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Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Gurupournami Day, 6 July
Baaba was brought down the winding stairs into the private room on the ground floor, because He insisted on giving Darshan to the thousands of devotees who had come on that auspicious day. He had an attack of cerebral thrombosis (or tubercular meningitis?) and was in bed for eight days from the morning of Saturday, 29th June to the evening of 6th July. His left hand, leg and eye were affected; His right hand had also slight palsy; the tongue was indistinct and the face was twitching. He was placed on the silver chair in the prayer hall and His hand and leg were adjusted in proper position. As soon as He was seated, He communicated the following message which was interpreted and announced.
This is not Swaami's illness; this is an illness which Swaami has taken on, in order to save some one. Swaami has no illness, nor will He get ill at any time. You must all be happy; that alone will make Swaami happy. If you grieve, Swaami will not be happy. Your joy is Swaami's food.
Then, Baaba signed on Kasturi to speak, and after his short speech was over, Baaba wanted the mike to be held before Him. He asked through it:
"Vinipisthundhaa?" (Do you hear me?)
But, though He asked again and again, the voice was so indistinct that no one could make out what it meant. He then signed for water and when it was brought, He sprinkled a little with His shaking right hand on the stricken left hand and on His left leg. He stroked His left hand with the right. Immediately, He used both hands to stroke His left leg; that touch was enough to cure it. He doffed the disease in a thrice! He started to speak! It was the same musical voice [as ever].
God is the Refuge for those who have no Refuge
Dhikkulenivaariki dhevude gathi - "For those who have no refuge, God is the refuge." That is exactly the reason why I had to take on the disease that one helpless Bhaktha was to get. He had to suffer this dire illness, as well as the four heart attacks that accompanied it; and he would not have survived it. So, according to My Dharma of Bhakthasamrakshana (protection of devotees), I had to rescue him. Of course, this is not the first time that I have taken on the illness of persons whom I wanted to save. Even in the previous Sareeram at Shirdi, I had this responsibility. The suffering that you saw, was too much for this particular devotee and so, I had to save him, by Myself going through it. This is My Leela, My Nature. It is part of the task for which I have come, Sishyarakshana (protection of disciples).
Persons who were near Me during the last week were asking Me to give them the name of the person whom I had saved. I told them that it will make them angry against that person, for Swaami, they would say, "had to undergo so much of pain in order to save that one person." Then, they replied, that they would honour the person, because of the extraordinary Bhakthi that persuaded Swaami to run to his rescue, on Saturday morning.
Baaba's Identity, Mission and Advent revealed
Some people even asked Me whether it was this person or that, giving names of those who had attacks of paralysis, especially on the left side! This is even more ludicrous, because when I save a person, I save him completely. I do not wait until he gets the disease and I do not leave in him a fraction of the disease, so that he may be identified later. It all looks so funny to Me, the guesses and surmises that you make.
Even in Shirdi, Dhadha Saheb, Nandharaam, Balawanth, all were saved by these means. Balawanth was destined to get plague, but, the bubo was taken over and the boy saved.
This is perhaps the longest period when I kept the devotees wondering and worried. That was because of the heart attacks which had to come later on the Bhaktha, from which also he had to be saved. Then, there is another reason too, why the eight-day period had to be observed. Well, I shall tell you why. That means, I must tell you about Myself, about something I have not disclosed so far, something which I was keeping within Myself, for the last thirty-seven years. The time has come to announce it. This is a sacred day, and I shall tell you.
You know I declared on the very day when I decided to disclose My identity, My mission and My advent, that I belonged to the Aapasthamba Suuthra (code of conduct) and the Bharadhwaaja Gothra (lineage). This Bharadhwaaja was a great sage, who studied the Vedhas for full one hundred years; but, finding that the Vedhas were Anantha (endless) he did Thapas for prolonging life, and from Indhra he got two extensions of a century each. Even then, the Vedhas could not be completed, so, he asked Indhra again for another hundred years. Indhra showed him 3 huge mountain ranges and said, "What you have learned in three centuries form only three handfulls from out of the three ranges, which the Vedhas are. So, give up the attempt to exhaust the Vedhas. Do a Yaaga (ritual sacrifice), instead, which I shall teach you. That will give you the fruit of Vedhic study, full and complete."
The Yaaga performed by Sage Bharadhwaaja
Bharadhwaaja decided on performing the Yaaga; Indhra taught him how to do it; all preparations were completed. The sage wanted that Shakthi must preside and bless the Yaaga. So he went to Kailaasa but, the time was not opportune for presenting his petition. Shiva and Shakthi were engaged in a competitive dance, trying to find out who could dance longer. Eight days passed thus, before Shakthi noticed Bharadhwaaja standing in the cold. She just cast a smile at him and danced along as before! The sage mistook the smile as a cynical refusal to notice him; so he turned his back on Kailaasa and started to descend. To his dismay, he found his left leg, hand and eye put out of action by a stroke. Shiva saw him fall; He came up to him and consoled him; Bharadhwaaja was told that Shakthi had indeed blessed him and his Yaaga. Then, Shiva revived him and cured him, sprinkling water from the Kamandalu. Both Shiva and Shakthi granted the Rishi (sage) boons: They would attend the Yaaga, they said.
All past Assurances accomplished by one Incident
After the Yaaga was over, They were so pleased that They conferred even more boons on the sage. Shiva said that They would take human form and be born in the Bharadhwaaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai Baaba, Shiva and Shakthi together at Puttaparthi as Sathya Sai Baba and Shakthi alone as Prema Sai, later. Then Shiva remembered the illness that had suddenly come upon Bharadhwaaja at Kailaasa on the eighth day of the waiting in the cold on the ice. He gave another assurance. "As expiation for the neglect which Shakthi showed you at Kailaasa for eight days, this Shakthi will suffer the stroke for eight days, when We both take birth as Sathya Sai and, on the eighth day, I shall relieve her from all signs of the disease by sprinkling water, just as I did at Kailaasa to cure your illness."
It was the working out of this assurance that you witnessed today, just now. This had to happen, this stroke and the cure. The assurance given in the Threthaa Yuga had to be honoured. I may tell you now that the poor forlorn Bhaktha who had to get the stroke which I took over, was a convenient excuse, which was utilised. You see, a railway engine is not made available to haul just one bogey; they wait until a number of bogeys are to be taken along and then, they put the engine into action. So too the disease had to be gone through, the Bhaktha had to be saved, the assurance to be carried out, the mystery had to be cleared, the divinity had to be more clearly announced by the manifestation of this Grand Miracle. All these were accomplished by this one incident.
Let Me tell you one more thing. Nothing can impede or halt the work of this Avathaara. When I was upstairs all these days, some people foolishly went about saying, "It is all over with Sai Baba" and they turned back many who were coming to Puttaparthi! Some said I was in Samaadhi, as if I am a Saadhaka! Some feared I was the victim of black magic, as if anything can affect Me! The splendour of this Avathaara will go on increasing, day by day. Formerly when the Govardhanagiri was raised aloft by the little boy, the Gopees and Gopaalas realised that Krishna was the Lord. Now, it is not one Govardhanagiri, a whole range will be lifted, you will see! Have patience, have faith. Tomorrow morning, I shall give every one of you the Namaskaaram blessing that you missed today.