Thursday, 6 June 2013

When God gives a task, He also gives the strength to complete it

Life at Lomalinda  

For a new reader, the sub-head will appear to indicate a fresher’s experience at a foreign university. It is not! It is actually the continuation of an adventurous, miracle-filled journey of a Sai student, Praveen Vemula. This narrative is actually the third part. To get the full juice of the story, read this part after the first two parts.

Okay, it is now time to do justice to the sub-head that was announced several sentences before.

So, the two lads rushed themselves for admission into Lomalinda University. The Sai devotee at USA packed for them lots of frozen Indian foods to help them make a gradual transition into the different foodstuffs they would have to eat, halfway across the globe from home. Praveen suddenly realized another great advantage of having ‘intuitively’ selected Lomalinda University - being a Seventh Day Adventist organization, it was completely vegetarian in its diet! This suited him perfectly and he mentally sent gratitude to Swami.

Soon, Praveen was face to face with the dean there, Eric.S.Anderson who told the boys that they were way behind in their academic schedule. They had to complete 54 credits and more than a month had already elapsed. They were told that if they worked a little harder, they would be able to complete the course in 2 years. Praveen protested,

“But sir, we have to finish and be back in India within an year. That is our instructions.”
“That is simply impossible. Even in the event of a miracle taking place and you able to do everything else in a year, how will you cover up 6 credits that you have already missed. That course on accountancy is not up for grabs till the first quarter, next year. At least to complete that you will have to stay more than a year!”
“Sir, we will finish everything within a year.”
“How?” asked a bewildered dean.
“We shall inform you soon sir”, said Praveen who had no idea about how they would be doing the same.

And then, Swami stepped in, through a ‘coincidence’, a miracle where He chose to remain anonymous. The San Bernardino Community College which was nearby was offering the exact same course in the second quarter! The boys came up with a crazy plan which struck the dean dumb with its audacity.

“If permitted, we would like to enroll side-by-side for the accountancy course in San Bernardino. That apart, we will do 18 credits every quarter so that, on the whole, we finish 54 credits in 3 quarters itself!”

The boys were brimming with confidence and the dean agreed to allow them exemption for the 6 credits if they promised to complete the same in the other college. He wanted to see whether they were really serious in their commitment.

Flying success

The sweat and toil one becomes capable of putting in while doing something for God is simply amazing. Even though Praveen knew that Swami would do whatever was best, he did not simply rest. Day in and day out he did his best. As always, Swami did the rest! The result? The boys actually completed all the 54 credits within just 3 quarters and enrolled for a months internship which was compulsory!

The dean was so impressed that he agreed to allow the lads graduate in the same year though the actual certificates would arrive the next year during the convocation. But the dean was not the only person impressed. The President of the Marian Regional Medical Center, Santa Maria, Charles J Cova was also mightily impressed. In fact, he offered both the boys US $5,000 each as stipend for their 3 months of work. Praveen was candid in expressing his thoughts,
“Sir! We are happy that you are pleased with us. But Swami sent us here to study and not earn. We would like to donate $5,000 each to the Medical Center itself to be used for patient welfare.”

Mr.Cova presented both the lads with a special personalized President’s commendation along with the certificates which recognized the excellent work they had put in for 3 months.


Having conquered degrees and won hearts, Praveen leaned back comfortably against the seat in the flight back home. When he landed back in Puttaparthi, it was the 16th of September, 2002. He was excited and thrilled about meeting Swami the next day which would in fact EXACTLY mark 1 year since the departure from India! Yet another instance of His word being respected by all the forces in the Universe.

On His part, Swami seemed so excited that His boys were returning. He spoke to many elders and devotees about them. He was so proud of them and seemed to be just waiting to meet them. That day, Praveen remembers, when they went for darshan, Baba had already completed it! He was waiting for them. He welcomed them with open arms. The interview that followed was so filled with divine love.

God is always like that. He plans the script, selects the participants of the divine drama, teaches each one how to ‘act’, makes corrections when necessary, encourages and supports with love. And when the masterplan drama is acted out, He is there in the audience, clapping hard with the joy and excitement of a child!

The strength to do the task

Swami wanted Praveen to immediately join the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Prasanthigram for an internship of 6 months. In fact, Swami accompanied him to work on the first day. He picked Praveen in His own car and drove towards the hospital. Praveen simply did not know what to say or do when such grace was being showered on him. He got down with Swami at the hospital. There was a small electric buggy waiting to take Swami. Swami beckoned to Praveen to sit by His side.

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Science, Prasanthigram.

They drove in the massive hospital and arrived at the Intensive Care Unit. Swami dropped off Praveen there and blessed him saying,
“Work well.”
“Swami, please be with me always”, the boy prayed.
Swami smiled and pointed him towards his workplace. Praveen turned around and saw the board - “ICU” it said!
Yes! His Swami was seeing him always! The message reached home and Praveen too smiled.
“Swami, please ensure that I do the work properly.”
Swami then made a revelation,

“When I give you a task, I will automatically give you the strength to do the task.”

With that blessing, Swami left.

When the great devotee Hanuman was getting ready to jump from the shores of India to Lanka in search of Mother Sita (who had been kidnapped by Ravana) was asked by the Vanara army (the army of monkeys, bears, squirrels)
“Do you think that you will really be able to jump across the ocean?”
Hanuman’s reply was,
“It does not matter what my abilities and capabilities are. When the Lord Rama, the resident of my heart, has given me a task, He will definitely give me the strength I need to accomplish it. Have no doubt in that.”

Hanuman completed the task in a thumping fashion. And when he returned, Lord Rama went straight to him and hugged him to his bosom and told him,
“You are closest to my heart.”

At that point in time, the statement was true physically for Rama’s heart and Hanuman’s heart were almost beating together. But that statement has remained true ever since and wherever there is a temple of Lord Rama, Hanuman is inevitably present by the side. In fact, in no Rama temple will you find a monkey ever being shooed away. Monkeys are welcomed and worshipped. That is the result of Rama’s love on Hanuman and Hanuman’s reciprocation of the same.

The same is the case with the Swami’s students. Swami has showered so much love on some of them and some of them have reciprocated the same. That is why all the students are appreciated and held high around the world!

Swami did not stop there. When the actual degrees arrived, Swami organized a special function during Guru Poornima 2003 and felicitated the students. In fact, Swami Himself presented the degree to Praveen.

Praveen receives his degree in health administration from Bhagawan Baba. 

Dear reader, the objective of this narrative is not to elicit admiration and adulation for Praveen. The objective is to make each one us pine to be His student. And there is a difference between being a student of the Sathya Sai Institute and being a Sai Student. Can each one of us become a Sai Student?

That was the story of how Vemula Praveen rose from being an intelligent student to being the assistant-Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore.


  1. Tears, tears and tears! Tears of love, gratitude and happiness! The happy-ending arrived in the way that it couldn't have been more timely for me.

    So many lessons and reminders driven home in this serial article - "What is hard for us is easy for God. So when God says,"small test", BEWARE!" , No God No Miracles, Know God Know Miracles, Courage is automatic when, instead of turning to God and saying, "God, I have a big problem". you turn to the problem and say,"Hey Problem! I have a big God" :)), When He gives us a task, He will automatically give us the strength to complete the task. That reminded me of the title of your hub,'The will of God never takes you to someplace where the grace of God cannot keep you' I further got reminded that God doesn't call the qualified, rather, He qualifies the called.

    Well, I can go on praising our Superhero but here, I must also praise the two brothers who without any doubts or questions let the Superhero formulate His Masterplan using them. I mentally applauded for them and their confidence on their Lord, when I read the conversation between them and the dean of Lomalinda University.

    At the end of the unique happy-ending, I am so happy and couldn't have asked for more on this 'Thirst' Day. Indeed our Superhero Swami is!
    Afterthought: In a way, I feel so encouraged after reading this article.

    Thanks a lot to the Swami in Br.Praveen for sharing it with you and thanks to the Swami in you, in infinity for making it further delicious and serving it in the best way possible :)))

    1. You are always very expressive of your thoughts and feelings Sreenidhi! Happy that you were so thrilled. May Swami bless us with love for Him always.

    2. Sairam Bro - Thanks for posting this 3 part satsang . I was just enjoying the scenes with Swami while reading this. To me it was once again reiterating the power of Surrender and go ahead in the life as per his diving command/will and put on your efforts without expecting the result

      Thanks once again for sharing this

  2. I pray that Swami gives every reader of this article to have the same belief and confidence and ever be a Sai Student.

  3. Oh,what an experience .HE will never leave us.

  4. Simply Superb Sairam. This is so inspiring to all readers to beacome a Sai Student

  5. Sairam, the experience is so rich and the way you have narrated it, I felt that I am Bro. Praveen. Jai Sairam.

  6. I have no words to express. Its actually an action replay as I remember vividly the entire details that were narrated to me by my ATP cousin sitting next to Gayathri temple. But your narration added a sai flavour to it and I rejoiced at the story and enjoyed it to my hearts content. All the questions that have been troubling my mind for the past 10 months are answered thro this wonderful article. As said in Sai Satcharita everyone is allotted a separate task by sai. You are allotted with the task of consoling and counselling devotees thro our Lords message and hence you are truly the messenger of sathya sai. God bless you with longevity and health.

    1. That is indeed a huge compliment that you shower on me. It is a huge responsibility too... Praying to Swami for the strength to be up to the mark... :)

  7. These episodes makes you feel just top of the world like being physically with Baba

  8. As always, very inspiring! I hope each of us rises to this level. With Swami, nothing is impossible. Anything can happen because He transcends time and space. :)

  9. Tears are rolling down continously,Oh!Swamy,give me more and more opportunities to first read and then get inspired and motivated to apply the same in my daily life,Thank You Swamy
    viji balan

  10. Highly reassuring! He is always with me.. How sweet and empowering that is!

  11. Highly reassuring. Swami is always with us. How sweet and empowering it is!

  12. Tears and goose bumps !!!! after reading all 3 one can say that their eyes did not turn moist

  13. Howdy! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary on
    a daily basis. I'd like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

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  14. Well, for starters, it needs quite some work. This involves making choices of format, the layout and the template. with so many options being available, it takes work and time to determine what works best for you.

    Once you have the necessary template in place, it is not much work. Apart from the actual writing and selecting images, the actual job of putting it online takes about 30-45 minutes for me.

    However, the joys of owning a blog are many. It is also easy to direct anyone interested to a single link from where further directions to all other posts can also be made. From a search-engine point of view also, the posts which are grouped together will figure high in search results.

    All the best for your blog... whoever you are! :)

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  16. I was wondering why Swami asked them to do MBA. In fact, they completed all the rounds too. Then it struck, might be the preparation for the MBA Entrance 'helped' them in getting acquainted with the GRE! Masterplan!

    This article is my inspration! Never look back when you have Him with you! Nothing is impossible!

  17. Beautifully written and I could feel so divinely inspired by every word. In prayer, Swami had asked me to write a book and used to appear in my dream, asking about its progress. I have been struggling with it from phase to phase though efforts are sincere, perhaps because of a sense of ego that I am the 'Doer' but when I read this post and the words Swami Himself has said "“When I give you a task, I will automatically give you the strength to do the task,” I felt truly that Swami is reminding and reassuring me that He is the Doer and He is the One who will complete it whereas all my role is to be the mere instrument. Thank you so much for writing this, Brother Arvind.

    1. Thank you! I am following your blogs... Have been wanting to write to you from long. They are all nice - lovely petals making a flower!

      As you perfectly understood, Swami will give you the inspiration and strength...

  18. Beautifully written and I could feel so divinely inspired by every word. In prayer, Swami had asked me to write a book and used to appear in my dream, asking about its progress. I have been struggling with it from phase to phase though efforts are sincere, perhaps because of a sense of ego that I am the 'Doer' but when I read this post and the words Swami Himself has said "“When I give you a task, I will automatically give you the strength to do the task,” I felt truly that Swami is reminding and reassuring me that He is the Doer and He is the One who will complete it whereas all my role is to be the mere instrument. Thank you so much for writing this, Brother Arvind.

  19. Wow..really enjoyed this story..thanks a lot..

  20. As I read the Title I was struck with wonder! Like Swapna Sanands comments I am also given a task to write a book by our divine Baba and just yesterday I was feeling rather uncertain and here comes His inspiration! Many thanks Baba ! Thank you dear Brother also for writing this inspiring story. It is written in an excellent way. Now I know that when God gives a task, He gives the strength+ guidance+ inspirations and also perfect support to complete it !”

  21. I wanted to get in touch with Mr. Praveen, please email me: Sairam

    1. Please tell me your name and some other details before I share the same.

  22. Sairam Brother Arvind, Lovely artice and thanks so much because it comes just in time when I am at crossroads of my career - actually at the bottom of a ditch and looking for some answers.
    In these divine examples, students could ask Swami for guidance directly and he advised them to do MBA, PHD, go overseas e.t.c. How should I ask Swami for guidance ? I resigned from what was supposed to be a great job because I couldnt cope with my bosses bullying. This is the first time in my life that I have called it quits. Baba has always helped me but I am missing him a lot this time. What is his masterplan ?

    1. Sairam Anonymous Brother/Sister. It does not matter what happens to you in life, what matters is what you make of what happens in life. An event happens, when you react, you will have a negative experience, when you respond you will have a positive experience. First Have Faith in Swamy- Whatever Happens in Life- I will face it with the strength of Swamy and only the best will unfold. Second Meditate Daily- Only in the depth of Silence can the voice of Bhagawan be heard. He will guide you only when you keep your mind and its restlessness and anxieties of the future quiet. Third, Have Faith Swamy only bets on a winning horse. You will win. Give your 100% making the effort to win- research net, newspapers on universities courses offered etc. Collect all the pieces of mosaic and soon you will realise a pciture is emerging from the mosaic. Swamy will confirm that picture (i.e plan of action in your silence)
      The very best will unfold. With Lots of Love

    2. Sairam brother Shankar,

      I don't know if "Anonymous" above will read your message. I usually do not respond to those that comment anonymously. But, your comment came at the perfect time for me!!!

      This is simply amazing and I felt like it is Swami telling me to do the same.

      Thank you so much for the message... I shall keep it with me and cherish it!

      In Sai love

  23. Great Narration brother. As Swami Student, these lessons are to be preserved and practice for the life time. Wonderful narration.


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