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Also read: “The Value of Life" - Prof. Anil Kumar's  latest Sunday Satsang


Dakshiṇāmūrti -
By -Kamaraju Anil Kumar

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A song I heard many years ago in the Bhajan maṇḍali of our town, Guntur, continues to ring in my ears even today.

manōharam mahāvaram svāmi upanyāsam
marala rādu marala rādu, manakī avakāśam< manōharam>
vēdikapai svāmi upnyasincucuṇḍagā
vinina cevulu panḍaga vinani cevulu daṇḍaga< manōharam>

“How enchanting is Swami’s discourse! What a great boon it is! Never again, never again will we get this chance! Swami’s discourse is a feast for the ears of those who heard Him. As for the rest, their ears are but a dead weight. <How enchanting>” Those ears which have not heard the divine message of the incarnation are a dead weight, mere vestigial organs. Swami’s discourse, interspersed with beautiful stories and apt illustrations, and delivered in a charming language, goes straight to the heart. Unawares we shed tears of joy and are transported to realms of pure delight.

During Swami’s visit to Brindavan, He stays in the beautiful mansion, Trayee Brindavan. Every evening He addresses the students, faculty, and guests. The scene of the students dressed in white and Swami in red reminds us of a garland of jasmine flowers with a rose in the middle. Prof. V. K. Gokak, the first Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University, once wrote a poem in English celebrating such a sight in Brindavan, comparing it to the Ashram where sage Kapila instructs the pupils gathered round him. Prof. Gokak pointed out that we would have lost the most precious thing in our lives if the Grace of Baba’s divine conversation is lacking.

Baba’s words are verily the pearls of spirituality which Dakshiṇāmūrti lovingly and graciously teaches. For anything to take place, it is said, the combination of four factors, viz., time, action, cause, duty, is necessary. Alongside our effort, divine grace too is necessary. It is only Swami’s compassion which enables us to have His darśan, think of Him, converse with Him, or serve Him. Could the millions of devotees, however deeply they had yearned, come to Prasanthinilayam? No. Are not there devotees who, without any planning, suddenly and inexplicably, reached Prasanthinilayam? In fact, many belong to the second category. Well, what I wish to say is that we are deluding ourselves when we say, “We have come, and we have had darśan.” All is as Swami wills.

kanulunḍi gruḍḍulai kalyāṇakaramaina
ī mūrti darśimpa nērarairi
cevulunḍi cevutulai atimanōharamaina
nī vākku lālimpa nērarairi
pāṇipankajamandu partīśuḍunnanu
pāḍu samsāramu kōrucundru
minceḍi kāntitō mēruparvatamunḍa
venḍi bangārukai vetukucundru
viśva hṛdayamandu vinpincu praṇavambu
vinuḍu śraddhtōḍa vīnulalara
kāmyamuktulaniḍa kalpakambide summi
maruvabōku ḍitti manci māta


“Having eyes, they remain blind, for they have not seen this auspicious figure; having ears, they remain deaf, for they have not heard your enchanting speech. They hanker after wretched worldly affairs while the Lord of Parthi is so close by; while there is this Meru Mountain itself ever so bright, silver and gold is all they seek. Don’t forget this piece of good news: Pay attention and let your ears rejoice listening to the primordial sound emanating from the heart of the universe. This really is the wish-fulfilling tree freeing you from desires. Do not ignore this advice.”

These words are true in every respect. They say, we enjoy in this birth only what we have sown earlier. So, we must have performed some meritorious actions. All that we enjoy now is through His grace, the result of some virtuous deeds. Sai’s utterances are the very essence of the Vedas. It is only with a steadfast mind and an unclouded intellect that we can truly receive His nectarine teaching.

nārāyaṇuni bōdha nammi yunḍina cālu
sāmavēdamu mīru cadivinatl'e
nārāyaṇuni vākku nammi yunḍina cālu
ila yajurvēdamu telisinatl'e
nārāyaṇuni vākku nammi yunḍina cālu
puḍami ṛgvēdamu nuḍivinatl'e
nārāyaṇuni vākku nammi yunḍina cālu
sari atharvaṇavēdamunu cadivinatl'e
tucchabhāvālu madilōna tolagiyunna
niścalambuga buddhi nilupukonna
intakannanu sivarātri ēmi kaladu?
sādhu sadguṇa gaṇyulau sabhyulāra!

“Wholehearted reliance on Narayana’s teaching is enough, for it is as good as having studied the Sama Veda; absolute obedience to Narayana’s words is enough, for it is as good as knowing Yajur Veda; complete faith in Narayana’s words is enough, for it is as good as reciting here the Ṛg Veda; adhering to Narayana’s words is enough, for it is exactly equal to studying Atharvana Veda. Once all base thoughts are removed from the mind, and the intellect is focused firmly on Narayana, can there be a holier ‘Sivaratri’! O, Gentle and virtuous members of this august gathering! What more need I add?”

Like the mother, who, out of her love, bends down to pick up and carry the child, the Sai incarnation too, we come to realise, comes down to our level to uplift humanity. That is why Swami made these remarks about incarnation:

janulapai prīti vātsalyaparatatōda
vāri sthāyiki daivambu vaccu bhuviki
jīvaprajñatō bātuga daivaprajña

“Out of love and affection for mankind, the Lord descends on earth with human consciousness conjoined with divine consciousness.”

Sai’s message may be said to be the call of Love, the fountainhead of the Supreme Good. This Love expresses itself chiefly as the truly spiritual discipline of Service.


tvarapadumā tvarapadumā prabhu
sāyīśuni prēma pilupulave
vinbaducunnavi rammanucū
paramārthamu cēkonumanucū <tvara>
yōgasādhanala paniyē lēdata
upadēśambulu lēvu kadē!
prajalaki taruṇōpāyambagu śrī
sāyīśuni nāmamatē<tvara>
matabhēdambula mātē lēdata
mānavasēvaye jēyunate
prēmabōdhatō bāpi bhaktulanu
maruvaka brōcē sāyiyate<tvara>

“Hurry up! Hurry up! Listen! There, the loving call of Lord Sai welcoming us to garner the highest Truth! < Hurry up!>Here is no need, they say, of yoga practices, no initiations at all! The name of Lord Sai is enough to help people cross the ocean of mundane life! < Hurry up!> He serves all, it appears, irrespective of their religion. Awakening Love in the devotees, Sai unfailingly protects them. < Hurry up!>”

The entire body of Sai’s teaching is oriented towards practice, and nothing else. His discourses offer guidance for our conduct. Therefore, the ideals He preaches become popular through our practicing them in our lives. This is how we become closer to Him. Notice how He Himself describes this phenomenon:

manciyandu mānavatvamunandu
nītiyandu nindu nijamunandu
ācarinci ceppu ācarinci cūpu ādarśamula nella
atade yuvakudu āme yuvati kāde
atti vāre best frends mīku
atti vāre best frends nāku

“One who preaches only what he practices, and demonstrates in every day life the lofty ideals of gentleness, humanity, righteousness, and absolute truth, that one alone is the really young man or young woman. Such people alone are your best friends. Such people alone are my best friends.”

What is there for us to give to Sai who grants us every comfort? What are the kinds of gifts we can offer Him? What can we present to the one who fulfils every desire of ours? Bhagavan himself has provided the answer. It is not flowers and fruits that fade and rot, and not at all worldly goods like gold, vehicles, and so on. Observe what Swami says:.

sāyi arthincu mīnunḍi sadguṇamulanu
svārdhatyāgambu pariśuddhasanghasēva
sāyi kiccedi dhanamide satyamuganu“


Noble qualities, fraternal friendship with all humanity, giving up selfishness, dedicated service to society — these are what Sai seeks from us. This truly is the wealth you may offer Sai.”

As Lord Krishna taught us through the Bhagavadgita, is there anything for which the Lord yearns? In the entire universe, is there anything which is not His, which is not He? Therefore, we may affirm that none has wealth comparable to Swami’s.

sāyi kunnatti' aiśvaryasmpadalaku
sāti aiśvaryamunna deccō tanaina
sāyi aiśvaryamēmanna svārdharahita
nityanirmala prēmayē nijamu nijamu“


Is there anywhere riches and prosperity comparable to Sai’s? Do you know what His wealth is? It is His unselfish, everlasting, and pure Love. This is true, this is true.”

Baba looks into our hearts, and does not care for externals.


 ahimsā prathamam pushpam pushpa mindriyanigraham sarvabhūtadayā pushpam kshamāpushpam śāntipushpam satyapushpam dhyānapushpam tapahpushpam. “


Non-violence is the first flower; Restraint of the senses is the next; Compassion for all creatures, Forbearance, Peace, Truth, Meditation and Penance are the other flowers.” Bhagavan looks for the garland of these eight virtues, not of the ordinary flowers. He does not accept or commend any flower other than the lotus of the heart.

pūvu lenno tecci pūjenta cēsinā
meccukonadu tānu puccukonadu
hṛdayakamala mivva sadayudai grahiyincu
satyasāyi śānti prēmadāyi“

However long you worship Sathya Sai with an abundance of flowers, he does not view them with favour. Offer him the lotus of your heart, and this giver of Peace and Love will compassionately receive it.”

Bhagavan is Dakshiṇāmūrti, the embodiment of the divine Triad. His divine teachings are designed to uplift humanity. Like Brahma, Sai, the Supreme Spirit, creates good ideas, sound judgement, and noble intentions; like Vishnu, He fosters and multiplies virtuous actions and temperaments; like Siva, He destroys wicked ways, thoughts and practices. Lakhs of people have undergone a miraculous transformation. Some changed the mode of their meditation. Inspired by Sai, ever so many overcame their harmful addictions. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai is indeed the embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.

brahma sṛshti ' cēyu brahmānḍamu
lanella vishṇu vanni penci v ṛddhi cēyu
paramaśivuḍ'u druncu pāpishti jīvula
guruvu mūḍu kriyala salupu nokaḍe“


Brahma creates all the worlds; Vishnu nurtures and sustains them; Paramasiva wipes out all evil beings. The guru single-handed performs all the three actions.”

We have not fully understood the Guru principle. All gurus are not really teachers. In fact most gurus in our society are simply fake gurus inflicting pain. Genuine teachers are hard to find.

ākupaccani pakshulanni cilukala vale palukunā
pūvulapai pārādedu purugulu tummeda lagunā
pulicarmamu gappinatti gādida puli yagunā
ēnu ganta balasi yunna pandi ēnugagu natayyā “

Can all birds speak like parrots just because they are green? Can all worms found in flowers turn into bees? Can a donkey covered with tiger skin become a tiger? Sir, can a pig fattened to the bulk of an elephant ever become an elephant?”

We lack the maturity and wisdom to identify the true guru. There is yet another important point. When we feel, “I have recognised the true guru,” we must reconsider whether this is an expression of one’s egotism. Our intelligence and our knowledge are of little use in this matter. The guru himself should choose us. Has not Swami remarked, ā nanda bāluḍē ānanda bāluḍai/ tana vāri gurtimpa tarali vacce, “To recognise his former kith and kin,/ That son of Nanda set out as this Blissful Child”? To use the expression of the earlier avatar, Shirdi Sai, the divine teacher draws His devotees to Himself “like sparrows tied to a string.” This is the hallmark of the guru. Consider a more detailed description of such a guru:

dēhabhrānti lēni mōha mintayu lēni
tyāganiratu laina yōgavarulu
gurulu nādu nēdu guru latti vāralē
satyamaina bāta sāyi māta “

Now, as in the past, the best teachers are unattached to the body, devoid of any trace of delusion, and ever engaged in Self-sacrifice. This teaching of Sai is verily the true way.” Notice how vividly the guru is defined in these lines:

ēdi erigina sarvambu erukapaḍuno ;
ēdi teliyaka sarvambu teliyabaḍado ;
atti paravidya nērpeḍu nataḍe guruḍu;
intakannanu vēreddi erukaparatu “

He indeed is the guru who imparts that supreme knowledge which, once learnt, all is comprehended, and without which all is not known. What more need I add to this?”

Such is the inner significance of Dakshiṇāmūrti, the Sai principle. In the world of today we may well entertain some doubts about the role and importance of the guru. So, Swami reassures us with these words:

satyadharmaprabōdhalu caccenanucu taluvavaddu
ātmadharmabōdhakulu mahātmu lanuta maruvavaddu
vāru vittina vittanāle vijñāna vṛkshamanuta nijamu summu
satyāniki sthiramu kaladu dharmāniki jayamu kaladu“

Do not for a moment think that exhortations of Truth and Righteousness are dead and gone! Do not forget that exponents of Truth and Righteousness are indeed great, and that the many branches of knowledge sprang from the seed these had sown. Remember that Truth is ever immutable, and Righteousness ever victorious.”

We should count ourselves very fortunate, for our guru is indeed the Lord himself, and our Lord is our Guru, our path is itself our destination, and our spiritual discipline, eminently practical. What is the reason? As Guru, Bhagavan gives us instruction. Further, as the Lord, He grants us through His Grace, the four kinds of salvation, viz., being in the plane of God consciousness, being close to Divinity, having the form of Divinity, and Union-with-God. This is but the fruit of the merit accruing from virtuous deeds in past lives.

eduta nunna svāmi neruganga lēkanu
dēvu dundu nanucu tirugucundru
venna vidaci neyyi veduka lādinatlu '
unna māţa telupucunna māţa “

Not recognising the Lord before their very eyes, people assert, ‘There is a God,’ and go in search of him, much like looking for ghee all over the place, forgetting the butter in hand. This is a fact, a fact I tell you.”

Failing to recognise our dire need for the guru and his excellence would be sheer ignorance and stubbornness.


okka poddu māţa kukka yēmerugunu
atukula ruci eddu ketula teliyu
kharamu kēmi telusu gandhambu vāsana
andhu dēmi yerugu candru rūpu“

What does a dog know about religious fasting, like having only one meal a day? How can an ox know the taste of parched rice? What does a donkey know about the fragrance of sandalwood? Can a blind man know the beauty of the moon?”

When Bhagavan went on a tour of northern India, many people came and had His darśan. In Badarinath, Kedarnath, Hrishikesh, and the Himalayan region, many hermits and sages doing penance came out of the caves to enjoy the fortune of his darśan. They could see in Swami their Lord and their guru. All the eminent men of that time had sought and enjoyed the divine darśan, and led their lives on spiritual lines under Swami’s guidance.

sāyi māţa sakalasaubhāgyamula mūţa
sāyi d ṛshti pārijāta v ṛshti
sāyi cēyi talli prēma lōpali hāyi
unna māţa telupucunna māţa “

Sai’s advice is a bundle of all manner of auspicious good fortune; Sai’s glance rains down flowers of the sacred pārijāta, the wish-fulfilling tree; Sai’s hand comforts you with the very joy of a mothers love. This is a fact, a fact I tell you.”

Just one word from Sai is enough. It is a treasure trove of pearls.. One compassionate glance from Him removes all our troubles. His touch, His enquiry -– these attract the whole world. Then, what is it that we can give him? What is it He looks for from us? He himself has answered this question in a nutshell: universal brotherhood springing from the spirit of selflessness, sacrifice, and service. At the same time Baba also points out that whatever may be our offering to the Lord, it is indeed the Lord’s property. All that we do is offering Him what is His own. Is there anything we can call our own?

ē h ṛdayamu nosangitivō īśa nāku
magidi dāninē arpintu mahitamūrti
paraga vērēmi dettu nī arcanakunu
anjali ghatintu andukōvayya nīvu“

O Adorable Lord! The heart which you gave me, the selfsame one I again offer you. What else can I bring for your worship? With folded hands I offer my salutations! Kindly accept them.”

We yearn for Bhagavan, and Bhagavan seeks devotees. His only vow is the protection of devotees. That is why He observed:

cātakamu kōru nēvē l 'a candrakānti
tummeda kōru pūvula tanivi grōla
rōgi kānkshincu mandulu rucikarambu
partivāsudu vānchincu bhaktajanula“

The cātaka bird always yearns for moonlight; the bee longs to drink the nectar of flowers; the patient looks for sweet medicines; the Lord of Parthi yearns for devotees.”

Choosing His devotees and moulding them, offering them His nectarine Love, instructing them in Human Values, shaping them into ideal human beings and making them experience the principle of Divinity and recognise Oneness --- this indeed is what the ambrosia of Lord Sri Sathya Sai’s divine teaching does.

kanula kagupadu d ṛ śyambu gānci mīru
satya midiyani yencaka sambaramunaā
teranu dāgina satyambu telisikonaga
viśramimpaka nātōḍa veḍ ali ranḍu“

Instead of joyously accepting as true whatever lies before your eyes, come, do not tarry! Join Me and find out the Reality hidden behind the curtain of Appearance.”

Many of us view the changing and transient world around as permanent and real, and spend our lives in the pursuit of selfish and narrow ends. Our Swami is indeed the Compassionate Dakshiṇāmūrti, who gives us the hidden key to the truth of life. Warning us not to “tarry,” fritter away time, and asking us to undertake the journey with him, Baba would have us experience the Supreme Divinity guiding the phenomenal world.

Prasanthinilayam is the sacred abode of Viśvēśvara. It is a spiritual hub, a service centre for universal wellbeing, and a forum of interfaith unity, the fountainhead of Love, the image of Truth, the pathway to Righteousness, and the haven filling the heart with Peace. All this is here in Prasanthinilayam. In the Museum you may have seen Prasanthinilayam, shining like a star in the photograph taken from outer space. Zooming in, the scientist-photographers identified the Indian subcontinent, South India, and narrowed it to reveal the neighbourhood of Bangalore.

pudamiki sarimadhya puttaparti yananagunu
ātmavidyalu nande avatarince
viśvamānavakōti vijñāna mandanga
viśvavidyālayam bacata velase
śāntisaukhyamulu sarvadēśamulandu
vedajallu niggulu velase nicata
niyati tappani mahānishthulu bhaktulu &n bsp;
vēlu lakshalu kōt'lu velasi ricata
satyadharamaśāntiprēmalu jagatiki
cāti ceppa būni sāyi vibhuḍu
satyasāyi cū ḍa sampūrṇaprēmayē
yagucu putte nicata mōda malara“


Puttaparthi may be justly called the exact centre of the earth, for all spiritual lore manifested itself there. To point the path of wisdom to all mankind, there emerged a University too. Radiating peace and happiness to all nations, there appeared many luminaries, millions of disciplined and dedicated devotees as well. To our great good fortune, Lord Sai is born here as Sathya Sai, the embodiment of absolute Love in order to proclaim Truth, Righteousness, Peace, and Love to the whole world.”


Situated on the bank of river Chitravati, Puttaparthi, well known for its abundant trees, is also notable for reminding us of the glories of the Vijayanagara kingdom.

pravahincu nē puri paridhigā pāyalai
citrāvatī nadi citragatula
kāvu nī pattaṇa kalyāṇakaramugā
cuttunu mēlaina cūta taruvu
kānpincu nē puri kadali vamśamunandu
pārvatīśvaru ḍepḍu bāyakunḍa
koluvunḍu nē puri vilasitambagu vandya
mahimānvituḍaina sāyi vibhuḍu
celuvu mīraga kattina ceruvu tōda
bukkarāyala cirakīrtibhuvana menca
vasudha cātu nē puramu puttapuramu“


The place with the Chitravati river winding curiously at its boundary, the place auspiciously surrounded by mango groves, the place where the Pārvatīśvara born in the lineage of the ocean, the glorious Lord Sai, ever holds court, the place where the everlasting fame of Bukkarayalu is proclaimed by a wondrous lake and town he had built, is indeed Puttaparthi, spreading its majesty over the entire globe.”

Here how very charming is the evocation of Swami’s lineage, that of ratnākara ( ‘home of gems’, the ocean, kadali ), the idyllic beauty of the environs, the illustrious monument of Bukkarayalu, and the Lord Himself holding court amidst spiritual seekers from all over the world! Visiting a sacred place like Puttaparthi is no ordinary matter.

palu matamula vāriccata
nalumūlala nunḍi vacci nayabhayamulatō
kalimini lēmiyu talapaka
palu bādhala kōrci yundru bābākorakai“


Men of all religions gather here from every corner of the earth. Putting up with all manner of hardships and unmindful of inconvenience, they wait humbly and deferentially for Baba’s darśan.”

What greater wonder can there be than the arrival of hordes of people from distant nations ready to lead simple, unostentatious lives? Prasanthinilayam is the convergence point for people of all faiths. Expense and inconvenience are no obstacles for the pilgrims. The balm of Swami’s divine darśan provides relief from all troubles.. Reaching Prasanthinilayam at the end of their round of pilgrim centres, everyone declares, “The happiness and peace we obtain here is to be found nowhere else.” Rank and status, property and possessions, learning and lineage do not matter. They are absolutely irrelevant. There is no fee, no physical labour. Surrender your heart a little and derive immense happiness in the presence of Bhagavan Baba!

dhanamu dhāraga pōya darikāni
ānandamunu mīra landugonudi
tīrthayātrala nennno tiriginan kanarāni
ānandamunu mīru landugonudi
vidya lanniyu vallevēsinan kanarāni
ānandamunu mīru landugonudi
prāṇamul bigapatta palumārlu kanarāni
ānandamunu mīru landugonudi
kāsu kharcu lēdu kāyakashtamu lēdu
lēdu caduvu sādhanādi bādha
manasokinta yicci mari sāyi kaḍanunḍi
andarāni phalamu pondarayya“


O Man! Enjoy here the happiness no amount of money can give! Enjoy here the happiness any number of pilgrimages cannot yield! Enjoy here the happiness all the arts and sciences cannot bring! Enjoy here the happiness beyond the reach of prāṇāyāma techniques! Here is no expense or trouble, no study or instruction. Just open your heart to Sai, and in turn receive happiness beyond your dreams.”

May we be blessed with the divine darśan of this Srinivasa walking in our midst! May we implement in our lives the teaching of this Dakshiṇāmūrti!
(Translation: Padma and Ramesh Dutta Thippavajjala)

SBOI -  Prof. Anil Kumar

*Sri  Dakshiṇāmūrti: Universal  Guru  Sri Dakshiṇāmūrti  is  an  Avatar  of  Lord  Shiva. Seated beneath a banyan tree and looking towards the South, Guru appears with an enchanting face  and  4 hands. He preaches Sivagnana to Janakar and the Rishis.By praying to him  we can get education and prosperity, - DAKSHIÏÁMÜRTI STOTRAM

*KAPILA AVATAR: (Incarnation as Sage Kapila) : Lord Vishnu's Sixth incarnation was as sage Kapila. The objective of this incarnation was to compile all the divine knowledge that had been destroyed. He was the profounder of Sankhya Shastra (rationalism) which helped the Brahmins, who had forgotten their duties to rectify their mistakes. He also gave discourse to his own mother.