Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Avatar

  Sai Rama

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 Encounter with Hanumanwent 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!”

Swami with the RajahMany 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 “Ramayatheethi Ramaha”, 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.

SAI RAMAOn 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.

Source: Radio Sai E-Magazine, March 15, 2004

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