Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan | Group V | Mr.V.N.Narayanan

Editor, Bhavan's Journal, Mumbai &
Principal, Bhavan's H.B. College of Communication & Management,

Mr.V.N.Narayanan, an accomplished journalist, worked for about 38 years for various National Newspapers. He was Editor in Chief, Tribune, Editor, Hindustan Times, etc. A prolific writer, he has many publications to his credit such as 'Tryst with Terror', 'I Muse', 'India at 50', etc. An ardent devotee of Bhagavan, he narrates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'It is as a wanderer inside the alley of doubt that I encountered Sri Sathya Sai Baba, quarter of a century ago, May 1980 to be precise. I was invited to His summer discourse at Brindavan more as the editor of Indian Express than as a confirmed or potential devotee. I went with my brother and we were discussing about avatars (incarnations), what Vedanta Desika said or Vivekananda opined, etc. Both of us at that time were quite sceptical about Sai Baba's divinity and quite proud of our own knowledge based on extensive book reading. As we entered the hall, I told my brother that Baba might have something to say on the topic of our discussion.

As Baba entered the hall, He came straight to me and asked something in Telugu which I could not understand. I was just looking at that enchanting smile of His face and my hands folded without my being aware of it. Someone standing next to me whispered: 'Swami is asking you weather your father has come'. I just mumbled that he must be on his way but Baba had already moved on towards the stage. And He began with a Telugu song in that captivatingly feminine voice of His and the theme of the first line was: 'Do not be proud that you have read voluminous books. They are so much garbage filling in your mind'. Or, words to that effect.

I turned back and winked at my brother as it were to say that the message was meant for the two of us. That day's discourse centred on the futility of amassing book knowledge. Baba virtually said in Telugu what Sant Kabir said in one of his Dohas:

Pothi pad, pad Jag mua, Pandit hua na koi Dayee akshar prem ka, Padave Pandit soi (No one has become a scholar by reading tomes; he who imbibes and practises 'Prem'-love-is truly a Pandit).

I realized that here was someone who knew the language of love and practised it all his life. He certainly needs no book. That was the first and immediate impact of Baba on me. He establishes direct communication with your soul as it were, whatever the physical distance. I was not sure whether I accepted Him as God but there was no doubt in my mind that He was an extraordinary phenomenon not subject to laboratory tests of authenticity that miscellaneous rationalist busybodies cry out for. Over the next few months, I was a regular visitor and was the fortunate object of special attention from Baba. However, I moved to Chandigarh the same year as my parents moved their residence to Brindavan and Prasanthi Nilayam to live with Sathya Sai Baba until the end of their lives.

In the year 1988, I spent a whole week in Brindavan and attended the Trayee sessions of Baba with students held after the evening darshan everyday. On the last day of my stay, Baba called my family and me for a private audience, which lasted 40 minutes. At the end of what I always remember as the eternity of bliss, Baba produced a ring with a huge diamond and put it on my finger telling me not to take it off ever. Less than a month later, it was announced that the inaugural G. K. Reddy award for excellence in Journalism was to be presented to me for my role in promoting peace and harmony in Punjab. One of the members of the jury told me much later that when the panel of five came to my nomination, they unanimously decided that I should be the awardee. The divine coincidence was that the jury meeting took place one day after Baba put the ring into my finger.'

-- Mr.V.N.Narayanan

(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.)