Devotees never know when they are blessed by Lord Sai Baba and come to His fold. But realising this, the new-born devotee never fails to sing his/her Lord’s glory. This is what is said by Sai sister Neetu ji in the below experience.
Sai Sister Neetu ji from USA says: Dear Hetal Ji, Thank you very much for giving all Sai devotees a wonderful platform to share their personal experiences with others and making their faith deeper in holy feet of Sri Sai Baba. Baba’s Leelas are infinite and His love and kindness for His children are unconditional. My shallow writing is incapable of depicting His grace and divinity for His devotees. It is just an attempt to express my gratitude and faith in Baba’s holy feet for His motherly love for all of us.
I am worshiping Sai Baba for about two years. How I became Baba’s devotee is a miracle to me itself. No one in my immediate family or relative ever worshiped Sai Baba. But when I was a small kid, I had once read Baba’s story of lighting deepaks with water in some story book. I had read hundreds of stories in Nandan, Champak and other comic books as a kid and forgot them. I don’t know why, but I never forgot this particular story even after I grew up. I did not know anything about Baba’s life or Shirdi temple other then this particular story. I belong to eastern part of India and had never been to Bombay before. I had never worked in India when I was there like any other girl in my family. It wasn’t very much encouraged in our family.
Years went by and I finished my education in India, got married in Dec. 2002 and came to USA in Jan. 2003. In these past years of my life, I had always worshiped almost every GOD other than Sai Baba. When I came to US, my husband already had a small picture of Baba’s Idol in Shirdi in our home temple. It was just sitting there with other deity’s pictures, so I used to worship it with other pictures only, because it was already there. Although I never forgot Baba’s story I read as a kid. But I always remained ignorant of Him. I used to think that He was just a Sadhu (Saint), who probably had just a little more power, because He lighted deepak with water. There are many other Babas in India who claim to be a saint. One of my aunts, who also live here, is a Sai Baba Devotee. Whenever I used to here, Baba’s name forms her or anyone else in any conversation. I did not pay much attention to it. It was just a talk for me which I used to forget later.
Few years after coming to US, I went to school again and got my MS degree in IT. I completed my degree (in April 08) a little before recession hit US in 2008 and started my job hunt. I was desperately looking for the job. But with no prior work experience and recession hit economy; it became impossible for me to get even an entry level job. It was the worst time to look for a job as thousands of people were losing their jobs everyday all over USA. I was trying hard to find any job; even if it was not in my field, to get my foot in the door. I did every pooja and fasting in my power to get the job. But the result was zero. Friends and even relatives started telling me that there is something wrong with my approach. And I was not trying hard enough or putting enough effort into it and not networking with as many people as I should do. I should be more aggressive towards it. But I was doing everything to the best of my capabilities with no results.
It was going to be two years (2010) after my graduation without a job and my desperation and depression reached its heights. I seriously started thinking of leaving my husband and home here and going back to India for the job for at least six months. I started talking and sending my resume to people in India. I was frustrated and sad all the time. One day, I was sitting very sad and browsing internet for some mantra or ritual for getting job. In one of the postings (I don’t remember the website), someone mentioned that the person was also struggling for job and he read Shri Sai Satcharitra and got it. It was a ray of hope for me in the dark. Baba was the only one I never prayed to for job. At this point I did not know anything about this sacred book other than its name and that it is something about Sai Baba. Now I became very impatient for the book that where will I find it in USA. I started searching for the book in online stores and sites and found a website (http://saiseva.omsrisai.net/store/index.php). I ordered the book online through this website, but I could not get it soon as the person who had to ship the book had already left for India. Meanwhile, I became very curious about the contents of the book. I started reading more and more for what the book was about and Sai Baba. I became so curious about Baba that for some time I forgot about my job situation. I found a website (forum.spiritualindia.org) where they have audio format of the sacred book and “Sai Bhakton ki Sacchi Kahaniyaan” episodes. I started listening to the audio chapters of Sai Satcharitra. Once I started listening to it, I could not stop myself. It was so interesting that I was listening to the chapters nonstop, as much as possible in one day. At that time I did not know about the Parayan method. When I listened to Baba’s Leelas, I cried in almost every chapter. As I was moving through the chapters, with each chapter my faith was getting deeper in Him. I also watched all the episodes of “Sai Bhakton ki Sacchi Kahaniyaan” and cried in every episode after watching Baba’s kindness and miracles for His devotees. Now I came to realize what Baba was. All the doubts and ignorance about Him was gone. My head was completely clear and there was an absolute peace in my heart. I felt like, now I’ve found my true Guru and GOD. I became His devotee in that moment and surrendered myself to Him. After I finished listening to all the chapters first time, it was attracting me so much, that again I started listening to it from the beginning.
I wanted to know and read about Baba as much as possible. I read about his Thursday vrat, Parayan method and started it right away with Sankalp (pledge) for my job. By the time, I started my vrat I received the book and Baba’s UDI in mail. I read sacred book every day even after Parayan. I cried in front of Him every day. I told Him that You are the One Who does everything. People are just a medium to get Your job done. So I will only cry, ask, and request for my job to You, not to even one single person other than you. And that’s what I did. I was also watching ‘Sai Baba’ serial on star plus and YouTube continuously.
In March 2010, I received my first formal interview e-mail (six people panel interview). After my graduation, from a government organization (Although we don’t have green card yet, only EAD). When I was going to the interview room from the hallway, I felt Baba’s presence there, looking and smiling at me and walking by my side to the interview room. I was hired as a fulltime employee with a much unexpected salary for an out of college candidate, for first job, with no prior work experience and in a very difficult time when people were struggling to keep their jobs every day. I had experienced Baba’s miracle and grace first hand. I couldn’t stop fasting on Thursdays even after getting my job and had already stopped counting it long time ago. This year in April (2011), I went to India to see my family and there I performed my Vrat Udyapan (closing pooja) on Navratri Ashtami.
I had a very intense desire to visit Shirdi at least once in my lifetime for Baba’s Darshan. I always prayed to Him for this, since I surrendered to Him. Five, six days ago, Just before leaving for India, I was watching Sai Baba serial on star plus. And here is Baba’s words “Agar mere bhakt ko mujhse milne ki uttkantha hoti hai to main use shirdi bula leta hoon”. (If my devotee has a keen desire to see me then I call him to Shirdi.). It seemed like Baba was talking to me. As Baba said it, my tears couldn’t stop for some time. And guess what, I went to India only for three weeks and in that short period of time Baba called me to Shirdi for His Darshan. Me and my husband landed in Bombay, went to Shirdi for Darshan and then went to my home town in UP. I had never been to that part of India. But Baba already made all the travel arrangements for us before we reached there. The whole trip went extremely well. It was another experience of His love for me.
Baba is with me on every step of my life. He lives in my heart. He is taking very good care of me and my family. These incidents were just a beginning of Baba’s grace and miracles in our lives followed by countless incidents of His grace we experience in our life every day. I will write about those experiences in my other postings. I pray to Baba to give us Agadh Shraddha (faith) and Bhakti in His holy feet. Baba please keep Your Varadhast (hand) always on our head. We will be orphans without You. Apke shree charno mein mera koti koti pranaam hai.
Jai Sri Sai Baba