In 2009, Dr. (Mrs.) Girija Rajaram, a retired researcher from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, took a trip to Bahrain under difficult conditions, and this made her acutely aware of Swami's loving protection no matter where we may be. She sat down at the end of her visit and penned this spontaneous letter of gratitude to Bhagavan for His Grace in smoothing every detail. On a recent visit to Puttaparthi, she shared her letter with us.
Bahrain, Dec 2009
My humble pranams at Your lotus feet , and I thank you for the two and a half months of beautiful satsangh which You have blessed me with here. I refer to the Sai family at Bahrain, whose Bal Vikas and bhajans and other activities I have been attending. When I boarded the Gulf Air flight from Mumbai to Bahrain in the last week of September 2009, I wondered how I would manage. Airports were no problem, as Your grace has in years past sent me to many countries on scientific work – but I had not been feeling well during the few preceding months, and my energy levels on all fronts had hit a low. You know how it was purely family affection and concern and faith that had kept me going.
But the minute I entered the airport You took over, and I found myself doing things with enthusiasm – clearly the task You had set for me in the preceding months had merely been to manage as best as I could. To this day, nobody knows who mentioned '40 kg luggage permitted' on my computer-generated Economy ticket, when only 20 kg was the norm then. The travel agent certainly does not know! But that one sentence helped me to bring whatever my daughter and her family needed, without paying for overweight. I wonder, Saideva, did You by any chance get Gulf Air to put that on my ticket?
And then what made a young man sitting in a nearby seat offer, after landing, to take down my hand-baggage from the plane locker, and another youngster offer to carry the same over the tarmac towards Immigration? Did you, Saideva, whisper something into the ears of these youngsters?
And then, who made a local Bahraini gentleman just outside the airport stop and help load suitcases back on to our trolley, when we could not control the vehicle over the pavement-road divide? I know who it was that watched over to make my journey from India smooth and pleasant. And of course once You had united me with my daughter and family, and got me a welcome from the family maid. . . need I elaborate further?
It did take a couple of weeks for me to find out when and where the Sai Bhajans and Sai Bal Vikas classes were held. But Baba, You guided me to the right place every Friday morning and evening. Transport was never a problem – somebody would pick me up and drop me, and if nobody was free, a young, well-behaved taxi-driver would pitch in. He would generally have a cassette of sacred music on while driving, and would talk about his couple of visits to Puttaparthi. It was on a day such as this, that at an intersection before Umm-al-Hassam, a green traffic light gave us the right of way, but a speeding car suddenly emerged from the right with no warning, against the red traffic light. I will always believe it was You who gave the taxi-driver the alertness to slam on the brakes just a foot away from the intruding car. You saved both cars from what could have been a disastrous collision.
And Baba, You had decided that I would talk to the senior Bal Vikas children on scientific topics like the solar system, the earth's environment and Antarctica, which have formed my topics of research over the past four decades. I did not have an inkling about this, so I came from India without material about these. But Baba, You granted me Your grace to search out what I needed from my grandson's books, from my own research background, and from the internet. I could recreate my Antarctic journey perfectly from beginning to end, right down to the Badrinath Glacier snout where we had pre-Antarctic training, Goa harbour, the ship Polar Bird which took us, and the icebergs en route.
These talks went on in an interactive manner, and I hope that those taught enjoyed the experience as much as the teacher! The talks would be held after the regular Bal Vikas spiritual teaching, which I continued to attend. And how many good matters I learnt from the dedicated Bal Vikas teachers – thank you all.
Baba, the Friday bhajans have been a treat to attend in the company of like-minded people immersed and lost in devotion. On several occasions I found my clothes and fingers picking up vibrations from the combination of melodious singing, harmonium and tabla. I had a chance to meet the loving members of the Mahila group, and as for the Mahila Fair held at Sundaram Centre at the completion of 84 days of your Birthday celebrations, words cannot express the affection in the taste of the food and the serving of the food -- little wonder that every morsel of the preparations was finished.
So thank you to all my sisters, brothers and children of the Bahrain Sai family. To each of you, a big thank you for the delightful, uplifting company, and may Baba always preserve these qualities.
And how does one thank one's Matha-Pitha-Guru-Bandhu-Sakha? Thank you Baba, my Sadguru, Friend, Philosopher and Guide, for the Grace that You have showered on me now and always. With countless pranams at your Lotus feet.