Kshethragnan - Baba
As we enter the Main Gate we have the Divine Darshan of Lord
Ganapathi in a White coloured temple. We see many devotees, praying,
and seeking the blessings of Lord Vinayaka - many break coconuts and
go round and round of the temple. A very busy temple. I pray to this
Vinayaka, the diety of the first temple inside Prasanthi Nilayam
complex, and proceed with this article.
Swami had once said, , "Your mission
has begun. Those are my words to you my Devotee - Each of you has a
unique and valuable part to play in this life time. Only those whom I
have called can serve Me".
Bhagavan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba
would have called many devotees. But in recent years we have seen a
particular devotee who had responded to this Divine call, and played
his valuable part in his life time. He is none other than (Late) Sri
Subramaniam Chettiar, founder President of Sri Sai Paduga Trust,
Madurai, Mr. Chettiar radiated devotion within, and the unseen power
enveloped him into Sai’s orbit. He performed his part, imparting
purity in heart towards all, in absolute silence. He always believed
that he was only an instrument, and experienced Divine love pouring
Swami had also declared, ‘Be about my
work, My beloved devotees - your breath will carry the scent of the
blossoms of heaven. Your example will be that of an angel. Your joy
will My joy".
There is no doubt whatsoever in
claiming late Chettiar as such an Angel deriving joy and experiencing
Divine Bliss, earned by his dedicated service to our Beloved Lord.
Before we dwell into his own mission let us go back to the old village
of Puttaparthi and see for ourselves some unique earlier
The Ratnakaram family’s grand old man
Sri Kondamma Raju happened to be the grand father of Sri
Sathyanarayana Raju, our beloved Lord. He had built a temple for
"Sathya Bhama" divine consort of Lord Krishna responding to a dream
experience. This temple is situated at the entrance point of Old
Then there is yet another small
temple dedicated to Lord Gopalkrishna. There is a legendary tale
attributed to this temple. An ancient large stone is installed here as
per directions of Babavaru. Swami showed this stone to the villagers
and asked them to clean it. People could see the markings of Lord
Gopalkrishna there on. The legends depicts that this stone had been
used by a peasant who threw it on a serpent which was drinking milk
directly from the udder of the cow. It was the curse of the dying
serpent, which made the village a place fully of ant hills, and this
caused the extinction of greenery all over. Our beloved Lord during
his childhood days advised the villagers to worship this stone to get
redemption from the curse of the snake.
Then there is a third temple nearby,
a temple for Hanuman. It was in this temple Swami, as a little boy,
gathered the children of the village and trained them to sing bhajans.
In one of the discourses during this year Navarathri festivals Swami
narrated an interesting episode. Little Sathya Naryana Raju directed
the boys to go around the temple singing bhajans. The boys urged Swami
too go along with them; But Swami could not do so. Hanuman had
appeared there and was telling Swami that His Master should not go
around him ( pradakshnam ). The children could not understand anything
and make out what this Raju was telling an old monkey, which was in
reality Hanuman Himself.
We were seeing the importance of few
temples at Puttaparthi,. Now it seemed that Late Sri Subramania
Chettiar had also a mission to build a few more temples in Prashanti
Nilayam and propogate the importance of temple worship. Let us visit
some such installations.
Bhagavan Baba had once said "
Likhitha Japam" (writing of Swami’s name) is an easy way to bring
about this union of the two hearts, the heart of Sadhaka and the heart
of Bhagavan. It helps one to escape from the cycles of birth, i.e. the
ocean of this worldly life". Late Subramania Chettiar believed firmly
that Likhitha Japam is a way to lakhs of Sai devotees to participate
in this sacred yagna. By the year 1995 truck loads of stationery books
written there in over 108 crores of Sai Namam was placed at His Lotus
Feet. Swami, arranged to keep them in an underground vault built near
the Gopuram. Sri Chettiar had also offered a beautiful Idol of Lord
Hanuman, which was installed by Bhgavan over the vault containing Rama
Nama. This installation of lord Hanuman was the first effort of
Chettiar, and this effort paved way for installation of separate idols
every year during the Padhuga pooja festivals at Prashanthi Nilayam.
By the very next year 1996, Swami had
constructed and commissioned Super Speciality Hospital in Prashanti
Nilyam . Swami, Himself is a divine Doctor Healer and the Divine
source of Human Welfare. Swami, is "DHWANWANTHARI", Himself, the
Divine Doctor. Sri Subramania Chettiar recognised this Truth. He
prayed and sought the Divine sanction from Bhagavan Baba to install
the Marble idol of Dhanwanthiri. And what better place than the sacrd
premises of Super Speciality Hospital itself. In the centre of one of
the circular lawns, Bhagavan installed Lord Dhanwanthiri during the
Padhuga Pooja celebration in the year 1996.
Padhuga Pooja celebrations has become
an annual event in Prashanti Nilyam. So is the installation of divine
diols to coincide these functions. The Divine inspiration and
promptings induced Chettiar to install the idol of Lord Muruga (Kathikeya)
in the very next year celebrations of 1997. But Mr. Chettiar came to
know the significance of this installation only later on, when he got
a copy of Viswamitra Naadi, wherein this event of installation of Lord
Muruga by Lord Himself, had been mentioned. The Naadi further states
that on that day of installation Bhagavan Baba will Himself manifest
as Lord Muruga. This temple is seen near the temple of Lord Vinayaga,
very near to His Divine elder brother.
The events move on, as per Divine
will (Sankalpa). It seemed that Bhagavan wanted a temple built for
Mother Gayathri and the prompting manifested through Divine dreams and
other incidents. Recitation of Gayathri Mantra thrice a day, (during
Morning, Noon and Evening) is prescribed. This will serve to reduce
the effects of the wrong acts one does everyday. It is like buying
goods for cash, instead of getting them on credit. There is no
accumulation of Karmic Debt, as each day’s Karma is atoned that day
itself by reciting the Gayathri. Bhagavan Baba installed the
five-faced Idol of Gayathri Maatha during 1998 Padhuga Pooja festivals
in the gardens opposite round Building No. 4 in Prashanthi Nilayam
complex. A group of Lady Devotees are carrying out with daily poojas
rituals, strictly as per vedic traditions.
This year 1999 was something special.
Mr. Subramania Chettiar attained the Lotus’ Feet of Bhagavan Baba on
13th April, 99. But it was a cherished dream and desire of Late
Chettiar to install a temple for Lord Rama Pattabhishekam. Swami had
given his blessings for this project, and Sri. Chettiar was not to
live that day and witness his great ambition coming true. His
illustrious and loving son, Sri Srinivasa Chettiar, had taken over the
mantle of the President ship of the Padhya Trust. He strived very hard
to realise the dream of his demised father. It was proposed to install
the idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Rama’s idol was to be
about 6 feet in height. But Swami felt that this will necessitate a
temple with very tall Gopurams and hence advised to restrict the
height of the idols to about 4 ½ feet only.
The installation itself was shared
with Divine suspense till be end. "Know and enjoy my uncertainty" is
the dictum of Bhagavan Baba. True to this, the suspense prolonged till
about a week of installation.
Swami had promised that He Himself
will select a suitable Sita for construction of the temple for Lord
Rama. The days and weeks passed on, and there was no message from
Swami on the selection of Site. Bhagawan Baba directed Srinivasan
Chettiar to go back to Madurai to look after other arrangements.
Finally, though all arrangements had been completed, it was realised
that it was practically impossible to build a temple within the
available short timee. A strong foundation, sturdy pillar, a concrete
slab, and then a Gopuram are all to be erected. It was humanly
impossible. Just about 10 days before the proposed event of
installation, Swami told Srinivasan Chettiar that Swami had made a
choise of place where the idols are to be installed. The choice of the
site was a grand one, as is always with Divine Sankalpa.
The newly extended area of the
beautiful Sai Kulwant hall had encompassed the place where the 108
crores of Sri Rama had been inferred. Swami directed that a large
Mandap be built in this site, suitable enough for the installation of
Rama, Sita , Lakshmana and Hanuman. During installation ceremony,
Bhagavan Baba created a small "Lingam" and directed Srinivasan
Chettiar to insert the same in the small pit wherein the idol of Rama
is to be installed. Swami mentioned that it is ‘Rama Lingam" which
will attract devotees and activate Vibration inside Prashanthi Nilayam
complex. The old Hanuman vighraham had also found a place in the same
Year 1999 is nearing end. The new
Millennium of 2000 AD is to emerge soon after this year Birthday
celebrations. Next year will be Swami’s 75th birthday celebrations.
Swami has given His Divine permission to Srinivasan Chettiar to
conduct Padhuga Pooja in all overseas countries during the new
millennium year. But what about the installation yet another diety and
a new temple? Only SWAMI knows about it, and Sri Sai Padhuga trust
awaits the divine command.
Translated article written by Bombay
Srinivasam in a local language magazine.
This above article has been published in a
Yahoo Group. Date: Nov 18, 1999