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  Volume 4 - Issue 01
JANUARY 2006
 
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SHIRDI SAI PARTHI SAI
PART-13

(Continued from the previous issue)

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In our last issue the epic story of the life of Shirdi Baba came to an end with the shedding of His mortal coil to the sorrow and consternation of His devotees. Yet He had promised to incarnate again and this happened eight years later, exactly as He had told His devotees. Earlier, it was in the village of Pathri. This time, it was in the village of Parthi, or Puttaparthi, to give the full name.

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba took birth on 23rd November, 1926 in the Ratnakara family. This family was highly respected in the village for its devotion to the Lord, and for its staunch adherence to righteousness. Baba’s parents this time were Pedda Venkama Raju [father] and Easwaramma [mother]. Pedda Venkama Raju was the eldest son of Kondama Raju, a highly esteemed village elder. At birth, Baba was named Satyanarayana Raju. Prior to Him were born, Seshama Raju [elder brother], Venkamma [elder sister], and Parvathamma [another elder sister]. Sathyanaranyana Raju was called Sathyam at home and Raju by His friends, till He declared His Avatarhood on 20th October, 1940. After that He came to be known to the world as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and also Swami.

What is presented in the following issues of Heart2Heart covers Swami's early years, starting with the Holy birth in the Ratnakara family. Right from the beginning, there were ample signs of His Divinity. However, not all noticed this. As a result, young Sathyanarayana Raju was often subjected to much teasing and at times harsh treatment. At the same time, drawn inexplicably by His Divine attractive power, there were many that showered love on Him and were deeply loyal to Him. All this was of course a part of His Divine Drama.

The appearance of God on Earth in human form is no ordinary event. Whereas we cannot choose our parents, God can. He decides when and where He would be born and takes birth only in a deserving family.

The Raju family was rather poor, yet the members of the family commanded much respect in the village. Kondama Raju had a Guru named Venkavadhoota. Sometime before Swami's birth Venkavadhoota had told Kondama that one day, as reward for the devotion of the family, the Lord Himself would take birth there.

It always happens that prior to the advent of the Lord, there is some turmoil. It was so in Puttaparthi before Swami took birth. There was tyranny from the administrators and also the rich landlords…


ACT I

SCENE 1

The story begins sometime before the incarnation of the Lord. There is a raid by the Government tax collectors. The people are suffering due to drought and consequent crop failure. There is no income. Yet, the Government wanted the people to pay taxes. There was much harassment. A jeep carrying Revenue Officials comes tearing across the narrow village roads.

TWO VILLAGERS (running in front of the jeep): Make way, make way!

A MAN: The Munsif [village headman] has come personally to collect taxes.

ANOTHER MAN: The revenue inspector also has come.

REVENUE INSPECTOR (RI): Hey, confiscate those things! Grab whatever you can lay your hands on – cattle, goats, ……you too.

 

People lament and cry as the underlings grab and confiscate everything they can see and lay their hands on. The heartless revenue inspector laughs and gloats over the suffering of the poor villagers.

 

 

PEON: [tells the villagers] How many times should I tell you to pay taxes on time?

RI: [laughs and shouts] Confiscate the bulls…………Hey you, confiscate the hens and load them in the bullock cart.

The Government cart, loaded with all the confiscated material, drives off.


VILLAGER: [to the revenue inspector] Sir, the rains have failed and the crops have withered. We have had to borrow money and cannot even pay the interest. How then can we pay the taxes?

RI: [ignoring the villager] Let this be a lesson! From next time, pay your taxes promptly!

VILLAGER: How can we pay sir? We borrowed money, ploughed the land and looked up to the sky for rains; but the rains did not come!

RI: How am I responsible for that?

 

VILLAGER: Unless it rains, how can crops grow?

RI: I don’t care whether there is a flood or a drought. You have to pay taxes according to rules. I don’t have the patience to listen to all your stories. ………Hey you! Start the vehicle!

The revenue inspector and his party drive away, leaving the villagers lamenting and weeping. A man comes there and sees the scene. He starts making enquiries.

MAN: What’s the matter? What happened?

VILLAGER: Sir, do you see our plight?

VILLAGER 2: Sir, we have lost everything! We have become orphans, with no one to seek support from.

MAN: Mr. Kondamma Raju (who becomes Swami's grandfather) is there as a beacon light for all of us. Let us report to him the injustice that is being inflicted. He will show us a way.

VILLAGERS: Yes, we shall do that.


SCENE 2

 

Kondama Raju is in his house, offering worship. He is just about to conclude by offering Aarathi, when several villagers come to his house.

MAN: Mr. Kondamma Raju! Mr. Kondamma Raju!!

K. RAJU: Who is that?

MAN: Greetings and salutations.

K. RAJU: Who is that? Oh you, Subbaraidu! Why have all of you have come at the same time?

 


MAN: Respected Sir, you are an elder and the preceptor for all of us. You are the jewel of the of the Ratnakara family. The mention of your very name makes even mountains bow in humility! Your words soothe wounded hearts, and your touch can melt even stones!

MAN 2: In this village that is your home, oppression is growing.

MAN: Lawlessness, injustice, and unrighteousness, also are on the increase!

K. RAJU: Don’t get excited! Tell me what exactly happened.

 

 

MAN: Since taxes were not paid, everything from pots and pans to domestic animals have been confiscated. When there is no harvest, how can people pay taxes? Please sir, you tell me! ………..

We fell at the feet of the authorities and prayed, but they refused to understand our plight. Instead, they simply kicked us and went away. Is this to be our fate? Please sir, you tell us for you are our Guru!

K. RAJU: In every age, God comes down in human form to remove the difficulties of mankind, and to make people happy. Very soon that time is coming…..I shall arrange to see that the confiscated goods are restored. Don’t worry. Please go now.

 


MAN: Now we feel more secure! Mr. Raju sir!! Your words fill our heart with confidence and the assurance that our difficulties will disappear.

K. RAJU: Hardship is like fire; it burns when you touch it. But does not the fire always die down eventually? It is the same with difficulties; they will pass off. Better days will come soon. Please go now.

 

END OF SCENE 2


To Be Continued...

- Heart2Heart Team

 

   
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Vol 4 Issue 01 - January 2006
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