Sai Sandesh Volume 4, Issue
9; Sept. 2007
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Editorial: The power of Baba's words
Leela: Why fear when I am here
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: Baba gives Balaji Darshan
Beacon Lights: Sri Raghavendra Swami
Abhishekam - 11 Times Daily
For the welfare of humanity,
Sri Rudra Abhishekam is being performed eleven times a day for a period
of 121 days. The prayers start at 8.00 A.M. and continue until 11.30
A.M. All are welcome to participate.
Editorial: The power of Baba's words
By The Sai
Nature is nothing
but the manifestation of a minute fraction of God's infinite
glory, and billions of ever-expanding universes are mere atoms
when compared to the all-powerful Lord. When such a powerful
Lord commands His creation on a course of action, it cannot but
fulfill that order with all humility and reverence.
The might and majesty of an avatar cannot be comprehended by
human intelligence; it can only be experienced. During their
physical incarnation, avatars perform countless deeds that are
considered miracles in the mortal realm, but in reality they are
visible manifestations of divine sankalpa (will). This will is
so powerful it can alter even the writ of providence and, when
necessary, overrule otherwise unalterable cosmic laws. The
warmth of sincere devotion can melt God's butter-soft heart in
an instant, and in response to a devotee's plea the Lord becomes
like a servitor, willing to extend any service possible. When
the call is sincere, He will alter even destiny and rescue
devotees from sorrow. This has been the experience of
Once, a mother-in-law was fortunate enough to experience this
grace. She was a pious lady who had a big family with many sons
and daughter-in-laws. Despite experiencing all forms of
happiness, she was not at peace, for none of her children were
able to become parents. She visited Puttaparthi with utmost
reverence and placed her sorrow at the feet of the Lord of
Parthi. He heard her request with compassion but explained that
none of her family members were destined to become parents-that
was their fate. She was disheartened but she firmly held Sai's
feet and with tear-filled eyes begged Him to intercede. Swami
was moved and asked if she believed in Him. She calmly said that
His will was supreme and that He could alter destiny itself, if
He so willed. Swami was touched by her faith and blessed her.
The following year, she came with beautiful grand children.
During the Shirdi Sai Avatar, a devotee brought several seeds to
Shirdi. It was his intense desire to plant trees near Dwarakamai.
Baba was reluctant, however, and refused to accede. As time
passed, the seeds dried and became incapable of germinating. The
devotee was unable to bear his beloved Sai's refusal. Day and
night, he was suffering in anguish. Sainath was unable to see
His devotee suffer in this manner and called him to His
presence. Baba asked him to quit worrying and also ordered him
to plant the dried seeds with faith. He declared that even
though the seeds had dried, they would germinate into beautiful
plants-and they did.
instance, Baba's devotee, Shama, was bitten by a snake.
Frightened by the imminent danger, Shama immediately rushed to
His beloved Sai who uttered the following words: "Oh vile
bhaturdya (priest), do not climb up. Beware if you do so. Go get
away, come down." Shama was disheartened to think that the words
were uttered at him, but in reality they were Sai's antidote to
the poison. It was a direct command ordering the poison to stop
rising. Shama recovered completely. On another occasion, Shirdi
witnessed a terrifying storm that threatened to devour the
entire village. All its inhabitants rushed to their beloved Lord
Sai, who in His utmost mercy came to their rescue. His simple
words, "Oh, stop; calm your fury," were sufficient to quell the
furious storm in moments.
God is so merciful, He cannot but run for His devotees. He is
like the hard-working mother who is always busy performing
routine household-in His case, cosmic-duties. Despite her
burdens, the mother always provides for the children's needs and
keeps a watchful eye on them. The children may not know or
realize this. When they are safe or at play, she continues
performing her chores, but if a child starts crying
inconsolably, she will leave everything and run to console her
darling. Similarly, God, who bears the love of a thousand
mothers, rushes to respond to His children's calls. His simple
words will allay all fears and fulfill devotees' wishes.
When one's inner
reactions and agitations are sublimated, all that one
experiences through the senses, the mind and the intellect take
on a divine lustre and reveal their divine core. When man's
heart is full of love, he can be in the world and yet be
unaffected by it. All activity will then be for the Almighty,
for His Grace, and through His will.
Source: Thought for the day, Prashanti Nilayam, September 03, 2007
Why fear when I am here
By A Sai
An old knee injury
had resulted in a serious tear of my left knee's cartilage
(Meniscus). A surgery was recommended but due to some lapse at
my end, I had not undergone the treatment. The excruciating pain
from the injury relapsed after a period of ten years and I fell
to the ground, unable to stand or move. It was almost as if I
had lost one leg.
I wasn't covered under a health insurance plan and Sai's grace
was the only insurance I could rely on. As I helplessly looked
at Swami's picture, He diverted my eyes to a car sticker that
had the picture of Shirdi Sai Baba with abhaya hasta mudra (the
blessing hand gesture granting freedom from fear). I could
distinctly read what was written under the picture. The words
were "Why fear when I am here."
As soon as I saw the sticker a miracle happened and as I tried
to stand back on my feet I did not experience the slightest pain
or discomfort. I have been pain free ever since.
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: Baba gives Balaji darshan to archakas at
The Archakas of
Tirupati have the habit of looking at the feet of Balaji Bhagwan
and taking Padanamaskar before Suprabhatam (where God is woken
up). They open their eyes only after this procedure.
One of the senior most archakas suddenly had a feeling one day
that even after having served the Lord for 40 years, he was not
fortunate enough to have his darshan. He prayed emotionally that
if he had been sincere in his duty towards the lord, then the
Lord must some day grant His darshan.
The next day, as usual when the archakas went into the sanctum
sanctorum for padanamaskar, the senior most archaka went in
first. As he reached for the feet of the idol, his hands could
feel the moist feet of a human body.
As he reached for
the feet again and again, the same thing happened. He called out
to the other Archakas and told them his experience. The other
archakas too experienced the same warmth. For a moment the
archakas got agitated and felt that some miscreant would be
standing there but who could be so insolent to stand on the
lord's idol and that too when the sanctorum was thoroughly
checked before being locked. Who could it be? Was it an
illusion?.. Just that moment the archaka remembered the prayer
that came out of him the day before. A thought flashed through
his mind.....Was it the Lord himself?
He hurriedly removed the covering and opened his eyes. What he
saw shocked him. He gave out a shriek, hearing which the other
archakas also removed their coverings and opened their eyes. A
sense of disbelief went through them on what they saw. The idol
was gone and Sri Satya Sai Baba was standing in its place. Baba
was standing in Chatur Bhuja form (with four arms). Baba was
smiling. He looked at the senior most archaka and said--"You
wanted to see me. I am here. What do you want?" The archaka was
stunned and asked --"When did I ask to see you? In fact, I asked
for darshan of my Lord Sri Balaji." Baba replied --"I am your
Lord Sri Balaji." Taken aback by this reply the archakas asked
again--"How can you be Lord Balaji? You have always said You are
Shiva-Shakti Swarupa. How then can you say you are
Vaikunthathi-pathi Balaji?" Baba softly replied--"All are one,
my dear children. God is one. He manifests in different forms
and man worships the form to which he is most attached. All
faiths are paths leading to the same goal. Why then do you see
the difference?" Baba spoke again--"I have come not to disturb
any faith but to confirm everyone in his own faith. I respond to
everyone with whatever name you call me. You wanted to see the
Lord in form of Balaji and so here I am to fulfill your wish."
So saying Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba dissappeared and the idol
of Bhagwan Balaji was back in its place. Silence prevailed for
some time. Later the archakas handed over the administration of
the temple temporarily to their juniors and rushed to
The next day the they were made to sit in front and as Bhagwan
Baba came out for darshan, they sat with eyes glued at Him. As
Baba came nearer, their hearts leapt in excitement. Baba
maintained a little distance from them, looked sharply in their
eyes, and asked --"Today how have you broken the tradition.
Every day morning, you look first at my feet and then at my
physical frame. Today you are looking at my face first without
even taking padnamaskar." As the archakas heard this, they fell
at Baba's feet. Baba took them to the interview room and spoke
for a long time.
Lights: Sri Raghavendra Swami of Mantralaya
The downfall of the
Vijayanagar kingdom was responsible for the southward migration
of many scholars and Vedic experts, who until then were thriving
on the royal treasury. Thimmanna Bhatta was one such scholar who
was forced to migrate.
Within a short period of time, Thimmanna married Gopikamba and
the couple had two children. The third was born in 1595 and was
named Venkatanatha (Venkanna Bhatta). He was a child prodigy, a
brilliant student from the very beginning. Elders would often be
dumbfounded when the little boy would ask questions of profound
spiritual significance. He impressed even his scholarly father
by asking questions such as how a small object like OM could
capture the infinite greatness of God.
While the lad was still very young, his father died and his
brother assumed responsibility for his upbringing.
Venkatanatha's initial schooling was under the care of his
brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhacharya of Madurai. Venkatanatha
was soon married to the pious Saraswati.
During the course of his studies under Sundhindra Tirtha,
Venkatanatha attained proficiency in Dvaita Vedanta, advanced
grammar, and other shastras. With his astute intelligence, the
young lad would often impress scholars of the time and vanquish
them in intense debates. In 1620, the sage defeated Venkatesvara
Dikshita, a famous scholar of the Tanjoure court. Impressed by
his rare scholarship and debating skills, the guru aptly named
him Mahabhashya Ventanathacharya.
The scholar-saint was soon blessed with a beautiful son who was
named Lakshminarayana. Even though he was bearing the burden of
his growing family, Venkatanatha chose to subsist only on what
came to him unasked and unsought, and despite his musical
prowess and unmatched scholarship, the saint spent most of his
life in poverty. Their state was such that they could not afford
even a drop of oil and new clothes were not adorned for years at
a stretch. Yet, despite abject poverty the family never lost
equanimity and continued worshipping God with utmost zeal.
Venkatanatha was indeed the epitome of true devotion and
Once, Venkatanatha happened to attend a wedding. Seeing his
simple dress, his hosts thought him to be poor and did not treat
him with the customary respect that is due to a guest,
especially one of his spiritual stature. Thinking that he had
come to feast on free food, they asked him to earn the meal by
grinding sandalwood paste. Equanimity and complete surrender are
the hallmark of devotion and Venkatanatha readily allowed his
hosts to treat him as they pleased. He started to grind the
paste while reciting Vedic hymns. When the paste was applied by
brahmins attending the function, they experienced an intense
When the matter was investigated they discovered that
Venkatanatha was unknowingly chanting the Agni Sukta, a Vedic
hymn invoking the Lord of Fire. The hosts soon realized their
folly and apologized to the compassionate saint. They also
requested him to make new paste by chanting Varuna Sukta
(invoking the God of Water). This gave immediate relief to the
brahmins. Such was the power of mantras chanted by Venkatanatha.
Venkatanatha fell into further poverty as a result of a theft
that took place in his house. The thieves looted what little was
left in the house and in order to support his family,
Venkatanatha was left with no option but to return to Sudhindra
Tirtha's care. The guru was at the time seeking out a suitable
heir who would run the famed ashram after him. His wise eyes
found a suitable successor in Venkatanatha. When the matter was
proposed, the latter was torn apart as he had a young wife and a
growing family to support. The dilemma was between choosing the
welfare of his family and respecting the words of his preceptor.
After serious thought, he politely refused to accept the
responsibility. The guru knew the power of divine will and was
confident that one day the young sage would willingly accept the
That night Venkatanatha had a divine dream. Vidya Lakshmi
(Goddess of Learning) commanded him to continue the glorious
tradition of his gurus and the lineage of acharyas to which he
belonged. She asked him to shed all material bonds and dedicate
himself to the cause of the Lord. The dream also gave hints of
him being a divine being who had descended to provide succor to
millions of devotees. The dream had resolved his dilemma and
Venkatanatha managed to convince his wife about his desire to
become an ascetic.
The ceremony for
sanyasa was to take place on the second day of the bright half
of Phalguna Masa in the year Durmati (1621). During the
ceremony, Saraswati was required to stay at home. At the last
minute, however, she was seized by an intense desire to see her
beloved for the last time before he would relinquish all worldly
attachments. In a hurry to see her beloved, she did not notice
an old and unused well. She fell into it and died instantly but
as a result of an untimely death, her spirit became a ghost.
Even in that form she rushed to see her husband. On arriving at
Tanjore, however, the ceremony was over and Venkatanatha had
become a sanyasi, and he had adopted the name of Raghavendra
Tirtha. Sri Raghavendra sensed the presence of her spirit even
though she was not visible to human eyes. With extreme, but
non-attached, compassion he sprinkled some holy water on her.
Due the power of his penance and her selfless and dedicated
life, she was immediately granted liberation (moksha) from the
cycle of births and deaths.
In 1623, Sudhindra Tirtha shed his mortal coil at Anegondi and
Raghavendra Tirtha was chosen as the successor for his capable
guru's divine mission. He started imparting the right knowledge
to one and all and composed numerous works for the benefit of
future generations. Apart from his ashram duties, Raghavendra
also undertook numerous pilgrimages and visited many centers of
learning and religion. At every seat of learning, he spread the
message of his beloved Srimadacharya and defeated numerous
scholars of opposing doctrines.
Apart from his scholarly feats, Sri Raghavendra Swami had
acquired immense spiritual perfection. Once, Swami was on his
way from a pilgrimage when he decided to rest under the shade of
a tree at Krishnapuram. There he was accosted by a
grief-stricken nawab who said he had come to him as a last
resort. The nawab had heard of Raghavendra Swami's miracles and
had come to seek his help. He had recently lost his young son
who had died from a poisonous snake bite. The boy had been
buried at a tomb nearby. Guru Raghavendra visited the site and
sprinkled holy water from his kamandalu (holy vessel used by
mendicants). The boy woke up from the tomb as if he had just
woken up from sleep. There are also other recorded instances
where the young guru revived the dead.
Once, some scholars were on their way to meet Guru Raghavendra.
On the way they noticed a washerman with a load of clothes on
his head. They were in need for directions but before asking him
for help they debated amongst themselves in Sanskrit whether it
would be appropriate to ask for directions from an ignorant
person. Surprisingly, the washerman intervened in the
conversation and spoke the following words in pure Sanskrit: "If
all you want to know is directions to meet the guru, then I
should be able to help you." He then proceeded to give detailed
directions in Sanskrit. The scholars were humbled by this
phenomenon and proceeded to a river to perform their afternoon
sandhya. There, they saw the same washerman and politely asked
him in Sanskrit whether the spot was appropriate for the
performance of sandhya. The washerman replied, rather crudely,
saying, "If you want to speak with me, then use a language that
I can understand." It was clear from his response that the man
was completely ignorant, let alone a knower of Sanskrit. The
conflicting behaviors surprised the scholars but they dismissed
them as acts of insanity. After traversing some distance, they
again met the same washerman who accosted them and spoke in
fluent Sanskrit. He inquired if they needed further help with
directions. The scholars were perplexed and ran from the place.
When they reached the guru's ashram, they requested a devotee to
shed light on what they had just experienced. The latter burst
into laughter and asked whether the washerman had the load of
clothes on his head when he spoke in Sanskrit. The scholars
replied in the affirmative. The devotee then explained that it
wasn't the power of the washerman, but rather the power of the
clothes that had been discarded by the guru. Even his clothes,
though inanimate, had acquired a certain degree of spiritual
potency due to their constant association with the saint. The
washerman's knowledge of Sanskrit was a direct result of these
The power of Sri Raghavendra was demonstrated on another
occasion as well when Venkanna, an illiterate brahmin boy, came
to seek his blessings. Once, when accompanied by his disciples,
Raghavendra Swami passed by the lad's village he rushed to the
palanquin and fell at the guru's feet. When the guru heard about
the boy's pitiable financial condition, he have him some sacred
rice and said, "When you are in real distress and need my help,
put this on your head and think of me." The boy tied the blessed
rice into a cloth and always carried it with him. Once, Venkanna
was relaxing under a tree when he saw a nawab pass by. A
stranger came and handed a note to the nawab; unfortunately,
both of them were illiterate and needed help reading the letter.
Seeing a brahmin boy in the vicinity, they requested him to read
the message for them. The boy was in a dilemma. He could not
refuse the nawab's order but at the same time, he did not know
how to read or write. Finding himself in such an unsolvable
predicament, he remembered the consecrated rice and the guru's
divine promise. As directed by the saint, Venkanna placed the
rice on his head and invoked Sri Raghavendra's grace. With full
faith in the divine assurance, he opened the scroll and wonder
of wonders, the letters became very clear to him. It was a
message to the nawab conveying the news that his wife had
delivered a baby boy.
The nawab was
thrilled to hear the news and gave the brahmin boy a pearl
necklace as a gift. Raghavendra Swami who was then controlling
Venkanna's mind was not satisfied with that gift alone and
requested the nawab to grant him (Venkanna) a job in his
administration. The request pleased the nawab and he granted the
requested. Venkanna worked hard and soon rose to the position of
the nawab's prime minister.
After performing many miraculous feats, the divine guru decided
that it was time for him to take live samadhi. He conveyed the
news to his close disciples, who were naturally very devastated.
While Raghavendra Swami was waiting for the appropriate time, he
once looked at the sky and folded his hands in reverence.
Surprised by this act, the disciples requested him to explain
the significance of the gesture. Just at that moment, a divine
tulsi garland fell around the guru's neck. He then explained
that he had seen Sri Krishna Dvaipayana (Veda Vyasa) going in an
astral chariot to Vaikuntha. When Raghavendra questioned the
heavenly being about when his time would come, the latter held
up his index and middle finger three times. This signified two
years, two months, and two days. Based on calculations the day
happened to be the second day in the dark half of the moon in
the Hindu year Virodhikruth.
On the appointed day, Raghavendra Swami called his closest
disciples and announced that he would take his Samadhi at
Manchale, the spot chosen for his live Brindavana in Mantralaya.
This was the same spot where Prahlada had performed a great
yagna as a result of which it was sanctified forever. Sri
Raghavendra chose a black rock that he said was sanctified by
the touch of Rama's feet. Before entering into live Samadhi, Sri
Raghavendra visited Manchale's presiding deity. When he went to
her temple, she immediately appeared there and urged the guru to
ask for a boon. When he expressed his desire to take live
samadhi, the devi expressed her concern saying once his
Brindavan was established millions would visit him but her
temple would then be deserted and forgotten. At this, the saint
assured her that a visit to him would not be complete unless the
devotees visited her first.
At the allotted hour Sri Raghavendra Swami took the Samadhi
live. Thousands of devotees had gathered to witness this divine
act. Even though the guru has shed his mortal coil, his presence
and grace is felt by millions of devotees worldwide. Innumerable
miracles and experiences provide ample testimony to the fact
that he is ever-living and always willing to respond to the
prayers of his sincere devotees.
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