When I was approximately 12 years old I went to Margate, a seaside town approximately 75 miles from where I used to live in London.
I had always been a attracted to the so called spiritual, being born into a Hindu Gujarati family. I had a great time in Margate, with all my school friends. We happened upon a small new age shop and I went in and felt at home straight away.
I saw a picture of Shirdhi Baba and also the half Siva half Sakthi picture (known as Siv-Sakthi).
I was very happy with my purchase. I went home and not long after my mum's auntie gave her a picture of Sathya Sai Baba. This was our family initiation into Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the year 1982.
I devoured any literature on Sri Sathya Sai, after which I learnt that Shirdhi Baba was an incarnation of Siva and that Sathya Sai Baba was an incarnation of the divine feminine and masculine i.e Siv-Sakthi - there very pictures I had brought from Margate - a very simple connection, however, as you will know Swami has His way of making His connection with you very personal. from this I became very involved with the going to group devotional singing (Bhajans). From this small group they decided to start a new Sai Centre, which commenced in approximately 1990.
The relationship with Sai was cast and I have never looked back. There has been much divine pain, a pain that I can only describe as laced with nectar - as it has taught me much - that even this pain is from within, the process of shedding the ego - it is not real.
Also there have been many instances when Swami has shown me that He is with me, very small but subtle and invigorating. I have seen vibuthi, nectar materialise. I have seen a coconut crack in front of my eyes as I have been seated in a bhajan. He has slowly but surely changed me from within. I tend to be more quiet and less reactive - however the ego does raise itself cunningly.
I have never had an interview and it is only now that I see this as a blessing - He gives the right medicine to the right patient and that too at the right time. He once put his knee on my shoulder as He was getting a letter from someone seated behind me and I felt a jolt and for about 30 minutes had a small vibration going on in my throat. Can we fathom Him.
He saved my Grandmother in hospital when she was not well, He came and gave her vibuthi - she immediately told me upon a visit that He had been and given her vibuthi.
We used to have a newsagent shop which I ran with my parents. We used to keep a picture of Swami near the cigarette counter. Many customers would ask who it was, some commenting that He looked Michael Jackson.
We had a huge block of flats overlooking our shop and one of our customer came in one day saying that, that very morning while they were on the balcony, they were having a cigarette looking down on our shop and they said that they could see the man in the picture above our cigarette stand, pacing up and down in front of the shop, as if He was guarding the building - I knew then that Sai is looking after us. These were challenging times in the business but somehow everything worked out well and we sold up.
Even in my marriage, one of His devotees, who I did not really know took my hands and ask me to repeat the words YES YES YES - just like Swami would say. I did so - she then told me I would know who I was marrying - and so it came to be - I was married within 6 months.
There have been times when I have been angry with Him - as with all relationship - I once wanted to leave Whitfield and return to UK, as as usual He had not seen me. I went to get my plane ticket changed. When I went after a few days to see if the ticket agent was able to reduce my stay, he informs me that it had extended. I was very angry and started to swear at Swami as I walked down the road - I know I should not have but I was angry - anyway He came in my dream and shouted loudly at me - I have never been soooo scared - He said to me WHEN U COME HERE, HOW LONG YOU STAY HERE & WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE - IS DECIDED BY ME (SAI) - I knew then we are just puppets with Him pulling the strings - do not worry about when and where He is pulling the string - Let go and Let God.
There have been many such experiences - all confirmation that He is God - and now increasingly So am I.
I hope this gives you a small inkling of my journey - each journey being perfect for the recipient. He draws us in with the bait of LOVE and we are captured - even if you think you have escaped the net, He has you, no reason, no season just love.