Major General (Retd.) Ravinder Singh is a former Army General of Singapore. He served as the Chief of the Singapore Army from 2011–2014. He and his wife Smt. Kohila have been actively participating in the divine mission of Bhagawan Baba for many years.
I first came to know of Sathya Sai Baba in November 2002, in Singapore. Within one year, through a series of Sai incidences, Swami drew us gently into his loving divine fold. We visited Swami’s ashram in Puttaparthi at least twice a year for his darshan. While Swami never spoke directly to us, each darshan of the Lord was a blissful and elevating experience.
In 2009, after 26 years of active military service in the Singapore Army, I retired from the Singapore Armed Forces, but continued in a civilian role as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Defence. Quite unexpectedly, in March 2011, I was recalled back into active service to be the Chief of Army in the Singapore Armed Forces. This was the first time a retired officer had ever been called back into uniformed service. It was unprecedented and I knew immediately that it was Swami’s Grace and Blessing.
My tour of duty as Chief of Army was challenging and, many a time, I called on Swami for his Grace and support. I always felt that He was there guiding and helping me, step-by-step. As I came to the end of the three-year tour as Chief of Army, I had a most unexpected blessing.
On 3rd March, 2014, while I was on overseas duty, I received a message from a good Sai friend to call him back urgently. I called him as soon as I landed in Singapore. He told me that Swami wanted to see my wife and me at 4 pm on 20th March at Muddenahalli at Sai Anandam. He asked me if I could go to India, as he was aware that I had a heavy schedule at work. The significance of the date struck me immediately, as the 20th of March, 2014 was my last day of command as the Chief of Army. I knew that Swami was giving me a blessing, confirming to me that it was He who had appointed me as the Chief of Army, and now He was seeing me after He had guided me through the last three years.
While we had heard of Swami speaking to a few individuals in his Subtle Form, we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t mention this invitation to anyone, as we would not be able to explain anything! We flew to Bengaluru on the evening of 19th March and travelled to Muddenahalli. We spent the night in Sai Vishwa, full of anticipation.
The next day, we went to Sai Anandam at 4 p.m. We were called up to Swami’s ‘Inner-view’ room. That was the first time we met Brother Madhusudhan, and he invited us to enter the room and take a seat. As we sat, we were told that Swami was present in a yellow robe and that he was sitting on the chair in front of us. The first thing Swami asked was when I was going to retire and what I was going to do after I had retired from the Army. Swami spoke to us about our family and gave us advice. Although I have read and heard of experiences of devotees having Interviews with Swami, this was our first time and the experience was very intimate and personal. At moments, He was very gentle and loving. I experienced for the first time the ‘Love of a Thousand Mothers’. It was a very moving and memorable spiritual experience for us. During the ‘Inner-view’, Swami said that He was going to Kodaikanal in May that year and invited us to join Him. At that time, although we said ‘Yes’, we had no clue what He meant!
Swami invited a group of us from Singapore to join Him in Kodaikanal. We were all very excited to be blessed with the opportunity to be close to the Lord. In May 2014, we travelled as a group from Singapore to Kodaikanal. Together with other devotees, students and teachers, we had wonderful experiences. Swami spoke to the group in the mornings and evenings. He blessed the Singapore group with several ‘Inner-views’. He spoke to us intimately, giving us advice and encouragement.
We all went for boat rides, as instructed by Swami, and even had a picnic with Him, where we played games in His divine presence. We experienced the joy and bliss that we had only read about, of being with Swami in Kodaikanal. It was a very spiritually uplifting experience for the entire group. We returned home to Singapore with deep gratitude.
After the divine experience in Kodaikanal, Swami came to Singapore in June 2014. He visited the homes of a few devotees. To our utmost delight, Swami showered the Singapore devotees with His boundless grace again with another trip to Singapore in September 2014. During this trip, on 11th September, 2014, Swami visited our home. About 150 devotees were packed into the house, singing bhajans with devotion, and eagerly waiting for the Lord. It was raining when Swami arrived. Swami went into the house and sat on His chair. After a few bhajans, He asked Sri Vijaya Sai, Mr. Isaac Tigrett and Sri B.N. Narasimha Murthy to address us, before gracing us with His divine discourse. This was followed by answering questions from earnest devotees. For the next three days, Swami blessed the Singapore devotees by visiting a few other homes and answering many of their questions.
Experiencing Swami in his Subtle Form was a most unexpected blessing and grace for us. We were blessed to experience first-hand the incredible, intimate and loving experiences that many of us had only read about or had heard others share. We are very fortunate and blessed to experience the Love of the Divine. It has strengthened our devotion and love for the Lord.
Thank You, Swami for keeping us in your divine fold and showering us with your Blessings and Grace!
Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavanthu