“I am always with you, above you, behind you, beside you, in you, around you…” These words of Swami constantly echo in our being at all times and experience has shown me that He is always there to guide and direct the course of our lives. Having had the golden fortune of studying in Swami’s Institute, every student has innumerable experiences of His Divinity and Love. It is always difficult to put these down on paper because they can only be felt by the person who has personally undergone the experiences.

sathya-sai-baba-EXPERIENCE 1
Life with Swami has taught me not to plan my life, strange as it may appear to people from the management world, where great emphasis is laid on planning, analysis etc. This is because, no matter what you think, plan and propose, Swami’s Divine plan overrules everything else. Also, whatever He does is always for our good. The best part of this is that He plans everything for us. I know that each and every stage in my life is in accordance with His wish.

My joining Brindavan Campus for the Pre-university course in 1981 and my graduation in the Institute was all a part of His will. When I completed my graduation, there was not even a talk of the MBA programme to be commenced in the Institute. It was a miracle. We personally witnessed Swami taking initiative in starting the MBA programme. He took all efforts to commence the MBA Programme, even though more than two months had elapsed since the beginning of the academic year. I still wonder as to how I got through the MBA admission test on my own, into the first batch. Now I know it was all His Will.

The best part of our MBA course was the interactions we had with Swami every evening during Darshan time. As our classes had started late, we worked overtime to complete the portions and we were usually delayed for evening Darshan. However, where ever we sat as a class, Swami used to make a bee line to that place and interact with us. He used to ask us our personal details, make us comfortable with the place and most importantly infuse in us the self-confidence to face the real world of management and business.
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Peter Drucker - Management Guru

Swami was our MBA teacher, in the literal sense. Every week, Swami gave special Discourses for the MBA students and faculty members. They were the most practical management lessons we had received in the Institute. In one particular Discourse, Swami spoke about the need for an Indian orientation to Management. Swami quoted the famous Management Guru, Peter Drucker and emphasised the need for understanding the Indian Ethos for Management.

Swami explained, “There are several soap manufacturers. During the manufacturing process, time must be given for the soap to solidify. In order to increase production, if enough time is not provided, the soap may look solid from outside, yet at the core it may remain in a fluid state. This will not satisfy the customer as the soap will get consumed very fast.” Interestingly, Swami did not just explain the intricacies of soap manufacturing. He is a teacher par excellence. He immediately created a piece of soap to illustrate His point. He told that though the soap looked solid outside, it was not so inside. There was a great rush among the students to get the soap from Swami’s Hands.

In yet another Discourse, Swami made a momentous declaration. Swami declared, “All powers of nature are under my control. I can turn the earth into sky and the sky into earth”. The whole audience was awe inspired. Swami continued, “I can change all you boys into girls”. Smiling at the students Swami asked, “Does anybody want it?” All the students sheepishly smiled at Swami. To demonstrate His control over the forces of nature, Swami materialised a huge pendant studded with diamonds. Swami asked the pendant to be passed around the audience. Many students touched the pendant and admired its Divine beauty.


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Sri Sathya Sai with the materialised diamond pendant

They also reverentially placed the pendant on their eyes as an act of worship. Looking at this, Swami remarked with a smile, “When the Creator is here, why just worship the Creation?” The students learnt a new lesson. They were made to focus on the inner core where the creator manifests, rather than just the external creation.

As the first batch of MBA students, we were fortunate to be taken to Kodaikanal by Bhagavan. There, we learnt the true meaning of hospitality. We were looked after by Swami, who was playing the perfect host. We learnt the correct practice of management. The intricate way in which Swami planned every detail of our stay, truly taught all of us, the correct way to manage every situation.

sathya sai baba First Batch of MBA Students
Sri Sathya Sai with the first batch of MBA Students at Kodaikanal - April 1987

Swami is the controller of our destinies. One of my batch students was weak in a particular subject. After completing his final year MBA exams, he went to Kodaikanal, when Swami had taken the second batch of MBA students. Swami asked him as to how he had performed in his exams. Even before the student could reply, Swami closed His eyes and said, “You have done very poorly in one subject. Just now the examiner is going to finish correcting your paper. He has decided to fail you.” The student was stunned. A sincere prayer emanated from his heart. Swami immediately continued, “But don’t worry. The examiner will not fail you. I will take care.” This assurance of Swami was enough. Needless to say, the student did pass the course comfortably, and he continues to serve at His Lotus Feet till this day.
Arun Dhareshwar offering his obeisances to His Divine Master during the Birthday Jhoola programme at the Hill View Stadium, Prasanthi Nilayam
Arun Dhareshwar offering his obeisances to His Divine Master during the Birthday Jhoola programme at the Hill View Stadium, Prasanthi Nilayam
My experience has not only shown me His presence within me at all times, but has also helped me strengthen my faith, conviction and love for Him. At every stage in my life, I have experienced Swami holding my hand and guiding me at every step. All this is His Will, Grace and Love.

Arun Dhareshwar
Student (1986-1988), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Senior Vice President and Head – Banking Strategy
Tata Consultancy Service Ltd., Mumbai

Source: Fragrance 2005 (80th Birthday Offering)






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