Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group V | Prof. (Mrs.) Jayalakshmi Gopinath

Prof. (Mrs.) Jayalakshmi Gopinath,
Head of the Department of English &
Warden, Sri Sathya Sai Women's Hostel,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus.

Prof. (Mrs.) Jayalakshmi Gopinath has been a long time devotee of Bhagavan with her association extending beyond five decades. She has had innumerable experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan. She narrates a few of them in her own words.

'It was in early 1948 that I came with my parents, for the first time, to touch the Holy Feet. From then on my life has been an enchanting one. As is customary in all traditional Brahmin families of those days, I was married off at a young age, with the blessings of Bhagavan Baba. My husband was a highly educated and noble individual who also became an ardent devotee of Bhagavan Baba.

Baba wrote a couple of times to my father that He would like me to be at His College at Anantapur even before it had taken shape. As I had my other duties in the world, Swami seemed to put it off. Once when Swami came to Rajahmundry where my husband was stationed, He graciously visited our house. At that time, when my husband told Swami that He could take me to His College, Baba replied 'Gopinath, you will be all alone; not now.' We could not understand the deeper implications of His words then.

Life went on with my frequent visits to Puttaparthi in between my worldly duties. By 1971, my husband had won international repute and the Government of Iran had extended him an invitation to help them in research activities under the auspices of the FAO. Accepting the invitation, if the Indian Government permitted, would mean staying in Iran for three years. My husband left the matter pending. In October, the same year, we visited Brindavan. One day, Baba very lovingly called us inside, and taking my husband by the hand, said 'Gopinath, spend the day with me, you can go back in the evening to the city.'

At 4 o' clock in the evening, Swami called both of us to Him again. My husband took the opportunity to ask Bhagavan whether he could accept the invitation from Iran, and during the three years of his absence, where I could stay. Swami took him to the corner of the room where there was a wooden model of the Anantapur College. He said 'don't worry Gopinath, Jayamma will be here. She will be very safe; there are no men in the Campus except the watchman.' His words were very soothing and comforting but hardly did we know then that the Omniscient One had spelt out my future. In February 1972, after having attended the Directors' Conference in New Delhi, my husband returned to Rajahmundry. That same night, he suffered a massive heart-attack. Before he succumbed to the inevitable, Baba had written to him a comforting letter saying that He had already given him a place in His heart. Baba sent word to my home that he had reached Him where he shall rest in peace forever.

Baba lovingly asked me to come and spend some time in Braindavan. It was a great consolation and solace. Swami asked me to send a telegram to my father who was then staying with my eldest sister at Tirunelveli. My father and sister arrived as soon as they could.

Swami called my father and me for an interview. He asked me with love and compassion 'Jayamma, where would you like to stay?' My mother was no more and so I had no mother's home. My sisters, sad and distraught, were insistent that I stay with them. My brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law lovingly invited me to their homes. But I had already made up my mind, and I said without any hesitation 'Swami, I want to be at Swami's Lotus Feet.' Then, Swami looked at my father and asked 'Vittal Rao, where would you like Jayamma to stay?' My father's reply was quick and decisive, 'with Swami.' Swami took my father's hand in His Divine hands and said with much love 'don't worry, she shall be with me. I shall look after her till the end.' I could see the relief on my father's face. I fell at the Divine Lotus Feet in deep gratitude. Baba added 'she shall be in Anantapur College. I am going to Parthi now. 'Vittal Rao, see that she comes to Anantapur on the day of the Selection Committee meeting. I shall inform you regarding the date.' My heart was full and my eyes were moist, as I knew now that I would be safe and secure in the Divine Hands. I was touched by God, Bhagavan Baba.

Baba had told my father to be in Brindavan. My father came to my in-laws' house and informed me the date of the Selection Committee meeting. I went to Anantapur, dazed and diffident. By the time I reached there, the meeting had already begun and I waited with a lot of trepidition. I was summoned to the august presence of the committee members and I saw Bhagavan sitting at the head of the table. Involuntarily, my tension eased and I instantaneously relaxed. The interview was over and I felt relieved. To my credit was a good academic record. But I believe, my true credentials were Bhagavan's compassion and grace. In a short while, much to my delight, Bhagavan came out of the room with an orange in His hand. Giving the orange to me, He said 'Jayamma, you are selected.' So it was - Let Thy Will Be Done.

I joined the College, which was then under the auspices of the Sri Venkateswara University, in July 1972, when the new academic session began. I was sitting in the staff room on the first day. The then Vice-Principal, Dr. Hemalatha, came and sat beside me. The casual conversation that ensued between us revealed to me further details about how the Lord's master-plan had decided my destiny. She casually asked me 'why did you not join last year?' She said that Bhagavan Baba had enquired during the previous year's Selection Committee meeting whether they had received an application from me for the post in the English Department, as my husband was no more. He seemed to have told them my husband's name and his designation. I was dumbfounded. I told her that I had not applied the previous year for the post because my husband was very much alive then. Now it was her turn to be stupefied by my answer. She then wondered how Bhagavan had told them about my husband's demise the previous year itself. She also recollected that the matter was however dismissed and forgotten, since they had not received any application from me. To me and to all around, it was a startling revelation that Baba had predicted my coming to the College one year in advance. A few staff members in the room, who were not Sai devotees, raised a doubt 'how is it that Bhagavan was aware of your coming here last year itself?' The only answer that I could give them was 'Bhagavan Baba knows the Past, the Present and the Future of each one of us. He is the Director of our Destinies.' Many sceptics who witnessed our conversation started to believe that Baba is indeed Divinity Incarnate.'

-- Prof. (Mrs.) Jayalakshmi Gopinath

(As extracted from the souvenir Ananta Prematarangini published by the Anantapur Campus of the SSSIHL on the occasion of the 80th Birthday of Bhagavan)