TAMING THE FLOODS
has the power to control Nature but He rarely
interferes with natural phenomena. His argument
is very simple. He says, "I have ordained
the forces of Nature and they have their duties
to perform. However, when it becomes absolutely
essential for the welfare of mankind, I intervene
in a benign manner." As young Krishna, he
lifted an entire hill to protect the people of
His village from a deluge. As Sai too, He has
several times done similar things. One example
is provided by the floods of 1973.
year, thanks to very heavy rain, there was an
unprecedented flood in the Chitravathi river.
Water submerged all the low-lying parts of Puttaparthi,
and came right up to the Ganesha and the Gopuram
gates. The Ashram being at a relatively higher
elevation, the flood waters had not yet entered
its premises, but were threatening to do so. Meanwhile,
all the villagers flocked into the Ashram seeking
shelter. The compassionate Bhagavan not only allowed
the villagers to take shelter but also provided
them with food.
continued to be inclement, and it appeared as
if the water level might rise even further. At
this stage, Baba went to the East Prasanthi block
of flats, and climbed up to the terrace. From
there He looked down at the overflowing river,
and whispered something. People nearby could not
make out what Swami was saying but they could
clearly hear the word Shanti being repeated three
times. While 'advising' the river to calm down,
Baba also raised His hands in a gesture of benediction.
Miraculously, the flood waters began to recede
immediately, and within a few hours, the people
huddled in the Ashram could go back to their homes.
also occasions when Swami emphatically refuses
to intervene. Once during a Discourse, it was
raining heavily. Devotees prayed that the rain
be stopped but Baba brushed aside the request.
He explained that while the rain might be an inconvenience
for them, the farmers were eagerly looking forward
to precisely this downpour. Devotees must not
be selfish, He added.