The Revelation Of Divinity
On the 8th of March 1940, the people of Uravakonda were shocked to hear that a “big black scorpion” had stung Sathya. Although no scorpion or snake was discovered, Sathya fell unconscious and became stiff. Seshmaraju brought in a doctor to treat Sathya. Sathya revived Himself in a day or two, but His behavior thereafter was strange. Seshama immediately sent word to his parents at Puttaparthi to come and take charge of Sathya.
Today if Swamiji were to fall down apparently unconscious, we know that He has left only His body to help a devotee somewhere else. We also know that Swamiji takes on the illness of a devotee who might otherwise have not survived to carry on some task as yet unfinished.
But at that time people around Sathya did not know this and used to get alarmed when such things happened. The Parents arrived a week later (for, communication in those days was slow) and were baffled at what they saw and heard. Sometimes Sathya was very silent and quiet, yet at times He would burst into song and poetry, reciting long verses in Sanskrit, or expounding the philosophy of the scriptures.
One day Sathya who appeared to be resting suddenly remarked, “The person next door is reading a text book in Sanskrit all wrong. He is explaining it in the wrong way. Go and bring him here.” He commanded. The reader was very annoyed at such a suggestion from one so young and retorted, “How can he tell whether the meaning is right or wrong? How did He hear it anyway? Tell Him to mind his own business.”
But Sathya persisted eventually more. To satisfy the parents, the reader came. The parents begged him to come and teach the boy a lesson in humility. When the learned man arrived, Sathya asked him to repeat the passage he had been reading. He showed him where he had gone wrong, then asked him a series of questions on epics that overwhelmed the scholar who finally fell at Sathya’s feet and asked pardon for not immediately obeying His summons!
Sathya was shown to the District Medical Officer but to no avail. Sathya sang and spoke about God; he described the places of pilgrimage to which no one had gone before, he declared that all life was a drama! And so it continued. Despite Sathya’s soft assurances, “Why do you worry like this? There is nothing to be done;” the parents were disheartened and took Sathya back to Puttaparthi.
Due to ignorance the first reaction of the village folk to an illness or something unfamiliar is to be fearful and superstitious. Someone advised the worried parents about a powerful practitioner who lived in Brahmanapalli village who would soon cure Sathya. Sathya was taken there. The famous expert tried several methods including shaving Sathya’s head and with a sharp instrument scoring cross mark on his scalp. He poured on the woun, the juice of lime, garlic and other fruits. The parents were surprised to see that Sathya bore it all patiently; he did not shed a tear or flinch. Finally angered by reason, he applied a mixture of substances that burned on to the boy’s eyes. Sathya’s head and face swelled beyond recognition, the eyes watered and His body shook. The parents and Sathya’s elder sister wept in anguish, but Sathya was quite calm. He gestured to them to go out of the room and wait for Him. Sathya too slipped out unnoticed by the practitioner and told His parents to bring a certain remedy He knew. It was brought and applied to His eyes. The swelling subsided to their great relief.
During all this torture Sathya only smiled and felt no pain for he ever identified Himself with the body. Later He asked the parents “Are you not convinced that I am Sai Baba? I let all this happen to make you understand My Divinity. How would you have reacted if I just made the Announcement one fine day? Suffering, pain or joy can never affect me.”
But the sight of all this suffering proved too much for the parents; So the next day, they took Sathya home to Puttaparthi, after having pacified the angry doctor by paying him handsomely.
A lawyer friend visited the Raju household and pondering over the situation told Sri Venkappa Raju, “This is serious, take Sathya immediately to the Narasimha temple,the shrine of God as the Lion- man Avatar—-this is the last resort.” Hearing these words Sathya said to him, “Funny, Is it not? I am already there in the temple, and you want to take me to me!” The lawyer quietly left. On the 23rd May, 1940, fourteen year old Sathya, called the members of the family round Him and gave them sugar candy and flowers materialized by a mere wave of His hand. Seeing this the neighbours rushed in and He gave them all a ball of rice cooked in milk, flowers and sugar candy, again produced by a wave of the hand. Sathya seemed to be in such a jovial mood that somebody sent for Sri Venkappa Raju to come and witness the change. Sri Venkappa Raju had to squeeze his way through the crowd .The people asked him to wash his feet, hands and face before approaching the “Giver of Boons”! This angered the father; He was full of doubts and confusion. In his anger and bewilderment, he picked up a stick and threatened Sathya, “Are you a God or a ghost or a mad cap? Tell me!” he shouted. Promptly came the answer, “I am Sai Baba”. The father was stunned into silence; the stick fell from his hands. Sathya continued, “I belong to the Apastamba sutra and the spiritual lineage of Bharadwaja. (The same words that were spoken by Shirdi Sai Baba.) I have come to ward off all troubles, keep your minds and houses clean.”
Brother Seshama went near and asked, “What do you mean by Sai baba?” Sathya simply said, “Your Venkhavadootha prayed that I be born in your family so I came.” “What are we to do with you?” the father asked, prompt came the reply, “Worship me every Thursday.”
The word Sai baba means Divine Mother and father. The ‘Mother’ stands for selfless love and the ‘Father’ for wisdom and discipline. God rules the universe with both love and Law.
Later, on a Thursday, someone challenged Sathya, “If, ‘you are Sai Baba, show us some proof now!’ “I shall. Place those jasmine flowers in my hands.” Sathya commanded. Sathya tossed them on the floor saying, “Look!” The flowers had formed themselves into the Telugu letters, “SAI BABA”
It is interesting to recall here that the last wish of Baba when He left Shirdi was to ask Daas Ganu to cover Him with flowers; and after His declaration at Puttaparthi His first request was to put flowers in His hands.
Seshama still unable to recognize Sathya’s Divinity continued with his plans to push him through High School and took Him back to Uravakonda where by now Sathya’s fame preceded Him.
Thursdays became big days in Uravakonda; Baba surprised everyone when He materialized the pictures of Sai Baba of Shirdi, pieces of orange cloth that He said were from the Kafni that Sai wore, date fruits which were offerings from the Shirdi shrine, as well as flowers, sugar-candy and ash.
Some of the eminent citizens of Hospet extended an invitation to Sathya to visit their town. Seshama agreed that they should go and see this historical place which lay a few miles from the ruins of Hampi, the capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire. He felt the long journey and a picnic enroute would be a good change for Sathya! The Dassera holidays came in handy for the trip.
The group arrived at the Hampi ruins; And the highlight of the trip was their visit to the temple of Lord Virupaksha. While the group went into the temple, Sathya who appeared to be more interested in the height and majesty of the temple gate, stood outside. After a while, the priest waved the flame of camphor before the Lingam; (The Lingam is a symbol of the Formless emerging to Form, or the Form merging into the Formless). As the flame lit up the shrine, to the utter amazement, they saw Sathya standing in the place of the Lingam; He was smiling and accepting the worship. Seshama could not believe his eyes. He rushed outside only to see Sathya leaning against a wall, staring at the distant horizon!
That day, the members of the group offered special worship to Sathya, though it was not a Thursday. Their faith in him as a Divine manifestation had been strengthened.The next day the group reached Hospet. The news of the miraculous event at Hampi had already spread to the town. It was Thursday and a large crowd of people had gathered to have Sathya’s Darshan. The next day they all retuned to Uravakonda. He cured a chronic tuberculosis patient by His touch and created a variety of articles for the devotees. The joy of the people knew no bounds and they continued singing Bhajans far into the night.The next day they all returned to Uravakonda.