The accident in 1985 that could have a different ending
“Swami, where should I keep it? Should I keep it in my bedroom or in the living room?”
“Dear one, keep it on the window sill in your house - the one where there is direct sunlight. Then you can view it from your study table and well as from the living room,” Swami revealed in His omniscience.
The conversation went on and soon, the child seemed to be the sole focus for Bhagawan. All the while, the mother was sobbing silently but uncontrollably. Swami allowed her to cry. Everyone in the interview room were amazed at this unique interaction and were wondering why the mother was crying.
As if to appease everyone’s curiosity, Swami informed them in a very soft voice that the girl’s father had traveled on board “Air India Kanishka”.
It dawned on everyone that the girl’s father had died in the tragic terror attack and the explosion that occurred onboard the Air India flight enroute to India from Canada, off the western coast of Ireland. No doubt Bhagawan was filling the void for that girl by sharing His fatherly love. Swami also materialised vibhuti and gave it to the little girl. Towards the end of the interview, Swami turned towards Dr. Vijai Kumar and said in a matter-of-fact manner,
There were more than 250 passengers onboard Kanishka. Even if one had chanted the Gayatri Mantra, the accident could have been averted.”
Everyone in the interview room sat in silence absorbing the profundity of the statement.
Many are the escapes that people have had by chanting the Gayatri Mantra. One of the most thrilling narratives of the same is the near-death experience of Sri Devesh Srivastava, the brother of Dr. Sailesh Srivastava (a teacher in Swami's school and university at Puttaparthi).
The powerful Gayatri
Swami says, “Gayatri Chandasaam Matha (Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas)”. He goes on to explain that one can either peel and eat multiple fruits to derive nutrition and strength or one can drink mixed-fruit juice. “Gayatri Mantra is the fruit-mix concentrate”, He adds. It embodies all the 4 Mahavakyas (great statements) of the Vedas. However, there are certain conditions that must be met to unlock the mantra’s great powers. Swami says that:
- The person chanting the Gayatri mantra should not do it casually; it must be done with complete faith and reverence.
- To ensure reverence, one must have purity. Purity comes from speaking the truth and having the unity of thought, word and deed.
If one is interested in receiving directly from Swami about the Gayatri mantra, this comprehensive page on the power and potency of the mantra will be a good read. Better still, if one has twenty minutes to spare for the potential to redeem one’s life, the video below (with subtitles in English) where Swami is lovingly instruction a little boy on the Gayatri Mantra can be seen.
Personally, I chant the Sai Gayatri and firmly believe it to be as potent as the Gayatri Mantra. The story of how this mantra came about is also very interesting. The occasion was Christmas eve, the 24th of December 1977. The place was the Sathya Sai Mandir in Brindavan, Whitefield, near Bangalore. The assembled audience consisted of a group of students and faculty members of the Sri Sathya Sai College as well as a number of visiting devotees. It was in the glorious presence of Swami himself that a great vedic scholar Pandit Sri Ghandikota Subrahmanya Shastry was inspired to announce Sri Sathya Sai Gayathri, the mystic formula devoted to Sri Sathya Sai.
He announced it as follows:
Om Saayeeshvaraaya Vidhmahe
Sathya Dhevaaya Dheemahi
The meaning of this is:
"I know through Gurus and Shastras (and by direct experience) that Sai is God Himself: He is Bhagavan and Iswara. I meditate on this form in my heart with all my mental faculties. He is the embodiment of truth, divinity, universal consciousness and one who pervades all the worlds. I pray to such a Saiparameswar to direct our intellects to engage in auspicious and righteous activities. I meditate on this great form."
(This Sathya Sai Gayathri, like other Gayathris, is on par with Veda Mantra or mystic formula. It has 24 letters; it consists of three lines, each with eight letters. Such a composition has unique properties. According to Maharishi Vararuchi, the numerology of all letters adds up to 108. That is why recitation is to be done 108 times; to realize the full effect of Siddhi - which is signified by the 108th number, i.e. Meru or the tassel of a rosary or Japamala. Ashtottara Sata Nama - the 108 name-chanting leads to the realization of God, which is the goal.)
I always keep chanting the Sai Gayatri in my heart. After this story however, I am sure that my chanting will be more focussed, serious and thrilling.
May God bless us with the wisdom to accept the Supreme Word on faith and enjoy the experience of the realization of our faith.
For all the readers: