Education is the greatest blessing
I used to be too soft and get scared for every little thing all through my life. When i was a kid , i used to feel that School is a jail where we are locked with no freedom. Though i was good in studies ,i did not had interest in it and it resulted it me being called as a “Average student”.
My elder sister Indra was brilliant and used to get good name from her teachers.In india when the child starts to speak relatives will ask what you wanted to be ? My sister used to say ” i wanted to be a Doctor”. I don’t remember what was my answer.
Why i love my mother’s Dosa :
During the first 10 years as a joint family in grandmothers house , though i don’t want to reveal, its truth that having tasty food was like a summer rain for me.Only once in a week, i used to have Dosa which i liked the most. Probably my grandma and aunt showed hatred on us because my fathers salary was mostly gone in getting medicines for my mother.
Though a loving grandma with whom i shared wonderful days, who bought up all her children with lots of pains and struggles , i wonder why she had this partiality in food matters.
Once My grandmother and aunt showed partiality in not giving me tasty foods asking me to go away when they were cooking and gave it to other cousin who came for holiday to our house. I was standing innocently near the door holding a empty vessel in hand expecting crunchy snacks.
My mother was not able to bear this scene and beat me with sticks. These are the sticks kept to burn for heating water and had lots of sharp ends. Any mother can’t bear her children being hurted. Unable to question them, my mother used to shout at me and indra to be obidient. Probably i took this beatings and shouts easily but my sister din’t which i learn years later.
It was around 1986 when my father was transferred to Pollachi, a small town near coimbatore.After 10 years of both good and little bad times with grandparents and aunt, we came to our big beautiful quarters in pollachi.
It was biggining of tasty days in my life as my mother used to make Dosa everyday. Especially the crunchy ones. When we don’t get some thing in life easily and later when we get it everyday, it becomes our favourite. Even now thats why i love my mothers dosa.
Anyway,everyone had both good and bad qualities and i did enjoyed my grand parents company as they were affectionate.
How much i hated going to school :
Me and my sister studied in the same school. Sometimes when i hate school, i used to act as if i got stomach ache. he he…. as soon as Auto comes to pick up to school. My mother will ask angrily “Are you going or not, auto driver is calling” . I will act as if i am really tired and say “Naan pogala” – I am not going.
God alone knows how i will be miraculously cured with in 2 hours.That day will be special for me. I will go to the Garden in our quarters , Dig the mud with a iron plate with handle ( man vetti in tamil ), come back to our flat in first floor, fully turn the water pipe to flow down.Then i run again to the garden. I made a small cement bridge so that the water from our bathroom which flows down doesn’t enter the sewage canal and crossed through the little cement bridge flowing to my beautiful little Garden.
I planted all kinds of plants like Hibiscus, Tulsi, Tomato, Marudhani used to keep mehandi on my sisters palm. Every day as soon as i return from school, i will become a farmer for this garden. He he. I used to sweat and work so hard doing this gardening.
My mother used to shout at me that am wasting all the water in the tank for my gardening. I had no other choice because my father scolded me once for playing cricket with friends. So i was not like other boys going outside home campus. I used to remain in house always with my Mom and apply amruthanjan ( ointment ) to her when ever she gets head ache. Little did i know that i will become headache for my parents because of my lack of interest in education.
Its my sisters turn to make me realize the powers of prayers :
1987. This was the time when my sister indra was upset psychologically along with health issues. She was in 6th grade and myself in 4th. We used to be in the same school. My sister was very weak , had health issues and also imagine things which doesn’t exist. Probably she want’s us all to give attention to her for all the depression we faced as children in grandparents house.Now its Indra’s time to make us all realize shes most imporant and needs to be cared for.
During this time the school teachers were deciding Indra must be discontinued from school as she took leave for over 3 month. Every single day was a suffering for me and parents. My sister used to demand things from my mom, say that she’s hates them .I used to sit with her in a room and give her food with tears in eyes. My mother, sitting in the edge of the door will be watching us with prayers. Once my father got angry, came with handful of holy ash of lord Murugan and sprayed on her face saying ” May be a ghost has come in to you, we are God’s children, Go away…Go away”
Looking at this my sister used to shout and scream and i used to stare at all this drama with fear. We were just coming out of my mothers health issues and suddenly indra started getting health problems and such behaviours. Some of our relatives used to comment on my sister
“This is a dull girl, she won’t study”.
Even during this time my mother was determined in making indra comeout of her depression and start to go back to school normally.
God is One :
During this time i would like to express that though our family follows Hinduism ,my father believes that God is one . So everyweek atleast once we used to go to church, everyday we will go to Maari Amman temple, Lord Murugan temple. Indra was very pityful wearing the holy threads from all temples all over her hand. We also went to Muslim darga where they gave a holy taayath to wear as a blessings of Allah. My mother used to sit looking at the Goddess Maari amman with sister for hours to bless her with pure thoughts, good health and education. Indra used to recite all the holy mantras which my mother taught her.
I will never forget the day when the head of school, called me and asked for our house address.It was a christian institution. Next day 2 sisters came to observe whats going on and why indra is not attending school for over 3 month. They told my mother if indra doesn’t join back in the school within a week, they won’t let her continue studies for that year. To add oil in the fire, another neighbour aunty came to our house and told the school head ” Indra is normal only, shes acting as if she’s sick to escape from going to school. Her mother is giving too much affection believing her action”
On hearing this my sister started screaming and ran to another room with tears. My mother got angry on that aunty. With determination told the school head, ” indra will surely attend school from this week.”
A mothers determination :
Apart from our religious steps, we also took her to Dr.Mohan, a very soft spoken person who motivated indra and helped her become normal. Doctor adviced that since Indra is weak, every two hours, its good to have little food and health drinks. Indra joined back to school. Not alone. Every day my mother used to do all the household works and come with us in the same auto to school.
She used to sit under the tree shadows with a bag reading some novels waiting for indra to come every 2 hour to have health drinks and some snaks. She will come back to classes and come again for lunch to the tree shadows. Again after couple of hours indra has some food .Then my mother used to go back to house before we reach there.
Amma sits in the shadows of trees in the corner of school ground for hours, determined to make sure her daughter doesn’t stop schooling as the others were commenting. My mother had a feeling that since she’s not educated she had to face sufferings in life. So was determined to make my sister study irrespective of her health issues. My mothers dedication and determination did payed back.The teachers were surprised that she got good marks than the kids who attended the schools regularly.
Me on the other hand , though attended school regularly as usual performed average.
The reason i wanted to tell the difference in me and my sister is that i was ignorant and din’t really understood that education is so important. I just thought a graduation will do and stopped it. My sister was very hardworking, ambitious , did her post graduation, went to Germany in 2001 for doing her Phd .
Five years later in august 2005 when my sister got her Phd, the days when my mother used to wait for us in the shadows of school trees came to my mind.
Even today when i write this chapter while speaking to amma about old memories, she reminded me that Indra was really having nervous problem.She was not able to write holding the pen. One of her best muslim friend Kousy used to give my mother all the notes given in the class and my mom used to copy it and indra would read it.
I can’t believe my mother has come with indra to school for all 4 years from 6th grade to 10th grade taking food, health drinks and waiting under the shadows of the tree. While indra was safe inside the concrete building, i wonder what my mother did when it was too hot , too cold or when it rained. Probably the seasons kept changing. Not my mothers determination to make her daughter “Someone”.
I saw this school after years while passing by bus. The huge tree was cut. I couldn’t control tears flowing remembering the determination of a mother who made a ordinary girl as a research scholar .Sometimes i used to think i also would have demanded attention by doing some action….he he.
I wonder if i will ever be a filmmaker :
When i was doing my graduation in visual communication, i wanted to be a cinematographer, a filmmaker and always dreamt big and was popular amoung students as good photographer , very ambitious guy. Being ambitious is not enough.
One must never expect big things to happen just by prayers. When i was in final year i used to make some promos and wanted to get assignment in music channels. Four month after my graduation was over from may to september 1999, every single day, i used to email someone in such media people to help me get a opportunity to shoot videos for the concepts i had. During this time, i used to cry to Sai Baba that my dreams are not fulfilled.
I used to go to the Sai Baba temple in coimbatore “Nagasai mandhir” , light 2-3 candles praying sai to bless me with a great assignment as soon as possible. The “as soon as possible prayers” mostly never gets answered …ha ha… though i smile now when i write this as a 20 year old guy in 1999 , i can’t bear the pain.
Finally, on september 16th 1999, i went to Chennai to persue my interest in media. I had failures, depression, setbacks in all possible ways. Though i was learning filmmaking through a film editor and worked in few movies, my mind was still restless as people who dream big don’t know that to climb up the hill one has to walk step by step. When i earned some money, i asked my mother to give a coconut bread to all the people sitting outside nagasai mandhir.
My expectations were growing where us life was same as before.My father used to send money for my expenses in chennai . I did achieved something in my own way, probably in learning screen writing and writing one. At this time my sister indra went to Germany for her phd.
Reading 108 holy names of sai – Sai ashtothram gave my sister the gift of education :
It was just a week since my sister has reached Germany to do her phd. It was shock to learn she was treated badly by the lady whos supposed to guide her in the university.My sister had to face some torchures. My parents were in deep pain. I was in chennai and went to Mylapore saibaba temple to read Sai ashtothram for 108 times.
By grace of sai baba, a friend helped her to quit this place and move to another city. If it is me, i would have got dejected and returned back to india the same week. But Indra won’t give up. Its the will power of my sister that she acted as if shes leaving to india but moved to another city where with the help of her friend and some professors she was able to start doing her Phd. Though anyone would appreciate indra’s ability to cope up with situation, the gift of my sisters education came from the holy feets of shirdi saibaba.
My sisters favour :
My sister used to scold me for being in depression always and asked me to continue education but i always denied. I regret it to this day. My sister got me camera’s , computer’s , helped me do some course. By this time in 2005 , i was deeply into Sai devotion. I used to come around dhuni ( sacred fire ) in Nagasai mandhir for hours togather and dedicate my prayers to nature goddess.I really din’t even imagine to do anything related to filmmaking.
Let my ignorance be a lesson to everyone who reads this book :
Years later in 2008, when i became a faculty in a film school in mumbai, i used to advice each and every batch i start ” Don’t stop your education. Keep learning.” I don’t want anyone to pass through what i had to, in pain, depression, set backs, insults and what not. There’s only one benefit i got by not being highly educated. Sai pulled me to do his work. This sacred work for sai, i wish to continue for rest of my life .My sai service includes spreading the value of education among all families around the world.
If you are wondering why i had to write my personal stories in the sacred book of sai, that is saibaba’s ways too. Sai tried to convey lessons to his devotees through beautiful incidents in his life. I honestly feel, when you read this chapter , you will struggle somehow to be highly educated and also educate your children. Sai himself is against getting big loan or spending huge money for education but try your best to be educated somehow . Learn anything that you can afford but don’t stop the process of learning.
Now a days many youngsters are focused more in earning money soon. Some parents also expect their children to earn soon rather than supporting them atleast when they are financially able to support in their childrens education.
Education is the greatest Blessing
Now let us see the beautiful leela’s of our great Saint Shirdi Sai baba in how he helped his devotees education and career during his life time.
Sai Baba’s respect to his Guru :
Many sai devotees doesn’t see Sai as a fakir or saint. They see Sai as an incarnation of the God they are devoted to. Some have seen Sai as Hanuman, some as Lord Shiva and some as Rama. Though it is true that Sai is God himself, Sai has conveyed his respect and love for his Guru beautifully by the following incident.
Once during a festival of Lord Khandoba, few people started to shiver as if possessed by spirit. It is usual for people to reach this high state of devotion when they believe that God enters their soul for few minutes to answer his devotees. So the people of shirdi asked them about Sai Baba’s parents and from where sai came ?.
The man pointed a place near Neem tree and said ” Dig at this place and you will come to know”. They removed a stone and found that a path leads to a underground cell . When they went inside the cell they found four lighted lamps, a wodden stool and a gomuki which is worn in hands while counting chantings of gods name with beads ( japa mala ).
When asked to Sai baba about this, his only reply was that it was his Guru’s place and he was learning from his Guru for 12 years. Sai also asked them to clear the crowd, close it back and protect it as a sacred place.
Friend, we can now understand by all this that Sai has really lived inside this underground cell for years before he started his journey to help us all. Why should a incarnation of God have a Guru. In sai satcharita sai has also mentioned that about his Guru’s greatness. That his guru is the most affectionate and caring. The meaning of Guru is “GU” stands of ignorance and “Ru” stands for the light which destroys the ignorance.
Let us now hear the beautiful words uttered by saibaba
” My guru never expected any other thing from me. He never neglected me, but protected me at all times. I lived with him and was sometime away from him still i never felt the absence of his love. He always protected me by his glance.”
Like Sai is the Guru of this entire universe, let us also learn from Sai baba the sweetness in respecting our teachers. Who ever teaches us must be bowed to and respected for life time.
Devotion of children studying in shirdi school :
Saibaba had a special love for children. Trust me sai answers prayers of children if they put very little hardwork along with their innocent faith on sai baba. In 1913, a new head master Daji Vaman Chitambar was responsible for the childrens education in the primary school. Though i haven’t confirmed, there is a school in shirdi situated just few feets from saibaba’s dwarakamai. The children had so much faith in sai baba that they doesn’t seem to concentrate in studies. The head master was concerned about his own reputation as be believed the children were lazy and the results in exams will be very bad. They used to have so much innocent faith that sai baba would help them do well in exams. The head master once even made a complaint about saibaba spoiling the children to Kaka sahed dixit.
Finally on the day of exam , all the children went to sai baba’s dwarakamai and took his udi with faith. The head master Mr.Daji vaman and the educational inspector were much disturbed wondering how can saibaba’s blessings help the children if they are not concentrating in studies.
When the results were announced the head master was surprised to see all the students have passed. This is the first time in his career that the students performed well and gave cent percent result.
Thus sai convinced Daji vaman who became a staunch devotee of our Sai. Friend, by this we understand that these children did concentrate in studies though they seem to trust only their faith on sai. Ofcourse the reality is sai blessings has made these children spend enough time for education. How wonderful is this leela of Sai to convery a message to make you and your children be confident. Work hard and be devoted to sai. Let sai bless you with good education.
“The job of a teacher which you gave me ”
Friend. the below leela of sai is very touching for me because when i got job as a faculty for few month, i realized it was given as a gift from sai.
There was a devotee by name Govid Dhondo Pansare in sholapur. He vowed to have darshan of Sai baba if he passed the vernacular final examination. Only if he passed this exam, he can get a job as a teacher in primary school. Govid’s devotion on sai worked wonders as he passed the exam and also got job. When Govind went to shirdi, he bowed to sainath in dwarakamai.
Sai asked him ” What do you do ? ”
Govid replied humbly ,” The job of a teacher which you gave me”.
Friend. Now let us offer our prayers to all the children, young and old people for good education and career. Let them ever chant Sai Sai Sai, the name sai itself has the “Blessings of Goddess of all arts – Maha Saraswathi” in it. I bow to shri sainath to bless each and everyone who read this chapter to spread the value of education.
Let us also involve in little good deeds as follows
1. If you can afford, help just one poor child for education every year all through your life.
2. If you can’t afford that much, simply when ever you get chance give the gift of educational products like books, notes, pen etc to your friends and relatives children. Ofcourse for people in countries like india, you can come across few poor kids in village areas and provide them clothes ,note books and pen every year.
3. Its ok if you can’t do it regularly but when ever someone requests you for guidance in education , help them with proper advice. Even your words of motivation is a good deed.
I offer this prayer to Sainath.
Sai, Let us all realize what ever we learn and do, comes from you. so let us never have any ego for our success in education and career. Sai is the guru of all gurus. Let us all ever be in your holy feets as ordinary as you expect us to be and live in equality. Let there be no difference between the highly educated and others who din’t have opportunity to learn much. Sai bless everyone with a life of contentment.
Friend. Hope you like this tea of education. The ingridiants are Motivation, hardwork,concentration in studies, activeness and Devotion on Sai. If you sincerely pray sai baba for above qualities surely sai will gradually help you to grow in life.
Om shri sainathaya namaha