15. Siva Sakthi
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 3 (1963)
Baba was brought down the winding stairs into the private room on the ground floor, because He insisted on giving darshan to the thousands of devotees who had come on that auspicious day. He had had an attack of cerebral thrombosis (or tubercular meningitis?) and was in bed for eight days from the morning of Saturday, 29 June, to the evening of 6 July. His left hand, leg, and eye were affected, His right hand had also slight palsy, the tongue was indistinct, and the face was twitching. He was placed on the silver chair in the prayer hall, and His hand and leg were adjusted in proper position.
As soon as He was seated, He communicated the following message, which was interpreted and announced.
This is not Swami’s illness. This is an illness that Swami has taken on in order to save someone. Swami has no illness, nor will He get ill at any time. You must all be happy; that alone will make Swami happy. If you grieve, Swami will not be happy. Your joy is Swami’s food.
Then, Baba signed to Kasturi to speak, and after his short speech was over, Baba wanted the mike to be held before Him.
He asked through it, “Do you hear Me (Vinipisthundha)?”
But, though He asked again and again, the voice was so indistinct that no one could make out what it meant.
He then signed for water, and when it was brought, He sprinkled a little with His shaking right hand on the stricken left hand and on His left leg. He stroked His left hand with the right. Immediately, He used both hands to stroke His left leg; that touch was enough to cure it. He doffed the disease in a thrice! He started to speak! It was the same musical voice.
God is the refuge for those who have no refuge
For those who have no refuge, God is the refuge
Dhikkulenivariki dhevude gathi
Dhikkulenivariki dhevude gathi
That is exactly the reason I had to take on the disease that one helpless devotee was to get. He had to suffer this dire illness, as well as the four heart attacks that accompanied it, and he would not have survived it. So, according to My dharma of protection of devotees, I had to rescue him. Of course, this is not the first time that I have taken on the illness of persons whom I wanted to save. Even in the previous body at Shirdi, I had this responsibility. The suffering that you saw was too much for this particular devotee, so I had to save him by Myself going through it. This is My divine play (leela), My nature.It is part of the task for which I have come: the protection of disciples. People who were near Me during the last week were asking Me to give them the name of the person whom I had saved. I told them that it would make them angry against that person, for Swami, they would say, “had to undergo so much of pain in order to save that one person.” They replied that they would honour the person, because of the extraordinary devotion that persuaded Swami to run to his rescue on Saturday morning.
Baba’s Identity, Mission and Advent revealed
Some people even asked Me whether it was this person or that, giving names of those who had attacks of paralysis, especially on the left side! This is even more ludicrous, because when I save a person, I save the person completely. I do not wait until the person gets the disease, and I do not leave in them a fraction of the disease so that the person may be identified later. It all looks so funny to Me, the guesses and surmises that you make. Even in Shirdi, Dhadha Saheb, Nandaram, Balawanth - all were saved by these means. Balawanth was destined to get the plague, but the bubo was taken over and the boy was saved. This is perhaps the longest period when I kept devotees wondering and worried. That was because of the heart attacks that had to come later to the devotee, from which he also had to be saved. Then there is another reason why the 8–day period had to be observed. Well, I shall tell you why. That means I must tell you about Myself, about something I have not disclosed so far, something that I was keeping within Myself for the last 37 years. The time has come to announce it. This is a sacred day, and I shall tell you.
You know I declared on the very day when I decided to disclose My Identity, My Mission, and My Advent that I belonged to the Apastamba Sutra (Code of conduct) and the Bharadwaja Gothra (lineage). This Bharadwaja was a great sage, who studied the Vedas for full one hundred years, but, finding that the Vedas were endless (anantha) he did penance for prolonging life, and from Indra he got two extensions of a century each. Even then, the Vedas could not be completed, so he asked Indra again for another hundred years. Indra showed him 3 huge mountain ranges and said, “What you have learned in 3 centuries form only 3 handfuls from out of the 3 ranges that the Vedas are. So give up the attempt to exhaust the Vedas. Do a ritual sacrifice (yaga) instead, which I shall teach you. That will give you the fruit of Vedic study, full and complete.”
The ritual sacrifice performed by sage Bharadwaja
Bharadwaja decided to perform the ritual sacrifice. Indra taught him how to do it, and all preparations were completed. The sage wanted Sakthi to preside over and bless the sacrifice, so he went to Kailas. But the time was not opportune for presenting his petition. Siva and Sakthi were engaged in a competitive dance, trying to find out who could dance longer. Eight days passed thus before Sakthi noticed Bharadwaja standing in the cold. She just cast a smile at him and danced along as before! The sage mistook the smile as a cynical refusal to notice him, so he turned his back on Kailas and started to descend. To his dismay, he found his left leg, hand, and eye put out of action by a stroke. Siva saw him fall; He came up to him and consoled him. Bharadwaja was told that Sakthi had indeed blessed him and his sacrifice. Then, Siva revived him and cured him, sprinkling water from the water pot (kamandalu). Both Siva and Sakthi granted the sage boons: They would both attend the sacrifice, they said.
All past assurances accomplished by one incident
After the ritual sacrifice was over, They were so pleased that They conferred even more boons on the sage. Siva said that They would take human form and be born in the Bharadwaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Siva alone as Shirdi Sai Baba, Siva and Sakthi together at Puttaparthy as Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and Sakthi alone as Prema Sai, later. Then Siva remembered the illness that had suddenly come upon Bharadwaja at Kailas on the eighth day of waiting in the cold on the ice. He gave another assurance. “As expiation for the neglect that Sakthi showed you at Kailas for 8 days, this Sakthi will suffer the stroke for 8 days, when We both take birth as Sathya Sai and, on the 8th day, I shall relieve her from all signs of the disease by sprinkling water, just as I did at Kailas to cure your illness.” It was the working out of this assurance that you witnessed today, just now. This had to happen, this stroke and the cure. The assurance given in the Thretha Yuga (era) had to be honoured. I may tell you now that the poor forlorn devotee who had to get the stroke that I took over was a convenient excuse, which was utilised. You see, a railway engine is not made available to haul just one railway car; they wait until a number of cars are to be taken along, and then they put the engine into action. So too, the disease had to be gone through, the devotee had to be saved, the assurance had to be carried out, the mystery had to be cleared, Divinity had to be more clearly announced by the manifestation of this grand miracle. All these were accomplished by this one incident. Let Me tell you one more thing: Nothing can impede or halt the work of this Avatara. When I was upstairs all these days, some people foolishly went about saying. “It is all over with Sai Baba,” and they turned back many who were coming to Puttaparthi! Some said I was in samadhi, as if I was a spiritual aspirant! Some feared I was the victim of black magic, as if anything could affect Me! The splendour of this Avatara will go increasing, day by day. Formerly, when the Govardhana hill was raised aloft by the little boy (Krishna), the cowherd boys and maids realised that Krishna was the Lord. Now, not one Govardhana hill but a whole range will be lifted, you will see! Have patience, have faith. Tomorrow morning, I shall give every one of you the respectful blessing (namaskaram) that you missed today.
To discover one’s reality and to dwell in that divine peace, one need not give up the world and take to asceticism.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba