We all know that God resides within us. But what happens when the Indweller decides to make His presence known? Dr Praveen Kumar Lavudi, a scientist by profession, experienced the presence of the omnipresent in His life at a time He prayed for divine intervention. And that experience changed his life. Read on to find how an experience of the divine kind opened up many spiritual realms for this man of Science.
My family came into the Sai fold about three decades ago. While I have known and worshipped Bhagawan all my life, it was only recently, after attending the National Youth Meet in Muddenahalli last year that I truly grasped the grandeur of the avatar that He is!
I was introduced to the subtle presence of Bhagawan by my Professor P.D.N. Srinivasu, who is an alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. When I was at the final stage of my Ph.D. programme, in the month of April 2015, Professor Srinivasu told me about the upcoming Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality at Muddenahalli in May. Since the topic was of great interest to me, and I held my professor in high regard, I decided to attend the event. Within the next couple of days, my brother and I registered for the course. And I can now say with immense conviction that attending the course has changed my life!
Both my brother and I experienced tremendous joy and were wonder struck at some of the interesting life lessons that were taught and discussed there. The explanation of SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound and the rich, spiritually-significant statement – I to We to He – influenced me immensely.
Being in the presence of spiritual aspirants and stalwarts, all looking to better themselves and seek God was an eye-opening experience in itself. I remember intently praying to Swami to help me complete the PhD programme successfully and thereafter help me secure a job near Muddenahalli, while I attended the Summer Course. And soon enough, He obliged and granted both my requests. After the successful completion of my doctorate, I got a job at the Indian Telephone Industries Limited in Bangalore, just as I had wanted!
Ask, and you shall receive
The Summer Course helped me form an inner connect with Swami, and over time I learned to listen in and depend more on the inner guidance. In the month of March, 2016, when I was visiting Scientific Analysis Group (SAG), DRDO, New Delhi on a work-related trip along with a senior colleague of mine, I had a life-altering experience!
We were staying at the Ashoka International Hotel in Karol Bagh and for our return journey to Bangalore, we had booked our tickets on the Rajadhani Express, scheduled to leave the Nizamuddin Railway Station at 8.45 pm. On the day of our return journey, we went shopping in the neighbourhood, and later took a taxi to reach the railway station, at about 7 PM. But even after an hour of the taxi ride, we were nowhere near the station. We were stuck in the infamous New Delhi traffic! We began to worry that we would not make it to the station on time and therefore would miss our train. After 15 more harrowing minutes of being stuck in the traffic, my colleague questioned the driver if we would be able to reach the railway station on time. The driver explained to us that if the current traffic conditions prevailed, it will not be possible to reach the station on time. My colleague was aghast when he heard this. I was also worried.
So, I sought some divine intervention by praying to Swami and started chanting the Sai Gayathri. It was then that I heard a pleasant, soft and mellowed voice. It said “You will reach. Why are you worried?” At first, I thought the voice I heard was just my imagination. I didn’t bother and continued chanting the Sai Gayathri. But our taxi hadn’t moved even an inch! Again, I heard the same voice assure me, “You will reach. Why are you worried?” But this time, the voice continued, “Now you will come across an auto. Take it and you will reach the station 5 minutes prior to the departure of the train”. By now I was intrigued and told my colleague that that we should take an auto now and if we do that we will be able to reach the station. He gave me the strangest look ever! But I wasn’t processing all that. My eyes were looking for the auto the voice had promised will come and just as predicted, an auto stopped beside our taxi. My colleague started talking to the auto driver, asking him if he could take us to the railway station. The voice intervened again and said, “Don’t bargain the fare for auto. He will ask you to pay Rs 100. You give him the money”. To my continued surprise, the auto driver asked for the same amount. So, we decided to take the auto. As we were travelling in the auto, I heard the voice jokingly rebuke me saying, “Why did you two not think of these difficulties when you were happily shopping at Karol Bagh?” By now, I had realised that it was the sweet voice of our Bhagawan and I was thrilled to the core. The Lord had come to the rescue of His devotee, me!
While we were now in the auto and seemed to be making a decent speed, my colleague still wasn’t sure if we would reach the station in time. He was very anxious, understandably. But I wasn’t. My Swami had assured me that we would reach and with five minutes to spare. In the entire journey to the station, Swami kept talking to me and I forgot myself and my surroundings completely. My mind, heart and soul were fixated on Swami’s voice only. As the auto driver was taking us through some narrow lanes and short-cuts, Swami would tell me in advance the route and the turns the driver would take. The auto driver was quite fast and soon, as divinely ordained, we were soon at the railway station.
After we got down, my colleague picked up his luggage and started running towards the station, asking me to do the same. I paid the auto driver, collected my luggage and started running along with him. Again, I heard Swami ask me, ‘’Why are you running? Go slow.” Following His instructions, I did not run. Observing this, my colleague got angry and thought I was careless. I wanted to explain it to him, but couldn’t. He quickly ran towards the station and stood in the queue, which was meant to frisk the passengers and their luggage. I was walking slowly towards the queue, when Swami told me “Why is he standing in the queue? You both will not be checked by the police. The train is on platform number 1. You take your seats and relax.” Spontaneously, I told my colleague, “It seems we will not be checked by the police and that the train is on platform number 1.” He gave me another strange look. But almost instantaneously, we got called by the cop standing there, and he asked us to enter the platform through another gate. Soon, we were seated comfortably on our seats in the train and we still had five more minutes to spare!
As we were relaxing in the train, we saw an aged couple enter the compartment in a rush and take the seats opposite ours. They were panting for breath and the lady fell unconscious on the seat. Seeing her condition, many people gathered around to find out what happened. I was also worried and I heard Swami assure me that she would be fine. “Give her water and she will get up in three minutes”. He said. Before I could help, her husband poured some water into her mouth and she got up in three minutes, exactly as guided by Swami.
Once train started, I didn’t hear from Swami again. I was both ecstatic about having had such a beautiful experience and sad as the experience was short-lived. My emotions yo-yoed between the two extremes, but soon found the balance to accept it all as God’s Will for me.
This experience has opened up many inner doors of divinity for me. It showed me that God was with me all the time, and simplified my understanding of the otherwise esoteric concept of God being the Indweller. I now rely wholly on Him for everything in life, the significant as well as the sundry.