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I have been very fortunate from a small age to have experienced Swami in my life. Due to Swami's Grace and the fact that my parents felt that Swami was their only aim in life they made Swami the centre of our life.

Throughout my life from around the age of 5, I feel that Swami has always been with me. When I was in my earlier years I was lucky to have a number of interviews with Swami, where Swami showered His Love and Grace. I truly did not understand why I believed in Swami because I had the faith that my parents had, but it was when I came to my teenage years and Swami's presence became so real and understood His Love so much more.

My parents religiously took me to Prasanthi Nilayam every year and also said this was my holiday. Sometimes I was really bitter as wanted to see the rest of the world. But today I am so grateful for what they did for me! One experience that showed Swami's omnipresence was when my mother and myself had an interview with Swami. I was a teenager that was a bit spoilt and my mother complained to Swami (as they do) and she said to Swami, "Swami he never listens to me”. Swami with His Loving eyes looked into my eyes and said, "Yes he does not listen sometimes, he slams the door when you tell him something, goes upstairs puts his headphones on and ignores you, but you also need to stop spoiling him by giving him too much money”. Only Swami would know what I would do and how my mother spoilt me. This humbled me, and taught me that He knows everything even though we think He may not know our actions.

As I carried on my studies through the years Swami continued to direct my life. During the year of my GCSEs we again had an interview with Swami and being a cheeky teenager I asked Swami what grades will I get. Swami said to my mother and me the grades and also directed me as to what degree to pursue in the coming years. His Love and Grace were amazing, Swami would always ask me not what I could do for Him but always said to me "what would you like?” Never did He ask of me anything but always portrayed selfless love.

Swami's omnipresence and love, I feel, are all connected to sacrificing our lives to Him, through every thought and deed. One of my more recent experiences, as my family has grown, has been the stage of life where my wife was pregnant to have a child. We were really happy and joyous until one early Sunday morning we got an unexpected visit from the midwife to advise us that our child was at risk of having Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder which cannot be cured and reduces the lifespan of the child. My wife and myself didn't know what to do, whether to abort the child or to bring it in to this world. My parents who were in Prasanthi Nilayam at the time called on the Sunday as they did normally and for some reason we told them our situation even though we usually would not want to burden them when they were far away from us. My father took it on himself to write a letter to Swami, and by His Grace Swami read the letter in the Mandir. Swami said to my father that the child shall not have Down Syndrome, she shall be fine and healthy. The Lord said to my father for me to bring the child to Prasanthi Nilayam after four weeks of her birth and with His Love named my daughter. Today we have no words to express our gratitude to our Lord and we always know He is with us.

Personally, I feel that Swami is always with us as recently, my business and stress of work meant that I would worry. I would get up early in the morning and pace the room worrying and talking to myself about the tasks ahead for the following day. On our recent interview, Swami said to me, "why do you worry, I know you wake up and pace in the room thinking how to solve problems”. His next words melted me as He went to say "I am beside you, behind you, above you, I am always with you, don't worry".

Sandip Patel
Greater Manchester Sai Centre, Region 5