to travel back to Mumbai.

An upset Mr Java greeted them back in Mumbai. Yet again, her mother prevailed upon, staying firm, thanks to her intense love and immense faith in Swami. ‘I am thankful to her, my mother, for if it was not for her resolve, I don’t know what I would have been today’ says a grateful Rani Java, speaking about her mother. The mother said, “It’s all right, now that the doctor has gone back, why are you getting upset? We have gone to so many doctors; we will see what happens.” Recalling her childhood passion for Swami as she could gather from her parents later, she says, ‘It seems, as a child, I always had a great yearning for Swami. So, my mother again brought me to Swami. This way, I used to come to Swami nearly every month.’

The little one was especially privileged to go up to Bhagawan’s dining room in Prasanthi Mandir upstairs, carrying His food.  Having this physical disability, she used to be the last one to go up. As soon as she would have reached, Swami would send all other children downstairs, asking the little one alone to stay back. Then He would feed her with ‘His Own Hand’ and would apply Vibhuti every day on her leg. Swami would speak to her in an encouraging tone, “You start walking in Parthi; don’t worry; you will fall, and every fall of yours will be with blood. Puttaparthi will be soaking with your blood; You will get fresh blood, and you will become all right.”

‘I had complete faith in Swami and started walking, falling, walking, falling,’ echoes a grateful Rani Java.  Over a period, with Swami’s immense love, she started walking independently. She was into a convent those days, in Mumbai. The principal and teachers, though were nuns, would respect Swami because they could observe a significant change in her.

Those days, the Puttaparthi Mandir was under renovation, and thus Bhagwan was in Brindavan. He used to send word for them. Swami would instruct: “Java, whenever there is a long weekend, send her and her brother to Brindavan.” Divinely sanctioned, she along with her brother would travel to Brindavan during weekends and holidays, at will. ‘I hardly remember having spent any part of my childhood with my parents; I remember spending most of my childhood with Swami, with Swami’s mother, Mother Easwaramma, Swami’s sister, and Swami’s family,’ records Ms Java.

‘Whatever I wanted, I would look up to Swami and not to my father. He was more to me like a Father and Friend.’ Once Swami said, “Pakoda, you don’t have friends. I will be your Best Friend.” I said, “Yes, Swami.” Her relationship with Bhagawan, as a tiny tot, was a ‘Divinely Amusing’ one, with herself enjoying complete freedom to share with Him anything and everything that she ever wanted. ‘After all, He was my Friend. I never realised or thought that He was God. For me, Swami was my Friend.’

(Ms Rani Java is a Management Consultant by profession and is an old-time devotee of Bhagawan.)

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II