Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan | Group V | Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga

Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga,
Cricketer, Colombo,
Sri Lanka.

Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga is one of the outstanding cricketers of all times. He led Sri Lanka in cricket in dozens of Tests and ODIs against all cricket playing teams. He won several matches for Sri Lanka at home and abroad. He is presently a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka and a Deputy Minister. An ardent devotee of Bhagavan, he narrates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I first met Bhagavan way back in 1993. We had just completed a disastrous cricket tour of India losing all the Test matches rather ignominiously. After the final test at Bangalore which we lost, with a day to spare, we made a trip to Puttaparthi led by Mr. Tyronne Fernando who was at the time the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka and an ardent devotee of Bhagavan. An experienced parliamentarian, he was later to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of Sri Lanka. There were around eight of us in the team who took part in the trip. It is said that first appearances could be deceptive, so with Bhagavan. He is small in stature, below the average Indian. But from the very beginning, he exerted an imposing influence on us which has not diminished over the years.

In between the two World Cups, we visited Him in 1997 in connection with the Unity Cup. This was to be a match between the Indian National side led by Sachin Tendulkar and a World Eleven captained by me. The match was played at the Hill View Stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam. The stadium manager was the former great spin bowler Erapalli Prasanna who had been entrusted with the task of preparing the stadium only in May 1997. Apparently, the engineers and the other ground staff were sceptical that the rubble could be converted into an acceptable wicket before the end of December. However, Bhagavan was of a different frame of a mind. He directed them to proceed with the preparation of the ground stating everything would be alright by the day the match was to be played. And so it was. In fact, by December, it was lush green and even better than an English County cricket stadium. The encounter was played on the 30th December in which the Indian Eleven won.'

-- Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga

(Source: The devotee's article in the special souvenir Tribute published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust on the occasion of the 80th Birthday of Bhagavan.)