Baba stories! Well, they are completely overwhelming and leave you wonderstruck! The way Baba expresses his love for each one of us is unique and special. He makes each one of us feel important. He makes each one of us realise that he is there for us, watching us, on the lookout, waiting for us and anxious to fulfil all those wishes which will be beneficial for us!
It began in the winter months. Shifted to Ahmedabad from hot and humid Mumbai. The winter chill in the new city caught us by surprise. If we needed cupful’s of hot tea or soups to keep us going, wouldn’t Baba need them too? Thus began the offering of tea, early morning, initiated by my husband. It was a transition I was introduced to on returning home from the trip to Benares. With much joy and excitement, chanting Baba’s name we would offer tea and sing a bhajan or two. After that, we would drink our cuppa, draped in shawls and sweaters to ward off the low temperatures which were bone chilling to us. Thus continued our morning prayer and offering. Our day made so much more peaceful and filled with contentment.
With Baba in our minds, could more bliss, the extraordinary and astonishing be far behind? One particularly cold morning, the two of us noticed the quantity in the cup and smiled at each other. We hadn’t been waiting or expecting anything. Not even a glimmer of hope or wish. Yet it had happened! A tremendous wave of joy swept through us and our heads were in a tizzy. Yet our response, humble and subdued. Our hands folded, tears in our eyes we looked at Baba’s idol and he looked to us. We bowed at his feet and emerged from the puja room a while later with a deep sense of fulfilment overtaking us.
A miracle had happened, quite simply. Just like that! No announcements! Without a prior intimation or indication! Or preparation. The extraordinary, the unique, experienced in the least ostentatious manner. No rolling of drums, no clapping of thunder, no clanging of cymbals. In fact quite the contrary. Absolute, complete tranquillity! That was the first time but not the only one. Now and again when Baba chooses to take a sip or two from the tiny cup brought in specially for Him, we feel blessed, our day made, our bhakti sanctified!
This has remained a husband and wife secret, a blessing, with no sense of urgency, urge or need to share it with anyone, till the most amazing experience came became ours. What could be the need to talk about it unless approached? Quite like the miracles which recurred when Sai chose to take a sip from the cup, the emotions remained joyous, buoyant yet contained. But this new, recent Anubhav, was something else! It couldn’t be packed in the container that carries miracle memories and stashed away to recall in quietude. It needed to diffuse so that Sai’s fragrance could be savoured by more bhakts.
Ahmedabad, in the current times, is a sizzling pot. Temperatures have soared after an unexpectedly elongated and stretched out yet more acceptable winters. (It’s important to share that we use AC’s sparingly because of health reasons and do not run them through the night.) Last Wednesday, on a particularly hot and windless morning our offering to Baba, sweet, piping hot masala tea was presented to our benevolent Guru our benefactor, Sai. The words of the prayer my husband sang reverberated in the puja room, while I sat on the chair- eyes closed and hands folded. A sudden, gentle and cool breeze came through the window. It was a draft, momentary and like a flash. There was a lull for a fraction of a second between the words and the sound of sipping from the cup was audible. (As I was to learn later from my husband). Everything moved too fast. The prayer was near completion and I opened my eyes. My husband who had been offering tea was standing close by, his hands shaking; mixed emotions of bewilderment, joy, and amazement on his face. Quickly, I caught up that something spectacular had transpired. Had sensed the wind and welcomed it for its cool and refreshing arrival on a sweltering morning but had missed the slurping sound. Rajeev looked at me and then at the cup. Jumping up from the chair I peeped in. With tear-filled eyes and rising Goosebumps, I noticed that Baba had truly relished the tea that morning! The quantity was substantially less, close to half! The warmth and glow of Baba’s presence sent sparks of energy shooting through us. Did we jump with joy or display exuberant behaviour? How could we? The tranquillity of the event had numbed our very senses. Gratitude and love overflowed from our eyes and subdued we came out of the puja room.
That Wednesday morning, we sensed His presence. For a moment I felt a tad bit sad that I had missed hearing the sound of Baba sipping tea (Husband who stood close to the idol, shared later). But it was nothing more than momentary. Wasn’t the joy of experiencing Baba’s presence, of his arriving in a cool gust of breeze and partaking tea, lovingly prepared for Him, in gulps, something to be dwelled upon, given a primary place and savoured for a long time to come? Forever!
Bliss was an overpowering sentiment that morn and contentment the very essence!
But then the day had to begin. Chores awaited us. Office work called attention and so did our ailing Golden Retriever. Reluctant, yet ecstatic at witnessing an extraordinary occurrence we filed out of the puja room, looking back expectantly over our shoulder, fond hope, sparkling in our eyes!