Swami's School Days
Photos of Swami in His younger days
specially circulated to the members of Sainet, by Bombay
Srinivasan and is being posted on this web site for the bliss of
all Sai Bhakts who are not members of Sai-Net. The text is being
updated in parts as it is a long one Mr. Ryuko Hira Overseas
Chairman, Asia Pacific/Africa Middle East Countries, and Sri
Sathya Sai Seva organisations, Regional B.ZONE office, TOKYO,
Japan, had brought out a wonderful small booklet containing a
speech of Bhagavan Baba, during the recently held youth conference
at Prashanthi Nilayam. He explains about an interview he had with
Swami earlier, when he requested Swami thus: "Swami, for the youth
conference in July, I have to prepare some Sai literature.
Swami said "yes, yes, YOUTH IS VERY IMPORTANT".
Swami further said that He had three ideals as a youth. "Respect
for parents, Respect for Teachers; Respect for Elders. This is
Subsequently Mr. Hira says that he was searching and realised
that very little authentic information on Sai's school days was
available. However, he finally found a very old original cassette
tape of Babas discourse. The aged tapes could not be heard well
and had deteriorated in quality. He brought the tapes to Japan and
with the assistance of the studio and the help of devotees,
finally managed to publish the transcription, given below.
Mr.Hira says, " I hope that readers will benefit along with
their families, and pray that the devotees of all countries shall
promptly practise the message of "respect for parents, teachers
and elders", as well as adopt this message in to lyrics for songs,
make scripts for drama and skits or simply pass on the message to
as many as possible for sharing the new discovery of Swamis school
The text follows:
Swami's School Days
Divine Discourse for students
Compiled and published by Ryuko Hira, Japan
This compilation is based on two Divine Discourses - one
delivered on 19th February, 1984 and date of other unknown
How should students conduct themselves when they behave with
other students, and what are the limitations and regulations which
the students should observe while they are students, I will
illustrate you by taking examples from what I did, when I myself
was a student.
Puttaparthi is a small village. You all know that. This body is
one which has not left Puttaparthi and had not seen other places.
This body went to a place called Bukkapatnam and there in a school
they take a class, which was known as ESLC. And this body was
engaged in studying in that class.
In those days, the public examination commenced for this class
called ESLC. This public examination was held in Panwarda. In
those days to travel from Bukkapatnam to Panwarda was like making
a long journey either to America or to Russia. That was the
condition. At that time, there was no bus to Bukkapatnam. There
was not even a road to Bukkapatnam and only then a railway came to
Bukkapatnam and this was a great sight. Many people in the village
used to talk strangely about the trains. They used to say some
long snake-like thing was crawling on the rails. They also used to
say that it only had one eye, only one eye was shining in front of
the train. This kind of strange description was given about the
While this was the situation, I had to travel from Puttaparthi
alone. The conditions at that time were such that since I had to
travel alone, the mother of this body thought that I was going a
long distance, so some trouble was involved. She prepared sweets,
she prepared various things for me to eat but since there was no
tiffin carrier in those days, all of this was tied up in a small
bundle of cloth and it was given to me. Not only that, all the
relations, father and mother cried, and thought I was going away
on a long distance. They all traveled together with me on a
carriage, which was driven by oxen up to Bukkapatnam. Eight of the
boys together joined and engaged one bullock to go up to
Penukonda. Among these eight boys, there was one teacher. The
roads were not plain roads. There were several ups and downs and
we traveled in bullock-cart, for I mile with the ups and downs in
the road, we had to get off and on the bullock-cart. We had to get
off the bullock cart, walk, then get on the bullock-cart. So, it
meant to actually make a journey of I mile, we had to walk 5
miles. It was much easier to walk rather than getting on and off
the bullock-cart. And these were all young little boys. I myself
was very small and the teachers used to lift the little boys put
them on the bullock-cart and put them out of the cart again and
In this way, those of us who started at 5 AM in the morning,
traveled all the way to Penukonda and reached there at 9 PM in the
There was no convenience, there was no comfort. There was no
place where one could stay. So one could only stay in a camp.
Camps were always present in the outer places of a town. So we
went to the camp, carried our own provisions, cooked our own food
and ate our own food. And I used to do the cooking. All the
provisions were prepared from the house, some chutney powder, some
sambar powder, were given to us. We went to the camp, we stayed
there for 3 days, cooked our own food and somehow or the other,
finished our examinations in those 3 days.
You should not think that what I am going to tell you is being
given to you with the purpose to get some reputation for myself,
or some greatness for myself. Actually in that examination, only I
(Swami) alone got 1st class and passed. All of the others failed
that examination. All the boys were tiny little boys and this
particular ESLC examination came to the world only for the first
time. Teachers were very strict. The teachers would search the
pockets of the boys to see if they were carrying any papers.
Nothing was allowed inside. Pencils, rubbers, and papers were all
supplied by the teachers. So this caused some confusion in the
minds of the tiny little boys. Therefore, they could not do well
at all. In Penukonda and in the whole town, people heard that only
Raju alone got tirst class and passed that particular examination.
They wanted to celebrate the occasion by taking Raju in procession
on a bullock-cart in the village.
After passing ESLC, there was no further class, which I could
study in Bukkapatnam. Therefore the brother of this body, Seshan
Raju took this body to his mother-in-law's place in Karnalapur,
for further studies. This place Kamalapur was a Tamil town, and
was close to Karapa, a few miles away. I was taken to Kamalapur
and there I was admitted to the third form of middle school. The
conditions were such that I could not do any work at all. I
couldn't attend to anything. There was water scarcity and
difficulty of getting water. So the first task which I had to do
everyday in the morning was to take a big huge earthen pot, carry
this pot to the river and bring drinking water from several miles
away every day.
In this manner the whole morning was spent to go all the way to
collect water and bring it back home which filled my time until
9AM. And that brought me to the time of school. Very little time
was left and all that I could do was to bring in the water and go
to school, after having a very quick meal. In those days, there
was no tiffin, so whatever food was cooked the previous night, was
kept overnight along with water. The rice from the previous night
was simply put in salty water and left overnight. The next morning
the soaked rice had to be eaten. We just put some salt and pickles
over the rice and ate the rice which had been kept overnight in
water and went to school. There was not much time. We had to eat
the soaked rice and pickles quickly and run away to school.
In the school, there were desks. Desks in which you could put
your books, and where you could also write some notes and three
boys had to sit together on one single desk. I used to sit in the
center of the three places of the desk with two other boys. One of
the boys was Ramesh and another boy was Sudhir.
They used to sit on either side of me and I used to sit in the
center. And in this way, time passed on. After one year, it was
found that in every examination in the class, it was these three
boys, myself and the other two boys sitting on either side of me
were getting the highest marks and first class.
In a place between Karpa and Kamalapur, there is a place where
they had an annual festival. At that time, the drill teacher in
school started a movement called the scout's movement. And he said
that it was compulsory for all boys to join the scout's movement.
The drill teacher issued an order that everybody should join this
scout troop and everyone had to have khaki knickers and a khaki
shirt and on the khaki shirt he should have a medal, all to be
prepared by himself by next week. All the scouts had to go to this
annual festival in Pushpagiri and they had to do some service to
all the people who would come to that festival.
I did not have a single cent (new) paisa. The father to this
body belonged to four families, and he could not afford much.
So he simply gave me only two annas when I came to this
particular school, and six months had lapsed since I joined the
school. So I had spent those two annas in those six months. Two
annas were a lot of money in those days. After those two annas, I
had no money with me. I was the monitor for the class and also a
leader for the scout troop. Therefore the teachers issued strict
orders that I cannot escape, that I must be present in the scout
troop and I must go to Pushpagiri. But, I had no money. I was in
great suspense as to how I could go without any money. But the
teacher had issued strict orders that I must go around with this
In those days I had only one ordinary pair of knickers and one
ordinary shirt while the scout teacher wanted khaki knickers and
khaki shirt. Even the ordinary knickers and the ordinary shirt, as
soon as I would return from school, I would wrap myself with a
white towel and wash these knickers and shirt. And in order to
iron these things, I used to get a brass vessel. In a brass
vessel, I would put some coal, make it hot and then iron the
clothes around with this brass vessel, take the knickers and shirt
and put them under some heavy weight, like a steel trunk so that
they would get flat. And I would wear them the next day. I did not
have enough money to get a second set of knickers and shirt. That,
for one, who had been getting on with only one pair of knickers
and shirt! How could I get an additional pair of khaki knickers
I could not go and tell the teacher that I only had one pair
and that I didn't have khaki knickers and a shirt because that
will, to some extent, reflect on the honor of my family. Since I
could not tell the drill teacher the facts, I was going to have to
quit going to Pushpagiri.
In this way I had been hesitating and discussing between
various alternatives. Under the circumstances I made a good plan.
I said that I was not feeling very well, and that there was
another boy, Ramesh who was my assistant and would take my
position. I'm not feeling well right now, so I will come later.
That was my plan. But this boy who was sitting next to me, Ramesh,
somehow came to know that I had some difficulties and that I was
planning to get out of the situation. He went to his father and
said, "Father, I very much want the khaki knickers and shirt. They
are very nice. Please not only make one set for me, but two sets
for me." And he had the same height and stature as myself at that
time. While this was so, the other boys learned that I was getting
out of the plan and they started planning not to go too. The
pressure from the other boys started increasing. They would come
and say, "If you don't come, Raju, then we won't go." In this way,
the pressure was increasing. Meanwhile Ramesh managed to get an
extra khaki uniform from his father and he wrapped it in a piece
of paper and wrote a note, saying "I am leaving this extra uniform
for you. You must accept this extra uniform.
If you don't accept it, I will go and die. I will commit
suicide. Please accept this from me." And he put it in the desk
where I used to put my books and left it there.
Ramesh also wrote in that note, "Raju, you are like a brother
to me. You must accept this dress as a brother would accept." When
I saw the note, I just tore up the note and wrote another note in
reply staling, "If you really want my friendship, this kind of
giving and asking me to take gifts from you is not right. This
will spoil our friendship. If you want to be my brother and if you
want to keep up our brotherly relationship, do not give such
gifts. Do not give and take. Maintain the purity of our
relationship and do not think of giving me such gifts." When I
wrote that note, that boy Ramesh could not do anything, and took
back the khaki uniform.
There were three days left till the festival was coming to
Pushpagiri. The school was closed for those three days so that the
boys could prepare to go to Pushpagiri.
I was planning not to go although I was telling them that I was
also coming, but somehow I had to find an excuse so that I did not
have to go. But if I had said that I had a temperature, then they
would look at the thermometer and see that I had no temperature.
So I thought that the best thing for me to do was to pretend that
I had a severe stomachache. I told them that I had a severe
stomach ache and that I won't be able to go.
The boys were all going in a procession to Pushpagiri, and the
teachers were also there. They all came into the house and they
said, "What happened? Why is Raju not coming?" The brother of this
body told him, "No, Raju is having a serious stomach ache and he
cannot join." Finding these people had come, I pretended that I
had a serious stomach ache and started groaning with pain. Along,
at that time a teacher by the name Janab Mahbub Khan came inside
and when he did, I pretended to be even worse, and started
groaning very much because of the stomach ache. "Oh, Raju is ill.
All we want is for him to get well. Let's not pressure him to come
with us." Then Janab Mahbub Khan left the place and went away, and
along with him, all the teachers and the students left.
Each of the boys had contributed 12 rupees. Ten rupees were for
the bus fare and 2 rupees were an extra pocket expense while they
were there. Regarding food, each one had to make his own
arrangements. So each boy gave 12 rupees. I did not have 12
rupees. So there was no question of my going around with the
group. But as soon as the group left, my stomach ache disappeared,
for there was no stomach ache at all. There was nothing and I
became well. Now the problem was how could I go to Pushpagiri. I
had to go somehow. So I had a plan.
I knew that I had completed my class and I had passed. I had a
complete set of textbooks.
Mathematics, history, geography, the textbooks were with me.
They were in new condition. I never used them. I never opened
those textbooks. They were all in new condition, and I knew a poor
Harijan boy who had just entered a class out of which I had
passed. I went and offered the set of books for sale to this
Harijan boy and told him "Although they are new, since you are a
poor boy I'd like to give them to you for half the price." But
even so, he did not have the money. Finding that he was a poor
boy, and could not pay half the price, I told him, "Never mind,
take all the books but give me 5 rupees, that is enough for me." I
just want to get 5 rupees, which I need. I don't want more.
I got 5 rupees from him for the textbooks. The boy was very
happy that he got all the books, in new condition for only 5
rupees. In those days we did not have I rupee notes which you see
today. So he had to bring a large amount of change, coppers and so
on for 5 rupees, which was given to me. Where could I put all this
change? I had to hold all this change. There was no pocket in
which I could hold all this change. The only way for me to carry
this change was to look at my torn shirt, and tear out a piece of
cloth from my torn shirt and put all my change in this piece of
cloth, and tie it up. While I tied up and tightened the bundle,
the cloth itself got torn and all the change fell on the ground
and got dispersed and scattered. Then the lady of the house came
and saw all the change. She said, "Where did you get all this
money from? Have you stolen this money from my house? You have
taken this money from my house."
In many ways, I tried to prove my innocence. I brought the boy
who purchased the books from me and made him explain, that he gave
me the 5 rupees of change and in spite of all these efforts, the
lady would not believe it. The lady simply gave me a few blows,
and said "As a punishment I shall not give you the food in the
house." If I went out of the house and people noticed that I was
not in the house, people would ask me "What happened? Why are you
not inside the house?" and that would bring the reputation of the
family out into the street. I did not want to do this. I did not
want others to know anything about what was happening in the
family and to me. So I immediately left the house and walked nine
miles to the place where the annual celebration was being held.
It was a full moon day and many people also wanted to go and
visit the celebration at Pushpagiri, and were walking on the road
because it was a nice full moon night. I also walked with them,
because it was very pleasant to walk on a full moon night. That
night I reached Pushpagiri.
Those were hot days, hot summer days. And I walked nine miles.
I was very thirsty and in these days it was not easy to get
drinking water. The only way in which you could get water was when
people would wash their cattle.
For the purpose of washing their cattle, there was a small tub
in which there would be some water. There was a place where the
cattle could be washed and there was water, but that water was
dirty and could not be taken in. Yet I was so thirsty, that I had
to drink a small quantity of this dirty water. And when I went
there and quenched my thirst with this unclear water, I found, on
the stone or slab, someone had left a bundle of bidis and one
I hope you all know what 'bidis' are. They are a kind of
country cigarettes. Someone left them there and went away. I saw
this, and took hold of these bidis and one anna. And turned around
to find if the owner was anywhere near. I asked people, "Does this
belong to you? Does this belong to you?" but no one answered and
evidently it was not claimed by anyone. So I took these bidis,
broke them into bits and threw them away under sand. One anna
brought four quarter annas. I changed the one anna to four quarter
I had only 4 quarter annas with me. I had to spend several days
with this. I took these. How was I going to stay there with four
quarter annas? Then I did something wrong. I went to a place where
a game of dice was going on.
They had dice, and they state money on a particular point and
they throw the dice. When the dice is favorable, they give back
So I started playing the game and as soon as I played the game
I found the returns were very good and within few minutes, I made
a total gain of 12 annas.
When I got 12 annas in my hands, I thought I shouldn't become
over greedy, so I stopped playing the game. Then I calculated that
since I had to stay for 10 days, at the rate of one anna per day,
my food would be enough. I had two annas extra and I could take
some fruits and flowers when I went back home. So I calculated
that 12 annas was sufficient. Life was cheap. With one copper
botu, a copper coin, in those days one could get three large sized
dosas and in that region of Karpa, dosas are served with red hot
chili, which can fill one's stomach and that was quite enough. So
I calculated that I would have three dosas and I had three dosas
with a quarter anna along with masala and chili. With me were left
11 and 3/4 annas, which was out of the 12 annas I had gained. And
I calculated that everything would be all right.
After eating these dosas, I left. Where could I keep the 12
annas? Where could I keep this big amount of change? How can I
keep it anywhere safely? So I thought of a plan. In the plan, I
packed the change in a piece of cloth, tied it up into a small
bundle. Then I dug out some sand, and kept the bundle under the
sand and used the sand (mound) as a pillow. I put my head upon
this, and thought that it would be safe. Having been tired from
walking the long distance, I just slept.
Someone had noticed that I was putting this money in a piece of
cloth and hiding it under the sand and putting my head on the sand
and he quietly came after I slept, dug out the sand and took away
There was nothing I could do. I had no money and therefore I
had no food. But, the next morning I found all the boys who were
the members of the scout group, in their khaki dresses. All were
located in different places to attend to duties for the pilgrims
and visitors. For three days, I had no food. I was carrying on
In the meantime Ramesh, who came around with the
scouts, had somehow sensed this. He started coming to me
stealthily without other people noticing it, because he knew I did
not want other people to notice it. He would come, he would bring
one dosa or something to eat and he would give it to me and this
is how he managed for those days.
The festival of Pushpagiri was very famous in
those days, but I had to go back home, now that the festival was
over. When I got back home, the wife of Seshan Raju was family, so
I could not go empty handed, because they would ask what had I got
from Pushpagiri. So I asked this boy Ramesh, "You give me a loan.
I will take a loan of one anna from you and when I go back I will
return the loan back to you. Give it as a loan and not as a gift."
With this one anna I purchased some fruits and
flowers and took them home when I returned from Pushpagiri.
When I returned home after the Pushpagiri festival
it so happened that Seshan Raju had some holidays for the purpose
to undergo some training. And in these holidays, he returned home.
During my absence for these 8 days in Pushpagiri, there was no one
in the house to deliver water from the river. So for 8 days there
was no water in the house, and they were feeling very hard and
something was told against me from the lady of the house to Seshan
Raju. When I returned, things were such that they were very angry
with me, and were not able to bear my absence since there was no
one who could bring them water.
Seshan Raju was sitting and using a ruler to draw
rules on his notebook. This ruler was a large stick which people
used to use as a scale in the old days. That ruler was in his hand
and as soon as I went home, because of the anger that had built
up, he took the ruler and hit my fingers with the rulers. When he
hit my angers, the ruler broke into several pieces and fell down.
When the telegram that Seshan Raju's son died, was
received, the father of this body, was in Bukkapatnarn in order to
make some purchases. As soon as he learned about the telegram and
the death of Seshan Raju's son, he sent all the people who had
come to meet him back to Puttaparthi, and he straight came to
Kamalapur because of this news.
As soon as the father came, he noticed that the
hands were swollen. He started asking me "What is the matter with
your hands? Why is there a piece of cloth around it?" Then I lied.
I told him "No, there is nothing wrong with my hand." I told him
there was a boil, a very minor boil and therefore I put a cloth,
and that there is nothing wrong. Because there was a death in the
house, nobody was prepared to talk to him. He was accustomed to
talk a great deal. So the father of this body was meeting people
and the neighbors told him so many things. Some of them told him
"Why are you keeping this son of yours here? He is struggling. He
has been put to lot of trouble day and night. Why do you keep him
here?" When he heard this, his face changed. He was very much hurt
but he had to learn the truth, so he made a plan.
As soon as it was 8 o'clock and it was dark, he
said, "I want to go out," and in those days there were no lanterns
built in the house outside. This was a part of the plan of my
father to learn the truth directly. He simply said, "I want to go
outside the village," and that was only an excuse. Seshan Raju
said, "It is dark, he is old, and you have to help him. Take a
lamp in your hand, and go with him and guide him." So I took a
lamp but knew my father was only planning to be able to talk to me
and learn the truth from me in isolation outside the house. I went
When we were outside the village, I told the
father, "Now we are here, outside the village. You can ease
yourself here." I was turning back. He said, "No, no, I want to
talk to you. What is the matter with you? Let me see your hand.
What is on your hand? I was told that everyday you are put into
trouble. You are beaten everyday. Why do you want to put yourself
in this situation? You come back with me to the village and if it
is all right with you, we can somehow carry on. Our honor is not
important. You should not stay here and put yourself in such
trouble. Come back with me to our village."
I told the father, "This is not right. If I go
away at this stage, many people will talk in many different ways.
And also the family is in trouble, since their eldest son has
passed away. When there is trouble we should not do such a thing.
You better go now if you want to go. I will go later. After
everything is forgotten, I will come." I spoke very sweetly.
The second day, he could not stay inside the
house. He had to go away. So he offered his condolences and went
back to Puttaparthi. While going back to Puttaparthi, he asked me
"Have you got sufficient clothes?" I told him, "Yes, I have plenty
of clothes. I don't need any clothes," which made him very happy.
Before he returned to the village, he went to a
shopkeeper, called Kote Subbanna, who had a cloth shop, and told
him, "If my son comes and asks you for a new clothes, give him
anything and I will pay the cost of those clothes." And he
returned to his village.
This shopkeeper, Kote Subbanna knew, that even
then, I was composing poetry. He used to come to the school and
would wait in front of the school and ask me. "In my shop, I have
a new medicine, and I want to sell that medicine. Will you compose
a poem for the medicine so that I can use the poem as an
advertisement to sell my medicine?"
In those days, the form of advertisement was to
have a small plaque. On this plaque, a poem would be written. On
the end of the plaque, there would be a stick on which to hold the
plaque. Boys would hold the stick and the plaque in their bag and
go in a procession, singing the particular song of advertisement.
That was the manner of advertisement at that time.
The new medicine was called Balabaskaran. I
composed a poem, for the advertisement of Balabaskaran. In the
advertisement, it said, "Here is a new medicine called
Balabaskaran. If you've got a stomachache, if you have got
motions, if you have got diseases in your stomach of any kind,
here is a famous medicine called Balabaskaran. It will cure you in
no time. This has come from the hands of a distinguished physician
called Gopalacharan. You can obtain this from the shop of Kote
Subbanna. Go and buy it!"
This is the advertisement poem, which I wrote, and
boys began singing this poem and it made a tremendous success of
sales. When this poem was being sung, many shopkeepers learned
that it was composed by me. Many shopkeepers had a lot of unsold
goods, they began coming to me and giving me details of their
goods and asking me to compose poems for those goods.
That I composed poems and helped these
shopkeepers, came to be known to Seshan Raju, the brother.
Immediately Seshan Raju called me and said, "No, you are doing a
lot of business here. You have got holidays. There is no reason
for you to stay here. You better go back to Puttaparthi." This
flow of poetry did not stop there, for even when I came back to
Puttaparthi, this poetry was coming out of me.
You may have read in "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram",
that in Puttaparthi, there was a Karnam, and this Karnam had two
wives. One wife was called Subbamma, and other wife called Kalama.
Not only two wives, he was also taken to Ramvastra doing wrong
things. This Karnam was a wealthy person. He had a lot of money,
and would spend his money in several bad ways. So, I used to take
a number of young boys and teach them songs, which they could
sing, but I would not sing. I would compose and teach the songs to
These boys used to go in front of his house and
Karnam used to sit in front of his house. There the boys would sit
and sing the songs composed and taught by me. Because those were
villagers and the kind of language that was understood, was
peculiar to the village, only certain words could be understood.
Many words were not understood.
The boys used to sing. The boys would go to him
and say, "Do not go to the houses of prostitutes. Do not spend
your time and money with prostitutes. People with honor will not
touch you. They will not let you come anywhere near them. Your
friends will use slippers, will beat you with those slippers."
These young boys used to sing poems, which he
could understand. He used to wear a wristwatch on his left hand,
and clothes of silk. In those days, in a village, if anyone would
wear a wristwatch, he was an exception. Yes, he was a wealthy man.
He used to move around like a rich and wealthy person. The songs
that I taught those boys described his condition. The poems said,
"What has become of the men and women of these days? The men are
wearing some kind of leather strap ground to their left hand and
the men have become very arrogant. The women also have given up
their traditional way of decorating their forehead. The women are
behaving in a peculiar way. The men are also behaving in a
"What has come about them? In fact they appear in
such a form that we cannot even describe them. We can not talk
honorably about their dress, or about their appearance." In the
poems, I also described the fact that in those days, this man
would shave his long mustache and bring it close like a French cut
around his nose, with a little bit on the right side and little
bit on the left side. It was called Hitler's mustache at that
time. This was put into the poem and as a result the man was
ashamed and he removed his mustache the next day.
This was going on, until one day, the man came to
the father of this body and complained, "Raju is doing all this.
He is bringing boys. He is writing poems, teaching them and he is
ridiculing me. You should take care of this." But remember that
although the father of this body may have been harsh with all the
other members of the family, he was never harsh with me. He was
very kind and generous to me. He came and said, "Why do you have
to do anything with other people in the village? Why do you have
to talk about them or write poems about them?" But my reply was,
"I do not know nothing about this. I'm not singing the poems at
all. It is some other boys who are singing these poems."
This ability of mine to write typical poems came
to be known all over, in Bukkapatnam as well. In those days, the
struggle for the independence of India was going on very fiercely.
People used to hold meetings in the cause for independence
everywhere. The British police used to come and break up those
meetings. Then two people, congressmen from Bukkapatnam, learned
that I wrote good poems, came to me and said to me. "Write
whatever you want to write, describe the present situation in
whatever manner you want to and give out those poems and we will
use them in a meeting in Bukkapatnam" I wrote the poems. They
found that they wanted to take not only the poems but also me
there. They dressed me like a girl. They put a sari around me, and
also made a small Jhula. In the Jhula, they made a small, rubber
baby doll. They dressed me like a girl and took me to the village.
I was there, standing on the stage and singing a lullaby for this
baby. The lullaby was, "Do not cry baby. If you cry and if you
show inability to be cheerful, they will not call you a worthy
citizen, a worthy son of Bharat" There were questions in the poems
that were being addressed to the baby. "Baby, why are you crying?"
The answers were also given in the poems. "Are you crying because
Hitler, the killer, has invaded the Russians? And the Russians
have no way of helping themselves? Because Russians could not
attack Hitler in return? No, don't cry. The time will come when
the Red Army will go and attack, and take vengeance on Hitler. Are
you crying because there is no unity in our country? Don't cry.
There will be a time when all of us will be united and will be
able to present a united picture. There is a remedy. Don't cry."
This beautiful singing was going on. The police
came, and were listening to these songs and started singing the
songs. They were clapping and enjoying the singing. The British,
who did not know Telugu, came there and found that beautiful
singing was going on. The British officers also started to enjoy
the singing, and started to clap without understanding the
contents of the singing. The meeting became a tremendous success.
Since the meeting became a tremendous success,
everybody began talking about the poetry and the composition of
Raju. Everybody said they are beautiful compositions. This news
reached the brother Seshan Raju. Seshan Raju also used to write
some poetry. He became somewhat jealous of the poems and the
popularity of Raju. He told himself, "Now I have to stop this.
Raju can not stay in Puttaparthi any longer. I must take him away
with me." As a result, Seshan Raju took Raju to Uravakonda, where
he was staying.
When I went to Uravakonda, the headmaster of the
school there was called Lakshmipathi, a very good and very honest
person. Also the other teacher called Janab Mahbub Khan was
transferred. They were very good teachers. There were also
teachers called Pareraju, and Karmaligu. Those teachers were also
good. They did not know anything about me (Swami), yet they used
to admire the goodness in me.
And they would put their hands together and say
namaskar. Immediately afterwards, they would feel, "Oh, he is a
young student. He is one student and why should we say namaskar to
him," and right away would take back their hands. They were very
good teachers in that school mostly because of the good they must
have done in their previous life.
They put me in the fourth form of the middle
school there. From that time onwards, there really was very little
close connection with the rest of the boys. I would tell them good
things. "If anybody commits a theft or if anybody takes away a
pencil of another boy, it is not right. You should always do
correct things." In this way, I would preach good things to them.
Also in that school on the desk in which I used to
sit, there were three boys. Two boys used to sit on either side of
me. They were 10-11 years old and they were good boys evidently.
Janab Mahbub Khan was a very good teacher. When he
came into the class, he would not teach if I was in the class. All
the time he would stop the lesson. He would look at me, call me,
pat me, touch my ears, my cheeks. He would twist my ears and
cheeks and praise me like a baby. He would not teach his lesson at
all. Not only that. If he made something at home, some pakoras or
something to eat, he would wrap that in a piece of cloth and bring
it to class, and he would say, "Raju, come along."
He would give me those pakoras. One day I said,
"You in your home, may have mixed meat or something that I do not
eat. So I cannot touch these pakoras." Then he said, "Oh my honor,
Raju! I have prepared this for you. I would never use meat or any
such things for you. I have done this for you with love. Please
eat them." Then I ate a small amount of pakoras from what he had
The boys thought that I was a very special
favorite of Janab Mahbub Khan. As soon as Janab Mahbub Khan would
came to the class, the boys would say, "Yes, Mahbub Khan has
come!" I did not let the boys know that the teacher was fond of
me, nor did I tell the teacher that the boys were jealous of me.
The two aspects were kept separate. Janab Mahbub Khan used to like
me so much. He would always bring something for me to eat and also
play with me.
As this was going on, there was a time when the
celebration of the school was going to take place at the end of
the year. Everybody began to say, "You can sing very well, so why
don't you put on a disguise or something and act this or sing
this." And in this way they were putting a lot of pressure on me
to participate in the school day celebration.
On the day of the school day celebration, I had
put on a hat and wrote a script called "Do people really do as
I wrote the script myself and took part in
presenting that script up on the stage.
You might have heard the name "Karparamasubbamma". She was the
first lady to become the president of the district board. As a
president of Karpar district board, she came to school as an
honored guest, and she was asked to give the prizes for the school
day celebration. On that day the school wanted to collect some
money by selling tickets for a performance. The money was to be
used to make some buildings for the school. They invited a very
well known dancer, Rishyendramani, and advertised that she would
give a performance. In this way, they sold the tickets. But for
some reason, she could not come to the performance. The
headmaster, Laxmipathi, was very festered because they had
announced that Rishyendramani would come to perform. The
collectors had been invited. The district board head had been
invited. The program was going to become a fiasco. So I went to
the headmaster and told her, "Don't worry. There is something that
I want to tell you." She said, "Yes, what is that?" I said,
"Whatever Rishyendramani, the dancer was intending to perform,
this evening I will do. I will become Rishyendramani."
Rishyendramani used to give a great performance. She would put
a bottle on her head. On the mouth of the bottle, she would put a
plate. On the plate she would light a number of wicks.
And with the plate, the wicks, and bottle on her head, she
would dance and bend down and pick up a crutch from the ground
without any of these things falling off her head. This was the
feat she performed those days. I told the headmaster, "If
Rishyendramani, with the plate and bottle on her head can bend
down and pick up crutches from the ground, I will do the same. I
will bend, and instead of picking up crutches I will pick up a
small needle with my eye. This is what I will do. You better
announce that Rishyendramani has come and Rishyendramani will be
doing this special feat." The headmaster accepted my proposal.
They brought a sari, a bottle, a wick, and a plate from the
village, and dressed me like a woman. I was prepared and brought
in, in an old rugged car from the village. It was announced that
Rishyendramani was coming. All the audience, some of them who were
sleeping, got up and became very alert.
On my part, I was wearing an anklet, which made a beautiful
sound. The accompanying music was very attractive and with the
accompanying music, I came on the stage with such a beautiful
jingling sound that everybody was watching with great attention.
The teacher brought a bottle and put it on my head. Another
teacher brought a plate and put it on the bottle. Then another
teacher came and brought and lighted the wick. All this was done
because people would have otherwise thought that the bottle was
stuck on the head and the plate was stuck to the bottle.
As this was done and I went through the dance and I picked up a
small fine needle which was on the dust with the help of my
eyebrow. When the entire performance was over, everyone began to
applaud and shout.
Then, the collector, a Britisher, by name Harsley, appreciated
the dance so much that he wanted to present a medal himself
personally to Rishyendramani on stage. He wanted to come on the
stage and pin the medal on Rishyendramani. Since I myself, was
conducting myself as Rishyendramani, when he came, I told him,
"No, you cannot touch me. I am a woman. Therefore give it on my
The headmaster was behind the screen. He was very much afraid
of the collector coming on the stage and wanting to pin the medal
directly on Rishyendramani and myself refusing that this is not
traditionally acceptable. The headmaster was saying from behind,
"No, no, he's the collector, let him pin the medal on you. Don't
refuse it." And the father of this body was also telling "He's the
collector, you should accept what he says, don't refuse it." In
spite of all that I simply said, "No, I cannot let you touch me.
If you want to give the medal, give it in my hand." The collector
was pleading, "Regard me as your brother!" I was pleading, "Regard
me as your sister. There is no question of your touching me." This
went on for 10 minutes and the collector was not able to touch me.
He simply gave me the medal and went back. Everybody clapped in
appreciation. The drama was over. The dance was over. The first
day was over. On the second day there was a prize distribution and
Karparamasubbamma, the president of the District Board was
presiding and was giving the prizes. Everybody was called and each
one was given a prize. She thought, that Rishyendramani on the
previous day had helped collection of funds and money, for the
school. So she wanted to honor Rishyendramani as well. She brought
a sari and she announced, "Rishyendramani has helped us so much
yesterday by collecting a lot of money for the building funds, so
I want to give this sari to Rishyendramani." She called out
Rishyendramani's name and everybody was expecting and looking to
see from where this girl would come. But out of the audience, this
boy wearing knickers came. As I was approaching the stage, the
police were pushing me away and saying, "Rishyendramani is coming,
make way. Don't block the way." Meanwhile the headmaster brought
me on the stage and announced that Rishyendramani of yesterday was
this young boy to the presiding Karparamasubbamma. She was so
pleased she lifted me in her hands and she said, "You have brought
great credit to this country. If you can do this, this brings
And since that day, she has had such great respect for me, that
wherever she went, she would mention this incident.
The whole school went into great confusion when they found out
what had happened the previous day, and to realize that a young
boy had done all this became the talk of the day. Everyone was
talking for the next few days about this incident.
It so happened thereafter, that I used to lead the prayer
everyday for two months. When I sang the national anthem, or when
I sang a religious song, I was followed by all the boys for two
months. On Wednesday, May 23rd, I went there and I sang a song,
the message of which, for the students and teachers was not to
have any illusion, not to think that I have anything to do with
you or with these books. I threw the books there and left the
school and came back. The two other boys, who used to sit with me
at the same desk, also came running behind me saying "Raju, Raju",
and they followed me around that day. My countenance changed, my
appearance changed, my behavior changed, and I would not recognize
people and I would not talk to them in the same manner in which I
used to talk to them. These two boys found this enormous change in
me. Finding that I was no longer their friend, Raju, one of them
said, "Why should I live in this world if I do not have my Raju as
my friend." He jumped into a well and committed suicide.
The second boy went on calling out for "Raju, Raju, Raju" as he
used to call me, and he became mentally deranged in that ecstasy.
There were two thousand boys and several teachers in the
school. Neither the boys nor the teachers went to school. They
simply came to the house that I was living in and would surround
it, wanting to look at me and see what change had come about me.
In the meantime Seshan Raju sent a telegram to the home of the
parents and said, "Some change which I do not understand has come
about Raju, so please come and do what is needed." The students of
the school, all of them started saying, "We will come with Raju."
They came to Bukkapatnam...
They would ask, "Don't you recognize me? I used to sit in a
bench behind you. Don't you recognize me? I used to play with
you." But I never responded, I never replied, after which they
would become very disappointed and would go back. I never
responded to them because I wanted them to know that there was no
connection between them and myself. Since that day, all of them
have been following me in large numbers.
The school was closed for 3 days because Raju was not there. On
the fourth day, the school assembled, with all the boys standing
on one side, and the teachers standing on the other side.
The usual prayers had to be said, and some other boy was
selected to say the daily prayers. The boy got on the stage and
found that Raju was not there. He called out "Raju" and simply
collapsed. All the people started crying bitterly as they
remembered Swami. From that time onwards, there was no prayer
conducted at all. The teacher said, "Let us not have this
prayer..." because they were afraid that once any prayer was said,
they would remember Swami and they would weep. Right from those
days, the love of Swami has been like that, showering
indiscriminately on all people.
Such a big story, a long story was told by Swami to show you
that Swami has always led an exemplary life even during His
student days. And even in this incarnation or the earlier
incarnations as in Krishna, Balarama, and they always conducted
themselves in an exemplary fashion with their teachers.
All incarnations, Krishna, for example, enjoyed the loving
affection of Kuchiella, his teacher. Even during the days of Rama,
Rama' life as a student was an exemplary one and that is so in
every incarnation. In the same way, you the students (of Sathya
Sai Institute), will have to conduct yourselves in such a way
without wasting either money or time, always cultivating good
thoughts, good habits and good actions, and you will have to live
a life of example throughout.
Swami underwent many troubles and problems during his days. We
will not be even able to hear those troubles. There was no reason
for Swami to undergo all this trouble, but Swami wanted to set an
example. If a cake was prepared, Swami ate the same cake for six
days. Swami used to go to the mountain to collect some (wood) fuel
and sell that fuel so that he could support himself.
These days, when parents are sending hundreds of rupees, by
misusing that money, you will not be able to come up in life. We
should not give trouble and pain to parents. Parents' money and
our blood should be saved in the same way. Just as the blood gets
drained from the body, we become weak. In the same way, we should
conduct ourselves in such a way, that money is not wasted. We
should not become slaves of Egoism, Compulsion and Show. We should
not ruin our lives. We should always protect the honor of our own
families. Whatever the conditions of our family, we should not let
others know about it. This is the primary duty of every student.
If you establish a contact with the Lord, everything will be
added into you. What we have understood today, is that having
contact with the Lord is the way to get joy, prosperity, and
happiness. We have to realize that God is greater and more sacred
than all the other things in life and the world. All the articles
in the world are like flowers. God is like a thread base, which
can hold all these flowers together. Without the base of the
thread, you cannot put these flowers together at all. In all types
of happiness and joy there is GOD. This is the thread, which runs
through everything. If there is no thread, all the flowers will
scatter and in the same way all our joy and happiness will scatter
if you don't contact God. But those people who base their lives on
the grace of God and live their lives on the basis of God, to
please God, they really are the fortunate ones. They justify and
ignite their existence.
Jai Sai Ram
This publication is in commemoration of the First Sri Sathya
Sai World Youth Convention held at Prashanthi Nilayarn, during The
Guru Poornima Festival celebrations from 16-20 July, 1997. 12,000
young adults representing 137 countries assembled at the Lotus
feet of Sri Sathya Sai Avatar.
This booklet contains two Divine discourses. One delivered on
19 February, 1984 and date of the other could not be traced at the
time of this publication. It is not possible to deliver the beauty
and grandeur of the Divine messages as spoken in Telugu, but
effort has been made to translate and bring to readers nearly
every word recorded in the deteriorated cassette tape. The text is
not edited in order to preserve the original script of the message
and the meaning as meant by the Divine. This is the reason for
some apparent differences in grammar and composition.
Eighty million Japanese offer traditional prayers to the rising
sun on New Years day. We were a few Japanese, who were most
fortunate to be in Prasanthi Nilayam on the first day of 1997. As
in Japan, we offered our new year prayers to the Creator of the
Rising Sun, and most intensely prayed for a Divine interview. Soon
we realized that our love for Bhagavan was not enough and so we
went back to our rooms and continued even more intense prayers.
The Lord of the universe had heard our pleas and on Thursday, 2
January 1997 we were the first to receive Divine audience during
the sacred hours of morning Darshan. The following spiritual
questions were resolved by Swami:
Hira: Swami, for the Youth Convention in July, I have to
prepare some Sai literature.
Swami: Yes, Yes, "YOUTH IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Hira: But Swami, very little is recorded or known about Swami's
youth. So I am in difficulty and pray Bhagavan to help me.
Swami: Yes! SWAMI'S SCHOOL TIME IS VERY IMPORTANT PART OF
Hira: Yes, Swami.
Swami: Swami had three ideals as a youth:
RESPECT FOR PARENTS,
RESPECT FOR TEACHERS,
RESPECT FOR ELDERS. This is most important.
Hira: Yes, Swami. I will try to find Baba's discourses on
Swami's school days.
(The interview continued on other matters.)
I immediately started to search and realized that very little
authentic information on Sai's school days was available. However
we finally found two very old original cassette tapes of Baba's
discourse. The aged tapes could not be heard well and had
deteriorated in quality. So I brought the tapes to Japan and with
the assistance of the studio and the help of devotees, finally
managed to publish this transcription.
I hope the readers will benefit along with their families, and
pray that the devotees of all countries shall promptly practice
the message of respect for parents, teachers and elders, as well
as adopt this message in to lyrics for songs, make scripts for
drama and skits or simply pass on the message to as many as
possible for sharing the new discovery of Swami's school days.
Jai Sai Ram
Bro.M.Saito and Sis.K.Hira, D.Anita, N.Takagi
Asia Pacific/Africa Middle East Countries.
Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations
Regional B.ZONE Office
Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153 JAPAN
Swami's child hood
Swami took birth on Nov 23 1926. 14 years he lived with the people
among them talking normally and playing with them naturally. But
was very eventful. He used to produce different flowers and
from a big Tamrend tree during all seasons. Like plucking mangoes
tree during winter etc. For His schoolmates who complain that they
pencils or erasers He used to materialise them from His school
of this miracles and His uncanny intelegence and knowledge He had
following in both students and teachers.
Here is an incident happened duing those school days.
Swami never had the habbit of reading school books during His
His books were knew and unopened for the entire year. But in the
used to answer all the questions. Oneday in the history class the
was narrating a small incident from the book. Somewhere in the
went wrong. Sathya (Swami's name was Sathyanarayana Raju) got up
corrected the teacher to the utter embarassment of the latter. The
teacher's go could not accept the confess the mistake and refused to accept
correction given by the young Sathya. Sathya stood by His word.
was so furious and asked Sathya to stand on the bench. As a
Sathya obeyed the order and stood on the bench. After some time
stipulated time for the class was over and the teacher got ready
to get up
from his seat. To his utter astonishment he noticed that his seat
to the chair. He could not move out of his chair. The embarassed
all at sea to expain his position to the next class teacher who
front of him to occupy the chair. The next class teacher has great
the young Sathya and concerned to see Him standing on the bench.
the students why Sathya was standing on the bench. After
reason why Sathya was standing on the bench he understood the
reason why the
history class teacher was not vacating the chair. He walked
straight to the
sitting teacher and advised him to ask Sathya to sit down which
religiously followed. Once Sathya sat back on the bench the
releaved from the chair.
This happened when Sathya was 11 years old and another teacher
joined in the
list of his follwers at that age itself.
I beg your pardon if the language or my narration does not give
od reading a leela of Bhagawan. This is a story which is available
books of swami's childhood and interested readers can rea the same.