Long back, about 65 years ago, in a remote and tiny hamlet, there
was a group of boys of ages 5 to 11 going along the streets. Among
them was a boy named Satya. He was their Guru, their leader. They
came to a Hanuman temple and all of them decided to take a
pradakshina, or a circumambulation of
the deity. So off they
to offer their obeisances to Hanuman. Except little Satya. But how
could the group be without their leader? So they dragged him
too…in spite of his protestations. He had barely put a few steps
around the temple when, from somewhere, a huge monkey appeared on
the scene, obstructing his way. All efforts to shoo it away were
in vain. The circumabulation project had to be shelved. And the
monkey too mysteriously disappeared as if the purpose of its
appearance was accomplished. It was only later that Satya revealed
that what appeared as a monkey was really Hanuman imploring Satya
not to go around him. RAMA was not to go around Hanuman. It was
He, Hanuman, that had to go around RAMA!!.
A few years later Satya declared his Avatarhood.
He was now Satya Sai Baba . Many scoffed at Him. Many fortunate
ones became His devotees. That included the Rajah of the princely
state of Venkatagiri. On the invitation of the Rajah, Swami made a
number of trips to the town of Venkatgiri in the late fifties and
the early sixties. He used to stay for weeks together in their
palace. On one such occasion, He was spending an evening chatting
with the members of the royal family, while the Rajah was in his
puja room meditating on his chosen diety, Lord RAMA. Suddenly ,
Swami got up, walked into the Rajah’s room and came back after a
few minutes. The Rajah emerged only after a few hours. He was in
bliss. With watery eyes he told the family members “ Swami has
given me darshan as my Lord RAMA!!”.
A few more years later, it once happened that
Eshwaramma, mother of Swami, was bed ridden. One afternoon, Swami
went to the side of her bed and called out “Griham Ammayi, how are
you?” She opened her eyes but was transfixed for some time. Swami
blessed her and went His way. Later, Eshwaramma called for
Peddabottu, another elderly devotee and confided “ Sister! Do you
know? Swami is God!”. Peddabottu laughed “ Amma! Have you realized
this truth only now ?” Eshwaramma continued “ You know, this
afternoon when Swami sat next to me….I saw him with a crown on his
head. There were bow and arrows in hand! Blue was his complexion.
He is verily Lord RAMA!”
are such wonderful experiences that leads one to the conclusion
that Swami is none other than RAMA come again. But, there lies the
mistake! Yes, you are reading it right….it is a mistake ! Swami is
not merely RAMA come again. He was RAMA before the Rama Avatar. He
was RAMA during the Rama Avatar and He is RAMA forever! That is
because Rama is not the name of a an ancient prince of Ayodhya,
blue in complexion and with a bow in his hand. Rama is something
more….in fact something absolutely fundamental.
The word Rama is explained in Sanskrit as
“Ramayatheethi Ramaha”, meaning: one
who gives happiness. Now, at a gross level, if we see our Swami,
there is no other person in this world who inspires such genuine
happiness in millions of people just by His darshan. One should
only see the faces of the devotees when they see Swami….Absolute,
out of the world joy! Therefore, Swami qualifies to be called
At a subtler level, RAMA is another name for the
formless Atman resident in the hearts
of men. In Swami’s own words:
Sri Rama Navami is a sacred
day, for it gives you a chance to remember God and your need to
realise Him. Rama, truly understood, is not the Son of Dasaratha
or of Kousalya; nor did He lose Seetha and lament for her. Rama is
not to be limited to one achievement, the killing of Ravana and
the reclamation of Seetha.
the great Pattabhishekam day, when the entire Ramanaya story was
well nigh coming to a close, Anjaneya who had an increasing desire
to know the truth, and who was till then afflicted by a slight
trace of doubt peeping in now and then, asked, Rama when the
guests had left, what His Reality was and prayed that It might be
made know to him. Rama smiled and directed Sita to satisfy
Seetha then explained that
She is the MoolaPrakrithi, who caused Maya and enabled the Nirguna
to appear as Saguna. The Atma Rama which is everywhere, the cause,
the consequence and the conclusion, the will and the way, the
being, the becoming and the ending, can be made visible and active
only by a touch of Maya.
Seetha said that the entire
Ramayana was Her Leela or Play. It is the description of the
activity produced by Maya and believed by the ignorant to be the
real activity of the Super – Impersonal Absolute.
So, Rama is in all beings as
the very core of their existance, without Rama there can be no
Rama or joy, happiness or well-being. Because Rama is within you,
you rejoice, you are pleased, you are happy, you feel blissful.
Rama is Prema, Love. So, see
the Rama in all and love them and serve them.
As Swami says, all joy has its source in the
atman. The joy that is found even in the fleeting and
ephemeral things of the world too has its root cause in the atman.
That is why God is described as Raso vai
saha, as Bliss, as one who confers happiness, as RAMA.
Swami has any number of times made known to us His reality as
nothing but this principle of bliss. He often says: I AM I. It is
for this reason that Swami is qualified to be called RAMA. That is
the real meaning of SAI RAMA.
E-Magazine, March 15, 2004