Nearly a century-old promise and revelation
This article is actually part 2 of another equally interesting and intriguing one. To have the complete joy of reading it, ensure that you have read the previous one before proceeding with this.
“This is an incident that is spaced apart by more than 80 years. It truly shows that where God is concerned, time is of no consequence. It happened to my maternal grandmother who had the good fortune of meeting Shirdi Sai Baba too.”
With that introduction, Serene Aunty (Sudha in the story) delved into the details of that unforgettable incident.
It was some time in the first decade of the 20th century that her grandmother visited Shirdi. Granny was a teenage girl then and Shirdi Baba, an ‘old’ man. All she needed was a darshan to convince her that this Baba was very special. He became her Lord and captured her heart. She spent many happy days with Shirdi Baba and made a few more trips to that village in Maharashtra. On one of the visits, Shirdi Baba made a sudden revelation to her,
“I shall come again as an Avatar. Even then, you will enjoy my darshan just as you are enjoying now. Keep Shraddha (faith and reverence) and Saburi (patience and perseverance).” Saying so, Baba also gave her a special coin which had the image of goddess Lakshmi on one of its faces. Then He blessed her.
It was a very special moment for the teenage girl and Granny was thrilled to have been blessed by Baba thus. A few years later, Shirdi Baba shed His mortal coil on the Vijayadashami day of Dusshera in 1918.
Exactly 8 years later, Baba did come again as the little boy, Sathyanarayana Raju, in 1926 in a remote hamlet called Puttaparthi in South India. When He was just 14 years old, He declared Himself to be Shirdi Sai Baba come again. He threw away His school books stating,
“Maya has left now. My devotees are calling me. My work awaits me. I am your Sathya no more.”
That statement had shocked all the village people who had not the slightest inkling of any “Sai Baba” who had made Shirdi, 1000 kilometers away, as His home.
From that day, little Sathyanarayana Raju became Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The first message He gave humanity was to concentrate on the feet of the Guru and get redemption by crossing the ocean of human existence.
Though these events were happening in a corner in India, the world was unaware of them because it was busy fighting bloody battles in the World War II. Granny too was unaware of all the glorious events unfolding in Puttaparthi. She also suffered from her own personal misfortune - blindness. Slowly, the light had gone out from both her eyes and within years, she was totally blind! It was in this terrible situation that she remembered her Baba with all her heart. His words urging her to keep her faith and patience came as a soothing balm and a promise of deliverance. Decades passed this way.
The second avatar
It was sometime in 1973 that Granny got to know that Sudha was a regular visitor to a ‘Sai Baba’ in South India. She became very curious and a sense of excitement built up within her. Was this the second Avatar that Shirdi Baba had spoken about? Was seeing Him going to be the result of her Shraddha and Saburi? At the same time, she had her doubts. Babas and Swamis were cropping up by the dozen in India. Spirituality seemed to have become a lucrative business and she did not want to be conned. There was no way to tell other than by personal experience.
Granny contacted Sudha and asked her,
“Child, will you take me along when you go to visit your Baba?”
Sudha was happy with this interest that Granny showed in Swami. But she was worried about how they would take a 85-year old woman suffering from complete blindness to a remote village with minimal facilities. So, she told her grandmother to wait a bit longer and began to pray to Swami for a solution.
Baba says, “Take one step towards me and I shall take a hundred towards you.” That was literally the story as Swami visited the port city of Bombay in the summer of 1978, 5 years after Granny had expressed her desire to Sudha! Bombay was the place where Granny was staying and so this would be the best opportunity to take her for Darshan. It was about this time that Granny also narrated to Sudha the reason behind why she wanted to see Swami. Sudha was very excited now. She arranged a taxi and landed with her newlywed husband and Granny at Dharmakshetra, the abode of Baba at Bombay.
An unforgettable Darshan session
Sudha got Granny seated in the front rows in a special seating-block designated for the patients. However, Dharmakshetra is not a very large place. As time passed, more and more devotees poured into its precincts and soon, the space in front of Granny too was filled up with devotees. Seeing this, Sudha’s heart sank. How would Swami ever grant darshan from close quarters to Granny? There was no way for Him to even come close to her now...
The way the Masterplan unfolded took Sudha’s breath away. A sweet scent wafted in with the gentle breeze and announced Swami’s arrival. A smile broke out on Granny face and Sudha almost suspected that she was seeing the beautiful form of Swami. Swami, on His part, made a beeline to where Granny was sitting. Coming to the cluster of women seated in front of her, He asked for space to be made so that He could walk to her!
Sudha’s heart was racing now. Swami came right up to Granny and accosted her sweetly. The first thing He asked her was whether the coin with Lakshmi on it was still with her! Granny had tears in her eyes and the radiant smile on her face told Sudha that those were tears of uncontrollable joy. Even as Swami stood in front of her, she turned to Sudha and asked,
“Do you see Him! How beautiful He is...”
“Yes! I see Him. But do you see Him??”
The blind Granny’s answer stunned Sudha,
“I see Him in such beauty. Aha! What lovely curls He has. And what a luminous round face...”
She began to describe Swami in His presence and Swami just nodded and smiled. Once Granny’s outpourings were complete, Swami told her,
“You have been steadfast in your Shraddha (faith and reverence) and Saburi (patience and perseverance). Keep it up.”
He patted the 90 year old woman on her head and caressed her drooping cheeks. He blessed her profusely and gently walked away after that.
The world went dark again for Granny after that moment! She could no longer see anything else. But then, she did not feel the need to see anything else either. Her eyes spoke continuously in the language of tears and Sudha, who was witness to the miracle that had occurred before her eyes, also was conversing in the same language.
It was during their blissful drive back home that Granny made a startling revelation,
“You know Sudha”, she said, “I have been urging you to take me to see Sathya Sai for five years now. Even as I made the first request, I had a vision. In that vision, I saw a beautiful form in orange robe with a lovely mop of curly hair. Today, having seen Sai with my own eyes, I realize that He has been granting His darshan to me whenever I wished to see Him! I just did not recognize Him. In order to grant me that joy of knowing that I am seeing my beloved Sai, He gave me back my sight briefly. Now, I have no need of any kind of sight! My life is fulfilled. Baba has fulfilled His promise.”
Just a few months after that blissful darshan, Granny breathed her last. Sudha knew for sure that she had merged in her Lord.
“Now, tell me, what more proof do you want about Shirdi Baba and Sathya Sai Baba being one and the same?”, Sudha asked me.
I just nodded in wonderment, awe and joy. And then, I decided to pen down the beautiful story for humanity to read for eternity.
Devotion-filled song-video made by a Westerner
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Bata krishna Mohanty on January 02, 2015:
I think this miracle word is more powerful in our life. We should observe for our devlop towards mankind.
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on December 13, 2013:
Some very special stories here. Wonderful - thank You so much for sharing!
From the following sentence, what does Maya mean? "Maya has left now."
"That statement had shocked all the village people who had not the slightest inkling of any “Sai Baba” who had made Shirdi, 1000 kilometers away, as His home." - So, hard to get news across I guess?
“Take one step towards me and I shall take a hundred towards you.” - I think I took more than just one step so, I guess we must be really far away from each other LOL
All the best Amigo! : )
Rajesh Dora on October 22, 2013:
thank you Aravind, those few days that I waited for this sequel, there was this interest, but that pining was missing, now imagine, our Granny in the story waiting for all those years with such steadfast devotion and sincerity, precious gems to take away and store deep in the chest of our hearts. Sairam
Mark on June 03, 2013:
joyful reading - from joyful writing!
rathishankar on May 05, 2013:
om sri sairam....wonderful......we should now wait with shradda and saburi to witness Baba"s third avatar.....PremaSai.
..just a few days back on 2nd MAY ,BABA came to our new home in the form of the nine coins which he had given to Smt LAKSMIBAI SHINDE. i had been praying to Baba to help me hold a bhajan and that he should come and bless my home...i took one step..BABA TOOK ALL THE STEPS TO COME HOME AT BLR,....USING LAKSHMIBAI SHINDE"S GRANDSON(MR.ARUN )AS AN INSTRUEMENT..it coincided with my star birthday and a thursday at that...thank you DEAREST BABA..
saidevotee on May 02, 2013:
Swami in a discourse revealed -There are 3 parts for Sai Avatar-Shirdi Sathya and Prema Sai and the most important is the third,Those of us who heard it all voiced immediately -Swami you are the most important for us,we don't know about anyone else!
Now I heave a sigh reading this article-Real Sradha and Saburi for us
Deepa on May 01, 2013:
Sairam.. you have put in lot of grace ful photos for us to enjoy the bliss... is it possible that we could have a glimpse of the coin being the old lady is your granny..pl.. Let you a pl. help us get the most rare opportunity ever..pl
Madhavi Alapty on May 01, 2013:
Such a beautiful and blissful experience of the Grandma. Hers was a blessed soul and those were the days that so many devotees has a good fortune of interacting with HIM in that personal level. I came to know SWAMI at a later stage in the life and i am having faith in HIM of granting me the wisdom to know the PremaSai in future as soon as HE descends on to this earth. Sairam.
saisarannaga from Chennai in Tamilnadu, India. on May 01, 2013:
Oh it is so nice. I find no words to comment on Swami's love to the grand old lady even after several decades. You deserve all the blessings of the Lord for sharing such nice stories.
Saisudha.. on May 01, 2013:
Sairam Arvind,Thank you Arvind for sharing my Grandma's Divine experience with Sai Devotees.hope Granny witnesses Baba's Third Avatar as well if she wishes.God Bless!!!
KokilaVaidyanathan on May 01, 2013:
Wow!!! Sairam..of course no doubt that both Sai's are the same...thank you so much for sharing it was indeed worth the wait..
Pallavi Shetty on May 01, 2013:
Thank you Arvind for this wonderful story, I love your style of narration.
After reading this article I had tears pouring out of my eyes.
Padma on April 30, 2013:
Sairam.As i mentioned worth waiting..
Swami,as u teach every time the importance of shraddha and saburi ,though we have lots and lot s of shraddha we lack always Saburi :(
Bless us with that too