Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  Kshethragnan - Baba

As we enter the Main Gate we have the Divine Darshan of Lord Ganapathi in a White coloured temple. We see many devotees, praying, and seeking the blessings of Lord Vinayaka - many break coconuts and go round and round of the temple. A very busy temple. I pray to this Vinayaka, the diety of the first temple inside Prasanthi Nilayam complex, and proceed with this article.

Swami had once said, , "Your mission has begun. Those are my words to you my Devotee - Each of you has a unique and valuable part to play in this life time. Only those whom I have called can serve Me".

Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba would have called many devotees. But in recent years we have seen a particular devotee who had responded to this Divine call, and played his valuable part in his life time. He is none other than (Late) Sri Subramaniam Chettiar, founder President of Sri Sai Paduga Trust, Madurai, Mr. Chettiar radiated devotion within, and the unseen power enveloped him into Sai’s orbit. He performed his part, imparting purity in heart towards all, in absolute silence. He always believed that he was only an instrument, and experienced Divine love pouring unto him.

Swami had also declared, ‘Be about my work, My beloved devotees - your breath will carry the scent of the blossoms of heaven. Your example will be that of an angel. Your joy will My joy".

There is no doubt whatsoever in claiming late Chettiar as such an Angel deriving joy and experiencing Divine Bliss, earned by his dedicated service to our Beloved Lord. Before we dwell into his own mission let us go back to the old village of Puttaparthi and see for ourselves some unique earlier manifestations.

The Ratnakaram family’s grand old man Sri Kondamma Raju happened to be the grand father of Sri Sathyanarayana Raju, our beloved Lord. He had built a temple for "Sathya Bhama" divine consort of Lord Krishna responding to a dream experience. This temple is situated at the entrance point of Old Puttaparthi village.

Then there is yet another small temple dedicated to Lord Gopalkrishna. There is a legendary tale attributed to this temple. An ancient large stone is installed here as per directions of Babavaru. Swami showed this stone to the villagers and asked them to clean it. People could see the markings of Lord Gopalkrishna there on. The legends depicts that this stone had been used by a peasant who threw it on a serpent which was drinking milk directly from the udder of the cow. It was the curse of the dying serpent, which made the village a place fully of ant hills, and this caused the extinction of greenery all over. Our beloved Lord during his childhood days advised the villagers to worship this stone to get redemption from the curse of the snake.

Then there is a third temple nearby, a temple for Hanuman. It was in this temple Swami, as a little boy, gathered the children of the village and trained them to sing bhajans. In one of the discourses during this year Navarathri festivals Swami narrated an interesting episode. Little Sathya Naryana Raju directed the boys to go around the temple singing bhajans. The boys urged Swami too go along with them; But Swami could not do so. Hanuman had appeared there and was telling Swami that His Master should not go around him ( pradakshnam ). The children could not understand anything and make out what this Raju was telling an old monkey, which was in reality Hanuman Himself.

We were seeing the importance of few temples at Puttaparthi,. Now it seemed that Late Sri Subramania Chettiar had also a mission to build a few more temples in Prashanti Nilayam and propogate the importance of temple worship. Let us visit some such installations.

Bhagavan Baba had once said " Likhitha Japam" (writing of Swami’s name) is an easy way to bring about this union of the two hearts, the heart of Sadhaka and the heart of Bhagavan. It helps one to escape from the cycles of birth, i.e. the ocean of this worldly life". Late Subramania Chettiar believed firmly that Likhitha Japam is a way to lakhs of Sai devotees to participate in this sacred yagna. By the year 1995 truck loads of stationery books written there in over 108 crores of Sai Namam was placed at His Lotus Feet. Swami, arranged to keep them in an underground vault built near the Gopuram. Sri Chettiar had also offered a beautiful Idol of Lord Hanuman, which was installed by Bhgavan over the vault containing Rama Nama. This installation of lord Hanuman was the first effort of Chettiar, and this effort paved way for installation of separate idols every year during the Padhuga pooja festivals at Prashanthi Nilayam.

By the very next year 1996, Swami had constructed and commissioned Super Speciality Hospital in Prashanti Nilyam . Swami, Himself is a divine Doctor Healer and the Divine source of Human Welfare. Swami, is "DHWANWANTHARI", Himself, the Divine Doctor. Sri Subramania Chettiar recognised this Truth. He prayed and sought the Divine sanction from Bhagavan Baba to install the Marble idol of Dhanwanthiri. And what better place than the sacrd premises of Super Speciality Hospital itself. In the centre of one of the circular lawns, Bhagavan installed Lord Dhanwanthiri during the Padhuga Pooja celebration in the year 1996.

Padhuga Pooja celebrations has become an annual event in Prashanti Nilyam. So is the installation of divine diols to coincide these functions. The Divine inspiration and promptings induced Chettiar to install the idol of Lord Muruga (Kathikeya) in the very next year celebrations of 1997. But Mr. Chettiar came to know the significance of this installation only later on, when he got a copy of Viswamitra Naadi, wherein this event of installation of Lord Muruga by Lord Himself, had been mentioned. The Naadi further states that on that day of installation Bhagavan Baba will Himself manifest as Lord Muruga. This temple is seen near the temple of Lord Vinayaga, very near to His Divine elder brother.

The events move on, as per Divine will (Sankalpa). It seemed that Bhagavan wanted a temple built for Mother Gayathri and the prompting manifested through Divine dreams and other incidents. Recitation of Gayathri Mantra thrice a day, (during Morning, Noon and Evening) is prescribed. This will serve to reduce the effects of the wrong acts one does everyday. It is like buying goods for cash, instead of getting them on credit. There is no accumulation of Karmic Debt, as each day’s Karma is atoned that day itself by reciting the Gayathri. Bhagavan Baba installed the five-faced Idol of Gayathri Maatha during 1998 Padhuga Pooja festivals in the gardens opposite round Building No. 4 in Prashanthi Nilayam complex. A group of Lady Devotees are carrying out with daily poojas rituals, strictly as per vedic traditions.

This year 1999 was something special. Mr. Subramania Chettiar attained the Lotus’ Feet of Bhagavan Baba on 13th April, 99. But it was a cherished dream and desire of Late Chettiar to install a temple for Lord Rama Pattabhishekam. Swami had given his blessings for this project, and Sri. Chettiar was not to live that day and witness his great ambition coming true. His illustrious and loving son, Sri Srinivasa Chettiar, had taken over the mantle of the President ship of the Padhya Trust. He strived very hard to realise the dream of his demised father. It was proposed to install the idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Rama’s idol was to be about 6 feet in height. But Swami felt that this will necessitate a temple with very tall Gopurams and hence advised to restrict the height of the idols to about 4 ½ feet only.

The installation itself was shared with Divine suspense till be end. "Know and enjoy my uncertainty" is the dictum of Bhagavan Baba. True to this, the suspense prolonged till about a week of installation.

Swami had promised that He Himself will select a suitable Sita for construction of the temple for Lord Rama. The days and weeks passed on, and there was no message from Swami on the selection of Site. Bhagawan Baba directed Srinivasan Chettiar to go back to Madurai to look after other arrangements. Finally, though all arrangements had been completed, it was realised that it was practically impossible to build a temple within the available short timee. A strong foundation, sturdy pillar, a concrete slab, and then a Gopuram are all to be erected. It was humanly impossible. Just about 10 days before the proposed event of installation, Swami told Srinivasan Chettiar that Swami had made a choise of place where the idols are to be installed. The choice of the site was a grand one, as is always with Divine Sankalpa.

The newly extended area of the beautiful Sai Kulwant hall had encompassed the place where the 108 crores of Sri Rama had been inferred. Swami directed that a large Mandap be built in this site, suitable enough for the installation of Rama, Sita , Lakshmana and Hanuman. During installation ceremony, Bhagavan Baba created a small "Lingam" and directed Srinivasan Chettiar to insert the same in the small pit wherein the idol of Rama is to be installed. Swami mentioned that it is ‘Rama Lingam" which will attract devotees and activate Vibration inside Prashanthi Nilayam complex. The old Hanuman vighraham had also found a place in the same Mandap.

Year 1999 is nearing end. The new Millennium of 2000 AD is to emerge soon after this year Birthday celebrations. Next year will be Swami’s 75th birthday celebrations. Swami has given His Divine permission to Srinivasan Chettiar to conduct Padhuga Pooja in all overseas countries during the new millennium year. But what about the installation yet another diety and a new temple? Only SWAMI knows about it, and Sri Sai Padhuga trust awaits the divine command.

Sai Ram
(Bombay Srinivasan)

Translated article written by Bombay Srinivasam in a local language magazine.

This above article has been published in a Yahoo Group. Date: Nov 18, 1999
Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sainsw/message/266

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