This author is a gentle soul who calls herself, ‘Saiananda’ for anonymity and also because it is a concrete symbol of her detachment from the personal identity that was. She also works as a sculpturer; the accompanying photo is of her ‘hands at work’. We hope you will enjoy these two stories from her life, which she contributed to a project on the lives of Sai women elders.
Sculpturer at work
In the 90’s a situation occurred in my life that caused much grief. So much so, the health of the body was affected, and anguished pleas to our Lord Sai for understanding of what had happened were incessant. Despite the limited level of awareness at that time, it was realized that the ‘why’ would be answered, but only in His time. On the other hand, ‘mind’ was having a picnic and was in complete control of ensuring seemingly never-ending analysis and agonizing.
One day while busy with household chores an inner vision was experienced. Four doors were seen, each one with a label on it which was relevant to this situation. Every one of the doors was tightly closed to me and thus, heartbreak was there. But suddenly there appeared a fifth door -- only this one was wide open! From within it radiated great light and indescribable warmth. Like a child I stood before it in wonder when a voice, soft, sweet, but so powerful said, “Take refuge in Me.”
Hesitation there was none, such was the magnetism of Its Presence. That is not to say a glance did not scan again the four closed doors in case, just in case, one of them may have reopened. It had not.
Shortly after this blessed experience a book came to hand, Advaita Bodha Deepika – The Light of Nondual Knowledge. And so, with the pure Grace of the Provider and Protector of us all, the gentle hand of God, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, this child was led on to the next level of its readiness, that of the earnest awakening into the light of Self-inquiry.
Many years after this life-changing experience, the doors of which we spoke did reopen, but what could be done? When one is immersed in Reality there was no ‘going back’. The power of attraction to all that is of the world, and no longer held sway.
But to the Beloved one who was the instrument in delivering this one into the Light of Love, that one remains held in gratitude and humility, ever dearer than dear, nearer than near, we are now as we have always been, simply One love.
In the eighties this soul who had asked many years before, “Who am I?’ was being seemingly driven by an irresistible force. As a result she left home and family after being catapulted along a particular path that proved impossible to stray from. She left with a suitcase and, although returning for visits, took nothing from the family home.
It was not until some twelve years later she found herself unexpectedly penniless and subsequently –after some time – experienced a wondrous realization. The very dharmic nature of her soul was that of a renunciant! Her heart sang with the simplicity of this state of being which brought with it a profound sense of peace.
Her joy, her celebration of the God-given Grace of ‘simple’, of simply being, knew no bounds. Contentment and gratitude for whatever she had or whatever came to her by His Grace became her priceless wealth and she knew then the true meaning of prosperity. She wanted for nothing, as no matter what she had, whether meagre or abundant, it was to her, everything.
Life-changing? Perhaps the ‘realization of life’ would be more appropriate. She was vitally alive and free: living in the Light of Love, in the Grace of the Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Again, those beloved ones who played their part that allowed this one to find itself are held so very tenderly within the Light of Love in which all are One.