In this feature we are showcasing the work of women authors who are Sai devotees. Some of these books are old friends and some newer, but all are well worth a read. Look for additions to our showcase over the next few months!
by Smt. Vijayamma
A member of one of the oldest Sai families, Kumaramma, as she is called, shares an ocean of stories about the early days with Swami in her well-known book.
For women, the twelfth day of the lunar fortnight, known as Chilakadwadasi, is an honored festival. It is customary to offer worship to the branch of the Nelli (gooseberry) tree kept in the bed among tulasi plants. Accordingly, we placed a nelli branch in the bed of a tulasi plant, decorated it with streamers of mango leaves, filled the ground around with ornamental patterns, and lit many lamps. While, at dusk, the Queen of Twilight was moving about, and the gentle breeze was humming tunes to itself, all the women gathered around the tulasi bed and began singing songs. When it came to songs on Krishna’s frolic, we did not know how and from which direction Swami came. Our Sai Krishna evaded our sight and stood behind the tulasi plant. He became manifest as Mahalakshmi Herself, radiating beauty in all directions. He graced the throne with His Lotus Face wreathed in smiles with divine beauty. After we sang many songs, He granted us an opportunity for salutations at His Feet, placed vermilion on our foreheads, gave us vibhuti, and left after receiving harati. (p. 246)
I have called only a few of you, that is your good fortune. Do not lose this fortune, which you have won. This fortune is yours because I have selected you. Preserve it by ‘Seva’. You people seem to think that service is serving coffee to whoever visits our house and when we visit them, they do the same. Unlike this, service should always be in reserve not to be based on reciprocation. It is not like repaying a debt. Thousands of people come here to see Me and not you. After much trouble and difficulty, when they have come here for peace, you fall on them like Alsatian dogs! What sort of seva is this? Your words should be gentle, loving and calm. It should be so gentle that by your very greeting, they should forget half their troubles. Wherever they go, they should remember you. It is not like that now. At the very mention of your name, they have a burning sensation in the soles of their feet. (pp. 294-295)
Once, my husband was going to the office on a cycle, holding a 10” x 10” glass pane in his hand. As he got down from the cycle near his office all his colleagues came running to him exclaiming, “What is all this blood on your shirt and pants, Sir?” In a fluster, my husband looked at his clothes, and was also surprised to see the blood. Till attention was drawn to his clothes, he was not even aware he was bleeding. On close examination, it was found that one end of the glass pane had made a wound below his ribs. It had pierced the flesh to a depth of more than half an inch and hence the profuse bleeding. He was immediately rushed to a doctor. The doctor gaped at my husband when he was told that, with that wound and with all that bleeding he had come nearly three kilometers, riding a cycle. Asked to explain how he was able to do it, my husband replied, “I am used to riding the cycle chanting Swami’s name. Today also, that’s what I did. I really do not know when the edge of the glass pane pierced my flesh.” Stunned, the doctor asked, “But did you not feel the pain?” my husband gave a smile in reply.
The doctor could not help saying, “Sir! It is really your Sai Baba who has saved you. With the sort of injury you received, the nerves would have been horribly severed.” Stitching up the torn flesh, administering an injection, the doctor carefully sent my husband back by a private bus. As our good luck would have it, Swami was still at Brindavan. The next day, while we went for darshan, Swami looked at my husband and said, “You dunnapotu [water buffalo]! How come you were so oblivious to such a serious injury?” My husband smiled by way of a reply. “I saved you from the glass panes cutting your flesh deeper... If I did not, your nerves would have been cut.” (pp. 344-345)