Sometime during the month of February 2007, the winter was at its peak in Japan. It should have been about 3.a.m. I had spent a restless night and probably just dozed off. The dream I had was very clear.
I was standing near a huge water tank in a big terrace of a very tall building. I couldn’t see the ground. This building was close to the ocean and the waves were menacingly coming towards me. Despite the fact that the building was very tall, the waves could still reach the top…. I could even feel the water spray. I got very scared and tried to hold my breath as the water was slowly drowning me. Suddenly, my hands fell on something! It seemed like a huge piece of iron. It thought that I should hold on to it tightly. I suddenly discovered that the piece of iron was actually holding me too and would not let me go. It felt so cool and soft despite being an iron pillar or a wall. I looked up and saw the trunk and the big belly of a huge idol of lord Ganesha. I held on, or rather, the idol held me tightly…. I felt secured when I woke up. Unlike my regular dreams, this one remained in my mind very vivid. There was something significant about this dream. In this one, I could even smell the sea and remember the sense of touch! I remembered every single detail. I could feel it with all my six senses. It was the first time I had such a dream.
During that phase of life we were looking desperately for a house near my son`s school and we were ardently praying for a good apartment. We had actually considered an apartment on the 22nd floor of a building and later found that it was already taken. I concluded that this dream was nothing but some manifestation of the events going on around our lives at that time. Although I was happy to hold on to Ganesha’s idol, I did not see anything more than that at that point.
Meanwhile, there was a rumor in my husband`s office that we could be transferred to China within a few months. This worried us a lot as we did not want to lose money on the house deposits and shifting. So, to be on the safe side, we stopped looking for new house for the time being. However, over the next few weeks they announced that they have identified someone else for the China office and we will not be transferred. We thanked God and resumed our house hunt.
Soon, we located a beautiful apartment in a great area and got ready to go and take a look at it. Since we did not have time we had to decide right away. The apartment was indeed a beautiful one. As I was busy checking the kitchen and the rooms, my husband called out to me and said, ‘Hey, they hadn’t mentioned ‘this’ in the plan..!!’ ‘This’, turned out to be a huge open terrace. I was open mouthed when I went out to take a look and something strange struck me. I remembered my dream. This was exactly the same terrace in my dream and strangely, from that huge terrace of the 28th floor apartment I could see the ocean !!I thought that was an auspicious sign…
Needless to say, we moved in soon into out new home. We spent a fortune on the deposit and new furniture and moving. Hardly a week passed by when we got the news! The person who was to join in China in my husband`s position, refused to join and they wanted my husband to be transferred to China.
I was totally disappointed. The new furniture which was yet to arrive and could not be cancelled anymore. The new things which were hardly a day or two old should be given away to a flee market. We had paid a huge key money to get this house which was non refundable. To add to all this I couldn’t imagine moving to another place where I should start from scratch. Honestly, all these were not the main problems…. the main question in front of me at that point was; ‘ I prayed and saw so many good signs to get this house so that we will live happily… and what kind of faith am I going to have in prayer anymore?
All my life I was taught that God never gives up on you when you pray. Now I did pray really well and asked Him to guide us. In fact, I even told him not to make us do anything which He would not approve of, even if we desperately wanted it. Now, I felt cheated and deprived. I thought I had PRAYED…. So I SHOULD and MUST get what I wanted! And, I had not asked for anything wrong or illegal after all!!
I imagine this must have been when Sai decided…. ‘Ok, this woman needs to learn a few things about life!!’ Let’s drag her to our Feet’!
I spent my days crying and worrying. But that did not stop destiny from doing its job. My husband started working in China and spent most of his time there. Both of us were tired and devastated and since we couldn’t find admission for my son in China until august, we had almost a year of traveling for my husband, where he will come home to Japan from China during weekends!!
As if by some design, I stumbled upon the Shirdi Sai Baba`s web site. I read about Shirdi Sai Baba for the first time in detail and was mesmerized. I read about Sai Sat Charitra parayana and though I had seen Shirdi Sai Baba’s picture often, I hadn’t felt this kind of attraction towards Him. I used to think he is some old man, some saint who is dead and gone! But, for the first time, I read his eleven assurances and felt a great sense of calm come over me.
We generally think that we get problems because of our bad time and difficult planetary positions. But I started believing that this should have been the best time of my life because I found that this single problem had changed my life more than I could imagine.Though I wouldn’t call myself an ardent devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, I did believe in Him and revered his miracles and the changes he has created in people’s minds. Being aware that He was the next incarnation of Shiridi Sai Baba, brought about a new strength in me.
The more I read about Shirdi Sai Baba, the more I wanted to do the 7 day Parayan. According to the site, I was supposed to have a Shirdi Baba picture at home while doing the parayan and I had none. I could have downloaded and printed one but there was some lingering doubt in my mind if all this would be a wild goose chase! Finally I posed a test to Baba and challenged Him. I thought if I get a picture of both Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba in a single frame by next Wednesday evening, I will do the Parayan.
Getting such a picture would be an easy task if I lived in India, but I live in Japan. Finding a regular Hindu God picture is in itself a feat and to find this Baba picture with all this specifications is almost next to impossible. We do not have any Hindu temples in Japan like US or UK, so this was like a big gamble of faith. However,the following Tuesday I was returning home after my work. I took a subway home but to my great surprise I had taken a wrong train! This has never happened to me in all these years. Nevertheless, I reached this place called Kawasaki, where the subway station is located in a large mall. As I had heard from friends about this mall earlier, I thought I could do some window shopping before I go home. Meanwhile, if I am lucky I might find an ethnic goods shop that might have some Hindu god pictures and I could see if I can find that particular Baba picture. After about one hour of hunting I got tired suddenly and felt as if all my energy has drained so I decided to have lunch. After lunch I walked aimlessly through various shops in the mall which was lined up with Gucci, Gabanna and the likes and I was constantly aware that I will not find the picture there. Time was running out and I thought to myself, ‘if I do not find the picture by 3.00 p.m. I am going back home!’
It was almost 2.40 p.m. I walked from one corner of the mall to another not even sure where I am going. I finally decided that I will have to give up now and walk towards the station to take the train back home. I was coming down an escalator from this multi storied shopping complex and I got this strange smell of incense sticks and perfumes. Right there in a corner of the floor was a tiny ethnic goods store. There were absolutely no other shops or stores near it. I suspected that they may have many Hindu god pictures there and I was right. Along with rows of Thai and Vietnamese Gods were Laksmi, Ganesha, Shiva and the likes. I did find a Shirdi Baba Picture and was about to buy it. Just then I remembered that I wanted to buy the Baba picture only if I could see both Shirdi Baba and Satya Sai Baba in the same frame. As atrocious as it might sound, I could not compromise. I had two conditions for Baba to start Parayan. One, to find the picture of both the babas side by side and two to get them by 3.00 p.m. today.
As I could not find what I wanted, I walked towards the exit depressed. I was suddenly drawn to another corner where they had Thai gods and show pieces. Alongside was a corner of the shop dedicated to Sathya Sai Baba pictures and books. More importantly, along with it was an array of key chains and pictures and there was this one picture. The one with three dimensional image with both Shirdi Sai and Sathya sai side by side! This, to me was nothing short of a Miracle! i looked at my watch… it was 2.59 p.m.
That day, 24th of April, 2007, 2.59 p.m. my Guru revealed himself to me!