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  Volume 4 - Issue 01


Through Unity, Purity and Divinity in Melakavatti, Tamil Nadu

Ten kilometers away from Ooty, in Tamil Nadu, India, is the village of Melakavatti, which lies on the road between Ooty and Nanjanadu. Surrounding this valley are cloud-capped, mist-laden hills that offer a panoramic view of Nature’s emerald greenery at its best.

The slopes of the hills are thickly wooded and the shifting mist seems to play hide and seek upon them. 300 families live in this verdant village.

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations of Nilgiris selected this village for their three-year Seva activities prior to Bhagavan’s 80th Birthday.

They could not have realised that it was the Divine Hand that had pointed out this village, since a Leela was to be played out there.


A Paralysed Lady Blighted and Uncared For …

In was in January 2003, at the inauguration of the Seva activities in the village, that the members of the Ooty Samithi conducted a Nagarsangeerthan one early morning.

After the Nagarsangeerthan they visited each and every house and gave out Swami’s picture, a laddu and vibhuthi as prasad. At the end of a lane they entered an ancient, dilapidated house for handing out prasad. What they saw shook them to the very core of their being. On the damp floor was lying a lady well past her prime on a sacking cloth. Wherever they turned, their eyes met only signs of abject poverty and neglect. Some villagers who had come along with them explained the pitiful condition of that lady.


She was extremely poor and had been orphaned at a very early age. The little plot of land that she inherited was the source of a meager income that kept her body and soul together.

Having no near and dear relatives to arrange her marriage, she remained a spinster. When she was 30, suddenly, she lost the use of both arms and legs.

The Divine Sai Seva Begins….

The District President and other members of the Organisation, who heard these pathetic details, were deeply touched. That second itself they resolved to adopt her and take care of her. Immediately, a cot, a mattress and blankets were bought and she was transferred from the cold sacking cloth on the floor.

They planned that every day one member would bring food and stay with her the entire day and take care of her. That was how the Divine Seva began.

The Villagers’ Hearts Awaken…

As months rolled by, the collective conscience of the village woke up. They felt ashamed that in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, volunteers were coming from distant Ooty to take care of the elderly, paralysed lady who had always lived in their midst, totally neglected by them.

They felt that it was their bounden duty to take care of the lady. Slowly, their minds and hearts changed and kindness and compassion crept into their hearts. As a result, the village panchayat (head committee) was convened.

Each one commented appreciating the continuous Seva that had been going on, rain or shine. The Ooty Samithi members had never failed in the Sai Seva they had taken up even though they had to travel 20 kms to and fro from Ooty. The villagers resolved that henceforth they would take over the care of their neighbour whom they had forsaken till then.

Thirty people came forward to care for her. All the days of the month were thus covered and the specific date for each family was written on a paper and kept near Bhagavan’s picture in their Pooja room as an offering at the Feet of the Lord Sai.

The service continued and the Samithi members continued to associate themselves and assist when need arose. The eagerness to serve spread and soon everyone in the village wanted to do something!

The Seva Ideal Spreads…

They began to renovate her house, cementing the floor, painting the walls and repairing the roof. It gained a new look and shone because of the love and service gushing from generous hearts. They began cooking her food in the renovated kitchen and thus she was able to eat hot food, a very welcome change for her in Ooty’s cold climate.

A healthy competition began between the villagers so that each month lots had to be drawn to assign 30 families for performing Seva to the paralysed lady. All the important activities of the village began to be held in her house only. It had become a symbol of their unity and purity of hearts and the readiness to serve that sprang from that purity.

The dark, dismal house had become transformed into a shining center for all activities in Melakavatti. The village that was earlier divided by selfishness, clashes of ego and disinterestedness, came together bound by love of service to the long-neglected lady. Thus, started the link that bound them together into Unity, which spread Purity among them. Can Divinity be far behind?

The Lady’s House…the Centre of the Village

In September 2004, the Samithis in the Nilgiris District planned to hold bhajans in 80 villages. The turn of Melakavatti came along and all the people in one voice opined that the bhajan should take place in that lady’s house, which had become the focal point of all their activities. Accordingly, a well decorated shamiana (temporary shed) was erected in front of the house and bhajans started in the evening. All the villagers participated with great enthusiasm and devotional fervour. The bhajan singers from Ooty were totally immersed in singing the praise of the Lord who had brought the village together.

The Unexpected Divine Miracle!

At that golden moment something momentous, something miraculous, something totally unexpected, began to happen. That 50 year old lady who had no sensation in her hands and legs and had been confined to her bed for the past 20 years, suddenly, without the help of anybody or without anyone being conscious of it, raised herself up to sit on the bed. Slowly, she put her feet down and stood up! She moved her hands as well. She moved towards the place where bhajans were being sung in front of Bhagavan’s picture.

The whole village was immersed in the bhajans and did not know of the miracle that was taking place inside the house. All at once, they saw her coming to the front of the house unaided and raising her hands in homage to the visible Lord and beginning to dance in ecstasy. The bhajan singers, Samithi members and the villagers were all struck with wonder seeing that lady dancing before their eyes and this must have flashed on their minds “Sai Bhagavan! How is it possible for this lady who had remained paralysed for 20 years to dance to the rhythm of the bhajans except by Your Grace? You are indeed present here and have taken over the entire village and working miracles. The total transformation of this village has been due to Your boundless Grace, mercy and compassion.

The lady explained to the amazed gathering that Swami had appeared in her dream the previous night and had massaged her hands and legs thus removing her paralysis.

The Amazing Transformation in the Village  

Today, the 300 families are closely knit into one Sai family. Unity led to Purity that has expanded into Divinity.The village chief who was shocked by what he saw resolved then and there that he would never touch another bottle of liquor in that pure village where God was present. He had been a confirmed alcoholic throughout his entire life!

Lo and behold! The paralysed walks!

The addict renounces liquor at a moment’s notice!

Unity prevails in a divided village and their pure hearts are temples where Bhagavan is enthroned!

What other proof does one need to recognize the presence of the All Compassionate Lord?

A little footnote to the above is that the name of the lady is Subbi short for Subbamma!

A look at that shining lady’s face and visit to her is enough for her neighbours to come back lit with joy and peace.

Where the Lord has taken residence is surely a place filled with Ananda and peace everlasting.

Courtesy: Sai Samarpan

- Heart2Heart Team.

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Vol 4 Issue 01 - January 2006
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