Sai Sandesh Volume 4, Issue
4; April 2007
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Editorial: "See how I have to suffer for my devotees; their
difficulties are mine"
Leela: Mahashivaratri Blessings
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: How Swami Saved the Priest
Beacon Lights: Hanuman, the chosen messenger of Rama
Editorial: "See how I have to suffer for my devotees; their difficulties
By The Sai
Saints -- and even
God -- always ease the suffering of their devotees by taking
their burdens over themselves. In process, they willingly
subject themselves to untold pain, often neglecting their own
welfare, and even sacrificing their physical bodies when
"I bear the love of a thousand mothers," says Sri Sai Baba, and
what is it if not motherly love that compels Sai to heal the
pain of millions without the slightest trace of selfishness,
expectation, or recognition. His butter-soft heart melts with
the warmth of sincere prayers and, unasked, He gives all that is
to be given -- and more. When helping His followers, Swami
employs a number of means, seen and unseen. In many instances,
and when necessary, He takes on Himself their physical ailments
to grant instant relief from otherwise incurable diseases.
Once, Mrs. Khaparde, wife of Dadasaheb Khaparde of Amraoti, was
staying at Shirdi. She heard that her young son had developed
high fever and subsequently Bubonic Plague. The terrified mother
accosted Baba to seek permission for her Amraoti trip, at which
the merciful Master spoke kindly to her, saying, "The sky is
beset with clouds, but they will melt and pass off; everything
will be smooth and clear." On saying this, He lifted his robe
and showed four fully-developed bubos, adding, "See how I have
to suffer for My devotees; their difficulties are Mine."
On another occasion, Shirdi Baba suddenly thrust His hand in a
fire. A devotee who witnessed this incidence rushed there and
pulled Baba away. Much later, Baba explained that a blacksmith's
wife, who was working near a furnace, accidentally dropped her
child into the fire while in a hurry to respond to her husband's
call. Not minding the scorching flames, Baba had willingly burnt
His hand to save the innocent child.
Granting relief to suffering devotees is a never ending saga for
A student of Sathya Sai Baba was a chronic asthmatic and would
frequently suffer from severe attacks. Frustrated, he once put a
piece of cloth around the nose of Swami's picture and said, "See
how it feels." During the darshan, that day, Swami came straight
to the boy and caught his hand firmly. Almost immediately, the
merciful Sainath took on Himself the devotee's asthma attack.
Seeing his beloved Lord in pain, the young lad tried to free
himself from Sai's grip, but failed. Much to his relief, Baba
resumed normal breathing within a few minutes and explained that
what would have taken the lad almost two decades as a process of
elimination of karma, could be mitigated in a matter of a few
minutes if undergone by Divinity instead. True to these words,
the boy never suffered from the debilitating attacks ever again.
With utmost happiness, divine embodiments go to great extents to
make even the ultimate sacrifice for their devotees. It is said
that Shirdi Sai Baba had predicted the death of his devotee,
Tatya, in 1916. When the appointed hour came, Tatya became
severely ill and was expected to die any moment, but events took
a strange turn, and the Lord of Shirdi gave up His mortal form
Benevolent Baba is ever lightening our burdens, whether we
realize it or not.
Conducive to our spiritual growth and catalyzing our progress
toward God, what little pain we experience in our lives is
really the leftover, condensed version, of our original destiny.
How ignorant man is!
He does not realize that the five elements present in him are
the very forms of Divine. It is foolishness on his part to look
for God outside ignoring his innate divinity. Divinity is
present in every being. The life principle that flows through
each and every nerve of the body is verily divine. The life
Principle that sustains our body is Prajnana. Hence, it is said,
Prajnanam Brahma (Consciousness is God).
Source: Thought for the day, Prashanti Nilayam, April 28,
By A Sai
On the auspicious
occasion of Mahashivaratri in 1999, I had spent my entire day in
prayers. As the night approached, I sat in my meditation room
and offered heartfelt prayers, requesting Sai to come and visit
Although I had an intense desire to do an all-night vigil, I
succumbed to sleep around midnight. When I woke up the next
morning, I took myself to task for losing a golden opportunity
to spend the night in prayer and reflection.
I also chided Baba for not visiting me as requested. Just as I
was chiding Baba, I noticed a big brown drop emerging from the
picture of Sathya Sai Baba.
The manifestation of honey was ample proof that Swami had indeed
visited me that night.
Little did I realize then that Swami doesn’t need to visit
anyone for He is always everywhere at all times, residing in the
hearts of one and all.
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: How Sai Saved the Priest
A priest was once
traveling to a distant location. On the way, his flight
experienced sudden turbulence and caused instant panic in the
hearts of the travelers. A “danger” warning was immediately
issued to the passengers.
While the rest of the passengers were frantically conceiving
ways and means to save their lives, the priest resorted to
prayers. From the bottom of his heart, he prayed for the safety
of his fellow-passengers. The prayers drew an immediate
Out of thin air, an elderly man clad in white robes and donning
a white beard appeared near the priest’s seat. The saintly
figure gave a packet of vibhuti and a picture to the priest and
vanished as mysteriously as he had appeared. The priest had
never seen this person before but thought him to be a saintly
figure whose very appearance had quelled the impeding danger.
On returning to his church, the priest got the picture enlarged
and kept it for display with the fond hope that someone would
help him identify his benefactor. Baba had arranged for this as
well. An Indian lady soon visited the church and explained to
the priest that the mysterious stranger was none other than
Shirdi Sai Baba.
Katha: Words of the Wise (Adapted from Chinna Katha)
In a king's court,
ministers, pundits and artists were all seated in their
respective places. The king and his ministers had earned name
and fame for their wit and wisdom. One day a sage entered the
court. He was given a warm welcome with all honor due to him.
The king asked him, "Oh revered one! May I know what brings you
here? We are very happy on account of your presence here today."
The sage replied, "Oh King, your court is reputed for its wit
and wisdom. I have brought three beautiful dolls and I would
like to have an assessment and evaluation of these dolls done by
your ministers." He presented to the king the three dolls. The
king called his senior most minister and gave him the dolls for
examination and evaluation. The minister just looked once at the
dolls and commanded a royal messenger to fetch him a thin
The minister inserted the wire into the right ear of one of the
dolls. The wire came out of the left ear. He kept it aside. He
took up another doll and once again passed the wire into its
right ear. It came out of the mouth of the doll. He kept that
doll in one place. He took up the third doll and inserted the
wire, it neither came out of the other ear nor from the mouth.
The king and the courtiers were eagerly watching the scene. The
minister paying his tributes to the sage said, "Oh revered one."
Of the three dolls, the third one is the best. The three dolls
actually are symbolic of three types of listening. There are
three types of listeners, in the world. The first type listen to
every word, only to pass it out from the other ear. The second
type listen well, remember it well only to speak out all that
they have heard. The third type listen, retain everything they
have heard and treasure it up in their hearts. They are the best
type of listeners." The sage congratulated the king and the
minister on the successful evaluation of the dolls and blessing
them both, left the court.
'Shravanam' is the first and the foremost among the nine types
of devotion. Having heard the words of the wise, we should try
to revolve their meaning and message in our minds and put them
into practise to elevate our lives.
Lights: Lord Hanuman, The Chosen Messenger
In the epic
Ramayana, there is one hero who is at once endearing, valorous,
intelligent, humble, and the very epitome of devotion and
loyalty. He, the life-breath of Lord Rama, is none other than
Brihaspati, the preceptor of gods, had an attendant by the name
of Punjikasthala. She was cursed to assume the form of a female
monkey. The nature of the curse was such that it could be
nullified only when she gave birth to an incarnation of Lord
Shiva. In accordance with the curse, she was born as Anjana, the
wife of Kesari (named for being brave as a lion). As Anjana, she
performed intense austerities to appease Lord Shiva. Pleased
with her devotion and piety, He granted her the rare boon of
being His mother.
Dashratha, the King of Ayodhya, was given the sacred payasa
(pudding) by Agni Deva (The God of Fire) in response to his plea
for children. The payasa was of a divine sort and with its
blessings, Lord Rama, along with Lakshmana, Bharata, and
Shatrughna incarnated in the family of Dashratha. In accordance
with divine will, a portion of the payasa was snatched by a
bird. On its way, the bird dropped the pudding, and Pavana Dev
(The God of Wind), delivered this pudding in the hands of Anjana
Devi, who was then engaged in worship. As a result of this, Lord
Shiva incarnated as Hanuman. As Pavana Dev was instrumental in
this birth, he is also known as the god-father of Hanuman. On
Anjaneya’s (another name for Hanuman) birth, Anjana was freed
from her curse and was immediately restored to her heavenly
form. As she was leaving, Vayu Putra (the son of wind)
questioned her about his future. She assured him that he would
never be destroyed and that fruits as ripe as the rising sun
would be his food.
Thinking that the glowing sun was his food, the divine child
leapt across the sky. As he was nearing the sun, the planet Rahu,
who was well-known for causing troubles, complained to Indra
about a child trying to eclipse the sun. Hanumanji had almost
devored the sun, when Indra (the King of Devas) struck the
child’s jaw with a thunderbolt, causing him to fall earthward.
Pavana Dev was infuriated on learning of the treatment his
god-son had received. With Hanuman on his lap, he immediately
retreated to the nether region. As wind departed from the earth,
all the creatures were unable to breathe. In order to pacify
Pavana Dev, all the gods and goddesses conferred great boons,
including the boon of immortality, on baby Hanuman. The
blessings of all the divine dieties made Hanuman invincible and
more powerful than any other being.
As a young child, Hanuman was as naughty as other children, with
the exception that his naughtiness was often accompanied by an
exhibition of vast powers. Hanumanji would throw moutains as if
they were mere pebbles. He would swell to the size of the
universe and perform feats that no being could ever dream of. In
childish pranks, he would create whirlwinds and disturb the
penance of sages. In fear of his great powers, the sages, in
collaboration with Lord Brahma, devised a plan. They cursed
Hanuman to forget his powers; his powers were to be restored to
him only when someone would remind him about his might.
Anjaneya mentally chose the Sun God as his preceptor. He
reverently approached the deity with a request to learn
scriptures. Surya, the Sun God, agreed but pointed to the fact
that it was not possible for him to stop his journey across the
sky as that would cause chaos in the world. Hanumanji, the ocean
of intelligence, however did not see this as a problem. He
assumed a mighty form and concentrated on his lessons while
traversing backward. In a record time of sixty hours, Hanumanji
had mastered all the scriptures. Pleased with the progress of
his divine disciple, Surya declared the period of preceptorship
as complete. On being pressed for accepting fees, Surya
requested Hanumanji to assist his son, Sugriva, the Monkey King,
as a minister and constant companion.
At the feet of Rama
As Hanumanji was passing his days with Sugriva, he once met Lord
Rama, when the latter was in a period of exile and was searching
for Mother Sita, who was abducted by Ravana. During their search
for Sita, Rama and Lakshmana visited the vicinity of Pampa Lake
situated at the base of the mountain Risyamukha. Sugriva, along
with his ministers was hiding in this region in fear of his
brother, Bali. When Rama and Lakshmana arrived, Sugriva
suspected that they were sent by his enemy Bali. To ascertain
their intent, Sugriva sent Hanuman in the guise of a brahmin.
Lord Rama immediately recognized the brahmin as his chosen
devotee. Hanuman too reverentially clasped Rama’s feet and was
Rama dispatched the monkey army, headed by Hanuman, to search
for Sita. In order to find Mother Sita, Hanuman had to cross the
Indian Ocean. For the sake of his master, Hanuman assumed a
mighty form and leapt across the entire Indian Ocean, as if in
child’s play. On reaching Lanka, he created havoc in the demon
city, uprooted trees, destroyed demons, consoled Mother Sita,
and burnt the entire city of Lanka. Undaunted by the demon
hosts, Hanuman returned in the service of his master with a
message from the divine mother.
In the days that followed, there was a terrifying war between
Lord Rama and the demons. Hanumanji played a major role in this
war and destroyed the demons, as if they were mere flies. His
exploits in the holy war are so expansive that millions of books
have not been able to recite his glory in all completeness.
On one occasion Lakshmana, Rama’s younger brother, was wounded
by a poisonous spear that rendered him unconcious. The antidote
to this injury was a herb that could be found only in the
Hanumanji flew from Lanka to the Himalayas in search of the
herb; on reaching the Himalayas, he located the mountain but
could not find the right herb. In order to save time, he lifted
the entire mountain and brought it to Lakshmana’s rescue. It was
with Hanuman’s help that Rama overcame the terrifying demons of
Lanka and ultimately succeeded in rescuing Mother Sita. Mother
Sita was so pleased with his loyalty that she blessed him with
There has never been a devotee as devoted and dear to the Lord
as Anjanyea. Ceaslessly chanting Rama’s name, Hanuman
accomplished the most impossible feats. His devotion was so
great that the Lord himself used to feel indebted to him.
Hanuman’s entire life is an offering to his master.
Once, Hanuman witnessed Mother Sita wearing the sacred saffron
mark on her forehead. He immediately questioned her about the
practice. The mother indicated that she wore the mark so that
her husband could enjoy a long and healthy life.
Hanumanji immediately smeared his entire body with saffron
powder. When Rama questioned Hanuman about this, he responded
saying that if the mother’s little mark could give Rama a long
life, smearing the same all over his body would give Rama a
much, much longer life. Anjaneya’s childlike devotion brough
tears to the Lord’s eye.
There is another incidence that demonstrates Hanuman’s devotion.
On returning from Lanka, Rama was distributing gifts to all His
subjects, to the exception of Hanuman.
Mother Sita questioned this discrimination. The all-knowing Lord
responded saying that to Hanuman, these gifts were too trivial.
He sought only the Lord and nothing else. Not satisfied at this,
the mother gifted Hanuman with a pearl necklace.
Immediately, Hanumanji started biting the pearl into pieces and
discarded them as if they were mere pebbles. All those
witnessing the incidence were dumbfounded and scolded Anjaneya
for wasting the precious necklace.
To their questions, Hanuman responded that he was trying to find
his Rama in those pearls and without His presence those pearls
were mere dust to him. Hanumanji immediately tore his chest and
to the astonishment of all present, they saw in his heart the
images of Rama and Sita, along with Lakshmana.
Hanumanji’s role was not restricted to the Ramayana period. He
was as active during the Mahabharata and even assisted Krishna
and Arjuna in the war against evil forces. He is so pure and
powerful that evil forcess flee at the very sound of his name.
When Lord Rama was departing to His divine realm, he asked
Anjaneya to stay back and protect His devotees. Hanmanji, in
place of liberation, chose the boon of staying on earth till the
name of God is chanted. Hanumanji is still actively assisting
pure devotees of God.
Lord Hanuman symbolizes strength and victory and it is said that
wherever there is Hanuman, there is victory.
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