Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Time-travel to the days of declaration of Avatarhood of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Part 4

Daily life with Swami - definitely not ‘routine’

October arrived and it brought with it great joy to all the students at the Karibasavaswami District Board High School (KDBHS). October meant Dusshera and Dusshera meant vacations! The bell marking the end of the last period before the vacations rang and all the children in the classroom screamed, delirious with joy. I decided that it was best to remain seated on Swami’s shoulder lest someone swat me in their excitement.

When we visited the KDBHS, the final exams were on and the children were already bubbling with anticipatory
joy about the coming vacations!

I turned to see Swami’s face. It was peaceful and joyous as ever. Nothing ever seems to disturb Him; nothing ever seems to excite Him. He is always an ocean of tranquility.
“Raju, what are your plans for the evening? Let us play something”, suggested an excited friend.
Surprisingly, he received no response from his Raju who just began walking towards home. Once we reached home, it was back to the daily ‘normal’ schedule. What is ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ for God is nothing short of ‘miraculous’ for all of us right? That is what Raju had told Seshama once, “What is sahajam (natural and spontaneous) for me is ascharyam (astonishing) for you.”

{A note to the reader here. While reading this part is definitely wonderful and revealing, the overall experience will be enhanced if read in chronological order. So, it is recommended that you arrive to this part having read the previous parts which are listed below:

Go ahead. Read them and then come here. The narrative will certainly wait for you.)

In this context, I must mention something fantastic that happened so spontaneously. Since the vacation had just started, Susheelamma, Sathyam’s sister-in-law decided to visit her mother’s house at Kamalpuram along with her two children, one of them just an infant. Only Swami  and Seshama stayed back at Uravakonda. It was about 11 am and, as was the practice, it was the lunch session. Both were dining quitely. I was peacefully lapping up those divine morsels that Swami was so lovingly ‘dropping’ for me. The ants too came and I was happy to share with them. With Swami, I felt like these ants too were somehow connected to me. I don’t know why I felt like they were also part of my family.

It was thrilling to see a beautiful image at the Budagavi Shiva temple (reference in
previous part). There is also a board in the premises which indicates that Bhagawan
Baba spent hours in this temple during His Uravakonda days.
The peaceful session was disturbed by the mailman who brought a telegram. It was from Susheelamma.
“Baby serious. Come immediately with Sathyam.”

“Get ready Sathyam. We are leaving for Kamalapuram”, said Seshama as he moved to get ready for the journey. In response, my Swami simply collapsed backwards. He seemed unconscious. Having witnessed the episodes following the alleged scorpion bite, I knew that this was a trance.

“Oh Sathyam! Are you ready yet”, the shout came from within.
“Come here and see for yourself what has happened”, I screamed. Only the ants looked up at me. They had thousands of steps to walk to reach near Swami. Seshama took a few steps and was at the supine body of his brother.
“Now what happened to this boy.... “, he said  sprinkling a few drops of water from His water glass. That did not seem to wake up and Seshama was in a fix.

“My fate”, he cursed, “that my brother has to have a medical emergency just when my daughter is having one!”

In about 5-10 minutes, Swami opened His eyes much to th relief of His brother. Before Seshama could speak, Swami said,
“Don’t worry. She will be alright by the time we reach Kamalapuram.”
Seshama Raju blinked for a while, not understanding what had just happened. He rushed Sathyam to get ready and soon, the three of us were on a bus headed towards Kamalapuram.

After a dusty and back-breaking journey, we reached Kamalapuram in the evening. Sisheelamma greeted her husband gleefully and I knew that Swami’s words had come true. Seshama asked about the baby and he was told that all was well.
“At about 11 o clock in the morning, a sadhu (literally translates into ‘good man’ and refers to a sage) arrived to Kamalapuram. I assume that he must have come by the Bombay-Madras train because he said that he was from Shirdi in Maharashtra. He gave vibhuti and asked for it to be administered to the baby. I don’t know how he knew about the baby being seriously ill. The baby recovered in a trice. I could not get hold of the sadhu. He left as suddenly as he came!!”, said Susheelamma.

And as Swami beautifully puts it in His dialogue on surrender, to surrender means to always remind oneself
"This is good for me", irrespective of what happens in life - good or bad. Thus, one never is proud of oneself
nor is one ever dejected. 

“Blame your husband for that sudden departure”, I thought, “he sprinkled water on Swami to hasten His return to ‘consciousness’!”
Well, I know that my statement was not true in any sense because nobody ever 'changes' or 'modifies' the Avatar's plans! Seshama was only His instrument to 'wake' Him!

Seshama was dumbstruck and I think he definitely gained some respect for his brother that day. I was so happy to have witnessed this beautiful miracle. We stayed at Kamalapuram for a couple of days before returning to Uravakonda.

The call

Tha vacation continued in Uravakonda and Swami ensured that all His friends spent their day in the most beautiful manner possible - in contemplation of God. Swami, in fact, defines a true friend as a person who leads one towards God. Little wonder that God alone can be a true friend for all! One day, as Swami and me were returning home from a morning bhajan session with all His friends, I could overhear His elder brother, Seshama Raju, speaking with someone.
“Hey Raju! Here is revered Ramaraju Garu. He has come to see you and talk to you.”
I later gathered that this Ramaraju was not an ordinary person. He was the Municipal chairman of town of Bellary.
“I know. I called him and so he came.”

A perplexed look came over Seshama’s face. How on earth did his school-going brother ‘call’ the Municipal Chairman of Bellary?
“Did you send him a telegram? Even if you did, why did he even respond to it?”
“You treat this boy as an ordinary lad Seshama Raju! That is not so. Both me and my wife received the call the same night, in our dreams! The effulgence on Raju’s face and His purity are Divine and they moved me.” Ramaraju said this with a smile on his face as he embraced Raju.

I buzzed away to prevent myself from getting crushed in that embrace. You know, nothing should ever come in between the Lord and the devotee - not even a fly - else it will get crushed. The Lord and the devotee are perpetually in a spiritual embrace.

Presently, the Municipal chairman turned to Seshama and said,
“I would greatly appreciate it if Raju could come with us to Bellary to spend the vacations there at our home. You too are welcome. Please do not say no to this because this is not only me who is inviting. Many others too join me in the invitation.”
With that, he gave him the invite from many ‘big’ people of Bellary - the Health Inspector, the Deputy Inspector of Schools, the Public Works engineer, some Municipal councillors and a few businessmen. I could see that Seshama could just not say no to such a big invitation. He agreed and Swami smiled at Ramaraju, granting him an Abhayahastha in blessing.

The 'ruins' at Hampi should be called the 'architectural miracles' of Hampi in my opinion because the word 'ruins'
can be very misleading! The sun-kissed monuments here are inviting to any photographer.
Photo courtesy: S. Balasubramanya (my father)
“And now, if you permit me, I shall take leave of you. I have to rush back to my town and make the necessary arrangements. A small group of other people too shall accompany you from here. We shall also take you all to the famous Hampi town.”
With that, Ramaraju left.

Wow! A trip to Hampi! This definitely was going to be exciting. My buzz had  higher pitch to it the following days in anticipation of the trip. Seshama and his wife, Susheelamma, were also excited. The group that left from Uravakonda also had in it Sri. V.C.Kondappa. I remember him particularly well because when we reached Hospet, en route to Hampi, he insisted on a photograph of Raju being taken at a studio. Swami, lovingly agreed and sat on a chair in his dhoti and half-arm shirt.

The studio photograph taken of Bhagawan Baba at Hospet
at the insistence of Kondappa.
Greater His-story added to Hampi

Hampi, in Karnataka, India, has been a very important place in all the different yugas. In the Kritha or Sathya yuga it is believed to have been the Pampa-kshetra, or the place which witnessed the holy wedding of Pampa Devi (a form of Mother Parvati) and Lord Shiva. In the next Treta yuga, it was the kingdom of Ksihkindha, ruled by the vanara named Sugreeva. The greatest devotee of the Lord, Hanuman, also took birth in this region in the Treta yuga. In the Dwapara yuga, Hampi was the southernmost point in the Dharmic empire of the Pandavas, which they ruled under the guidance of Lord Krishna. It is but natural that Hampi gets its share of Divine association in the Kali yuga too. That is exactly what happened when my Swami visited there.

The grandest edifice in the town of Hampi is the magnificent Virupaksha temple with its huge gopurams or ornately domed gateways. It is actually a large temple complex with three entries to be made before coming face to face with the main deity. The whole group which included the Municipal commissioner began to move towards the sanctum sanctorum when, suddenly, Swami sat down.

“Sathyam, do not get left behind. Come along”, Seshama called. The whole group stopped. For some reason, Sathyam did not seem to want to go into the temple. He clutched his stomach and between clenched teeth said that His stomach was aching badly. He wanted to rest outside. I was wondering what had suddenly happened now. Was it the food along the way? Or was it because of contaminated water that He had drunk somewhere? Whatever be the cause, Swami sat down and refused to budge.

The grand main entrance to the Virupaksha temple.
This became an apparently embarrassing situation for all. How could they go in without their main ‘guest’? Indian culture calls the guest as God. For Ramaraju, it was more than that. His God had come as his guest today! There was no way he would go in to see ‘another’ God in such a scenario. As always, it was Swami who came to the rescue,
“All of you please go in. I will be fine. I do not want you all to miss darshan because of me.”
The entire Virupaksha temple complex as seen from the neighboring hillock. There is a huge courtyard between the
main Gopuram and the temple entrance which is seen as the little central Gopuram. The third medium-sized
Gopuram is another entrance and should not be confused for the sanctum. 
Slowly, the group of about 40-50 people began to trudge into the main shrine. Ramaraju made a final attempt. He held Swami’s hands in his and entreated,
“Raju, please come in... There is no meaning of going in without you.”
I was so happy hearing this. What is a temple without the Lord? Swami however responded differently. He looked at Ramaraju and very politely but firmly said,
“No. Now you go in.”
As he joined the group, I buzzed happily around my Swami. The next moment, He was seeing me. That single look was enough to convey that He did not want even me to stay with Him this time.

That settled matters. All had to go in - me included. I was feeling bad to leave my Swami like that. But I had no idea about the miracle that I was going to witness - a miracle that would be one of the most memorable highlights of my time travel.

If you enjoyed this and are eager to know the conclusion, you should move to the next part at:

Time-travel to the days of declaration of Avatarhood of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Part 5

For all readers:

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  1. Swami went into a trance so that He could transport himself as the sadhu from shirdi?also gave vibhuti ensuring that the baby is taken care of even before He actuallly physically reaches there with others.All this seems so unreal and seemingly impossible.but that's also another clear cut indication of Sathya Sai n ShirdiSai being One! Simply awesome :-) thanks aravind for another sweet anecdote from His-story! Jai Sai Ram

  2. Jaysairam Brother Arvind.. thanks for Kathamrutam... Bhagvatam....because like in Bhagavatam Vyas Muni himself said in Gopika Geetam,,,
    " Tav Kathamrutam Tapta jivanam, Kavibhiriditam, Kalamashapaham, Shravan Mangalam Shrimadatatam, Bhuvi gruhananti te Bhurida janaha" means Oh lord your Katha is Amrutam. People who are burn with sansar Tapam they get Magalm= good fortune...and it will remove all papam= sin from your life and always bless you with shri= bhakti laxmi.... so please Arvind sai... be a best Muni Vyas and tell all of us more swami kathamrutam......

    1. Well said Sis! This past year I've been thinking our dear brother Arvind may well be Ugrashravas, born again for those of us keen to listen & read blogs of the latest Kali Yuga Bhagavatam! We are so blessed with your satsang brother! Keep removing all our papams and save us with these beautiful amrit filled Swami stories!

  3. Sai Ram.. made me an addict of your blog n these stories in particular..
    Thanks brother..

  4. Sairam Brother, I have no words to express gratitude.........for divine kathamrutham..........sairam.


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