SRI SATHYA SAI HRUDAYA
(Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombai Srinivasan
The significance of Seva
which had since been named “Thane” is suburban city some 30
kilometers away form Bombay. As I had already mentioned, this is
the same suburb, in which, thanks to the Grace of Sai, I came to
secure a residential accommodation.
eastern side of the Railway line, a holy spiritual center has come
up by the name “ANANDA ASHRA”. Ms. Tara Devi, now reverently
called ‘Mataji’ is the head of this Ashram. Earlier she was living
in the same colony where we had our accommodation, i.e. at Vatak
Nagar on the western side. We just knew her as Ms.Tara. She was
living with her parents and brothers who were my very close
friends. She was quite young and was in the marriageable age.
However, her life style got totally transformed after her first
visit to Prashanthi Nilayam. She developed extreme devotion and
love towards Swami and lost all interest in the mundane world
affairs. All the time ‘Sai’ filled her mind and spirit. Gradually,
around her, a small sathsang began to emerge and she came to be
known as ‘Mataji’ in the area. She organized a Sai Bhajan Group
and encouraged those who came to her to participate in Nama
gathering and increasing visitors, she did not wish to disturb her
family members, because of her sathsang activities. The inevitable
happened. She left her home behind and totally dedicated herself
to the devotees. Some Good Samaritan from Thane East provided her
a small Ashram place, for accommodating her and facilitating the
spiritual activities. This Ashram has become very popular. Sai
Bhajans are conducted twice a day and various spiritual activities
are also going on. The Ashram is also running a secondary school
providing fee education.
early years due to close proximity to Mataji, ample opportunities
were available for us to engage in personal discussions with her
on various spiritual matters, especially on the philosophy of Sai.
My wife and myself had innumerable divine experiences with her.
0ur own development of devotion to Swami, we had accepted Him as
another deity and started worshipping Him reverently along with
the other Gods. We were no doubt aware that a mere worship is a
ritualistic fashion would not suffice and would not yield results.
Mataji Tara Devi advised us that we should try to understand and
adopt the teachings of Swami in the conduct of our life. The very
day-to-day activities should conform to His spiritual teachings,
and the worship should be a way of life itself. In short worship
should consist of continuous process of living as per His
teachings rather than ritualistic fixed time sitting before the
deity in the Pooja Room. We cannot expect to gain the Grace of
Swami simply by the usual Pooja rituals, like the ones, which we
offer to the other Gods, Shri Rama, Shri Krishna, and others. We
were reminded of Swami teachings, “The Hands that serve the
needy is much holier than the lips that offer prayers daily”
We also tried to understand the principle of universality of
divinity which dwells in all the creation and this divinity is
nothing but the Atma, in each one of us. If we can appreciate this
principle, then we would come to experience that divinity as
enshrined in all even 9n the poor and needy and who are less
fortunate than us. The supreme offer to God is the sparing and
sharing of the time and resources for and with these less
fortunate brethren, sisters, sons, and daughters. Had not swami
propounded “Maanava seva is Madhava Seva”.
were made wise by Mataji’s teachings of Swami during those days
when we used to get much time for personal discussions. I started
to attend the programmes of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations in
our city. The organization offered excellent opportunities for the
devotees to get together and engage in Seva activities as a group
so that the time and the resources could be put to the best use.
Our main aim had been to spread the message of Sai to the weaker
sections of the society and try to instill in them a spiritually
oriented thinking and living styles. Without a spiritual base no
Seva can result in bliss, says Swami. Bhagavan is also very keen
that the beneficiaries should also be exposed and enthused to
adopt spiritual practices, which is the ultimate aim of Seva. We
enjoyed ourselves in the Seva activities and in the company of
newfound sathsang of Sai devotees.
important soul-awakening programme, related to the Seva to the
jail inmates. The authorities of the Thane Central jail gave us
permission to conduct Sai Bhajans inside the jail once a month.
The convicts in the jail serving their terms were persuaded to
attend the Bhajan sessions. Within a short period, many of them
started enjoying the Bhajans. Later, They began to take so much
interest that they started keeping Baba’s picture, providing
garlands and making all other necessary arrangements. In course of
time, some of them even learnt a few songs and took initiative to
lead the Bhajans. A tremendous change of heart had come about in
the jail inmates. Many of them developed devotion towards Swami.
Some of them quietly asked us, whether it would be possible for
them to have Baba’s Darshan. We could only respond telling them
that they should pray to Him and He would definitely make it
were the years when Swami used to visit Dharmakshethra in Bombay,
almost very year. During one of His visits, Swami had planned a
programme to a distant suburb in Bombay, which was beyond Thane.
We put forward the request of the Jail inmates to the leaders of
Sai Seva Organizations in Bombay and about their eagerness to have
Swami’s Darshan. In fact, we were jot very much aware of the
serious implications of our proposals. Anyway it was decided to
submit the request to Swami on His arrival in Bombay.
Lord Shri Krishna was born I a “Kaaragraha”, a jail.
But here, we, the devotees, had the audacity to think about
inviting our dear Swami into the jail. We only thought that Swami,
ever loving and willing to encourage us in our Seva activities,
would accede to our prayers. Nothing could be truer than this.
while giving Darshan to the devotees in a programme far beyond
Thane, gave an indication of His merciful decision to visit the
jail and meet the inmates who had become His devotees. We had very
little time at 0ur disposal. Lacking any instant telephone
connectivity across suburban areas, we had to move physically to
the area and make all the arrangements for the Divine visit.
Invoking His Grace, the small organization in Thane swung into
action and tried to do what best could be done within the shortest
possible time. We had to formally obtain permission from the Jail
authorities and then install necessary public address system and a
stage. It was also needed to dress up the inmates and take them to
the Darshan in an orderly manner. We received excellent support
and encouragement from all the people within the jail premises.
When the last lines of the inmates were taking their seats, Swami
entered the jail.
my dear, it was a sight to see! Our beloved Lord walked along the
rows o the neatly dressed inmates, in their uniforms, blessing
them and what not! The faces of the jail inmates were lit up with
devotion. After spending considerable time with them, and giving
them the fulfillment of a lifetime chance of a coveted Darshan,
Swami was back on His vehicle, to get back to Dharmakshethra. And
what jubilation for the Sai sevaks!
mercy visit of Swami inspired us to get motivated for more and
more service activities with devotion and humility. “If you
take the first step towards Me, I will take ten steps towards
you”, says Swami very often. We took a small, but a first step
by initiating Bhajan activity in the jail and He came there in His
physical form! What a Divine mercy and Divine Love~! One has to
experience this Bliss personally to be able to understand even a
fraction of divinity!
Author's statement in:
Many of you may
be aware that I had authored a book with the title "Sri Sathya Sai
Hrudaya Nivasi (Indweller of Hearts). This book had seen the third
reprint, and is being sold in Bhagavan's Bookstall at Prashanthi
Nilayam. Many of you would have purchased and many would not have
got chance to go to Parthi and get the book. After the third
edition, this may not go to print again. As such I wish to bring
the contents of this book to each and every one of you.
Starting from today I shall post one chapter every week or if
possible twice a week, depending upon the response I get from you
all. I would request you to kindly read it and then re-circulate
it to your other friends in the Sai Family.
The text could be transferred to your hard disk, and if possible
print outs taken out.
Utilize the contents, as much as you like.
With Lots of Love and regards