Long back, about 65 years ago, in a remote
and tiny hamlet, there was a group of boys of ages 5 to 11
going along the streets. Among them was a boy named Satya.
He was their Guru, their leader. They came to a Hanuman temple
and all of them decided to take a pradakshina,
or a circumambulation of the deity. So off they went
to offer their obeisances to Hanuman. Except little Satya.
But how could the group be without their leader? So they dragged
him too…in spite of his protestations. He had barely
put a few steps around the temple when, from somewhere, a
huge monkey appeared on the scene, obstructing his way. All
efforts to shoo it away were in vain. The circumabulation
project had to be shelved. And the monkey too mysteriously
disappeared as if the purpose of its appearance was accomplished.
It was only later that Satya revealed that what appeared as
a monkey was really Hanuman imploring Satya not to go around
him. RAMA was not to go around Hanuman. It was He, Hanuman,
that had to go around RAMA!!.
A few years later Satya declared his Avatarhood. He was now
Satya Sai Baba . Many scoffed at Him. Many fortunate ones
became His devotees. That included the Rajah of the princely
state of Venkatagiri. On the invitation of the Rajah, Swami
made a number of trips to the town of Venkatgiri in the late
fifties and the early sixties. He used to stay for weeks together
in their palace. On one such occasion, He was spending an
evening chatting with the members of the royal family, while
the Rajah was in his puja room meditating on his chosen diety,
Lord RAMA. Suddenly , Swami got up, walked into the Rajah’s
room and came back after a few minutes. The Rajah emerged
only after a few hours. He was in bliss. With watery eyes
he told the family members “ Swami has given me darshan
as my Lord RAMA!!”.
A few more years later, it once happened that Eshwaramma,
mother of Swami, was bed ridden. One afternoon, Swami went
to the side of her bed and called out “Griham Ammayi,
how are you?” She opened her eyes but was transfixed
for some time. Swami blessed her and went His way. Later,
Eshwaramma called for Peddabottu, another elderly devotee
and confided “ Sister! Do you know? Swami is God!”.
Peddabottu laughed “ Amma! Have you realized this truth
only now ?” Eshwaramma continued “ You know, this
afternoon when Swami sat next to me….I saw him with
a crown on his head. There were bow and arrows in hand! Blue
was his complexion. He is verily Lord RAMA!”
are such wonderful experiences that leads one to the conclusion
that Swami is none other than RAMA come again. But, there
lies the mistake! Yes, you are reading it right….it
is a mistake ! Swami is not merely RAMA come again. He was
RAMA before the Rama Avatar. He was RAMA during the Rama Avatar
and He is RAMA forever! That is because Rama is not the name
of a an ancient prince of Ayodhya, blue in complexion and
with a bow in his hand. Rama is something more….in fact
something absolutely fundamental.
The word Rama is explained in Sanskrit as
meaning: one who gives happiness. Now, at a gross level, if
we see our Swami, there is no other person in this world who
inspires such genuine happiness in millions of people just
by His darshan. One should only see the faces of the devotees
when they see Swami….Absolute, out of the world joy!
Therefore, Swami qualifies to be called RAMA.
At a subtler level, RAMA is another name
for the formless Atman resident
in the hearts of men. In Swami’s own words:
Sri Rama Navami is
a sacred day, for it gives you a chance to remember God and
your need to realise Him. Rama, truly understood, is not the
Son of Dasaratha or of Kousalya; nor did He lose Seetha and
lament for her. Rama is not to be limited to one achievement,
the killing of Ravana and the reclamation of Seetha.
the great Pattabhishekam day, when the entire Ramanaya story
was well nigh coming to a close, Anjaneya who had an increasing
desire to know the truth, and who was till then afflicted
by a slight trace of doubt peeping in now and then, asked,
Rama when the guests had left, what His Reality was and prayed
that It might be made know to him. Rama smiled and directed
Sita to satisfy Hanuman’s curiosity.
Seetha then explained
that She is the MoolaPrakrithi, who caused Maya and enabled
the Nirguna to appear as Saguna. The Atma Rama which is everywhere,
the cause, the consequence and the conclusion, the will and
the way, the being, the becoming and the ending, can be made
visible and active only by a touch of Maya.
Seetha said that the
entire Ramayana was Her Leela or Play. It is the description
of the activity produced by Maya and believed by the ignorant
to be the real activity of the Super – Impersonal Absolute.
So, Rama is in all
beings as the very core of their existance, without Rama there
can be no Rama or joy, happiness or well-being. Because Rama
is within you, you rejoice, you are pleased, you are happy,
you feel blissful.
Rama is Prema, Love.
So, see the Rama in all and love them and serve them.
As Swami says, all joy has its source in the atman.
The joy that is found even in the fleeting and ephemeral things
of the world too has its root cause in the atman. That is
why God is described as Raso vai saha,
as Bliss, as one who confers happiness, as RAMA. Swami has
any number of times made known to us His reality as nothing
but this principle of bliss. He often says: I AM I. It is
for this reason that Swami is qualified to be called RAMA.
That is the real meaning of SAI RAMA.