Thursday, 3 April 2014

Time-travel to the days of declaration of Avatarhood of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Part 6

The rock in the garden in Anjaneyulu's house compound in Uravakonda which today has got immortalized in His-Story
Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam

Into the bungalow He entered like an emperor walking into his palace. He went straight to the newly born baby girl at home. Anjaneyulu and his wife came rushing to Swami. Swami picked up the baby and, looking at her, said,
“You too fell in the Maya Sai Prabha!” (I got to know later that the girl had been born on the 21st of September, 1943 and the naming ceremony had not yet been performed.)

Sai Prabha as a 55-year old. She was probably the first child to be named by Swami. 
courtesy: Love is My Form

Then, He looked at the lady of the house and asked,
“Where is the boy?”
“Sathyam, Dasu has not yet come from school...”
Obviously, she was speaking of Narasimha Dass with whom Swami had left for school in the morning.
“No! Where is your boy?”
I shared the lady’s bewildered look.
“What is the matter dear child Sathyam?” It was Anjaneyulu this time.
“I am not your Sathyam. I am Baba. I have come for Vishwa Shanti (World peace/welfare).”
He then walked out of the house, into the garden.

The rock on which Swami sat to deliver His first message to mankind has today been made into a shrine
with a marble idol of little Sathyam and Shirdi Baba. 
I stopped dead in my flight (remember, I have travelled to the past as a fly!). The immense meaning of the declaration had not hit me but still I felt a thrill travel down my wings. I was sure that something magnificent was about to happen now. Those vibes were unmistakable. It was akin to the moment just before Moses heard the ten commandments and Mohammed got the first revelation; just before Buddha received enlightenment and when Arjuna received the Bhagwad Gita.  All this while, it was only me, a fly having travelled in a time machine, who was buzzing around. Soon, the whole compound would be bustling with people and buzzing with excitement. Swami actions would ensure that the excitement was kept at a crescendo.

(The story so far has been absorbing because it has allowed us to witness those episodes in Swami’s childhood life, that very few are aware of and those which led up to this epochal moment. It is thus suggested that the reader move on to this sixth and final part, having read the previous five parts. However, if pressed for time, reading this last part alone too will suffice to generate the thrill and eagerness to read the previous parts!

He walked out of the house and into the garden. Anjaneyulu, who had definitely felt the same vibes, came running out. He went to his rock shrine on which was the clay idol of Shirdi Baba. He intuitively cleared it and spread a leopard-skin carpet over it. Swami went and sat on the rock, amidst the trees. Ah! How divine and majestic He looked! Did I see a halo around His head? He had definitely chosen this moment to reveal Himself and all of a sudden, there seemed to be a never-ending stream of people in the garden. In front of the crowd, Sri Sathyanarayana Raju erupted into a song.

Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam
Dusthara Bhava Sagara Tharanam.

(Meditate in thy mind on the Feet of the Guru. This can take you across the difficult sea of existence, birth after birth.)

A recording of Swami singing Manasa Bhajare

I wholeheartedly joined in the bhajan singing. The Parama Guhyam (greatest secret) thought to be accessible only to a select few was being doled out with love and compassion to anyone who was ready to lend even a curious ear! People started coming up to the rock with incense and camphor. They brought flowers in great abundance and offered it to Him. But He had come to collect grander flowers, the Hrudaya Pushpam (flower of the heart).

(In the Bhagwadgitha, Krishna has referred to "Pathram, Phalam, Pushpam, Thoyam" that is, leaf, fruit, flower or water that can be offered to God. I am pleased with any of these, provided it is offered with sincere devotion. What is 'pathram'? It is not the 'leaf' that you see around you. The inner meaning is that your body itself is the leaf. Flower is not the one in the plants but it is the flower of your heart, "Hridhaya Pushpam". 'Phalam' is not the ordinary fruit but 'Manophalam' (the fruit of your mind). 'Thoyam' means water but what is referred to here is not the water from the river or tap. It refers to the tears of joy welling up within you from a sincere and prayerful heart.

Soon, I saw Seshama arriving on the scene. He had a half-thrilled and half-shocked expression. He left in a hurry presumably to send a message to the parents to arrive to Uravakonda as soon as possible.

“Beep.... Beep... Beep....”

Oh my God! That must be the time machine beckoning to me. My time was over! But how? I remember that I had set the batteries on full charge to last at least a week. How could they have drained out so fast? The reason and realization slowly dawned on me. So lost had I been in the grand event of the Declaration that I had spent 3 full days in bhajans and worship in the ‘rock-garden’ at Anjaneyulu’s house! I looked at my Swami. He showed no signs of fatigue or hunger. From where did He get such strength and stamina without eating even a morsel? Did He derive energy directly from the elements?

Sri V.V.Ramulu, the photographer.
“You fool”, my heart corrected me, “it is not He who derived strength from the elements but the elements that derive their power from Him!”

As if to give proof of this, I saw a miracle of transmutation of elements right before my eyes before returning from the time travel. The instrument through whom the miracle occurred was a photographer, V.V.Ramulu. He had come to document the occasion that would give him a place in the His-Story books! He wanted to take a picture of the Guru and requested Swami to strike a pose. In His infinite love, Swami looked lovingly at the camera. There was an ugly stone that had somehow made its way in front of Swami. Ramulu asked Swami to push away that crude stone.
Swami smiled and told him to go ahead with taking the picture. I was not present to see Ramulu developing and processing the negatives but the Sathyam Shivam Sundaram (the official biography) records that when the picture was made, the crude stone had transformed into an idol of Shirdi Baba!

The photo taken by Ramulu. The 'crude stone' was transformed into an idol of Shirdi Baba when the negative
was developed. 
My life is my message

As I returned to my day and age, I realized with tears in my eyes that Swami had declared His mission in such a profound manner - to show humanity that God exists in everything, even a crude stone! That was the underlying message in everything that He did those 3 days in the garden. I had witnessed amazing scenes. His classmates wept when they heard that Sathya would no longer attend school, that He was much beyond their reach, that His company was hereafter only for those upon whom He showered His Grace. Many came to the garden with incense and camphor to worship Him. Some came to sympathize with the family, some to congratulate them. Some came to learn, and some, alas, even to laugh! But Swami’s message had been the same - to inspire mankind to see the common thread of divinity that runs through all. And that remains His message throughout. Even in the final act of benediction, the Namaskar through which He saluted all seated in Sai Kulwant Hall, He seemed to exude the same message - Divinity pervades everyone and everything.

And today, as I sat at that rock, I had goosebumps erupting on my being. Some unknown rock in the garden of a person living in far-flung Uravakonda has today become a shrine!

Just sitting in this temple, at the rock is such an elevating experiences. We sang that memorable and unforgettable bhajan, Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam, and it felt so very special.  I had tears flow down my eyes as I narrated this beautiful story of how Swami declared the Avatarhood to my family. It was then and there that I decided to narrate this story to my extended family across the globe too so that they too would enjoy the bliss that I was enjoying.

I was unable to stop the flow of my tears.
“This was where it all began... the rock which deserves my gratitude because I would not be what I am today in any sense had it not been for that Beginning.”
I placed my forehead on that rock. I could feel a surge of strength and love course through my entire being. I recollected how Mother Easwaramma had come running to Uravakonda at the end of those three days of prayer and bhajans. Swami had said
“Here comes Maya”, on seeing her. She told Swami,

“We are in Maya. We are Maya. But you are free from Maya. And we will not interfere, we will not argue. You can be whatever you are... but... not in the Himalayas, not in the caves and hills, far away from us. Give me your word that you will remain at Puttaparthi. Let your devotees come there. We will welcome them, gladly, and treat them kindly.”

Swami had agreed. He said,
“I have chosen Puttaparthi as my kshetra (field of action). The boon is granted not to you, but to the village, nay the world itself. I shall leave this place and come to Puttaparthi on Thursday.”

As I returned to Puttaparthi in the space-vehicles, the two cars, I was filled with memories and thoughts galore.

A special experience of reliving History at the historic boulder at Uravakonda.
The power of Kshetra

Water is available anywhere on the face of the earth for those that dig deep. However, it is always easy to obtain the same from a lake or river nearby. That is my take on the magnificence and thrill of visiting these holy spots or Kshetras. The inspiration that one derives by actually being in these His-Storical spots has to be experienced. The effect is magical because, all said and done, though we are all embodiments of Divinity, I still cling on to my ‘human’ self. And my human self is heavily influenced by my mind and senses. So, when I actually see, touch, smell, feel and perceive that grand Rock, the influence on my self is mesmerising.

With one hand on the rock and the other on my heart, I prayed,
“Swami, just like you transformed this rock into your throne, make my rock-like heart also your throne. Be seated there always and teach me the ultimate message of Surrender. And as you said, let me achieve that by fixing my mind on the lotus feet of my Guru!”

I then bent low and embraced the rock close to my heart. Copious tears of joy welled down my cheeks. I was lost in thoughts of Swami and Swami alone. My heart was pounding in love for Him. That is when I realized, that without the slightest effort, I had actually offered all the four - Phalam, Pushpam, Patram and Toyam - to Him.

Ah! That is the power of the Kshetra, the place sanctified by the Avatar. What otherwise seems very difficult to achieve becomes easy by His grace that pours from the Kshetra. If you don’t believe me, make a visit to the place and see for yourselves. After all, it is just a 2-hours drive from Puttaparthi!

"Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam, Dusthara Bhava Sagara Tharanam"
The serene sanctum is a tremendous source of inspiration.

For all readers:

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  1. Wonderful..
    Thanx Aravind.. Sai Ram.

  2. Awesome Bro! Actually you look like Swami in these old photos of His younger days (Sarupya Mukti?! Haha). Thanks Bro : )

    1. Oh My God!!! That is the highest compliment that I can ever receive and I feel so humbled... Thank you so much...

      It is also due to your love for Swami that you are able to see Him in others! :)

    2. Actually, while reliving these incidents we are fully immersed in those days and to come back to today seems difficult. Thank you Aravind for these wonderful narrations with the then and now photos.

  3. Absolutely AWESSSOME ! Brother,

    This was a fantastic long innings of exceptional writing, nay living out, about SWAMI's declaration. I can see glimpses of Prof Kasthuri in your writing, no wonder SWAMI has chosen you to share HIS STORY with the world. May the grace of Beloved Swami be ever with you.

    1. Wow! I know that am way below Kasturi sir in writing.... But would sure love to do what he did - write about the avatar! :)

      Thank you so much for your loving words

    2. Dear Sai brother, This is so fascinating to hear babas Leelas and stories from you everytime I listen and read I get more and more closer to swami.... And I'm so fortunate enough that I share my birthday on this avatar day... May baba bless u and your family abundantly....I too have a dream of settling in puttaparthi..... But it's all swamis will... Om sai ram

  4. It was very sweet experience, recollecting the HisStory..... The message Bhagwan gives through all your articles are very inspiring...... Could you go a little deeper into the incident where, when Bhagwan as a 'boy' was doing pradakshina to Hanuman`s temple, along with His classmates, Hanuman comes and holds Bhagwan`s feet, telling that he is supposed to do pradakshina to Lord Sai Rama, and not vice versa...... Sai ram...... :)

  5. Interesting -- your time travel thought waves were caught by some one in Region 1 USA. Last Saturday March 29 -- when deciding on a Theme for their May 2014 Annual Retreat (a.k.a Sadhana camp) -- "Manasa Bhajarey" was consciously chosen as a Theme. Just those 2 words -- "Manasa Bhajarey" is a call for action. Spiritual aspirants in Region 1 USA are challenging themselves -- can they confidently say "My Life is My Message" -- just like the Master used to say. Each one is asking -- can they own up / stand behind their every thought word and deed as their conscious choice? its time for all of us to walking beacons of Sai Light.

  6. an enthralling and original account, thanks!

  7. Sairam - Your stories are excellent - I just want to read on and on and get lost in Swami's stories. Funnily, when I start reading, everything is fine but at the end of the story, I am hungrier than before for more stories - insatiable. Heart cries, heart laughs, tears of joy flow - sad that I did not get to live close to His physical body but feel blessed and happy that nonetheless, He gave me the opportunity to be in His organization and serve - and at least have His darshan. Thank you brother Aravind immensely for sharing with us these wonderful stories - you are like Valmiki and Ved Vyas reciting the stories of Rama and Krishna. Sairam

  8. What a Blissful journey!! This journey is not comparable with any other journey as here rides are not mere entertaining but it gives us some unique taste of eternal nectar and some hair stirring feelings. Due to busy over some maya I read last part and concluding part today. I think we are really busy doing nothing but the work of Maya. And we are so foolish to enjoy those worldly works and spend very little time with Mahamaya (Divine mother as who control and creates this great worldly maya). But one thing is sure that we are blessed indeed to be in His fold and also blessed to know Aravind bro too. As I believe in this world we don’t know exactly how many people know about Swami and how many don’t. But we are so blessed to have this opportunity to read this mesmerizing saga on this Holy Thursday!! All Sai devotees are not getting this wonderful chance to read His divine story and His glory due to various situations. So we should be grateful to Swami for giving us this precious opportunity to follow this ‘Life of Fly’ and getting immersed in this divine ocean where surfing for a second is so valuable. I like to conclude by saying that we all are doing our respective works which Swami has given us and we are happy with those activities. Amidst of all this if we take some time to reflect back and cherish those unforgettable moments which we have shared with our master it will be blissful indeed. Follow His path to avoid unnecessary accidents in life. Then we could at least make our life His message which will inspire the coming generation to follow the same path of liberation. “Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam.. Saisha Charanam Bhavasagara Taranam”

  9. You are truly a great devotee of sai. You live but his teachings , your thoughts are always around Him. Something our sages in the past did by going to the himalayas and doing tapa for years you have got in swamis sannidhya. You are my driving force aravinda. I am so grateful to swami that I know a gem of a boy like you. God bless you always. May the ink in your pen flow eternally for singing swamis glory. Sairam.

  10. Sai Ram Aravind, what a good idea and so beautifully done. These last few days I joined a time travelling fly and while across the world people were killing each other we witnessed the advent of The Avatar of Love whose 90th birthday celebrations was held today in London since on the actual Day all eyes will be turned to Prashanti Nilayam. I watched some of it streamed live. What a day it's been. I sort of feel weird.What a wonderful thing you did at The Rock and for your family. That's something very special. The journey felt so real so thank you from the bottom of this rocky heart. Now I'm going to ask Swami to turn it into a beautiful Lotus worthy of Him sitting in it. Loving regards chandan aunty.

  11. Wonderful work brother. Correct me if I am wrong. Has there been a mention about Karnam Subbamma anywhere in this series?

    1. Since this serial of 6 episodes concentrates on the Uravakonda days alone, there is not much of mention about Karanam Subbamma.

      Subbamma played a huge role during the Bukkapatnam days and, later, post the declaration. She also was instrumental in the first ever mandir, the Paata Mandir coming up.

      That might be the topic of a future such serial...


  12. speachless brother, swamis blessings will be always with you and all. Jay Sai Ram.


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