Friday, 26 December 2014

"Who am I" - A time travel to the least understood period of Sri Sathya Sai's life_Part 2

A different Sathyam

A new day dawned in Puttaparthi and everyone of the Raju household hoped that it would mark a new chapter in their Sathyam’s life. Their hopes were certainly about to get fulfilled but not in a manner that they expected. I had barely opened my eyes and begun my buzzing when there was a bigger buzz outside. I flew out to see that some person had arrived from the neighbouring Bukkapatnam. I gathered from the conversation that he was Mantra Lakshmana, an occultist who had been summoned to try cure Sathyam in a more civilized and humane manner. This person looked like an angel in comparison to the huge Appayyaswamy. He also had a more cheerful demeanour.

I flew back to my Swami who was sitting in a corner of the house. His eyes were closed and He seemed to be in a trance. The occultist entered the house without the slightest idea of what was in store for him. Swami flew into a rage on seeing him and, picking up a vessel, hurled it at Lakshmana. The missile was not discharged to hit and so it missed him by more than a foot. However, it chipped off a small part of the dilapidated wall. I had never seen Swami like this.
“So you have come to treat me? How is it that you have not got anything with you then?” Swami thundered.
Happy that his treatment had not been completely opposed, Lakshmana quickly handed out a list of items to be procured to the family members.

A photo of Swami adorning the shrine of a devotee at Anatapur in 1944. 
Instantly, Swami began to rattle out a few Telugu words. My tiny fly-senses could not comprehend what He was saying but they were apparently items missing from the list that the occultist had given!
“What sort of a doctor are you? You do not know your own lists?”

The occultist slunk away silently and Swami went back to His corner. I wondered why He had treated the gentlemanly occultist with such fury when He had been so patient and sweet with the gruesome ogre who had tortured Him? There was no answer forthcoming and I decided to just accept this uncertainty of my Lord with faith.

{This is actually the second part of an ongoing time-travel. If you wish to enjoy it completely, please come here after reading the first part at:

The next few days became even more difficult! Swami suddenly had become so much more violent which was very uncharacteristic of His nature. I found it very hard to believe that God could be like this! How was I to accept such intense uncertainty? Even as I pondered thus, Swami turned and looked at me. His eyes were bloodshot and my wings trembled in terror. Instantly, He seemed to melt and spoke to Himself,
“Love my uncertainty.”
He then got up and walked out of the house.

I sat on the wall, dumbstruck at what I had heard from my Lord’s lips. I was supposed to ‘LOVE’ His uncertainty. And I had thought that it was a great achievement to simply ‘ACCEPT’ it. I prayed that I would be able to progress from accepting His uncertainty to loving and celebrating it.

Holding that thought, I too buzzed out to join Swami. He had gone to the sister, Venkamma. He tugged at her hand and pointing to the skies, said,
“Here, do Arati now.”
The sister turned to Swami in surprise.
“The Gods are passing across the skies. Do Arati now...”
The bewildered sister just stood in respectful silence. Swami turned and walked back into the house. I looked up at the skies. I saw a few clouds floating across - no Gods or angels. I too buzzed back into the house on to Swami’s shoulder.


The village in general and the family in particular were in no mood to celebrate or even accept Sathyam’s uncertainty. In fact, they seemed to hate it. Swami would have such surges of energy that He seemed to be much stronger than adults. To prevent Him from throwing things or breaking objects, people would often try to restrain Him. But that would be of no avail - He could even throw off people! I could see that the mother was very worried. She felt that her little son was being possessed by a power which was beyond his capacity to handle. She requested the uncle Chandramouli to be with the child and take care of him always. My heart melted at the innocence and sweetness of Easwaramma. Though she was not loving this uncertainty of her son, she could not stop loving her son.

These were days of uncertainty for me too. I did not know what would happen next. For instance, one afternoon I woke up late after my siesta. To my shock, Swami was nowhere to be seen! I began to frantically search for Him.
“Has Sathyam had anything to eat?” asked mother Easwaramma.
“The food has been placed at the window... But I don’t know whether Sathyam ate anything or not,” replied Chandramouli.
“Could you please go and ensure that the child has eaten something?” the mother pleaded.

What had happened? I just buzzed along with Chandramouli. He walked out of the house to a room nearby. It was locked from the outside and as the uncle opened the door, I realized what was happening. Swami had been ‘punished’ with solitary confinement! I rushed inside in horror. This form of imprisonment is sometimes employed as a form of punishment beyond incarceration for a ‘prisoner’. Many such prisoners develop mental disorders as a result of being placed in solitary confinement. In fact, a main issue within the prison system and solitary confinement is the high number of inmates who turn to self-harm or suicides. Without knowing all about solitary confinement, how could they subject Swami to this?

It was evident that Chandramouli was also shaken with Sathya’s condition. He picked the plate in the room and gently began to feed the boy. Swami, on His part, was completely docile now. But He just refused to eat anything. The uncle pleaded with all his heart. I too joined in the prayers. Finally, the Lord yielded. He began to eat what the uncle fed him. Slowly, the uncle pulled out a bag from his waist. While one hand fed Swami, the other hand extracted a little bottle from the bag. It became evident to me that, on the request of the family, the uncle was trying to administer some herbal medicine to Swami. A few faces appeared in the window of the room. Everyone seemed keen to see whether Swami would accept the medicine. He did not!

Since Raju was not co-operating, a few people walked into the room and physically restrained him. Chandramouli tried to pour the medicine forcibly into his mouth. Oh my God! This was unexpected! While I felt surprised at this ‘trick’ that the uncle tried to play on Swami, I appreciated the noble intent behind it. He just wanted to administer medicine which he thought would surely ‘cure’ Sathyam.

Swami’s hands and body had been held and restrained but His legs were free. As the uncle bent down to pour the medicine, he received a flying kick on his face! Instead of two drops of medicine entering Swami’s mouth, two pearly teeth exited the uncle’s mouth! His face also swelled up immediately and the foolish attempt to force Swami to something which He had decided against, was given up. Everyone left the room and locked it up. Once again, Swami was all alone. Er... all alone, except for me.

I buzzed close to Him wondering what He was doing and where all this was heading towards. The people had assumed that something was wrong with Swami’s mind and were bent upon breaking it down into submission.
“Swami, they think that by punishing your mind, you can be ‘controlled’...”
This time, I am sure He spoke to me,
“I am not the mind. Let them try whatever. They will see that I am not the mind...”

{ A little fact has to be revealed here. This fact came to light during another time travel of mine, one to 1971 actually. However, it is  very relevant here. In 1971, uncle Chandramouli was still around and his two teeth were still missing. Baba told him that He would arrange gold teeth for him via an expert dentist. The uncle politely refused. He preferred to cherish the memory of those days and the sacrifice of two teeth for the Lord, for whom he would sacrifice his entire life, seemed like a very little thing!}

Loneliness vs Solitude

Swami smiled and sat back contented. He did not have the look of a broken person. He did not seem affected in the least by solitary confinement. He actually seemed to be enjoying being alone. While everyone hoped to make him return to normal via loneliness, He seemed to be normal in solitude! He was so comfortable by Himself.
“I am what I am when I am by MySelf...” He said.
I made a mental note of what He said though I did not understand it. I knew that I would understand it sometime in the future.

What is the difference between loneliness and solitude?

When one is steeped in Dehabhimana (body-consciousness), one feels lonely when left alone. This is reinforced by the fact that there is no’body’ around and one’s body (which one thinks is oneself) is all by itself. On the other hand, when one is steeped in Atmabhimana (Self-Consciousness or Atmic-Consciousness), one is in solitude because there exists nothing else but One. There is no other than OneSelf and that Self is everything around. Where then is the question of ‘missing’ someone or something when one is everyone and everything?

Swami’s last statement began to make some meaning already.
“I am what I am when I am by MySelf...”

A visit to Chidghanananda Maharaj

When days of solitary confinement did not bring about any change in their Sathyam’s ‘violent and crazy’ nature, someone advised the family members to take him to Sidgunananda Swamy or Chidghanananda Maharaj at his hermitage in nearby Kothacheruvu. The talk was that he was a great spiritual personage and would surely be able to cure little Raju.

The blue line shows the road-route from Puttaparthi to Kothacheruvu. The brown line shows the route taken by the
bullock cart which was to carry Swami to Chidghanananda Maharaj.
As expected, a bullock cart was prepared and uncle Chandramouli sat in the driver’s seat. Swami was not the least interested in accompanying them. But surprisingly, He made no violent protests. He allowed Himself to be carried to the cart. I sat on His shoulder and just kept observing.

The bullock cart reached up to the Bukkapatnam reservoir. It had knee-deep water and resembled a little sea. The bullocks entered the waters when suddenly, Swami said,
“I don’t want to go there.”
The cart came to a grinding halt. The bullocks just refused to budge. Uncle Chandramouli whipped them to egg them along. The bullocks too seemed to be ready to endure pain to do Swami’s bidding. As the uncle kept trying, he suddenly saw all the hills around falling on him.
“HELP!!” he screamed in mortal dread, “Save me from these falling hills...”

Chidghanananda Maharaj, possibly the first spiritual personage to recognise
Swami's divinity.
(courtesy - Love is My Form)
Everyone wondered what was happening because all the hills were as they were.
“Let us turn back. Instead of Sathyam, my mind is undergoing a complete breakdown!” he exclaimed.
Even as he turned the cart in the direction of Puttaparthi, the bullocks started merrily tugging at the cart and the hills seemed to behave themselves! The visit to Chidghananda Maharaj stood cancelled. Swami was taken back to Puttaparthi and locked up in the room.

Instead, an emissary was sent to the spiritual personage at Kothacheruvu. Chidghanananda Maharaj’s instructions were straight and explicit,
“He is Daivamsha Sambhuta (embodied divinity). Don’t take Him anywhere else - just leave Him alone.”
When I heard the emissary reporting this to the family, I became convinced that the Maharaj was indeed a spiritual being, for who else but a spiritually advanced soul could recognise Divinity.

“Who do you think presides the temple?”

One morning, the whole Raju household seemed to be in a state of excited anticipation. The erudite lawyer, P.T.Krishnamachari had arrived from penukonda to see Sathyam. Apparently, this was the scholar who had initiated the little Sathyam into writing. In the late 1920s, he had held Swami’s tiny hand and had traced the letters of ‘Aum’ on the sand. That had marked the beginning of Swami’s formal education. The arrival of Swami’s first teacher, a man of great learning, heralded fresh hope for the bewildered family.

The hope was evident when, for the first time in many days, Swami was actually taken out of His solitary confinement. Krishnamachari examined him closely and thendoled out his judgement,
“A demon seems to have entered this boy - an extraordinarily powerful one...”
“Oh no!” I thought, “knowledge, however vast it might be, can never gauge the depths of Divinity.”
“Human exorcists will not be able to help here...” he continued, “and even lesser Gods might fail. Only the Lord Narasimha has the power to frighten this demon and force it to free Raju. Take him to Ghatikachalam (in Tamil Nadu) to the big Narasimha temple there. Hundreds of such cases have been cured by His grace and I am sure that your son will also get cured there...”

The fearsome Lord Narasimha tearing apart the demon Hiranyakashyapu on His lap.
He is said to be easily pleased and easily displeased!

There was further cheer at the home. The father, Pedda Venkama Raju, fetched a piece of paper and a pencil.
“Sir, could you please give us directions to go to Ghatikachalam?”
Krishnamachari Garu (Revered Krishnamachari)!” said Swami loudly, holding out His hand in protest, “the advice you give is so funny. Who do you think resides in Ghatikachalam? You want people to take me to me?”

The entrance to the Narasimha Swamy temple at Ghatikachalam.
He then began to laugh like crazy. I was in a daze no doubt but I too laughed out aloud. That is what my experience with Swami as a student in His university has taught me - to laugh when He laughs! In an instant, Swami was reeling out poetry in the most mellifluous Telugu. I applauded with my little wings. The scholar stood dumbfounded. He was stuck between the voice of his little self - his ego - and his higher Self - his heart. It looked like one part of him wanted to fall at this boy’s feet while another part wanted to hand him a sound thrashing. Caught unawares between these powerful forces, it was evident that his mind was in a tizzy. He just walked out of the house and returned to Penukonda. The family descended into gloom again.

While Swami’s body and mind had been subjected to great ordeals, nothing had happened to Swami for He is neither the body nor is He the mind.
Who is He then? I hoped that the time was now ripe for Him to reveal that also.

to be concluded on Tuesday, 30th December 2014 at 10am ...

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  1. Sairam Brother Aravind... You deserve great appreciations for the profound research done and bringing out to the world the minute details of the events happened in the life history of our Beloved Bhagwan...Keep doing the good work..Advance Happy New Year.... JAI SAIRAM...

    1. Thank you Mithun. But I must confess that a glorious book - Love is My Form (linked under the first photograph of this article) - and the Sathyam Shivam Sundaram have been of great help for me.

      New Year wishes to you too...


  2. Sairam Aravind, just completed reading part 2 and eagerly waiting for next part your inimitable narrative. Best wishes and Love,
    Madhusudanvithal Nori

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. all of these are written divinely- thanks


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