That First Knock In My Life...True Experiences Of Sai's Entry In A Devotees Life!
The bond between Baba and me as it exists now was not like love at first sight. It did however str some emotion in me. I must have been around ten years when I recall seeing his first pictures. My fathers sister - Sudha Bua, a very loving, caring and simple woman, was devoted to Sai Baba.
Based in Mumbai, whenever she visited us, she would bring in lots of foreign make chocolates, chewing gums and what not - all a kids fantasy. I clearly remember that instead of feeding curd or applying forehead tilak - as are rituals, while departing from the house, she used to apply Vibhuti (holy ash) on our forehead.
I would distastefully see this ash-like object. I preferred the chocolates over it. Life moved on and the only connect I had with religion and spirituality was Lord Shiva. The Shiva Linga at our home puja endeared me and I would often watch him endlessly. My grand father Mansukh Lal Dubey was a great devout and I would happily assist him in his puja at home. But that was it!
When for higher studies I moved to Agra, I connected with Mankameshwar Baba, a very ancient Shiva Linga, in Rawatpada, Agra. I would fast on Monday and visit this temple every Monday with my hostel mates, serve there and be engrossed in this form of Shiva.
Time passed and I passed my M.A (Political Science) was completed. After spending some time in Mainpuri, my home town, I went to Delhi, for the IAS preparations but jumped into the media arena. Completed the course in the country's leading mass communication institute-IIMC and came first at the all-India level.
IIMC changed my life. This change was also different. I probably got a career of my liking. During the media studies, I also met my wife Sagarika, who hails from Orissa. In 2001, she entered my life as Mrs Dubey. Time just flew thereafter...my career was flourishing, all was well at home but nothing worthwhile happened generally in my religious bent or specifically towards Sai Baba.
But, in hindsight, as I look back, his footsteps were certainly drawing close to me. I may not be seeing or feeling them, but the great seer was certainly taking me under his protection...as was revealed some months later.
As mentioned in religious scriptures and also mentioned in the narratives of Sri Sai Sachcharitra, we may have anything in mind but what God decides is what will happen. And it happened very quickly too.
- To be continued...
(Excerpts From Sai, A Book written by Mohit Dubey)