Volume 8 - Issue 02
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“I am Shiva-Shakthi Swaroopa (the embodiment of Shiva, the Cosmic Consciousness, and Shakthi, the Cosmic Energy)” revealed Bhagavan Baba in a landmark discourse on the sacred Guru Poornima Day in 1963. Lord Shiva is the Universal Divine Father, and Shakthi or Mother Parvati is the Divine Mother. Bhagavan Baba is One who embodies both these principles in the single human frame. As He himself shared on one occasion that ‘Sa’ in Sai means Divine, while ‘aaye’ refers to Mother and ‘Baba’ means Father. So ‘Sai Baba’ is the Divine Mother and Father of all.

In the February 2006 issue, we had published a feature article entitled “SHIVA-SAI MAHAA DHEVA’ by late Mr. G. V. Subba Rao which has insightful comparisons and parallelisms between Lord Sai and the Shiva Principle. In this holy month, when we celebrate the sacred festival of Shivarathri, let us revisit some of the fascinating aspects of Lord Shiva Sai elaborated in that article through a small quiz.

1. In the article “SHIVA-SAI MAHAA DHEVA’, Mr. Rao brought a salient aspect of the ‘Shiva Sai’ principle to our awareness: ‘Shiva is the primal preceptor in the form of Dhakshinaamurthi. He is the Lord in Kailash facing the southern direction, so the name Dhakshinaamurthi (Dhakshina refers to South). He is the Lord of love and mercy, ‘Dhaakshinyam’ as it is said in Sanskrit.

‘He teaches profound spiritual lessons by Chinmudhras or symbolic hand gestures, in which the right thumb (representing Paramathma, the Supreme Self) closing with the index finger (i.e. Jeevathma or individual self) indicates fullness or Poornathvam.’ The other three outstretched fingers indicate the moving away of the worldly qualities of Sathva, Rajas and Thamas - goodness, passion and inertia.’

According to Mr. Rao, which aspect of Swami’s teachings reveals the comparison to Lord Shiva’s Name as Dhakshinaamuurthi to Bhagavan Baba?

The teaching of Love All, Serve All
The teachings of Non-Dualism
Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray
Treat Parents as God


2. On comparing Swami’s simplistic demeanor also to Lord Shiva, Mr. Rao mentioned: ‘Simplicity and an austere bearing are the hallmarks of Shiva who is called Alankaara Varjitha, meaning, free from ornamentation, unlike Lord Vishnu who is praised as Alankaara Priya or the One pleased with decorations.

‘In the entire Vedic pantheon of deities, every deity except Shiva, are bedecked with ornaments, practically from head to toe. Shiva, although without ornaments, showers all rich ornaments on his devotees; Kubera, The Lord of Wealth, owes His proverbial wealth to Shiva.’

Like Shiva, Bhagavan Baba is so unostentatious and yet, He willingly showers gifts on us mortals. What is His purpose in bestowing these gifts? 

To maintain faith
For posterity
For protection
To spread His Glories


3.Comparing yet another salient aspect, Mr. Rao shared his views: ‘Shiva is an ascetic, a renunciate (Mahaa Viraagi)and dedicated to Loka Sangraha, the welfare of the worlds (e.g. He swallowed deadly poison and saved the world).

Swami, likewise, is supremely detached within and intensely active without and performs loving selfless service, through free educational, medical, and humanitarian relief activities such as provision of drinking water supply to lakhs of people.’
Just like Lord Shiva, Swami is dedicated in His Loka Sangraha by teaching us the six human values. Why is He still doing that?

For us to overcome the six inner enemies
To bring about the Golden Age as quickly as possible
To make other religions follow the path of Hinduism
To ward off the impediments of wars in the future


4.In the article, Mr. Rao also presented a very profound Truth of the Shiva/Shakti aspect: ‘For each aspect of Shiva, there is a symbolic Yanthra or numerical (and geometrical) representation. In the case of Shiva, the Absolute, it is number nine. Letter "Shi" in the science of Manthras is signified by the number of five and the letter "va" equals number four, making a total of nine.

‘Eashvara connected with creation is signified by number eight. And an Avatar is signified by number seven, which is the hallmark of Shiva Shakthi. Sai is Sapthamayee, with seven fold powers, principles, and purposes.

‘In the Sai Gayatri Saayeeshvaraaya Vidhmahe, Sathya-dhevaaya Dheemahi,
Thannah-sarvah Prachodhayaath, what quality of our Beloved Sai Shiva do we meditate upon?

God of Unity
God of Service
God of Truth
God of Compassion


5. Mr. Rao enlightened us further with: ‘For each manifestation of Shiva, there is a Thanthra, a schema of adoration, worship and prayer. In the case of Shiva, the adoration is through the chanting of the Shatha Rudhreeyam; the worship is done by pouring water over the holy Linga, called Abhishekam, and the prayer is contained in the Vedic hymn of Chamakam.

In the case of Sathya Sai, there are similar forms of adoration, worship and prayer: Sathya Sai Gayatri chanting, Sai Ashtothara Naama Puuja (chanting 108 names of Sai) and Aarti with the waving of lights. The Aarti song is addressed to Shiva-Sai Mahaa-Dhevaa! And finally comes the distribution of Vibhuti, which is the hall-mark of both Shiva and Sai, the visible manifestation of Shiva Thathva being the non-dualistic principle of "Soham" (Sah + Aham = ‘I am Divinity’): Sai Shivoham.’

What does Sai Shivoham mean?

The features of the two Lords Sai and Shiva is the same
Swami is a living manifestation of the Shiva principle
It is inappropriate to worship Shiva once we have started worshipping Sai
There is no difference in any Avatar’s appearance anywhere earth


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

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