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Swami had a minor injury – How should Sai devotees respond?

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Children of the Sai Family.

Sai Ram 

This year is Swami's 77th year in this present body, and Swami has said that He would have this body till the 96th year.  Swami is the Lord of the Universe in human form. We are very fortunate to be devotees of Bhagavan Sai.  He is our Guru, God and our Charioteer, constantly guiding us in our life sojourn and we adore Him for our lives are intertwined with His. 

Although Sai has come in human form, His power is not limited. Quoting from Swami's discourse:

"My power is immeasurable, My Truth is inexplicable, unfathomable.  I am beyond the reach of the most intensive inquiry and the most meticulous measurement. There is nothing I do not see; nowhere I do not know the way; no problem I cannot solve.  My sufficiency is unconditional.  I am the totality – all of it." 

Last week, suddenly we were shocked to learn that Swami had a "minor accidental fall".  The "news bulletin" sent by Bro Goldstein, Chairman, Prasanthi Council, is as follows: 

"Our Beloved Bhagavan Baba had a small accident in which He fell and sustained an injury to His hip.  Subsequently, He underwent a minor surgical procedure and is responding extremely well.  The attending physicians are surprised and delighted at the speed of Swami's recovery.   Let all the world be reassured and rejoice. Our Dearest Swami is well and soon we will have His Darshan once again." 

Swami had taken upon Himself, illnesses of devotees before. He usually takes the devotees' bodily sufferings Himself, and subsequently cures Himself by the wave of His hand.  

Similarly, in this case too, Swami could have taken Himself the illness of a deserving devotee, but we do not know how Swami, the Great Divine Director of Plays, wrote the script and directed this recent play. We will hear from Swami Himself, the details of this play script when Swami gives His next discourse. 

Instead of pondering over this "news item", let us recollect instances where Swami took the illnesses of devotees and demonstrated His great compassion for them. In this context, all of us here also have experiences to narrate how Swami cured our health problems miraculously. But let us look at one or two well-documented ones. 

One well-documented episode by Prof Kasturi in "Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram" part II, Chapter 5 is entitled "This Sivasakthi".   In four pages, Kasturi graphically described the eight days during which Swami's body visibly suffered, and the tears and gloom on devotees' faces on those eight long days.  Swami with His expressions, had refused medical treatment from some of the eminent doctors in India who were called in by the devotees. 

Quoting  Kasturi's writings:

Swami had an attack of cerebral thrombosis and He was in bed for eight days, from 29th June to 6th July 1963.  His left hand, left leg and eyes were affected, and His right hand was also slightly paralysed. 6th July was Guru Poornima day and the devotees were in gloom. Swami was brought down from His room by a few devotees, and He was placed on the Silver Chair in the Prayer Hall. Swami asked Kasturi to announce the following message: 

"This is not Swami's illness; this is an illness Swami has taken in order to save one. Swami has no illness, nor will He get ill at any time. You must be all happy; that alone will make Swami happy. Your joy is Swami's food." 

Then Bhagavan sprinkled a little water with His right hand on the striken left hand and left leg. After a little massage with his right hand of the affected parts, Bhagavan doffed off the disease in a trice. He started to speak and the devotees, who up to now were in gloom, were choked up with emotions of relief and happiness.  

Swami spoke:

"For those who have no refuge, God is the refuge. That is exactly the reason why I had to take on the disease that one helpless Bhaktha was to suffer from. He would not have survived it, nor could he have come through the four heart attacks I took on. My dharma is Bhaktharakshana (meaning saving of devotees). Of course, this is not the first time I have taken on the illness of those I want to save. Even in my previous body at Shirdi, I had this responsibility. This is my Leela. My nature. It is part of the task for which I have come." 

"I have been keeping back from you all these years one secret about Me. The time has come when I can reveal it to you. This is a sacred day. I am Siva-Sakthi, born in the gothra of Bharadwaja, according to a boon won by that sage from Siva and Sakthi…." 

"This is perhaps the longest period I kept the devotees wandering and worried. This was because the devotee had to be saved from the heart attacks which had to come for eight days, and there were other reasons too."

Thus, Swami demonstrated His infinite compassion and Thyaga in saving His devotee. 

Next, let us look at the discourse given by Swami on 14th Jan 1999, which was printed in the Feb 1999 issue of the Sanathana Sarathi. 

This episode gives an account of how Swami averted injuries to the students who did stunts during the sports meet on 11th January 1999 at Puttaparthi, and took the injuries on Himself. In this ‘drama Swami enacted', Swami had a fall when the chariot suddenly stopped, and had deep cuts on His body.  Swami said that He willed that no one should see His injury at the Stadium. But Swami did not ‘will' that He should have no pain.  He took on the suffering associated with this serious injury.  Someone had to suffer the consequences of the devotees' karma and Swami chose to absorb this.  

Swami said, "Likewise, I take upon Myself the untold suffering of students and devotees at various points in time, in order to protect them..." "So whatever happened on that day was entirely due to My will. I am narrating this episode only to affirm the fact that I go to any extent to protect My devotees who obey My commands." 

Please read the full episode critically from the Sanathana Sarathi or from Sathya Sai Speaks. You will note that Swami is the scriptwriter for the accidental overturning of the chariot, and the scriptwriter for the deep cuts on His body without His dress being torn. Swami is demonstrating His Compassion, His Thyaga for His devotees who obey His commands. 

Next we look at the amazing incident that took place around 1968. The details are given in the book, "Sri Krishna, Sri Sathya Sai" by Dr J Suman Babu, page 149: 

One devotee Sanyasi Raju, clerk in the State Bank of India, Anakapalli, came to see Swami with his wife and daughter. His daughter used to suffer from epileptic fits. So they brought her to Swami, with the faith that Swami would cure her.  

Sanyasi Raju had Swami's Darshan and talked to Swami about his daughter's ailment. Swami listened and said "wait, wait".  Sanyasi Raju had applied only for a fortnight's leave from his bank workplace, but Swami apparently did not pay heed to his plea, but asked him to "wait".  Leaving everything to Bhagavan, he stayed on with his family. Swami went on repeating the words "wait, wait" even after one month. Sanyasi Raju resigned himself to the thought of losing his job, as he did not wish to defy Swami. After waiting for two months, Swami called them for an interview, and created vibhuthi for the girl and cured her illness completely.  

After receiving Swami's blessings, Sanyasi Raju went home and then to the bank workplace the next day morning. He was astonished to see no adverse reactions from his colleagues as to his unexpected re-appearance.  He went to his usual table, which was still not occupied by anyone else. Suddenly the peon gave a message that the manager wanted to see him. When he went to see the manager, thinking of the worst, the manager just handed him an envelope without speaking any words. He went to his table, preparing for the worst and opened the letter.  He was pleasantly shocked to see that he had got a promotion. He told the truth to his friends, but the friends told him that he had been seen working without absence, and was rewarded for recovering huge amounts of bad debt from some merchants for the bank. Then he realized how fortunate he was, as Swami had come in his form and had worked to give him a promotion. 

From this episode, we can see that Swami can go to any extent to save His devotees.  Moreover, Swami's Leelas are such that, what we see on the surface may not be the absolute Truth. 

All devotees would love to meet Swami in His room and massage His Lotus Feet. But only a very few are blessed to do this devotional worship. Swami does not need any assistants in any work. However, if they are chosen by Swami, then they are blessed indeed by merits earned in their previous lives. 

In the current situation when Swami appears to suffer from an ailment, what can we devotees do?

We can only pray to Swami, to "will" to be His normal self. And just as important, we should take this opportunity to reflect on the countless times He has come to our aid, and be grateful for His love and grace.  He is our refuge in distress, and when the distress is caused by His own play, this is the only prayer that we can offer in times like this. Let us not give our ears to any mental fabrication from others on this, but have total Faith in Swami as our Charioteer in our lives. Let us remember what Swami has urged us to do: 

"I require from each of you no other gift, no more valuable offering than the Heart that I have endowed you with. Give Me that Heart, as pure as when I gave it to you, full of nectar of Love, I filled it with." 

Dear Sisters and Brothers, let us offer to Swami, our Divine Father & Mother, our unalloyed Love with full Devotion at all times. This is the only gift that can be called ours, which we should offer to Swami, for His infinite Love, Compassion and Support for us in our lives. 

Jai Sai Ram


Sri Sathya Sai Society, Singapore

(Any comments on this article may be directed to: tharma@starhub.net.sg)

This article was lovingly shared by Dr K Tharmaratnam


Further a lovely reminder from Reet

Accidents and infinite power of Divinity

Light and Love to all  

     There is Swami's story-telling (in a little short kind) about accidents and infinite power of Divinity; year 1999.

     Students are tender hearted, full of noble feelings and love for Swami. They planned various programmes to please Me. I was very well aware of the impending danger. But the students were not receptive to My words. I felt there was no point in advising them in such a situation. Only when they face the consequences of disobeying My command do they realise the value of My words.

     They said that the sports meet was a grand success. I am also happy when you are successful. That morning as I entered the stadium, I spotted two lorries. Immediately I could visualise the danger lurking in the future. I saw the lorries with huge scaffoldings placed over them. The boys planned to perform a few acrobatic feats on them. I knew that one of the ropes was not fitted properly and was about to give in. If that were to happen the boy would suffer a major head injury and his spinal column would break. I willed that the boy should be saved and decided to take the future accident upon Myself.

     Prior to this, one boy suffered a spinal injury and had been admitted to the Manipal Hospital in Bangalore. I willed that such an untoward incident should not recur. Once the spinal column breaks it is impossible to set it right. Immediately I arranged for an ambulance to shift the boy to the hospital in Bangalore and gave ten thousand rupees to defray the immediate expenditure. I also ensured that our doctor accompanied him. The doctor said that the boy would not be able to sit or lie down as his spinal column was badly damaged. I said to him, "Do not entertain any misgivings. Do as I say!" By the time the boy reached the hospital he could miraculously sit up! He entered the hospital and sat down on the bed. He regained sensation in all his limbs which were numb till then. No danger whatsoever. He was protected. I consider students welfare as My welfare, and their happiness, My happiness. My only concern was that the students should not be disappointed or put to any inconvenience.

     A day prior to that I had instructed four boys to surround the chariot and keep a vigil. But I noticed that none of them were present at that spot. Nobody is to be blamed. No one does this deliberately.

      I asked for the chariot to be stopped. A senior devotee was driving the chariot, with all sincerity, love and devotion. He stopped the vehicle in accordance with My command. Just when I was about to speak to the Vice-Chancellor, the driver accidentally put his foot on the clutch instead of applying the brake. That resulted in a jerk and I fell down in the chariot. I suffered injuries on My head and arm and My spinal column was badly damaged. What the boys had to face, I took it upon Myself. Many men and women were seated in the gallery, but I took care that none should notice My injuries. I pretended as though nothing had happened. The Vice-Chancellor was worried thinking that Swami was unable to get up. I knew that any further delay would cause anxiety in the minds of devotees. So I immediately got up, forgetting the excruciating pain and started blessing the devotees, waving My hands. The pain was intense, and the cut on My arm so deep that it appeared to have been caused by a knife. But the sleeve on the robe covering My hand was intact. This incident gives you a glimpse of the infinite power of Divinity.

     I found Myself in an awkward situation. I had to walk to the dais without My injuries being noticed. So I willed that no one should notice My injuries, lest they become anxious. I walked up to the dais and took My seat. But in the meanwhile the dhoti below My robe was drenched in blood. Concerned that the devotees may get to know of this, I discreetly walked into the bathroom. The available towels were insufficient to wipe the oozing blood. I did not want to leave the blood stained towels in the bathroom, lest some one notice them. Though there was excruciating pain, I washed the towels Myself with soap, squeezed them and put them up for drying. Under no circumstances do I reveal My suffering, pain and fatigue. Some boys were curious to know why I went to the bathroom repeatedly. I replied, "Why are you concerned? It is my job." Usually I go to the bathroom only twice a day, morning and evening. Since the injury was bleeding profusely, I had to go to the bathroom five or six times in that short duration. Just then two students came and prayed that the institute flag could be hoisted. When I got down from the chair it felt as if I had an electric shock. Reflecting on the incident I feel like laughing to Myself. I could not stand firmly on the ground. I thought I should not be deluded by the attachment to the body and walked forward smilingly to hoist the flag. Then I lighted the lamp. I again found Myself in an embarrassing situation. I could not sit in any posture comfortably. When I exhort all devotees to give up body attachment, I should set an example Myself. Speaking to Myself in this manner, I conducted myself accordingly.

     The Primary School children performed extremely well and desired to have a photograph with Me. Acceding to their prayers I walked up to them and posed for a photograph, as I did not want to disappoint them. In this manner I detached Myself from the body. My body was numb. There was no sensation whatsoever. My head was reeling. I resolved to make the students happy no matter what happened to the body. I decided to keep this to Myself. Concerned that the bloodstains may be visible while returning to the dais from the playground, I ascended the steps leading directly to My seat. Is it possible for human beings to conceal such a major injury from the public gaze for such a long time amidst such a huge gathering? No. I was seated on the chair for five long hours. I am relating all this so that students and devotees may comprehend the nature of Divinity. Anyone in My predicament would not have been able to sit in the chair even for a second. It would have been impossible even to put a step forward. It was as though electric shocks were piercing My body. The electric current gives shock: but when I am the current Myself, where is the question of Myself being subjected to shock? With this feeling I sat through the whole proceedings.

      The Central Trust members followed Me, but they were not aware of what had happened to Me. The senior devotee apologized for his slip. Then I told him, "Why do you worry about the past? Past is past. I am happy. Do not worry about Me." All of them had their lunch. After lunch My back started bleeding again. The students were waiting outside for photographs, again I went into the bathroom to wipe the blood. Noticing this, Indulal Shah cried out, "Swami what is this?" I told him lovingly, "Indulal Shah, whatever had to happen to the body has happened." Saying so, I showed him My injury. All of them cried out in agony. They noticed blood all over. I told them that I would not reveal anything in future if they expressed their sorrow like this. No one knew about the injury until I reached the Mandir. Likewise, I take upon Myself the untold suffering of students and devotees many a time to protect them. No one is responsible for this mishap. You may find fault with one individual or the other, but no one is responsible for this. Whatever had to happen, happened.

The complete story: Sourced from

Prize distribution for Sports and Cultural Meet, Prashanthi Nilayam, January 14, 1999.

      Namaste - Reet

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