CHILDHOOD STORIES – I
Not only now, even in those days, Swamiji taught the principle of selfless love and Non-violence. As Kondamaraju’s sons and one of his daughters were living together, Sathya grew up in the midst of twenty children. When the tailor came to make clothes out of different types of coloured cloth from the Bukkapatnam market, the children used to rush forward to select what they liked. But young Sathya would stand to one side and when urged by his mother to take what He liked, He would say, “Let each one be given the cloth he selects, whatever remains is good enough for me.”
One day as Sathya was returning home from school, some of his classmates who were jealous of His good qualities, threw Him down in the mud.
They tore His shirt and dragged Him by his legs. But Sathya remained calm and peaceful. Even when Sathya was handled roughly in this manner by His classmates, He never complained or told tales, and His parents would only know of it from His young friends.
During the festival of Ekadasi, it was the custom to hold bullock cart races on the river bed of chitravati. The bullocks used to be whipped or their tails twisted to make them run faster. Sathya would not allow his friends to watch these races and would tell the children to insist that their fathers stop beating the bullocks. Years later, some devotee who had left Prashanthi Nialyam by bullock cart and were proceeding across the river bed to their cars were called back by Swamiji who said, “Listen! When you reach the sands, you must all get down and walk across. The bullocks should not be forced to drag all your weight through the sands. Do you understand?” Cock fights were common in villages in those days. There used to be small knives tied to the legs of the cocks and they would be made to fight with each other till one of them fell dead. In the process the other cock would be badly injured, Sathya strongly condemned all such sports and games and would say, “Be competitive in doing good deeds, not in such acts of cruelty.”