Volume 13 - Issue 03
March 2015
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Posted on: Mar 19, 2015

SAI STREE SHAKTI series - 01

The Indomitable Dedication of Mrs. Sarlabahen Indulal Shah

"SSS, the initials of our Lord Sri Sathya Sai, for some of us could also represent Sai Stree Shakti – the forces of nature who incarnated as women of spiritual substance to serve as the chosen instruments of the Avatar, contributing significantly to the Sai Mission," says a distinguished alumna from the womens campus of the Sai University. Bhagawan not only often hailed the sterling virtues of women devotees but also shaped some of them to be excellent examplars of duty, devotion and dedication, and stand out as ideals not only to other womenfolk but to the entire mankind.

To mark the auspicious 90th year of the divine advent, we salute these dynamic and divine Sai women whose contribution to the Sai mission has been strong and steady and largely silent.

Starting March 19, 2015, every month till November 19, 2015, Radio Sai will celebrate Ladies Day by highlighting the life and dedication of select Sai Stree Shaktis who will go down in history as the able and capable contemporaries of the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar, whom He chose as His instruments to achieve His Avataric goals. Their incarnation appears to be a planned part of Bhagawan's master plan.

Radio Sai is pleased to start this series with a tribute to Smt Sarla Shah, the pioneer of the Sai Spiritual Education Movement.

Smt. Sarlabahen Indulal Shah (25 September 1923 – 14 January 2015)

She was ‘Sarla Aunty’ to some, ‘Amma’ to many and ‘Mummy’ to the family. But the epithet that she held most dear was ‘Sarla Ma’ bestowed on her by none other than the Lord Himself – Bhagawan Baba. Regardless of the variations in the terms of endearment that she was addressed by, she remained a constant in the lives of countless Sai devotees – young and old alike, across continents – until she reached the Divine Lotus Feet at the age of 91 on Makara Sankranti Day, January 14, this year.

For someone who personified humility in thought, word and deed, the canvas of her life was resplendent with the colours of her commitment to Swami’s mission. Within the precincts of her home, she was the wife of the dynamic industrialist cum fountainhead of the Sai movement in Mumbai, Sri Indulal Shah. She was also mother to two children - a son who she lost at a young age and a daughter that grew up to be her main support.

Beyond her home, she was a relentless crusader of Swami’s work and one of the most inspirational icons in the Sathya Sai Organisation worldwide. So unflagging were her efforts to inculcate Swami’s values in people and so true to her calling she remained as God’s chosen devotee that Bhagawan Baba blessed her with the coveted sobriquet ‘Devi’ as an articulation of His grace.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the qualities of giving and standing up for the right cause were embedded in her DNA, so to speak. Even as young adult, her sense of patriotism was evident. She actively participated in the freedom struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and helped run an underground radio station to support the freedom struggle. This bravado transformed into true seva under the directives of the Divine Master.

If we were to track Sarlabahen’s evolution in the Sai movement, we would have to look back at the late sixties, when she became the chosen instrument for the Master to flag off the Mahila Vibhag (Ladies Wing) of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. This paved the way for added responsibilities when soon after the first World Conference of Sathya Sai Seva Organisations concluded in Mumbai, Swami launched the Bal Vikas programme in 1969 and entrusted Sarlabahen with the task of leading the movement.

For the next nine years, much of the structure and content of Bal Vikas – the syllabus, texts, training of gurus - were completed. Bhagawan Baba made frequent visits to Dharmakshetra, and gave His divine guidance to Bal Vikas gurus. By 1979, the movement spread to all corners of India with over 6,000 trained gurus and thousands of children attending the Bal Vikas classes.

That same year, an All India Bal Vikas Gurus' Conference was held in Whitefield when Bhagawan announced, “From today onwards, the Bal Vikas Gurus belong to Me and the nation.” Thus was created the Sri Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSS EHV) – a programme that was rolled out as a formal school system. The immediate outcome of this announcement was:

a) The SSS EHV Trust, of which Baba became a Trustee, was founded to facilitate activities of the programme; Smt. Sarlabahen was not only the All India Bal Vikas Coordinator, but was also involved in the EHV Trust.

b) A committee under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K. Gokak with Sarlabahen as a member prepared a series of texts for the introduction of the EHV programme in schools; the first text was released by Bhagawan in Dharmakshetra in 1980.

c) Two orientation courses for master trainers were conducted in Brindavan and Prasanthi Nilayam. By 1982, the SSS EHV Trust had conducted courses for thousands of teachers from all over India.

In 1989, Bhagawan Baba suddenly halted the programme; this was a time for introspection and consolidation. After a lapse of three years, in a divine discourse delivered on 13 January 1992 in Prasanthi Mandir to select educationists and Bal Vikas Office Bearers, Swami said: “Tomorrow, from the day of Sankramana, you propagate these human values to children and also adults, and strive for the welfare of this country and take it to its pristine glory.”

Bhagawan further added: “Here is Indulal Shah and here is Sarlamma. These two have been thinking of human values day and night. To appoint appropriate people at the appropriate time and place is their duty.”

From then until 2000, Sarlabahen unstintingly served as the National Coordinator and, with the help of devotees across India and overseas, further developed the Bal Vikas programme. Under her care and guidance, the Bal Vikas movement blossomed to bear the fruit of Educare.

The Bal Vikas meetings at Prasanthi Nilayam were blessed opportunities for teachers to be in her presence and imbibe her values. The firmness in her voice meant business – the reason why she was widely regarded as an ideal combination of love and law. During these meetings, Bal Vikas reports were always discussed in detail and if the gurus felt a lack in material or training, it was supplemented immediately – by Sarlabahen’s publications of Bal Vikas books.

Aware of the dynamic shifts happening in the world around, she embedded innovation in the Bal Vikas curriculum to meet modern day challenges and to adequately equip the child for life. Strengthening the scope of the Bal Vikas programme, it was her endeavour to make every parent a Bal Vikas guru and every home a Bal Vikas class.

Thanks to her tireless efforts, under Swami’s divine guidance, today more than 15000 Bal Vikas centres have been set up across the world that are led by some 20,000 teachers. Notably, more than 3,50,000 children have benefited from the Bal Vikas programme that integrates the unique techniques prescribed by Bhagawan Baba, such as universal prayers, group devotional singing, story-telling, group activities and silent sitting to promote the five-fold development of a child’s personality - Deha Vikas, Mano Vikas, Buddhi Vikas, Bhava Vikas and Atma Vikas.

On 7 November 2010, the first alumni meet of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas students was first held in the Divine Presence under Sarlabahen’s able guidance. This has since culminated in the Annual Convocation ceremony where Bal Vikas students from all over the country converge at Prasanthi Nilayam to receive their diplomas and extend their gratitude to Bhagawan Baba.

To give a fillip to the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas movement, the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Magazine was conceptualised to spread the message of Sai to every nook and corner.  And Sarlabahen made it her constant endeavour to equip the magazine with articles apt for Bal Vikas gurus, children and parents. A perfectionist at heart, Smt. Sarla Shah bestowed her undivided attention to the fine details of the magazine even in her later years, despite her frail health and failing vision.

A bastion of virtue and graciousness, a person of impeccable taste, good manners, modesty and elegance, Sarlabahen demonstrated how one could lead one’s life happily in today’s world in a moral, ethical manner, while serving society and humanity at large. She gave her love freely and served one and all – both inside and outside her family and friends, in keeping with Bhagawan’s mahavakya ‘Love All, Serve All’.

Her immaculate sense of dressing in beautiful sarees stood her apart as a symbol of elegance, modesty, beauty and divinity and was indeed a lesson for all women fashionistas that there is a way of divine dignity that woman must maintain. An inspiration of inner strength, wisdom, self-discipline, quiet dignity, graciousness, unfailing politeness and unwavering commitment to the immense responsibility Bhagawan bestowed on her at different junctures of her life, she was brave to speak her conscience out but with love and compassion, qualities that endeared her to the Lord. She exhibited exemplary poise in both personal sorrow and joy signifying her true devotion to her Master.

On the glorious occasion of Guru Poornima in 2003, Swami recognised Sarlabahen and Indulal Shah’s 40 years of service and released a book on their lives, handing the first signed copy to them. He also presented them with a silver platter on the occasion.

Sarlabahen’s passing away made a deep impact on thousands of devotees worldwide, who had known her or known of her. Extracts of tributes are compiled below as a dedication to Sarlabahen’s lifelong commitment to the Sai mission.

 

I had the great fortune of offering my humble seva in Bhagawan’s Bal Vikas programme under Smt. Sarlabahen’s leadership for over 40 years. Quite early in my close association with Smt. Sarlabahen, Baba gave me a powerful vision one day, in which He told me very clearly that Smt. Sarlabahen is a Devi. Over the years I could discern the Devi Shakti manifested in her words and actions and her very being. I vividly recall the incident during the World Education Conference in 2008. Bhagawan decided to come for the inauguration of the special Exhibition in Poornachandra hall earlier than expected. When Smt. Sarlabahen noticed that I was not present in the hall, she immediately sent Seva Dal members to my room with instructions to bring me down quickly to the Hall in a wheel chair. Because of her kind-hearted concern and Bhagawan’s immense grace, I could be part of the divine event.

- Mrs. Nimmi Kanwar
Deputy National Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, India


 

In one of the interviews, Bhagawan had called all the office bearers of the Bal Vikas programme to the Bhajan Mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam. He looked at us and said, “Ladies do a lot of work but also have a lot of jealousy” and adoringly looked at Sarla aunty and addressing her as Sarladevi, said, “She never sleeps, night and day she only thinks of EHV”. This was a great revelation to me and my perception of aunty was transformed to Devi and I started looking upon her as the Universal Mother.

Himachal was indeed sanctified by the visit of aunty and uncle to the state.  It was our state conference and the weather was not so good. Four days of their stay were marked with torrential rains. Yet they visited the far flung areas of Shimla. At the end of the program she strictly told me, “Neeta! Shimla is a tough and hard place to work, challenges are many. All of you are putting in tremendous efforts but look after your health, health is important. Do quality work, quantity is not important.”  

Swami performed their 70th birthday in Brindavan as a spiritual marriage in the Kalyan Mandapam and it was a sight to behold. One could see the Devi Devatas showering their blessings on the divine couple. They sent me prasadam as if I was a part of their family. I have also relished working for the programs with aunty in Rishikesh, Bhopal and Chandigarh, where we have had wonderful satsangs of spiritual retreat.

- Ms. Neeta Khanna
Deputy National Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, India


 

Constantly tuned to the divine consciousness, she could align her every step with Bhagawan Baba’s footsteps. Having treaded the Sai path for decades and spreading His glory world over, she has contributed to the furtherance of the Sai movement in the entire world. Smt. Shah, by dedicating her life to the cause of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation has rendered yeoman service to humanity. Always young at heart, she has been an active Sai sevak till her last breath. As editor of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas magazine, she was the harbinger of love of Sai in every household.

- Mr. V Srinivasan
All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations

 

Smt. Sarla Shah made outstanding and singular contributions to both the Ladies Wing and the Bal Vikas movement. As the founder and National Coordinator of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Education (India), her contribution to the growth of spiritual education in India, which Swami always cherished, is exemplary and unparalleled. She was the author of the book ‘Ashta Pushpanjali’ (Garland of Eight Flowers of Virtue). Many have benefitted from her work and she will be missed by one and all.

- Dr. Narendranath Reddy
M.D, Chairman, Prasanthi Council


The glorious life of Sarla Devi Indulal Shah which touched the hearts of millions of people is best defined as ‘Mathru Bhakti’, giving us all the precious lessons of revering one’s mother, God and nation as the ‘Holy Mother’. Sarla Devi’s visit to Japan in 1991 is testament of present day Sathya Sa Bal Vikas where Japanese students fondly learn spirituality. Sathya Sai Ladies group of Japan offer their tribute to Sarla Devi’s valued support and co-operation extended over the years. Japan will fondly cherish Sarla Devi. History shall write Sarla Devi as pioneer messenger of sacred Sai mission across seven seas.

- Mr. Ryuko Hira, Mr. L.P. Chablani/Advisors, SSOJ, Mr. Nari Chugani, Mr. Ashok Sakhrani, Zonal/ Mr. Dayal Samnani, National Chair, SSOJ Central Co-ordinator, SSOJ Zone 5, Mr. Tomohisa Aota, Sprititual Wing National Coordinator, SSIOJ/Mrs. Toshiko Aota, Education Wing National Coordinator, SSIOJ/ Mr. Shiro Sakama, Service Wing National Coordinator, SSIOJ/ Mrs. Masako Yamamoto, Vice Chair, SSIOJ/Mr. Masaki Kokubo, Vice Chair, SSIOJ/ Mr. Masaaki Sumitomo, Vice Chair, SSIOJ/ Mr. Hidetomo Oguri, Vice-Chair, SSIOJ/Mrs. Kayoko Hira, Director, Institute of Sathya Sai Education Japan /Mrs. Chikako Oguri, Director, Sathya Sai Publications Japan, Devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Japan.

I was fortunate to meet this saintly lady and Bro. Indulal Shah in this my life time. We met many times in Puttaparthi and Mumbai. However we came into close contact when they visited Accra, Ghana in August 1968 for the EHV Conference in Africa and with Swami’s blessings they stayed with us for those few days. My wife Rosy and I were much moved by her simplicity, motherly love and soft voice. We all devotees and office bearer of Zone 9A share her loss and pray for her soul to have perfect peace. I am sure that she has been well received at the Lotus Feet due to her spiritual karmas.

- Mr. Kishin Khubchandani
Chairman, Zone 9 A, Sathya Sai International Organisation


Sarlabahen’s blessings and guidance were always profusely available for the Institute’s activities. Her views were always brief and pragmatic, and there was complete harmony between us. This enabled us significantly to progress rapidly and diversify our activities. While her health was failing, she always made it a point to attend all Institute functions, the last important one being the release of the book: ‘Early Steps To Self-Discovery’.

- Dr. BG Pitre
Director, Institute of Sathya Sai Education (India)


The mergence of Smt. Sarla Shah with the Divine at the most auspicious moment, on the most auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, is not an event to mourn but a moment of inspiration to the whole world. A pointer to all women that even in this age of Kali, one can live by strictly adhering to the virtues and values of ideal womanhood for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba always held that ideal and virtuous women form the bedrock of a safe and sound society where man would have an opportunity to realise his inherent divinity which is the supreme goal of life.

- Mr. Nimish Pandya
National Vice President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations - India.

Her death has caused a great loss to all. May her soul rest in peace.

- Justice PN Bhagwati
Former Chief Justice of India, Former Chairman & Member – UN Human Rights Committee and Former Chancellor of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

A silent but strong spirit behind the Bal Vikas movement.

- Dr. G Venkataraman, Prasanthi Nilayam

Mrs. Sarla Shah merged into Sai Bhagawan on 14 January, 2015 - the holy day of Makar Sankranti. It was also the beginning of Utarayan – the upward journey of the Sun. Sarlabahen also rose on that day to become a bright star watching over the Bal Vikas movement worldwide... She was an epitome of perfection, patience and perseverance herself, and her spontaneous love, her vision for Bal Vikas and her evaluation of the situation at hand was always spot-on. She was a direct conduit of Swami's love and grace to all of us. A befitting tribute to her will only be our efforts towards the expansion and efficient working of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas programme.

- Ms. Shanta Ramachandran
Former Educational Co-ordinator, SSSO, Maharashtra and Goa

In the early 1970s, when I was very young and new to the organisation, I remember Sarlabahen stood out as a person worthy of emulation as an ideal devotee and office bearer. Even in difficult situations she always exhibited equanimity, which is not only the hallmark of a devotee but as Swami has said - the measure of one’s spiritual progress. A devotee (no less than the Seer of the ‘Sai Gayatri’) once asked Swami, “Lord, how can I bind You in my heart?” Swami’s reply was, “There is only one way, and that is through Sharanagati (surrender).” When Swami visited Mumbai for a day to bless Sarlabahen when she was recovering from an illness, I recognized this bond of Sharanagati. Swami always said, “Make use of Me, follow My Commands and redeem your life.” Sarlabahen was indeed one of those devotees who was blessed with the grace and wisdom to do so.

- Mrs. Roshan Fanibunda, Mumbai

She was highly respected for her devotion to our Swami and service to the society.

- Mr. T K K Bhagavat
Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam

Sarlabahen worked untiringly and made the Bal Vikas programme the very foundation of personality development in the entire Sai Organisation.  She also played a stellar role in developing the Mahila Vibhag. Her generosity will be remembered by all the staff of Chaitanya Jyoti. Her merging with the Divine on the Makarsankranti day of 2015 is not a day of mourning but a day of remembrance and applause. 

- Col. Samir K Bose
Director, Chaitanya Jyoti, Prasanthi Nilayam

A Light has left this earth and merged with Sai,

But there is no need to sob and cry,

She leaves a legacy of Love for Sai, and

A beautiful Legacy of a mother so Divine

But more than that what a Shakti she was for her husband Divine,

Like a silent shadow she fulfilled her life,

To millions around the world she showed the Path Divine,

She taught all always follow the line

The line and path that Sai had shown,

The line and path her husband had shown,

Here was a merger of Human and Divine,

An inspiration for the entire path Divine

- Mrs. Lalita & Mr. Jega Jagadeesan, Malaysia

Smt. Sarlabahen was a great soul and like a mother to all of us.

- Mr. H J Dora
Director, Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation

I write not to condole the passing of Ms Sarla Indulal Shah but to celebrate her life. Sarlabahenji's life has been exemplary. Her stay on Mother Earth has fulfilled her reason for being born. Not only was she a good lady but she did a lot of good for and to others. In her quiet compassionate way she fulfilled her role in the mission of Sri Sathya Sai. Her soft motherly exterior hid a determination of steel and a strong willpower to carry out the mission of her Lord and to aid and assist Sri Indulalji in his work. We hail you Sarladeviji. Your life has been fulfilled and you have helped enhance the lives of countless others by Bhagawan’s Grace. You live on in the memory of countless who have been blessed. Bless us always.

- Dr. Keki & Mrs. Nargish Mistry, Mumbai

Her dedication and hard work gave life to the Bal Vikas Movement which in turn gave life to the SSEHV Movement in all countries.

- Dr. Michael Goldstein, Former Chairman, Prasanthi Council

Her devoted services to Bhagawan and for thousands of children is incredible.

- Dr. Chandra Varadachari and Dr. R. Varadachari
MD, MS (Ortho) Diplomate, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery; Fellow American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Rtd. Chairman of Orthopaedics, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram

She lived all her life in service of Bhagawan and has merged in His Lotus Feet.

- Dr. Swarna Bharadwaj
Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bengaluru

She was a great soul in the service of Swami's mission of service to humanity. She will forever be remembered by Sai devotees as the pioneer of Bal Vikas.

- Dr. Armoogum Parsuramen
G.O.S.K, Founder – President, Global Rainbow Foundation (GRF), University of 3rd Age (Mauritius) (U3AM)

Smt. Sarlabahen - Union with Sai of a devotee who was an inspiration to all of us.

- Mr. John Behner
Chairman, Zone 2A, Sathya Sai International Organisation

Smt. Sarlabahen had worked very closely with us in developing the Bal Vikas system in Malaysia and she has been a continuing source of inspiration to all of us.

- Dr. M Ravindran
Chairman, Zone 4, Sathya Sai International Organisation

She was a great example to all of us.

- Ms. Alida Parkes
Chairman, Zone 6, Sathya Sai International Organisation

We Sri Lankans were proud to share her knowledge and the guidelines given to us to initiate the Bal Vikas classes in Sri Lanka from 1968. I was happy to see Mother Sarlabahen participating at special functions in Prasanthi Nilayam, particularly on the Annual Ladies’ Days where she played a leading role.

- Mr. Wanniyasekaram
Advisor, Prasanthi Council and Former Regional Central Coordinator- Sri Lanka

She is and will continue to be in our prayers to Bhagawan for His choicest blessings to her and her family.

- Mr. Kalyan Ray
Former Member, Prasanthi Council

Mrs Sarla Indulal Shah laid the foundation of Bal Vikas the world over. And as National Coordinator since its advent steered country-wide centres with fervour. The immensity of her devotion to Baba for all to pursue was to Bhagawan her personal tribute.

- Mr. Satish K Dua, Prasanthi Nilayam

Smt. Sarlabahen was a kind hearted person, soft spoken, entirely devoted to our Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Bal Vikas movement was initiated by her hands across the entire country. She was very sympathetic to our state and I feel personally indebted to her for showering affection on all of us by paying us frequent visits - mostly to Bhopal & Indore. Her services at the Lotus Feet mark a landmark in the history of Sai Organisation that will always be etched in golden words.

- Mr. SK Sachdeva
Former State President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Madhya Pradesh

But for Sri Indubhai and Smt. Sarlabahen, the Sai organisation would not have grown worldwide. Nobody can forget the seva done by Smt Sarlabahen.

- Mrs. Soundarya and Mr. T.G. Krishnamurthy
Former State President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Tamil Nadu.

She has always received the divine proximity and I am sure she will continue to be in the same proximity as she has merged into Swami.

- Mrs. Pushpa Khare
Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand

Through the guidance of Smt. Sarla Indulal Shah via the Chairman of World Council Sri Indulal Shah, we were very privileged to open our first formal and structured Bal Vikas and Mahila Vibhag that today stands out as an hallmark in our country, South Africa. Smt. Sarla Indulal Shah was a chosen instrument of our Divine Lord to captain the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Program in the world. She was highly recognised as Mother of the Bal Vikas Program and to all Bal Vikas children, gurus and Mahila Vibhag of the world. She was an ideal woman, an example of a supportive wife and a devotee who worked ceaselessly for the Lord.

-Mr. Paul Naidoo
Former Chairperson / Secretary, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samiti of Natal –South Africa; Chairperson, Sri Sathya Sai Nilayam Trust-Merebank, South Africa and Secretary: Sri Sathya Sai Sudha Foundation Trust-Chatsworth, South Africa

Her life story will inspire thousands for generations to come. Sarlabahen was always the silent but very strong and vital support in every way in the life of respected Sri Indubhai. How very humbly and modestly she stood by him in all situations. A perfect life of duty and devotion! She was rarely in limelight, but still remained a beacon of light for one and all .

- Mr. Ajit Popat, United Kingdom

An icon of Bal Vikas movement and loving doer of Swami's work.

- Ms. Chithra Narayanan
Middle East Nursery School and DMS, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

She has left a great and significant legacy...Bal Vikas & SSSEHV - Sathya Sai Educare....for generations to come. She will continue to live in our hearts, in the hearts of the children of Sathya Sai School of Mauritius, in the hearts of the children of Bal Vikas of Mauritius and in the hearts of all the devotees who have had the opportunity to meet her and work with her.

- Mrs. Gayeetree Samboo
Head, Teacher & Staff /Parents & Children of Sathya Sai School of Mauritius, Members of the Board of Management of ISSE – IOCEHV, Mauritius, Sai Nivas, Quatre Bornes Sri Sathya Sai Centre, Republic of Mauritius.

She was an inspiration to many devotees and her life was a great example of how one should surrender and live in the constant presence of God.

- Mr. Danny, Mrs. Shakuntala and Mr. Harveen, Italy

What a soul, so close to Swami and now with Swami!

- Dr. Kris Tamirisa, USA

An ardent devotee of Swami who lived in His guidance, reaching His abode at the beginning of an auspicious Uttarayan time, for which even Bheeshma Pitamah had to wait.

- Mrs. Raji and Mr. Shankar Planjery, USA

Timing of her departure proves her final destination. Great soul indeed.

- Mr. PN Dogra, New Delhi  

Such a rare, wondrous and dedicated soul... a true humble being bedecked with a loving heart and a beautiful mind. The celestial realms...the great Cosmic Light regains its beloved one...Sarlabahen bequeaths, imparts and leaves her melody to the world through Bal Vikas...while she lives on in Bhagawan's Heart.

- Ms. Jullie Chaudhury, Pune

A great pious lady, a great person, a great devotee of Baba.... she will be fondly remembered for transforming thousands of children as good citizens of the world.

- Mr. Tumuluru Krishnamurthy, Hyderabad

May she continue to be a source of inspiration to all.

- Ms. Shammi Paranjape, Mumbai

We will always remember her noble and glowing personality.

Mr. VS Das
Former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India

Her devotion for Swami and Swami`s love for her was truly evident in the form of the Divine Visit Swami made just for her in the year 2001.

- Mr. Ramesh Doshi & Family, Mumbai

Her demise on the auspicious day of Sankranti is a precursor to her liberation, as she had fully surrendered to Swami and followed His commands fully and happily.

- Mr. Suresh Bhatnagar, Prasanthi Nilayam

Another one that hardly says anything like kalyan rays.

- CA IP Khanna, New Delhi

The doyen of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, the world over. Her immense contributions will always be remembered and followed by us.

- Mr. Harshad Patel
Chairman, Bibhuti Biswal, Principal,
Staff and Students, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Niketan, Navsari, Gujarat

I had almost 31 years’ association with Smt. Sarlabahen working with her on a number of personal and organisational issues and projects. What I always enjoyed with Smt. Sarlabahen was her very practical and positive approach, clear understanding, creativity, humility, simplicity, kindness and maintaining low profile at all times and in all situations. Proximity to the physical form of our beloved Swami never made her egoistic. On a number of occasions, Swami used to speak and appreciate her round the clock dedication and commitment to His Divine Mission. Smt. Sarlabahen is physically not among us but the Akhand Jyoti of her work is illuminating and will continue, in perpetuity.

- Mr. Sudhir Joshi, Navi Mumbai

DEDICATION IN GUJARATI

 

Dhanya thai gayi aa saubhagyawati naari

Pujya Shri Indulal bhai Shah ni ardhangini

Jagat Maathi emne Makar Shankranti na shubh dine lidhi vidaay

Emno atma Sai Charan ma thayo vileen, je kadi na bhulaay

 

Anek gun dharavati aa naari, jemni yaad raheshe sadaay

Pati sewa ma tatpar rahenari, sadaay saadi vesh- bhoosha ma sohaay

Saakshaat yug Avatar Prabhu Satya Sai na Saanidhya ma shist-baddha rahi

Aajeewan Sai Seva ma niswarth bhav thi ekaagra pane jodaai rahi

 

Shirdi Sai Avataar ni Leela-mahima emne Manoj Kumar ne samjaavi

Manoj Kumar ye “Shirdi Ke Sai Baba” film ma samasta jagat ma prasraavi

Sai Sucharitra ni satya ghatana-darshan thi badha aanandit thayaa

Ane “Sai Avataar” nu varnan saambharta, sraddhaa bhakti dradh thayaa

 

Anek janmo ni hashe aa naari par prabhu krupa, je saphalta na shikhare pahochi

Bal Vikas maasik patrika nu punit karya emna haathe phalibhoot thayu

Aganit  balako  ane Bal Vikaas Guruo  ne mali Prabhu Prerana

Sai jagat ne raheshe yaad sada, hati emna par prabhu ni param karuna

 

Avirat malati rahi emni bhakti vade Sathya Sai Prerana

Aa patrika vade samjaati Shirdi Sai ane Sathya Sai ni ekta,

Darek dharma ni samanvayta tatha darek Dharma Guruvo ni mahaanta,

Temaj Satya Sai vachanamruth maa samaayeli darek dhramo ni aikyata

 

Saacha spasta bola Sai jagat maa jaanita Indubhai Shah na bhaarya

Sarlabahen Shah sada saral aadambar rahit najar aavya

Anek emne pustako lakhi, Bal Vikas Guruo ne margdarshan  aapyu

Sai jagat ne mate eknishth bhakti na paath  padhavata gaya.

 

Mahatma Gandhi na samparka ma poorve aavela aa dampati

Yug avatar Sathya Sai na sameep aajeevan rahya

Akhand Saubhagyavati Sarlabahen, anta samaya sudhi Prabhu karya karta vidaay thaya

Ane Sai jagat ne maate ek udaaharan sthaapit karta gaya

 

Sai Charan ma thaya vileen, aa Satyanishth sannaari

Jene maate koi pan prarthna ni nathi dekhati jaruriyaat 

Anek janmo na satkarma thi male che aa maanav janma

Karta raho satkarma, na karvo pade ant samay pashchaataap ...

Sai prerna thi likhit


Mrs. Kanta Pala, Puttaparthi / New Zealand

 

- Radio Sai Team

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