Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Jul 2023


Divine Experiences of Dr. Nikhil

[By Dr. Nikhil]

Due to my spiritual inclination, I was not particularly interested in my worldly education or career. Yet, due to God’s will, I completed my Ph.D. and postdoctoral research in the US. Thereafter, I had to seek a job to support myself and my family, as instructed by Swamiji. I felt inspired to join Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham since Amma’s vision of integrating science and spirituality matched the teaching of Swamiji. Swamiji Himself is a living embodiment of this teaching. He is the Divine Preacher of the most sublime spiritual knowledge, and He is also a doctorate and a professor of chemistry. He is Himself the confluence of science and spirituality. The individual’s ability to determine the correct direction and the capability to perform action depends on the individual’s education. The actions of individuals in turn determine the condition of society. True education is that which can bring about peace in society and enable the spiritual progress of individuals. Such education must be a balance of both science and spirituality. This is also the vision of the ancient ṛṣis in the Veda (Dve vidye veditavye iti ha sma yadbrahmavido vadanti parā caivāparā ca—Veda, Muṇḍaka Up. 1.1.4).

In present times, it is very difficult to find any institution committed to this vision. There are relatively few institutions with this vision, and they were started by Incarnations like Shri Satya Sai, and Amma, or by other spiritual personalities. Due to Swamiji’s grace, I got a job in Amrita, and I was quite enthusiastic about it. I worked hard to fulfill this noble goal of imparting a balance of worldly and spiritual knowledge to students.

In 2022, I was promoted to the position of Professor after remaining at the level of Associate Professor for ten years. In 2023, I was even made the Chairperson of my department. Both these promotions came most unexpectedly and are entirely the grace of Lord Datta. In fact, both are the fulfillment of His words spoken to me about two years earlier.

Once on a phone call with Swamiji, the topic about my career came. I had not been promoted for over eight years then. I was generally not concerned about it since my focus was divine service. However, work was getting more and more demanding. I mentioned this to Swamiji. Swamiji advised me to become skillful in the art of delegating work to others. He remarked, “You will understand how to do it when you become a chairperson”. I told Him that my real desire was only to serve Him and not become a professor or chairperson. Yet, sensing some disappointment in my heart about not being promoted for a long time, Swamiji said the following to me in a witty and humorous way.

He said, “When I joined a college as a lecturer, I looked forward to being promoted to a reader. It felt as if on becoming a reader, I would grow horns on My head. However, when I actually became a reader, I checked my head and found no horns growing! Then I felt that perhaps, on becoming a professor, I would grow some horns. When I became a professor, again, I found no horns growing. I checked my head again and again, just in case I had missed any new bumps forming. I thought that surely, on becoming the chairperson of the department, I would grow horns. But nothing of the sort happened!” We laughed heartily together. I got the message that I need not bother about any worldly matter at all. When my Sadguru, the Embodiment of Divine Kindness and Love is with me, why should I worry about anything?

I gave up all aspiration for my promotion and dedicated myself to my worldly duty and divine service. Within a few months, most unexpectedly, I got a call from my chairperson asking me to submit the application form for my promotion. I prepared and submitted the application file containing the lengthy form along with all the supporting evidence required. Quite surprisingly, I got the promotion, without any complication.

Roughly after a year of being promoted to the position of professor, I was asked to become the department chairperson. I was shocked! I instantly remembered Swamiji’s words, spoken to me a couple of years back. I requested for some time to think. I called Swamiji and told Him about the offer. Swamiji said that I should accept it. So, without any further hesitation, I accepted the position. I know that I cannot hold this or any position for even a moment with my own will or power. I cannot even take a single breath on my own. For my every breath, I depend only on Swamiji. Without Him, I am nothing.