Divinity blossoms in the heart : The Tribune India

Divinity blossoms in the heart

Divinity blossoms in the heart

The young Sathya Sai Baba. File photo



Priya S Tandon

As a little girl, I remember sitting among a huge crowd at the Ridge in Shimla in March 1973. The majestic ‘Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’ sat at the edge of the stage and some devotees sang bhajans.

Later, we went to Woodville where he was staying. It was on that day that I dedicated myself to him, for the love he drenched me with. I still remember that he seemed to be gliding on air, not walking on the grass. His intense eyes surfed the deepest recesses of my heart. The experience was so intense and overwhelming that I could not control the tears streaming down my cheeks.

For days, ‘that form’ in an ochre robe kept whirling and twirling in my mind’s eye. I could not get him out of my mind. Singing his bhajans gave me a strange comfort of being connected to him. It was in 1979 that we went to Puttaparthi, a hamlet in Andhra Pradesh. We were lucky to get what was called an ‘interview’; the Baba met us in a small room in the temple complex. The gush of emotions I felt while sitting in his overpowering presence can’t be explained in words. He showered the love of a thousand mothers on us. It was a homecoming. He made us feel that we belonged to him, and he belonged to us. Truly, the most precious legacy my parents gave me is that they connected me with Bhagwan Baba.

I lost my parents a few years ago. But I have an eternal mother and father in Bhagwan Baba. He said Sai or ‘S-ayee’ means ‘sab ki mata’; and Baba means ‘pita’. So, Sai Baba means ‘sabke mata pita’. I go to Puttaparthi like it’s my maika (parental home). It is a great comfort to belong to the Lord. He is the eternal keeper of this pilgrim’s progress.

We, as a family, are indeed blessed to have experienced the divinity of Sai as he walked the Earth. In earlier years, Baba would say, ‘My life is my message.’ Towards the end of his earthly sojourn, he started to tell his devotees, ‘Your life is my message.’ That is a huge responsibility for us. He always addressed us as ‘prema swaroopas’ (embodiments of love) or ‘divya atmaswaroopas’ (embodiments of divinity). We strive to come up to the terms of endearment he used for us.

It is Bhagwan Baba’s birthday on November 23. When devotees would wish him, ‘Happy birthday, Baba’, he would say, ‘My birthday is the date when divinity blossoms in your heart.’

Devotees from the world over still throng Puttaparthi on his birthday. No invites were/are sent out, but his love remains an open-ended and eternal invite for a homecoming. And it shall always be!

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