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Today, 5 August 2019 has become a historic day in our history as something which could not be done in 70 years has taken shape now. Union Home minister Amit Shah has announced that Article 370 which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be scrapped. He also announced that Jammu and Kashmir will no longer be a state and it will be bifurcated into two Union Territories— Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.  read more...
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It is only on three occasion in my life that during the darshana of a great soul I have felt spiritual elevated and a great calm and bliss descending on me. The last and the most uplifting was the darshana of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba about fourteen year’s ago.

It was in the later part of 1996. My junior colleague Sri Dev Swarup, a spiritually evolved soul, was a great devotee of Sri Satya Sai Baba. He had developed such devotion after Baba appeared before him in a dream like state, a story that had hugely impressed me. He had narrated his subsequent experiences of meeting Baba in person too and these too were equally amazing.

One day we decided to make an official trip to Banglore with the objective of visiting Puttuparthi. Accordingly, one afternoon we reached Puttuparthi by car from Bangalore and got accommodation in one of the Ashram guest houses. We were not in a position to spend more than one night there and I was not sure if the next morning we would be able to have a special audience with Baba.

An inmate of the ashram advised me to send a telegram to Baba introducing myself and requesting for an audience next morning. He told me to be present in the assembly next morning and hope when Baba comes out, to bless the assembly. I asked him how will he call special audience. I asked him how will he call me since it was my first visit and he did not recognise me. The devotee smiled and told me to leave it to Baba. I walked across the road to the telegraph office and sent a telegram accordingly.

Next morning Dev Swarup and I duly reached the quadrangle in front of Baba’s residence. While the crowd assembled for darsana sat under a shamiana, a few of the old devotees were allowed to wait in the verandah in front of the room in which Baba lived. Dev Swarup was one of them and I tagged along with him. These devotees sat down in two rows along the length of the verandah leaving a passage in between for Baba to walk along. Shortly singing of bhajans started and all of us joined in.

Then the doors of the room opened and Baba came out. He walked up the passage between the two rows blessing the devotees and then retracing the steps went back to the front of the room doors and sat down on an easy chair kept for him. By now I was sure that I will have to be satisfied with this glimpse and there was no question of any detailed personal or private audience. I was both happy and unhappy.

Within minutes I saw Baba beckoning some one from our row. I thought he was calling Dev Swarup, his old devotee who had had private audience with him a number of times in the past.

But Dev as well as the gentleman sitting behind me nudged me to say that Baba was actually calling me and not Dev Swarup. I was amazed. How did he recognise me and why did he decide to oblige me? However, I went up to him and he asked me to follow him inside the room which I did.

Once inside, Baba sat down on an easy chair and I touched his feet. There were only two other devotees in the small room. He asked me my name and from where had I come and then suddenly said, "Why do you worry so much? Don’t worry." Evidently, I had nothing to say but in an instant I realised that I was really worried that I was going to retire from service next year and what would happen after that. A misfortune that I had suffered a year ago also swam across my mind and I realised that I had not been able to forget and get over it.

A word about the said misfortune before I proceed further. In October 1994 I had joined as secretary to the President of India and expeted to retire from the same post in 1997. Suddenly in May 1995, within seven months of my joining, I found that the President (Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma) got me removed from the post without any prior indication whatsosever. Next month I landed up the secretary in another ministry. I early July I suffered a cerebral stroke and everybody said it was a result of the shock caused by the sudden unceremonions throwing out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Immediately after the stroke I was naturally unconcious for quite some time and only later I learnt that for three days I was in a critical condition. Fortunately, I had received medical attention within half an hour of the stoke as a result of which not only my life was saved but no permanent damage to any part of my brain occurred and I had a near-complete recovery within two months. All this splashed in my head when Baba asked me not to worry.

In the meantime Baba moved to an inner room and I followed him. For Baba’s darsana I had changed into a lungi, not being used to it, it was getting loose and I had to somehow re-arrange it. Baba noticed it and said something in Telugu. Till then I had used only English. Evidently, he was chiding me for dumsiness. Baba came back to the chair and I again placed my head at his feet. He placed his right hand on my head and said "Don’t worry about anything—what is there to worry about? I am with you."

I was overwhelmed by this divine promise. At least twice did Baba say "I am with you" and "I shall be with you" and gave me a few sachet of Vibhuti.

Even after fourteen years that spiritual divine experience is fresh in my mind and I feel perpetually reassured. I have always remembered Baba’s words whenever in difficulty and hardly even go out of my house wife applying a pinch of Vibhuti to my forehead. Dev Swarup has been kind enough to keep me supplied with fresh stocks of Vibhuti all these years.

( 4 March 2010)

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