Amma as Lakshmi
I just finished my undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Hamilton. During the four years of study, I was fortunate to have had financial help from various sources so I could live away from my family who insisted that I quit studying and got married instead. Applications for financial assistance were routinely approved during the first three years and I was humming along very nicely in my studies.
Then, in my final year, disaster struck in the form of a new Financial Director for the University. Claiming that my family lived in the same area as the University, the Director refused to approve my application for financial aid. He said that I ought to live with my family and not at a University residence. I told him that had I stayed with my parents, I wouldn’t be able to continue my studies. He still refused. But, University regulations allow a student to appeal any unfavorable financial decisions.
I took upon this opportunity and appealed twice. Both were turned down by the same man. I had one more chance and I was getting desperate. I knew that if things did not change, the same man would refuse my third and last appeal and I had to go back home to get married! When my friend noticed how desperate I was, he suggested that I surrender all my financial troubles at Narayani Amma’s feet.
I was so lucky that Amma was visiting Toronto at that time. This friend and I went to see Amma and poured out my grief at Amma's smiling form. Amma smiled kindly and said, “Don’t worry anymore. Amma will take care of your problems. You will successfully complete your studies.” I came back to the residence feeling very assured and sent in my last written appeal.
As the day of the hearing of the appeal neared, I felt more and more nervous but intensified my prayers to Amma. And, when I went to the hearing, the Director informed me that a new female faculty member will join us during the hearing. I didn’t care who joined or not, I just wanted a positive response. Apparently, the new Faculty member had already been briefed about my application, because she did not ask or say anything during the entire hearing. She just sat there looking kindly at me and smiling confidently.
“Who was this woman?”, I started to wonder. “And, why is she smiling at me without saying anything?” I was in a daze when the Director informed me later that my appeal had been successful and my financial aid would be restored to its original status.
Did the new Faculty member have any part in this favorable decision? And, who was she? I never saw her again on campus! My friend insists that Amma came in human form to help one of the children in need. And, I believe him one hundred percent. Om Sakthi.