Through Unity, Purity and
Divinity in Melakavatti, Tamil Nadu
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kilometers away from Ooty, in Tamil Nadu, India, is the village
of Melakavatti, which lies on the road between Ooty and
Nanjanadu. Surrounding this valley are cloud-capped, mist-laden
hills that offer a panoramic view of Nature’s emerald greenery
at its best.
The slopes of the hills are thickly wooded
and the shifting mist seems to play hide and seek upon them. 300
families live in this verdant village.
The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations of Nilgiris selected this
village for their three-year Seva activities prior to Bhagavan’s
They could not have realised that it was the Divine Hand that
had pointed out this village, since a Leela was to be
played out there.
Paralysed Lady Blighted and Uncared For …
was in January 2003, at the inauguration of the Seva activities
in the village, that the members of the Ooty Samithi conducted a
Nagarsangeerthan one early morning.
After the Nagarsangeerthan they visited each and every
house and gave out Swami’s picture, a laddu and vibhuthi as
prasad. At the end of a lane they entered an ancient,
dilapidated house for handing out prasad. What they saw shook
them to the very core of their being. On the damp floor
was lying a lady well past her prime on a sacking cloth.
Wherever they turned, their eyes met only signs of abject
poverty and neglect. Some villagers who had come along
with them explained the pitiful condition of that lady.
was extremely poor and had been orphaned at a very early age.
The little plot of land that she inherited was the source of a
meager income that kept her body and soul together.
Having no near and dear relatives to arrange her marriage, she
remained a spinster. When she was 30, suddenly, she lost the use
of both arms and legs.
Divine Sai Seva Begins….
President and other members of the Organisation, who heard these
pathetic details, were deeply touched. That second itself they
resolved to adopt her and take care of her. Immediately, a cot,
a mattress and blankets were bought and she was transferred from
the cold sacking cloth on the floor.
planned that every day one member would bring food and stay with
her the entire day and take care of her. That was how
the Divine Seva began.
Villagers’ Hearts Awaken…
As months rolled
by, the collective conscience of the village woke up. They felt
ashamed that in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, volunteers were
coming from distant Ooty to take care of the elderly, paralysed
lady who had always lived in their midst, totally neglected by
They felt that it
was their bounden duty to take care of the lady. Slowly, their
minds and hearts changed and kindness and compassion crept into
their hearts. As a result, the village panchayat (head
committee) was convened.
Each one commented
appreciating the continuous Seva that had been going on, rain or
shine. The Ooty Samithi members had never failed in the Sai Seva
they had taken up even though they had to travel 20 kms to and
fro from Ooty. The villagers resolved that henceforth they would
take over the care of their neighbour whom they had forsaken
Thirty people came
forward to care for her. All the days of the month were thus
covered and the specific date for each family was
written on a paper and kept near Bhagavan’s picture in their
Pooja room as an offering at the Feet of the Lord Sai.
continued and the Samithi members continued to associate
themselves and assist when need arose. The eagerness to serve
spread and soon everyone in the village wanted to do something!
Seva Ideal Spreads…
They began to renovate her house, cementing the floor, painting
the walls and repairing the roof. It gained a new look and shone
because of the love and service gushing from generous hearts.
They began cooking her food in the renovated kitchen and thus
she was able to eat hot food, a very welcome change for her in
Ooty’s cold climate.
A healthy competition began between the villagers so
that each month lots had to be drawn to assign 30 families for
performing Seva to the paralysed lady. All the
important activities of the village began to be held in her
house only. It had become a symbol of their unity and purity of
hearts and the readiness to serve that sprang from that purity.
The dark, dismal house had become transformed into a
shining center for all activities in Melakavatti. The
village that was earlier divided by selfishness, clashes of ego
and disinterestedness, came together bound by love of service to
the long-neglected lady. Thus, started the link that bound them
together into Unity, which spread Purity among them. Can
Divinity be far behind?
The Lady’s House…the Centre of the Village
September 2004, the Samithis in the Nilgiris District planned to
hold bhajans in 80 villages. The turn of Melakavatti came along
and all the people in one voice opined that the bhajan should
take place in that lady’s house, which had become the focal
point of all their activities. Accordingly, a well decorated
shamiana (temporary shed) was erected in front of the house
and bhajans started in the evening. All the villagers
participated with great enthusiasm and devotional fervour. The
bhajan singers from Ooty were totally immersed in singing the
praise of the Lord who had brought the village together.
The Unexpected Divine Miracle!
that golden moment something momentous, something miraculous,
something totally unexpected, began to happen. That 50
year old lady who had no sensation in her hands and legs and had
been confined to her bed for the past 20 years, suddenly,
without the help of anybody or without anyone being conscious of
it, raised herself up to sit on the bed. Slowly, she put her
feet down and stood up! She moved her hands as well.
She moved towards the place where bhajans were being sung in
front of Bhagavan’s picture.
The whole village was immersed in the bhajans and did not know
of the miracle that was taking place inside the house.
All at once, they saw her coming to the front of the house
unaided and raising her hands in homage to the visible Lord and
beginning to dance in ecstasy. The bhajan singers,
Samithi members and the villagers were all struck with wonder
seeing that lady dancing before their eyes and this must have
flashed on their minds “Sai Bhagavan! How is it possible for
this lady who had remained paralysed for 20 years to dance to
the rhythm of the bhajans except by Your Grace? You are indeed
present here and have taken over the entire village and working
miracles. The total transformation of this village has been due
to Your boundless Grace, mercy and compassion.”
The lady explained to the amazed gathering that Swami
had appeared in her dream the previous night and had massaged
her hands and legs thus removing her paralysis.
Amazing Transformation in the Village
Today, the 300 families are closely knit into one Sai family.
Unity led to Purity that has expanded into Divinity.The
village chief who was shocked by what he saw resolved then and
there that he would never touch another bottle of liquor in that
pure village where God was present. He had been a confirmed
alcoholic throughout his entire life!
and behold! The paralysed walks!
The addict renounces liquor at a moment’s notice!
Unity prevails in
a divided village and their pure hearts are temples where
Bhagavan is enthroned!
What other proof
does one need to recognize the presence of the All Compassionate
A little footnote
to the above is that the name of the lady is Subbi short for
A look at that
shining lady’s face and visit to her is enough for her
neighbours to come back lit with joy and peace.
Lord has taken residence is surely a place filled with Ananda
and peace everlasting.
Courtesy: Sai Samarpan