The Scout camp at Pushpagiri - Sai Saga - 4

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The Scout camp at Pushpagiri

Sathya had to move to Kamalapur with his brother Seshama Raju. His parents planned to give Sathya a College education, so that he might become an officer! And, hence, they were prepared to part with him and send him to far off Kamalapur, provided his studies could be continued.

Sathya too attended school regularly; he was, in Kamalapur, as at Bukkapatnam, 'a quiet well-behaved boy', the favourite of his teacher. He sang the "Prayer song", before the curtain went up, on a drama in the town; and, those who heard his sweet voice, spread the news that a 'fine musician' had come to town. "Prayer songs" at functions like public meetings became his monopoly thereafter.

Baba speaks even today of a Drill Instructor, who commanded the respect of the entire school by his unstinted love for children. He was also the scoutmaster and he was anxious to have Sathya in his troop. So, he started persuading the boy directly and through his friends. There were two boys, children of the Sheristedar, who sat at the same desk and who were very friendly with Sathya. They also pleaded with him and even thrust a nice new pair of scout shirts and knickers into the desk of Sathya, so that he might join. They all knew that Sathya will be the life of the troop and, if he joined it; the elders of the town too would agree to sponsor it. Otherwise, they might mistake to be 'a group of idlers and do-nothings intent only on hikes and dinners.'

Sathya joined at last, just in time to proceed to the Fair and Cattle show at Pushpagiri, to which the Drill Master planned to take his troop. There was work enough for the boys at Pushpagiri, what with the huge crowds that gather, the children that might get lost, the supply of drinking water to the pilgrims, the supervision of sanitation, and the need to provide first-aid on the spot, at the cattle fair. The camp fee was fixed at ten rupees per boy. Sathya did not have a pie!

He had to demonstrate that Sathya is its own reward, that Prema will overpower everything else; he decided that the chance to teach and inspire his companions should not be lost; so, he determined to walk to Pushpagiri, thus saving the bus fare. He told the drill instructor that his people were coming for the Fair and that they will look after him. (Of course, the people who come for every Jathara (Fair) are His people!) And thus, he avoided the camp mess and the charges he had to pay if he had joined it. He calculated that five rupees would be enough to see him through at Pushpagiri; and, He gave the set of books of the previous class which he had seldom read and which therefore were as good as new, to a needy boy and took from him, not the twelve rupees he offered, but just the five rupees he required. Then he walked the distance to Pushpagiri, reaching the place about 9 o'clock in the night, the day before the Inauguration of the Fair.

He was physically very much tired and with the bag containing his clothes and the money, he slept on the sand of the river, along with the huge concourse that had already gathered there. The next morning, when he woke up, the purse had gone, along with the bag!

While describing these incidents, Baba often tells those around Him that he was not worried at all; but that he moved about the place quite unconcerned and found, on a stone trough, an anna coin and a packet of beedies! He took the coin, it seems, and proceeded to the market place. There was a man there, who sat in front of a contraption, promising profit to men with luck! On a circle drawn on a piece of black cloth in white paint, he had some hieroglyphics; he had attached some monetary value to a few fingers and no value at all to the rest! He had an iron rod, sticking up from the centre and a movable needle on its top. He asked his customers to place a coin beside him and give the needle a quick turn. If the needle stops on top of a section which has a figure like 2, 3 or 4, he gives the customer double or treble or four times the stake amount; otherwise, he appropriates it. Sathyanarayana went straight to this man and, turning the needle a number of times, and always with luck in his favour, collected twelve annas! He says that He could have secured more, but he sympathised with the poor fellow whose earnings were not much!

Those twelve annas sufficed him for a week! Sathya entered enthusiastically upon his task of inspiring his classmates to do selfless social service. Even today this is the central theme of His teaching, service to others being, as He says, service to oneself, for the other is only oneself in another form and under another name!
Sathya quietly slipped out of the camp, when they proposed to take him back by bus for he had not paid his share of the bus fare. He walked back the whole distance, as a matter of principle.

Sathya at Kamalapur was away from parents; even his brother had gone to undergo training course and so, whenever he wanted some odd cash, he wrote as He says, songs for the use of a merchant, Kote Subbanna by name! Subbanna had a shop, selling medicines, tonics, glassware, articles of fashionable wear, umbrellas, etc, and whenever he desired to push a new article into the market or boost the sales of some patent drug, he caught Sathya on the road leading to the school and gave him the necessary; technical or other information. By evening, Sathya was ready with an attractive Telugu song, praising the stuff in really good poetry, full of swerve and lilt, capable of catching the ear when sung in chorus by the band of urchins, whom Subbanna hired for the purpose. They used to march along the streets, with name-boards in their hands, singing the slogan-filled song of Sathya and evidently enjoying their task! Even now, Baba regales His Bhaktas, now and then, by the recitation of these old time articles tunes! Kote Subbanna gave Sathya, in return for these songs, which soon danced on every tongue, the clothes, books and other necessities. 
Sai Baba Quotes:
|Miscellaneous 1||Miscellaneous 2|  |Silence| |Women| |Doubt| |Bhajans||Study Circle|     |Meditation|  |Education| |Love||Religions| | family person|


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