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  Volume 4 - Issue 09 SEPTEMBER 2006


By Sri Shashank Shah

This is the transcription of the talk delivered by Shashank Shah in His divine presence during the Dasara Celebrations on the 19th of Oct 2004.

I offer my most Humble, Loving, and Reverential Pranaams at the Divine Lotus Feet of my Most Beloved Mother Sai.

Respected Elders, Dear Brothers and Sisters. Sai Ram to all of you! And hearty greetings on this Auspicious and Holy occasion of the Devi Navaratri Festival. We are indeed blessed to be here, during the Navaratri, for we are in the midst of Goddess Adi Shakti Herself!

Sai - The Incarnation of the Divine Mother

In the Ashtotra Shata Naamavali (108 Names of Bhagawan); the 57th name describes Bhagavan as: Aum Shri Sai Adi Shakthaye Namaha.

And yes, Bhagavan is indeed Goddess Adi Shakti, Goddess Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati Herself! For, He presides over this Prashanti Vidhwaan Maha Sabha (the special assembly during Dasara Celebrations) as Goddess Saraswati; the Goddess of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Learning.

He Presides over the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yagna (Sacrifice during Dasara) as Goddess Durga; the Goddess of Spiritual Success. And He distributes food and clothing to all His devotees as Goddess Laxmi, and Goddess Annapurna. He is indeed Goddess Adi Shakti.


The Devi Bhagavatam, describes how the Mother Goddess had annihilated for the protection of the Devas (gods), from the days of the yore - the Asuras (demons) - Chanda, Munda, Shumbha, Nishumbha, Raktabheej, Dhumralochana, and of course, Mahishasura.

And the same Goddess has now come again for destroying those very Asuras; for they are once again present but with a difference; they are present within each and every one of us as our inner vices; the shadowy foes of Kaama, Krodha, Moha, Lobha, Mada, Mathsarya. As Goddess Mahakaali, the Goddess of Power and Inner Purification, He destroys these inner vices, transforms our minds and hearts and renders us Pure, Righteous, and Virtuous. We are blessed to witness the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yagna.


Caught Out in the Rain

And here I remember the very remarkable incident which happened during one of the very first Yagnas which was to commence on 1st of October 1961. Great Vedic scholars from all over the country were here. (Shri Kamaudhani Garu, Shri Varanasi Subramanyam Sastry Garu, Shri Kuppa Bairagi Sastry Garu); these were the foremost Sanskrit scholars of their times!

And for the commencement of the program, they had fixed the auspicious time based on the various astrological calculations as 7:30 in the morning. When they approached Bhagavan, and asked His permission, Bhagavan said: “According to me, 9:30 would be more appropriate.” But somehow, they insisted that 7:30 should be the time for the commencement of the Yagna. And somehow, Swami agreed; but with a mischievous smile on His face which I don’t think they noticed.

The day of 1st October 1961 dawned, and all of them went to the banks of the River Chitravathi, for their ceremonial bath and performed their Sandhya Vandanam (morning prayers) by 6:30 a.m. And at 7 o’clock as they were ready to come to the Yagna Shaala, dressed in the silken robes given by Bhagavan, the skies opened up and there were torrential rains accompanied by thunder and lightning. And from 7 to 9 a.m, they were stuck up at the banks of the Chitravathi.

It was only after that they could come here to commence the Yagna, which in reality began at 9:30 as per what Bhagavan had said initially. He knows everything for He is the Veda Purusha accepting all the offerings which were put there in the Yagnakundam (sacrificial fire).

The Devi Mahatmyam, or Durga Saptahashati which describes the various facets of the Devi, the most important sentence to notice, which was chanted right here a few minutes back by the students from the Institute is,

 Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu, Matro Rupena Sansthita
Namastasyai, Namastasyai, Namastasyai Namo Namaha.

I offer my obeisance to that Devi, who is present in all beings in the form of the Mother. For She is indeed the Source of the Existence and Sustenance of All this Creation! And it is to that Devi we offer our Pranaams.

It is beautifully described in the Telegu poem:

Tanna Jaaji Kanna, Champangi Lata Kanna, Chunnu Gadda Kanna, Venna Kanna,
Nemali Kanno Kanna, Nindu Venella Kanna, Sai Talli Prema, Tunni Tama.

(More fragrant than the jasmine flower, more tender than the champak creeper, more beautiful than the eye of the peacock, softer than the creamy layer of cheese and butter; more soothing than the moonlight on the beautiful full-moon night, is the love of Mother Sai.)

And Her Love is that of not one single Mother; but as Bhagavan describes so very often: “You can never understand my Love, for My Love is that of one thousand mothers rolled into one! You are not able to understand the Love of your own physical Mother, how will you understand the Love of this Divine Mother?”

His Love – Overflowing and Immense

I would like to share a few incidences which describe this very facet of Bhagavan as the Divine Mother. We are privileged to receive Prasadam here in the Sai Kulwant Hall in the Divine Presence so very often. But what we do not know, is that Bhagavan is so very carefully observing Prasaadam distribution that is going on.

Just recently, two weeks back, on a Sunday morning, during Darshan time, after the prasaadam was distributed, Bhagavan called one of the staff members, and told him: “See, at that gate there…there is a seva dal, go and ask him whether he has got prasaadam.” And the seva dal had not got prasaadam. It was Bhagavan alone who had noticed it. So it was on one such occasion, Swami called one of the students and asked him “Have you got the prasadam which your brothers distributed?” The boy was hesitant to tell the truth, but he nodded.


For Bhagavan knew that he had not received any. Bhagavan called for the prasadam and gave it to the boy. And then He told him: “See my child, your brothers may forget you but your Mother will never, ever forget you!” For, She is the Listener of all our silent prayers, She is the Witness of all our acts, She is the Motivator behind all our actions!

There was a beautiful incident which occurred there at Dharmakshetra many years ago, when Bhagavan had visited Mumbai. The Bal Vikas children had the opportunity to offer rose flowers to Bhagavan. There was one small boy who also wanted this opportunity but he was refused because he had not yet joined the Bal Vikas class. But he was allowed to sit with the other students. But this boy was very determined to offer a flower to Bhagavan; and somehow, he got hold of a grass flower. Bhagavan was coming towards the students and blessing all the roses that were offered to Him. And this boy sneaked ahead and got a place in the front line with the other students.

As Bhagavan came near Him, he offered that unique flower to Bhagavan…that of a grass flower! Bhagavan smiled and while He blessed all the other roses, He took this flower in His hand. Thereafter, meetings went on with the office bearers and trust members for over three hours.


When Bhagavan came out of the inner complex that flower was still in His hand! Bhagavan sees the purity of intention and the intensity of devotion behind every act of ours. He is not pleased with external show but He sees the quality. As Bhagavan says: “Quantity does not matter! I am Bhava Priya, I am not Bhaya Priya.” [that is ‘I am interested in the inner feeling, not the outer expression.’]

We have the unique opportunity as students of the Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions to participate in the Grama Seva Maha Yagna during these days. There is a very wonderful incident, which combines the Motherly aspect of Bhagavan and the importance of doing seva correctly.

Over three and a half decades back, during this very season of Dasara, Bhagavan personally used to perform Narayan seva in the grounds there. He used to serve each and every devotee who would come with His own hands, bending and stretching for hours on end.

On one such occasion, there was a small child in the lap of his mother. He was too small to partake of the prasaadam which Bhagavan was giving. So Bhagavan called the boys standing there and said: “Get milk from the kitchen. This boy is too small to partake of this prasadam.”

The boys ran to make use of this opportunity to serve the Lord, and they came back with a glass of milk. By that time, Bhagavan had moved ahead towards the end of that row. Just as the glass of milk was given to this small child, right from the end of that row where Bhagavan was serving, Bhagavan said: “Wait!” And He walked back that entire long row and came to this place where this small child was about to be given that glass of milk.

Bhagavan told the boys standing there. “See, this milk that you have brought is so hot! If the child drinks it, it will burn its tongue! How can you give such hot milk to this small child?”

And then Bhagavan asked for one more glass and He poured the milk from cup to cup checking the temperature till the milk was of the right temperature, and then gave the milk to the small boy. Who knows the needs of that small child, except the Divine Mother?

But there is an important lesson in seva that Bhagavan brought home through this incident. For whomever you offer, it is the God in them that receives. The one that is being served; the one who serves; and the one who receives the service; is all Sai Himself!

A Buffalo Rewarded

The Love of the Mother is not restricted to the devotees and human beings. It is for all the beings of this creation. Once Bhagavan visited a forest resort on consecutive days and as there was an acute shortage of water shortage, there was this buffalo that had the unique privilege to fill water for Bhagavan and take it up the hill to provide the needs of water for the devotees staying with Bhagavan. At the end of the stay there as Bhagavan was about to leave He got down from the car and immediately started walking towards the bungalow. Not towards the entrance, but towards the rear side of the bungalow.

Prof. Kasturi was very much surprised by this. He was inquisitive to know where Swami is going. And as he peeped, he saw Bhagavan going to that buffalo who used to fill water for the needs of Bhagavan and the devotees’ entourage who had accompanied Him. Bhagavan went to the buffalo, patted his back and said: “Dhunapota, chaala manchi seva cheshta!” … (Oh buffalo, you have done very good service!) So saying Bhagavan lovingly patted that buffalo, for Bhagavan is the Mother to every being in this Creation of His. There is no restriction; there is no limitation to His boundless Love.


To end, I would like to quote Shri Ramakrishna Parmahansa the foremost devotee of Mother Kaali, who said that initially when the small child cries, Mother gives the child toys to play with; but how long will the child be satisfied with the toys which the Mother gives? It starts crying again, and at that time the Mother lovingly takes the child in her arms and gives herself to him.

Similarly, Bhagavan says: “I too fulfill your petty desires and wishes and all that you ask for so that ultimately you will ask for what I have come to give; Liberation itself!”

On the 23rd of November, 1968, during the 43rd Birthday Celebrations Bhagavan said: “The various problems with which you come to Me; the desires for promotion and status; are mere baits which bring you to me. For there is a Higher Purpose for which you come to me; and that is to realize the secret of a higher life; to realize the importance of the human birth. And above all, to realize the Oneness with the Supreme Divine!

As Bhagavan mentioned in the discourse day before yesterday:

Tvameva Mata Cha Pita Tvameva;
Tvameva Bandhu Cha Sakha Tvameva
Tvameva Vidya Dravinam Tvameva;
Tvameva Sarvam Mamma Deva Deva.
Shri Sai Deva

Oh Lord: You are our Mother, You are our Father; You are our Closest Friend; and You are our Dearest Lord.
The Ever Loving, The Ever Giving, and Ever Forgiving Lord!
Bless us with Your supreme, all encompassing, pure, divine and eternal Love.
Bless us, that we may be recipient of that Love always!

Thank you, Jai Sai Ram!

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2006
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