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Divine Discourse delivered on the occasion of Guru Poornima Day,
(Baba was brought down the winding stairs to the room on the ground floor, since He insisted on giving Darshan to the thousands of devotees who had come on that auspicious day. He had an attack of cerebral thrombosis and 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 words were indistinct and the face was twitching. He was placed on the Silver Throne in the Prayer. As soon as He was seated, He communicated the following message which was interpreted and announced.
This is not Swami's illness; this is an illness which Swami has taken on, in order to save someone. Swami has no illness, nor will He get ill at any time. You must all be happy; that alone will make Swami happy. If you grieve, Swami will not be happy. Your joy is Swami's food.
Then, Baba indicated to Sri Kasturi to speak, and after his short speech was over, Baba wanted the mike to be held before Him. He asked, "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 signaled for water and when it was brought, He sprinkled a little with His trembling 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.)
“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 (devotee) 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 shareeram (body) 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: Sishtarakshana (protection of the virtuous).
Persons who were near Me during the last week were asking Me to divulge the name of the person whom I had saved. I told them that it will make them angry against that person, for they would say that Swami had to undergo so much of pain in order to save that one person.
Then they replied that they would honour the person for his extraordinary Bhakthi (devotion) which persuaded Swami to run to his rescue, on Saturday morning. 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 to Myself, for the last 37 years. The time has come to announce it. This is a sacred day, and I shall tell you.
You all know that I declared on the very day when I decided to disclose My Identity, My Mission and My Advent, that I belong to the Apasthamba Suthra (Vedic ritual system) and the Bharadhwaja Gothra (lineage). This Bharadhwaja was a great sage, who studied the Vedas for a full one hundred years; but, finding that the Vedas were anantha (endless) he did thapas (penance) for prolonging his lifespan, and from Lord Indra he got two extensions of a century each. Even then, the study of the Vedas could not be completed, so he asked Indra again for another hundred years. Indra showed him three huge mountain ranges and said, "What you have learned in three centuries form only three handfuls from out of the three ranges, which the Vedas are. So, give up the attempt to exhaust the Vedas. Do a Yaaga (sacrifice), instead, which I shall teach you: that will give you the fruit of Vedic study, full and complete."
Sage Bharadhwaja decided on performing the Yaaga as per Indra’s instructions and made all preparations. The sage wanted that Shakthi (the consort of Lord Shiva) must preside and bless the Yaaga, and so he went to Kailasha (the abode of Lord Shiva). But, the time was not opportune for presenting his petition, for Shiva and Shakthi were engaged in a competition, trying to find out who could dance longer. Eight days passed thus, before Shakthi noticed Bharadhwaja 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 Kailasha and started to descend. To his dismay, he found his left leg, hand and eye put out of action by a stroke. Seeing the sage collapse, Shiva came up to him and consoled him and assured him that Shakthi had indeed blessed him and his Yaaga. Then, Shiva revived him and cured him, sprinkling water from the Kamandalu (a kettle-shaped container used by ascetics). Both Shiva and Shakthi presided over the Yaaga.
After the Yaaga was over, they were so pleased that they conferred more boons on the sage. Shiva said that they would take human form and be born in the Bharadhwaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai Baba, 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 Bharadhwaja at Kailasha. He gave another assurance, "As expiation for the neglect which Shakthi showed you at Kailasha for eight days, this Shakthi will suffer the stroke for eight days, when we both take birth as Sathya Sai. On the eighth day, I shall relieve her from all signs of the disease by sprinkling water, just as I did 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 Thretha Yuga had to be honoured. I may tell you now that the Bhaktha who had to suffer the stroke which I took upon myself, 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 ready to be taken along and only then do 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 Avatar. 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 Samadhi (trance), as if I am a Sadhaka (spiritual aspirant)! Some feared I had become a victim of black magic, as if these things can affect Me! The splendour of this Avatar will go on increasing, day by day. When the Govardhanagiri (the legendary mountain that Lord Krishna had raised on his little finger) was raised aloft by the little boy, the Gopis and Gopalas (the cowherd maids and men) realised that Krishna was God. Now, it is not one Govardhanagiri, but a whole range that will be lifted, you will see! Have patience and faith.
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