Text & photo source - copyrights: Sri Sathya Sai
Sadhana Trust - sssbpt.org
This day (6th May 2011) being Easwaramma Day and the 13th day after Bhagawan
shed His mortal coil and became the all-pervading Universal Consciousness, a
special function was arranged in the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium to feed
the Narayanas (feeding of the poor and forlorn). |
It was rightly named as Maha Narayana Seva. Elaborate arrangements were made in
the stadium to feed the Narayanas in an orderly manner. The stadium was
barricaded well so that the Narayanas could sit comfortably and partake of the
Prasadam and receive clothes. The local administration had provided the Police
force in good numbers to send the Narayanas in a single file to the stadium. The
Seva Dals of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation too manned the important locations
in the stadium and helped in the smooth conduct of the function.
The function began at 9.30 hrs. with the lighting of lamp in the dais of the
stadium. Two huge photographs, one of Bhagawan and another of Mother Easwaramma was placed on the dais. A beautiful cut-out of Bhagawan serving the Narayanas in
the Hill View Stadium was arranged as a backdrop. The Narayanas were allowed in
the stadium from 7.00 hrs. to 9.30 hrs. People had lined up outside the stadium
as early as 6.00 hrs in the morning to gain entry. The Narayanas were served a laddu, Puliohara (Tamarind rice) in adequate quantities, water sachets, clothes,
Vibhuti Prasadam and a photograph of Bhagawan.
By 9am the whole stadium was full. As there was no
announcement or bhajans sung till then, it was so nice to see poor villagers,
forming small groups and singing bhajans.
By 9am the whole stadium was full. As there was no announcement or bhajans sung
till then, it was so nice to see poor villagers, forming small groups and
singing bhajans. Those bhajans are very identical to Prasanthi Bhajans, (not
bilittling the students) but when the villagers sang, it sounded very different
and nice Probably because of the kind of innocence with which these bhajans are
All the Trustees of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust were present on this occasion.
The function concluded at 10.00 hrs with the offer of Arati.
Meanwhile, at the Mother Easwaramma Samadhi, special prayers and offerings were
conducted in the morning that was attended by Bhagawan's ' family' members,
students and devotees.
evening session had three elders sharing their experience with the devotees.
Prof. Anil Kumar who introduced the speakers of the day, hailed mother
Easwaramma by quoting Bhagawan's own declaration that Rama, Krishna, Shivaji or
Gandhi became what they were because of their mothers. Same way, I am Sathya Sai
today because of Easwaramma!
The first speaker was Prof. G. Venkataraman, the 5th Vice Chancellor of
Bhagawan's University and the current head of Radio Sai Global Harmony. Prof.
Venkataraman spoke about how all who gatghered are writing a public exam this
We had an inspiring and loving teacher to guide us throughout but the
teacher can't be with us during the exam. We have to make our teacher proud by
performing with flying colours in this exam, he insisted. He then reminded the
assembly of a past discourse when Bhagawan admonished devotees for running after Moksha when the fellow human beings were suffering. Bhagawan thundered that His
devotees should run to the help of his fellow brothers so that God would run
behind them to grant Moksha. However the professor cautioned the gathering that
it is our heart which should lead the head and not vice versa.
Sri B N Narasimhamurthy, the warden of the Brindavan campus was the next
speaker. He recollected the words of John the beloved disciple of Jesus, " YOU
WOULD HAVE me speak of Jesus, but how can I lure the passion-song of the world
into a hollowed reed? Could you conceive a majesty too kind to be majestic? And
a beauty too radiant to seem beautiful? Could you hear in your dreams a voice
shy of its own rapture?". Recaptulating the last moments of Lord Krishna and
Shirdi Sai , the speaker attempted to console the devotees of the Permanence of
The third speaker Sri V.S.R. Murthy, is the managing director of a private firm
He addressed the gathering in Telugu. Starting with hailing Mother
Easwaramma mentioning about her requests to her son that led to Bhagawan staying
in Prasanthi Nilayam and transforming this forlorn village into an international
township with a university of repute and a super specialty hospital, the speaker
drew drew attention to how Bhagawan, the Avatar of the age, set us all an
example by always listening to His mother, nourishing His motherland and
elevating His mother tongue to a language of God. He further narrated a personal
interaction he had with Bhagawan. Bhagawan had said that any home in which a
small photo of His is placed, where bhajans are sung, where the residents leave
all burdens to Him and live life in surrender, Bhagawan would take complete care
of the family for many generations.
Prof. Anil Kumar thanked the speakers and made special mention of the morning's
Maha Narayana Seva which happened with such auspiciousness that one felt
Bhagawan walking between the lines and serving every guest Himself. He then
introduced the artistes for the evening. The Malladi Brothers who have given
many scintillating concerts in the Divine Presence in the recent years sang many
favourite numbers of Bhagawan.
They also shared some interactions they had with
Bhagawan during their first performance in front of the Lord in Kodaikanal. They
started their concert with Ram Bhakthi Samrajyam. When they sang "Janula Madhya
Tirugade Jagapathi", there were few dry eyes in the hall. They concluded the
concert with the famous song, "O Rama Ne Naamam Yemmi Ruchi Ra..."
The concert was followed by Bhajans during which prasadam was distributed to the
assembly. The programme concluded with Mangala Aarathi at 1935 hrs.
|In the evening the stage was set for
Burra Katha, a typical Andhra style storey telling format. Bhagawan came at 4:45
p.m., moved for a full round before coming on to the dais. The programme commenced
with a traditional offering to Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.
As they started their song on Swami, each of them was garlanded. The song ran thus:
“The words of Sai are verily the Vedas for the world …” The topic of Burra Katha for
this day was Mother Easwaramma. Hailing victory to Mother Easwaramma, the students
gave a brief chronology of events in her life. That she was born in the year 1890 to
Sri Subba Raju. When she was only five years old, the family migrated to
Puttaparthi. It was the good fortune of Mother Easwaramma that she could be the
mother of Easwara (God) Himself. Her name now finds a place in the list of
illustrious mothers of Avatars – Kausalya gave birth to Sri Rama, Devaki to Sri
Krishna and Devagiriamma to Shirdi Sai. Bhagawan was born in the Ratnakara Vamsa
(clan) to Pedda Venkama Raju and Easwaramma.
Continuing their narration, the students said, it was Subbamma who named Bhagawan as
Sathyanarayana Raju. As a youngster, Swami used to give toffees and items of daily
need to His classmates. When His classmates asked Swami as to where He got those
articles from. Bhagawan used to reply that the Grama Devata (goddess of the village)
was giving Him. The students kept their narration lively by interspersing it with
songs and witty dialogues.
Switching their narration to Karanam Subbamma, they said Karanam Subbamma was the
first wife of Narayana Rao. One day when Subbamma wanted to feed Pakodas to Swami,
she saw all the fourteen worlds in His mouth as Yashoda saw in Lord Krishna’s mouth
in the Dwapara Yuga. Karanam Subbamma experienced great joy in serving food to the
devotees of Bhagawan, they said.
Referring to the three wishes of Mother Easwaramma, the students said the present
Sri Sathya Sai University, Super Speciality Hospitals and Sri Sathya Sai Ganga Water
Project bore fruit due to the humble wishes of Mother Easwaramma. In those days,
Bhagawan used to do Narayana Seva to the villagers of surrounding villages. He used
to ask Mother Easwaramma to distribute clothes.
On this day in 1972, when the Summer Course was in progress in Brindavan, Bangalore,
she left her mortal coil. When Swami was not physically present with her, she called
out, “Swami, Swami …” And Swami responded, came to her, and she breathed her last.
The Burra Katha artistes said that though 37 years have passed, Mother Easwaramma is
still ever fresh in everyone’s minds. Recently in Kodaikanal, Bhagawan inaugurated a
Pancha Loha statue (made of five metals) of Mother Easwaramma. The artistes
concluded by expressing gratitude to Mother Easwaramma for those three wishes which
fructified into gigantic projects.
At the end of their presentation, Bhagawan asked Sri B.N. Narasimha Murthy, Warden,
Brindavan Campus to announce the names of the Burra Katha artistes – Sri Prabhakar,
the main narrator, Sri Arvind Sai, the student responsible for the comic element,
Sri Raghuram, who assisted in the presentation. This was followed by a brief bhajan
session and Aarathi.
details from Easwaramma day
The previous evening,
Swami had got it annoounced that there would be the "Burra Katha", a local art form
about which regular readers would be familiar by now. For those who have come in
late, kindly refer to
He had specified that it would be the narrative of Karnam Subamma and Easwaramma.
How apt! While Easwaramma, like Devaki the mother of Lord Krishna, was the chosen
first "home" of the Avatar, Karnam Subamma, like Yashoda, was chosen to play with
and raise the Avatar in all love. And a burra katha on both these wonderful and
wonder-witnessing women was to be performed.
In the morning, Swami made a visit to the Samadhi of His parents, Easwaramma and
Pedda Vankamma Raju. The narrow lane leading up to the samadhi had been cleaned and
paved with buntings and decorations. All the shops en route were shut and people
lined up against the roads to catch a glimpse, and if possible something more too,
of Swami as He passed by. The samadhi premises had been opened only to the students
in the bhajan group and the Veda chanting group. The actual samadhi area had been
occupied only by members from Swami's family -a privilege that the Lord has
conferred on them! It was about 9:05 am when Swami reached the samdhi. A small
procession led Him in and to the glee of everyone present, He was dressed in
resplendent yellow! The car halted and as Swami's chair came out, the golden rays of
the summer sun kissed His feet and the hem of His robes. It was only after paying
salutations at His feet that the sun slowly looked up and gazed at His face! Sunlit,
Swami looked so beautiful and sublime. A hush of awe seemed to descend as everyone
marvelled His magnificence.
Swami slowly moved into the samadhi building, blessing many members of the family of
the way. Bhajans on Easwaramma were on continously and the boys sang with vigour and
vitality. Once inside, Swami's face suddenly seemed to change and it looked as
though the Mother and Son were in a silent communion. Swami's face had that tender
emotion and it was hard to tell whether that look of Love was that of a child or of
a mother! The story of the relationship between Swami and Easwaramma is so unique.
It is hard to tell who actually mothered whom! Swami lit the lamps that had been
placed on the samadhi. He blessed garlands to be laid on it respectfully.
Then, from a jewelry box, Swami took out a huge golden necklace and asked for it to
be placed on the Samadhi of the mother. All this while, the bhajans were on and even
though they were being held outside without any ‘mike-power’, they were heard inside
the Samadhi building. Whenever the word, Easwaramma, appeared in the bhajans, Swami
seemed so moved and touched. All the members of the family who had gathered inside
took their turns to fall at His feet and seek His blessings. Two huge garlands were
being placed on the Samadhi. But they kept slipping down everytime they were kept.
Swami told them to cut the thread that had been knotted to make the garland a
complete circle and place the two ends of the thread on the two corners. The
garlands now stayed in place. After a wonderful twenty minutes or so, Swami moved
out of the Samadhi building, into the car, blessing everyone along the way.
As Swami moved along the road, the devotees who had crammed there just to see Him,
were so thrilled and excited. They stood on their toes and anything that could lend
them some support and more importantly some height, and stretched out their hands as
if to receive the abundant Grace that seemed to pervade the very air as the car
passed by. Swami moved into the mandir and went into the bhajans hall. There He
blessed the prasadam for Narayana seva. Then He moved out on to the stage and sat
there. A massive painting of the Mother had been reverentially placed and it made a
picture perfect as Swami sat beside it. Well, actually, His chair was placed in the
centre, in front of Her portrait. But Swami specifically wanted to be moved to the
side. He gave the Mother her due and seemed to want her to occupy the centre stage.
Veda chanting was on and soon the prasadam distribution began. Chitraannam (tamarind
rice) and sweet pongal were distributed by the efficient Seva Dal volunteers. It is
wonderful the way these volunteers work so silently and efficiently. They are
subject to various difficulties throughout their day starting with language
‘barriers’ to being taken for granted! But their love for Swami and Swami’s love for
them is so immense, that they continue to toil and slog for Him ceaselessly and with
all Love. It is no exaggeration to say that we must all daily spend a minute
silently expressing our gratitude to these volunteers in our heart atleast! As the
distribution went on, Swami received Aarthi and retired for the morning.
As announced the previous day, everything had been kept in readiness for the Burra
Katha in the evening. Swami arrived in the chair and moved through the entire
Kulwant hall granting darshan to the sizable crowd that had gathered there. It is
amazing how Puttaparthi with such a sparse population a few days ago was buzzing
agog with devotees everywhere, now that Swami had returned. Swami moved towards the
interview room. He entered the bhajans hall where the three students who were the
artistes of the day were seated. Swami examined their costumes and asked them about
their evening’s performance. Looking convinced that everything was in order, Swami
moved out to the stage and then called for the artistes to come too. As the mikes
were being placed down, Swami asked for the mikes to be brought up on the stage and
wanted the artistes to take the centre stage. That was done and then they began,
with the wonderful portrait of Easwaramma forming a splendid back drop for their
The Burrakatha began with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Then it was the Sai Bhagawatham!
However much one may attempt to tell the story of Easwaramma or Subamma, one ends up
narrating the story of dear Swami, for, it is Swami who makes lives fruitful and
wholesome. The story of the divine Mother and Subamma is so inspiring for they were
so closely associated with God. The three artistes narrated how the mothers were
privileged to witness the divinity of little Sathya. Hailing victory to Mother
Easwaramma, the students gave a brief chronology of events in her life. She was born
in the year 1890 to Sri Subba Raju. When she was only five years old, the family
migrated to Puttaparthi. Her name now finds a place in the list of illustrious
mothers of Avatars – Kausalya gave birth to Sri Rama, Devaki to Sri Krishna and
Devagiriamma to Shirdi Sai. Swami was born in the Ratnakara Vamsa (clan) to Pedda
Venkama Raju and Easwaramma.
Continuing their narration, the students said, it was Subbamma, the first wife of
Narayana Rao, who named Swami as Sathyanarayana Raju. One day when Subbamma wanted
to feed Pakodas to Swami, she saw all the fourteen worlds in His mouth as Yashoda
saw in Lord Krishna’s mouth in the Dwapara Yuga. Karanam Subbamma experienced great
joy in serving food to the devotees of Swami. Referring to the three wishes of
Mother Easwaramma, the students said the present Sri Sathya Sai University, Super
Speciality Hospitals and Sri Sathya Sai Ganga Water Project bore fruit due to the
humble wishes of Mother Easwaramma. In those days, Bhagawan used to do Narayana Seva
to the villagers of surrounding villages when He used to ask Mother Easwaramma to
distribute clothes. On May 6th, in 1972, when the Summer Course was in progress in
Brindavan, Bangalore, she left her mortal coil. She called out, “Swami, Swami …” And
Swami responded immediately. He came to her, and she breathed her last.The Burra
Katha artistes said that though 37 years have passed, Mother Easwaramma is still
ever fresh in everyone’s minds. Recently in Kodaikanal, Bhagawan inaugurated a
Pancha Loha statue (made of five metals) of Mother Easwaramma.The students concluded
with a prayer, "Oh Mother! Please return to earth again. Your sojourn here has
blessed us with unimagineable bounty."
As the students concluded, Swami seemed so overwhelmed and nostalgic. It is said
that a pin drop silence is a greater ode to a performance compared to a deafening
applause. So it was with Swami sitting almost motionless before calling the students
to Him and speaking to them. He did not lavish any presents or gifts but the sparkle
in His eye said it all. Then He motioned to Sri B.N. Narasimha Murthy, Warden,
Brindavan Campus to announce the names of the Burra Katha artistes – Sri Prabhakar,
MA in economics, the main narrator, Sri Arvind Sai, also an MA in economics the
student responsible for the comic element and Sri Raghuram, Msc in BioScienceswho
assisted in the presentation. Then Swami got announced that the same students would
perform again the next on the life of Shirdi Baba. Bhajans were on and after a while
Swami received Aarthi. Swami then got it announced that the President of India, Smt.
Pratibha Patil, would be arriving to Puttaparthi the next day. It was well past 6pm
when Swami retired for the day.