Volume 10 - Issue 02
February 2012
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Posted on : Feb 19, 2012



Listen to this Programme on Radio Sai



PArt 1


Every festival in Prasanthi Nilayam is extraordinary but Shivarathri each year has been a spectacle! Especially the occasions when Bhagawan performed the divine act of Lingodbhavam – the emergence of the linga (a symbol of the cosmos) from His mouth! Thousands thronged to Puttaparthi to witness this glorious manifestation of Divine love. They spent the holy night ruminating on His form and His glories. It is time now again to relive those moments, understand their significance and learn how to remain in that state of Pure Love that Baba is, every moment of our lives.

Here is an attempt to offer you some perspectives about this unique phenomenon that we have been blessed to witness in our lives – the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar. This is presented in the form of a dialogue which liberally draws from precious teachings from several enlightened souls who have graced this planet in the recent times. We hope this offers you insights into some of Baba's profound messages; every act of the Divine is so deeply significant and what Baba did during Shivarathri every year was no exception.

Sai Revitalises Someswara!

Prem: Sairam Bishu! How are you? So how was your trip to West India?

Bishu: It was fantastic Prem. By Baba's grace, I was at Somnath – one of the very powerful shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Prem: Yes, it is one of the 12 jyothirlingas, right?

Bishu: Absolutely, in fact the foremost in the list. And the most unique thing about this shrine is Baba Himself was here way back in the seventies. In fact it is Baba, Shiva-Shakthi come as Sathya Sai, who recharged this shrine so to say by performing an out-of-the-world abhishekam of this shrine. I have read about it. Baba reached Somnath on June 17, 1970 and He was accompanied by the Rajamata (Queen Mother) of Nawanagar who was a great devotee of Swami.

The Someshwar shrine in Somnath in the state of Gujarat, India - one of the powerful shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Prem: Yes, I have seen photos of her with Swami in our Radio Sai archives. In fact she is the one who offered her land in Bangalore to Swami to construct the Sathya Sai Hostel and College in Brindavan, Whitefield.

Bishu: Right. Her husband, the late Jamsaheb was also an ardent devotee of Swami and a great believer of God. In fact he is one of the persons primarily responsible for the renovation of this historic shrine. Not many people know that centuries ago the Somnath shrine actually was one of the richest temples of India.

For this reason unfortunately it was targeted and plundered by many rulers and conquerors. Depredation, desecration, destruction, reconstruction and rededication became recurring chapters of its long history. When the temple was built for the fifth time the rulers of Delhi at the time destroyed it again.

The Rajamata of Nawanagar garlanding Bhagawan during one the Birthday celebrations in the yester years

Finally after India attained independence in 1947, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the great freedom fighter declared “We have decided that Somnath should be reconstructed. This is a holy task in which all should participate.” And one person who did participate wholeheartedly was the late Jamsaheb of Nawanagar and so deep was his affection for this shrine that he built an imposing achitectural gem at the entrance of this temple. Jamsaheb's name was Dig Vijaya Singh and so this striking structure was named as Dig Vijaya Dwar, meaning 'The Gateway of Victory'.

Prem: That sounds great!

Bishu: Yes, and the most important thing is Baba inaugurated this hallowed structure at the request of the Rajamata. In fact even before reaching the shrine Baba had declared that He would reveal to all that day the genuine Somnath! So all roads converging from Jamnagar to Somnath that day were shouting jaikars in exhilaration.

Baba was ceremonially received at the Dig Vijaya Dwar by the Trustees of the Somnath Temple and amidst strains of temple music, He walked on the red carpet laid on the steps and opened the lock on the artistically carved and silver-embossed door with a silver key. The Rajamata was ecstatic.    

The 'Dig Vijay Dwar' built by the late Jamsaheb at the Someshwara shrine - it was inaugurated by Baba in June 1970.

Prem: Thats wonderful. The royal couple loved Swami so much and here was a lovely blessing from the Lord.

Bishu: Not only this, there are many more fascinating things that Swami did during that historic visit. Once He entered the sanctum sanctorum of that holy shrine which has been the focal point of the faiths of millions for millennia, Swami directed that a plate be brought. And then He lovingly spread the fingers of His right hand and shook it over the plate. You know what happened?

108 silver Bilva leaves (Aegle marmelos is the botanical name of the sacred plant Bilva or Stone Apple) and 108 golden flowers fell from His hand in a clinking shower. The fortunate devotees standing nearby were stunned. They then reverentially touched these mysterious manifestations. And after this Baba poured these leaves of silver and flowers of gold on the 3 feet high lingam. Thus revitalising this holiest of shrines.

Prem: Wow!

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Bhagawan recharged this most sacred shrine in Somnath by performing a heavenly abhishekam of this linga

Bishu: But this was not all. The next minute Baba's hand circled in the air and what a sight it was! A ball of brilliant light was now sitting on His palm. Prof. Kasturi who was a witness to this glorious event immediately recalled the declaration that Baba had made earlier in the day: “I shall show you the genuine Someswara lingam today!”

So that was it, the genuine Someswara lingam which according to the puranas “is a swayam-bhu or a self-originated lingam of great prowess, as bright as the Sun, the size of an egg of a hen which is situated underground.” For centuries this Ball of Light had gone underground safe from depredation and desecration. Baba now gave this to the chief priest and said, “Let it be in the full light of the day hereafter! Let pious eyes admire its brilliance and imprint its glory on their hearts. There is no need any more to keep it away. The Avatar has come to remove all fear.”

Prem: What a triumphant emergence of Someswara! You are lucky to have visited this holy shrine!

The grand Somnath shrine in Gujarat - a temple which was destroyed several times in history was finally rebuilt after India attained independence in 1947

Lingodbhavam – A Stirring Spectacle

Bishu: Prem, we are all lucky for we have seen Someswara Himself not just the lingam. Do you recall what a breathtaking sight it used to be in Prasanthi Nilayam whenever Bhagawan chose to perform lingodbhavam (emergence of the linga from His mouth)!

Prem: Right Bishu. How glorious were those moments! I was fortunate to witness this supremely auspicious event a couple of times or more, from 2000 to 2004. But while I was happy to see this amazing divine spectacle, I was sad too. Really speaking it was difficult for me to watch Swami go through all the pain that He was undergoing. I mean why does He have to suffer so much? To just reward us with a thrilling experience?

The Creator and a replica of His cosmos!

Bishu: Well Prem, Swami once mentioned that He performed these out-of-the-world miracles to help instill faith in the minds of the people so that they learn to love god and fear sin.

Prem: But so much suffering! Just for our sake! So that we believe in Him! Tell me, do we need Swami to go through so much pain so that we begin to love Him? Actually from the time Swami  incarnated all He did was give, give and give.... He just gave Himself away completely.

Bishu: So true Prem. As a child He gave away His food to the beggar at the door, His clothes to His siblings, His books to His classmates.... and you remember the Kadiri horror story?

Prem: O my god! Don’t remind me of that! I wish that chapter never existed in Swami's life. I mean, how can someone tonsure Baba's head, make deep cuts with a knife and then pour acidic juices into them!

Bishu: Yes, but let's look at it in another way. What was Swami's reaction to all this? He just smiled it away. He suffered because His parents took him there and they would not be convinced when He told them that nobody has possessed Him.  He allowed Himself to be tortured so that His near and dear ones realise His true nature.

Prem: And this is not the only incident. You take a leaf out of any chapter of Swami's life and you can see how He has stretched Himself thin to limits so that others are happy, so that others lead a more fulfilled life.

Bishu: You are so true Prem. You remember how in the last four years Swami used to sit for such long hours in the Sai Kulwant Hall watching the programs. Some days the sessions went on till 9 in the night. Everybody was tired but not Swami! And He did this continuously day after day.

During the last few years of His earthly sojourn Swami spent long hours in Sai Kulwant Hall blessing every group that came for His darshan

In fact many days when there was no program, He used to even ask the warden of the hostel, “No program today?” Every group that came to Prasanthi Nilayam returned immensely blessed by Him; He just gave Himself away.

Sai – Sacrifice in a Human Frame

I remember one particular evening during the Dasara celebrations in 2009, that day Swami came and after He was on the stage He listened to the vedam chants for an hour, and then went round the devotees twice, and after this He returned to the dais. Now bhajans began and Swami took arathi after a while. But as He was returning He saw Mr. Narasimha Murthy and said, “Go and speak! I am coming!”

And just as He had said, He was soon on the stage! The warden then went up to Him and said, “Swami, this will be shrama for You (meaning, it will be difficult for You) as You already had a long day.” As it was Dasara season, Swami used to sit for long hours in the morning in the Poorna Chandra Auditorium watching the yagna. The warden was concerned about Swami's rest. But you know what Swami said? “Idi shrama kadu, Bangaru, Prema” meaning, “This is no exertion, golden one, this is Love.”




- Radio Sai Team

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