Anil Kumar's talks & text Index
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Avatar Declaration Day
To celebrate this landmark event in Baba’s life -
20th October every year is celebrated as the Avatar Declaration Day. It is on this historically significant day in the year 1940 that the young lad Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come.
(Offering on the Anniversary of Avatar Declaration Day)
---- Kamaraju Anil Kumar
nēnu sāyini teliyumu nikkamuganu
mamata bāyumu yatnamul mānukonumu
pāse mīku nātōḍi sambandhaminka
kādu nanpaţţa yeţţi ghanunikaina
“Know that I am truly Sai.
Cast off attachment! Give up your attempts!
From now on your ties to me are dead.
Not even the greatest can bind me.”
When was this sung! Well, these are the words Baba spoke to his family, roughly 66 years ago, on the 20th October 1940, right after discarding his books on returning from school. In those days, none would have heard the name “Sai” in the whole of Andhra Pradesh. In fact, it is only after our Baba’s declaration that he is the avatar of Shirdi that people became acquainted with the name “Shirdi Sai.” Now it is well known in every nook and corner. The earlier avatar is being very widely worshipped, and Shirdi Sai mandirs have come up in their hundred and thousands. Baba’s amazing and marvellous declaration, “Know that I am truly Sai,” is indeed the prelude for all this.
Baba decided upon who his parents and close associates should be, as also the lineage of descent, the Ratnakaras. To the delight of everyone he had been performing numerous amazing miracles right from the moment of his birth. Our revered Baba uttered these words on a supremely auspicious morning. This Declaration of Avatar marks a new dawn for the earth and a new era for the universe. For the human race, it is a beacon of hope, a gentle shower of Love, a great gift of Peace, a radiant Truth, a Lamp of Dharma.
Prostrating at the lotus feet of Bhagavan and offering my respectful salutations, I submit this article, a modest attempt to recapitulate revered Baba’s sweet teachings and poems. Reading this with devotion, diligence, and faith, and acknowledging our debt to him for guiding us on the path of life, let us present to the Avatar our flower-blossoms of gratitude for being his contemporaries. Let us bathe with tears of joy our Swami who has always protected, nourished, and cared for us. Let us pray to Sai to make our lives meaningful by rededicating ourselves to fully understand and implement Sai’s message.
Once Krishna had left behind his parents, Devaki and Vasudeva, he never returned to them again. Nor had Rama met Kausalya and Dasaratha after leaving Ayodhya. History tells us that Bhagavan Buddha set out on his quest for nirvāṇa from the women’s apartments of the royal palace. It is well known that the Great Adi Sankara took leave of his mother and became the sovereign of the world of Advaita. It is common knowledge that Raman left home and acquired great fame as Ramana Maharshi. This is true of Sri Aurobindo as well. But the avatar who declared at a very tender age, “Know that I am truly Sai,” cautioned everyone to “cast off attachment,” and added, “Give up your attempts” (to bring me back),” asserted in no uncertain terms, “From now on your ties to me are dead,” and indicated that the nature of the avatar is beyond enquiry and investigation, saying, “Not even the greatest can bind me,” is the matchless avatar, the pūrṇāvatār, Sri Sathya Sai avatar.
Sri Sathya Sai is a unique, marvellous, and most urgently needed divine avatar. This great and glorious avatar offers solace to four types of people: those in distress, those in quest of wealth, or knowledge, and the wise.
padi dinambulanunḍi pastunnavāniki
ceruvubāvula nīļļu karavaina yappuḍu
varusagā varshambu kurisinaţlu
santati lēkanu cintillu vāniki
puṇya suputrunḍu puţţinaţlu
kūţiki lēkanu allāḍucunnaţţi
pēdaku bhakshyambu dorikinaţlu
dharmanāśana magucunna dharaṇiyandu
prabhavamandenu śrī sāyi partiyandu
intakannanu vēreddi erukaparatu
“Like the chance of a good meal
For one starving for ten days,
Like a ceaseless downpour
After a drought had left every tank and well dry,
Like the birth of a good, pious son
To one grieving without offspring,
Like a few dainty dishes
For a poor man in need of food,
When dharma is declining in the world,
Sri Sai took birth in Parthi.
What else is there for me to add,
O Gentle, noble, honoured, cultured people!”
Rama, Krishna and the other avatars destroyed the wicked, protected the virtuous, and revived dharma. Bhagavan Sri Krishna brought this out in the Bhagavdgita, saying: paritrāṇāya sādhūnām / vināśāya ca dushkṛtām/ dharmasamsthāpanārthāya/ sambhavāmi yugē yugē, “For the preservation of the righteous, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of dharma, I take birth in yuga after yuga.”
Revered Baba described his avatar in these words:
durguṇambulu savarinci toḍaruţakunu
garbhaduhkha mokintayu kāncakunḍa
puţţucunḍu svēcchagā puḍami sāyi
“To amend and reverse evil traits,
To undertake the care of good men,
Without even an iota of pain during birth
Sai incarnates on earth of his own will.”
The Lord’s declaration in the Bhagavadgita, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata abhyutthānamadharmasya tadātmānam sṛjāmyaham, underscores the decline of dharma in the world. Swami has once again reminded us of the promise made by the Gitacharya. The Krishna of that time and the Sai of today are identical, and have one and the same mission for their advent. Long ago Swami explained in detail the goals of the present avatar, and these are being accomplished all the time. He is a siddhasankalpa, one who can work miracles. He has clarified that the Sai avatar descends on earth not to punish, but to transform wicked people, “amend and reverse evil traits.”
Bhagavan has outlined the objectives of the avatar in these lines:
rakşimcucumdutē dīkşa nāku
sanmārgamunu vīḍi cariyimcu vārala
patti kāpāḍutē vratamu nāku
bīdasādalakaina penubādha tolagimci
lēmini bāputē prēma nāku
manci ceddalu kūda manasulō samamugā
bhāvimcucumduṭē bhakti nāku
anaga bērondi nāyanḍa nalaruvāri
nennaḍunu maruvani vāḍananna māţa
neţţi kucitamu madiki nēnērpakundu
aţţi nā pēru ceḍuţa yeţlagunu bhuvini
“Bestowing on all men happiness
And protecting them is my ‘Vow’;
Bringing back those straying from the path of virtue
And saving them is my ‘Mission’;
For me, wiping away agony and penury,
And protecting the destitute is ‘Love’;
For me, holding both good and evil
In the mind as equals is ‘Devotion.’
Thus, I never forsake those under my care,
Nor teach them any kind of meanness,
How on earth can my name be tarnished!”
Giving us reassurance of security with the words, “Bring your sorrows, leave them at my feet, and carry home happiness,” ”Your happiness is indeed my food,” “Be happy and Swami is happy,” and “Why fear, when I am here,” Swami adds, “Bestowing on all men happiness, / And protecting them is my ‘Vow’.” The good fortune of Swami’s darśan has brought about a transformation in ever so many people given to bad habits, corrupting ways, and sinful deeds. Many there are who have reformed themselves, responding to Swami’s call, “Give up smoking, drinking, and eating meat.” This is why Swami observed, “Bringing back those straying from the path of virtue / And saving them is my ‘Mission.’” Bhagavan himself conducts on his own numerous service and welfare activities. He demonstrates the ideal, and is “wiping away agony and penury,/ And protecting the destitute” all over the world through the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. Counselling us to maintain equanimity, and not to be elated by success or depressed by failure, Swami asserted, “For me, holding both good and evil / In the mind as equals is ‘Devotion.’”
On another occasion Swami described the activities of the avatar in these words:
nayamārgamuna trippi naḍupukoraku
lōkambulella kallōlamai ceḍiyunḍa
nishkalmashamu cēsi negaḍukoraku
durmārgabuddhulai krungi dīnata nunḍa
sādhu samrakshaṇa salupukoraku
kshmābhāramu bāpi bhūdēvi manupukoraku
trētanosagina kōrkelu tīrcukoraku
avatarincenu acyutu ḍavaniyandu
satyarūpuḍai partilō cūḍu ḍipuḍu
“When modes of yugadharma tumble down,
Reversing their course and setting them aright,
When nations in turmoil head towards ruin,
Removing the rot and aiding their success,
When, with evil minds, men droop dejected,
Carrying on the support of the meek and gentle,
When time passes leaving doubts unillumined,
Explaining the secret keys of interpretation,
Nourishing the Earth, easing her burden,
Fulfilling the boons granted in Treta Yuga,
Imperishable Achyuta came down to the earth.
Come! See him in Parthi as Sathya.”
In this modern age when men move about despising the nation’s culture, traditions, and customs, bidding goodbye to her values, Bhagavan Baba is reviving and implementing the cherished values of dharma, morality, and spirituality. A clue to the way he guides Bharat’s progress is suggested in the description: “When modes of yugadharma tumble down, / Reversing their course and setting them aright.”
Swami announced an aspect of his mission in the passage: “When nations in turmoil head towards ruin,/ Removing the rot and aiding their success,” Today mankind is lost and bogged down in jealousy, hatred, and ostentation. Through EHV (Education in Human Values), Swami holds out a new hope for humanity and will imbue it with Truth, Righteousness, Peace, and Love. “Carrying on the support of the meek and gentle,” Swami’s spiritual campaign is geared to the transformation of man through encouraging righteousness and inspiring righteous conduct and activities. As “time passes leaving doubts unillumined,” the truth and inner meaning of ancient Vedic lore, the Upanshads and Puranas are lost and a variety of meanings are fabricated. This accounts for Baba’s remark on “Explaining the secret keys of interpretation” and clarifies the meaning of the statement: “Imperishable Achyuta came down to the earth.“ The avatar is a special feature of Sanātanadharma. In other religions the mention of avatar is not to be found. This is the peculiarity of Hinduism. As the divine plan unfolds, the Immutable Lord, without shape or form, takes on form and attributes as an avatar in accordance with the time and the society. He uplifts mankind by demonstrating the truth of the ideals he proclaims. Swami has pointed out that the divine Sathya Sai avatar, moving among us and making us happy and the earlier avatars are indeed part of the will of the one Supreme Spirit.
ē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
prahlādu pālimpa paramapurushu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
pēda kucēlu brōva vēgacaritu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
karini gāceḍu tari kamalanayanu
ḍē guṇambu gaṇinci ētencenō nāḍu
balicakravarti kāvanga nōrci
ā guṇambe gaṇinci yī amaravandyu
ḍārtajananādhu ḍīnāḍu avatarince
velge partīśuḍai nēḍu pṛthiviyandu
“Which trait had the Supreme Spirit weighed,
The day he came to protect Prahlada?
Which trait had the Embodied Veda weighed,
The day he came to save poor Kuchela?
Which trait had the Lotus Eyed One weighed,
The day he came to rescue Gajendra?
Which trait had the Lotus Eyed One weighed,
The day he came to cherish Emperor Bali?
That very trait this Adored of Gods weighed
To descend, and relieve suffering mankind.
Today the all-pervading Consciousness, Srinivasa,
Manifests himself on earth as the Lord of Parthi.”
We should always keep in mind that Srinivasa, the all-pervading Consciousness, who out of his infinite compassion protected Prahlada, Kuchela, Gajendra and Emperor Bali appears on earth in visible form as the Lord of Parthi. On another occasion, echoing as it were, Krishna’s assurance, “I shall take birth in each yuga” depending on the state of the yugadharma, revered Baba remarked: palumāru puţţu nā caluva yella, “my Grace manifests itself several times.” Thus, the connection with earlier avatars has been suggested.
makara pīḍita mattēbhamunu nāḍu
vīkshinci brōcu nā prēmaphalamu
valuvalūḍceḍināḍu vaidarbhi vadinanu
vaḍi gācinaţţi yavyājakaruṇa
āhlādamoppa nā prahlādu saragunan
pālincinaţţi yapāra kṛpayu
dushţulan degaţūrci śishţulan dari jērca
palumāru puţţu nā caluva yella
telisikommu kastūri nā ţēne manasu
janmadinamuna nā dīvenala nandukommu
“Seeing the elephant king tormented by the crocodile,
My Love it was which that day came to his rescue.
That day when Draupadi was being disrobed,
My free Grace it was which flew to save her honour.
When Prahlada was protected in a trice,
It was but my infinite Compassion sporting merrily.
Drawing close the good, and humbling the wicked
My Beneficence fully manifests itself several times.
Realise now, Kasturi, how tender my heart is
And receive on your birthday these blessings of mine.”
The “Love” which rescued the elephant king, Gajendra, the “free Grace” which saved Draupadi’s honour in the royal palace, the “infinite Compassion” which protected Prahlada, and the “Beneficence” which ceaselessly manifests to humble the pride of the wicked ---- all point to his tender heart. Bhagavan Baba, the Bhōlāśankar (Easily pleased Sankara), Abhayankar (Granter of Fearlessness) is verily the embodiment of Siva. The Paramasiva, who has vibhūti daubed all over himself, became Sathya Sai to bless devotees with the most sacred vibhūti , which fulfils all our earthly desires and grants salvation too.
In Kodaikanal once it so happened that I could see Swami’s feet at close quarters. On the left foot I saw the marks of anklets, and the right foot appeared normal. I asked Swami, “What is this, Swami? This is so amazing.” Swami replied, “Don’t you know even this much? This is the form of Ardhanariswara.” Bhagavan is indeed aparaśankara, another Sankara. Let us note what he said on another occasion:
mauļi gulkeḍu candra makhanḍa kaļatōḍa
beḍagāru gulkeḍu jaḍalatōḍa
jaḍalatō pravahincu cadalēţi jigitōḍa
ḍambaina phāla nētrambu vāḍu
nallanēreḍu vanţi nallani meḍamīda
naḍumuna cuţţina nāgacarmamutōḍa
maininḍa naladu bhasmambutōḍa
nuduţa cērcina doḍḍa kumkuma boţtutō
āru śāstrambulanduna nandaginci
nallakaluvala hasiyinci kollalāḍu
merugu cāmanacāya mēnitōḍa
partivāsuḍu nēḍu sākshātkarince
“With a bright moon beaming over the top-knot,
With locks of bright hair playfully stirring,
With dazzling Ganges gushing down matted locks,
With a gorgeous third eye adorning the forehead,
With a bracelet of snakes
Over the neck and arms dark as black plums,
With snakeskin winding round the waist,
With sacred ash smeared all over the body,
With a charming vermilion mark gracing the brow,
With lips reddened by chewing betel,,
Elegantly sketched in all the six sciences,
With a smile making the blue lotuses blush,
And a body swarthy and lustrous
This day the Lord of Parthi appeared in visible form.”
Looking at the pupils from our revered Baba’s institutions, we feel they might have been the cowherd friends of Krishna. Swami’s mandir in Bangalore is indeed Brindavan. Puttaparthi strikes one as though it once was Repalle with its own Gokulam started by Swami. Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda, turning himself into Sai, the embodiment of Bliss, has come down to identify his kith and kin. That Ramachandra became this Sai Ram and is looking after his former “soldiers.” The child Sai Isa is busy playing with his band of friends. MahaVishnu, the Great Vishnu himself had come down as Mahivishnu, Vishnu on earth, and got possession of his weapons. What else do we want besides watching, rejoicing, and recalling how the Supreme Spirit is at play now with his puppets on this world stage as he did in the past!
ā nanda bāluḍē ānanda bāluḍai
tana vāri gurtimpa tarali vacce
ā rāmacandruḍē ārāmacandruḍai
tana banţulanu kangonaga vacce
ā yīśuḍē bāla sāyīśuḍai
tana gumputō āḍukonaga vacce
ā mahāvishṇuvē ī mahīvishṇuvai
tana āyudhamulu cēgonaga vacce
aţţi paramātmayanu bommalātagāḍu
tānu jīvula rangasthalāna nilipi
āḍu ānāţi īnāţi āţa jūci
sunta varṇinci konta santasamu ganuḍi
“To recognise his former kith and kin,
That son of Nanda set out as this Blissful Child.
To spot his erstwhile troops,
That Ramachandra descended as this Sylvan Moon,
For some fun with his previous playmates,
That Isa arrived here as Bala Sai Isa,
To once again take up arms,
That Mahavishnu turned into this Vishnu on earth.
That puppeteer, also known as the Supreme Spirit,
Himself assigns each creature a role on this world stage.
Now go, watch His old familiar game,
Recount it a little, rejoice a little!”
Bhagavan Baba is ever subservient to the devotees. If you call out, “Sai,” he answers, “Ōyī! Yes!” When you address him saying, “Swami!” his reply is, “Ēmī! What now!” These instant responses confer immeasurable solace, relief, and courage. Sai Sarvesvara and no other, grants divine experiences and protects even those living in far flung areas of the earth. That is why the poem runs:
kalata dīrcu nokaţa kalalōna kanipinci
dhyāna manduna tōci dariki pilucu
manasulōna yunḍi manciki naḍipincu
“Appearing in a dream, he removes worry at one place.
In dhyana at another, he beckons you to come closer.
From within our mind he guides us for our good.
Bestower of peace and comfort, O Sathya Sai!”
Once a pilot lost control of his plane and direction too. While he was utterly helpless, suddenly there emerged from the sky clear loud instructions. Signs saying, “right,” “left,” and “straight” were received. The p[lane landed safely at an airport. He thought to himself, “Oh God! What a lucky escape!” Nobody knows who gave the instructions and signs. Eventually the pilot reached Prasanthinilayam. A few days later, Swami gave him an interview and remarked, “I am the one who saved the plan that day.” Guess who the pilot was! He is none other than James Sinclair, an American from Connecticut.
Once a gentleman and his grandson went to Darjeeling. The boy was playing with some friends. It was getting dark. The grandfather wanted to go to the bus all by himself and lost his way. Now everyone knows how some young lad appeared there and led him to the bus. Well, that lad was no other than our Swami. Many years ago a somewhat stout lady, a devotee from our town (Guntur) came to Parthi for Swami’s darśan. She slipped and fell down from the top of the hill. But, nothing happened to her. That evening during the darśan hour, Swami was joking with her saying, “What? Did you mean to break the rocks of the hill?” Even today her family recounts this event and bursts out laughing. Once there was in the Foreign Ministry a certain gentleman, Anantaraman. He did not have much faith. Yielding to the insistence of his mother, he accompanied her to Brindavan for Baba’s darśan. His son had been playing in the swimming pool of the hotel. Suddenly they discovered the dead body of the boy floating there. In utter desperation, they were moaning and praying to Bhagavan, and attempting to revive him. The boy came back to life, and their faith was strengthened. Irrespective of time and place Sri Sai saves us and grants us freedom from fear.
paţţaṇamuna nunna palle nunna
guţţa nunna naţţēţa nunna
madini sāyi ninnu maruvaḍepuḍu
“In the sea or the sky,
In town or village, wherever you may be,
On a hill or in the middle of a stream,
Sai will never forsake you.”
Go anywhere, and ask any devotee whatever his nationality or language may be. “What is your experience?” He begins to roll his eyes, raise his eyebrows and shedding tears of joy, instantly becomes voluble. Even if the sea were to turn into ink, the trees into pens, and the earth into a book, we doubt whether these would be sufficient to record all the experiences of every devotee. After all, how many can be recorded? Each of them has a novel feature, a unique touch to it. What matters most to the devotee is experience. That explains the song:
ē dēśamēginā yī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya paţhana
ē ūra jūcinā ī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya japamu
ē nōţa vinnanu ī nāmamē sumī
sāyi rāma yanucu satya japamu
ē cōţa cūcinā ī nāmamē sumī
satyasāyi yanucu nitya bhajana
viśva mellaḍa vyāptiyai baraguvāḍu
bhakta janulaku prāptuḍai paraguvāḍu
bhakti nosagi rakshinceḍivāḍu
partivāsuḍu mimmēla hattukonaḍu
“Whichever be the country we visit, this name alone,
“O Sathya Sai!,” thus runs the constant refrain.
Whichever be the town we visit, this name alone,
“O Sathya Sai!,” thus runs the unending chant.
Whomever we meet, this name alone,
“Sai Rama!,” thus runs the daily greeting.
He who pervades the universe entire,
He who is ever the prop of devotees,
Who, instilling faith, protects us,
Why won’t he, the Lord of Parthi, clasp you?”
When I was in Brindavan I read out this poem. Swami said, “Read it again.” and enquired, “What did you say towards the end?” I replied, “Swami! I concluded, ‘Why won’t the Lord of Parthi clasp you!’” “No, no.,” Swami added, “Correct it to read, partivāsuḍu mimmēla ettukonaḍu, Why won’t the Lord of Parthi pick you up and hold you, like a child, in his arms!” Swami’s love is lofty like the Himalayas. Swami remarked, “Even if you leave me, I shall not abandon you.”
When, after my retirement, I sought permission to leave for my native town, Swami remarked, “There or anywhere else, I myself have to look after you. Who is there for you?” Isn’t that true? Wherever I look, here, there, or elsewhere, there is only One, Bhagavan.
śrī puţţaparti nilayuḍu
kāpaḍunu ninnu nepuḍu karuṇākaruḍai
cēpaţţi ninnu brōcucu
ē paţţuna viḍuvaka ēlunu ninnun
“The Lord of Parthi, the Compassionate Sai,
Looks after you for ever and ever.
Holding you by the hand, he watches over you,
And never letting go, he guides you.”
For us, who struggle, drown, float, and choke in this ocean of worldly life, the boat that can lead us to the shore happily and safely is indeed Bhagavan Sathya Sai. He says, “With faith in me, patiently wait a little and your own experience will teach you.”
sāramu lēni yaţţi bhavsāgaramandu muningi tēlucun
dāriyu tennunu ganaka tattara mandeḍi
vōrimi yincukanta madi nūnucu bhaktini kalgicuḍu śri
kāruḍu satyasāyi ninu kāvaga vaccina nāva gāncavē
“Why sink and float in this dull ocean of earthly ties,
And become agitated, lacking means and method?
Have a little patience, and with devotion watch!
Behold the rescue boat, the giver of plenty, Sathya Sai!”
Swami says, “Do not try to understand me. Experience me.” Understanding, explaining, clarifying – all these have to do with the mind. The amazing thing to note is that Divinity is not accessible to the mind; it transcends the mind. In fact, we should say that it is beyond the reach of language and thought, but directly accessible through experience. Speech, writing, memory, intellect, and erudition are all linked to the mind. That is why Bhagavan has been described as avāŋmānasagōcara, not cognisable by speech or thought. The Upanishad declares, “The one who says, ‘I know,’ does not know.” As experience is the only evidence, nothing more is required. If we place our trust in the mind, we will be ruined.
centa cērce naţancu santasinceda ranna
venţanē eḍabāpi cinta gūrcu
ēḍipincuţa sāyi vēḍuka yandurā
kaḍupubba navvincu naḍuma naḍuma
pogaḍucunnāḍani pongi pōyeda rēmo
tappa kappuḍe egatāļi sēyu
abhaya miccenu gāna hāyiga nunḍeda nanna
paḍu bādhalaku antu paţţakunḍu
venuka kēga nīḍu cana nīḍu mundnku
manasu marulu golpi madhana beţţu
iţţi cinni sāyi cinmaya mūrtini
eţţu tiruga galaru ilanu mīru
“When you want to rejoice over a little nearness,
At once distancing himself, he makes you sad.
If you think your grief is fun for Sai,
From time to time he makes you burst with laughter,
If you are ever elated over his words of praise,
Certain it is, he will tease and mock you next.
If you relax, as he assured you freedom from fear,
You learn, your troubles have no end.
He does not permit any retreat, or advance either.
Enthralling your heart, he leaves it agitated.
How on earth can you manage
This little Sai, this Embodied Consciousness?”
Offering our humble salutations at Swami’s Lotus Feet during the Declaration of Avatar celebrations, let us earnestly pray that all of us may receive his boundless grace and blessings, and bear in mind that Sai’s protection is the salvation of the world,
(Translation: Padma and Ramesh Dutta Thippavajjala)
Source: with kind permission of Prof. Anil Kumar (Offering on the Anniversary of Avatar Declaration Day 20th Oct.) / SBOI
20th October every year is celebrated as the Avatar Declaration Day. It is on this historically significant day in the year 1940 that the young lad Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come. The following lines capture the events on that epochal day:
Sathyanarayana started for school as usual. However, within a few minutes, He returned to the house. Standing on the outer doorstep, He cast aside the books He was carrying and called out, “I am no longer your Sathya. I am Sai.” The sister-in-law came from the kitchen, only to be blinded by the splendour of the halo around Baba's head! He addressed her, “I am going; I don't belong to you; Maya (delusion) has gone; My Bhaktas (devotees) are calling Me; I have My Work; I can't stay here any longer." When the brother hurried home on hearing all this, Baba only told him, "Give up all your efforts to 'cure' Me. I am Sai; I do not consider Myself related to you".
In spite of repeated pleas, Sathya would not step into that building again. He moved in into the garden of the Excise Inspector Sri Anjaneyulu's bungalow, and sat on a rock in the midst of the trees. People came into the garden from all directions bringing flowers, fruits, incense and camphor to worship Him. The garden resonated with the voices of hundreds singing bhajans (devotional singing) and following the lines of the first prayer that Sri Sathya Sai taught them.
“Manasa Bhajare Gurucharanam Dusthara Bhava Sagara Tharanam “
(O Mind! Meditate on the Feet of the Guru, which will take you across the wearisome sea of Samsara or worldly existence.)
To celebrate this landmark event in Baba’s life, the Avatar Declaration Day is celebrated every year with devotion and gratitude.
Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses:
In 2002, Avatar Declaration Day discourse Swami recalled His childhood days and shared with everyone His early years. A small excerpt is here:
“The Corporation Commissioner of Bellary and his wife played host to us for three days. They took us to the Virupaksha temple in the nearby Hampi Kshetra. Seshama Raju and his wife told Me to remain outside the temple and keep a watch over their belongings as they would go inside to have darshan of the deity. I readily agreed and remained outside. As soon as they entered the temple, to their utter astonishment, they found Me standing inside the sanctum sanctorum where the deity is supposed to be standing. Seshama Raju could not believe his eyes. He thought, "Why did he come here when I told him specifically to remain outside and take care of our belongings?" He at once came out of the temple only to find Me standing there! He again went inside and found Me there also! Still he was not convinced. He told his wife, "You go outside and keep a watch over Sathya. Do not allow him to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I will go inside and see whether he is still there." She did accordingly. He again saw a smiling Sathya standing in the sanctum sanctorum. The Corporation Commissioner was also a witness to all this. He recognised My divinity. When they came out of the temple, he caught hold of Seshama Raju's hands and said, "Raju, do not be under the impression that Sathya is your brother. He is not an ordinary person. You are deluded seeing His physical form. There is divine power in Him.
We came back to the Commissioner's house, had our food there and started our return journey to Uravakonda. The Commissioner wanted to give Me a gift. He said that he would get four pairs of shorts and shirts stitched for Me. I firmly told him that I would not accept even one. He did not want to force Me either. Then his wife suggested that a gold collar pin would be an appropriate gift for Me. In those days, it was a matter of prestige for children to wear a collar pin. Immediately, he bought a gold collar pin and put it on the collar of My shirt. I protested. Under any circumstances, I never accepted anything from others. But, Seshama Raju insisted that I accept the gift. He said that my refusal to accept the gift would amount to showing disrespect to the Commissioner. So, I obeyed him.
After returning from Hampi, I was going to school wearing the collar pin. The pin dropped on the way and could not be traced. A major change took place in Me. Worldly attachment left Me in the guise of a collar pin. I decided to embark on My mission to alleviate the sufferings of My devotees.”
REMINISCENCE OF THE DIVINE|
On October 20, 1940, which happened to be a Sunday, Swami lost the collar pin and with that the veil of Maya disappeared. The worldly attachment left Him in the form of the collar pin. He left home saying that Maya could not bind Him any longer. This happened after a visit to Hampi.
Embodiments of Love!
It happened when I was at Uravakonda. The Corporation Commissioner of Bellary had a dream in which he was directed to go to a particular house in Uravakonda and bring Sathyam to Bellary. At the same time, his wife also had a dream in which she was directed to accompany her husband and bring Sathyam with them. They thought Sathyam would be a great and famous personality. Now My height is a little above five feet. I was much shorter those days. I used to wear a shorts and a shirt. I was 14 years old at that time. As I came out of the house, the Corporation Commissioner and his wife at once recognised Me to be the same person who had appeared in their dream. They felt extremely happy and prostrated before Me on the road itself. They were unmindful of the fact that I was a small boy. I was on My way to school with a few books in My hand.
The Commissioner and his wife approached Seshama Raju, the elder brother of this body, and requested him: "Please bring Sathya to Bellary today. You may have to apply for leave but does not matter." One cannot say no to a person of the status of the Corporation Commissioner. Hence, Seshama Raju approached the Head Master of the school Kameswar Rao with a request to grant him leave. He also explained to him the reason for his taking leave. Kameswar Rao was very fond of Me. He said, "You may take Sathya to Bellary or wherever you want. You do not need to seek my permission in this regard. He even gave his car to take Me to Bellary.
The Commissioner and his wife played host to us for three days. They took us to the Virupaksha temple in the nearby Hampi Kshetra. Seshama Raju and his wife told Me to remain outside the temple and keep a watch over their belongings as they would go inside to have Darshan of the deity. I readily agreed and remained outside. As soon as they entered the temple, to their utter astonishment, they found Me standing inside the sanctum sanctorum where the deity is supposed to be standing. Seshama Raju could not believe his eyes. He thought, "Why did he come here when I told him specifically to remain outside and take care of our belongings?" He at once came out of the temple only to find Me standing there! He again went inside and found Me there also! Still he was not convinced. He told his wife, "You go outside and keep a watch over Sathya. Do not allow him to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I will go inside and see whether he is still there" She
did accordingly. He again saw smiling Sathya standing in thee sanctum sanctorum. The Corporation Commissioner was also a witness to all this. He recognised My divinity. When they came out of the temple, he caught hold of Seshama Raju's hands and said, "Raju, do not be under the impression that Sathya is your brother. He is not an ordinary person. You are deluded seeing His physical form. There is divine power in Him."
We came back to the Commissioner's house, had our food there and started our return journey to Uravakonda. The Commissioner wanted to give Me a gift. He said that he would get four pairs of shorts and shirts stitched for Me. I firmly told him that I would not accept even one. He did not want to force Me either. Then his wife suggested that a gold collar pin would be an appropriate gift for Me. In those days, it was a matter of prestige for children to wear a collar pin. Immediately, he bought a gold collar pin and put it on the collar of My shirt. I protested. Under any circumstances, I never accepted anything from others. But Seshama Raju insisted that I accept the gift. He said that my refusal to accept the gift would amount to showing disrespect to the Commissioner. So I obeyed him.
After returning from Hampi, I was going to school wearing the collar pin. The pin dropped on the way and could not be traced. A major change took place in Me. Worldly attachment left Me in the guise of a collar pin. I decided to embark on My mission to alleviate the sufferings of My devotees. I threw away the books and entered the garden of the Excise Commissioner Hanumantha Rao. He was an ardent devotee. Seeing Me, he told his wife to prepare various delicacies. But I did not touch any of those preparations. Seshama Raju came there and forced Me to return home. I said I would not. Never before I had talked to him that way. It was not My nature to talk back to elders. Hence, Seshama Raju was surprised. "How could Sathya get such courage", he wondered. He could see brilliant effulgence around My smiling face. Immediately, he wanted to send a telegram to Puttaparthi. In those days, it would take a minimum of one week for a telegram to reach Puttaparthi from Uravakonda. Hence, he sent a school boy with a message that the parents of this body Easwaramma and Pedda Venkama Raju should go to Uravakonda at once. When they arrived, Seshama Raju brought them to Me. Easwaramma pleaded with Me, with tears in her eyes, "Sathya, come, let us go back to Your brother's house." But, I did not agree. "If you want Me to come, I will go with you to Puttaparthi. I will go of My own accord and make the villagers happy."
In those days, I used to lead the school prayer at the loving insistence of the headmaster. He would say, "Raju, you may be young, but your prayer melts our hearts." The day after I left the school, another boy, who used to sit close to Me in the class, was asked to lead the prayer. When he went on the dais, he broke down in tears remembering Me. All the students and teachers were in tears, and the prayer meeting was cancelled. They wanted to accompany Me to Puttaparthi. But how was it possible to accommodate so many of them in this village? Then I told Kameswar Rao to somehow convince the boys not to follow Me.
In the classroom, three of us used to share a desk ? Myself in the middle, flanked by Ramesh and Suresh on either side. They were not too well in their studies. Whenever teachers asked them questions, they would give the answers prompted by Me. It was the time of our E.S.L.C. public exams. Our register numbers were such that we had to sit separately, quite at a distance from each other. It was not possible for them to copy. They were much worried. I infused courage in them saying, "You don't need to write anything. You just attend the examination and feign to write the examination. I will take care of the rest". The duration of the examination was two hours. I completed My answer paper in just 10 minutes. I took some more papers from the invigilator and wrote the answers in Ramesh's handwriting. After completing it, I took another set of papers and wrote the answers in Suresh's handwriting. I also wrote their names on the answer sheets.
When the final bell rang, all the students got up, and I silently placed all the three papers on the table of the examiner. Nobody raised any objection. The results were announced on the following day and only we three got first class. The teachers were surprised as to how Ramesh and Suresh also got first class. There was no scope for any doubt. They could not have copied from Me, since we were seated far from each other. Their answer sheets were in their own handwriting. The local people were overjoyed. They carried us on their shoulders, and took us in a grand procession. Those two boys had such intimate relationship with Me. When I left Uravakonda, Ramesh and Suresh could not bear the separation from Me. Ramesh, utterly dejected, fell into a well and died. The second boy went on repeating "Raju, Raju, Raju ..."and ultimately turned mad. He was taken to various mental hospitals, but there was no improvement. Finally his parents came to Me and prayed, "Raju, he will be cured of his madness if he sees You at least once. Please come and see him." I went to the mental hospital to see him. He was continuously repeating "Raju, Raju Raju. Seeing Me, he shed tears, fell at My feet and breathed His last. They had surrendered themselves to Me. They prayed that they should never be separated from Me.
When I came to Puttaparthi, Karanarn Subbamma gave one acre of land near Sathyabhama temple where a small house was built. There I used to live. The same Ramesh and Suresh were born again as two puppies, and came to Me. The sister of Mysore Maharaja named them Jack and Jill. They were always with Me.
One day the Maharani of Mysore came to have My Darshan. She was a great devotee and a highly orthodox woman. She would perform Puja with flowers everyday. She would personally pluck the flowers after sanctifying the plants by sprinkling water and milk. As there were no proper roads to Puttaparthi, she alighted from the car at Karnatakanagepalli and walked the rest of the distance to Old Mandir. There used to be a small shed where the Pedda Venkama Raju Kalyana Mandapam stands now. The Maharani decided to rest for the night in the Mandir. The driver had his dinner an' was returning to Karnatakanagepalli where the car was parked. I told Jack to accompany the driver and show him the way. Jack walked in the front and the driver followed. Jack slept under the car. Next morning, the driver started the car not knowing that Jack was sleeping under it. The wheel of the car ran over the back of Jack and its backbone broke. Jack dragged itself across the river, wailing all the while. A washerman named Subbanna used to take care of the Old Mandir day and night. He was very loyal and considered Swami as his very life. He came running to Me and said, "Swami, Jack might have met with an accident. It is coming wailing in pain. I came out at once. Jack came close to Me, wailing loudly, fell at My feet and breathed its last. It was buried behind the Old Mandir and a Brindavanarn was erected. As per My instructions, it was built by the side, not at the centre. I told there should be a place for another Samadhi. As Jack had passed away, Jill stopped eating food and died after a few days. It was also buried by the side of Jack's Samadhi. In this manner, Ramesh and Suresh did penance to be with Me. Even after their death, they took birth as dogs to be with Me.
First the collar pin was lost; then I stopped going to school and parents arrived and brought Me here. Owing to all these changes, I left Uravakonda. After I came here, many people from Bangalore and Mysore started visiting this place in their cars. Maharani of Mysore, coffee planter Sakamma, Desaraj Arasu, the maternal uncle of Mysore Maharaja were among those who used to come here. One day they prayed, "it is difficult for us to come here often. Hence, please come and settle in Mysore. We shall build a big mansion for You." I told, "I don't want palatial buildings. I want to be here." That night, mother Easwaramma came to Me with tears in her eyes and said, "Swami, people want to take You here and there for their selfish purposes. If you leave Puttaparthi, I will give up My life. Please promise me that You will remain in Puttaparthi for ever." I gave her My word that I would never leave Puttaparthi. It is for this reason that I have constructed many buildings in the Ashram for the comfort and convenience of devotees.
When I made it clear that I would not leave Puttaparthi, Sakamma and the maternal uncle of Mysore Maharaja decided to build a Mandir, a little away from the village. They acquired ten acres of land here and started the construction work. An ardent devotee by name Vittal Rao volunteered to oversee the construction work. He was a forest officer during the British regime. He is the father of Jayamma (Prof. Jayalakshmi Gopinath) who spoke earlier. He supervised the construction work. R.N. Rao from Madras, Neeladri Rao, the son?in?law of Pitapuram Maharaja, the son?in?law of Baroda Maharaja, all of them took active interest in the construction work. As all of them joined hands, the Mandir was constructed in a very short period. As it was wartime, it was very difficult to procure iron for the construction work. They overcame all such hurdles with sincerity and devotion. They prayed that I should not go there till the construction was over, lest I may be put to inconvenience. Such was their love for Me.
I always fulfill My promise made to the devotees. Whatever I do is for the happiness of the devotees. I don't need anything for Myself. I don't have any desires.
They worked day and night, made payments to the labourers, and saw to it that the construction was completed successfully. Jayamma was very young at that time. Every Sunday Vittal Rao used to come here in his car to pay wages to labourers. Jayamma would insist that she be allowed to accompany him. Vittal Rao was very fond of his daughter. He used to get food prepared in Bangalore itself and bring his daughter along with him. She has been serving Swami for the last 60 years. She came to Me when this body was 17 years old. Now this body is approaching its 77th Birthday She would visit Prasanthi Nilayam very frequently and would learn Swami's Bhajans and sing His glory. In this manner, she developed sacred feelings and intense devotion for Swami. One should have Prapti (deservedness) to experience divine proximity. One cannot get it for the mere asking. It cannot be denied either. One gets it out of the merits accrued over past lives. Their family has been the recipient of bounteous grace. I was moved by her repeated reference to Venkamma Garu (Swami's elder sister) in her speech.
Venkamma Garu used to cook food for Swami. Jayamma used to be with her always to learn cooking. They had such intimate friendship. Later Parvatamma Garu (Venkamma Garu's younger sister) also came here. They used to bring food for Swami by turn, one in the morning and the other in the evening. They were concerned that it was not safe to allow others to prepare food for Swami. They extracted a promise from Me that I would eat the food prepared by them only. They served Me till their very last breath. They were in Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, at the time of their passing away.
Venkamma was taken from here to Bangalore in an unconscious state. She had never opened her eyes. I went to her and called, 'Venkamma'. She instantly opened her eyes and saw Swami. She offered her Namaskar to Me by taking My hands close to her eyes. She shed tears and left her mortal coil.
The same happened in the case of Parvatamma also. She was also unconscious when she was taken to Bangalore. I went to her and called out her name. She immediately opened her eyes, shed tears and breathed her last. So long as they were alive, they served Swami by bringing food everyday, morning and evening. Such intimate relationship with the Lord is the result of merits of past lives. It cannot be acquired by human effort. They never cared for their ill-health and continued to serve Swami with love. Their lives were sanctified.
Even to this day, food is received from their houses. Seshama Raju's son lives here. Easwaramma's son Janakiramaiah (younger brother of Swami's physical body) also stays here. You all know him. His wife prepares and brings food for Me, likewise Parvatamma's daughter also brings food for Me. In this manner, they are serving Swami everyday. I don't take food at night. Every morning, they bring food for Me. Such is the intimate relationship that Swami has with this family. Some incarnations were due to the prayers of their parents; but, in Swami's case, it is different. I decided that, so and so should be the father and so and so should be the mother. This body has not taken birth in the ordinary mortal way.
Though Karnam Subbamma was not physically related to this body, emotionally, she was closely attached to Swami. She used to think of Swami day in and day out. She requested Me to stay in ?her house. She was prepared to vacate the house for My sake. Many relatives argued with her, "Being a Brahmin, how are you allowing a Kshatriya to stay in your house?" She said, "I don't go to anybody's house. None of you need come to my house. It is enough if I have Swami with me." Such was her devotion and determination. She had only one desire. She prayed, "I should see your beautiful form when I leave my body." I said I would certainly fulfill her desire.
Once I went to Madras acceding to a devotee's prayer. Subbamma was in Bukkapatnam at that time. She was staying with her mother. By the time I returned from Madras, Subbamma had breathed her last. When I came here, people came running to Me and said, "Swami, Your Subbamma passed away last night." Immediately, I turned the car and went to Bukkapatnam straightaway. Her body was kept in the verandah, covered with a cloth. The entire household was grief?stricken. Once Swami makes a promise, He will certainly fulfill it under any circumstances. I removed the cloth covering the body. As she had passed away the previous night, ants were crawling all over her body. I called out, "Subbamma". She opened her eyes. This news spread like wildfire within no time. The people of Bukkapatnam started crowding the place telling each other that Subbamma was brought back to life. Subbamma's mother was hundred years old at that time. I told her to bring a glass of water with a Tulasi leaf soaked in it. I put Tulasi leaf in Subbamma's mouth and made her drink some water. I said, "Subbamma, I have kept up My promise. Now, you may close your eyes peacefully." She said, ?Swami, what more do I need? I am leaving blissfully." Shedding tears of joy, she held My hands and breathed her last. This is how I keep up My promise under any. circumstances. In this manner, I never go back on My promise. Words are inadequate to describe Subbamma's service. During the Krishna Avatar, mother Yashoda could love and serve Krishna more than mother Devaki.
In those days, Easwaramma and Subbamma used to converse with each other through the window in the wall separating their houses. They could not visit each other's house because their husbands were not on talking terms. But Easwaramma had a cordial relationship with Subbamma.
The parents of this body were chosen by Me. Pedda Venkama Raju used to help the devotees visiting Swami. He used to run to Bukkapatnam even for a coconut or provisions required by the devotees. One day, he came to the Mandir and expressed his desire to talk to Me. I had already called a group for an interview. I took him inside. He said, "Swami, I should not leave behind any debt. I had a small shop. I might have forgotten to return a paisa or two to someone. Hence, I request you to distribute food to the poor on the 12th day after my demise." He took out some money and placed it in My hands, saying, "it is my hard earned money. You may use it for feeding the poor. He also mentioned that he had kept a few bags of rice and jaggery required for that purpose. After this, he went home, slept and died peacefully.
Easwaramma also had such a sacred end. She used to follow Me wherever I went. She came to Brindavan to attend the Summer Course. She felt very happy seeing so many students. She even served water to them during their lunch. She used to say "It is because of Swami that we are able to witness such a grand event." One day breakfast was served to the students as usual. Easwaramma too had her breakfast. Venkamma, who used to look after her needs, was by her side at that time. Easwaramma was pounding betel nut in a mortar. I could hear the sound from upstairs. All of a sudden, she cried out, "Swami, Swami, Swami." I said, "I am coming, I am coming." I came down immediately and she breathed her last. She had absolutely no suffering at all, not even a mild headache. Their lives were sanctified as they were selected by Swami.
Ramesh and Suresh considered Swami as their very life breath. Though they were very young, they had intense love for Swami. Knowing that I did not have money with Me, Ramesh got two pairs of dresses stitched for Me and kept them in My desk with a note, "If you do not accept them, I will give up my life! I refused them saying, "Our friendship and love should not be built on the basis of giving and taking. Ours is heart to heart relationship with pure love. We should share only love. There should be no material transaction". Right from then till this day, I never accepted anything from others. I always conduct Myself in accordance with the principle of Help ever, Hurt never. This has been My motto. I never harmed anyone. I derive great joy in helping others. That is why I tell the devotees to always pray, Loka Samasthah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!) All should be happy, healthy and blissful. With such sacred motive, I have been spreading the message of love to the entire world. My students are My biggest property The students of the Primary School, Higher Secondary School and the Institute are always with Me. They do not leave Swami and Swami cannot be without them. My life is for the sake of humanity at large. The happiness of people is the happiness of Swami. I have no interest in celebrating My Birthdays. But the devotees would not leave Me. They want to have different celebrations, but I do not want any. I consider your birthday as My Birthday. The day you are happy is truly My Birthday. Though bodies are different, you should not give room for any differences. All are one, be alike to everyone. The relationship that Swami has with the devotees is not of a worldly nature. It is relationship based on Divine love.
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho ... "
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