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Posted on: Nov 15, 2016
The Story of Sai - 1
And the lessons for you and me
The antiquity of The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, and The Bhagavatha is unquestionable and indecipherable. Yet in India they are as fresh and alive in people's consciousness as the stories of their own families. Rama, Krishna, Radha, etc. are almost a part of their daily life and living. What makes these legendary tales contemporary in every age? Rama's paintings and sculptures or Krishna's images and carvings, poems on Rama's glory or discussions on Krishna's message, are as passionately done now as they happened in 3 AD or 13 AD or 1300 AD. What makes them defy time and be relevant to every society over ages? Is it the incredible heroics of Rama? Or the delightful and miraculous sport of Krishna? Or the awesome plot of these captivating poetic narrations? While all this is true, what makes these epics eternal is something more fundamental.
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“The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are like the heart and the head of India, and are as vital to India as the heart and the head are to a human body,” Bhagawan says and goes on to state what makes these epics so vital: “Sathya and dharma are not related to merely one person, one period of time, or one country; they are related to all people, all periods of time, and all countries...” It is because these tales are nothing but beautiful elaborations of Truth and Righteousness, that they have stood the test of time and circumstance. But this essence can be grasped only if these epics are read not as scintillating stories but as reinvigorating treatises on how to lead a life anchored to Truth and Righteousness.
As much as this is true for these ancient epics, it is the same with the current Sai Bhagavatha too. Every scene and character, sequence and incident, twist and turn in the Sai Saga is for the purpose of divinising man through the practice of Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love. But to assimilate this deeply and internalise it intensely so that it can be translated into real action, the Story of Sai needs to be not just read but meditated upon assiduously. This new series commemorating Bhagawan's 91st Birthday is an attempt in this direction. We hope this will help us to reflect more profoundly on the Sai Bhagavatha and implement the lessons learnt more powerfully in our day-to-day existence.
Easwaramma was a pious girl. She was born soon after her father, Sri Subba Raju, a great devotee of Lord Shiva, constructed a Shiva Temple in his village. As was the custom in those days, at an early age she was married to Sri. Pedda Venkama Raju. Even though she was as young as 15, she was smart and matured to handle the household duties and responsibilities with great elan and alacrity. Quickly she won the affection and appreciation of her in-laws. As years rolled by the couple was blessed with a son and two daughters. Lakshmamma, the mother-in-law, had a special love for Easwaramma. Together they would perform the family rituals with enthusiasm and delight. Easwaramma's simplicity, modesty and devotion impressed her greatly.
One day, Lakshmamma had a dream wherein she saw that something auspicious was about to happen in the life of her dear daughter-in-law. So she told Easwaramma not to be alarmed should anything unusual happen to her. In a few weeks, one morning as Easwaramma was preparing to draw water from the well, she saw a strange blue ball of light simmering in the sky above. She had never seen anything like this before. She stood transfixed. Her eyes keenly followed this blue luminescence, and to her shock it was descending towards her. The next moment, even before she realised what was happening the blue glow had glided into her being. Totally dazed, Easwaramma was knocked out. She fell to the floor.
This 'entry of Blue from the blue' was a clear clue of The Limitless One arriving into a sacred closet to encase Himself in flesh and blood.
The colour blue is infact very symbolic. Baba says,
“The colour of infinity is blue. The sky is blue. The ocean is blue. Rama is depicted as blue. Krishna is described as deep blue. Blue is deep, mysterious, and signifies infinite love.”
Dr. John Hislop was among the early devotees to Bhagawan from the western hemisphere. He came to Swami in 1968. “In His presence at that first meeting, the world fell away from me, my entire consciousness was drawn inward and, at a most subtle level of awareness, Baba appeared in my Heart as Love. Love was unmistakable and that Baba was this Love was equally unmistakable,” writes Dr. Hislop in his book My Baba and I and goes on to narrate a quite experience that startled him beyond words:
“A number of years ago, I was in Baba's car. He was in the rear seat with two persons. I was in the front seat with the driver. We were on our way to Puttaparthi. Driving in the car with Baba as a passenger is a fascinating experience; not only is there the thrill of being close to him, but sometimes he will give one the opportunity to ask questions. At times He engages in animated conversation in Telugu with His companions; and at times He remains silent, making the characteristic gesture with His hand that seems to indicate that He is giving attention to beings quite invisible to us. And very often, He sings bhajans with everyone in the car joining in the chorus...
“At some point in this journey, perhaps about half-way, Baba was talking, and I turned to look. My breathing stopped and I was transfixed! I could not credit my eyes. His devotees see Baba's face as beautiful indeed, although the chief impression I receive from His features is that of power and majesty.
“What transfixed my movement and stopped my breathing now, was His face... The Baba I knew was not there! Instead, there was a face of the most extraordinary beauty - quite different in shape and cast from the features of our beloved Sai. The charm was so great, so poignant, that my heart seemed to twist, almost as though it were in pain. Never in my life, not in photos, nor in paintings by great artists have I seen a face of such exquisite beauty. It was beyond imagination and concept, totally beyond experience.
“And His colour was blue. Not just blue, not the blue with which artists paint Sri Krishna, but a deep blue like the velvet blue that sometimes can be seen in a dark sky, like a blue that I have at times seen from the deck of a ship thousands of miles from shore on the Pacific Ocean. I do not know how else to describe it.
“I could not take my eyes from Baba's face. At length I caught myself and turned away. But, at once, I looked again, and the same beauty, surely not of this world, was still there. This continued for at least fifteen minutes. The two men sitting with Baba were beginning to look at me with somewhat puzzled expressions, for my staring was different from what they had become used to.
“After a few miles, Sri Vittala Rao (on Baba's left) asked me, 'Hislop! Why were you staring at Swami like that?'
“Instead of answering, I directed a question to Baba, 'Swami, what was that blue colour?'
“He replied, 'Oh! That? Whenever there is something of unfathomable depth, it appears to be deep blue.'”
A few years after this, in November 1975, Dr. Hislop was in the interview room with Swami. There were a few other devotees too and Swami asked Dr. Hislop to share some experiences with them. Suddenly this 'blue vision' came to his mind and he narrated this for the first time in front of Bhagawan. When the other person heard this, immediately words broke out from his lips, “Oh! That had to be Krishna!”
Bhagawan smiled and said, “Yes, that was Krishna; not the Krishna pictured by artists and imagined by writers. I showed Hislop the real Krishna."
Four years later, another devotee from the western hemisphere, Dr. Frank Baranowski, had another incredible 'blue experience'. Frank is a professor in Arizona State University and an expert in aura photography.
In the pictures of divine personalities, we often see an aura drawn around them. It signifies their power and positive influence. Infact scientists believe that all living beings have an aura but it is not visible to the human eye. Dr. Frank for the first time developed a technique called Kirlian photography by which these auras can be photographed. What is exceptional about Frank however is that he was blessed with the rare gift of seeing this aura of individuals directly with his eyes; he did not need the camera.
He saw Bhagawan for the first time in his life in 1979 in Brindavan. He was so stunned with what he saw that he wanted to shout out from the hill tops about the good fortune mankind has been blessed with. Describing his experience to the students then, He said,
“I have met over a hundred holy men in India. Too many of these holy men are involved in their own personal egos. Their auras show mostly concern for themselves and their institutions. So, the auras are only about 25 cm broad or perhaps 50 cm.
“I am not a devotee of Sai Baba. I have come here as a scientist, to see this man 'Sai Baba'. I saw Him on Sunday, on the balcony giving Darshan to devotees below. The aura that Baba projected was not that of a man. The white was more than twice the size of any man's, the blue was practically limitless, and there were gold and silver bands beyond even those, far beyond this building, right up to the horizon. There is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon.
“I have given over six thousand lectures in all parts of the world, but this is the first time, believe me, my knees are shaking. The aura that emanates from Baba shows His Love for you. I have met any number of holy men, but none of them have made themselves as available to you as Baba does. That is a sign of greatness.
Dr. Frank Baranowski Explains the Divine Aura of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
“Baba has given you the key to success - the simple four-lettered word: LOVE! If ever I can use the phrase 'Love walking on two feet', it is here.
“I have been watching Baba, while He was addressing you. The pink aura that was manifesting was so vast and strong that it went even to the hall behind this chair. It filled the big hall, embracing all of you here. There can be no scientific explanation for this phenomenon. I have watched Him for a week now as He walked among you, morning and evening. I have seen this aura, pink in colour, go into the person He is talking to or touching. This is because we draw on His energy. His energy seems to be limitless. It spreads everywhere and can be drawn upon by everyone around. An ordinary man will soon get exhausted going round as He does, among so many. I have watched Him come to a little girl, in a wheel chair and tickle her. I was astounded at the aura of Love that was all around Him then.
“Two days ago, right outside this hall, I looked into His eyes. They have a glow inside them. It is clear to me that I looked into the face of Divinity. There is no scientific explanation for this; there should not be! In my estimation, He is exactly what He appears to be - LOVE! That is what He is!”
Baba's love is limitless. Baba once said, “Even the vast sky and immense ocean, appearing blue in colour, may have limits, but My Love has no limits whatsoever.” This is what Dr. Frank Baranowski experienced scientifically.
That is also perhaps the reason why the Lord announced His advent by gliding into Mother Easwaramma as a blue ball of light. Today we see the entire Prasanthi Nilayam covered with this divine colour of blue, with added shades of pink and yellow. No incident and instance in the life of the Avatar is without deep significance. It is for us to dwell on it and derive its nectar. This is what we will endeavour to do in this series. We will read His story and then relish the essence of His Story's glory and gravity.
− Bishu Prusty
Radio Sai Team
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