Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart and that depends upon how much he has polished it.. Whoever has polished it more, sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him – Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Philosopher
This hair rising incident
Occurred in 1999 in the amazing devotional life of Mrs Vimala Sarma, one of the most ardent, most obedient and also the most accomplished followers of Bhagawan Sriram Sir.
At that time, when this incident occurred in the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi, Vimala Sarma was sitting, along with her family members, in the holy premises of Dwaraka Maayi which was once house to His Most Revered Holiness The Sai Baba of Shirdi.
However, before proceeding to know what this hair rising incident is, it is more important for you to know who Vimala Sarma is and why is that this incident had occurred only in her life.
Please continue reading..
Vimala Sarma was a proud recipient of the prestigious Kendriya Sahitya Akademi award for her magnum opus, the ‘Bhavartha Ramayanam’, a Telugu translation of it’s most popular Marathi version, the ‘Bhavartha Ramayana’ written by Santh Ekanath Maharaj.
The miraculous fact here is, “Vimala Sarma, who hails from an illustrious Telugu Brahmin family, doesn’t even know how to read and write either Marathi or Hindi”.
All through her life, Vimala Sarma was a great devotee of Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi and it was only on His divine advice, which He had conveyed her through a dream, she had attempted to translate those astounding Marathi literary works into Telugu language.
Sai Baba would frequently appear in Vimala Sarma’s dreams and would guide her in many ways..
It was during one such appearance, that He had advised Vimala Sarma to translate ‘Ekanatha Bhagawatam’ from Marathi to Telugu which had eventually become Vimala Sarma’s first translation from an unknown language, Marathi, to her well known language, Telugu.
Vimala Sarma had spent about two years, along with her Marathi friend, Nalini – who was coincidentally introduced to her by the authorities of a Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in the Bagh Amberpet area of Hyderabad – in understanding the content of Ekanatha Bhagawata’s original Marathi version.
During those two years, while Nalini would read the Marathi version, Vimala Sarma would write it’s Telugu version, albeit without knowing it, with the divine blessings of His Holiness.
Vimala Sarma would spend about fifteen hours in a day, writing this great book.. Whenever she would have any doubt, either about the meaning of any particular Marathi word or a sentence, Baba would appear in her dream and clarify it to her.
One night, while writing this great book, Vimala Sarma could not understand the meaning of the Marathi word, “Tikalaa’.. She paused her writing there and went to bed that night..
On the same night, Baba appeared in her dream and told her that ‘Tikalaa’ means ‘Burada’ (Telugu) which in English language means, ‘Slush or Mire’. PERIOD
Later, in her glorious career, Vimala Sarma had translated into Telugu other popular Marathi literary works like, “Bhavartha Ramayanam’, ‘Gnaneswari Bhagawad Geeta’, ‘Allah Achcha Karega’, ‘Guru Charitra’ and ‘Sai Sath Charitra’ among others.
Finally, Vimala Sarma had won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award, awarded by the Govt. Of India, for her magnum opus, the ‘Bhavartha Ramayanam’ – Telugu version.
Vimala Sarma was always treated as a special guest by the Shirdi Sai Sansthan in Shirdi for her selfless service to this great Temple.. On many occasions, she was also accorded the rare honor of performing direct Abhishekam Seva to Baba’s idol in the main Shirdi Temple.
On the 19th of August, 1997,
Bhagawan Sriram Sir had quietly entered the life of Vimala Sarma, when she met Sir for the first time in her life at Prof Sivarama Krishna’s residence located in the Nallakunta area of Hyderabad.
As you all may be knowing, Professor Sivarama Krishna was Head, Department Of English, Osmania University under whose tutelage Sriram Sir had done His Doctorate in English.
During that first meeting, Sriram Sir had taken out a small packet of Vibhoothi, from His mysterious Black colored bag, that He always carries on His right shoulder, signed on it and gave it to Vimala Sarma.
Later, Vimala Sarma returned home that evening and while entering the home, she had -without realizing that Sir had actually materialized that Vibhoothi packet before giving it to her – thrown that into a place beside her house entrance steps, telling herself,
“I have seen many such ordinary people in my life giving such Vibhuthi packets.. What is so great about this bespectacled man sporting a trouser and a shirt who the Professor says is a great divine soul”.
Ignorance sheer ignorance and Maya sheer Maya..
Vimala Sarma may have done so, out of her ignorance or due to the Maya Chakra that always revolves around Sriram Sir, however, the next morning, Vimala Sarma’s husband, while entering home after his morning walk, had found that Vibhuthi Packet near those steps; picked it up; went inside; and gave it to Vimala Sarma, saying,
“Looks like you have by mistake lost this near our entrance.. Luckily, I found it there.. Keep it carefully”.. Vimala Sarma just could not believe her eyes.. It was then, and also for the first time in her life, that she had sensed a divine hand in that small incident.
In her later part of life too, Vimala Sarma had experienced quite a few miracles of Sriram Sir more so while writing the Bhavartha Ramayanam.. Almost every evening, after Sir entered her life, while writing this book, Vimala Sarma would hear sounds of bells and gentle footsteps walking around her.
However, she would find those distinct sounds soothing on her mind rather than frightening on her heart.
On one evening,
Vimala Sarma and a few others were silently sitting in front of Professor Sivarama Krishna in a room in his house and were listening to his discourse on Gita.. Suddenly, to their utter shock, a white beam of light had entered the room.
And as they were so watching, with utter shock and dismay, that light beam revolved around all those sitting in that room, for about a minute, and shocking them furthermore had gone and entered a small portrait of Bhagawan Sriram Sir, that was there on a wall in that room, and disappeared.
More than anyone else in that room, it was Vimala Sarma who had gone into a much deeper and a much bigger shock although the same divine incident was witnessed by her husband, her uncle and a few others there.
After that shocking incident, Vimala Sarma had gradually started believing, “my Baba had now directly entered my life through Sriram Sir.. If not who else can He be, performing so many incredible divine acts that are clearly proving He’s none other than my Baba”.
However, Vimala Sarma is a human being too and has the same mind, just like you and me have, that always vacillates between maya and moham; existence and non existence; doubt and belief; good and bad; to be or not to be; there or not there; and true or untrue.
Therefore, she could not completely accept Sriram Sir as her Guru or as her Baba although she was pretty sure there’s no difference between the two.. Still some doubt somewhere in the remote corner of her mind.
In a way, Sriram Sir’s entry into her life had doubled Vimala Sarma’s confusion in devotion more so in her quest for the divine Nectar.. She always would weep and pray to her Baba to prove to her that He’s constantly with her and staying along with her in her residence.
Cosmically observing everything that was going through in Vimala Sarma’s mind, Sriram Sir would give her more divine experiences, occasionally though, but they would only create a temporary impact on her mind and never an everlasting one.
It was during such most agonizing phase of Vimala Sarma’s life, that Sriram Sir had played a master divine stroke and that had resulted in the above hair rising incident that occurred in the Shirdi Temple in 1999.
On that day of October 30th, 1999
Which was coincidentally Vimala Sarma’s 49th birthday, Vimala Sarma and her family members went to Dwaraka Maayi in Shirdi, after having the divine darsan of Sai Baba in the main Shirdi Temple..
They all quietly squatted there on the floor.
Went into silence.
Lost in their prayers..
More so in their thoughts..
Vimala Sarma too had slowly closed her eyes..
Started talking to her Baba..
Started telling Him everything..
Telling Him her agony..
Telling Him Her pain..
Suddenly, her eyes started raining..
Drop by drop..
Pearl by pearl..
With those tear filled eyes..
She quietly started telling Baba,
“Baba, where are you..?? Are you there with me..?? Always with me..?? If so where.. Who is Sriram Sir..?? How unassuming He appears.. From the bottom of my heart, I really want to believe that He is you but my mind is not allowing me to believe so.
Doubts are tearing apart my mind.. Incoherent thoughts are causing me heart burning.. My mind’s journey between doubt and belief seems endless as well as goalless.. Am going mad Baba.. Going restless.. Difficult to lead life this way.
Please forgive me Baba if I had ever sinned in my life but please prove to me that Sriram Sir is You and You are Sriram Sir.. My heart wants to spend the rest of my life serving Sir but my mind is not cooperating.. Please Baba show me a way and grant calmness to my mind”.
Thinking so on and so forth and conveying her disturbed thoughts to her Baba, Vimala Sarma sat so, in that almost samadhi state, for quite a long time..
All her family members, who were aware of Vimala Sarma’s devotion towards Baba and the many miraculous divine experiences she had with Him, were silently watching her, at that moment, without disturbing her.
Vimala Sarma slowly opened her eyes..
To her surprise..
She found a lot of calmness all around her..
A soothing calmness..
A serene calmness..
A divine calmness..
As though signalling a divine act.
As though heralding a new divine beginning in her life..
Vimala Sarma was looking straight..
At an empty space..
That was appearing before her field of vision..
As she was so looking..
She first noticed a slight movement in that space..
Then, after a few seconds..
Noticed a small human form in that movement..
Then noticed a 6 – year old boy..
Dazzling with a divine glow all over his body..
Emerging from that space..
Vimala Sarma was watching..
So were her family members..
With all silence..
With all shock..
The boy slowly started walking..
Walking towards them..
Slowly approached them..
Looking straight at them..
Without any fear whatsoever..
Asked them in a mesmerizing cute tone,
“Who is Vimala Sarma here..??”..
With a shiver in her body..
As though in a divine trance, replied,
“Am Vimala Sarma”..
Turning to her..
Then moving close to her..
And bending before her..
And taking his face close to her face..
The boy Mystic had told her in a musical tone..
“That elderly old man standing in the dark space you are looking at had just asked me to pass on an important message to you”.
With every follicle of hair in her body rising..
Vimala Sarma asked that child Mystic..
“Ohhhhh.. What is that message..??”
Almost freezing Vimala Sarma’s five senses..
The child Mystic said,
“That from hereon Sriram Sir would be your Guru for life and there’s no difference between Him and Sriram Sir”..
Vimala Sarma asked..
“Is that so.. But who is that elderly old man who had told you all this”
Straightening his body..
Lifting his right hand..
The child mystic..
Turned his hand..
Pointing it towards a portrait of..
His Holiness The Most Revered Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi..
Air had frozen there and so were the other elements of Nature..
Vimala Sarma was indescribable..
She just couldn’t believe her senses..
Couldn’t believe what she had just seen..
And just experienced..
Before she could even realize what was happening in front of her eyes, that 6 – year old divine Mystic quickly turned back and started running towards the same empty space from where he had emerged..
Quickly coming back to her senses, Vimala Sarma too jumped up from her squatting position and ran behind that cute Mystic..
And smiling at Vimala Sarma..
That 6 – year old child Mystic..
Ran a few more feet..
Much to the shock of..
“Namaste sata the jagat kaaranaaya.. Namaste chite sarva lokaa shrayaaya.. Namo dvaita tattwaaya mukti pradaaya.. Namo brahmane vyaapine saasvataaya”
> After that hair rising incident in Shirdi, Vimala Sarma had become arguably the greatest devotee of Bhagwan Sriram Sir and had experienced many divine miracles from Him.. Honestly, I wanted to share a few more experiences of Vimala Sarma today but due to lack of space in this already lengthy story am not doing that.
> On Vimala Sarma’s request, Sir stayed as a tenant in her house in the famous Durgabhai Deshmukh colony in Hyderabad, from the 19th of May, 2003 to the 24th of June, 2007.. As she had once personally told me, this was a Golden Period in Vimala Sarma’s life.
> Vimala Sarma would always think, and rightfully so, that “If Sir is God then Madam must be Goddess and their children God’s Children”.. Thinking so, she would treat them all with the same reverence she would treat Sir.
> Unfortunately, the noble couple of Vimala Sarma and Miryala Sarma are not blessed with children.. Hence, she once requested Sriram Sir to be her son and ever since He obliged, she started calling Sir “Babu”..
> Sriram Sir had once given Vimala Sarma the rare opportunity of enjoying motherhood when He had left His son, Uday, and daughter, Sowmya, under her care, for about ten days, after she had repeatedly requested Sir for the same.. Sir and Madam had to go out to some other city on a personal work for ten days.. Uday and Sowmya were then in college and school, respectively.
> Those ten days were the most cherished sweet moments of Vimala Sarma’s otherwise void filled lonely life.. She would reverentially touch Sowmya’s feet, while wearing her shoes and socks, at the time of preparing her for school, those ten days.. She used to do so, everyday, before the little Sowmya could notice her.
> Tragically so, Vimala Sarma was afflicted with Cancer in 2008 and had suffered with it for three long years.. Sir would frequently visit her home, during those painful years, and by and large alleviate her pain.
> Finally, on the 24th of June, 2011 – coincidentally on the same day Sir had vacated her house four years before that, in 2007 – Vimala Sarma had traveled empty handed, without carrying any of her great literary works with her, to that distant nation from whose bourne no traveler had ever returned.
> On hearing the news, I immediately went to her house and paid my tributes to the great departed soul.. At that time, I have seen Yashoda Madam, wife of Sriram Sir, weeping inconsolably in front of the great Vimala Sarma’s body..
> Later, after all the rites at home were complete, Vimala Sarma’s body was taken out in a procession to a nearby graveyard.. Showing His enormous love for His most ardent devotee, Sriram Sir too had quietly walked along that procession.
> Source : ‘Vimala Charitha’ – a Telugu book written on the life of Mrs Vimala Sarma by Smt Bhamidipati Hyma Bhaskar, another ardent and senior follower of Bhagawan Sriram Sir.
“The sphere upon which mortals come and go.. Has no end nor beginning that we know.. And none there is to tell us in plain truth.. Whence do we come and whither do we go” – From Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam
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