Sai Darshan Home
Date:20 Oct 1990 Occasion:Golden Jubilee Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Golden Jubilee of the Advent of The Avathar

[Swami sings]:

Know that verily I am Sai-
Renounce all attachment, cease all attempts;
This external relationship with you is gone;
Even the mightiest of the mighty cannot catch me."

These are the words uttered by me on that day, Monday the 20th October, 1940. Then the families of Tammiraju, Hanumantha Rao, Bhojaraju and others requested me not to leave the house. This happened at Urvakonda. Whatever it is, Divine power is always associated with human power and vice-versa. When this physical body had to renounce certain physical relationships and attachments, it was essential that a certain philosophy as an ideal had to be manifested and established.

During my stay at Urvakonda, a certain Ramaraju, then the Municipal Chairman of Bellary, used to come to see Swami. In those days, people used to call me only "Raju". Ramaraju made a request to Seshamaraju (Swami's elder brother), `Please allow us to have this boy with us during the holidays. Seshamaraju, don't look upon him as a mere boy or your brother. He is no ordinary mortal. I am very much moved and my heart has melted by the purity and radiance of his face. There is some divine effulgence in him. You also may come with the boy and stay with us for some days.'"

"Ramaraju took us all to Hampi. What I am going to tell you is neither a hyperbole nor egotism nor mere description. At Hampi all of them went into the Virupaksha Temple. I did not want to go in with them. But I knew that if I did not accompany them, I would be subjected to pressure from all sides. They might even be angry with me. So I pleaded an upset stomach. They were about fifty or sixty. Thammiraju and others were also there. But Ramaraju had no other thought than that of Swami. He took my hands in his, and humbly pleaded with me many times. "Please, Raju, you must come with us." He was very much upset and unhappy when I was firm in my refusal. Then `harathi' (ceremonial waving of camphor flame) was being offered to Virupaksha, the Lord inside the sanctum. But, to the amazement of all, only the figure of this Raju was seen in the place of the idol. Seshamaraju was very angry. He thought that I had played a trick on them. He thought that, pretending to stay outside, I had somehow sneaked in and was standing behind the idol. What a great mistake! What a great sin! Taking the place of the idol at the time of harathi! But Ramaraju firmly believed that it was Raju there and that Raju and Virupaksha were one and the same. Seshamaraju came out at once and found me standing under a tree. But he would not believe his own eyes. He sent some one inside to find out whether I was there, while he was here, outside, watching me. But to the joy of all, Raju was found here and also there. Still they hesitated to tell me about it; still they were not certain that it was not, after all, a trick of the mind.

From Hampi, I was taken to Bellary. There, Ramaraju introduced Swami to all municipal officers (In those days, I was only Raju, not Swami). Some were openly derisive at the reverence accorded to this small boy. Before he took me to Hampi, Ramaraju got me a pair of shorts and a shirt. At that time, I was only twelve and also short. Even now I am short and I was even shorter then. In those days, i.e fifty years ago, it was a fashion among the youth to wear a pin on the shirt collar. Today that fashion has completely disappeared. That collar pin was a status symbol then. Ramaraju could not think of anything suitable to give me. So he rushed off to the goldsmith and had a gold "collar pin" made for me. With his own hands he put it on my collar and said, `Raju, whenever you see this collar pin, think of me.'"

A little later, all of us returned to Urvakonda by bus. The next day, as I was going to school, the collar pin fell off some place. Then I sang this song:

On Monday, the twentieth of October,
Back from Hampi, going to school
Baba lost his collar pin;
And a change came over me that day;
The collar pin was lost only to bring about that change.
Just like that collar pin, worldly bonds left me
And `darshan' I had of Hampi;
'Maya' (delusion) left me and the time came for leaving the house.

This attachment for worldly things is maya. The day when we get rid of this attachment, we free ourselves from maya.

The same day I left the house and went and sat on a large boulder in the compound of Anjaniah's house. He was an excise inspector. He used to experience an inexplicable and indescribable spiritual feeling for Swami. His house was on the way to my school. He and his wife used to wait for me at the door of their house with some eatable or coffee or some other thing. Feeling that the children would be an embarrassment, they would tell them to go inside. When I slowly approached the door, they would prostrate themselves before me. I would remonstrate them by saying, `Sir, You are older than me. You should not do such things.' Their reply was, `Raju, we are old in body. But in wisdom we are only children. You are Lord Krishna incarnate.' At the same time, they were afraid of being ridiculed. So they would call me to them and tell me all this when we were alone.

That day, the twentieth of October, 1940, was a Monday. On that day, I did not go anywhere, not even to school. In those days, it was my duty to render the morning prayer in the school. There was a small dais with steps. The prayer was,

Aharaha thava aahwaana prachaaritha
Sunithava udaaravaani
Hindu Boudha Sikha Jaina Paarasika
Musalmaanan Kristhaani.

Even in those days, this unity of religions was given importance. Sometimes even the teachers were a little irritated that a mere boy should venture to teach unity of religions. On that day, my absence caused a lot of consternation in the school. Everyone was enquiring about Raju and asking why he was absent. No student attended prayer that day. Everyone came running to Anjaniah's house. I just sat there on the rock, without talking to anybody. Everyone was speculating on the cause of this strange occurrence. Perhaps there had been some change in the boy, perhaps he has suffered a mental aberration after his return from Hampi, or something had happened at home. Thus went on the guess work.

I suggested that they take my photograph if they wanted to know who I was. Somebody did. In that photograph, just in front of me there was a picture of Shirdi Sai Baba. In those days, no one had heard of Shirdi Sai. One among the gathering was Uravakanda Anjaniah, who is today the District Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Organizations. He also had that photo. I told them to start school work after the usual prayer.

Meanwhile, believing that something had happened to me, Seshamaraju sent a telegram to Puttaparthi. Everyone came posthaste to Urvakonda from Puttaparthi. They did want me to stay there even for a day more. In those days there was no bus service to Puttaparthi, not even to Bukkapatnam. Buses ran only up to Penukonda. From Penukonda one had to travel by bullock cart. Such were the conditions in those days. All the boys in the school wanted to come with me to Puttaparthi. In this context I must mention a very tragic event. In the school, three boys used to occupy one desk. Two boys always sat with me. One was the son of the sheristadar. Another was the son of a revenue inspector. They were both from fairly rich families. I used to sit in between them. Because of that daily darshan, sparsan and sambhashan (sight, touch and talk) a great transformation came over the boys. The bond between Raju and these boys became stronger day by day. From the day of my leaving the school, the two boys, as though demented, went on repeating my name, `Raju, Raju, Raju'. When they saw me stepping into the bus, their anguish was so great that one of them, the sheristadar's son, jumped into a well and drowned himself. The other boy gave up all food and drink and went on repeating my name, "Raju! Raju! Raju!" Lack of food and water weakened him so much that his body as if paralyzed. Such a state is the spiritual state of the highest order. But people believe that it is a kind of madness and is nothing but a total disregard of the external world of delusion. After the tragic incident of those two boys, the class room was locked up and later that desk was named `Sri Sathya Sai desk.'"

The Headmaster of the school then was Lakshmipathi. Whenever I went to school, he used to take me to his office, close the door, make me sit in his chair and massage my feet with all reverence and devotion. Such devotion is nothing but the culmination of good deeds and thoughts of one's previous births. I used to plead with him innocently that he should not do such things. His only reply was, "You do not understand these things. There is some great power in you." Thus, many such events took place in Urvakonda in those days. That twentieth day of October was a day of total transformation.

There was a change in the hearts of the students of the school also. Their love and affection for me went on increasing steadily. I shall mention another incident as an illustration. The day after the twentieth a new boy came to the dais for prayer. Instead of rendering the prayer, he suddenly burst into tears. Seeing the boy weeping, the others also began weeping. Then Lakshmipathi announced, `No prayer today. This weeping for him is itself a prayer. Let us go to our classes.' The room was locked up so as not to cause any more distress to students and teachers, and it has now become a great attraction and a show piece.

Thus, men and women were much more innocent in those days and those young students had pure hearts. They never made irrelevant comments or asked silly or impertinent questions. Nor did they say that they would start observations or experiments. The present day students have more intelligence but fewer good qualities. Today, Andhra Pradesh is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of that day, the 20th October, 1940. These celebrations are a way of keeping the memory of that day fresh in the mind.

Embodiments of Love! You should not look upon all this with pride. Rather you should believe that this is a manifestation of the power of truth. During these fifty years, Prasanthi Nilayam has witnessed many changes and achieved much. All this is not possible even in five hundred years. There have been great avathars in the past. But there were never such achievements in such a short span of fifty years. All these things have been done single-handedly. A large University has been started. There is a planetarium. Even an airport has been constructed in this small and remote village. Today Prasanthi Nilayam has extended to every nook and corner of the world. The whole world is in Prasanthi Nilayam. People from all corners of the world are coming here and Prasanthi Nilayam is now a mini-world. You will understand this more fully on November 23rd. People do not come in such large numbers even on invitation. In fact no invitation has been extended. On the other hand, I have been telling people not to come. But as you know, bees come where there are flowers. They come because of honey. They do not go to plastic flowers. Such an attraction as this is possible only in the case of Divinity. The fragrance of divinity is spreading all through the world. Argentina is a far off country. Today Bhajans are going on in every house in Argentina. In Miami, the military officers are participating in Bhajans. You might have read in the newspapers that six months ago those officers took a vow to replace the present government with the Sathya Sai government. The authorities thought that officers had gone mad and sent them to a mental asylum. The officers converted the doctors and the nurses and even the patients into devotees. Such transformations are not possible through mere words. They come about through a change of heart alone.

Embodiments of Love! You have conducted the Jyothi Celebrations. Such fervor and devotion do not come from outside. They spring from inside. So, try to purify that internal Jyothi rather than think of the external Jyothi. Let it shine more brilliantly. All the Sathya Sai Organizations should transform themselves into vehicles of love. Personal jealousies and rivalries should be driven out. Morality alone is the true nationality. Love alone is the true religion. We must firmly believe in this:

Morality is the true foundation of a nation's honour.
Without morality, a nation disintegrates.
A real nation is that which is rooted in morality.

So, if you are asked, 'What is your nation?', your reply should be, `Morality is my nation.' If you are asked, `What is your religion?' your answer should be, `Love is my religion.' We should cultivate only such noble thoughts and thereby develop a deep devotion to God. Such devotion alone can save the world. Neither governments, nor tanks nor bombs can protect this world. Therefore, always keep in the mind the security and welfare of our nation; keep in mind the welfare of the entire universe; Cultivate deep devotion to God and participate in Bhajan and Nagara Sankirthan. My blessings to you all.

[Discourse posted by Bon Giovanni on SaiNet]