by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy
Swami loves to play with words. In His inimitable style, He puts the greatest of universal truths, the essence of Vedas, Vedantas, Upanishads, Itihasas and Puranas (holy texts that have stood the test of time in Sanathana Dharma), in simple, easy-to-understand, palatable doses. The Universal Guru that He is, even a kerchief or a microphone in front of Him or a glass of water transform themselves into teaching props. Sometimes He tells. Sometimes He explains. Sometimes He demonstrates. But the common denominator is that He has always lived all His teachings.
Little did we realise that when He taught us about how the body is a water bubble and mind is a mad monkey, even His body would be subject to the universal laws that He had laid down.
In my earlier blogs, I wrote about Swami’s association with Muddenahalli, His visits and His promise of coming here during a full moon day. I also wrote about His appearance in the subtle body and how He commanded me to move His things to Sri Sathya Sai Anandam. Continuing from there…..
On 27th of August 2011, four months after Swami had left the physical body, He told me that it was His Sankalpa that a school be established in the northern corner of Karnataka in the Gulbarga district. He said that He had already identified a land, 50 acres in extent, sloping towards east, sloping towards north and that there was a road on the eastern side and a road on the southern side. With these instructions, I visited Gulbarga on the 6th of September. And the next day, as directed by Swami, I made three announcements amidst the 400-odd devotees who had gathered in a community hall in Gulbarga.
The first announcement was that the “Bhoomi Pooja” (ground-breaking ceremony) for the Gulbarga campus would happen before that Swami’s birthday in 2011. The second was that by June 2012, a High School would start in Gulbarga and the third was that a completed, majestic school building, pentagon in shape would be inaugurated before the next Swami’s birthday (November) in 2012. Note that I was told to make these announcements when we hadn’t even identified the land for the school! And the rest as they is history! Indeed, needless to say, it was His Vajra Sankalpa alone that made all these happen, as announced. The Bhoomi Pooja for the Gulbarga campus was held on 21st of November, 2011. The school became functional in June 2012 and on the 19th of November 2012, the pentagon-shaped building was inaugurated.
This reinforced my faith in Swami and made it even stronger, for I knew that I was not responsible for the establishment of the school campus. I was just a witness, just an instrument. In the four months before inauguration of the school in Gulbarga, every day Swami would come to us at 9:30 in the morning and guide us in every step. The building wasn’t completed, and we were all worried. But every day Swami was there, and He took charge. And it happened.
The next school to come up was the Mandya campus. Swami sent me to Mandya, immediately after the Gulbarga building had become functional in February 2012. One day, He called me and said, “What are you doing here? You go to Mandya.” Worried about the completion of work in Gulbarga, I replied, “Swami, here this building has to get completed.” To that, Swami’s response was so powerful, only God can ever say that! He said, “This building is already over.” And at that point of time, the building had still not come up. He asked me to go to Mandya and said that in seven days, on Maha Shivarathri day, at 6:30 AM, during sunrise I should do Bhoomi Pooja for the Mandya campus! While I obeyed Him, I did so with great trepidation. No one will believe it, but as Swami had instructed the Bhoomi Pooja happened, and the school started with a magnificent building. The design of every building – be it Gulbarga or Mandya or the girls’ campus in Jayapura or the boys’ campus in Bagalkot district or the Bijapur campus – details and plans of each and every building were given by Swami.
I can tell from the bottom of my heart with firm conviction that in ten years from now, these buildings will stand as masterpieces of architecture in Karnataka. People will go there – not just because Sathya Sai Baba built these schools – but also because the buildings are architectural marvels. Each building is so majestic and stands tall as a wondrous edifice in its own way.
How was all this possible? While we can write reams trying to describe His infinite mercy and grace, at the end of it all, it is all just a manifestation of His immeasurable love for humanity. Nothing more stands testimony to this than the wonderful experience of Sri Srivatsan, the Chief Architect. While we were performing the Bhoomi Pooja for the Sathya Sai Premaniketanam School in Bijapur district, Swami gave instructions to him about how the prayer hall and auditorium should be. Swami did not mention anything about the school building. The architect, gathering his nerves, asked, “Swami, why such a huge prayer hall for a school?”
Swami’s reply to this simple questions revealed how long-term His plans truly were! While our understanding of His work and mission was limited, His plans transcended time, as we typically comprehended it. To the architect’s query, Swami replied, “Do as I say! You are looking at the next two-three years. I am looking at the next hundred years. Lakhs of devotees will come here because Sathya Sai Baba established it and Prema Sai went and lived there for a few days. Do what I tell you.” Nothing more can summarise His Vajra Sankalpa better. What we are witness to now is simply the manifestation of divine determination that transcends time and space.